Thursday, August 16, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Dream Manifest

"Wabbit, Wabbit! Wake up!" The Wabbit had been asleep for some time. His eyes were glazed and his mumbling incoherent. Lapinette shook him. He snored heavily. His chuntering at the end of each snore shook the papers on the desk. Lapinette leaned to hear. "Full fathom five, the Wabbit lies." murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette shook him more vigorously. He started to growl. "Be not afeard, the isle of full of robots." He sat up suddenly and looked around but just as quickly lapsed into sleep. Lapinette gave him a vicious dig in the ribs. "Ah woo, hoo," spluttered the Wabbit. His mouth tasted of brine so he scowled and complained. "I'm all pins and needles. It was the icy water." Lapinette folded her paws. "Wabbit! Have you been drinking?" The Wabbit shook his head. "I was rescued from a moving island." "You were snoring," said Lapinette. "Who me?" said the Wabbit, "I never snore." "Yes, you make enormous snores," said Lapinette, "and there's meaning in them." The Wabbit considered for a moment, then lifted the page of the Tempest that had fallen from the tome. Lapinette looked at it and smiled. "So did you find your inner self?" The Wabbit looked rueful and shrugged. "Nearly."

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Savage Waves

A storm forced the Unut to move away from the island and the Wabbit was cut off. The island was still moving and massive rocks smashed together like gravel in a mixer. The sea rose above the Wabbit's legs. There was only one thing to do. "I have to swim for it," thought the Wabbit. He hadn't a clue where "it" was, but he dived in and started to swim like marsh rabbit. The water was icy and quickly numbed every bone in his body. His brain swam. He began to see a hazy picture of himself on a beach on the Caribbean eating a salad sandwich. The picture cleared and he spotted a waiter dressed as a plesiosaur arriving with beer. The waiter shouted something again and again. He strained to hear it. "Wabbit, Wabbit. Wake up!" Spray hit his head. He blinked water from his eyes and clung onto the waves. "Nessie!" he spluttered. The Wabbit coughed sea from his lungs as he lunged onto a large breaker that rose to meet Nessie's mouth. Now he was hanging by his fur from Nessie's teeth. "Hold yer nose," said Nessie with a muffled voice. The plesiosaur plunge took the Wabbit by surprise. Water rushed past at an alarming rate - then he burst from the surface of calm waters. The Lepus and the Unut floated on a mirror of antique blue. "My ships came in," murmured the Wabbit as he passed out.

Friday, August 10, 2018

7.The Wabbit and the Uncertain Welcome

An inner voice told the Wabbit to venture alone to the final island. He hopped from rock to rock across the brine, looking into every crevice, until he heard a voice calling from the cliff. "Hail, Captain of the storm-tossed ship." A ghostly voice sang a mournful tune and a specter wailed its way from the depths. "Hell is empty," it moaned, "and all the devils are here." "You devils look familiar," murmured the Wabbit. Waves smashed against the promontory and soaked the Wabbit's fur. "We take the shape you choose," said a figure on the rocks, "What message do you bring?" The Wabbit thought for a second and then shrugged. "I am the only message." The specter hung in the air and wailed long it set the Wabbit's teeth on edge. "What ails thee, specter?" asked the Wabbit. "Nothing ails me but the lack of it," moaned the specter. It sank beneath the waves only to surface close to the Wabbit. "Who are you?" said the Wabbit. His question was sudden and commanding. The figure on the rocks leaned down until he nearly reached the sea. "We are remnants, deserted and forgotten. We wait to be set free." The Wabbit grinned. "Thou shalt have freedom yet. Freedom is for the taking." "Then take us with you," said the figure. The Wabbit beckoned in welcome - but at that moment, both figure and specter faded until only waves remained.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Premised Tempest

The sea had looked like a mirror but a storm blew in suddenly from the east and lashed the Unut like a thousand whips. The sky grew black. Lightning coursed along the surface and flickered up the hull. The Unut was 10,000 tons and more but the sea tossed it up and down like a cork. The Wabbit strolled calmly along the deck and anchored himself to a rail. Lapinette scurried out and did the same. They peered into the distance. "It's good to mess about with boats," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette thought of the pedalos in the park. "Adventure in the open air," she gasped. Her stomach lurched but her eyes swept the horizon nonetheless. "What's that?" "Something that shouldn't be there," muttered the Wabbit, "Dead slow." signalled Lapinette. But the Unut was already slowing to a standstill. Three islands shrouded in a soaking mist danced in the sea. "Dead slow ahead," signalled the Wabbit. The Unut moved forward. So did the islands. They're floating," gasped Lapinette. The wind roared and tore at their fur, snatching their voices and returning them mangled. "A plague on this howling," shouted Lapinette." "I've no mind to sink!" yelled the Wabbit, "Full ahead!" The islands pulled away and parted. as the vast bulk of the destroyer tore a path through the perilous waters. The Wabbit grimaced at the sea. "Parting is such sweet sorrow."

Sunday, August 05, 2018

5. The Lepus and the Mysterious Island

Captain Jenny was first to report the sighting of a likely island. But there was nothing there. Not a seagull, not a gannet, not even a crab. "Curious," thought Jenny. "Hail the island," she shouted. The Lepus let out three klaxon blasts, loud enough to wake the dead. The island remained still as the Lepus circled. Jenny considered a landing party but something made her draw back. "Move away," she ordered. The Lepus moved out a few metres but stopped. Propellers thrashed in an unyielding sea that clutched the Lepus in a grip of steel. Engines died. The breeze stopped and the flag hung limp. The Lepus pitched lazily up and down like a fishing fly. Jenny picked up the radio but it was dead. Only then did she feel a tug from below that dragged the Lepus close to the rocks that surrounded the island. She tried to compensate but it was useless. Then she felt a push in the opposite direction - it was a bit stronger than the pull. Jenny saw water thresh around a large hump, which lay close against the hull. Now a steady force pushed the Lepus sideways out to sea until it was some distance from the island. Only then did Nessie's head break the surface to an ear-splitting cheer from the crew. "Nae problem," said Nessie.
[Nae (Scottish dialect) :  No]

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the the Fatal Island

When Lapinette arrived at the docks, things were more than ready. "We leave on the next tide," said the Wabbit waving his map. "Aye, Commander!" yelled Skratch the Cat. Lapinette wanted to know where they were going. "What's on the map?" asked Wabsworth. He tapped the jeep's hood three times. "Oh nothing of interest," said the Wabbit. "I just like to wave it." He tucked it back in his fur and paused for effect. "From the information in the Codex, I gather it's somewhere between Naples and Tunis." Parakalo the dove circled overhead and cooed. "Parakalo is our lookout." said the Wabbit, "He will fly ahead and bring back twigs." "So we'll know when we're close," murmured Lapinette. "Then what?" asked Wabsworth. "We land and look for the holy artifact," shrugged the Wabbit. Skratch wanted to know if there was anyone on the island. "A miserable old man and his daughter," replied the Wabbit, "and a sprite - and someone referred to as a son of a witch." Skratch meaowed down. "What's the name of this island." The Wabbit looked up. "The codex says it's called The Fatal Island. Many tried to find it and all perished." "At the gills of a sea monster," nodded Wabsworth. The Wabbit stared. "How the binky did you know?" Wabsworth grinned. "I saw it in the movies"

Friday, July 27, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Codex Instructions

The Wabbit grabbed the page and took off, reading it. Lapinette flew after him. "That looks original!" The Wabbit smirked. "Maybe it is and maybe it's no." He hopped down the stairs. Lapinette hung over the balcony and tried to see the page. "It's a play," she smiled. "There's a list on the back," said the Wabbit. He read it out. "Knife, sword, firewood." Lapinette's ears swayed. The Wabbit continued. "Ship box, island, dogs ears." "Dogs ears?" yelled Lapinette. "I think so," said the Wabbit, "the writing's squiggly." He squinted down the page. "Any more?" asked Lapinette. "Fripperies," announced the Wabbit. Lapinette paused to think. "Does the list involve a magic book?" "It's in capitals," nodded the Wabbit. "Then they're all things in The Tempest," murmured Lapinette. She pirouetted. "You were on the stage weren't you?" said the Wabbit slyly. Lapinette fluttered her paws. "Acting is a passport to fun." The Wabbit laughed. "So maybe you could play spy and decode this." Lapinette flew down the stairs and seized the page. Her eyes flew up and down the page and then she turned it over. "The code is in the text." The Wabbit took it back and had a look. "It says we gotta split forthwith." "Our transport awaits," said a familiar voice. The Wabbit didn't turn. "Where are we off to?" "To unpathed waters, undreamed shores," answered Wabsworth.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Medieval Tome

The Wabbit was in a temporary office at the castle, allocated to him by the Department of Wabbit Affairs. His own office was sorely in need of redecoration and the Department had taken the opportunity when it presented. He looked at the book on his desk. It had been there on his arrival and it was in such poor shape, he was reluctant to move it. He poked it with a paw and a bit fell off. He scowled. "No no no," shouted Lapinette. "You need to be more careful" "Oh, it's only a dusty old tome," decided the Wabbit. "It looks priceless," commented Lapinette. The Wabbit frowned. "Look, someone's pinned a note to it." He studied it, but could make head nor tail of neither the note nor the manuscript. He leafed the pages over so quickly that Lapinette felt the breeze shake her ears. "I can't understand a thing," he said. "It's upside down," said Lapinette. "I still can't," retorted the Wabbit. Lapinette took the book and read out loud. "Wretched fellow, said he." Lapinette looked at the Wabbit and pointed at him for effect. "Thou meritest no blessing, and thou wouldest not be profited by one, seeing that thou art clad in fur on such a day as this." The Wabbit felt his fur to make sure it was still there. "It must be a code," he suggested; "Perhaps it's our mission instructions?" At that moment a loose page fell out of the book .... 

Monday, July 23, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Sign that said Stop

The Wabbit was in a dwam, just hopping along the footpath. Suddenly he came face to face with a giant warning sign. He stopped and studied it closely. The sign clearly advised walking on the opposite side but the Wabbit preferred the side he was on and said so loudly. No-one heard. He shouted a bit and poked the sign with his map. There was no response. "A rabbit can't go anywhere these days," he moaned. He opened his map and studied it. "Cartographers fill things with stuff," he complained. He turned it the other way. "That's better," he murmured, "now I can see where I have to go." The Wabbit was planning a trip and in order to plan a trip the Wabbit required a map, even it was a map of somewhere completely different. "I must have a map," he shouted into the air. The buildings echoed his statement but were otherwise silent. It was true that the Wabbit made good use of maps. He had once found his way out of a dense forest using only a railway map and a compass made from a needle and some string. The Wabbit thought the best parts of a maps were the edges. He ran a paw round all four and cast an eye up and down. But whatever the Wabbit as looking for, it wasn't on the map. That was a given. Things would be just too easy otherwise. He looked up at the sign, then whacked it with a paw. "No, I won't stop!" "Suit yourself," said the sign.
[dwam : Scottish. A state of being lost in thought.]

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The day was boiling hot and everyone was thirsty. "There's a special beer on tap," said the Wabbit, "beer all round?" Everyone agreed. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. "You don't like beer." "It's hot, I'll give it a whirl," smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit watched Wabsworth waft to and fro, ferrying foaming beers. Lapinette sniffed her drink, but her nose twitched and she convulsed in a sneeze. The Wabbit signalled to Wabsworth. "Large dry cold prosecco in a chilled glass!" Skratch the Cat loomed up and leaned in. "What was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Wabsworth returned bearing prosecco. "In this case, art organised experience, to articulate the random as causal." "People like the illusion," shrugged Skratch. "Aye, it be thematically sutured," said Jenny. Lapinette nodded gravely. "You're right there Jenny. Another beer?" She sipped prosecco. Skratch purred. "Before we descend into the pit of relativism, I have something for Jenny." He delved in his fur and produced a red rose identical to the one she'd lost. He threw it high in the air. Jenny caught it and hid a grin. She pinned it on her hat. "What's the connotation of the icon?" "Passion?" offered Wabsworth. Skratch shook his head. "Resurrection and immortality." "You certainly know how to talk to a girl," said Jenny.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

11. The Wabbit and the Lepus Blockade

"The Lepus!" shouted the Wabbit. "How did it get here? "The cockpit radio crackled. "Captain Jenny to Susan, steady as she goes." Susan the biplane flew up then stalled. The Scunner Akwat hung in the air. The Lepus fired. Akwat shrieked as a low blast shook his fins. Susan shot up then back down. The Wabbit could only watch as he clung to the struts. Susan made three attempts to swung Akwat on the cargo deck and finally released the anchor. Sailors rushed on the deck and secured the giant fish with grappling hooks. "Hurrah!" gurgled the salmon as the big shrimp made a getaway. Susan flew in slow and they all jumped on the deck. Jenny was there to welcome them, but before she could speak, the Wabbit wanted to know the details. "They were your modifications, Commander," said Jenny, "The Lepus can yaw in and out of slipstream like a dog at a fair." "What shall we do with him?" wondered Lapinette. Wabsworth grinned. "Take him to the toxic lake at the back of the old munitions factory?" "I suggest Deep Ocean," smiled Jenny. She vanished to the bridge and suddenly the water churned and the ship shuddered. The Lepus and everything on it vanished leaving only a frightened shrimp with a giant salmon. Silence fell. There wasn't a breath of wind and the river surface was like a mirror. "What do you say we tell no-one?" suggested the salmon.

Monday, July 16, 2018

10. The Wabbit and the Scunner Bait

The arrival of Susan the Biplane and Wabsworth offered a different possibility. Susan would tow a baited anchor to lure and hook the Scunner Fish. "What will we use for bait?" asked Lapinette. Wabsworth  disappeared briefly and returned bearing an enormous shrimp. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Where?" Wabsworth shrugged and commenced a lengthy explanation. "Out at the old abandoned munitions factory there's a strange lake." Lapinette shook her head, loaded the shrimp on the anchor, and clambered aboard. Susan's engine was a deafening roar as she took off and whisked the anchor along the river. "That's dangerous!" shouted Nessie - but they were up and running. "Extreme fishing," murmured the Wabbit. He held on with one paw and flicked imaginary lint with the other. "There he is!" yelled Wabsworth. With a fountain of spray, the Scunner Akwat soared from the river towards his prey. Susan hung back then flicked the anchor forward. Akwat dived. He missed. "Stupid Scunner!"groaned Susan. She flicked the anchor in the manner of a cat toy. This time Akwat fastened his teeth round the shrimp and swallowed it along with the anchor. He threshed angrily, but he was hooked. "What do we do now?" said the Wabbit.

Friday, July 13, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Lucky Anchor

Captain Jenny went in search of a suitable vessel. The Wabbit and Lapinette scavenged for useful items that might help them in pursuit of Akwat, the giant fish. Nessie was content to remain in the river and advise. "Whit's that?" said Nessie. "Some kind of algae," muttered Lapinette. "Never heard of him," said Nessie from a cloud of mist. Lapinette smiled and poked the green substance with a stick. An acrid, rotting smell reached her nose. "Poo bum smell." she spluttered. "Ripe," commented the Wabbit. He put his paws around a giant anchor and tugged. It didn't budge. He placed a foot underneath and levered it. The anchor uttered a rusty groan as it lurched on the Wabbit's other foot. The Wabbit stifled several expletives. "This is a lucky anchor," he announced. Nessie roared with laughter. "Because it landed on a rabbit foot?" The Wabbit merely grinned. "It's lucky because it met me." This met with silence. "It's a big hook, isn't it?" Everyone nodded. "Well, a big hook can snare a big fish." The Wabbit was ebullient and he rocked the anchor dangerously back and forth. Lapinette rose to her feet. "Wabbit, it weighs a ton." The Wabbit looked at Nessie and back to the anchor. His 28 teeth glinted in the sun. Nessie frowned. "Laddie, I'm a plesiosaur, not a traction engine." "Pretend you're in the Highland Games," smiled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Scunner Akwat

The team followed the fish until they would go no further. Leaving them behind, they waded until the water grew shallow. Nessie crouched flat along the bottom, semi-shrouded in imported mist. Lapinette punted along quietly. The Wabbit complained silently about his fur and the damp. Jenny brought up the rear, pirate boots glooping from the mud. "This be a creepy place, Commander." The Wabbit nodded and checked his fur. Water lapped at the shore and the reeds bent lazily back and forward. Lapinette shivered. They were armed and ready but it took them by surprise. The water spat a giant fish in the air and it was all teeth. It lunged forward with enormous speed and its teeth made a tattoo rattle. It looked back and forth, then it fixed the Wabbit with a steady stare. It dropped its lower jaw and made a clangy rattling like a teaspoon in a tin. There was a pause and the rattling stopped as it turned its gaze to Lapinette. Its lower jaw dropped and it made the same soft sound again. Again there was a silent pause but it broke as Jenny's boots made a loud plop in the mud. The fish swung round but Jenny dunked under the surface - and all it could see was Nessie. It gazed for a while, then its jaw dropped and it made the same rattling sound. Nessie dropped his jaw too - and rattled his teeth. The fish let out an incredible roar. Then it swung and aquaplaned along the water, far into the distance.

Monday, July 09, 2018

7. Wabsworth and the Hungry Salmon

Wabsworth was in receipt of an urgent radio message. It was transmitted only once and was heavily mangled but Wabsworth made the best of it and scrambled Susan the Biplane. The message said feed the fish, at least that's what he thought. It hadn't been hard to spot the fish. There were many, circling round a giant salmon. Wabsworth heard the salmon shouting. "Go round, Susan," he yelled. The salmon reared from the water. "Did you bring the food?" Wabsworth had only found Tropical Pellets, but he stuck a paw up anyway and Susan circled round again. On the second pass Wabsworth poured out food. Water foamed as the fish threshed with delight. "Excellent, yum yum," called the giant salmon. Susan flew back and forward along the surface of the river. Each time she passed, Wabsworth threw more food and the salmon gulped another message. "They've gone to shallower waters! You'll find the culprit there." Wabsworth had no clue about any of this. So they went round again and Wabsworth poured more. "Will you lead us?" he yelled. "We can't go there," yelled the salmon. Susan passed again and Wabsworth shouted an inspired question. "Who are we chasing?" The giant salmon bared his twelve sharp teeth. "We call him the Scunner Akwat." His fins made the river foam around him. Wabsworth threw down the last of the food and held up a paw in salute. Susan dipped her wings, then wheeled and roared south to the shallows.