Bat Chat by Elaine Peters

‘Why are you upside down?’ 

I couldn’t see where the squeaky little voice was coming from but it was definitely addressing me, because there was no one else around. Turning slowly in a full circle I surveyed the floor and the walls of the cave carefully. 

On a high bit of rock in a gloomy corner, I spotted a little upside down face with bright eyes watching me. It had big ears and delicate leathery wings folded around itself like a monk’s cloak. 

‘Did you speak to me?’ I asked, feeling a little foolish. 

‘Obviously,’ was the reply. ‘There’s no one else here so unless you are very dim you will realise that I did.’ It smiled then, showing sharp little teeth. 

‘Well, it is very dim in here,’ I replied huffily. ‘In fact I would say it’s quite dark. Another thing, you are the one who’s upside down. I assure you, I am standing upright on my own two feet.’ ‘It’s a matter of perspective,’ came the retort. ‘If you are on my patch you are the one out of kilter. Stands to reason. But we do have some similarities!’ A sound like a snigger emerged. Before I could engage in further conversation a fellow-explorer called from the entrance. ‘Come along Ears, we’ve got another site to visit before the bus comes.’ 

Old school friends can be so cruel even when we’re grown up. I suppose I’m lucky they dropped the ‘Bat’. Or worse, they could call me Batty. I wouldn’t mind Batman but I’m not sure my new friend would approve. 

Published in Issue #9 

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