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.