The Unseen

The Unseen by Hines Read Free Book Online

Book: The Unseen by Hines Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hines
Tags: Ebook, book
in moisture at one time and never really dried.
    Lucas went to the phone first. He pressed the caller ID and looked for numbers that appeared more than once. He wrote those numbers down, then pressed the answering machine button to play saved messages. Two messages were of the “Hey, give me a call” variety, but the third sounded interesting.
    A woman’s voice: “Hi, Donavan, just wanted to talk to you about Howard, wondering if you found anything interesting. Call me when you get a chance.”
    Was it Sarea’s voice? He played the message again. No, it didn’t quite sound like her, but he couldn’t rule it out.
    He took out the receipt Sarea had given him, looked at the number, scrolled through all the caller ID numbers again. No matches.
    That made him feel a bit better.
    Okay, enough of this. He needed to get ready for Donavan’s return.
    He went down the hallway and checked out both the bedrooms and the bathroom. One bedroom, which was obviously Donavan’s, had a running computer on a Kmart Blue Light Special desk. He moved the mouse. No open documents or applications. He looked under recent documents, found a list of addresses. Those might be important, but he didn’t have time to copy them right now. Instead, he let his eyes flick over the list, committing the names to memory.
    He opened the Firefox browser to check recent pages loaded into the cache. Donavan’s MySpace page, a couple other blogs, forums at infiltration.org . . . and something called the Creep Club.
    He scrolled to the Creep Club page and let it load. A username and password came up. Unfortunately, Donavan didn’t have the autofill feature turned on. Lucas could change that, turn on the autofill, and capture Donavan’s username and password. But Donavan seemed like something of a computer geek and would likely notice. Lucas had other ways of finding that information.
    After closing the active browser window, he explored the closet. Dropped acoustic tile ceiling in here as well—no surprise, as that was the cheapest ceiling to install.
    Inside the closet, he pushed aside one of the tiles, clicked on his flashlight, and shined it above the ceiling.
    Donavan lived on the top floor of the apartment building, so wooden ceiling joists and particleboard were hidden above the tiles. Good. Wood was faster to work with than concrete.
    Lucas stood on a chair he retrieved from the dining room and slid aside the ceiling tile directly above Donavan’s desk. He took out his tools and started working.
    Half an hour later, with the chair safely returned to the dining room, Lucas was cocooned in another webbed hammock, hanging directly over Donavan’s desk with a clear view of the screen through a pinhole in the tile.
    He went still, silent, listening as his heart rate slowed.
    Now all he had to do was wait.
    But sometimes, waiting brought unwanted memories. Memories of who he once was, who he once wasn’t. He thought of the orphanage, which had nursed his early inclination for infiltrating because of his bedroom near the window in the converted attic. He remembered the many long nights, after being sent to bed; opening the window, crawling onto the roof, and listening to the sounds of dogs barking and cars humming. Most of all, watching the lights of the city—just across the Potomac, yet also across the universe.
    Even then, so many years ago, the demonic mnemonic, wherever it had come from, had haunted him: Humpty Dumpty had some great falls. Even on the nights when he lay out on the roof of the building, his arms splayed behind his head, his subconscious would eventually take over as he dozed, repeating the maddening, yet somehow comforting, phrase. He didn’t know why. He only knew that he couldn’t scrub it from his head, no matter what he tried.
    Even his dreams were filled with the demonic mnemonic. Not images of the nursery rhyme character, but of the words themselves. They floated

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