Kevin woke up to the sound and smell of the smartStove frying him an egg for breakfast.
He didn’t like eggs over easy, but it proved that his plan was working, and for that, he would eat the runny yolk.
With a slight whir, the touch screen with the same seventeen questions he had answered every day since age eight lowered down in front of his face.
Kevin’s grandmother had told him about ancient times when humans had unlimited access to the internet and still controlled The Algorithm. People had to come up with their own ideas for dinner and watch endless videos of animal babies to indicate the ones they favored.
Nowadays, everything was more efficient. Free will and the element of surprise had been eliminated as there was no need. Data determined every like and dislike with the utmost precision.
But Kevin felt trapped. In part because he was. The heavy straps across the bed would not release until he had answered the questionnaire. Also, Kevin didn’t like being predicted or predictable.
One Wednesday, Kevin’s finger had slipped on the bagpipes question. Then the unwanted eggs had begun showing up on his breakfast plate, and Kevin sensed he had found a way to confuse, maybe even overthrow The Algorithm. Tweaking his answers little by little, he was now known as an elderly woman with two glass eyes and a nasty knitting habit.
He clicked SUBMIT. The cords retracted and the smartStove chimed. Kevin was ready to rise up.
(This was my entry for the NYC Midnight 250-Word Microfiction Challenge 2020. The parameters were genre: science fiction, action: frying an egg, and word: easy.)