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]