Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
Click here to buy the paperback or download the ebook for free.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Hazel's Story About a Card Game

   A red sky to end the day. A man looked down. A donkey and a dog stared in wonder into the sunset, their faces illuminated by the golden light... (A girl puts up her hand).
   "How can a donkey and a dog show wonder on their faces?"
   That's not really the point of the story. They were...
   "I once saw a donkey wearing a hat with flowers in it, and he looked exactly the same as when he ate the hat."
   Why was he wearing a hat with flowers in it?
   "There was a monkey there, and I don't know why the monkey was there, but they asked him if he'd like some lemonade. He just looked back at them for a while, then he got out his cigarette lighter and he was about to set the trailer on fire. One of them said, 'No no, lemonade. Lemonade.' The monkey slowly nodded his head. While they were looking at the monkey, the donkey got Maeve's hat. He was wearing it. Maeve got Emma to distract the donkey while she tried to take the hat. Emma didn't really know how to distract a donkey. She started talking to him, and she said something about a dog shaved by Mozart, like in a contest for shaving dogs, and Mozart only entered because Beethoven entered it too. Then the shed caught fire. Everyone else was looking at that, but the donkey kept looking at Emma. She waved at him. And then he ate the hat."
   My story would probably be an anti-climax after that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Emmet and Elaine

   She leant across the top of the piano and sang a song. They sat in silence on the patio. She told him she was a nurse. If she had told him this while they were on the patio they would have had something to talk about, but she told him while they were surfing. "A nurse?" he said while she was buying a hat.
   Ronan stood at the open window and said, "It was one of those days. Every day is one of those days. A grey sky. The smell of paint is the only thing that gives these days any sort of character. Listening to Maisy talk about the keys. She doesn't say much and what she does say is about the keys." He threw a boomerang into the field, and then he closed the window. "Lost keys and lost days doing nothing at all, nothing to distinguish one day from the next, all one day in the mind." The boomerang came back and broke the window. "I really didn't think that would happen."
   Emmet looked at the broken glass on the ground. Then he turned to Elaine and said, "You're really a nurse?"

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Robbing a Bank

   There are two bank robbers in the middle of the field, pretending to be a cow. "So where's the bank?"
   Martin and Elaine go to meet their friends, Gary and Nicole, in town. They walk around the shops for over an hour and then they go for a coffee. Before going home, they arrange to meet again for a game of tennis.
   Martin climbs the stairs at home, but he stops on the first step. He has a feeling that something isn't quite right. He tries to think of what it could be. He stands there for a few minutes before walking on, but he stops again two steps later.
   He has a beard by the time he gets to the top of the stairs, and then it finally dawns on him. "They were string puppets!"
   He runs back downstairs and says to Elaine, "Gary and Nicole are string puppets!"
   She remembers their shopping trip. When Nicole was using her credit card it took ages for her to sign her name, and at the cafe, Gary missed his mouth with the coffee cup. "I thought I was just being paranoid," Elaine says, "but I was starting to wonder if those people were following us around."
   They go to see their friends, and Martin says, "Are ye just string puppets?"
   "Is that a real beard?" Gary says.
   "Ah... yeah. I just lost my... hat earlier, and I was wondering if ye might have seen it."
   "Right. We better be off then."
   As they drive home, Elaine says, "Was he gluing his hand to the dog?" Martin brakes and turns around.
   Gary is in the garden. His hand is stuck to the dog, who's dragging him around the lawn. "Did you glue your hand to the dog?" Martin says.
   "No." The dog runs towards the gate and takes Gary with him, but he stops suddenly and walks back the way he came. He stops again. "Is that really a cow?" Gary says.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006



   William evicts the mice from his house. "Don't come back," he says to them as he closes the front door. He walks back down the hall towards the kitchen, and the cowboy walks behind him.
   The cowboy follows him everywhere, always telling him how dangerous smoking is, smiling and winking all the time.
   William stands in the kitchen, thinking about how to evict the sink. The cowboy stands behind him. "Smoking kills," he says, and winks a few times. "There are many health problems related to smoking."
   A bottle falls over. "Do you want to be evicted too?" William says to it.
   On the following morning, the homeless mice appear in the newspaper. There's a photo on the front page of the mice in coats and hats, carrying tiny suitcases. William is described as a leading academic in the article. He reads it out loud and the cat makes a noise that sounds like a laugh. "I'm going to evict you."
   The cowboy tries to hold back laughter as he says, "Smoking is... I think... it's..."
   "You are so evicted."
   On the following day, the story in the paper is about how he evicted a prominent anti-smoking campaigner. There's a photo of the cowboy with the mice.
   William meets someone in a quiet car park late at night, and they exchange brown envelopes. He goes to his weekly bridge game. During the game he says, "I just met someone in a car park and exchanged brown envelopes, and I bought a new kettle... Forget what I said about the car park."
   When he looks at the front page of the paper on the following morning, there's a story about how he bought a new kettle. "That was a close one," he says to himself.
   The doorbell rings, and William opens the door. The three mice are there with the cowboy, who has a wig under his cowboy hat. "My name is Mozart," he says, "and I was wondering if you could let us stay in your house for a while. I'm playing in the area. These are my three assistants. One of them is Bach. I don't know which one."
   The mice are wearing wigs too. William knows who they really are, but he plays along and he says he'd be happy to have Mozart and his assistants stay with him. They step inside and the cowboy says, "Composing is fantastic." He winks. "I love nothing more than spending all day composing music." He smiles and winks a few times.
   One of the mice says, "We heard you got a new kettle."
   "Yeah, would ye like to see it?"
   "We'd love to."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Finding a Violin

   Sam always outlines possible courses of action for whatever situation he finds himself in, and there's always one course where he's a mouse. In the present situation, he needs to find a violin in every course of action he can see ahead of him.
   He stands in a field with Nigel, as they try to think of what to do. Nigel holds a thermometer in the air, looking up at blue sky. "Something has just bitten off my hand," he says. "No, there it is."
   "Where's your foot?"
   "Something must have bitten it off."
   On the radio, the DJ announces a competition where you can win a violin if you know what the capital of France is. Nigel phones the radio station, and when he's asked the question he says, "I don't know; something just bit off my elbow."
   Sam goes to the car to look there again. Nigel looks up at the sunlight through the leaves in a tree. A hawk comes along and sees him watching the leaves, so the hawk watches the leaves too. The hawk doesn't really know what it's supposed to be looking at.
   When Sam comes back he asks Nigel where his knee is. "The hawk must have bitten it off.
   "I've been thinking about this," Sam says. "What if I just took Tracey's violin."
   "She'd surely notice."
   "Yeah, but what if I was a mouse."
   "The hawk would eat you."
   "Is there any way of blindfolding the hawk?"
   Nigel stands in front of the hawk, telling it about all the things he's had bitten off, while Sam creeps up behind it with a blindfold. Just as he's about to pounce, a violin falls from the tree. "Alright, forget about the hawk," Sam says.

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




May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   May 2013  

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

More blogs about Storytelling.
Technorati Blog Finder

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?