Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


My Trout

   "Time goes by so quickly," people often say to me. I often say 'my trout'. There's a need to make a quick getaway every time I say it. The last time I said it I bumped into Deirdre while I was making my getaway. That's when I realised that she was made out of flowers. I helped put her back together again. I prayed for a speedy completion of Deirdre while passers-by re-assembled the flowers. If I'm being honest, I was really praying that I wouldn't be caught. You'd be surprised by how many people chase me every time I say 'my trout'.
   When Deirdre was completed she looked at her reflection in a shop window and she re-arranged some of the flowers. I think her mind must have been affected by what had just happened to her, because she seemed to think that we were on our honeymoon. I played along because a wife was as good a disguise as a fake beard. To prevent myself from inadvertently saying the words 'my trout' to her I kept talking about my blisters. "It was a fine summer day and the countryside was buzzing with life," stories about my blisters would begin. "My blisters were beginning to get some attention from the local press..."
   We walked through city streets. She listened to me for hours, until it was evening in the city and the streets were quiet. I ran out of stories about my blisters. We walked in silence, in the shadows of buildings. It was a lonely feeling. I started to wish that I was being chased. Just to break the silence I said, "Do you mind if I scratch my head?"
   "Not at all," she said.
   I'd never have asked that question if I'd suspected that I'd end up having to scratch my head. I put a lot of thought into where I'd scratch. I've always enjoyed scratching the back of my head, but I do that every night as I have my cup of tea before I go to bed. If I had done it when I was with Deirdre it would have ruined my cup of tea. After a lot of consideration I decided to scratch the centre of my forehead. I had never scratched there before, and it was surprisingly pleasant. I became engrossed in the scratching. I was vaguely aware that Deirdre was speaking, but I didn't pay any attention to what she was saying. I don't know how long this went on for. When she stopped talking I realised that her final words were 'when they start lobbing penguins at you'.
   I stopped scratching. I tried to figure out what she could have said before these words. As I was engrossed in this I was vaguely aware that she was talking again. When she stopped I realised that her final words were 'heavy, heavy horse'. I found this surprisingly pleasant, every bit as enjoyable as scratching my forehead. I scratched my forehead again, just to see if it would add to my enjoyment, and it did. Ever since then I've spent a lot of time scratching my forehead while not listening to most of what Deirdre says. I think we're still on our honeymoon, but I haven't asked her about this in case it makes her stop talking to me.

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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