I don't know if you believe in god. I can't even truly be sure of that question myself. What I am sure of is that there are forces, things, or entities out there that we do not understand. Things that can possibly harm us, or at least terrorize us. Things that I would love to stay the hell away from and I would advise you to do the same. Some people, such as my little brother, do not quite understand that, and every day I'm worried he will find himself in a situation he cannot escape.
The story I'm about to tell you took place between nineteen to twenty-five years ago, in what used to be a semi-small town called Austin, Texas. My family, consisting of both my parents, my severely autistic older brother Ben, my baby brother Eric, my older sister Eileen and myself had just moved back to South Austin from Bay City, Texas. My parents wanted to be closer to the rest of our family so they bought an old three bedroom, one story house in a small neighborhood near South First Street.
The house itself was ugly and looked like one of those small prisons you would see in some sort of wild-wild west show, but as for the neighborhood well, I really enjoyed it. There was a park not too far away called Dittmar and I believe the huge creek that ran through our neighborhood had the same first name. It was a beautiful place! Everyone had big trees in their yard and woods surrounded us. I used to love walking around or just going into the creek and relaxing while no one was around. My whole family liked it as well, especially Eric.
I was exactly seven years older than he was but he was a fast learner. He was a bit of a free-range child that seemed to never really be afraid of anything. As a baby he rarely cried, even when he had a fever so bad he had to be rushed to the children's hospital. He turned three in that house and by then he was already walking, talking, and peeing outside (he learned to potty-train by watching Ben who use to purposely go to the bathroom outside to anger my grandparents). My parents said he was the quickest one to become potty-trained out of all of us.
One day I was watching a new show called "Boy Meets World" on our TV in the living room when I heard Eric talking to someone in our parent's room. I had put on "Power Rangers" in there for him since that was the only place that had another TV, but I could not hear it playing anymore. What I did hear sounded like the occasional whisper, followed by Eric simply talking loudly. When I walked in to investigate, he was just sitting there on my parents' bed looking into the mirror at the head of it. I asked him "Who are you talking to?" with a slight giggle in my voice and he turned and looked at me as if I just caught him sneaking the cat inside. He then grinned from ear to ear and replied "Nooo one..." I then said as sarcastically as I could "Oh really, no one huh? Liars don't get cookies from the cookie jar." He jumped up quickly and yelled, "Ok, ok I was just talking to Chuck!"
I was relieved because Chuck had been his imaginary friend since we first moved in. In fact I think it started when my Dad let him watch "Child's Play" and instead of being terrified of the creepy little doll monster like a normal person, he became obsessed with it like a little weirdo. He would watch that movie every year when it came on in October until he turned fourteen.
So I decided to play around with him and say "No you weren't, you were talking to someone else." I WAS expecting him to say something along the lines of "Who?" and I would quickly respond back "YOURSELF!" and throw a pillow at him then run away but instead he did something that sent shivers down my spine. He tensed up and a look of shock and surprise took hold of his face. Then he looked at the mirror quickly and said, "I didn't tell her, I swear!" I did not know how to react I just stood there dumbfounded. I then hesitantly asked him "Who were you really talking to?" He looked up at me as if he was going to cry and said "Mommy ego." Then he pointed at the mirror grimly.
My body moved almost robotically as I slowly moved to look in the mirror. I saw nothing so I got closer and started squinting my eyes. Suddenly I saw it but it was too late! A pillow smacked me across the back of my head. "Eric!" I yelled as he bolted out the door shouting "Gotcha!"
That night after dinner was a different story. Eileen and I were washing dishes when my dad walked in to get a soda out of the fridge. There was just something about that name that bothered me. What kind of three year old would come up with that? The whole thing was just disturbing. Therefore, seeing as my dad was the one person Eric talked the most in our family, I asked him if he had ever heard him say anything about a Mommy Ego. My dad just looked at me as if that was normal and said "Oh yeah, I think it's one of his imaginary friends or something. I asked him about her once and all he said was she's a secret or something." That made me feel a little uneasy. I had to know more information now. I was still skeptical about the whole thing and I thought well maybe it really is just all in his head but part of me needed some sort of confirmation that Mommy Ego was just a figment of a child's overactive imagination.
The next day I asked Eric about her again a little more sternly while he was watching TV in the living room. He wasn't really phased by it this time and mostly kept his eyes glued to the TV. "She's the old lady that stays in the attic." he said vaguely. That caught me a little off guard and confused so I said, "She lives in our attic?" "Nooo... She doesn't live here, Chuck does. She only comes to visit from time to time, and when she does she sleeps in the attic" he said. "Wait? Chuck lives here?" I asked. "Yeah, he told me this used to be his house and Mommy Ego use to visit him too."
Now I was really feeling scared but I had to know one more thing. "So if Mommy Ego doesn't live here where does she live?" I said. "Chuck said she lives in the woods by the creek near the dead goat skeleton. Mommy Ego also told me she sees you sometimes hanging out at the creek by the big tree," he said as he looked away from the TV and right at me.
A chill went down my spine. To think some creepy old woman was watching me while I was alone. Then it occurred to me. Maybe he's messing with me again and he's been spying on me like some little twerp the whole time. So, I asked him if she was visiting right now and he looked back to the TV and said "I don't know, go check the attic in the garage and see."" Come with me then!" I replied in a sort of sarcastic way. "She doesn't like it when I go in there and bother her," he said. "BECAUSE SHE'S NOT REAL!" I found myself shouting. He just shrugged and that was the end of our conversation.
Things got weird after that day. It started as strange little events but grew into somewhat larger problems. I would come home from school and find all the faucets in the house turned on or random items in strange places like a pot or a pan in the closet or in the cabinet of the bathroom. Pictures would be crooked and cupboards and windows would be opened. Sometimes I would find chairs flipped over or sitting in the hallway outside Eileen's room and mine. Then I started hearing scratching and knocking noises throughout the house. At night, I would sometimes hear what sounded like laughter or crying.
A cookie jar kept falling off the shelf and breaking and my mom would glue it back together, then find it broken again the next day or two but we were pretty sure it was Eric trying to sneak cookies. At least until one night while watching Unsolved Mysteries with my dad and Eileen it happened while Eric was at a friend's house. The even creepier part was it happened right when someone on the show said they heard a crash. My mom still blamed him though. She seemed to be the only one oblivious to the strange happenings going on in our house. Even my dad knew and was a little worried.
About two years had passed and we kind of had just gotten used to everything. When something strange happened it would still creep us out, but no one really got hurt and it just seemed somewhat normal.
We had put one of those large deep freezers in the garage directly under the attic as well and it was where we kept most of our frozen foods. One day I decided I was going to get a hot pocket. As I grabbed one and shut the freezer, I had an odd feeling I was being watched. Then I remembered Eric telling me about how Mommy Ego stays in the attic. I slowly looked up but to my relief all I saw was the opening that led to the crawlspace and the usual light that we never turned on or even knew if it worked.
I shrugged it off and went to door leading out. I opened the door and I flipped the lights off, but as I did, my body froze in fear. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a light coming down from the attic. I gained enough courage to turn my head and see; sure enough, the attic light was on. I didn't know whether I should dart inside and shut the door or check out what was going on. Curiosity ended up beating out fear and I cautiously approached the freezer to look into the attic. I will never forget that day.
As I carefully lurched forward to look up at the light there, looking right back down at me with her chin resting on the right edge of the hole, was the head and face of a grinning old woman. Her hair was pulled back and tied up in a bun, and her face had more wrinkles than a shriveled prune. She had no teeth in her sinister grin just black gums the seemed to reflect the light. I could not see her nose too well because of the shadow cast upon her face by the light in the background but what I could see as clear as day and what I still see in every nightmare I have is her eyes. Where there should have been white there was yellow and instead of a pupil and an iris she simply had large black dots. Luckily my bladder was empty because had it not I would of easily needed to change. I ran out screaming so hard my voice went hoarse. I wish I could say that was the last time I saw that face.
I was on edge for three weeks after that encounter. I would not go in the garage, I jumped at every noise, and I avoided going to the creek to relax. Those same three weeks not a single strange event happened.
Then one day I decided to visit my friend Jaycee who lived down the street. We talked about the normal things but then I decided to ask her if she had seen or heard anything strange in her house. Surprisingly she did. We talked about what we had in common and about what one of us experienced but the other did not. When I brought up the name Mommy Ego she froze. Her little sister, who was only two years older then Eric, had brought up that name before. Apparently, a year ago she claimed Mommy Ego helped her get a Frisbee out of their tree in the front yard. She said she had not heard much after that but now she was a little bit worried.
I went home that night and went straight to my room. I thought a lot, about what Jaycee told me but eventually sleep overtook me and I passed out. I awoke the next morning to a scream and found that both Eileen's bed and mine were shaking violently. As soon as my mom and dad burst through the door, it stopped. They calmed us down and gave us breakfast. My mom did not believe us of course but dad did. Me and my sister talked a lot about it that day as well but when I saw my little brother he walked up to me and said "Mommy Ego is mad at you." Then walked away. I felt sick to my stomach, this thing had left us alone for so long and now it was mad at me? Why? Is it because I disturbed her in the garage? So many questions and worries passed through my head but had she truly been mad at me that was her only retaliation because things went kind of back to normal. Sure, the occasional strange event, thing or noise would happen but it was the same stuff we had gotten use to before.
Another year had passed and my sister and I wanted to have a sleepover with some friends from school. Both my parents said yes and so it was planned. They all brought their stuff to school so we could leave straight from there, and since we were all walking distance from each other and our school, we simply walked to my house afterwards and had fun. We watched movies, did make up, curled our hair and painted our nails. You know, the stuff teenage age girls did.
At about 10pm that night we got a loud knock at the door. We weren't really doing much. Just gossiping and playing the board game "Sorry". I got up to answer it and there was Eric standing there, and he looked very upset. Before I could ask him what was wrong he yelled, "Stop it! I know it was y'all at my window trying to scare me. I heard y'all laughing," then stormed off back across the hall to his room before I could even respond. I didn't think much of it to be honest, I was too preoccupied with my friends so I simply shrugged it off and went back to my room.
We had all fallen asleep about two hours later but for some reason, no matter how tired I felt, I just could not pass over in to the world of my dreams. Then I heard a knocking on my window. Baffled at what it could be I simply remained in bed in hopes it was just something being blown by the wind. Then it happened again, a little louder this time. Then a realization came to my head, it was probably my stupid little brother trying to get some sort of vengeance on us for something we didn't do.
I angrily got up and went to the window and as I opened the blinds and prepared to tell him to go to bed or mom and dad would become involved in his little prank, my heart leaped to my throat and terror took over. Standing in the window was an old woman with her hair in curlers. She had a toothless grin and yellow eyes with large black dots for pupils fixed on me. My body worked almost mechanically. I shut the blinds and slowly crawled in to bed. I just stared at the window. Then I heard a tap as if someone was tapping their long fingernails against the glass. I quickly hid under the cover and just listened to the tapping until exhaustion overtook me and I slipped in to unconsciousness.
I do not know when the tapping stopped but the next morning I was the last to awaken and no one else seemed to hear anything of the sort. I began to question whether or not I was dreaming, and honestly when I think back to that day I still sometimes do.
About one more year would pass and my dad had received a promotion at his job. Since he was going to be making a lot more money, he decided it was time to move. We did not really notice anything weird around this time because we were so focused on packing and getting everything ready. Our house in a new neighborhood was in its final stages of construction and we were going to leave as quickly as we could.
Well on the final, few days of us being in the house it started storming really badly. The creeks flooded over and we had a non-stop tornado watch. We had the moving truck but we could barely load it up and make trips back and forth due to the bad weather. The last day the rain let up a little bit and we had managed to move most of our stuff to the new house.
I was so excited for this move to finally be over, that I could not fall asleep that night. I was thinking about the new house and how I would soon have my very own room, in a place with two floors, when I heard our front door open and close quickly. I looked at the clock and it read 2:30am. Who the hell was up and about at this time? I got up and went outside to investigate, and as I walked out into the front yard, I saw Eric running down the street. I had no idea what he was doing so I angrily yelled out to him to come back, but he kept running. I was barefoot and a little tired but I spontaneously chased after him thinking about how much trouble I'm going to make sure he is in for sneaking out.
He turned down a street that was more like a cul-de-sac with a very large oak tree in the center. As I turned down it too I saw him jump in to a space between two houses that led to the creek. I remembered how flooded it was down there due to the storms so I broke into a dead sprint.
I nearly fell down the slope that led down to the water when I finally caught up to him, but just as I took a breath to yell at him, I realized he was not the only child there. He was standing at the water's edge with five other children standing around him in a half circle. They were all in dirty soaking wet ragged clothes and their flesh was as pale as the moon itself.
As I got closer, I could see their glossy clouded eyes fixed on the water. Then just like that, I blinked and they were gone, only to be replaced by five tires with a wooden cross set in the center. Eric was crouched down at this point, examining the curious structures. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" I yelled. "I... I don't know." He said confused. "You don't remember running here!" I shouted again. "No! I swear!" he whined back. I believed him. I really did. "Let's go home, we are leaving tomorrow." I told him and we walked home not saying a word to each other.
A few weeks went by and we were enjoying our new home. We had not been able to explore the neighborhood much though mainly because it would rain like every other day. One particular night it stormed so badly there was a flash flood warning and our power went out. I lit a candle in my room and read a book but I figured after about an hour it would be better to just sleep until it was over. I awoke the next day to my mom telling me she had some sad news. Jaycees sister had snuck out during the storm and had been found in the creek. She had drowned...