The tale I am about to tell you is as a warning to others. When experiencing those difficult moments that come to us all in life and if it then comes to mind that your life is perhaps worthless please note that one must simply persevere – for there is always hope. This hope comes from being true to ourselves and not from changing our nature to reflect the moving fads of the world around us.

On a cold November morning a boy of around ten years old pushes his way past the creaking iron gates of a local factory whilst lost in thought: All my life I’ve wanted to be a chocolate boy, but I was always told the same thing again and again by Dad:  “Don’t be so stupid son. Being chocolate isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You’re far better as you are, your Mam and I love you because we think that you’re perfect in every way. The minute you try to be something you’re not you’ll get eaten alive, you see if you don’t”.

Even when I was a little bit older I could never get through to him the fact that I was different. I needed to be sweeter, more craved after by other folks – maybe even more loved. I agreed with him in a way that there would be a price to be paid though in my opinion it was a price worth paying. Dad did his best to get me to change my mind but after a few days I’d be off dreaming again. I sat Dad down yesterday and told him about my plans but, yet again, he wouldn’t listen. He just droned on and on:

“Then there’s the mess, and let’s face it son your Mam won’t be too pleased either. She still remembers the last time you wanted to become something else: what was it again a cream bun or something. Bloody cream everywhere! The stains never did come out of that nice Persian rug we got from your Aunty Margaret. Brought it all the way from Marrakesh she did. I don’t think your Mam has ever fully recovered from that one – can’t even go near that dairy now. ”

Well I’ll show them. I’ll climb up these stairs here, right up to the third floor and I’ll throw myself off. If I am not going to be a chocolate boy then my life isn’t worth living. I mean, what would it be for anyway? Boring as hell that’s what it would be. I would just be a pale faced little lad, just like all the rest, nothing to distinguish me, ordinary if you like.  Well that’s not what I was put on this earth to be. I have looked longingly at the faces of the chocolate lovers of this world and I can see that the merest taste seems to change their moods completely. Couples who moments before were quarrelling now smiled and looked into each other’s eyes, crying children suddenly began to laugh and even old people found themselves exchanging pleasantries.

No-one really knows exactly what happened next. By that I mean the exact order of events. It appears that the police were alerted to a missing boy at seven am by his worried parents. His bed had apparently not been slept in though both his television and DVD player were still on. The police constable who inspected his room pressed the eject button and found that the boy had been watching a favourite Roald Dahl film. Through the weeks and months that followed nothing was heard of the boy in spite of many high profile appeals and much diligent work by the police themselves. The boy’s parents have never given up hope that he will be found but it seems a forlorn and mistaken belief.

For the first few months the town was buzzing with the story of the vanishing boy but this gradually receded as other important stories replaced the grim news. The town, indeed the whole county, was devastated when the news was announced that the area’s largest employer Maywards’ were closing down due to contamination in one of its main supply tanks. The company had been established way back in the nineteenth century by Mr Joseph Mayward Senior and proved to be an immediate success with its offerings of a range of fine chocolate biscuits.


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