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Putting one foot in front of the other, Caleb kept on walking. For how long he had been carrying on with this grim march he did not know; time still seemed to have no meaning in this place. Surely the sun would be coming up at some point to help punctuate the flow of sand through somebody else's hourglass, but for the moment it remained illusory, despite the fact that it had already been quite late in the night when Caleb had set off into this murky black and that he surely must have been walking for several hours by now. At least, he imagined it must have been hours since he had made landfall. He really could not attest to that fact.

The monotony of the place did not help matters either. For his entire time in the swamp so far all he had ever seen was ugly trees and the water that rushed up from under his feet whenever he made his next step. He had been trying to make his way back to the river, as without it he really had no guarantee that the direction he was heading in was actually the right one, but that also seemed to be as illusive as the sun was proving to be. To make matters worse he could never quite shake the feeling that something was following him. Several times he had spun around only to find the mushy sound of footfalls that he had thought he had heard must have only been the product of his own deranged imagination.

It was probably just a result of the place starting to get to him, but it was still unsettling none the less. He just needed someway to assert some control over the situation again. With no timepiece on his person, he needed to divine some other means to convince himself that things were indeed still moving forward in the way that he would normally have expected them to do. He decided that the only way he could manage this was to start singing again. That way he could measure the time spent based on the amount of songs he managed to get through; any excuse would do for him. The question was what precisely he should start to sing. He thought back to all of the wealthy people that had went down with the steamboat, and a sick sarcastic smile appeared on his face.

"Have you seen the well to do upon Lennon Avenue, on that famous thoroughfare, with their noses in the air?" Caleb started to himself, grinning horribly. "High hats and narrow collars, white spats and fifteen dollars, spending every dime for a wonderful time." His feet started to move forward in a more set pattern, as if his whole body hoped to reach the same rhythm as the song. "If you're blue and you don't know where to go to, why don't you go where Harlem flits? Puttin' on the Ritz." He tugged on his trench coat, making it fit more fashionably on his shoulders. "Spangled gowns upon the bevy of high browns from down the levy, all misfits, Puttin' on the Ritz." Caleb now thought he saw something different in the far distance.

"That's where each and every lulu-belle goes, every Thursday evening with her swell beaus, rubbin' elbows." He started heading off towards it, a new found hope in his heart. "Come with me and we'll attend their jubilee and see them spend their last two bits, Puttin' on the Ritz." Caleb could now hear the sound of rushing water. "Boys, look at that man Puttin' on that Ritz. You look at him, I can't." The river now beckoned Caleb forward. "If you're blue and you don't know where to go to, why don't you go where Harlem flits? Putting' on the Ritz. Spangled gowns upon the bevy of high browns from down the levy, all misfits, Puttin' on the Ritz. That's where each and every lulu-belle goes, every Thursday evening with her swell beaus, rubbin' elbows."

He stopped on the riverbank, and considered his position. He was now fairly confident that he had been making some progress after all. Now all he had to do was keep walking upriver, and he should eventually reach his final destination. "Come with me and we'll attend their jubilee and see them spend their last two bits, Puttin' on the Ritz." He turned back and gave the swamp one last disparaging look, trying to see if what he thought was following him still was. All was still and silent. He sighed and continued on his way. "Come with me and we'll attend their jubilee and see them spend their last two bits, Puttin' on the Ritz." He continued repeating that refrain until his mind grew tired and he moved on to something else, now fully cognizant of the long march of time once more.
Some might recall that I had previously made mention as part of the Blood Wiki's sixth anniversary that I had plans to once again invest some of my time in an area of Blood fandom that I had formerly been quite involved in. To that end I present Scroll, a story I originally began in the summer of 2008 as a kind of retelling of the story behind Cryptic Passage in an attempt to bring it further in line with the main Blood canon. Designed to be published in multiple parts, I shall endeavour to release a new instalment of Scroll every Sunday from March 9th on until the story is complete.
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September 28, 2014
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