This dark place is different from before.
Different. Not better.
I don't love my Mommy any more.
I never loved Daddy.
He loved the horses.
He didn't love me.
It won't stop.
Aidan Keller made his own copy of the videotape with his mother's help. Aidan and Rachel showed the tape to someone else, and Samara killed that one instead. She wanted to hurt people. She was sorry about that, but she did it just the same.
One tape led to one more victim. Then another.
Samara made the pictures inside their heads first. And then she came to see them seven days later. They screamed at the sight of her, and they drowned in the open air. Their faces swelled and turned grey, mouths stretched wide and awful.
Seven days after the last tape was played Samara pushed her way up and out of her new coffin and out of the well. Her long straight hair hung dark and clotted over her face. She staggered towards the opening in the television screen, her long white dress stained and heavy with scummy green well water. She pushed her way through into the real world, palms first, and then slowly stood up.
Something was different this time.
She looked down at the floor. She didn't recognize the funny writing down there. There were circles and squiggles, triangles and squares and more circles and wiggly lines.
There were two boys in the room. Seven days ago they both watched the tape.
It was their time now.
One was very tall, and the other one was very pretty. They both wore funny looking sunglasses with red colored glass. Each one held a dusty old book in his hands.
Samara flickered forward. Water dripped from the hem of her dress onto the floor, a trickle at first, then a stream, then a river.
The boys said words into the air, strange words, words she didn't recognize, and Samara stumbled a little. The words made her feel funny. She jittered and shook from side to side.
The water that dripped from her body ran up to the edge of one of the circles, backed up, and then flowed back towards her. She couldn't see anything. She walked towards the tall boy and he didn't back away, he didn't run from her. He just stood there reading out loud.
He tensed up a little, so she knew he really could see her.
She stepped on one of the circles and couldn't go any further. Her nose bumped up against something hard she couldn't see.
The pretty boy became angry. She could hear it in his voice, even though he never stopped saying those words, so she turned and moved towards him. He thundered the funny sounding words at her.
Samara stepped on a square filled with wiggly lines, and she couldn't go any further. She shuffled from shape to shape, and her feet became stuck each time. She couldn't tell for how long, and the two boys never shut up. It was hard not to step on any of the shapes on the floor, even when she flickered.
She stared up at their faces, but she couldn't see their eyes because of the red glass. She tried to make the bad pictures in their heads, tried to fill their heads with the dark water from the well, but it didn't work.
They didn't drown and they didn't die, and they never stopped reading.
She turned and shambled towards the television. She wanted to climb back in. This had never happened to her before, and she didn't like any of it.
A few feet away from the television Samara stopped and cocked her head to one side. She could sense others out there, miles away. Two older men, old like Daddy, one black and one white, and they stood over her open grave at the cemetery.
Samara never smiled while she was alive, but her exposed dark dry bones lay light and fragile against the pale silk of her coffin and grinned up at the full moon.
The black man took a shiny box and poured something dry and white all over her. The other one wore a funny looking cap. He had a shiny box too but what he poured out was wet and smelled nasty. He splashed it all over her.
She tried to climb back inside the television but when she stepped onto one of the squares it made her feet stick to the floor again.
They want me to go away, Samara thought.
The two old men lit books of matches and tossed them into her grave, and the boys never stopped reading.
A flash of bright light hurt Samara's eyes. The fire crawled up her body in a sheet of hungry orange flame. Fine grey ash, black cinders and sparks filled the air around her.
This wasn't right. She was wet and she couldn't burn. She shouldn't burn, but she did.
Samara opened her mouth wide but no scream came out.
She wanted to stay and she wanted to hurt them all, but she couldn't.
Cabin 6 at the Shelter Mountain Inn was rustic motel skeezy, which really wasn't that different from modern motel skeezy. Bobby and Rufus sat at the kitchen table slowly reacquainting themselves with their old friend Jack Daniels. They had four bottles to work with.
Jobs involving kids were always bad ones. The worst.
An hour later the Winchesters showed up.
Dean wordlessly riffled through the nearly bare kitchen cabinets until he found what he was looking for: three empty glasses. The glasses were really small grape jelly jars, left behind by God only knew who, but the eldest Winchester didn't care, despite the dust inside and the dumb looking cartoon critters that danced around the sides of the jars. He passed one to Sam, kept the other two for himself.
Dean blew the dust out of them and then poured out two portions of Jack for himself. Sam helped himself to some whiskey as his brother sprawled out on the couch, carefully balancing both glasses in each hand.
" 'bout time you two showed up," Bobby drawled lazily. He was feeling no pain at last. "What was the final count? And do I really need to ask if you burned 'em all?"
"We picked up twenty three videotapes." Sam folded his large frame into the nearest armchair.
"Can you say crispy critters, boys and girls? I knew you could. Those dumb ass normals were turnin' out copies faster than Netflix. This was worse than that Bloody Mary crap." Dean disposed of Jack in one long swallow, then huffed tiredly. "Bobby, those crazy ass 2D glasses of yours gave me a damn headache."
"Oh boo hoo, princess. Saved both your asses, now didn't it?" the older man growled.
"That it did." Dean nodded. "Dude, that was genius." He raised his remaining drink in tribute. "I bow to the master." Bobby nodded in response.
"Of course, we never woulda gotten into this mess in the first place if Sammy hadn't been in the mood for porn vids that night."
Rufus snickered. Bobby rolled his eyes.
Oh, Jesus…Sam's cheeks pinked furiously.
"New rule from now on: no more videotapes in motel rooms. Cable or internet porn only." Dean scowled at his brother. "And that goes double for you, Curious George."
Sam stared down at his jar of whiskey, then at his boots.
Dean drank his tequila and then leaned back against the couch cushions. Not much comfort there; the cushions were sprung and worn out, like everything else in the place, but he was so tired he really didn't mind. Not moving for the next day or so suddenly seemed like a damn fine idea.
"We burned all the tapes we tracked down," Sam said quietly, "but who knows how many are really out there?"
Rufus snorted. He idly picked at the label on the whiskey bottle. "We don't know. Can't know."
"And you're okay with that?"
Rufus shrugged. "Have to be. It's the gift that keeps on giving. People will keep playing those videos, the ones we couldn't find. Hell, I'm surprised the damn thing hasn't made it to You Tube yet."
Bobby groaned tiredly. "Don't give those fools any ideas."
That made Rufus laugh. "Give 'em time. It'll happen. They'll make copies too. And this thing will just keep rolling along. That's worst case scenario, junior." He raised his shot glass and favored the others with a thin, bitter smile before he drank. " 'course, we might get lucky, but I doubt it."
"So she goes from being a vengeful spirit to a tulpa," Sam muttered. He stared down at the jelly jar in his hand and gulped his Jack down.
Dean sighed. "You can't fix stupid, Sammy. And I got absolute faith in stupid civilians to screw up absolutely."
"So, uh," Sam said slowly. "What do we do now?"
"Now?" Bobby quirked an eyebrow at him. "We rest up. We go on to the next job, the next town. If this thing's mutated, we come back. That's all we can do."
Sam's bitchface came out in full force then. "Bobby, that's not good enough---"
"Sam," Bobby said flatly, "it'll have to be. For now."
They sent me away.
Like Daddy did.
But they don't know.
I came back.
I want to hurt people, so I do.
And I'm sorry.
It won't stop.