‘This will be your room Fey,’ says Mary. ‘Once daddy sorts it out!’
Simon places his hand over Mary’s and they kiss as the baby kicks.
They were lucky to find it. A simple two-bed apartment, recently repossessed, within their budget in Parkside Views — an old, but sought after complex built on the grounds of a Victorian asylum.
But there’s just one problem — the psychedelic seventies wallpaper had to go. They choose a new colour for the nursery. Mary insists on something girly, Simon wants something neutral — they comprise on a warm, daffodil yellow.
He spends hours struggling to strip away the stubborn, old gold and umber paper. Under the final piece he uncovers a rectangle outlined in red crayon, the size of a door, on the door is a symbol of a triangle inside a cirlce and below this, the words:
Tu sia maladetta!
Tu non possa avere
Un giorno di pace!
The wall is damp and cold.
‘Mary! Come and look at this!’
‘What is it?’
‘I dunno. Probably from kids who lived here before. But feel how cold it is.’
Mary reads the text and places her hand on wall, a cold shiver rushes up her arm, she shudders as the baby kicks.
‘I don’t like it,’ says Mary. ‘Get rid of it.’
‘Don’t worry. I’ll paint over it,’ says Simon. ‘Strange how cold it is though. There must be a damp problem. I’ll call somebody in the morning.’
The door, its strange symbol and writing reappear overnight.
‘How is that even possible?’ says Mary.
‘Must be something to do with the damp,’ says Simon. He looks up the writing and finds reference to it on a website dedicated to spells and incantations. ‘Look here,’ says Simon, ‘according to this, it’s part of an old curse, means: “Be thou accursed! Mayst thou never know a single day of peace!”.’
‘It gives me the creeps,’ says Mary. ‘Get rid of it.’
She feels the baby kicks again.
Simon paints over it again. And again, during the night, the red scrawl bleeds through the yellow paint; a breeze from the crudely drawn door scurries through the darkness and finds them sleeping.
Something straddles him.
Cold, calloused fingers explore his chest. Coarse, filthy hair drape their stench across his nostrils. Its stomach kicks. He opens his eyes as withered, black lips whisper through foul breath: Tu sia maladetta! Tu non possa avere un giorno di pace!