Read Poem: The Shadow of The Bat by Laurence Lagrue

Make sure your doors are locked up tight
Shut out this dark and stormy night.
Here is a tale as yet untold;
One that will make your blood run cold.

You may recall, a little while back
My mother-in-law suffered a bat attack.
This briefly caused her to behave quite oddly,
But left no lasting damage bodily.

At least that is what we had assumed
For over us a new shadow loomed.
From the previous horror it was begat
A malevolent shadow of the bat!

Originally mother-in-law’s left hand was bit
And though she said she’d got over it,
The ‘badness’ to her right arm had jumped
Because it ached severely like she’d been thumped.

This aching steadily grew and spread.
“Oh it’s right miserable”, she often said.
I suggested a doctor’s visit if she was ill
But she just said, “I’ll take some pills”

Then on Halloween night we got a strange call
From my mother in law – not herself at all.
“Help! It’s my arm, it’s got me!” was all she said
Then silence, as the line went dead.

For a moment I felt really, really scared
But I knew that I had to get round there.
In haste, I grabbed my coat and keys
Ignoring the trembling in my knees.

I reached her house not feeling brave,
The whole place was as quiet as the grave.
I went round to the side door to let myself in
And on tenterhooks, walked into her kitchen.

A horrible sight there met my eyes;
On a plate, on a table was unfinished meat pie.
Oh, it breaks my heart to see such waste,
So I tipped it in my coat pocket – just in case.

I crept on through the house in search of the lady
My coat pocket steadily filling with gravy.
I suddenly became aware of a slow steady sound;
The repetition of something being dragged on the ground.

As I turned into the hall, I very nearly retched;
She was out cold on the floor – her right arm outstretched.
By its own power, the limb was dragging her across the floor
Making slow steady progress towards her front door.

It was horrible to witness, I really must say
Her clothing had ridden up in a most unflattering way.
Now older ladies’ underwear may look nice on a dummy
But nothing can prepare you for seeing them on mummy.

But this was no time for principles – she needed assistance
So with an angry roar I soon covered the distance.
With both hands I grabbed the limb below the wrist
Then the hand twisted towards me – and turned into a fist.

As quick as a flash I got punched in the jaw.
By the time I reacted, I’d been punched twice more.
Like a possessed boa constrictor, the arm twisted and turned
Growing hot in my grasp, with pure evil it burned.

This fight was exhausting, it was taking its toll,
My mother in law was thrown about like a rag doll.
There was only one way to save her, I knew what to do:
The arm and the shoulder – had to be severed in two.

In anguish and horror, with my jaw really hurting
I dragged her back around, scraping her shoes on the skirting.
I was sweating and panting, and my coat had a stain.
And I knew that I’d have to paint that skirting again.

I made it back to the kitchen as best I was able
Though I did clack mum’s head on her telephone table.
I knew I was fighting to save both our lives
As I opened a drawer in the search of sharp knives.

I found one – a cleaver – then two more, and another
(remind me, I must have a word with my mother)
With no time to be choosy I reached for one, but
Before I could take it, the drawer was slammed shut!

The arm knew what I was planning, so it started to fight;
It twisted and wriggled with all of its might.
In self-preservation it was mean and unruly
Then without provocation, punched me straight in the goolies.

Now a punch to that area, is a real big no-no;
Even for an evil limb, that was a low blow.
If it was dirty fighting it wanted, I’ve a badge that I’ve earned;
So with a quick change of grip, I gave it two Chinese burns.

I was in a real battle, and boy was it rough!
For an old lady’s arm, this limb was vicious and tough.
I tasted blood in my mouth – it was sickly and sweet
And I was spattered with pie crust, gravy and meat.

We pulled and we wrestled; this fight was a saga!
The arm shut my fingers in the door of mum’s Aga.
In one surging mass of movement, we writhed on the floor
Until I slammed it repeatedly in the Fridge door.

The arm lay there limply, and I took a breather
Before seizing my chance, and grabbing a cleaver.
Looking down at the chaos, I gave a small cough.
There was only one thing for it; that arm must come off.

I knelt on the limb, to hold it firmly in place
Then paused as I gazed at my poor mother’s face;
Despite her ordeal, she looked free from all pain
Though her appearance was spoiled by a large gravy stain.

She was still very unconscious – which was a big plus
As I readied myself to do what I must.
With the cleaver raised high, I hoped my aim would be true
Then I brought it down swiftly, cutting the limb clean through.

If I thought it was over, I was wrong – oh by heck!
The arm suddenly shot upwards, grabbing me round the neck!
I just had time to croak “you’ve got to be joking”
Before frantically clawing at the hand that was choking.

Then a voice in my head told me “fight, Larry fight!”
So I pulled at the arm with all of my might.
It’s grip finally broke with a huge wrench I gave,
Then I stuffed it – still fighting – into the Microwave.

It hammered on the glass as I turned the thing on:
I didn’t want ‘de-frost’; that would take far too long.
In an act of defiance, as the microwaves flowed
The limb gave me the finger – then I saw it explode.

That was it, it was over; I’d finally won.
Exhausted, I returned to help my poor mum.
To hospital she was taken, and she started to mend
And both our ordeals had finally come to an end.

They gave her a new arm, to replace the one chopped;
It can carry seven bags when she goes to the shops.
It has artificial intelligence, and is frighteningly strong.
It became self-aware yesterday…….what could possibly go wrong?

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Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.
This entry was posted in 2019 Poetry, hope poetry, new poetry, poet, poetry, Poetry Festival, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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