Night at the Mall

August 31, 2008
By Jenna Buschmann, Collinsville, OK

“I bet none of you losers could stay here after hours,” Todd sneered. Eve, Bruce,
Veronica and Lilly all looked at him.

“Of course I could! You know I could do it and not even get caught, Todd!” Eve protested. Everyone knew she was right- Eve always did the wildest things without getting in trouble.

“If Eve could do it, I could do it twice as better as her!” Veronica retorted. She held her nose high in the air and grabbed her slushie to take a gulp.

“I know I could do it- I just don’t think it’s exactly right-or legal, for that matter,” Bruce pointed out quietly. He shrugged his gigantic shoulders.

Everyone didn’t need to hear Lilly- they all knew her answer. She would do whatever Todd would do. (And complain that it was a bad idea the whole time)

“Alright then,” Todd said deviously. “Let’s make this official! I bet $40 per person that none of you can make it. If one person chickens out- no money for anyone. Deal?”

“No,” Bruce disagreed. He shook his shaggy brown hair to and fro as he spoke.

“Why not?” Todd demanded, frowning in disappointment.
“Make it $50 and we got a deal,” Bruce whispered, a smile sneaking on his lips.

Todd threw back his head and let out a booming laugh. “Alright,” he agreed. “And to be nice, Bruce, you don’t even owe me anything if you lose. So- who else is in?”

A few seconds passed after he asked, but finally, everyone nodded in agreement.
“Excellent, now, here’s the plan,” Todd whispered as he leaned in, his eyes sparked with mischief.


The plan was that Lilly and Bruce would hide in the coat rack at Dillards. Veronica and Eve would hide in the woman’s bathroom, and Todd- well, Todd wouldn’t tell where he would hide, but everyone knew that it would be dangerous.

The clock at the food court said 8:30, the time to set up. Everyone ran to their positions.

Bruce and Lilly walked quickly towards Dillards, but suddenly, Lilly stopped.
“Bruce!” she hissed nervously, her eyes darting this way and that.

Bruce raised his eyebrows to form his question.

“Someone’s following us!” Lilly whispered, nodding her head towards Bruce.

Bruce casually glanced over his shoulder to see a security guard, thick with muscle glaring at the two teens with harsh suspicion in his eyes.

“What are we going to do?” Bruce whispered. Lilly closed her eyes and tapped her finger to her lip, thinking hard. Finally, her eyelids flew open and her eyes sparkled.

“We’re leaving,” she said simply, but her eyes were trying to say more to Bruce.
“We are? But Todd said-” Bruce began, but Lilly clamped her hand over Bruce’s mouth.

“Follow my lead,” she instructed. Bruce nodded quickly and Lilly released her hold.

The two ran to the exit. Bruce put his hand on the door, but Lilly shook her head and motioned him to follow her. She approached two pre-teens that were her and Bruce’s size.
“Hey there!” Lilly greeted. The tweens sheepishly waved. Lilly got closer and smiled.

“Listen, I’ll give you twenty bucks for those jackets and I’ll throw in this Marc Jacobs jacket and my friend will trade his leather one- all just for swapping coats. What do you say?”

The girl of the couple nodded vigorously and handed her shabby pink jacket to get her greedy palms on Lilly’s designer coat. The boy was slightly reluctant, but finally handed his band hoodie for Bruce’s leather. Bruce looked like he was about to cry, but let go.

Lilly thanked them and slipped into jacket, so did Bruce. With a friendly wave goodbye, Bruce and Lilly disappeared in the crowd, headed for Dillards. Lucky for them, the security guard kept his eagle eyes on the tweens with Bruce and Lilly’s jackets.
Finally, the clock struck 9:00. All the teens could hear the staff leaving for the night, saying goodbye to each other, closing the doors, and leaving.

Veronica and Eve escaped first from the bathroom into the open.
“What do you want to do first?” Eve asked, her eyes twinkling with excitement as she let the possibilities reach her mind.

“We should get the others,” Veronica said matter-of-factly.
“No need,” Todd said from behind. The girls wheeled around to see him, Bruce, and Lilly standing behind them.

“Ready to party?” Todd asked, smirking.


After about an hour of opening all the stores with Todd’s skeleton key, and Eve turning all the escalators and elevators, everyone went their own way.

Lilly ran to the Apple store and found an iPod Touch. She scanned the songs and finally found a good one to dance to, and cranked up the volume loud enough for everyone to hear.

Veronica and Eve set off to go to the most expensive dress store they could find. The two grabbed their favorite dresses and sped off to the dressing rooms, shoving on dress after dress. At about their fifth dress each, they stepped out to find Todd relaxed in a chair outside. He was whistling and clapping. They all decided to have a huge fashion show, modeling along with Lilly’s music.
Bruce wandered to the food court, wondering, if like him, the others were hungry.
Although not much of a cook, he grabbed a cookie cake, some sodas, and a few Subway sandwiches. He set off to find the others.

It had been an hour before the others had set off. Now he found Lilly at Build-A- Bear, dressing up the bears and giving them things to do. She snatched a sandwich and continued to fill a zebra with stuffing.

Bruce found Eve and Veronica having an extreme pillow fight in the mattress store.
He guessed that they had borrowed a lot of pillows from other stores, taking in how many feathers were strewn across the floor. Needless to say, they were both famished and wolfed down half the cake, two sandwiches, and two sodas in two minutes flat.

Next was Todd. Bruce blushed a little when he saw him in Victoria’s Secret. He waltzed in anyways, turning a brighter red.
“Hey, Bruce!” Todd called to him cheerfully from across the room.

“Hey,” Bruce muttered, embarrassed.
“Oh, come on, weren’t you curious? I mean- all my life I’ve wondered what the secret was- and guess what? It’s underwear. I swear, I will never listen to curiosity again,” Todd vowed solemnly.

“You mean, you didn’t know what this store was about?” Bruce asked, bewildered. Todd shrugged.
“Nope. My mom turned off the commercials and made me look away when passing the place. I should have listened,” Todd said ruefully.

Bruce sighed with relief and handed Todd some food.


Hours went by. Pretty soon, everyone got really exhausted- well, except for Todd and Eve. While everyone was asleep at the mattress store, the two were really having a good time.
They had fun especially in the elevator. Jumping up and down, the two went from first floor to second screaming and laughing the whole time.

Then, something happened.
The kids were almost to ground floor when a huge moan erupted from beneath their feet, and the elevator stopped with a shrill creak. They were stuck.

For almost about thirty minutes, Eve and Todd were screaming for the others to wake up. Because of the see-through glass, they watched in horror as everyone searched for them, but couldn’t find them.

Finally, Veronica looked up and gasped. Todd and Eve waved their arms frantically.
“What do we do?” Lilly whispered in horror, following Veronica’s gaze.

“We call the police, of course!” Bruce answered, shocked that no one thought of that before.

“No, bonehead! If we do, they’ll know we got in the mall after closing hours!” Veronica exclaimed, smacking Bruce across the head.

“We can’t leave them there!” Lilly cried out, looking at her brother’s face, which, for once, looked terrified.

“We’ll get found out either which way,” Bruce added quietly.
The teens pondered for minutes on end. Finally, with tears in her eyes, Lilly spoke.

“We’ve got to call the cops. If we can get bailed out of juvy, we’ll do it. We’ll use our college funds and Todd’s bet money. If we leave them up there- things can get much worse.” she said gravely.

“No need for that,” a voice from behind. Lilly, Bruce, and Veronica spun around to see none other than the same security Lilly and Bruce ran into hours before. His face was hard.
“Tell you what- I’ll get your friends out of that elevator and you pay me your bet money and work as maintenance here for eight weeks- deal?” he asked, a smile sneaking on his face. Everyone nodded.

Todd and Eve were finally let down. Everyone hugged and Bruce let them have the rest of the cookie cake and sodas. The security guard repeated his terms and Eve and
Todd agreed immediately.


Years passed after that night. Lilly and Bruce got married and had two kids- Eve and

Todd was a biology teacher, and Veronica owned a restaurant. Eve moved to China and came back to America as a mother of adopted twins. But whenever anyone had to go to the mall, everyone went together.

They were all close friends with Bernie, the security guard, and all attended his funeral when he died at age 83.

But at his will reading, everyone was surprised. They discovered that Bernie wasn’t a security guard, but the owner of the mall! And even more surprising, he gave the group of friends the whole mall!

They all lived very happy for years to come, and, one day a year they all sleep over and spend on fantastic night at the mall.

The author's comments:
Everyone has thought it- what happens after stores close? Could I survive?

It's every teens dream.

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