Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finally, a Bat!

I had pneumonia once. It was not a pleasant experience. It was a pretty bad case, but without insurance, a stay at the hospital was out of the question. I also didn’t have enough sick days accumulated because I was at a new job, so staying home until I was completely well wasn’t an option either. So, I stayed at home a couple of days and then started half days. Not a great way to recover, but I am still here.

While I was home, I spent my days bundled under quilts on my couch as climbing the stairs to the bedroom required more energy than I could muster. One afternoon, while drifting in and out of sleep, I thought I heard a noise under the cedar chest where my television sat. Raising myself enough to take a quick look, I found myself eye-to-eye with a tiny brown field mouse. (To be fair, he was very pretty. Quite tiny. Not at all the terrible beast he will be portrayed as for the rest of this story.) He had popped up through the hole drilled in the floor for the cable.

I screamed. If I could have, I would have jumped on a table and stayed there for the duration. But I couldn’t move. Literally. That scream (which didn’t frighten him in the least) took the last of my energy. I was so weak that all I could do was lay back on the couch, watching him watch me, and cry. Great big soaking tears. I had no one to call to come chase the monstrous rodent away. No big chunk of cheese handy to lure him to the outdoors---or the apartment next door if he preferred. Nope. Just me and the quilt and the big wet tears.

He watched me for hours. Days maybe. Or it may have been a few minutes and I dreamed the rest. My husband finally returned home from a long day and, after listening to my harrowing tale, set a trap for the 500 pound monster. He caught him the very next day and released him in the woods…not teasing me much about the size and disposition of the creature he captured.

David Collins can understand my terror. He too has a visit from a creature he cannot escape…

David is terrified of Barnabas and believes that the older Collins is hiding something in his locked basement. Determined to find out what it is, David visits the old mansion, only to be discovered by Julia Hoffman. She really is a perfect evil accomplice for Barnabas. She is so concerned about her research she will do anything to protect Barnabas, short of murdering Willie who is in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds he received  when trying to break into Maggie Evans’ room to warn her about Barnabas.

So, David is returned to Collinswood by Julia and sent to his room to await further punishment for disobeying Roger’s command that he NOT go to the old mansion. While there, wind begins blowing through his window…and without warning… a bat comes winging into the room, chasing David. He swings at it. He screams for help. He falls to the floor blocking the door to his own escape and shakes in terror, screaming all the while.

For the last 150 episodes, we only hear the howling of dogs as a signal of Barnabas’ arrival.  Finally we see the vampire bat. It’s not a 500 pound rat staring at him, but I understand David’s fear nonetheless…

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