With a click, the door closed behind Shasta Bear. She was not sure how the door opened, but she just pawed at the handle and the door opened. Mommy did not see it because she was in the bathtub. The Bear was hungry, and Mommy was not going to take her out for food until after her bath. Mommy said she felt gross, but baths were gross. No one should want to get into a bathtub ever. Bear hated them.
And you should always get a Bear food.
“Mommy! Open up the door, Bear in an unfamiliar place! Bear want food! Bear want Mommy,” the Bear whined at the door.
Then something sweet hit her nose. She did not know what it was, but the thought of getting back into the hotel room left her mind completely. A few doors down sat a tray of half-eaten pancakes, some undercooked home fries, and a mimosa.
In a few bites, the pancakes and home fries were devoured. The Bear had grown thirsty and needed something to drink. The orange substance in the little glass did not smell good and she was unsure about the bubbles that tickled her nose when she sniffed. The glass was thin, and she did not know if she could get her tongue down into it.
She tried anyway.
The fizzy orange drink did not taste very good and the Bear hacked it up on to the tray. Then a little bit more on the hotel floor. She wagged her tail and looked up and down the hall. What room was hers?
“A Mommy? A Bear wants you.”
The Bear turned, trotting down the hallway in the wrong direction. At the end of the hall was a set of elevators. Lots of people in various states of their evening were getting on and off. The Bear jumped into one of the elevators and began to sniff the legs that were packed all around her.
Not one of them smelled like Mommy. This made the Bear sad. It only had been away from Mommy for a few minutes, but it felt like forever to her.
“Hello humans, do you know where my Mommy is?”
The elevator opened up and lots of noise hit the Bear as she exited the elevator. Sounds of bells, buzzers, clacking plastic, loud conversations. The smell of cigarette smoke and the smells of so many wonderful and potentially delicious foods lingered above the noise. Not that orange fizzy shit though. Bear not likes that orange fizzy drink. That stuff not for Bears.
She was scared to exit the elevator, but then a stupid human leg kicked her hard in her back-right quarter. It hurt a lot, and she wanted to bite whatever did that to her, but she was too kind of a Bear and not wanted to cause harm to any living thing (unless it was a frog, a lizard, or a squirrel. Those sons of bitches had it coming).
“Who let this fucking mutt into the hotel,” said the man who kicked her. He was shorter than Daddy thing and had more facial hair. Daddy thing could not grow facial hair. Daddy thing sucked like that.
The Bear took in the man’s face as he left the elevator and she trotted after him. He seemed like a man who knew where to get food. He might know where to get Mommy too, but Bear wanted to get more food.
“Food? Food? Food?” the Bear thought to herself over and over again. There were so many people about. So many smells about as well. The Bear did not know what to do with herself or where to go. She had to pee and knew she was not allowed to pee inside.
Somewhere inside here there was some sort of fresh air about. The Bear stuck her nose in the air and locked in on the scent of the outside and began to follow it, dodging around people. Eventually, she came upon a door that opened up on its own. That didn’t happen at home. Mommy or Daddy thing always opened up the doors for a Bear like the queen that she was.
Outside a giant fountain with lots of pretty lights and music had drawn the attention of more people than the Bear had seen in her whole entire life. The people watched the fountain shoot high into the air. It was just stupid water and the Bear had to pee, so she did so right behind some shrubs next to the fountain. Then the fountain decided to stop, and some people clapped, and some people took pictures of some fire on the water, but Bear cared not. She got lost in the shuffle of hundreds of people moving toward the street.
Crossing the street without the Mommy and Daddy things was a bad Bear. She was a good Bear and would wait for human things to cross the street and go with them. Plus, there were so many cars going by so fast they might hurt a Bear. Bear knew better. Bear smart.
And then she saw the man that had kicked her in the room that moves up and down. He was screaming at some lady who was crying. That sad. No one should yell at nice ladies like that. In the man’s hand was a hot dog. The Bear loved hot dogs. That man was a jerk, so she was going to steal that hot dog and go find Mommy thing again.
The man yelled and yelled at the nice-looking lady, not more than a few feet from the rush of cars on The Strip. He waved the hot dog all about as he yelled at her. The Bear trotted up next to the man and waited for him to bring the hot dog down near her. Sometimes the hot dog came near her but was jerked away at the last minute.
The man was very animated with his hands while he yelled. The woman stormed off away from the man. He yelled some more before he threw his hands up in the air and turned back toward the huddle of people, his back to the traffic, the hot dog sitting at his chest.
“What are you all looking at?”
Now was the time for the Bear to act. If she did it quickly, she could get the hot dog and get back to Mommy. She lunged, jaws wide open, front legs awkwardly splayed, her back legs propelling her forward.
Her front paws slammed into the chest of the man, her jaws latched on to the hot dog, and with some athleticism, she spun in midair and landed back down on the sidewalk. She chomped the hot dog down as the man was thrown into the path of an oncoming tour bus and disappeared into the sound of screeching tires and crunching metal.
The Bear ate up her hot dog as people around her screamed about some horrible tragedy that just happened. Bear not noticed, as she had happy hot dog times instead.
“Red hand means stop,” thought the Bear. “Bear knows that, hot dog jerk man should knows it too. Oh well. Bears. Where a Mommy?”
The Bear sniffed the ground and followed the scent of her footprints back into the loud building. She made her way all the way to the back hall where the moving rooms sat. There was a ding and one of the doors opened up.
“Shasta Bear! How did you get all the way down here?”
Mommy ran up to Shasta and wrapped her up in a great big hug.
“I’m sorry Bear. I should have watched you better.”
“It okay Mommy,” the Bear said as she wagged her tail and licked Mommy about the head and neck.
“Let’s get you back up to the hotel room and give you a dinner. Is a Bear hungry?”
“Bear hungry. Bear could eat, Mommy. Bear always hungry. Let’s have tacos!”