Chicken bones and cranberries

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The bat wings

Priscilla was mad. Simply mad, because she looked everywhere for her dried bat wings, and found none. She knew for a fact that she had enough stored somewhere in a clay pot; somebody must have eaten them!
The bat wings were bluish-black, thin and crispy. Either one of these two, the cat or the raven, could have easily snacked on the entire bunch. Such a nuisance[1]!
The idol of shape shifting needed the bat wings. You were supposed to burn them for the idol to smell and open its mouth for the actual treat, the dog. No bat wings – no magic.
The stone idol of shape shifting was located to the east of Priscilla’s house. Protected from outsiders by dense woods, the idol stood in the middle of a small secret clearing in a circle of white rocks. The idol was half-man and half-wolf, with hands that reached out for a sacrifice.
Priscilla had no time to get any more bat wings. She needed to collect blue wolfsbane flowers for the ritual. “Philip!” she said. “Philip, I need you to go to the Bat tunnels. Bring me this sack full of bats, I have not time to waste.”
The proud animal was disgusted with the job. Philip felt far more dignified than collecting nasty ingredients for the witch’s magical purposes. However, his loyalty made him dig for slippery worms, catch stinky bats, and suffocate wart-covered slimy toads.
***
Bat tunnels opened with a damp rocky grotto that lay at the foot of the Lodge Hill. The bats were sleepy during the day; that made it very easy for Philip to catch them. In a short time the cat filled half of the sack provided by Priscilla. There must have been at least two dozen small bats; all he needed now was another two dozen or so. Suddenly, amidst the screeching and wing flapping madness, Philip heard a faint voice calling his name. He stopped with yet another bat clinched tightly by his strong teeth. “Philip!” pleaded a small bat crowned with a shimmering golden ring. “Philip! Stop and listen to me! I have had enough of your crimes. You will not get away with murder! I have sent for vampire bat reinforcements, they are on their way. Stop the mayhem[2] and leave now, and your life shall be spared…” spoke Liss, the queen of tunnel bats.
“You? Spare my life?!” the arrogant cat opened his mouth in a wide smile and let go of his crushed victim. He began to laugh. “Who are you to spare my life, little creature? I will take your own life in one bight, and rightfully so, for you should have known better than to threaten a cat!”
“You leave me no choice, Philip,” screeched the bat queen in response and vanished. Immediately, it became darker in the grotto. Philip looked at the entrance and saw a swarm of gigantic vampire bats flying toward him, theirs fangs glistening.
The last he could remember was trying to get away from these fangs that pierced, and pinched him, and ripped his skin. By pure luck Philip managed to escape from Bat tunnels, only to be chased by the vampire bats to the top of the Lodge Hill and viciously thrown off its cliff.



[1] Nuisance: a person or thing causing inconvenience or annoyance.

[2] Mayhem: violent or extreme disorder, chaos.

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