Friday Thoughts

Friday Thoughts

By BR Chitwood

*

Quietness absorbs me,

Creating a solemnity of hope,

The mountain South outside my window

Shows off its bronze splendor,

Canopied with a powder-blue sky –

A bronze giant monolith

Of jutting rock and desert growth…

Upon all this I numbly listen

To the silence of God’s beauty,

Pondering the nature of

Good and Evil,

The uneven, diverse voices

Of Earth’s old and young,

Forming their calculations and causes

For prevailing issues

That change, grow, and cumulate.

What and where is the elixir

That can remedy the network

Of thoughts’ cross currents?

Must we grow a civilization of

Smiling Robots who always respond

To a magical quiescent push

Of an electronic button?

Peace? War? What happens next?

So much to ponder as I

Stare at the beauty of the

Mountain and clear blue sky,

All glowing in the desert Sun.

*

BR Chitwood – June 11, 2021

*

Website/Blog: https://brchitwood.com

Follow me on Twitter.com – @BR Chitwood

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Friday Thoughts

By BR Chitwood

*

Quietness absorbs me,

Creating a solemnity of hope,

The mountain South outside my window

Shows off its bronze splendor,

Canopied with a powder-blue sky –

A bronze giant monolith

Of jutting rock and desert growth…

Upon all this I numbly listen

To the silence of God’s beauty,

Pondering the nature of

Good and Evil,

The uneven, diverse voices

Of Earth’s old and young,

Forming their calculations and causes

For prevailing issues

That change, grow, and cumulate.

What and where is the elixir

That can remedy the network

Of thoughts’ cross currents?

Must we grow a civilization of

Smiling Robots who always respond

To a magical quiescent push

Of an electronic button?

Peace? War? What happens next?

So much to ponder as I

Stare at the beauty of the

Mountain and clear blue sky,

All glowing in the desert Sun.

*

BR Chitwood – June 11, 2021

*

Website/Blog: https://brchitwood.com

Follow me on Twitter.com – @BR Chitwood

https://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

#blog #bloggers #WritingCommunity #poetry

#Writing #IAN1 #asmsg #RRBC

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©Survival of Love and Truth!

©Survival of Love and Truth!

©By BR Chitwood

*

PART ONE:

*

(Cameron’s Concern…)

You sit across from me with that soft sweet smile of love and compassion, dressed in one of my faded blue shirts, the fulsome curves of your breasts taut against the unbuttoned upper edges. The cut-off denim shorts give delightful vision to your splayed legs and naked feet.

Yet, it is your face placed inside the mold of your long raven braids that reach near the top of your breast-line on which my sight is locked, pondering its beauty and the sparkle that shifts with the light in those deep-blue eyes. Moments go lost with my staring until your velvety soft lips part to speak.

“You’re making me nervous, Cameron. Why did you want to talk to me? Is something wrong at work? Is it me? Have I done something to cause you concern? Talk to me, Cam, we’ve been sitting here in silence for several minutes, and I have a chore to finish.”

These were the moments he dreaded with a heavy heart but his decision had been made and he must painfully finish his charade…it was the only decision that would solve the ugly dilemma he faced.

“Mattie, just one question! Please consider it carefully… Do you love me?”

Mattie shifted her head a few times, began to rise…

“No, Mattie, sit. Answer the question.”

“Cam, what the hell kind of question is that? You know damned well I love you. We are hopefully having a child soon, beginning our family after trying so long. What on earth brought this on?”

“You went out yesterday afternoon with Bev Rawlings to shop. After shopping at Central Mall, you went to Durbin’s for cocktails. Who joined you there?”

“Jeez, Cam, you’re having me followed?”

“Just answer the question, Mattie.”

“I can’t believe this…nobody joined us, you silly man. Now, stop this inquisition now, Cam. You are scaring the hell out of me. This is not you. You are never in this sort of mood. You know very well I love you – and only you. Who is feeding you this crap? We had two drinks and we left.”

“So, your ex, Charlie Pike, did not join you at Durbin’s, Mattie?”

An angry squint came to her face, “Hell, no, Charlie Pike did not join us…yes, he was there with a friend of Bev’s, and we only said, hello. They did not join us for drinks. In fact, we left after our second drink…end of story. If you just remember, we had a late dinner here at home last night because your final appointment ran longer than expected.

“What is this all about, Cameron? We’ve been together for three years. I’ve never been happier, and we are trying to get me pregnant and start our family.”

“So, that’s your story?”

“No, it’s not a story. It’s the truth… I don’t know what brought all of this on, Cameron, but don’t do this to me again. Maybe you are seeing someone and want to make a case against me to suit your ends. If that’s the case, tell me. As for me, I’m invested in this relationship. If you want it otherwise, be man enough to tell me without pulling this kind of crap on me. Fidelity is most important to me. I love you, Cam, but I can live with the truth, not a lie.”

*

(Mattie’s Thoughts…)

Mattie, her face red and tears beginning to flow, rose quickly from her chair and left the room, leaving Cameron to stare after her. She finished her housekeeping while the entire time was spent with thoughts about the sudden and surprising accusation by her husband. She was shocked, hurt, by his words that broke into their assumed happy marriage. She could not shake the thought that there was something more to their conversation than what Cameron told her, and it puzzled her. Their marriage was good, had been good for the few years of marriage. No, their marriage was ‘story book’, happy and lovingly strong. She was certain there was some other problem she was not yet aware.

Mattie heard the door to the garage open and close, assumed Cameron was off to his office. She put her favorite CD music on the stereo and resumed her chore, humming along with the dip and sway of the romantic song. She closed her mind to the Q&A with Cameron and somehow felt whatever the cause all would be back to normal by the time he arrived home.

Finished with her chores, Mattie decided to go poolside and work on her tan. When the large bedroom wall mirror presented her in the pale blue and yellow polka dot bikini, she smiled her satisfaction – her body was still the same 110-pound weight and the curves in her assessment were still as they should be. She shook her long raven hair with a hip swing, grabbed her Smart Phone, and went to the pool.

Before Cameron left for the office, the pool service guy showed up, and, now, the water was sparkling and the strong scent of chemicals filled the air. While unable to explain the feeling, this was her most favorite time to be poolside, breathing in the gentle chem-aroma carried on a soft breeze.

She brought a new John Grisham paperback to the pool and reached for it from the concrete table next to her lounger. Mattie in her lazy effort dropped the paperback in a small water pocket, uttered a mild expletive, and placed the book back on the table for drying.

With the lounger in a comfortable laid-back position, Mattie placed eye-pads on her eyes, took a deep breath, and gave herself up to the May sun and gentle breeze. She forced out the negative conversation with Cameron, and, in a few moments, a lethargy induced a short nap.

The nap was short as a small stray cloud moved across the bright summer sun, bringing a shadowy grayness to momentarily dull the back part of her closed eyes.

It was as she suspected – a small cumulus cluster was leaving the sun’s brilliance and going westward, leaving the sky again clear blue and the pool lustrous in its sparkle.

Mattie closed her eyes again, a slight smile lingering for some seconds, but the nap would not return. She reached for the ice-filled fruit-jar of water under her chaise lounge, took sips, and began to recall the morning’s ‘accusatory attack’ by the husband she loved. It had all seemed so hollow and somehow staged, so totally outside his polite and loving nature. There had been no preamble, no hint of outrage. ‘What the hell is going on’? she thought aloud.

Mattie looked all around the beautiful 2-acre property, the royal palm trees, the freshly mown grass, the flower gardens, the hedges, the pool and spa, all the beauty outside and inside their delightful home. She married Cameron Lee Hendrix. She loved the man so completely, wanted no one else in her life, all her dreams of ‘the good life’ were met by this man. Everything about Cameron, his humility, kindness, his intelligence, his hard work, his tenderness in love and friendship. He was perfect in her eyes…

The morning shocked her. As she came into the den, he seemed aloof, pretending to look over some papers, not the man she had lived with for three years, love growing richer each day, talks of children, trips to be taken, never a ‘chink’ in their love and union.

She was shocked, yes, and surprised that her anger had reached the hot point so quickly. That never happened in their three years together before this morning. She was shocked, surprised, as never before in their months dating and their married years.

She could not fathom this day she was living.

Her mind covered so many possibilities that it could not accept.

What was today’s meaning? In their lives and for building a family? The doctor suggested there were signs a little girl was beginning life inside of her. Cameron was so happy when she gave him the news ten days ago. Mattie’s hope that their talk this morning was to be about that new joy coming into their lives. 

Mattie began to weep, feeling an emptiness she could not understand. The years had been so happy. She wiped away the tears with a lounge towel, forced a smile, and said to the passing air current, “We will make it through this. We have to make it for the little girl growing inside of me.”

*

PART TWO:

*

Cameron Little left his high-rise office early afternoon, and his mood was sad and somber. All morning he could not keep his mind on some important. potentially lucrative meetings with engineers and/or city government officials.

The office meetings were not the reasons for his mood. The morning meeting with his beautiful wife was the cause for his mood. He felt terrible for putting Mattie through that kind of trashy act.

The meeting he was about to attend had a lot to do with this morning’s inquisition of his wife, serving as a beginning scenario that would protect her and protect the child she and he would want to protect.

As Cameron pulled into the parking space of the large Medical Building, he felt a body spasm and a brief reluctance to get out of the car. Cameron’s nature was always positive. He was indefatigable in all sectors of his life, including work and play.

He pulled the key from the ignition of his new Lexus and sat for some moments, his thoughts bouncing around in his head. Finally, he sighed deeply and got out of the car.

In Doctor Salem’s office, the nurses and staff were smiling congenially and announced that the doctor was awaiting Cameron in his office…not the examination room, but, his office.

The usually upbeat senior nurse, Marcie, had a warm smile on her face but it lacked its more normal glow of gaiety. Marcie led Cameron to the Doctors office and left as the two men did their customary handshake and brief shoulder hugs.

The two men were longtime friends and golf buddies, both members of the Arizona Country Club, both graduates of Arizona State university, both members of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, both trading off family dinners and vacations.

“Sit, Cam, please. Would you like something to drink, cola, coffee, even a highball since I have no more patients for the day?”

“No, Stan, thank you. I prefer the final words on my lab work, particularly the final X-Ray work-up. Don’t feel the need to soften your words, my good friend. I know why I’m here and a good idea of what might be coming…but I wish to hell we were on the golf course. What’s the final word, Stan?”

Doctor Salem’s brows drooped but he forced a small smile. “The words from a beautiful song come to me, Cam – ‘He can turn the tide and calm an angry sea. He alone knows how to write a symphony…’ That’s just my way of saying, Med lab data are not always Absolute. In my years of Medicine, I’ve seen reverses of a patient’s lab profile that were stunning to me, and, yes, I know you want to know what our lab reports show. The congregate lab reports show that you do have Tuberculosis.

“That’s the bad news, Cam. The good news is, you have ‘Latent TB’, NOT the TB disease. Your ‘LTB’ is curable in relatively short time. There are various methods of antibiotics treatment lasting a few months at the most…”

“What’s the difference, Stan, between ‘Latent TB and TB Disease?”

“Your ‘Latent TB’ is asleep in your body and protected by your immune system. Your LTB will not pass to anyone else – non-infective.

“What effect will this have on my longevity, Stan?”

“Virtually, none, Cam… You, know, a hundred years ago, the TB Disease carried with it a death sentence – it could vary from weeks, months, and, for a lucky few, some years…

“In fact, and this is a true story, a gentleman in Seattle was diagnosed with the TB Disease, the doctor giving him a true assessment of what remedy measures might be taken. The doctor likely be a short period before his death from TB.

“The good gentleman had a loving wife and daughter in Seattle who knew nothing of their husband-father’s medical condition. The man was suffocating on his thoughts of ‘what to do’ – to stay meant death to his wife and daughter, a legacy he could not accept… So, he stayed in the desert just south of Phoenix, Arizona, and had the movie reels been rolling, they would have now on record a most interesting and improbable tale to show and tell.

“The Seattle man lived a hermit life there in the Phoenix South Mountain area with no one but the snakes and animal types of the desert. He began a tedious building project there in the foothills, working for years, collecting discarded wood and metal left by nearby home builders, relics, rocks and anything that would fit in the mansion he was building for his beloved daughter   as some form of atonement for his desertion.

“Today, that colossal structure is called ‘The Mystery House’ and is visited by people all over the world. The daughter was left the property and lived there for some years – until commercialism saw the value of the structure and its essence.”

“Wow, that’s quite a story, Doc… AND, I like the first story as well. You set-up my schedule for treatments, and I’ll be here. You know, my mind was going somewhere in the direction of that poor man in South Mountain. Thank you, good friend for this day. You won me the ‘lottery’.”

{Okay, readers, build your own ‘Welcome Home Story’ for Cam and Mattie! AND, if you like the story, refer it to a friend – the ‘Mystery House Story’ is NOT fictional!]

©BR Chitwood – June 2, 2021

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Sinful Desperation

©Sinful Desperation

Flash Fiction by BR Chitwood-

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

He stared at the ceiling as he reclined on the big bed, his naked body stretched straight, seeking relief from his back pain.

“It’s been years, my son, since your last confession. I hear desperation in your voice. Is the Church your last bastion of hope?”

A mournful smile of contrition and watery eyes looked upward to the ceiling. He would play both parts of this little satire from his soul, not mocking the billions of people who habitually practiced their faith in a Deity, rather, an awkward attempt at an anodyne for his pain.

“Yes, Father, on all accounts…” a back spasm interrupted his soliloquy and he sought another position on the bed. He was too tightly wound and needed to move his limbs in some exercises the cute young lady in physical therapy had insisted he practice each day.

Finally, he found some relief and continued with his conversation with the ‘Holy Father’ there in the center of his ceiling. “Yes, Father, many years, and, in conflicting ways, a lifetime ago, yet, now, here, as the filmstrip of my earthly adventure unveils itself to me, my weekly spiritual visits to your Church seems not so far away.”

The man was almost ready to hear a reply. Not to be, he continued.

“So, on to my confession, Father, one, I fear will take more than a few ‘Hail Marys’ and a heavy penitence to absolve.” The man closed his eyes and his face took on a grimace.

“I confess to one of Man’s oldest of the seven sins, Pride. All my life I’ve taken umbrage with people who sully me, sometimes, in simple remarks that attempt to jest and tease. Perhaps that sin comes from a youthful disconnect with family and a poor quality of life. This sin has cost me friends and love connections. It is also truth to say it is also the least  

“I confess to an earlier life rife with excessive sensual pleasures, Lust/Debauchery of the wicked and most wild, orgy-filled, salacious kind. I sought out and experimented with life’s underworld of Bacchus-plus drug madness. There were moments of intense euphoria, gratification, and immoral depravity.

“And, when the days and nights of playing Nero’s mad fiddle ended, there were tears, self-recrimination, times for soul-wrenching and no resolutions: preparation-time, it could be said, for the next ‘big toot’.

“I confess, Father, to periods of Envy, of Sloth, of Gluttony, and of Greed.

“There remains one more sin, Father, that of Wrath. I have saved it for the final portion of my confession because there was a prelude of most, if not all, the seven virtues before its denouement… a period in my life of happiness so fulfilling, so real, that it seemed my life had found its right and true moral compass.

“Having run the gamut of my ‘fiddling days, I sought to find a more righteous purpose in my life. A friend of mine who had been lost in the same forest of shame as I invited me to go to church with him on a beautiful Sunday morning in June. After smiling stupidly at the idea, I decided to go…to see how the ‘moral half’ lived.

“Are you still with me, Father? Have I lost you in my recount of decadence?”

The man could almost see the Father’s smile. “How could I not? What with such an interesting life you present to me?”

“You, Father, speak with a forked tongue. You must know it’s the fires of hell I’m destined for!

“Whatever, at the beautiful church with my friend, I met Maureen, a woman of remarkable beauty I felt destiny had placed in my path. We both felt a Karmic bonding and began a long relationship which ended in marriage.

“Our love was pure and, by any standard, storybook. We danced in the moonlight and worked every day at our jobs, saved our money and became wealthy, mostly by her artistic talent and her huge following. We were together all the moments we were not working or at a painting exhibition.

“We had a baby boy who died in his sixth month of an undiagnosed tumor.

“Maureen and I were devastated by Brian’s death, but, for her, there was an emptiness she could not fill. She began drinking. She stopped painting, and fate pulled her from me into the arms of another man. She was still trying to fill the void left by Brian.

“We began to argue, our spats becoming an ugly, yet another obtrusion to our love.

“Last night, Maureen arrived home after midnight, clearly in the mood for another spat. I pleaded with her to go to bed. She became infuriated with me and began slapping me. The slaps made me angry, and I tried to wrap my arms around her to carry her off to bed. She stomped my foot with the heel of her shoe and pushed me backward. I began to fall and grabbed her wrist instinctively to secure my footing. Then, she, too, began to fall, and I let go so she could get her footing. Her head banged loudly into the granite counter in our bar area and she went down onto the carpet, blood spreading out in a profuse flow from the gash. Maureen died last night, Father.”

The man could almost hear the sorrow in the Father’s voice, see the pain on his face through a small imagined window in a small imagined confessional.

On the bed, as tears flowed from the man’s eyes, he saw a pale shadowy figure, an apparition, Maureen, her arms extended toward him, her sad tearful eyes and still beautiful face beckoning to him.

The man’s face was covered in tears, his voice gagging and pitiful gasps, as he thrust the butcher knife upward into his heart.

The bedroom was silent in its darkness as the two wraiths walked across the room to eternity.

©BR Chitwood – SINFUL DESPERATION

                 (From the Archives)

                         *****

Please check-out my Website and Blog below to preview my 20 books & synopses of Mystery, Suspense, Romance & other genres, over 365 blog posts, short stories, flash fiction, poetry, Previews, et al.

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Memory Shadows

Memory Shadows

By BR Chitwood

“Billy, go round-up ‘Bessie’ – it’s milking time.”

Grandma gave me a hug, and I went rushing out the old rickety screen door in the side-room of the kitchen.

Grandma yelled after me, “If you’re going barefooted, you watch where you’re walking, ‘little man’.”

“I’ll be watching, Grandma. Don’t worry. I’ll stay on the lane ‘til I get to Bessie and her cow-buddies.”

I waved and was on my way.

The sunshine and clear blue sky was perfect, Grasshoppers and butterflies were flitting here and there, birds tweeting, and this was my favorite part of the day. Rounding up Bessie was the best part of my day. Truth is, I loved Bessie, and she was the nearest thing to a pet I had. We spent a lot of each day together, mornings before she went to pasture, during milking, and times not even grandma and grandpa knew about. I loved Bessie.

When I reached the pasture area Bessie now favored, she walked to me with a head wave and tacit ‘see you tomorrow, guys’ to the remaining cows. She nuzzled me gently while I put the rope around her neck with the copper bell. She bowed downward to me so I could give my own nuzzling to her blond and brown fur.

Guess my mind was too confused and young when I came to live with Grandma and Grandpa. My Dad and Mom had money problems, finally divorced, Dad taking a job out of state because jobs were not available, and my sister was sent to my Mom’s folks during that time.

When I first went up to Bessie, she lifted her head and looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes and softly ’mooed’. For reasons I could not understand in those moments, I wrapped my small arms around her big neck, kissed her, and my tears fell on her as she gently nudged me. Also, I could not understand in those precious moments, I loved Bessie.

Bessie and I walked the lane, and Grandma was waiting outside the kitchen door at our arrival home. She grinned happily when she saw the great friendship we had.

After leaving Bessie in her special area, Grandma took my hand, led me inside the clapboard farmhouse and treated me with watermelon. She spoke to me while I ate the melon pieces, trying in her way to let me know that I was loved.

After the watermelon treat, Grandma took my hand and led me to her old stuffed chair in the living room, put me on her lap, and told me stories about my Dad and the family history. She would stop occasionally to reach her spittle can on the floor to deposit some of her ‘snuff’. Her stories were told from the heart in a solemn tone, and, at times, I could see her eyes getting watery…it was like she wanted me to know the history of my family, the tough times of our history along with the good. Most likely, the tough times would beat out the good

When the time was right, we looked out the south-facing window and down the lane that led to the nearby mountain, waiting to see Grandpa walking home from his day on the railroad hauling logs from the other side of the mountain to our hamlet’s sawmill. Grandpa was the old train’s engineer.

When we saw him his metal lunch pail was swinging with each step he took, and a grin would break on his face when he saw me running down the lane to meet him…he always had a surprise for me in the lunch pail, candy bar, bubble gum, a toy.

Bessie mooed when she saw us nearing the old farm house – her milking would be coming in short order…plus, feeding hogs, Old Fred, the mule, plus spreading Chickens feed, gathering eggs from hens’ nests, and there would be acres of corn to be hoed, potatoes, turnips, and other farm jobs – not all jobs done by Grandpa but by my uncles. Even, I hoed some corn (hating it).

When dinner was finished, Grandpa turned on the floor model radio and listened to HV Kavelborn. If wintry, Grandpa would shave wood for the living room’s large ‘belly stove’ for the next morning’s heat.

When first darkness began Grandma would call me from my time with Bessie for a bath and bed. She would read me stories from the bible.

Some things in life are hard to explain. I loved a cow named Bessie, and, I know Bessie loved me. I loved my grandparents (paternal and maternal), and I know they loved me. They are connected in loving ways to my heart and mind.

I would eventually return to my mother and sister in a home setting, and it was wonderful being with my Mom and Sis. The time with my grandparents and Bessie is one of the most compellingly beautiful memories I have.

But, then, there are so many.

BR Chitwood – Feb. 5, 2021

My Books, Poems, posts, all writings:

My twenty books (mystery, suspense, romance, history, et al) PLUS over 350 Blog posts. Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry – can be found on my website:

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‘Books and Writings of BR Chitwood’

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The Soul on a Stroll

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The Soul on a Stroll

By BR Chitwood

 The wild joy of children playing in the local park

on a sunny day…slowly becoming what it is

they will become

Screaming sirens from fire trucks speeding by,

onlookers forming thoughts of calamity

and lives in peril.

The tempo of feet on the concrete sidewalks,

haste and slow pace going hither and yon

to destinations unknown.

The Soul strolls, watches the mundanity

of masses, empirically builds the lives of those

who most draw attention.

The Soul seeks to understand the actions and

cosmic purpose of all It sees, tries to define the

what, why, and outcome.

So the Soul strolls through life’s enigmas,  hates,

lives, loves, errs along the way to an unknown hole

in the ground or a canister of ashes.

*

BR Chitwood – February 2021

+

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Love Is

‘The Heart races to find love and soulmate’!

Love Is

By BR Chitwood

Love is the Soul responding to a vision,

The motion of a body

That moves in perfect tempo…

Love is the luscious face of Grace Kelly –

Be still, my racing heart,

Her smile facilitates its pounding…

Love is the seeking of one so lovely

To cease the Romantic Wanderlust,

To surfeit lingering desires of the heart…

*

By BR Chitwood – December 14, 2020

https://www.brchitwood.com

Writing and Me

Read, Write, Experience!

by BR Chitwood

Most people who write and those who wish to write likely know that the libraries of the world are comfortably stacked with the ‘how to’ of creative writing. Writing for years, I guess the thing for me is, I have to do my own struggling, find my own way of saying things with these fingers that dance along the laptop keys.

The question for me is not so much, how successful can I be financially in my writing? (Don’t get me wrong, why would I mind at all cashing a lot of royalty checks!) It has simply been for me more important at this juncture in my life finding out the boundaries and dimensions about where I’ve been, all the bad experiences, all the good, and getting a better idea of who I really am. My books have plots, and they have characters. These plots and these characters serve me and give me a chance perhaps to ‘muse and fuse’, to discover some things about me I never knew. I like to say, ‘Readers can find me on and between the lines of what I write’. It is true for me, and ‘finding me’ between my lines is not always a gratifying view of myself – not that I wish to leave with the reader the impression that I’m an unsavory character, just that I have made mistakes of the heart and mind.

Sure, I want my books interesting enough to be read, enjoyed, and to have people talking about them. The most important thing, though, for me, is being true to me, plumbing my depths, finding the music of my soul, and hoping I discover more of me.

Ego?

Maybe so. But it has got to be me finding out whether or not I’m any good at this business of writing. I think maybe I am. It’s not that I’m not willing to learn — it’s just, it better be there within me now, this style thing, this appeal to readers, because I’m not necessarily going to find it in the library…been there, done that.

I’m thinking we do it by ‘doing it,’ over and over again… if we’re any good, we need to trust that little voice inside that says we are.

Everyone has to do her and his own thing. I’m old enough to think I’m just as right as some folks who write about writing and maybe too dumb and inflexible to realize I’m singing a song here with a guitar out of tune.

That’s what I’m thinking!

I’ve written twenty books, some inspired by true crimes and beastly appetites of abuse… Perhaps I write in those genres because my own young life was touched by murder, abuse and poverty. So, I write in those genres of Mystery and Suspense, but also in the Romance genre, Love stories connected to History, and two Memoirs.

My personal Website and Blog features all my 20 books, complete with synopses, and my blog has a near 400 posts, including short stories, Flash Fiction: https://www.brchitwood.com

Please visit my site. Hopefully, you will find my writing interesting.

BR Chitwood – November 29, 2020

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Sinful Desperation

“Maureen died last night, Father.”

Picture

Sinful Desperation

Flash Fiction by B R Chitwood-

*****

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

He stared at the ceiling as he reclined on the big bed, his naked body stretched straight, seeking relief from his back pain.

“It’s been years, my son, since your last confession. I hear desperation in your voice. Is the Church your last bastion of hope?”

A mournful smile of contrition and watery eyes looked upward to the ceiling. He would play both parts of this little satire from his soul, not mocking the billions of people who habitually practiced their faith in a Deity, rather, an awkward attempt at an anodyne for his pain.

“Yes, Father, on all accounts…” a back spasm interrupted his soliloquy and he sought another position on the bed. He was too tightly wound and needed to move his limbs in some exercises the cute young lady in physical therapy had insisted he practice each day.

Finally, he found some relief and continued with his conversation with the ‘Holy Father’ there in the center of his ceiling. “Yes, Father, many years, and, in conflicting ways, a lifetime ago, yet, now, here, as the filmstrip of my earthly adventure unveils itself to me, my weekly spiritual visits to your Church seems not so far away.”

The man was almost ready to hear a reply. Not to be, he continued.

“So, on to my confession, Father, one, I fear will take more than a few ‘Hail Marys’ and a heavy penitence to absolve.” The man closed his eyes and his face took on a grimace.

“I confess to one of Man’s oldest of the seven sins, Pride. All my life I’ve taken umbrage with people who sully me, sometimes, in simple remarks that attempt to jest and tease. Perhaps that sin comes from a youthful disconnect with family and a poor quality of life. This sin has cost me friends and love connections. It is also truth to say it is the least of my sins.

“I confess to an earlier life rife with excessive sensual pleasures, Lust/Debauchery of the wicked and most wild, orgy-filled, salacious kind. I sought out and experimented with life’s underworld of Bacchus-plus drug madness. There were moments of intense euphoria, gratification, and immoral depravity.

“And, when the days and nights of playing Nero’s mad fiddle ended, there were tears, self-recrimination, times for soul-wrenching and no resolutions: preparation-time, it could be said, for the next ‘big toot’.

“I confess, Father, to periods of Envy, of Sloth, of Gluttony, and of Greed.

“There remains one more sin, Father, that of Wrath. I have saved it for the final portion of my confession because there was a prelude of most, if not all, the seven virtues before its denouement… a period in my life of happiness so fulfilling, so real, that it seemed my life had found its right and true moral compass.

“Having run the gamut of my ‘fiddling’ days, I sought to find a more righteous purpose in my life. A friend of mine who had been lost in the same forest of shame as I invited me to go to church with him on a beautiful Sunday morning in June. After smiling stupidly at the idea, I decided to go…to see how the ‘moral half’ lived.

“Are you still with me, Father? Have I lost you in my recount of decadence?”

The man could almost see the Father’s smile. “How could I not? What with such an interesting life you present to me?”

“You, Father, speak with a forked tongue. You must know it’s the fires of hell I’m destined for!

“Whatever, at the beautiful church with my friend, I met Maureen, a woman of remarkable beauty I felt destiny had placed in my path. We both felt a Karmic bonding and began a long relationship which ended in marriage.

“Our love was pure and, by any standard, storybook. We danced in the moonlight and worked every day at our jobs, saved our money and became wealthy, mostly by her artistic talent and her huge following. We were together all the moments we were not working or at a painting exhibition.

“We had a baby boy who died in his sixth month of an undiagnosed tumor.

“Maureen and I were devastated by Brian’s death, but, for her, there was an emptiness she could not fill. She began drinking. She stopped painting, and fate pulled her from me into the arms of another man. She was still trying to fill the void left by Brian.

“We began to argue, our spats becoming an ugly, yet another obtrusion to our love.

“Last night, Maureen arrived home after midnight, clearly in the mood for another spat. I pleaded with her to go to bed. She became infuriated with me and began slapping me. The slaps made me angry, and I tried to wrap my arms around her to carry her off to bed. She stomped my foot with the heel of her shoe and pushed me backward. I began to fall and grabbed her wrist instinctively to secure my footing. Then, she, too, began to fall, and I let go so she could get her footing. Her head banged loudly into the granite counter in our bar area and she went down onto the carpet, blood spreading out in a profuse flow from the gash. Maureen died last night, Father.”

The man could almost hear the sorrow in the Father’s voice, see the pain on his face through a small imagined window in a small imagined confessional.
On the bed, as tears flowed from the man’s eyes, he saw a pale shadowy figure, an apparition, Maureen, her arms extended toward him, her sad tearful eyes and still beautiful face beckoning to him.

The man’s face was covered in tears, his voice gagging and pitiful gasps, as he thrust the butcher knife upward into his heart.

The bedroom was silent in its darkness as the two wraiths walked across the room to eternity.

*****

Flash Fiction by B R Chitwood –

-From the Archives-

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How Will I Find You?

Thinking one day of my mortality and the next dimension, my thoughts turned to Julie, my wife, my love, and how I would find her there in the land that only the soul can know. These are the words that came to me:*

How Will I Find You?

 There in the light blue sky

Where I look for your face

In the soft white puff of cloud?

 There in the empty chair

Where you once quietly sat

In the room of my solitude?

 There in the now barren garden

Where I once watched you

Kneeling, planting your seeds?

 There along the pristine beach

Where we collected sea glass

Among the gulls and shells?

 Where will you be when I am

In the shadows of tomorrow

A man lost in youth’s sorrow?

 How will I find you, my love

Knowing not where to look

In such a strange new world?

 When my timid spirit wavers 

There in that unknown land

How will you return to me?

 In the darkness that is death

What is God’s demand of me

To atone for sins of life?

 Why does this most peculiar

Etching of words play so

Strongly upon my defiled soul?

*

BR Chitwood November 13, 2020 (From the Archives)

https://www.brchitwood.com

Songs of the Soul

“Soul Songs Sung Softly…”

Songs of the Soul

By BR Chitwood

*

[This post is dedicated to Leah Chrestien:

https://theecstaticstoryteller.wordpress.com%5D

*

So many ‘mystic’ memories coalesce here in my soul, some too nightmarish and obscene on which to dwell, mentioned here only as side notes to a hitchhiking heart that would chase pellucid romantic illusions for a lifetime… Love, family, picket fence, without the negative side-scripts.

This incredible Romantic crusade brought me joy, love, and ultimate soul tremors until the inevitable ‘small things’ became too large, too cumbersome, and the sad ending would come. There, in that desolate mood of self-pity I would languish, absorb too much alcohol, settle for a lady of the evening, and awake in the mornings with hangovers and self-loathing…

This became the routine of my life. Having a college degree and good job, I worked in some sort of sloven capacity during the day, did some TV commercials and acting on the side, and it was seldom I was late for cocktail hour – party time, lady-chasing time, cocktail time.

I married, had kids, divorced in ten years. Must have liked ‘marrying’ because I did it again and again…until I found the ‘perfect lady’ for my imperfect self, NOT in a bar, but at the work-place. She is a lady of outstanding intellect and understanding, a patient person in our nuclear family.

Finally, I turned to my ‘first real love’, writing, I write novels inspired by true crimes, mysteries, thrillers, romance novels, a couple of memoirs, Science-Fic, et al. I’ve written twenty books, 400 blog posts, flash fiction, poetry, and short stories.

We live in Arizona with the Cacti family, the rattlesnake family, other homo sapiens.

I have mellowed with age, no more lady-chasing, bar-hopping, and booze. In fact, I’m a rather dull guy, care for my country, for all of the patriots who gave us freedom and liberty.

One last admission: there are at times the demons in the night, and youthful thoughts that give me hunger for that unruly past.

BR Chitwood – November 11, 2020

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Website and Blog:

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