Creative Corona: Day 4

Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

On Day 4 of “Creative Corona”, Betty O’Mahony and Darren Hall, both current students on the MA in Creative Writing, travel into the dark night of the writer’s soul, where strange things can happen when everyone else is asleep. Although there is no direct connection with COVID-19 in these stories, there are subliminal echoes in the presence of bats and sleeplessness.


I was lying in bed. I had just turned off the lights. It was pitch black. I heard a fluttering suddenly close to me and I sat up and turned on the light. There was a bat coming straight for me, vampire wings fully extended.

I bolted out of the bed and out the door.

Then I realised I had left my cigarettes and matches on the bed. When I needed them most. I eventually opened the door a fraction and I could see them on the bed, but the bat was wrapped around the lamp immediately overhead.


I wrapped a scarf around my head and shot in, reached for the ciggies and matches and raced out the door again.

How would the bat get out of the room? I had to open the windows for him.

I only had five cigarettes left. I lit up and inhaled feverishly. Then I wrapped the scarf around my head again, shot into the bedroom and opened the three windows. On the way back out I spotted one of the limbs of the vampire bat unfolding from behind a picture.  It had an elbow!


The following morning, I searched through the bedroom, thoroughly, still wearing the scarf, but my night visitor had gone.

For Sale!

Detached house, genuine reason for selling!

Betty O’Mahony 



I know don’t know how I got here. Or where I was. The memories glimmer then fade. Like wisps of vapour from a steaming cup, they dissipate before they’re formed. And like my memories, my perception of time itself has become vague. Intangible. A dizzying ebb and flow of noise and colour sporadically colliding with my consciousness.

What started as a fleeting momentary distraction has become an all-encompassing, all-consuming freefall.

To dip a toe is to drown. To become immersed.

The sense of self that was so solid, so concrete mere hours, or days or minutes ago has dissolved, like the spoons of sugar I put into that fifth or sixth cup of coffee I probably shouldn’t have drunk.

My consciousness is becoming unshackled, assimilated into something larger. Something immense. But not in a “that time I was tripping balls and felt connected to everyone” sort of way.  This is more like I’m one screaming face amidst innumerable screaming faces all writhing and screaming and melting into an incognisant, incohesive fleshy mess.  Like that weird fucking monstrosity in that horror movie clip I think I watched at some point of the night or morning or day or night or…


I’m surrounded by morning light…

Fuck, I should probably get some sleep…

Cool video by the way. I love your cat. Wish mine was that smart.

Posted at 5:08am. 4 likes. 2 comments.

Darren Hall 

TOMORROW: “Measles” – a poem by Kathy D’Arcy.