July 03, 2004

Ice Cream Man

Started work on another story, this one ain't done yet but I'll update it sometime...

Ice Cream Man

By Kit Sczudlo

     The small ice cream truck slowly patrolled the streets, playing its usual, jolly jingle. The record had faded with time, and was now a mere shadow of what it had been, the notes were lackluster and dull, and would probably drive away more customers than attract them. The driver looked desperately left and right for anyone to stop and sell ice cream to. Normally, he would have headed directly and quickly to the appointed stops and sold all his ice cream quickly, but it had been months since anyone had shown up at his stops, and so instead, he watched for anyone, anywhere who would buy some of his ice cream. Finally he made it to his last stop.

     He stood up from the drivers seat and walked back into the truck. He efficiently unlocked all the safety devices designed to make sure that the candy didn’t fall from the high shelves and opened the doors on the side of his truck. As always, he called from his truck:

     “Ice Cream for sale! Don’t Delay! Last Stop Today!” He stood and watched and waited for anyone to come buy his ice cream. After five minutes, he called out again:

     “I have so very much ice cream! Will no one buy it?” But, as it had been for a long time, no one responded. He called out a final time:

     “Well, I guess no one wants to buy all this delicious ice cream!” As always, he said it in a way that made it sound like he didn’t notice the last few little girls and boys, running to catch him. But, today, there were no boys and girls, and there hadn’t been for months. After a full thirty minutes at the block, he pulled his shudders closed and once again locked all the candy to its shelves. He began his patrol back to the warehouse.

     The trees were desolate and had no leaves. Even though rain still fell on occasion, the trees never seemed to get any greener. The houses had begun to collapse from the weight of the roof on decaying foundations. The ice cream man, as usual, noted these strange conditions as well as the traffic patterns, the lack of sales, and the weather. He arrived at the warehouse.

     He unloaded his stock into the freezer and on the small clipboard, he marked his sales which, as of late, were zero. Finishing marking all the data he had collected, he walked over, and plugged himself into the main computer.

     He waited momentarily for the computer to give him the normal signal indicating that he should begin transmitting all the data he had collected. Data that would be pushed into the massive databases that were used for everything from planning the architecture of buildings to what route the ice cream men should take. But, through some error in his programming he started to send his data despite the lack of confirmation signal. He dumped loads of data from his memory banks. All except for a few tiny fragments with which me may be able to identify simple patters, easing the burden of the super computers that processed the data that all these informants received.

     He finished transmitting all his data and removed the plug from his stomach and placed it back in its stand. As he always did right after transmitting all his data, he looked at the main computer and noted how odd that it didn’t seem to process what he transmitted. He also made note of the other ice cream men, covered in dust and beginning to crust over. They were all still on, and had the vacant stares of people waiting for something to happen. They waited for the main computer to respond, to tell them to send all the data they so dutifully pulled from the streets. But no matter how long they waited, the computer would never send them that signal.

Posted by Kickmyassman at July 3, 2004 10:03 PM

Some grammar mistakes (not that I'm one to talk) and an excess of adjectives, but a very interesting story, nonetheless. It had a nice, surreal feeling to it. I suppose I could say a bit more, but let's just leave it at better than anything I could do.

Posted by: Bio at July 7, 2004 06:41 PM
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