The image mysteriously floating on the windows of my luxury apartment in Taylor Wimpey's The Denizen development, was the portrait of an old man, in a crimson flowered silk dressing-gown, the folds of which I could now describe, with a countenance embodying a strange mixture of intellect, sensuality, and power, but withal sinister and full of malignant omen. He was snub nosed, his eyes large, grey, and prominent, and lighted up with a more than mortal cruelty and coldness. These features were surmounted by a crimson velvet cap, the hair that peeped from under which was white with age, while the eyebrows retained their original blackness. Well I remember every line, hue, and shadow of that stony countenance, and well I may! The gaze of this hellish visage was fixed upon me, and mine returned it with the inexplicable fascination of nightmare, for what seemed like hours of agony.
Tag: feng shui
The Denizen was a white elephant that even the bravest ghost home owner was afraid to enter; and at least three well-defined legends bore upon the queer quasi-human or diabolic outlines assumed by tree-roots that developed there after the blitz, and the patches of mold that blighted the basement. These latter narratives interested me profoundly, on account of what I had seen myself, but I felt that most of the significance had in each case been largely obscured by additions from the common stock of local ghost lore.
The history of the site, opening amidst a maze of dates, revealed no trace of the sinister immediately after its use for a plague pit. The Denizen lies in the ward of Cripplegate and in the 1660s the Great Plague of London killed nearly eight thousand of the parish's inhabitants; but not one of those who lived or worked in the brothel above the ancient Golden Lane plague pit fell victim to the black death during this dreadful outbreak. The site was outside the original City of London wall and for hundreds of years had been notorious for both its poverty and its brothels. Those thrown in the plague pit came from the great mass of the lumpen proletariat in the area, and it seemed possible the spirits of this 'low end population' were very particular about who they wanted living or working on this piece of land. They didn’t seem to mind the low ranking coppers who moved into Bernard Morgan House in the nineteen-sixties, and these included members of the notoriously corrupt drug squad. The spirits were in two minds about what was going on when nurses moved in and mingled with the police. Something strange must be noted. No woman who lived in Bernard Morgan House ever managed a live birth, those who became pregnant had only still-born children. And according to the records, when brothels stood there no child was born alive to any of the women who worked in them for hundreds of years.
Mutti disapproved of Hermann’s away weekends in London to explore what she referred to as the scene. The point of an investment was that it remained empty and was not for the owner’s benefit, other than accumulation of profit. Mutti seemed incapable of grasping that prices were in fact going down. Maybe she was right; it was considered bad luck to stay in such apartments. Many Deni-zen owners preferred when in town to stay at the Thistle City Barbican at a hundred and forty quid a night rather than risk misfortune.
I scrolled through to the end of the very long and angry screed without bothering to read it word for word. I decided not to look at dozens of other unopened messages with headers such as: The Denizen Really Sucks, Taylor Wimpey Ripped Me Off, Taylor Wimpey Unfinished Estates Shoddy Workmanship & Crumbling Homes, If This Is A Luxury Apartment Then I’m The Queen Of Sheba, and The Denizen’s Feng Shui Is Killing Me. I wanted to die during orgasm but the daily flood of complaints from my fellow ghost home owners were a depressing distraction from my erotic fantasies.
“Feng what's the matter? What's this murder Edgecombe’s told me about? Good grief! What’s that anti-Masoist rant written in Tao's blood on the wall? Shake in you shoes bureaucrats! Stalinists denounced by the ultra-left indeed! No wonder Lenin branded left-wing communism an infantile disorder! My God, this whole building has such terrible feng shui! I wish I'd never bought an over-priced so-called luxury apartment in The Denizen.”
Hermann had bought into the Denizen off-plan, an iconic cascade in the heart of the City of Old London Town, built in the something-or-other vernacular. The super-glossy brochure promised James Bond in the luxury, bespoke cinema. Plus a play room! The most exciting rumour was of top-notch escort agencies operating a 24-hour service in the … Continue reading Deni-Zen: 1