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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1015304-A-Test-for-Teacher
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#1015304 added August 9, 2021 at 2:00pm
Restrictions: None
A Test for Teacher
Previously: "Teachers Two

"Will," Mr. Hagerman says. "I don't know anything I think I'm supposed to."

The statement staggers you.

"How long did it take you to start getting Ms. Cho's memories?" he asks.

"Uh ... Almost right away!"

"Well, I'm not getting anything." He looks around with an angry frown. "I don't— Dammit!"

"Sydney, just relax," you urge him. "You know, you just got into it. And I woke you up instead of letting you, you know, wake up on your own. Maybe that messed things up for you."

"Maybe so," he says, but he sounds unconvinced. He looks around with his hand on his hips, then stalks over to grab the rolling chair and move it back behind the desk. He slumps into it.

You give him a few seconds to collect himself, then quietly clear your throat. "Maybe we shouldn't stick around here. In case someone comes looking for you and wants to talk."

He heaves himself up with a sigh, touches the things on his desk, then puts his hands back on his hips. "Trouble is, I don't know what I'm supposed to take home." He blinks. "I don't even know what kind of car I drive!"

"Well, I can help you with that, at least. As for the rest of it— Well, take everything!"

He makes a face, but gathers up every loose piece of paper and notebook he can, and stuffs them into the leather satchel. Together you walk out to the parking lot. Fortunately, no one stops you or calls to you.

* * * * *

Sydney follows you back to Hannah's apartment in Mr. Hagerman's late-model blue Mustang. "Would you like something to drink?" you offer once you're inside.

"I don't know if this guy drinks," she mutters.

"Well, I don't have any alcohol anyway. I meant, water or a soda or—"

"Whatever." She sighs and trudges into the living room while you move into the kitchen. She's sitting on the futon when you join her with a club soda and lime for each of you. She takes it with a grimace.

"You know we had this problem with your friend Caleb's mask," she recalls. "What if these things don't work for me?"

"You're panicking too quickly."

"I'm not panicking at all. I'm just saying, what if—?"

"Don't even say it. You don't want to give yourself a psychological block." You surprise yourself with the diagnosis—it must be something that Hannah would think. "Just relax. Here." You set your drink aside and get up to perch on the back of the futon behind her, straddling her shoulders. "You're probably still tense. Does your head still hurt?"

"A little," she grunts. "What are you—? Oh!"

You tuck her collar back and start kneading the base of her neck. The muscles are very hard and tight, and your fingers haven't the strength to really dig into them. But you work at them the best you can. "Can you take your shirt off?" you ask.

"Do you want to move into the bedroom?"

You gulp. "What?"

"I mean, if you really want to— You don't have to, Will. But I could lay down and you could work on me there, if you're trying to give me a massage. It would probably be easier for you."

"Oh, okay." Still, your heart is fluttering as you and Sydney get up. For the first time, as she strips the shirt off, exposing a bare and muscular torso, you realize just how much taller and stronger she is than you.

She keeps the jeans on, though, as she lays face down on the bed. You go to work on her, pushing your fingers and then your knuckles up and down Michael Hagerman's strong back, and digging them into his beefy shoulders. His skin is warm beneath your touch. Sydney groans to start with, but she soon falls quiet as you loosen her new muscles up.

After twenty minutes, she mumbles that she feels a lot better, and turns over onto her back. Shirtless, with his strong features and wavy hair, the shirtless Michael Hagerman in his rugged Levis looks like he's posing for the cover of a romance novel. His lips twitch as he returns your stare with an amused one of his own. "We probably look like quite a couple," he says.

You have a sudden picture of yourself putting your lips to his, then pulling his mouth into yours. You push the image aside with a question: "Are you feeling better?"

"A lot better. Practically human." He sits up and stretches. "Thanks."


He sighs. "Not a one."

You also sigh, and get off the bed. "Well, I can think one way of testing it," you say as you undo the belt that cinches your dress to your waist.

His eyes widen. "Wait. Are you serious?"

"I'm going to take off Hannah's mask," you retort, "and put Michael's on. We'll see what happens then.

* * * * *

The mask will put you under Sydney's control, for you sealed it up with the pedisequos paste, but you're willing to hazard the experiment anyway. After disrobing, you lay onto the bed and let Sydney pull Hannah's mask off you. When you wake, you find Sydney back in her own face, passed out beside you. She is a little groggy after you wake her, but she wastes no time reaching for Mr. Hagerman's mask and dropping it onto you. You just have time to regret not getting to spend time with her in your own skins before the world goes dar,

* * * * *

All of the afternoon and most of the evening has passed when you wake again, naked, back in Hannah's face and skin. It is dark outside.

"I tested everything out," Sydney reports. "I put Mr. Hagerman's mask onto you, and he was himself when he woke up. Except under my control, of course. And he acted just like himself. Answered all my questions. He was a little ticked off, though. Then I put on Ms. Cho's mask and—"

"And found out that you didn't have any of her memories," you finish for her, for it all comes back to you, what happened when she put on Hannah's mask. You remember the questions she put to the fake Mr. Hagerman, and the questions that she had him to put to her: Questions about Ms. Cho's teaching schedule, and about the school and the English department. Questions that she couldn't answer. You also remember her puzzled explorations of the apartment. You remember her sitting on the futon, watching TV as she waited for the memories to come. But they never did.

The only thing you don't feel is the vexation she must have felt at the mask not working.

So that's a puzzle: Hannah Cho's mask works for you, but not for her. And Mr. Hagerman's mask has his memories and personality inside it, because the pedisequos worked perfectly. It—you under the mask—took her to its house, where it feed and walked his dog while she wracked her brains for some of Hannah's memories.

Only one thing puzzles you: "Didn't you put any of that stuff inside Hannah's mask? The way we put it into Mr. Hagerman's?"

"No. I didn't want to waste time yesterday. Besides, I still wasn't sure that you wanted to keep Ms. Cho for yourself. I thought you might change your mind, want to give her mask to me." She looks at you closely. "Do you?"

You ponder. "No, I'm fine with her. If you're fine with Mr. Hagerman."

"I'm not fine with either of them," she grouses. "They don't work for me."

"Maybe if you sleep on it," you tell her. It's the only suggestion you've got. She sighs, then gets up and pads into the bedroom. When you look in on her a few moments later, you find Michael Hagerman, stark naked, passed out on your bed.

* * * * *

At least you both learned from the pedisequos that he doesn't have someone waiting at home for him, and you also have an address for him. Sydney goes back to his place. "I'll text my other self," she moodily declares on her way out, "and tell her to meet me at his place early tomorrow morning so I can switch back. At least we'll be able to order him around if I wind up putting this mask on him." But she is clearly vexed at not being to disguise herself, the way you can.

So that's where things stood when you parted Tuesday night. Early the next morning, though you're woken by a phone call. "Hey," a gruff and manly voice says. "Guess who I woke up with this morning?"

You have to check the number on the screen, even though the voice is familiar from yesterday. "I thought you only had a dog over there, Sydney," you sigh.

She laughs. "It too. But I woke up with Michael Hagerman. All of him."

You sit up. "What do you mean?"

"I mean he came to me last night. While I was sleeping. I woke up with his memories, Will!
And with his wood. Nngh!"

"You think you can be him at school today?" you ask in a squeak.

"Oh yeah, no problem. I just wanted to call to let you know where you could find me. That I was going to be, you know, him."

Well, that's a relief. You ask if he wants to meet for breakfast someplace.

"That would be out of character," he reminds you. "But I definitely want to get together with you this evening. Either at your place or at mine."

"For what?" you ask with your heart in your throat.

"What do you think? But I need to get ready, Hannah, I give myself a session on the elliptical every morning. See you at the school."

That's not the last thing he says before hanging up, though. The last thing he says is far more jarring, and it gives you quite a turn:

Hail Baphomet.

Next: "Breaking Bodies

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