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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1005729-A-Dane-Disguise
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by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2183311
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#1005729 added March 3, 2021 at 12:02pm
Restrictions: None
A Dane Disguise
Previously: "Old Clothes for New Looks

"Yeah, I wanna do something," you assure Spencer. "But if we get caught—"

"We're not gonna get caught," Spencer sneers.

"But what if we do? Look, I'm totally up for doing something with these, uh—" You point to your face, which is now Adrian Semple's, just as Spencer's face is Justin Roth's. "But I wanna plan it better. You know?" You hate the quaver in your voice. "Like, make plans for when we know these guys aren't gonna—"

"What a fucking pussy you are." Spencer's eyes glint with contempt.

But then his expression turns thoughtful.

"Eh, maybe you're right," he says. "We don't have to rush into anything." He gives you a sharp look. "Tomorrow after school," he says. "If I find out what Justin and Adrian are gonna be doin'—"

"I'd be all in for something then!"

But then you remember Caleb, and his plans for getting into Mr. Walberg's desk. "Oh, but—"

"What?" Spencer snaps.

"I'm supposed to help a friend out tomorrow after school."

"Shit."

"I was supposed to help him out today, but it didn't work out. It's how come I was late. It's also what I was looking for you for, at school." Spencer looks curious, so you continue. "We need to break into a teacher's desk."

His eyebrows go up. "Oh yeah, you said something about— What for?"

"It's Mr. Walberg. Our class is putting together a time capsule, and my friend Caleb changed his mind about what he wants to put in."

"Uh huh?"

"So we need to break into his desk and swap out things. Take out the thing that Caleb gave him and put in the new thing."

Spencer stares at you. Then he leans forward and says, "Why can't he just ask your teacher if he can change the things out? Why does he have to break into— Oh, fuck it," he says when you just stare back.

Because it's a pretty good question, now that you think about it. Why can't Caleb just bring Mr. Walberg a new thumb drive, and tell him he wants to put that one in and take the old thumb drive back?

* * * * *

"Because, you dumb piece of shit," Caleb says, his voice honking out of the phone, "I don't want him thinking there's anything funky about the original thumb drive! I don't want him saying, 'Well, lemme just look at that first thumb drive, see if I like better what you put onto it."

You try reasoning with him, but Caleb mulishly refuses to give in. After you hang up, you explain all this to Spencer, who is driving you back to the school.

You had to take Semple's mask off before calling Caleb—and you managed it one-handed, so you know it can be done—and while you were unconscious, Spencer drove back to his house. He arrived there, ran in to get what he wanted, and came back out, while you were unconscious. ("Twelve minutes, more or less exactly," he answers when you ask how long you were out.) He is still in Justin Roth's mask, and he doesn't explain how he got in and out of his house under an alias. You figure Roth just must be that good of a friend of his.

You explain Caleb's reasoning to Spencer, but he doesn't seem that interested. Not until you explain why you wanted his help with the heist does he perk up.

"Right, Dane and his detention," he says. Then he laughs. "Oh, fuck! I know exactly how to help you cocksuckers out!"

He doesn't explain, though, just jerks the car onto a new course and goes racing up to the north end of town. "Put Adrian's mask back on," he tells you. "Don't worry, we ain't gonna run into him or Justin."

Spencer shakes you awake a little while later, and you find you've come to rest in a run-down trailer park, where mobile homes sag on weedy lots behind crooked chain-link fences. "Come on," Spencer says, and gets out. A slavering Doberman barks at you from behind the fence next door, but Spencer snorts when you flinch from it. "If he wanted to get at us, he could clear that fence no problem," he tells you. "He's just telling us to keep to our side." You mount a sagging set of wooden stairs, and Spencer knocks at the door. You have to wait at least one full minute, and Spencer knocks a couple of more times, before it opens.

"Ay! Justin!" Dane Matthias's eyes pop when he sees Adrian Semple and Justin Roth (so he supposes) standing on the steps. "Adrian, my man!" He steps back to let you in, then takes each of you, in turn, in a soft, lingering embrace that leaves you feeling very weird. "I was just, uh—" Dane glances over his shoulder into a small kitchen. It is piled deep in dirty dishes, and there's a pot boiling on the stove. "Shit." Dane hugs Spencer again, even longer this time. "So glad you showed up," he murmurs into the crook of his friend's neck.

"Jesus, man," Spencer says after pushing Dane away. "How many blunts you had?"

"Huh? I dunno. Can you help me out here?" Dane treads carefully into the kitchen, as though the floor is booby-trapped. "I put the water on. But—" He stares down into the pot.

Spencer joins him, and together they stare into the pot for what seems the longest time. There's no room for you to join them, so you glance around the place.

It's brown. Very brown. A brown shag-rug carpet, and brown, smelly furniture, including a sofa that looks like a dead bear. The floor and furniture are covered in magazines, loose sheets of newspaper, and dirty dishes. You're no neat-freak, but you have to fight the urge to start moving dishes into the kitchen.

The other two start talking, and Spencer searches the cabinets. He finds a box of spaghetti, which he pours into the pot. From the refrigerator he takes a jar of sauce, which he pours into a bowl and puts in the microwave. Then joins you in the living room.

"Dude's baked out of his skull," he mutters at you. "He put some water on to boil, and I think he'd been standing there, like, thirty minutes, staring at it, before we came knocking. Fuck, this'll make it easy."

"Make what easy?" But Spencer just winks at you and trudges back outside. You look over at Dane, but his attention has been caught by the boiling pot again, and he stands there with his back to you.

Dane Matthias is not a bad-looking kid. He's got a paunch, but he's otherwise pretty well built, and he's got a handsome face with regular features. But his coppery blonde hair is a bird's nest of tangles, and he sports an eternal five-day growth of beard. He wears pajama bottoms to school, and dirty t-shirts, which he covers with a dusty sports coat. But he's now cast off the sports coat and the pajama bottoms both, and stands over the stove in nothing but a tank top, boxer shorts, and fuzzy slippers.

Spencer has his book bag when he returns. He gives you a steady look, points into the bag, then points back at Dane. You look in the bag. There's three more masks wedged inside it. You look up at Spencer, and cock an inquiring eyebrow. He answers by point at you.

"Hey, Dane!" Spencer shouts. "Adrian's got something he wants to show you. Dane! Jesus, man," he mutters as he trudges in to join Matthias at the stove again. "I'll take over here." He lays hands on Dane's shoulders and wrenches him away from the stove; Matthias turns a blank face onto him. "Go talk to Adrian," Spencer orders him with exaggerated patience.

Dane stares vacantly at you. Then he seems to see you, and a wide grin breaks across his face. It's a nice grin—a wide, relaxing, cheerful thing—and Dane follows behind as it pulls him toward you.

"Ay, Semple Simon!" he croaks, and puts his arms out for another hug. You steel yourself and take him you your arms. He snuffles in your ear, but doesn't resist as you wrench him into the living room proper, and push him backward onto the sofa. He giggles as he bounces, then melts back into the cushions. "Man, it's so great seeing you again," he says, and his eyes wet like he's going to cry.

"It's great seeing you too," you tell him. "I got something to show you." You yank one of the masks out of Spencer's bag. You glance at Spencer, who is watching from the stove. He mimes putting something onto his face. "This is really cool," you tell Dane. "Just relax, and—"

Actually, there's no point in telling Dane to relax. He is smiling up dreamily as you bend over him, and not a muscle in his face twitches as you cover his face with the mask. Gently you push it onto him—

And you have to stifle a scream when it vanishes. It's like his face is wet putty, and you've pushed it into him. You catch your breath and clutch at your chest, where your heart is trying to burst out through the breastbone. But Dane just goes on dreamily staring back at you, and when you wave your hand in front of his face, he doesn't react, unless his gaze goes even more vacant.

Spencer has an armful of clothes when he joins you a few minutes later, and he dumps them into Dane's lap: pajama bottoms, t-shirt, boxers, and ratty sneakers.

"So, there's a full-body Dane Matthias disguise for you once the mask is done," he says. "I'll get him off campus end of the day tomorrow, then you go in and take detention for him." He winks at you. "Then you can get into your teacher's desk and get Jojo's dingus out for him."

That's all for now.

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