Design by Emelia Baltz
Penelope Greene and the Holy Vending Machine
A Short Story by Penelope Greene in Collaboration with Emelia Baltz
March 2, 2019
This quest was a strenuous one. Many twisting passageways, mountains and evil creatures greeted us at every turn. The wind was rough, and a torrential downpour pounded upon our heads. My benevolent and loyal companion Emelia Baltz accompanied me. The journey was hard, with challenges that were, well, challenging, and much stamina was needed. But we prevailed. We had each other and the will to go on. Upon leaving the Castle of AB, we were faced with the most difficult of obstacles, the obstacle that takes muscles and drive, the tiring, the painful…
Stairs. There are a lot of goddamn stairs in this school. Emelia was determined to show me the longest way to the vending machine, and I was all for it. Don’t get me wrong, I like creative writing, a lot, but right now I don’t have any energy to write a story. So I was happy to kill time.
Before I proceed, I feel the need to inform you that we did not embark on our journey without the permission of Mr. Schulman. So, if you’re worrying, don’t.
We ran into a fellow student, talking to someone, I forget her name. We then walked down the stairs and continued to our lockers. Strolling by Mrs. Duff’s room, we listened to her distinct laugh. We watched Mrs. Bianchi leave her room, and heard the sweet sound of whatever Mr. Solow was listening to, as per usual. We cleared the science wing with little problems and continued on our trek.
We went down even more stairs, due to the fact that ⅓ of this school is stairs. Emelia pointed to a piece of gum that was on the steps that I almost stepped on. She saved my life, and I don’t know how I can ever repay her. We descended to the cafeteria, where the revving of a vacuum echoed. Finally, we reached the vending machine.
Upon our arrival, golden light radiated from behind the machine, and the soft, heavenly sound of angels singing echoed in the stairwell. However, the golden rays vanished, as we learned the stupid thing was broken. I tried shoving my dollar in the slot-thing anyway, just to make sure. The dumb thing wouldn’t take my money. That vending machine is always broken. Really, always.
Emelia and I ventured off to the vending machine by the gym. We took the long way there too. We passed the gymnasium, where Coach White’s gym class was in full swing. I was hopeful that this machine would cooperate. I guess it was just wishful thinking though. This piece of crap was broken too! Why? Why is everything in this school broken?
Emelia laughed, and I gave up. We started on our way back to the Castle of AB. I was kind of upset because I had really wanted a granola bar. But no, I couldn’t even have that. Of course not.
We trekked along back through the science wing where we ran into Mr. Kinnier, and I talked with him about winter track and how the season went. We stopped to look at the pictures some kids drew explaining lab safety. They were strikingly unique, and we stared at them for a while. We passed by Mr. Solow and Mrs. Bianchi again. Emelia and I witnessed some eighth grader put his foot behind his head in Mrs. Duff’s room. It was bizarre, to say the least.
We had made it to the brick stairwell that leads you to the third floor. We stopped to kill time again and looked down at the lost and found. Truthfully, it’s more like a store because there is so much crap there that people have forgotten. I suggested that we go “shopping,” but alas, we don’t indulge.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if people have actually taken things from there, I mean, I’ve had stuff stolen from the auditorium before,” Emelia had said.
We embarked on the last part of our trek to the Castle of Atkinson-Barnes and finally reached the door. We walked back in, and I started to write per Mr. Schulman’s request.
Now here we are, having explored the majority of the school, all without my granola bar.
Moral of the story, vending machines are stupid, and this school has a lot of stairs. But hey, I cleared my writer’s block.