Day 4: Suffer the Nightmare

She Just Wanted to Be Heard
Day 4: Suffer the Nightmare
Part of Story Arc 1: Counterclockwise
A "The Ring/Ringu" Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)

Chapters: 4 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: 2,590
Summary: Quinn's dog, Mukluk, senses the curse overshadowing his master. Quinn and Svetlana have another synchronized dream, but this time, they are rescued by a blond stranger.
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 #4 Blood and [info]Coclaim100 Prompt #4 Sight.
Author's Notes: This chapter is a cross-over with Supernatural (Dean Winchester makes a brief cameo.)

The scene with Janet and Kelsey playing cards is based on true events, hee. My niece and nephew were both under ten and I was teaching them to play poker with "Sailor Moon" cards. We played for candy and pennies. Within an hour, they were both royally kicking my ass at poker. It was a scream. XD

"Purple monkey dishwasher" is a phrase from The Simpsons. The characters were passing a message from person to person, like you'd do in the Telephone game, and as always with Telephone, the message got screwed up by the time it reached the last person. The cryptic phrase "purple monkey dishwasher" got added onto the end of the message.

        The next morning, while Quinn brushed his hair in the mirror and Svetlana worked on her make-up, she confronted him about the night before. "Are we ever going to talk about it?"

        Quinn didn't immediately get what she meant. "Svet, we were hollering and screaming bloody murder. Jodie had to come check on us. She didn't know we'd both be sitting there naked on the bed with the covers thrown across the room." He moved his head from side to side to narcissistically check his hair from different angles. "I'm sure she's just as embarrassed as you are."

        "That's not what I'm talking about," she replied. "I'm talking about us dreaming the same thing. That's really freaky, Quinn."

        "I know it is. But what do you want me to do about it?"

        Svetlana thought about that for a moment, and finally shook her head. "I don't know, I guess just admit that there's something weird going on here. Stop pretending that Jodie made the video."

        "If she didn't make it, then who did?" Satisfied, Quinn put down his brush, turning to her. "Are you ready yet?"

        "I don't know, and no." Her tone was irritated. Svetlana didn't like being rushed, and she liked Quinn's stubborn denial even less. "Don't you believe in anything... outworldly?"

        Rolling his eyes, he looked up at the ceiling and sighed heavily. "I think you mean otherworldly. Svet, we've got to get to my parent's house and pick up my dog before they leave for work, and you're slowing things down by praddling on about cursed videotapes. Okay, Svet, out with it. What's your big theory?"

        Not appreciating his tone, Svetlana worked on her make-up and didn't look at him as she spoke. "I'm not sure. But I know that Jodie didn't make that tape. She doesn't have that power."


        She glanced at him for only a second before continuing, her words halting and unsure. "The tape, it... it has some sort of... spell on it. After you watch it, you have nightmare. Freaky nightmare, like what happen to us last night."

        Quinn just stared at her for a short time before bursting into snickery laughter. "A spell? Svet, are you listening to yourself?"

        Svetlana's bottom lip trembled as she tried to finish putting on her mascara. "Don't make fun of me, Quinn Kirkland. Do you have a better explanation?"

        "Hey... hey, I'm sorry." He recognized the signs of a girl about to cry. Quinn turned her toward him and wrapped his arms around her hips; she reluctantly allowed him to do it, but didn't look him in the eyes. "Don't cry, okay? I guess I have to admit that I don't fully understand what's going on. But I don't believe in curses or spells. The dream last night... it was just a fluke. The tape freaked us out and..." Even he was running out of words to explain what was happening. "...and we... we just had a nightmare. It won't happen again, so let's just forget it."

        Ten minutes later, they were on their way out the door. Jodie busied herself in the kitchen. When she saw Quinn and Svetlana pass by, she hid her face behind the open freezer door and mumbled, "Bye," back to Quinn's call that they were going out. They'd both just been sitting there on the bed, naked as jaybirds! How embarrassing!

        Quinn's father was already gone when they arrived, but his mother, Dahlia, was still home, just finishing up her omelette. She smiled at them both and asked them to hurry up and get Mukluk so she could lock up and head off to work.

        Mukluk was a seven-year-old Alaskan Malamute, Quinn's pride and joy. He kept him at his parent's house most of the time because a small apartment was no place for such a large, graceful, beautiful dog. The animal needed room to run around in, like the Kirkland's ample yard. Dahlia opened the back door and called, "Mukkie! Daddy's here! Time to go walkies!"

        The porch filled with the sound of panting and furry feet bounding into the house as Mukluk ran to the sound of her voice. Quinn stood in the foyer and clapped his hands. "Hey Mukkie! Come 'ere boy." His face shone with a proud, loving smile.

        The dog heard and saw his master, steered toward him, and suddenly stopped with a flurry of sliding paws and skittish whimpers. Mukluk looked at Quinn as if he wasn't sure he knew him. He gazed at Dahlia, looked back at Quinn, gave Svetlana a short glance, and then looked to Dahlia again for an explanation with another confused whimper. Everything in the dog's expression said he wasn't sure he should go to Quinn, that he wasn't sure his master was... safe?

        Dahlia's brow furrowed. "What's the matter, Mukluk?"

        Mukluk whimpered again, looking from one person to another.

        "Come on, Mukkie." Quinn, bewildered, clapped his hands again. "You wanna go walkies, huh?"

        Dahlia laughed awkwardly, having no clue what could be up with her son's pet. "It hasn't been that long since you've seen Quinn. Maybe you should show him the leash."

        Quinn dutifully held up the leash. Trying to help, Svetlana showed Mukluk the frisbee they'd brought. The dog responded favorably, crawling a little closer to them, and whimpered again.

        "What's the matter, boy?" asked Quinn.

        Mukluk stood up and sniffed at Quinn, his muzzle bobbing up and down. He cocked his head curiously to one side. Master didn't smell quite right.

        The dog's eyes skimmed past Svetlana to a corner behind her and Quinn. Instantly, Mukluk went into protective, guarding mode, and began to growl fiercely. The fur on his back stood on end more than usual, his ears pricked up, and his tail stiffened. Everyone backed up a step.

        Dahlia saw only an empty corner. "What's up, Mukkie? There's nothing there."

        Svetlana realized that she could see something in the spot Mukluk was reacting to, but only out of the corner of her eye. It was a little girl, dark-haired... her hair covering most of her face. At least, that's what it looked like from what she could see of it. It... it was the girl from the videotape...

        Svetlana looked over at Quinn. The expression on his face sent chills up her spine. He could see the little girl too. Frightened, but trying to hide it, Quinn turned his head sharply to glare at the corner. Svetlana looked too. When they stared directly at the spot, they couldn't see the child anymore. She just disappeared from view.

        Mukluk stopped growling at the corner rather abruptly. He looked at the people around him with confusion, then padded over and nudged Quinn's hand with his muzzle.

        Quinn jumped at the unexpected contact. "Uh... hey... hey boy." He crouched down to pet the dog, who no longer seemed so wary of him. Quinn swallowed hard. They all were wondering what had just happened.

        Noticing her son's pallor and shocked eyes, Dahlia ran a hand over his head and asked, "You okay, Quinn?"

        He tried to shake it off. "Yeah, I'm just wondering what was up with Mukkie." Quinn put on a smile he didn't feel.

        On their way out of the house, Svetlana looked at him with a drawn mouth and uneasy eyes. "Did you see that little girl?"

        "Of course I saw her; couldn't you tell?" Quinn replied a little shortly.

        "She's watching us..." Svetlana almost whispered.

        With a loud swallow, he snapped back, "Quit it."

        By the time they got to the park, they were feeling a bit more relaxed, ready for some leisurely play with Quinn's dog. They played a little frisbee catch, each of them racing Mukluk for it just for fun.

        "I'm going to get it before you!" Quinn cried as he ran for the frisbee. The Malamute ecstatically raced next to his master and barked with glee, tongue lolling out to the side. He beat the dog by a hair, got down on all fours, and took the frisbee in his mouth, growling comically. "Rrrr, rrrr, mine, mine!"

        Svetlana laughed and watched Mukluk try to get it from him. "You realize that have doggie drool on it?"

        Not having thought of that, Quinn made a surprised, funny face and instantly spit out the frisbee with a disgusted, "Puh!"

        After another twenty minutes of play and a long drink from the water fountain for all of them (the frisbee used as a water dish for Mukluk), they spent some time lying in the grass and staring up at the sky, a favorite thing of Quinn's to do on a lazy mid-morning. "Isn't it a beautiful day? How could anybody have a problem on a day like today?" he asked, looking up at the swaying tree branches above them.

        The night before, they'd been up extremely late, and suffered the nightmare. The lost sleep caught up with them for several minutes while lying there in the grass. First Quinn, then Svetlana, fell asleep. Even Mukluk yawned as he lay down next to his snoozing master.

        Quinn approached a table where his older sister, Janet, and her two-year-old daughter, Kelsey, were sitting. Janet was shuffling a deck of cards quite rapidly. Both she and Kelsey were clothed in a predominance of dressy black, for some reason. Janet had her dark hair pulled back on the sides, and had done the same to Kelsey's light brown hair, tying it back with a big bow. Kelsey's little legs, sheathed in white tights, bobbled back and forth under the table. "Hey Quinnster. Did you come to play?" Janet asked.

        He smiled. "You know I'm always up for a game. What are we playing for, pennies or candy?"

        Kelsey said brightly, "Mommy's teaching me to play poker!"

        Quinn tried to sit down, but Janet put her foot against his chair and shoved it away from him. "You can't play right now."

        Taking it as a typical older sister joke, Quinn scowled at her and said, "Why not?"

        "Because you haven't done it yet." She started to deal out cards for herself and Kelsey at, again, a rapid pace.

        Quinn was, of course, bewildered. "Done what?"

        "How should I know, I haven't even seen the tape," she said with a shrug. "Do you remember when we were kids and we'd play Telephone? Everyone would sit in a circle and one person would start out with a phrase that they'd whisper to the next person, and the phrase would go around the group until it came back to the person who first said it? This is like that, except there are tons of circles that branch out until you can't find the origin anymore. It never ends, Quinn. It just goes on and on." She pointed out a set of nearby balcony doors, as if to say he should go there.

        "Telephone! I like that game. Purple monkey dishwasher!" Kelsey giggled.

        Quinn left them with the sound of Kelsey giggling in his ears, heading toward those open french doors. They did not open onto a balcony, but onto the clearing, the clearing with the well. Here he was again. Somehow, he always ended up back here. Quinn rolled his eyes, throwing up his arms in defeat. "Not this. Hey, why am I dreaming about this stupid well so much? Hello? Creepy floating lady, where are you?"

        Svetlana huddled at his side. Where did she come from? "Quinn, it's happening again. How do we make it stop?"

        Quinn turned his head and yelped at what he saw. It couldn't have been more unexpected and cryptic to him. He recoiled in surprise to see his own fraternal twin sister Danica floating upright beside the well. Although she should have been standing firmly on the ground, her feet hovered a foot off its surface. Her eyes had become mirrors - no whites, no irises, no pupils, just mirrors that reflected his face. Even stranger, a spiral of fire flowed between various spots on Danica's body, like a living, liquid river of flames. It continued to move as Quinn approached her.

        "Danica?! What... what's going on?! What are you doing? And no weird dream talk!"

        Danica turned her mirror eyes to him. "I'm sorry, Quinn. I wish I knew enough to save you." Her voice sounded like he had never heard it, all deep and echoing. "I see with new sight, with these eyes, but I can't see the future."

        Svetlana looked up at Quinn's sister in awe.

        "What's that... that stuff coming out of you?" he asked.

        "Serpent fire. What do you think?" she replied sarcastically, as if he should know what that is. Then her face became sad, looking down at him in anguish. "It's all for you, Quinn. You belong to Samara now. The well is her home, and will soon be yours."

        In reaction to that statement, Svetlana whimpered and began to weep. "Something bad going to happen to us!"

        The next sound that met Quinn's ears sent a chill through him. It sounded like fingernails scratching along the bricks of the well... almost like someone was climbing it with their bare hands. The scratching noise grew suddenly loud, like frantic rats trapped in a wall, coming right at him.

        A man Quinn did not recognize ran up next to him. He was quite handsome, with dirty blond hair cropped close to his head and a sawed-off shotgun in his hands. Quinn barely had time to register that the man was wearing some sort of golden, horned amulet around his neck. "If you're going to be here, at least arm yourself!" the man shouted.

        Quinn looked around. "Arm myself with - " Before he could finish the question, he saw another shotgun sitting on the rim of the well, on the opposite side from where he stood. Quinn turned to get it, and suddenly, the scratching sound coming from within the well stopped.

        Very slowly and carefully, Quinn placed his hand on the rim of the well and reached for the gun on the other side... when the ice cold, wet, grey hand of someone who had drowned long ago came up from within the darkness and clamped down on his wrist.

        Quinn had barely even gasped and begun to recoil when the unknown male cried, "Watch it!" and shoved his gun into the well, aiming right for the person's face. The blast of the shotgun still rang in Quinn's ears when he came awake a moment later.

        "YAH!!" He awakened in the park with a great start, his entire body jerking. Mukluk yelped and began to get up on his paws, as his master had startled him too. He blinked several times before looking over at Svetlana. "Did we fall asleep?"

        Svetlana was just waking up; her eyes filled with tears. "Quinn, I don't like these dreams. I want them to go away."

        "Hey, shhhhh..." He gave her a brief hug. "Okay, maybe the dreams aren't going to stop. We need to go back to my apartment and... we'll research this thing on the Internet. Jolene said there was a website, right?"

        Svetlana nodded, sniffling and wiping her eyes. She pointed at Quinn's face just as he started to feel the warm fluid running to his lip. "Quinn, your nose is bleeding."

        He wiped at his nose with the back of his hand. Yup, bleeding all right. "Have you got any tissues?" While she looked in her purse, Quinn went to check his watch. "How long have we been asleep?"

        His eyes opened wide in shock as he pushed up his sleeve to reveal the mark of a hand burned into his skin.

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.
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