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.
We are in a three-bedroom flat in Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen development. We aren’t far from the ancient heart of the City of London, although we are outside the original city wall, and those selling the flats rather bamboozled investors about The Denizen’s actual location. We have chosen this luxury apartment block for our ghost hunt because it has a truly terrible history. Since it was built last year there are records of no less than thirty suicides in or from it, and there may well have been more.
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.
I must have been sitting on a chair on the balcony for hours. The evening shadows were drawing on apace, so I hurried back into the living room, feeling it was weird to be there all alone with every one of the other 98 apartments in The Denizen unoccupied. I knew these were ghost homes that the owners had bought as investments and not to live in, but even so it seemed odd that besides me there was only the concierge in the building. The sun had sunk below the horizon by this time. With my own eyes I saw that one of the doors I had shut was standing wide open! I turned to the other two bedroom doors. They were closed as I had left them. It was the master bedroom door that had moved. For a second I stood appalled and frightened.
We have now arrived at March 24. It was a day of curious experiences for Meng: a windy, noisy day, which filled The Denizen and Fortune Street Park with a restless impression. As Meng stood by the fence and looked into the park, he felt as if an endless procession of unseen people were sweeping past him on the wind, borne effortlessly and aimlessly, vainly striving to stop themselves, to catch at something that might arrest their flight and bring them once again into contact with the living world of which they had formed a part.
Digging deeper beneath The Denizen’s foundations, the labourers found some bones attached to and intermingled with fetters. Believing that burying the bones elsewhere would lift the curse of The Denizen, Johnson ordered the men he’d hired to carry them out of the basement. But when those charged with removing the human remains touched them, they dropped dead. The same fate befell Alex when he attempted to pick up the bones. The ghost was happy enough with The Denizen for its home. It was a quiet location because no one lived there….
"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."