The Three Musketeers

A Short Story

Arslan Ali

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Image by nightwolfdezines on Vecteezy.

When I heard the window open I swiveled around, and Ashley’s green eyes were staring back at me, floating in the ether.

Her face was almost pressed against the screen, lips curled in a playful smile. “Hi, Khal,” she said, even though her voice came muffled from the night outside.

I got up and walked over to the window, opening it, my face now inches from hers. But the screen stayed between us, pixelating her cheekbones.

“Um, hi,” I said, looking at her face, smiling, and moonlit, and beautiful, and split into a thousand little diamonds by the weave of the window screen.

She laughed, “Surprised?”

“Not really,” I reached forward and pressed the lock on the screen between us, dislodging it from the window. I placed it on the ground. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

In one swift motion, she jumped through the window, into my room. That was the same way she had entered into my life: quick, fun, and seamless. “Tomorrow it’s Speak Your Thoughts Day.”

Every Winter, our school took one Saturday afternoon off from classes, and all students, faculty, and staff were required to go to the gym for Speak Your Thoughts Day. Usually, the speakers were small-time celebrities or small-time politicians or small-time academics, the kind of people who would come and speak at a school for the measly three hundred bucks that were our budget.

“And with that…? ”

“C’mon Khal, what’s wrong with you?” She said, going over to my desk and picking up the Latin dictionary. “We’re the Musketeers — anyways, if you don’t move your skinny ass we’re going to be late.”

“Let me guess, it’s for the prank, right?”

“You’re a fugging genius. ”

“I know, ” I said, grabbing Harold’s keys. By the way, if you’re wondering, I’m the type of guy who names his car Harold. And Ashley’s the type of girl who curses without technically cursing.

For a moment, she was quiet. Then she grabbed my hand, whispered, “Run run run run run,” and took off, pulling me behind her.

We jogged across the lawn, Ashley still grappling my hand, the night drew shaking off the grass and…

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Arslan Ali

Code artist by the day, writer by the night. Bookworm living in Italy.