Ice Cream at Night

Every now and then, when I get home from class in the dark of night, I hear the delicate music of an ice cream truck. I have no idea why he comes around at night, since he also comes around during the day, but the sound of that cheerful music at floating through the darkness reaches some primal part of my brain, the place where urban legends are born and believed:

Samantha pulled into her favorite parking place and turned off the car. Silence, almost like a physical presence, came in the wake of the engine noise. She laid a hand on her abdomen. She wasn’t showing yet, was only a few weeks into her pregnancy, but still she found herself checking, her hand fluttering to her stomach whenever she wasn’t doing anything else. Was the flesh beneath her hand curved more now than yesterday?

Shaking her head, Samantha grabbed her purse and opened the car door. Sound floated in, the gentle chirping of crickets, the rustle of leaves. The night was cold. It was a welcome change from the oppressive heat of the last few weeks.

The music started, then, and Samantha looked up. It was a delicate strain, notes tumbling down and up, playful and simple. It took her a moment to realize what it must be. An ice cream truck. At night? Shrugging, Samantha stepped out of the car and closed the door. Probably won’t get any business, on such a cold night.

The music got louder, then, and Samantha paused. She shivered and looked around. The parking spaces in front of her apartment building were nearly full, as usual. The green buildings were dappled with the shadows of trees. Though she could clearly hear the ice cream truck’s melody, the truck itself wasn’t yet visible.

It must be on the other side of the building. Samantha walked towards her building at a brisk pace, feeling oddly exposed. This is stupid. No one’s out here except the damn truck.

The music looped, began again, and Samantha felt her spine arch, from her hips to her shoulders. She ran, fumbling with her keys as she neared her door. The music was all she could hear now, as though the truck was moving up the sidewalk behind her. The door unlocked and Samantha turned the knob. She pushed.

The music stopped.

Samantha rushed inside and closed the door. Her breaths came short and hard as she peered through the peephole.

Nothing.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Ice Cream at Night

  1. I’ve heard that truck, but in three years I’ve never actually seen it.

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