The sun was shining and the air held a not so warm but not so cold feel that could only bring him to believe that Spring had begun. The long winter had finally ended and now that the snow had disappeared from the ground young James could finally ride his bike around town. The town of Drell was small and quaint but it was charming nonetheless. With a less than lively population of 1,000 Drell could be described as more of a village than anything else. Everybody knew everybody else and it was normal for small neighborhood kids to get together and play a game at the local park. There was zero crime in Drell and that was how it stayed for the last 100 or so years; the only problem with low crime is the police officers who get fat off of donuts due to inactivity. Aside from that Drell was almost the perfect town.
Little James of only 8 years old was pedaling his way through the uninhabited streets of Drell when a classmate of his, Alistar, waved him down. James' bike squeaked to a stop, "What's up Alistar?"
"Just thought you'd wanna join us for a game of kickball down at the park," Alistar said, "me and a couple others are challenging a bunch of the big kids from the middle school. I think we can beat'em!"
"Count me in!" James said with a grin.
The park was what you would imagine when you think of a small town playground. The grass was green and well trimmed with litter strewn about. However the only activities available at the park were a few swings, a jungle gym, and one of those multipurpose play areas that just seemed to be a bit too small. Everyone had seemed to be gathered aside from the middle school kids that Alistar had mentioned. Upon arriving, James dropped his bike and ran over to the group.
"Alright, you guys ready to kick some middle-schooler butt?" Alistar asked as if he were trying to raise the groups morale. The group, along with James, replied with a unified "Yeah!" and began cheering. While waiting, the group decided to begin practicing their kickball skills by running back and forth across the playground and kicking the ball as hard as they could. Soon enough they had all worked up a good sweat and had almost exhausted themselves.
"Man, when are those cruddy middle-schoolers gonna show up?" One boy asked.
"They probably chickened out!" James said. The group erupted in a roar of laughter and smack talk. The laughter was broken by the delightful sound of a familiar tune that every child grows to love and every parent grows to hate. The jingle that echoes through the streets, hypnotizing children into begging their parents for quarters and whatever spare change that may be bathing in lint at the bottom of their pants pocket. The ice cream truck had just rounded the corner, causing every kid's ears to perk up in delight.
"Ice cream!" One boy yelled, his face turning into an even wider smile but then a depressing frown, "I just remembered that I don't have any change." The rest of the group seemed to share his unfortunate fate as they all exchanged that sad look that manifests the moment you realize you have no money for the ice cream truck. However, a ray of hope shone on that group of boys that day as a voice rang out from the colorful van.
"Free ice cream day!"
Every eye in that group grew two times wider as they all forgot about their fatigue and ran straight for the ice cream truck. The happy mob of children rushed the ice cream truck, not bothering to form a line as they were handed ice cream cones. "Here you go little boy," the clown costumed ice cream man said with delight. He wasn't the scary type of clown either; he wore a clean white cap over top giant fluffy red hair that seemed to run in fear of his milk white face dotted by blue paint. His hands were covered by big white gloves encrusted with frost and he wore an apron that was stained with different colors of ice cream. "Eat up kids! Happy first day of spring!" the clown yelled with a laugh.
Screams of joy echoed from the group of satisfied boys. A few minutes later however, James and the rest of his friends soon began to doze off. Small hands dropped cones still filled with ice cream as the children began to fall to the ground. James looked around him and attempted to resist the urge to close his eyes, but sleep took him nonetheless.
Sounds of grinding metal and screams woke James. He sleepily looked around to find himself in a dark corner of what seemed to be some kind of factory. Trying to move, he discovered he was bound by rope. He struggled, but his bindings wouldn't budge. Off in the distance he could see bodies being lowered by hook into a giant vat of some sort. He screamed for help but his cries merely echoed off of the walls. As he was about to cry, he heard footsteps.
The jolly clown appeared from the darkness, this time with his grin but no free ice cream. "Oh, you're awake," he began, stroking James' head, "the others were asleep long enough for me to at least put them onto the line." His mouth stretched from ear to ear with a menacing smile that would never be mistaken for benevolent, "But I guess I get to watch you kick and scream your way to your doom." He cackled madly and walked off. Tears welled in James' eyes as he wished for his parents to come save him from this terrible monster. Through blurry vision he watched as his screaming friends were each dropped into the vat of unknown. Once they were lowered, it swallowed them and their screams whole.
A few minutes passed before the clown returned. The tears had already stopped flowing from James now red and puffy eyes, "What are you gonna do, mister?"
The lunatic smiled, "Why I'm going to serve you and your little friends as ice cream to all the rest of the neighborhood kids of Drell," he answered.
"But why?!" James screamed.
"Because I can," he replied with a twisted grin. "I enjoy watching you welps kick and scream as you are lowered into that vat of yummy, creamy child filled ice cream. I can just taste it now, yummy eye balls and cream or intestine vanilla swirl." He licked his lips as drool began to flow from his painted mouth.
"And you can't do anything about it!" the clown then kick James in the head, beating him until he was bloody and silent. "Oh look, there's a free hook for you!" he said, grabbing James by the feet and dragging him off.
Blood ran down his face as he was painfully put onto a hook then hoisted upwards. He coughed and gasped, trying to regain his long lost composure. The slow agonizing ride left James dead inside and without hope. He stared at the vat of child filled ice cream as his hook eventually began slowly lowering him to his death.