Wednesday, December 27, 2023

5. The Wabbit and Lapinette's Possibilities

The Wabbit retraced his hops to the car park. It was where he'd first seen Lapinette and he thought he'd pick it up from there. He stomped along in the manner of a detective he'd seen on television. Then he saw her. She was gliding though the car park on electric air. But she was different. Her face shimmered in the harsh glare of the lights. Her frock hung lazily. Not to mention her position - as if she were about to jump onto a moving train. It was then that he realised he seen this before. It was on the Ghost Inspectre subway. A daring Lapinette had dived on the train and he remembered for a second she was transfixed, pixelated by the carriages as they shuttled along. Then it passed. What had she said at the time? A possibility dimension? He tucked his paws in his fur and followed. If she was a ghostly spectre from the past - and it was a possibility - he'd better act like a spectre and haunt. He flattened against the wall and moved stealthily. His ears pricked up. She was humming a tune. "Ghostly, ghastly, ghostly, ghastly. Don't touch the walls, the walls, the walls." The Wabbit stepped away with speed. But not before he felt the clammy gasp of possibility on his shoulders. "I can't possibly put up with this," he gasped. He shrugged off possibilities and kept on the trail. He decided to chance it. "Lapinette!" His voice scraped down the walls. Possibilities squealed. The figure turned, waved at the Wabbit, mouthed "impossible" - and vanished.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

4. The Three Fates at the Whisky Bar

Wabsworth was master of the keys and he tinkled the ivories as Tipsy, Mitzy and Fitzy swayed to the rhythm of Brecht. "There's no whisky in this bar," yelled Tipsy. Mitzy moved from left to right. "Wabsworth has whisky and he doesn't even like it." They swayed in unison like the Ronettes. "He has an algorithm for Scotch," they sang. Wabsworth hit a discordant note. "There's no Lapinette in this bar! She can't be far; she can't be far." They changed positions. Tipsy stepped to the front. "No-one knows anything about this adventure. So pass me. The whisky. I must have it, it inspires, you know why." "Pass it. Pass it. We know why," echoed Fitzy and Mitzy. Wabsworth his paws flying across the keys, shifted chords and played Alabama song like the Doors. "Where is the Wabbit?" slurred Tipsy. "At the next whisky bar," said Fitzy. "It's not far," said Mitzy. "It's round the corner from the Spar," chanted Tipsy. Fitzy crossed her legs at an impossible angle. The scent of whisky hung in the air. Wabsworth paws flew and suddenly he sang. "Show me the way to the next lovely girl." Mitzy's eyes flashed. "Your good old Mama. That's me!" She lurched sideways into Tipsy's paws and was propelled across the dance floor. "And now we say goodbye!" Tipsy, Fitzy and Mitzy swayed through the nearest exit. Wabsworth grinned and stood. He swept his fur back, closed the lid of the piano, turned to an imaginary audience and said, "If you enjoyed that, tell my agent." Ghostly applause filled the room. Then to the accompaniment of ethereal cheering, he hopped through the same exit.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

3. Lapinette and her Personal Guard

Lapinette gathered her personal guard and headed out to help the Wabbit. They crowded beside her as they'd been instructed to keep away from the side windows. "Keep your weapons inside the truck," yelled Lapinette, "We're in the centre of Rome, don't get mixed up with any tourists." They resembled a mass of darting eyes, looking for prey. The truck hurtled from the doorway of the building they had on loan for a few months until they were ready to make a permanent transfer. When Lapinette drove, the truck seemed to fly. The wheels hardly touched the ground as they coasted the streets near the castle. Fast as a magnet, they scorched a route across the tarmac and the short distance to the market where the Wabbit was last seen. "What the fried fish happened here?" gasped Fitzy. "Flirk, flack, fluck a tluck," lisped Mitzy. It was the closest to swearing as Lapinette's personal guard ever got. All except for Tipsy. "Mosquitos buggered shitweasel!" Lapinette was turning red as she threw on the brakes. "Split up, you strump muppets. Find the Wabbit!" They all leapt out. Brandishing weapons high in the air, they vanished. "Strewth. That felt like herding cats," said Lapinette. She grabbed her automatic, dropped down from the truck and headed into the market. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

2. The Wabbit at San Silverio Market

His radio calls were futile and the Wabbit searched all night. Evening turned to morning and still there was no sign of Lapinette. The walkie talkie maintained an obstinate silence. He circled round. He walked the length and breadth of San Silvario Market and went all the places where Lapinette might go, but still no luck. He was about return to HQ when the radio burst into life. "Commander?" asked Wabsworth, "Where have you been? We've been trying to get you." The Wabbit growled into the mouthpiece. "I've been here all the time. Via Gregorio VII." The radio crackled. "We swept by there and there was no sign of you. But I have Lapinette here," said Wabsworth. "She's been looking for you." Lapinette breathed into the radio. "Where are you now, Wabbit?" The Wabbit was getting annoyed. "San Silvario market, where we were the day before yesterday." Everyone sounded puzzled. "Sounds like you're in a time shift sort of thing," suggested Lapinette. "It's certainly some sort of thing," replied the Wabbit. "Were you in the supermarket yesterday evening?" Lapinette sounded miffed. "No. I was here until late, working on your Dinosaur Fund accounts." The Wabbit was astonished. "Well, your double was over here, laden down with Christmas shopping." "The devil's in the retails," laughed Lapinette. "I hope she got something nice." The Wabbit had to smile. "Put the team together, Lapinette. Is your personal guard available?" The Wabbit heard gunfire at the other end. "They're troubleshooting," said Lapinette. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

1. The Wabbit and the City

On his way to the supermarket, the Wabbit scurried across Via Gregorio VII. This he accomplished at great speed, thinking it was the most dangerous thing he did. Even facing the Agents of Rabit armed with the latest weaponry couldn't inspire the tension he felt. He dodged SUVs, vans, mopeds. bicycles and e-scooters and thought if he stayed still long enough, someone would probably park on his head. He hopped out of the way as a vehicle backed up, and felt under his fur for his automatic. But it was just an elderly lady with a too-big vehicle. He reached the ramp for the supermarket and was halfway down before he realised it wasn't the pedestrian entrance. He forged on and made his way through the parking area. Up ahead he spotted a familiar figure, laden down with Christmas shopping. It was Lapinette. "Lapinette, let me give you a helping paw!" His shouts were drowned by noise and bustle from above. He quickened his pace, to no avail. He took a short cut, but lost sight of her. "Where the binky did she go?" Another SUV moved across his path, blocking his vision. He thought he saw her again, but it was someone else entirely. He turned a corner. Lapinette was gone. He took out his radio but the signal was weak. He retraced his steps, glancing from right to left. When he was at street level he put in an urgent call ... 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The Wabbit goes to his Adventure Caffè

The team walked through the market in search of a snack bar, because the Wabbit insisted it was there. He jumped on a bench and executed a perfect a Highland Fling. Lapinette thought he looked precarious and held out her paws for safety. Wabsworth laughed and imitated the Wabbit as only an android could.  Skratch prowled at the back, gesticulating as usual. "What was that for a sort of adventure?" His tail flicked in anticipation. Visitors to the market disregarded these strange activities. Wabsworth took in the sights and smells, trimming his algorithms appropriately. The Wabbit jumped down, much to Lapinette's relief. Skratch meaowed mightily and caught up. "What was that for a sort of adventure you just had?" Wabsworth held up his paws and did a jig. "What lies in the semiosphere for us, Skratch?" Skratch purred. "Anything set in a cave deals with the unconscious." The Wabbit stopped clowning. "Caves and tunnels illustrate the lived experience of the psyche and the transpersonal." Wabsworth knew the Wabbit was trained in Zurich. "Ha! It puts the depth in depth psychology." Lapinette identified the book at once. "That's The Illustrated Dark by Christopher Lee." Skratch's nose twitched. "The actor or the author?" Wabsworth fell about laughing. His database was big enough to reveal the answer. Lapinette addressed the Wabbit. "Since leaving the cavern brings us to enlightenment, are you enlightened enough to find this Caffè?" The Wabbit jumped on the bench again. He pointed, shading his eyes in the manner of an explorer. "Over there."

[Thanks to: The Illustrated Dark: Cinema Soul and Shadows. Christopher Lee Miller]

Thursday, December 07, 2023

10. The Wabbit and the Aftermath

They were just coming back through one of the tunnels they'd found. They left the Agents confused. Wabsworth had administered a serum he'd been developing in the Wabbit's shed. He assured the Wabbit they wouldn't remember a thing - not their organisation, not why they were there, nothing. It would take an army of shrinks to get them back to normal. As they rounded a corner, Lapinette noticed the Wabbit's double agent, Major Spitlove, standing in a corner. He wasn't pleased. "Do you know how long it took me to train these Agents?" Wabsworth laughed. "As long as it will take you to put them back together." Spitlove stamped a foot and howled in protest. "It's no good moaning, Major," said the Wabbit, "That's how it works in the trade." Lapinette smiled. "It's a good thing your space-time machine only worked as long as it did, Wabsworth. It probably turns their brains to scrambeloni." Spitlove looked puzzled. "What's scrambeloni?" The Wabbit grinned. "What I ask for in fancy restaurants to wind up the waiters." Major Spitlove was sick and tired of being the Wabbit's double agent - and he said so. Lapinette nodded. She knew the Wabbit was hard work. But Wabsworth chimed in. "Oh, he's quite good fun!" Lapinette snorted, waved her paws and mouthed, "quack quack quack." Spitlove looked at Wabsworth for explanation. Wabsworth shrugged. "Lapinette is saying the Wabbit quacks us up."

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

9. The Wabbit and Trouble in the Tunnel

Several rough Agents herded them into a tunnel. They were small of stature, but unlike other Agents, they seemed to have a modicum of intelligence. And they were none too gentle. The Wabbit saw blood on the tunnel floor. Wabsworth gave him the nod. "Fake," he whispered. The Agents had their weapons and for the first time in ages, the Wabbit wasn't quite sure what to do. But Wabsworth had more than a clue. "Lie doggo," he whispered. "I have a plan." The Agent gave Wabsworth a vicious kick. Wabsworth let out a fake cry. But Wabsworth had something up his sleeve. The electric shock machine was all but forgotten but Wabsworth remembered its effect when he'd connected it through his positronic memory. He touched an Agents foot. The Agent gasped then fell. The others gathered round and tied to drag him to his feet. They got a shock when they did and soon, they all lay prone. Lapinette and Wabsworth got to their feet. Lapinette tried not to slip in the fake blood. "Mind the fake blood," shouted Wabsworth. But it was too late. The Wabbit fell in it. Wabsworth grinned. "How ethical was that shock?" The Wabbit shook his head. "I think the spark between us has gone." Lapinette snorted. "The Wabbit thinks he's very funny. What are we going to do with these fellows?" "More of the same?" suggested the Wabbit. Wabsworth giggled. "They'll be ecstatic." Lapinette grinned. "Shocks ain't what they used to be."