Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The Chase

   Bob went for a walk in the countryside. He walked for miles through fields and narrow lanes. A strong breeze blew white clouds through the blue sky above.
   He climbed a hill, and he stood amongst the grass and wild flowers on the top, admiring the view. He saw a woman climbing the hill from the other side and as she got closer he recognised her. Her name was Abigail. She sold vegetables and home-made food from a market stall in the town on Saturday mornings, and he had often met her there.
   She recognised him too. He said he loved the vegetable soup he had bought from her a few weeks earlier and she told him about a new soup recipe she was trying to perfect, but their conversation was interrupted by a dark cloud that brought a heavy shower of rain. She said she had just walked past an abandoned house and they could take shelter there.
   They ran to the house. It was hidden amongst the trees at the bottom of the hill. They went inside and looked out at the rain, but Bob felt slightly uncomfortable. He said, "Do you get the feeling we're not alone?"
   "Yes." A man standing in a doorway behind them said that, just as Abigail was about to say 'no'.
   Bob and Abigail both looked shocked, and he said he was sorry if he frightened them. Abigail said, "Are you taking shelter from the rain too?"
   "No. I live here. My name is John."
   "Sorry. We thought the place was abandoned."
   "I abandoned most of the house in 1972. Since then I've just been using the kitchen, one of the bedrooms and a study. I've been writing my memoirs in the study. I'll show ye."
   He took them into his study. There was a red carpet on the ground. Shelves covered two of the walls, and they were filled with books and trophies. Abigail asked about the trophies and he said, "I used to be a rally driver. I'll show ye my car."
   He took them to the garage. The car was in perfect condition, even though it was over thirty years old. He asked if they'd like to go for a drive and they said they would.
   They regretted this. It was a terrifying trip through the countryside, narrowly missing trees and stone walls. They went through a forest and when they came out the other side a police car chased them. This only made John go faster.
   Bob said, "Wouldn't you be better off stopping? Even if you get away, they'll have no trouble tracing the owner of the car. For one thing, your name is written across the back of it."
   "It's a bit late for that now," John said.
   He was driving on a dirt track through the forest, but he had to stop when the track disappeared into a stream. It re-appeared at the other side. He didn't want to risk driving through the water, so he gave up.
   The police car stopped next to them, and they saw that there were four teenagers in the car. The teenagers were laughing and giving single finger salutes to John, Abigail and Bob.
   "That's Sergeant Clearly's son in the driver's seat," John said. "He's only sixteen."
   The police car reversed back up the track and John followed them. He chased them back the way they had just come.
   Another police car joined the chase behind John. "Are they chasing us or the lads in front?" Bob said.
   "I don't know," John said. "We'll soon find out."
   As they drove through a field he swerved suddenly to one side and spun the car around. The police car went past them and kept chasing the other police car.
   "That was Sergeant Cleary's wife," John said. He re-joined the chase. He said he just wanted to see what would happen.
   As they drove through a field they saw a tractor pulling a trailer. The man on the tractor waved. "That's Sergeant Cleary," John said.
   The chase came to an end a few minutes later when Sergeant Cleary's son had to break hard on a narrow road to avoid hitting the tractor carrying his father. His mother stopped behind him, and then John stopped just behind her.
   Sergeant Cleary got off the tractor and went to his wife. When she rolled down the window he said, "Do you know how fast you were going?"
   "Don't think this will get you out of going to the theatre," she said.
   "I'm afraid I'm going to have to write you a ticket."
   "You're going to the bloody theatre!"
   "Can I have your name, please."
   "Shut up."
   John drove Abigail and Bob back to the house. Abigail finished what she was saying about the soup.

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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