Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2006


This Person

   Richard talks to the people on the lawn. "You may think it's odd that I have so many pencils, but wait..." He holds up a 'stop' sign. "Sorry, I thought the sign said 'wait'." He walks away.
   "But anyway," Hugh says, "she pointed out that the hedge looked very like this person's hair. Just don't tell this person about it."
   This person looks angry.
   Hugh takes out a matchbox. "And my magician..." He looks inside the matchbox, but it's empty. "My magician seems to have disappeared."
   There's silence until Richard comes back. "You may think it's odd that I have so many pencils, but wait..." He smiles and holds up the sign again. He's crossed out the word 'stop' and painted 'wait' instead.
   There's a small explosion in the shed behind them. People run out of it. "My magician did that."
   Noel goes over to Hugh and says, "You do know that this person has been standing right behind you all along, don't you?"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


A Thing That Goes 'Ping'

   Michelle is the tour guide in an old country mansion. She stands in front of the fireplace in the drawing room and the latest tour group listen as she says, "This painting was painted in pointy pointy pointy," wagging a finger each time she says 'pointy'. "Look at that," she says and points at something behind the group. She runs away when they turn around.
   She goes shopping for hats with her friends Lisa and Nicole. They try on lots of different hats, different colours and shapes, looking in mirrors and spinning around.
   Then they go to a lecture about a thing that goes 'ping', but they're bored out of their minds. Nicole eventually puts up her hand and says, "Do we really need to know any more than that it goes 'ping'?"
   The lecturer takes the pipe from his mouth and looks up at the ceiling. Then he looks over towards the window.
   Michelle, Lisa and Nicole lie on the grass, looking dazed. Michelle struggles to get to her feet. Nicole's arm is in a sling and there's a bandage around her head.
   They hear a 'ping' sound. The lecturer walks over to them and says, "Yes. Yes, you do."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Something in the Painting

   Grace notices something odd about the painting as she walks past it. She looks closer. Someone has added in a woman in a red raincoat with a speech bubble that says 'I think I'm fantastic'.
   "Where did this come from?" she says to Janet and Nadine as she points at the woman in the painting.
   "Actually..." Janet's long, tedious explanation. "...So in a way it's your fault."
   Grace is staring into the distance, smiling. She's thinking about a little robin.
   Little Robin: That's funny, because I was thinking of another robin, one who's on TV. He's just a robin, but he becomes a great tennis player, and he's got this helmet. I don't know why he has the helmet, but it sort of helps him. It gives him some sort of power. He's very clever even without the helmet. I used to be able to do an impression of him. "I'm Charles, Charles, who, who." No, I can't do it anymore. I can do the crow. "Excuse me, I think that's my hat, who are you, I'm a crow, thank you, who are you, thank you." He's always like that.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


A Blue Room

   Frank starts painting the room in the morning, and he tries to get the job done as quickly as he possibly can. The sun through the window illuminates the blue paint.
   Colum is outside, with eight nieces and nephews following him everywhere he goes. He brought them here to show them the countryside. He's been pointing out trees and animals, telling the kids everything he knows. They look at everything he points at, and listen carefully to what he says. "And that's a tractor going across the field in the distance. That's ice on the ground, in the shade of the shed. That's the sound of a chainsaw. Someone is cutting timber. And there's the dog. He's asleep. He's dreaming of a being in a play, sleeping beneath red curtains that billow in a breeze..."
   Clare looks at the blue room. She thinks she can see the words 'who are you' on one wall, but Frank says, "That's just the way the paint is drying."
   She puts on her glasses and looks at a sign that says 'That's right'.
   Colum takes a break from the kids in the afternoon. He comes inside to have a cigarette, but his silver lighter won't work. He stops to think, and looks up at the lightbulb. He keeps staring at the bulb as daylight fades.
   The kids are outside, staring at the dog. When he wakes up he walks away and they follow him. When he stops, they stop. He's become their leader now that Colum has left.
   In the growing gloom the words disappear from the blue wall. Colum looks at the bulb for an hour, and then it comes on. "Oh yeah, I brought the wrong lighter."
   Clare looks at the wall in the light. She can just about make out the words 'you're a safety pin'. She takes off her glasses, looks at the wall again and nods. The kids are still following the dog outside. He lies down on the ground and closes his eyes. Ten seconds later he opens one eye but they're still there.

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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