Prologue

My unfortunate successor,

I would first like to apologize for my sudden task I must place upon you, whoever you are. I have spent years of trying to find such a successor, mainly a trustworthy companion, or sudden acquaintance,to carry on what knowledge I have possessed, and I am sorry for giving you a hardship which I will explain in a few moments. You see, I have spent my youth searching for the answers no one, not even a single book, could give me, and that I was determined to figure this out on my own, even if it meant certain danger, but regrettably, I wish it wasn't out of that. I will be honest with you. I fear, I fear for my own pathetic existence on this beautiful green earth. I am afraid for what comes to me in the unknown in these very moments, seconds. I cannot walk into the shadows without looking over my shoulder in constant fear. What I have been doing for the past few decades of my life, I have gotten deeper and deeper into a myth, a historical legend, that death is ever so near knocking on my door.

What I give you in this single letter is the truth and a mystery I myself wish to uncover but I know I will fail to do so, and if I live I know I shall be envious of your discovery that I had started like many others before me.
What I give you, are many keys to unlock this adventure, one that I fear might end too quickly, even if you read this.

The keys I give you are a single map with three different languages which I shall tell you: Greek, Arab, and another hidden language that has been unknown to me, to everyone who I have asked. Finally, the book. Its content contains only of a link to a location that you are destined to find, you must find. The rest of its musty pages are blank. I shall warn you of one thing. Whoever possesses this book is certain to fall into danger, either it death, or by other means. Whatever you do, never leave this book alone, take it with you always.

Now, I feel I should tell you of the events that occurred in my life that have led to this letter, and how I hope they help you in your quest for the truth, the painful truth.

I was a simple student in Harvard when it all began. Classes and extracurricular activities had strained me and had taken most of my time all through it. Soon enough I would take the wrong road, down the path of seduction and being in a place where everything felt high. I had begin using drugs, alcohol to numb the pain and tiredness I had felt. It took me places, as many students had claimed, that was my only seduction into this life. One day, after studying in my class for my final physics exam, I had walked into the girl's bathroom to take a smoke, of pot of course. I had locked myself into a cubicle, and sat there on the seat in an awkward position as the joy I felt consumed me completely.

"Hurry up in there!" I started. The voice seemed slurred in my mind, but of course the drug had taken it's affect. I heard a pounding, thinking it was my own brain slamming against the walls of my head to get out, but it was someone knocking on the door. I slipped as I stood up, regaining my composer and opened the graffiti door to see a dirty blonde girl in front of me. I nodded my head and walked out the door, what I was smoking remained in my hand. I was surprised later on that I hadn't been caught. After waking from my shortened daze, I strolled to the library to do some research for my report on a country's history of my liking. I had seen the list in the library of my fellow students and what they had chosen, only to find the ones that I had picked were already taken, and so I stood there stubbornly thinking. Then it hit me, a country that had never been chosen, one that I myself had not cared about, until now.

Romania. I jotted the name down quickly and ran back to my professor, Professor Zane, who was ending his class. he smiled to me as he told his students their homework for the night, and then motioned for me to come in. I stood next to him as he packed his numerous papers neatly.

"Well what can I do for you?" His voice always remained pleasant for whatever matter he was in and that was pretty much why everyone took a liking to him.

"You know the project that is due next week? I have found a very suitable one, one that I think might interest the class." I was always cocky in my presentations and took pride in my writing skills, which he knew very well might I add.

"Which one would that be?"

"Romania. I think it shall be very interesting, especially the research. I have heard a few things about it from other classmates."
Professor Zane smiled, "Alright. I expect the best from you."

"Will do, naturally."

I briskly walked down the hallways to get back to the library, where it was suddenly vacant save for the old librarian. I grabbed many untouched books quickly, knocking over a large antic looking crimson book. I picked it up anyway since it was in the "R" section just to make sure I picked everything up. I studied and wrote with diligence and without even thinking. Romanian history was rich with lore and death, mainly around the fifteenth century. I was absorbed in Vlad III, or more commonly known as Vlad Tepes or Dracula. Impaling seemed to be his favorite hobby from what I could infer from the drawn pictures in a small section of one of the history books.

As I continued my fiery writing, I once again knocked over the crimson book which layed open before me. I stared down at the blank pages showing and I picked it up. As I flipped through the pages, they all were blank, save for one single smudged page. I couldn't read the text, not because of the smudges, but because of the language it was written in. I cautiously closed the book and peered upon the cover. A figure of a black dragon, wings spread, tailed curved, and claws ready to slash your throat out, frightened me. I referred back to one of the history books and found that it was Dracula's family symbol. The order of the Dragon. I layed the book slowly on the table, continuing to stare at it. I jumped as the clock struck four and so I secretly snuck the designed crimson book into my small backpack with my papers and ran out the door as fast as I could.
Things only went downhill from then.

A week later after my wonderful performance for Professor Zane and had gotten an A+, that book consumed my life. Things seemed stranger than before after I had looked up some more information about it. The book was created about the same time after Dracula's death and the language was of Turkish or Arabic origin. I would later in a few months find someone to interpret it, only to lead to something greater. but as the weeks went on, one particular event in my life, changed me drastically.
As I walked my usually route for some inspiration and then on to the library, I felt I was being followed, though every time I turned around, no one was there. I regained my calmness, thinking I was acting foolish, and walked on down the street. Soon, a thick mist began to appear. Buildings, streets disappeared. I spun around in a circle, trying to find my way out of the thickening mist, only to find a black silhouette in front of me. Shaking, I stared at it, my breathing becoming quicker and as much as I willed myself to run, I was frozen where I stood, in total silence. The figure walked closer, a clicking of boots was all I could hear, and I became frantic.

What I could remember was little. All I could remember was that darkness had engulfed me, and I had driven myself into dispair. Then there were those two glaring blood red eyes. Nightmares started to consume me, and one day after I took my usual shower, I came to a gruesome discovery. Two scabbed marks appeared on my skin, but the area around my wound had turned pale and the color started to conquer my tan skin, as if it were a disease. My scream was paralyzed by shock, I couldn't utter a word for the entire day.

After graduating college and getting my degree in physics after a struggle to retain my sanity and winning, I grew even more tired, my energy be drained from me little by little. I had moved to London a month after because I wished not to face my fears once again now that I was out of school. Little had changed. Little has changed. I still didn't understand the language in the book and hadn't gotten anyone to translate it for me. After going from library to library I returned to my flat. Frustrated, I opened the door, only to find it destroyed. Whatever they were looking for, they hadn't found it.

Unfortunately, a mist had appeared at that very moment, and thank God I had the windows locked. Once again I was face to face with that figure. once again I stared into those blood red eyes.

And so I end my story here, for I know I have officially lost my sanity. I give what I know to you, for I know I shall not live long after seeing those eyes for a second time.

Truly sorry,

Anne Williams