Landing Page: The Hidden Mall

Abby and Liv were just trying to get away from their least favorite bully, Vic Carter, when they ducked into the back hall of their local mall.

Now they’re more lost than they’ve ever been, and they may need Vic’s help to get home.

All The Stories

Consumer Worldbuilding 

  • nothing here yet.  Ping the author if you want to know about this world!

The Hidden Mall: Reunions

First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Back the Way They Came

Abby glanced at both her Livs, to find one of them as shocked as she was and the other completely not surprised.

She cleared her throat. “Food?” she asked.  “We can trade some ridiculous fruit.”

“Fruit?”  Kevin leaned forward.  “I haven’t had fruit in-”

“It’s been a while.”  Vic squeezed his shoulder.  “Okay. You have the question-face on.  So. Short version: This is this world’s Kevin.  I’m not this world’s Vic – she couldn’t make it through the doors.  I’m a traveler, but I lost my Sandy, and without her it’s almost impossible to go anywhere, and, besides, this one might be kind of grubby, but nothing here is actively trying to kill anyone.  Um. Usually.” She coughed and looked away. Continue reading

The Hidden Mall ⏳ Rip Van Winkle

First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Back the Way They Came

The Hidden Mall has a landing page here:

Abby stared at the door.  “Hold on?” she asked the Livs.  It won’t go where it did.  Well, nothing had yet.  We can’t go home.  What did Abby want more than anything?  Home?

She wanted to feel safe, and to have a warm place to sleep and a real meal.  She wanted to see sunlight and feel it on her face.

She opened the door. Continue reading

The Hidden Mall: Back the Way They Came ↩️

First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Circles

The Hidden Mall has a landing page here:

They turned back, retracing their steps.  Past the Tome Home, past the little shop where Liv had traded in a regret for a necklace.  Back towards the hallway, where it had first looked all bright and colorful and shiny, where it now looked covered in cobwebs, grey, and awful.  Back through the narrow door and into a cold concrete hallway, covered in pipes.

They were all holding their breath.  They were moving slowly, as if they were afraid what they would see.  She was holding on to both Liv’s hands tightly.  She didn’t want to lose either of them.  She didn’t want to know what happened if they got split up here, here where it had all began. Continue reading

The Hidden Mall: Circles 🔘

First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Normal

The Hidden Mall has a landing page here:


“One minute.  Just one minute, and then we can run.”  She was being ridiculous, and she knew it.  No, she was being suicidal.  But she had to know.

She pulled the bag from the skeletal hand and passed it to her Liv, who took it as it it was on fire, holding it with two fingers by the end of a strap.  Then she pushed aside a bunch of the vines in one rough shove.

The vines wanted to crawl back in, pulling back around the body, pulling back around Abby, but she grabbed what she was looking for – the chain of the necklace around the corpse’s neck – and pulled hard. Continue reading

The Hidden Mall: Normal ⛲

First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: The Hidden Mall: Ropes & Vines

The Hidden Mall has a landing page here:

Abby and skinny-Liv slept in beds bracketing Liv-1, who had been tied down probably more thoroughly than she needed to be.  Abby had thought she’d have trouble falling asleep – a strange bed, a strange world, and with no idea what might be out there – but she was asleep almost before her head hit the pillow.

She woke to a streak of light coming over her eyes from a window far overhead.  The vines seemed a lot closer than they had been the night before, but they hadn’t made it over her or – she glanced over – to the Livs’ beds, and both Livs were there.

And awake, too.  “I have to pee,” whined Liv.  “I mean, I really  have to pee.”

“Let’s see how good the bathrooms are here.  I seriously need a shower,” Abby sighed, “but that’s not happening any time soon.  How are you feeling, Liv?”

“Other than having to pee?”  Liv considered. “I want to see the Beavers.  But it’s not.  Um.  it’s not urgent. Peeing is urgent.  And eating.”

“So we can’t tell,” Skinny-Liv mused, “if she’s getting better or if the compulsion is just overridden by biological compulsions.  Come one.” She unbuckled all the restraints and dropped them in her bag.  “So, Abby, you found something that wasn’t trying to kill us, in terms of settings.  Not bad.”

“it’s still a ruined mall, though.  I mean, like you said, thy planted kudzu, and it’s going everywhere.”  Abby tidied up the area, not sure, as she did it, why she was doing it.  “Everyone have everything?”

“We slept in the mall,” LIv whispered.  “We slept in the mall.  In a dead mall.  That’s kind of weird.”

“Yeah, but everything is weird right now.  Here’s the ladies’ room.”

“What, do you think some guy is going to walk in on us?”  Skinny-Liv wrinkled her nose.  “Never mind, it’s probably a mess.  Men’s rooms usually are.”

“I want to go home,” Abby admitted in a small voice.  “I can’t, I mean, I don’t know how to get us there.  So uh.  I’m gonna do things as normally as I can.”

It was hard to pretend to be normal when they picked big fruits off of a kudzu to eat for breakfast, or when they wandered out into the mall and bathed in a big fountain.  They took towels from housewares and picked up a bigger backpack and a little camp stove and propane tank in sporting goods, cooked some of the fruits, and made a lazy circuit of the mall.

They had almost decided this mall was a benign one when Skinny Liv made a choked sound.  At first, Abby thought they’d come back around to where she’d left her bag, but no.  They were next to a Cinnamon Hut; they hadn’t gone by one of those yet.  And that backpack was too worn to be hers.  Too… She took a step forward.  It had the same patches.  It had the same broken zipper with a twist-tie.  It had

a semi-skeletal hand holding onto it, emerging from the vines.  The hand had bones showing through flesh; it was definitely no long alive.   Abby, driven by something between horror and curiosity, moved forward.

“Abby… don’t.”  One of the Livs pulled at her arm.  “Abby, you don’t want to-”

“I want to.  I – people keep telling me I don’t want to know, but I do.  If all of me but me have died, I want to know how.  I want to know why.  I want to know if I’m gonna fall over from a brain tumor in twenty minutes and leave both of you alone in here, and, if so, who’s going to help you?”

“Abby?”  Something about the voice told her this one was her Liv.  “Abby, I can take care of you, too.  It doesn’t have to all be on you.  Do you want – do you want me to look?”

Yes.  “I can do this.  I think I can do this.”  She used a towel she was still carrying to push aside the vines a little at a time.  They writhed and reached for her, grabbing at her.  “And if Abby is here, what happened to her Liv?”

“Probably ran off.  It’s – when something is eating your friend and you can’t stop it and she tells you to run, when it starts to eat you, too… We’re cowards, Abby, sorry.  Her Liv probably grabbed the nearest back door and ran.  And Abby? We should, too.  We should go, because those vines are acting a lot more energetic now.  We should go.”

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The Hidden Mall: Ropes 🌱 Vines

First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: The Hidden Mall: Moving On

The Hidden Mall has a landing page here:


The door stuck at halfway open, but the gap was wide enough to slip through, so Abby led her Livs through the crack.

They pushed through a curtain of Vines and flowers and into a vine- covered beauty parlor.  The door was right next to an old hair dryer bonnet, vines dangling from it like a  hairstyle.

 “Or at least it’s not making my skin break out.”

“Let’s not try that more,” the other muttered.  “This reminds me of Sears  You know, the photo place ought to be right over -”

“-There,” agreed the other one.  Abby wasn’t sure if she liked them getting along well enough to talk in sync.  It could mean her Liv was getting better – or it could mean Skinny Liv was getting worse. Continue reading

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!” Continue reading

The Hidden Mall: 👭 Pairings

They ran through the smoky halls, looking behind them for the source of the rumbling, looking ahead of them for Rue 21.  They were dodging obstacles they could barely see in the haze, looking for flames they couldn’t see, and holding hands, Abigail so she didn’t lose yet another Liv – Liv, presumably, for the same reason.

Neither of them saw what grabbed them and pulled them through a door.  But as the floor shook and shook and something outside crashed, Abigail decided that whoever it was, was probably a friend.

She wiped her eyes, turned around, and saw two Livs and Vic Carter.

She turned to her side.  Liv, skinny-and-clean Liv.  The one on the left there, that was probably her Liv – she was wearing the same clothes, at least.  The one on the right was clinging close to Vic Carter and staring at her in horror.

She took three measured breaths. “Liv?” Continue reading

The Hidden Mall: 🔥 Where There’s Smoke…

Skinny-Liv and Abigail rushed through the door, only to find themselves in a room lined all around with doors.  Behind them, they could hear faun-Liv shouting.  “Not that way!  No, not that way!”

“Shit.”  Abigail closed the door behind them.  “If you were Liv – well.  Which way would you go?”

“Never the first door, never the last door, never the middle door,” Liv answered immediately.  “Probably – well, look, the problem is, I didn’t drink the magical Kool-Aid candy or whatever it was.  I’m not the one leaving my friends – or self, whatever – behind.  So I could be wrong.  And if I’m wrong, we might never see her again.”

Abigail huffed.  “That’s not – we have to.  We have to find her.  She’s my friend.”  She knew she sounded plaintive.  She also knew she was pleading more with the universe than with this Liv in front of her.  “She’s… I keep an eye on her.” Continue reading

The Hidden Mall: Liv, Liv, Liv

Oh was exactly what Abigail didn’t want to hear.  She pulled clean-Liv towards the fountain, biting her lip, wishing she had a weapon, any sort of weapon, even a fork.  

How had Liv gotten so far away?  How had she let Liv get so far away?

This Liv didn’t listen to her, and the one whose hand she was holding was trying to get away, and – “I am not cut out to be the responsible friend,” Abigail muttered.  She shoved aside a clothing rack and hauled Liv in toward the fountain.

Dirty-Liv was naked, in the fountain, which was easily deep enough to serve as a bath, and she was staring at –

At Liv.

“Fuck.” Continue reading