Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The Match Report

   The match began with a murder. One of the goalkeepers was found dead in his own net, much to the consternation of the other players. The referee seemed unmoved by the situation. He spent most of the first half strolling around the pitch with a cigarette in his mouth instead of a whistle, while all around him the match went on at a frantic pace. Despite his casual demeanour, he had solved the case before half-time. The murderer was the prime suspect, a striker who had been involved in a long-running feud with the goalkeeper. It started with a disagreement over what brains are made of and whether or not you could make your own brain. The striker had no qualms about killing the goalkeeper on his own team.
   Many people in the crowd were wondering why they should bother staying around for the second half, but a score shortly after half-time kept the spectators interested. One of the wingers was found dead in suspicious circumstances. The ref took notes as the corpse was being removed from the field on a stretcher, and the match resumed.
   An hour into the game, everyone was distracted by an off-the-ball incident in the penalty area. Two opponents were arguing about how far away from someone you'd have to be to seriously injure them with a turnip. The ball was in a glass case just outside the other penalty area. After the ref had settled the argument, attention was returned to the ball, but the case was empty. The ball had been stolen.
   The ref consulted with his linesmen, but they hadn't seen anything. Some spectators chanted accusations against the two players who had argued about the turnip. They were accused of colluding to create a diversion while the thief stole the ball.
   The crowd were in uproar when one of the strikers was murdered in the penalty area, but it turned out that he wasn't dead at all, and the ref booked him for diving. The player insisted that he really had been murdered, and he pointed to a wound where he said he'd been stabbed in the back, but this wound was on his ankle, and no murder weapon was found. The game went on.
   After a seemingly innocuous foul, the ref spent a long time questioning the centre-half who was the last person seen with the winger before his murder. After making some notes in his notebook, he took out a yellow card. Near the end of the game, the centre-half committed a much worse foul on the edge of the penalty area. All of the players converged on the scene of the foul, and a brawl seemed imminent. The ref arrived to restore order. The opposition were calling for the centre-half to be sent off. After looking in his notebook, the ref took out the red card, but instead of showing it to the centre-half he sent off one of the midfield players from the other team. He identified this man as the murderer of the winger and the mastermind of the theft of the ball. The ref claimed that the winger had found out about the plan to steal the ball and he was using this information to blackmail the thief. The midfield player had made two payments to the winger, but he couldn't afford to pay any more because he needed the money to pay the mothers of his illegitimate children, so he killed the winger.
   The murderer was defended by his manager in the press conference after the game. According to the manager, the ref had shown a complete lack of common sense in producing the red card. He should have taken into account the astonishing quantity of illegitimate children amassed by the player. Some of those children were decorated with a meagre amount of diamonds, and they had to use butlers who had been rejected by the children of other players. These reject butlers came in strange shapes and everything they touched would start growing hair.

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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