Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


A Stockpile of Peas

   I used to look at my watch a lot when I was young. Watch-watching was the only way to pass the time when the TV was broken. I convinced myself that I was actually making time go quicker, but I was able to convince myself of a lot of things that seemed far-fetched. Over a million things. Actually there were only three things. Of four if you count the belief that I had convinced myself of over a million far-fetched things. Of the other three, one was that I could make time go quicker by staring at my watch, another was that I'd counted to over a million on a wet Sunday afternoon when I was cataloguing all the far-fetched things I'd convinced myself of, and the other was that I could breathe through my ears. I thought I had found proof of this at dinnertime when I'd survive until dessert despite my mouth and nose being constantly full. I used to breathe in and then put peas into my ears so they'd go shooting out across the room as the air looked for an exit. My brothers told me that the peas came shooting out. I had to take their word for it because I couldn't convince myself that I had eyes on the sides of my head to see the peas' majestic flight across the kitchen, ricocheting off pots and pans and travelling through keyholes, as my brothers claimed. But I think they were just saying that so I'd keep putting more peas in my ears. I doubt if any of those peas ever came shooting out.
   After a few years, I noticed that my brothers were counting every time I put a pea into one of my ears, and I realised that they were counting the peas I was putting into my head. Their count was approaching a hundred-thousand then. I decided to give up putting peas in my ears, despite their earnest appeals that I keep going until I reached a hundred-thousand. Ever since then I've been finding peas in my shoes, in my hair and in my pockets. I've counted every one, but I've still only found sixteen-thousand of them, which is a bit of a worry.

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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