|“||Now, there are some people in the world whose imaginations are so powerful that they can pull their private World of Thought into the physical World of Reality by tearing the fabric between the two. I'm one of those people.||”|
|— Vic to Drew|
Vic's eye has worsened, blood dripping from it as she talks to Maggie over the phone. Neither one can sleep. Vic can’t stop thinking about Sharon Smith. Maggie advises her to stick to her story when the police return for questioning, that Bing killed Sharon, and he knows who took Haley. The police will undoubtedly come back to see Vic given the magical bridge sized hole in her story. Vic hangs up with Maggie and sneaks into the garage, where she uses Tiffany’s supplies to sketch out her visions, in what is almost a trans-like state. Before Vic knows it, it’s morning time, and she’s being confronted by Chris and Tiffany. Vic finally takes a break to look at her work and it’s numerous pictures of Charlie Manx and the Wraith.
While waiting in the car for her dad, Vic gets a message from Willa, inviting Vic to her party so they can talk about the fact that Vic found Sharon’s body. Chris gets in the truck and tells Vic just how much she scared him this morning in the garage. On Chris’ first tour in Kuwait, he was a driver for an armored truck convoy. He’d been there a couple weeks when the lead truck in the convoy got blown sky high. And later, he recognized Ricky Giblin’s hand because they got the same tattoo one night when he was Vic’s age. He never talked about it and it poisoned him to keep everything inside. He wants better for Vic, who insists she’s fine.
They stop by the house to pick up Vic’s bike. Linda suggests that maybe it’s time Vic get a car. However, Vic prefers her bike. Linda questions what Vic was doing in that field where she found Sharon. "Where you with Craig?", she asks. Vic explains that she wasn’t and that she doesn’t have time to argue right now. Linda turns her frustrations on Chris, blaming him for ever buying Vic the bike, which Linda attributes to her eye problem. They are interrupted by Detective Tabitha Hutter, whose been assigned to the Sharon and Haley Smith case.
Inside, Detective Hutter asks how Vic found the body. Vic claims she was riding home on her dirt bike when she saw a ton of crows pecking around in the dirt. Hutter is skeptical. Vic goes on to say she was coming from Bing’s house, who she accused of committing the murder. Detective Hutter asks Vic if she saw Bing kill Sharon or dispose of the body, which Vic didn’t. But Vic explains that Bing said he made Sharon clean, before she escaped his house. Detective Hutter is having a hard time connecting Vic’s story. She’s certain that Vic at the very least isn’t telling her everything.
Vic returns home to find Tiffany cleaning her mess. She was going to redo the kitchen with the linoleum that Vic ruined. Months of extra shifts wasted. Vic offers to pay her back, but she’s in high school without a job. Tiffany isn’t expecting back much in terms of compensation. Vic apologizes. Tiffany is sorry as well for what Vic saw; Sharon, naked and buried with a nail in her head, but she didn’t sign up to look after Vic. Chris arrives, and Vic tells him how Tiffany was just telling her she didn’t sign up for this. She thinks Vic should be with her mother. Vic looks to her dad and asks if he feels the same. He doesn’t respond, but his silence speaks for him. And so, Vic leaves on her bike.
Bing hides in the basement as Manx knocks on his door, demanding to be let in. Bing reveals that Vic found Sharon Smith’s body and told the police that he killed her. Manx doesn’t blame Bing for the discovery of the body as neither he nor Bing could’ve foreseen Vic’s resourcefulness. Bing also worries that what they’re doing isn’t right, at least according to Vic. However, Manx assures him that they saved Haley. There will always be those who don’t understand the work they do. Manx advises Bing to turn himself in to the police. Manx asks Bing what his favorite TV show is. Bing replies "Monster Trucks", which was on all last night. With that in mind, Manx coaches Bing on what to say to the police.
As planned, Bing turns himself in. He is questioned by Detective Hutter. Bing explains that he works for Massachusetts Custodial and Security Services. They send him to two places. He did his shift at SoChemPharm, and then he headed to William White Memorial High School. Afterward, he headed home, where he watched his favorite show "Monster Trucks." Both of Bing’s supervisors can confirm this, as well as Vic, who stopped by to return a comic book. Hutter suggests that maybe Vic and Bing are more than friends, but he insists they aren’t. Detective Hutter then asks about the youth facility he was sent to. Those records are sealed, Bing replies. He was around Vic’s age when he was sentenced. Hutter asks if his crime was sexual in nature, but Bing simply repeats his previous alibi rather than answering.
In art class, Craig reminds Vic of all the times he told her something wasn’t right about Bing. But no one ever believes him. She retorts that’s no one believes him because he’s always high. Craig knows that Vic used her Bridge to find Sharon despite her promising to never use it again. Vic’s heart is too big and too dumb for Craig’s comfort. He wants to skip class, but Vic is hoping to finish her portfolio so that she can leave Haverhill to attend RISD. She suggests that Craig apply as well, but they both know that he only took art class to be near her. He tells Vic that she’s the best part of the town and that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do without her. Vic invites him to Willa’s party. Craig would rather go swimming on Amity Island than party with Drew, whom he refers to as "tea and crumpets." Feeling left out in Vic’s new world that she’s building for herself, Craig leaves class abruptly. Vic makes eye contact with Bing, who passes her classroom.
Vic confronts Bing as she was under the impression that he would be arrested. Bing recites a rhyme; "Murmur, chitchat, gossip, prattle. Everyone knows true friends don’t tattle." Bing explains that Detective Hutter didn’t have any evidence to hold him. He then hands Vic an letter. It’s details where and when to meet up with Manx.
Vic stops by Maggie’s hotel room and informs her of the meet up with Manx. Manx has been taking kids for decades and still nobody has found them. She thinks Manx is taking the kids to his Inscape, and if they find out what that is, maybe Vic’s Bridge can take them there. However, Vic isn’t so sure it can. Last time she tried, it took her to Bing’s house. But that’s when she was looking for Haley, who was in the Wraith at the time. Maggie concludes that Vic’s Bridge can only take her to a fixed point. It can’t take her to a moving car, meaning Manx must’ve left Bing’s with Haley right before Vic got there. Tomorrow, Vic is meeting with Manx, and she’ll have to find out all she can about his Inscape. Maggie offers to drive as Vic can’t take her bike. Should Manx find out about her Knife, he’ll ensure Vic loses access to her Bridge. While Vic’s meeting with him, she’ll find the Wraith and get the license plate, something concrete they can give to the police. Maggie’s Tiles told her the Brat would find the Wraith, but they didn’t say it she would survive.
Vic can’t sleep or go home, so instead she decides to attend Willa’s party with Maggie. Simon offers Vic a drink, which she would normally decline, but makes an exception for tonight. After two drinks, Vic spots Drew across the room and joins him by the window. Drew asks if she’s okay. Vic looks outside to the pool that she almost drowned in as a kid. She was 8 years old. Willa had two cousins visiting for the summer. They were teenage boys. She and Willa were playing with their Barbies one afternoon when they grabbed Vic, threw her in, and held her underwater by her wrist and ankles until she thought her head was about to explode. It felt as if she was between worlds. Life and death. Reality and thought. Vic explains to Drew how there are some people in the world whose imagination is so powerful they can bring their private World of Thought into the physical World of Reality by tearing the fabric between the two. Vic is one of those people. Drew tells Vic how scientists say time and space are infinite with billions of dimensions. Whatever they can think or dream of has already happened or is happening right now somewhere else. Vic kisses Drew, her first kiss to an extent. There was this one time with Joey Ricci, but she was 5, so she doesn’t think it counts. And then they kiss again.
As Vic spends time with Drew, Maggie hangs out with Willa. Maggie swats Willa’s hand when she attempts to grab her Scrabble bag, explaining that it holds the mysteries to the universe. She then asks Willa about Drew, who according to Willa, hasn’t stopped talking about Vic since Labor Day. Willa is especially happy for Vic as she doesn’t see her having fun much, as she is too often being pulled down by her terrible parents. Willa can relate in the sense that she too feels as if her parents are terrible. Maggie mocks Willa and privileged life. Maggie was never so lucky to be afforded what Willa has, as she's an orphan. Willa asks how old Maggie was when her parents died. Maggie reveals they’re not dead. They disowned her because she was unholy. To prove it, Maggie asks her Scrabble bag who is the coolest girl at Exeter Academy. She spells out "Beans." It’s a nickname given to Willa by her mother when she was a baby.
The lights suddenly start to flicker. Drew suspects it’s the circuit breaker and stops dancing with Vic to check it out. Maggie then grabs a drunk Vic and takes her back to her hotel room to sleep it off. Vic and Maggie lay in bed together, side by side. Vic tells Maggie how she trashed her dad’s girlfriend’s garage after using her Bridge to find Sharon. She's scared. The first time Maggie’s mother caught her using her Scrabble Bag, she sent Maggie to see their pastor as they thought something was wrong with her. Vic’s dad on the other hand used to think she was the greatest when everyone else thought she was a weirdo. And he’d always take her side and make her feel like she belonged. Vic fears that she’ll never belong anywhere ever again. On the contrary, Vic’s Bridge brought her to Maggie, who believes that Strong Creatives belong together.
The following morning, Vic wakes up and leaves Maggie behind. She meets Manx at the Peter Pan Bus Station as planned. He’s much younger than Vic imagined. She asks him what has he done with Haley. The first time she used her Bridge, he could feel it — an arrhythmia. Static came over the radio. He knew that Vic must be extraordinarily gifted to disrupt his Wraith. Then came the dreams. He never saw her face, but he did dream of things related to her. A river. A man’s watch. The bats. He warns her to be careful of the bats. Their Inscapes are manifestations of their minds, so if all the bats fly out of Vic’s Bridge, she’ll lose her mind. She asks him what his Inscape says about his mind. She knows that it involves Christmas. It pleases him to know that she’s been dreaming of him as well. While she may have used her Bridge to find Sharon, she can’t do the same to find Haley.
Maggie arrives at the bus station. She takes a peak through the window and sees Vic sitting across from Manx. She takes this opportunity to get a better look at the Wraith.
Vic’s body is already paying a price for using the Shorter Way. Most Strong Creatives are crippled before they even reach their full potential. But Manx is going to live forever because he’s figured out how to refill what his Inscape takes from him. He could teach Vic. "Like you taught Bing?" Vic asks. Manx explains that Bing is a simple man. Unlike him and Vic. They’re one in a trillion. Christmasland is Manx’s life work. It is a place of wonder and joy. Haley is there safe and sound with all his other children. He’s given them everything except a mother. Vic would be very welcome in Christmasland, at Manx’s side. Vic declines. He warns her that there will be consequences if she refuses him and cannot be prevailed upon to behave herself. Vic tells him of her plan to take her Bridge to Christmasland, rescue Haley, and burn it to the ground with Manx in it. However, no one has ever been able to enter Christmasland except via his Wraith.
Maggie inspects the Wraith. Taking a good look at the NOS4A2 license plate. Maggie grabs the door handle on the Wraith, and Manx instantly realizes that Vic didn’t come alone. The door is locked. It suddenly swings open and knocks Maggie to the ground. The Wraith starts on its own and chases Maggie down through the parking lot and hits her just a few feet away from Vic. Manx exits the station just behind Vic and drives off in the Wraith.
Vic watches over Maggie as she lays unconscious in a hospital bed. Detective Hutter approaches and asks to speak with Vic, though Vic doesn’t wish to talk to her given that she allowed Bing to walk. Hutter explains that Vic didn’t give her enough information to hold him. She asks if Bing was Vic’s boyfriend and if she was with him when he abducted Sharon. Hutter doesn’t know what to think given that Vic has left so many details from her story. Detective Hutter asks Vic who was driving the car that hit Maggie. Vic tells her the truth; no one was driving. It’s a black 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with a vanity license plate NOS4A2, Vic describes. Vic watched it run down Maggie on its own. However, the Wraith belongs to Charlie Manx. He uses it to abduct kids and take them to a dark place in his imagination called Christmasland. Vic also explains the Shorter Way and it’s inner workings, such as how it helps her find lost things.
Given her statement, Detective Hutter wants Vic to sign a release form for conditional voluntary commitment into the hospital. Chris is in agreement. He tells Vic it’ll only be a few days, so that she can get some rest and help. He wish he had gotten help when he needed it. He thinks this would be good for everyone. Vic reluctantly signs the form.
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