Friday, July 30, 2021

4. The Wabbit and the Fish Supper

The Pterosaurs were headed somewhere. They flew across the city with Lapinette and the Wabbit in tow. The Wabbit didn't fancy falling from this height and he said so. "Quiet!" said his pterosaur. He struggled to get a better grip. Lapinette seemed to have a better hold. She twisted around to make it more secure. "Where are you taking us?" she demanded. "To get a better view," smiled her pterosaur. She shook her head. "I've got a good view, now put us down." The birds flew on and the far-off one called. "You can't see it, can you?" Lapinette answered tersely. "See what?" "The traffic haze," answered the bird. Down below, the River Po started to boil. "See what I mean," said the bird. The Wabbit was becoming frustrated. "Explain yourselves," he said. "It's global warming," they said together. "I thought I said that," responded the Wabbit. "I thought that was me," said Lapinette. But still the prehistoric birds flew on. "We'll show you more," they chanted. "We don't want to see any more," yelled the Wabbit. The slipstream clutched at his fur. Lapinette's dress was in danger of going over her head and she couldn't fix it without losing her grip. She tried to bribe them and it was close to successful. "Wouldn't you like to stop somewhere for a shellfish dinner?" "I would," said one. "We're not finished our job!" said another. "Do I have the casting vote? I vote for crunchy invertebrates!" said the third. "We'll see when we get there." The pterosaur who was ferrying the Wabbit seemed emphatic. "My vote's for a fish supper," shouted the Wabbit. That clinches it," said the third one. He veered left and the others followed ... 

[Pterosaur is by MW of Pixabay]

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

3. The Wabbit, Lapinette & the Pterosaurs

Lapinette and the Wabbit loped along Via Corte d'Appello in a hurry because it was raining and the Wabbit hated getting his fur wet. But it was more than raining. It was hot and steamy - almost tropical. Strange creatures walked along the street as if they belonged. The Wabbit stared at one of three enormous gekkos and tried to engage them in conversation. They weren't particularly communicative. They glowered at the Wabbit but that seemed normal because they glowered at each other too. A sudden arrival from above took Lapinette's attention. Three prehistoric birds swooped and hovered. The Wabbit looked up. "I don't like the look of these pterodactyls" he said. Lapinette tried to swipe one away, but it wouldn't desist. "Neither do I," she said, "but they're technically pterosaurs." They hovered lower and lower until both the Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves in the grip of strong talons. "They're not supposed to have these. It's only in films." Lapinette had taken an evening course in prehistoric times, but the pterosaurs didn't care. They gripped their victims and tried to lift them. "Get off!" shouted the Wabbit. The third one came down to help. "Come with us!" said the multi-coloured pterosaur. "We have something to show you," said the beige one. It grabbed the Wabbit's fur. The Wabbit yelled, "Hey leave the fur alone, it's not paid for." But his protestations fell on deaf ears. Both the Lapinette and the Wabbit were hoisted through the air and carried far across the city.  "I thought you didn't have talons," shouted the Wabbit. "Everyone's a pesky know-all," said a pterosaur.

[Gekko and pterosaur by Cindy Lever Pixabay]

Monday, July 26, 2021

2. The Wabbit and the Three Hot Frogs

Lapinette took the Wabbit to the Dora where the boiling had occurred. It wasn't too far and the Wabbit was happy to amble. He could see it from a distance because a heat haze distorted everything. The water looked very hot at a particular spot and the Wabbit gazed at it for some time. He could make out some activity. He focussed his special glasses - and what he saw made him chuckle. There were three rather large frogs in the water. He pointed them out to Lapinette and now she could also see them. They croaked and croaked in greeting. The Wabbit had a universal translator although it usually took a good hard knock to get it going. "Hello frogs," he said, "I haven't seen you here before." The frog at the front took the initiative. "We came here for the heat." The second frog was more forthcoming. "Were on our holidays." Lapinette spoke in a voice she felt was reassuring. "You're not responsible for the water boiling?" The frogs did a little dance by linking their fingers and going round and round. "Good gracious no. Nothing to do with us." The Wabbit felt he was getting nowhere. "Who put you onto it?" The frogs continued to dance. "The frog tourist board said there was a lovely river," said one frog. "With hot currents," added another. "We set out immediately," said the third frog. The Wabbit thought he was getting closer to a solution - at least he could solve the frog problem. "Where from exactly?" he chirped. "Mexico," said a frog. The Wabbit thought about it. "Did you come through a cenote?" Lapinette chipped in. "It's not possible. Cenotes aren't so big." But a frog nodded gravely. "That's what you think."

[Frog by Alexis at Pixabay]

Friday, July 23, 2021

1. The Wabbit and the Quiet Reverie

The Wabbit was hopping along, intent on his own thoughts. He'd just come from John the Baptist Cathedral where he'd enjoyed a crafty nap. He was still half napping when a familiar voice disturbed his reverie. "Hello Wabbit, you look half asleep." Lapinette rounded the corner. She was full of beans and just bouncing along. The Wabbit shook himself and pretended he was feeling normal. "Oh, hello Lapinette, I was just admiring the cloisters." Lapinette knew he was doing nothing of the kind. "You've seen them before, Wabbit." The Wabbit wished he hadn't had that nap. "Aren't the colours nice?" he said. "Very nice," sighed Lapinette. The Wabbit chortled. "I don't suppose you bring news of secret orders." The Wabbit always got like this between missions. He really wanted to be doing something although he knew he'd complain when he heard. "Yes," said Lapinette. "Oh no!" said the Wabbit. He paused. "Never a moment of peace," he added. He shook his head like a donkey. Lapinette pouted. "The Department says you have to tidy up your desk, it's a disgrace." The Wabbit laughed. "That can certainly wait. There's nothing in the way of monsters I suppose? Just paperwork?" Lapinette put her paws on her hips. "You haven't written the expected reports. You're five missions behind." "Plenty of time," said the Wabbit. He was beginning to wake up. Lapinette gave him a sideways glance. "I heard tell of some unexpected occurrences on the River Dora." "Nothing unusual in that," said the Wabbit. Lapinette looked at him out the corner of her eye. "Well, the water started to boil." The Wabbit looked sceptical. "Did anyone make tea?" 

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Wabbit's famous Adventure Caffè

The ghost had appeared at the Adventure Caffè. There was nothing anyone could do to stop him. He still had a cup of espresso and was offering it around. "So this is your famous Adventure Caffè Commander Wabbit? Care for a coffee?" The Wabbit could see the coffee had congealed into a lump, and the cup and saucer was held together with glue. Skratch looked on in horror. The Wabbit grinned. "I suppose you'll let us have your ghostly analysis?" The ghost grinned. He found it hard not to. "I wouldn't dare presume." Skratch took the opportunity to have his say. "The main aim of the horror story is to produce spine curdling shock. Chill the blood too." Wabsworth snorted. "Surely that's not all." Skratch meaowed ferociously. "Our friend here," He gestured to the ghost, "can probably enlighten us as to the semiotics of the Zombie lineage." The ghost gnashed his considerable teeth. "We must in this case look to the semiosphere." Lapinette rapped on the table. "Cultural explosions I say! The zombie has historically proved more than capable of addressing contingent societal issues." Wabsworth was not to be outdone. "The zombie tale has an astonishing evolutionary speed." The ghost grimaced. "Not even ghosts can keep up. I'm afraid we're rather hidebound in our ways." The Wabbit flinched. "Would you say it pointed to our increasing feelings of lack of control in society?" Lapinette pouted. "Always changing and ever-threatening, we are endangered constantly." Now the Wabbit leaned across to the ghost. "Can you still scare up some drinks?" The ghost nodded and gently intoned in a wavering voice, "The Thirsting."

[The Wabbit team is indebted to the discursive paper by Ryan Lizzardi (2009), The Zombie Media Monster, Evolution as a Sign and Historical Allegory.]

Friday, July 16, 2021

9. Tipsy and the Last of the Zombies

Susan flew over the last of the zombies. Everything seemed to be in paw. Lapinette's personal guard had the zombie tethered and Tipsy hung round his neck - although how she got there, no-one knew. "Can I keep him?" she yelled. The Wabbit drew the line. "Tipsy, you cannot keep a zombie." Tipsy yelled and whooped. "Why not?" The zombie raised his head. "You'll never take me alive!" Tipsy screamed with laughter and hugged his neck. The Wabbit shrugged and shook his head from side to side. Skratch looked up. "Wabbit, what happened to the flying zombie?" Lapinette shrugged this time. "Dead and gone." Skratch's eyes shot up. "Tipsy?" he asked. Lapinette nodded with a grim look. "She frightens me," meaowed Skratch. "She frightens all of us," said the Wabbit. Lapinette sighed. It was always best to humour Tipsy. "Tipsy, just don't let him out to roam the streets." The Wabbit pondered. "Didn't she keep one of the slithering worms?" Lapinette nodded again. The Wabbit shuddered at the thought. But Lapinette was keeping count. "She also kept that Tiger that came at Christmas." The Wabbit grimaced. "His name was Baekho. How on earth does she feed them all?" "I Don't ask," said Lapinette. Wabsworth seemed to have inside knowledge. "She feeds them prisoners." Lapinette's fur stood on end. "Just joking!" said Wabsworth. He shook with mirth. The zombie gave a yell. "I like brains!" The Wabbit gave a brief laugh. "Most people are safe then."

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

8. The Wabbit and the City of Zombies

Lapinette and the Wabbit scurried to the airfield where they kept Susan and before long they flew over the stricken city. There were zombies everywhere. But Lapinette spotted their friendly ghosts - they were making short work of any zombies they could find. Lapinette loosed off a volley from her snazer gun. Zombies fell and were pounced upon by the three ghosts. A shout from the Wabbit alerted Lapinette to the giant winged zombie. "He must have followed us," yelled the Wabbit. From a nearby building, Tipsy descended, bearing her edged weapon. She slit the winged zombie's throat as if it was a slice of rump steak. Blood spurted and he slowly collapsed. The ghost dog fell on him with sharp teeth - and in two seconds he was so much dog food. Tipsy roamed the streets, followed by the ghost. Her knife flashed and the ghost followed her up. Susan's wing caught a zombie's head and soon it was rolling in the street like a soccer ball. Lapinette kicked it without compunction. "Goal," she cried. The zombies were thinning out and soon they were all gone. "Just one thing to do," said the Wabbit. The giant zombie was still at large and had trapped the rest of the team. "Let's go get him," said Lapinette. Susan wheeled round and darted across the city, leaving a trail of vapour. Tipsy and the ghosts followed her. "How shall I deal with the giant zombie?" asked Susan. "Fly round and round him until he's sick," said the Wabbit. "It'll be all over town!" said Lapinette. Then they laughed and laughed and laughed.

[Background picture: [Harry Currens Pixabay]

Monday, July 12, 2021

7. The Wabbit and the Giant Zombies

The plan had been this. The Wabbit and Lapinette were to draw the zombies out at the bridge. The rest of the team, together with the ghosts, were to cut them off at the Via Sacchi end. The ghosts were then to do their thing and the team would mop up and sanitise everything on behalf of the city. That wasn't to be. The Wabbit and Lapinette blocked the bridge with vehicles - and they thought it would be enough. But when the zombies turned up, they were huge. One was bigger than giants in fairy tales and the other was a winged creature from Revelations. Flesh dripped from their bones. The bridge turned a curious mottled shade a bit like the zombies. "Good grief," yelled the Wabbit, "They're monsters!" He grabbed Lapinette's paw and pulled her. She was all for facing them out. "You can't fight them!" shouted the Wabbit. Lapinette loosed off a few rounds of her snazer gun, but nothing happened. A few pieces of flesh flew into the air and just as soon reattached. They snarled ferociously and still they kept coming. "OK, I suppose so," she pouted reluctantly. She turned to run with the Wabbit. "What happened to the plan?" she asked as she ran. "All plans are off," shrieked the Wabbit. He looked behind him. The zombies seemed to have stopped to munch a few unfortunates who chose to cross the bridge that day. "Let's regroup," suggested the Wabbit. Lapinette turned back again as one of the zombies mouthed something. "It's talking to us," yelled the Wabbit. "I think it said it will mince us into pies," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit ran faster. "It's just not Christmas."

[Zombies by JuliusGronkievicz, Jule 55 at Pixabay]

Friday, July 09, 2021

6. The Wabbit and the Ghost's Lair

Lapinette and the Wabbit followed the ghost to his lair, which lay in a distant part of Torino, adjacent to the river. The ghost gave a single whistle. To Lapinette's astonishment and the Wabbit's horror another skeleton and a ghostly dog appeared. "These are my familiars," said the Ghost. He offered both of them espressos from under his cloak. "They will dispense with the zombies, if I give them enough coffee of course." The dog slavered and the skeleton chortled. "The Wabbit was sceptical. "Just these two?"  The ghost chortled too. "Just us three, Zombies are merely the undead. We are well and truly dead." "As doornails," said the skeleton. He gave a sinister laugh. The Wabbit looked at Lapinette. Lapinette looked back. "It's what we got," she shrugged. "We need a plan, said the Wabbit. "I'll round up the rest of the team. We move at my command." The ghost wrinkled his bony nose. "You'll bring plenty of coffee," he insisted. The Wabbit and Lapinette headed back to the truck. The ghost patted the ghostly dog's head. "Be patient my beauty, there's plenty of coffee on its way. The Wabbit got in the truck and Lapinette followed. "I'm uncertain of our allies," he said. Lapinette grimaced. "They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer." The Wabbit stamped on the throttle. "Within stabbing distance you mean?"  They turned and looked back, but the ghost and his pals had gone. "Where do we get the coffee?" asked the Wabbit. "I have a supplier," said Lapinette, "He grinds fine." 

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

5. The Wabbit and the Espresso Ghost

Tipsy and the rest of the crew scoured the city for more zombies but acting on an undercover report the Wabbit and Lapinette sped to Crocetta Market. It seemed cold. Even frosty. But what they saw weren't zombies. It was a bona fide ghost. This was a different kettle of fish and no mistake. The ghost walked up and down and bore a single espresso cup. "Fill my vessel," it moaned, "fill it now." The Wabbit decided that direct action was the only way to approach the matter. He prodded the ghost on its skeleton claw. "Perhaps we can be of assistance?" The ghost laid its other claw on Lapinette's head. Lapinette shuddered but didn't utter a sound. "The zombies have taken all the coffee," moaned the ghost. "All of it. All of it. Nothing left for a poor ghost like me." Lapinette signalled to the Wabbit. "This one's not with the others." The Wabbit nodded while steering the ghost along. "Let's get your coffee back," he whispered. The ghost whimpered. "I have no truck with the undead. I'll buy my coffee like anyone else." He produced a crumpled 2000 lire note. "That won't get you very far," said the Wabbit, "when did you die?" The ghost gave a terrible wail. "Some long time past." Lapinette had an idea. Ghosts had some native wit but zombies had none. "Maybe you could help us with our zombie problem." The skeleton became animated. "By scaring them?" He held his arms aloft and wiggled his fingers. "Boo!" he shouted "Boo boo boo!" His coffee cup went flying in the air and then he caught both cup and saucer with a single deft move. "That raised your spirits," said the Wabbit. 

[skeleton figure by G.Janson Pixabay]

Monday, July 05, 2021

4. Tipsy and the Coffee of the Dead

Tipsy was in the Coffee Museum when it all began. She'd got a message to be alert and she was. It was no surprise when she came down the stairs to meet two zombies stealing a coffee machine. She bared her teeth and with a cry she pulled out an edged weapon. There was blood everywhere and each time the zombies coughed there was more. She plunged her knife into the back of the nearest zombie and pulled it out again. There was no effect but to add to the blood that was there already. She took a swipe at the head and severed it, but it just grew back. "Uuugh spluuugh," said the first zombie. It was the same with the arm. "Coff coff, need coff," said the second zombie. "Need arm to drink." It put its arm back on and pulled the machine down the stairs. "Send more capsules," said the first. "Even more capsules," said the second. Tipsy wasn't keen on coffee capsules and she said so. "Grrr," said the first zombie, "Eat the rabbit." A swipe from Tipsy sent its tongue flying through the air. It was just as quickly replaced, this time by two. Blood trickled from their mouths as the tongues waggled. "Slurp slurp," said the zombies together. Tipsy shook her head. She was getting nowhere, "I need reinforcements," she muttered. She retreated back upstairs, moaning. "Things are getting bad when you can't dispose of a couple of zombies. Not a brain cell between them." She backed off until she reached a window and climbed out. "Dead end street," she said - and dropped to the road ...

Friday, July 02, 2021

3. The Wabbit and Thorough Preparations

When the truck drew up in Pluto Park, there were already two jeeps in place. Skratch worked on one because he wasn't happy with its performance. Lapinette took charge immediately and eliminated his theory. "It's not death wobble, Skratch. Just a bad throttle body." Skratch was delighted because he could fix that in an instant. Wabsworth ensured the snazer guns were correctly aligned and functioning. The Wabbit fiddled with the lorry tail because he felt he was surplus to requirements. "Ouch," he said as he snagged his paw. "What are you doing, Wabbit?" said Lapinette. "Getting in touch with my practical side," said the Wabbit. Lapinette huffed and puffed. "Get in touch with my personal guard and tell them to be combat ready." "They're always ready for combat," shrugged the Wabbit. Skratch laughed and dropped his spanner on his face. "This is a serious mission, please take it seriously." Lapinette was livid. Wabsworth dropped a snazer on the Wabbit's foot. The Wabbit's smile didn't crack - although he wanted to yell out. Instead, he asked, "Seriously, what is this MacGuffin thing?" Lapinette watched Skratch and said nothing. "Let me guess. Is it a weapon of mass destruction?" said the Wabbit. "Yes," said Lapinette. "Oooh," said Wabsworth, "Explosive or infectious?" Lapinette drew a deep breath. "Both," she said. The Wabbit looked under the truck. "They've got to be somewhere!" Lapinette's sharp intake of breath alerted the Wabbit to the fact he'd made a bad joke in the wrong place. "This weapon turns things into zombies." The sound of jaws dropping could be heard a long way off. The Wabbit recovered first. "What do you call a row of zombies?" Lapinette was first to respond. "A deadline!" she groaned.