by

Ruwen Rouhs


Mam-Y Va-Mp´s blood was up, “Ran-Dy Va-Mp, you lazy knurd, your are nearly half a year old now, go out and hunt down the crunchy beetles you like so much! You are old enough not to rely on poor Dadd-Y Va-Mp. You don’t have to fear the owls. The sun is still up and the murderous birds are still asleep.”

Ran-Dy Va-Mp was sorely disappointed. “Look Mam-Y Va-Mp, I want to know why we have two flaps and two legs and can fly while the church mice, our relatives, have four legs and no flaps!” As his mother couldn’t answer his question and just told him, “Go!” He grumbled, “I go! But I do not want to go out hunting!” “Look at your brother, big Bud-Dy Va-Mp, he always outside, hunting for food and for Girl-Y Va-Mp´s.”

Ran-Dy Va-Mp poked out his tongue at his mom, left his hold at the ceiling of the belfry and began to flutter around the big bells in the church tower while his mom chitchatted along with her gals. When he passed the arched belfry window for the fifth time, Ran-Dy Va-Mp decided to have a look down into the small park, surrounding the old church. The former churchyard was a pleasure ground now, with high elms and chestnut trees spreading their dense foliage over small footways, children’s playgrounds and the circle of benches surrounding a little fountain. While the evening sun of the early Indian summer still gilded the tree tops, the footways were already obscured by the twilight. “Why are the leaves yellow and red in the fall and not green anymore? Why have we to fatten ourselves in fall and sleep all winter long.” Ran-Dy Va-Mp asked himself, “And what does snow look like and how does snow taste? I really would like to know!”

“It’s still not dark under the mighty trees down there! No need to be afraid of owls!” Ran-Dy Va-Mp contemplated. “I venture out into the twilight and check why the leaves turn yellow and red! This stupid mother wants me to be a bully like my big bro!” He poked his tongue out to his mother and her girlfriends again and then, with a swift move, he dived out of the window and down into the park.

Out there under the trees the air was much softer than up in the narrow belfry. Thick beetles were cruising along, bees where leaving the flowers to go home, carrying nectar and pollen to their apiaries. A fat hummingbird hawk-moth left its hideout. It was looking for his bride attracted by her pheromones. “I have to get it, that fat piece of meat and then I will ask the leaves why they change color at fall.” Ran-Dy Va-Mp decided and started a high speed pursuit of the moth!

A fat brown owl was sitting on a thick tree branch spreading his wings to get rid of the day tiredness. “That nosy bat looks like a good appetizer!” the old owl said to himself, “Lets start the chase!” However Ran-Dy Va-Mp had a good ear! “Dammed, there is an owl!” His sevens sense warned him, “Mam-Y Va.-Mp was wrong! The owls are out already” He accelerated, zigzagging along the footway, trying to outfox the owl.

“Ouch! Damned!” Ran-Dy Va-Mp collided full speed with a giant creature, racing the opposite direction along the small path. Ran-Dy Va-Mp lost his consciousness and tumbled to the ground.

*.*.*

Slowly Ran-Dy Va-Mp regained his consciousness. His head was spinning! His nose hurt and was bleeding. He felt funny, because he was on his back reclined on a soft, cozy bed.

Ran-Dy Va-Mp was neither used to lie on his back nor to be fondled by a big warm finger at his fury belly, nor was he used to the croaky voice of a big monster greeting him, “Hey little Vampy! Are you alive? I bet you are, because you heart throbs like a high speed engine!” Then a big face with still bigger eyes was coming closer and closer. The eyes focused on Ran-Dy Va-Mp curiously. When the little bat twitched with his flaps and bared his teeth, the teen smiled, “Don’t be afraid little Vampy. You are alive! I am so glad! Look, I carry you to the belfry to your parents. There should be no greedy owls!”

Ran-Dy Va-Mp was still in a shock. The giant monster was carrying him head up while he was used to hang head down. This made his brain spinning. He tried to figure out what kind of species this monster was, that was carrying him so softly. Was it one of these creatures his mother called “Humans”? Mam-Y Va-Mp had warned him many, many times, “Humans are malicious monsters. They use big brooms and try to shoo us out of our home, of our belfry. They are so mean! I tell you Vampy, the worst humans are the young ones, the kids, the one they call teens! They always try to catch us! They torture us! They try to spread our flaps! They even try to throw us into the flames of a fire. I bet, they even want to eat us!” His mother was really upset because of these monsters. ”This is our tower, our home! Gramp-Y Va-Mp has lived there forever and all his forefathers down to Ad-Am Va-Mp.”

So, according to his mother Mam-Y Va-Pm this monster was a kid, a human kid, surely one of these dangerous boys. Ran-Dy Va-Mp closed his eyes and contemplated a moment. “He different, he doesn’t hurt me; he carries me like my mother did, when I was a baby! A funny boy!”

“My name is Kenny.” The funny boy suddenly told Ran-Dy Va-Mp, “What’s your name little bat? Your name, tell me! It’s so nice to hold you! I like you. Your fur is so soft!” Kenny cuddled the little bat, spoke to him and breathed at him to keep him warm.

Ran-Dy Va-Mp sized up Kenny. “This boy looks strange!” he assessed, “The color of his hair is sandy like mine, but his face is bare, no hairs, no whiskers and his nose, it’s so small and turned up.” Turning his head, Ran-Dy Va-Mp tried to get the full picture of Kenny, “His body? Kenny’s body? He doesn’t have fur! Instead his whole body is wrapped in something smooth and shiny. That’s strange, half of his body is red and the other half is blue!”

Ran-Dy Va-Mp tried to concentrate on Kenny’s eyes. They were brown with yellow freckles and deep dark pupils. Nearly like the ones of my brother, he thought. He looked into Kenny’s eyes and suddenly knew he could trust this teen. Now he wanted to know more about this special human teen! The little bat relaxed.

Ran-Dy Va-Mp hadn’t time to contemplate any further. The teen entered the church and climbed up into the belfry. In the bell cage Kenny took Ran-Dy Va-Mp with two fingers and put him down on a wooden slate, “Bye, bye Vampy!” he said, “Be careful next time! And tell me your name when we meet again!”

Ran-Dy Va-Mp´s mother was upset. She was upset and over anxious at the same time. “Bloody, dumb Ran-Dy Va-Mp!” she scolded, “Didn´t I tell you, you bloody knurd…….” and on and on she raved. Soon Ran-Dy Va-Mp didn’t listen to her anymore. He wanted to know only one thing, “Who was this boy called Kenny? Will I meet him again? He likes me, I know! But does I like him also? ”

The end of October came faster as expected. Ran-Dy Va-Mp had caught sight of Kenny two or three times more, but he never was fast enough to meet the teen, because Kenny was always riding on a glittering thing called bike, a thing with two fast spinning wheels. “How could such a small being like me bring such a big boy to a halt?” Ran-Dy Va-Mp contemplated, but couldn’t resolve that question. November came around and Mam-Y Va-Mp, Dadd-Y Va-Mp and Ran-Dy Va-Mp together with all the other members of the Va-Mp-family went to sleep. Like grey grapes they were hanging head down on the ceiling of the belfry. They were hibernating and not even the sound of the bells announcing Christmas or the fireworks announcing New Years Eve were able to arouse them from sleep.

*.*.*

When the bells of Palm Sunday announced the beginning of the Holy Week Ran-Dy Va-Mp was the first to wake up. His first thought was “I have to find Kenny! I know he will be in the little park. This time I will follow him to his home, to his belfry. No owl, no crow, no hawk can prevent me from visiting him.

For days Ran-Dy Va-Mp lay in wait for Kenny. Every nightfall he searched the park for insects but foremost for Kenny. With flapping wings he cruised around the church, checked the playgrounds, the fountain and did not miss out one single footway. Finally on the evening before Good Friday, Kenny turned up at the fountain. He leaned his bike against one of the benches and searched the sky. After a while he began to call, “Vampy, Vampy, where are you my little Vampy?” He tried to imitate the twittering of bats, “Twitter, twitter, twitter. Are you still alive, Vampy? Twitter, twitter! You must be big boy now, my Vampy!”

Ran-Dy Va-Mp circled Kenny´s head, but some of his brothers and sisters, some of his cousins and uncles did it too. Ran-Dy Va-Mp dived down and nearly touched Kenny’s hair with his flaps, but the others did it too. Because of the many bats Kenny wasn’t sure if Ran-Dy Va-Mp was around. He twittered a last time, mounted his bike and left the park.

Ran-Dy Va-Mp decided to follow Kenny. The teen cycled fast along a main street, then turned right, entered one side-road and then the next and finally he took into a small private road with trees along the sidewalks. Some trees were covered with bright green new leaves, other were in full bloom and covered with white blossoms or pink blossoms.

The main street was well lighted by street-lamps, the bigger side-roads also. Myriads Moths were circling the street lights and Ran-Dy Va-Mp was tempted to fill his empty stomach with the delicious feed. But Kenny cycled too fast and the little bat had a hard time to follow. In the small private road Kenny entered a tiny two storey house, build in the back of a garden full of white and pink blooming trees. While Ran-Dy Va-Mp still reflected if he should follow Kenny into the house, the teen had already passed the front door and closed it. “Too bad! You stupid!” the little bat twittered disappointed, “Locked out! You are stupid Ran-Dy Va-Mp!” Frustrated he circled the house. Then lights went on in a room in the first floor and Ran-Dy settled down on a tree branch just opposite the lighted window. Head down he studied carefully what was going on in the small room.

Kenny was busy. He moved around in the kitchen, went to the fridge, took a bottle and some food out, then went to the cooking-stove and began to prepare his evening meal. Ran-Dy Va-Mp was hungry also. “What was it this Kenny was eating?” he asked himself. “He doesn’t eat insects, no! Instead he put a piece of something red into the pan on the oven. Was this meat? It looked like the meat of the church mouse the church cat had killed last year. Why didn’t Kenny eat the meat raw like a good bat or a good cat?” Ran-Dy Va-Mp shook his head! “That boy is funny, real strange.” he twittered to himself. But his stomach was growling. “I have to enter the room and try Kenny’s food. Maybe I will like it also!” When Ran-Dy Va-Mp tried to enter the room through the window he failed. He had overlooked the glass in the window. With the head he hit the glass pane and went down with a plop. Kenny did hear the plop but didn’t look up and went on preparing his evening meal and then eating the steak. Ran-Dy Va-Mp however was dizzy from the crash and disappointed. “Why didn’t Kenny look for me? Should I fly back to our belfry?” he contemplated, but then decided to try a last time to visit Kenny.

A little later a light went on in the second storey of the house. Ran-Dy Va-Mp´s stomach growled more than before. He was frustrated and but persistent. “Kenny and I, we never will become friends if I don’t try again to meet him! He is locking me out! He is eating stuff I may not savor! He even does not look up, when I knock at the window!” Ran-Dy Va-Mp was nearly ready to fly back home. Then however he decided to take a final attempt to visit Kenny.

*.*.*

The teen Kenny came from the bathroom, freshly showered and dressed only in a pair of tiny red boxers. It was the first time Ran-Dy Va-Mp saw Kenny without dressed in that shiny stuff. “Humans are strange? They don’t have a fur. Kenny’s body is bald! His body is pale! Disgusting! Why doesn’t he look like I do? Why doesn’t he have such a nice soft brown fur?” However Kenny’s bare body made him curious. “How does it feel to touch such a hairless body? Is his skin smooth or is it coarse?”

Kenny went to bed, switched on the light on the night stand. While Ran-Dy Va-Mp suspended himself head-down on a branch full of pink blossoms, the teen took a book from the night stand. With his sharp eyes Ran-Dy Va-Mp could clearly see the cover of the book. The young bat was surprised. The cover showed the picture of a bat, a bat like himself. Kenny began to flip through the book and coming to a certain chapter he immersed himself in the book.

After a while Ran-Dy Va-Mp felt bored. Kenny was reading on and on, flipping over one page after the other. But suddenly the boy’s face went red. He became restless and then began to twist and twitch excitedly. He dropped the open book to the floor beside the bed and stretched out on his back. “What does Kenny search for under the cover?” Ran-Dy Va-Mp asked himself. “Is there a mouse in his bed or does he have lice or fleas between his legs?”

Kenny closed his eyes and started to work furiously under the cover with both hands. His state seemed to get worse and worse by the minute. The teen now breathed rapidly, moaned and writhed as in great pain. All of sudden he threw back the covers, reared up and then suddenly relaxed, breathing deeply.

Ran-Dy Va-Mp was scared for Kenny! “I have to rescue my friend!” he twittered to himself, “I have to rescue my Kenny. He saved my live last year, now I have to save him!” Feverishly he began to search the window for a crack to enter Kenny’s bedroom. Just when the teen turned out the lights, the little bat found a tiny gab between the wings of the window. He squeezed through the gab and flew to the bed. Kenny was covered with a blanket, breathed deeply and satisfied. He was already soundly asleep.

Ran-Dy Va-Mp was relieved; Kenny was well that showed the peaceful and happy grin of his face. “Does he smile because of me? Does he feel I am around and care for him?” Hanging head-down at the cord of the ceiling light the young bat felt another bout of hunger. Looking around in the dimly lighted room he couldn’t spot a single prey, no moth, no beetle, no fly, just nothing. “Stupid folks!” he twittered, “locking out all food!”

Eying the sleeping Kenny, he remembered a story told to him by Gran-Y Va-Mp. “Once upon a time bats liked to drink the blood of humans.” His gramp had told him. “I don’t believe this! They are so much bigger then we!” Ran-Dy Va-Mp had retorted. “Yes! Sure they did and down south they still do it today! Why do you think we have these pointed and sharp teeth? These fangs are made for puncturing the skin of sleeping humans and when the blood oozes out of the wound you just lick it up.” “Bah! I can’t imagine human blood tastes as good as crunchy beetles!” Ran-Dy Va-Mp griped about. “In olden times bats didn’t drink human blood just out of hunger.” Gran-Y Va-Mp continued. “Sometimes a boy-bat fell in love with a human girl. In the dark of the night he punctured the girl´s skin, drank her blood and the next morning the human girl had turned into the loveliest girl-bat one could imagine! They got married, had many children and lived happily ever there after.”

“Should I it or should I it not?” Ran-Dy Va-Mp racked his brain. “Kenny is no girl, he is a boy! What will happen when I suck his blood? Will he transform into a girl or stay a boy?” Restless he fluttered through the Kenny’s bedroom. His stomach was growling so loud he though the noise would arouse Kenny.

It was far after midnight and Ran-Dy Va-Mp knew he had to decide now. “It’s dangerous!” he soliloquized, “I need a boy-friend and not a girl-friend. If he turns into a girl and not into a boy, I ask Bud-Dy Va-Mp to marry her. He will do it. He marries every girl around! But I do not like girls, I like boys only!”

Ran-Dy Va-Mp circled around Kenny#s head, “If I don’t bite him and lick his blood, I never know. Furthermore I may die of hunger if I do not eat soon! But he is so much bigger than I. A thousand times at least or even a ten thousand times.” Finally he touched down on the pillow besides Kenny’s head. The boy was snoring, his mouth was slightly ajar. “Should I try to bite into his lips? They are looking so red. They sure are full of blood.” Just when Randy Vampy was about to puncture Kenny’s lower lip with his sharp teeth, the teen opened his mouth and bared his teeth. “No, I have to look for a safer place to get his blood. This one is too close to his teeth. He may bite me.”

He moved up to Kenny’s left ear. “This earlobe looks soft and delicious also!” he thought. Starved as he was, he sank his fangs into the warm lobe. Small droplets of blood trickled out of the fine puncture. He sniffled, “His blood smells sweet!” he stated. Then he started licking, “Kenny’s blood tastes sweet! I think I like it. I haven’t tasted anything sweet like this!” And Ran-Dy Va-Mp began to lick up the droplets of blood seeping out of the puncture till the blood flow stopped.

*.*.*

Suddenly Ran-Dy Va-Mp was tired, terribly tired. “What shall I do? Leave the room? If Kenny turns into a bat, I have to be with him and welcome him in the world of bats, my world.” Ran-Dy Va-Mp just settled down beside Kenny, just at the spot where Kenny’s breathe was warming up the pillow. In no time he fell into a deep sleep.

When the gray morning light filtered through the window, Kenny woke up. Eyes still closed he stretched his arms to greet the new morning with a healthy yawn. “Oh what a night, I was dreaming all night long. The dream was so sweet! However I can’t remember that sweet dream.” Suddenly his right arm touched something warm, something strange, something that hadn’t been in his bed the evening before. He startled up and was fully awake just the other moment. “Heaven, who’s that? He yelled. “Who’s that strange boy in my bed? How did he get into my room, into my bedroom, into my bed? I locked the house the night before!” Kenny began to shake the stranger. “Who are you? Get up! Get out of my bed!” He was anxious and in a strange way happy also. “Who are you strange boy? What do you want in my bed?”

The strange boy opened his eyes, slowly as if coming from a land far away, a land indeed very far away. He sat up straight and looked around in the bedroom disbelievingly. Then he turned to Kenny and an intense joy began to spread over his features. He opened his mouth as if to say something. At first only a funny twitter came out of his throat. The strange boy closed his eyes for a moment, cleared his throat and then told Kenny with a hoarse voice, “Don’t you recognize me Kenny? I am your little Vampy, your little bat. Last year you saved my life. And now I am here to tell you my name and to thank you. My name is Randy Vampy and I am yours for ever.

Kenny and Randy embraced each other and hugged and hugged and hugged. Maybe they are still hugging today.

*.*.*

Published January 13, 2019