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 Skinny. "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 ..."

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

5. The Wabbit disturbs the Quiet Zone

There wasn't a flash or a bang, just the sudden appearance of the Wabbit. His special glasses cut through the fog. "Ah, here it is," he murmured. "Just what we've been looking for." Buildings swam out of the gloom. A roadway emerged from a tunnel. A factory chimney poked skyward. He swept his Snazer back and forward and grunted. Terni and Puma became aware of sounds, low at first but steadily increasing in volume. "Is this Incontinentia?" asked Terni. "The outskirts," said the Wabbit, "Here the denizens do business in grim offices and grimy sweatshops." "Don't they have any fun?" growled Puma. "They pretend to have fun," said the Wabbit. "But all is appearance and nothing is real." Terni swooped into the air to look around. "I can see something, but there's still a mist." "Pollution," said the Wabbit. Little by little, they moved onwards. Twigs gave way to crazed asphalt, ruptured and potholed by eons of neglect. Repairs had been made here and there, but they only served to make the surface nastier. The Zone crowded in again. Twigs cracked soundlessly as they carefully poked their way through a forest of interminable quiet. It began to get dark. The Wabbit's glasses burst into a searchlight glare - and yes, up ahead, there was something. It was a gate in a fence - and the fence stretched as far as their eyes could see ...

Monday, December 11, 2017

4. Puma and Terni in the Quiet Zone

As instructed by the Wabbit, Puma and Terni the Dragon made their way across the Zone. "Why do we always get this job?" moaned Terni. The Zone was threatening although absolutely nothing happened there. Terni wondered if that was the reason. He gave a roar and a puff of dragon breath joined the fog. "I thought I saw a twig move," said Puma. "I think I saw it too," said Terni. Puma let out one of his most menacing shrieks but the Zone silenced it. "This must be the quietest place in the world," said Terni. As they carefully moved on, Puma purred a question. "Do you know anything of this City of Incontinentia?" Terni fluttered his cabbage wings. "I hear it's a dreary place, where everything is bought and sold and nothing is worth anything." Puma prodded an uncertain forest floor but felt nothing. "Well, it can't be worse than here." He swerved and tried to kick up a wind, but nothing moved. He pawed at motionless branches. "I can see a sign," observed Terni. Puma waited patiently for news. "It says, 'Shhh! Silence Please'," bellowed Terni. "I don't like it here!" screeched Puma. "Let's try being very, very quiet," whispered Terni. He fluttered down and became as still as a gargoyle. Puma crouched and froze. Then everything started to change ...

Friday, December 08, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Personal Guard

Fitzy, Mitzy and Tipsy comprised Lapinette's personal guard, so the Wabbit approached with considerable caution. They were prancing on top of the elevator car that went up to the dome and the climb had been arduous. "Ahem," said the Wabbit. Tipsy seemed to be playing a tune on a fearsome edged weapon but she paused. "You shouldn't cweep up on us, Commander." "Jeepers," said Fitzy. She waved an automatic at Mitzy. "Schtick 'em up Shiblet!" Mitzy stroked her snazer rifle and shook her head. "My pawsicles are so full." The Wabbit took a deep breath. "Your Christmas orders." "Put me down for a crate of beer," yelled Tipsy. The Wabbit smiled as benevolently as he could. "No, your mission assignment." Tipsy lurched a bit. "Do tell, Commander!" The Wabbit nodded courteously. "We're going to Incontinentia." Tipsy burst out laughing and couldn't stop. "Cheese Whizz!" said Fitzy, holding her nose. "Are there interesting little shoplets?" asked Mitzy. The Wabbit shook his head sadly. "In Incontinentia, they're everywhere in peril." "Shitake shakers!" shouted Mitzy. Fitzy turned to stare at the Wabbit and racked her automatic. "I call that tyraninny." The Wabbit gently pushed Fitzy's automatic away from his fur. "Tyraninny of the Third Kind," he muttered.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

2. The Wabbit and Lapinette's Task

The Wabbit caught up with Lapinette at the back of the Old Chocolate Factory in Pozzo Strada. She was polishing her automatic and barely turned. "You have a card with you?" It was statement rather than a question, so the Wabbit grinned a lop side grin. "It says 'Luck, Tyranny and Revenge'." Lapinette took the card but hardly glanced at it. "Wabbit, it says 'Lust, Tyranny and Revenge'." The Wabbit didn't turn a hair. "Same thing," he smiled. Lapinette continued to polish until her Makarov took on a blue sheen. She rubbed it on her dress and poked a loose safety catch. It swung, then fell off. "Wabbit we need new stuff." she sighed. "I'll place a Christmas requisition," said the Wabbit. Lapinette was in danger of polishing the Makarov into dust. Two clicks rang out as she racked the slide with ease. "Do lust, tyranny and revenge remind you of anything?" she asked. "Westerns," quipped the Wabbit. Lapinette breathed on the automatic, polished some more, then sprayed it all over with WD 40. "No," she said, "we must be headed for Incontinentia." "Never heard of it," said the Wabbit, shaking his head back and forth. "Near Rome," shrugged Lapinette. "Does it have shops?" asked the Wabbit. "Everywhere has shops," replied Lapinette. "Then I'll make a list," said the Wabbit.

Monday, December 04, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Christmas Paper

The shops were set to close but it didn't deter window shoppers and they flocked around like geese on vacation. It was there, just off Via Gramsci where Wabsworth caught sight of the Wabbit. He was carrying something festive. "Christmas shopping?" inquired Wabsworth. The Wabbit smiled and patted the brightly coloured roll of Christmas paper. "I just picked up our Christmas orders." "Oh," said Wabsworth, "anything interesting?" "I haven't looked yet," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth was the Wabbit's android double - but some time had passed since he was made. Now his personality diverged considerably from the Wabbit. So he gave the Wabbit a nudge. "Let's look now." The Wabbit held the roll to one eye and looked inside. He shrugged. "There doesn't seem to be anything in here." He shook it hard, but nothing fell out. "Maybe it's written on the wrapping paper?" suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked around, but all the shoppers stared into the windows, pointing and commenting. "OK," he said, I'll unroll it." Carefully he prised away some sticky tape and unrolled the paper. They both had a quick look. "There is something written on a card," cried the Wabbit, "but this light is terrible, can you read it?" Wabsworth studied it carefully. Just then, the tiny card came unstuck and fell to the ground. Wabsworth picked it up. "It says, 'Luck, Tyranny and Revenge'." "Cheerful!" grinned the Wabbit.

Friday, December 01, 2017

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The arcade just off Piazza San Carlo was quiet. People drifted past. No-one paid the slightest attention as Skratch descended on the caffè table wearing his new t-shirt. As always, he greeted everyone with the question, "What was that for a sort of adventure?" Wabsworth was the first to respond. "I thought it was a rather jolly rom-com." Skratch's tail shot up straight in the air and quivered for a while. "I agree," he said, "and although the movement of the image tends to narrative resolution, the question of desire was continually foregrounded." "Desire for what?" asked Lapinette. "Desire for a kiss," said the Wabbit. He puckered his lips. Skratch smiled smugly. "We're talking about the kiss and symbolic desire, a jouissance that tests the limits of social reality." "That's Lacan," said Lapinette. Suddenly she slid a hat across the table. "I found it in the market." "A hat such as that is iconographic," meaowed Skratch. Wabsworth peered at the hat. "What does it say round the brim?" "Kiss me quick," said Lapinette, "OK," said the Wabbit brightly and puckered his lips again. Lapinette effected a pained expression. "But I'm not wearing the hat." "Let me put it on for you," grinned the Wabbit.
[jouissance; Fr. enjoyment. In Lacan's psychoanalysis, it is paradoxical enjoyment transgressing pleasure.]

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

7. Lapinette and Sealed with a Kiss

With the kiss trapped in the cinema foyer, they considered what to do. The kiss just wouldn't desist and it darted back and forth, kissing movie posters. 'Again', it murmured with each kiss. Suction mwahs echoed dully from girders and plate glass. "It wants another kiss back," sighed Lapinette. "Well, it's your kiss," yelled the Wabbit. With the strength of ten rabbits he hoisted her up. Lapinette flailed and the kiss buzzed past her ears. She grabbed with her paws - but every time the kiss broke free. "Go get it, Lap!" shouted the Wabbit and he hoisted her higher. He saw Lapinette get a bead on the kiss. Her eyes narrowed, then the Wabbit saw her ears twitch in a manner he'd seen before. He kept her rock steady. "Kiss the kiss," he shouted. The kiss dived in, straight as a die - and stuck fast to Lapinette. Lapinette gasped and unpeeled it. "I haven't used that lipstick in years." The Wabbit set Lapinette down. "Phew," he said. But the kiss suddenly jumped at his face. He peeled it off and decided on a date. "Good vintage," he murmured. Lapinette smiled. "I made it myself." The Wabbit threw the kiss directly at Lapinette and said, "The kiss belongs to you." The kiss kissed her lips briefly then vanished. Lapinette tried her lips cautiously, then looked at the Wabbit. "Now you kiss me." The Wabbit puckered his lips. "All in a day's work!"

Monday, November 27, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Persistent Kiss

Susan the Biplane went into a spin, then lurched and bumped until she was upside down. The Wabbit clambered from the cockpit and dived for the undercarriage. He gritted his teeth in the face of the wind - until a shout from Lapinette alerted him to the kiss heading his way. "Pucker!" Lapinette's message was barely audible, but the Wabbit nodded and complied. Susan steadied as the kiss dived at the Wabbit. He flinched as it veered and whacked him on the ears. "Pucker up!" yelled Lapinette as the kiss swooped round and back. The Wabbit gripped the undercarriage and screwed up his face. The kiss dived. The Wabbit met it head on. There was a splat as the kiss stuck to the Wabbit's mouth. The Wabbit wheezed and gasped for air. "Breathe Wabbit," yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit's sucked at his lungs for all he was worth and breathed out through his nose. The kiss stuck like glue. "Kiss it back!" shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit had little breath to play with but he summoned enough to push outwards. Through the chatter of the engines, Lapinette heard a 'pfah' from the Wabbit. The kiss inflated, then sucked with the force of a high pressure pump. The Wabbit gasped then tried again. This time Lapinette heard a forceful 'Mwah!' and she smiled in triumph. The kiss stopped dead. The Wabbit peeled it from his face and looked at it. "Again," said the kiss ... 

Friday, November 24, 2017

5. The Wabbit and the Aerial Kissing

The kiss flew up and beyond their grasp. So with engines growling, Susan the Biplane took them both into the air. "Susan has altitude!" grinned the Wabbit. A sudden crackle of the radio. "Behind that cloud," said Susan, "that kiss is coming in quick." She looped then stood on a wing tip. "How shall I line up, Commander?" The Wabbit sized up the kiss. "One o'clock," he nodded." But the kiss dived past them, grazing the fuselage. "Mwah!" yelled the kiss with a Doppler whine that didn't sound friendly. "The cheek of it" shouted Susan. She looped to the rear and a short battle ensued - as fast and as close as a knife fight in a phone booth. The kiss rattled like a machine gun. "Mwah mah mwah mah mama!" Angry kisses stung Susan's wings. Lapinette clung onto the wires and yelled. "Kiss the Wabbit!" But the kiss flew directly up, then poised for another dive. The Wabbit angled his face directly at it. "Kiss me," he muttered. He stared as the kiss dived towards him, getting bigger and bigger until all he could see was pink. "Myahhh" whined the kiss as it veered away at the last moment. "Mwa ma ma mama," stuttered the kiss and it spiralled back. "Not my ears!" shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette watched the Wabbit try three more times for a direct kiss. Then suddenly his teeth flashed. "Drunken Rabbit Manoeuvre. Now!" Lapinette gripped the wires and prayed ..

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

4. The Wabbit and the Kiss Window

Together with Scarecrow, they pursued the flyaway kiss. Just as they passed a bookshop window, a voice spoke. It was a familiar voice and it seemed to have a point of view on kissing. "It kissed me twice, that's more than usual," said a face in the window. The kiss buzzed past Lapinette's head and flew down the street, leaving an indelible mark on the face. "Come back kiss," shouted the face. But the kiss took no notice and flew on. The face seemed to turn to Lapinette. "Is that your kiss? You should take better care of it." Lapinette ignored the vanishing kiss and explained. "My kiss escaped from a charity event and we can't stop it." "I'd like to help you," gazed the face, "but my face is under house arrest." The face managed a wry smile. "The only way to stop a kiss is to kiss it back." Lapinette scowled. "I can't kiss my own kiss!" The Wabbit grinned. "Then I'll do it. I must meet it face on." "Absolutely precisely, with passion. No half kissing," said the face; "that's just kissing in self defense." The Wabbit thought for a bit, but as he pondered, the kiss zoomed back, making mwah sounds as it swooped around. It hovered close to the Wabbit's head and he made several attempts to kiss it directly - all without success. "That was a near kiss," said the face. With a whooshing noise, the kiss vanished again ..

Monday, November 20, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Flyaway Kiss

Lapinette and the Wabbit chased Lapinette's kiss through shops, streets and on trams - but the kiss didn't stop until it came to an urban organic garden. There it settled on a scarecrow's cheek and planted a resounding smacker, the sound of which could be heard some distance away. Then it fluttered onwards. Lapinette jumped up and down. "We have to find my kiss, it shouldn't be out on its own." "Let's ask the scarecrow," suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette looked skeptical but nonetheless she hopped on a bench and looked up at the scarecrow's face. "How was the kiss, Mr Scarecrow?" "The scarecrow's head swiveled to face her. "Hot," he said, pointing to the disappearing kiss. "I thought it was a pretty butterfly, I hoped it would stay." Lapinette jumped higher. "My kiss escaped from a charity event and I have to get it back." "Is it dangerous?" asked the scarecrow. He rubbed his cheek, smiled and waved to the now distant kiss. "Yes," replied Lapinette, "It could be hazardous if it falls onto the wrong face." "Then please let me help you," said the scarecrow. Lapinette looked at him. "Aren't you stuck here?" The scarecrow rustled his straw. "That's what they think," he murmured, "but I'm quite ambulant and have a spare set of clothes in my shed." "Did the kiss say anything?" asked the Wabbit. "It said mwah smooch!" grinned the scarecrow. "Ah," said the Wabbit, "That's two more clues ..."

Friday, November 17, 2017

2. Lapinette is Swept off her Feet.

The Wabbit danced Lapinette all the way to the city centre, the city sustaining only minor damage. But at a crossroads, the Wabbit came to an abrupt halt. He hadn't run out of steam as Lapinette thought, because suddenly she was thrown in the air and then gently held in place by the Wabbit's paws. She threw her arms wide. "Where are we?" "If I knew where we were," said the Wabbit, "I couldn't have danced here." The Wabbit let Lapinette down and glanced around. "Do you think the place is here?" asked Lapinette. "I think it's a clue," said the Wabbit. "We should have proper instructions, not clues," commented Lapinette. A cooing from above took their attention as a large dove swooped from the rooftops. "Parakalo!" yelled the Wabbit. "Parakalo!" shouted Parakalo. Lapinette waved and shouted. "Do you have a message for us?" Parakalo circled three times. "I am the message," he cooed. Lapinette and the Wabbit sighed. "We're secret agents, not parlour game puzzlers." Parakalo continued to hover. Then something flew down and stuck to the traffic sign. "That looks like a kiss," said the Wabbit. "It looks like one of mine," murmured Lapinette. "Sold at a charity do?" suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette cast her mind into the dim and distant past. "Maybe," she shrugged. The Wabbit climbed the pole. "I'll get it down." "Be careful," said Lapinette, "It might still be hot."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Missing Address

"The address said here." The Wabbit looked all round, then shook his head like a donkey. "It's closed," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit stood his ground. "These are the coordinates I was given." Lapinette gave a mock sigh and nudged the Wabbit. "Couldn't you get an ordinary address like normal rabbits?" The Wabbit shook his head again. "It's how the instructions came." "How did the instructions come?" asked Lapinette. "Carrier pigeon," said the Wabbit. Lapinette wasn't terribly surprised. "Where are the instructions now?" she asked. "I ate them," said the Wabbit. He made a face. "They tasted quite awful. I wanted pistachio flavour." Lapinette stifled a giggle. "What did they taste like?" "Cough medicine," scowled the Wabbit. The street was quiet, as it normally was on a Sunday morning - maybe even quieter. "I'm uncertain why we're here," said Lapinette, "maybe we should wait." The Wabbit grinned and leaned against the fence. "Waiting time with you is always too short." Lapinette pirouetted. "That's because good things come to those who wait." "What kind of good things?" smiled the Wabbit. "Wait and see!" answered Lapinette. The Wabbit looked swiftly from right to left. "Would you care to dance?" Lapinette folded her paws across her chest. "What are your dancing qualifications?" "Bronze Medal," said the Wabbit. Lapinette pretended to swoon. "Teach me!"

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Wabbit at the Breakfast Caffè

It was early and the caffè was setting up. "Coffee," said the Wabbit. He said it again. "Coffee." Lapinette grinned. "It not going to come by itself." She heard the tinkle of crockery from inside. "Maybe it will." she shrugged. "Double espresso for me," meaowed Skratch, "No such thing," said Lapinette. She pointed at the Wabbit. He waved to a waiter dramatically. "Eight coffees in four cups!" "And rum," suggested Captain Jenny. "Bottle of Seven Fathoms!" yelled the Wabbit. Skratch sighed in a catty manner. "That was quite an adventure we just had." "But what kind of adventure was it?" smiled Jenny. Skratch pondered long and hard. "It was simply a delayed sequel, predicated on double aspectivity." Wabsworth knew all about this - and considered now to be the exact moment for his contribution. "We were presented as spatial things, spliced with our nuclear essence." "So where then, were our boundaries?" mused Lapinette. "There were no boundaries in that adventure," said the Wabbit, "All was fluidly sutured." "Talking of fluids," said Lapinette. "I think I can smell coffee coming." Jenny gave an enormous pirate shout and threw her shoulders back. "Splice the mainbrace!" "Splice it thrice," grinned the Wabbit.

Friday, November 10, 2017

7. Ghost Bunny and the Hellfire Club

Ghost Bunny saw them run out and down the hill. The Hellfire Club was awash with flames. "Hallowe'en is over!" she yelled; "We make it so!" Her ghostly cohorts fluttered hauntingly across the scene, quenching any remaining glitches in the temporal zone. Far below, Lapinette waved them on. Skratch the Cat leapt around like a kitten. Major Spitlove gripped Captain Jenny's tunic in terror. "Ghosts!" Wabsworth tugged one of Lapinette's ears and whispered, "No such things." The Wabbit slid to a halt, puffed a sigh of relief and chortled. "You're late, Ghost Bunny." Ghost Bunny howled with laughter. "Alas Commander, it is you that's early." "What happened to the creatures?" asked Lapinette. "Toast!" shrieked Ghost Bunny. Major Spitlove shuddered and drew close to Captain Jenny. "And where did you find your ghostly cohorts?" said Skratch. "I met them on the astral plane," giggled Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit watched the flames die down. Dust settled. The air cleared. "Do you have your radio, Wabsworth?" "No," replied Wabsworth, "I'm afraid I danced on it." "Then we can't call for transport home," sighed the Wabbit. "My cohorts will take you!" shrieked Ghost Bunny. Major Spitlove started down the hill and called back. "Nice night for a walk."

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Dance Lords

Intoxicated by the bad air, they danced frantically. After a while, Lapinette became exhausted and knelt by the wall. Cries urged her on and she raised one paw in reply. Wabsworth felt his walkie talkie vibrate. At first he thought it was part of the tune, but it activated a safety circuit and he ground to a halt. "Stop the Dance, Commander!" he yelled. "I can't," replied the Wabbit. Wabsworth kicked the Wabbit's legs from under him and he sank to the floor. "Gotta dance," he murmured. "It's a trick," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head several times and hit his ear with a paw. "Still in Hallowe'en," he sighed. He looked at Lapinette, then shook her. "I was watching the funny little creatures," she murmured. The Wabbit prodded her sharply. With a look of horror, she leapt to her feet and kicked the black beast that had crawled from the wall. It vanished into a crack and the music began to fade. "There's more," yelled Skratch. He bounded across the hearth and up towards the window. "We have trouble," he meaowed. Flames crawled and crackled around the small aperture and things inside got hotter. The Wabbit heard the radio whine and he glared at Wabsworth. "Who's on radio duty?" Wabsworth took the radio and spoke into it gently. "Duty Operator? Identify." "Transmettitore Zero Dark," replied a voice. "Temporal emergency," snapped Wabsworth. "Protocol H .."

Monday, November 06, 2017

5. Jenny and the Unknown Menace

Major Spitlove crouched by the stairs. He heard music, murmuring and squeals so he clutched his axe tightly and shrank into the shadows. He didn't have to wait long. There was a burst of light as a figure launched itself from upstairs. An automatic loomed like a ship out of a mist and behind it was Captain Jenny. The gun spat three times. Each time there was a roar of anger. Jenny hit the ground with a thud and leaped into the dark. Major Spitlove peered as muzzle flashes lit a ruined hallway. He could only see amorphous shifting shapes, lapping at the walls. Rasping grated around the building like a saw on a tin roof. He heard three more shots then ducked as a bullet flew past his ears. Mortar fell on his head and dust went up his nose. "Aaaachoo," he sneezed. Jenny stepped from the gloom. "I could use a helping paw, Major." Spitlove nodded and lifted his axe. "What about the bad air?" he asked. "I'm impervious," said Jenny. She blew into the muzzle of her automatic. "Besides, I've got a cold." Spitlove hopped into the hall. "I'm on the trail of creatures who invade buildings and pose as ghosts." Jenny laughed a pirate laugh. "Fake ghosts, spooking?" Movement from the hallway made them both spin round. Jenny ejected the clip from her automatic, replaced it and fired a volley of shots. Then she shrugged. "No ghosts, no haunting .." 

Friday, November 03, 2017

4. Wabsworth and Hell on the Hill

Wabsworth was puzzled. Some time after he was copied from the Wabbit he had added a puzzlement algorithm which communicated directly with the Department. He'd never used it, not until now. He could hear vague cries of "What day is it?" from Skratch and Jenny. Then he heard shouting about anti-realism that he couldn't quite make out. He knew the rabbit with the axe quite well. It was Major Spitlove the double agent. Above him, the dome was barely discernible but it was coming down fast. Wabsworth recalled that the Wabbit liked a trick at Hallowe'en. He mulled it over super fast. "It's too baroque." he murmured. Suddenly letters span from the dome. Then a rose and a crossbones badge loomed fast towards him. "A time vortex," he breathed. He spoke into his radio but it was dead. He shook it and whacked it against a paw. Nothing. "It usually works for the Wabbit," he sulked. Spitlove was the closest. "Major! What's going on?" Major Spitlove shifted his stance, waved the axe up and down and mouthed something. It was a simple matter for Wabsworth to read his lips and he spoke the words out loud. "Bad air." Spitlove nodded his head and vanished into the building. "I'm an android, it won't affect me," thought Wabsworth. But his legs started to twitch and he wanted to dance. He jumped on his radio and it skirled with the sound of the pipes. "Hooch" yelled Wabsworth - and he hopped under the dome ..

Thursday, November 02, 2017

3. The Wabbit and the Devil's Jig

They had no option but to start the party without their pals. The old abandoned building that hosted so many abominations, came alive with hoots and hollers. "Hooch!" yelled Skratch. He sprang in the air with abandon and executed an astonishing pa de basque. Lapinette's feet flew over razor sharp blades. "Over fork over!" she chanted, again and again and again. "You started without me!" shouted a stern seafaring voice. The Wabbit binkied high and low. "You're very late," he yelled. Captain Jenny shook her head. "No, I be early." They thudded to the ground, except for Lapinette who hovered over her knives. "That can't be right," meaowed Skratch, "because midnight's long past." Jenny sniffed the air and frowned. "It's Hallowe'en!" she yelled, gripping her automatic. "Not at all," smiled the Wabbit cheerfully. "It's now All Hallows and the Saints are marching in." Jenny mimicked the sound of feet with her pirate boots and drawled, "Well they must be a long way off." Lapinette landed gracefully, picked up her weapons and threw them in the air. The Wabbit watched as they fell neatly in the folds of her frock. "That's scary," he blinked. "If it's still Hallowe'en, we're stuck in time," frowned Skratch. He looked up. Clouds of noxious gas drifted from the brickwork. Doors slammed shut. Jenny looked for a window to break, but there was only one ... high up on the roof.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2. The Wabbit and Hellfire Hallowe'en

"Where is everybody?" The Wabbit waved a screwdriver impatiently. "You can't poke a fire with a screwdriver," said Lapinette. She shivered at a strange chill in the air - and while she considered what it might be, she warmed her paws by the flames. "I said 11.30 sharp," sighed the Wabbit. He waved his screwdriver so vigorously, it flew in the air and tumbled into the fire. Skratch looked at the bonfire with distrust. But his radio crackled and he listened. "Wabbit! Everyone's delayed in traffic." The Wabbit shook his head and scowled in disbelief. "They're up to something. Some trick." Skratch meaowed mournfully. "Same trick every year, no one believes in the Bunnyman, Wabbit." Lapinette's ears suddenly swivelled. "Can you hear teeth chattering?" Her whisper cut across the fire's crackle and startled Skratch for an instant. The Wabbit grinned and leaned forward to tell a tale. "In the old days, the gentry would come here to the Hellfire Club." "What for?" asked Lapinette. "Shenanigans," said the Wabbit. "But one night a woodsman knocked at the door to sell firewood and was attacked. Skratch purred for more and the Wabbit continued. "In the struggle that followed, they saw he had a cloven hoof!" The Wabbit trembled at his own tale. "They fled back to the Club ... but all died of suffocation that night. And every Hallowe'en - there's a smell of bad air." "I can smell it now," shuddered Lapinette. "It's plastic from the Wabbit's screwdriver," laughed Skratch. But he knew it wasn't ...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

1. The Wabbit and the Shutter Stop

Skratch the Cat chased the Wabbit along Via Gramsci at great speed. But suddenly the Wabbit stopped and stared at a shuttered shopfront. Skratch narrowly avoided colliding and let out a painful meow. "Wabbit, where are you going so quickly?" The Wabbit eyeballed the shutters and hummed vacantly. "Hopping an aimless hop, loping an aimless lope." "It's nearly Hallowe'en, Wabbit," said Skratch, "We've no arrangements for our party." The Wabbit continued to scrutinise the mural without reply. "I couldn't think of a location," continued Skratch. He watched the Wabbit closely and went on. "So what would you prefer? Claustrophobic, wild and wanton, subterranean or deeply forested?" The Wabbit stared at the figure in the mural and raised an eye. There was quite a pause. Then the figure whispered, "Wild." The Wabbit nodded. "Wild," he repeated. Skratch purred. "Wild it shall be, Commander. What kind of wild?" The mural whispered again. "Wild Bunch." "Mmm? Wild Bunch?" murmured the Wabbit. Skratch pricked up his ears. "Then we'll need a lot of space." he meowed. The mural rattled the shutter and screeched, "The Hellfire Club!" Skratch was overjoyed. "Just what I was thinking, Wabbit, shall we confirm?" He waited for a response, but none came. So he poked the Wabbit in the ribs and the Wabbit shot in the air. "Good grief, Skratch!" he yelled. "I didn't know you were there..."

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 disheveled. 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 looked 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.