|Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.||
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I saw a staple on the ground. When I picked it up to examine it I heard someone say, "Ah, you've found my staple." I turned around and I saw a man who looked like one of the saints in the stained glass windows in the church. "I'm a saint, you know," he added.
I couldn't come between a saint and his staple, so I gave it to him. He said, "I'll give it to my friend Stan for safe-keeping." Stan was standing behind the saint. He was bouncing a tiny kangaroo as if it was a basketball. He stopped bouncing the kangaroo when the saint gave him the staple. The kangaroo took its chance and hopped away.
I asked the saint if I'd done a good deed by finding the staple because this indirectly led to kangaroo escaping his roll as a ball. The saint said, "It all depends on what the kangaroo does next. If he does something bad, you'd be partly responsible for that."
We followed the kangaroo to see what he'd do. He led us to a graveyard, where he started jumping up and down on a grave.
"Is that a good or a bad thing?" I said to the saint.
He said, "I suppose it would depend on the grave's tenant. If he was evil when he was alive then the kangaroo is doing good. I think. He wouldn't be achieving anything good, but... I used to discuss issues of morality and theology with a wise man who was like a mentor to me. I only realised he was made out of porridge when I punched him in the face."
The saint suggested going to the pub to discuss the matter further, but when we got there he started telling a story about a fight in another pub. He said, "I got into an argument over how much it would cost to get a tattoo of the word 'brush' on a shoulder. This argument turned violent. I stood my ground, but I found that I was up against countless people who took the opposing point of view. How many of me were there in the fight? People say there were ten of me, but I have a doctor's letter confirming that there couldn't have been any more than one of me. I emerged from the fight victorious, and I spent the rest of the night signing autographs on the bodies of the female fans I'd acquired because of the fight. I went home to bed after dawn, but as I was drifting off to sleep I smelled smoke. My house had been set on fire by an enemy, someone who disagreed with me about the price of the 'brush' tattoo or the husband of a woman who'd recently received a temporary tattoo of my name. I had to jump out of an upstairs window to escape from the fire, but luckily I turned into a football in mid-air, so I bounced away down the road until someone kicked me back into myself. The joy I felt at being myself fought the anger I felt at being kicked. The joy won."
The saint saw a beautiful woman leaving the pub. He quickly finished his pint and went out after her. Myself and Stan followed him. As the woman was walking away down the road the saint whispered something into her ear. She ran away with such determination that she broke the air. It shattered into pieces, and these fell to the ground. The surrounding air rushed into the vacuum. A whirlwind was created and it carried us all away.
Myself, Stan and the saint landed on top of a brass band who were playing in the park. Some of the musicians beneath us were unconscious. Some were just dazed and they played on. We picked up instruments and we tried to play along, but after a few minutes the others began to realise that we were interlopers. We dropped the instruments and ran away. The conscious musicians gave chase, but they tried to play their instruments as they ran, and this slowed them down.
The saint and Stan kept following me because they believed that everything I did led to adventure, even though the only thing I'd done was give a staple to a saint. I wanted to get away from them, so I told them I needed to go to the library. They thought I'd cause mayhem in the library, so they went with me.
While they were looking at books about horse racing, I looked through an encycoplaedia of saints, but I couldn't find an entry on my new friend. I found a short biography of him in a book about people who had applied to be saints. I read the following passage:
His sneezes have been the subject of much discussion. It takes over an hour for the effects of a sneeze to subside. Observers have identified thirty-five different areas of his face moving independently of each other in the immediate aftermath of a sneeze.
This gave me an idea. I found an old Latin book that hadn't been read in years. It was covered in dust. I told the saint he might find it interesting, and as I held it up in front of him I blew the dust into his face.
I could see that a sneeze had been initiated, but it took over a minute for that sneeze to arrive. This gave me plenty of time to run for cover. After the sneeze he couldn't do anything while all the different parts of his face moved, and Stan was busy counting those parts. I was able to get away from them without being noticed.
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.
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