Day 2: Theories

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 2: Theories
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 2 of 100
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: 2,234
Summary: Quinn, Svetlana, and Jolene discuss the possibilites for the origin of the cursed tape.
Warning: Has a little bad language, including the F word. Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series.
Beta Thanks: Thanks to KaijaWest and Meredevachon for their betas of this chapter.
Fanfic Challenges: Fits [info]50_darkfics Prompt #2 Dark Path and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #2 Kiss.
Notes: Jolene's speculations about what the tape does to you are just made up, besides what obviously happened to the victims in the movies. I wanted to create the atmosphere that the videotapes have been out there for a while and there are many different stories circulating about them.

        Because Svetlana was wearing his robe, Quinn sat at the kitchen table in his boxers and a dirty T-shirt. He could have put on more clothes, but he was in his own home and didn't see the point. Anyone would want to be comfortable, he figured. Jolene was practically like having another guy around; he was going to drool over someone nearly twenty years older, and his friend's mother? No way. He sat there casually, sipping off a beer. "What do you think's going on here?"

        Jolene leaned on the counter by the microwave with one elbow, waiting for the popcorn to finish. "I saw something on the internet like this. Not the tape, but kids discussing it." She took a gulp of her own beer. "The tape they were discussing sounded a little different. Much shorter. There was some guy in it with a towel over his head, pointing, and some foreign writing. They said it was, like, Asian or something."

        "Maybe Japanese?" Quinn asked brightly. He and his twin sister Danica had taken their graduation trip to Japan - one of the best experiences of his life.

        "Probably. Anyway -"

        The microwave beeped to indicate it was done. Svetlana, who had been sitting quietly with a large round bowl in her lap, made an "eep" sound and jerked in her chair. "Damn it..." she mumbled.

        "Boy, did that tape make you jumpy," commented Quinn, briefly rubbing the back of her hand before taking the bowl and handing it to Jolene.

        Jolene just smirked. "Some are more easily creeped out than others." She continued speaking as she opened the steaming bag of popcorn and poured it into the bowl. "Anyway, once you finish watching the tape, your phone rings, just like the calls we got. Then any picture taken of you becomes warped. Like something's marked you." Jolene pointed sharply at Quinn. "You saw it!" She grinned mischievously when she saw Svetlana jump again in reaction.

        With a doubtful expression, Quinn took the bowl, placing it on the table, and said, "How do you get marked? What you're talking about is impossible."

        "Then explain it, smart guy."

        Quinn shrugged. Listening with trepidation, Svetlana absently began to eat popcorn out of the bowl. "I dunno. But what you're talking about sounds like some sort of supernatural mumbo-jumbo. My sister's all into that stuff, not me."

        Jolene crossed her arms. "Do you think the supernatural cares whether you believe in it or not?"

        Quinn just scoffed.

        Everyone started eating out of the bowl as the conversation continued. Taking another pull off the beer bottle, Jolene explained, "It's, like... an urban legend. The videotape is cursed. The legend says that if the tape is passed your way, something will happen to you at the end of seven days. As to what that is, no one is sure. Some say you'll go insane, other times I've heard it as you'll be absorbed by the tape and then people will see you each time they watch it, but most people say that if you watch the tape, seven days later... you die." The intensity of the look in Jolene's eyes scared Svetlana to the point that she had to look away.

        Quinn put on a mock expression of fear and grabbed Svetlana, hugging her to him. At first, it startled her worse than anything, but she soon began to laugh as she realized what he was doing. "Oh my GAWD we're gonna die, Svet, the tape's gonna KILL us! Oh ME oh MY!"

        Jolene couldn't help but laugh, though she tried to keep up the menacing facade. "You laugh now. You just wait seven days..."

        "Okay, smartie, you know so much - how do you die?"

        "That's just it, no one knows for sure. Some accounts say you die in a horrible accident; others say you die recreating a scene from the tape. I've even heard that your heart just bursts from fear, and you're found with your face frozen in a final, terrified scream." She imitated the scene she had just described. Svetlana shuddered.

        "Oh, suuuure." Rolling his eyes, Quinn asked, "If that's true, then why are you being so casual about it? You're going to die too."

        Jolene scowled in reaction. "Quinn, it's just a story. No one actually dies."

        Svetlana, speaking a full sentence for the first time since they'd entered the kitchen, said, "But you're talking about it as if you believe it."

        "Just because I believe some of this shit could be possible doesn't mean I believe everything. No one dies like that."

        Quinn sighed. "So, what do you think, Svet? Are we 'cursed'?" he said with a grin.

        "No more than usual," Svetlana mumbled.

        Quinn continued, "No, really, I think I have this figured out. We live in the age of advanced technology, right? You put a computer chip in the tape, it sends a relay to a satellite every time someone watches it, and that goes to a computer manned by the person who made it. That way, they know that we're watching the tape. Then, maybe... maybe the chip can scan the room for cell phones and stuff, and pick up the numbers. Once the tape is done playing, the person makes the spooky calls, and viola! You have your curse."

        Jolene nearly choked on her beer from the laughter that instantly bubbled out of her. "Are you kidding? You really believe that?"

        Though she didn't want to agree with the woman, even Svetlana had to be skeptical of Quinn's theory. "I don't know... that sound awfully expensive, Quinn. Why would someone go to all that trouble?"

        "Either they are the source of the legend, or they're running an experiment. People with lots of money are often eccentric. Or... it could be a school project. Like a local college. Colleges fund stupid crap all the time." On a roll, Quinn advanced the theory that had come to him while he was watching the tape. "And who do we all know and love who is in college, studying Film?"

        Both women figured out whom he meant right off. "Oh, come on... you think Jodie did this?" Jolene asked incredulously.

        Quinn just smirked at what he thought was an act on Jolene's part. "You should have been an actress, Jolene. Really. I mean, you're the one who brought the tape in here to begin with. You know your daughter's behind this little trick because you're helping her. If this is a school project, then she could get the school to pay for it. You tell the college the project has 'artistic merit' and they pay for whatever you need. Jodie's obsessive about her projects. One of those people who loves film for its own sake and actually watches all those Cannes type films that put me to sleep. Yeah, I know exactly who did this to us." He gave Svetlana a nod. "Uhhh huh."

        Jolene, crossing her arms again, shook her head with an amused smile. "Are you finished?"

        "Did you have something else to say that would just be another attempt to redirect my suspicions off your sneaky daughter?"

        "Yeah." Jolene leaned on the table. "I am not in on this tape thing. Jodie didn't make the video."

        "Oh, sure."

        Jolene put up a hand, like she was making an oath on the Bible. "I swear to God."

        Just laughing at her, Quinn snickered, "I bet if we met Jodie's Film teacher, she'd have dark hair she often brushes in an oval mirror, and oh gee, why does she look like the woman on the videotape?"

        "If Jodie did this, I have no knowledge of it. She probably thought you'd eventually check the mail and find the tape yourself." Jolene sat down at the table. "And Jodie's Film professor is a man, just so you know. Like either of them is going to go to so much trouble just to make your girlfriend wet her pants."

        With an angry pout, Svetlana growled, "I did not."

        Quinn didn't seem to be listening. "Broke our mailbox and everything, just so I wouldn't think she did it. Your daughter's crazy."

        Shaking her head again, Jolene leaned far back in the chair and asked, "Will you do me a favor?"


        "Let me borrow the video to take to a party tonight. I want to see the look on everyone's faces when all their phones ring at once." Jolene chuckled at the thought.

        As he stood, Quinn shrugged. "Sure, what do I care if you inflict Jodie's artistic vision on a bunch of drunk, unsuspecting bikers?" He paused, and then began to chuckle too. "It would be quite a sight to see guys like that get all freaked out by something, wouldn't it?"

        They shared a good snicker before Quinn retrieved the videotape from his bedroom. He walked back into the kitchen with it held out in front of him with both hands. "Woooooh, Joleeeeene, it's coming to get yoooooou..." he said in a ghostly voice.

        She pretended to be scared. "Oh no, help, help!" Quinn comically chased her all through the kitchen, waving the tape in her face. Jolene eventually got her hands on the video and pried it out of his hands, then gave his hair a good ruffle for his trouble, messing it up.

        "Stop, woman!" Quinn snapped, but good-naturedly, smoothing down his hair.

        Although she rolled her eyes at what she saw as Jolene flirting with Quinn, Svetlana was still glad that the woman was going to take the tape away. She wasn't sure she could sleep with it being in the same room.

        "Alright you two, I'm outie. Thanks for the beer."

        "Let me know how the party goes," Quinn called after her as she sauntered to the front door. "I want to hear about all their reactions."

        Jolene waved dismissively without looking back.

        Quinn and Svetlana ate popcorn without saying much for a few minutes. He had begun to busy himself with some of the dishes in the sink when she asked, "You really don't believe in curse?"


        "So, you don't believe we're on some sort of countdown to... whatever?" Not able to help it, Svetlana visibly shuddered.

        Quinn put down the dish he had been washing and dried his hands. "No, I don't." He took one of her hands to coax her to stand up, where he put his arms around her waist. She put on a pretty little pout; he'd once said she looked cute when she sulked. "I know you and Jodie don't exactly hang out, but you know how she is about the film and horror movie stuff. This kind of joke is right up her alley. If we walk around here all frightened and freaked out, she'll just love it; that's exactly what she wants. Little trickster." Quinn stroked her blonde hair.

        Svetlana nodded. "Jodie's very cruel."

        "No, no, she's not. Some people are just like that. They like to play jokes on people. She doesn't mean any harm."

        With a shrug, Svetlana confessed, "Well, I'm glad that the tape isn't here anymore. It was spooky. The phone calls were spooky. The stuff that happen in the pictures..."

        "I know," he sighed, nudging her chin with his finger. "But there's a logical explanation for all this." Quinn's mouth was so close to hers, she could feel his breath on her lips. "Quinny will protect you from the big bad monster."

        They were engaging in some pretty involved kissing when Jodie quietly entered the kitchen. The look on her face showed jealousy for only a moment before she hid her feelings. "You guys will do it anywhere, won't you?"

        Quinn and Svetlana stopped kissing long enough to look at her in surprise. "Well, well... speak of the devil," said Quinn with an impish grin.

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