Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Lucy's Dream

   Lucy had a dream in which she was being chased through a city by a monster who was taller than a three-storey building. She had a talking harp that offered some very good advice, but she had to carry the harp everywhere, and this slowed her down. The monster was hindered by his trousers, which kept falling down, but he eventually cornered her in an alley that was blocked by a high wall. She played the harp, and it sang a song. The monster smiled as he listened to the song. When he had dropped his guard and his trousers she took her chance to kill him. She left the harp, but it kept singing and the monster kept smiling. He didn't notice her putting a grenade into his trouser pocket. She took the harp and ran past him. He pulled up his trousers and he turned around to chase her. She made it around the corner before he exploded. As she ran down the street she managed to avoid the falling debris, and then she went bowling with Adam.
   She woke up with a scream. She thought Adam was an idiot. He once told her that if he was ever proposing to a woman he'd give her chewing gum instead of a ring, just to see her reaction. He didn't think it was likely that she'd react by saying, "I'd rather marry that man who often has porridge stuck to his face." He couldn't imagine her saying no, as long as the chewing gum hadn't been used before.
   But Lucy's dreams had often been right in the past. They told her truths that the rational part of her mind didn't want to accept. Dreams had convinced her that she loved Abba, and that she didn't hate golf. She decided to allow herself to be won over by Adam. He was a friend of a friend, and they often met in the pub. She was nice to him the next time they met. He noticed the change in her attitude towards him. She had never laughed at his jokes before. The way she used to react was more of an anti-laugh, as if she was straining to show how unfunny she thought the joke was. But all that had changed. She laughed at his joke about women drivers, and she seemed genuinely interested in a story about a pie he found. Whenever he met a woman who didn't show antipathy towards him he always asked her out on a date. He asked Lucy if she'd like to go to a film with him, and she said she would.
   Cormac was horrified when he heard about this. He'd been trying to find the courage to ask Lucy out for months. He hated Adam, and he hated him even more for the way he didn't need courage to ask women out. He just needed a complete inability to imagine the consequences of using obscene chat-up lines on women who were holding something that could be used as a weapon. Cormac couldn't understand why Lucy would agree to go out with him. This is what he said to Adam when they met. "I thought she had more intelligence than that," he said. "I thought she had a better sense of smell."
   "Intelligence and a sense of smell have nothing to do with these things. That's why you'll never succeed. You'll try to smell good and appeal to their brains. It's a sense of mystery they fall for."
   "And you have a sense of mystery?"
   "Exactly. You wouldn't be able to see that. That's what makes it mysterious. Women can sense it, but you'll be completely blind to it. It's a bit like dogs listening to high-frequency sounds that we can't hear."
   "I've seen dogs back away from you because of the smell."
   "That's fine by me. I'm not trying to attract dogs."
   Cormac wanted to dispel any sense of mystery around Adam. When they were in the pub one evening Cormac got another friend of theirs to remind Adam of the hobby himself and his brother used to practise in their teens. They used to train dogs to get sick on people's shoes. Adam enjoyed telling Lucy about this. She smiled, but it was a forced smile. In the past she'd expressed a dislike of anyone who harmed dogs or shoes.
   Lucy and Adam went bowling later that evening, and she accidentally dropped a ball on his foot. She realised that this was what her dream was telling her to do. As he was lying on the ground, holding his foot, he saw her smile and he noticed that this smile looked more real than all the others. He thought he'd be better off staying a long way away from her.
   Cormac is still trying to find the courage to ask her out. She might say yes. The only time he appeared in one of her dreams he was eating a potato.

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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