Ice cream pied piper
The unmistakable jingle echoed through the street. It was familiar and friendly, the sound welcomed you to memories of garden parties and beaches and heat waves. And yet, when it was played that night it sounded haunting and out of place. The sound woke me up that one Autumn night as I slept, the sound of an Ice-Cream van driving down the street. The noise was unmistakable, and when I heard it I could feel my body lift. Somehow it brought on smells and feels and tastes from the Summer that had Just been and gone, the burning smell of cinnamon and cooking meat, the sunshine on my back, grass and sand underfoot and the taste, the delicious taste of ice cream.
The sound called to you, it left a trail in the air and had me dance after it like a puppet. My sleep addled mind, lulled by the music, held onto the song and I could feel my legs move; they were heavy from sleep and bare, allowing me to feel the cold wood floor underfoot. And suddenly it stopped, the music was still playing but I snapped out of my trance by the front door slamming shut. I walked to the door, fighting drowsiness and the temptation of letting the song wrap it’s arms around me again.
I pushed the door open with one hand and turned the icy metal doorknob with the other. The cold bit into my skin and sharpened my focus. The door opened and I stepped out onto the street. It was dark and the moon was new in the sky, there was no wind and no streetlights so from the light of millions of stars I saw the river.
It wasn’t a river made of water or any other liquid. It was made of children. Out of the houses they streamed and started walking, walking after the ice cream truck. The song was louder now, and I felt the melody wrap itself around my mind. My legs started walking and for the smallest of seconds I was scared, I doubted the path I was taking and that I should be walking. But then the sound of the Ice-Cream van smoothed over all of my doubts. And that night, that cold Autumn night. Summer danced in the streets and through the minds of the river. We all danced to the song.