1: Moving In

"Dammit!" is heard down the run-down hallways of the Huxley apartment complex as a brown-haired man struggles to open a door and drops a box onto his toes. "God, I hope that's not broken," he grouses as he picks up the box and finally gets the door to his new apartment open.

As he manages to shoulder his door open, he takes a look around his new space; he mentally catalogues the water stained ceiling, the peeling wallpaper, the ancient kitchen appliances, the floorboards that'll creak if you look at them wrong, and decides that it's shit but it'll do. His friend practicing for a future in real estate career had found this place with promises of, "Eden, these apartments are perfect for you, full of character and history!" and now Eden seriously doubts his friend's future in that particular business. Shaking that thought off, he walks further into his new apartment and starts to map out where he will be placing the meager amount of furniture he has. His couch that resembles a deflated balloon can sit against the only wall with a window, his mattress will get thrown on the floor of the bedroom, and his table with a rickety leg can go in the space between what he thinks is technically the kitchen and the living room (he says technically since the kitchen is less a separate area for food preparation and more just where all the crappy appliances were shoved together).

Reaching the cracked formica countertops of the supposed kitchen area, Eden places the toe-crushing box down and digs his phone out of his pocket and dials his failure of a real estate agent friend.

"Eden! How's the new place treating you?" is the first thing yelled across the line as the call connects.

"Like an infection waiting to happen." is the mildly irritated response.

"Okay, so I know some of the units might look a little run down-"

"Syl, this place looks like what someone would imagine a crackhead lives in. In fact, I think I see a suspicious burn mark on the cabinets that could be drug-related."

After a moment with no response from Sylvester, Eden hums in smug satisfaction and continues with, "You're lucky that I have no standards for life and that this actually looks better than my college dorm."

Sylvester sighs in relief, "There you go, my man! Always looking on the bright side!"

"Yeah, the bright side is that you'll be helping me move the furniture tomorrow."

The conversation continues with Sylvester complaining and Eden being unsympathetic to his cries, unaware of the shadows writhing in the dark corners of his new abode.

After solidifying a time for Sylvester to arrive to be put to use as a pack animal, Eden hangs up and opens the box he brought in. He pulls out the few tee shirts, jeans, and other basic clothing essentials he bothered to pack and throws the empty box on the floor, kicking it's cardboard husk into the corner of the kitchen area. He takes stock of the meagre amount of clothing he brought and debates if he really needs the air mattress he left in his car or if he can survive a night on the creaky, vaguely grimey looking floors. No, he very quickly decides, and turns to go retrieve the inflatable mattress.

After the new human leaves, a shadowy spirit spills from its vantage point and makes its way down two levels to the fourth floor. It slithers down the hall and past the units filled with future meals to the very last apartment occupying level four. The door of room 415 doesn't necessarily appear different, but most who see it will swear it looks just a little bit darker, a little dingier than any of the other doors; children swear to their parents they hear someone that sounds like they're in pain coming from that room, maybe crying, but the apartment employees all say that room 415 is empty, and has been for years. Those employees aren't lying, but they aren't quite right, either.

The spirit slides under the door and the inside of the room feels like what most might imagine a black hole to feel like: cold, empty, and pulling anything close enough into the swirling, endless void at the center. This void is Despair, the ruler of the undead residing at Huxley. The unnamed spirit approaches Despair, reporting the presence of a new human in room 603. The spirit is dispatched to continue monitoring the newest tennet, it knows it will have to report back to Despair regularly if it wants to continue existing.

The spirit turned reluctant soldier returns to his post to watch over room 603 just as Eden returns with his inflatable package. Both enter the apartment though only one is aware of this; the shadowed spirit melts into a corner overlooking the apartment as Eden accidentally slams the door closed on his foot. He takes a deep breath to center himself and to prevent himself from screaming out. After a moment, he says out loud, "Twice in one day? This place is gonna kill me."

He limps over to an outlet and plugs in the mattress and waits for it to inflate, completely unaware of the other presence currently taking up residence with him. Eden checks the mattress for his preferred level of inflation, decides it's good enough, and lays down to sleep, falling into unconsciousness only moments after closing his eyes.