Eyes! Eyes!

A true and spine chilling tale about the events that took place after The Window Man visited.

She was a beautiful girl, with chocolate curls and caramel skin. Her eyes sparkled when she laughed and she was a bouncy, happy child. As she grew, her personality developed. She toddled around and played with toys. But she did not speak.

She giggled every time we played Finding Nemo, pointing and laughing at the screen. Dory was her favorite and she’d pucker her lips and make fishy faces right back. My sister was as unlike her father as she could possibly be, innocent and full of joy.

The man who created my sister was cold hearted. He was a mean drunk, taking his aggressions and frustrations out on my family. There were times he got physical with both myself and my brother. I feared for my sister. I did not want her naive perception corrupted by his callous actions, his loud and violent outbursts.

My mother, having to return to work to support us, could not afford childcare. My grades were suffering due to the frequent disagreements I got into with the man who controlled my family. He was not going to control me.

In 2009, I transferred to the night program, completing my education in the evening so I could care for my sister while my mother worked. My sister’s father, Clyde, offered to watch her also, but he had a 30-pack before noon Natty Ice habit, and would be completely slumped while the baby screamed and cried in a soiled diaper.

Many mornings, I would wake up, feed her, change her, play with her, and console her, while my mother was working and her father was consuming as much alchohol as his ulcered stomach would allow. He’d call me into his room and harrass me to bring him beers when he was too drunk to stand.

I wasn’t the only one who got frustrated with his actions. It wasn’t just him, and I, and my sweet baby sister that stayed home all day.

Clyde told so many stories to impress us in the beginning. He said he had served in the military like my father had. He said he was abused by his last girlfriend. He said he was native american. He said a whole bunch.

However, when my mother met his sister, a few things came to light. He was the Puerto Rican son of a Voodoo Priestess. His sister and his aunt practiced fortune telling. And there were some things seriously wrong with his head. Serious enough that he was hospitalized in a mental institution, where he sat, day after day, staring at a mural of native americans riding wild horses.

I knew he had presences in his shadow, I saw them lurking in corners when he moved in. My mother and him originally laughed at me, and assumed I was a teenager starving for attention.

Our house was a small, ranch style. Two bedrooms at the end of the hall, my mother’s and mine. Next to my mom’s room, my sisters. Next to mine, the bathroom. We had a galley kitchen with a door to the back deck and an open living and dining room. At this point, my sister’s crib stood at my mom’s bedside, too small to sleep in her own.

The first being I noticed was a young girl. I had gotten up in the middle of the night and wandered down the hall in the dark to the bathroom. My sister’s door was cracked open.

WEE OOOH WEEE OOH WEEE OOOOOHH

The lights on one of her toys danced, reflecting on the walls. A pale sliver of moonlight crossed the room, causing me to stare toward the open door. It looked like the thin whisp of a child’s white dress. I rushed into the bathroom and closed the door.

By this point in my life I knew when I was meant to see something and when I was not meant to. I did not want to interrupt the ghostly child and her playtime, so I pardoned myself and went back into my bedroom. Her presence felt much like my sister, innocent and curious. I was not afraid, but felt instead that she may have been there before us, in which case this was her space and her time and I respected it. Respect is essential with some presences, especially those who mean you no harm. I did not want to stir up any commotion, so I went to sleep.

The next day I told my mother what I had seen, and she, like usual, dismissed me. Clyde tied a string to the doorknobs, and hid at the end of the hall pulling them, like a practical joke, making the doors slam simeltaneously. It was Christmas when the spirits made a joke out of him.

I spent a week tidying up our house for the holidays. My mother had been hard at work and I wanted to create a place where she could relax and unwind. I set up a tablecloth, hung stockings from the mantle, and faced the loveseat toward the sofa with a coffee table between them for conversations and board games by the fireplace.

A six foot fir tree completed the look, garnished with golden tinsel and burgundy bulbs. A small train ran in circles around the trunk, where gifts were carefully piled. Until Clyde stumbled in, back from the bar with his friends. He roared at me.

“How dare you rearrange the house! It isn’t yours to touch! How the hell am I supposed to watch the game with the sofa over there!?”

I stood quietly, anger bubbling up my throat. Tears were gathering in my eyes. It was moments before I’d snap back.

First he grabbed the tree, throwing it across the room and shattering the ornaments. He grabbed the couch and dragged it back to it’s old position. Winded and panting, he paused, shifting his eyes in my direction again.

Before he could lunge, a noise from the firplace at the end of the room caught our attention. A box of wooden fireplace matches slid open. By itself. We both thought we had imagined it. He turned his attention back at me, and wooden matches flung from their box, directly toward him, invisibly propelled.

We were both stunned by the matches strewn across the room. He looked around, and left. I believe something was protecting me that day, and I can’t be sure of what or who exactly, although I thought I saw the edge of a white gown slip behind me down the hall.

My sister was growing to be about the age where she could move into her own bedroom. She happily toddled around the house, playing as children do. She began learning and growing faster than I could keep up. She moved past Nemo, and onto Dora the Explorer.

To ease her transition, I covered her room in her favorite character. She was sitting on the edge of the bed as I hung some new posters up. Quietly, I heard her mumble her first word behind me. I turned quickly, and her arm was outstretched, pointing her tiny finger toward the open door.

“Eyes!” She said.

There was nothing in the doorway, which stood open to the empty hall.

“Eyes!” She insisted, small arm beginning to shake from exaustion.

“No, no, babygirl.” I told her. I used my index finger to point to my face. “These are eyes.”

She pointed again, into the space. I hugged her and we left the room together, closing the door behind us. My mother witnessed her first word again later, as she served her some mashed potatoes and peas on her high chair. My little sister pointed directly behind her.

“Eyes!  Eyes!” She was adimant. My mother looked behind her, and we saw nothing. She shrugged her shoulders.

“Eat your peas, little one.” Mom cooed. After dinner, we snuggled her up in some footsie pajamas and put her to bed.

My mom is a skeptical woman, but she learned that I had not been telling dramatic stories that evening. It is all fun and games, until you experience it for yourself. In the morning, she was pale, trembling while she made herself coffee. That’s when she told me I was right.

“Last night,” she hesitated. ” I heard a knocking from your sisters room.”

I stood, patiently listening.

“So I went in to check on her, and I see her, standing on the end of the bed, tapping on the wall. I reached out to grab her, and put her back to bed.”

She broke eye contact with me for a second and continued.

“She reached back, and I happened to look down at the pillow where I was going to lay her. Your sister was already laying down, fast asleep, and the girl reaching back had dissapeared. ” My mother apologized to me for doubting what I’d told her.

We kept the secret between us, and exchanged glances every time my sister repeated her new favorite word. Her only word. Her second word was “Watching.”

It wasn’t long before Clyde came around, drinking heavily again. This was another one of those violent evenings, as he slurred and stumbled about, waiting for an excuse to bring his hands down on some unsuspecting fool.

The spirits were not going to tolerate his behavior tonight. The doors slammed, but this time, no strings were tied. The lights flickered. The baby giggled and pointed.

“Eyes Watching.” She said.

The house began to tremble. My mother sat at the dining table, quiet and trying to avoid his direct attention. He came after me instead.

At this point I was done with it. The harrassment, the fights. I was done. As he started toward me like a raging bull, throwing furniture as he came, I ran. I plucked my pointing sister from the hall and brought her into my room at the end. My door closed itself. I locked it.

I could hear him following closely, and then he began to pound on the hollow wood, splintering it and screaming. I opened my window. Tying my sheets as quickly as I could, I tucked my sister against my chest, and climbed out. Then we ran.

I still remember that night vividly, it was snowing, and I wrapped my sister in the hoodie I was wearing as we walked on the side of the road. I knew he was coming, and I slipped through backyards and hid among trees while we walked.

I brought her to my friend’s house, a few blocks down. We arrived desperate and wide eyed, although my sister was quickly soothed by a cup of cocoa and some cartoons, and soon fell asleep.

I could hear his truck rumbling down each street as he got closer and closer to my hiding place. I was safe here, if I didn’t go outside. He didn’t know which house was hers. Loud music played, a guitar rift by Santana, echoing closer and closer. He drove past.

I knew he was hunting me, but I was not going to let him take her childhood.

My mother had a decision to make. I would raise my sister alone or she would kick him out. He promised that if she kicked him out, he would never show his face around my sister again, and she would be another b*****d child, raised by a lonely single mother. My mother stood her ground for us, and drove him and his demons out.

When I finally returned home, the dust had settles and the air was lifted. There were no presences, no paranormal activity. My sister grew, and learned many more words and became a smart little girl. My mom denies, to this day, that we dealt with anything abnormal, but I will always remember my sister’s first words.

 

 

“Eyes!”