Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006


The Cuckoo Clock

   Cynthia had a cuckoo clock. Every hour the cuckoo came out of its house and sang its song. She noticed that the sound it made was slightly flat, so she decided to tune it.
   The next time it came out, she was there to catch it. She made a few adjustments before letting it back in. She waited an hour for its next appearance, but it still sounded out of tune.
   She waited another hour so she could have another go at tuning it, but the cuckoo saw what she was up to. It came out ten minutes early and she missed it. After this, it was impossible to predict when it would emerge from its house, and it always came out very quietly, before singing its song very quickly and going back inside.
   She couldn't watch it all the time, so she trained her dog to sit in front of the clock and bark every time the cuckoo appeared. She was able to catch the bird again, and she made another attempt to tune it. The sound still wasn't quite right, so she kept the dog at his lookout post.
   But the cuckoo started looking behind the dog, as if there was something there, so the dog turned around. The cuckoo managed to train the dog to turn around every time the doors opened.
   Cynthia found the solution in a dream...

   in a dream...

      in a dream...

         in a dream...

She had a smoke machine. She used it when she had important announcements to make or when she didn't want to see her feet.
(It was a dream about not wanting to see her feet).
She was with some friends. They were happy to focus on the drinks in their hands when they couldn't see their feet. They left themselves for a while, and when they came back there were robins nesting on their heads. They didn't know whether to ask them to leave or just try to ignore them. But the problem was solved for them when a falcon came along and scared the robins away.

   Cynthia woke up and said, "Ben's falcon!"
   On the following day she went to see Ben, who had a falcon. He was training the falcon to be a mime artist. Cynthia saw the bird's act and said, "He looks as if he's banging his head against a wall."
   "No," Ben said, "he's... nodding in agreement."
   "He's nodding in agreement with what I said about banging his head against a wall."
   "No, he's..."
   Cynthia's plan was the use the falcon to scare the cuckoo into submitting to being tuned, and the cuckoo looked terrified when it emerged from its house to see a falcon right in front of it. But the next time it came out it looked more curious than afraid, and eventually it just seemed to be thinking, "That falcon looks as if he's banging his head against a wall."
   Cynthia found the solution in another dream: build a robot to sort the whole thing out. She hasn't actually built it yet, but she's confident it will work. In her dream, the robot scared the falcon from her head.

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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