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November 24, 2010
“This is boring,” Cassie complained.

“Then what do you suggest we do?” replied Candy.

“I don’t know, let’s just go home.”

“Wait! I just got the best idea.”

“And what would this brilliant idea be?”

“You know that test we have tomorrow?”

“The one in history? Yeah, what about it?”

“We should go get the test answers!”

Cassie bolted upright on the soft grass. “What? Are you insane?” she looked down at her friend, still laying in the grass, undisturbed. Candy looked up at her friend with an annoyed expression.

“No, I am not insane, not any more at least. I just don’t want to study and I know you don’t either. So let’s go get the answers,” she said, like it was completely obvious. She continued after Cassie shook her head in disbelief. “Come on, it’ll be easy. And you know Mr. Harthum is going to put a buttload of trick questions in it. How fun would it be to see his face when we beat his stupid test?” she asked, knowing Cassie would love to see that very sight.

Cassie loved history, and was an overachiever, but Mr. Harthum just didn’t like her. Ever since the beginning of the year, he’d had something against Cassie. She turned in her first assignment early, and he branded her a suck up. Just last week she turned in an essay on Greek mythology that went above and beyond the norm, and he took off points for a few grammar slip ups, causing her grade to go down at least ten points.

“As much as I’d love to see that, and you know I would, that’s breaking and entering as well as theft, cheating, and if I know you as well as I think I do, vandalism. Not gonna happen.”

“You never do anything fun!” Candy said, exasperated. Cassie looked away, nervously twirling her blue and green streaks around her fingers. She did do fun things. Candy didn’t know what she was talking about. Just last week she went out to the movies with her boyfriend and a few other couples. She was to fun.

“Why do you say that?” she still had to ask.

“You’re way too cautious!” Candy exploded. “You don’t do anything that is even remotely exciting!” Candy was breathing hard, like it took a lot of effort to get the words out. There was a long silence.

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Cassie asked, hopping up and turning back to help her friend up. Candy laughed and stretched out her hand, waiting to be pulled off the ground. They ran off into the night, about the biggest mistake of their lives.

“What the hell? You can’t break a window!” Cassie whispered as Candy knelt on the ground, looking for a big enough rock. “What about an alarm?” Cassie mumbled. Candy just scoffed.

“Why do you think I bring a brownie to the night janitor every Friday? He always leaves the alarm off for me.” Cassie nodded, still unsure. She pulled her leather jacket tighter around her body. “Here we go,” Candy muttered.

Before Cassie could ask what she’d found, Candy struck the window hard with the large rock in her hands. “Give me a boost,” she told Cassie as she continued to clear glass out of the window frame. Cassie laced her hands together for her friend to stand on. Candy set her foot in Cassie’s hands and hefted her leg over the sill.

“Oof, leather pants, not a good idea,” she mumbled to herself as she scooted off the sill into the classroom beyond. Turning around, she stretched her hand down for Cassie to grab hold of. Cassie reached up a tentative hand, wishing the ground would just open up and swallow her.

“Okay, we’re in, now what?” Cassie asked, angry at herself for agreeing to this. Candy just laughed and led her out of the classroom and down the hall. They finally came to a stop in front of an office. The plaque on the door said, “Mr. Harthum.” Cassie tried the door handle. Locked.

“See, it’s locked. Can we leave now?” she asked, looking down the hallway uneasily.

“It’s funny that you think that will stop me,” Candy said, pulling a bobby pin out of her hair. A moment later, the lock clicked open. Candy walked into the office, but Cassie held her place in the doorway.

“Hurry up! I’m not getting in trouble for you,” she whispered, slowly making her way into the office as well. Candy just smirked and continued to rifle through the drawers. Cassie opened another, shifting old papers aside only to find a single manilla folder at the bottom of the drawer. The tab on the top said “Cassie Sanders and Candy Jones.” She opened it roughly, hoping to find why Mr. Harthum hated her so much.

Instead, she found papers from the rehabilitation center she and Candy had been in last year. There was another heavy folder inside, detailing all of Candy’s therapy sessions with her psychiatrist, discussing her issues with her disorder. Candy was a schizophrenic, and had been seeing people following her since she was three. She went into screaming rages and started refusing to leave her room, rambling on and on about the evil forces after her. They hadn’t diagnosed her until she was thirteen.

A slightly smaller folder contained all of Cassie sessions with Dr. Carters, her therapist at the center. Cassie had Multiple Personality Disorder, and had been getting into a lot of trouble lately. Her other personality had started taking over her life more and more. Some days she wouldn’t even remember getting out of bed, but come to her senses right before falling into bed. She’d seen several psychiatrists and had been at the center for a year before Candy came.

Why would Mr. Harthum have these files? Cassie was about to show them to Candy, but the look on her face froze the words in her throat. She choked them down and asked a different question. “What is it?” it was barely a whisper, but Candy heard her. She had been staring out the window, but now she turned her attention back to Cassie.

“Someone was staring in the window, looking at me. They had such red eyes. Such red eyes,” she muttered, almost intelligibly. Cassie visibly relaxed, realizing Candy must have forgotten her meds this morning. But then she saw something too, something red and glowing, flash outside the window in the dark night. A scream caught in her throat.

“Come on,” she whispered, trying to keep calm for Candy’s sake. “Let’s get out of here.” Cassie had to grab her arm and pull her away. She seemed to be rooted to the spot. They stumbled frantically down the hallway, looking for the classroom they had entered through.

“Did you hear that?” Candy stuttered. Cassie listened closely and was about to tell her it was nothing, when she heard it too. A scuffling footstep. She screamed and ran, Candy following close behind. They ran until they found a door, streaking out of the school and into the construction area, where the new tennis courts were being built.

Cassie suddenly vanished from view, having tumbled into an old well. Candy stared down at her friend, who was hanging onto the side of the hole with one hand, the other laying limply at her side, broken. Cassie looked up at her, pleading for help. For a moment, Candy looked saddened, but it passed. She flashed a malevolent smile, and stepped down hard on Cassie’s hand with her stelleto boots. Cassie screamed and let go, falling into the deep abyss and landing with a sickening crunch.

Back in Mr. Harthum’s office, a stray cat with glowing red eyes knocked the folder to the ground, revealing Candy’s last page. A doctor had made a small side note, “shows signs of pathological narcissism, meaning the lack of the ability to feel empathy or any emotion at all.”

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