Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Eileen's Dogs

   Eileen has a sister in the army. She has twice as many feet as she has sisters -- this is the formula she uses to remember how many feet she has. She has twice as many dogs as she has feet.
   One day as she was looking at her dogs playing in the back garden, she realised that she had four times as many dogs as she had sisters. She had never thought of her dogs like this before, or her sister. She watched the dogs walking around outside, and she noticed a military-like march to the way they walked.
   She trained them to march in formation, and they enjoyed this. They were never keen on attacking other dogs or people, and Eileen had no interest in training them to do so, but they looked dangerous.
   She took her dogs to the park on a Saturday afternoon, and they marched in formation to her commands. Albert and Derek sat on a bench and watched the dogs. Most of their encounters with dogs came in the middle of the night, due to their choice of profession as burglars. Albert avoided houses with dogs that slept indoors. He said, "Can you imagine breaking into her house and coming up against those dogs, or against her?"
   "I could do it," Derek said.
   "You wouldn't stand a chance."
   "I have a way with dogs."
   "Those dogs look as if they've been trained to kill."
   "I've never come across a dog I haven't been able to control."
   "I bet you fifty quid you couldn't break into her house in the middle of the night and get out without being attacked by those dogs."
   "You're on."
   They followed Eileen back to her house on the edge of the town. Derek said he could break in and steal whatever he could fit in the pockets of his coat without so much as a growl from the dogs.
   They came back to the house at one o' clock in the morning, and Derek broke in through a front window. Albert was hiding behind the ditch at the other side of the road to make sure Derek did the job.
   The dogs were sound asleep in the kitchen. Derek listened at the door and he could hear them snoring. He went to the dining room and filled his pockets with silver cutlery.
   He didn't hear the sound of footsteps on the stairs. The owner of the feet had been trained in the art of stealth. It was Eileen's sister, Rose. She was staying with Eileen for the weekend. She'd been trained in the art of combat too, and she had every intention of practising this with the candlestick she held in her hand.
   She burst into the room and chased him around the table. He swore every time she hit him with the candlestick. Eileen woke up and she went downstairs. The dogs came into the dining room to see what was going on as well. They pushed open the door between the kitchen and the dining room, and Derek made his escape though this. He left the house through the back door, but Rose kept following him, and she kept hitting him until he dropped all of the cutlery. She picked up the knives and forks and returned them to their rightful owner. Eileen gave her sister a biscuit.
   The police were called. They found Derek's finger prints on the cutlery, but they were unable to catch him.
   But then a few months later, Eileen saw a photo of a man in the newspaper. He was wearing a beard of bees for a world record attempt, but she recognised Derek despite his elaborate facial garment. She could see the fear in his eyes. He looked just like that when Rose was chasing him around the table.
   She told the police, and they didn't believe her at first, but she insisted that he was the man, so they questioned him. He couldn't provide an alibi for the night of the burglary, and he couldn't explain why his finger prints were all over her cutlery. He eventually confessed to his crime. During his time in jail, he decided to give up burglary. His way with dogs was useless if he didn't have a way with women, especially those wielding candlesticks.

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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