HI Janice, how’s things?” My friend Wilma inquired when I bumped into her in Tesco.

“Aye OK.” I politely retorted. 

“And you?”

“Well...” Wilma drawled. 

“I have an unwanted visitor.”

And I wondered if Wilma’s relative from down south had appeared unannounced.


“Yep, there are some strange going’s on in my loft.”

“Well it cannae be a relative.” 

I cleverly surmised.

“It’s either a rat, a mouse or a squirrel.” Wilma had now become an expert in rodents. “Because there are sporadic scratching and scurrying sounds at night”.

“Oh well,” I sighed.

“If anyone can get rid of your unwanted friend, I’m sure it’s you.”

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You see, back in September, I too had an unwanted visitor.

Friday night and finally settling down with a glass of wine and some crisps, I uploaded the fourth episode of Pablo Escobar and, as it had subtitles, I couldn’t take my beady eyes off the screen for a second.  

Whilst deep in concentration suddenly something caught my eye.  But I decided to ignore it.

Next minute, faster than an Andy Murray serve, it flew out from behind my couch and whizzed around my living room. 

“Arghhhhh!” I screamed at Pablo Escobar. 

“A bat. A bat. A bat.” I parroted.

Like lightning, I grabbed my wine and mobile and ran out into the hall, closing the door tightly.

Shaking like a leaf, I reckoned I must be mistaken, so turned on my mobile video and squeezed my hand through a gap in the door.

Sure enough, the evidence was not good.  It was indeed a bat.  And a bloody big one at that.

“It’s the size of a budgie.”  My voice quivered as I called my brother Ian.

Ian appeared and headed straight into the living room armed only with a large towel.

“He’s like bloody Bear Grylls.” I thought how brave my brother was for attempting to capture the intruder.

Peering through the slight gap in the door I watched in horror as Ian unsuccessfully flapped the towel in all directions. 

Ten minutes later an exhausted Ian threw in the towel (literally) and left the room.

Reaching for his jacket, my desperation got the better of me.

“Its blind and you’re wearing your specs,” I quivered.

“How could you not catch it?”

“Good luck,” he bellowed as he reversed out my driveway.

Two days later Wilma arrived to pick me up, and on hearing of my dilemma, offered: “Do you want me to look for it?”

And look she did.

She scoured every inch of the room rattling radiators, pictures and under the couch with a wooden spoon I had provided.

“Janice, there is definitely, 100 per cent, no bat in here.”

Shouting through the gap in the door I instructed. “Close the curtains and put the lamp on.”

I reckoned the light would attract the imposter, which I knew was still in there as it had no means of escape since my living room had been sealed like a CSI Miami crime scene for two nights.

Fast forward eight hours and Wilma’s son Jordan was driving us home after a much needed few wines.

“Jordan, why don’t we go in and capture Janice’s bat.”

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I caught Wilma winking and surmised that they were sure the bat was long gone.

But I knew different. So before entering the room, I stated with a slightly slurred but commanding voice. “Now then.” Hic. “When you two enter this room.” Hic hic.

“The agreement is that you do not get back out until you’ve caught the bat.” Hic hic.

“Is that clear?”

Both covered their heads with my matching checked tea towels. Jordan donned my yellow Marigolds and Wilma clutched the wooden spoon again as they entered the bat cave.

However, their childish giggling soon turned to screams of terror when the large bat appeared from nowhere and zig-zagged around their heads like a Red Arrow.

“Ahhhhhh! Help, help,” shrieked Wilma.

Jordan was now frantically shoogling to door handle which I had a firm grip on from the other side.

“Mum, please tell her to let us out.”

“The deal is...” I kept repeating the pact we had made.

All went eerily quiet, so I peeked through the gap again until… “Mum, mum, argh, help, I want out!” 

The bat was flapping about their heads again.

Wilma’s maternal instinct suddenly evaporated as she thrust her son aside and began frantically shoogling the door handle herself as I repeated.

“The deal is……..” hic hic. 

Eventually, perhaps through terror or desperation, Wilma managed to throw a large bin bag over the creature and scooped it up.

“I’ve got it. I’ve got it.” She sounded euphoric.

Releasing the door, Wilma frantically ran outside and threw the bin bag into the air, at which point the poor creature flew off into the night skies.

Drained, shaking and still in shock, we sat silently on the stairs for what seemed like an eternity.
Monday morning.

“I saw your nightmare video on Facebook, Janice.” My colleague Nicola sounded sympathetic

“Och, it was nothing Nicola,” I lied.

“I didn’t even bat an eyelid.”