Bats of Prey
Charles Dickens was the conscience of Great Britain during the latter part of the Industrial Revolution. Dickens caused Britain to become consciously aware of that which it was doing on auto-pilot. Whilst the author of Bats of Prey, in no way compares himself to the great 19th century writer, he’s using the same medium (fiction novel) to highlight what he perceives our society is negatively doing to itself and this small planet.
This fiction novel uses natures’ creatures’ (bats) as the means of saving the South American rainforests. It also magnifies some of the shortcomings of the press and mental health industries.
It bridges from, and back-stories to both Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel ‘Dracula,’ and the Coppola/Hart 1992 feature film (and subsequent novel) ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’. Since women (rightly) are now playing larger rolls in management, sporting and world affairs than ever before, as this novel progresses, the female characters become more pro-active.
Early in the story, Dr. Drake (Dracula) and his three former brides, operate a night only dental surgery in a poor district of Los Angeles. They prefer down-and-out patients who won’t be missed if they disappear.
They take and analyse blood samples from their patients, looking for diseased blood which they collect and store in appropriate refrigeration units.
A South American Indian girl who is part Mexican (Robyn Maria de Alvarez), escapes from an indigenous reservation and makes her way to Los Angeles, to a 24 hour mini-market which is run by her aunt and uncle, where she works night-shift. She develops into the main character and this may be the first novel in history, where an indigenous South American girl has done so.
One night Ms de Alvarez has a tooth ache and visits the dental surgery. Dr Drake recognises her essence as having previously been Mina Harker and before that, Princess Elizabetta. In time she recognises him. Drake and his former brides create mischief in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
With the police on their trail Robyn, Drake and his former brides, hastily depart LA and go down to South America with the object of infecting bats with the diseased blood. They unleash the bats onto the loggers, ranchers and others who are destroying the rainforests.
They are followed by Robyn’s American boyfriend (Jonathan Harper), who rides a bicycle in LA rather than drives a car, so as to not add to the air pollution. He’s accompanied by his former boss and friend; a serving police officer (Arpad Pratsky), plus two very tough police women, currently on suspension for their over-zealous interrogation techniques.
A war is almost started between Venezuela and Brazil. Each suspects the other of border incidents which were committed by Dracula and his party, who set it up so the two countries would blame each other in order to deflect attention from themselves.
A former New York journalist is chasing the story and becomes unwittingly caught up in the events. He reflects on how in the past he’d taken liberties with the truth for the sake of a good story, with no regards for the dignity, feelings or future of either the innocent or the guilty. He’d hate to see himself so written up and changes for the better.
It all works out in the end with Dracula and his brides once more becoming good people and the rainforests are saved and thereafter safeguarded, by uncountable numbers of bats.