The Giant Bat – Part 2
As it grew darker, there was noise and movement – the witches arrived, mostly on foot as only a couple were brave enough to fly in. They lit the great bonfire and gathered around it and then started as did all meetings of the Witches Institute by singing the club anthem. As the singing died down the bottles of magic gin (mostly sloe, blackberry and pumpkin flavour) were opened and glasses filled and consumed. The crowd split into smaller groups who chatted and cackled amongst themselves. The atmosphere, Finn thought, was somewhat subdued – maybe they had taken on board his request for a quiet meeting.
However, they could see that each group had a member who was scanning the sky. It was very quiet up in the clouds as only one or two standard-sized bats fluttered past and one or two shooting stars dived through the darkening sky.
Suddenly, a couple of the “spotters” started to chatter excitedly and point upwards. The gathering changed as more and more of the hags looked up nervously towards the heavens. The moon by now was very bright.
Something was definitely coming. In the bushes the three adventurers prepared themselves for whatever was about to appear; Finn could just make out some movement in the clouds. A huge black shape was approaching, which definitely had wings – silent ones – and was coming down towards the clearing at a heck of a rate.
The witches started to worry, then panic! They started to leave, very hastily. As they ran around and scattered into the forest the giant bat came ever closer. It was definitely black, very large, and Finn could make out a head, body and..spindly legs?
It swooped lower. Any witches that were left were now shouting and screaming as they scampered about.
The monster had large ears and blood-red glowing eyes, and it was making a loud screeching a sound and giving off smoke.
As it flew over the bonfire it started to spiral upwards; like a buzzard it was using the warm air of the fire to give it lift and rise into the air. The witches were long gone by now, and there was only the group of stunned animals to witness the arrival of the bat. They stepped out into the clearing to see the monster more clearly. Jeffrey switched on his super-bright head torch and it shone on the flying beast like a searchlight. It picked out the black wings and the body underneath, the huge head with its red eyes and ears.
The monster screamed as the light hit its face. There was another cry as a tiny burning ember that was also rising on the thermals from the fire happened to catch the edge of one of the wings. There was a flash of flame – and the monster began another descent, this time at break-neck speed.
The beast flew across the animals heads but above the trees. It had gravity on its side as it sped earthwards. The animals tried to keep up but they lost it in the woods. Finn stopped them, “It’s no good – it’s too dark. Make a note of where it’s going and we’ll have a look in the light tomorrow.”
As they walked home they discussed what they had seen and what they thought the monster could be. Jeffrey was still convinced it was a flying dinosaur, maybe a new undiscovered species that had forgotten to become extinct. Finn suggested that it had not received the memo.. Rubbish was not sure what on Earth it was. Finn always put his faith in believing his own eyes. However, he was not convinced that what he saw was what this thing actually was. And what it was….that still remained to be seen.
The next morning found Finn and his companions picking up their trail and making their way through the woods and out the other side onto the edge of a vast ploughed field of damp mud. The two dogs scented the air – there was no smell of monster, just the usual smell of mud and sheep. Jeffrey had brought along his ghost detector but it failed to emit one pop, crackle or beep. He was pretty disappointed by the lack of any result.
They began to step across the muddy patch. Half way over there was a patch of sheep prints but big ones that also looked like they had slid. Most peculiarly, they started in the middle of the field. Finn called Rubbish and Jeffrey to his side to examine them. As they chatted and pointed, Rubbish heard what he thought was a stifled laugh. A few yards away sat the very same blackbird that had snaffled his piece of bacon the day before.
“How d’you do?” the Blackbird asked.
“Fine, thank you,” Rubbish replied.
The blackbird eyed them curiously. “So what you looking for then?”
Finn answered, “These strange prints, and the flying beast?”
“Oh aye?” the blackbird cocked his head to one side.
“Do you have any ideas as to what these are?” asked Rubbish.
“Oh yes,” the blackbird smiled. “The name’s Morris, by the way. And thanks for the bacon yesterday, it was lovely.” He added.
The animals were stunned. “Well?” Finn looked at the bird.
“It’s Nige,” he replied.
“Nige?” the old moggie enquired.
“A flying monster called Nige?” Rubbish could not believe what he’d heard.
“No, Nigel the sheep,” Morris replied.
“What?” Finn, Rubbish and Jeffrey all asked in unison.
“Oh aye. Crash landed, he did,” the bird told them. “Wing malfunction.”
The dogs were now even more stunned. Jeffrey had to pick his jaw off the floor where it had metaphorically fallen. “A monstrous sheep with wings?”
Morris laughed, “Come with me.” He flew low over the field, the animals trotting close behind.
In the next field stood (and lay) a herd of sheep. Normal looking sheep, not at all monstrous, and not one with a pair of wings. Away from the herd towards the top end of the field one sheep lay on his own, evidently deep in thought. Morris landed next to him and coughed rather loudly (and Jeffrey thought, somewhat dramatically).
“I have some visitors who want a word with you,” he said. “I told you it would only be a matter of time before someone came to see you.”
The young sheep sat up and smiled rather sheepishly (which was very easy for a sheep to do) at the two dogs and the cat. He knew who Finn was (as did most animals in the area) and he bowed politely, “G-good morning, sir.”
Finn smiled back, “Good morning my young lad. I have heard from this little bird that you are the source of these tales of a flying monster?”
Part 3 Follows – Tomorrow!