Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Gradually they arrived at the designated Adventure Caffè. Ghost Bunny was in attendance and so that no one would be alarmed, had disguised herself as graffiti. This worked up to a point. But from time to time she shrieked, "What was that for a haunting sort of Adventure?" Several passersby jumped. The Wabbit pretended not to hear - and instead examined his glass. "Is my glass half up or half down?" he said in a serious philosophical tone. The proprietor arrived with a frown and apologised. "Sorry about the graffiti, a horde of drunken soccer fans thought it was carnival." The Wabbit pointed at the glasses. "Subito, Commander," said the proprietor. With an impatient gesture she was gone. Ghost Bunny watched her vanish and fluttered until a spooky wind blew down the porticos. Skratch meaowed, "You watch too much television, Ghost Bunny." Lapinette butted in. "Ghost Bunny is reading Film Technique by Pudovkin, which I lent her." "Wooooooh," sighed Ghost Bunny. "Wooooh Woooh!" laughed Skratch. Wabsworth suddenly pushed a chair. Metal legs screeched on the sidewalk. "That adventure was composed of exact plastic content, each piece of which should be contextually interpreted." "Explain!" challenged the Wabbit. "Oh, that would take a big, big dinner," said Wabsworth slyly. The Wabbit made a mental calculation and mulled it over. "OK. House of the Devil at 21:00. On expenses." "May I haunt along?" shrieked Ghost Bunny.
[Note: There is indeed a House of the Devil in Turin.] 

Monday, October 16, 2017

14. Ghost Bunny Drops the Awnings

Ghost Bunny ushered the team from the fairground with many kind words and the promise of a lovely welcome on future occasions. "I do hope you liked our special preview," shrieked Ghost Bunny. "Do come again and bring all your friends." The Wabbit hadn't the heart to be vexed. He knew he'd played a few tricks in his time, so he changed his frown for a smile and listened carefully. Skratch purred enthusiastically to Ghost Bunny. He waved his paws, exclaiming that her Ghost Train escapade shot the very rubric of funfair carnivality - and furthermore, transcended post-modern fairground aesthetics. Ghost Bunny squealed in delight. Lapinette however was not so pleased. She argued that her irreplaceable new frock was ripped. The high cost of repair would be cruel and unusual. Ghost Bunny smiled and cast a ghostly glance across the frock, perfectly mending it with all the invisibility a ghost could muster. Lapinette hopped with joy, but a sudden squealing and shrieking from the fairground ride made everyone jump. The Wabbit turned to look. The ride was disappearing and so was the fairground. Ghost Bunny waved, bowed and vanished too. Lapinette and Skratch were next. "Damn spirits are we all," shrugged the Wabbit with a grin. Then he popped into nothing, like a bubble.
["Drops the awnings": Carnival slang for closing for the night. Carny, Circus,Sideshow & Vaudeville Lingo Wayne N. Keyser]

Friday, October 13, 2017

13. The Wabbit On the Other Side

The Devil's Hat burst through to the other side. The Wabbit found himself circling a funfair ride he knew as 'The Big Prawn' and listening to an automated voice. "This is the last stop of this Ghost Train. Please pick up your spectral photographs at the kiosk." The air whistled with spooky cries and the clacking of crustacean limbs. "We'd like to get off now," said the Wabbit but there was no reply. The Devil's Hat orbited faster than the big wheel, plunging low then soaring high. Everyone felt seedy. The voice shrilled again. "You may hop off and hop on again at any time. Please retain your ticket stubs." Skratch found himself searching for tickets he never purchased. Lapinette had an all entry VIP pass for everything and anything, but had left it in her other frock. The Wabbit found two lunch tokens and a half eaten salad sandwich. But the wind caught the tokens and sent them spiraling downwards. The Wabbit watched them go but he looked at the ground and it was coming up fast. So he tucked the sandwich back in his fur and held on. "Best I can do," he muttered. The automated voice changed tone. "Please fasten your spook belts." "There are no belts" hissed the Wabbit. The haunting voice of Ghost Bunny cut through the fairground babble. "Spook belts incur a extra charge..."

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

12. The Wabbit and the Last Ride

It was a surprise as the ghost train suddenly leaped towards them. They turned and ran. "It looks like you, Wabbit," shouted Skratch as an icy wind blew at his fur, tearing lettering from his fur. The letters span in the turbulent air. A hideous scraping noise tore along the rails. A wind blew rattling bursts of machine gun fire. The Wabbit caught one of Skratch's letters. "It's hardly me is it?" he sulked. Lapinette caught another letter. "Don't worry, it's much too tacky to be you." The thing heaved and chattered as if insulted, but still it bore down on them. Now they could feel an icy blast, as chilly as the last gasp of an old deep freeze that held its breath for 50 years. Lapinette shrugged and pouted, "Special effects," but she kept on going. "Tunnel bends to the right!" yelled the Wabbit; "so maybe it'll derail." They scampered round the bend but so did the ghost train. Now they were enveloped in a blue pulsing light and the train was at their heels. Everything seemed hopless, as the train had suggested. But the Wabbit looked ahead into the darkness and thought he could see something. "It's always darkest before the prawn," he muttered, "and I think I can see one just ahead." Lapinette tried to find the prawn without success, but the edges of the tunnel flickered pink ...    

Monday, October 09, 2017

11. The Wabbit and the End Protocol

When they hit the track they bounced and rolled. A station seemed to flash past and reappear, but it stabilised and shimmered with a fierce blue light. Beyond the barriers, Ghost Bunny waved frantically and pointed. From the distance, another train loomed steadily towards them. "It's got a hat on," shouted Lapinette. She drew several edged weapons from her new frock and recalling the recent rip, threw them all in rapid succession. "That's the Devils hat!" yelled the Wabbit. His fur held an impossible supply of Swiss army knives and he threw them all. Blades sliced through the fetid air. The train glowed and picked up speed, howling like a horde of hungry babies. "The Devil's hat usually comes with the Devil in it," announced Skratch. He detached a series of serrated claws and sent them fizzing down the tunnel. The train slowed and stopped. Lights flickered, engines sighed. "Gotcha!" hissed Skratch. Engines whined and the train lurched forward. Headlamps flickered a message. "Morse," said Lapinette. The Wabbit narrowed his gaze and read the code. "It says, 'Abandon'." "It can't be just abandon. Abandon what?" scowled Lapinette. The signal started again. The Wabbit concentrated, scratched his head - and shrugged. "Abandon Hop."

Friday, October 06, 2017

10. The Wabbit and a Possible Black

The Wabbit pulled the alarm lever. Nothing happened. He hopped to the end of the compartment and tried another. A loudspeaker hummed and spoke. "Ghostly ghastly. Ghostly ghastly. Ghostly ghastly." It wouldn't stop. The train jolted and shot forward. Lights strobed past. Stations flew by like jets. And all the time, the loudspeaker crackled its spooky message. The Wabbit covered his ears and hopped fast as the compartment tilted dangerously. "We shouldn't touch the walls," said Lapinette. The Wabbit raised a questioning eyebrow. "We could disappear into a possibility dimension." The Wabbit flinched. "What does that look like?" "Impossible to say," said Lapinette. Skratch the Cat signalled to the Wabbit. "Commander, things are fading out." The Wabbit looked up and he could see the roof of the tunnel. Bit by bit, the train became invisible. But the loudspeaker continued. "Ghostly ghastly. Ghostly ghastly." Ghost Bunny's eyes crossed. "I'm going to haunt off, see what's going on." She became invisible too. Now they seemed to hurtle through the tunnel independently, desperately avoiding the walls. Lapinette glimpsed a sign as it flashed past. "Nerezza!" she breathed. "What does it mean?" asked Skratch. The Wabbit shrugged. "It means dark, Skratch. But not as we know it..." "Fade to black," quipped Skratch. "But you're a cat," said Lapinette; "You can only fade to grey."

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Ghost Control

How the Wabbit managed to do what he did, no-one is ever likely to know. Lapinette felt dishevelled. Skratch looked on in wonder. The tyre iron continued its trajectory and lay spinning on the floor. The Wabbit arced nonchalantly to his feet and looked directly at Ghost Bunny. Ghost Bunny decided against vanishing and instead shrank to a reasonable size. "You're not in control of this train, Ghost Bunny," said the Wabbit. It was a clipped tone of voice that Lapinette recognised. She shrugged and leaned to inspect her new frock. "Who is?" she asked. Ghost Bunny smiled weakly. "The train is under automatic ghostly control. It's on trial for the Ghost Expo." Lapinette found the rip in her frock and scowled. "Invisible mending," suggested the Wabbit; "I have a woman in Ecclefechan." Lapinette bared her teeth and the air sizzled. Skratch meaowed politely for attention. "How do we stop the train?" "We can't!" said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit glared. "I can't go riding around all night on ghost trains." Ghost Bunny fluttered hauntingly and mustered the most soothing voice she had. "We have to wait until the ride is over." Lapinette had an idea and held up a paw for attention. "Why don't we pull the alarm lever?" This met a cool reception, but the Wabbit shrugged and hopped forward. "I always wanted to do that .."

Monday, October 02, 2017

8. Lapinette and the Flying Leap

The train gathered speed and Lapinette ran the numbers. If it shifted to slo mo like before, she knew could make it. But it didn't. The train was a searing white arrow as carriages flashed past. She counted and tensed her left leg. The screech of metal on metal was deafening as brakes engaged. The train slowed. Lapinette caught sight of the Wabbit and he was mouthing something. Lapinette didn't have time. "Looks like jump," she thought. A thump from her leg sent her flying. She stuck like glue to a carriage and the train speeded up. A turbulent wind tore at her frock and she heard a rip. "This means war," she muttered. She wedged her paw into a door and pulled. It gave a little. She could hear voices again. "Do you have tyre iron, Skratch?" "I leave all that sort of thing to you, Wabbit." The door opened slightly but it stuck. Lapinette pushed a leg through and with a massive effort dragged the door. It slid towards her. "Simple matter of physics," she thought and she tried to edge along the carriage, but the wind was too much. A paw grabbed at her paw. She stretched and flailed and tried again. The paw suddenly grabbed her ear and pulled. "Aaaaagh!" she yelled. But she was on the floor inside the train and the door was sliding shut. She looked up. "Where's your ticket!" smiled the Wabbit.

Friday, September 29, 2017

7. Lapinette and Trouble in the Tunnel

Lapinette was dreaming - or so she thought. The cold seemed real enough and she shivered in the gloom. She turned to look down a tunnel and saw a light in the distance. The light got bigger and brighter and pushed a wind that tore at her new frock. The light turned into a howl. Her ears blew madly as the wind pressed her against the wall and stole her breath. Suddenly a shriek filled the tunnel. A train hurtled towards her like a rocket, but then with a sigh it glowed and slowed. It was moving like slow motion film and she could catch voices. "... then you can't have a ticket." The conversation was all about a ticket. The train seemed slow but the wind seemed fast. Her ears flailed as she struggled to hear. "Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere!" The haunting voice bounced from the tunnel roof and the rails hissed it back. She could make out what sounded like the Wabbit but his voice was muffled. "Press ... red ..." Lapinette's mind raced. The voice got sharper and she heard it loud and clear. "It's on the box to your right. Not my right, that would be my left." It was definitely the Wabbit. Now she saw the box. She stretched out a paw but the wind blew it around and she couldn't reach the button. The box came loose and moved away from the wall.  Lapinette kicked the button with her foot. The train shuddered to a halt. Lapinette let her foot drop and sighed with relief. Then she screamed. Now the train was coming the other way ...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Ghost Inspectre

The Wabbit peered into the adjacent carriage. Suddenly Ghost Bunny filled the window. "Woooooh, tickets please!" The Wabbit shrugged and produced his metro pass. "Wabbit," said Ghost Bunny, "This is the Ghost Train. You require a ghostly ticket." She rapped on the window. "You too, Skratch." Skratch didn't have any ticket at all, but that hardly seemed to matter. "I'm not a ghost," sighed the Wabbit. "Then you can't have a ticket," replied Ghost Bunny. "No special offer?" inquired Skratch. Ghost Bunny haunted up and down for a while, then wailed. "Special offers are only available through the Ghost Institute in Via Nizza. And we've sold out." The Wabbit peered behind Ghost Bunny and couldn't make out much. Only fleeting wraith-like figures with hardly any substance. "I can only see shadows," he said. "Oh them," howled Ghost Bunny. "They are spectral commuters, awkward and empty as the worst of your jokes." Skratch smiled to himself. He knew that Ghost Bunny had a thing about the Wabbit and he was therefore being mercilessly teased. "Where does the Ghost Train go?" he ventured. "Nowhere," explained Ghost Bunny. "We don't do destinations." "So what might it say on a ticket?" asked the Wabbit. "Round Trip to Nowhere" shrieked Ghost Bunny. "And how much does it cost?" asked Skratch. "Nothing," laughed Ghost Bunny.

Monday, September 25, 2017

5. The Wabbit and the Last Metro

The doors whooshed shut. Skratch and the Wabbit grabbed rails as the train took off with a siren wail and shot down the tunnel at enormous speed. The Wabbit's 28 teeth clattered. Skratch's tail spiked out like a porcupine. "Maybe the driver's late for supper?" suggested Skratch - although he very well knew the whole system was automatic. The Wabbit hardly needed to shake his head; it was shaking like a shirt in a hurricane. He smiled nonetheless. The loudspeaker system crackled into life with a spectral voice. "This is the last Metro to the end of the line. Passengers not travelling to the end of the line, should get off the train now." The Wabbit wanted to laugh but his stomach revolved like a spin drier. The speakers crackled again. "We wish to apologise for the speed of the train. This is due to a motor malfunction and braking failure." The train gathered more speed. The noise became unbearable. Stations flashed by in an instant. The Wabbit drew close to Skratch and shouted in his ear. "Do you believe any of this?" Skratch counted his nine lives usage and came to twelve. His shrug looked like hip hop and his grip on the passenger rail was a Lindsay Kemp mime. "You know any good prayers?" he asked. The Wabbit tried to oblige. His teeth chattered wildly. "Bless this journey that we undertake. Do thou guard and protect us." Skratch sighed. "Wabbit, there is no guard." Suddenly the train slowed and a ghostly voice issued from the speakers. "Wabbit, you're not supposed to be on the Ghost Train ..."

Saturday, September 23, 2017

4.The Wabbit and the Suspended Wait

The Wabbit squinted at the display on the metro platform. It flickered and died. He planned on catching the last train from Paradise and it had proved a long wait. "I seem a long long way from Paradise," mused the Wabbit thoughtfully. The Wabbit had read all the advertising on the platform and even ventured to the other platform to see if they were any different. He'd counted the steps on the escalator, which proved difficult - although not impossible. He'd even pressed the emergency red button but the system was automatic and seemed to know he was wasting time. His ears pricked up. He could hear a distant meowing and didn't bother to turn. It was unmistakably Skratch, and what he was doing there was anyone's guess. "Wabbit! Wabbit!" shouted Skratch. "The service is suspended. There's no last train." The Wabbit shook his head, because he could hear something else. The display flickered back and stated a train was approaching. The Wabbit glanced to his right. Air pushed a chocolate wrapper along the tracks and it danced a merry jig. "Skratch!" shouted the Wabbit, "that must be false news. The train's coming!" Skratch leaped to the Wabbit's side. "The Carabinieri told me on the way in. I came to get you. We'll take the bus." The Wabbit knew the likelihood of a 36 at this time of night was slim - but suddenly a train drew into the station and doors hissed open. They looked at each other and boarded. Doors hissed shut and the train departed. "There's something weird about this train," murmured the Wabbit ...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Denied Delivery

The Wabbit waited near the station all day for the carrots and was about to give up. He'd made various inquiries, all to no avail. The carrots were a special delivery for the Carrot Club annual dinner and he was in charge of ensuring they arrived promptly. Wabsworth's voice startled him. "You gave me a fright," said the Wabbit. "Are you waiting on the carrots?" asked Wabsworth. "Yes," sighed the Wabbit. "They'll be along shortly," replied Wabsworth. "I've been here since the crack of dawn," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double and knew him well. "You can't predict carrot arrivals." "She said she'd be here," moaned the Wabbit. "Who?" asked Wabsworth." "The Grand Daucus," said the Wabbit. "Perhaps her train is late?" suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit shrugged twice. "Would you like to try this carrot?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit took the carrot and tasted it. "It's nice," he said, "but it's not the Promised Carrot." Wabsworth took it back, stuck it in his fur and murmured, "Let's be on the alert." There was silence except for the sound of trams on wet rails. "I remember my first carrot," said the Wabbit suddenly. "What did it taste like?" asked Wabsworth. "Carrot," replied the Wabbit. Wabsworth dug out the carrot and wiped it on his fur. "Let's finish it." The Wabbit took the carrot, ate it and smiled. "I'll never forget that carrot." "Neither will I," scowled Wabsworth.
[Roughly adapted from Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. (Scene 1 - The Carrot Scene)]

Monday, September 18, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Big Surprise

The Wabbit had another long wait. It was several hours since Lapinette went shopping and there was nothing else for it to lope around with intent. He'd been to the bookshop, two museums and the market. He'd been to the station to look at the trains. He went up on the tethered air balloon and took down on the city to try and see Lapinette. Finally he'd watched a football match on television in a shop window. Just when he'd begun to think she'd never arrive, Lapinette hopped into the square wearing a brand new frock. "Wow!" said the Wabbit, "that's splendid!" Lapinette pirouetted. "I got in the Scottish shop." "I didn't know there was a Scottish shop," gasped the Wabbit. "It's new," said Lapinette. "There are kilts, sporrans, sgian dubhs and claymores." The Wabbit's jaw dropped several centimeters. "They've got haggis, herring in oatmeal, black buns and porridge." "No Irn Bru?" asked the Wabbit. "There's Irn Bru beer," said Lapinette with glee. The Wabbit reeled. "Music?" he asked. Lapinette was waiting for that one. "Pipe bands, Shetland fiddles, traditional folk and Scottish modern jazz!"  The Wabbit hopped up and down. "Where is this place?" You'll never find it," said Lapinette. The Wabbit felt the fabric of Lapinette's kilt and raised an eye in approval. "It's out in Sassi," said Lapinette finally. "Ah," said the Wabbit with a knowledgeable smile, "Nessie lives out there. What's the shop called?" "The Comfy Kilt Ceilidh," said Lapinette.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Long Wait

The Wabbit and Lapinette waited for Skratch to emerge from the cinema. He was attending a screening of Andy Warhol's 'Empire', and no-one knew when it finished. The Wabbit stuck his paws in his fur and whistled aimlessly. He was between adventures and Lapinette knew he found that frustrating. She stretched out a paw and pushed him a little since he seemed to have gone into a trance. "Penny for them?" she whispered. "Oh, sorry, Lapinette," said the Wabbit. "I was just recalling when I saw that film." "All eight hours and five minutes?" she asked. "Longer," said the Wabbit sadly; "I took sandwiches - which was just as well, because the projectionist ran it at the wrong speed." Lapinette grimaced. "I'd rather see Night Cleaners," "So would I," smiled the Wabbit. "I've got some blank leader film, we could watch that instead." Lapinette laughed and laughed. Then the Wabbit became animated. "Any news from the Department?" "Nothing" said Lapinette. "No sign of an adventure?" asked the Wabbit. "Not a dicky bird," said Lapinette. An unexpected breeze blew through the arcade and ruffled their fur. "The wind of change?" speculated the Wabbit. "Let's throw caution at it," smiled Lapinette. The breeze vanished as quickly it came. Lapinette's radio crackled. Following a brief interchange, Lapinette turned to the Wabbit "What sort of adventure would you like next?" "Chunky with bright colours," replied the Wabbit.
[The film Night Cleaners is a key experimental British documentary, said to be poorly received by its subjects.]

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

"Is that seat for me?" asked Peggy. Skratch frowned. "It's for our readers, so that they can feel part of the action." I don't think they'll mind," laughed Lapinette. Peggy fluttered onto the spare seat and settled down. "What sort of Adventure were we just in?" she asked. "My goodness, you catch on quickly, Peggy," said Wabsworth. "Why don't you tell us?" meaowed Skratch. "Blow your whistle," added the Wabbit. "I will," trilled Peggy, "It presented a concrete intelligible space in which the spectator was created by the narrative." "Wow," said Wabsworth. Skratch shook his head. "You're thinking of Hitchcock, where form is quite indissoluble from content." Lapinette butted in. "Isn't cine-structuralism all discredited now?" The Wabbit aimed a kick under the table, missed and spluttered that the development of theory had become as restricted as political discourse itself. "Things have gone down the hill," sighed Wabsworth. Skratch purred for a long time. "Perhaps we're the only creatures keeping theory alive." "That calls for a drink," said the Wabbit. He shouted to the waiter. "Please bring menus such that we theoretical heroes might subject them to a syntagmatic analysis." "Subito!" said the waiter, disappearing into the restaurant. "I think we're a hostage to our own hegemony," said Wabsworth. "You're right there, Wabsworth," sighed the Wabbit. Peggy fluttered her pegs. "Anyone like to buy a complete set of Cahiers du Cinema?" "How much?" yelled Skratch.

Monday, September 11, 2017

8. The Wabbit and the Explanation

With the truck back where they found it, the Wabbit was desperate for an explanation. "Peggy," he said; "What do you do with all the stuff you buy and where the Binky do you put it?" Peggy took them on a walk that led through the market to an old building - and she pointed to a colourful sign that said "Peace." Skratch the Cat went over to the door and peered in. "It's full of things, Wabbit," he shouted. "What kind of things?" yelled the Wabbit. "All sorts of useful things," replied Skratch. Peggy ruffled her pegs. "People flog me things and I bring it all here." Lapinette began to understand. "It's an organisation for charity!" Peggy flapped her wings and nodded. "It's for the homeless, the immigrants, the unemployed - all the poor people that have no stuff." Now the Wabbit got it. But there was one more thing he didn't grasp. "Why don't you just give them money?" Peggy looked at him in astonishment. "That would be no fun for a bird like me. Anyway, I'm helping people recycle their stuff." The Wabbit still looked puzzled but Peggy was adamant. "If they sell things to me, they don't really need them." Skratch the Cat continued to look in the doorway and he yelled out. "It's true, Wabbit. People keep far too much stuff they don't need any more, stuff other people need." The Wabbit suddenly grinned an enormous grin with all of his 28 teeth. "Peggy, you're a Saint!" Peggy fluffed up her pegs and sang. "There'll be stuff for every creature. When the Saints go marching in."

Saturday, September 09, 2017

7. The Wabbit and a Hasty Departure

The truck flew down the road with the Wabbit at the wheel. He was smirking and that made Lapinette nervous. He made more speed and the houses seemed to fly past. "There's another!" shouted Lapinette. Skratch stretched out a paw and calmly batted a Skuttle away. It burped as it went and he watched it tumble onto such sidewalk as there was in Casorzo. "Take that for your trouble," he purred. The truck rattled on, but Lapinette was waiting for something and she looked back. Suddenly the sky went red and a dull boom shook the windows. She turned to look at the Wabbit. The Wabbit shrugged and grinned. "Too much ethanol?" asked Lapinette. "Just enough," said the Wabbit; "Old wine, vapour and a spark." "Kaboom," said Skratch stoically. For once Peggy was quiet. Lapinette nudged her. "Anything to flog?" said Peggy with a weak croak. "I have something," smiled the Wabbit. He took a corner at speed and they all clung on. Peggy remained quiet. "Oh Peggy, I'll ask," said Lapinette. "Wabbit, what do you have?" "Well," said the Wabbit. "I have a red second hand truck - possibly stolen and subsequently treated badly." Peggy remained quiet, but Lapinette touched a wing gently. "Deal?" "No deal," said Peggy, "we have to put it back." Skratch began to meaow. "In my old days ..." Lapinette pointed a paw. "We don't want to know about your misspent youth, Skratch." But Peggy wanted to know. "Skratch - did you buy and sell?" "I was in the acquisition business," purred Skratch.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Skuttles' Desire

Lapinette waved the Skuttles out and they fell on Peggy's wine like a pack of wolves. "Spo-de-ode!" they cried. But one looked around. "This place looks familiar." The rest didn't care and they tried unsuccessfully to open the flasks. "Who's got an opener?" asked a Skuttle.  No opener could be found but they continued to search for one. "Maybe if we sing," suggested a Skuttle, "then the flasks will open by themselves." "Dusty wine at the end of its time," sang one. "How much per flask for that ratty old wine?" warbled the others. Peggy flounced her wings and chirped. "I only buy, I never sell." The Skuttles scoffed. "We'll take your wine and we'll drink it fine. We'll even put it where the sun don't shine." The Wabbit crept into the cab of the truck and took the brake off. The truck rolled backwards silently - and as it rolled, Peggy, Lapinette and Skratch the Cat jumped in. Peggy threw an opener from the window and the Skuttles lost no time. They were drunk as skunks in two minutes. The truck gathered pace as it rolled backwards down the incline. The Wabbit suddenly started the engine and swerved in a highly aggressive manoeuvre that made the Skuttles turn. But they were too inebriated to do a thing. So they continued drinking. "Spo-de-ode Spo-de-ode, drinkin' wine," they chanted. "Take the wheel, Lapinette," said the Wabbit. He dug in his fur and found what he wanted. "What happens now?" asked Peggy. "Just you wait," smiled Lapinette.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

5. The Wabbit and the Dodgy Truck

They followed the Skuttles until they found what they wanted. They were up to no good of course. Raiding wine trucks was part of their job description. The Wabbit sent in Skratch the Cat and Peggy as decoys - and they strolled happily along the street chatting about movies. "Oh look there," said Peggy in mock surprise. "These creatures might have something to flog." "I'd say they might," meaowed Skratch.  "Anything to flog?" yelled Peggy at the top of her voice. There was no reply from the Skuttles who continued to inspect the cargo. The Wabbit lined up his automatic and carefully shot several holes in the barrels. Wine gushed everywhere and the Skuttles fell on it with gusto. "Spo-de-ode. Spo-de-ode," they yelled and they gulped as they sang. Lapinette leapt into the driver's cabin and started the truck. It lurched as she crashed it into gear and more wine poured out. Now the Skuttles were frantic. "More wine," they cried, "Spo-de-ode. Spo-de-ode. More wine." A Skuttle turned to Peggy. "Do you have any wine?" Peggy had never ever been asked for anything before. "Yes." she chirped. "Someone flogged me a massive Barolo consignment back in '79." "Ooh," said Skratch, "You can't get better." Peggy spread her wings. "It's reserved to me in a cantina. Jump in the truck we'll take you all there." The Skuttles clambered drunkenly aboard. The Wabbit, Skratch and Peggy jumped into the cabin just as Lapinette swerved from the sidewalk. The Wabbit started to sing. "Down in Piemonte where everything's fine, all of these Skuttles will be guzzlin' that wine." "Pass me a drink," said Lapinette.

Friday, September 01, 2017

4. The Wabbit and the Film Intruders

Peggy rushed into the cinema and greeted the few people there. "Anything to flog? You got anything to flog?" The small audience thought this was for charity and viewers rummaged in pockets and bags. The Wabbit was watching the screen. "What is this, Skratch?" Skratch pointed his torch. "It's Casorzo, based on one of our adventures. This is a study clip." On the big screen, Lapinette rained automatic fire on scuttling creatures - and all the while a harmonica wailed the tune that led to their demise. It made the cinema shake - and that's when something caught the Wabbit's eye. A Skuttle quietly dropped from the screen and scuttled between the seats. Then another. "Did you see that?" Lapinette felt something fasten to her leg. "Yow! Get off!" she yelled.  A violent kick from her right foot sent a Skuttle spiraling towards the projectionist's booth. Skratch lashed out too. "Foreground that!" he yelled as he bludgeoned a Skuttle with his torch. Peggy looked down as a creature nibbled her pegs. "Anything to flog?" Her foot stamped down. Her pegs clamped and tightened. "Anything?" A long drawn out screech echoed round the theatre. "Nothing to flog," sighed Peggy. But the Skuttles continued to drop from the screen. One turned insolently. "Spo-de-ode. Spo-de-ode." Then he headed for the door as they all streamed out. "I guess they're not waiting on the main feature," said the Wabbit.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

3. The Wabbit and Cinema Sales

With some folding money under her wing, Peggy hopped along the road asking everyone and anyone if they had anything to flog. So by the time she reached Corso Emanuele, Peggy had accumulated a vast number of useless things and was considerably poorer. The Wabbit and Lapinette shadowed her protectively, stepping in if they thought anyone was taking advantage. Outside the Ambrosio Cinema, they spotted Skratch the Cat volunteering at a film festival. He pounced out immediately. "Only a few seats left, only a few now, roll up, roll up," he yelled. "I'll take the seats," shouted Peggy. "How many would you like?" asked Skratch. He'd sold no tickets whatsoever and he was therefore delighted. "I'll buy your seats," said Peggy, "and anything more you have to flog." Skratch peeled off a ticket and tried to find a programme -  but Peggy showed no interest. "You said seats. I want seats." Skratch scratched his head. "I'm afraid they're all fixed to the floor. But you can sit on a seat and watch the movie." "Yes let's!" said Lapinette, She produced a season ticket from her frock and dragged the Wabbit and Peggy towards the foyer. Peggy protested but Lapinette grabbed a wing and pulled. "A movie is just starting!" shouted Skratch. He led the way with a torch to the front row. "What's the movie called?" murmured the Wabbit. "The Wolf of Wall Street," replied Skratch. "Does he have anything to flog?" asked Peggy.

Monday, August 28, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Excellent Deal

The Wabbit headed for the market in the company of the bird, who wouldn't go away. "Anything to flog?" repeated the bird. "I'm going to call you, Peggy," chirped the Wabbit. At that moment, they spotted Lapinette, who'd been helping her cousin Vinnie at his sales outlet. Peggy spread her wings. "Anything to flog?" Lapinette was delighted. "As it happens I do." She flicked a colourful piece of fabric that hovered weightlessly in the air. "I can see you're a bird of considerable taste," she said. "This fabric and design is unique. You won't find one like it anywhere." The Wabbit watched all this with humour and waited as Lapinette continued. "My cousin held this back for a buyer but he's lost in Peru. I can let you have it for a song." Peggy trilled a song and held out a wing. "Plus 50 euro," said Lapinette quickly, "It's stain resistant, washable and drip dry." Peggy produced 50 euro in notes and made a grab for the fabric. Lapinette quickly snatched it away and hopped back shouting, "It's uncrushable, travel proof and the colours never fade!" Peggy seized the fabric and a tug of war broke out, which she won. She carefully tucked the fabric in the iron grip of her other wing and gave Lapinette the cash. Lapinette peeled a ten euro note from the bundle and gave it to Peggy. "Special discount. Vinnie says always give one." Peggy held up the ten euro note and waved it at Lapinette. "Anything to flog..?"

Friday, August 25, 2017

1. The Wabbit and Anything to Flog

The Wabbit hopped down the riverside walk as he had done many times. Despite the frequency of his visits he had never met any other on that lonely path. On this occasion, he gazed quietly and critically at the latest graffiti and was about to make a pronouncement to no-one in particular - when he heard a squawk. "Anything to flog?" The creature was bird-like and looked friendly enough. But it kept saying the same thing over and over. "Anything to flog? You got anything to sell me? Anything at all?" The Wabbit shook the bird politely by the wing and tried to think. "I wasn't considering selling," he said. Nevertheless he rummaged in his fur for possibilities and after a while located a battered ruler and a half-eaten salad sandwich. "I'll give you top dollar," said the bird. "Oh, you can have these for nothing," smiled the Wabbit. The bird flapped its wings in dismissal. "A hundred euro for the ruler and fifty for the sandwich." The Wabbit was aghast and tried to put the objects back. But the bird snatched them away, tucked cash into the Wabbit's fur and grinned the broadest grin ever seen on a bird. The Wabbit shrugged and gave up, because it all seemed to be over and he couldn't do much about it. He turned to go on his way, but felt the flap of a wing on his shoulder. "Anything to flog?" said the bird...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Adventure Caffe was electric. The Wabbit still had a quark plasma disk and was waving it around. "Nothing on it, it's deactivated," he said, tapping it on his glass. "Only corrupted old files and a bad copy of "Singing in the Rain." Skratch shouted with glee. "Ephemeralisation! Soon we'll be able to make to do with nothing much at all." Lapinette screwed up her nose. "Maybe that's accidental complexity?" she suggested. Wabsworth shook his head. "Just the opposite. It's accidental essence." Now Skratch was more than excited. "But that's exactly the kind of adventure you just had." The Wabbit twitched his ears. "OK. What was the essence of our adventure and what was accident?" Wabsworth was having none of this. "The accidents were the essence and if you take them away, there wouldn't be any essence left." Lapinette nodded knowingly. "So then our Adventure would be de-essentialised, because the complete adventure was identifiably and substantially accidental." The Wabbit laughed long and hard. "We consistently and persistently maintained accidental essence throughout." Skratch was delighted. "We worked very hard at it. Aristotle would be delighted." The Wabbit looked round impatiently, because no waiter had appeared to serve them. He tapped the disk loudly on the table. Nothing whatsoever happened. "Looks like accidental service," grinned the Wabbit.
[From an idea by Michael Durrant. Mind, Volume LXXXIV, Issue 1, 1 January 1975, Pages 595–600.]

Monday, August 21, 2017

21. The Wabbit and the Quark Stack

"Where are we?" asked Lapinette. "In the quark stack," said the Royal Seal.  "I don't like it here," said an Ice Mouse. "It's all your own fault," said Silkie the Royal Seal. The Wabbit shrugged. He fished in his fur and pulled out an ancient CD player. Then he flicked a quark plasma disk into the player. It began to play an orchestral movement that Lapinette recognised. "Water Music." The atmosphere became damp and a bit sticky. Moisture seeped from the player. Droplets flew up then fell like rain. But it wasn't rain. "That's ours," croaked the Ice Mouse. Silkie laughed. "Take it if you can." The Ice Mouse tried to jump but slipped on a fine plasma film and fell over. "It's anti-rain, said Silkie. The Wabbit grimaced. "That's what the Ice Mice wanted." The Wabbit took the disk from the player and the plasma rain ceased. He put in a different disk. It played "Riders on the Storm" and rained in a tropical manner. Silkie's voice was stern. "Commander, this is what happens when you fail to submit timely mission reports." "It rains?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette giggled, but Silkie barked, "All this could have been sealed and delivered six years ago." "Water under the bridge," smiled the Wabbit. "Don't let it happen again," said Silkie. The Wabbit plucked the disk from the player then flipped another one in. "I get to keep these, don't I?" "For a rainy day!" shouted Lapinette. And even the Ice Mouse laughed.

Friday, August 18, 2017

20. The Wabbit and Quark Plasma

The Wabbit dived for the ledge as an oncoming portal sped towards the team. There was an apologetic bang, but no doubt of the result. Quark plasma disks emerged in number and when they hit the tunnel, they began to spin fast. The Wabbit brought his stick down hard and yelled, "Drop the web." But the web didn't hold. Disks sliced through the tough weave and continued along the path of the decelerator. Lapinette dived for cover behind the ice floe. But the ice floe turned blue and began to melt - so she rolled across the track and quickly joined the Wabbit. "What's that? Do you know?" "That is the opposite of our ice floe," said the Wabbit; "It's a quark plasma stack." Waves of heat assaulted Lapinette's ears. The disks were sharp and silent. When they hit the side of tunnel, they lodged there, still spinning. Walls became soft, but held their form. Neither solid nor gas nor liquid, they hung in a plasma curtain. The ground vibrated. The Wabbit and Lapinette felt the tracks undulating beneath their feet. They were plasma too. Cautiously the Wabbit poked the plasma with his stick. Everything stopped. Disks dropped from walls. The ice floe reverted to arctic white. The tunnel restabilised. "Looks like that's all we get," murmured the Wabbit. He picked up a disk and polished it with his fur. "Think there's a tune on it?"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

19. The Wabbit and the State of Matter

Deep in the mountains lay an important and very secret installation. At the Wabbit's behest, the Department of Wabbit Affairs built a particle decelerator - and allowed the Wabbit to modify it. "It needs to be straight on the rails," yelled the Wabbit, waving his stick. The red spiders patiently adjusted the ice floe. Measurements indicated it wasn't really cold, but it felt as if it was. Lapinette adjusted the timer carefully and said - as she always did at this juncture - "Do you think this will work?" "I tried it using a vase," said the Wabbit. Lapinette's face was a question. The Wabbit looked up in triumph. "All the bits came back!" "Bits?" He hesitated. "Powdery bits." "Ready when you are," called Marshall Duetta. The Wabbit stepped away from the track and lifted his stick. "On my mark." Lapinette activated the decelerator. Nothing appeared to happen. But the Wabbit knew the ice floe had been and gone and come back. An ozone smell wafted through air and sounds of sizzling like frying sausages. "It's different," said Duetta. She tapped the floe lightly with a leg. A hollow sound echoed through the tunnel. "Stand back," said the Wabbit. He raised his stick. Lapinette re-activated the device. Again, nothing seemed to change. But Duetta rattled her legs. "It's come back exactly the way it was." "The Wabbit pointed his stick down the tunnel. "Then what's that over there ..?"

Monday, August 14, 2017

18. The Wabbit and the Aftermath

When they flew across the city they knew something had happened. Burning craft lay in several places. In the distance, Duetta's red spiders ferried the ice floe along the mountains. Lapinette couldn't talk to the spiders directly, only through Duetta. So she put in a call. "Marsha Duetta Spider, come in," For a while there was nothing. Then there was a voice, but it wasn't Duetta. "Copy you," Lapinette," said Wabsworth. "I need actual Duetta," responded Lapinette. "Lapinette, standby," said Wabsworth abruptly. The Wabbit heard muffled explosions in the transmission and a lot of shouting. He took the walkie talkie. "Everything under control?" "Yes, Commander," said Wabsworth, "Never a bother." The Wabbit listened to an impossible number of ammunition rounds exploding. Then all went quiet. The radio crackled. "Commander, we had a small contretemps." Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double and just like him in many ways. But Wabsworth had a penchant for understatement. "A situation has been contained. Advising rendezvous change to Point Delta." "Copy that Wabsworth," said Lapinette, "What situation?" "Ice Mice tried to kidnap the Royal Seal," replied Wabsworth. The Wabbit waited for more information and Wabsworth somehow smiled down the radio. "They tried to seal his fate." "And...?" asked Lapinette. "Our seal is armed to the teeth." said Wabsworth.

Friday, August 11, 2017

17. The Wabbit and the Night Tripper

Susan the Biplane lifted them from the bridge with the ease of a cargo hoist. It was a timely intervention. Saucers came from all directions firing green lightning that singed their ears. “They’re everywhere, Commander,” said Susan, “All over the city.” Lapinette clung onto a strut to lean out and back as Susan swooped from left to right. “Good thing you did that sidecar racing course,” muttered the Wabbit. Lapinette’s lean was quite impossible. She treated gravity like a toy and her merry dance on the wing was a tour de force. “Hold tight," said Susan. She stood on a wingtip, hung for an instant, then dived abruptly to the ground. Lightning blasts glanced past as she looped the loop and circled back. A following saucer didn’t quite make it and buried itself in a railway siding. Another that was right behind suffered the same fate. But there were more and more saucers. Susan buzzed two craft who’s crew became so disorientated they crashed their vessels into each other. Shards of fuselage littered the railway. Three craft hit power pylons and exploded. One dropped from the sky without warning and as it landed, its lights flickered and died. Lapinette heard singing above the roar of the engine. It was the Wabbit singing into his walkie talkie. “We are the champions, we are the champions!”

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

16. The Wabbit and the Big Drop

It happened in an instant. Without warning, saucers filled the air and they came thick and fast. The Wabbit and Lapinette were thrown from the bridge. Snow pelted their paws as they clung to the slippery surface. The Ice Mice turned and walked away without a word or a backward glance. "How did that happen?" muttered the Wabbit. His fur stuck fast as frost froze them both in a welcome embrace. The Wabbit watched saucers whizz past and he heard them make a fast-freeze cackle as they span. He slowly hauled himself over the parapet, then turned to lean out. He pulled Lapinette onto the bridge, set her down and murmured, "We need a better plan." Lapinette's frock was a frozen board. "Did we have a plan?" The Wabbit shrugged. "No plan is also a plan." He rummaged in his fur for his emergency fur drier and blasted it around. Lapinette was unimpressed and yelled, "Ears please." The Wabbit blasted Lapinette's ears until they were toasty. "We're making heavy weather of this," he sighed. The snow thickened but somehow it didn't settle. It turned into ice pellets the size of golf balls and clung to every surface of the bridge. The Wabbit activated his fur drier in a ferocious attack using unauthorised settings. It failed to melt a single one, but the snow stopped and the temperature rose. Lapinette was awe struck. "Where did you find that?" The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "It found me."

Monday, August 07, 2017

15. The Wabbit and the Mice's Ice

The Wabbit hastened across the city to the rendezvous. It was becoming extremely cold and lazy snowflakes clung to his fur. Lapinette had lagged behind to explain something to Skratch the Cat. But now she hurried to catch up - and there they were, just behind the Wabbit. The Ice Mice were impervious to snow or any other weather and they hopped in his steps as the downfall grew fiercer. "Wabbit" shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit wiped snow from his fur and turned. Then he smirked at the three Ice Mice. "Hiding behind a rabbit's back is extremely poor form." He pulled an automatic from his fur. "This is my friend Mr Makarov." An Ice Mouse made a bee line for the Wabbit, but cold steel against his throat changed his mind. "Going somewhere?" growled Lapinette. The Ice Mice lolled around casually, like a bunch of gangbangers in a grotty ghetto. "Message for the Wabbit," said one. "Phone my secretary," snorted the Wabbit. "Call off your eight legged freaks," said an Ice Mouse who was struggling in Lapinette's grip. "Give us our ice and we'll be on our way." Lapinette held an ear and traced patterns with her blade in the creature's fur. "Why do you want the ice?" No-one spoke, so she poked the blade around. "Aaaagh!" yelled the Mouse; "It's spin ice." The Wabbit signalled to Lapinette. "Spin ice?" Lapinette ran a paw along the edge of her weapon. "Spin ice is quantum disordered ice." "The worst kind," sighed the Wabbit.

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit threw a book on the table. "I found it." Lapinette was agog. "It's practically unobtainable." Skratch the Cat bore down on the group flaunting his new t-shirt, but he spotted the book and let out a long haunting meaow. "Where? How?" The Wabbit grinned and shook his head. "That, I may not reveal.  But it's yours now." "A Theory of Musical Semiotics," he chortled; "I'll quote that for years." A fresh breeze ruffled the pages. A faint tune rose and died away. Lapinette took the opportunity to ask the question. "What kind of adventure are we having?" Skratch blinked in a way that only a cat could achieve. "I wouldn't dare criticise a project in progress." "That's Sartre," said Lapinette. The Wabbit tapped the table with a firm paw. "Less methodology, more entertainment." Skratch tapped his chest. "I suggest water is invariably the site of conflict. In cinema, it mobilises a dramatic and conflicted discourse as fluid and changing as water itself." It was Wabsworth's turn to contribute." "This is about the content of water, not its shape. It's somethingness is the issue." The arcade was hot. A welcome breeze brought a change in temperature, prompting Skratch to sweep his paws across his ears. "Something in the air. Something strange." The Wabbit rose. "Time to rock n'roll..."

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

14. The Wabbit and the Ice that Wasn't

Back on earth, things were cool. But not that cool. Marshall Duetta's spiders brought as many as the ice floes they could capture and the Wabbit felt he should supervise. "Front legs down a bit, back legs up a bit." Marshall Duetta rattled all her legs. "Leave the capturing to us." The Wabbit shrugged. "What do you think, Wabsworth? Should we break the ice?" Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double but was his own android nonetheless. "It won't break. It's not our kind of ice." The day blistered in the sun and the Wabbit felt hot and bothered. The floes promised refreshing coolness but steadfastly refused to melt. "Take them to the North Pole," suggested Wabsworth; "It could use some more." Lapinette thought that was a good idea. She leaned from a metal tower. "Global warming won't melt these in a million years." Wabsworth smiled and activated his sensors to make a brief analysis. "High pressure. Variable density. The molecular structure is a cube lattice weave. And there's something else I can't determine." A floe crashed to the ground but hardly made a sound. Then another. A wall of unyielding ice grew long and high. The Wabbit hissed. "The Ice Mice know about the something else. They usually do." "Then they'll be here soon," said Duetta. The Wabbit flashed all of his 28 teeth. "Post sentries," he muttered; "Everyone else take five for cold drinks."

Monday, July 31, 2017

13. The Wabbit and the Space Kaboom

Quantum the Time Travelling Train was technically a merchant craft, unequipped for dogfights in space - but he was fast. "Lattice Drive, Commander?" "No," said the Wabbit. He connected his radio to Device A119 and hummed a simple tune. "Locked and Loaded," said the device. "Wait," said the Wabbit. Device A119 waited, and while he waited he played an electronic tune. "So tired," he warbled; "Tired of waiting for you oo ooh." "Now!" yelled the Wabbit. It was only an instant but it seemed like an hour. Suddenly the lunar surface glowed with a strange yellow light. There was no sound, just heat and light. A fiery blast seared past Quantum. "No-one look back," yelled the Wabbit. New fire added to old. Space was as floodlit as a stadium. Shards of saucers flew past Quantum's hull. A random blast from an Ice Mice craft shaved paint from one of Quantum's plates. "Dead Stop! Engage Lattice Drive!" snapped the Wabbit. Quantum groaned, shuddered and vanished, leaving behind only a light-drenched scrapyard. From a safe distance, Marshall Duetta and her legions of red spiders watched. Something odd was happening. Explosions on the lunar source sprayed water bombs into space. There, they froze into Arctic ice floes and drifted towards earth. Duetta spoke telepathically to her spider army. "Take your positions ..."

Friday, July 28, 2017

12. The Wabbit and the Broken Saucer

Under the pressure of the red spiders, the saucer plunged and crashed. Spiders swarmed over the surface, but nothing emerged. The Wabbit and Lapinette stared across a river of the deepest blue. "Is it water?" asked the Wabbit. "Not as we know it," said Duetta. Her legs rattled. "I wouldn't drink it." Marshall Duetta stuck a tip of a leg in the water and withdrew quickly. "The molecules aren't quite right." The Wabbit had a thought. "It looks like a reservoir." Lapinette charged her snazer gun. The whine was audible even in the wafer thin atmosphere. "But who's reservoir is it?" Duetta received a signal from the red spiders. "Marshall, there's movement inside the craft." Duetta ordered her troops to smash against the side of the vessel. The Wabbit and Lapinette gripped their snazers. They were expecting a sudden onslaught of Ice Mice, but all was still. "It's too quiet," said the Wabbit. Duetta nodded upwards. "How quiet do you like it?" Saucers emerged from behind Earth and they were fast and furious. "I estimate they'll be here in two hours," said Lapinette. "Call off the spiders," said the Wabbit; "Let them think we cut and ran." "We'll head for the dark side of the moon," said Lapinette. "It's going to be cold," sighed the Wabbit. "We'll heat things up," said Duetta; "Got any CL-20?" "I always do," replied the Wabbit, flicking imaginary lint from his fur. "Lay it under the water," suggested Duetta. "Blasting harms the environment," said Lapinette. Duetta rattled her legs. "If the Ice Mice get here, we won't have any."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

11. The Wabbit and the Liquid Moon

Marshall Duetta Spyder hung just off Earth and watched the moon turn liquid. Then the remnants of a distant shock wave rattled her legs. Quantum the Time Travelling Train burst through the lunar surface, spraying icy droplets into space. Duetta spoke telepathically to her cohorts. "Stand by." "There's another craft, Marshall," came a silent response. "Ice Mice," growled Duetta. She transmitted another message. "Battalion Two. Give that craft trouble." A thousand red spiders broke orbit and headed for the saucer. Marshall Duetta turned her gaze to the moon. She knew the value of water and the sinister role of the Ice Mice in diverting natural resources. Climatic catastrophe was the certain result. She sent another message, this time to the Wabbit. "All possible information. Copy." The Wabbit's radio voice vibrated through every hair she had. "The moon is full of water. The discovery droid told no-one." Marshall Duetta rattled her legs. "Someone else knew. We have company." The Wabbit's voice was harsh. "Can you divert them?" "Not indefinitely," said Duetta. The saucer was at a standstill, but suddenly powered up and made for the moon's surface. Quantum moved to intercept. For a moment a collision looked unavoidable, but Quantum vanished and reappeared from the far side of the moon. Trapped between Quantum and the spiders, the saucer shuddered to a halt. Red spiders covered the craft. Duetta hissed and bared her fangs. "Smother it."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10. The Wabbit and the Place of Water

In the dining car of Quantum the Train, the Wabbit fiddled with Device A119. It was rather old fashioned and had seen better days. But it worked. Space Traveller looked out into deep space and worried. "Does he know what he's doing?" Lapinette shrugged. "Maybe." The Wabbit ignored all this. He continued to poke inside the device and hummed gently. "Is that you or the device?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit hummed a different note, then another. Suddenly Device A119 spoke. "Up a bit and to the left." "Your left or my left?" sighed the Wabbit. "Right paw up a bit until you find the red capacitor." There was a flash. "Ouch," said the Wabbit. "Spot on," said the device; "You have control." The Wabbit sighed again. "Control of what?" "Me," said the device. "Can I have a salad sandwich?" said the Wabbit. "I can promise a panino in due course," replied the device; "but I have to find it first." Lapinette laughed and signalled the kitchens. "What was your function?" continued the Wabbit. "To find water in the moon," said the device. The Wabbit probed with his screwdriver and murmured, "What was the outcome of your search?" The device played a soothing snatch of Cool Water. "I'll take that as a yes," said the Wabbit; "so who did you inform?" "No-one," responded the device; "I have no instructions to tell anyone." An audible gasp shook the dining car. "It was forgotten," said the Device. "That doesn't hold water," grinned the Wabbit.

Friday, July 21, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Lost Performers

Torrential rain lashed at the Wabbit's fur. The Agents were looking at something and the Wabbit knew what it was. It whistled and sang, it chirped and warbled. Then under the light of a mystifying moon, the Agents began to dance. Space Traveller pitched his green ears. "What is that?" The Wabbit plucked his walkie talkie from his fur. "I forgot about Device A119. It's a droid." He changed frequency and whispered urgently. "Command Line 76. Execute Bootstrap. Information Protocol 119." His radio crackled and whined. "Hello, hello, hello hello." "The Wabbit had an idea. He whispered again. "Device A119, please accept my requests." The Wabbit listed a series of obscure novelty chart-toppers. The Agents danced in circles and made jazz paws in the rain, oblivious to anything but the heterodyne whine of Device A119. "That's ghastly," said Space Traveller, making a futile attempt to cover his ears. The Wabbit spat out a list of performers known for execrable one-hit wonders. Device A119 played them all. "I can take no more," sighed Space Traveller. "Wait," smiled the Wabbit. The Agents whirled to left and right, then sank exhausted to the ground. The rain stopped. Silence fell. The Wabbit hopped forward and retrieved the device. Then he grabbed onto Space Traveller and grinned, "Let's fade away." And they did.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

8. The Wabbit and the Cynical Switch

The Wabbit felt strange to be an Agent of Rabit, but Space Traveller seemed to be enjoying himself. They wiggled their pointy ears and practiced snickering just like Agents. "Get these gophers," sneered the Wabbit. "Scrag their scroggles!" said Space Traveller, a bit too loud. Suddenly there were three agents throwing out their chests and snivelling. "Who are you?" they shouted. The Wabbit looked over the wall. "We're new." "We just got here," added Space Traveller. "No-one said you were coming," said an Agent. "Last minute thing," smiled the Wabbit; "In consequence, we are hopelessly raw and don't know our asses from our elbows." Another Agent shook with annoyance. "It's always the same when we need help." "But we're so cute," simpered the Wabbit. The three Agents huddled, then emerged to address the pair. "There was one interloper. Now there are two." "I can see them," said the Wabbit.  "Where?" sneered the Agents. "Over there," said Space Traveller; "You can make out their ears." The Agents became agitated. "We can't see them." The Wabbit pointed to his glasses. "Special spectacles." Space Traveller tapped his. "Wearable specnology." "Yes, I see ears on the horizon," exclaimed an Agent. "Best follow them," suggested the Wabbit. "Keep your own ears to the ground," advised Space Traveller." The Agents made off at speed and disappeared. "We'll look after your stuff," shouted the Wabbit.

Monday, July 17, 2017

7. The Wabbit & the Planet of the Voles

Quantum dropped them off. The planet looked pretty much as the Wabbit had left it, but something wasn't right. The sky darkened and rain fell. Drops prickled the Wabbit's fur. "Acid rain," murmured the Wabbit. "Usually this is when the voles come, remember?" said Space Traveller. The Wabbit recalled his story of the voles with a chuckle. "I made all that up." Lightning flashed. The Wabbit plucked his walkie talkie from his fur, but it crackled aimlessly. A long way above, Quantum the Time Travelling Train wheeled and departed. "I do think we have trouble," sighed the Wabbit. "There they are, the voles," shrugged the Time Traveller; "They're most unpleasant." The Wabbit stared straight ahead. "They're not normal voles." The Space Traveller shuddered. "Voles should stay in their holes." The Wabbit fished around in his fur for ideas. "I'm truly sorry I left you with the voles." Damp droplets turned to lashing rain. The Wabbit tucked his radio away. "It's an off-planet platoon of the Agents of Rabit. Our sworn enemy." The Wabbit hissed harshly but Space Traveller brightened up. "Let's give them a thrashing." Agents charged over the brow of the hill, snickering as they closed on their prey. "Grab onto me," said the Traveller; "We'll give them the round run." The Wabbit did as he was told. With a grimace and a shudder the Traveller began to change. And so did the Wabbit ..

Friday, July 14, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Forgotten Web

The sun's glare barely penetrated the abandoned mall. Marshall Duetta Spyder stared through a web at the Wabbit and Lapinette. "This is an old web of mine. I can tell by the excellent weave." Silkie's voice boomed out from the graffitied wall. "Listen to the words of the Royal Seal." The Wabbit's paws were stuck fast, but he managed a shrug. "I'm not going anywhere. Spit it out." "This is the dream of unfinished business," shouted Silkie. "In this unfortunate space are things you forgot about." A green figure gazed from a shuttered shop and cried mournfully, "You said you'd come back for me." The Wabbit looked round, then cringed. "Oh no! It's Space Traveller!" Duetta rattled her legs. "It's true Commander. You leave a lot of matters unresolved." Tock, the Blue Ball spoke up from the farthest point in the passageway. "I'm left over from an old adventure, you forgot me too." Lapinette was suspicious and wrinkled her nose. "What's this really about Silkie?" Silkie tiled his crown at angle. "I discovered some old adventure reports. They were behind the Wabbit's filing cabinet stuck to a half-eaten salad sandwich." "The Wabbit pulled a paw from the web and crashed it on his brow. "Then I didn't forget!" Silkie barked loudly. "The reports remain unprocessed. I need to sign and seal certain adventures." The Wabbit sighed with relief.  "That's easy," he murmured. "Exactly where they took place," said Silkie ...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

5. The Wabbit and the Dreams of Seals

Tock the Ball took off in pursuit. The Wabbit wasn't entirely sure that he would detonate. But they all ran rapidly through the market anyway. The whoomph was unexpected. It was far from an explosion but their paws left the ground as it propelled them past market stalls. That was the moment when Silkie the Royal Seal did something surprising. He became enormous, then twitched his nose. A swarm of red spiders erupted from his face. "Silkies can change into anything," muttered the Wabbit. "You can change, Seal," shouted Tock; "but you'll never escape." There was another whoomph like a burst tyre and they scooted faster. The red spiders made their own noise. These were shrill calls designed to attract others. And others were coming - of that the Wabbit could be sure. He could almost hear them scuttling. "Who are you, Silkie?" shouted the Wabbit. "I am change," said Silkie. The Wabbit's radio startled into life. "This is Marshall Duetta Spyder. Copy?" "Duetta! What the binky is going on?" asked the Wabbit. "I had a strange dream about a seal barking," said Duetta. "Get over here!" yelled the Wabbit; "Bring every spider you can muster." Another whoomph shifted them further. "Hand over the Royal Seal," shouted Tock. Spiders spilled from Silkie's mouth - and he too looked more and more like a spider. "Onwards to the web of dreams," smiled Silkie ...

Monday, July 10, 2017

4. The Wabbit and the Market Face-off

The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped with speed. The Market was closing and they had no difficulty in spotting what looked like a royal seal. The Wabbit put aside niceties. "Are you our seal?" The seal barked twice. "I am at the present time, your seal." "You're in danger," shouted Lapinette; "please come with us." "I was enjoying my break," sulked the seal. The Wabbit launched a fast explanation. "A dangerous ball is looking for you." Tock's voice shrilled from behind the rolled up awnings. "Deliver the Royal Seal to me. You have two minutes left." The Wabbit wheeled round. "Stand down, Tock. Your ticking days are numbered." It was hot and muggy under the glaring sky and they were all flustered. The Wabbit blinked rapidly. The seal tilted his crown over his eyes. Lapinette's ears swayed like fans. Tock's eyes misted over. "One minute," he said sleepily. The Wabbit signalled for the others to wait. Forty seconds, passed - then fifty. Tock deflated a bit and he wheezed. Then he snored deeply. The seal barked and the Wabbit snarled, "Tock hasn't a minute to call his own." The seal barked again. "I'm Silkie the Royal Seal, I've been your seal for years." A sudden hiss of air made them turn. "One minute to detonation," said Tock. The Wabbit grabbed Silkie's whiskers and tugged. "Run for it!"

Friday, July 07, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Seal Search

The market was almost closed and people were making tracks. It was the biggest market in Europe and home to many different sorts. No-one took any notice of Tock as he bounced in a determined manner towards the Clock Market - except for the Wabbit and Lapinette. The din of the traffic drowned the crackle of their radios. Lapinette's ears swivelled. Tock muttered as he bounced and she crept closer to hear him. "Copy?" said the Wabbit. "Copy," said Lapinette. "Got anything?" asked the Wabbit. "Stand by," responded Lapinette. She crept a little closer and hid behind a fence. Then she pointed her radio at Tock and made a few adjustments. "Got him." "Patch him through," said the Wabbit. Tock was chanting. "Find the silkie, find the silkie." Lapinette switched back. "That's all he says. What's a silkie?" The Wabbit chuckled. "A mythological Scottish beast." "What kind of beast?" asked Lapinette, although she knew the answer. "A seal," said the Wabbit. Lapinette crept closer. "Is it royal?" The Wabbit scooted round the tram but he kept out of sight. His mouth was close to the radio. "Sometimes," he whispered. Lapinette watched Tock carefully. "Maybe it's not our seal," said Lapinette. "Too many seals, so little time," said the Wabbit. Tock suddenly turned. "I can see you both. You cannot stop me." The Wabbit hopped into the open. "Stop what?" Tock began to tick loudly. "I have only ten minutes to find the silkie." "And then?" asked the Wabbit. Tock whirled like a top and vanished...

Thursday, July 06, 2017

2. The Wabbit and the Suspect Ball

With every intention of taking a tram to the market to look for the royal seal, the Wabbit and Lapinette hopped along Corso Svizzera. It was a dull day with nothing to recommend it. Then they saw it in the distance - a blue ball with many eyes. "I know that ball from somewhere," yelled the Wabbit. "Let's follow it!" shouted Lapinette. She vaulted a fence like an athlete and scampered onto the rails. A tram braked with an unnecessary squeal and the driver shook a fist. They took no notice and used the tram as cover. There they waited to see which way the ball would bounce. The ball stopped and turned. The Wabbit and Lapinette disappeared behind the tram. But the ball was curious and bounced to the platform. The Wabbit and Lapinette knew the tram gave them temporary cover - but soon it would move off and they would be revealed. So the Wabbit clung onto a step and hauled Lapinette behind him. The doors hissed and opened. The ball boarded the tram and squeezed its way to the front. The Wabbit and Lapinette crept inside and hid at the rear. "That ball is familiar and I can't think where it's from." Lapinette thought and thought. "I know - it's Tock, the talking bomb." They watched the ball assail the driver. "You are now under my control," said Tock; "Take this tram to Porta Palazzo market." "I'm going there anyway," sighed the driver. "Then be quick about it," said Tock and he put a ticket in the machine ...

Monday, July 03, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Royal Seal

The Wabbit and Lapinette wandered through the Department of Wabbit Affairs - and thought about lunch. "The Department Bar does good salad sandwiches," said the Wabbit. "Oh, I feel like something more substantial," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit shrugged and smiled. "In the bar, I can sign for sandwiches and I don't have to pay until next month." Lapinette shook her head vigorously. "Didn't you hear? There's a moratorium on expenses. The Royal Seal has disappeared." The Wabbit knew the Department was far from royal - and certainly didn't need a seal. But it was the way things had always been done. He flapped his paws together and made a honking noise. Lapinette groaned at such an old joke. "The Department is worried that the seal may have fallen into the wrong paws. Until it's found or replaced, only essential claims can be made." The Wabbit slapped a paw to his head. "Sandwiches are essential." Lapinette was sympathetic. "It would be much easier to find the seal, than change the Department's procedures." "Any clues?" The Wabbit cast his eyes up and down the hall, just in case a clue might suddenly appear. "We could try the market," said Lapinette; "Most things gravitate there." The Wabbit leaped with joy. "And we can get food and an unobtainable jazz album." "I know just the place," smiled Lapinette; "It's called Pasta on a Platter."

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The caffè seemed busier than usual. "What's happening?" asked Lapinette." "I expect Skratch will let us know," said the Wabbit; "And here he comes now." Skratch the Cat made an entrance and he was all smiles. "We're on location with G and T, a famous web series." "Don't they mind?" said Wabsworth. "Special permission," said Skratch. "In that case, Skratch," said the Wabbit; "What kind of adventure did we just have?" Skratch waved to the film crew. "I thought it was a perfect anti narrative. It defied semiosis." Lapinette laughed. "You mean there was no story." "Not at all," said Skratch. "But this world is over textualised and we are constricted by language." The Wabbit laughed and pointed at Lapinette's glass of prosecco. "How did you get that drink?" "I lifted an eye and it arrived shortly thereafter," said Lapinette. "You didn't speak then?" continued the Wabbit. He winked at Wabsworth and sat back. Skratch didn't turn a hair. "Lapinette's sound image was referential. Even though there was no utterance." Wabsworth grinned and agreed. "The waiter did not require an extended semantic field to recognise Lapinette's request." But the Wabbit wasn't fully satisfied. "That doesn't tell us a thing about our last adventure." Skratch patted the Wabbit on the head and told him it had Erzählbarkeit. "That's another story entirely," said the Wabbit.
[We briefly shared a location with the makers of the successful web series G and T.   Erzählbarkeit: German - narrativity]

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 The Wabbit and the Last Settlement

The Wabbit knew one thing. The venue had to impress. So by special arrangement, they gathered for mediation in the Dark Basement of the Goddesses. There was general hush as the strawberries, tomatoes and grapes conversed in whispers. It was like a cocktail party in a church. "I do like cherries," said Unut, the Rabbit Goddess. "Thank goodness for the Romans." chuckled the Wabbit. (Lapinette flinched. The Wabbit's relationship with the Goddess was increasingly informal.) "Oonty," said the Wabbit; "Can you facilitate the cherries to mediate an agreement?" Unut raised her staff and the cherries began to address the gathering. "We bring our vast experience to bear on fruit and fruit-like things." There was a general murmuring. The cherries continued. "Your problem is the seed fixation. Don't worry about seeds." "But we do worry, that's why we're here," said a grape. "And how do you feel?" asked the cherries. "All alone," said the grapes." The cherries smiled politely. "You would not feel all alone, if fruits could only get stoned." "You mean there's another way?" said a tomato. "There's always is," said the cherries; "It depends on how you look at things." "How do you look at things?" asked a strawberry. "We're stoned and were proud," said the cherries.
[The Romans introduced cherries to Egypt. Unut herself is Romano-Egyptian] 

Monday, June 26, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Stone Fruits

"Everything's done and dusted," said Lapinette. "I'm sure they'll all agree," added the Wabbit. The meal had been good and the Wabbit stroked his tummy. That was when he looked down and noticed the cherry. It was red and bright and one of a pair. The two pranced over the cobbles like ballet dancers and hummed. The Wabbit sighed suspiciously and murmured, "What do you want?" "Nothing," said the cherries. They danced merrily off. "Who were you talking to?" asked Lapinette. "Two cherries," replied the Wabbit. Lapinette shot him a quizzical look, then sighed too. "What did they want?" "Nothing," said the Wabbit. The Alien Pilot was uneasy. His eyes flicked behind him. "I don't like the look of these cherries. They're after something." "Nope," shrugged the Wabbit. "Maybe they're stoned?" ventured Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "They don't look stoned." They watched the cherries wander aimlessly around, humming and cheerfully chatting. "I changed my mind," said the Wabbit. "And I had an idea," said Lapinette; "We'll ask the cherries to help mediate between the tomatoes and the strawberries." The Alien Pilot breathed a sigh of relief. "Perfect," said the Wabbit. His 28 teeth glittered. "I'll pick some cherries out."