Attack of the Phantom Bat

by

Bat

It was the middle of the night when my wife’s screams roused me from a Cabernet-induced slumber.

“It’s attacking me! It’s attacking me!”

We were sharing a sectional couch at her cousin’s house in Boston during a short break in our two-week, whirlwind tour of New England. At first I thought I’d accidentally kicked her in the head or something. But as I struggled to focus in the dim light of the living room addition, I watched as she flailed around in a panic, dived down onto the carpet, and cocooned herself within her blanket.

“What are you talking about?” I mumbled. “What’s attacking you?”

“A bat! There was a bat on me! It was on my neck and flapping around! Omigod! Omigod! It was on me!”

It was deja vu all over again.

Just a few years earlier we had been sleeping on the very same couch in the very same room, when I was awakened by a fluttering sound and discovered a bat flying around the ceiling between the exposed rafters. My survival instincts kicked in and I immediately escaped from the room, leaving my sleeping wife behind to fend for herself.

As you can imagine, I’ve never heard the end of that one.

Just this past winter another winged rat found it’s way into our own bedroom during the middle of the night, which ended up in us spending a boatload of cash to de-batify our home. 

So when this latest bat encounter occurred, I knew I had to do something to earn my Man Card, so to speak. 

While my wife pulled the blanket around herself even tighter, making sure she was completely sealed off and bat-proof, I turned on the lights and began to search the room for our little nighttime visitor. I searched high and low, literally—both up in the ceiling fans and rafters, and down on the floor inside our vacation clothes bin and beneath the couch. 

But despite my exhaustive search, I found no sign of Mr. Bat. 

“Are you sure you weren’t just dreaming?” I asked, adding, quite bravely, “You’ve probably just got bats on the brain from the last time we were here.”

“I’m positive!” came her voice from beneath the blanket. “I could feel it flapping around on my neck! ON MY NECK!”

Eventually, I gave up searching and tried to fall back asleep as my wife sat up, fully awake on her end of the couch, with all the room’s lights on, trembling in fear as she waited for the sun to rise. 

For a day or so after the phantom bat attack, my wife was adamant that it had really happened. But as the days went on, she started to doubt herself and wonder if it had really just been her imagination. 

“Maybe it was just a dream?” she’d say to herself as we cruised down the highway. “No. It couldn’t have been. I felt it—it was real! Then again…maybe it was just my own hand? I don’t know!”

We never did find any sign of a bat in that room. Personally, I think it was either a nightmare or something else like a stinkbug. Of course, if you know my wife, a stinkbug would’ve caused a similar reaction. And this is the same woman who went through natural childbirth—twice!  

And you women wonder why we can’t understand you. ~

_____

Copyright © 2015 Valentine J. Brkich

5 Responses to "Attack of the Phantom Bat"
  1. Val great story. It bites me where it hurts though. LoL. A before the tragedy of 911 I was sick and slept most of the day. I woke up around 12;30am and needed to go to the rest room. My wife was getting ready for bed so I went to the basement to utilize our secondary facility at the time. As I stood in my bare feet I heard this funny squealing sound that I thought came from the water pipes overhead. My wife may be in the shower so I started looking. I pulled back on the shower curtain and something fell on my foot. I looked down and saw it was a bat. I kicked it off half scared and half mad. I dealt with”bat calls” over the years as a police officer so I knew right away what it was. I looked around to find something to sway it with. All I saw was a ball peen hammer. I gave it a wack put it in the outside trash. Proturbed and shook up I forgot I was sick and wide awake at 1 in the morning. So now I am sitting in the front room watching tv not able to see. I stArt playing with my foot and notice a tiny piece of skin on my baby toe. Looking at it as much as I could with my slowly declining eyesight and a stomach that won’t let me bend over far enough I was able to see a tiny red mark. I got nervous and went to the Internet. I quickly learned the approx 95% of bat bites involved rabies. I went to ppthe garbage packaged the dead bat securely and placed him in my van just in case I needed it. I chose not to go to get it looked at because I wasn’t sure I did or did not stub my toe on something. I settled down I fell asleep as if I felt well enough I’ll go to work in the am. I woke up went to work. I was busy for a while and forgot the incident. I later remembered my moment last night and sheepishly consulted the school nurse. She told me I need to go right away to the ER. I himhawed for a while she told my Superintendant and he forced me nicely to go. I went told my little deceased friend in a neatly wrapped tiny cardboard box with me into the ER. They card my name took me to the triage nurse who started asking questions. I told her I’m not sure I was bit but I guess we need to make sure. She had her head down most of the time but when she asked me if the bat got away I replied no that it was right there on the counter… I didn’t get to finish because she squealed and jumped out of her chair and yelled its in there. I but its dead! She stepped up her requires data input for me on her computer and rather quickly ushered me out of triage to an ER room. A very nice woman practicing ER assistant came in. I explained in short detail what happened and how embarrassed I am to be troubling her with this. Now it’s almost noontime I should state here. She said well let’s see. “You do have some type of mark there to the naked eye. Let me magnify the toe for a better look. Yep it’s a two hole tiny puncture wound and it is a bat bite.” Just as we all heard Arnold say those chilling words we all heard the first time, she said “I’ll be back!” She returned a few minutes later saying the bat will have to be tested for rabies. I said okay good. She then informed me she just called the State Head Medical Official directly. He told her that because there is a grace period of 24hrs to have the bat tested to see if rabies inoculations are needed we have a problem. I could take the chance of hoping the bat is not rabid and not initiate the treatment or begin the treatment to be sure I’m covered. If it isn’t rabid I will still have to get the entire series of shots for months to follow. If it tests rabid the shots will possibly save my life. If not I’ll endure needless shots. I said “Where’s the needle?” I needed to have 7 initial shots. 2 each in thighs, shoulders and buttocks. And one in the bite location. It was first she came in with a needle that looked like a ten penny spike on the end of a glue gun. No lie! She said it would hurt and I believed her. She stuck the needle in which was painful enough by itself but then injected that serum from the gluegun part that had me on my fingertips bs heels body completely off f the guerney I was on. I experienced many painful things in my life but my goodness ladies I have a new found appreciation for childbirth. I got the other six shots then that I didn’t even feel after that 1st one. I had to come back in three days then six days then twelve then twenty four and I think it was forty eight days to complete the cycle. Then they told me I will have to get the dead bat to the state game commission halfway across the state to be tested. I asked do I take it. Yes was the answer. I guess that it was stupid of me to think they would have somebody on standby for dead suspected rabies infested bat emergency transports. I got the address got on the turnpike and started driving east. Called the school to let them know I won’t be back in that I’m on medical run like the blood suppliers do only I’m headed to the foothills of the Appalachians. I pulled in they looked at me like I was the creature from the black lagoon. A brief explanation resulted in ok leave it on the counter. I went home remembering the practitioner saying I would get results by tomorrow. If it is not rabid she would call. If it was I would get numerous calls. Woke up the next morning forgetting what happened because being preoccupied in dealing with children of various ages and needs at school. All I know is all heck broke lose around 11am. The office called me to come up right away no reason. My wife called the hospital called the state game office called the practitioner called the State Medical Director called amongst others to see if I got the shots and to keep getting the whole array of the shots. I spoke to them all so everyone could CYA their responsibilities. Well that’s how it ends and I am still here despite that an anaphylaxis inicident at age 11 in northwest rural pa after being stung by a bee. We were in nowheresville and I began breathing hard, hiving up, profusely perspiring heart was racing. Dad knew I was in trouble and sped down the rural road not knowing where to go. Within a few minutes he slammed on his brakes ran inside a ordinary looking country home. He came back out with an older man who gave me a shot. I started feeling better right away. When I calmed down was able to see in the yard a small about 10″ by 12″ hand painted white sign with black letters Doctor Davis. Truth be told. Considering my recent fortune that’s three times “at least” the Good Lord had kept me alive on earth. Praise the LORD.

    • Whoa! What a story. I think I may change my relaxed opinion of bats from now on. Yikes! Glad to hear you made it through. You’re definitely a survivor! Thanks for taking the time to share your story. ; )

    • You’re probably right about that. Although, I’ve never seen her cocoon herself in a blanket before. ; )

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