Jared Rintel is a major protagonist in the Meshalutian Trilogy novella Cursed is the Ground. He is the younger brother of Alison Rintel, and son of Earl and Debbie Rintel. He becomes close friends with Trisha Montoya.
Jared awakes terrified after his dream, which is a post-cognitive vision of the execution of Sanction Harlem. Since his mom Debbie is in the hospital for her heart condition, he is unable to tell her about it. Earl remains fairly clueless and preoccupied with other things. Aly will hear none of it. When their schools cancel due to a wild animal attack on the janitor the evening before leading to his death, the kids are sent to be babysat by Kenny Thrinn's ski lodge. Kenny and coworker Trisha Montoya are the only ones around, since the ski lodge is closed for the season due to lack of snow.
Jared bonds with Trisha almost immediately, and it doesn't take long for them to notice that Meshaluta has had an effect on both of them. However, their talking leads to Ally slipping out the back. They consider whether or not to go after her, but Yenti Roy arrives looking for Trisha. She gets terrified, and immediately flees into the woods with Jared. Roy kills Kenny, then chases after Trisha and Jared. They try to make it to Earl's silver mine for safety, but are unable to. The two of them endure several hardships, as well as Meshaluta's constant assassination attempts on them. However, they do eventually get separated by circumstance just long enough for Roy to capture Jared. He taunts Trisha about what she'll have to do to get Jared back. He then foolishly takes Jared to the cabin of Honeybee Samuel to be held hostage as bait for Trisha. Trisha tries to get help from a local cop, but the cop tries to arrest her instead. When said cop is then attacked by a wild animal, Trisha flees the scene and heads directly for the cabin.
She tries to confront Roy, but Roy shoots her. He begins walking closer to the injured Trisha, scowling at Jared's pleas for him to leave her alone. Honeybee Samuel's ghost manifests in front of all of them, and immediately kills Roy. Sam attempts to kill Trisha next, but she lures him outside into the thunderstorm. A bolt of lightning strikes him, destroying him. Jared gets free of his ropes and drags Trisha to town for medical treatment. Trisha and the Rintel family later all become very close friends, except for Ally. They discover that Ally died at the party she joined after slipping away from Trisha at the ski resort. Jared is being taken to school by Trisha one day, when they see a green lightning formation in the eastern sky that looks like a natural logarithm graph, rather than a traditional bolt. They predict that somewhere in the east will be Meshaluta's last stand.
Jared tends to be melancholy, but very good-natured. Some might interpret his shaking and fear as him being cowardly, but he stands up to Yenti Roy and Honeybee Samuel when required to. From birth, Jared has always had a timid nature. His nature makes him comparable in part to Lenny Hidds. He knows a lot about the Meshalutian curse from his mom, but only really seriously fears its effects after having the dream. He does act bravely when he needs to, but doesn’t stand up fearlessly in the face of adversity the way his cousin Tom was known for. In this respect, he is in many ways antithetical of Tom, just as Ally was antithetical of Mandy. His religious convictions and overall intelligence level aren’t the same as Tom’s either. His alert and timid nature irritates Roy, eventually contributing to Roy’s becoming the unknowing substitute for Trisha.
Jared was always intended to be an opposite of Tom, in keeping with general plans to make the Colorado Rintels a foil to their Louisiana cousins. Since Earl's side was partially Hispanic, it also seemed fitting to portray them as Catholic rather than Baptist, as the Louisiana Rintels were implied to be. Jared was initially going to be a girl, and the follow-up to 90 Has No Secant was going to be a thematic work dubbed Boulders and Windows after the Dozerfleet founder's nickname for the application of Matthew 21:44 to Lutheran teaching on the nature of predestination (as opposed to Calvinist teaching.) However, some of that was addressed by Tri-Sola Poetry author Michael J. Hayes in poems such as "Not My Will."
Therefore, the thematic sequel was dropped in favor of a narrative sequel. The fearful Juanita (named after Juanita Bines) was also seen as being too much of a personality replica of Mandy Rintel. There was some desire to reverse the gender roles. However, Ally went from being brave to being a reckless and mean-spirited brat. Jared's timidity took on a flavor of its own, brought on by straight-up legitimate childhood fear of his surroundings and the evil in them - rather than Mandy's merely being stressed to the point of fear by Hurricane Nekoda warping the very fabric of reality.