Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006


The Devil

   Myself, Jimmy and Chadwick went to a party one evening, but as soon as we stepped inside the front door we got stuck with a woman called Amanda who told us about a moped she was going to buy. "It'll be great to be able to get around the place so quickly. Tracey says I'm just going to end up sitting on it and making engine noises. I told her she had something stuck in her brain that she put up her nose. I was going to say something about her foot but she wouldn't have liked that."
   Then she told us about some bread that tasted funny. She never stopped talking. She followed us around the place, and the only way to get away from her was to leave the party and go to the pub.
   We decided to go back to the party at closing time. We thought that Amanda would surely have worn herself out by then. We took a shortcut through the woods. There was a full moon in a cloudless sky, and we all got the impression that we were being watched.
   The three of us stopped when we saw a man dressed all in black trying to hide behind a bush. "This sounds a lot like what happened to Jinky Sheehan," Jimmy said. "I think the man behind the bush is the devil."
   Chadwick said, "Why would he be hiding from us if he's the devil?"
   "I don't know. The smell?"
   The man stepped out from behind the bush and said, "Actually you're right. I'm the devil."
   "Prove it," Chadwick said.
   "I could tell ye a story about a vampire."
   "Go on then."
   "There was this vampire, and he got a job in a biscuit factory, making biscuits, and... I forget how it ends."
   "You should know everything if you're the devil."
   "No, you're thinking of God. I'm the opposite of God. I shouldn't know anything at all."
   "What's the capital of France?"
   "I don't know."
   We all took a step back. Running away was the most tempting option, but we needed to humour the devil. Chadwick came up with a way of killing two birds with one stone. He invited the devil to the party and introduced him to Amanda. "This is Alexander," Chadwick said to her. "He's a business man."
   When we left them she was telling the devil about the improvements she'd make to crisps.
   The next time we saw them was nearly an hour later. They were kissing then, which was one way of stopping her from talking, but not an advisable way. We felt guilty about getting Amanda involved with the devil. We needed to separate them somehow, and there was an obvious way of doing that. Amanda once got drunk on her aunt's homemade wine and she tried to get a cat to marry a hamster. She had a very narrow view of what marriage involved. The last time Jimmy reminded her of this she kneed him in the groin.
   The devil and Amanda parted briefly while she went to get another drink. Chadwick told the devil about the cat and the hamster, and he said, "She loves being reminded of that."
   When she returned we heard the devil say, "I hear you have a taste for homemade wine."
   But she just laughed and told him the whole story.
   We needed another way of bringing about a split. Chadwick came up with a plan where a goat would be sacrificed, but there was no need to enact it. It turned out that he wasn't the devil at all. He was the brother of one of Amanda's friends. When she found out who he was she slapped him across the face and ran away in tears. It was worse than ever then, listening to a tearful semi-drunk Amanda. "He told me he was the devil," she said.

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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