Dark Wings of Mister Flappy

In the tradition of the recently-renamed Curse of the Devil-Possum–now with provocative photo illustration–comes another horrifying tale of an invader from another world.  Read on, gentle blog visitor…

image via The Cimmerian

One Saturday afternoon I sat in my office at work, toiling at my desk.  Out in the hallway, a thing darted through the air past my door.

I looked up.  What was that?  Some kind of flying organism?

But having work I wanted to finish before going home, I shoved my curiosity aside and began toiling once more.  And once more, the Thing in the Hallway™ darted past my door, this time in the other direction.

I looked up again.  Definitely an organism.  Oh, well…work to do…

…and I returned to my toiling.  Just as I was finishing, the Thing in the Hallway™ streaked past my door again.

I looked up a third time.  It must be a bird or a winged raptor or something.

Since I was ready to go home, I went to investigate.  The hallway ended in a glass door to the outer world.  Perhaps I could use it to release the bird to the freedom of the open sky.

In the shadows farther down the hallway, a brown bird waddled along the floor, its wings draped to either side.

As I drew closer to it, cosmic horror threatened to engulf me.  No mere bird had heaved its quivering mass from the obscenity of its dark dimension to encroach upon my sanity. 

Mother of All Things That Have Mothers!

It was a bat.

Tentacles of soul-blasting horror reached for me and I fled, staggering into the vastness of the cubicle farm.  Few people toiled at their desks, but my relieved gaze fell upon John.

“Hey, man.  Did you know there’s a bat here?” I gibbered.

He blinked at me in confusion.  “Uh…what?”

“Yeah, there’s a bat in the hallway by my office.  Come check it out.”

Pushing himself to his feet, he followed me to witness the otherworldly horror for himself.

*     *     *

Meanwhile, in the shadows of the hallway…

The prey…I sense themThey come.  A sacrifice of flesh and souls I will wash down with blood and pick from my teeth with splintered bones, as recommended by 4 out of 5 dentists of the Great Old Ones

*flap flap flap flap*

*     *     *

John and I rounded the corner.

*flap flap flap flap*

The bat descended upon us, leathery wings beating the air, jaws wide and dripping in anticipation of juicy flesh and souls. Time collapsed into a slow-motion chaos of visible sound.  We bent backwards, mirror-shades gleaming, trench coats fluttering around us, and dodged the bat like we were in The Matrix

…except with more frightened screaming and flailing of limbs.

When the horror receded into the darkness which spawned it, we turned toward the cube farm, pale and trembling.

“It’s still out there,” I said.

John nodded.  “We must find it.”

“What if it’s taken human form?”

A grim silence fell between us.

Stalking through the shadows, we found the bat in one of the cubes, clinging to a wall beneath the desk.  We decided to catch it and release it outside.

“How will we contain it?” I asked.  “All my bat traps are at home.”

“I know just the thing,” John said.


“A shirt.”

image via coolspotters

From his cube, John retrieved a long-sleeved flannel shirt in a casually-stylish pattern that offered luxurious comfort for the bat.  He armed himself with the shirt and prepared to descend into the depths of the cube.

I positioned myself on the other side of the wall from which hung the bat.  Perhaps the creature would be more likely to embrace the shirt if I could trick it into thinking that vengeful spirits haunted its new domain.

When we were ready, I manipulated the cube wall and made spooky ghost sounds.  “OoOOoOOoOoOoOOoOoooOOOoOoOoo!”

“Got it.” John stood, carefully holding the shirt.  “I got the bat.”

“Excellent,” I said.  “Let’s set him free outside and name him Mister Flappy.”

So we set him free outside and named him Mister Flappy.

Though drops of rain began to fall around him, Mister Flappy did not rise from the earth right away.  John and I watched him through the door, concerned we had injured him and that the vengeful claws of his kind might drag us screaming into a realm of unrelenting madness and horror.

Then with a roar of wild, exultant joy, Mister Flappy hurled himself up to the stars…

*flap flap flap flap*

…and vanished in the darkness among them.

*     *     *

Have you ever helped out an animal when it needed a little boost?  Have you fed or adopted a stray, or simply shown the lost how to find their way back to the outer world?

53 thoughts on “Dark Wings of Mister Flappy

  1. lwsapir

    Best. Bat. Story. Ever.

    I’ve had a run in with a bat. It did not end so happily.

    While I don’t often come across animals in need of guidance to freedom, I do try to catch and release most bugs that I find in my house. Even the horrible giant terrifying “Water Bug” (aka Louisiana Cockroach) earns its freedom around here – but that is mainly because they are too gross to crush and they cling to life too tightly to easily be separated from it.

    Great post Mike!

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Yeah, your bat encounter sounded like no fun 😦

      You are, perhaps, more merciful with bugs in your domain than I am. I tend to squish them. Up here, we get a lot of these centipede things with legs going all the way around so that it’s impossible to tell which end is the front. They’re pretty creepy.

      I wonder if your “Water Bugs” are similiar to the giant tree cockroaches I grew up with in Texas. They’re as tenacious as they are vengeful.

      1. lwsapir

        I bet they are the same thing. They are these horrible giant cockroaches that come in from outside. The only reason I don’t squish them is because of the ooze and the incredibly nasty crunching sound. I usually liberate them, though I have flushed one or two… ICK!

          1. lwsapir

            I had one crawl under my oven a couple of weeks ago, right before I was going out for dinner. All I could think about the WHOLE TIME was that this evil beast was lurking in my kitchen…but when I got home, he was stupidly standing in the middle of the room and I got him. BWAHAHAHAH.

  2. Elaine Smothers

    GREAT story & kudos to you and John for saving Mister Flappy!

    I think we have a neon sign over the house that directs all abandoned, orphaned, hungry animals to our address. Those that don’t arrive of their own free will are brought to us by one of the stray cats that dine with us daily. Sadly, most of those don’t make it. I have managed to save a bird and fence lizard from her collection in the past few weeks that were releasable.

    The Mister Flappy she left on the porch the other night was not so lucky. 😦

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      That sounds pretty tough. I love cats, but I wish they could be persuaded not to indulge in that particular behavior. They’re more endearing when they’re batting a piece of string or chasing a laser pointer 🙂

  3. Elizabeth Fais

    Very! Funny! Possibly the creation of a new breakout market for flannel shirting too.

    I’ve never encountered a bat, inside or otherwise. But I left my back door open for my elderly cat early one summer morning, only to be awakened by very loud crunching later on. I opened my eyes, and the elderly cat was sitting on the bed. The crunching was coming from the kitchen. It got louder. I approached stealthly and saw a big gray furry creature with a striped tail and dark mask with its head in the cat food bowl. The elderly cat stood at my side looking on.

    All I said was, “Oh, my.” Quite softly actually. The raccoon looked up, turned and walked by me and the elderly cat and right back out the door.

    Needless to say, I never left the back door open again for the cat (or anything else that could wander in.)

  4. Tami Clayton

    Awesome bat story! I was on pins and needles waiting to see if you or Mr. Flappy would win the battle. I was thrilled to see it was a win-win scenario.

    I, too, have had an encounter with a bat such as Mr. Flappy. The Creature entered a cabin I was staying in one evening. Armed only with a large Tuppeware container, I trapped The Creature inside, sliding an album underneath (sadly, not Debbie Drake’s), and then tossed the whole shebang into the darkness outside. I am assuming it flew off since I have not received any retaliation or death threats from its kin in the years since that incident.

    I have also had a family of raccoons enter through our cat door to eat the cat food as well as the occasional garter snake brought inside by our previous cats. It’s a regular zoo over here, let me tell ya.

  5. Jennifer Lewis Oliver

    I agree with Laird, that’s the best bat story ever.
    Though I can’t agree with her about the “Water Bug” because well, we have them here in Florida too, but those suckers meet their demise in my house! Not by me, of course, because I won’t get near them. I make the hubby do it. 😀
    I’ve always tried to help animals in distress whenever I can. (Spiders and Water Bugs not included.) Just today a cute, little dog lost his way and the tags on his collar didn’t have a name or a number listed. Before giving him a bed for the night (which I totally would have done – he was so adorable!!), I decided to walk him around the neighborhood to see if I could find where he lived. Not knowing his name, I just looked at him and said, “Okay little guy, let’s go home.” He looked up at me and then proceeded to walk down the street, staying several feet ahead of me. Occasionally he’d look back to make sure I was still there, but he kept up his pace. Which happened to be quick for a squatty, little dog with short legs. Amazingly enough, he walked us to his house just as his owners came out to call for him. The little guy’s name? Honey.

  6. neyska

    Great story. Bats are fantastic creatures. I’ve run into them while caving many times. They are cute as hell.

    I have been known to rescue things on occassion (my Arabian is a rescue actually), but the most amusing was the nasty little possum I found in my grain bin once. He’d eaten so much he could barely waddle away and make sad little growling noises at us. Unfortunately, having had him in my grain, I opted to throw it all away and get a new bin.

  7. hmcmullin

    We had bats in the rafters of the old Lake Ranger Station in Yellowstone who would occasionally squeeze thru cracks in the false ceiling and end up in the office. We’d find them in odd places like the In basket, wastebasket, or open file drawer. Finding a bat in the typewriter is even better than caffeine for a morning wakeup call.

  8. Ellen Gregory

    I love bats – we have heaps of them here – but I’ve never come face to face with one. I’d think that would be rather exciting!

    The most recent thing I rescued was a little skink (tiny lizzard) that somehow got inside my house and was running around the walls. I thought it would be hard to catch, and nearly didn’t try, but then I thought it might starve (although not sure what I was thinking there – there are that many bugs that seem to find their way inside) so decided to try.

    Out came my trusty Tupperware (like Tami!) and a lid… only I didn’t need the lid, because the skink climbed obligingly onto the Tupperware container and stayed there until I had relocated it outside. It was all rather tame and easy in the end.

    In my house, cockroaches die painful deaths. Though I cannot STAND the smell of them when they’re squooshed. But most bugs are allowed to live, even spiders.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      That was awfully obliging of the lizard. He must’ve wanted to go for a ride or something 🙂

      Just how large are the cockroaches in Australia? I’m familiar with the ones in Texas where I grew up, and I can’t remember any of them exuding a particular fragrance upon death.

      1. Ellen Gregory

        not that large… maybe 4 to 6cm long (2 inches)… I just hate them. (We may have bigger ones elsewhere, these are I think ‘wood roaches’ that mainly live outside, but sometimes come inside.)

  9. Catherine Johnson

    And all toiling ceased, to rescue the winged intruder. A thirst like no other over-powered them once the bat was free and they escaped the pod for a gallon of liquid replenishment.

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Fortunately it somehow worked out that John did the hard part by going into the cube to scoop up Mister Flappy. I’m unconvinced it would’ve gone so smoothly if I’d been the one to attempt it.

  10. sheilapierson

    Great post Mike – very entertaining!! We tend to have giant garden spiders and brown house spiders that find their way in- creeps me out…No bats inside fortunately…

  11. Barbara Forte Abate

    I receive fairly regular bat visitors and have become something of an experienced bat catcher. Nevertheless, I have to agree that the hunt for Mister Flappy is pretty much the best bat story ever. Generally my bat catching involves hubby cowering under the covers (and lest this behavior fool anyone, he is indeed a strapping macho dude away from bats–it’s the crazy erratic flapping and dive-bombing that discombobulates his manly self.) while I twirl and whirl, duck and dive with a towel, trying to gently, carefully, capture.

    We have a bat house outside, but it apparently has little appeal for bats that prefer to reside in the “Big House,” I try to be understanding of the situation since our house is 132 yrs old and I’m sure the bats that drop in to visit now can claim that their ancestors were living here long before we arrived on the scene.

    Terrific post as always, Mike 😀

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      Thanks, Barbara. I wouldn’t think any less of anyone’s courage if they were a little freaked out by the flapping hijinks of a bat in the room. It’s a disconcerting experience, for sure.

  12. Kirsten

    This was hilariously entertaining!
    No bats in the office for me–batty coworkers, yes, but that’s another story isn’t it?

    I do love the little critters though. 🙂

  13. Lara Schiffbauer

    What a great story, with a happy ending, none the less! Miller moths (the little ones that invade in the spring/early summer) remind me of bats. They fly straight at you, and dive bomb into your hair. It’s so freaky! Even still, I try to let them out. My husband, not so much. I also was a catch and release of any insect, including spiders, until I had children. Spiders must die now. My mom got bit and got an infection from it. Her ankle swelled up, turned red, and she had to go to the hospital for several days for antibiotic treatments. I don’t want my kids to get hurt, all because I was a softy. Funny how having children changed my mind on many things like that!

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      I’ve actually read that bats dive-bombing into a person’s hair is something of a myth, although I wouldn’t want to put it to the test. My hair is decidedly less luxurious with a bat in it 😉

      Yeah, one should probably be careful of spiders because of the possibility of infection, but I hear it’s a possibility with any break of the skin. I actually keep a tube of Neosporin laying around, just in case.

      1. Lara Schiffbauer

        I think the spider that bit my mom was poisonous, and that’s why it went so ugly. I know most spiders/spider bites are generally not a big deal, other than some itching. It’s just when my kids are involved I lose rationality!

        That irrationality goes along with things flying above my head that look scary (hence the penchant to give credence to myths, “just in case”) Wait, maybe it’s just things flying above my head. Not sure, but I try to avoid such situations to be safe. Luckily, I’ve never lived in a place that has many flying creatures besides birds and those nasty moths.

  14. Karen McFarland

    Read on, gentle blog visitor…Yes, that would be me!

    Holy Mother of All Things That Have Mothers who have Bats! 🙂

    While I’ve never been confronted by a bat, I have had a snake or two slither into my house. Although it be a king snake, not a rattler, it wasn’t all that fun. Reptiles are not my thing. I bet you’re shocked at that one aren’t you? LOL!

    1. Mike Schulenberg Post author

      I think pretty much everyone has some kind of life-form they don’t particularly care for. Reptiles are a common choice. For me, it’s killer bees. Regular bees too, but especially the killer ones 🙂


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