Read an Excerpt
I dimly recall being eaten by the bat.
At the time, I was barely self aware: a phosphorescent mote bumbling through the spring twilight. I remember being engulfed in a maelstrom of hideous darting maws; leather wings beating the air, battering me about in their turbulence. For some reason, this didn't concern me, and I made no attempt to evade. Finally, a gaping, toothy maw darted in, engulfing my senses, then that curious shift of perspective I would come to expect.
Suddenly, I was the bat.
The first thing I did as a bat was to swallow.
That summer, a mid-air collision left me thrashing helplessly in inches of rank guano. I was hurt badly; one wing broken and throbbing with pain. As the last of my brethren flapped noisily into the warm night, I called out, my cries scattering over the cave floor. There, and there: movement, a rustle of granite scree on hard rock; scavengers watching, waiting. A few weak flaps of my wings upped the ante: no threat here, just a quick and easy meal.
Before long, the scuffling of claws on rock rewarded my performance. I lay still as they approached, conserving the last of my strength. A large sleek rat, hairless pink tail twitching nervously, shambled over to my broken body and began to feed. Blood flowed from my neck.
I took over the controls of the rat's body easily; the bat's body flopped and twitched about as the new occupant struggled with limbs and senses it could never understand. I backed off and waited a few moments as death settled in, then began to feed. The bat was tough and tasted awful; amber eyes stared accusingly at me as I fed.