Friday, November 09, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Fiery Bus

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided the bus home was the best option and they saw one coming. So they hopped quickly as it rounded the corner into the plaza. "We might just make it!" shouted the Wabbit. He waved to the driver. "Wait!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit stopped in his tracks. The bus burst into flames that engulfed the whole vehicle and licked at nearby buildings. "How did you know?" yelled the Wabbit. "I know everything," shrugged Lapinette. They ran to the bus to help but couldn't get close. The heat was intense and the noise deafening. Black carbon showered from the bus and coated the road in a slick, tarry substance. The Wabbit held up a paw. "It's not finished." The bus shimmered and warped. Then it made the groaning noise of tortured metal, disappeared and reappeared in an instant. The flames vanished. The bus bent back into shape. The heat dissipated and the bus engine burst into life. Passengers sat as if nothing had happened. The bus drew away to turn the corner and they watched it go. "You don't see that every day," murmured the Wabbit. "What's going on?" said Lapinette. "Public service cuts?" suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette nudged his leg. "Something's happening in this city." "And you don't know what it is?" grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette's smile was confident. "I will do..."

Thursday, November 08, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Imitation of Art

The Wabbit and Lapinette hopped a leisurely pace along the big bridge across the railway. The bridge usually displayed posters of the latest animation movies and they stopped and had a laugh. "Are we incredible?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "I think we're marvellous." Lapinette giggled. "Not awesome?" They stared at the poster for Incredibles 2 for some time. "I'm told we rock," said the Wabbit suddenly. Lapinette's ears swayed. "Well, that we do." "Is that a raccoon?" asked the Wabbit. "Its name is Rocket, I think," murmured Lapinette. "We should have one," said the Wabbit. "It's not a dog," laughed Lapinette. The Wabbit's ears swivelled at a sudden drone but on the bridge there was always heavy traffic. It could come in fits and starts, fading to nothing then surging into frantic life - so the Wabbit folded his ears back into place and re-examined the poster. "Maybe we should reassess out superhero status." Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Everyone's a hero these days." "OK, " said the Wabbit, "so what's one level up from hero?" "Idol," said Lapinette. "I prefer star," shrugged the Wabbit. A searing bolt of light flashed between the Wabbit's ears and slit the sidewalk in a shower of sparks. Lapinette hopped into the air. and yelled, "What does an idol do at this juncture?" "This doesn't happen to idols!" groaned the Wabbit. They tried to blend into the poster, as a green space ship passed overhead and disappeared. "Unbelievable," hissed the Wabbit ...

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

Wabsworth and Major Spitlove the double agent were last to arrive at the Adventure Caffè. "The staff is on vacation," said the Wabbit. "We have to serve ourselves," added Lapinette. Skratch rubbed his paws in glee and made for the kitchen - but the Wabbit called him back. "Not so fast, Skratch!" Lapinette shouted. "What was that for a sort of adventure we just had" Skratch purred politely. "Prolonged instantiation." He vanished into the kitchen and returned smiling. "There's enough food in the kitchen to serve an army." "What about our adventure," sighed Lapinette. Skratch nodded. "Instances of general concepts which we exemplified." Wabsworth chipped in. "Meaning can only be derived through continual instantiation." "Aha!" chortled Lapinette, "therein lies the experience of the constitution of identity." Major Spitlove laughed. "Which in my case is difficult." The Wabbit rapped on the table. "Our Hallowe'en adventure foregrounded psychological projections. It was the shadow of the shadow - forever dancing to and fro." "But what about the Bunnyman? said Wabsworth suddenly. "There was no Bunnyman," shrugged Lapinette. "I saw him, he was watching us," said Wabsworth. "Looking for ideas, I guess," smiled the Wabbit. From under the table a sudden crash rattled the crockery. A louder crash made the Wabbit's teeth chatter. A third detached a piece of fruit from the bowl. It rolled and dropped into the Wabbit's lap and he leaped in the air. He looked around. Everyone shook their head. The Wabbit's eyes were everywhere but saw nothing. He shrugged. "See you next year, Bunnyman."

["Instantiation of meaning is always in the experience through which individuals constitute their identity."  Mihai Nadin]

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

6. Skratch and the Hallowe'en Turnaround

The Bunnyman got up, dusted himself off and hopped up to Skratch. It was Major Spitlove the double agent. He looked nervous but Skratch chortled. "Do you think they bought it?" Spitlove shrugged and looked up at their gang on the bridge. "Looks like it." He lifted the pumpkin head. "My robotic friend Jack sent me a live video feed for the whole affair." "Can I have a copy?" snickered Skratch. Some way off on the bridge - and out of earshot  - the Wabbit smiled and nudged Wabsworth. "Do you think they fell for it?" "Looks like it," giggled Wabsworth. He nodded vigorously. "That radio axe was a great idea." The Wabbit relaxed. "We can have our party now." They made their way down the clangy iron stairs. Skratch was still smiling. He gave Spitlove a hug. "Now our trick is over it's time for our party." Lapinette called down from the bridge and her voice was frantic. "Look out! Look out for the Hand!" The Wabbit merely grinned. "What trickery is this?! An axe struck the pumpkin squarely above the eyes. It squeaked and bled viciously. "Aaaagh!" shouted Spitlove. He dropped the pumpkin and kicked it. It flew in the air. The Wabbit dived forward to catch it, but squashed it flat. "Yuk, it's all over my fur," groaned the Wabbit. "The Wabbit fell for it!" laughed Lapinette. Jenny rocked back on her boots and tilted her pirate hat. "That be a hat trick."

Monday, October 29, 2018

5. Skratch and the Shooting at Pluto Park

Skratch was fast but the Bunnyman was faster. Skratch arrived at the Hallowe'en venue with his pursuer right behind him. The Bunnyman stood at the top of the stairs, swinging his axe from side to side as he recited a list of his 500 victims. Skratch prepared for combat but the list was so long, he began to feel numbed. The Bunnyman lurched down the stairway and with each step he let his axe drop on the metal treads. Hideous clangs rang out across Pluto Park. Peering out the corner of one eye, Skratch saw vague movement on the bridge. He hoped it was the Wabbit, so he stayed silent and tried to distract the Bunnyman. He yelled out. "That's a load of piffle! The Bunnyman is all discredited now." Sparks flew as the Bunnyman's axe hit the rails. "I'll chop off your cat head and stick it on a spike!" A silence followed. Someone shouted from the shadows. "Drop the weapon and put your paws on the rail." "More victims," snickered the Bunnyman. He lifted the axe and threw it. Skratch leaped out the way. A shot rang out, followed by another. The axe shaft splintered. The Bunnyman looked at his chest, then sagged and keeled over. With one leg caught in the stairs, he was trapped. His breath was shallow now. "I'll be back," he muttered. It was his last gasp as he slumped and lay prone. Skratch shouted to the Wabbit, "Please tell me this is a prank." The Wabbit blew smoke from the barrel of his automatic. Moonlight glinted from his 28 teeth. "Just a lark in the park."

Friday, October 26, 2018

4. Skratch and the Graffiti Warning.

Unaware of the search for the severed head, Skratch arrived to scout the usual Hallowe'en location. This year he had a Bunnyman surprise up his sleeve and he wanted to set the scene. Dusk fell on Pluto Park. The sky darkened as he made his way along the wall that skirted the old abandoned power station. The graffito lady looked startled as she always did - but tonight she seemed more startled than usual. He thought he heard a noise behind him and he turned. There was nothing - just a wolf moon making its way across the evening sky. "Skratch beware!" said a voice.  Skratch looked the mural up and down. "Beware what?" he murmured. "Beware the Bunnyman." It was a whisper, barely audible, and it oozed from bricks and mortar to rustle the dark grass behind him. Skratch turned again. Nothing. His fur shivered. "The Bunnyman is an urban myth," he said to himself. "Legend," said the wall. Skratch shrugged but his shrug was dutiful. The wall spoke again. "By the crumbling of my bricks and mortar, the Bunnyman aims to make you shorter." Now Skratch's ears made out the steady march of footsteps. In the moonlight he glimpsed a flicker of a shadow shape drawing closer. He relaxed his muscles, then tensed. Just when the shape poised over his head, he sprang in the air. An axe sliced the wall where his head had been. Shards of mortar showered the grass. Skratch leaped atop the wall and raced along it like the fastest cheetah there ever was. "I wasn't planning on a run," puffed Skratch.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Ghost Sleuth

The search for the severed head began in earnest. Duetta's red spiders crawled the towers, while Lapinette climbed onto a ledge and eagle-eyed the area. The Wabbit thought of the words of a favourite detective. “It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely," he said to himself. He settled back and had a think. He shut his eyes. "One must seek the truth within, not without," said a ghostly voice. "Quite right," thought the Wabbit. An unearthly shove woke him up. "Ghost Bunny!" he yelled. "Sleuth Bunny's my name!" said Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit adopted a spooky voice. "Haunting's your game?" Ghost Bunny fluttered and swooped. "I'm here to paranormally assist." The Wabbit pointed to the giant pumpkin. The pumpkin was wary of the spiders and had camouflaged itself against graffiti. It stared down from a balcony. He made a face at the pumpkin. The pumpkin made a face back. "Can you get rid of that pesky pumpkin?" groaned the Wabbit. "I'm a ghost, not a bouncer," shrieked Ghost Bunny. Without warning, she shot in the air and fluttered down. "I'm concentrating. I'm picking up vibrations." She let out a terrifying yell. "I see an axe. He did it with an axe." "Who did?" asked the Wabbit. "The Bunnyman!" screamed Ghost Bunny, "I can see the axe rising and falling." "Can you see the victim's head?" asked the Wabbit. "I can see something rolling into the distance," screeched Ghost Bunny. The Wabbit waited. "I hear it shouting," moaned Ghost Bunny, "shouting its head off."
[The reference to grey cells is made by Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's "Death on the Nile" (1937).]

Monday, October 22, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Helpful Spider

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided to hunt for the missing head - but whichever way they headed the giant pumpkin followed. No matter how hard they discouraged it, it stuck to them like glue. "It only wants attention," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette tapped it with her foot. It squelched backwards and then returned to where it was. The Wabbit snorted and turned to examine graffiti. "Perhaps the perpetrator left a secret message." "Why would he do that?" asked Lapinette. "It's the sort of thing they're known for," shrugged the Wabbit. A shadow fell across his face and he looked up to see Marshall Duetta Spyder. "Can I help, Commander?" "Duetta!" laughed the Wabbit, "We're looking for a head. Any ideas?" Marshall Duetta rattled her legs. "Who's head?" "If only we had the head," sighed the Wabbit, "then we might know who it was." Marshall Duetta hissed and rattled. "Headless corpse eh? Clearly the modus operandi of the Bunnyman." The Wabbit clapped his paws and pointed at Lapinette. "I told you so!" Lapinette jumped up and down and yelled, "It's an urban myth!" Duetta's laughter made the grass ripple. It was then that Lapinette felt a nudge from the giant pumpkin. She kicked it away, then bent to look closely. "Wabbit, did the pumpkin have a face?" The Wabbit's eyes gleamed. "Maybe it's a clue." "Maybe it's a meal," said Duetta.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Event at Pluto Park

Lapinette and the Wabbit hopped out to Pluto Park to see the improvements. "Oh look!" said Lapinette. She pointed at the algae-covered ponds. "There are all sorts of hovering creatures." "Including us," laughed the Wabbit. "Hallowe'en is coming up," grinned Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled. "Shall we have our celebrations in the usual place?" Lapinette made a face. "It's all locked up." The Wabbit was wondering why that presented a problem. "They found someone at the bottom," frowned Lapinette. "Dead?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "He had no head." The Wabbit became thoughtful. Then he shook his head and announced, "It's the work of the Bunnyman." Lapinette looked down to hide a smile. "There's no such thing! Anyway he's much too early for Hallowe'en." The Wabbit pondered. "Maybe he's practicing. Trying out his new axe." Lapinette waved at a butterfly and then shrugged. "The Bunnyman is an urban myth."  The Wabbit's voice trembled behind her. "Yet hanging carcasses still appear under Bunnyman Bridge." "Wabbit, we can't meet at the usual place," groaned Lapinette, "It's a crime scene." The Wabbit span round and clapped his paws in glee. "All the better for Hallowe'en then!" That was when he noticed the giant pumpkin. He nudged it with his paw. It rocked slightly and made a sound like wet boots. "Lap, did you bring a pumpkin?" "You know I hate fruit," said Lapinette ...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

Lapinette emerged from the designated caffè just in time to see everyone converge. The Wabbit and Skratch were together and they looked excited. The Wabbit saluted cheerfully. Wabsworth followed suit. Skratch raised a triumphant paw and yelled, "What was that for a sort of Adventure?" "Let's get the drinks in first," shouted the Wabbit.  He grabbed Skratch playfully around the leg. Some diners looked round. "Have some decorum," grinned Lapinette. "Fac me cocleario vomere," said the Wabbit. He took a seat and tried to behave. "Comedy is a very serious genre of adventure," remarked Skratch, "It's ultimately the discourse of credible confusion." "Indeed," said Wabsworth, "the Adventure had a singularity which questioned the fragile certitudes of accepted practice." Skratch purred and nodded. "We are all ravaged by the jagged mechanisms of thought." There was a pause in conversation. It was Lapinette's turn to think about the Adventure. "Miracles are mostly conjuring tricks. Jumpback Jack fooled himself."  "The essence of comedy," agreed Skratch. "Jack falsely believed himself holy - and others believed his falsification." The Wabbit was getting thirsty. "Hilarious," he said, "shall we conjure up some aperitivi." Lapinette inclined her ears and a waiter emerged. The Wabbit gasped. "How do you do that?" "Magic," said Lapinette.
[Fac me cocleario vomere. Spoof Latin. Gag me with a spoon.
 I'm indebted to Annette Michelson for her foreword to Hollis Frampton's Circles of Confusion Visual Studies Press]

Monday, October 15, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the After Effects

Jumpback Jack strode from the church clutching his original bag with his original beans. The switch had been easy - and persuading Jack he was holy proved easier. The crowd unfroze and rose as one to meet him. The smell of beans drifted from the bag. "That's the odour of sanctity," gasped a figure. The crowd clustered round Jack. At the church door, the Wabbit spread his paws wide and nodded. Lapinette dug him in the ribs. "Did you put something in with the beans?" "Eau de cologne." smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "You've had that perfume at least 15 years." "It won't last long," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette gave him a look. "Unlike the effect of Batch 10 chocolates." "Hmm. Get it all back?" asked the Wabbit. "Except for the ones they ingested." replied Lapinette. Voices drifted in the morning air. "Let's spread word of the holy beans." "Everyone must know." "We'll go on a pilgrimage." The Wabbit and Lapinette kept their eyes on Jack as the crowd escorted him into the distance. "Absolutely harmless," shrugged the Wabbit. He smiled nervously. "What can possibly go wrong?" He had a bit of a think. "Who was supposed to pick up Batch 10?" "I was," said Lapinette, "but someone had moved it." The Wabbit's mind flashed back to his day at the chocolate factory and he clearly saw himself moving sacks around. He gulped. "Some tidy fellow?"

Friday, October 12, 2018

8. Lapinette and the Miracle Brigade

Lapinette and her guard placed the church under lock down. The public was advancing, so they holstered their weapons and shouted. "Nuffing to see here," yelled Tipsy. "Were having an ickle curfew," shouted Mitzy. "Worship the miracle." yelled one individual. He touched the hem of Tipsy's frock. "Ooof," he said as he dropped like a stone, clutching his ankle. "Another miracle," said an onlooker. "Miracle!" echoed the crowd. Lapinette binkied straight into the air to get attention. The crowd gasped in awe. "Spectacular public miracle working," said one. "I'm witnessing visible signs," said another. One by one they delved in their wallets and pulled out money. Tipsy confiscated some of it. Lapinette slapped a paw to her head. "We gotta soup sandwich," she scowled. "Sheep's shiblets," grimaced Mizty. "Holy frijoles," nodded Fitzy. Tipsy gestured to the sky. "Incoming." The crowd gasped as a chocolate dropped from nowhere. The speed of Tipsy's draw would have put Wyatt Earp to shame. Her automatic fired and the chocolate shattered. Fragments showered everywhere and the crowd fell on them and ate them. Then everyone remained on their knees, heads bowed. They were completely frozen. Lapinette turned to look at the Church. Her ears pricked up. She could hear faint strains of the Wabbit chanting something in Latin. She turned to Fitzy and sighed. "He's starting a Homily." She looked around the frozen figures. "Better get them blankets."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Holy Orders

The Wabbit made short work of the sacristy door. He grabbed the first vestments he saw and plucked from his fur an old family bible. Jumpback Jack bowed his head as the Wabbit entered. The Wabbit stood silently for a considerable time. Jack became fidgety and he clutched his bag close. The Wabbit lifted a paw in greeting. Jumpback Jack released his grip and rested his bag on the floor. The Wabbit silently blessed it and chanted a few Latin words he learned at school. "I come to atone," gasped Jack. The Wabbit waved his bible at the bag. "Relinquish all material things and embrace the spirit gifted to you." Jack placed his paws together in supplication as his head sank to his chest. "Are you feeling peaceful?" asked the Wabbit. Jack twitched and trembled, then became as still as stone. Wabsworth stretched out a paw to grasp the bag, but just as he got in range, Jack grabbed it and clutched it to his chest and yelled. "The bag is the Tabernacle of the Holy Beans." Wabsworth crept forward again, but something fell and hit the bag. Then another. Jack gazed at the chocolates as they fell and he spread his paws wide and touched his head to the floor. "It's a miracle!" The Wabbit waved Wabsworth back and spoke in an authoritative voice. "Miracles require a certificate."

Monday, October 08, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Holy Roller

The Wabbit and Wabsworth caught up with Jumpback Jack at the big church on the corner. Jack was heading in and his head was bowed and on his lips was a prayer. "Can you hear him?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit flipped his super ears skyward. "I can hear him. Can you hear him?" "He said he was in fear of his enemies" replied Wabsworth, "and he goes to worship in fear." The Wabbit listened carefully. "Fear of the righteous love of Chocolate? Did I get that right?" The Wabbit saw something and he grabbed it. "Chocolate rain," he growled. Wabsworth hissed. "Don't eat it and whatever you do, don't lick your paw." The Wabbit cast it on the entrance and rubbed his paw up and down the pillar, but he had to hide as Jumpback turned. "It's a sign! I will not perish." He dropped the bag and waved his paws in the air. Wabsworth reached out for the bag but Jack stopped waving and knelt beside it. He looked inside and smiled in a sickly manner. "I will share the merits of the blessed." He rose, hugging the bag to his chest. Then he bowed his head and strode into the church. The Wabbit scowled at Wabsworth. "Batch 10? Explain. What do they do?" Wabsworth shrugged just like the Wabbit. "Seized from the Agents of Rabit. It was under analysis." "And?" growled the Wabbit. Wabsworth cast a glance at the open door of the church and pointed to the end of the aisle where Jack knelt before an altar. "It makes you holy."

Friday, October 05, 2018

5. Jumpback Jack and the Chocolate Trail

Jumpback Jack, the beans dealer, clutched his bag close and lurched unsteadily down Via Accademia Albertina. The Wabbit's truck had dropped him at a basic yet convenient hotel and he laughed quietly to himself. "Excellent treatment and good fortune is mine!" A hotel sign painted the street with a garish red glow. Traffic slushed through a wet asphalt slick left in the wake of a sudden downpour.  He patted his bag and murmured, "Best beans you can get." The bag seemed to bulge and he grinned. "Jumping beans!" He didn't notice the slit opening in the bottom of the bag or the trail of contents scattered on the sidewalk. He turned as conversation broke out at the traffic lights. He heard talk of food. Small shapes on the sidewalk scuttled to and fro. He could smell chocolate. "Great beans," he smiled. But the shapes followed him and no matter which way he turned, they were always there. He stooped to pick one up. The chocolate shape was warm and it slipped from his grasp. Instinctively he licked his paw. Then he dropped the bag and threw his paws in the air. "Glory be! I see the light!" He did a tiny dance and smiled around. "I must atone," he murmured: "Quickly atone for my crimes against cocoa." In the distance he noticed an imposing church fronted by vast columns - and gathering as many chocolates as he could, loped quickly towards it.  ...

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Change of Beans

Because he was an android, Wabsworth got to examine the contents of Jack's bag. "Perfectly good cocoa beans these. Excellent I'd say." The Wabbit was puzzled. He'd expected lethal toxins. "These are from Jinotega, Nicaragua," continued Wabsworth: "And you don't get better." "How the Binky can you tell?" gasped the Wabbit. "The smell corresponds with one I received from your memory," explained Wabsworth. For a brief moment the Wabbit saw himself hanging from the back of a truck. He could smell diesel and hear mortars in the jungle. He gritted his teeth. "What about the bag?" Wabsworth shrugged. "Just cocoa." The Wabbit frowned. "Then whatever it is, he still has it," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit glanced back at the bag. "What did you put in the duplicate bag? What did Jumpback get?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit laughed. "A heap of old stuff lying at the back door." Wabsworth groaned as only an android could. "Batch 10 was awaiting collection by the Department." The Wabbit tried to look nonchalant and adjusted his glasses. "Samples only, for the trade." He nodded in agreement with himself. Wabsworth turned and gave the Wabbit one of his own grim stares. The Wabbit's insides shrank. "What was it?" Wabsworth searched in his fur for his automatic. "We have to get it back."

Monday, October 01, 2018

3. Lapinette and her Personal Guard

Tipsy lurched from the truck and waved an automatic. No-one took the slightest notice. It was that kind of day on that kind of street. A few might have seen Fitzy taking a squint through a window but they were well used to squinting through windows. Mitzy stared down the barrel of a bump-stock Makarov. She'd never tried it but it but seemed like a day that she might. Fitzy murmured a series of expletives that few had ever heard before. "It's our chocolate rabbit," she growled. Tipsy sprawled against the truck. "What's his game?" Fitzy spoke from the roof of the truck. "Jumpback Jack's his name. Selling's his game." Mitzy drew a bead. "I could take him now." Tipsy scowled. "Stick to the Plan." Fitzy glanced back. "We have a plan?" "Your plan is my plan," whispered Tipsy. "So what's your plan?" asked Fitzy. "My plan is no plan," scowled Tipsy. "Sheep's shiblets!" breathed Fitzy. She had another squint. "Jumpback Jack is trying to sell something to the Wabbit." They waited. "The Wabbit is inviting Jack to sample a chocolate liqueur." Fitzy chuckled. "Jack threw the liqueur back and the Wabbit swapped the bag." Mitzy had a thought. "But what's Lapinette doing?" "I'm behind you," said Lapinette.

Friday, September 28, 2018

2. Lapinette and the Travelling Salesman

Lapinette's radio crackled but it drowned in the racket from Via Bardonecchia. "Looks like a travelling salesman." Her hiss matched the radio. A bus passed. Inside, the Wabbit brushed one paw down his fur and smiled. "Has he brought his wares?" Lapinette scanned the salesman. "He has a brown new bag." "Papa," muttered the Wabbit, "What's he like?" Lapinette scanned the salesman. "He's chocolate fancy and the colour of beans." The radio whined. "He don't seem cheap," said the Wabbit, "Let's see if he's shy." Lapinette carefully placed her radio down but she left it on. She raised her paws and leaped out from behind the packing case. "Dig our crazy chocolate scene, we do chocolate and we do it mean." The Salesman stepped back. "I'm not a customer," he sneered: "I'm Jumpback Jack." The Wabbit heard everything and he muttered to himself. "Jumpback Jack, the bean dealer." Lapinette pounced forward. "I know who you are. I'm hip to the jive." The Salesman waved his bag. "Only Jack has merchandise." A truck drew up with a screech. "They don't grow this stuff no more,"  laughed the salesman. Lapinette pirouetted. "The boss is at the back of the house." The Salesman reached for the door but he turned back. "What you packing, sister?"  "Bump-stock Makarov," shrugged Lapinette. The salesman opened the door. "There's a seller's market for specials."

Sunday, September 23, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Chocolate Factory

The Wabbit loved being undercover, especially when he was in a chocolate factory. He hopped along the aisles and inspected chocolates as they dropped from exquisite machines. He gave each one a sniff and then went on to the chocolate bars. He examined all wrappings and nodded his head gravely. He carried packs of chocolates from factory to shop, ensuring the boxes were stable and protective. He straightened displays, polished counters, cleaned equipment and did everything he could to look authentic. But his eyes were everywhere and his ears sharp. He was expecting to see a visitor whose interest was far, far away from chocolate. The Wabbit had forewarning of a dastardly plot to cause harm and havoc in the city through the distribution of doctored confectionery. The mission was vital. The Wabbit shook his head, for he found the smell of chocolate intoxicating - and he wasn’t alone. All in his team of specially selected agents loved chocolate, so he’d no need to ask for volunteers. This was a labour of love. They had no idea of when the visitor would arrive, only that he would. They just had to wait - and the chocolate was oh so tempting. Eating any chocolate was forbidden, because it was heady stuff and they were likely to lose sight of their mission. The Wabbit's head swam slightly with delicious smells, but suddenly he became aware of another less subtle odour. He wrinkled his nose, picked up a box of chocolates and made for the shop ...

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

"In here, in here!" yelled Lapinette. Wabsworth looked at the Wabbit and the Wabbit glanced back. They both grinned, because this wasn't the sort of place that Lapinette frequented. "It's raining," yelled Lapinette, "and there's a special offer." The Wabbit and Wabsworth stopped abruptly. Skratch crashed into their backs. "What's that for a sort of adventure?" he meowed. "Episodic," replied the Wabbit. "Featuring seemingly random events," added Wabsworth. "And repetition," shouted Lapinette. The Wabbit peered inside the establishment. "I thought they only served beer in that place," observed Wabsworth. "English beer," added Skratch. "And they show Italian football," said the Wabbit. "It's an Irish pub, isn't it?" purred Skratch. "Phew and phew again," shrugged the Wabbit. "I think Jarmusch should make a film about it," said Wabsworth. Lapinette hopped up and down and pouted. "They said they had only limited prosecco." The Wabbit held up a paw and a waitress rushed out with four glasses and four plates of chips. They sat down. Rain dropped on the canopy. Cars swooshed past. "I didn't think you knew this place," frowned Lapinette. "Sunday football," explained the Wabbit. "Is that why you smell of beer and cigarettes on Sundays?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "High spirits and bonhomie, much smoke, beer spilled on fur." Everyone laughed. Lapinette glanced at the TV. "I don't understand football."  "No-one really does," smirked the Wabbit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

7. The Wabbit and the Size of Reflection

Wabsworth hopped off. He felt his work was done and he left the Wabbit to reflect. Lapinette took the Wabbit by the paw. "Did you find your point of view?" The Wabbit grinned the biggest grin she had ever seen. "It wasn't lost," he said. "Not even misplaced?" asked Lapinette. "It was here all the time," said the Wabbit. "In front of your nose," suggested Lapinette. "Yes," shrugged the Wabbit. "It was so close I lost sight of it." Lapinette considered. "It must have crept into your blind spot." The Wabbit looked down to the floors underneath and his eyes swept back and forth. He nodded. "Wabsworth could see it." "Wabsworth doesn't have your blind spot?" said Lapinette gravely. It was more of a statement than a question. "He's an android version of me," said the Wabbit. "He has a version of my blind spot but he knows it's there." Lapinette thought for a while. "So he can see more than you." The Wabbit shook his head. "He can see my version and he has his own version. That's how he knows about my point of view." Lapinette giggled. "He's much more than a reflection." "Scary," said the Wabbit. Lapinette pulled the Wabbit away. "Lets eat," she said, "Metaphysics makes me hungry." The Wabbit's tummy grumbled. "I'm a little peckish myself." Lapinette smiled in a mischievous fashion. "I know a great place with a view." The Wabbit was curious. "The Piano Bar," said Lapinette. The Wabbit waited for a punchline. "On Piano 35," yelled Lapinette.
[The San Paolo building in Turin hosts PianoTrentacinque, a chic restaurant on the 35th floor.]

Friday, September 07, 2018

6. The Wabbit in Che Tempo Che Fa

"Welcome to the show, Commander." "Very pleased to be here, Fabio. May I call you Fabio?" "Call me anything you like," said Fabio. The Wabbit smirked and winked at the audience. The audience tittered. "Commander," said Fabio. "You recently compiled all your adventures into one big bumper book." The Wabbit looked directly at the audience. "It's a dual purpose book." Fabio raised an eye and blinked. "It will tell a story and double as a door stop," said the Wabbit. "You're a rather famous rabbit now," sighed Fabio; "How does fame affect your fur?" The Wabbit droned on for a while as instructed, then ended by striking the table. "... and so fame comes at a cost." "At what cost?" asked Fabio. "About the price of a haircut." The Wabbit waited for a laugh. The audience giggled. "And that's what RAI is paying me tonight," grinned the Wabbit. The audience reaction was cut short by a long-legged lady rabbit who climbed on the table and lay along it. "Were you ever harassed by anyone, Commander?" Fabio intervened and pushed her to the side. "Leticia, that's not why the Commander is here." The Wabbit brushed him away. "All the time," he said. Letitia looked at the audience and simpered. "So what do you do about them, Commander?" "Sometimes I blow them up," said the Wabbit. The audience went wild with glee, hollering and clapping. "Or occasionally I exile them to a distant galaxy." The audience was on its feet. The cheers were deafening. Leticia crawled past Fabio until she was in front of the Wabbit. "May I touch your fur?" "Put a paw on me and I'll push you off the table," grinned the Wabbit.
[My compliments to Fabio Fazio and Leticia Littizzetto of the popular Che Tempo Che Fa talk show, formerly broadcast on RAI3 now on RAI1]

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

5. The Wabbit and One side or the Other

"What's this for a sort of algorithm?" asked the Wabbit. "It's my deviancy algorithm," said Wabsworth. "At least it's warmer than the last," commented the Wabbit. He smirked. Wabsworth smirked back. Traffic passed. Lights changed. Shadows grew longer. "So?" asked the Wabbit. "I designed this one to test out your point of view," smiled Wabsworth. "You know my point of view," said the Wabbit. "I know your point of view," grinned Wabsworth, "but do you know your point of view." "Of course I do," answered the Wabbit; "I made it in the first place." He swung around the pole and looked up at the sign. "It is forbidden to enter the binary," said Wabsworth. "I can read," said the Wabbit. He hopped across the rails and hopped back. Then he shrugged. "Nothing happened." Wabsworth grinned. "Nothing happened because it's my algorithm." A tram hurtled past and blew sand in the Wabbit's face. "You better keep to one side or another," warned Wabsworth. "Nah," said the Wabbit. "You think you can change water to wine," frowned Wabsworth. "On a good day I can," said the Wabbit. "And on a bad day?" queried Wabsworth. "Vinegar," sighed the Wabbit, sourly. "From your point of view my freedom is absurd," said Wabsworth. "And vice versa," nodded the Wabbit. Another tram whizzed past. "I must remind you I'm an android," said Wabsworth. "Nobody's perfect," said the Wabbit.

Monday, September 03, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the Window of Nine

"This is like breathing cotton wool," spluttered the Wabbit. "This is my Cloud in Time saves Nine algorithm," said Wabsworth. Mist swirled round his paw as he carefully adjusted the hands of the clock. "So is there anything you want to keep in the Cloud!" he asked. The Wabbit looked puzzled. "Before time gets to Nine," explained Wabsworth. "What happens after Nine?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth made another adjustment. "It's more expensive," he shrugged. The Wabbit shivered. "More expensive than what?" He was even more irritated than usual since he was very cold. He leaned against the wall because there was warmth there. "Than it would cost you before Nine," continued Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded, but he still had no clue. "So is there anything you want to store there?" Wabsworth voice was pressing. "Such as?" shrugged the Wabbit. "Information." said Wabsworth. The Wabbit thought hard. "Like all the soccer results ever?" Wabsworth shook his head back and forth. "Oh that will cost you." "Not before Nine!" said the Wabbit quickly. "OK then," nodded Wabsworth. Now the Wabbit shook his head sadly. "But I haven't got them with me." Clouds of mist swirled round the clock as Wabsworth pushed the hands close to Nine o'clock and murmured, "You might be able to get them from somebody else's Cloud." "What will that cost me?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth pushed the clock hands ever closer to Nine. "It will cost you five minutes." "Time is short," groaned the Wabbit. "So is money," answered Wabsworth.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Wind Window

"You said absurdity," said Wabsworth. "I did nothing of the sort," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth ignored him and exclaimed, "This is the wind window and you get a great point of view with extra special effects." The Wabbit's ears flattened as the wind tore at his fur. "Are we really in a small plane with no windscreen?" "Virtual reality," said Wabsworth. "We're quite close to that building," warned the Wabbit. "Nothing but pixels," said Wabsworth. "What are we sitting on then?" asked the Wabbit. "Pixels," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit's stomach rumbled. "Got anything to eat?" he asked. Wabsworth took a salad sandwich from under the seat. The Wabbit grabbed it and tore at it frantically with his teeth. "It's not very tasty," he grumbled. "Pixels," said Wabsworth. "It's like cardboard and lubricant," complained the Wabbit. "I did my best," responded Wabsworth. "Well, at least it's not raining," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth pressed a switch on the instrument panel and a spray of minute particles hit the Wabbit's face. "Pixels?" asked the Wabbit. "I worked hard on that one," said Wabsworth. Now the Wabbit was existentially tired. "Where and when will we land?" he snapped. "I never got to that," said Wabsworth. "I'm expressly feeling a state of angst," moaned the Wabbit. "Excellent!" shouted Wabsworth. He reached under his fur and pressed something. The plane disappeared and they seemed to hang in space. "How do you feel now?" he asked. "My self is authentically irritated," gasped the Wabbit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Wet Window

Wabsworth became completely still and the Wabbit looked over his shoulder in case anything was wrong. "Nothing's wrong," said Wabsworth. "I just changed your point of view." The Wabbit put his paw out just in case his fur was wet. But it was bone dry. "I've been experimenting with virtual reality," said Wabsworth. "Good wheeze," shrugged the Wabbit; "So what about some water?" Wabsworth's circuits whirred momentarily. The air became distinctly damp. "That's as far as I got there," apologised Wabsworth. He paused. "It gives you a point of view change in the physical sense, but not in the existential sense." The Wabbit breathed a sigh of relief.  "OK, I had enough wet for now." "I'll turn it off," said Wabsworth. His circuits whirred again but nothing happened. Wabsworth made several unsuccessful attempts. "We're stuck in the rain," grumbled Wabsworth. "Maybe we should sing," quipped the Wabbit. They sang several verses of Singing in the Rain but the wet was still with them. "Maybe the desert will work," said Wabsworth. His circuits whirred alarmingly and there was smell of burning metal. Now it was very hot but the wet remained. "This is like Panama when the rain stops," moaned the Wabbit. "I'm still in the trial stage," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded gravely. "We could try an existentialist change," suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head vigorously but Wabsworth pretended not to notice. "Angst or absurdity," queried Wabsworth. "I already do both," groaned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

1. The Wabbit and his Point of View

Wabsworth bumped into the Wabbit by a corridor window in the Department of Wabbit Affairs.  Wabsworth started as an exact android copy of the Wabbit - but time had elapsed. Now he was very much his own android and knew all the Wabbit's faces. Some of them Wabsworth was born with, some of them he'd copied and some of them he'd adapted. But this was an expression he couldn't do a thing with. "Penny for them?" he asked, touching the Wabbit's shoulder. He tried to hide a smile but the Wabbit half grinned. "I'm looking for a window of opportunity." Wabsworth shrugged and then turned theatrically to squint out the window. "They should replace this glass." The Wabbit was horrified. "It's sixteenth century!"  Wabsworth looked again and nodded gravely. "Yes, yes of course. It does offer a different perspective." With their noses pressed to glass they both squinted out. A few moments elapsed. "Can't make out a thing," said the Wabbit. "Neither can I," said Wabsworth.  The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey and murmured; "Now I can see your point of view." They stood in silence for a while. Voices echoed in the corridor. Traffic noise found its way through the glass. "Maybe I lost my point of view," said the Wabbit. "Maybe it's only mislaid," commented Wabsworth. "Maybe it's gone forever," answered the Wabbit. Wabsworth's processors searched quietly and then he poked the Wabbit in the ribs. "Maybe I still have a copy."

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at the Safe House. It was medieval and seemed the most appropriate place. Skratch was well in character, purring and waving both paws at the table for attention. "Ariel, bring a corollary rather than want a spirit!" "Oooh, am I Ariel?" Lapinette lips puckered and she made a pert face. "You're Miranda," said Wabsworth, "and since I am closest, I must be Ariel." "I'm not sure who I am," murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "Don't be so stodgy, Wabbit. Maybe you're the rainbow-bearing messenger sent by Juno." Now the Wabbit cheered up. "Then I'll get the drinks in!" He made to get up for the kitchen, but Skratch stopped him. "First Wabbit, tell us what was that for a sort of Adventure." "Postmodern," shrugged the Wabbit. "He says that about everything," laughed Lapinette. "It was a pastiche of two forms, the latter an adaptation of the former," said Wabsworth. "That is indeed postmodern." Wabsworth's voice was firm. He glanced at the kitchens and held up a paw. Four drinks arrived. The Wabbit grinned and sat down. "It's sour wine and mead, flavoured with honey," smiled Wabsworth. The Wabbit rose again and disappeared to the kitchen. "It's prosecco," whispered Wabsworth. They all laughed as the Wabbit returned with four glasses which he placed on the table. The Wabbit winked at Wabsworth, tossed back his drink and smacked his lips. "Cool clear water!"
["Ariel, bring a corollary rather than want a spirit!" Corollary: The Tempest. Act 4 Scene 1.  a redundancy, a supplement. ]

Thursday, August 16, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Dream Manifest

"Wabbit, Wabbit! Wake up!" The Wabbit had been asleep for some time. His eyes were glazed and his mumbling incoherent. Lapinette shook him. He snored heavily. His chuntering at the end of each snore shook the papers on the desk. Lapinette leaned to hear. "Full fathom five, the Wabbit lies." murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette shook him more vigorously. He started to growl. "Be not afeard, the isle of full of robots." He sat up suddenly and looked around but just as quickly lapsed into sleep. Lapinette gave him a vicious dig in the ribs. "Ah woo, hoo," spluttered the Wabbit. His mouth tasted of brine so he scowled and complained. "I'm all pins and needles. It was the icy water." Lapinette folded her paws. "Wabbit! Have you been drinking?" The Wabbit shook his head. "I was rescued from a moving island." "You were snoring," said Lapinette. "Who me?" said the Wabbit, "I never snore." "Yes, you make enormous snores," said Lapinette, "and there's meaning in them." The Wabbit considered for a moment, then lifted the page of the Tempest that had fallen from the tome. Lapinette looked at it and smiled. "So did you find your inner self?" The Wabbit looked rueful and shrugged. "Nearly."

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Savage Waves

A storm forced the Unut to move away from the island and the Wabbit was cut off. The island was still moving and massive rocks smashed together like gravel in a mixer. The sea rose above the Wabbit's legs. There was only one thing to do. "I have to swim for it," thought the Wabbit. He hadn't a clue where "it" was, but he dived in and started to swim like marsh rabbit. The water was icy and quickly numbed every bone in his body. His brain swam. He began to see a hazy picture of himself on a beach on the Caribbean eating a salad sandwich. The picture cleared and he spotted a waiter dressed as a plesiosaur arriving with beer. The waiter shouted something again and again. He strained to hear it. "Wabbit, Wabbit. Wake up!" Spray hit his head. He blinked water from his eyes and clung onto the waves. "Nessie!" he spluttered. The Wabbit coughed sea from his lungs as he lunged onto a large breaker that rose to meet Nessie's mouth. Now he was hanging by his fur from Nessie's teeth. "Hold yer nose," said Nessie with a muffled voice. The plesiosaur plunge took the Wabbit by surprise. Water rushed past at an alarming rate - then he burst from the surface of calm waters. The Lepus and the Unut floated on a mirror of antique blue. "My ships came in," murmured the Wabbit as he passed out.

Friday, August 10, 2018

7.The Wabbit and the Uncertain Welcome

An inner voice told the Wabbit to venture alone to the final island. He hopped from rock to rock across the brine, looking into every crevice, until he heard a voice calling from the cliff. "Hail, Captain of the storm-tossed ship." A ghostly voice sang a mournful tune and a specter wailed its way from the depths. "Hell is empty," it moaned, "and all the devils are here." "You devils look familiar," murmured the Wabbit. Waves smashed against the promontory and soaked the Wabbit's fur. "We take the shape you choose," said a figure on the rocks, "What message do you bring?" The Wabbit thought for a second and then shrugged. "I am the only message." The specter hung in the air and wailed long it set the Wabbit's teeth on edge. "What ails thee, specter?" asked the Wabbit. "Nothing ails me but the lack of it," moaned the specter. It sank beneath the waves only to surface close to the Wabbit. "Who are you?" said the Wabbit. His question was sudden and commanding. The figure on the rocks leaned down until he nearly reached the sea. "We are remnants, deserted and forgotten. We wait to be set free." The Wabbit grinned. "Thou shalt have freedom yet. Freedom is for the taking." "Then take us with you," said the figure. The Wabbit beckoned in welcome - but at that moment, both figure and specter faded until only waves remained.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Premised Tempest

The sea had looked like a mirror but a storm blew in suddenly from the east and lashed the Unut like a thousand whips. The sky grew black. Lightning coursed along the surface and flickered up the hull. The Unut was 10,000 tons and more but the sea tossed it up and down like a cork. The Wabbit strolled calmly along the deck and anchored himself to a rail. Lapinette scurried out and did the same. They peered into the distance. "It's good to mess about with boats," smiled the Wabbit. Lapinette thought of the pedalos in the park. "Adventure in the open air," she gasped. Her stomach lurched but her eyes swept the horizon nonetheless. "What's that?" "Something that shouldn't be there," muttered the Wabbit, "Dead slow." signalled Lapinette. But the Unut was already slowing to a standstill. Three islands shrouded in a soaking mist danced in the sea. "Dead slow ahead," signalled the Wabbit. The Unut moved forward. So did the islands. They're floating," gasped Lapinette. The wind roared and tore at their fur, snatching their voices and returning them mangled. "A plague on this howling," shouted Lapinette." "I've no mind to sink!" yelled the Wabbit, "Full ahead!" The islands pulled away and parted. as the vast bulk of the destroyer tore a path through the perilous waters. The Wabbit grimaced at the sea. "Parting is such sweet sorrow."

Sunday, August 05, 2018

5. The Lepus and the Mysterious Island

Captain Jenny was first to report the sighting of a likely island. But there was nothing there. Not a seagull, not a gannet, not even a crab. "Curious," thought Jenny. "Hail the island," she shouted. The Lepus let out three klaxon blasts, loud enough to wake the dead. The island remained still as the Lepus circled. Jenny considered a landing party but something made her draw back. "Move away," she ordered. The Lepus moved out a few metres but stopped. Propellers thrashed in an unyielding sea that clutched the Lepus in a grip of steel. Engines died. The breeze stopped and the flag hung limp. The Lepus pitched lazily up and down like a fishing fly. Jenny picked up the radio but it was dead. Only then did she feel a tug from below that dragged the Lepus close to the rocks that surrounded the island. She tried to compensate but it was useless. Then she felt a push in the opposite direction - it was a bit stronger than the pull. Jenny saw water thresh around a large hump, which lay close against the hull. Now a steady force pushed the Lepus sideways out to sea until it was some distance from the island. Only then did Nessie's head break the surface to an ear-splitting cheer from the crew. "Nae problem," said Nessie.
[Nae (Scottish dialect) :  No]

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

4. The Wabbit and the the Fatal Island

When Lapinette arrived at the docks, things were more than ready. "We leave on the next tide," said the Wabbit waving his map. "Aye, Commander!" yelled Skratch the Cat. Lapinette wanted to know where they were going. "What's on the map?" asked Wabsworth. He tapped the jeep's hood three times. "Oh nothing of interest," said the Wabbit. "I just like to wave it." He tucked it back in his fur and paused for effect. "From the information in the Codex, I gather it's somewhere between Naples and Tunis." Parakalo the dove circled overhead and cooed. "Parakalo is our lookout." said the Wabbit, "He will fly ahead and bring back twigs." "So we'll know when we're close," murmured Lapinette. "Then what?" asked Wabsworth. "We land and look for the holy artifact," shrugged the Wabbit. Skratch wanted to know if there was anyone on the island. "A miserable old man and his daughter," replied the Wabbit, "and a sprite - and someone referred to as a son of a witch." Skratch meaowed down. "What's the name of this island." The Wabbit looked up. "The codex says it's called The Fatal Island. Many tried to find it and all perished." "At the gills of a sea monster," nodded Wabsworth. The Wabbit stared. "How the binky did you know?" Wabsworth grinned. "I saw it in the movies"

Friday, July 27, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Codex Instructions

The Wabbit grabbed the page and took off, reading it. Lapinette flew after him. "That looks original!" The Wabbit smirked. "Maybe it is and maybe it's no." He hopped down the stairs. Lapinette hung over the balcony and tried to see the page. "It's a play," she smiled. "There's a list on the back," said the Wabbit. He read it out. "Knife, sword, firewood." Lapinette's ears swayed. The Wabbit continued. "Ship box, island, dogs ears." "Dogs ears?" yelled Lapinette. "I think so," said the Wabbit, "the writing's squiggly." He squinted down the page. "Any more?" asked Lapinette. "Fripperies," announced the Wabbit. Lapinette paused to think. "Does the list involve a magic book?" "It's in capitals," nodded the Wabbit. "Then they're all things in The Tempest," murmured Lapinette. She pirouetted. "You were on the stage weren't you?" said the Wabbit slyly. Lapinette fluttered her paws. "Acting is a passport to fun." The Wabbit laughed. "So maybe you could play spy and decode this." Lapinette flew down the stairs and seized the page. Her eyes flew up and down the page and then she turned it over. "The code is in the text." The Wabbit took it back and had a look. "It says we gotta split forthwith." "Our transport awaits," said a familiar voice. The Wabbit didn't turn. "Where are we off to?" "To unpathed waters, undreamed shores," answered Wabsworth.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Medieval Tome

The Wabbit was in a temporary office at the castle, allocated to him by the Department of Wabbit Affairs. His own office was sorely in need of redecoration and the Department had taken the opportunity when it presented. He looked at the book on his desk. It had been there on his arrival and it was in such poor shape, he was reluctant to move it. He poked it with a paw and a bit fell off. He scowled. "No no no," shouted Lapinette. "You need to be more careful" "Oh, it's only a dusty old tome," decided the Wabbit. "It looks priceless," commented Lapinette. The Wabbit frowned. "Look, someone's pinned a note to it." He studied it, but could make head nor tail of neither the note nor the manuscript. He leafed the pages over so quickly that Lapinette felt the breeze shake her ears. "I can't understand a thing," he said. "It's upside down," said Lapinette. "I still can't," retorted the Wabbit. Lapinette took the book and read out loud. "Wretched fellow, said he." Lapinette looked at the Wabbit and pointed at him for effect. "Thou meritest no blessing, and thou wouldest not be profited by one, seeing that thou art clad in fur on such a day as this." The Wabbit felt his fur to make sure it was still there. "It must be a code," he suggested; "Perhaps it's our mission instructions?" At that moment a loose page fell out of the book .... 

Monday, July 23, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Sign that said Stop

The Wabbit was in a dwam, just hopping along the footpath. Suddenly he came face to face with a giant warning sign. He stopped and studied it closely. The sign clearly advised walking on the opposite side but the Wabbit preferred the side he was on and said so loudly. No-one heard. He shouted a bit and poked the sign with his map. There was no response. "A rabbit can't go anywhere these days," he moaned. He opened his map and studied it. "Cartographers fill things with stuff," he complained. He turned it the other way. "That's better," he murmured, "now I can see where I have to go." The Wabbit was planning a trip and in order to plan a trip the Wabbit required a map, even it was a map of somewhere completely different. "I must have a map," he shouted into the air. The buildings echoed his statement but were otherwise silent. It was true that the Wabbit made good use of maps. He had once found his way out of a dense forest using only a railway map and a compass made from a needle and some string. The Wabbit thought the best parts of a maps were the edges. He ran a paw round all four and cast an eye up and down. But whatever the Wabbit as looking for, it wasn't on the map. That was a given. Things would be just too easy otherwise. He looked up at the sign, then whacked it with a paw. "No, I won't stop!" "Suit yourself," said the sign.
[dwam : Scottish. A state of being lost in thought.]

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The day was boiling hot and everyone was thirsty. "There's a special beer on tap," said the Wabbit, "beer all round?" Everyone agreed. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. "You don't like beer." "It's hot, I'll give it a whirl," smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit watched Wabsworth waft to and fro, ferrying foaming beers. Lapinette sniffed her drink, but her nose twitched and she convulsed in a sneeze. The Wabbit signalled to Wabsworth. "Large dry cold prosecco in a chilled glass!" Skratch the Cat loomed up and leaned in. "What was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Wabsworth returned bearing prosecco. "In this case, art organised experience, to articulate the random as causal." "People like the illusion," shrugged Skratch. "Aye, it be thematically sutured," said Jenny. Lapinette nodded gravely. "You're right there Jenny. Another beer?" She sipped prosecco. Skratch purred. "Before we descend into the pit of relativism, I have something for Jenny." He delved in his fur and produced a red rose identical to the one she'd lost. He threw it high in the air. Jenny caught it and hid a grin. She pinned it on her hat. "What's the connotation of the icon?" "Passion?" offered Wabsworth. Skratch shook his head. "Resurrection and immortality." "You certainly know how to talk to a girl," said Jenny.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

11. The Wabbit and the Lepus Blockade

"The Lepus!" shouted the Wabbit. "How did it get here? "The cockpit radio crackled. "Captain Jenny to Susan, steady as she goes." Susan the biplane flew up then stalled. The Scunner Akwat hung in the air. The Lepus fired. Akwat shrieked as a low blast shook his fins. Susan shot up then back down. The Wabbit could only watch as he clung to the struts. Susan made three attempts to swung Akwat on the cargo deck and finally released the anchor. Sailors rushed on the deck and secured the giant fish with grappling hooks. "Hurrah!" gurgled the salmon as the big shrimp made a getaway. Susan flew in slow and they all jumped on the deck. Jenny was there to welcome them, but before she could speak, the Wabbit wanted to know the details. "They were your modifications, Commander," said Jenny, "The Lepus can yaw in and out of slipstream like a dog at a fair." "What shall we do with him?" wondered Lapinette. Wabsworth grinned. "Take him to the toxic lake at the back of the old munitions factory?" "I suggest Deep Ocean," smiled Jenny. She vanished to the bridge and suddenly the water churned and the ship shuddered. The Lepus and everything on it vanished leaving only a frightened shrimp with a giant salmon. Silence fell. There wasn't a breath of wind and the river surface was like a mirror. "What do you say we tell no-one?" suggested the salmon.

Monday, July 16, 2018

10. The Wabbit and the Scunner Bait

The arrival of Susan the Biplane and Wabsworth offered a different possibility. Susan would tow a baited anchor to lure and hook the Scunner Fish. "What will we use for bait?" asked Lapinette. Wabsworth  disappeared briefly and returned bearing an enormous shrimp. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Where?" Wabsworth shrugged and commenced a lengthy explanation. "Out at the old abandoned munitions factory there's a strange lake." Lapinette shook her head, loaded the shrimp on the anchor, and clambered aboard. Susan's engine was a deafening roar as she took off and whisked the anchor along the river. "That's dangerous!" shouted Nessie - but they were up and running. "Extreme fishing," murmured the Wabbit. He held on with one paw and flicked imaginary lint with the other. "There he is!" yelled Wabsworth. With a fountain of spray, the Scunner Akwat soared from the river towards his prey. Susan hung back then flicked the anchor forward. Akwat dived. He missed. "Stupid Scunner!"groaned Susan. She flicked the anchor in the manner of a cat toy. This time Akwat fastened his teeth round the shrimp and swallowed it along with the anchor. He threshed angrily, but he was hooked. "What do we do now?" said the Wabbit.

Friday, July 13, 2018

9. The Wabbit and the Lucky Anchor

Captain Jenny went in search of a suitable vessel. The Wabbit and Lapinette scavenged for useful items that might help them in pursuit of Akwat, the giant fish. Nessie was content to remain in the river and advise. "Whit's that?" said Nessie. "Some kind of algae," muttered Lapinette. "Never heard of him," said Nessie from a cloud of mist. Lapinette smiled and poked the green substance with a stick. An acrid, rotting smell reached her nose. "Poo bum smell." she spluttered. "Ripe," commented the Wabbit. He put his paws around a giant anchor and tugged. It didn't budge. He placed a foot underneath and levered it. The anchor uttered a rusty groan as it lurched on the Wabbit's other foot. The Wabbit stifled several expletives. "This is a lucky anchor," he announced. Nessie roared with laughter. "Because it landed on a rabbit foot?" The Wabbit merely grinned. "It's lucky because it met me." This met with silence. "It's a big hook, isn't it?" Everyone nodded. "Well, a big hook can snare a big fish." The Wabbit was ebullient and he rocked the anchor dangerously back and forth. Lapinette rose to her feet. "Wabbit, it weighs a ton." The Wabbit looked at Nessie and back to the anchor. His 28 teeth glinted in the sun. Nessie frowned. "Laddie, I'm a plesiosaur, not a traction engine." "Pretend you're in the Highland Games," smiled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

8. The Wabbit and the Scunner Akwat

The team followed the fish until they would go no further. Leaving them behind, they waded until the water grew shallow. Nessie crouched flat along the bottom, semi-shrouded in imported mist. Lapinette punted along quietly. The Wabbit complained silently about his fur and the damp. Jenny brought up the rear, pirate boots glooping from the mud. "This be a creepy place, Commander." The Wabbit nodded and checked his fur. Water lapped at the shore and the reeds bent lazily back and forward. Lapinette shivered. They were armed and ready but it took them by surprise. The water spat a giant fish in the air and it was all teeth. It lunged forward with enormous speed and its teeth made a tattoo rattle. It looked back and forth, then it fixed the Wabbit with a steady stare. It dropped its lower jaw and made a clangy rattling like a teaspoon in a tin. There was a pause and the rattling stopped as it turned its gaze to Lapinette. Its lower jaw dropped and it made the same soft sound again. Again there was a silent pause but it broke as Jenny's boots made a loud plop in the mud. The fish swung round but Jenny dunked under the surface - and all it could see was Nessie. It gazed for a while, then its jaw dropped and it made the same rattling sound. Nessie dropped his jaw too - and rattled his teeth. The fish let out an incredible roar. Then it swung and aquaplaned along the water, far into the distance.

Monday, July 09, 2018

7. Wabsworth and the Hungry Salmon

Wabsworth was in receipt of an urgent radio message. It was transmitted only once and was heavily mangled but Wabsworth made the best of it and scrambled Susan the Biplane. The message said feed the fish, at least that's what he thought. It hadn't been hard to spot the fish. There were many, circling round a giant salmon. Wabsworth heard the salmon shouting. "Go round, Susan," he yelled. The salmon reared from the water. "Did you bring the food?" Wabsworth had only found Tropical Pellets, but he stuck a paw up anyway and Susan circled round again. On the second pass Wabsworth poured out food. Water foamed as the fish threshed with delight. "Excellent, yum yum," called the giant salmon. Susan flew back and forward along the surface of the river. Each time she passed, Wabsworth threw more food and the salmon gulped another message. "They've gone to shallower waters! You'll find the culprit there." Wabsworth had no clue about any of this. So they went round again and Wabsworth poured more. "Will you lead us?" he yelled. "We can't go there," yelled the salmon. Susan passed again and Wabsworth shouted an inspired question. "Who are we chasing?" The giant salmon bared his twelve sharp teeth. "We call him the Scunner Akwat." His fins made the river foam around him. Wabsworth threw down the last of the food and held up a paw in salute. Susan dipped her wings, then wheeled and roared south to the shallows.

Friday, July 06, 2018

6. The Wabbit and the Salmon Gang

They hunted high and low for the culprits but when they came to Sassi there was another commotion. Nessie exploded from the water with a great wail. "Help me Wabbit," shouted Nessie, "ah canny get rid of thae salmon." The Wabbit mulled over the salmon as the guilty parties, but the idea was too fishy. He could see Nessie was in distress so he pulled a can of Irn Bru from his fur and climbed Nessie's neck. The drink was so shaken that it hissed and fizzed then exploded into Nessie's mouth. "Och," gulped Nessie, "You're a wee brammer. Anything to eat?" Lapinette dug in her frock and produced a couple of shortbread biscuits she'd kept from a party. Nessie head swooped down. The Wabbit clung on as Nessie swept the biscuits into his cavernous mouth. "What's with the fish?" asked Jenny. She batted a leaping salmon back over the bridge. "They followed me here from Loch Ness," complained Nessie. The salmon continued to spiral around them. Lapinette narrowly avoided a head on collision with a salmon, but it slapped her on the face as it passed. "Aaagh, big wet fish," spluttered Lapinette. Suddenly they were gone. "They had their fun," said Nessie, "they'll be away." "Other fish to fry?" grinned the Wabbit. Jenny sniffed the cuff of her uniform and wrinkled her nose. She paused for a second then sniffed again. "It might be worth following them."

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

5.The Wabbit - "Return of the Monstroids"

It was Captain Jenny's suggestion to look out from the bridge. It was the Marathon Bridge and its boards creaked with the ghosts of a thousand runners. They set out for the middle but from under the bridge came a monster roar. The Wabbit saw the creature first. "Monstroid!" It towered above them, dribbling blood from its jaws. More Monstroids thumped along the groaning bridge towards them.  Lapinette clutched her edged weapon and shouted. "I'll split you stem to stern!" Jenny yelled at them too." "Get back to Hades!" The Monstroids chortled and nudged each other. The Wabbit had an intimate acquaintance with their kind. One had grown inside him, and when it burst free it spawned an army that terrorised the city. The Monstroid was talking. Only the Wabbit could understand. Lapinette heard him speak a strange language. "Why did you hang the Agent of Rabit?" The Monstroid frowned a grim frown. "Not me." "Who roughed up our captain?" The Monstroid looked back at his cohorts. They shook their heads. The Monstroid shrugged. "You shot at Jenny." yelled the Wabbit. "Not guilty," said the Monstroid. "Then why are you here?" said the Wabbit. "We miss you!" said the Monstroids. The Wabbit made a rude sign with his paw. The Monstroid smiled a hideous smile - then dropped silently into the river. The others seemed to evaporate. Lapinette tugged questioningly at the Wabbit's fur. "They're family," sighed the Wabbit, "I'm obliged to speak to them."

Monday, July 02, 2018

4. The Wabbit and Jenny in Trouble

The Wabbit and Lapinette searched the River Po from the Dora to Ponte Isabella and beyond. Upstream, the trail became lush with vegetation. The sun appeared and made it sparkle. The Wabbit sniffed, then stopped because he'd lost the scent. They peered around but there was nothing to see. Crickets chirped. Humming birds hovered. Leaves lay flat and breathless. Suddenly Jenny came crashing from a tree with a thud loud enough to startle the squirrels. The Wabbit and Lapinette stood stock still and watched. Jenny looked the worse for wear. Her hat was improvised and her uniform unkempt. The weapons looked functional, but they didn't belong to Jenny. Something was far amiss. The Wabbit heard a scurrying in the undergrowth and looked round, but Lapinette heard it first. She raised her automatic and pointed. The Wabbit saw the sun glint from a gun barrel aimed directly at Jenny, and the only thing he could do was yell, "Hit the Deck, Jenny!" Jenny dropped quickly from sight just as two shots rang out. A blast from the woods tore a fragment from her hat and made a groove in her fur. A second from Lapinette sent the assailant's gun spinning. There was a groan. Something crashed off through the undergrowth - followed by a hail of bullets as Jenny and Lapinette fired round after round. "I hate the countryside," sighed the Wabbit, "it's far too noisy."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

3. The Wabbit and the Angry River

It  didn't take long for the Wabbit and Lapinette to reach the troublespot. The river had gathered momentum since the last bridge. It snarled and thrashed at the banks in some kind of private fury. The noise was so deafening they had to shout. "Over there!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit saw a body hanging, suspended over the river. It swayed and turned lifelessly. But its arms were tense and its paws were bunched in fists of rage. Lapinette scaled the tree and tried to cut the body down. "Is he definitely dead?" called the Wabbit. "Looks likes rigor mortis," shouted Lapinette, "but he only just left us." "You gonna cut him down?" yelled the Wabbit. "Can't leave him here!" shouted Lapinette. The rope was easy meat for Lapinette's edged weapon and the body dropped. But it tumbled into the torrent. They were helpless to stop the river grab the body and they watched it float out of sight. The Wabbit ground all of his 28 teeth. "I was hoping to learn something." Lapinette shrugged and clambered down. Twigs broke. Leaves dropped. A bird startled suddenly and the Wabbit looked up. "There's Jenny's hook!" A bright red hook nestled, trapped between branches. The Wabbit shook the tree and caught it as it dropped. "There's blood on it." Lapinette grimaced, but she was thinking. "Where would Jenny make for?" "Downstream," pointed the Wabbit ...

Monday, June 25, 2018

2. The Wabbit and the Bridge to Cross

The Wabbit's hop down the river was a formal affair that involved crossing a suitable bridge, then continuing on the other side to the next bridge, then crossing again. They hopped some distance, crossing many bridges until they reached the big University. There, the river became wild and inhospitable and it coursed down to the Po like it was late. The Wabbit studied the graffiti. "Who are the Sons of Anarchy?" Lapinette knew all about it. "It's a crime soaper on cable TV about a motorbike gang." "Now I remember," said the Wabbit; "Hamlet and Harleys." Lapinette glanced down. A rose lay on the parapet and she picked it up. "This is the rose Jenny wears on her pirate hat." "Are you certain it's hers?" said the Wabbit; "They all look alike." Lapinette peered into the swirl of water. "Well, there's her hat!" The Wabbit's fur stood on end and he jumped to dive into the river. "There's no-one, Wabbit. I can't see her," yelled Lapinette. They both raced to the other side of the bridge but they could see only river and woods. The water roared by with a deafening growl but there was no mistaking the bark of an automatic. "Jenny," breathed Lapinette. The Wabbit indicated a point farther down the river. A muzzle flash lit the water and a bullet hit a tree. Branches cracked and birds lifted. "Let's join the party," said the Wabbit.

Friday, June 22, 2018

1. The Wabbit and the Iron Bridge

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit on the Iron Bridge at Via Borgo Dora. "Wabbit! Are you hanging about?" "Yes," said the Wabbit. "Just in case a certain rabbit comes by!" He touched Lapinette's shoulder and smiled. Between adventures was dull, but the day was balmy and together, they listened to the river gurgling pleasantly under the bridge. It was one of the Wabbit's places, because he liked to see all the different kinds of characters there. Later he'd trawl the vast market in search of something unobtainable. "Any news?" he asked. "Adventure news?" replied Lapinette. The Wabbit brightened. Lapinette shook her head. The Wabbit frowned. "Adventures are like buses," shrugged Lapinette. The Wabbit smiled. "Another one will come along in a minute?" Lapinette scoffed at this. "Well, eventually the bus arrives and you get a bone-rattling ride home." The Wabbit sighed. "I would be more than happy to have my bones rattled." Lapinette couldn't take that seriously. "We could be bone deep in a boneyard." The Wabbit chortled. "Shall we walk the river?" Lapinette was horrified. "What? To the source?" The Wabbit laughed. He's been thinking of the spot where the River Dora empties into the Po. It wasn't so far. "We'll have lunch at Sassi," suggested Lapinette. "What could possibly go wrong?" laughed the Wabbit. So paw in paw they hopped their way along the Dora ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

It was blisteringly hot and the team met inside the Adventure Caffè. Skratch the Cat was on duty behind the bar and he welcomed everyone with a mighty meaow. "Ask the question Skratch!" cheered the Wabbit. "I will!" smiled Skratch; "What was that for a sort of freaky adventure?" Wabsworth gently pulled Tipsy into the bar, but she didn't need much pulling. "It belongs to the rather old genre of the road movie," said Wabsworth. "A special representational anchoring, necessarily rooted in recognition," nodded Skratch. "Speaking of anchors, the sun is well past the yardarm," said Tipsy. "I'll get the drinks," laughed Skratch. "The shark was this big!" yelled Lapinette suddenly. She threw her paws wide. So did everyone else. "It looked bigger," suggested the Wabbit. "What happened to the shark?" asked Wabsworth. "I hit it on the nose so hard its teeth rattled," grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "It still has a chunk of his fur." Skratch scratched the corner of the bar. "The episodic nature of the adventure provided a staggered lurching, rather like an army truck." Wabsworth chuckled. "It was thematic foregrounding. The protagonists had no control of mysterious happenings." The Wabbit chortled. "The sequence was the adventure." Tipsy lurched forward and spoke directly to Skratch. "Any danger of you bringing me a little dwink?" "Tipsy! That's a trope," meaowed Skratch. "I can take a twope," shrugged Tipsy.