Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Mark and Ingrid

   It rained relentlessly for three weeks. Mark hired a brass band to play at his funeral, but then the sun came out and he decided to have another birthday instead. All of his friends came to the party, and they all brought presents. The brass band played, and there was no shortage of food or drink. Mark was delighted with the way things were going until the band and the caterers demanded to be paid. He hadn't planned this far ahead when he was planning his funeral. He suddenly remembered he had to be somewhere else.
   He went to see a man in Mexico and then he played poker in Germany. He lost the shirt on his back and the trousers he wore over his head. He felt he was exposing himself when he revealed his face, and so he was. One of the other players pointed at him and said, "You're the man who stole the painting from my house in Mexico."
   He ran away, and the other players chased him through narrow alleys and gardens and cathedrals. He stole a pair of trousers from a clothes line. They provided the perfect disguise when he put them on his legs. He stood on a footpath outside a house and all of his pursuers ran past him without so much as a glance in his direction.
   When he looked back over these experiences he found that he had become engaged to a woman called Ingrid. He thought it must have happened when he was without trousers. He took her to a mountainside, via Berlin, Monaco and London, where he won Wimbledon. As he walked next to a mountain stream with Ingrid, the other poker players finally caught up with him. They had seen him win Wimbledon on TV, and they were able to recognise him on the mountainside because he was the man with the men's singles trophy.
   Mark and Ingrid were able to evade capture and they made their way to the coast, where they borrowed a yacht. They sailed the world. They visited many ports and met a lot of interesting people. Mark stole a diamond necklace from a pirate's skull while the pirate slept with his eye socket open. His glass eye was in a glass of water on a locker. The pirate was furious when he woke up and noticed that his head felt empty. After this incident, he kept a Chihuahua in his head at night as a guard dog. Many people chose to put their fingers into his eye socket rather than into his mouth and were still bitten.
   Mark and Ingrid sailed to an island in the ocean. They explored the place, and they found a pair of spectacles that belonged to a horse. The horse had been separated from his spectacles by a witch's spell. She did this for his own sake, so he wouldn't be able to read the reviews of his play. Mark and Ingrid spent months looking for him, but, because of the spell, they'd never be able to find him as long as they had the spectacles. On one occasion they were at the back of a house when the horse was at the front. When they went to the front, the horse went to the back.
   The pirate arrived on the island looking for the thieves who stole the necklace, and he met the horse. The horse asked him to read the reviews, but the pirate couldn't read, so he just made something up. The horse was satisfied with what the pirate said. There was no longer any need for the spell, so the witch lifted it. Mark and Ingrid met the horse within minutes, but they also met the pirate, who drew his sword and told Mark he was about to meet the sharks. Mark could hear people approaching through the trees, and he came up with a plan. He appeased the pirate by presenting him with the Wimbledon trophy. The pirate posed for photos, and there were tears in his eye. When the poker players arrived, one of them said, "There he is! Get him!" And they chased the pirate away.

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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