The Hidden Mall: Moving On

♪ I think this line’s mostly filler ♫— the Buffy Musical

“Um.”  Abigail looked between the three of them and held out the candy in her pocket.  “I took it, but I didn’t- hey!” She closed her hand around it as her Liv grabbed for it.

“Yeah, I’d say throw that out, but you’d have to destroy it utterly.  Okay, you should be fine, but try to get rid of that now that Liv notices you have it. I’m not saying that it’ll get you home, by the way, but there’s something about the -hey!”

Abigail managed to catch Liv, who had decided it was a good time to run off.  Skinny-Liv grabbed Liv’s other arm, and Vic helped them bodily move her back into their room, while Vic’s Liv frowned.

“Okay, so, there’s something about some of those things that makes the doors they open react weirdly. Um, you’re a reader and stuff, right?”

Some things didn’t change, it seemed like.

“Yeah, I read a lot.”

“Think about someplace that’s not at war and not, like, under the sway of an evil Queen or anything.  I know that’s all the rage, but maybe you can come up with some nice quiet place.  Those might help you.”  Vic shrugged.  “All my doors open to pretty boring places, but the last four times I’ve tried, we just come back here.”

Then how could she open a door for us?  Abigail wasn’t going to ask.  Vic seemed to notice it in her expression anyway.

“When I open them for someone else, it’s different.  Don’t know why.  Had a pair like me through a couple days ago, sent them on their way just fine.”

“So you’re stuck here, or maybe in a loop of here’s.  That sucks.  I’ll try opening the door for us, I guess.  Liv?  Livs?  Ready to go?”

“Hey, you can’t talk to her – them – me – like that!”  The one Abby was thinking of as Vic’s Liv aimed an angry glare at Abby.

“Like… asking her if she’s ready to go?  Look, if I can handle the fact that someone who looks just like someone who once shoved me down a set of stairs is friends with someone who looks just like my best friend, then the reverse shouldn’t be hard.”  Abby was, she realized, losing all of her patience with – well, with everything.

“She has a point, Liv.  You know the pairs that come through are friends, good friends, like we are.”  Vic gave her Liv a hug that left Abby tense.  “The good door is this way, and there’s a safe route to it through the back alley.  And no funny shops.”

She led them through the back of the store and into a hallway that seemed warm but pointedly not on fire.  “This way, just a little ways down.  Let me tell you, if you find a place where nothing seems wrong, find a place to get some sleep.  That gets to you worse than anything after a while – the sleep deprivation, the food.  You have to eat, but you have to find something decent, and that’s harder than it looks.  And don’t forget to drink water – I mean, when you can find clear water.”

Abby wished she hadn’t said food.  Her stomach rumbled angrily.  

“Yeah.”  Vic smiled in sympathy.  “I know the feeling.  All right, now, no promises, but this ought to get you somewhere, at least.”. She gestured to a door that seemed way too ornate for the back hall.  “And good luck.”.

“Thanks.”. Any took Liv’s hand: Skinny Liv took Liv’s other hand, and Abby, holding her breath, opened the door.

 
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3 thoughts on “The Hidden Mall: Moving On

  1. This one never posted to DW that I can see.

    Liv’s reaction to seeing the candy, and Vic’s description of how to properly get rid of it, has me wondering if taking it over to the burning side of the mall to throw into the fire might do the trick. But if it loops as Vic suggested in the previous installment, what happens to the stuff that got pitched in? If it regenerates, or pops back out, or something else, that’d just lead to more trouble.

    Fortunately, just having the candy doesn’t seem to be the bad part, or at least Vic doesn’t think so. But how did Vic come by this knowledge? I suspect this Vic-and-Liv pair has been in here a long time.

    I’m also curious about why Vic can open doors for others, but only loops herself. Maybe Vic really doesn’t want to go home? Or perhaps Vic’s Liv doesn’t want to. From the description Vic gives, intent is significant in this (set of) place(s).

    Now to see where they ended up on the next door.

  2. I am really enjoying this one too. I definitely have a thing for the alternate-earth genre and you do it very well. I am looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out.

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