A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
|Previously: "Study Buddies"
Kendra's parents are watching TV when you get home, and they only look up long enough to greet you.
Which is fine. It's what you want. It means you don't have expend any more mental energy after an exhausting day, and can go upstairs and do what you've been dying to do for the last eight or so hours.
In the private bathroom that is Kendra's own, you peel off all your clothes, and turn to study yourself in the mirror.
It's a lovely sight.
Kendra is black, of Kenyan descent (she is quick to inform anyone if the chance arises) and if her physiognomy is any indication, her ancestors spent most of their time sprinting across the savannas after wild game. She isn't tall, but she gives the impression of being tall, for she is lean and rangy, with a track runner's physique. That's not exactly what you want in a cheerleader, for Kendra's breasts are small and pointed—"Turnip-Chest", she was taunted as a freshman—and her hips are very lean, and she only has curves because her stomach is very flat and hard—but she is lithe and graceful, and is flexible enough to be able to do a series of backflips while keeping at least one hand or foot on the ground at all times. She is very strong, too, in spite of the seeming slimness of her limbs.
Her face—your face, now, that you cradle with a sense of wonder between your slim, tapering hands—is narrow and angular, with high, prominent cheekbones that taper to a strong chin. Your mouth is full and sensual, with pillowy lips; your nose prominent but well-shaped; dark, almond-shaped eyes set wide apart under a sculpted brow. Best of all, in your opinion, is the hair, which falls in tight ringlets past your shoulders. It is dyed an auburn color. Your skin is a creamy milk-chocolate complexion.
After you have given yourself a shivery chill by standing naked in front of the mirror for ten or fifteen minutes, turning and studying yourself from every angle, you turn on the shower, making it as hot as you can, and step in under the water. You didn't ask to acquire this body, and Kendra is no friend of yours, and she was a pain and a pill all afternoon and evening long, so you feel absolutely no shame or embarrassment as you brush the water all over you, and crush a sudsy washcloth to your neck and breasts and stomach. You scrub and rub all over, thrilling to the scrape of rough, wet cloth over tender skin. After washing your arms and legs and ass, you splat a fresh shot of body wash onto the cloth and cover your bush with it. A groan squirts out your throat as you squeeze it and a couple of fingers up inside the slit that is hidden there. You grab the shower nozzle with your free hand and clench your eyes shut as you grind your fingers deeper inside yourself. Fuck me, oh! fuck me! you groan to yourself, and then your breath starts to come in quick, sharp pants as little electric shocks shoot through your thighs and up the small of your back. Oh God, I'm going to cum! you think, I'm going to bring myself up and over the brink because—
You stumble at a sudden and unwelcome memory of Steve Patterson's hair-matted chest beneath you, and of the even sharper memory of his steely cock ramming far deeper and further than you can get your own fingers. Oh, fuck, you gasp as you lose the momentum and stumble. You hang from the shower nozzle by one hand as the undischarged tension dribbles from you. It makes you want to weep, and even after you have washed yourself all over with scalding water for a second time, you are shivering all over when you step from the shower.
Afterward, in your bedroom, you change into a filmy nightgown, shut off your phone, and crawl between snowy sheets under a light comforter. You are asleep almost before you know it.
* * * * *
"See, I told you it would be okay if you just chilled out," you say.
It probably came out more primly than you intended. But that's still no reason for Will to reply by giving you a dirty look.
God, I hope I didn't use to go around looking like that, you think, though it is a rather forlorn hope. The teenage boy hunched on the other side of the tiny, formica-topped table at Salvation Donuts wears a hooded, rabbity expression. No, it's even worse than that. His expression is resentful, offended, and mistrustful. It's the face of a kid who feels he has been wronged and expects to be wronged again, and is too much of a chicken-shit to do anything about it except shoot dark, passive-aggressive looks while malingering on the sidelines, looking for sympathy. No wonder he doesn't have any friends!
You flinch inside at the thought. After all, until yesterday after school, that was your face and body.
And you're pretty sure that's what you went around looking like, because Kendra has told you that she knows exactly how to act and think like you.
How it happened she can't explain, nor can she explain why she couldn't do it yesterday. But it was a much more confident—even insolent—version of the drip you helped out yesterday who came loping into the donut shop five minutes after you arrived. He didn't waste time, and shot over to the counter to get three chocolate donuts while you contented yourself with a very bad and lukewarm cup of coffee.
"Yeah, well, I still don't like it," he mumbles around a mouthful of gooey donut. His glance is sharp, and he throws it all around the donut shop as he eats. "And do you think you can get through my day?"
He makes another face at you, and you feel your own expression tighten. "Well, tell me how it goes at practice this morning. 'Cos knowing my locker combination isn't the same as being able to do a backflip."
"I did one this morning," you inform him, and he stops in mid-chew. "In my bedroom. Just to make sure I could."
"Huh. Well, I guess we'll talk at the end of the day. Are you going to come look for me in Mr. Walberg's room after school?"
"I can do that. What about after that? You think we can swing another 'study session' tonight?"
"Well, to talk."
Before he can answer, you wave him to silence as the bell over the front door chimes hollowly as it opens. You freeze all over, and try willing them into ignoring you, as two of your classmates lope in.
Fat chance of that. Ryan Shuler and Shawn Sax are on the basketball team. Like comets wrenched out of orbit by a passing planet, they swerve hard after entering, and swing over to your table. Each of them drops a guttural "Hey! Kendra!" into your lap.
And you smile up sweetly at them and pretend to pant with pleasure at running into them.
"What're you eatin' donuts for?" Shawn teases. He's black, like you, but dark as ebony, and he dresses like a gangbanger. "Chelsea gonna have words for you if—"
"I'm not eating donuts!" You blush.
Shawn is wearing shades, but you see his head shift toward Will. "Whazzat? You ain't sharin'? W'as wrong wit'chu?"
"Hey, I offered," Will weakly protests. But it's a really bad look for him, because he has goopy chocolate frosting smeared all around his mouth.
"You're going to be late for practice," you chide the boys.
"We're already late," Ryan snorts. He's a fireplug of a guy, shorter than you or any of your friends, but he is packed all over with muscle, and the few times you've seen him play you've noticed he can bounce and jump like he's got coiled steel springs in his legs, and he can nail baskets from far off.
"May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb," Shawn drawls.
"Buy some donuts for Steve and Gordon," you say, "and maybe they won't kill you."
You can see them both bridle at the suggestion that they try bribing the two brutes who run the basketball squad, but you only widen your smile.
"Well, that's a thought," Shawn grumbles. "Or, you know—" He leans over to give you a bloodshot look over the top of his shades. "You could put in a good word for us. With Steve. He's always going on about how much he likes you."
A thrill of horror goes through you as you remember the image—snipped from a dozen or more such encounters between Kendra and Steve—that came to you in the shower last night. But you pretend to be flattered. "Sure," you reply. "But what's in it for me?"
A little speck of saliva shows whitely against the red of Shawn's mouth.
"Oh, I got a thing I could give you, that you would really, really like," he gloats. He gives you a lingering look, then straightens up. "Catch you 'round after practice," he says, and he and Ryan, still staring hungrily at you, back their way across the shop to the counter.
Will's face is almost purple with anger and embarrassment when you turn back to him.
Next: "A Day as Kendra Saunders"