The Hidden Mall Part XII: Rescue

Liv was shooting Rick distrustful glances the entire way, but Abigail couldn’t quite say she blamed her. Rick was a bully, after all – or, at least, their Rick was, and she had noticed Rick hadn’t protested that he’d never throw them into a fountain or anything like that.

Still, he seemed to be leading them fairly. This mall, too, was different from the one back home – all the stores were slightly different, the doors were in all the wrong places, and the food court looked downright creepy. Abigail’s stomach reminded her pointedly that it had been quite a while since lunch, but she had no interest in the food from those very plastic-looking stands.

Was any place at all safe to eat from? Even if they made it back home, was she ever going to feel like she could eat again? She licked her lips. As long as she didn’t come upon any pomegranates, she figured she might be safe.

“Almost there,” Rick grunted. “Now, as long as we don’t-”

Too late, of course. Since this whole thing was already ridiculous. A crowd of plastic people walked around the corner and took up a stance way too much like dance-fighting for Abigail’s tastes.

“Through that door,” Rick muttered. He was pointed as surreptitiously as someone his size could over at the jewelry story (Jay Jewelry) and a door hidden just behind the counter. “I’ll do what I can.”

He was a linebacker. He could do quite it a bit, it turned out, against people with slow reaction times and stiffened joints. Abigail tugged Liv through the little black door before the Jay Jewelry woman (And she didn’t look any more plastic than they normally looked!) could stop them.

There was a plastic-looking person -very plastic, this time, not the sort of stiff-looking almost-human of the ones out in front – sitting behind – no, as part of a console that looked like something out of a 1980’s computer movie. The person had six arms, and all of them were attached to some sort of keyboard. They were moving very slowly, but all six arms were doing something.

“We’ve gone from Narnia into Dr. Who,” Abigail muttered. “Okay, mister plastic. Stop it now. Let the people go- what?” Liv had pulled away from her and skittered under the console. “Liv!”

“Got it!” Liv yanked on a long series of cords and suddenly everything went dark.

“Shit, shit. Okay, come on. Let’s get out of here before everything goes even stranger than it is.” She reached for Liv, grabbed a hand, and pulled.

“Abigail?” Someone took her other hand.
“Liv? Are you holding my hand?”

“I am, yeah.” That came from both sides.

“I- all right. Let’s go. Now. One of you find a door.”

“Wait, what, one of-” both of them said it at once.

“I am going to – no, just grab any hands you can, find a door, and let’s get out of here.”

If she ended up with three or four of Liv, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do. Maybe not have to explain to Liv’s mom if she lost one along the way. “I hope one of you is actually my Liv.”

“Wait, what?” said the voice on her left. “Got it!” said the voice on her right.

She was going to take that. “Door?”

“Here.” A sliver of light appeared. “Let’s go.”

Still holding on to both hands, Abigail plunged through the doorway.

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