|Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.||
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Not There Radio
Irene needs to be sitting down during Robert's recitation of all the facts he's accumulated during the day. She sat on her sofa one evening while he read from his list. As he approached the end of the list he read this fact: "You want me to tell you the address of the man who built a recording studio in his garage."
She was furious. She said she wanted nothing of the sort. She swore at him for ten minutes until she remembered that he can take offence very easily when he's subjected to abuse. This might result in his refusal to tell her the address, and she really did want to hear it. So she stopped swearing and she let him continue. He read out the address and she remembered it. Over the years she'd developed an ability to remember everything he said. She did this by constructing a story around the details he read out.
She feared there was a 'best before' date on her mind. She wanted to do as much as possible before her mind started to decay. She'd seen this happen to a detective she'd hired, although alcohol probably hastened that decay. He believed it would preserve his mind. She wanted to record her album at the earliest possible opportunity, while her mind was still functioning at its full capacity.
She'd already written her memoirs, as well as many other works of fiction and non-fiction. She had a list of all the books she had written, and she was ready to tick them off as they were published. She had written many predictions of how people would react to her works, and she had written reviews of each book. She turned her attention to how people would react to her music, but it was difficult to make accurate predictions until after she'd recorded the album.
She went to see the man who owned the studio. He added her name to the list of people who had booked studio time to record albums. She looked at the list when he went to his kitchen to get a pen. Her ability to remember names and addresses meant that she only needed thirty seconds to remember all of them.
Most of the people on the list were his neighbours. She called around to each one of them and she convinced them that it would be a bad idea to record an album. Gangs of thugs were roaming the streets, looking for people who had recorded albums. Some singer-songwriters were tortured into confessing that they were responsible for committing music to CDs, crimes of unimaginable horror to these righteous gangs. This scare mongering didn't work on most people, so she ended up paying them to put off the recording of their albums.
As the commencement of the recording approached, she found that she was devoting most of her time to the weather. Something strange was going on in the sky, she believed, but she couldn't put her finger on it. She wanted to stop thinking of the weather and start thinking about her songs, but she was unable to focus her mind. She used her mind's index finger to press all the buttons with flashing lights, and to flick the switches, but still her mind refused to operate as she wanted it to.
On the night before her first recording session she couldn't sleep. She turned on the radio and she moved the dial through the medium wave frequencies. She came across a radio station called Not There Radio. The DJ would read out the names of towns from a map, and occasionally he'd say, "We're not broadcasting to any of these places." He'd take a break for the weather forecast. This was sung by a woman with an ethereal voice. Some of her weather songs lasted over twenty minutes.
When Irene went into the recording studio on the following day she started singing like the weather forecaster on the radio. She felt as if she was releasing something that had been hidden inside her. Everything she sang was improvised.
The session in the recording studio lasted four hours, and at the end of it she had four hours worth of material. She decided to break it up into four albums. Not There Radio had given a post office box number for any correspondences, so she sent copies of her four albums to them. Three days after she sent the albums, they started playing her songs during breaks for the weather forecast. At the end of the break the DJ would continue reading from the list of places where people couldn't hear him.
They kept playing her songs over the following weeks. During this time, Irene told everyone she knew about the radio station, but no one was able to find it on their radios. No one had ever heard of it before. Sometimes she found this disheartening, but as she listened to her songs on the radio at night she thought that at least she'd found her audience.
The Tree and the Horse
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.
More blogs about Storytelling.