Friday, October 24, 2014

The Wabbit with the Devil in the Way

Skratch and the Wabbit found their exit blocked. With a screechy wail the escalator moved towards them bringing the Devil with Lapinette in his grasp. He pointed and his finger shook with fury. "Give me my hat and I'll let her go." The Wabbit couldn't give him the hat even if he wanted to. "You lie!" scoffed Skratch. "It's my job," said the Devil. "Then no hat," shrugged Skratch. "Anyway, it suits the Wabbit better than you." The Wabbit looked past Lapinette and scowled straight at the Devil. "You can take a rabbit from a hat, but you can't take the hat from the rabbit!" The Devil shook Lapinette fiercely again and again. Then he shook her some more. Her legs flailed and her teeth chattered but the Wabbit noticed her clutching something - an amulet that started to glow. At that instant, something happened to the album inside his hat. It span and as it picked up speed, an enchanted tune whipped up like an old phonograph. "Play it, Wabbit," murmured Skratch, "Play it like it's yours." The Wabbit concentrated. His eyes narrowed and music whispered from the station loudspeakers. The Devil looked up and his grip on Lapinette slackened. Her amulet glowed fiercely and just as she chafed at the bonds that tied her paws, the Wabbit willed the music to boom through the station. With a grinding crash, the escalator stopped dead and the Devil dropped, clasping his ears in pain. Lapinette twisted free and rolled towards the Wabbit. As the Devil writhed in agony, Skratch and the Wabbit pulled Lapinette away. "How do you like your elevator music?" asked Skratch. "Holy minimalism!" yelled Lapinette.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Wabbit and the Sound of the Hat

The Wabbit had the Devil's hat but as he hopped outside, he realised he was somewhere completely different. He was not outside by a long chalk. He plodded forward anyway because he was in the metro. He even knew roughly where he was - but of why he was there, he knew nothing. The hat gripped his head and made a soft noise so the Wabbit grasped it by the brim and straightened it. Now it seemed to play a tune, but it was off key. Sometimes it was flat and sometimes it was sharp. He managed to make out a rhythm, but it was a rhythm of suffering that chilled his blood. He heard lyrics but the words were out of sync and the Wabbit could hardly distinguish them from each other. So he tried to repeat the words. "The sign, the chord, the groove, the album." His words popped, clicked and crackled and sibilants hissed along the tracks like railgrinders. Then another sound seemed to call his name. "Waaaaabit!" The Wabbit kept his nerve. "By the prickling of my ears," he murmured, "something wicked this way steers." That phrase didn't sound right to the Wabbit and he was about to revise it when he heard the call again. "Wabbit! Wait!" The Wabbit put his head down and ploughed forward. But the voice called again. "What's this for a diabolical adventure?" The Wabbit relaxed and turned. In the distance, he saw Skratch scrambling along the rails and he had never been so pleased to see him. "You scared the Hell out of me!" he grinned.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Wabbit and the Devil's Own Error

The Wabbit and Lapinette sauntered into the record store alone. What they had to do was audacious - and everything had to be perfect. The Devil stood by the jukebox and he was sarcastic. "It's my small furry friends," he sneered. "Have you found my album and my sign?" "We can't agree on the sign," said the Wabbit," so it doesn't really matter." "You dare meddle with me!" screamed the Devil. The Wabbit stuck out his tongue and wiggled his ears. The Devil roared with fury but in his distraction he failed to notice Lapinette climb on a chair. The Wabbit knew Lapinette was very, very good at one particular thing that always made him smile. So he waited for it all to happen and addressed the Devil directly. "How's your singing voice, Devil? Missing a little verve?" The Devil's head turned and it was all Lapinette needed. With a flick of both paws, she tipped the Devil's hat and it span like a frisbee. "Aaaaagh!" shouted the Devil. "Give me back my hat!" But the hat spiralled across the record store. Now the Wabbit could see inside and he knew he was right. He adjusted his head, made his ears into spikes and with a deft movement that would have astonished a soccer forward, he caught the hat on his head and loped from the store. The Devil was seized by rage. He too had glimpsed inside his hat and he felt like a fool. Lapinette carefully backed away but she couldn't resist triumph. "Devil," she said softly, "don't you want to get ahead?" The Devil looked up mournfully. "Better get a hat," sang Lapinette.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Wabbit when the Devil Rides Out

On the rooftops of the Bavarian Quarter, they watched him move out. "Do you suppose he gave up?" asked Jenny. Lapin shook his head. "The Devil never gives up." The Stetson loomed large across the city and Lapin drew a sharp breath as it cast a shadow over a church steeple. "Where's the fiend going?" he muttered. "I think I know," said the Wabbit. "He'll go back to where and what he knows." "The Devil is treacherous," said Lapinette. Lapin nodded. "So where is his circle of treachery?" They turned because the Wabbit was muttering and they could hear him. "It's all about something round." "We know that already," said Lapinette. The Wabbit looked up. "I know I'm missing something important." "Try to relax," said Lapinette. "You'll think of it at once." This always had the opposite effect and the Wabbit shook his head. Jenny intervened. "Stare at something and let your eyes go fuzzy." The Wabbit had no problem with this approach so he did exactly that. He stared and stared at the departing figure and let the whole scene drift out of focus. Everyone waited. The Wabbit's eyes turned into strange spirals. "I have it!" yelled the Wabbit. "Eureka?" smiled Lapin. "I told you so," said Jenny. "Explain!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned somewhat weakly. "I know where he's going and I know where the album is." "We've cracked it," said Jenny smugly. The Wabbit teeth set in a grimace. "We'll have the devil's own job to get it."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Wabbit and the Iron Shield

They found themselves caged under a gloomy sky with ex-Cardinal Lapin. "The Devil can't get reach us in this place," said Lapin. "Cold iron binds him." "I can't believe you're here," said the Wabbit. "Did you get time off?" "For good behaviour," chuckled Lapin. The Wabbit shrugged pleasantly and smiled while Lapin patted his back. "Not even the Wabbit can fight the Devil alone." "We'd have managed," said the Wabbit, "so what do I call you these days?" "Frankie, like you used to," said Lapin. Lapinette was beginning to show impatience and held up the disc. "What about the Devil's lost chord, Frankie? What about his sign?" "That's not his disc, it's mine," laughed Lapin. "But now the Earl of Hell thinks we have his disc," grumbled Jenny. "Exactly," said Lapin. "He has to deal with us." The Wabbit was frustrated. "So where exactly is this album with the sign?" Lapin threw back his head and gurgled. "He has it himself, but he doesn't know." "Let's sing," said the Wabbit suddenly. Lapinette clapped a paw across her brow but Lapin and Jenny started to hum. It was evil sounding - dissonant, jarring and spooky at the same time. The Wabbit threw in some tritone chords for the sake of dread but he stopped as Lapinette's falsetto bounced without warning from the iron mesh. "We shall beset the ancient foe," she trilled. "for we doth seek to work him woe." The sky cleared. "You put the devil on edge," said Lapin.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Wabbit and the Great Escape

There was a vicious crack as Jenny blew open the doors and the Wabbit and Lapinette were out and running. "What's she got in that hook?" yelled Lapinette. "Astrolite G," shouted the Wabbit. "You don't cut corners," panted Lapinette as she clutched the precious disc. "One day you'll destroy the whole city." "Throw the disc!" commanded the Wabbit. Lapinette tried very hard to throw it but the record remained attached to her paw. "You have to throw it" repeated the Wabbit. " I can't," she sighed, "it's stuck fast." "Does it have the sign?" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette ran the edge of her paw round the inside of the record. "It has something, I can feel it." The Wabbit glanced down to make sure of a record he'd grabbed on his way out. "Why that one? yelled Lapinette. "Bourbon Street Blues," grinned the Wabbit. "Up here!" A familiar voice issued from above and, as if by magic, an arm appeared. "Now's the time," yelled the Wabbit. "It's now or never!" Lapinette summoned all her strength, concentrated on the disc and willed it to fly. The record shot from her paw with enormous speed and straight into a waiting paw. Bits of record store were still settling in the street but they heard the voice murmur. "Gotcha." "I wasn't expecting you, your Holiness," puffed the Wabbit. "Where is the foul transgressor?" asked the voice. "Still inside the store," said Lapinette. There was a rather jolly laugh. "Shall I command the Devil to depart?" The Wabbit smiled. "He finds it hard to take instruction ..."

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Wabbit and the Devil DJ

The Wabbit and Lapinette followed the Voice. "Hey Wabbit, can I play you a request?" A sinister figure sat by the record decks but he didn't turn. The Wabbit shot a warning glance at Lapinette and adopted a cheerful voice. "Play Misty for me." The figure snorted. "Which version?" "Errol Garner of course," smiled the Wabbit. The figure barely moved. Melodic piano chords filled the store but his voice rose above them. "Of all the stores, in all the towns in all the world, you hop into mine." The Wabbit swayed quietly in time to the music but his eyes were on the figure as it stiffened. "I was there you know," it growled. "I was there at that famous jazz session with the masters." "Must have been a great evening," said the Wabbit lightly - and the figure half turned. "It was great because of me!" There was a vindictiveness in the figure's voice that chilled Lapinette to the bone. She clutched an old disc behind her for the simple reason that she couldn't let go - or maybe it wouldn't let go of her. Under her paw she could feel the centre was scratched and the ridges made a strange sign. "They stole something from me," said the figure. "They took what was rightfully mine." "Oh that's in the past," said the Wabbit, "they've gone, they all passed away." Now the figure tilted his stetson back and a ghastly laugh bounced from the wall. "They died to regret it!" Lapinette gripped the disc fiercely and the disc gripped her. "I'm late for rehearsals," she mouthed. "We'll be off then," said the Wabbit. But as they made for the door, locks turned and bolts slid ...

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Wabbit and the Hidden Album

Jenny led the Wabbit and Lapinette to a part of the city neither of them knew. She said it was the Bavarian Quarter and although they both shook their heads, they eventually found themselves in a music store belonging to a certain Herr Glückspilz. Jenny kept a lookout in the street, while they both rummaged through ancient albums. "I suppose we're in the right place?" asked Lapinette. "Herr Glückspilz said we might get lucky," replied the Wabbit. They examined each record closely. "Legendary cakewalk classic?" suggested Lapinette. "Too early," said the Wabbit. "Modern Jazz Quartet?" murmured Lapinette. "Too late," said the Wabbit. They rummaged more without success but when the Wabbit noticed a flash of blue, he squeezed a paw between the shelves. "I found something," he said, tugging at an album that was stuck at the back. "Did you feel that cold draught?" said Lapinette. "Something ruffled my fur," said the Wabbit. They both looked round. "Everything OK?" mimed Jenny from behind the window. The Wabbit was suddenly aware of a large poster. "Which Beatle wore a Stetson?" Lapinette screwed up her nose and sighed, "It's U2 who have hats." The Wabbit tried to dislodge the album by shaking it but it was completely stuck. With a deft movement Lapinette plucked the album free and the Wabbit squinted at the title and read it aloud. "Dealing with the Devil." All the lights went out. "Who better?" boomed a voice.

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Wabbit and the Devil's Due

It had been a long day and the Wabbit had turned up nothing from the markets. He made his way along the porticos deep in thought, but something was nagging. Something more than thinking. Something palpable. "I don't remember that mural," he muttered. "I remember you, Blue Glasses." It seemed to come from inside his head but the voice echoed round the portico roof. From the corner of his eye the Wabbit saw his ears make pointed shadows on the sidewalk and as he hopped they curled slightly towards him. The Wabbit quickened his pace. "We're looking for the same thing, you and I." This time, the Wabbit knew the voice was behind him. Keeping both eyes fixed ahead, the Wabbit shrugged. "I'm just looking for an old album." His voice was the merest whisper but the ghostly voice responded. "I want it too. It has my sign, it's my due." "I've seen no sign of a sign," whispered the Wabbit, "but if I see one, I'll let you know." The Wabbit heard a long laugh. "How can I trust you?" "Trust me as you would yourself," said the Wabbit quickly. Jagged flickers of light crept along the roof but the Wabbit ignored them and gazed steadfastly into the night. Up ahead he could see tables and chairs and people dining on pizza and chips. "The devil's work," shuddered the Wabbit. A cold blast split the evening, chilling the Wabbit's fur and bringing howls from the diners. At that moment, something Skratch told him popped into his head. "Every sign has two sides." "Just like a record album," thought the Wabbit. "Just like me," howled the Voice ...

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Wabbit and the Wrong Record

The Wabbit heard a voice call, but he didn't turn a hair because in markets you never knew what might happen. He'd already seen police patrolling with soldiers. "Contraband," he muttered. The voice called again. "Wabbit I found this!" The Wabbit clutched his spoils fiercely to his fur. Of the secret record with the secret sign, he had found no trace, but he had acquired a rare single. Finally he turned. "Jenny!" he said affectionately. "I didn't recognise your voice." Jenny held up an album. "Is this the sort of thing you're looking for?" "It might be," said the Wabbit, "but it's a re-issue." Jenny smiled and rocked slightly. "I found a place selling old records." The Wabbit was delighted. "Markets aren't what they used to be," he chortled. Jenny agreed. "Nothing but ladies' clothes and jujus made in China." The Wabbit nodded vigourously. "I remember I could get anything here. I got a left-handed circlip opener once." "And you still have it in your fur," said Jenny. The Wabbit nodded, because every time he tried to throw it away, he found a use for it. "The record salesman told me an outrageous story," said Jenny. The Wabbit's ears twitched. "He said he'd seen the devil." The Wabbit tried to be nonchalant. "What did he look like?" "A bit of a dandy. Stripes, black waistcoat." "Did he say anything?" asked the Wabbit. Jenny looked serious. "Daemones non operantur nisi per artem." The Wabbit looked thoughtful. "What do you think?" asked Jenny. "I think he's the real deal," said the Wabbit.
[Daemones non operantur nisi per artem: Demons do not operate, save through trickery.]

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Wabbit and the Devil's Chord

"Wabbit!" The Wabbit turned slightly. "Hello Skratch." Skratch could see the Wabbit was disgruntled and approached with caution. "Anything wrong?" The Wabbit sighed a deep sigh. "Look what they're doing to my city." "It's maintenance Wabbit," said Skratch. "The old gates will be as good as new." "I don't like things as good as new," said the Wabbit. "I like things the way they were." Skratch knew it was futile to argue so he changed the subject. "We need to talk," he said, "we have a critical mission." The Wabbit brightened immediately. Skratch became grave. "We need to find something." The Wabbit shrugged. "It's something unobtainable," purred Skratch. The Wabbit waited with anticipation. "Years ago some famous jazz musicians got together." The Wabbit's eyes glistened as Skratch continued. "They played a session only for their families." "Someone made a secret recording," said the Wabbit immediately. Skratch was astonished. The Wabbit grinned. "I would have." "Wait until you hear this," breathed Skratch. "A limited pressing was made and scratched on one disc was a sign." The Wabbit inclined his head. "It was for a chord. A chord that's never been heard." "What?" yelled the Wabbit. "Everyone died of course," miaowed Skratch, "and the records were junked." "Only that copy survives?" said the Wabbit. Skratch nodded. "Intelligence suggests it's somewhere here." "There's something else, isn't there?" said the Wabbit. Skratch shook his head. "They say the devil lost that chord." The Wabbit's fur stood on end. "And he's trying to find it!"

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Wabbit and the Abandoned Tower

Lapinette and the Wabbit surveyed the tower. It was on the edge of town near a shopping centre and a few workshops. The place was quiet except for a traffic drone from a nearby eight road intersection. There, the noise never seemed to stop and eventually no one could really hear it. Lapinette didn't know what to say. "You bought this?" she sighed. "I did," said the Wabbit with enthusiasm. "It was a bargain." Lapinette's ears swayed slightly. "Where did you get the money?" The Wabbit's laugh was somewhere between a guffaw and a giggle. "The Dinosaur Fund." "I thought it was nearly empty," said Lapinette. "Not any more," said the Wabbit. Lapinette looked sceptical but the Wabbit was gleeful. "I routed what was left through Curaçao, then a little known parish council in rural England." Lapinette nodded and the Wabbit continued. "Then it went to a merchant bank in Frankfurt where it was washed and spin dried." Lapinette sighed again. "Finally it popped up here much bigger than it was when it started." "And you bought the tower," groaned Lapinette. "In a manner of speaking," said the Wabbit. "In return for agreeing it should be a bird sanctuary, I got it for a euro." Lapinette heard a faint cooing from the top of the tower and looked up to see Parakalo, the Dove. Then her head tilted to the side and she stared. "You know it's leaning." The Wabbit was ecstatic. "I think that means it's listed."

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Wabbit's Reverse Homing Dove

When he saw Parakalo the Dove the Wabbit screeched to a sudden halt. "We're heading for the ferry!" he shouted. "And home," added Lapinette. "Did we forget anything?" asked the Wabbit. "No," said Parakalo. "I wanted to say something." Lapinette and the Wabbit looked at Parakalo with affectionate eyes. "I had a very exciting time," he warbled. Wabbit nodded cheerfully. "So did we!" "I enjoyed it a lot!" added Parakalo. "Us too!" said Lapinette. Parakalo cooed three times. "I would like to continue." "Nothing to stop you," smiled the Wabbit. "With you," said Parakalo. Lapinette answered first. "You'd like to come with us?" "I'd like to have adventures with you," cooed Parakalo. The Wabbit pretended to look grave. "I'm afraid we wouldn't be able to pay you very much." "You mean yes!" cried Parakalo and he spread his wings wide. "I'll see you in Turin." In an instant he wheeled and shot into the air. Lapinette and the Wabbit looked up but Parakalo was a mere dot in the sky. They watched until the dot disappeared, then Lapinette turned to the Wabbit. "Where's the Department going to put him?" The Wabbit grinned with all of his 28 teeth and gunned the throttle. "Aerial espionage?" "Better radio Wabsworth," said Lapinette. "Why?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette smiled sweetly. "To find accommodation, of course." The Wabbit wore a sinister smirk. "The old abandoned tower will do."  "I didn't know there was one," sighed Lapinette. "I've got the Tower," sang the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Wabbit's Greek Adventure Caffè

Still a little dazed, the Wabbit, Lapinette and Parakalo the Dove adjourned to a caffè in a nearby village. They were about to order aperitivi when Skratch and Jenny appeared from a field. "We found you at last," said Skratch. "We've been looking all over," said Jenny. "It was a sair trachle," said Stone. The Wabbit looked up. "Skratch! How's married life?" Skratch looked at Jenny and Jenny looked back. "What are you talking about?" asked Skratch. "You got married," said Lapinette, "and Robot officiated." "How long have you been drinking here?" said Skratch. "It's the heat," suggested Jenny. Lapinette glanced sharply at the Wabbit. "I told you these creatures were dangerous!" Parakalo cooed for a long time. "Who's that?" asked Skratch. "Parakalo," said the Wabbit. "Pleased to meet you," said Skratch. "Parakalo," said Parakalo. The Wabbit hastily changed the subject. "Well? What was that for a sort of adventure?" Jenny laughed. "It looks like hallucinatory realism!" Skratch purred at Jenny with admiration. "It appeared to have a dream-analogous authenticity." "It was both concrete and believable," offered Parakalo. He suddenly cooed in a three part call and started gathering twigs. Skratch had been puzzling. "Perhaps the wedding aesthetically enhanced reality." The Wabbit tried to clear his head. "Are you getting married or not?" "Yes," said Skratch. "Nearly," said Jenny. "That's close enough," said Lapinette
[A sair trachle: (Scottish dialect) To drag one's self onwards when fatigued,] 

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Wabbit and the Issue of Nothing

Lapinette and the Wabbit took cover behind an old farm building as the light creatures sailed around in formation. "What's happening?" yelled the Wabbit. "The Quantum Parabolas are merging!" shouted Lapinette. "Stay clear!" "But they're made of nothing!" The Wabbit was exasperated, "How can nothing merge?" Lapinette shouted back really hard because the sound of the dancing Parabolas was piercing and yet somehow it didn't exist. Her ears tingled. "Nothing isn't really nothing!" she screamed, "in the quantum universe nothing is always something!" Now the Wabbit had a clue and his ears bent back and his fur crawled. "Everything that can happen, does happen," whistled Parakalo. The sound cut through like crystal and the Wabbit found time to shrug. "Why does it always happen to me?" he murmured. Lapinette shook her head because she knew that things did happen to the Wabbit. She felt he was a magnet for dubious phenomena and occasionally pointed it out. "No wonder you can't have a holiday!" she pouted. The Wabbit was feeling strange. "Yes, we must go on holiday,"  he yelled. Lapinette was beginning to feel most peculiar. "We're going on Friday," she said. "What day is today?" asked the Wabbit in a dazed voice. Parakalo was feeling strange too. "The day before yesterday," he cooed. Suddenly the Parabolas became one enormous entity and with a curious liquid plop, faded until there was nothing. "Nothing comes of nothing," said the Wabbit.