“The Mall” was originally written for a theme anthology that straddled the horror and science fiction genres. I'm not really a science fiction writer, though, and apart from a few vague references to a dystopian society, this story reads as straight horror - which is probably one of the reasons why it was rejected. I've always liked “The Mall,” however, and its depiction of a shattered nuclear family still speaks to me.

    

Used availability for Bentley Little's The Mall