Ice Cream: Part Two
She dreamed she was outside, walking on hard-packed snow. It was nighttime, with a bright moon overhead. By its light she could see a huge factory ahead of her. She hurried to get inside it, for although she was dressed warmly, there was a wind that bit at her bare face.
The door was unlocked. Adee opened it and stepped inside, out of the wind, although the building didn’t seem to be heated. She closed the door behind her, then looked around.
She was standing in a room, a medium-sized room empty of any furniture. From the high ceiling hung looped tubes, too far up for her to reach. A low regular thumping noise, like machinery, seemed to be coming from behind the walls. There was no way out of the room except the door she had come in through.
Along one wall was a row of what looked like giant cones for ice cream, empty and on their sides. Adee ran over to them, of course, to find that they were just plastic. But as she looked at them disappointedly, strawberry ice cream appeared in the cones and sat there, looking just like an ice cream cone that she would eat, except overly big and sideways. Adee would have wondered what was going on, but this was a dream, and in dreams she had no sense of curiosity. She wouldn’t have had time to think about it anyway, because right then the first scoop of ice cream shot out of its cone.
It went right by her, and floated across the room until it hit the opposite wall, where it vanished. Another scoop was in the air by then, and more and more. Adee moved back so that if one came straight at her she would have time to avoid it. No sooner had she done so than she had to dodge, and she watched the scoop continue to the wall and disappear.
She turned back to the front just in time to catch a glimpse of pink as another scoop crashed into her, knocking her down onto the hard tile floor. Oddly, when she struggled back to her feet, the ice cream on her seemed to have melted away, and the air was no longer full of flying scoops. But the hit had hurt her, she could tell. Another couple of those and she couldn’t get back up.
The cones started shooting out scoops again, looking like ice cream cannons. Adee ran to the door, to find that it was locked. She was trapped in here. She tried very hard to dodge all the scoops, but to one side was the wall and to the other were the scoops, and in front of her a mass of killer ice cream, two pinks on either side of an unusual purple...
She couldn’t avoid it. She shrank against the back wall and squeezed her eyes shut, bracing for the hit, but it never came. When she opened her eyes she saw that the scoops had grown bigger! No, she was smaller, because the room was bigger too. But there were no more scoops now. The air was clear, the row of cones still holding ice cream but not firing it. Adee collapsed in relief.
Then she woke up.
She lay still, very glad to find herself in her bed. What a weird, weird, weird, weird dream! She really had to stop eating so much ice cream. Her dreams seemed to get progressively stranger. But after all, it was over now, and she probably would never dream it again.
She got out of bed and thought nothing more of it.
The day passed. When she got hungry, she couldn’t bring herself to look at the food from the new shop; instead she went and bought a couple of waffle cones from the old one. They were, of course, delicious.
When she went to bed that night she was thinking about all the different flavors of ice cream. She knew that she would almost certainly dream of the rich, cold, creamy, satisfying, mouthwatering, yummy dessert. She wondered what her dream would be.
She was alone on Terror Mountain, just like last night, with the giant factory in front of her. The wind was just as cold, and she was just as eager to get out of it, even though she knew what was waiting for her. She walked to the door and opened it, knowing with dreamlike certainty that she had to. When she moved inside, it shut and locked behind her.
The plastic cones were empty, but strawberry ice cream was popping up in one after another. In a couple of seconds they were in the air once more, and Adee had to concentrate on dodging. She found it slightly easier than last night, though, and she was able to notice some odd scoops mixed in with the pink. First there was a red one with a line on it, and later she saw the same purple one as last night, with a little chia shape inside. She could have let it hit her, but she didn’t quite dare. It would be good to be small so she could fit through the gaps, but how could she be sure it would have the same effect as last night?
Finally the scoops stopped firing. The last ones hit the wall and vanished. Adee sat down and took a deep breath, relaxing. It would be nice if she’d wake up now. She had woken up at this point last night.
But she didn’t wake up. Instead, to her dismay, she saw the cones fill one by one with ice cream - vanilla, this time. And within seconds, the first one was in the air coming straight at her.
Adee dodged, then dodged again. She raced to one side, leapt sideways, sidestepped, hurled herself away from a clump only to stop short a hair from another. Dreams were not meant to be physically demanding! As the scoops went on and on, she began to panic. The strawberry hadn’t lasted nearly as long as this.
But eventually, the air cleared. Adee heaved a sigh of relief, feeling a certain victory in not getting hit at all tonight, and woke up.
This was... odd. Adee lay in bed thinking about it. She’d never had the same dream twice in her life; she didn’t know if that was unusual, but it was true. She seriously needed to lower her ice cream intake. Or perhaps there was some message here? Being attacked by killer ice cream? If there was a message it was probably “don’t eat so much ice cream or you’ll have dreams like this.” But she’d tried that. It wasn’t her fault.
She dressed in warm clothes and went outside. The air was crisp and cold, kind of like ice cream... but it wasn’t ice cream, it was air. It had snowed last night, just a sprinkling. It looked pretty. Adee sighed contentedly. The world was good, as long as there was ice cream.
But if it was getting so bad that she was having repetitive dreams, maybe she really did need to stop eating ice cream, or at least not eat as much of it. Well, she’d tried that! If she wasn’t supposed to eat it so much, it shouldn’t taste so good.
For the first time it occurred to her that maybe she could go to a doctor, to find out why she seemed unable to eat anything but ice cream and to see if it was doing anything to her besides making her dreams weird. But when she thought about it more, she really couldn’t imagine herself admitting to anyone that she lived on ice cream. It was such a silly problem.
But she suddenly had an idea. It was a good idea. In fact, she really liked it. It was the best idea ever and she felt proud of herself for having it. The idea was that she would now stop worrying about it. If the ice cream hadn’t made her sick so far then it probably wouldn’t! It had been days since she’d eaten anything else, and she felt healthier than ever. As for the dreams, they’d probably quit soon.
And everything would turn out just fine. As long as she couldn’t eat anything but ice cream, she may as well like it!
She succeeded in having a carefree attitude throughout the day, eating ice cream and enjoying it without a thought to anything else. She read some of a good book before she went to bed, and as she fell asleep she was, for once, thinking of something other than ice cream.
But she dreamed about it anyway.
This time she was directly in front of the factory door, not more than two steps from it. All she had to do was open it and go in, out of the wind, into the room with the empty plastic cones. They weren’t empty long. The first one fired its lump of killer ice cream right at Adee, and she dodged. And dodged and dodged. And then the scoops stopped – there was a pause – and like last night, they began again with vanilla. Right away several scoops came at her, cornering her, and the middle one splatted all over her. There was a short break in which she got to her feet, all ice cream gone from the air and from her, but then it was over and the ice cream was coming and she could only dodge and run and leap until she saw a different-colored scoop, and then she decided to let it hit her. If she wasn’t worrying when she was awake, she shouldn’t be worrying when she was asleep.
The scoop wasn’t white, like the others; it was pink, but lighter than strawberry and with a faint shape on it. Adee couldn’t help flinching when it hit her, but she didn’t feel it. Instead she immediately felt stronger, brighter, more alive. When the first scoop had hit her she had felt her strength sapped and frozen, but now it was fully restored and she felt as good as ever.
The last of the vanilla scoops flew to the far wall and were gone.
Adee realized she was expecting another flavor. Last night had come vanilla. This was the third night, so there should be three kinds of ice cream. And there were. The cones filled with chocolate, then the air filled with chocolate. She avoided them all, and when a blue scoop came close to her she reached out and touched it with only the slightest hesitation.
At once everything was smaller. It was disorienting, but worse than that, it was much harder to fit through the open spaces. She managed to squeeze by a few scoops, then one splatted in her face. But after the brief pause, she did not violently encounter any ice cream for the next ten seconds, and then it stopped. The air cleared, and she woke.
To be continued...