Day 26: Eyewitness

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 26: Eyewitness
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 26 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (adult theme; horror elements that might be too much for children under 13; bad language)
Dates: Begun September 2006. Some material is based on previously written stories from 2003-2005. This chapter was written in April 2008.
Word Count: 3,191
Summary: Jessica and Sam figure out how the curse works. Stacy's friend Jasmine insists on coming over, but Samara and the others aren't happy with her meddling and start making threats.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series.
This chapter also contains fictional content based on the history of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Fanfic Challenges: Fits [info]50_darkfics Prompt #26 Ancient and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #26 Interest.
Author's Notes: This chapter is a cross-over with the TV show Supernatural.
Set pre-series for Supernatural, during Sam's years at Stanford.


        Ten-thirty at night and Sam found himself holding the last Post-It from his first pad. The little yellow piece of paper seemed to stare up at him accusingly, saying, "What do you think you're doing?"

        And what was he doing? He had a big test in two days and instead of studying, he was doing research for his big brother, and why? Why was Sam jeopardizing his grades when his father could probably do all this work for himself?

        For one thing, he'd been challenged. The ghost of Alexandra Baptiste had practically looked him in the face and said Nyah nyah, nyahnyah, nyah!, and it bothered him.

        And there was the matter of the Nazi. Sam had to admit it, he wanted to know how the Nazi had survived the curse. Like Jessica, he found this whole thing a little interesting, and would enjoy figuring it out, not only for Dean's sake, but because that's just what an intelligent mind needed to do when it had been presented with a puzzle.

        Sam was trying to decide whether he should remove some of the already used Post-Its and cut them in half, using the other half to mark more pages, or if he should just forget it and get out another one of those little yellow pads, when someone knocked at the door.

        His face lit up when he saw it was, yet again, Jessica.

        She sheepishly grinned and fidgeted in the doorway. "Uh, hi."

        "Hi," he replied, his hands sweating in his pockets. Sam's heart began to flit like a butterfly from flower to flower.

        "I know I've been back here a few times today... it's a little embarrassing..." Jessica rolled her eyes and smiled wider, showing her teeth.

        Sam chuckled. "You're really cute, you know that?" As soon as the words were out, he wanted to slap his hand over his mouth in shock; he couldn't believe he'd said it out loud. But as soon as Sam saw Jessica's reaction, he was happy he'd said it.

        The smile on her face became even brighter, reaching into her eyes and bubbling out of her mouth in a little giggle. "You're pretty cute too."

        "I'll take that as a compliment." What a dumb thing to say! Why wouldn't I take a compliment as a compliment?!

        But Jessica didn't even seem to notice the oddness of the comment. "Good," she replied, giggling some more.

        Well, this could be worse. Sam opened the door wider. "You want to come in?"

        She did, and took a seat next to Sam's desk. "You're still going through those books on Alexandra Baptiste? I'm actually kind of glad... I wanted to see what else you found." Jessica grinned and bounced excitedly in her seat as Sam walked around her to sit in Gerald's desk chair.

        "It's a good thing that you're here, because I'm a bit stumped on something." Rolling Gerald's chair over to his desk, Sam hoped to himself that Jessica hadn't read so much of the books that she would see right through a few little white lies. He intended to mix the things he'd found out through Alexandra's ghost with the accounts that were actually in the books. "In this one..." Sam tapped the book about occult symbolism. "...it talks about Hitler believing that Baptiste's paintings had supernatural powers. Supposedly, you could curse someone by making them view seven of her paintings in a particular order. Seven days later, that person would die."

        "Freaky..." Jessica remarked. "The sea serpent had sevens associated with him, so it makes sense."

        "Right. Apparently, there was an eyewitness who claims that Hitler actually cursed some of his enemies and watched Baptiste's paintings kill them."

        Looking bewildered but fascinated, Jessica said, "How?"

        Sam put a bit of disbelief into his voice when he replied, "The girl in the painting would come to life and crawl out of it."

        "Whoa!" she cried.

        He added, "And the cursed guy would die of fright or something."

        "Wow, Hitler was some loon, believing things like that," Jessica commented with a shake of her head.

        That remark stabbed at Sam's heart a little. He knew he could never tell her the truth about what he'd seen of the supernatural world, and what he believed. "There's a story in the book about a Nazi who wanted to impress Hitler by deliberately cursing himself. But it says that somehow, he escaped death. That's where I'm stumped. How did he do it?"

        Jessica, laughing, replied, "Because there is no curse, Sam."

        "Well I know that, but let's just say for a minute that Hitler believed in this curse to the point that he had concocted some way that a person could survive it. What do you think it would be?" Sam asked, hoping he'd made it sound like a hypothetical situation and not something he really believed.

        Jessica shrugged. "I dunno. Does the book talk about the Nazi doing anything special?"

        "Actually..." Picking up the book, Sam flipped through it, pretending to be looking for a passage that wasn't there. "...he made a reproduction of one of Baptiste's paintings. Took a blank canvas and painted the same thing that he saw in her work of art."

        "Huh." Jessica thought it over. "Maybe he did that with all seven cursed paintings. Made a copy."

        Tilting his head like a curious puppy, Sam said, "Why would he do that?" He knew she was on the right track, and delighted in seeing her figure it out.

        "Well, it's sort of like a print of a painting. When you make a print, you can have mass distribution. The Nazi makes copies of all the paintings, someone else sees them, and they reproduce them too. And the next person does also. And the death curse spreads. Maybe that was the point of it." Shrugging, Jessica crossed her legs and draped her hands over her knee. "Kind of like that shampoo commercial. 'And they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on.' Except, you know, with death."

        Sam could have smacked himself. She was right. That was exactly the point of the whole thing. The Nazi survived the curse because he copied the paintings. The other men died because they didn't; they probably didn't even know they were cursed. It was an almost foolproof way to pass on such an insidious thing. For a second, Sam almost admired Samara and the others for the ingeniously evil method by which they forced their message upon the world.

        Except that it was a flawed method. The curse couldn't be spreading much anymore, what with all the paintings locked away in the Bloodworth home. Even if some of the copies were still out there, they were large works of art. Not exactly easy to cart around and show to people.

        But still, Jessica had figured it out. The surprise and relief evident on his face, Sam cried, "Jessica, I could kiss you!"

        She giggled and replied, "Then why don't you?"

        That bright smile on her face, so playful it made her eyes twinkle, told him she was completely serious. Sam smiled too, shyly, lowering his head. "Um..." He leaned forward, took her face in his hands, and gave her a sweet little kiss on the mouth. When Sam pulled back, Jessica chased his lips with her own to give him a longer, deeper kiss.

        He liked this. Even if supernatural research had brought them together, this still felt like the most natural, normal thing to be doing right now. There was only one problem. "Not that I'm afraid of the little squirt or anything, but... what about Craig?"

        Jessica sheepishly looked Sam in the eye. "I don't think I want to be with him anymore. All we do is fight."

        The corners of Sam's mouth turned up again until his whole face was alight with possibility. "Well, then breaking up might be the best thing for both of you."

        She grinned. "And you wouldn't like it at all, huh?"

        Suddenly feeling embarrassed, Sam ducked his head and let out a small laugh. It wasn't like Jessica didn't know how he felt now, but to hear her say it...

        She knew when it was time to change the subject. "So... you said there was an eyewitness to these curse deaths? An eyewitness? The hell?"

        Blinking, Sam laughed and sat back. Back to business. "Uh, yeah. The Nazi's daughter. Hitler liked to have her watch."

        Jessica furrowed her brow in disgust. "Oh, God. How old was this kid?"

        "Uh, it doesn't say." He pictured how she'd looked in his dream, and estimated her age. "About eight?"

        "Uck." Jessica put her elbow on Sam's desk and leaned her head on her palm. "She really thinks she saw something crawl out of those paintings?"

        "I guess," Sam said with a shrug.

        "Well, who knows what she really saw, what with all the sick experiments they performed in the concentration camps."

        "Yeah, you've got a point there." In a way, she did. What was this but another of Hitler's horrible experiments?

        Jessica ran her fingers over the cover of one of the books, absently tracing the outlines of the text. "Why her? Why did Hitler choose her?" This subject seemed to be interesting Jessica for the same reasons that people craned their necks to better see the car accident they were passing on the street.

        "Because she was a descendent of Alexandra Baptiste."

        Jessica, eyes going wide, crooned, "Wow."

        Sam just replied, "Yeah."

        Then her face grew confused again. "How did Alexandra Baptiste have descendants?"

        "Huh?"

        "Her daughter Sasha died when she was still very young," Jessica reminded him. "At least, I think that's what the book said."

        "Huh." Sam opened up the book that was a general overview of Baptiste's life and work. In the front, he found a brief biography of her family. "Ah. Says here she had two daughters. The surviving one was older than Sasha."

        "That explains it, then." Jessica opened the other book, flipping through it to see what pages Sam had marked. "You know, it seems like a rather clunky way to run a curse. You can't exactly carry seven paintings around with you."

        Sam nodded. "I was just thinking the same thing." He pulled the book across the desk and looked for the passage about Hitler and the girl. "It says in this one that Hitler encouraged the eyewitness to use the serpent's power to project the cursed images onto film, and spread it that way. It would be more efficient."

        "And portable! Wow, this is one fucked up story!" Taking the book back, Jessica dragged it across the desk, flipping through it some more. "Of course, you could just take this book anywhere you want and show it to people. I mean, practically all the paintings are reproduced in here."

        A cold chill settled in Sam's stomach like a stone. He was silent for a few seconds, digesting and dreading the possibilities she had just raised. "Uh... no. No. Reproducing them in a book... that's not the same thing."

        "What if it is?" Jessica asked with an amused grin. She clearly didn't believe in the curse.

        That conscience voice that sounded like Dean spoke up. Gee, Sam, first you've got her doing research, next you'll have a gun in her hand. And now you're putting her life in danger.

        Sam mumbled to himself, "What are the odds that we'd look at the exact seven paintings in the exact right order? We've got nothing to worry about."

        Jessica, looking at him, said, "Sam, you believe in the curse, don't you?"

        He was obviously embarrassed. "Well... it's hard not to believe in it a little, after reading all this stuff."

        She scoffed, flipping a few pages. "You're lucky I find your silly superstitions so cute, because all this curse shit? Phooey."

        He'd asked her about Baptiste's art, and encouraged her to get the books for him. If he was responsible for getting Jessica cursed... Sam reached over and with one insistent motion, closed the book she was looking through with a bang. She jumped, staring at him in bewilderment.

        "Just in case," Sam said in explanation, and took the book back.

*****

        On the other side of the country, Stacy lay draped across her bed, tracing a white flower in the pattern of her bedspread with her finger, half of her face pressed lightly into the mattress. After Beckett had dropped her off, she'd weaseled out of watching TV with her mother and sister and gone to her room just to lie on her bed and cry. Stacy had begun to wonder if any of this was worth it.

        She became aware of someone standing next to her bed, at her feet. Stacy already knew who it was, so she shuddered, barely looking at them out of the corner of her eye.

        "You did the right thing," Samara said. Stacy could hardly hear her small voice coming from under her hair. "You have no reason to feel guilty."

        "I don't think so," she replied with a sniffle. "I'm not sure I can go through with this."

        "You have to."

        Stacy gasped, but was too afraid to move, when she felt Samara crawling onto the bed. Samara straddled her body with her hands, crawling on top of her but barely touching her. If the dead little girl being that close wasn't bad enough, the feeling of Samara's wet hair invading Stacy's comfort zone was as it ran over her bare arm and dripped water onto her cheek. Whimpering, Stacy cringed away from the dark strands slithering over her skin. She did not look up. She did not want to see those milky eyes staring back into hers. Stacy fully believed the girls when they said they came from an ancient place of dark divinity, something not to be denied. A mere human girl like her, frail and helpless, could feel the archaic evil coming off them in waves.

        The ghost child spoke softly into her ear. "We own you." And she giggled.

        Inches away from her hand, Stacy's cell phone started to ring. Instantly, Samara was gone from the bed, but Stacy knew she was still nearby, watching. They were always nearby. Sitting up and frantically grabbing the phone, she opened it, hoping it was Beckett calling.

        Jasmine.

        Stacy sighed. Well, they'd have to talk it out sometime, wouldn't they? Jasmine wasn't the type to let something like this go. Wiping tears from her face, she answered the phone. "What?"

        Jasmine stood next to the stone wall that bordered Bassett Park, a few blocks from Stacy's house. "Hi, slugger."

        Trying to hide that she'd been crying, Stacy attempted to keep the quaver out of her voice. "You want another shot at me or something?"

        "Hey, you started that fight and you know it. I'm willing to forget it if you are."

        "That's just because I barely got a punch in," pouted Stacy, lightly touching the skin around her black eye. "If I'd fucked you up as much as you did me, you'd still be angry."

        Jasmine couldn't help but chuckle. "You're probably right about that. Look, let me come over, okay?"

        Glancing at the clock, Stacy said disbelievingly, "You're going to come over at nearly two A.M.?"

        "Yeah. I snuck out just for you. I'm standing on the edge of Bassett Park."

        "Why do you want to come over?"

        Jasmine approached this subject with more than a little unease, but tenacity. "So we can talk about those evil well bitches."

        Stacy lay back down, the tears threatening to come again. "What's there to talk about?"

        "Plenty." Looking around, Jasmine started across the park. It was deserted. "Stace, I heard about the graffiti in the bathroom. Blood all over the walls. 'Please stop me before I kill someone.' You're hurting bad, girl."

        Stacy couldn't keep the tears in anymore; she began to cry with a pitiful wail. "That's not exactly what I wrote."

        "Stacy..."

        "Damn gossipy girls, always hanging out in the bathroom and smoking..."

        She was trying to avoid the subject, and not very well, either. Jasmine rolled her eyes. "Stacy. We've got to tell your mother."

        The teen wailed again. "Don't. Don't, please. She won't be able to help."

        If there was one thing Jasmine held onto in this uncertain world, it was that Mama could always help. "Maybe she will. Give her the chance."

        "No!"

        "Then let's tell my mom. She'll slap those bitches back in their wells." Jasmine got a giggle out of her friend. That was a start. "You know she will," Jasmine added.

        But Stacy was still shaking her head. "There's nothing anyone can do. I'm marked, Jasmine. Didn't you hear them? They're powerful. They're ancient. No one's mom can stand against that."

        "I don't care. I'm coming over." And she hung up.

        "Jasmine, wait!" Alarm came over Stacy's face as she listened to nothing but dial tone on the other end of the phone. She scrambled off her bed, bumping a stack of books and notebooks from school that had been placed too close to the edge of her desk. They teetered off the side and scattered on the floor, but she didn't even notice in her hurry to get a jacket. It was her plan to climb out the window and intercept Jasmine in the park before she got to her house. Stacy had no idea if Jasmine was going to come to her window or to just storm right in the front door. Either could be possible with the spirited teen.

        The feeling that someone was standing behind her stopped Stacy cold. Staring. Looming. Samara.

        "That girl is being very troublesome," she said of Jasmine. Stacy's mouth hung slightly open in trepidation; she wasn't even aware of it. "If she keeps making a nuisance of herself, someone will have to take care of her."

        Then Samara was gone again.

        One more moment of stunned immobility and Stacy was snatching up her jacket, heading for the window.

        The breeze from the open window stirred the photographs that Stacy had taken with her digital camera and printed out, then hidden in her notebook. They had fallen out when the books toppled to the floor. The photographs were of Stacy, taken at arm's length, just her face and upper torso; they were a lot like photographs many people had taken of themselves before, including Rachel Keller and Noah Clay.

        Stacy's face was obscured by a strange warping effect, making it look like she was underwater.

        The date in the corner revealed that these pictures had been taken only two days ago.


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. My fanfic is more based on ideas presented in the films, which were created by director Hideo Nakata and screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi.
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. This fanfic is heavily inspired by ideas presented in the American movies, which were directed by Gore Verbinski and Hideo Nakata and written by Ehren Kruger.
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.


Comment on this chapter on LiveJournal
Comment on this chapter by e-mail

there really is a tape