Author: Anne Dewvall

The tiny blue pill gleamed in Jerome’s palm as it danced with electrical impulses. This capsule had the power to transform the human experience, and through that, the world, but people were wasting it, eating the same shit they always had, with slightly improved results. Vita-E was supposed to change anything you ate after swallowing it into a nutritious, digestible substance.

He wanted to eat something people had never eaten before. Most Americans used the supplement to turn tasty junk into something that would actually sustain human life. Those in the developing world relied on the pills to survive what would formerly have been a starvation diet of leaves, bark, and the odd insect or two. Neither application was adequately ambitious. Anything was a word quivering with possibility, begging to be challenged, and he would answer that call.

Jerome ran his other hand across the slippery surface of the helmet he wore to increase cognitive function and surveyed the minimal contents of his loft. Hoverboard? No, he needed that to get around. Computers, media screens, lights, toilet – all too expensive, too functional, and too hard on the teeth. His eyes landed on a grey, wool cardigan. Replaceable, sturdy enough to make digestion difficult, and easy enough to ingest. Perfect. He popped his Vita-E and perched on a counter. Dinner time. Unraveling the wool, he slurped it like spaghetti, gleefully imagining the nanobots tearing apart the fibers and transmuting them into something his body recognized as food.

Aside from a little indigestion, which he figured was normal for such a high fiber meal, he felt great. So it was true, you really could eat anything. The world was alive with possibility. Peonies, rubber gloves, plastic wrap: he would eat his way through the world. Jerome’s skeptical mind was gleeful with the realization.
That is, until the following day, when it was time for his morning constitutional. After several hours of straining, he finally passed a felted wool log.