Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


My Phone had the Hiccups

   My phone had the hiccups. After two days of listening to it hiccupping I started to get annoyed. Someone suggested I try frightening my phone, and that's when I thought of Trevor, one of my neighbours. He's a ventriloquist, and he has a dummy called Roger. Trevor's dog once climbed into Roger because it seemed like a comfortable place to sleep. Roger was lying on a chair in Trevor's living room at the time. Some of Trevor's friends called around for tea. When Trevor was in the kitchen making the tea, the dog woke up and he struggled to get out of Roger. When Trevor's friends saw Roger suddenly spring into life they were terrified. They started screaming, and they ran from the house.
   Trevor was delighted with what his dog had done. He trained the dog to remain completely still inside the dummy and then suddenly start jumping. It was a great way of scaring children, and I hoped it would scare my phone as well.
   The dog was inside Roger when Trevor put the dummy on the floor in my hall, near where the phone was. We left them alone. About ten minutes later the dog sprang into life and so did Roger. This clearly terrified the phone. It stopped hiccupping, and it started ringing instead.
   The plan to frighten the phone worked too well. It wouldn't stop ringing, and this was even worse than the hiccupping. I needed to calm it down. My uncle Eddie often put the phone to sleep. He has a very monotonous voice, and he can ramble on for hours. He breathes through his nose so he won't have to pause. When he had a cold and his nose was blocked he learnt how to breathe through his eyes. I phoned Eddie. He started talking about the cathedral he'd build if he ever had a chance to build a cathedral. I lost track of what he was saying after about ten seconds.
   It didn't take long for the phone to fall asleep, but I couldn't get it to wake up again, and it kept snoring. I needed something to wake it up, and this seemed like a good excuse for a party. A man called Jasper used to install edible kitchens. People loved the taste of his kitchens. It had become fashionable to hire him to install a new kitchen just for a party. I got him to put a new kitchen in my house for my party.
   This plan also worked a bit too well. My guests were very impressed by the kitchen. They started eating the doors to the cupboards, and they drank the contents of the cupboards (I had left bottles of wine and beer in there). It didn't take them long to eat all the cupboards and the worktop, and they had the sink for dessert, but they didn't stop there. They moved onto the dining room, and they started eating the table, even though it was made out of oak. I put out some more drink, hoping that this would distract them, but it only fuelled their feast. By midnight they had eaten their way through most of the downstairs rooms.
   I surveyed the damage on the following morning. Wreckage and empty bottles were strewn across the floor, and the phone was hiccupping again. But at least the hiccupping was better than the ringing or the snoring, so I decided not to do anything about it this time.

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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