A Frog Died for This

J. Campbell


Sixteen minutes after the User is awake, they review the previous night’s _____. Not every ____ is ____ed, and sometimes the new _____ is only a response to _____ missed earlier. The User is foggy on why they choose to ____ some over others. The User hopes no one will ask them to explain themselves.

This task is done on the Main Screen and takes fewer than twenty minutes, which allows both the User to ease into their day and for Screens #2 though #17c to retrieve page info. 

Remembering passwords is the taxing part of the User’s day. 

Typically, passwords are saved on each screen. Parents’ birthdays, uniform numbers, historical battles, and words spelled backwards. But they expire, and this proves a great frustration. In this fashion, the User imagines themselves not unlike a patron at a speakeasy. They have often included “gin” in their surveys.


                Once the User gets rolling, they click through, roughly, a dozen pages per minute. Some pages add more _____ to the Main Screen, so the User must decide if or when to ____ it or respond with more _____ from another screen, usually Screen #5a, the most influential.  

The User’s decision-making process is limbic. They do not see the screens or the new _____ so much as feel them in their fingertips. It is an itch. If this sounds too animalistic, then the User is not sorry. 

                On a typical day, ________________________.       .                              .                    ___ _____________________________________________.   ____________________v____________________.  _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________...

When things get interesting, pages from Screens #4, #7a through #10b, #16d, and #31 start to mimic Screen #5a. The User’s job depends on making this happen, or preventing it from happening. The User is not sure. Regardless, the page information is remembered and, each night, the User is confident they did their best. Screens #2 and #3a & #3b usually affirm this.


The User suspects they are not alone.


The User’s bed is comfortable and large. When the User sleeps, they sometimes dream they are a centipede. The User’s centipede self claws around a small clump of dirt in a tree’s roots. It muscles toward the surface and can feel rain approaching in the subterranean fungi. The earth peels apart, the water magnifies every push, and above the centipede stretches a dank and abysmal dome. In the seconds before rainfall, the centipede is grateful for so many arms and nothing to hold. 




J. Campbell (he/him) was born in Jasper, Alabama. His writing can be found elsewhere, in print and online.