Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Hilary and George

   Billy's mother makes napkins into all sorts of shapes, like little dogs that really bark. She sometimes accidentally uses their dog as a napkin, and then she says, "I'm terribly sorry." And he says, "That's quite alright." They sometimes use Uncle George as a dog.
   George is still a bachelor, but he dreams of spending the rest of his life with someone who'll tell him there's something on his nose when there's something on his nose, and scare away the wolves by hitting pots and pans. He's hoping that Hilary will be that woman. He hangs on every word she says as they walk around the garden. "At least you can say at least you've got hair, and where are all the centipedes going and do they know it's Christmas, and if they do, where are all the centipedes going?"
   "That's a very, very interesting question," George said. He often said that about her questions. They followed the centipedes to answer it, and they spent a very enjoyable evening walking around the garden, through the trees and over fences, hiding behind bushes. When the stars came out she said she had a wonderful time. He didn't know what to say to that, or what to do next. As a last resort, he decided to consult the wolves, but they just pointed out that the centipedes were trashing the shed and drawing graffiti on the walls. They sometimes use Billy's metal band as centipedes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Elaine's Cat's Birthday

   Elaine wanted to make a little model of James Bond to celebrate her cat's birthday. The only reason I wrote the previous sentence was to show it to Elaine to see if she could make any sense of it. She read it a few times. She tried reading it upside down too. And then she said, "I don't need to explain my actions to anyone."
   She wrote that down for me.
   I said hello to Mr. Crow. And he said, "Hello. I mean, goodbye. I mean... are you wearing women's shoes?" It's for a play. It's none of your business. Go back to your nest.
   Elaine wrote the previous paragraph too.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Mostly Good Hamsters

   Mrs. Smith came to my front door today and said hello and I said hello to her, and then she said goodbye, and that's the way conversations go sometimes. It's different with ants.
   Another thing that's different is strawberries. Clare likes strawberries. She once said, "I suppose the word 'skiffle' put me off," in connection with strawberries, but even she couldn't say what the connection was.
   She went to see her Uncle Harry with her friend, Grace. Harry had ten hamsters. He'd pick up a hamster and say, "You're very, very good." Then he'd put it down, pick up another one and say the same thing.
   After doing this seven times, Clare said to him, "Do you always hold them up just to tell them they're good?"
   "No, sometimes I tell them they're bold." He picked one up and said, "You're very, very bold."
   "My phone is making funny noises," Clare said.
   "Is this like the strawberries again?" Grace said to her.
   "No, conversations just go like that sometimes. Even with ants."
   They said goodbye to Harry, and as they were walking away from the house, Clare remembered why she mentioned her phone. "That hamster buried my phone!"
   They went back and told Harry about it. He picked up a hamster and said, "You're very, very bold."
   Clare wasn't sure if it was the right hamster, but she didn't think it mattered. "There are lots of things I don't know about," she said, "not just times and dates."
   That one probably was like the strawberries.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006



   Myself, Jimmy and Chadwick went to an art gallery one day. We told Jimmy to at least look as if he was appreciating the paintings. His method of appreciating things was nodding at them, which he did in front of each painting. He looked at each one for about two seconds, nodded, and moved onto the next one. He was appreciating his tenth painting when we were still at the first. He thought someone might notice his indiscriminate nodding, so he shook his head in front of one painting.
   He met an art critic, who told him all about the exhibition. He said to her, "Do you have a knitting needle in your hair?"
   "No," she said. She took the knitting needle out of her hair and hid it behind her back.
   Jimmy was just about to say something when he remembered the last time he antagonised a woman who had a knitting needle, so he said nothing. She shook her head, and her hair fell down over her shoulders. He remembered the last time a woman let her hair down while standing in front of him. "Do you want to go for a drink?" he said.
   So they went for a drink, which became a few drinks, and then they went back to her place and... My glove puppet will finish this story:
   "When a man and a woman really love each other, they have ways of expressing that love. But only if they really, really love each other. And remember, a lasting relationship can't be based on lies about your knowledge of art or how many horses you've fought."
   His name is Peter, the glove puppet. He only has one eye. He could have two if he wanted to.

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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