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Welcome to the world of Occultopia, a place where reality meets virtual reality, follow David into a world he didn't believe to be real...until now - enter if you dare David felt sure he had everything he wanted until the night he took his fiancée out for their anniversary. For the first time everything seemed to be going right for him until Anna disappeared in the middle of a crowded theatre. Follow David through the clues left by a man he barely knows but who seems to know him as he races against time to rescue her. 48 Hours and a series or clues all with one thing in common - what would you do? Welcome to Occultopia

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Chapter One

Tapping idly on his mouse David gazed bleary eyed at the monitor in front of him. He had never intended for the site he was on to become such a fascination but somehow it had grown on him. As usual he had a number of chats and group rooms available and he was still comfortably keeping up with the conversations in all of them.

Peering down the list of friends he had made since subscribing he found himself wondering what these people were like in reality. Some of the people on his list used the forums to recreate role plays that they had invented and although he didn’t participate he watched them. The way they referred to themselves in a third person was almost hypnotic as their sentences streamed out creating stories.

In a way he knew it was strange referring to a person that he only knew by their alias as his friend but that seemed to be the protocol. The way the subscribers made up stories to suit the topic of the room they were in had made him question a lot of the information they said was real. At first he had been vocal with his questioning but after the first couple of overly aggressive confrontations he had chosen to keep his doubts to himself.

From the moment he found this site David had decided that he wasn’t going to become too familiar with theses acquaintances who liked to be classed as friends. He had exchanged a few details with them about his day to day life including his recent engagement but had no intention of actually meeting any of them.

Every time he mentioned living in England he had been asked if he knew a person in a town. At first he had pointed out the size of England and that the odds of him knowing a random individual were minimal. It didn’t take him long to realize that the people he was associating with didn’t like the obvious being pointed out.

Some of them had made reference to meeting if he was ever in their area; even though he had a curiosity about the people behind the alias a trip to America seemed too far just to confirm his suspicions. Even if he had wanted to go it would take a lot of explaining to convince Anna that he actually knew these people she was oblivious to.

Glancing over to the wall behind his monitor he cringed as he realised that once again his half hours release from daily life had stretched way into the early hours. Anna, his fiancée had disappeared hours earlier commenting on a head ache that it was clear had been affecting her for most of the day. She wasn’t one to make too much fuss over trivial things and he had taken her for her word when she had told him to take his time coming to bed.

He could clearly remember how they had first got together and still considered it a miracle that it had ever happened. He had gazed at her from afar for a long time and always considered her as the type of girl that was in a comfortable relationship. He could picture the man that he expected her to want to be with even if she was single he didn’t fit the description. Several times he had gone over to the florists that’s she worked in on a false quest just for the chance to pass the time of day with her.

After a lot of convincing he had reluctantly decided to go to a singles night at the local community hall and that’s was the first time he had seen her outside work. He spotted her as he entered the hall picking at one of the floral displays and decided she must be there on a work contract. Casually he had walked up to her commenting on how nice the flowers were and asking her how long it had taken her to create such a display.

Politely she giggled as she heard his voice recognising him as the guy that enquired but never bought anything in her shop. Struggling to keep a straight face she had corrected his assumption and told him that she was there socially not for work. She had almost felt sorry for him as he tripped over his own words trying to correct himself. She grabbed his arm sympathetically as she could see how easy it was to make such a mistake and asked him to join her at a table.

Neither of them was willing to admit it but they had both avoided other people’s attempts to join their conversation for the remainder of the night. One topic seemed to flow into the next until it was time to go home and he had offered to escort her home. She had looked at him innocently knowing that he meant nothing by his gesture but declined. Clumsily she explained that her mother was picking her up as she tried to find some way to give him her number or take his without seeming desperate.

It had taken him two days to work out what he was going to do but eventually David had gone back to the florists. He clearly remembered the piece of paper he had given her and wondered if he had written his number down wrong. Eventually it had been curiosity that convinced him to return to the florist in an attempt to find out what had happened.

Anna had greeted him with a professional but friendly manner and he had returned her gesture as he approached the counter. Covering the fact she hadn’t contacted him she told him she hadn’t known what to say but had wanted to contact him. David felt his face flush with redness as he acknowledged her and enquired about the range of small bunches of flowers and how much they cost.

At first his enquiry surprised her, he had always asked about flowers but never in such detail before. She was even more surprised when he decided to create his own bunch using her recommendations and produced money. She knew it was none of her business when he mentioned they were for a girl he liked and tried to hide her sadness.

It almost felt like he was rubbing the fact she had missed her opportunity in her face but she knew that this was his nearest florist. Keeping a professional approach she asked him to give her an hour before returning and watched him walk out the door. Dutifully she arranged the bunch in the exact way he had requested while trying to imagine the girl they might be going to. If only she had followed her instinct after their meeting she felt sure she wouldn’t be preparing this flower arrangement.

She watched from the counter as he walked back in an hour later ready to collect his order. With a calm expression he handed over the money and took the flowers thanking her and turning to walk away. She was ready to turn and get on with her next job when she saw him pause and turn back to the counter.

She knew she had follower his instructions to the letter so she was confident there was nothing wrong with the bunch. She watched as he walked slowly back up to the counter wondering what was wrong. Somehow he managed to remain pokerfaced as her calmly returned the flowers to her inviting her to dinner. She knew her face had lit up as he asked the question but she didn’t care and almost jumped over the counter in delight as she accepted his invitation.

David stretched his arms out feeling the muscles in his shoulders crack ad he watched the computer turning itself off. He knew that he didn’t need to stand there monitoring its actions but it was a habit he had adopted through his work. When he was satisfied that it was safe he silently made his way up the stairs to the bedroom.

Without turning a light on he made his way over toward the bed where he could see Anna silhouetted against the discrete light that crept through the curtain. He felt relieved that she seemed to have settled into slumber after her comments about headaches. Carefully he crept his way across the floor sitting softly on the bed as he disrobed.

He glanced over his shoulder as he heard a murmur and watched her turn to face him without her eyes opening. He knew that whether she was conscious of it or not she had just told him that she knew he was nearby. Slipping under the covers he lay next to her closing his eyes as he felt her hand drift casually across his chest.

A subtle alarm on his phone reminded David that his work day was due to begin no matter how sleep deprived his body was. He peered over at Anna who had barely moved from her position and was still enjoying a full nights rest. Edging out of the bed he grabbed his clothes and made his way to the bathroom to prepare for work.

His latest contract kept him occupied for most of the day usually and although the pay was lower than he was used to it was regular. Thankfully the office he was due to be in for most of the day opened an hour before most of the places in town. Even though his body ached from sleep deprivation he knew that an early start was the best way he could get home in good time for the evening he had planned.

Driving through town he acknowledged to himself that the streets were notably quieter due to his hour’s advantage. He had been offered the opportunity to get a head start on the other workers several times but had always declined. There was something special about the few stolen minutes he shared with Anna before work that made the rat race worthwhile. Even the little conversations about nothing as they made their way through a bowl of cereal made the day ahead feel less painful.

He was already settled into the reports that he was obliged to run daily when his phone buzzed against the desk. He glanced down at it seeing that he had a message waiting for him from Anna. Smiling he opened the message and saw a sweet message reminding him not to be late home and wishing him a good morning.

Since they had got together texting had become an integral part of their day to day life. Anna would send him messages anything no matter how trivial it seemed as if she just wanted to remind him she was thinking of him. It warmed his heart to have someone showing him such constant attention even if it did distract him from his work.

A second message arrived within seconds of him responding, this time confirming that she had the day off she had requested. Mrs Appleton who owned the florist where Anna worked had been thrilled by the announcement of them dating. She had watched discretely as Anna had made small talk with him every time he walked in to buy nothing. She knew David but only from his reputation as a computer technician and could see how happy he made Anna. When she had asked for her first weekend day off in two years it had almost seemed like a crime to even contemplate refusing her.

Satisfied that everything was going according to plan David slipped the phone into his pocket and reviewed the latest report. There was nothing new that was going to occupy his mind beyond lunch time but he knew he would just have to endure the day and try to remain busy. By the time the office was starting to fill with people he had already carried out a number of jobs that would usually take him hours. Even though starting early had seemed like a good idea at the time he could already see a long and uneventful day ahead.

Self-employment hadn’t been his first choice and in many ways it hadn’t been his choice at all but since he had taken the leap he now found it enjoyable. He had been dating Anna only a few months when he had been laid off by a company that quickly went into liquidation. She had been quick to mention the idea of working for himself and after only a few days he had started preparing his new business.

Even though David preferred to work with people on an individual basis he had found it important to take on the bigger contracts. All his family and the few people he regarded as friends had wished him well when he decided to go freelance. Very quickly he had realised that friends good will and recommendations that they made were not going to create a full time job. In a way the lack of repeat business was a compliment to his abilities as a technician but that didn’t help him financially.

After six months of trying to improve his business with marketing the nest egg he had set the business up on was quickly dwindling. Local newspapers had offered him all kinds of support including a small article but even that hadn’t really increased his income. He was about to give up and turn back to the dole queue his previous employers had put him in when he got approached by a large company.

The idea of being made redundant after just less than two years of consistent work had infuriated him at first. He wanted to lash out and appeal against their decision knowing that they had tactfully done it to prevent paying him redundancy money. The more he considered his options the clearer it became that he had no choice but to accept their fate and move on.

The contract they had offered him at first wasn’t ideal, it only held vague reference to the job he was qualified to do. It also involved long tiring days on the road but it did pay a regular income and that was important ad his finances were dwindling. David took it on as a quick option to bring in money and after a few weeks found he was being approached for other contracts.

The more he accepted short contracts that he felt didn’t tax his knowledge of computers the more frustrated he felt. The alternative was too concede to defeat and look for a full time job and although he knew there were opportunities available he felt like he would be letting Anna down. It was her that had referred the first few people to him and her that had kept encouraging him to keep going.

Nobody knew him the same way she did, she knew everything about him including how little he had to put towards developing the business. Even with the considerably lower wage that she earned somehow she had managed to keep the bills paid while he set up. Regardless of all the factors she had remained his biggest supporter and eventually it had paid off with the contract he was now completing.

Feeling the phone vibrate against his leg David peered around the office before pulling it out of his pocket. The manager had never said anything about him taking calls at work but he knew that others didn’t have the same phone privileges he enjoyed. He glanced casually down at the screen acknowledging that it was another message from Anna.

Glancing at the clock he knew that she was coming toward the end of her working day. They had timed their journeys home to allow her to have the extra time she would request to get ready for their night out. The six people around him on the shared desk all seemed to be occupied in their own transactions.

Desk partitions separated the large desk into sections allowing each of them an element of privacy. The partitions were high enough to stop the person in the next area from peering at the screen but low enough to let them lean over if they needed to. David had frequently seen open meetings conducted between two or three of the workers who didn’t seem to care who overheard their discussion.

He noted that this message wasn’t just a text and glanced round himself again like a school child trying to get away with something he shouldn’t be doing. Covering the phone from being seen by anyone who decided to pop over the top of his partitions he casually opened the message. Shock ran through his body as he nearly dropped the phone unprepared for what had been sent.

Anna was quite clearly standing in a bathroom which he presumed was at work when she had taken the picture. He could see the tiled walls around her and the mirror that she had used to facilitate the angle she needed. Even though he knew she had an adventurous side he was certain she wouldn’t be as daring in a public bathroom.

Calming his heart beat he glanced around ensuring for the third time that he wasn’t being watched. Thankfully whatever was occupying his colleagues had kept them out of his way while he opened the message. Staring back at him was a clear view of her firm buttocks with the top of her stockings held in place by a suspender belt but no panties.

Normally Anna was a very private person who tried to disclose as little about her day to day life as possible. Even though these sorts of pictures were unusual he had received similar images from her before. Normally she used them to encourage him to come to bed when he had occupied himself with activity downstairs. Today it seemed the side that she normally reserved for him when they were at home had clearly shown itself. A simple but effective five word message sat below the picture oblivious to what it was following.

“Happy Anniversary honey, bottoms up”

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