Tag: #amreading

There Must Be A Better Way

There Must Be A Better Way

Hey, Man, this is great stuff! Wow! The sky’s amazing! Look at all the colors… Awesome, dude! What’s this stuff we’re doing?” A teenager named Beasley was speaking.

Another teenager named Freeman spoke, “It’s sensimilla, bonehead, and those colors are natural colors this time of day. It’s not the sensimilla you’re feeling, and you just took your first two drags…after a few more drags you’ll be seeing those dark clouds swooping down on you. Depending on your tolerance level for sensimilla, you’ll be catatonic and unable to tell me your name.” Freeman chuckled.

What about you, all-knowing one? How’s your tolerance level?”

I know how to control it. You’re going after it like you’re trying to reach Nirvana in ten minutes. You have a surprise coming. You just don’t listen. I told you, take it easy with this stuff.”

Hey, this stuff is legalized now in several states…it can’t be so bad.”

I don’t know what the legalized states are using, but I seriously doubt it’s sensimilla…it’s heavy grass, and costly, man, but, what do I know?”

Two ‘joints’ were consumed within thirty minutes.

How you doing, Beasley?” Freeman glanced at his neophyte friend.

Beasley’s eyes were opening and closing, wanting to stay with the narcotic effect. He was in a limp and listless waste land. He heard the question from his recently met friend, but he could not bring himself to answer. He was without energy and the ability to think.

Beasley fell back on the upper fringe of the hill, waggled his head occasionally, but was essentially motionless and useless.

Freeman eyed the prone body of his friend, laughed, and muttered: “The dumb ass bonehead! Couldn’t take it.”

Ten minutes later, Freeman was ready to leave the lovely hill that overlooked the ocean. He steadily lifted himself from the ground and moved to the mumbling, twitching body of his friend.

Freeman nudged him with his foot. “Come on, Beasley, get up. We gotta go. My girlfriend’s waiting for me.” Freeman only received more mumbling and twitching from Beasley.

With much more force, mixed with a little anger, Freeman roughly shoved Beasley’s body with his right foot, and it began rolling down the steep angled side of the hill toward the ocean.

Freeman carefully took measured steps to stop the body’s roll, but he had no leverage on the hill. He would go down himself if he rushed his movements.

Freeman waited for Beasley’s body to stop its roll, but, instead, it picked up speed. It was like Beasley was somehow helping the steep hill to propel him down…like, he was, in his mind, on some fanciful flight.Freeman did not go further down the hill. Instead, he turned toward a gravel road where his car was parked on the less steep and shorter side of the hill.Freeman had a moment of worry but it passed quickly. The grass was doing a nice number on him, keeping him calm, cool, and collected. He would check on his friend tomorrow.The roll down the hill likely worked off the sensimilla, and Beasley would be fine tomorrow.

***

Headline on the local newspaper’s front page the next day:

‘Body of Teenager found near beach at ‘Lone Tree Point’!

FLASH FICTION by:Billy Ray Chitwood

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

The Old Barn

The chill in the air and the darkness prevailed in the little town, and they searched everywhere for a place to rest their weary bodies. There were no rooms available at this hour of the evening, and they were desperate to be delivered from the chill that was fast becoming frigid. To add to the woes of the young couple, the wife was with child.

               On the outskirts of town as the night became darker and more unnerving in its coldness the couple saw in the distance an old red barn with light presented through a small cut-out on the side facing them.

               The couple made their way to the barn of little light. Arriving at the old clap-board structure, a rotted entry door hanging loosely from a rusty hinge and nails. Entering the barn, the couple noticed the low light was coming from a stall some twenty feet away. They approached the opening where the light shone and saw a man on a bed of straw with a young foal trying to stand on its new legs.

               The man heard the rustle of feet on straw-laden earth, turned and saw the young couple. The mother of the foal died in the offering of her foal. The man had tears in his eyes for his dead friend who had been with him so many years. The tears were also for the lovely foal and its needs. It was as though the foal with its soft moaning sounds knew that its mother would not be there to nurture and provide for it.

               The man lifted his wife from the donkey and started to place her on a stretch of straw nearby, but the man on the straw-bed next to the foal bade the couple to come to the light and the ambient warmth. “Please, put your wife here where my body has created warmth for her and the child to be… I’m sorry I can offer no more. My home is there in the distance, now in ashes from a lightning strike. I have been staying here with my old friend, LeAnn, who has served me so well through the years. After a long space of labor and much pain, LeAnn simply had not the strength to bring her foal to life and sustain him on her own. We had our final moments together just before your arrival… Forgive me, please allow your wife to rest here. The bread and the few food edibles there on the small table. Please, nourish yourselves with what is there.”

               “Are you married, good sir?” The man helped his wife to the straw bed.

               “My good wife died one year ago today. She is in a good place, now, after much pain and suffering. My bed is two stalls down. You rest beside your wife after I move the foal to my stall.”

               “But, where is the foal’s mother, kind sir?”

               “Buried just beyond the barn.”

               “Yes, we saw the marker… You are so kind to us. There were no rooms to be had in the town, and I was worried for my wife.”

               “She will be fine here for tonight. Tomorrow, I will help you more. Is your wife close to delivery time?”

               “Yes. Any day, good sir. Your kindness means so very much to us. I should like to pay you for that kindness.”

               “There is no need for that. I have plenty of money should I want the luxuries of life, my new friend. I choose to live the way I do, away from those who live in wickedness, those who live to take from those good but gullible folks who know no better. Please, do not worry about me, I am in the element I wish to be. Now, please, take what comfort you can from my humble quarters here. Tomorrow, whatever your plans, I shall help you achieve them. Are you comfortable there, dear lady?”

                The wife gave a sad and warm smile to the man and nodded her thanks. My wife cannot hear you, kind sir. She is deaf and has been since birth. I thank you for both of us and my donkey, Sam.”

                “We have not shared our names, but my name is Peter Warmsley.”

               “My name is David Metters, my wife is Sarah.”

               The men shook hands.

               “My foal and I are off to our beds… Ah, but wait, what shall we call my foal. What wondrous name shall she bear? Any ideas, my new friends?”

               They thought for minutes, smiling, enjoying the moments of camaraderie. “Does the name, Jacob, please you?” The man thought but for a few seconds.

               “Indeed, it does. ‘Jacob’ is a good and solid name for this beautiful foal.”

               With that, the man, picked up ‘Jacob’ and began to leave the stall.

               “Tomorrow, we shall discuss your needs, my new friends, your travel plans, to what ends you seek. I wish you good night, David and blessed be Sarah who carries a child of grace.” Then, Peter left David and Sarah.

               As Peter walked away with Jacob, David said to the parting Peter, “And that will be the name of our child, good Peter. Sleep well and in peace, Peter and Jacob.”

               In some monumental way, David and Sarah’s lives changed that night of December 24, 1963.

A bright star twinkled outside the cut-out window, providing light through the night.

Billy Ray Chitwood – December 21, 2018

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

https://www.brchitwood.com

Reality and Truth

                         Reality and Truth
An Imagined Discourse in a Democracy

Socrates
 – You say ‘the world is not fair’. How is the world not fair?
Citizen – There is inequality in so many facets of our lives.
Socrates – Why do you think that is so?
Citizen  Because the wealthy control our lives.
Socrates – Do the wealthy not create businesses and pay wages to workers?
Citizen – Yes, of course.
Socrates – Why do you not create your own business?
Citizen – Because I’m not wealthy, old man!
Socrates – Why are you not wealthy?
Citizen – Because I had not the money to go to college for higher education.
Socrates – Are there not business owners without college educations?
Citizen – Well, yes, I’m sure there are.
Socrates – So, why do you not create your own business?
Citizen – I have not the knowledge nor the money to create my own business.
Socrates – So, can you not study and get the knowledge to create your own business?
Citizen – I don’t understand the development and marketing aspects of business.
Socrates – Do you believe then that intelligence can be a factor in business?
Citizen – Yes, of course, I believe that.
Socrates – Then, can we say that people have different learning abilities, that some people are more intelligent than others?
Citizen – Sure, I believe that is obvious.
Socrates – Would it not be reasonable to assume then that not all people are created equal in terms of intelligence and ability?
Citizen – Yes, that would be reasonable to assume.
Socrates – Could we not further assume that ‘equality’ is an unattainable goal?
Citizen – Sure sounds that way… But there are people who are poor and without these abilities. Some are infirm and cannot work at all. What about these people?
Socrates – An excellent question. What, indeed, about these people?
Citizen – It seems to me a civilized world needs to recognize the needs of these people and care for them.
Socrates – A noble sentiment! And, what about the group among the needy who would take advantage through fraud of this largesse?
Citizen – There most certainly would need to be a ‘fail safe system’ built into any program that addressed this issue.
Socrates – So, it would seem in many areas of a democracy that ‘equality’ is a noble thought but not an attainable goal. Our dialogue further implies that hard work and effort can lead one to her/his success in life…

Billy Ray Chitwood

Ripples

sunset

Ripples 

      The lovely lady squinted as she stood on her penthouse balcony, grasped the iron railing and looked outward at the distant clouds hovering above the horizon.

Standing there in her long powdery blue night gown, her image portrayed a classic Princess-like profile with all the voluptuous and titillating curves that brought men to their knees. Her face was to cherish: lips full of the sweetest imaginable wine that gave kisses long lingering promises of other delights; magical blue eyes that mesmerized and projected a strange mystical sadness.

The sun she gathered from some days on the beach made her glow with some wondrous and nostalgic essence, her long silky auburn hair not bothered by the slight breeze that moved it gently across her face.

She watched the wave ripples shifting the sand and bringing ashore sea glass and ageless plant debris. Two tears appeared, spilled over the lower lids, and fell down her face. A small trembling smile came as her thoughts mixed with the sea glass and plants on the shore…

“Oh, Jessie,” she whispered as a zephyr carried her words out upon the ripples. “Why, why, why?” she implored of her Deity. “Why has the world gone crazy? Why did they send you to Afghanistan? I can’t make it without you. Here at our favorite retreat I hoped to find some semblance of sanity, but there is nowhere to go that will bring peace, a reason to go on without you.”

She sighed a small surrender.

She placed her left foot on the lower stretch of balcony iron and tightened her grip on the top railing. She looked again at the clouds on the distant horizon, at the ripples coming to shore with their cargo. She pulled her body upward on the railing and gave the horizon one more poignant gaze.

From some silent place inside the penthouse came the words: “Cut! That’s a take!”

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood

Okay, I’m bad, but aren’t you glad she didn’t jump?! Come on, you thought she would!H

https://www.billyraychitwood.com

Desperate Days of Winter

Desperate Days of Winter

The soul of man must feel the season of death, those December days and nights when the body’s joints stiffen and the morning strides become shorter from bedroom to bathroom, when the hot-faucet’s cold water takes so long to warm – and even the ‘recirculation system’ seems reluctant to work as advertised.

Aside from the lack of body comfort, the December months can easily take mind-trips to the gray fringes of thought, can speak of death and dying, can take an old man down a snowy memory lane to a younger day when December was still cold but also a time to rejoice, to feel the warmth of friendship, love, of gift-giving to those in need, of magical gladness and good will, of a little Baby lying in a small barn-stall in Bethlehem while Wise Men made their way to his manger to rejoice in His birth, and the stars marked their way.

An old man can think of the days that were but are not so much anymore, a day when it was not just okay but natural to say, ‘Merry Christmas’, a day when it was okay for mistletoe and kissing, a day when politics took a holiday as well as the people, a day when it was not so grim and ugly to be a democrat or a republican.

An old man can think of so many things in his desperate December because the world has gone on without him, to sing new songs to new generations with a panoply of new appetites and feelings, with actions and words alien to his golden years, with surprising new wishes for the world he will be leaving behind. The old man is mired there in that remote and desperate December, still with a modicum of hope that his family and its generations to follow will have a world that offers democracy, freedom, and the liberty to fulfill their wildest dreams.

The old man can still dream, still write his stories and, while he can have times of desperation in December, there is always a January and a new beginning.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

Billy Ray Chitwood – December 10, 2018

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♥♥♥

About My Writing

My love for writing began at an early age with simple poetry and words. Those words conveyed some wistful thoughts or wishes, but writing has always been, from the very beginning, my personal psychiatrist, my place for bravado, hopes, dreams, despair, loneliness. In my privacy I’ve performed for myself, emulating my favorite vocalists of the day by singing in the shower or while taking my trips in the car. I’ve play-acted scenes from some favorite movies…in short, always using words to describe my feelings, my dreams, my downs, my ups. A rather fanciful young fellow was I…when all alone.

The fictional books I write are as much about me as they are about the plot-lines found within their pages. It seems my life has been a long quixotic mystery to me. Some poems and thoughts I’ve written on bar room napkins, motel stationery, on the back of business cards, and on the StarWriter of the day or the current laptop. Some of the attributes I give to some of my characters I draw from my own, even some not so squeaky clean. Hey, it’s tough being ‘me’!

In all that I’ve written, there are pieces of me – in the characters that adorn my books, in the mysteries that hold my fascination, in the down moods, the up moods, and the in-between moods. Those pieces of me are not arcane and complicated because I likely could not write a Robert Ludlum, Nelson DeMille, or a John Grisham book, clearly authors of meticulous and thoroughly enjoyable characters and events.

As I write this post, I have penned seventeen books, some 400 blog posts, numerous ‘flash fiction’ items, short stories, and songs of love. If all my witings are coupled with my short tenure in ‘teaching’ the subject, one would think I could write. Well, surely I can, but perhaps not to the eagle eyes of publishing house editors. Of course, I allow for the crispness and excitement of the stories as well. Perhaps I’m too close to my stories and see them far more crisp and exciting than do editors.

Am I a traditionally published author? No, I’m one of the multi-million authors called INDIES. Do I think my writing is good enough to be published by a traditional publisher? With a healthy whimsy, I can quickly answer resoundingly, yes, but the question needs to be answered with honesty. Likely, I am not good enough to be traditionally published. I’ve submitted and been rejected a number of times.

So, I roll on, adding to my portfolio of writing, still ‘young of heart’ enough to dream of success and riches. Well, perhaps not so much the ‘riches’ as the success, NOT that I’m negative to wealth, heavens no! Hardly anyone I know would be adverse to riches. Perhaps, had we riches, we could help those who through no fault of their own cannot quite make it. In any case we should not deny opportunities to support those in real need.

So, now, as the wicker in my candle grows shorter, I’m still “Anchors Away” with my writing, still tapping the laptop keys, still trying to find some pieces of me hidden and unknown, some missing parts of my youth that haunt me, that beg to be found. I intend to keep on digging in the dirt and gravel of my past, and I’ll for sure let you know what I come up with. Just remember, though, I’ve got a tender heart.

It is not so esoteric as one might imagine. The easy way to be done with it all is to say, ‘I ate some emotional soup as a kid and I’m still trying to digest it’! I’m relatively certain there is no way I could be the only one wandering along in a romantic and wanderlust life. My bet is, I’ve got soul mates all over the world. If they’re not writing their own books, I’m inviting them to read my offerings. There has to be some ‘matches’ out there in this big old orbiting craft.

So, I will write until ‘Old Bessie’ comes home for milking, her brass bell tinkling with each slow step she takes, until some magical event occurs that signals me out for success in this world of writing, In my youth I rounded up ‘Old Bessie’, the cow, and herded her home for evening milking. I loved ‘Old Bessie’ and it was one job on the farm I didn’t mind. Now, I also loved my Aunt Bessie, so you ladies out there with the good name of Bessie, you bear a most noble name.

Knowing my lack of marketing skills, and, being realistic along with my nomadic and wandering soul, I suspect that magical event will just stay aloft or wherever it is and allow me to keep on writing, Once in a while my writing can turn people on. Maybe that’s enough. Well, take the ‘maybe’ away – it just might have to be enough.

How ’bout You? Wander over and take a peek on my Website –  https://billyraychitwood.com , read a synopsis or two or three or four or more and see if one of my books might turn you on. You will find books of mystery, romance, suspense, thrillers, most of which are inspired by real life situations. There are a couple of memoirs as well that cover me with a might too much accuracy… Just saying.

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 29, 2018

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“Role and Roll”

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

“Role and Roll”

(Not to be confused with: ‘Rock and Roll’)

“Have you ever eaten a roll while playing a role?”

“What! Ah, you’re doing another one of Linda’s ‘prompt’ things, right? Role and roll, right?”

“Well, yeah! So, I know you were an actor…did you ever eat a roll while playing a role?”

“Yeah, I ate a roll while playing a role! Now, can I get back to my book?”

“The book you’re writing! You write about the rolls you ate while playing your roles?”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake! You’re bound to do this, interrupt me with your stupid ‘prompt’ for role and roll… No, I don’t write about the rolls I ate while playing my roles! Now, put a roll in your mouth and play the role of quiet mouse!”

“I know what you’re doing! You’re playing a role, being mad at me, right? Here, have a cinnamon/raisin roll!”

“I’m going to throttle you! You’re just trying to roll over me with this role-playing crap. You do this every week when Linda does her prompts! And, you play this role every week! AND, no, I don’t want your cinnamon/raisin roll…and, dammit, I like my cinnamon/raisin rolls with a glass of milk…”

“Okay, okay! If you’re going to play this role with me, I’ll get you a glass of milk to go with your cinnamon/raisin roll.”

“Give me a really tall glass of milk for these three cinnamon/raisin rolls I’m going to eat for this stupid role I’m playing.”

“Really! Three cinnamon/raisin rolls! My role only calls for you to eat one, because I like cinnamon/raisin rolls, too, a lot, and I only made six!”

“That’s it, this role-playing has got to stop. My three rolls for YOUR role-playing still leaves you three rolls to eat. It’s a small price for you to pay, interrupting my important writing role. The cinnamon/raisin rolls are good, but no more ‘Linda Prompts” while I’m in my writing role. I appreciate your rolls, but I’ve got to get back into this writing role. Kabish, Kook?”

“Well, if you’re going to be crude and rude, I’m taking my rolls and leaving for brighter roles people will play when I engage them.”

“Now you’re talking, Sylvester! Leaving my writing room so I can eat my cinnamon/raisin rolls while in my writing role is the best news I’ve had for ten minutes!”

“You think we did enough role-playing for Linda’s prompt, Homer? Here, take my third roll! I just dropped it on the floor.”

“Dropped it on the floor! Well, that roll can’t be that badly soiled, as long as the cats haven’t been up to their roles of leaving cat-hair and dead little bugs on the floor… I’m impressed with your Chef-role, Sylvester…go make some more cinnamon/raisin rolls.”

(Under his breath) “Geez, you’d think the prompt was ‘cinnamon/raisin rolls’!”

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 17, 2018

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Bad Day on the Laptop

Bad Day on the Laptop

May I say? In all humility, the digital world truly sucks!

The digital world is like a zany puzzle that doesn’t know what it wants to be, crossword or otherwise. How many frigging minds are destroyed by its wacky configurations? I Hate You, Internet! In all humility!

It is as though those who put all the strange turns and twists to this digital empire smile with elitist glee because THEY KNOW what it’s all about, and everyone outside their ranks will have to pay dearly for their knowledge, like, buying a brand new laptop every year because of its promise to do more than the one you just bought six months ago…you Idiot! Me, Idiot! You, Tarzan, big man!

Yes, it’s a frigging elite club to whom only those who have bizarre technical skills can belong. All others: here, have some scraps of our earlier too mucky bulky, too easy gizmos with which we can no longer torment you; here, you poor saps who put up with the gyrations, constant aggravations, try these new and better applications, add more to your insane cravings; here, you dumb non-nerds, have an elixir WE put together just for you, an ‘SEO Friendly Content Download’ to go with your WORD PROGRAM – you will love it! Oh, AND good luck downloading it with all our (heh, heh!) easy as pie explanations. (Heh, heh!)

May I say, ‘Go to HELL with your satanic torturing of one’s mind and ego. Up yours! I can’t be more hostile because the frigging ‘Space Cadet Internet Cops’ will come and put me out of my misery.

May I say, ‘Up your YING-YANGS, you merciless bunch of societal rejects. May all your stupid circuit boards turn on you and make you the morons you’ve tried to make me! Oh, hell, who am I kidding! the moron you’ve made me!

AND, for those of you who somehow kept your sanity and mastered this damned time-consuming nano-piece of nothing and walk around acting like ‘know-it-alls’ with smiles on your stupid faces, up yours, too!

May I say, I hate you!

AND, will the ‘Internet Ward Nurse’ take this damned straightjacket off me? It’s difficult typing with my proboscis!

Hate You!

Hate You!

Hate You!

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 15, 2018

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There is Room

There is Room

  Along the lonely road I met an old man who sang a soft melodic song that spoke to me in so many ways, his gnarled fingers chording an old guitar that seemed to know so exactly, so enchantingly, and so beautifully where his sad and lonely words were going.

  I stood and listened until his song ended, mesmerized by the sounds and the words. My tears were his tears, his tears mine, and his song was my song, words, music, and all.

  When I awoke the tears still flowed down my cheeks, the words and music of the song would lay upon me in the twilight of my days.

*

There is Room

There is room for you here – it’s not so crowded, now that night is over and the demon sleeps in his coffin of forgetfulness…

There is room beside me, though the heat in my body has dwelled for a while in the dampness of the past heroic epic of chance…

There is room for you here by this still infernal longing of my soul that speaks to me of a thousand things I could have done…

There is room beside the silent tempest that yet rages within the bounds my mind can reach in too much absurdity…

There is room here in the twilight of a life spent recklessly and with oft a hope some willing star would enter its pitiable tenderness…

There is room here near the weariness from joys sought, found, and lost through carelessness of one final salute to Bacchus…

There is room here among the decay of confusion and doubt, among the abandoned hearts of love’s labor lost, sought and found…

Come join me – read my tales, hear my soul’s somber chorus, hear a fool awaking to a yawning maw of darkness and despair…

There is room…

*

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 12, 2018

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