In the cover of darkness, guided by the light of a full and vibrant moon, Alexandra zigzagged her way along the paths and swards of the Observatories’ northeastern towers, ducking behind bushes and trees and creeping herself along the walls of buildings, her cloak stark black and weighing on her in the night. She sweated a bit, nervous, eager to get to her destination. When cutting across a blanket of cool grass, her feet swift, she spotted the lantern of the groundskeeper and quick sprang herself into a bed of flowers, tangling herself and suppressing her instinctive ‘Ow!’ with a hard smooshing of her face into the dirt. Her breathing she held, not daring to move, her heart pounding and the cold soil dusting her eyelashes as she cracked a brief look. The lantern was moving away, up towards the gardens, and sensing the moment was now she jumped to her feet, stomping on flowers and foliage and bolting for the East Dormitory, her cloak flapping behind her. Knowing her way exactly, she darted a hard left and puffing, quite out of breath, came to the window of William Barnaby, and, looking about she spotting a thick stick, and with all her expended might tossed it at the open window, it sailing through and hearing a loud whump, thunk and “AH!”, she waited for William to stumble from his bed and come to the window.
When he came, he was not as excited and happy as she thought he’d be.
“For the sake of Aels, WHAT do you want!” William hissed from his window, “It’s not even the crack of dawn can’t you ever just wait!”
He was wearing nothing but his boxers, and, strangely, a hairnet. Alex paused.
“Why are you wearing a hairnet?”
“Because I won’t have time this morning to take a bath and I don’t want my hair to get all messy!” As Alex’s silence persisted, he went on to defend, “It saves minutes! Precious minutes! What are you doing here, Alex?!”
“Come one! I want to show you something—”
“Now?” William hissed.
“Yes, ‘now’!” Alex hissed back. “Put your clothes on and get down here. This, is mon-u-mental. Trust me.”
William’s eyes rolled, clearly not buying it. His arms he crossed over his chest as he whispered skeptically, “Tish. It’s probably just another weird trinket or fossil you found lying about—”
“Get down here!” Alex cried in whisper, stomping her foot. “We gotta act fast! Stop being such a prude!”
“I’m not being a prude! I have a test! And how am I to sneak out of here? Lakeford’s on hall watch tonight—Lakeford! A boy as wide as he is tall I’ll – get – pummeled!”
“Well,” Alex started, thinking, “Well come out the window then!”
“The window?!” William protested, whispering hoarsely “What, shall I make a rope from my bed sheets? Like A CRIMINAL?”
“Shh!” Alex warned, looking around. “Stop getting so worked up. Look, it’s not that far… I’ll catch you.”
“Will, stop being so—” but Alex stopped as William left the window, disappearing into darkness. She hissed for him, worrying that he had at last decided to forget this little adventure and go back to bed, but, soon he emerged again, buttoning his shirt, pants donned and hairnet absentee.
“Alright,” he declared, “I’ll slip out this window and you’ll catch me.”
“What!” Alex spoke in alarm. “William, I was just joking— !”
“Oh? What’s this?” William said, not bothering to even whisper, “Are we going back on our words now? Do you not want me to come down there?”
“No I just want you to—”
“Here I come.” William said matter-o-factly as he swung his legs over the windowsill. And, in utter panic, Alex rushed forward as William slipped out and plummeted like a sack-of-potatoes on top of Alex’s head, the two of them crumbling into a heap, Alex cursing and William chuckling.
“Must. you. be. such a smartass!” she huffed and she tugged and pulled herself from beneath William.
Lying on the ground, pleased, William gazed up at the stars. “Ah. Worth it.” he said to no one in particular. “You should have seen your face. ‘Catch me’ – eehaha!” laughing in his high, squeaky way, he was cut short and heaved to his feet by Alex, who shook him slightly.
“Shhh! Now, come on!” Alex declared, righting all her clothing and whatnot and turning promptly and heading off.
And with Alex leading, the two ducked into the night, their thin shadows making their way towards the forest. The moon bright.