Friday, December 30, 2022

7. The Wabbit and the Green Death Skull.

The rest of the team arrived just as a second explosion blew Wabsworth off his feet. Wabsworth reeled around. All his circuits were in danger of being fried. "It's the, it's the.." The words wouldn't come. Lapinette shot across the courtyard. The Wabbit came birling down the stairs. Tipsy knew what was going on and she dived for the radio. "He must have sent something on their frequency." Wabsworth tried to explain but he was still in a daze. Clouds swirled around them and from the midst a skull emerged and bore down. Tipsy yelled, "Death skull! Death skull!" Lapinette tried to grab the radio. In a trice both she and Tipsy had it. They looked at each other and at the radio. But the Wabbit had other ideas. He wrested it away and threw it over a wall. The boom shattered windows for a block. Green fumes were everywhere. The skull turned to look at the Wabbit. "Next time," he hissed, "you're mine." Then he faded. "Phew," breathed the Wabbit. He leaned against the wall and turned to Wabsworth. "Are you all right?" Wabsworth ran a diagnostic. "All appears to be optimal." Lapinette spoke to Tipsy. "How did you know?" Tipsy grinned. "I saw it in the movies. It represents death and power. Also it looked mean." The Wabbit breathed a sigh of relief. "But what's it got to do with the Agents of Rabit?" Lapinette shook her head. "We're going to find out. They haven't finished yet." 

[Skull by Squarefrog]

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

6. Wabsworth and the Agents' Radio

Wabsworth crouched in a corner. Two Agents were doing something in one of the workshops, but it was hard to see what it was. He heard them talking. "This will fix him," said one. "For once and for all," said the other. "It will be the best explosive know to rabbits!" One of them laughed. Wabsworth risked taking a look. He could see one Agent heating liquid in a clay pot. "Just do enough and they'll be ready for delivery." The other agent guffawed. "They'll all be scoffing, him and his friends - and then .." "Kaboom!" said the other. Wabsworth thought of a cunning plan. He'd noticed a radio - a walkie talkie - lying on a wooden bench. It was a repellent shade of yellow and he knew it must belong to the Agents. So he dialed through a number of frequencies. He murmured to himself. "I think this is the right one." He made an attempt and then quickly aborted. It crackled briefly, then cut off. "I thought I told you to switch that off." The Agent in charge was enraged. "It could blow us all to Kingdom Come!" The other agent dived for the radio, but Wabsworth was calling again. Sparks flew from their walkie talkie and reached the strange liquid brewing in the clay pot. Wabsworth was already hopping down the stairs when he heard the explosion. It was a slow build. Little noise at first, then a powerful shock wave knocked him down the rest of the steps. He dusted himself off and wondered whether the Wabbit would be annoyed. He shrugged and said to himself. "Many a slip between pot and lip."

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

5. Wabsworth and the Old Shop Window

Wabsworth was told to wait and until he heard otherwise that's what he had intended to do. He was an android copy of the Wabbit - but since that copy was made, he'd introduced a number of subroutines that were quite unlike the Wabbit's character. He waited, but he wouldn't wait indefinitely. The alleyway got boring after a while. The boredom routine was a Wabbit original and Wabsworth stamped a foot. It was a medieval street and that was enough to interest him for about half an hour. So he walked up and down looking from side to side. It was then that he noticed an old shop with dirty windows. With one of his paws, he rubbed dust away from a pane and squinted inside. It was an old pottery workshop and various artefacts were strewn across tables in an untidy fashion. That sparked his interest. He'd long been attracted to spinning a potter's wheel, whereas the Wabbit couldn't be bothered. But as he gazed, a sudden movement caught his eye. In the corner of the workshop two Agents of Rabit crept around. They moved stealthily. One was carrying a plate with a number stamped onto the surface, treating it with some care. The other prodded his back making him stumble. "Don't drop it you fool!" Wabsworth grinned. "Hello, hello," he murmured. The Agents seemed unaware of his presence. He moved towards a door and, without making a sound, held it ajar and sidestepped through the space. The two Agents headed up a stairway and Wabsworth followed ... 

Friday, December 23, 2022

4. The Wabbit and the Graffiti on the Wall

Picking up Tipsy at the station, they all made their way to King of Rome by underground. They pretended the Lion of Judah was a large dog and no-one took any notice. Lapinette was anxious to get where she was going, and she forged ahead. But the Lion stopped to look at Graffiti on the walls. "It looks like Aramaic," he said. "It a Kingly welcome from the King of Rome to the King of Judah." Tipsy glanced at it. "Who's Denise?" she asked. "Queen of Sheba," answered Lapinette, who was anxious to press on to whatever destination she had in mind. "She has my ring," said the Lion. "Actually, Bob Marley has it now," announced the Wabbit. "So it's six feet under," announced Tipsy. "It's pretty but it's only a ring," said the Lion. He turned and padded up the street. Tipsy jogged along on his back, quiet for once, respectful even. She leant down to his mane and whispered. "What's all this about the Lion and the Lamb?" The Lion let out an enormous bellow that turned the heads of ordinary Romans in the street. "I am both. As confirmed in Revelations." The Wabbit paused and spoke into his radio. "Exodus." It was the code for the troops to gather. The radio crackled with confirmations. The Wabbit grinned. "Just time for a Christmas drink. There's a bar near here that sells Whitbread." Tipsy cheered and cheered. The Lion of Judah stopped. "My eyes shall be red with wine!" Lapinette gave in. "Just the one then."

Monday, December 19, 2022

3. The Wabbit and The Lion of Judah

Lapinette and the Wabbit landed to look at the ears, but they were in for several surprises. In a bleak windswept place, there was a lion and a deep cave. The cave was shaped like a lion and looked like it might swallow anyone who entered. A lion with flashing eyes stood guard outside the cave. "I am the Lion of Judah," said the Lion, "And this is my cave, in which I keep the seven seals." The Wabbit gently touched the lion's tail and pointed to the ears. "What about the ears?" The Lion turned and glared at the Wabbit. "These are the ears of the strange creatures who haunt me. I munch them off that they may not hear the coming." Lapinette hopped back. "That's harsh but fair," she said. "Yes, said the Lion, "and they're rather savoury." Lapinette shuddered, but the Wabbit was already thinking about recruiting him. "Would you consider a side mission?" The Lion of Judah shook his head so much his crown was in danger of falling off. "But you retreat before nothing," said the Wabbit. "You're right," nodded the Lion. "Then I propose you come with us," said the Wabbit, "We'll get these Sons of Satan together." "The Agents are the Sons of Satan?" queried Lapinette. "I promoted them," replied the Wabbit. The Lion looked around. "What about my Lion's cave?" The Wabbit fished for his radio. "I'll place an armed guard on it. No-one will get the seals." The radio crackled as the Wabbit issued orders to his 400 Rabbits. "Here comes the King," muttered the Lion.

Friday, December 16, 2022

2. The Wabbit and the Noisy Pick up

The Wabbit didn't really know Lapinette was on her way, but he figured it out. Anyway he could hear the engines of Susan the Biplane coming for a long way off. He climbed to the top of a tower and jumped onto Susan's wing. "We keep doing this," smiled Lapinette. "We must like it," replied the Wabbit. "When you've quite finished," said Susan, I'd appreciate directions." The Wabbit clambered aboard. "Just fly round and keep a look out for the Agents of Rabit. You can tell them by their ears." Susan banked steeply and circled. Her engines roared. "I didn't say make them deaf," said the Wabbit. It was a pleasant day. The sky was blue. The odd cloud scuffed across the it. "Nice spot," said Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned. "Plenty of nice spots round here." They sped across the horizon. "What are you expecting?" said Lapinette. The Wabbit wrinkled his nose. "I heard word that they planned a surprise attack." Susan's engine growled. "They always surprise us at Christmas!" The Wabbit shrugged. "They're creatures of habit." He looked down. "I saw one there." Lapinette looked too. "No it's just a pair of hedge clippers." Susan dived towards the object. "You can't be too careful." Lapinette laughed. "Why beat about the bush?" As they got closer, the hedge clippers swam into focus. They could see they weren't clippers but pairs of detached ears. Lots of them. "Ear ear," said the Wabbit. Susan's engines growled again. "I'd better land before there are any more bad jokes." "Don't worry," said the Wabbit, "they can't hear us."

Sunday, December 11, 2022

1. The Wabbit and his Christmas Orders

The Wabbit ambled through a village in Vescia. He liked it there because it was abandoned and there was a story he'd heard from locals. Years before and weakened by earthquakes, the village started to crumble and collapse. Yet the people who lived there refused to leave - despite much encouragement and inducements. So the authorities took an unusual decision. They decided to bomb the village. The Wabbit imagined planes coming in and he shook as he visualised bomb doors opening to deliver the payload. He shook his head. He would have used his fabulous Wabtech engineering to fashion a support structure. Then he thought of the cost. He plucked his radio from his fur. "Wabbit to base, come in Lapinette." The radio crackled for rather longer than expected. "Lapinette. Receiving you loud and clear. What's your 20?" The Wabbit grinned. "I'm somewhere in Vescia." He liked to be mysterious. The radio hissed again. "Do bring back some nice cheese." The Wabbit grinned again. "Wilco. I'm really calling to instruct the team to head to Rome." Lapinette's laughter tingled across the ether. "They're already here, Wabbit." The Wabbit grunted. "Including your personal guard?" "Tipsy is exploring new stores," replied Lapinette. The Wabbit knew exactly the shop Tipsy was exploring. "The World of Drink?" The radio hissed and crackled. The Wabbit spoke again. "I hear the Agents of Rabit have a paw hold here, but I've seen neither hide nor hare of them." Lapinette had little tolerance for the Wabbit's bad jokes. Her shrug was audible, even over the radio. "Lapinette out." 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Wabbit and St Andrews Day.

Lapinette saw the Wabbit standing by the lighthouse gate, and she jumped in the air and touched him with her paws. He looked wistful so she tried to cheer him up. "Come on Wabbit, it's St Andrews." The Wabbits were in Galloway for the occasion and somehow especially in Galloway the vote never went right. "I'm pining for my country," said the Wabbit. "Oh," said Lapinette, "They'll come to their senses soon." The Wabbit shrugged. For two pins he would rally all the rabbits at his disposal and march on London at that very moment. Lapinette knew what he was thinking. "That wouldn't be wise, Wabbit. It's not how things are done at the minute." The Wabbit grunted. Lapinette laughed. "Look, I got you a bottle of Laphroaig." The Wabbit cheered up immediately. It was his favourite whisky. "There's haggis and all sorts," she grinned. "Is there shortbread?" The Wabbit wanted a bit of comfort. She paused. "Yes, there is. And there's plenty of time for worrying about votes but not now." The Wabbit was definitely cheered. "There's Helensburgh tablet too. I made it myself." Lapinette pirouetted. "Isn't your Uncle the Chief of Galloway?" The Wabbit made a face. "Aye he is. He's quite old and maybe he's even dead." Just then, he heard a distant cry. "I'm no deid yet! Not by a long shot." The Wabbit started to laugh. "Come away in tae the body of the kirk, Uncle Chief." The Chief's voice got closer. "Wabbit, is that yer wee wifie?" Lapinette stifled a giggle and shouted back. "No sae wee as ye think."

Monday, November 28, 2022

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team assembled at the designated Adventure Caffè. Rain was just starting - umbrella sellers had already hit the streets. The Caffè was in the shopping district where Wabsworth had been buying shoes and he plonked them on the table. The Wabbit barely glanced at them but he made a comment. "I didn't know you liked shoes, Wabsworth." Wabsworth was an android copy of the Wabbit, but he had his own opinions on shopping. "It's cyber-Monday. I got 50 per cent off loafers." Lapinette grinned. "I gave Wabsworth my card. I'm a Super Friend of Geox." The Wabbit shrugged. Whatever Monday it was, he knew that commercially, it may as well never have happened. "There's Skratch," pointed Lapinette. Skratch emerged from the Caffè and waved. "What was that for a sort of Adventure you just had?" They all considered. "It was a kind of children's story," said Wabsworth. "But what kind of a children's story?" responded Lapinette. "It was a colour story," meaowed Skratch, "Colour is a semiotic induction. It engages with the unconscious to perform the labour of imagining." The Wabbit chipped in here. "I think my Adventure story tasted pink." Skratch meaowed hard and long. "It was pink all over." Lapinette shook with laughter. "Are you referring to semiotic metaphor?" Skratch laughed. "I might have been. But the overall tone and appeal was definitely pink. So it was a dual sign, picture-story event." Lapinette looked pensive. "Hmm. The sign is generative and generates another system of signs which also functions as a sign." The Wabbit sighed and called for the waiter. "I need a strong pink drink."

Friday, November 25, 2022

6. The Wabbit and the Medieval Print

The Wabbit was as good as his word. He searched out a suitable space for a copy shop and installed the printer. Before long, pink paper was flying from the output tray. The cartridge came out to inspect his new location. "This is a medieval castle," he exclaimed, "and it's quite pink." The Printer rumbled in the background. "How did you find this place?" The Wabbit explained. "Oh, I was one one of these bus tours and we all had to file round. I had a quiet word with the owners. Now you're obliged to print their promotional leaflets." The cartridge was ecstatic. "As long as they're pink!" The Wabbit swivelled to take in the scene - and noticed two pink chairs. "They do seem to like pink." The cartridge pointed to the pink paper. "We wanted to give you a special present. It will take a while to get your image perfectly pink." The Wabbit looked at the paper and smiled. Every page had his picture, in which he was completely pink. "I'm flattered," said the Wabbit. "I'm going to tweak it again," said the cartridge, "Where would you like them delivered?" The Wabbit grinned. "I'm going back home. Just address them to The Wabbit, Rome." The Printer rumbled again. "They'll be a few days. We got rather a large order for wedding invitations." The Wabbit waved and made to lope off. He felt a warm glow and turned. "I'm feeling in the pink," he said. "So don't forget to visit," said the Printer. "Don't worry, I'll be back," smiled the Wabbit, "to pick up my commission." Then they laughed and laughed and laughed.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

5. The Wabbit and the Bid for Freedom

The print cartridge took off straight out the door. The Wabbit followed. The cartridge was fast and the Wabbit had to use his special powers to keep. They sped through town and country. Everything was a blur, until they reached a small medieval town. It was entirely lit in pink which delighted the cartridge. "Pink pink pink," it yelled, "This must be home." The cartridge slowed down and so did the Wabbit. The Printer came to a juddering stop. The cartridge danced round and round. "I'm home, I'm home. This is the place I want to be." The Printer looked around. "I'm very surprised that - I rather like this place." The Wabbit gasped for breath but he was pleased a solution was in sight. "I'm certain we can find you a billet. Every town needs a print shop." The cartridge was overjoyed. The Printer seemed pleased. There was lovely fresh air, and everything was quiet. "Peace and quiet to print books," said the Printer, "Just what I always wanted." "I can pink them up," said the cartridge. "Pink Panther," suggested the Wabbit. "The Adventures of Mr Pink-Whistle," murmured the Printer. "Pretty in Pink," yelled the cartridge. The Wabbit held up a paw. "We've just got to find you a premises. Then you can print anything you want. People will flock." The Printer opened his ink compartment and with a single leap, the cartridge jumped in. "It's a little late but we'll find something," stated the Wabbit. Then in high spirits, they wandered through the streets of the small medieval town.

Monday, November 21, 2022

4. The Wabbit and the Angry Printer

The Wabbit had seen angry customers before but nothing like the furious printer. He came storming into the shop like the antichrist. His cover waved wildly. Shelves shook and shop produce shivered in fright. He yelled and shouted and ranted and raved. "I am the Printer!" He let fly a series of swear words that would have astonished the Ancient Mariner. "I am the one who knocks!" he yelled. The Wabbit's ears curled, and he couldn't help but step back. So he used his best powers of diplomacy. "How can I help you?" he asked, "I can see you're a little annoyed." The Printer shook with rage. His lid slammed up and down. "Get my print cartridge!" The Wabbit smiled his most diplomatic smile. "He's otherwise engaged but if you give him a second, he'll be with you." The Printer looked at the Wabbit in disgust. "And you are?" The Wabbit smiled again. "I am your most obedient servant." He nodded. Then he nodded again for good measure and waited. "What's my cartridge doing?" asked the Printer. He seemed to have calmed. "Sampling pink drinks," explained the Wabbit. "Pink drinks again," said the Printer. He sighed. "I knew it. He's not content with simple cartridge ink." The Wabbit's ears returned to normal. "If you'd wait a second. He's a little indisposed." "Drunk you mean." "A bit unsteady," replied the Wabbit. "He's got a big job coming up," groaned the Printer. "War and Peace,", suggested the Wabbit. "War and Peach," responded the Printer. "Peachy," grinned the Wabbit. "Wait outside and I'll get him for you. I'm sure I can cake peach." "Make peace," you mean." said the Printer. "No," laughed the Wabbit.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

3. The Wabbit and the Shop on the Corner

The Wabbit and the print cartridge made their way to the place the Wabbit had identified through an intensive advertising campaign on the Internet. "I see this is aimed at foreigners," said the Wabbit. He wrinkled his nose, then saw his favourite sauces and gasped. The cartridge was delighted to find pink wine. "I see pink," he yelled, "I want that one and that one and that one!" The cartridge was agitated and in danger of knocking things to the floor. "Settle down now," said the Wabbit. "There's a bar at the back and you can choose one and drink it there." The cartridge couldn't wait. He deftly uncorked wine bottle after wine bottle and sucked up the contents. "Slur slurp slurp, Pink pink pink!" His cartridges filled with wine and bulged alarmingly. He demolished several bottles with speed and reached for more. The Wabbit was horrified and reached in his fur for his credit card - which he seldom used. "Savour the wine," he called. "Take only small sips." But the print cartridge got rounder and larger. Finally it stopped, burped and sprayed jets of pink wine across the shop. Despite himself the Wabbit started to laugh. He held his sides and hooted. "You're drunk!" he said. "I shertainly shnott," slobbered the cartridge. The Wabbit turned to take in a disturbance at the door where something was ranting and raving. "Give me back my ink cartridge. I'm the printer and I'm late with an urgent job. Give me it at once!" The commotion continued. "If you'll excuse me for a minute, I'll just go and take a look," said the Wabbit. He wiped ink from his face and hopped towards the entrance. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

2. The Wabbit and Something Pink

The Wabbit and the print cartridge continued their journey, when night fell as suddenly as a stack of cards. Everything took on a different hue. Car headlights carved through the evening air. Shop windows growled at the street. They passed a delicatessen. The print cartridge turned into a blur. It was true that he was mostly pink, andhis colours blended with security stickers at the side of windows. "Pink, pink, pink," cried the cartridge. The Wabbit ignored him. He stared at the assembled food, particularly the cheeses. He was fond of a bit of cheese and his mouth watered and his tummy rumbled. The cartridge zoomed around. "I like this window, it's mostly pink." The Wabbit was thinking of a salad sandwich with mostly cheese. "But you can't eat pink," he observed. "Yes, you can," replied the cartridge. "There's rhubarb, grapes, radicchio, loganberries ... all sorts." The Wabbit thought of a few himself - mainly in self-defence. "Taramasalata, beetroot ... and pink oyster mushrooms." Told you so," said the cartridge. The Wabbit shrugged and continued with beverages. "Rose wines of all sorts, Pink Prosecco." He was now in the spirit of things and smiled. "Perhaps I could entertain you with a glass of something pink." The cartridge stopped zooming around. "Sounds nice. Maybe I could spice up my pink ink." The Wabbit steered the cartridge round the corner to a small bar he'd seen advertised on the internet. "That will be just pleasantly pinkalicious."

Thursday, November 10, 2022

1. The Wabbit and the King of Rome

The Wabbit sauntered along, feeling benign. He'd set off on a jaunt to see where he'd end up, and he smiled in a satisfied manner as he emerged from the Re di Roma Metro Station. The Wabbit liked the name and Appio Latino was a district he didn't know well. He hummed a tune he knew from a detective series on TV. "Tum te tum te tum ta. Da da da deh deh." For a minute he imagined he was the detective Rocco Schiavone and briefly shivered in a town in the Alps. Then he chuckled. The junction seemed to be a warm pink. "Pink Corner," he thought. He looked from right to left. The graffiti wasn't interesting, but he noticed a single word. He thought that maybe the artist was disturbed and only managed to write 'The'. He speculated. What was he going to say? "The colour pink," said a voice. A flash of rainbow colours took his attention. "Ink is pink," said the voice. A print cartridge floated from the printers on the corner. The colours shimmered in front of the Wabbit. He wrinkled his nose in amusement. "The King is pink," added the cartridge. The Wabbit noticed that the cartridge was composed of many colours, but decided not to mention it. "Everything is pink," said the cartridge. "I think you're seeing through pink tinted spectacles." laughed the Wabbit, "Various shades of pink even." The cartridge seemed to nod. "Well, Kant never said that," said the Wabbit. "Did I mention Kant?" said the cartridge. Then it turned, indicating that the Wabbit should accompany him. Since he wasn't doing anything else, the Wabbit followed him up the street.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The team wandered through Testaccio Market in search of a Caffè. Lapinette was overjoyed and jumped in the air as she liked to do. "Here we are in Testaccio!" she exclaimed, "I must go and look at ladies' clothes." The Wabbit grinned. "We've got to to go to a Caffè first," he said. "I think ladies' clothes can wait." Wabsworth brought up the rear. "Did you get that delightful tartan frock here?" Lapinette shook her head. "No that was up in Via di San Silverio," Skratch looked dubious. "When are renovations finished?" "In the Year of the Ass," shrugged the Wabbit. "Not like good old Testaccio!" grumbled Wabsworth. "I liked the old Testaccio market," meaowed Skratch. The Wabbit shook his head. "Do you want to ask the question, Skratch? Or Lapinette will never get to that shop." Wabsworth asked it. "What was that for a sort of Adventure you just had?" Skratch let out a terrific meaow that made everyone jump. "It was a kind of folk tale and as such didn't have to make much sense." Lapinette jumped even higher. "That's right, it wasn't genre as such. The transpositions in location served to challenge our overall awareness of time and space." Wabsworth chuckled. "Castaneda would have agreed. You assembled in other worlds." Skratch purred. "Jumping off the roof. Now that was a tour de force." Then Lapinette laughed. "We kept our awareness too." The Wabbit doubled up. "We were kindled with knowledge. And so we knew the quickest way to the bar!" Wabsworth chuckled too. "Let's burn from within. I'll have an Aperol spritz."

[Year of the Ass: Said to be an old Chinese Joke. There is no year of the Ass]

Friday, November 04, 2022

5. The Wabbit and the Rooftop Nature

Lapinette and the Wabbit found themselves scrabbling on the edge of the rooftops. They were staring at the Buddha from the Box Camera. Lapinette had the Box Camera with her, but she couldn't recall picking it up. The Wabbit scowled and clambered onto the roof. "What gives?" he said. "The Roof is on the Rabbits," said the Buddha. "If you like," responded the Wabbit, "but why are we here?" The Buddha shimmered. "It's in the nature of things." The Wabbit thought he preferred the Buddha when he was in the box. But he was respectful. "Why are you here?" he asked. The Buddha replied. "That is the Buddha Nature." The Wabbit felt like the most junior of monks. Lapinette chimed in. "Where do you feel most comfortable?" The Buddhist replied. "I am outside the Box Camera." Lapinette considered. "Where is the Box Camera most comfortable?" The Wabbit decided not to get involved. "Outside me," said the Buddha. The Wabbit was confused but wouldn't say so. "Where does that leave us?" he said. "Back where we started?" replied Lapinette. The Buddha blinked and vanished. A muffled sound came from inside the inside the Box Camera. The Wabbit was baffled. "What do we do now?" Lapinette answered quickly. "We wait for a satori moment." The Wabbit shrugged. "Could be a while." Lapinette smiled. "Let's jump!" The Wabbit looked down. It was a long way, but he grabbed her paw and they both jumped off the roof. For a second, they were surrounded by a clear green light. Then they were in the museum - and both box and Buddha had gone. "Was that a satori moment?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit shook his head and shrugged. "No," he replied, "It was a Carlos Castaneda moment." 

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Wabbit and the Hallowe'en Horsemen

The team hadn't forgotten about the annual Hallowe'en Party. By special arrangement they'd obtained permission to hold it - near midnight - at the Royal Palace. They wandered through the armoury. "This looks like a good place," said the Wabbit. "Neigh," whinnied a horse.  "Did you hear a horse neigh?" asked Lapinette. "Neigh," whinnied another horse. They looked to right and left. They heard the clatter of ghostly hooves. Two horses carrying two armoured soldiers were suddenly upon them. Blood spattered from their nostrils every time they snorted. The Wabbit wiped blood from his forehead. "This makes a change." he shrugged, "It's usually the Bunnyman." The mounted soldiers gave hollow laughs - hollower than fallen echoes across an abyss. They snickered as one. "Ha ha ha ha hah! We are the horsed guard of the Bunnymen, come to torment you at Hallowe'en." Skratch half sneered, half grimaced. "The Bunnyman always has an axe." Lapinette concurred. "Yes, devilish ones. Show us your axe." A ghostly axe materialised from thin air, sharper than the ravens cry. It chopped once and gore sprayed across Wabsworth. It chopped again and splattered Skratch in the eye. Skratch got annoyed. "Who are you to advance on us with vague similes?" The horses reared. Wabsworth and Skratch cowered in fright. The Wabbit grinned and pressed a hidden switch in his fur. "How do like my full scale models?" It was nearly midnight. The riders and their steeds failed to stop. One horse gave the Wabbit's ears a vicious bite. "Yikes!" yelled the Wabbit. Lapinette, Wabsworth and Skratch all laughed and laughed. "How do you like ours?"

Thursday, October 27, 2022

4. The Wabbit and Lapinette's Assistance

Lapinette was helping the museum with an ancient mosaic when the Wabbit hopped in. "Mind where you tread, Wabbit!" she yelled. "This is very old." The Wabbit wrinkled his nose. "So is this." He held up the box camera which continued to smoke. Lapinette put down a piece of mosaic and looked up. Behind the Wabbit was a strange shape. "There!" said Lapinette. "There, where?" responded the Wabbit. He looked straight at Lapinette. "At your back," she groaned. The Wabbit half turned. The vapours had turned into a genie of sorts. Or so the Wabbit figured. "A genie. It looks like the Buddha." The figure grinned. A quavering voice began. "I can take many forms." Lapinette stood now, with paws on hips. "He's not the Buddha." The mist shivered and the figure became more solid. "Only the cats know," he uttered. The Wabbit shrugged. "I should have brought Skratch. He knows all sorts." Lapinette brushed fragments of mosaic from her knees. "What if I sweep the dust and see the Buddha?" The Wabbit caught on. "The Buddha has no country. Where can you see him?" Lapinette was quick. "The Wabbit is one hundred steps ahead of me." The Wabbit shrugged again. "Then I must brandish my sword." The shape cleared and its voice shook the museum. "No need Wabbit, I'm rumbled." Lapinette sat down. "Maybe he is the Buddha." The Wabbit turned around so he could see him. "Why were you inside a camera?" The figure smiled. "Who put me there?" Lapinette smiled too. "Perhaps he didn't answer a koan." The Buddha shook his head. "Maybe he did answer it." 

[Loosely adapted from Kassan brandishes the sword.]  

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

3. The Wabbit and the Camera in the Box

After the blast there was only one thing left in the box. It wasn't Hope as Skratch had suggested, but a box camera labelled Kodak 120. The Wabbit tried to open it but couldn't. "It has to open," he thought, " otherwise they wouldn't get the film inside." After much twisting and pulling he decided to take it to the photo museum where he thought they know something about the camera and where it came from. He was entirely wrong. The staff were clueless about the camera, other than the model - it was a Kodak Portrait Brownie 120. They insisted they only knew about pictures it might have taken and suggested he look at the exhibition for ideas. The Wabbit shrugged. But since he was there, he decided to examine the exhibits. It was mostly about Ketty la Rocca, who was an avant garde photographer. He decided her work was more in Skratch's line of expertise. He sniffed. There was something in the air. He looked down. A puff of vapour came from the camera lens. Then another. Soon a steady stream of vapor jetted from the camera. It was also getting hot. The Wabbit tried to put it down, but his paws were stuck fast. "I'd better get this out of here," he thought. He dashed from the museum and took off down the road at some speed. Then he heard a voice from inside the camera. "Let me out at once!" The Wabbit couldn't oblige. "I'm afraid it's stuck," he said," so I can't open the camera." The voice spoke again. "Take it to someone who can." The Wabbit thought hard. When he had difficulty, he usually took things to Lapinette. He broke into a run. "On my way," he breathed.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

2. The Wabbit and Skratch in the Blast

They hauled the box home so that they could examine it at leisure. Despite Skratch's reassurance that the box was empty, they found otherwise. The Wabbit spied lamps of various - all of them from China - and a few electric fittings. "What say you now, Skratch?" "I thought the box was rattling a bit. They don't weigh much, those things," said Skratch. The Wabbit had a funny feeling they shouldn't have taken the box for granted. He reached inside and grabbed a lamp. "Perfectly normal lamp, nothing strange," said Skratch. But he had a crawly feeling in his tummy that all wasn't right. "Best be a little careful with that one," he said. He pointed at the socket fitting. "It looks OK," said the Wabbit, "I really could use one of these in the shed." He seized it rather roughly. Skratch became aware of a familiar smell. "Do you smell burning?" he purred. The Wabbit hesitated and let go of the socket. "Do you mean like a light fitting when the plastic deteriorates?" Skratch nodded. They both began to retreat as they heard sizzling and buzzing. "I think it's best to put some distance between us and the box." The Wabbit recalled the time when he'd mixed filler the wrong way round. It got so hot he'd thrown it over a wall and cowered in terror from the blast. The Wabbit screwed up his nose and shrugged. But they were too late. The fitting exploded in a shower of acrid black particles. They coughed and spluttered and wheezed and ran. They were both covered in black and smelled to high heaven. "How do we explain this to Lapinette?" murmured the Wabbit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

1. The Wabbit and the Quiet Street

The Wabbit and Skratch the Cat were taking a small vacation in Dublin, just to see old haunts. They ambled along Raglan Road. The Wabbit hummed the tune and Skratch meaowed along. But when the Wabbit got to the end of the first verse, "Let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day," Skratch exclaimed, "Too melancholy Wabbit. Do you know anything brighter?" The Wabbit laughed and warbled. "There's whiskey in the jar!" He did a jig and they both kicked leaves as they rounded the corner. "What's this?" exclaimed the Wabbit. They could hardly ignore the box. The Wabbit examined it. "It's from China." Skratch snickered. "Everything is!" They looked it up and down. "What shall we do? We can't just leave it here." Skratch had been a cat burglar in his time, so he smiled. "Technically, it's thrown away, so it belongs to the finder." The Wabbit wasn't so sure. "Maybe it fell off the back of a lorry." "Same thing," murmured Skratch. The Wabbit poked the top. "Might be an explosive device." Skratch kicked it for a few metres. Packing materials fell out. Nothing else. "Nope," he purred. "No device. But as it happens, I could use a box." He plucked it from the ground with a paw. They made their way to Pembroke Road. "Quick one at Searsons?" asked Skratch. "Drop of the Cratur," replied the Wabbit. He thought about their schedule. All the details had been left to Skratch. "How are we getting home?" Skratch meaowed. "Susan the Biplane from Newcastle Aerodrome, 4pm." "Time for two drops then," laughed the Wabbit. "And a slap-up lunch," purred Skratch.

[Raglan Road. Songwriters: Sean Taylor/Patrick Kavanagh. Lyrics © Straitjacket Songs Ltd., Sgo Music Publishing Ltd.]

Monday, October 10, 2022

The Wabbit Heads for the Adventure Caffè

The team made its way to the Caffè at the Museum of Modern Art. But there were so many interesting exhibits that it was mistaken for one. "Hang on there!" said a voice. "I'd like a photograph." The Wabbit chuckled and so did everyone else. Then they all deliberately looked in different directions. "That's so chic," said a female voice. "How do they do it?" said another. "Animatronics," said the first voice. The team gave sickly smiles and went on. "Give me a kiss," said the Wabbit. "Certainly not," answered Skratch. "Save these kisses for me," quipped Lapinette. "Oh, I feel left out," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit puckered his lips and looked at Wabsworth. Wabsworth corrected himself and changed the subject. "So Skratch. What was that for a sort of adventure?" Skratch drew himself up to his full height. "As we can see here, seeing comes before words. The Adventure was a way of seeing. Carnivals involve both sight and sound but seeing comes first." Lapinette was quick to respond. "That was John Berger." Wabsworth was not to be left out. "And also Walter Benjamin. Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." The Wabbit nodded sagely. "The image also proposes reciprocity. The photographers saw us. We saw the photographers." Lapinette had been mulling everything over. "The Amusement Park places the subject in a system of lights - at night." Skratch became wistful and meoawed. "Unremarkable during the day." Lapinette frisked along. "We're remarkable all the time." The Wabbit considered that. "More remarkable if we have a Prosecco. Where's that Caffè?" Lapinette jumped in the air. "Where we came in!"

Friday, October 07, 2022

6. The Wabbit and Susan's Flight

Lapinette and the Wabbit fled for the Plane. Wabsworth and Skratch were close behind. Susan the Biplane took off smartly - a little too smartly. "Go around Susan," said the Wabbit. He smiled "We can't leave them here." Wabsworth and Skratch climbed the Ferris Wheel and just when they were level they jumped. Skratch made an issue of it and plummeted toward Susan. He landed heavily on the fuselage. Susan groaned. "You need to lose weight, Skratch." His purr could be heard above the noise of the engine. "That's just for show, Susan." Wabsworth grinned, clung onto the struts and said nothing. He was an android and just too cool for boasting. Lapinette circled above the fairground. She could make out the outline of a Roman Circus. "Want to go back down and explore?" The Wabbit snickered with his 28 teeth. "I've been to the circus before." Up ahead they could see the faint outline of Eur. "That's impressive enough for me," said Wabsworth. "Wanna go to Luneur Park?" said the Wabbit. His sarcasm wasn't lost on Lapinette. "You sure know how to show a bunny a good time." Susan changed direction. "We're going to Shangri-La." Lapinette laughed. "A quiet and shady oasis in palatial surroundings." Skratch was nonchalant. "It also does a mean Prosecco." "And lovely cocktails," added Lapinette. "What are we waiting for?" said the Wabbit. "Waiting for traffic to clear on Via Cristoforo Colombo!" said Susan. "Don't give it any latitude," quipped the Wabbit.

[Ferris wheel by leonhard niederwimmer Pixabay]

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

5. The Wabbit and Two Thousand Turns

The carousel didn't stay stopped. There was a sudden jolt, and they were stuck to the wall of death. Two skeletons watched and laughed as the Ferris wheel whirled. Or was it a roulette wheel? It looked like a Ferris wheel, but it had numbers. Skratch had joined them from somewhere, but no-one knew how. "How did you get stuck here Skratch?" called the Wabbit. "I was just loping along, minding my own business," said Skratch. "Then I was here." Lapinette's lips were enormous with astonishment. "I know. It's our two thousandth anniversary!" The wall span without mercy, faster and faster. Wabsworth knew exactly what was going on. "Two thousand episodes!" The Wabbit grimaced. "And here we are in danger again." They stuck to the wall like swords in rusty scabbards. "That's what we do," said Lapinette. "But why the skeletons?" demanded Skratch. The skeletons giggled and laughed again. "We're the skeletons in the cupboard," shouted one. "I always wanted one," said Lapinette, "but two is too many." The skeletons roared. "We were two thousand skeletons. But that's too many for a picture." The Wabbit tried to drag himself from the wall. "If the wall was wet, we'd just slide down." "A bit like your bad jokes," chuckled Wabsworth. "Eat the Peach," meaowed Skratch. They looked at him in confusion. "It's an Irish film about a Wall of Death." Wabsworth laughed. He'd consulted his film archives. "To finance it they smuggled pigs, videos and booze across the border." The second he explained, the skeletons vanished ... and the wall slowed to a stop.

Monday, October 03, 2022

4. The Wabbit and the Fun of the Fair

Wabsworth beckoned the Wabbit and Lapinette through the entrance way, but on entering they were caught in an amazing whorl of coloured lights. A carousel tossed Lapinette  high in the air. The Wabbit was swept around at ground level. Wabsworth flew up on beam of light and his eyes changed colour. "Whoah," said the Wabbit, "Who switched the lights on?" Lapinette mouthed "Wheeee!" but she had no control of her voice. "Welcome to the Amusement Park," shouted Wabsworth. His glasses changed colour from blue to red - and back again. The Wabbit span one revolution then, still spinning, changed direction. But it gave him time to think. Lapinette would, under no circumstance, ever shout "Wheeee!" He also knew that Wabsworth didn't have a great sense of humour. The Wabbit figured they were in the grip of carnival magic, mobilised by an entity of some kind. He thought hard. He was low down and possibly his feet were out of range. He found he could control them. So placed them firmly on the ground and pressed. Gradually the carousel slowed a bit at a time. Every time he made a revolution, the Wabbit slowed it down a bit more. Lapinette dropped until she reached the floor. Wabsworth's eyes became normal. Finally, the carousel ground to a halt. Lapinette was more than dizzy and she staggered in a drunken fashion. "Tell me I didn't shout 'Wheeee.'" The Wabbit shrugged and smiled "We've all got our problems." Wabsworth lurched from side to side. "That nearly fried my circuits!" "How's does your eyesight check out?" asked the Wabbit. "Don't it make my brown eyes blue?" sang Wabsworth.

[Background image: Frank Winkler, Pixabay]

Friday, September 30, 2022

3. The Wabbit and the Chequered Door

Susan the Biplane made an approximate landing and the Wabbit and Lapinette lurched out. A skeleton lay across the doorway. "Its bones have bleached in the sun," murmured the Wabbit. "Look!" said Lapinette. A familiar figure sauntered from the doorway. "Wabsworth!" yelled the Wabbit. "What are you doing in these parts?" said Lapinette. "How did you get here?" asked the Wabbit. Wabsworth stopped and spread his paws wide. "I was just doing a small experiment in our shed - and there was a sudden flash." The Wabbit gave a snort. "Any models involved?" Wabsworth was an android and not given to much emotion. But on this occasion he tapped into his 'surprised' algorithm. "As it happens, yes - there were models involved. Kendall Jenner came round for a cup of tea." He laughed in a silly way. The Wabbit and Lapinette figured the event had gone to Wabsworth's head. Lapinette placed her paws on her hips. "What about the skelingtron?" she asked. "I've no idea, he doesn't say much." The Wabbit jumped forward, reached behind Wabsworth and pressed a button that Wabsworth kept very secret. He shook his android head. Even a partial reset was hard on his system. "Where the binky am I?" He looked down and saw the skeleton. "Ah! I do recall," he said. He looked at the Wabbit. "He's from the ghost train." Lapinette jumped up and down. "So what's inside that building?" Wabsworth gave a snort. "An Amusement Park."

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

2. The Wabbit in the Model City

The Wabbit and Lapinette looked in awe. Lapinette scrambled onto a wing tip and looked down. The Wabbit shuddered. "I wish you wouldn't do that." Lapinette wrapped her legs round the struts. "Perfectly safe," she said. Susan the Biplane sniggered and looped around. "Whoah," said the Wabbit. He was reminded he hadn't had much for breakfast. "I see skelingtrons," said Lapinette. The Wabbit ignored Lapinette's mispronunciation because, sure enough, a couple of skeletons were lying face down at what looked like entrances to a strange building. "This looks like a model," observed Lapinette. "Big for a model," said the Wabbit. "Maybe it's a full-size model," chuckled Susan. The Wabbit mulled that over. "Can you have a full-size model?" The Wabbit craned her neck around to see more. "Yes, you can if it's made of a different material. The Wabbit shook his head. "Look for a place to land, Susan." Susan checked it out. "There's a place where I can land but I might roll over that skeleton." "He won't mind," said the Wabbit. Lapinette scrambled back into the cockpit. "We've had to deal with skelingtrons before, remember?" The Wabbit gently guided Susan in. "I was expecting an uneventful trip." Lapinette hummed a tune. "You wouldn't like it."  Susan dipped her wings. "He never likes anything, does he?" Lapinette nodded her head in agreement. "Except Prosecco and a salad sandwich."

Monday, September 26, 2022

1. The Wabbit and the Wingtip Stunt

The Wabbit and Susan the Biplane flew in over Eur and picked up Lapinette. It had all been arranged in advance. Susan swept down between apartment blocks in a highly illegal manoeuvre and Lapinette jumped from a balcony onto a wing. Susan laughed. "Welcome aboard, Marquesa!" Lapinette grasped a strut and scrambled towards the Wabbit. It was always windy at Eur, and it was touch and go. But Lapinette was delighted with herself and she smiled a broad smile. "Call me Madame la Dangereuse." The Wabbit threw his head back and laughed. "La belle dame sans merci!" He looked around to check for police helicopters. The skies were empty. Relieved the stunt was a success, he shook his head and set a course for downtown. "Steady as she goes Susan." Susan was appalled. "I'm not a sailing ship, Commander." The Wabbit smiled as they wheeled above Eur. "Why is it called Eur, plenty of euro here do you think?" Lapinette was quick to reply. "It's an acronym. Esposizione Universale Roma." Susan hung on a wingtip. "It looks like an exhibition all right." Lapinette was about to give a lecture on fascist and post fascist architecture but the Wabbit cut her short. "It's Italian rationalism - but that's really only a simplified neo-classicism." Lapinette hooted. "Wikipedia?" "No, I read it in a book," said the Wabbit. They flew over the Museum of Roman Civilisation. "Any sign of a bar?" Susan ignored him. "What's that over there?" Lapinette gasped. The Wabbit stared. "You don't see that every day..." 

Monday, September 19, 2022

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered in the porticos. Skratch was late as usual and prowled stolidly from the back. Wabsworth paused and looked on. The Wabbit had become established in the corner. Lapinette leaped out with a loving cry. "Monsieur Wabbit!" The Wabbit grinned a lopsided grin. "Zut alors, Lapinette" Wabsworth had a few words of French which he took from his universal translator. "Cou cou Lapinette. Tu es splendide aujourd'hui." Skratch was in full cat mode. "Je suis à bout de souffle," he purred. Lapinette turned and smiled. "Welcome Skratch. What was that for a sort of Adventure?" But it was Wabsworth who answered. "A repetition of subject object configurations - as perpetual becoming!" Skratch clapped but held up a paw. "Yes and the story gave freedom to a main character, the Raven. As did Edgar Allen Poe and Roger Corman." Lapinette nodded. "Perhaps our Raven was really a transformed Wizard." The Wabbit agreed. "Our Raven was a milder character than usual, but he concealed something. I've no doubt we'll find out more in due course." Skratch leaned back. "Like Goddard, you treat mainstream as a conceptual property store to be looted at will." Lapinette grinned broadly. "Perhaps the Wabbit also employs derive or detournement." The Wabbit fell about with laughter. "I'd say we did that a lot - as a deliberate policy. And we refuse to be bound by any rules." Wabsworth was most amused. He waved both paws. "Is there any rule about Prosecco?" Lapinette hooted. "Buy as much as you can."

[I'm indebted to Peter Wollen for his 2002 essay on Godard, republished by Verso.]

Friday, September 16, 2022

5. The Wabbit and the Raven's Window

The Wabbit and Lapinette were at the bottom of the stairs. "Look up," said a voice. There was the Raven, wings outstretched. He was lodged in the window glass and he hung there happily. "I hope you enjoyed your stairway tour," he cackled. Lapinette smiled. "It was you all along?" The Raven shook his head. "No, no, no. Every tour is different. I am like all birds - merely the carrier of messages. What happens to you is entirely yours to discover and interpret." The Wabbit didn't grumble. "Is there a charge for the tour?" The Raven gave small series of sounds indicating approval. "Nothing fixed. Perhaps you could delve in your fur and see if you a have a pair of internal circlip openers." The Wabbit had a rummage. "They're in my workshop. I'll pick you up a pair at the Dora Market on Sunday." The Raven snickered. "Just leave them by the stairs." Lapinette knew that ravens had a reputation for building things. "I know where I can get a whole set." The Raven nodded again, grinned a kind of a grin. "Be seeing you!" Then he melted into the glass. The Wabbit narrowed his eyes. "Did all that really happen? he asked. Lapinette thought for a moment. "It's a coded message and I think I know what it means." The Wabbit's ears twitched. Lapinette waved her paws. "Always always take the lift."

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

4. The Wabbit and the Stairwell Plunge

When it happened, it happened quickly. The found themselves pushed over the balustrades by a massive force. They turned head over heels - and tumbled from the rails. The Raven flew after them. He grew to extraordinary proportions and spread his wings to stabilise their fall. "Hold on, I'll get you," he shouted. But the Wabbit and Lapinette had nothing to hold on to. Caught in an invisible force, they were buffeted back and forward. Then everything froze. The Raven too was caught in the jowls of whatever it was. He tried to move his wings but they were stuck fast. "This is unusual," said the Wabbit. Lapinette was upside down and she looked around. "Wabbit, it doesn't matter what way we look, it's all the same."  The Wabbit would have nodded but couldn't. "It's an optical confusion." Lapinette corrected him. "An optical illusion." "Same difference," said the Wabbit. He tried to shrug but it was impossible. Then Lapinette began to intone a verse in a voice as deep as a thousand oceans. "Music of sombre motion. Break the spell's Power and bid the spirit fly, who has come near to dwell with us." They were suddenly free of whatever held them - but they were still falling. The Wabbit grimaced. "I didn't know you could do spells." Lapinette stuck out her paws. "Worth a try." The Wabbit stuck out his paws too. "Abracawabra!" Much to his surprise they stopped falling and drifted towards the stairs. He laughed. "You've got it or you ain't." The Raven fluttered down too. "I thought I'd wing it!" He chuckled. But Lapinette put her paws on her hips and snorted. "Everyone thinks they're very funny." 

Friday, September 02, 2022

3. The Wabbit and Beelzebub Cometh

"Ah there he is," said the Raven, "Coming from downstairs exactly as I said." The ghostly apparition moved stolidly forward. "I am Beelzebub!" he said. He took a step forward. "I am Beelzebub." he repeated. "I am cometh. For I am Beelzebub." The Wabbit paused on the stairs. "He reminds me of someone." The Raven had seen him before. "Pass foul fiend, pass." Beelzebub moved forward at a steady pace. He rounded the corner of the stairs and advanced on the Wabbit and Lapinette, one step at a time. And all the while he intoned. "I am Beelzebub, I am cometh." Lapinette's paw gripped the bannister. The Wabbit's held out a steadying paw to Lapinette. Maybe it was for his own safety. He gritted his teeth. Beelzebub faded and passed through the Wabbit as if he were nothing. The Wabbit felt icy cold and then all was gone. Left behind was an acrid sulphurous smell. The Raven chattered and croaked and that was spooky enough. "I told you. The stairs are spooky." The Wabbit turned to Lapinette. "Did you feel that?" Lapinette shivered. "I did." The Wabbit took a step forward. "May as well go on down. Is that all there is?" The Raven cackled. "Not at all. There's much worse to come." "Can you call these spirits from the vastly deep?" asked the Wabbit. "Anyone can," said the Raven. "Can you make dreadful discords too," asked Lapinette. "Aye and chattering pies," said the Raven. The Wabbit's stomach rumbled. "I knew I could smell food," he said.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

2. The Wabbit and the Spooky Stairs

"This is the stairway," said the Raven. "I'd never have known," said the Wabbit. "Look! There's a spook now," said the Raven. The Wabbit shook his head and pointed. "That's Lapinette. I know she can be scary. But she's no ghost." Lapinette floated down in an ethereal kind of way. "Wabbit, I wanted to be sure you weren't getting into any kind of trouble." The Wabbit grinned. "Everyone wants to look after me." The Raven addressed Lapinette. "You look like a funny kind of rabbit. You're sure you're not a spook?" "Some say," responded Lapinette. "I warned the Wabbit not to use these stairs. They're haunted," said the Raven. "Just like in books?" replied Lapinette. "A Raven is like a writing desk," ventured the Wabbit. "Now don't you start," said the Raven, "I've had all I can take of writing desks." The Wabbit looked up above. "Shouldn't we check upstairs?" The Raven snorted. "Of course not. Ghosts are seldom if ever upstairs. they're usually downstairs with the unconscious." Lapinette joined the Wabbit on the landing. "But isn't the object to get downstairs without meeting any ghosts?" "You're as bad as he is," muttered the Raven. He made a series of gurgling croaks. "Please lead the way down the staircase and keep an eye open for spectres." At that moment they heard a haunting cry. It lasted long and sounded chilling. "I'm up for it if you are, Wabbit," said Lapinette. "So many horrid ghosts," shrugged the Wabbit. "How dare they?" said Lapinette. "Words spoken cannot be recalled," croaked the Raven," so think twice before you speak." 

Monday, August 29, 2022

1. The Wabbit and the Raven's Warning

The Wabbit was back in Turin inspecting the works on the Department of Wabbit Affairs. He was not altogether pleased, but then again, nothing much pleased the Wabbit. He wandered through the building looking it up and down. The Interior Designers had their messy paws in everything he noticed, but altogether it wasn't that bad. He'd reached the top of the building and was going to sneak down the emergency stairs when he saw a strange display. "Oh really," he said, "they've gone too far this time." He stared for a bit because the figure looked familiar. He'd seen a raven just like it at the old castle. "Beware!" said the Raven. "Beware of the stairs!" The Wabbit often received beware messages and he generally took no notice. He gave the Raven an old-fashioned look. "What's wrong with the stairs. Are they a bit rickety?" The Raven lifted its hooked beak and spoke in a quavering voice "They're not rickety, they're ghostly stairs and you'll be doomed, doomed I tell you." The Wabbit looked all round and squinted into the distance. The stairs looked perfectly normal. "It's the quickest way out," he said. He noticed no-one else was using them and he wrinkled his nose. "I'll just go and have a look." The Raven swallowed hard. "I'd better come with you. In case you get into any trouble." The Wabbit laughed. "Trouble is my middle name." The Raven wanted to know whether the Wabbit had any other names. "Double," said the Wabbit, "Let's go." Then together, they went to the staircase ... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Wabbit and his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered early morning at a Caffè in Testaccio Market. There was hardly anyone around. It was a holiday and very few market stalls were open. They grinned at each other and said together, "What was that for a sort of Adventure?" Skratch purred. "It was purportedly an environmental adventure with dire warnings about what was in store for the earth. But it was about something else." Wabsworth raised a paw. "The backdrop was more of a considered awareness of the natural world." Lapinette shook her head. "There was a key duality between environment with a post-apocalyptic flavour, and the question of waste itself." The Wabbit raised a paw in the air. "Real questions about what to do with waste." They contemplated for a second. Skratch was first to break the silence. "Charles Soukup poses an interesting question. He says techno-scopophilia and the voyeuristic portrayal of military technology itself is highly sexualised." Everyone's eyes went large. Lapinette pursed her lips. "There goes the family audience." Wabsworth tried to rescue the conversation. "Soukup also points out that the power of technology can be portrayed as both unwieldy and uncontrollable." The Wabbit threw up both paws. "I'll go with that, Wabsworth. We surely aren't victims of the sexualised scopic gaze." Lapinette smiled sardonically. "We're more art house than grind house." The Wabbit leaned back and looked around. "I fancy a Prosecco. Anyone joining me?" "It's 9 o'clock in the morning," gasped Lapinette. "I love the smell of Prosecco in the morning," said the Wabbit.

Friday, August 12, 2022

7. The Wabbit and the Ghastly Waste

Susan flung a grappling hook at the container, and they were off. But before they cleared the horizon a green ship rose from behind a ghostly moon and fired a single shot. It was a bolt of yellow lightening and it struck the container dead centre. The container glowed red, then exploded. Green toxic waste spilled out, bubbled onto the planet surface and into the reaches of the atmosphere. "Change of plan?" muttered the Wabbit. "They'd rather pollute than purify," said Lapinette. "Not much we can do at this stage," shrugged Wabsworth. "Interstellar Mode," snapped Lapinette. Susan didn't wait for an instant. With a roar of her propellers she vanished into a single white light. Space seemed different. Quiet. Eerie. "Not much to look at," said the Wabbit. "In Interstellar Mode, there's no-one to hear you complain," quipped Susan, "How long until we get home?" said the Wabbit. "Since I don't know where we started from, I've no idea," replied Susan. Wabsworth offered a solution. "I made some measurements. We'll be home in time for tea." Lapinette laughed. "None of us drink tea." "I'll do them again," said Wabsworth. He whirred a bit. "Time for Prosecco." Susan chortled. In Interstellar Mode it's hard to tell time." "Must be late then," said the Wabbit. "Or even early," said Lapinette. Susan switched off the drive and the earth swam into view. "Can you see a bar?" asked Lapinette. She wiggled her ears. "Because I can." The Wabbit had a fit of the giggles. "Take us in Susan. It's opening time."

 [Background Picture Pixabay.]

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

6. The Wabbit and the Toxic Trouble

Night fell. The desert gave way to a barren landscape. They could make out alien planets in the sky - or were they suns? There was no way of knowing. The team were on the Ice Mice before they knew it. Massive ears could be seen as they worked on one of their installations - the usual assembly of giant ice cubes. But there was a difference. A giant canister protruded from the dusty planet surface. "Let's go," yelled the Wabbit. He jumped from Susan's wing and so did Lapinette. Together they inspected the canister. "Toxic waste," murmured the Wabbit. "How can you tell?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit grimaced. "It always comes in rusty containers like this. Destined for earth no doubt." They saw two more Ice Mice emerge from beneath the container and run for their lives. "Technicians," said the Wabbit. Lapinette agreed "They have notebooks." Susan circled overhead with Wabsworth. The Wabbit made a sign for Wabsworth to release the grappling hook. "What's your plan?" queried Lapinette. "Get it off-planet," said the Wabbit, "We can't destroy it. It'll hurl crap everywhere." Lapinette frowned at the Wabbit's use of bad language, but decided to let it go. "What about the Ice Mice?" The Wabbit had no idea. "We'll decide later?" He fished in his fur for a package of dynamite and passed it to Lapinette. "You throw it. Keep em busy." Lapinette pitched it as far she could. The Wabbit took brief aim and fired a single shot. There was a distant explosion accompanied by mice-like squeaks. "Fire in the mouse hole," said the Wabbit.
[Background pictures from Pixabay   ]

Sunday, August 07, 2022

5. The Wabbit and the Unnamed Desert

The team had nicknamed the place Chuck a Luck, but they weren't having much luck at all. The further they trekked, the bleaker it became. The ground beneath their feet was super parched. The sky turned from red to black. The few clouds there were, refused to give up their payload. No water was to be had, except for weak rainfall around an old dead tree. It was Lapinette that spotted it. She took a cup from her frock and held it out to the meagre shower that surrounded the branches. "Yeugh," she yelled. It was brackish and undrinkable. The Wabbit felt in his fur for a water flask, but there was none. Susan the Biplane flew overhead, dead slow to conserve fuel. They could have travelled with Susan but the Wabbit insisted he could see more from the ground. He began to regret it. "This was once a sea," he said. Everyone had noticed the abandoned barge and they nodded. "Climate change," said Wabsworth. "Maybe this is our future," remarked the Wabbit. Lapinette began to sing again, and everyone slapped a paw to their heads. "After three days in the sun. I was looking at a dry seabed. The story it told of a sea that once flowed. Made me sad it was dead." The Wabbit stared at Lapinette. "What's with all the singing?" Lapinette smiled a strange smile. "Passes the time when we're looking for Ice Mice." Wabsworth laughed. "We'll sing them into submission." They trudged on. "I'm imagining a glass of Prosecco," said the Wabbit. "Imagine one for me too," said Lapinette. 

[Background Picture: MartySeb Pixabay.]

Thursday, August 04, 2022

4. The Wabbit and the Alpine Recce

Susan flew into the Alps and for a while her visibility declined. It was as if they were in a fog. But then the fog began to clear. They all blinked. "Where are we?" asked the Wabbit. For once Wabsworth was nonplussed. What lay beneath them was a hot ocean. Above them, two alien suns. And there was rain in copious quantities - but the rain was warm, and it poured down their backs like a hot shower. They jumped from Susan onto a black, charred beach and ran jumping. Lapinette pointed. "Over there. I see rocks." The rocks were hot too but not as hot as the beach. They rested there for a while. Susan hovered over the hot sea. "I'll wait here," she said. "I'm not keen on Turkish baths. They rust my mechanisms." Lapinette had been thinking. "Maybe this is the Ice Mice Hideaway. In a time warp in the Alps." Wabsworth chortled. "Like Rancho Notorious." The Wabbit was amused. "We'll call this Planet Chuck a Luck." They turned, astonished, as Lapinette pirouetted and began to sing in a haunting voice. 
                                      It began, they say, one summer day,
                                      When the sun was blazing down,
                                      It was back in the early seventies,
                                      In a little Wyoming Town
                                      So listen to the story of Chuck a Luck,
                                      Listen to the Wheels of Fate, 
                                      As round and round with a whispering sound, 
                                      It sings the old old story of  ...
                                      ... Hate, murder and revenge.
"What's that got to do with anything?" asked the Wabbit. "I quite liked it," said Wabsworth. "It's a gambling song," said the Wabbit, "but what about hate murder and revenge?" "I'll get to that," said Lapinette.

Monday, August 01, 2022

3. The Wabbit & the Ice Mice Installation

It happened in an instant. They found the Ice Mice and their installation. It was in the shape of a tower and seemed to fulfil a particular purpose. Susan flew back and forth chopping their ice blocks to pieces. Then she activated her air conditioning unit and added a few more ice blocks for good measure. Lapinette and Wabsworth chucked ice on the Ice Mice without mercy and watched them turn tail and run. "That was too easy," commented the Wabbit, "but what the binky were they doing?" Lapinette scrunched up her eyes. "I think it was some kind of reverse air conditioning. It makes ice blocks and leaves the rest of the land ... just desert." Wabsworth was thinking too. "Evapotranspiration?" The Wabbit brought Susan round. "Something of the sort. And the possible end of the line for Turin." Susan wheeled about again in a corkscrew fashion. "Were not going to allow it. Let's hunt the rest of them down!" The three squeezed into a cockpit that was only big enough for one. The Wabbit boosted the heating. "Do a recce of the Alps, Susan," he murmured. "Right away Sir," said Susan, "What music would you like?" Lapinette jumped in because she somewhat disapproved of Susan's affection for the Wabbit. "It's cold outside," she suggested. "OK fine, just another drink then," joked the Wabbit. He delved into his fur, took out a hip flask and poured whisky into three stainless steel glasses. "That took a lot of convincing," laughed Lapinette.

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