I didn’t notice it at first. I came home from m work every night at just past seven. I hate my flat. It is cold and expensive and remote. None of my neighbours will even look me in the eye. It was a Saturday afternoon. I was opening my front door when the man from the flat next door ran past me ans tripped and fell down the staircase The sound was awful. I called an ambulance but even before they arrive I knew he was dead, he only said one thing that made any sense. ‘It comes through the walls.’
I left the police station at just after eleven. I didn’t even know his name but they wouldn’t let me leave until I had told them the same thing almost twelve times. I lock my door and fix the chain in place,, it is pretty crime free around here but I don’t like company, I don’t like people and the idea of someone getting into my house scares me. As I hang up my jacket I notice a small dark mark on the wall. I fetch rags and bleach from the kitchen and clean it off. I’m shattered so I pour a beer and make a cheese sandwich and take them into the bedroom, there isn’t much on TV, so I end watching a re run of some American sitcom from the 80’s. It isn’t that funny and I fall asleep with my beer untouched and my sandwich with two bites out of it.
It must be early when I wake. I grab my mobile and the clock says it 3.54 am I walk out into the hallway to the bathroom to take a piss. For a second as I turn out the bathroom light I see a mark up high on the wall. As I turn on the hallway light the same stain has moved but has gotten bigger.I run through in my head whether I can be bothered to clean it now or wait until later. I am unbelievable tired. I am annoying even myself by doing this but I can’t bare the idea of mould growing on my wall. I have hot water with a little bleach in and I am standing on a stool about to clean the mark away when I start to feel dizzy. Something rather like a thorn starts to push it’s way through the painted plaster. It is about an inch long. The end of it bursts and a fine cloud of dust hits me in the face. I can’t see properly and have an instant headache. I fall backwards off the stool and catch the side of my head off the corner of my bookshelf, when I take my hand away from my head, it is bloody but with dark black smudges.
I can’t breathe. As I cough, more and more of the fine black dust comes out of my mouth. As I fall back to floor my chest tightens and my heart is racing.As I raise my hand the blood is gone but the black smudges are spreading, joining together. The fingernail of my index finger falls away and the last thing I see is one of the bones in my hand as it breaks through the skin.