Saturday, October 31, 2020

4. The Wabbit's Duplicate Hallowe'en

It was a spooky night out at Pluto Park and up on the bridge, the Wabbit clutched his axe to his chest. He wasn't going to be outdone this year. He bellowed out for all to hear. "It is me who is the Bunnyman. Me! There are no others." But he heard a scuffling behind him. It was Lapinette. "No, that's not true. It is me who is the Bunnyman. None come before me and never have." She waved her axe threateningly. The wind whistled through the park. A translucent blue moon looked down. There was a noise from behind her and she turned. "I'm afraid you're wrong, Lapinette. Because all along it was me. It is Wabsworth who is the true Bunnyman." Wabsworth waved his axe too. Yet it wasn't over. The sound of a ferocious meaow that went on forever, hung over the park like a serrated sword. "I am Skratch and I am the Bunnyman who cut up his victims at Bunnyman bridge. The blood of the Bunnyman is in me." The temperature dropped and the Wabbit shivered. "There can only be one Bunnyman," he moaned. "Lapinette scowled. "I am the Bunnyman!" Skratch meaowed from the back. "I am the Bunnyman!" Wabsworth joined the chorus. "I am the Bunnyman!" They all stood their ground but the Wabbit was the first to give in. "Look it's all a joke, there's no Bunnyman. He doesn't exist." They all started to laugh. But their laughing quickly died. They staggered as something shook the bridge with force. Their blood chilled as the sound of someone rattling a stick along the railings drifted through the night air. It was then that they heard the harsh groaning voice. "I am the true Bunnyman and you're standing on my bridge ..."

Thursday, October 29, 2020

3. The Wabbit and the Talking Art Exhibit

The Wabbit and Lapinette decided to start their project with some borrowed art, just to test the market. Bearing a painting adapted from a medieval fresco they mounted the stairs at the Department of Wabbit Affairs. They hadn't reckoned on the weight of the frame. "Phew," said the Wabbit, "art is hard work!" Lapinette was panting with the effort. "Maybe we should have started with a miniature." The Wabbit shook his head. "It's important to start as you mean to go on." But as they climbed the stairs the painting seemed to vibrate with every step they took. "Can you feel anything?" asked the Wabbit. "I can hear something," said Lapinette. They stopped and listened. "It's whispering," said Lapinette. The voices soon stopped, and they carried on. But suddenly they started again and this time they were louder. It was the rabbits on the painting. They were saying something. They started to sing. "Beware beware, better beware, on the steppy step steps of the oldy old stairs." The Wabbit wasn't astonished one bit. "I heard something like this before." Lapinette agreed. "I think we should listen because it's a warning." The rabbits burst into melodic tune. "Have you seen the ghost of the Bunny Man? Sits in the garden on an old tin can. If you see him, you'd better ask, just where did you put your bloody axe?" The Wabbit dropped his side of the picture and Lapinette followed suit. The rabbits fell silent. Lapinette pouted. "I thought we'd heard the last of the Bunny Man?" "He never lets go," said the Wabbit. "He doesn't exist," said Lapinette. "He is coming," replied the Wabbit, "and we are here."

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

2. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Fine Art

Lapinette was surprised when she met the Wabbit in the art exhibition. The Camera Centre was featuring the work of Paulo Ventura and she thought she'd just catch it. "Hello Wabbit, I didn't expect to find you here." The Wabbit jumped. He was contemplating the various exhibits for inclusion in his catalogue and was lost in thought. "Hello Lapinette, you're just the person I need to help me in my quest." Lapinette smiled. "What are you up to, Wabbit?" The Wabbit explained about meeting Pio Pulcinella and his suggestion for stimulating the Dinosaur Fund. "Oh!" she exclaimed, "that's quite an undertaking." The Wabbit stepped back and threw his arms wide. "I was thinking of including all artists who featured rabbits." "Would you include hares?" asked Lapinette. "Certainly, all manner of lagomorphs," replied the Wabbit. "Mmm," said Lapinette, "There's Durer, Chagall and Miro." "Of course," said the Wabbit. "And John Herring," said Lapinette. "Doesn't he do mainly fish?" said the Wabbit. "Horses," giggled Lapinette. "Well of course there's this fellow Ventura here," ventured the Wabbit. "He does Rabbits. I thought I'd get him to illustrate our catalogue." Lapinette thought for a while. "They're all rather expensive, Wabbit. Have you thought about how you're going to finance it?" The Wabbit hadn't thought about that at all, but he came up with a quick answer.  "A Crowdfunder on that Internet thing?" Lapinette nodded her head gravely. "Lots of small amounts from interested parties." The Wabbit became excited. "We'll launch it on the world wide web and it will go completely spiral." "Viral," groaned Lapinette.

Friday, October 23, 2020

1. The Wabbit's Economic Imperative

The Wabbit was hopping through the Gallery of Modern Art when he spotted someone he knew. "Pio!" he shouted. "Pio Pulcinella! I haven't seen you for quite a while!" Pio turned away from the piece he was studying. "Commander Wabbit," he smiled, "Pleased to meet you again." Pio was an ace economist and a follower of Michal Kalecki. If anyone knew anything about economics, it was Pio. "I'm glad I bumped into you," said the Wabbit. "My Dinosaur Fund hasn't been doing very well lately." The Wabbit's Dinosaur Fund paid for all the unofficial missions undertaken by the Wabbit. Pio frowned. "These are difficult times, Commander." He shook his head sadly. "Call me Wabbit," said the Wabbit. "OK, Wabbit, we'll meet and sort this out," said Pio, "But what exactly is the problem?" "Things are sluggish, nothing's moving," said the Wabbit. "I still suggest Intergalactic Government Bonds," said Pio. The Wabbit frowned. "Aren't they susceptible to Rebel Alliance Attacks?" said the Wabbit, "I heard that two space stations had been destroyed." Pio threw his head back and laughed, "You should be giving me advice, Wabbit." The Wabbit laughed too. "I was thinking of something that was a nice little earner, nothing too grand." "Nothing too grand and nothing too illegal?" responded Pio. "Heavens no," said the Wabbit. Pio thought for a while. "What brings you to the Gallery Wabbit." "Gives me inspiration," replied the Wabbit. Pio was direct enough. "Have you considered Art Investment?" The Wabbit's eyes flickered with interest. "It's not very liquid," said Pio, "until now that is." The Wabbit had the glimmer of an idea. He put a finger to his lips. "Let's meet in secure surroundings ..."

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Wabbit at the Grand Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit had arranged a special dinner for Lapinette but hadn't told her. He very much wanted it to be a surprise. So he alerted Wabsworth and Skratch. Together they persuaded Lapinette it was merely a boring talk on new protocols, but that her attendance was completely necessary. Then they laid out the table in the Big Dining Room at the Department. The menu was a fantastic one, containing everything Lapinette liked. The courses were too numerous to mention, but the menu started with devilled crab, then Carrots Royale followed by Jerusalem Artichokes a la Wabbit. There were more dishes than you could shake a stick at, separate drinks for every course and Lapinette's favourite tunes played on a sound system constructed to the Wabbit's own specifications. "Welcome Lapinette!" cried the Wabbit, "please be seated." Lapinette smiled and waved her paw. "You shouldn't have!" Skratch was waiting for his moment. "Please sit down and tell us what kind of adventure you thought we had." He drew out a chair and Lapinette sat down and spoke. "It was a system of signs predicated upon the perfect coffee," she said. "And I can safely say it was quite most hilarious compilation of sci-fi tropes I've ever seen." The Wabbit raised an eyebrow. Wabsworth launched in. "The coffee acted as a performative signifier, which itself pointed to a dislinkage between itself and the real world." Skratch laughed. "I can't say I disagree. We are all part of the theatre of images." The Wabbit wanted the last word. "Self-fashioned ones you might say." Lapinette chose that moment to rap on the table with a spoon. "Fashion me up a dinner!" "Certainly," said the Wabbit. "Let the Lapinette celebrations begin!"

Monday, October 19, 2020

10. The Wabbit and the Great Return

The Wabbit thought he had better return the coffee machine to the Lavazza Museum. So Quantum landed briefly outside and the Wabbit hopped out with the goods. "You worry too much, Wabbit," called Skratch from the Quantum's cabin. "I wouldn't feel happy if I didn't," replied the Wabbit. He lurched under the weight. The machine glowed slightly from all the radiation it had picked up in space, but the Wabbit pain it no attention. Quantum bore the scars of the brief battle with the alien vessel and had already complained bitterly. The Wabbit knocked at the door. "I brought your coffee machine back," he said. "It just took off into outer space - and me with it." The Duty Officer was puzzled and sceptical in equal measure. "We're not missing one. But I'll go and look." He went off, returning in an instant. "No, it's still there. And there's no parking here on the concourse you know." The Wabbit was dumbfounded. "What will I do with this then?" But he knew he would keep it. He turned and shouted to Skratch. "Have we got room for a second hand coffee machine?" Quantum wouldn't keep quiet. "Who cares? What about my paneling?" Skratch spoke in a soothing voice. "I might know a good yard where we can get it done cheap." "I want the best job," responded Quantum. The Wabbit hopped back to the cargo hold. "A bit of light grinding, sanding, filling and polishing?" Quantum sounded annoyed. "I want it back to as good as new. I insist on a new panel!" The Wabbit laughed. "Where's that engineering yard, Skratch." "It's so hard to keep track of them," joked Skratch. Back on board, the Wabbit reclined in the cab. "What was that for a sort of adventure?" Skratch held his sides in helpless mirth. "I think we're about to find out .."

Sunday, October 18, 2020

9. The Wabbit and the Battle for Space

The Wabbit shielded his face from the glare. The alien vessel came from underneath, firing blades of surgical steel. "Shields up!" he yelled to Quantum. Quantum's reply was terse. "This is not Star Trek Commander. I'm a locomotive not a Vulcan Cruiser." He dodged the flying blades, nonetheless. The Wabbit and Skratch were nauseous and reeled around Quantum's cab. "I never thought coffee would cause all this trouble," said the Wabbit, "Go to Lattice Drive, Quantum!" Quantum snorted. "For that Commander, I need some room and I'm not getting any." He swerved away, but the alien vessel followed. His blades caught Quantum's paneling and took some paint off. "You owe me a re-spray Commander," said Quantum. The Wabbit sighed. "Any ideas, Skratch." Skratch pondered. "They liked the coffee smell, Commander." "Well its worth a try," said the Wabbit. "Have you got any of these awful capsules we used to use." Skratch nodded. "I've got gunpowder, strawberries, seared steak and rum flavour." "Eject them all from the cargo hold," said the Wabbit. The cargo hold door creaked open and out spiraled all their old coffee pods. They watched anxiously. The alien vessel shuddered to a halt. Then it started following the old coffee capsules. "It's looking for the space equivalent of Starbuck's," sighed the Wabbit, "OK Quantum, let's go to Lattice Drive." Quantum chortled "I think we should rename it Lettuce Drive Commander? Green and leafy lettuce?" Skratch laughed and laughed. It's not just lettuce, it's wonderfully crisp and fresh lettuce." The Wabbit shook his head. "Just do it Quantum." There was a flash and Quantum disappeared into a dot ...

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

8. The Wabbit and the Coffee Standoff

Just as the aliens had said, the scene was recognisable to him. It was recognisable but hardly realistic. There were two giant rabbits sitting in a street. There were fake cars, fake trees and fake buildings - but were the rabbits fake or not? It look like a Christmas tableaux and the Wabbit wondered whether the rabbits would light up too. He gently put the marocchino down. "One marocchino for you," he said chirpily. "How do we appear?" said a rabbit. "A teeny-weeny bit out of scale," replied the Wabbit. There was something he didn't like about the rabbits, something malevolent. They were too sweet - maybe a bit sickly. Their fur was too shiny. Their ears were too pink. What lay underneath the plastic exterior? They stood rigidly to attention and looked directly at the Wabbit. "Very nice Commander Wabbit," they said in unison. "Now we want your coffee machine." A silence ensued. "And we want your vessel." The Wabbit was already backing away. "All out of date," he said. "Totally antediluvian. Hasn't been updated for years and years." He reached the door to the corridor. "I'll just be going now," he said and tipped his forelock. The rabbits sprang and that was the moment when the Wabbit took action. He turned tail and did what rabbits did best. He ran for his life. The aliens looked like rabbits, but they couldn't run like true lagomorphs could. The Wabbit was through the hatch and on his way to Quantum the Train before they could say Bugs Bunny. He radioed ahead. "Prepare lattice drive, Quantum." The radio crackled as Quantum responded. "Did you say Lettuce Drive, Wabbit?" "This is no time for bad jokes!" shouted the Wabbit.

Monday, October 12, 2020

7. The Wabbit and the Perfect Marocchino

The Wabbit made the short hop to the alien vessel carrying a perfectly made Marocchino coffee. Keeping it perfect was the key and the Wabbit was careful. They did have chocolate powder and cocoa on board but the proportions were exact and the Wabbit hoped he had got it right. The NASA machine didn't have a steam wand and the Wabbit had to knock one up from things he had in his fur. The coffee smelled good. He dusted it with a fine layer of cocoa powder and foamed the milk with his improvised wand. Then he put it all together by pouring the foaming milk onto the chocolate coffee mixture. "Ecco!" he announced. The trip to the alien vessel was uneventful and a door opened in the side. The vessel was pristine in the inside and he made his way along an aluminium alleyway that seemed to run the length of the ship. There was no sign of his hosts. But he heard high pitched voices whispering. "Coffee is coming, coffee is coming." He decided to sing them a song at no extra charge. "Ma cosa hai messo nel caffè," he warbled, "Che ho bevuto su da te? C'è qualche cosa di divers. Adesso in me. Se c'è un veleno morirò. Ma sarà dolce accanto a te. Perché l'amore che non c'era. Adesso c'è!" He ended the song with an enormous bellow. "Welcome to our vessel, Commander Wabbit," said a high pitched voice. "We see you brought the Marocchino." The Wabbit looked all around. "I can't see you, I'm afraid." The voice replied. "We are here. We will make ourselves visible in a way that you recognise." The air shimmered and they began to appear ...

Saturday, October 10, 2020

6. The Wabbit and the Coffee Invaders

The Wabbit relocated the Coffee Machine in Quantum's Dining Car and made some last adjustments. Delicious aromas ensued. Skratch the Cat arrived from the cab. "Well I must say, Wabbit, you seem to have outdone yourself." The machine was active although some creativity had been needed to adapt it. But there it was. An espresso. "It does seem to be OK," said the Wabbit. They both sipped the espresso from the first cup. "Delicious," said Skratch, "and we seem to have suffered no consequences whatsoever." There was a lull while they enjoyed the coffee. Then the loudspeakers crackled with an urgent message from Quantum. "Commander, please look out of the window. We have visitors." They both looked. It was a strange craft that looked for all the world like grinder of some kind. The Wabbit shrugged and downed the last of the first espresso. "Hail the vessel." Quantum's voice sounded rather stern. "Strange vessel, please identify yourself and state your particular business." There was no response, but the vessel nudged closer. "Try again," said Skratch. "Please identify yourself," said Quantum, "or we will be forced to blast you into a million pieces and spread you across the universe." The Wabbit gulped. "Can we do that?" Skratch was highly amused. "No, but he likes to talk tough sometimes." Silence. Then the craft spoke. "You look like a locomotive." Quantum replied. "We are a very funky train indeed. But your opinion is of little value. Please state your interest." The vessel hailed back. "We smelled the coffee and came to find out how we could obtain it. Would you perhaps have a marocchino?" The Wabbit looked at Skratch and winked. "Tell them .. maybe."

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

5. The Wabbit, Skratch and Space Coffee.

Skratch decided the Wabbit needed help with such a precious cargo. He spoke with Quantum. "I'm going outside to help." Quantum rumbled with mirth. "Don't forget your safety equipment." Skratch merely raised his eyes - and plunged from Quantum to make his way along the tether. "Hello Wabbit," he said. "Hello Skratch," said the Wabbit, "Give me a paw to guide this thing, it's awkward." Skratch fastened the tether to the espresso machine. "Running out of steam, Wabbit?" The Wabbit groaned. "Skratch, I don't really know how I got here." Skratch hefted the machine towards Quantum. "It's a nice bit of kit." The Wabbit made a face. "The sign at the Lavazza Museum said not to touch it." "Not as much as a red button?" meaowed Skratch. They sailed towards Quantum at a leisurely pace. Skratch was philosophical. "I suppose the important thing is, does it make good coffee?" "Ottimo," said the Wabbit. "Good as that!" answered Skratch. It was then he noticed the espresso cup. "What's that cup, Wabbit?" The Wabbit's head swivelled round. "It seems to go with it." The cup and saucer was following them. "Flying cup and saucer?" said Skratch. The cargo bay door swung out and they were sucked inside. "Let's get it up and running," said Skratch. They heard a rumbling from Quantum's engines as he swung round and headed for home. Skratch meaowed long and hard. "If I leave you alone for a minute, you won't get into more trouble will you?" The Wabbit looked offended. "I can operate a simple espresso machine." Skratch looked in horror as the Wabbit started to fiddle with the controls. "Now what does this knob do?" murmured the Wabbit.

Monday, October 05, 2020

4. Skratch and the Cream in the Coffee

Skratch piloted Quantum the Time Travelling Train through space. The Wabbit had said he might be in the Milky Way and it gave him an idea. It was something to do with the coffee. He was looking for a barred spiral galaxy identified first by Herschel then by Shapley - and he couldn't help singing some rhymes that were to do with clouds. "I had some dreams," hummed Skratch, "and they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee." He spoke with Quantum. "Can you get a fix on these layers?" Quantum laughed. "I'm a Time Travelling Train with Lattice Drive." There was a flash and a bump, and they went through something. Other crafts went by as if in slow motion. "If he's anywhere he's near here," said Quantum. "Look for an espresso saucer shape", suggested Skratch. Quantum looped round. His voice boomed from loudspeakers. "Initiating contour search pattern." He searched for a while. "I can smell coffee," he said. "Can you smell in space?" asked Skratch. "I can," replied Quantum, but I don't recognise the brand." Skratch recalled something the Wabbit had told him about a new brand of coffee Lavazza were introducing. "Lay in a course, Quantum." By this time, Skratch felt like a coffee himself. They hurtled through space in Lattice Drive and everything shook. "We could do with a decent coffee maker, Quantum. Have we got any milk?" Quantum laughed. "I think there's some cream in the fridge." It was Skratch's turn to laugh. "In space, no one can hear you cream." It was such a bad joke that Quantum shuddered. Then he saw the Wabbit. "There he is!" Skratch threw a lever. "Opening Cargo Bay Two."

Friday, October 02, 2020

3. The Wabbit and the Spaceworthy Coffee

The Wabbit lost grip on the coffee and everything started to spin. He seemed to be enclosed in a giant espresso cup and they all whirled through space. The coffee had tasted good. Better than good. But now he'd separated from the cup and was forced to think about what had happened. "OK," said the Wabbit to himself, "Now I'm here and I'd better get out of it." He thought and he thought. "If only I could get a message to the team, they'd send help." The Wabbit searched in his fur for quite a while. Then he came across something he'd forgotten about. He's bought it in market and forgotten it and it looked like an ordinary blue phone - but it had special capabilities following the modifications he'd made with Big Blue Snail. It might just work. It might. He dug it out, but it floated off. For a while he tried to reach it. It was very elusive and finally he gave up and called out. "Blue Phone! Come here!" It floated towards him and mysteriously attached to the back of the coffee machine. Then he tried it. "Hello, this is the Wabbit here, come in please." The line was clear enough and he heard Skratch's voice. "Hello Wabbit, where are you? We're all having a bit of a coffee break here." The Wabbit sighed with relief. "I'm in outer space with a runaway NASA coffee machine. Please get me out of here." This met with uproarious laughter. He heard Skratch speak to Lapinette. "The Wabbit is having a joke!" The Wabbit lost his temper. "This is no joke. Please come and get me out of here and be quick about it." Skratch calmed down. "Which part of space are you in?" The Wabbit looked around. "I'd say it was the Milky Way." Skratch tried to suppress a giggle. "That's handy for your coffee." The Wabbit hissed. A pregnant pause ensued. "No pressure then? We'll be right there!" said Skratch.

Friday, September 25, 2020

2. The Wabbit's Space Coffee Machine

The Wabbit inspected the machine. It was a fabulous construction, although it had fewer knobs than he thought - and he prodded it a bit. He had a sudden thought. "This would make the perfect addition to Quantum the Time Travelling Train's Dining Car. I don't suppose NASA would mind." It was rather heavy, as were most espresso makers, but he didn't think that was an obstacle. So he thought he would try it. He went to get some coffee. There was plenty around - it was all over the place in various shapes and forms, and he began to experiment. Then he connected the water and set it all in motion. Nothing happened. He went back to first principles. "This goes here, that goes there, the coffee goes in here, it comes out here."  Zilch, nothing. "OK there's something I haven't done," laughed the Wabbit. He looked all round it and even inspected the back. "I haven't plugged it in," laughed the Wabbit. He set about finding a power line. Then he connected the mains to the machine. There was a whine and a click and something started to happen. Steam hissed from a valve. But it wouldn't stop. It got louder and louder and the Wabbit became alarmed. He started to press this and that. He turned all knobs and prodded all switches but nothing could stop the process he'd set in motion. He started to smell the deep aroma of coffee. But something flashed and everything changed. The Wabbit was not where he was before. He was whirling in deep space, holding an espresso cup. He lifted the cup to his lips and tasted the coffee. It was exquisite. He twirled around and the espresso cup stayed upright, spilling not a drop. "What next?" said the Wabbit...

Monday, September 21, 2020

1. The Wabbit at the Coffee Exhibition

 

The Wabbit wandered through the coffee exhibition. His favourite coffee, Lavazza. had opened a museum and somehow failed to tell him. The Wabbit hid his annoyance. It was enough that the thing was open and he could go. So he crept in one day, completely incognito. He was early - and there was no-one around except for the person on the door. The Wabbit flipped his carefully shielded travel card. "Museum Inspectorate," he snapped, "and it had better be good." The door person smiled. "You're very welcome Commander Wabbit, this is our first day." The Wabbit had been rumbled. "Something leaked," he grumbled to himself. Anyway, he ambled around the exhibits. There was a history of coffee, and a story of the world famous Luigi and how he came to found the famous coffee company. All that he took with a pinch of salt. "No-one could possibly be called Luigi Lavazza," he said to himself, "they have to be making it up."  He hopped on through the exhibits and was pleased to see the famous cartoons who had advertised Lavazza through the years. He nodded approvingly and he used his interactive coffee cup to get his extra content. All he had to do was place his expresso cup on the designated spot - and the spot lit up and spoke about this and that. "Splendid idea!" he said and made a note in his log. The Wabbit lounged on the sofas and sat on the seats and everything was going well - as well as could be expected from a visit from the Wabbit. Until he rounded a corner and saw it. It was a space-going coffee machine. The Wabbit couldn't believe his eyes and he wanted it immediately .... 

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffe

 

"Everyone is late," said the Wabbit. "No, they're not," said Lapinette, "here they come now." The Wabbit still had a grumbly face. "OK," he said. Skratch meaowed into sight. "Hello," he said, "is this the place?" The Wabbit was still annoyed. "Yes," he said, I suppose it will do." "It looks fine," said Wabsworth looming up from the back. "Yes," said the Wabbit again. "So what was that for a sort of adventure we had." Skratch was ready. "It was a standard linear plot," he said, "unusual only from the point of view of the characters." Lapinette smiled. "I suppose the flights for small mammals, was unusual." Skratch drew himself up to his full height. "Deep focus, objective reality and a relative lack of montage suggest that the whole thing should be left to the spectator." Lapinette scoffed. "We really can't have that, Skratch." The Wabbit was still in a bad mood. "The spectator can very well get on with it and do no work at all." Wabsworth butted in from the back. "I'm inclined to agree, Wabbit. "The spectator is left in a state of dominant specularity. The spectator has to do a bit of work - otherwise what's left." Skratch was in a state of delirium. "The complexity of reality is enough,"  he said, "otherwise we're left with overwrought formalist mediation." "What do you say to a drink," said the Wabbit. "Or is that standing in the way of the impasse of the ideological?" Skratch laughed and laughed. "Are we feeling a little tetchy today, Wabbit." Lapinette laughed too. "The Wabbit is suggesting a quasi-mystical relationship between our narrative and objective reality." "Which is four aperitivi and a packet of crisps," said Wabsworth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

8. Skratch, Wabsworth and the Prisoner

Skratch and Wabsworth guided the prisoner along the street. He was without handcuffs so as not to alarm the population. "You've been a very bad boy indeed," said Skratch. "Killing people is wrong," said Wabsworth, "even if they're in front of you at conferences." The prisoner failed to comment, but he looked at Skratch with baleful eyes. Finally he spoke. "Where are you taking me?" Skratch replied. "Taking you to the prison place, where you will be held indefinitely without trial until the end of time." The prisoner's eyes went glazed. "Just joking," meaowed Skratch. Wabsworth butted in. "You will get to choose life imprisonment or a free existence on an inhospitable planet of our choice, somewhere in the Sombrero Galaxy." The prisoner showed little hesitation. "The second," he said. Wabsworth shook his head. "It's very, very cold." The prisoner cried out, "But I'll be free." Skratch couldn't help adding some more information. "There are dinosaurs and evil flesh sucking voles," he said, "who will make your life difficult." The prisoner turned to Skratch. "I'll take my chances." Wabsworth chucked grimly. "You haven't heard everything. Every day there is a mist that sweeps in and changes your personality" Skratch gave a hiss. "Shouldn't change you much at all, except for the paranoia." The prisoner looked quite cheered. "All in all it doesn't sound so bad." Wabsworth laughed. "You are probably unaware of the Wabbit's frequent prison visits and correctional programme?" The prisoner looked tentative. "He talks for days and days, "said Skratch. "On and on and on."

Sunday, September 13, 2020

7. Flights for Small Mammals Conference

The Wabbit took his place at introduction of the Small Mammals Conference. A last-minute change to the timetable made him the target for the Murderer but he proposed to enjoy it nevertheless. "Small mammals of all kinds," he began. "For too long we have endured poor conditions in planes." There was a murmuring of agreement. "Cooped up in baskets, placed in holds - all manner of ignominy has been placed upon our shoulders." He looked around the conference. "This conference today signifies our unwillingness to endure this current treatment." There was a scuffle from the wings. The Wabbit carried on. "Today we legitimately ask, nay demand better treatment." Lapinette jumped up from the front row and pushed the Wabbit to the side, waving her automatic. "Stop right there," she shouted. You're under arrest." A figure emerged and he had a gun that pointed directly at the Wabbit. "You took the place that is legitimately mine," he yelled. "Stand down and give it to me." Lapinette yelled back. "Your place is at the back, where you belong." Creeping up behind the armed intruder were Skratch and Wabsworth, but the intruder was too intent on his task to see them. "I demand my rightful place, I am the authority on this subject, I am the one who should speak first," he shouted. Skratch took the revolver away with ease and Wabsworth handcuffed him. "Should I carry on?" asked the Wabbit. "You may as well," said Lapinette, "You seem to have the measure of it." And the Wabbit did, until he was asked to stop ...

Monday, September 07, 2020

6. The Wabbit and the Speaker List

The Wabbit met Lapinette at Lingotto. For security reasons they met in the children's section since there was never many people there. "What have you discovered, Wabbit?" breathed Lapinette. "Quite a lot," he replied. He was still clutching the guest book and he waved it. "I believe the answer is in here," He gave the book to Lapinette, who leafed quickly through the pages. "Have you ever heard of Bunk MacBatfit?" Lapinette shook her head.  "Can't say I have." The Wabbit paused. "Bunk is an authority on Flights for Small Mammals - but he likes to be first," Lapinette looked blank. The Wabbit's voice was harsh. "He likes to be first in everything he does." He paused. "Have a look at the speaker list." Lapinette read the first few pages. "He's not there." The Wabbit continued. "He's on the guest list but he's not speaking," Lapinette gasped. "He must be furious." "Furious enough to kill," said the Wabbit. Lapinette rocked backwards. "He'd kill to be first to speak!"  The Wabbit nodded. "I have a plan. Do you have any sway with the organisers?" Lapinette nodded too. "Can you get me on to the speakers list to speak first," said the Wabbit. "You're going to be bait," said Lapinette. "I'm the master of bait," replied the Wabbit, "so leave the changes until the last minute." Lapinette was cautious. "I'd better get Skratch and Wabsworth onto this. They can pass as small mammals, can't they?" The Wabbit looked sceptical. "They have to look dull." Lapinette laughed. "Anything's possible."

Friday, September 04, 2020

5. The Wabbit and the Sudden Attack

The Wabbit took a short cut along the side of the market because he wasn't sure when the attack would come. He knew there would be one - but of its exact shape he had no clue. So it wasn't entirely unexpected when it happened. When he saw a red dot appear he shifted like a cheetah running from extinction. He swayed to the left and then to the right, just as a rabbit does. He heard a sharp crack but the bullet went wide and hit the sidewall of the market. There was no second shot. Clearly the attacker had expected an easy hit and had now vanished, Nevertheless, he dropped down on all fours and looked all round for the attacker, but there was no sign, Just the mark of the bullet on the aluminium plate. The guest book was on the ground so he picked it up, shot to the other side of the road and round the corner. Clearly, he was close to the murderer and the murderer wanted the book. He clutched it against his chest and then flicked it open again.  He ran his eyes over the names of the three murdered rabbits and tried to think. The wind rustled the leaves of the book and turned the pages. There on the fourth page was the name of the next speaker at the conference, It leaped out at him. He looked familiar. The Wabbit snapped the book shut and stealthily went on his way. He didn't think the perpetrator would make a second attempt so soon. He was too smart a mammal for that. All the same, the Wabbit thought reinforcements would be a good idea at this stage. Keeping a wary eye open he stuck close to the buildings in the shadows, and made his way across town,

Monday, August 31, 2020

4. The Wabbit and the Hotel's Guest List

The Wabbit made his way to the Hotel Plaza, which was in a part of town he didn't know well. He wanted to ask for the Guest List. He figured all the homicide victims were booked in one hotel and, as it happened, they were. He stood at the desk for a while. No-one came. "This is a fine to-do," he muttered. "I'm not coming here on holiday." He waited and waited. It was absolutely deserted with not a soul around. No waiter passed. No bellboy emerged. But the thing he was looking for was on the desk in front of him. He looked each way, then flicked it open. All the names were there and a few more beside. "Tsk tsk," said the Wabbit. Then in a stentorian tone, he announced his presence. "Commander Wabbit, Department of Wabbit Affairs." No-one emerged. "I'd like to borrow your guest list for the Conference on Flights for Small Mammals," he yelled. Silence. The Wabbit flicked through the contents once more and there was one thing that he found interesting. So he scribbled a receipt, and tucked the book under his fur. Then he hopped down the stairs and out of the building. He made his way to a caffè, where he took another look at the book. "I have to figure the murderer is here," he said to himself. There were a lot of names - experts on this and experts on that.  There were keynote speakers in great number. And there was to be a special welcome by the President of the Chamber of Commerce himself. "Why wasn't I invited?" asked the Wabbit. He mused for a while. The Wabbit disliked conferences intensely, but that didn't stop people inviting him. So he nodded to himself with an impish grin. "I have an idea."

Friday, August 28, 2020

3. The Wabbit and the Naked City

The Wabbit looked out over the city. He often came up here when he needed to think and this was such a time. Two bodies and no clues. Somewhere down there was the answer, but the answer was hiding. He watched buses and trams go about their everyday business and somehow he knew that the murderer was on one of them - going to the next murder probably. This was a headache and no amount of paracetamol would fix it. He mused over the facts. Three bodies made up to look like the agents of Rabit - one killed by hanging and stabbing and the two others were deliberate drownings. According to forensics, the killings were in the night. But a curious fact had come to light. All three were going to the same event, a debate on flight travel for small mammals. The function was to be over the next three days but these rabbits wouldn't make it. There were names on the on the guest list - a Mr A.N. Other, Mr. A. Attendee and a Mr A Newman - all no-shows. The Wabbit grimaced. He could see the venue from his spot on the Mole Tower. What connected them? An esoteric knowledge of small mammal behaviour on planes perhaps? The Wabbit shook his head and tried to think hard. He lifted his radio. "Calling Lovely Lapinette. Come in please." The radio whined and whistled. "Lovely Lapinette here!" The Wabbit thought for another second then, "What do we have on small mammals on planes?" Lovely Lapinette rustled some papers. "Quite a bit as it happens." "Go through the names," said the Wabbit, "and get me any authorities corresponding to initials ANO, AA and AN." Lapinette's voice was sceptical. "When would you like it?" "Yesterday!" smiled the Wabbit.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

2. The Wabbit and the Second Strike

The Wabbit called in Wabsworth and a small forensics team. The team lurched towards their cars with the body, only dropping it twice. This was accompanied by a lot of shouting until the Wabbit looked a back and scowled. "It's a mystery all right," he said to Wabsworth. "He looks like an Agent of Rabit," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit shook his head. "I don't think he is." He told Wabsworth about the note. Wabsworth looked sceptical. "It could be a trick." The Wabbit shook his head again. "Just a feeling." "I don't like it," said Wabsworth, I don't like it one bit." He took out his automatic and rubbed the grip. "I'm expecting trouble and I'm going to be prepared." The Wabbit's radio crackled. It was Lovely Lapinette. "We found a body," she said. "Snap," said the Wabbit. "It looks like an Agent of Rabit," she continued. "So did ours," said the Wabbit. There was silence for a minute until the Wabbit asked, "Where did you find him?" Lapinette's voice was a shrug. "We found him drowned, half in and half out of the water." The Wabbit paused and glanced at Wabsworth, his eyes in the air. "Anything else?" "Yes," said Lapinette, "There was a note." The Wabbit heaved a sigh. "Let me guess. It said to expect more bodies." "No," said Lapinette, "it asked if we were keeping count." The radio crackled with another call. "This is Wabbit command," said a voice, "Someone's found a body." The Wabbit grimaced and switched to Lapinette. "Any advance on three?" he said.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

1. The Wabbit and the Body at the Kiosk

The Wabbit was between adventures and at an early hour in the morning he was lazing around at the old abandoned kiosk. It was a deserted place now since the boats had long gone, destroyed in a summer storm. They had never been replaced. He kicked his heels and rummaged through his fur for something, anything to do. That was when he heard the splat. It was a soft kind of splat, nothing much. Then it became an insistent splosh. He looked down and saw blood. "Rio Bravo!" he exclaimed. He looked up and pulled out his automatic. A body toppled forward. Then it fell in slow motion to the ground. It seemed to take an age. The Wabbit looked at the crumpled heap. The crumpled heap was a very dead rabbit and it held a crumpled note. The Wabbit took a step backwards because he thought it might be a trap. But his curiosity overcame caution and he crept forward, automatic at the ready. He dislodged the note with his foot. If there was any message written on the note it was on the other side. He turned it over with the barrel of his gun to see what there was - and indeed there was one. There were only two words. "More coming." The Wabbit bent forward and looked at the body. "More of what?" he wondered, although he already knew. He searched the body for clues, but there were none. No ID, no personal items, no money, nothing. He leaned back against the fence and breathed a sigh. "More of this kind of trouble."

Saturday, August 22, 2020

At the Wabbit's Adventure Caffè

The four gathered at the Adventure Caffè. Skratch was late but arrived before things got going. "Hello," he purred, "I hope you haven't decided what's what." Lapinette shook her head. "Certainly not. Now that you're here you can say what kind of adventure the Wabbit and Wabsworth had." Skratch purred mightily. "First, let me say what a pleasure it was to see little in the way of Sphynxology and Pharoahnicity." Wabsworth nodded with vigour. "Can you say a little more about that, Skratch." Skratch was delighted. "Charon and his obol doesn't really figure much in Ancient Egypt. He was more a product of Greek mythology." The Wabbit chipped in. "What about he who faces behind him and to the front at the same time,' in the Pyramid texts." Lapinette wasn't going to be left out. "What about the boat that wasn't there?" Wabsworth knew what all this was about. "I call that myntle, but that's a translation from hieroglyphics and hard to pronounce." Skratch shook his head. "There are said to be three names for the celestial ferryman." The Wabbit was becoming bored. "Huey, Dewey and Louie?" Skratch laughed and gave up. "Yes," he said. "OK," said Lapinette, "We have to call for the ferryman!" Skratch was already standing and lifted a glass. "To the luminal area of ordeal!" "What's that?" said Wabsworth. "When are the drinks coming?" said the Wabbit.
[Skratch is indebted to "The Celestial Ferryman in Ancient Egyptian Religion - Sailor of the Dead" by Dr.Radwan Abdel-Rady Sayed Ahmed]

Thursday, August 20, 2020

7. The Wabbit and the Big Return

They were falling again. One minute they were on Charon's shoulders and the next they were back in the shed. The air felt clean and nice compared to the dankness of the River Styx. Their descent was slow, even though they were somersaulting. "Whoah!" shouted the Wabbit. "Where were we?" shouted Wabsworth. The Wabbit grabbed at something falling past him. It was the sandwich he'd been promised. "I think we crossed into the underworld and got sent back." He took a munch of his sandwich. "Very nice," he said. Wabsworth spiralled round. "Maybe we got rejected, since we weren't really dead" he ventured. The Wabbit had time to think as he span. "Or maybe the Underworld is really the Overworld. Everything becomes its opposite." They were beginning to reach the top of Wabsworth's pyramid, which was where they started their journey. Wabsworth had time to be philosophical as they came in to land. "Maybe we're all alive and dead at the same time. We're like Schrodinger's cat." The Wabbit continued to spiral. "Maybe we thought outside the cat box," he suggested. "Maybe that's right - or wrong," replied Wabsworth. They both touched down and the Wabbit finished his sandwich. "You know, that wasn't bad at all." Wabsworth laughed. "Do you fancy going back for another one?" The Wabbit shook his head like a donkey. "Never go back," he said. "Go sideways then?" smiled Wabsworth.

Monday, August 17, 2020

6. The Wabbit and Charon's Desire

The Wabbit and Wabsworth gazed into the depths and watched Charon float upwards. The bird sat calmly on a reflection and seemed to find some humour in it. "What ho Charon?" it said, "I have two passengers for you." Charon glared. "Call these passengers?" he roared. The Wabbit was steadfast. "Two returns," he said, "and by the way - what happened to the rest of your oar?" Charon wrinkled his nose. "Michelangelo didn't make it long enough I'm afraid." "Well just for that," said the Wabbit, "we shall travel half price." Charon turned to the bird. "Comedians everywhere." The bird spoke in Charon's ear. "Better take the money before they change their minds." Charon turned back and said with a superior smile. "Just this time." Wabsworth chose his moment to speak. "You're supposed to be the ferryman, yet I see no ferry." "It's all the rage and it cuts down on overheads," said Charon. The argued about various details, then agreed to be carried across on his back. Charon snorted twice, then turned so that they could fit on his broad shoulders. "How far is it?" said the Wabbit. "Depends," said Charon. "On what?" asked the Wabbit. "On what kind of life you think you lived," responded Charon. Wabsworth chortled. Being an android copy, he had all the memories of the Wabbit and then some more of his own. The Wabbit interrupted his reverie. "What do you say to exploiting this place?" Wabsworth's android circuits were momentarily overloaded, something only the Wabbit could do. "Hades Holidays?" he said at last. "Underworld Excursions," replied the Wabbit. "That's been tried before," laughed the bird.

Friday, August 14, 2020

5. The Wabbit and the Ferryman's Obol

"Where's my sandwich?" asked the Wabbit. "All in due course," said the bird. The Wabbit was going to argue but Wabsworth dug him in the ribs. "But what's this place," he asked. "This is the Stxy," explained the bird, "and you can have the sandwich when you pay the ferryman." The Wabbit wasn't happy because he couldn't see the ferryman. "Where is he?" he asked. "He's on his lunch break," said the bird. The Wabbit's tummy began to rumble. Wabsworth thought this was a bad sign because the Wabbit could get bad tempered and make a fuss. "I expect he'll be along in a minute," he said and he looked around. "He will," said the bird, "and he will expect paying." "Paying!" exploded the Wabbit. "The fee is one Obol," said the bird. The Wabbit dug in his fur and rummaged for a bit. Then he brought out two coins and handed them over. "Wabsworth gasped. "You have Obols in your fur!" "Of course I do," said the Wabbit with a frown, "you never know when they might come in handy." He paused for a moment. "Otherwise we might roam as ghosts across the land." Wabsworth shook his head. "We certainly don't want to do any roaming. Not today." The bird called for attention. "It's Charon! Here he comes now." In the distance they could see an unkempt figure with unclean hair and blazing eyes. He carried a mighty oar and they watched as he shambled into sight. "I don't like the look of him," said the Wabbit. "Sordid," agreed Wabsworth. The Wabbit paused for an instant. "Doesn't Pluto have a moon named after this fellow." "Oh yes," said Wabsworth, "Its got a big red spot from Pluto." "So that's why he's bad tempered," said the Wabbit

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

4. The Wabbit and the Colourful Corridor

It was a long slide. The Wabbit and Wabsworth found themselves in a long corridor which seemed to be decorated with Egyptian artefacts. "Ouch," said the Wabbit who had landed on his bottom. "Yikes," said Wabsworth. He seemed to be upright but had acquired a pal. "Squeak squawk," said the bird. Wabsworth was heavy and had landed on top of him. "Where are we?" asked the Wabbit. "I have no idea," said Wabsworth. "Well you designed it," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth shook his head. I didn't design this bit." The Wabbit scrambled to his feet and pointed. "Who's your friend?" Wabsworth was confused. "I have no idea. Let's ask him." They both turned to the bird, who took another step back and spoke in a high squeaky voice. "This is the Tunnel of the Gods. We have oil, ointment, snacks, board games - including cross hieroglyphs - I have everything you might need on your way to the Afterlife." A little while elapsed. Wabsworth decided to be first to state the obvious. "We're not actually going to the Afterlife." This time the bird took a step forward. "Well you must be, since you're here." It was the Wabbit's turn. "We got in here by mistake, we're just visiting." The bird looked confused. "You're not dead then? You have to be dead to get in. I am your guide." The Wabbit thought about it. "You mentioned snacks. Have you got a salad sandwich?" The bird looked relieved. "Come this way," he said. "As long as your dead," he added.

Monday, August 10, 2020

3. The Pyramid and Squaring the Circle

The Wabbit found Wabsworth working in his shed at the back of the Department of Wabbit Affairs. He climbed up and whispered in Wabsworth's ear. "I'm told there's work here, demanding a rabbit of my capabilities." Wabsworth knew he was there, because he was an android and knew everything. "Just the fellow I need. Come and help me with this diagram." The Wabbit squinted at the chart. "Oh look now, Wabsworth," he cried, "That's the work of old Piazzi Smith." Wabsworth hardly looked up. "I know," he said. He continued to pore over the chart. The Wabbit shrugged. "He was discredited you know and resigned his post." Wabsworth looked round. "That was the English," he said. He flourished the chart. "They always went around discrediting people and taking their lunch boxes." Now the Wabbit knew that despite being born in Naples, Piazzi was quite Scottish, so he pricked up his ears as Wabsworth continued. "Our man Smyth developed the pyramid inch. I'm going to prove his calculations right." The Wabbit laughed. "Phooey! I suppose you're going to prove MacDari right. Ireland began civilisation and everything comes from there." Wabsworth was sceptical about that at least. "It did not. It came from Wablantis." The Wabbit smiled to himself but he was aware of a shaking somewhere. "What's that shaking?" Wabsworth was too absorbed in his chart. "Must be the Metro." The Wabbit gripped the sides of Wabsworth's pyramid. "The Metro doesn't run this way." Wabsworth could be calm in the face of danger but he suddenly yelled. "I wondered what that was." They both started to yell, "Square the Circle," as they tumbled down one slope of the pyramid...

Friday, August 07, 2020

2. The Wabbit sky-dives In

"Whoa," yelled the Wabbit. He was perfectly capable of this manoeuvre, but he hadn't factored in the wind at the top of the Mole Tower. Lapinette was at her assigned meeting place but hadn't expected anything dramatic. "Left hand down a bit," she yelled. The Wabbit did exactly that but it looked like he as going to hit the big round candle thing. "Yikes," he said as he careered past it and into Lapinette's waiting arms. With his feet on terra firma, he could afford to be nonchalant. "I thought I'd take the scenic route," he said. Lapinette smiled just a little bit. "I didn't know you were coming by biplane." The Wabbit smirked. "This way I don't pay." Lapinette gently reminded him that he had an annual pass to everything in the city and this was part of everything. The Wabbit stifled a malicious grin. "I forgot." Lapinette pretended to be annoyed. "Some way to treat a bunny, this is." The Wabbit had settled now and ignored this badinage. "I like to make a dramatic entrance." Lapinette folded her paws. "One of these days you'll plaster yourself across the pavement and be - an art exhibit." The Wabbit's laugh was hollow because one day he had missed. He'd been forced to use his special powers to get out of it and the whole business was a dreadful embarrassment. He'd bribed the doorman to keep it quiet - so he changed the subject. "Anything from the Department?" "There is, as it happens," said Lapinette, "something right up your street." The Wabbit grinned eagerly and Lapinette continued. "It demands cunning foolhardiness allied with pig headedness." The Wabbit put up his paw. "I'm your rabbit."

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

1. The Wabbit and the Carefree Flight

Susan and the Wabbit flew over Torino. They hadn't been planning a trip but the Wabbit said "Why not?" and off they went. "Are you expecting any kind of sinister plot, Commander," said Susan. She banked low and flew in a circle to get a good view. "No, no," said the Wabbit. "Just keep doing what you're doing." Susan was unhappy and decided she needed directions. "What about over the centre?" "Anything you like," said the Wabbit. Susan flew low over Via Carlo Alberto. "I can see my house from here," chortled the Wabbit. Susan banked again and flew across Piazza Giambattista Bodoni. Pigeons scattered and people pointed. "We seem to be a hit," said Susan, and she flew round again. "It's not every day you see a rabbit flying a biplane," mused the Wabbit. "So what shall I do?" said Susan. "Acrobatics," said the Wabbit. Susan flew upside down for a while and then flew straight up in a hammerhead maneuver. "Stall, stall, stall," yelled the Wabbit in excitement. Susan dropped like a stone, then recovered and looped round. There was a polite smattering of applause from below. "I guess they're used to us," said the Wabbit. "Heaven forfend," giggled Susan. She made for the Mole Spire and drifted lazily round it. "Drop me off Susan," said the Wabbit, "I'm meeting Lovely Lapinette." Susan laughed. "Got your parachute with you?" The Wabbit laughed too. "I don't need one really." He stepped out onto the wing. "Be seeing you," he said, and he jumped, landing nearly clean as a whistle on the Mole's upper deck. He waved goodbye to Susan and shouted, "This way I don't have to pay." Susan wiggled her wings and vanished into the distance...

Monday, August 03, 2020

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit found the gang at the arcade. They were sitting round speculating whether he'd got lost. "How long have I been away for?" he asked. "Just overnight," said Lapinette. "Seemed like longer," replied the Wabbit. He started to relate his story. No sooner had he begun, when Skratch arrived late as usual. "Carry on," he said, "I picked up most of it." The Wabbit smiled. "Yesterday evening I was walking near here, when I touched an object and it took me on a trip." Everyone wanted to know what kind of trip it was, and the Wabbit explained the ins and outs of the entire journey. "I'm left with this key," said the Wabbit. "So it's not the end of the journey," suggested Skratch. The Wabbit was hardly impressed. He knew that already. "But what kind of a journey was it?" He effected a gentle tone of enquiry. Skratch paused for maximum affect. "The story does appear to be a descriptive open discourse - but one which requires no particular closure." Wabsworth butted in. "I think it merely tells of the personality of the Wabbit in a non-linear way." Lapinette grunted and gave a grudging smile. "I think the Wabbit was more in the realm of the documentary there." The Wabbit leaned back. "That's all very well, but what is this key for?" Lapinette studied it. "It looks like a smaller version of an old key. One that was in a previous story." Skratch laughed, "What did you do then Wabbit?" The Wabbit grinned. "I tried putting it in every lock I could find." Lapinette grinned mysteriously and winked. "Better start then ..."

Friday, July 31, 2020

7. The Wabbit and the Rest of the Way

The Wabbit was falling and there wasn't far to fall. He felt the crump as he landed. It was on the Quay in a place he knew well. He sat there for a while, hardly daring to move in case he couldn't. He was clutching something. It was a familiar object. Metal. Cylindrical. Now what in the world was he doing here clutching some kind of a doohickey? He tried to remember, but it wasn't easy. Gradually it swam back. He'd been on a walk when he chased something that proved elusive. There was a kind of shock that propelled him through several zones. All of these zones were familiar to him - but they weren't quite right. He picked himself off the ground and sat on the steps to look at the object. It was a key. "So you're the cause of all this fuss," he muttered. He banged it on the ground. Whack. It made the normal kind of ding a metal object should make. He scratched the rust away and it shone as it should. "You don't seem very dangerous now," sighed the Wabbit. He rubbed it on his fur and felt a strange tingling. That made him suspicious. "The lab for you my boy until we find you're pucka." He tucked it away safely and looked around. Everything was normal. The river lapped at the edge of the breakwater. People were out for walks and he heard them make their merry way. He rose to his feet and brushed imaginary dust from his fur. "Maybe I'm on my way to an Adventure Caffè," he said to himself. "Maybe Skratch the Cat will know what all this is about." So with a wry smile, he set off to the nearest establishment, which wasn't too far ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

6. The Wabbit in the Field of Gold

"Now you're talking!" said the Wabbit. The stark stairway had been replaced by a field of gold. And he could move, that was nice. He tried everything - starting with the tips of hs toes. Then the rest of his feet joined in. Soon everything was twitching, and he felt as happy as he'd ever felt. The sun was out. The marigolds were in bloom. Rolling countryside did what it did best - it rolled. The Wabbit ambled through the field, humming a merry tune. There was something not quite right about it, but the Wabbit decided to tolerate it for the time being. He ambled to the right, then ambled to the left. He ambled back and forward. Then he realised what it was. He wasn't getting anywhere. He could only amble. And the scene, admirable though it was, would not change. "I'm stuck in a loop," he murmured. He considered the matter and decided that no matter how nice it was, it should stop. "Stop the loop!" he shouted in the most commanding tone he could summon. But the loop continued to loop. "This is awfully nice, but please change!" The Wabbit's voice suggested he was at the end of his tether. "I've had enough, and I want to go back to ordinary non-Kafka adventures." A breeze sprung up. "Maybe this is it" thought the Wabbit, "Maybe everything will go back to normal." But the breeze got stronger. The marigolds began to lose their leaves and they flew in the air. Fields rolled past rather more than they should. "Here we go again," thought the Wabbit.

Monday, July 27, 2020

5. The Wabbit in the Plastic Realm

Everything ceased from tumbling. The Wabbit was on steps that at last he knew. Or so he thought. It was quiet. Too quiet. There was no sound at all. He tried scuffing his feet on the steps, but nothing happened. He looked down at his arms. "I'm shrink wrapped," he said. His mouth formed the words, but no words came. He tried to move, but couldn't. The steps appeared to be at the Medieval Castle, but there was no-one around and it was a strange colour that defied description. "Help!" he yelled. Since the Wabbit couldn't get any words out, no-one came to his rescue. "Maybe I'm stuck in time," he moaned to himself. "Yes you are," said a voice. The Wabbit definitely heard a voice.  "You're stuck," said the voice. "Stuck in what?" said the Wabbit. "You're stuck in the Plastic Realm." The responding voice had neither body nor substance. "Why am I here?" asked the Wabbit. He saw no need to move his mouth because nothing physical happened. "What is your number?" said the voice. "I do not have a number," said the Wabbit. "WHAT is your number?" asked the voice again. This time it was insistent. The Wabbit had a think. "If I'm supposed to have number, I'd better give whoever it is a number, and that's an end to it." The voice was waiting. The Wabbit thought very hard since no voice came out and it was disconcerting. "I am Number One." "Wrong number," said the voice. The Wabbit lost his temper. "I am not a number. I am a free rabbit." Everything started to tumble to and fro like a washing machine. "I'm getting tired of this," shrieked the Wabbit. To his surprise he had his voice back and it was very loud indeed. "LET ME OUT !" he yelled ...

Friday, July 24, 2020

4. The Wabbit's Market Under the Stars

When the Wabbit looked down he could see a normal market with normal clothes. But when he looked up all he could see were stars. They weren't even normal stars. These stars were in the process of forming and far, far away from here. "But where's here," said the Wabbit to himself. No-one answered. The Wabbit hadn't the foggiest notion of where he was. It was all to do with the whoosh, of that he knew. But it wasn't much to go on when you were a normal rabbit with normal ears. "Maybe I'm not so normal," he said to himself. he grimaced. He'd had quite enough of being abnormal for one evening. He looked all round and had a think. "Maybe I could find something useful in this market." He looked down at the jacket and shook his head. "That doesn't look so terribly useful to me." Even if he had desperately wanted it, there was no one around to buy it from. He had a think. Where was there a market he never wanted anything from? The answer came in a flash. It was Crocetta Market and Crocetta Market was always filled with women's clothes. And the moment that flash occurred everything started to spiral again. "Here we go again," thought the Wabbit. Every stall in the street upended and shook itself out. There were dresses, bags, gloves, hats and tights and they all became gushing rivers that flowed down several streets in the direction of the Po River. The Wabbit hung onto his stand as it ripped away from its moorings. A wall was looming up and all he could do was stare as the wall began to change .. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

3. The Wabbit and the Liquid City

It wasn't so much of a bang as a woosh. The Wabbit wasn't used to wooshes, although he'd set off plenty of Kabooms in the past. The woosh took him by surprise. Everything was sparkly and the world seemed to get smaller, but it was just the speed. One minute he grasped the object and the next he was spiralling through the air. His fingers tingled where he'd touched it and now he wished he hadn't. Hindsight was 40-40. It was going to be quite hard when he landed, he thought. But there was no sign of landing. He was stuck in a rapidly diminishing landscape that zoomed into the distance but when he looked down, he'd hardly travelled any distance at all. Noises seemed hollow. He twitched his nose. He could still smell the pizza places but it was at a distance. Of the place where he'd found the object, there was little but a blur. The rest of the city shimmered and glowed. He somersaulted in a lazy loop, and he could see the city change position. But with a violent shudder all of that changed. Everything disappeared into a pin prick then swirled as he was propelled somewhere - anywhere but where he wanted to be. The scene gradually stabilised. He was looking at a wall. Then the wall turned liquid and dripped onto a street. The street became a rushing river that gushed torrents of cars, street furniture and tables and chairs along with it. Then it stopped moving and stabilised again. The Wabbit looked all around because he was in a part of the city he'd never visited. Everything was still. The Wabbit dusted himself off. "Now that was a long strange trip," he murmured ...

Monday, July 20, 2020

2. The Wabbit and the Found Object

The Wabbit didn't know if you could pursue a happening but he thought he'd try. He quickened his pace and before long he was round about the place where it all occurred. He looked all about but he could see nothing. What was it? Where was it? All he could see were pizza places. The Wabbit liked pizza but not in Turin. You had to go south for a decent pizza and that was where the Wabbit ate them. Pizzas in Turin were door stops and he'd given up on them. He ignored the smell and hopped a bit further until the street gave way to street furniture. Suddenly it looked like the place where a happening might take place. "It's got to be round here," mused the Wabbit. He noticed the tub immediately. It had a bush growing in it, but it looked far too big for its contents. The Wabbit approached with caution because he'd been taken by surprise before. Then he put his paw in the tub and rummaged around. He felt something solid amongst the earth, but he knew it would be difficult to take it out. It was a small object that didn't quite belong amongst the street furniture. So, he poked and prodded. Nothing happened.  He put his paw right around it and pulled. Nothing happened. "That's funny," mused the Wabbit, "It should move." But the object refused to budge. It seemed to grip the inside of the tub as if it was attached, but it was not attached. "I can get this thing out," murmured the Wabbit. He pulled harder. All of a sudden, whatever was holding it gave way and the Wabbit shot backward across the street. "My Goodness," said the Wabbit. ...

Friday, July 17, 2020

1. The Wabbit and the Blank Postcard

The Wabbit was perambulating along Giuseppe Mazzini and laughing to himself. It had been a long time since he had proper time off. Any holiday seemed like work so he preferred to be incognito and lay low. He thought of his last adventure and grinned. That was supposed to be a holiday but what a holiday it turned out to be. "I'm going to pretend I'm having an adventure and that will have the opposite effect." He imagined himself fighting off enemies, and the more he imagined the more playful they became. His head was full of Kabooms as he made his way towards Via Bodoni. Kaboom! That was the Ice Mice. Kaboom! The Euls met their match. His head was so full of Kabooms that it was getting sore. The Wabbit decided to think of more pleasant things. Lying on a beach at Fregene with Lovely Lapinette - now that was more like it. But after lying for a while he began to get bored. Perhaps a sea monster would come along? But the more he waited the less happened. So he concentrated on the road in front of him. The scene looked familiar. There was the usual statue in the Square. The corner bar looked the same. The students at the Giuseppe Verdi Music School went in and out, whistling the inevitable tune. Badly behaved children ran screaming to and fro. But all the same, something was different. He sniffed the air. The air was melancholy - almost as if something was going to happen. Then he caught it in the corner of his eye. It was merely a flash but it was out of place, like a stranded whale in a schoolyard. The Wabbit chuckled to himself and followed ..

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

It was the Adventure Caffè and they all stared at the phone. "What information do you think is in it?" asked Lapinette. "We're getting ahead of ourselves," said Skratch the Cat. Wabsworth laughed. "You mean we have to discuss what adventure we just had before we investigate the phone?" Skratch the Cat pulled himself up his full height, which was rather imposing for a Cat. "I mean we've got to put first things first. If your adventure is about one thing, then that thing is colour." The Wabbit smiled. "Well, there was certainly a lot of colour in our adventure." Skratch shook his head. "I mean colour as a signifying feature. The viewer needs to know where the colour comes from." Lapinette shook her head. "I'm with you so far Skratch, but that's Kandinsky - and he also mentioned the distinctive features of colour. The Value, Saturation, Purity, Modulation and Hue." Skratch meaowed long and hard. "I was getting to that." Everyone laughed. "There's a lot to talk about," said the Wabbit. Wabsworth had said little but now he butted in. "Does that get us any closer to what's in the phone?" Lapinette laughed. "Well I, for one, don't care what colour it is." Skratch looked sagely. "That's where you can go wrong. I'll bet this phone has many colours." He paused for effect. "The phone knows the colours and the colours know him." Lapinette leaned over and took the handset and asked the phone directly. "What colours are we talking about?" The phone shook its handset from the cradle. "Red, Green and Blue," it said ...

Monday, July 13, 2020

15. The Wabbit and the Sunset Sea

The Lepus set sail for home. The Wabbit and Lapinette stood by the rails and looked out on the ocean. The red phone was safely in the hold and whatever contents it held would be extracted by the Department. The Wabbit grinned. "That was an exciting voyage." Lapinette was glad to be in one piece. She glanced back at the island. "It's gone," she said. The Wabbit looked too. It was a clear enough evening, but of the island there was no sign. "It's not down on any map," he muttered. Lapinette snorted and drew out a chart from under her frock. "I made a map." The Wabbit began to giggle. "You're a legend in your own latitude!" Lapinette tried not to laugh. "What information is in that phone do you think?" The Wabbit pretended to ponder. "I think it's all the coordinates of the hideouts of the Agents of Rabit." The Lepus ploughed a steady path through the waves and they listened to the water churning under the hull. "Seems like a lot of trouble to go to," commented Lapinette. "Trouble is what we get into," smiled the Wabbit. "And out of," added Lapinette. They gazed at the sea for quite a while until Jenny sounded three blasts on the foghorn. They nodded to each other. "Fancy a drink?" suggested the Wabbit. "I fancy several drinks," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit proffered a paw and together they made their way to the Officer's mess.

Friday, July 10, 2020

14. The Wabbit and the Enchanted Tumble

The Wabbit grabbed Lapinette - and with the phone under his arm jumped from the parapet. They fell as if in slow motion and everything changed. The sky changed, the castle fell to ruins and the Sizzling Sausage of Bondage sizzled his last. The telephone's handset came off the hook and it howled like a banshee. All this the Wabbit could see and hear, even if upside down and falling. He found himself staring into a single eye - the magic eye of the Black Dove. The Dove cooed. "Congratulations Commander Wabbit and Lapinette. The castle is no longer enchanted. You have saved the phone with all its data intact. Have a nice day." The Black Dove wheeled, circled and sped off into the sky. The Wabbit and Lapinette continued to fall but slower. The phone passed them on the way down. "I'm glad we hooked up," it trilled. They landed with a soft thump and dusted themselves down. "I can still smell sausage," said the Wabbit. "It had garlic in it," complained Lapinette. She picked up the phone and removed pieces of brickwork. "I have information for you," said the phone. The Wabbit grinned. "It'll keep until we get back to the ship." The forest was no more - barely a grove He could see the funnels of the Lepus where it lay afloat in a sea of sparkling blue. A gentle breeze sprang up. They all looked back but the castle was gone. Only a low brick wall remained. It lay amongst tufted reeds, with weeds growing from its masonry. But the Wabbit and Lapinette heard a dove cooing high up in the sky. They looked up and waved as it disappeared over the horizon.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

13. The Wabbit and the Grisly Sausage

The Wabbit was too late. Up loomed the most horrid sausage he had ever seen. It towered above the ramparts and spat hot fat across the bricks. The sky turned orange as a paprika sausage on a spit. Lapinette wrinkled her nose at the smell of frying. It was putrid, rancid and acrid - and everything else she hated. She pulled an edged weapon from her frock, then braced herself against the wall and threw it. It barely grazed the sausage, but it let out a cry and snuffled. The Wabbit collapsed in the spray of fat, rummaging for his automatic. He unleashed a shot that caught the sausage square in the middle, but the sausage soaked it up like a sponge. The phone's attempt to get down and hide was unsuccessful, and the force of the spray knocked him high in the air. Lapinette mounted a second attack. If there was one thing the sausage didn't like it was slicing and it crackled and sizzled. She kept slashing at its skin and managed to force it back beyond the parapet. It paused, sizzling hard, before it lost grip and slid down the castle walls. Lapinette helped the Wabbit to his feet. "It's not finished," she gasped. The sausage was on his way back up the wall. They could hear its laboured spitting. Spray rose into the clouds. The Wabbit leaned over the walls. "I guess burning oil is out of the question?" Lapinette shook her head. "Pickling, curing, dehydrating?" suggested the Wabbit. He pondered. "Wind drying!" he said finally. "Where do we get the wind?" asked Lapinette. "Put your lips together and blow?" grinned the Wabbit.

Monday, July 06, 2020

12. The Wabbit in the Crossfire

The Wabbit and Lapinette emerged into a weird light. A yellow sun drenched the brickwork in a post nuclear glow. They planned to escape the same way they came but everything looked different. They scampered up the steps anyway and they were halfway up when there was a crack, then another. "We're under fire!" yelled the Wabbit. Bullets zapped past as they ran. Masonry flew. Lapinette pulled out her automatic but there was no target. The bullets came from nowhere. One grazed the phone. "I'll never talk!" shouted the phone and it slammed its handset down in its cradle. The Wabbit grinned despite the danger. His nose sniffed the air. "I can smell food." Lapinette pulled him and ran faster. "It's nitro and graphite with a touch of garlic," she yelled. The Wabbit picked up speed. But all of a sudden, the bullets stopped. They sighed with relief. They looked round for their assailants but all was quiet, even the phone. "I think I can see our rope," said the Wabbit. But even as he spoke, he saw the rope stretch taut. "Something's on its way up," he muttered. The phone interrupted in a muffled tone. "We're done for!" Lapinette span her automatic round her trigger paw. With the other paw she produced an edged weapon. "Not on my watch," she growled. The Wabbit ran for the rope and started to untie it. Lapinette heard sizzling from the other side. Then a shout. "Oh no, it's him," said the phone. "Who?" asked Lapinette. "The Sizzling Sausage of Bondage," moaned the phone ...

Friday, July 03, 2020

11. The Wabbit and the Talkative Phone

The Wabbit grabbed the phone and they sped down a dank corridor. Burning braziers set high on the walls cast a dim flickering light and made the air smoky. The phone vibrated constantly and wouldn't stop talking. "Where are we going? Do you know where we're going? What if it's the wrong way. What if there's no way out?" "Be quiet," yelled Lapinette. The phone stopped talking but it started to ring. "Dring dring, dring dring." The Wabbit could take no more. "If you don't stop, I'll hang you up." The phone fell silent. The Wabbit and Lapinette continued along the corridor for a long way. "I have no idea where we're going," whispered Lapinette. The Wabbit twitched his nose. "Can you smell cooking?" Lapinette shook her head. "No," she replied. "Maybe it's the braziers," suggested the Wabbit. He sniffed again. "Burned toast." Lapinette winced. "Maybe this is the Underworld." The Wabbit continued along the wall. "Then we'd better find our way up." The phone started ringing again and it spoke - this time in a low voice. "I can see stairs." Lapinette peered into the distance. "Over there." They made their way until they came to a staircase. It was in a bad state of repair and shrouded in a damp mist. Lapinette prodded the steps with a foot. Brickwork crumbled. The Wabbit looked at the telephone. "How did you get here anyway?" The phone vibrated. "I was kidnapped by a smooth operator. He spun me a line and I fell for it." Lapinette shook her head and pointed up the steps. "Was it a party line?"

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

10. The Wabbit and the Ghostly Phone

They followed the ringing and pushed a door open. It was an old wooden door and as it swung it let out a shrieking creak. But it wasn't enough to drown the shrill sound of the phone. They stared at it. The ringing got louder and louder and louder. The Wabbit raced over and got behind it. His paw stretched out but Lapinette yelled, "No!" She jumped for the phone but froze. So did the Wabbit. "I'm not sure you should touch it," said Lapinette. The Wabbit had no choice, his paw was frozen too, just above the handset. The phone rang and rang and the handset shook until it tilted off the plungers. The ringing stopped and a voice came out of the earpiece. "Help, help!" Whatever had gripped Lapinette let go. She hopped towards the phone and bent down. "Hello." Her voice was cautious. "Who's there?" asked the voice. "Lapinette," said Lapinette. "That's a funny name," said the phone, "Is there anyone else there?" The Wabbit kept his paws off the handset. "Just the Wabbit," he said. "No-one else?" asked the phone. The voice sounded disappointed. "Afraid not," shrugged the Wabbit. "I'm trapped in this castle," said the phone, "I've been here for years without a soul to talk to." The Wabbit smiled one of his smiles. "No calls then?" The handset rattled on its plungers. "Sometimes there's a call and I answer and there's heavy breathing." Lapinette sighed, "There's a lot of these phantom callers." The phone gave a little moan. "Can you get me out of here?" Lapinette looked at the Wabbit. "It's your call."