Dribbling down my chin, the electric pink syrup reeks of artificial cherry. Why the snow cone? Other children are as enticed by it as they are drawn to cotton candy. Cotton candy is grandiose, light, whispy. Magic clouds. Snow cones are low-quality flavorings soaked into shaved ice. When the ice melts, a sugar-water solution remains with a powerful concentration of Red Number 40 and Yellow Number 5. Eyes fixated and reflecting hot light, my little brother thrusts his hand towards my wax-paper cone. I let him finish my treat. Licking his lips he says, “Eww. Tastes like cough syrup.”


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