Eric stared at the TV hanging from the ceiling in the local sports bar and grill. He was supposed to meet his date at seven-thirty, but he’d gotten here early. He’d wanted to get his pre-date jitters out. And he was nervous. He really liked this woman–Amelia. They’d been chatting online for weeks and for the last two they’d talked on the phone almost every night. Normally, he hated talking on the phone, but with her, everything was easy. She was smart, funny, fucking gorgeous. And even though they hadn’t met in person yet, he couldn’t help thinking that she was perfect. That she might be the one.
His eyes drifted to the TV again. One of those tabloid news programs was playing. The ambient noise around him was loud enough that he couldn’t hear the reporter’s voice, but the closed captioning was on.
Since the 2016 election, more and more Millennials have been turning to witchcraft. Occult practices are on the rise, and witches of all different orders have banded together to support victims of sexual violence and to publicly name and shame their accusers.
The camera panned to a groups of women sitting around tables in cities all over the world, writing the names of sexual assault victims on individual pieces of paper. The view suddenly changed to a divided screen. Multiple images of groups women climbing to the tops of buildings with handfuls of paper clutched in their hands, all chanting together filled the screen. They all released the pieces paper, and has he watched, those papers seemed to shift and breathe. Suddenly, he was looking at hundreds of thousands of bats. A chill ran through him. He fucking hated bats.
The closed captions filled the screen again.
Since the spell was cast–the largest group spell in the history of the recorded world–the bats have been finding their way to predators everywhere.
The screen flashed to the congressional hearing chambers where swarms of bats hovered–not only around Brett Kavanaugh but around tons of other political figures. The were everywhere. And nothing seemed to get rid of them. It was fucking creepy.
Men afflicted by the bats are claiming innocence, maintaining that they’re the victims of lies by malicious witches.
He was still staring at the TV when he sensed someone standing nearby.
He turned to find Amelia standing there and smiled. Standing, he gestured for her to sit down. “I’m so glad to finally meet you in person.”
She grinned. “Same.”
They talked forever, barely stopping long enough to order food. The waitress brought their meals, and he watched as Amelia immediately took a bite of her fancy mac and cheese. She was just so pretty. No, she was fucking perfect. How the hell had he gotten this lucky on a dating app?
In less than thirty minutes, he was imagining their entire lives together spread out in front of him.
She was in the middle of telling him about her younger sister when she froze mid-sentence–her face suddenly pale and her eyes wide.
“Are you okay?” he asked. When she didn’t respond, he reached across the table for her. “Amelia?” His fingertips brushed the back of her hand, but she jerked it away.
Her gaze was riveted above his head as she pushed back from the table and stumbled to her feet.
Dread, sluicing like ice water down his spine, he looked up. There was a bat. Written on the nearly translucent flesh of its wings was the name Annabelle Moorely. He hadn’t thought about that slut in years.
He glanced back at Amelia. She’d already grabbed her purse and was backing away, disgust and horror clear on her face.
That’s it for me this week. Be sure to check out the other stories.