chapter 1

The bow's string went taut when she heard soft footsteps, not of a human. An animal surfaced from the trees around her. It was a large dog, her dog. Her unofficial pet dog. It was a midnight black with a white underbelly and a white muzzle, a true daughter of the night. The woman knelt down and spoke lovingly. "Hey, little girlie. Wait, that wouldn't be true, would it? You're quite big, aren't you, lil girl?"

The dog answered with a bark and jumped up slightly to lick the woman's face. She wasn't really a woman, though, more like a girl. She looked about twenty four. Her lovely dark red hair, almost the color of blood, fell past her shoulder. She had brown exotic eyes with silvery specks and an honest face. She was slender, but obviously strong. And still very pretty. The dog barked again and sat down on its rear end, tail wagging and tongue panting.

Dammit. What was up with so many fucking dreams? Especially now. When she was younger, they came only at night, only once in a while. Sometimes they went on for days, but now, they came to her whenever. Even as she was riding her bike to class. Her favorite class to be exact, Egyptology. Not that she planning to go dig near Cairo or anything, but the teacher was an awesome lady whom she had come to know through her grandmother.

No, she wanted to be a famous archaeologist and go dig in California, where she believed that her ancestors originated from. She didn't have any tangible evidence, but she did have her dreams, her intuition, and the stories her grandmother had told her. She knew that the girl of whom she always dreamt was whom she was descended from. She knew that this beautiful girl had lived thousands of years ago and had some important position. The two things she worried about were how and when she would find work where she wanted.

There were three obvious physical differences between the two girls: the dream girl had brown instead of green eyes (same silvery specks), darker skin, and a different name. But from afar, they could have been twins. The dream girl's name was Akira, and the girl on the bike's name was Carrie. Similar, yet different.

Carrie's grandmother was named Akira. Her mother had thought that her lovely baby girl would be the one who would be the legendary female's reincarnation. They had the very same eyes. But Akira knew as she grew up that she wasn't the one. It didn't disappoint her. In fact, it gave her an enigmatic drive to do all she wanted in her life. When Carrie came along, Akira knew. She trained her granddaughter accordingly and thought that Carrie unknowingly carried out her position beautifully. She would rise to great heights, that darling little child.

Finally Carrie reached the room. She walked her bike forward and looked at her teacher's brown, wooden door, different from most of the other generic doors on campus. It had a small silver plaque in the middle that said, "Dr. Kate Williams, Ph.D." There were Egyptian hieroglyphs at the top, for after all, she was an Egyptology teacher. They masterfully blended into beautiful, elegant runes that were strangely familiar. The door looked like a work of M. C. Escher. Carrie looked closely at the letters at the bottom and touched them, tracing the lines and dots with her finger and unconsciously sounding out something she did not know.

Should you decide to take a chance and enter unbidden, you will not surface alive. You will never see the light of daylight again. You will die a horrible, horrible death. It made a gruesome sense. But how? She didn't even know the language...

Suddenly the door jerked open. Carrie jumped back, dropping her bike. She sighed with relief. It was only Professor Williams. "Carrie?"

"Yes, professor?"

"Where did you learn that?"

"Learn what?"

"What you just said before I opened the door."

"I don't know."

"Are you sure?" The professor gave Carrie a searching look.

"Yes, m'am."

"Well, never say that again," the professor said as she began to turn around, providing no explanations.

"I know." How did I know? Carrie thought to herself.

Professor Williams turned around sharply. "What?"

"I know, I think. I knew before you told me." Silence ensued. "But I don't know how I knew..." Carrie attempted to add in a small voice.

Professor Williams looked at Carrie strangely for a moment, then turned and said, "Anyways, come on in. Oh, and don't forget your bike."

"Um, okay," Carrie whispered after the professor had disappeared behind her magnificent, mysterious door. She walked into the large classroom.