Friday, September 19, 2008

A bat. A bat? Yeah. A BAT?!?!


I ran inside tonight after Bamber made a comment about that swooping thing by the trees.

Uhh, what swooping thing? That bird?
No, that's a bat.
a BAT?

But that's not why I ran inside.
I ran inside because I remembered that I had one of those stories.
About a bat.

And I needed to write it out before the post slipped away into Mommy Brain.

You know the kind of story.
They were TERRIFYING at the time, then gradually you begin to join in when others chuckle at the retelling.

Till it's almost as funny to you as it seems to be to everyone else.

Here's the scene:

I'm at deaf camp (yeah, they have a camp for everyone these days, don't they?)
I'm 10-11 years old and a really small kid
Though I have a big mouth on me, I'm not overly brave about all things camping.
Especially not the fact that the girls bathroom is down a trail from the cabin.
And little Miss Mini-Bladder is dreading the night she wakes up and has to take that walk.

So it's something like 2am, pitch black outside except for the scattered orange lights on the buildings. I gather my courage and step trembling onto the dirt path.

I.have.never.had.to.pee.so.bad.in.my.life.

I admit that if they'd had laundry, I would have just peed in my undies right there. Except they didn't. And no one wants to hang around the kid whose backpack smells like pee.

I digress. All is quiet at the camp. I scurry to the bathroom and push the big door open. It is so dim inside, that when I close the stall door I am almost completely in the dark. Through my hearing-aid, the few sounds I hear are jarring. The loud door hinge protesting the early morning intrusion, the toilet roaring with the flush, the water pounding into the sink with enough force to spray everywhere.

I look strange in the mirror. Everything has an orange hue and the shadows make me look paler than usual. Suddenly I see something.

A flash of movement in the mirror from behind me.
I am suddenly terrified.

I have no idea who/what it is, but I am certain it is not earthly.
So I let out an unearthly scream.
Raw and loud, it floods my hearing-aid and rattles my head.

There is nothing behind me.
My heart is pounding and my chest feels tight.

Then again. From the corner of my eye.
It is airborne, speeding directly toward me.
It doesn't register. I am shrieking again and whirling to track its flight.

Again, the beast divebombs me from the left, then heads to the safety of the rafters.
Through my panic, its identity is finally clear.

I am in this dark freezing bathroom with a bat.

This does nothing for my panic - instead I flee to the door and slam against it.

Instead of cool air and sweet freedom, I am greeted with a bone-cracking rebuff.

HUH?

Oh.Dear.Lord.

I am stuck in this place.

I turn locate my enemy. He is hiding in the rafters.
I bolt across the room to the other wall and clamber atop the benches.
I stand on the tips of my toes and attempt to reach the windows.
They are too high.

They are open. Why doesn't this freaky thing just FLY OUT?!?

I begin to scream.
And scream.

"HELP!"

Over and over again.
No response.

The reality of the situation begins to fall into place.

I am too little to reach the windows to climb out.
I would surely break my neck on the dismount if I could.
It is far too freezing to stay in the bathroom much longer in my pajamas.
My screaming is getting me nowhere... this is a deaf camp. Even the counselors can't hear.

I start to cry. Scared I-want-my-mom-cry. But I can't close my eyes. The bat might come at me again. It's hard to cry with your eyes propped open.

By now I'm praying. Out loud.

I gather myself for one final assault on the door. I hurtle all measly 72 pounds of me at it and am rewarded with a groaning budge. A good smack and another budge.
I finally am outside - where the air feels strangely warmer.


Pampers never looked so good...

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