Hidden Mall 55: Olly olly oxen free

“No shooting Abby!”  Liv-home put herself between Liv-Angry and Abby.  “None of that! She’s going to get you out of here.  You heard!”

“I – what?  Yeah, I’ll believe that when I see it but I wasn’t going to shoot Abby.”  Liv-angry was now more like Liv-befuddled. “No, you idiots. I wasn’t going to shoot her.  But think about being left here for weeks, months, all by yourself, in a place that appears to have been abandoned by giant rabbit-people!”

“You mean, like you were going to do to us?” Liv’s voice was dangerous, quiet.  “Yeah. I can imagine it all right. You’re not the only Liv whose Abby left her, you know.  Hell, last mall, we met a Vic whose Abby left her. Look, we’re not shooting ourselves or Abby or anyone else.”

Somehow, hearing Liv, one of her Livs, say it was even worse.  Abby swallowed. Shooting ourselves.  “No.  We’re not shooting anyone.  Are we packed?”

“Well, I’m not,” Liv-Angry pointed out, “but that’s beside the point.”

“That’s the next step.”  Abby knew that was probably not what the Liv meant, but she wasn’t going to keep repeating herself.  Liv-Home? Liv-….”

“You know,” Liv-skinny commented casually, “I could be Olly.  Sometimes you called me that.”

“I remember that.  After that newsies thing.  Okay. Olly, Liv…”

“I’m packed,” her Liv cut in.  “But this place, it’s starting, well, it’s starting to get to me.  I don’t know. I either want to curl up here and not care about anything and eat carrots, or… or leave.  And I’m -”

“-you’re starting to wonder what they look like?  Rabbit-Liv? Rabbit-Abby? I can tell you, it’s sort of a weird look.  They have posters, you know, “this season’s finest”, or at least, I think so – their language is different.  Was different. Notice the abandoned ones are a little less creepy than the ones with people in them?”

“NPC’s,” Abby muttered.  “All right, Liv, where’s your stuff?”

“This is going to get old fast,” Liv-Angry admitted.  “How bout ‘Via? You haven’t called me that since that teacher called you Gail for a whole month, but it works.”

“I remember that.  Okay. ‘Via, Olly, Liv.”  Abby looked at each of those in turn and nodded.  “So let’s go get your stuff, ‘Via. Then we can get out of here before we find out if there’s any rabbit-usses around.”

“I doubt it.  I mean, that is…” Suddenly, Liv-Angry… ‘Via… looked uncomfortable. “I mean, I’ve been here for a while.  I woulda noticed if there were rabbit-people around, I think. I mean, I spent a lot of time hiding. And sulking.  And looking for other people coming through. But even with all that, how do you not notice people hopping around?”

“Were there others?”  Something was sharp in Liv-2… Olly’s voice.  “Other people that came through?”

“Nobody else spent the night.  Nobody else was even here long enough for me to say hi, much less-”

“Much less try to take their place?”


“Okay, let’s get your stuff, ‘Via,” Abby cut in.  It wasn’t that she wasn’t mad, it was just… well. She didn’t see any point in beating up someone who had already had such a bad time.  “Which way?”

“This way.”

“No traps,” Olly warned.

“Do you think I’m stupid?  None of you will leave without the rest.  If I want to get out of here, I have to play along.  So you can stop glaring at me, Olly.  I want out of here more than I want anything else.  If I’ve gotta follow Abby again for that, well, I guess I’m following Abby.”

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