Chapter 1 The Beginning
THE VIRTUAL ENTITY
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ur story begins in the small town of Bakewell, United Kingdom.
In the center of the town lies a lonesome terraced house soon to be bought by a young couple. When moving into their new home in the countryside, little did the couple know of the horrors that awaited them. For David and Danielle this was to be a new start, a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life, a place where they could reconnect and start a new family together. The young couple arrived at the small town of Bakewell early one autumn morning, ready for the new start that they both had been craving for the last few months. The couple had just pulled off the M1 signed Sheffield, the time was 6am and the roads were exceptionally eerie with only a few cars either going to or returning from work on the 21st of October, approaching the town of Bakewell, they could see it was very picturesque and was rightfully so famed for its beautiful landscapes. Danielle had already pointed out the strange fact that no one seemed to be going towards the town that contained their future home. The wildlife that could be seen in the country was a shock compared to the hundreds of bikes, busses and commuters that were usually witnessed in the crowded streets of the city that the pair were used to. The narrow roads heading into the town were tricky for David to drive around, as he struggled to keep his eyes off the beautiful scenery enveloping the landscape. He drove on, adoring the quaint shops and country bars, which he made sure to point out to his girlfriend. Never did the couple think that they would be moving to such a timid and secluded place.
When they first pulled up to the house and saw the old stone-built terraced house, they could see how different life would be after they finished fully settling down. David and Danielle had always talked of moving from the smog filled cities to the fresh country air, but if only they knew what lied ahead within these walls they would’ve stayed happily in the smog. Parking the car just outside the terraced house, the couple took a look around and were quickly greeted by a suspicious-looking graveyard with a large church. However, this building didn’t rile them. Neither partner believed in ghosts or supernatural elements, rendering them only characters in children’s stories. Exiting the church view, David and Danielle headed up the stairs leading up to the new home, smiling at the mist on the windows and the cold sensation of the air on their skin. As they climbed, a big green door loomed over them. David went to turn the old-fashioned handle and almost winced at the pain from how cold it was. Unable to push the door open, he hastily rang the estate agent to ask for the keys, suddenly feeling unwell in the cold. The scared-looking estate agent who had sold the house pulled up and rushed to the door to greet the couple, she was wearing all-black, a very gothic look, looking as if she didn’t really fit in anywhere. She had apologized for not mentioning that the house was facing a graveyard and the photos did not show this on the website. Because the couple were looking to purchase quickly and had to move out, they never got to visit the town or see the house in person. Instead, they had chosen out of familiarity because they had known of the person who was the previous owner of the house. He was a friend of David’s father who had died of a heart attack in the summer, leaving the house as a bargain for the couple. They knew it would get snapped up if they did not take the opportunity, so the estate agent was happy that the couple were not bothered by this matter.
David did mention that after the sale of his last house he would have money left over to design the house as they wanted, so the estate agent left them the keys and went on her way. They both noticed just how fast she seemed to be walking back to her car, almost as if she hated the place. David then used the front door key to open the door to what they thought would be a dream home for them. They immediately crinkled their noses at the damp smell due to the lack of ventilation and heating. The walls were styled in an old-fashioned way as an elderly person would have been in the house for years. The green carpet on the floor had a stain, documenting a previous spillage of some kind. The couple walked in further to check out the rest of the home. The living room had an old man’s worn chair looking out onto the street; they thought this must be where he watched people’s comings and goings. The fireplace was very old-fashioned, looking like something from a dickens film. It was made of dark wood with a metal-stained fire guard and coal effect pieces. They were thrilled to know it was a gas fire and not an old coal fire; this would make it cheaper as they wouldn’t have to run gas pipes to the living room. The walls were moldy where the damp had been getting into the room, although it wasn’t an issue as this was going to be changed anyway. Going into the kitchen, there were green tiles on the wall with an old cooker as well as dirty cupboards that were meant to be white but had gone an off-white over time. Opening the cupboard one by one, they had found dust inside - which anyone would expect when it was an old man who had lived on his own for many years. The back door led out of the kitchen through an old six-panel glass door, which was ready to be replaced, to say the least. Looking out to the garden as the sun was rising, they could see that it was very tidy to their amazement, as the rest of the house needed a lot of work to be done. The couple spotted an old, eagle-shaped water feature looking towards the house. Now heading up the stairs as they continued to explore the house, both boyfriend and girlfriend avoided touching the freezing handrail which looked like it was about to fall off. The carpet was the same old-green style as the hallway, leading into two bedrooms and a bathroom. Danielle joked,
“At least we have a spare room if we fall out.”
David gave a snort and continued on. When he walked into the bathroom, he was not so shocked to see its vintage style, and the old stains within the shower were ready for a good scrub. But the couple still understood that it was a project they had taken on. They headed into the spacious bedroom, where Danielle squealed in delight as she laid her eyes upon the large wardrobe in the corner; It had always been her dream to have just one place where she could hang all her clothes. As they walked around to inspect the last room, a cold shudder ran down
David’s spine. Trying to ignore it, he joked,
“Oooh this room must be haunted!”
Danielle gave a nervous laugh as she held her nose to block out the mysterious foul smell coming from within the room. She swiftly moved to open the window and ventilate the room.
A short while later, the pair has started unpacking their gear, deciding to only take out the basics, as they would soon be decorating the entire house with furniture. The removal men also came inside to help them move and unpack their things as they didn’t have much large furniture. As Danielle was picking up a box to take upstairs, one of the men sidled up to her,
“I didn’t realize there would be three of you moving in here.”
Danielle replied, clearly puzzled “What do you mean?”
He explained that as he drove up to the house, he could see an old man in the top window. She laughed and said,
“Yeah sure, quit trying to scare me because it’s close to Halloween!”
He replied with a serious face “No, I’m being deadly serious. I saw an old man in the front upstairs window.”
Giving a polite laugh, she ignored him and carried on unpacking. By midday, the removal van had long gone and the Mitchells were heading out for a walk to see what the town had in store for them. As they walked out of the front door, they had heard a slight shuffling upstairs, followed by a muffled cracking sound. David shrugged and mumbled something about the heating and Danielle told him about what the removal man had said just a few hours earlier. This made her boyfriend chuckle,
“It’ll be the old man’s knees as he’s moving around.”
They closed the door and headed out joking with each other as they walked down the street. The surrounding streets were getting slightly busier as people were starting to go about their daily business. The shops which lined the pavement, were slowly coming to life and customers had started to pour in, after glancing at the various window displays and posters. One of the stores had a Virtual Reality home design kit which David and Danielle thought would be ideal to help them renovate the old, outdated property they had just bought. The couple decided to go in and explore. As they looked around, they could see that the shop was of an old-fashioned build; it had wooden beams showing, ancient windows from the Victorian age and marked flooring where things had been moved around in the past. The entire place had a sort of fusty smell to it, as you would expect in a century-old building. David asked the shop assistance for the VR set. One would assume that at £200, it was a bargain that was waiting to be snapped up, but David had to make sure that they were getting the real deal, so he asked if the package contained instructions as well. The shopkeeper advised the couple that the set was second hand and was missing the instructions as well as a few accessories, which the couple wouldn’t have cared for anyway.
“Though if you do get stuck, there’s a model number on the back and you can just search it up on the internet to download the full instructions.”
“Sure, that’s how things work these days I guess,” David replied as his girlfriend scoured the shop for any other bargains. Satisfied with their purchase, the pair both agreed on the fact that the town seemed to already be taking a shine to them. The quaint shops, the homemade pie shops, the butchers with fresh produce, it all seemed to be such a delight from the overpriced supermarkets that the couple were previously used to. They continued to look around the town to see what else it had for them, as they were walking, a street with a lot of pubs and restaurants came into view. Upon closer inspection the prices were so appealing to the couple and they knew it would be all home cooked. They could almost taste the Yorkshire puddings that were leaving a delightful scent in the street. Deciding to have a further look around the shops before they sat down to eat, the couple ventured into a second-hand furniture store, which was ideal due to the fact that they had to sell the age-old furniture from their home in the city. There wasn’t much in their new house and as they entered the shop, a soft leather sofa caught Danielle’s attention. After a lot of discussion about where they would place it, the couple finally agreed that it would be a good first purchase for their new home. They bought the furniture and placed a time slot for it to be delivered to the house along with a solid oak bed that had enticed David. Having just made 3 large purchases, the pair were quite hungry and decided that it was finally time for them to sit down and have lunch, with a few drinks to celebrate their new home.