What Was In The Basement (A Dramatic Scene)
is sitting on the lid of the toilet, clipping her toenails. She hears Anthemsled
come up the stairs.
AS: I found our squeaky friends.
WT: Really? What were they?
WT: No shit.
(She comes out of the bathroom.)
WT: What did you do?
AS: I threw them outside; they are right there, you can see them if you come here.
(WT comes to the stair landing, where AS is standing looking out the window. She nobly says nothing about the fact that he is standing in his slippers on a damp spot that she just mopped.)
AS: Look straight down. They don't seem to be doing very well.
(She looks down to the space between their house and the next. In the snow are two bats, tangled together and feebly moving their limbs.)
WT: Maybe they're sick.
AS: They looked pretty exhausted and dehydrated. They were curled up together in a bucket that I was going to use.
(They watch the bats pathetically struggling in the snow.)
AS: I don't really want to watch their struggle for survival.
WT: Do we have a shovel?
AS: What? (He looked at her, horrified.)
WT: Well, if you feel bad, you could use it to scoop them up and put them under a bush or something, where it might be warmer.
AS: They probably don't like how bright it is.
(They look out the window again.)
WT: I'm glad you found them and not me. I probably would have screamed and left them there.
(AS says nothing, watches the bats. His face is hidden by the curtain, but he seems mournful.)
WT: Wherever we live, we are going to be where wildlife used to live. We're bound to have some interactions that are...
(He keeps watching the bats.)
AS: Hey, one of them seems better! He's walking!
(WT looks out the window.)
WT: I see one...
AS: (excited) The other one just walked away down there! (Indicating the direction right below them, toward the outside wall of the house.)
AS: They're moving! Good for them!
(WT laughs. AS glares at her.)
WT: Hopefully not back into the basement.
AS: (disgusted, walking back down the stairs) I think they've learned their lesson.
(WT decides now is not the time to speculate aloud on the discerning powers of two freezing, possibly ill bats who are scrambling for warmth and darkness. She goes back upstairs.)Fin.