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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1024213
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#1024213 added January 6, 2022 at 12:09pm
Restrictions: None
Getting Familiar with the Unfamiliar
Previously: "If They Only Had Your Brain

[Text by rugal.]

It's Thursday evening -- the week has gone by fast! -- and your occult study group is meeting again in the basement of the old elementary school. But you had the afternoon all to yourself, and you spent the long hours carving runes into a second metal band, while Josie did things with her soccer friends, Kim took care of student government matters, and Philip and Mike worked on YouTube stuff. But you can tell by the wary expressions on their faces when they join you, that they've been thinking about what comes next.

Fairfax begins by again proposing that two of the group switch places. Before he can make the argument again that it should be you and Josie, you jump in. "I'm up for whatever," you say. "Whoever. The other person should just be up for it too." You find you can't look Josie directly in the face, and you wonder why that is, as you didn't mention her by name.

So you're looking into a dark corner of the basement when Josie takes a deep breath and says, "Yeah, I'm up for it, I think."

"You think?" asks Mike.

"Okay, I know," she retorts. "Is that good enough?" To Fairfax: "I want to get this out of the way as fast as possible before I can change my mind." There's a moment of hesitation as everyone looks at everyone else. Then Josie marches over to the table where you set out the second metal band for inspection, and grabs it up. She hops onto the table, lays back, and settles the thing onto her forehead.

You haven't actually had the chance to see how these things work because you've been the one plopping them onto yourself so it's amazing (and a little unnerving you'll admit) to see a solid object just fade right into someone's head like that.

Everyone mills around for a few minutes as the magic, you assume, does its work in copying Josie's brain. After a short while however, shorter than the time it took for the mask from what Fairfax says, the band eventually emerges from Josie's forehead and you snatch it up.

Josephine Grace Holden

That's the name that shows on the band that you hand over to Fairfax so he can attach it to the mask; that's the name of the person who you'll be spending some time as.

The process of attaching the band to the mask is very quick and soon you're left with two now completed masks. Josie and you hold them in your hands, Josie yours and you Josie's. You glance at one another and then Josie turns her attention to the others. "Hey, so we're going to do this but, uh, do you think we could maybe have a little privacy?" she says.

"Oh, right! Yes, of course," says Kim as she begins ushering Mike and Fairfax towards the stairs. "We'll just wait outside and you guys can come up when you're done."

* * * * *

There's a noticeable tension as you and Josie say nothing to each other for a bit once the door's shut. It's to your shock, then, that after a few minutes Josie slides her shirt over her head and tosses it onto the table leaving you to see her, from the waist up anyway, in only her underwear.

"Whoa!" you exclaim as you turn away trying not to catch an eyeful (much as you'd want to otherwise). But the tense atmosphere is still there so you decide to lighten it. "Didn't know you were an exhibitionist," you joke lamely.

That fails though and Josie continues to say nothing as she takes off her shoes and pants. "You should probably start taking those things off too," she finally says.

Not wanting to argue you comply. "I'm surprised you're undressing right in front of me like this," you admit. You're feeling self-conscious yourself so you can only imagine how she's feeling.

"You're going to see it all anyway," she shrugs as she removes her bra.

"I won't... I won't do anything weird," you promise her, suddenly struck by feeling like you need to take an apologetic tone for this.

But that earns another shrug. "What you do in the privacy is between you and God," she says. "so long as you keep it that way I can't really do anything about it. It's not like you won't be doing anything I haven't done." With that she turns back to you, still clad in only her panties but covering her chest. To your surprise there's a playful look to her. "I won't be doing anything you haven't done either."

You're not really sure if you needed that admission that she was going to jerk off in your body but you guess you can't be surprised she would either.

"It's not really what you'll see physically that I'm worried about. It's what you'll see up here," she says as she taps her forehead much like Mike had done when he'd had your mask on.

"You're not hiding any dark secrets or anything are you?"

"I don't know about anything dark," she says, "but secrets are secrets all the same. It'd be like if you read through my diary only about a thousand times more personal. If Philip's right then we'll be able to know everything about each other which is kind of funny I guess since before yesterday I only knew you as a guy from math class."

"Well I only knew you as a girl from math class so we're even there," you say.

"That doesn't make you nervous?" she asks. "That I'll go from knowing nothing about you to knowing everything? That I'll know every little secret inside your brain?"

"I guess when you put it like that it is a little nerve wracking," you admit, "but it's the same thing for you. I'll know everything that's going on upstairs."

"Right which is why I want you to promise me, Will. I want you to swear to me that you won't tell anyone about anything you find in there."

"I didn't really have any intention to so I promise," you tell her. "Was there stuff you wanted to hide though?"

"Not hide," she says as she's suddenly looking nervous, "but there are things that maybe I want to say when I feel I'm ready to say them, know what I mean?"

"Yeah, I get you. Well, I won't tell if you won't tell, how does that sound?"

You extend a hand which she grabs with her free arm and shakes. The two of you finish undressing and grab the masks you'll be wearing. You sit down next to each other and glance at each other one more time. Then, on the count of three, you raise the masks to your faces.

* * * * *

You're not sure what to think of this as you search for your clothes and begin dressing. Here you are naked in a dingy basement in an abandoned school with another naked boy who you'd never spoken a word to until yesterday when that magic book came into your life. A magic book that can make masks of other people which act like perfect disguises. You brush a bit of long chestnut hair behind your ear. It's so weird to think that magic exists and it's a little scary if you're being honest but there's something cool about it too you'll have to admit.

After all you'd seen what it could do when Michael put on Will's mask and then turned into a copy of him. A perfect magical copy of someone else. It was so exciting and you'd wanted to tell someone immediately. Well not just someone but Christine of course because you've known her for a long time and you've shared lots of personal secrets with each other. And she's the one who got you to go for the acting class last year when you were looking for an elective and like she insisted you would you came to enjoy it.

And you wanted to tell Christine too because if magic disguises are real then maybe...

You shake the thought out of your head. Those thoughts definitely belonged to Josie and not to yourself. But if you picked up on those then that means Fairfax's assertion that wearing one of these could allow you to perfectly impersonate anyone is correct. That's something really amazing you think to yourself as you finish getting dressed. With this that means you should have little issue being Josie tomorrow.

You look over at the other person in the basement. A hunched figure, sitting cross-legged on a rickety work table in the basement. He hangs his head and stares into his lap.

Poor Josie, you think. It's gotta suck for her, to be sitting inside your brain. It's hard to dodge the stray memories that come popping up, from Josie's school day, her home, her friends. You hope she's not drowning in some of your more lustful instincts.

She was already up and mostly dressed when you woke, but you haven't spoken yet, only exchanged wary nods. After getting your shirt and shoes on, she moved into that corner of the basement. But you feel like you should talk at least a little before going outside to see the others.

"How are you doing, Josie?" you ask. Your voice startles you, and you get goosebumps as you study the lanky figure with the stiff, straw-like hair sticking out in every direction. That has got to be gross, sitting there in that body, you think, then flinch at the unkind thought.

The boy makes a face, then says, "How are you doing?"

"I'm doing okay. I mean, I'm trying really hard to respect your privacy."

"You mean you're remembering stuff?" His expression darkens.

You nod. "You could try asking me something, I suppose."

He doesn't answer, but grabs his head with a scowl. "How do you take these things off, again?"

Her gesture, you find, is crushing.

"I'm sorry," you say in a small voice. "I know it's probably like a cesspool up there. If you want to take these things off and just tell Philip that they worked—"

"But they didn't!" he cries. "That's the problem? You say you're getting my thoughts. So how come I'm not getting yours?"

Next: "Does Anybody Mind?

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1024213