Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

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


The Little Grey Men

   Jimmy decided to do a bungee jump off a bridge one morning. A man called Steve had set up the bungee cord, and he was charging twenty quid for each jump.
   Myself and Chadwick went along to have a look. The cord was attached to Jimmy's feet, and after a few deep breaths he jumped. He screamed as he fell, and the scream faded to silence. After a few minutes Chadwick said to Steve, "Aren't they supposed to come back up again?"
   "Sometimes they don't. It happens from time to time. There was a fella who jumped a few weeks ago and I haven't seen him since."
   "I suppose he'd be back by now if he was coming back at all."
   "I'd say so."
   Myself and Chadwick waited on for another few minutes, and then we went to see Miles and Monica, who lived just up the road. She keeps telling him his knees are on fire and he keeps falling for it, and she keeps writing letters of complaint to the County Council, but that's just a hobby.
   She did give him some great advice on what to do with the grey men who were following him. The grey men have no political beliefs, but they do have very strong opinions on the alphabet. They cheer 'A's and boo 'B's and leave before 'C's start to speak, but the 'C's never say very much without the support of other letters. Monica's idea was to form a coalition of letters that would keep the grey men happy.
   It took many hours of negotiation and argument to form the coalition. At first they settled on T, N and A, but the grey men were furious when they realised it spelt 'ant'. In the end they all agreed that L and M would make the best coalition. The grey men were much friendlier towards Miles after this.
   But Monica wasn't happy with it because she was hoping to get rid of them. The little grey men were like little black spots on the style she was trying to create around the house. Those spots got bigger when Miles taught the grey men how to dance. She painted a grey concrete wall red to cheer herself up, and it did make her happy. The grey men wondered if they should be afraid or happy or sad, or if they should go back to digging that hole they've been digging. They decided to blame Miles instead. They protested against everything he did, following him around with anti-Miles placards.
   When myself and Chadwick arrived he was trying to cut the lawn. The grey men were all around him, holding placards. We looked at that for half an hour, and then we went to the pub.
   Jimmy was at the bar with a woman in a short black dress. Her name was Tracey. When she was introduced to us she said 'hi' and waved by moving her fingers about.
   We told him about Miles and the little grey men, and he said, "I'll sort those little feckers out."
   He finished his pint and left the pub. I wondered if he really had a plan or if he was just doing this to impress Tracey. I still wondered that when I saw him running around the garden, chasing the grey men with a stick. They eventually ran away, saying, "We really should get back to digging that hole we've been digging."

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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