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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/995176-Back-Seat-Shenanigans
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#995176 added October 7, 2020 at 1:28pm
Restrictions: None
Back Seat Shenanigans
Previously: "The Party Crasher

Holy fuck! Did Noah really get the mask polished in one afternoon, just by using a car buffer? Your jaw slackens.

"Lemme see it," you say, and tug the mask free. A girl laughs just outside the bathroom door, and you jump so hard you almost drop it.

Well, you'd have to admit that the thing looks like a finished mask. It is a deep, burnished blue on both sides, as though it's been carved out of solid sapphire, and there are no streaks. Still, you turn it over a couple of times in your hands before you speak.

"I don't know," you have to confess. "It looks like it's done—"

"Cool!" Noah exclaims. "I'm gonna go find—"

"Except I don't know if—" You bite your lip. "You used a car buffer? That's ... modern. Mechanical."

"So?"

"So I don't know if— Well, I don't know if it counts."

"Counts?" Noah demands. "What do you mean, if it counts?"

"Well, I used a cloth, and maybe that's the way the magic is supposed to ..."

But you trail off. It sounds like a dumb objection even to you.

"The fuck are you guys hogging the bathroom for?" A short, chubby girl with violet-and-green hair and multiple piercings shoves her way into the bathroom with you. "You wanna give each other blow jobs, go sit out in your fucking— Oh!" She catches herself just as she's pushing her way between you and Noah. "Hey!" She shows you the back of her head as she looks up into his face.

"Hey Sienna," Noah says. Deep dimples—more like creases—ripple in his cheeks as he smiles down at her.

"I saw your sister and her friends playing out at Reagan's big party the start of the year," Sienna Goldman says in a voice that has turned very syrupy. "They sounded pretty good."

"They're gonna be out at the Warehouse next Saturday."

"Yeah, I know. You're gonna be out there too, right?" She fumbles at her shirt pockets. "Show her some support?"

"Sure."

"An' keep the creeps and perverts off her. Jesus, I remember the first time we played the Warehouse." She slips a cigarette between her lips. "Would'a been fucking scary 'cept I was looking to get laid anyway. But you're gonna look after Jody, right?"

"Yeah," Noah says without enthusiasm. "You need to pee?"

"It's not a crisis. You know, I'll be out there Saturday too." She sways slightly, and catches herself against Noah's chest. "We should—"

"Yeah, we should. I'll catch you outside," Noah says. "If you wanna smoke."

"Yeah, I was just gonna turn on the blower in here. But if you wait for me out on the back deck—"

Noah gently pushes Sienna aside, and you and he collide with each other as you rush to get out of the bathroom. Noah makes sure to pull the door shut behind him, and takes the mask from you. You glance around nervously, for the hallways is crowded with people talking and drinking.

"So if you think it's okay," he says as he tucks the mask back into his bag, "I'm gonna try it out on someone here."

"You won't be able to put it on," you caution him. "Not right away."

"How come?"

"Noah!" someone shouts from the far end of the hallway.

"Because it has to be sealed first."

Noah looks puzzled, but Stephanie Wyatt shoves her way into your company before he can reply. "You know if Marc's coming out here?" she asks him, completely ignoring your presence.

"Garner?" Noah asks. "I dunno. Why?"

"Well, would he be bringing Hannah along?"

"She's his girlfriend—"

"Fuck!" Stephanie rubs her nose with her palm. "Well, you should text him if you think he's coming out here with her. Dominique is pissed off at Hannah, and—"

Stephanie stops dead and her expression hardens as she does a double-take at you. "You need something, Prescott?" she snaps.

"Me and Will were just talking," Noah tell her.

"That's okay," you say, "you can come find me later." You make to squeeze past Stephanie, but she's blocking the middle of the hall and refuses to shift her well-planted feet, and you nearly take the paint off the wall as you scrape past. She goes right back to yelling at Noah.

* * * * *

You meant for Noah to come find you after he got done with Stephanie, but it's an hour before you hear from him, and the message comes via Laurent, who finds you lurking in your own invisible cocoon on the back patio. "Noah's looking for you," he tells you. "He's out front."

"He can't come find me here?"

"I dunno, he just texted me for you to come find him. Whatsamatter?" he asks as you sigh.

"Nothing. Are you having fun?"

"Having a blast. You been keeping up with Brownie?" He grins.

"Is he having fun?"

"The best." Laurent punches you in the shoulder. "Could'a been you in there, mackin' with Green."

Darren Green? The basketball player?You wince. "I'm not into that."

"I'm not either, an'neither's Brownie. That's what makes it fun!"

You have no idea what that could mean, but you don't linger to ask. You lope around the house—easier than fighting your way through it—to the front yard and glance around. There's plenty of people on the porch, but none of them appear to be Noah.

You're about to give up when you hear a car horn blowing. You look over, and see a figure waving in your direction. Behind you, one of the football player laughs rudely. "The fuck is Lepley's problem?" You hesitate, then jog out to meet Noah. He is parked half a block away.

"For fuck's sake," he gasps as you join him. "Is this normal?" He opens the back seat of a car and half-pushes you in.

There's a girl back there. There's a deep shadow across her face, so you can't make out who it is, but she is very limp and still.

"What happened?" you ask Noah.

"I put that mask on her, that's what happened," Noah hisses. He pants like he's out of breath. "Is that supposed to happen?"

You hesitate. "Passing out? I think so. That's what happened with Maria."

"Well, for fuck's sake, how long is she gonna be out like this?" He gulps.

"I dunno. Five, ten minutes. When did you put the mask on her?"

"Fuck if I know!"

"Look, just calm down,. We'll wait five minutes, and see what happens."

"Oh, Jesus," Noah groans. "If I have to explain to my mom how come there's a dead girl in the back seat of my Buick—"

Fortunately, he doesn't have long to worry. A subtle glow soon shows at the girl's face, and you catch the mask as it falls off her. You show it to Noah, who grabs it from you and snuffs and snorts over it like a bull. "Now what?" he asks.

"Check to see if the girl's okay."

"I mean with the mask. You said something about—"

"I have to seal it up before you or anyone can wear it." You hesitate, then think better of asking him who the girl is. "It's like a paste you have to coat the inside of the—"

"You have it here?"

"No, it's at home."

Noah says nothing, but shoves the mask at you and climbs into the back seat of the car. A few minutes later you hear voices: soft, sleepy and irritable. Noah gets back out of the car, and with a narrow look sends you scuttling backwards. He helps the girl out of the car, and with her leaning on his shoulder they slowly make their way back to the house.

You have a feeling that you're going to be wanted, and stroll around the street between the cars, wishing that Sienna would come out and offer you a cigarette so that you had something to do while waiting. What a fucking waste of a party this is, you reflect to yourself. No, what a fucking waste of a partygoer I am.

Noah comes hurrying out ten minutes later. "You still got the thing?" he asks. "Can we go get that sealant stuff?"

"It's at my house."

"Yeah, you told me," he snaps. "I'll drive."

* * * * *

It's just as well that Noah wanted to pick that stuff up, for it gets you away from the party and home by your curfew. Outside, in the driveway, you seal up the mask for him, showing him how to do it. He doesn't wait to try it on, though, but races off, and not until he's gone do you realize he's taken the tub of sealant with him. You trudge upstairs and go to bed.

You wake late the next morning—it's Saturday—and kill an hour or two waiting to hear from someone. When you hear nothing, you drag yourself up to your desk and get to work finishing one of the new items.

That takes you until nearly three in the afternoon. When you are done, you are left with a metal band with Viking-type runework scratched in it. You lay it across the spell, and when you lift it the page flutters. On the other side you find but a single sentence: Teneo mentem alterius. "To know the mind of another," the internet translates it.

It doesn't take much pondering to figure out what it means. If a mask copies a face and body, this thing must copy the mind and brain.

Next: "More and Merrier

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/995176-Back-Seat-Shenanigans