Murphy – The Baby Sitter

©Murphy – The Baby Sitter

Fiction

By BR Chitwood

“Your first night, Murphy, want a quick ‘Q and A’? asked Brian Headley.”

“Really, Brian, that’s a bit insulting, don’t you think?”

“That was not in my mind when I asked, Murphy. Cheri and I are just making sure we’ve covered all the bases. Don’t get feisty with me.”

“Yeah, Murphy, added Rob Drawly, father of Brittany, same with Piper nd me.”

I am ‘all the bases’, and I’ve covered everything with all of you…several times. Brian, Cheri, and, Rob, you and Piper, go to your yearly weekend ritual in New York. The children will be fine. I know all there is to know about their likes, dislikes, the food they love and hate, their favorite games…and they already love me. I love them, each and every one – Jordon (the kid who would be King), Camille and Bonnie (who will be famous movie stars and dancers). Now, please, get out of here and leave me with my ‘Charges’!” Murphy did not smile but his voice was frisky and playful.

After a few chuckles and raised eyebrows, the parents looked quickly upon their sleeping children and were gone.

***

After some listed duties, Murphy settled in the den next to the children’s bedrooms, turned on the television – near-muted because his ear-pieces had dual listening capabilities: the children could not hear the television speakers but TV volume defaulted with any crying or needs of the children. Murphy was able to hear their gentle in-and-out breathing with the ‘state of the art’ ear devices.

The TV and den light went off at the prescribed setting time, and all was quiet in the 3000 square-foot house. As the den light brought darkness and stillness to the entire house, Murphy went silent as well…his keen hearing still able to pick-up the sounds of the children.

***

At 3:10 AM, Murphy heard a distant sound, like broken glass falling to the hardwood floor in the entry hall. The children were still asleep…only the ears of Murphy could isolate the sounds.

Murphy immediately deployed an unseen varnish-like spray-substance on the entry walls and the hardwood floor a few steps from the front door. He heard the door opening, heard the shuffling of feet for only a few seconds. After some minutes passed, Murphy heard two sets of grumbling voices.

Murphy dialed a pre-set police telephone number, gave them a required validation code for house equipped as was this one for Brian and Cheri Headley…a similar pre-set requirement was also in place for Rob and Piper.

***

Within a flash of some moments, the police arrived at the Headley residence and found two terribly distraught would-be robbers rooted to the hardwood floor…two sets of shoes stuck to and occupied a space…two sets of socks stuck to and occupied another space…and blood was coming from bare feet in another space.

Murphy magically made the sticky liquid disappear from the hardwood floor, restored within seconds its original finish, and miraculously replaced the glass at the entry…

Murphy watched the police take the unlucky robbers away.

At no time before, during, and after this incident did the children awaken.

The police shook their heads and waved at the strange-looking robot called Murphy.

Flash Fiction by: BR Chitwood – 7-27-2020

Please preview my books:

http://billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my blog:

http://brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

 

Short Journey of Steven Bardo

-Image art by: Nick Herasimenko – Unsplash. com-

©Short Journey of Steven Bardo

By BR Chitwood

Steven Bardo stumbles down a sidewalk in Phoenix, Arizona, the front pockets to his soiled trousers turned inside-out, and he bounces into a brick wall of a mercantile building and falls to the sidewalk. Bardo rests his back against the old brick wall, takes a couple of deep breaths of smoggy air, tightly closes his eyes a few times. People walk by the man, showing no care or interest.

The back of Steven Bardo’s head rests uncomfortably against the aged wall as he gazes across the road to another commercial building, his stare locking on nothing of which his eyes are interested, just at a place in his mind where a vacuum of despair fills the historic messiness he has made of this life he owns.

Steve Bardo was not drunk. He had barely enough for two beers and one jigger chaser of liquor at the bar he just left. The bartender refused to give him credit for more drinks and muttered in menacing words for him to leave the bar. The unsteady figure now leaned back and against the building’s wall, staring straight ahead across the street to a locked-in stain spot on the white brick facing, him mind swirling with thoughts of his yesterdays, the work mistakes, the gambling, the ‘extra-women’, all the side-tracks that crushed his marriage.

Tears came with a sad wry smile, and he dropped his head, turned it slightly to his right, and saw stuck in the crevice of the sidewalk what looked like a folded ‘Circle K’ lotto ticket. It was a ticket someone must have thrown there, and he absent-mindedly picked it up and put it in his shirt pocket…

For a moment, his sad smile brought him up to date with this moment, sprawled on a sidewalk with a lotto ticket in his pocket…he slowly shook his head and murmured to himself: ‘Stranger things have happened. Dumb luck was all over the place. Why did I come up this street when I left the bar? That empty shack by the railroad track is my only refuge’.

‘I’m broke, stumbling around like a drunk sailor…my life is the ‘pits’ – hell, the movie people make these tear-jerkers all the time and make millions upon millions of dollars on the well-off crowds who flock to the theaters to feel sad for the poor bastards portrayed on the silver screen’…

Steve Bardo sat on the sidewalk for many moments until he felt somehow bare and vulnerable. He struggled to his feet and slowly began shuffling back down the street toward that abandoned shack by a railroad track that now served as his home.

He passed the ‘Circle K’ on the corner where he turned toward the RR shack, walked a few feet, stopped, and had a sudden urge. ‘Why not check the number on the lotto ticket? The ‘Circle K’ is only a few feet away’.

Inside the ‘Circle K’ he approached the employee behind the counter, an older woman, Marge by the pinned label attached to her blouse,  already showing signs of doubt and worry about the man approaching. Still, she thought, ‘he looks harmless, sad and lonely, and he’s pulling a lotto ticket from his shirt pocket…maybe, he gets lucky’.

 The counter lady smiled sweetly at the man, suddenly feeling sorry for him. “You have a winning ticket there?” She asked cheerily.

He tried to smile, gave his head a short nod and handed her the ticket. The pleasant lady brought a good feeling he wasn’t sure he could explain to anyone.

“Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed.” She smiled and went to a small alcove to run the numbers.

Steve Bardo leaned on a small counter at the alcove watching the nice woman’s face as she did her meticulous check of the numbers. Then, with glowing eyes, she repeated the second re-check of the lotto ticket…

The man watched her moves, and, with every cheerful mood she made, he became more excited…’My Good God! Maybe she’s finding me a new life’… He knew something good was happening.

Then, police officer Gig Weller walked into the ‘Circle K’. Officer Weller watched Two young casually dressed men filling their tote bags with many bottles of liquor, wine, and sundry treats. The taller of the two men saw the policeman, and, when their eyes met, all three knew, one way or the other, the party was over – and all the booze and ‘goodies’ stuffed in the ‘gear bags’ would not be used in frolic and fun…or, resale.

Officer Weller approached the two men. He judged them to be in their mid-twenties, and, at the moment, they were nervously dithering as to what their exit plans should be.

Within ten feet of the young men, the officer saw the signs that spoke of illegal activities.

“You fellows want to show me what’s in your ‘sports bags’?” The officer rested his right hand on his holstered weapon.

“Just some party stuff, officer.”

“Lots of booze coming off the shelves and into that travel bag…you planning to pay for that ‘party stuff’?”

The two men were not so evident of their criminal intent as some he had encountered, but he could observe that nuance he had come to trust over the years…these fellows were committing a robbery – he knew it but would practice decent discourse until they made their move.

The two medium-built men looked quickly at each other, and the shorter one answered: “Oh, sure, Officer, just making it easier on ourselves with the bags, and we didn’t notice any collection carts when we came in.”

The Officer gave a slight smile and pointed toward the entry/exit doors: “You mean those stacked at the entrance? You two bring your bags to the counter, and we will get an accounting.” The Officer’s right hand never left his weapon.

Reluctantly, the two men shuffled toward the counter, closely watching the Officer’s moves. Another male employee had returned to the counter and watched the approach of the two men and the Police Officer some three feet to the side. The counter clerk knew instinctively that trouble was walking toward him, his slow labored swallow giving him away.

“Okay,” the Officer said, “pay the clerk, and we’ll see if we’re done with all this.”

The two men looked at each other, the taller man spoke: “Go ahead Ellis, pay the man…”

The man called Ellis looked quickly at his partner with widened eyes: “Whoa, Jack, I thought you were paying with your credit card…”

“No, it was the other way around, Ellis. I don’t have my credit card or any money. You were to pay.”

“Bull-croppy! You were to pay! Look in the bag…maybe you put your credit card in there.”

Jack grabbed the bag, unzipped the middle opening…

His voice no longer carrying any cordial tone, the Officer Weller spoke in a loud demanding voice as he pulled his gun from its holster: “Drop the bag and raise your arms, you are both under arrest…”

The man called Jack pulled a revolver from the bag and jumped sideways toward a counter end, and pulled the trigger several times.

A woman’s scream was heard from the back at the alcove.

The Officer managed to get off several shots, one shot immediately mortally wounding the man called Jack, and, unfortunately, one bullet from the now dead man crazed the shoulder of Officer Gig Weller, fortunately, not disabling him. The man called Ellis stood shaking, arms raised high and stiff.

Officer Gig Weller cuffed the man called Ellis, made his call to the precinct, described the altercation and aftermath…

The ambulance arrived, put some ointment on Officer Weller’s shoulder and a patch. Ellis was taken to lock-up.

The police ambulance not only carried Jack to the morgue but Steven Bardo, the man who had lost his way in life…until the final moment of his living. He was killed by a stray bullet from the gun fired by Jack.

Officer Gig Weller talked to a tearful Marge as she emerged from the ‘Circle K’ alcove to report the death of Steven Bardo. When Weller saw her tears, he asked, “Was Mr. Bardo a personal friend of yours?”

“No, but in my heart, I know he was a good man who had some very bad luck in life, sad from all the weight he was carrying, the mistakes, loss of family, the ‘boogey-man’ always there inside of him…” Fresh tears began to trickle.

“Why was he in your ‘Circle K’? Sounds like you had an emotional encounter with him.”

“Steven Bardo found a ‘lotto ticket’ on a sidewalk, and, on his way to his humble shack he called home, he passed our store, came in to see if the numbers might have been winning number – a real ‘long shot’ of course…

“Old tear-jerker me, I feel immediately sad for the man and wanted so much for that lotto ticket to give him a new lease on life, and my verification came at the very moment of his death from that stray bullet…

“I got to see him light up with a smile when I told him he was a winner? NOT, the jackpot amount, but enough to turn his life around…his last number was ‘13’, but he knew, KNEW, that he was a winner – finally, a winner. Thank God he was able to go with that knowledge…”

A trio of tears dropped to the ‘Circle K’ floor.

The End

©Short Journey of Steven Bardo

By BR Chitwood – July 22, 2020

Please preview my books on my Website:

billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my Blog:

brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood  

 

 

“The Galaxy Higher Order”

“The Galaxy Higher Order”

by BR Chitwood

(Messenger Chosen and Indoctrinated by TGHO OuigiBoard.)

***

Overview and Statement of Purpose:

 Centuries, Millenia have passed since The Supreme Deity of TGHO unilaterally, with a compelling and compassionate inner guidance brought forth the most favored thinkers to embrace with Him/Her a benign concept that would create union between females and males to populate countries, who, in turn, would create through a procreation process other females and males, all to grow and multiply with different mind-sets and talents for further creations…it would be an interesting experiment, with certain expectation levels of achievement.

It was not so much idle moments that brought about this epic adventure. The Deity, his followers, had the idea of an exclusive Galaxy that would spread through the great Spatial Heavens. The Deity thought of the project more in divine terms and all their efforts were kept in perspective of this great and noble experiment.

So, it came to pass…

Great countries were built, their cities rich not only in their beauty, their architecture, but the people wise and productive in their giving. There were periods of unique, beautiful art, and wise thinkers who were able to predict and prepare for colossal events.

Then, with growing aggravation came the vermin, the insects and diseases that destroyed the crops.

People died from inexplicable causes.

People became angry, fought among themselves.

Then came wars between countries, with weaponry that grew in size and mass destructive ability.

Where went benignity? Where went peace and good will? Some would blame human machines, people who focused on power and control.

***

Perhaps the paths taken to get to the twenty-first century, had different routes. Perhaps the symbolism, the ‘galactic allusion’ does not fit so well, but we are here in the year of our Lord, 2020, our knowledge doubling at such speeds to make the head dizzy, a Covid-19 Pandemic, Political forces seemingly asleep at the wheel of government, riots in the streets of our cities, murders, rioting, looting…what madness has infected the souls of our nations. Our monuments and statues from History, who we were, who we are, how we fought and won our freedom and liberty… What is the Demon force at work? Who are the Demons? Who are the ‘power brokers’ ripping apart the USA? Are our educational systems, for whatever their reasons, brainwashing our kids? Taking from them the ‘guts’ of our Republic: how we got here? The good, the bad that got us here?

Why are we allowing idiots to walk our sacred halls of Congress…yes, I know, they were voted into office…how? why?

We are allowing ‘mindless hoodlums’ to kill our children and neighbors, to kill our police, to riot, to loot…likely paid to do so by Anarchist Power Brokers

‘Some Big cities wish no longer to fund the Police’?

That’s ‘Crazy’, simply, NUTS!

‘Black Lives Matter’? More Craziness…begging stupid questions.

‘All Lives Matter’! Black, brown, red, white, yellow… We all matter… Pain and Suffering are not limited to one group of people or one location. Some of us are products of Appalachian poverty, and we worked to break away from that unpleasantness. We all did not crawl inside our minds and build envy and hate for those who had more than we. So many good people with their own plates bare of food helped others. People care but cannot always be there to help ease the pain. Hate is invidious, divisive, and a terrible place to be… Yes, these are just words that can’t pay the rent or buy the food…show me a man, woman, or child who can be economically burdened but can still smile and help another in need, and I’m meeting a most special person. Yes, these are just words, but I can say, I’ve been there, and I will never envy or hate anyone who has more than I do.

There is a lot of sadness in the world, and we should help as many as we can who try each day to help lessen their load.

And, of course, if you do hate the USA, want to take away the freedom and liberty that millions have died to preserve for us, then, get on a boat to Venezuela and/or another Totalitarian country.

This is AMERICA, those of you who brazenly shout and shove your way to looting, killing our police, and defying our symbols of past glories and sacrifices. There are a lot of us who do not have so much, but we did get past abject poverty by working our way out. We served our country through some wars. For those who need food and shelter this country does have places of refuge, counseling, and job assistance. Seek help from reliable sources, and, PLEASE, avoid the ‘mob mentality’ that feeds anger and hate.

Yes, we have some acute problems at the moment, and it is an ‘election year’.

One candidate has been in several positions in our government. If he has been successful in those forty-plus years, I must have pulled a ‘Rip Van Winkle’, unless becoming very wealthy and making a son very wealthy are some sort of hallmarks.

The other candidate may not have the decorum some would wish in a Commander-in-Chief, but he knows how to run a business, and, after all, it seems we need a man who knows thoroughly those principles of business and growth of the economy. The Pandemic will hopefully run its course, and we will get back to strong markets and a confident America.

Okay, I have more or less satisfied my anger, but I love this country, and we have to get our schools (Charter, or, otherwise) re-opened and up to speed.

BR Chitwood – July 14, 2020

Please preview my books:

http://billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my Blog:

http://brchitwood.com

Please follow me on Twitter:

  https://twitter.com/brchitwood

Airlines and Altitude

photo-1499063078284-f78f7d89616a

©Airlines and Altitude

A striking lady stood on her toes in the aisle placing a small brown valise in the overhead compartment. Momentarily, I was stunned by her beauty, by the delicate beige dress of chiffon that surrendered sensually to her curvaceous body in a most delicious way. Her long golden tresses dropped elegantly just below her shoulders. She appeared to me in the age range of thirty-plus, perhaps a model, or, an actress.

I’m an entrepreneur, busily involved in a number of businesses, likely, maybe, aside from money, considered handsome by some…at least, good-looking. I’m athletic, six feet tall with raven-dark short-cropped hair, hazel eyes, a Roman cant, and in my early forties. I hastily married once, but found it too confining, too boring, too confounding, and too interruptive of my business goals.

The attraction was immediate as the glamorous lady in the aisle slammed close the overhead, her mesmerizing blue eyes cast a spell on my own, and her perfectly shaped lips formed a smile as she spoke: “Hi, I have the window seat. You’re stuck with me all the way to Los Angeles.”

I started to unbuckle my seatbelt and stand, but she stopped me. “Please, you’re fine. First class makes flying a treat with its roomy space.”

Still with the soft smile, she moved easily and swiftly between the bulkhead and me to her window seat – we had the first row of seats in the first-class section, lending a feel of coziness and privacy.

The sweet scent of her perfume filled my nostrils, delighted my lungs, as she took her window seat, and I was hoping my nonplussed insides was not simultaneously shaped on my face. The smile I returned to her seemed socially awkward to me as I spoke: “I’m delighted to be ‘stuck’ with such a lovely lady. My name is Stuart (Stu) bellows, and I might as well ask up front, are you a conversationalist or do you prefer privacy with your flying?”

How courteous and sweet, Stu, of you to ask, but I enjoy chatting with people on planes, being nosey! My name is Eve Noblesse. I’m delighted to meet you.” Her perfectly aligned white teeth contrasted marvelously with her sultry lush lips, painted with a subtle non-glaring blush shade.

We softly shook hands as we were interrupted by the first-class stewardess with a gold name tag of Betsy: “You two wish a drink before take-off?” She looked first at Eve.

Sounds wonderful! A glass of Chablis if you have it. Thank you.”

Please make it two, Betsy,” hoping the cute ‘Stew’ would not be able to notice the unusually romantic stirring generated by my brain… This blonde beauty was definitely interrupting my lap-top business date for the next five hours.

The altitude, the Chablis rounds, the inexplicable attraction that we each seemed to have for one another moved us along very nicely. Our chatter became much more personal, disabling subtlety, decrying diary pages of the most personal kind.

Eve and I turned down the lunch offer for more Chablis, and, as the wine unlocked other sinister doors within us, we began ‘touching’, first with the arm touch, then with the knee…but the kicker was the role of the eyes.

It turned out that Evie had indeed been a model, had married once, found the same mediocrity in the different shades of each’s personality. We in fact had very similar takes on life and where it might take us.

Somewhere during the delirium of our awakened senses came a question from me that produced a shock value for each of us.

Do you know about the ‘Mile High Club’?” As soon as I asked the question I gasped and added: “I’m so sorry! I don’t know why I would ask you a question like that?”

She giggled and responded. “Well, I do know of the club but don’t have membership. How about you? Are you a full-fledged member?” She had the cutest grin on her face, her orbs doing a wild display of dance moves.

Betsy brought us another Chablis, then went to her ‘drop-down’ seat next to the flight deck for a nap.

No, not a member at all, ‘fledged’ or otherwise. I do have to say I’m intrigued by the possibility… Please don’t be insulted by my comment. I find you a most beautiful and wise flight buddy, Eve, and it’s not my intent at all to make suggestions. In fact, I do not want to end this ‘relationship’ when this cross-country flight is over. ‘The Mile High Club’ thing just makes me wonder about altitude and airline aircraft. Does that combination do a job on people of the daring and romantic sets?”

Eve got this flushed look on her face, grabbed my hand, and said: “Let’s do it, Stu! But, how do we get away with it?”

Okay, I can’t say who came up with the idea, but one of us leaves the first-class compartment and goes to the tourist-class section. We agree that I will be the first to leave, will wait, if need be, for the very last rest room on the starboard side of the plane. (I pointed across the aisle so Eve would know I meant that side of the plane.) Evie will leave a few minutes later, will either see me waiting or can assume I’m already in the room.

There will be no suspense built here…

The deed was done, and, when Betsy awoke from her nap she brought fresh glasses of wine to two flushed smiling faces, eyes dreamy and staring straight ahead into the carpeted bulkhead.

Now, look, don’t get the wrong idea…

Here’s what my entrepreneur friend wanted me to write under his hand at the end of this post, to wit:

I’ve explained all of this to the writer of this blog post, with his promise of no names – or, fictitious names if he must.

For the record, ‘Eve and I’ have been happily married for many years and have beautiful kids. We love each other with a devotion that is likely rare in marriages.

Just beware of ‘airlines and altitude’!

Eve and I now travel by rail…

Well, that’s another story… I’ll get around to sharing it with my blogpost writing buddy here. Be on the lookout for it.

Flash Fiction by: Billy Ray Chitwood – 5/4/2020

Please preview my books at:

http://billyraychitwood.com

Please sign up to follow my Blog:

http://brchitwood.com 

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

My Writing Style & Substance

My Writing Style & Substance

by BR Chitwood

For the record: I’ve written twenty books, many of them fictional but based on actual criminal events and my intent was to use as much of the true data about the event, that is, the crime itself, forensics, police data, some author-embellished narrative pieces of media accounts of the crime(s); I’ve written stories of love and romance, mixed with mystery and suspense, some with historical backgrounds, science fiction, some that had fanciful moments; finally, I have written two memoirs that convey my life’s journey – warts and all – and some of that bio-stuff doesn’t embarrass me in the least, though it might have during the time it was occurring, with its romantic and nomadic relevance, my ‘searching period’, as it were.

For anyone who might be interested, number twenty-one’s first draft is getting closer to its second draft, and, maybe, a possible third, yet, by then I can promise myself and anyone there will be no fourth.

‘Style and Substance’ can be a heavy couple of issues to put into a blog post, daunting for the guy writing about S&S, to hold readers, and other writers rapt with some really fancy finger-tapping on the laptop with a plethora of high octane words and phrases describing what those two Esses mean to him.

Might as well add gambling to that romantic and nomadic above, ‘cause I’m going to try’…

For me, Style and Substance in my writing has a rather simple explanation that covers three areas: 1) Plot(s); 2) Pace; 3) Resonance. Mind you, I said I was going to try…what I mean is, I’m not writing a dissertation for a Master’s or a PhD … that’s way out of my league. I’m a pedestrian writer who once taught Advanced Writing to high school seniors who were on their way to college – bright kids who, in the beginning scared hell out of me with their beautiful minds. Those were the days when there was a shortage of teachers, and school district superintendents would hastily make decisions on first impressions, particularly if the ‘good-looking’ guy sitting across from them had great cum laude college credentials and an AB degree.

(Smile, your hyperbole niche is on display…)

*

Generally, I believe most writers believe they do their phrase-turning and word choices as well as authors turning out ‘best seller’ novels…several names of author-friends of mine come to mind, but I won’t dwell there. The fact is, with millions of books printed every single year, and millions of writers who join the horde – see my first sentence in this paragraph. (Talk about ‘glut’ in the market.)

Add to that the seeming aura of mysticism from the publishing world – a la, how to write a ‘query letter’, how to(s) up the grommet from the arcane council – I know, sounds rather like I’m unduly bitter.

Basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that, for me, writing is my therapy – sort of, like, writing becomes a ‘private session’ with my own personal Shrink.

Bottom line, do not stop believing in your ability as a writer. We perhaps never get published, but think about what you leave for your children, family, the few loyal followers, and, who knows, some well-known authors have found publishing homes after all their allotted orbits are complete.

Onward to my enlightening ‘3-course words of wisdom…’

Plot(s):

That parenthetical (s) means to me there are likely a number of sub-plots that will come into play when all is written and final edited…If I’m writing a ‘Mystery/Suspense’ novel inspired by actual crimes, I want to be true to all aspects of data connected to the case via local and national newspapers, special police information, evidence, forensics, television, and library microfiche.

For example, my fictional narrative, “Daddy, No!” of last summer’s true and tragic murders of a Colorado mother and her two small daughters (ages, 3 & 4) by the father/husband. That terrible reality stewed in my mind for some time, and I finally had to write about it.

The first few chapters set in motion that tragedy, those merciless and mindless homicides, but my major fictional story-line covered the ‘Life in Prison time’ that the narcissistic SOB would spend in a bleak and dark Colorado prison…time the killer had not officially started at the time I began writing the book.

So, I opened the book with what I hoped would be a vivid and truthful depiction of the vicious homicides, presumed demented reasons behind them, and the raw and awful evil of a monster.

The remainder of the book, fictional in the narrative, deals with the daily prison time and my own FICTIONAL plans for the beast that could kill so easily.

Pace:

Pace is very important and it is an almost inherent trait in a writer, an ability to keep the reader locked into your words and phrases by the tenor and tone of your narrative voice.

I believe, I hope that I’ve grown in this important aspect of writing. Going back in time and reading some of my early prose and poetry, I can in my mind see the growth in my writing pace. Whether my muse teases me with banal platitude or not, I’m reminded of Edgar Allen Poe’s assertion on the banality of awkward praise: “a passage of platitude which no critical prejudgment can force us to admire.”

*

Do I think pace can be achieved by writers who are devoted to growing and becoming better at their craft? Of course, I do, even, those Writers who will not be talked away from their lofty writing dreams, not even when acclaim and the denouement of a huge publishing house contract finally arrive.

We many writers believe in our skill to turn a phrase, to make words near-musical to readers’ ears, and many of us give-up the fight and return to other dreams. Most of us stay the course and find therapy .in our writing. I know that I do. My long bony fingers will have to be pried away from the laptop when my scheduled passage to another adventure calls me away.

Pace – Pace – Pace. Give it all you’ve got. Fill a line and paragraph with power words and images to keep the reader turning the pages of your book

Resonance:

In the background of the scenes in which you put your characters, good and bad,  are the readers’ hearing the music in their minds you’ve created with your words and images? Are your words in your lines and paragraphs building to crescendo? Are they keeping the readers eagerly turning pages to see what comes next on the ensuing pages? In the next paragraphs and chapters?

No, no, don’t leave! Tis but a ‘play on words’.

If you will, remember one of your favorite all-time classic movies, say, Gone with The Wind, or, Sound of Music. Do you remember how the music so beautifully built the scene you were watching? How it brought tears, laughter? How it resonated with you?

If the scene you are writing portrays two in love having a disagreement on some issue until it builds to an intense anger, have you turned the phrases, used your colorful word power, and created the appropriate music for the reader to get the full impact of the scene?

(C’mon, man, music is not part of the writing ‘gig’.)

 

(Okay, just give me a moment to get over my ‘hurt feelings’…okay, they’re over.)

Some kind followers of my writing have indicated there is a literary flair to my prose, and I’ve taken the remarks as a positive reinforcement meant to encourage me to go on and continue to grow as a writer. I like Classical Music with my ballads, so that might account for the ‘literary flair’.

Of the soon to be twenty-one books, over 400+blog posts, poetry, songs, some I humbly believe were worthy of traditional publishing. They are all self-published, and on Amazon and other sales channels.

Finally, I am generally a Pantser, with some Plantser leaning. After I build my good and bad characters with the attributes that come to me, I allow them to create the paths I am to follow – with options to change the course in later drafts. Always, I try to remember the music playing in the background, blaring trumpet, tenor Sax, and soft violin…and I match the words of my players with the music I hear in my mind.

What? You didn’t know?

Well, before you laugh it out of your system, give my idea of resonance a chance. Think of it as focus hocus-pocus if you must, but, be daring, try it, and watch the word count grow.

I’ve got a book to finish.

BR Chitwood – April 16, 2020

Please Preview my books:

http://billyraychitwood.com

Please Follow my Blog:

http://brchitwood.com

Please Follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

No Big-Boy Pants

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

 

No Big-Boy Pants

By BR Chitwood

*

After all the years, there are no ‘Big-Boy Pants’ to wear.

After all the living, there are no ‘Big-Boy Pants’ to fit me…

All the little-boy thoughts, the wakeful dreams,

All sizes I tried, searching for that pair of ‘Big-Boy Pants’ –

On the neon-lined streets of lonely people, artists, and me,

I found meaningless toys of life, romance, the shadows of hope.

*

Now, here, in the fading light, I think of all I’ve missed, or, lost,

Crying in the deep darkness of my soul for another chance…

Perhaps another, more enlightened journey through the neon –

This time, finding that missing link to a well-spent quest…

Yet, a bold bard was right about the end’s dark veil and its tears –

Regrets, sad memories of child, man, events, with no real claim…

*

So, with sagging flesh, wrinkles, and, suddenly, no vision left,

The old man rises from his tear-stained pillow, to seek modest

Sustenance from the only constant in his remaining heart ticks…

Perhaps his words can convey some semblance to his waning and Simple existence,

Never coming close to finding a pair of Big-Boy Pants

That will fit the size of his supercilious and ghostly girth.

BR Chitwood – April 1, 2020

Please preview my books:

http://billyraychitwood.com

Please see me on IAN:

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/billy-ray-chitwood.html

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

 

The Essence of Faith

The Essence of Faith

The Essence of Faith

The freshly painted clapboard church sat near a small creek, its white purity glorified by the neatly trimmed hedges surrounding it and the smell of newly mowed grass. The four big oak trees on the church property added a symmetrical elegance to the pastoral scene. Four Oaks Baptist Church, lined up in a photographer’s lens or portrayed on the painter’s canvas, would present a nostalgic and peaceful essence of faith and Americana.

It was a special Sunday morning with clear skies and a happy sun washed all that it touched with spring freshness and sparkle. There were few cars parked along the country lane as most of the congregation and visitors came on foot to Four Oaks, and today the numbers in attendance would break all records… It was indeed a very special Sunday. One member of the congregation had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Jimmy Chadwick was fourteen years old when he was baptized in the Four Oaks Baptist Church. He attended elementary and high school in the county school system, played his basketball and football here, married his homecoming queen sweetheart in this prosaic place of worship. Jimmy worked on his family’s farm, plowed fields for barley, wheat, hoed the endless corn rows, and worked on the side for the county’s agricultural cooperative. Jimmy sowed some of his personal oats, played some petty pranks and even tried at times some bitter brews of John Barleycorn. In the total tally of Jimmy Chadwick he was a happy kid, a generous, kind adult, and a near-wholesome human being.

Jimmy Chadwick’s real claim to county fame came not on a football field or basketball court at home but on dreary sand and scrub in the distant country of Afghanistan. Jimmy, a marine, was stationed in Helmand Province at a USMC installation where aircraft hangars housed Harrier Jets. One quiet and sweltering night, a group of Taliban fighters dressed in US military uniforms penetrated the perimeter of the camp, killed two US service men, and destroyed a number of Harrier jets with explosives and rocket-propelled grenades. With only his pistol, Jimmy led an attack against the infiltrators and eventually all of the insurgents were either killed or captured.

By the time the Sunday service began, The Four Oaks Baptist Church was filled beyond its capacity for seating. The walls were lined with the simple and sweet inhabitants of the Four Oaks hamlet plus residents of the other nearby settlements. A virtual silence fell upon all those congregated there. Only occasional sobs and soft moans were heard. The preacher stepped to the pulpit and spoke:

Today we welcome home one of our own, Jimmy Chadwick, a young fellow we knew as a freckle-faced kid pulling the pigtails of giggling girls, a handsome lad always with a smile and the rough hard hands of a farm worker. We knew him as the young fellow who usually got the touchdown to win us a football game or a final-second dunk to win the basketball game. We knew Jimmy as a prankster, a devoted son, an honest and good man… So, welcome home, Jimmy. We love you and we are proud of you.

Let me just say that here in this little corner of the world our simple ways will not match the world’s big cities’ glamour and glare, their hectic ways and their belief systems that vary from our own. We hear and read about those who don’t believe in God and in the man, Jesus, who came among us, gave us some spiritual wisdom to live by, and died a cruel death for our sins. Today we see the book of Revelations coming to pass: we have wars and rumors of wars; we have the atrocities of history repeating themselves; we have nuclear weaponry that can annihilate civilization; we have miracle machines that can do so much good but can also wreak havoc upon us; we have enough people enraged by the Satan that runs loose inside of them who are too eager to smite their brothers and sisters; we seem not to have enough time to help and provide for those who truly need our help… We live in a perilous time, a time when a man, woman, and child can only deal with the darkness of the world with the hallowed light of faith. If not faith, if not a belief that transcends these ugly truths, that these mountains we gaze upon, these prairies, these oceans, seas, and desert are there by another’s hand and not our own… If not faith, what can we conclude from the pendulum swings of our lives? That we live but for the folly of a piece of gold and the dark pleasures that can only in the end seduce and leave us wantonly scarred? If not faith, why is there the warmth of sunshine? Why the evening stars upon which to wish? Why the meticulous nine months ritual of our births? Why the love and unity of family upon which to persevere?

Today, here in our little corner of the world, we welcome home our heroic son and brother who went to a foreign land because his nation called upon him, a man who wore his faith proudly and served his country with courage and valor.

May the sobs and tears of this congregation convey not only the sadness of his passing but a joyful recognition of our faith that Jimmy Chadwick has truly gone Home.  

Let us pray…

Flash fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – From my Archives

If you enjoy my flash fiction, hopefully you will pick one of my books to read. You can see them at: http://billyraychitwood.com

You can find me at:

IAN – (Independent Author Network): https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/billy-ray-chitwood.html

allauthor.com/author/chitwood/

My Author Website: http://billyraychitwood.com 

Follow my Blog on:

http://www.brchitwood.com

Follow me on:

https://twitter.com/brchitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood and http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner 

If you are so inclined, please leave a comment. 

A Heart Thing

DCjgivFXoAAsyMZ

A Heart Thing

-Flash Fiction by BR Chitwood-

*

What was I doing here? It seemed a sad inertia was in control of my body.

Beautiful, yes, this sand and sun part of the world! And, it was a promise my heart compelled me to keep…after so many tears and a fragile restoration from the pain and finality of impending death. Those who have lost the warm cloak of love will know of what I write.

Before coming inside to sit on the big bed to write my thoughts of desperation and longing, I stood on the 9th floor balcony of the ‘Royal Tower’ and gazed out over the beauty that is all of Paradise Island Bahamas.

Close to my tower, people and kids watched the feeding of large Manta rays, while, in the next large pool, loud cheering came from children and their parents as brothers and sisters slid quickly down the steep, thick, clear round-tube through water where sharks swam all around them. My wan smile of acknowledgment came and lingered briefly from the shrieks of play and excitement in the large pool below.

I began my writing…

This is for you, Johnny, these words my heart and soul convey, words which I pray will give me sustenance to continue life – a tenuous blur in my mind during the past few days…

We spoke of coming here to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort just two months ago at our most beautiful first anniversary dinner, one week before your cancer diagnosis came from your doctor. As always, you faced that awful information in your fashion, showing your acceptance and lack of concern. “Hey,” you said, “doctors make mistakes! I feel great and plan on living for many years with my lovely bride.” You kissed me softly on the lips and gave me your brave smile.

On our arrival home, I tried, too, for bravery, but failed. You saw my tears, gathered me in your arms, carried me to our bed and slowly, with moments of playful tease and tormenting delays, made spectacular love to me. You made me momentarily forget the terrible news of the diagnosis.

The days that followed were much the same. You took me with you on your business trip to Seattle, even allowed me to be present during your major appointments. You would not be without me for a moment. My love for you, always at its highest point, came near to eruption, to the degree of silly school girl antics. I clung to you, stopped on the busy sidewalks of Seattle to embrace, kiss you, in such a state of euphoria that I could almost forget the dreadful cancer news…almost! It hovered just above my consciousness, bringing deep dips of sorrow at the prospect of losing you.

Then, there came the Tuesday telephone call from doctor Dearfield’s office. You were to check into the Holy Cross Hospital at 8:00 AM the next day to start treatments. From your soft and inaudible voice while talking to the doctor, I knew the seriousness of the situation. I also saw the momentary closings of your eyes and the dropped chin.

After the phone call with the doctor, you insisted, without allowing my dissent, that night would be our last together. Your arguments were selfish, you said, that you would not allow me to see your declining days of health caused by Cancer’s newest treatments, including sessions of Chemo therapy. You made me promise not to show up at the hospital. You gave me the first-class ticket to Nassau, booked my ‘top priority’ suite at the Atlantis Bahamas for a three-week stay. You said, if the news proved good, you would be joining me at Atlantis. If the news were negative, our Tuesday night would be our last night until we met in God’s eternity. We were locked in each other’s arms all that night, me, saying silent prayers…

I stopped writing when tears began blurring my pages. I was hopelessly lost in my lassitude, laid back on the bed until feelings of anxiety hit me, got up, left the lovely suite and walked aimlessly around the grand resort.

Below ground, I walked along the thick concrete walls of the world’s largest marine exhibit, passing within three feet of all kinds of exhibits, sharks, rays, all kinds of water life, swimming up to the thick glass enclosure where families touched them safely via the glass. Even in a lethargic state, I managed to find some minimal escape from my despair.

After walking up and through the large casino, I returned to my room. It was 5:00 PM. I took a sleeping pill and soon fell asleep among the tear-blotted pages written some hours earlier.

For the next few days, it was much the same for me, ordering room service food, eating only parts of it, picking up the pen to write more thoughts on paper and giving up when the tears came. Johnny’s face I saw as an image on the glass sliding doors to the balcony, on the bathroom mirrors, in my mind when eyes were closed. The weather outside was beautiful, and, even in my grief, I could understand the popularity of this paradise.

Even with the beauty of Paradise Island, the walls closed in on me, forcing my movement, either to the pool area or the beach.

On Friday morning of my second week, I awoke with the same torpid lack of mobility, dregs from the sleeping pills, ordered room service coffee and eggs Benedict, drank the coffee, left most of the eggs Benedict. I picked up my pen to write more about Johnny, and, again, began crying.

Outside the weather was all sun and blue skies. I took off my pajamas and put on my bikini, grabbed a beach towel and noticed I was still wearing the last gift Johnny had given to me – an elegant diamond-studded pendant with a lush heart-shaped Garnet gem. I placed the pendant on the dresser, lingered over it for a few seconds until the tears thought about returning, and walked out the door.

The sun felt strangely good on my body, adding pleasantly to my lethargy. I tried not to think, but it was impossible. Johnny was so solidly in my thoughts, and I truly wondered if I could live without him. I turned my body on the beach towel to the tummy, my back needing some sun.

As I lay there on my tummy, my face upon my folded arms, eyes closed, reliving memories, I felt something drop to the sand in front of my face, a few sprinkles of sand touching my forehead.

Impulsively, I raised my head and glanced at the sand in front of me.

My heart skipped several beats! My head and entire body was tingling with titillating thoughts.

Quickly, I turned over onto my back and sat up.

Standing above me with a wide grin on his face was Johnny!

“Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” I blurted and jumped from the beach towel and threw myself into his open arms.

“You just buried your Garnet pendant!” he said, with a mock sneer. “That cost me a few bucks, you know! And you leave it on a dresser in a resort?”

“Oh, Johnny, Johnny!” I sighed deeply, “You’re here… Are you cured?” I kissed him so much he couldn’t answer.

He finally disengaged enough to mutter: “You ever hear of ‘remission’? That’s me! The ‘Remission’ man! On a mission to re-claim my lovely, lovely bride. Shall we get a drink and celebrate?”

“Not just a drink, Johnny! I have a lot more in mind for you!” A quick thought hit me. “That is, unless…” in my stuttering way, “there are health issues.” I gave him my raised eyebrows and soft smile.

Johnny slapped me on my ‘buns’, smiled broadly, and said, “Bring it on, baby! I’m up to the task!”

“Make that, ‘tasks’, please, Johnny!”

Flash Fiction by BR Chitwood – From My Archives

Please see comments on the author, some book reviews, blogs, and preview my books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir at:

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

Please follow my blog:

brchitwood.com

 Please follow me on Twitter:

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood

marinehabitat_map_820

Paradise Island Bahamas

Wordsmith Extraordinaire: John Dolan

From My Archives

An Interview With John Dolan – Author of:

FUN WITH DICK

81cS+YXx-bL._AC_UY218_ML3_

-NEW for 2020-

SYNOPSIS:

Twenty-five-year-old Richard Blackheart – geek, wage slave and Superman wannabe – seems destined for a life of dull obscurity.
Then one day he hits upon an idea for the ultimate non-self-help book, ‘How to Die Alone, Smelly and Unloved’, and things start to change …

‘Fun with Dick’ is a heart-wrenching, hilarious and harrowing tale of one man’s struggle against gravity and cats. It is not recommended for people who are easily triggered. If you do read it, keep your shrink’s phone number handy.

-Now Available on Amazon-

BUY SITES:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Fun-Dick-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B083RW93CV/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fun+with+dick&qid=1583519142&s=books&sr=1-2

*

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fun-Dick-John-Dolan/dp/1912361078/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fun+with+dick&qid=1583519691&s=books&sr=1-2

*

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Fun-Dick-John-Dolan-ebook/dp/B083RW93CV/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fun+with+dick&qid=1583519839&s=books&sr=1-2

Check these books out as well:

41ueWLingSL 81KZBoJbzEL._UX300_PJku-sticker-v7,TopRight,0,-50_OU15__BG0,0,0,0_FMpng_AC_UL320_SR210,320_717eWeNcitL._UX300_PJku-sticker-v7,TopRight,0,-50_OU15__BG0,0,0,0_FMpng_AC_UL320_SR210,320_

              

51voQBlT+kL 51voQBlT+kL._SY346_ 81WelIQjL4L._AC_UY218_ML3_ 91xMlvB5I2L._AC_UY218_ML3_ 81cS+YXx-bL._AC_UY218_ML3_https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fun-Dick-John-Dolan/dp/1912361078/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=fun+with+dick&qid=1583544857&s=books&sr=1-2

JUST CLICK ON ANY COVER FOR THE BUY SITES

*

AN UPDATE

NEW!

 

A Disclaimer ‘Preface’

Perhaps I’m over-stepping the ‘surly bonds’ of respectability with this archive rendering, but, nearly a decade ago, a jolly fellow from my beloved ancestral England caught my attention with his wordsmith brilliance and his hilariously creative way of interviewing fellow authors, myself included. I’m proud to say that I, in turn, escaping his threats, innuendoes, infringements and lawsuits with promises to glorify him daily with tweets, loving words, and phrases, was permitted to interview the author in question by using the same technique… Without my stale humor attempts, the author being interviewed did indeed make author interviews not only informative but so much fun to read, not to mention the good information delivered.

I’ve gone to the archives and retrieved that ‘Interview’ of some years ago, and I thank him for being here today – at least with his words of years ago – although he appears, as he did then, a bit angry by his mode of transportation.

John Dolan is the author’s name, and I’ve just read his latest ‘jewel fonts’ found in, “Fun With Dick.” In fact, I’ve read all his books – you will see some of them below. This old country-boy is an ‘easy sale’, can be sold just about any item, tech goodies, automobiles with wooden tires, and ice cream on a frigid day, but, when it comes to writing, holding readers captive for hundreds of pages, not wanting an ending, I cannot be fooled…at least, that’s what my good wife tells me.

So, while JD’s check is not in the amount agreed upon, I truly do love his writing. (John, please, don’t go nutsy on me…you’re going to break the orange crate…) I’m just kidding about the check…this time, I shall truly stop with the banal humor.

Here is my long-ago interview of John Dolan, the idea for which came after reading many of his author interviews of the same technique…indeed, HIS very own ‘intellectual property’. For me, those unique ‘John Dolan Interviews’ were ‘golden nuggets’ to treasure…okay, sorry for the trite, sophomoric bromide.  If you’ve never read them, go to John Dolan’s archives. It will be worth your trip. They were truly humorous and informative BLASTS.

Just a final few words about John Dolan’s NEW 2020 novel“Fun With Dick.” This is a book I highly recommend you read. It has elements from several genres, and, I promise, you will not be sorry you read it.

 Here is the 5-Star Review I gave “Fun With Dick” on Amazon:

Billy Ray Chitwood

*

5.0 out of 5 stars – The Author-Wizardry of John Dolan: FUN WITH DICK – 5 Huge Stars

Billy Ray Chitwood

Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2020

Format: Kindle Edition – Verified Purchase

AND, Now, 8-years old, but still relevant:

An Interview:  John Dolan – Author Extraordibnaire

This is a ‘Do Not Miss’ combo for you: an interview with a quality author and a partial review of his 5-Star book, “Everyone Burns.” If you have not the pleasure of reading John Dolan you’ve missed a ‘Wordsmith Extraordinaire’ creating his magic. JD is truly a quintessential author for his times. He is also the man who introduced me and countless others to the word, ‘Galericulate’ — that was once the name of his website/blog. (See end of interview and summary.) He’s the man hidden under the hat and he’s roaming around some continent or another. At last report, he was in Amsterdam…

OOPS – UPDATE: that was 2012…he was just recently released from Foxes and Hounds Tranquility Center! He’s much better now, I’m told! I do so hope my information is accurate…

JUST KIDDING. JD IS JUST FINE – ORNERY, BUT, FINE!

But, be gone, my foolishness! Here’s a re-blog of my 2012 interview with this important literary figure and an update on his writing and ‘book cover’ changes…

*

BUY SITES FOR “Everyone Burns”:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Everyone-Burns-Time-Blood-Karma-ebook/dp/B008I6GXM2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=everyone+burns&qid=1583442961&s=books&sr=1-1

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everyone-Burns-Time-Blood-Karma-ebook/dp/B008I6GXM2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=everyone+burns&qid=1583443269&s=books&sr=1-1

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Everyone-Burns-Time-Blood-Karma-ebook/dp/B008I6GXM2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=everyone+burns&qid=1583443464&s=books&sr=1-1

 *

NOW – THE 2012 AUTHOR INTERVIEW

‘Burning’ John Dolan, Writer Extraordinaire – An Interview (Sort of!)”

(BR Chitwood=BR)…(John Dolan= JD)

*

BR: Okay, Filbert, take off Mr. Dolan’s  blindfold…

JDHey, not so rough! You just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, do you?

BR: Why should I? You can leave us now, Filbert, and take Salomé with you.

JD: You kidding me? ‘Salomé!’ ‘Filbert!’ They’re ‘junkies…’

BR: Had no money…they grabbed you for the ‘grass.’

JD: Are you mocking me? Are you stealing my interview ideas?

BR: Show me a legal document!

JD: At least my interview chair is comfortable, and my straps are pure leather, not this cord crap!

BR: You left me no choice, JD, you broke your promise to take my books viral and…

JD: Correction! I said your books were vile and pretentious…

BR: Okay, okay, I understand you’re a bit angry…just some tit for tat, that’s all. I really like your book, “Everyone Burns,” and I’m thinking ‘movie,’ ‘TV series,’ something really big. Can we just relax and talk about the book?

JD: Can you at least put a cushion on this orange crate? You’re not helping my hemmies.

BR: How’s that? Better? Good…Now tell me about “Everyone Burns” and how you came to write it.

JD: Guess I got no choice, but you gotta promise me you’re not going to make a habit of this kind of interview. This is my idea, not yours. Do we have a deal?

BR: Yes, we have a deal…Hell, I thought you would be pleased!

JD: Well, I am, sort of, but this is intellectual property, not something you mess with…plus, I only get one original idea per decade.

BR: Okay, no more kidnaps for interviews! Got it! Can we proceed?

JD: The events in “Everyone Burns” take place over seventeen days while Thailand is still numb from the giant tsunami of December 2004. Like everyone of sane mind this great catastrophe made my emotions run wild, made me think of life like I had never really thought about it. “Everyone Burns” gave me some escape from the reality all around me.

BR: Really?

JD: No, not really. I wrote it for the money and the groupies.

BR: And how’s that working out?

JD: Probably about as well as it’s working out for you, I’d guess. Well … looking at you, probably slightly better with the groupies.

BR: Here’s a quote from “Everyone Burns,” just after a bar fracas scene:

To summarise, my life is one of split personality. I am in two minds about it myself.

 Nevertheless, down these narrow streets a man must walk, even if it is in flip-flops.

But I am no Philip Marlowe, and Koh Samui is not film-noir USA. There is nothing

of Hollywood’s black and white morality on this most colourful of Thailand’s

Islands. And long overcoats just make you sweat in the sun. Here The Postman

Never Rings Twice, simply because he never rings at all. He has better things to do. Lamai’s and Chaweng’s adventurers generally pack a condom, not a gun.”

You open the book with a broken cue stick inflicting injury to your protagonist and it’s like the excitement and action  never lets up after that. I picked this quote because it’s one of my favorites but also because it gives the reader a sample of your splendid writing…

Do you have any disagreement with my assessment here, JD?

JD: Take these cords off and I’ll kiss you. The passage is also a favorite of mine. Aside from the style thing in my writing, it is just basically who I am. But I’m NOT David Braddock, by the way. I want to make that clear in case my wife Fiona is reading this! A book of this genre for me has to move at a rapid pace, the action mostly non-stop. A lot of what I write about in “Everyone Burns” has some factual similarities, the people, the places, the time certainly. And, of course, you know my English is rather precise, proper, as it was intended to be! WHY are you smiling and shaking your head?

BR: Never mind, just me being me! I just like the ‘snap to’ words you love coming off your lips. It’s a great book, JD. Wish we had more time because I’d like to mention “People With Real Lives Don’t Need Landscapes,” a book of poetry you wrote in 2003. You certainly have a way with words, JD, and I happen to love poetry. As Amazon puts it, “This big bouncy collection of contemporary poetry draws on both popular and high culture. The poems have energy, imagination, humor, and lively speech rhythms. They are light, weighty, topical, intellectual, gory, sad, wild, and tender all at once… Why are you vigorously shaking your head, JD?”

JD: I didn’t write that.

BR: What?

JD: I didn’t write that collection of poetry. That was a different John Dolan.

BR: Are you sure?

 JD: What do you mean, “Am I sure”? I’m not likely to forget a thing like that, am I?Sheesh! It’s scary how your brain can live in such a small space.

BR: That hurts, JD. To think, a while ago you were going to ‘kiss me’… Oh, well, regardless, I loved your book “Everyone Burns” and can’t wait for the sequel. [That would be “Hungry Ghosts.”] People should really take a long look at you, my friend…

JD: ‘My friend!’ My butt is sore here, BR!

BR: Filbert and Salome are ‘napping’ right now. I’ll untie you, but, please, no fracas here. Tit for tat, remember? Be gentle.

End of Interview… [JD: Please, no retaliation!]

 *

 Browse all books by John Dolan: Sign up for his Newsletter, news, articles: johndolanauthor.com

Follow JD on Twitter: twitter.com/johndolanauthor

Visit JD’s Author Website: johndolanauthor.com – you will find information about this unique and wonderful literary genius, his books, his life and times…

You want good reading? Check out the books above, and, more…you will not be disappointed. John Dolan is destined for literary greatness! YOU HEARD IT HERE!

 (Really, follow him AND read him. He’s ugly mean: it took two junkies and me to get him here for this ‘Orange Crate’ interview!)

 

 

 

 

 

Hear My Scream

Hear My Scream

by BR Chitwood – My Archives

Lost my family! A devoted wife and two sons who cherished me!

Lost my job! Lost the right to call myself a responsible family man of Faith and Fidelity!

Lost it all to the fickle finger of fate and, more likely, a sinister weakness within my genes!

What happened to this man of ideals and noble purposes? With a work promotion to a corporate low-rung Vice-President of ‘Acquisition Management’ came a salary boost. There came, too, that exhilarating sense of pride and accomplishment. For months, we, my family, enjoyed our new luxurious living. We went to the park on weekends. We took trips to historical landmarks. We got a spacious new van, and our Russian Blue cat, ‘Vlad’, and our Golden Retriever, ‘Toby’, were as thrilled as the kids on trips.

We even built up a tidy rainy-day fund in our bank. Life was so good!

Then, the company merged with a larger corporation that was global and had a financial sheet far exceeding our own, a ‘Pac-Man’ hungrily gobbling up many big, small, and medium businesses at a voracious pace. The rumor mill made work difficult…people were going to be dismissed. It took six months for the head honchos to announce that my position was no longer needed as the buying behemoth had their own people in place.

For the first time in my working life, I was unemployed. Trying to keep my family worry-free I put on a happy face and left the house in the morning as was normally my wont. I job-hunted all day, every day, for months, even tried executive head-hunters, but I found I was ‘too qualified’ for some jobs and ‘not qualified’ enough for others. My patience at a low level, our rainy-day funds going down rapidly, pressure mounted. Frustration became an emotion I couldn’t hide and it filtered down to the family.

A huge Indian Casino opened a few miles from our house in Chandler, Arizona. It sat on two hundred acres and looked like an ‘Arabian Nights’ apparition in the desert. It was lunch time, and I thought, why not have some lunch and see if the casino could use my corporate experience. It took a while before I found the executive offices and someone in authority, but it became immediately clear that all of their executives had the Indian connection and there could be no position for me.

In the dining room I ordered a hamburger, fries, coke, and thought about my dilemma.

In the background I could hear simultaneous shouts of joy out in the gaming areas. A thought stirred in my mind, dumb in hindsight… Why not try a few turns at ‘21’? Not much of a gambler, but my Dad taught me how to play the game, what to do, what not to do, and I became good at ‘21’. Just maybe I could build up the ‘rainy day’ account and buy more time in looking for a job.

I hurriedly finished my hamburger, fries, coke, and walked around the casino’s rows of ‘21’ tables. I was now excited about the possibilities – people won big in gambling because they knew and practiced certain rules. My Dad told me he always found a table where he felt the people playing knew what they were doing – watching a dealer’s ‘show card’ to determine whether or not to take a card: if the dealer’s ‘up card’ showed a possible 12-16 and the players’ down cards amounted to 12 or above, players stayed ‘put’, hoping for the dealer to bust.

Of course, ‘21’ – Black Jack – was an automatic winner – unless, of course, the dealer matched with his own Black Jack…the player didn’t win the bet but gained a ‘push’ with the dealer. Tied hands with the dealer meant no loss of the bets.

Dad also told me about the psychological aspects of ‘21’ – know when to play, know when to quit. Dad felt there was a time of the day or night when a person could win but that person needed to follow their self-imposed rules.

So, I found a table, watched the players and dealer for a while. Satisfied the players knew the game and would not make stupid moves, I sat and exchanged three hundred dollars into chips of various colors – $5 chips, $10 chips, $20 chips, $50 chips, $100 and so on.

The time was 12:45 PM.

In the next few hours I learned the highs and lows of gambling. I reached a euphoric stage when my neatly piled chips amounted to $6900…including the original $300 buy-in. People gathered behind our stools to see how far I could go. Surprisingly, the time was 6:00 PM. (Dad’s rule about knowing the time to quit had somehow by-passed my mind’s circuitry.

By midnight the $6900 was gone back to the casino, along with another $3800. My face was flushed, my stomach was in knots, and my mind was numb with anxiety and regret. I cashed too many checks at the casino and was also feeling the consummate moron.

With my head reeling with uncertainty, I left the casino and drove home. My wife was frantic. She tried to call me several times during the afternoon but I never answered the cell phone. She cradled me in her arms as I told her about the day, about the frustration of looking for work, and my stupid behavior at the casino. She was not happy but she told me I was entitled to a mistake…a lot of bad stuff landed on me in the past few weeks.

The next day I looked for work.

In between stops, I thought about the gambling…had I stopped when I was ahead, there would be $6600 added to our ‘rainy day’ fund. Thus, my mind told me, you need to know when to stop while you’re ahead – good luck cannot last forever.

Back at the casino that afternoon, I stopped gambling at the ‘21’ table at 6:25 PM, my winnings totaling $3200. I left the casino feeling good, having gotten back almost half of the losses the previous day. I did not tell my wife about the gambling, and I took her and the boys out for pizza.

Without giving a day to day count, I’ll sum it all up.

In the next six months I looked for work in the mornings and gambled in the afternoons. My wife knew what was going on and pleaded with me. The boys sensed there were problems and walked around the house in a timid slow motion. The ‘rainy day’ account was gone. Suffice it, my marriage could not survive the constant arguments, my excuses and broken promises. My lovely boys were cautious and fearful to be around me. The wife could not take it any longer and took the boys to live with her sister in Oregon.

What about me? What about the tattered and torn fabric of my soul? What about the man who used to be?

I’m in prison, serving time for robberies…had to have money to gamble.

It’s difficult to imagine anyone feeling as small and insignificant as I do. I don’t need a mirror to see a man with a prison pallor and a broken heart. I know the damage I’ve caused, the other hearts broken, and two wonderful boys growing up without a father.

Several days ago two inmates attacked me in the yard, cut me up pretty good, broke some ribs, and I kept pleading with them to finish me, to get me out of my misery. I truly wanted to die, but no such luck, and I’m too much of a coward to find a way to kill myself.

The wife and the boys will never know how much I love them and regret the terrible mistakes I made. I only hope they find happiness, love, and forget their terrible wretch of a husband and a father. Perhaps in some other dimension I can make atonement.

For now, “I long for death…death longs for me, but it is dark to die and I fear that I still wish to be.” *

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood (From my Archives)

Please preview my books:

http://www.billyraychitwood.com 

Please follow my blog:

http://www.brchitwood.com 

Please follow me on Twitter:

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood 

*

NOTE:

* The last line quote in italics (above) is from a book of narrative poetry by a good friend from my publishing days.

The book: HELL’S MUSIC\

BY Jerry Miller and his fox-hole buddy!

https://www.twitter.com/brchitwood 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: