This is a story has haunted my home town for many year's. It use to be a peaceful small town in Iowa, but that all changed one summer. This was before I was born but my mother and father have been telling me and my siblings this story since I can remember. Sometimes my Aunt would call my dad in the middle of the night crying, asking him over and over again if it's all over, he would have to comfort and assure her she was going to be okay until sunrise.
She committed suicide last year.
The town I grew up in was small, hardly anyone lived there when I
was a child, I'm guessing because of the events that took place.
Children weren't allowed to play outside by themselves, walk anywhere by
themselves, or even stay home for a short period of time themselves,
the town and all the people in it were consumed by fear. At first I
thought 'The Ice Cream Man' was our towns 'Boogie-Man'. But as I grew
older and was told more and more of the story in detail not just by my
parents but also by neighbors that have lived in the same house for
thirty, forty year's, I began to believe it really did happened.
My Dad's Experience:
Everybody in my neighborhood came running out when they heard his
musical truck driving up the street, everyone would wave and shout, some
kids would even run towards the truck to be the first one's in line. He
always seemed so cheerful and nice, always made us laugh with his
jokes. It was mid July I believe, it was a unusual hot summer, so a cold
treat was just the thing to cool any child down. I was about ten and
your Aunt Lucy was about seven or eight, she was a chubby child, your
grandmother used to say that she still hadn't lost her baby fat yet.
I was always the last kid in line, I would let all the girls and Aunt Lucy before me because I was polite like that. Lucy would always get a couple ice cream sandwiches for twenty-five cents apiece and I would get a Fudge Bar. I always thought Mr. Jones (The Ice Cream Man) was always more nice towards Lucy, it didn't seem strange to me at the time, I thought it was because Lucy was his best costumer.
Towards the end of July, Mr. Jones was coming later and later in the day, when he did show up he seemed agitated. He would snap and yell at the kids to "Hurry their ass up!" when they were being indecisive. Soon he stopped coming altogether. After about a week Lucy and I gave up waiting on him.
One night while I was sleeping I could've swore I heard his music playing low, driving down my street, but I decided it was just in my sleepy head. The next day as Lucy and I were playing in the backyard, your grandmother called me in. At first I thought I was in deep shit, but the look on her face was utter sadness and concern. I stepped into the back door and asked her what was wrong.
"Sweetie, have you seen your friend Micheal yesterday?" She asked, "Mrs. Robinson would like to know."
"I haven't mom." I said after thinking about it for a minute. I knew something was wrong but waited until my mother was off the telephone to ask. "Micheal's been missing since last night." She said "Are you sure you didn't see him? He didn't tell you why he wasn't coming home last night?" She asked. I just shook my head no. I was worried about Micheal but he was always goofing off and scaring his mom, I thought it was another one of his elaborate pranks, I just shook it off and didn't think about it after that. The news of Micheal disappearance spread quickly the next few days, along with rumors. The cops had no evidence of his whereabouts, Micheal just simply disappeared.
Then one day as Lucy and I were sitting inside watching television, we heard his musical truck drive up our street. We peered out the window and seen his bright white glistening truck. I ran upstairs and grabbed my piggy bank and ran outside. The rest of the neighborhood kids must of heard it too because there was already a line forming on the side walk. Lucy waved me over as she was in the middle of the line, grasping my piggy bank tightly I ran over to her and got in line. After what seemed like ages, we finally got up to the window, I ordered my Fudge Bar and Lucy ordered her ice cream sandwich, but to our surprise Mr. Jones said in a very cheery voice "Ah I'm sorry children but I do not have those today." He said with a smile, " What I do have is my home-made vanilla cones, only ten cents!" I couldn't believe it, it seemed such a great deal at the time, Lucy and I ordered one apiece, Mr. Jones piled big scoops of ice cream on top of the cone. We paid and thanked him before running off. Lucy dug into hers right away, by the time we reached our house she was almost finished, I didn't try mine yet, it was a hot day but for some reason my cone wasn't melting as fast as I thought it was going to. I sat on the steps in front of my house and took a nice long lick on the side of the cone. Something didn't seem right, the cone seemed too salty and gritty to me, but I kept on licking it, assuming Mr. Jones added to much salt in his batch of ice cream.
As the weeks passed, more and more children started to disappear. At first the police assumed they were running away, but as more children came up missing it was hard to deny that someone was taking them. Mr. Jones started coming by more frequently, always serving his home-made ice cream, different flavors to choose from, it was hard not to pass up, but the grittiness never went away.
Soon your grandparents didn't allow us outside, they were afraid we would be taken next, but they didn't know that nothing would stop The Ice Cream Man...