Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


The Mystery of Oliver's Eye

   Oliver closed his eyes. Or, to be more precise, he closed his eyelids. When he opened his left eyelid his left eye was gone. It had been replaced by a marble. He was afraid to raise his right eyelid in case his right eye was missing as well. But after walking into the wall once too often he realised he had to face his fear and open his eyelid. He was delighted to find that his right eye was still there and he could see.
   Detective Johnson was called to solve the mystery of the missing eye. Oliver told him what had happened. Johnson said, "This reminds me of the theft of a diamond from a locked room. A fake diamond was left behind. I considered a number of options in that case. The first was that the door hadn't remained locked at all times. This seemed unlikely at first, as a security guard had been on duty outside the door. Another option was that there was some other entrance to the room, but after a painstaking search, none was discovered. Is there another entrance in this case? Have you tried taking your eyes out through your ears or through your nose?"
   "No, but my brother did. Unsuccessfully."
   "Then your eyelids must not have remained shut at all times. A third possibility in the diamond case was that the thief was a member of staff, possibly even the security guard himself. As I questioned him I began to suspect what had happened. He had been drugged, and the drugs erased the memory of being drugged."
   "Now that I think about it, it's quite possible that I fell asleep after I closed my eyes. That happens to me nearly every day. But I'm sure I would have woken up if someone tried to open my eyelids from the outside."
   "Is there any reason why you'd open your eyelids while you sleep?"
   "I'd open my eyes if I sensed that old people were near. Old people are always asking me if they can lick the sauce from my eyes. That's why I learnt how to lick the sauce from my own eyes. I've also developed a very keen sense of when old people are near. Even in my sleep I can lick the sauce from my eyes."
   "So an old person would have come for the eye sauce, and you would have opened your eyelids to lick the sauce. This old person, or persons, would have seized the chance and taken one of your eyes while you slept. We should be able to find the culprit, or culprits, if we can find the trail of eye sauce."
   They found the trail on Oliver's garden path. It led them to Mrs. Nolan's house. "I should have known," Oliver said. "Mrs. Nolan has always had her eyes on my eyes."
   Mrs. Nolan insisted she had nothing to do with the crime, but she suspected who might have been behind it. She used to take her teeth out before going to bed each night. She'd leave them in a glass on her bedside locker. She used to take her brain out as well, and she'd put it into a bowl. Her collection of antique dolls were always doing things with her brain while she slept. They'd give it make-overs. She'd wake up in the morning and find that her brain was wearing a new dress and make-up. "When I woke up this morning," she said, "I found two eyes on my brain. It was wearing glasses as well."
   "So you didn't sense old people," Johnson said to Oliver. "You sensed dolls."
   "Some of them are over a hundred years old," Mrs. Nolan said. "I'm terribly sorry about this. I need to have a word with my dolls."
   She showed them the eyes. The green one was Oliver's, but they didn't know who the other one belonged to. Mrs. Nolan said she'd make her dolls return it to its rightful owner.
   Oliver put the eye back into his head. He was delighted to be able to see properly again, but he walked into the door frame on the way out. "That was my fault," he said. "I put the eye in upside down."

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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