Hanna gazed into the cube shaped fish tank. The dull looking fish with the unpronounceable name stared at her with its huge eyes with pupils as large as their stomach, or at least, according to the tour guide. The guide led Hanna and her group away from the tanks and into the furry animal section of the store. It was about time, he had started out with the snakes and tarantulas, which were things to be eradicated in her opinion, not kept as pets. By the look the guide, Chad, had on his face as he passed the slithering things around for Hanna’s classmates to hold (she had refused to take one) he had a different opinion. He talked like they were the greatest pets ever.
Fish came next, boring combined with high maintenance Hanna had said when the guide had asked what she thought of them; she hadn’t made it a secret that she didn’t like reptiles and bugs.
She cheered up as they made their way out of the fish section; leaving the stink of filthy tanks only to be replaced by another unpleasant smell.
“Mink,” the guide said as he proudly pointed them out to her.
“Rodents with silky pelts,” Hanna said covering her mouth as she headed out of the section. “At least I know not to work at a pet store,” she said passing the teacher. “I’d throw my chips if I had to smell all of this all day.”
“Shh,” the teacher snapped.
“What do you like then?” another student asked.
“Dogs, cats, you know, real pets.” Hanna fought back a cough.
She got some muttered agreements from other classmates.
“Unfortunately, our dogs and cat section in closed and the animals have been relocated to another store until the remodeling is done.” The guide said for the whole class to hear.
Hanna didn’t need to voice her disappointment her peers did it for her. She closed her eyes, like that was going to help her churning stomach.
She began to reflect on the day and wondered how else a trip to the pet store could go wrong, even if she puked.
That’s when she felt something hit her head.
“Eww!” her classmates squealed.
She reached up without thinking and her peers screamed louder as she looked as her hand to find it covered in bird poop.
She felt her teacher tug on her arm. Through the roaring in her ears Hanna heard the guide giving directions to the bathrooms.
Once they got there, Hanna bent over the sink without being asked and she felt the freezing water hit her scalp and it almost made her jump. Then she felt something crawl over her sandal and she did jump and she banged her head on the faucet.
“What was that,” Hanna asked pulling away from her teacher. Looking on the floor and clutching her throbbing head,she saw a scuttling lizard just as it ducked behind a stall door.
“Where did all these animals come from,” Hanna said backing away from the thing.
“We’re in a pet store, where do you think they came from?” The teacher retorted.
“They’re supposed to be in cages, not flying and crawling everywhere,” Hanna said not calming down.
“Sometimes they get loose. Now get your head back under the water, or we’ll miss the rest of the tour.”
“How did they get loose?” Hanna asked as she leaned back over again.
“I’m sure they didn’t plan it Hanna,” the teacher started to scrub.
“Just like I didn’t plan to get pooped on, don’t scrub so hard!” Hanna said through gritted teeth.
“Toughen up already.”
Hanna held her tongue, she wanted to think that this day couldn’t get any worse, but she didn’t want it to start raining in the bathroom.