Wednesday, April 17, 2024

6. The Wabbit and the Likely Spot

The Wabbit grinned. They were home. That's what he thought anyway. Lapinette leaned into the wind with no paws. "I've never seen Viale Pasteur so quiet." The Wabbit nodded. "It must be early in the morning." "On a Sunday," replied Lapinette. "In August," added the Wabbit. He paused. "I'm going to put her down." Lapinette jumped as they skidded along the road and landed near a curb. "The Wabbit and Lapinette. Coming to a dimension near you!" she yelled. The Wabbit flipped the board and grabbed it. Together they made their way to Caffè Palombini. "Maybe Palombini's is quiet too," suggested Lapinette. "I don't think it's ever quiet," answered the Wabbit. They rounded the corner. But Palombini's wasn't there, it was Ciampini's. "We're in the wrong dimension," scowled the Wabbit. Lapinette grinned. "We could still have a coffee." The Wabbit shrugged. "And a salad tramezzini." They sat down. Buses passed but they were the wrong colour. They swigged back their coffee and munched their sandwiches. "I think I know what to do," said the Wabbit. He lifted the skateboard and took a can of 3 in 1 from his fur. He oiled the wheel bearings. He span them round, then span them back. They left cash on the table and jumped on the deck. The Wabbit smiled. "When we hit the next dimension, get ready to bail."

Monday, April 15, 2024

5. The Three Muses and Time Together

Tipsy sprang in the air and somehow hung there. Then Fitzy, then Mitzy. Tipsy was first. "Where is the Wabbit? Is he in unpath'd waters or undream'd shores?" They all leaped and hung in the starry night. "There are worlds elsewhere!" shouted Fitzy. Mitzy was quick to reply. "And none so dark that ignorance shall come of them." Tipsy laughed a hollow laugh. "They are but a hairbreadth from our paws." They changed position and reassembled with Fitzy in the midst. "The enchanted skateboard takes the Wabbit both close and far." Mitzy took time to laugh. "Pleasure and action make the hours seem short. There is no journey like the present to be enjoyed." They hold paws and pirouette. Then chant simultaneously. "How shall we extricate the Wabbit from this untimely mess? How? How?" They raised their paws in the air. "For he wastes time and now time wastes him. Yet he is in the present still." The night crowded around them as they danced. "There is only now!" shouted Tipsy. They link together, holding paws. "If it be now tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now." Tipsy jumps high. "If it will come, tis now it will come for the Wabbit. Readiness is all and Lapinette is sure to be ready." A mist descends. They blow kisses. One by one they vanish into swirling clouds. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

4. The Wabbit and the World of Agents

The Wabbit and Lapinette soared into what looked like a cloudy sky, but it was another dimension. They looked down. The world was occupied by Agents of Rabbit. "Oh no!" exclaimed Lapinette. "They seem to have the upper paw here." The Wabbit sighed and tried to get more speed. "I don't think they'll want us messing in their dimension. "We've been spotted," cried Lapinette. The Agents looked up and shook their fists. One of them shouted. "Come down here and have a nice cup of tea. It's freshly brewed." "We can talk," shouted another. "We're lovely, lovely rabbits," yelled another. There was menace in his voice. "Got to go," said the Wabbit quietly. "Another appointment," said Lapinette. The Agents were jumping to grasp the edge of the skateboard. The Wabbit forced a bit more height, then boned it. Grasping paws flailed in the air. "I'm not sure we can keep this up without momentum from something. We need to do a gnarly." Lapinette had not the slightest notion of what he was talking about. But she knew he had to hit the ground at an angle and bounce. "The car," she yelled. She held on tight as the skateboard kickflipped from the car. They narrowly missed an Agent and heard him curse as they flew upwards. "I don't like it here," grimaced Lapinette. The Wabbit saw the air shimmering at a crossroads and he headed for the spot. There was a bang - and they vanished.

Car at Pixabay

Monday, April 08, 2024

3. The Wabbit and the Skeletal Dimension

The skateboard propelled them some distance and then the scene changed. The Wabbit was horrified. "This isn't EUR. Must be some kind of glitch." Lapinette pursed her lips. "An interdimensional glitch?" The Wabbit hopped up and down. "So keep a hold on the skateboard," he cautioned. He looked about. "This place, it's derelict. And it looks like Turin."  It had rained and the concrete glistened under an orange sky. They heard footsteps. A figure glided past them. It said nothing. Half skeleton, half muscle, it ground towards an unknown destination. "Maybe it couldn't get proper clothes in the abandoned shopping centre," observed the Wabbit. "It's a fine figure of .. something," answered Lapinette. "Perhaps there are others like it," said the Wabbit. "Perhaps they'll be more communicative," said Lapinette. The creature turned. "I am model TXY-495469. What models are you?" The Wabbit shrugged. "We are wabbits." Then he added a string of numerals so the creature wouldn't feel left out. "Wabbits 2024-uvxyz." The creature looked them in the eyes. "What is your function?" The Wabbit thought quickly. "We are the diplomatic legation from Terra..." "Terra 123," added Lapinette. "A far off dimension of which I know little," admitted the creature. Her head swivelled. "Is that your board?" The Wabbit nodded. "Your own board. You must be of extremely high status in your dimension?" Her voice was filled with awe. "Enormously," nodded Lapinette. "River deep, mountain high," quipped the Wabbit. 

Thursday, April 04, 2024

2. The Wabbit and the Dimension Jump

The Wabbit went outside and hopped on the skateboard. He threw two coins on the ground. "Tethering," he said. The deck's wheels expanded to enormous proportions. Lapinette hopped on behind him. "Hold on. Don't get separated." The Wabbit's voice was firm. Lapinette did as she was told. The deck began to move. There was a shimmer. They were in the same place but it had different colours. The sky was steel grey. Buildings stood out like toys. "Where are we?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit flipped the nose. "Any one of a million different dimensions." Lapinette glanced up and down. "Can we get off?" "No," said the Wabbit. His voice was emphatic. "Not unless we investigate first." A sound like thunder split the air. They looked down. A tyrannosaurus of sorts rose from the water, spraying water across their faces. It roared like a bull of Bashan. Then a voice. "Go away, you don't belong here." The Wabbit popped the rear of his skateboard. "Just visiting." The skateboard swung round. "This is our dominion. It belongs to the Great Tyrannosaurus League. An unavailability permit is required." The creature gnashed his teeth. The Wabbit felt Lapinette touch his shoulder. "Time to jump," she whispered. The tyrannosaurus roared once more and laughed. "Try C-01538. They take all sorts there. They might give you a job." The Wabbit jumped, kickflipped and shredded off. But they heard the tyrannosaurus yell insults behind them. "What an unpleasant reptile," said Lapinette. "Bogan!" shrugged the Wabbit.

Tyrannosaurus: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/dinosaur-tyrannosaurus-animal-t-rex-6286030/ Skateboard: https://pixabay.com/users/jillrose999-16379406/

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

1. The Wabbit and the Big Jump

Lapinette was quietly looking out of her office window in EUR when the Wabbit flashed by. She blinked. She gasped. She wondered whether she'd imagined it. She knew the Wabbit wasn't given to sport of any kind. But he was definitely on a skateboard. And his expression of grim determination suggested he'd been practicing. She waited a while. Then she heard a loud crash and a lot of cursing. More time elapsed. The Wabbit burst through her office door wearing dusty fur and a bloody lip. Lapinette looked at him with an unforgiving expression. "You think you're a teenager?" The Wabbit hopped to the window and shrugged. "It's a project." He stared at the window and revisualised his trip. "Needs tweaking." He stood for a moment and thought. Lapinette waited. "It's interdimensional," said the Wabbit, "It takes the passenger to other dimensions on this planet." Lapinette waited even more. "It's unobtrusive," added the Wabbit, "Just in case we meet anyone who takes a dislike to us."  Lapinette grinned a sickly grin. "Who's us?" The Wabbit spread out his paws. "You and me, of course." "Who could possibly take a dislike to me?" sulked Lapinette. The Wabbit brought out his best shrug and smiled. "Will there be aperitivi?" asked Lapinette. The Wabbit grinned. "If you travel the multiverse, I hear each place has welcoming cocktails." Lapinette grinned too. "Let's go. No great story started with a salad."

Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Wabbit's Famous Adventure Caffè

It was one of these days when the weather didn't know what to make of itself. The sky was gloomy yet bright. Maybe it might rain. No-one sat at the chosen caffè. People had made their minds up and the Wabbit shrugged. "Tell me. Skratch. What was that for a sort of adventure?" Skratch felt squeezed at the back. He pushed his way in. "It defies indexality," he said. "That's mysterious," Skratch," said Lapinette. She leapt in the air, as only Lapinette could. Skratch smiled. "Para indexality." Wabsworth knew what Skratch was talking about. His memory banks held all manner of esoteric stuff. "The image is not a clear index to something that is visually given. It is merely the Derridean trace of the object. It is para indexical." The Wabbit snorted. "I find that a bit antiseptic." Lapinette did another binky. "Now were talking medical indexality. I thought our story was perfectly normal. A horror-medical." He paused. "Why are we all standing here when we could be looking for a decent caffè?" Lapinette whirled. "There are no decent caffès on this drag, we need to hop a couple of blocks." She whirled again then stood still. "We can maximise its interfaciality, in reference to other blocks?" meaowed Skratch. "On their plane of immanence? I doubt it," stated Wabsworth. The Wabbit looked around and couldn't see any signs of an immanent drink. "I know a good caffè just off Via Po," he shrugged. Lapinette pirouetted once more. "So what are we waiting for?" 

Monday, March 25, 2024

8. The Wabbit and Wabphage Attack

The Wabbit emerged through a door in front of the Doppelganger's lab. He wore one his annoying smiles. Designed to distract, it had served him well in the past. He knew it would work now. Unseen, Wabsworth crept round the back bearing the payload. "Greetings Doppelganger," said the Wabbit. The Doppelganger was rattled. He snapped, "Call me by my proper name!" The Wabbit smiled a sardonic grin. "Which is?" All the beakers in the lab shook. "Commander Wabbit! I am the real one," yelled the Doppelganger. He frothed at the mouth but his paws held on to the index bag of blood. Wabsworth crept into position. With a hypodermic, he drew the manufactured bacteria from the flask and hopped forward. He could hear the Wabbit taunting the Doppelganger - so he sensed his chance. He hopped forward and plunged the needle into the bag. He had the element of surprise. With time left, he withdrew more fluid and jabbed the doppelganger. The Wabphage ingredients worked almost immediately. The blood in the bag modified as it began to consume itself. Then the Doppelganger's DNA warped - and the reaction was fast. His body convulsed in pain. He grabbed at tubes. His skin changed colour as he crumpled. Pale faced, he lay gasping on the floor. With his last breath he cursed the Wabbit. "This is not the end. I'll be back!" 

Background elements:  Pixabay; Blood Bags Flask

Thursday, March 21, 2024

7. Lapinette and the Blood Spatter

Lapinette was keeping a close eye on the Doppelganger. He was messy as usual and spattered a lot of blood on the workshop window. He sang the while. "Bloody blood, so much bloody blood." Nevertheless, his work looked like it would succeed. He was singing a song about blood. Lapinette's ears pricked up as she paid attention. "Platelets, redlets, whitelets, clotlets. Round and round they're on a spree. Soon we'll have an army, an army an army. Soon we'll have an army, one two three." He gathered up a blood bag and rocked it like a baby. "He's singing to it," gasped Lapinette, "He's mad as a bag of bees." Lapinette felt a buzz in the air. It got louder and louder. It reached a crescendo then died. She inched backwards and out of sight. "Hurry up Wabbit," she shouted. "It's all happening." The building shook. Blood seemed to seep from the walls. Wabsworth and the Wabbit snuck round the back. Wooden beams fell. They held on because everything was shaking. Lights flickered. The metallic smell of blood grew more intense. They could hear the doppelganger singing. It was faintly out of tune and seemed to come and go. Lapinette heard the Wabbit and Wabsworth muttering. Then the Wabbit shouted, "Now!"

[Background and blood graphics at Pixabay]

Monday, March 18, 2024

6. Wabsworth and the Emergency Vehicle

Wabsworth loaded the supply of bio-engineered blood into a vehicle he'd borrowed from the pool at short notice. Then he'd scribbled a note and jumped in. The Wabbit had specified a silent approach so he didn't use the sirens. But he switched on the blue lights and piled through the city like a cheetah on steroids. People scattered. An entire troop of scouts jumped for safety and a jeep full of soldiers took fright and ran. The road to Eur was usually busy but it cleared as he put his foot down. He took a corner on two wheels then turned into the bunker and dropped down the stairs. Strictly speaking, the stairway didn't have the width for a vehicle that size, but Wabsworth squeezed along the concrete canyon and screeched to a halt outside a fortified barrier. The Wabbit's head popped out. "I know I said silent, Wabsworth, but I meant discreet! Anyway, let's have it." Wabsworth held up a canister. "Best I can do at short notice, Commander." The Wabbit looked impressed. Lapinette emerged and she looked impressed too. "The doppelganger is in there with his fakery," she said. "Are we ready to go?" Wabsworth opened his door and jumped down. "I need to get my kit out the back." The back was full of medical paraphernalia. Wabsworth emerged with flasks and tubes and wearing a grim face. "What do you call a scientist who expresses a non self antigen?" No-one said anything. They just shook their heads. "Humoraly Immune!"

Thursday, March 14, 2024

5. Wabsworth and the Bacteria Simulation

Wabsworth got to work immediately. He'd learned all there was to know from various medical sites on the web - as far as he could determine. And just for fun he popped inside the simulation to make the last adjustments. Bacteria swam around his head like giant creatures from the deep and he watched them. "The motor, the hook and the filament," mused Wabsworth. He smiled and tinkered a bit with his representational tools, one of which was a Swiss army knife. He planned to introduce a retrovirus which, when activated, would not only destroy the virus populations of the doppelganger's blood - but move to destroy itself. Wabsworth knew he was on the edge of legality. The Department had outlawed such procedures in case of a spread to all rabbits - and eventually all populations would suffer. He grinned. There was no-one quite like an android to do this work. He felt like Frankenstein's monster. He sang. "Blasticidin, Puromycin, Gentamicin, Zeocin, Let's call the whole thing off!" He pondered upon the introduction of de-mortalisation, then decided against. "Can't have that," he murmured. He scattered a few knockout cells to be on the safe side. "Can't risk creating an uncontrollable monster," he said aloud. He decided he was finished. It was time to transport the completed bacteria to its host. He thought about the Wabbit and his gene pool. "I hope I have his divided attention." He flicked a mental switch and then he was staring at his computer. He chuckled. "I need to speak to Human Resources."

[Background image: bacteria at Pixabay]

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

4. The Wabbit and the Peep Hole

Lapinette squinted through a peephole then rapidly withdrew her eye. "I told you so." The Wabbit gave the shattered glass a sideways glance. "It looks like a blood bank." The Wabbit's doppelganger was busy hanging up pouches and although he seemed to look up, they knew he couldn't see anything. "Now do you believe me?" The Wabbit had never disbelieved Lapinette. He knew far better than that. They watched the Wabbit's doppelganger connect new tubes. Blood gurgled through. A blood red forest of tubes swayed as he moved. "What's his game?" murmured the Wabbit. Lapinette watched some more. "I think he wants to set in motion an army of fake Wabbits, which will obey his every command." The Wabbit nodded. "To do what?" Lapinette looked pensive. "To discredit you and the Department?" The Wabbit laughed. "That won't be hard." There was a crash from the other room as the Doppelganger brought in a fresh tank of blood and manoeuvred it into position. Some spilled. A metallic scent hung in the air. "He's not very efficient," observed the Wabbit. "what do we do now?" Lapinette was quick to respond. "I think Wabsworth might know." The Wabbit fished in his fur for his radio and pressed a button. "He's on his way." "Stealth approach," advised Lapinette. "He's an android, so I taught him to socially distance," quipped the Wabbit.

Thursday, March 07, 2024

3. The Wabbit and the Duplicitous Double

Unbeknown to each other, both the Wabbit and Lapinette were on the trail of the doppelganger. It was at the old abandoned bunker their paths crossed, and they could see the doppelganger at some kind of devilish work. "Which Wabbit are you?" whispered Lapinette. She tapped the Wabbit on the shoulder. "I'm me, of course," groaned the Wabbit. "But how do I know?" asked Lapinette. "I was sizing this place up for a new shed," answered the Wabbit. "Working with who?" said Lapinette in a hushed voice. "Wabsworth!" scowled the Wabbit. "OK," agreed Lapinette. She nodded and smiled. They both watched the intruder. "What's he doing?" They continued to watch. "He's messing with the electrics." said the Wabbit. "With blood?" exclaimed Lapinette. "Spooky," groaned the Wabbit." "Maybe he's trying to generate plasma," suggested Lapinette. "To become the real me?" The Wabbit felt seedy. "He could try," said Lapinette, "did you miss any blood recently?" The Wabbit thought. Cold from the unheated bunker settled around his shoulders and spooked him even more. "I gave blood to the Department. For Overseas Development." They both considered the matter. "It was on its way to the State of Wabbitania. Maybe it was hijacked and stored here." Lapinette was thoughtful. "This bunker was never ever used," she said. "And no-one comes here," added the Wabbit. "Perfect," nodded Lapinette. "That was exactly in my vein of thinking." 

Monday, March 04, 2024

2. Lapinette and the Walrus Spoke

Lapinette had gone to Natural History Museum to help. But when she got there, they wouldn't let her in. "We're closed," they said. "Go away." Lapinette as furious at such rudeness. "I’ve been sent by the Department," said Lapinette. "Don't care!" came the reply. "Then you're fired." Lapinette's tone was unmistakeable. She turned and looked over her shoulder at the retreating figures. "Don't care was made to care," she added and went on her way. Everything was a shambles. Nothing was in order, jumbled together like an old junk shop. "It's like the eighteenth century here," murmured Lapinette. "You're telling me," said a voice. It came from a big toothed walrus and he seemed upset. "They just collected me and shoved me in a room without regard to genus or even species." He looked around at various birds and antelopes. "See what I mean." Lapinette was upset too. "No wonder the Department sent me. I have to clean up." The walrus shrugged. "It will take you hundreds of years." Lapinette sighed and sat down. That was when she spotted what looked like a familiar figure. But he didn't look quite normal. "Wabbit?" The Walrus shook his head. "He's not real, he's a doppelganger." Lapinette slapped a paw to her forehead. "Don't attract his attention," said the walrus, " He's supposed to bring bad luck." Lapinette felt in her frock for her automatic. "I've met him before." The walrus was horrified. "I weep for you, I deeply sympathise ...."

Thursday, February 29, 2024

1. The Wabbit and the Stairway Copy

The Wabbit climbed the stairs with caution. They looked moody and dangerous. "These stairs have more than a touch of menace," he thought. He was in a museum dedicated to the development of coins, a subject in which he had more than a passing interest. His Dinosaur Fund regularly made purchases of coins and sold them on to discerning buyers. Some of the coins were stashed in a secret location known only to the Wabbit, to be brought out on special occasions. This was one of these places. It was out on the edge of town and surrounded by so many roads that only a few people knew how to get there. His paws were rather sore from polishing coins. His head ached from looking at small writing. So he clumped the stairs and grumbled at each step. On this occasion he felt he was being followed by a shadowy figure. He glanced behind him, but every time he looked there was nothing there. Just once he caught a flash in the corner of his eye. A glimpse of blue glasses. He turned to face downstairs. then quickly turned back. This time he caught sight of a figure that looked just like him. It whispered. "We meet again Commander." Then it vanished. The Wabbit shrugged. "We do, so we do." He continued up the stairs and thought about the last time this happened. "I left you on the rail track in Veneto," he said to himself. He thought he'd seen the last of him. "Looks like double trouble," he murmured.  

Friday, February 23, 2024

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè.

The team was in the process of assembling at a Caffè in Via Gregorio VII. It was a bright day and the sun carved harsh patterns in the sidewalk. Lapinette came flying out the Caffè door. "I just ordered Proseccos all round!" The Wabbit scraped his chair with a lot of noise. "Good!" he replied. Are you upset?" asked Lapinette. I didn't know you were inside, we may have ordered twice." Lapinette giggled. "We'd just have to drink twice as quickly." The Wabbit brightened immediately. Skratch came into sight. "Hello everyone. "What was that for a sort of adventure?" Wabsworth appeared at the side and threw in his opinion. "It was an intervisual dialogue. A hybrid of forms." Skratch smiled. "Joussance!" Lapinette pulled a face. "Roland Barthes?" Skratch pulled another face. "I was thinking of Lacan." The Wabbit grinned so much you could hear it,. "The slippy-slidyness of the text." Lapinette frowned. "You're thinking of glissement." The Wabbit stopped grinning then started again. "That's glissement." This was followed by a long silence, interrupted by Wabsworth. "The French don't have a word for that!" Skratch meaowed long and hard. "Your joke routine is improving, Wabsworth." The Wabbit sat back. "Where's this double drink coming from?" Lapinette looked round. "I think I accidentally locked the door."  The Wabbit could see their drinks on the counter. "Life and prosecco are very similar," He paused and looked around, then delivered his punchline. "You have to chill for best results." Everyone groaned.

Monday, February 19, 2024

6. The Wabbit, Lapinette and Last Drinks

The Wabbit and Lapinette turned to find themselves at a cocktail bar. A voice said that they'd been a lot of fun, and they should help yourselves. They shrugged. The Wabbit sorted through the whisky and found an Auchentoshan. "This is my local whisky and just a short hop from my home in Scotland." Lapinette made herself a cocktail. "I just like the blue colour." They sipped. "Delicious," said the Wabbit. "Exquisite," said Lapinette. The Wabbit looked around. "Where's Sebby?" Lapinette shrugged. "He's looking for a painting to be in." The Wabbit grinned. "I'm sure he'll find something to his satisfaction." They both laughed. Lapinette considered. "We seem to be pre-empting the Adventure Caffe." "We'd be stupid not to," said the Wabbit. He savoured his whisky. "It tastes of honey and dandelions." He sipped again. "And wellington boots." They set down their drinks and did a little dance. "I didn't know you knew the waltz." smiled Lapinette. "I happen to be a bronze medallist," answered the Wabbit. "You didn't get the gold?" queried Lapinette. "I fell over my coat," admitted the Wabbit, "but I landed on my back and twirled my partner round like an ice skater." Lapinette paused because she knew there would be a punch line. "I got points for improvisation," laughed the Wabbit. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

5. The Wabbit and the Smoke Eater.

It was only the Wabbit who was drawn into the picture. Sebby the Hat and Lapinette were pushed rudely to the side, but he found himself face to face with a woman with a direct stare. She was a smoke eater. The Wabbit knew this from twenties movies. His head was whirling. He heard a voice in his head telling him she had more curves than Passo Pordoi and the right number of navigable slopes. She fixed him with a steely gaze. "If you're some kind of forty niner, Mr Rabbit, I can inform you I'm no tomato." She threw him a look that was meant to make him roll over with his paws in the air. She sounded as half cut as her hair. His head twirled the other way. Another voice came into his head. He twisted his mouth into a wry smile and heard himself say, "You might be the cat's pyjamas, but I'm the big cheese. You won't get a handcuff from me unless you got plenty of hush money." A puff from her cigarette enveloped his head in a cloud of smoke. The smell of her breath was peaty, like an Islay whisky distillery. She looked closely at the Wabbit. "You're old father time," she breathed. "I think I'll sit this one out." She was fading from view. The Wabbit fell from the picture like a brick and into Lapinette's outstretched paws. She whispered in his ears. "Did you like the lines I gave you?" The Wabbit considered. "As much as chalk and cheese." "But did you like her?" she murmured. The Wabbit shrugged. "Like applause at the end of a show or ... a like on Facebook."

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

4. The Wabbits in a Work of Art

They all began to twirl and were ever so gradually sucked into a painting. "Where are we?" yelled Lapinette. She hung in the air being eyed up by a well-dressed gentleman who should have known better.  "It's when are we? About 1920 something!" shouted the Wabbit. He looked down at himself. "I'm only half in!" he yelled. A woman looked down at him. "I don't like rabbits," she stated. She was a sniffy sort and she pushed him from the painting. "We have all the fur we need and it's certainly not rabbit." But the gentleman with a rose in his lapel was more than happy. "Now you're a pretty little thing," he said to Lapinette, "What's your name?" Lapinette was almost at a loss for words but recovered quickly. "Trixie Beaujolais at your service," she simpered. Sebby made a bee line for the other gentleman. "Good Sir. You require a nice hat," he quipped. "Be off with you, rough Garibaldini," retorted the gentleman. "Perhaps you'd prefer a rose," said Lapinette. As sweet and sticky as honey, her voice trickled down on the fur. His eyes gleamed and he stretched out a hand. He was stuck to the rose and dangerously close to the fur. "Now's our chance," said the Wabbit. He unstuck himself and pulled his friends from the painting. They gazed for a second. Everyone in the painting was stuck to each other. Then the Wabbit, Lapinette and Sebby each felt a tug and a push. The Wabbit exclaimed, "Oh no, it's happening again..." 

Monday, February 12, 2024

3. The Wabbit and the Belle Epoque

The neighbourhood wasn't great on eateries and the Wabbit returned to the hotel for a snack. To his surprise, Lapinette caught up with him there and she was wearing a Garibaldini hat. He knew it was Sebby and he gulped. He ushered Lapinette into a corner. "That's Sebby!" His voice was a hoarse whisper. Wherever Sebby went there was bound to be trouble. "I know," she said. "He's just .." And just at that moment, he flew off Lapinette's head and into the air. He moved so quickly he was just a blur and the Wabbit lost sight of him. The hotel was a product of the belle epoque and the paintings were of their time. They were representations of various luminaries of the period, and the Wabbit was a little in awe of them. Even more so when they began to move. Not only did they move but they began to talk among themselves. "Who are these ghastly people?" said one in an expensive high pitched voice, which the Wabbit felt was  high fallutin. "Oh, leave them alone, they might be fun," said another more mellow fellow. The lady high up on the wall was rather amenable. She threw her rose to Lapinette who smiled and caught it. Sebby twirled and danced and as he swirled around, the Wabbit felt a strange feeling, a bit like a shove and a bit like a pull. So did Lapinette. "Come," said the lady on the wall. "Come with me." The Wabbit caught sight of a calendar with the pages flying round and round. He recognised a sinking in his tummy - and it wasn't hunger ... 

Thursday, February 08, 2024

2. Lapinette and the Garibaldi Hat

Just as the Wabbit left the Hotel, Lapinette was visiting a little-known museum way across town. It was a working museum and there were still offices and staff- so Lapinette was there by kind permission of a very nice man from the Ministry. She wandered through the building. Apart from the telephones, it remained exactly as it was in the nineteen twenties and thirties, with beautiful murals, statues and artefacts. A memorial to the soldiers of the Great War, it was designed by important artists of the time and bore the embellishments of Mussolini. Lapinette gasped at the attention to detail. At the bottom of a wide staircase, she came upon a large mural dedicated to the people. But she noticed a curious detail. A Garibaldini marched alongside the rest. "Psst!" Her ears flapped and she tuned in to the sound. "Psst, Lapinette. Over here." Lapinette was amazed. It was Sebby the Hat. She sighed. "Sebby, I thought you were going to behave yourself." Sebby floated down. I did a bit of exploring and then I got stuck in here." He whirled round. "Get me out of here." He settled on Lapinette's head. "Hey!" yelled Lapinette. "It's my exit strategy," said Sebby, "Besides you look most fetching." Lapinette made for the door. Sebby whistled a marching tune and span round a few times. A member of staff held the door for her. "That hat suits you," she remarked. Lapinette laughed politely. "I can pull a rabbit out of it!" 

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

1.The Wabbit and the Grand Hotel Palace

The Wabbit crossed the road with a silly smile on his face. He was recalling the time he won a thousand on the Lotto. He chortled to himself. But he was in a quandary. He was frightened to buy another in case he won nothing and started a run of bad luck. That amused him further. He glanced up to the nearby hotel. It was the Grand Hotel Palace and he wondered why it had given itself two names. He laughed again because he knew it had been the Ambassador Hotel and was a relic of the Belle Epoque. "So stylish they named it twice." He mused on. He had only been in there once with Lapinette for a jazz lunch, when the place had jumped to Louis Armstrong classics and Pimento Stuffed Celery. The Wabbit loved celery and he'd had too much to eat. He rubbed his tummy and made his way to the centre along Via Veneto. It was as pleasant a winter's day as you could experience in Rome. The Wabbit adjusted his anti-matter fur for the temperature and hopped happily to a jazz standard he was playing through his built-in earphones. He wondered what his next mission would be like. He began to design one in his head, but that seldom worked because the colour and shape was never right - far less the beginning and the end. He decided to consult Lapinette, but before he could do that, he spotted something very strange indeed ...

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Wabbit's Outdoor Adventure Caffè

The team gathered outside a shop in Piazza Campo de' Fiori. It was moderately busy, and they were in a good mood. Lapinette bounded towards the Wabbit. He put his paws up half to embrace her and half to defend himself. Skratch chatted amiably to Wabsworth about the delights of foreign food. Skratch enjoyed a bit of French brie. Wabsworth was fond of baked beans. The Wabbit's voice cut through the chatter. "Tell us Skratch. What was that for a sort of Adventure?" Skratch grinned and shrugged. "On this occasion I can't really say, Wabbit." Wabsworth chipped in. "People find themselves in spaces they don't belong." The Wabbit nodded. "Yes, mostly they came from a window. Maybe it was about the window itself." Lapinette was vociferous. "The window substitutes for the gaze. And the gaze leads to visual pleasure." Skratch nearly cackled. "But what about the sheep? They had no window or pedestal and appeared from nowhere." Lapinette thought for a second. "But they bleated and flocked around." Skratch meaowed. "It was an allegory. Cicero compared sheep with the hordes of plebeians." Wabsworth laughed. "Didn't do them any good though." The Wabbit snorted. "No. Because they elected a wolf to protect them." He took his turn to shrug - he had a poor opinion of populism. He indicated the shop. "Can we get a drink here?" "No," said Wabsworth, "Unless we buy a bottle and sit by the fountain." The Wabbit giggled. "That counts as an outdoor activity." Then they laughed and laughed and laughed.

Monday, January 22, 2024

6. The Wabbit and the Centre of Rome

The furious bleating died down. Cicero had gone. Sheep had gone. But the Wabbits were still there and they wandered cheerfully into Piazza Campo de' Fiori. The Wabbit inspected an old vehicle, parked by the restaurants. "Thinking of changing of transport to an Ape?" Lapinette was curious. She'd seen that look on the Wabbits face before. "Not really," mused the Wabbit. "I was thinking of a time when everything was smaller. "We were smaller too," laughed Lapinette. She jumped in the air. "We grew to what the frame demanded," responded the Wabbit, with a twinkle in his eye. "Needs must where the devil drives," added Lapinette. They relaxed and looked at the twinkling lights and listened to the echoing sounds of the Piazza. "So we stay in Rome for a while." Lapinette seemed positive. "It's very good fun." The Wabbit looked at the rear screen of the Ape three wheeler. "I'd say. It's rather vibrant and all - with the hustle bustle and the rufty tufty." Lapinette giggled. "Rufty tufty?" "That's what Romans like to think, anyway," said the Wabbit, "Fancy a spin round the piazza?" He looked around for the owner ad received a nod of consent." Before long they were driving slowly in and out of barrows and left over vegetables. That was a bit of a daft adventure," murmured Lapinette. "Like the old days," added the Wabbit. "When we were young and beautiful," smirked Lapinette. "Still are!" grinned the Wabbit.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

5. The Wabbit and the Phantom Sheep

"What shall we do with these sheep, Cicero?" asked the Wabbit, "They're your sheep, you called them up." Cicero was astonished. He spoke sardonically. "So many different sheep. It will take more than a wolf to protect them." The Wabbit couldn't resist. "They'll get the government they deserve." Lapinette stroked one sheep and pointed to another. "That looks like a colourful sheep." The sheep bleated and milled around the square in all directions. "They need a leader, said Lapinette, "What about you Cicero?" Cicero swept his arm forward. "I'm no leader. I'm just advisory." He swept his arm backwards and the baa-ing stopped and the sheep were gone. "They were only a metaphor anyway." The Wabbit thought and thought. "Perhaps you were better outside the law courts, sweeping your arm and reading from your scroll - for all eternity." Cicero nodded. "For all the time that Rome endures?" "It's endured a while," commented Lapinette. "That's true," replied Cicero. "Now that's settled, I'll treat us all to a drink," laughed the Wabbit, "I see a hostelry over there. The Ape Bar." They wandered over, pulled out chairs and sat down. Cicero lifted his glass. "For the replenishment of our health!" "And not for our sorrow," said the Wabbit and Lapinette together. "He was a wise man who invented wine!" quoted the Wabbit. "That's Plato," said Cicero. "And it was beer," said Lapinette. "Just testing you," giggled the Wabbit.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

4. The Wabbit and the Meaning of Death

With Cicero in tow, the Wabbit and Lapinette went to San Lorenzo in Damaso, an old church they knew. They didn't really know what to do with Cicero, but they had no intention of going back to Ostia Antica. That was far too dangerous. Just at the door, they paused by an elaborate gravestone. "Here lies Tomai Aretio!" exclaimed Lapinette. She had no idea who that was but had an encyclopaedic memory for catalogues. Cicero drew himself up into oratorial style, "You have your dead here?" He was astonished. "We always separate death from life. Tombs should be outside the city gates." The Wabbit knew all about funeral practices in ancient Rome, having competed a module at night school. "More recently, church benefactors could be buried within the walls." Cicero stepped back. "But dead bodies are polluting. Perhaps this deathly creature transported the dead to the Esquiline undertakers." Lapinette shook her head. "No, his body lies below." She indicated the flagstones on the floor of the church. "Do you believe in one God, Cicero." Cicero laughed. "By Jove, that depends on who's listening!" The Wabbit struck a pose. "Arm'd with the terrors of Almighty Jove. Lov'st thou to walk, the peaceful solemn grove." Cicero struck a pose too. "Sounds OK to me. Better than debating that sheep, Mark Antony." Lapinette made funny ears and yelled baa. So did the Wabbit. Then Cicero. The sound of sheep echoed from the church door and bleated its way into the piazza.

Monday, January 15, 2024

3. The Wabbit & Lapinette meet Big Cicero

The Wabbit was walking by the Tiber where he spotted Lapinette. He hailed her with a merry cry. She rushed towards him with puckered lips. They hugged. "Let me tell you about something strange that's been happening to me," said the Wabbit. Lapinette laughed. "Something strange is always happening to you." The Wabbit shared her amusement. But just as he was about to explain, a voice hailed him. "Commander, Commander!" The Wabbit ignored it. Lapinette looked around. She saw nothing and shook her head. "Pay no attention, it's in your head." They gazed at the Tiber. "I've swam the Tiber and the Po." murmured the Wabbit." Lapinette pouted. "So damned exciting, is that so?" They both giggled. "Commander, Commander! Remember me?" It was that voice again. This time they both turned. "Over there," said Lapinette. "It's Big Cicero!" shouted the Wabbit. "Long time, no see," said Cicero. "Join me in a dish of garum? I know a little place round the corner." Lapinette waved but turned up her nose. "I hate garum." It was under her breath, but Cicero heard her. "Don't worry Lapinette, there's lots of fishy Roman cuisine here." It was more than a decade since they'd met Cicero in Ancient Rome. The Wabbit touched Lapinette. "He must have found a way back, through the fabric of time." He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Talking of fabric, he needs a new toga." Lapinette knew what was coming. "XL?" she asked. "No, just the one!" chortled the Wabbit.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

2. The Wabbit and Betty's Advice

The Wabbit never gave the tobacconist a second thought. But later that year he was prowling through the back streets of Turin when he heard a voice. "How are your adventures, Wabbit?" He turned, then smiled. Betty Boop looked at him, backlit and beautiful. She winked. "Wabbit, your adventures are famous worldwide." The Wabbit was in front of a cinema which Skratch insisted showed experimental films. But the Wabbit knew it was an adult film theatre. "My adventures are just fine and dandy Betty," he said, "Always full of excitement." Betty winked once more. "Satire too." The Wabbit blushed, shrugged and asked the critical question. "Why are you in front of a place like this?" Betty stuck a leg in the air and simpered. "I'm public domain now. But I like to watch the street." They gazed at each other. The Wabbit chirped. "I'm trademarked, you know." "Does it hurt? smiled Betty. "Only when I laugh," gasped the Wabbit. "You were in a few adventures, Betty. Any story advice?" Betty's lights flickered. "I like the ones that have no narrative point." The Wabbit blinked. "None of them do." Betty winked the slowest wink that ever was winked. "Maybe that's the point, Wabbit." The Wabbit thought of Minnie the Moocher.  His head swam. "I'll keep an eye open for you, Commander," said Betty. The back light flickered. The cinema plunged into darkness. The Wabbit heard singing as he hopped along the street. "He's got eyes of blue and that's my weakness now."

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

1. The Wabbit and the Damp Sunday

The day was damp. Wet leaves lay on the street. The Wabbit hopped aimlessly along Via Gregorio VII. It wasn't so cold, but the weather lay on his shoulders like a soggy towel. The Wabbit didn't like days like this. His fur was humid, which put him in a bad a bad mood. He was passing a tobacconist when a voice spoke to him. "What?" grunted the Wabbit. He didn't want to be rude, but he was quietly minding his own business. "How are your adventures?" Now the Wabbit paid attention. "Who are you?" He stared for a while at the closed shutter. "I am the smoking shutter as befits a tobacconist." The Wabbit looked displeased. "Smoking is bad for you!" The shutter smiled. "I'm what you might call a campesino." His shoulders seemed to shrug. "Besides, lots of things are bad for you." The Wabbit was in no mood for idle chitter-chatter and he breathed a sigh. "Please come to the point." The campesino took the cigarette from his mouth. "Come back and see me when I'm open and I'll advise you of an adventure you might have. I'll sell you a lotto ticket too." The Wabbit brightened. In the summer, he'd bought a lotto ticket on a whim and won a hundred euro. Then he'd bought another and won a thousand. He shrugged. "When I come back, the shop will be open - but you'll be closed." The campesino roared with laughter. "Just listen. Put your paw on the lotto ticket you want. If it's a winner I'll rattle in the wind." The Wabbit grunted and hopped on down the road. "Joke, rattle and roll," he murmured. 

Friday, January 05, 2024

The Wabbit at his Adventure Caffè

The team gathered at a Caffè they knew. But when they arrived it looked different. It was under new management, so they hesitated. "Looks safe," said Wabsworth. The Wabbit nodded. It was near various embassies and was likely secure enough. He nodded to an officer from the Carabinieri and received one in return. Skratch rolled up behind them. "What's everyone waiting for? Let's order." Lapinette simpered. "We were waiting on you, Skratch. Tell us what kind of adventure we just had." Skratch miaowed. "Your Lapinette was a real double, otherwise you wouldn't be wearing a version of your dress. Most fetching by the way." Lapinette curtsied. The Wabbit frowned. "In that case, the other Lapinette is not a dark and unacceptable part of your ego." "Much too Gothic," chortled Wabsworth. They all laughed. "At a sub- atomic level, atoms and molecules might know their own properties," commented Skratch. "So the other Lapinette knew who she was?" Lapinette was intrigued. "Now that's Gothic," said Wabsworth. Skratch let out a blood curdling growl that astonished passers-by. "The realm of the subatomic may be governed by principles that are not unlike semiotic ones." The Wabbit leaned forward. "The other Lapinette did have quantum coherence. Momentarily frozen and unfrozen in knowing and unknowing." Wabsworth was intrigued. "So where is she now, without her frock." I think she seized the possibility of another frock," purred Skratch. Lapinette's eyes widened to an impossible size. "We shouldn't really give a frock," said the Wabbit, "I'm ordering drinks!" 

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

6. The Wabbit and the Realm of Possibility

Lapinette bounded along the car park ramp at enormous speed. "Leave my Wabbit alone," she yelled. The figure turned. Lapinette faced what seemed to be herself. She lifted her snazer and took aim. Quiet fell and the car park lights flared. Silence froze them both. The Wabbit broke it with a shout. "Don't shoot. She's one of your possibilities." The figure's paws flailed. Her mouth opened. She seemed to say something, but the words were indistinct. "Give me back my frock," screamed Lapinette. She waved her weapon. The Wabbit caught them up and stood in front of the figure "She's you from an old adventure." Lapinette was furious. "She's an imposter and I want my frock back." The Wabbit shook his head. "You'll rupture the space time continuum." Lapinette finally let the snazer drop, but she kept her paw on the trigger. "Explain!" The Wabbit gave a lengthy talk on relativity. He knew Lapinette would be aware of it, but he had to calm her down. The car park echoed to her voice. "She could be dangerous. What about loop quantum gravity?" The Wabbit shrugged. "Probably. Remember you jumped on that underground train?" Lapinette nodded. "Spinfoam formed multidimensions in the tunnel and there were many possible Lapinettes. This one must have generated a topography of its own and remained behind." The alternative Lapinette's mouth moved. This time the Wabbit heard her speak - like the tinkling of tiny bells. "None of this is proven. I'm moving outside the realm of possibilities." She gave a wave and began to fade. Soon there was nothing, except for a tartan kilt that lay on the shiny tarmac. Lapinette picked it up and examined it. "That's possibly mine to keep."