R.B. McConnell, or Bunny as I know her, recently launched a monthly flash fiction challenge on her own blog page. Each month, she will post a photograph to act as a prompt for our imaginations to work with.

Since it’s the Halloween month, Bunny gave us the above image. In return, here’s my story:

He woke slowly, the pale green light from the other room worming its way past his eyelids and kicking at his slumbering mind. He rubbed at his face, sure he’d switched the computer off before he crawled into bed. Glancing at the clock, he cursed the glowing red digits. Two in the damn morning.

He slid out of bed and stumbled through to his office. Green icons swirled and spun on his monitor forming weird patterns. It wasn’t his usual screen-saver; maybe something new with that last update. He found himself watching them for a moment, the way they moved and swam was almost hypnotic.

He shook himself and reached out a finger, flicking the power switch. For a split second he thought he saw a face in the darkening screen, an image of rage and malice, twisted beneath curling horns. But then it was just his shadowed reflection, nothing more sinister than a man with too much cheap food and not enough sleep.

He went back to his bedroom and got back into bed, burrowing into a warm nest of pillows and blankets. He closed his eyes and, as he spiralled back down into sleep, the same symbols twisted and writhed against the inside of his eyelids.

In the other room, the monitor flicked back on and something looked out, pleased. A connection had been made.

If you would like to check out either Bunny’s original post or other stories inspired by it, just click the image below.

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