There’s an ice cream truck that prowls our neighborhood. I’ve never actually seen the beast, but I can hear it—an eerie musical trill passing up and down unseen streets to the north and west. Where the ice-cream-truck music I remember from childhood was cheerful and lilting, this one has a mournful tune in a minor key that makes me think of the horrible circus in Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Today its wistful siren song approached while my son and I were in the driveway. Apparently the tune doesn’t sound sinister to him; he ran in excitedly to get his allowance money so he could buy ice cream. But we couldn’t figure out which way the music was coming from, and the truck never comes down our street. It seems to go awfully fast, too. How does it expect short legs to catch up to it if it’s never within earshot for more than twenty seconds?
We stood on the sidewalk for a few minutes, listening, trying to pin down the direction, but it was no good. The truck teases small children with the idea of ice cream, but passes too quickly for them to actually find it. Truly, it is evil.