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From Light Into Darkness
Prologue
By: DarkenAngel

She stepped out of her car and stared up at the ruin of a house she stood
before. At one time it must have been quite beautiful, when its balconies had
not been completely covered by ivy and the darkness did not show through the
windows with such an intensity. The stones that made up the exterior had turned
black with age when at one time they must have been a white that would blind the
eyes when gazed upon in the sunlight. Its grounds had not been tended for more
than a century, and she could imagine the grass well cut and roses growing under
the ground floor windows, their vines reaching up to grasp the wall. The entire
place was possessed of a deafening silence that would produce fear in the
superstitious, and it seemed to literally thicken the air so that she could
barely breathe.


She had inherited this house from a great, great, great something~or~other upon
his death. It was the estate of the McClear's, or it had been at one time. It
had been abandoned and left to ruin for years. It now belonged to her, Melanie
Andrews. She lived in America as an American, but she had recently been called
back to her roots in France upon the death of the one who had left her, a girl
he had never met, his inheritance. It had shocked Melanie when she had heard the
news, and had so aroused her curiosity that she had boarded a plane the very
next day, headed for Paris, where she met up with a distant cousin who took her
to the estate, a cousin that was hiding something, something that made one
willing to respect the girl, no matter what their age in relation to hers might
be.


They had spent the last two days together, or should she say nights? The girl
refused to go out into the sunlight, saying that she was very sensitive to the
light and by order of her physician she was not to venture outside during the
daylight hours. She would rise at night and come for Melanie, and they had spent
the nights going to clubs and Melanie had been introduced to a few of the girl's
strange friends, a woman with hair as red as flame and eyes as green as
emeralds, and a young girl, an albino, whose unusual pink eyes could spark a
nervousness in the person she looked at, for it seemed that the girl was seeing
into the soul, could grasp it even, and take the secrets from it. That was
foolishness, Melanie had told herself. She was just an eccentric child.
She heard the passenger door slam as her cousin got out of the car. Melanie
turned and gazed upon the girl who looked only about sixteen, but acted much
older, and was treated so by the people they had spent time with the past few
days. Melanie respected this girl as the others seemed to, though she was at
least ten years the girl's senior. She watched the girl who was named Christiana
Devens, walk up beside her and stare at the house with a faraway look in her
blue, blue eyes, as if remembering a time past. Melanie was silent as she gazed
upon features that were uncannily like her own. They had the same black hair,
though Christiana's was much more full and did not seem to bother her as much as
Melanie's did. Melanie pushed it back from her face and wondered yet another
time why she didn't just cut it off.


Their eyes were the same color, though Christiana's shone with a brightness
that Melanie envied. The one thing that differed between the two so drastically
that made the them seem like night and day was their personality. While Melanie
had a dark tan and seemed to radiate sunshine in her personality, the younger
girl was white-skinned, an unnatural white, and her personality was subdued, and
no emotion showed in her eyes. While Melanie was a very talkative person, the
girl beside her rarely spoke, and when she did her voice was so soft and
controlled that it unnerved her.


Melanie's thoughts were turned back to the neglected mansion before her when
Christiana spoke. "Are you going to go inside?"


Melanie looked at her. She did not even sound like a normal teenager. She spoke
with a girl's voice, but with a tone that seemed so much older. It was almost to
the point to where it frightened her. No teenager acted like this girl did.
Christiana looked at her and raised a defined eyebrow at her and she noticed
that she had been staring. "Uh . . .yeah, let's go inside." The two walked
toward the house over a path of crumbling stones. Melanie tripped over one and
stumbled, wondering why she had let the child talk her into coming at night,
regardless of what problems with the sunlight she had. She could have made her
wear shades. Then she wondered to herself if she really could have made the girl
do anything that she was not willing to be made to do.


They stopped at the door and Melanie turned the doorknob and pushed, but the
door didn't budge. She cursed softly and said, "It's locked."


Christiana brushed her aside and took hold of the doorknob, closing her eyes for
a moment and then smiled at Melanie. "It's unlocked."


"But . . ." Melanie started, but she stopped as the door swung open, with the
squealing of protesting hinges. "How did you . . ." she trailed off when she
realized the girl had already went inside, unmindful of her. Melanie followed
her. She sneezed in the dust that had been disturbed by her footsteps that had
previously been undisturbed for centuries. She reached in her coat pocket and
pulled out a flashlight, turning it on.


She was amazed to see that Christiana was walking along, avoiding sheet~covered
furniture so easily that it seemed as though she was well accustomed to walking
in the dark, or this particular house. Melanie followed her, staring at the
ancient things of a century long gone as she walked. She followed Christiana up
the main staircase, only half aware that she was doing so, that was how
enraptured she was becoming with the things around her, the things she could
have restored, the antiques that would make her a millionaire after the house
was brought back to its beautiful state.


Melanie lost all track of time as she imagined what the house must have looked
like in its prime. She could almost see the hallway she now walked, lit by
candlelight in the past, the carpets whole and complete instead of marred with
holes caused by moths. She could almost hear the laughter of women dressed in
eighteenth century attire and the rustles of the stiff materials that were
fashionable then as they headed to their rooms after a night of dancing and
festivities. She could almost smell rose water and perfume coming from one of
the rooms. Then the vision vanished before her eyes as she saw Christiana turn
abruptly and go inside a room that seemed to Melanie to appear no different than
the others they had passed. She went in as well.


Christiana recognized the room immediately, and after a simple trick of the
mind, she had the locked door opening for her. She went inside and smiled with
recognition. She wrenched the sheets from the writing table and the other
furniture, the dust making the companion sneeze from what had no effect of
Christiana. She moved to the next room and looked upon the bedroom of blood red,
gold, and white. Her shoes made no sound on the marble floor as she moved to the
bed and sat down, not caring that her black clothes now bore the marks of years
of dirt and dust that rose from the velvet covering.


She gazed at the ceiling above the bed. "Why, it is made of mirrors! How
fascinating." she heard the woman Melanie exclaim, coming to stand beside her.
"Yes, it is fascinating." Christiana answered, and it seemed to Melanie that
the girl's smile was one of recognition, which could not rightly be. Christiana
rose from the bed and began to walk around the room. Suddenly, as she neared the
window, she stopped and bent down to pick an object from the floor. Melanie came
up behind her, her curiosity once more getting the best of her.


Christiana ignored the woman Melanie completely now. She was engulfed in
memories. She blew the dust from the cover of the book she was holding and
traced the golden letters that had been engraved in the leather. 'The Diary of
Christine Devereaux'. She opened the cover and read the inscription written on
the inside. 'To my beloved. May she be forever, and may forever embrace her and
protect her from time itself. May her immortality shine and guide her through
this time and the times to come. May this angel's beauty never fade. Eternal
love, Alexander McClear.' She whispered the words aloud, remembering when she
had been presented this gift.


Melanie was held spellbound by the sight before her. Christiana's expression
had changed, and a youthfulness and wonder had appeared in her face that had not
been there before. Her voice lost its ancient quality, though it was still soft
and Melanie had to strain in order to hear the words. For Christiana had sat
upon the floor holding the ancient diary and was staring at it with fondness and
love. She looked at Melanie and smiled a warm smile, the first she had seen upon
the girl's lips.


"I am going to tell you a story, Melanie, and when it is complete, everything
will be clear to you." she said. Christiana smiled to herself. I am going to
tell you a story. You could say that. I am going to tell you the story of my
life, say it as it has been written on these fragile pages so long ago. I am
going to tell you of this Alexander McClear and the life that resulted from
loving him, the one that still exists. She thought.


Melanie watched in awe as Christiana turned a page in the diary carefully and
began to read, her voice still changed, so that she sounded like the young girl
who had written the entries, instead of the mysterious one that she had come to
know in the past few days. She gazed down at the pale face and blue eyes framed
by raven hair and recalled the strange things she had noticed about the girl and
began to wonder, What if . . .


Christiana paused for a moment, merely gazing at the familiar, old~fashioned
script before her, and then softly, she began to read aloud to Melanie, her
voice and features changing as she returned to that time so long ago, when her
innocence had been a thing she almost took for granted, when danger and love had
been things she only dreamed of.


"October, 1727 I walked that night . . ." her voice spoke through the quiet in
the room to the woman who did not really know anything about her. How could she
know that sixteen~year~old Christiana Devens had once been fifteen~year~old
Christine Devereaux in an era that had been completely forgotten by many people
of this age except for museums and tours through the preserved homes of the
aristocracy whose lineage had been as well~kept as the mansions they made their
live's inheritance off of? How could Melanie know that she was distantly related
to a creature whose life had been sustained for over 250 years? How could she
know that she was related to someone that was as immortal as the inscription on
the inside cover of her diary described?

On to Chapter One



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