Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Something Missing

   I saw a swarm of bees fly in formation towards me. The formation was shaped like an arrow. It passed right through me, and the bees took something from me on the way. I had a feeling that something was missing, but I didn't know what it was. At first I wondered if they'd taken an organ like a heart or a liver. After an hour I felt no physical side-effects, but I still had the sense that something was missing. The bees had left a spiritual hole inside me.
   I tried to fill the hole by listening to music. I went for a walk in the hills where I was surrounded by the beauty of nature. I watched a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat and then pull some cheese out of the rabbit. But none of these things filled the hole.
   I told my neighbour, Melanie, about what had happened. She gave me a chicken to fill the hole. I brought the chicken home with me, but it didn't fill the empty space inside me. I started to suspect that she had given me the chicken because she wanted someone to baby-sit it. She gave me a bag full of the chicken's favourite toys as well.
   I remembered my cousin Hilda trying to eat a whole chicken. She managed to fit the head into her mouth, but the other end was sticking out. The other end laid an egg. She boiled the egg and she ate that instead. These thoughts made me wonder if my subconscious was trying to tell me that the hole could be filled with food. The chicken didn't look very appetising, so we went to the shop and I bought all of my favourite food. I bought something for the chicken as well. On the way home I stopped at the off-licence to get a bottle of whiskey. I spent the rest of the evening eating and drinking, but the hole was as big as ever.
   I returned the chicken to Melanie on the following day. I told her that I still had this sense that something was missing. She suggested going to see a musical called 'The Apple of my Egg'. In response to her suggestion I shook my head so vigorously that the skin around my skull came loose and covered my eyes. I tried to put my skin back in its correct place, but I couldn't find the eye-holes. I needed her assistance to put it back. She enjoyed holding my head, and I enjoyed the experience as well. I asked her if she'd be interested in having an affair. She checked her diary and she said she'd be able to fit one in on the following evening.
   Our affair went very well, even though it fizzled out after an hour. After a long silence I asked her if she'd like to go to a nearby restaurant. She said no because the last time she was there a waiter got sick on her monkey. Or her monkey got sick on a waiter -- she couldn't remember which. She had to leave to meet a man called Kevin. He used to be afraid of his erratic spring-mounted eyeballs. He could easily poke someone in the eye with his eye while he was talking to them. His eyeballs could pop out at any time. She had given him a make-over. His new look allowed him to wear sunglasses all day long. The sunglasses were tied on so they'd block his eyes if they popped out. He was expecting her to have an affair with him. I can imagine how he'd expect this.
   My affair with Melanie was the perfect filler for the empty space inside me. This made me wonder what the bees were doing with whatever they took from me. Sometimes I feel a need to have an affair with Mrs. Memplonk next door, but she loves her husbands so much she married one of them. She keeps the rest of them in her shed. An affair with her would fill the hole with guilt. I've found that drink is a much better filler for the hole on the rare occasions when it opens up again. A bottle of whiskey will put me off the idea of an affair, and it puts the women off as well.

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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