Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005



   In the fridge, a beer bottle says to a bottle of milk, "Y' know, you have beautiful eyes."
   "Where?" the milk says.
   The beer thinks for a while and says, "They're in the freezer compartment."
   The milk is intrigued by this idea. She had always just accepted that she didn't have eyes. She had never considered the possibility that they might be in the freezer, but now that she thinks about it, it does make sense. But how will she get to the freezer compartment?
   Conrad and Sophie meet in the afternoon. A cigar and a drink in her father's car, a Jaguar. A drive along the coast, listening to the songs on the radio. She wears dark sunglasses and a white scarf. A walk beneath the setting sun, tip-toeing into a silent house, a 'shh' and a laugh. And shhh, he gets the impression that there's a cat burglar just behind his back.
   The lights come on, two 'who are you's and minutes later, Conrad and Sophie are drinking and laughing with the cat burglar who tried to steal his toes. He goes to the fridge to get some more beer.
   No, there's no obvious way of getting to the freezer compartment. The milk wonders if her eyes have ever tried to get into the fridge.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


A Quiet Country Walk

   As they walk down a quiet country road, Gwen tells Emma about her new boyfriend, George. "He's always opening doors for me and things. And he's very romantic. He played 'Something Stupid' on the piano, which is sort of our song. He's witty too. He said something there the other day about the ironing board. I can't remember what it was, but it was very funny. He loves sailing, and he has his own boat. I can't remember what it's called, but that's something funny too. He took me out on it once, and he had a bottle of champagne and everything. Animals love him, and he's good with children. He's travelled all over the world. He has some very funny stories about the Finns. And he's a great dancer too... Look, there's George now,"
   Gwen points up at a hot air balloon. A man in a tuxedo is hanging from the balloon on a rope. There's a man in the basket above with a scar on his face and an eye patch, laughing maniacally as he tries to cut the rope.
   "Is he the one in the tuxedo?" Emma says.
   "Ahm... yeah," Gwen says, and she nods slowly. "Come on, let's go back to the house."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


The Turtle and I.

   A turtle. Me. Running through the fields, over fences and ditches, meeting a woman on a hill, a drink in the pub, a compliment about the way she wears her hat, and here I am on the sofa with her while the turtle is still back at the start with his head stuck in a plughole.
   A moonlit walk with her, a 'will you marry me?' on bended knee, a tear and a 'yes'. Then hours of shopping for shoes and listening to her explain why it's funny when people call me 'Slanty', and suggesting the word 'Slanty' in crossword clues. Sometimes I envy the turtle, especially seeing as Britt Ekland is reading him a story about a Samurai and a Saint Bernard, and at the very least that must compensate for the indignity of having his head stuck in a plughole.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


A November Afternoon

   Emily and Delia are in the garden. A cold wind blows the brown leaves across the concrete driveway. Emily stares into the distance until Delia says, "The rain has cleared."
   "Yes... It's getting dark very early these days."
   "It is. The sun has nearly gone down already."
   There's silence again, and then Emily says, "My shoe nails don't like the rain."
   Button on Emily's Coat: Did she just say her shoe nails don't like the rain?
   "I saw a robin jumping up and down," Delia says, "wearing my scarf."
   Button: Wait a minute, she said she saw a robin wearing her scarf, didn't she?
   "The sea is blue and the glass in the window is glue."
   Button: Glass is glue? What the hell's that all about?
   "My May face says my July eyes are gypsies."
   Button: Am I going mad here?
   "My knee voted for someone in the last election just to annoy my elbow."
   Button: Yes, I'm going mad. That's what it is. Ha ha ha.

The Tree and the Horse
Henry Seaward-Shannon
A Walk in the Rain
The East Cork Patents Office
Words are my favourite noises




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very slight stories

They Met a Bear
  They stopped in a small seaside town and they went for a walk. They met a bear.
  This is one version of the story. In another version, they met a sailor, and in this one they ended up being held at gunpoint on a speedboat and becoming unwilling participants in a diamond robbery while disguised as a cow, and sharing in the proceeds of that crime.
  So when they tell the story they just say, "We met a bear. He waved at us."

The Story of the Fortune Teller and the Alarm Clock
  A fortune teller threw an alarm clock at me. This story is deliberately lacking in details to mock the predictions of the fortune teller. Although she was right when she said she'd throw an alarm clock at me.

  One. Two. Three, the study. Four, a candle stick. Five. Six...
  Seven is missing, presumed dead. One has taken up the case, and two is helping him in his investigations. They both suspect six. Seven was last seen next to six in the garden.
  But seven isn't really dead. He's consumed half a bottle of whiskey and he's currently in the orchard, talking to a rabbit. "One of us is as boring as a gate post," he says, "and it's not..." He stops to count on his fingers. "No, actually it is me."
  Eight nine ten.

Debbie and his dog
  Debbie was sick of people mistaking her for a man.
  "Is your dog my parole officer?"
  She was sick of people asking her that too.

Very Slight Stories: like short stories, only shorter

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