Life’s Potpourri of Sweet Madness

“The Cracked Mirror” was written as much for me as for the reading public, but the book does go a long way in outlining the not so whirlwind aspects of my existence…

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 Life’s Potpourri of Sweet Madness

By BR Chitwood

*

I’ve lived life, some of it given to writing novels, short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and songs, much too much of it given to chasing the illusive butterflies in my mind…a cute euphemistic couplet for looking for love in liquor-juice joints where pretty perfumed  ladies congregate to diminish the aroma of alcohol and smoke and make themselves available if the matching system worked its magic…it was, one might say, a large part of my existence. (Call it a lure to one of my twenty books, a memoir titled “The Cracked Mirror.”)

“The Cracked Mirror” was written as much for me as for the reading public, but the book does go a long way in outlining the not so whirlwind aspects of my existence. If anyone could be interested in a ‘hill boy’s story’, the book is on Amazon. Had the book been available when I was teaching ‘Writing’, I would have brazenly made it ‘required reading’…under the hyped heading of ‘How Not to Live Your Life’.

The truth is, like so many lives, there have been for me awe and wonder, beauty, college, the US Navy, film and acting work, lovely women, marriages, divorces, children to die for – my own and the satellite children as well. The offset: Sadness and too much Regretting. All in all, I equate my life with so many others. Each of us has these elements in our lives. There are good decisions and there are bad decisions, good dreams, bad dreams.

.

So, writing sustains me, gives me a voice in the great scheme of things, and, maybe a few people will read me, feel somehow benefitted by the flow of my words.

I just write and do very little marketing except for blog posts and Twitter.

At least, I’m out there in the ‘Sphere’!

*.

BR Chitwood – March 30, 2021

*

See my 20 books/blog posts/poetry at:

https://www.brchitwood.com

Follow me on twitter.com/@brchitwood“TheCr

Living in My World

Living in my world in all its guises has been a wild ride on a carnival ‘Tilt-a-Whirl’, an up-down Roller Coaster, Blended therein with love and matters of the Soul…

Living in My World

By BR Chitwood

*

Living in my world

In all its guises

Has been a wild ride

On a Carnival ‘Tilt-a-Whirl’,

An Up-down Roller Coaster,

Blended therein with Love

And matters of the Soul:

Empty moments, dull, void;

Danger moments of emotion;

Beautiful ‘Lady moments’,

Romantic and poetic in

Their magical essence.

Not so much has mattered

Living in my world, not

Business, not budgets, but

Those happy, Quixotic moments.

Other than a childhood of

Mood uncertainties and poverty,

I measure Living in my world

By those who have given me

Love, Hope, and Family.

There is also the gifts God

Gave me: a good, caring wife,

My final Remedy and Romance.;  

A need to write of my living

Through books of fiction,

Non-Fiction, Poetry, and

My World of Living –

Twenty books, over 370

Blog posts, including Flash

Fiction, Short Stories, and Poetry.

My World of Living is told

On and between the lines of

My writing…

Good or Bad?

I say, GOOD!

Is that not what you would

Expect me to say?

Read a few of my books and

Let me Know!

*

BR Chitwood – March 25, 2021

View my books/synopses at:

https://www.brchitwood.com

Follow me on Twitter.com/@brchitwood  

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-

Please preview my books/blogs at:

https://www.brchitwood.com

Please follow me on:

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood

Times Square and Anna

“…when you caught between the moon and New York City”

©Times Square and Anna

By BR Chitwood

Sleep avoided me – could not find that one position that would settle into a comfortable and lengthy dream about a pretty lady and a ‘happy ending’. Since I was unattached and near thirty years of age, finding a Soul Mate had become the number one priority.

Truth be known, I gave up on the evening too early. Nothing turned my motor on in TV land and I concluded the funk was for real.

There was the one lovely lady at the Ad Agency, but we ran our course and found those things about each other that gnawed at us. I was beginning to think, maybe I should have worked harder at the relationship. But, no, when there is an unremovable block in an affair, the chances are nil to none for working it out.

I made my decision, got out of bed, put on some casual duds, brushed my thick short-cut black hair, sprayed on some Aramis, stepped out into the Manhattan night.

It was still relatively early in the evening, and I could hit some of the nicer lounges and dinner houses near Times Square. There were no cabs needed for those places. All were relatively short walks.

Weather-wise it was a lovely evening and the air was filled with restaurants’ steak smells with an essence blend, like, perfumes, colognes, a nice aromatic sensation.

Passing an alleyway near 5th Avenue, my ears picked up a sound down that dark stretch of a woman’s voice. It was not a fun and game kind of noise. There was repetition, panic building in each mouthed word and phrase. Clearly, there was a woman in trouble.

 These are moments for which I am not built. I am basically a coward, not wanting to engage in any kind of dangerous activity.

The woman’s distraught voice came again and again, my mind at war with itself.

Good God! What to do? I can’t just stand here, my body all atremble, like an automaton whose juice has been cut off.

I had to do something!

From whence it came I cannot begin to know. It was all alien to my way of life. Some inner force got me running toward the voice in trouble some 50-100 yards away. The darkness was thick black, the only wisps of light coming from an unclear sky and some old faded wall markers.

Somehow, within my suddenly activated body an unknown reservoir of bravery urged me on.

Fifty yards ahead I saw the man with a glistening object in his hand, holding down the woman with his legs, hitting her with his fist, ripping at her dress with the knife.

My footsteps and screams finally reached the ears of the assailant, and he attempted to get up and attack me, but the lady on the ground hit him full-force with her right foot to his crotch.

The man doubled over, and I rushed in and slammed my fists hard into his face and body. I don’t know how many times I hit the man, but he finally lay inert and completely out cold on the black pavement.

I went to the young dark-haired lady with blood on her cheeks and blouse, helped her to her feet. She held onto me for long moments and muttered ‘thank you, thank you’. As she clung to me with fingers eager for safe purchase, she told me her name was Anna Buckley. She looked to be her late twenties of early thirties…a very lovely lady.

I used my cell phone to call the police and ambulance. They both arrived quickly.

 “I’m so sorry, Anna, you’re hurt, but why were you in this alley way in the first place? My name, by the way is Grant Morehouse.”

“He grabbed me on the street, put his hand over my mouth and dragged me here. I’m sorry to involve you, Grant.”

“Hey, I finally did a heroic act, Anna. I’m as surprised as anyone in my world will be…. Are you feeling okay?”

“I think so. I’m a bit sore in places. Don’t think I’ll be working on society dress patterns tomorrow, however.”

“Ah, would that be ‘High Society, Inc.’?”

“Yes, it would.” She smiled through some pain.

“Good we’ll have the hospital check you out. I don’t think they will find anything major, just some bruising, maybe some cuts where he ripped your dress. I’ll stay with you at the hospital until the examination is over and we get a prognosis and how long they may want to keep you. That okay with you?’

“That would be wonderful, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your plans.”

“I have no plans, Anna. I was just taking a stroll because I couldn’t sleep. I’m just glad I could help.”

The police hauled the bad guy away, asked a few questions, and Anna was taken quickly to the hospital. I sat on a bench next to her as the ambulance swiftly sped through the streets of Manhattan. Along the way, we did some serious ‘Q&A’ and got better acquainted. Her last name went well with her first name – Anna Anselmo.

I went into the ER and stayed with her during a long wait for her examination. I stayed with her until her sister came to take her home – an apartment quite close to my own, as fate would have it.

My part in Anna’s assault still surprises me, how I reacted, and, somehow, I feel very good about myself and can see a quality within my psyche that awakens a proud part of me I never knew existed. It is no doubt natural that I see myself a bit differently now.

You deserve to know that Anna and I are seeing each other with some regularity. We have become quite attached…that’s enough for you to know at the moment.  

It’s still amazing to me that fate came along with me for my stroll that night, keeping me awake to life in Manhattan.

“…when you get caught between the moon and New York City…” For reasons I knew very well, “Arthur’s Song” would not leave my mind.

The End

***

Flash Fiction/Short Story by:

BR Chitwood

Website & Blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

#Blog, #Short Story, #Flash Fiction, #violence, #BoyMeetsGirl, #IAN1, #RRBC, #asmsg, #thewritingcommunity, #Arthur’sSong, #CaughtBetweenTheMoon&NYC

Within These Walls

Within These Walls

By BR Chitwood

The scowl on the old man’s face, the fierce intensity of his stare, was unsettling to the vain young man waiting in the dimly-lit parlor for his ‘new girl’ college inamorata. Fifteen minutes had passed since the house madam showed him to this huge chair – a stuffed monstrosity that swallowed his body.

Ben Willows was not accustomed to long waits and inconveniences. He was a football star   for the Carville Lions, a team destined for the top spot in the Indiana State Finals. Brittany Beale, the ‘new girl’, would learn he was not to be kept waiting.

Willows sent his own scowl back to the portrait hanging over the parlor’s concave fire place…he added some twisted, wide-eyed facial grimaces for added self-indulgence. In a rather common practice among his football friends he extended a rigid right-hand middle finger at the long-haired square-faced man in the painting.

He looked at his wristwatch, shook his head in further disgust and began his habit of pumping his right foot up and down. Eyes fixed on the Parlor portrait, Willows could swear the scowl on the old man’s face had morphed into bulging blood-shot eyes filled with hatred, the wrinkles deeper with hideous hues of darkness and menace. The long hair on the old man’s head looked longer, more unruly, and tinged with a garish dark gray satanic pose. The eyes were near hypnotic with hatred, his ugly scabby lips stretched in gritted madness. With all of this there was a sense of movement to the concave area, like a television screen changing in size.

Was this some fancy ‘motion’ portrait that the electronics companies developed? A new toy to get a rise out of people. Well, he did not find it at all entertaining. It was but a sorry gruesome nuisance. Ben would not be picking up Brittany at this address again. they would arrange to meet elsewhere. He felt a tinge of anger that she would not have told him of this parlor nonsense.

Ben Willows yelled angrily for the house madam but got no reply. He repeated his yelling but deep silence was the only reply. With his long wait, the scowl in the painting was now becoming scary, chilling moments for Willows despite his fearlessness.

Willows felt a numbness settle within his body and he was confused with the building fear and angst he never before had felt. He tried to lift himself from the chair but could not. He felt his body’s desire to move but he could provide no navigational assistance.

He finally felt a looseness come back to this body and he carefully put his hands on the chair’s arms and lifted his body. A small smile came to his face and left quickly when he felt his body slammed back into the chair.

Panic became total with no way for him to control it. The cold sweat over his entire body gave way to uncontrollable relief functions and a feeling of embarrassment that brought tears to his eyes.

“What do you want from me?” he wildly screamed. “What is this? Is it an initiation I’m not aware of? Come on…this is too much. Where is Brittany?” Then, he yelled her name with an anger mixed with pleading.

Music came suddenly to the room, low and foreboding, mixed with shrieking Cello breaks.

Twelve hooded figures of different shapes and sizes dressed in black robes and matching cone hats marched into the parlor and formed a circle around Ben Willows chair.

Willows watched as each hooded person one by one removed something from their attire.

“What’s happening?” Willows squealed.

He was answered with silence.

A circular portion of the tiled flooring slowly sank six feet from Willows’ position. The circular parameter of walls and flooring of the pit was glazed mortar, brick, and metal.

“Please tell me what’s going on.”

The taller hooded figure finally spoke, a small flashlight shining down on some script from which he began to read.

“Ben Willows, you have violated by your past unlawful actions, herein described, our   Codified, historic supplements to our special town’s charter and legal summations…”

“Whoa! Hey, I’ve done nothing wrong in Carville. You’ve got the wrong guy…this is crazy. This house is crazy. You robed geeks are crazy. Let me out of here…where’s Brittany Beale? This is her home, right?”

The robed speaker spoke: “Brittany Beale can’t help you, Ben Willows. And, no, this is not Brittany’s residence… Now, unless you want to be gagged, be quiet and listen to the unlawful actions…”

“This is crazy! No! No! I’ve done nothing wrong, and you and your pals here just picked the wrong guy to pull this crap! Now, come on, let me out of here, or there will be bad results for you people…”

Number Six, please apply the bindings to Mr. Willows…”

As Number Six moved down the short make-shift four-step ladder, Ben Willows met him and tossed him roughly to the pit’s floor. The hooded ones around the upper opening took up spots on the upper rim to stop Willows.

The odds were too much for Willows and he was finally subdued again by two of the larger hooded people.

A booming voice came from the parlor fireplace area. “Bring him to me. Tie him to the post in front of me. Then, all of you leave the premises…”

The Hooded speaker appeared to be leader of the twelve and spoke to the large Satan-like man in the painting: “Ben Willows is by protocol our prisoner, Sir Wainscot. Please allow us to end our session with him. You’ve never interfered with our proceedings before, Sir Wainscot.”

“That is so, but that changes today. All of you! Out of my house now, or face my legendary wrath. You have ten seconds to leave this parlor, and, henceforth, be advised that your special Charter ends as of this moment. Your services, and the stipulations you have all agreed to go with you. You must never speak of this long-run we’ve had together. You will receive no more in compensation and are free to do whatever you wish to do, other than speaking ever of this odd relationship we’ve had through the years…Now, go.”

“Ben Willows, come to the fireplace and we shall have a ‘fireside chat’. Your will is mine, Willows, until I release it back to you after our meeting. Now, do come forward.”

At the fireplace, Willows was told to sit directly in from of Sir Wainscot. At this point Ben Willows had uttered not a word…to the point he could be bewildered by anything, this day had brought that blessing or curse to him.

The two were silent for some seconds until Sir Wainscot spoke.

“I’ve found myself passing through many clouds today, Ben Willows, and I can easily guess that you have a mind filled with questions and observations…

“First, it is doubtful you have ever talked to a painting or have seen anger spewed from an inanimate object or seen motion and size in the ways you have today – or, for that matter, been accused of matters you knew nothing about (in fact, I stopped the proceedings prior to your hearing of those matters).

“The first cloud I passed through today was some sense of hatred for you and thoughts of how I would unleash my painful ways on you.

“The second cloud was confusion as I oddly began to like you. I always worry to a substantial degree when I face those kinds of weak wayward conflicts. Why did I begin to like you? Multiple reasons, really. I noticed you were in many ways like me.

“The third cloud was watching your moves, your versatility in adverse situations…very appealing, may I say? Very appealing, and much like me. After all, regardless of your perceived mission for the day, picking your girlfriend, I did not expect you, and it started a bit of a fire within me.

“The fourth cloud is the easiest for me to explain, perhaps not in the most satisfying way for the listener… How is it a ‘painting’ image talks and feels emotions?

“We live in a strange and wonderful world, Ben Willows. I lived in a time when important people like me could be forced into an exile of sorts, like, in a painting, to live and function in most ways except for eating – and those nasty bodily functions. I can internally visit all parts of the world without leaving my sanctuary here in this lovely little Indiana town where I am to be through eternity – of course, it was not called Indiana then…it was small waterway on a patch of earth.

“You are a football player, a very good one, I’ve found out. When you leave here in a few moments, I will permit from time to time some memory of us together – perhaps a time when you need cheering up, perhaps a time when love needs a boost, or, any number of things. But, this day, the date, the house, the painting, me, may come by you so fast at times you will think it is some kind of déjà vu…you will wonder why you are seeing a passing face so warped and ugly – but it will be a good memory.

“Finally, I can tell you love and family will come to you and your life will be well spent in works of goodwill and faith. AND,  Faith is most important, Ben Willows. There will be many contradiction in life, but allow no one to disburb the position of your Faith.

“There will be those times when we see each other on a street, a bus, a plane, and we will have enjoy the site of one another – it will be a boost to our day and to our lives

“Now, leave me, Ben Willows, and when the evening breeze hits you, you will meet a lovely young lady… Goodbye, Sir Willows!”

Short Story

By BR Chitwood

Website/Blog: https://www.brchitwood.com

Why?

A ‘Thank You’ for Life!

Why?

Why do I carry with pain and warmth

Those misty moments of yesterday?

Those days and nights of fear and wonder?

They shaped me for the tomorrows of hope.

For the nocturnal neon brushes with love.

For the morning waking to reality and truth.

For life’s gifts deserved and not so much.

For romance’s steady itches and searches.

For those misty long-ago moments, thanks:

You gave me a life so many would wish.

*

BR Chitwood – October 9, 2020

Website & Blog: https://www.brchitwood.com  

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