“Which side? Which side? What a dumb-ass question… your frontal lobe.”
“Oh, My God! I’m going nuts!”
“Going? You been working on this for some time, dip-shit!”
“Hey, keep it clean!”
“You’re doing the talking, dip-shit!”
“So, I’m going crazy! The ‘Frontal Lobe’ of my brain is talking to me…so, you eavesdrop on everything I think or say. Is that your function? There’s a ‘left’ and a ‘right’ lobe, right? So, what’s your job ‘Lobe-Meister’?”
“Why did I get stuck in your brain? You are a dummy…but, okay, I’m a functionary part of your brain: the ‘left side’ of the lobe controls the right commands; the ‘right side’ controls the left… You’ve never done this before! Why, now? This chat business”?
“’Never done this before’? Hey, Lobe-Meister, this is as new for me as it is for you. It’s not like I requested this meeting…”
“Okay, okay, something is up, and I have to check it out. Are you hurting anywhere?”
“There is a light quaking sound… No pain. Otherwise, I’m sitting here thinking I’m crazy!”
“Don’t take that off the table as a possibility, because I’ve never had this happen before… I will do my ‘due diligence’ and get back to you. For now, go to bed and sleep for hours.”
“Before you go, what’s the difference between the ‘mind’ and the ‘brain’?”
“Huge subject, pardner… The mind can influence the brain, have a ‘mental force’ – check out ‘Neuro Plasticity and The Power of Mental Force’.”
“That’s it? You are leaving me with that? One last thing: Am I going to be hearing from you on a frequent timeline? Do I have a ‘say’ in the matter? If not, please, don’t come at me when I’m making love or out on a date…”
“Sorry, I cannot make any promises…maybe your thought processes will be enough! Bye.”
“Meant to tell you this earlier: your voice sounds really prissy-like…does God include you with every birth?”
“No comment! I said, ‘Good-bye’!”
BR Chitwood – May 25, 2022
All 20 of my books with synopses, 500 blog posts, short stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Songs can be found at:
A Novel for our troubled Times AND ‘A beautiful Love Story to shade some of our Realities…
Year of the Covid-19 Pandemic!
A man is presumed dead., left in a ditch by the side of a-State-road near Scottsdale, Arizona, badly beaten, with two bullets in his body…
This scenario begins THE POWER MERCHANTS, a book that explores political intrigue and malfeasance at the highest levels of our Federal Government, and the sexual appetites of a billionaire who seduces under-age prepubescent girls for his evil pleasure and to curry favor with some highly placed politicians…
“The Power Merchants” is also a beautiful love story that ‘Romance genre’ readers will find pleasure in watching how it all unfolds…
Plus, there is actual truth in this fictional narrative that encompasses some of the events shaping our world today, certainly not the least of which is the Corona Virus Pandemic and the new policies set in place to fight this juggernaut, some people feel are corrupting our civil liberties…
This is a fast-paced novel that deals with the issues of today, the economic spillage from the pandemic that is affecting every major country in the world…
This novel will keep your interest as you follow the good and bad characters that are on display in “The Power Merchants” – yes, it’s fiction but it smacks of so much truth…your enjoyment is guaranteed in reading this finely crafted literature…
In present time Blake Fielding’s life changes forever after a smash-up on a Phoenix freeway. At the hospital he is given pain medication, and strange things begin to happen…he experiences a ‘time travel’ episode back to 1838 to one of history’s greatest despicable acts – ‘The Trail of Tears’. Back in present time Blake will find the woman of his dreams, find power and money, be involved in a murder, and live some unforgettable moments…both eerie and poetically divine. It is an exciting and beautifully written book – a love story for the ages, plus a whole lot more… 5-Star reviews on Amazon.
A book inspired from the unimaginable horror and murders by a Colorado man of his wife and two small daughters…sentenced to ‘Life’ in prison – a ‘life’ imagined by these humble words.
In the pre-dawn hours of August, 2018, a narcissistic, sociopathic father/husband brutally smothered to death his 4-year-old and 3-year-old daughters and his wife who was 18-weeks pregnant, after announcing he wanted a divorce. They argued. He choked his wife in his rage, and the 4-year-old daughter walked into the master bedroom as the husband was wrapping ‘Mommy’ in a sheet for easier carrying her to his pick-up truck. The father then killed his two daughters, drove them to an oil field, buried the mother in a shallow grave, and dropped the daughters into separate crude oil tanks… He then went to work and had coffee with his co-workers. These 36,000+ words cover the horrible homicides, and the narrative covers fictionally the murderer’s life in prison… He is serving a life-sentence.
Three young businessmen find much more than their special deep-sea love of fishing for Grouper and Marlin can bring. This ‘Science Fiction’ adventure brings them to a fateful place in their successful lives when a classic clash of ‘good and evil’ empowers them with a special civic responsibility that can win the battle but lose their lives. This fascinating Sci-Fi story has all the reader might want in a thrilling race against time and a villainous ‘Satanic Group’ set to bring a great nation to its proverbial knees. If you like ‘edge of the seat’ thrills, patriotic heroes of the first order who will fight until the end protecting their faith and the sovereignty of the land they hold dear, this novel will be an exciting escape for those who enjoy. The reader will also find some of the scary elements of our too current political unrest…
Please enjoy the read and leave a book review if you are so inclined…book reviews are the authors’ favorite gauge for further writing.
Amazon.co.uk – UK -https://www.amazon.com/Serpent-Rock-Sci-Fi-Battle-Between-ebook/dp/B083YR8DT8/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=serpent+rock&qid=1617399203&s=books&sr=1-4
A Combo of Action and Love! A handsome internet ‘whiz’ is hired by a global leader in the ‘Information Industry’. Scott Mahlon attends his first company ‘Social Event’ in Dallas Ft. Worth, meets and falls immediately in love with a lady he declares the most beautiful creature his eyes have ever befallen. Scott Mahlon’s fast entry into ‘Love’ lasts all of six and one-half hours before tragedy hits…From there, Scott Mahlon faces inner demons never before encountered. His dream job, his first REAL LOVE, his career dreams all come ripping through his mind like cymbal clashes, and his life in Texas begins under dark gray skies… There is murder. There is a ‘sex ring’ operation. There is a corporate puzzle that Scott and his newfound friend and detective, Bonnie Boone, must figure out together, lest the person and/or persons trying to kill Scott are successful. There is so much more in this romantic thriller, a page-turner mini-epic that blends genres to make this novel an incredible and exhilarating experience. You, the reader, will not be disappointed in this wonderful foremost story of love. Down the evil corridors of despair, murder, sex-rings, will Love win the day? Read this beautifully written book and live in the story, love and hate the characters you meet therein… AND, please, leave a review of your read. Thank you.
A novel inspired by true events but fictionalized in its narrative…Some strange criminal elements are at work in the small town of Mackland, PA: a Mackland patrol officer is ambushed and murdered in 2013; a mother and common law wife goes missing in 2015; the missing woman’s father is killed in a suspicious hunting accident in 2016 -was he getting too close to some truths about his daughter’s disappearance? a mother and daughter are brutally murdered in 2014 – the mother’s & daughter’s throats are slashed, then shot separately in their bedrooms (the daughter went to high school with the missing woman’s daughter); at least two drug gangs operate in the small town, brazenly attacking citizens and bragging about bigger crimes they’ve committed…there’s more, and the town has only 11,000 + population.* Amazon Universal BUY SITE:mybook.to/B00BRBRH02
Hammer’s Holy Grail
Love – Faith – Hope = War – Redemption –
This is a story of love and redemption! Wesley Walton is a star-quarterback for the Grand View University Grinders. His junior high school girlfriend, Wilma, is a cheerleader and Wesley’s forever love…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. This man will become Wesley’s friend, mentor, and father-substitute. If you like football, love stories, family relationships, and Christian values, you will find this novel a tribute to Faith and the 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 resonate with readers of all genres. Whatever you’re reading, enjoy, and, leave a book review for the author.
It is a sunny Sunday in May, 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year-old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk that members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.
The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.
They never make it home…
The deputy sheriff of the county believes there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.
There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.
It is a piteous whimper, lost in the black void of the narrow closet. The weak and eerie sound of her own voice chills her more fiercely than the cold. The thought brings an aberrant amusement. Her own small voice frightens her!
A sound! A creaking sound. Far off. A footfall! Is it? No. It is not a footfall. It’s just one of the strange noises that comes in the night.
Is it night?
Time is lost. Time is gone from her world like a chunk of youth. The black hole draws her toward an uncertain vortex. She must close her eyes. But, not so tightly… With eyes open, the blackness comes alive with trickery…
Inspired by a California newspaper account some years ago, this novel has truth along with the author’s story line. It is dark and ugly, like the black closet used for punishment by a malevolent mother whose heart and mind can only know evil. It is poignant and sad in the penning, to know that such cruelty and debasement can exist in one family.
From the black closet to fiery murder in the high Sierras, this shocking tale will scar the soul… 5-Star reviews on Amazon.
The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son
(A fictional memoir – 90% + TRUE)
About a Tennessee boy who ate some emotional soup and spent a lifetime trying to digest it. It is the story of a young man leaving east Tennessee and going in search of himself, unprepared for the adult world he is about to enter. Behind him, and, within him, is the emotional debris of his childhood: abuse, broken family, and a substantial part of his soul. Searching for his identity in ‘isms’ and bars, he stumbles, gets up, only to find in the end that legacy and meaning are elusive, a ‘white buffalo’ always somewhere in the shadows.
“The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son” is largely a true story of the author’s own life, a mirror of his past, cracked with the stress of all his memories: a family broken apart by their Appalachian circumstances and the ‘great depression’; a childhood tainted by a father’s abusive nature; an impetuous marriage and a sorrowful divorce; a subsequent search of ‘isms,’ for love and meaning in California and Arizona gin mills; a tableau of horrible events, including a senseless family murder, suicide, and a desert survival.
“The Cracked Mirror – Reflections of an Appalachian Son,” is the story of fictional Prentice Paul Hiller (me), his life, his heritage, his mistakes, the events that have come to shape him, and the demons within that he cannot dispel. Along the way, he gives his passionate and provocative views on criminal justice, love, politics, religion, war, and his favorite writers. In the end he finds a new love, some hope for redemption, some semblance of meaning and legacy.
The author’s own family roots trace back to the eleventh century in Chetwode, a lovely hamlet north of London… 5-Star reviews on Amazon. Amazon Universal BUY LINK:mybook.to/B004ZGWQY8
The Reluctant Savage (Embraces the genres of Mystery, Suspense, and Romance)
THE STORY: High school sweethearts, Billy Jay Campbell and Marcie Dangino reunite after many years apart. They discover the fire of their young love still glows brightly. With the Air Force behind him, Billy now works as an investigator for a law firm,
Two problems threaten to spoil his homecoming. Marcie is now married to a junior partner at Clarkson and Dangino, a firm that has occasionally employed Billy for their investigative work. The second problem occurs when Billy’s close friend and boss is murdered.
The Reluctant Savage follows a mystery that connects greed, murder, romance, and a love triangle.
A Phoenix, AZ entrepreneur and an ad agency director fall in love in a most unusual way. Their quickly budding relationship is interrupted by sibling clashes, an out- of control gambling addiction, a senseless murder, a grand matriarch’s secret that will ultimately cause unintended emotional chaos and disorientation. This is a book that will draw the reader into the story and compel them to stay glued until the end. The gripping climax to PHOENIX FIRE is powerful, and tissues are recommended. Treat yourself to a marvelous romance, mixed with some suspense and a desert odyssey to save one’s soul. A truly great read… 5-Star reviews on Amazon.
What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale (A Non-Fiction Memoir)
A non-fictional memoir that covers the author’s time in East Tennessee and his whirlwind education in the big world of neon lights, gin mills, pretty ladies, acting, television, stage, and film. It is also a book that takes a remarkably honest look at some mistakes and triumphs. It is a story that has depth beneath the glitter of shiny piano bars and lovely women, beneath a family disconnect and sorrowful musings. The book reveals the author’s relationships in his life, the lamenting moments of despair and loneliness, the never-ending search for meaning, his faith, and the brutal assessments of who he really is. It has the family disconnect, even murder and suicide, and there is always a candor that is both refreshing and shocking in its self-analyses. In the end, it is likely a bio not so different from everyman…just changes in circumstance and event.
These six books are personal and special to the author, particularly Books 1, 4, and 6 – “An Arizona Tragedy”, “Pueblo del Mar,” and “A Common Evil”. In fact, my personal life was emotionally touched by one of the victims and prompted me to write about the various cases involved…
These books were inspired by actual crimes, and it seemed to me best to present the books in a ‘first person narrative’.
Please enjoy the ‘reads’ and leave Amazon ‘book reviews’ if it is convenient for you.
My best wishes to all readers…
NOW, THE SIX BOOKS:
An Arizona Tragedy
– Inspired by true events – Many years ago, a lovely actress friend of mine was brutally murdered in the desert northeast of Phoenix, Arizona. She was a young mother of two children, a legal secretary for two of my attorney buddies, and she was responsible for my acting avocation — we had the same great agent in Scottsdale, Bobby Ball. She had her life in front of her with all the dreams most of our young generation had at the time, but her biggest dream was to have someone to love and a home for her family…
(You are never far from our thoughts, dear lady, and we pray that justice will eventually prevail.)
Meet Bailey Crane, a transplanted son of the south. Bailey is an auxiliary detective, has a soft rep business that brings in easy money, and he’s a part-time actor. Bailey’s got golf, love, money, friends, a hearty life, and he carries an amusing personality with him wherever he goes. He’s a rowdy, good looking rogue with a lot of that southern charm. His heart and his emotions are in his eyes and on his lips … he is not reluctant to share his world.
The young actress/model is brutally murdered in the Arizona desert northeast of Phoenix. The lady is a friend and her homicide begins an adventure for our southern sleuth that takes him down the halls of our nation’s capital where he discovers that fact and fiction are strange bedfellows. Bailey is a marked man, chased by an unknown pursuer with a gun. Wounded, his body battered and bruised, his anger pushes him onward until the puzzle pieces begin to make sense. The exciting climax has a unique twist, and our musing son of the south does not quite know it but the ending is also a beginning… 5-Star reviews on Amazon. AMAZON BUY LINK:
A young woman is murdered in a most gruesome way. The authorities have no leads in the case, and Bailey Crane is sought out by the victim’s desperate mother. She must know the awful truth of her daughter’s death, must come to some semblance of closure. Homicides of young women in other states arouse Bailey’s attention and provide a trail that will lead him to physical and psychological confrontations that will leave his relatively sane world rearranged and shaken. The bizarre conclusion comes in a small mountain town in Colorado. Our always musing southern sleuth will find a very personal and near sacred part of his life finding its own end point. There is emotional pain and there is a new beginning for our endearing Crusader.
“Lake’s face was the face of a memory my mind carried, a face with no discernible sign of hope, a face with no sign of soul.”
This tale begins with a raging warehouse fire that nearly consumes our southern sleuth with the Cherokee blood. A thug arrested in connection to the fire is overheard muttering a cryptic phrase, ‘beware The Brutus Gate.’ The fire and the phrase are the starting point of this story about drugs, murder, rape and political corruption at government’s elite levels.
Bailey Crane and his Phoenix PD buddies chuckle about the pithy ‘Brutus Gate’ remark and the adventure begins. Our Sherlock hero is bounced around by the criminal elements and by his own personal demons of guilt and remorse — all standard fare for the Tennessee man of endless mind queries about his emotions and the state of his life. The action is keen, and the climax comes on an old ranch on the Mexican border just south of Yuma, Arizona.
This is likely a romp you don’t want to miss.
“The Brutus Gate – A Bailey Crane Mystery” is Book 3 in the ‘Bailey Crane Mystery Series.’ Each Bailey Crane book can be read independently of the other. There is the natural progression of the central character in each succeeding book (aging, loves, experiences).
MURDER IN PUEBLO DEL MAR (BOOK 4) – Inspired by true events –
An Arizona wife and mother is murdered while on holiday in Mexico, and her three children find her brutally beaten and slashed body. Bailey Crane, an auxiliary member of the Phoenix PD, is visiting close friends in Pueblo del Mar, and is asked by the local police chief to assist him in building his case against the transsexual lover of the victim’s husband. Bailey’s Cherokee blood comes to an emotional boil when family and friends get caught up in the web of corruption, drugs, and sex. The highly intense climax comes in a ‘Whale Shack’ in the scrub brush and sand near the Sea of Cortez. This tale has the always soulful musings of our southern Sherlock, a chance encounter with a mysterious mystic who shares his thoughts on Time and Place, and fragile nerves that get edgy and frayed. This tale was inspired by an actual murder so
me years ago, and you don’t want to miss it… 5-Star reviews on Amazon.
– Inspired by truth – Bailey’s intent is fun and sun on the beautiful Sea of Cortez, but an old friend’s request for help changes his immediate plans: the Homeowners Association at the lovely Mar y Sol resort is experiencing some financial problems and its treasurer has just been murdered. His friend’s request for assistance leads to some very scary moments for our southern sleuth. Kidnapped twice, battered, bruised, Bailey finds it all in this caper — murder, money laundering scams, and betrayal. There is a man of intrigue that brings another dimension to the story, and the climactic ending to the tale is riveting, bringing with it an emotional catharsis for our hero. Bailey goes through the mazes, eventually finds his bad guys but he is left with the knowledge that friendship can be fragile and tentative.
PASSAGE FROM THE BOOK:
At the beach, he gave the middle-aged vendor his wallet to hold for him, chatted with him for a while in Spanish, got astride the jet ski and slowly moved out to deeper water. He made a few fast figure eights some five hundred yards offshore, allowing himself some final and nebulous act of rebellion, then pointed the jet ski in a straight line toward the distant horizon. He accelerated, and the jet ski thrust forward, spewing up heavy sprays, bouncing on the sea ruts and ripples. The wind screamed and hurled itself at his face and body, his hair flaring out in demonic poses, his wide lips closed tightly against his clenched teeth. On he went toward a horizon that only got farther away. His mind and body worked to keep balance on the jet ski, his heart pounding inside his chest, his mind focused only on the never diminishing line ahead where the sea meets the sky. Something in the water ahead caught his attention, something orange and heavy metal. He gave the jet ski all that the throttle would give and headed toward the orange object.
Just before the jet ski hit the orange metal, his mind projected the picture of a little boy sobbing, standing sad and forlorn in front of an old deserted house. Tears now came in a mad rush to mix with the sea spray and wind and his ending.
On the beach, the vendor could no longer see the Jet ski and he somehow knew that he would never see the man again. With a premonition, the vendor pulled from his pocket the wallet the man had given him. Inside the wallet was a note and twenty-five hundred dollars. The handwritten note read: “Follow these instructions and you will be a very wealthy man. Do with your life and the money what you will. My hope is that you will use the money for good and noble deeds. You will find your ending a much nicer place to be.” Attached to the note was a website address, numbers and password for an online bank account, instructions for redirecting funds, and further linkage information.
The man in soiled clothes looked toward the distant horizon and saw nothing. While the excitement of the moment overwhelmed him, he replaced the wallet and note in his pocket, stood for moments looking out at the sea. An unaccountable sadness overtook him and he wept for the man he would never know.
Former sleuth Bailey Crane and lovely wife Wendy are enjoying their penthouse pleasures until a cartel sting operation at their Mexican resort brings chaos and emotional uncertainty into a blurry reality. Wendy is kidnapped, and Bailey faces the demons running loose in his mind as he struggles with his choices. Also, President of the resort’s HOA, Bailey has not only kidnapping and murders with which to contend, but other problems which add to this suspenseful chapter in his life. The surprising end point brings back to Bailey and Wendy those memories better left in the memory vault.
An exciting, intense thriller in the sand and cacti of Mexico’s Sonora desert by the beautiful Sea of Cortez. This is the final Book 6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’… 5-Star reviews on
Hear me well, naysayers, if your ears are picking up thundering TV trumpet sounds in a false and rah-rah-rah background of joyfully pious, feigned sanity and truth. Yes, of course, my words might titillate, amuse, even, confuse you but they fly in the same wind as that rah-rah-rah TV stuff.
Occasionally, the weather reports are maybe accurate. Our sports events are accurately reported. There is a chance that, while our citizens slept, our US population grew larger and considerably more dangerous with the influx of illegal aliens and cartel members. The count of illegal crossings on our border to the South is now in the millions. Our good and caring government put many of these immigrants on buses and sent them off into cities and states across the United States to establish new and better lives…all free, of course, paid – courtesy of US tax payers.
The House and The Senate apparently play high-stakes poker in their secret hideaways, too busy with rhetoric and bull shit to dig into ‘The Constitution of the United States’ to find solution, to just maybe awaken the ‘Supreme Court’ to action.
The House reps are all dancing to the tunes of ‘Marxist Socialist Creeps’ that want this thing we call Democracy (Freedom, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness) to fade away.
Ah, the leaders, the Wizards of Mumbling and incompetence, before our very eyes, ears, shake us to our core with their brazen incompetence, and steal an election there is no way in hell they could have won.
AND, here’s the thing, these virtual truths by an Appalachian liberty-loving American will not see the light of day…but I’m a little guy with no big audience, just an aching heart and memory of faithful freedom pals in graves all over the world.
Yeah, sure, I know, this is the United States, land of the free, home of the Brave, where free speech is acknowledged …
WHERE THE HELL DID OUR COUNTRY GO? WHERE DID THE GIFTS OF OUR NATION’S FATHERS GO?
If you listen carefully, you can hear Military graveyards trembling in anger and dismay.
Perhaps we are past remedies with the evil purveyors of far-left power now wearing their smiles and clown outfits laced with thievery, the ‘lobby libbers’ paying their ever-faithful government friends to sway this way or that way, funding perhaps the biggest ‘Presidential Election Fraud’ ever to be in the land of our ‘Iffy-Free’ nation. If it was not ‘PEF’ there will be no Moon, no Stars, no Clouds in our skies – just scary blackness. (Just a metaphorical dab of my whimsical side).
Remember, this is just a country boy’s ‘patriotism’ showing a very ugly side…an eighty-eight years-old country boy! But, please, help me to understand WHY summer riots? WHY ‘Critical Race Theory’(CRT)? WHY boy/girl transgender swaps? WHY ‘Defunding Police’? WHY arresting and immediately releasing criminals? WHY deserting our Israel friends and being cozy with China, Iran, Russia, AND, WHAT HAPPENS now in Afghanistan? The huge WHY? WHY are two idiots running our country and allowing millions of illegal aliens to be bused to cities across our country – AND, we pick up the tab, spending trillions of dollars? The BIG MAN has been in Government for near-fifty years, has not distinguished himself in any way – unless you wish to include his plagiarism. He has a Delaware home worth many millions, more millions in the ‘teens’ he doesn’t bother reporting to the IRS because of special-type documents. His son, Hunter, through some devious means is a millionaire and a new ‘artist’ commanding huge amounts of money for his work.
Okay, it is fairly obvious who I am – check the age again, where my political loyalties are, and WHY Marxist dogma across the board will get us to where Cuba is today. Marx and other bored college professors wrote about Marxism and how it should touch about every aspect of our lives. It is all about POWER for the Elites. I am NOT a RACIST and do not believe in the BLM, Anarchists, and the misguided themes of their movements.
For narrative clarity and excellence, please readMark Levin’sNEW BOOK:*****AMERICAN MARXISM*****
If the country goes the way of some of the things mentioned above, I’m good with the boat ride to Hades… Otherwise, I’ll stick around until 2038.
As a bewildered child I could not have known the word, ‘Confusion’, nor any word that defined my state of being. ‘Fear’ was there along with the body tremors and tears, the displacement, the whirl of movement, the sharp and ugly words uttered in the anger of the times, bodies attacking bodies in the fading flicker of kerosene lamps. No, not a constant force in those early years of my youth and yearning to be in the light. It seemed always dark and shadowy, always awaiting the clouds to gather for another storm.
Along with bewilderment and fear there was within my genetic make-up a tendency toward cowardice – and it was easily defined by my eyes, the quivering of my body, and my pitiful voice of surrender…an easy, choice-prey for the bully building his noisy audience of smiling ‘tag-along’ buddies…
After a few shoves put me on the ground, a few sympathetic voices from the gathered crowd would come: “Let him up! He doesn’t want to fight you…recess is over.”
My emotions, my mind, were in a frenzy as I took my seat at the small desk in the back of ‘home room’, and, in that quiet contemplative place, the teacher’s voice a soft and barely audible hum in my ears, my mind did to me what the bully had intended to do – ‘beat me up’… Why was I built this way? Why did my body reject me in those danger moments, sending the waves of doom through the brain and paralyzing any impulse to react to a bully not a lot bigger than I?
There was no corner to hide in. I would be forever known as a sissified little boy, afraid to defend himself. In those moments, I loathed my life and the awkward embarrassment I brought to it.
Friendships that came helped me gain some degree of empowerment. High School football was a major source of encouragement. The body contact nature of the sport awakened a part of my small degree of gridiron talent. Not that I would ever be a bully or close friend with a bully but their bloated egos no longer lingered long in my mind. Our genetic networks carry all of our truths and secrets – good and bad.
Our lives are filled with all the emotions, our loves, our hatreds, our industry, our desires, our capacity for or ‘lack of’ positive energy, and a generous supply of kindness. It is my belief that few of us are Saintly Gifted, empowered by some spiritual gifts of goodness that keep us unselfish and mercifully steadfast in solving crippling and societal issues.,
How we bring our inheritance of virtuous and unvirtuous qualities to adulthood, the pros and cons of our beliefs, determine the good and evil forces that bond and move us toward the good and evil sides… Rather superfluous, to be sure, but so, too, are birth and death.
From an historical perspective we must be coming close to some final determination about our relatively short stint as a democracy…do we stay Free and Sovereign as our Constitutional patriots envisioned, endowed by a loving God to defy negative voices that would destroy all for which our historical documents pledged for us?
With all the universal diversity, the spread of our rapidly growing knowledge, the gaps in personal intelligence, the riots, political parties that appear to seek power and give glib analyses to match their Masters’ dictates. Can America and the World survive if an elite few dictate how we must live?
It is my opinion that the 2021 Presidential election was farcical and without precedent in the annals of history, notwithstanding the awful World Pandemic and some major Cities’ and States’ manipulations.
Our Southern border, once secured, is now open and allowing hundreds of thousands of immigrants into the United States, many of whom are bused and sent all over our country, good people along with child molesters and killers.
I’m just one voice.
Perhaps you won’t like what I’m writing.
Perhaps I’ll be censored.
There are times when a weak voice like mine speaks and few will read what I have written, but I felt the need to put down these thoughts. I love my country and pray we can solve our issues.
Jean and I were driving to the Napa, California Wine Country, enjoying light conversation, taped music, and an occasional soft touch of endearment via hands or lips. It was our first weekend trip together after a few initial dinner dates and exploratory love episodes. It was a happy sunny Saturday, a clear blue sky, and the promise of taking our relationship to perhaps a more permanent stage. We were a couple filled with the desire to know if we were a true match.
We stopped for a Red Light in a small town. In the light’s left-turn lane, a couple were vividly angry about something, and the man began to throw hard punches at the woman.
Without thinking, I yelled at the man: “Hey, knock it off, Man!”
The man turned quickly and glared angrily at me: “Shut your face, ass-hole!” He turned off his ignition, opened his driver-side door and started to round his car to get to mine.
Jean was scared as I started to get out of the car: “Don’t get involved, please…this could end up badly. Just drive off. Go through the light. No cars are coming either way. Please, don’t fight this guy. He may have a gun – or, a knife. Hurry, please, drive through the light.”
Just as the madman reached for my outside door handle, I sped away and through the light. I could not see the other car in my rearview after turning onto our road route to Napa. Jean and I sat silent for some time.
Jean finally spoke: “I’m sorry, BR, I hate violence. I know you wanted to help the woman, but it’s likely the action you did take cooled him down…”
“I hope so, Jean. That lady was crying, her face already bruised and wet with her tears. I just… Oh, never mind. Hopefully, it was just a spat that will be forgotten soon, and they will have ‘whatever it was about’ out of their system.”
We listened to our musical tapes without a lot of talking the rest of the way into Napa, and I kept checking my rearview mirror for the madman.
The weekend was lovely enough, but there was something hanging in the air that kept it from being all we wanted it to be.
Jean and I saw each other a few more times, but something went missing that we could never quite get back.
Flash Fiction from a true event, by:
BR Chitwood – June 19 2021
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Back in the days when I was rocking and rolling, acting, doing television commercials, film work, even live plays on stage, living in a world I could never have imagined, a horrible murder caused me to turn to writing…
An actress friend of mine was brutally murdered and went missing for two weeks. Her name was Catherine Gibbs (book name – not real name) a ladyresponsible for my fun and frivolity in the acting world. When Cathy’s body was found in the NE desert area of North Phoenix on a record heat day in August, there was little left for the police and forensic people to go on. The heat of August made her unrecognizable.
We, Cathy’s sad gals and pals, were busy missing our good friend but also playing detective on the case. We knew some of the men who dated Carmen, and there was one she preferred over the rest. She was hopeful of marriage and family. That man and several other men were given ‘lie detector’ tests and all passed.
The method used to kill Cathy I hesitate to give the gruesome details of what the detectives and forensic people compiled from what slim evidence they had.
At least, one of Cathy’s friends wrote a book about the case.
Some time later I wrote my own book about the murder, a fictional account of what possibly happened that long-ago night some fifty-odd years ago. The title of the book is: An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery #1.
There are six books in the series, 1-6, each book having kernels of truth in them. If the reader has further interest in these books, please find them on my Website/Blog:
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.
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.
[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.]
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.
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!
BR Chitwood – August 11, 2020
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