Thursday, November 15, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Alien Reset

Quantum nudged the space beacon onto the church tower. The Wabbit and Lapinette clambered up and attached a diagnostic cable. Terni the Dragon hovered nearby for possible evacuation. At first there was nothing, but the beacon suddenly flashed into life. The Wabbit trained his special ears on the beacon. "I can't decode the signal." "Let me try," said Lapinette. Her ears swayed. "It's issuing fake commands to all our portals." The Wabbit scowled. He plucked from his fur a control box - and growling softy he attached wires to the tower's lightening conductor. "Time for tough measures." He fiddled with switches and knobs then threw a lever. The beacon flashed three times. "It's reset," said the Wabbit. "What about the alien signal?" asked Lapinette. "I cloned it," said the Wabbit. He grinned and gestured to his fur. "I'm sending the beacon back to its original coordinates," shrugged Lapinette. She made a signal to Terni, who lost no time in nudging the beacon into Quantum's cargo coach.  A brief flash left the Wabbit and Lapinette alone on the tower. "How do we get down?" frowned Lapinette. "The way we came of course," scoffed the Wabbit. Lapinette smothered a smile. Then she looked down and pointed. "Oh do look! Someone closed the window we used to climb out." The Wabbit groaned so long and so hard, that everything shook. "So it's good thing I broke the lock," laughed Lapinette.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

3. Quantum, Terni and the Beacon Alert

Quantum the Time Travelling Train and Terni the Food Dragon responded to the space beacon. Quantum was returning from the Sombrero Galaxy - and Terni shouldn't have been in space at all. But Terni liked to dance on the ripples of a space eddy not far from earth. In fact, he was just heading home when Quantum snaked through a singularity. They both heard the beacon pulse a warning message. "Ave, Quantum," murmured Terni in Latin. "Ave, Terni," said Quantum. Strictly speaking, they had no way of communicating - but Latin seemed to work. The beacon's signal was priority encoded and they heard the voice of the Wabbit repeating a message. "Threat Level 3. Please respond. Threat Level 3. Please respond." "Responding," said Quantum. "Responding," roared Terni. But the beacon failed to answer. The message kept repeating. Quantum circled and nosed round beside the beacon. Engines shuddered as he stopped. "Habemus tribulationis." "Trouble is our business," drawled Terni. Quantum circled again and he seemed to be thinking. He butted the beacon gently. Its signals stuttered and stopped. "Terni," said Quantum, "can you nudge this into my cargo coach?" With a fluttering of cabbage wings and a puff of dragon breath, Terni obliged. "Now hang on," said Quantum. There was a whine, then the briefest flash of light - and train, dragon and beacon were gone ...

Friday, November 09, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Fiery Bus

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided the bus home was the best option and they saw one coming. So they hopped quickly as it rounded the corner into the plaza. "We might just make it!" shouted the Wabbit. He waved to the driver. "Wait!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit stopped in his tracks. The bus burst into flames that engulfed the whole vehicle and licked at nearby buildings. "How did you know?" yelled the Wabbit. "I know everything," shrugged Lapinette. They ran to the bus to help but couldn't get close. The heat was intense and the noise deafening. Black carbon showered from the bus and coated the road in a slick, tarry substance. The Wabbit held up a paw. "It's not finished." The bus shimmered and warped. Then it made the groaning noise of tortured metal, disappeared and reappeared in an instant. The flames vanished. The bus bent back into shape. The heat dissipated and the bus engine burst into life. Passengers sat as if nothing had happened. The bus drew away to turn the corner and they watched it go. "You don't see that every day," murmured the Wabbit. "What's going on?" said Lapinette. "Public service cuts?" suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette nudged his leg. "Something's happening in this city." "And you don't know what it is?" grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette's smile was confident. "I will do..."

Thursday, November 08, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Imitation of Art

The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped a leisurely pace along the big bridge across the railway. The bridge usually displayed posters of the latest animation movies and they stopped and had a laugh. "Are we incredible?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "I think we're marvellous." Lapinette giggled. "Not awesome?" They stared at the poster for Incredibles 2 for some time. "I'm told we rock," said the Wabbit suddenly. Lapinette's ears swayed. "Well, that we do." "Is that a raccoon?" asked the Wabbit. "Its name is Rocket, I think," murmured Lapinette. "We should have one," said the Wabbit. "It's not a dog," laughed Lapinette. The Wabbit's ears swivelled at a sudden drone but on the bridge there was always heavy traffic. It could come in fits and starts, fading to nothing then surging into frantic life - so the Wabbit folded his ears back into place and re-examined the poster. "Maybe we should reassess out superhero status." Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Everyone's a hero these days." "OK, " said the Wabbit, "so what's one level up from hero?" "Idol," said Lapinette. "I prefer star," shrugged the Wabbit. A searing bolt of light flashed between the Wabbit's ears and slit the sidewalk in a shower of sparks. Lapinette hopped into the air. and yelled, "What does an idol do at this juncture?" "This doesn't happen to idols!" groaned the Wabbit. They tried to blend into the poster, as a green space ship passed overhead and disappeared. "Unbelievable," hissed the Wabbit ...

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

Wabsworth and Major Spitlove the double agent were last to arrive at the Adventure Caffè. "The staff is on vacation," said the Wabbit. "We have to serve ourselves," added Lapinette. Skratch rubbed his paws in glee and made for the kitchen - but the Wabbit called him back. "Not so fast, Skratch!" Lapinette shouted. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had" Skratch purred politely. "Prolonged instantiation." He vanished into the kitchen and returned smiling. "There's enough food in the kitchen to serve an army." "What about our adventure," sighed Lapinette. Skratch nodded. "Instances of general concepts which we exemplified." Wabsworth chipped in. "Meaning can only be derived through continual instantiation." "Aha!" chortled Lapinette, "therein lies the experience of the constitution of identity." Major Spitlove laughed. "Which in my case is difficult." The Wabbit rapped on the table. "Our Hallowe'en adventure foregrounded psychological projections. It was the shadow of the shadow - forever dancing to and fro." "But what about the Bunnyman? said Wabsworth suddenly. "There was no Bunnyman," shrugged Lapinette. "I saw him, he was watching us," said Wabsworth. "Looking for ideas, I guess," smiled the Wabbit. From under the table a sudden crash rattled the crockery. A louder crash made the Wabbit's teeth chatter. A third detached a piece of fruit from the bowl. It rolled and dropped into the Wabbit's lap and he leaped in the air. He looked around. Everyone shook their head. The Wabbit's eyes were everywhere but saw nothing. He shrugged. "See you next year, Bunnyman."

["Instantiation of meaning is always in the experience through which individuals constitute their identity."  Mihai Nadin]

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

6. Skratch and the Hallowe'en Turnaround

The Bunnyman got up, dusted himself off and hopped up to Skratch. It was Major Spitlove the double agent. He looked nervous but Skratch chortled. "Do you think they bought it?" Spitlove shrugged and looked up at their gang on the bridge. "Looks like it." He lifted the pumpkin head. "My robotic friend Jack sent me a live video feed for the whole affair." "Can I have a copy?" snickered Skratch. Some way off on the bridge - and out of earshot  - the Wabbit smiled and nudged Wabsworth. "Do you think they fell for it?" "Looks like it," giggled Wabsworth. He nodded vigorously. "That radio axe was a great idea." The Wabbit relaxed. "We can have our party now." They made their way down the clangy iron stairs. Skratch was still smiling. He gave Spitlove a hug. "Now our trick is over it's time for our party." Lapinette called down from the bridge and her voice was frantic. "Look out! Look out for the Hand!" The Wabbit merely grinned. "What trickery is this?! An axe struck the pumpkin squarely above the eyes. It squeaked and bled viciously. "Aaaagh!" shouted Spitlove. He dropped the pumpkin and kicked it. It flew in the air. The Wabbit dived forward to catch it, but squashed it flat. "Yuk, it's all over my fur," groaned the Wabbit. "The Wabbit fell for it!" laughed Lapinette. Jenny rocked back on her boots and tilted her pirate hat. "That be a hat trick."

Monday, October 29, 2018

5. Skratch and the Shooting at Pluto Park

Skratch was fast but the Bunnyman was faster. Skratch arrived at the Hallowe'en venue with his pursuer right behind him. The Bunnyman stood at the top of the stairs, swinging his axe from side to side as he recited a list of his 500 victims. Skratch prepared for combat but the list was so long, he began to feel numbed. The Bunnyman lurched down the stairway and with each step he let his axe drop on the metal treads. Hideous clangs rang out across Pluto Park. Peering out the corner of one eye, Skratch saw vague movement on the bridge. He hoped it was the Wabbit, so he stayed silent and tried to distract the Bunnyman. He yelled out. "That's a load of piffle! The Bunnyman is all discredited now." Sparks flew as the Bunnyman's axe hit the rails. "I'll chop off your cat head and stick it on a spike!" A silence followed. Someone shouted from the shadows. "Drop the weapon and put your paws on the rail." "More victims," snickered the Bunnyman. He lifted the axe and threw it. Skratch leaped out the way. A shot rang out, followed by another. The axe shaft splintered. The Bunnyman looked at his chest, then sagged and keeled over. With one leg caught in the stairs, he was trapped. His breath was shallow now. "I'll be back," he muttered. It was his last gasp as he slumped and lay prone. Skratch shouted to the Wabbit, "Please tell me this is a prank." The Wabbit blew smoke from the barrel of his automatic. Moonlight glinted from his 28 teeth. "Just a lark in the park."

Friday, October 26, 2018

4. Skratch and the Graffiti Warning.

Unaware of the search for the severed head, Skratch arrived to scout the usual Hallowe'en location. This year he had a Bunnyman surprise up his sleeve and he wanted to set the scene. Dusk fell on Pluto Park. The sky darkened as he made his way along the wall that skirted the old abandoned power station. The graffito lady looked startled as she always did - but tonight she seemed more startled than usual. He thought he heard a noise behind him and he turned. There was nothing - just a wolf moon making its way across the evening sky. "Skratch beware!" said a voice.  Skratch looked the mural up and down. "Beware what?" he murmured. "Beware the Bunnyman." It was a whisper, barely audible, and it oozed from bricks and mortar to rustle the dark grass behind him. Skratch turned again. Nothing. His fur shivered. "The Bunnyman is an urban myth," he said to himself. "Legend," said the wall. Skratch shrugged but his shrug was dutiful. The wall spoke again. "By the crumbling of my bricks and mortar, the Bunnyman aims to make you shorter." Now Skratch's ears made out the steady march of footsteps. In the moonlight he glimpsed a flicker of a shadow shape drawing closer. He relaxed his muscles, then tensed. Just when the shape poised over his head, he sprang in the air. An axe sliced the wall where his head had been. Shards of mortar showered the grass. Skratch leaped atop the wall and raced along it like the fastest cheetah there ever was. "I wasn't planning on a run," puffed Skratch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Ghost Sleuth

The search for the severed head began in earnest. Duetta's red spiders crawled the towers, while Lapinette climbed onto a ledge and eagle-eyed the area. The Wabbit thought of the words of a favourite detective. “It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely," he said to himself. He settled back and had a think. He shut his eyes. "One must seek the truth within, not without," said a ghostly voice. "Quite right," thought the Wabbit. An unearthly shove woke him up. "Ghost Bunny!" he yelled. "Sleuth Bunny's my name!" said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit adopted a spooky voice. "Haunting's your game?" Ghost Bunny fluttered and swooped. "I'm here to paranormally assist." The Wabbit pointed to the giant pumpkin. The pumpkin was wary of the spiders and had camouflaged itself against graffiti. It stared down from a balcony. He made a face at the pumpkin. The pumpkin made a face back. "Can you get rid of that pesky pumpkin?" groaned the Wabbit. "I'm a ghost, not a bouncer," shrieked Ghost Bunny. Without warning, she shot in the air and fluttered down. "I'm concentrating. I'm picking up vibrations." She let out a terrifying yell. "I see an axe. He did it with an axe." "Who did?" asked the Wabbit. "The Bunnyman!" screamed Ghost Bunny, "I can see the axe rising and falling." "Can you see the victim's head?" asked the Wabbit. "I can see something rolling into the distance," screeched Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit waited. "I hear it shouting," moaned Ghost Bunny, "shouting its head off."
[The reference to grey cells is made by Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's "Death on the Nile" (1937).]

Monday, October 22, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Helpful Spider

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided to hunt for the missing head - but whichever way they headed the giant pumpkin followed. No matter how hard they discouraged it, it stuck to them like glue. "It only wants attention," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette tapped it with her foot. It squelched backwards and then returned to where it was. The Wabbit snorted and turned to examine graffiti. "Perhaps the perpetrator left a secret message." "Why would he do that?" asked Lapinette. "It's the sort of thing they're known for," shrugged the Wabbit. A shadow fell across his face and he looked up to see Marshall Duetta Spyder. "Can I help, Commander?" "Duetta!" laughed the Wabbit, "We're looking for a head. Any ideas?" Marshall Duetta rattled her legs. "Who's head?" "If only we had the head," sighed the Wabbit, "then we might know who it was." Marshall Duetta hissed and rattled. "Headless corpse eh? Clearly the modus operandi of the Bunnyman." The Wabbit clapped his paws and pointed at Lapinette. "I told you so!" Lapinette jumped up and down and yelled, "It's an urban myth!" Duetta's laughter made the grass ripple. It was then that Lapinette felt a nudge from the giant pumpkin. She kicked it away, then bent to look closely. "Wabbit, did the pumpkin have a face?" The Wabbit's eyes gleamed. "Maybe it's a clue." "Maybe it's a meal," said Duetta.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Event at Pluto Park

Lapinette and the Wabbit hopped out to Pluto Park to see the improvements. "Oh look!" said Lapinette. She pointed at the algae-covered ponds. "There are all sorts of hovering creatures." "Including us," laughed the Wabbit. "Hallowe'en is coming up," grinned Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled. "Shall we have our celebrations in the usual place?" Lapinette made a face. "It's all locked up." The Wabbit was wondering why that presented a problem. "They found someone at the bottom," frowned Lapinette. "Dead?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "He had no head." The Wabbit became thoughtful. Then he shook his head and announced, "It's the work of the Bunnyman." Lapinette looked down to hide a smile. "There's no such thing! Anyway he's much too early for Hallowe'en." The Wabbit pondered. "Maybe he's practicing. Trying out his new axe." Lapinette waved at a butterfly and then shrugged. "The Bunnyman is an urban myth."  The Wabbit's voice trembled behind her. "Yet hanging carcasses still appear under Bunnyman Bridge." "Wabbit, we can't meet at the usual place," groaned Lapinette, "It's a crime scene." The Wabbit span round and clapped his paws in glee. "All the better for Hallowe'en then!" That was when he noticed the giant pumpkin. He nudged it with his paw. It rocked slightly and made a sound like wet boots. "Lap, did you bring a pumpkin?" "You know I hate fruit," said Lapinette ...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Lapinette emerged from the designated caffè just in time to see everyone converge. The Wabbit and Skratch were together and they looked excited. The Wabbit saluted cheerfully. Wabsworth followed suit. Skratch raised a triumphant paw and yelled, "What was that for a sort of Adventure?" "Let's get the drinks in first," shouted the Wabbit.  He grabbed Skratch playfully around the leg. Some diners looked round. "Have some decorum," grinned Lapinette. "Fac me cocleario vomere," said the Wabbit. He took a seat and tried to behave. "Comedy is a very serious genre of adventure," remarked Skratch, "It's ultimately the discourse of credible confusion." "Indeed," said Wabsworth, "the Adventure had a singularity which questioned the fragile certitudes of accepted practice." Skratch purred and nodded. "We are all ravaged by the jagged mechanisms of thought." There was a pause in conversation. It was Lapinette's turn to think about the Adventure. "Miracles are mostly conjuring tricks. Jumpback Jack fooled himself."  "The essence of comedy," agreed Skratch. "Jack falsely believed himself holy - and others believed his falsification." The Wabbit was getting thirsty. "Hilarious," he said, "shall we conjure up some aperitivi." Lapinette inclined her ears and a waiter emerged. The Wabbit gasped. "How do you do that?" "Magic," said Lapinette.
[Fac me cocleario vomere. Spoof Latin. Gag me with a spoon.
 I'm indebted to Annette Michelson for her foreword to Hollis Frampton's Circles of Confusion Visual Studies Press]

Monday, October 15, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the After Effects

Jumpback Jack strode from the church clutching his original bag with his original beans. The switch had been easy - and persuading Jack he was holy proved easier. The crowd unfroze and rose as one to meet him. The smell of beans drifted from the bag. "That's the odour of sanctity," gasped a figure. The crowd clustered round Jack. At the church door, the Wabbit spread his paws wide and nodded. Lapinette dug him in the ribs. "Did you put something in with the beans?" "Eau de cologne." smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "You've had that perfume at least 15 years." "It won't last long," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette gave him a look. "Unlike the effect of Batch 10 chocolates." "Hmm. Get it all back?" asked the Wabbit. "Except for the ones they ingested." replied Lapinette. Voices drifted in the morning air. "Let's spread word of the holy beans." "Everyone must know." "We'll go on a pilgrimage." The Wabbit and Lapinette kept their eyes on Jack as the crowd escorted him into the distance. "Absolutely harmless," shrugged the Wabbit. He smiled nervously. "What can possibly go wrong?" He had a bit of a think. "Who was supposed to pick up Batch 10?" "I was," said Lapinette, "but someone had moved it." The Wabbit's mind flashed back to his day at the chocolate factory and he clearly saw himself moving sacks around. He gulped. "Some tidy fellow?"

Friday, October 12, 2018

8. Lapinette and the Miracle Brigade

Lapinette and her guard placed the church under lock down. The public was advancing, so they holstered their weapons and shouted. "Nuffing to see here," yelled Tipsy. "Were having an ickle curfew," shouted Mitzy. "Worship the miracle." yelled one individual. He touched the hem of Tipsy's frock. "Ooof," he said as he dropped like a stone, clutching his ankle. "Another miracle," said an onlooker. "Miracle!" echoed the crowd. Lapinette binkied straight into the air to get attention. The crowd gasped in awe. "Spectacular public miracle working," said one. "I'm witnessing visible signs," said another. One by one they delved in their wallets and pulled out money. Tipsy confiscated some of it. Lapinette slapped a paw to her head. "We gotta soup sandwich," she scowled. "Sheep's shiblets," grimaced Mizty. "Holy frijoles," nodded Fitzy. Tipsy gestured to the sky. "Incoming." The crowd gasped as a chocolate dropped from nowhere. The speed of Tipsy's draw would have put Wyatt Earp to shame. Her automatic fired and the chocolate shattered. Fragments showered everywhere and the crowd fell on them and ate them. Then everyone remained on their knees, heads bowed. They were completely frozen. Lapinette turned to look at the Church. Her ears pricked up. She could hear faint strains of the Wabbit chanting something in Latin. She turned to Fitzy and sighed. "He's starting a Homily." She looked around the frozen figures. "Better get them blankets."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Holy Orders

The Wabbit made short work of the sacristy door. He grabbed the first vestments he saw and plucked from his fur an old family bible. Jumpback Jack bowed his head as the Wabbit entered. The Wabbit stood silently for a considerable time. Jack became fidgety and he clutched his bag close. The Wabbit lifted a paw in greeting. Jumpback Jack released his grip and rested his bag on the floor. The Wabbit silently blessed it and chanted a few Latin words he learned at school. "I come to atone," gasped Jack. The Wabbit waved his bible at the bag. "Relinquish all material things and embrace the spirit gifted to you." Jack placed his paws together in supplication as his head sank to his chest. "Are you feeling peaceful?" asked the Wabbit. Jack twitched and trembled, then became as still as stone. Wabsworth stretched out a paw to grasp the bag, but just as he got in range, Jack grabbed it and clutched it to his chest and yelled. "The bag is the Tabernacle of the Holy Beans." Wabsworth crept forward again, but something fell and hit the bag. Then another. Jack gazed at the chocolates as they fell and he spread his paws wide and touched his head to the floor. "It's a miracle!" The Wabbit waved Wabsworth back and spoke in an authoritative voice. "Miracles require a certificate."