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Author's Chapter Notes:
Nick and AJ finally find the book they are looking for but they discover another problem with it.
Nick and AJ hastily searched the study room looking for the Libri Vitae.

“It’s gotta be here somewhere!” Nick cried out in frustration when he didn’t find anything.

He and AJ checked all the books in the study room but didn’t find the Libre Vitae anywhere.

“We've checked all the books! It’s not here. We’re not gonna make it. It’s…it’s too late,” AJ said, getting frustrated and worried that their friends will remain as they are forever.

Nick grabbed Dr. Jack L. Hyde’s journal off the desk and began to flip through the pages to see if the scientist had left any clues as to where the Libri Vitae was kept.

“I found it!” Nick said, in relief.

“The Libri Vitae?” AJ asked, as he looked up from the bookshelf.

Nick shook his head. “I found a clue to where the scientist kept it. It’s in the dungeon.”

AJ grabbed his flashlight and headed out the door.

“I know where that is. Me and Brian went down there earlier. We gotta hurry, we don’t have much time left!”

Nick didn’t argue with AJ as he grabbed his flashlight and followed AJ out of the study room and down the stairs to the dungeon.

They got to the hallway leading up to the door of the dungeon and crept slowly toward it, making sure that no one was guarding the door. To the right of them was the small foyer that kept a black coffin propped up next to the wall.

“Someone sure is obsessed with the dead,” Nick commented as they walked past the foyer. AJ shushed him as they continued toward the door.

AJ reached out to pull on the handle of the door when they hear a creak behind them. Instinctively, they turned around to see where it came from and found that the source came from the black coffin. The coffin opened and Vampire Howie who was in a resting state, came out of it and saw them. His violet eyes went dark red and he leaped out of his coffin and hissed at them baring his long fangs.

AJ and Nick stood frozen and couldn’t do anything except scream. AJ and Nick struggled to open the door to the dungeon as they watched Vampire Howie run toward them.

Still screaming, they finally were able to open the door and jumped through it closing the door behind them. They held the door shut as they felt Vampire Howie’s body collide with the door as Howie tried to break the door down. Nick finally placed the bar to lock the door as he and AJ stood by to catch their breath.

“That was close,” AJ said.

“Hurry, let’s find that book before it’s too late,” Nick urged, as he started down the spiral staircase that led to the dungeon.

They finally reached the bottom of the staircase. AJ led the way first as he made his way into the dungeon and Nick followed closely behind him. The torture devices and other artifacts were still scattered on the floor. Nick shined his flashlight onto the floor looking for the Libri Vitae as he also examined the torture devices.

AJ looked up and noticed the sarcophagus that was propped up against the wall was slightly open. His heartbeat pounded in his ears, as he reached up to pull the lid off the sarcophagus. Taking a deep breath, he opened the sarcophagus wider, half expecting something to jump out. He took a step back but found that the sarcophagus was empty, except for a silver book that lay inside it. His pulse increased as he picked it up and was surprised by how heavy it was.

“Hey Nick I found it!” he called out.

Startled, Nick nearly jumped a foot in the air as he was examining the iron maiden and the bed of nails on the floor. He scowled at AJ but felt relieved to have finally found the Libri Vitae.

“Wait, there’s problem,” AJ said as he examined the book.

“Now what?” Nick asked impatiently.

“We need a key to open this thing,” said AJ, showing Nick an engraved star on the front of the book where a key should fit.

“This is just great!” Nick said, throwing his hands up dramatically. “So where do we find this key now?”

AJ looked inside the sarcophagus but it was empty. He let out an exasperated sigh.

“Wait, I have the scientist’s journal here in my backpack,” Nick said, taking it out. He frantically flipped through the pages of the journal.

“Here, it says that the key is buried with Isabella outside in her grave,” Nick informed.

“We have to go outside and dig up someone’s grave?” AJ said, dreading what was to come. “This night just keeps getting better and better!”

“I’ll say. If it wasn’t for this whole curse thing and our friends doomed to evil for eternity and all, I might actually enjoy this.”

AJ rolled his eyes at the younger man’s comment.

“Well, at least the storm has stopped,” AJ said, checking his watch. “Come on, we are running out of time.”
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