Caleb walked slowly down the long spiral staircase that led up to the roof, each of his steps echoing throughout the large stone halls of the monastery. At least, that is what Caleb thought it was. He never had a good chance to get acquainted with his surroundings until now. The Cabal liked using old religions buildings and temples as it showed off their power, while at the same time diminishing the effect their presence would have on the local population. Once some place was taken over by the Cabal, it could never turn back. The same rule applied to people as well. You either served or died; once you were in you could never get out. Caleb so far was the only exception.
He paused, hearing a different set of footsteps echoing from behind him. He looked around but could see nothing but the torches on the wall that could be used as a weapon, and if he took one of those it could only make matters worse by further darkening his surroundings. Caleb balled his hands into fists as whatever it was that was following him approached down the stairs. Thankfully for Caleb it was only the pale thin form of his former cell mate. Caleb had not realized that the boy had followed him up to the top of the spire, so preoccupied was he with finishing his own work. Caleb turned around and continued walking down the staircase until he finally reached the ground level. He then heard more footsteps and span around just in time to see his former cell mate continue his long grim march down the stairs. Was he following him?
Caleb once again ignored the boy and headed for one of the many hallways that met up at the main chamber of the building where the Elder's throne now sat vacant. After much careful searching he finally found a room marked "Storage" and walked inside. Once in the room, Caleb found many weapons, tomes, and treasures, but at that moment there was only one true thing that he desired in his heart. He began digging through the boxes and crates, finally finding that which he sought in a discarded pile in the corner of the room. He summarily ripped open the crate and brought one of its small glass contents to his more than willing mouth. "Ah, hair of the dog that bit ya!" he observed gleefully, placing the liquor bottle into one of his interior trench coat pockets.
After a little more searching he eventually discovered his knife, shotgun, several rounds of ammunition, and a flare pistol. Having now completed his purpose, Caleb turned for the door. He then discovered that the door was now closed and his former cell mate was standing in the room with him. Now Caleb was sure that the boy was following him. "You want something kid?" he inquired, placing a few shells into his shotgun's barrel. "Or do you just stalk people for fun?"
"I don't know, I don't have any place to go..." he replied, his eyes fixed on the shotgun that Caleb was holding.
"Not my problem" Caleb declared, casually shoving him out of his way before purposefully striding towards the door. He placed his hands on the knob and twisted it only to discover that it now refused to move. "Ah, it's stuck" Caleb muttered angrily to himself.
"It's not stuck, it has a pad lock here see?" The boy was following him again.
"And how do you propose we unlock it then, you have a skeleton key handy?" Caleb scolded, his sharp temper coming to bear. The boy moved forward, fiddled with the lock for a few moments, and with a satisfying "click" it opened.
"I heard some of the people here talk about it once" he explained simply. "They wanted to have it replaced." Caleb glared down at his apparent stalker, but decided against doing anything to him for the moment. He then walked out the now open door, and to his annoyance, discovered that the boy also followed him outside. Caleb continued to ignore him, until finally his patience ran out.
"Are you feeling lucky?" he growled, grasping his sawed-off tightly in his hands, his cold malevolent eyes burning into the face of his follower. The boy stared back wearily, but still surprisingly unafraid. Caleb's eyes narrowed. "There ain't no mercy where you're going" Caleb muttered as he aimed the weapon at the boy's chest. He continued to stare back unafraid.
"Go on then..." the boy encouraged quietly. "It is not like I have any reason to stop you. Everyone I know is dead, taken by that cult. I am not afraid to be next." Caleb's finger hovered on the trigger, eagerly awaiting the order to release the fatal shot. For some reason however Caleb's mind could not give the order to fire. Something just did not feel right. This boy honestly had no fear of death. Everyone else Caleb had killed had on some level; even the Cultists he slaughtered in the hundreds did not want to die simply because it meant they could no longer serve their dark master. This boy was different. He honestly did not care. He would never admit it, but something about it reminded Caleb too much of himself. He lowered the shotgun.
"What's your name kid?" Caleb asked, holstering the weapon.
"John... at least I think it was John" he replied quietly.
"Can you shoot, Johnny?" Caleb inquired, beginning to walk down the path.
"No" he answered. Caleb had expected that.
"You better learn" he said, tossing the boy the flare pistol. "If you don't, you are going to have a very short trip." Johnny cradled the weapon in his hands awkwardly, looking it over carefully. Before he knew what happened Caleb was already several strides ahead of him.
"Wait for me!" Johnny cried out. Caleb stopped dead in his tracks and turned around slowly.
"If you ever ask that again..." he glowered, "I will kill you."
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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.