Very Slight Stories | Like short stories, only shorter.

'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010



   Gary found a monkey in one of the trees in his back garden. It took a few hours to win the monkey's trust. He kept speaking in a gentle voice, and he offered the monkey some bananas. A jam sandwich finally enticed him down from the tree and into the house.
   It didn't take long for the monkey to make himself at home. It looked as if he was planning on a long stay, so Gary thought he should give his visitor a name. He'd never feel comfortable sharing a house with a creature who could use a knife and fork but didn't have a name, even if the monkey only used a knife and fork to clean himself. Gary decided to call him Mulligan.
   As well as using a knife and fork for personal grooming, the monkey kept trying to cut his own hair with a scissors, so Gary took him to a hair dresser. Mulligan liked his new hair style. On the following day he had an entirely new look. When Gary went downstairs in the morning he found Mulligan sitting at the kitchen table, wearing a suit. He would have looked very sophisticated if he wasn't trying to get something out of his ear with the handle of a fork. He started smoking cigars. Fortunately, he believed that carrots were cigars, and he never tried to light them.
   As the weeks went by, Mulligan's wardrobe grew. Gary had no idea where he was getting the clothes until Jack, one of his neighbours, turned up on his doorstep one day. Jack was a ventriloquist. He was with his dummy, and they were both angry. Mulligan had been stealing the dummy's clothes. When the dummy demanded the return of his clothes, Mulligan responded by blowing imaginary carrot smoke into the dummy's face. Jack was outraged, and he chose to vent his anger on Gary rather than on Mulligan. "You haven't heard the last of this," he said. "Watch your back. Especially the shirt on it."
   Gary went to the pub to meet his friends that evening. When he got home after midnight he went straight to bed. He couldn't remember if he took his clothes off before going to bed. This seemed like an important point on the following morning, because he wasn't wearing anything when he woke up, and when he looked in his wardrobe he discovered that all of his clothes had been stolen. Jack was obviously the culprit. Gary did his best to convince himself that he had taken off his own clothes before going to bed.
   He had to get his clothes back, but he couldn't be seen outside without them. He made some improvised underwear from a newspaper. He still didn't want to be seen outside, so he made his way to Jack's house through the gardens behind the houses. He had three gardens to get through before he reached his destination. He climbed over hedges and walls. Mulligan went along as well, and he had no trouble scaling the walls. Gary's task was made more difficult by a fear of losing his newspaper. As he was lowering himself from a wall he was focussing all of his attention on the newspaper, and he didn't notice the bucket and shovel on the ground. He knocked them over. He was afraid he'd attract the attention of the house's owner (a woman called Judy, who had recently moved into the area) so he climbed a tree. Mulligan waited down below.
   Judy came out to see what was going on. The presence of Mulligan brought her to the tree, and she saw Gary sitting on a branch in his newspaper underwear. She tried to re-assure him, but she couldn't be certain that he understood her language. She won his trust by offering him bananas. The jam sandwich wasn't necessary to lure him down.
   She took him inside and made him some breakfast. She gave him some clothes her dead husband used to wear. Gary became a regular visitor to her house, though he never showed up in newspaper underwear again. Mulligan found a friend in Judy's cat. They swapped bad habits. Mulligan taught the cat how to smoke and the cat taught Mulligan what a cigar was. Smoking cigars wasn't good for his health, but he did start eating carrots.

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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