The Ice-Cream Truck, by Kenzie Edwards

            McKinley’s Clown Ice-Ice Cream had been around our town for many years but this week was the first time the ice cream truck had been down our block. 

I would have to admit that it was kind of a sketchy looking truck, nothing like the TV commercials led us to believe.

            As soon as the music began to play, children from all over the block ran to the street ready to get the “icy” treat.

            What stood out to me that day was the driver of the truck. He was a clown, like from a scary movie. He stood there towering over the kids, with clown makeup that looked fixed into his face. He wore an old polka dotted outfit, and a spine-chilling smile. 

            My son, Chuck, was a nice kid. I received good reports about him from school, he had never been in trouble and he was a good listener. 

I don’t know if it was a coincidence, or if Chuck is just in a phase, but after McKinley’s Clown Ice began making a route down our block, my son began acting differently. He hasn’t been listening to me, nor his teachers at school. It’s like he’s waiting to get into trouble. 

I don’t think it’s only Chuck who’s been acting differently as I’ve heard from neighbors saying similar things about their kids and how they’ve been acting unusual too. 

After a few days it wasn’t getting any better, actually it was getting far worse. Chuck was getting in fights at school, and I’d been getting a lot of bad reports from his teachers. Apparently all his friends were not listening either.  

I was starting to get suspicious about this clown. Well if you think about it, I was letting my child go to this ice cream truck every day, which is ran by this sketchy clown. It just didn’t seem right. 

Shouldn’t the ice cream truck look nice, and not run down? Shouldn’t the clown look like a circus clown, and not a clown from a scary movie? I just didn’t have a good idea about this. 

A few days passed by and I didn’t feel any better about this clown. That day I decided that is the day I was going to see what this clown is really doing, and why my chuck, and all the other kids in the neighborhood, are turning evil.

First, I had to do my research on this guy. After digging I found some information on this “Crime People” website. I wasn’t really surprised to see him there. It turns out that this isn’t his first time doing this to children. According to this website, his case was similar to what’s going on, but got dismissed because there wasn’t enough evidence. 

After doing some more research I found out his full name, which is Franklin McKinely. I had also found out his address. I decided to be creepy and go onto maps and actually see his house. To my surprise his “house” isn’t actually a house, it’s a factory looking warehouse. But his “house” doesn’t even look abandoned, maybe I had gotten his address wrong. 

I went back to the website I found his address on, and it says the same thing, weird. Why would someone’s address come up to a warehouse? Why would he live there? Maybe he makes his own ice cream, maybe that’s why all the kids are acting differently. Because he put something in the ice cream?

I had decided I’m going to do some more research, I found out that growing up he was alone, an orphan. And that when he was in high school, he was the smartest kid in his class. Then when he got to college he majored in science, and got his doctorate degree in chemistry. He also had been arrested many times from his experiments, and their outcomes.

I was not trying to judge, but it’s suspicious when he graduated with a doctorate degree in chemistry, but drives an ice cream truck around neighborhoods. Especially when his ice cream was making kids go crazy. 

Putting all of this information together, I started to believe Franklin McKinley dresses up as a scary clown, to make his own scientific ice cream in his factory-like house, and feeds it to kids, to make them go crazy.

First, I was going to wait for McKinley to make his appearance. It was afternoon at this time, and I was sitting in my car at the end of the block. As the ice cream truck came, I waited a little so I wouldn’t have been noticed. Then I made my way to follow him, or more like the music.  

I remember that day, it was stormy, and windy outside, almost like the sky was black. I watched as there were around 20 kids coming out of their houses screaming like they were about to rob a bank, just to get the ice cream. Almost all the kids had bloodshot eyes, and walked funny. I had never seen this many kids in my block be so loud, or unpleasant to look at. It just made my suspicions increase. 

I had been following this ice cream truck at this point for about three miles, and he was just making a normal route an ice cream truck would take. I was on the edge of just going home, he seemed normal. That was until I saw him turn off his music and drive down a scary, dirt road.

I felt like I had to follow him, I just had to think of a way without him noticing. Google maps! I pulled out my phone and saw where we were. We were at his “house.” From there I decided I was going to walk, just to make sure I was not noticed. 

The walk was pretty long, around a mile. I began to see him in the distance, next to the warehouse I saw on google. I decided walking into the side of the building was the best choice, I tried to be quiet.

This building was three stories high, with only a few windows here and there. The grayish brown color on the brick had made it look old and abandoned. But up close it looked kind of fresh and clean.

Exploring the first level was kind of boring, as I made my way through, all I saw was dust, and uncleanliness. Nothing really except for machines and rusty factory equipment. The second floor was the exact same, so I gradually got up to the third floor.

            The first door opened up to a big apartment. I thought that if I searched enough I could maybe find some clues. I walked past the kitchen, it was like it was empty. And as I looked through the living room, there were no family pictures on the walls, just a couch and a TV. After searching for a bit, I didn’t find any clues, or information.

I moved on to the next room, which was his bedroom. His bedroom looked like a normal bedroom, with a bed, TV, and a dresser. All I found was a gun in the second drawer of the dresser.

 Moving on, I saw at the end of a hall, a door. The door had a sign that said “Do Not Enter.” I decided that I should enter the door and found out it was his office. 

Bingo, I thought to myself at that moment. 

His office was kind of small, and again, he didn’t have a lot of furniture, he had a desk, a few bookcases, and a small couch like chair. I started looking around his stuff, and as soon as I opened the first drawer to his desk. I heard the front door open. I looked around trying to find a hiding spot. 

It sounded like he was getting closer and closer to the office door. I immediately hid underneath the desk. The desk was pretty large, so me hiding underneath it wouldn’t have been noticeable. When he walked in he was on the phone. It was like he lost his train of thought because he stood there for a little while talking. 

At that moment I decided to pull out my phone and record from the side of the desk. Just so I could see what he was doing. It sounded like he was walking over to the bookcase. He started doodling with the shelf, and then I heard him type in the digits for a code. Then he opened the bookcase, and it closed. I decided that I would sit there until he comes out. 

Late that night, he decided to come out of the secret room. When he walked out of the office, I heard a faint sound of faucet water. I decided I should try and open the bookcase. Remembering the video I recorded, after I zoomed in on the video, and figured out the code, the secret door opened.

Inside the secret compartment was a small room. As I was looking through the stuff, I found big and small guns in hidden spots around the room, clown costumes, even a vanity that looked like it was full of all different kinds of makeup. Lastly I had found this black case, the case was placed across from the door, like you would see in the movies. 

The case had one of those locks, where you would need a four digit code to unlock. I decided I would go to his bedroom and grab his phone. I thought that certainly if it was very important, he would have the numbers saved on his note app, on his phone. 

Moving across the dark apartment quietly was hard, but I had managed to do it. Once I grabbed his phone, I quickly found the code and was about to leave. As I turned to leave, a loud alerting sound sprouted from the phone. Franklin started to stir from the loud noise, I thought I had to get back to the office before he noticed I was in his room.

            As I ran towards the office, I heard heavy footsteps fall from behind me, he knew I was there. Right as I got to the door of the office, he was immediately behind me, he grabbed me and threw me towards the closed bookcase. Once I hit the rock hard bookcase, multiple books and clutter fell with me. 

            As he came nearer, I had to think fast, and I threw my leg out so he would trip and fall to the ground. I swiftly got up and opened the door in a rush. With so much adrenaline in my system, I grabbed the gun without thinking, and turned back to Franklin in the doorway. I pointed the gun to his head, and with a blink of an eye, I shot him. 

            As he fell to the floor, all the adrenaline fell from my body. Right at that moment I heard a faint sound of sirens in the distance. 

            Back at home that night, my wife began to worry about me. She went to the neighbors and questioned over me. Nobody knew where I was, to her the only option was to call the police, and file a missing police report. The police began their investigation and due to my location being on, they figured out I was at the factory building. 

            When the police arrived at the building, it looked like what I did was wrong, but not to me. When the police came into the office, I gave in and kept my pleas for court. 

            In court I was facing a homicide charge, they gave me the floor and I explained everything. Starting with my suspicions, to how I followed him, to when I entered the apartment, and when I found the room, and the illegal guns. The only part of the story I altered was the murder part. I had said it was a defense act, but since I was in his home, and killed him, I didn’t have any room to talk. 

            Now I am sitting in a cell facing a life sentence in prison. The letters from my wife are mostly about Chuck, and how he is going back to normal over time. I will admit what I had done was wrong, and I know I seem like the bad guy. But to me I am the hero, I saved all the children that had been affected by the ice-cream.

Now everybody thinks I am crazy, even my own family. 

Published by gishislander

Journalism/Communications instructor at Grand Island Senior High School in Grand Island, Nebraska

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