Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Mrs. String-Darlington and her Pony

   Mrs. String-Darlington had a pony. She walked back and forth with the pony, and they often went up a hill. When she got to the top she always realised that the only thing to do was to go down again, which was a bit of an anti-climax.
   Hugh lived next door. He spent his evenings developing an attachment to Mrs. String-Darlington. By day he wore black and stood in the shadow of the gable end of his house. He was writing his memoirs in his head, but he'd already written them there. Events provided the first draft, and then his brain re-worked the events' version when it recorded them. It edited out a lot of details, and re-arranged things so they'd make sense. As he stood in the shadow of the gable, he was re-working them again in a third draft.
   One day he sat at the back of a red bus. It left the town and went out into the country. There were only four other people on the bus. It was winter, but he felt warm in the sun through the glass.
   He got off the bus on a quiet country road. He had reached the point in his mental memoirs where he was looking at small green animals with ice for eyes. He couldn't remember seeing them before. He thought that the bus journey, or the sun on the bus, or both, had affected his head. Some of the sentences in the second draft had been melted, and he was left with animals whose eyes would melt if they looked at the sun.
   He stood at the side of the road and looked out over long flat fields. He didn't know where he was, and he didn't know how to get home. He knew he should have stayed in the shade of the gable.
   He explained how he got out of this situation in the fourth draft, which he wrote on paper. Mrs. String-Darlington helped him write this bit, and this is what he wrote:
   I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and I found myself surrounded by little green animals with ice for eyes. Needless to say, I feared for my safety. But the fear disappeared and I saw only the continued health of my safety when I heard the familiar sound of hooves. It was Mrs. String-Darlington and her pony. The green animals showed no fear, but she knew exactly what to do to get rid of them. She got the pony to run from side to side, and the animals' eyes started to melt because they were moving from side to side so quickly as they followed Mrs. String-Darlington and her pony. They ran away. Mrs. String-Darlington and her pony then led me home to the shelter of my gable.

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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