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Bridget's family was never exactly well off, but they managed to get by. For as long as she could remember, Bridget lived in the same old, rugged apartment complex in a small two bedroom apartment with her parents in Tacoma, Washington. She was an only child, which she thought probably made it a lot easier on her mom and dad when shopping day came around every other week.
Behind her apartment was a dirty alley which she had to walk through every day with her neighbor, and her best friend for years now, Candice, who had moved into the apartment above Bridget when they were both five. Every day, on their way home from school they would walk through the alley, which they soon came to call Random Alley because of all of the random items they would find on the floor: old stuffed animals, blankets, hats, even a mattress on one occasion.
Although they weren't exactly rich, Candice and Bridget had a pretty good life, and they always said that they would be friends forever. Everyone said that they were a perfect match: meant to be friends until the end, but in reality, they were complete opposites. Bridget normally had only one thing on her mind, and that was boys. No matter how often Candice told her that she had to get her head out of the clouds and concentrate on her falling grades, Bridget couldn't help it: she was beautiful. All of the guys at school were after her, and they had been since she started middle school. Now, in high school, she had no competition, she could get any guy she wanted. She had grown fairly comfortable with what seemed to Candice to be a weekly ritual. On Monday, she would choose a guy who, at the time, would consider himself the luckiest guy on campus. She would date him until Friday, when she would get sick of him, and then, she would dump him in the most creative way she could think of. Candice on the other hand, had never had a boyfriend in her life. Bridget always said that she thought it was just because Candice never tried, after all, they were in the eleventh grade.
"Surely you could have had a boy friend by now if you wanted to,' Bridget once told her during one of their weekly sleepovers.
Whenever she said something like this however, Candice would just shrug and smile as if it was all just a big joke.
I'm smart, Candice would remind herself whenever Bridget would say something like that. I'm close to the top of the class; it doesn't matter if I have a boyfriend or not.
This week, Bridget's current boyfriend was a junior named Daniel. She had met him through Candice, who had been in the same class as him every year in elementary school. Candice and Daniel had grown to be pretty good friends since kindergarten, and it turned out, that he had had a crush on Bridget since sixth grade.
He was a football player, but he wasn't the standard jock; he was nice to everyone, especially the girls he dated. He had white-blonde hair and clear, blue eyes. For Bridget and Daniel, everything seemed to be going perfectly, but that was before everything went wrong.
It was Thursday night when it happened.
Bridget was on her way to her room to change into her pajamas. Both of her parents were working late as they so often did. She tried to turn on the hall light so that she could see something other than the suffocating darkness coming from her room, but the lightbulb seemed to be dead, because nothing happened when she flipped the switch. She sighed and flet her way along the walls towards her bedroom door, which she always kept closed.
That was the first thing she noticed that raised a red flag: her door was open.
But she wasn't too worried; she figured that she must have just left it open the last time she had gone in there earlier that day. She walked in and tried to turn the light on, but once again, nothing happened.
"What's going on?" she asked angrily, flipping the switch on and off a few times, as if hoping that that would make the light magically come on.
There was a rustle of movement coming from somewhere across the room and she froze.
"Who's there?" She asked, suddenly horrified.
There was more movement and she backed up against the wall.
She heard whoever was hiding in the darkness of her room coming closer to her.
Closer…closer…only a few feet away now…
She squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath.
"Hey, Candice," Daniel called down the hall when he spotted her at school the next day.
Candice turned around and smiled when she saw him. "Hey, Daniel, what's up?"
"Do you know where Bridget is? She said last night when I talked to her on the phone that she had something important to talk to me about."
Candice frowned, knowing what that 'something important' might have been. "Well I don't know, I think she might be sick or something; when I knocked on her door this morning nobody answered."
"Her parents weren't home?"
Candice shook her head; "They get home really late and leave pretty early. But if you want, you can come home with me and we can go to her house and see if she's feeling any better."
Daniel nodded; "Yea, alright, that sounds good."
So after school, Daniel and Candice met at Candice's locker and they made their way off of the campus and towards Random Alley.
"Just a fair warning," Candice said as they approached the alley. "We've found some pretty weird stuff back here."
"That's alright," Daniel said, shrugging. "Nothing can surprise me anymore."
Candice laughed and turned away to hide her expression. He's so cute, she thought as they got closer to the alley. He really is the greatest…I just wish that Bridget hadn't asked him out.
Daniel saw it first, a large figure in the middle of the alley way, about a hundred feet away from where they now stood. "What's that?" He asked.
Candice squinted, trying to get a better look. "I don't know," she said.
They walked cautiously towards the figure. As they got closer, Candice froze. Daniel looked at her and saw that all of the blood had rushed away from her face. Her eyes widened with horror.
Daniel tried to stay calm, more for Candice's sake than out of personal choice.
Laying in the middle of the alley way, was Bridget's dead body.
"Bridget!" Candice breathed. "What…how could this…I don't see…Why?" She sunk down to her knees and grabbed on to Bridget's cold, lifeless hand. "No!" she cried. "No! How could this have happened?"
She moved away some of Bridget's hair out of her face and checked her pulse, but there wasn't one.
"What are we going to do?" She asked Daniel.
Daniel appeared speechless; he didn't know what to say; he couldn't believe that this was actually happening. He pointed to Bridget's body; "There's a note, sticking out from under her jacket."
Candice looked and saw that he was right. She pulled the piece of paper out from where it was pinned to the inside of her jacket and read it three times before showing it to Daniel, who read it out loud, "Burry the body, or you'll be next…" They were both silent for a moment, and then, Daniel said, "We have to call the cops."
"But the note says—" Candice began.
"Candice, who cares what the note says! Don't you get it? Bridget is dead! We've got to call the police and tell them!"
Candice looked back down at Bridget's body and shook her head; "We can't."
"What do you mean we can't? We don't have a choice!"
Candice pointed to a small camera attaché to the coller of Bridget's shirt. "Whoever did this already knows who we are. If we don't do as the note says, we could really be next."
Daniel's face was blank and expressionless. He blinked a couple of times, and then shook his head, sighing. "Alright, let's go."
"How are we going to do it without anyone seeing us?"
"Doesn't this alley lead out to the woods somewhere?" Daniel asked urgently.
Candice nodded; tears were gathering in her eyes as she apparently came to the reality of what was really happening.
Daniel offered her his hand and she took it and pulled herself up. He hugged her, doing his best to comfort her in any way possible.
"Are you alright?" He asked quietly.
"No!" she cried. "No, I'm not alright! My best friend is dead and I have to burry her body!"
"It's going to be alright; we'll get this figured out. Let's just take it one step at a time."
She nodded and wiped away her tears.
"Here, give me a hand, will you?" He asked, taking hold of Bridget's arms.
Candice took her legs and they dragged her down the alley, Candice in the lead, towards the woods that were connected to the alley.
"Wait here," he said once they were in the middle of the woods, completely obscured from view of anyone on the nearest streets from the dense cover of trees that surrounded them. "I'm going to go back to my house and get a shovel; I don't live far from here, and I'll run, so I'll be back in about ten minutes."
Candice nodded; "Please hurry!" she begged.
"I'll go as fast as I can,"
He ran off through the trees, leaving Candice alone in the woods with Bridget's body. She bent down next to Bridget and whispered into her ear, as if she was still alive to hear her, "I'm sorry, Bridget, I really am. I love Daniel, and I couldn't let you hurt him. I had to stop you any way I could, even if that mean hurting you in return. But Daniel never has to know, and soon, he'll be mine. And I'll never hurt him the way you were going to.
"He really liked you, Bridget. He liked you a lot; he has for five years now! And you were just going to dump him like he was just another boy. Well he's not! And now, you'll never get the chance to see that.
When Daniel returned about fifteen minutes later, carrying a shovel, Candice was crying again, still leaning over Bridget's body.
"Are you ready to do this?"
She looked up and nodded.