I awoke to the sound of pounding on my door. Sunlight was still streaming through my window and I took a glance at the digital clock on my end table. It was about one-thirty pm, and most vampires should have been asleep.
Reluctantly I pulled myself out of bed and over to my dresser. I pulled on a black V-neck shirt and looked at myself in the mirror. I was wearing black pajama bottoms and my hair was slightly messy. I smoothed it down and heard the pounding on the door continue.
Grudgingly I pulled open the door and snapped at the person on the other side.
“David! Do you have any idea what time it is!” I snapped at my closest friend. “This had better be good!”
“Apologies, my prince,” David said looking tired as well. “But I think you will want to hear this.”
“Well don’t just stand there. Get on with it.” I knew I was being harsh on him but he was the one who disturbed my rest in the middle of the day.
“One of my scouts has just delivered a report to me.” David’s eyes lit up. “Someone has made a report of some unnatural weather about a hundred and fifty miles to the North of the Capital City.”
“Unnatural weather? You don’t think it could be the EM, do you?” After all these years of searching, I might have found a location on the EM. They could be only a little over a hundred miles away from me right now.
“I can’t see any other reason for the weather to change so suddenly. It happened in the middle of the night at Asylo Forest.”
Asylo Forest was a place where most humans fled to in order to escape vampires. The forest covers an area of about seven-hundred miles and it is estimated that about three-thousand humans seek sanctuary there. Combing through the woods in search of that girl could take up to a year.
“I want your team out there tonight. Start combing the whole thing, and if you find the girl bring her here. Use whatever force necessary.”
“But sir!” David objected. “Combing Asylo Forest is an impossible task for a group of twenty vampires!”
“Don’t you think I know that!” I snapped at him. “I will start forming new troops tomorrow night. You can expect reinforcements in a few days. Now go get your team ready to head out.”
“Of course my prince,” David hurried back down the hall the way he came and I stepped back in my room.
I was no longer tired even though it was still day time. All I could think about was how close the EM could be right now. Instead of going back to sleep I ran to get dressed and shot out of my room heading down the hallway to my office.
As I was running down the hall, out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a maid yelp and jump back, dropping something out of her hands.
The guards at the door of my office, who were probably half-asleep, jolted to attention as I threw open the doors and ran inside. I dropped down in my red cushioned chair and grabbed a blank sheet of paper. I reached for a pen and started on the paperwork to organize more search parties for the EM.
When I opened my eyes I was lying on my back in a pale blue tent. I felt something warm curled up on my side. I turned my head to the right and discovered Maya asleep on my side, clutching what looked like a stuffed bunny rabbit.
I gently made my way out of the tent and out into the cool night air. It was about mid-December and it was really cold out. I always preferred winters to summers, when it was cold out you could always make a fire but during the summers you had to find a river if you wanted to cool down.
As my eyes adjusted to the night I noticed Logan sitting on his knees, mending a fire. He must have heard me come out of the tent because he turned to face me.
“Well, look who’s finally up,” Logan said and gestured me forward. I sat down beside him and he returned his gaze to the fire. “Maya and Zachary were freaking out when you passed out after doing...whatever you did in those woods.”
“Hmm, how long have I been out?” I asked him while looking into the fire.
“About four hours,” Logan answered then turned his gaze back to me. “If I ask you a question, will you answer it honestly?”
“I guess it depends on the question,” I said as honestly as I could.
“In the forest, when we were about to die. How did you do that...the lightning thing?”
“I really don’t know,” I said and heard him let out a grunt. “I am telling the truth. That only happened one other time and I thought I imagined it.”
“You summoned lightning before?” He asked in an astonished tone.
“Not exactly, it was more like a gust of wind.” I reached over to grab the journal that was next to my backpack on the outside of the tent Maya was in. “I just read out of this book and odd things seem to happen.” I was thumbing thru a few pages when Logan looked at me like I was insane.
“Did you hit your head when you fainted?” He asked with his voice dripping in sarcasm once again.
“What kind of question is that?”
“Anabella, that book is blank,” Logan said with all seriousness.
“Okay, are you sure you didn’t hit your head?” I said matching his sarcastic tone.
“I’m not kidding,” He turned his head to look me dead in the eyes. “That book is blank.”
“That’s impossible, it’s in a different language but it is definitely not blank.”
“No! It’s not blank!” I refused to believe a word he was saying. “Maya could read the book too!” I said remembering the conversation with her on the mountain when she went through my stuff. “She told me, she told me she could see the writing too!”
“What’s going on?” I turned around to see a sleepy Maya and Zachary crawl out of their tents. Zackary came out of a dark red tent on the opposite side of the camp.
“Maya, do you remember this book?” I turned around and asked.
“What do you see on these pages?” I asked her while flipping through the book.
“I don’t know,” Maya answered. “It’s in a weird language.”
“Maya?” Longan turned and looked at her confused. “That book doesn’t look blank to you?”
“No, why would it?” Maya asked while rubbing her eyes. “I woke up and Ella wasn’t there. Then I heard yelling outside and went to check it out.”
“Sorry for waking you two up,” Logan said to the kids.
“What about you Zackary?” I turned to the little boy and started to flip through the book again. “What do you see?”
“Nothing,” Zackary looked confused and tired. “I see nothing but tan pages. Can I go back to sleep now?”
“Of course, you both should,” Logan said to the kids and turned back to me. “Sweet dreams kiddos.”
“Sweet dreams,” The kids mumbled and retreated back into their separate tents.
“I told you it wasn’t blank!” I whispered-yelled to Logan as to not wake the kids again. “Maya could see it.”
“But Zackary couldn’t!” Logan whispered-yelled back. “How do you explain that?” When I didn’t answer Logan let out a sigh. “Look, let’s say I believe you and something weird is going on with this book. We don’t know why but for some reason only you and Maya can read it. You said it was in some kind of weird language?”
I nodded. “Yes, I never have seen it before. It’s definitely not in English and I know it’s not Greek or German. I have been trying to figure out what language it was written in for over five years. So far I came up with nothing.”
“Well cross French off the list as well,” Logan said, turning back to the fire that was starting to die down. “I speak fluent French and that little chant you said back in those woods, was definitely not it.”
“Four languages down, who knows how many more to go,” I said with a sigh. It felt so hopeless, there were thousands of languages out there and there is no way I could go through them all.
“You should head back to sleep. You passed out earlier today and you need to build back your energy.” Logan said and went to his feet. “Besides, I’m about to wake up Michael. It’s his turn to guard the camp while I sleep, and trust me. If you think I’m bad company, you don’t want to see Michael when he’s tired and cranky.”
I was feeling pretty tired so I decided to head back in the tent with Maya. The young girl was already asleep and I laid down next to her. As if sensing my body heat, she curled into my side and buried her head into my small chest. I drifted off to sleep with the child buried in my side.