I rented a flat in Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen on Airbnb. I fancied a break in a luxury flat on the fringe of London’s financial district. I liked the name of the street the apartment was on, Golden Lane. My boyfriend came home drunk from the nearest Wetherspoons pub, The Masque Haunt on the corner of Old Street and Bunhill Row. He didn’t like the strange wallpaper in our holiday home so he started to peel it from the wall. Under every section was a name and date. When I got back from Spa Nails on Fortune Street, I instantly forgot I’d just been pampered and shouted at my better half we were gonna have to pay for the damage. Then I got curious and used the internet to look up one of the names. It belonged to a missing person who’d vanished on the date scrawled beside their name on the wall. I checked more names and they all belonged to missing people. I notified the police who sent out a forensics team. They told my boyfriend he hadn’t been removing wallpaper - he’d been pulling down human skin.
It is the strangest yellow our wallpaper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw—not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper—the smell! I noticed it the moment we came into the flat. Now we have had a week of fog and rain, and whether the windows are open or not, the smell is here. It creeps all over Taylor Wimpey’s luxury ghost home development The Denizen. I find lying in wait for me on the stairs and in the lift. It gets into my hair.
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!