Friday, May 20, 2022

6. The Wabbit and the Great Big Dictator

There was no time to lose. A swirling entrance to a black hole appeared then within it an island floating in space. Beside the island stood a figure. The image was hazy at first but as the team worked it became more distinct. There had been a change of plan. The Wabbit dug in his fur for a gold aerosol he'd bought in a market. Lapinette produced gold jewellery and they started to fashion Bit Coins. Arson Fire joined in. These weren't strictly non fungible tokens but the Wabbit had the advantage of years of knowledge. The figure was now totally distinct. He spoke, "I am the Great Big Dictator of the Republic of San Serif." The Wabbit glanced at him but didn't stop working. "I'm sure I've seen you before." The Great Big Dictator chose to ignore this. "He who has the gold owns the future." He clicked his heels. The Wabbit had seen the Dictator's future and he smirked. "You're welcome to it." He waved at the Bit Coins and sent them spinning into the black hole. "This is future gold. I changed your old-fashioned bullion for them." A spark of interest showed in the Dictator's eyes. "How much are they worth?" "Much more than you think," said the Wabbit. "They're much more valuable than cash or gold. And investors mine their own business!" The Great Big Dictator clicked his heels again and shouted. "I asked how much are they worth?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Whatever you say they're worth." The Great Big Dictator began to pick up the coins. "Then Ja! I say they're worth a lot." Lapinette and Arson Fire yelled. "More than that!" The Dictator's image began to fade and so did the islands. His voice was faint. "I'm the Great Bit Dictator." The Wabbit smirked once more. "He got Bit Coin in 1977." Arson Fire nearly had a fit of hysterics. "He'll need a lot of energy."

[Thanks to NASA and Pixabay]

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

5. The Wabbit and the Tipping of Time

The change was as dramatic as it was sudden. Lapinette, the Wabbit and Arson Fire were all seized by an overwhelming force which tipped them backwards in time. No too far, but far enough. Clocks drifted across their vision, warping them into unbelievable shapes. Arson Fire was the worst affected. Fiery flames erupted from his bottom and narrowly avoided burning the Wabbit. "Yikes!" shouted the Wabbit. His voice slipped into the vortex. He could see it see it change shape. It solidified, then vaporised like the flaming fart from Arson' Fire's bottom. Lapinette yelled. "Where in time are we going?" The Wabbit watched hands whizz round on the misshapen clocks. Then he watched them whizz back. Sometimes they blurred. Sometimes they crawled. He muttered. "The devil's whipping us round the stump." The Wabbit was given to weird expressions. Arson Fire barked three times. "Well we won't pay for his time." Lapinette wasn't going to be outdone. "The devil speaks of time but I think time speaks of him." A rasping voice called in the darkness. "Where's that gold and where's its money?" They span faster but the clocks appeared stationary. The hands settled at 12.00. Something tried to move them on - but they refused to budge. They groaned like the pit and the pendulum. "I want the money," screamed the voice. The Wabbit felt in his fur and produced a safe deposit key. "Safe and sound," he said. "Under lock and key." The clocks reversed and the hands span in the opposite direction, faster and faster. Then, with a flash of blinding light, the Wabbit, Lapinette and Arson Fire found themselves deep in a concrete vault.

Monday, May 16, 2022

4. The Wabbit and the Temporal Force.

Voices called down to them and they froze. All except for the Wabbit. Their tone was stentorian. "Drop your weapons. Drop your weapons. This is not a drill. This is not a drill." The Wabbit was matter of fact. "They're not real. Nothing is real." The voices shouted again. "Return the money, give us the money. Or you will be terminated." The Wabbit spoke again. "These are robots. Robots." At the same time three helicopters rose into the air and hovered above them. "Drones," said the Wabbit. "Giant drones." Lapinette became exasperated. "Do you have to say everything twice?" "Twice?" asked the Wabbit. ""Grrrrr," growled Aron Fire. The Wabbit waved up at the soldiers and made a rude sign. They stepped back and one by one they vanished. "Told you," murmured the Wabbit. "They're not ghosts, they're controlled remotely." Lapinette shrugged. "They don't seem dangerous." The Wabbit shrugged too. "I think they are very dangerous, but not as we know it. They're controlled from a different temporal zone." Arson Fire was sceptical and woofed once. Sarcasm dripped from his voice. "You seem very knowledgeable, Wabbit." Lapinette was quick to set him straight. "He knows about weird stuff like that." The Wabbit nodded. "They're where the money comes from. They're trying to get a fix and the next time they'll do it." Lapinette looked pensive. "Will our trick still work." The Wabbit grinned. "It will for a while - by which time we'll have altered their time zone." "How do we do that?" asked Arson Fire. "With clocks and greasy butter," replied the Wabbit.

[Soldiers: Pexels at Pixabay]

Friday, May 13, 2022

3. The Wabbit and the Ghostly Gunfire

It was just as Lapinette envisaged. They were casually crossing St Peter's Square when they were caught in a barrage of gunfire. They ducked behind chairs and returned fire but couldn't see the enemy. Just faint muzzle flashes. "They're a long way off," shouted Lapinette. Arson Fire belched fire too - but couldn't quite get a bearing and only singed the seats. "Sniper," muttered the Wabbit. "Keep moving," yelled Lapinette, "so they can't get a bearing." They moved along the chairs and back, firing all the while. The shots kept coming. ""More than one," said Lapinette. She scuttled backwards and the fire sprayed out and along. "We're pinned down," said Arson Fire. "Shall I make a run for it? I'm rather fast." The Wabbit glanced back and forth. "Try for the pillars." Arson Fire darted to the pillars, then speeded back. He was a greyhound, and he could run. But gunfire followed him all the way. Chairs splintered. Concrete shattered. A bullet shaved fur from the Wabbit's ears. "I'll get you for that!" he shouted. Lapinette screened her eyes. The sun was fading and she could see silhouettes on the rooftops. "There they are!" But one by one they vanished. The gunfire stopped. Everything went back to normal. Tourists came and went as if nothing had happened. "Think they're are our guys?" asked Arson Fire. "They have to be money ghosts," said the Wabbit. "They're as ephemeral as our gold bullion." Lapinette tucked her automatic into her frock. "They're coming all the same. Arson, can't you remember the name of the dead dictator?" Arson Fire thought and thought. "Cacchio Scarsoni!" he shouted. "That's rude," shrieked Lapinette.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

2. The Wabbit and the Numismatist

The Wabbit decided to take the gold to a safe place. There it would rest in his account. But as he began to move it, who should stroll in but Arson Fire the Greyhound. He seemed annoyed. Lapinette soothed him with a strong paw. "What are you doing with my gold?" he said. "Your gold?" echoed the Wabbit. "Yes, my gold," said Arson Fire gruffly. "I'm confused," murmured Lapinette.  Arson Fire's head nodded. "It's my hobby," he said. "I became a numismatist." The Wabbit smirked. "I've heard that one before. Confess!" Arson fire looked a bit shamefaced. "After our last adventure, I kept an eye on the Dinosaur Fund and I spotted some strange transactions." Lapinette laughed. "So you decided to make a collection?" Arson gnashed his teeth. "I deprived a few dictators of their ill-gotten gains." The Wabbit shrugged. He pulled a notebook from his fur, scribbled a receipt and passed it to Arson Fire - who ate it. "Which dictator?" Arson Fire barked twice. "I can't recall. I think he's dead now. So, the gold is mine, isn't it? It's worth six times what it was. I balanced the books and I get to keep the rest." Lapinette shook her head. "That's not the way it works. Someone is looking for this and they could be rather unpleasant." Arson Fire growled. "The dirty dogs!" The Wabbit stomped up and down, which he sometimes did when he was thinking. "We'll wait for them to show up." "And then?" said Lapinette. "We'll trick them!" Lapinette scowled. The Wabbit tried desperately to think of a trick and knew there was paper mache and gold paint in his shed. "We'll give it back." Lapinette knew exactly what the Wabbit had in mind. "Remember the Golden Rule." Arson Fire laughed. "The dog keeps the gold."

Monday, May 09, 2022

1. The Wabbit and Funds in Transit

The Wabbit had gone down to the vaults to check on his Dinosaur Fund that funded his more unorthodox missions. Details were kept in the cellars of the Department of Wabbit Affairs in a tiny deposit box. Just a few secret papers specifying where things were at any given time - in overnight deposit in the Post Office in Browne's Bottom, UK for all he knew. That was the way it worked. He'd just glance at the papers, look at the balance and go away. He took Lapinette to ensure no impropriety could be alleged. But he pushed open a door to find something extraordinary had occurred. They both gasped. The cellar contained more gold bullion than they'd ever seen in one place. He shook his head. "Is it dated?" Lapinette shrugged. "Might be a few years ago," She looked under a gold brick. "Yup," she said. "Dated 1977. But it's from the Bank of the Republic of San Serriff." The Wabbit didn't really believe it. He shook his head again. "I don't believe it." Lapinette scowled. She picked up typewritten paper clipped with a treasury tag. "Neither did anyone else. Here's a note to say it's in passage." At that very moment, a dollar bill fell from the ceiling, followed by several more. They were deluged with bills. Lapinette waved the notes. "This is a bill of lading. There are two other notes. A policy of insurance and an invoice. And here's the payment." The Wabbit tripped over Lapinette's feet and nearly measured his length on the floor. "Then everything is here, but nothing went anywhere." "Or rather it eventually arrived here," said Lapinette. "In the Department," said the Wabbit. "Yesterday," said Lapinette. "Where's it been?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette shrugged again. "Nowhere?" "So we're in the money?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette drew a sharp breath. "The Dinosaur Fund is in the money..."

[Background Picture: Mathias Wewering, Pixabay.]

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

The Wabbit at his famous Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit arrived first at the Adventure Caffè and took his seat. For a jolly joke, everyone else snuck in behind him. Then they all shouted "Boo!" The Wabbit knew they were there all the time, but he went along with the joke. He jumped a bit - and then he said "What a surprise! I never knew you were there." It was a new Adventure Caffè that the Wabbit liked. It was quite near the Vatican and the drinks were priced a little above the norm. But no one minded because the Wabbit said he would pay. He fished in his fur for some money. "What's are you all having?" he asked. "Before we order," said Skratch, "What sort of adventure did you just have - all on your own." The Wabbit shrugged. "You tell me." Skratch paused for effect. "It was rather like a road movie, he meaowed. "Nice to be along for the ride but going nowhere in particular." "That's true," smiled Lapinette. "But Rommy was certainly a marginal character who rejected his given identity." Wabsworth rapped on the table. "No, it was about narration, identity and representation. The story confronted all three." The Wabbit felt it was his turn. "It was between genres," he stated. "Rommy was the unwitting yet powerful delinquent, always ready to assume the lead, no matter the cost." Lapinette agreed with the Wabbit. "He disturbed and fascinated - rather like a reflection of you, Wabbit." Wabsworth reconsidered and nodded. "It was hardly an easy ride. We were repelled by and attracted to Rommy who was a different order of being." The Wabbit turned round finally. "I'd like drinks." Lapinette pointed at him. "You're paying!" She twitched an ear and a waiter appeared. The Wabbit smiled. "I'll have one for my baby and three more for the road."

[My thanks to Neil Archer: The French Road Movie. Space, Mobility and Identity. Berghann Books, New York, 2013]

Monday, May 02, 2022

13. The Wabbit and Artistic License

The Wabbit said goodbye to Rommy at Testaccio. They both looked down at the mural. Rommy chuckled. "The ears are too big." The Wabbit hung over the edge of the building and said, "Artistic License." Rommy got bigger. "I'll try to fit in." They examined the mural from top to bottom. "Jaws bigger and teeth showing," said the Wabbit. Rommy obliged. "More swirly fur," said the Wabbit. "Do you like that swirl?" said Rommy. "I do," said the Wabbit. "I'll do what I can," said Rommy. His fur swirled in all directions, and he adopted a ferocious look. "We've got to adapt," said the Wabbit, "it's good for us." Rommy was becoming too large for the top of the building, so he dropped down and merged with the mural. "Grrrrrrrrowl" he growled. The Wabbit laughed. "It's what people expect." Rommy looked up. "You mean the plebs." The Wabbit swithered and considered. "I meant the general public. Try harder." Rommy opened his fangs and growled at the top of his voice. People looked up from the market place. Some of them pointed. "You're popular," said the Wabbit. "I'm a God," said Rommy, "of course I'm popular." The Wabbit grimaced. "It's chancy to rely on only one God. The people can't have enough deities." "Or temples," agreed Rommy. He looked down at Testaccio market. "I think that market needs a temple." "I'll try and arrange it with the local municipality," said the Wabbit, "they've got a new mayor now. The last one hardly moved a fingertip." Rommy was part of the wall now. "I'm peeling. Can you get someone to touch me up?" The Wabbit couldn't help but smile. "Risky," he said, "but you never know your luck." Rommy winked. "I'll wait to hear from you." Then he froze.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

12. The Wabbit and the Misjudged Blast

The Agents arrived in droves and descended on the biscuits. That part of the plan worked well. But no one ever knew what caused the blast. It may have been faulty electrics. Maybe the biscuits caused a short circuit. Or perhaps it was the Agents' enthusiasm. But there was a blinding flash and what was meant to be just a trick turned to chaos. Rommy the Wolf had a smile on his face though. Agents hurtled through the air amidst a hail of ginger biscuits. "That'll teach them," said Rommy. He chortled long and hard. The Wabbit was aghast. "That was some Kaboom! Steady on there Rommy." Rommy reached a safe distance, skidded to a halt, and turned round. He surveyed his handiwork. "A good mechanical will sort that out in seconds. I'll get Apollodorus of Damascus onto it! The Wabbit raised a slightly blackened eye. "Wasn't he executed?" Rommy thought for a minute. "Oh yes," he muttered. "He did get into bother. He was one for an offhand quip at the wrong time in the wrong place." The Wabbit nodded sagely - because so was he. He addressed Rommy. "That completes my tour for now." Rommy's face fell. "Don't worry," said the Wabbit, "perhaps I can keep you on for special projects. You'd like the odd per diem, no doubt?" Rommy growled in a happy fashion. "Now you're talking." The Wabbit and Rommy the Wolf strolled off in the Aurelia direction. "Just one thing," said the Wabbit. "No kabooming without my say so."

Monday, April 25, 2022

11. The Wabbit and the Deserted Shop

The Wabbit and Rommy the Wolf made their way into the shop. Everyone had fled, but they made sure the shop was empty. "Do you have a plan?" asked the Wabbit. "Do you? asked Rommy. The Wabbit shrugged. So did Rommy. A wolf's shrug looked impressive. Rommy looked around. "Do these things work?" he asked. "I think so," said the Wabbit. Rommy looked intrigued. "Maybe we could lure them in. What do they like?" The Wabbit thought for a minute. "Ginger biscuits," he said. Rommy wrinkled his nose. "Really?" "Everyone does," said the Wabbit. "Do they sell them here?" asked Rommy. The Wabbit shook his head. "I'll nip out for some," said Rommy and he vanished. The Wabbit watched him go. There was a coop nearby and that's where he thought he'd get biscuits. He tucked his gun back in his fur and glanced about. There were electrical things of all descriptions. He examined curling tongs. "Useful." he said to himself. One said, "Best for short hair." He tucked that in his fur. Rommy returned bearing biscuits of varying descriptions. "That was quick," said the Wabbit. "Nobody at the till," said Rommy. They opened the doors of the washing machines and placed the biscuits deep inside. "Now we have to call them," suggested Rommy. He placed a biscuit on a stove and turned it on. The smell of hot biscuits wafted through the air. "Like this", said Rommy. He shouted. "We're having hot buttered biscuits!" The Wabbit joined in. "We're having hot buttered biscuits," he called. He heard the scurrying of feet. "They're coming," said Rommy. "Get ready to shove the devils in ..." "And then?" asked the Wabbit. "We give them a good clean," said Rommy. "And neat curls," nodded the Wabbit.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

10. The Wabbit and the Surprise Action

The Wabbit had miscalculated. The opposition - or both oppositions - were much better organised than he'd thought. They had commandeered the tops of buildings and were throwing balconies down in the street. Instead of watching them demolish each other he found himself dodging brickwork. He clung onto a road sign. Rommy was incensed. "Do you know it's my birthday today?" He growled and his fur spiked up. His eyes flared in a colour the Wabbit had never seen. "Who do they think I am?" said Rommy. A balcony whizzed past his nose. "Wile E. Coyote?" suggested the Wabbit. He ducked and dodged and complained all at the same time. "I suggest we take cover and let these rompicoglioni run out of steam," said Rommy. "I know where," said the Wabbit, "follow me." He hopped to other side of the road and down an alleyway. Passers-by dodged the hail of brickwork but when they saw Rommy they fled as their legs could carry them. The Wabbit and Rommy found themselves in a place that sold washing machines. "Best to wait here," whispered the Wabbit. "Do we have to buy anything," asked Rommy. "Not unless you're still in the market for consumer durables," grinned the Wabbit. "They play rough these Agents," observed Rommy. "Not as rough as us," retorted the Wabbit. "They got no respect," added Rommy. "So we have to teach them a lesson they won't forget," replied the Wabbit. He thought for a minute. "I usually kaboom them." Rommy didn't like the sound of that. "We should rend them limb from limb." The Wabbit nodded. "In what location should we rend?"

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

9. The Wabbit sets Rommy on the City

Acting as a decoy, Rommy the Wolf set off into the city. It was all his idea and the Wabbit was rather sceptical. The Agents were terrified of Rommy and so it seemed unlikely they'd be drawn out. But Rommy insisted. His paws struck fire from the cobbles and his eyes glared a dull, threatening red. "I'm a God," he said. "They won't be able to resist me." Rommy was at his most frightening and the Wabbit felt the heat in his fur. Rommy didn't move quickly. His pace was leisurely. His head searched from side to side. He glared into shop doorways. "Come out you Agents. Dare to fight the Mighty Rommy! Come out and be seen." No-one stirred. Nothing moved. The Wabbit followed Rommy by hopping along the rooftops. Together they made their way through Rome. It was as deserted as the Wabbit had ever seen it. Rommy growled softly. "I'll mince your chops, you verminous crew." But it was all to no avail. So Rommy began to inflate. His paws were twice their normal size. His fur shone like a thousand diamonds. When he bared his teeth, the very buildings flinched back. Then the Wabbit saw something. It was the Agents. Their horrid ears poked out from the eaves of far-off buildings. They were grouping for an attack, but it wasn't clear at what the assault was aimed. "Interesting," murmured the Wabbit. He called softly to Rommy and made a circling motion with his paw. Rommy nodded and disappeared round the back of some old houses. Now the Wabbit could see the Agents. They were comprised of two hostile groups - hostile to each other. The Wabbit grinned. "Major Spitlove!" He called to Rommy. "Back off Rommy, our enemies are making mistakes."
[Wolf by Steve Felberg at Pixabay]

Friday, April 15, 2022

8. The Wabbit and the Outraged Wolf

The Wabbit rounded the corner to find his plan had gone slightly askew. A group of Agents had assembled at a refuse dumpster and were making fun of the picture. Rommy advanced on them with venom. He roared and they scattered like billiard balls. One fainted dead away. Another was transfixed. Rommy's hackles rose and his mouth revealed devilish sharp teeth. The Wabbit waved a paw. "Rommy, this isn't in the plan!" Rommy roared again. "What plan? These foul creatures were abusing a wolf image. They must pay." The Agents of Rabit managed to dust themselves off and run away. "I'm pleased to see that the mighty cult of the wolf continues," said Rommy. The Wabbit sighed. "That's a garbage dumpster Rommy. The painting is part of an anti-graffiti, policy." Rommy grimaced. "It's the principle of the thing. Wolves will not be treated like chaff in the wind." The Wabbit knew Rommy was mixing his metaphors but felt it politic not to tell him. "I met with Major Spitlove at Testaccio - where you're supposed to be." "I was roaming," said Rommy. "Well good for you," said the Wabbit. "Spitlove is sowing dissension in the ranks. We must be ready to take advantage." "I think we already did," growled Rommy. They watched the Agents vanish into the city. The Wabbit felt that this might be in their favour after all - and said so. Rommy nodded. "They weren't expecting a God of Rome." The Wabbit grinned. "Then they're very happy or deeply unhappy!" "I shall cause them to come to my temple," said Rommy. "I didn't know you had one," joked the Wabbit.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

7. The Wabbit and Major Spitlove

The Wabbit stood in an old cowshed in Testaccio and waited patiently. When Major Spitlove emerged from the shadows. He had a broad smile on his face, which was unusual to say the least. The Wabbit scowled. It would never do to smile at Spitlove and he was anxious to keep up appearances. Spitlove's smile became broader. "All going according to plan, Commander." The Wabbit's frown was as frowny as could be. "They buy it then." Spitlove nodded. "The whole body of Agents are thrilled. I won paws down. I am now leader of the New Model Rabit Faction - and Commander in Chief of the whole shebang." The Wabbit smiled a faint smile and revealed most of his 28 teeth. "That will keep them busy for a while." Spitlove had been a double agent for as long as anyone could recall. But boundaries were boundaries and the Wabbit wasn't expecting familiarity. "That joke Skratch suggested went down well," said Spitlove. The Wabbit's ears swung back and formed a question mark. "Why did the secret agent cross the road?" asked Spitlove. "He wasn't on your side," shrugged the Wabbit with a sigh. "I'm very popular with the rank and file," said Spitlove. "I'll bet," said the Wabbit. They strolled to the gate. "How's that wolf?" asked Spitlove. "Settling in," replied the Wabbit. "A formidable ally," said Spitlove. The Wabbit nodded in agreement. "Lie low for now, and wait for my command." Major Spitlove leaned back. "Remind me. What is your command?" "I haven't thought of it yet," said the Wabbit. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

6. The Wabbit and Terni's Reunion

The Wabbit and Rommy the Wolf wandered out to the Wabbit's favourite mast. The mast was sadly in need of a repaint but the Wabbit liked it. There he often met Terni the Food dragon - and true to form Terni came swooping down. Flame billowed from his pepper nose as he let out a blood curling yell. The Wabbit grinned with all of his 28 teeth. "Rommy, meet Terni the Food Dragon." Rommy's eyes opened wide with delight. "Terni, is it really you?" Terni hovered. "Rommy - I thought you were dead." Rommy blinked several times. "I thought the same of you. Didn't the clergy get you?" Terni somersaulted backwards. "I was much too clever for them. Now they eat out of my claw." Rommy muttered. "Clerical fools." The Wabbit was astonished. "When you two have quite finished, we have work to do." Rommy bathed in the heat from Terni's nose, turning round to get an even tan. "The Wabbit tells me he's having a spot of bother with his enemies." "Oh, is it to do with Spitlove?" roared Terni. "The Wabbit turned him, but I heard dragons' whispers indicating a change of leadership." Rommy matched Terni's roar. "Let's plot. I love plotting. But my troops are all gone." The Wabbit thought this was a good time to summon his own troops. "Why don't you two sort it out - since you're so pally. I'll round up my forces and meet you at Testaccio later." Terni and Rommy were lost in conversation and the Wabbit took it as read. So he quietly padded off for the bus. "Rommy hasn't met Tipsy," he murmured.