Archive | September 27, 2017

The Hidden Mall: Cozy and Clean?

Liv-clean opened the door and peeked inside.  “I think we’re still in the same world,” she murmured.  “And I don’t think it has anything to do with Beavers, but I think – well, come on.  I think it’s a store.”

“A store.”  Dirty-Liv grumbled.  “If it involves clowns, knives, or fish, I’m going the other way.”

Abigail was with her on that one.  “Let’s peek?”

They ducked in through the doorway and looked around.  It was – well, it really did look like a store would look, if it were inside several trees all at once.  There were large branches stuck out from the walls at strange angles holding clothing on hangers, and in the front was a desk like a register.

“Hello?” Abigail called out, at a loud whisper.  “Hello?”

“There’s dust everywhere,” Liv pointed out.  “Half the malls we’ve been to have been abandoned.  This one looks – a little less recently abandoned, maybe?  I can get clothes that fit.  Even if I do want a shower.”

“There’s a fountain back here,” Clean-Liv called.  “We could all clean up.  And maybe leave something for payment.  I mean, I guess we could just take things.  It’s not shoplifting if they’re not coming back, is it?”

“Cleaning up sounds great.”  Even if Abigail was still wearing her normal clothes, she still felt like she’d – well, fought an army and waded through an ocean in them.  “Is there any food?”

“Would it be safe to eat, if there were?”  Dirty-Liv sounded worried.  “We gave in to eating after a while, but I never have figured out if it was safe.”

“Well, you’re… you’re still alive, right, and it didn’t make you sick?” Abigail offered.  

“But what if it was like Persephone and the pomegranate and I’m stuck?  We never did find a door that opened into anything like normalcy.”  They could hear splashing from the other side of the small store, where Liv’s voice was occasionally obscured.

“Well… then you’re probably stuck, now, but we could find a nice, cozy mall to settle down in if it comes to it?  I don’t want to.”  She held up both her hands, stopped as she remembered she was still holding on to a Liv, and shook her head.  “Not that I WANT to stay in the mall.  I want to go home.  We all want to go home.  But maybe – well, maybe we should start thinking about a Plan B?”

“So far,” Liv-Dirty pointed out, “we haven’t seen anything like a nice or cozy place since the first weird one.  Not unless you count this, and I’m not really sure this counts as cozy yet.  We’d have to see if there’s sharks or bears or something first.  Come on back here, you two, there’s plenty of room.  And Liv, grab some clothes in your size.”

“You’re not actually my size anymore.   I know the clothes hide it, but you’ve lost a lot of weight.”  Liv picked up a couple handfuls of clothes and handed a couple to Abigail.

“I want to be happy about it, but believe me, you do not want the Mall Hopping Weight Loss Plan.  Come on back, the water’s – oh.”


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