Fiction Week: The Ernie Bedlam Stories | Bleader

Fiction Week: The Ernie Bedlam Stories


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Editor's note: Craig Champlin submitted a number of shorts for our annual Pure Fiction issue, writing "Pick any of them. What I’d really like is to run 'The Ernie Bedlam Stories' weekly. I have a lot of them and people seem to really like them." We'll run five of the Ernie stories here on the Bleader this week. Here's the second.


On the night his wife turned 65, Ernie crawled in to bed and said, honey, I never made love to someone eligible for Medicare before. She said, well, why start now. Ernie said, that’s not fair, you used to have me for lunch, now you have me for Lent. She said, and soon I’ll give up that religion too. When Ernie was a younger man he came home from a gig one cold, cold night and was surprised that his wife was still awake. He took off his clothes and lay down on the big pillow in front of the TV. He said, honey, I need some warmth. She said, well, put your clothes back on. Ernie said, can’t ya throw an old dog a bone? She said, I don’t pitch and we only have cats.

Ernie found a hundred dollar bill on the street one night and gave it to his wife thinking he might get lucky. She took the hundred dollar bill and said, Ernie, don’t even start thinking that way. You already got lucky enough for one night. Ernie won 200 dollars at the racetrack, strode into the apartment feeling quite confident about the evening’s possibilities. He gave his wife the money with a big grin on his face. She looked at Ernie bemused and said, I bet you didn’t win this betting on a filly or a mare. Damn, she was right. It had been a gelding. Ernie got hold of some Viagra and came home and told his wife about it during supper. She seemed curious and smiled and said, maybe we should find out what all the fuss is about. She gave Ernie a wink as she went into the bedroom. Ernie quickly downed three of the pills and sat on the couch to make a couple of quick business calls. He heard his wife call out, come here. He jumped up and knocked her favorite china horse off the coffee table with his chemically enhanced manhood. The horse broke into tiny pieces. Ernie cleaned up the mess and walked slowly into the bedroom. His wife said, what did you break, then looked at him and said, don’t even tell me. Ernie went back into the living room, sat on the couch, and picked up the newspaper. The headline read, “Sex Scandal in the Catholic Church.” Ernie thought what the hell, he didn’t need to take a vow of celibacy. He fell asleep and dreamed he was Johnny Depp. Morning came and he woke up to the call of mockingbirds outside his window. It was early Monday morning and his wife asked him if he’d wait for the garbagemen to make sure they picked up the old mattress. Ernie went outside, lit a cigarette, and shook his head. The garbagemen came on Thursday.

Read parts one and three of "The Ernie Bedlam Stories."

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