Friday Fast Fiction: The Soda Machine

??????????One year Ken returned to the road he walked on as a kid. Back then the meandering blacktop cut through woods filled with maples, pines and oaks,  but now the forest had been replaced by mansions and rolling green lawns. His parent’s house was long gone as were his parents.

His disappointment in finding that his old neighborhood had been gentrified was soothed somewhat by seeing Loeb’s Gas on the corner of the road and the highway that led into town. The hand pumps were surrounded by potted plants for sale.

He walked inside the office and was greeted by overpriced antiques. He asked a young man behind the counter if the soda machine was still around.

“You mean the one where you slide the bottles along a rail to get them out?”

“That one.”

“It’s in the back—goes for $800 and the refrigerant works.”

The man showed Ken the machine—it looked like it once did 30 years ago.

“I have to tell you a story,” said Ken, not waiting for the man to respond. “In the hot summer this machine was popular with my friends—they walked miles to get here. The problem was that my neighbor had a giant dog that scared the crap out of every one but me. So, everyone asked me to guide them past the dog which was my best friend. They’d buy me…”

The man’s cell phone rang. He pressed it to his ear and left.

Ken thought about the $800 price, but opted for a cell phone photo.

As he walked through the office, the man asked,” Interested in the soda machine?”

“Not anymore.”

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