Disclaimer: I do not own The Hangman's Curse, either the book or the movie, and the characters and story are not mine. I am making no money off of this, I just want to explore parts of the story more in-depth and play with the characters. Also note, all dialogue is as word for word as I could get it from the movie – it is not mine.
Author's note: This is a Hangman's Curse fanfiction, written from the point of view of Ian Snyder. I have read the book and see the movie; as the movie had a more visceral impact on me, I have chosen to use the movie as my basis for this fanfic.
If Ian's thinking seems really off and not rational – remember the situation he's in, and how much pain he's going through. Nobody is going to be thinking clearly then, and they're going to make connections that don't make sense or that aren't there.
I stepped up onto the wooden platform on the stage, my steps as heavy as the rest of me felt. The curse had gone wrong. It had hit Crystal instead of Elisha. The only person who had ever really cared about me, who made my life even the slightest bit worth living, was now on her way to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. Because of me. It was all because of me. I'd made a mistake, I'd let Abel get out of control, and now look what had happened. I needed to stop things. I needed to see Abel.
"Abel, face me!" I spit the words out, angry and despairing. "I need to talk to you!" I felt like bands of iron were wrapping themselves around my chest, squeezing all the breath and life out of me. I gasped. "We have to work this out!"
"No. He's not the one you need!"
I whirled and saw Elijah rounding the corner from the back entrance to the stage. I ignored him, still staring out from the platform, focused on Abel. The markings I'd drawn on my face should help me talk to him, reach him. I had to get him to stop attacking Crystal. She's all I got. "Answer me!" I shouted to Abel.
"Look, you don't know who you're really calling," said Elijah, reaching the front of the platform I was standing on. He glanced up and saw the noose hanging from the ceiling – nobody had intended for these stage props to actually be used, but since they were here they would fit my purpose – and seemed to guess my plan. I glanced down at him as he grabbed the top of the platform, near my foot. I stepped on his hand, forcing him away. "You don't have to do this," said Elijah desperately.
"The curse came back on Crystal," I shouted at him. "I have to get to Abel, make him reverse it." My eyes grew blurry, and I struggled to keep from breaking down in tears. I had to save Crystal. I had to. She was the only good thing left, and she deserved to live, not to die.
"You think a stupid ghost did this, is that what you think?" Elijah grabbed the top of the platform again and started climbing it to get to me. I smashed my foot onto his hand, needing him to get away. I needed to do this. I needed to save Crystal, and to do that I had to talk to Abel. "Is that what you think, that's what you think, you think a stupid ghost did this! That's not what happened!"
He came towards me again. It was too much. I couldn't deal with him too. I clutched my head for a moment, then lashed out at him with my foot, catching him in the chest and sending him sprawling backwards. Elijah needed to stop interfering. He didn't know what was going on. He didn't know that I had caused this, and that only I could stop it.
I grabbed the noose and pulled it over my head, ducking my head to one side to avoid hitting the top of the knot. "Abel Frye!"
"Don't do this, don't," said Elijah, scrambling up and running towards me. He shook his head. He looked as if he maybe genuinely didn't want me to kill myself, but I couldn't let that affect me. I knew that he didn't really care about me, and I knew what I needed to do.
"Take me, please not her, just take me," I yelled to Abel.
Suddenly, the curtains blocking off the stage drew open, and I saw the entire student body sitting in the auditorium. The lump that had been in my stomach ever since Crystal had been hit grew even larger. So this was to be my punishment, was it? My pain, my agony, my anguish was to be revealed to the whole of Baker High so that they could revel in it? They were to see my suicide? I dropped my hands from the noose to my side. It was a fitting punishment for my crimes.
As students caught sight of me, some of them started screaming. They jumped to their feet, yelling.
"Don't do it," said Elijah. He glanced behind himself at the hundreds of students staring at me. "Don't look at them, look at me!"
I couldn't drag my eyes away from the sight of them jumping to their feet, pumping their fists. "Do it, do it!" I heard several people yell. They wanted me to kill myself. They thought I deserved to die. I agreed with them. I raised my hand back to the rough rope around my neck, fingering it as I stared at the people cheering for my death.
"Look at me! Don't do it, you don't have to do this," said Elijah, begging me to stop. I could barely hear him over the roaring of the crowd and the roaring in my ears. I was stunned as I saw the number of people cheering me on. I had known that they hated me, but I didn't know that all of them did. Even some of the teachers were egging me on. Elijah kept talking, but the only thing I knew now was that I was alone. Completely and utterly alone. The only person who had ever cared about me was dying because of me, and before the curse had rebounded on her I had sent Abel after many of our greatest tormentors in the school. Maybe they, my tormentors, were right after all. Maybe I deserved to be bullied because of who I was. Because I was weird, a freak. Because I was me. And now, because I hadn't believed them and because I wanted revenge, Crystal was dying in the hospital. They had been right all along. I was an outsider, a freak, and I should die.
I remembered different things they'd done to make my life – and Crystal's, as well – hell. Shoving me into the wall. Taking my lunch money. In the cafeteria, holding me by the throat, just a hair short of strangulation, and threatening me. Grabbing Crystal and me and pinning us, helpless, as they ran their hands over her and took her phone and smashed it, like the last three cell phones she'd had. Crystal crying, scared of yet another day having to face them as they threatened us, hurt us, and humiliated us constantly.
My resolve strengthened even more. They wanted me to die. I deserved to die. And if I died, I could talk to Abel and get him to stop hurting Crystal. And then, maybe, with me out of the picture Crystal could have a normal life, without me the freak dragging her down.
Some people came onto the stage from behind – they must have been planning on making a speech, which is why the curtain opened when it did, perfectly timed to be part of my punishment – but I ignored them, focused on one thing only.
I closed my eyes, slowly, and let my knees buckle, sending me over the edge of the platform. The noose tightened, cutting off my air, as I dangled helplessly from the end of the rope. My arms swung loosely and the rope bit into my neck, harsh and burning but not hard enough to break my neck. I heard Elijah yell, and then he grabbed my feet, trying to push me back up. Then there was somebody behind me, grabbing me around the waist and shoulders and pulling me up. No. No! They weren't going to let me die. They weren't going to let me make things right.
My jacket slipped down, off my shoulders, leaving me even more exposed and vulnerable to the world as whoever was behind me yanked me up enough that Elijah and somebody else could get my feet onto the side of the platform. The person behind me braced my back, keeping his arms tight around me. I couldn't get out and off the platform again. I staggered, regaining my balance as I was pushed to my feet, and then, slowly, the guy supporting me from behind lowered me onto the side of the platform. I let my eyes flutter open, despairing.
Now the entire school knew that I was so pathetic I couldn't even get my own suicide right. I looked down at the arms of the guy holding me. Black. I knew those hands, knew those arms. I'd seen them day after day as they pinned me under the bleachers as Crystal was tormented or stood behind some of the other, worse, tormentors.
So, what did you think? I was trying to get into Ian's head as best I could – did I succeed? Was I too strong on his emotions, or too weak, or were the emotions I gave him completely off?
I'm not certain if this is going to be a one-shot or if I'm going to write more. Would you like more?