Friday, November 15, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled at a favourite caffè in Piazza Giambattista Bodoni - and waited for Skratch. They didn't wait long. "Oh look! It's Skratch the Cat," shouted a man. "Ciao Skratch!" yelled a woman. Lapinette turned as customers welcomed the approaching figure. Skratch took a seat. "You're popular," observed the Wabbit. Skratch meaowed. "Must have been my popular lecture series." Lapinette twitched enquiring ears. "Foregrounding factors in signification," explained Skratch. Everyone applauded but the Wabbit tapped the table. "So tell us, Skratch. What kind of adventure did we just have?" Skratch laughed. "I'm tempted to say it was about the semiotics of light." Wabsworth nodded sagely. "My thoughts exactly. Typically absurd, the adventure's narratology configured around light itself." Lapinette rummaged under her frock for a spare copy of Samuel Beckett's Comment c'est, L'image, which she kept for reading emergencies - and lifted a paw. "The light followed, illuminated and ultimately reversed the adventure's absurdist flow." Wabsworth laughed heartily. "So the Wabbit would like to be indifferent to the universe, but the universe is not indifferent to him." The Wabbit nodded his head in agreement. "I think I'm somewhere between being and nothingness." He pointed at the empty tray and then raised a paw for service. "And only halfway to an aperitivo."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Abstract Place

The Wabbit and Lapinette climbed along the stairs. It was hard because water sloshed everywhere. They were slipping and sliding until they passed through a threshold of solid water. They pushed hard and their heads popped out on the weir on the River Po, more or less as Big Blue Snail had promised. The Wabbit patted his reflection and Lapinette did the same. The river eddied around their paws. The Wabbit shook his head. It was a weird weir and no mistake. "Which way is up?" he asked. "I think it's us that's up," said Lapinette. "This is an abstract place," commented the Wabbit. Lapinette nodded her head in vigorous agreement. It was then that she saw the beam floating towards them, the one they'd met before. Its course was slow and measured and it made not a ripple as it drew closer to the weir. The Wabbit waved. "I thought you were going to Venice?" The beam bumped against the breakwater. "I'm afraid no matter how hard I try, I never get further than this." The Wabbit leaned across. "Let me give you a helping paw." He placed a paw under the beam and flipped it over. For a moment it balanced, half on and half off the crest of the weir. Then it tipped, plunged and lay floating on the other side. It called up. "Maybe I don't want to go after all." Lapinette giggled. "Go on, take a risk." Now the beam was moving quicker and soon it was out of sight. "Make a wish," said Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned. "I wish we were both on the beam, sailing down to Venice." "Got the Po Delta Blues," laughed Lapinette ...

Monday, November 11, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Mobius Snail

The fog cleared and there stood a familiar figure. "What are you doing on my strip, Wabbit?" The Wabbit and Lapinette breathed a sigh of relief. The Wabbit began to tell the story but Snail wiggled his antennae in dismissal. "Please don't burden me with a long explanation. You're here now." The Wabbit grinned. "Well why are you here, my slithering friend?" The clouds of gas abated a little and Snail's head became clearer. "This is my Mobius strip and I am here to practice keep-fit mathematical exercises." Lapinette laughed out loud. "Are these clouds your gaseous snail goo?" Snail inflated his chest and raised his shell. "Yes indeed, they represent my considerable physical efforts." "How do we get off the strip?" asked the Wabbit, "We've lost our orientation." Snail gestured with his antennae. Vapour swirled to reveal a shadowy stairway. "You must understand that the strip is a topographical construct," he said, "So please take the topographical stairs. But be careful - they're a bit one sided." "Where do they go to?" asked Lapinette. "A simply-connected domain," replied Snail. "Where's that exactly?" sighed the Wabbit. "Near the river," laughed Snail. But Lapinette was already climbing the stairs and calling down to the Wabbit. "I can see our house from here." The Wabbit made for the stairs, but just before he started to climb, he turned to Snail and said. "I don't suppose you ever lose your way ..?"

Saturday, November 09, 2019

3. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the Fence

The banister in the Cinema had got on their nerves. So when the Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves facing a high wooden fence across the street they were furious. "Where'd this come from?" said the Wabbit. "Beats me," replied Lapinette. They looked around. There was nothing whatsoever left - except the fence. They traced along it - but it didn't seem to end. "I think this was where we started," said Lapinette. She thought for a bit. "I tell you what. You go one way and I'll go the other." They both set off - and within a minute they both met. Then they tried the other way but within a short space of time they were face to face. "A Mobius fence?" shrugged Lapinette. The Wabbit had heard worse explanations. "I'll climb up and see,"  he said. Lapinette punted him up and he was nearly at the top when clouds of gas swirled over the fence. "I can't see a thing," grunted the Wabbit. The gas clung onto Lapinette's frock. She tried to brush it away. "Yuk, it's sticky!" The vapour was cloying but she summoned energy and gave the Wabbit an extra punt up. He flew over the top of the fence. A moment elapsed before she heard him drop to the other side. "I'll try walking along it on this side," shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette listened to his paw steps fade. Then they got closer. Suddenly his face peered directly through the gas. "It only has one side," he sighed. "I told you so," said Lapinette. The Wabbit ran his paws through his fur, then gestured in the air. "What's this for a sack of hammers ..?"

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Banister Rail

The Wabbit and Lapinette forgot all about the talking beam on the river and went to the movies. But when they came out, the Wabbit stooped to examine a banister rail. "It's a good thing all wood doesn't talk." He shook it until the supports rattled. "Can I help you find your way out?" said the rail. Lapinette looked at the rail in a quizzical way. "How many are you?" The Banister shook himself. Light glistened from his varnish. "Many? Why?" came the response. The Wabbit tapped the rail lightly with a paw. "We met one of your number down on the river." "Him!" yelled the rail, "Is he still floating around?" Lapinette smiled. "He's on his way to Venice?" The rail almost arched in the air. "He's never gone further than the weir. He's a layabout. A rough sort." The Wabbit and Lapinette looked at each other and winked. "Oh, you don't believe me?" The rail shook with anger. "He's not like us. We're carefully-prepared ... and delicately moulded." The Wabbit hopped back and caught Lapinette's eye. He gestured to the stairs with his ears. "Urgent appointment," he said. But the banister rail wouldn't stop. "I've met film stars you know. William Shatner ran his hand along my varnish." "Me too," said Lapinette. The Wabbit hopped forward again and dragged Lapinette by the paw down the stairs. "I go all the way down!" yelled the rail. The Wabbit and Lapinette ran across the foyer and into the street. "That banister better belt up," shouted the Wabbit, "or he's dead wood!"

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Floating Beam

The Wabbit wandered along the riverside and then wandered back to the jetty. He was in deep contemplation, as was his way between missions. "Hello Wabbit! That ol' riverboat don't go nowhere no more." The Wabbit laughed. "Hello Lapinette. I know, I was just thinking about a swim." Lapinette giggled. She knew the likelihood of the Wabbit plunging into the Po was slim as a cigarette paper. "Water's looking a bit murky today," she observed. The Wabbit nodded because it was none too clean. "I was watching bits of debris floating past." He gestured at the river. ".. and to each piece I attached one of my problems." Lapinette nodded sagely and listened. "Then," said the Wabbit, "I watched them until they passed out of sight on their way to Venice." Lapinette raised an eye. "How long would they take to get there?" "It depends," grinned the Wabbit, "maybe a week." "So no problem," shrugged Lapinette. The water behind them swirled. Something clunked on the jetty steps. "It takes longer than that," said a voice. The Wabbit didn't look round but Lapinette did. "That floating beam spoke!" The Wabbit started to hop away. "Everyone's a critic," he sighed. But Lapinette persisted. "Are you flotsam or jetsam?" The beam bobbed up and down on the eddies, displacing tiny bubbles. "Neither. I am my own wood." The Wabbit grunted and turned to look. The beam floated out midstream and called. "Do you have a problem?" The Wabbit winked and grinned. The beam returned inshore. The Wabbit leaned down and hissed, "Problem is my middle name..."

Saturday, November 02, 2019

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The team met in Piazza Carlo Felice at a caffè they'd seldom visited. It was a little chilly that day, but no one cared. "Where's Skratch?" asked the Wabbit. "Behind you," meaowed a voice. Lapinette laughed. "Cats stroll in when they like." Skratch vaulted the rope barrier, took his seat and meaowed again. "So what was that for a sort of adventure?" Wabsworth wanted to be the first to comment and he'd spent the best part of his android day, speed reading a whole film library. "It was an adventure that specified the ultimate in antinomies, the struggle between good and evil." Lapinette nodded. "That signifies an emotional semiotic system, reified by way of names." Skratch nodded sagely. "Fredric Jameson does suggest that, but I felt that the adventure embodied a formal subversion often typified by nouvelle vague." "Structural or stylistic?" murmured the Wabbit. "In realism?" asked Wabsworth. Everyone could hear his circuitry whirring. "In Godard," responded Skratch. Wabsworth's circuits stopped buzzing and he launched himself forward. "The adventure was a most strident hyper-realism, which codified fundamental antinomes." Skratch laughed. "Aha! It was through comedy then, that motivation, plausibility and belief were all dramatically confronted and transmuted." The Wabbit broke into an enormous grin. He leaned back and whistled. "So it was good then ..?"

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Wabbit's Hallowe'en Surprise

The Wabbit turned up slightly early for his Hallowe'en get together. This time he was ready. He'd brought his axe and a small gizmo that made his voice warble. He decided to practice. "I aaaam the Bunneemaaaan!"  His voice echoed across Pluto Park in a very spooky manner. The echoes died away. He ran his paw across the axe blade. It was suitably blunted for the occasion and presented little danger. "Bunneeeemaaaan!" The voice came from behind the Wabbit - and even though he knew it might be a trick, his blood ran cold. He decided to play along. "No! I am the Bunnyman!" he yelled and he turned. But there was his doppelganger, dumping the axe head on the ground. Up and down it went, making a hollow rapping noise on the concrete. The Wabbit drew a breath. He wished he'd brought a sharp axe, but reached for his automatic instead. It wasn't to be found and he cursed. Way above his head and deftly hidden in the mural, Lapinette stifled a giggle. Skratch dug her in the ribs. He meaowed softly all the same and Wabsworth sniggered. The Wabbit's ears twitched. "I smell a rat," he said firmly, "That's a cardboard cut out!" But with a sudden lunge his double tore towards him. The Wabbit turned to run, but he lost his footing and fell. That was when his tormentors took pity and came down from their hiding place. But the double's eyes flashed and the heavy axe smashed down. Lapinette gasped in horror. A shot rang out. The double dropped. The Wabbit picked himself up and tucked his automatic into his fur. "Good working model," he said. "That's not our model," said Lapinette. "No. It's mine," grinned the Wabbit, "I changed it ..."

Monday, October 28, 2019

14. The Wabbit insists on a Devil's Coda

"I rather insist on a coda," said the Wabbit. "I absolutely agree," said Lapinette. The Wabbit pointed. "I think that's the door," he muttered. "Who the devil's going to clear up?" asked Lapinette. "I'll have a word with the cleaning staff," grinned the Wabbit. "They'll want a bonus," replied Lapinette. "They'll deserve one and they'll get a good one," agreed the Wabbit. He grabbed what was left of the door and opened it for Lapinette. "So our ghostly priest dispatched the cultist who murdered him?" said Lapinette. "Straight over the balcony in Episode Eight," smiled the Wabbit. "Yes," said Lapinette, "We flushed 'em out." "And he did the deed," nodded the Wabbit. "So all's square," said Lapinette. "Hah! Square, frame and order!" The Wabbit winked and continued down the gloomy stairway. Lapinette skipped down the steps after him and sped ahead. Then she turned and called back. "Did we beat the Devil?" "I think we ran faster," replied the Wabbit. "Then we won!" said Lapinette. "We won the heat," laughed the Wabbit, "but the Devil probably wants a replay." Lapinette scurried to the bottom of the steps and about to push open the door. She looked around. "The Devil is persistent, give him his due." Just then they heard a ghastly voice echoing from the walls. "Until the next time, rabbits ...!"

Saturday, October 26, 2019

13. The Wabbit and the Marching Priests

"Here we are," said the Wabbit and he pressed a remote control. Lapinette waved the Cultists in with a theatrical signal. A mirrored door opened and through it came the duplicate priests, marching as one. They waved their bibles as they marched and sang in spooky voices that the Wabbit had recorded.  "Oh when the priests! Oh when the priests!" The Wabbit joined in. "come marchin' in." The Satanists of the Rabbit Foot Cult froze, speechless. One by one they sank to their knees. The Priests came closer and closer. They waved their bibles in the faces of the Satanists like Mao Zedong waved his red book. One of the Satanists cried in a feeble voice. "All hail the Rabbit Foot Cult!" A priest whacked him over the head with his bible. Then all the priests moved forward, trampling Satanists underfoot. The Cult lay everywhere on the floor, crying for forgiveness and praising the Lord God Almighty. But the priests continued whacking until all the Satanists were silent. It was carnage. "Wabbit! You can switch them off now," gulped Lapinette. The Wabbit pressed a button and the priests stopped moving. All except for one. He smiled at Lapinette and poked the Wabbit in the ribs. "Thank you both!" He twitched his rabbit nose and made the sign of the cross. "Be seeing you!" Then he began to vanish, just like before. The ears were almost the last to go and they wiggled a farewell. Only the bible remained. The Wabbit picked it up and stuck it in his fur. "Might come in handy." "What about the Cultists' bodies?" asked Lapinette. But when they looked, all had gone. "Let's get a drink," said Lapinette.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

12. The Wabbit's Welcome

The trap was laid. The marks were set up. All the Wabbit and Lapinette needed from the Rabbits Foot Cult was gullibility. A knock came to the old unused door at the back of the building. The Wabbit answered. He led them in to a dark and dingy hall and up a flight of rickety stairs. Even the biggest of the Cult seemed nervous and his followers shook in their cloven hooves. The stairs cricked and creaked. "I don't like the dark," said one. "I don't like rickety stairs," said another. "Shut up," said the leader, "They said we'd be able to drink the blood of virgins." A follower moaned a long moan. "Don't they have anything else?" "You're supposed to be a Satanist!" yelled the leader, "You'll drink it and like it." The Wabbit and Lapinette beckoned them on. "Just a little bit now, not much farther." She scampered up a few more steps. "My hooves hurt," said a Satanist. "Don't worry. I promise you a black mass to remember," said the Wabbit. Lapinette was going to say it would be the party of a lifetime but she thought better of it. "This better be good," said the leader, "I cancelled an important Satanic engagement." "We have goat curry," smiled the Wabbit. "What about bats?" said a Satanic follower. "I hate bats!" said another. "Bats are off," shrugged the Wabbit. "Eek! What's that over there?" said another of the Cult. There was a crash as he stumbled on the stairs. "An in-house ghoul," said Lapinette ...

Monday, October 21, 2019

11. The Wabbit and the Original Copies

The Wabbit worked all night to get the duplicate priests right. They needed to be convincing to scare the Satanists. Lapinette arrived and she was quietly impressed. The Wabbit waved a screwdriver. "I think they'll do." Lapinette poked a priest on the nose. "Do they talk?" The Wabbit fished in his fur for a remote control. "Go in peace, my child," said the Priest. She poked it again and the priest gave a hollow laugh. "Holy Moly," he said. Lapinette wagged a disapproving paw. "Wabbit, you go too far!" She poked another priest. The Wabbit pressed his remote control. "The Lord is your shepherd," uttered the priest. "My shepherd," said Lapinette. "I can't get that one right," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. "OK. So what's the plan?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit suppressed a snigger. "We hide out in the Hall of Mirrors and when the Satanists arrive, the priest replicas will all come in." "They move?" gasped Lapinette. The Wabbit pressed his remote. The priests began walking around. One of them pushed another and the other pushed him back. "They need more work," said the Wabbit. "What next?" asked Lapinette. "They sing, well - chant." Lapinette didn't bother asking, she just waited. The Wabbits 28 teeth glinted in a menacing fashion and he burst into tune. "'I wanna be in that number. When these priests come marchin' in.' and then they clap." Lapinette shook her head and shrugged. "I don't know about the Satanists, but that certainly frightens me."

Friday, October 18, 2019

10. The Wabbit and the Hall of Mirrors

"I think we'll use this," said the Wabbit. "I never knew about this room," said Lapinette. The Wabbit wore half a grin. "No-one comes here, it's too spooky." Lapinette looked around. "Is this the Hall of Angels?" She gave a little shove and the door creaked under her. "The Hall of the Cherubim," said the Wabbit. "What about the Seraphim?" asked Lapinette. "Too much hovering," said the Wabbit. Lapinette made the door creak again. "How do you know where you really are?" "I don't," said the Wabbit, "That's why I hold onto the door." This time the Wabbit made the door creak. Lapinette giggled. "What's the plan?" "The Satanists are coming by invitation." announced the Wabbit, "They won't know where they are. The Cherubim will frighten them." "But they're only paintings, dear Wabbit," said Lapinette. This time she made the door swing wide and the Wabbit clung for dear life in case he got lost. "We'll make the paintings speak and confront their malignosity." Lapinette screamed with laughter. "There's no such word as malignosity." "All the more frightening," sighed the Wabbit. He paused for effect, but Lapinette swung the door and for a moment he found himself outside. He pushed his way back in. "When the Satanist look in the mirrors," he said, "they'll see the rabbit priest they murdered." "How?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit shrugged. "I'll make cardboard cut-outs like you see in the cinema - and attach a motor." "Ghostbots," smiled Lapinette.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

9. The Wabbit and the Devil's Door

Safely out of sight, the Wabbit and Lapinette stood with their back to a door. "We need to set a trap for the Rabbit Leg Cult," panted the Wabbit. He knocked on the door just for fun. It made a hollowed out empty sound. "So what attracts a Satanist?" mused Lapinette. The Wabbit didn't have to think. "Hedonism, transgression, energy, and power." "This might the Devil's Den," said Lapinette. She too knocked on the door. She wrinkled her nose. "It smells of mould and sweat." The Wabbit looked at it with more suspicion than a scrap yard dog. "Aha! Definitely where these devils diddle." Lapinette's eyes twinkled. "Let's have a look." The Wabbit stepped back. "Do you have a twenty sided dice?" "Not with me," grinned Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head in disappointment, then span around three times. "Hocus pocus, a plague of locusts. Bim Bam Bom. Open sez me." The door stood where it was. His face fell. "That was my best spell." Lapinette smiled and bowed. Then she unhooked a padlock and slid back a bolt. They heard a voice. "Who goes there?" "Just us mice," said the Wabbit. "Dio Cane!" said an angry voice. "Just advance warning for the Satanist's Rabbit Leg Ball," yelled Lapinette. She nudged the Wabbit and announced directions. "Bring your friends!" shouted the Wabbit.

Monday, October 14, 2019

8. The Wabbit and Lapinette lose Grip

Morning came - and with it an icy frost that melted quickly in the sun. That was when the Wabbit and Lapinette lost adhesion. One second they were stuck fast and in the next they fell without warning from the wall. The fox waved goodbye. She'd been waiting for breakfast and now she was disappointed. "Yikes!" yelled the Wabbit as he span towards the sidewalk. Lapinette pirouetted gracefully down but she saw some movement out the corner of an eye. It was a Satanist, strolling onto a balcony. Lapinette knew he would raise the alarm, but as she fell she noticed something else. A green figure appeared behind him. It was the rabbit priest. She saw him grab the Satanist round the waist and then with his other paw, give him a mighty push. She heard an anguished cough as the Satanist doubled over the rail. He was about to plunge onto the road but the priest caught him by the leg and dangled him upside down for a moment. He said something, made the sign of the cross - and let him go. The Satanist tumbled onto the road head-first with a splat. The priest vanished. It was all over in an instant and Lapinette found herself on the sidewalk with the Wabbit. They stood and caught their breaths. "What did you see?" asked the Wabbit. "Poetic justice," replied Lapinette.

Friday, October 11, 2019

7. The Wabbit and the Accidental Fox

The Wabbit and Lapinette did what rabbits could do best. They ran for their lives. They scuttled down the staircase, across the courtyard, down the hill and along lonely streets. The city was a ghost. Not a soul had ventured out. But they heard the ghastly cries of Satanic pursuers chase across the roofs - and they were getting closer. Lapinette heard a voice and she slithered to a halt. It was a soft voice and it came from a wall. The Wabbit looked all round. "I can't see anyone." Lapinette looked up. "There's only a picture of a fox." The eyes in the picture moved and looked at them. "Do you need some help?" The sounds of the pursuers got louder. "Why don't you join me on this wall?" said the fox. The Wabbit punted Lapinette up and then jumped as high as he could. They scrabbled to get a grip. "Think mural," said the fox, "think popular art." They found themselves flattened against the wall as if the paint was glue. It was just in time. Their pursuers rounded the corner, their eyes gore-flecked. Cruel talons went snick-snick in the night. Fang-like teeth glinted in the street lights. The corners of their mouths dribbled blood. "Where'd they go?" said one "That way?" shrugged another. The Wabbit and Lapinette prayed they wouldn't look up. "Subway?" suggested a Satanist. "Closed," said another. "Search the block," said the leader. They melted into the night. "How long shall we stay here?" whispered the Wabbit. "Until daylight," murmured Lapinette. "Stay for breakfast," said the fox.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

6. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Black Mass

It wasn't too hard for the Wabbit and Lapinette to follow the sound of cloven feet through the dank hallways. Suddenly they were looking down on a vast cavern decked out with all manner of Satanic paraphernalia, "I don't like the look of this," said the Wabbit. Lapinette wrinkled her nose as together they ducked out of sight to watch and listen. Serried ranks of Satanic rabbits marched into the hall. "All Hail, Rabbit Satan!" they yelled. They drew back into two groups as the Grand Master arrived. He was huge and red and altogether unpleasant. He beckoned a Satanic rabbit to come unto him and he hissed in his ear. "You failed to dispense with the rabbit priest that sought to reveal our plans of domination!" The Satanist cowered back. "We pushed him from the parapet, your Imperial Vileness." "He was stone dead," said another. "Dead as a dog that lieth in a ditch," nodded another. The Grand Master roared with fury. "Yet this dead priest sends emissaries to break our balls." He held up his arms and roared. "Find them!" The Wabbit wanted to snicker, but his body convulsed into a sneeze. He tried to smother it by holding onto a railing - but the railing snapped off like a dry twig. The Wabbit tried to grab it but it spiralled down, grazing past the Grand Master's head. "Get that Waaaabbit!" yelled the Grand Master.

Monday, October 07, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Rabbit Foot Cult

Under the church lay a labyrinth of corridors that smelled of damp and danger. The Wabbit and Lapinette groped their way with caution. They were just following their noses when they came upon a strange room. They looked around. The walls and ceiling were peppered with gloomy artifacts and all the time they could hear the chanting of the rabbit foot cult. They poked here and there but found little that looked like a clue. There were mouse droppings, a bottle opener, three cigarette stubs, and an out-of-date ticket for Black Sabbath. The Wabbit was examining the latter closely when they heard the sound of cloven hooves on the cold stone floors. There was nowhere to hide so the Wabbit gestured for Lapinette to take a vantage point. Then he stood stock still and waited. When the cultists came into the room he waved his arms. "Kneel before me!" he cried, "Kneel before the daemon rabbit." One of them made to kneel, but the other was smarter. "You don't look much like a daemon to me." The Wabbit jeered. "You'll know soon I'm the chosen one. Turn round fast and start to run." "Oh no!" said a cult member and he made for the door. The other shook his head and gestured to Lapinette. "Who's that?" Lapinette hissed through her teeth. "Je suis le reine lézard." The Wabbit nodded. "She's my familiar. She can turn you into a toad." The cultists backed away and out the door. They heard the sound of cloven hooves - running. "J'aime pas les cultistes," hissed Lapinette.

Friday, October 04, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Secret Order

The church gates were shut and the Wabbit and Lapinette thought that was strange. They'd never known them closed. So the Wabbit picked the lock and together they dragged them apart. They were heavy and stiff. Hinges creaked like an old galleon and the sounds echoed from the roof. Lapinette's ears pricked up. She could hear something else. It was like Gregorian chanting but malevolent. The Wabbit heard it too. It made his fur crawl and he started to itch all over. "I can't make it out," said Lapinette. The Wabbit strained. Then he repeated the words. "Come rabbit with teeth of iron and claws of bronze." Lapinette grimaced. Now she could hear voices cry, "Trample all before you." The Wabbit felt in his fur for his bible. "They're summoning a daemon." The sacristy door opened and a figure swept out. The Wabbit and Lapinette flattened against the gate. "Agents of Rabbit," muttered Lapinette. But this was no ordinary agent. Its ears were Mephistophelean horns, curving and brutal. Its eyes flashed with a ghastly green glow. And as it walked across the nave its cloven feet tapped a merciless devil's jig on the church floor. It seemed to walk towards them but it turned to grasp the metal framework of the gate. There was a flickering and a flash as its cruel shape merged with wrought iron and vanished. The chanting died away. "What do we do now?" grunted the Wabbit. "Pray?" said Lapinette.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Rabbits' Whispers

Followed closely by Lapinette, the Wabbit hopped through the castle. He was deep in thought and so he didn't hear the whispers. Lapinette did and she stopped and pointed. "The rabbits spoke." The Wabbit turned and looked up at the frieze. The rabbits were moving and their whispers were musical and tender. "Start with a coffee," sang one, "Coffee on the hill." "Make ours frothy," sang another, "Frothy if you will." The rabbits became silent and still. The Wabbit waved the priest's bible at the rabbits. "Is it in here?" Lapinette sighed. "Wabbit, there's no mention of coffee in the Bible." The Wabbit stared at the rabbits for a while as if they might come to life. "Then it must be a cryptic clue. Think crosswords." "Coffee on the hill," suggested Lapinette, "frothy coffee on the hill maybe?" Now the Wabbit was getting into gear. "Frothy coffee on the mountain?" Lapinette thought very hard. "Cappuccino on the mountain?" The Wabbit threw the bible in the air, caught it and slapped it with his paw." "Monte die Cappuccini!" Lapinette gasped. "That's where I first met the priest. He was coming down the hill. I gave him a lift." The Wabbit roared with laughter. "That's what coffee does." "Well, let's go," said Lapinette. They set off down the steps, but the rabbits whispered again. "Beware of the Foot Cult, beware, beware." The Wabbit raised a paw in farewell. "Got time for a coffee, Lapinette?" Lapinette bounded down to the courtyard. "There's always time for coffee, Wabbit."

Monday, September 30, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Hidden Sign

The Wabbit met Lapinette at the safe house to discuss the matter in paw. "Let me get this right," said Lapinette. "The priest came to you in a vision and asked for help?" The Wabbit nodded his head. "He wants me to find something." Lapinette sat down at the only table available. "It must be to do with his murder. He wants you to find who pushed him over the parapet." The Wabbit sighed. "I have no clue." Now Lapinette shook her head. "There is a clue. He gave you his bible." The Wabbit fished in his fur and took it out. It was well worn before - but now it looked battered and tattered. He made a face and shrugged while Lapinette leafed through it. It was a major job. It had many pages and a clue could be anywhere. "Stop there," said the Wabbit. Lapinette stopped but she couldn't see anything. "Which book are you at?" asked the Wabbit. "Judges," replied Lapinette. "Had to be," said the Wabbit. Lapinette peered closely. She saw a drawing of a skeletal rabbit's foot in the margins and she pointed at it. The Wabbit yelped and shook his paw. "Wow that was sore!" He looked down at the desk. On the tatty piece of blotting paper where his paw had rested, the drawing reappeared - and just as quickly faded. It vanished from the bible margins too. They looked at each other. "What's afoot?" grinned the Wabbit. Lapinette groaned. "This has all the signs of a cult." "What kind of a cult?" said the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "A secret one of course."

Sunday, September 29, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Dynamic Reflection

The Wabbit was out for a hop on a fine Sunday morning. He'd got as far as the hospital strip at Lingotto and was thinking about lunch - when he spotted a particularly nice reflection. He paused for a while and tried to perform a calculation concerning optics. He looked behind him. Somehow the actual scene looked much better reflected in the mirrored glass of the hospital window. He turned back but something wasn't right. "Where am I in the window?" The Wabbit appeared to have no reflection. He waved a paw, but still there was nothing. He scrutinised the glass panels to no avail. Then he spotted something that wasn't there before. A familiar figure looked out at him and it whispered. "Wabbit!" The Wabbit shook his head. He turned his back on the window and looked once more at the other side of the street, but there was no corresponding figure. "Must be a cognitive illusion" he thought. "Something from my unconscious perhaps." He turned back. The figure appeared closer - and now he recognised the ghostly priest he'd encountered at Superga. "Find out, Wabbit," whispered the priest, "Find out, I implore you." The priest looked the Wabbit in the eyes and for an instant the Wabbit held his gaze. But the priest blinked three times and his image began to fade. "Don't go, Father!" shouted the Wabbit, "What do I have to do?" But the priest was gone. Only the bushes on the far side of the street remained ...

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

Skratch was really late and everyone was waiting. But a tram clattered to a halt and the doors hissed open. "What was that for a sort of Adventure?" shouted Skratch. He loped from the tram and into the portico - then sat down and flaunted his new t-shirt. "I know we had a computer adventure but what kind?" Wabsworth raised a paw. "Speaking as an android .." The Wabbit groaned. Wabsworth ignored him and continued. ".. I question its dominant specularity. A dreamlike state within a digital world undercuts that kind of traditional indexality." Lapinette smiled. "Perhaps. The interactive potential of spectators as potential digital producers ... suggests control." Skratch purred quietly. "You're saying it challenges the fingerprint of the real?" The Wabbit sniffed and leaned on the table. "Quoting Bazin will get you nowhere. The spectator continues to be a third party. Interactivity is an illusion - yet another set of conventions closely allied to realism." Wabsworth leaned back. "That's all very well, but the adventure blurs subjectivity and renders the world unclear. Is it created from the inside or the outside? We cannot tell." Now Skratch sat up with a start. "In the Adventure, I was outside, then I dreamed myself inside." Wabsworth grinned. "This is the digital age. The dream becomes real and haunts the image like a ghost." The Wabbit rapped a paw on the table. "Then maybe someone could startle us up some drinks." "Mine's an Il Signor Diavolo," breathed Lapinette. "The devil it is!" shouted the Wabbit.

Friday, September 13, 2019

8. The Wabbit and the Disorderly Exit

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged from the super computer. It was hardly an elegant exit but they were glad to get out. The two pink pigs emerged too and they snuffled the corridor with piggy grunts. "Where's Skratch?" asked the Wabbit, "I'm sure I was speaking with Skratch." He heard scratching from the floor and looked down. "I dreamed you out," purred Skratch. And there he was, coiled up on the floor. He was flat as a pancake and stretching. Gradually he fleshed out. First his head, then his tail, and then all his limbs. Finally there was a body. "I've got your notifications," said a voice. It was Flotsy, holding messages in his claws. Lapinette twitched her ears. "I didn't see you." Flotsy laughed. "No-one ever sees me, I'm the Fake Vote, remember?" A violent rapping at the door made them all turn. "I'm locked out!" It was Hardhack Rat. Now the Wabbit's frown turned to an enormous grin and he hopped down the corridor and unlocked the door. "Where's our money?" asked one of the pigs as he passed. "Yeah, where's the dosh?" grunted the other. Flotsy hovered above them. "I took it for services rendered." "Hand it over!" shouted the pigs. "Impounded," fluttered Flotsy, "But I'll write you a promissory note." His ball point pen fluttered back and a forth and a notification floated down. The pigs rolled along the corridor and then they rolled back. They honked, grunted, snorted and squealed. But Flotsy banked and turned. "I'll be back," he shouted. Then in a trice he was gone. "Is a promissory note enforceable?" asked the Wabbit. "It has tax advantages," shrugged Lapinette.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

7. The Wabbit and Skratch's Dream

Outside the computer, Skratch the Cat curled up and dreamed a strange dream. He was prowling along a tunnel. At first, everything in the tunnel was dim - as if he was in a mist. Then the mist cleared. He saw glimmers of light and colour. He heard voices and hissing of snakes. He saw the back of two pigs. "What the devil?" he thought. Presently, the Wabbit came into view with Lapinette beside him. They seemed to be obstructed by something like a wall, but Skratch could see no wall. He watched the Wabbit lift a paw and smash it in the air. Now he saw their reflections as if they were gazing in a frosty mirror. Their eyes grew bigger and bigger. Lapinette pointed. The two pigs nuzzled and grunted. The Wabbit's mouth moved but Skratch could hear nothing. "I'm over here!" yelled Skratch. He couldn't hear his own voice but he shouted anyway. "Watch out for the snakes!" he croaked. Two snakes flicked the Wabbit and Lapinette with venomous red tongues and Skratch got angry. He was close now and he tapped the Wabbit on the shoulder. The Wabbit brushed him away and and his touch felt like an electric shock. Skratch jumped and his fur stood on end. "Skratch?" said the Wabbit. He looked from right to left. "You can't see me," said Skratch. "No I can't," replied the Wabbit. "Who are you talking to?" asked Lapinette. The snakes hissed. Skratch hissed louder. The snakes recoiled and Skratch watched them slither down the tunnel with enormous speed. The mirror vanished. Everyone moved forward. Except for Skratch. He woke up outside, then stretched, yawned and looked up ...

Friday, September 06, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Quantum Lubricant

The two pink pigs wanted to lead the way and the Wabbit let them. They grumbled in metallic voices that came straight from an electronics factory in Shanghai. Mostly they grumbled about whose idea it had been in the first place and when they got tired of that, they grumbled about the Wabbit and Lapinette. The tunnel that led from the door was longer than they anticipated and the Wabbit speculated it was some kind of quantum thing. Every time they saw the end of the tunnel it was the start of another tunnel. "It's like a pipeline," said Lapinette. The Wabbit froze and Lapinette noticed. "Another of your stolen script ideas?" "Yes," agreed the Wabbit. He wrinkled his nose. "So we'd better watch out for snakes." Lapinette thought she heard a hiss. "What kind of snakes?" "Fast moving, quantum tunnel snakes," said the Wabbit. "Multi-coloured?" asked Lapinette. "Yes," said the Wabbit. He thought it prudent to offer further explanation. "They snake along pipelines taking everything with them at high speed." The multi-coloured snake wound round and round, hissing. "Keeps still, everyone!" shouted Lapinette. The pigs froze. "I hate snakes," muttered one. "And keep quiet," yelled Lapinette. The snake dropped ahead of them and slithered up the tunnel. The Wabbit, Lapinette and the pigs all picked up speed. The tunnel walls seemed to flash by. "Where do they go?" sighed Lapinette. "They're like lubricant," said the Wabbit. "They'll go anywhere they want." The sides of the tunnel blurred. "Who's they?" asked Lapinette. "A powerful, evil corporation," shrugged the Wabbit.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

5. The Wabbit inside the Duvet Computer

Inside the quantum duvet computer was more than cosy. The Wabbit prodded a duvet with both paws. "What's this supposed to be?" Lapinette poked one too and shrugged. "Software?" Lights flickered to the rear and that seemed normal to the Wabbit. Underneath didn't seem normal. He looked down and pointed. "The cloud," said Lapinette. Only at that point did she see two pink pigs tugging at the duvets. "Who are you?" The first pig made a face and snarled. "Paws up!"  "Stand and deliver," said the other. The Wabbit yelled. "You're another stolen idea!" Lapinette's eyes shot into the roof of her head. "Explain." The Wabbit was really annoyed. "It's one of my film script ideas. Two electronic toy pigs rob a bank!" He was shouting. Lapinette made a face. "How does it end?" "Badly," grimaced the Wabbit. The pigs didn't seem to care. "Answer!" they shouted. The Wabbit huffed and puffed. "I have nothing to deliver. Would a speech do?" "No," said the first pig. But the other pig considered the matter. "Would it be a revolutionary speech, full of fire and brimstone and threats and promises?" "If you want," said the Wabbit. So he began. He quoted Shelley. He quoted Thomas Jefferson. By the time he reached Che Guevara he was running out of steam. "That's enough," said the first pig, "We've already got the money anyway." "So now get us out of here!" said the other. Lapinette waved both paws. "I can see a door up ahead there." "Follow me," snapped the Wabbit as he hopped towards the door.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

4. Hardhack Rat's Super Solution

Flotsy had gone for help and returned with Hardhack Rat in tow. He pointed to the computer walls. "It's a quantum duvet computer. The Wabbit and Lapinette are trapped inside!" But the moment he shouted the walls changed. Alphanumerics swirled and warped in a confusing mass. Flotsy touched it. Now it was impenetrable. Hardhack looked at it for a while, then shook his head. "It's a swirlwall, very hard to get through." "Kin you do it?" asked Flotsy. "With a bit of patience and the right tools, I can do anything," said Hardhack. Flotsy poised with his ball point fuselage and prepared to write. "I need a washing machine and a vacuum cleaner," said Hardhack. "One washing machine, one vacuum," scribbled Flotsy. "Then I need a proper computer toolkit, such as the Wabbit has in his shed." Flotsy muttered the words as he wrote. "Wabbit's shed, toolkit." Hardhack prodded the wall, grimaced and shrugged. "And then I need a cat." "Someone said cat?" said a voice. Skratch appeared from the street and meaowed his way along the corridor. He scratched Hardhack's back. "A cat you need is a cat indeed." Flotsy made for the exit while he could still see it. Hardhack gazed at Skratch. "I've heard all about you." Skratch purred softly. "Likewise I'm sure." Hardhack scuttled up and down the walls, tapping here and there. "Mr Skratch. To get them out I will require you to sleep." Skratch purred mightily. "I sleep therefore I am."

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Super Computer

Flotsy took them to a district on the edge of town, known appropriately as Fermi. There was no one around. "This place is dead and alive," murmured the Wabbit. "Are you sure we're here?" asked Lapinette. Flotsy flew through double doors into a corridor and announced, "All messages came in here. None came out." The corridor was hot. Walls whirred. Alphanumerics whizzed past in never ending succession. Lapinette wondered whether the wall was solid. She pushed a paw through. It shimmered and became semi-transparent. "How does it feel?" asked the Wabbit. "Like a duvet." Lapinette's voice was breathless. She tugged her paw away. It made a gloopy sound and came out. "Phew," said the Wabbit. He stuck his own paw in. "Warm and cosy," he chuckled. Lapinette wasted no more time. She stuck her head inside for a look. "There's a message here - stuck to a label." She tried to grab the message but at each attempt it moved round. She read the label. "It says wash carefully." The Wabbit had an idea. "Does it say anything at the bottom about togs?" Lapinette nodded and withdrew her head. "It says 800 Terratogs." The Wabbit began to laugh. "It's a quantum duvet computer." He tried to move his paw but it was too hot and he was stuck. Lapinette tried to help him - but slowly they were drawn into the walls. Lapinette gasped before she vanished entirely. "Get help!" Flotsy wheeled and streaked out the exit at astonishing speed ...
[Telegram notification symbol
I'm unable to find the attribution for the graphic for the EU Supercomputer, but used under fair use rules. ]

Friday, August 23, 2019

2. The Wabbit and Lapinette are Notified

The Wabbit and Lapinette adopted a suitable vantage point and looked at the city. They never expected to see anything, but that was what they did if they were stuck. They didn't wait long. Something swooped down and clung swaying on the rails. Then it chuckled. "I'm your notification." "About what?" asked Lapinette. "About the lack of notifications," chuckled the creature. It somewhat resembled a paper airplane with claws. For a fuselage and nose, it sported a glitzy ball point pen. "I know you," gasped the Wabbit, "You're Fake Vote." The creature shimmered its wings. "Call me Flotsy." The Wabbit shrugged a special kind of shrug. Lapinette knew the Wabbit hadn't the faintest clue about what was going on. "What's happening to the notifications?" asked Lapinette. "Pirates," said Flotsy. The Wabbit became impatient. "Why?" he snapped. Flotsy fluttered onto a lower rail and hissed confidentially. "For ransoms." The Wabbit stamped a foot and the whole tower shook. "I received no ransom request." Flotsy laughed. "That would count as a notification - and all notifications are being held hostage." The Wabbit struck a paw against the rails and Flotsy lifted off for an instant. "Now my brain hurts," sighed the Wabbit. Lapinette grinned. "Flotsy, where are the notifications being held?" Flotsy bobbed up and down. "In a superdupercomputer, somewhere on the edge of town." The Wabbit pointed at Flotsy. "You will find it. And you will download it." Lapinette leaped in the air. "Lead the way, Flotsy"

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

1. The Wabbit and Lost Communications

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit at Sassi station. She knew it was the Wabbit long before she saw him, because he was making the sounds of a traction engine and hissing doors. "Hello Wabbit, where have you been?" The Wabbit turned and hung from the rail. "I haven't been anywhere!" Lapinette slid past the Wabbit and slipped on board. "I sent you many messages," she said in an annoyed voice. "I sent you messages also," said the Wabbit, "but reply came there none." He fiddled with the controls. The Sassi-Superga line was a rack railway - but technically this counted as tram line number 79, so the Wabbit thought he was in charge. "In fact," said the Wabbit, "I haven't had any notifications from anyone and it gave me lots of time to do other things." Lapinette laughed. "Like what?" The Wabbit grinned back. "Like develop screenplays." Lapinette stifled another laugh. "Tell me about them." The Wabbit swung back and forward on the rail. "I sketched out five different films and sent them to Hollywood." Lapinette waited patiently. "I was never notified," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette had a thought. "Maybe our notifications are being stolen." The Wabbit jumped in the air. "That's it! I saw something on TV and it was just like one of my ideas." Lapinette waited once more. "It was the story of a ghostly duvet," explained the Wabbit, "It smothered and devoured anyone who slept under it." Lapinette grimaced. "So who stole your idea?" The Wabbit struck the rail with a paw. "The Dazed Duvet Syndicate used it as an advert ..."

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

Before going to the dining room at the Medieval Castle, the team met in the great chamber. Lapinette grabbed the Wabbit's paw and shook it - because she felt it had been a very interesting adventure. Wabsworth chortled and waved to signify his presence. Skratch arrived late after climbing through the window (as befitted his status as a cat). He held an excited paw aloft and meowed at the top of his voice. "Well, what was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Wabsworth laughed. "It was a story of haunting spectrality and no mistake." The Wabbit grinned. "Visualizing ghosts is a difficult proposition." Lapinette shook her head vigorously. "Not at all," she said, "Ghosts are a special kind of projection." "Oooh," said Wabsworth. "Just like a film," added Skratch. The Wabbit made a face. "As far as that's concerned, ghosts are based on the continuing return of historical fragments." Skratch was delighted. "The semiotics of hauntology!" he exclaimed. Then he had an afterthought. "Signs and signifiers can never capture inter-dimensional temporality." "That's Derrida!" stated Lapinette. Skratch purred quietly. "Talking of deconstruction, who pushed the priest over the rails." The Wabbit chuckled. "We created the desire for a sequel." Skratch prowled around the room twice, then returned and meaowed, "Post modern adaptation. I'm quietly impressed." The Wabbit winked. "I need to adapt a drink." Then they laughed and laughed, all the way to the dining room ...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

6. The Wabbit and the Soul of the Priest

The Wabbit leaned over the stricken priest. "Better call an ambulance," he muttered. Lapinette shook her head. The priest stirred briefly. In one paw he clutched his cross and with the other he passed his bible to the Wabbit. "Thank you for helping me." His voice was feeble and the Wabbit leaned closer. The rabbit priest whispered to the Wabbit and then to Lapinette. "Only the good and just can see me." Now the Wabbit shook his head. "I don't understand." The priest's head slumped but he continued to whisper. "Decades have passed since I was pushed over the rails. I was trapped in a loop and doomed to repeat my fall. But you have freed me." Lapinette grasped at his paw but there was nothing to grip. The priest's body started to fade. "Goodbye father," said the Wabbit. "Goodbye father," repeated Lapinette. The Wabbit tried to return the bible to the paws of the priest but they were insubstantial now. "You keep it," said the priest. They were his last words. His body floated upwards and into the dome of the basilica - then it vanished. Lapinette and the Wabbit watched until they could see no more. But they were startled by a clergyman's booming voice. "I'm sorry, the church is closing now." "We were talking to the priest," said Lapinette. "What priest?" said the clergyman. He turned on his heel and disappeared into the sacristy. The Wabbit and Lapinette continued to look up at the dome for a while. The Wabbit tucked the bible into his fur. Then together, they walked out the doors and into the evening light.

Monday, August 12, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Tragic Incident

The Wabbit saw the rabbit priest scramble over the parapet rails and he dived to stop him. He was fast  - but it was all too late. Everything seemed to stand still. There was no traffic noise from the city, no birds singing, no mass from the church below. The usual breeze paused and the air became listless. The priest looked at the Wabbit through the rails with beady eyes and he said something that the Wabbit couldn't hear. He made a blessing and his bible flew from his paw. Then he dropped like a stone. Now the Wabbit could hear Lapinette calling from the churchyard below. "No," she yelled, "No don't!" The Wabbit's heart was heavy as he looked over the rail. Lapinette was standing over the crumpled body of the priest. The Wabbit grabbed the bible and flew down the spiral staircase as quickly as he could. But in his heart he knew that all the speed in the world was useless. He crashed through the big Basilica doors. "Quick, Wabbit! Help me." shouted Lapinette. She was dragging the body inside the church and the Wabbit heard her speaking the Latin verses of the Sancta Missa. He shook his head sadly and together they drew the priest into the awesome nave of the Superga Basilica. The Wabbit placed the bible back in the feeble paws of the priest and looked round - because although the church was completely deserted, he could hear music. "The Requiem," breathed Lapinette ...

Friday, August 09, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Lonely Staircase

The Wabbit and Lapinette followed the rabbit priest as he made his way slowly up the spiral staircase. The Wabbit caught glimpses of his face as he rounded each corner. His eyes were glazed, his breathing was shallow and the sound of his feet grew fainter with each step. "I don't like the look of this," whispered the Wabbit. He moved swiftly behind the priest, but the priest took no notice. "Father," said the Wabbit gently. There was no reply. "Father!" shouted the Wabbit. His voice echoed around the stairway, but the priest paid no attention - he merely proceeded up the staircase towards an old wooden door. His paw reached out to open it. "Lapinette!" shouted the Wabbit. "Find someone to talk to the priest." He had an idea of what was going to happen and he aimed to prevent it. Lapinette scampered down the stairway at speed, yelling for someone, anyone from the clergy or congregation. The Wabbit tried to get between the priest and the door but some invisible force stopped him. The priest turned the door handle and pushed. The Wabbit heard the hinges creak with a wail and then a shriek. Suddenly the priest was a stark silhouette in the evening sun. He stepped onto the parapet. The Wabbit dashed after him and tried to grab his cassock but he was left with a piece of cloth in each paw. The priest stepped forward and up to the fence. Then he placed one leg up and threw the other over. "No!" yelled the Wabbit. He lunged for the priest and for a moment he thought he had him in his grasp ...

Thursday, August 08, 2019

3. The Wabbit and the Troubled Priest

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided to track down the strange priest and get the inside story. So they made for the Superga Basilica to hear him say mass. Inside the church, they waited and waited at the back. The mass went on for some time, but there was no sign of the priest. So they hopped outside for a look around. And there he was, looking into the distance. The Wabbit and Lapinette could hear the mass continue from inside, relayed on tinny speakers - and they crept closer. The priest clutched his bible tight and chanted in a ghostly Latin. They listened carefully. "It's the Tridentine mass," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit raised an eye. "It's the old form," added Lapinette. The Wabbit nodded, because Lapinette seemed to know all about that sort of thing. The priest waved his paws in a blessing and suddenly turned. But he didn't seem to see the Wabbit and Lapinette. He walked right at them - and then through the Wabbit as if he he wasn't there. The Wabbit shivered and his fur tingled, but he beckoned to Lapinette and together they followed as the priest walked towards the church. They could hear him mumbling prayers as he moved straight through closed doors. "Deus, Deus meus: Quare tristes es, anima mea, et quare conturbas me." "He's going to climb the stairway to the tower," said the Wabbit. Lapinette frowned. "Better go after him." They watched the priest mount the narrow spiral stairs and climb half way up. Then they saw him pause and turn. His face was blank as he looked down ....
[O God my God. Why are you so sad my soul, and why do you disquiet me?]

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

2. Lapinette and the Rabbit of the Cloth

Lapinette was on a routine journey down from the Alpine Museum on Monte dei Cuppucinni when she spied a rabbit priest at the side of the road. He too was making his way down and appeared to be limping. Lapinette braked to a halt and rolled down her window. "May I give you a lift, father?" The priest looked up, nodded his head and climbed in. Then he placed his battered bible on the seat and settled back. Lapinette assumed he was coming from the Chiesa di Santa Maria and going to the centre. She crashed the truck into gear and made her way down the hill. "Where are you going, father?" she asked. "The Church, my Captain," said the priest. Lapinette wasn't in any way a captain - but she smiled and took a right fork towards Superga. Of all the churches she knew, Superga was the best and besides, she liked the view. "Are you going to say mass, father?" It was around that time, but the priest shook his head. Lapinette felt impelled to make conversation and remembered his limp. "Do you ever get tired of all the work, father?" Oh yes," exclaimed the priest. "Sometimes after a function I just collapse on a chair. I tear off my collar and throw it in a corner and go to sleep." Lapinette smiled. "I suppose you watch a bit of television?" "What is television?" said the priest. Lapinette thought for a second and shrugged. "Radio with pictures." The priest was silent. Then he held up his bible. "I'm nearly here." Lapinette saw the Basilica in the distance. She stopped, leaned across and opened the door. The rabbit priest hopped out and Lapinette watched him hop into the distance. She made a turn, then headed into town ...

Friday, August 02, 2019

1. The Wabbit and the Priestly Passenger

Turin was busy and the Wabbit made slow progress. Finally things came to a standstill. The Wabbit struck a paw on the steering wheel and tried to squeeze his jeep through the traffic. But a figure opened the door, got in and sat next to him. The Wabbit stared at what was clearly a rabbit priest. The priest uttered not a sound, but laid a bible on the seat beside him and settled back. The Wabbit shrugged. "Where are you going, father?" "Please drop me at the next church," said the priest. The Wabbit thought about it. There were churches everywhere in Turin and he was uncertain where the "next church" was. "Did you have any particular next church in mind?" asked the Wabbit. "No," said the priest. The Wabbit shrugged, engaged gear and moved off. The traffic thinned and he moved faster, scanning the road for likely churches. "What about that one?" The Wabbit pointed at a small baroque church on the left. The priest shook his head, so the Wabbit continued. A large basilica loomed into sight. The Wabbit raised an eyebrow. "No," said the priest. The Wabbit sped on. When the Wabbit reached the countryside, the priest gestured for him to stop. The Wabbit coasted to a halt and the priest picked up his bible and hopped out. There was hardly a building in sight, far less a church. The priest set off down the road and into the distance. "Where's your church, father?" shouted the Wabbit. Without looking back, the priest replied, "Everywhere." The Wabbit watched until the priest was out of sight. Then he turned his jeep and drove back to the city ...

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit leaned on a stacked chair and rapped on the table. "We're too early." Lapinette jumped in the air and flung her paws wide. "I think it's the caffè that's too late." Wabsworth arrived and gave them a friendly wave. "This place never opens on time. I usually go across the road." The Wabbit scowled. "But that's the place you can never get served."  Lapinette laughed and laughed and jumped on the table. Then she pirouetted around and tapped like Ginger Rogers. "Let's all go to the caffè at the corner where it's difficult to pay." The Wabbit turned round to watch Skratch the Cat arrive. Skratch purred loudly. "Interesting adventure you just had, Wabbit!" The Wabbit unstacked a chair and sat down to listen. "I think it was a space western," said Wabsworth. Skratch shook his head. "You can't depend on iconography alone. You may as well rattle some armour and call it Lancelot." Lapinette jumped from the table. "It was dark and glum with nothing to relieve the gloom." The Wabbit grinned widely. "We merely transposed the themes of the existential novel. We went aimlessly around without satisfaction." Lapinette looked around at the caffè. "Maybe this is an existential establishment." "What's an existential drink like?" asked Wabsworth. "Nothing much in it," answered Skratch.

Friday, July 26, 2019

10. The Wabbit and the Stowaway Vole

The Wabbit and Lapinette made a deal with the Vole and they departed with the Agents' craft in tow. But as they broke free from the planet's atmosphere they felt the towline tug sharply. Then it happened again until finally it snapped. "What gives?" said the Wabbit. Lapinette watched the towline dangling in space and she pointed. "It was perfectly secure," groaned the Wabbit. "The rope was. But look!" Lapinette pointed to the enemy craft's porthole. The vole stared out with a toothy grin and he waved. Gradually the craft picked up speed and disappeared behind a nearby planet. The Wabbit was furious. "What about the communications equipment?" Lapinette shrugged. "I disabled everything." The Wabbit struck a paw against the steering wheel. "Have a care, Commander," said Turbina, "That's new from the motor accessories shop in Via Garibaldi." The Wabbit's fur steamed and he stared at Lapinette. "How did you know?" Lapinette grinned a very wide grin indeed and kissed the air. "Never ever trust a vole. Especially one that vole-unteers." The Wabbit disregarded this and looked into space. "Where's he going?" "He's going nowhere," laughed Lapinette, "He'll run out of fuel soon." The Wabbit started to laugh. His shoulders heaved and his side split and he couldn't stop. "What's so funny?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit gave a last chuckle. "The Vole Patrol will pick him up."

Thursday, July 25, 2019

9. The Wabbit and the Alley Altercation

The Agents of Rabit were just too stupid or too careless. They cavorted into the alleyway laughing and joking - only to be met with a hail of bullets. "Just wing 'em Lapinette," said the Wabbit. "We want them to tell the tale." Lapinette picked off another Agent, then pushed an extra clip into her automatic. It was fast and furious. Inside Turbina, the vole relaxed and increased the volume on the radio. But then he thought of something and pushed his head out the window. "What about my cut?" But the Wabbit and Lapinette couldn't hear him. Agents bit the dust. "What about the communications equipment?" shouted Lapinette. "It must be in their craft. We'll take it!" yelled the Wabbit. "Can you fix it?" grimaced Lapinette. "I can fix anything," murmured the Wabbit, ".. given time." Lapinette laughed and fired. Another Agent toppled from the rooftop with a cry. It was the last. Turbina started her engine. Bricks toppled from rooftops. The vole shot in the air with surprise as the Wabbit and Lapinette jumped in. "Confiscation time," grinned the Wabbit. The vole snickered and settled between the two of them. "I'm sure that craft is full of succulent roots." If you say so," smiled Lapinette. The blast from Turbina's jet scorched the buildings as she stood on the gas.

Monday, July 22, 2019

8. The Wabbit and the Agent's Vessel

It wasn't hard to find the Agent's mother ship. The Wabbit and Lapinette followed their noses, mostly because the acrid fumes that belched from the craft were smelly indeed. The craft lurched from the ground. They pulled out their automatics. The spaceship coughed and wheezed and finally settled back down. They heard curses from inside. "I told you it needed a service!" yelled an Agent. "It was working this morning," came a reply. The Wabbit gestured to Lapinette. "I'm uncertain why we bothered. We could leave them to blow themselves up." Lapinette giggled and tucked her automatic back in her frock. "Cut out the middle rabbit?" Suddenly the vessel burst into life - and for a few seconds it flew in the air. But it just as quickly crashed down again. Smoke billowed from the hull. They heard shouting and a few curses. The Agents tried again. This time there was less smoke and the mother ship floated about two metres high. Lapinette's ears swivelled to hear any information. "OK," said an Agent, "fly it back to where the Wabbit and his gang hang out." But the vessel wouldn't go any higher. It lurched into the distance, circumnavigating rocks and trees and occasionally bumping on the ground. "I think we'll head them off at the pass," chortled the Wabbit.

Friday, July 19, 2019

7. The Wabbit and the Half Kaboom

There was more than enough explosive - and when it detonated the blast was significant. "Too significant," yelled the Wabbit as his paws left the ground. Lapinette scampered to the left and behind the stonework, but the Wabbit had no choice, He was thrown to the front and the vole quickly followed. Rocks fell all around him but he managed to glance back. The missiles weren't from the explosion. Three Agents of Rabit stood on the parapet, showering them with every stone they could find. It wasn't high tech ammunition but it was effective. "Regroup," yelled the Wabbit. He feinted to the left, rolled and found some cover. The vole rolled too and landed on top of him. "Where did they come from?" shouted the Wabbit. "Must be a second unit," snickered the Vole. Lapinette took a makeup case from her fur and carefully applied various cosmetics. "I hate this rain," she pouted. The rain got heavier and they sheltered as best they could. The Agents hated the rain too and it frustrated their efforts. A bit of moaning floated over the parapet. "Let's go back to the mother ship," said one. "Then we'll come back and mop up." "Achoo," sneezed another, "my paws are all sore from these rocks." "I need an aspirin," said another. The Wabbit grinned and then he grinned again. Turbina's hood appeared out of the rain. "I have hot chocolate," she breathed.

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."