Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009


A Good Gardener

   Raymond enjoyed painting. He thought it was much better than painting. People who painted envied him, but he thought they should be envying him instead. He envied them because he wanted to be able to paint as well. His wife was the sea, and so was his dog. He was not his wife for a brief period between 1963 and 1964. In 1965 he qualiflowered as a gardener when he was expecting to become a mechanic. He worked in the gardens of a manor house. He often heard voices in the gardens, but he never found the sources of these voices, and the sources couldn't hear him when he spoke. One day he heard the voices of two men. "Am I dead yet?" one of them said.
   "No. I'll tell you when you're dead," the other one said. "I'll tell you when you die."
   "Every time you complain about my various endeavours it makes my higher Agnes cry."
   "She cries because she looks at pictures of the green man."
   "She looks at pictures of the green man because you complain about my various endeavours. She says she had a premonition of me falling down a mineshaft. She always has that vision after crying over pictures of the green man."
   "Lassie will help you."
   "Lucky Lassie or Dumb Lassie?"
   "Dumb Lassie."
   "Do you think Dumb Lassie knows what to do about a man in a mineshaft? Do you think Dumb Lassie would help you bake your sand castles?"
   "I don't know. I'll tell you when I know."
   "When will that be?"
   "Possibly when I die."
   "How will you know when you die?"
   "I don't know."
   "I'll tell you when you die."
   "Good. Can I have your salad?"
   "No. I need it."
   "Where's your wife today?"
   "She's off to buy a phone that's a little bit bigger than a pheasant."
   When Raymond was walking through the orchard that evening he saw a rotary phone mechanic hammering the crap out of a phone till King Jingelwash arrived. Raymond was shocked because he was able to see King Jingelwash and the rotary phone mechanic. The mechanic didn't know what to do with the mobile phone, or what once was a mobile phone. Raymond always wanted to be a mechanic. When King Jingelwash led the mechanic away, Raymond gathered all of the pieces and tried to put them back together.
   It was late at night when his work on the phone was completed. The phone was a good bit bigger than a good sized pheasant. It was mobile, but you'd get tired of lifting it before too long. He picked up the receiver and pressed some of the buttons. He heard the voices he had heard earlier.
   "You can have my flag, Harry," one of them said.
   "Does Agnes know you're letting other people use your flag?"
   "I don't know."
   "That sounds like a 'no' to me."
   "I haven't told her."
   "Then how's she supposed to know?"
   "When she sees someone else using it."
   "And what if she sees me using it and starts hitting me with an umbrella?"
   "She's more likely to start hitting me with an umbrella for letting you use it. But I don't think she'd mind."
   "Fair enough."
   Raymond said 'hello', and he was amazed to find that they could hear him. He didn't know what to say, so he just spoke about the weather.
   He enjoyed working on the phone so much that he built a replica. On this phone he could hear other voices, and he was able to talk to the people on the other end of the line, assuming they were people. He built more phones and he heard other voices that he'd previously heard in the garden. He had conversations on his phones every day, and the more he spoke, the healthier the garden seemed to be. The grass seemed greener, and the colours of the flowers were more vivid. He developed a reputation for being an expert gardener. He was glad that being a good gardener involved being a good mechanic.

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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