Caleb was almost surprised when he saw Johnny lying with his head slumped against the wall on the opposite side of the room. It had not taken them long to find the squat earlier that day, after first liberating a few supplies from some unwitting shopkeepers. Caleb had already partaken of quite a few of them himself, with there now being several more bottles of rotgut lying around the abandoned house that the bums had already been keeping quite well stocked in broken glass for months. The Cabal had dispersed somewhat following Caleb and Johnny's assault on the Opera House, and they were not yet strong enough to pose them any kind of serious threat.
As such, Johnny had decided to go out and see the sights, keen on enjoying his present freedom as much as the current situation would allow. Caleb had fully expected that would be the last he would ever see of him. After all, the boy had certainly been rattled by some of the events that he had been forced to witness and take part in, and Caleb himself was still rather dubious whether or not there was any value in keeping his company either. He had always preferred to be a one man act, the only exception being when he was selected to be the leader of the Chosen, something he did more out of deference to his old master than anything else. Even then, at least that relationship had managed to pair him up with someone who was much easier on the eyes.
Recollections such as these could only ever produce one response, and Caleb immediately drew out her picture from one of his back pockets yet again. He just stared at it, once more transfixed by her memory. Every once and awhile he did need to centre himself. He was going on this wild goose chase primarily for her after all. He needed to keep reminding himself of that. It was the only thing that would keep him going. He sighed as what was left of her bright eyes began to somehow turn from providing comfort to spurning action, forcing him back onto to his feet. Returning the photograph to its usual home, he moved forward and gave Johnny a gentle nudge with his boot.
"What?" Johnny cried out reflexively, bursting awake. He blinked and looked around the room fretfully, never knowing anything good to come and wake him in the middle of the night. Finally comprehending what it was that had happened, he fixed his eyes on the figure that was now looking down at him from above. "Don't you ever sleep?" Johnny inquired irritably, only ever seeing him in what was at best an alcoholic stupor for the best part of the day.
"I'll sleep when I'm dead" Caleb stated dismissively. He then helped Johnny back to his feet. "I've got a .38 Special up on the shelf, I'll sleep when I'm dead..." he began, suddenly feeling the urge to sing again. "If I start acting stupid I'll shoot myself, I'll sleep when I'm dead." He then moved to where he had set down their weapon stores. "I've got a .44 Magnum up on the shelf, I'll sleep when I'm dead..." Grabbing a weapon, he then turned to face Johnny. "And I don't intend to use it on myself, I'll sleep when I'm dead." Johnny really did not like the grin that was now enveloping Caleb's face. He began to wonder himself whether or not coming back was such a great idea.
"So what are we going to do tonight?" Johnny asked, intent on changing his companion's now dangerously playful mood.
"Well, to tell you the truth, I have hit a dead end" Caleb said, loading a few more shells into his sawed-off while talking. "I have no idea where it is they have taken my scroll, other than it being somewhere off over the mountains. No one has been particularly cooperative." With a quick jerk of the knee he snapped the barrels closed again. "So I figure a little knowledge might just light our way."
"So where are we going?" Johnny pressed again.
"Don't you kids ever go to the library anymore?" Caleb inquired incredulously. Johnny seriously doubted that Caleb was that much of a bookworm.
"Not one with information about them" he replied. A smile returned to Caleb's face.
"You just never knew where to look" he commented, making his way to the door. Pale moonlight once again dimly illuminated the townscape, placing the old gunslinger back into his element. Johnny sighed, reached for his hat and flare pistol, and moved to join him. They were heading off into the darkness again. It never seemed to end for long.
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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.