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No Future


by Chris Okum


"Stop crying."
"But I don't want to leave."
"We just got here. Jesus."
"All I can think about is when we have to leave."
"We're not leaving yet."
"I know."
"We just got here."
"I don't want to leave."
"When I used to come here as a kid I always wanted to get the Monster Volcano but your grandfather always said no."
"I want the Monster Volcano."
"No."
"I wish we could stay here forever."
"Well, we can't."
"I'm sorry I was crying."
"You don't have to be sorry. You just have to stop."
"I ruined everything again. I always do. That's what you think, isn't it?"
"I didn't say that."
"I didn't say you said that. I said you were thinking that."
"Let's talk about something else."
"Like what?"
"Like what you're going to order."
"I don't know."
"How about a regular sundae?"
"What's a regular sundae?"
"With hot fudge and nuts and whipped cream and shit."
"Daddy. I don't like nuts."
"Then don't get nuts."
"And I don't like hot fudge."
"Then get something else. Do you want to split something with me?"
"I want my own. It's my birthday."
"Yeah, yeah, you can have whatever you want."
"So I can get the Monster Volcano then?"
"No."
"I don't want to leave."
"Just don't think about it."
"I can't think about anything else."
"Force yourself."
"I can't."
"Jesus."
"Okay."
"Hey, look, they have a butterscotch sundae.You like butterscotch."
"I don't like butterscotch anymore. I like caramel."
"What's the difference?"
"I don't know."
"There's no difference."
"Once we leave we're never coming back, are we?"
"I have no idea. I haven't even thought about it."
"We're not coming back. I know we're not."
"How do you know that?"
"Because you didn't want to bring me here in the first place."
"Did I say I didn't want to bring you here?"
"I can just tell."
"How can you tell?"
"I just can."
"Don't put words in my mouth."
"I wasn't putting words in your mouth. I was putting thoughts in your head."
"Well, don't do that either. You're here, aren't you?"
"What was the point?"
"Of what?"
"Of coming here."
"To eat some ice cream."
"That's it?"
"Well, what else is there to do when you come here? This is an ice cream parlor."
"What does parlor mean?"
"I don't know."
"I don't think it means anything."
"Sure it does."
"Then what does it mean?"
"I said I don't know. What do I look like, a fucking dictionary?"
"Daddy."
"What?"
"You shouldn't swear in public. That's what you said."
"Jesus."
"There are children around? What about the children?"
"Fuck the children."
"Are we going to leave now?"
"No. You wanted ice cream. So let's get some goddamned ice cream."
"I want the Monster Volcano."
"No."
"That kid over there is looking at you. Because you said a bad word."
"Who cares. That kid's got no future."
"He doesn't?"
"Nope."
"How can you tell?"
"Because none of you do."
"I don't have a future?"
"No."
"Why are you saying that?"
"I don't know. Hey, look, the game is on."
"Who's playing?"
"No one. Duke. And someone else."
"Wait, how come you said I don't have a future?"
"I don't know."
"Is that true?"
"I don't know."
"So that means we're not coming back then."
"I don't know."
"I knew it."
"Jesus."


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