Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The Tower

   Fred and Kevin had nothing to do one long weekend so they built a huge tower. They went to the pub and they told the bar man about it. He said it couldn't be all that big if they built it in a weekend, but Fred insisted that it really was all that big. So the bar man left the pub for a while to go and see it, and he had a heart attack because it was even bigger than all-that-big. While he was in hospital Fred and Kevin had to look after the pub. They told people about their tower and how it was so big that it made Harry, the bar man, have a heart attack. Everyone went to see the tower and they were all disappointed because they thought that a heart-attack-inducing tower would be bigger. So Fred started telling people that it was big enough to give Harry a heart attack, but he'd probably have had a heart attack the next time someone kicked him in the balls, if he hadn't had the heart attack at the tower first. The tower met with people's expectations after this. For some it exceeded expectations (these people equated it with a kick in the balls).
   But then someone came back and said they couldn't see the tower at all. Fred and Kevin went to investigate, and they found that their tower had been stolen. Another customer in the pub said they saw the tower behind Colin's house. So they went to see Colin. He was living in the tower so no one would steal it from him. He threw things at Fred and Kevin if they got too near. He said he'd assembled a vast store of things to throw just in case someone attacked his tower.
   They needed to lure him out of the tower, so they borrowed a mannequin from a man who collected mannequins, and they dressed her up like Colin's ex wife, Nicole. They attached the mannequin to a wooden base that could be moved on wheels. After the sun went down they crouched in the long grass in the field behind Colin's house. They pushed the mannequin towards the tower. Kevin did his best impression of Nicole's voice. He said, "Colin, it's me, Nicole, your ex wife. I'm sorry I left you for that man from the asylum, but I'm back now. Take me."
   They ran away from the mannequin when they heard the door of the tower opening. As Colin was crying and telling the mannequin what loneliness had made him do, Fred and Kevin were climbing the stairs of their tower. When Colin realised what was going on he ran back towards the tower, but they started throwing things at him. He went into his house. Fred and Kevin came out of the tower in the middle of the night, but as soon as they set foot outside, Colin started throwing things at them. They went back into the tower. Colin said to them, "Ye'll be stuck in that tower until I run out of things, and I have thousands of things in my house."
   They thought that their best hope would be to wait until he fell asleep. They had to sleep themselves. When they woke in the morning they noticed that the mannequin was gone. They assumed that Colin had taken it inside. They were correct in this assumption, and they showed prudence in not spending much time imagining what loneliness was making him do to it. Whatever it was, he was so engrossed in it that they were able to dismantle the tower without him noticing. They built it again in its original site. Shortly after they finished it they got a visit from the man who owned the mannequin. He was holding a baseball bat. He said, "Ye told me that Belinda would only be gone for an hour. Where is she?"
   Fred responded with an 'Ahhh'. Kevin opted for an 'Ummm'. And then they ran away. The man followed them, and he eventually cornered them at a river. Fred decided to come clean about what had happened to Belinda. The man had a heart attack. They carried him to Kevin's car and they drove him to the hospital. This probably saved his life, so he was able to forgive them for what had happened to the mannequin.

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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