The ice cream truck has been making the rounds tonight.
Every twenty minutes or so, its oddly old-fashioned music-box tunes softly echo through the winter air as it turns down another street parallel to ours, each time a little more distant. It's dark out. It's 6:00 p.m. And it's cold, at least for Tucson. Are children buying frozen treats right now? Running to the windows, yelling for their mothers:
"Mom! Can I have some money for ice cream?"
"Yes, dear. But only if you promise to wear your coat this time."
I find our ice cream truck creepy on late, hot summer evenings. I have never -- not once -- seen it actually stop to serve ice cream to a child in our neighborhood. It just wends along its slow route, benignly broadcasting that strangely soothing music across quiet streets. Every few nights. There it is.
But tonight? Brrr. I'm staying in, thanks. And locking the door. It's a regular Stephen King novel out there.