Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Moving House

   For many years I suffered from agoraphobia. I could never leave the house, but I was able to take it with me wherever I went. The view outside my front window kept changing and I could close the curtains on the people who laughed at me for walking around with a cardboard box on my head. I was never lonely in my house because I had so many visitors. People loved calling around, although some of them only knocked on my front door because it was an excuse to punch me in the face.
   When a married couple moved into the box next door the walls seemed as if they were as thin as paper. I could hear everything they said. They had the same conversation every evening before they went out to a party or to a friend's house. He'd say, "I wouldn't use that sandwich, if I were you, not if you're going to use it as a hat."
   She'd say, "I can use whatever I want to use as a hat."
   "In that case, I'm going to use my bullet-proof vest as a hat."
   "But people don't usually shoot you in the head."
   Just before leaving the house she'd always say, "Spread some shadows over the furniture to keep the dust off. The man with the gun will come out of the shadows. He'll keep looking at his gun, so you don't need to worry about him."
   She always said this very loudly. I got the impression that she wanted me to hear her because she thought this would stop me from breaking into their house. Sometimes they'd stay in and invite friends around. Their parties would keep me awake all night.
   I moved house when I was able to afford the mortgage on a bigger box. My new neighbours sing to each other instead of speaking. The song always sounds happy, even when they're arguing. Her voice was full of light and love when she accused him of having an affair with her sister. I don't mind these arguments because I rarely listen to the lyrics of songs.

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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