Volume 19, Issue 4
“So, you have chosen violence.”
The JD student glowered, feet planted, knees slack, shoulders taut and ready for battle. A textbook lay sprawled on the table a few metres behind her, its page number irrelevant, because on her frozen laptop screen was the pained face of Try Guy Keith Habersberger. He glared at the student’s empty seat, begging her to return to his Taco Bell Eat-The-Menu. The sorry scene was hidden by the blue fabric partition pressing in on the student’s heels.
“No one swindles me.”
Before her stood the toughest challenge she had faced in her two years in the JD. Before her was an enemy like no other, more dense than a Dixon judgement and with enough resolve to make Kirby himself look like a pushover. Its smooth, cool exterior harboured a wicked, mechanical will. The fluorescent glow shining from its interior a cruel taunt to all who beheld its indulgent innards. This was not the first time she had faced off the beast, but today, it was ready to play. Today, it would show no mercy.
The student’s eyes found their prize nestled between the vending machine’s thin third row fingers. A single crumpled corner was the only thing that this monster clung to. All it would take to have the pack of chicken-flavoured Twisties tumbling into the chute was a good hard shove. That’s what she told herself.
She peered around the side of the partition to see just how many people would hear her inevitable assault. Most had gone home. The only people left were the not-third years chatting by the staircase and someone softly weeping behind their laptop screen near the elevators. Acceptable collateral.
She braced her hands against the snack-hoarding giant and pivoted so that her weight favoured the left side of her body. She would lean back onto her right leg and propel herself forward with enough force to knock out a teammate in uni games volleyball. The machine didn’t stand a chance.
Breathing in for six and holding for two, she imagined the disgustingly salty taste that was soon to grace her lips. She needed it. She deserved it.
She would exhale and strike.
“Hold up, I’ll get it.”
She whipped around precisely half a second too late and stumbled shoulder-first into her opponent. Silently cursing the machine she steadied herself and tuned to find the puffy faced weeping person slouched next to her, his hand outstretched.
“I have coins to get rid of.”
He shook his hand, coins jangling, and she reached out to take his change. She gave him a faint smile and turned back to the machine. Even though she was grateful there would be no pulled muscles or broken shoulders, she couldn’t help but feel cheated out of besting the beast.
Slotting the coins into its side, she snarled under her breath, “this isn’t over, fiend.”
The author is a third year JD student with a personal vendetta against the Level 2 vending machines.
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