Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

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BR Chitwood

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“Who do you think you are?”

“What? Who is speaking?”

“You are, Weirdo! You’re talking to yourself.”

“Hmm! Strange! That’s never happened before…”

“Sure, it has, almost daily, in fact.”

“Whoa! Who the hell are you…and, where are you?”

“In your brain, Idiot!”

“Which side?”

“Which side? Which side? What a dumb-ass question… your frontal lobe.”

“Oh, My God! I’m going nuts!”

“Going? You been working on this for some time, dip-shit!”

“Hey, keep it clean!”

“You’re doing the talking, dip-shit!”

“So, I’m going crazy! The ‘Frontal Lobe’ of my brain is talking to me…so, you eavesdrop on everything I think or say. Is that your function? There’s a ‘left’ and a ‘right’ lobe, right? So, what’s your job ‘Lobe-Meister’?”

“Why did I get stuck in your brain? You are a dummy…but, okay, I’m a functionary part of your brain: the ‘left side’ of the lobe controls the right commands; the ‘right side’ controls the left… You’ve never done this before! Why, now? This chat business”?

“’Never done this before’? Hey, Lobe-Meister, this is as new for me as it is for you. It’s not like I requested this meeting…”

“Okay, okay, something is up, and I have to check it out. Are you hurting anywhere?”

“There is a light quaking sound… No pain. Otherwise, I’m sitting here thinking I’m crazy!”

“Don’t take that off the table as a possibility, because I’ve never had this happen before… I will do my ‘due diligence’ and get back to you. For now, go to bed and sleep for hours.”

“Before you go, what’s the difference between the ‘mind’ and the ‘brain’?”

“Huge subject, pardner… The mind can influence the brain, have a ‘mental force’ – check out ‘Neuro Plasticity and The Power of Mental Force’.”

“That’s it? You are leaving me with that? One last thing: Am I going to be hearing from you on a frequent timeline? Do I have a ‘say’ in the matter? If not, please, don’t come at me when I’m making love or out on a date…”

“Sorry, I cannot make any promises…maybe your thought processes will be enough! Bye.”

“Meant to tell you this earlier: your voice sounds really prissy-like…does God include you with every birth?”

“No comment! I said, ‘Good-bye’!”

“Hmmm!”

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BR Chitwood – May 25, 2022

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All 20 of my books with synopses, 500 blog posts, short stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Songs can be found at:

https://www.brchitwood.com

The Author’s Mission

For Me, I Write

BR Chitwood

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Since my mobile and turbulent childhood my head fills with the events and movements of the days, the emotions that come and stay with me until I write about them from some subliminal heart/mind connection the words flow onto the screen of my laptop. I accept them and allow them entry on the page – as though they were destined to be there, an outlet for the subtle joy and pain of the soul…it is my belief that all artistic endeavors come from that similar sort of tingling.

As some subscribers to my blog posts might allow, most of my writing has a ‘Romantic’ cant, from my murder mysteries (some taken from actual crimes) to genres with historical essence, love, poetry, murder, and current events. My writing heroes of the past are many – …Hemingway, Steinbeck, Crane, DeMille, Grisham, to name a few. For Poetry, my favorite is an ex-Priest named James Kavanaugh.

I have written twenty books, their ‘buy sites’, 375 blog posts written over the years, plus poetry and tribute pieces to Arnold Palmer and other notables. That Website/Blog site address is:

https://brchitwood.com

 I hope you will visit my website/blog, look over some of the book synopses, posts, poetry…perhaps you will find something you would like to read…

At least, I can hope!

Wishing all writers and readers my best wishes.

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BR Chitwood – February 28, 2022

https://brchitwood.com

Author BR Chitwood’s Writing

By BR Chitwood

PLEASE VIEW

  1. You sleep while riding a ‘mare’ or ‘dreaming peacefully’. You awake in a ‘bad mood’, snack on quick and easy ‘coffee and toast’ (too much coffee!), and drive to your job – while your kidneys insist on your quick attention…
  2. You sit at your desk, work menial tasks and have your fanciful day dreams and ‘Romantic Thoughts’…
  3. You think of where you and your soulmate will vacation… perhaps a great resort in Aruba or an Ocean Cruise…
  4. Work ends for the day, and you go for cocktails at your favorite pub with your favorite lady…
  5. At home, feeling guilty, you open your laptop and resume writing the manuscript for your new novel…
  6. You take a break, check your E-Mail. There is your new blog message: “5-Star Reads in most genres – 20 books, some based on true crime, Short Stories, Flash Fiction – some books are related to true criminal events: https://brchitwood.com – Also, Romance and Suspense…”
  7. Ah, c’mon! Take a ‘tour’! There are some great books and writing at this website…
  8. If you are a reader, avid or not, you will enjoy the books’ synopses, blog posts, short stories, flash fiction, poetry.  
  9. ‘Thank you’ from the author – and good reading!

BR Chitwood – February 24, 2022

https://brchitwood.com

https://twitter.com@brchitwood

https://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

Killing Machines

Actress Brutally Murdered! Unsolved in Phoenix, Arizona

Killing Machines?

BR Chitwood

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Not so fast!

Killing someone with a gun, hammer, fists, eyes blazing with sadistic, satanic glee must be the most despicable human trait. Yet, somehow, in a hostile war between countries, our warriors are trained to blow their enemies to bloody fragments in many number of ways, and, in the process, find reason to celebrate their victories…it is the essential nature of the warriors – their training includes film, hand-to-hand combat, all numbers of ways to destroy their enemies.

Most of us cannot fathom the beasts within those of us who hate so fervently and vindictively that we cannot control the terrible urges that possess us. Real war builds those elements within us, particularly those of us who live a sheltered life in our religious groups and our private ways of life.

Being a veteran of one of our wars and having lived up close and personally with a good lady friend of my wife and me. That lovely young lady was a secretary for two attorney friends of mine, an actress/model who shared living quarters with my wife briefly before our marriage.

 During one record-hot summer day of a Phoenix, Arizona August evening this lovely lady was savagely murdered in the Northeast desert of Phoenix and left there by the killer for two record-heat weeks to be ravaged by desert denizens and her body unrecognizable… She was found by two terrified young boys during their rock-hunting hobby and rushed to tell police of their find.

My wife, I, and friends of this lady were devastated with the news and mad as hell when we were finally told by the newspapers of the method of her murder. The killer’s method of murdering her, the newspaper told us…the bastard dragged her through the desert, stopping every few yards to slam large rocks down upon her head. The case is now closed, and the beast is still out there somewhere, his crime unsolved.

This case, so far as I know, is still an ‘Unsolved Closed Case’ in the Phoenix PD files. Please, if you have any information about this case, please contact the Phoenix Police Department. Thank you…

Being an author, I ultimately wrote a fictional novel of my friend’s homicide, using library microfiche for the only facts available about the case. That book became the first book of my ‘Bailey Crane Six-Book Mystery Series’. The title of the book: “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery” (Book 1). You can find it on Amazon or the ‘buy site’ at my blogsite/Website:

https://brchitwood.com under ‘Books by BR Chiwood’.

 Thank you and always, good reading…

https://twitter.com  @brchitwood

https://facebook.com/billyray.chitwoodC

Conundrum Craziness

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Conundrum Craziness

BR Chitwood

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No!

Not, AOC!

Not, ‘Building Back Better’!

We waken in the morning…

Not, ‘Covid’ and mad Scientist…

We drink coffee, eat, go to work, or, retired from the ‘bee buzzing’, we read. go to our computers to display our ‘genius’ and/or idiocy, write blog posts or books, watch crazy news, read, settle into our favorite habits, find boredom preference in our routines…

After all, we are retired, no longer fighting AM and PM traffic…

We become habitual and wary of our existence…

Some political scenarios make us feel so uncertain about our world and day-to-day lives…

I look out the big windows by my office and see a clear blue sky, an inviting sun, a mountain, a pool, a relaxing seating area, and debate with myself whether or not to finish this post – actually, forgetting the original purpose for the post, other than more railing about our unpredictable political structure, the build-up of Russian troops on the border of Ukraine…

Easy decision…

Actually, the world has not changed all that much since I once cared to debate the political stature of our governments, their leaders, and the political tendencies of neophytes who would make our world so much better…

Hell, I’m poolside, not that anyone will be contacting me about anything I care about…

I look at my lovely wife! “Hey, milady, you going to read, play with your laptop, or you coming poolside with me?

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BR Chitwood – February 3, 2022

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Anyone interested can check out my 20 books, each book with synopsis and buy site, my 275 blog posts, my many Flash Fiction and Short Stories…

https://brchitwood.com

https://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

(Other author sites as well.)

Until the End

Until the End

BR Chitwood 

So, it seems I shall be ending this fascinating life adventure as I entered it, confounded by the sounds of jubilation and tears, yet, without a kindly grandmother slapping my rear end to bring the breath of life to a reluctant new birth in a small clapboard house in Appalachia, a saw mill hamlet of dirt roads and a railroad spur for bringing logs to the primary employer of most of its scant population of farmers, most of whom were in a prolonged ‘Great Depression’.

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As a man ready for his final destiny, a man with precious little of consequence for the reader who might chance upon these few words I write here, the words will have little historic value or any other kind of value that would perpetuate a useful understanding except for some amusing and pathetic experiences. At best, the words herein have been written by many others facing their final breaths of air on this orbital craft that ended up with the name of ‘Earth’.

So, skipping over my apathetic problems with school and teenage acne, some good buddies, and a couple of young ladies I was too dull and dim-witted to approach, and an early entry into the United States Navy, marriage to a ‘Navy Wave’ with her own confused history, college, teaching, and emotional experiences that not only paralyzed me but would put me on the path of unrighteousness…yes, alcohol and lovely women of the night – indeed, a shameful and wonderful foray into an almost every night ‘Whoop-de-do’.

Mistakes of a shameful quality?  

A ‘big time’ Uh-Huh! Years of willful neglect to career and inner peace. Still, it was fun and disaster – now, you know where the phrase came from, wait for it! ‘Honkytonk-Heaven’ or, ‘Neon Madness’.

So much time wasted?

I suppose – but it was my life for a time. Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias wrote and performed the lyrics and music For All the Girls I’ve Loved Before. It is a song I should have written. In other words, I could not have written a better epilogue for my life.

 My good wife of nearly forty years has encouraged me in my writing efforts, always steadfast and loyal. She also with her love and unselfish nature brings a smile to each new day.

Somehow, in the aging process, I found the gift of writing, much of it venting moments of my life.

Twenty books – some based on true crimes, some in different genres, give glimpses into my life…Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Biography.

Short Stories,  FlashFiction., Poetry and over 375 Blog Posts!

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Perhaps, I have atoned for some of my ‘low spots’ in life… Regardless, my writing speaks ‘Truth’, and it is my hope that readers can find in my books not only the joy of reading but some essence of inspiration. All my writing can be found at: https://brchitwood.com complete with synopses and Amazon Buy Sites.

Wishing everyone a happy and frustration-free 2022, with the scourge of Covid and Omicron all in our rearview mirrors.

Cogito Ergo Sum

What is Real?

by

BR Chitwood

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‘Cogito Ergo Sum’!

You think, therefore, you are!

Or:

‘I think, therefore, I am’!

In the day when Philosophy might have had a more urgent importance and significance, I wonder if Descartes’ singular ‘Cogito’ utterance and treatise would be one of the most recognized phrases in school rooms around the world, particularly those rooms where hungry minds were more inquisitive about their world and their existence in it.

In my Appalachian world of youth, it would never have occurred to me to question my existence…there were enough ‘negatives’ in my early life to keep my mind swirling with confusion and doubts – no intention to gain sympathy, just depicting my early life when our country was going through some ‘trying times’…well, kind of like, NOW!

I can say with certainty that my mind has no problem accepting the fact that I ‘think’ and I ‘exist’! Those days still linger, still bring occasional thought-demons and over-think. Decisions, mistakes have been made in my life, but, overall, there has been happiness and love to offset the bad stuff.

Descartes had some important influence in my college education, made me more aware of my lack of knowledge.

The tiny thesis I am putting forth in this post is that my

problem these days is that I ‘think’ too much in lieu of looking at the beautiful Arizona sky, writing, enjoying life with wife, home, and our wonderful children. So, Descartes brought back to me some simplicity to my life.

Hopefully, I can pass on some of this trivial verbiage to those who can embrace this sequitur nonsense.

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BR Chitwood – December 2, 2021

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Please read synopses of my 20 books, read my over 375 blog posts, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry…

https://www.brchitwood.com

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Follow me on Twitter:

https://www.twitter.com @brchitwood

Follow me on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

Also, LinkedIn and other sites…

Twenty books of Fiction and Truth — 5-STAR reads, PLUS over 370 blog posts, Short Stories, Flash Fiction,…the writings of BR Chitwood

3 of my 20 books PLUS over 370 Blog Posts, Short Stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry !

SEE ALL TWENTY BOOKS of Fiction and MemoirS & POSTS AT:

https://brchitwood.com

BR Chitwood

Twenty (20) Books of Fiction (Some based on true crimes) and Memoirs, PLUS 370 + blog posts (Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry: https://brchitwood.com

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Who Am I?

BR Chitwood

Who am I?

Not a terribly original question, perhaps one that is often asked over the course of one’s life. What got me to thinking about the question are the genres in which I write my books – mystery (some inspired by true events), romance, bio/memoir, political thought. So much of my writing deals with the underbelly of life, the bad elements in our society, the evil people who live among us – fictionally or in fact. It must be my admission that at times it bothers me that I focus my writing so much on a salacious news report about someone being sexually assaulted, people being horribly murdered, an awful pedophile hurting or killing our children, or some dark and greedy enterprise. Another aspect relative to the question is my concern that the books I’ve written are not necessarily going viral.

Don’t mind me. I feel that much of my life has been spent in introspection, analyzing myself as I lie awake in the night, as I drive the open road, as I view television or a sad movie, even in the middle of a conversation. It’s my way of trying to piece together another part of me that is unknown to me. Maybe in some sort of loose and nebulous nexus I’m creating everyman, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The way I’m built, the crazy DNA I carry inside, does cause me concern. So much emotion and mobility in my early building stages accounts for the calculus here. I’ve always been drawn to the action, crime, drama, mystery, and suspense of the big screen or tube. My wife loves comedies and musicals, the ‘Hallmark Movies’, and neatly trimmed family adventures. I started out loving cowboy movies, then graduated to the more fast-paced ‘True Lies’ and ‘Jesse Stone’ types. That’s all okay for different likes and dislikes. There’s a spiritual part of me that nudges the soul now and then to write something wholesome, like a strong Christian story with an uplifting theme for all ages… Hopefully, one day I shall satisfy that nudge.  

If you had not noticed, I’m rambling and trying to figure an apt finish to this post.

Here it is.

I’m doing all this word vacillation when it comes down to this. There is a lot of me in what I write, in the characters I create, and in the plots. There is fun in the penning of my tales, and I experiment with my writing. There are times when I organize a book – in my fashion – and there are times when I simply allow the characters to take me where it is they want to go… This is likely to make a ‘writing purist’ cringe. For me, the process of writing can take any form a person wishes. The readers ultimately will decide if our writing efforts are worthy.

That brings me to the final point of this post.

Writing is enough for me, the process itself…most of the time. Believing I’m under no delusions of grandeur, I truly feel my words are strung together well and tell compelling stories. I get 5-Star reviews which make me feel jubilant. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are used daily and perhaps for some, ad nauseam. I admit to a certain ineptness in this digital world, but I’m doing so many things to get people to read s books. Apparently, I’m not doing, nor am I capable of doing some of the things I need to be doing. An old man (me) dusted off some manuscripts, rewrote, edited them, wrote several new books along the way, and self-published them. My first ‘Bailey Crane Mystery’ (“Probable Cause”) was picked up by a publisher, eventually went out of print – that book is now “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery” Book One. There are six ‘Bailey Crane’ books in the series – the original book two manuscripts (“Stranger Abduction”) was done on a Star-Writer word processor and the manuscript was lost. Thus, there are six ‘Bailey Crane’ books in lieu of seven. Eventually, I rewrote “Stranger Abduction.”

The final point is taking longer than expected.

The mistake was made, I believe, in coming out with so many books in such a short time. There were no ‘launching parties’ for the books, no book tours, and there was very little internet plugging. Add to that, I’m no longer a young man who can keep the pace of author book signings, events of one kind or another, or other vital networking avenues. So, the point is this: my books are good, and I would like to see them in the hands of readers. Yes, writing is enough for me most of the time, but I do get hungry for reader reaction. Like most authors, I would hope for some gratification. My books are bought too infrequently, and I am at a loss to find some magic buttons to push… Of course, I could turn the books over to someone specializing in all phases of marketing, but that of course is costly.

Sometime ago I did a KDP giveaway of five of my books for five days (likely, it should have been one book instead of five). It looks like some seven hundred total all books were given away during that time, with much tweeting, much Facebook activity, much Goodreads and LinkedIn activity, with my weekly blog announcing the giveaway.

Baring one’s soul is perhaps foolhardy and senseless, but there it is.

What you need to do, kind followers of my blog, other than commiserating, is to start a viral situation with my 20 books and the 370+ blog posts – short stories, flash fiction, and poetry…having not the foggiest idea of how you will do that. Do not worry if you fall short of doing either, the viral thing or commiserating, will still have me doing a weekly blog, valuing you – and still writing my books, flash fiction, and short stories.

Here are the various links to my books and to me.

Please take a look… https://brchitwood.com

BR Chitwood – Tuesday – 11/16/21

Many of my books are inspired by true events favored with Amazon 5-stars reviews…  

https://www.brchitwood.com – My Website & Blog (20 books w/synopses + BUY SITES 370+ blog posts, short stories, Flash fiction, poetry…

Please Follow me on https://twitter.com (@brchitwood)

https://facebook.com.billyray.chitwood

Also on Goodreads, LinkedIn and other book and ‘Universal Buy Sites’…

Mama’s Madness – Book Review

Here is my Favorite Amazon Review of MAMA’S MADNESS, one of many readers’ descriptive  views of a novel inspired by a real ‘Mama from Hell’ – If you have not read this book, up front, it is glaring in its fulfilling the evil displayed by a woman possessed of the devil.

In scouring ‘newspaper articles’ one lazy Sunday on the Sea of Cortez in Rocky Point, Mexico, I ran across this ‘mother’ in Northern California who totally and demonically tortured her children, particularly the three daughters – the boys, not so much. She murdered two of the daughters, transporting them to the high Sierras, placing their bodies inside cardboard boxes, and setting them afire…

The writing of the monstrocities of this mother from hell was paused from time to time for tears to drop on the laptop keys, so ugly, so far from any modern-day reality I had known, but I wrote it because the world needed to know that monsters lived among us (and, sure, I’m an author and wanted to write a ‘best seller’), that parents should be wary at all times, at the park, on school grounds, at home, anywhere their children and/or other children might play.

Of all the great reviews recorded on Amazon, the following review I single out here because it thrills me that someone likes my ‘writing’ that he would submit such an awesome book review. The reasons are obvious: the encouragement to continue my writing, that there are eager readers of well-written prose and poetry awaiting another book of comparable quality.

My endearing ‘thank you’ to John Howell, fellow author and genuine wordsmith…

If you have not read the book, here is where you can preview all the books by BR Chitwood and BUY SITES: http://www.billyraychitwood.com

Blog posts of the author (well over 300 plus) can be found at: http://www.brchitwood.com

Here is John Howell’s 5-Star book review of the book, MAMA’S MADNESS…

  So Well Written
By John W. Howell on July 8, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition

Mama’s madness is a work of fiction, but according to the author Billy Ray Chitwood, there are some inspirations from actual criminal behavior. This is a story about the meanest, lowlife, straight razor totin’ woman named Tamatha Preen. She is the mother of six kids and the ex-wife of four husbands.
Although this seems a little abnormal in everyday life, compared to mama’s proclivities having four husbands is normal in comparison. Let’s say mama has some problems and as you can guess the children are the ones who bear the brunt of her mental issues. To describe any of the abusive behaviors would be courting spoilers, so I’m just going to summarize by saying mama is evil.

The writing in this story is so good the reader feels like a transportation into the scenes has taken place. The descriptions of people, places, and events are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Mr. Chitwood has been blessed with a golden pen (or keyboard). He can show the reader all the sights, sounds, and smells of each scene through a tapestry that only can be woven by a perfectionist literary genius. I think that pretty much describes Billy Ray Chitwood. He has honed his writing art, and there is no more exquisite example of the resulting output than this book. I would recommend Mama’s madness to anyone who enjoys a deeply disturbing story told effectively and with great taste.
*****

BR Chitwood – May 17, 2020

Please preview my books:

http://www.billyraychitwood.com 

Please follow my blog:

http://www.brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

 

The Power Merchants

The Power Merchants

I cannot stop writing, so I’m throwing another book out there, and, hey, Twilight and back to my beloved desert in Arizona has given me either a brain-strain or a pleasant sense of longevity.

Whatever the hell it is, I am in step with it. The mind seems to be working well until I miss putting a period at the end of a sentence.

The book is the thing, though, and I’m feeling spry enough to say this novel of over 40,000 words is one of my best, tho I thought “Mama’s Madness” or “Stranger Abduction” or “A Common Evil” or “An Arizona Tragedy” or “Dominique” or – okay, I’ll stop ‘showing off’ – would bring me a small zephyr of success. Coupled with my lack of book marketing sense and my trying to be a comedian at the same time have completely embarrassed me to the point of tears. It is okay if grown men cry…a lot.

The book, dummy, get to the book.

The Power Merchants has a lot of themes about which to narrate: Love, Murder, Love (oops), Political Intrigue (or, Disgust, if most of you prefer), and our ‘Isolation Pet’, Covid-19, and our world today, drawing it all down to Scottsdale, AZ, the US, and, well, the world.

Putting Charlie McCarthy away for the Summer, here, please, just read ‘The Prologue’ and ‘Chapter One’ for free, decide if it might be a novel you want to read further. I am in the final stages of editing, so the book will be out in a week or so.

The only commitment I need is that all 500,000 of you lovely people BUY the book AND write AMAZON REVIEWS, and the first 100,000 people get their costs back. That is not so tough, right?

(Charly, you are down for the Summer. Be quiet, please.)

He is just kidding around, folks.

Can you let me know how you like the book cover?

Believe me, this is my best work since my last twenty books. Without that ‘further ado’ some people talk about, I give you the Prologue and a scary Chapter One

Please, enjoy.

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[From BR Chitwood’s – May 2020 novel:

“The Power Merchants”]

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Prologue

She was a dazzling lady with long platinum hair in a perfect rhythmic bounce on her shoulders, without a stray maverick wisp out of place. Her cameo face, a near gemstone carved by a Master, her joyous blue eyes twinkling as she walked toward me. Her tanned body was covered by a soft mauve fabric that possessively clung to every curve of her body with every magical step she took. She could have been a Hollywood starlet made up beautifully for her role in an epic movie, portraying a ‘golden girl’ of Hollywood’s early days.

Watching her approach, I stole a glance over each of my shoulders to see if she was making those erogenous steps for me or someone behind me.

No one behind me, just a wall I forgot was there. OMG, she is walking to me.

With a coquettish smile of full lips made up of a soft and non-glaring shade of red matching her dress, she took loveliness to a completely new standard. She came to a stop at my high table and stools. All eyes in the posh Princess VP Lounge were upon her as she strode elegantly toward me.

She spoke and her voice matched all the rest of her, like mellow harp music in a grand arbor of lilacs and roses.

“You are Bradley Benedict and you match perfectly the description given of the gentleman with whom I was asked to keep company this evening – in a ‘nice way’, of course.” She gave me another erogenous move that I suspected no other woman could ever duplicate.”

I attempted a response, but she was obviously not through with her introduction…

“Do you mind terribly, Bradley, if we go to the lower tables and cushiony chairs in the Princess Dinner Lounge? It is more comfortable, and the music is so soft and pleasant there.”

“I don’t suppose…” The lounge music began its long session, and she was unable to hear me above the rumble of drums, bass, guitar, and horn.

I stood, smiled, loudly told the waiter to transfer my tab to the restaurant lounge, and the lovely lady and I strolled slowly the short distance to the other, more sedate, lounge.

The Princess Lounge was a large intimate room clothed in a magical lighting that seemed to sweep through the room with unobtrusive and delicate alternating shades of pleasing colors – if the shades were colors at all, but only subtle shifts at certain locations of the room. I could never tire of this lounge were I to have dinner with a special someone like the gorgeous lady who just joined me. The room was elegant in its leather comfort and sundry accouterments – fresh flowers, their scents an intoxicating pleasure in breathing, sculptures of high quality, notable portraits of prominent dignitaries on the golden-hued walls. The Princess Dinner Lounge was the epitome of consummate beauty, luxury and refinement.

In this truly magnificent environment, our drinks ordered, I spoke: “This is quite sudden, but then, how could I not accept such an offer from one so beautiful? You have me awkwardly off-balance, lovely lady. You know my name. I don’t know yours.”

“Christie Conway. Oh, Bradley, this lounge takes my breath away in its beauty.”

She paused, about to say something else, so I asked: “Yes, it is a magnificent room, and I’m delighted you like it. May I ask: to whom do I owe for such lovely company this evening? I can hardly wait for the answer to that question.”

With a slight shift in her soft lounge chair and a subtle smile that invited me to end all protocols, to rise from my own comfortable chair, to take a stride to her side, to lean and kiss those luscious lips, she said, “I’m sorry, Bradley, I’m sworn to secrecy.”

When I recovered from that impulsive moment, I responded. “So, are you with an agency that caters to requests like, ‘keeping company’ with men who might be in the throes of divorce, middle-age, or senility?”

“You know, it just occurred to me, we have names that form ‘BB’ and ‘CC’. Can we use those initials tonight?” Ah, she was changing the subject.

“And, pretty Miss, you didn’t answer my question. Are you with an agency, CC?”

“No, BB. I’m an unworking actress.”

“Here in Phoenix? Wait, wait, I have seen you on TV commercials. Did you act in California on one of the daily ‘soaps’?”

“Yes, and yes.”

“Okay, tell me, what is this all about? Is someone playing a colossal joke on me?”

“I don’t know about that, BB. I was just paid to give you company at dinner and to give you an envelope at my departure.”

CC reached into her purse and pulled out a small manila envelope.

I reached for the envelope, and she pulled it out of my reach and said: “I was told to give it to you upon my leaving tonight, so, if you want to skip buying me dinner I’ll give the envelope to you now, and leave.” She smiled sweetly.

“Would you like to leave now, CC?”

“No. I find you a handsome man, easy to talk to. I think we would have a fun evening, again, in a ‘nice way’.”

“I’m flattered. Thank you. Can you tell me anything about the person or persons who asked you to be here tonight? You are beautiful, and I would love to buy you dinner and spend the evening with you – in a ‘nice way’.” I smiled but I was sure the smile and eyebrow lift conveyed no gallantry at all.

“I was only told by the agency to be here tonight. The agency gets a percentage of the money. I can only say that I would not expect my agency to send me out for anything not lawful.”

Soft romantic music began to flow through the hidden speakers, audible enough to enhance and please any mode of conversation.

We talked, had dinner, and, at our parting in the parking lot we instinctively kissed – not a kiss of lovers but with perhaps a hint of that ‘goal’ in mind. She handed me the envelope and walked away to her car, stopping once to look back and give me a wave. That had to mean something.

Yeah, she was making sure you were not following her.

I absently put the envelope in my sport coat inside pocket and went to my car.

My mind berated me with thoughts…

You dummy. No phone number. No address. You are daft.

I tried, but she changed the subject.

You should have tried again. You are some ‘Romeo’.

*

Chapter One

The bikini-clad blonde on the large billboard looked down on me with a smile that said she loved me, and some uncontrollable part of me had the gall to convince my middle anatomy to get alert for action. That, as a full-body numbing buzz came and filled my total awareness with razor-sharp pains in all parts of my disabled bone and flesh.

First, though, I needed to remember why the hell I was lying in this ditch some fifty yards from what looked like a state highway. The area was too isolated to be a major road. At this point I saw no traffic at all.

Uh-oh, another sharp jolt just sparked my brain, letting me know where the pain was coming from. Just when I figured the pain was coming from the right side of my body and figured it was time for me to move, the left side of my head near the eye urgently warned me, ‘do not move quite yet’.

I closed my eyes tightly as though that might offer some sanity to the moment, but it only added to the pain. After softly touching my rib cage, carefully moving my feet and hands, after touching a spot above my left forehead, I felt the large wide lump with a long gaping valley running along my forehead, I let out a sharp cry when I touched bone some centimeters down, a half-inch above the eyebrow. The exquisite pain threw me back, slamming my head into a boulder I did not know was there, and one more yell came. With the yell came more pain, and some part of the engine inside me was fit enough to allow me some self-pity.

Self-Pity?

How did I get to self-pity when I did not even know my name? For whatever the stupidity, that thought had a consoling effect.

I lay there, not moving because both sides of my body were denying that simple task. So, I lay there, thinking. How the hell did I get here? That thought was swallowed up with the previous jarring truth. I did not know who and what to call me.

I did not know me.

Oh, my God.

The panic now lodged there in my crowded brain made me try again to get up out of the ditch, but I only fell back to my earthen bed of the moment – dusty earth, gravel, and the afore-mentioned boulder.

Some knowledge bade me take long deep breaths and not try to figure it all out. I guess some ruling gene from the cranial pool was trying to settle me down with the fact that my mind and body were going through a totally awesome shut-down, and, again, how do I get ‘there’ when I don’t even know my name and how and why fate put me here?

I lay there, taking deep breaths until sharp stabbing ouches hit me. I tried to calm my thinking. All events have reasons, good and bad. It would come to me. ‘Just relax’, I kept telling myself.

Lying still there, the pain was not so bad, and that bikini-blonde beauty was still trying to get me erected. In this state of pain, how the hell can that be?

Smiling lamely and with pain at my silly thoughts I kept my gaze on the billboard.

At some point, I felt like I was going to pass out, a slow swooning sensation, not pain so much.

That is when I heard movement among the dirt and gravel.

The thoughts came hard and fast. What can I do? I can hardly move.

Then I screamed at what I saw within ten feet of me.

It was a Mojave Rattlesnake.

Once again, how the deuce would I know about Mojave rattlesnakes when I do not even know my name? Then, another weird thought hit me, a movie I saw – Harrison Ford in Temple of Doom. Indiana Jones hated snakes, and he ran like hell from them.

That thought came at me from Hell’s murky furnace, and, hating snakes with good movie company, I rushed on ‘auto-pilot’ to get up, and the excruciating pain took me back to sudden darkness on my earthen bed of dirt and gravel.

Thoughts can be obnoxious – my last bit of thinking as the pain took me again to the nether world of abject unconsciousness: at least I will not see the wiggly bastard finish me off…

*****

Okay, you friends and readers out there, that is all you get for now, so, let me know your thoughts.

 Best wishes to all.

BR Chitwood – 5/1/20

 *

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