Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009



   Nathaniel consisted of four men and a woman. He lived in a house over looking the sea. Each of his constituent parts had a separate bedroom. On summer evenings he'd eat his dinner in his garden, and his constituents would look out over the sea as the sun began to set.
   He felt an inner conflict when two of the men fell in love with the woman. To ease the tension inside him, he looked for activities to occupy his mind. On a Sunday afternoon he went to the local cultural centre, where he saw demonstrations of traditional handcrafts. As he was looking at a woman using a spinning wheel, he noticed that two of his parts were missing. The woman and one of the men had gone off on their own. Nathaniel was very disconcerted by this. When the two missing parts rejoined him after half an hour, he had to go home to sit down.
   Nine months later the woman gave birth to a girl. Nathaniel had just got bigger, and more effeminate. This worried some of Nathaniel's constituent parts. One of those parts had a beard, and he considered himself to be the most important part because of the beard. He was afraid that Nathaniel would undergo a sex change. The man who lived next door feared becoming a fox. This is why he always made sure he wasn't a fox before leaving the house. He'd look in the mirror before going outside, and he'd carefully examine his face for fox-like features. When he walked down city streets he often got the feeling that people were looking at him, and he'd be afraid that he'd turned into a fox. He often ordered chicken in restaurants without thinking, and he was always horrified when he'd realise what he'd done.
   The bearded part of Nathaniel made all of Nathaniel stand in front of the mirror for ten minutes every morning. He was looking out for signs that Nathaniel was becoming even more effeminate.
   One morning the bearded part of Nathaniel saw another man with a beard in the mirror. Nathaniel had grown overnight. At least this time he'd become slightly more masculine again, the bearded part thought. But when he looked closer he noticed that the newcomer was wearing a fake beard. It could be a woman in disguise.
   Overall, Nathaniel was glad to have the newcomer. As well as growing overnight, he had also become a brilliant cook. He had acquired the ability to make potatoes out of toffee. These tasted much better than the potatoes made out of potatoes that Nathaniel had been eating all his life.
   As they were eating the toffee potatoes in the garden one evening, two gangsters arrived and they aimed guns at the part of Nathaniel with the fake beard. Being shot here wouldn't prove fatal to Nathaniel, but he still didn't want to be shot. He had to think quickly. Action was called for, and this is what Nathaniel came up with: he started singing. He could sound demonic when all of his constituent parts sang together. When the gangsters heard the sound they lost their nerve and ran away. The newcomer was overjoyed, and the rest of Nathaniel were happy as well. They told the newcomer he was welcome to stay in Nathaniel for as long as he wanted, and he thanked them for their hospitality.

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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