It’d been a family heirloom, the dusty book bound in worn animal flesh. She’d always been fascinated by the stones on the cover. Both a journal and an encyclopedia of sorts, it was among the things willed to her by her late uncle.
Vincent Draconis, renowned paleontologist had been keeping a secret. Though he had built his name and his fortune on the research and study of bugs and fossils they’d only funded his true passion.
He’d spent all of his youth and most of his elderly years pursuing and recording the few lasting breeds of an ancient creature. He’d stumbled on the existence of dragons. At first he needed proof that they’d really existed, he was sure the findings would make him famous.
Vincent had bee contacted by a secret order, sworn to protect the magical beings. At the height of their existence they were beings of untold power, every piece of their bodies could be used in potent spells. The dragons were almost hunted into extinction.
As a girl Erin had remembered going on many adventures with her uncle but none to explain this revelation. She’d seen him hunched over the book often, furrowed brow scribbling frantically while mumbling into a tape recorder. These moments she wandered the corridors of his mansion.
She’d been fourteen when she’d come to stay with her father’s brother; after a house fire claimed her remaining parent. Erin had lived through several tragedies at once for such a young age. Her mother weakened from the stress of childbirth gave her life so she could survive. At thirty – five Evan Draconis would fumble through her early years. They’d survived unscathed when Vincent fresh from college came to stay the first time. He’d become infatuated with fossils and decided to travel the world to study them. Her earliest memories were of his beard and backpack.
The backpack lay abandoned in the corner of the office now. his desk was still cluttered with maps and charts. He’d been planning to go somewhere prior to his stroke. Vincent was always full of life but he was a man of terrible health. In between meals he enjoyed copious amounts of liquor and fat. He was beloved, but had grown plump and slightly senile in his later years. The imminent stroke that claimed him was of no surprise; though it was heartbreaking just the same.
A knock at the door relinquished her from her thoughts.
The attorney had brought a flash drive she was to view alone and only after agreeing to the task on the drive. She’d signed her name and received a box promised to have everything she’d need for her new life. The lawyer shook hands and departed.
Everyone else had gone home.
She decided to watch the drive.