Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009



   I've been learning how to play the trumpet. Some people say I'm wasting my breath, but if I didn't use it on the trumpet I'd just use it to say the word 'footle'.
   When I met Alison a few weeks ago she could tell that I was just about to say 'footle'. She covered her ears and she started shouting 'No no no no no no no', shooting a round of 'no's into the ground around my feet. The next time I met her she gave me a cold shoulder. I put it in the fridge and I started thinking. I didn't have anything to think about. Whenever the cupboard in my head is bare I always look up. I saw the sink on the ceiling, and glued to the sink was a note with the words 'My haberdashery'. I thought she might like this, so I sent it to her. She sent me a letter in return. She thanked me for the words and she said she had some words for me. She was going to write them, but she thought they'd sound better if she said them to me. So I called around to her house. She was wearing a diamond necklace and a neck. 'Hospital' and 'primrose' were the words she gave to me. I felt that I needed to give a word in return. I couldn't use 'footle'. I thought about playing a word on the trumpet, but I was still just learning.
   I decided to visit Gerry to see if he could give me a word. He gave his cousins some of his criminals for Christmas, and they gave him an alphabet. But when I got to his house he told me he had eaten all of the alphabet. He offered me some criminals instead of a word. I declined his offer because I thought Alison would prefer a word.
   I tried to make a word myself by assembling my own alphabet. I went looking for things that could be used as letters. I found an iron bar that could be twisted into a 'U'. I met a bee who was willing to pose as a 'B' if I let him sleep in the pocket of my coat. I agreed. I was hoping to find a 'P' next.
   I kept walking until I came to a fork in the toad. The toad asked me to remove the fork, so I did and he turned into a handsome prince. Handsome princes aren't really my cup of tea, so I put the fork back in, but he didn't turn into a toad. He just turned into an angry prince. I ran away and he chased me.
   After running for ten minutes I had to stop at an old stone bridge to have a rest. I met a man who said, "There's no point running away because we all do the die in the end and fall off our horses. My horse is invisible, as you can see."
   I bought his invisible horse. On horseback I was able to get away from the prince, even though riding was just as tiring as running.
   I returned to my quest to find an alphabet. After a lot of searching I managed to assemble the word 'butterfly'. I'd been stung by nettles, chased by dogs and cursed by witches during my search. I could see that Alison was impressed by the word, but shortly after I said it to her the prince finally caught up with me. His anger evaporated when he saw Alison, and he lost interest in getting revenge on me. He looked into her eyes. He only had to say the word 'footle' to make her smile.
   They left together. The latest I heard is that they're engaged. I've used the word 'footle' on hundreds of women and it's never had this effect.

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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