Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The Plan

   The Plan: Let's all go to a casino and make a lot of money.
   The Outcome: Complete success.
   The Question: So what do we do now?
   Sean's answer: I'm going to buy a house in the country.
   An estate agent called Jilly shows Sean and his wife, Veronica, around an old farm house. They've brought their dog, whose name is Rumba Dum. While Jilly points out the period features in the kitchen, the dog sings this song:
   I'm Rumba Dum and my head is numb from the constant hum of a rumba song.
   Jilly, Sean and Veronica all jump in surprise. A surprise-fuelled jump might as well be rocket-powered. Their heads go through the ceiling and get stuck there. The dog sings his song again, which makes the flailing legs dance. The eyes in the heads are above ground level on the floor above, and Jilly tries to carry on with the tour, despite what her legs are doing downstairs. She talks about the period features in the master bedroom.
   Rumba Dum doesn't like to jump. It's the 'P' he objects to. He's replaced it with a 'B' to give the softer sounding 'jumb'. Jumbing normally puts him to sleeb.
   They eventually break free from the clutches of the ceiling, and they go on to the next house. The owner of this house has recently re-decorated his medikitchen. The room is full of colour. The TV has been painted onto the wall. On the screen there's a painting of a scene from a TV show called Night Frog. The scene never changes, but everything else in the room seems to be moving. The forks are slowly making their getaway. The tap sings a deep bass hum-song, with lots of lovely 'umb' sounds. The clock on the wall has fifty hours because the owner of the house often goes that long without sleep.
   The woman who owns the next house is there to show them around. Her hand has just given birth to a litter of glove puppets, and they're starting to get a bit annoying. They never stay quiet and they make a noise with too many 'ing' sounds for Rumba Dum's liking, not enough 'B's.
   It's night now and they still haven't found a house they like. They stand in a garden and look up at the sky. Sean says, "How many nurses does it take to screw in a star?"
   Jilly thinks about this and in the silence you can hear her brain tick-tocking. Sean finds the sound depressing. It was meant to be a joke, but people always think he's being serious when he jokes. She eventually says, "I'll have to ask Alan about that."
   Veronica builds a mental image of Alan. She sees him as a sort of a god.
   Before they go home, Jilly shows them an old castle and they both fall in love with the place. They come back on the following day to see it again. It's covered in creepers, and the interior needs a lot of work, but they know it would make an ideal home. Sean has to go back to the casino to get more money before they can put in an offer.
   They buy the place and renovate it. Sean grows a moustache that covers his face, like the creepers that cover the walls. He trims around his eyes so he can see out, and he cuts the creepers around the windows too.
   How the others spent their money: Gary funded a musical called 'The Prison Ship Lies Waiting in the Bee'. Scott got lots of things he didn't need, including a tiny hearse for cats and an illiterate personal assistant. He taught her how to read.

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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