Perspiring tourists made their way along the windless promenade. Squinting in the sunshine between islands of shade too far apart for any comfort. The sea at low tide was a distant mirage below the far end of the pier.
‘I want an ice cream.’
If her parents heard her above the thumping music from the arcades, they ignored her.
‘I want an ice cream. Daddyyy’
‘I told that idiot, what kind of tuppence ha’penny place is he running, a licensed bar and only one type of lager. I knew we should’ve gone for that big hotel on the front, they’d have a proper bar….’
‘… but oh no, you had to try and save a few lousy quid and we end up in a back street B&B with the mini bar from Delboy and Rodney’s flat’
‘Oh that’s right, blame it all on me as usual. It was your idea in the first place staying in town, I wanted the caravan park, but you had to have your own way….’
“WHAT?” both parents finally turned towards her in unison, two damp and impatient faces glaring down at her. Maddie gulped.
‘Can I have an ice cream?’
Her father stared at her in disgust.
‘Haven’t you eaten enough junk today?’
‘Oh for God’s sake, like you’re so healthy, moaning that you’ve got to drink Carlsberg instead of Stella with your burger’ her mother snapped, rummaging in her purse. ‘Here you go duckie, that enough?’
‘Thanks Mum’ she seized the coins and darted between the crowds to the ice cream stall. Returning five minutes later, nibbling the Flake of her 99 cone, she saw her parents before they saw her. Still arguing. She turned her back on them and headed down onto the sand to eat her ice cream alone.
This story is in response to twinklingstaronline’s challenge to write a 300 word story about ice cream. As she points out, I was a bit busy and didn’t give her my full attention when she came up with the idea… but half an hour later her brilliant story was printed out and thrust under my nose. So this is my own effort in return, and I hope my sternest critic likes it!