Abigail noticed her feet touching water before her vision cleared. She was seeing spots, spots everywhere, then bright shining streaks of light.
Both hands clenched tightly. Hopefully, one of those people was “her” Liv. The other one, well, some other Abigail was probably looking for her.
Rick had said – he’d said something about Abigail and Liv doing something. Which meant that in a world with another Rick there was also another Abigail and so on.
She didn’t want to think about that in the context of the creepy-clown-factory mall.
She blinked again and again, quickly, furiously, until her vision cleared. Then she almost wished she hadn’t.
They were ankle-deep in water – that was already a little strange – but the bad part wasn’t that. The bad part was the first floor, flooded right up to the second floor.
Swimming in the first-floor water was not one or two but what looked like at least five sharks, all of them looking hungry, all of them horror-movie large.
Abigail backed up slowly, until her back was at the wall. Then and only then she let herself look at the two people holding her hands.
Definitely two Livs. That part was easy enough to determine. They had the same face, the same hair, the same little scar where Liv had fallen as a kid and hit her head on a curb.
One Liv was wearing Liv clothes. The other one was wearing dirty rags.
That was a start. Hopefully.
“Okay, Liv, what’re the last three malls we’ve been in?”
They both started talking at once.
“Hold on, hold on. Liv,” she squeezed the hand of the one wearing dirty rags. “You first. Three malls?”
“We haven’t been in three, have we?” She blinked at Abigail. “We were in the one with the plastic people and before that was the clowns.”
“Okay… and Liv?”
“There was the plastic people, that’s where we just were. And before that was the dead place.”
“…This is not helping.” Abigail turned, hoping beyond hope that there was still a doorway behind her.
There, of course, was not, just a wall. “All right.” She resisted the urge to hold her forehead. She’d have to let go of Liv – Livs – to do that. “So one of you probably came in with this version of me and one of you didn’t, or possibly both of you didn’t, but right now, we are in a shark tank. We need to find an exit, we need to not get eaten, and we need to find home. Some home. Some place with a mom and a ride out of the mall. Sound good?”
“How are you going to explain two of me to my mom?” asked the Liv in dirty rags.
“I’m not. I’m just going to put you both in the car and let her work it out. Your mom has handled worse. First – first we have to get out of here, okay?”
“Okay.” This time, they both agreed. Abigail looked around for an exit.
Something was nibbling at her toes.