Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Wabbit's Hogmanay Cease Fire

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

Saturday, December 30, 2017

12. Skratch, Puma and the Inept Agent

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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

11. Jenny and the Lurking Agents

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

Monday, December 25, 2017

10. The Wabbit and the City Fates

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

Friday, December 22, 2017

9. The Wabbit and the Ghostly Casino

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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

8. The Wabbit and Ghosts in the Wash

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

7. Tipsy and the Silence of the Agent

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

Friday, December 15, 2017

6. The Wabbit and the Listless City

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

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.]