Ice Cream Shop

Timothy Caldwell owns Cold Timmy’s, an ice cream shop that is near foreclosure. What will this God-fearing man do to save his little ice cream shop?

Timothy scooped up a single, then glanced at the small child, he scooped a double chocolate and vanilla ice cream bowl. “Thank you, Timmy!” The small child said, licking his ice cream off his fingers and storming out the front door. All the kids and townspeople called him Timmy. Timothy, the store’s owner, enjoyed putting smiles on children’s faces. Especially for children in such a poor town.

“If you don’t mind, why do you give them free ice cream when you need the business?”

“Some kids can’t afford even tiny luxuries like licking freshly made ice cream off their fingers, it’s the least I can do to give a little joy in this sad community,” Timothy said. “It’s the least I can do.” Ashley, Timothy’s employee, said nothing walking to the back to continue her prep before her shift finished. Timothy plucked a towel on the counter, rolled in a ball, and wiped the counter off with his head hanging, only missing the noose he thought.

Timothy owned Cold Timmy’s in perhaps an overtly small community. I told you, you shouldn’t have opened the shop here, his ex would tell him. He did everything he could to not give her the satisfaction of the last laugh. Along with his ex, he had the occasional employee or customer telling him that maybe he was too generous with the local kids and regulars. They frequently shrugged off excessive samples and freebies. Timothy had a big heart paired with little to no business savvy. It was his fault he opened his dream in a tiny town like Bells Falls, but despite that, he felt he earned some goodwill from the good Lord above. He continued praying every Sunday morning and Wednesday night in his community church, one of the community’s churches. He prayed for forgiveness for things he thought, things he’d done (nothing bad at all), and things he may have done. He volunteered cooking for the hospital workers and the homeless shelters, on top of doing landscaping for the city park. Timothy did all he could to generate goodwill with the Lord in hopes he’d return the favor upon his little ice cream shop. All Timothy wanted was to bring joy to the people of Bells Falls.

The bell jingled with the front door slamming shut, a gorgeous lady in a suit, glasses, and her hair in a ponytail strolled in. Timothy admired strong women, like his ex—up until the end, but this one came in bearing a will of bad news. “How can I help you, mam?”

“Hi—excuse me, can I speak to Timothy, the owner of Cold Timmy’s?”

“Speaking, mam.”

“Timothy, or shall I call you Timmy?”

“Timothy is fine.”

Ashley watched from the back as Timothy spoke with the lady in the suit. She couldn’t hear what they discussed—argued—but could tell whatever the lady brought in with her upset Timothy enough to demand she leave the premises. In her eighteen months working at Cold Timmy’s, she had never heard Timothy raise his voice. He was always so kind. The bell rang and with that, the lady in the suit left. The economy was particularly harsh now more than ever, especially to small business owners like Timothy and his little ice cream shop, that much Ashley knew. She walked behind Timothy. His arms were raised over his shaggy brown head of hair and his back bent over the front counter in defeat.

“Timothy?” Ashley said.

He brushed his hair back and fixed his glasses with a flick of his thumb. “All is fine, Ashley, all is fine. Don’t you worry bout a thing.” But Ashley saw in his eyes that there was a thing to worry about, she was worried about Timothy and his little ice cream shop more than her own job. 

“Who was that lady?”

“They have been by—uh, several times, five times now to discuss our financial situation. But don’t you worry bout a thing, Ashley. All is fine.” Timothy moped to the back.

Timothy hid in the office pulling up spreadsheets, paperwork, and all sorts of files to solve his cold crisis. But he knew there was nothing in what he could pull out of thin air that could help. Nothing but God’s Will. He wished—prayed—there was something he could conjure up to solve his financial situation. He couldn’t understand it, he’d be doing good and doing charity all his life and his dream of his little ice cream shop was going to fall beneath him. It was more than his little ice cream shop, it was Bells Falls ice cream shop. It was about to be no more.

He sent Ashley home, wishing her well. He ran the store the final hours of the night by himself not minding the darkness seeping in and the quiet setting. It fit his mood, he thought. Timothy walked over to the thermostat and flicked the switch off. Two hours later the store was freezing, rivaling his ice cream’s temperature. His heartfelt the same.

He knew not what to do, so that night he fell asleep in his office praying today’s problems will be solved tomorrow at sunrise. His dream showed him otherwise. He dreamt of that lady and the several men that showed up in their black suits demanding payment and tossing him fines for due payments, money he did not have. He was leaning on his cash register, ice cream melting beside him contrary to the chilling temperature of the shop; icicles spiked in stabbing motions above, slick floors covered the ground, Timothy leaned in dismay. The woman, the same from earlier barged in, demanding the money she was owed. Timothy raised his arms, but she raised hers—but they weren’t arms. Leathery appendages flailed from her body whirling around the room wrecking the shelves and breaking the glass counter, tossing shards of glass into the ice cream. Timothy defended his face but a thrown shard sliced his arm. Blood poured out onto the ice cream creating a crimson puddle of melted milk mixed with chocolate and vanilla. Timothy looked, the lady in the suit left. Timothy looked at the wreck of a shop, noticing the new strange strawberry ice cream beneath him. He woke with an idea.

The next day Timothy called Ashley telling her to take the day off, he was going to run the shop on his own today. “Are you sure?” She asked. 

“Yes, I have this. Take the day off, thank you.”

Timothy worked and never complained nor uttered a word of defeat for today was a new day. People came in and bought their usuals, Timothy knew most of his customers being in Bells Falls there wasn’t anyone you couldn’t know. But the regulars weren’t enough Timothy knew to keep his little ice creams hop afloat. He needed something incredible to bring in business.

“It’s freezing in here, Timmy.”

“Our heater is out, sorry mam,” Timothy said. Timothy plucked his towel swinging it to his opposite hand and begun wiping the counter with a widened smile. Everything was peaches and rainbows—until that lady in the suit strolled into Cold Timmy’s.

Like twenty-four hours ago, they bickered and debated Timothy’s situation and the future of Cold Timmy’s. Timothy tried for a countless time to win these loan sharks over but they wouldn’t budge. Despite his charity, his volunteering, his prayers—they demanded their money. Now. “Mam, please, let me show you my operation and how terrific Cold Timmy’s is and how we have our standards. Please, mam.” Timothy stepped back, taking her into the back. “Julie, please, take a look at how terrific this business is and how wonderful it runs. With these consistency measures in place, we’ll save lots of money, make lots of money.”

“Timothy, this isn’t a question of how you can run a business, it’s a question of paying your fees,” the lady in the suit, Julie, said. Timothy looked at her, he noticed her beautiful brunette hair. Today it was slicked behind her hair and let loose—not restrained in a hair tie, in a ponytail. There was something wild in her. Like how she was in his dream last night. His frown turned into a widened grin. “Timothy, please, if you can just sign these—”

Timothy, for the first time in his life, refused to wait for the Lord to do his work, he smacked the lady in the suit with a large pot he grabbed behind his back. He used the large pot to prepare his famous chocolate. The chocolate that he claimed was the real reason that brought people into Cold Timmy’s. The little child he gave free ice cream too asked for extra chocolate.

Timothy looked at the lady in the suit with her crooked on the ground, spread out he thought like one of those chalked bodies on crime shows. The blood rolling out gave him an idea, an idea that would save Cold Timmy’s. He dragged her body back. He covered the prep room in plastic wrap, taping it to the counters and shelves. He hung her body up by her legs and began his prep work; he let her blood pour out onto the plastic wrap until there was nothing but a declining drip onto the plastic.

He closed up the shop for a week.

Timothy posted a sign, Closed for One Week – New Menu Coming Soon!

When he reopened, the town gathered and came in droves. They loved his new Cherry Ice Cream Deluxe. They loved the cherry chocolate he poured on top of it, they ate it up. He spent time during the week stirring his concoction in his favorite large pot he made all his chocolate syrup. The small child he gave free ice cream to a week ago came back in with his parents. “Thank you, Timmy, for buying our Nathan ice cream last week, we’re here to return the favor. Could we have three of the Cherry Ice Cream Deluxes?”

“Yes, mam, Ashley could we get three more?” Timothy said. Ashley affirmed the order and made three Cherry Ice Cream Deluxe in haste. “And not a problem at all, I just wanted to put a smile on your boy’s face. A child’s smile brings so much joy into the world, don’t you think?” Timothy flashed his widened grin once more, and behind that grin lay a special freezer he held in the back with more men in suits, ladies in suits, all kinds of people in suits he drained until there was nothing left to drain. Next month he hopes to serve his new Almond Crunch topping with a special blend of secret ingredients. Bells Falls can’t wait!

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