The stain is slowly regaining moisture. Some of the dry patches are starting to fill back in as the cream, returning heat to the sun, settles onto the concrete. The first hints of pink start appearing, and as the puddle starts decreasing in area, there is finally a little growth in height. It seems as if the center was sucking at the edges, pulling in the borders towards itself, so the pink blob could finally emerge.
A crow lands, tail first, and vomits up some strawberry ice cream. It puts it back with its beak, carefully filling a hole in the little scoop. It repeats it three more times, making sure not to forget a quarter of a strawberry on the top. It flaps its wings, as if breaking a fall, and zooms away again.
As the sun gets stronger, the puddle shrinks faster and the scoop rises. A cat, led by its tail, approaches the pink mound and licks a few more layers back on top. The small bell on its collar, engraved ‘Snowball’, jingles as the cat spreads the pink smidgen on its pink nose. The cat looks at the mound longingly as it backs away.
A dog, dragging his owner back by the leash, carries a brown little cone. It separates the mass into two more or less spherical blobs and leaves the little hat on top, before retreating as his owner pulls him away.
There is slowly more and more chatter and an ambulance parks next to the cone, shading it and slowing down the melting process. People are congregating around a nearby location. A black shoe comes down next to the ice cream, toes first, then rolls down to the heels, lifting them up and quickly jerking straight above the glob of pink. The murmur of voices is interjected by random screams while people run away backward, as if in gym class.
The ambulance leaves, as does the crowd, until a single scream pierces the silence.
A bus whirls by and the cone leaps into the air, spinning wildly until it is caught by a little boy, standing in the headlights.
Why did little Timmy drop his ice cream?
Artwork by Eugenia Loli