Abigail peered out from under the counter. The shop had just closed and it was very quiet. With a sudden click most of the lights went off, leaving just a faint glow. Clambering to her paws she padded out into the aisle. The shop was huge! There were piles of pots and pans and in the distance she could see lots of clothes and shoes. She wondered where the cafe was. A shop this big must have a cafe. She wrinkled her nose thoughtfully, perhaps it had two!
‘Abigail,’ said Preston suspiciously, ‘you’re not thinking about food are you, we’ve only just got here.’
Grigs appeared right beside him. ‘What are we doing?’
‘Trying to find the bed department.’ The polar pointed at Abigail. ‘Not the cake department.’
‘Will find it if I want to,’ muttered Abigail.
Patrick waved his paw at them all impatiently. ‘Come on everyone, this way.’
They all stood in front of a big metal staircase that led up into the darkness. To the left was a large sign. Patrick had clambered onto the tigers head and put on a small pair of glasses. ‘Third floor, furniture. Is the escalator working or shall we get the lift?’
‘Get off my head!’ said Grigs grumpily, ‘your paws tickle.’
Abigail wondered what an escalator was or who would lift them up onto the third floor. Wouldn’t they have to climb and why did a shop have so many floors?
Preston tapped on the edge of the stairs. ‘Yes, just as I thought, they’ll start to move if we just climb onto them and… Grigs! Come back!’
Bouncing straight past him the tiger landed on the first step. ‘Whoa…’ as the stairs started to move upwards he wobbled wildly on his paws. ‘Where are you going? Come back!’
‘You’re going Grigs,’ shouted Preston, ‘not us. Wait for us at the top!’
‘Don’t like it! Coming down!’ Bouncing hard the tiger jumped down a step, then another, and another. The stairs hummed steadily upwards. ‘Not working!’
‘Oh for goodness sake stay where you are,’ Preston climbed onto the first step. ‘It’s only a moving staircase, it will take us all to the next floor, just stop bouncing!’
Abigail had never seen anything like it. How could stairs move? The ones in their hall never moved, she was sure of it, Grigs was almost at the top and Preston was disappearing rapidly.
Patrick waved a paw at her, ‘come on, follow me.’
Swallowing hard Abigail reminded herself that she was a very brave bear and stepped forward..
There were three sets of moving stairs. By the third, Abigail was almost enjoying herself and turning around she sat down and watched the floor below move away. But as a bear with paws, she wasn’t very fond of getting off. As they got to the very top, the step disappeared right under a row of scary looking metal teeth and Abigail leapt up as high as she could over them. She got better and better and leapt up even higher on the final floor, sailing right over the heads of both polars. Looking up, they watched as she landed on a bright pink chair. Sitting up she looked around in interest.
‘Only Abigail would be lucky enough to land right in the middle of a chair,’ sighed Patrick, ‘there’s probably a cake under it too.’
‘Really?’ said Abigail lifting up a cushion in interest. ‘Where?’
There were beds everywhere! Wooden beds, iron beds, beds on the floor, beds with steps. They all had pillows and were covered in different colour blankets and had tables and lights next to them. It was just like being in a house. Grigs was staring at a bed with another balanced right on top of it.
‘That’s called a bunk bed,’ explained Patrick, ‘it’s for two people. Or you could sleep on one, then try the other.’
‘Well I want a bed of my own,’ said Abigail, climbing down from one and then up onto the top of another that had a nice yellow blanket, ‘we’ve all got our own rooms. This one’s really comfy,’ she slid down under the sheets. It was quite dark and reaching out she turned on the bedside light and yawned.
‘Don’t go to sleep,’ warned Patrick, ‘we need to be ready to leave in the morning. And don’t mess up that bed, we need to leave it all tidy so they don’t know we were here.’ He looked around at all of the creased covers. ‘How many have you tried? Look at the state of them!’
Turning over, Abigail snuggled down.
Both of the polars were asleep. Abigail lay under the blankets dozing. She wriggled her paws, she couldn’t sleep she really was quite hungry. There must be a cafe here somewhere. Pushing back the covers she climbed out and jumped down quietly onto the floor. This was the bed she really wanted, it was so comfy. Padding past the others she could hear the tiger snoring softly.
Now, where to go… Standing in front of the sign by the stairs she frowned, she wasn’t really very good at reading but it was only because the words were so small. Abigail was sure she could read perfectly if she wanted to. But there was a big picture of a coffee cup, it was on the fourth floor. Looking at the escalator she took a deep breath and sniffed. Yes, up there. Was that…? Lemon cake, and coffee. She could smell it, she was sure of it. And perhaps there would be chocolate cake as well. Stepping onto the escalator it slowly started to move and lifted her up towards it. She was sure she could find it. This was a very nice shop and she was a very clever bear…