The Giant Bat – Part 4
As the sun was setting and the light grew warmer but dimmer, the witches began to gather in the clearing around the mound of timber that was growing into their party bonfire. Each witch brought a few branches which they added one by one to the pile. One witch (the one in the bright yellow and very reflective High-visibility hat) was carrying a torch with which she lit the fire. It first began to smoke, then burst into flame. They all cheered and the bottles of Witchy Gin came out. They were soon singing loudly (and out of tune).
There were a couple of spotters watching the sky. As nothing appeared to be happening up above the spotters lost interest and joined in the revelries around the fire.
Suddenly a terrified dog burst into the crowd of hags. He was shivering with fear, and shaking and eve foamed a little at his mouth. “It’s huge, it’s huge,” he babbled, “It has massive teeth…and big wings!”
Some of the witches stopped singing to turn towards the dog to hear what he was saying. A ripple of unease passed through the crowd of hags but they then continued their partying. The dog wandered back into the woods, muttering about the thing he had seen.
Not long after the dog had disappeared into the trees a very round cat staggered into the clearing. He too was shaking with terror, and his eyes were as wide as dinner plates. “It was terrifying!” he announced dramatically. “Vampiric in its beastly ferocity!” A few more witches stopped this time to look at the terrified old cat.
“And its coming THIS WAY!” he added at the top of his voice. A second ripple of unease ran through the crowd, larger than the first. Once again, the party restarted as soon as the cat disappeared back into the undergrowth. The party was a little more hesitant but then picked up.
From the dark of the woods there came a terrifying howl which shook the clearing; it was blood-curdling in its intensity. This time all the witches froze.
Into the light of the bonfire staggered an enormous hairy deerhound – clearly it was Finn, as everyone there knew the Lord of the Glen. He had blood all down his left side, and was dragging one of his back legs. He glared into the faces of the (by now) very worried witches. “I tried to stop it,” he told them. “It was too big and too powerful even for me. Its teeth are like daggers, and eyed like burning iron.” He saw the colour drain from the faces of a number of the witches and one even dropped their bottle of gin. He staggered forward and the sea of hags parted to let him through.
“Who did this?” the Hi-Visibility witch asked.
Finn shook his head, “It was a giant bat.” The hag caught her breath. “Its more vicious than anything I’ve ever seen,” he replied.
By now the witches were talking excitedly amongst themselves and were sounding very concerned.
Finn too staggered and limped towards the edge of the clearing. Just before he passed into the darkness he turned back to the quaking crowd and shouted, “It’s coming this way. And it says it eats witches!”
At this stage the witches were on the verge of hysterical panic. There was a lot of shouting and chattering amongst them and you could feel the tension in the air building itself to a fever pitch. Then “it” appeared.
It screamed out of the heavens though it looked like it had come from the very pit of Hell itself. It had blazing laser eyes, so bright that they lit up the quivering coven as it swooped low over them. Witches who were at fist rooted to the spot in sheer terror soon found their feet (and legs) and began sprinting into the trees. By the time Nigel came around for his third sweep there were only four witches left who were trying hard to kick-start their brooms. Almost as one they threw their brooms onto the bonfire and scrambled, practically on all fours, into the bushes.
The blackbird that sat on the black bat’s shoulder called into its left ear, “OK Nige. Time for a gentle landing on the far side of the clearing.”
“Wilco,” the flying bat-sheep replied.
“Full flaps,” called Morris.
“Full flaps,” Nigel adjusted his wings. The sheep descended slowly, lowered his landing gear (his back legs) and landed on the soft grass amongst the abandoned pointed hats, brooms, clogs and gin bottles.
Out of the trees emerged Rubbish, Jeffrey and Finn. The deerhound had a wet cloth and was wiping tomato ketchup from his side and his face, and then passed the cloth to Rubbish so he could wipe his face too. Jeffery was laughing so much that he thought he would make himself sick.
“Marvellous job!” Finn called.
“It really was,” Rubbish agreed.
“Haven’t had as much fun in ages,” the ancient moggie guffawed; he had tears running down his ginger cheeks and his ribs ached.
Nigel had taken his flying helmet off and said to Jeffrey, “That head-torch of yours was fantastic! It worked a treat!”
“I think it was the icing on the cake,” Morris nodded. “But more importantly, it was an excellent test flight. Night vision goggles worked to a tee!”
“I don’t think it was those witches will bother us for a while,” Finn said.
I know,” Rubbish laughed. “A quiet Hallowe’en tomorrow.”
“What do you think?” Jeffrey asked.
The animal turned to look at the old cat and laughed out loud. There stood the ancient marmalade cat, wearing a bright yellow high-visibility pointy hat. He grinned at them, “Elf and safety, anyone?”
If you liked this, look for the other Hallowe’en and Christmas adventures on the blog pages. And don’t forget to order a signed copy of The Winter Hare from our webshop – an ideal Christmas present!