The ice cream vendor’s song

by | Dec 30, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 9 comments

The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song
By Laura McHale Holland

The day his father drove away, Danube watched the Jeep sweep the house, yard and block of laughter as it roared out of the parking place, down the street and around the corner. Danube stayed on the porch as birds burped up grasshoppers in the branches above. He remained as neighborhood friends chased the ice cream vendor’s melody. He stayed on as the sun flung purples and oranges and reds across a gray-blue sky and as crickets sang into the void where his hope had been.

The first few nights after his father drove away, Danube fell asleep outside, and his mom carried him to bed. Then she insisted he come inside for supper, then earlier and earlier, for he had homework to do and chores and a future to build from marathons, tests and kisses year by year.

Now, a father himself, Danube drives a Jeep; he doesn’t know why. And when he visits his mom, he sits on the front porch in the late afternoons, his arm around his son’s shoulders, and he feels melancholy squeeze his heart momentarily, until he takes his child’s hand and runs block to block, chasing the ice cream vendor’s song.

Share this:

The Kiminee Dream: Now Available!

My new novel is coming soon. Mark your calendar!

Influenced by folklore and magical realism, The Kiminee Dream is a lyrical story with characters equally charmed and challenged while living where the ordinary and miraculous coexist seamlessly. If you like depth as well as whimsy, arresting twists, and details that rouse your senses, you’ll love what is both an eloquent exploration of acceptance and a tender tribute to the people of Illinois.


  1. Jerry Kohut

    sounds like my kind of story, the ice cream part. His Dad left and he still feels the lost today. He must have loved the jeep to get one or maybe it’s the way he remembers his dad. I sure glad the ice creams truck still passes by, are you glad too!

  2. admin

    Thanks for your comment, Jerry. I like that the ice cream truck still passes by, too, and that he can enjoy it with his son. … In my neighborhood, ice cream trucks still drive down all the side streets in the summertime. I love seeing and hearing them, and watching the children run after them with change in their fists.

  3. Persia Woolley

    Nicely done. I’m particularly struck by the writing in the second paragraph, and the fact he doesn’t know why he drives a Jeep. Great on two different levels. Plus thank goodness for ice cream truck melodies!

  4. admin

    Thanks for stopping by and mentioning specific things you like about the story, Persia. Your comments reveal your astute writer’s mind at work.

  5. Barbara Toboni

    …crickets sang into the void where his hope had been. What a beautiful line! Another little gem Laura.

  6. admin

    Thank you, Barbara. It is a gift from our creative universe when phrases like that come to mind.

  7. Robin Leigh Morgan

    Here we go again
    Another flash … another song is brought to my mind.

    This time the is “Cats In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin

    In your flash, the father has left [for whatever the reason might have been]
    leaving his son no one to grow up with, yet for some reason he needs to drive
    a Jeep, just like his father did.

    In the song the father laments he couldn’t spend more time with his son, watching
    as he grew up. And is amazed, despite not really spending any time together, his
    son as grown up just like him. Always having an excuse for not being to get together
    and always promising they will soon.

    In your flash, the only happy memory the son has for his father, is his Jeep, and how
    he used to enjoy riding around in with his father. Now a father himself, he wants to
    relive the happiness he had with his own father with the Jeep, at the same time he wants
    to enjoy the experience he never had with his own father. This joy being, the simple fun he
    missed chasing after the ice cream truck with his father. He wants to make sure his son will
    never miss out on the things he had missed growing up as a child.

    Awaiting your wave length report on his flash.
    How close did we get this time

  8. Robin Leigh Morgan

    Forgot to mention one thing as I read this flash, I feel there’s an incomplete imagine in what you have written in this flash. I believe you might have thought about it while writing it, however in the end had forgotten to include it.

    Danube stayed on the porch as birds burped up grasshoppers [ for their young ] in the
    branches above

  9. admin

    Thanks for both of your comments, Robin Leigh. I didn’t actulaly intend to include “for their young” in the image you mentioned, but I have thought of changing it so I have birds doing something other than burping, which probably isn’t the correct term anyway … possibly preening. And that’s a most fitting song you’ve shared. Absolutely.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up here to receive your free copy of Just In Case

Subscribe to Laura McHale Holland’s newsletter

Thank you! Watch your inbox, your welcome email should arrive soon.