I was dead. I should not have been walking through Fortune Street Park and across Golden Lane. Drawn to Taylor Wimpey's luxury apartment block The Denizen by the siren song of Plague Pit Annie. I should have been in the underworld preparing for my next incarnation, not being lured to an investment flat I'd bought but never seen. I was dead and I had no use for any of my worldly possessions. But the siren song of Plague Pit Annie drew me through the entrance of The Denizen and up the stairs to my apartment. I'd never collected the keys to this flat and I didn't need them now. The concierge didn't see my long fingers nails and longer hair as I passed right through him. The concierge didn't see me at all. Plague Pit Annie knew I was close by and drew me in with her song. She greeted me, informed me I was to take her place in my apartment, and then she disappeared into the medieval plague pit beneath the building. Now for all of eternity I am damned to reside in an investment apartment I'd bought off-plan sight unseen.
I bought a luxury apartment in Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen but I was forced to abandon it. When I moved in most of the other flats were empty. The concierge told me more than fifty percent of those who’d bought into this investment block hadn’t even bothered to pick up their keys. There were 99 flats in the development but mine was the only one with a live in owner. Despite being surrounded by ghost homes I regularly heard footsteps in the corridor leading to my apartment. Whenever I went to investigate no one was there. At times I heard people whispering in Middle English, talking as if they still inhabited a London that had existed hundreds of years ago. Shadows and inexplicable movements appeared in my peripheral vision. I was returning to my flat one night when something flashed before me in the hallway, then disappeared. It was gone in a second but it was the shadow of a woman wearing a long old-fashioned dress. That’s when I moved out. I could stand it no longer.
There are things in our wallpaper that nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern the dim shapes get clearer every day. It is always the same shape, only very numerous. And it is like a woman stooping down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don’t like it a bit. I wonder—I begin to think—I wish Chang would take me away from The Denizen! We could go home or just go somewhere else in London, I’d be happy to be anywhere that isn’t a Taylor Wimpey luxury investment apartment. The Denizen is ninety percent empty but it isn't soulless, it is creepy!
"Then there is The Denizen," said Meagle, "full of luxury apartments available at absurdly low rents and nobody will take them. It has taken toll of at least one life of every family that has lived there - however short the time - and concierge after concierge has died there. The last caretaker died just a few weeks ago."
At two there came a visitor. None other than Wong himself. He called me on my mobile from Giddy Up, the coffee stall in Fortune Street Park and summoned me there. He didn't want to enter Taylor Wimpey's The Denizen luxury apartment block and so demanded I meet him across the road. 'You must not stay here ignorant of the rumours that are afloat,' he said. 'Of course, when I let the place to Fong I knew nothing of the open door. I had no idea there was any ghost story connected with The Denizen, or I should have kept the place empty.' He wanted to know what had I seen? What did I think of the matter? Very honestly I told him I did not know what to say. The door certainly would not remain shut and there seemed no human agency to account for its persistent opening; but then on the other hand, ghosts generally did not tamper with firearms, and my pistol, though not loaded, had been tampered with. I was sure of that.
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"Death, death, death," the heart of The Denizen beats proudly. "Long years—" he sighs. "Again you found me." "Here," she murmurs, "sleeping; on a balcony reading; laughing, rolling marbles in the games room. Here we left our lives—" Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. "Death! Death! Death!" the pulse of The Denizen beats wildly. Waking, I cry "Oh, so this your life within? It's a living death."