I stared into the mirror, watching myself closely. “Could I be imagining it?” I thought to myself. No, no way. I repositioned, watching every movement of my reflection carefully. It matched me perfectly, nothing was off-center. The slight wrinkles in my shirt, the subtle twitch of my eye as I focused in, even the elevation of my chest as I breathed. Everything was fine, for now.
My name is William and I’m writing this to you as a warning. Something… from my childhood has resurfaced, but it isn’t isolated to just me. I’m not sure how the process works or how much danger we’re truly in, but they’re here, waiting to emerge at any moment.
Every generation, Earth underwent a cycle. A cycle to keep it “healthy” and cleanse itself of humanity’s mistakes… it used to at least. That might not make sense now, but just trust me. I’ve been trying to piece it together for years, trying to figure out what I heard and saw that day. I’ll tell all of you what’s going on, but maybe I should start from the beginning. Bear with me and listen to everything I say with an open mind, maybe you can know if they’re already close to you.
When I was younger, my older brother was… taken. Okay, maybe taken isn’t the right word. He ran away from home for a few weeks. The day that he “left”, I was there, and I saw something. I don’t think I was supposed to see it and to be honest, I think my life would be a lot better if I hadn’t, but I did.
My brother and I didn’t really have a relationship once he got to high school. When he was a freshman, I was in 5th grade. We didn’t have a particularly great relationship beforehand, but it was definitely better. Every now and then he would come into my room to wrestle or play my game system, but… that all stopped. The change he had undergone all started when he met this older guy from his school, Kelly. I didn’t know much about him then, and that’s still the case now. I did know, however, that this guy was bad news, even for my adolescent mind.
Kelly had a few tattoos on his arm and one under his eye on his cheek. He always wore dark clothes, and he had dark hair, so dark that it looked to had been dyed. I vaguely remember him even having black eyes, but I think that’s just my imagination taking over a bit. I didn’t recognize the symbol, or whatever that tattoo was on his arm and face. Not back then.
Kelly was a bit strange and had made me uncomfortable plenty of times in the past. One time he came over and my parents told him that my brother and I were upstairs. Instead of walking to my brother’s room, he walked into mine and stood in the doorway. We made eye contact for a few seconds before I initiated the conversation with an awkward “Hey Kelly.”
He let out a small smirk and tilted his head as he walked over to where I was sitting. He squatted down and placed his hands on both sides of my face. I just stared at him, shaken but trying not to show it. He squeezed my face harder, and focused in on something, “I don’t think he’s ready yet.” He spoke. I looked at him, about to ask who he was talking about before my brother came into the room laughing. “Yeah, I told you he’s too young, I don’t want him hanging around with us anyway.”
Kelly let go of my face and stood up, smiling once again. As he walked out of the room and past my brother, my brother looked back at me, slightly concerned. He just let out a smile and nodded his head before closing my door. I never thought much of it back then, I just thought Kelly was a creep and most high schoolers started acting that way eventually. Something told me that he wasn’t talking to my brother that day at all, and I still believe he wasn’t.
Anyways, our parents worked late most of the time, and my brother would watch me after school. They wouldn’t get home until 6 or 7 at night, so we were there alone for several hours at a time. We used to be, that is. On the morning of my last day of school, I had gotten off at the bus stop to find that my brother wasn’t there. This wasn’t necessarily a big deal, but it was still kind of weird. My brother was usually very responsible, even during his downward spiral after meeting Kelly.
Anyways, our house was visible from the bus stop, and we lived in a pretty safe neighborhood, him meeting me there was just a safety precaution our parents put together. I was sure he had just lost track of time. He probably didn’t even know it was a half-day for us since he had been out of school a whole week prior. So, I took it upon myself to walk the rest of the way alone.
As I had gotten closer to my house, I could see there was a car parked in our yard that didn’t belong to our parents. I slowed my pace as the car door swung open. Getting out of the driver’s seat was Kelly; I felt relieved, well as much as I could, and picked my speed back up to a regular walk. Kelly was ringing the doorbell when suddenly all 3 of the other doors opened on the car, and I stopped completely in my tracks. Once I saw the rest of the people come out of the car, I ducked off behind a bush, so they didn’t see me.
They all walked up to my front door, looking around anxiously as they did. I hadn’t seen my brother come outside yet; I didn’t even know if he was there. I would be damned if I walked up to that house without knowing what was going on. I waited behind that bush as they all stood in front of my door for another minute or so. Finally, the door opened, and I can only assume that my brother was the one that opened it. However, I still stayed out of sight until they all were in.
Through the leaves, I could see the last person looking behind him before he closed the door. However, when he turned around, I saw him. He had that same symbol that Kelly had on his face, but on his neck. I immediately felt my stomach knot a bit; I don’t exactly know why. I thought that maybe this was just some weird, gothic cult. Maybe they worshiped the devil and were trying to get my brother to join them. My young mind started to wander off, as young minds often do, but I snapped out of it. Honestly, though, I would come to find out that a cult would have been a lot less threatening than the truth.
As soon as the door closed all the way, I made a full sprint to my house. I snuck around the side to see if I could sneak a peek, I could but the blinds were just barely open. I looked inside and saw that my brother was staring into the mirror that’s on the wall in our living room. I could also hear them talking, albeit very faintly. I heard the girl ask him if he was ready to come through and accept his goal. As she said this, my brother started to put his hands on his head, and scream. Those screams though, something was off about them. My brother’s voice was deeper than it normally was, and it scared me enough that I fell on my back as he let it out.
As I mentioned earlier, I was young, but not so young that I wasn’t aware of the weird shit the world has to offer. I didn’t know at the time what exactly he was “accepting “, but I knew it couldn’t be any good. I had to think quickly, and what I did next was quick indeed. I banged as hard as I could on the window I was sitting under. Immediately I saw them turning as I ducked back down, and I took off full speed to my backyard.
We lived in the city limits, in a gated community, but ours was special. Behind everyone’s house on my side of the road, there was a humongous, wooded area. I didn’t have many hiding places in my backyard, not enough to hide from a group of people at least. I figured my best bet was to make a break for the woods instead of the street, I knew that all the adults were at work. I had to keep running, I assume that all those people were in high school, and they could catch up to me easily if I let up. I didn’t hear anyone behind me at first, I kept running though. I stopped after about 2 or so minutes of running to catch my breath.
I sat down behind a tree and took the collared shirt that I had over my t-shirt off. I was admittedly tired, not exhausted… but tired. Just as my breathing began to slow down to normal, I heard twigs breaking behind me. I held my breath and tried to stay as still as humanly possible.
“There isn’t anyone back here” I heard the girl from earlier say.
“Yeah, I don’t think so either, maybe it was just a bird that hit the window.” said the male voice.
They walked a bit more until they were directly behind the tree I was sitting beside.
“So, what do you think is taking him so long? The rest of us got over here easily.” the male asked. The girl didn’t say anything, not that I could hear at least. “I mean, I killed this version of myself easier than I thought I would.” the male continued.
The female finally responded, “Don’t you find that weird though?”
“Find what weird?”
“How long this is taking Mot? I know he’s a bit soft, but man. Also, right as he was about to come through… something hit the window. That wasn’t a bird, somebody heard us. This could ruin everything if anyone found out.” she said.
At this point I was terrified, and I had many questions. Did this guy kill someone? Who is Mot? What could be ruined and who are these people? I really wanted to catch a glance at the girl to see if I recognized her from somewhere or if she had that symbol on her, but I didn’t know if they were facing my direction or not. I was too scared to move a muscle, but I had to try. I’d regained enough energy by then that if I had to run, I could. I waited until I heard footsteps, they were going in the opposite direction… now was my chance.
I slowly, very slowly peeked my head around the tree. I could see a little sliver of the other side; I could see her. On her arm, that same symbol. But this time, I could see it more vividly. It was a circle of some sort, a circle with an X going through it. But… it’s not a tattoo, it’s like a marking, or a brand or something. Also, hers was a bit more stretched out than Kelly’s, it covered most of her arm. As soon as my mind processed that, I carefully turned my head back around the corner.
I had to get back to my brother, to warn him that they could be, no, that they WERE planning something bad. If I ran around back, they would beat me to him, and he could be in trouble. If I ran past them, they could catch me, and we both could be. I had to think quickly once again, quicker. I let out a sigh and stood up and walked back the way I came.
I could see them up ahead, so I slowed down. They hadn’t heard me yet. I looked around and saw a small opening in the thicket I use to climb in while playing hide and seek. Even for my age, I was a fairly small kid. So, I had the reputation of being the best hider in the neighborhood when we played our beloved game. It’s been a few weeks, but I was sure I could still fit in it. It led to another opening that could give me the head start I needed to make it back to my house.
I looked back and forth for a few seconds to map out the plan. I had to make sure it was enough distance between me and them so that I wouldn’t get caught before I even made it to the crawlspace. I waited, and with each passing second, I grew more and more nervous. After about 10 seconds I yelled at the top of my lungs and ran towards the opening. I heard their footsteps stomping behind me… shit.
I looked over my shoulder and they already had turned the corner and were directly behind me. As soon as I reached the crawlspace I fell down and used every ounce of strength to pull myself through it. Behind me, I could hear the leaves shake as they tried to reach for me. At one point I think one of them grabbed me, I barely made it. Once I got out the other end, I ran to my house to see the car still parked in my yard. There was still time. I crept quietly, but quickly. There was no way I could know where Kelly was, and it wouldn’t be long before the ones behind me had caught up.
I quietly yelled for my brother. “Tom! Tom, where are you?” I got no response. I looked up the stairs and saw the shadow of someone walking by. It had to be Kelly. I felt as though my brother would protect me if Kelly tried something, so I rushed up the stairs as fast as possible, trying to warm Tom that these guys are up to something.
“Tom! Tom, these guys killed someone. I heard them say it, and they’re trying to get you t-“ I stopped dead in my tracks as I saw an image I can’t forget to this day. My brother was looking at his reflection in the mirror, but his reflection was… alive. It was moving and twitching, and he wasn’t. I couldn’t get anymore words out of my mouth. I was silent, not even caring about Kelly or those other goons anymore. I walked closer to my brother, trying to pull him away from the mirror, but as I got close to him that same scream from earlier came back. This time it felt like my head was going to explode from how deep the screams were, I fell to my knees trying to cover my ears, but it didn’t help. Eventually, I ran out of the room, still covering my ears trying to make it down the steps, but I collapsed and that’s all I remember.
Fast forward a few hours and my parents came home and found me on the ground. They called an ambulance, and I awoke in the hospital. They said they were calling the house and my brother’s cellphone, but weren’t getting an answer so they came home, and that’s when they found me. They asked me about Tom and if I had seen him, but I couldn’t tell them what I saw. They wouldn’t believe me. I just told them no, when I came home, he wasn’t there, and I must’ve fainted or something. They told me they had already contacted the police because the door was wide open, and Tom’s mirror was broken. They asked me if I remember anyone being at the house, and I was about to tell them that I saw Kelly, but I figured that would put me and them in danger, so I just said no.
Fast forward a few weeks later into that summer and my parents were sitting in the living room, and I was in my room when the doorbell rang. I slowly walked down the stairs as I heard my parents scream, and at the door was Tom. He was back, and as my parents hugged him, I arrived to the bottom of the stairs. He looked at me with a small smirk, but something was up. He was different, and the energy I felt when he came back, was unlike any other I’ve felt before, even with Kelly. Then I remembered. I remembered that day, what I saw with the mirrors, and the face his reflection made, that exact face, and I knew that things were never going to be the same again.
In the years to come, my brother stayed in trouble with the law. Drugs, guns, fights… everything you could think of, he’s done. I moved to stay with my grandparents, I came up with an excuse about wanting to spend time with them. Which wasn’t a lie, but the truth is that I didn’t want to live in the house with Tom, or whatever I saw that day. My parents have always known that I saw something though, from that day in the hospital. Well, here we are now, in current time and my brother has passed away. To be blunter, he took his own life. I’m 18 now and in college, coming home early for his funeral. When I arrived home, my parents told me to just go up to my old bedroom, everything is the same. I realized then that I hadn’t revisited the house much if at all in the past few years, they had always come to visit me. I felt kind of bad, especially seeing the smile on their faces as they finally had their last remaining son home.
As I was walking up to my room, my parents told me one last thing.
“Oh, William, we found your journal and put it on your bed.” my dad said to me. I looked down at him with confusion, he let out a laugh.
“Don’t worry, we didn’t look in it at all. I promise, we’ve always respected you boys’ privacy and we always will.”
I just smiled a bit and continued walking up the stairs. My journal? I know I haven’t been here since I was a child, but everything of importance to me, I took with me. I never had a journal, I didn’t have any books, I wasn’t much of a reader back then. I walked past my brother’s room, not even giving it a slight glance, and continued to my bedroom at the end of the hall. Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed was the huge, red, decrepit-looking book lying on my bed. On the cover, it said “WILLIAM” in all caps. This is when I learned everything, and where I need you to listen to everything I’m about to say. I’m sorry for so much background, but everything that I remembered from that day started to make sense, I knew it wasn’t my imagination. Please, if you’re reading this, pass this on to everyone you can. I have to type faster; my reflection is starting to move on its own on my computer screen.
My brother and whatever replaced my brother left me this journal to try to tell everyone I could about what’s happening and what has been happening right in front of us our whole lives. I can’t quote everything word for word, I don’t have the time, but I can tell you what I think everything means. My brother was indeed replaced, my real brother died that day in front of the mirror. What came back, his doppelgänger essentially, was not him. However, what came back also was not completely evil either, which is why he struggled so much more to come through than the rest of the replacements. My brother’s heart was pure, leaving his replacement in a weakened state, weak enough to allow parts of Tom’s real self to warn me about this and keep it hidden from his replacement.
Every generation, Earth starts a cycle to cleanse itself of humanity. We’ve heard the story for years in all kinds of different forms, Noah’s Ark being one of them. It has been this way since the beginning of mankind, but as humanity evolved mentally, the cycle weakened more and more. Humanity started to take notice of these events and has tried to prevent them from happening as much as it could. This negativity, this vengeance that humanity has for Earth has created a sort of alternate Earth where the people have lived without cleansing. The flood, the asteroids, none of that has happened there. That gravity of hate was so strong that it has manifested itself into physical form, almost. Our Earth is slowly being taken over by this alternate one, and our alternate selves are starting to take over us. Which is what happened to my brother that day.
This alternate Earth, we’ll call it Echo, has been seeping through our entire lives. The symbols I mentioned earlier are proof of that. Kelly, The Girl, The Guy, all had the same symbol, and most likely you do too. However, for you, it’s likely in the form of a birthmark, faded away through the essence of space-time to the point where it’s not recognizable anymore. You were born into this Earth, this in-between Earth that’s slowly being taken over by the Echo. Your birthmarks are that Echo mark either fading away or coming into itself, I’m not sure, my brother never specified which way it worked.
When Kelly grabbed my face that day, I was correct, he wasn’t talking to my brother. He somehow was talking to my Echo through me. If you were to tell someone anything like that, you’d be called mentally insane, which is probably how they have masked this secret for so long. People who find out are either dead, replaced, or kept locked away. Remember Mot? Well, I figured out who that was as well, it’s just my brother’s name backward. That’s his Echo’s name.
We, humans, have this strange phenomenon known as “Déjà vu”, which is a scenario where we remember things, usually that haven’t happened to us. I think this is just us having a glimpse of our Echo’s lives as we live ours. Echo is a copy of Earth, no doubt about that, but we don’t live the same lives as our Echo’s exactly. There are a few contingencies scattered about differentiate us.
Have you ever glanced at a mirror, and it looked like your reflection was just slightly out of place? Well, you probably weren’t imagining it. These Echoes of us can only take over us by looking at our reflections. It’s a tricky process, I’ll try to explain. Echo is a world without cleansing, and a world full of hate. These people are the worst versions of us imaginable, but they are still us. Every time we look at our reflection, we’re looking at them, and they’re staring back at us, slowly taking us over. There’s an old wives’ tale about staring at yourself too long in the mirror, apparently, if you do, your face starts to distort. That’s not an illusion, or your brain playing tricks on you, that’s your Echo trying to fight its way to you. Ever heard of Bloody Mary? Another Urban Legend revolving around the demon in the mirror, but that’s no demon, that’s you, that’s us… all of us.
Humanity seems to get worse by the year, crime goes up as time goes on and it’s not our fault. Echo is slowly, but surely winning this war, it’s only a matter of time before the dust has settled. According to my brother’s notes, if you learn about this secret, your Echo becomes more active. My reflection has been acting up all day today, so I believe it. I’m still spreading the word, it’s better to be prepared and know what’s happening so maybe there can be a way to fight it. I’m seeing it now, my reflection, it’s definitely not matching me as much as it was earlier, I have to post this now.
If you see this post, please know that there is something evil on Earth, something that lives inside each and every one of us. Our Earth, our original Earth, our original selves… we were pure. Unfortunately, we stood no chance to the evils out there, and the evil is starting to take over us. Everyone, watch your reflection, please. My brother was strong enough to weaken his Echo, so he still had good in him, but not everyone will be that lucky. Watch your loved ones, look for signs of their behavior changing suddenly, watch for the mark.
I know many won’t see this, but just as people figured out a way to let Echo take over, if we band together, we can find a way to stop it, for good. It might take years, decades, centuries, but I know we can stop it… we must.
Credit : ReeseC
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