Category Archives: Alessi, Michael

To the dead bat my mother handed me:

Microsoft Word - Michael_Alessi-To_the_dead_bat_my_mother_handed

         —by Michael Alessi

Michael Alessi has work published or forthcoming in The Pinch, decomP, Mid-American Review, NANO Fiction, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. Among other honors, he is the recipient of the Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Short Fiction, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and the 2016 Pinch Literary Award for Fiction. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. Raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he lives in Chicago.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “To the dead bat my mother handed me”?

    Growing up in Lexington, we lived in an old house. In the summers we threw open the windows to keep cool, which inevitably brought in bats, who loved to hide in the drapes. It was my mother’s routine to stun them with a broom, scoop them up on a paper plate, and leave them on the back porch overnight to fly away. I always got up early after a bat attack to check if the plate was empty or not. I didn’t want my mother to find the dead ones. I hid the little bodies behind the neighbor’s hedge so she wouldn’t know she killed them.