There are many devices which consume and digest coins in order to survive, and in turn, fulfill the desires of humanity. They have many different names: vending machines, claw machines, gumball machines, slot machines, jukeboxes, wishing wells, arcade cabinets, frontloaders, payphones, and so on and so forth. Each one exists in symbiosis with our species, finding a niche product or service that convinces us to manufacture more of its kind. There is an exception to this rule, however, for only one Baph-o-Mat was ever constructed.

The anonymous inventor of the aforementioned mechanism noticed an alchemical pattern- the vast majority of coins in circulation contained corrosion-resistant alloys of metal and willpower, a phenomenon which allowed them to hold economic value. There was only one other source where such an alloy could be found naturally, and in much higher quantities: blood.

The Baph-o-Mat contains a loose slot that allows most coins, whether they be counterfeit or legal tender, to pass through. There is no harm in this lack of verification, for their minted value is never enough to purchase its wares anyway. Only coins that have been painted with still-oxygenated blood satisfy its toll. It doesn’t have to be human in origin; in fact, human blood is some of the least valuable. Sacrificial doves seem to be the most effective at rousing the machine’s attention, with cervids following close behind.

After somewhere between thirty and three-hundred insertions, depending upon several environmental variables, the halogen eyes of the apparatus begin to glow, and its goat-like head rises from animatronic slumber. “I am pleased, and so shall you be,” crackles a voice from somewhere behind its unmoving mouth. It’s the same recording every time, clearly vinyl in origin.

Nothing physical ever dispenses, and either way, there’s nowhere to retrieve a product from. What it has to offer can only be fully understood at the point of purchase. However, most customers, as well as their lover(s), find themselves satisfied with the services rendered.