… you remain calm.

You’ve prepared for this moment, you have two (well, maybe one since diving into that pool of water) backup pre-loaded cash cards, plus your actual Visa. Relax. Or at least keep the hysteria under wraps for now.

You’re stood in the ATM kiosk, bored security guard outside, choosing ‘English’ as your language, inputting your pin and… the screen goes dark, a greasy smear of black looks back at you in defiance. You instantly sense the timing is off, this isn’t a fit machine. After some delay the screen springs back to life:

‘Would you like more time to complete this transaction?’

Ah! Still with us then.

You press ‘Yes’, the screen dies again.

You rationalise the situation as simply a quirk of software mechanics, you also begin to contemplate the tenuous link to modern civilisation before you, one small button.

The screen remains blank… for longer, you now understand something is wrong:

‘Would you like more time to complete this transaction?’

The second request reads like a taunt - now you know you’re in trouble.

You are no longer in control.

You hit Cancel… several times, then wonder if that was a smart move.

Your focus shifts entirely to the card slot as you hear the first grumblings of movement inside what you now see is a rather pitiful instrument. You listen intently to the unmistakeable shuffle of a card slipping to and fro between rubber; the strained whine, a rhythmic tic of clicks, seemingly endless, but over so quickly with the dreaded message:

‘Sorry. This machine is out of order.’

Your card has not emerged.

Time has frozen.

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