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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1024212
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#1024212 added January 5, 2022 at 9:22am
Restrictions: None
If They Only Had Your Brain
Previously: "A Surprising Start

[Text by rugal.]

"Where'd you disappear off to yesterday?" asks Caleb as the two of you walk towards B-wing and Walberg's class. In your excitement over what had happened in the library yesterday you had completely forgotten to mention any of it to your friend. You hadn't really spoken to him at all, not even to call or text him.

"Sorry," you apologize, "but I got caught up in things and... it's a long story."

"That's too bad because I'm sure it'd cut into our 'jerk each other off before class' time," replies Caleb with typical sarcasm.

"Fine," you say as you stop to loiter around outside of Walberg's room. "So I was heading to third when I saw Horner and Spencer fucking around outside of class; then I saw them go in."

"Then you ran like a wuss?"

You want to counter and argue but in all honesty you can't. "Yeah, I did; so what? I wasn't about to get my ass kicked," you tell him. "Anyway I hung out in the library third and ran into Mike Hollister and a few others and that led to us getting together after school. Kim says hi by the way."

Caleb just eyes you oddly and shakes his head. "I don't even know who you're talking about," he sighs.

"Walsh." You notice a flicker in his eye at that. "She was one of the people in the library; we reconnected." You can't help but feel extremely smug. "We're going out to a movie tomorrow," you say with a broad smile.

"I think Lisa's driven you insane," he replies dismissively. "Kim hasn't hung around us in god knows how long so you really expect me to believe that not only are you talking to her but you've got a date with her too? You've lost it; gone utterly cuckoo."

"Who's cuckoo?"

As if on cue Kim's voice cuts in with a response. She's dressed in her typically modest manner -- sandals, black tights, a longish light-colored floral print skirt, white blouse and a dark blue cardigan to round it out -- and there's a bit of a spring in her step as she comes up. You notice a bit of a glow to her pale skin as she gives you a smile and Caleb a friendly smile. "Hi Caleb," she says with a small wave, "it's been a while."

"Too long," he replies and you note that there's a tinge of bitterness. Caleb's always felt, warranted or no, that Kim didn't just drift away but actively dropped you guys. Not to the point of hating her but it's always been a bit of a sore spot for him.

"I'm kind of surprised to see you," you tell her. "I mean because I figured you'd be busy with, uh, stuff? Student council stuff?"

"We keep all of that until the end of the day," she states.

"And you're here because..."

You glare a little at Caleb. You don't know if he's trying to be rude but he's certainly coming across like that. Though Kim, as usual, seems to either not notice or just ignores it.

"Well, my class is a few rooms down from yours," she states. "That and I just saw you guys and figured I'd say hello." She then turns to you with a friendly expression. "Well, and I wanted to make sure that we're still meeting up today and tomorrow." You thrill a bit when she grabs your hand and gives it a tight squeeze.

"Oh, yeah sure!" you say excitedly before turning to Caleb. "Yeah, we're meeting up with those other people from yesterday too. You didn't have any plans to use the old hideout today did you?"
"Not really," he answers but he does raise a skeptical eyebrow. "Why? What do you've got going on there?"

"Nothing," you answer, "it's just that we needed a spot to hang out so I figured why not? You don't have any issue with that do you?"

Caleb assures you that it's not any of his business and he's fine. Kim then says that she has to get to class but that she'll see you after school if she doesn't see you beforehand while telling Caleb that the three of you should get together some time. Caleb, for his part just turns to you once she's gone and you begin making your way into Walberg's classroom.

"Okay, seriously, what the fuck did I just see?" he asks. "How in the hell did you go from Lisa to Kim?"

"It's my boyish charm?" you reply and laugh as Caleb, in more of a friendly manner, thwaps you in the back of the head as you take your seats.

* * * * *

After school, you all rendezvous at the old school in Acheson. It's some before everyone arrives, for Mike and Philip have to bring in some tools, while Kim and Josie make a supply run. But once everyone is together, you all get quickly to work. You and Josie work on making another mask -- and she and everyone else suitably freak at the loud hissing and fumes and popping of its creation -- while Mike and Fairfax make the object from the next spell. It only takes an hour to complete the mask, but the second object takes hours, so that Kim and Josie have to make a food run to bring back dinner for everyone. It's pitch dark outside, and you've had to fetch a couple of desk lamps from home, before Philip says that he thinks the item done.

The result of all that labor is a small metal band carved all over with runes. According to the book (says Kim), you're supposed to place it on your forehead. Still wanting to show off and having already used that mask on yourself you volunteer to test this out as well.

That still leaves the other mask to be used and Mike initially says he'll do it but instead it's Josie who steps in and offers to try it, saying that she's been kind of a wet blanket about things so far so she wants to show that she's all in with this stuff too. So both of you grab your stuff, you the metal band and her the mask, and take seats next to each other. You give each other quick looks of reassurance, then put on the respective items.

* * * * *

The mask copies Josie successfully and is sealed using some of the leftover sealant from yesterday. The band, meanwhile, shows your name floating in blue letters: William Martin Prescott. It's placed onto the book and the now expected action of being able to turn the page happens. It's a band, it turns out, that copies another's mind much like the the mask copies bodies. The next page is relatively straightforward as well as it's using some of the leftovers to make a sort of glue that will bind the strip to the inside of the mask. That glue is easy to make, the band is placed into your mask and it binds almost instantly. You place the new mask/band onto the book and look at the next spell.

It causes all of you to deflate.

It requires dirt. Lots and lots and lots of dirt; tons from what Kim can translate. However if you can substitute normal dirt with graveyard dirt then you'll need "only" four hundred pounds. Nobody is really sure how to proceed from there because you'd need either a backhoe or you'd have to dig around the cemetery (at night most likely) and neither seems feasible. So instead you focus on what you have. There's one mask of you that has your mind attached to it and one mask of Josie.

"In theory," says Fairfax, "it seems that if someone put on this mask of Will then they'd be able to impersonate him perfectly as they should have both his mind and body. Whereas if someone put on this mask of Josie, then they'd merely look like her but would have none of the mental stuff to go with it."

"So what do we do then?" asks Josie.

"Well, if it's fine with you then I'd like to make another band to put inside your mask," he replies. "With that you and Will could put each other's masks on and we can see how well that lines up with what I said." This causes shock and gasps and murmuring but Fairfax presses on. "In fact, I'd like to see how well this could go. If you don't mind I'd like to see the switch continue into some point tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?!" you exclaim.

"Right. It doesn't have to be all day, you and Josie can work out how long it would be." Fairfax then gets a thoughtful look. "Actually I would prefer if you did that and didn't tell us when or if you switched back until the end of the day. If you switch back partway through and we can't tell, that would prove what these can do."

You're reluctant but you notice a determination from Josie that wasn't there yesterday. "I'm fine with it," she says in a manner that sounds confident but you assume is probably anything but in reality. "If Will wants to switch then..."

"But you'd be fine switching with a guy?" asks Mike in surprise. "Maybe you'd be more comfortable switching with Kim or something."

"I'm," Kim pauses and looks over at you briefly. "Okay, sure. If Josie wants to switch with me instead then I'll do it."

"We already have their masks," Fairfax points out. "We just have to make the band for Josie so it'd be quicker."

"It doesn't matter how quick it is," Kim counters. "It's after eight, and I have to get home. Besides," she adds, "I bought plenty more stuff. We've got more than enough for a third mask and band."

So your company breaks up for the night, agreeing to meet again the next day. You are preoccupied all night with what Philip has proposed.

The idea of switching with somebody else, especially a girl, is a radical thing that Fairfax is proposing yet there's something exciting about it too. Especially if it's a girl like Josie who's pretty and athletic. But you feel nervous too. What if you messed up things for her even with her mind? Maybe letting Kim switch with her instead would be better.

Or maybe you should use Josie's mask for the experiment that you skipped, and put some additional faces into it to see what happens.

Next: "Getting Familiar with the Unfamiliar

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