Hello everyone. I am WingzemonX, and it is my first attempt to translate one of my stories into English. So, give me some patience in that area. I know that everything will be full of errors and strange sentences, but I will try to do better with time. If someone prefers, you can always read the original Spanish version.
The story you are about to read is maybe the most ambitious Multicrossovers I've ever done, for the number of movies and series it's going to involve. I can't tell you right now all since maybe it would bring some Spoilers, but as they appear in the story, I will point and explain about in the Author's Notes. However, how you can intuit by the summary (and the title), at least three movies are involved: Matilda, the film from 1996; The Ring, 2002 film; and The Shining, 1980 film. But I assure you these won't be the only ones; there will be several more that will be intertwined.
For the most part, I think it can be read without any problem, and without having seen any of the films or series involved, as if it were an entirely independent story (or at least that is why I have tried to do). Of course, there will be many winks and references to the original material, which only those who have seen it will be able to understand. But you know, if you have any doubts, you can ask me anything freely.
There is one more thing I want to say before begin with Chapter 01. Several of the characters that will be the protagonists, in their original material we knew them as children, twelve or ten years old, or even much younger than that. However, some of these children here would be presented as adults, twenty years older than the last time we saw them, or even many more. In the same way, their physical descriptions will be, obviously, different, but so will their personalities. We will agree that everyone is different from thirty to six, or even sixteen to five. Therefore, their personalities in this story would be something like my interpretation of how they could be grown up, also considering the direction and role they will have here. It is to warn you, and not feel I am using Out of Character or something similar.
Without further ado, I leave you with the first chapter. I remain attentive to your comments and opinions.
— — — —
Shining among Darkness
It was not the first time Dr. Matilda Honey visited the wet and cold Oregon. The first one was during her high school years, to attend a congress of young readers in Portland. At that time, she was a small dwarf of thirteen, or perhaps twelve, walking between a sea of fifteen and sixteen years old giants. However, although her work had led her to tour different parts of the country in the past, it rarely took her to the West Coast since she settled in Boston. The times when she went to those time zones, were used to be at holidays, when she took a plane to go from end to end, from Massachusetts to California, where her mother lived —in fact, adoptive mother.
She was considering taking advantage of this trip and down from that wet and cloudy spot, towards the warm and sunny Arcadia, to spend a few days with her mother, in the same old, but remodeled, white house from the beginning of the past century. Of course, that would be once she had a place in the affair that had brought her there at first.
She rented a car at Portland Airport, and drove almost 50 miles to the southwest, direct to Salem. The rain caught her halfway down the I-5, and that slowed her progress a bit. She was not a complete fan of driving on the wet pavement, especially on the highway. She arrived at the Grand Hotel in Salem a little after eighteen and a half, but only to register and leave his suitcase in room, and minutes later was back on the road.
After flying seven hours, plus the car trip that added an extra hour, anyone would only want to lie in bed to rest and leave any theme to solve for the next day. But Matilda Honey wasn't anyone. She had a date at seven o'clock, and planned to attend without fail; not for nothing had scheduled it that way, calculating the time that would take all the trip.
Take advantage of every second; a very adult mentality, which she did not take long to assimilate while growing up. Get high grades and skip years, to the point of finishing her postgraduate in Yale at age twenty-two, had not done so lying in bed and resting, for sure.
Her final destination was the community of Eola, which was about six miles from Salem, on Route 22. It was one of those points on the map that many would describe as in the middle of nowhere constituted for only a few houses and few shops. The highlight of that site was undoubtedly the Psychiatric Hospital, built in times when people wanted to have their mental as far away as possible. Although that, it had not changed much.
She called there to notify she was on the way, but it took her longer to communicate with the person she was going to meet than arrives at the place. She parked in the narrow parking lot in front of the three-story white building. Its facade already needed a remodeling, after years of erosion almost guaranteed by the constant rains.
The water did not fall so hard when she got out of the car but was enough to have to cross the small stretch between it and the entrance door covered with her sky-blue umbrella, with white clouds print. It definitely did not make her look very professional, but it had been a gift from one of her children, and that was enough.
From time to time, she found herself thinking in that expression, and sometimes even using it when she spoke. The right thing would be to tell them her patients; her children was a term more used by her mother to refer to her students. But both cases were not the same.
She entered through the front door, not without first draining the umbrella to wet as little as possible the floor. Then, she walked down a long corridor with chairs at the sides and the most cliché: a flickering fluorescent lamp on the ceiling. In the end, there was a small reception module, where a skinny young girl with blond hair, in a green nurse suit, was watching her cell phone with interest. She had it hidden, behind the small bar that separated her from the visitors, but it was apparent because of her eyes and movements.
The hallway was all alone, and the sound of her low heels against the shiny polyurethane floor resounded with a clear echo. Matilda stood front the young lady at reception, and she barely raised her face enough to look at her. Despite the makeup she wore, more than one would expect in a nurse on duty, her tired expression, dark eye bags, and slightly reddish eyes, were not completely disguised.
"Good evening," Matilda said in a neutral tone, but cordial enough. "I am Dr. Matilda Honey of Eleven Foundation. Dr. Scott is waiting for me. We have a date at seven o'clock."
The nurse did not even mutate. He lowered his gaze, again only the necessary, to the screen of his hidden cell phone.
"There are still fifteen minutes left," she informed her as if it were the most obvious, but elusive, revelation in the world.
Matilda took a deep breath.
"I know, it was a bit early." That statement depended heavily on whom you asked because in her original plan she was supposed to arrive at the hotel with enough time to take a bath and rest even for an hour. "Could you check if he could receive me right now?"
She paused for a moment as if the answer to that question were difficult for her to process. Matilda wondered if that lethargy was due to stress, lack of sleep, or perhaps to the effect of some improper substance; she hoped it was not the last one. In the end, the nurse reached for her desk phone, and pressed the receiver between her shoulder and left ear. Her hands were flipping through a small brown notebook on her work area, searching the extension number, maybe.
"Wait a minute, please. The doctor will be here soon."
Her tone didn't convey much confidence, but Matilda obeyed and sat down on one of the chairs in the hallway. She placed her briefcase on the floor at her feet, and her handbag in the next chair, and waited.
She waited more than she thought.
The fifteen minutes that separated her from the agreed time passed relatively fast. The following, no so much anymore. Every time she turned to see the blonde nurse, she had her eyes on her cell and showed no interest in the time she's already been sitting there.
Matilda decided that it was an excellent opportunity to check her cell too: an iPhone 7, a Christmas gift from her mother, which she had not told her the price, but Matilda was sure that it was excessive. Although her eagerness to learn and learn made her enthusiastically embrace the computer boom and the arrival of the internet when she was still young, it seemed that the generation gap was finally reached her, with this so-called smartphones. Even so, she was the first to accept her usefulness in matters of communication, and to be alert to her patients and her mother.
She checked a couple of new e-mails that had come while she was flying, none important, and about three hundred messages from WhatsApp and Messenger; the majority, equally not very relevant. The most important was a message from Jane Wheeler, head of the foundation she represented on that trip so you could say she was somehow her boss; although in reality, she was much more than that. The message just asked her how she was and how the trip had been. Matilda replied everything had been excellent and was waiting for them to let her get in. The reply was sent but not read at that time. It did not surprise her; it must have been past ten o'clock in Indiana, and it was Monday. They had agreed to speak on Wednesday, so for the moment she only had to inform her that had arrived safely.
Once she finished checking all her messages, there was still no sign of movement. The wait lasted until twenty past seven. She was about to stand up and ask the young lady for explanations, when a few quiet steps from the left aisle, which likewise reached the reception area, were present in the sepulchral silence.
A tall man in a white coat appeared on the other side of the corner, and he went to the nurse for a few seconds, who quickly used her irritated to point in Matilda's direction. The man with broad shoulders, a square head, and short black hair turned to look at her curiously through his large round, thick-framed glasses. To Matilda, his appearance seemed curious; it was as if he intentionally wanted to show himself as a sitcom character from the eighties, those who from time to time repeated on television, late at night.
The man approached her, sketching the one Matilda thought was the most genuine smile he could make at that moment, but it was patently false.
"Miss Honey?" He asked in a jovial tone, standing beside her and thrusting his hands into the pockets of his coat. Matilda had already risen from her chair, and at that moment she placed her bag on her shoulder.
"Doctor" she corrected him, more sharply than she had originally intended; perhaps the annoyance of the long wait had influenced. "Dr. Honey, please."
The man, who by the hanging tag of his right pocket knew that was indeed Dr. John Scott, looked her up and down after this clarification.
"Of course," he said slowly, more like an involuntary gesture than a real comment. "You are much younger than I expected."
"People tell me that often."
And they did it, really.
Dr. Scott cleared his throat a little and then turned in the direction he was coming.
"Well, this way, please."
He started to walk, and she followed him. Their footsteps echoed in the silent hallway.
"Everything is almost ready," Scott informed quietly, "and the subject has been informed you will talk to her. She seemed to be... moderately interested in it."
Matilda did not externalize anything visible or audible, but the way he had pronounced the subject had annoyed her considerably. When a person went from being a patient to being a subject, it is a sign that something is not right.
"I hope you have been able to review all the information we gave you about the case, and it has been useful to prepare you."
"I got all the information I need at the moment," Matilda answered without any trouble, "including the data that you deliberately omitted or decided to ignore in the reports you sent us."
These words took John Scott by surprise, and stopped him dead in his place; Matilda advanced a few more steps, before realizing it and stopping as well.
"Excuse me?" exclaimed John, incredulously, which provoked a smile of slight satisfaction on the lips of the Californian girl.
"I excuse you," she answered calmly, just before turning back to the path they followed and continuing the advance. She seemed to want to imply she knew exactly where to go. Dr. Scott followed her, a few steps behind. "I need the first sessions to be private, only the girl and me. Without a third person, without cameras, without microphones, and without people looking at the other side of the mirror."
"I don't think so."
"It was not a request."
That was maybe enough to test the tolerance of the good doctor, because at that moment he came forward and stood right in front of her, cutting off the path. Just until then Matilda becomes aware of how tall that man was in comparison to her; at most, she reached the middle of his chest, and he was a little stooped toward her as if he wanted to intimidate her that way. His face, moreover, had let go of any trace of false or true hospitality he had had until a few moments ago.
John Scott took a deep breath, adjusted his glasses with his thick hands, and then began to speak with the utmost tranquility that his very obvious annoyance allowed.
"Let's make it very clear, Doctor." Sarcasm was strongly attached to that last word. "This girl is my patient, and this is my research. If I agreed to let you see her, it was just for mere courtesy. But whatever you get from your talk, you must share it with my team and me." Then he pressed his breast with the right thumb of his hand; Matilda thought for a moment in the big and hairy fingers of some primate. "Are we clear?"
"Like the crystal," she answered with complete calm. Even so, it seemed that the answer had been enough for him because he was quickly ready to turn his back and keep walking. However, Matilda's voice, no longer as quiet as it had been at first, made him stay at only intentions. "But now let me make something clearer."
She stepped fearlessly toward him, facing him without hesitation.
"I am not here to support your research, neither you nor your team. I am here at the direct request of Mr. Morgan, and my sole purpose is to help this girl, whom, from what I had seen, you have endeavored to treat like a laboratory rat during her stay here. And I don't know who you want to fool, because we both know that this supposed 'courtesy' is just because Mr. Morgan warned you to accept our presence here or he would remove the girl from this place. And by the way, we both know that in all this time you have not been able to get something from her with all your... experiments and methods from over thirty years ago, and you want to see if we can make some progress that you don't. So, as a thank you for your openness, and as a professional courtesy, I will provide you with all the information I get and feel is relevant or necessary for your research, but no more. And if I feel for a single moment that the best thing for the girl is to get her out of here, I will not hesitate to convey that feeling to her father."
She paused for a moment. Took a deep breath through her nose, still holding her gaze, and concluded.
"After saying that, I repeat: I need the first sessions to be private; only the girl and me. Are we clear?"
The first visible reaction in John Scott was several stammering, undoubtedly involuntary. Then he cleared his throat tightly and flattened his tie insistently with his large hands.
"All right," he said after a moment. "Let's continue..."
He resumed the march, now with much more hurry. Although he radiated mostly tranquility, a watchful eye would undoubtedly detect that dose of annoyance that had added to its already poor disposition, disguised as a courtesy.
That sure would not make things simpler.
Before following him, Matilda took a few seconds to take a deep breath, and then let the air out in a heavy sigh. Perhaps she had outdone herself a little with his defensive attitude, but many times she had had no choice. It was complicated for her at times that people outside the Foundation, or the kind of people used to help, would take her seriously. Her small and slender complexion, accompanied by her face that radiated a much more childish air than she should have at the age twenty-seven, made people, especially grown men considerably older than her, look down at her with disdain. And when that happens, prostrating before them, and even with a little aggressiveness, has been the only measure that works. If not, and if the situation deserved it really, there were always other methods; her first school principal had lived them in own flesh.
When a person is bad, that person has to be taught a lesson, his father had told her many years ago. Perhaps the only real wisdom that man gave her, though she was sure that it was not his intention.
Her guide took her to another long hallway, but it had no way out. On the left side, there were four wooden doors, all with a magnetic card reader mounted on the wall beside it. On the right side, there were four chairs, just like the ones in the reception waiting area; all four were empty.
"Please, wait here a few minutes," Scott said, heading for the last door.
"I thought everything was ready."
"Almost. I think I had said that everything was almost ready."
With that one explanation, Scott put his badge on the reader, and a beep, followed by a click on the door, indicated that it was open. He hurried inside and closed it behind him before Matilda made an attempt to even look on the other side.
She had no choice but to sit down again and wait.
It was not one of her primary abilities, but she had the feeling that wait would not be short.
— — — —
The room to which John Scott had gotten so hastily was narrow and with rectangular form. Left-handed just inside, there was a large window that practically covered the entire wall on that side. Through it, anyone could see the adjoining room, at least three times larger, square, with walls, ceilings, and entirely white floors; a person was sitting in the middle of that other room.
In front of the glass, there were two desks, placed next to each other and on each the monitors of two computers, in addition to their keyboards and mouse devices. In these monitors, the same scene of the room visible by the glass was repeated. In turn, in front of each desk, there was a chair. The one closest to the front door was empty. The other was occupied by another man with glasses and white coat, though dark-haired and, apparently, several years younger than John Scott, but perhaps about ten years older than the woman who waited in the hall.
As soon as he entered, that other doctor turned to him with curiously. The annoyance that Matilda had noticed also seemed to have been quite evident to this other man.
"How did it go, Dr. Scott?" He questioned him without many curtsies. "How is the mysterious genius doctor who comes to solve this complicated puzzle?"
Scott snorted, amused and jaded by the comment. His attention focused on the other room, but more specifically on the person sitting there, his hands on his legs, and his gaze on the floor.
"She barely doubles her age," he pointed out. "And she's a complete diva. In addition to letting her come here and see the subject, she dares to put conditions. As if we were the ones who called her."
The younger doctor smiled.
"Do you think she has experience with cases like this for real?"
"Of course not," Scott said immediately. "This Eleven Foundation, or whatever they call themselves, is just another group of baggers on the backs of people's fears. If they had the experience and knowledge of other subjects like this, do not you think they had already published something about it long ago? Or have they been able to prove it publicly? No one had ever been so close to scientifically proving the existence of real psychic abilities as we do, and I will not let this little girl who plays to be psychiatrist take the credit."
He inhaled deeply and exhaled, trying to calm down.
Scott looked once more time at the person on the other side of the glass; she was still in the same position, not moving at all; barely blinking every few minutes.
"But let's see if we can get anything good out of this. Maybe she'll open up more to someone like this doctor. She has a... warmer air, to put it one way. But not with adults, that's for sure."
The other doctor didn't comment to contradict or reaffirm his remark, and instead, he merely nodded.
"Won't you let her in?"
Scott glanced at the time at the bottom of the nearest monitor and corroborated it with his watch.
"Let her wait a little longer," he added with certain wickedness in his tone.
— — — —
Matilda knew she would have to pay some price for her little outburst if that was the right way to describe it. It was only a few minutes since she met Dr. Scott. But, if she relied on her experience of similar situations in the past and the way he had wanted to make his point clear, she could see that he was the kind of man who did not like a woman, especially one so young, to try to impose on him. No matter how openly many people wanted to present themselves, everyone still had old ideas that governed, even unconsciously, their behavior.
She was accustomed to it, and for the sake of the work she had gone to do, which was what mattered most at the time, she was willing to try to leave things in peace as much as possible, and wait there for the time that the good Dr. John, "I command here", Scott thought it right.
However, she did not think that such a price would be so long. He had her waiting for a little more than half an hour, without giving any small sign of life. She had arrived at the Hospital before seven o'clock, but it was not until a little before eight o'clock that the door through which Dr. Scott had departed opened and he went out again, now apparently with a much better mood.
"Sorry for being late. Now you can pass."
"Sure," was the only thing the young doctor had whispered from her lips. She had many other things in mind that would have liked to share, but preferred to keep them; at least for the moment.
John went to the door next to the one he had just used, and likewise passed his badge on the reader lying on the wall beside him. The door locks swung open, and he pushed it in with one hand, letting the path free.
"I remind you what I told you about privacy, Dr. Scott," Matilda remarked just as she began to move toward the interior of the room. "From what I discovered, I think she can tell me very easily if you're keeping your word or not. True?"
John was slightly startled by these words, which seemed more like a threat. Matilda was aware of it a second after she had said it, but she did not regret it at all.
She would find out later how he would charge her for that.
Once she entered and left barely enough of the door, she heard how it closed tightly behind her, and the locks were put back on. The room she had just entered was square, a little broad, perhaps five meters by five meters. The walls and ceiling were all painted white, and accompanied by the bright white light that hung from the ceiling they made the whole place shine almost unreal as if it comes from some strange dream. On the wall on her right side, there was a large mirror, which was sure to be double-sided. It certainly looked out on the room where John Scott had gone for half an hour to... God only knew what, to make time. Play solitaire, maybe. People play solitaire still?
In front of the mirror, there was a wooden desk, with a chair on one side. There was also a video camera, mounted on a tripod. And right in the middle was what had brought Matilda to that place.
Sitting on a chair, just like the one behind the desk, was a girl, white-faced, very white. Her head was slightly crouched, but she still looked at her, though her left eye was almost covered by her long straight black hair that fell forward on her shoulders. Her eyes were all black, and underneath these were dark eye bags, an obvious result of some days unable to sleep well. She wore a long hospital white gown and black sandals. She was a little older, twelve or no more than thirteen. She had her hands, thin and fragile in appearance, perched on his legs. What she could see from the look on his face, it seemed cold, slightly cold, almost touching the aggressive feel.
The pallor of his face, his dark eye bags, and the moody vibe she carried around her, were signs of fatigue, annoyance, and perhaps bother. And it was not for less considering the place where she was, and not just for that strange room.
Matilda's face and attitude changed utterly at that moment. She went from being in a practically defensive state to take a much calmer and relaxed posture.
"Hello, how are you?" She nodded without hesitation, sketching her first sincere smile that night. "This is not the nicest place to talk, is it? It would have been better to sit in the cafeteria while we ate and drank something. Do you think the same as me?"
In spite of Matilda's natural cheerfulness, she gave no sign of a response. Instead, the girl stayed frozen, barely looking at her or noticing her presence. It didn't surprise her; she prepared herself with the idea that it would not be simple.
Matilda went to the table cautiously; the girl followed her with her gaze, barely moving the neck. Matilda left his briefcase and handbag on the desk and then she turned around it. For a moment it seemed like she would take a seat in the chair but, instead, she took it with his right hand, and without uttering a word she began to drag it for the floor toward the center of the room. The chair screeched hard against the floor, almost as if she was doing it by the way. Only at that moment, Matilda could notice a small signal of reaction at the face of that child, although it was practically a gesture of confusion.
Matilda placed the chair right front the other one.
"Can I sit down?" She asked cheerfully, still smiling.
The little girl looked at her out of the corner of her eye and just shrugged in response. Although it was a response of notorious indifference, she decided to take it as consent and sit down.
She adjusted her long olive-green skirt, crossed her legs, and gazed at the little girl in front of her. As soon as Matilda laid her big and bright blue eyes on that pale and stoic face of her, the girl turned away quickly, somewhat intimidated by the sudden closeness maybe.
"My name is Matilda. What's your name?"
"You already know that miss," the dark-eyed girl suddenly snapped.
Well, that was progress. Matilda was surprised to hear that her voice was much softer and sweeter than her almost threatening appearance might suggest.
"You can call me Matilda simply. And maybe I do, but I'd like you to tell me it yourself. You know, to get to know us better."
The girl looked at her in silence. Though her gaze was still as cold as when she entered the room, Matilda could see how she hesitated between answering her or not. Her fingers, even on their legs, crossed and rubbed together. Nerve sign?
"Samara," she whispered slowly after several seconds of silence. "My name is Samara Morgan..."
END OF CHAPTER 01
—Matilda Honey is based entirely on the respective character of the film Matilda of 1996. Initially, she was only 6 and a half years old, whereas here she would already be between 26 and 27 years. Her original surname was Wormwood, but here it is speculated that she changed it to Honey at some point after being adopted at the end of the events of the film.
—Samara Morgan is almost wholly based on the respective character of the films The Ring of 2002, The Ring 2 of 2005 and Rings of 2017. Samara would be 12 years old here, as she has in the original movie (before her death). For this, I have transferred its history to the present time, since it originally occurred almost forty years ago. This will bring some changes, and some will be specified in later chapters.
—Dr. Scott is a character from The Ring, but since his participation is minimal and we never actually see his appearance, both his appearance and his personality were adapted by me.
—In the 2002 film The Ring, the location of the Eola Psychiatric Hospital is not explicitly specified. Under the context of the film, it could be speculated that Eola County could be some fictional county in Washington State, invented in the movie. Here, however, I have located it in the community of Eola in Oregon, which is a real site. This was to take advantage of the same names, give it a more accurate location, and also this is due to some events planned for later.
Merci pour la lecture!