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 The stark stairway had been replaced by a field of gold.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 .. 
[Sky picture credit: NASA]

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."