Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009


The Honeymooners

   When Sean was eighteen he left his homeland on a boat, hoping to find a better life on foreign shores. He wore a hat that his grandfather gave him. His grandfather had found the hat in a bath. He took it from the bath, and he was going to return it later, but there was a small horse in the bath when he went back. It was a lucky hat.
   The first person Sean met on the boat was a woman who offered him some worms. He thought it was going to be a long voyage. Many weeks later they arrived at a port where the people spoke a foreign language. Sean stayed in a hostel that night. He listened to the local radio stations, hoping to hear a word or two he understood. The sound of bells from a church was a language he could understand, and this provided some reassurance.
   On the following day he started looking for a job and it didn't take long to find one, despite the language barrier. He worked as a gardener on an estate owned by a local businessman. When he wasn't gardening he trained the dog not to fall over when looking at birds in the sky, and not to laugh at the people playing lawn tennis.
   He fell in love with one of the maids in the house. Her name was Vera. He thought she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, and she was even more beautiful when she sang. The lady of the house often got her to sing at parties. Butterflies were attracted to her when she performed. Worms were repulsed. Moths were indifferent.
   Sean and Vera got married. They got a lot of candles and a lot of cakes as wedding presents. Some of the cakes were flammable. None of the candles were edible (Sean checked each one of them). On their honeymoon they travelled to a lake. Near the lake there was an old castle that had been converted into a hotel, so they booked rooms there. Inside it looked exactly like an old castle and nothing like a hotel. Sean wasn't worried because he was wearing his lucky boots. He had decided they were lucky because he found them in a bath. There was also a chicken in the bath, but he only took the boots.
   At dinner they realised they were the only guests. They sat at a long table with the owner of the hotel, who was stroking his beard. The beard seemed to like being stroked (they could hear it purring). They started to suspect that their host was a vampire when they noticed that he was wearing a badge that said 'Give Blood', and there was dried blood on his beard. When he looked at a mirror on the wall there was no reflection, so he looked at a portrait of himself instead. He coughed to attract the attention of the painted version of himself. The painted version hurriedly tried to arrange himself in a pose that mirrored the original version.
   Sean and Vera decided to leave. After they went to bed, they made their getaway through a window. They ran away, but they soon realised that the vampire was chasing them. They had to steal two horses to get away from him. He tried to steal a cow, but he couldn't get it to work.
   After riding for hours they had to stop to get some sleep. They slept amongst the heather at the foot of a mountain. When they woke in the morning the two horses were gone. The horses had left a note saying they had to go home. Sean and Vera saw a black cloud approaching them. They sensed that the vampire was concealed within it. They ran up the mountainside. They came to a cottage that had a 'No Vampires' sign on the front door. This seemed like a good place to hide. They knocked on the door and a middle-aged man opened it. He took them inside when he saw the cloud behind them. His name was Harry.
   The vampire paid no heed to the sign. Shortly after Sean and Vera arrived they heard him pounding on the front door. Harry led them out the back, and they went further up the mountain. He said to them, "If you're in a fight with someone who has a knife, what you really need is a bigger knife. If you're up against a vampire, you need a bigger vampire, and I know where to find one."
   He took them to a castle that was hidden amongst the trees on the mountainside He rang a doorbell, and the huge oak door was opened by the biggest vampire Sean or Vera had ever seen. He was wearing slippers and pyjamas that were covered in images of smiling fish.
   "Hello Harry," the vampire said. "How are things?"
   "Hello Frank. It's these 'things' that have brought us here. I was wondering if you could do us a favour."
   "I owe you a favour after you gave me a loan of your lawn mower."
   "There's this chap we want to frighten off. He's been bothering these good people. I'd imagine he'll be coming along any minute now."
   "No problem."
   "Perhaps you could change into something a bit more intimidating than the pyjamas and the slippers."
   "Yeah. Good thinking."
   When the smaller vampire knocked at Frank's door a few minutes later, a broad smile revealed his fangs. The smile and the fangs disappeared when the door opened. Frank was dressed in black, and he seemed to have grown a few feet since Sean and Vera saw him in his pyjamas. He was so big, he would have struggled to get through the front door, but he didn't need to go out to chase his foe away. The smaller vampire ran back down the mountain path, and as he did so he became a black cloud. He flew away across the sky, and he was out of sight within minutes.
   Sean and Vera spent the rest of their honeymoon at Frank's castle. They tried to pay him, but he refused to take any money. He said he was glad to have the company.

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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