Thursday, January 20, 2022

4. Wabsworth and Hypnotic Suggestion

The Wabbit suggested to the tooth that he had to go to rehab. The tooth was aghast. "I don't want to go to Rehab," he yelled. "No, no, no!" The Wabbit and Lapinette went into discussion and they recalled Wabsworth's hypnotism subroutine.  Wabsworth was an android and good at many things. "I've seen him do it," said the Wabbit. "It really works." Lapinette was sceptical. "Who did he try it on?" "On me," replied the Wabbit. "He suggested I ran a restaurant at the Palazzo Madama and I went in there and sold salad sandwiches." Lapinette waited. "I don't remember much about it," continued the Wabbit, "but I made some money." Lapinette paused, shook her head and then agreed. "Nothing to lose." The Wabbit summoned Wabsworth and Lapinette supplied the couch. Then the Wabbit addressed the tooth. "Look how nice this is!" he said. "Your sugar addiction will be gone in no time." The tooth lay on the couch and smiled. "I love sugar. I can't get enough." Wabsworth strode into the room. "Look into my eyes, look into my eyes," he said. Lightning bolts shot from his paws. The eyes on the tooth bulged out. He smiled in a listless fashion. "You hate sugar," said Wabsworth, "Now say it after me. I hate sugar." The tooth lolled. "I hate sugar," he gasped. Wabsworth went on. "How much do you hate sugar?" The eyes on the tooth bulged again. "I loathe sugar." Wabsworth stepped back and snapped his fingers. "You're cured," he said. He offered the tooth a sugar lump but the tooth shook his head and declined. The tooth lay back. "Got any honey?" The Wabbit and Lapinette looked at each other. The Wabbit slapped a paw to his head. "That'll give him a buzz."

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

3. The Wabbit and the Sweet Tooth

The Wabbit's tummy rumbled. He was hungry and he just had to stop for food. Lapinette warned him. "You'll feel sick after. You always do." The Wabbit knew this, but he ignored the warning and advanced on the slot machines with coin in paw. "What to have? What to have?" murmured the Wabbit. The afternoon was advanced and now a little darker. The Wabbit liked the light from the slot machines and he angled himself to make the best use of it. All the same, he had that same feeling he was being followed. Lapinette looked back. "Wabbit!" Emerging from her case was a tooth - and it got bigger. It bounced towards the Wabbit. Lapinette thought she heard it say, "Sugar!" The tooth stuck out a rudimentary hand. "Want sugar!" It looked at the rows of chocolate bars. "Want sugar now!" It was only then that the Wabbit turned. He'd bought a packet of chocolate buttons and he grasped them back and away from the tooth. But the moment the tooth wanted them it was struck with a bolt of electricity. "Aaaagh," he shouted. "Headache, headache, headache!" Now it was all clear to the Wabbit. "You're Mentaldent!" Lapinette wasn't impressed. "Don't tell me you know this fellow?" The Wabbit stared at the tooth. "He's from an advertising poster in Via Sacchi." The tooth held two hands to his head and hopped back inside the case. "How did he get into my luggage?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shrugged. "He's been following me." A voice came from the case. "Headache gone." There was a pause, then, "Need sugar." The Wabbit knew what was happening. "He has an addiction." Lapinette sighed. "One day at a time sweet Jesus."

Sunday, January 16, 2022

2. The Wabbit and the Platform Party

Lapinette sped along the platform and onto the concourse with never a care in the world. The Wabbit stood on the platform with her suitcases. The train was long gone and he had been late. He tested the suitcases. Lapinette called back. "One of them is a trundly trolley, you should manage that one." He grinned and started to make his way along the platform. At the same time, he could feel a presence and he turned round. Nothing there. He looked around the suitcases. Nothing. He wished he had Wabsworth there to help him. Then he heard a noise. It was just like a tooth grinding. He ground his own 28 teeth. Maybe one was broken - but there was nothing amiss there. He felt the case get heavier. He pulled it.  It was definitely not the case he's started with. "Come on Wabbit!" yelled Lapinette, "Nothing to see here!" But he heard a chattering from inside the larger case. It was coming from one of these carbon fibre jobs with all sorts of zips and fastenings and covered with stickers. The Wabbit assumed there was something metal inside. Some special lock or other. He knew Lapinette liked her gadgets - and so it must be one. "Did you bring a chattering thing?" he shouted. "Just you!" came the reply. Lapinette's voice was fainter and he noticed she'd stopped at the bag shop. "Another bag?" suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette turned. "I could use another rucksack." The Wabbit loped along with the luggage in tow and caught up with her at the shop. "Get one for me," he smiled, "I could use another bag too."

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

1. The Wabbit and the Mentaldent Advert

The Wabbit was meeting Lapinette at the station but he had time to spare. So he hopped along Via Sacchi in the sun, looking at the adverts. He'd nearly reached Via Legnano when he noticed a strange advert. He studied it for a while. He mused to himself. "What on earth is Mentaldent?" The figure in the advert had a tooth for a head and looked in pain. "Perhaps it's a new toothpaste?" thought the Wabbit. He shook his head and continued along the road. Trams whooshed past. He passed a clock. It was 11.00  and Lapinette's train arrived at 11.15. So he turned back. But he noticed the advert again and the tooth was missing. Only the body remained. This perplexed him. "Something funny is going on," he thought. He was now a little late, so he began to hop faster. Porta Nuova station came in sight and as he rounded the corner he noticed a movement behind him. He turned. There was nothing there, so he shrugged and continued. The railway notice board said the train was a bit late so he perambulated round the station. Porta Nuova's architecture was rather nice and he spent some time looking at the frescoes. Yet he continued to feel uncomfortable. He was certain he was being followed. But he heard Lapinette's train being announced and made his way to Platform 8 - where Lapinette stood, bearing a mass of luggage. He cursed silently. "Where were you?" she asked. Her voice suggested she was slightly annoyed. "Something's following me," explained the Wabbit. He groaned with effort as he picked up her cases. "Then whoever it is may be strong enough to assist," grinned Lapinette.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

They gathered at a Caffè in New Testaccio Market. It had a new arrangement of plastic tents and there they sheltered from the chill wind coming from the Tiber. Skratch was late as usual. "May I have that seat over there?" "I don't think there is one," observed Lapinette, "Why don't you get one from another table?" Skratch didn't move. "I think I'll answer the question first." They all knew what that meant - so they waited. "It was unusual." Everyone gasped. Skratch continued. "Because it celebrates it's very own anniversary and thus becomes truly reflexive." Lapinette became serious. "Yes. Otherwise it would have confined itself to being chosen for an anniversary and confined to a literary space familiar to readers." Wabsworth stiffened. "Yes. The best of the flatlands." The Wabbit continued. "Anchored in the here and now of phenomena. We have to free our text from the exemplification of a set of codes and allow it to be addressed in its particularity." Skratch looked on in wonder. "Wow," he said. "You must have been reading Stephen Heath." The Wabbit tapped the table. "Stephen Heath is probably the king of analysis" Wabsworth wasn't impressed. "Our stories are difficult to analyse because they're so easy to understand." Lapinette knew a Metz quote when she heard it and she said so. "Metz might have said we're dead for having been seen." The Wabbit laughed and called for the waiter. "Dead for being seen without a drink!"

Friday, January 07, 2022

12. The Wabbit and the Poetry of Excess.

The Wabbit watched as the dust settled. His lips curled into a smirk. Agents of Rabit reeled around as if drunk. His thoughts turned to Christmas again. This happened every year - as if to a timetable. He didn't think Agents had much Christmas spirit, but all the same he thought, you never know. A door crashed down from the sky. "Shouldn't have used so much explosive," thought the Wabbit. But it crossed his mind that excess leads to the palace of wisdom. "You never know what's enough," thought the Wabbit, "until you know what's more than enough." He liked the sound of that. "Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by incapacity," he quoted. He grinned. The Wabbit would have kept quoting but the Agents had to be dealt with. He hopped over them. "Why do you do what you do?" But the Agents were groggy. "Blah, bloo blah," was all he heard. "You're not going to win this year's poetry competition," he remarked. He thought of Skratch. "On the other paw, maybe that will do it!" He chortled mightily and took a stroll along the beach. When he returned all the Agents had gone. "Must have been the poetry," he said. He was pleased he didn't have to do anything with them. "I'm fed up with judgement," he said out loud. "The last judgement comes very day," he added, "Who said that?" "Camus," answered a voice. The Wabbit turned and looked around but there was no-one there. There was nothing but empty beach huts. So he shrugged and made for the Adventure Caffè.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

11. The Wabbit flushes them Out

The Wabbit went in alone. He was in charge, so that was his job, He planned to lob a minor kaboom and arrest all the Agents when he'd flushed them from their den. Out at sea, the Lepus approached as close as she could. Under her watchful eye, The Wabbit began his work. He rolled the first grenade into a hole in the wall and then stood by with the second one. "With any luck," thought the Wabbit, "I won't need it." He stood back and mused quietly on the situation. It was like this every year and so he wondered why the Agents bothered. He thought back a decade. Agents had chased the Wabbit across Rome, and he was forced to blow up a minor historic monument. It had cost the Department a tidy sum. He smiled and listened to the grenade sputter. It wasn't terribly powerful. Just sound and fury. What did that signify? He couldn't recall. He watched the first grenade sputter and die. So he gave up and threw the other one. Then he got out of the way very quickly. He dived in the sand and burrowed down. The sound intensified and there was the most incredible crack. Then nothing. The doors of the beach hut fell outwards. What windows there were, blasted into glass fragments. "I didn't mean to use that one," thought the Wabbit. He approached the hut. He heard a cough. Another. A series of dishevelled Agents began to emerge. 

Monday, January 03, 2022

10. The Wabbit and the Craft Shadows

The Wabbit conferred with the team. They were under the Testaccio Market roof and the sun made sharp shadows on the concrete. They'd only been talking a moment when the outlines of three craft blocked out the sun. The Wabbit wrinkled his nose. Skratch looked up and shook his fist but he couldn't see the craft clearly. Tipsy launched forward with an automatic but there was nothing to shoot. Lapinette was puzzled too. "Something fishy about this," murmured the Wabbit, "The Ice Mice are far more formidable" added Wabsworth. "It's not them. Nothing shows it's them" said Lapinette. The Wabbit thought for a moment. "They've run out of hardware. These are projections." Wabsworth gave a considered opinion. "Looks like the Agents of Rabit, Commander." Tipsy waved her automatic. "William Shootpoo Shatner!" she shouted and fired a burst from the gun anyway. The bullets ricocheted and smashed through the glass roof. The shadows vanished. "Aha!" said the Wabbit. "Aha what?" replied Lapinette. "Ahabracadabra, it's a trick," said the Wabbit. "So it is the Agents of Rabit. What do we do about it?" Lapinette was hopping mad and she jumped up and down. So was Tipsy. "Tripsing shifters!" she yelled. Wabsworth's circuits whirred. "Let's go back to where we last had an incursion. They're bound to have left a clue." "Wablock Holmes?" grinned the Wabbit. Wabsworth smiled "Holmesworth if you don't mind." The Wabbit laughed and laughed, "What's my detective name?" "Wabsy Chan" said Lapinette.

Friday, December 31, 2021

9. Tipsy, Fitzy, Mitzy and the Roman Play

The Three Fates swept onto the stage and swayed like the Ronettes, "You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things," chanted Tipsy. "You cruel men of Rome, know ye not the Wabbit?" sang Fitzy. "Do you now put on your best attire, and do you now cull out a holiday?" sang Mitzy. "And do you now strew flowers in his way?" Tipsy's sarcasm completed the picture. They paused. "And where is the Wabbit now?" asked Fitzy. "Suffering the slings and arrows of the Ice Mice," said Mitzy. "Which is no more than his way," added Fitzy. They looked around from right to left. "What is this place? asked Mitzy, "Its look is most familiar?" They walked from one side to another and looked everyone up and down. "Interlopers!" said Tipsy. "Vagabonds," said Fitzy. "Mountebanks," said Mitzy, Tipsy pirouetted. Where was Julius Caesar they wondered? He lay prone on the ground. "They claim to make a television miniseries." Fitzy laughed. "Not about the Wabbit." Mitzy scowled. "He hates that sort of thing." "For good reason," added Tipsy, "With daggers drawn, they fill their coffers with the blood of the poor." Mitzy jumped in the air. "The Wabbit says that men are nearly always willing to believe what they wish." They swayed. "And they always will," said a mournful Tipsy. Together they danced across the stage. "The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would never look," chanted Fitzy. "Then we must tell the Wabbit," replied Tipsy. "And bid him a happy New Year," said Mitzy. Tipsy looked grave. "Not before it's here." They all nodded - and one by one they vanished, leaving only a TV crew and fake snow.

Monday, December 27, 2021

8. The Lepus and the Alien Crafts

The sound of explosions echoed across the waves as Jenny fired on the Ice Mice. The Lepus had just reached the coast near Fregene when the Ice Mice came out of the sky. They circled around and hurled disc after disk. Most bounced harmlessly from the Lepus but one or two sliced at her masts. "Come about!" said Jenny. "Take aim and fire," The giant 4.5-inch gun on her bow spat flame and an Ice Mouse craft fell from the sky. She lifted her radio and contacted the Wabbit. "I have trouble, Commander."  The radio crackled. "I think my trouble just became your trouble." Enemy fire trebled and multiple discs stung the bows of the Lepus. "They're a devilish nuisance but nothing we can't handle," shrugged Jenny. The Wabbit was stoic. "Probably they'll go away." "They don't give the impression they're going anywhere," said Jenny. All of a sudden disc fire died away. Then the remaining craft wheeled and vanished in the direction of Rome. The crashed vessel creaked like a galleon and sank in a sea of bubbles. "We sent one to Davy Jones', but I don't see any survivors," said Jenny. She cast around with binoculars. "No, nothing." The radio crackled once more. "I think these could be drones," said the Wabbit. "They're probably controlled by a mother craft." Jenny made a comment on mothers that set the Wabbits teeth one edge. "We'll meet you further up the coast," he advised. "But I know the Ice Mice. So I'm advising you to proceed with caution." Jenny laughed. "My caution's all used up. I threw it into the last wind."

Friday, December 24, 2021

7. The Wabbit and the Ice Mice Attack

It was all very sudden. The Ice Mice launched an attack on the Wabbit in the midst of the city and he began to run. Worse still, they fired a series of discs that cut through the air and grazed the Wabbit's fur. The Wabbit wasn't having a good Christmas Eve. Not by a long chalk. He should be sitting by a roaring fire, reading that book he'd bought on Satan in the cinema. He jinked right and left but still the discs kept coming. They were razor sharp and lightning quick. There was more than one Ice Mice craft and the Wabbit felt outnumbered. They hovered in the sky close to the Tiber and the Wabbit reckoned there were more. He rummaged in his fur, found his automatic and twisted round. He took brief aim and fired at the closest disc. It shattered. He let off another three shots and all of them found their mark. That'll teach you," mouthed the Wabbit. He heard the diesel throb of an approaching truck and knew it was Lapinette and her personal guard. Could he hold off the Ice Mice until they reached him? The smell of mice was overpowering as if they were using odour as a weapon. It was a rotten fish odour that would anaesthetise a bull. "Yuk, smelly mice," growled the Wabbit. Then he heard the crump of explosions. The craft wheeled and fled. "Reinforcements," thought the Wabbit. He tucked his automatic in his fur, together with some disk shards for analysis. Then he sat on a wall to wait for Lapinette. He thought of a saying. "Don't be a mouse or the cat will eat you." He needn't have wondered where Puma and Skratch were because they too were on their way. "I'll expect them for Christmas," thought the Wabbit.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

6. Puma, Terni and the Ice Discs

Puma lurked in Rome, waiting to hear from the Wabbit. He settled in a tree, restless but watchful of the passing traffic. His ears pricked up and his tail threshed as ice discs loomed into sight. He knew of the Ice Mice and recalled giving them a good thrashing on a previous occasion. He launched into action. He jumped from the tree and pawed at the discs. An approaching Terni witnessed the whole thing and he called out a warning. "No Puma, don't touch them!" It was too late, Lightning crashed from the discs and stung Puma's paws. "Aaaagh," screeched Puma as he flew through the air. "Pesky Ice Mice!" Terni zoomed closer, his pepper nose throwing Tabasco enhanced flame. Terni was the Wabbit's pal and Puma recognised signs of anger. So he twisted away with speed. Terni let out another lengthy blast of fire and caught the edge of a disc. The disc flamed round the edges and began to melt, smelling strongly of bad bacteria. Puma veered back to the tree, crouched on a branch and looked on. A Food Dragon's breath was not to be treated lightly following a Wabbit modification. Terni swooped round and returned with an even bigger blast. Both discs were aflame now despite the ice. They melted and disappeared sizzling into the Tiber. Puma purred with continual satisfaction. Then he meaowed, "Terni, that was a good job." Terni flew close and hovered. "Jump on, Puma. I'll take you to the Wabbit." Puma sighed with relief. Although he felt it undignified for a wild cat to hitch a ride on a dragon, he wasn't passing up a lift. He stuck to Terni like a wildlife wig and they sped across Rome ...

Monday, December 20, 2021

5. Lapinette and the Big Squeeze

Lapinette and her personal guard hurried to Rome as fast as they could - and for a while everything seemed normal. But when they scouted out the Vatican, things went pear shaped. Literally. The pillars bent outwards behind them. They moved with care and looked round every corner, but the strange phenomenon was everywhere. And it was all too quiet. During Christmas the Vatican swarmed with worshippers but there was not a soul. Tipsy led the way. "I smell something." Fitzy sniffed the air. "I can smell it too." Mitzy brought up the rear. "Smells like a fertiliser factory." It was an earthy smell that Lapinette was familiar with. It smelled like bacteria gone bad. "Poo bum smell," said Tipsy. "Dagnabbit dognoobs!" screeched Fitzy. "Now I know who they are," said Lapinette. "Point them out!" shrieked Tipsy. "It's the Ice Mice. They're controlling things from a space platform." Lapinette seemed calm - now that she knew who it was. "Dirty, smelly poo platform!" shouted Tipsy. She waved her weapon in a menacing manner. "I'll shoot it down." Lapinette shook her head. "It'll crash on the city." She lifted her walkie talkie. "Come in, Wabbit." The radio crackled. "Wabbito here-io." Lapinette sighed. "Be serious Wabbit. We have a situation," "Tell me about it," said the Wabbit, "I'm still drying out." Lapinette took no notice. "It's the Ice Mice." The radio crackled again. "These frothing fools. They exist to make my life difficult." With a horrific crunching the pillars returned to normal. "Shiblets!" muttered Tipsy. "We're making our way to Testaccio," said Lapinette. "Where are you now?" asked the Wabbit. "The Vatican," replied Lapinette. "The Mice must have come to meet Cheesus," snickered the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "You're not funny, Wabbit." The radio crackled and died.  

Friday, December 17, 2021

4. The Wabbit in the Ghostly Rain

The Wabbit got out of Turbina. The door slammed behind him. Rain lashed down harder than he had ever seen and he wished he hadn't bothered. Turbina had a spartan interior, but the heater was particularly good. A grim moon shone through the rain and he looked up, shook his fist and growled. He turned to Turbina. "This isn't Testaccio!" Turbina's voice was rather strained. "I couldn't see it. I'm not clear where we are Commander." The Wabbit hopped around for a bit and then he got back in the car. "Under the Tiber by the feel of things." He could hear the clicking of Turbina's engine cooling, so he started her up and let her turbine take care of the temperature. "Solution?" he shrugged. "I can try to get above it, Wabbit," said Turbina. The Wabbit didn't have a better idea so he shrugged again and said, "Go for it." The rain produced a mist that shrouded them completely and buffeted them at the same time. Turbina lifted gradually. She had many dials and gauges but all of them were well misted. The Wabbit put his paws behind him and settled back until the air became clearer. With a lurch, Turbina cleared the deluge. The Wabbit looked down at a layer of solid water. "You did say to expect rain." "I didn't expect ghostly daggers from the sky," replied Turbina. The Wabbit jolted upright, "Now that gives me an idea!" Turbina laughed. "Ideas are in short supply." The Wabbit looked down and he could see Rome again. The rain had gone. "Ideas are like fish," he said, "They slip through the paws." "And leave them smelly for three days," said Turbina.

Monday, December 13, 2021

3. The Wabbit heads for Rome

The Wabbit grimaced and clenched his teeth. He'd left instructions with the team and raced for Turbina the Jet Car. He jumped in and off he went. Turbina was a little anxious. "Commander?" she asked. "Emergency!" snapped the Wabbit. Turbina left the ground and circled round. "Rome?" She knew it was Christmas and it was always Rome. The Wabbit felt the throb of Turbina's turbine. "Stay low," he muttered. Turbina blasted down the motorway a few hundred feet above the road. It was always a good bet. The traffic was mostly concerned with itself and unlikely to be any bother. Technically, Turbina outranked the Wabbit by a long way but on occasions she did what was best and went along with him. "Something strange is happening," he stated. "Surely not?" Turbina would have smiled but she was a car. She contented herself by switching the radio on. "Still, still I wonder. Who'll stop the rain?" sang Credence Clearwater Revival. "It's raining in Rome," she added - by way of explanation. The Wabbit shivered and turned on the heating. His paws beat a tattoo on the dashboard. "It's always a crisis. I just can't have a quiet Christmas, sitting by the fire, reading a book." In all the years Turbina had known the Wabbit, she'd never known him sitting reading by any fire. She said so. He looked down at the motorway and saw signs for the Vatican. "Were going to Testaccio," he said. Turbina snorted and made a slight adjustment. "How is my old friend Terni?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Bad tempered as usual." Turbina laughed. "Not like you then?"
[Background motorway. Pixabay Florien Kurz