THE RING

“You were warned. You watched the video. You will die.” – In the darkness, Roland sits in the solace of his living room as the words resonate through his mind. It has been a week since he decided to watch the video; 6 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes since he received the call. He tries to tell himself that it was only a stupid urban legend that just happened to be popularized by a movie; a movie for heaven's sake! But telling himself that wasn't enough to shake the unmistakable feeling that something dire was about to happen; a curse that had loomed over him for days now.

The last three seconds ticked away on his watch, and then it came. The sudden appearance of static on the television would normally have startled him if he hadn't already expected it. A flash of static, a ring of light, and there she was. Time was up…

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“Sweet heart, could you please point to the man that attacked you? Don't be afraid.”

She slowly nods her head at the Judge and lifts her finger towards the accused; Roland. A gasp of disapproval fills the courtroom.

With a disheartened sob, she quietly whispers, “I don't know why he attacked me like that. I did nothing to the man.”

“Oh! Oh hell no! That's how it went down to you?! That's how you see it?!” Roland couldn't restrain his outburst.

“Mr. Daines! You have been warned already! One more outburst and I will have just cause to hold you in contempt! But personally, I hope you do, just so I have more reason to throw a dirt bag like you in jail!” With a strike of his gavel, he looks back toward the young girl and urges her on, “So after he struck you in the face and kicked your ribs while you were down on the floor, you mentioned that he repeatedly asked you a question? What was that question?”

“Yes sir, he…” her lip begins to tremble, “he asked me how… how I…”

“You can do it, tell us sweet heart.”

“He asked me 'how I like them apples' ”

Another gasp of disapproval fills the courtroom. Roland shoots up from his seat again, “I was in danger! I said that in the heat of the moment! I don't even know what that means! I saw it in a movie damn it!”

“Mr. Daines, seeing that you are incapable of following orders or maintaining the simple conduct of being a decent human being, you might as well take the stand and tell us yourself why you deserve to be put away.”

Roland quickly takes the seat next to the judge and faces the courtroom pleading, “I don't even know why I have to explain myself again, but like I said, my television turned on by itself, and that little girl came out of the box and attacked me!” he reiterates with urgency, “SHE CAME OUT OF THE FREAKIN TV!”

A shout comes from the back of the audience, “So what!? I once saw a man cut a woman in half!”

Another shout, “You tell him Miguel!”

“Damn straight! And then he put her back together!”

“Tell em' who it was Miguel!”

“Criss Angel son! That ma'facka cray!” At that, the courtroom erupts in wild applause.

It takes at least 7 strikes of the gavel for the Judge to regain order again, “You were saying, she attacked you? Tell us Mr. Daines, how did this young lady attack you?”

Roland hesitates for a second, “Well, she didn't so much attack me as she walked… she walked slowly towards me.”

“She walked towards you, and that prompted you to punch her in the face?”

“Well it sounds bad if you put it that way! But look at her! She has long black hair! It was covering most of her face! And…” he hesitates, “well, she's Japanese.”

Another gasp of disapproval is then followed by Miguel's booming voice over the room, “Aww hells no! That's racist! This a straight up cracka ass cracka!”

“Tell 'em Miguel! Tell it like it is!”

“We didn't land on Plymouth rock! Plymouth rock landed on us!” And at that, another eruption of wild applause overtakes the room.

This time, the Judge allows the frenzy to continue until it naturally dissipates on it's own.

“Mr. Roland Daines, the overwhelming evidence against you finds you guilty of 3 charges of assault. On behalf of the State of Texas, I sentence you to death!”

Nothing about the past 2 weeks seemed real to Roland, yet it was happening. Two guards escorts him by each arm out of the courtroom. As they approach the door, the guards tighten their grip as both the little girl and Roland squeezes through the exit. As Roland comes within ear shot, she says to him, “I told you. I told you that you'd die!” She giggles to herself.

“For the love of… Did anyone hear that!?”

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EPILOGUE

Judge: Actually. Ya, I heard that (the judge is standing right behind the two).

Miguel: I heard that too! (he shouts from across the room)

Little Girl: Uhhh… You all heard that?

Miguel: Bitch, you yelled that shit out loud.

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