“Ernest Hemingway has balls,” by Samuel Dodson

Dec 20th, 2018 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

It was a cold night and dark and I was sitting alone when I remembered I am a man with balls. I have balls and there is some hair on my balls. Sometimes women have touched them and sometimes I touch them myself; but the main thing to remember is that I am a man with balls.

“You are fondling your balls very earnestly,” my wife told me. She wore a little pretty dress with yellow flowers on it. My wife did not have balls.

“It is because I am a man with balls,” I told her. I was standing by the window. Outside on the horizon you could seethe hills. The hills looked like lots of different pairs of balls. Some even looked like hairy balls where there were trees growing on them.

“Yes,” my wife said.

I continued fondling my balls. I imagined standing in a river, fishing, and fondling my balls in the water. I would fondle them truly and well. In the river where the water comes up to your waist, your balls would be below the water, and they might be cold. Whatever you might think of the cold or of fishing or of balls doesn’t mean the balls or the cold or the fishing aren’t very important and beautiful and artistic and metaphorical or symbolic.

I stood many hours that day looking through that window. My wife sometimes came into the room and sometimes she left for groceries, or to run errands in the town. Occasionally the weather would break and I would think about her out in the street in the rain, looking for somewhere to shelter and wishing she had my long rubber coat. When she eventually returned in the evening her hair was wet and she ran a bath, where she stood naked in the warm water with steam rising up between her legs.

My wife did not have balls (as I have previously mentioned).

“For whom do the balls toll?” I asked her.


Samuel Dodson is a twenty-something writer based in London. A graduate of the Warwick University Writing Programme, his stories and essays have been published in a number of literary magazines and anthologies, including by Litro, The TSS, and Almond Press, while his flash fiction has been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction award and Bare Fiction prize. Currently working on his debut novel (who isn’t?), he is the founder of creative collective Nothingin the Rulebook and tweets as @instantidealism.

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