Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My Right Hand

   I've always had very quick hands. There wasn't much demand for gun-slingers, so I started using my talent to catch fish instead. I'd stand in the shallow water at the edge of a pond. I'd wait for a fish to come near me, and then I'd reach in and catch it.
   On one fine day in June, I'd been standing in the water for over twenty minutes before I saw a fish. I reached in to catch it, but when I pulled it out the fish was stuck to the end of my arm and my hand was swimming away. The fish looked worried, and I probably had a similar expression on my face. I put my arm back into the water because I didn't want the fish to die, just in case I couldn't get my hand back and I was stuck with the fish. I'd already had a lot of trouble with smelly hands. Having a dead fish for a hand would be a nightmare at a wedding on a hot summer day.
   I needed bait, something that would tempt my right hand. There were some obvious things, but I couldn't think of any woman who'd put those things in the water just to do a favour for me.
   I had recently taken a pottery class to impress a woman who was also in that class. Both of my hands enjoyed shaping the clay. When I'd completed my first vase my hands liked to feel the smooth surface of the glaze. Ever since then they'd been feeling vases.
   I phoned my brother and I explained the situation to him. He arrived twenty minutes later with a fishing rod. He had attached a vase to the end of the line. He lowered the vase into the water, and I held a net in my left hand.
   It didn't take long for my right hand to approach the vase. My left hand was just as quick as the right. As soon as my right hand was near enough I caught it in the net. It was clutching the vase when it emerged from the water. I made a quick switch, returning the fish to the pond and re-attaching my hand.
   That was four months ago and my hand is still holding onto the vase. I think this is its way of getting back at me for out-smarting it. I had to go to a wedding with the vase. But it wasn't really a problem -- certainly nowhere near as problematic as having a dead fish on the end of my arm. I just put some flowers in the vase.

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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