If I looked into your fridge right now, what would I find?
Midge glared at the bare shelves in his fridge. Three days until his normal weekly shopping day and he had already consumed everything in his cupboards. His stomach growled. It wasn’t satisfied.
He pressed the back of his hand to his forehead like his mother used to when he was a kid. He didn’t think he was getting sick, but he couldn’t tell a difference in temperature. He didn’t want to panic and head to the clinic. Maybe he had just skimped on his groceries the week before.
That had to be it. He had simply miscalculated when filling his basket. His gnawing stomach was nothing to be worried about.
He headed to the local market and wound his way through the aisles. Lunch and dinner packets dropped into his basket. He grabbed the packs with higher protein content just in case.
“Getting a head start on next week’s rations, Midge?” Chet was the clerk who always rang him out.
“Yeah, something like that,” Midge stammered. Did Chet find it odd that he was back after only four days? He hoped his stomach would behave soon and return to normal. He wasn’t going to have any credits left for fun if he had to keep buying extra food.
That night he ate two of the high protein dinners and one of the lunches before he felt even remotely sated. His heart raced. Maybe he needed to go to the clinic after all. He decided to go in the morning.
“Are you getting enough sleep?” the doctor asked.
“Yes.” The previous night had been restless, but otherwise it was true.
“Any changes in your exercise routine?”
“Not yet,” he admitted. He’d been wanting to run all week.
The doctor made a note. “I wouldn’t try anything just yet. You’re already taking in thrice the calories you should be, increasing your activity regimen would only further complicate matters.”
“This is just a short term thing, right doc?” His eyes pleaded with the white coated man in front of him. “A late growth spurt or something?”
The doctor considered him over square frames. “It’d be awfully late for someone your age,” he said measuredly, “but not unheard of.” Somehow, Midge wasn’t convinced. “I’m going to advise you take it easy for the next few days. Eat what you feel you need, but don’t do any excess working out. Come back next week for a follow up and we’ll go from there.”
Midge tried, but after his shift at the power plant was over, he was too restless to sit in his apartment doing nothing. He went down to the gym and hopped on a treadmill to do a light jog. The machine resisted him. He turned up the speed, but it refused to go fast enough. He just wanted to expend a little of the pent up energy he had.
The tread fell off and he stared at it in horror. The building manager laughed it off when he apologized. “Damn thing’s been overdue for an upgrade. Don’t work half the time. Now I’ve got the excuse to put in for a brand new one.” He grinned from ear to ear and clapped Midge on the back as though Midge had done the man a favor. He needed some air.
Midge stepped out to the sidewalk to clear his head. His legs were still restless and urged him to move. He was still in shorts and trainers, what was the harm? He jogged to the end of the street and turned towards the fields. They were still a few miles away, but he arrived at them mere minutes after leaving his apartment.
Hands on his hips he turned back toward the residential district he’d come from. He checked his watch again. There was no way that jog had gone by so fast. He wasn’t breathing hard, and he hadn’t even broken a sweat. He sat down on the grassy hill overlooking the fields and clutched his head in his hands. What was happening to him?
Notes: I love this one. I knew Midge had manifested his agility as an adult, but I hadn’t really gotten into the details. An increased metabolism was the first thing that came to mind as a signifier for him, and that led me to wonder about how food might be distributed in a bubble society. It still has a lot of kinks to work out, but I’m leaning towards constant data collection at the heart of the Dome, and the automation to make the adjustments given unexpected rises or dips in consumption.
What’s in your fridge? Is it stuffed with groceries? Maybe you’ve got loads of leftovers in there. What sort of food do your characters keep? Are they home enough to have a well-stocked fridge? Hop to it, write it down!
Wednesday’s prompt: Have you ever experienced something that just could not logically be explained?
Oh man, probably gonna try my hand at another thriller for that one. Time to channel my inner Stephen King. See you tomorrow!