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BUY MY BOOKS

BUY MY BOOKS

Guess it could be considered foolhardy to look too far into the future when you’re old in age but young in heart. Whether it is or it isn’t, if you’re breathing and still have a working mind, use every millimeter of it. AND, go BIG in your thinking and planning. It’s just as easy to think BIG as it is to think small.

So, here’s what I’m thinking…

Get all your friends together, ALL of you, and insist, by cajoling, by insisting, by threatening loss of friendship, by any means available to you, except, of course, mind-altering drugs, weaponry of any kind, or, poisons of any kind.

Now that you’ve got all of your friends together, ALL of you, brain-whip them into buying BR Chitwood’s books, either paperback or e-book.

‘WHY’? You Ask!

Because it’s simply the right thing to do! They will see how a most worthy author writes excellent books, nay, quintessential books, literary quality (though lacking leather covers!), and for the price that one might pay for apple pie al a mode or a small pack of lung-oxidizing cigarettes…that is, if anyone smokes these days – it’s been thirty-five years since I gave them up. And, I had just bought a pack…crushed them with one hand. But, back to ‘breathing and working minds’ and ‘buying my books’!

‘BUT, WHY’? You ask again. So, being the right thing to do is not enough! Then, gracious! Think of book stores, of those unseen electronic elves that magically form the words onto a screen attached to a ‘mis-nomered’ tablet and/or laptop…did you know that a “‘killer whale’ is a ‘misnomer’ for what is one of the gentlest marine creatures known to man?” Actually, that is a very good description of my books (NOT, the ‘marine creature’ thingy!) AND a good reason for you, ALL your friends and all your neighbors to BUY my books. Hope I didn’t make you think of going to Sea-World…that’s much more expensive than buying my books.

Now, go back and read the first line of this missive! I believe you folks to be good and honest people, so I ask you, did I not convince you to buy my books?

It’s not easy to make a fool of oneself, but for the sake of my books I’ll do that in the very next blog post I write but, for now, think of these good reasons I’ve given you here to buy my books.

‘Dimwittingly’ yours!

BR Chitwood – September 11, 2018

Please see synopses of all my books at:

https://billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my Blog at:

https://brchitwood.com

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https://twitter.com/brchitwood

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Hammer’s Holy Grail

Hammer’s Holy Grail

by BR Chitwood

-Coming July – 2018- 

 

“Hammer’s Holy Grail” is a relatively short read of 36,000-+ words. It will be published without launch, without fanfare (except for this blog post!) later this month! The book is about a kid who has an emotional family situation – angry father, his critical Appalachian uncertainty, gifted with football talent and a beautiful girlfriend he’s known since junior high.

Wesley Walton is a sophomore at Garden View University in Knoxville, Tennessee, has a great passing arm and faces a great future. The pro-football scouts are already looking at the kid with a golden arm.

Wesley meets a man named ‘Hammer’ who is both a decorated veteran and a person of great wisdom and with a unique hobby. Wes and Hammer become immediate friends.

The short tale follows Wesley’s football season as well as his parental love and woes. The book is not a ‘thriller’ or destined to be a classic by any means, but the pages do carry some interesting moments, and I believe it to be well-written… In any event, it will be an inexpensive read and one I hope the book buyer will like, PLUS, I’m giving you the first chapter free of charge in this post. Feel free in letting me know what you think.

So, no launch, no parades and graffiti, just my usual ‘do nothing’ marketing campaign with a hope some of you will buy the book, give me some ‘reviews’, and ‘PUSH’ it forward.

Here’s the first chapter (working on the cover):

HAMMER’S HOLY GRAIL

Chapter One

The darkness and fog are palpable viscid sweat things crawling all over my flesh! A gentle wind stir comes and my skin does shiver dances. I swallow and it’s like I’m somewhere between passing out and regaining my breath.

My eyes cannot be trusted. I rub my eyes and they project things that are not really there. My mind questions the logic that brought me to that decision. My concentration is drawn to these vague flashing images that keep popping up in spaces to the front, sides, and back of me… I figure it’s the mind doing its reckoning! I’m likely trying too hard to see and my brain is trying to accommodate me.

Okay, I admit it. I’m a big boy, scared. I mean, there is no way this world can be this dark and foggy.

“Why?” Someone might ask, “are you so stupid to be standing where you’re standing?”

The reason is really simple, but I’m going to make it complicated for you…not out of a warped and evil sense, but because this is a story I need to tell and it has some crazy turns and twists. Call it a weird psychological need if you want! That’s as good a description as any, but, please understand, I have not lost all my marbles. Then, again, maybe my bio here is not so unusual a tale after all. Maybe you readers have experienced some of the same events in your life – only, framed differently.

So, this little journey on which I’m taking you, please stay with me. An Epic? Probably not, but it might have some stuff that’ll stay with you for a while after I’m finished with the narrative – up to the point when I run out of words.

***

When I was a little boy, my crippled cousin had to have the light on during his dark bedtime hours. Now, I didn’t tease him about that but if I just mentioned it he chased me up one country road and down another. If I didn’t have a pretty good lead he’d catch me. Then, we would end up wrestling until one of us said ‘Uncle’ – usually me! We were best pals and I loved my club-footed cousin-buddy, but he would get madder than a frigging copperhead on LSD if anyone brought up sleeping with lights on.

That’s not part of this rather complicated story, at least, not in a major way. This darkness and fog just makes me think of JB – JB Hill, that’s his name. He’s the son of my Dad’s sister, Norma Hill.

I don’t want you to think JB is so crippled everyone has to be sorry for him. He turns out later on to be a top scratch golfer. He’s gone now, died too darned early in his life because of some darned rare breathing illness. His sisters and brother were with him when he left us. His wife should have been there with him, but, earlier, JB caught her screwing the next-door neighbor, and my cousin beat the shit out of the neighbor and threw all her clothes – and her – out of the house. Sure, he was club-footed but he was no chicken yellow-belly. Nobody gave him any crap, that’s for sure.

Well, again, that’s not part of the complicated story either – but I won’t lead you on any further.

It all starts with my sister, Sarah Lou. She’s sixteen going on twenty-four, if you get my drift, built like a brick shit-house, big boobs, long silky brown hair, great figure, pretty, and she reckons she’s the ‘cat’s meow’. It seems she knows early on she wants to taste some parts of life she is no way ready to taste.

I’m convinced Sarah Lou is the genuine product of her – and, my – dad. No question about it! He gets madder than hell and beats up on her and my Mom. Well, he did when he was coming around more

Dad has this fiery temper, and it’s his way or the highway, so to speak. This is when he’s visiting us. He and Mom are divorced, and Dad seems to have these demons inside him that make for crazy flip-outs at any moment. I’ve noticed his behavior changes when Mom mentions her side of the family – they don’t like Dad and he doesn’t like them. Of course, that gut-searing corn whiskey could have something to do with it. He likes his hooch! He’s also tall, good-looking in a George Clooney kind of way (sort of!) and has a thing for the ladies. How can I know that? Well, that’s a whole different story, and it’s doubtful I’ll ever tell it!

Well, anyhow, the genes running loose through Sarah Lou must be near-identical to Dad’s.

Moving the story along, Sarah Lou turns sixteen and elopes with an army corporal, runs off to another state when the corporal gets transferred. Mom is heart-sick and scared because she knows she’s got to tell Dad the news. And, me, well, I’m scared right along with her. You see, it’s just Mom and me since Sarah Lou eloped, and I sure have sleepless nights worrying about my dear sweet mother. She works so hard to make ends meet, has no time for socializing and being with her friends. It’s part of her nature to worry and fret about things. Did I fail to mention? My Mom is a beautiful lady, big brown eyes that sparkle and brown hair to go with them. She looks like a famous old-time movie star by the name of Claudette Colbert, famous actress during that golden era of Hollywood. Mom and I are fans of ‘old movies’.

Through some rough times, Mom has done her best to shelter my sister and me from all those emotional ills of divorce and the economic crises that rise from working sometimes two jobs. She has done well by Sarah Lou and me despite the troubles she’s had to bear. Dad’s visits end up most of the time in bad arguments and fights. As a young kid, I saw him too often physically abuse Mom and, somehow, I still love the man.

Enough ugly truth for a few sentences. Suffice it, Mom worked hard and got me through high school where I played quarterback for the football team and got a scholarship to Garden View University. Garden View is part of the greater metro area of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the university sets on a lovely and lush campus of about one hundred acres. It is a university that dates back to the 1940s and has academic achievement awards that any higher institution would covet.

Well, as implied above, here is more ugly truth.

Mom and I, my now older club-footed cousin, JB, and Lulu, his big sister on my Dad’s side of the family, go to the Hooper Hotel in Knoxville where my Dad is living to tell him about Sarah Lou’s elopement.

In Dad’s hotel room, my Cousin and his sister take the two chairs in the room and I sit under a window on an old radiator…you know, those ugly heavy metal gray vertically-elongated rods connected all in a row as one unit. Now, the heat isn’t on during this visit, but those units are particularly awful and uncomfortable to sit on. And, you’re right, those heating units were not built to be sat on. I just keep changing my sitting ‘this way and that’, dictated by my butt cheeks.

Now, Dad knows right away that something is up, and, he knows it isn’t good news – guess our sad faces and body language give us away.

When Dad hears the news about Sarah Lou, he stomps around the room in a fury, the anger and prelude to eruption showing on his face. Abruptly, he stops in front of Mom who is sitting on the bed. My sweet hard-working, lovely Mom sits there very still with her hands clasped on her lap with a blanched and pitiful look on her face, puffy from crying and the awful dread of telling Dad news of Sarah Lou’s rash elopement.

My ‘tainted-gene’ Dad hovers over Mom, his face distorted with fury like a dragon breathing fire, gritting his teeth, and says, “Damn you, Maureen.”

Suddenly, he gives Mom a hard looping open-hand slap to the face with so much force it knocks her over. My immediate fear is that he’s knocked something loose in her brain or upper body…and he’s getting ready to do more hitting.

I’m petrified and watching it all from this hotel room radiator and l reckon something snaps inside me. I’ve watched this kind of madness too many times before as a young kid. I’m a lot bigger now and I rush him and tackle him onto the bed, crying and mumbling something stupid, like, ‘I’ve seen you do that to my Mom too many times’. I’ll never forget – he’s got this look on his face like a slight smile and surprise all at the same time.

Multiple times I hit him with my fists, lost in my own anger, my tears dropping down on his face. Mom moves from the bed and stands crying in the corner of the hotel room.

Soon, Dad is not moving. I must have connected with a vulnerable spot on his head. It’s like he just turns his head over to the side and goes to sleep.

Seconds pass and I realize what has happened. I’ve attacked my own father and knocked him out. His pulse is okay, and I feel a bit better. After several anxious minutes of trying to revive him, I tell our little group that Dad will be crazy mad when he comes around so we likely should leave.

We hustle out of Dad’s room and loudly close the door. I feel bad leaving him unconscious on the bed, but more afraid of what he might do when he comes out of it and we’re still there.

Mom cries all the way down in the elevator, and we go unnoticed out a side entrance of the lobby.

I drive my Cousin and his sister home, and, except for the sound of the car engine, no one makes a sound. Tears flow down our faces, and the only sounds in the car are from our sniffing. We all hug and kiss each other when they get out of the car at their place.

Next, I drive Mom to her folks’ place some forty miles away.

We give Grandma and Grandpa all the news about our fateful visit with Dad, and they’re madder than hornets in a whirl-wind. ‘Is he dead?’ ‘Is he alive?’ They want to know. I ask Mom to promise me she’ll stay with the grandparents until she hears from me. There’s no way Dad, assuming I didn’t kill him, would want to go around Grandpa because of a fight they had some years back. Grandpa gave Dad quite a whipping.

After a few more tears are shed, I take off. Mom pleads with me to stay but she can’t talk me out of leaving. I’m worried about my dad and want to go back to the Hooper Hotel and check on him.

Beneath my tousled blond hair, my head inside is churning with thoughts as I drive back to the hotel. The closer I get, the more I become anxious and fearful of what I’ll find.

There’s this grim need to know about my Dad, whether he’s okay or dead. I’m a sturdy 6’2” young man now, 185 pounds, playing quarterback as a Sophomore at Garden View University. It’s difficult to calculate how hard I hit my Dad – I feel like a part of me was holding back.

There is just no way to forget what I did in that hotel room. Now, after a few hours, I’m making a return visit to the Hooper Hotel. I need to know, one way or another, about my Dad. Is he alive? Is he dead? Despite losing it and hitting him, I still love my Dad. Guess I should hate him, but I don’t. Seeing Mom so fearful and frozen in place I denied my own fear and went after my Dad.

I park Mom’s car fifty feet down the street from the Hooper Hotel and walk to the side entrance into the lobby.

The elevator is on the lobby level as if waiting for me. On Dad’s floor, the elevator comes to a stop, doors open, and my heart jumps into my mouth as I reflexively take a step forward!

My Dad is standing in front of me, his eyes blinking like he is trying to clear his head.

“You coming off of the elevator, young fellow?” Dad asks in an impatient and impersonal tone.

He wrinkles his brow as he notices the apparent surprise on my face. “You all right, boy?”

“Dad, it’s me!”

He did a fast look behind him like I was talking to someone else.

Dad blinks some more. “You’re mixed up, boy, I don’t have a son. Now, stay in the elevator or get out. I fell and cracked my head…have to get it taken care of.”

“But, Dad, I hit you when you hurt Mom. You slapped her so hard I was worried for her. I must have given you a concussion. I just couldn’t stand by and watch you hurt her. Please let me help you!”

Dad grabs my arm and pulls me out of the elevator onto the hallway carpeting. “Told you, boy, I’ve got no son.” He goes into the elevator, pushes the lobby button on the control panel and is gone.

I can’t say how long I stand rooted to that spot in front of the elevator. I’m aware enough to know that there are other people entering and exiting the elevator while I’m standing there. I’m dumbfounded by Dad’s reaction – He seemed so sure about what he was saying.

Finally, worried sick, I take the stairs down seven floors and walk out the hotel’s side lobby entrance. My befuddled mind is on automatic pilot and leads me down the street to Mom’s car. At least, I know he’s alive. Guess that’s something of a relief.

When I pull away from the curb, confused and frightened, I drive around aimlessly, turning left here, turning right there, lost in cascading thoughts, my mind reviewing over and over the events of the day.

I drive for miles not mindful of where I’m going. Tears flow until my eyes get all misty and puffy from rubbing them with my shirt sleeve. My brain tells me to pull off the road.

I’m somewhere out in the ‘boonies’. There is an old rutted country farm road, and I turn onto the dirt and gravel, drive a quarter mile and notice that, suddenly, I can’t see. I’m in an ultra-thick cloud bank of fog, suddenly frightened by the swift change in weather and mad at myself for being so self-absorbed I let this happen.

Yes, I know! I know! How does one get so locked onto something in his mind that he doesn’t know where he is? It’s crazy, but it happened!

At this point I’m crawling along, the car barely moving, trying to see, wiping the built-up vapor off the inside windshield, hoping for better vision. After a few moments, I see the futility in my feeble efforts, utter a not-so-nice but appropriate word for the ugly foggy dilemma.

I carefully edge to what I hope is the outer side of the country road, get out of the car, touch the hood metal, holding on to the only reality given to me at the moment.

Standing there, leaning on the car’s hood, my Dad’s face flashes in front of me in the darkness and fog, along with snakes, dinosaurs, crocodiles, and other beasts of the world. I cannot see my hand when I hold it out in front of me. There is a most vivid sense of desperation.

With Dad’s face, there comes to my mind some bad recalls of life with my Dad in it, not long after the ugly divorce. I push those bad thoughts away and force myself to think of the good moments.

Much of those times were rough, but there were tender moments as well – farther back in youth, when Dad bought me the little boy’s gray suit with a gray hat, and he called me his little business man. He took many pictures of me with a cigarette dangling from my six-year old lips, pictures on train-rides, car-rides while on the way to visit his parents, my grandparents, his nearly-blind grandmother, my great-grandmother. They lived north of Knoxville some sixty miles, near the Kentucky border.

On one visit he drove us off the main US highway into the hills of High Cliff, TN. We stopped not too far from the turnoff in an area of open fields and meadows. The bucolic scene presented to my young mind cows grazing in the meadows among huge oak trees, and there was this lonely looking clapboard house setting alone on this small knoll. Dad’s sweet old grandmother sat on an old rickety wooden porch that had an excellent chance of falling plank by plank to the ground below. She had a lovely weathered and leathery face, was almost blind and sat in an old wooden rocking chair. She looked so frail behind the horn-rimmed spectacles she wore.

She was so beautiful sitting in that home-made rocking chair on that wood-warped porch, like a picture in sepia tone, like a scene in an old-time movie. She sat there with a corn cob pipe in the corner of her mouth. She was in her nineties, and Dad had to get within inches of her face before she knew we were there. She squinted and finally recognized Dad.

She formed a sweet smile on her face, hugged him with shaky thin arms coming out of the gingham dress sleeves. “That you, Thomas? Lawdy, mercy me! you are a sight for these sore eyes.” She had a thin, squeaky voice that seemed a whisper. She used up a lot of breath as she talked and maintained that sweet smile.

She then peripherally noticed me, made over me as well, and I felt an awesome sense of history – the events, all the things she had seen in her long lifetime, things I would one day study. In the remembrance, it was all so nostalgic, dream-like, and, looking back, it somehow had a time-travel feel for me, so quiet, serene, like pages of history flipping backward. Those time-worn wrinkles on her bony arms and face, the faded gingham dress, her gray-hair in a bun on the back of her head, and the slow steady motion of her rocking chair as her eyes fixed on the parts of her life that were important to her. Her time was almost used up, but she would keep rocking on that graying rough-plank porch, smoking her corn cob pipe, looking out over the blurry land playing back misty memories.

Funny, how wonderfully that memory is so vivid in my mind, so fresh and firmly planted. A country song by Alan Jackson playing on the car radio is all I need to complete my ensemble of fuzzy thoughts and tears. Guess that might say something about my southern genes.

A few happy times flashed by, those times when we played at being a family, without the tempestuous flares of raw emotions: the Saturday movie matinees; Mom and Dad smiling happily when my sister and I danced to the radio; when I attempted to write a poem; the endless questions I asked of them both – the insatiable curiosity that stayed steady on a little boy’s mind.

I love them both so much, and, now, my father has no son.

The tears do not stop until my mind reminds me of where I am, in the middle of proverbial nowhere with only those scary image-flashes coming at me from too much eye concentration, and those conjured up memories that are both keepers and throwaways.

So, the world can be dark and foggy, and, maybe, reasons for standing in the darkness and fog are not so simple.

Standing at the front of the car, measuring each stride, I take a few steps, pivot, return to the car, do the same strides on each side of the car. Feeling secure enough that the car was far enough off the road, I climb into the back seat, and lock the doors.

Assuming a fetus position on the backseat, I try desperately not to think any more about past events, the present, and the future. I can wait out the darkness and the fog.

Tomorrow will come, and the sun will replace the dismal darkness and fog with thoughts of hope.

I love my Mom and Dad.

Maybe I still have both to love.

-END OF CHAPTER ONE-

Let me know what you think! My best wishes to all.

Billy Ray Chitwood – July 7, 2018

Please preview my books at:

https://billyraychitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter: @brchitwood

 

 

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Could It Happen?

[Preface: the two men in this fictional story, Eddie and Presley, are retired dock workers from New York City, retired to ‘The Valley of the Sun’ in the Phoenix area of Arizona – only because I say it’s so. The story is intended to amuse and to present in my not-so-unique amateurish way some Micro-Biological research that is actually taking place around the Globe. Not in my lifetime, or, perhaps, even yours, will there be the science and technology to cure major diseases with ‘type-specific auto-bots’ roaming through the veins of the sick and dying, supplying clean new cells, destroying the deadly cells, creating in many ways an unknown protracted life-span! But, it’s coming! Of course, that will be up to the ‘powers that be’ at the time and the mind-set of the populace. I simply hope you enjoy what I make out of the story. (The Author)]

Could It Happen?

-Short Story by BR Chitwood-

The doorbell shook him from his near-comatose condition. Eddie, with some effort, raised himself from the recliner. He was a big rugged man, over six feet tall with not a lot of flab on his frame – a bit reminiscent of John Wayne in his sharp and angular no-nonsense face and frame.

The doorbell rang again, this time with more urgency.

“Hang on! Dammit! I’m coming!” he yelled, grabbed a quick sip from his near-empty highball glass as the doorbell rang yet again.

Not a patient man, he limped through the family room to the entry door and angrily yanked it open, peeved with the insistent ringing.

Before Eddie could speak, the man outside spoke: “Eddie, I must talk to you, you might think I’m nuts!”

With an exaggerated frown, Eddie responded, “Hell! I’m already thinking you’re nuts. Who are you and what do you want? It’s 9:30 in the PM. You better not be selling anything!”

The man outside was momentarily stunned, gaped at Eddie for some seconds. “Eddie, it’s me, Presley.”

Eddie said a few nasty curse words to the man calling himself ‘Presley’ and slammed the door in his face!

The man screamed through the big ribbed door, “Eddie, it’s me, dammit! I can explain everything. Please! Open the door! I really need to tell you what happened! Eddie, open the door!”

“Hey, you A-hole, get away from my front door or I’m calling the cops if I don’t beat the crap out of you first! You got just thirty seconds before I decide which one of those options I’m going to use.”

“I’m not leaving, Eddie, you’re the only one I can talk to! Please, just hear me out!”

Eddie screamed, “Okay, you dumb sick jerk! You hit the right nerve!” Eddie stomped to the front entry, opened the door in a rush, and threw a haymaker at the man.

The man went down and lay crumbled for several seconds on the flagstone entry platform.

When the man didn’t move, Eddie hovered over the limp body, ready to continue his assault. He rubbed his right fist and felt the first brain wave of concern. Maybe he hit the man too hard!

As the seconds ticked by, Eddie felt stronger waves of guilt. His drinking and his temper grew after the loss of his wife to a drunk driver, and his fuse for anger got shorter with each passing day.

Now, Eddie was concerned, and, just when he was about to reach down and check the man’s pulse, there was movement.

The man tentatively and with some difficulty lifted his arm, rolled to face Eddie, and spoke: “Eddie, for God’s sake, it’s me, Presley, and I can explain. Think of Cora, your wife, my sister. I was your ‘best man’ at the wedding. Think of the weekends we spent in Palm Springs, the golf we played – your ‘hole-in-one’ at the Arizona Country Club.”

“Stop,” Eddie interrupted. “Who the hell are you to know these things?”

“If you let me up, I’ll explain it all, Eddie, and, believe me, it’s incredible!”

There was something in the man’s voice! It did have a familiar sound! My God! His voice sounded like Presley Berman!

Eddie became more attentive to the man on the ground. “Okay, okay! You have a ‘mouse’ on your left cheek. Did I break your jaw?”

Eddie helped the man to his feet and inside the house.

“Nah, the jaw’s okay. It moves alright! Damn, Eddie, we’ve never fought before. The anger is eating you up.” The tanned good-looking man, taller than Eddie but slightly smaller, rubbed his cheek, his blond hair mussed from the hay-maker punch. “I can’t believe you hit me so hard, Man! That not only hurts my jaw but my feelings as well.”

“Here, sit here.” Eddie seated the man on the sofa across from his recliner and allowed that the man slightly resembled his friend of a lifetime, but, no way him. “Damn, I can’t believe I’m doing this! How the hell is it you know so much about my wife, Palm Springs, and my golf game? And, this better be really good!”

“How long has it been since you saw me last, Eddie? No, I’ll answer my own question since you doubt me. It’s been exactly six weeks to the day since I left on a trip. In fact, I told you I was going, but didn’t tell you where, and you got pissed off at me for making it such a big secret. Well, the fact is, the lovely lady I went with swore me to secrecy.”

“What lovely lady?” Eddie wanted to know.

“You don’t need her name, Eddie. It’s what she knew you want to know about. She’s a most unusual and beautiful lady I met at my ‘La-LA Club’, you know – ‘Life and Love Abound’.”

Eddie shakes his head, his blue eyes squinting toward the ceiling. “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard of the clip joint. Just get to the point of all this crap!”

“It’s not ‘Crap’, Eddie, you’ll see. Anyhow, I’ll call my lady friend, Amber – can’t give you her real name! Had to sign some papers – but that’s another story! So, Amber and I, we go to Spain, first to Barcelona, then to a beautiful and quaint village along the Costa Brava. I love its name – Castanéa.”

“Come on, Man, don’t give every single detail. Get on with it!” Eddie rose, went to the bar, poured himself another drink from the bottle of bourbon, and returned to his chair.

“Eddie, could I pour myself one of those? I sure could use it, with my jaw and all.”

“Jeez! Okay, get yourself a highball glass. You can find…”

“I know where you keep the highball glasses. C’mon, Eddie! Remember, we’ve done a lot of booze here in your beautiful home.”

Eddie shakes his head in silent negation.

With drink in hand, the man who calls himself Presley continues with his story.

“So, this small village of Castanéa does a ‘trip’ on me, taking me to places in my mind I’ve never been, like, you know, nostalgic stuff. So, Amber introduces me to this lovely lady who works for a Scientist, and we become buddies, you know, really close, so to speak. Her name is Melodie – really pretty lady! she works for some young ‘Swami-like’ guy who is probably the most intelligent person I’ve ever met in my life. He looks a lot like that movie star that starred in ‘Doctor Zhivago’. I mean, I was truly mesmerized by this guy, call him Alfredo, and the three of us do lots of things together, boating, nightclubs and local theater stuff.”

“Whoa! What happened to Amber? The gal who went with you?”

“I knew you would ask me that. Short answer, she hooked up with another guy. My guess is, she used me for the flight to Barcelona. Yeah, I know what you got in your mind, Eddie, and you’re right! Okay! I’m a sucker! but, she claimed the trip was all for me. I now know what she meant, because we talked about some things that will come up here, uh, in my recitation.”

“Whoa! why would I think anything about you! I don’t know you, dip-shit! You have ten minutes! If you can’t be finished in ten minutes, I’m throwing you out! You got that?”

“Okay, I got you! What amazes me, Eddie, is this: everyone I’m meeting in this small coastal town is carefree and happy! It’s like they’ve found paradise in this little village along the Costa Brava.”

Eddie has little patience, vacillating between anger and the absurdity of his evening. “You ready for another bust to the chops, Pal? Get on with it! Get to the crux of the matter! If there is one!”

The man calling himself Presley sighs deeply. “I’m just trying to give you some lead-up to this life-changing event, Eddie. Please, listen, and try to trust me. Okay, how old are we, Eddie?”

“Yeah, right! Okay, I’ll play just to get you out of here! I’m sixty-five, and, you are not, but my good friend, Presley, is sixty-four. Now, what?”

“You remember when our courts at one time sentenced to death the really bad guys, the fiends who murdered, raped our children, killed a cabbie for a few bucks, and good people who never saw them coming?”

“Yeah, we gassed them!”

“Well, before gas, there was the ‘Electric Chair’, remember?”

“No, completely slipped my mind! Of course, I remember, nitwit!”

“Sorry if I insult your intelligence, buddy! So, Alfredo and I become really tight, good pals, like you and me. Ah, c’mon, Eddie, don’t raise your eyebrows and give me the finger! You will see what I’m telling you is pure unadulterated truth. Okay, pal? Yeah, that’s right, shake your head, drink your drink but listen good to this, please!

“One night, the Science guy and I are sitting, having highballs in his place by the sea – beautiful place, Eddie. Ah, man, you should see this place. It was…”

“Hey, I’m having one more drink and I’m getting really tired of your chatter. So, whoever you are, pal, get it said and get out of here! Your ten minutes are almost up.”

On unsteady legs, Eddie went to the bar, brought the bourbon bottle to his easy chair, sat, and poured another drink. With his eyes blinking now with more frequency, he said, “Okay, Pal, finish your tale. I’m going to bed after this drink. Get it done!”

“Okay, okay, but you got to hear me good, Eddie. You have to listen because this is important, what I’m going tell you! This is not phony-baloney here!”

“Yeah, yeah! Talk and be finished, man! I’m listening, but you’re bloviating!”

“Okay? Right, okay, I’ll get on with it… (‘Bloviating’ – good word, Eddie!) Okay, here’s the story, and I swear to you, Eddy, this is a true story…

“Melodie had to go into Barcelona for a TV marketing ‘shoot’. After she left, Alfredo and I, we got into this big philosophical and science discussion, weird, real brainy stuff! (And, believe it or not, I’m getting what he’s telling me, just not the big science words he’s spewing.) His words were mesmerizing, and they stayed with me. We were in a discussion about ‘Life and Death’, about the villainous nature of some people, the evil among us, you know, and we end up talking about the really bad criminals who were executed in the electric chair. He even knew their names and their crimes – I didn’t recognize the names he gave. I mean, this guy is some kind of smart!

“Suddenly, well, almost, suddenly, Alfredo takes me to an upstairs laboratory-looking room, the walls are all glass and looking out on the moon-splashed Mediterranean Sea. Man, it was so beautiful! Pure Rapture, Eddie! I’m looking around the room and I see this chair and pull up short. ‘Whoa! What? Is that an ‘electric chair, Alfredo’? I asked.

“His eyes take on an honest to goodness God glow, and the moon hits his face at the same time, causing me to think this guy is not human. He had this almost angelic, magical glow on his face. I mean, it was all so eerie and baffling to me.

“So, he then tells me this story connected to that big ‘Electric Chair’ and my mind and body get all jitters and shivers, with some unpleasant thoughts mixed in. In short, Alfredo’s field is ‘Science’ and he explains to me why and what he has created.

“He says to me, and you know me, Eddie, I got that good memory thing, that telepathic whatever. He says to me:”

~*~

The thought, Presley, germinated in this very room on such a lovely night as we have this evening. If that ‘Chair’ could at one time take a life, why could it not give life and reduce the aging process of a person? Scientifically, we knew that the high electrical charge from this wired Electric Chair would destroy all biological life carriers within the human body. My mind was eager to determine if, by different and special wiring not yet invented, could that chair be used to add new cells to the body, to recreate youth in an older person who wished to prolong her/his living?

I studied for months, in fact, for over three years, read books by scientists most people would not know, or, would consider daft. I became addicted, sleeping only when exhaustion set in. I worked daily with mice and formula after formula, trying to find corollaries, ratios, the degrees of parity from mice and other animals to men. I used all forms of matter, elements of the earth in different formulae, reducing each experiment down to electrical impulses. As I progressed, I must say, there were times when it seemed I was going mad, injected by my own poisonous mind fluids. But, I kept the experiment on track, sleeping two, three hours each night. I ate sparsely but enough to keep me going, took breaks, went out on the terrace to breathe the sea’s salt air coming in on the breezes. Combined, as it were, with my obsessive behavior and relevance of the study, the days, weeks, months, were gone so swiftly.

Imagine my joy one morning when I stepped into this room and found a frisky, youthful ‘Meeko’ (my dear near-death Great Dane) returned to his youthful coat, shedding his fur of age for the scat-about fur of youth.’

Alfredo stopped when I looked across the room at the beautiful dog curled up in the corner and was about to ask a question.

Yes, Presley, the same Meeko you saw when we first met. That moment of discovery was many years ago, and you’ve seen for yourself how active and spry my best friend can be.’

‘I can, for sure, Alfredo. Meeko was like a puppy, and so beautiful. At this point, I asked Alfredo a question: how was it he could determine the age he was going to be if the experiment worked? He responded with these words, or, close enough.’

That is an excellent question, Presley. That was part of my 3-year-plus study. With the animals and elements from Physics, I needed to experiment for some time to what degrees certain modules were used in the project. In the final analysis the tests performed gave me data I felt I could rely on in terms of how far from where I was age-wise to where I wanted to be. That part of the science was the part that frightened me so much, but it was my decision to use myself as the test host before going any further. The quantum factor of all my testing proved accurate…

Let me just say, I cannot give you in these few minutes what it took me over three years to grasp. Should I or should I not be interfering with God’s mortal plans? Was I to be the creator of one more Frankenstein Monster?

I finally concluded it could very well be God’s will for me to find this grand semblance of immortality. In fact, as we speak, labs around the world are filled with scientists working in the field of Microrobotics. Think of it, tiny mobile robots less than one millimeter in size one day on a journey through our veins carrying new cells, remedies for cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cardio-vascular problems, obesity, and other medical problems.

It was Melodie, my old and trusted house maid who found me one morning in that chair with my head resting on my right shoulder, sleeping. Her problem in seeing me there? She did not recognize me, because I had my youth returned to me. I was energized, could have run a 10-k marathon. It took a while for me to convince her of my breakthrough, and she soon after demanded to sit in the Chair.

In fact, Melodie rather robustly insisted she be next in the chair, and so she was – the beautiful girl with whom you are now in love.

With all of what I’ve told you here tonight, I have done the science, mathematics, and time calculations to formulate a simple tablet that can be used in lieu of the Chair, only to be taken once every six months. That is, after the three to be taken initially. The first three pills start the process, and, depending on body chemical factors, can take from twenty-four hours to a week for the transformation. To ensure our secret, I must inject a micro-chip into your left bicep.”

At this point I stopped Alfredo. “Tell me about the micro-chip. What is its purpose?”

‘You must know, Presley, what we are doing is not standard operating procedure and goes against Man’s Law. What began as a Science Project in my mind became a life’s work, and I had concerns about what I might discover. Yet, my mind was keyed up and it became NOT just a project but a Holy Grail. Because I’ve reached this point of no return, I must somehow protect myself and the people who join this grand plan. So, I worked diligently to find a way where we all might be safe, protected, if you will, from legal concerns.

‘The micro-chip is that safety shield. If someone in our elite group becomes too enthusiastic about our project and thinks about doing an open forum on ‘The Chair Project’, the micro- chip can identify that the project is about to be compromised and signals an electronic board for which I am the only one privy to it. (Don’t ask how this chip can distinguish words that will allow it to know the project is in jeopardy…I cannot take all the hours, perhaps days and weeks to explain this to you – you must accept my assurance that this is true!) With that signal, I know there is someone of our group who is compromising the project. I then proceed to activate the chip which is designed to block that memory part of the brain. It does not harm the person but voids his knowledge of this project. The person simply maintains his youth and who he has become without other knowledge blocking his way forward! 

I had to know more on this procedure and asked, “That sounds like an impossibility to me, Alfredo. How can you pinpoint a specific area of the brain?”

‘Again, my friend, Presley, you must take my word for this. It is a most difficult process to explain and would take serious time away from us. You must trust me! No one will be hurt by this micro-chip, but safety of the group, including me, is paramount and must not be put in danger. All you need do is put yourself in my place, Presley. Consider the consequences of my actions. The person who does the Science, years of scientific study, who has a charter group to whom he charges not a penny, offers an opportunity such as this. It goes without saying, you are the person who controls your decision-making. I’ve become fond of you, but this is your decision to make. Go on with your life as it is, or, take the ‘youth pills’. Your choice!’

‘Oh, I’m in! no question about it! I trust you, Alfredo, and I thank you for this wonderful opportunity.’  

Good! So, we gamble with our older lives to find another chance at youth. Hopefully, we will not make so many mistakes in our youth this time around.

Until now, Melodie and I are not the only recipients of the Chair’s gift of youth. I chose carefully those with whom I shared this gift of new life, only those few humble, once feeble people in our village who no longer have families to cherish and with whom to commune. It is a secret shared by only a few people who are well aware they must not share any details of their new lives. It took much time to devise a plan to ensure that the secret would never be revealed. That plan is the harm-less micro-chip, and it’s good that I will not bore you with all those tedious details.

Why have I shared so much with you? The woman who came with you from the United States, Amber, she is one of us who shares the secret of the ‘Chair’. She informed us of your fervent wish to be young again – she cares for you very much, but in a more Platonic way than you might once have wished. So, she did not abandon you but meant only to give you the wish-secret she shared with us some months ago. The man you believe she traded you for is but a friend himself. What does that matter, now? You love Melodie, and Melodie loves you.

Now, I must be certain that you’re ready to take the next step. You must allow that micro-chip to be injected into your left bicep, and, you must sign our documents before going back to the US.

You have mentioned you have only one good friend there in Arizona whom you believe will want to join you after you’ve had the good fortune and time to have him believe you. You understand, once he is told of your secret, he can take an accelerated dosage of pills – exactly, three. The pills should take effect within twenty-four hours, or, no longer than seven days. Because of some variables in each person’s DNA it should take no longer than a week. If that does not occur during a week’s period after taking the maximum dosage, you must return with him to Castonéa for the ‘Chair’ treatment.

Also, on the negative side, you must manage to inject a micro-chip into his left bicep. You know the chip will not harm him once it is activated, that is, only if his determination is to bring our ‘Chair Project’ public. Of course, you must explain all of this to your friend. I suggest you find a way of least resistance. You must figure what that way of ‘least resistance’ will be.

‘I have fought the moral battles of my mind, Presley, and, for me and the others, this discovery is okay. It must also be okay for you and your friend. You know him well and you will know what to do.

~*~

“We’ve talked about being young again on many occasions, Eddie, and, now we can be. That’s the story of my past six weeks. I’ve left nothing out. I’ve even added Alfredo’s concerns. What do you think?

“Eddie!

“Eddie!”

Presley was so wrapped up in his story, he had lost track of Eddie.

Eddie was in his recliner, head resting on the back’s soft leather. He was passed out!

“Ah, Crap! Now, I’m gonna have to go through it all again!” Presley thought for few seconds. “Ah, but, wait!” he muttered to himself. “He would do it for me! this is the ‘way of least resistance’, as Alfredo phrased it.”

Presley went to Eddie’s side table, picked up his highball glass half-full of bourbon, and dropped in three ‘Youth Pills’! From a small plastic case he extracted a syringe and injected Eddie with the micro-chip into his left bicep. With the chip and the accelerated dose, and, when he takes those last few sips, he will within twenty-four hours find out for himself. Hopefully, it won’t take a week. He will be young again.

Presley knew Eddie for sure could never leave a half-full glass of ‘Makers Mark’ Bourbon.

Presley checked Eddie’s phone, copied the number he lost on the trip to Spain.

He would check in with Eddie tomorrow, late afternoon! Presley did not expect him to rise from slumber for at least twelve to twenty-four hours.

Probably better this way: ‘Showing, Not, Telling’!

©Short Story by Billy Ray Chitwood

April 28, 2018

~~~~~

(Note: the author to determine later whether or not to have a second part to this short story!)

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Requiem to a Boarding House Cook

Today, perhaps my mind is still unsettled, still searching for some ultimate truths, and that is okay. The words still mean something to me. Whatever my writing comes to be, somewhere in those sentences and paragraphs, in those characters and plots, there will be parts of me, and, actually, they are pretty easy to find. I am not a very large mystery in the scheme of things.

Maude Inez Balsinger
– My Mom –

Requiem To A Boarding House Cook

 

Don’t guess too many boarding houses even exist anymore, but let me tell you: the best food I’ve ever eaten was in a boarding house setting.

The cook? My dear, beloved, departed mother. In one of my books, I mention that she is up there with angel ‘Clarence’ ringing a bell when some earthly creature does something good — you will all remember ‘Clarence:’ he visits us each year at Christmas time in a re-run of the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

It might seem strange to sing the praises of a boarding house cook in a post, but the mind can carry you to some memory stations that leave a faint, sometime tearful, wisp of nostalgia.

The sleeping room in Mrs. Lester’s Boarding House my Mom and I shared was just across from the big kitchen, and, as a small eight-year old kid, I sat in one of the two rocking chairs in that room listening on the radio to a broadcast of a baseball game or football game, and the smells from that kitchen at dinner time would get me really hungry.

Just before Mom served the boarders at the long large dining table in front of the house, she would bring a heaping plate of food to me in that bedroom across the hall. Didn’t matter what it was, meatloaf, pot roast, pork chops, corn bread, biscuits, mashed potatoes with gravy or home fries, it was always the most enjoyable food I would ever remember eating. And Mom would always smile, give me a kiss on the cheek, and say something like: “You’re the best little boy in the world…”

My Mom was a boarding house cook during some of the most troubled times in our economic history…during the great depression era in Appalachia. East Tennessee would be more precise. Knoxville, Tennessee would be most precise. Mom and Dad were divorced, and my sister was living fifty miles away with my maternal grandparents because of the bad times. Mom worked long hours seven days a week and she always made the time for me, made the time to make me feel like all was really right with the world. Even in my little pea-brain I knew all was not right in our world, that there were things happening in our lives that were beyond my scope of understanding. But Mom tried and she did make me feel loved and very much wanted in her life.

So, when that big plate of food was all consumed and wiped clean with the last bit of biscuit or cornbread, the ballgame ended, I would become wistful about my Mom’s boarding house existence, feeling that she really did not have much of a life. I would sit in that room, stuffed with good southern cooking, Mom doing dinner clean-up duties, and I would try to write a poem…try to write a poem that would convey the love I felt for my Mom, try to say in words on paper what my tiny voice could not say.

My Mom always encouraged me to follow my heart, to sing my songs, to write my verses, and it was there in those days during World War Two when I first took pencil to paper. Yes, the words were the mutterings of a young unsettled mind, but they meant something to me then.

Today, perhaps my mind is still unsettled, still searching for some ultimate truths, and that is okay. The words still mean something to me. Whatever my writing comes to be, somewhere in those sentences and paragraphs, in those characters and plots, there will be parts of me, and, actually, they are pretty easy to find. I am not a very large mystery in the scheme of things.

My Mom gave me the great gift of writing, the wonderful gift of expressing myself with words. It doesn’t matter so much that the words will or will not ring so many bells down here.

It does matter that Mom and ‘Clarence’ might occasionally ring their bells for me.

Billy Ray Chitwood – 9/25/17 and 8/06/12

 

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“Darkness and Fog” – Short Story/Flash Fiction

August 28, 2016 and September 25, 2017 Revised

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man-fog

“Darkness and Fog”

 A Short Story/Flash Fiction –

The darkness and fog are palpable like a viscid sweat crawling all over the body, and my eyes cannot be trusted. Keen concentration is not all it’s made out to be. These dumb-ass images keep popping up all over the space in front, sides, and back of me…and, okay, I admit it – I’m a big boy scared. ‘There’s no moon in the sky – stormy weather’ (ring a bell?). I mean, there is no way this world can be this dark and foggy.

“Why,” Someone might ask, “are you so stupid to be standing where you’re standing?”

The reason is really simple but I’m going to make it as complicated for you as I can.

When I was a little boy, my crippled cousin had to have the light on during his bedtime dark hours. Now, I didn’t tease him about that but if I just mentioned it he chased me up one country road and another. If I didn’t have a pretty good lead he’d catch me. Then, we would end up wrestling until one of us said ‘Uncle’ – usually me! We were best pals and I loved my club-footed cousin-buddy, but he got madder than a frigging copperhead on LSD if anyone brought up sleeping with lights on.

That’s really not part of the complicated story, at least, not in a major way. This darkness and fog just made me think of him. He turned out to be a scratch golfer. He’s gone now, died too early in his life. His damned cheating wife was screwing the next-door neighbor, and my cousin beat the daylights out of the crooked-nose jerk and threw all her clothes – and her – out of the house. He was club footed but he was no yellow-belly. Nobody gave him any crap, that’s for sure. Then, bless him, he got some sort of breathing problem and it killed him.

Well, again, that’s not part of the complicated story either…and it makes me sad thinking about it.

I won’t lead you on any further.

It all starts with my sister, Sarah Lou. She’s fourteen going on twenty-four, if you get my drift, built like a brick s…-house, big boobs, long silky brown hair, great figure, really pretty, and she reckons she’s the ‘cat’s meow’. It seems she knows early on she wants to taste some parts of life she is no way ready to taste.

I’m convinced Sarah Lou is the genuine product of something genetically disfavored, sort of like my Dad. He gets madder than hell and beats up on her…and, Mom. Bless her heart! Well, I’m thinking I have more of my Mom in me. At least, I hope so, because she is all giving and loving. When Mom goes to heaven, ole ‘Clarence’ will be ringing loudly his bells.

Dad has this fiery temper, and it’s his way or the highway, so to speak. This is when he’s visiting us. He and Mom are divorced, and Dad seems to have these demons inside him that make for crazy flip-outs at any moment. I’ve noticed his behavior changes when Mom mentions her side of the family – they don’t like him and he doesn’t like them. Of course, the corn whiskey could have something to do with it. He likes his hooch! He’s also tall, good-looking, and has a thing for the ladies. How can I know that? Well, that’s a whole different story.

Well, anyhow, the genes running through Sarah Lou must be identical to Dad’s.

Moving the story along, Sarah Lou turns sixteen and elopes with an army corporal, runs off to another state when the corporal gets transferred. Mom is heart-sick and scared because she has to tell Dad the news.

Mom and I, my now older club-footed cousin and his big sister (on my Dad’s side of the family) go to the hotel where my Dad is now living to tell him about Sarah Lou’s elopement. Cuz and his sister come along to hopefully soften my Dad’s temper.

In his hotel room, my cousin and his sister take the two chairs in the room. Mom sits on the bed all timid and nervous… I can see her trying to swallow her fear, but it’s etched there on her face. I sit, timid and nervous myself under a window on a radiator…you know, those ugly, vertical heavy metal rods all linked in a row as one unit. Now, the heat isn’t on during this visit, but those units are a might uncomfortable to sit on. I just keep alternating my butt cheeks and somehow manage.

My Dad is just walking around the room. Now, Dad knows right away that something is up, and, he knows it isn’t good news – guess our faces and body language give us away. So, he’s nervous, too, but not in a sane way…it’s like, he’s the tiger sitting on a boulder about to pounce on an unsuspecting prey.

“Okay,” he says, “what’s the bad news? I can see it on all your faces.” He leans against the wall near me.

My stomach is turning as I’m looking at Mom while she haltingly tells Dad about Sarah Lou and the elopement.

I’m stealing peeks at Dad and can see a storm rising inside of him.

Mom finishes and is near tears, her face red with a thin layer of fret-sweat.

When Dad hears the news about Sarah Lou, he stomps around the room in a fury, shaking his head, temples pounding, mumbling curse words, and, abruptly stops in front of Mom and eyes her menacingly for several seconds. My sweet hard-working, lovely Mom sits there very still with her hands clasped on her lap with a now blanched and pitiful look on her face. My tears are about to come and I can almost feel her anxious and trembling body preparing itself for Dad’s assault.

My tainted-gene Dad gives Mom a hard looping open-hand slap to the face, so damned hard it knocks her over. My immediate fear is that he’s knocked something loose in her brain or upper body…and he’s getting ready to do more hitting.

I’m petrified watching it all from this hotel room radiator and l reckon something snaps inside me. I’ve watched this kind of madness too many times as a younger kid. Now, I’m a lot bigger. I rush him and tackle him onto the bed, crying and mumbling something stupid, like, ‘I’ve seen you do that to my Mom too many times’. I’ll never forget – he’s got this look on his face like a slight smile and surprise all at the same time.

With a blind rage, I start pounding Dad with my fists.  Pretty soon, he’s not moving. I must have connected with a vulnerable spot on his head. He just turns his head over to the side and goes to sleep. I sit there staring down at Dad, becoming a bit worried that I’ve done something bad. Yet, so far as I can see, he’s breathing with a normal rhythm. I gently slap his face a few times, but he doesn’t stir. I inspect his head, notice no swollen places and no blood.

After a couple of minutes pass, I rise from the bed and tell our little group we likely should leave before he comes out of it. He could really go bonkers then. So, we hustle out of Dad’s room and loudly close the door.

Mom cries all the way down the elevator, and we go unnoticed out a side entrance in the lobby. I drive my cousin and his sister home, and, except for the sound of the car engine, no one makes a sound. Only tears flow down our faces. We all hug and kiss each other.

Next, I drive Mom to her folks’ place some forty miles away.

We give Grandma and Grandpa all the news about our visit with Dad, and they’re madder than hornets in a wild wind, ‘Is he dead?’ ‘Is he alive?’ I make Mom promise me that she’ll stay with the grandparents until she hears from me. There’s no way Dad, assuming I didn’t hurt him too badly, would go around Grandpa because the latter gave Dad a whipping some months back.

After a few more tears are shed and the grand-folks can’t talk me out of leaving, I’m on my way back to the hotel to check on Dad… I know! Who should be caring about a guy who is abusive to his wife and daughter? Well, he’s my Dad, for better or worse! Me, I did not suffer so much his physical abuse. There are the lingering emotional scabs that come off as time passes and memories haunt in the dark of night. The real damage, emotionally, psychologically, and life-changing are for my dear Mom and Sister.

My blond head is churning with thoughts as I drive back to the hotel. The closer I get, the more tense I become. There’s this need to know about my Dad, whether he’s okay or hurt badly. I’m a sturdy young man now, 185 pounds, playing quarterback as a freshman at Garden View University. It’s difficult to calculate how hard I hit Dad with my fists – I feel like a part of me was actually holding back. But, then, I was lost in the moment.

There is no way to forget what happened, and just go back to my grandparent’s house. I have to know, one way or the other about my Dad. Did I hurt him more than first I thought? Is he alive? Is he dead?

I park Mom’s car down the street from the hotel and walk to the side entrance of the lobby.

The elevator is on the lobby level as if waiting for me. On Dad’s floor, the elevator doors open and my heart jumps into my mouth!

My Dad is standing in front of me, his eyes blinking like he is trying to clear his head.

“You coming out, young fellow?” Dad asks in an impatient and impersonal tone.

He notices the apparent surprise on my face. “You alright, boy?”

“Dad, it’s me!”

He did a fast look behind him like I was talking to someone else.

Dad blinks some more. “You’re mixed up, boy, I don’t have a son. Now, stay in the elevator or get out. I fell and cracked my head…have to get it taken care of.”

“But, Dad, I hit you on the head because you hurt Mom. Let me help you!”

Dad grabs my arm and pulls me out of the elevator onto the hallway carpeting. “Told you, boy, I’ve got no son.” He enters the elevator, pushes the lobby button and is gone.

I can’t say how long I stand rooted to that spot in front of the elevator. I am aware enough to know that other people enter and exit the elevator while I’m standing there.

Finally, I take the stairs down seven floors and walk out the side lobby entrance. My befuddled mind is on automatic pilot and leads me down the street to the car.

When I pull away from the curb, confused and frightened, I drive aimlessly, turning here, turning there, my mind going over and over the events of the day.

I drive for miles not mindful of where I’m going. Tears flow until my eyes get all watery. Finally, my brain tells me to pull off the road.

I’m out in the ‘boonies’ somewhere. There is an old rutted country road, and I turn onto the dirt and gravel, drive a quarter mile and notice that suddenly I can’t see.

The weather changes suddenly and I take the time to think, ‘What the hell am I doing? Out here in nowhere land?’ The reality of the situation makes me ease to the right off the old road, feeling my way as the darkness and fog come together – seemingly all at once.

I get out of the car, touching the metal, holding on to the only reality given me at the moment.

My Dad’s face is flashing at me in the darkness and fog…along with snakes, dinosaurs, crocodiles, and other beasts of the world.

There come some recalls of life with my Dad in them, not long after the divorce.

Much of those times are rough, but there are tender moments as well – farther back in youth, when he buys me a little boy’s grey suit with a bibbed hat, takes pictures of me with a cigarette dangling from my lips. There are bus, car, and train rides to visit his parents and grandmother…my grandparents and my great grandmother.

His grandmother is almost blind and sits on an old wooden porch in a rocking chair, frail and beautiful like a picture in sepia tone, with a corn cob pipe in the corner of her mouth. She is in her nineties, and Dad has to get within inches of her face before she recognizes him and gets a sweet smile on her face and hugs him. She makes over me as well, and I feel a sense of history – the events, all the things she has seen in her lifetime. Her time is almost up, but she is going to keep rocking and smoking her corn cob pipe for a while yet.

A few happy times flash by, those times when we play at being a family, without the tempestuous flares of raw emotions: the Saturday movie matinees; Mom and Dad smiling happily when my sister and I dance, when I attempt to write a poem; the endless questions I asked of them both – the insatiable curiosity of a little boy’s mind.

I love them both so much, and, now, my father has no son.

The tears do not stop until the mind reminds me of where I am, in the middle of proverbial nowhere with only the scary flashes coming from too much eye concentration and the memories that are both keepers and throwaways.

So, the world can be dark and foggy, and, maybe, reasons for standing in the darkness and fog are not so simple.

With measured steps I walk a few paces, can see no end to the darkness and fog, pivot, return to the car, get in the back seat, and lock the doors.

Assuming a fetus position on the backseat, I try desperately not to think anymore. I can wait out the darkness and the fog.

Tomorrow will come, and the sun will replace the dismal thoughts with hope.

I love my Mom and Dad.

Perhaps I still have both of them.

Billy Ray Chitwood – 9/25/17

*

Hope you enjoyed this short story and/or flash fiction – whichever your preference.

This is the beginning of a book with a working title, “Darkness and Fog.”

Well, fancy that!

Will you read the book when I launch it in late 2017 or early 2018?

I’ve authored fourteen books and invite you to my website to preview them. There are mysteries, suspense, romance, thrillers, memoirs, time travel, and other genres from which to choose. They have new covers and some of the novels are inspired by true events.

Hope you will read some of my offerings and leave reviews on Amazon. As we are wont to say, reviews are the lifeblood of authors:

https://www.billyraychitwood.com – (Website) AND

https://www.brchitwood.com (Blogsite)

OTHER LINKS:

https://www.about.me/brchitwood

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

https://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

https://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

 https://goo.gl/3tHG88 – linkedin.com/

https://plus.google.com/+BillyRayChitwood

Proud member of #RRBC #ASMSG – #IAN – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven Blog Award Nominations.

 

Featured

Life and Choices

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Life and Choices

Which end of the rainbow holds the magic that will transform our lives? That proverbial ‘Pot of Gold’?

How far do we have to travel to find the elusive ends of those rainbows? It looks as though the ends are within our reach.

‘Okay, enough of the philosophical gibberish! We are a new generation and don’t grab hold too easily these metaphorical nuances. What’s your point’?

‘You are the point! Your generation is the point’!

Of ‘The Greatest Generation’, I’m a part, that pristine era that encompassed World War 2 and its aftermath. We helped to finally absolve a lingering malaise of ‘The Lost Generation’, the era following World War 1. We in my generation held no exclusive trademark on ‘sense and sensibility’. We had some blunders and gaps along the way.

However, for the most part, there was the pride and remembrance of those who gave their lives in the great war to preserve our freedom and liberty. Our military heroes paid the ultimate price.

Allow me to be plain in my words here…

I live now in ‘Twilight’, writing my fiction and observing the nature of the world around me, chaos and insanity across the waters as countries vie for power and dominance, as new forms of immorality charge closer to our shores in barbaric numbers. I watch our young people stray farther and farther away from the principles in our political bible called the ‘United States Constitution’, that document codified so clearly by our ‘founding fathers’… ‘United States Constitution’ and ‘Founding Fathers’, now seemingly phrases that edge slowly away from our consciousness.

I watch some of our young people caught up in a frenzied delusion imprinted on their brains by monied power groups, misdirected media, and political groups…tearing down statues that have historical meaning for so many, trying to sanitize and erase from memory life and death struggles in our storied past.

I watch a brash, plain-speaking billionaire business man elected president of our nation, a neophyte politician, a man with a wide-spanning agenda to cure some economic and security ills in our country. His platform speaks to immigration reform, job creation, foreign policy shifts, infra-structure clean-up, tax-reform, repeal and replacement of a most disastrous health program, better and more viable educational options, et al.

Despite the allure, charm, and eloquence of Barack Obama, he made, in my opinion, so many terrible foreign policy decisions, domestic miscues, and mysterious spending of tax payers’ dollars that it might be a while before we figure it all out. A few already have but can’t get any real traction from a biased media. Actually, it was my initial thought that Obama might be good for America. No racial thing! No bias! No hate! Just the way I see it…

The new President Trump starts enthusiastically and quickly in his new job, surrounding himself for the most part with a cadre of intelligent and qualified people. He issues ‘Executive Orders’ to negate many of the previous president’s directives. He makes successful trips to troubled parts of the world and elicits support for his foreign policies. He takes a strong position on North Korea’s missile launches and unveiled threats against our nation. The fixation by the media on ‘Russian Election Collusion’ truly becomes tiring and a thorn in President Trump’s side as he tries for comity with our adversary.  

His efforts find great support from his politically conservative and independent base, but the liberal leaning media and distressed democrats challenge him at every turn. His tweets on Twitter draw ire, and he is reviled by the so-called establishment groups in Washington, DC and by some in his own party.

‘So, what’s the point of all this?’

For the first time in my long life, the feelings for me are visceral. Watching the riots at Berkeley, the destruction of property there and other states, the professorial leanings toward guided liberal thinking of their students, I feel Democracy in my country shifting from its long freedom and liberty roots to a more open and socialistic society. I’m not an avid student of history but have studied enough to know that Communism and Socialism have never worked. When Large Corporations, Big Money, and the Power Elites make decisions for the working classes, it’s the beginning of the end. When freedom-loving people are duped by the liberal revolutionists of our times, beware the ‘Ides of March’.

You might very well differ in your thinking, and that is the American way. We can debate issues and come to different conclusions without hating each other.

I started life in Appalachia and poverty, and that buys me a ticket nowhere…still haven’t made any ‘best seller lists’ with my books. I’m no longer in poverty, but neither am I rich and/or an envied one-percenter…just want my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids to have their freedom and liberty.

‘Tha-tha-tha- that’s all, folks’!

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 22, 2017

Please preview my books at:

billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my blog at:

brchitwood.com – The Final Curtain1

Please follow me on Twitter

twitter.com/brchitwood

Bill Sun Room Aug 9 2017

Featured

About Me

This is the post excerpt.

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About Me:

I’m a young man in an old man’s body, trying to catch up to myself, trying to find pieces of me I left back in a disconnected youth and the early years of manhood. I’m a stereotype of many in my generation who can play the ‘blame game’, yell ‘foul’, and ‘let’s start over’. But, we are what we are, the sum of all the scary kid-emotions we experienced, the gin mills and piano bars that became our sandbox of pleasure – lotus eaters of the best (or, worse!) kind, the love affairs that did not quite settle us down, the sad poetry and songs written in bars and motels along the way… A Dreamer! A Wanderlust! The world needs such fools as we to write our books, our poetry, our songs, to offset the madness that plagues the soul.

I’ve written fourteen books, over three hundred blog posts in search of those pieces left somewhere in many parts of the globe. You can preview my books above on the menu of ‘books’. If you wish to read more of my blog posts, go to my official blog site at:

https://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com

Most important among the searching, I found Julie Anne – she’s there in the picture with me.

♥​

BOOKS OF MYSTERY – SUSPENSE – ACTION ​- CRIME – THRILLER – ROMANCE – MEMOIRS
FICTION (SOME INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS!) – NON-FICTION – QUALITY READING
****

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

By BR Chitwood

       In each of us are desires,

 For each of us aspires…

  To each of us, confusion,

    For each of us, delusion…

      Dreams come unbidden,

      Some stark and hidden…

      Truth can bring mockery

      To daily-labored drudgery.

      We pray for aid to Deities,

      Or toss the die nervously…

***

BR Chitwood– 6/29/22

All my books with synopses and posts can be found at: https://www.brchitwood.com

Please, have a look!

Love and Weather

Love and Weather

By BR Chitwood

***

 Weather tomorrow: Blue Skies, soft

breezes and Sunshine!

Turn off spigot to troubling thoughts!

Believe in your dreams and attack the day!

Keep the smile in place – someone is nearby…

Love taps tenderly on your shoulder, and kisses your cheek…

A song plays loudly on a passing auto:

More dreams pass with a zephyr.

The Western sky spreads its beautiful

Panorama of colors…

There is no place on Earth that you would rather be.

Car horns honk blessings to the couple on a tree-lined mall

As they continue their lovers’ walk to their brighter future!

Hearts and Souls unite for this special day of Happiness!

*

BR Chitwood – June 15 2020

***

My 20 books in most genres with synopses, book cover pics, over 500 blog posts, Short Stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry are on my WordPress Website…

My WordPress Website: https://www.billyraychitwood.com


Love and Weather

Love and Weather

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ov4gfejlhjhe54a7wwpx.jpeg

By BR Chitwood

***

 Weather tomorrow: Blue Skies, soft

breezes and Sunshine!

Turn off spigot to troubling thoughts!

Believe in your dreams and attack the day!

Keep the smile in place – someone is nearby…

Love taps tenderly on your shoulder, and kisses your cheek…

A song plays loudly on a passing auto:

More dreams pass with a zephyr.

The Western sky spreads its beautiful

Panorama of colors…

There is no place on Earth that you would rather be.

Car horns honk blessings to the couple on a tree-lined mall

As they continue their lovers’ walk to their brighter future!

Hearts and Souls unite for this special day of Happiness!

*

BR Chitwood – June 15 2020

***

My 20 books in most genres with synopses, book cover pics, over 500 blog posts, Short Stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry are on my WordPress Website…

My WordPress Website: https://www.billyraychitwood.com

Or: https://www.brchitwood.com

  ***

What to Do!

What to Do!

BR Chitwood

*

With aging comes the discoloring and blurry marks of a young man with an early validity of truth and dishonor, mixed with raw eruptions of anger by parents decimated by a busted economy and harsh living standards. It is often that I cowardly sneak a peek back on those early days when families were wandering in a ‘mine field’ of bigotry, corruption, wars, and hatred…all bets were off when the Japanese bombed our airfields in Honolulu on most beautiful spots on earth.

My Uncle Charles Chitwood was stationed at Hickam Field on the big island Oahu, a ‘belly gunner’, and he survived the attack – but the scars never went away. In many ways, his life and his world changed on that fateful day…the ‘chip’ never left his shoulder, and he had several negative contacts with law enforcement.

Today, Oahu has back its charm, its sun, and its beaches, and the many sailors who went down with the ‘Arizona’…how sad it is to re-open that painful phase of our history. As a kid I sat on a window seat in the boarding house living room where my mother was the cook and friend of the owner. I remember the sad and troubled faces who sat and listened to FDR’s depiction of the carnage in Honolulu and how the Japanese ‘would pay a huge price for this terrible act of aggression.

I’ve been to Hawaii a number of times since that fateful day of December 7, 1941, still serene, still one of the most beautiful set of islands in the world.

‘Sneaky’, ‘aggressive’, unspeakably scheduled for the early morning rise of our military personnel on that fateful Sunday morning, There is no reason for anyone to forget ,this ‘Sunday Slaughter’, and there is still in our day the minds and hearts of people who remember a somewhat somber recollection of that terrible event on God’s Holy Day. In the minds of many, there is still a narrow degree of hatred for the Japanese, softened by time.

Of course, there have been evil-minded leaders of the past who have a penchant for hatred – even, if it is based on color-shades, slanted eyes…hatred, in fact, comes too easily for some. If you read your newspapers and watch your evening news, you know this to be the truth.

Why do I write this particular post? Mainly, because I felt the need, my mind going through a patchwork set  of thinking…wondering why we are made the way we are, with mixtures of pious hope, pity, anger, IQs that cannot compete in the world of commerce, ideas, and the miracles that good people can do.

Let others build the fox-holes and the hatred. Let us stand firm on some basic and simple truths: ‘Love thy neighbor’ (at least, try to ‘like them’), give Faith, Hope, and Charity a chance.

Difficult in our world?

No doubt about it!

Walk away from trouble! don’t invite it!

Honest Politicians! I have to believe we have a few of those… Maybe (forget ‘the pig’s eye’!) we can still find those honest politicians who stand for Freedom, Liberty, and our forefathers’ labor to create a nation that allows entry to our country of those who share our beliefs.

There is no charge for ‘Hope’, ‘Charity’, and ‘Common Sense’!

*

BR Chitwood

*

My 20 books in many genres, my 500+ blog posts, my Short Stories, my Flash Fiction pieces, and my Poetry are on my Web site:

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

or

https://www.brchitwood.com

Two Books Based on Truth

Two Books Based on Truth

By BR Chitwood

*

Two True Crimes!

One solved! One still a mystery!

“Mama’s Madness” was solved some years ago by some excellent police work in Northern California…

This ‘Mama’ was from the loins of Satan, evil in word and deed, the punishments of her daughters were manic and difficult to believe, recorded not here but stark and vivid in the book. This ‘Mama’ murdered two of her three daughters and an ex-husband, robbed and invented tortuous punishments so ugly and vile to mention here – but, there between the pages of the book, the reader will find them. This is a well-written book with many 5-Star Amazon ratings…you don’t want to miss this one!

This one was solved: mother sentenced to a California prison…probably out by now…

BUY SITE FOR ‘MAMA’S MADNESS’: https://www.amazon.com/Mamas-Madness-Billy-Ray-Chitwood-ebook/dp/B07DCFWNX7/ref=sr_1_1?crid=I8WMPK9ELK7W&keywords=Mama%27s+Madness&qid=1654728126&s=books&sprefix=mama%27s+madness%2Cstripbooks%2C101&sr=1-1

*

 “Stranger Abduction” is very close to the Author’s heart because this crime was committed prior to my move to some ranchland in SE Arizona… My new neighbors told me as much as they could know about this mother and daughter disappearance, to wit:

It is a summer Sunday afternoon in rural Cochise Country, AZ near Sunizona, AZ, and a large happy family has just finished Sunday lunch. It is decided that Mom and her pert little 14-year-old daughter will walk three miles to their country store for ice cream and cigarettes for Dad. It is a walk often taken by members of the family – a sister lives along the Hwy. 181 route, affording them the opportunity to stop and visit.

Mother and daughter reach the country store, chat gaily with the owners and other shoppers, then leave for their return walk home, happily smearing ice cream on each other’s faces and kicking gravel along the road… a cheerful Mom and Daughter enjoying their Sunday.

Mom and daughter never make it home on that sunny Sunday in 1983!

They were never heard from again.

*

The sad aftermath of this true case is a family tragedy!

This novel explores the possibilities of what might have happened on that Sunday afternoon so many years ago. As an author in residence some six miles from Route 181 where two people were abducted, having talked to so many of the neighbors, I had to write about this case… It became a ‘must do assignment’ for me, and, I suggest for other writers as well.

PLEASE! If anyone has any information about this ‘Cold Case’, please contact the Sheriff’s Office in Bisbee, Arizona. PLEASE!

*

By BR Chitwood

https://www.brchitwood.com

OR

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

BUY SITES:

BUY SITE FOR “STRANGER ABDUCTION: https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Abduction-Billy-Ray-Chitwood-ebook/dp/B01K5ZRFS4/ref=sr_1_3?crid=135W0RS5SS0XS&keywords=stranger+abduction&qid=1654729175&s=books&sprefix=%2Cstripbooks%2C96&sr=1-3

All 20 of my novels, 500 blog posts, many Short Stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry are on the website provided above… Hope you can read and enjoy some of my stories.

*

BRC

Life, Love, and Longings

Life, Love, and Longings

A Poem by BR Chitwood

*

Short, Tall, Lanky, All Sizes, All Colors,

              Males, Females, Cats, Dogs, ‘Beasts of Prey’,

           Gays, Straights, Old and Young, All Creatures,

        Popes and paupers, have precise engineering

           Which allow them to satisfy their needs For Love,

         For Hate, For Expression – with different styles          and Languages, of course.

**

      There are many Specialists who make it their  

          Life’s work to journey through knowledge fields

          To enlighten our minds with new information…

           We are landing on the Moon, entering deeper into

       Outer Space, Exploring Mars and other planets

       With newer technology, giving the US public new

     And promising information…

  ***

Here on Earth, we live with raw street violence,

   Robberies, Murder, wanton terrorism in our cities,

 And ‘Politics’ has turned a different scary shade of

Yellow, without sensible leadership, Marxist drivel

Occupying many college campuses…it cannot be

  This writer alone seeing our country going to hell

                in that ‘proverbial hand-basket’!

****

 I am not the smartest ‘ape’ in this jungle but I need this moment to express my concern for our United States of America… In short, we need, badly need, new leadership to restore border law enforcement, to rid our political representatives from receiving big money from ‘K Street operatives. We need a person who cannot be bought…

*****

BR Chitwood – June 8, 2022

For the Love of my Country!

My 20 books in many genres, over 500 blog posts, short stories, flash fiction, and Poetry, all at:

https://www.brchitwood.com

Hope you don’t mind my saying so: ‘There are some great novels I’ve built around ‘unsolved cases’ as well as Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Sci-Fi, History, and other genres…

Hope you have an opportunity to read my books, blog posts, F/F, and Poetry.

BRC

.

In the ‘Rear View’!

In The ‘Rear View’

BR Chitwood

*

How do people handle the ‘rear view’ of their lives? The good, the bad, the ugly?

Not a simple question!

In fact, there are millions, I’m guessing, that give very little thought to the paths they take in life, not that necessarily should be considered a ‘negative’…some know very early in life where they want to be, what they want to be doing, and a reasonable calculation as to when they will arrive at their chosen spot…I’m guessing Graham Bell, Thomas Edison. and Albert Einstein were among those millions along with some noted newscasters, sports announcers, and movie stars. I’m guessing as well that the ‘deep thinkers’ at times have ‘brain outage’ and show they are human.

With so many billions of people in the world, one would think there would be more human disasters, more homicides, more thievery, more bedlam. Of course, people seek shelter from the storms and from the refuse of society. At times, there are criminal events that take us to our knees – the senseless murders, rapes, property damage, and government malfeasance. As strange as it might seem, these terrible crimes, with the passage of time, seem to settle into ‘a way of life’, an acceptance of the dark passing moments.

What is this gibberish intending to convey? A component, and perhaps a component which has not arrived at this point in our history. It seems we try this system, say, Marxism, and find during its path that people do not wish to conform to its rigid rule of ‘take what is given to you’ – money that is controlled…

Schools controlled by the most absurdly funded Educational Association are to be taught ‘Gender ‘Education’ in apparently all of its guises – ‘boy becomes girl/girl becomes boy’, at times, a ritual that allow one or the other to compete in sports contests once only open to ‘boys’ and/or to ‘girls’.

Some of us feel this is madness, feel this is a government rushing into directions that will have costly future effects.

We are a Democracy! Our ‘Constitution’ is a sacred piece of that democracy, and we are dribbling it around like it was a basketball. We have leaders in our seats of government that listen to their benefactors and are paid handsomely to sing the tunes of their masters…every little piece of demeaning Democratic paper given up is an insult to our founders and patriots who died in war battles for our independence and Democracy.

Back in my college days, the emphases were always on registering historical truth in the minds of my classmates. Our revered professors listened to our words, squared them with our historic documents, and seemed pleased we were in line with our democratic principles.

Today, so many of our colleges and universities face blatant attempts at destroying our democracy.

The undocumented flow of people across our southern borders is no longer alarming! It is horrifying in so many ways.

I ‘bitch and moan’ a lot these days!  My age plays a part in that – our bright and wonderful children love our country, and it is for them I write my patriotic feelings.

Can we not just abide by an ‘A-B-C’ formula?

A: America B: Bows to Freedom C: Crown the Good

 *

BR Chitwood – June 6, 2022

*

My 20 books (all genres) – 500 Blog Posts –

Short Stories – Poetry – Songs

ALL AT: https://www.brchitwood.com 

*

BR Chitwood

BR Chitwood

*

It is all so strange looking back on such a crowded and awkward life, pulling scenes to fit the moment, finding harmony in your efforts, finding joy but struggling still to find the truth of ‘who I am?’

Born in the bruised but peaceful hills of Appalachia, there was not so much fanfare but the tedious questions of food and hunger and disease and, of course, ignorance – the very simplest of ignorance, walking hand in hand with what some were calling ‘The End!’

Work was a major disclaimer for most of the population. Some fathers left home for work in other states, leaving behind their most cherished belongings – their wives, kids, scrawny beasts of burden just about out of time for another breath. Some fathers gave up early, drank from their ‘fruit jars’ filled with ‘corn liquor’, ‘white lightning’, using the tools given to them by their ancestors.

One elementary school, one steepled, white-board church, a combo-store and post office.

The soft sounds of labor were the saw-mill camp pumping out the finished lumber for new houses, repairs for older homes, sawdust, and always the hope that someday this small space on the borders of Kentucky and Tennessee would be thriving. The people working were more or less happy with their pursuits, their radios telling them other cities and towns were not doing so well.

Old locomotives brought lumber from the other side of the mountain, just fallen trees ready to be made into homes for those with the money to build. There were, of course, some vitriol among the Hamlet’s ‘well off’ and ‘not so well off’. For .the most part, however, there were few feuds between the neighbors. Each day had a simple calendar…’slop the hogs’…’hoe the corn’…’plow the north 40’…

Wooldridge, Tennessee, a farming community of not too many habitants, was my ‘home’ for a short period of time, brought about by a divorce. I stayed with my loving grandparents, and my sister stayed some hundred miles away with my maternal grandparents.

*

Wooldridge, Tennessee is still there, and it has been many years since I was in the area…except for the ‘script that plays out in my mind on occasion…

There were so many debilitating thoughts occurring in my small brain at that time…I was going to stay with my mother and my sister. My little mind was titillated with the news, and I was happy…not, to leave my grandparents, but to live with my mother and sister.

My sister and I were separated again some months later, and my sister and I were ‘lodged and schooled’ at a large campus in Knoxville, Tennessee – John Tarleton, I believe, was the name of the State-run Facility.

From there, Friendsville Academy was my next stop…this would be the final boarding school before my mother found our first home in Maryville, Tennessee – across the street from the beautiful Maryville College.

*

Oak Ridge High School sat on a hill above ‘Towne Center’ in Oak Ridge, and I made friends quickly with Clayton ‘Eight-Ball’ Nunn, Bill Pullem, Tom McGrew, and my life seemed going in the right direction. I was on the Oak Ridge HS Wildcats football team – played a little because I was small and scrawny…Oak Ridge was the best part of my life!

In the US Navy and waited months after ‘boot camp’ and special schooling before being sent to Adak Islands in the Aleutian Chain…passed ‘high’ in my class. These would be the most difficult time of my recruitment.

Adak was headquarters for the US Navy Communications, and it was exciting work… Friends made, I wormed my way into shift-break work in the Beer Parlor. So many nights were spent in a small living room just behind the bar, each sailor in the room sharing stories from home, girlfriends, and, of course, eventual tears…then, break for the barracks (at the other end of the huge building) duty stations were in other buildings. I received some lovely reviews for my acting and continued to do film and modeling work.

 From Navy came marriage…from marriage came college in Pennsylvania…from the AB Degree, I ventured ‘teaching’ at the high school level in Loraine, Ohio – a special writing class set-up for those wishing to go on to college…a fun class with some writing on a daily basis. Good kids with good futures.

With high school teaching I spread my wings and went into textbook publishing. Good people. Good books.

Also came, Divorce!

In California and Arizona, I dabbled in my writing and did TV commercials, some film work, still work (Magazines, et al). I performed in a play called, THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY and received good ratings.

Then, through mistakes, victories, and just being me, I married the loveliest and smartest lady I had ever met. Our world would even run well with her at the helm.

Combined, we have a large family – some in Phoenix, AZ, some in Las Vegas, some in Maryland on the storied and beautiful Chesapeake.

*

Life can reach up and grab you roughly at times, but I must say, all the years have carried beauty and richness to my life…Children I love dearly, a wife I love dearly, a Golden Retriever named, Toby, who can still bring me fresh tears of love… Cats, we’ve had a few: ‘Lady Gray’ is our most recent and she is pure and loves her family…we brought this little delight with us from Kentucky.

There is a lot to leave: 20 books of fiction (some based on true cases); I’ve written 500+ blog posts, many short stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry… (Hope you can read some of these great novels…) Stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry…FOUND HERE:

https://www.brchitwood.com

The lovely young lady in the picture above is my wife…She is quite the lady…I Love her!

 I married her at the age of consent…

*

It is all so strange looking back on such a crowded and awkward life, pulling scenes to fit the moment, finding harmony in your efforts, finding joy but struggling still to find the truth of ‘who I am?’

Born in the bruised but peaceful hills of Appalachia, there was not so much fanfare but the tedious questions of food and hunger and disease and, of course, ignorance – the very simplest of ignorance, walking hand in hand with what some were calling ‘The End!’

Work was a major disclaimer for most of the population. Some fathers left home for work in other states, leaving behind their most cherished belongings – their wives, kids, scrawny beasts of burden just about out of time for another breath. Some fathers gave up early, drank from their ‘fruit jars’ filled with ‘corn liquor’, ‘white lightning’, using the tools given to them by their ancestors.

One elementary school, one steepled, white-board church, a combo-store and post office.

The soft sounds of labor were the saw-mill camp pumping out the finished lumber for new houses, repairs for older homes, sawdust, and always the hope that someday this small space on the borders of Kentucky and Tennessee would be thriving. The people working were more or less happy with their pursuits, their radios telling them other cities and towns were not doing so well.

Old locomotives brought lumber from the other side of the mountain, just fallen trees ready to be made into homes for those with the money to build. There were, of course, some vitriol among the Hamlet’s ‘well off’ and ‘not so well off’. For .the most part, however, there were few feuds between the neighbors. Each day had a simple calendar…’slop the hogs’…’hoe the corn’…’plow the north 40’…

Wooldridge, Tennessee, a farming community of not too many habitants, was my ‘home’ for a short period of time, brought about by a divorce. I stayed with my loving grandparents, and my sister stayed some hundred miles away with my maternal grandparents.

*

Wooldridge, Tennessee is still there, and it has been many years since I was in the area…except for the ‘script that plays out in my mind on occasion…

There were so many debilitating thoughts occurring in my small brain at that time…I was going to stay with my mother and my sister. My little mind was titillated with the news, and I was happy…not, to leave my grandparents, but to live with my mother and sister.

My sister and I were separated again some months later, and my sister and I were ‘lodged and schooled’ at a large campus in Knoxville, Tennessee – John Tarleton, I believe, was the name of the State-run Facility.

From there, Friendsville Academy was my next stop…this would be the final boarding school before my mother found our first home in Maryville, Tennessee – across the street from the beautiful Maryville College.

*

Oak Ridge High School sat on a hill above ‘Towne Center’ in Oak Ridge, and I made friends quickly with Clayton ‘Eight-Ball’ Nunn, Bill Pullem, Tom McGrew, and my life seemed going in the right direction. I was on the Oak Ridge HS Wildcats football team – played a little because I was small and scrawny…Oak Ridge was the best part of my life!

In the US Navy and waited months after ‘boot camp’ and special schooling before being sent to Adak Islands in the Aleutian Chain…passed ‘high’ in my class. These would be the most difficult time of my recruitment.

Adak was headquarters for the US Navy Communications, and it was exciting work… Friends made, I wormed my way into shift-break work in the Beer Parlor. So many nights were spent in a small living room just behind the bar, each sailor in the room sharing stories from home, girlfriends, and, of course, eventual tears…then, break for the barracks (at the other end of the huge building) duty stations were in other buildings. I received some lovely reviews for my acting and continued to do film and modeling work.

 From Navy came marriage…from marriage came college in Pennsylvania…from the AB Degree, I ventured ‘teaching’ at the high school level in Loraine, Ohio – a special writing class set-up for those wishing to go on to college…a fun class with some writing on a daily basis. Good kids with good futures.

With high school teaching I spread my wings and went into textbook publishing. Good people. Good books.

Also came, Divorce!

In California and Arizona, I dabbled in my writing and did TV commercials, some film work, still work (Magazines, et al). I performed in a play called, THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY and received good ratings.

Then, through mistakes, victories, and just being me, I married the loveliest and smartest lady I had ever met. Our world would even run well with her at the helm.

Combined, we have a large family – some in Phoenix, AZ, some in Las Vegas, some in Maryland on the storied and beautiful Chesapeake.

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Life can reach up and grab you roughly at times, but I must say, all the years have carried beauty and richness to my life…Children I love dearly, a wife I love dearly, a Golden Retriever named, Toby, who can still bring me fresh tears of love… Cats, we’ve had a few: ‘Lady Gray’ is our most recent and she is pure and loves her family…we brought this little delight with us from Kentucky.

There is a lot to leave: 20 books of fiction (some based on true cases); I’ve written 500+ blog posts, many short stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry… (Hope you can read some of these great novels…) Stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry…FOUND HERE:

https://www.brchitwood.com

The lovely young lady in the picture above is my wife…She is quite the lady…I Love her!

 I married her at the age of consent…

Lester at Dexter High

Lester at Dexter High School

Lester at Dexter High

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BR Chitwood

It Is quite amazing how and why people have the impulse to disfavor you in all kinds of settings – be it a Store, a Movie House, Church, School, sidewalk, a restaurant, anywhere!

Maybe it’s a ‘Social, verbal vitriolic attack because the personal ‘VVA’ remembers the number of times the person ‘has pushed his/her button recently’. Let’s call the ‘VVA’ another name as well, his real name, Lester Hale, the local high school football’s team hero who has shot them to the top of their local Football Division.

As in most cases of ‘Bullying’, the ‘Les’ knows how to sketch the points of where he levels our unsuspecting victim. The most frightening aspect of this ill-guided Teen-ager is that he understands exactly where the key is kept when not being used.

Lester has other problems this day. He watches the kids scratch their heads over the number of police present at the school, checking lockers and classrooms. He also catches the stares from members of the police unit. He is not intimidated by their presence.

He is however eager to know ‘why’ the police presence? The ‘deal’ he has cooked up doesn’t go until the bell rings at 3:15 PM.

Hey, I’m just backing to a few pages of history, and I’m not surprised to find we have had these kids with fouled brains throughout our history. The bastards who get them there have set the tone for their thoughts and their hatred…

Lester is having a marvelous day: he has gotten some real scary faces around him, those who wonder what is coming next from this unregistered member of the ‘KKK’ who has modified their programs of devastation. There is nothing good that will be coming from this group, other than dumbing-down talk and action…their lives, the way they were taught to live them. The kids had a chance, but did they have the positive images of ‘Purple Mountain Majesty’, ‘America the Beautiful’, and ‘A house not divided’ who sang the positive and the beautiful… No, the kids had their music and lyrics written for them by ‘lame duck’ nay-sayers and those shooting the dice for glory and bounty.

 cheeksso much to people coming to America, and, somehow, ‘the melting pot’ became a ‘shooting arcade’, a place you can pick a good fight anywhere.

I cannot spend much time with our Governmental successes – certainly, not in the past couple of years, but it seems the young congress ‘modifiers’ – AOC and her group, are making America somewhat of a Pariah Playground…licking their cheeks and taking our money.

We are so close to becoming a country with all the evil forces of the past settling in for Armageddon.

I am not a ‘Doom-Sayer’ but, now an old man, I worry for my kids, grand-kids, and great-grand kids. We have the greatest motivators in our country coming forward, good and honest people. ‘Bite the bullets’ you need to bite, get rid of the ‘losers’, but, please, get our country running again. We have all you ‘red, white, and blue’ power-movers, and one can hope for here in the USA an emerging country and economy – with lots of gas, food stuffs, and some very large bottles of Champagne.

Come on, America, Let’s get going!

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BR Chitwood – June 1, 2022

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https://www.brchitwood.com

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I have written 20 books, 500 blogs, short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and songs…hope you can enjoy some of my work…they are all at https://www.brchitwood.com

Simple Complications

BR CHITWOOD

BR Chitwood

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I have known forever the end to my story…so, why should I think so carefully as I begin to discern the knowledge from my simple yet complicated life?

The compelling observation in these dwindling moments is not so revealing as it is not so outstanding in its epic moments of triumph and its crude missions of self-flagellation and senseless remorse.

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You will find many lives lived which carried these at times debilitating and worthless metaphors. … so very many, I suggest. You might wonder why so many among us have kinship with this affliction. It is my belief that these people (myself, included) have lived their lives with parental guidance when confusion eventually comes from disparate when it lines up with self-flagellation.  Imagine, one parent guiding a child with adulatory tidbits and, moments later scolding for a few minor conflicting incidents. Too many contradictions in a child’s growth can compromise and deal real harm.

It should be understood that the consistency of a child and parents’ relationship depends on their interactions with one another. There is certain hope and much confirmation that this, the positive consistency of good child rearing will produce a more mature and diligent person to walk among.

Then, of course, there are our broken homes, split parent control, generally caused real problems within the marriage, a rush into family…the feeling of the new parents that they can do a better job of raising their children than their progenitors.

Okay, the foregoing is part of family unity and dis-unity. There are DNA inheritance, perhaps an inexplicable and nasty behavior problem, one that grows on into adulthood…The ultimate truth is DNA and bad habits pass on, and, unless the various groups who study all these implications of living, dying, diseases, identifying the worst among the worst – and, cure. God and his wise men parted the seas…could he not under some new terminology bring us all closer to that “Shining house on the Hill?”

Some FATE awaits us…Please, ‘Sweet Divinity’, let the angels sing and bring us ‘Home’. You can do anything, Jesus… Give us ‘You’ with Blessings and a world that only concentrates on Good and peaceful living and adventures that only deepen their faith and bring us closer to those who educate us on new ideas and their theories.

Yes, I know!

‘Nice words.’ https://www.brchitwood

https://brchitwood.com

https://www.brchitwood.com

We are due, folks!

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My website: 20 books with covers/synopses (most Genres…)

500 Blog posts…

Many short stories…

Flash Fiction Pieces…

Poetry & Songs…

 Personal Info…

On Twitter – Facebook – Linkedin

So Much Mayhem and Mud

So Much Mayhem and Mud!

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BR Chitwood

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Papers print the news!

Television shoots the live images!

A senile president can only play ‘Yesterday’!

Can it be that so many of our public Servers are ‘brain dead’?

It is all unfolding before our eyes!

Daily!

Hourly!

Innocents are killed!

The world quakes in disgust!

Where is Superman?

The Militia?

The total outrage!

Can we be this weak in protecting our people?

When the hell is enough, ENOUGH?

We are throwing money away like drunken fools!

Rampant are the fools we trust!

Where is the End?

The last body laid to rest?

Where is the wrath of God?

The tune plays on and on!

Someone must care!

Troops must be everywhere!

Until!

Until the madness is gone!

Until babies can be born again!

Until the reason for living is viable again!

Until gross selfishness suffocates from its labor!

Until the world can awaken to new days!

To brightness and peace!

To merciful giving and love!

It must come!

Doom awaits in the shadows!

Be rid of malice and brutal behavior!

Now, dammit!

Not in a few weeks or months!
Now, dammit!

No more bullshit!

Now, dammit!

Rid us of hypocrisy in Government!

Give us our inalienable rights?

Now, dammit!

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BR Chitwood – May (NOW), 2022

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My 20 books, 500 blog posts, short stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Songs can be found at:

https://www.brchitwood.com

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