|Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.||
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Richie mastered the art of time travel when he was thirty-eight. He discovered this fact when he was eighteen. His future self travelled back to the street where he lived. Richie's friend, Terence, was waiting outside his house, so Terence was the first to meet the thirty-eight-year-old future Richie.
The future Richie had a pig with him. He explained to Terence that he had come from the future to say hello to his past self, and when Terence had finally grasped the idea he said, "Why did you bring a pig?"
"Just to see if I could do it."
"Why not a dog or a rabbit?"
"I said, 'What'll I bring with me?' And someone said, 'A pig.' So I brought a pig. If someone had said 'a dog' I'd have brought a dog."
"If someone had said 'an antelope' would you have brought an antelope?"
"What are you getting at?"
"You didn't have to bring a pig just because someone said 'a pig'."
"What's wrong with pigs? They're not as dirty as you might think they are."
The eighteen-year-old Richie came out of the house and wondered who the man with the pig was. The future Richie explained about the time travel and how he just came back to say hello to his past self. Richie was too shocked to say anything at first, but then he smiled and said, "I never thought I'd look so good at thirty-eight."
His future self was just about to mention the advances in skin care products and plastic surgery, but he thought better of it.
Terence said, "He brought a pig back with him. Or should I say you brought a pig back with you."
The future Richie looked at his watch and said, "I really should be getting back now. As I said, I just dropped by to say hello. I have some things I should be doing. I suppose I shouldn't mention what they are. It would ruin the surprise for you. Not that they'll come as much of a surprise."
Terence told everyone about Richie's time-travelling future self, but he was much more interested in telling them about the pig. Everyone made fun of Richie, and it annoyed him. He said he'd never bring a pig back now. He could never ask what'll he bring because he knows that someone will say 'a pig'.
"You might have forgotten it by then," Terence said. You'll ask what'll you bring and then you'll realise your mistake when it's too late. Someone will remember and say 'a pig'. And then you'll act as if you don't care. You'll say that pigs aren't as dirty as people think they are. You'll pretend that it's perfectly normal to take a pig with you on your time travel trips, because you don't want to show just how pissed off you are."
"Well there's no way I'll forget now. There's no way I'll ask 'What'll I bring?'."
"You'd do it to pretend you don't care. Rather than face twenty years of people reminding you about the pig you're going to take on holiday, you'll say it doesn't matter."
"Well it doesn't matter."
"I didn't have to travel in time to know you'd say that. And I know it does matter. I know it really pisses you off."
"It could all have been just a prank. Or a dare. Or a forfeit I'll have to carry out at some stage in the future."
"I don't care. Either way, it's given me twenty years worth of abuse to sling at you."
Just then, Terence's future self arrived. He was wearing a dress. "Now I know you're probably thinking it's a bit odd that I'm wearing a dress," he said, "or maybe you're thinking something else entirely. I can probably guess what that might be, seeing as, y' know, I'm you, more-or-less. Well, more, if you want to be technical about it. I'm twenty years more you than you are. But you shouldn't be thinking whatever you're thinking about the dress. Everyone wears dresses in the future. If you wear trousers people will think you're a bit odd. Or something else entirely. The fact that I'm wearing a dress is really nothing to worry about."
Richie smiled. He was just about to say something when Terence said, "Okay, I'll shut up about the pig."
The Tree and the Horse
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.
More blogs about Storytelling.