The Bat

peggyThis family story took place at our house during the holidays. As usual, the whole family showed up Christmas Eve for food and fun. It was a wonderful time with pictures taken, family stories retold of family pranks from years past. And before we knew it the hour was late. Little ones needed to go to bed, older ones were exhausted, so we all decided to call it a night.

There was a constant stream of family filing out the side door with goodies and gifts to take home, as hugs and kisses were exchanged. My husband and I sighed from happiness and exhaustion as the last one filed out. We turned out the lights and made our way up the stairs to our bedroom delighted everyone had a great time.

Two days later I was walking up our stairway to our bedroom busy reading a card I received from a friend, opened our bedroom door then shut it.

I heard my husband yell from downstairs, “Holy shit! There’s a bat in the house!”

I stopped cold and peeked out, yelling, “What? …Where?”

He said, “It just flew down our bedroom stairs.”

I sucked in air. I had just walked up those stairs reading a card and walked right passed it. My mind wouldn’t accept that, so I yelled back reassuringly, “It was probably a bird.”

I could deal with a bird. A bat? Uh-uh.

“I know the difference between a bat and a bird!” he countered.

Then panicky thoughts gripped me. Could it be rabid? Where in the world did it come from, one of the fireplace chimneys? No, we had screened caps on them.

I yelled to him from behind the safety of our bedroom door, “Well, where is it now?”

He called up to me, “When I approached the first step it flew passed me over my head. I don’t know where it went! I don’t see it anywhere down here.”

Well, there are only two rooms in that area, my office and his then the hallway that leads from his office out to the rest of the house. I cautiously made my way down the steps and we both searched our two offices from top to bottom. He did the heavy lifting and moving, while I gave instructions.

Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

We then proceeded to check the rest of the house and were walking back to our offices when I spied the basement door standing wide open.

“Let’s go,” said my husband. “We need to check down there too.”

I stared at him like he had two heads. “What do you mean…we?”

He gave me a look. “You’re kidding, right? You write murder mysteries!”

Then I gritted my teeth and gestured, “You first, my good man. I’ve got your back.”

He shook his head and I followed closely. You guessed it. No bat. So we reluctantly made our way back up to our bedroom. I firmly shut our stairway door to our room behind us and repeated, “Are you sure it wasn’t a bird?”

All I got back was, “Remember our barn in New Hampshire?”

He was right, of course. We had a horse farm in New Hampshire a while back with a large barn, and bats were always congregating in the cupola. He could identify one.

Several days passed. Though we searched when we could, we never saw it again.

One night after bathing and watching the news on TV we were about to make our way through his office when I said, “Oh! I almost forgot. I left my laptop on. Let me go in there and shut it off.” I turned on my office lights by the stairway and guess what flew right in front of me across my office? You guessed it, that bat. I started screaming like a wild woman.

I think they heard me all the way in California.

I raced out and smacked right into my husband rushing in. “Help! Get it out! I can’t believe I have been going in and out of my office all night to check emails and that creature was in there with me. Find it and get rid of it before it disappears again!”

My husband approached my office door and walked through, while I followed peeking over his shoulder. He turned on all the overhead lights and that bat went crazy flying across my office. I screamed again and promptly slammed my office door shut leaving my husband alone in my office with me yelling, “Don’t let him escape!”

I heard all kinds of commotion then nothing. Then I heard, “I can’t find him.”

I leaned against the door dumbfounded. “…What! He’s got to be in there!”

“Well, he’s not here anywhere.”

I whipped the door open. “We can’t just leave him in here. That’s way too creepy.”

“I agree,” he said. You’ll have bat shit and urine all over here in no time.”

Then I recalled the last week. Where did he go in our house all that time? Ugh…

After a few minutes my husband said, “We might as well go up to bed. He’s not here.”

I looked back at him. “Over my dead body. You expect me to write in there?”

I couldn’t even muster up the thought of the bat relieving himself in there either.

My husband looked at me and smirked, daring me to come up with an alternative.

I marched passed him entering my office. “We are finding him together and tonight!”

My husband grabbed a flashlight and started peeking under furniture, behind my bookcase… Me? I’m a Virgo: very methodical. I started on the first thing on the perimeter of my office: blinds first, nothing. Next, my closed drapes. While keeping my body as far away as I could, I reached out and vigorously shook the heavy drapes back and forth. Out tumbled the bat rolling onto my carpet. He went airborne and so did I, right out of my office, slamming the door firmly behind me.

“Get him out! I know you can see him now!” I shouted through the closed door.

I heard more commotion and cursing from the other side.

I wasn’t sure if it was my husband or the bat.

I was so proud of my brave husband duking it out in there. Of course I was hanging onto the doorknob tightly. So even if he did try to open it he couldn’t.

He had a job to do and by golly he was going to do it that night.

“Grab a towel from my powder room in there and trap him in it,” I suggested.

I heard more commotion: one of my French doors opening and crunching footsteps outside then that door closing.

Oh, I forgot to mention it had snowed heavily, was below freezing and my husband was wearing only his pajamas and slippers.

Suddenly the door separating us was ripped from my grasp. My husband stood there grinning, his face flushed from the freezing cold and his victory. “He’s out!”

I jumped into his arms and kept kissing him, saying, “My hero has done it again.”

My husband earned the title of Batman as I kissed him again in thanks. We aired out my office for several few days regardless of the frigid weather.

The smell that was in there… We never found stains anywhere in my office only that foul odor.

I must admit that this family story rivaled many others: the Crazed Woodpecker one, the Plague of the Crickets, The Attack Of The Skunks story, My Son Riding Into The Sunset On The Back Of One Of Our Sheep, Sleeping In Our Car Under The Eiffel Tower one and The Dog Locking My Husband Out In The Pouring Rain From His F150 Truck story… Oh, and their was that time… 

 P.S. This particular story I adapted to be included in my 8th mystery, The Lush Life,  & people wonder where I get ideas for my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series…chuckle.

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