Mr. Ding-A-Ling This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As soon as I hear the familiar music, I run through the house looking for spare change. Once my findings total eighty-five cents, I run barefoot onto the hot blacktop to the white truck. There is a line of children in front of me. This year's Mr. Ding-A-Ling looks like a hippie. I scan the pictures of ice cream on the side of the truck, but take only a second to order a Firecracker. It is cold, and the cold is welcome on such a hot day. I sit on the curb to enjoy my purchase and watch the kids return to their game of ball. I remember when I was that young. My neighbor and I would take out the Willy Waterbug and run through it in our clothes.

There is an ant pile next to me and I flatten it, but then I feel bad, so I clear away a hole for the ants to escape. The kids are still laughing and playing and I wonder how it must feel not to worry about grades and popularity and looks. The popsicle is not that good and the red juice runs down my leg and leaves a trail that looks like blood. I don't really know why I bought it, I hate Firecrackers. The ball rolls over to me and I throw it back and realize why I buy the ice cream. It is to become that kid again, even if it is just until the popsicle runs out. I can buy another tomorrow and return, but now it is time to go back. I take the last bite of my Firecracker, throw the stick in the sewer and go.c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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