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Leaf
aldersprig
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Hidden Mall 65: Ignoring the Right Advice
Leaf
aldersprig
“So all the people who have come through here,” Abby swallowed.  She was feeling very parched again, as if the ghost mall had taken longer to get out of and taken more out of her than she’d guessed or anticipated.  “All of those people, and only three of them were us.  Where did the rest of us go?”

“I think you know-” Yadira stopped herself again with a small huff.  “The practice of being obscure is a hard one to break. I apologize. I think that many, many Abigails have died, and that while not as many Olivias have died, many have been stranded.”  She paused, and then admitted, so softly that Abby could barely hear her, “That magic is new. The fact that only pairs - and only specific pairs - can travel the malls is very new. So much has happened since the curse came down.  It’s changed everything about this place, and none of it for the better.” She looked between them solemnly. “How did you come to this particular place?”

“Ignoring advice we’d been given,” Abby admitted.

read on…

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Running in the Bear Empire 43: Trapped
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire🐻





I did try to kill you.
“It would be nice to not be reminded of that,” Deline muttered.  She held up her hands in his direction. “I suppose it’s hard for you to forget it.”
“The funny thing is, in most situations, it would be easy as anything to forget.  You’d be dead. Your head would have been turned in. The bounty would have been collected, and I would be on to my next job.”  He huffed, almost a laugh. “I didn’t think much about what I was doing - I mean, I thought about the hunt. I learned early on not to think about the deaths.  They come, they go - sometimes they haunted me, but most of them just… they passed on.”

read on…

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Hidden Mall 64: Selling for Information
Leaf
aldersprig
Abby was about to step in front of her friends when she found 'Via stepping in front of her.  "You leave her alone.  We're not selling anything, we're not buying anything, we're not giving anything.  We're just passing through. That's it."

"Oh," the woman clucked, "but I have information.  And I am willing to give it in exchange for something - if you have something you want to sell me."

"That sounds-" Now Olly, too, was in front of her "-a lot like buying something, and we don't want to do that.  Not here."

"And that's wise.  It is always wisest to never take anything that seems like too good a deal at the moment.  So let's see. Well, or too dear a deal, of course.  If you want information-"

read on…

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Running in the Bear Empire 42: Home
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire🐻





“You know, we could probably live here pretty comfortably forever.”  Carrone looked at the door of the cabin and back to Deline before setting his pack on his shoulders.  “I’d get better at hunting eventually.”
“I’m not sure you’d say that in winter.”  Deline smirked at him, although she could guess easily enough what was going on in his head.  They were leaving, which meant they were going to the capital. When they got there, everything could change.

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Haunted House 46: Further Plans
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
🌳

“You don’t - you can’t - you would - what would you-”  Mélanie caught herself and focused very carefully on her breathing for several breaths.  “Sir. Jasper.” She looked at him with wide eyes and found that his grin had stuttered into something of a worried expression.  She patted his shoulder, not wanting him upset, and cleared her throat. “I’m sorry you, you, ah, you caught me by surprise. What did you mean - what-”

“Oh, Mélanie, my sweetness.”  Jasper pulled her into a tight hug, rubbing her back until she could breathe again.  “I didn’t meant to upset you, I didn’t. Why does this- what upsets you?”

She peered up at him from the confines of the hug.  “I don’t want you to risk yourself. I was so upset when the  - when those thugs had you, and I, if you got caught, it would be horrid.  I don’t want something like that happening to you!”

read on…

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