Wednesday, February 20, 2019

3. The Wabbit in the Under the Beach Bar

Behind the wall was a bar and behind the bar was Skratch the Cat. The Wabbit put a paw into the blue. It merged with the blue and tingled. "What will you have?" asked Skratch. "What have you got?" replied the Wabbit. "You can anything you want as long as it's blue," said Skratch. His voice sounded blue. "I'll have a Curaçao," shrugged the Wabbit. "Just as well," said Skratch, "that's all we have." He offered the Wabbit a blue glass with a blue liquid. "What is this place? Why are we here?" asked the Wabbit. Skratch polished a glass. "This is the Blue Bar, where everything is safe and secure. Do you feel safe and secure?" The Wabbit grimaced. "Not particularly. I find it dreary." "Do you?" asked Skratch. He paused. "This is where I go in recurring dreams. I'm running a beach bar. People come in and go out. In between I serve them blue drinks." The Wabbit thought about it, because there seemed to be nothing else to do. "If this is your recurring dream, Skratch - do I visit?" "Never seen you in here before," smiled Skratch, He began to hum a blues tune. The Wabbit backed away slowly and dragged his paw out of the blue. It stopped tingling. He blinked. There was nothing there. No bar, no Skratch, no blue glass. He was back in the corridor...

Monday, February 18, 2019

2. The Wabbit Under the Beach

The sands shifted and the Wabbit found himself sinking. Time passed and the sand went on and on. Then things went blue. He was in a corridor surrounded by a torpid, azure atmosphere. He put up a paw and pressed. The blue gave way. He pushed forward but it was like heavy oil. He inhaled with a normal breath. "Tastes of blue," he muttered. He tried to spit it out, but it lingered in this mouth. "Phwag!" he scowled. He pushed forward along the corridor but no matter what he did, it was always the same. He tried going the other way. There was no difference. He dropped to the floor and wriggled along on his tummy but nothing changed. He plucked a hair from his fur, made it wet and stuck it on the wall. Then he tried the corridor again. Within a few seconds he was back where he'd started. The Wabbit made a joke to himself. "Hair today, here tomorrow." There was no-one around to laugh so he did it himself. His laughter echoed down the corridor and came up behind him. He turned round and quickly back as if he could catch the corridor out - all to no avail. It was infuriating. The Wabbit was running out of ideas. He kicked the wall in fury. Something rattled. He tried again. There was a vicious crack. He gripped the rail and pulled. It came away in his paw, leaving a crevice in the wall. He took several hops back and with a mighty lunge, he kicked it with all his might. The wall crumbled into blue fragments...

Friday, February 15, 2019

1. The Wabbit and things on the Beach

The Wabbit was between missions and that was always a boring time. So he decided he'd walk along the beach from Fregene to the airport. It was further than he thought and he became impatient with the beach and complained to it. Nothing happened and he continued. But after a while, he heard the sound of voices. Without warning, groups of people appeared and assembled themselves by the sea. This wasn't what the Wabbit had in mind. The people pointed in many different directions. But there was certainly no plane in the air and not a vessel could be seen in the water. The Wabbit ignored them. "I expect better," he murmured. A post sticking from the sand caught his eye. The Wabbit shrugged, because there had been the usual storms and it was the time of year when the beach was always different. Then he heard a crackle. He stared at the post. Ice formed on the top. The Wabbit shivered although it was warm in the sun. It was as if he had opened a freezer door. He heard voices fade as the people walked into the distance. He could feel sun on his fur and warmth as the temperature rose. The ice melted into water and became mere moisture. Then that too vanished. He touched the post. It was a dry as a bone and wood flaked off on the sand. But the sand seemed to shift. "What occurs?" asked the Wabbit ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at a new Adventure Caffè. The Wabbit headed off to locate a suitable table while the others chattered, but he turned when Skratch appeared. "Well Skratch. What was that for a sort of Adventure we just had?" Skratch raised a paw in greeting. "Wabbit, there are many types of adventures involving doubles, all quite different." Lapinette pirouetted and waved. "That doesn't answer the question."  Wabsworth had been reading. "It could be said to be a reflection double rather than a narrative double." "Where did you find that argument, Wabsworth?" asked the Wabbit. "On the Internet," smiled Wabsworth. Everyone groaned long and hard, including Wabsworth. "The mythic twin is as old as Zoroaster," said Lapinette. "Good and evil locked in endless battle," agreed Skratch. "So how old is Zoroaster?" asked the Wabbit. "No one can agree," grinned Lapinette. Skratch ignored this distraction and meowed. "The mythic twin is normally predicated upon a basic antinomy, but in this case we must look - not to Zoroaster - but to Lacan." The Wabbit was relieved because now he was on familiar territory. "In relations between the imaginary and symbolic, the double hollows out the real." "The absence of the other," added Lapinette with a nod. "Unspoken and unseen," shrugged Wabsworth.
[The double as the unseen of culture. Towards a definition of the Doppelganger. Milica Zivkovic.]

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

11. The Wabbit and the Big Goodbye

The Wabbit couldn't resist looking out and back down the line. The figure was waving at him. The train hurtled through the night but the figure stayed exactly the same distance away. An eastbound express flashed past and smashed over the figure - but when it had gone, the figure was still standing. He could hear it shouting "You got me, Wabbit. But there's always next time." Its edged weapon glowed red in the night. Lapinette tried to pull the Wabbit inside but it was all too fascinating. The Wabbit stared and stared. "The more you look," said Lapinette, "the more powerful his hold over you becomes." So the Wabbit ducked inside and let it be. "I doubt we've seen the last of him." "He's your doppelganger," said Wabsworth. "Well I don't like him," muttered the Wabbit, "he's thoroughly unpleasant." "Is the game finished now?" sighed Lapinette. Wabsworth grinned just like the Wabbit. "No game is ever quite finished." Lapinette grimaced. "I want my edged weapon back." Wabsworth pointed. "It's exactly where you left it." Lapinette fished in her frock and produced it. The Wabbit ferreted in his fur and found his very own automatic with the missing safety catch. Wabsworth took out two walkie talkies. The train rattled across points and through dark stations. Skratch's voice crackled over the loudspeakers. "Where would you like the next stop of this train?" "Home," said the Wabbit. "Just take us home."

Friday, February 08, 2019

10. The Wabbit and the Exit Strategy

The Wabbit saw Lapinette kick the figure and it lurched towards the door. But it bounced back and swirled the edged weapon round and round. She kicked it again, but it kept coming. He heard a hiss as Skratch opened the doors. Outside the night blurred past. The figure swayed and grabbed a rail. Whatever the figure was it had to leave of its own accord or the game would continue forever. The Wabbit pulled out the automatic but he held back. Killing it wouldn't help. He fired a shot at its ear. Blood spattered the compartment. The thing hit the door and nearly fell out. Its feet slithered on the floor. "I'm still here!" The shout was triumphant. The slipstream tugged at its fur. Its teeth chattered. The train slammed through a tunnel and the draught sucked the thing half out. Brickwork scraped its back. Its yell was frantic. "I'm not leaving!" It had one foot inside and another out. Lapinette gave it another push and shouted, "Give up!" "Never!" yelled the thing. It clawed his way back on the footplate. "Whoooo," said a voice that seemed to come from the wind. The thing turned -  and just for a moment, lost its grip.  It stared at the Wabbit with what looked like despair. Its hold loosened. With paws raised in surrender it fell to the track. The Wabbit grinned as he watched Wabsworth climb into the compartment. The doors hissed shut. "Ticket?" smiled the Wabbit.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

9. The Wabbit and the Platform Standoff

The Wabbit waited on the platform. It smelled of metal and bad gas and something else, something unnatural. A freight train blurred fast and sent a shower of gravel into his face. The Wabbit didn't blink. Another train drew into the station at a leisurely pace - a commuter train with no passengers. He slid the safety catch off his automatic and racked it twice for luck. He blew along the barrel. His breath hung in the cold air. The train screeched to a standstill. Standing alongside was the figure that looked like him. The Wabbit could see him reflected in his glasses, waving a blood spattered edged weapon. The figure drew a door open and yelled. "You're leaving the game, get on the train." Still, the Wabbit did not turn. The figure felt the muzzle of an automatic pressing just under his ear. "It's you that's leaving," said Lapinette. With her other paw she dragged him on board. The weapon clattered on the platform. The door closed. As the train began to move, the Wabbit leaped across the platform and clung to a footplate of a far compartment. The train gathered speed. It wasn't hard to lever a door and just as the train hit a bend in the track, the Wabbit tumbled into a compartment. He could hear a commotion and he ran down the train towards it. The intercom crackled with Skratch's voice. "This is the End Game Express, have your tickets ready." The Wabbit grabbed a rail as the train chattered across points and through red lights and he sang, "This train don't carry no hustlers, this train..."

Friday, February 01, 2019

8. The Wabbit and a Cat's Surprise

The Wabbit had no intention of leaving, so they hopped through the back streets in search of answers. But there was no sign of the figure and still, nothing looked right. "This looks like Milan," said Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head and grumbled. "Pssst!" said a voice. The Wabbit shrugged and murmured, "No more surprises." Followed by Lapinette, he continued on his way - but Wabsworth hung back. A branch cracked above him. Something dropped from a tree, landed with considerable grace and purred gently. "What's going down?" meaowed Skratch. "You are," grinned Wabsworth. He beckoned the others. "What are you doing here, Skratch?" "Instinct," replied Skratch, "I felt impelled to travel here." "We seem to be caught in a game," explained Wabsworth. "Ah, said Skratch, "then what I saw was a player. It looked a bit like you, Wabbit." "Our adversary," said Lapinette. The Wabbit hopped up to Skratch. "How do we get out of the game?" Skratch purred gently. "We win the game! Let's get him." The Wabbit wasn't happy. He prodded Wabsworth. "What are our strategic options?" Wabsworth's circuits whirred. "We force our opponent to leave the game. Where did you see him?" "The railway station," said Skratch. "Perfect," said Wabsworth, "He doesn't have to go far ..."

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

7. Skratch and the Late Freight Train

The freight train coasted into Padova Central Station and Skratch the Cat stepped off. He'd had no intention of taking the train but some deep instinct told him to do it. So he'd boarded the train in Turin, then curled between two containers as it rattled at high speed towards Venice. When the train shuddered to a halt, he woke up. He was puzzled. He knew it wasn't supposed to stop until Padova Freight Village so he shook himself alert and looked down the platform. A familiar figure hopped along the platform and into the distance. Skratch purred and was about to meaow to his friend - but something stopped him. "That's not the Wabbit," he murmured. The figure plucked an edged weapon from his fur and drew it along the containers. It made a rasping sound. Blood dripped from the blade. The figure's turn was abrupt and Skratch snapped back and out of sight. A whistle blew, then with a screech the train began to move. Rails squealed as the train picked up speed. Skratch leaped for the other side of the train and when it reached the end of the platform, he jumped off and slid behind a building. The figure remained alone on the empty platform, looking from side to side and shouting. "Come out. I know you're there," Skratch was as quiet as a cat can be. He dropped onto the westbound rails and prowled past him to the exit. "I'm neither here nor there," he purred ... and he vanished into the city. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Tidied Scene

The scene changed and Lapinette started yelling. "This isn't Venice, this is Padua. I won Venice. I want Venice!" Wabsworth seemed a long way off but the Wabbit could hear him. "They seem to have tidied Venice," he murmured. "Everything's wrong," scowled the Wabbit. He pulled the automatic from his fur, but the safety catch wasn't broken and he growled, "This isn't my gun." "Don't look now," called a voice. The Wabbit's head swivelled. "There he is," shouted Lapinette. She pointed. "He looks just like you." The figure took out an edged weapon and tapped it three times on the base of a statue. "That's mine," shouted Lapinette. The figure tapped the statue again and spoke. "Nothing is at it seems." His voice was dull and watery, the sound of splashes on a jetty. Wabsworth grabbed for his automatic but there was only the walkie talkie. He pointed it anyway. It crackled into life and spoke. "This is not a gun." The scene froze. They found themselves gripped like tourists wrapped in aspic. But the figure strode up and down the parapet, yelling. "You'd be well advised to leave. Don't wait til tomorrow." Then it dived into the water and vanished. The scene returned to life and the team with it. But something rose from the water, something awful - a putrid, rancid smell. Lapinette shuddered and grasped her nose. "What on earth is that?" The Wabbit looked into the water and snarled, "Mediocrity."

Friday, January 25, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Lady Gondolier

They strolled towards the river. But it didn't seem to be the right river. It wasn't a river at all. "I told you this was a game," said Wabsworth. "Pretty," nodded the Wabbit. "It's like a painting." murmured Wabsworth. "Canaletto?" suggested the Wabbit. "Artificial topography," agreed Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked all around and took in the scene. "Are we really in it?" he asked. Wabsworth sniffed long and hard. "Yes. It smells of damp mop in a corner." The Wabbit's ears pricked up at the chugging of an outboard motor. "Johnson Evinrude," said Wabsworth. "You can't get better," grinned the Wabbit. He heard a familiar voice but this time he turned and shouted, "Lapinette!" "Wanna lift?" called Lapinette. "What's in the boxes, Gondolier?" yelled Wabsworth. Lapinette yelled back. "Haggis for Burns Night and a case of herring!" The craft edged in sideways and bumped against the jetty. "How on earth did you get here?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette hopped off and climbed the steps. "It was a magazine competition. And I traded all my points from American Express." "They didn't run to a gondola?" queried Wabsworth. Lapinette shook her head and shrugged. "No-one can." They gazed at the bridge and noted how beautiful everything was. "Bring any weapons?" grunted the Wabbit. Lapinette patted her frock. "A machine pistol disguised as a makeup case and a pack of exploding lipsticks." "Expecting trouble?" smiled Wabsworth. Lapinette laughed. "Trouble expects me."

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

4. The Wabbit inside the Urban Maze

The Wabbit pursued the figure through a maze of old buildings - until he lost him. There was no one to curse so he cursed the building instead and stamped his foot. "Wabbit!" The voice was familiar but the Wabbit was too cute to acknowledge it. "Commander?" The voice had changed tone. Now it was sharp and urgent. "It's Wabsworth," said the voice. The Wabbit refused to look. "How do I know it's you?" "Ask me a question," said the voice. "OK," said the Wabbit, "Why is 5 to the power of zero only one?" "Everything to the power of zero is one," said the voice. "How can that be?" asked the Wabbit. The reply was quickfire fast. "It's only a convention." The Wabbit laughed and turned. "Wabsworth, what's going on?" "We're caught in a game," said Wabsworth. He threw down an automatic, then a walkie talkie. The Wabbit caught the gun and examined it but he let the walkie talkie clatter on the road. "Where did you get these?" "I had to win them," answered Wabsworth. "I'm listening," sighed the Wabbit. Wabsworth climbed from the window and shimmied down to the sidewalk. "I had to fit a stack of objects into a shape, but the objects and the shape kept changing." The Wabbit nodded. "Then there were eight crosswords, but I didn't know which clues went where." "Did it take long?" asked the Wabbit. "No time at all," said Wabsworth, "The game was a smoke screen. The gun and the walkie talkie were on a shelf and I just took them."

Monday, January 21, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Alleyway Portal

The Wabbit hopped off in high dudgeon - but he couldn't help looking back. The shutters shimmered and vanished. At first glance it looked like an alleyway between two sheds that led to the street behind. But everything was wrong. The light was wrong. The sky was wrong. The sound was wrong. Apart from the perspective, there was little that was right. But still that voice hung in the air, whispering now, "This place doesn't really exist." The Wabbit shook his head and muttered, "The puzzle has too many pieces." As if in answer, something else happened. A figure appeared. The Wabbit's fur stood on end. The figure was the Wabbit, beckoning with his paw and smiling. An orange sun drew an impossible shadow in the cobbles. "It's a cardboard cut out," thought the Wabbit - but his likeness moved towards him and breathed softly. "Duck down the alleyway." The Wabbit scowled. "I don't think so." But a hidden force dragged him towards the cobbles. The Wabbit searched in his fur for his radio, but it wasn't there. The figure waved a walkie talkie and grinned. It burst into life and crackled with Wabsworth's voice, "Come in Wabbit, come in." The figure repeated the message, mocking Wabsworth's tone. "Come in Wabbit, come in." It beckoned once more. The Wabbit's paws scuffed the asphalt as he slid into the alley. "I'm not going your way ..."

Thursday, January 17, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Inside Out

The Wabbit threw open the shutters and closed them behind him. An eerie light filtered through from the next street, painting the rubbish that littered the floor a fluorescent orange. At the far corner stood an old chair and a little further away, a coffee table with a reserved sign. The Wabbit pulled his automatic from his fur. "That looks like blood." His voice was the merest murmur, yet it echoed like a trumpet under a bridge. The Wabbit advanced with caution and touched the red stains. "Paint," he whispered. He thought for a moment. "Maybe someone painted themselves into a corner." He turned to the table and lifted the sign. "Reserved for whom?" He ticked it in his fur and sifted through the rubbish, but found little of interest except for a few receipts made out to 'A Customer' and listing various vague services. "This is a riddle," thought the Wabbit. It was then that he noticed the small pyramid on the chair. It looked like a Wablantis pyramid and he made to pick it up. But a little voice told him not to. He slid the automatic back in his fur and took out a camera. "I'll bring in the team and we'll scour this place with a fine tooth comb." His camera flashed. Then he tried to slide the shutter back up, but it was jammed. The voice he'd heard before spoke again. "They won't find anything. This place doesn't really exist." The shutters slammed open and a hidden force propelled the Wabbit outside. The shutters slammed shut. The Wabbit hopped back. His camera flashed again and he growled, "We'll see about that."

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Back Street Market

The Wabbit was assured by a trusted source that the store would be open. So he was extremely annoyed. He'd made a special effort to haul himself out an early hour and here he was, looking at closed shutters. All the same, it was somewhere he'd never been before and so he glanced around. At first glance it looked seedy. A number of likely sorts idled around. The Wabbit thought of them as 'Herberts' and he frowned. Some greeted each other and shook hands. Others whistled aimlessly and followed others. He watched as they came and went. He detoured round the stalls in the main market, ignoring the cries of dusty dealers. Everyone was their friend apparently. Each passer-by was greeted in the same manner. "How are you? How are you?" The Wabbit hopped back to the shuttered store. "Are you a rabbit? Do you speak rabbit?" asked a trader." The Wabbit shook his head and moved on. It wasn't the kind of market the Wabbit was used to. He was fond of a search for an unobtainable jazz album, but everything he saw was boringly boring. He briefly took an interest in a stall selling football wear, but every single item sported the colours of a team he quite disliked. Then he heard a whisper. He looked around but there was no-one there. The voice whispered again. "Are you looking?" The Wabbit banged on the shutters and shouted. "I'm looking for an unobtainable item." "Maybe I can help you," said the voice ...