Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006


The West

   His hair was white and he wore a white suit. He cycled a red bike. He cast a Russian shadow but his silhouette was German. He spoke French. He moved towards the west, despite the soutward trend of the time, which made even the westward-bound tend towards the south. Those moving north slowed to a standstill and started walking backwards.
   The draw of the south left him bereft of company in the west. But not everyone started from the centre. Those who began their journey in the north-west passed through the west on their way south. Some had attempted to go further north, and they were walking or cycling backwards.
   As each day wore on, his shadow spread further into the east, and he became increasingly Russian, but he was almost entirely German or French after the sun set. A little Russian lingered on in the light of the moon.
   He saw the Russian in him reach out ahead as the sun rose in the morning. He cycled on, slowly catching up with and over-taking his shadow.
   The shadow was a percussionist. He often watched it play the drums or the xylaphone. He was glad it disappeared in the afternoon and evening. He appreciated the peace then. In the morning he liked looking at the manic motion of his shadow's hands when it played the drums.
   He stopped to have lunch in the shade of a tree. His shadow felt as if it was dancing in the fractured shade, when the leaves moved in the breeze and their shadows reacted on the ground. All the broken pieces of the Russian shadow moved in harmony.
   The captain of a ship, who had the silhouette of a household cat, was passing by on his way south. He stopped at the tree. He said he was following a trail of buttons, but this was probably just an excuse to head south with the rest of them. The captain's shadow was made up of kittens. They were playing in the long grass amongst the daisies and the dandelions and the buttercups.
   He resumed his journey after the captain left. When he got to the west coast he stopped. He wondered what to do. There was nowhere left to go, and he felt a need to go somewhere. He turned around and saw his shadow reaching inland, playing with the kitten at its feet. The captain had given one of his shadow kittens to the Russian shadow. It was a peaceful sight. It seemed like the right sort of image for the afternoon and evening, so he headed east again, and he continued on a straight line despite the trend towards the south.

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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