Tag: #BoogieUnderground

Felix and Fred -Putting Up A Fence

(Image by vipul uthaiah)

Felix and Fred

-Putting Up a Fence-

 “C’mon, don’t give me that crapola! You know that I don’t buy into your atheist beliefs. You’re a close-minded ‘know-it-all’.”

“Hey, you started the conversation.”

“How do you get there, ‘me’, starting the conversation?”

“You asked me what I thought about ‘climate change’…”

“And?”

“And, you used the word, God, in your question.”

“I said, ‘For God’s sake’, how can these young progressives be so stupid as to put ‘climate change’ as the number one problem facing the country?”

“Right, and I said, ‘God has nothing to do with it. There is no God. So, you got pissed and called me names.”

“Look, Fred, let’s get something straight here. We’ve had this lively chat before, and I keep telling you, ‘keep the atheist crap to yourself’, but somehow you always get the conversation over into the domain of metaphysics and intellectual inquiry, trying your damndest to charm me with your intellect, to turn me in a direction I’m not about to go… So, once, and for all the ‘next times’, I believe in a higher intelligence, a Deity, a God, not that ‘big bang’ you bring into just about every conversation we have. Now, you’re entitled to believe whatever you wish to believe, but, I say, but, when I make it clear to you where I stand on an issue, don’t keep bringing up your so-called belief of life being ‘nothingness’, that generic man gets only one chance at this thing we call life, implying we who do believe in God are all idiots.”

“Felix, your argument has no credibility, but…”

“Why, you arse-hole, my argument has no credibility? What? The Sun rises and sets. The tides move with the Moon. A baby is born in very precise stages, alive in a woman’s womb, sustained by the miracle of a woman’s bodily make-up, brought into a world where he or she or they can achieve remarkable feats, or, simply live a life, good or bad, until death claims them. Faith gives Life meaning, a purpose, to create, to explore the depths of knowledge, to live in hope of something ‘beyond’ the earthly realm. The mystery of death beguiles and haunts the thinking man in search of his soul’s quest…oh, but, not you. You don’t doubt, you know ‘with avid certainty’ that darkness awaits at the end of our breathing… You know, because I’ve told you before, Fred, we could have perhaps lively and fun conversations about life and death if you could admit to Agnosticism. But, no, not you. You’re really bright, but I wish you had some honest humility. Ah, I’ve had my say. Let’s finish this fence and stop talking for a while, Fred. Okay with you?”

“Yeah, sure, it’s okay with me, but, hell, Felix, we all have beliefs. I’m sorry I make you so angry, but I’m just speaking from my mind, not my heart.”

“That’s cute, Fred, that little ‘transference thing’ you just did, but don’t be using one of ‘our’ words in this conversation.”

‘Our words’, Felix? Oh, and which word is that, my enlightened friend?”

“The word is hell, Fred. Don’t use it, because you’re violating your belief system. Hell when used by atheists must mean that, in their most private moments, they think of Heaven and Hell! How’s that, my egotistical friend? Now, hand me another cinder block for the fence. We’re almost at the end. A few more yards will do it.”

“Are we okay, Felix? I mean, we still friends? I never know when you go on your rants”

“Rants, huh? I guess you’re talking about my superior logic… Yeah, of course, Fred. We’re still friends. Who else would listen to your brain farts? You make me mad with your mind-set, but we’ve been around too many corners to turn around now. We couldn’t find our way back home. You see, my God was feeding me my lines just now. Who was feeding you your lines?”

“The little guy in my brain.”

“Guess that’ll have to do.”

“We’ve been friends and next-door neighbors for years now, Felix. You figure this fence is a symbol for our disagreements?”

“Hell, no. I just don’t like watching you chase your lovely wife all around the back yard in your birthday suit. That ‘picture’ is not exactly pretty for you, but I’ve fallen in love with your wife.”

“That’s just mean, Felix, even though I’m smiling. That kind of thinking won’t get you to heaven.”

“You’ll never know. Now, hand me the the cinder block, arse-hole.”

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 3, 2019

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“SO”

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

“SO”

“So”

“So?”

“Yeah, ‘So’!”

“So, what?”

“Just, ‘So’, that’s the word my finger hit on!”

“So, what the hell are you talking about?”

“So, I’m talking about the word, ‘So’! Each week, this batty lady gives us a word to do our ‘stream of consciousness’ thing. This week, she outdid herself, told us to open a book, close our eyes, and blindly put a finger on a spot on the page, then do the ‘stream thing’ using the word on which our finger landed. The page was from my currently ‘favorite book’, The Pickett Factor, and my finger landed on the word, ‘so’.”

“So, being a ‘Wiseacre’, you decided to make it all about you and your new book, The Pickett Factor?

“So, why the hell, not?”

“So, why, indeed! At times, you can be a moron!”

“Well, so I suppose (notice the word, suppose, it has ‘so’ backward – cute, huh?) … So, I was saying, uh, writing, I suppose that’s what I’m doing, having some fun with the word, ‘So’, at the same time, letting people know this new book of mine, did I mention the title? The Pickett Factor, is one terrific read and is likely destined for stardom, So Good, it could be a best seller.”

“So, well, you know, do you not? You’re going to be turning off people with your blatant attempt to push your new book down their throats?”

“So, hell, man, this batty lady gives me the chance! Why not take it. It could be I’ll turn So Many people onto the book that it just maybe might be a new inventive thing for book-ad schemes. Don’t you think? You know, ‘Stream Your Conscious Book to Stardom’. So, great idea, huh? You think?”

“So, No, I don’t think! You’re, you’re, well, you’re so darned inanely obvious, you’ll likely be banned from the lady’s weekly ‘SocCons’ event.”

“So, if I sell hundreds, or, thousands of my SEVENTEEN BOOKS, the lady could be of another persuasion, you know, SO impressed she will want me as her partner…”

“So, Please, Stop! Just, Stop! This ‘So’ business is driving me nuts! How’s about I order “The Pickett Factor” to the tune of, say, 100 copies, will that erase the embarrassment you should feel?”

“So, just 100 copies? With your money, you could buy 20,000 copies and start a The Pickett Factor Book Store and feature all seventeen of my books… WOW! SO AWESOME! Okay, okay, uncurl your fingers from those fists! So, I’ll become silent…so quiet…”

“So, stop with the whispering and let’s go get a ‘Maker’s Mark’ highball.”

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 2, 2018

For the nice ‘Linda-Lady’!

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Confused and Mystified

Confused and Mystified

Bill Chitwood

Confused and Mystified

Participating, watching others participate, wondering what and where is the magic in this digital mind-boggling world. You are a writer. You write because of need and because you have identified writing as the talent you most likely possess more than any other, because just maybe that activity keeps you alive and in tune with the world around you. You go through the spasms of depression, frustration, and an occasional adrenaline rush of encouragement and excitement.

Then, you take a look at the marketing aspects of selling your books, the various providers of platforms, tools, and applications. Perhaps, like me, you become aware of the specialized and confusing language used in the digital market places, things like Avatar, widgets, SEOs, RSS feeds, URLs, hash marks, and all of it somehow cannot seem to make sense to you. You become angry with yourself, with the computer and its devious foreign language, and with the madness of minds making life so much more complicated than it really needs be. You wonder what you should be doing that you are not doing but most of all how to do it. Could you have been selling more books and yourself if you had joined this group, used this platform, done this, done that?

Sure, you can hire someone for a tidy sum you think you can trust to take the marketing worries away that allows you to concentrate on your writing. Yet, you either feel not quite comfortable among the so-called professional or you are too money-tight to give it a try. So, you muddle on, writing good books – books that should be selling – and attempting a one-person publishing house. Is there an answer? Is there a Nirvana out there for you?

The odds might not be great, but you figure to keep on writing – because that’s what you love to do. Hopefully, before the grim reaper comes calling, a benevolent event, a magic will come your way and finally make all those moments at the laptop pay off. A Publishing deal with a handsome sign-up bonus? An Amazon selling spree that puts your books virally in the top echelon of the Indie market? Okay, more realistically, beautifully written and sincere heartfelt reviews may lack the money and fame but they do make you soar for a few moments in those heady clouds of success. Maybe that is all we can hope – that and learning the foreign language that is the internet.

Writing mimics life and weather! Just wait a few moments with the emotion you are currently feeling…it will soon pass and be replaced by another. Time is the arbiter of all things – it is here and gone!

Just in the time it took me to write this blog post, I became a famous writer! Talk about an emotional uplift… A good caring and loving spouse can do that for you.

Keep Writing! Good things can happen!

Billy Ray Chitwood – November 1, 2018

Hammers_Holy_Grail_Cover_for_Kindle

NOTE: If you’re into faith,family, abuse, love, redemption, please check out my NEW BOOK:

“Hammer’s Holy Grail” – It’s a great read ! 

Here’s a couple of Amazon Reviews to entice you:

Format: Kindle Edition
– by Gwen Plano –

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“The Pickett Factor” – NEW NOVEL

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NEW NOVEL

The actual elements of this fictional novel got into my head, swirled around for days, nights, and weeks, finally rolled out my fingers onto the laptop keys. Despite the raw ugliness of the newspaper reports on these criminal activities, I simply needed to follow the ‘writer’s itch’ and pen this story. What was rather amazing to me was the ease at which I banged on those laptop keys, and, through the beta-period and the final drafts, it seemed to me an author-effort of which I could be proud…and you can win money on your bet that I am. At least, that’s the story I’m staying with. It’s my hope the readers will find their reading experiences as rewarding as it was my joy in writing it – notwithstanding the seriousness of the subject matter.

Please enjoy. AND, please leave a review. Thank you and good reading…

SYNOPSIS:

A novel inspired by true events but fictionalized in its narrative…

Some strange criminal elements are at work in the small town of Mackland, PA: a Mackland patrol officer is ambushed and murdered in 2013; a mother and common law wife goes missing in 2015; the missing woman’s father is killed in a suspicious hunting accident in 2016 -was he getting too close to some truths about his daughter’s disappearance? A mother and daughter are brutally murdered in 2014 – the mother’s & daughter’s throats slashed, then shot separately in their bedrooms (the daughter went to high school with the missing woman’s daughter); at least two drug gangs operate in the small town, brazenly attacking citizens and bragging about bigger crimes they’ve committed…there’s more, and the town has only 11,000 + population.

With my fictional account comes an ending. With the real cases still being diligently investigated, we will await the true findings.

For the ‘Mystery and Suspense’ reader, this is MUST READ! It’s that good!

JUST RELEASED!

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Proudly Presented by: Billy Ray Chitwood – 10/30/18

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Life With Some Luxuries

Life With Some Luxuries

It is supposed that most of us have heard the expression, ‘I felt sorry for the man without shoes until I met the man with no feet’.

It is supposed that one living in the proverbial lap of luxury, say, in a penthouse on a lovely sea, has the world by the ying-yang! That is, perhaps knowing the ‘dark negative side’ and knowing the ‘bright positive side’ of life. Or, not.

It’s doubtful that anyone ‘has the world by the ying yang’, but so many do know and can clearly distinguish between the two. My friends are farmers, pest-control people, and some wealthy folks as well. You can find that kind of living quite often in the small town scenario. Everyone is treated equally, though the register might show some big deficits in terms of wealth.

Take me, for example, I was born in Appalachian poverty and remember so well the kerosene lamps, bed chambers, and the occasional trip in dark of night to the outhouse.

Now, that doesn’t buy me a ticket anywhere, but those memories surely make me duly appreciate of a nice home with some luxury features. Those memories are always with me and they provide a ‘stop’ measure if there comes a time when I so easily ‘wear’ luxuries and forget how life can be in the lower rent districts…I’ve lived there, know them well.

In fact, I can track my memories and remember some lovely simple moments of youth, like, when my grandmother held me on her lap in an old stuffed chair, her spittle can on the floor next to her. She would cut a big red apple in two halves and with that knife ‘mush’ that apple up it into her version of apple sauce, then fed it to me…

I can remember when my Mom was a boarding house cook, when we had a room across from the kitchen, and, as I sat listening to a radio broadcast of a baseball game she brought me a plate of her wonderful cooking – kissing me on the cheek and saying her love words to me…

I can remember my club-footed cousin JD and I playing ‘cowboys and indians’ on those old country roads, exploring around the old sawmill watching for copperheads…

I can remember my grandpa coming around the mountain on an old railroad track tooting the old steam engine’s whistle, announcing the arrival of another bunch of logs from the other side of the mountain.

Well, I grew through those early days and experienced the comraderie of my football and basketball buddies in a gated historic city there the ‘Atomic Bomb’ was built, and on the periphery, watching my Mom struggle still with the rent payments and a sister that was growing too fast, age fifteen, going on twenty-one.

So, why all this rummaging through the past, the ‘ying and yang’ of living? Here in ‘Twilight’ there is time to reflect likely too much on the past and the present, how people make their adjustments as they play out their lives. Compared to those long-ago days I’ve fared very well in the pre-twilight years, not a ‘fat-cat’ by any stretch but will likely be buried with a bit of legacy for the kids. I’m envious of no one, but I still have my dreams as an author of a ‘best-selling’ book. My 17th novel, “The Pickett Factor” is being launched in a couple of weeks, and I like its chances…if I get some help from my friends.

As I ramble here, I’m just hopeful that people can understand that where they are on any kind of measuring chart, financial or otherwise, it’s basically where your heart and mind are that truly matters.

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 30, 2018

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The Pickett Factor

THE PICKETT FACTOR

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AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON

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Paperback Edition: Amazon UK

ALSO AVAILABLE ON: APPLE – B/N – KOBO – TOLINO

Seldom does a book come to me in such a way as this book. It was all there in my head. Perhaps that’s because I’m so close to where the elements of the story took place, thirty minutes at the most. Yes, the location in the book is Pennsylvania because these are on-going cases, and I believe it wise to put the action somewhere else.

The same narrative prevails regardless of the state represented, that is, Pennsylvania is also familiar to me because I lived, worked, and went to college in Williamsport, PA – the college: Lycoming College – received my Bachelor of Arts there, carrying away some fond memories as I jouneyed west to California, then, Arizona.

While in College, my ‘Criminology Class’ visited several penal institutions, one of those dark and gloomy places was USP Lewisburg, referenced in the book, a prison that holds the worst of the worst criminals. I mention my Pennsylvania personal period because of those family, work, and college memories were vibrant and alive while writing this book, and the creation of a small town was easy for me to transmit narratively.

“The Pickett Factor” is truly inspired by crimes in a small town that shocks its citizens and those that are nearby: in 2013, a police officer was ambushed and murdered on his way home from a work shift; in 2014, a mother and daughter were brutally murdered in their bedrooms, throats slashed and shot; in 2015, a mother of four children went missing and has not been found to this day; the daughter murdered in 2015 went to high school with the missing woman’s daughter; in 2016, the father of that missing mother was mysteriously killed in a hunting accident; Drug gangs sell their wares on the streets of this small town, attacking citizens on their own property…and, there’s more.

As the reader can discern there is plenty of elements for several books. I have written “The Pickett Factor” as news flashes come in about these open cases, my mind swirling with images and words. My work is of course fiction, piggy-backing off these obscene and true crimes. My book has a fictional ending. The true cases’ denouement is yet to be written.

Please enjoy “The Pickett Factor” and leave a review if you would be so kind. Reviews as authors know are our lifeblood.

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON BUY SITES:

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Billy Ray Chitwood – October 29, 2018

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Man in a Tree

Man in a Tree

“Stop the car, Lewis!”

“Geez, Alan, not so damned loud. What? What’s wrong?”

“The man in a tree. Didn’t you see him? He’s pretty high up, and there’s no way I can see that he can get down.”

“Well, I am driving and my eyes are on the road, Alan.”

“Yeah, I know, Lewis. Sorry, didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Just wait, the guy could be in trouble. Please, back up and park at the curb. I’ll be right back.”

“But, Alan, we’ll be late for our tee-time… Don’t slam the door! ‘Okay, slam the damned door! Geez, like talking to air, that guy! Back up and park at the curb’. Sure, Alan, anything you say, Alan. You’re the boss, Alan’.”

“Hey, Mister, you alright up there? Do you need some help? How did you get up there? Man, you’re maybe fifteen feet from the ground. There’s no ladder down here. There’s nothing down here … HEY, can’t you hear me? I’m screaming down here.”

“I can hear you fine, young man. What’s your name?”

“My name’s Alan. Can you tell me where you keep the ladder? I’ll get it, and you can come down from up there.”

“No, I’m fine up here, Alan. It’s kind of you to stop and be concerned. People are not so concerned these days. You’re a kind man.”

“What’s your name, may I ask?”

“Sure. My name’s Albert.”

“How did you get up there, Albert?”

“I used my ladder.”

“Well, where did your ladder go, Albert?”

“Ellen took the ladder, Alan.”

“Well, my good Lord, why did she take the ladder away, Albert?”

“Oh, she got mad at me because I wanted to go fishing. We argued a spell, and she told me to go ‘climb a tree’ and that’s what I did. I got the ladder to reach the first limb, then used the other limbs to get higher. It’s actually pretty nice up here.”

“Well, hell, Albert, you can’t stay up there. You’re not a young man. You could get dizzy and fall. I’ll go to your door and get Ellen to show me where the ladder is.”

“No, no, don’t do that, son. She’s a might set in her ways, and I don’t want to cause you no trouble. You seem like a nice young man. Why’d you stop, anyhow?”

“I saw you in the tree, Alan, and you have to admit it’s unusual to see a man your age sitting up there all by yourself. And, you can’t get down without that ladder, Alan. The tree has too much girth for you to be able to shimmy down it. I’ll go to the door and talk to Ellen.”

“I prefer you not do that, Alan. Now you just go on about your business. It looks like you have golf gear on, so go play your round of golf, and don’t fret for a minute about me.”

“Well, I just can’t do that, Albert. I would worry about you all day. Are you…I mean, is your…that is, are you thinking straight, Abert?”

“Oh, I see what you might be thinking, Alan. No, my brain power is still there, I don’t have that ‘Alzheimers-stuff’, but I tell you one thing, it’s sure good to see that people can still try to do the right things for others… Now, listen up, I like my women ‘fat’ and tough as nails. Well, I got one of those in that shingled house over there, and she is one big ‘Wo-man’. If you go to that door, ring the buzzer, she’ll come to the door ‘a-hooten and a-holleren’, and she could be carrying, if you know what I mean… Like, right now, that friend in the car is tooten that horn too much, and that could get her angry…”

“Oh, don’t worry about us, Albert. My worry is about you, I’ve got to get you out of that Sugar Maple before you fall and hurt yourself. I’ll take my chances with Ellen.”

“Well, son, you go ahead and do what you’re thinking and I’m trying my best to tell you truthfully what’s going to happen, and the aftermath of your action.”

“Alan, in these few seconds here with you, I feel really close to you, which makes it all the tougher to leave you sitting up there in that darn tree. I’m off to see Ellen.”

“Well, you have a good heart, son, but I’m telling you – there just ain’t enough room up here for both of us.”

(Tick-Tock)

“Well, she ran that friend of yours off pretty fast, Alan. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Will she be serving us cocktails and dinner up here, Albert?”

A Light Flash Fiction Moment from: Billy Ray Chitwood – October, 2018

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‘Happy’

‘Happy’

The light bright sorrel mare with a flaxen mane and tail came to the fence, quickly ate the apple, turned and trotted off neighing and twirling in a delightful display of ‘thanks’! I laughed along with its joy and it pranced around in a circle, eyeing me in my joy.

“Come, ‘Happy’,” I called, and it came to the fence again.

I rubbed ‘Happy’s’ long snout and leaned over the fence and kissed her between the eyes, her tail wagging with delight.

“Would you like me to ride you this afternoon? I’ll ride you bareback and forget that old saddle. Would you like that?”

Happy lifted its regal head in a definite yes.

Wearing sneakers, denims, and a pale blue tee-shirt I put my left foot on the middle wooden crossing on the fence and jumped aboard Happy.

“Okay, Happy, I’ve got your mane, run with the wind and get some exercise.”

Much like a race horse, ‘Happy’ broke and dashed away, accustomed to my near-200-pound weight and knew that I was not worried about her speed. Off she went down into the pasture-land of our 500-acre ranch.

It was a glorious day with clear blue sky and slight zephyr-like breezes as ‘Happy’ galloped, careful not to make sudden turns as I was without benefit of saddle and stirrups and possibly could lose my balance. I gave ‘Happy’ her freedom of direction and hanged on to her mane, leaning forward with my chin almost touching her bobbing head.

There was a stand of trees and a knoll after clearing the pasture and ‘Happy’ took me in that direction. The exhilaration of the ride was what I so badly needed after the argument with Margo over the bills and the money to pay them.

The thing was, we had no financial problems. We had money to live on for the rest of our lives. There was no need to worry, to fret about bills and the paying of them. Margo came from a good solid background of Irish ancestry and instilled in her was sort of frantic penchant for keeping up with and paying monthly bills instantly.

So, we argued to the point of my becoming irritated with the senseless argument and walked away from her as she continued to rail on about the bills.

She would be fine by the time I returned from this Saturday morning gallop, and, definitely, so would I.

On the knoll and now slowed to a canter, ‘Happy’ seemed somehow disturbed by something, “What is it, ‘Happy’? An animal of some kind, a snake? It was as if I expected ‘Happy’ to answer me, but then, I, too, heard the desperate sound that was upsetting her, actually, more a scream some distance away. I tugged at ‘Happy’s’ Mane toward the direction of the scream and headed in that direction.

There, between the trees, a man was assaulting a woman. ‘Happy’s’ baying got the man’s attention as I nudged ‘Happy’ to move faster toward the assault.

When ‘Happy’ slowed, I jumped from the horse and collided with the now standing man, half-dressed and menacing with a knife in his right hand. I dodged one thrust from the knife, and ‘Happy’ weaving head dodged the next thrust…at least, I thought so. But, in my side vision I saw blood running down ‘Happy’s’ neck area. That infuriated me and I rushed, tackled the man, and slammed my fists into his body and face. His knife went flying as kept up my own assault, mindful of the weeping lady and my wounded ‘Happy’.

When the man no longer moved I assumed he was unconscious and rose from his body. Checking on ‘Happy’s’ wound I found it was just a scratch. As I turned toward the lady, she yelled, “He’s getting up.” I turned and with my right haymaker the man went down and stayed down. ‘Happy’ moved over the man and placed a front hoof on his chest.

The lady had stopped sobbing. She told me what happened. She thought he was a nice guy. She met him at a girlfriend’s afternoon party, and he invited her to go for a ride in his new Corvette.

I looked off to the right and there was a shiny white Corvette parked on the shoulder of the farm road. I reached inside the man’s denim left pocket and found the car keys for the Corvette and slipped them into my own pocket.

The young lady was not seriously hurt. ‘Happy’ and I came along just in time. I went to the Corvette and marked the license plate in my head. I got astride ‘Happy’ and pulled the young lady up and behind me. We went back to the ranch house and found my wife standing by the fence with tears in her eyes.

I kissed my wife and introduced the young lady whose name she had not given. Lacy LaGreen was her name, and I knew the family.

I first called the police, gave directions to the man and his car, told them I had his car keys and would give them up when a resolution was made on the man’s assault and/or I would pass them on to the police for their disposition, to relay them on to the man’s family.

The young lady was most thankful to ‘Happy’ and me. Lacy would become both a good friend of my wife and me, but, to ‘Happy’s’ delight, a new riding partner.

The young man would eventually get a reduced sentence of 30-days jail time, and would blame the assault on too much alcohol.

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood -October 21, 2018

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Portrait in Time

Portrait In Time

Young man, do you not see me as once I might have been?

Is it the wrinkle, the sagging skin Time laid upon me that you see?

Once I stood, perhaps like you, with noble thoughts and dreams

A new bright morning might bring.

Time wore me down with its ceaseless ubiquitous ways and subtle promises.

Time taunted and tempted me with its guile and deceptions,

With its beauty beads of love.

Time gave me its reins to run wild with the wind toward sunrise and sunset.

Time now leaves me here along the sea, better to have had its moments of joy;

Sad to have you see the frail and broken parts of me.

Young man, can you not see me as once I might have been?

(An ending poem in a book by Billy Ray Chitwood, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son”)

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 12, 2018

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Thoughts of an Assassin

©Thoughts of an Assassin

He watched from his secret spot above the street, his telescope adjusted for maximum clarity. The time on the tower clock showed 5:25 PM and the sun was getting lower in the western sky. Soon, on the lower horizon, the lucid orange colors would come, would dazzle the ‘romantics’ in the crowd of life’s living lovers …

He grinned at his thoughts:

Where else would the sun be at this time of night but in the western sky? Remarkable how we people speak and think so often in grandiose terms, adding the delicate modifier words to an important moment we’re describing, to a person we’re praising, to an object of devotion.

Hah! Am I just now succumbing to the art of poetry? Ah, the mind can bewitch and tease us in so many ways … Laura taught me that. Dear, beautiful, Laura, you introduced me to so much in life. We went to those romantic places you made so vivid for me in your telling. You were alive in a world I never knew, a political world you loved and believed in, a world you shared for a while with me, a simple man, unschooled in the finer etiquettes of life, a man who shunned the crowds, sought only his lonely miserable solitude in introverted and fearful insignificance…

He looked at his watch. The posted time for the politician’s arrival at the square was only twenty-five minutes away. He licked his lips but only because they were dry from being out in the open so long. He ran his open palm back through his sandy hair. It would not be long now.

He was at the party by chance. His old college friend, his only friend, had insisted he attend with him because he was ‘worried about your own introverted and quaint nature’, his friend said, and I shall never know how it was he convinced me to go with him. And, there, I sat in a golden stuffed love seat in a corner of the huge ornate room while a soft roaring of incessant chatter from small huddled groups came resoundingly to my ears.

The robotic roving waiter in black and white brought me my second Manhattan, and as I timidly took a sip I saw you, Laura, walking toward me, your long flowing colorful hair with a streak of peroxide somehow adding and sculpting the rest of your gorgeous body, tightly caressed by the burgundy gown and gold trim. As you neared me, I gulped for I saw that you were about to speak and the awful fear gripped and held me stupefied. Your beauty notwithstanding, my onset of paralysis was an awful discomfort mixed with both anxiety and a modicum of hope. It dawned on me to stand in meeting a lady, and that began the only three years of my life that would come to have meaning.

We fell in love so effortlessly and hopelessly. It was you, Laura who taught me the manners and the ways of culture and refinement…to the extent they could be taught to me. It was you, dearest Laura, who taught me love. The happiness and the love shared by the two of us, our trips to far-away places, the few friends with whom we shared some special moments, all would be the stuff of painting, poetry, songs. Then, you were gone, taken from me by a foolish political ploy that caused your death…and, my death.

He checked his watch. Five minutes. With his gloved hands he opened the long leather case, assembled easily, quickly all parts of the high-powered long-range rifle, the telescopic sight, the barrel, checked its heft, took a test-pose to check scope, and leaned back against the short roof wall…and waited.

Laura, my one and only love, this is for you. There is something within me that cannot allow this man to live, this man who took your life from me. Not through love did he take your life, but through a ruse that would cause your death and my only real reason for living.

I know you would not approve of my action here, my love, but men measure equities and losses in different ways than do beautiful women. But, still, I will ask you to forgive me this frailty of mind and body that urges me on to fulfill this deed. And, please, if there is that divine gate on golden shores of after-life, please be waiting to open that gate for me, dear lady of my heart.

The tall handsome man stood, took his position at the parapet, kneeling, sighting, as the black limousine came to a stop at the beautiful flower-laden square. The tower clock struck six lovely tones. All the secret service people came from the vehicles, gathered near the politician responsible for the man’s deep sorrow. The politician took his first step from the limousine.

A gunshot pierced the early evening air, unheard by the cheering crowds below.

The man lay dead on the roof floor by the short wall, blood slowly seeping from his head wound.

There was static heard only on the building’s roof, and these words: “Subject target eliminated. The president entourage may continue.”

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 14, 2018

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