Venting Machine


A large vending machine sits against a blank wall. Inside it sit the usual treats; chips, lollies, and chocolate.

A shadow falls across the vending machine as a MAN steps up to it. He studies it’s contents for a moment before pulling a coin out of his pocket and inserts it into the coin slot. On the keyboard he presses D4.

The mechanics of the machine whirl, the coil at D4 rotates, and the twix bar that sits in it gets pushed forward. It hits the edge of its shelf and slips forward only to be caught at the last moment on the edge of the coil.

The man stares at the hanging chocolate bar for a moment and then hits the side of the machine hard. The chocolate bar wobbles but doesn’t fall.

He hits the machine again with the same result.

He grabs the machine on both sides and shakes it from side to side and then backwards and forwards. Still the bar refuses to drop.

Breathing hard from the exertion the man thinks. He looks behind him and then disappears off screen for a moment. He rushes back into screen and rams himself into the machine. The chocolate bar barely moves.

He kneels down and sticks his arm up into the slot reaching for the chocolate bar, it’s not even close.

He stands up and looks around and spots something off to the side. Again he exits off screen and returns holding a long thin tree branch. He bends down and sticks the branch and his arm up through the slot.

He points the branch towards D4 and his hanging twix. It doesn’t reach. He pushes himself in more but the stick still doesn’t reach. Madly he wiggles the stick back and forth below the twix. It sways slightly but still isn’t going anywhere.

He pulls the stick out and snaps it over his knee and then glares at his twix.

He thinks again and the grabs the front of the machine and drags the whole thing forward. He walks behind the machine and starts to ram it from the back. He hears a thud and runs around the front of the machine to see him twix has dropped but is now caught on the row below it.

The man shakes his fists into the sky.

He waggles his finger at the machine and then pulls his wallet from his pocket.

He takes another coin and puts it into the machine, this time pressing C4, where his chocolate bar is now hanging from.

The coil rotates and the chocolate bar, a snickers, moves forward. He stares on with happy anticipation. The snickers drops a centimeter then gets caught on the hanging twix.

The man screams in wordless rage.

He starts to click all the buttons on the keypad.

He charges at the machine from either side, raming into it as hard as he can over and over again.

He grabs the machine in both hands and shakes it as violently and aggressively as he can.

Both chocolate bars continue to hang.

The man stares at them despondently. Then his shoulders drop as he lets out a big sigh. He finishes the sigh by closing his eyes and placing his head against the front glass of the machine with a small bump. A moment after he does so he hears a swish and then two thuds from the base of the machine.

He looks up, the chocolates are gone, they’ve fallen into the tray.

He reaches into the tray and pulls out both chocolates with glee.

He walks away from the machine, past an exit door with trees outside, and down a hospital hallway and enters a room.

In a bed a young boy sits. He looks over to the man. The man pulls both chocolates from his pocket and hold them up in front of the boy.

The boy raises both hands over his head as he cries out in joy.

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