I’ve spent the last however many days looking for my biscuit. It was a chocolate Hobnob with thick ridges of chocolate coating, thicker than usual. Triple thickness, even quadruple. It looked like the Pennines at night and I was looking forward to scraping my two front teeth across the ridges and pretending I was an alien invasion crash-landing on the hills.
I’ve been over and over what happened; there are gaps, but I remember most of it. I put my biscuit on my desk, (not on a plate). I turned away to switch on my laptop then I realised I’d left my coffee in the kitchen so I went to get it which took me one minute and thirty-two seconds, (I’ve timed it since). I put my coffee on the desk next to where I’d placed my biscuit less than two minutes before. My biscuit was gone. Only crumbs remained. I went back to the kitchen, thinking I must have taken it with me when I went for my coffee. I looked on all the worktops. No biscuit. I went back to my desk wondering if I’d just failed to see it, you know how sometimes you can’t see for looking. I searched through the notebooks and piles of old manuscripts and ashtrays and bits of paper and sweet wrappers and fluff and pens and stuff, but no, it wasn’t there. I looked on the floor. I scanned the carpet all the way back to the kitchen in case I’d dropped it. It was gone.
By this time I felt a bit panicky so I had to go and get a beta-blocker and a glass of water and have a sit down. After an hour or so I resumed the search but then I thought, “No, Dotty, just go and get a different biscuit from the packet and eat that instead”. So I did, but I couldn’t enjoy it for two reasons, one – the chocolate looked like it had been spread by a chocolate hating skinny bitch which meant I couldn’t play alien invasion crash-landings on it; two – I couldn’t stop thinking about my missing biscuit. I did wonder if I should ring 999 to report it but then I remembered you have to wait 24 hours unless it’s a child and though my biscuit was small it wasn’t a child. Plus, the panicky feeling came back when I thought the police would want to come round to take a description to put out an alert or an APB over the radio or whatever it is they do and I couldn’t cope with visitors, not the way I was feeling at that moment so I decided I’d wait and see if it turned up of its own accord.
But then it dawned on me. It might have been stolen. Someone could have broken in when I was in the kitchen getting my coffee. Or if not stolen, moved. By someone out to trick me, to mess with my head and make me think I’m mental. And whoever it was might still be here. I ran for the phone and dialled 999 and whispered to the police that someone was in the house, robbing me or stalking me or playing nasty tricks. They told me to stay on the phone, they were on their way. I did stay on the phone, but when they got here I couldn’t answer the door to them and the operator had to talk me through it before they rammed their way in. The police searched all through the house but they couldn’t find anyone. They didn’t find my biscuit either despite me giving the biggest policeman a note asking them to look for it while they were at it.
I had a little sleep. When I woke up it was dark. I ran round shutting the curtains before I put the lights on, (neighbours – eyes), then I made a cup of coffee and sat down at the table to have a good think about it all. “What would Dexter do, Dotty?” I thought. “He’d measure the blood splatter, Dotty,” I thought. “There is no blood, Dotty. What would Sherlock do?” I thought. “Do you mean old Sherlock Holmes, or do you mean modern Benedict Cumberlandsausage Sherlock?” I thought. “I don’t fucking know, do I?” That stopped that.
For the rest of the night I searched the carpet again, back and forth from the kitchen to the desk, from the desk to the kitchen. I knew the biscuit wasn’t there but I was looking for crumbs with my magnifying glass, comparing those I found with the crumbs left on the desk. I don’t own a deerstalker hat so I made one out of a mixing bowl and toilet paper. It looked quite the part, if I do say so myself, though it didn’t do any good, I couldn’t find any crumbs that I could distinguish as being Hobnob crumbs as opposed to any other crumbs there. By the time the sun began to rise I was knackered. And worried, very worried, in case I’d eaten my biscuit without knowing during the one minute and thirty-two seconds it took me to get the coffee. What if I had? Surely I’d remember biting, crunching, chewing, swallowing? Surely there would have been signs I’d eaten it, signs like that crumby mush that gets stuck in your teeth, or a crumb on my bosom, (I defy any woman to eat a Hobnob without getting a crumb on her bosom). I prodded round my teeth with my tongue and had a quick rummage down my cleavage but there was nothing. I did a bit of logic – there was no evidence to say I’d eaten it, nor could the police find evidence to say there’d been an intruder. I found no clues on the carpet. If I hadn’t eaten it and someone else hadn’t taken it, where could it be?
Eureka! My pocket!
The laundry basket!
I ran upstairs and tipped the basket out onto the landing. I’ll spare you the details, (and myself the blushes), by leaving out the next bit, but don’t let your imagination run away with you, my dirty washing wasn’t MINGING or anything, I just think it’s crude to mention your underwear to strangers. Suffice it to say my biscuit wasn’t there. I couldn’t understand it. Logic told me it would be. Should be. I didn’t remember until sometime late in the afternoon that of course it wouldn’t be in the laundry basket, I hadn’t gone to bed so I still had my jeans on from yesterday. DUH! I had a good laugh at myself, but you know what happens with laughter, it always turns to tears, so I spent the evening sobbing into the back of my sofa, wishing I could just find my fucking biscuit and get back to normal. I must have drifted off to sleep for a while because I remember dreaming I was a spaceship exploring the universe, zooming round faster than the speed of light, dodging red dwarves and black holes, having a great old time of it, when I spotted a funny little blue planet and zoomed in for a better look but when I got closer there was a load of shit in the atmosphere and something clipped my left side and sent me into a spin. I lost control of myself and hurtled towards the planet, shaky and unbalanced, and before I knew it I’d hit land and I was skidding through some hills, through them like teeth through chocolate, and when I came to a stop I was in some water in a land called Scot and a native named Nessie was trying to eat me.
I woke up thirsty. I got a glass of water and went to my desk. It was dark outside but the curtains were still shut from the night before so I didn’t have to bother with them and I’d forgotten to switch the lights off when day came so I didn’t have to bother with them either. I noticed the laptop was on standby from when this had all started. I turned it on and got a search page up. My biscuit had disappeared, vanished into nowhere, a nowhere that also contained the internet so I started searching to see if Google had seen my biscuit. I searched and I searched and I searched. Loads of biscuits were there, gazillions of them, but not mine. I kept searching, typing in every term I could think of, Dotty’s missing Hobnob, Dotty’s missing biscuit, Dotty’s kidnapped Hobnob, Dotty’s kidnapped biscuit, Dotty’s absconding Hobnob, Dotty’s absconding biscuit, (because, though I didn’t want to even consider the idea, I knew there could come a time when I might have to accept that my biscuit had run away from home). I searched for hours and hours, I don’t know how long. I fell asleep again at one point and when I woke up I was dying for a wee. In the bathroom I looked in the mirror. Tramp.
I had a bath and got dressed in fresh, clean clothes. It felt nice. I chucked my dirty things in the laundry basket and went downstairs to put it all in the wash. I made a cup of coffee and sat drinking it as I listened to the songs of the washing machine, restful and calming. When the last spin cycle finished I knelt down, opened the door and stuck my hand in for the clothes, but I whipped my hand right back out because something horrible touched my finger. Mush. I knew instantly what it was. I reached in and pulled out my jeans. Most of the mess was by the back pocket on the left hand side, brown and oaty, mushed into the material. I pulled out the other clothes, they were covered in little lumps of mush. My biscuit. It was in my pocket all along.
I felt nauseous; I could feel the sick rising into my throat. My heart began to race. Dizziness. Pressure in my head. “What have you done, Dotty, what have you done?”
I knew what I’d done.
I’d killed my biscuit.
I had to ring the police to confess …..