Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


A Box of Twits

   Lauren was trying to lose weight. She couldn't resist eating between meals, so she tried using diet bells. People would know that she'd been eating between meals because the bells would ring when the food tries to find a way out. This could be very embarrassing if you were with friends.
   But Lauren found a way around this: eat food that's dead. She was eating as much as ever until she started having nightmares about killing the food. She saw herself aiming a shotgun as the food tried to get away. She heard the sound of church bells tolling for a funeral.
   She went to see a psychiatrist who was part of a mariachi band. She felt a bit uncomfortable about the rest of the band being there during her session, and she asked if they could leave, but the psychiatrist said, "You might as well ask me to take my arms and legs off."
   She told him about the nightmares and he said she needed medication. He wrote her a prescription for a box of twits. The box was delivered that evening. It took two men to lift it into her hall. When she opened it a cloud of dust emerged with a ball of noise. She could hear the high-pitched laughter of creatures as they abandoned the box and scurried away to the nearest hiding place. She didn't get a good look at any of them, but she saw enough to make her worry. They were small and quick. She saw two mad eyes and a sinister smile.
   She couldn't sleep that night. She heard them whispering as they explored the house, and then she heard the sound of a trumpet, a trombone and a saxophone. They played a sad, slow song that made her smile.
   She didn't sleep on the following night either. She got up and walked around the house. She saw three of them running after a dog with very long ears. Some of the others were chasing butterflies downstairs. Later in the night they were writing subtitles on each other's shirts. If you believed the subtitles, one of them said 'I smell celebrities. They like it'.
   The line between reality and dreams was becoming blurred. On the following night the twits were playing hide-and-seek with a panda. One of them was tip-toeing behind the panda. A waiter brought her a glass of champagne. She sat on an armchair and watched them. When the panda fell asleep, some basketball players appeared and chased the twits around the house.
   On the following night they pulled everything out of the cupboards in the kitchen. One of them was covered in flour. Lauren thought he was covered in icing, and she chased him with a shotgun. He ran to the attic, where he hid in a box. One of the other twits phoned the psychiatrist, who came around with his mariachi band. They brought a huge wedding cake. When she opened the door and saw it, she shot the cake and ate it. And then she fell asleep. In her dream there was a man hiding inside the cake when she shot it. He wasn't too happy about being shot, but he was able to laugh about it later. She woke up with a smile after such a happy dream.
   She decided to give up on losing weight. The only other weight-loss method that interested her was a moustache that eats most of your food as you put it into your mouth, but she'd rather be slightly overweight than have a moustache.

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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