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, "It's 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 ..."