Sybil whispered - Where'd they go? Where are they?... Sophie shook her head. She didn't know. Then she bent down and tried to lift the open grating in front of one of the stores, City of Brassieres, I think it was. She couldn't do it. They were all like that. Every store was sealed off and locked via an electronic system that kicked in sixty minutes after closing. Most people, staff and all, were long gone by then. Restocking and vacuuming happened early in the morning from seven thirty to nine thirty. Even in winter it was daylight by then. That made it safer. Think it was an insurance rule and all that.... Sophie barely even whispered. Mostly she just 'mouthed' - We have to find a place to hide.... Sybil didn't say anything. What was she gonna say? That girl's 'beta' all the way. Let Sophie take the lead. Let Sophie save her. Sophie, God, Jesus, or The Lord... somebody.
By now they had to pee, only restrooms were dead ends. No way out. Couldn't go in there. Can you imagine silently opening the door. Then the motion sensitive light goes on...big light...harsh light... florescent light. If anyone (or any 'thing') was watching, they'd see the flash. How could they miss it? Restroom doors are heavy. Take a long time to close. You really can't push it..... Imagine being in a stall, sitting on a toilet with your pants down. Both can't pee at once. Somebody's got to keep watch. Pisser sits there doing her thing. Maybe she has to poop. You know, it's been a few hours. Lookout whispers 'hurry up.' Pisser goes - OK.... But then the bathroom door opens. Lookout screams. Pisser can't see, but she hears. They grab the lookout, crack her head against one of the shiny, white porcelain sinks. Not a sound you want to hear. Then a thud, as her body hits the floor. Pisser just sits there quiet as a mouse. Lifts her feet. Maybe they won't see? Maybe they won't know? Prays and prays and prays and prays. Hears them drag the lookout away. Sees a stray, little red, rivulet of blood run down a grout line 'tween the tiles and make it's way into her semi-enclosed sanctum. And finally, at the last moment, somebody reaches back inside and manually clicks off the light..... You know how dark a windowless mall restroom is with no light? Graves are brighter. Egyptian slave girls sealed in the tomb with their pharaoh see more. ... Do you sit there? Do you ever so quietly zip up your pants and leave?... What would you do? ... So the two little ninth graders climbed up into one of the big planters, really more like densely landscaped islands, hid among the trees and bushes and drizzled. The lights were low... tiny security bulbs here and there. Who could see?
But they weren't dealing with a 'who.' Sophie and Sybil were up against a 'what.'
Besides, that's when they heard the scream...
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