|Ghost in the Vending Machine
Author: Fario PM
There was once a small vending machine on the corner of a certain street. The vending machine sold all sorts of junk, from chocolate, to crisps... even sodas. Out of all his patrons, there was one in particular that was his favourite. She always came at half past twelve and always bought a little chocolate bar. /Very short One-Shot/Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship/Romance - Words: 980 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 4 - Published: 09-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3061364
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This teeny, little tale came to me at one in the morning and I subsequently spent the next hour jotting it down... Anyway, please enjoy, and I hope your heart is moved just like mine was when writing this!
Don't be afraid to point out typos!
There was once a small vending machine on the corner of a certain street. The vending machine sold all sorts of junk, from chocolate, to crisps*... even sodas. The machine had a few regular clients that showed up during their break or after school. Out of all these patrons, there was one in particular that was his favourite. She always came at half past twelve and always bought a little chocolate bar. The machine had gotten used to seeing her, feeling her soft touch on his keys. He had also gotten used to the repetitive motion of handing her her chocolate bar.
The girl, the machine thought, was very pretty, always dressed in casual work clothes, her black pencil skirt forming perfectly to her curves. The machine was always thrilled to see her, and yet, he was also saddened by her constant look of melancholy. The only times she allowed a smile to creep through her lips was when she took out the chocolate bar from the machine's serving tray and took slow, delicate bites of the sweet candy, right there on the spot. She would finish her treat with a gentle and peaceful look about her, letting the final bite melt in her mouth.
The vending machine began to fall into the habit of seeing the girl, and he slowly realised that she was all he looked forward to. The old business man, the boy on the bicycle, the obese woman from next door, even the man that came to fix and empty his innards were but familiar faces in a crowd of people.
He had set his internal clock to her time of visit, and ticked impatiently until the next time she would come.
One day, she arrived much later than usual, and to the vending machine's despair, with red and swollen eyes. She did not enter money nor press the machine's buttons in her usual soft manner.
Instead, she fell limply to the ground, her back leaning against the machine. She began to sob uncontrollably, and in the midst of her gasps, she spoke to herself, and although she did not realise it, she also spoke to the machine, the only constant thing in her life.
The vending machine listened and listened for all his worth, hearing about the girl's financial problems, her broken dreams, her lost job, her cheating boyfriend; all her troubles.
Unable to do anything, the machine just stood there, inert, still, unable to hug and comfort his beloved girl. She had continued to spill waterfalls of tears, and her speech had been drowned amongst all the sounds that are associated with crying.
The machine did the only thing it knew how to do, the only thing it could do, to soothe his little girl. He twisted his coils, and at the strained noise he made, the girl turned around to face him with stunned, glistening, surprised eyes.
The chocolate bar fell to the bottom of the serving tray, and with ever widening eyes, she carefully took out the bar. She held it and turned it over, examining its glossy packaging. Finally, she unwrapped it, and with the sweet smell that was unravelled, her tears stopped flowing, leaving behind streaks in her light make-up.
She took a bite, and the nerve-wrecking pain the machine had felt instantly ceased as her face was illuminated by a bright smile.
Since that day, the girl always came back, albeit a bit later than she had previously, and she was greeted by a free chocolate bar, at which point she would eat it and talk about her day with no one in particular. Even on her wedding day, during her pregnancy and even as an old lady with barely any teeth left, she would suck on the chocolate in the company of her faithful and everlasting companion.
Then, one day, she did not show up, nor the day after, nor the day after that. After a week of absence, the machine had begun to fear the worst. After another two weeks, the machine was treated to a familiar guest.
His beloved girl's daughter sat down limply in the same manner as her mother had done before her, and she began to cry and mourn the loss of her mother, while the machine watched.
Suddenly, the girl heard a mechanical strain coming from the machine, and she turned around just in time to see her favourite gummy bears fall down into the serving tray.
The machine was certainly sad and melancholic, and for a moment, had not been able to imagine continuing to work without his sweetheart. But the idea that the girl would not want him to abandon others in need of him pushed the sombre thought out of him.
After all, the girl now munching on gummy bears in front of him looked so much like her mother; cried like her, ate like her, smiled like her.
She lit up in the exact same way her mother had the first time the machine had given her that chocolate bar...
*For my American viewers, crisps in Ireland & UK mean potato chips for you. The British English word for 'chips' is the American English word for 'fries'. So, to be clear:
crisps = chips
chips = fries
haha :) confusing, right?
But back to the point, hope you enjoyed this tiny little thing, although I realise now it is a bit weird and cheesy... but whatever! If it's gonna be cheesy, might as well make it cheddar through and through.
As always and forever though, please review!