Better, Marie. Better.
Clumsiness, like expertise, takes practice. And that night, I had it driven home to me quite forcefully that I had been neglecting my exercises. I had to keep reminding myself to demonstrate no more skills than a young, highly inexperienced new-made vampire might reasonably possess. It was enough to give me a head-ache – and my kind do not get head-aches.
I hope that this is not surprising. You may congratulate yourselves that stalking mortals is harder than one might think; but stalking them just incompetently enough? Oh, that can be damnably difficult. Vampires spend the first part of our lives learning how to rely on our instincts, so suddenly deliberately ignoring them jars us more than it should.
And as for the silly girl I had chosen for my apparent ‘victim!” Dear Reader, I implore you; fear the monsters in the night or do not, as is wise for wherever it is in this wounded world of ours. But for the love of God, fear ordinary footpads and mashers, too. If only because there are rather more of them then there are of us.
Not that this was a concern to that ridiculous little goose; she must have lived (and hopefully still does live) the most charmed of lives. She thought nothing of blithely wandering through all of the most unsavory spots in Kassel, all for the sake of some rumored bonewine supposedly just in from France. I gritted my fangs every time she passed by a darkened alleyway or entered a cul-de-sac, oh so perfectly suited for a sudden ambush or feeding; it took real skill on my part to plausibly look like I was never quite in the right place to batten upon her safely. I almost debated abandoning her, and instead finding a ‘victim’ with a working survival instinct; but in the end I decided she would be snatched up the moment I stopped following her, which would somehow make it all my fault and then I would feel guilty about it.