A summer full moon brings back memories to Vern as Sparky watches on.
A Summer Full Moon
Vern sat back against the rock outcrop, laid his tin plate on the ground, poured another shot of bourbon into the tin cup, and pulled a cigar from his packsack. He was comfortable tonight. The day had been productive, with Poverty Creek giving up almost an ounce of gold to his pan.
Sparky was grazing nearby, always hungry, even after Vern had given him an extra measure of oats to celebrate the successful day. The embers of the campfire were almost invisible under the light of the full moon.
“Bourbon always tastes best in a tin cup,” Vern said to Sparky, swishing the cup, “especially under the summer full moon.” He took a long draw on his cigar, leaned back against the rock, and stared wistfully at the giant orb, lighting the night and causing long shadows in the mountains around him.
Sparky raised his head and gave Vern a knowing look. He knew Vern’s moods, particularly the melancholy when Vern drank too much and drifted off into bygone times.
“It was on a night of the summer full moon that Martha said yes,” Vern spoke half to himself and half to Sparky.
The cup was empty, the cigar was a stub, the campfire was ashes, and Vern was asleep where he sat.
Sparky watched Vern for a long moment. He loved this old man just about as much as Vern loved him, though mountain men didn’t talk of such things. He noticed the tear on Vern’s cheek, twinkling in the light of the summer full moon. Some things about people are beyond my understanding, he thought as he lowered his head and resumed grazing.
Word Count: 276