A Tantalizing Ego Swirl

One-Man Publishing
Not For The Faint of Heart

-Memoir-

A Tantalizing Ego-Swirl

By BR Chitwood

As best as it can the mind opens a menu of items that an individual can consider as an occupation, hobby, a regimen that might fit nicely with the mental and the organic nature of her/his life.

It was my notion that Writing might well be the best place to settle in and do what many teachers and close friends told me I excelled .  As a kid, I loved to put words together and form rhyming schemes. My mind was crowded with daydreams of being an actor, singer, author.

After some years of sales, marketing, and business ownership, I began writing a blog: 350+posts, flash fiction, and short stories.  I also wrote 20 books in many genres (most were books in the Mystery, Suspense, Romance – generally, fictional narratives inspired by real crimes that would receive 5-Star Amazon Reviews…

The ‘monkey on my back’ would turn out to be an inept sales and marketing system, or, lack thereof, relying, as it were, on the social media and book support groups. I was a one-man publishing company who put most of his time into writing, doing his own editing without the professional input from pros, falling far short in the fields where I had made my living for so many years…marketing.

Still, when I released each book there was not the huge launching splash, lined-up book reviewers, the costly (and, needed!) help from the pros. I loved writing and it would become my wont to go from a finished book directly into the next project.

I suppose it was an unbridled RUSH to leave a legacy of   sorts because much of my adult life had been spent in the ‘neon playgrounds’ searching for love in attempts to negate my negative Appalachian roots of poverty, abuse, emotional chaos, and always a sense of longing for the missing links of love and picket fence happiness.

After a US Naval tour of duty and graduation from a small Pennsylvania college, leaving out some drudgery, I headed West to California and found gold – okay, by and large, fool’s gold. The neon glitter got to me, a country yokel blessed with fair looks, a soft, smooth southern charm, an easy prey to lovely women and the ugly taste of alcohol.

It was a great spread of time when I somehow became a partially noticed actor – did many TV commercials, stage play, and film projects. There were some very good times, and, of course, that other kind…

I would finally end up in Phoenix, Arizona, would try marriage a few times and was blessed with beautiful children, built a big house on a hill close to Tombstone (that town in Southeast Arizona ‘too tough to die’) and my serious writing began.  

‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ – Books 1-6, was my first writing project, building my main character mostly around myself, parts true, parts untrue. Bailey Crane tells his own ‘mystery stories’, most of which are taken from true crimes, the narratives invented by me. Of course, Bailey Crane is one of my favorite novel characters because I get to weave in some of my own life experiences through him. He is a crime fighter who is serious and tedious in his detective work and his personal life experiences (guess you could call him my personal Psychiatrist because he and his ‘alter ego buddy’ do a good job in defining me.

The first book in the ‘Bailey Crane Series’ has the title, “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery #1” and this book has a personal side for me. The young actress brutally murdered in this ‘true crime’ fiction was a friend of mine and shared living quarters with my wife before our marriage. The crime is still a ‘cold case’ for the Phoenix Police Department. Anyone who might read this book and has information about this case, PLEASE contact the Phoenix PD Cold Case Division.

The other books in the Bailey Crane Series are also taken from actual crimes… Each book stands alone. Anyone interested in this series can find them, along with my other books from many genres, on Amazon.com and/or my personal Website – https://www.brchitwood.com .

I have written twenty books in the Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Romance, Science Fiction, Memoir genres. All my books, with synopses, are listed on my Website.

With the books I’ve written, there have been no set and professional marketing agenda – my ‘Bad’, I suppose, but I wanted to work through all the processes, a true ‘do it yourself’ approach…through the drafts, the editing, the book covers, et al. My college degree major was English and I have taught ‘Advanced Writing’ classes.

So, I am comfortable in my efforts, and I know that, of those twenty books I have written, there are some real winners… Read this thriller…  “Mama’s Madness” – Read this one… “Stranger Abduction” – Or, read “Dominique” – or, “Phoenix Fire” – or. “Daddy, No!” – or, “Hammer’s Holy Grail” – or, “The Cracked Mirror…” Aw, read them all!

Don’t know if I accomplished anything with this post except a few tears shed…just trying to sell some books I believe to be worthy of reading.

Enough, already! Onward and upward!

BR Chitwood – October 30, 2020

A Tantalizing Ego-Swirl

By BR Chitwood

As best as it can the mind opens a menu of items that an individual can consider as an occupation, hobby, a regimen that might fit nicely with the mental and the organic nature of her/his life.

It was my notion that Writing might well be the best place to settle in and do what many teachers and close friends told me I excelled .  As a kid, I loved to put words together and form rhyming schemes. My mind was crowded with daydreams of being an actor, singer, author.

After some years of sales, marketing, and business ownership, I began writing a blog: 350+posts, flash fiction, and short stories.  I also wrote 20 books in many genres (most were books in the Mystery, Suspense, Romance – generally, fictional narratives inspired by real crimes that would receive 5-Star Amazon Reviews…

The ‘monkey on my back’ would turn out to be an inept sales and marketing system, or, lack thereof, relying, as it were, on the social media and book support groups. I was a one-man publishing company who put most of his time into writing, doing his own editing without the professional input from pros, falling far short in the fields where I had made my living for so many years…marketing.

Still, when I released each book there was not the huge launching splash, lined-up book reviewers, the costly (and, needed!) help from the pros. I loved writing and it would become my wont to go from a finished book directly into the next project.

I suppose it was an unbridled RUSH to leave a legacy of   sorts because much of my adult life had been spent in the ‘neon playgrounds’ searching for love in attempts to negate my negative Appalachian roots of poverty, abuse, emotional chaos, and always a sense of longing for the missing links of love and picket fence happiness.

After a US Naval tour of duty and graduation from a small Pennsylvania college, leaving out some drudgery, I headed West to California and found gold – okay, by and large, fool’s gold. The neon glitter got to me, a country yokel blessed with fair looks, a soft, smooth southern charm, an easy prey to lovely women and the ugly taste of alcohol.

It was a great spread of time when I somehow became a partially noticed actor – did many TV commercials, stage play, and film projects. There were some very good times, and, of course, that other kind…

I would finally end up in Phoenix, Arizona, would try marriage a few times and was blessed with beautiful children, built a big house on a hill close to Tombstone (that town in Southeast Arizona ‘too tough to die’) and my serious writing began.  

‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’ – Books 1-6, was my first writing project, building my main character mostly around myself, parts true, parts untrue. Bailey Crane tells his own ‘mystery stories’, most of which are taken from true crimes, the narratives invented by me. Of course, Bailey Crane is one of my favorite novel characters because I get to weave in some of my own life experiences through him. He is a crime fighter who is serious and tedious in his detective work and his personal life experiences (guess you could call him my personal Psychiatrist because he and his ‘alter ego buddy’ do a good job in defining me.

The first book in the ‘Bailey Crane Series’ has the title, “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery #1” and this book has a personal side for me. The young actress brutally murdered in this ‘true crime’ fiction was a friend of mine and shared living quarters with my wife before our marriage. The crime is still a ‘cold case’ for the Phoenix Police Department. Anyone who might read this book and has information about this case, PLEASE contact the Phoenix PD Cold Case Division.

The other books in the Bailey Crane Series are also taken from actual crimes… Each book stands alone. Anyone interested in this series can find them, along with my other books from many genres, on Amazon.com and/or my personal Website – https://www.brchitwood.com .

I have written twenty books in the Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Romance, Science Fiction, Memoir genres. All my books, with synopses, are listed on my Website.

With the books I’ve written, there have been no set and professional marketing agenda – my ‘Bad’, I suppose, but I wanted to work through all the processes, a true ‘do it yourself’ approach…through the drafts, the editing, the book covers, et al. My college degree major was English and I have taught ‘Advanced Writing’ classes.

So, I am comfortable in my efforts, and I know that, of those twenty books I have written, there are some real winners… Read this thriller…  “Mama’s Madness” – Read this one… “Stranger Abduction” – Or, read “Dominique” – or, “Phoenix Fire” – or. “Daddy, No!” – or, “Hammer’s Holy Grail” – or, “The Cracked Mirror…” Aw, read them all!

Don’t know if I accomplished anything with this post except a few tears shed…just trying to sell some books I believe to be worthy of reading.

Enough, already! Onward and upward!

BR Chitwood – October 30, 2020

https://www.brchitwood.com

Apathy Wins the Day

Apathy Wins the Day

By BR Chitwood

*

A terrible thing, Apathy!

Insidious and mind-numbing!

Slow in its worm-wiggling through

The mind’s creative channels…

As the words, phrases, characters

Form on a small screen in front of the author…

*

The author comes to that screen

Because of his love for writing and shaping tales.

After twenty novels, some four hundred blog posts,

Accolades from writer friends and the public,

All have given me hope for commercial success…

True I’ve implemented no true marketing plans,

Relying on social media, my posts, and groups.

*

So, it would appear the minimal sales of my books

Have given birth to the ‘wiggly worm’ of apathy…

I have accepted the apathy reality and also the

Literary output, proud that many readers found

Pleasure in my humble efforts.

That, in many ways, is enough…plus a Legacy of sorts.

BR Chitwood – October 22,2020

https://www.brchitwood.com

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One final word… I shall still write simply for the

Genuine ‘high’ that comes from a ‘turned phrase’,

And/or a passage that sparks an inner delight.

Accept and Share Your Circuitry

Metaphysics and Religions

Accept and Share Your Circuitry

By BR Chitwood

The world turns its orbits with actions and reactions that are inexplicable to understand for so many of us… Well, it does for me, for I know not what governments might have stored in ‘For Your Eyes Only’ silos, what world secrets they may know we citizens might not.

Now, don’t tune out just yet. It is likely we have stored in our super computers so much big tech knowledge that we have not figured how… to manage it all so well…

Actually, when I cannot fall asleep at night I usually the next day write a post that edifies no one, including myself, filled with southern grits and bacon bits. My good wife listens to my bacon ‘bits’, smiles, nods so sweetly her approval, and suggesting that, perhaps, I should write a more upbeat post. Of course, I should listen to a pretty and smart lady like my wife…she really is. I’m not being gratuitous.

But, hey, I have to be true to my thoughts and emotions. Otherwise, I’ll never know if I’m going to write something earth-shattering wise and erudite.

Oh, well, think what you will, but it all started early for me as an Appalachian kid with no orderly orientation time for learning about the good stuff in life, hope and understanding. Too much ugly anxiety dwelt within my little universe, a constant and confusing emotional world defined by bitter anger, divorce, crushed economy. The later post-depression and war ‘did a number’ on family and unity. Also, part of the anxiety and family disunity was Southern Baptist Church services on Sunday…the preacher painted me in his sermons as a sinner – and, I was only twelve years old. So, I was Baptized… More confusion, more restrictions on any kind of good times.

Well, that’s one hell of a preface to the real nuggets in this post – actually, gravels…

After leaving my Mom at home alone and joining the US Navy, the world opened up a bit to me. Life got a bit better, except for thinking about my Mom all alone.

Life got better. It was my goal to put as much into my new life as possible, worked many jobs, read a lot, went to a Pennsylvania college, graduated ‘cum laude’, acted in film and stage productions, modeled…uh, got married a few times… Hey, I never said I got rid of all the Appalachian bull croppy.

I read a lot.

I’ve written a lot – twenty books, over 300 blog posts, and still at it.

Okay, here’s the thing… Is it just me? Or, is the world throwing all this metaphysical madness, these super high-tech giants’ muscle, to overwhelm the populace. Is it all about power? As Metaphysics is a branch of knowledge which studies the meaning of us, humans, of life, contrasted to Christianity and the Religions of the World?

Okay, remember my opening? You can see how easy it is for an Appalachian kid connected to all that ‘Post-Depression’ anxiety crap to find it difficult NOT to write about every nutty event that comes down the pike, to question Religious and Metaphysical reasons for ‘why we are here’.

Now, I’m not going to bring up China’s Gift to the World… (crmfsotw!)

One final and important issue: I am aging, which means I can’t drink whiskey and chase girls anymore. That is most likely the very worst metaphysical menu item that irks me. If there’s a pill for getting young again, send me a sample (Wait, make that, a couple or three bottles of samples…).

Actually, as many as you can spare!

Okay, possibly sort of a nothing gibberish post, but I felt like writing it.

If anyone has some short answers to the Metaphysical menu items, I would be happy if you could share them.

BR Chitwood – October 21, 2020

Website/Blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

#blog, #Metaphysics, #writing, #RRBC, #IAN1, #asmsg, #Appalachia, #Books, #TheWritingNation, #Humor

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

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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

A Lonesome Wail

A Lonesome Wail

-by BR Chitwood-

A long lonesome wail of a moonlight train whistle…

The clapping/slapping of steel wheels on steel rails…

Seem for some the quixotic movements of the Soul…

Transports to the stuff of adventure, romance, love…

A sad transit to unstoppable tears of remembrance…

*

For some, merely interruptions to bland activities…

For others, those of troubled hearts and memories…

That plaintive sound awakens the heart to lost love…

To a path urged to follow but reluctantly not taken…

To an urgent unbearable loss, a desperate suffering…

*

For the strong of heart, a train wail is simply noise…

A warning to stay off the tracks ‘til Silence returns…

An unwelcome sound that spoils the busy moments…

Can it be? The whistle of a train can define a person…

Humbly, truly, I do submit that it surely must be so…

By BR Chitwood – October 16, 2020

https://www.brchitwoodcom

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

hammer’s holy grail

Hammer’s Holy Grail​ 

by BR Chitwood

  
Synopsis:


This is a story of abuse, anger, love, and redemption! 


​Wesley Walton is a star-quarterback for the Grand View University Grinders. His former junior high school girlfriend, Wilma, now a cheerleader for Grand View is Wesley’s forever love, with no doubts about their lifetime commitment. 


Wesley not only battles his gridiron foes but an angry father’s Appalachian heritage. His father abuses Wes’ mother and sister on his frequent visits until a fateful hotel room altercation alters the lives of the family.


Wesley will meet a man ravaged by war and lost love, a man who has found peace within himself and accepts his spirituality. Fate dictates this man will become Wesley’s friend, mentor, and a most caring father-substitute.


If you like football, love stories, family relationships, and Christian values, you will find this novel a tribute to Faith, a sad refrain on the frequent frailty of ‘Man’!


The author enjoyed the writing of this book as he was able to go back in time and pick up some memories to build his characters and plot-line. The result of his efforts will hopefully resonate with readers of all genres.


​Whatever you’re reading, enjoy, and, leave an Amazon, Goodreads, and Book Bub book review. A book review for an author is solid motivation for more writing.

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Amazon Universal BUY LINK:

mybook.to/B006WU22KS

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READ SAMPLE:

Chapter One

The darkness and fog are palpable viscid sweat things crawling all over my flesh! A gentle wind stir comes and my skin does shiver dances. I swallow and it’s like I’m somewhere between passing out and regaining my breath. My eyes cannot be trusted. I rub my eyes and they project things that are not really there. My mind questions the logic that brought me to that decision. My concentration is drawn to these vague flashing images that keep popping up in spaces to the front, sides, and back of me… I figure it’s the mind doing its reckoning! I’m likely trying too hard to see and my brain is trying to accommodate me.

Okay, I admit it. I’m a big boy, scared. I mean, there is no way this world can be this dark and foggy. “Why?” Someone might ask, “are you so stupid to be standing where you’re standing?” The reason is really simple, but I’m going to make it complicated for you…not out of a warped and evil sense, but because this is a story I need to tell and it has some crazy turns and twists. Call it a weird psychological need if you want! That’s as good a description as any, but please understand, I have not lost all my marbles. Then, again, maybe my bio here is not so unusual a tale after all. Maybe you readers have experienced some of the same events in your life – only, framed differently. 

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

***

When I was a little boy, my crippled cousin had to have the light on during his dark bedtime hours. Now, I didn’t tease him about that but if I just forgot and mentioned it he chased me up one country road and down another. If I didn’t have a pretty good lead, he’d catch me. Then, we would end up wrestling until one of us said ‘Uncle’ – usually me!

We were best pals and I loved my club-footed cousin-buddy, but he would get madder than a frigging copperhead on LSD if anyone brought up sleeping with lights on. That’s not part of this rather complicated story, at least, not in a major way. This darkness and fog just has me thinking of JB – JB Hill, that’s his name. He’s the son of my Dad’s sister, Norma Hill. I don’t want you to think JB is so crippled everyone has to be sorry for him. He turns out later on to be a top scratch golfer. He’s gone now, died too darned early in his life because of some darned rare breathing illness. His sisters and brother were with him when he left us.

His wife should have been there with him when he died, but, earlier, JB caught her screwing the next-door neighbor, and my cousin beat the shit out of the neighbor and threw all her clothes – and her – out of the house. Sure, he was club-footed but he was no chicken yellow-belly. Nobody gave him any crap, that’s for sure.

Well, again, that’s not part of the complicated story either – but I won’t lead you on any further. It all starts with my sister, Sarah Lou. She’s sixteen going on twenty-four, if you get my drift, built like a brick shithouse, big boobs, long silky brown hair, great figure, pretty, and she reckons she’s the ‘cat’s meow’. It seems she knows early on she wants to taste some parts of life she is no way ready to taste.

I’m convinced Sarah Lou is the genuine product of her – and, my – dad. No question about it! He gets madder than hell and beats up on her and my Mom. Well, he did when he was coming around more. Dad has this fiery temper, and it’s his way or the highway, so to speak. This is when he’s visiting us. He and Mom are divorced, and Dad seems to have these demons inside him that make for crazy flip-outs at any moment. I’ve noticed his behavior changes when Mom mentions her side of the family – they don’t like Dad and he doesn’t like them.

Of course, that gut-searing corn whiskey could have something to do with it. He likes his hooch! He’s also tall, good-looking in a George Clooney kind of way (sort of!) and has a thing for the ladies.

How can I know that?

Well, that’s a whole different story, and it’s doubtful I’ll ever tell it! Well, anyhow, the genes running loose through Sarah Lou must be near-identical to Dad’s. Moving the story along, Sarah Lou turns sixteen and elopes with an army corporal, runs off to another state when the corporal gets transferred. Mom is heart-sick and scared because she knows she’s got to tell Dad the news. And, me, well, I’m scared right along with her.

You see, it’s just Mom and me since Sarah Lou eloped, and I sure have sleepless nights worrying about my dear sweet mother. She works so hard to make ends meet, has no time for socializing and being with her friends. It’s part of her nature to worry and fret about things. Did I fail to mention? My Mom is a beautiful lady, big brown eyes that sparkle and brown hair to go with them. She looks like a famous old-time movie star by the name of Claudette Colbert, famous actress during that golden era of Hollywood. Mom and I are fans of ‘old movies’.

Through some rough times, Mom has done her best to shelter my sister and me from all those emotional ills of divorce and the economic crises that rise from working sometimes two jobs. She has done well by Sarah Lou and me despite the troubles she’s had to bear. Dad’s visits end up most of the time in bad arguments and fights. As a young kid, I saw him too often physically abuse Mom and, somehow, I still love the man. That’s enough ugly truth for a few sentences. Suffice it, Mom worked hard and got me through high school where I played quarterback for the football team and got a scholarship to Garden View University. Garden View is part of the greater metro area of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the university sets on a lovely and lush campus of about one hundred acres. It is a university that dates back to the 1940s and has academic achievement awards that any higher institution would covet.

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

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

Now, Dad knows right away that something is up, and, he knows it isn’t good news – guess our sad faces and body language let him know that. When Dad hears the news about Sarah Lou, he stomps around the room in a fury, the anger and prelude to eruption showing on his face.

 Abruptly, he stops in front of Mom who is sitting on the bed. My sweet hard-working, lovely Mom sits there very still with her hands clasped on her lap with a blanched and pitiful look on her face, puffy from crying and the awful dread of telling Dad news of Sarah Lou’s rash elopement. My ‘tainted-gene’ Dad hovers over Mom, his face distorted with fury like a dragon breathing fire, gritting his teeth, and says, “Damn you, Maureen.” Suddenly, he gives Mom a hard looping open-hand slap to the face with so much force it knocks her over. My immediate fear is that he’s knocked something loose in her brain or upper body…and he’s getting ready to do more hitting.

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

Mom moves from the bed and stands crying in the corner of the hotel room. Soon, Dad is not moving. I must have connected with a vulnerable spot on his head. It’s like he just turns his head over to the side and goes to sleep.

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

I feel bad leaving him unconscious on the bed, but more afraid of what he might do when he comes out of it and we’re still there. Mom cries all the way down in the elevator, and we go unnoticed out a side entrance of the lobby. I drive my Cousin and his sister home, and, except for the sound of the car engine, no one makes a sound. Tears flow down our faces, and the only sounds in the car are from our sniffing.

We all hug and kiss each other when they get out of the car at their place. Next, I drive Mom to her folks’ place some forty miles away. We give Grandma and Grandpa all the news about our fateful visit with Dad, and they’re madder than hornets in a whirl-wind. ‘Is he dead?’ ‘Is he alive?’ They want to know.

I ask Mom to promise me she’ll stay with the grandparents until she hears from me. There’s no way Dad, assuming I didn’t kill him, would want to go around Grandpa because of a fight they had some years back. Grandpa gave Dad quite a whipping.

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

Beneath my tousled blond hair, my head inside is churning with thoughts as I drive back to the hotel. The closer I get, the more I become anxious and fearful of what I’ll find. There’s this grim need to know about my Dad, whether he’s okay or dead. I’m a sturdy 6’2” young man now, 185 pounds, playing quarterback as a Sophomore at Garden View University.

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

I park Mom’s car fifty feet down the street from the Hooper Hotel and walk to the side entrance into the lobby. The elevator is on the lobby level as if waiting for me. On Dad’s floor, the elevator comes to a stop, doors open, and my heart jumps into my mouth as I reflexively take a step forward!

My Dad is standing in front of me, his eyes blinking like he is trying to clear his head. “You coming off of the elevator, young fellow?” Dad asks in an impatient and impersonal tone. He wrinkles his brow as he notices the apparent surprise on my face.

“You all right, boy?”

“Dad, it’s me!”

He did a fast look behind him like I was talking to someone else. Dad blinks some more.

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

“But, Dad, I hit you when you hurt Mom. You slapped her so hard I was worried for her. I must have given you a concussion. I just couldn’t stand by and watch you hurt her. Please let me help you!” Dad grabs my arm and pulls me out of the elevator onto the hallway carpeting.

 “Told you, boy, I’ve got no son.” He goes into the elevator, pushes the lobby button on the control panel and is gone.

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

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

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

I drive for miles not mindful of where I’m going. Tears flow until my eyes get all misty and puffy from rubbing them with my shirt sleeve.

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

Yes, I know! I know! How does one get so locked onto something in his mind that he doesn’t know where he is? It’s crazy, but it happened! At this point I’m crawling along, the car barely moving, trying to see, wiping the built-up vapor off the inside windshield, hoping for better vision.

After a few moments, I see the futility in my feeble efforts, utter a not-so-nice but appropriate word for the ugly foggy dilemma. I carefully edge to what I hope is the outer side of the country road, get out of the car, touch the hood metal, holding on to the only reality given to me at the moment.

Standing there, leaning on the car’s hood, my Dad’s face flashes in front of me in the darkness and fog, along with snakes, dinosaurs, crocodiles, and other beasts of the world. I cannot see my hand when I hold it out in front of me. There is a most vivid sense of desperation. With Dad’s face, there comes to my mind some bad recalls of life with my Dad in it, not long after the ugly divorce.

I push those bad thoughts away and force myself to think of the good moments. Much of those times were rough, but there were tender moments as well – farther back in youth, when Dad bought me the little boy’s gray suit with a gray hat, and he called me his little business man. He took many pictures of me with a cigarette dangling from my six-year old lips, pictures on train-rides, car rides while on the way to visit his parents, my grandparents, his nearly-blind grandmother, my great-grandmother.

They lived north of Knoxville some sixty miles, near the Kentucky border. On one visit he drove us off the main US highway into the hills of High Cliff, TN. We stopped not too far from the turnoff in an area of open fields and meadows. The bucolic scene presented to my young mind cows grazing in the meadows among huge oak trees, and there was this lonely looking clapboard house setting alone on this small knoll.

Dad’s sweet old grandmother sat on an old rickety wooden porch that had an excellent chance of falling plank by plank to the ground below. She had a lovely weathered and leathery face, was almost blind and sat in an old wooden rocking chair. She looked so frail behind the horn-rimmed spectacles she wore. She was so beautiful sitting in that home-made rocking chair on that wood-warped porch, like a picture in sepia tone, like a scene in an old-time movie. She sat there with a corn cob pipe in the corner of her mouth. She was in her nineties, and Dad had to get within inches of her face before she knew we were there.

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

She then peripherally noticed me, made over me as well, and I felt an awesome sense of history – the events, all the things she had seen in her long lifetime, things I would one day study.

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

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

A few happy times flashed by, those times when we played at being a family, without the tempestuous flares of raw emotions: the Saturday movie matinees; Mom and Dad smiling happily when my sister and I danced to the radio; when I attempted to write a poem; the endless questions I asked of them both – the insatiable curiosity that stayed steady on a little boy’s mind. I love them both so much, and, now, my father has no son.

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

So, the world can be dark and foggy, and, maybe, reasons for standing in the darkness and fog are not so simple. Standing at the front of the car, measuring each stride, I take a few steps, pivot, return to the car, do the same strides on each side of the car. Feeling secure enough that the car was far enough off the road, I climb into the back seat, and lock the doors.

Assuming a fetus position on the backseat, I try desperately not to think any more about past events, the present, and the future. I can wait out the darkness and the fog. Tomorrow will come, and the sun will replace the dismal darkness and fog with thoughts of hope. I love my Mom and Dad. Maybe I still have both to love.

*

[END OF SAMPLE CHAPTER ONE]

*

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*

BR Chitwood -September 19, 2020

Author Website:

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Phoenix fire

“Phoenix Fire”

By BR Chitwood

BUY AT AMAZON UNIVERSAL LINK: mybook.to/phoenix-fire

 AUTHOR’S NOTE:

Some years ago two lovely, special young ladies, my identical twin grand-daughters, began a fun tour as Baltimore Raven Cheerleaders. Of course, their Dad and Mom who live on one of the outlet creeks to the Chesapeake Bay were happy and proud of their daughters, epitomies of all that is heart-and-soul beautiful – as, of course, were their grandmother and grandfather.

At the time, I was just beginning the first draft of “Phoenix Fire”, and, when finished, I dedicated the book to these two beautiful ladies who have added so much joy to the lives of those who know them and love them. Today, married with ‘gummy drop’ beauties, I think of them each day and always conclude they are living proof of angels living among us…

Why this syrupy intro? Two reasons! ‘Chatty Chaser’ and ‘Pickle Princess’ (my nicknames for Chase and Paige)…I love them, and “Phoenix Fire” has become my favorite of the twenty books I’ve written.

Here’s the beginning chapter. Read, enjoy, buy lots of copies, and leave those reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, et al…an author’s reason for more writing. Thank you.

*

CHAPTER ONE

“Phoenix Fire”

By BR Chitwood

She was lost in the total brightness, a magnificent warm, static whiteness, alluring and warm.

It was an easy place to be, if it was a place.

Perhaps it was a state, a bright and new awareness, a safe and final destination. She only knew that her essence was etched in the great luminous energy and she did not wish to leave it. The light seemed to be transporting her outward, expanding some awesome truth, recently possessed, and she wanted only to remain and to become whatever the promising ecstasy.

Then, there came a slight shimmer of interference, vaguely emanating from the shadowy mystic fringes, slowly fragmenting the weightless pool of white. There was a rippling which softly nudged her new awareness, gently precluding her anticipated oneness with the expanding light.

Then came sound, soft and beckoning, like a bird chirping in slow motion, becoming stronger and more strident. She resisted the sound and the fragmenting but she could not pull herself onward into the radiant void. Like a swimmer urgently breast stroking against a strong noiseless tide, she felt herself dipping, sinking, free-falling from the disintegrating brilliance.

She became conscious of her head shaking in sidelong negation of the interference, her lips silently murmuring, ‘no, no, let me stay! Please, please, let me stay!’

Then she acknowledged the inevitable full immersion back to a solid, contoured reality. The bird chirps became loud concerned voices. The ripples became caring and caressing hands. The hard ground was cold.

She began to shiver, felt the urge to rise, but was somehow constricted. Her mind made some adjustments and she suddenly knew where she was, how she had come to be there.

 Finally, she slowly opened her eyes with a full fluttery acceptance of her immediate environment. A man’s face came into focus, hovering two feet above her own. She felt pinned down and quickly discovered that the man was astride her. There was a momentary sense of panic but something about the man’s face made her relax.

A light rain fell, and she was conscious of wet hair matted to her face and forehead. The sky was a dull gray, and skinny treetops came to her peripherally as some surreal apparitions. The man’s concerned face gave her a final focus.

 She remembered what happened. The lightning! She recalled an awful clap of thunder, so jarring, harsh, rippling, so totally upon her, instantaneously enveloping her in its loud and splintered brightness. She remembered the searing, exquisite pain that so consummately wracked her body and mind.

She was jogging and she must have been struck by lightning. As she blinked from the raindrops and the accounting of the lightning strike, she felt lethargic and without purpose.

 She was struck by lightning, yet there was no panic, no real sense of urgency. The man’s hands left her chest and he studied her with a tender and squinted concern. She felt the weight of his body leaving her, felt a great rush of air fill her chest.

The man lifted himself from her damp body but his soft blue eyes remained upon her face. They were beautiful eyes, shrouded by dark cavernous brows. Wisps of his black hair was pasted about his forehead, and he made odd movements with his lips as though making an adjustment. Her own lips felt strangely tender to the touch of her tongue, and, in a moment of clarity, she understood: the man had given her mouth to mouth resuscitation.

The man then softly spoke, his voice conveying a cultured refinement and pleasant resonance. “Can you move your arms and legs?”

 She understood the question and lifted her head tentatively, feeling her hands, arms, and legs slowly move to her inner commands. She nodded to the handsome stranger who knelt above and to her side. She managed a small, sad smile of gratitude.

“And can you speak?” He returned her smile.

“Yes, I think so,” came her weak reply. She noticed for the first time a small group of people standing off to her right, near a park utility shed. She heard a siren off in the distance, its sound increasing in volume. She attempted to rise from the ground.

“Maybe you should stay where you are until you’ve been medically checked. Are you feeling much pain?” The man lightly touched her shoulder.

As her powers of observation became more focused she noticed how the man was dressed. He wore faded red denim shorts, a powder blue sweat shirt which matched his eyes, white athletic socks, adidas jogging shoes. Her own ensemble of white shorts, blue top, white socks, and Nike shoes merged nicely with the man’s attire.

She answered the question. “No, I don’t think so, not pain so much. It’s sort of dull aching almost everywhere about my body. I think I’m okay. You are very kind to help me. Thank you.”

“No ‘thanks’ necessary. It was kind of freaky the way that cloud exploded above us. You just got unlucky, and I suppose we could be faulted for jogging when a storm was brewing.”

 The man stopped talking as he saw the flashing lights and heard the diminishing siren whirr of an approaching ambulance. Uniformed EMTs rushed from the ambulance to the woman’s side, their faces intent, all business.

 She watched as they quickly set up equipment and prepared for various medical checks. She was beginning to feel confident that her body had not sustained any permanent damage, although some tingling sensations remained in her legs.

After all the medical tests were run, she heard an attendant announce that her vital signs were normal, that she was stable. The visage of the handsome stranger stayed with her, after the ambulance attendants displaced him. The image of his dark hair wet against the brow stayed with her, even when he became a blur on the gray fringe of the rainy-day crowd.

His face stayed with her even beyond the hospital’s emergency room where she was pronounced hale, hearty, and lucky to be alive.

 His soft smile stayed even when she returned to her fashionable and luxurious Scottsdale condominium.

*

[END OF ‘CHAPTER ONE’]

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Where Did That Dream Go?

Where Did That Dream Go?

(So I asked  a Shrink!)

By BR Chitwood

Where did that dream go, you ask?

Beyond your grasp, sadly…

You had it, but you let it go…

You did not pursue it to the end…

Other diversions caught your fancy…

The phrase is: ‘wine, women, song’…

Sound familiar? ‘wine, women, song’?

WWS slowed and finally ended your dream…

But they were part of the dream…

Too many working dreams spoil the broth!

You’re mixing metaphors, Doctor…

But you have no trouble grasping meaning?

Grasped, Doctor. So, you’re saying, ‘no chance for me’?

There’s always a chance, but youth is gone. Maybe your next life chances will come again…

Whoa, Doc, you believe we get to come back?

That’s not so crazy an idea. A colleague of mine, a hypnotist, has written about taking some patients back to former lives, even having some patients talk about their time while in training units between lives. He has done ‘case studies’… Go to a library, book store, and look under hypnosis, case studies, psychiatrists, former lives…you can find them if you’re interested.

Oh, I’m interested. I just find it so hard to believe.

You wouldn’t be human if you took it at face value. Remember, most of us are ‘doubting Thomas’…many did not believe we would put a man in space, go to the moon, have ‘space stations’, diseases cured, knowledge re-doubling every few months, and all of these life-changing events are being challenged, joined by nefarious rioting groups trying to destroy our cherished freedom and liberty. It is a crazy and wild time for the history of the world… I just hope our kids in the future will be able to read and know of this history… Sorry about the digression, but, in your case, from what you’ve shared with me today, you have had a comparatively good life. You have accomplished many of your goals – which a lot of folks would die for. I really cannot find any major anomalies in your life. Keep your dreams alive. That’s a good thing. The large news I would give you is: be happy in your life – you’ve got more living to do.

Thanks, Doc. You’ve got me feeling better about things… I’m going to find the book or books you were talking about. When I absorb them, I’ll call you for another session.

*

BR Chitwood – August 12, 2020

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Somewhere A Lesson

Somewhere A Lesson

By BR Chitwood

By 10:00AM I was sated with Jenny’s steak and eggs  and ready for some serious beach time across the road from her sidewalk café in Santa Monica…it became a ‘ritual thing’ some six months back when I moved into Marina del Rey a few blocks east to taste the merry and often contrary life of a divorced male, still lying awake at night much too long evaluating those years brought by an insecure and troubled child and young-adult childhood. It was likely even seasoned psychiatrists would feign a ‘too busy’ schedule to ‘work me in’.

A ‘thought’ that tip-toed often into my emotional network, ‘I was loving every damned minute of my new freedom’…well, not every minute, but enough so that the ‘old me’ of my thirty years of living would not give one selfish minute to considering another legal ‘I do’ affair.

So, sated, along with some time-worn good jesting with familiar customers – mostly, over my casual attire (swim suit, jazzy tee-shirt, and white tennis shoes) – plus, some ‘life of the idle’ remarks that were good-natured and jokingly sent, I left the café.

As I crossed the street westward toward the sand and Pacific Ocean, I noticed a group of four kids in their early teens in some sort of lively debate and shoving action. When I stepped onto the sidewalk one of the youngsters accidentally crashed into me. Actually, shoved into me by one of the teens.

“Whoa,” says I, “what’s the ruckus, guys?”

I noticed the smaller kid who fell into me was the smaller of the group…it took me only a tick or two to notice the leader of this pack – you know the type: half-closed eyes, twisting his face into what he considered a menacing position, stood in a defiant stance, legs parted, hands rolled into fists, trying for all the world to look mad and mean.

I put my hand on the smaller kid’s shoulder, looked at the ‘defiant one’, and asked: “What’s your name, fellow?”

“What’s it to you? This is none of your business. Butt out.”

I took my own defiant stance. “I should slap the crap out of you, kid, so keep your mouth shut while I talk…”

The big kid started to open his mouth, and I moved forward one step closer to him. He did not speak.

“Okay, guys, what’s going on? Why is this kid being shoved around?”

The big kid started again to talk, and I moved within two feet of him with my eyes wide and glaring. He looked to the ground and did not speak.

Again, I asked, “What’s going on? Why the shoving. It looks like all three of you are against this kid. Why? Give me your names.” My cold stare reached them all.

The two smaller kids gave me their names – Danny and Sol. The shoved kid offered his name as well – Chaney.

“What’s your name, big guy?”

“I don’t have to give you my name. You’re not the police…”

“You know that for sure? Give me your name, ‘Big Shot’, or you just might find yourself in a lot of trouble.”

The big kid lowered his head, looked off toward the ocean just as a police siren was heard off in the distance.

He lowered his eyes and spoke: “My name is Oscar, okay?”

“Look, guys, I spent a lot of my childhood around bullies who liked to tell others what to do and get them into a lot of trouble. I’ve got a feeling Oscar here is a bully – he’s bigger, feels that buys him special rights, like, picking on smaller guys and being known as the ‘big wheel’. It’s a matter of time when these ‘bully-guys’ will not be around to torment others…they go on to become criminals and spend years in dark prisons, away from anyone who could or would love them.

“So, look, guys, don’t treat people like you would not like to be treated…here’s the plan: Oscar, you take off, think about what I’ve said here – it’s just as easy, Oscar, to win friends with kindness as with ‘bully behavior’. I just hope you get that sooner than later. Your life will be much better…go on, take off, but don’t bother these guys again. I live here and will be looking out for any troublemakers.”

Oscar turned and walked away, went a short way, then ran full speed southward down the sidewalk.

“You guys okay now?” I asked.

Each in turn seemed relieved and would eventually head eastward and home.

After the boys left, I stood watching them while they were still in sight, and, for some reason a memory I own from my own teenage life came to me.

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[NOTE: one of my fictional novels – Hammer’s Holy Grail – which, like most of my fictional books, contain some factually accurate content…brought to my mind the scene below…

The scene in the book deals with an encounter where my Mom, a cousin, his sister, and I are visiting my Dad in his hotel room to tell him about my sister, age sixteen, eloping with an Army Corporal. Mom and Dad, divorced for some years, with Dad an absentee father we seldom saw for the most part… Suffice it here, but that was a scene I shall never forget. If you want to read more, the book is available on Amazon Kindle and Paperback.]

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I did live in Marina del Rey, did have breakfast at a small café in Santa Monica, and the following aforementioned scene did occur – both, really, and in Hammer’s Holy Grail.

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Dad’s hotel room was large but there was not enough chair-seating for all of us. My club-footed Cousin sat in a chair, and his sister sat in a matching chair next to him. Mom sat on the big king-sized bed, and I sat on an uncomfortable radiator by a window some ten feet across from my Mom.

Dad finished his phone call, walked around the room, smiling, looking us over. He knew something was amiss.

“Something’s going on, so let me in on it.”

Dad came to the big dresser and mirror across from the bed and leaned against the top.

Mom was cowed at the pillow-end of the bed, her hands wrapped into each other, her face a pitiful chalky white looking very nervous and scared…she had known a number of times of Dad’s beatings of her and my sister…

Finally, Mom spoke in a soft, terse voice: “Bobbie Jean ran off and married an Army fellow…” Tears came and poured down her face, and her lips tried to form words but could not. She bent her head to her bosom, her hands shaking with terrible stress.

All was quiet in the hotel room for some few seconds.

Dad’s eyes turned into squinted monster eyes. He walked one way, then, another, finally walked to Mom, hovered above her for some seconds, then, with an open hand slapped her so hard on her left cheek, the force of his blow throwing her into the headboard of the bed.

On my uncomfortable radiator grills I was a jumble of nerves, frightened as I had always been in those tense moments when Mom and Sis were beaten, but, not this time. Oh, there was the usual partial paralysis, but also a sudden mix of anger as I looked at my trembling mother on the bed.

As terrified as I was, something moved me, and I dashed with tears streaming from my eyes off the radiator and tackled my Dad onto the lower part of the bed, and swung my fists at him as hard as I could…

For whatever reason, my tackle and my blows had an immediate effect on Dad…surely, they could not have hurt him so very much – although I was then much bigger, playing football, and much stronger than when he beat her years before.

Dad calmed down so quickly that I thought I really might have hurt him…but it was his eyes that told me differently. He looked into my face with a sorrow I cannot describe, like, maybe he had destroyed a part of something most important in his life.

That was the ending of hostility, and I don’t remember when my breathing came back to normalcy, but I was happy that day was over and my Mom was calm again.

We all knew there would be no more rage and spousal abuse.

There were always reasons behind actions taken by someone…I loved my Mom. I loved my Dad. However, there were times when reality could place you smack in the middle of a scary and ugly movie.

Such is life – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

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BR Chitwood – August 11, 2020

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