Prompt: Rotation. Pocket Change. Soda Can.
A tiny little automat, just outside the alkali sands. Salt lingers in the air, he can taste it on the tip of his tongue as he waits for his last meal.
A stack of pancakes, bacon on the side and an unhealthy amount of coffee.
A box with a counter and a dozen vending machines, the automat has no workers, no life about it at all. And why should it? The middle of the desert, on the road to no-where. A completely automatic pitstop on the long road through Oregon.
He sits at the counter, lining up his pocket change. Left to right, lowest denomination to highest. He has more to his name than he realised.
Before him on the other side of the counter, slamming her fist against one of the machines, his companion on his trip. Each of the vending machines has a dozen little doors, three across and four down, that are opened by a little plastic handle – locked until you put in the money.
He rotates his little line of coins until each of the heads are perfectly straight. She curses and slams her boot against the bottom of the machine.
She turns her head to glare at him, “Won’t open!”
“You remember we’re in Deseret?”
“You’re short like a dollar twenty.”
She rummages through the pockets of her torn jeans and fishes out some more coins. This time the door pops right open and she can grab her food.
He carefully takes his own coins over, examines the food and carefully deliberates.
Coffee comes in a can here. She sits down and watches him muse. Amused, she idly turns his coins about, flips them over and waits patiently.
The pancakes come out looking a little burnt, greasy from the fat and covered in syrup. The bacon is processed, pressed together from some kind of paste, but it smells alright and looks pretty good.
The coffee comes in a can…
“How can anyone be expected to drink this shit?”
His companion glances at him curiously, “It’s probs the realest thing in this place.”
“Real? It’s fucking carbonated.”
“Soda coffee? Coffee sofa… Cofoda.”
He sits down, his plastic bowls slapping flimsy against the counter and the horrid clunk of metal from the can irks him.
“Soffee,” she decides, taking the first bite of her doughnut.
“Soffee, he agrees, rearranging his coins back to their proper order.