Day 19: Sordid Story

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 19: Sordid Story
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 19 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (adult theme; some elements might be too intense or scary for those under 13; bad language)
Dates: Begun September 2006. Some material is based on previously written stories from 2003-2005.
Word Count: 3,068
Summary: Stacy gets into a fight with her friend Jasmine for as yet unknown reasons. Boston Central High is buzzing with questions about who put the threatening graffiti on the bathroom wall. That afternoon, Stacy's boyfriend, Beckett, heads over to Jodie and Quinn's to do a psychic reading of Samara's videotape.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series. There are spoilers for a movie called The Rules of Attraction in this chapter, but they are minor considering the characters involved in the scene discussed are never named.
Fanfic Challenges: Fits [info]50_darkfics Prompt #19 Slave and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #19 Road Trip.
Author's Notes: The way that this chapter fits the "Slave" prompt is not overtly obvious, but it will become more apparent as the story goes on.
It's a long story, but Coach Monday is the name of rather large stuffed dog I grew up with. Whenever I hear "Coach," I think, "Monday."


        "So, the girl goes into the bathroom to hide, you know, and she looks over at the bathtub, and there's her friend, like, dead. Girl has killed herself right there, in the dorm bathroom."

        "It's the bathroom for the whole dorm?"

        "No, it's, like, the bathroom for that floor. Or that end of the floor. I don't know, I'm still in high school; what do I know about how dorms work?" Both girls laughed from their position on the tiled floor of Boston Central High, sitting in front of their lockers.

        "How'd the girl kill herself?" Alice asked. She fumbled with the buckles on her canvas bookbag, which lay in her lap.

        Playing with the barrette that held back some of her long blonde hair, Stacy tossed her locks around her shoulders as she replied, "She slit her wrists. So the water is full of blood."

        "There's water in the bathtub? Woooow..."

        "Yeah. And the dead girl is stark... naked."

        Alice's eyes went wide. "You're shitting me. She's in the tub totally nude?"

        Stacy nodded, letting out a nervous little laugh. "Her friend sees her and starts to cry, and then she drags her naked body out of the tub and holds her like that."

        "Naked?!"

        Nodding again, Stacy started giggling. "I couldn't believe they did the scene that way." She went through her purse, looking for a mirror. "Now, if it'd been me in that bathtub, I would have at least worn a bathing suit. Who wants to be found dead stark freakin' nude?"

        Alice giggled so loud that other students turned to glare at her, wondering what was so funny. "Just because you're going to kill yourself doesn't mean you have to show your goodies off to the whole world, right?"

        "Right," Stacy tittered back. She began brushing her hair while looking in the mirror she'd found.

        "What movie did you say this was again?"

        "The Rules of Attraction."

        "I gotta see that," Alice declared. "It sounds totally raunchy."

        "Oh, so much sex in that thing. Jessica Biel is in it."

        "Really? She's so pretty - "

        Another of Stacy's friends walked up to where the girls were sitting. "Stacy, I gotta talk to you."

        Stacy looked up at her uneasily. "Hey Jasmine. 'Sup?"

        Jasmine settled her dark eyes on Alice. "Alone."

        Put off by how Jasmine had handled it, Alice got up and whisked her bag off the floor with a haughty flourish. "All you had to do was ask," she said in her most offended tone, and deliberately bumped into Jasmine's shoulder on her way by.

        Jasmine ignored it, though she did let out a world-weary sigh.

        Stacy stood too. "What is it?"

        Wasting no time, Jasmine looked at her very seriously and said, "Stace, we've got to tell someone what we saw."

        Stacy blinked at her reflection in the mirror. She put most of her attention on her hair, which couldn't have been brushed to more of a sheen if she tried. "I don't know what you mean."

        Jasmine, grabbing her arm, pushed her against the lockers behind her a little too hard. "Of course you know what I mean," she nearly growled out. "Stop playing dumb."

        The taller black girl had fifteen pounds of muscle on Stacy; she ran track and was on the soccer team. Stacy cringed, although Jasmine was not squeezing her arm. "Let go! You're hurting me!"

        "Stacy, this is serious! You've been avoiding me for nearly a week, but we're going to talk about it. If all this stuff is true - "

        "I told you not to worry about it." Stacy pulled her arm out of Jasmine's grasp with a wince. "No one would ever believe us anyway."

        "We can't just sit back and do nothing! Those girls - " She grabbed Stacy's arm again as she tried to walk away. "Stace!"

        Stacy yanked her arm back, turning so fast that her purse flew off her shoulder and hit the ground. Items flew out of it, scattering all over the floor. She dropped the mirror and it shattered. "Look what you made me do!"

        Some nearby kids laughed. One of them called, "Smooth move."

        Jasmine put her hands on her hips. "If you hadn't tried to run away, it never would have happened."

        "I wasn't running away. Look Jasmine, just let it rest, okay?" Stacy started gathering up her things.

        Rolling her eyes, the girl went to leave. "Fine. I guess I'll just have to tell your mom what happened."

        Stacy, with a look fit to kill, stood up and grabbed Jasmine's shoulder, whirling her back around. "Don't you dare."

        "You gonna stop me?"

        The two girls circled each other for a few steps. "You tell my mom, and I will kick your nosy ass."

        "Nosy?" Jasmine asked, tilting her head. "I'm just trying to help you."

        "Who asked you?" On asked, Stacy shoved Jasmine into the lockers behind her.

        "Oh that's it." Jasmine pushed back, nearly knocking the other girl over. "Don't do this, Stacy."

        But Stacy did not know when to quit.

        Less than sixty seconds later, one of the gym teachers entered the hallway to find a group of kids in a haphazard circle near the big windows that overlooked the courtyard, chanting, "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!"

        Some cried, "Come on Stacy, hit 'er! Just punch her real hard!" while others cheered, "Yeah, Jasmine, smack that bitch! Rip 'er hair out!"

        The kids parted like the Red Sea for Moses when the coach entered the crowd. When he reached the middle of the circle, he found Jasmine Fuller on top of Stacy Ballard, beating her to a pulp. Stacy had gotten in a few good licks, but anyone could see who was the bigger girl with the advantage over the other.

        Jasmine was saying, "Just stay down, goddamnit. Don't make me hit you anymore!"

        Coach Mundae grabbed Jasmine by her collar and dragged her off the other girl. "Fuller, what do you think you're doing?!"

        "She started it!" Jasmine cried. Her hair was a mess.

        Near tears, Stacy stumbled to her feet, wiping at her face with her hands. She had a fat, bleeding lip and an eye that was blackening. The barrette that had been holding her hair back was askew, with hair sticking out in clumps. She sniffled and tried to act like she didn't hurt all over.

        "I don't care who started it, I just want you both to head on down to the principal's office. Come on, get your stuff and let's go." The coach pointed down the hall.

        Stacy angrily snatched up her purse and backpack. "You better keep your mouth shut!" she suddenly snapped at Jasmine.

        Holding out a steady hand, Jasmine quipped, "Watch me shake."

        "No talking!" Coach Mundae barked.

*****

        Beckett hadn't gotten word of the fight between Jasmine and his girlfriend Stacy yet, so he checked his watch often as he waited for her by the library after school.

        A friend passing by stopped and said, "Hey Beckett, how's it goin'?"

        "Hangin' in there. What are you up to, Ethan?"

        "Getting all the news that's fit to print." Ethan was on the school newspaper staff, and sometimes, he took it a little too seriously. "Take a look at this picture I got." Getting out his digital camera, he pressed a few buttons and showed Beckett the preview screen.

        Beckett saw what looked like the inside of a bathroom stall. There was writing all over the wall and a few small puddles of blood on the floor. His face scrunched in disgust. "Ew. What the hell happened here?"

        "Some girl went ballistic in a bathroom stall. Marked up the wall and smeared blood all over the place. Several of us on the staff think she may be a cutter."

        "A girl? This is the girls' bathroom? So how'd you get the picture?"

        Ethan lifted his chin proudly. "You think I'm going to let a little thing like a 'Girls' sign keep me from getting an important photo?"

        "You just charged into the girls' bathroom? How'd you even know to go in there?" Beckett studied the camera's preview screen.

        "I heard some girls talking about it. And yes, I just charged right in there. Got pelted with tampons for it, but at least they weren't used," Ethan said with a mischievous grin.

        "Ew!" Laughing, Beckett shoved at Ethan's arm. "You're gross!"

        Ethan just snickered back.

        Looking a bit confused, Beckett pointed at something on the little screen. "It's hard to read what this says; did this girl write, 'Please stop me before they make me kill again'?"

        "She sure did," nodded Ethan, "and I got the only picture of the graffiti. Just minutes after I took it, a janitor arrived to clean it all up. I bet I get the front page. I mean, that's a threat, right? It could be a threat against the school. I showed that to the principal and he didn't lock the place down. He might regret that. I think everyone has a right to know that happened, don't you?"

        Beckett was too engrossed in trying to pull a kernel of memory from his head to really be listening to what Ethan was saying at this point. "That phrase is extremely familiar. I think it's really close to what some serial killer said a long time ago."

        That only made Ethan perk up with more excitement for his scoop. "Are you serious? A serial killer? Man... if someone shoots up the school, I'm going to go right to that principal and rub it in so hard..."

        Beckett was obviously not listening to the other boy, too lost in his own thoughts and suspicions. His eyebrows scrunched together with worry. "You think she's a cutter?"

        Ethan nodded again. "Yeah..." He pointed to the screen. "It would explain the blood. Especially all this on the wall." Miming that he had something sharp in his hand, Ethan whipped his imaginary knife across his arm. "Fft."

        Pausing for a long time, Beckett eventually said, "Are you sure you should print this in the school paper? I mean, this could be embarrassing for the girl."

        "Dude, we gotta find out who she is. Who knows what she's planning?"

        Handing back the camera, Beckett scoffed and stood up from where he'd been sitting, walking around the area with obvious discomfort. "Girls don't shoot up schools, Ethan. Only guys do that."

        "So? Maybe she's got a psycho boyfriend. They're planning it together." He opened up his hands and shrugged. "There's a first time for everything, right?"

        "Yeah, I guess so." Fidgeting, Beckett walked around some more. "Where is Stacy?" he suddenly asked in an impatient tone.

        A few minutes later, Stacy's younger sister, Amy, strolled up to Beckett and Ethan. "Hi guys." She bashfully hugged her books to her chest.

        "Hey Amy. Where is your damn sister?" Beckett asked. "I've been waiting here for her for forever."

        Unable to hold back her smile, Amy giggled and replied, "Stacy's in detention. She got in a fight with Jasmine today."

        Beckett looked surprised. "Why? Jasmine's one of her closest friends."

        All Amy could do was shrug in reply.

        By the time Stacy made the scene, Ethan had gone home, and Amy and Beckett looked quite bored, sitting there on the marble ledge surrounding the atrium. Stacy wore sunglasses and had fixed up her hair, but she couldn't hide the split in her swollen bottom lip. "Well, I've had an interesting day. How about you?"

        Beckett gawked at her injuries. "Holy shit... Stace, what happened? Why'd Jasmine do that to you?"

        "Oh, you know how these things happen. Your friend starts talking shit about you and things just get out of hand." Her tone cynical and still angry, Stacy sighed.

        "She was talking shit? What'd she say?" asked Amy.

        "Let's not rehash the whole sordid story. I don't want to talk about it." Stacy, rolling her eyes, tossed her backpack over one shoulder.

        Beckett dug a dollar out of his pocket. "Amy, go get a Coke or something, okay? I want to talk to Stacy alone for a minute."

        Amy seemed disappointed. Like most thirteen-year-olds, she didn't like being left out of anything potentially juicy and exciting. Still, she took the dollar and trudged off.

        Stacy let out another sigh and looked away. "I thought I just said I didn't want to talk - "

        Beckett took hold of either side of her waist and lifted her up onto a higher portion of the ledge. She made a high-pitched sound of surprise, then giggled when he placed his hands on either side of her and leaned in for a gentle kiss. Stacy's position put them at eye level with each other. "I'll be careful when I kiss you until that lip heals," Beckett promised. "Just don't stop kissing me altogether."

        "It's a deal," she replied, and they shared another little kiss.

        "Now, I know you've had a tough day, so I won't press you. But you know you can talk to me about what happened if you need a shoulder to cry on."

        Stacy rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "I know."

        "Are you okay after what happened?"

        "Kind of."

        Beckett paused, trying to decide if he should go there. "You're wearing long sleeves."

        "And? So is Amy. So are you. It's chilly outside."

        Beckett could tell he was making her uncomfortable. "Yeah, of course. Nevermind." He changed the subject. "You wanna go with me to your cousin's place?"

        "Why are you going over to Jodie's?" Stacy asked.

        "My brother asked me to. Seems they need me to do a reading for Quinn." Beckett checked his watch. "If we head over there now, I'll only be ten minutes late. Didn't know you were going to get detention, Miss Golden Gloves of 2004."

        Stacy was silent for a few seconds. "Um... a reading for Quinn?" She knew all about her boyfriend's psychometry ability.

        "Yeah."

        "What for?"

        As he spoke, Beckett looked for Amy, who should've been heading back from the vending machines. "Quinn wants me to read a videotape someone left in his mailbox. He's hoping I can tell who gave it to him."

        "A videotape?" Stacy gave off the impression that she thought the whole thing was really weird. "Do you think you can?"

        "I dunno. We'll find out."

        Stacy shifted around nervously. "Would you be able to see what was on the tape by doing a reading of it?"

        "Maybe. I'll probably get other impressions, though. Like, maybe who made it, or something," Beckett answered.

        "Oh? But... you probably wouldn't see what was on the tape..."

        "Just depends on what's the strongest vibe coming off the object." Shrugging, Beckett added, "I don't have a lot of control over it, you know."

        "I know." One of Stacy's legs started to bounce anxiously. "But, haven't you heard that rumor that's going around? About the videotape with a curse on it?"

        "Huh?"

        She explained the urban legend to him. "I heard that someone at Quinn's college saw the tape. So he could have it."

        Beckett just laughed. "I doubt a tape like that really exists."

        "Well, humor me, okay? If you start to see anything strange, like stuff that would be on a cursed videotape, throw the tape down. Alright? Just drop it," Stacy instructed. "Please?"

        Beckett gave her another kiss. "Sure, baby. I promise."

        For a moment, Stacy stared off into the distance, looking at an empty corner near the front doors of the school. She shuddered uncontrollably. Then she said, "Beckett, can we just get out of here this weekend? Get in the car and just drive?"

        "A road trip? Yeah, that sounds like fun. If my parents say it's okay." He looked around for Amy again. "Where do you wanna go?"

        "I don't care, just anywhere but here." Seeing Amy picking her way through the crowd of students, Stacy hopped down off the ledge. "We should just skip school altogether on Friday and head out Thursday night. Just fuckin' go."

        "We can't do that, Stace. I don't want to get in trouble."

        She stroked his arms. "Please, Beckett. Pleeeeease..."

        After a pause, Beckett asked in a concerned tone, "Babe, what's up with you?"

        Amy rejoined them, holding up her Coke. "Am I allowed to be in your presence now?"

        "Yes, we're done talking," Stacy declared. She gathered up her things. "Come on, we're going over to Jodie's."

        "Oh, yay! What we going there for?"

        Beckett was left with his hands open in a full-body shrug, watching his girlfriend walk away with her arm around her little sister. He hated when Stacy wouldn't talk to him.

        Another student heading for the school's front doors stopped in mid-stride to examine something she found in an empty corner. She thought one of the bathrooms on the second floor must have a leak, although she could see no water dripping from the ceiling. What other explanation was there for the puddle of dirty water on the floor?


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.
Everything else is (c) Demented Stuff.


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there really is a tape