Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The Alien's Bride

   It was a very good planet, as planets go, and when we came back we had some tea. It was nice to have the tea after our trip to the planet. Only after the tea did we realise that one of the aliens had come back with us. We had a good laugh about that. The alien laughed as well. Something spilled out of his ears every time he laughed, and he had twenty ears. The dog drank what had spilled on the floor. It nearly made Ann sick, so we got the alien to spill it into a bowl, and the dog drank from that instead.
   We knew that the alien was male because he said he needed a female alien to mate with, or else he'd burst. The dog would have a feast if that happened, but it would ruin the new carpet if he burst in the dining room, so we decided to make a female alien for him. He gave us a shopping list. A lot of carrots would be needed for his new bride, and some tomatoes too. I was glad to see the tomatoes on the list because it meant that the dog wouldn't eat her (the dog hates tomatoes).
   The alien was happy with his new bride, but after a week she started to go off. She was approaching her 'best before' date, and we told him he'd have to get a new one. He pretended not to hear, but he had twenty ears, so we weren't going to be fooled by that.
   One of our neighbours, Mr. Pinecuphop, called around one day. When he saw the alien's bride (he could smell her before he saw her) he said, "In my younger days I spent many years travelling through a land governed by a council who lived underground. Myself and my travelling companions were captured and imprisoned. For months the only part of the outside world we saw was the square of sky through a tiny window near the ceiling of our cell. On my birthday the guards gave me a heart and some feathers and they suggested that I use these ingredients to make something. I wanted to make biscuits because my uncle claimed that he once escaped from prison using only a biscuit. But I'd have needed more ingredients to make biscuits. One of my companions was an accountant for witches and wizards, and he had learnt a few tricks from them. He put the feathers and the heart into a bowl and he recited a strange chant over them. He kept reciting this chant for several minutes. He said we'd have to leave it overnight before we'd see the effects of this chant. He'd used it before to make pet dogs. These dogs weren't very good at fetching things, and their owners often had to re-attach bits that fell off, but they were very loyal.
   "We were woken in the middle of the night by the sound of digging. There was a hole in the floor of the cell and earth was flying out of it. The bowl was empty. The feathers and the heart were now part of a strange creature that had strong, sharp claws and a desire to dig. The feathers were on its back. We could see its chest bulge every time the heart beat. Within two hours it had dug a tunnel out of the prison. The tunnel was just about big enough for us to crawl through. This is how we made our escape. We disguised ourselves as lepers to get away from that land."
   Mr. Pinecuphop agreed to perform the chant on the alien's bride. He closed his eyes, and he kept repeating a simple phrase in a monotone voice. This phrase was in a language I didn't understand.
   The alien's bride wasn't showing any signs of life when we went to bed that night, but on the following morning we could hear her scratching the walls. She made numerous holes in the walls, but at least the smell was gone, and the alien was delighted with this sudden burst of energy she was exhibiting. She seemed much more attentive as well. Before Mr. Pinecuphop performed his chant, the alien had been wondering if she was really listening to everything he said to her.

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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