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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/996901-Totally-No-Ones-Gonna-Get-Hurt-Right
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#996901 added October 29, 2020 at 1:23pm
Restrictions: None
Totally No One's Gonna Get Hurt, Right?
Previously: "Thimbleriggery

"What's the deal?" you demand. "Why are you so spun up?"

Jessica's eyes nearly pop from her head.

"What's the deal?" she barks. "What's the deal? I got people—"

She glances over her shoulder at the rest of the library. It's a thin crowd, but she scoots closer to you. That would be great—her vanilla-like scent envelops you as she presses closer—except that her expression has strained her face into a skull-like mask, and her eyes bulge.

"I got people going around pretending to be me!" she hisses. "That's what's got me —! It's fucked up!"

"No one's getting hurt. Well—" You start to correct yourself. "Except I guess—"

"Except what?"

You wince. "Did you get things fixed with Eva?"

The blood drains from her face.

"So that was you!" Her lips froth, and the words crack in her throat. "Will, I fucking swear—!"

"Look, I'm getting it too! Laurent just told me—"

"I don't care what you're getting! I hope you do get it in the neck!"

"Well, your sister's gonna get it in the neck too!" you snap back. "Or something! Laurent just told me that Marcos has been using my gear to come on to her! To Eva! So he's gonna get me in trouble with her, and then she—"

"Tchya!" Jessica bunches up her fists. Her knuckles whiten, and the flesh seems to shrink off her fingers until they are gnarled and bony.

But she doesn't explode. And after she's got control of herself, she growls, "Okay, what's the story?"

So you tell her, as best you can, about what seems to have happened. How you made kind of a fool of yourself talking to Eva the other day about Jeremy Richards, and how someone (Chris, you think) went over that evening to apologize to her while pretending to be you, and then how on Friday Marcos put your gear on and took her on a date, and then how on Saturday he was again in your gear, at your house, texting her.

"And that's how things got fucked up between you. Your brother had me put on your stuff," you tell her, "so we could get some clothes from your bedroom to take back to the guys. 'Cos they needed some girls' clothes they could put on." It sounds hilarious when you say it, but Jessica's frown stays anchored where it is. "I ran into Eva and found out she was texting with 'me', and I guess I said the wrong thing because she got pissed off at me. Well, she thought she was pissed off at you."

"Oh, you think?" Jessica snaps. "How'd you figure that out?"

"Well, when she tried punching me in the face before running off to lock herself in the bathroom. That was a pretty good clue," you admit.

"Oh, fuck!" Jessica buries her face in her hands.

"Yeah, so that's how come she's pissed at you. Or was. Is she still pissed at you?" When Jessica doesn't answer, you ask, "Do you have any idea what Marcos is up to?"

"He's a pervert. You're all perverts! Who are some of the other girls you're going around pretending to be?"

"I don't know. There's Maria Vasquez and Kendra Saunders, those are two of them, but no one's pretending to be them, not exactly. They're just going around looking like them. There's also, um, a girl named Mackenzie something, and another girl named Emily something."

"Is that all?"

"No, there's a bunch more, but I don't remember who. None of 'em were names that stuck with me."

"This is so sick," Jessica hisses. "Twisted, evil, godless, and sick." She draws a deep breath, and slowly exhales.

"They're not hurting anyone," you insist. "Just pranking people."

"Is it just a prank that my own sister isn't talking to me anymore?"

"So tell her about it. Explain it to her."

"I'm not going to—!"

"Take Eva with you, then go grab your brother and sit on him and beat him up until he confesses everything."

Jessica's eyes blaze, and for a moment you think she's going to apply your own advice to you.

But instead she slouches back in her chair, lower lip outthrust.

"No," she says. "Someone needs to teach them to— Hrrmmmm!"

"What?" you ask when she doesn't continue.

But for a long time she says nothing, and only tugs and tugs at her lip. Her eyes burn, and her gaze goes very distant.

"You just bring me some of that gear, like I asked," she says at last. She sounds much calmer, but somehow that is even more frightening. "The things you use to make these—" She shivers. "Disguises."

"What are you going to do?"

She doesn't answer, but turns to stare through you.

Then she blinks, and seems to see you for the first time.

"Do you like my sister?" she says.

* * * * *

Well, that was a hell of a question. You didn't know how to answer it. Still less did you know what to say when Jessica said that she thought Eva was starting to like you.

"Well, maybe not 'like like'," she said, a little diffidently. "And maybe it's the guy who's been pretending to be you that she really likes. Ychh! Well, unless he's acting just like you. Do you think he is?"

That was another question you had no idea how to answer.

"Well, next time you have a chance to talk to her," Jessica said as she gathered up her stuff, "do it. See how it goes." And she left you there, paralyzed with fright and indecision.

You were still sitting there when the bell rang to end second period, and are still sitting there when Eva herself sails in for her third-period study hall. You feel yourself pale when she smiles at you and joins you.

"I'm sorry I dropped out on Saturday," she says. "I started to text you again but—"

"My dad confiscated by cell phone anyway." Your chest is so tight you can hardly breathe. "But that was ... fun!" you improvise.

She smiles. "So when are you going to be ungrounded?"

"Next week. Monday? Maybe Sunday?" You stiffen all over, except where a little stiffness would be pleasurable.

"I'm sorry I got you in trouble for being out late."

"No, that's fine. I ... liked it." What is she talking about? you wonder.

"Are you okay, Will?" she asks.

No I'm not okay! I'm about to shart myself with terror and totally fuck things up with you, if they're not fucked up already because of fucking Marcos Rivera pretending to be me with you!

"I'm fine," you gasp. You strain to remember some of the things that Marcos was texting her about. "I was just talking to your sister last period."

"Oh?" Her expression falls, and so does the temperature in her voice, by about sixty degrees. Despite the sudden Arctic blast, sweat pops out on your brow.

"Jessica said ... said that you and her, uh, got into kind of a fight? About ... ... ... me?" You gasp after expelling that final word from your lungs.

Eva winces, and hesitates. "We had a fight," she says. "It wasn't about you."

She's saved from having to make up a lie about the fight by the entrance of her two friends, who she introduces as Audrey Briscoe and Rachel Bell. That squelches any further chance to talk with her about anything but school work, for Audrey in particular is full of chatter, and you settle back to listen and to drop in an occasional comment when you see a chance to say something without embarrassing yourself.

But at the end, Eva asks you what lunch you have, and looks disappointed when you find out it's a different lunch period. "But I'll see you tomorrow," she says as you part in the hallway.

* * * * *

You're waiting for Laurent after school, in order to finish your talk from before school, but are intercepted by Jessica first. "You're taking me home," she informs you. "Where's your car?"

"What?" You gape.

"You're giving me a ride home. I already told Marc and Eva. I told Eva I wanted to talk to you."

"About what?" you cry.

"I told her I wanted to get to know you better. I feel like I hardly know you, Will, even if you were underfoot all summer. Don't worry, I'll talk you up with her. You do want me to talk you up, don't you?" she asks with a raised eyebrow as you feel yourself choking. "But you and me are going to talk about what we're going to do."

"Well, first of all," you gasp when you find your voice, "I can't take you home, I have to get home myself. I'm grounded."

"Tell your folks you were helping a friend. I missed my ride and you were my only chance to get home. Really, you don't want me mad at you, Will."

"Okay. But second, I'd have to get the stuff from Laurent. He's the one who's holding it all."

"So get it from him. Tell him to bring it over to your place, then I'll stop by and you can pass it along to me."

"Fine," you groan. "Is that all we need to talk about?"

"No. I want you to impersonate Brownie, try to hook up with me by pretending to be him."

"What?"

"The same thing that Marcos is doing with Eva, Will. He's setting you up with Eva by pretending to be you. I want you to set me up with Brownie by pretending to be him."

That's all for now.

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/996901-Totally-No-Ones-Gonna-Get-Hurt-Right