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Ice Cream: Part One


by sikki_lo

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Adee stared at the nearly-full shelves in the shop. So many choices... why couldn’t she pick one of them? Why? Why?

      On the shelves sat many different items, mostly food, for that was what this shop specialized in - cereal, vegetables, neocola, crackers, meat, sushi, bread, soup, sandwiches, cupcakes, jellies... but as hard as Adee tried to concentrate on them, to just lift one off the shelves and go pay for it, her attention kept drifting back to the 6 items, all identical, that she simply could not look away from.

      Ice cream.

      They were strawberry ice creams, sitting there innocently in their pretty little glass bowls, with curved ‘beaks’ and green feathers sticking up in back to make them look like lenny heads. By each one lay a tempting spoon, curved so perfectly, just waiting to slip into that ice cream and carry it to her mouth, where it would taste so good...

      She knew she wanted it.

      But she also knew she shouldn’t buy it...

      That thought was driven out of her mind by the realization that the ice cream was melting, just a bit around the edges. The firm deliciousness was collapsing, little by little, and the beaks – they were dripping! Adee felt a horror grow inside her as she watched one – two – three drops of liquid pink fall onto the grimy floor. And then, even worse – out of the corner of her eye she caught movement, coming closer, and then it became a cloud Kacheek, who was walking toward the ice cream, reaching toward the ice cream, nearly touching her ice cream–

      Adee couldn’t stand it any longer. Lunging forward, she scooped all the bowls into her arms. The glass bowls clinked together and the foot of one of them snapped off, falling to the floor, but she didn’t care. With a glare at the poor Kacheek, she rushed forward to the counter and gasped to the shopkeeper, a Blumaroo:

      “I want all of these.”

      The shopkeeper’s grin stretched his whole face. “One at a time,” he said, a cheerful robot. Adee nearly screamed with this added delay, but instead snapped, “I’ll buy this one.”

      “Are you sure you wish to buy lenny strawberry ice cream at 1,000 NP?”

      “Yes. This one too.”

      “Are you sure you wish to buy lenny strawberry ice cream at 1,000 NP?”

      “Yes. Now this one.”

      “Are you sure you wish to buy lenny strawberry ice cream at 1,000 NP?”

      “Yes! And this.”

      “Are you sure you wish to buy lenny strawberry ice cream at 1,000 NP?”

      “Yes! This too!”

      “Are you sure you wish to buy lenny strawberry ice cream at 1,000 NP?”

      “Yes, all of them!”

      “Are you sure you wish to buy lenny strawberry ice cream at 1,000 NP?”

      “Yes!”

      Adee had to put down some of the ice creams to toss 6,000 neopoints on the counter, then she gathered them again and rushed out of the heated store into a cold Terror Mountain wind. She sighed gratefully as her arms began to grow numb. There was no danger of the precious ice cream melting now; it would surely last until she could get it home and into the freezer.

      She hadn’t meant to buy ice cream. She had gone to the shop to get food for the next couple of days. She had gone to the shelves farthest from the ice cream cones, for she had known that she might be tempted into buying them. Unfortunately for her, however, the owner of the shop had recently stocked it with new items... a new kind of ice cream.

      And she had been unable to resist.

      Adee, hurrying home with the six bowls of lenny strawberry ice cream in her arms, heaved a sigh. Why couldn’t she keep herself from buying ice cream whenever she saw it? Why couldn’t she keep herself from eating it? If she kept going at this rate, she would probably turn into some huge blob of ice cream herself. She was now eating nothing but ice cream. She couldn’t remember when she’d last had anything else. She had ice cream for breakfast, ice cream for lunch and ice cream for dinner. It was too much! Any sensible neopet would see that it was very clearly too much, and she would have greatly enjoyed being able to think of herself as a sensible neopet.

      Even if she hadn’t been able to see on her own that it was too much, she knew it was, because she had started to dream about it. Not that she would have minded one or two dreams; she would have been delighted to enjoy ice cream at night as well as in the daytime. But for close to a week now she had dreamed about ice cream every night, and it was starting to worry her. The last couple of nights she hadn’t dreamed about anything but ice cream.

      She didn’t remember any of the dreams except last night’s, which had started out great – she had an ice cream cone in her hand and was eating it. It was almost done, though, so she walked down the hall she found herself in, naturally searching for more. The dream got even better when she turned a corner and realized she was walking on ice cream. Giant ice cream cones stood around like trees. Ice cream was falling from the sky, too. In the dream none of this struck Adee as odd. She merely enjoyed the wonderful world of ice cream she found herself in, and scooped up a handful to eat; but it wasn’t cold, and it didn’t taste good, and the ice cream was disappearing...

      That was when she had woken up, in the regular world that wasn’t made of ice cream, trying to eat her blanket. To soothe the disappointment of losing the spectacular dream world, she had had to eat a bowl of ice cream right away.

      As she remembered this dream, she became more determined to stop eating so much ice cream, as soon as possible. Just because she had bought it didn’t mean she had to eat it, after all. She should not throw it away, though... such a waste... no, no, no, no, no, she would keep it for a special occasion. Yes, that would surely be a good use of it... one had to have ice cream for a special occasion, didn’t one? She would not eat it now. She would put it in the freezer, then leave right away to buy some different food.

      But she didn’t dare go to the same shop anymore. It was the one she usually visited, because the owner stocked it often and prices were fairly cheap. Now the variety of choices was a problem, and as for the prices, her... obsession... with ice cream had already cost considerably more than she would have liked. She would of course try to find reasonable prices. She should have tried a different shop before, really. She would stick the ice cream in her freezer, then leave immediately to search. She would buy food at the new shop and eat that food, not the ice cream, which she would save for a special occasion. Yes, that would work. That was what she would do.

      Adee began looking for a good shop as soon as she dropped off the ice cream. The one she eventually found was quite crowded, which she chose to take as a good sign. It was warm, too, which was very welcome after the chilly walk outside. Even better than the heat, though, was the fact that there was no ice cream whatsoever on the shelves. She decided it would be just as easy as she had thought to buy food here. In fact, there was probably no reason for her to ever go back to the first shop. She couldn’t help smiling at finding such a simple solution to her problem. She only had to avoid temptation!

      This shop seemed to have mostly baked goods. She selected a pie, some cookies, and a cheesy baguette (none of which had a speck of ice cream in them), paid for them, and was on her way home again – triumphantly. It had been easy.

      She was getting hungry by the time she got home, so she dumped the stuff on the table and started to pick up a cookie. Then she thought that she should eat the baguette because it wasn’t sweet at all and wouldn’t remind her of ice cream.

      She grabbed the loaf of cheese-filled bread and sniffed at it. It smelled like cheese, reasonably enough. Bravely she stuck it in her mouth –

      and bit down –

      and gagged. She had to spit it out. It was awful. She couldn’t possibly eat that! She wasn’t fooling herself; it tasted honestly horrible. With a gigantic effort of will, she forced herself not to rush to the freezer. She would try a cookie now. Maybe it was better, after all, to eat something similar to ice cream. Unable to avoid a sense of martyrdom, Adee picked up a chocolate dipped peophin cookie.

      She imagined it was a chocolate ice cream cone...

      No! She shouldn’t be thinking that. It was a cookie! A yummy cookie. It was sure to taste good. “Who needs ice cream, anyway?” she said aloud. “Cookies are so much better. Ice cream is disgusting.” She gazed at the cookie, sniffed it, raised it to her mouth and took a tiny nibble of the edge.

      It was not worse than the baguette, it definitely wasn’t. But it was not any better, either. It was dry and crumbly and sickening and just revolting. Why had she said ice cream was disgusting? Now it would be mad at her! It was the horrible cookie that was disgusting! She would never touch one again. Never, never, never.

      In a fit of remorse, she ran to her freezer and took out a bowl of the lenny strawberry ice cream. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she cried to it. “You’re not disgusting. You’re wonderful. I won’t ever say anything like that ever again. And I’m sorry I eat you so much but I just can’t help it...”

      She felt so guilty that she ate all six bowls of ice cream.

      And that night, when Adee went to bed, she dreamed.

To be continued...

 
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