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We Have A Bat Situation - Part I

Posted 26 June 2005, 2.08 pm by VanGogh

I suffer from insomnia. I have since I was about 13 years old. (Incidentally, that's the same age at which I started going bald. I don't know what I did to piss off God , but I'm sorry already.) An average night for me involves going to bed around 1:00 AM, actually falling asleep around 4:30 or so, and then waking between 7 and 8 AM.

This, as you might imagine, sucks.

So you'll perhaps appreciate the pain of the situation I found myself in recently. I went to bed around midnight, and much to my own surprise, fell asleep almost immediately! I was enjoying a truly magnificent slumber, the kind of sleep mere mortals only dream of, right until 2:00 AM.

That's when Todd came down to get me. Todd is my business partner, and my sister's husband. He and I bought this house, and we live here together while remodeling it. Normally Todd doesn't bother me at 2:00 AM. Normally, anyone coming to talk to me at 2:00 AM would still find me awake, so it would be no bother at all. It would, in fact, be a relief from the monotony of late-night TV.

But this was no ordinary night. This was the night of deep, blessed slumber. And then Todd came.

Todd: *nudge* *nudge* (Whispering) Hey, Jaime... wakeup.

Jaime: *Jumping straight up with a look of terror* What? What the fuck?!

Todd: Sorry to wake you, but we have a bat situation upstairs.

Now, I should explain, that when Todd said that we had a bat situation upstairs, my sleep-addled mind instantly produced a mental image of Adam West, the old TV batman, complete in tacky costume, running around upstairs and causing a ruckus.

I stared at Todd with a suspicious eye. He had interrupted my sleep for this? I began looking around the room for something heavy to throw at him.

Then Todd added, "There is a bat flying around in our bedroom. I need your help to get it."

Suddenly my mind was focused. I was at one with the world, and understood the situation perfectly. Todd, being a gentle lad, inexperienced in the way of battling bats, had wisely come downstairs and solicited the help of a true master bat fighter.

"Todd," I intoned seriously, "we need bat fighting tools! Get a broom!"

Todd turned and bolted from the room, no doubt taking comfort in the knowledge that he was being led by an experienced man of battle such as myself. I, meanwhile, sprung into action. Having thus sprung, I realized I was in my underwear and a t-shirt, and wisely decided to add some pants to my ensemble.

I groped about blindly until I felt something like my shorts. I quickly started to put them on, then fell over on the bed as I realized that I was attempting to step into one of my discarded shirts. Ever the suave fighter, I hurriedly tossed aside the shirt, and found a pair of sweatpants to throw on.

Properly dressed, I exited my bedroom and walked through our living room, on my way to the kitchen to check up on Todd's hunt for a broom. Right in the middle of the living room, I stopped dead in my tracks.

Todd and my sister's bedroom is located right above the living room. Being that our house is 100 years old, it still has open floor grates. These were used in colder months to move warm air from the heater below to the bedroom above. So if you're standing in our living room, (Or rushing through it to check on a friend and their hunt for a broom), and someone in the upstairs bedroom screams, you can hear it through the grate.

Right on queue, Todd appeared with a broom in hand. He handed it to me, like a stable boy handing a sword to his noble master. I looked at it for a second, and then back up to the grate.

"Shannon is still up there isn't she," I asked grinning.

A small laugh escaped from Todd. "Yep."

Suddenly I was happy to be awake. Thrilled. Ecstatic even. The thought of my sister trapped in the same room with a bat was just too delicious to miss.

Now I don't want you to think I hate my sister, or wish her harm. Quite the opposite. I love her, and she is in fact one of my best friends. But the idea that she was up there alone with a bat. Well, I guess you just have to be a brother who spent an entire childhood torturing your sisters with stories of creepy crawly things to fully appreciate it. I couldn't wait to see her face.

I smiled at Todd and then yelled, "Hey Shannon!"

"WHAT?"

"Is the bat still up there?"

"Yes! Would you assholes get up here! I can't believe you left me alone with a bat."

Hee hee hee.... good times.

So, broom in hand, I led Todd back up the stairs and around to their closed bedroom door. Broom firmly clutched, I motioned to Todd to open the door, so I could step forward and do battle.

Todd opened the door.

I stepped in, broom first. I just as quickly stepped back out and yelled at Todd to close the damn door. In the brief moment I was inside, what I saw led to several important revelations:

First off, Shannon was handling the situation as well as could be expected. She was lying on the bed, under the covers, with just her eyeballs exposed. They were whirling about the room, doing their best to keep the intruder in site. To the uninformed watcher, she might have looked like she was trying to watch a single blade of the ceiling fan.

Second, what was flying around in there had been misidentified. In the confusion of being fresh from sleep, they had thought it was a bat. But I had gotten a good look at this so-called 'bat' as it swooped mere inches in front of my face. It wasn't a bat, it was a Boeing 747. I understood how they could have confused it with a bat. After all, it had the face, wings, and body of a bat. But I, being an educated man, knew that anything that large that manages to stay airborne can be nothing but man-made.

Third, I realized that, with the single exception of having watched a co-worker wildly swing at one with a broom once, I had absolutely no experience in doing battle with bats, let alone super bats like the one that had settled into a holding pattern in their room.

While I was contemplating all of this, Todd chirped in with some helpful thoughts.

"Big isn't it?"

Indeed. Very big. I was prepared to have a 3 or 4 hour dialogue with Todd about the size of that bat. I thought we could go back downstairs, I would make up some coffee, and we would discuss my current theory that the bat was actually a passenger airliner in fur.

But then Shannon, ever the complainer, decided to speak.

"What the fuck are you doing? GET BACK IN HERE!"

And so with all hopes of civilized conversation nixed, Todd and I headed back into the room...

To Be Continued...

jEreMy
on 26 June 2005, 8.13 pm
I once had a similar situation with a normal sized bat. I ended up catching it in a towel and then brought it outside and released it. I hope this story, when continued, doesn't end with you beating the life out of it with your broom. Good story though.


firebrand
on 26 June 2005, 8.49 pm
i love your writing, VG.

now finish the damn story.


VanGogh
on 27 June 2005, 3.27 am
Jeremy... I wouldn't place heavy odds on the furry winged beast. When you catch and release a bats, they return to where they were. That being said, since this story, we've had 3 or 4 more bat experiences, and all of them went on to write a book about their experiences.

Fire, thanks. And it's a 3 parter... so get comfortable. *Grin*


Villager
on 29 June 2005, 1.42 am
I hope it ends with the bat beating VG with the broom...


VanGogh
on 29 June 2005, 5.29 am
That does seem a safer bet really.


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Doggybag/baggy_dog is an artist living and working in Barga, Italy. Click here to read about this piece in his own words.


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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

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