I float in limbo, waiting to see if my story, A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words is about to be published. In truth, I don’t see that story as belonging to me. It’s hers, the lost tale of Elizabeth Hartford, this missing epilogue of her death. I, Westerleigh Hartford am simply acting as her instrument in this drama.
All of my life, I’ve dreamed of what I’m doing, of living at Hartford Hall, of gazing at the original portrait of the lady of the house done by Judith Cross.
Elizabeth’s likeness captured her soul, keeping it here, even while her immortal body continues on elsewhere.
Oh, yes. Great women make great mistakes. My ancestor is no exception. Now she needs me, her mortal descendant and heiress to correct that mistake.
I’ll do what I can to help even though I’m not the Hartford heiress anyone thinks I am. I disguised myself as a girl with my friend Yuri’s help. I presented myself to Fiona Hartford, the current caretaker of Hartford Hall in lace and skirts, persuading her I was that heiress.
I meant no harm. All I wanted to do was visit Hartford Hall and see the original portrait of Elizabeth. To wander through the room she was once lived in, to see what remains of the work my ancestor began.
In doing so, I found myself involved with something far more sinister than I ever imagined. Worst of all, my idol was far smaller and pettier than I’d hoped.
I’m still going to help. Like I said, I presented myself as the Hartford heiress. I might as well act like one. I’ll find Elizabeth’s body before it claims more victims. For even though her soul no longer inhabits it, that body continues to move and seek human blood. Particularly Yuri’s.
I have to stop it before it claims my friend. Stop her.
It’s my duty as a Hartford and the protector of Elizabeth’s legacy. More importantly, it’s my duty to Yuri who sent me to Hartford Hall despite many misgivings.
I won’t let this mistake continue. I will stop it before it claims more lives.