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 fifth and final one.


Ernie felt like the Jack Nicholson character in the movie The Shining. The empty pages of his composition book mocked him. He needed inspiration. He had a deadline to meet.