Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Dan Versus the Fairies

   Dan was locking up his pub one night when he heard a knock at the back door. He often heard a knock at the back door after he'd locked up, and it was normally one of his customers looking for directions to their house and a bottle of something to help them find it, but when he opened the door he was confronted by the fairies.
   One of them said, "We're having a party and we've run short of drink. We need to re-stock."
   The fairy gave Dan a bag made of dark green cloth, and when he looked inside it was full of gold coins. "Take whatever ye want," Dan said.
   The fairies rushed into the kitchen and through to the pub. Within seconds the place was full of them, and the noise of their laughter and song was almost deafening. The pub emptied as quickly as it had filled. They ran out through the back door and Dan heard the laughter fade into the night.
   They had taken almost every bottle in the place. Dan looked into the bag, but instead of the gold coins he saw earlier, it was full of nicotine patches. Used ones, too.
   On the following day, he told his regulars about what had happened, and he plotted his revenge. They told him he was crazy to take on the fairies, but he took no notice. "No one fecks me over and gets away with it," he said.
   He went to see Sean, his local politician, and asked for his help.
   "What can I do?" Sean said.
   "I don't know. Bring it up at the next Council meeting or something."
   "I'm sort of banned from the Council meetings for a while. I suppose I could write them a letter anyway."
   A few days later, Sean called into the pub and said he wrote to the fairies and he got a response. Dan was supposed to meet them at the fairy fort after midnight, and they'd pay him back in full.
   Dan was there at midnight, and he was still on his own half an hour later. He was getting ready to go home, but the fairies appeared around him as quickly as they had entered his pub. One of them asked if he'd like to hear a song before they got down to business, and Dan thought it would be rude to refuse. One of the fairies started playing the fiddle before he responded anyway.
   Dan was mesmerised by the music. He lost all sense of time. The fairies disappeared in a matter of seconds, and when Dan looked around it was dawn. They had left without paying again, but that wasn't the worst thing they had done to him. They had shaved two words on the back of his head. The second one was 'off'.
   Sean was wearing a gold medallion when Dan met him. "I'm adding you to the list," Dan said.
   "But you'll still vote for me? I'll sort out the planning for the car park."
   "I'm adding your name to the list anyway."
   "Good man yourself."
   When Dan got home there was a letter with Sean's smiling face at the top of the notepaper. It said: 'I hope, at the next election, you'll remember how I helped you out of your recent difficulties'.
   He underlined Sean's name on the list, but the fairies were still the immediate priority.
   He went to see Thomas, an old man who had many meetings with the fairies in the past. He had two suggestions. One involved a bus and was a lot like the film 'Speed'. The other was to sell them a pigeon that supposedly has special powers, and tell them he'll make the bird come home if they try to con him again.
   "I thought the fairies could talk to birds," Dan said.
   "That's true, but pigeons are notorious liars."
   He borrowed a homing pigeon from a friend of his, and he went to meet the fairies again that night. He said to them, "This pigeon can make hares and rabbits do things, sometimes to each other. I'll sell it ye, and if ye try anything funny, I'll make the bird come home."
   One of the fairies asked the pigeon if this was true. Dan didn't understand the pigeon's response until the fairy turned to him and said, "So it was you who stole our spoons."
   Dan didn't have time to complain to the pigeon. The fairies spent the night chasing him up and down the hills, laughing and rolling through the grass as they ran after him. When he got back to his pub in the morning, most of the drink was gone again.
   He never told the real story of what happened that night. He said he'd out-smarted the fairies, and he made up a story about a bomb on a bus.

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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