Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The Circus

   In a seaside town on an August day, a brass band played on a band stand. Tommy and Kevin were amongst the crowd listening to them. Tommy thought he heard something slightly sisister in the music. He said, "Do you ever get the feeling that the circus has come to town, and it's an evil circus?"
   "No," Kevin said.
   In the afternoon they were walking along the seafront when they saw a bearded lady walking towards them. They stopped, and she stopped too. She stared at them. Tommy had that sense of evil again.
   They went to see Ebeneezer Handware. He ran a sweet shop, but no one ever bought sweets from him. His customers were only there for the room behind the shop, which was full of lucky charms, unlucky charms, keys to unlock invisible doors, numerous items he bought from the fairies, and bottles containing potions that had a wide variety of effects, from making people taller to making a goat sing.
   Tommy told him about the bearded lady, and he said he wanted something to overcome the sense of evil. Ebeneezer looked through his shelves and picked out a small glass bottle full of a red liquid. He gave it to Tommy and said, "Drink some of this the next time you see her. The sense of evil will vanish."
   They left the shop and they saw the bearded lady a few minutes later as they were walking towards Kevin's house. Tommy drank from the bottle, and within seconds the bearded lady started smiling at him.
   Tommy passed the bottle to Kevin, who read from the label before drinking it. "This is a love potion," he said. "It's 'guaranteed to make you more attractive'."
   Ebeneezer was right -- the evil had been banished, but it had been replaced by a look of love, and this terrified Tommy more than the evil.
   She started walking towards them, and they ran back to the shop. Ebeneezer was smiling at them too. Tommy was angry with him, but he knew that Ebenezeer was the only man who could help him, so he restrained himself. He said he preferred the evil. Ebenezeer gave him another glass bottle, and this one contained a black liquid. He said, "Think carefully before using this one. This one could bring all sorts of evil down on your head."
   "It can't be any more evil than the love of a bearded lady," Tommy said.
   They left the shop, and they didn't see the bearded lady again until after dark. She was in the park, and she was still smiling at Tommy. He drank some of the black liquid and the smile disappeared from her face. The evil returned, and Tommy felt much more comfortable. But then figures emerged from the bushes and shadows. There were terrifying freaks, clowns with hooks for hands and glass eyes, and a ring-master who had fangs.
   Tommy drank some of the love potion and they all smiled at him. He kept taking sips from both bottles until he got the balance right, until the desire to kill kept the desire to love in abeyance, and vice versa. They wanted to kill him, but they were also attracted to him.
   Kevin said, "You better hope that none of them are necrophiliacs. If you were faced with fifty nuns, you wouldn't need to worry about that, but if you were looking for a necrophiliac, you'd start your search amongst the vampires and evil freaks."
   "Nuns!" Tommy said. "That's it! We can go to the convent for protection."
   They ran away, and their evil friends followed. Tommy and Kevin both drank the love potion when they got to the convent. The nuns were attracted enough to protect them, but the smell from Tommy and Kevin stopped it from going any further. The nuns didn't need any potions to fight off the clowns and freaks and co. They had crosses and guns.

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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