Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Words and Phrases

   Gary and Luke sat at a bar. "Does your head start to itch when you listen to music?" Luke said.
   "No," Gary said.
   "What about when you hear certain words or phrases?"
   "I don't know. I suppose it would depend on the words and phrases."
   Words and phrases they experimented with: Lorgnette. Long weekends. Some figs. A fake Monet. Mrs. Salty-Duck. That's not her real name. Educe. News fish. Harper and the stick. Get him on the lightning phone.
   They told each other their life stories to find more words and phrases.
   Luke's life story: He was born on a Tuesday and then he was young for a while and then he got married because it seemed like the sensible thing to do at the time but when he was old he started to wonder about the wisdom of his decision. He was old when most of his friends were still young, and he used to be younger than them. He dreamt of becoming young again by becoming a wrestler called Panic Clobbermonk, but it was never more than a dream.
   Gary's life story: He grew up in the countryside and then he got a job in the city and that's when the monsters came, but he was able to shoot most of them. On weekends he went back to the country and he spent a lot of time living in trees because he thought a time would come when all the survivors would have to live in trees to get away from the ground-bound monsters. He fell in love with a woman who shared his political views in relation to monsters. They drove around in an open-top car and they wore dark sunglasses. This was their way of saying 'Don't mess with us', and no one did.
   More words and phrases they considered: Brief cousins. The cat's cabbage. Nineteen centipedes. Samovar. Jam dognuts.
   Their life stories moved on with their lives. These stories contained phrases like 'submultiple bingo', 'sweaty horse' and 'She invited me into her caravan', but they were happy just saying these phrases in the pub, rather than finding practical uses for them.

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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