Dr. Friedrich Stein Character Profile

Hello dear Readers ~

This is a scene from a short-story idea I developed last year. I was inspired while attending a local community event {I think it was a tomato-tasting}, almost a decade ago, when I noticed how inter-mixed the gatherers were – from sculptors to medical doctors to writers to construction workers. I wandered how opposite natures would work when thrust into an opposing world. I thought an interesting relationship could be formed from one character who was committed to reality and another who reached for fantasy. Or, an artist and a logician. I want to see how the muse and the scientist work together, or – how astronomical the explosion of opposites could result in.


Waiting on Mistresse…

Flickering candlelight tickled the air, clinging like silk to his skin. He felt a delicate bead of sweat take form on his brow, but refused to wipe it away. He couldn’t let her know that she unsettled him. Returning his gaze to the candle did not soothe him – she preferred candlelight. Things like lace, candles, cream, stilettos, satin, chilled berries belonged to her, elements of her configurations. He called their conversation the night before to mind – she demanded to address an exponential critical factor, insisted it convey face to face, and instructed him to arrive at the Manor at 8:15 sharp. The directness of her requirements were not suspicious, the cause to alarm came from the lacking of sensual innuendos.   Their arrangement was a tangled web of subterfuge, a contractual affair of unusual bonds – Friedrich’s saving grace. Their relationship bordered on toxic, yet tasted too savory to imagine life without the eccentric flair.

Friedrich dared a scratch to his unruly head and stole a glance at the receptionist. 8:23. The girl was elegant and plain. Brunette, reed thin build, and opaque makeup donned in black like all of her women. The receptionist wore an unimpressed air of superiority and addressed Friedrich in short staccato bursts.

“Lady-Mistresse is eager to speak with you, Dr. Stein. She regrets a previous meeting detains her. She recommends you take in the night air on her private balcony.”

“Of course,” Friedrich said through clenched teeth, “one cannot rush Mistresse, can they?”

His eyes boiled with frustration, yet he attempted to maintain composure. She could be tricky, he knew. She could be dressed as one of her women milling about the establishment. She could be watching him at any moment. Right now, she could be coyly laughing. She enjoyed his reactions to uncomfortable situations; he discovered that tidbit years ago. This evening, however, he did not feel like entertaining his inner babe. Surely, that is what this is about: she must’ve received word that his grant was lost to a child genius in Japan. Yes; he wanted to throw a temper-tantrum, pull his curls out, and suck on his thumb…but he would not follow his desires, at least not without her to guide him. Not without her silken touch to his temples, her reassuring cadence that none were more intelligent or genius than Friedrich. Not without the lingerie and strawberries. He cleared his throat and craved champagne. Failure for Friedrich came only with coddling. Many things for Friedrich came only at her permission.

Friedrich rose off the black velvet divan and crossed the marble floor towards the balcony. A seductive smirk pulled at the corner of his mouth as he remembered his first experience by the wrought iron rails. He was young then, barely breaking through his twenties yet already a national phenomenon – “Friedrich Stein assumes doctoral position by 21 years of age. Dr. Stein to take on incurable diseases.” Published and polished, Friedrich was known to be ahead of his time, but he did not accomplish these things alone. If not for her unique tutelage, Friedrich could still be in that basement making LSD for undergraduates and slicing up rats for the veterinary clinic. The cool breeze on the balcony took him back. Back to that night they first met. Back to that card she put in his shirt pocket at the wine tasting. Back to that first glance she cast through downcast lashes.

Friedrich gripped the cool railing and looked down at the sprawling metropolis. The lights and whispers of the city drifted up, and he breathed it all in, letting the memory succumb him. The air was brisk that night, too. She wore Japanese silk in a sexy kimono style. Clinging one minute, flowing the next. She was like that silk – embodying your dreams or suffocating you in reason. Back then she was a poetess and scholar. A starving artist searching for meaning. She read her words that night beneath the stars. She wrote about love and sex and limits. She fell in love with light and sound. She lived her life like art, she insisted – and Friedrich wanted to discover if that was true. Her syllables tasted salty, of wants not achieved.

His obsession began with the jagged tear trickling down her cheek. So much beauty should not feel sorrow, he thought. Who were these lovers she described? Who could ever turn away from her starlit gaze? Sapphire eyes sparkled. Her pale hair fell in smooth waves to the middle of her back. Ivory skin shone through in places the silk couldn’t cover. She moved with the grace of the swan, gliding from guest to patron, smiling liquid succor like that of orchids in bloom – exotic, yet innocent and pure.   She was a wisp of a woman, petite and delicate, so thin a man could wrap her into himself. Absorb her energies and steal the muse…

8:35…Where is she?

“I’ll take a scotch, neat,” he said, knowing the girl would comply. He’d need something to stiffen his nerves. Friedrich sensed that something monumental kept Mistresse away, and he did not enjoy the circling turmoil resulting in the pit of his stomach. “Make it a double.”


Picture c/o:  http://orig11.deviantart.net/2889/f/2014/122/2/b/the_muse_by_3ddream-d7gl8es.jpg


Book Review: “Grey” by E.L. James

As a session break treat, I rewarded myself with guilty pleasure:  Trash Fiction. After four months of intensive graduate readings with the DeadHeads {to include Charles Darwin and Rene Descartes}, I found the ease of comfort reading to be the perfect balm. I devoured this piece in no time because reading for pleasure is such a different process than reading syntopically. Casual or pleasure reading does not require a pen or a critical lens.

This piece is a retelling of the original Fifty Shades of Grey series, with the narrator switched from Anastasia to Christian. James’ dedication is for the readers who wrote requests to hear Christian’s side of the story. The author complied with their wishes, and she wrote a near identical rendition of the original piece.

~ The ‘narrator swap’ could be an interesting method to explore in one’s writing, possibly as a cure for “writer’s block.” I will save this idea for a few of my stories that have come to a dead end – maybe another character could present another avenue for the story? Thanks to E.L. James for a refreshing idea for tired narrators. ~

I read the original version of Christian and Ana’s story in Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed because it was trending at the time. I ran and operated a salon and attempted to stay up with the current talk. I am going to say it was the summer of 2013 as I remember the Divas laying out by Ashley’s pool, the slow readers that they are lol, and me waiting for them to catch up. Because after reading the story…who could speak with a client about S&M? haha Nobody…but the plan still worked out as my clientele could tell after a look that I had read the books, and No, I was not shocked. For the image of The Stylist, I succeeded – I was mysterious and knowing, worldly even.

To sum up my opinion of the story itself:  an attempt to blend S&M with romance. Erotic? Yes, because the page is never absent of the word “fuck.” However, the main focus is romance – there must be love and “hearts and flowers” sentiments. Brava, to James as the intended female audience wants to see love conquer lust – women want men to fall in love with them and not just their nether regions. As I’ve stated before:  I am fairly well read. If looking for a definitive Erotica, check out Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. After reading Rice, I do not remember feeling like it was a love story; whereas, James is definitely classified as a romance.

What was new to Christian’s side of the tale? Not as much as I expected; the reader is left with wanting “more” too. I hoped the story would be more about Christian’s life before Anastasia – we already know, Yes she was a virgin, blah blah blah. I wanted to see more of his ex-subs, especially Elena. What James gives the audience is limited flashbacks/dreams with scarcely a morsel to reveal his past. There is more action inside Christian’s business revealed – but who cares about that? James had already secured Mr. Grey as a successful businessman; this information is unneeded and a bore to read – especially when there are so many characteristics of Christian that the reader yearns to discover.

Grey covered only the first book; which means there should be two successive pieces to come. I won’t hold my breath for any revealing moments as I expect the second to follow the first.

James, E.L. Grey. New York:  Vintage Books, 2015.

James, E.L. Grey. New York:  Vintage Books, 2015.