The Vampire's Apprentice

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
Clancy woke with a start. He felt as if he had been dreaming. Strange. That was a physical impossibility for someone of his kind, and yet he could not shake the feeling he had been thinking or feeling something just before waking. Such an odd sensation he had not had since... Well, a very, very long time. He rose from his bed and stretched before walking across the stone and lead-lined bunker to the circular metal staircase winding its tight way up to the first floor. He climbed up, smoothing his hair as he went, and lightly pushed up the trap door.

Up above him, a heavy butcher's block glided aside to allow the door to raise, and he walked up into his small kitchen. He took a deep breath of air before closing the door, the butcher's block gliding back into place. Ah, this was much better! As safe as his bunker kept him, it was also rather stuffy. He walked through the house to the bedroom he used as a large closet, and he changed quickly, smiling as he watched himself in the mirror. His hair smoothed, his black coat smoothed over his blood-red shirt, and his tie the perfect looseness, he stepped out. Time to go out on the town and find some dinner!

The last rays of the sun disappeared as Clancy set his hat on his head and strolled into town. His little house was situated right on the edge of a quaint, lovely little town that had just enough business to allow a single person to disappear without the annoying hustle and bustle and suspicion of a larger town. Perfect for a little... hunting.
 

KenżaSheep

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Four weeks. That was how long she had been trying to find something and coming up with nothing.

Well, not nothing, but pretty close to it. It seemed childish, in hindsight, for her to have expected such a strange venture to be easy. But that was reassuring, if one thought about it with the same skewed view of reality Kitty often did. Because she had found almost nothing, the real something did exist somewhere underneath the piles of lore and myth. It was just a royal pain trying to dig "it" out without getting herself killed.

Kitty brushed her curly brown hair behind her ears and huffed, looking around at the semi-empty state of the park at dusk, then at the small pouch of pebbles on her lap. She had since given up feeling self-conscious about holding them, but it was the easiest of supposed lore she could collect in hope of attracting a vampire. For all she knew, their supposed obsession with counting could have been a myth, but there wasn't much else she had the funds to obtain. So, rocks it was.

A chilly breeze blew her hair back in front of her face and she brushed it out of her mouth and tucked it behind her ear again before hopping off the wooden park bench and slowly dumping the stones out onto the sidewalk, making a semi-neat pile. Any average person loitering in the park after sunset would keep their distance from the other strangers, so she didn't have much to fear when it came to a person kicking her rocks away.

Unless said person is a vampire, Kitty thought to herself, reassuring her that this madness had a purpose and she just had to be a little more patient. Just a little more patience... and probably something bigger than a notepad. Her written questions were endless, and the tiny yellow object had since been filled on both sides with notes, curiosities, etc. in very finely printed handwriting. Every millimeter of space had been conserved, yet it was completely and utterly used up—another frustrating fact she had come to terms with due to lack of cash.
 
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Treasure

I don't do mornings...
Clancy walked along confidently, humming softly as the light breeze stirred his clothes, but his pale skin didn't feel the chill at all. The night was young! The air was fresh! Yes, this night was exactly the same as the night before and the night before that and on and on for the past ten years or so, but finally perhaps he would find something interesting! Perhaps. Finally.

He spent two hours in town... and found precisely nothing interesting. Nothing at all. He heaved a discouraged sigh as he took the long way home through the park. Maybe he'd get lucky and some brigands would try to attack him on his way home. Probably not. This annoying place was too quiet for a proper brigand. He might...

There was a girl sitting in the middle of the park. He perked up just slightly and started walking toward her. That was knew. "Excuse me, Miss, are you alright?" he greeted her pleasently, hands resting loosely in his pockets.
 

KenżaSheep

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Kitty jumped slightly and turned to face the voice. Standing upright, she brushed her hands off on her jeans and examined the stranger warily, though not without her usual curious spark. There was no way to tell for certain unless the vampiric myth of numbers was true, but he had approached her suddenly. There was always the chance....

"Just dandy," She replied, trying to pull at least a small smile to her face (which wasn't very hard to accomplish, as she was naturally friendly.) "I was setting up a pile of stones for counting."

The girl thrust her chilly fingers into the pockets of her mint-green jacket and nudged the pile of pebbles out of formation with her shoe, scattering them onto the sidewalk a little. She hoped if she had finally found a vampire, he would begin to count them.
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
Clancy looked down at the pebbles rolling onto the sidewalk toward him and raised a brow. Counting pebbles? Really? A niggle of a thought tickled at his brain. Was she...? Nah, it couldn't be.

"I see," he said slowly. "And may I inquire as to why you are so compelled to count these pebbles? At night? In the dark? Alone?"
 

KenżaSheep

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He didn't, which disappointed her slightly. Either he was human, or the myth was false.

She thought about his questions for a moment. There wasn't much else she could say besides the truth, but the truth sounded rather strange. Well, the outright truth sounded strange. Fortunately, she didn't have to give the outright truth.

"They weren't for me to count. I was waiting for somebody else to count them. At night. In the dark. Alone." The girl made a point of shooting his inquiries back at him. "Probably a foolish myth anyways." She mumbled.
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
Ah, she was one of those. He couldn't decide whether to groan or laugh. Still, it was interesting. Not many people knew about the counting myth. It had been a long time since he'd run across that one. Well, the night was still young, so why not humor the girl?

"I see." Clancy crouched and pretended to seriously examine the pebbles. "Well, unless there are some pebbles hiding in the grass, I would say there are... seventeen pebbles, perhaps?" He looked up at her with a smile gleaming out from under his cocky hat. "Now what? I have counted your pebbles. What happens now?"
 

KenżaSheep

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She cocked her head to one side and watched with a curiously confused expression. What happens now? Kitty hadn't the foggiest idea. She hadn't quite gotten that far with the thought.

With an amused squint and an even more interested smirk, she went to sit on the bench again. "I had... a question...."
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
"Mmm, and I have one for you," Clancy agreed as he straightened. He used his foot to politely push the pebbles off the sidewalk and into a rough pile in the grass. There. Now no one would trip on them. "Do you, perhaps, have someone you would like to call for you?" he asked, amused. "Perhaps a relative? Or a doctor?" The wind kicked up briefly, stirring his dark red hair.
 

KenżaSheep

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"I've never known a stranger to ask such things without something bad occurring soon afterwards," she answered warily. It was dangerous enough at night without the added idea that she was looking for a vampire. His questions bothered her slightly, and it showed as discomfort in her posture. "Tell me why you want to know, and I'll answer."
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
"Because you are a young lady alone, at night, in the dark, in the middle of a park," Clancy replied dryly. "Normally, that indicates that said young lady is in trouble of some kind, but if you are truly content where you are, I am certainly happy to let you remain here. Alone. At night. In the dark. In the middle of a park."

He tipped his hat to her with a smile and stepped back as if to leave. If she was, indeed, hunting for vampires or other supernatural creatures, he wished her luck. And by luck, he meant that she wouldn't find anything, and therefore stay alive. Not all supernatural creatures were as willing to let an easy meal walk like this.
 

KenżaSheep

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"So I am." Kitty kept her word and answered his question. "I don't have a relative to call... and I don't see why I'd be needing a doctor. So for now, I'm going to stay here, alone, at night, in the dark, right on this bench and keep waiting. I'll either find what I'm looking for or eventually die trying. Or both."

She tucked her hair behind her ears again and leaned back, staring down the pathway to the left. Wether he was or not, it didn't seem to matter. She had hit another dead end and would probably need something more than pebbles next time.
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
Clancy said nothing, but his expression said loud and clear, "and that is why a doctor." Instead of voicing those words, however, he simply suggested, "If you are so determined, why do you not find a friend to sit with you and keep you safe?" He lifted his hand and waved it slightly. "Ah, but never mind. It is none of my business, as your suspicious mind would say."

He took another step back and turned away. Then he snapped his fingers as if remembering something. "Oh, yes." He turned back to her. "You said you had a question?"
 

KenżaSheep

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A question.... What was it she wanted to ask...? Ah, right.

"Are you humoring me?" Kitty scooped up a spare pebble from beside her shoe and flicked it to him. "Or did you stoop to count those stones for another reason?"
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
"I see. So you can ask me strange questions, yet when I ask you, it is a matter of great suspicion," he said in amusement and a touch of sarcasm.

He studied his fingernails idly. Ah, there was a touch of blood under one. "Primarily, I am humoring you. Why would I not? And no, I do not have any strange compulsion to count rocks. Otherwise, when should I ever stop? I would be unable to walk down the road."
 

KenżaSheep

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"I answered your question regardless." Kitty replied. "And you were the one who asked what I had to say."

The girl listened to his answer. This was impossible. She was clueless, and it was beginning to frustrate her. It took all she had not to ask the question outright.

"I suppose that makes sense." She nudged the concrete with the tip of her shoe and brushed her hair out of her face as another breeze decided to give her chills up and down her arms. It was disappointing. "Never really thought about it like that, but I guess you're right."
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
Mmm, this girl was tempting, but he wasn't that hungry right now, at least not for food. He was hungry for distraction and interest. This girl, strange as she was, was interesting in her own way. Interesting and primarily clueless. He doubted she had any idea how to spot a real vampire or protect herself from one, meaning if she took things too far, he could kill her without much trouble.

"If I may, miss, what are you looking for that has captured such a steadfast interest?" Clancy asked lightly. "It is strange to see such... dedication to something so... abstract. Are you seeking to learn more about those with compulsory disorders? Or perhaps gang members or the like?"
 

KenżaSheep

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"If I was looking for compusitory disorders, I'd be hanging around someplace where there are crazy-er people, like a hospital or a psyche ward," Kitty pointed out, "and if I were looking for a gang and its members, the alleyways and a drug-deal would be a more practical place to start."

The girl huffed. "Maybe I am crazy. Or I'm bored," she leaned back against the wooden bench again, "but I decided I was going to look for vampires. So if you didn't already know, that's what the stones were for. Though, counting rocks seems illogical if you think about it, so I suppose it's a myth, and I'll have to start somewhere else."
 

Treasure

I don't do mornings...
"Vampires? That is a specific type of trouble," Clancy said, infusing surprise in his voice. "Why should you be looking for vampires? I would think that even if they should exist, it would be something you would wish to keep far away from or lose your life."

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a small clump of young men walking toward them, pushing each other, tripping, swaggering... honestly, the only thing they were missing was a neon sign flashing over their heads pronouncing, "We are trouble!" Oh, how tiresome. If he left now, the young lady would likely find herself in far more trouble than speaking to a vampire. Not that he cared over much what humans did to each other, but she was the first interesting thing to happen in perhaps ten or twenty years. Maybe he'd stay... Nah. She could walk away same as him.

He pretended to check his watch, keeping his wrist turned so she couldn't see he wasn't wearing one. "Oh, dear, is that the time? I really need to be going."
 

KenżaSheep

That's nice. Put it back.
Kitty stood herself, finding it best not to be caught up in the small storm coming closer.
"I bid you a good night, then, sir. If you ever need a conversation, you know where to find me. Alone. At night. In the dark. In the middle of a park. Looking for vampires." She smiled lightly and stepped away, walking in no particular direction due to having no particular place to go. Kitty paused and turned around. "I never did catch your name, did I?"
 
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