Writing and Me

Read, Write, Experience!

by BR Chitwood

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

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

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

Ego?

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

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

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

That’s what I’m thinking!

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

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

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

BR Chitwood – November 29, 2020

https://www.brchitwood.com Books & Posts

Follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

Songs of the Soul

“Soul Songs Sung Softly…”

Songs of the Soul

By BR Chitwood

*

[This post is dedicated to Leah Chrestien:

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BR Chitwood – November 11, 2020

*

Website and Blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

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

Times Square and Anna

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

©Times Square and Anna

By BR Chitwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had to do something!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End

***

Flash Fiction/Short Story by:

BR Chitwood

Website & Blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

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

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

Why?

A ‘Thank You’ for Life!

Why?

Why do I carry with pain and warmth

Those misty moments of yesterday?

Those days and nights of fear and wonder?

They shaped me for the tomorrows of hope.

For the nocturnal neon brushes with love.

For the morning waking to reality and truth.

For life’s gifts deserved and not so much.

For romance’s steady itches and searches.

For those misty long-ago moments, thanks:

You gave me a life so many would wish.

*

BR Chitwood – October 9, 2020

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

the reluctant savage

BUY at Amazon Universal Link:

mybook.to/the-reluctant-savage


The Reluctant Savage 
​(Embraces the genres of Mystery, Suspense, and Romance)
                           
THE STORY: Set in Phoenix, AZ

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.

Don’t miss this fast-paced, gritty novel!


See 5-Star Reviews at amazon!

*

SAMPLE: FRONT SECTION OF BOOK:

Current Time: Now 

“You read this stuff a lot?”

His wry smile mocked her while she found the musk from his body diametrically pleasing. He knew there would be no answer to his question as he turned the book over several times in his hand, then tossed it absently on the bedside table. The book skidded over the table and fell to the floor out of sight in the dark corner. He stood and paced in the small bedroom, smacked himself on the right hip as he walked.

“You really don’t like me very much. Know how I can tell? Want to know how I can tell? Just give me a nod. You don’t need to talk, even if you could…Oh, Christ!”

He stopped pacing, pulled a tissue from the box on the bed table, and wiped her nose. He threw the tissue on the floor in disgust. “Stop with the sniffling and the runny nose mess. Got me feeling like a nursemaid. I’m going to let you go in a bit. I’ve got some thinking and talking to do. Then, I’ll let you go. Not much longer now, so try to relax.”

He looked down at the young woman on the bed, slowly ran his left hand through her golden hair, saw the redness around her eyes and cheeks. Gently he guided his fingers along her forehead and sat softly next to her.

An involuntary tautness came to her body, but she felt no panic. The man fingered the edges of the wide white tape that covered her lips and suddenly stripped it away.

The girl gasped, her eyes widened, and she began to open her mouth.

“Now, listen up,” the man said as his right hand closed over her lips, “I took the tape off, but you can’t be yelling and screaming. You got me? Blink if you do.”

The girl blinked and let out a deep sigh. “I would never scream and yell… you should know that. Can I have some water?” she asked weakly as the man took his hand away.

“In a minute, I’ll get you water, but now you have to listen. Will you listen to me, Marcie? I don’t want to put this tape back on you.”

“Yes,” her voice barely audible. “Can you please untie me? I hurt so badly.”

“Maybe…Yes, I will, but you have to listen first. Will you listen?”

“Yes, I told you I would,” her voice weak and cracking.

The man hesitated there on the bed for several seconds, staring steadily into the pleading eyes of the young woman. “Ah, what the hell, I’ll get your water now.”

The man left the room quickly, and the woman called Marcie closed her eyes and breathed deeply for the few seconds he was gone. As best she could she slowly arched and moved her body and wondered how long all of this would last. She in fact wondered how all of this had really begun…

When he returned, he stood silently in the doorway with a tall glass of water and watched the girl’s torpid stretching of her body, her face wrinkling with the aching moves. She was not trying to escape. She was only seeking some measure of comfort from the bindings. He came to a decision. Fateful or not, he had to do it. He hurried to the bed, placed the glass of water on the bedside table.

“Okay, I’m going to take away the bindings, but you have got to promise me you won’t try to get away from me…not until you’ve heard me out – not until you have completely heard me out. Do you understand me? Do you promise? You won’t have to try to escape when I’m finished. I’ll let you go. Do you promise, Marcie?”

“Yes, Billy,” came her soft broken reply, “I promise. I don’t want to escape from you. I wish you knew that. Just let me have my body back.”

Billy undid the bindings from the posts of the bed, then from her arms and ankles. When he laid the white rubber-corded bindings in four separate loop piles on the floor next to the bed, he held out the glass of water. He held the glass while Marcie squirmed, turned, and he could hear the sounds of her body responding to the release from bondage.

For a while Marcie lay curled in a fetal position on the bed, silent, moaning in near orgasmic release. Finally, she began to unfold herself, limb by limb, opening and closing her fingers, moving the various joints, until she ended up with her back against the headboard of the bed. Her short gold and lavender dress hiked up to show the gold bikini panties, and she made no attempt in her weakness to hide them. Some of her previous fear had left her. An uncertain calmness was spreading through her.

“Here, Marcie, drink some water.” She took the glass, spilled some drops on her bared thighs, and sipped cautiously at first, then gulped the water down. She sat uncertainly holding the empty glass until he took it from her.

“You want more?” he asked.

She meekly shook her head side to side, and painfully raised her arms above her head two times. She then leaned again against the headboard.

Billy moved the chair closer to the bed just a few feet from where Marcie now sat. With his nearness, her legs were drawn tightly together, and she pulled at her dress to hide her gold silk panties. It was more a gesture than a concern. He looked in her eyes softly and steadily until the silence between them prompted him to speak: “You’re so damned lovely, Marcie, I…”

“Billy, why…”

He didn’t allow her to finish the question. His mood subtly shifted, as though reminding himself that he could not go back to where his thoughts were taking him. “You are to listen, Marcie, remember?”

She nodded her assent, but added, “I’m queasy, Billy. Can I have some crackers?”

“When I’m finished you get your crackers. The water will hold you. Now, be quiet and listen to me…”

“Just a few crackers, Billy, that’s all, and another glass of water… Please! I’m feeling nauseous. Maybe it’ll settle my stomach.”

He sighed, blinked his eyes, shook his head and almost smiled. He got up, grabbed the empty glass off the nightstand, and left the room. Going out the bedroom door, he looked back at Marcie and gave her a thoughtful nod. He returned shortly with a paper napkin holding several saltines and the glass of water. Putting the water on the bedside table he handed her the napkin and soda crackers.

“Now, eat your crackers and don’t talk. I’ve got to get this said…” He watched her daintily nibble at the crackers, pausing to swallow with some effort. She almost choked with her first swallow, but he handed her the water to help force the food down. She managed to finish the crackers, more water, and appeared to be feeling better. Then Marcie closed her eyes for a moment, reopened them, and leaned back against the headboard.

“Thank you, Billy,” she muttered weakly as she tried to clear her throat of any lingering crackers. “I’ll be quiet now and let you talk.”

He bowed his head briefly as he picked a start point for his monologue. “You know none of this had to happen, and it’s so stupid to even hear me say that! Dammit, give me a time machine. Let me go back and get a second chance at all this But, damn, it did happen! You, I, Jerry, Albert, the frigging finger of fate. You’re beautiful, Marcie, and you know it, and you use it. You drove me crazy with it. You wanted too damned much from Jerry and me, and when you got it you turned it all inside out and made this happen…”

 “But, Billy, you know…”

“Shush, Marcie. I’ve got to get it out, so be quiet. That night, after the big dinner banquet, that night began this whole thing. Jerry drunk, you and creepy Albert half drunk and playful there in our little corner of the Eastside Tennis Club Lounge, and, yeah, I had a little buzz as well. It was Jerry, feeling his booze, who was dredging up the ‘fun game’ he got from the comedian. He was like a silly schoolboy about his idea. I can still see the wrinkled look on your face when he brought it up, the way you looked sort of embarrassed, the way you looked at all of us at the table. You gave him that, ‘Oh, Jerry, don’t be silly’ look. You put on a good show. Albert was the only one who didn’t have a clue. He was still up for more fun and games with you, the bastard! Guess I could have lived with it all, Marcie, but your part of setting me up…”

“But, I didn’t, Billy.”

“Shush, I’m talking here. Yeah, maybe I could have lived with it all until my ass was on the line, until I was the one to take the fall for something that was all ‘Swahili’ to me. Me, I was a really ripe country pumpkin ready for the pie bowl.”

“But it wasn’t that way, Billy. You have to believe me. It was Albert.”

“That’s Bull, Marcie, Albert hardly knew what was happening.”

“That was all an act, Billy. Albert knew much more than he let on. It was his evil doing all along. The little flirtatious business between Albert and me was all just fun and games, something we started at the beginning of my employment there. There was never anything serious between us.”

“Funny how you didn’t sing these songs when I was passed out on the floor, blood all over me. In the end you ran up here to your new cabin.”

“Billy, I thought you were dead. Please believe me! Albert was the only ringmaster for that little ‘solve the murder’ game. He used Jerry just like he used you. I didn’t trust him, but I also didn’t know what he was up to.”

“You really expect me to believe that? After all this crap I’ve been through, you’re just going to tell me that this was all Albert. You, sweet little Marcie, had no part in it at all. You’re something else. You want to be tied and taped again until I finish?”

“You don’t have to finish, Billy. I know you didn’t kill the little girl. I know you didn’t kill Jerry. And, you didn’t kill Albert and his wife. I killed Albert after he killed his wife and kid and came after me!”

“Jesus! Will you still use me like this? Have I been in a Grimm fairy tale all along? Do you have not an ounce of decency and feeling in you, Marcie? I’m eager to tell you this story of mine, and you’re telling me I have no story to tell. I was there, remember? The little girl, the woman, Jerry, and Albert, they were all there dead when I regained some senses. Their blood was all over me. They were all dead.”

Billy paused as the image of the little girl came and somehow got stuck in his throat. The memory quakes made him turn briefly away from Marcie. He shuttered and almost cried. Then his brain dipped and swooned for a moment. Maybe some of the brain action was coming from the old air force injury.

“Billy, it was Albert. He easily manipulated Jerry into bringing up the ‘game.’ He manipulated you. He manipulated all of us. That’s the truth, I swear it!”

“Marcie, don’t do this to me.”

“I swear to you it is true.”

“So why did you run, Marcie? Where were you when I came out of my drugged daze, blood all over me, bodies everywhere?”

“I was afraid, Billy. My God. I thought you were dead. Forgive me for being so weak and terrified. Albert was still making some small movements on the floor. I was afraid, and I’m ashamed that I left you. With all the blood on you, I was sure you were dead. I know better now. I know that Albert made sure you had blood all over you. That had to be his plan, Billy, but I didn’t know his plan. I swear to you, I did not know his plan.”

“Where did you get the gun to kill Albert? Were there guns all over the place?”

“Jerry gave it to me to carry, just in case there was any trouble – he worried about me after he got beat up after that merger meeting. Look, Billy, everyone was dead, or, I thought so, when I came into that room. Shock overtook me and I saw Albert standing over the dead girl on the bed. There was a gun next to him on the bed. He saw me, started to pick up the gun, and I shot him two, three times. He fell, twitched a couple times, and I ran. I’m sorry, Billy, but that’s the truth. I just had to be out of that room. I’m a coward but I would never have left had I known you were alive.”

“Why did you run here to the cabin?” Why not run to the police?”

“Jerry had just gotten this place. Nobody knew about it. People do stupid things in a crisis. The cabin was my first thought, just to be away from everything, where no one knew where I was. There was just so much to explain, and I wasn’t up to it. I ran to the car and drove up here. All I’ve said, Billy, I swear it’s all the truth.”

“Are you also going to tell me you love me? Even now, when I’ve had you imprisoned here for all these hours?”

“Yes, I’m going to tell you I love you, because I do.”

“That didn’t seem the case a short while ago, with the tears, the runny nose, and the fear in your eyes. You thought I was some kind of monster.”

“Damn it, Billy, my body was hurting. My brain was working overtime. The tears were not so much from fear as from sadness at seeing you this way.”

“God, Marcie, if I thought you meant any of what you’re saying, your words would take some of the pain away. It would maybe bring back some sanity I fear I’ve lost. It would…”

Suddenly, there were loud crashing sounds and harsh voices coming from behind the closed bedroom door.

 Instinctively, Billy rose from his chair with wild eyes, mouth agape, and moved quickly toward the only window in the small room. Amid a chorus of shrieks, the door burst open and Billy was slammed on the back of the head as he tried to exit the window. He fell limp and totally unconscious to the floor.

*

[End of Sample]

“The Reluctant Savage” is available at an Amazon Universal Site. Please BUY and enjoy. Leave an Amazon, Goodreads, Book Bub Review, please – that means so much to authors. Thank you.

BUY at Amazon Universal Link:

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BR Chitwood – September 17, 2020

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’]

Get your copy at:  

AMAZON UNIVERSAL BUY SITE:

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Visit my author website:

[Twenty books AND counting!]

http://billyraychitwood.com

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[Over 350 blog posts written!]

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Mood Shifts of a Romantic

“…a foolish, soulful ‘Quest’…

Mood Shifts of a Romantic

 

-Poetic Thoughts by BR Chitwood-

*

The mirror shows six days without a shave,

My beard grows long and white…

Lips smiling inanely at the ruddy face as

Thoughts so long I’ve known come to me…

With the same silly youthful flow…

So much I could have hoped to give our world

Save for the pursuit of Love and Romance –

It became the ‘all that mattered’ focus

Of a foolish, soulful ‘Quest’…

 But, then, fools such as I must exist

To Confound the minds of wizards.

*

BR Chitwood – August 1, 2020

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Butterfly Hearts

©Butterfly Hearts

  • – AKA The Souls of Romantics

By BR Chitwood

*

Close the gates to reason,

Defy the constancy of doubts

You know of only one season.

Tis the season that fades not away,

But lingers like butterflies in flight

Flower to flower on a summer’s day.

Call it a Butterfly Heart, this joyous toy,

That ticks wildly at likely signs of love,

For the soul that captures ultimate joy.

If World’s woes try for intervention,

And cause a temporal rush of rain,

Butterfly Hearts pay it no attention.

©Butterfly Hearts

  • AKA The Souls of Romantics –

By BR Chitwood

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