My computer hums a familiar sound,
The screen, pitch back, springs to life!
The beams of white light break through the night around me.
Familiar noises fill my room-
The keys click, clack, click, under my fingertips,
The shush sound as I slide the mouse across the screen.
I am desperate for my computer to offer me an escape.
The familiarity of this routine is suddenly shattered,
By an unfamiliar icon I see on my screen.
Something in the top right corner,
An app I never downloaded,
Yet still managed to appear.
I stare at this picture of an unusual woman,
Eyes closed, soft smile, hair twisted into dreadlocks.
Uneasiness spreads through me like spiders on the run.
How did this icon appear on my screen?
My fingers hover over the mousepad,
Mouse suspended over her sleeping figure,
Tempted to click and reveal her secrets.
It must be a game, a trick, a prank
Some harmless bug, a line of code!
Nothing scary could come from this.
My confidence rises!
My fear decreases!
Nothing virtual could harm me.
Yet as my fingers decide to click,
The name of the program dawns on me.
"Medusa" is now open on my computer.
Her face slowly gets bigger.
Her dreadlocked hair rises above her-
Terror races inside me.
My eyes have betrayed me!
How I foolishly thought it could be just hair.
I watch as each strand twists and turns,
Whipping and pulling in every direction,
Hissing, snapping, biting at the air-
Her hair is made out of snakes.
Quickly, I try to remember Medusa,
The stories, the myths, and the legends.
Mind, act quickly!
What will she do?
What is my fate when she opens her eyes?
My mind recalls the statues of stone,
That Medusa often leaves behind.
Is that it for me, then?
Will I be a stone statue, too?
I feel like one already, for out of fear, I can hardly move!
Suddenly, without warning,
Her eyes snap open.
I stare at her, helplessly.
I cannot scream, I cannot cry, I cannot run.
Her soft smile opens to a face-splitting grin.
My fingers start to tingle.
There is a tickle moving up my spine.
My hands, once resting on my keyboard,
are moving on their own accord.
Will I turn into stone, too?
No, that is not my fate.
Yet, this may be worse-
I watch as my hands and fingers turn into 1's and 0's.
My arms, my shoulders, my torso- all disintegrating into binary code.
My computer hums its familiar hum,
But it brings me no comfort.
I feel a pull, a tug, a YANK!
What is left of me is moving-
Moving into my computer!
I once begged for my computer to allow me to escape-
This is not what I had in mind!
Every last 1 and 0 that once was me is sucked into my computer screen.
It's then that I realize Medusa's curse.
While I was prevented from a fate of stone,
I was subjected to a fate far worse.
A life inside of a digital screen,
A line of code,
A glitch, bug, malware.
Frozen in time.