Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


A Simple Story

   It ends with a middle-aged man sitting at a white plastic table, holding a small glass full of a bright red drink that should make him forget the past for a few hours. But he wants to remember. He slowly pours the drink on the table and watches it spread over the white surface. That seems to represent how she entered his life.
   Before the end, after the start, there's a man sitting in the sun, drawing a murder scene on the back of a letter with a black pen. He makes himself look tall.
   There's a small seaside town.
   There's a couple dancing in a pub. A world-weary band are playing to forget about the world. She dances and gives them a sight to help them forget everything outside this place, this time. He only drinks to forget himself.
   There's a man on the sea front; half human, half shadow.
   There's a flower in a vase on the windowsill in a café.
   There's a summer night, a flickering fluorescent light, undecided about whether or not it should light up this room. It shouldn't. The white walls are dirty. The window overlooking the street allows people to look in. The street outside shouldn't be lit up either.
   There's a young man dressed in black, shooting into the air as he falls backwards, his back arched.
   There's a policeman hiding beneath his hat until he lights a cigarette with a match and his face flickers out of the darkness. People decide it's time to leave the pub.
   There's a light in a window over a restaurant.
   There's a meeting on a dark street. She smiles, a smile more deadly than the knife she expects to find in his pocket. The smile becomes sharper when he says, "You were supposed to meet me on the train."
   There's a policeman shooting a man just before he shoots into a dark room.
   There's a middle-aged man with a woman in a red dress. He leads her by the hand, making their way through the trees. She tries not to laugh.
   There's an old wooden chair in the room. Sometimes the flickering light illuminates an empty chair. Sometimes it illuminates a man lighting his pipe, ignoring the younger man standing at the door. "Stay away from her or say goodbye to this rut you've settled in." The man on the chair doesn't respond, focussing his attention on the pipe.
   There's a small garden surrounded by ivy-covered walls.
   There's a man and a woman hiding in a dark room. He tells her he can't leave town with her. He's been here too long. He knows he'll be here forever, however long that is.
   It starts with the following lines: It was neither a big town nor a small town. It was a horse.

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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