Licking her lips, Abigail crept quietly away into the shop. They were locked in, so she may as well go to the cafe, they might have something interesting to eat. Behind her Patrick sat on the floor, his head in his paws. With a sigh he picked up the torch and shone it towards the door.
‘It’s in my eyes, I can’t see!’ said Grigs loudly, bouncing backwards. There was a crash and a ‘whoops!’ Then another loud crash, a rattle and a groaning noise.
‘Grigs stay still,’ hissed polar, ‘and Abigail where are you?’
‘Over here,’ mumbled Abigail through a mouth full of cake. She padded back down the aisle. ‘I was hungry so I just went to see.’
Patrick got to his paws. ‘Well stop going to see, we need to think about how to get out. If I can’t find another key we’re going to have to stay here tonight and wait for the door to open in the morning.’
‘But it will be light,’ said Abigail doubtfully, waving the rest of her cake in the air, ‘and there’s three of us to get out now.’
With a sniff Patrick nodded. ‘Yes, I had noticed. But the doors locked and the key we had is outside. Somebody put it back under the mat.’ He stared at her pointedly.
‘Wasn’t my fault,’ mumbled Abigail, kicking at the floor with her paw, ‘and I didn’t close the door.’ Looking at Grigs she finished her cake and carefully licked the crumbs from her whiskers. Pointing towards the back of the shop she felt a rush of excitement, ‘but we can still get my car. It’s should be down there, come on I’ll show you properly.’ She hurried off.
A pair of stripy ears appeared from behind the polars head. ‘It’s very dark’ Grigs said doubtfully. ‘Where are the lights?’
Patrick glared him. ‘What did I tell you? Stay home I said but on no… And we can’t turn on the lights, we’ll be seen. Just stay close to me and try not to break anything.’ Clicking the torch on again with a loud sigh, he shone it down the aisle. ‘Now where’s she gone?’ Behind him the tiger edged closer. His nose bumped hard into the polars head and with a thud Patrick fell over.
‘Sorry,’ muttered Grigs, ‘Was just staying closer.’
Standing in front of the cars Abigail stood up as tall as she could on her paws. She held her breath. There it was! It was still there, right at the back. Letting out her breath in a rush, she pushed the other cars aside and pulled it out. It was so red and shiny. Patting it fondly, she climbed on and flicked on the control. With a roar the engine came to life. Leaning forward she pushed the button down hard. The car jumped forward, it was fast! The fur blew back from Abigails face as she raced down the aisle. She’d forgotten how much fun this was! Ahead was a small bright light and she shot towards it. The light got bigger and bigger. Abigail narrowed her eyes, she couldn’t see. What on earth was that? It was getting very bright.
‘Look out!’ squealed the polar, waving the torch at her. ‘Stop!’ Ducking his head he leapt aside. ‘Stop right now!’
Pulling on the steering wheel, Abigail swerved left. There was a loud crash and suddenly the car stopped. Sailing over the steering wheel she landed hard on the floor. A stream of marbles cascaded down on her head. Putting out an unsteady paw she sat up. she felt very dizzy. The car was wedged into the shelf. Anxiously she reached out towards it, it wasn’t broken was it?
Patrick seemed very angry. ‘What on earth were you doing? That was very dangerous!’
‘I’m a very good driver’ retorted Abigail, pulling out her car. ‘You were shining that light right into my eyes.’
‘He did that to me too,’ said Grigs, ‘it was very dangerous too, I could have bounced into anything.’
‘You did!’ hissed the Polar, ‘you bounced into lots of things.’
Ignoring them both Abigail ran her paws carefully over her car, it seemed all right. Stepping back she trod on a marble, they were all over the floor. And very shiny. She scooped them up.
Patrick threw his paws up into the air. ‘You almost ran me over and now you’re picking up marbles. You’ve got lots of marbles at home’.
Grasping them in her paw Abigail shook her head defiantly. ‘Not green ones’.
‘Oh for goodness sake,’ said Patrick. ‘Keep them then! But leave that car alone and you can both help me look for another key.’
The night wore on. They’d looked everywhere for another key but couldn’t find one anywhere. The polar had carefully counted out what he called money and left it with the list of things by the till, including extra for the car, the green marbles and the three cakes Abigail had now eaten. There was no sign of the tiger but there was the sound of snoring somewhere nearby. They were all very tired and Abigail yawned loudly
‘Patrick we can’t find another key, if we’re not going home can we go to sleep for a while.’
‘We’ll have to find somewhere to hide,’ said the Polar doubtfully. ‘Can you really drive that car?’
Abigail nodded. ‘Of course I can.’
He shook his head. ‘We’ll leave as soon as it’s light and we’ll go on the car, it will be faster.’ He shook his head again. ‘I can’t believe I’m letting you drive I hope you know what you’re doing.’ He looked around. ‘Do you know where we can sleep?’
Abigail glanced up towards the jigsaws on the top shelf. ‘I know the very place.’
The cubby hole that had felt so cosy when she’d slept there before, now felt very crowded. They’d found Grigs curled up in a pile of scarves which somehow had got themselves tangled up around his paws. Untangling him proved more difficult than it should have as he kept turning around and around and they all ended up in a big wooly knot.
‘Stop it!’ said Patrick, ‘now we’re all tangled up with you, just stay still then follow us up to those jigsaws up there.’ Unwinding himself and then Abigail, the Polar climbed nimbly up to the top shelf. Abigail followed him. Grigs looked up at them doubtfully. Putting his paws onto the first shelf he clambered up with a loud huff, then fell off.
‘You’re a tiger,’ hissed Patrick looking down at him, ‘you’re meant to be good at climbing.’
‘Tigers climb trees,’ said Grigs defensively, ‘not shelves, shelves are slippery.’
‘Well try again!’
Finally they were all tucked in behind the jigsaw. ‘Grigs,’ said Abigail, ‘your tail is hanging out.’ The tiger pulled it in, stepping on her paw and on one of the jam cakes she’d bought up from the cafe. It was a very sticky cake. Grigs shook his paw and bits flew all around the hidey hole. Patrick wiped jam from his eye. Abigail clutched her marbles tightly in her paw, she didn’t want cake all over them.
‘Settle down everyone,’ said Patrick. ‘Try and get some sleep, we need to be up really early so we can get out of here and get back home.’
Abigail did feel very tired, and with another loud yawn she tucked her marbles under her paws. Curling up against Grigs and Patrick she closed her eyes. ‘I’m keeping these marbles,’ she murmured.
‘Of course you are,’ muttered the polar, ‘now go to sleep.’