Neighbourhood Gentrification

So we have these reverse-vampires living in an abandoned building nearby.

You see, our chic little designer neighbourhood is so brand new that there are still at least ten empty lots, with the big trees and thick blackberry brambles of the old sub-rural area.  One of the lots, a block and a half from our house, is a good acre wide and even has a decrepit red barn close by to the road.

Nobody could figure out what was going on at first.

Every once in a while you’d see a person walking down the road after dark, looking back over his shoulder and muttering, “What the hell was that?”  Then the neighbours would start to talk about weird flocks of birds that would fly so close together that they looked like a single gigantic creature. The one person who swore they were giant bats was figured to be a crackpot, of course.  Who ever heard of a six foot bat?  How would they even fly?

But the buildings in the neighbourhood kept going up, and the wildlife kept moving out, and then one day there weren’t enough animals left, I guess.

It started at the bus-stops: people would run away screaming, then refuse to say what scared them; then it started up at the park, until finally one of the creatures went after tiny, eighty-nine-year-old Mrs. Patel.

“I looked down, and a tiny man was chewing on my ankle!” she warbled in her unsteady little voice. “He wasn’t even as big as a crow.  Look!” she poked her cane above her shoe, to a hole in her pantyhose and a red spot inside it.  “Had on some strange clothes, looked just like one of your leprechauns!”

Nobody dared doubt Mrs. Patel – she has that kind of chainsaw lucidity that some people get when they pass the line between “old” and “very old”.  The kind that swipes wide and dangerous arcs at anyone young and stupid enough to doubt that a person who as seen so much could possibly be unclear on what is right in front of her eyes.

Sure enough, under the safe patronage of Mrs. Patel, it came out that all the other victims had been bitten in the ankle by tiny little people.  But it was weeks before anybody drew the connection between the anklebiters and the bats. And weeks again before anybody thought about the barn.  Turns out they sleep in there from about noon to eight in the evening, slowing changing from humanoid to pteropine.  I would not recommend peeking in around four p.m.

Lord knows how they get back to people-form by morning; we’ve never been able to find that out.

They really don’t do any harm during the day, kind of like oversized mosquitoes without the after-itch; we just kick them off and they run away.  During the night, though, they cause a bit of property damage, careening around like helicopters with drunken pilots.  But nobody minds that much; it’s almost a badge of pride that makes all us working-class people feel better about living in such a pretty, fancy little neighbourhood.

The other day a notice was sent around that a developer has purchased the plot of land, and wants to put up 62 new townhouse units and a club house.  I wonder what will happen to the little guys.

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