Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Gradually they arrived at the designated Adventure Caffè. Ghost Bunny was in attendance and so that no one would be alarmed, had disguised herself as graffiti. This worked up to a point. But from time to time she shrieked, "What was that for a haunting sort of Adventure?" Several passersby jumped. The Wabbit pretended not to hear - and instead examined his glass. "Is my glass half up or half down?" he said in a serious philosophical tone. The proprietor arrived with a frown and apologised. "Sorry about the graffiti, a horde of drunken soccer fans thought it was carnival." The Wabbit pointed at the glasses. "Subito, Commander," said the proprietor. With an impatient gesture she was gone. Ghost Bunny watched her vanish and fluttered until a spooky wind blew down the porticos. Skratch meaowed, "You watch too much television, Ghost Bunny." Lapinette butted in. "Ghost Bunny is reading Film Technique by Pudovkin, which I lent her." "Wooooooh," sighed Ghost Bunny. "Wooooh Woooh!" laughed Skratch. Wabsworth suddenly pushed a chair. Metal legs screeched on the sidewalk. "That adventure was composed of exact plastic content, each piece of which should be contextually interpreted." "Explain!" challenged the Wabbit. "Oh, that would take a big, big dinner," said Wabsworth slyly. The Wabbit made a mental calculation and mulled it over. "OK. House of the Devil at 21:00. On expenses." "May I haunt along?" shrieked Ghost Bunny.
[Note: There is indeed a House of the Devil in Turin.] 

Monday, October 16, 2017

14. Ghost Bunny Drops the Awnings

Ghost Bunny ushered the team from the fairground with many kind words and the promise of a lovely welcome on future occasions. "I do hope you liked our special preview," shrieked Ghost Bunny. "Do come again and bring all your friends." The Wabbit hadn't the heart to be vexed. He knew he'd played a few tricks in his time, so he changed his frown for a smile and listened carefully. Skratch purred enthusiastically to Ghost Bunny. He waved his paws, exclaiming that her Ghost Train escapade shot the very rubric of funfair carnivality - and furthermore, transcended post-modern fairground aesthetics. Ghost Bunny squealed in delight. Lapinette however was not so pleased. She argued that her irreplaceable new frock was ripped. The high cost of repair would be cruel and unusual. Ghost Bunny smiled and cast a ghostly glance across the frock, perfectly mending it with all the invisibility a ghost could muster. Lapinette hopped with joy, but a sudden squealing and shrieking from the fairground ride made everyone jump. The Wabbit turned to look. The ride was disappearing and so was the fairground. Ghost Bunny waved, bowed and vanished too. Lapinette and Skratch were next. "Damn spirits are we all," shrugged the Wabbit with a grin. Then he popped into nothing, like a bubble.
["Drops the awnings": Carnival slang for closing for the night. Carny, Circus,Sideshow & Vaudeville Lingo Wayne N. Keyser]

Friday, October 13, 2017

13. The Wabbit On the Other Side

The Devil's Hat burst through to the other side. The Wabbit found himself circling a funfair ride he knew as 'The Big Prawn' and listening to an automated voice. "This is the last stop of this Ghost Train. Please pick up your spectral photographs at the kiosk." The air whistled with spooky cries and the clacking of crustacean limbs. "We'd like to get off now," said the Wabbit but there was no reply. The Devil's Hat orbited faster than the big wheel, plunging low then soaring high. Everyone felt seedy. The voice shrilled again. "You may hop off and hop on again at any time. Please retain your ticket stubs." Skratch found himself searching for tickets he never purchased. Lapinette had an all entry VIP pass for everything and anything, but had left it in her other frock. The Wabbit found two lunch tokens and a half eaten salad sandwich. But the wind caught the tokens and sent them spiraling downwards. The Wabbit watched them go but he looked at the ground and it was coming up fast. So he tucked the sandwich back in his fur and held on. "Best I can do," he muttered. The automated voice changed tone. "Please fasten your spook belts." "There are no belts" hissed the Wabbit. The haunting voice of Ghost Bunny cut through the fairground babble. "Spook belts incur a extra charge..."

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

12. The Wabbit and the Last Ride

It was a surprise as the ghost train suddenly leaped towards them. They turned and ran. "It looks like you, Wabbit," shouted Skratch as an icy wind blew at his fur, tearing lettering from his fur. The letters span in the turbulent air. A hideous scraping noise tore along the rails. A wind blew rattling bursts of machine gun fire. The Wabbit caught one of Skratch's letters. "It's hardly me is it?" he sulked. Lapinette caught another letter. "Don't worry, it's much too tacky to be you." The thing heaved and chattered as if insulted, but still it bore down on them. Now they could feel an icy blast, as chilly as the last gasp of an old deep freeze that held its breath for 50 years. Lapinette shrugged and pouted, "Special effects," but she kept on going. "Tunnel bends to the right!" yelled the Wabbit; "so maybe it'll derail." They scampered round the bend but so did the ghost train. Now they were enveloped in a blue pulsing light and the train was at their heels. Everything seemed hopless, as the train had suggested. But the Wabbit looked ahead into the darkness and thought he could see something. "It's always darkest before the prawn," he muttered, "and I think I can see one just ahead." Lapinette tried to find the prawn without success, but the edges of the tunnel flickered pink ...    

Monday, October 09, 2017

11. The Wabbit and the End Protocol

When they hit the track they bounced and rolled. A station seemed to flash past and reappear, but it stabilised and shimmered with a fierce blue light. Beyond the barriers, Ghost Bunny waved frantically and pointed. From the distance, another train loomed steadily towards them. "It's got a hat on," shouted Lapinette. She drew several edged weapons from her new frock and recalling the recent rip, threw them all in rapid succession. "That's the Devils hat!" yelled the Wabbit. His fur held an impossible supply of Swiss army knives and he threw them all. Blades sliced through the fetid air. The train glowed and picked up speed, howling like a horde of hungry babies. "The Devil's hat usually comes with the Devil in it," announced Skratch. He detached a series of serrated claws and sent them fizzing down the tunnel. The train slowed and stopped. Lights flickered, engines sighed. "Gotcha!" hissed Skratch. Engines whined and the train lurched forward. Headlamps flickered a message. "Morse," said Lapinette. The Wabbit narrowed his gaze and read the code. "It says, 'Abandon'." "It can't be just abandon. Abandon what?" scowled Lapinette. The signal started again. The Wabbit concentrated, scratched his head - and shrugged. "Abandon Hop."

Friday, October 06, 2017

10. The Wabbit and a Possible Black

The Wabbit pulled the alarm lever. Nothing happened. He hopped to the end of the compartment and tried another. A loudspeaker hummed and spoke. "Ghostly ghastly. Ghostly ghastly. Ghostly ghastly." It wouldn't stop. The train jolted and shot forward. Lights strobed past. Stations flew by like jets. And all the time, the loudspeaker crackled its spooky message. The Wabbit covered his ears and hopped fast as the compartment tilted dangerously. "We shouldn't touch the walls," said Lapinette. The Wabbit raised a questioning eyebrow. "We could disappear into a possibility dimension." The Wabbit flinched. "What does that look like?" "Impossible to say," said Lapinette. Skratch the Cat signalled to the Wabbit. "Commander, things are fading out." The Wabbit looked up and he could see the roof of the tunnel. Bit by bit, the train became invisible. But the loudspeaker continued. "Ghostly ghastly. Ghostly ghastly." Ghost Bunny's eyes crossed. "I'm going to haunt off, see what's going on." She became invisible too. Now they seemed to hurtle through the tunnel independently, desperately avoiding the walls. Lapinette glimpsed a sign as it flashed past. "Nerezza!" she breathed. "What does it mean?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit shrugged. "It means dark, Skratch. But not as we know it..." "Fade to black," quipped Skratch. "But you're a cat," said Lapinette; "You can only fade to grey."

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Ghost Control

How the Wabbit managed to do what he did, no-one is ever likely to know. Lapinette felt dishevelled. Skratch looked on in wonder. The tyre iron continued its trajectory and lay spinning on the floor. The Wabbit arced nonchalantly to his feet and looked directly at Ghost Bunny. Ghost Bunny decided against vanishing and instead shrank to a reasonable size. "You're not in control of this train, Ghost Bunny," said the Wabbit. It was a clipped tone of voice that Lapinette recognised. She shrugged and leaned to inspect her new frock. "Who is?" she asked. Ghost Bunny smiled weakly. "The train is under automatic ghostly control. It's on trial for the Ghost Expo." Lapinette found the rip in her frock and scowled. "Invisible mending," suggested the Wabbit; "I have a woman in Ecclefechan." Lapinette bared her teeth and the air sizzled. Skratch meaowed politely for attention. "How do we stop the train?" "We can't!" said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit glared. "I can't go riding around all night on ghost trains." Ghost Bunny fluttered hauntingly and mustered the most soothing voice she had. "We have to wait until the ride is over." Lapinette had an idea and held up a paw for attention. "Why don't we pull the alarm lever?" This met a cool reception, but the Wabbit shrugged and hopped forward. "I always wanted to do that .."

Monday, October 02, 2017

8. Lapinette and the Flying Leap

The train gathered speed and Lapinette ran the numbers. If it shifted to slo mo like before, she knew could make it. But it didn't. The train was a searing white arrow as carriages flashed past. She counted and tensed her left leg. The screech of metal on metal was deafening as brakes engaged. The train slowed. Lapinette caught sight of the Wabbit and he was mouthing something. Lapinette didn't have time. "Looks like jump," she thought. A thump from her leg sent her flying. She stuck like glue to a carriage and the train speeded up. A turbulent wind tore at her frock and she heard a rip. "This means war," she muttered. She wedged her paw into a door and pulled. It gave a little. She could hear voices again. "Do you have tyre iron, Skratch?" "I leave all that sort of thing to you, Wabbit." The door opened slightly but it stuck. Lapinette pushed a leg through and with a massive effort dragged the door. It slid towards her. "Simple matter of physics," she thought and she tried to edge along the carriage, but the wind was too much. A paw grabbed at her paw. She stretched and flailed and tried again. The paw suddenly grabbed her ear and pulled. "Aaaaagh!" she yelled. But she was on the floor inside the train and the door was sliding shut. She looked up. "Where's your ticket!" smiled the Wabbit.

Friday, September 29, 2017

7. Lapinette and Trouble in the Tunnel

Lapinette was dreaming - or so she thought. The cold seemed real enough and she shivered in the gloom. She turned to look down a tunnel and saw a light in the distance. The light got bigger and brighter and pushed a wind that tore at her new frock. The light turned into a howl. Her ears blew madly as the wind pressed her against the wall and stole her breath. Suddenly a shriek filled the tunnel. A train hurtled towards her like a rocket, but then with a sigh it glowed and slowed. It was moving like slow motion film and she could catch voices. "... then you can't have a ticket." The conversation was all about a ticket. The train seemed slow but the wind seemed fast. Her ears flailed as she struggled to hear. "Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere!" The haunting voice bounced from the tunnel roof and the rails hissed it back. She could make out what sounded like the Wabbit but his voice was muffled. "Press ... red ..." Lapinette's mind raced. The voice got sharper and she heard it loud and clear. "It's on the box to your right. Not my right, that would be my left." It was definitely the Wabbit. Now she saw the box. She stretched out a paw but the wind blew it around and she couldn't reach the button. The box came loose and moved away from the wall.  Lapinette kicked the button with her foot. The train shuddered to a halt. Lapinette let her foot drop and sighed with relief. Then she screamed. Now the train was coming the other way ...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Ghost Inspectre

The Wabbit peered into the adjacent carriage. Suddenly Ghost Bunny filled the window. "Woooooh, tickets please!" The Wabbit shrugged and produced his metro pass. "Wabbit," said Ghost Bunny, "This is the Ghost Train. You require a ghostly ticket." She rapped on the window. "You too, Skratch." Skratch didn't have any ticket at all, but that hardly seemed to matter. "I'm not a ghost," sighed the Wabbit. "Then you can't have a ticket," replied Ghost Bunny. "No special offer?" inquired Skratch. Ghost Bunny haunted up and down for a while, then wailed. "Special offers are only available through the Ghost Institute in Via Nizza. And we've sold out." The Wabbit peered behind Ghost Bunny and couldn't make out much. Only fleeting wraith-like figures with hardly any substance. "I can only see shadows," he said. "Oh them," howled Ghost Bunny. "They are spectral commuters, awkward and empty as the worst of your jokes." Skratch smiled to himself. He knew that Ghost Bunny had a thing about the Wabbit and he was therefore being mercilessly teased. "Where does the Ghost Train go?" he ventured. "Nowhere," explained Ghost Bunny. "We don't do destinations." "So what might it say on a ticket?" asked the Wabbit. "Round Trip to Nowhere" shrieked Ghost Bunny. "And how much does it cost?" asked Skratch. "Nothing," laughed Ghost Bunny.

Monday, September 25, 2017

5. The Wabbit and the Last Metro

The doors whooshed shut. Skratch and the Wabbit grabbed rails as the train took off with a siren wail and shot down the tunnel at enormous speed. The Wabbit's 28 teeth clattered. Skratch's tail spiked out like a porcupine. "Maybe the driver's late for supper?" suggested Skratch - although he very well knew the whole system was automatic. The Wabbit hardly needed to shake his head; it was shaking like a shirt in a hurricane. He smiled nonetheless. The loudspeaker system crackled into life with a spectral voice. "This is the last Metro to the end of the line. Passengers not travelling to the end of the line, should get off the train now." The Wabbit wanted to laugh but his stomach revolved like a spin drier. The speakers crackled again. "We wish to apologise for the speed of the train. This is due to a motor malfunction and braking failure." The train gathered more speed. The noise became unbearable. Stations flashed by in an instant. The Wabbit drew close to Skratch and shouted in his ear. "Do you believe any of this?" Skratch counted his nine lives usage and came to twelve. His shrug looked like hip hop and his grip on the passenger rail was a Lindsay Kemp mime. "You know any good prayers?" he asked. The Wabbit tried to oblige. His teeth chattered wildly. "Bless this journey that we undertake. Do thou guard and protect us." Skratch sighed. "Wabbit, there is no guard." Suddenly the train slowed and a ghostly voice issued from the speakers. "Wabbit, you're not supposed to be on the Ghost Train ..."

Saturday, September 23, 2017

4.The Wabbit and the Suspended Wait

The Wabbit squinted at the display on the metro platform. It flickered and died. He planned on catching the last train from Paradise and it had proved a long wait. "I seem a long long way from Paradise," mused the Wabbit thoughtfully. The Wabbit had read all the advertising on the platform and even ventured to the other platform to see if they were any different. He'd counted the steps on the escalator, which proved difficult - although not impossible. He'd even pressed the emergency red button but the system was automatic and seemed to know he was wasting time. His ears pricked up. He could hear a distant meowing and didn't bother to turn. It was unmistakably Skratch, and what he was doing there was anyone's guess. "Wabbit! Wabbit!" shouted Skratch. "The service is suspended. There's no last train." The Wabbit shook his head, because he could hear something else. The display flickered back and stated a train was approaching. The Wabbit glanced to his right. Air pushed a chocolate wrapper along the tracks and it danced a merry jig. "Skratch!" shouted the Wabbit, "that must be false news. The train's coming!" Skratch leaped to the Wabbit's side. "The Carabinieri told me on the way in. I came to get you. We'll take the bus." The Wabbit knew the likelihood of a 36 at this time of night was slim - but suddenly a train drew into the station and doors hissed open. They looked at each other and boarded. Doors hissed shut and the train departed. "There's something weird about this train," murmured the Wabbit ...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Denied Delivery

The Wabbit waited near the station all day for the carrots and was about to give up. He'd made various inquiries, all to no avail. The carrots were a special delivery for the Carrot Club annual dinner and he was in charge of ensuring they arrived promptly. Wabsworth's voice startled him. "You gave me a fright," said the Wabbit. "Are you waiting on the carrots?" asked Wabsworth. "Yes," sighed the Wabbit. "They'll be along shortly," replied Wabsworth. "I've been here since the crack of dawn," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double and knew him well. "You can't predict carrot arrivals." "She said she'd be here," moaned the Wabbit. "Who?" asked Wabsworth." "The Grand Daucus," said the Wabbit. "Perhaps her train is late?" suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit shrugged twice. "Would you like to try this carrot?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit took the carrot and tasted it. "It's nice," he said, "but it's not the Promised Carrot." Wabsworth took it back, stuck it in his fur and murmured, "Let's be on the alert." There was silence except for the sound of trams on wet rails. "I remember my first carrot," said the Wabbit suddenly. "What did it taste like?" asked Wabsworth. "Carrot," replied the Wabbit. Wabsworth dug out the carrot and wiped it on his fur. "Let's finish it." The Wabbit took the carrot, ate it and smiled. "I'll never forget that carrot." "Neither will I," scowled Wabsworth.
[Roughly adapted from Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. (Scene 1 - The Carrot Scene)]

Monday, September 18, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Big Surprise

The Wabbit had another long wait. It was several hours since Lapinette went shopping and there was nothing else for it to lope around with intent. He'd been to the bookshop, two museums and the market. He'd been to the station to look at the trains. He went up on the tethered air balloon and took down on the city to try and see Lapinette. Finally he'd watched a football match on television in a shop window. Just when he'd begun to think she'd never arrive, Lapinette hopped into the square wearing a brand new frock. "Wow!" said the Wabbit, "that's splendid!" Lapinette pirouetted. "I got in the Scottish shop." "I didn't know there was a Scottish shop," gasped the Wabbit. "It's new," said Lapinette. "There are kilts, sporrans, sgian dubhs and claymores." The Wabbit's jaw dropped several centimeters. "They've got haggis, herring in oatmeal, black buns and porridge." "No Irn Bru?" asked the Wabbit. "There's Irn Bru beer," said Lapinette with glee. The Wabbit reeled. "Music?" he asked. Lapinette was waiting for that one. "Pipe bands, Shetland fiddles, traditional folk and Scottish modern jazz!"  The Wabbit hopped up and down. "Where is this place?" You'll never find it," said Lapinette. The Wabbit felt the fabric of Lapinette's kilt and raised an eye in approval. "It's out in Sassi," said Lapinette finally. "Ah," said the Wabbit with a knowledgeable smile, "Nessie lives out there. What's the shop called?" "The Comfy Kilt Ceilidh," said Lapinette.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Long Wait

The Wabbit and Lapinette waited for Skratch to emerge from the cinema. He was attending a screening of Andy Warhol's 'Empire', and no-one knew when it finished. The Wabbit stuck his paws in his fur and whistled aimlessly. He was between adventures and Lapinette knew he found that frustrating. She stretched out a paw and pushed him a little since he seemed to have gone into a trance. "Penny for them?" she whispered. "Oh, sorry, Lapinette," said the Wabbit. "I was just recalling when I saw that film." "All eight hours and five minutes?" she asked. "Longer," said the Wabbit sadly; "I took sandwiches - which was just as well, because the projectionist ran it at the wrong speed." Lapinette grimaced. "I'd rather see Night Cleaners," "So would I," smiled the Wabbit. "I've got some blank leader film, we could watch that instead." Lapinette laughed and laughed. Then the Wabbit became animated. "Any news from the Department?" "Nothing" said Lapinette. "No sign of an adventure?" asked the Wabbit. "Not a dicky bird," said Lapinette. An unexpected breeze blew through the arcade and ruffled their fur. "The wind of change?" speculated the Wabbit. "Let's throw caution at it," smiled Lapinette. The breeze vanished as quickly it came. Lapinette's radio crackled. Following a brief interchange, Lapinette turned to the Wabbit "What sort of adventure would you like next?" "Chunky with bright colours," replied the Wabbit.
[The film Night Cleaners is a key experimental British documentary, said to be poorly received by its subjects.]