Ricky pushed his way into the dressing room. “This is going to be great, guys. The house is packed, everyone’s excited, and—” the expressions on their faces brought him up short. “What’s the matter? Nevin, I loaded your iPod with soothing songs and you’ve got a dozen rainforest-friendly chocolate bars for snacking. Lazaro, I know it’s not ideal, but you’ll enjoy the head cheese. And Vic—” he looked around. “Okay, everyone, where’s Vic?”
Bo stopped fondling a groupie on the sofa. “He had to run an errand.”
“Okay.” Ricky glanced at his watch. “He’s on his way back, right?”
Kalila sighed and shook out her hair in front of the mirror. “I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do. Maybe he’ll be back in time, maybe not.”
“But you have a show. I worked hard to get you this gig.”
“And we appreciate it,” Nevin said. “But Vic found a dead bat on our way in and felt it very important that he return it to its kindred.”
“You’ve got to be kidding. You’re going to screw up a paid gig with advertising, beacon lights, and everything, over a dead bat?”
Kalila stopped admiring her reflection and turned around. “You wouldn’t want him to grieve, would you? He feels a very strong connection to mammals of the chiroptera order.”
“But couldn’t he do this after the show?” Ricky felt foolish even as he asked. Demons had a poor concept of time and didn't order their priorities by human standards.
“There’s never any time like the present,” Bo said. He turned his attention back to his girl.
Ricky stomped out of the room in disgust. He would have to do something, fast, but just what he wasn’t sure. Racking his brain for ideas, he recalled reading in the tourist literature something about a bat bridge in the area. Maybe he could go there, for starters. He shuddered at the thought. Bats with their leathery wings unnerved him. Then again so did vampires and zombies, but he hadn’t let that stop him from marketing this crazy band.
He reached in his pocket for his car keys. He would go to the bat bridge, then. And whatever Vic's bonds of affection for the disgusting creatures, he had better be ready to get back to this club and sing. One didn't hold up a rock concert for a bat funeral.