Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The Man with the Greyhound

   Clive will stand over there by the window and he'll tell us when he sees the man with the greyhound. He was supposed to be here at seven. If he doesn't come... We'll just have to wait here. But anyway, Colum, what were you saying about your trousers?
   "Have you ever wondered where your trousers go when you're asleep? I certainly have. To satisfy my curiosity I set up night-vision cameras around my house to see what my trousers were up to. This was how I discovered that a woman was breaking into my house every night to put biscuits into my tuba. I had been wondering why there were always biscuits in my tuba, but I was never as curious about this as I was about my trousers. I decided to stay up one night and confront her. She arrived at two o' clock in the morning and I asked her what she was up to with the biscuits. She said she was under the impression that I wanted her to put biscuits into my tuba. She was furious with me for leaving her with this false impression for so long. I thought the best thing for both of us would be a good night's sleep, so I suggested that we meet again at noon on the following day. She agreed to this.
   "Our second meeting was much better than the first. She had a nasty temper but I had a Swiss Roll. If this was 'paper, scissors, stone', she'd have the stone to throw at me but I'd have the paper to wrap the stone. My Swiss Roll counteracted her temper, so we got along very well. I liked the fact that she was capable of such anger, as long as she didn't direct it at me. She did everything whole-heartedly, including doing nothing. She could do nothing with terrifying intensity.
   "We spent a lot of time together, often doing little more than nothing. She lost her temper on a fairly regular basis but I always managed to find a piece of paper to cover the stone. One day she asked me how tall you'd have to be if you wanted to be Superman. To answer her question I went to the library to do some research. After reading numerous books and papers I came back to her with this answer: 'I don't know'. I told her that not knowing things gets a bad press, but it's much better than attempting to convince yourself that you know something just for the sake of knowing. I'd recommend not knowing to anyone. I've been happier since I finally accepted that I didn't have the faintest idea where I was going. I told her that there was beauty in being oblivious.
   "She said, 'I can show you something that's even more beautiful than the fight we witnessed between that Labrador and the poodle.' I asked her if it was Leary's rocket car. I regretted saying those words before I finished saying them. I heard myself talking and I thought, 'That eejit is saying something guaranteed to make her lose her temper.' But I needn't have worried. She was intrigued by the rocket car. I told her about Leary. Whenever he needs to know something he'll ask his mother, the poet. She never fails to provide an answer, even in areas she knows little about. She gave him a very comprehensive answer when he asked her about how to build a rocket car, but he needed to find more technical information..."
   "The man with the greyhound is here," Clive says.
   Okay. We better be off so. To end this thing, here's an image showing what Colum's trousers do at night.

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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