Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Jane's Hair

   Some people admired Jane's new hairstyle. Some people thought it looked ridiculous. Some of those people expressed their admiration, some remained silent, and one, Naomi, sprinkled water over Jane's hair and christened it 'The Wreck of the Hesperus'.
   Here are two statements to consider:
   (1) Jane sprinkled some water over Naomi.
   (2) Jane threw a glass of water over Naomi.
   Some people claimed that the first statement was true. Jane would be a prominent member of this group. Others, including Naomi, believed that the second statement was true.
   Neither group would dispute the following statement: A dispute ensued, at the end of which, Jane and Naomi vowed never to talk to each other again.
   Friends tried to bring about a reconciliation. Naomi responded to this suggestion by saying, "She called me a ___ ___." Jane's response was: "She called me a ___ ___." In both cases, the expletives have been deleted.
   They met by chance at Chloe's house. Jane used the words 'you', 'the', 'and', 'your', 'I'm', 'my', 'I', 'mouse', 'wallpaper' and 'Bruce Springsteen'. These words were linked together to form a coherent sentence, but the chain was broken in numerous places by the removal of the expletives.
   Naomi used words like 'kettle' and 'ostrich' along with her expletives.
   An hour later, Jane said the following (the dots represent tears): "Because... I didn't know... he said he was from Longford... and... he broke the tap..."
   Naomi struggled to say anything through the tears.
   In the intervening hour, Chloe had managed to halt the flow of expletives by diverting their attention to Andy. She thought he was acting strangely. Other people interpreted his behaviour in the following way: he was strange. The latter option provided a more complete explanation, but Chloe stuck with her idea. She was determined to find out why he was behaving strangely, and she came up with the following idea (i.e. following him).
   When she told Jane and Naomi about this, they forgot about their dispute. They went with her. They followed him to an old house outside the town. The place was in complete darkness. He knocked on the front door. The door opened a few seconds later and he disappeared into the darkness. Chloe considered accepting the 'Andy is strange' theory and going home, but her curiosity wouldn't let her take the easy way out. They went around the back of the house, and they saw the flickering light of a candle through a downstairs window.
   They inched closer to the window and they looked in. They saw Andy sitting on a sofa with a woman. They were embracing and kissing, but not necessarily in that order. Chloe, Jane and Naomi all smiled at the scene. They were getting ready to leave when a door in the room burst open and a man wielding a knife entered. Andy and the woman both looked shocked. Andy stood up and he pleaded with the man, but the man advanced on Andy, ready to attack with the knife.
   Chloe, Jane and Naomi looked on. Various explanations of the scene entered their minds.
   Chloe's explanation: Andy was about to be murdered by the husband of the woman he was having an affair with.
   Jane's explanation: Andy was about to be murdered by a man from Longford.
   Naomi's explanation: They were performing a play. Andy had written a play.
   All of these explanations were wrong, but Naomi was nearly right. They were actually performing a scene from a film. Andy had written a film.
   The man with the knife halted his advance on Andy when he noticed the audience outside the window. Andy recognised them, and he invited them in. He said they could be in the film too. Jane and Naomi apologised to each other, which led to the tearful reconciliation described above. Andy heard one of them mention 'The Wreck of the Hesperus', and he asked about that. Chloe told him that it was the title of a poem by Longfellow. The main character in the film was called Derek, so he decided to call the film 'Derek of the Hesperus'.

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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