|Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.||
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
What Might Have Been
Nigel sits alone in an arbour and looks up at the stars. There are lots of other people in the garden too. The kids are around somewhere. The dog is with the thing the dog is with. Whatever it is, it doesn't have much choice in being with the dog.
Nigel can hear the sound of the dog barking, but it's always closely followed by another sound that he can't decipher. He remembers a night years ago, walking down a quiet garden path with Marlene, just after the sun had gone down. They looked towards the west and he said to her, "Those bloody lantern bats."
She was about to inquire what he meant by 'Those bloody lantern bats', but she decided not to. She went down an alternative path, and ended up marrying Sam instead.
As Nigel looks up at the stars he says to himself, "She could have been mine if I hadn't inexplicably said 'Those bloody lantern bats'. Or if she'd given me a chance to explain."
He leaves the arbour and goes to find the kids. They're with the dog under a tree. He says to them, "I know one of those noises is the dog, but what's the other one?"
"The dog's name is Scrooge," Sally says.
"Oh... Oh right."
He leaves them again. He walks down the path towards the pond. Eve is standing next to the water. There are tears in her eyes. Her ears were having an affair with a spider. When she found out about it she broke down in tears. She poured herself a glass of whiskey to steady her nerves, but the tears return every time she thinks about it. She wonders how her ears could do this to her. She hates spiders.
Nigel joins her at the pond. He stares into the night and says, "I once knew a dog called Bloodlet, and I could understand that."
He kicks himself for saying that. He thinks this is like Marlene all over again, but Eve couldn't care less about what he said. She's just glad to hear the sound of a voice, something to distract from the memory of what her ears did.
The Tree and the Horse
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.
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