The night was dark and humid. Fireflies left their grassy plains of respite, heading towards the stars to find love. The day had promised storms, but delivered only sweat. I was bound for the bedroom, where a portable AC unit delivered relief.
Uncommon activity from the cat drew me from the land of dreams. She was restless, bounding about the bed. I turned on the light to find a visitor within the room.
The creature flew circles around the ceiling, looking for escape. It failed and spun about in terror.
I stared, momentarily struck dumb. A bat had made its unlikely way inside, to find itself trapped around the artificial white of this apartment ceiling. Bereft of the stars to navigate, echolocation found only walls and the predatory prowl of a black domestic cat below. Desperately, it chirped. Lupo sought shelter beneath the bed.
Battle called. I needed a weapon for this deed. I found a broom.
I swung, not too hard. My goal was not to harm the poor bat, but to knock it down, so I could catch it and bring it back to where it belonged.
Once. Twice. Three times I struck, each time dazing the poor thing, or so I hoped.
Upon the third strike, it fell within arm’s reach. I caught it in a brown towel. Desperately, it chirped, chittered, and bit at the fabric. So small it was. It was brown and fuzzy, with leathery wings and bright white teeth. I tried to handle it gently, to keep from harming its delicate bones.
Shirtless, I dashed down the stairs of the apartment, into the sweltering embrace of the Maryland night. I let it loose, and off it flew. I took it for a good sign that it was relatively unharmed by the night’s battle.
The excitement ended and the night’s routine resumed. Soon, all thoughts of battle chased from my mind, replaced by the words of Roman conquest.