Pretzel Princess

Preston Forest Shopping Center

The Preston Forest Shopping Center is large and classy. The entrance is open and spacious, a rectangular fountain surrounded by potted trees leading up the middle of the mall, with pathways on either side for shoppers. One can easily see both floors from here and the lighting is amazing - beside the typical electric bulbs, the roof is comprised of glass allowing the sunlight to filter in.
Shops and businesses spread out here both east and west as well as to the back of the mall. Hidden away in the back corner one can find the escalator to the second story, as well as washrooms and a bank of payphones.

It's roughly around three PM and the shopping center is bustling. Wit is amongst the crowd, having just hit up a bookstore. Perhaps it's unlikely that someone who looks like Wit would know how to read anything but the Anarchist's Cookbook, but Wit has gotten quite the array of reading materials today. Shakespeare, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and… well, Anne Rice. After having spent mulling around the book store for a few hours and being scrutinized by the employees, Wit stops by the food court and glances from locale to locale. Decisions, decisions.

Several of the fast food joints have people out front trying to convince patrons to eat at their establishment. Thankfully, Hope has no one dressed in a giant pretzel outfit trying to hawk their wares. Instead, she looks ridiculous in a red and white stripped uniform with a matching hat. A hat that bears a rather large pretzel atop it.

Just a while longer on her shift, and she's out of there. As long as she can make it to her vehicle before dark, she'll have nothing to worry about. Since things are slow at the moment, she's bussing a few of the nearby tables so that she can get the trays back to the little shop, and clean them for future use.

After his precursory glance around the food court, Wit's eyes stop on the girl in the pretzel-themed outfit. He moves over to her and raises a brow as he clears his throat. "Rose? I thought the Nazi didn't let you do anything?" He asks, before he peers a little more closely at Hope. "Wait, no… you're her 'doppelganger', aren't you?" Oh crap, what was her name again? Did Rose even ever tell him? Thoughts are racing now and suddenly this is strange, but what hasn't been strange since just after Christmas for Wit? He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair as he watches Hope carefully. "Sorry, I don't think we've actually met. I'm Wit. I guess I'm a 'friend' of your sister's."

Being as that Rose is not really her sister's name, Hope doesn't react at first. When she hears his name, however, she stops. The tray she is currently holding gets placed back on the little table and she turns to face him. "Ah. You're the one responsible for making her think she's ready to leave Green Oaks?" There is a beat, and she motions to the somewhat dirtied table. For him to take a seat, obviously. "Perhaps you and I should have a little talk. It would be wonderful if I could figure out what she's been saying."

There's a long look around the Food Court. If he's going to get beaten down by a girl, he'd rather there not be many witnesses. He moves to sit down in one of the little tacky chairs, setting his bags down beside him. "Whoa… I never said she was ready to leave Green Oaks, I mean… not in those words exactly," he starts out, accent shifting between Cockney and upper class British stuffiness. Eventually he settles for Cockney. He clears his throat a little bit and quirks a brow. "Well, she seems to really want her independence, y'know? She talks a lot about the Nazis… and ah, her brother? She says you all tell her she doesn't have one." Wit is curious, but he's not probing. He's just being informative for the moment.

Hope is very silent as he tries to settle upon an accent. Her eyes close, and she shakes her head. "A mentally unstable girl talks to you about Nazi's, and she believes you are telling her to leave her sanctuary." A deep breath is taken, and she peers at him. In as calm a voice as she can muster, she replies, "She does not have a brother. The man whom she believes to be her brother died a very horrific and tragic death on the same night she lost her mind."

Wot's all this then? Wit peers at Hope curiously, reaching up to scratch the tip of his nose briefly. His eyes shift from the face he's seen many times over out towards the annals of the food court once more. "To be fair, there are people out there who are far worse off than your sister and they're able to live on their own." Wit's accent goes back to his natural one once more, leaving behind Cockney. He clears his throat briefly — he seems aware that his indecisiveness to settle on an accent is suspicious, and the very fact of it unnerves him a bit. "What's the story exactly, then? It's a little hard to piece things together from what she says." There's a pause. "Well, she thinks you two have a brother and that he's still alive somewhere out there."

Unfortunately, she's well aware as to what Rose thinks. It's a sticking point with her. Hope closes her eyes, exhaling a sad sigh. "His name was Tripp. He was one of our best friends. Faith… that is… 'Rose'," she says, using finger quotations due to the name, "watched as his throat was torn out by a botched vampire feeding. The same vampire did something to her mind, leaving it with large swiss cheese sized gaps in her memories."

Hope takes a moment, then rubs her hands over her face. "Which is why, as well as she seems, she can't be left on her own or make her own way in the world. She can't recall what is bad, and has no recollection of what those vile creatures are capable of." Pausing, she shakes her head slowly. "Now, that wretched place has her wandering the streets at night because they can't be bothered to have someone supervise her, and she's been attacked again."

The very mental image of what Hope says sends a shiver down Wit's spine. He wraps his arms around himself and rubs each opposing forearm as though he's just grown quite cold. For a moment he says nothing, though he takes in what Hope is saying. "Her name is Faith?" He finally asks before he's silent once more. He frowns deeply upon hearing how badly Rose has been tampered with. Wit quirks a brow at Hope's last sentence. "Attacked again?" There's a vaguely ill look upon his face at the thought. "It's always the innocent ones that people want to screw with, innit?" There's a moment where he rubs at the bridge of his nose in exasperation before shaking his head. "I'll come back to that thought in a moment. Now, you've got her locked up. But is anyone working with her to help her conquer… or remember whatever it is? I know you think it may hurt her, but it may help her, really."

"I have been trying, as much as that wretched nurse will allow. Unfortunately, she's on lockdown until our parents meet with the head of the facility." Hope frowns a little, then nods. "Bitten, yes. I saw the marks myself. The nurse may think I'm paranoid, but I did snap some pictures and show them to someone who is an expert in this sort of stuff, and they confirmed it for me." She pauses, beginning to fiddle with the unwashed tray. A brief glance given to the Pretzel Hut, and seeing that it's not been swamped, she turns back to face Wit. "Either way, she'll remember briefly, or not at all, and then she'll go back into herself. Into her delusions. I'm not overly angry that she's using her daypasses to make friends, but she disappeared for more than a twenty four hour period recently and the hospital had no clue where she was. It's kind of scary, really."

Wit considers all of this for a moment. "I take it that the nurse is the nazi, then?" He asks before tapping his fingers against the table in contemplation. "I guess we don't have much of a choice now, do we." It's not much of a question at all. "I guess even if I have to question every shady fuck in Dallas that I know, I'll find out who's screwing with her. She doesn't deserve this. No one does, but especially not her. She's already been through so much." It's debatable whether or not he's 'just' saying this, but there's a spark of something genuine in his eyes. "Sorry. Up until now I thought you and your family were… I don't know, being unreasonable. I didn't know though. She needs protected, but… it doesn't sound like the place where she's at is doing a very crackerjack job. Where is it? If she can't come out, I'll go visit her."

Hope makes a face, then quickly shakes her head. "Er.. no. Actually, she believes our father is the Nazi, or a terrorist, or whatever it is she's chosen to believe this week." The expression screws up a little more, but then he's talking again. And he's saying something that seemingly appeals to Hope. "Please let me know if you do find out? I'll see that you get put on the visitors list at the very least. Everyone but the head nurse likes me there at Green Oaks." She takes an order pad out of her pocket - not that she needs it working at the Pretzel Hut, but it's part of the outfit. A pencil is removed next, and she hands both to him. "Just put your name and phone number on that. They can call you as soon as you're approved for visiting, and they'll let you know the hours."

Ooohhh… Wit is presented with the dilemma of writing down a name. There's an obvious moment of hesitation before he starts to jot down a name. 'Wit Shakespeare, 555-3066' the paper eventually reads. He tears it from the pad and passes the pencil, paper, and notebook back to Hope before suddenly grinning. "Interesting what just happened here. How do I know that you're going to tell the nurses not to allow calls from this number and not to let anyone using that name in?" Wit handwaves the very thought though and nods to Hope. "The thing about vampires is that looks can be deceiving. But the same can be said for humans, right? Anyway, I guess I'll start from the ground up. I'll see where Rose has been going with her day passes. If there are any regulars at any of these places…" Wit trails off, formulating a plan. He furrows his brows a little bit. "And if I happen to bump into her, I'll try to keep her with me."

Laughing, Hope tucks the pad and pencil back into the pocket. The piece of loose paper is held for a moment, before that is slipped into a pocket in her pants. "Perhaps," she teases, "I may have just wanted the number for myself." The brief moment of being who she used to be is quickly replaced by serious-worried-sister. "I'm already aware that you're not a vampire, and should I find that you pose a problem to her, having you removed from the list won't be a bother." It's a modified 'you had better not hurt my sister' speech. "/If/ she manages to get out of this lockdown, and you happen to bump into her, please call me. I know a place that will be safe for her if she doesn't want to go back to Green Oaks." Pad and paper are taken out again, and she scribbles her own info down and hands it to him.

Unexpected. Wit is being handed a girl's phone number. He glances over it before tucking it safely into his pocket, nodding to her. "Well, I've never done anything reprehensible in a mental institution before now… doesn't seem the best time to start, either. Unless it were in your sister's best interest." Wit stands up and offers a hand to Hope. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Hope. More pleasant than I had previously expected, anyhow." His other hand reaches for his bags. "If I happen to see her, I'll let you know. Don't be shy about calling either. Keep me posted with whatever's going on there… it's not easily that I get worried, but I'm definitely worried now." It seems he's being genuine enough. He flashes his teeth at Hope for a moment to prove once more that he isn't, in fact, a vampire. "See you on the flipside, Hope."

"Be careful out there," she says in reply. Hope shoots another quick glance to her workplace, and sighs. There's someone waiting, so she really should scurry over there. "I'll make the call once I'm off work. Not long now. I generally tend to be out of here before dark." She offers a little finger-wave, then rushes to take the order, leaving the tray she meant to clean up behind. Ahwell. The janitor will gather it up later and drop it off.

Crap. Wit forgot what he came down here for — food. Going back now would be incredibly awkward, so he nods in kind to Hope's adamance about caution and lifts his hand in a nonchalant wave as he heads back out to catch the bus.

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