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Saturday, 2 April 2011

Creatures of the night

“What was that?” My head spins to the left and my conversation with Gian abruptly ends. Something black, grey and large flashed past in the corner of my eye. My imagination, despite the late hour, is already going into overdrive. Adrenaline starts to be released into my blood stream and then my heart jumps as it zooms out of one room (the room next to my bedroom), down the corridor and straight through the open hallway door into the room where I am standing. “BAT!!!” I manage before ducking out of the way as it zips over my head and into the sitting room. Gian closes the kitchen door on me and laughs. More expletives follow before the bat decides this room is too noisy and flies back through the hallway door… and into my bedroom! Gian reappears with the broom and hands it to me. Feck…

I hate bats! Every time one gets inside a house I shrink away. When it’s not my house this is acceptable (in my mind) but now for the first time I have to deal with this creature of the night. Bats carry rabies, the one thing I have not been inoculated against given the low possibility of catching it and the awful procedure to be inoculated against it (one big needle, your stomach, repeat three times, no thanks!). In my head, I have my supervisors voice saying, “I told you so! You were told to be inoculated against it…” over and over again. Stupid brain, it should be loading the manual for how best to kill bats while not getting scratches and instead it’s being a smart-arse.

Gian goes to hunt the bat out of my room. We close the two hallway doors and the shower room door. We leave the toilet door open as it’s more or less directly opposite my room and has a nice big and more importantly open window. Gian ducks, the broom goes backwards over my head to lash at the invisible threat and the bat appears. The broom hits the beam behind me with enough force to break the broom head off, I arc the remaining handle downwards, the bat swerves, does a three-sixty turn and all I hit is air; the broom head and a shower of paint and dust rain down on me. Arse! The bat flies into the drying room, the room next to mine. Gian closes the door to my room as I abandon him in search of another household implement to destroy, this time the mop. I gingerly open the hallway door and find Gian waiting for me. The look on his face is priceless, “How did I get myself in this stupid position?” He reluctantly walks into the drying room and something flashes over his head, I swipe at it but it’s not in the hallway, it’s gone straight across and into the toilet. Gian grabs the toilet door and yanks it shut. We wait… there’s no noise; Gian tentatively opens the door; the bat is gone! Pheeww…

Four hours later I wake with a start. It’s 3am and the house is quite. Except for directly above my head. There’s the sound of not-so-little feet rapid scurrying across the attic. The damn rats have knocked something over up there and woken me up, again! I have yet to see these rats but (in my mind) I have no doubt that they are the size of a small cat given how much noise they make. I dread having to go up in that attic more than I dread death! Local floaraAnd worryingly, either Gian or myself are going to have to go up there sooner rather than later. You see, recently there has been an occasional but worrying buzzing noise coming from the electricity wiring directly above the main fuse box and I fret that the rats have eaten through the cabling. For now though, I try to not think of how many of them might be up there, 30, 40, shiver, 50 and instead think of the feeling of being in a past lovers arms, a much nicer and far less furry prospect! Slowly I drift back to sleep, ignoring the occasional squeak or pitter-patter of not-so-little feet. The favourite goodnight saying of my parents, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”, sounds almost comical at this stage.

Sleep tight in all your boring homes,
Your midnight reporter in the middle of nowhere

1 comment:

  1. Given there is no successful cure for rabies maybe your brain is smarter than your fear reflex!

    Maybe the rats are like the ones they're using in southern Africa to look for landmines ... http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2008/0806/post_mozambique_0602.jpg

    I wouldn't worry too much ... they're only big enough to take fingers and toes and not do any real damage ;)