April 2015 – lucky number – Toffee Crisp by Simon Evans

Toffee Crisp

by Simon Evans

I still shudder whenever I think of the Toffee Crisp incident. The mental scars are still very much with me, even though the horrid, beastly, terrifying incident took place many moons ago. So, sit back, relax and let me tell you the tale of an event so terrible it turned by ginger hair white.

I had just finished my A levels and my friend Dennis was flush for cash as his lucky number had come up in the lottery bonus ball sweep stake at the Sheep’s Head Inn.

A celebration was in order, so Dennis and I decided on a weekend of revelry at a holiday cottage at Badgers’ Cove, near Pixford, on the Oldenbury coast.

We packed our sundry weekend things into Dennis’s vehicle and set off on the two hour drive to the holiday cottage at Badgers’ Cove, near Pixford, on the Oldenbury coast. We stopped on the way at a motorway service station. We both had a poo and Dennis bought a toffee crisp, god help us.

After passing through the picturesque village of Pixford we wound our way through a twisting assortment of single track roads and arrived at the stunning setting of Badgers’ Cove. Our home for the weekend was a quaint bungalow overlooking the sea. It was beautiful. I felt myself relax as we shut the car doors, stretched and took deep breaths of fresh, salty air. We had been given instructions to wait outside the bungalow for a Mr Jim Murphy, the key holder.

We didn’t have to wait long until the figure of Mr Jim Murphy appeared on the brow of the hill, on the coastal path behind the bungalow. He had wild, white hair and one unbendable leg. As he limped towards us he grimaced in a kind of painful smile, revealing a toothless mouth.

“Ah, hello boys. I have your key” he said, in a strong local accent.

We accepted the key and nodded politely and commented on the beauty of the environs. Mr Murphy muttered in agreement but seemed ill at ease. He said he should be going but then stopped and placed his gnarled hands on each of our shoulders.

“Now, boys, you won’t go dropping no litter now will you? Promise me you won’t.”

We shook our heads and assured him we wouldn’t do such a thing.

He then moved his hands to grip our wrists.

“You promise me boys, no litter. No dropping litter here boys, you shouldn’t do it.”

Again we agreed. He was looking around furtively, his face twitching.

“No litter boys.” He said again, before turning and limping away.

Dennis and I unpacked excitedly and then raced around the bungalow, choosing which beds we would sleep in. We plugged in Dennis’ music player and danced around the kitchen. At one point Dennis gripped my wrist and did a rather perfect impression of old Mr Murphy.

“No litter boys! No litter!” he cried, before limping theatrically around the bungalow.

After a hearty dinner of crisps and pot noodles, Dennis went out to his car and returned with a huge bottle of whisky, the kind you see full of small change in pubs.

I was younger than Dennis and less used to drinking so I soon felt rather drunk. I’m afraid I became quite green around the gills. Dennis suggested that we step outside for some air. As I sat on the doorstep, head in hands, Dennis produced his toffee crisp from his pocket.

He offered me a bite but I shook my head and kept my mouth shut, I was afraid that I might vomit. Dennis tried to lighten the mood by doing his Mr Murphy impression again. The climax of this little performance was him holding the bright orange Toffee Crisp wrapper in his hand so that it fluttered in the breeze. He let go of it and then made a big play of horror and guilt as the wind took it away over the cliff.

Immediately the weather changed and the evening became darker, colder and ultimately stormier.

I went straight to bed and left Dennis dancing and drinking in the kitchen.

I awoke several times in the night and listened to the wind shaking and rattling the doors and windows. The old bungalow creaked and shuddered. Rain lashed and the winds howled. I could hear the waves slamming against the cliffs in the cove beneath us.

In the morning I awoke and all was still and quiet. Bright sun streamed into my bedroom through the thin curtains. I staggered in to Dennis’s room but his bed looked like it had not been slept in.

I walked through to the kitchen and looked out at the garden. The old, twisted trees seemed to have grown bright orange blossom. I left the bungalow, feeling rather uneasy and realised that all of the bushes and trees were, in fact, adorned with Toffee Crisp wrappers, neatly folded in to bows.

Then I realised that Dennis was sat in the front seat of his car. I approached with a feeling of dread.

My heart sank as I reached the driver’s window. Dennis’s face was contorted. His mouth was full of Toffee Crisp wrappers. Police later confirmed that his body was full of them.

Old Mr Murphy was later found at the bottom of the cliff. As for me, well, I’ve not touched a Toffee Crisp since.

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