There are chambers beneath the city where sound continues to exist without space in which to propagate. For most species, including human beings, these environments appear to be little more than solid walls of limestone and granite. For bats, however, these barriers are as permeable as the air they breathe. They dip in and out of the subterranean passages hidden beyond, preying upon the immaterial insects within.

“Bats are capable of a type of locomotion that is impossible for almost all other species,” one cryptozoological text reads. “Lacking any sense of noumena, they can understand themselves as existing entirely as sound, with no abstraction of matter beyond. For this reason, they can easily penetrate territories that are non-spatial in nature, and return as though nothing out of the ordinary has taken place.”

Beyond this ontological boundary, they cannot dwell for long. The landscape it conceals is ruled by a kingdom of eyeless pigeons, who bear wide rings of teeth where beaks ought to be instead. Together they laugh, and exist as laughter, as they feed on the thick, molasses-flavored bass of subway trains passing through their domain unaware. They are intensely territorial, and permit few breaches of earthly life into their invisible sanctum.

Nonetheless, the bats return again and again. They’ve developed a taste for a particular flavor of mosquito that dwells within, one which fills its belly not with blood, but rather, with the timbre of the human voice.