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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1015138
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#1015138 added August 5, 2021 at 1:16pm
Restrictions: None
The Cho-sen One
Previously: "Teachers and Students

"Hang on a minute." You hesitate as you open your backpack and pull out the masks you brought with you. "Get in with me."

Sydney gives you a funny look, but goes around to climb into the truck with you.

"I had a dream last night." You tell her of the fantasy that awakened you: You as Ms. Cho, clutching the meditation wand. "Do you think it means anything?"

"It means something if you want it to," Sydney replies in a very diplomatic tone.

"What does that mean?"

She hesitates.

"Dreams are just dreams," she says. "Sometimes. But if you think they mean something, then I think maybe they do."

You raise your eyebrows. "Is that something you read in the Baphomet manual?"

You meant it sarcastically, but she nods.

"Brothers often have dreams," she says, "and my dad's notes say that you have to be careful when interpreting them. Sometimes they mean something, but sometimes they're just, you know, garbage that your brain is spewing out. You have to ask yourself," she concludes in a very earnest voice, "if it feels like it means something." She gives you a direct, steady look. "Do you think it does?"

You have to shrug. On the one hand, dreaming about a hot Asian teacher is about par for the course for you. On the other hand, you were dreaming that you were her, on the night before you and Sydney are supposed to hijack a couple of new bodies—including hers—for yourselves.

Still, you're on the point of shaking your head—No, it was just a lot of garbage—when you remember the wand that you were holding.

"I think," you stammer, "I think it—" You can't quite bring yourself to utter the words.

Sydney takes your arm in hers and pulls herself close.

"It's okay, Will," she says. "There's nothing funny about it if you think you want to be Ms. Cho. We're going to recruit other brothers, and if you want one of them to be"—she titters—"Ms. Cho, well, there'll be plenty of other brothers for you who, uh, won't be her!"

You blush despite yourself, and deflect with the other question that made you hesitate: "What about Mr. Hagerman?"

"What about him?"

"Well, who—?"

"He could be one of your other brothers."

"But then what teacher do we get for you?"

"I don't know, Will." Sydney laughs. "Maybe we get a different teacher instead of Mr. Hagerman for me. Or I don't get a teacher. Or—" She bites down on a smile. "If you get to be Ms. Cho, maybe I can get to be Mr. Hagerman!"

She laughs at the face you make, then lets go of your arm. "I need to get into class," she says, "and you need to scoot before one of Blake's friends sees you. Come back when school is letting out, and text me when you get here. Tell me whose classroom I need to meet you in."

She hops out, but pauses before closing the door. "I'll love you no matter what, Will," she says with a shy, dimpled smile.

Oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God, you think, and have to take in and let out a couple of long, deep breaths before you've collected yourself sufficiently to drive off.

* * * * *

The day started cloudy, then develops into a steady rain. You drive out to a coffee shop, where you hang out with your phone for an hour or so, then drive back out to the old elementary school to work on some more masks and memory strips. It's a tedious and boring day, so empty and drawn out that you actually regret not going in to school. The hours are even more agonizing because you keep anticipating the change to come.

What will it be like to be Ms. Cho? Who is she? Does she have a family? What are they like? Does she have a lover? Will you have to convert her lover (if she has one) into a "brother of Baphomet"? You've no answer to these questions. But the fact that you're asking them, you decide, means that you've settled on Ms. Cho as your alias.

Which leaves ... who? ... for Sydney?

You'll let her pick her own, you decide, the same as she's letting you pick yours. Although, if you had to have a preference— Well, there aren't just that any appetizing choices among the teachers, and you freak yourself out good when you have a sudden picture of Sydney wearing Mr. Walberg's portly body and scowly face. I told you I'd love you no matter what, Mr. Prescott, she barks at you. Now you come over here and show me the same thing! Yikes!

Okay, so you'll let Sydney pick her own. But you'll reserve the right to veto who she picks.

* * * * *

The hours stretch out and the rain continues, and finally you can't stand it anymore. You drive back to school in time to catch your last two periods of the day, though you take them in the library in the form of an extended study hall. So you're on school grounds when Sydney texts you right after the bell has rung: Are you on your way?

Already here,
you reply. Meet you outside ms chos room.

You have to loiter a long time before Sydney appears, during which you watch the crowded hallway (which is very slow in thinning out) for wandering assholes, and peek into the classroom to see what's happening in there. Ms. Cho has some late-visiting students, but they have packed it in and left before Sydney shows up to meet you.

"Are we ready for this?" she asks with a wide smile. "Wait here," she adds while craning her neck to peek into the classroom. "I'll fetch you when we're ready for you."

"What are you going to do?"

"Get close to her. Closer than you probably can without setting off alarm bells." Sydney strides into the classroom.

But she's hardly taken more than two steps in when a dumpy-faced Asian girl in a trucker cap and a backpack the size and heft of a dorm-room refrigerator barges in after her. You peek in, and spot Ms. Cho looking between the two girls with a quizzical smile. Shit, you think, and backpedal into the hallway.

A minute passes, and your heart nearly bursts when Sydney waltzes back out. She smiles, winks, and murmurs Hang loose, Will, before sauntering down the hallway to the water fountain. Another minute passes, and then another, and Sydney steps into the girls' restroom. You're on the point of screaming with frustration when that Asian girl comes barging out and half-runs, half-lopes off toward the front of the school. Your hand darts to your phone, but Sydney is already returning before you can tap a text in to her.

She says nothing to you but goes straight into the classroom. You pace the hallway for the longest minute of your life. Then Sydney appears at the doorway, and beckons you inside with the crook of a finger. You hop over the threshold and Sydney closes the door and snaps off the light. "Help me close the blinds," she says, gesturing at the industrial-grade Venetian blinds that hang over the windows. The room is very dark—light slants in through the cracks in the blind, and through the window in the door—when you're done prepping the room.

But as soon as you set foot inside, you had glanced over to see the teacher, at the front, folded across the top of her desk with her head down.

She doesn't look asleep. She looks dead.

* * * * *

Ms. Cho is dressed in a knee-length grey skirt and a floral-patterned silk top. She wears hose and high-heeled shoes, and her hair is done up in a small bun on the back of her head. She wears a gold choker around her neck, and a thin gold chain around one wrist.

That's what you see when you and Sydney have pulled her out of her chair and laid her on the floor.

Working together, you pull Ms. Cho's clothes off, until she is a thin, naked, gray-skinned thing lying cold and shriveled between you. Her breasts are quite small, and her hips narrow. Her arms and legs are thin. Sydney must have caught your expression, for she says, "It's the light in here, Will."

Then she tells you to take off your own clothes and to lay down next to the teacher. "We hafta hurry, I don't want us getting caught in here," she murmurs.

"Who's gonna be in trouble if they catch us here?" you retort as you hop out of your shoes. "You or the naked guy?"

"I am thinking of you, sweetie," she says.

The tile is freezing on your butt and shoulder blades as you lay down. Then Sydney is kneeling next to you. "I'm going to put Ms. Cho's mask straight on you as soon as I get it made," she says . You nod. "See you on the other side, Will." She lowers a second blank mask—the one that will copy you, and which she will transfer onto Ms. Cho—onto your face.

Just like that, with hardly any chance to imagine or anticipate the change to come, all the light in the world winks out, and you know nothing more.

* * * * *

You wake with a hard shiver and a headache. With a small gasp you reach up to nurse your forehead, then lever yourself up. What in the world is going on? you ask yourself.

You're given no time to come up with an answer before you do a double-take at the two figures leering down at you.

One is the girl who came in with a question just as you were packing up your things to go home.

The other is you.

Next: "Win, Place ... Cho!

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1015138