It was happening again. Bob rolled in bed and the shadow did the same, mimicking his every move.
The strange phenomenon started the week before, on the very first day after the big move. The new house promised a clean break, away from the extended family drama and toxic relationships of the past. With its quiet neighborhood and nature’s gentle touch coming from the park around the block, it was like a dream come true.
Except for the haunting.
At first, it was just an impression on the back of his neck or a slight chill when he moved from room to room. Sometimes, a light would flicker momentarily above his head, but nothing suggested another presence standing next to him.
Until he saw it. Or perhaps her.
The semi-corporeal apparition had feminine traits, though not overly defined. They seemed to change with the light conditions or his rapid eye movements. One moment, they were clear as his own body, the next nothing but hazy ripples on the fabric of reality.
She never spoke, never said a word, happy to repeat his gestures as if they were precious gems worthy of adoration. The strange realization freaked him the first time, but then it gradually became endearing. The more he looked at her, the less afraid he became. She was his own living reflection, and who else in the world could say such a thing?
“What do you want?” He asked, knowing the answer would never come. Her ethereal mouth replicated the motion, gently lulling him to sleep. “Dream,” the air whispered.
And so, he did. A fantasy so beautiful that words failed to describe it properly and only approximations sufficed. He dreamed of walking side by side with his guest on a beautiful golden sand beach. The sun was high, and the crystalline water invited weary souls for a bath. The two entered the ocean at the same time, hand in hand, impressions of smiles flying everywhere...
... and only one came out, purified, happy to be alive.
“Bob” opened his eyes and touched his face. It had been a long time since the last party in the big city, but the wait was finally over. New hosts were so difficult to find.