Simple Realities in Life

Simple Realities in Life

βƦƇ

BR Chitwood

(1)

It will take a while after those terrifying pulls and yanks to get you out of your Mommy’s tummy darkness into the light and first sounds of human voices, and it does not take long for you to adjust to the calming coos, soft kisses, whispers of love after the umbilical is removed from your tender skin, and you are all cleaned up… Dad and Mom are sighing and smiling happily.

 Depending on your inherited ‘lottery number’, other abnormal disease and health factors, plus the cognitive ability you might surprisingly already possess, you will likely settle into the adoring laps of caring people who really and truly love you. That wholesome family environment along with an adequate IQ and desire will ultimately lead you to other rewards of life offerings.

(2)

The early months of your living you learn to get diapers changed, food, and attention by displaying an angry squealing. As long as the ‘formula’ is correct you will be well attended with liquid nourishment, soft foods, and a pacifier, with relatives and friends visiting to glorify you and make you smile and at times heartily laugh. The good caring parents will have studied the writing of pediatricians on how to begin teaching your baby with gentle techniques the good and the bad of behavior patterns, the many positive and negative signals that can alert them to patterns of incivility.

Talking and walking can come early in a child’s initial stages, and parents can begin early preparing for schools’ early grades.

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(3)

Parents bring to their children wide ranges of traditions and values. In our diverse and lovely United States of America we are daily witnessing some bizarre, manipulative, and most troubling events… Marxist-type Anti-Democracy groups, riots, murders, random assaults, thievery, and gross government inefficiency and our southern border giving way to millions of illegal aliens – what Trump-sanity put together, Biden idiocy takes apart.

Perhaps the biggest falsehood of all is that we are a ‘Racist Nation’, promulgated by groups who prevaricate their reason for existence.

 WE ARE NOT A RACIST NATION!

 WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND LIBERTY AS OUR HALLMARKS! WE ARE A ‘MAJORITY RULE’ DEMOCRACY – AND SOME OF OUR MOST PATRIOTIC CONTRIBUTING CITIZENS CARRY DIFFERENT ETHNICITIES…

(4)

The NEA – National Education Association – is working overtime to include in our schools’ Syllabuses a course called ‘Radical Race Theory’, a course to teach our young people that ‘Whites’ are prejudiced against ‘Blacks’… actually, to teach each group to ‘hate’ the other.

Not only is the NEA the costliest union in the nation, it is the most inefficient. Tax payers are footing the bill, and this sham of a group has far-outlived any beginning usefulness they might have had.

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(5)

The children are America’s future. As we give them our love and guidance for good civic living, teach them our values and good sense for living, let us also make them solidly mindful that we measure our friends on the ‘content of their character’, not the color of their skin.

We cannot solve all the issues in our society, the crime, the IQs, and the selfishness of some, but we do not teach hatred in our classrooms – there is plenty of hatred in our government and in the world.

Impossible, perhaps, but can we not all wish for a ‘Mandate for Peace’?

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(6)

Of course, I’m gullible, but I can have my dreams of a world unencumbered with wasteful hatred and power struggles.

BR Chitwood July 23, 2021

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‘Poor Me’

What molecular miracle could have made me more than I am? Less lonely and lethargic? Less maudlin and ‘poor me’?

‘Poor Me’

By BR Chitwood

Would a chromosome here or there have made a difference? A genetic anomaly? A stronger voice? A calm persona? Magnetic personality? An indefatigable nature?

What molecular miracle could have made me more than I am? Less lonely and lethargic? Less maudlin and ‘poor me’?

Oh, I know how to assess my beginning and all that came with my life’s rural entry… That is where much of the ‘poor me’ was introduced, forming in me for the rest of my life, frustration, loves, anxieties, and adventures…

Among the days, weeks, months, and years, I have not been denied the gifts of life or the vagaries. There has been the beauty of love, college, wonderful job opportunities, some fun film and television acting, friendships, novel writing…and the awful squandering of time and essence.

‘So, what, my man?’ I hear the old annoying voice of my alter-ego. ‘There are billions of people in the world – grow some balls’!

Hey, I’m writing here, ‘mute’ your nasty mouth and leave my head… I’m writing this for me and those who have felt similar emotions. Your rude attendance is not mandatory, nor, wanted…this session is for the sad and weak of heart, the Romantics, the dreary of character, the great mass of ‘unwashed’ of the world.

For the most part, it all began after my escape from the emotional rural abyss, after a tour of duty in the US Navy in one of its mentally depressive duty stations on the small, snowy, and bleak island of Adak in the Aleutian Chain. Russia was relatively close…on a clear day from our neighbor island, Attu, the coast-line of Vladivostok could be seen.

We were one hundred fifty especially trained men, some who would spend 18 months or longer on a snowy, remote, tundra-carpeted piece of the island – that is, when you could see it through patches of snow.

We 150 sailors were three units, each working our special jobs for three shifts before a break. Each unit was responsible for operating the various amenities available to the hardy group of sailors, those being: library, photography, crafts of all kinds, and Beer Bar. In fact, all 150 sailors lived and played in this huge concrete and steel one-level ‘C’ structure – it was quite a building sitting on a huge hill of tundra above the Bering Sea. There were other operations buildings where we did our jobs.

It is not my intent to make this post about the island of Adak. The ancient Aleuts who lived here had nothing better to do but hunt their cows (their meat source) and how best to keep from freezing. They need not have worried about bears taking their steaks (there were none). Eagles did give them a bit of trouble.

Adak was a place of harsh cold winds, snow, and rain where ‘warmth’ was in constant demand. Adak was simply a place where loneliness dwelt, where buddies sat, drank, told their stories of home, the girls they loved, and their sports moments of glory. There were times when group tears were shared as well. All in all, our jobs on the island were important to our country and that established importance got us through the tough spots.

Many of us lived on that hill or in our Ops buildings for our full tours – eighteen months, although the ‘tour was supposed to be for twelve months.

It was on Adak when I discovered further dimensions of myself, my insecurities, my mobile youth, fears, confusion, and my intense longing for home, hearth, and love.

In short, I discovered a ‘me’ that carried a lot of emotional baggage. I was a destined ‘romantic’ nomad. I was an untrained lotus eater.

There’s an old ‘Anon’ saying which I could have easily written: “Life is really simple! People insist on making it complicated.” Old ‘Anon’ had to be thinking of me when he, or, she wrote that.

In that Appalachian portion of my life – that ‘Poor Me’, among the bad parts, I would mimic ballad singers. Maybe I could be a famous singer. But, wait, I also wrote poetry and fumbled around with words. Maybe I could be a writer…well, I have done both, even done some film work and TV commercials, taught school, but the very best talent I have is, wait for it! Procrastination.

What I really wanted to do with this post, for you, the reader, and me, was to merge the two events in my life that have likely made me who I am, not a ‘nobody’, but an ‘anybody’. I have written here about two events in my thinking that were ‘me-shapers’ and will not write about some of the I’s and Q’s I am likely missing.

One thing I am reasonably sure about is my writing, twenty books so far, most of them taken from true crimes. I write mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, thriller, Sci-Fi. I have written over 370 blog posts from various parts of the globe.

So, take a look at my Website/Blog, click the menu icon and read some book synopses. See if my writing might team up with your reading.        

BR Chitwood – 3/15/21

Author’s Website and Blog: Books and Writings by BR Chitwood

https://www.brchitwood.com

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Idle Thoughts in the New Year

Idle Thoughts in the New Year

By BR Chitwood

I’m awake. I take a deep breath, laze, and ponder the day ahead…

I’m one of the lucky guys, did my hitch in the US Navy, got a college BA degree, somehow managed by the good and bad instincts within me to reach old age with a few good wives (only one at a time!), great kids, a lovely home, a few pets, and a truck load of bitching and moaning.

Mistakes? The accounting would be likely a glaring RED on the mythical scale judging rogues like me. Now, please take note, this is a constricted confession of me and my life, and I won’t be listing all my digressions, not even a small scintilla of them…anyone who has read any of my twenty-odd books and some 400 blog posts and poems will have spotted some of the RED.

I shall admit to one RED glare that some few of my family and friends know about…I’m driven by lethargy, okay, I’m lazy. Sure, ‘Arthur’ has something to do with that, but the truth is, after a short teaching stint, after many years in the textbook publishing business visiting the curriculum staff and department heads to promote major companies’ textbooks and aids – but mostly ‘schmoozing’, I became a Regional Manager, ultimately promoted to a National Sales Manager. The company would eventually merge, and I moved on to creating my own business.

My own business created a slow- moving life style that satisfied my latent and behavioral laid-back tendencies. The business opened the door to a long-held desire to write more often until it became the only reality for me. Maybe I can put the blame on writing for my lethargy.

So, from Appalachia and a plethora of emotional dips, turns, straw behindmy ears, I entered the human race.   

With my books, posts, poems, I find parts of me on, above, and below the lines of what I write. I see a bewildered young man discovering the neon madness of the world, watching it stagger and at times fall to the raw whimsy of charlatans and fools who believe only in power, money, and domination. AND, I see the goodness, the sadness of good people only wanting a fair and equitable life, comfort in their faith, and an eternal reward.

BR Chitwood – January 3, 2021

SEE MY BOOKS & BLOG POSTS/POETRY: https://www.brchitwood.com

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:

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The Essence of Love

God Bless all the little creatures of the world!

By BR Chitwood

During the soothing touches of my massage by a good and lovely wife, we chatted about one of our small pets… I thought the story of how we met our little cottontail rabbit and our seven-year love affair with that cottontail might have some soft and tender moments to convey. The morning was bleak, gray, and looked like snow. The trees were stark and sad without their leaves against the gray backdrop. It was much like the day ‘Christmas’ came into our lives.

Julie and I lived in Cave Creek, Arizona with Toby, our beautiful and faithful golden retriever. It was Christmas night around 10:30 PM and Julie took Toby out into our front courtyard for a tinkle session and to turn off the holiday lights on the few small trees and bushes. Julie heard a quick rasping sound among the gravel and brush. Toby suddenly assumed his retriever pose near our courtyard wall of stucco.

Toby maintained his pose there in the courtyard looking somewhat dumbfounded with his head arching downward and trying to see why the squeaky-sounding creature might be quivering under his furry body. Julie saw that it was a small cottontail rabbit, obviously recently born, seeking refuge under Toby’s body. Julie picked the tiny rabbit up and put it in the palm of her hand. She could see from the holiday lights that some animal, perhaps a coyote, had caused some serious damage to the rabbit. It had one eye missing and its small head was bloody and appeared just recently attacked.

With Toby softly moaning at her side, Julie carefully carried the cottontail into the house and began her miracle nursing. She wrapped the one-eyed cottontail in a small blanket, found in our garage an old cage we had once kept our lop-eared rabbit, Gigi, and put her tiny wounded creature inside. Julie put the cage and rabbit in the room she used as an office, with Toby still softly moaning and keeping careful watch.

The next morning Julie went to see a Veterinarian friend nearby and was told that the most humane thing to do would be to put the rabbit out of its misery. What the Vet did not know was that my wife is a true animal lover and refused to take to heart her pronouncement. Julie persisted, and the Vet finally gave her a small doll’s bottle for feeding, some kitten formula, and recommended that Visine drops be put in the rabbit’s good eye, that Neosporin be used on the gashed head, and that the formula be fed every two hours..

Julie returned home to find Toby in a state of frenzy. The cottontail had somehow managed to get out of the cage. Julie finally found the rabbit under her desk near the cage. Then Julie began the steady nursing and rehabilitation of the tiny desert cottontail. Every two hours, Julie brought our new pet, ‘Christmas’, out to the great room, wrapped in its blanket, fed it and tended to the wounds. The incredible thing was that Toby played Dad and Mom to this little furry creature, nosing its little bottom up in the littler box to make it go potty.

For me, it was a remarkable period as I watched all of this play out over the following days and weeks. Julie is the most patient and caring person I know. She loves animals, family, and children more than anyone I have ever known. She even loves me, and I consider myself one of the luckiest men in the world.

‘Christmas’ moved with us to a lake community and thrived with her daily routines of treats, going to her guest bedroom hideout under the bed, returning to Julie’s office to be fed. Julie was the only person that ‘Christmas’ would allow lap time. And, after seven years with us, that is where ‘Christmas’ died, on Julie’s lap.

It was early morning and Julie had come to her office where ‘Christmas’ litter box and feeding took place. Julie would habitually hide little treats around the office for ‘Christmas’ to find. This particular morning, all ‘Christmas’ wanted was to be on Julie’s lap. With tears flowing, Julie softly stroked with her forefinger the fur on ‘Christmas’ back, her barely audible breathing fainter with each passing minute.

We all cried, even Toby, when ‘Christmas’ died. She had become part of our family. I found a shoe box, lined it with tissue and a treat, and placed ‘Christmas’ in it. Julie, Toby, and I drove some miles to the country, found an old gnarled oak tree near a farmer’s field and, after a few words of love, buried ‘Christmas’ there.

Even in writing this, in the remembrance, tears easily come.

Perhaps, that is the essence of love. Perhaps that is why God gave us enduring souls.

***

BR Chitwood – (From the Archives) – November 28, 2020

https://www.brchitwood.com (Website & Blog & my Books)

Follow on Twitter.com @brchitwood

Demented Pleasure

“Any chance for an editor somewhere getting all atremble about my writing?” (Just asking!)

©Demented Pleasure

BR Chitwood

What manner of demented pleasure do I receive by  

The daily pounding of these laptop keys?

Most certainly not the accolades written in copious

affirmational delight with so much ease…

Please mind not what seems vain adolescent tripe…

Each of us in turn have found our time to gripe.

My observation is, writers bear it alone for hours,

and become inured to the ‘hearts and flowers’.

So, write your historic epic, your suspense thriller,

just remember, there are millions drafting a chiller…

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by BR Chitwood

https://www.brchitwood.com

Apathy Wins the Day

Apathy Wins the Day

By BR Chitwood

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A terrible thing, Apathy!

Insidious and mind-numbing!

Slow in its worm-wiggling through

The mind’s creative channels…

As the words, phrases, characters

Form on a small screen in front of the author…

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The author comes to that screen

Because of his love for writing and shaping tales.

After twenty novels, some four hundred blog posts,

Accolades from writer friends and the public,

All have given me hope for commercial success…

True I’ve implemented no true marketing plans,

Relying on social media, my posts, and groups.

*

So, it would appear the minimal sales of my books

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

I have accepted the apathy reality and also the

Literary output, proud that many readers found

Pleasure in my humble efforts.

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

BR Chitwood – October 22,2020

https://www.brchitwood.com

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One final word… I shall still write simply for the

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

And/or a passage that sparks an inner delight.

Accept and Share Your Circuitry

Metaphysics and Religions

Accept and Share Your Circuitry

By BR Chitwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I read a lot.

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

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

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

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

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

Actually, as many as you can spare!

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

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

BR Chitwood – October 21, 2020

Website/Blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

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

Times Square and Anna

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

©Times Square and Anna

By BR Chitwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had to do something!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End

***

Flash Fiction/Short Story by:

BR Chitwood

Website & Blog:

https://www.brchitwood.com

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

Within These Walls

Within These Walls

By BR Chitwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s happening?” Willows squealed.

He was answered with silence.

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

“Please tell me what’s going on.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short Story

By BR Chitwood

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

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