She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 35: Organized Chaos
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)
Chapters: 35 of 100
Rating: Overall Rating Sup13+ (adult theme; horror elements that might be too scary 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 May 2010.
Word Count: 4,007
Summary: Quinn, Danica, and the others talk about what happened during the séance. Cheyenne enters her brother's vault without permission and stumbles upon a frightening family secret.
Warning: Contains spoilers for the entire Ringu and The Ring series.
Beta Thanks: Thanks to Sammie for beta'ing this chapter!
Fanfic Challenges: Fits 50_darkfics Prompt #35 Oath and Coclaim100 Prompt #35 Like Oil and Water.
Author's Notes: X-over with the TV series Supernatural. Set pre-series, during Sam's years at Stanford.
For the fifth time since the séance had ended, Akemi checked her cell phone for new messages. There were none. Her hands were shaking. "McNeal-sensei must think it's too late to call. Yes. He'll call in the morning."
Danica was sitting at the table; they'd turned it upright and gathered all the papers for her to go through. She marveled at all they had found out. "Can you believe this shit?"
Quinn paced the living room, smoking. He didn't smoke much, usually just after sex or when he was really stressed. Nervous. Shaken. "Don't tell me you're still looking at this like it's cool."
"It is cool."
"Oh sure, it's really badass to have a ghost scream in my face and knock me out of my chair."
"Come on, Quinny. Okay, I get why we're all shaking now, but when this is over, you'll look back and realize - "
"Would you just come off it?!" Darcy yelled at Danica. "Your little séance wasn't a big success and it was not cool! The prayer at the beginning did nothing; a demon still came in here and scared the crap out of everyone, throwing stuff all over the room..."
"It's never going to end," sobbed Svetlana from the couch.
Darcy sat down next to her to comfort her. "You have no idea what sort of fire you're playing with."
Danica looked from Darcy to Quinn, and then at Jodie, who was leaning against the wall. Jodie just shrugged. "Look," Danica began, "don't come in my brother's apartment and yell at me like that. Because if you're going to do that, you can just leave."
Darcy rolled her eyes.
"Second, it was not a demon, it was a ghost. And my prayer at the beginning did what it was supposed to. No one was hurt, no one got possessed or any shit like that. I just need to be more careful with my wording so we don't get anymore drop-in communicators. Yeah, it was pretty intense, but it wasn't that bad. Just some papers thrown around and an overturned table, big deal. I can take it."
"But you couldn't see the woman, and she didn't scream in your face," protested Quinn. "She was one scary bitch."
"I'm not denying that this isn't a frightening experience, guys. I'm just saying, it's possible for something to be scary and cool at the same time."
"Aw, you think you're a ghostbuster or something." Quinn waved a dismissive hand at her.
Taking advantage of the lull that followed, Jodie asked, "What's a drop-in communicator?"
"It's a ghost that busts into a séance without being called on," Danica replied. "Like a party crasher."
"Why couldn't I see her? I watched the tape too," Jodie said, still perplexed with this aspect of the events of the last few days.
"Well... there must have been something that you did that these three didn't." Danica gestured in the general direction of Quinn, Svetlana, and Akemi.
Pointing at his sister with his cigarette, Quinn added, "I bet it has something to do with what Baptiste said. She declared that no one could save us but ourselves."
"'No one can save you but you,'" Akemi said, repeating Alexandra's words.
"Exactly. So it's something we have to do."
"Dean said that too," Svetlana reminded him. "He said there was something we had to do. 'Join the ring.'"
"So, something Jodie did that we didn't..." Quinn paced the room some more, considering what it could be.
The room got quiet again. Danica sat back down at the table and went through the papers. "I'm going to make a list of what we learned from the séance. Lots of information to sort out. Let me see..." She tapped the pen against her lips, thinking. "Mysteria's real name is Phaedra. She was once alive over 200 years ago."
"She's Greek," Jodie put in.
Nodding, Danica wrote it down. "Which makes sense, since she was there when Alexandra Bitch-tiste was alive. She fought against Baptiste's evil somehow... says here that the story was passed down, the methods... 'Ask your grandmother.' What the fuck? Which one?"
"It's gotta be Grandma Stone," Quinn said. "She's the one who's all witchy with her crystals and Tarot cards and all that."
Scoffing, Darcy mumbled, "Great. Out of the frying pan and into the fire," but Danica still heard her.
"What is with Christians anyway? You think your methods are so superior and everyone else's are evil."
"Hey! No more fighting between you two, okay?" Taking another drag off his cigarette, Quinn continued, "You're going to have to find a way to work together. Don't forget, Danica, that Dad was raised Catholic, and Mom's not real religious or anything, and they've been married for twenty-five years. If they can make it work, surely you two can quit ripping each other a new one every five minutes."
Danica couldn't resist getting one more dig in. "Yeah, Dad was raised Catholic, but he recovered from that."
Not looking at her, Darcy put up a hand, palm facing Danica. "I'm not even going to dignify that with a response."
"Good. Anyway, yes, Quinn, you may have something there. I guess we should go see Granny Stone while I'm here. I just hope she won't think we're crazy, asking about a thing like that." Danica pawed through the papers some more. "Ah, and our Mysteria-Phaedra is a spirit guide. To this Sam dude, apparently." She furrowed her brow at a sudden thought. "I wonder if he and Dean are related."
"Seem they could be, what with Dean bringing him up," Svetlana suggested.
"You may have a point there. I mean, if Phaedra is Sam's spirit guide... and she keeps trying to get us together with Dean... it makes some sense." Danica suddenly put down the papers in her hand; the action made a loud crumpling sound. "And doesn't that just blow your mind, this spirit who once fought the evil you guys are dealing with being a distant ancestor of ours? I wonder how many generations there are between us."
"You guys are just going to go to your grandmother and ask her if she's heard this story?" asked Jodie.
"Yeah, why not? She's cool with that kind of stuff. Hey, you think Phaedra made sure the curse came our way because she knew we could do something about it?"
"It wouldn't surprise me." Quinn leaned on the table, looking across it at his sister. "Baptiste did look right at you and go, 'YOU!' Like she recognized you."
This was the first Danica had heard of this; no one had taken the chance to tell her yet. The realization actually seemed to shake her up a bit. "You're pulling my leg."
"No, he's telling the truth," Akemi said.
Svetlana also confirmed it with a nod of her head.
Danica looked at them all like they were crazy, dumbfounded. "Why would she recognize me? The bitch has never seen me before."
Shrugging, Quinn suggested, "Maybe that's something you should ask Granny about."
"Damn straight I'm going to ask her. We're getting to the bottom of this." Danica made a few notes about it before going over the séance papers again.
"Seemed to make her real mad too," Quinn added. "Right after that, she threw the table at you."
Akemi suddenly craned her head around to look at Danica. "It was almost like she was afraid of you, Danica-san."
Looking up, she stared at Akemi for a few moments in silence. "Why would..."
Quinn just smiled. "It's like you said, sis. None of those ghosts or demons better fuck with you."
At that moment, Danica came upon a particular passage in the session, the part where Phaedra had said, They don't realize what they are doing. They don't realize what they are setting in motion. And then the explanation, Their own destruction. She stood up sharply, almost knocking over her chair. "Okay, this is freaking me out."
"You see? It is scary," Quinn teased.
"What the hell does this shit mean?" Danica paced the room now, following the same track her brother had been taking. He stood by the table and watched her. "Phaedra was talking about how these evil girls are setting something in motion here, bringing about their own destruction. And how we're supposed to go to our grandmother and get the methods, hear the story. It's starting to sound like some kind of fantasy book."
"Maybe Granny's got a big ol' tape smashing hammer." He pretended to swing it down on an imaginary cursed tape. "Boosh!"
"Yeah, well, if an owl with an invitation to Hogwarts tries to fly in the window, I'm not home."
Jodie tried to calm her friend down a little. "You should wait until you actually talk to your grandma before you freak out, don't you think? Maybe it's not as dramatic as it seems." She shrugged.
"Maybe, but this is still all kinds of fucked up." Making it back around to the table, Danica remained standing as she thumbed through the papers. "I mean, look at this. Here, Phaedra says she has to speak to you guys through dreams because it's safer than when you're awake. Because you're being watched. Tell me that's not some freaky shit."
"Then... Samara cannot watch us when we're asleep?" Akemi questioned.
"That can't be. She's been in our dreams."
Jodie added, "But there's some sort of difference. There's some sort of loss of control on Samara's part. Otherwise..."
"...she wouldn't try to keep us awake," finished Quinn.
Everyone thought about that in silence. Darcy finally cut in with, "That makes sense."
"Phaedra was really risking something by talking to us here tonight," Quinn said. "Who knows how long she's been fighting against these cursed tapes without being caught, hiding behind her... spirit guide name, or whatever you'd call it."
"Mysteria," Svetlana said absently.
"I wonder what happens to her now. I hope she'll be okay."
After some thought, Danica tossed in another theory. "What if Phaedra has been looking for us for years, you know? What if we're really meant to stop this thing? And that's why she risked so much to communicate with us?"
A beat of silence and then Quinn shuddered all over. "There's no way I'm sleeping tonight."
"Oh, come on. You guys have barely slept in days," Darcy reminded him. "You need your sleep."
"Will you be able to sleep tonight, Darcy? What with the table thumping up and down and the wind that swept through here and the table flipping over?" Quinn asked, gesturing to the table with the fingers that held his cigarette. "And you didn't even see the crazy bitch that did it."
Darcy didn't have a good response to that; she looked down with a shrug.
"I stay up all night and look up the directories online," Svetlana declared. She had stopped crying, and now her eyes were wide and fearful, like a rabbit cornered by a bobcat. "Look for all the Dean Winchesters."
His mouth tight, Quinn's brow knitted as he asked, "What are you going to do, Svetlana? Call them all until you find him?"
The look she gave him said it all.
That jealous streak reared its head again. "Are you crazy? Do you have any idea how much that will cost?! Besides, we've got all we need right here." He went over and put an arm around his sister. "You heard Alexandra Bitch-tiste. YOU!"
"Oh lay off it, Quinn," Danica said, throwing his arm off.
Svetlana mumbled, "My cell phone have unlimited long distance after 7PM. I not stop until I find him."
"Holy crap, you really are going to call them all, aren't you?"
Even Danica sighed. "If she wants to call all the Dean Winchesters in the world, just let her, Quinn. Phaedra was trying to bring him to us anyway, remember?"
"That's going to sound really good. 'Hi, are you the Dean that's been coming to me in my dreams? Do you happen to own any ghost-exploding shotguns?'"
"'What do you mean, does my family have a history of mental illness?'"
To that, Svetlana burst into tears and ran out of the room.
Quinn just stood there with his mouth open. He hadn't expected that.
"Oh, good work, Einstein," Danica said sarcastically.
Darcy just gave him a dirty look and went after her.
Putting his head down, Quinn started pacing again. "That's not the reaction I was aiming for..."
"She's just scared, Quinn. Why do you have to give her such a hard time?"
Before he responded, Quinn picked up one of the drawings of Dean and showed it to his sister again. He kept his voice down. "Do you think I like having my girlfriend search the country for this good-looking, 'phwoar-worthy' guy?"
"Huh. So it's all about you being jealous," Danica mused.
Jodie added, "She's not looking for him so she can hook up with him, Quinn."
"Yeah, I know that," he replied, and added, "but how would it make you feel if our only hope was a chick with big tits and legs that go up to here and Colin and I were endlessly drooling over her?"
Danica gave it some thought, and was honest. "I would be jealous. But then I'd remember that she could help us solve this thing, and I'd get over it. And then I'd head up the search for the bitch-whore."
Quinn nodded curtly. "See?"
"I'd still be looking for her, though, wouldn't I? Besides... I'm not worried about Colin cheating on me." Danica beamed with pride and sass. "I've got this." She shoved her diamond engagement ring in front of her brother's face. "This means a lot. Volumes. Reams."
This being a subject that made Quinn uncomfortable, he ran a hand through his hair, taking a puff off his cigarette. "Let's not get into a serious discussion about relationships tonight, okay? I am definitely not up for that."
"Whatever. I'm just sayin'."
Jodie tried to change the subject. "I've been thinking it over and I really can't think of a thing that I did differently that would have freed me from the curse."
"Have you even tried talking to Svet about it, Quinn?" She just wouldn't let it go. "A ring like this can do a lot for a complicated relationship."
"Oh sure, like I could afford a ring like that."
Clearing her throat, Jodie attempted to cut in. "Why is it complicated?"
Danica didn't hear her. "You could always get her a copy of a ring like mine." She giggled mischievously. "I hear they're doing wonders with replica cubic zirconia these days."
"Haha, very funny - "
Jodie suddenly cried, "That's IT!"
Both Danica and Quinn jumped. Akemi, who had been checking her messages again, was frightened by the cry so badly that she tossed her phone up into the air, wide-eyed, and then juggled it a few times in an attempt to catch it. Ultimately, the phone bounced off a couch cushion and thumped to the floor. Everyone was now glaring at Jodie, wondering what she meant.
"Holy crap, Jodes," Quinn exclaimed. "What's it?"
"I made a copy!" Jodie said.
"You... oh, you did. You made a copy of the tape."
Jodie hopped in place with excitement. She pointed at Quinn. "And you didn't, and my mom didn't, and neither did Svetlana. None of you made copies!" She turned to Akemi, pointing to her. "And you... ohhhh..."
Akemi said, matter-of-factly, "I made a copy."
"Yeah... Professor McNeal asked you to make stills of the tape, and put them on a disc. That's probably considered a copy. Although... it's not exactly the same."
Akemi shrugged. "It's a good theory, Jodie-san. A good possibility. It's not exactly the same as a copy. Stills are not in motion."
"So..." Quinn put a hand on Jodie's shoulder. "...you think if we make copies too, all of this could just end?"
Cheyenne knew her brother didn't like her going in his vault when he wasn't around. But the door was wide open, and she wanted to look for something.
Everything had been quiet in the grand hall when she walked from her side of the house to her brother's. Rowan and their cousin, Tristan, who also served as a personal assistant, were out for the day. The large family painting hanging across from the front door stared down at her; Mother, Father, Brother, and Sister, wearing their finest clothes, expensive jewelry, and fake smiles that hid all the turmoil underneath. Oh, it hadn't always been bad, but Cheyenne had known there were secrets since early in her childhood. It continued to be something festering in the background of daily life.
Before heading toward her brother's rooms, she moved a bowl of flowers that were sitting too close to the edge of the table in the hall. It seemed like that bowl was always teetering on the edge, for some reason.
Rosalita had the vault door open while she cleaned the little sitting area inside. When Cheyenne stepped in, the maid was close to finishing up.
"Good afternoon, Rosalita."
The woman looked up from polishing an end table with a rag sprayed with Pledge. The scent of lemon hung in the room. "Hello, Miss Bloodworth. Did you enjoy the lunch Cook fixed you?"
"It was delicious." Cheyenne loitered around, running her fingers over the decorative grooves carved into the frame of the For Quinn painting hanging on the wall. "Did my brother say when he was returning?"
"No, he did not give a time." Rosalita picked up an ashtray and dusted underneath it.
Cheyenne, gazing at the back of the vault, noticed that the dark red curtain that hung there had been pulled across, hiding the large screen TV and two small rooms beyond. She knew what was in those rooms, but almost never went in them; they contained Baptiste's statues. The art pieces gave Cheyenne the creeps. "Why is the curtain drawn?" she asked.
"Mr. Bloodworth did not tell me. He just said he did not want anyone to go snooping back there. So I will respect his wishes." The maid gave Cheyenne a sidelong look. "You know he will be cross with us if he knows you were in here."
"What's with that, anyway? I own half this art; I should be able to look at it if I want to." Grinning mischievously, Cheyenne walked over and whispered to the maid, "I won't tell him if you don't."
"Oh, Miss Bloodworth... I don't pretend to understand why your brother is so secretive about his collections, but... if he doesn't want you in his vault, maybe it is better to stay away." Rosalita spoke in a very motherly tone, a tone she was used to, having children of her own who were Cheyenne's age and younger.
"Rosalita, if he catches me, I'll bear all responsibility, okay? I'll tell him I..." She playfully ran over and hid down behind one of the white suede couches. "I snuck in and hid behind the couch, so you wouldn't know I was in here."
"But when I leave, I will have to close the door behind me. You know, it locks from both sides when it's closed."
Cheyenne giggled. "That's okay, I know the passcode to get out." She put up a hand, showing Rosalita her palm. "The system only requires handprint identification to get in."
Sighing, Rosalita gathered up her cleaning supplies. "Maybe if you talked to him, he'd let you look at whatever it is you want to look at."
"I shouldn't have to ask."
"I agree, but it is not my place to question him." Her expression a bit weary, Rosalita headed for the door. "Don't spend a long time in here, for me?"
"I'll hurry. Thanks, Rosalita."
The door made a loud, metallic rumbling sound when it swung shut, sealing off the vault. Cheyenne immediately went to a small room on the right wall, punched in the passcode, and waited for the door to open before going inside.
This long, narrow room held all of Alexandra Baptiste's paintings that weren't either in a museum or hung on the outer walls of the vault. They were upright against the wall, stacked against each other, forming row after row of framed paintings. Cheyenne wondered why they weren't rolled up and stored in tubes; Rowan always said he preferred them this way, having them at "arm's length." The rows were covered with individual white sheets to keep most of the dust off of them. She whipped one off and began pawing through the paintings underneath, pulling them forward like cards in a file. The dust she had kicked up made her cough briefly, but she hardly noticed.
Cheyenne could remember doing this a few times in her childhood. Her father hardly ever let her in here, but when he did, she hadn't been allowed to actually touch the surface of any of the works of art - the oil of the human hand was bad for paint. Just to spite her dead father now, she touched one of the paintings with her index finger, only fleetingly, but it was enough to make her grin like an imp.
The painting she was looking for had not been reproduced in any of the books about Baptiste. Cheyenne thought it was almost a crime, because it was the most beautiful the artist had ever done. The painting was of two children and their mother standing on a grassy hill overlooking Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite National Park, a rainbow passing through the falls near where they hit the river below. The mother was shielding her eyes with one hand. Although the little family had their backs to the viewer, Cheyenne recognized them, and had always believed what her parents had told her about the work of art - that the painting was of herself, her brother, and their mother. She didn't think much about what that meant, that the art had been painted over 200 years ago, and how mystifying that was. The only thing she cared about was her emotional connection to this piece, her A Perfect Day at the Falls.
Cheyenne wanted to hang it in her living room. She didn't care what Rowan said, it was going up on her wall.
So involved in her search, Cheyenne didn't hear the sound of the ashtray moving across the table. She did, however, jump when it slid over the side and shattered on the marble floor. Alarmed, Cheyenne looked through the open door. Her eyes went wide.
Some sort of misty cloud-form floated around the room. It was grey and white and swirled as it moved with purpose toward one of the couches. As the couch lifted off the ground and slammed back down several times, the cloud-form began to take on a more recognizable shape, that of a woman with long black hair. Cheyenne realized with horror that the woman had no discernable legs, just a cloud of ghost mist that hovered a few inches off the floor.
When she began to wail in anger, Cheyenne covered her ears, but she could still hear it, and thought that maybe she'd heard this sound in the house before.
"Roooooowaaaaaaaan!" the spectre cried. "Rowan, I've foooound heeeeeeer! The Destroooooooyeeeeeeeerrrrr!" Alexandra, continuing to indulge her fury, knocked the lamp off the end table. "We must talk! We must talk about your sissssssterrrrrrr!"
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.
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there really is a tape