Chapter Nine: Bats
“Ready?” Leo asked.
“Yeah, I suppose.” Raphael sighed settling down into the middle of the huge bed. Leo leaned closer to the candle, carefully cupping his hand around the dancing flame. With a soft blow the room was thrown into darkness.
Raphael allowed his heavy eyelids to gradually close; he let out a long contented sigh as warm, comforting sleep washed over him. Slowly he let himself float deeper into the realms of slumber; suddenly something jerked him back to reality. His eyes snapped open and he was once again back, in that depressing castle nestled on somewhere in the murky moors of England. Raising his head slightly from the pillow he squinted into the darkness. Had he heard a sound? He sat still for several minutes hardly daring to breathe. Nothing, it had to be nothing. Raphael mentally berated himself. He was probably just spooked; after all, that old hag was enough to give even the most hardened of men nightmares. Fuming to himself Raphael turned over and tried once again to drift off. There it was again! Sounded like, like moaning. Raphael tossed and turned a few times, each time reassuring himself that it was nothing, just the wind howling through all the old corridors and passage ways. Either that or Michaelangelo was trying to scare him. Well he wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction. Things became still once more, soon, the noise forgotten Raphael was beginning to slip back to sleep.
Blinking Raphael tensed up slowly he opened his eyes; he scowled into the darkness. The wind was blowing up a storm by the sounds of it. Suddenly every muscle in Raphael’s body froze, his throat became dry and tight, he tried to swallow but couldn’t. The noise was moving! It was in the room, moving closer to him, he could feel something there. Raphael, little by little summoned the strength to turn his head towards the ‘presence’. Nothing but void darkness, panic quickly surged through Raphael’s body; he groped around in the pitch black for the flashlight. It took ages for his panic numbed fingers to operate the switch. Trying to keep the beam steady he panned the light across the room. He couldn’t see anything but he could still feel it, stronger now then before. Raphael glanced over to Leonardo, sound asleep and oblivious.
“Lee, Leo.” His voice was barely audible. Fumbling he turned the beam on his brother, Leo squeezed his eyes tighter shut. “Leo!” Raphael was trying to keep the desperation in his voice low. “Leo! You awake?”
“I am now.” Leo groaned raising his hand to shield his eyes.
“Do you hear that?” Raphael made a strange squeaking sound. Leonardo sat up slightly, propping himself up on his elbows. He narrowed his eyes, concentration etched on his face. “Hear what?”
“Listen.” Raphael hissed. “A moaning sound.” The duo sat staring into the gloom, straining their ears in the silence. After a while Leo broke the calm. “Do you hear that Raph?”
“What?” Raphael scanned the light across the room.
“That’s the sound of no one caring!” Leonardo turned over a pulled his sleeping bag cover back up. “Now go to sleep.” Raphael lowered the flashlight and switched it off. He knew it was nothing, jet lag, that was it, he was over tried and it was playing tricks on his mind.
Raphael rolled onto his back with a long sigh, he once more tried to get back to sleep. An inviting darkness enveloped him, pulling him back to that comfortable place. Suddenly something solid landed on his chest with a heavy thud, Raphael flung back the covers and sprung cat like out of the bed. Stumbling back a few paces he landed on top of Leonardo.
Leonardo struggled to push his panic stricken brother off his legs; grabbing his flashlight he turned it on and shone it in Raphael’s face. “What’s the matter with you?” Leo was taken back by the look of utter shock and fear on his siblings face.
“Something….hit…..chest.” Was all Raphael could manage to push out through gasping breaths, he held onto his heaving chest in an effort to calm himself down.
“What are you on about?” Leo shone the light over at the bed. Something small and shadowy swooped into the beam, both brothers let out a gasp as they jumped. Leo swept the beam of light upwards. “Bats?”
“The room is crawling with them.” Raphael pointed out hundreds of the creatures clinging to every available surface.
“But, where are they coming from? How are they getting in?” Leo kept the light trained on the dark swirling mass above them.