Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, January 16, 2007



   Ronnie and Pete wondered how difficult it would be to stage an alien landing. Purely in the interests of determining how difficult it would be, they staged an alien landing.
   The conclusion they came to was that it wouldn't be difficult to stage an alien landing that would fool Ronnie's uncle Roger. When Roger saw it he told everyone that he'd seen a UFO and aliens that looked like hens.
   He claimed to have seen the UFO near an orchard. On the following evening, about thirty people gathered in the spot, all hoping to see the aliens. Ronnie and Pete were there too, and they wondered if they could make money from this.
   Purely in the interests of determining if they could make money from the aliens, they decided to make money from the aliens. If thirty people all saw an alien landing, then thousands of people would come to the site. Ronnie and Pete could sell T-shirts and other souvenirs.
   But it would be much more difficult to fool thirty people with cameras than it was to fool Roger. So instead of staging another landing, they decided to kidnap a cow from a farm a few miles away and take it to a field near where Roger said he saw the aliens. They'd shave some strange markings on the cow's back to add to the effect.
   They got a loan of a horse box from Pete's brother and they went to kidnap the cow at two o' clock in the morning. The plan went perfectly until they got to the field where they were going to leave the cow. There were eight people and two horses in the field. The people were participating in the wedding of the two horses (one of the horses wore a white veil and the other had a grey top hat).
   The horse wedding made perfect sense in the narrative those people had constructed to explain the hallucinations that resulted from the moonshine they'd made. 'It's the moonshine' would have been the obvious narrative, but they went for one that required a horse wedding. Ronnie and Pete didn't question it too closely because marrying horses was only slightly more suspicious than kidnapping a cow. Instead, they made the mistake of accepting a drink (they thought it'd be rude to refuse at a wedding).
   They woke up in the long grass next to a stream on the following morning. The cow was there too. Their heads had been shaved. A policeman came along and asked them to explain their presence in a field with a stolen cow. Ronnie knew he couldn't mention the moonshine and he never wanted to mention most of the other memories, most of which he hoped were just hallucinations, so he said, "We were kidnapped by aliens."
   They were amazed at the amount of press attention they got from this, and they were determined to cash in on it, even though they were ridiculed. The stories in the papers were all along the lines of 'morons claim alien abduction'.
   But a lot of people believed them. Thousands of people went to the site where Roger claimed to have seen the aliens. Ronnie and Pete were ready with their T-shirts, mugs, pens and hats. The T-shirts showed an alien shaking hands with a teddy bear.
   They made some money out of it, but the constant ridicule was starting to annoy Ronnie, and he wanted to be ridiculing the people who believed them. He finally snapped and he said they had faked the whole thing, but no one believed him. The simplest explanation was that Ronnie and Pete were just morons who had woken up in a field with a cow, and that was the one that was accepted.
   Ronnie came up with the idea of faking another landing, fooling people into thinking it's real, then saying 'up yours' to the people who doubted their ability to do it. This newspaper headline tells the story of their attempt: 'Morons Stuck on Pylon While Trying to Retrieve Fake UFO'.
   Ronnie didn't give up on his idea of faking a landing, but Pete came up with this explanation for the whole thing: "We're conceptual artists. This is a work of conceptual art."
   They still got ridiculed, but they had no desire to ridicule the people who respected them. They got to know some of those people, and they both found that the words 'I'm a conceptual artist' were much more effective as a chat-up line than 'I recently won twenty gallons of cider'.

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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