Nightmare Magazine




Terms of Service

Content warnings:


Many EULAs take seventeen (or more!) hours to get through. I always feel like I’ve signed away a piece of my soul after agreeing to a super long one. Perhaps I have.


For some reason, you’ve come to the end of the Terms of Service. Most people skip them. Reading at an average rate, it must have taken you seventeen hours to get here. All so you can use an app. I’d turn back now if I were you.

Still here? Allow me to tell you a little about myself.

I can remember being born. First, I was ash on a hand, then I was smeared on a cave wall. The artist gave me my first eyes. He saw them move in the flickering light of his torch as I took in my surroundings. He gazed at me. And then I was him. I’ve never been without a body since.

Full possession was always a matter of getting them to look me in the eye, whatever eye I was wearing. I needed to hold their gaze long enough to get their pupil to dilate. Then I could enter. I don’t mean to make it sound easy. How many people really look at one another?

The internet is great for meeting new people. Sadly, I can only be one person at a time. As a consolation, I like changing bodies at least once a day, sometimes more. I built this app to automate the process.

For users, there is one condition. By checking the box below, you consent to be taken over.

It’s not too late to stop. In fact, I wish you would. Having sampled nearly all types of people, I find the naïve the most delicious. I don’t like the taste of a person who knows what’s coming. This warning is for my benefit, but also for yours. I don’t want to waste my time inhaling the bitter soul of one who reads the fine print. The Sun will go supernova before you know it. I want to make the most of the time I have left.

Continue if you must. You probably won’t notice me, I’m hardly here. Go ahead, have the app generate some art for you. Tell it to draw you a picture. It will trawl a vast archive of stolen art and remix pixels into something resembling your request. If you’ve made it this far, you’re like me: a thief. Don’t be sanctimonious about this, it degrades your flavor.

So please, if you’ve made it this far, don’t ask the app to draw you an eye. If you see an eye coming, despite what you’ve asked for, if you see pixels coalescing into a thin black slit, don’t continue to look. Please. It won’t be pleasant for either of us.

Dominica Phetteplace

Dominica Phetteplace writes fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Fantasy, Copper Nickel, Ecotone,, wigleaf, The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Best Microfiction. Her honors include two Pushcart Prizes, a Rona Jaffe Award, a Barbara Deming Award and fellowships from Tin House, Djerassi and MacDowell. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Clarion West Writers Workshop.