Wednesday, May 22, 2019

5. The Wabbit & the Flight of the Banana

The Wabbit and Lapinette were up at daybreak to continue the search for the disordered banana. They'd had a call about a sighting from Eataly, the food concern at Lingotto - and round the back they spotted it. It was squirming under a fence and into a building site. It was moving fast and seemed intent on something. The Wabbit scaled the fence and began to drop down the other side. Lapinette stayed where she was in case the banana decided to double back. The Wabbit muttered a curse as he snagged his fur on a spike. "You need your safety helmet!" joked Lapinette. "And boots and Day Glow fur," smirked the Wabbit. The banana scuttled along the fence, taking them both by surprise. "It's almost as if it wants us to follow it," observed the Wabbit. "What in the world for?" murmured Lapinette. "What do bananas really want?" laughed the Wabbit. "Their own Republic?" suggested Lapinette. The Wabbit dropped down the fence and dusted his fur. Then he watched the banana explore the building site. It poked in every corner and crevice. It slithered into heavy plant vehicles and out again. Finally it climbed a mound of rubble and sat at the top. The Wabbit shrugged. "No-one around to trip up?"  Lapinette nodded. "Look Wabbit, this shouldn't be difficult. It's only a one banana problem." The Wabbit thought for a moment. "Then let's call Duetta the Spider. Spiders know all about bananas."

Monday, May 20, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Stealthy Banana

The Wabbit entered the church but of the banana there was no sign. He could see Lapinette - and although she appeared to be kneeling in reverence at the altar, she was looking all around. The Wabbit spoke in a hushed voice. "What's the deal with the yellow thing?" Lapinette was still, but ever watchful. She spoke in a low tone. "It's a banana and it's out of control." The Wabbit grinned. Lapinette frowned. "It's been tripping people all around the city." "Very annoying," whispered the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "It nearly caused a major accident at the Porta Susa Bridge Club." The Wabbit felt his insides shake with mirth but he held it in. Lapinette continued. "There was an incident at the Sardinian's Gramsci Club and several participants were disturbed at the Octogenarian Writing Centre." "That won't do," agreed the Wabbit. He cast around to locate the offending banana. Lapinette was staring at the face on the wall. "The face! I saw the eyes move." The Wabbit shrugged and drew a breath. "For goodness sake, don't tell anyone. The place will be completely mobbed." Lapinette kept staring at the eyes. They were definitely moving and she followed their direction. "There's the banana!" "Where?" asked the Wabbit. "On your fur," shouted Lapinette. "Aaaagh!" yelled the Wabbit. His paws flailed and the banana streaked out of the church.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Yellow Menace

The scuttling creature doubled back and took the Wabbit by surprise. It got under his feet and he lost his balance and flew in the air. His automatic flew out of his paw. He bounced from the wall and then crashed on the ground.  But the creature hadn't finished. It got under his feet again. The Wabbit slipped, turned a cartwheel, then somehow got up straight. A bullet flew past and hit the wall behind him. He felt pieces of brickwork spatter his fur. The creature slid up his leg and got into his fur. Then it slithered up the wall and back. He could smell it and it smelled strange. "It smells like ... a banana," thought the Wabbit. But his foot went from under him and he bounced from the church stairway. Now he'd cut his leg and he was angry. There was another shot so he crouched on the paving.  But still the creature kept coming. A bullet grazed the yellow skin and the creature yelped. That was when it bit him. The Wabbit growled as he kicked the creature as hard as he could. It skidded along the paving and then disappeared round a doorway. He heard Lapinette calling. "I'll get him!" He heard more shots. Massaging a painful leg, he groped along the paving for his automatic. Then he tucked it in his fur and tumbled through the door, yelling, "Leave some of him for me!"

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Upper Heights

The Wabbit saw no sign of Lapinette from the walkway, but he could hear sporadic gunfire. So he climbed to the roof of the Santo Volto Church. It was a cumbersome climb. Despite everything he accomplished it with speed - but just as his paw reached over the parapet, another shot rang out. His head swiveled. He caught sight of Lapinette firing at something or someone on the roof of an adjacent building. A bullet ricocheted from a chimney and then Lapinette vanished. The Wabbit hopped to the edge of the church building and judged the distance. He shook his head. Even if he made a super jump he knew he couldn't reach the opposite roof. There was no option but to drop to ground level and hare across Via Nole. He was just about to return the way he came when he heard a noise and another shot. The sounds were getting closer, so he decided to stay where he was and watch. Something scuttled across the church courtyard. It was fast and the Wabbit couldn't really see what it was - but whatever it was scuttled back. Now the Wabbit could make out Lapinette edging round the corner of the church. He saw her run in pursuit. The Wabbit shrugged and dropped over the edge to a window halfway down. Then he jumped the rest, shrunk into the brickwork and waited.

Monday, May 13, 2019

1. The Wabbit and Target Practice

The Wabbit was between missions and as usual he was bored - although he preferred to think of it as being ennuied. The term had more of an existential ring to it - and in consequence, he felt marginally better. Pluto Park and a bit of target practice would banish ennui and bring him to a state of existential dasein. He lifted his automatic and looked down the barrel. "I'll be in the world," he thought, "and experience the temporality of existence." Using a dead rabbit's paw shooting deck and a steel target for safety, he lined up carefully and fired several shots. All of them hit the designated targets and made a healthy ping. The Wabbit shrugged. Another wave of ennui swept over him. The Wabbit seldom resorted to weapons, but he did enjoy weaponry skills. He sighed, because on this occasion he needed more of a challenge. He lifted his automatic again, then just as he squinted at the target, a shot rang out from behind. He swung around to see Lapinette fire several rounds from her own gun. He couldn't make out a target. Whatever was there was well hidden. He heard her call out, "Get down Wabbit!" and he dropped as a bullet whistled between his ears. He sprawled on the concrete, but the park was open with little cover. The Wabbit scowled. "When I said target practice, I didn't mean me!" He saw Lapinette hopping up a flight of metal stairs onto a walkway and he heard more shots. So he hunched down and loped as fast as he could in pursuit ...

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team met with the Wabbit at the Caffè he'd selected and then stood back in horror. "This place is closed," said Wabsworth. "I've never known it open," said Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned long and hard. "I was thinking of buying it." Everyone burst out laughing - including Skratch who was arriving late as usual. "It's awful," meowed Skratch. "Exactly," said the Wabbit, "And that's exactly how we'll market it." "Did he say 'we'?" asked Wabsworth. The Wabbit waved his paws in excitement. Lapinette sighed, but the Wabbit continued. "We'll open when no-one is really looking - and then when they do take a look it will be closing." Skratch hissed. "Ah. You mean to catch the in-crowd!" "Yes," shrugged the Wabbit, "but we won't let them in." Wabsworth let out an android guffaw. "People will flock, Wabbit. You missed your vocation." Skratch purred in agreement. "That's all very well. But maybe you'd like to know what kind of adventure you just had?" Lapinette cheered. The Wabbit joined in. "It was primarily a discourse of otherness," meowed Skratch. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "Otherness is a problematic concept. Use of otherness is designed to threaten and frighten." Wabsworth chipped in. "That's alterity. It's a common phenomenon in all societies." The Wabbit nodded his head. "Every other is truly other. But no other is wholly other." "That's Derrida!" yelled Lapinette. "Derrida was other," laughed Skratch.
[The philosopher Derrida is considered the founder of deconstruction as a method of critiquing texts and institutions.]

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

7. The Wabbit and Carrot Transportation

The effect of the cosmetics was soporific and very quickly the carrots fell fast asleep. That was when the Wabbit had one of his bright ideas. Soon Lapinette and Susan the Biplane were airlifting the carrots, one by one, to the railway. It was the Wabbit's plan to place the carrots on bogies and have them hauled to Parma Freight Village. In his opinion, only in Parma would they would know what to do with over-large talking carrots. In Susan's cockpit, the talk was racy. "Swing that carrot over!" shouted Lapinette. "And lay that carrot down," yelled Susan. She lowered a massive carrot gently onto one of the outbound tracks. Commuters gawped from a high speed train, but they know the ways of the railway were strange indeed and shrugged. The Wabbit saw Wabsworth gesticulating down on the track and he muttered into his walkie talkie. "Left paw down a bit" The radio crackled and whined. "I'm quite used to handling big red carrots," said Lapinette's voice. Susan waggled her wings and released the hoist. The first carrot crashed down on the tracks. Now Wabsworth's voice crackled over the radio. "That carrot nearly hit my foot." Now the Wabbit's radio hissed and hummed. It was Lapinette, cutting through the static. "Did you know 2019 is the Year of the Carrot?" The Wabbit laughed. "I don't carrot all."

Monday, May 06, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Carrot Market

Wabsworth and Lapinette vanished, leaving the Wabbit just out of sight around the corner. He crouched down and watched as the carrots advanced on the goods. They were clearly delighted. The opened bottle lids and boxes and tried the cosmetics. "Exquisite," murmured the dark carrot. He sniffed long and hard and massaged his skin. Traffic passed in the background but the carrots took no notice. Neither did anyone else because this was Turin and everyone minded their own business. An orange carrot with a huge mouth smiled his largest smile. "These rabbits know their cosmetics." "Indeed they do," said another, "and speaking of rabbits, where did they go?" "I suppose they want to be paid," said the largest carrot. "But we don't have any money," they mumbled. "Don't worry," said the dark carrot, "these look like samples." They put their carrot heads together and agreed they would take them away and try them. Then they would return and say they weren't happy. But they couldn't resist trying the products m there and then. One by one they sat down on the road and pronounced themselves totally relaxed. "I'm contemplating my true carrotness," said the dark carrot. "I'm feeling tingly and a little drowsy," said the carrot with the large mouth. "I'm feeling sleepy," said another. At that moment the Wabbit hopped from the shadows bearing a large statement with many zeros. "I understand you are all satisfied with the merchandise?"

Saturday, May 04, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Beauty Roadblock

Lapinette was detailed to obtain luxury beauty products and she assembled all she could at short notice. "Do you think that will be enough?" She smiled as she passed them to the Wabbit. "Repair wear and restore, beauty flash balm, toning lotion ..." The list went on. The Wabbit examined a bottle of firming cream and grinned. "Maybe I'll try some of this." Further up Via Po, Wabsworth waved his police baton to stop the traffic. Vehicles disappeared smartly into side roads and vanished. The street quietened down. "Good thing this is Torino," murmured the Wabbit. In the distance, Wabsworth saw four carrots marching towards them. "I can see them," he shouted, "Get ready!" The Wabbit laid all the products on the cobbles. "If I know my carrots, they're going to love these." At the same time, he quietly slipped the firming cream into his fur. The carrots drew closer and they were already discussing their acquisition of desirable beauty products. "I'd like warm colours for sunkissed skin," said one. "I want to put spring back into my skin," said another. "I want to be flawless and firm and bold," said a carrot at the back. Just then another carrot caught up with them and elbowed them aside. "These rabbits had better deliver or it'll be the worse for them," he shrieked. "Beauty or nothing," shouted another. Then they all yelled together. "The time of the carrots is now!" 

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Narcissistic Carrot

Discussions at the Department of Wabbit Affairs had gone on and on. What to do about the carrot incursion? No-one had the slightest clue about a course of action. Up to this point however, no-one had experienced carrot harm. So the Wabbit and Wabsworth were detailed to gather as much information as they could - but it wasn't until the following evening they had any luck. A carrot of a different variety was strolling around the city, looking in shops. Wabsworth and the Wabbit followed unnoticed until the carrot stopped outside a hairdresser. They came to a halt, crouched against a car and listened. The carrot was humming a joyful tune and every so often he spoke in a soft voice. "Lovely, lovely, lovely. Lovely, lovely, lovely." He stroked the face in the window, then stroked his carrot tummy. The Wabbit flicked his ears so he could hear everything. The carrot murmured quietly "Luxury beauty brands are exactly what I've been looking for. I will tell everyone and we'll come back tomorrow." The Wabbit nudged Wabsworth. Wabsworth nodded and stepped forward. "Perhaps I can help you, carrot?" "Little old me?" replied the carrot, "how could you possibly help?" At that moment the Wabbit hopped forward. "Me and my lagomorph friend here can get you a very good price on premium beauty brands." The carrot swayed and waved its carrot limbs and smiled in agreement. "Meet us here tomorrow night," said the Wabbit. "Bring your friends," said Wabsworth. "We'll bring the samples," grinned the Wabbit ...

Monday, April 29, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Time of the Carrots

Hearing of an extreme carrot incursion, Wabsworth and the Wabbit hastened to a rooftop in the centre of Turin. It was a tough climb, especially since the Wabbit decided to scale the outside of the building. Wabsworth took a lift. He came scrambling over the roof just in time to see a giant carrot looming over the Wabbit. The carrot had a mouth and was saying the same thing over and over again. "It's carrot time!" The Wabbit pulled himself across the tiles and grimaced. "Are you auditioning for Carrots' Got Talent?" The carrot's giggle turned into a laugh. The building shook and the Wabbit held on for dear life. "Carrot time, carrot time!" yelled the carrot. Wabsworth called to the Wabbit. "Try to reason with it." The Wabbit looked doubtful, but he shrugged and addressed the carrot. "Now look here my orange friend, you can't loom around yelling about carrots." The carrot's mouth twisted and he said 'carrot time' again, but this time his voice was quiet. "Progress," nodded Wabsworth. "OK, carrot," said the Wabbit, "please tell me where you're from and state the exact nature of your business." The carrot's head dropped. Its mouth opened wide and it belched a carroty burp that blasted the Wabbit's ears. "Our time has come."

Friday, April 26, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Carrot Incursion

The Wabbit wasn't often surprised, but this was an exception. "My gast is flabbered," he grinned. Wabsworth wasn't so amused. "They've been appearing all over the city, carrot monuments, carrot obelisks, carrot signs, carrots, carrots, carrots." Is this doing any harm?" asked the Wabbit. "Some of them glow in the dark," said Wabsworth. "One is mildly radioactive and another sings songs." The Wabbit doubled up with laughter. "What about?" "Carrots," replied Wabsworth. The Wabbit was helpless with mirth. "People are complaining, said Wabsworth. The Wabbit blinked. "Everything smells of carrots." The Wabbit shrugged. Wabsworth continued. "Someone tried to cut a slice for a soffritto and the carrot hit him on the head." The Wabbit drew a breath. "It'll be the celery next." Wabsworth was aghast. "Not on my watch," he yelled. The Wabbit looked round at the carrot obelisk and he studied the hieroglyphs for some time. His head moved up and down. "Does the inscription mean to say carrot? Because it's not spelled correctly." Wabsworth stepped back. "I'm an android not a history teacher." The Wabbit looked again and his ears swayed as he listened. "Did it say something?" "Mha Kheru!" The voice repeated. Wabsworth whirred as he ran an ancient Egyptian algorithm. "It says it's justified." "And ancient?" grinned the Wabbit.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Interesting News

When the Wabbit was bored, he often hung round the back of Castello del Valentino. The castle now belonged to the Polytechnic and he could sit on the steps and listen to office chat and grin. The Wabbit wasn't an office rabbit in the slightest. His own desk was piled high with uncompleted paperwork and since he was between missions he had plenty of opportunity to catch up. Instead, he sat on the steps in the sun and wondered where the next mission might come from. He yawned and stretched his paws. "Busy busy busy," he murmured. His radio crackled and spluttered. He pulled it from his fur and pushed the talk button. "Sting Dem Radio. Yuh a luk fi DJ Wabbit?"  Wabsworth's voice whined from the speaker. "Very funny Commander, but we have a situation." The Wabbit laughed. "What kind of situation." The radio whined and the Wabbit jabbed 'talk' a few times and tapped the unit on the wall. "It's a carrot situation, Commander," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit sat down and sighed. "Don't overdo it with the carrots, Wabsworth. Just get to the root of the matter." The radio crackled again. "It's not a Club thing, Commander. It's a dangerous carrot incursion." The Wabbit waited and the radio fell silent. Then it hissed. "Are you still there?" "I'm waiting," said the Wabbit. "You'll have to see it for yourself," said Wabsworth. "On my way," sighed the Wabbit.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled for the Adventure Caffè. This time it was in the restaurant high atop the SanPaolo building - and that day, things were quiet. As usual, Skratch was late, because he'd taken time for a prowl around the edge of the viewing platform. This was the highest building in the city and now he was excited. "Hello, hello!" he meaowed. His tail threshed on the floor and he unleashed a delighted screech. "What about our last Adventure?" asked Lapinette. Skratch sat down. "It was in the realm of the hyper real." Everyone leaned back except for the Wabbit, who grinned and called for aperitivi. Skratch continued. "The first effect of the hyper real is vertigo of detail." Lapinette recalled her fall from the bus and nodded vigorously. Wabsworth chipped in. "That is related to simulation where documentary is expressed as narrative." Lapinette giggled. "You speak of the Nouvelle Vague." Skratch purred. "Not exactly. The adventure was rhapsodic as suggested by Barthes. It ran in the poetic register. But the structural dimension gained autonomy, allowing signs to interchange independently of narrative."  The Wabbit rapped on the table. "So the chocolate rabbit moved within the poetic register." Lapinette jumped from her seat. "That granted him desire to drive the bus." "Well I wouldn't stand in his way," smiled Wabsworth.

[Based on arguments in "How a Film Theory Got Lost and OtherMysteries in Cultural Studies"  Robert Beverley Ray. Indiana Press.]

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

8. The Wabbit and the Hidden Depths

Lapinette grabbed the object. The Wabbit gazed at it. "The ancient bejeweled rabbit of Wablantis!" Lapinette looked puzzled. "But there's only one and we already have it." The Wabbit shook his head. "The old legend said that two were made but one was lost." Lapinette laughed. "Well, now we have them both." She tucked the bejeweled rabbit into the back of her frock. A sudden gushing noise took their attention. It seemed to come from beneath the pond. The water lit up. "Illuminations?" grinned the Wabbit. Gushing turned to a roar. Headlights carved a path through the depths. A CGT Turin bus rose to the surface like submarine."Is that our bus?" asked Lapinette?  "I'd say that was definitely ours," said the Wabbit. Lapinette squealed and hopped up and down. "Are our tickets still valid?" The Wabbit laughed. "I think we can work something out." He pointed to the front of the bus. The chocolate rabbit was driving and he waved and changed gears and revved the engine. The Wabbit hailed the bus with a smile. "How do we get on?" asked Lapinette. The bus floated higher and higher until it floated over the surface. The doors hissed open. "After you," said the Wabbit. He lifted Lapinette onto the platform and then jumped on himself. The doors hissed shut. There was a roar and the bus vanished. Diesel fumes hung briefly in the air and died away. Water lilies shimmered and closed over the pond. The bus and its passengers were gone.

Monday, April 15, 2019

7. The Wabbit and the Big Search

The Wabbit and Lapinette followed a path through the woods until they came to a delightful pond with a little bridge. They stood on the bridge for a while and looked at the foliage. The Wabbit grinned. "Whatever it is, I suppose this is the place we'll find it." Lapinette gazed at the pond, which she found quite delightful. "Find what?" The Wabbit jumped into the pond and started to wade. "We won't know until we find it." Lapinette followed suit. She tried to keep her frock dry without success because the Wabbit was turning over every frond and kicking up a stir. He turned over stones. He grasped stalks and shook them. Lapinette did the same and together they worked away for some time. The Wabbit was well aware that the chocolate rabbit had followed them, because he could feel a stare at the back of his head, but he didn't look back. He shrugged. "We're supposed to find whatever it is and that chocolate rabbit will wait here until we do." The day wore on but they hadn't found much. Lapinette complained. "A slug crawled up my frock." "I hope it didn't get far," laughed the Wabbit. Lapinette shrieked with laughter and sprayed the Wabbit with pond water. That's was the moment she noticed something glinting. It was half hidden in the water and covered in sodden leaves. Her cry caused every bird in the woods to flutter upwards. "I found it!"

Friday, April 12, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Blue River Glen

They followed the rabbit along a path to the bottom of the hill, where mossy steps led to a rapidly flowing river. The rabbit hopped onto a small shingled beach. Then he stepped into the water and stood quietly. He nodded downstream to the woods where the river slowed. The Wabbit looked in the direction of the nod but all he could see were trees. The river was blue and noisy. It should have gargled but it roared like a torrent. The rabbit seemed to hover above the water. "Over there," he said. The noise nearly drowned his voice. Lapinette heard him though. "Over where?" The rabbit nodded again. "Over there." "I suppose we'd better look," suggested Lapinette. The Wabbit scowled. "But what if it's a trick?" He didn't sound happy. He didn't much like woods and remembered the occasion where he'd been tracked through the trees by an assassin. Lapinette hopped forward. "He doesn't look very dangerous." It was then that the Wabbit caught a scent of something very familiar. "He's made of chocolate. White chocolate." Lapinette laughed brightly. "Well there you are, what harm can come from a chocolate rabbit?" The Wabbit wrinkled his nose in suspicion, then called across to the chocolate rabbit. "Will you come with us?" "No," said the chocolate rabbit, "You must go alone."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Wooded Glade

All things considered, their landing wasn't so bad. Lapinette fell in a bush which totally broke her fall. The Wabbit dropped on a fence, then bounced onto a path. He saw stars and his eyes went glazed, but although he did a lot of complaining he was none the worse for his fall. Lapinette gave him a shake. "You're all right, Wabbit." The Wabbit sat up quickly. "I'm sure I have a concussion." His eyes swirled. "I have memory, balance and coordination problems." Lapinette tried to poke him in the eye. He swept her paw away with a single deft move. Lapinette laughed. "What is zero to the power zero?" "It's an indeterminate form," growled the Wabbit. "Now tell me where you live?" said Lapinette. "At home," snapped the Wabbit. "Nothing wrong with you," grinned Lapinette. She pulled his paw. "Now, get up!" The Wabbit sprang to his feet, but his eyes were drawn to the path. A figure stood in the distance as still as a statue - and it seemed to be watching. The Wabbit sighed. "Are we expecting Peter Rabbit?" Lapinette looked round and shrugged. "Nope, it's not him." The Wabbit stared at the rabbit and called out. "Who the binky are you?" The rabbit took one step forward and after a long pause, spoke in a hoarse voice. "Welcome to the Lost Glen." The Wabbit groaned. "What's lost about it?" The rabbit did not respond but merely turned on his heel and hopped off down the path. "Better follow that rabbit," murmured Lapinette ...

Monday, April 08, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Rapid Descent

The bus fell apart. It was a sudden as it was unexpected. The Wabbit and Lapinette had secured partial control and the daring leap over the canal tunnel had been successful. They turned to congratulate each other but in the next moment they found themselves in the open, spiraling down towards a bridge they'd never seen before. It looked like a fancy clothes hanger and it was coming up fast. Bits of the bus flew though the air. A seat narrowly missed the Wabbit. A seat belt buckle grazed his nose. Lapinette automatically grasped for a flying steering wheel, but it whirled from her grasp and fell into the darkness. One of the wheels loomed out of the sky and flashed past her head so close she could smell rubber. The Wabbit tried to see what lay beneath the bridge but it didn't seem to be water - it looked more like concrete. He gritted his teeth and called out to Lapinette. "Brace in the unexpected event of a hard landing," Lapinette gripped her billowing frock and shouted against the roar of the wind. "I'm all braced up." Something red loomed out of the darkness and both of them saw it. The Wabbit spread out his paws. So did Lapinette - but the object veered the Wabbit's way. With a single swipe, he grabbed it and held it tight. "It's the red button!" "What are you waiting for?" screamed Lapinette. "Hit it!"

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

3. The Wabbit, Lapinette & the River Wild

The bus careered down the River Po but when it reached the mouth of the Doro it swerved left and headed across the city. Torrential rain lashed the windows. "Never mind the weather," sang the Wabbit from gritted teeth. It grew chilly inside and the wipers gave up. "As long as we're together," trilled Lapinette. Lights flickered but then held steady. Headlight beams lit the churning water that threatened to engulf them. The Wabbit grabbed at the steering wheel. He managed to budge the bus trajectory slightly and so avoided three bridges. Lapinette poked at the brakes, but there was no response. A heavy wake lay to the back of the bus. Waves washed over footpaths and up embankments. "We seem to have missed all the halts," laughed the Wabbit. "No-one's out tonight!" laughed Lapinette. "Do you think we're late?" grinned the Wabbit. "If we're late, we can take our time," shrugged Lapinette. As if in response, the bus lurched, wallowed for a second and stopped. Water rose above the windows. "Whoa, steady on," groaned the Wabbit. Lapinette jabbed at the throttle. The bus lifted, then skimmed along the surface, bouncing across turbulence like a hydrofoil. But a subterranean canal loomed fast. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. "Over or under?" Lapinette jumped with both feet on the throttle pedal. "Over the top ..!"

Monday, April 01, 2019

2. The Wabbit and Lapinette Splash Down

The bus made a big splash, but less than the Wabbit expected. He held Lapinette close as the bus poised over a vortex of swirling water that looked like a liquid black hole. The bus was stuck half in and half out. Water raged against the windows. A little seeped in through rubber seals. The windscreen wipers swiped back and forth in a futile attempt to clear the torrent. The Wabbit and Lapinette concentrated, tuned their ears and listened. The engine was still running. The watched the clutch depress and the gears shift. Wheels span and water foamed at the rear. The bus seemed to move up and out of the river but it plunged back. "What's going on?" yelled Lapinette. "It's like a quantum whirlpool," shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette gripped a handrail. "Spiral lasers! Try the lights!" The Wabbit hopped to the controls and located the switch assembly. He turned everything on and off. Nothing happened. Outside, the vortex sucked with enormous force. "Try the vents," shouted Lapinette. "Ah," said the Wabbit. With a mighty cry, he kicked the mouldings until they fell off - and there under a vent cover lay a red button. The Wabbit kicked that too. They heard a sudden change in noise. It was as if they'd switched off a jacuzzi. The vortex died. The whirlpool lost its grip and the river became calm as millpond. The bus shifted gear. Wheels span and it lifted out of the water.  "Phew," smiled the Wabbit, "I'm glad that's over." Lapinette waved to the front as the bus headed down river at a furious speed ...

Friday, March 29, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Mystery Bus

The bus was a long time coming, so the Wabbit and Lapinette decided to hop home instead. But just as they reached the top of the road, they heard the Sassi bus coming up from the park. Lapinette turned to watch. The lights on the bus shimmered in the distance. "That doesn't look like our bus." The Wabbit turned too. "Maybe it's a new route," he suggested. "Let's take it," smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit shrugged. "What's the worst that can happen?" The bus shuddered to a stop, the doors hissed open and they both hopped inside. The bus took off and careered round the corner at high speed. "New driver?" said the Wabbit. They clung on for dear life as it shot across junctions and through traffic lights. It moved in short bursts like the driver was using the throttle and brake at the same time. The Wabbit decided to go and see the driver and he hopped down the corridor, but when he got to the front, there was no driver. Just an empty seat. The steering wheel twisted and turned by itself. The throttle pedal jerked up and down and so did the hand brake. When the Wabbit tried to take the wheel, an electric shock sent him flying to the back of the bus. He grabbed Lapinette and they tried to lever a door open but to no avail. It was stuck fast. The bus picked up speed. Buildings loomed and vanished. The Wabbit pointed out the front. "The river!" The bus left paintwork behind as it shaved past a bridge and pitched down the embankment ...

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit had spotted a new caffe and given everyone the address. Captain Jenny arrived first and sat down. She looked around for the bar. Wabsworth drifted in and turned to greet Lapinette and Skratch the Cat. Then he spoke to the Wabbit. "Here's Skratch to tell us all what kind of Adventure you just had." Skratch purred and cast an eye over the interior. "Wabbit, I must tell you I don't believe in ferries." The Wabbit was nonplussed. Lapinette hung on the door. "Skratch means you were in a bit of a ferry tale." "Ah," laughed the Wabbit. "I suppose I was." Skratch purred, "Through varied adaptability and intermediality, the ferry tale offered cultural specificity." Everyone nodded knowledgeably. "Yet it transcended time and space," continued Skratch. "Because it had heterotemporality," suggested Wabsworth. "And hereotespatiality," added Lapinette, "since it narrated the space of location but left little residue." Wabsworth had been reading. "The tale evokes an imaginary space but one which is predicated on concrete socio-political events." The Wabbit clapped his paws. "Our ghost ferry was both real and unreal. It existed on paper, in accounts ledgers, and in carefully annotated governmental memoranda." "That," stated Jenny, "is a kind of reality." "Real people got paid," said Lapinette. She pirouetted in the doorway. "Talking of pay, where's the drinks?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette started to laugh. "Wabbit, this isn't a restaurant - it's a furniture showroom." 
[Inspired by Fairy Tale Films by Pauline Greenhill.  Children’s Literature, Film, TV, and Media, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literary Studies ]

Friday, March 22, 2019

9. The Wabbit and the Spoils of War

The Wabbit and Jenny stood on the bow of the Lepus and discussed the future of the ghost ship. They had seized it in the night and the unsuccessful souls released by the spectres crowded the deck. With a skeleton crew and a new name, it had orders to sail for Wablantis where its passengers could make new lives. The souls felt substance return to their bodies as they looked across the waves. The Wabbit heard cheering and he smiled a secret smile. Captain Jenny saw it. "You be certain about this, Commander?" The Wabbit shook his head because he didn't really know. The ship was a rust bucket and only vaguely seaworthy - but he thought she'd make it. "They'll have to work together," he shrugged. He looked over the side and into the deep. The spectres were weighed down at the bottom, forty fathom deep and shackled with old iron claws as sharp as razors.  "Last we'll see of them," muttered the Wabbit. Captain Jenny snorted and tilted her pirate hat. "There be more spectres in the City than you can shake a stick at." The Wabbit grinned. "Well they won't be running ghost ferries in the near future." He gazed at the sea. It was super calm, with hardly a ripple. But a shape suddenly surfaced and he shrieked, "No! Another one!" Jenny chuckled. "That be only a trash bag," The Wabbit groaned and hit his head with a paw. "Black sack crossed our path."

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

8. The Wabbit and the Spectral Exorcism

Seaweed crept across the deck until it oozed over Wabbit's feet. The spectres were on board and they didn't look happy. The ramp lifted and closed behind them. The Wabbit murmured into his walkie talkie and the Lepus shuddered as its engines fired. The spectres shed sea spray. The Wabbit kicked the bell and they froze for a moment. "Give up your souls!" yelled the Wabbit. He waved his walkie talkie at them. "And begone you hostile powers." A spectre spread oily arms wide. His voice was between a moan and a sneer. "Make us." The three spectres laughed and pointed and swore. The spectre at the back waved and shouted, "In your fur." Then the spectre at the front stepped forward, shook his ghastly head and clutched himself. "I need to go." A stream of yellow green liquid ran from his cloak onto the deck. Paint bubbled and burned. "Aha ha ha," gurgled the spectre, "that's better." The Wabbit stood his ground. The Lepus vibrated - she was underway, he could feel it. "We're taking you where you can do no harm." For the first time, the spectres seemed alarmed. They shifted uneasily and mumbled curses. They huddled together and spat on the deck. "We'll take your soul!" The Wabbit whacked the bell and yelled. "You'll have to find it first." Now they shrivelled down until their cloaks lay on the deck. "Pray," shouted the Wabbit, "The longer you delay, the heavier your punishment will be." How heavy?" whimpered a spectre." "Heavier than a bad breakfast," snapped the Wabbit.

Monday, March 18, 2019

7. The Wabbit and the Dead Bell Jazz

The Wabbit and Jenny commandeered a small craft. The gentle swell made it bob gently in the water and for a while the Wabbit thought nothing was happening. Jenny took out a packet of Sulphur Soap. "Where did you find it?" murmured the Wabbit. "In a shop," shrugged Jenny. They waited. There was nothing, merely the vague sound of an outboard motor. It was all too quiet and the Wabbit said so. "Maybe it's time, Commander," said Jenny, "Ring the bell." The Wabbit had given little thought to ringing the bell and had brought nothing to hit it with. But he tried to think of the loudest drumming he'd ever heard and came up with Max Roach. He whacked the drum with both paws. It boinged across the water. He hit it again in a series of broken rhythms that echoed from every building on the dock. Jenny gazed across the water. "Here they come." The Wabbit's drumming became frantic. Jenny took out sulphur soap and sprinkled it over the side like goldfish food. She waited and listened then  sprinkled some more. A green glow lit the depths. Three heads emerged from the water, nodding as if entranced. They came close but not too close, swaying from side to side. The Wabbit heard hoarse whispering and he continued to hit the bell. But he was getting tired. "What do we do now?"  Jenny started the motor and the craft crept forward. The spectres wheeled and followed. Jenny grinned an unpleasant grin. "Keep playing, we're going to the Lepus."

Friday, March 15, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Big Ship's Bell

The Wabbit didn't think he'd have much bother getting a bell. The docks were full of ships and most of them had large brass affairs, heavily polished by the ship's cook. He snuck aboard the bow of the handiest ship and located the bell with ease. But he hadn't reckoned with the weight. He tried to ease it down but when it came loose, it nearly pinned him to the deck. The Wabbit swore quietly with all the seafaring curses he could remember. He reached for a rag on the deck and wound it round the clapper. Then he heaved the bell on his shoulder. "Phew!" groaned the Wabbit, "this must weigh twenty kilos." He lurched onto the pier and the bell swung onto his other shoulder. The rag unwound and the clapper hit the inside of the bell, which duly pealed out across the length and breadth of the docks. He heard a stirring from the bridge and some angry shouts, so he hopped along the wharf at enormous speed. But the faster he went, the more the bell rang. It dropped on his foot and he kicked it in retaliation but that made even more noise. He ducked into an alleyway and pulled the bell behind him. A mob of furious sailors ran past. "He went that way," one of them shouted. "Get him!" shouted another." The Wabbit fished in his fur for a nylon tie and secured the clapper. Then with as much silence as he could muster and a using a minimum of oaths, he rolled the bell towards the city ...

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

5. The Wabbit, Jenny and the City Spooks

Pirate Jenny and the Wabbit followed them through the city. The spectres paid visits to a series of financial buildings and each time they emerged they appeared to have changed. Now they wore cloaks. Facial features emerged. Eyes started to glow - dimly at first but brightening after each visit. The leader waved vestigial arms and beckoned. They called on more buildings, floating through marbled halls. They met no resistance. Nothing was an obstacle. The leader turned green and he seemed to slither on slime. The Wabbit grimaced and his nose twitched. He could smell an awful stench of seaweed and algae and rotting wood. Jenny touched him on the shoulder and drew her weapons. "They be collecting the unsuccessful souls for transport. They be paralyzed and absorbed into these creatures." "How many?" gasped the Wabbit. "Could be hundreds, maybe thousands," replied Jenny. The figures grew bigger and swept their cloaks wide as they gathered more souls. "Can they be vanquished?" asked the Wabbit. "There's only one way," said Jenny, "But we need a deid bell and sulphur soap." The Wabbit watched the cloaked figures melting in and out of doorways. Now they were all completely green and stank like a thousand hulks. He nodded. "I'll get the bell, you get the soap."

Monday, March 11, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Container Ghosts

Pirate Jenny and the Wabbit crept onto the quiet dock and between the makeshift container village. The dock wasn't quiet for long. Container doors started to open and figures emerged. At first they were insubstantial but they quickly solidified and moved towards the city. They had little in the way of limbs or features. They appeared simply as cloaked shapes and like their ship, they could move through solid objects. The Wabbit expected them to make some ghost-like sound but they were almost silent. He could hear only the rustling of cloaks and whispering. Jenny tapped the Wabbit lightly on the shoulder. "They are creatures our pirate legends tell of. They live between land and sea, constantly shuttling back and forth." The Wabbit shivered. Jenny continued. "They protect the treasure of criminals who are long dead and whose booty continues to circulate as free trade." The figures suddenly wheeled around as if discovered. Jenny and the Wabbit ducked behind the sign. The Wabbit murmured. "Are they as pleasant as they look?" Jenny stifled a pirate guffaw. "They are the shadow of the stock markets and a million times as vicious." The Wabbit shrugged. "Just the usual then. What are they doing?" Jenny grimaced. "The legend says they visit investors to punish failure and reward success." "What happens to failures?" asked the Wabbit. Jenny shook her head. "They are taken. Then they too must shuttle between land and sea forever." It was the Wabbit's turn to shake his head. "What do they do with the rest of their time?"

Friday, March 08, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Phantom Quay

The Lepus pursued the ghost ferry a long way, through the English Channel and down the Thames Estuary. No one noticed either ship steal into Canary Wharf and if they had, they would have paid scant attention. Vessels came and went. Visitors gawped and took photographs. The Lepus tucked in at Heron Quay and watched. The Wabbit was puzzled. "Where can they land the ghosts?" Captain Jenny strode up and down the bridge and laughed. "I think I know. They'll go to 'Arbour Quay."  "There's nothing there," said the Wabbit. "Exactly," said Jenny, "But it looks good on paper." "I saw the illustrations," grinned the Wabbit. A train passed overhead. Metal screeched and the bridge rumbled. Jenny spoke to the engine room. "Slow ahead." Quietly they followed. The ghost ferry ignored all obstacles. It simply shimmered and passed through them. The Wabbit squinted and made out a vast plain of mud bordered by a provisional quay, just wood and tyres. The ghostly ferry shuddered to a halt. The Wabbit heard it bump against wood. The quay groaned. The tyres squealed. Mist rose from the ferry's deck. Then - one by one - containers materialised, lifted and settled on the quay, stacking up like a block of apartments. Now they heard the ferry's engines. Its propellor threshed. The bow swung out and it started to turn. "What do we do now?" murmured the Wabbit. "We wait," said Jenny ...

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Ghost Ferry

"Thar she blows," said Pirate Jenny. The Wabbit peered into binoculars. He could barely make out the ghostly ship. "One ugly ferry," said the Wabbit. He peered again and nudged Jenny. "These be containers." Jenny strode up and down the bridge, then swayed. "Ghost containers. All accounted for on the bill of lading." The Wabbit murmured to himself. "All ghosts have been loaded." The Lepus plunged and shot up from the waves. The sea washed over the bow and spray spattered the window. "Is the bill of lading clean and straight?" asked the Wabbit. Jenny spoke to the engine room. "Slow ahead. Engage Stealthicator." The Lepus vanished - all except for a skull and crossbones flag that snapped and fluttered in the wind. The ghost ferry was almost transparent and they watched its progress with difficulty. Jenny turned to the Wabbit. "They use a spookchain lading that indemnifies all parties." The Wabbit considered. "Ah, no paper record. So what about the ghosts?" Jenny smiled. "Independent ghost contractors. No connection with carrier or ghost company." The Wabbit watched the ferry. "But who pays the company? Who foots the bill?" "The powers that be," shrugged Jenny. The Wabbit slapped the bulkhead with a paw. "So what's the point?" Jenny grinned her broadest grin yet. "The company is paid for invisible services."

Monday, March 04, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the No Ferry Company

The Wabbit waited in the same place by the river every day for a week. He was quite tenacious, because he knew something was afoot. Despite an advertisement for a new ferry company - complete with timetable - the quay where ferries were due to dock was overgrown and dilapidated. Quayside windows were boarded over and signs hung broken and untidy. The company's advertisement also presented a mystery. It featured in a famous puzzle magazine, and was deeply concealed within conundrums and crosswords over the course of several weeks. Fervent readers dedicated their lives to solving that magazine's puzzles. The Wabbit was one of that stalwart band and knew the magazine generally featured no advertising. So when he first came across the brain teaser, he'd thought it an innovative kind of publicity. With puzzle magazine in paw, he checked it out. He wasn't the only one. Several people approached him. "Are you waiting for the new ferry?" With each enquiry, the Wabbit became more determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. He called Pirate Jenny for information. His walkie talkie crackled with Jenny's pirate voice. "Aharr, I think ye be looking for the Spookborne Packet Company." "That's the One," said the Wabbit. "It be a ghost company," said Jenny. "What do they transport?" asked the Wabbit. "Ghosts," said Jenny.

Friday, March 01, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

Lapinette had located a new caffè and was urgently ushering the team inside. "Come on now, it's very popular and it gets busy now." The caffè lay at the top of one of Rome's seven hills, just beside the Big Observatory. The Wabbit sneaked a glance inside. It was nearly empty, but lunchtime approached. He nodded. "Where's Skratch?" A figure peered round the edge of the building. "Meaow!" said Skratch. "You're just in time to tell us about the Wabbit's adventure," murmured Wabsworth. "Aha," said Skratch. "Aha what?" said Wabsworth. "I refer to an 'aha' moment," purred Skratch. He turned to the Wabbit. "Wabbit. Have you considered your onieric sequence and come up with anything?" "I did not consider the story a dream," complained the Wabbit. "It was all rather real." Skratch shook his head. "Think deeply of the associations." The Wabbit winked at Wabsworth. "I was in a bar and I associate that with having a drink." Lapinette grinned and cleared her throat. "Wabbit you said everything was blue, which is deep and impenetrable. Can you fathom it?" The Wabbit shrugged and pointed inside the bar and waved. Everyone ignored him. "Truth?" offered Wabsworth. The Wabbit bounced up and down. "There's people coming up the hill, we'd best be quick!" No one paid the slightest attention. "Of course, the blue signifies the feminine," meaowed Skratch. The Wabbit's eyes lit up. He offered Lapinette a paw and bowed. Lapinette took his paw. "That's me," she smiled.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

6. The Wabbit at the Exit to the Beach.

The Wabbit found himself blinking at the exit from the beach. The winter sun beamed down from an azure sky. "Wabbit!" shouted Lapinette, "Where were you?" Skratch meowed from behind the fence. "You were supposed to meet us at the caffè." The Wabbit blinked again. "I was under the beach, you were both there." Lapinette looked at Skratch and Skratch looked back. Skratch and Lapinette shook their heads. "You were!" said the Wabbit. He waved a paw at Skratch. "You were running the Underneath the Beach Bar." "Well, I hope I got paid," shrugged Skratch. He meowed a disbelieving meaow. The Wabbit pointed at Lapinette. "You came down the ceremonial staircase." "Where?" sighed Lapinette. "Under the beach," said the Wabbit, "you danced down and you got an award." His voice trailed off to a whisper. "There was an Escher staircase and that's how we got back here." "I came in the Jeep," said Lapinette. "Perhaps you were in the sun too long," suggested Skratch. "Maybe you lingered longly in the caffè," smiled Lapinette. The Wabbit thought for a minute. "No, no. A crowd of people came on the beach and pointed everywhere and then a piece of driftwood turned to ice." Skratch nodded in agreement. "That would have been the ice men." He winked at Lapinette. Lapinette winked back, but the Wabbit saw it and he shrugged and grinned. "Do they cometh often?"

Monday, February 25, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Double Stairs

"This way," shouted Lapinette and she scampered up the stairs. The Wabbit tried to follow, and he scampered up too - but he found himself on a different set of stairs. The two stairways weaved in and out. No matter what he did, he couldn't find the other stairs. He thought he would jump but things changed quickly to thwart his efforts. Lapinette looked over the banister. "Come on Wabbit, this way to the beach." The Wabbit grinned in spite of himself and he called to Lapinette. "Who designed this stairway? Was it Escher?" Lapinette danced merrily on because both sets of stairs were ascending rapidly and the steps started to fold like an express escalator. The Wabbit hopped up and down as treads snatched at his fur. His stairway took him higher than Lapinette and he seemed to look down from a dizzying height - but then it dropped with astonishing speed. He leaned out to touch Lapinette's paw on the way past, but now the staircase turned upside down. Lapinette looked down at him from a startling height. She shouted. "You just have to think your way up. Think high, think tall." So the Wabbit thought tall, thought high. Both stairs lifted. Escalator steps shuffled like packs of cards and propelled the Wabbit and Lapinette higher and higher. He could smell sea and salty air - and fish. "I'm thinking of lunch," said the Wabbit.

Friday, February 22, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Ceremonial Stairs

The Wabbit tried again. As he traced his way along the corridor it gave way to a staircase that shimmered in a blue light. The steps appeared to dance. The banisters shook to the rhythm of a Bossa Nova. The Wabbit felt his paws tap to the music, he just couldn't help it. He leaned against the wall but the wall shook too. Everything moved. He heard a voice. "Wabbit!"  Down the stairs danced Lapinette with her paws outstretched. He stretched out his own to greet her. "Lapinette, what is this place?" "This is the ceremonial under the beach staircase," sang Lapinette. She pirouetted twice and sailed into the Wabbits paws. The Wabbit hugged her and grinned. "Ceremony? What ceremony?" Lapinette continued to gyrate. "The Under the Beach Awards." "Oh," said the Wabbit, "who won?" "I won," laughed Lapinette, "I always win." The Wabbit shrugged. "Did I win anything?" "Everyone wins something," laughed Lapinette. She continued to dance. The Wabbit raised an eye. Lapinette paused. "Best original screenplay set on a beach award." The Wabbit's eyes lit up and he gave a little bow. "Then I'd like to thank Lapinette for dancing down the ceremonial staircase." "Why don't we dance up it," suggested Lapinette. "Where does it go?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "To the top of course."

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

3. The Wabbit in the Under the Beach Bar

Behind the wall was a bar and behind the bar was Skratch the Cat. The Wabbit put a paw into the blue. It merged with the blue and tingled. "What will you have?" asked Skratch. "What have you got?" replied the Wabbit. "You can anything you want as long as it's blue," said Skratch. His voice sounded blue. "I'll have a Curaçao," shrugged the Wabbit. "Just as well," said Skratch, "that's all we have." He offered the Wabbit a blue glass with a blue liquid. "What is this place? Why are we here?" asked the Wabbit. Skratch polished a glass. "This is the Blue Bar, where everything is safe and secure. Do you feel safe and secure?" The Wabbit grimaced. "Not particularly. I find it dreary." "Do you?" asked Skratch. He paused. "This is where I go in recurring dreams. I'm running a beach bar. People come in and go out. In between I serve them blue drinks." The Wabbit thought about it, because there seemed to be nothing else to do. "If this is your recurring dream, Skratch - do I visit?" "Never seen you in here before," smiled Skratch, He began to hum a blues tune. The Wabbit backed away slowly and dragged his paw out of the blue. It stopped tingling. He blinked. There was nothing there. No bar, no Skratch, no blue glass. He was back in the corridor...

Monday, February 18, 2019

2. The Wabbit Under the Beach

The sands shifted and the Wabbit found himself sinking. Time passed and the sand went on and on. Then things went blue. He was in a corridor surrounded by a torpid, azure atmosphere. He put up a paw and pressed. The blue gave way. He pushed forward but it was like heavy oil. He inhaled with a normal breath. "Tastes of blue," he muttered. He tried to spit it out, but it lingered in this mouth. "Phwag!" he scowled. He pushed forward along the corridor but no matter what he did, it was always the same. He tried going the other way. There was no difference. He dropped to the floor and wriggled along on his tummy but nothing changed. He plucked a hair from his fur, made it wet and stuck it on the wall. Then he tried the corridor again. Within a few seconds he was back where he'd started. The Wabbit made a joke to himself. "Hair today, here tomorrow." There was no-one around to laugh so he did it himself. His laughter echoed down the corridor and came up behind him. He turned round and quickly back as if he could catch the corridor out - all to no avail. It was infuriating. The Wabbit was running out of ideas. He kicked the wall in fury. Something rattled. He tried again. There was a vicious crack. He gripped the rail and pulled. It came away in his paw, leaving a crevice in the wall. He took several hops back and with a mighty lunge, he kicked it with all his might. The wall crumbled into blue fragments...

Friday, February 15, 2019

1. The Wabbit and things on the Beach

The Wabbit was between missions and that was always a boring time. So he decided he'd walk along the beach from Fregene to the airport. It was further than he thought and he became impatient with the beach and complained to it. Nothing happened and he continued. But after a while, he heard the sound of voices. Without warning, groups of people appeared and assembled themselves by the sea. This wasn't what the Wabbit had in mind. The people pointed in many different directions. But there was certainly no plane in the air and not a vessel could be seen in the water. The Wabbit ignored them. "I expect better," he murmured. A post sticking from the sand caught his eye. The Wabbit shrugged, because there had been the usual storms and it was the time of year when the beach was always different. Then he heard a crackle. He stared at the post. Ice formed on the top. The Wabbit shivered although it was warm in the sun. It was as if he had opened a freezer door. He heard voices fade as the people walked into the distance. He could feel sun on his fur and warmth as the temperature rose. The ice melted into water and became mere moisture. Then that too vanished. He touched the post. It was a dry as a bone and wood flaked off on the sand. But the sand seemed to shift. "What occurs?" asked the Wabbit ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at a new Adventure Caffè. The Wabbit headed off to locate a suitable table while the others chattered, but he turned when Skratch appeared. "Well Skratch. What was that for a sort of Adventure we just had?" Skratch raised a paw in greeting. "Wabbit, there are many types of adventures involving doubles, all quite different." Lapinette pirouetted and waved. "That doesn't answer the question."  Wabsworth had been reading. "It could be said to be a reflection double rather than a narrative double." "Where did you find that argument, Wabsworth?" asked the Wabbit. "On the Internet," smiled Wabsworth. Everyone groaned long and hard, including Wabsworth. "The mythic twin is as old as Zoroaster," said Lapinette. "Good and evil locked in endless battle," agreed Skratch. "So how old is Zoroaster?" asked the Wabbit. "No one can agree," grinned Lapinette. Skratch ignored this distraction and meowed. "The mythic twin is normally predicated upon a basic antinomy, but in this case we must look - not to Zoroaster - but to Lacan." The Wabbit was relieved because now he was on familiar territory. "In relations between the imaginary and symbolic, the double hollows out the real." "The absence of the other," added Lapinette with a nod. "Unspoken and unseen," shrugged Wabsworth.
[The double as the unseen of culture. Towards a definition of the Doppelganger. Milica Zivkovic.]

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

11. The Wabbit and the Big Goodbye

The Wabbit couldn't resist looking out and back down the line. The figure was waving at him. The train hurtled through the night but the figure stayed exactly the same distance away. An eastbound express flashed past and smashed over the figure - but when it had gone, the figure was still standing. He could hear it shouting "You got me, Wabbit. But there's always next time." Its edged weapon glowed red in the night. Lapinette tried to pull the Wabbit inside but it was all too fascinating. The Wabbit stared and stared. "The more you look," said Lapinette, "the more powerful his hold over you becomes." So the Wabbit ducked inside and let it be. "I doubt we've seen the last of him." "He's your doppelganger," said Wabsworth. "Well I don't like him," muttered the Wabbit, "he's thoroughly unpleasant." "Is the game finished now?" sighed Lapinette. Wabsworth grinned just like the Wabbit. "No game is ever quite finished." Lapinette grimaced. "I want my edged weapon back." Wabsworth pointed. "It's exactly where you left it." Lapinette fished in her frock and produced it. The Wabbit ferreted in his fur and found his very own automatic with the missing safety catch. Wabsworth took out two walkie talkies. The train rattled across points and through dark stations. Skratch's voice crackled over the loudspeakers. "Where would you like the next stop of this train?" "Home," said the Wabbit. "Just take us home."

Friday, February 08, 2019

10. The Wabbit and the Exit Strategy

The Wabbit saw Lapinette kick the figure and it lurched towards the door. But it bounced back and swirled the edged weapon round and round. She kicked it again, but it kept coming. He heard a hiss as Skratch opened the doors. Outside the night blurred past. The figure swayed and grabbed a rail. Whatever the figure was it had to leave of its own accord or the game would continue forever. The Wabbit pulled out the automatic but he held back. Killing it wouldn't help. He fired a shot at its ear. Blood spattered the compartment. The thing hit the door and nearly fell out. Its feet slithered on the floor. "I'm still here!" The shout was triumphant. The slipstream tugged at its fur. Its teeth chattered. The train slammed through a tunnel and the draught sucked the thing half out. Brickwork scraped its back. Its yell was frantic. "I'm not leaving!" It had one foot inside and another out. Lapinette gave it another push and shouted, "Give up!" "Never!" yelled the thing. It clawed his way back on the footplate. "Whoooo," said a voice that seemed to come from the wind. The thing turned -  and just for a moment, lost its grip.  It stared at the Wabbit with what looked like despair. Its hold loosened. With paws raised in surrender it fell to the track. The Wabbit grinned as he watched Wabsworth climb into the compartment. The doors hissed shut. "Ticket?" smiled the Wabbit.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

9. The Wabbit and the Platform Standoff

The Wabbit waited on the platform. It smelled of metal and bad gas and something else, something unnatural. A freight train blurred fast and sent a shower of gravel into his face. The Wabbit didn't blink. Another train drew into the station at a leisurely pace - a commuter train with no passengers. He slid the safety catch off his automatic and racked it twice for luck. He blew along the barrel. His breath hung in the cold air. The train screeched to a standstill. Standing alongside was the figure that looked like him. The Wabbit could see him reflected in his glasses, waving a blood spattered edged weapon. The figure drew a door open and yelled. "You're leaving the game, get on the train." Still, the Wabbit did not turn. The figure felt the muzzle of an automatic pressing just under his ear. "It's you that's leaving," said Lapinette. With her other paw she dragged him on board. The weapon clattered on the platform. The door closed. As the train began to move, the Wabbit leaped across the platform and clung to a footplate of a far compartment. The train gathered speed. It wasn't hard to lever a door and just as the train hit a bend in the track, the Wabbit tumbled into a compartment. He could hear a commotion and he ran down the train towards it. The intercom crackled with Skratch's voice. "This is the End Game Express, have your tickets ready." The Wabbit grabbed a rail as the train chattered across points and through red lights and he sang, "This train don't carry no hustlers, this train..."

Friday, February 01, 2019

8. The Wabbit and a Cat's Surprise

The Wabbit had no intention of leaving, so they hopped through the back streets in search of answers. But there was no sign of the figure and still, nothing looked right. "This looks like Milan," said Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head and grumbled. "Pssst!" said a voice. The Wabbit shrugged and murmured, "No more surprises." Followed by Lapinette, he continued on his way - but Wabsworth hung back. A branch cracked above him. Something dropped from a tree, landed with considerable grace and purred gently. "What's going down?" meaowed Skratch. "You are," grinned Wabsworth. He beckoned the others. "What are you doing here, Skratch?" "Instinct," replied Skratch, "I felt impelled to travel here." "We seem to be caught in a game," explained Wabsworth. "Ah, said Skratch, "then what I saw was a player. It looked a bit like you, Wabbit." "Our adversary," said Lapinette. The Wabbit hopped up to Skratch. "How do we get out of the game?" Skratch purred gently. "We win the game! Let's get him." The Wabbit wasn't happy. He prodded Wabsworth. "What are our strategic options?" Wabsworth's circuits whirred. "We force our opponent to leave the game. Where did you see him?" "The railway station," said Skratch. "Perfect," said Wabsworth, "He doesn't have to go far ..."

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

7. Skratch and the Late Freight Train

The freight train coasted into Padova Central Station and Skratch the Cat stepped off. He'd had no intention of taking the train but some deep instinct told him to do it. So he'd boarded the train in Turin, then curled between two containers as it rattled at high speed towards Venice. When the train shuddered to a halt, he woke up. He was puzzled. He knew it wasn't supposed to stop until Padova Freight Village so he shook himself alert and looked down the platform. A familiar figure hopped along the platform and into the distance. Skratch purred and was about to meaow to his friend - but something stopped him. "That's not the Wabbit," he murmured. The figure plucked an edged weapon from his fur and drew it along the containers. It made a rasping sound. Blood dripped from the blade. The figure's turn was abrupt and Skratch snapped back and out of sight. A whistle blew, then with a screech the train began to move. Rails squealed as the train picked up speed. Skratch leaped for the other side of the train and when it reached the end of the platform, he jumped off and slid behind a building. The figure remained alone on the empty platform, looking from side to side and shouting. "Come out. I know you're there," Skratch was as quiet as a cat can be. He dropped onto the westbound rails and prowled past him to the exit. "I'm neither here nor there," he purred ... and he vanished into the city. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Tidied Scene

The scene changed and Lapinette started yelling. "This isn't Venice, this is Padua. I won Venice. I want Venice!" Wabsworth seemed a long way off but the Wabbit could hear him. "They seem to have tidied Venice," he murmured. "Everything's wrong," scowled the Wabbit. He pulled the automatic from his fur, but the safety catch wasn't broken and he growled, "This isn't my gun." "Don't look now," called a voice. The Wabbit's head swivelled. "There he is," shouted Lapinette. She pointed. "He looks just like you." The figure took out an edged weapon and tapped it three times on the base of a statue. "That's mine," shouted Lapinette. The figure tapped the statue again and spoke. "Nothing is at it seems." His voice was dull and watery, the sound of splashes on a jetty. Wabsworth grabbed for his automatic but there was only the walkie talkie. He pointed it anyway. It crackled into life and spoke. "This is not a gun." The scene froze. They found themselves gripped like tourists wrapped in aspic. But the figure strode up and down the parapet, yelling. "You'd be well advised to leave. Don't wait til tomorrow." Then it dived into the water and vanished. The scene returned to life and the team with it. But something rose from the water, something awful - a putrid, rancid smell. Lapinette shuddered and grasped her nose. "What on earth is that?" The Wabbit looked into the water and snarled, "Mediocrity."

Friday, January 25, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Lady Gondolier

They strolled towards the river. But it didn't seem to be the right river. It wasn't a river at all. "I told you this was a game," said Wabsworth. "Pretty," nodded the Wabbit. "It's like a painting." murmured Wabsworth. "Canaletto?" suggested the Wabbit. "Artificial topography," agreed Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked all around and took in the scene. "Are we really in it?" he asked. Wabsworth sniffed long and hard. "Yes. It smells of damp mop in a corner." The Wabbit's ears pricked up at the chugging of an outboard motor. "Johnson Evinrude," said Wabsworth. "You can't get better," grinned the Wabbit. He heard a familiar voice but this time he turned and shouted, "Lapinette!" "Wanna lift?" called Lapinette. "What's in the boxes, Gondolier?" yelled Wabsworth. Lapinette yelled back. "Haggis for Burns Night and a case of herring!" The craft edged in sideways and bumped against the jetty. "How on earth did you get here?" asked the Wabbit. Lapinette hopped off and climbed the steps. "It was a magazine competition. And I traded all my points from American Express." "They didn't run to a gondola?" queried Wabsworth. Lapinette shook her head and shrugged. "No-one can." They gazed at the bridge and noted how beautiful everything was. "Bring any weapons?" grunted the Wabbit. Lapinette patted her frock. "A machine pistol disguised as a makeup case and a pack of exploding lipsticks." "Expecting trouble?" smiled Wabsworth. Lapinette laughed. "Trouble expects me."

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

4. The Wabbit inside the Urban Maze

The Wabbit pursued the figure through a maze of old buildings - until he lost him. There was no one to curse so he cursed the building instead and stamped his foot. "Wabbit!" The voice was familiar but the Wabbit was too cute to acknowledge it. "Commander?" The voice had changed tone. Now it was sharp and urgent. "It's Wabsworth," said the voice. The Wabbit refused to look. "How do I know it's you?" "Ask me a question," said the voice. "OK," said the Wabbit, "Why is 5 to the power of zero only one?" "Everything to the power of zero is one," said the voice. "How can that be?" asked the Wabbit. The reply was quickfire fast. "It's only a convention." The Wabbit laughed and turned. "Wabsworth, what's going on?" "We're caught in a game," said Wabsworth. He threw down an automatic, then a walkie talkie. The Wabbit caught the gun and examined it but he let the walkie talkie clatter on the road. "Where did you get these?" "I had to win them," answered Wabsworth. "I'm listening," sighed the Wabbit. Wabsworth climbed from the window and shimmied down to the sidewalk. "I had to fit a stack of objects into a shape, but the objects and the shape kept changing." The Wabbit nodded. "Then there were eight crosswords, but I didn't know which clues went where." "Did it take long?" asked the Wabbit. "No time at all," said Wabsworth, "The game was a smoke screen. The gun and the walkie talkie were on a shelf and I just took them."

Monday, January 21, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Alleyway Portal

The Wabbit hopped off in high dudgeon - but he couldn't help looking back. The shutters shimmered and vanished. At first glance it looked like an alleyway between two sheds that led to the street behind. But everything was wrong. The light was wrong. The sky was wrong. The sound was wrong. Apart from the perspective, there was little that was right. But still that voice hung in the air, whispering now, "This place doesn't really exist." The Wabbit shook his head and muttered, "The puzzle has too many pieces." As if in answer, something else happened. A figure appeared. The Wabbit's fur stood on end. The figure was the Wabbit, beckoning with his paw and smiling. An orange sun drew an impossible shadow in the cobbles. "It's a cardboard cut out," thought the Wabbit - but his likeness moved towards him and breathed softly. "Duck down the alleyway." The Wabbit scowled. "I don't think so." But a hidden force dragged him towards the cobbles. The Wabbit searched in his fur for his radio, but it wasn't there. The figure waved a walkie talkie and grinned. It burst into life and crackled with Wabsworth's voice, "Come in Wabbit, come in." The figure repeated the message, mocking Wabsworth's tone. "Come in Wabbit, come in." It beckoned once more. The Wabbit's paws scuffed the asphalt as he slid into the alley. "I'm not going your way ..."

Thursday, January 17, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Inside Out

The Wabbit threw open the shutters and closed them behind him. An eerie light filtered through from the next street, painting the rubbish that littered the floor a fluorescent orange. At the far corner stood an old chair and a little further away, a coffee table with a reserved sign. The Wabbit pulled his automatic from his fur. "That looks like blood." His voice was the merest murmur, yet it echoed like a trumpet under a bridge. The Wabbit advanced with caution and touched the red stains. "Paint," he whispered. He thought for a moment. "Maybe someone painted themselves into a corner." He turned to the table and lifted the sign. "Reserved for whom?" He ticked it in his fur and sifted through the rubbish, but found little of interest except for a few receipts made out to 'A Customer' and listing various vague services. "This is a riddle," thought the Wabbit. It was then that he noticed the small pyramid on the chair. It looked like a Wablantis pyramid and he made to pick it up. But a little voice told him not to. He slid the automatic back in his fur and took out a camera. "I'll bring in the team and we'll scour this place with a fine tooth comb." His camera flashed. Then he tried to slide the shutter back up, but it was jammed. The voice he'd heard before spoke again. "They won't find anything. This place doesn't really exist." The shutters slammed open and a hidden force propelled the Wabbit outside. The shutters slammed shut. The Wabbit hopped back. His camera flashed again and he growled, "We'll see about that."