Friday, September 30, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Bone Riders

The Wabbit suggested taking the cinema stairs but suddenly they were behind them. There were dozens of skeletons and they kept coming. They moaned, they groaned they rattled - and worse than that, they sang. "Skeletrons!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit knew Lapinette pronounced skeletons that way and never had the heart to tell her. A bullet from a Winchester span past the Wabbit's ears and ricocheted from the wall. "Hate" shouted one skeleton, "Murder," shouted another. But the last skeleton grasped at the Wabbit's paw and shouted "Revenge!" The Wabbit fur stood on end. He made for a corridor that led behind the screens and he pulled Lapinette along with him. Two skeletons put their skulls together and warbled. "Oh where's the devil's herd? Who took the devil's herd? We'll ride across the burning sky 'til we find the devil's herd." The sound of snorting steers issued from their ghastly mouths and their hot breath coursed down the stairway. Their bones rattled as all the while as they chased the Wabbit and Lapinette as they stampeded through turning after turning. "Get the rustlers!" shouted a skeleton. "We're gonna cook you over a campfire," shouted another. "With beans," shouted a third. "Skeletrons can't cook," yelled Lapinette over her shoulder. The Wabbit looked for a door and rummaged in his fur. "What are you looking for," yelled Lapinette. "Skeleton key," shouted the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2. The Wabbit and the Ghost Script

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged blinking from the cinema. The Wabbit had shown signs of enjoying himself and for that, Lapinette gave much thanks. "I do enjoy a good western," she chirruped. She quickly suggested an aperitivo at a caffè around the corner. There she could engage the Wabbit on an esoteric topic involving the iconography of cowboy hats. Lapinette admitted to herself that she had enjoyed Mann's Winchester '73. A rifle won in a contest had made a dark cinematic journey in which successive owners met a fate worse than the last. "Yes," said Lapinette, "it was bleak and moral and had an ironic circularity." The Wabbit half listened and agreed. But there was a reflection in his glasses that bore some familiarity and he kept an eye on it. "See anything unusual?" he murmured. Lapinette was amused. "These Hallowe'en promotions get earlier every year." The Wabbit relaxed. "I thought it was the Devil," he said.  Lapinette looked at him shrewdly. "It's a new release where cowboy skeletons battle for the ranges." "Yippy aye oh," laughed the Wabbit. At that very moment a surge of hot breath blasted up the escalator. From a loudspeaker came the sound of a thousand steers thundering across the prairie. Then they heard a mournful voice intone. "Yippy aye yay. Yippy aye yay." "Is this a promotion?" asked the Wabbit. "I really don't think so," sighed Lapinette ...

Monday, September 26, 2016

1. The Wabbit and the Noir Western

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit out on Ponte Sassi. It was a sure bet he would be there because of two things. He was between missions and this was the anniversary of Anthony Mann, a well known director of westerns. Lapinette had to remember not to call them cowboy films or the Wabbit would make a face. "Howdy lonesome," she called. "Got time for a gal with time on her paws?" The Wabbit folded his book and laughed. "Ma'am?" Lapinette curtsied. The Wabbit watched her and laid aside his book. "Never in my born days did I see such a gracious lady." Lapinette smiled sweetly. "So our last mission went well?" "Mmm," said the Wabbit gravely. "We did the job and thank heavens it's done." Lapinette's ears pricked up. She sensed tiredness in the Wabbit's voice. "Maybe you should take a good long break between missions," she said. "Why don't you have some fun, see a show." "You're the only show I need," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears swayed gently and her voice was mellow. "I also do fun." "Oh," said the Wabbit, "so when does fun start?" "It already has," laughed Lapinette. She took the Wabbit's paw and with dancing footsteps, pulled him in the direction of town ...

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffè was in the Safe House and it was the cosiest place to be. The medieval castle provided all that they needed, wine, ale and a slap up meal. "Where's Puma going?" asked Lapinette. "He made off with half the food," scowled Wabsworth. Skratch just laughed. "Don't worry I know where he hides it." Lapinette raised an inquiring ear. "In the kitchens under the vegetables," explained Skratch, "it's a cat thing." Lapinette tugged at the Wabbit's paw. "What about the question?" "OK," shrugged the Wabbit, "what was that for a kind of adventure?" Skratch raised his paw high. "It was a multilevel discourse." "Umberto Eco," said Lapinette. "Yes," nodded Skratch, "but your adventure had a specific modality, resting firmly on colour saturation." "Did it?" smiled the Wabbit, winking at Lapinette. "It did," said Skratch. "In turn, the colours connoted environmental concerns." "I need another drink," said Wabsworth. "What colour would you like it?" smiled the Wabbit. "I like my wine crystal clear," said Lapinette. "My ale should be deep straw gold," said Wabsworth. Skratch chuckled. "I like to drink a robust stout. Then I can pretend it's doing me good." There was a sudden shaking. Plates rattled. Golden nectar quivered in the Wabbit's tankard, The castle filled with medieval clanking. Lapinette frowned "What was that?" "Just a little tremor," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked at waves of beer lapping the inside of the tankard and murmured. "We were shaken but not stirred."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

11. The Wabbit and the Home Tower

They rode back, looking forward to their home castle with its pleasant tower. Now the chemicals had been traced, the culprit located and the danger eliminated, they could relax. "Do you think the Fracker will be back?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned a lop sided grin. "These frackers don't give up easily. He'll be back in business in no time." "Somewhere else, no doubt," sighed Lapinette. Mo the Punk Snail snorted. "He's one dirty fracker." "He's a crazy, fracked up frackwit," commented To and they both laughed. "The Fracker is no laughing matter," growled Puma. "He is a land predator and only determined action will stop him." "We stopped 'im," yelled Mo. "We stopped 'im dead in his fracks." Puma scowled. "He's not the only fracker." "Oh frack 'em all!" drawled Mo. The Wabbit and Lapinette knew the conversation wasn't going anywhere, so they gently urged the MoTo snails forward. Puma led the way. He was hungry and knew there would be good food at the Adventure Caffè. The MoTo Snails looked forward to tasty cardboard and wiggled their antennae in anticipation. Lapinette visualised a salad sandwich - and felt a pang in her stomach. The Wabbit rummaged his fur, then handed Lapinette a sandwich with curly carrots and lettuce. "How long has that been there?" she asked. The Wabbit inspected the pack. "It says use before the end of your adventure." "Which is now," said Lapinette. She grabbed it and nibbled the edges. It tasted good. Very good indeed. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

10. The Wabbit at Point Frack

The Golem stuck his fracking tools in the lake. But the Wabbit and Lapinette were pretty quick, even by rabbit standards. The Wabbit swam to a small island and from somewhere, Lapinette acquired a police barge and chugged straight at the Golem. "You rabbits are nothing but trouble!" yelled the Golem. The water clouded with fracking fluid and the stench was considerable. Lapinette grimaced and shouted from the bow. "Where's your chicken licence?" The Golem was bamboozled. "What chickens?" The Wabbit threw his voice and the clucking of 100 chickens swirled from nearby trees. "The chickens said they would help me," groaned the Golem. "The employment of chickens is forbidden under City Ordnance," stated the Wabbit. "They're not my chickens," screamed the Golem. "Ah!" said Lapinette strictly. "Chicken theft is by massive fines punishable." Her barge grew closer. The Wabbit fished in his fur and dropped something in the water. A bolt of electricity surged towards the Golem. Water boiled for an instant. Tools burned red. The Golem yelled in pain, dropped his tools, clutched his sides and froze. The Wabbit smiled grimly because now the Golem was completely inert. But from the depth of the waters rumbled a voice - the voice of the Fracker. "I'll be back to frack!"

Friday, September 16, 2016

9. The Wabbit and the Golem's Folly

"There he goes!" Lapinette knew her statement was redundant but the Wabbit didn't turn a hair. "He has his fracking tools with him," said the Wabbit, "so he must be going to frack." The Golem rolled along, humming a merry tune - and his tools made a clickedy clackedy sound as he went. Then he sang in a clangy voice that echoed through the spooky tunnel. "I am a little fracker and a fracking I will go. I’ll frack the ground from dawn to dusk, until the land is just a husk. A fracking I will go." Lapinette snorted. "That seems clear enough." Suddenly the ground shook and a fissure opened in the brickwork. Lapinette grabbed onto the Wabbit's fur as tremors died away. "He seems to have started already," said the Wabbit. "What? He started without us?" grinned Lapinette, "that's poor." The Wabbit growled through his 28 teeth. "And we did have a fracking invitation, I recall." "We should accept it then," said Lapinette. "We'd be silly not to," grinned the Wabbit and he hopped forward in pursuit of the Golem. Whistling his tune, the Golem rolled round the corner. The Wabbit and Lapinette crept after him on silent paws. "Knick, knack, frack," sang the Golem. Then he stopped and turned. "I smell creatures." The Wabbit threw his voice and it bounced from the other side of the tunnel. "Only us chickens. Can we dig with you?" "Suits me down to the ground," laughed the Golem as he turned away. Now, all that could be heard in the tunnel was a faint clucking ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

8. The Wabbit and a Spin of the Wheel

Their leap was overstated and they overshot the Golem by a long way. But they were fortunate. A massive Ferris wheel lay directly in their path and it was spinning at speed. "Sling shot!" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette reached the Ferris wheel first. She bounced on the top gondola and with a thrust of her feet, launched back to the Fracking site. Only now, she was going twice as fast as before. The wind tore at her fur and the ground loomed sharply ahead. The Wabbit landed awkwardly inside a gondola but it propelled him outwards leaving some of his fur on the metalwork. He looped up and then down at an alarming rate. Now he was directly behind Lapinette and he saw her legs move position - so he did exactly the same. "Ouch," he groaned. Lapinette yelled that he needed more exercise. The Wabbit could hardly hear what she said but he knew anyway. It occurred to him that he was getting quite enough exercise as it was. He watched Lapinette's legs draw into an arabesque position. As she landed, she executed a perfect chassé and stopped as elegantly as an airliner. The Wabbit made a fair attempt to copy her then gave up. He somersaulted along the bumpy road and came to an abrupt halt. Lapinette turned to look at him. "How was it?" she smiled. "Perfect," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 12, 2016

7. The Wabbit on the Edge of Ballet

Daylight came on like a switch. The Wabbit and Lapinette balanced on a slim framework of doubtful purpose. Lapinette had trained at the Mariinsky Ballet and pirouetted gracefully. The Wabbit's feet curled about the metalwork, as he scowled around from right to far right. He growled through all of his 28 teeth. "The Golem is fracking the Nazi Rally Grounds." Lapinette executed a demi-détourné. "That's wrong at so many levels," she sighed. The voice of the Fracker's Golem echoed from the brickwork. "This can all be yours if you join us." The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey. The framework suddenly shook, but it couldn't shake the Wabbit and it certainly couldn't shake Lapinette. "You're a very bad Golem," she cried and sprung into the air in an entrechat quatre. "Get ready to binky," shouted the Wabbit. The framework gave a vicious creak as it began to detach from its moorings. "He doesn't know much about rabbits," smiled Lapinette. "Take the right decision," yelled the Golem. "Take it yourself," shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette's legs moved elegantly as she began a battement dégagé. The Wabbit grinned and swung a leg along the metal girder. "Grand jeté, now," murmured Lapinette. With an ear splitting yell, they jumped as the framework gave way ...

Friday, September 09, 2016

6. The Wabbit deals with the Dark

"Why is it always down?" yelled the Wabbit. The passageway was steeper than it looked and they both picked up speed. A prickly wind blew at their backs and ruffled their fur. Lapinette spotted another passageway and dived for it. The Wabbit shouted but his shout was muffled in the whirling fumes that issued from the Golem's nostrils. They made an acrid stench. The Wabbit sniffled and coughed and headed after Lapinette. He could hear Lapinette yelling, "We need our own ground." "This way!" shouted the Golem. "I have a surprise." The Wabbits paws slipped on the damp earthen floor. "I don't need any surprises." Lapinette scooted through a narrow opening where the air seemed clearer. But the Golem continued his path and his voice shrilled in the distance. "There is no escape from the Fracker's Golem." The Wabbit had every intention of escaping. He grabbed for Lapinette's paw and she pulled him through another crevice. Suddenly they were in the dark. They waited for their eyes to get used to the light, but there was no light to get used to. The Wabbit started to whistle. "What are you doing?" asked Lapinette. "Whistling in the dark," said the Wabbit. He put out a foot and scrabbled around. There was absolutely nothing but a wall and a ledge. "I think we're in the abyss," murmured Lapinette. "It needs better lighting," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

5. The Wabbit and the Smoking Pit

The walkway turned into a bridge and under the bridge there was nothing. Nothing except acrid fumes that swirled round their feet and stung like ant bites. The Wabbit squinted down. "See anything?" "It looks like an abyss," murmured Lapinette. "How deep?" grinned the Wabbit. "An abyss has no depth," replied Lapinette. "I knew you'd say that," said the Wabbit. A screech sounded from the chasm that set the Wabbit's teeth on edge. It was like a thousand fingernails scraping on a glass panel. Whatever made the sound seemed to be working hard. Lapinette's ears stretched. A compressor burst into life, then another. Soon the passage way was an echoing tunnel of sound. "Let's move on," said the Wabbit. It was only then that they noticed a presence. What had only been smoke transformed into a lurid face that they both recognised. "You're not the Golem!" shouted the Wabbit. "You are Frack." The head shook and made a jolly smile. "I am Frack's Golem, fashioned from clay and steel, case-hardened in the Jaws of Hell." Metal scratched on stone. Shrieks echoed from the walls. The Golem's eyes beckoned through the smoke. "Follow me." "No fracking way!" shouted Lapinette. But the bridge started to sway and the handrails plunged into the abyss. The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped quickly forward. "We do expect light refreshments," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 05, 2016

4. The Wabbit and the Golem's Portal

Lapinette checked through a list. "Our Snails?" "Slithering the perimeter," said the Wabbit. Lapinette made a tick. "... and Puma?" "Terrifying the locality," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette nodded. "C-20?" The Wabbit pulled a small vial and a detonator from his fur and waved them. Lapinette made two ticks. "Weather conditions?" "Set fair," said the Wabbit. Lapinette's sudden yell echoed from the ramparts. "Then hit the tit!" She dived out of the way as the Wabbit hurled the vial at the wall and pressed a red button. But there was neither sound nor blast. The Wabbit looked back cautiously. With a splat like a fish hitting a slab, the walls opened to reveal a bridge and a passageway. At the far end of the passage, a solitary figure stood bathed in a bright light. It slowly turned and glided away. "Is that Hamlet's Dad?" quipped the Wabbit. The figure turned back and uttered one word, "Golem," and vanished. The passageway shimmered and soaked up the snaking coils of mist that poured into the portal. "I'm going in," said the Wabbit and he hopped onto the bridge. Lapinette looked at her list and ticked, "Follow the Wabbit." Then, backing up, she too edged onto the bridge. For a moment she looked at where they had been - just before the bridge vanished and the walls closed around them ...

Friday, September 02, 2016

3. The Wabbit and the Doorless Castle

Puma walked for several days. They followed until he came to a clearing where a castle rose from the mist, lit by a bleached sun. "Chemicals," growled Puma. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "It stinks like a soggy old mop in a corner." "Oh stinky stench," sneered Mo. "Poo bum smell,"  drawled To. The Wabbit waved up at the tower, but no-one responded. "How do we get in?" murmured Lapinette. "There is no door," said Puma. "Then how do people inside get out?" asked Lapinette.  Puma screeched softly. "No-one has ever seen anyone." The Wabbit ran his paw across To's antennae. "Well, I don't like the sound of them." The team rode around the castle but although they looked from every angle, the scene was exactly the same. "There's a sort of a village nearby," snorted Puma. "Who's there?" asked the Wabbit. "Vagabonds, jailbirds, swindlers, mountebanks, organ grinders and lazzaroni," said Puma. "Cool," breathed Mo and To. Lapinette thought for a while. "Does this unpleasant assembly know who's in the castle?" "No they don't," said Puma, "but they hold them in the highest regard." The Wabbit contemplated kicking the walls, then felt in his fur for his emergency supply of CL-20. Lapinette looked stern. "Wabbit, is that entirely wise?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Cut out the middle rabbit?"
[Lazzaroni: 18th Century homeless idlers of Naples who lived by chance work or begging.]