The Hidden Mall 40: Bad Ideas 💡


Abby bit her lip and repeated herself.  “We have to explain things to her. And then, if it’s not what she wants…”

“Do you think we could find her a way home?”

“It’s not like we can find our own way home – or even out.”

The first came from one Liv, the second from the other.  They were starting to sound identical. Which, Abby supposed, made a certain amount of sense.”

“She has to know.”  Abby sighed. “I think we might need her, but we can’t just, well, force her to come along.”

It was too late already for that, she knew.  And if Vic-French could help them defeat the mall…

Still, she should have said something two malls ago and she was going to make sure she said something now.  She turned onto a new bridge and made her way, step by careful step, over to the edge of the mall, such as it was.

It took longer than it ought to have to get to the “store,” which happened to be, from the looks of things, some sort of tunic and … leggings? maybe? store.  There were only a few pieces of clothing left, hanging from wires or dropped on the floor.

But there was a floor.

Abby sat down with a thump on the floor.  It swayed, yes, but only a very little. “I am never moving from this spot,” she declared.

“Abby…”  Liv frowned at her.  “Are you afraid of heights? I don’t remember you being scared of that sort of thing.”

“I,” Abby answered, feeling like she was cutting each word with her teeth, “am in a building that is trying to kill me, will not let me go home, and dropped a net out from under me not half an hour ago.  I am scared of anything that isn’t nailed down, and right now, I’d probably be scared of the nails. And this place,” she flailed out with a hand, “is not only not nailed down, it’s like the opposite of nailed down.  It’s nailed up.  Also, you said there were bodies.  Is there a vitamin store or anything you guys can see? I’m already getting hungry and it hasn’t been that long.”

“It’s been a few malls,” Liv countered, “and I don’t know how time really flows in here.  Weirdly, that’s for sure.” Everyone left her, talking quietly in French and exploring the store.

Abby kept her back against the most firm thing she could find – the cash register wrap – and closed her eyes.  Bodies.  The last two malls had been alive, occupied, normal.  What had gone wrong?

She focused on her breathing while Liv tried on some clothes and the other Liv explained something – hopefully everything – to Vic.  Up and to the left.

“We need a map.” She looked up at her friends.  Well, her friends and Vic. “We need to find a map.  I have an idea.”

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