Parallel

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Prologue

 A great person once said what is lost is lost forever. However what is created cannot ever be destroyed and what is lost can always be found. So this is the moral of this story.

 In an old cottage near the sea lived an old woman. Nobody really knew what age she was but she was said to have lost her husband many years ago. She lived the last 30 years of her life alone. No children and perhaps she was too closed to seek another man for herself. Either way, the locals called her the “lady of the forest”. Some say its because of the fact that she lived in the forest while others believed its because she was mostly seen collecting herbs and looking after the local wildlife that had gone into disarray after a new building scheme was introduced.

 Each day seemed to pass the same way as the last day, and 30 years seemed more like a breath than a life. But there would be one day in her life that would change her life forever. For better or for worse? I leave you to make that decision.

It was a miserable Friday evening. She had not expected anyone to visit her and was far more interested in reading an old, battered, coffee - stained book than recieving visitors.

 About half an hour into her book there was a knock on the door. Fuming, she got up to answer it. If it was something stupid like someone asking her to do their fortune again using intricate cards she would be annoyed, she was just on the part of the book that was most interesting.

 “Good evening” a young man greeted her happily at her door.

“Yes?” she asked frustrated and cconfused. No one ever visited her after that event. No, she musn't think of the past.

 “I have a letter for you, I think its urgent so be sure to reply straight away” the young man said enthusiastically. She gritted her teeth, the man's bounce was driving her mad. Why couldn't he just leave?

 She closed shut the door, grabbing the letter before he could say anything else.

The old woman glanced at the letter in her hand, more interested in reading her book . The letter was which was probably nothing more than a request for her presence at yet another school evening to help out the kids at their local community fair. She had had enough of this for the past 30 years. Yet the letter intrigued her. It was in an unusual envelope. And it had an emblem on the back that she did not recognise. It was wonderfully…..she could not pick a word  unusual, intriguing, weird, luring….not even that.

 Dear resident,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to take place in a special programme. You may have heard that our professor is looking for candidates to try out a new game that he is running. This will  offer a far wider experience than most games and we hope you will enjoy this. We are certain that you will attend, when we give you details of our incredible rewards. 

 Please see attached directions from your residence.

East Lab facilities.

 Faculty of computing.

 AKR

 There was no signature. Or a proper name. But she did have nothing better to do. Plus she was always intrigued how the locals wasted their life….

*****

 “Welcome to the faculty of computing, now please take a seat, ladies and gentlemen” an old professor greeted the arrivals inside his lab facilities. After the audience had shuffled into their seats, he continued speaking in his nasal voice. “We welcome you. Im greateful for your response to my new project. Today you will get a chance to try it out.” He looked around, his eyes settling on the woman and lingering. She felt obliged to introduce herself.

  “My name is-“

“I know everybodys' names miss, it's not necessary to introduce yourself”  He cut her off and walked off so quickly she was left with her mouth hanging open. “Take the hand of the person next to you, yes both sides. Now hear this rhyme and close your eyes.”

The woman tensed but obeyed, unsure as to what was about to happen.

 "Open up  your mind.

Something you have lost forever,

that you thought would never

come back to you.

 Truly?

 Lost, lost afar

 Further than any star

Or planet

Get a chance to connect

 And now you will get

 Chance to see them again

 Though anger and pain

 Journey into MY game…"

And with those words she blacked out….

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