He stared at it.

It stared back at him.

It seemed harmless, a spinning circle.

Yet within it he sensed malevolence, an ominous presence, a threat.

Was it sneering at him? Laughing at his bad fortune?

How long would the stand-off last?

He’d been through the anger and rage, his crushed coffee cup was evidence of that.

Resignation followed frustration.

He leaned forward and held down the power button.

The screen went blank, the spinning circle of death disappeared.

A morning’s work lost, an afternoon ahead trying to remember what he had written.

He pushed the power button again.

The screen blinked on.

There was the circle again, spinning away with contempt.

This is a response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Circle curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.


  1. Well told! Been there; seen that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve all had days like it… Thanks Christine


  2. Intriguing. Painfully familiar. Life needs a backup or restore feature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wouldn’t that be good! Thanks Brandy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It would be. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Not nearly as frequent on a Mac as on Windows.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You won’t convince me, PC all the way 🙂


  4. I’m so used to your twisted mind, Iain, I thought that it was some kind of lottery story leading to death of some sort…well, death of a computer is easier to take than human death. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not this time Janet 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate when that happens!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always at the worst time too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As someone who has had to put up the spinning ball all afternoon while I catch up with emails and posts, I’m not sure this is has enough anger in it. Or perhaps that’s because I haven’t reached resignation yet. I really need to get to the point where I can restart 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yes, his reaction was mild considering 🙂


  7. The spinning sounded like a Chakram. Then I realized it was the 2.0 PC version.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I do hate it when that happens, Iain. Good response.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Roberta 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I so hate that spinning “rainbow wheel” sometimes. It’s amazing how annoyed that thing can make me (but it’s so pretty … growl). Loved your story though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only afterwards do we realise how irrational we have been shouting at an inanimate screen! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh gawd… that is one circle I hate to see 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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