"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."
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.
The Denizen was brand spanking new and as attractive as a desert, nobody was living there. Po looked around the Cripplegate and Bunhill neighbourhoods the day after his arrival and found the area he'd moved to was littered with ghost home developments. An endless parade of empty apartment buildings towered above social housing that had been built for local proletarians. Canaletto Tower, The Atlas, 250 City Road and The Lexicon, were all impressively inhuman in their height and scale. The Denizen may not have been as tall as these monuments to unbridled capitalism but it was still impressive and prevented sunlight from reaching dozens of council flats, two schools and Fortune Street Park. It more than held its own against the overpriced empty apartments in places like Dance Square, The Eagle, Eagle Point, Fable Apartments, The Featherstone and The Bezier Building.
I did not tell you last night but there was a murder done on this site hundreds of years ago, and when Taylor Wimpey laid the foundations of The Denizen, they disturbed the spirits and their luxury apartment block is now haunted by ghosts. People shy away from this place.
The old piano playing brothel keeper had been at the centre of a paedophile ring based in a warehouse that prior to World War 2 had stood on the site of The Denizen. Those he catered for treated the children he supplied them with – including his own – with great cruelty and violence. The Phantom Child was his youngest daughter who’d bled to death from internal injuries after brutal mistreatment. The strange lady in Fortune Street Park was her mother who’d been found nursing her dead child’s body after these terrible events, while the spirit of the evil brothel keeper provided musical accompaniment. These two ghosts lured anyone they found living in The Denizen to their death.
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.