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So yeah. House sharing. Me.

You know me. Solitary creature. Dark stranger. Lone fucking wolf. Who is now holed up in a six-room apartment with the potential three-course dinner party that I instead have to call housemates, who don’t pay the fucking internet bill on time, who commandeer my clean socks if the laundry is left unguarded, and who call impromptu social events that start out as ‘a few friends over’, and turn into the belated housewarming/early Christmas/Nik’s almost-birthday/Grae’s girlfriend-dumping/bloody hell-night that’s going on right now.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like a bloody night of hell as much as the next lone wolf – particularly the blood part. But fuck – my laptop is playing a fucking tango beat on the desk as I write this because Grae’s music of choice is rattling the floorboards and making sonic booms beyond the sanctity of my bedroom door. We’ve already had three lots of neighbours ring to complain, but some random guy answered the phone and told them he’d come down and apologize, then threw off his clothes and ran up and down the fire escape, screaming “Kiss my sorry ass!” – so the police should be next. And I came into my room just now to find a bleary-eyed chick raiding my personal mini bar fridge and calling out to her equally unsteady girlfriend that there was only tomato juice left, so how about Bloody Marys?

The unconscious aptness of beverage choice did not escape me, but the girl did – I could certainly use a drink, but she is clearly not the time. Grae meanwhile, after weeping into his beer over his lost love for an hour, has hooked up with a hot amazonian gymnast (who actually arrived with one of his college buddies) and is therefore creating traffic flow issues in the kitchen. Kane is standing on the couch and tearing it up for a roaring, mayhem-enthused audience with his Call of Duty skills. Nik is – fuck. Let me look. Wait here.

Okay – so Nik is nowhere to be fucking seen. He may be in the throng of dancers who have spilled out into the hall, or he may conceivably and literally be under the table.

Aw shit. What the hell. Generally prefer to be the uninvited guest myself at social gatherings, but even the undead need to change their living arrangements every now and then.


If you can’t eat ’em, join ’em, right?




It was just the four of us the other night: me, Kane, Grae and Nik, kicking back with beer and Buffy reruns (the good ones – you know, the pre-angst, funny-as-Hellmouth ones).

Grae tipped the last of the bottle down his throat, and gestured at us for replenish requests. Nik acquiesed, Kane demurred (he was already looking fucking bleary), and I sloshed the contents of my own half-empty bottle in answer, then discretely tipped some more of it into the long-suffering potted plant Kane’s mom gave us for housewarming.

Grae raided the fridge, threw Nik a can with the practised ease that got him his football scholarship, and vaulted deftly over the back of the couch again. Nik fumbled the pass, kicked Kane until he picked it up for him, and finally opened the can with a hiss.

“Game?” he asked, stirring among the pizza boxes and other shit piled on the coffee table for a controller.

“Fuck no,” said Kane, rubbing his eyes and yawning, “Jonathon and I have got to fucking work in the morning.”

“Shit,” I groaned, “Don’t remind me.”

“Your own fault, dickhead. Serves you right for fucking around in Europe so long last year.”

“Bloody broke even before I left,” I grumbled, and poured away some more beer maliciously.

“Hot women in Europe,” pondered Nik meditatively.

Kane grimaced. “Never even heard back from the one I met online. Bet Jonathon scared her off.”

“Our Johnny is a scary fucker!” Grae laughed and frisbeed his cap at me lazily.

“But Harmony met one and never even came home,” Kane continued ruefully, “Pissed her family off no end when she told them she wasn’t coming back from holidays, eh, Jonathon?”

“Wouldn’t know, man. She’s not talking to me.”

“Why the fuck do all the hottest girls fall for other hot girls?” lamented Nik, “Or is it just to feed my fantasies?”

“Keep dreaming, Romeo!” Grae stretched and got up. “Going to bed, losers. See you fuckwits in the morning.”

“Not me!” Nik grinned, “Afternoon classes, bitches!”

“Slacker,” I retorted, “Get a fucking job. Plus you owe Kane rent.”

“Dad’s giving me cash Thursday. I’m on it, dude.”

Grae slammed the door to his room with reckless cheerfulness while Kane staggered towards the bathroom. Nik downed the rest of his can, belched, and reached for the PS3 controller again.

And I went ostensibly to bed. Share house means keeping up appearances, you know.



You know that feeling you get? There’s all kinds of cliches to describe it, but they read like you’ve been possessed or something: hairs raising, skin crawling. Like somehow your body knows something you don’t. Some earthy desire for self-preservation that modernity hasn’t managed to breed out of you.

You get it late at night, during the ritual. You know the one. Check the doors are locked. The windows fastened. Turn out the lights. Room by room. Your cosy cocoon of light getting methodically diminished by darkness at its extremeties. By your own hand.

And your eyes start playing tricks, don’t they? Looking back into a room newly dark, the space seems cavernous. Watchful. Hungrier. You have fleeting visions of a figure. A face. A form that moves – but it’s nonsense. There’s nothing.

You could turn the light back on to check, but that would be an admittance of the ridiculous fear tickling around – not even your mind which would be acknowledgable – but your neck.

Retreat. Don’t look back. Well, maybe once, but… nothing. Though there could have been. Move a little faster, snap off the last outer light before closing the door firmly and satisfyingly on the uneasy, uncanny space that used to be home. Bunker down gratefully, albeit temporarily, in the clinical bright light of the bathroom.

No corners here. No shadows. Door closed. You might even take time to laugh at yourself in the mirror before turning on the faucet.

Water falls with noisy familiarity and there is relief as you bend, splashing it up into your face briskly and efficiently.

Vulnerable position, that. Head down, water running, sight obscured. The door could open. The shower curtain twitch. But it would take you time to wipe your eyes to look.

Turn off the water, still leaning, drips running smoothly down your face and plinking relentlessly into the basin. Now, contrarily, you don’t want to look up. Imagine if you did, straight into the mirror, and saw something impossibly and awfully behind you. Right there. You’ve rarely known that flash of raw fear, but your body is anticipating it without you.

You know that feeling?


That’s me.