The Ice Cream Man drove slowly along Constitution Street, the strains of Greensleeves trailing discordantly in his wake. It was two in the morning and raining hard, but the Ice Cream Man had no need of such irrelevancies as lights or window-wipers. Truth to tell they disturbed his concentration and that was Bad For Business.
A muffled sob from the back of the van told him that they weren’t all dead yet. Never mind, they’d soon wish they were. The hunger was on him tonight, an appetite that was getting harder to satisfy by the day. Sometimes he wasn’t sure he wanted to keep up the effort. In those darker moods that seemed to take him more and more these days, he felt he could burn the world down and laugh as the flames came to claim him too.
But not tonight.
A police squad car passed by, the occupants blind and deaf to the ice cream van’s siren song; unlike the unfortunate specimens he’d caught and stacked in the back. Of course they had passed: only prey heard his call and having heard became his. It was too easy really and the boredom made him cruel. Take last night…
He smiled to himself and began to whistle tunelessly, the world beyond the windscreen, a smeared blur of light and shadow.
But the minute she woke and came to the window, face a pale oval, smooth and perfect as an egg, he knew. As he always did.
“Come on down Cathy,” he intoned solemnly through the loudspeaker. “I’ve got your favourite. Just pop some slippers on sweetheart. You don’t need money so you won’t need to disturb your dear old mammy. I’ve got a special surprise for you in the back. Best get it while it’s cold though.”
The long painted mouth sneered briefly. She’d get it alright.
The Ice Cream Man Cometh.