Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

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



   Mabel had a whistle that she used to blow at people to get them to stop doing whatever they were doing. She once blew it at a man called Charlie because he dropped a Coke can on the ground. He got a trombone and he played it as loudly as he could, right behind her back. She kept blowing the whistle until he surrendered and ran away.
   She blew it at Jimmy because he was doing something with his hands in his pockets. He was furious. He said it was a private matter and she had no right to interfere, and no one but himself had any right to interfere with himself. He got a loan of a fog horn and he took it to the town hall where she was due to give a speech about the next Tidy Towns Competition. Myself and Chadwick were there too. Jimmy blew the fog horn just as she started to speak.
   His smile disappeared when she looked at him with those eyes that said 'you!'. He got the impression that he was as welcome as a shard of glass in her foot. She looked at myself and Chadwick in a similar way.
   We left as quickly as we could. We needed to avoid her for a while, and a neighbour of mine was able to provide expert advice on avoiding people. His name was Jack until he decided to be someone else because someone else decided he shouldn't be anyone, or so he believed. It was all because of a dispute over money, but this other person would have settled for throwing a pie in Jack's face.
   He showed us paths through gardens and behind houses, and all the back entrances to the pubs. Mabel would never go into a pub, so we were safe in there.
   But all the crouching and climbing walls took its toll. We were exhausted by the time we got to the pub. Jimmy fell off his bar stool in exhaustion after just half a pint.
   Then one evening in the pub a man called Raymond came over to us and said, "I was on a treadmill at the gym yesterday." I interpreted this as 'I was taking photos of women as they exercised'. He took an envelope from his coat pocket and said, "I think ye should have a look at these."
   The envelope contained photos of Mabel at the gym. She had three voodoo dolls, and they looked like the three of us. She was holding the one that looked like me on a treadmill and she was moving my feet. Chadwick's doll was hanging from a bar with weights on either end. His hands were taped to the bar. Jimmy's doll was face down on the ground, just like Jimmy had been in the pub on the previous night.
   We needed to get the dolls back, so we went to the gym ourselves. Mabel, being a woman, used the women's changing room, and the dolls, being in her possession, would be in the women's changing room with her. So that's why we, looking for the dolls, were arrested. An undercover policeman was exercising in the gym. He was investigating reports of a man taking photos.
   Before he was arrested, Jimmy poured a hip flask full of whiskey over the dolls. We couldn't stop laughing at the police station, and the laughter was infectious. The police joined in. Jimmy kept saying, "You're my best friend, all of ye are. Forget about dogs being man's best friend. You can't get a better friend than the police. Except maybe police dogs."
   They let us go with just a warning. It took three days for the dolls to dry out.

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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