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 ...