The Good Samaritan


The Good Samaritan

Sully Minter noticed the car on the shoulder of the freeway and the young pretty woman with long raven hair looking inside her trunk. He braked slowly, pulled his pick-up truck behind the car some five yards, turned off the ignition, and got out of the car. As he approached the woman, she slammed down the trunk lid and turned. Sully could see the wariness in her eyes, a mixture of fear of his sudden appearance and her mind re-running all the terrible events shown on the television evening news about roadside rage, rape, and murder.

Sully smiled warmly, trying to allay her fears. “You having some car trouble, Miss? I’m happy to help if I can.” Sully, a husky six-foot fellow with brown hair and a baby face, showed as much of his bashfulness as he could. He did not want to alarm the lady.

His demeanor softened her looks of trepidation and she responded, “Oh, thank you, I’m not sure what happened. The car just started with a ‘knocking’ sound under the hood, and I thought I should pull off the freeway… My stupid cell phone needs charging and won’t work.”

Sully moved toward the front of the woman’s car. “Was it a loud knock that you heard or was it a soft pinging sound…your car looks new to me so it’s a bit unusual for it to have a loud hard knock.”

“It’s more a ping, I think, not really loud… My name is Nancy and I thank you so much for helping me.”

“I’m Sully and it’s my pleasure, Nancy.” He had reached the hood. “Can you release the hood latch for me, Nancy?”

Nancy rushed inside the car and complied with the request. She then returned to stand behind Sully as he pulled the oil stick.

“The oil looks clean and fine. When was your last gas fill-up?” Sully asked.

“Only thirty or so minutes ago, near Eloy.” The two were talking on the shoulder of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.

After Sully checked hoses and other connections around the engine he closed the hood.

“My guess is you got some bad gasoline, Nancy. Low octane fuel can make the sounds you describe. Just make sure you get higher octane fuel and you should be okay.”

“What do the louder knocks indicate, Sully?”

“Well, from what I understand, they could mean gasket leaks, piston problems, and any number of things. Your car being new, that’s hard to imagine… But, you’re sure they were not loud, like a heavy hammer hitting metal?”

“Yes, I’m sure, Sully. It was more like a light hammer hitting soft metal. I’m sure the car’s okay now. Thanks so much for your generous help. I will get better gas next time. I’m sure that’s the problem – it was a small out of the way station where I filled up… Can I pay you something for your help, Sully?” She reached inside the car for her purse.

“Oh, no, Nancy, please… It was my pleasure to help you. Hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly without problems. I’ll be getting on into Tucson for some business, but it was really nice meeting you, Nancy.”

Then, Sully was gone.

Nancy sighed deeply, checked the trunk one last time, and returned to her seat behind the steering wheel. She was almost to the spot she needed to be before the damned pinging had started.

The ‘damned pinging’ was her husband she thought she had killed with the poison. Just before Sully arrived she put the wide electrical tape over his mouth and nose to stop his tapping. She was certain now that he was dead… His resting place awaited.

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – 10/31/14

Try some of my full-length book fiction – starting with Book One of ‘The Bailey Crane Mysteries’ – “An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery” (1) – This is a book close to my heart and is inspired by true events.



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The Piano Bar


The Piano Bar

With this post I get to show not only some of my ‘warts of longing and wanderlust’ but an abiding romanticism that has tagged along with me through my life. The Piano Bar is symbolic of some younger years when I was going to live forever, a time when I could play out fantasies and dramatic ‘movie scenes’ of a lonely and desperate man, a time when the amber juices made me not so lonely and desperate…when a young lady fell prey to my somber moans of despair, often leading from The Piano Bar to my hotel or motel room. My symbolism here likely matches well with many a fellow comrade seeking nebulous new beginnings.

I’m not going to write in much detail about those hobo-like days, my boozing, my quaint poetry (also known as my etchings). Instead, I write you a song, a composition in my head and heart from some contemplative and mystic area of being I shall never fully comprehend. In some ways the song might remind some of Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’ song… That was never my intent to intrude on someone’s material. The reason for my balladic piece is this: we have a beautiful new house which we (my wife and I) are decorating. In our den over the fireplace mantel there is a colorful painting of a piano. As I type away on my laptop the blogs and the current book on which I’m working I constantly pause and look at that painting. At the end of the day I have one highball (usually a vodka concoction of one sort or another), and, with each sip and the loss of one more brain cell Bacchus stimulates the words as I gaze at my piano painting.

Play Me a Tune, Piano Man

Play me a tune, piano man…

Sing me a song from the years.

Play me a tune, piano man…

Bring back the joy and the tears.


Make all the words sad and lonely…

Sung whiskey tenor with heart.

Sing them all warm and embracing.

Keep the crowd rapt from the start.


Now give the keys some gaiety…

Give the crowd reason to smile.

Play ‘til the bar room is closing,

‘Last Call’, folks, for a while.


Play me a tune, piano man…

Sing me a song from the years.

Play me a tune, piano man…

Bring back the joy and the tears.

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 23, 2014


Now, if you want the full and shameful story, read What Happens Next – A Life’s True Tale.

What Happens Next - 9


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Dreams and the interpretations of dreams have been discussed and written about a lot. They fascinate us and drive us nuts trying to figure their significance…and, come on, they have to mean something!

Generally, ‘dream experts’ associate dreams with sex, stress, and weird synapses. Some of us dream in black and white, some, in color, some, not so much or at all.

Me, I dream on occasion – weird stuff, impossible for my brain to make sense of it. Take last night, for example. Well, those of you who dream know that they jump all over the place and it’s rare if not impossible to find a true sequence. My early morning vision came with a pretty girl with her panties showing as she sat on a stool – I’m not a young man but that particular strip had to indicate something about my youthful days of chasing the girls. Next came my mother who was telling me she needed a new night gown… Mom’s up there with Clarence and the angels… Following that quick hit came an old attorney friend I miss dearly (he, too has been gone a few years), and I’m telling him I have to get my mother a night gown. He tells me I’ve got to get her some panties (or, being my mom, maybe bloomers) to go with the gown. Next, I’m alone in my car on the way to Mom’s house, with Ray (my late friend) trailing me in his car. Suddenly, I’m supposed to make a right turn, but, now, Ray is not behind me and the road in front of me opens into something resembling a freeway cloverleaf. So I make an illegal U-turn in very slow motion, and, as I’m finishing my turn a car with a lone driver (not Ray) pulls into a large bare earth area to my right. The guy behind the wheel is just parked there looking dark and menacingly at me. Where I should now turn left to get to my Mom’s house, there is no road…

So, enough of this craziness! I wake up, feeling blah and out of sorts, wondering what the hell all of the dream is intended to mean. I lie there and start thinking about my good friend, Ray – was he trying to tell me something (other than getting a pair of bloomers for my Mom!)? Was he letting me know that he’s thinking of me wherever he is? Was he indicating that he was waiting for me? What was Mom trying to tell me? Would she really be needing a night gown and bloomers up there in God’s Heaven? And, what about the young lady on the stool with her panties showing? Was this an indication that there’s still some sex drive left in the old tank?

How does one come to any conclusions in a dream like that? All it did was keep me from going back to sleep. All I did was lie there in Blah-Land thinking about my dear sweet Mom and my dear friend who both meant so much to me. So, instead of 7:30 to 8:30 AM ‘rise-time’ I’m up at 6:30, and my good wife (her ‘rise-time’ always between 5:00 to 6:00) wants to know why I’m goofing up her morning routine (comics, crosswords, coffee). Sullenly, I go to the laptop, check the e-mails, do my Twitter business, send out a few tweets, and await the delivery of my black coffee from Julie Anne – yeah, right, she spoils me, but I deserve it!

The dream keeps bugging me so I decide to bore my blogger friends by writing about it. Maybe they can give me some clue as to what that weird early morning dream all means…

I would only ask that those good blog buddies of mine will keep it clean in their responses! Don’t give me the ‘dirty old man’ thing, or,  ‘you have a sex problem’ thing, or, ‘you are some kind of weirdo!’ thing – we already know that! Really, though, any informed and uninformed opinions are welcome.

I rather suspect my dreams have something to do with the extraordinary wisdom I carry within me! Okay, okay, stop with the rotten tomatoes already!

Seriously, though, maybe dreams are extra-terrestrial implants, or, simple soul reminders that there is much more awaiting us after this term of mortal service ends…yeah, I kind of like that!

Just me! Billy Ray Chitwood – with another silly post! 10/16/14

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Read a two-track narrative about my life – might keep you from dreaming weird dreams…well, maybe not! AND, the book is ninety per cent true. You will be able to recognize Prentice Paul Hiller rather quickly. You readers have the power to make this a best seller! Well, not likely, but, hey, you just might like it…there’s some viable history, some romance, some doom and gloom, and some happiness. My other eleven books can be found at the numerous sites below (fiction, mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, government). (@brchitwood) (My brief bio and books) (Give me some love – as in ‘likes’) (IAN – Independent Author Network – My books)

NOTE: I am very proud to have nine blog awards…for the sake of brevity I shall spare you the display.

My Way – Crazy or Not


My Way – Crazy or Not

Hey, this life-thing is a one-way ride or a round-trip! Who can truly say? All I know is I’m going to cram as much as I can into this trip of which I’m consciously aware – well, maybe! For all I really know, I could be unconscious or this rambunctious rumble through life could be a dream…maybe I’ll get to know just what it really is in God’s Place or another dimension or parallel universe.

This is all to say I’ve moved again! Yeah, gone to Kentucky for a spell, or, for keeps. My sweet wife has almost gotten used to my gypsy ways…in fact, I’m beginning to believe she enjoys all the work involved and the follow-up jive she gives me. Mostly, though, she gives me love and understands that the seeds for my wanderlust were sown way back in those eastern Tennessee hills. All the mobility and poverty kept me on the move with some uncertain delivery systems. Finally grew up – notice I did not say ‘matured’ – and found a restless nature that seemed never satisfied, always searching for some nebulous something.

So I move a lot!

This time, the new home is some kind of fantastic! Built in 1871 (with some modern new additions, of course!), the home has with it six bedrooms, rolling bluegrass hills for roaming and viewing, pond, pool, lovely trees. Now, the house is a bit small for the two of us (he says in heavy jest!) – 7000 square feet in the main house and 1100 square feet in the pool house (and another bedroom and bath). Now we do have a bunch of kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids to fill the rooms – but my rule is they cannot stay too long, just a few days. Otherwise, I don’t get to do the loafing I’m so good at and the writing of my fiction and non-fiction.

Yes, of course, all the psych people are correct – I’m very likely a ‘mess’ and have too much time on my hands. (No, I’ve never been and never intend to be on a psych person’s couch! If I cannot figure this ‘thing’ out with the years I’m putting into it, so be it.)

But back to the moves! Each one excites and brings renewed hope that the next stop is to be the place where I uncover an ultimate truth to my being, or, at least, is to be a place that can arrest the existential wandering and wondering… Don’t you just love that word, ‘existential’? It says so much and nothing at the same time!

This move, though, I’m seriously thinking will be my last. I love the property. I love the little town. I love the people. Maybe, just, maybe, not promising anything here, I might find my Nirvana.

My head is near bursting! Must be the air carrying all the jeering and laughter of my great wife, my wonderful kids, dear relatives, and the friends who know me so well – or think they do.

Billy Ray Chitwood – October 10, 2014

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From Here To There

From Here

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To There


From Here To There

My life is a history of mobility…from the restless spirit nestled somewhere in my mystifying DNA, transported there from two young restless parents searching for themselves in the confusion and poverty of their lives. Divorce would be inevitable and moves hither and yon would become commonplace…

No, this post is not to be a self-indulgent recant of my youth and how I came to be who I am. Well, perhaps it will seem enough so to allow for that conclusion. Everyone has been somewhere! Everyone has their ‘raison d’etre’.

There are two reasons for this post: 1) to provide some reasons for my social network inactivity – for those who might care; 2) to share the hectic two weeks that have passed.

Number one is easily handled by by the frenetic bustle of my life and my wife’s life the past two weeks.

Over a year ago Julie Anne and I moved from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico to my home state of Tennessee…wanted to test the essence of Thomas Wolfe’s book, You Can’t Go Home Again. We settled into a huge 6000 square feet log cabin on the Cumberland Plateau…we’ve always liked a lot of space in our homes but this was somewhat ridiculous at our ages. Still, the magnificent views across the canyon to another bluff was the clincher. There for over a year I finished one novel, The Reluctant Savage, and wrote two more books, Joe Public’s Political Perspective and my sixth ‘Bailey Crane Mystery’ novel, A Common Evil. It was a lovely period, but an ‘itch’ began – that ‘restless spirit’ thing! The bluff view was awesome but there were woods surrounding us…turns out I don’t like the feeling of being enclosed or ‘treed in’.

In some manner of happenstance we found Springfield, Kentucky – the land of Lincoln, rich in history. We visited, found the small town wonderful and the people likewise. With the right portions of chance and luck we found a restored 1871 home on one of the gorgeous rolling hills and bought it – selling the Tennessee house at the same time. We have been here two weeks and absolutely love it. The local paper, The Springfield Sun (local newspaper), and Ken Begley (Columnist) has already written a wonderful article about our arrival…we knew nothing about the genesis of the article but suspect our great real estate broker, Steve Hale, of spreading the word. On Saturday, tomorrow, there is a ‘Sorghum Festival’ in town, with Main Street closed down, and that super broker Hale has arranged a book signing event for me and my twelve books.

It’s been a hectic two weeks shopping for furniture to fill a 7,000 square foot house (yep, we like ‘huge’!). Our beautiful daughter, Shelley Jean, traveled from Las Vegas, Nevada, to help Mom Julie with the shopping and decorating…we’re trying to get her and her lovely family to move here (keeping our fingers crossed!). I’ve had little time to communicate with friends and followers on the Social Network sites and to write more in my new book. Hopefully, next week, I shall be at full strength again and back to tweeting (ad naseum) and facebooking and linkedin and blogging and…

It’s my hope you will forgive my self-indulgence here…although I wrote there would be none. It is about ‘now’ and not about my ‘past’. It has truly been a tiring but fantastic two weeks!

I plan on being here for the duration, but, who knows! That infernal ‘itch’ has been part of my life for so long…

Billy Ray Chitwood – Friday – 10/03/14 (Bio – books – reviews) (@brchitwood) (IAN bio and books) (Main page) (‘Like’ page)