Ice Cream Man #2: Karen’s Wild Ride
Written by: W. Maxwell Prince
Art by: Martin Morazzo
Colors by: Chris O’Halloran
Good or evil, left or right, chocolate or vanilla; every choice has a consequence.
What You Need to Know:
Jim is deep in the throes of heroin withdrawal and his girlfriend, Karen, can’t stand to see him like that. She decides to help him in the only she knows will work: more heroin.
What You’ll Find Out:
Every action has a reaction, every choice a consequence. You must be willing to live with your decisions…if you can.
What Just Happened:
In Karen’s mad dash to get a fix for her beloved, we see the path that led her and Jim to this point in their lives and their relationship. We see her reminisce about what things used to be like: they were young and in love and free to express themselves and show how much they cared for each other, both romantically and physically. We see their slow descent into heroin-use and the lengths they’d go in order to get high. Soon, the only thing that they cared about more than each other was their next fix. They might have felt remorse for things that they had done, but when the needle was in their arm, nothing else mattered.
This is especially evident when Karen goes out and is trying to figure out a way to get some more money so she can get the heroin Jim they desperately need. Unfortunately for her, every time she’s slammed the junk into her veins, she lost a little bit more of her cognitive abilities so her reasoning skills aren’t what they used to be, although she does have the wherewithal to put a revolver into her purse. Just in case.
Karen is trying to steal a car, but none of the ones she comes across are unlocked. She’s beginning to get angry and frustrated when she suddenly hears the sweet tones of an approaching ice cream truck. She stands in the road, forcing the truck to stop. She steals the truck and begins tearing through the city, driving like a woman possessed. She crashes through yards and runs red lights, all the while imagining she is the only one on the road. Although she is unsure of her destination, she is sure that she will be there with Jim.
The next thing we see is an elderly couple who have been married for decades, judging by the way they are acting. Of course, after everything his wife—Alice—has done for him, Phil complains that his soup is cold. Alice storms out, seemingly ignorant of all of Phil’s apologies. She tells him she’s upset, but also that they are late for his appointment with the orthopedist. Phil insists that he didn’t mean to say what he said, that it was the pain pills he’s been taking for his myriad of issues. The conversation ends there; however, because at that moment Karen smashes the ice cream truck into the passenger side of the car in which they are arguing, Phil is killed instantly. Karen demands money from the recently-widowed Alice, who taunts her, calling her a “murderin’ junkie!” until Karen shoots and kills her too.
Karen runs back home, ahead of the sirens that are no doubt closing in on her and bursts through the door…only to find the Ice Cream Man waiting for her. As is his profession, he is there to offer Karen a treat. Not ice cream, no, but pure, uncut heroin of a better quality than she’s ever had. But there’s a catch: there’s only enough for one dose. So she can take it herself—because it’s been a long time since she’s had a fix and if she starts detoxing, who will help Jim?—or give it to Jim to ease his suffering.
She has to make her choice quickly though, because the sirens are closing in…