She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 15: What Came Before
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)
Chapters: 15 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (some elements might be too intense or scary for those under 13; includes bad language)
Dates: Begun September 2006. Some material is based on previously written stories from 2003-2005.
Word Count: 5,224
Summary: Jolene experiences a series of hallucinations of Samara and Anna and is taken on a journey back in time by a ghost to see how the ring began.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series. This chapter also contains mention of past and present drug use.
Fanfic Challenges: Fits 50_darkfics Prompt #15 Angry and Coclaim100 Prompt #15 First Time.
Author's Notes: Not beta'ed. If anyone wants to look over the remaining chapters, even if it's just this one, I'd really appreciate it.
Jolene hated Mondays.
They were even worse when she came home from the office to find her apartment full of unfamiliar furniture.
It was placed randomly around the home... a chair here, a china cabinet there, all of it stuff that Jolene had never seen before. When she tried to touch the items, her hand passed through them. Hallucinations. Now she was hallucinating furniture.
"At least the fly made some sense," Jolene said to the open air, in case Samara was listening. "Now you're giving me chairs I can't sit in."
Seeing furniture that wasn't really there... that called for a drink. Jolene poured herself some Peppermint Schnapps and drank large gulps of it while cooking stir fry chicken for her dinner. She had almost finished preparing it when she realized she wasn't alone at the stove. Jolene nearly jumped out of her skin, hopping away from the woman she saw out of the corner of her eye and letting out a surprised cry. Anna Morgan stood there, making dinner for her family, completely unaware of Jolene's presence. It was like what happened at the office, with the scene in the Morgan barn. Jolene was merely witnessing something that happened in the past.
Samara stood nearby, just staring at her mother while she cooked. Jolene spoke directly to her. "Hey kid, why do you keep sticking your house in mine? Do you really think I care about all this crap?"
Just as this was a vision of the past, it was also a hallucination. Samara turned her head and looked right at Jolene with impatient, narrowed eyes, like she was dealing with a bothersome insect. Jolene blinked and took an unsure step back.
"Honey, why don't you sit and draw while Mommy makes dinner?" Anna asked.
Happy for the distraction, Jolene looked at the woman, examining her body language. It obviously made Anna uncomfortable to have Samara stand there and stare at her like that.
Samara couldn't have been older than six or seven. She replied, "I'm fine, Mommy."
"But you can't be happy just standing there watching me cook. Isn't it boring?" Anna made a funny face, imitating the discomfort Samara was supposed to be feeling while stirring whatever was in the pot of food she was tending.
Samara walked over and hugged Anna around the waist. "I could never get bored watching you. I love spending time with you, Mommy."
A myriad of emotions and reactions passed over Anna's face in the span of only a few seconds. She had no idea if she should be touched or repulsed by the child's devotion. Finally, she stroked Samara's hair awkwardly, then more lovingly. Jolene surmised that Anna reacted this way after years of dealing with the child's strange psychic powers. A child like that could be a strain on a mother's love.
Jolene smiled a little in spite of herself. Samara could be cute when she wasn't being a horrid brat.
The hugging twosome faded away. Jolene breathed a sigh of relief before going back to her cooking.
Although she hoped that was all for Monday's hallucinations, Jolene knew it was too good to be true. She had no idea how much she'd wish for the simplicity of Anna and Samara hugging in her kitchen when this next one crossed her path.
Jolene was walking from the hall to the living room when she encountered Anna standing at the phantom china cabinet. Knowing there was nothing she could do to stop the vision, she stepped back to watch what would happen. Samara stood nearby, again staring at what Anna was doing. Two shelves in the cabinet were lined with figurines of all types: crystal, porcelain, resin, glass... there were little children, animals, lighthouses, bells, seashells, horses, miniature dolls... all sorts of beautiful things. Anna was dusting them carefully, one by one. The pride and delight on her face at just handling these lovely treasures was obvious.
"Mommy," Samara began, looking from the crystal unicorn in her mother's hand to her face, "can I play with them?"
Jolene knew how this was going to go. The child couldn't have been more than five here, her black hair in braids. "Be strong, woman. All us mothers have been through this."
As she expected, Anna shook her head. "Honey, we've discussed this before. These are Mommy's figurines. They're very breakable and not for playing with."
Samara pouted. "But they're so bootafull."
That was almost cute. Jolene grinned.
"I know they are. That's why I don't want them to get broken."
"Good save," commented Jolene. She tried to sit on the arm of one of the Morgan's hallucinatory chairs, stumbled, and regained her footing before she fell.
"I'll be careful," Samara promised.
"I know you will, but accidents do happen," Anna replied, and put the unicorn back in the cabinet. She closed the left door and sighed with satisfaction. "Just stand here with Mommy and let's look at them, okay? It's fun just to look at how beautiful they are and not to touch."
Samara obviously thought it would be much more fun to touch them, but she said nothing, and moved to her mother's side. Anna put an arm around her shoulder, stroking one of her braids. They looked at the figurines together. Anna's proud smile spoke of how long it had taken her to gather this collection... years of searching in little curio shops and looking through catalogs, sending away to the Hamilton Collection and Franklin Mint; it all added up to one major labor of love.
The figurines had been placed carefully, facing out or angled slightly in the most attractive arrangement. Samara stared at them, concentrating, and every one of them suddenly turned around, facing backward, in the span of a second. They made a loud scraping sound in unison as they did. Anna and Jolene both jumped in surprise.
Putting a hand to her heart, Anna surmised what had happened. Samara giggled. Anna looked down at her and quickly made the decision not to take this badly. After all, she knew what Samara could have done to those figurines if she'd gotten it in her head to do so. "Samara!" Anna said scoldingly. The child giggled again.
The mood changed abruptly when a hooded figure in white dashed past the doorway that led into the hall. Anna, with a gasp, picked up Samara and clutched her protectively to her chest.
Jolene jumped back and almost went for the phone. "Holy shit!" At first, she wasn't sure if the person was in her home or Anna's, but quickly remembered that Anna would not have reacted to the figure if she had been in Jolene's apartment. She relaxed a bit and watched what would happen next. It occurred to her that this event had to have happened when Samara was still fairly young, but not too young, because Anna's reactions told Jolene that the woman knew of Samara's psychokinesis, but had not yet grown weary of it. After all, she was still protecting the child instead of murdering her.
Anna turned to run, but the figure rounded the corner and called to her in a whispering tone. "Anna."
Jolene took in the woman's appearance. Long white lace dress and a lace hood covering her black hair, which nearly reached her waist. The woman never raised her head during the entire conversation, so Jolene could not get a good look at her face. Not then. Also, she was plainly no ordinary woman, as she had no feet; her legs faded into a white mist near the floor.
"What are you, a ghost?" Jolene asked, not expecting an answer.
The woman did not give her one, although she did briefly turn her head in Jolene's direction, as if she was looking at her.
"Not you too," Jolene mumbled.
Anna stopped to look at the woman, but kept her distance. She still clutched Samara tightly. "Who are you? What are you doing in my house?"
The ghost replied, "Do not be afraid, Anna. You have been chosen for a very important job. I am here to make sure you understand your role in this."
Anna seemed poised between running and staying to find out what this was all about. "How do you know my name?"
"We know you because you are Samara's mommy. Evelyn couldn't handle it, so the responsibility has fallen to you." The ghost noticed that Anna was inching toward the front door. She glided closer. Jolene shuddered at how creepy that was, the way she moved by floating across the floor. "This is not the first time you have seen your daughter perform such a feat, is it?" The ghost gestured to the china cabinet. "You know what Samara can do."
Anna nodded. "Moving things with her mind?"
"And the pictures? The pictures she can put in your head?"
"Yes, Anna. Those are very special abilities. You know that, don't you?"
"Not everyone can do those things," Anna replied.
"No, they can't. A girl like her is very precious. You must give her all of your love, and protect her at any cost. You wouldn't want to make a girl who can do such things angry. Do you understand?" asked the ghost.
This last comment made Anna feel threatened; Jolene could tell by the reaction on her face. "I understand. Now I want you to leave my home."
The ghost raised her head slightly. "I have one more thing to show you first. You must understand what came before Samara. She is not the first of her kind."
The room began to change. Walls gave way to a bushy cliff overlooking the sea. Anna looked all around her, growing frantic. "What's happening? Where... my house... where are we?!" She realized her entire house was disappearing into this rocky hill, and found herself completely unwilling to go with it. Crying out in fear, Anna took Samara and ran out the front door with her, the hallucination following her the whole way until there was nothing but bushes, rock, and sea.
Jolene just stood in one place, awestruck, so caught up in what was happening that she didn't even realize that her home had disappeared too. The hallucinations always stopped eventually and everything went back to normal... for a fleeting second, Jolene had the horrible thought that maybe that wouldn't happen this time, and she'd be lost here forever.
"Where am I?" Jolene asked.
The ghost turned. "All of this was meant for Mrs. Morgan, but she was very resistant to learning what we offered about Samara. It frightened her. All we want is to be heard." She tilted her head slightly. "Will you listen?"
Jolene stammered, "I... I don't know, I... what does any of this have to do with me?"
"Everything." She began to float away, down the hill. "You watched Samara's tape. Now you must learn."
"Hey, what if I don't want to? Did you ever consider that?" Jolene called after her. She didn't have time to wonder what was going to happen next because she soon heard the sound of many hooves clopping along the rock, coming toward her.
The first to come up over the ridge was a woman and a child sitting on the back of a mule. It was her, the ghost, only very much alive, at least in the hallucination. The child had the same long black hair and a similar white dress. They moved on past Jolene a few feet before three men on horseback caught up with them. The men wore some type of military uniform and their horses were large and powerful, the kind of horses most useful to an army.
"You there! You're supposed to dismount when we pass," one of the soldiers said.
Jolene could hear the man speaking in a foreign language, but she could also hear his voice translating his words into English in her head. "Hey, that's handy... it's like I got one of those fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in my ear. My daughter loves that book." Remembering that no one could hear her, she shut her mouth and watched.
The woman turned her head away from the soldiers to make a secret face of contempt, then put on a polite expression with which to greet them. "Yes, I know. Come along, Sasha." After stopping the mule, she helped her daughter off its back while stepping down herself. "There."
One of the bolder men dismounted and addressed her with a smirk. "Ah, little Sasha, is it? We know who you are, Mrs. Alexandra Baptiste. Isn't your daughter the one who's been making all those prophecies?" He took Sasha's chin in his hand and smiled down at her.
"I suppose you could call it that." Alexandra, without a word of warning, gave the man's hand a curt shove so he would let go of Sasha's chin.
His brow furrowed in anger. "Do I have to remind you that you are to treat us with respect, Mrs. Baptiste? This isn't the first time that you've given soldiers of the Ottoman Empire trouble. Your stature in the community cannot protect you forever. There's talk in the village about your paintings and Sasha's visions."
"Oh? And what do they say about us?" Alexandra asked defiantly.
"There's talk of witchcraft," the soldier, who was named Nicholas, replied. "All of your family's money cannot protect you if you're practicing the black arts."
"That will be enough," another soldier said. He seemed to be higher in rank or just a better leader, because Nicholas backed down. "Let's head out."
Sasha suddenly spoke up, her eyes wide. "You will die in seven days," she said to the soldier who'd touched her.
The other soldiers laughed; they didn't take it seriously. Nicholas shifted uneasily, and tried to make a joke out of it too. "Uh, sure, little one. You're the prophetess." He eyed Sasha with trepidation until he had mounted his horse and ridden off.
Alexandra knelt down and took Sasha by the shoulders. "What did you see, child?"
"He will get the plague," Sasha answered. Her voice broke with fear and regret. "The black death. And there's nothing anyone can do to stop it."
"Then we must stay away from the village," her mother declared. They mounted the mule again. "Black death can sweep through a town like a tidal wave."
As they rode down the side of the hill, the scene changed. Jolene screamed as the ground shifted and disappeared underneath her, not knowing it would rapidly be replaced by more level land. It was one of the weirdest things she'd ever felt, at once standing on solid ground but also feeling the earth shift under her feet. The hallucinations were so real, one could not tell where they ended and reality began. "You could warn a person when you're going to do that!" Jolene called.
The rocky cliff metamorphosised into a small fishing village. The colors ran and bled until they formed themselves into the quaint cottages made of stone. Jolene thought the world was melting.
The little girl, Sasha, ran into a clearing where children were playing a game of ball. She was crying.
Another little girl was astonished when Sasha hugged her, sobbing in anguish. "Sasha, what's the matter? I haven't seen you in the village for at least a week."
Sasha could hardly speak, she was so inconsolable. "I had a vision of you, Demetra. You... you're..."
Before she could answer, one of the soldiers headed over to grab Sasha by the arm and drag her away from the other child. "You'll not be touching any more of the villagers."
Alexandra came running after Sasha, finally catching up. "Let her go! What's the meaning of this?"
The soldier shook Sasha's arm and squeezed it hard as he spoke. "You remember what your daughter said to that soldier last week?"
"Yes..." she replied suspiciously. Alexandra smelled an ambush.
"He's dead. Died exactly a week after she said he would. 'You will die in seven days' she said."
"Yes. He died of the plague, didn't he?"
A bit of surprise colored the soldier's face. "Then you admit it."
Alexandra cocked her head. "Admit what?"
The soldier turned to the crowd of people in the marketplace, most of whom were now curiously watching the exchange. "Mrs. Baptiste and her daughter have been practicing witchcraft," he announced.
Alexandra was obviously shocked by the accusation. Her shock turned to outrage. "You fool!" She tried to help Sasha escape the man's grasp; he was plainly hurting her arm. "Sasha has visions of the future. She's merely reporting what she sees."
"Did she or did she not tell Nicholas Petalas that he would die in seven days?" the accuser asked.
"She did, but - "
"Then it's possible that she caused his death."
Alexandra's mouth hung open in renewed shock. "No! It's not possible!"
"Then you must've done it, and used her as your conduit. You cursed him through your daughter. She touched him, and said he would die. And he did," recounted the soldier.
Villagers gasped again, some protectively grabbing their children.
"No! He touched her!" Alexandra protested.
"Mommy, he's hurting me," Sasha cried.
"Oh? Well, if your daughter is so innocent, then what was she about to tell Demetra? Hm?" The soldier whirled Sasha around to face him. "What were you about to tell her, child?"
Fearfully, Sasha mumbled her answer.
"What was that?"
"I said I was about to tell her that she's going to die in four days," the child replied.
Demetra cried out in betrayal. "Sasha, you would curse me, your best friend?!"
"No! No, I don't curse anyone!" Sasha fought to escape the soldier's hold. "I can see the future. I just see what's already going to happen!"
"Why don't we let the authorities decide on that?" The soldier signaled to some other officers. "Take Mrs. Baptiste and her daughter into custody on a charge of practicing witchcraft with intent to cause harm to others."
"No! It's a lie!" Alexandra wrestled with the soldiers tenaciously.
Demetra began to cry. "She touched me. Sasha cursed me!" She picked up a rock and threw it at Sasha.
No one was being mindful of the thrown item; the soldiers and their prisoners were struggling and yelling. The rock struck Sasha squarely in the middle of her face. She squealed in pain. Blood gushed out of her nose.
Jolene cringed. "Poor kid."
As Alexandra and Sasha were dragged away, the scene changed again. Jolene's location was simply shifted further down the beach, closer to the water. She looked out over the surf, not really knowing what sea she was looking at, and wondered when this hallucination was going to end.
Several villagers screamed and ran away from the main road of town. Jolene almost immediately saw why. Alexandra walked toward the water with a bundle in a blanket in her arms. The look on her face was devastated, anguished, furious. People ran from her because they were afraid of what she would do to them.
When she got closer to the sea, and closer to where Jolene stood, Alexandra looked up and began to speak. "Do you see what they've done to our daughter?" She moved part of the blanket aside to reveal that Sasha was the bundle. She was dead. Jolene covered her mouth with her hands and coughed, gagging on her horror. The child had obviously been dead for days, with dried blood under her nose and marks all over her face. "They killed her."
The sea churned without an answer, at least not any that Jolene could hear.
"They're going to come for me soon. I couldn't take them all out; there are always more soldiers. We can get them before they take me away. Get them where they live."
Was Jolene going crazy, or did she hear an answer? There came the roar of a beast from somewhere out in the sea, something she had never quite heard before. The roar was deep and booming, and almost got lost in the sound of the surf. Like the sea was talking back. But Jolene knew it wasn't the surf talking - there was something out there.
Alexandra fell to her knees in the sand. "Yes. That'll do it. That will begin our punishment of them for what they did to our child." She laughed bitterly. "Let me help you."
Jolene watched as her eyes glowed with sea green light. This was followed by frightening sounds coming from the village behind them.
People screamed. Jolene expected that; the woman was obviously going to do something awful to the people for killing her child. But she didn't expect the horrible sound of animals screaming. Scared, frantic, panicking animals. She couldn't tell what kind of animal she was hearing, although she could have made a few guesses, until the horses came running over the hill and down the beach.
Their eyes were wild. Horses, powerful soldier's horses, of all colors, running without purpose, just trying to escape whatever Alexandra and the beast in the sea were doing to them. Jolene thought that they must be attacking the horses mentally, with those same strange powers that Samara possessed. Then this is where Samara came from. The sea beast, the bride... the child.
The horses came running toward them. Toward the sea. Jolene realized there was a purpose to where the horses were going as they thundered past her and into the surf, letting out horrified, screaming neighs. They were killing the horses. The army would be crippled without their horses.
Alexandra began to laugh maniacally and scream at the same time. "All you wanted was a child to be your legacy on land. They couldn't let you have that. They can't see your glory like I can. Soon, they'll kill me too. But there will be more daughters for you, Heptamera. And they will suffer just like my Sasha suffered until people evolve enough to understand what you can do. The gifts you offer. Until people understand, they will hurt just like your daughters. That is my curse upon them for murdering our child. As long as your girls suffer, everyone will suffer." She let out a loud, insane laugh. "Everyone will suffer!"
Now there were so many horses coming that Jolene couldn't count them anymore. Tens, maybe a hundred, all galloping past her, throwing up sand, screaming. The wind of their passing whipped at her face and clothes. They ran into the water and eventually disappeared into the waves. One horse went by with a soldier still clinging to its reigns, being dragged along, yelling for it to stop.
The hallucination became so intense and real that Jolene began to scream. She thought the horses would surely trample her, they were coming so close. One came within inches of her, a large, powerful horse that nearly shook the ground as it galloped past, and Jolene threw her hands over her face and tried to make herself smaller. "The horses are going to trample me! Send me back home!" she begged Alexandra. "Please, send me back to my own time!"
The woman did not acknowledge her.
Two horses ran by Jolene on both sides. She knew there wasn't enough room for her between them. Covering her face with her arms, all she could do was scream. The horses did not crush her. Even though it was easy to forget that it was so, this was just a hallucination, so Jolene passed through the horses as they rushed past. But she still felt their wind. The wind knocked her down. She could feel the sand under her bare arms. Before Jolene could get up, another horse trampled her, making her scream again. She watched the horse's hoof come down into her stomach and just pass right through like a phantom, felt the sand under her move with its foot. She was really there, but not there. Jolene screamed to be released as she fought to get to her feet.
A gigantic wave rolled toward the beach. The sea beast let out a final roar that could be nothing but grief, it sounded so lonely and anguished. Jolene realized that the wave was big enough to swallow the woman, the child, and her.
"EVERYONE WILL SUFFER!!" Alexandra screamed one last time.
Jolene heard the water shifting and rolling upon itself like a living thing. The sea was alive. It came for her with a vengeance that would not stop. A twenty-foot wave, it towered over her. "No! No! Noooooooooooooo!!"
The wave crashed over them all. Feebly, Jolene threw her arms over her face again and screamed with all her might. She felt her body shoved to the ground; water filled her mouth and the sand underneath her shifted and pulled her closer to the sea. She was going to drown in its power.
And then it was over.
Jolene suddenly had handfuls of carpet instead of sand. She opened her eyes. The beach was just gone. The horses, gone. The woman and her dead child, gone. Every remnant of the Morgan household, back to where it came from. The hallucination had simply just departed as quickly and suddenly as it had come.
Except for the parting gifts. Jolene turned over on her side and spit up seawater, coughing and gagging on it. The undersides of her arms were covered in sand. But that was all. Her clothes weren't even wet.
Slowly, Jolene came to the realization that it was over. But she still burst into tears. Terrified that something else would happen, she crawled frantically over to the phone and dragged it down off the table. Her hands were shaking as she dialed a number.
Her voice sounded absolutely hysterical when she sobbed into the phone, "Hollister? Can you come over here? Please, please come over, I need you! .... It's Jolene. ..... I can't calm down! Please just come over here, okay? Don't let them take me away again! Please hurry!"
"...And this is where I saw the china cabinet," Jolene was saying as she rounded the corner into her living room.
She was followed by a large, intimidating biker named Daniel Hollister. Anyone could tell he didn't belong in mundane society by the leather jacket with a flaming dragon painted on the back, the ratty jeans, the muddy biker boots, the fingers lined with silver skull rings, and the hair cut into a tall mohawk. The mohawk wasn't currently up, though, his dark hair hanging down one side of his head. The chain that attached his wallet to his jeans jingled as he walked; it was a constant sound when he moved. Hollister regarded the place where the china cabinet had been with a small nod.
"So, you believe all this stuff is real?" he asked in his deep, smoky voice.
"Shit yeah. I saw it. How much more real can it get?"
Hollister didn't say anything for a moment, just looked at her. Then he said, "You got any beer?"
Once they were seated in the living room, each with a bottle of Miller (regular for him, Light for her), he started asking all the standard questions one asked when one heard his on-off girlfriend had been seeing things. "You take any drugs lately?"
Jolene had expected this. "No. Not for a couple months."
"You know that acid repeats on ya."
"I haven't done any acid since the late 70's. You'll remember it; you were there."
"Huh." Hollister remembered, and grinned a little. "You were going, 'Ooooh, the colors, Danny. They're so beautifuuuuuul.'"
Rolling her eyes, Jolene kicked his foot. "I remember."
He took another swig of the beer. "Didn't you say you hit your head when you fell a couple days ago?"
Jolene tried to be patient. "Yeah, but I was having these hallucinations before I hit my head too."
"Huh." Hollister thought about it some more. "What'd you have a couple months ago?"
"Smoked some pot."
"Oh." He was quiet for a moment. "Got any left?"
Laughing, Jolene shook her head. "Keep your mind on what we're talking about, will you?"
"But you really don't have any left?"
Jolene rolled her eyes again with a sigh. "I might have a little."
"Well, if I'm spending the night, you know I sleep better after a nice fat joint. Let's roll one up, woman." Hollister slapped her knee. "And you can tell me more about these ghosts."
"Alright. I might even have some Doritos for when you get the munchies later." Jolene got up and went to retrieve the canister on top of the bookcase. It held what was left of her stash of pot.
"So all these hallucinations and ghosts and shit are connected to the videotape you showed at my party Thursday night?"
"Yeah." She came back over with the canister in her hand.
"I'm almost sorry I missed it, then. I was in the kitchen while it was on," he reminded her.
"Oh, yeah. What were you doing in there?"
With a grin, Hollister replied, "Makin' hors d'oeuvres."
Jolene laughed heartily. "You nut." She grew quiet for several moments, just looking at him. "Thanks for staying over. I don't think I could sleep alone tonight without the fucking light on unless you were here."
He gave her a little salute. "No problem, baby. We go way back."
More Author's Notes: The idea of people mistaking Sasha's visions of the future for something much more sinister was taken from the Japanese movie One Missed Call 2.
The scene where Anna and Samara admire the figurines in the china cabinet and some of the things that happen afterward (including the spooky figure running by the doorway) come from a dream I once had.
it won't stop
The Ringu series is (c) 1998 The Ring/The Spiral Production Group. It is based on the novels by Koji Suzuki.
The motion picture The Ring is (c) 2002 DreamWorks Pictures. The title "She Just Wanted to Be Heard" comes from a line of dialogue spoken by Rachel Keller in this movie. The motion picture The Ring Two is (c) 2005 DreamWorks Pictures.
I do not know if the prequel, The Ring 3, will have any bearing on this story or not until I see it.
Supernatural is (c) 2005 Kripke Enterprises, Wonderland, & Warner Brothers/The CW Television.
Everything else is (c) Demented Stuff.
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there really is a tape