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Abigail already knew what Liv was going to say, but she thought she ought to make a point for being reasonable. “We’ve got to get back eventually, Liv,” she tried, although, if the truth would be told, she didn’t try too hard.
“But eventually! Come on, Anto said something about Beavers and while this lady was very nice, I haven’t seen anything that looks like a beaver or acts like Mrs. Beaver or anything yet!”
Because the person handing out candy to teenaged girls before dropping them at dubious booksellers was totally the person to be trusted. Abigail sighed. “All right. One more store, then. Which way, ma’am?”
“Oh right there, between history and modern architecture, just tug on the Frank Lloyd Wright book.” The woman waved them on cheerfully. “Do be careful out there, girls. Very careful. The world can be very rough – all of the worlds can be very rough, especially on the young. Out with you.”
Abigail pulled on the book, as instructed, and a door swung open. “Down the rabbit’s hole,” she muttered.
“Oh, no, dearies, that’s quite a ways away from here. No, just Beavers, that way, and maybe some Goats.”
Outside the book shop, they found themselves in.. a hallway. A normal hallway, almost like the mall they’d come from. “Do you have any idea how this fits behind the mall?” Abigail complained.
“I don’t,” Liv answered in a hushed whisper, “but, all things considered, I’m not sure it does.”
The hall might have looked like the outside mall, but the lights were dimmed, and almost all the stores were shuttered and empty. “It looks like a dead mall,” Abigail whispered. “Like it’s come here to breathe out its last.”
“That’s kinda creepy, Abby.” Liv’s hissed answer didn’t sound like she disagreed. “Do you think we took the wrong exit?”
“There was only one,” Abigail complained. “I pulled the book, the door opened-” She turned around, but there was nothing but a closed grate and the remains of a WaldenBooks behind them. “Oh, Shit.”
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