We Scream

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It was the hottest it has ever been.  Bike seats were hot to the touch and seatbelts could leave a mark if it touched you. Usually, children would be playing hopscotch outside or playing tag.  But due to the recent spike in temperature, no one has left their house for days. 

Inside two little boys sat in front of the tv. With the cool air and water,  they had no desire to go outside. One boy’s mother came into the living room whipping her hand off on a towel. Something red stained her hands and apron. 

 

“Why it’s a lovely day outside, you two should go and play instead of wasting it inside.” 

“Ma it’s hot outside.” Timothy, her son, said. 

“Honey I’ve lived in hotter heat waves than this. Here take ten dollars for you both in case you run into the icecream man.” 

 

She handed her son the ten- dollar bill to split between  both of them. Timothy sighed annoyedly and got up from the floor. 

 

“Wait for Johnathan, are you joining us for dinner?” 

Johnathan shrugged. 

“I have to see what my parents say. I’ll let you know.” 

 

She nodded and went  back into the kitchen. The two boys walked in the heat. The sidewalk was so hot that they can feel the heat through their shoes. 

 

“Dude, it’s hot,” Johnathan said taking a puff of his inhaler. 

“Yeah, no dip Sherlock, I’m sweating my butt off.” 

 

They decided to walk to the park and stay there for about an hour. It’ll make Timothy’s mother think they’ve been playing outside for a long time. While walking they heard an all to familiar jingle. 

 

All around the mulberry bush

The monkey chased the weasel 

 

It was getting closer and they can see the head of the truck peering at the top of the road. 

 

Pop goes the weasel. 

 

The two boys looked at each other with wide eyes and excited smiles. 

 

“ICECREAM!” They both yelled and ran after the icecream truck. 

 

They flagged down the truck until it noticed them. It stopped. After a few slight thumping noises, the sliding window slid up revealing an older looking gentleman. The wrinkles on his face made him look like a sad bulldog. One of his eyes were white, maybe from blindness? And his teeth looked like they should’ve fallen out ages ago. They were a dark transparent brown mixed with a bit of yellow. They had holes in some, the hole was big enough that you could see right through them. 

 

He gave the boys a horrid smile showing that he had fewer teeth than they originally thought. 

 

“What can I get you boys today?” His voice sounded like a garbled mess. 

 

With a look at the menu for a few seconds the boys decided on fudge pop and a rocket popsicle. They handed the man the money. He gave them the treats and two dollars in change. He once again smiled at the boys making the transaction more unsettling than it already was. 

The truck sped off quickly. The boys enjoyed their chilly treats, temporarily cooling down from the summer heat. Soon they made it to the park. They stayed there for a bit longer than they intended. Since the park was pretty much empty they could play how they wanted. In the midst of all that fun there was something, more like someone watching them.  

 

“Hey isn’t that the ice cream truck from earlier?” Johnny asked. 

 

Timothy looked to the direction his friend pointed in. As soon as he saw the truck sped off once again. 

 

“What was that all about?” Johnny asked. 

“I don’t know the man but I think we should leave, like now.” 

 

Johnny agreed and the boys began the journey back home. It was already getting mid-noon so they would’ve had to leave soon anyway.

They talked about things to keep their mind off of what they just saw. Soon they had forgotten all about the ice cream truck, well that is until they saw it again. They heard the jingle then saw the truck. It stopped beside them but they kept walking. Maybe if they ignored it he’ll go away. Wrong. 

 

“Hey boys, want any more ice cream?” He asked. 

 

They said nothing. 

 

“Hey! I’m talking to you.” 

“Sorry man but we don’t have enough money,” Timothy said. 

“No problem, on the house. Here.” He handed them two ice cream cones, already unwrapped. The boys smiled  nervously taking his offer. He slowly waved goodbye, leaving the boys. 

 

Quickly they threw the cones on the ground and ran home. Despite not being able to breathe Johnny ran with amazing speed. Only taking small breaks to get a puff of his inhaler. Timothy, on the other hand, was able to keep up until he tripped on his untied shoelaces. Johnny stopped when he heard his friends cries. 

 

“Get up we gotta go!” Johnny screamed. 

He helped his friend to his feet and limped the rest of the way home. In a panic, they told Timothy’s mother what happened. Johnny’s parents agreed that he could stay the night since their house was two blocks away and they didn’t want him outside anymore. The next day there was a news report about a missing child. A little girl, about seven years old. Was last seen playing in her driveway. There was a jingle that caught her attention. 

 

All around the mulberry bush

 

She had asked her parents for some money. 

 

The monkey chased the weasel

 

Her pigtails bounced with excitement. 

Pop goes the weasel

 

It’s been seven years. They never found that little girl.

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