I've decided that not only am I doing the bat design with the stitches in different directions as previously discussed... I'm apparently now kind of obsessed with the idea of playing with texture and stitch direction in cross stitching.
While I agree doing things haphazardly in all different directions can look messy and detract from a pictorial piece that's no reason to abandon the idea of deliberately working with texture to create a desired effect.
One of the specific joys of many other types of embroidery is the play of light on directional stitching... so why is this such a taboo idea in cross stitching?
Historically, changes in texture are EXACTLY how we create visual interest in regular, single material objects. Jacquard, knitting, card weaving, pressed velvet, mosaic work, crop circles, magnetic nailpolish... texture play is everywhere!