When you go to bed at night and turn off the lights, do you notice the change in your thinking?
Your eyes strain to see into the darkness around you, you wish for the moment to come when your eyes adjust. You want them to stop bulging in their sockets so that you can relax and sleep.
The shadow of the half open door seems so large, the slopes of dim moon light are so weak, and the play of shadow and light jiggles your mind into a world of phantasy.
It’s impossibly still, yet you are sure that something is moving at the edge of a shadow. You close your eyes. Silence. The tension is too much, so you have to open them again and peer into the darkened room — just to be sure. It may have been a movement, not your imagination. It’s the time for burglars. There are stories of strange things happening to people who live alone, you don’t want those things happening to you.
People claim to experience visitations at night. But not you, it couldn’t happen to you — such a down to earth person.
The mobile phone next to the bed lights up. Its bright screen illuminates the lamp shade and casts a red shadow onto the wall.
You slide your hand out from under the bed covers and fumble as you grab the phone. There’s no message. Nothing. Why did it light up?
Why is the mind attracted to shadows? You try and focus on the shaft of moonlight cast through between the gap of those flimsy curtains. Maybe you should get up and open them wider, just to help you settle for the night. Better not.
The shadows of life are the mysteries that intrigue the mind. From them, we create thoughts of what might be, what could be. Ideas and strange occurrences sit in the shadows. We have to be vigilant, keep watching the darkness to be sure it doesn’t envelope our souls.
Your thoughts flip to day time, you think about the people you spoke with, the food you ate, and the things you read. You try and force the day time into your mind, to fill your thoughts with mundane activities. An hour passes. The shadows are darker. The moon has dipped behind the rooftops and your room is black.
Eyes start to pop and roll. You don’t know how long it’s been, but it seems like hours since you climbed into bed. The phone next to you has lit up again, you refuse to look at it. It could be nothing again, and that makes you think bad things.
The silent hour has arrived. No car passes, no bus. The creaking sound of a lone cyclist echoed along the street one hour ago, it was a cold sound that reminded you of winter. The room is filled with a chill now, and the shadows are shifting — shadows don’t move. But the one you are looking at changes its form. As you stare at it, deep into its blackness you see swirls and flickers, like darkness in the darkness. How can that be? Is there anything darker than dark?
It must be close to dawn, that will change everything. The sky outside, you can see through the gap in the curtain. Black sky, no stars, no clouds to see. Your bulging eyes are tired, so very tired now. Your back is twisted into the wrong position, your neck aches from craning into the room’s dark pools of nothing.
The shadow by the door shifts again, a small glint of light sparks in the night and begins to play. The room’s atmosphere fizzes, a clicking comes from the corner where the chair is. That was somebody sitting down, leaning back into the leather desk chair. Your muscles tense.
You see nothing but what your mind tells you to see. You bulging eyes see what they know is there, a figure in your desk chair. They are still, staying quiet. Is this a visitation? They stare at you through the darkness, you can feel their eyes, not bulging, but penetrating everything. They stare, the way a ghost, or a ghoul, or a visitor stares without shame or guilt. It owns you. You know this, your mind tells you this. The mobile phone lights up, this time there is a beep. It must be a message so you pick it up.
You keep looking into the dark corner of your room. If the chair moves again? You don’t know.
You open the message and a photograph appears on the screen. Probably a meme joke, or news item from a sleepless friend.
You push yourself up and peer at the screen. The photo is of a darkened room, you see the lamp that appears like moonlight on your own desk, your chair is occupied by a dark figure in the photo, and all you can see is their gloating eyes lit by the light from a phone screen in their dark hand.
The figure in the photo begins to fade back into darkness. Pixels fizz and their form changes, they seep into the shadows and the screen becomes dark again. The chair in the corner creaks coldly, like winter. Someone stood up and now they are walking in the darkness of your room.
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