Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005


A Night Out

   Joe bought a box of chocolates for Iris. Just before he left to meet her, he met his brother, Owen, who said, "You're going out with the librarian again, are you?"
   "Iris, yeah."
   "What are ye going to do? Play bridge for the evening?"
   "We're going to the theatre."
   "Going to the theatre with a librarian. Ye might as well be playing bridge."
   Owen put on his best suit and went to a bar, where he met a very tall woman in a black dress.
   Joe knocked on Iris's door and gave her the chocolates. "They're just the ones I like," she said. "Thanks."
   "You're welcome... I lost my tie in the woods."
   "Yeah." He nodded.
   Owen asked the woman he met in the bar if she'd like a glass of champagne. "Okay," she said. "Just the one."
   He woke up in the morning in a hotel where a women's basketball team were staying, in a room with all of that basketball team. An ostrich was there too.
   One of the women said to him, "Would you mind taking the ostrich home?"
   "Yes, of course."
   "I think his name is Gilbert."
   He couldn't remember how they got the ostrich, so he had no idea where Gilbert's home was. He went to a bar, hoping a drink would clear his head, but he had to leave when someone tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, but your ostrich is trying to take that man's umbrella."
   He managed to get Gilbert outside. They walked through the park, where they met Joe and Iris, who were eating ice cream cones by the lake.
   Owen told them what happened and Joe said, "There's a lesson to be learnt in this. If you..."
   "Attack, Gilbert. Attack!" Owen said as he pointed at his brother, but the ostrich just looked back at him. "Come on, Gilbert." He walked away, and Gilbert followed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


The White Coat

   Hugh looks at the apple trees, takes a deep breath of the fresh air and says, "A gypsy once told me..."
   Hilary and Clare look towards him, but he doesn't know what to say. He looks at the words on the back of his hand for help, but they just say, "Don't start a sentence with the words 'a gypsy once told me'." And the word "don't" is underlined.
   He looks around and sees a white coat on the clothes line, so he asks who owns that, and Hilary says, "Stan was supposed to play the part of the snow in a play, but he had no idea how to do it. He tried to do a little dance on the stage, and the director just shook his head. Then he tried making a sound like a ghost. The director said, 'You'll be making sandwiches for the rest of your life.' Stan looked so sad then, and the director said, 'That's exactly what I'm looking for.' Stan didn't know what he was doing, so he just tried to think of making sandwiches for the rest of his life. Every night in the play he just stood on the stage, dressed in white, thinking of making sandwiches, but it was no fun thinking of making sandwiches, especially seeing as that's what he was doing every day. He was hoping that the acting would be an escape from that. Coming home from work was as dreary as work, especially when the days got shorter. And now once again there's just near-darkness and then darkness as the evenings close in, and the leaves fall from the trees. I didn't know what to say to Stan, so I said nothing, and the silence seemed to say it all, more than I could ever say anyway."
   There's silence for a while, until Hugh says, "You know, a gypsy once told me..." He looks at the back of his hand again. "Damn!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Love in the Air

   Terry stops to tie his laces on a long green lawn, and a tree tree tree, tree. There's only one tree but its presence is four times greater than that of Terry.
   Polly Polly Polly Polly Polly Polly Polly Polly.
   At the most, she'd just be 'Polly Polly' if she wasn't wearing that T-shirt.
   The little birds and love-related words in the air, shoes on the ground where Polly took off her shoes. She moves in slow motion through the flowers. He walks towards her, looking into her eyes, a breeze in her hair. He stops to pick a flower for her.
   The cat cat cat cat cat. Tree tree tree tree. The cat fell out of the tree.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The Stapler

   John and Louise stand in the kitchen and look out the window at the grey sky. They can hear the sound of the clock ticking. He asks her if she knows where the stapler is, and yes, it's over there. Thanks. He picks it up and opens it to see how many staples are in it. Not many. He counts ten of them. "There are only ten staples left in it," he says.
   "That's not many."
   There's silence until Louise says, "Martha is looking after a monkey, and the monkey got into a fight with an Irish Wolfhound after Martha's daughter dressed it in a cardigan, the monkey. I don't know where the Irish Wolfhound came from. It was a pink cardigan. She tried to put a hat on the monkey too, but they stopped her. There were flowers in the hat. And, it was very funny, there was a little dog who tried to hide from them by closing his eyes. And in fairness, it worked too."
   Next week: Martha.

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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