Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Flash Fiction Challenge - Bats

On October 5th on Twitter I saw another Writober prompt from Deliah S. Dawson, a most excellent author, for flash fiction - a bat in someone's hair.  I went a little longer than the 5 tweet limit she suggested.  Below is the resulting short story:

Cathy and Sharon sat outside by the firepit.  They were celebrating the autumnal equinox, giving thanks for all that had come into their lives.

"It's so peaceful out here! Not like in town.  Everybody's in your business. So much noise," Cathy said. "I think I may move out here."

Sharon smiled good naturedly.  "Life in the country is a lil bit more complicated than leaving the city behind."

Cathy frowned at her. "Like what?"

"Well," Sharon replied, "You have to be more self-relient.  There's no curb-side service out here."

"So you don't think I could cut it if I moved out here?  You think it's better I just go back to where I belong?"  Cath's face had turned a bit red as she spoke.  She reached for her drink on the ground by her chair.

Sharon looked at her friend, searching for words.  "I only meant that realistically..."

As Sharon spoke a dark shape dove from the sky towards a moth just above where Cathy's head had been.  As she straightened up with her drink, its speed prevented it from stopping before slamming into Cathy's frizzy hair.  Stunned by the impact, the dark creature squeaked and flapped.  Cathy, also stunned by the impact, began to scream, her spilled drink forgotten.

"What the hell is it?!"  She shrieked.

Sharon reached for Cathy, "Be still!"  she demanded.  As gently as she could, she cupped her hands around the wings and body of the small creature, untangling it from the panicked woman's hair.  After freeing it, she studied it for a moment before setting it down on the ground between them and the fire.

"Is that a bat?"

"Yes, Cathy, it's a bat.  Just be calm.  It will recover in a minute and fly off."

They watched it move around a bit.  It looked at the two women then lifted itself up and sprang into the air.  It flew back into the trees.

Sharon turned to her friend, "Are you alright?  You get scratched or anything?"

"No," Cathy sputtered eyes still wide, "it was just in my hair."

"Catch your breath and calm down.  The fire's beginning to die down.  We can head inside and get you another glass of tea."  She picked up Cathy's glass from where it had landed on the ground with her free hand.  Her own glass still half full.

"Come on now, Cathy, let's head inside."

Cathy rose to her feet and walked beside her friend towards the house.

"I didn't know there were bats out here.  I've never noticed them before."

"Yeah," Sharon said, "there's a lot of wildlife that'll fly around or just wander up to the house.  I have to be careful about tying down the trashcan lids."  

Cathy looked over at her friend who was smiling and smiled back with a little laugh as they reached the door.  "Sharon, I don't know how you do it!"  

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