Ice Cream Trucker

Yeah, so ice cream trucks creep me the heck out, so I thought since they creep me out, maybe they could make a good horror story. This is where it went and died.



Prologue

He dug his teeth into the other man’s shoulder so hard his jaw popped. Round bone slipped beneath his incisors, slick with tendon and wet with blood and joint juice.

And tore.

Arm and muscle streamed out in ribbons, framed with nail-on-chalkboard screams of agony. A grown man shouldn’t be able to reach that pitch.

Claws buried deep into flesh. Fat and gristle gave way like jello. Muscle like a dull knife through steak. And all of it ever wet.

The man’s body toppled back, but he didn’t stop there. The moment his soled feet hit the ground, he scooped up under the poor sods rib cage and tossed him with a roar that made his very toes vibrate. It arched high, as though he’d tossed a bag of leaves, but fell with a splat and snap of skull on stone.

In the stillness that followed, he breathed deep of the taste of blood in his mouth, growling deep in his chest, relishing in the pleasurable memory of the way all his muscles had pulled in tandem to rear his head back and how easy the arm had followed. His muscles still twitched with excitement. He saw himself running without tiring, tearing into limb after limb, all of it spray away into rainbows of brilliant scarlet. His fingers grasping and holding in place with all the satisfaction of a stiff back finally popping into place.

Eventually, his senses returned. His heartbeat slowed, his pants quieted, and the red bled out from his vision, taking with it the heady pound in his head. He blinked slowly, tracing the limp line of the dead man’s body, including the arm hanging on by only the skin of its armpit. The ball of the joint glistened white against the dark, seeping flesh.

He closed his eyes and spat out to the side.

“That’s right,” he whispered. “Ease on down. That’s it.”

Only after he’d focused on the Breath of Calm and mentally hugged in the silence to his hot insides did the urge to run off and tear apart the world die down, allowing a gut-turning nausea to take its place. Uncomfortable, but a much more human reaction.

He fell to his haunches, tore at his hair, and allowed himself a high, keening moan of grief.


2

“You’ve got to meet this guy, he’s so cool! He gives away free ice cream, you can at least appreciate that, right?”

Annie paused mid-computation and narrowed her eyes, but Aaron didn’t falter or grow suspicious.

“He’s giving kids free ice cream?” she said lowly.

Despite the obvious threat of displeasure, Aaron rolled his eyes in exasperation.

“Oh, come on, Annie, he’s not some sort of pedophile. It’s just a marketing ploy.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.”

“Does that mean you’re coming?”

She let out an irritated huff. “Did you have to come now? Calculus is kicking my butt.”

“The fact that you’re even in Calculus,” he started, before breaking off with a shake of his head. “Just come on already before he leaves.”

“I can’t believe you guys,” but she was already standing up, grabbing her coat. “Why is there even an ice cream truck in business this time of year?”

“Hell if I know.”

“Language.”

Heck, fine. You know there’s no difference.”

“Don’t make me spank you.”

“I’m thirteen years old!”

“And I can still put you over my knee, so mush! Before I change my mind.”

But they already had their shoes on and were half-way out the door as it is. The shabby, empty apartment didn’t put up a fuss in letting them go.

She saw the white, ice-cream topped truck the moment she stepped off the stairs. Thank the gods it had turned off its creepy, tinkling tunes before hand, or she may have just told Aaron to head back inside before heading out on a warpath to collect the rest of her siblings, which were gathered about it licking various ice cream treats like it wasn’t thirty something degrees outside.

“Okay, don’t go jumping down his throat when you see him—“

“That just makes me worry more.”

“He’s not some old creep, okay? He’s actually really funny and grouchy and mean—totally not pedophile material.”

“That isn’t helping me feel better. Why I let you all out in the first place—I thought you were just going to buy your ice cream and hike back. What happened to the whole ‘don’t take candy from strangers’ crap?”

Aaron just rolled his moss colored eyes. He was doing that so often now a days she was half tempted to whack him upside the head the next time he did it. Seriously, copping an attitude and treating her concerns about their safety like it was nothing. If she didn’t worry, no one would, didn’t they get that?

The parking lot they crossed was almost more tar than asphalt, and the parking lines were all but non-existent. At least the dead grass hadn’t escaped the confines of the crumbling cement hedge. It crunched beneath her boots.

“I want the doggy!” cried a little girl, who couldn’t be more than six.

“Three bucks,” said a low, tired, and entirely unaffected voice.


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