Title comes from the Pig Pile audience! Remember the 1999 Lou Diamond Phillips film ‘Bats’? The title was upside down on the poster like how bats sleep! GET IT? Just like in that movie, the bats here are a metaphor.
Too Many Bats
A phone rings. Dale, a scraggily bearded man, stirs slowly in his bed. A great deal of light comes in and it’s clearly late. He answers the phone to find his ex wife Gail on the line. She chastises him for still being asleep this late. He is not communicative. She tells him that she thinks a box of hers is in the garage if he could put it out in the driveway she’ll find sometime to pick it up. He heads to the garage looking like shit and notices in the corner of the ceiling, a single bat.
He moves the box into the driveway and heads back in to bed. The doorbell rings and he answers to find his parents. They seem concerned about his well-being. His mother is a bit pushy about her belief that he could still get Gail back if he tried. His father is more angered about how he isn’t working and needs to get his shit together, that they are tired of paying his way through life.
We cut to later in the day and he sits at a dark bar. His friend Chris comes in and is shocked about how long he’s been there already. Chris tells him that he might have work for him if he’d want it. Nothing glamorous but it would help him get back on his feet and moving forward. Dale just continues to drink. He ends up starting a fight that Chris has to help him get out of. Chris ends up getting punched in the face and calls Dale an asshole.
Dale heads home very drunk, pulling his car into the garage. He shuts off the car. We start to hear so strange noises and some scraping on the roof of his car. He exits to see where there was once a single bat there are now over a dozen. He stares for a moment before shrugging and walking away. We stay on the bats and somehow more seem to be gathering and their numbers grow.
He wakes the next morning to the doorbell and this time it is Gail. She tells him that he put out the wrong box and she really needs her stuff. He attempts a few words of reconciliation but its terrible. She chides him while heading into the garage. She stands in it. There are close to a hundred bats around her but she doesn’t take any notice of them. Dale seems freaked out and nervous and it makes her uncomfortable. She tells him that he just lets his problems stack up, he almost seems to want to be buried under conflict and chooses to take no action. The bats circle a bit and we realize that they are covering the ceiling except they are never above her. They actual move when she does clearing a path above her. She tells him he’ll soon be swallowed up by all the problems he refuses to solve.
He carries the box for her outside to her car. She points up towards the top of the garage. “You never fixed that hole no matter how many times I asked. I’d come home every day and my eyes would always head that way. It became a reminder of all the the things you weren’t doing and all the things I had stopped feeling.”
She leaves and he heads to the garage. He gets into his car and turns it on, just sitting there. The bats start swarming his car and he can’t see out of it. It’s pitch black and some start climbing in through the window. He doesn’t panic and lets it all happen. A beam of light shines through the swarm and into the car window. He realizes it is coming in through the hole his wife pointed out. He puts the car in reverse and goes through the door. He puts it back into park and goes through the back wall. He then gets a sledgehammer from the garage and starts smashing the walls. We notice there are fewer bats with each swing. They aren’t flying off anywhere, we just see less bats.
Finally there is only one left on the ground and he looks at it thinking of smashing it with the hammer but instead decides to let it be. He picks it up and brings it over to a nearby tree, slipping it into a knot in it. He gets on the phone and calls Chris asking about a job.