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The Bat Dweller
The journalist looked at the man with the utmost confusion. She had covered weird stories. Unique stories. Even disturbing ones. But nothing like this. She was in the town park, gazing up the minor mountain, at the bat cavern. The bats reside in their cave, sleeping serenely, as if they were at peace with life. In the center of them, crouched an unkept middle aged man. Sleeping. Sleeping with the bats. He too looked undisturbed, as if he was at a certain peace with life. The journalist needed this story. This man had been in the public eye for years. Rumors ran rampant, sightings aplenty. Also, for whatever reason, talk of the bat dweller was up. This would be a perfect time to uncover this secret. The journalist needed this story.
Getting into the cave was more difficult than she imagined. The sun was setting, and it was at that point in the day where the sun’s rays hit the earth at such an angle that it created terrible glare. Also, the bat cave, sat on top of a peak. She was athletic, but climbing was not her forte. Slowly, but surely, she made her way to the cave. When her tall, slender figure entered the cave, she experienced a sigh of relief. It was only temporary, however as it was feeding time for the bats. All around her the bats awoke and in symphony, they squeaked and departed, filing into an order only bats could figure out. The journalist kept herself covered and lowered to the ground until a voice alerted her.
“So, how are you?”
The journalist looked up, greeting a smiling face. She was speechless; her story was talking to her.
“I know you’re surprised I can talk right?”
The journalist continued to gawk.
“I’m actually fluent in seventeen languages.”
Still no reaction from the journalist.
“So, I’ve told you enough about me, why are you here?” The journalist quickly snapped back to the pseudo reality she was in.
“Oh, uh, uh, I’m here, here to cover you.”
“Oh, I mean I’m writing a story. I’m a journalist from the local newspaper.”
“Well, I’ve got a few minutes to spare. What do you need?” The journalist and the bat dweller proceeded to talk for a pretty significant amount of time. Their conversation was a rather interesting one, if we were able to hear it. But we can’t hear it, because why he’s up there, dwelling among the bats isn’t really important to this story. That’s the journalist’s story. My story is what is going to happen to and all around the journalist in the upcoming days. The bat dweller’s history and philosophy, while albeit something that would be cool to read, isn’t what this story is about. It’s about the journalist.
The journalist left the cave, with a feeling of satisfaction. She wasn’t satisfied because she had a potentially award winning story, she was satisfied because she actually did this story. It was fascinating! His story and beliefs could become the next great novel! His philosophy on life was already making her reevaluate everything and she just couldn’t wait to share it with the world! Now only if the world would listen.
“Are you kidding me? I can’t print this crap!
Just because we have a crazy, bat-dwelling lunatic living in the town park doesn’t mean its news! Why would I print this garbage when I could easily run an American Idol editorial? People don’t want to see this when they could easily get their reality show updates. Do you see what I’m getting at? I can’t let the townspeople see this. This isn’t what they want to see, besides if they aren’t even ready for something right this. Denied!”
The journalist did not respond to her sweaty, angry, bald-headed, slightly melting, dim-witted, hidebound boss. She was denied! Denied! She had been denied, as if what she had to say wasn’t good enough. Now, in all honesty, sometimes journalists did write crap, but this was not crap. How could she be denied her right to speak? Also, what did he mean that the townspeople weren’t ready to see this? People had been talking about this forever now, so why would the paper censor it now? What the hell was going on?
She walked out of the office, downtrodden. This story was quality material and it needed to be heard. But she had been rejected. So, she tried a plan. It didn’t work too well.
“Can you explain to me why thirty-two of my wrieters have come to me with an article about a bat dweller?” the journalist’s boss inquired of her. They were once again in the boss’s office. It was never a happy place for her. The office itself was not spectacular, but it symbolized pain. The only reason why a writer was invited in was to be mocked for a horrible job. The office also was giving her weird feelings. Something didn’t feel right here. Just something odd, insignificant.
The boss ranted at the journalist for a short time. He was clearly miffed about the article and he was letting her hear about it.
“The people can’t hear about this. You understand? Besides, they don’t want us wasting their time.” After this, the boss paused for a second. Then he spoke one final sentence. A final sentence, that stung her soul, that could poison a nation. A final sentence that made her feel evil in bones.
“I will make certain that this issue will be put to rest.”
The journalist felt evil holding her. She had her boss’s image in her mind, glaring in the whites of her eyes, speaking those corrosive words. As she went to sit in her cubicle, she just stared out the window. The happiness she had felt after completing the article was drained from her. She was emotionally void, starring out the window. She stared out for awhile, watching the coor of the sky turn from blue to blue and white to white to grey and finally to black. Ominous claps echoed throughout the sky, partnered with flashes of blinding light. Night had arrived hours early. As the blackness continued, pain racked her body. She broke into tears. The blackness continued.
The journatlist went home and just slept. She slept continually until the next morning. The sleep acted as a vacation, but not as a solution. As she awoke that morning, the pain was gone. She was feeling a little better, like the danger might be gone. Like everything might be okay.
Everything was not okay.
When she turned on her TV, the news was on. Shortly after the sports ended, local news came on. It was breaking news about a disappearance. Her focus started to drift. She let herself just listen to a keywords in the report. Authorities… early this morning… storm… cave… bats.\
The journalist turned up the volume on the TV.
“-homeless man who dwelled among the bats in Steinhaus cave. He had no known acquaintances, except for the bats living in the cave with him. Authorities were alerted when a woman living close to the cave reported what sounded like a struggle in the cave. Blood was found at the crime scene. We will be sure to continue our coverage of this throughout the day.”
As soon as that report ended, the journalist’s phone rang. She answered the phone.
“Look out the window,” a muffled voice said.
Fear took her. She slowly turned her head, not sure of what she was going to see. The window was foggy.
“I don’t see anything,” she said.
“Do it. Now.”
Her heart rate started to beat rapidly. She walked slowly to the window, terrified of what was going to happen. She opened the window.
Something fell in, falling on top of her. It was cold and slimy. She rolled the object off of herself. She took a good look at the object.
It was the bat dweller.
A voice, a single solitary voice could be heard through the window once she stopped screaming.
“I told you the issue would be put to rest. Now its time for me to officially stay to my word. Remember, you never want to cross me.”
Many hours later, the journalist lay on the floor, by the window, cold and slimy.