Wednesday, January 17, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Sudden Snatch.

A series of abductions were reported just where the railway line disappeared under Corso Francia. They responded quickly and scouted all around. It was a lonely spot, frequented by riff-raff and ne'er do wells - so they were on their guard. "There's something on the rails," shouted Lapinette. She peered over the fence. "It looks like a question mark." "Let's go down and have a look," said the Wabbit, waving an automatic from left to right. His gun was far from new. The safety catch had broken off a long time since, and the trigger was shiny and worn. "Steady there, Commander, that gat needs a reset," said Wabsworth. Lapinette turned to shout. "Wabbit, I think it moved into the ..." Her voice cut off suddenly. The Wabbit's head swiveled to look, but no-one was there. Lapinette had gone. They rushed to the top of the steps - but of Lapinette, there was no trace whatsoever, except for her automatic. The Wabbit picked it up, wheeled and fired three times at the rail tracks. Wabsworth's ears swayed slightly. "Commander?" "She'll hear it," shrugged the Wabbit. He poked around and kicked grass-eaten asphalt. "I'm looking for her knife," he explained. They stiffened as a bloodcurdling cry echoed from the street, followed by three more. "She still has it," smiled the Wabbit.
[gat: slang for gun. Originally derived from Gatling Gun but eventually applied to hand guns.]

Monday, January 15, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Hanging Agent

Lapinette called urgently from the Department of Wabbit Affairs to summon the Wabbit to an incident. There, an Agent swung gently from a rope tied high on the roof, and he looked dead or close to it. "Better get him down," grimaced the Wabbit. He pulled mountaineering equipment from his fur and scaled the wall. Wabsworth took the service stairs and appeared from a skylight. "Easy now," shouted Lapinette, "All in one piece, please."  The Wabbit took a good look. "He has a note." Wabsworth swung across and grabbed it. The body swayed once more and suddenly crashed to the ground. Lapinette hopped out of the way with an angry cry. "Is he dead?" called the Wabbit. "Well he is now," scowled Lapinette. "It was the note that did it!" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette glared. "What does the note say?" Her nose wrinkled as she gazed at the crumpled corpse. Wabsworth squinted at the scrawled message. "It says you're next." "Who's next?" asked the Wabbit. "The note writer failed to elucidate," replied Wabsworth. "Look there's a question mark, painted in blood," pointed Lapinette, "It's on a picture." Wabsworth conducted a speedy analysis. "It's not blood, it's colouring," "That's a priceless work of art," yelled Lapinette. Wabsworth moistened a paw, dabbed the question mark, and tasted it. "Food dye," he murmured.  "Too much dyeing round here," hissed the Wabbit.

Friday, January 12, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Scene of Crime

The scene of crime was deserted except from some flimsy yellow tape, the shape of a body and dried blood. The Wabbit hopped under the tape. Wabsworth sliced it neatly and carefully initialled the cut edge. "They usually miss something," shrugged the Wabbit. He looked at the shape and whistled "I ain't got nobody," through his 28 teeth. Then he crouched to examine an ornate floor tile. "This is loose," he murmured. He levered it up. It groaned as he slid it to the side. "Oh, what is that? What is the question, Wabsworth?" "Who's been and gone and dunnit to who?" replied Wabsworth. "The perpetrator dunnit," said the Wabbit. "That's a tautology," answered Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded his head twice -  up and down and side to side. Then he spoke: "Someone drew a question mark with the blood of the victim." "A signature?" suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit shrugged again. "We don't know if the perp drew it." Wabsworth smiled. "OK Sherlock, who then?" "The evidence currently points to me." smiled the Wabbit. "Well it doesn't look like your signature," scowled Wabsworth. The Wabbit grinned. "Then I'm off the hook." He slid the tile back in place. "I don't think it happened here," he said. "This is just the disposal site." Wabsworth's circuits whirred, then he said: "To both implicate you and leave an indelible stain on the Carrot Club's reputation." "What reputation?" asked the Wabbit.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1.The Wabbit: The Carrot Club Murder

The Wabbit met Wabsworth outside a budget hotel in downtown Turin on a matter of urgency. "It's about the Carrot Club," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit was puzzled because Carrot Club matters were seldom urgent. "There's been a murder," said Wabsworth. "Who's the victim?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth sighed. "It seems to be me." "But you're here," said the Wabbit. He poked him sharply in the ribs to make sure. "It looks like me," said Wabsworth, "but it's not me." The Wabbit shook his head from side to side. "We'd better get down there, pronto." Now Wabsworth shook his head. "It's crawling with forensic rabbits from the Bureau of Internal Mysteries." He fished in his fur and extracted a fearsome sharpened carrot. The Wabbit touched the end. "Yow," he shouted. He sucked his paw and gasped. "You took a murder weapon from a crime scene?" Wabsworth pointed. "It has your gnaw marks on it, Commander. Look just here. And here." The Wabbit grimaced. His gnaw marks were unmistakable. "I have to ask you, Wabbit. Where were you between the hours of dusk and dawn?" The Wabbit laughed. "I was with you of course." Wabsworth frowned and the Wabbit smiled. "OK, I owe you lunch. Tell me, is it messy?" Wabsworth tucked the weapon in his fur. "Who would have thought an android had so much blood..."

Monday, January 08, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

They'd arranged to meet at the cinema caffè and then watch a movie. But the Wabbit and Lapinette wanted to surprise Wabsworth, so they lay in wait. "I think that must be him now," said Lapinette. "I can just see him crossing the road." "Leave it until he's right at the door," said the Wabbit. The cinema had many volunteers and it was Skratch's night to staff the ticket office. He was checking the till when he heard Wabsworth's voice. "What kind of Adventure did you have, while I was here holding the fort?" Skratch looked up in surprise. "How on earth did you get in?" he asked sharply "The cleaners let me in the back," said Wabsworth. He proffered a large note. "May I have four tickets please? I get the android's discount." Skratch agreed and turned to watch the Wabbit. Both Lapinette and the Wabbit were clearly oblivious to Wabsworth's arrival. He shrugged and uttered: "The adventure was as sprawling and chaotic as an adventure can be." Wabsworth took the tickets and pushed them into his coat. "Anti-narrativity is but an illusion," he said. "Textuality sutures the rift between anti-narrativity and reality." Skratch pondered this for while. "Where did you read that?" he purred. Wabsworth smiled. "I didn't read it. The cleaners told me."
[Wabsworth is possibly referring to a famous documentary, Night Cleaners made in 1975 (UK)]

Thursday, January 04, 2018

14. The Wabbit and the Wolf Storm

Terni the Dragon arrived just before the storm hit the city of Incontinentia. He flew from the corner of a blood red moon to see the team scrambling to the top of a tall block, He was just in time. Wind buffeted the building and it lurched alarmingly. Fitzy Mitzy and Tipsy clung to a street light. Puma shinned up the post behind them but he could barely get a hold. Skratch pulled Lapinette to the roof. The building swayed. The street light shook. Guttering and pipes fell to the street below. The wolf was only paint on mortar but it started to howl. Long mournful shrieks split the air. The moon dropped lower and lower until it seemed to touch the ground. "I'm coming!" roared Terni. He circled then hovered on a cloud of dragon breath. Skratch pulled everyone up and they huddled on the roof as debris whirled around them. "We could use a lift," shouted the Wabbit. Terni dropped lower and lower but the hurricane force swept him back and forth. The wolf howled louder and louder as the building started to crumble. "Better make it now!" shouted the Wabbit. Terni spat fire into the wind and, for an instant, carved a quiet space. One by one they jumped on his back and held onto his scales like grim death. "Where to?" breathed Terni. "High as you can go," yelled the Wabbit. Terni's wings tried to grip the turbulent air and he stuttered like a helicopter. It was touch and go. But the wind lost its grip for a moment and he shot skywards. The wolf's howls gradually became quieter. Far below them, the building and the city collapsed into a pile of dust. "Tidy that," muttered Lapinette.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

13. Terni the Dragon and the Big Wind

Terni tore through the night with a message. He'd been sent to scout around but was interrupted by the weather. It was no ordinary weather and he was no ordinary dragon. With some justification, Terni considered himself a cut above most of his cohorts. The Wabbit had helped him relocate and recruited him to his team. Now he was officially a superdragon and took his responsibilities seriously. The following wind tore at his cabbage wings and pushed him forward at an incredible speed. "I have to get ahead of this wind," thought Terni. "I have to warn the Wabbit." Terni thought of food and his tummy rumbled. The resulting flatulent blast gave him an advantage and he gained ground. He kept low and skimmed across asphalt that had the colour of camels. Terni knew better than to look back because the wind was more than a wind. it was a swirling, jagged typhoon with teeth like a dinosaur. It seemed to be looking for something and for now it couldn't be bothered to destroy much. But it shrieked like a thousand banshees and swept cars into neat piles of junk. Terni saw Incontinentia looming, He wondered if maybe he should do something less dangerous - like taking Tipsy for a spin. He chortled quietly to himself. Peppery fire erupted into the bleak night air and lit the road ahead. "Hit it!" breathed Terni.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Wabbit's Hogmanay Cease Fire

Skratch and Puma escorted the captured Agent to the specified location and then they laughed and laughed! There was food and drink. Agents danced and sang along to wild music. Jenny threw her pirate hat in the air and hooched like a Shetland fiddler. Bells rang out over the stricken city. The captured Agent threw his paws in the air and binkied. The Wabbit began to sing. "A guid New Year to ane and a' an' money may ye see." Lapinette joined in. "An' during a' the years tae come, O happy may ye be." Lapinette's personal guard were already the worse for wear and Tipsy called down. "For the shake of auld lang slime!" Dancing became wilder. "Do you think the truce will hold?" asked Lapinette. "Until the morrow's morn," said the Wabbit. "How can you be certain?" The Wabbit cried with glee. "They'll have bigger hangovers than they have in the Alps." "I'll pass out the aspirins," said Lapinette. "Have you got any now?" asked Jenny. Lapinette pulled a first aid kit from under her frock. The Wabbit passed Jenny a ham and cheese sandwich but not before taking a bite. "How did you find this place?" meaowed Skratch. "Twitter," replied the Wabbit. He executed a pas de basque and downed a malt whisky. "Preventative medicine?" asked Lapinette. "Hooch skirl," yelled the Wabbit.
[A Guid New Year. Sung at Hogmanay (trad Scotland)]

Saturday, December 30, 2017

12. Skratch, Puma and the Inept Agent

A watery sun rose over the murky river. Reflections looked like second hand soapsuds as the river moved sluggishly through the City of Incontinentia. The Agent was on his own. He had a bit to go and he was late. A wind sprung up and his fur prickled. He leaned against the parapet, puffing and panting and listening to the water slap against the bridge. He thought about the money he would make. He knew if he found the Wabbit, he would be rich beyond belief. "Penny for your thoughts," growled a voice. The Agent started back, but a feline claw sank into his shoulder. "Going anywhere my fine friend?" Skratch purred menacingly and drew the Agent back over the parapet. The wind became stronger and the Agent grabbed at the wall. Puma growled then screeched. There was nowhere for the Agent to go. "Do you like dangling?" asked Skratch and he sunk his claws deeper. The Agent looked down at the water. The wind picked up speed and whipped the surface into a kind of mousse. He shook his head. "Do you believe in dragons?" said Puma. He looked up and so did the Agent. Terni's roar split the sky as he wheeled from behind a cloud. "I was only going to see a show," coughed the Agent in terror. "Is it a comedy?" purred Skratch. He increased his grip. "We like comedy," growled Puma. He pushed the Agent to the edge of the parapet. The Agent looked away from the swirling water below. Skratch laughed and stood on the Agent's paws. "Comedy's when you fall off the bridge."

Thursday, December 28, 2017

11. Jenny and the Lurking Agents

Jenny followed the Agents through the fog. All the way from the docks, they'd chirruped and chattered, so it wasn't so hard to keep pace. Their voices were muffled but Jenny kept close and she could hear everything and more. "We'll get the Wabbit, Skinny," said one. Jenny knew his name was Musty - at least that was what Skinny called him. "Then we'll sell him for gold," said Musty. "To the highest gold digger," giggled Skinny. "Or else we'll dig his grave," laughed Musty. The fog swirled with menace, Lights flickered. There were cries in the dark. "Who's that?" said Skinny suddenly. He glanced over his shoulder. Jenny shrank into the shadows. The slide of an automatic whispered through the fog and Jenny whispered with it. "I must have euro, you know why." "Why?" asked . "Why, to feed my heart of gold," breathed Jenny. Her sultry voice hung in the damp air. Skinny's eyes lit up with lust and he beat his chest. "Underneath our fur we got, euro and we got a lot!" Jenny stepped from the shadows. "Don't sell cheap, my mother said. Sell expensive, kill 'em dead." The Agents stared into the muzzle of a heavy automatic. "Have you any last requests?" said Jenny. Even though he was far, far away on the other side of the city, the Wabbit heard two shots. "Jenny," he murmured.

Monday, December 25, 2017

10. The Wabbit and the City Fates

Inside, the casino, the show began. Lapinette's personal guard descended from the roof and they were chanting. "We are the fates, we're never late, we're always here, to syncopate the story." The Wabbit found himself grasping cards that floated from above. "There's the Wabbit now," said Fitzy. "Throw him money," said Mitzy. "In Incontinentia everything is about money," yelled Tipsy. "Everything has a price," shouted Fitzy. "Now he can pay!" whispered Tipsy. Lapinette grasped a card and so did the Wabbit. Lapinette's guard slid down the ropes. "It's the poker salon in money town," they chanted. "Never a worry, never a frown," whispered Mitzy, "All you need is ten euro down," sang Tipsy. "And ... pay the rest later," shouted Fitzy. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. "This is quite a show," he smiled. Tipsy laid a paw on his shoulder and asked a question. "You paid admission at the door?" "Yes," said the Wabbit. "Well now we want ten euro more," grinned Mitzy, "What for?" asked the Wabbit. "Dwinks," answered Tipsy. The Wabbit scooped notes from the floor and passed them over. "We want more," said Fitzy. She dug Lapinette in the ribs. "But if you're a spouse, then it's all on the house." Lapinette burst out laughing, pirouetted and burst into tune. "But we only want fun!" Fitzy, Mitzy and Tipsy climbed up the ropes and called back down. "Fun is extra!"

Friday, December 22, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Ghostly Casino

Skratch had been sent ahead, undercover. So Lapinette and the Wabbit hopped straight past him and sauntered up to the ghostly casino. They stared at the poster while Skratch continued his banter. "Two for the price of one, everyone free before seven pm. Unaccompanied lady rabbits - free entrance at all times." The Wabbit put his paw behind Lapinette's back and whispered. "We could go in separately." Skratch couldn't help enjoying his act. "Skip the line, skip the line," he meaowed, waving a bunch of VIP passes. "There is no line," whispered Lapinette. "It doesn't even look open," murmured the Wabbit. "I can help you out," interrupted Skratch. He winked a broad wink. "We're nearly full. Just go round the back and knock, then ask for Wabsworth." The Wabbit winked back and slipped Skratch a heavy duty banknote. "That will do nicely," said Skratch and he tucked the cash in his fur. "May I offer you access to a Party Pit?" he added. "Who's in the pit?" asked Lapinette. Skratch waved a paw. "Dancers, prancers and scantily cladsters." The Wabbit effected surprise. "No necromancers?" "This is Incontinentia," said Skratch, "you only get what you pay for." He leaned forward and whispered. "Just get in, I'll back you up." "What if there's trouble?" asked the Wabbit. Skratch leaned forward to slip an automatic into the Wabbit's fur and purred. "Fire at the mirrors..."

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

8. The Wabbit and Ghosts in the Wash

They met with Lapinette, Mitzy and Fitzy at the agreed coordinates. "What is this awful place?" asked Puma. He scratched the flimsy roof with vigour and it rippled like a rug in a drafty hallway. As if in reply, washing machines juddered into life and drums began to revolve. Each machine span once, then the next and the next. When they finished, they stopped and revolved the other way. Then they sang. "Buy us now and you'll be clean. Clean clean clean, like a tennis team. If you don't buy us right away. Then you'll be dirty all day." Tipsy was forcibly prevented from taking off all her clothes there and then. "Shipshuds!" she cried. Lapinette ignored the washing machines completely and pressed a flier into the Wabbit's paw. "Maybe the explanation is here." The Wabbit examined the card. "A casino?" Lapinette laughed. "Are you feeling lucky?" The Wabbit laughed as well and read the card throughout. "Free entrance," he chortled. "Nothing comes for free in Incontinentia," responded Lapinette. "Maybe they charge a fee to get out," laughed the Wabbit. "Exit money?" snickered Lapinette. "Well. It's tomorrow, let's go," said the Wabbit. Lapinette put her paws on her hips. "What shall we do in the meantime?" "Play cards?" murmured the Wabbit.

Monday, December 18, 2017

7. Tipsy and the Silence of the Agent

They crept into the city by night, but as soon as they arrived, the city ground to a halt. Cars sat at traffic lights. Figures blurred and stopped. But there on a square stood an Agent of Rabit. He was silent, almost motionless, but his mouth seemed to move and Tipsy got annoyed. "I'll get him," she shouted and before the Wabbit could approve it, she ran forward and sprang. Knives flew like birds of prey and one pierced the Agent through the chest. Another knife sliced and blood spattered, but there was no cry of pain. There was nothing at all. "Take that!" yelled Tipsy and she kicked the Agent hard. The Agent swayed and fell to the sidewalk with no sound at all. "It's fake," shouted Tipsy. "As fake as Trump's hair!" smiled the Wabbit. Puma's growl was more of a grumble. "What is this fake place for?" "We're going to find out," said the Wabbit. He hopped forward and inspected the prone figure. "This isn't a real Agent." He rolled it over with his foot. "It's just another faker." Terni the Dragon landed on a couple of pillars and called. "Everywhere is the same, Commander. Nothing is really real." "Maybe we're not real!" yelled Tipsy in exasperation. She kicked a wall ferociously, then shouted in pain. "We're real!" The Wabbit shook his head and grinned. "Let's rendezvous with the team." Terni's wings beat a silent tattoo on the rooftops as Puma and the Wabbit moved off. Tipsy groaned and limped after them ...

Friday, December 15, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Listless City

The Wabbit looked at the fence and the city behind it. "Is that it?" asked Puma. "Is it Incontinentia?"  "We'll soon find out," said the Wabbit. He blasted the padlock and it fell apart. "Yep," grunted the Wabbit. Terni the Dragon wheeled high in the air and the Wabbit signalled for a report. "It's arid, with a strong sense of ennui," roared Terni. His roar shook plastic panels like shirts in a breeze. The Wabbit waited until the shaking stopped. Then he kicked the gate. Hinges disintegrated in a shower of rust and the gate swung open. Terni swooped back above the city. "Nothing's moving Commander. Nothing except us." Clouds of mist hung behind the city blocks. But suddenly they began to swirl and the city whirred like a generator. Lights came on. Traffic hummed. "It's a machine," breathed Puma. The Wabbit pressed a button. His Snazer gun whined as it recharged. "Just a machine," he whispered. The city settled into a listless, mesmerising hum. But a sudden voice startled Puma and he hissed, "What took you so long?" Tipsy leaned across the fence, dangling an automatic and pouting. "The shops are opening." she lisped. The Wabbit grinned. "Then we'll need money" Tipsy tossed her automatic from paw to paw. "We'll get some; it's that sort of city ..."