In exactly three minutes Mr. Yao Wenyuan, of the eminent legal firm of Yao and Lee, would have his punctual hand on the doorbell of the Taylor Wimpey flat in Golden Lane. It was a comfort to reflect that Yao was so punctual—the suspense was beginning to make his host nervous. And the sound of the doorbell would be the beginning of the end—after that there’d be no going back, by Chairman Mao—no going back!
May all your investments fail! May whispering sounds keep you from sleep! May unease dog your every step! May ominous darkness envelope you! May ghastly shadows menace you! May dreadful loneliness befall you! May spine tingling shrieks terrify you! May the living dead pursue you! May your skin crawl for no reason at all! May eerie silences unnerve you! Cower in fear as the curses the Cripplegate Coven come true!
As I returned from round the back of the Jewin Welsh Church which abuts part of the west side of The Denizen, I caught the hooning whistling of Chan's luxury apartment, coming down strangely through the stillness of the night. It had a queer note in it, low and constant, queerly meditative. Once I'd climbed onto the balcony I was able to see the floor in the middle of the living room was puckered upward in the centre into a strange soft-looking mound, parted at the top into an ever changing hole, that pulsated to that great, gentle hooning.
I slipped out of my room and made my way to The Denizen. Keeping my revolver handy, I made my way up to the floor on which Jason’s flat was situated. I hung a protection belt of garlic around my neck and the smell of it seemed to fill the corridor and give me assurance. It is a wonderful protection against the more usual Aeiirii forms of semi-materialization, by which I supposed the whistling might be produced. Though at that period of my investigation I was quite prepared to find it due to some perfectly natural cause, for it is astonishing the enormous number of cases that prove to have nothing abnormal in them. In addition to wearing the necklet, I had plugged my ears loosely with garlic and as I did not intend to stay more than a few minutes in the luxury apartment, I hoped to be safe. When I reached the door and put my hand into my pocket for the key, I had a sudden feeling of sickening funk. But I was not going to back out if I could help it.
I have been spending the last few weeks at The Denizen, a luxury apartment block built by Taylor Wimpey in Golden Lane, just inside the border between the City of London and Islington. I got an email about a month ago from a Mr. Jason Chan, who it seemed had bought an investment property in the building, and on staying in it for a few days while holidaying in London, found that he had purchased a very peculiar piece of real estate. His flat in The Denizen has got a most infernal whistling in it, sort of haunting it. The thing starts any time, you never know when, and it goes on until it frightens you. It's not ordinary whistling and it isn't the wind. Wait till you hear it.
A fine block of luxury investment apartments The Denizen might have been too if it had been properly designed and constructed rather than jerry built to save money. Hearing so much talk about it often makes us feel as if we know every flat in the building, though it has fallen to ruin. Only one man ever lived in it after it was built. Nobody wanted to stop in the place. There used to be awful noises, as if something was being pitched from the top floor, down the lift shaft and into the entrance hall. There would be a sound as if a hundred people were clinking glasses and talking all together at once. And then it seemed as if barrels were rolling in the basement although it only contained a private cinema and games room. There would be screeches and howls, and laughing, fit to make your blood run cold. They say there is gold hidden away in one of the derelict apartments, but no one has ever ventured to find it. Children won't come here to play, when they are cavorting in Fortune Street Park opposite The Denizen, nothing will make them stay once the light begins to fade. When the night is coming on, and the shadows creep over the park, many believe they’ve seen mighty queer things on the site of The Denizen.
That evening the scampering of the rats and mice inside The Denizen began earlier. Indeed it had been going on before Po arrived home, and only ceased whilst the freshness of his presence disturbed them. After dinner he sat by the radiator for a while and had a vape; and then began to work as before. Tonight the rats and mice disturbed him more than they had done on the previous night. How they scampered up and down and under and over! How they squeaked, and scratched, and gnawed! How the mice, getting bolder by degrees, ran across the floor with their eyes shining like tiny lamps.