“Click…click,” each turn of the tarnished knob was accompanied by a barely noticeable response from the gears. Marge had changed his mind. Once sure of the need for a chocolate fix, the shiny neon green candies from the center machine now beckoned him. Marge wasn’t normally a fan of these types of clearly artificial confectionaries, but something about this candy machine appeared promising.
With just one quarter remaining in his pocket, Marge looked back at his mother as she sat waiting patiently for the remaining five minutes to run on the dryer heard laboring in the background. Turning back to face the machine, Marge noticed something new – a single red candy in the homogenous bunch of neon green candies. If the green candies were appetizing, the red reigned supreme, and they appeared to be ripe for the taking lying at the bottom of the machine.
Carefully placing his quarter into the slot, Marge waited anxiously as he turned the dial, gears tumbling as he looked on – then nothing. The red candy hadn’t moved, and Marge instantly regretted his decision. “Ugh,” he huffed, anticipating his mother’s speech about frugality which would follow.
He fiddled with the dial a few more times with no movement before giving up. Turning around emptyhanded, Marge glanced back where his mother had been sitting, hoping to somehow get her to part ways with just one of the many quarters in her roll. But he saw nothing. His mother no longer sat by the dryer. In fact, there was no one sitting in the laundromat at all. Marge scanned the room thinking maybe his mother had gone to speak with the owner like she would sometimes do, but the counter stood unattended.
He was alone.
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