Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

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Tchernobog
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Thu Jun 05, 2014 06:47 pm

N0t_mINe wrote:A superbly placed flash-back, could have worked as a dream sequence too. Well played man, well played.

Thanks N0t_mINe. :)

You may be pleased to know that I wrote next weeks instalment yesterday without incident, and that will be the first part that features entirely new writing. :guns:
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jun 09, 2014 06:21 am

Part Fourteen: Don't Fear The Reaper

Another piercing scream spread through the air like a noxious breath, sending another horrified shudder down Johnny's already more than rattled bones. Whatever this thing was, it was nothing that he himself had ever encountered before. Caleb was now up and moving around, taking out his lighter in search of a torch or light switch, anything that would provide them with more visible light. Having finally found such a device, an anemic incandescent bulb slowly sparked wearily back to life in response to his flicking of the switch, changing the passageway from a place of pitch black to a world of light and shadow. It was not that great an improvement. The shrieking continued in the distance, although Johnny now felt that he had heard it come almost imperceptibly closer, and he was certain that it would now be drawn even nearer by the light.

"I'm waiting..." Caleb commented, clearly having no doubts either about the present direction of the thing that was threatening them. It was then that Johnny thought he saw a faint shimmer of something further off down the passageway. He could still not be sure if he had really seen anything or not, but Caleb certainly was. He had the benefit of knowing what to expect. Caleb brandished his sawed-off and prepared for the worst. Things had suddenly gone distressingly quiet, although Johnny now felt what seemed like a light breeze hit his face. Caleb let out a growl like a dog that sensed that trouble was on the wind. Everything seemed to be hanging in the air. The silence was broken by the return of the bloodcurdling screams, as what looked like a caricature of the grim reaper suddenly appeared in sharp relief before them.

"Beware the Phantasm of the Opera!" Caleb reiterated, right before dodging out of the way of its swinging scythe. In the process Johnny got bawled over by the rolling Caleb, who nonchalantly shoved him out of the way and quickly got back to his feet. Realizing how much of a hindrance he had suddenly become, Johnny tried his best to make a reverse by loading another flare into his pistol, wildly aiming it at the still extant form of the Phantasm. As soon as he had fired however the Phantasm simply faded into thin air, the flare passing harmlessly through its spectral form and embedding itself into the opposing wall, burning eerily in the dark. Caleb simply brushed the dirt off his long coat and waited for the spectre's response.

All was silent again, although a moving shimmer could still be made out by the trained eye, circling above them. Caleb trained his weapon on the shimmer, moving along with it, waiting for the full thing to reappear again. Johnny simply watched all this perplexed. Another scream ushered in the return of the Phantasm, something which Caleb was now prepared for. He fired both barrels straight into the menacing figure while it was still corporeal, causing it to recoil in an almost comical fashion, a shocked expression on its boney face. Caleb quickly reloaded and fired his weapon again, managing to strike the form before it had a chance to dematerialize, paralyzing the Phantasm once more. Caleb quickly reached into his pockets for more, but quickly discovered an absence of shells.

The Phantasm once again became a shimmer, and Caleb brought out the Tommy Gun he still had with him from his past battle with the Cultists. While doing so he lost track of the shimmer, leaving it up to Johnny to warn him of its presence behind him. Caleb quickly span around and grabbed the snath of the Phantasm's scythe, preventing it from using the weapon against him. Then he aimed the Tommy Gun with his other hand, discharging a full chamber into its still apparent form. It once again recoiled, wrenching the snath out of Caleb's strong grip and quickly backing away. Caleb just kept on firing. Eventually it let loose a mighty scream even more terrible than the ones it had made previously, falling in upon itself until nothing more of the spectre remained. Caleb relaxed. Johnny kept watching the spot where it had disappeared utterly petrified.

"What was it?" he asked finally, having regained the nerve to speak.

"It's a long story..." Caleb admitted, leaning himself against the wall and breathing hard. "You see, I am supposed to be dead, kept around only by a power that is not my own. Even though I slew my old master the gift he gave me still persists, allowing me to make the motions of the living. However, that is not the same thing as being truly alive, something which these Phantasms object to."

"But what are they?" Johnny inquired again, somehow being able to take the rest of Caleb's sordid story in stride. He was getting used to his new friend being far from mundane.

"They are sent to collect me and return me back to my grave. They exist between the land of the living and the land of the dead, crossing over only to harvest their victims. They are apparitions of death. "

"And they will never leave you alone?" Johnny persisted, still terrified.

"Looks like it" Caleb responded, a sardonic smile appearing on his face. "You still want to follow me now boy?" Johnny definitely had to think about that. He had no idea that he would have to contend with anything nearly as terrible as that when he had started. Still, he did continue to really have nowhere else to go, and there still seemed to be no one else who would stick up for him. Besides, it seemed disloyal to abandon the man now simply because he had found out about another one of his demons. Johnny decided he would stay, and his questions had actually given Caleb an idea. Maybe the scroll could serve another purpose. If it had the power to control life and death maybe it could give him a proper and full life again untainted by the tomb. Maybe it could make the Phantasms leave him alone.

"Come on then, we still have places to go..." Caleb declared, heading off down the passage from which the apparition had came. Johnny saw nothing else for it but to follow.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby dosgamer000 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 04:49 pm

You are a natural at this Tchernobog. Can't wait to see how it'll all end. :)
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jun 16, 2014 06:35 am

My apologies if this weeks entry seems a little rushed; I had to take my dog in to be killed on Saturday and it was something of a trial getting him there.

Part Fifteen: Spare Parts

Although Johnny's still startled eyes continued to imagine spectral reapers appearing around each and every bend and corner of the shadowy hall none in the end actually did come out to present themselves. Caleb and Johnny took what was, all things considered, a rather easy rambling stroll down the sparsely illuminated passage. Caleb even began to whistle to himself, seeming to show not a care in the world. For a man so dominated by his passions there did seem to be an odd nonchalance about the old gunfighter, a contrast that allowed him to be both utterly ruthless but still acutely cold and calculating. He may not be bright but he certainly knows what to do in a fight, and his focus never gets altogether blindsided by his blood-lust, no matter how overpowering or persevering his urges may be.

"This looks promising" Caleb observed, stopping in front of yet another door marked "Storage". Johnny pondered just how much time Caleb must spend stealing from the Cabal's weapon stores, utilizing their own tools against them. Finding the door locked, Caleb growled and put his shoulder into it, his focus commanding him to open the door while his passions dictated that he must do it in the least civilized and dignified way possible. The two really were an unstoppable pair, and the door soon came crashing off its hinges and down onto the floor in a deafening crash. Johnny watched as a platoon of rats came rushing out of the cold dusty storage room, scared off by the sudden burst of life. Caleb swore and danced in the air as the ragged monsters made their way past.

Once the rats had finally departed and the excitement had ceased, the two men walked inside the storage room and illuminated the area. They found rack after rack of old clothes and costumes, now left to rot after being shown in countless operas and plays. Caleb shoved his way roughly through them, looking for the additional supply of munitions he knew the Cabal must have squirrelled away somewhere in the room. By doing so he sent coats and hats flying every which way through the air, one of which landed neatly on top of Johnny's head as if it were predestined to arrive there. Johnny reached up to the offending object and discovered it to be a black worn cowboy hat much like the one his companion always wore.

Johnny then felt something leather slap him in the face as yet another fabric was sent flying by Caleb's impertinent grasp. It too was a long leather trench-coat much like the one worn by his compatriot. Johnny decided that it would be best to provide Caleb with some space during this time, and started to explore the rest of the room on his own, discovering that he could now actually assemble an entire ensemble modelled on the one that was currently being so fashionably displayed by his strange friend. Feeling that it was high time for him to cast away his old rags and actually start wearing something that could keep out the cold, Johnny quickly changed while Caleb continued to shove his way through the now almost suffocating racks of apparel.

When Caleb eventually returned from the fog of fabric his pockets were once again filled with gunpowder, either neatly packed into lead casings or safely contained in shotgun shells, with a few more extra surprises thrown in for good measure. When he finally did see Johnny again it was he that was in for a surprise, however. "Whoa!" Caleb exclaimed startled, initially disturbed by his follower's transformation. Upon actually recognizing who and what it was, his glowing red eyes narrowed and became suspicious. "Am I looking into a mirror, or did I just break one?" he inquired, the shorter form of Johnny now reminding him of the terrible mini apparitions of himself that sometimes spawned when he broke a mirror thanks to the evil machinations of one particular Cultist who was still adept enough in the dark arts to cast a spell over them.

All of this flew over Johnny's head of course, not yet being familiar with the creations in question. "Did you find what you need?" he asked, the outfit suddenly giving him a strange and altogether unreasonable feeling of bravado. Caleb nodded, before reaching into one of his pockets.

"I've got a present for ya!" he enthused, tossing a few more flares in his companion's direction. Johnny caught them with more flair than he thought he had in him. He hoped he would not get over confident. "Here, take this as well" Caleb added, handing a can to him. Inside were a multitude of baked beans long past their expiry date. It still seemed like a feast to him.

"Don't you want some?" he asked, realizing that Caleb had not taken a can for himself. Caleb's eyes narrowed again.

"No, my hunger comes from... somewhere else..." he answered in a way that made Johnny's skin crawl and his own eyes flash. Johnny decided not to probe the question any further. There were still some things about Caleb that he did not need to know.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jun 23, 2014 06:17 am

Part Sixteen: Catacombs
"Where to now?" Johnny inquired, as Caleb rounded yet another corner of the seemingly never ending passageway. "Is there a way out?"

"No idea..." Caleb answered. "We can not go back the way we came, the way is blocked and sure to be guarded. So there is nothing else for it but to keep moving ahead."

"And if we hit a dead end?" Johnny wondered out loud, not liking the sound of this at all. Caleb's reply was short and to the point.

"Then we might just go and give that name meaning" he stated quietly. Johnny really did not like the sound of that. Sure enough, up ahead the passageway suddenly ended, bricked up with what seemed to be far more recent masonry than was evident on any of the other walls. Caleb viewed this new obstruction with suspicion.

"It is a funny way for us to end it" Johnny observed, pangs of morbid humour now tugging at his usually morose consciousness. Caleb was not paying him any attention. Johnny winced as he suddenly slammed his fist smack into the middle of the wall, cracking brick and mortar with an unsettling ease. Caleb withdrew his hand as if nothing had happened at all, showing no signs of pain or discomfort despite the force of the impact. He then leaned forward and and examined one of the larger cracks in greater detail, a satisfied smile appearing on his cracked and crusted lips.

"Get back!" he ordered, a request Johnny was now loathe to refuse. He reminded himself to never underestimate the strength or perseverance of his friend again. Caleb then drew something long and cylindrical from one of his back pockets, preparing one of the surprises that he had only just recently acquired earlier in the store room. The Cabal's own tools would be used against them yet again. He quickly lit the wick of it with his lighter, before carefully placing the charge on the ground and running for cover. After an agonizing interval the stick finally ignited, throwing the full force of the dynamite against the already weakened masonry. Johnny just hoped that the roof would not collapse on them as well. Thankfully his wish was granted, and once the smoke and dust had cleared an opening became clearly visible in the wall.

Caleb and Johnny entered the new area in silence. On the walls were perched torches, and carved into the middle of those walls were hollows containing what looked like stone tombs. The same arrangement could be seen in almost every direction, with even more stone passageways winding all around them like a maze. They had walked into a crypt. Johnny thought back to the graves he had seen earlier on the outskirts of the city. He remembered the arm that he thought had moved, as if the corpse had been reanimated and was now trying to get them. Johnny then turned back to look at the damaged masonry that was now lying as rubble on the floor behind them. Maybe that wall had been made for a reason. Maybe it had been erected to keep them out. Maybe there were still more things that could be awakened by them down here. Considering all of the noise they had made, Johnny really did not like their chances.

"Tombs, graveyards... so many memories" Caleb commented dryly, not feeling any of the weight that had suddenly struck his current companion. He almost seemed to be enjoying himself, as if he had finally been returned back to his own element. He started lighting the burnt out torches with his butane lighter, illuminating the place so that Johnny could better see the catacomb in all of its morbid glory. Johnny was not impressed. All Caleb seemed to be doing was advertising their presence even further. He did appreciate the fact that he could now probably see them coming, but he would have much rather have had it so he did not have see them come at all.

Then he finally checked himself. What exactly was it that he was afraid of? Corner of the eye sightings and vague impressions? Before he had been captured by the cult he had never even heard of the undead. During the time he spent imprisoned in his cell he began to hear stories, tales that described the creation of zombies made to serve as part of the Cabal's army. He did not hold much faith in them at first. The people who were tormenting him may have been evil, but there were just ordinary men. Sick, twisted, warped men, but men all the same. Then he saw that Hell Hand dancing about as if it had a life of its own. Something must have been empowering that thing. There was also of course the matter of Caleb to consider as well. He was not a man like anyone else, by his own admission. Not quite dead, but not quite alive either. Still, maybe he was still just jumping to conclusions here.

Just then, a bloodcurdling scream spread through the musty fetid air as if it were a dark wind. Johnny had not imagined or fancied up that. Something must be down here with them. He turned to look at Caleb, who had also heard the scream. He simply bobbed his head in some sort of strange acquiescence; whether it was to acknowledge his own questions or just the card that fate had played them Johnny was not quite sure. Another scream could then be heard, this time far more guttural. Something was killing someone. "Fresh victims for the ever growing army of the undead" Caleb decided, heading down the passage that offered them their best chance of rendezvousing with the screams. Johnny definitely did not like any of this at all.
Last edited by Tchernobog on Mon Jun 30, 2014 06:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jun 30, 2014 06:07 am

Not that I personally follow it, but here is a little something for all of you who are currently watching the World Cup.

Part Seventeen: Head Soccer

Caleb's strides did not suggest that he had any misgivings at all, but Johnny sure as hell did. The screaming had stopped finally; the last sound that anyone had heard was that of a muted death rattle. Whatever was killing whoever must have finished. Caleb continued to march in the direction that the sounds had been heard from, a torch that he had casually pilfered from one of the walls burning brightly in his hand. So far all Johnny had seen was just more and more rows of tombs neatly slotted into the walls, most of them intact but some with some worrying signs of damage or other indications that they may have been opened recently. "Come out, come out, whatever you are..." Caleb beckoned, as a strange gnawing noise began to become audible in both of their ears.

Then Johnny saw it. Lying prone on the ground was the corpse of a man, a nightwatchmen judging by what was left of his attire. On top of him was another man, or at least, something that must have been one at some point. Flesh hung in ugly patches on top of a gaunt skeleton, tattered rags worse than the ones that Johnny had been wearing covering up what little was left of the thing's dignity. It had its mouth hovering over the other man's head, seeming to be slurping and gnashing up something from its now exposed cranial cavity. Johnny wanted to look away but found that despite the turning of his stomach he could not help but stare at the creature, becoming transfixed on the ghastly scene that was now unfolding before him. Caleb had seen it all before of course.

"You need to learn some table manners..." he said after depositing the torch, right before wrapping his right arm around the zombie's neck and forcing it back onto its feet. It moaned and groaned in what Johnny could only imagine to be surprise as Caleb searched for his knife with his left hand, right before shifting his arms and bringing the now found implement before the undead creature's neck. He then began to slit its throat, moving the weapon right around the full circumference of zombie's head. Before long the only thing that kept it attached to its body was a thin bit of flesh and what was left of its spinal column. Despite this, Johnny still saw the same glowing intensity in the thing's eyes, as if it still did not feel as if it had been injured at all.

"If you're happy and you know it, pop some brains!" Caleb called out in a sing song voice. He began to yank on the zombies now almost severed head with such severity that the sound of ripping flesh started to reverberate around the passage. "If you're happy and you know it, slice some veins!" With a satisfying pop the head finally severed, causing Caleb to hold it triumphantly in the air. Johnny saw the light in the zombie's eyes fade at last, the strange power that controlled it now having finally been put to rest. "If you're happy and you know it, bouncing heads will clearly show it!" Caleb dropped the head from a height and gave it a sharp nudge with his knee, sending it spiralling into the air again. Caleb continued to bounce the impromptu ball on his knee until, having finally grown tired of it, he delivered a sharp kick with his boot that sent it shooting off into the darkness.

"Nothing like loving one's work" he commented serenely. Johnny just stared at him blankly. What really was there to say upon seeing that? Caleb then turned his attention to the man that was lying on the ground, peering into the hole that the zombie had previously smashed in its head. "It looks like our friend had already finished his final meal..." he concluded, getting back onto his feet.

"Do we really need to linger?" Johnny inquired, fretfully glancing all around the passageway.

"What are you afraid of kid?" Caleb replied, casually nudging the corpse with his boot. Then like the purported walls of Jericho, all the walls started to crumble down in around them. Johnny did not feel the need to answer that question. The zombies had just did.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby dosgamer000 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 06:47 am

It wouldn't be Blood without some good ol' zombie head soccer/football, now would it? Also, sorry about your dog.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Tue Jul 01, 2014 04:43 pm

dosgamer000 wrote:It wouldn't be Blood without some good ol' zombie head soccer/football, now would it? Also, sorry about your dog.

Thank you. He was sixteen, and by the time we decided we needed to take him in to be taken out he had already lost most of his mobility, and he was quite clearly suffering so it definitely was the right decision. It being right does not necessarily make the whole process any easier however, and it is an obligation that I have been tested on way too often over the past few years.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jul 07, 2014 06:08 am

Part Eighteen: No Life In You

All hell had broken loose. The undead continued to shoot out of their tombs, popping out of the walls as if they were being fired by cannons. There was not much time to react. Caleb brought out his sawed-off and began blasting at any signs of movement, Johnny backing into him from behind as much to get out of his range of fire as to help him avoid being caught by one of the zombies. He drew his flare pistol, but knew that it would take far too long for a flare to make contact and do any damage for it to be of any use in this particular case. He would need to rely on his friend's firepower instead. They span around together as if in some strange dance, Johnny inadvertently covering his rear with his body as Caleb laid down one after another of their encroaching enemies.

Then Johnny felt it. He yelped in fear and surprise as something reached out and grabbed for his ankle, dragging him away from the comparative if still rather dubious safety he enjoyed as long he stayed glued to Caleb's person. One of the zombies that Caleb had shot down had not stayed down, despite the gaping hole in its chest, and was now determined to make this thing a whole lot more interesting than it was currently being. Caleb had heard the exclamation of his compatriot but could not for the moment respond, still stuck in a lockstep with many of his more undead dance partners. Caleb accepted that he was the one leading, but Johnny would still need to find his legs on his own.

He began frantically kicking at the thing that had grabbed him, but the zombie refused to relent. Physical damage did not seem to faze them, as if their bodies were simply vessels that they happened to be inhabiting just for the moment and could be discarded at will. Remembering what Caleb had done, Johnny began to focus his blows to the thing's head, something which finally began to inspire a reaction. There seemed to be something special about the head, as if whatever was powering and controlling these creatures was centred in that and only that part of the body. The rest could be discarded, but the head had to remain for the rest of the body to function. He continued to kick at it for all he was worth.

Suddenly his foot was joined by that of another, and with a surprising synchronicity they both brought themselves down on the head hard. It popped off from the spinal column and went shooting off into the darkness, unbeknownst to them striking the head of the zombie that Caleb had severed earlier, causing it to shoot off and deposit itself neatly in a cracked hollow in the ground as if they were playing a massively oversized game of pool. Unaware of their own theatrics, Johnny turned to see Caleb standing over him. All of the zombies appeared to by laying dead around them. Seeing that his accomplice was now surveying the scene before him, Caleb allowed himself a smile.

"It's all in the reflexes" he commented, beginning to admire his own handiwork for himself. Pride comes before a fall, and Johnny did not have time to warn him of this before the zombie had been given its chance to attack. Another one of his felled foes was still not quite dead yet, and this one was intent on reminding him of that fact. It brought the axe that it had inexplicably managed to come by in this maze of tombs and catacombs up into the air, letting it fall hard on the back of Caleb's head. The impact sent the old gunslinger to the ground almost instantly. Johnny watched all of this with nothing more than a creeping numbness, paralyzed for the moment. It just did not seem possible, not with him. Having dealt with its immediate target, the zombie now set its sights on Johnny.

"More brains!" it cried out in a garbled mouthful, rushing towards him. Fear finally allowed Johnny to act, firing a flare at the thing from his pistol before tearing off the in direction that the severed heads had previously been sent. As he had suspected it simply embedded itself in the thing's chest, burning merrily to itself but not really imparting any real damage. Johnny kept on running and peering over his shoulder, firing more and more flares at the thing at every opportunity he was given. Now the zombie had been lit up like a Christmas tree, but the thing still refused to burn. Worst of all, the zombie was still gaining. Johnny no longer saw anything else for it. He skidded to a halt, spun on his heels, brought his arms to his face, and screamed.

Johnny waited for the blow he knew would come, but eventually realized that it had not. Finally bringing his arms away from his eyes, he looked down to see a charred, smoking, burning pile of flesh lying on the ground before him. He just stared at it, worried that the thing would still somehow manage to rise again, despite the fact that flames were now shooting out of its eye's like a propane torch. After several moments Johnny at last discovered that his heart had stop going at a thousand beats per minute, and he was finally able to begin considering the situation rationally again. Caleb could still be alive. It seemed doubtful given the injuries he had sustained, but a small hope was still much better than none. He rushed off to see the current status of his friend.

As he approached something made him slow, as if somehow he had become aware of the event that was happening just a short way ahead of him without even consciously realizing it. He continued to creep forward however, still intent on helping his friend. What he would see would test that loyalty to its very core. Caleb was no longer lying where Johnny had been hurriedly forced to leave him earlier. Instead, Johnny spotted his dark figure hunched over the body of the dead nightwatchman that they had come by previously, hovering over it much like the first zombie had been doing when they had arrived. While that had been intent on consuming the dead man's brain, it was something entirely different that Caleb was after.

Johnny watched in horror as, if through some force not his own, Caleb drew out the man's heart. He did not reach into the exposed chest cavity and grab it; instead, he just seemed to beckon it to him, and for some strange reason the man's heart responded. It was like nothing Johnny had ever seen. The heart glowed softly to itself as it rose, lightly illuminating the passage in a blood red sheen. Caleb threw his head back and his jaw opened, widening to an almost impossible degree. Slowly, ever so slowly, the heart rose and entered into his mouth, his teeth crashing down as soon as it could possibly have been enclosed by them. The old gunslinger's red eyes glowed with an intensity Johnny had never seen them do before, and then suddenly stopped, right as Caleb decided to get back on his feet.

Noticing Johnny gawping at him from the darkness, he decided to offer up an explanation. "For truly, I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." Hearing him recite the verse did little to soothe Johnny's chilled spirits. Caleb then lightly brushed off some of the dirt and viscera from his coat, right before turning around and heading off in the direction that they had previously been heading down before. "Are you coming or what?" he inquired, as if absolutely nothing had happened at all. Johnny did not know what to do. He simply did not know what he was doing here anymore. Still, he did follow. He really did not know what else to do.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jul 14, 2014 06:24 am

Part Nineteen: Graveyard

"What were you... what was it you... what happened?" Johnny inquired finally, unable to contain the question any longer, even though he still feared to ask. Caleb did not even bother to give him a sideways glance.

"Ask a silly question..." he replied, still not feeling the need to explain anything to anyone. Even though he hated himself for it, Johnny felt the need to persist.

"You swallowed a man's heart" he observed quietly.

"That I did kid" Caleb concurred, brushing a few more cobwebs out of his way as the two of them progressed. Most of the tunnels now seemed to be focusing themselves into one specific point, merging together and becoming one. The exit could not be far ahead.

"But why did you do it?" Johnny demanded, even though he really did not feel he could force him to say anything. "And how did you manage to recover after being hit in the head by the zombie?"

"Have you listened to a single word I've said?" Caleb asked, his temper rising. "Do you think I would let a little thing like death stop me?"

"I don't..." Johnny began, but Caleb cut him off.

"I am not supposed to be here. I am supposed to be lying beneath a stone slab at the Morningside Mortuary. I am only kept going by a power that is not my own. The closest thing to life I can wield is that life which I take from others, that which feeds the bloodlust."

"The Bloodlust?" Johnny blurted out despite of himself. His running mouth was going to get him killed.

"To take one's life essence onto yourself is a powerful thing. Once it is done once you can never shake off the hunger, and you would never want to either. It is what gives the Cabal its power, and it is what allows me to stand even the smallest chance against them. It strengthens, it heals, and it replenishes."

"It also makes your eyes glow in the dark" Johnny interjected, remembering the intensity of the flash that consumed the gunslingers face as he did his unholy work.

"That too" Caleb agreed, just as a creak of light started to become visible ahead of them. "That is the mark it leaves you. To do what I have done, you must give something of yourself. When that is gone, the thirst and the rage has nothing to hide behind anymore."

"Rage?" Johnny asked, more fearful than ever. Caleb finally stopped, turning to give his companion a serious look.

"Do you think I enjoy doing what I am doing?" he asked soberly.

"Yes" Johnny answered flatly. More idle tongue.

"You're right" Caleb admitted, a devilish grin appearing on his face. "But I still also hate what I have become. We all do. That is the trade-off. To give of one's self to attain that which can only be acquired from others."

"To give to whom?" Johnny inquired.

"The dreaming god. The sleeping god. The one that binds. The devourer of souls."

"Tchernobog" Johnny said, finally cutting through the spiritualistic red tape.

"You got it kid" Caleb responded, right before coming to a sudden halt. They had now reached the main door that led into the catacombs, a mighty stone slab hanging open just enough to allow a little bit of light through, as well as the tiniest bit of fresh air. Both Caleb and Johnny pushed against the slab, slowly moving it outward, allowing the sunlight to start hitting their faces. It was a feeling Johnny had not felt in a very long time. Caleb almost seemed to recoil from it. Regardless, the two of them wandered out, finding themselves among trees and graves. They were in the same graveyard that they had made their way through earlier.

"I thought as much" Caleb commented, observing a mark on the ground that was placed in front of the door. "They must have known that there was a back way out." Johnny peered down at the symbol. It bore a very strong resemblance to a human skull, in among all of the other elaborate ornamentation. Johnny could guess what it meant. The zombies had not been an accident. Someone had been taking extra measures. He just hoped they were not still here watching the door.

"What now?" he asked, enjoying the feeling of sunlight on his skin.

"First, we get out of this light and rest for awhile" Caleb answered uncomfortably, moving the brim of his hat to better shield his eyes. "Then, we get ready for our mission tonight."

"What are we going to do?" Johnny inquired curiously.

"Read" Caleb answered monosyllabically, heading off down the path in among all the crosses and gravestones. A light breeze cooled the air around them, blowing out the back of their trench coats and playing with the edges of their hats. There were less dignified ways to make your way back into town. Johnny enjoyed every minute of it. He was finally beginning to feel free again.
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N0t_mINe
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby N0t_mINe » Tue Jul 15, 2014 02:50 am

Sorry to interupt this blood filled banquet old friend, but I feel I have to elbow my way in just to say this is pure gold. The way you're using caleb's identity to slowly build tension into the story is incredible, this thing is really taking on a life of its own.

the one thing that nags me is the opera several chapters ago. i can't help but think you had a specific opera in mind, and if so, what was it?
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Tue Jul 15, 2014 07:25 am

N0t_mINe wrote:the one thing that nags me is the opera several chapters ago. i can't help but think you had a specific opera in mind, and if so, what was it?

The lyrics Caleb sings come from the 1986 The Phantom of the Opera musical. So it is not exactly period accurate, but then again, almost none of the things Caleb references are if we take the figure of 1928 into account.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby dosgamer000 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 02:09 am

Agreed. Fan fiction is a joy of any fandom that often isn't appreciated as much as it should be. I also want to thank you as well, for not portraying Caleb as a ruthless maniac who shoots anything that moves. Does he indulge in senseless, sport killing on mimes? Yes. Is that all there is to his personality? No.
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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby Tchernobog » Mon Jul 21, 2014 06:05 am

Part Twenty: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

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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Re: Scroll - Blood Fiction in Weekly Parts

Postby dosgamer000 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:54 pm

Already on chapter 20 now...seems like it was yesterday when you started this.

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