Ernest Wasn't Dumb

1 min
Image of 2018


Image of Short Story
The moon was nice thought Ernest. Tomorrow it would be his job to kill that man and his family. That would not be nice, that would be anything but nice. But that was tomorrow. Right now, the moon, the moon was beautiful. It was an, what was it called, it was something special, he couldn’t remember, and that made him angry. He’d always been called dumb, he wasn’t dumb, he knew what things were - he just couldn’t remember their names.

An eclipse!

That’s what it was, a lunar eclipse! He said the word aloud, eclipse, he liked the sound of it. He said it fast and staccato eclipse, eclipse, eclipse and then he drew it out eeeccllippsee, and then he let it drip out of his mouth onto his boots and the hard dusty ground,


He wasn’t dumb, he’d remembered it. This was more than just a regular eclipse though, Joan and Addair had mentioned it earlier. What had they said? It was a- a red moon, a blood moon? Yes, that was right, a blood moon. He didn’t like that it was a blood moon, it reminded him of killing that man and his family. So he stopped looking at the moon.

They’d said that it was red because why? Because the red was the reflection of all the sun rises and the sunsets? Yes, that was it. He looked back at the moon, he was watching the beginnings and endings of many days. He felt better, it made him feel like there was more time between now and tomorrow’s job. He wanted to get up and walk down to the man and his family and tell them to look at the moon, they’d see so many more days and nights before tomorrow if they did.

He followed the shadows cast by the dim moon to where the family lived. A quiet knock on the door:

“Leave now.”

Ernest watched the family follow the shadows away. He sat back on the hill and watched the blood moon. Tomorrow he would be killed for what he'd done, but not before he enjoyed the beginnings and endings of many days. See? Ernest wasn't dumb.

Few words for the author? Comment below. 3 comments

Take a look at our advice on commenting here

To post comments, please
Image of Joanne Mallesch
Joanne Mallesch · ago
Thanks be you give Ernest an out as the job cannot be completed can it. Ernest interrupted by the ways and means of the moon
Image of Timothy Hannigan
Timothy Hannigan · ago
What's with the French?
Image of Timothy Hannigan
Timothy Hannigan · ago
Wow, very well written. Do I see a Hemingway influence?!😃

You might also like…

Short Fiction

The Men in the Woods

Daniel Wallace

The men who live in the woods behind my house had been getting out of hand for some time. They were all in their mid-fifties, golfers formerly, and meat eaters -- jolly men in general -- but since... [+]

Short Fiction

Open Wide

Camille Clark

In college, I went on a date with the son of my mother’s coworker. I couldn’t remember if his name was Jason or Justin, so I spent the entire night maneuvering my way out of saying his name. He... [+]