Monday, December 30, 2019

8. Skratch and the Guided Landing

The Wabbit said follow the Pizza Star. Susan and Skratch did exactly that. They followed through the night and early in the morning found themselves above Testaccio Market. Terni the Dragon circled. It was his territory and he'd kept it clear of alien pizza. Wabsworth emerged from the market and waved his batons. "Steady now," he yelled. "Slow down and stop," he signalled. Susan screeched to a halt. Shoppers paid little attention. One of them said, "Take no notice, it's only Skratch the Cat in a biplane." Terni landed to the rear. Skratch jumped out. "What's with the Pizza Star?" Wabsworth tucked his batons into his fur. "It's not a star, it's an automated space beacon." Skratch looked up. "Is it armed?" "Oh yes," said Wabsworth, "Lasers." The Pizza Star spun in the sky and made off. Terni belched a stream of flame. "The alien pizzas are gathering off the coast. They're planning something. The Wabbit said to meet at the old bunker." Wabsworth and Skratch jumped into the biplane. Susan taxied and took off steeply. Terni swooped in and took the lead. "Susan. Follow that dragon," said Wabsworth. They streaked across the sky. The Pizza Star sparkled and whirled. Terni set the sky on fire. Susan looped the loop. "Do you think they'll know we're coming?" said Skratch.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

7. The Three Muses and the Pizza Star

When the Pizza Star appeared in the sky, the Wabbit said follow it. So Tipsy and the rest of Lapinette's personal guard set off in pursuit. Tipsy summoned Baekho the Tiger and he was only too pleased to go along. On Baekho's back and with her eyes on the star, Tipsy led the way. "Shall we sing?" said Fitzy. "We're obliged to chant," replied Mitzy. "May I join you?" growled Baekho. He placed one paw in front of the other and as the star moved, he padded gently along. "Follow the star," chanted Tipsy. She groped for her hip flask. Her knees gripped Baekho's flanks. "We come from afar," sang Mitzy. She jumped in the air.  "No-one knows exactly who we are," growled Baekho. The pizza star shimmered and sparkled in the cold evening air. Tipsy urged Baekho forwards and he padded faster until he was at more of a gallop. The pizza star moved rapidly in the sky towards Rome. Mitzy and Fitzy began to run like Alpini, then vaulted onto Baekho's back behind Tipsy. Baekho's paws left the ground and he bounded into the sky. Gradually they all vanished, leaving only a few things behind - an enigmatic tiger smile and the faint smell of whisky. The pizza star guided the muses on their way across the sky astride their tiger steed. Only a favoured few saw their trajectory and they followed too ...

Monday, December 23, 2019

6. Terni and the Curious Smell of Pizza

Terni the Food Dragon was in charge of Rome air space and he monitored continuously. So when he smelled an over-abundance of the intoxicating oudor of pizza, he wheeled in the sky, peeled and plunged. Alien pizzas were trying to take over Largo Argentina and they whirled like hot, demented helicopters. Mozzarella dripped, olives flew like bullets. The square's resident cats screeched and scattered in all directions. Terni had the alien pizzas in his sights but they moved fast. He belched flame and winged one. There was some smoke. The smell of cooked pizza covered the area. Terni soared into the air then turned and plunged down again but the pizzas were fast as mosquitoes. Terni was a food dragon so he doused them in burning oil. The pizzas fried crisp but somehow they kept gyrating. Then they made sounds like a thousand car alarms - in a unified piercing shriek that bent the trees. Even Terni winced but he was determined. He charged his flames to super oven bake and threw everything he had. One by one the pizzas burst into flames. Olive stones whizzed past, hot as fiery coals. Strips of Mozzarella lay blackened on the grass. Tomato pulp hit the trees and dripped bubbling down the bark. Charred toast clung to branches. Terni hovered as cats returned to lick the mozzarella. "The Commander better hurry," he thought, "I deep fried the alien pizzas for now but things are getting a little too hot around here..." He sent a mental message though the ether. "Bring spatulas!"

Thursday, December 19, 2019

5. The Wabbit and the Passing Pizzas

The Wabbit and Lapinette speeded to their winter retreat out on the Po Delta. There they would make plans to counter the alien pizzas. The Wabbit hurled the jeep along an icy road and muttered about the Devil's Elbow in Scotland. Lapinette clung on and grinned ear to ear. "What's that?" muttered the Wabbit. A garish disc flashed past on the driver's side. Another followed it on the passenger side. The discs emitted a whining sound, a bit like a pierced haggis. Lapinette looked back. They disappeared into the trees then whirled back. "I think they beat us to it," growled Lapinette. "They just can't be topped?" smirked the Wabbit. He put his foot to the floor and the jeep slalomed along the ice. The pizzas faded into the distance. Lapinette tapped the windshield. "Where do you think they're they from?" The Wabbit thought for a minute. "The Coma Cluster is far away." The jeep hit snow and the sound was like a dog crunching biscuits. The Wabbit changed gear and sped on. "Maybe they came out a black hole?" suggested Lapinette. "A black hole in a black sock?" quipped the Wabbit. Two more pizzas dived out the sky and skimmed along the treetops. They were muddy red with a dull green trim. "That one's called Basil!" sneered Lapinette. "And the other one's Tom," said the Wabbit. Lapinette snorted. "They want a piece of us." "But we won't deliver," laughed the Wabbit ...

Thursday, December 12, 2019

4. The Wabbit and the Dragon's Message

The Tiger stuck with the Wabbit and Lapinette and that was just as well. They would need all the help they could get. Terni the Food Dragon swooped out of the sky as only a dragon could - and then the radio crackled. "Emergency, emergency" yelled Terni. Lapinette answered and then threw the radio to the Wabbit. "It's yours Commander." The Wabbit listened to the tale and relayed it all round. "Rome is sunder threat." Lapinette shrugged. "It's Christmas. Rome is always under threat at Christmas." The Wabbit nodded and the tiger shoved his head over his shoulder. "Rome is being attacked by pizzas." Lapinette laughed. She knew the Wabbit liked Roman pizzas the best. He scoffed at Turin pizzas describing them as clunky-heavy. Neapolitan pizzas were vaguely tolerable as far as he was concerned, but Roman pizzas were thin and light and tasty. "The Wabbit shook his head and continued. "These are giant pizzas, possibly from outer space. They ravage the suburbs looking in dustbins for extra toppings." Lapinette scowled. "Yukkedy yuk." Baekho the Tiger growled. "May I help you eradicate this alien menace?" The Wabbit grinned ear to ear. "The more the merrier. Let's get the team together." The radio crackled again. "I'll monitor the activities of these hooligans," said Terni, "See you at the other end." The air turned red with flame and he was gone ...

Friday, December 06, 2019

3. Tipsy and the Ride of the Tiger

The Wabbit and Lapinette encouraged the tiger to accompany them. Late in the evening and somewhat incognito, they hopped through the porticos with not a soul around - until an ear splitting shriek of delight cut through the quiet. Tipsy lurched out from a late night bar and with a single bound, she mounted the back of the tiger and urged him forward. Tipsy was one of Lapinette's personal guard and couldn't be argued with. "What's your name, tiger monshter?" she yelled. The tiger stopped and broke into several grins. "Baekho," he said. Then he bounced up and down. "Ride 'em cowgirl! Turn and burn," shouted Tipsy. She gripped what there was of Baekho's mane and held tight. Baekho swivelled, bucked and lurched to either side, but he couldn't unseat Tipsy. "I do like you," he growled, "What's your name, warrior?" The Wabbit couldn't believe his eyes. Lapinette hopped in the air and started to laugh. "I'm Tipshy," slurred Tipsy. "I don't believe you," said Baekho. Tipsy slid down from his back and sauntered up to the Wabbit. "I thought you said there was a monshter in town." The Wabbit nodded his head and pointed at Baekho. "That's a pusshy cat," scoffed Tipsy. "Prrrrr," said Baekho, "I can shape-shift you know." Tipsy quickly jumped back on. Baekho began to disappear and so did Tipsy. Shortly, only big smiles remained - and one of them was Tipsy's ...

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

2. The Wabbit and the Eyes of the Tiger

The Wabbit and Lapinette followed the roaring sounds. The streets were deserted and it was easy to trace the hubbub to the river. Now another noise joined the roaring. A siren shrilled continuously and Lapinette covered her ears. They rounded the corner. The Wabbit stuck his paw through the open window of an abandoned police car and turned the siren off. "Phew," said Lapinette. Her ears quivered. But now they could hear roaring again. "Looks like we've tracked the monster," said the Wabbit. Along the river embankment strolled a strange tiger. It had a nonchalant gait and seemed to be grinning. Every time its giant feet hit the road, it let out a mighty roar and its eyes flashed. "I know of that tiger," breathed the Wabbit. "Did it come to tea maybe?" quipped Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head. "No, it arrived here with Puma." The tiger strolled past the police car. The Wabbit whispered in Lapinette's ear. "Who went in the tiger's den and came out alive?" Lapinette shook her head. "The tiger," replied the Wabbit. The tiger turned. "That's not funny. Are you my prey, rabbits?" The Wabbit tapped the hood of the car and laughed. "You got the wrong rabbits." Lapinette pointed along the embankment. "The rabbits you seek are elsewhere." The tiger smiled a rueful smile. "Well, they don't look like you." "Spiky ears and of ghastly visage?" asked Lapinette. The tiger nodded. The Wabbit hopped forward. "What did they do to you?" "Nothing," said the tiger, "they just get on my nerves."

Monday, December 02, 2019

1. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Monsters

Lapinette caught up with the Wabbit at Spezia Market. "Wabbit! Wabbit, have you any news?" The Wabbit was between missions and there was no news. So he shrugged. "Do you have any news?" Lapinette hopped up and down. "There's usually news by this time." The Wabbit hadn't a clue. But he knew it was getting close to Christmas. "News of the monster?" "Yes," shouted Lapinette. She waved her paws in excitement. "Coming over the hill?" asked the Wabbit. "Yes, yes," shouted Lapinette. "No, I haven't," said the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed a bit and pirouetted. "The monster is late?" Now the Wabbit laughed. "Do monsters have a timetable?" Lapinette nodded. "They do and one usually makes an appearance about now." The Wabbit took Lapinette by the paw and led her through the market. "We'd better keep an eye open then. How monstrous do you want your monster?" Lapinette had to hop at speed to keep up with the Wabbit. "Monstrous enough," said Lapinette, "but capable of being recuperated." The Wabbit turned. "Any particular locale where monsterising takes place?" Lapinette looked him straight in the eyes and swept a paw back and forth. "All across the land!" The Wabbit thought very, very hard until he could visualize the monster. The noise was sudden. They both heard an enormous roar. People ran to and fro. "Right on cue," murmured Lapinette ...