Abby looked between her friends — and this other Liv — weakly. She finally let her gaze settle on her Liv.
She could remember, remember that day. They’d prayed, they’d gone to church together in the middle of a snowstorm and they had held hands and prayed.
“All right.” Abby had to make decisions, didn’t she? That was supposed to be what she did, make decisions, help Liv out, steer things.
“We…” She took Liv-Angry’s hand and then reached out for Liv-Skinny’s hand. “We’re going to pray.”
“My dad’s already dead.” Angry Liv looked like she was thinking about pulling away, but she didn’t. “Can’t bring him back.”
“No, I don’t think we can. But we’re going to pray for a way out of this alive and whole. We’re going to pray that we find peace when we get home. And we’re going to pray for everyone else lost in here, okay?”
All three Livs shot her the same look, doubtful but… willing? Something like willing.
Liv-skinny spoke. “Okay.”
“Okay.” Abby squeezed both hands. “So.” She closed her eyes and bowed her head and thought about the fact that somewhere, somewhere outside of this damn mall, there was a greater power that believed in them. She squeezed her eyes tighter and squeezed both hands more gently. “We are lost, but we are not alone,” she started, something she’d heard in a sermon once.
“We are,” her Liv picked up, “cold, but we know there will be warmth again.”
“We are naked, but we know you will clothe us.”
“We have faith.” Liv-Angry’s voice cracked but she persisted, “that you will see us through the Valley of the Death.”
“And we ask,” Abby picked up, “that you look down on us. We ask that you look down on all of those who are stuck here, in this – this Mall of Death.”
“We ask that you guide us out of here,” Liv continued, “safe and whole, and that you bring peace to those who are grieving.”
“Let no-one else die, please.” And now Liv-Skinny’s voice broke, too. “Let us all make it out of here alive, and back to those who love us.
“We pray as you taught us to pray-” Liv-Angry was clearly almost crying.
For a brief moment, holding her friends’ hands, sitting in their circle, Abby allowed herself to believe that it might be all right. Then she stood as tall as this burrow would allow her to, and she started packing.
“The Lord helps those who help themselves, right? So up and to the left. We’re going to get out of here, and we’re not going to let anyone kill us on the way. Come on.” She looked around at her three Livs. “We can do this. We’ve always been able to do this. Liv-new, do you have a pack?”
“It’s a few doors, err, thorns down. I’d have to go get it…”
“We’ll get it on the way out then. Anything else here we can use?”
“Just blankets. So many blankets.” Liv-home picked up a particularly fluffy one and stuffed it into a very small sack. “So many very compact blankets.”
“Well, if nothing else, maybe we can throw them down on the way if we start falling. Again.” Abby wrinkled her nose. “Okay, so blankets and… blankets. We’ll each take one or two. If I’d know I was going to end up trapped in a never-ending mall, I would have brought a better backpack.”
“If I’d known…” Liv-angry’s voice was sepulchral, “I’d have brought a gun.”Want more?