The Unseen

The Unseen by James McKenna Read Free Book Online

Book: The Unseen by James McKenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: James McKenna
Tags: Fiction, General, Suspense, Thrillers, Mystery & Detective, Crime
    Crystal, I shall get cross if you say such foolish things. Katherine again glanced across the convent library, fearful the silent words might leap from the screen and shout deceitful presence. She took comfort from Bridget and Teresa, both bright eyed and industrious, their fingers tapping over keyboards, pale skin reflecting the light of Holy Scriptures. Katherine hoped the same light reflected on her own countenance. By the window, Sister Beatrice snoozed in the glow of a warm Irish sun. Katherine’s attention returned to the Internet and the PKL website. Crystal’s answer had appeared.

    You are only the fourth female to reach level ten. How do you feel?
    Sensing pride and ignoring her guilt, Katherine typed expertly. Unbelievably happy, like I’ve completed a marathon . She glanced across at the nun who shifted in her chair, fingers laced over ample belly. But I am perplexed and cross. When I finally reached the Garden of Serenity, the gates opened and in their centre words were flashing repeatedly. I only saw them because there were no moving graphics. I could not decipher them at first as they flashed so fast. But when I concentrated long enough, they became clear. Buy PKL shares. Ever since I started PKL I’ve wanted to buy shares, but I have no money. Has this message always been there? Why should I buy PKL shares?

    The return words appeared almost instantly. They should have read – you have won PKL shares. They are part of your prize.
    I don’t understand. What prize? Katherine looked fleetingly to the room fearing someone might see the small elfin figure sitting in the corner of her monitor.

    To reach the Garden of Serenity means you have extraordinary concentration and skill. Download the final episode to flash drive. It will contain instructions to claim your prize. You must have your photo taken. You have only one more test.

    Katherine slumped. There was always another test. Since downloading the first game a year ago she had spent hundreds of nocturnal hours battling the enemies of Princess Kay-ling. PKL had become like a spiritual drug. She didn’t really want to do it, she shouldn’t do it. But, something compelled her. She was hooked, she knew it. Staring at the screen, she tried to reconcile her faith and her unfathomable obsession to win. She had blamed innocence and lack of knowledge. But now she was uncertain. Could flashing images affect the mind? She realised something fundamental had shifted in the structure of her subconscious. During past weeks, Princess Kay-ling had stayed in her thoughts day and night. During prayers, during mass, through tutorial and calligraphy practice to devotions and evening prayers. Each night she could not wait to resume the game. Crystal had materialised from nowhere the moment Katherine had first entered her e-mail address, enabling her to download PKL for free. He came as a tiny elfin figure with gossamer costume. Always he appeared over the edge of a buddy-box or lounging round the screen. Should she believe him?

    Are you a virus? She had typed.

    I’m from the game. I’m part of the game. I am Crystal, companion and messenger to Princess Kay-ling. But I am also your mentor and servant, Katherine . When you downloaded level one you passed back your e-mail address and I was assigned to you. I came with the file. When you emailed your picture, I knew how you looked. On level two you filled in details for your combat clearance. Age, height, gender, occupation, clothes’ size, remember? I thought we were old friends

    Katherine managed a smiled. Very clever to play on my emotions. Do you promise me what I saw was a genuine mistake? Should I report it?
    You have, to me. Now I know your concerns I’ll be able to deal with them. I have sent you the last episode of Kay-ling’s battle. This will overwrite your last download.

    What about all the other copies I have? I can’t play on the library computer so I take them to my

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