Take in a scene: On a pleasant May afternoon, a woman is filling up the tank of her newly restored vintage motorcycle at the local 7-Eleven when she is suddenly struck with an urge for something icy and sweet. "A Slurpee!" she cries to the high noon sun. "Yes, what I want is a Slurpee!" A realization passes over her strong features — her eyes darken, her shoulders, which she once held proud and victorious, now slump: Slurpees have sugar and she is on a diet. Also, her father was killed in a sugar refinery.
"What I want is a Slurpee," she repeats, this time as a whisper, her words carried off in the wind to some unknown place, some unknown paradise where slurpees are made from artificial sweeteners and girls don't lose their daddies in freak factory accidents. She wants to be there, this dreamed-up land, even if it doesn't really exist because, hell, sometimes chasing a dream is better than living a reality. Suddenly, she starts walking, leaving her motorcycle behind, the tank now overflowing with gas. She finds an ATM and withdraws all of the money from her bank account then throws her debit card, along with her driver's license to the curb. It's gonna be a long walk to find this sugar-free Slurpee and she knows that the woman she is, the woman she was, isn't up to the task.
Now free from her identity, the woman carries on on her journey. Her only clue of where to look is the direction of the wind, but she's free now, a queen of the road. People will see her passing and whisper, rumors will start about this vagrant, the one out looking for what don't exist. She'll hear these rumors and smile, knowing that somewhere out there is a place for dreamers like her. It's the suckers who refuse to look that won't ever find it.
It is now 2012. The woman is 103 years-old and on her deathbed. Though she has no real family, hundreds hold vigil outside her hospital room, praying for the life of the woman whom they call the Dream Chaser. A young boy who works down at the local press weaves his way through the crowd before making it to the door and whispering frantically to the nurse standing guard. The nurse's eyes widen before she moves out of the way, giving him entry. He steps over the threshold to see the old woman, hair fine and white, connected to tubes and breathing steadily through a respirator.
"Dream Chaser," he says. "I have news."
The only sign she is listening is a twitch of a finger, but he continues.
"7-Eleven," the boy says, tears choking his words. "They just announced it. They are going to make a new sugar-free Slurpee. They say it'll be called a Slurpee Lite. Only 20 calories. Women can drink them again. Women can have Slurpees."
A ghost of a smile passes over the Dream Chaser's face as she flatlines.
7-Eleven to Launch New Low-Calorie Slurpees Nationwide [Vulture]
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