Character Interview- Mallory

Posted: January 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

Here we go with another A Twist of Fate interview, this time with Rebecca Bruner’s character Mallory, from her modern day take on the story of The Frog Prince.

Of the two guys nearing the med school campus, one looked a bit more out-of-place than the other. The taller, thinner of the two seemed a lot more comfortable in this environment, and had mainly just come along to make sure his red-haired, monkey/human hybrid friend didn’t get lost. Their destination was actually the coffee shop not too far from campus. While the taller one was looking to get some coffee, the redhead was after some conversation.


They strode into the coffee shop, Travis’ red tail twitching lightly. He was here to speak with a pre-med student by the name of Mallory. He was looking around for her, thinking over what sorts of questions to ask.


A slender girl wearing Converse high tops, blue jeans, and a hoodie rushed through the front door. Her light brown hair was twisted into a sloppy bun at the top of her head and secured with a pencil. She stepped up to the counter with the air of somebody in a hurry and ordered a large coffee with a shot of espresso.


After placing her order, she glanced around, looking for the guys she was supposed to be meeting. She checked her cell phone for the time.


The taller one nudged his friend. Having been through med school himself and all, he had the feeling that this rushed girl was probably set to go down that path, herself.


“Hey. Is your name Mallory, by any chance?” Travis called toward her.


The girl glanced up from her cell phone and did a double take. She looked the red haired creature over. “Oh, hi. You must be Travis. Do you want to sit down?”


Travis nodded. “Yeah, might be a good idea. Any preference where? Also, thanks for taking the time out for this interview. I can get how busy the whole pre-med thing can be, then med school itself.” He jerked a thumb toward his companion. “Spence here frickin’ mainlined caffeine the whole time.”

He looked for a good spot, tail twitching again.


Just then the Barista called Mallory’s name. “Speaking of mainlining caffeine, I’d better get my coffee.” She hurried over to the counter, collected her drink and then plopped down in one of the upholstered chairs near a window that looked out on the nearby park. She motioned to the adjacent sofa. “Here, sit.” She took a big slurp of coffee. “So are you a journalist? Why did you want to interview me?”

He thought of how to answer that one as he sat down, fingers drumming on his thigh.


“Well…somewhat. I kinda do these interviews for this one writer’s blog to help promo other authors and whatnot. I wish I could say it was in exchange for her, y’know NOT hurting me, but that’d be a lie…”


Mallory frowned. “No offense, but are we talking animal cruelty here? No, wait. That came out wrong. I’m not saying you’re an animal. I’m just personally very opposed to animal cruelty. I’m not even sure I’ll have the guts to dissect a frog.”


With a slight chuckle, Travis shook his head. “Not animal cruelty, exactly. More like messing with the genetic experiment…”


“Genetics is fascinating! So many cool things they can do now with gene therapy and everything! Sorry, you were saying?”


but if we started going into that, we’d probably be here all day, and this is more about you and not the part about my being a genetic freak, and…um…wow, okay, so I kinda started rambling there for a sec. Anyway, I’d wanted to interview you because of this anthology you–well, okay, all three of us, far as I know–are in. I realize I probably sound kinda crazy here. But the first question I’d have for you…what made you want to pursue medicine? Mainly curious, there.”


“As far as medical school, I was always sorta interested in medicine. I was about seventeen when my dad died of cancer. I promised him on his deathbed that I’d become a doctor. I want to make a difference for good in the world, you know?”


“I can get that,” Travis replied, leaning back a bit. “So, hoping for the best with your goals, there. Now, is there anything specific that makes you so opposed to animal cruelty? Or is it just on principle?”


“I think mainly just in principle. But I sit in biology lab week after week watching those poor frogs with their big, sad, eyes climbing over each other in the tank and I keep thinking what it must be like to be one of them.” She glanced from Travis to Spence. “Course you can’t go to medical school if you don’t pass biology. I know I’m gonna have to toughen up and dissect one some day.” She shuddered. “Just not looking forward to it!”


“I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like,” said Travis, cringing a bit. “But yeah, I can get how it’d be tough for you, as well. It’s kinda nice to talk to someone that’s not all gung-ho about cutting one open, y’know? Um, okay, next question…Spence, I think you had one?”


Spencer nodded. “Is there a particular field you want to specialize in?” he asked.


“I’m not sure. I’ve considered obstetrics, or maybe neonatology. I’ve also thought a lot about oncology, cuz of my dad. But then you’re always dealing with really sick people, dying people.” She took a big swig of coffee and swished it around in her mouth. “Maybe I’ll become a surgeon.”


Travis glanced over at Spencer for a moment, the slimmer of the two giving him a few quick definitions. Once he had an understanding of what each field she’d mentioned covered, he nodded, writing something down on the notepad he generally brought along to these interviews.


“Next question. What might you do if medicine wasn’t an option? Holy shit, I just realized that might sound like I don’t have any faith in you to get through this…”


Mallory grimaced. “You sound a bit like my stepmother, Janice. Doesn’t matter that I’ve got straight A’s. She’s convinced I’m going to screw up somehow.”


Travis flinched slightly, now having thoughts of his own dad’s opinion of him. Okay, time to cover himself here…


“I’m pretty sure you’ve got this! But like, in another reality…?”


Mallory chuckled. “I’m not sure. I might volunteer with the Peace Corps or something. But really, I’m a senior, my dad left me money for college in his will. It would take a major catastrophe to keep me from graduating in May!” She took a sip of coffee, then looked up at Spence. “Providing I don’t flunk biology for failing to dissect a frog!”


Spencer pushed up his glasses. “That’s one of those things that gave me a bit of trouble a while back, as well,” he said. “But you can do this, I’m sure.”


Travis nodded. “So, your stepmother…do you two get along at all, or…?”


Mallory snorted. “She’s like the bane of my existence. You know how in fairy tales there’s never a kind, sweet stepmother? They’re all wicked and cruel. Janice must have read a lot of those stories as a kid, cuz boy does that fit her! She’d say I’m totally ungrateful, of course. I say she’s a psycho drama queen!”


The half-monkey let out a chuckle. “Ah, one of those types…I’d say my dad was the same way, but the drama thing’s a level of sophistication he never got to. More of a yeller… Um, okay, next question, next question…


Mallory checked her cell phone. “I’ve got a few more minutes, then I’ve got to get to class.”


“If you ever found out that you were, like, a character in a story, what might you ask the author? Like, about anything?”


Spencer shot him a look, wondering how an existential question was that much better than bringing up parental/step-parental issues.  


Mallory looked bemused. “I guess I’d ask the author if I’m going to make it. I mean, will I become a doctor? Will I find true love? Will I live happily ever after? Sounds pretty stupid, I know, but sometimes I wonder.”


“Makes sense to me,” Travis replied. “And like both of us have said with med school, we’re pretty sure things will work out. Might not be in the way you expect, but things, in my experience at least, seem to ultimately work out for the…I don’t wanna say BEST, exactly, but sometimes for the least painful? I have no idea if that makes sense, but either way, none of that sounds stupid.”


His tail twitched a little more, as he came to the next one. Just one more after this, I promise. Anyway, with the true love thing, is there anything specific you’re looking for?”


Mallory giggled. “Maybe Michelangelo’s David translated to flesh and blood? I’m such a nerd! But if we’re talking total wish fulfillment here…” She took a slurp of coffee, then threw her head back and laughed. “Course that’s never gonna happen. But I can dream, can’t I?”


Travis’ tail twitched a bit, slapping against Spencer’s leg. “It might happen. Not really a given either way. But I wouldn’t rule it out, y’know? Alright, last one, since, y’know, class and all.”


“Biology lab. Not looking forward to it, but I need all the points I can get!”


He nodded, before thinking on that last question. “So, you mentioned being against animal cruelty. Do you have a favorite animal? And if so, what would it be? Yeah, probably kind of a random one, but…yeah.”


She smiled. “I like lots of animals. I kinda like orangutans. Are they any relation to you?”


He chuckled slightly. “I’m really not sure. Started off as human, and mom sorta…I guess you could say ‘borrowed’ some DNA from the zoo? There might be some orangutan in there, but the redhead thing’s always been there. Anyway, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us.”


“My pleasure.” Mallory stood up, grabbed her coffee, and gave a little wave. “It was great meeting you both. Best of luck with your blog.” She checked the time again. “Gotta run.” With that, she dashed out of the coffee shop.

You can find out more about her writing on Facebook! And here’s hoping you’ll all add the anthology to your to-read list!


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