A dynamic young professional from Basildon, after years of hard work, determined to get on the housing ladder however low the first rung.
In white shirt and tie, he travels to Grimsby, eager to inspect his future first conquest. A one-bed above a newsagent, on a busy outer city street. He efficiently navigates the streets with help from his devices, and shows up on time. A wave of gloom in his gut. The narrow windows spy him from above the closed shop. He rings.
The caretaker welcomes him. They climb creaking stairs. The flat has been empty for months. Some furniture remains. With some work, two studios, he says! The shop downstairs, is sealed, at the moment, it seems. The passage that leads down to it is bricked up to stop squatters. Not much light filters through the squinting slits. The man leaves for another appointment, leaving the keys. You know where to drop them, he says. Take your time!
No sooner he find himself alone, that rain starts. The day is ending, streetlights come on. No umbrella. Tiredness overcomes him. He lays down on a misaligned bed and falls asleep. ... Dark now, no telling the time. Drowsiness becomes rapid alert. Outside the door, irregular steps up the sealed stairs. A flickering light visible under the doorframe. Heavy, diseased breathing. The lad trembles in terror. The breathing gets heavier and more sickly. The light grows fiercer and closer. Then fades.