Author Topic: The Watchmaker  (Read 2046 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
The Watchmaker
« on: December 04, 2009, 07:57:39 PM »
Everybody wore watches. This was the beauty of his profession. When he\'d first begun studying it, watches were oversized pieces of jewellery kept on a chain or in a pocket. They\'d remained that way for many centuries, where only those who had some money could afford them. Now there was the wristwatch starting at five dollars, from those that wore a cheap and nasty plastic strap to the kind with a diamond encrusted face. He held the digital devices in contempt, believing the analogues to be the most timeless and true works of art. Digital watches were for the classless. The truly stylish invested in analogue.

He\'d landed on his feet in this city, finding an affordable apartment in a location that could\'ve charged a higher rent. The windows in his place came with shutters that could be locked and block out sunlight. It was almost as though the owners of the building understood his requirements. He could sense some of his own kind living in the building, and even more in the streets beyond, like the entire city was a haunt for monsters such as himself. This place was special. How special, he wasn\'t yet sure, but his instincts told him to settle here and investigate further.

Finding a job had been laughably easy, for there were many shops in the city desperate for people to handle night shift work, as though they understood the business they were losing out on. His employer Phillip Harding was an older gentleman, also originally from London, England. There was an immediate connection between them reflected in their easy conversation, and at the end of the interview (more like a chat), he\'d won the job. Working from eight until two Monday to Friday, with an hourly pay that would cover his rent, bills, and allow for entertainment on his nights off. The job was a perfect fit.

He was beginning his second week and already found few customers entered the shop after ten. It was a Monday night and he spent most of his time working on the watches that Phillip had taken during the day for fixing or servicing. On a few occassions the customers had called him Ronaldo, for the name of the shop was Ronaldo\'s and he wore no name-badge.  He didn\'t bother to correct them.

He expected another slow night, especially since the clock on the wall showed it was a little past one in the morning, but the front door opened, ringing the little bell above, and he lifted his gaze from the watch he held in his hands in order to greet the customer who entered the store.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: The Watchmaker
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 07:58:23 PM »
A tall, young-looking brunette walked in and then stopped, tucking his hair behind his ear with his right hand as he looked around and got his bearings. He was dressed fairly smartly, in a pair of nice jeans, brown loafers, a white business shirt with the buttons at his throat undone and the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. His outfit was finished by a black vest snugly fitting his torso - as opposed to his shirt, it was done up.

Spying the man behind the counter, Samuel approached with a hesitant smile gracing his pretty lips, dipping into his right jeans pocket to withdraw a large silver pocket watch with a hunter case and delicate fob as he walked. The piece had been his great grandfather\'s - new in the sixteenth century - and was engraved with his name on the spring-opening case. It was in mediocre condition - the silver was matte rather than shiny, there were a few spots of brown on the surface front and back and the watch was certainly not working - but Samuel held it as if it were a priceless object.

As he got to the counter and presented it, his gaze shifted sharply from the watch to the creature he was facing. He was a vampire; his nostrils flared as he picked up the unmistakable scent. After a moment of silence, he found his tongue and said what he\'d come in here to say. "Hello, I was wondering if you could help me? I\'ve walked past this shop many times but lately I\'ve noticed it open and I thought... well, do you think you\'d be able to help me get this working? It was my great grandfather\'s," he added quietly, as if that would make a difference.

He gazed at the watchmaker when he fell quiet, not thinking about the pocket watch at all, now that he\'d scented a kindred being... though he thrust it forward somewhat awkwardly for the vampire to take.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: The Watchmaker
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2009, 07:58:42 PM »
Archer watched the customer approach, seeing rather than sensing that he was kindred. He was very pale and his dark hair and eyes accentuated this fact. As their proximity drew closer, his assumption was proved correct. The other didn\'t react until he reached the counter, then behaved as a deer might when smelling a hunter. Archer thought it was an interesting reaction for a fellow predator. The vampire across from him was younger but not a fledgling. Other than that he couldn\'t tell anything else.

The pocket-watch was introduced and Archer took it from Samuel with the same care it had been held in the owner\'s hands. He didn\'t have to look at it to know he could fix it, for pocket watches were his specialty and what he had most experience with. This particular piece was an original key-wind, key-set, that had been made for centuries before the spring mechanisms began taking over. Not very reliable as time-pieces, but easy to fix.

"I can make this work again," he promised, then looked the casing over. "I can also bring the shine back up if you want me to," Archer offered, unsure if the other vampire would take him up on it. Not everyone wanted their piece of heritage to look shiny and new. It would be a shame if Samuel was one of those, for the watch was a nice piece and deserved some special attention.

"Do you still have the watch key?" he asked, expecting that his customer didn\'t, otherwise he would\'ve handed it over at the same time. He was hopeful that it might be tucked into a pocket.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: The Watchmaker
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 07:58:54 PM »
At the offer of bringing the shine back to a working timepiece, Sam\'s face lit up in a grin. He was nodding until he was asked the question about the key, and then his face fell once more; if nothing else, the vampire\'s emotions were relatively easy to read from his expression.

"No, sorry, I don\'t.  I did once... I think, but it\'s been lost now. Is it p-possible to replace them?" His tone was hopeful, for the watchmaker had said he could fix the watch without knowing this detail, so he figured it couldn\'t make too much of a difference... right?

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: The Watchmaker
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 07:59:03 PM »
"Yes, but it\'s always better to have the original. This is worth a lot and would be worth more with the original key, but I suspect you\'re not interested in selling," he said with a hint of a smile. He had sets of keys for different pocket watches, collecting them throughout the years to the point where he now had extremely rare sets of watchmakers keys. "I\'ll make a new one for you," he said.

Such things cost money, but there wasn\'t a vampire around who didn\'t have a stash of it - except for the fledglings who were not a beneficiary from a sire. There were more of them around, nowadays. As he was thinking about money it inspired the next question. "Did you want a quote?"

He pulled out a piece of cloth from beneath the counter and lay it down before setting the watch gently atop it, freeing his hands.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: The Watchmaker
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2009, 05:40:24 PM »
Samuel blinked, looking nervous again.  "Uh... sure, is that how it\'s done?" he queried, a frown drawing his brows together and his right hand coming up to sweep through his hair again; it curled softly forward to frame his eyes almost immediately, negating any progress the gesture might have made.

"B-because it will be that expensive?"  He gave a disconcerted laugh, his fingers playing lightly with the counter before him as he tried to prepare himself for the watchmaker\'s news.  He had a generous amount of savings, the money wasn\'t really anything to be concerned by, but he was easily influenced by the expert\'s serious demeanour and found himself worrying automatically.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: The Watchmaker
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2009, 11:43:20 PM »
"It wouldn\'t be more than three hundred dollars," Archer said, thinking of the three different labours he\'d have to perform to return the watch to a functioning timepiece with cosmetic appeal.  His gaze lifted, to see his customer\'s reaction to this news.  He\'d seemed worried about spending his money, which made Archer guess that he didn\'t have a lot of it.  Strange, for someone who wasn\'t a fledgling.  If this fellow was that hard up for cash, it was surprising that he hadn\'t parted with the pocket watch (and more impressive, if that was the case), for a very rough estimate had Archer figuring it for at least ten grand, and possibly more if he found himself a collector.  Archer wasn\'t an evaluator, but he had a rough idea.  "Is that alright?" he asked, wanting to know if his fee was acceptable.

He leant on the counter, his palms on the edge with his fingers hidden away from the customer\'s view, and he placed his weight on his braced arms, waiting for his answer.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Existentially Odd

  • Navigator
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 12603
  • Wanderer
    • View Profile
Re: The Watchmaker
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 12:47:26 AM »
"Oh!" Sam laughed, placing a hand over his heart as though it had given him some trouble when he heard this news; it was really no trouble at all, and his eyes danced as he replied.

"You had me worried, with how serious you sounded!" he exclaimed, his southern drawl making him sound charming now that he\'d lightened up and wasn\'t speaking so nervously.  The hand over his heart came away in a friendly flicking gesture.  "Y\'all oughta\' know that three hundred dollars won\'t be a problem," he chastised good-naturedly.

Looking interested, he sidetracked from discussing the business of the pocket watch in order to pursue their identical species.  "How long have you been fixing watches?  Even before you were turned?" he enquired, only belatedly realising that he was more or less asking the assistant\'s age and how rude that sounded.