Out of Order

“Please insert more.” The words shone like a pair of red eyes watching half-lidded from the black horizon. Many did not care much about the vending machine, maybe cracking a few jokes about it, but some looked at it with grinding curiosity. They discussed it among themselves in the breakroom, that perhaps it was a message or a warning. People began putting money in the slot. Nothing came out in return. Snacks watched from behind the glass but they never seemed to show any life or movement. Some began to believe that the snacks were not real. Others, the ones who gave the machine money, were insistent on a great reward at the end. A few people tried to insert pieces of paper, gum wrappers, and even larger objects such as paperclips and nail polish remover. The vending machine took them all and gave back nothing in return. Some of the people who never cared were converted by the others’ curiosity. They fidgeted and fussed. Whispers of shattering the vending machine began to spread about the breakroom, but the vending machine had its own army of protectors. They would not have it. While the two groups threw fists and chairs at one another, the vending machine watched from a dark corner, showing no favor to either side. After a few bloody noses, the people settled on a disgruntled truce. A few extremists plotted on both sides, but the moderates agreed to let some have their vending machine while others simply packed their own lunches.


1 Comment

Filed under Flash Fiction, Session X

One response to “Out of Order

  1. darkwasthenight

    Yep…like it. Unusual perspective. Very well written. I suppose it’s an approval of moderation? Some lines I liked: ‘Some began to believe that the snacks were not real.’ Funny. I also liked the last clause in the story. Good ending. Yep…a good analogy on the weaknesses of humans.


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