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 ...