Thursday, July 18, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Vole's Goal

It wasn't far to the Agents' lair. The vole gestured to the cave. "The awful creatures are in there, I can smell them." The Wabbit and Lapinette hung back. "Leave this to us, vole," said the Wabbit. He dug deep in his fur and fished out a largish quantity of explosive. Lapinette grabbed it and inserted a detonator. She was about to throw it down the cave but the vole snatched it. "I'll do it!" He was off before they could do a thing. He scampered up the stone steps and into the shadows. It was then they discerned sinister shapes that could only be Agents of Rabit - and they were much too close. Lapinette drew a breath. The Wabbit clenched his jaw. What happened next took place at lightning speed. With the package of C4 under its snout, the vole reached the top of the stairs. He scraped his claws along the top step. The sound set everyone's teeth on edge. "What's that?" yelled an Agent. "I'm only a vole," snickered the vole. "It's only a vole for goodness sake," said the leader. The vole scampered past and behind them. "Stupid problem pest," grimaced an Agent. The Vole dropped the explosive just behind him. "What the ..." shouted an Agent and he reached out - but it was too late. The vole was a blur as he scampered back. He shot past Lapinette, executed a speedway turn and let out a snicker that echoed down the cave. The Wabbit reached under his fur for the wireless detonation switch and yelled. "All clear! Fire from the vole."

Monday, July 15, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Interrupted Circuit

The rain gave way to steamy night. Under heavy clouds, the vole led Turbina to what looked like a roughly wired street lamp. "This is what these rabbits erected," he said. The Wabbit climbed the pole and subjected the circuit to an interminable series of tests. "Well?" asked Lapinette. "It's not a lamp, it's a transmitter," said the Wabbit, "and it's a lot more powerful than it looks." Without warning, the array became hot and started to hum. "Yow!" said the Wabbit, "that made my fur tingle." "Mmmm. Let's see," said Lapinette. She fished under her frock and brought out an expandable pole. "Are you going to poke it?" asked the vole. "When in doubt, burn it out," said Lapinette. She poked the array with the pole. Nothing happened. She prodded all around with no results. "Poke it in the middle," said the Vole. Lapinette poked it viciously. There was a flash and a crackle and something arced. Sparks flew. The humming stopped. "That'll keep them busy for a while," laughed the Wabbit. Lapinette folded the pole and jumped to the ground, followed by the vole. Slivers of wood flew around as the Wabbit slid down. "Now I'll take you to their lair," said the vole. "They have a lair?" smiled the Wabbit. "Doesn't everyone?" grinned the vole.

Friday, July 12, 2019

4. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Vole

Turbina landed on the Planet of the Voles and they clambered out. Rain lashed their fur. "You might have chosen a better landing spot," grumbled the Wabbit. "Security, no tracks," she chortled. She pivoted on the rock and tried to dislodge the Wabbit. The Wabbit clung onto her engine compartment and quietly swore. "Oh look," said Lapinette. "Here's a vole." "There aren't any voles," said the Wabbit, "I made that up." There was a scurrying from under a rock. "I am a vole," grunted a small vole, "did you bring any food?" The Wabbit ducked back into Turbina's cabin for a salad sandwich. Lapinette smiled. "Did you see any wicked looking creatures?" The vole scurried back and forth. "Food first, information later." Lapinette passed a sandwich which the vole devoured in a single gulp. "I saw some hideous rabbits," he spluttered. "And?" inquired Lapinette. "More food!" snapped the vole. The Wabbit's face fell as he passed the last of his sandwiches. The vole snapped them up. "They're a few kilometres south and they have equipment of some kind."  The Wabbit dropped from Turbina with a heavy thump. "Equipment?" The vole shrugged. "I'm just a vole, not an engineer. But it looked like transmission gear." Lapinette reached out and stroked the vole. "Can you take us to them?"  The vole's teeth chattered." "Half of whatever you take from them." "A quarter," offered Lapinette. "A third," said the vole. "Done," said the Wabbit. He pulled out his automatic and turned to go. "But it's only because I like you."
[Vole graphic: Courtesy of Mikhail Kolesnikov and Marina Korobchenko.]

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

3. The Wabbit and Lapinette Undercover

Planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb was always freezing but the bar was one of the warmest in the galaxy. Leaving Turbina in a rocky rocket park, they stole inside and waited. The Agent on the bar stool got steadily drunker  - and the drunker he became, the more he talked. "We got them this time and I'll get a hefty bonus when we do." The Agent's voice was thick and slurred. Lapinette lurched against the bar and pretended to down cocktails. The Wabbit staggered up and down, reciting poetry and asking for money. Occasionally he burped. The bar belonged to their friend, the Alien Pilot. Information-gathering was his sideline, so all they had to do was listen as he pumped the Agent dry. "What a brilliant plan. Just brilliant." He offered the Agent another drink. "On the house for you and all you Agents on ... ?" The Agent grinned as he slumped against the bar. ".. the Planet of the Voles." The Alien Pilot pushed another glass in the Agent's direction." "Sounds terrific." The Agent smirked. "We have cutting edge reconnaissance equipment." "Squipment is exshpenshive," slurred the Wabbit. "Get that fart smellow another dwink," said Lapinette. The Agent laughed and drank and told the whole bar where the funds came from. He rocked on his bar stool and while he rambled on, Lapinette and the Wabbit crept away. Turbina set course. And when she took off for the Planet of the Voles, the roar of her turbines rattled every glass in every bar on the planet.  The Agent suddenly stiffened. "What's that?" "Mice?" shrugged the Pilot.

Monday, July 08, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Space to Talk

Turbina the Jet Car sailed up a ramp near Lingotto and just kept going. Lapinette twisted the steering wheel and made vrooming noises. "It's just for effect," she laughed. Turbina shot through a layer of clouds and soon the whole planet was behind them. The windows slid up and the instrument panel changed to something out of Star Trek. Someone in the Space Station looked out with astonished eyes and grabbed a camera, but it was too late. There was a flash and Turbina disappeared. "How fast was that?" asked the Wabbit. "Too fast for numbers," said Turbina. "Where are we going?" asked the Wabbit. "Someplace to talk," replied Turbina. "Super hush hush - ears only," said Lapinette. She tapped the steering wheel lightly. It folded back. Galaxies sped by like soup. "There it is," said Lapinette. "MACS0647-JD," murmured Turbina. "Snappy Scottish name," chuckled the Wabbit. Turbina slowed down.  The Wabbit laughed. "It looks like an electric bar heater from 1952." Turbina glowed red to match. "Perfect." she announced. "No passing trade," grinned Lapinette. "So what's it all about?" shrugged the Wabbit. "Agents of Rabit are planning an all out assault on our communications," said Turbina. She coasted to a stop, switched off the radio and turned off all her lights. The Wabbit's eyes glowed faintly in the dark, as did his 28 teeth. "So let's make a plan," said Turbina ...

Thursday, July 04, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Swift Pick Up.

The Wabbit strolled down Via Nizza with hardly a care in the world, when a fast car mounted the sidewalk and a beautiful rabbit leaned across with a gun in her paw. He'd been wondering about his next mission, but not that hard. "Get in the car," snarled the rabbit. He raised a paw in the air and drawled, "Lapinette, that looks like my gun." Lapinette twirled it round several times and offered it butt-first. "I cleaned it up and replaced the safety catch." The Wabbit shrugged, took the gun and got in the vehicle. "Hello Commander," said the car. Turbina held an impossibly high rank at the Department of Wabbit Affairs. She could talk and fly. And she usually kept a salad sandwich in her glove compartment for the Wabbit, just for a culinary emergency. "I have your orders," said Turbina, "but let's take a little drive first." Lapinette put her foot on the gas, then gunned the throttle and hauled up the handbrake. Turbina swerved through 180 degrees and took off in the direction of the centre. The Wabbit clung on for dear life. Lapinette eyes gleamed and she span the steering wheel. Turbina took a left at Corso Germano Sommeiller on two wheels and briefly left the ground as she flew over the railway bridge. People jumped out the way. "Are we in a hurry?" asked the Wabbit. He tucked his automatic in his fur and peered in the glove compartment. Turbina and Lapinette laughed together. "Just practicing."

Monday, July 01, 2019

The Wabbit at the Adventure Caffè

The sun was so bright it bleached the street - so the team found a caffè in the shade and scrunched in. Skratch made a late and fashionable entrance as usual. "Well hello everyone. What sort of adventure did you just get yourselves into?" Wabsworth was the first to comment. He looked directly over the table at Skratch. "It was a no reason kind of adventure. Despite its folk pretensions, it defies categorization." Skratch grinned a mighty cat grin. "That's very critical, Wabsworth. You surely didn't think it was silly." The Wabbit chimed in. "Perhaps it was. But that's not entirely negative. The adventure critiques the story-telling process itself." Lapinette giggled and beat a rhythm on the table. "I think it was wonky intellectualism of the highest order - Arabian Nights for the very highest of high brows." Skratch meaowed. "It was the anti realist nature of the story that rendered it as magical realism. The Wabbit and Wabsworth were arrivistes as much as Aladdin and Sinbad. But this version is as authentic as any ancient Arabian tale." Wabsworth chuckled. "My point exactly. Instability. Entangling displacement. Repetitive motifs." Lapinette laughed. "The story is a folk tale. The tyre is a ring. A ring means a wedding." "With this ring I thee wed," said the Wabbit. He made a circular movement with a paw - and said gravely, "Hoc est corpus meum." "Hocus pocus!" yelled Skratch.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Magic Landing

Prill the magic tyre sailed over the rooftop race track at Lingotto and made an elegant descent down through the big ramp. The Wabbit and Wabsworth scrunched down as best they could and looked over the tyre rim. "There are schoolchildren down there," smiled Wabsworth. The children looked up and made a figure of eight. Some waved, but one of them shrugged. "It's only the Wabbit on a Flying Tyre." Then they all went back to their tasks. "Look. There's someone else!" chuckled the Wabbit. Lovely Lapinette sat on a balustrade with a flag in her paw. She dangled her legs over the heights and waved the flag. "Welcome back, Wabbit and Wabsworth! Did you meet Aladdin?" Prill span round and they dropped until they were level with Lapinette. She giggled. "Here you are my master, this is my mistress." The Wabbit laughed. "What's going on, Lap?" Lapinette lurched dangerously forward. "It's a new project. We call it the Flubber Development." Wabsworth chimed in. "Well, we'd like to be Landflubbers now." Lapinette jumped aboard and signalled. "Going down," said Prill. The children cleared away as if they'd never been there. Prill bumped down on the concrete. The Wabbit sniffed the air. "Could be a new perfume," he grinned. "Mmmm," said Lapinette, "Soft overtones of rubber, coal and oil." The Wabbit's 28 teeth flashed and his eyes gleamed. "And combustion!"

Thursday, June 27, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Flying Tyre

The Wabbit sprayed copious amounts of WD-40 on the rubber road, but it only half worked. The tyre parted company from the road but it flew high in the air, taking the Wabbit and Wabsworth with it. The Wabbit and Wabsworth clung on and grimaced. The Wabbit cursed as he lost a hold of his can of lubricant. It detached from his paw and made its way down to the city, but at that moment the tyre stopped spinning. It sailed lazily in circles, making whirring sounds. Wabsworth pointed and laughed as another sound caught his attention. A dove swooped around them making cawing noises and laughing. "Are you King Solomon today, Commander, or Prince Husain?" "It's Parakalo!" yelled the Wabbit. "Parakalo!" cooed the dove. "Give us a hand, Parakalo, we want to go down," shouted the Wabbit. Parakalo hovered near the tyre and cooed softly. The tyre made a whirring noise in reply. This went on for some time until the Wabbit interrupted with a wave of his paw. Parakalo wheeled straight up and then swooped down and hovered. "You can talk to him yourself, it's your tyre." The tyre wiggled, then spoke in a high pitched female voice. "My name is Prill. To where dost thou wish to travel, my master?" "Down would be nice," said the Wabbit. "Down where?" said Prill, "to the bazarre perhaps?" They were already skimming rooftops. "Just downtown," smiled Wabsworth.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Tyre's Balance

The Wabbit and Wabbit pursued the tyre and jumped aboard as it passed under a bridge on the Po. Rabbits were known for their speed and their legs blurred as the tyre carried them down river. Just in front, the rubber road came with them. The tyre picked up speed. So did they. Wabsworth fished out a pole and used it to balance. "Where did you learn to do that?" yelled the Wabbit. "I'm an android. I have a circus acrobat algorithm," shouted Wabsworth. The Wabbit clenched all of his 28 teeth. "Everyone should have a hobby." The tyre rolled faster. "It's all a matter of torque," shouted Wabsworth. "Torque is cheap," quipped the Wabbit. He pulled out a multi tool with sharp bits and he span forward with the tyre. "Sidewall?" shouted Wabsworth. "Just waiting on the right moment," murmured the Wabbit. He rolled over at an impossible angle, then struck the tyre with the axe. But it bounced off. Wabsworth hauled him back. "We can't keep this up indefinitely," he screeched. The Wabbit stabbed the tyre a few times but to no effect. The tyre tore down the river, then veered off and rolled towards a built up area. "This tyre's gotta run out of road sometime," cried Wabsworth. "Aha, "said the Wabbit, "that's it!" He gritted his teeth, plunged a paw into his fur - and produced a can of WD40 ...

Friday, June 21, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Rubber Road

Wabsworth arrived at speed brandishing a tyre iron - and his timing was impeccable. The giant tyre rolled backwards and started to spin. The noise was unbearable. The ground shook under their feet and they felt it move, then sway. They began to lose balance and they slithered around. "It's a rubber road," yelled the Wabbit, "Run!" But they couldn't run. The dimpled surface of the rubber road made movement difficult - and every time they got to their feet, they fell and bounced back. But the tyre clung to the rubber road like glue, moving forward with menace, picking up speed. The Wabbit fished in his fur and pulled out Lapinette's edged weapon. He waved it menacingly and yelled, "I'll cut you a new tread!" The tyre swerved to the left but Wabsworth was in its path. "You're worn out! You need changing," he yelled. He lifted the tyre iron and stroked it. The tyre hesitated, then veered away, cutting a slick path through a highway of rubber. Wabsworth watched the tyre race out of sight, taking the rubber road with it. He wrinkled his nose. "He's unbalanced as they come." The Wabbit glanced down. The street was stabilising. It hardened and turned into asphalt under his feet. "No chance of it getting a flat, I suppose?" chortled Wabsworth. The Wabbit thought for a second and grinned. He groped for his radio. "I suppose it could be arranged."

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Surprise Attack

The Wabbit hadn't hopped far when things went belly up. He was happily hopping down to the river when he heard a whistling, which turned quickly to a rumble. He felt a wind, then a blow to the back. He rolled and cursed and got back up. The tyre was massive, as high as the tram wires - and it smelled of whatever tyres were made of these days. His nose twitched. Not rubber exactly. Rubber and something else. The Wabbit brushed soot from his fur and watched the tyre. It had rolled to a stop and it stood quivering in the road. It seemed to look at him. He picked up his radio from the asphalt and yelled. "Rogue tyre with attitude, Piazza Vittorio Veneto." The radio crackled. It was Wabsworth, his android double. "What kind of a tyre?" The Wabbit shook his head, but anyway, he looked the tyre up and down. "Pirelli P7, Corsa Classic. "Excellent tyre," murmured Wabsworth. The Wabbit said something rude under his breath, then, "Get down here, Wabsworth!" The radio whined. "Do we need any tools, Commander?" "This is not Formula One, Wabsworth. The tyre's alive!" screamed the Wabbit. Now the tyre was rolling towards him. The Wabbit edged back and under a portico. That was when it spoke. "I. Rubber!" The Wabbit nodded. He groped in his fur for his automatic and snarled out the corner of his mouth. "Don't you tyres get dizzy?"

Monday, June 17, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Aimless Hop

The Wabbit hopped aimlessly through the city with hardly a care in the world. He tried very hard not to think, because the minute he realised he was enjoying himself, he would feel anxious. He preferred to be at one with the city; to merge into it, to become indistinguishable from it. "Ultimately I will vanish," he smiled. He looked down at his fur. He hadn't vanished. "OK," said the Wabbit, trying hard not to think. "I will merely taste the flavour of the day." He ambled on, sniffing the air. Memories popped into his head - times gone by, missions accomplished, enemies defeated. "All in the past, transient and fleeting," grinned the Wabbit. The Wabbit growled. He'd remembered he was between missions and that was a place he didn't like one bit. He fished in his fur for his radio, but then drew back, empty pawed. "Lapinette insisted I relax." He continued along the street but stopped dead when he was struck by a sudden insight. "Trying not to think is thinking too." The Wabbit gave up and headed along the porticos to the river to watch the water go by. But something made him turn. It was Lapinette. "Wabbit, Wabbit, your new mission papers arrived, they want you at the Department." The Wabbit hopped with glee. "Don't they know I'm taking a relaxing break," he yelled.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team arrived at the Adventure Caffè. The afternoon was dull and heavy and hot, but there was no more swirling. They all said "Phew!" and relaxed. Lapinette hugged the Wabbit and the Wabbit hugged her back. "What was that for a kind of Adventure?" she asked. "Here comes Skratch to tell us," shrugged the Wabbit. The air got even hotter as Terni arrived. He blasted hot breath across the river and wiggled his wings. "That was a stellar adventure," he roared. "It certainly was," meaowed Skratch, "It was the ghostly epitome of post modernism." Lapinette grinned. "Skratch means that his analysis hasn't actually arrived." The Wabbit tutted and shook his head. "I think the whole question of troublesome alien invaders is a narrative paradigm consistent with paranoid delusion." Wabsworth chimed in. "Not if they are out to get us." Skratch meaowed for attention. "When I was on the saucer, the Ice Mice appeared incompetent. They indicated they didn't know what they were doing." Wabsworth nodded. "So the ripples we experienced were due to the ignorance of the Ice Mice."  Skratch wasn't happy. "It seems to me that their ignorance is a political act. It's a highly aggressive and deceitful manoeuvre, designed to trick opponents into compliance." The Wabbit laughed. "There's a lot of it about." Lapinette waved her paws. "Do you think we could trick anyone into bringing us drinks?"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

7. The Wabbit & the Wormhole Modulator

"Will it work?" asked Terni the Dragon. "Of course it will work," said the Wabbit. Terni laughed a dragon laugh and despite the Wabbit's various warnings, he slipped from the cargo bay and into deep space. Lapinette nudged the Wabbit. "They're coming." The Ice Mice saucer flew hard on their heels. "And they're none too pleased," smirked the Wabbit. He flicked a switch and a worm hole opened. Terni breathed a cone of flame and launched through. Quantum streaked after him. Lapinette watched the saucer. "Now," she breathed. The Wabbit flicked the switch the other way. The worm hole closed behind them. It was the Wabbit's turn to laugh. "That'll delay them more than Heathrow in the fog." Terni circled and returned on a fiery plume. "Excellent" he roared, "Now shall we all sing?" The speakers crackled. "You start," said Skratch the Cat from the engine room. Terni's voice boomed out. "Terni the Magic Dragon!" "Flies through Outer Space," trilled Lapinette. "He frolics through the galaxy, he's our dragon interface," ad libbed Wabsworth. Everyone laughed so loud that the sound carried through space. On the other side of the wormhole, the Ice Mice scowled and barged and complained about cats. Back on Quantum, the Wabbit set a course for Earth and cracked mice jokes. "I hope they have a mice day."

Monday, June 10, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Laser Device

The Wabbit was tinkering in the engine room. He was responsible for Lattice Drive and although it looked antediluvian it usually worked - up until now. Lapinette appeared waving a sonic screwdriver, but still, they had no luck. The Wabbit produced an ancient micrometer from his fur and measured everything in sight. "It makes me feel better," he murmured to Lapinette. His stomach rumbled. "Perhaps you're hungry, Wabbit," suggested Lapinette, "Would you like a salad sandwich?" She delved into her frock and plucked out a sandwich. The Wabbit was extremely hungry but he persisted in measuring things. A delicious aroma of salad reached his nostrils and he was so busy savouring it, he failed to notice Skratch returning from the Ice Mice vessel. "Need a helping paw, Wabbit?" The Wabbit looked up. Skratch waved a device. "What's that Skratch, a toy?" Skratch meowed. "This is no toy." The device fired a beam that narrowly missed the Wabbit's ears. They heard a rumble and then a whine. Everything shimmered as Quantum carved a path through the space-time continuum. "Lattice Drive," they yelled. "Where did you get that thing?" asked the Wabbit. "I acquired it," purred Skratch. He grinned. "They'll never miss it." The Wabbit gave it some thought. "Does it do anything else?" Skratch purred long and hard. "Would you like me to heat up that sandwich?"

Friday, June 07, 2019

5. Skratch and the Ailing Power Unit

Skratch the Cat boarded the Ice Mice vessel easily. The door slid back with a pssst sound and he stepped on board. He could see what might be a power unit, but one thing was for sure. It wasn't working. Occasionally it bleeped and flashed but the bleep was tired and the illumination faint. "What can I do for you in your time of need?" meaowed Skratch. "It doesn't work," moaned an ice mouse. "What's wrong with it?" asked Skratch. "We don't know. No-one knows how to repair it," said another ice mouse. "Where's your engineer?" said Skratch. The ice mice wailed together. "We don't have one." Skratch sighed and complained about modern times. "Can you fix it?" asked an ice mouse. Skratch strode forward and kicked it viciously. The unit croaked loudly and a red light came on. "All is not lost," murmured Skratch. He took a can of WD40 and sprayed it in every crevice he could find. Then he kicked the unit again. It started to hum and the light began to pulse. "Aha," said Skratch. He located what looked like a switch, switched it off, then back on. A cooling fan chattered. Lights flickered in an ordered sequence. A robotic voice spoke. "System restored. Please enter your password." Skratch looked at the ice mice and they both shrugged. Skratch screeched long and hard. But he found the keyboard and typed "p a s s w o r d". The unit spoke again. "Booting full power. Have a nice day." The ice mice were delighted and they ran to hug Skratch, but he brought them up short. "That will be 180 QUID," he meaowed.
[QUID is a proposed space currency. The QuasiUniversal Intergalactic Denomination.]

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Strange Request

Quantum pulled away from the unknown forces and reached space - but only on push power. "Lattice Drive just won't engage," said Skratch the Cat from the engine room. They were stuck. Now Quantum's voice crackled across the speakers. "Behind you!" A green shadow fell across Quantum's bodywork. "It's the enemy. It's the Ice Mice!" yelled Lapinette. The Wabbit expected fire and he flinched. "Shields up!" he yelled. "I'm a train," said Quantum, "not a Klingon Bird of Prey." But it didn't matter, nothing happened. The ship just stayed there. "They're making me nervous," said the Wabbit. "OK, I'll open a channel," said Quantum. His voice boomed over the public address system. "Ridiculous green saucer, please identify yourself and state the nature of your business." Dead silence. "Try short wave," suggested Wabsworth. The Wabbit plunged a paw in his fur and pulled out a walkie talkie. He struck it three times for good luck and hissed, "We can see you, Saucer. Whadda ya hear, whadda ya say?" At first there was nothing except static. Then the radio whined. "This is the Ice Mice. We're stuck. Have you got a mechanic?" Lapinette burst out laughing. The radio whined again. "It's not funny." The Wabbit called the engine room. "Skratch, would you like a job?" They heard a long feline screech from Skratch. "I don't do rodent control."
[Short waves and other frequencies transmit through space. You can even talk to the space station.]

Monday, June 03, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Dragon's Flames

The jump was shorter than expected and they all looked out to see the Alps swirling in a spiral. Terni the Food Dragon emerged from the south and flew directly in front. They could hear his cabbage wings flapping, even at this altitude. "What gives?" muttered the Wabbit. "What happened to Lattice Drive?" asked Lapinette. Skratch's voice crackled from the intercom. "Best we can do, Commander." Then Terni chimed in. "Everything is swirling," he roared, "I just got ahead of it." Quantum's engines shuddered, entangled in forces that no-one understood. "I'm going to the engine room," said the Wabbit. He vanished. Lapinette spoke to Terni. "Any ideas?" They were going round in circles and dropping in altitude. Terni flew under Quantum and spread his wings as far as they would go. It seemed to help. Quantum lifted and the grip of the swirling spiral loosened. Lapinette clapped her paws in glee. The Wabbit reappeared. "Something worked," he grimaced. Lapinette nodded at the window. The Wabbit watched in astonishment as Terni's wings drove them higher. "What is this? Game of Thrones?" "All we need are flames," said Lapinette. In an instant Terni created a sea of flame that pushed Quantum higher. "We have full power!" yelled Skratch. The Wabbit signalled to Terni. "Better come aboard. Things are a little too quiet around here."

Friday, May 31, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Quantum Lift Off

The Wabbit and Lapinette raced across the city. They figured off-planet was a good place to be and they were relieved to find Quantum the Time Travelling Train ready and waiting. They scrambled aboard. Quantum seemed to have a clue about what was happening. "No sign of life, Commander."  "Nary a thing," said the Wabbit. "Nothing moves across the whole city," confirmed Lapinette. Quantum's engines came to life. The train vibrated. "What about the team?" asked Lapinette. "Skratch and Wabsworth are in the engine room," said Quantum, "and the rest are in the restaurant car." The train shuddered and lifted. The intercom crackled. "Engaging Lattice Drive," said Skratch. Nothing happened. The train hung a meter from the ground. The Wabbit and Lapinette looked out and down. The ground danced and swirled in circles. "I'll shoot it!" yelled the Wabbit. "That's your answer to everything," said Lapinette. Skratch's voice crackled. "Why don't you try, Commander?" The Wabbit fired a single shot at the ground. Quantum shook and pulled upwards. "Again," said Skratch. The Wabbit fired again. The swirls spread. The force weakened. "Get your heads back in the cab, you two," said Quantum, "or you'll be pulled into the space time continuum." "Does it have a bar?" asked the Wabbit. Engines throbbed. The train shook. There was a flash. If anyone could have watched they would have seen a big red train dissolve into pixels - and vanish.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Way to Look

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit in Via Montebello outside the Lounge Bar Gilda. He was staring intently at a sign on the wall. Then he would turn and look in the opposite direction. After a while he would look back. She tapped him lightly on the shoulder. "Between missions ennui?" she asked. "Hello Lapinette," replied the Wabbit but he kept staring. Lapinette giggled. "If you're wondering how to look in the right direction, then look at me." The Wabbit turned and embraced Lapinette. Lapinette looked over his shoulder at the sign. "Someone of a philosophical turn of mind?" The Wabbit shrugged. "I thought Wrong Direction might be a song." "Or a band," laughed Lapinette. The Wabbit laughed and laughed. "Lapinette, if I look away from the sign, I receive no further instruction. There are too many directions to choose from." Lapinette pirouetted. "What if we both look away from it at the same time?" "OK," said the Wabbit. They turned and together they looked up the street, then at the other side, then the other way. The ground suddenly shook and they clutched each other for support. The shaking stopped. Now everything was silent and still - no traffic noise, no conversations, nothing. "What happened?" asked Lapinette. "Felt like an earthquake," said the Wabbit. "But where is everyone?" said Lapinette. "Gone!" gasped the Wabbit.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at a caffè on Via Po. It was very quiet. Normally Via Po hustled and bustled - so they were pleased to find a space at a basic caffè, knowing that often they were the best. The Wabbit and Lapinette were first. Before long they heard frantic sounds. Skratch's meaows could be extremely loud and they bounced like bad cheques along the porticos. "What was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Lapinette turned and meaowed back. "You tell us, Skratch. It's your job." Wabsworth jumped from a tram and stuck his head round a pillar. "I'll tell you if you like!"  The Wabbit waved for everyone to sit down and he called for drinks. Despite his android nature, Wabsworth was in a cheerful mood. "It was strictly comedy and driven by expectation." Skratch grinned an encouraging grin. "The audience feels superior because it knows the introduction of a banana to the plot is automatically funny." Lapinette raised a paw. "The audience recognises the incongruity of the banana as a sign. The banana stands for light hearted madness."  Skratch meaowed long and hard. "The banana is the essence of genial abnormality." The Wabbit gave him a meaningful look. "But what about the vague allusions to the Banana Boat Song?" Skratch laughed. "References to the idiocy of cultural appropriation." The Wabbit nodded gravely. "That's something that drives me bananas."
[Thanks to :  HumorMechanisms in Film Comedy: Incongruity and Superiority, Jeroen Vandaele, Poetics Today, 23:2, CETRA, Leuven]

Friday, May 24, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Spider's Banana

The Wabbit and Lapinette chased across the city in pursuit of the banana and it brought them right back to Pluto Park. Just when they thought they'd cornered it, it kept slipping from their grasp. It ran them ragged across the whole place and when things finally looked like success, they were exhausted. The banana however remained unflustered. "Where's Duetta?" yelled Lapinette. "I'm here," said a voice. Marshall Duetta Spyder rounded a corner and watched with amusement. "That's my banana!" Duetta rattled her legs. The banana danced wildly in the air. Lapinette made one last attempt to grasp it, but there was no need because the banana settled on one of Duetta's legs. Then Duetta began to sing a song. "Well I'm loadin' de banana boat all night long." The banana sung too. "Dah dah light and me wan' go home." Duetta rattled and responded. "When I get some money, gonna quit so soon," he sang. The banana stretched, relaxed and went to sleep. Lapinette gazed at the sight. "Your banana?" Duetta hissed and cackled. "Every spider should have a banana." The Wabbit tried to sound stern. "That banana caused a lot of trouble." Duetta shuffled to the side and back again. "OK. I'll take responsibility for the fruit." "You better had," said Lapinette, "he's driven us bananas." The Wabbit grinned with all of his 28 teeth. "Now I feel like going on a bender. So let's split."

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 ...