> The recipe in effect invokes undefined behavior in posn-at-point,
> because fci-mode uses a zero-length (a.k.a. "empty") overlay to
> place, in a very convoluted way, a stretch of whitespace followed
> by an image, before the newline.
> Since the buffer position of the newline is not "covered" by the
> empty overlay, Emacs happily stops when it reaches the newline,
> oblivious to the fact that on the way it produced the stretch
> glyph of a very large width.
I'm not sure it's due to the overlay having zero length. Here's a minimal recipe that provokes the same behavior using a overlay of length 1 (covering the newline):
(setq o (make-overlay 1 2)
s (propertize " "
'display '(space :align-to 10)
(overlay-put o 'before-string s)
(setq col (car (posn-col-row (posn-at-point (point)))))
(message (concat "Current column: " (number-to-string col))))