A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
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The Book of Masks
IT HAD A PENTAGRAM stamped onto its spine, but that's not why you stopped to stare at the book. Nor was it the leather binding that caught your eye. You're barely interested in the stuff inside of books, let alone the stuff they're made out of.
No, it was the book's lustrous colors—the blood-scarlet of the cover and the gleaming gold of the pentagram—that made you stop and stare and take a step back. Red and gold are your high school colors, and it was a school project that brought you to the used book store that Thursday afternoon. Mr. Walberg had his students out collecting a lot of junk for the class time capsule, and you were shopping for something to throw onto the pile.
And if the book had nothing to do with your high school, your home town, or the current year? So what? Time capsules are stupid.
It was sitting in the special collections cabinet of Arnholm's Used Books with a bunch of other rare and expensive items. The glass door was ajar, so you quietly pulled the book out for a closer look.
Intricate designs of golden thread were woven throughout the cover; the same anarchic, subtly shifting designs covered the title page and facing papers. Just looking at them made you dizzy. Whoever created them had masterfully conveyed the illusion of movement and alteration with his pen strokes. This was especially true of the stylized faces that gazed out serenely along the bottom of the title page: an old man, a young woman, a hale warrior, and a child. As you studied them, they seemed to shift ages and attitudes, so that the old man from a different angle became a double of the young woman, and the child aged into a crone.
You closed the book and took it up to the front to ask about the price ...
* Chapter One: "The Fake Book"
* "Table of Contents (Vol. 1)" : Opening chapters and choices.
* "Table of Contents (Vol. 2)" : Additional chapters and choices.
* "Table of Contents (Vol. 3)" : More chapters and choices.
* "Table of Contents (Vol. 4)" : Yet more chapters and choices.
* "The Book of Masks Homepage" : An update blog + quick links to recently added chapters.