A Pimple on Her Cheek

Image art by: Andriyko Podilnyk – Unsplash.com


A Pimple on Her Cheek

What beauty for the once lonely heart and idle mind to absorb, and, to Karma and its co-workers, thank you for bringing me this gift of the heart and soul – perhaps not the romantic at heart stories one might read about in a book of love clips and poetry, but could easily make those pages.

A major freeway was not the ideal and idyllic storybook place to begin love affairs, and I was one hungry candidate for a love affair with all the fairyland add-ons. Whether it was my fussy and outdated expectations of how an affair of the heart was to begin and guidelines that must be followed to nourish those marvelous moments, I knew when I saw the exasperated lady on the side of the freeway trying to manipulate a flat tire exchange, my initial thought was, ‘I have to help her. There were no ulterior motives to my stopping, knowing there was no appointment I needed to keep. no one waiting for me. My 1:00 o’clock Tucson meeting brought an end to my satisfying day. It was my turn to make another person feel not alone in time of need.

The lady heard me pull in behind her, lifted her body from the pavement, her hand still holding a tire-bolt tool. She cautiously gave me an incipient try for a smile. (She obviously kept abreast of bad news as well as the good news.)

“Please, don’t worry. You seem to need some help…”

She gave a slight showing of some doubt, so I spoke again. “Tell you what: close your trunk lid. Get in your car and lock the doors. I will get your flat tire off and put the new tire on. I will then get in my car and leave. Are you agreeable to that?”

My eyes could have fooled me, but I thought I saw some tear-streaks on her lovely face.

“I’m sorry,” she spoke softly the words , but I heard her. “This is not an occurrence I have experienced, and it is not my intention to be rude.”

“I know, Maam, the world has put up some road-blocks to civility and our people helping each other… I will stand right here while you close the trunk lid and get into your car and lock it. If you get hot in there, turn your motor on and get your air going – it will not take me that long to change your tires. Okay?”

There came a calmness suddenly, and it seemed we both had some sort of kindred acknowledgement. She smiled, “Oh, I’m sorry to be so rude to someone who wishes to help me. Please, thank you, do come and change my tires, and I will be happy to pay you for your good work…”

“No, no, there will not be any fees for my work…I’ll get you on your way before you know it. My name is Curtis Morley. May I ask your name?”

“Katherine Bruce, or, just, Kate, if that’s comfortable for you.”

“Kate is fine. Now, just move away so I can get your tires changed.”

Kate did a barely perceptible dip with her head and seemed now perfectly content with our situation.

We talked while I changed her tires, and it became a most enjoyable span  of work and pleasure.

Kate was, of all the occupations in the Phoenix, AZ metroplex a Para Legal for Barnes and Dunlap, a firm with whom I worked occasionally. Talk of odd possibilities, I am an attorney with Morgan and Morley…”

“Oh, my goodness. Do not tell me, but you are just coming from a meeting in Tucson on the Dexter Weeks case? Am I right?”

“I’ll be darn, this is absolutely nut stuff. With all the millions of people in the metroplex and, this chance meeting on Interstate 10…”

There was an easy transference in play here. I stood from my tire changing from time to time, faced Kate, and we talked easily. It had to be the same for Kate as we passed all the detours, all the mud puddles, became electrically fast in our mood shifts…and something else. In those few minutes we came as close as two people can come in such a short period of time.

Our eyes darted here and there as we talked, assessing our bodies, Kate at points lingering a bit long on my hair, just recently culture-cut, the angularity of my face, the hazel of my eyes, my well-built slender physique, kept that way  with a multitude of exercises on a weekly basis.

The stunning assessment for me? Kate was absolutely beautiful with a bit of English accent, her skin so smooth to the point of perfection, her long length auburn hair that fell six inches from her shoulders, and her figure was an easy ‘Ten’ by any standard of measurement, visible when she turned and allowed her body to more firmly fit into wonderful nicks and crannies of her pants outfit.

*

So, with no shock to the readers, we became live-in lovers and have been in that magical place for two years now, with no demons on periphery trying to harm what our good God made perfect.

Well, except for the small pimple crisis on my love’s left cheek.

My life had its imperfections of the skin – a small outbreak of acne in high school that upset me, certainly not to an anxiety level onto which I placed it.

It was not the pimple so much that caused Kate’s nervous spells. She felt it was perhaps an omen of some kind, the first installment of some cataclysmic series of destructive omens in her life.

Now, I did mention she is English and can certainly, in true Anglo-Saxon form and bona fide heritage make cute little mountains out of cute little mole hills. Remember, they were the German inhabitants that arrived in England in the Fifth Century up to the Norman Conquest.

The pimple did not grow larger, but it did develop more talking points for my sweet Kate. The pimple became at its apex white with a red ring around it, then ugly yellow, but she would not let me squeeze it out, even with my teenage experience on the matter.

“Oh, you must truly hate me,” she would exclaim on the bear rug in front of the fireplace on a winter night.

“Oh, sweetheart, how could I ever hate the love of my life? Please, allow me to get a cotton ball, a bit of alcohol, no, no, not from your Manhattan. We will use the rubbing alcohol. I will most gently squeeze out that little white spot of ‘yuck’, put on the spot some soothing disinfectant, my little ‘star’ bandage, with soft kiss on top, and you will be rid of that pimple forever, no more to make home on your beautiful face… and the truth is, I’ve hardly noticed it being there… I’ve a great idea visiting my head – we can make a beauty mark out of that spot. What say you, my darling?”

“I say, ‘I’m cursed, having the man I love look upon me as a sorceress of some awful kind…oh, okay, get the stupid cotton ball, the medicine you plan to use, and put your ‘star bandage’ on the spot. Guess I have made as much hay with that as I can. You do still love me? You said…”

“Forever and any days beyond, my beautiful lady…you sure you don’t want to get married?”

“We can talk about that later. Go get your arsenal of pain and operate.”

“How did I get so lucky to find you on Interstate 10 – out of millions of people in the ‘valley of the sun’, and you chose me. I do so love you.”

“You damned well better…I don’t let just anybody pop my pimples.”

I do hope the readers get it: that my darling and I had such a perfect union she had to practice displeasure more in an artificial and teasing design…it was our way to live within our atavistic tendencies. If it was not ‘a pimple on the cheek’, it would be some other deeply embedded Germanic gift from her history – and we both enjoyed that kind of foreplay rather than actual traits of hate and distrust.

On our third anniversary I talked Kate into a tattooed mauve star for that spot where the pimple had the gall to inhabit for a short stay.

Short Story/Flash Fiction by:

BR Chitwood

©A Pimple on Her Cheek

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Mama’s Madness – Book Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BR Chitwood – May 17, 2020

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Stealth of Solitude

©Stealth of Solitude

By BR Chitwood

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These moments come

Where solitude settles

Softly, sweetly  serene

Upon  the selfless air.

 

In this quaint quietude

Along passive trails

The thoughts tumble

In silent speculation,

 

Memory peacefully pulses

With long ago reverie

Of loves and memories –

Treasures lost to time.

 

Slowly, a silent smile

Wistful in its pose

Is joined by tears in

Slow and tender descent.

 

Then, a distant doorbell ring,

Stealing these moments,

Displacing this  golden,

Tender Cache from me.

 

Time, relentless, constant,

Bringing dreams and joy,

Capriciously at its pleasure

Giving and taking away…

 

©BR Chitwood – May 13, 2020

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A Gray Day Mood

[Image Art by: Thomas Dils – Unsplash.com]

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(From the Archives, I give you more to add to your Covid-19 and ‘Isolation’ depression 2020…or, perhaps, to deflect or relieve your angst to some degree…)

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©A Gray Day Mood

by BR Chitwood

The mood is sullen, like the tall leafless trees outside my window. Their bare branches reach upward toward an ugly gray sky begging for new life. The fog and the gray are like cold blankets of despair.

In many ways I am like a tree. I sit on this cold gloomy day and muse about a youth that has faded with the gnarls of time and waste. It is true I spend too much time on a past that cannot be recalled, and such a day as this makes the process more morbidly cheerless and timorous in some vague way… Some of us are wired that way.

Yet I am not so unreasonable in thought that I forfeit the morrow that comes and will again bring blooming and gaiety to my disposition.

Oh, never again will I be as jubilant as when a young man I read Locksley Hall by Alfred Lord Tennyson and that English poet’s immortal lines: “…In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove; In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…” It is quite a long poem, covering so much, and I will not include it here. If you get a chance to read it, please do.

So, my love, the fair, always calm and constant Julie, is with me in these mindful turns and twists. She gives me the needed embrace to break the somber musings that I fear too often come to visit. My lovely lady, her genetic wiring so serene and different from my own, is the bright blossom in all my seasons.

Dreary wintry days can bring not the best of thoughts, but, as bromidic as it sounds, there are always tomorrow, Spring and Summer, we can hope…until we run out of those!

Time is both the friend and enemy of all. George the cat strikes a lovely sleeping pose on the long sofa. Julie pecks away on her laptop in the loveseat across the room. Pausing, I stare at them, happy they are here in my life. Out the big window the skies are clearing and wondrous blue and sun brighten my mood. Julie, George, the Sun’s appearance in a blue sky, all brighten my mood.

Time…

Time brings change. Time brings hope. Time brings another second, minute, hour, day for me to ponder the richness and sadness of my life’s odyssey. The mirror reflects the face I have known for all the years, now with lines and sags, now with gray to the beard I shave. In that face I see the events that have shaped me. Some I cannot rinse away with the water splash. Some I wish to retrieve but are lost in memory’s fickle fancy.

Time…Time brings beauty and glaring truth with its unrelenting pendulum swings. Time is everything in life.

George is now off the long sofa wishing to be fed. Julie is no longer pecking on her laptop keys. Outside, the sky is clear and the view across the canyon is breathtaking. Time will pass and I will break from writing to watch the Winter Olympics from Sochi.

All is pleasantly as Time would have it. Here am I as Time would have it – wearing my emotions on these red, white, and blue plaid sleeves

I leave you with these bits of free verse:

©Mirror Images

 I once looked at men like you,

Old men, frail and haunted…

That was when youth declared

I would live forever…

Life was moonlight promises.

So soon there was ecstasy and joy.

How hard it was to see then…

How easy it is to see now.

 When did it get this late?

When did the tree sap harden?

Where is the gold I sought?

Where is the key I held?

Why is the day no longer long?

Why does morning come so late?

What is the mystery to solve?

What day the reckoning?

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©Portrait in Time

 Young man, do you not see me

As once I might have been?

It is the wrinkle, the sag of cheeks,

Time put upon me that you see.

Once I stood, perhaps like you,

With noble thoughts and dreams

A new bright morn might bring.

 Time wore me down with its teasing,

Its ceaseless ubiquitous promises

And often-delicious pleasures.

Time taunted and tempted me

With its guile and deception,

With beauty beads of love.

 Time gave me its reins to  

Run wild with the wind

Sunrise through Sunset and

Deep into bacchanal nights.

 Time now leaves me here

On a mountain-top, better to

Have had those moments of joy –

Sad to have you see the

broken parts of me.

 Young man, can you not see me

As once I might have been?

 ©BR Chitwood – From the Archives – 2/15/14 – ‘Hawk’s Bluff’ in Tennessee.

*****

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

 Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

By a Grateful Son

 We have not figured out this riddle down here, Mom:

The mood shifts,

The happy faces,

The lonely times,

The Haves

The Have Nots,

The Love,

The Hate,

The Good,

The Evil.

Hearkens me back to Childhood days with you, Mom:

Boarding house days,

Your home cooking,

Your long work hours,

Your difficult choices,

Your body bruises,

Your reassuring smiles,

Your devotion to God,

Your heart’s charity,

Your devotion to Family.

 *

Your Love was shown in so many ways, Mom:

Through the gentle bedtime caress,

Through the selfless hours of toil,

Through the Faith you never lost,

Through countless heart agonies,

Through days of grievous pain,

Through a tangled life and time,

Through courage and hardship,

Through unimaginable sorrow,

Through all seasons and times.

*

My wish is that you know my forever Love,

There, where you now abide with God.

There in a safe and sacred dimension,

There in the Love and Grace you sought.

There surely where you can now smile,

There where you watch in milli-seconds,

There where the good and righteous dwell,

There where Mortals can only imagine,

There where Earth’s mysteries are riddles no more,

There I wish to be with you and eternal Love.

*

In Memory of my departed Mom

By BR Chitwood – May 10, 2020

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First Class

[Image Art by: Victoria Kure-Wu – Unsplash.com]

©First Classphoto-1538391912490-304338a7f94c

by BR Chitwood

“Would you like a drink before takeoff, Mr. Bryson?” asked the lovely blond flight attendant with blue eyes and conquettish smile.

“Do we have time?” flicking my eyes a few times in answer to the smile.

“Sure. We have a bunch of planes lined up for takeoff. I figure you for Vodka, stirred, her sexy voice just above a whisper. You do look a lot like James Bond, you know?”

“Which one?” playing the game.

“Pierce Brosnan, of course. The others couldn’t come close… Be right back with your drink,” and she turned and dipped her hips in walking away.

Ah, could be an interesting flight. Guess I’ll just leave the laptop in the overhead compartment.

I’m Travis Bryson and I now only fly first class since my company accomodates my heavy travel schedule. It likely sounds phony, but I’m an Executive V-P for CCC, a facilitator of sorts, bringing our national branches up to date on some new software for Webinars… Hey, it’s only exciting stuff for geeks like me and my comrades in the field. You’ve met our types. We really love what we do.

Now, don’t get me wrong about the flirting – I’m not married (anymore) so I’m not a bad guy and I’m legal. I’ve got a thick crop of black hair. I’m six-feet tall, work out each day and so far keep that middle paunch non-existent. I’m forty-two years old – that’s the new thirty-two, I’m told – and work out of my hometown in Phoenix, Arizona… That’s where this plane is heading, hopefully after I finish that Vodka Martini. (Speaking of which, here it comes, but, confesssion time, my eyes are really on the ‘Stew’, that face and body with the small tray in her hand. Again, don’t get me wrong… Oh, hell, you’ve got me right. There is nothing in life more beautiful than a woman, that is, a woman who has it all together. The guys know of what I speak, and one of them just arrived at my seat with a ‘James Bond Special’. I’m not sexist. I’m not any of those annoying PC words or phrases. I just appreciate beauty in all its forms.

“Hope this is as you like it, Mr. Bryson. If it isn’t I won’t charge you for it…” This, followed by one more coy flash of the eyes and a snicker. “Oh, by the way, what does CCC stand for?”

’Command Centers Conglomerate’… Okay, look, I know you’ve got another drink there to deliver, but is it okay if I call you Paula, as in Paula Jinx? We are going to be talking, and it’s a long flight from Atlanta to Phoenix. My name is Travis Bryson, as you already know, so call me by my surname, or, Trav…off you go now to deliver your next drink order.”

She spoke as she headed toward the back of the first-class cabin. “I’m impressed you noticed my name tag, Travis.”

Okay, it’s Friday, I’ve been on the road for two weeks, and I have no one waiting for me in the valley of the sun. I was going to get some laptop work done for Monday’s Executive Meeting at the office, bur it can wait. I’m feeling frisky and I’m betting Paula just might be staying over in Phoenix…why, she might be home-based in Phoenix. This flight ends in Phoenix so, at the very least, she will be staying overnight.

The flight is filled and no ‘stand-bys’ made it on the plane. The seat next to me is occupied by a stout bespectacled gentleman in his sixties, earplugs in, listening to music, and reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. My seat row partner has impeccable reading tastes – I did read and love Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. The man is a superb storyteller, and I am eager to read the other aforementioned book. Anyway, the gentleman next to me by the window is lost in his book and couldn’t care less about my flirting ability.

During the flight Paula served me three ‘stirrred martinis’ and I turned down the fourth, making some silly rejoinder, ‘I have three of those and I can feel it. If I have four, anybody can feel it!’

After meals were served and all plates, silverware were picked up, the cabin passengers were reading, sleeping, or using the facilities. Paula and I traded playful quips for a while, Then, as Phoenix got nearer, I thought I should make my move.

“You based in Phoenix by any chance, Paula?” The three martinis wired me for this conversation. I was ready for action. Two weeks on the road and planes can make you that way. ‘All work, no play’ kind of thing.

“Yes, I am. Is Phoenix your home base as well?” It seemed the smile did not leave her face during the entire flight.

“It is, and I’m thinking maybe we should get together this evening, or, soon. Now, I notice you wearing no wedding ring, so I’m brazen enough to ask.” I paused, waited for her to respond.

“That’s sweet, Travis, So sweet! But I can’t.” She touched me softly on the shoulder.

“So, you’re married and don’t wear your rings, right?”

“Not quite, Trav, but you’re close.”

“You’re separated or getting a divorce and want to wait. Is that it?”

“Not divorced. Not getting a divorce. There’s another reason…”

Not giving her a chance to go on, I suggested, “You and your boyfriend are broken up and you want some space. I can understand that. I’ve been there, done that!” I smiled inanely. This lovely creature was turning me down, and I’m ready to ‘bet the store’ we will be in a few hours warm and cozy in my apartment.

“No, Travis, it’s not like that. You’re a handsome man and most girls would be happy to connect with you. It’s just – well, someone is picking me up at Sky Harbor Airport, and you and I are not a possibility, tonight or ever…”

“Ah, no break-up! You have a steady boyfriend. Well, I can tell you this, Paula, the airline trains you well because I really thought we had something going.”

“No, Travis, you still have it wrong – well, mostly, the airline does train us to be nice and friendly with our flying customers. But there is no boyfriend…” She looked down at the aisleway and sadly smiled.

Then, like a middle linebacker laying me flat out on the football field, it hit me. “You’re…”

“Yes, Travis, I’m gay!”

“Pretty, lovely Paula, will you please bring me one more ‘James Bond Special’? And, will you alert the airline to bring me a wheelchair to the arrival gate?”

©Flash Fiction by BR Chitwood – From the Archives 

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The Power Merchants

The Power Merchants

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

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

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

The book, dummy, get to the book.

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

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

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

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

He is just kidding around, folks.

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

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

Please, enjoy.

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[From BR Chitwood’s – May 2020 novel:

“The Power Merchants”]

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Prologue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, BB. I’m an unworking actress.”

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

“Yes, and yes.”

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

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

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

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

“Would you like to leave now, CC?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My mind berated me with thoughts…

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

I tried, but she changed the subject.

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

*

Chapter One

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

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

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

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

Self-Pity?

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

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

I did not know me.

Oh, my God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a Mojave Rattlesnake.

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

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

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

*****

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

 Best wishes to all.

BR Chitwood – 5/1/20

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‘Be Quiet, My Mind’

‘Be Quiet, My Mind’

Even as a kid, long into the night, my mind played its ‘Tag Games’, giving me heroic moments, gallant thought-episodes, knight-like and noble – always, where I ruled the day, saved the damsel, fought the bullies and monsters of the world, and, guess what? Here, in ‘Twilight’, the mind still does not let the soft zephyr of sleep settle over me for a peaceful rest. It is for the most part a grand Annoyance, a deprivation of healthful refreshment.

As the night moments tick away, the thought patterns can change to Muse Moments, where poetic clusters come to me, urging me to rise, open the laptop, and capture some of these dulcet phrases for posterity, or, for self-glorification, or, sadness, fed by memories that might also bring unbidden tears to fall.

So, I rise, splash cold water on my face, retire to my comfortable chair in the living room, and open the ‘escape hatch’, the laptop, the sometime tech-wonder that I want to bash to ‘smithereens’ with a sledge-hammer – whatever the hell ‘smithereens’ might mean…ah, a ‘fragment’ as I check my dictionary… that would have bothered me all day had I not figured out why I was using that word… 😊

All those poetic dulcet phrases for posterity have gone AWOL on me since my rising…and you would have so enjoyed them. Darn, what’s a would-be poet to do? (Another reminder to keep a writing pad on the bedside table.)

In lieu of giving ‘my few post-regulars’ a hopefully titillating ‘run-on poem’, I’m left with this droll, sportive ‘spread of words’…

 (Oh, please do not take my few ‘post-regulars’ comment offensively—I’m not visiting the blog sites I follow because of an ‘energy-factor’: by that, I mean, I’m writing another book and, hopefully, another after the present M/S is completed, and, while the juices still flow for ‘writing’, that is all I do – for as long I am allowed, and, in doing so, I’m not getting as  many visitors to my blog posts as I would like, BUT, certainly, I do understand the non-visitors…why would others visit my blog when I’m not visiting their blogs? A ‘quid pro quo’ thing, and, as it should be… AND, I do thank so much those of you who do check out my posts on a regular basis. While on this long parenthetical ‘thesis’, my book sales records are not the stuff of which I’m proud, but it is somehow important for me to write at this point in my life. The books I write are good, he says with all modesty, and should have many more readers. It is my poor attempts at marketing and my ‘penny-pinching’ ways, I dare say. Suffice it, Writing is therapy for me… Quite enough on the subject, I suspect.)

Next post, I shall make it up to you loyal followers of my writing…again, thank you so much for keeping me writing. You are so much appreciated and warmly in my thoughts.

BR Chitwood – March 16, 2020

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Please preview my books at:

http://www.billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my blog at:

http://www.brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter at:

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood

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