Afraid of the Dark

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I've never been afraid of the dark. Even as a small child I didn't have a problem with going into a shadowy room to turn on the lights or getting up in the night to go to the bathroom. My imagination never got away from me, I could always come up with ways to explain the shadows in the corner. One night, a stormy one if you'll excuse the cliche, I was lying in bed with my wife. She was sound asleep, a natural deep sleeper.

I was not so fortunate, and lay wide awake as thunder and lightning crashed outside the window. I had a sudden urge to use the bathroom, and careful not to make too much noise I slipped out of bed. In our house we have a long hallway off of which the three bedrooms and bathroom are located. Our room is at the far end of the hall, the bathroom is at the other.

I walked quietly to the bathroom, careful to avoid the squeaky floorboards. The lightning caused weird shapes and figures to appear along the walls and floor, and thought I was not afraid, my bodily needs hurried my footsteps. I reached the bathroom. For a second I stood at the threshold, my eyes fixed on the shower, its insides masked by the long curtain.

What could it be hiding from me? What serial killer or abomination listened intently to my every movement, my every breath, waiting to reveal itself and drag me down, tear me apart? I sighed. My judgement must have been beginning to cloud at the ripe old age of thirty-three. I flipped on the light, ignoring the slight tremor in my hand. I relieved myself and washed my hands, the fear ebbing away. I took a calming breath and turned to leave. As I flipped the lights off again, I glanced behind my shoulder. A long shadowy limb snaked out from behind the curtain towards me.