Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Ice Cubes

   The ghosts have been much quieter since they discovered ice cubes. All you can hear now is the clinking of ice in glasses. Tommy prefers this to the sound of the chains. His walking shoes always took him out of the house when the ghosts used chains, but now his shoes leave him standing in the hall with a glass of whiskey in his hand. The sound of the ice in his own glass is in perfect harmony with the sound of the ghosts from the landing above.
   The ice cube in his glass would like to learn how to swim before it melts, but melting into whiskey has a certain appeal to it too, and the ice gradually forgets about the swimming. Tommy would like to stand there and let the whiskey melt into him, but his walking shoes have other ideas. He follows his shoes when they leave the house through the front door. They go next door to Anita's front garden.
   Little dogs have their own little gardens in her garden. They run around in circles on their lawns. Every time Anita has to leave them, she always tells them she has to go inside to put more batteries in her head.
   Tommy wants to dance to entertain the dogs while she's gone, but they're happy going around and around, and his feet won't move anyway. She comes back out with a bowl of strawberries. The strawberries would like to learn how to melt because it seems like so much fun. The little dogs slow down, and they eventually fall asleep. They dream about running in circles.
   Tommy finishes his whiskey. The short-term is bright, and the little point of light from the medium-term is sparkling in the sky. The long-term will be determined by his feet. Anita measures the dogs as they sleep to estimate how much cake she'll need to make. He writes down the measurements, and when she finishes measuring the dogs she looks at the numbers he wrote down. She has a head for hats and maths. She hates heights and she loathes stormy nights. She loves the silence of caves and the stillness of cold winter days. She has no opinion on the shed her cousin is building. He's using old pieces of timber and metal to build it.
   "What do you think of the shed my cousin is building?" she says to Tommy.
   "I don't know. I suppose I'd have to go there to see it, and that all depends on my feet."
   "It doesn't matter. I don't really care. You can tell your feet it doesn't matter."
   The ghosts would love to have heads for maths, or hats to keep all the numbers in their heads. They can imagine counting things, and countless numbers melting into the air, but for now they're happy with the ice cubes. They go back to the fridge for some more. Tommy and Anita can hear the sound of the ice in glasses, the perfect musical accompaniment to the sparkling of the stars. This is the sort of music Tommy would like to dance to, but his feet are more into reggae.

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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