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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♥♥♥

“Ma”

“Ma, Pa wants to seeya down at the barn…”

“Ma, didn’t ya heah me? Pa wants to seeya down at the barn?”

“Ma, stop staring off in the distance thar, Ma… Doggone it, Ma, stop churning Old Bessie’s milk and makin yur butter… Pa wants to seeya down at the barn. Pa sent me to tellya, Ma.”

“Ma, you alright? You scuring me, Ma! You in one a’them trances?”

“Homer, why yu tuchin my knee? Yu scured me, boy. I was athinkin ’bout Pa, when he was younger and we wur coortin. Ah, he was sum kinda hansum, Homer… Well, whatta ya want, Homer?”

“I tolya three-four times already, Ma. Pa wants you down at the barn.”

“Well, why is he wantun me, Homer?”

“I dunno, Ma, but that fool mule, ‘Fred’, just stepped on Pa’s foot and Pa’s setting rite in the middle of a pile of ‘Fred’s’ wastings.”

“My Lordie be! You telling me your Pa fell into ‘Fred’s’ number two?”

“That’s what I’m tellinya, Ma, and Pa ain’t too happy ’bout it, I can tellya that! He’s madder than a fit of hornets.”

“Well, Homer, you go tell yur Pa to just set easy – tee hee – and I’ll be thar as soon as this churning’s done. I’ll bring water and clean ‘im up. Git along now.”

“But, Ma, Pa needs ya noaw!”

“Hush, now, Homer, don’t yu be sassin me. Git on, now, and tell yur Pa I’m on my way reel soon. Go on noaw, I’m almost finished with this here churnin!”

Ma broke out laffing as Homer broke out running back to the barn.

Billy Ray Chitwood – For Linda’s SoSC Saturday – December 1, 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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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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