|Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.||
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The sea was calm. The sky remained un-scarred by clouds. Roger kept saying the word 'neeeesh', which was like a black cloud on a beautiful blue dome of silence. Olivia wrote a letter of complaint, and she got a postman to deliver it to Roger. She thought he'd read something into the fact that she made her complaint in writing, and that the postman only had to travel twenty-eight inches to deliver it, but Roger read it out loud and then he said 'whoooooosh', which made her say, "Was that the sound of my complaint going over your head?"
"I knew you'd say something eventually," he said.
She carefully considered her response to this. She delivered it herself, and it took the form of these words: "Can I shoot an apple off your head? With a crossbow."
He didn't know what to say at first. A small part of his mind suggested responding with a simple 'no'. Another part offered a wide variety of words that ended with 'sh'. But he had been trying to cultivate her interest in crossbows for a long time, so he responded with a smile and he said, "Absolutely," which was one of the it-words that lit up the nightlife in his head, like the it-girls in the nightclubs he went to.
But as she aimed the crossbow at the apple on his head, another it-word came to his mind. This one started with 'sh'. He hadn't been this scared since Buttress, one of his friends, made his own jet-ski and tested it in a field.
"Maybe an apple is too small a target for a beginner," he said. "Why don't we use a pineapple instead."
On their way to get the pineapple he spoke about all the good times they had in the past. He was hoping that shooting him with a crossbow wouldn't count amongst her good times, but as he recounted their past he could see how it would be good for her. So many of the good times he recalled involved her waiting for hours at a hospital, or resulted in her having to get her clothes dry-cleaned.
They got the pineapple and he put it on his head. "Aim for the top of it," he said.
She took aim, but before she could shoot she noticed Emma and Niall, who were staring out over the sea. Emma was Olivia's best friend and Niall was Emma's boyfriend. Emma was holding flowers. Olivia asked if they'd been sight-seeing. "In a manner of speaking," Niall said without taking his eyes off the horizon.
Emma said, "In a manner of not speaking..."
"Yes," Niall said.
After a few seconds of silence she said, "Not in a manner of speaking."
"In a manner of silence." A long period of silence followed before Emma said, "We just got married."
"Ye what!" Olivia said.
"It was an impulse thing. We met a priest and he married us."
The priest was a man who once heard a robin say, "I think I'll wear the blue one today." This is why he believed he was divine, or at least more divine than those who'd never heard a robin talk.
Emma and Niall were regretting their wedding. Emma mentioned throwing the bouquet, and Olivia was horrified when she saw that Emma was aiming at her. Roger looked at Olivia with the crossbow and he wasn't too keen on the prospect of marriage either. He took control of the situation. "Take me to the priest," he said.
They went to the man who had married Emma and Niall. Roger demanded that he un-do whatever he did, but the priest claimed that it was legally binding. Roger said, "How much would it take for you to legally forget?"
They haggled for nearly twenty minutes, and Roger eventually got a good price out of him. They paid the money and the priest said, "I now un-pronounce you man and wife."
Emma and Niall started kissing, and then they rushed back to their hotel room. Olivia said to Roger, "I was very impressed with the way you broke up my best friend's marriage."
"Thanks. I was very impressed with the way you handled the crossbow."
"I wasn't really going to shoot the pineapple."
"I didn't really want you to go through with it. To be honest, I was scared."
"I'm glad you said that," she said. "Because only someone like Buttress could stand anywhere near me when I've got a crossbow and not be scared."
This conversation ended shortly afterwards when the priest said, "You may now kiss the bride."
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.
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