She didn’t seem thrown by the questions. “Vanilla,” she replied promptly, “with sprinkles.” He smiled. She came in every Saturday afternoon with the same order. He had given up on convincing her to try another more exotic flavor, goat cheese with red cherries or whiskey and pecans. She just didn’t appreicate his ice cream genius. She probably didn’t realize that the only reason he even kept the flavor on the menu was because of her. He didn’t want to see the disappointment in her green eyes if one day he had to say he was sorry, but maybe she’d be happy with sweet cream. She’d quit coming he knew, it was that simple. And he’d miss her.
He only saw her once a week and then rarely indulged in anything but the briefest small talk. On sunny days, she took her cone out to one of the small tables on the sidewalk, sat and people-watched. When it rained, she just left. He didn’t know where she lived, where she worked. She didn’t where a ring, always came in alone, so she was single. He liked to picture her as a teacher, for some reason, the cute, friendly English teacher who all the boys had a little crush on. That little fantasy probably said more about him than her, he knew, but that’s how she struck him, with her blonde hair pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail and a sparkle in her eyes that promised a sense of humor.
He handed her the cone. “So, what are you doing this evening?” The words were almost out of his mouth when a family came in, two young kids chattering about what flavor to pick, the mom puching a baby in a stroller. She took her cone and headed out the door, the small bell tinkling at her exit. As he was making the treats for the family, he kept one eye on her as she sat at the small metal table on the sidewalk, alone as always.
Then a man walked up and hugged her. She kissed him on the cheek, took his hand and they walked off down the road. Ah, well, so maybe not as alone in the evenings as he had hoped.
She should probably dump the boyfriend and date the ice cream man. Imagine all the ice cream you wanted in any flavor! This flash fiction post was based on a prompt at Flash Fiction Friday.
Prompt: Your story must begin with one of the following sentences:
1. ”She didn’t seem thrown by the question.” From Page 111 of Fear the Night by John Lutz.
2. ”The rats, uncannily, were always on the edge of the light, a faint shimmering movement, retreating as the men advanced.” From Page 111 of Death Watch by Jim Kelly.
3. ”I felt as if the whole world were about to slip out from under my feet.” From Page 111 of As Catch Can by Vincent Zandri.
Word Limit: 1,500 words
And by a writing prompt at The Daily Post.
Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?