Seeing that the conductor planned to grab the thing, I stood up as well, but didn’t react fast enough. The bat lazily wafted around the conductor, who made a mad grab just as the train hit a bump, sending him flying onto the lap of a girl trying to prevent it from flying into her hair. It fluttered over my head and headed up onto the second level of the train car.
The conductor stood up, brushed himself off and fished his keys out from under the girl he had fallen on. He glanced over the train car once at the passengers trying to recover from what had apparently been a horribly traumatizing experience. From overhead we could hear the screams as the bat fluttered about on the second floor. I frowned and ran up the stairs as the conductor headed in the other direction.
I got up to the second floor to see the bat fluttering down the aisle searching for an exit from the train. Meanwhile, people swatted ineffectually at it or cowered from the tiny creature. The conductor appeared in the aisle across from me, his coat in his hand as a sort of makeshift net. The bat headed towards him, and, in a stroke of brilliance he tossed the coat at the bat, which dove under it, turned 180 and headed towards me. The cars passengers, already dishevelled from the bats first pass, let out a few more screams. I waved my arms wildly, unsure how I could possible catch it. The bat, clearly on to us by now, turned around and seeing both exits blocked landed on a ladies handbag.
Now the handbag in question was sitting on an empty seat and its owner froze with fear as the small creature hung from one of the straps. The conductor, his coat retrieved, worked his way up the aisle towards the creature, which regarded him with curiosity. Instead of throwing his jacket he this time quickly wrapped it around the bat, capturing it. Pinning the bat down, he wrapped it in the jacket and picked it up. The few passengers watching applauded, though most of them did little more then peek out from under whatever bags or books they had used to either hide themselves from the bat or protect themselves from there neighbours.
I went back downstairs and the conductor appeared soon after with a slightly wiggling jacket. He was trying pretty hard not to laugh and looked very dishevelled with his tie and shirt skewed and half tucked in. He grinned as he pulled back the bundle a little bit to reveal to me and my girlfriend the bat, wings firmly pinned. It regarded us with more curiosity then fear and continued to struggle against the jacket. We stood there, in the aisle, watching the bat and waiting for the station, while people retrieved the contents of there purses and apologized to each other for hitting each other with said purses.
Eventually we came to the station and the conductor ran off the train several yards and released the bat. We watched it lazily flap off towards the nearest tree, where it immediately perched and watched with interest as the train unloaded. I shook my head in disbelief as the conductor got back onto the train. “All in a days work?” I said and he laughed. “Yep,” he said, “Just another day on the west coast express.” He radioed in the control room. “The bat is off the train guys, let’s go.” The radio crackled with the response. “Off we go then. Good work today batman.”