Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


The Leprechauns

   Myself, Jimmy and Chadwick were walking down a quiet country road late one night when we saw a flickering light up ahead. We all stopped, but the light started moving. First it went from side to side, then around in circles, and finally it rose into the night sky and disappeared.
   "I have an awful feeling we're heading for trouble," Chadwick said, "and it's all because Jimmy kicked that fat leprechaun."
   Jimmy denied kicking the leprechaun just because he was fat.
   When you're faced with trouble, you can either face up to that trouble and do something about it, or else you can try to forget it. Seeing as we didn't know much about the trouble, the latter option seemed easier. So we went straight to the pub and started drinking.
   When he woke on the following morning, Jimmy's hands were Selotaped together. He wanted us to cut the tape, but Chadwick said, "If a leprechaun did this it could be dangerous to cut the tape."
   We went to see a man called Finnegan who knew some of the local leprechauns, and he said he'd talk to them about the tape. We met him again that evening and he said, "They have one simple request and they insist that the tape must remain around Jimmy's hands until their request is met. Basically, they want a wide screen TV."
   None of us had a wide screen TV or the money to get it, but we had the means to get the money. Jimmy had bought a horse and he'd entered it in a few races. The best it had finished was fifth, and its racing career seemed to be coming to a disappointing end, but a race for old horses was coming up and we decided to enter him in that. The horses had to be over twenty to enter it, and Jimmy's horse was only seven, but we thought if we could fool people into thinking that the horse was really ancient, then he'd have a huge advantage over the genuine senior citizens in the race.
   It was easy enough to convince the organisers of the race that the horse was old enough. Chadwick said, "He remembers where he was when he heard that JFK was shot."
   I had to be the jockey because of Jimmy's hands. I didn't have much experience with horses, but I didn't foresee any problems because the other jockeys were more concerned with keeping their horses alive.
   My horse had a seemingly unassailable lead after just two furlongs, but it all went wrong when he veered to the right and then left the course. He was following his nose, which led him to a doughnut stand. He ate every single doughnut there. We had to pay for all of them, and we still had to find the money for the TV.
   Our next stop was a casino. We lost everything we had at the roulette wheel, but before the wheel had even stopped spinning, Jimmy said, "Now I remember! A leprechaun didn't tape my hands together. A prostitute did it."
   I cut the tape and nothing happened. It was obvious that we were being conned by Finnegan. He just wanted a wide screen TV. Revenge was called for. We got him drunk and taped him to a gate post.
   We were just about to leave him there when one of the leprechauns arrived. It was the one that Jimmy had kicked. He was much taller then, and he didn't seem as fat because of his greater height. But as he approached us we could see that he was wearing stilts beneath his trousers. He had trouble keeping his balance.
   "So you think I'm fat, do you?" he said to Jimmy.
   Chadwick always has the coolest head in these situations. He caught the leprechaun and said, "Take us to your gold."
   The leprechaun led us through the fields. He couldn't move very fast because of the stilts, so we were walking for over an hour. He took us to the woods. He stopped in a clearing and said, "Here we are."
   We looked around, and we were surrounded by leprechauns, all carrying sticks or stones, all smiling menacingly at us.
   "Look at how fat they all are," Jimmy said.
   "Gentlemen," Chadwick said, "if this can be settled with a wide screen TV, just say the word."
   "We want the horse," one of the leprechauns said.
   Jimmy gladly agreed to give them the horse and they let us go.
   The horse couldn't lose a race with one of the leprechauns on board. They could talk to the horse, and they told him that if he won the race he could have all the doughnuts he could eat. They made a fortune in prize money. We always knew what horse to back, so we recouped what we lost in the casino.

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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