Wednesday, June 29, 2016

8. The Wabbit and the Great Escape

Turbulent air filled with cabbage leaves as a winged creature dropped from the sky. The Wabbit and Wabsworth found themselves high above the street in the safe clutches of Terni the Food Dragon. They looked at each other and then across to Terni's other talon. The monstroid creature was gibbering. "Is this an extra wabtax?" "Yes!" yelled Wabsworth. "No," shouted the Wabbit. His stitches were aching and he longed to scratch. "Where shall I drop this thing, Commander?" roared Terni. He flexed his monster wings and looped high above the rooftops. Terni's nose was pepper hot and the Wabbit fidgeted in a bad tempered way. "The Mariana Trench," he spluttered. Terni's breath painted an enormous "W" in the sky. "That's much too far, Wabbit. Would you settle for Etna?" The creature stopped drooling for an instant. "I yearn for the deep, wabtanic caverns." "What could possibly go wrong?" shrugged the Wabbit. "Just about everything," said Wabsworth, "and now I need a new coat." "Invisible mending," said the Wabbit. "Where?" asked Wabsworth. "Edinburgh," suggested the Wabbit, "my kilt maker will do it on the spot." Wabsworth nodded and spoke to Terni, "Change of plan for monster dropping." Terni smiled with a puff of fiery peppers. "Give the word." It was the Wabbit's turn to smile. "Loch Ness ... but drop us off at a pub." 

Monday, June 27, 2016

7. The Wabbit and the Monstroids

The Wabbit rushed Wabsworth to a quiet spot, but it was already happening. Wabsworth's chest opened and monstrous facsimiles scurried out. They came out small but didn't stay that way. And there were more and more. The Wabbit backed up to the wall and held up his paws. It was a way to buy time but they stopped at once. It was then that the Wabbit had a bright idea. Wabsworth was his android copy and he knew his idiosyncracies better than any other being. "Environmental tourist tax!" he yelled, "each visitor counted separately." Curiously, all the creatures looked at the Wabbit and waited. "Discounts for smaller groups, less harm." The creatures began to merge. "If you fail to pay," shouted the Wabbit, "the matter will be referred." The creatures looked perplexed behind drooling faces. "Non payment is always referred to the Ministry for Revenge," continued the Wabbit cheerfully. He was mostly making it up - yet the Ministry for Revenge was real enough. No case ever brought to that bleak, foreboding edifice had been resolved in the lifetime of the plaintiff, but the creatures didn't know that and they shivered. "In the environment," shouted the Wabbit, "fewer tourists are less wear and tear." The copies gradually merged until there was only a single large creature standing. "May I inspect your licence to tour?" asked the Wabbit ...

Friday, June 24, 2016

6. The Wabbit and the Street Screamer

The creature's whine was like a thousand air screws. Cracks in the paving spread towards them. Blood seeped through the cracks. The Wabbit and Wabsworth grabbed some sticks from a passing hurling team and waited for the inevitable. With an explosion of blood, the creature emerged and darted towards the Wabbit. The Wabbit stood like a goalkeeper. He waited for the cracks to reach him and raised his stick high. Wabsworth snuck up from the back and hopping forward he whacked the creature with all his strength. Wabsworth was an android and his whack was considerable, but the creature didn't stop. The Wabbit suddenly swiped and this time he caught the creature off balance. Something rolled away. Wabsworth trapped it between his feet. "Commander!" he yelled. "It's synthetic." "I hate bio-mechanical monsters," murmured the Wabbit and he hit it again. Another component bounced along the sidewalk. The screams were deafening. "Wabbawabbawabba" moaned the creature and it dropped into the crack. Wabsworth looked round. Serrated arms clawed through asphalt as the creature sprang at him. But Wabsworth was no longer there. From behind, Wabsworth brought his stick down with a savage blow that disassembled the creature's head. The Wabbit looked relieved but it was short lived. Wabsworth clutched his chest. "Commander? There's something moving inside me."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

5. The Wabbit and the Beastly Pursuit

The creature dropped easily into the hospital atrium and Wabsworth and the Wabbit followed as best they could. "You'll never make that drop, Commander!" shouted Wabsworth. The Wabbit vaulted over the edge anyway. His stitches stretched and his teeth chattered but somehow he made it to the ground. Wabsworth fired round after round, but nothing hit the dodging, jinking creature. Its serrated paws flailed at anything it came across, and the horrid mouth drooled a mixture of saliva and blood. "Give me back my blood" shouted the Wabbit. The creature started to scream. Windows shattered, elevators plunged from their moorings. The air became a sea of potted plants as a high pitched whine wound its way around the concourse. Wabsworth dived for the stairs and flew down a banister rail, emerging right in the face of the creature. "Take that," he shouted and he hit it with two bunched fists. "Wabamama!" it yelled and it grasped Wabsworth between sharp paws. Wabsworth hit it with the butt of his gun. "Don't call me mama," he grunted. For a moment the creature went down. But in a flash it was on its feet and motoring towards the exit. "Wabbawabbawabba!" it spluttered through its bloodied mouth. With a shrill scream and a spray of dust, sharp paws cut through marble paving and the creature vanished ...

Monday, June 20, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the Monster Inside

Wabsworth heard a cry and he went to check on the Wabbit. The Wabbit was gasping, almost choking. Suddenly his chest heaved with an enormous bulge and his stitches flew open. With a high pitched scream and a whirring of serrated paws, a creature that looked just like the Wabbit burst out of the Wabbit's chest. Wabsworth pulled an automatic from his fur, but he failed to get a sight on the creature that would miss the Wabbit's vitals. "Gerrorrr it off!" yelled the Wabbit and he whacked the creature with all his strength. His strength wasn't quite up to par, but the creature slewed to the right and its paws scythed air. Wabsworth hit it with the grip of the automatic and it somersaulted onto the bed. The Wabbit lashed out with his legs. There was nothing wrong with the Wabbit's kick and the creature hit the deck with a massive thud. A scream that could cut metal tore air, and the scream got louder. Wabsworth covered his ears. Whatever it was tried to climb onto the bed but the Wabbit's feet smacked the menacing mouth square on. Drool sprayed everywhere. Now Wabsworth had a clear shot and he fired - but the thing was quick. The mattress smoked with gunfire as the creature headed for the door. "Stop it!" yelled the Wabbit and he zipped up his stitches. He tried to get up and his groan joined the scream as he hit the floor hopping. Wabsworth's face was a fury. "Leave it Commander, I'll get that parasite." "This is personal!" yelled the Wabbit.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Waiting Crowd

The Wabbit's personal guard, the 400 Rabbits, gathered outside the hospital, waiting for any news about the Wabbit. No-one quite knew who had tipped them off, but everyone was there. Lapinette decided to give them a briefing, mainly in the hope they would go away. But she had no idea what to say. "The Wabbit is comfortable," she announced. "How comfortable?" shouted one of the 400. "On a scale from one to ten," shouted another." "Em, five point one," said Lapinette. She held aloft a report which was entirely blank, but looked official enough. The 400 rabbits talked amongst themselves. "We brought salad sandwiches for the Wabbit," they shouted, "and grappa." Lapinette flourished her report. "The Wabbit has to fast!" A murmur of disappointment rippled through the throng. Lapinette adopted her most official voice. "I must ask you now to leave so that the Wabbit may rest." "We're not going," shouted the 400. "We brought tents." Lapinette was running out of steam so she grasped at straws. "The Wabbit left vouchers so that you could all enjoy a night on the town." "And leave the Wabbit?" shouted the 400, "no way!" Lapinette sighed inwardly then pretended to scrutinise the report. "The Wabbit may need blood," she shouted. "Please report to hospitals across the city ... to donate." The 400 dispersed with speed leaving nothing behind but the odd grappa bottle. Lapinette spoke quietly to herself. "If I'd told them, the Wabbit would bust his stitches."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2. The Wabbit and the Hospital Run

Wabsworth took an unorthodox route to the hospital. This involved the illegitimate use of three walkways and a pedestrian tunnel. The Wabbit didn't seem to care about that. Nor did he comment on the trail of street furniture that Wabsworth left in his wake. So Wabsworth knew the Wabbit was seriously out of sorts. The hospital had several entrances but Wabsworth ignored them all. If he could have driven directly into the emergency ward, he would have. Instead he took the fastest route. He crashed through the back gates, drove up several flights of stairs, then jumped from a connecting bridge. "Nice view," slurred the Wabbit. Lapinette's teeth jarred. She held on with both paws and kept a mental note of the damage. "It's over there," she shouted and she pointed a paw. Wabsworth slid between two squad cars and left tyre tracks on the hood of a highly polished vehicle belonging to the Finance Police. Lapinette scribbled an apologetic note, attached several meal tickets and threw it out. Wabsworth screeched to a halt and lifted the Wabbit from the jeep. "Whassa matter?" asked the Wabbit. "Am I going on a lovely vacation?" He convulsed and clutched his side suddenly. "I have a rabbit in my tummy," he announced solemnly, "his name is Ernie." "Emergenza! Agente ferito. Codice rosso!" yelled Lapinette.
[Emergenza! Agente ferito. Codici rosso! : Italian - Emergency. Officer injured. Code Red]

Monday, June 13, 2016

1. The Wabbit and the Hidden Wound

"Ow," said the Wabbit as his foot lurched on the sidewalk. Lapinette looked at him critically. "You're limping." "I think I did myself a mischief," groaned the Wabbit, Lapinette's eyes flashed. "When?" "It was that rumble I had with the Tracker," sighed the Wabbit. Lapinette waited for more information. "I was shot in the shoulder. Then when I came to, I heard Wabsworth calling for help on the radio." Lapinette nodded and the Wabbit continued. "I tried to reach him by propelling myself through the snow, but I lost control and hit a snowdrift." The Wabbit groaned as he recalled the impact. "Something in my side went crick." Lapinette gently prodded his side. "Yaaagh!" shrieked the Wabbit. "That does it!" shouted Lapinette, "I'm taking you to the hospital," "No need to bother," said the Wabbit. He clutched his fur and stumbled, then smiled sweetly. "It's only a pulled muscle." Lapinette pulled a radio from her frock. "I'm calling Wabsworth to bring the jeep." The Wabbit was dismayed. "I'll be pulled off duty," he scowled. Lapinette spoke urgently into her walkie talkie then turned to the Wabbit. "No-one is indispensable." A look that Lapinette recognised flashed across the Wabbit's face. She knew the Wabbit regarded himself as the most indispensable rabbit that ever hopped the earth. Lapinette prodded his side again. "Yikes!" yelled the Wabbit, grabbing onto Lapinette's fur before he collapsed. The radio crackled and a muffled voice spoke. "On my way," said Wabsworth.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Skratch the Cat timed his entrance to perfection. When the others arrived, he pounced out from inside the caffè. "Flowers for little old me?" he grinned, "you really shouldn't have!" The Wabbit saluted solemnly. "We were waiting for you tell us what kind of adventure we were in." Skratch saluted in return. "This time, I think you should tell us, Commander." The Wabbit grinned. "Well sit down Skratch, I'm going to pass the buck." He called for drinks and looked at Wabsworth. "Your turn." Wabsworth didn't hesitate. "It was an open text, in a world of unavoidable diverse readings." "Umberto Eco," said Lapinette firmly. The Wabbit was agog. "Do you understand him?" he asked, "I really haven't the slightest clue what he's talking about." Lapinette chuckled enticingly. "He inferred that readers had to make things up and splice them back into the story." "The reader lends a hand to the author." said Skratch. "And the hand remains an enigma just outside our grasp," sighed Lapinette." Skratch leaned back, mimed puffing a pipe and adopted a stuffy English accent. "The Beast with Five Fingers, don't ya know? What a strange business altogether." The Wabbit thought deeply. "What about our readers? Do they have to make things up?" "All the time!" laughed Lapinette.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

9. The Wabbit and the Last Oration

Lapinette turned and walked through the graveyard. The Wabbit signalled for the rest to keep a respectful distance as Lapinette paused between two gravestones. The hand settled quietly on the grassy plot in front. Lapinette raised two paws skywards and waited. Branches lowered. Thunder rolled. Lightning flashed. Cloaked in a clear blue light, Lapinette began to speak. "The part is the whole, the whole is the part." Somewhere in the distance, a piano played Mozart's Requiem. The Wabbit delved deeply for his medal ribbons and attached them to his fur. Wabsworth bowed his head and so did Skratch the Cat. Now the distant piano played joyfully. "Freude, schöner Götterfunken," said Lapinette. Everyone smiled as the hand sank into the grass. Wabsworth felt something rippling through his android circuits and Skratch's tail stood bolt upright. The hand sank deeper  - but just before it disappeared, it made a small wave of farewell. The Wabbit saluted. "I leave you in good hands," said Lapinette and she slowly dropped her paws. Rolling thunder became silent. Lightning ceased. The piano began to play jazz and it filled the wooded space. The Wabbit watched the last of the hand fade from sight. "Take Five," murmured the Wabbit and he waved goodbye.

Monday, June 06, 2016

8. Lapinette and the Instant Reading

They followed the hand through the Bavarian Quarter until it came to the graveyard - and face to face with Lapinette. Bathed in daytime moonlight, she stood directly in the path of the hand. Her paw moved upwards and with a deft gesture, produced a Tarot card. Time seemed to freeze and with it the hand. "Cards or palm?" hissed Lapinette. The hand flipped over and offered a palm creased with lines.  "Criss cross." whispered Lapinette, "you have more lines than the Coliseum, more junctions than King's Cross." The hand trembled under Lapinette's searching eyes. "I see a vague musical talent, stretched past its best," murmured Lapinette. The hand twisted in discomfort. The Wabbit watched, powerless to intervene. He glanced at Wabsworth, then at the hand. "Magic," shrugged Wabsworth, staring at Lapinette. Lapinette's voice became silky smooth as she scrutinised every line in the palm. "You must seek another path." The forefinger moved and seemed to inscribe something - like graffiti on an ancient wall. "Yes, you do have a choice," answered Lapinette. "Forget your lines, they're old and tired." The hand dropped to the ground and crawled along the path towards Lapinette. The light of the daylight moon fell on the Tarot card - and now the Wabbit could see it clearly. "The Magician," he breathed ...

Thursday, June 02, 2016

7. The Wabbit and the Angry Piano

The severed hand played until it was exhausted but the piano demanded more. Its pedals clattered and its keyboard snapped yet still it was unsatisfied. Preludes gave way to etudes. Nocturnes, ballads and scherzos passed without pause. When the hand exhausted the classics, it played boogie woogie, bop and blues, until it had consumed the entire breadth of jazz. But the piano was insatiable. It bounded in the air and rocked around the clock. "I think we should go." The Wabbit's voice was a murmur but it came out loud. Five fingers swept the length of the keyboard and slammed down hard, and then the hand somersaulted and flew in the direction of the exit. "Follow that hand!" yelled the Wabbit. Everyone followed, but so did the piano. It had lost a few panels by this time and the lid flapped wildly, but its keys crashed out a macabre version of the Planet Suite. Drama and violence dripped down walls like molten plastic as the deranged piano charged relentlessly, "Run! Run or we'll B flat." Skratch thought a joke might help and it certainly made a difference. The piano chattered menacingly and picked up speed. Ivory spat in all directions. "It can't hold the keys!" yelled the Wabbit.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

6. The Wabbit and the Ghostly Notes

The Museum's Piano Room was huge and the severed hand sped along the line of pianos and back. With a prod of a poky forefinger it tried this one and that - until it settled on an upright piano of considerable size. The hand played a tune on ivory keys that had seen musical evenings of many years. They had suffered the touch of a thousand hands and were worn here and there, but they had never endured anything like the onslaught that the severed hand meted out. The Wabbit and Wabsworth felt their ears turn to jelly. The floor shook beneath their feet as the piano shuddered into a tune. "Graceful Ghost Rag!" shouted Skratch. But the Rag was as graceful as a spectral sausage. "The hand can't syncopate," yelled the Wabbit. "All hands sign the plate?" queried Wabsworth. The hand stopped. Then it switched to D minor. No single hand had ever played Beethoven so sweetly - and no hand would ever do so again. The piano lifted into the air and swayed as the hand tinkled Ghostly Waltzes. Skratch pirouetted and exclaimed he'd never been so moved. With a sudden jolt, the piano crashed on the polished floor and the music halted abruptly. To everyone's astonishment, pianos keys moved independently and the piano began to speak. "Does the hand do requests?"

Friday, May 27, 2016

5. The Wabbit and the Right Piano

They met Skratch the Cat at a museum that lay in the heart of the Bavarian quarter. Skratch always had many keys and most of them fitted something. If they didn't, he had other ways of getting in. "This one's sure to fit," he meaowed. Wabsworth and the Wabbit gently carried the severed hand, wrapped in a bag, through the empty museum. It twisted a bit when it sensed musical instruments, then it traced several notes with a long forefinger. One by one, instruments in the glass cases started to play and displays vibrated loudly. "Shhh," hissed the Wabbit. The music faded slightly and the Wabbit patted the bag. Skratch was enthusiastic. "What kind of piano does the hand want?" he purred. "An early fortepiano? Maybe a virginal or a clavichord?" The hand shook violently. "An electronic piano?" suggested Skratch. The hand made a rude sign. "A grand piano!" said Wabsworth. The hand seemed interested. "Parlour Grand, Boudoir Grand or Baby Grand?" asked Skratch. An air of indecision hung in the air and the hand tried to wriggle out of the bag. "Let's find the right room and let the hand choose," murmured the Wabbit. He gripped the bag tightly and quickened pace as the instruments burst into Scarlatti's Cat Fugue. Skratch pirouetted across the floor. "My favourite," he purred.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the Upper Hand

The Wabbit suddenly turned and the severed hand jumped back. Wabsworth tentatively touched flesh that felt clammy and yielding. The Wabbit sneered and shouted, "What do you want?" For a moment the hand hung like a flap. Then fingers traced the outline of a piano and pecked at the Wabbit's fur. Music filled the arcade with wrong notes that growled and howled. Everything was off key. The hand jarred and twitched and the five fingers pinched. The Wabbit bared 28 teeth and snapped viciously. The hand retreated and bumped into Wabsworth with its stump. Wabsworth brushed it off and spoke up. "Perhaps you'd like a nice ring? I can get you five if you like." A forefinger wagged negatively and made another shape. "It wants a piano," said the Wabbit and he mimed playing one with his paws. "Skratch the Cat can get a piano," said Wabsworth quickly, "he can get anything." "He can get you sheet music, too," said the Wabbit. "And a stool," added Wabsworth, immediately regretting it. Nonetheless, the hand seemed enthusiastic because his fingers were all of a flutter. The Wabbit hummed the Last Concerto but now the hand was far from pleased. It wagged a forefinger at the Wabbit and made a move for his ears. Wabsworth grabbed the arm and twisted, the Wabbit forced the thumb backwards - and together they wrestled the hand down. "It's time to face the music," smiled the Wabbit.