Jenn Ashworth has written a sequel to "Disappearing Takeaway Man". Well, it's actually more of a prequel. It would seem she has cottoned on to my fibbing.
I lied to the police. That isn't something I ever considered doing before, but it was easier than I thought. I might have blushed, I might have stuttered - but it was 4.14 in the morning, I was wearing monkey pyjamas and it would have been strange if I hadn't.
This is what really happened:
When the man arrived at the door, I was feeling a little low. I was having what some of my friends call 'an episode'. Normally, when this happens I order take-away and sit up all night watching The Sound of Music. Sometimes I drink green tea with slices of lemon in from a mug with a map of the world on it. Sometimes I drink other things. What I am trying to say is that although the beverage may vary, the take-away must remain constant. There might even be chemicals in it that make me feel better. Who knows?
When he arrived I was already waiting behind the door. I heard his car, and opened it while he was taking it from the back-seat. He had a bright red insulated bag to keep the foil cartons in. I remember that, because I'd never seen it before and it was detail about a job I'd never done. I wanted to save it in my mind in case it ever came in useful for a story.
When I paid him he smiled at me and because it wasn't the usual man I smiled back and asked him if he'd remembered to bring the free prawn crackers. He laughed and said he would never forget. He said that free prawn crackers was a major selling point of the business and one of the many reasons why they were ahead of their competitors. He asked me if I liked them, and said he was thinking about changing his supplier.
I told him I didn't eat them, but set fire to them in the dark with a cigarette lighter because the flame glows blue.
Now if someone told you a little known fact about one of your own products, a product that you've just admitted is the mainstay, the core of your livelihood - you'd want to know, wouldn't you? You'd show some interest. You'd ask questions. You'd perhaps want to go into the house and try it out.
I don't know why he had to make such a fuss. The cellar, I said, is the darkest place in my house. Wait until you see them go. It's like slow fireworks. He was unconvinced. He was, to my mind, really quite rude. I was forced to, well, use force. I'm not proud of it. I stayed with him in the cellar for a little while, but it was cold and I wanted to watch the film so after not too long I left him on his own. I let him keep the lighter and the remains of the crackers. I made a little joke as I closed the door. I said, 'I'll be back soon to 'take you away' from all this.' I don't think he got it. I did all the laughing myself, turned up the sound on the television really high, and imagined the little blue lights flicking on and off in the dark under my feet.
I try never to be impulsive. It makes things complicated. I had to steal his car, drive it away, and park it somewhere secret. I got a taxi home. I sat in my bedroom. I messed my hair up and put on my pyjamas so I would look plausible when the police came.