Of English Accents, Lightning Storms, and Monsters
Shadows were everywhere. Ominously large shadows mingled with mysteriously short ones. As I tripped and groped my way through them, the dank, dust-laden air irritated my nose and throat. Lightning flickered occasionally, revealing the shadows for what they were--briefly--then gone in an instant, leaving a faint mental snapshot behind.
“Did you find it yet?” squawked the petulant voice in the darkness.
Startled, I dropped the two-way radio and banged my head on the sloping attic roof. Rubbing my head, I tapped my foot along the dark floor, hoping to find Zombos’ blasted new toy. I found it and pressed the talk button. “No, I’m still looking,” I whispered.
“What? Why are you whispering?” he asked.
I cleared my throat. “The dust. I’m still looking. The lights are out and I can’t see a damn thing. Are you sure you left it up here?”
Yes. Of course I’m sure. I definitely remember I put it--what? Oh? But I thought I--oh, never mind, Zimba found it.” He clicked off his radio.
Lightning flashed through the dormer window as I stood in the darkness of the west attic, ruing the day I became valet to Zombos, the once renowned horror actor, now only known by his few remaining and decaying fans.
Thunder rumbled in the distance. I sighed and turned to begin the arduous journey back through the clutter of shadows that towered and tilted across the attic floor. Suddenly, there came a tapping, then a frantic rapping on the dormer window. At first I thought it was a tree branch blowing in the wind, but immediately realized no trees were high enough or close enough to reach the mansion’s attic. I went to the window to see what was causing the racket. A lightning sprite lit up a large, dark, flittering shape outside. Thunder rumbled, shaking the bent latch open. A spray of water blew in, along with a fluttering wet ball that rolled onto the floor. Startled, I tripped over something and fell
backwards. The ball unfurled into the largest bat I had ever seen.
“Damn, it’s a night only Frankenstein could love,” said the bat, shaking his wet wings. “Hey, can ya hand me that?”
I stood there. My lower lip hung an inch lower than my upper one. I reached into my pocket to see if I had left the two-way radio on. Nope. I then felt my head to see if I was bleeding, or had a bump the size suitable for hallucination. Nope.