Practice Yields Precision

Hollow Lowlands 
#1
The car jerked upward from an unavoidable pot hole, the bag in Samuel's lap smacking against his sternum. His eyes darted from the road to his sire, who looked completely composed despite the rickety road, save for one stray lock of hair than had come loose and laid plastered on his forehead.

This was far from the location Samuel was imagining, a secluded grassy area or abandoned lot on the outskirts of town, but he kept that to himself. Dr. Beck had been driving with a single-minded focus since they left the Super Walmart, an equally startling choice. Samuel would have sooner believed his sire allergic to anything generic brand.

However, they had required convenience and their choices were limited in the middle of the night. Samuel could only shudder at what the night shift thought of the mix-matched pair buying an unorthodox amount of melons, like they walked straight out of a school math problem. The car rumbled to a stop after they pulled off, Dr. Beck having deemed them far enough into the marshy land to step outside. Setting down the reusable cloth bag, Samuel hastened to get out, shoes sinking a good centimeter into the earth the second his weight settled. "Is this the place?" He asked hesitantly, lifting a foot to inspect the fine layer of mud that clung there.


@Edvin Beck

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#2

It was a rather unusual trip, he had to say. He did understand how bizarre the pair of them might have looked, walking into Walmart hours after sundown to purchase specifically four watermelons, and six cantaloupes. He in his dark colored clothing, Samuel, a much younger man that had a resting face of mild distress. Nevertheless, the trip was a means to an end, and he found it easy to put the questioning glances from his mind. Purposeful in his purchase, in his instruction to load the bags into the car, in his route into the lowest point of Magic Hollow. He only knew of the area, having never made a trip out to it, but the GPS lead him well enough toward a back road he could take.

When they pulled off in a thoroughly secluded area, Edvin did hesitate to get out of the car. The recent rains were an annoyance. The sound of Samuel's shoes squelching into the mud was unpleasant. Alas, it was this, or risk being spotted in some empty lot in the city. "No, I do believe I may have taken a wrong turn." Edvin said in measured jest as he stepped into the mud. In the very least, the material of his shoes would not stain. The front door shut with a thud, and he moved to the back to retrieve the second bag of melons. When he straightened up to shut the door as he lifted the back over his shoulder, he looked out into the field before them with pursed lips. "I suppose there is no specific place we should set them. Perhaps closer to us first, to explore your range."
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#3
Swampy. Kinda smelled bad. Mosquitos. Squelch sounds. Water.

This was a good place to be a massive, fat jaguar, moving through the mud with remarkable quiet. Chunky rosette beasts were made for this kind of sneakiness, and Jagraham was no exception.

Utterly slick in mud and prepared to regret it later (he could roll around in grass at some point and clearly that would help), he had a big fat fuckin' chewed to hell snapping turtle in his jaw, the shell splintered earlier with a powerful bite. Now just the first third or so remained, its ugly dinosaur head limp as the cat carried it.

But even above the blood smells, he could catch something else. Corpse, but not just any corpse.

Vampire.

Turtle held by a mauled leg, he approached the scent as quietly as he could, still some distance away. Abraham probably... wouldn't do anything when he got there. But.

He just wanted to see.
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#4
Samuel opened his mouth to suggest they move on then if Dr. Beck had indeed made a simple navigation error, but the light tone indicated his sire was teasing, so Samuel slowly pressed his lips back together. Retrieving his bag, Samuel shut the door and stomp-walked around the side, eye twitching with each squelching step. "Away from the car." Samuel confirmed, lifting out a sizable cantaloupe. Why pick such a sullen place, infested with mosquitos and a laced with a gritty sulfur scent? Could Dr. Beck be two steps ahead of him and this was all part of a grand plan? Perhaps, but watching the man track mud in his imported Italian shoes, Samuel was not feeling particularly generous tonight.

He would allow Dr. Beck to choose the location, content to move as directed. After all, despite the marsh land he agreed with the basic concept of target practice. He had faith in his abilities as he had faith in Jesus Christ.

Samuel was raised Jewish.
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#5
Truly, it smelled horrible here. The mud, the placid water that was a breeding ground for mosquitos and algae. In the very least, they did not have to mind the bugs coming to bite them. In some ways, they were very similar, on an endless search for blood. Along with this, there was an overlaying stench that reached him, and despite himself he found his lip curling. Some sort of animal. Fishy and sour. There was no immediate sign of a cat here. It had been hundreds of years since he had needed to be vigilant of impressions in the mud or scratches on bark to indicate the presence of an animal, so forgive him for being unaware.

"Here," Edvin said, his attention drawing back to his fledgeling as he delved a hand into his bag and prized a melon for himself. "Give me your bag, and set these two oh, a hundred feet from us." He instructed. Perhaps the range was even shorter than that, but they were soon to find out. That was, after all, why they had come here.
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#6
One hundred feet felt far too liberal a distance. His dresser had been less then a tenth that when it met it's unearthly demise, but Samuel kept his grumbling to a minimum, setting the fruit as instructed on a half stump. He wandered back with light steps, eyes locked to the ground so not to meet with any surprise mud pits. The sticky moisture in the air was unpleasant on the skin and Samuel could swear that the smell was growing more potent, so he suppressed his breathing altogether.

Siding up to Dr. Beck, Samuel stood feet straight, legs together, eyebrows perpetually furrowed as he puzzled out what to do next. Was there some muscle group he could clench or was it all mental? Samuel's memory of hours ago was fuzzy at best. He could have done some kind of trigger motion, wiggled his nose like he was on Bewitched, highly doubtful, but until he gained clarity, he was doomed to grasp at straws.

"Should I just go for it?"
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#7
Melons set, Edvin found himself a patch of grass that did not look particularly muddy. Samuel returned to stand beside him, and questioned on how to begin. A small chuckle found its way from his lips as he rose his shoulders, then let them fall, "I suppose you must." He said with a nod. As he spoke, he reached out with his first and favored ability, delving into Samuel and the string of energy he could sense within him. It was a slippery thing to grasp, so wild and unknown to both of them, and as such his eyes took to an emerald green. Uncommon, given his state of power.

"You attempt first, then I will see what I can discern." He instructed.
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#8
He did not see the green flare up behind Dr. Beck's eyes for he was focused ahead. Stomach clenching, Samuel let out a long exhale and slid his right first up front to rest at the center of his chest. Painfully slow, he unfurled his fingers to lay flat then turned the palm outward as if drawing an invisible energy from within and sending it out with utmost care. Mentally, Samuel pushed with all his might, imagining over and over that the force was hurled forward like a bullet directly into one of the watermelon's side.

Crickets chirped.

Samuel tilted his head back, shutting his eyes tight. Stupid. Of that hadn't worked. Hands came up to pull at his face, scratching and rubbing along the scruff he grew. His eyes refocused, feeling calmer, although still barring the heavy weight of disappointment. Samuel wanted it so badly to work. To prove he could do it. To prove he wasn't a liar so desperate for a power that he'd make one up. And most of all, he wanted that stupid watermelon on that stupid stump. To. Just. Disappear.

And that's when they heard it. An unmistakable pop.

Head snapping forward, his eyes wide and lit up like the sun, Samuel could only take in the aftermath. The melons were still there, but now on the ground, both cracked from the fall. The stump, however, no longer existed. It had burst into a million smithereens. As if a charge had detonated right at the center.
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#9
Instead of the fruit, his eyes remained on the young man. A strange display that he wondered had any effect on Samuel's ability beyond something somatic to focus his efforts on. After a prolonged few moments, it seemed it was all for naught. The melons stayed put, and Samuel deflated. Edvin prepared words of encouragement, if needed, and as soon as his lips parted, a sudden pop drew his attention away. He looked toward the stump with enough time to see the wood splinter into wood chips, spraying outward and landing in a clatter. His arm came up to shield himself of what came their way, but thankfully they were at a safe distance.

Edvin exhaled sharply as he straightened up to take in the damage, his nose catching the smell of smoldering wood. "Well," He said after a beat, "We certainly know that it works." He concluded with a soft line of a smile long his bottom lip.
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#10
Abraham was creeping up just slightly. Slowly. Trying to listen to quiet vampire words. His paws were nearly silent in the mud and water, so utterly evolved for this kind of thing.

And then.

And then there was an explosion. This, Abraham briefly weathered in silence, until some startled bird belatedly took off near him and pushed through what little restraint he had.

And like any cat, the jaguar fired approximately four feet straight up, hissing and spitting and landing with a colossal splash back into the mud. The jaguar sunk low, green eyes wild and wide, but would undoubtedly be visible some thirty feet away, crouched down but tail flicking with undeniable concern.

Oops.
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#11
Somehow Samuel had done it, channeled his power with enough force for an incredible effect, even if he had technically destroy the wrong target. A deranged, little laugh punched out of his chest. His hands rising up as if offering a prayer. One hand curled to press against his lips, muffling the stuttered breaths he took before he turned to face his sire with bright eyes.

"It does work." He said, finally believing it himself.

His senses were overloaded at the moment, neurons firing ideas and images of the display over and over. In his exhilarated phase, he would completely miss the presence of something else nearby.
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#12
It was somewhat endearing to see the boy so exhilarated. It must be exciting, certainly, to have confirmation of a power. He'd been truly human prior to being turned, so this experience was his first with anything beyond being unrdead and hungry. The perks of vampirism were becoming apparent to him for the first time this evening. He might have said as much, but there was sudden rush of movement nearby that snapped his attention away from the young man. A blurred shape that he did not catch as it plummeted back to the earth, though as it stilled once more and flattened itself to the ground, Edvin's sharp gaze picked out the cat among the grass and reeds.

Initially, he was inclined to believe it was a bobcat. But the size and shape and coloration was nothing of that kind of animal. Edvin stilled a moment, his gaze falling on the cat's, and he reached out a hand to firmly grab Samuel's upper arm. "We're not alone here." He informed him, nodding toward the animal. He was not entirely studied in every sort of big cat in the world, but this one did not look in the very least native to this land.
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#13
Busted.

Abraham very, very casually just...

You know. Backed away. Steadily. Into the swamp water. The trees. All of that! Abraham would become a fat, spotted creature of the night, deciding better than to fuck with creatures that could possibly blow up his big dumb melon head with their minds.
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#14
Samuel's all-encompassing celebration of his competence fizzled out like a wet sparkler. The gut reaction to swivel toward the intruder was mercifully squelched by his sire's steady hold.

He stood still. "Was that a..." Samuel trailed off, head down and listening to the sound of a purposeful retreat.
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#15
Just as quickly as it appeared, the creature was leaving. His eyes flickered once to Samuel to make certain he was alright before moving back to the retreating cat. At the question, he let out a soft sigh and let his hand fall. "I assume so, yes." He said with a nod. "Or, perhaps a nearby zoo had an outbreak." Very, very unlikely. The creature had been dauntingly large. He was thankful for it's intelligent decision to leave them be.
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#16
"You can't be serious." He shot a concerned look at his sire. The zoo remark was surprisingly facetious for the buttoned-up vampire. Was Dr. Beck suffering a mental break from all the stress of his position? He never appeared to complained, but it had to take it's toll. Maybe Samuel could suggest a vacation, or recommend a therapist for the doctor. He had accumulated an impressive list in the past years.

There was precious little time to speculate further as the adrenaline of using his power twice and facing a potential threat waned, leaving Samuel to experience a fresh wave of exhaustion. Having lost the anchor of Dr. Beck's hold, Samuel swayed a little on his feet, righting himself automatically. "Well, if they're truly gone then let's continue." He said, desiring to push through it. There should be enough in him to finish off the rest of the fruit. It was going to waste anyway, so why not put it to use and make a spectacle .
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#17
Oh, dear. Perhaps Samuel was not attuned to a bit of facetiousness. Nevertheless, the creature was slinking into the night, and after a few moments of listening to the space around them and scanning the brush with a more careful gaze, it seemed the coast was clear. Samuel decided the same, and was eager to continue the practice. Edvin looked to him, impressed by his determination and how well he seemed to have taken a close brush with what potentially was a shifter. This, the boy that nearly killed a cripple. Already, he was taking leaps and bounds toward improvement.

"Very well," Edvin said with a nod, and looked back to the melons. "Try to find what it was you were feeling when that happened." He suggested. How convenient it would be if Beauregard were here to assist in finding exactly the emotion.
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