The Bag of Chips

Hello my name is Ryan, I live in the small village of _ in _. One fine and sunny afternoon I left my work room at my home (I put things together for various companies for not much money – enough for tins of beans and spaghetti and second hand books from Amazon) and went down to the Chinese take away for some noodles and coca-cola which I could afford today. At a certain point on my leisurely stroll I could see through the trees and around a rocky hillside to the big mansion of old man Norris the local weirdo. However no one has seen him for months now I think and the largish sexy woman who goes there says nothing. Norris used to be seen feeding ducks, pigeons and squirrels etc in various spots around town during the day and at night he would be seen sitting at the top of the aforementioned hill on a bench blowing bubbles from a small hand held bubble blower into the moonlight. I am pretty sure I know who he got that bubble blower from as well – a tall smiling black man who has a stall selling them in the bigger town nearby – he stands near the railway station on his little patch blowing bubbles into the air around passengers and saying “Bubbles, yes(?)”. When walking slowly from place to place old man Norris would have one arm down by his side and the other one would swing from this 6 o’clock below him all the way up to above his head in a straight armed ark and back again. I guess these are some of the reasons why he is known as the local weirdo (not maliciously I’m sure).

When I arrived at the Chinese it was shut up with a sign hanging in the dark curtained door saying “Sorry closed – cooker on the brink.” I stood for a few moments with my hands behind my back then nodded and walked on towards the chip shop feeling cheered up. In the chip shop I was pleased to see the largish sexy woman who tends to the possibly infirm or just these days reclusive Norris. No one knows anything about her except that she turns up in a Mercedes everyday at his mansion and whisks around the shops picking up food, bottles of cider water etc and various essentials. Then she goes up to the mansion and comes back out ten or fifteen minutes later and speeds off possibly to the next employee in another part of _. She is wearing an attractive conservative dress with necklace and her hair is dark and swept back, she is slightly bog eyed as she looks at me and I feel even more cheered up. She is waiting for the chips to be ready I guess as they are clearly still in the fryer. The approned chip man emerges and says to us both that the chips will be five minutes ok, we nod and smile. I step back and the helper woman leans on the counter, I check out the pleasing view for a second out of the corner of my eye then pick up a magazine. A while later the chip man comes back out and stirs the chips waking me out of a daydream in the warm shop. As he is preparing the paper to put the chips on the woman’s phone rings and she fishes it out of her rattling clinking bag and answers hello. Then she nods saying yes yes no yes before saying goodbye and snapping the phone shut again. She seems to be debating something then surprises me by turning and looking in my direction and her breasts and body are large I smile back genuinely as she asks me sounding as if we have been talking the whole time we have stood there as if there is no rudeness in what she says “I wonder if you could do me a big favour, you’re the guy who reads in the library on those comfy chairs on Saturdays aren’t you?” I nod and she looks to the side a bit bashfully and continues “Old man Norris needs his bag of chips and I have to hurry off to London … could you take them up to him please?” I say straight away that would be no problem and the lady moves her bag about and looks pleased saying thank you and then I ask her if she would like to go to the pictures on Saturday and she says yes winking slightly and says she will see me in the library before saying “ Yes, salt and vinegar please, and a ketchup thanks.” before hurrying out the shop and out of sight.

A few minutes later I have my bag of chips and Norris’s bag of chips and am walking up the hill towards his mansion. It is not far but all the flowers are out and old couples are quietly doing their gardening looking content in their non descript clothing. The mansion has open space around it except that one side where the cliffy hill begins, the gates are green and old and slightly elaborate but the green paint is coming off – it is slightly ajar and I move inside trying to shut it behind me but it will not close all the way so I leave it. The garden path leads up to the big door and there are lots of bees and gnats and it is sunny and overgrown with nice colours but my eye is drawn to the big house as I approach. The house needs some work but the roof looks intact and a weather cock stands almost still high up. The window are all open. The front door is a very dirty around the modern key hole and I reach out and push – the door opens as it is off the latch. I make sure that I don’t release the latch as I shut it to behind me but then realise I am inside so it doesn’t matter – in fact I probably should close the door properly so robbers don’t get in while I am there so I step back and close the door properly wondering how I should leave it when I return – I will ask Norris. I stand for a second of complete silence and the dust is silent in the sun beams coming through the stained glass door. Then a croaking and distant shout from upstairs “Marie is that you!? I am in the dining hall, er, on the top floor, fifth door on the right!” I think it is strange to have a dining hall on the top floor but head towards the stairs as I hear a door shut high above. Old man Norris shouts nothing more as I creak slowly up several flights of stairs until there are no more and so I walk down the corridor on ancient rugs past doors heavy and shut until I reach the fifth door which is a double door that does look like it leads to a big dining hall. I adjust the bags of chips and reach for the handle and open the door stepping in looking around ready to announce that I am not a robber and that I have your chips. But my mouth closes as the view emerges. The room is illuminated and the old man is in a wheelchair facing an open window with his back to me, he raises one arm in greeting but does not turn or speak but that don’t matter as I see and smell in great wonder that covering the old wooden flooring of the large hall from end to end are standing hundreds of various types and sizes of plastic bottles filled with what is definitely the old man’s piss. Old man Norris’ piss bottles. None of them appear to have their caps on and the smell is distinct and some appear be fresher than others as in the older ones the liquid has turned darker and somehow thicker as they must have been standing there for quite some time. There is a wheelchair sized path through them so I nod slightly and step forwards.



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