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What a Nut

an ode to capitalism

By Oneg In The ArcticPublished 14 days ago 3 min read
What a Nut
Photo by Marc Noorman on Unsplash

No one knew why the vending machine was installed on the fourth floor of the apartment building. It didn’t make sense to have it there, and tenants from the other floors immediately complained about the unfairness of it all. But the building manager was preoccupied with a custody battle, so some snack machine wasn’t really a top priority.

It was for Keith though.

Keith had been a tenant of the fourth floor for over fifteen years, though he barely knew his neighbours. Neighbours came and went, and with them, they brought hikes in the rent. In his opinion, this machine was just another form of corruption.

The fact that there was no meeting, nor memo beforehand about the vending machine, made it all the more suspicious. There was also that incessant humming. And the whimsical beeping of capitalism laughing in everyone’s face. Even with the vending machine at the end of the hall, Keith could hear it at night. The electric hum of another device implanted into society.

Keith often heard the irritating thud of children’s feet pounding down the hall at first. Pawns to capitalism. And although the vending machine sold his favorite Nutter Butter bar, his dedication to fight the system was stronger than the nutty temptation.

Until one afternoon, when he was so rudely disrupted by shouting.

Unlocking his door, he peeked his unshaven face out and saw some punk banging on the vending machine. “Shit! Gimme back ma’ money!”

Ah, another loss to capitalism.

Then it happened again. And again. And the whole floor complained about this money-sucking scam.

But Keith had known this all along. There was always a catch when money was involved. It was inevitable, and he scoffed at the ignorance of his kind. At least he was able to make an income off his thoughts, rather than off scamming innocent people.

It was the piercing cry of a child that finally broke him though.

Unlocking his door, he burst out and stormed down toward the vending machine with a vengeance.

“Haven’t you stolen enough from these people?” He hammered his fists against the glass.

He glared at the machine, the anger of all his years boiling inside, ready to spill over. Digging into his pockets he found a few coins and stuffed them into the slot.

The machine swallowed his money and spit out nothing.

“Goddamn! Piece of shit! Scamming people left, right, and center! I-” Kick. “Hate-” Kick. ”these-” Kick. “machines!”

The child was long gone, terrified of the scary man’s tantrum.

After a long day in family court, the building manager was in no mood to deal more complaints and responsibilities. But when he got a call about some creep damaging his property, he immediately called the cops. Let them deal with this maniac.

As the cops came up to the fourth floor, Keith seemed to have lost all sense of control and sanity. Maybe he had been cooped up too long. Maybe he had dealt with too many internet trolls that day. Maybe he felt compassion for the hungry child.

But none of that seemed to matter as Keith was dragged away, kicking and screaming.

Then, the Nutter Butter fell.

Thank you for reading this short story of mine. This was a challenge prompt I wrote for a writtingbattle contest. The genre was “Conspiracy”, the subject was “Justice”, and the word I had to include was “whimsical”. I also had to keep it under 500 words and had 3 days to write it!

This was quite a fun story for me to create, and hopefully you enjoyed it too.

Have a pleasant day~

Short StorySatireHumor

About the Creator

Oneg In The Arctic

A storyteller and poet of arctic adventures, good food, identity, mental health, and more.

Water is Life ✊

Some other rad writers to check out:

James ❄️ Loryne ❄️ LeslieWrites

Shane ❄️ Judey ❄️ Melissa

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  4. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  5. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (32)

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  • MARIE ODEMS 2 days ago


  • MARIE ODEMS 2 days ago


  • Derrick Mbabazi4 days ago

    “Goddamn! Piece of shit! Scamming people left, right, and center! I-” Kick. “Hate-” Kick. ”these-” Kick. “machines!” Here''s what I made up: It's a fan fic piece [Each word was punctuated by a forceful kick, channeling his pent-up frustration towards the vending machine he despised. His facial muscles strained, and his lips curled with contempt as he released his vehement emotions, expressing his utter disdain for the deceptive machine.] Hello, Mr Oneg, I'm delighted to extend an invitation for you to publish any of your short stories on Ficspot.Com, a platform I recently launched exclusively for captivating works of fiction. Your story will have a fantastic opportunity to reach a wider audience and be appreciated by passionate readers.

  • K. C. Wexlar9 days ago

    I loved the ending - in some ways we're all children getting our sugar fix Oneg - please send me feedback if you can

  • Kristen Balyeat10 days ago

    Great story with a perfect ending! Love it, Oneg!

  • Stage Frame10 days ago


  • Babs Iverson11 days ago


  • Gerald Holmes11 days ago

    This is so well done. Your main character came to life on the page. Excellent work. Congrats.

  • Now, the rest of the (longer) story would be to come inside Keith's apartment, just for a moment, to see into his life. Good read!

  • Clever and thoughtful and very entertaining yet sad 😔 congratulations on top story my friend ❤️

  • Love this so much

  • Cathy holmes11 days ago

    Congrats on the TS

  • Wow, great story ❤️❗Congratulations🎉

  • Cezanne Libellen11 days ago

    Oooof. Tough luck, sweetheart. We have a snack vending machine at our school that stole my friend's money, but she was cool and didn't lose her temper. This guy must be having a rough day.

  • Mariann Carroll11 days ago

    Oh boy, that was frustrating and then the nutty butter fell finally in the end 🤦🏽‍♀️🤣😂

  • Donna Renee11 days ago

    Ahhh so frustrating! 😩👏👏

  • Kendall Defoe11 days ago

    Funny...yet terrifying...

  • Judey Kalchik 11 days ago

    Great response to that prompt.

  • Paul Stewart11 days ago

    Ouch, this was a deft bit of storytelling with a morale core. I really felt Keith's frustration and his drive to fight back. Amazing short story, Oneg! Love it!

  • ARC11 days ago

    Oneg, this was excellent. Beautiful fable.

  • Heather Hubler11 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! So happy this is getting more recognition :)

  • KJ Aartila11 days ago

    I did enjoy it! Thank you for sharing. :)

  • Leslie Writes13 days ago

    Ugh. I feel his pain. Perfect button on the end of the story with the Nutter Butter dropping!

  • Great story Oneg!

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