Another prompt from L at Sugar, Spice, and Everything Sue today. She gave me the word ‘foolhardy’. And, I think I took that as a prompt to be foolhardy myself while writing this story. I didn’t think, and just started typing, and this is what happened. Enjoy!
The turkey sandwich sat, squashed flat on a plate in the back of the fridge. Fuzzy mold sprouted from the pale bread and crept steadily out onto the glassware, threatening to burst free of the flimsy plastic-wrap barrier that enclosed it.
Ian Hardy stared into the fridge, the dim interior was congested with jars of jam and pickles and relish, and condiments in squeeze bottles. Cartons of eggs sat on top of each other, loaves of bread and pizza slices and cartons of milk all vied for space in the crowded community.
“Is it all cleaned out?” Lindsay called from the door, her keys jingling.
Ian imagined scraping the sandwich off the plate into the garbage and scrubbing the mold off in the sink. His throat tickled as he envisioned tiny spores floating up his nose. “Yeah, all good,” he said. He shut the fridge door and followed her out to the car.
The turkey sandwich shriveled and dissolved beneath the mold’s slow but steady advance, until the plate held only a poofy mound of fuzz. As days passed, the mold’s strength grew; it sent tendrils out exploring the vast landscape of the shelf to travel on rivers of spilled ranch sauce and dried milk, conquering the all they met with slow absorption. A clump on the edge of the shelf grew large enough to break off and plop onto the shelf below, spreading the pale green empire further. Pizza slices succumbed to the invading forces, and hot-dogs fell and were assimilated.
After many growth periods, the swelling forces of the mold tipped over a milk carton and the loose cap popped off, spilling nourishment everywhere. With this new fuel the mold gained a foothold that could not be shaken by the cold, and the entirety of the fridge fell to its control.
Ian leaned a suitcase in the corner as Lindsay closed the door behind them.
“Good to be home!” he said, his smile hurt on his sunburned face. He plopped onto the couch and kicked off his flip flops. “Grab me a beer?”
“Sure,” Lindsay said, hanging her jacket in the closet. She disappeared around the corner into the kitchen.
A piercing shriek sent Ian bolting to his feet. “What happened?” he yelled, rushing to the kitchen. The fridge door hung open, revealing a green, grey and blue forest of mold. Lindsay stood staring, a cloud of spores floating around her head.
“Oh my God!” he said, putting a hand over his mouth. “Im sorry Lindsay, oh God, I left a sandwich… Lindsay?”
She turned around with slow, jerking movements, like a puppet on strings. Thin, green tendrils snaked out of the corners of her mouth, her eyes were grey and foggy.
“Warm,” she said, her voice a dry croak. “Be in warm with us.”
“Lindsay? Are you ok?” He reached for her and her arms snapped forward, clamping onto his shoulders and crashing him into the moldy fridge. Shelves upturned and jars crashed as she pushed him in, sending up clouds of mold spores.
“Lindsay! No!” He gagged at the wet, soggy smell and his hands slipped against the slimy walls of the fridge until he felt his back press up against a soft barrier. “Lindsay!” he cried.
The door slammed shut, leaving him in dank darkness.
“And that’s what will happen if you don’t clean the fridge,” said Lindsay, taking her keys out of her purse.
“Right, yeah,” Ian nodded.
“I’ll be putting my stuff in the car.” Lindsay smiled at him and left the kitchen.
Ian pulled open the fridge door and grimaced at the chaos. The sight of mold made his throat tickle and he had an urge to hold his breath. He scrunched up his face and snatched a beer out of the crisper, then shut the door on the mess.