Monday, March 28, 2022

4. The Wabbit and the Wolf's Acquisition

The Wabbit and Rommy the Wolf were fed up with consumer durables, so they took a walk through the New Testaccio Market. They glanced at this, and they glanced at that. As usual it was predominantly ladies clothes. Rommy didn't seem to care and suddenly he lunged, snatched a shoe and casually padded off with it. "They see it, but they don't believe it," he growled. The Wabbit was officially appalled. "You can't just take things," he exclaimed. "I can," said Rommy, "I'm a Roman God." The Wabbit looked askance. "I think you'll find things have changed around here. Anyway, what do you want with ladies shoes?" "Spoils of war," said Rommy. The Wabbit thought of Wabsworth and quietly slipped a few notes on the market stall. They strolled on. "Are you going to wear it?" asked the Wabbit. "I'd look a right charlie wearing it," said Rommy, "I'm going to keep it in my collection of seized footwear." The Wabbit grinned. "Wouldn't you prefer a sausage?" He watched for Rommy's reaction. "What kind of sausage?" asked Rommy. "Vegetarian sausage?" suggested the Wabbit. Rommy turned up his nose. "I'd prefer a nice steak," he said. "Did you know Testaccio used to be the livestock market?" asked the Wabbit. "I know everything about Rome," said Rommy. "Then I suppose you know it's been turned into an art exhibit?" The Wabbit waited because he knew what was coming. "Hideous, hideous, hideous," said Rommy, "First year art students with too much money." The Wabbit thought about it. "The kind that did your mural?" Rommy snarled. "A bunch of baristas!" The Wabbit laughed. "Let's get a coffee."

Friday, March 25, 2022

3. The Wabbit and the Wolf go Shopping.

Rommy the wolf said he wanted to a look round the shops. "People will think I'm a big dog," he said. "Say woof," suggested the Wabbit. "WOOF said Rommy. "Needs practice," observed the Wabbit. They padded around the store. "What about one of these TVs?" asked the Wabbit. "It has many initials." Rommy looked the television up and down. "The upscaling isn't great. I can see the pixels." The Wabbit raised an eye and flapped an ear. Rommy laughed. "I'm a mural don't forget. I know about all manner of artistic stuff." The Wabbit was surprised. "What's your favourite show?" "Wolverine," said Rommy, "His past is shrouded in mystery." The Wabbit snorted. "Rather like yourself." Rommy growled. "Not one bit. There are so many stories about me I can hardly believe it." The Wabbit stood with his paws out, "You're supposed to be human." "Do me a favour," said Rommy, "That would be no fun. Trust the media to get everything the wrong way round." The Wabbit nodded. He could hardly disagree. "You founded Rome?" Rommy laughed. "I found Rome more like. What a terrible state it was in. Years of work it took me and my brother. Years." The Wabbit chortled. "How do you find it now?" "Awful," said Rommy. The Wabbit was lost in thought for a moment. "What about your brother Remus?" Rommy looked at the Wabbit. "He went to the other side." The Wabbit nodded again and shook his head, "It happens to the best of us." "I saw the birds you know, and that was it," said Rommy. The Wabbit made a flapping motion with his paws. "Birds," he shrugged, Rommy's fur stood on end, and he growled. "I hate cardinals the most."
[Wolf by Alexus at Pixabay]

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

2. The Wabbit and the Wolf of Testaccio

The Wabbit wandered through Testaccio with nothing particular in mind. He was scouting out territory just to see what he could see, and he glanced over his shoulder at a mural he particularly liked. "Hello Wabbit!" called a voice. The Wabbit sometimes felt he could never be alone. But he didn't want to be rude to the wolf. "Oh hello," he replied. "See anything you liked at the market?" asked the wolf. The Wabbit shrugged. It was a nice market and he was fond of it, but it didn't have a suitable range of unobtainable items. "No old jazz records from 1951," he said. "It's not that kind of market," came the reply. The Wabbit shrugged again, "I did buy a bottle of  olive oil with chillies and I have it here in my fur." The wolf seemed to turn. "That's the spirit," he said, "It refreshes the limbs. Just look what it did for my neck." The Wabbit laughed. The wolf looked down and smiled. "Did you meet these pesky garlic sellers?" The Wabbit nodded with vigour. "They're from the Garlic Tendency," said the wolf, "we can't get rid of them." The Wabbit was astonished. "Not even you! Are you stuck there?" "No," said the wolf, "I can get down. But I like it here and no-one bothers me much." The Wabbit thought for a bit. "Come down and show me round. You seem to have the inside line on things." The wolf thought for a while. Then he growled. "I will! You can introduce me to your friends." The Wabbit was super pleased. "What's your name?"  "Call me Rommy," said the wolf - and he jumped down beside the Wabbit and stuck out a paw. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

1. The Wabbit and the City of Dreams

The Wabbit had just arrived on the train from Bologna. As he left the platform he cast a wry glance at the train. It wasn't Quantum. It didn't talk nor could it use lattice drive, but the Wabbit felt affectionate enough. He was anticipating a big change and he couldn't say he was entirely looking forward to it. The Department of Wabbit Affairs planned major renovations and the Wabbit had to vacate Turin to relocate in Rome. He stood and thought about it. Terni the Food Dragon was there and he might see Moloch and Panico. He was very close to Fregene for a seafood lunch and he could have some time on the beach. There were museums, theatres, art galleries - and markets of course. He might find some unobtainable items. Not too bad. It would feel like a holiday. The Wabbit reflected. He didn't really like holidays and he wrinkled his nose. There was always something unexpected happening and he had to work. He brightened. "That'd be cool," he thought. He had another look at the train. "What about the pizzas?" said the train. The Wabbit grinned as he thought of Roman pizzas. Thin crisp pizzas, no giant crusts. Potato pizzas, lots of rosemary, gnam-gnam. He paused and turned directly to the train. "Did you perchance speak to me?" The train huffed a bit and made a hydraulic sound. "I did." The Wabbit smiled. "You shouldn't speak to strange rabbits." "Everyone knows you, Commander Wabbit." The Wabbit grinned again and asked, "Wanna go for a pizza?" The train sounded its klaxon. "I have to go back to Bologna. Wanna come?" So the Wabbit hopped on board and settled in. "Don't mind if I do." He mused as the train moved off and he quoted Marcus Aurelius in a low voice. "There was a dream that was Rome ... you could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish; it was so fragile ..."

Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The Wabbit was waiting for everyone to converge at the Adventure Caffè. He'd grabbed a table on the perimeter and held onto it even though everyone was a little late. Wabsworth was charged with securing the Bejeweled Rabbit and he was most pleased with himself. "Is this a copy or not?" he asked, "Is it a work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction?" The Wabbit looked sideways. "It seems to have an aura and therefore it has all the qualities of the original." Skratch arrived and was quick to point out that the idea of an original was open to question. Lapinette wrinkled her nose. "I personally have held the original. I therefore have tactile knowledge." The Wabbit grinned. "So can you tell the difference?" Lapinette thought for a minute and had to make a confession. "I really cannot say." Wabsworth laughed and gripped the Bejeweled Rabbit tightly. "In principle, works of art could always be reproduced. As an android, I can say that it is not a mechanical reproduction, but a masterly work in its own right." Skratch was anxious to make another point. "But it lacks the original's location in time and space." The Wabbit scoffed. "How do you know this isn't the original? Magically transported in time and space by the mysterious figure?" Just then the Bejeweled Rabbit spoke. "Original original. I'm the original original." They all gazed at the rabbit with their mouths open. Skratch laughed. "Magic!" Wabsworth winked. "I confess. I pressed a button on the bottom." Lapinette burst out laughing. "We've been had!" The Wabbit chortled mightily. "I think it had us all right." Skratch wanted the last word. "It can no longer be treated as it used to be. But it's an authentic reproduction, not a commodity." The Wabbit laughed. "Any chance of an authentic drink?"

Monday, March 07, 2022

9. The Wabbit and the End of the Holiday

The Wabbit and Lapinette found themselves on the surface of another planet. It was dusty and dry and the Wabbit shook grit from his fur. Lapinette looked up. "That's not the sun we started with." The Wabbit agreed and said so. He grimaced. All the same, he was glad to be out of the clutches of the mysterious chocolate rabbit. He heard a familiar throbbing. It was Quantum the Time Travelling Train - and Skratch the Cat was at the controls. The Wabbit heaved a sigh of relief as Quantum descended through a heavy gaseous atmosphere that warped everything they could see. The train hovered. There was no flat surface. "You'll have to climb aboard Commander." Skratch's voice was warped too. They picked themselves up and staggered across the rough terrain. "If one more person asks me if I enjoyed my holiday, I will personally dismember them." growled the Wabbit. He waved up at Skratch. "Did you enjoy your holiday, Commander and Lapinette?" shouted Skratch. "Yes," said the Wabbit through clenched teeth. "A break is as good as a rest," shrugged Lapinette. They turned to wave goodbye to the planet. "What about the Bejeweled Rabbits?" asked Lapinette. They heard a squeak as a rabbit popped up his head. The Wabbit grabbed it by its ears. "Holiday souvenir!" he exclaimed. "Are we going to Wablantis?" squeaked the Bejeweled Rabbit. "Not just yet," replied the Wabbit. "It's earthquake season," said Lapinette. They boarded the train. Then Quantum slipped into lattice drive ..  and vanished.

[Background picture: Planet 188753 NASA - Caltech]

Saturday, March 05, 2022

8. The Wabbit and the Mystical Vortex

One second the Wabbit and Lapinette were climbing out of the tunnel and in the next they were sucked into a vortex. It was taking them to the sea, of that they were sure. But they were cruelly distorted and so were the bejeweled rabbits. The mysterious chocolate figure looked on, paws tucked into his pants as always. He was as distorted as they were, and he nodded cheerfully as the world span round. "I hope you enjoyed your holiday, Wabbit." His speech was distorted too. "I wope you enjeweled your hooliday, Wobbit." The Wabbit span round and round. His insides looped and churned. "Woooooot?" was all he could say. Lapinette looked none too happy. "Gug gug gug woot?" Her tartan frock took on a strange pattern, the like of which no-one had seen before. The bejeweled rabbits fared the worst. They spiralled and stretched out of control. Their ears became distended, and their eyes were mere black dots on a golden surface. "Where on earth are we?" shouted the Wabbit. "You're not on earth - remember?" said the chocolate figure, "This is your holiday destination. Have you had a good time?" The vortex revolved like a washing machine. The Wabbit sailed perilously close to the cavern walls before he was drawn back to the centre. Lapinette shouted something but the Wabbit couldn't hear. He had a stab at what she was saying. "Would you like to go home, Lapinette?" Lapinette nodded vigorously. The chocolate figure took his paw out of his pocket and raised it in the air. Everything stabilised. The Wabbit grabbed the bejeweled rabbits and rummaged in his fur for his automatic. But the figure smiled, bowed and vanished ...
[Backgrounds by Redgular and Photosharing at Pixabay]

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

7. The Wabbit and the Spiralling Tunnel

The Wabbit and Lapinette took the bejeweled rabbits and tried to get out from the tunnel, but nothing was the right way.  Corridors gave way to more corridors. Stairs twisted and spiralled along, upward then down. Going was tough but they knew they had to go up. The Wabbit perched on a step that was a sharp as a razor. Lapinette fared better and floated over the top like magic. "These rabbits are heavy," huffed the Wabbit. "Not at all," smiled Lapinette. They continued on their way. The Wabbit decided to take the stairs two at a time but fell and grazed a knee. "Slow and steady wins the race," commented Lapinette. She glided onwards. "Grrr," replied the Wabbit. Lapinette's ears swivelled. "Can you feel someone watching us?" The Wabbit clung on with one paw and risked looking back. "It's him." Lapinette kept looking forward, but her ears were tuning in. "The mystery chocolate figure?" The Wabbit screwed up his eyes. It was hard to see in the tunnel. "I think he's applauding." Lapinette snorted. "Maybe he could lend a helping paw." The Wabbit snorted too. "I don't think he's of the helping paw persuasion." He looked back again. The chocolate figure walked towards them but never seemed to get any closer. "Probably he'll be along in a jiffy," said the Wabbit. "A hundredth of a second?" smiled Lapinette. "I was being ironic," said the Wabbit. "That's not irony, that's sarcasm," grinned Lapinette. "He's hardly gaining," observed the Wabbit, "so let's ignore him." Lapinette bounded forward, "I can see a way out." The rabbits started to chant. "Way out, outa sight. Way out." The Wabbit groaned. "Can you dig it?"
[Background. Pretty Sleepy Pixabay]