As had happened countless times before, I awoke during the night and strolled down the hallway to use the bathroom. Still half asleep, I glanced absently in the study as I shuffled by. A misplaced dark spot on the wall caught my attention.
Sunlight was just beginning to filter through the window and cast a glint on the opposite wall. In the middle of this modest oasis of light, the obstinate silhouette remained; in defiance of visual law. At first I found the rogue shadow fascinating but to my dismay, it began to slowly creep up the wall like a spider. This unnatural migration of darkness led it to stop in the center of brightest illumination. Witnessing such a chance interplay of light and shade made it seem almost deliberate.
The longer I watched the mysterious blot on the wall pulsate and grow, the more concerned I became. I could hardly believe my eyes. The lightless void actually seemed to be morphing into a child-shaped eclipse! The hair on the back of my neck stood-on-end. I glanced out the window to look for a logical reason for the chilling shadow but came away empty. There didn’t appear to be any object between the sun and the wall to cause it. The ensuing rush of adrenalin from witnessing such an unexplained spectacle woke me up completely.
Rationality forced me to dismiss the startling phenomenon as coincidence but my eyes were not convinced. It’s movement seemed too precise to be the random swaying of tree limbs or another explainable cause. It was that deliberate organization that kept me awake until my alarm clock signaled the start of the day.
My unnerving encounter with ‘the phantom of the wall’ faded as the challenges of life wore on. In the full light of day, I felt ridiculous for my reaction to a coincidental, natural phenomenon; so far unexplained.
A few days passed and I forgot the whole affair. As I went to bed; I walked by the study and surveyed the once ‘enchanted’ spot on the wall. All was completely normal and the darkened room betrayed no phantom secrets. I rolled my eyes in embarrassment at my overactive imagination and went to bed. Sometime in the early morning hours, nature called again. As I walked down the hallway, I whimsically glanced at the mystery spot on the wall.