Authors: Tamsyn Murray
I don’t know about Doodle, but Miranda’s silly voice was enough to make
‘Stop the bus!’ Miranda demanded. ‘Doodle
have some fresh air.’
‘I can’t stop on the motorway,’ the driver called back. ‘But it’s not far to the next service station. We can pull in there if you like?’
Doodle yowled miserably and Miranda fussed over her. ‘We don’t have much choice. Hang on, darling.’
Now, I’m no doctor, but even I could see that Doodle was suffering. Her nose was pressed flat against her seat and her eyes were squeezed shut. She didn’t stop her pitiful moaning for a second. I could see what Sam meant; it did sound like she was singing, in a really awful, out of tune kind of way.
‘Here we are,’ shouted the driver, steering the bus off the straight motorway and around the bendy road to the service station. We all swayed. I glanced over at Doodle, who was now
green, and shuffled back inside my basket as fast as I could. Any minute now, she was going to blow and I didn’t want to be caught in the crossfire.
‘Oh, well done, Doody-Woody,’ Miranda said, unfastening Doodle’s harness as we stopped. She wrapped her arms around the dog in a big cuddle. ‘We’ll soon have you feeling much bet—’
There was a revolting retching sound from Doodle. Miranda let out a horrified wail and I clasped a paw to my nose as the smell of sick wafted through the bus. Slowly, Miranda stood up. A blob of half chewed carrot plopped from her hair and on to her shoes.
‘Urgh,’ said EE, wrinkling his nose in disgust when he saw Miranda. ‘Guess who won’t be in the owner’s lounge for the rest of the journey?’
Miranda tugged a wretched-looking Doodle towards the door. ‘That suits me fine. I’ve never met a more boring bunch anyway.’
The two of them swept down the steps and off the bus. For a moment no one spoke, then EE turned to Susie. ‘Do you know, it couldn’t happen to a nicer couple.’
And for once, I actually agreed with him.
I don’t mind admitting that I’ve got expensive tastes. So, when the tour bus pulled up outside our hotel in Glasgow, I was keen to see what kind of luxury Gloria had in store for us. And I wasn’t disappointed. Judging from the glittering lights around the gold entrance, the classy red carpet and the smartly dressed doorman, the
was the poshest of the posh.
‘Wow!’ Susie said, her nose pushed up against the window of the bus. ‘It’s like something out of a movie.’
She wasn’t wrong. The Landmark was clearly where all the stars came to stay, because huddled outside was a row of photographers, cameras in hand as they waited patiently to snap any visiting celebrities. As Susie clipped on my glittery black and silver harness and lead, I shook out my gorgeous grey fur and straightened up my whiskers. I was determined to look my best for the paparazzi. If it was a star they were looking for, they’d come to the right place.
From the moment we stepped off the bus, the cameras were flashing in our direction.
‘Look, it’s Harriet Houdini!’ one called, clicking away furiously.
‘Over ere, Stunt Bunny!’ another shouted as he elbowed the photographer beside him out of the way.
‘Give us a backflip!’ a third cried, throwing himself on to the floor to get the best shot.
Susie and I turned towards them and I twitched my nose in the cutest possible way while they snapped away. EE hung around behind us, desperate to get into the pictures, but the photographers kept moving to cut him out.
‘Oi!’ one yelled, when EE gave up hovering in the background and thrust his grinning face up to mine. ‘Do you mind? It’s Harriet’s mug shot we want, not yours.’
Then, Gloria appeared beside us. ‘That’s enough for now, gentlemen,’ she said, ushering us towards the brightly lit revolving doors and waving a wagging finger at the photographers. ‘If you want to see more of the sensational Stunt Bunny, you’ll have to buy a ticket for tomorrow night’s show!’
Grumbling, the paparazzi turned their cameras expectantly towards the bus, waiting for the next passenger to emerge from the narrow doorway. When Doodle and Miranda appeared, there was an excited burst of flashing lights. But, after the incident on the bus, neither of them was exactly looking their best. Doodle’s fur was flat and her eyes were dull. Miranda looked even worse and she held up one hand in front of her face.
Gloria hurried towards them and looked them up and down, before leaning closer. ‘I wonder if you’d be better off using the entrance at the back of the hotel?’ she murmured. ‘We don’t want any unflattering pictures of Doodle in the newspapers, now, do we?’
With a sulky scowl, Miranda led Doodle away. Seconds later, the paparazzi were snapping away at Cherry and Lulu. I almost felt bad for Doodle. Then I remembered how she and Miranda had tried to stop me from getting to the
Superpets Search for a Superstar
semi-final and, suddenly, I didn’t feel so sorry for her anymore.
Once we were all off the bus Gloria gathered us all together beside the grand staircase in the centre of the hotel lobby.
‘Welcome to the
, your home for the next two nights,’ she said, as her assistant checked a clipboard and handed out room keys. ‘In the morning, we’ll explain exactly what will happen on the tour. But tonight, feel free to enjoy everything this five star hotel has to offer.’
Sam’s eyes were as big as Frisbees as he stared at the staircase. ‘Imagine sliding down that.’
It looked like fun, but my attention was fixed on Gloria as she described the deluxe Jacuzzi and the rooftop terrace bar, where the rich and famous came to party. I pictured me and Susie making friends with pop pin-ups and movie stars. This was it, I realised, once Gloria had finished talking and a bell-boy was showing us to our room. This was what they called the Big Time!