It was while Burt and Ariadne were watching the 11 o’clock news that Ariadne noticed the dark spot on the curtains.
“What is it?” asked Burt.
Ariadne got up to investigate. She tilted her head and said, “I don’t know.”
The spot released its grip on the curtains and flew over Ariadne’s head. She ducked and screamed.
“Oh, it’s a bat,” said Burt. He was somewhat amused at the sight.
At that precise moment, their teenaged daughter Emma shuffled into the living room. Her movements seemed to startle the bat. It swooped down and slapped Emma in the face with its wing.
Emma stumbled into a lamp, causing the bulb to shatter. The only light left in the room was the flickering screen of the television.
Ariadne gathered her daughter and scrambled into the hallway. Burt sat in his chair, watching the bat circle around the ceiling.
“Listen to it echolocate. It’s amazing,” he said.
Ariadne poked her head in the doorway. “Aren’t you going to catch it?”
“In the dark while it’s in flight? That’s when at bat is at its best,” explained Burt.
“Well, do something,” said Ariadne. Emma huddled on the floor, whimpering. She was still sore from the collision with the bat.
“I am doing something. Two things, in fact.”
“Oh really? What?”
“I’m waiting and thinking.”
“How exactly is that helping? I sometimes wonder if you-”
Ariadne was interrupted by the loudest whistling sound she’d ever heard. It was so high pitched she felt disoriented.
There was a dull thud against the wall that Ariadne felt more than she heard. Burt scooped up the bat, opened the door and tossed it outside.
“What happened?” asked Ariadne.
Burt smiled. “That, my dear, was effective crisis management.”