Sonata Macabre – Cash Machine

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Customer opens door, grabs box, then scurries inside with the latest delivery. Instead of adding another cardboard brick to the walls within the walls of the house, Customer walks the narrow hoarder’s path leading to the living-room, carefully maneuvering to not chance disturbing the box’s contents.

Aside from more boxes, the only things in the living room are a worn down couch, and T.V. mounted to the wall, permanently on and tuned to the shopping channel.

As always, Salesman, above it all, talks down, peddling the latest product. “Now this is a piece I personally love. Look – see here, how it catches the light? Nights out on the town my wife wears this and brightens up whole rooms. The gems are one hundred percent gen-you-wine cubic zirconia – “

For the first time in a long time, Customer mutes the T.V.; for the first time in a long time, Customer opens a box.

When Customer was a child, they enjoyed playing with bubble wrap as much as their toys. That time long past, Customer rips through fast and pulls out the Cash Machine.

The unimposing metal cube with an opening on its side cost the entirety of Customer’s bank account. It does not inspire as much confidence as the Salesman had when describing it.

Customer recalls ‘I can’t believe we’re selling these. This, and mind you it’s only available to members of our loyalty club in a limited quantity, turns our products back into the money you paid for them. Sound crazy? Sure. Don’t believe me? Watch.’

Customer considers, from the comfy, human-shaped depression on the couch, if the Cash Machine is worth trying out. It is limited edition, so just having it is nice, but learning that it didn’t work would ruin even that value.

However, given the cost, Customer feels too invested to turn back. Sliding a nearby box closer with a sigh, Customer opens it, and pulls out a smaller box holding a Christmas tree train-set.

It, though, is too big to fit inside the Cash Machine. Customer is forced to open that too,  then feed the segmented tracks and train cars into the machine, one by one.

Nothing happens when Customer finishes; measuring the small confines of the Cash Machine against the other box, Customer wonders where all the stuff could’ve gone.

Suddenly, the cube rumbles, and a deposit receipt with Customer’s bank account and debit card numbers slides out from an easy to miss slit on its front. Customer checks their bank app and finds a balance of $79.96 from four deposits of $19.99; exactly the cost of the train.

Then, Customer goes through all the boxes, emptying everything into the Cash Machine without ceremony. Now rich, Customer unmutes the T.V. and goes on a shopping spree.


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