A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
|Previously: "Any Club That Would Have You as a Member"
You grin in sympathy with Sydney. Yes! You know exactly what kind of socially active snobs and sons of bitches they've got in those kinds of clubs! Set them all to worshipping Baphomet? That would be awesome!
You and Sydney excitedly search out the possibilities. There's a lot of overlap between them, you notice, so that infiltrating one would basically mean infiltrating all of them. The only real question is: Which one to start with?
Mentors! The Freshmakers!
"What's the Mentors' Club about?" you ask Sydney.
She rolls her eyes.
"I don't know, Will," she says. "I'm not a member of it. But," she continues, "if it's anything like the kind of club we had back in Kansas, it's a thing for seniors who want to mentor freshmen and sophomores and like that. Like, help out with homework and activities. Life choices." She titters. "You know, we could use them to corrupt the younger kids at school. Is that what you want to do?"
You don't answer right away. And when you do speak, it's to gruffly remark, "We should work on some masks and shit. We'll need 'em, whatever we do."
* * * * *
You're both silent as you polish up two more masks and carve out two more mind bands, which you'll need in order to complete a first impersonation. Not until you're finished with that and are packing it up for the night does Sydney ask if you've decided on who you want to use it on.
"Not yet," you admit. It's stressing you out. You want a new identity now so as to get out of your shit life. But you don't want to lunge into any old life just for the sake of getting away.
Sydney distracts you with a kiss after you've locked up. "Don't make yourself crazy, Will," she murmurs as she drapes her arms around your neck. "It'll work out. And I'll think about it too. I want to do what you want to do, sweetie. But I'll help you out." She kisses you again. "I'll help you out any way I can."
Except she doesn't help you out the way you really want her to help you out, after that hot, luscious kiss. You have to help yourself out the solo way, at home, in the bathroom.
* * * * *
Sydney calls you later, after you've gone to bed. It's a wonderfully intimate feeling, you discover, talking to her in the dark, even if it's through the phone.
"We were talking about the Mentors' Club last thing before we left the school," she says. No, you want to correct her, the last thing is you were kissing me. "That got me thinking— Well, we don't want the Brotherhood scattering after we graduate. You know? The school year's going to end, and everyone's going to go off after that. You and me even, we might not—"
She breaks off, and you feel a lump forming in your throat. We might not what? you wonder.
"Well," she stammers, "that's another thing to do with these, um, impersonations, you know? It's a way we can stay together. You know, even if not as ourselves?"
"Sure." Wow, you think with relief, this sexy girl is willing to give up her sexy self in order to be with me.! It makes you want to go along with whatever idea she's trying to get to, just to show how hard you crush on her.
"Well, that would make the Mentors' Club a perfect vehicle for us," she continues. "Because through it we could make recruits down in the other classes. Then when our, uh, senior selves graduated, we'd still have those, um—"
"Would that be okay?" she asks. "I mean, maybe you don't want to be stuck in high school, but—"
"No, I get what you're saying," you tell her. "Though, um, what happens when those other, uh, people graduate?"
"Well, we just keep recruiting down in the lower classes. A new year, a new crop of freshmen, a new crop of, uh, brothers to recruit."
You blink at the dark ceiling. "So we would stay in high school forever."
That provokes a pause. "I guess we could look at some college students instead. Or young adults, here in town, who won't be moving anywhere. Except— Ohhhh!" she gasps. "The teachers!"
It takes you a moment to realize what she's suggesting.
"The teachers!" she repeats. "We make the Brotherhood out of teachers! Or, we have at least a couple of them in the Brotherhood! The rest are, you know, students! That way we can be adults when we want to do the adult thing, but we can also be—! And the school will be our base!"
"So we don't use the Mentors' Club as a base?" you ask.
"We could still use them," she says. "We could use whoever the faculty advisor is! And a couple of seniors! But the rest of them—! Oh, gosh!" Her breath starts to come in quick gasps. "Let me think about this tonight, Will! We'll talk about it tomorrow, okay? Love you lots!" She hangs up.
Her call has got you all stirred up. Though you were starting to doze when she called, you are awake for another hour with your mind in a whirl.
* * * * *
it's Saturday, but what with one thing and another, it's early afternoon before you can meet Sydney at the old elementary school. She's sipping from a Styrofoam cup as she gets out of her SUV, and she's got a similar sized cup for you. "Kale smoothie for me," she replies when you ask what she's got. "Don't worry, I brought you a chocolate shake."
You don't go down into the basement to talk, though, but sit outside under a tree, even though it's a cool October day, and the sun is skipping in and out from behind some low, heavy clouds.
"I came up with two ideas for us, Will," she says after you're settled down and snuggled up with her nestled inside one of your arms. But she interrupts herself to shoot you an anxious glance. "Did you have some ideas?"
"I want to hear your ideas. You sounded pretty excited last night."
"Well," she continues, though sounding a trifle uncertain, "I was thinking we could still do the Mentors' Club thing. And we'd use it as a vehicle to, you know, like we were talking, stay at the school. But with the faculty advisor, maybe another teacher or two, to balance it out with some, like, adult lives. So we're not stuck as high school students forever, like you were worrying about."
You didn't say anything last night, but maybe she was picking up on an anxiety you feel anyway. You've known nothing but school your entire life, and you always get a little frightened when you think about leaving it behind. So, despite what you hinted to Sydney last night, you wouldn't insist on having some kind of adult identity as a back-up.
But she's still talking: "So, a faculty advisor or two," she says, "plus a couple of seniors to act like mentors, with sophomores and stuff to make up the balance. Then, after the seniors graduate, the juniors brothers move up and become the mentors, and we recruit replacements from the incoming class."
"Or," she says, "we don't have to use the Mentors' Club as the cover. We could just have a couple of recruits in each of the classes. With a couple of teachers, too."
"That's something to talk about," you allow.
"Well," she says after a moment's silence. "Which idea do you like?"
Next: "Teachers and Students"