Day 3: Synchronicity

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 3: Synchronicity
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 3 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: 2,222
Summary: Jodie's quite the little trickster, isn't she? But did she make the cursed tape? A case of synchronized dreaming says no.
Warning: 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 #3 Rule/Ruler and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #3 Moments.
Notes: Geez, you take Jodie, stick her in a new environment, and she becomes a really different character!

        Looking from one person to the other, Jodie exclaimed, "You think I did this?"

        Quinn gave Svetlana a knowing look, smirking, and narrowed his eyes at his roommate. "That's a nice tone you're using. I almost believe you're innocent."

        Jodie rolled her eyes. "Okay, yeah, Quinn, I can see how this looks bad. I'm a Film student, I like horror movies, yadda yadda yadda. But I didn't make any weird tape. Like I'd break into our mailbox and make us have to pay to fix it."

        "Uh, sorry! Not buying it." Quinn leaned back in his chair at the kitchen table, grabbed a handful of popcorn, and stuffed it into his mouth. Svetlana was allowing him to do most of the talking, eating popcorn out of her hand much more daintily. "You're talking to me like I haven't been the victim of several of your pranks in the past."

        "Like Halloween prank," Svetlana interrupted, finding that she did have something to add to the conversation after all.

        Quinn pointed at her in agreement. "Yeah! Remember the time you dressed up in the slasher costume and jumped out and pretended to stab me and Svet last Halloween? You used fake blood and everything."

        "Well, yes, but - "

        Svetlana added in a mumble, "That time, I did wet my pants."

        "And then there was the time you used the puppet to make it seem like a monster was bursting from your stomach."

        Jodie grinned. "That was pretty funny. For just a second, you totally believed you were in a scene from Alien."

        "Well, again, you used fake blood. But you know, the most incriminating prank you pulled was the web video," Quinn pointed at her with a hand full of popcorn.

        "Oh, the web video..." Svetlana nodded, remembering.

        "Oh God..." mumbled Jodie.

        Quinn leaned in to relate the story, although Jodie already knew the details. "You make a webpage as a class project that looks like just another video blog from a pretty college student, but of course, in the background, someone in a mask walks by the doorway." He let out a mock gasp, putting his hands to his mouth. "Does the anonymous college student know the man is in her house? No, she doesn't! And as Miss College Student continues unaware, the masked man keeps passing by the doorway, each time holding a new weapon he can possibly use on her."

        "Quinn, I know this story already..."

        He didn't stop. "Finally, as the girl tells her blog viewers that the news is all abuzz over the escape of a dangerous mental patient in the area, the masked man sneaks up on her and starts to choke her with a rope. She falls limp, and the man turns off the camera. Pretty harmless little goof when it's kept between just you and your class, right?"

        "But?" Jodie sighed. She was just playing her part, saying what she had to to get the story over with.

        "But nooooo, you had to share it with the entire Internet! The college paper gets a hold of the story, then the local paper, and finally there's a news crew at your mother's door trying to find out if you're alright!" Quinn ticked these points off on his fingers. "I had people at college asking me if my ex Jodie was dead. I said yeah, and I killed her, because I was the one in the mask."

        Svetlana chuckled.

        "That was my most successful project ever," smirked Jodie. "People actually thought the video was real."

        "Yeah. I was part of that, and you want me to buy that you didn't do this one? Try it on someone who doesn't recognize your handiwork." Quinn tossed a piece of popcorn at her, secure and cocky in the knowledge that he had proven his point.

        "As much as I'd like to be able to take credit for something that has you this worked up, I did not make the video that you watched, Quinn," Jodie insisted again.

        He still shook his head. "You just want us to sweat for a whole week before you spring your next big scare."

        "Uuuugh." Jodie threw up her hands in defeat. "I give up. I can't make you believe me. Where is the tape anyway? It sounds wicked. I want to watch it."

        "Sorry, your mom took it."

        "Awwww. But you'll get it back soon?"

        "Whenever." Quinn looked at Svetlana, cocked his head toward the bedroom, and stood up. "We're off to bed. Night, you walking spook show."

        Jodie watched them head out of the kitchen, but called them back before they reached Quinn's bedroom. "The person on the phone said 'seven days'?"

        "Ooh, good one, pretending you don't know."


        He sighed. "Yes, that's what they said."

        "Did they mean exactly seven days? Like, seven days after you watched the tape, something would happen?" Jodie asked.

        "Seems that way."

        "Then what time was it that you watched it? We should keep an eye on the clock next Thursday night."

        Quinn, checking his watch, replied, "I don't know, sometime between 1 and 1:30AM?"

        "That sound about right," agreed Svetlana.

        He turned to her. "You see what she's doing? Jodie needs to know when to spring her trap."

        Jodie looked up at the ceiling and sighed loudly.

        Once Quinn got into his bedroom, he stretched and yawned, realizing he was too tired even for a little late night TV. He didn't have any classes the next day until the afternoon, so he could sleep in. That was the best feeling, being able to sleep in... almost as nice as what he was in the mood for before bed. Quinn never seemed to be too tired for that. Svetlana didn't need much convincing, and he was soon stripping off his clothes, just dropping them next to the bed and leaving them where they fell. The only piece of clothing Quinn ever showed any real respect was the denim jacket he got in Japan, with the kanji for "Live" on the back.

        From her current place in the bathtub, Jodie could hear them in the next room, and she fumed to herself over it. How could Quinn be so oblivious to the fact that she still had feelings for him? She closed her eyes and tried to tune out the sound of Svetlana, and only hear Quinn. Jodie so did like the sound of him, and had since their first night together. Until he decided they were too different to be a couple, that is. Boys could be so dense. She remembered many times they spent together, going to the carnival, passing notes in high school, making out under the bleachers... sometimes Jodie thought she'd do anything to have those moments back. How Quinn had confused her after they'd broken up, asking her if she wanted to share an apartment at college, and for the first few weeks of living together, often slipping into her bedroom to fool around in the mornings. He'd said many ex's had the occasional "booty call," but he never understood that Jodie still wanted to be more to him than that. Quinn might understand it better if she'd only tell him.

        Listening to him, Jodie knew that if she took the initiative to slip into Quinn's bedroom right now, he'd be all for it; most any heterosexual male with a pulse would be up for a threesome with two girls. But she doubted Svetlana would appreciate it. Besides, Jodie couldn't let it happen, no matter how much she longed to be on the other side of the wall. She had promised herself after the last time, no more. It would only happen again if they were in love. It was her own personal rule.

        Still, Quinn didn't make this any easier. When he'd been talking about the blog video they'd made, he'd said she was pretty.

        Almost 3AM, and Quinn gave a sigh and a yawn and cuddled up to his pillow to snooze the rest of the night away, with Svetlana cradled into the crook of his arm.

        He was dressed, approaching the top of a well in a field surrounded by trees. Hey... it was the well from the tape. The tape he'd watched with Svet and Jolene. Quinn figured he must be dreaming. The well had a big crack in one side, where some of the bricks were missing. Quinn put his fingers into the crack and felt along the edges. Rough stone. Dirt under his fingertips. If this was a dream, why did it feel so real?

        On a hill close by stood the tree from the videotape, the tree that literally had been burning. It was lit up with red and gold fall leaves. Horses trotted along the hill; it was all a gorgeous scene. But Quinn knew something wasn't right here. He could feel it when he ran his hand over the stones.

        The woman from the tape, the mother figure, stood beside the well, pulling petals off a rose and dropping them into it. They drifted down into the darkness.

        Quinn blinked as he noticed Svetlana standing next to him. "Hey. Are you having a dream about this stupid well too? What's this about?"

        Svetlana shook her head. She seemed frightened. "Does she see us?"

        The sound of their voices caused the woman to notice them. She slowly looked up at Quinn and Svetlana. Her face was haggard. Troubled. "Do you know what I did to my daughter?"

        After glancing at Svetlana, he replied, "Can't say I do."

        The woman looked down into the well with regret written all over her face. "You will."

        They gazed at each other again, and then took a peek into the well with a bit of hesitation. Nothing but blackness. "Did you have something you wanted to tell us? I mean, what's up?"

        The woman moved around the well, closer to them. They could now see that she was not walking, but rather floating. Svetlana moved back with a fearful gasp. "Do you think I did the right thing?" the woman asked.

        Quinn took a few steps back himself. The woman continued advancing on him. "I can't answer that question until I know what you did."

        She stopped right in front of Quinn, sizing him up with a critical gaze. "Wait seven days." She brought a hand up from her side; in it, she held a black garbage bag. "I believe this will be a perfect fit for you." She lunged forward and wrapped the sack around Quinn's head.

        He bellowed in his sleep, struggling with the bag. "HEEEEY! What - get this OFF ME!!"

        Quinn was struggling with his bed sheets, which had gotten tangled around his head. He grappled with the lady, who held the bag over his head; he grappled with the sheets, which were so twisted that Svetlana had to work to even begin to help him get them off. Quinn gasped for air. The woman grabbed a piece of stone from the side of the well and raised it to strike Quinn in the head. With a piercing cry, Svetlana grasped her wrist and wrestled with her to keep her from hitting him. They both finally realized they were awake, only fighting bunched up sheets, which eventually gave Quinn enough slack to pull them from his head and throw them across the room, panting.

        "Quinn, you okay? Can you breathe?" Svetlana asked.

        He looked at her in the dark as he tried to digest what had just happened. "Goddamn sheets." Rolling his eyes, he plopped back on the bed, covering his face with his hands. "I can't believe that stupid tape is giving me nightmares now. Shit."

        "Quinn..." Svetlana shivered, looking around the room. "We were next to that well, the one from the tape, and the mother attacked you with a plastic bag."

        "Yeah, I know," he said absently.

        She leaned down closer to him. "Do you realize we just had the same dream?"

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