The Great Chocoplot (Deleted Scene)
By Chris Callaghan
This is a scene originally between Chapters 11 and 12.
As news of the Chocopocalypse starts to get very serious indeed there are reports of people taking to the streets, and of riots and looting!
‘Dolly’s got some chocolate!’ announced Gran, poking her head round the door. Jelly was sure she had really lost it this time. ‘My friend Dolly,’ she explained, ‘in the old folk’s home on Fondant Road. She just called to say she’s got a tin of Chocolate Assortments we can have. ‘
‘Oh,’ said Jelly, intrigued but sceptical, ‘and you want to go and get it?’
Gran nodded again.
‘Isn’t that a bit desperate?’
Gran nodded again … again.
‘But there’s supposed to be riots and stuff happening out there!’
‘You coming or not?’ asked Gran.
‘I’ll put my trainers on,’ said Jelly jumping off the sofa.
The evening summer air was tinged with a smokiness, which at first Jelly thought was just the smell of barbecues. Only it wasn’t quite the usual mouth-watering smell of cooking meat. When she reached the end of Waffle Way, she saw why.
Mini bonfires were scattered everywhere in the streets of Chompton, and the occasional wheelie bin had been set alight too, surrounded by giggling groups of kids. The stench of burning rubbish churned Jelly’s stomach. Jelly held onto Gran’s hand.
As they moved nearer to town the sound of breaking glass and shouting became louder, and the different smells more pungent. Distant police sirens made Jelly start to wonder if they should have come out at all. They held tighter onto each other’s clammy hands and Jelly’s legs stiffened as if they were getting ready to run.
As they walked through town Jelly saw that the shutters of shops had been forced open, their doors battered, and windows broken. Everyone was wearing either a mask or a scarf around their faces.
‘What’s going on?’ whispered Jelly, feeling her blood pound through her body. She wished they hadn’t come this way – and all for some chocolate!
‘Looting,’ replied Gran, shaking her head, ‘people behaving like monsters. Criminals – the lot of them!’
Under the half-open shutters to ‘Kwik Wick – Candles While You Wait’ a few masked looters looked as though they were holding a vigil around flickering candles.
A guy with a skull tattoo on his arm said, ‘This one’s called Midsummer’s Night … very appropriate.’
‘I like that better than the Fresh Cut Grass,’ said a skinhead with high laced-up boots.
‘Oh, look at this,’ said someone wearing a ‘Defeat the Police’ T-shirt, ‘it’s called Yuletide Chocolate Log!’
‘Ooooo … that’s lovely!’ they all agreed.
Jelly and Gran made their way quickly past the looters, stepping over all kinds of litter. Shops had been completely cleared out. Even their displays and posters had been ripped down and were scattered about.
Outside the card shop was the biggest mess. Cards with ‘Happy Chocopocalypse’ and ‘Deepest Sympathy to the Worlds #1 Chocoholic’ were fluttering about in the evening breeze. Looters were trying on T-shirts with ‘Keep Calm and Eat More Chocolate’ and ‘The Chocopocalypse is Nigh’. ‘I Heart Choc’ balloons were kicked and burst underfoot. Jelly caught sight of a fridge magnet saying, ‘I Don’t Believe in the Chocopocalypse’ and was tempted to make a grab for it – but didn’t. She didn’t want to become one of the looters too.
It was a short uphill walk to the Toblerone Towers Old Folks’ Home, which even from the outside smelled of cauliflower being boiled in disinfectant. They were so relieved to be inside somewhere, it felt instantly safer. Gran gave Jelly a hug and they walked along the funny smelling corridor to Dolly’s room.
‘Oh, hello there. Nice of you to come and visit,’ said Dolly.
‘You said you had some chocolate we could have,’ reminded Gran.
‘Oh yes, that’s right, here it is.’ She handed over a tin of Chocolate Assortments to Jelly who took it gratefully, but instantly noticed how light it felt.
‘Thanks,’ she said giving it a slight shake. There was something in it – but not much. She prized the top off and looked at the four remaining pieces of chocolate sliding freely around the silver circle.
‘Four chocolates?’ said Gran, trying not to sound too ungrateful, but not doing a good job.
Dolly grinned, showing chocolate stained teeth. ‘I had a few while I was waiting for you. You took your time! I left you the Turkish Delight and a nutty one. Do you like Turkish Delight dear?’
Jelly smiled and nodded slightly. She hated Turkish Delight. Doesn’t everyone? Dolly loudly licked her teeth and Jelly could hear her false teeth come loose and rattle together.
‘Oh, I’ve got bits in my gums now. I’ll need to give them a good soak tonight. Anyway, hope you enjoy them. They’ve been under my bed for a few years now. Got them off my Martha ages ago, in the days when she used to visit. But she’s too busy these days.’
Gran and Jelly looked at each other.
‘We’ve got to go now Dolly, it’s getting late. Thanks for the chocolate. Is there anything you need before we go?’
Dolly picked up a towel from besides her chair and handed it to Jelly.
‘You could put this in the laundry basket in the corridor, love.’ She plonked it into Jelly’s hands. Jelly felt the wet warmth ooze through her fingers.
‘I was sick all over it, just before you came. Too much chocolate probably.’
Jelly held it as far away from her as possible and murmured a faint ‘bye’ as she made her way to the laundry basket and dumped it in. She stood in the corridor with her hands outstretched, not quite sure what to do. Gran opened up a large disabled access door to a toilet and Jelly rushed for the sink.
They decided to take a different route home, and halfway, at the top of town, stopped and watched the mayhem from above.
‘Are you in need of assistance, madam?’
Jelly and Gran turned and jumped.
Behind them was a policeman in full riot gear – mask, shield and all.
‘No, no, I’m fine,’ replied Gran, putting the tin of chocolate assortments behind her back.
‘Is that … chocolate?’ came the voice from behind the mask.
‘Er … yes,’ answered Gran, ‘it’s from my friend Dolly – she’s in the old folks’ home. She gave it to us. We haven’t stolen it, if that’s what you’re thinking.’
‘You shouldn’t be out carrying chocolate on a night like this.’
‘Shouldn’t you be down there in the town?’ asked Gran, quite bravely Jelly thought.
‘I’m waiting for backup. It’s station policy.’
‘Is that you, Trev?’ called out a young police officer, appearing on cue.
‘It’s Sergeant Savage to you, Constable Doyle. Don’t call me Trev when I’m on duty.’ He lifted his visor.
‘Sorry, Trev. Anyway, the desk sergeant told me to tell you not to arrest anyone. There’s no room. We’ve had to put some of the looters in the canteen! You can’t even get a cup of tea! I’m glad to be out, to be honest.’
‘But there must be some constables available?’ said Sergeant Savage.
‘They’re all down at that new shopping centre. If I was a looter, I’d go there.’
‘Have you at least brought a taser?’
‘I’m not allowed one, remember? After that incident in the canteen.’
‘Oh yes.’ Sergeant Savage nodded. ‘How is the cook now?’
‘Yeah, she’s much better. I think it probably did her some good, in the long run.’
Jelly and Gran inched away from the officers.
‘So then, Trev. We going down there to crack a few heads together, or what?’
Sergeant Savage leaned on top of a wall and looked at the scene below. He took his helmet off, itched his head and sighed.
‘Let’s give it a little while, eh?’
‘Alright, Trev.’ Constable Doyle leaned next to him. ‘I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with … “L”.’
After a short pause, Officer Savage answered, ‘Looters.’
‘Yeah. Your turn, Trev.’
Officer Savage sighed deeply. ‘I spy, with my little eye …’
‘Come on, let’s get a shift on,’ whispered Gran with a smile, and they crept away, sucking their precious chocolates.
Not many people like Turkish delight, thought Jelly, it wasn’t proper chocolate. But that night it didn’t taste too bad at all.