"Strangers in the night, two lonely people. We were strangers in the night, up to the moment, when we said our first hello." Caleb was sitting with his back limp against the cell door, sedately singing the lyrics to himself in an almost sleep-like stupor. "Ever since that night we've been together. Lovers at first sight, in love forever. It turned out so right, for strangers in the night." Caleb shifted slightly to one side, still cognizant of the need for more blood flow to reach the right side of his back. "It has never turned out right for me, but anyway..." he muttered to himself quietly, beginning to feel irritable again. His fellow cell mate meanwhile simply rocked himself slowly from side to side near the opposing wall, his arms wrapped around his knees, still too cold and too scared to go to sleep. It would be morning soon anyway, so there really did seem to be very little point.
Suddenly the sound of a large metal bolt being removed from its lock permeated the cell, producing a loud echo that bounced around the room. A small slot opened up near the top of the door, allowing a hand to reach inside the cell. A thin chicken drumstick fell with a noticeable plop onto the brim of Caleb's hat. Caleb immediately reached out and grabbed the offending object, studying it intently for several moments. Then the same hand reappeared and dropped another piece of what the Cabal obviously thought passed for nourishment onto the brim of Caleb's hat; the man still seemed blissfully ignorant as to the old gunslinger's present position. Before the man was able to pull his hand away again however, Caleb had subsequently shot his own hand out and grabbed the other person's arm firmly within his grasp. With a sickening popping sound, followed by the sound of ripped flesh, he pulled something long and clothed through the slot.
"Here, take this" Caleb said, nonchalantly tossing the arm to his cell mate. "Now you can gnaw on something a little more substantial." The arm landed with a fleshy squishy plop on the ground only a few centimetres away from his poor disturbed cell mate. In the meantime, the sounds of words in Cultist and rather obscene English were being screamed by a man in the hall outside. He had evidently not taken too well to the loss of one of his limbs. Caleb could not say that he could blame him, but still wished that the man could have at least handled himself with a little more decorum than this. After all, some of the folks down here were still trying to sleep, or at least they were. He sighed, briefly pondered taking a bite out of the chicken, and then leaned back against the cell door again.
"The sun'll come out tomorrow. Tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar, that tomorrow there'll be sun!" Caleb's voice rose a few octaves louder as he got a little bit more into his performance. "Just thinkin' about tomorrow, clears away the cobwebs, and the sorrow 'til there's none!"
"Why do you do that?" a voice asked, almost in a whisper, from the other end of the cell.
"Do what?" Caleb replied, distracted.
"You know... all that singing and stuff."
"I do this 'stuff', my dear boy, because it gives me something to do when there is nothing else left that can be done" Caleb stated simply.
"What would you do if you literally did have nothing to do?" his cell mate inquired, still more than a little dubious of his present company. Caleb's lips turned upwards into a cold odd smile.
"Well, for you, that hardly bears thinking about, does it?" he observed lightly, he himself already taking a strange sort of shining to the unusual young man in his midst. All of the sudden the sounds of hurried footsteps and multiple arguing voices burst their way into the room, as several men began to congregate in front of the door outside. "Now, what's all this in aid of then?" Caleb asked, pushing himself back onto his feet. Suddenly the cell door burst open and five Cultists rushed forwards, lunging at him with a net as if he were some kind of vicious uncontrollable animal. Caleb initially tried to fight the assemblage off, but soon realized that even he would not get very far against so many, and so finally allowed himself to go limp, letting the Cultists tie the net around his body and bind his hands.
"Come on now, we got him. Pull him out of 'ere and close the damn door!" one of the Cultist's called out to one of the few remaining Cabal minions that were still standing in the hallway outside. Caleb felt his feet rise several centimetres above the ground as he was hauled unceremoniously out of the bleak cell and into the glowing torchlight that roughly illuminated the dungeon's long gloomy halls. "Have you got that door closed yet?" the Cultist yelled out again, trying his best to take his eyes off Caleb's menacing stare.
"I think we broke the lock when we rushed the door open" someone replied meekly.
"Never mind, let's just get the Betrayer up to the main chamber already."
"What about the boy?" one of them asked, gesturing inside the cell.
"I don't know, just bring him with you then, okay?" the other Cultist responded irritably, growing increasingly annoyed by the growing incompetence of his fellows. With that order, the two free Cultists that were not presently holding Caleb stormed in and dragged Caleb's cell mate out by his outstretched arms. Caleb then felt his body rise again as his captors hauled him out of the dungeons, up a long spiral staircase, and then into the seemingly very well lit room above. Various gruesome and Gothic artworks littered the walls, while corpses could be seen nailed or hung by chains on nearby pillars. On the floor was a large red circle, and in the centre of this was a large stone chair, acting like a throne. Sitting on top of this chair, dressed in a red ceremonial robe, was another Elder of the Cabal, who was now beaming at Caleb happily.
"Welcome!" the Elder greeted warmly. "Welcome to your death!"
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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.