Tales From The Town #11: The First Ice Cream Van Of The Summer

Agnes was in the kitchen when she heard the music in the distance. A chill ran down her spine. She closed the laptop and waited for what was sure to come.

***

Footsteps on the stairs. Doors flung wide. A swarming crowd of desperate faces, raised from some winter-long hibernation.

***

“Mum! Mum! Can we have some money?”

“For ice creams!”

“From the ice cream van!”

“We’ve got a freezer full of ice creams,” Agnes said. “Can’t you have one of those?”

“But they’re not the same!”

“They’re exactly the same,” Agnes said.

“They’re not.”

“The ice cream van has more.”

“And they’re bigger!”

“And colder!”

“They are not colder.”

“They are!”

“And they might have some new ones!”

“Last year they had some we’d never seen before!”

“They were horrible!”

“Well, our ones aren’t horrible,” Agnes said. “I got the ones we all like.”

“But we’ve been good, Mum!”

“Really good!”

“You said if we’d been good we could have an ice cream!”

“From the ice cream van!”

“I don’t remember saying that at all.”

“Well, you did!”

“You definitely did!”

“Okay, okay,” Agnes said, fishing out some small change from the pockets of her jeans and dropping it into their grasping mitts. “But don’t just buy the ones we’ve got in the freezer!”

***

Footsteps in the hall. Doors slamming shut behind them. Cries of excitement fading out down the street.

***

Agnes sat down at the table and sighed. Of all the things in all the worlds, the continued existence of ice cream vans was the thing she understood the least.

__________

Notes:

1. Written on May 4th, 2021
2. With thanks to Arab Strap for the title.

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