Story Of The Month
Some Totally Unrelated Writing We Thought You Might Enjoy
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Right before the witching hour on a still and thick mid-July night, after turning off the pc and brushing teeth, a winged creature seemingly from the ether-world came out of nowhere and flew into my bedroom. It was enticingly ghostly as it circled the room so fast that my eyes couldn’t focus on identifying its features. Being the tough guy that I am, my immediate reaction was to run to another room in a panic, slamming the door behind me, leaving my dog behind to deal with the apparition. My mutt remained totally unaffected by events, and unmoved in her unconcerned position of dogged repose, she no doubt never even once considered joining me in my escape, thereby allaying my guilt for bolting on my own.
So now on my own and peeking through a crack from behind the door of the adjacent room, I observed the ghost eventually depart my bedroom for a destination unknown, and with my dog appearing so unfazed, I immediately began questioning my own sanity. Nope… haven’t been smoking any funny cigarettes or doing any organic or synthetic prescribed narcotic, so more than likely what my senses indicated just happened really did occur. Okay… so what do I do now? Stay forever in the spare bedroom? Call the authorities for guidance and help? Can’t do that, as the phone got left behind in the panic. No communicating to the outside world from here.
I semi-collected my wits after some minutes and fearfully sneaked back to my own bedroom so as to turn on the omniscient Google, and asked it what to do next. Strangely, detailed instructions did exist for exactly such an occurrence as mine at that moment, including directions to try trapping the ghost with a Tupperware container. I thought, how odd that there would be a specific reference to Tupperware, though by the end of this minor drama the reasoning behind the advice became very practically clear. So I gathered what little dignity could be mustered by my humbled id, shrugged the fear off enough to gingerly and cautiously venture downstairs, but not before first donning on my head one of my daughter’s silly looking knit caps (topped with a dangling purple pompon) previously discarded in my closet, worn now as though a helmet to shield against home-invading phantoms. And there I saw, cornered and finally confronted my winged adversary.
Face to face with the winged beast, now perched high on my wall up against the ceiling, I witnessed this little black or brown or dark gray (I’m kind of colorblind) furry oblong thing with a body no bigger than a mouse (except for its folding/collapsible appendages). With little ears full up in attention and a tiny wrinkled pig-like snout, it actually just looked scared and exhausted. So with courage more or less regained I started talking and negotiating with the winged pigletty rodent. “Okay, you cute ugly little critter, I’m gonna open the door and kindly ask you to leave my house through the back exit, and you’ll just fly away, right?” And I did as promised, opening all possible portals, this according to the Google instructions. And then things took a turn for the worse, as more or less my approach to the situation became akin to a Laurel and Hardy short. By this time not only had I a furry winter hat on my head (don’t know what was I thinking with this ill-thought-out piece of apparel on my cranium, but I also took time to grab a heavy coat from the hall closet and put it over my shoulders like an uninventive child’s pretend cape. It may have been for added protection, perhaps, but really the reasons for this wardrobe decision are now beyond me. I guess my best idea at that moment involved being prepared for going out to shovel snow in mid-July in case all else failed.
In a moment of near clarity I went for the broom and worked up the nerve to gently nudge diminutive winged fur ball. The poor thing must have been really spent, as it barely moved even when coaxed, and definitely made no attempt to find that wide open space to the external world that Google instructed me to make ready. With my confidence reaching a crescendo, I then pulled a Bruce Willis impersonation (from the army surplus store in Pulp Fiction), upgrading my choice of implements a few times in preparation for assailing my adversary. First choosing a small Amazon shipping carton (the one with the smirk pseudo-stenciled on the outside), I then moved up to a plastic waste basket, then to an old blanket, before finally settling on a thick, heavy-duty box with which to trap the little flying mammal. And so I quietly positioned a short step ladder in front of my interloper, and climbed the three steps with the box in my hand so as to close in on my opponent (all this while dressed in my furry hat and winter coat).
The meager creature never moved, and now it was trapped between the wall and my opaque box, and for all intents and purposes I too became trapped, standing on a ladder in a stalemate with my foe, because I sure didn’t know what to do next (… a recurring theme). So I stood there for a while, finally realizing why Google recommended using Tupperware. Really, any see-through container would have been okay in this circumstance, with any brand being more useful than the non-transparent implement of my choosing. I could not now know the state or position of my prey, nor could I see whether the lid I intended to slide in between it and the wall would actually trap the poor critter. I could only hear little chirping noises. So I stood there for another little while, and finally realized that the bat underneath my box had flown to the same wall as the door leading to the garage. The only thing left to do entailed sliding the box down the wall to the door without hurting my winged nemesis, gradually moving the box to the opening so that it would be released into the garage, leading directly to the outside world. Amazingly, it worked. I quickly shut the door, except for a little crack that allowed me to observe the little bat that had now taken flight again towards freedom.
Here’s the thing… when hanging so desperately to my kitchen wall, that unfortunate little flying rodent seemed such a homely thing, but upon taking flight it became a wondrous work of nature, a noble spread-winged predator and apparition demanding of respect. This then occurred to me… may others always envision us at our best, in flight, strong and fulfilling our intended and dignified roles in life, but may they have compassion for us when on those rare occasions we find ourselves cornered and exhausted and vulnerable.