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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!

Hidden Mall Epilogue 2: INTERACTIVE

“Abs. Abseil. Abigail Abseiling Abs!”

Abby blinked. She looked at Olly, trying to keep Evil-Abby in her view still. “Olly?”

“It’s not real. She’s not real, it’s okay, it’s okay, she’s not real. Look, Abs, okay? Just look.”

Abseil made herself look. The Abby hadn’t moved. She still didn’t move. She was — taller than Abseil? No, standing on a short plinth.

She was a statue?

“Waxworks,” Liv muttered. She squeezed Abseil’s hand tightly. “It’s a statue. Like a historical rendering? Mall — right?” Continue reading

Hidden Mall Epilogue 1: Hello Mall

“Hello Mall!”  Abseil, Liv, Olly, Cassie, Sanders, and Tory stepped through the back-hall door into the Shifting Mall.  “Are the other groups here yet?”

GREETINGS MALL SHOPPERS.  TODAY YOU WILL FIND GOOD DEALS IN THE DINING COURT, AS WELL AS IN THE FUN HALL AND IN OUR NEWEST STORE, CLOSET COSPLAY.  PLEASE VENTURE TO THE DINING COURT TO BEGIN YOUR SHOPPING ADVENTURE.  YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN OUR NEW DISPLAY ALONG THE WAY, TITLED DO NOT MESS WITH THE MALLS.

It had been nearly a month before Abseil had been willing to go into a mall again, and two more weeks after that before she, Liv, and Olly had first ventured back into the Malls behind the Mall.  Now, three months later, they’d sorted out all their extra visitors — residents, rather — and Abseil had found herself with two new “foster-sisters.” Continue reading

Hidden Mall 94: One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach…

They opened the door. 

The world got cold again. 

They stepped into the parking lot.  The first step, second step, seemed like walking through molasses. 

But there was Liv’s mom’s big SUV, and there was Liv’s mom, poking at her phone.  She looked up. 

If possible, the world got even colder.  Abseil held very still and tried not to panic.  They were leaving the mall. 

“Abby!  Olivia! You… found friends.”  Liv’s mom seemed to struggle with this a little more than Vic had.  “You went exploring, didn’t you?” She shook her head. “Like that one time when we were camping-“

“-and I ended up on the other side of the island up a tower,” Olly whispered. 

Liv stepped forward.  “Mom, this is Olly, and she’d like to stay with us.  This is ‘Via, and she’s just visiting. You know Abs – Abseil.  New nickname. It was, ah, a sort of soul-searching shopping trip.”

“I’ll say.”  Liv’s mom looked at the bags they were all carrying.  “I hope you didn’t max out that credit card. You’re supposed to pay that off with your babysitting money, you know.”

“I think we’ll be okay,” Liv told her sincerely.  “I found some really good deals. Ah, I don’t think the rest have sorted out nicknames.  Sand-“

“-Drea, if she’s ‘Via.”

“Drea isn’t staying, either.  This is Vic, Kevin, [], Sandy-”  She went through the whole list. “We haven’t figured out the details yet, of course…”

“Of course not, dear.” Liv’s mother patted her shoulder.  “We’ll work it out, though. Tonight, let’s call it a slumber party.  I think we can all fit if you’re willing to fudge a few traffic laws… come on, then, scoot in.  I’ve gotten more than this in a smaller car when I was your age.”

Abseil, squished in a back seat, shared a look between Olly and Liv.  “Did the mall-?” she whispered. 

Not quietly enough.  Liv’s mother turned to look at her.  “There’s a certain understanding that comes the first time your child wanders off and you have to find them.  And, beyond that – even your parents were young once. Once you’ve anchored yourself, once you’ve put your name in the book – it never really leaves you.

“Besides.”  She buckled her seat belt and started the SUV.  “Remember Martha and Marty at church? Did you really think they were twins with the same name?”

Want more?

 

Hidden Mall 93: Bookseller

They were facing a bookshop, the blue woman behind the counter looking both surprised and worried. 

“You!” Liv complained.  “You! You took my life in a book!”

“You gave me your life in a book,” the woman countered.  She gestured at the book on the shelf. “And because you did, you can come back here.  Because you have written down your story, you’re anchored to this world.”

“Wait.”  A Vic stepped forward.  “Wait. Wait, you’re saying if we didn’t do the thing with the book-“

“Then it is much harder for you to find home, but much easier for you to step into another home.  Which it seems that you are doing, yes? I would suggest, if you wish to travel without this young lady, that you leave a book here of your life to pin you to this world.  You’re going to want something of the sort, I assure you.”

“So you-” Abseil frowned at her.  “You’re – you were doing us a favor.” Continue reading

Hidden Mall 92: I LIKE PEOPLE

In the end, they left with 10 people who weren’t (as far as they knew) from their home dimension, including ‘Via and a very cute Sandy who wanted to travel more – after she had a home base. 

“Do you wonder if our Vic and Sandy came through here?” Liv murmured to her.  “I mean, you know. If they followed us, if they’re around somewhere? This can’t be everyone-“

“Well, I guess we’ll find out,” Abseil murmured.  “Maybe. I mean, can you look at any of these people the same when we go back to school?”

“I mean, I’m going back to school with at least three people that look identical to me, so I don’t know.  Probably not,” Liv muttered. “I mean, everyone will be looking at us differently too, though.  Right?” Continue reading

Hidden Mall 91: Heading Home

Ahem.  This posted yesterday. Really.

The mall’s words echoed in Abseil’s head.

She made sure she had ‘her’ Livs next to her, checked again, and then asked, trying to keep her voice low but not trying to be sneaky, a line she had never been all that good at walking, “all right. It’s time; we can go home. What do you want to do?”

“Go home,” Liv answered promptly, and then, a moment later, “she said we could come back, yeah? I’m pretty sure that’s what she said. The mall,” she added,” gesturing upwards.

Abseil had been thinking of the mall as “it”, but, upon consideration, found that she liked “she.” “That’s the impression I got, too.”

“Then I want to go home. Back to — back to normalcy. I mean, as much as it can be.”

“Olly? ‘Via?” Continue reading

Hidden Mall 90: A GOOD THING

They had dinner; they slept.  The mall didn’t have enough beds in the relaxation center for all of them, but it did have a Bedding and More store, and they laid out row after row of blankets and comforters and pillows and sleeping bags until the whole hallway was a giant featherbed.  They showered and they changed and, when they were done, they looked more like a group of themselves than they had since Abseil and Liv had first stepped into the mall. 

And then, after cleaning up all that mess and having breakfast, Abseil asked the mall: “Will you tell us how to get home?”

There was silence, all of them holding their breaths.  And then, finally: “THE ANSWER IS IN THE DOORWAY WHICH HAS NO STORE TO THE LEFT OF IT.  FROM THERE, YOU MAY FIND YOUR WAY HOME.” Continue reading

Hey folks, folks~

I finished writing Hidden Mall!!!

58,500 words (Exactly, how weird), 97 chapters – gotta finish SCHEDULING it, of course, but it’s DONE WRITING.

Ah.

The first draft.  The one I posted. 

And then

Then I can start working on cleaning it up to sell as an ebook!

But do you know what this means?  

(other than those things above)

Hidden Mall 89: Turn Around

“… to be the only Abby.  How fucking lame is that?”  

Abseil rolled her eyes at the Evil!Abby in front of her.  “You can’t figure out how to be unique enough, you have to be the only one remotely like you.  That’s – wow.  I mean, okay, I’ve done some ridiculous things in my life.  There was that time that I cut half my hair off because Suzanne Talbot was getting too much attention–“

“You didn’t do that.”  Abby narrowed her eyes at her.  “That’s ridiculous. I didn’t do that.”

“Nope.”  She popped her p.  “Because even being the same person, biologically, originally, we’re different people.  We came from different universes. We made different choices.  And you, you’re the absolute idiot who went around killing the results of every choice you didn’t make.  I mean, seriously.  You had the ultimate resource to learn exactly how other choices could have gone and you… turned into a murder spree?”

Abseil turned her back on the girl.  “I’m ashamed to be related to you.” Continue reading

Hidden Mall 88: The Only Abby

She was, Abseil realized, asking a building what was next.  She was asking a building – and nobody was answering.  Nobody had said anything. Kevin and Olly were looking at her, not strangely – well, not too strangely – just waiting. 

Abseil cleared her throat. “Guys?”

“You’re steering.”  Olly tapped her shoulder.  “You saved me.”

“Me, too,” Kevin added in. 

“Nuh-unnh.  The two of you saved yourselves.”

“By following you,” Kevin countered. 

Abseil looked between them.  “Mall?” Continue reading