Bats in the attic

“There are bats in the attic,” said Michael as he descended the grand staircase of the old mansion house.

“How do you know asked Matilda?”

“I’ve seen them, great big black furry things,” he said. “All hanging upside down like little suspended Dracula’s; I’d avoid the area like the plague if I were you.”

His sister seemed unconvinced.  If anything it was now more likely that Matilda would climb the several flights of stairs to explore the upper regions of the building.  Not that she particularly cared for attics or bats for that matter, but she now felt more inclined to go since her brother had thrown down the gauntlet and dared her not to.  And Matilda was not one to listen to any of Michael’s advice, regardless of how well meaning its intention.

“Don’t be daft Michael, it’s just a room, I’m not scared of a few furry flying things; houses like this are supposed to have bats in the attic aren’t they?  Why don’t we go up there now and take a good look around?”

“OK then, if you’re absolutely sure, but don’t come crying to me if they flap around your head and crawl into your hair,” said her brother.

So they climbed the staircase onto the first floor landing and continued up the next until they reached the smaller staircase leading to the third floor.  As they ascended they heard rustling a flapping overhead.

“Do you believe me now?” Asked Michael.

“I didn’t disbelieve you; I just want to see them for myself” said Matilda, who was positioned behind her brother on the staircase.

“You go first then” he suggested.

“No, it’s OK you’ve been up here before so I think I should stay behind you for now” she responded.

They felt a chill in the air as they entered the attic and strained their eyes to see through the darkness beyond the doorway.  All of a sudden the door slammed behind them, creating mayhem in the room.  The bats clearly took umbrage at being disturbed at this time of day and showed their agitation by flying in frantic circles around the children’s heads.  This caused Matilda and Michael to panic and run around in ever decreasing circles until they bumped into each other.  They headed for a light at the end of the room thinking it was the door, pushed on by the constant flapping of bats.

Matilda had now had enough, she began screaming hysterically, grasping onto her brothers arm for dear life.  There seemed to be no escape.  She wished she had never come here; she waved her arms around above her head trying in vain to keep the horrid flying rats away, but to no avail.

Her brother was no help either he had gone very quiet, other than the odd grunt of exertion as he ducked and waved to try to keep the bats at bay.

The bats seemed to grow in number and were now herding them towards the light.  The last thing they saw as they fell through the open window to their death on the concrete patio below was the black cloud of bats above them.

Just then, Michael and Matilda’s parent’s arrived at the door of the attic, summoned by their daughters screams. They opened the door and looked towards the window; it was open, clearly the children had gone.

Jacky Leonard © 2010


Authors Notes
Written at a Montpellier Writers Group session.  We were given a few phrases to fit into what we wrote.  



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