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MAG 18: The Man Upstairs

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Christof Rudenko owned and lived in a ground floor flat in Welbeck House, a 5 storey set of flats in the centre of Wandsworth, south London. On the day he moved in, he saw a man (later determined to be Toby Carlisle) smoking on the balcony of the flat above his and caught a whiff of a strange smell, like a pavement after rain on a hot day mixed with gone off chicken.

After a year of living there, Christof generally knew all his neighbours: the White family who had a daughter, the elderly spinster next door, Diane or Diana, and the Asian guy on the first floor who worked nights. He never saw the man who he spotted on his first day, but he occasionally smelled that same odour, surmising it to be a hygiene issue. 

On 5th July 2004, Toby started hammering on the walls and floor of his flat, noise that could be heard in Christof's place directly below his. This happened regularly every two weeks, for about an hour at a time.

After 6 months of racket, Christof had a package for Toby accidentally delivered to his flat. He went up to deliver it and knocked on the door, intending to ask him to stop the hammering as well. When the door was answered, he could barely see inside or who answered but the stench from the flat was rank and overwhleming. Toby snatched the package with a thin, yellow fingernailed hand and closed the door quickly. He noted that the wood around the door looked distressed and there was a disconcerting stain on the carpet just outside.

Two years later, in late 2007, Christof's mother's health declined and he decided to move back to Sheffield. When anyone came for viewings of the flat, however, they asked about the smell, which Christof couldn't mask. When a couple pointed out a yellowing stain on the ceiling, assuming it was a pipe leak, Christof went up and knocked on Toby's door, but there was no answer.

Christof called a plumber to have a look. When he arrived a week later, he said that it wasn't the pipes but put a ladder up to investigate. When he touched the mark it crumpled like tissue paper, pouring thick yellow liquid with viscous white lumps into the flat, causing Christof to retch and the plumber to quickly leave. 

Christof charged upstairs and hammered on the door, which swung open on the third blow, not having been locked. He turned on the light to see that every surface except the closed windows was covered in layers of meat: steaks, chicken, lamb, even the light was smeared with the stuff. Older layers had obviously liquefied into yellow ooze and gristly lumps. Toby's body was in the centre of the hall, face covered in so many pock marks and lesions that he couldn't discern where the eyes had once been. Flies and maggots moved thickly. But in the kitchen, Christof saw a pile of discarded meat that on viewing, seemed to shift slightly before opening "all its eyes". The next thing Christof knew, the police had arrived and the pile of meat was gone, although the meat on the surfaces remained. Christof told the police everything but they didn't seem to take his story about the pile and eyes seriously.

Christof was eventually able to sell the flat and, following the death of his mother, moved to Clapham with some friends. Unsurprisingly, he became vegetarian.

Post-Statement Follow-Up Edit

Jonathan Sims was able to confirm that on 22nd October 2007 there was an incident involving hazardous biological materials in the flat and the body of Toby was removed; his death was recorded as having been by gangrene.

Sasha got access to Toby's financial records and he didn't seem able to pay for anything except his council tax, although he was the legal owner of the flat. Tim asked around butchers in the area but no-one had been giving him meat and there were no online records of delivery, so where, and how, he got it remains a mystery.

SIms also notes that Martin is still off sick.

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