Once upon a time when I was single and living alone, my mom asked me to drive up to her house. “There’s a huge moth flying around. Would you kill it for me?”
I said I would. I’m not afraid of insects, but when they’re inside, they’re fair game. The only thing I’m really afraid of is birds.
I went over. Sat in the family room with Mom and waited for the moth to come.
The moth came.
Except it was a bat.
I’m also really afraid of bats. Especially when they’re inside. However, being a sane adult, I did exactly what you’d expect. I screamed, “It’s a bat, it’s a BAT!” and dove under the coffee table.
Mom, too, began screaming. “Kristan! Don’t leave me!” she begged as I power-crawled to the door.
“That is not a moth!”
“What if it has rabies?” Mom said. “Please! I’m a widow!” (Like I’d forgotten.)
The bat flew out of the family room, right over our heads, making us scream like we were being hacked to death with axes. Mom now had a death grip on me, so even if I wanted to leave (and I so, so did, and had NO problem leaving Mother behind since she’d tricked me into coming over with the “moth” story), I couldn’t, because my little mom has the hands of a medieval butcher when it comes to strength.
We formulated a plan. We’d open all four doors to Mom’s house and then flush the bat toward the nearest exit.
Ominously, it was MIA at the moment.
“I’ll go in the dining room,” I told my mother, “and you go in the front hall, and it’ll either go out the front doors or the sliders in the living room. Okay?” Mind you, this excellent, common-sense plan was hard won, because I was still huddled on the floor.
“What if it flies in our hair and has babies?” Mom asked. (She was serious.)
“What are you talking about?”
“That’s what they do. They fly in your hair and lay their babies.”
At that moment, the bat flew back in and we screamed again, and covered our heads so no bat-babies would be born on us. “Open the door, open the door!” I barked, but it was too late; the bat had flown back into the other part of the house.
Mom grabbed two umbrellas to shield us from the bat and her spawn, and, still crawling, we went our separate ways.
When the bat flew past her, she’d scream.
When the bat flew past me, I’d also scream.
The bat, whose sonar was probably really messed up from all our help-we’re-being-slaughtered-here high-pitched squeals, kept flying around and around and around. At one point, its hideous little leathery wing brushed my umbrella, at which point I shrieked so loudly I popped a blood vessel in my eye.
Then…horribly…the bat flew upstairs. To where the four bedrooms are.
“Okay, gotta go,” I said, so, so grateful I had my own apartment in another part of the state.
But then the hideous creature flew back down the stairs. Mom and I clutched each other, screaming, and the bat flew out into the night.
“Close the doors, close the doors!” I yelled, and we ran to the four corners of the house to batten down the hatches against the killer bat.
And then it was quiet. We were a little surprised no police were tearing up the driveway, no neighbors had rushed to our aid. That’s the downside of living in the boonies.
“Is that really true, that they’ll have their babies in your hair?” I asked Mom.
“I think so. Goodnight, honey!”
And so, immeasurably older, I went home, never to sleep again. : )