Road Rage


Road Rage

I’m on my way to an appointment, driving the speed limit. I pull into the left-turn lane at the traffic light, stop, and wait for the light to give me the green arrow to turn.

Two young men, kids, really, pull up behind me and notice me looking in my rearview mirror – habitual for me. The kids start with the wild antics, making faces, raising fists, having fun at my elderly expense.

Now, I begin to see red (not the light, my anger!) and I give them the finger, throw the gear shift in park, and begin to open the door to invite them to try me out. The traffic light gives the green arrow, and I jump back in the car and make my turn, moving at a deliberate slow pace, now having a little fun of my own.

Looking in the rearview mirror, I see the kids now have a more solemn, worried look, thinking maybe they’ve started something they might not be able to finish.

Slowly, I go a little further, roll down my driver’s side window and motion for them to follow me to the gravel shoulder of the road. I pull to the side of the road they pass me and move on a bit faster.

I pull back on the roadway and build my speed until I’m tail-gating. I can see the driver’s face through his rearview mirror, and he seems now very troubled.

Another green traffic light is just ahead and the driver quickly turns right.

I turn right as well.

They Speed up.

I speed up.

Now the young guys seem genuinely concerned. They must figure I’m going to follow them to their ending destination, so they’re turning every few blocks.

After a few turns my anger is assuaged, so I end my pursuit that was never going to end in any kind of confrontation. I was able to produce the effect that my anger prompted.

Now, to analyze my behavior.

Juvenile! Dumb! Silly!

What the incident did show me is the inanity of road rage incidents. I allowed my quick-rising anger to dictate my actions which might have ended very badly. My anger can be understood (or, not!) in the comparative analysis of old versus young – ergo, I once was the age of those two boys in the front car and never did I disrespect the elders among me.

For a few moments I was nineteen or twenty in my brain, feeling awkwardness with my age, seeing the young men treating me as a mere taunting object without courtesy and/or respect. Me, I was acting out in response a dumb routine from my youth.

I’m just glad the anger wore off quickly enough to avoid any serious repercussions. This incident could very well have ended badly. The two younger men maybe had other motives, other plans for me.

(Has this kind of incident happened to you?)

Blog post by Billy Ray Chitwood – May 31, 2016

I write books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, et al. If you would like to preview the thirteen books I’ve written, you can find them on my website:

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The Cardinal

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The Cardinal

Taking a break from writing I stare at the beautiful fake cardinal in front of me. It sits on a big tome in a niche above the TV entertainment center. It is one of my frequent diversionary tactics to avoid putting my mind to work for writing.

Unlike the image above, the cardinal is actually staring at me as well, and it’s getting just a bit weird because I see the lovely guy fluttering, jerking his head around and about, shaking his feathers. He then cocks his head, stares again at me, and suddenly flies over to the arm of my chair.

Now, look, think what you might – ‘the guy in the chair is daffy, losing his freaking mind’. That’s okay. That kind of thinking is perfectly legitimate.

However, if you think a stuffed cardinal flying from his niche to the arm of my chair is daffy, get ready for some real craziness.

He starts squeaking to me, and I feel a bit like Mark Twain because I’m understanding his squeaking. Yeah, he’s talking to me…like in, ‘You talking to me’?

He’s asking/squeaking me questions, like, ‘Hey, I got nothing to do all day but watch you type away on that black gadget you got there – laptop, you call it. Occasionally, I see your wife bringing you snacks. It’s okay she doesn’t bring me anything because you – somebody! – made it impossible for me to eat. So, I’m curious. Before I got ‘stuffed’, I flew around a lot, visited many places, and settled here because I like your grounds and your cute but silly chatter to me and my feathered friends. What I’m curious about is, something strange is happening, and I’m not just talking about climate change here – which is likely ‘bunk’. I’m talking about the craziness of your world. Why all the hatred and inane behavior? I mean, it’s filling the air my still-flying friends have to breathe.”

“Is it okay if I just stroke your feathers? You are so beautiful. I’ll be gentle.”

“You’re avoiding my question, but go ahead if it will make you open up to me.”

So, I stroked the little guy’s feathers. “Look,” I say, “there’s nowhere in our history when we’ve been sane. We’ve fought our dumb wars, made our stupid mistakes, and Science/Technology has not come up with a pill or implant or whatever to make up for all of our differences – the language barriers, different intelligent levels, the so-called inequalities between the rich and the poor. We’ve gotten so global. We’re dealing with centuries-old hatreds. We’re coming to a point of no return. Something has to give.”

The little red guy cocks his head, and I almost think he’s squinting. “Hey, man, you’re ruffling my red feathers! Are you talking about Armageddon and the Apocalypse?”

“Well, it just seems to me, unless we can find a way to unite the world for freedom and peace, what can there be but utter destruction and our final days?”

My little Cardinal buddy was shaking, so I stroked softly his feathers again with my forefinger, and said: “Look, my fine red-feathered friend, there is always hope and we don’t give up so easily here in America. It’s one thing for me react, talk about the hatred, the radical Islamic terrorists that do their evil deeds, about the greed for power that drives most of our wanton transgressions, but I still carry faith and hope that the world can get it right.”

“So,” my Cardinal buddy stopped shaking and said, “I’m staying here with you, right? You’re not going to leave me here during these times of trouble to stare at empty space?”

“No, of course not. And, if and when I leave, there will be specific information and instructions left about you with someone as lovable as I. After all, they will need to be prepared for your rather peculiar aptitude.”

“That’s good to know… I’m going back to my perch now – getting a little sleepy. See you when I wake up. And, please, I say this with all the affection in the world for you: finish that darn book and knock off some of those loud expletives. You scare me when you go ‘flying off’ like that.

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood – 5/25/16

I write books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, et al. If you would like to preview the thirteen books I’ve written, you can find them on my website:

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Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations.

Where Did All The Flowers Go?


Where Did All The Flowers Go?

Where did all the flowers go, Daddy?

They’re looking for sunlight, sweetheart.

Where did the sunlight go, Mommy?

It’s looking for a reason to shine, Darling.

Why does the sun need a reason to shine?

Because people have forgotten how to love.

Why have people forgotten how to love?

Because their lives are not their own.

Why are their lives not their own?

Because the Power Elite map their living.

Who are the Power Elite, Daddy?

Those who have chased the sun away.

Did they chase the flowers away, too?

They brought poison to the air we breathe.

Does the poison not harm us, Daddy?

Yes, we are slowly dying, sweetheart.

What will happen to our world?

In time, it will all start over again.

Again, Daddy? Has it happened before?

Yes, it has happened before, Sweetheart.

How does the world start over?

When the poison leaves the air, new people will come.


The new Civilization will have its chance to get it right.

How will they get it right?

They might not get it right, sweetheart.

Then, what happens?

What is happening now will happen again.

Is that the way of life?

Unless a new Civilization can get it right.

You mean, Love without poison in the air?


Flash Fiction – An attempt at Allegory: by Billy Ray Chitwood

I write books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, et al. If you would like to preview the thirteen books I’ve written, you can find them on my website:

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Proud member of: #ASMSG – #IAN1 – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations.

Sunday With The Grandparents



Sundays with The Grandparents

It’s been so long ago, but I remember the wonderful weekends at my grandparents – kerosene lamps, outhouses, and all… those inconveniences of the times that were taken for granted and did not spoil the most special feeling of family and love.

Many of my uncles and aunts were there with their families, and the setting was perfect – even with the L&N Railroad tracks within fifty yards of the old gray railroad section house. My cherubic Grandpa was an L&N Section Foreman and the finest dispenser of love and wisdom that I’ve ever known.

In the afternoon, some of us boys played catch and some played horseshoes. The girls were either helping, or, getting in the way of the women cooking up that good old southern food. I remember hearing the giggles and playful sounds coming from inside the house.

It seemed the weather was always sunny in Madisonville, Tennessee during those family weekends, but, surely, there would be no rain in my memory banks. The side lawns were freshly mown and that familiar delicious smell filled the air. Hedgerows separated the L&N tracks from the house, only minimally muting the sound of passing trains and their lonesome whistles. Lovely beds of flowers of all colors dotted the landscape.

In his coveralls (can’t remember ever seeing him in clothes other than his coveralls), my beautiful ‘Santa Claus’ built grandfather brought the old ice cream maker, the rock salt, and ice to the side yard nearest the kitchen, ready for cranking that handle round and round. We little guys would do the initial cranking while the cream in the cylindrical metal container was not ready to thicken. When more rock salt and ice were added, that old crank got harder and harder to turn. So, the little guys would reach a point where they could not budge the crank. Then, the big guys would take over.

There were watermelons and some would turn out to be a whitish-green inside – that is, uneatable – but we would all laugh about it.

Grandma and her inside crew, including my Mom and her sisters, were the real heroines of the day. There was so much good tasting food, most of us swore off eating for a week.

The really big thing, though! Well, actually, there were two really big things!

There was something almost sacred about those weekends. Happiness and Love were there in abundance and they showed on all the faces. Oh, there was always some mention of family and world’s problems, but most of all, it was a reaffirmation of family closeness.

The other big thing was Grandma’s prayers. Now, you have not heard anyone pray like my sweet Grandma prayed. She gathered us all in the big living room, and we knelt on the floor while she cried, laughed, screamed her long, long prayer of thankfulness, of hope, of peace and the great glory of Jesus and our ultimate eternal homes.

They were weekends I find easy to remember and, while we go through our orbits and wars and our political uncertainties, I can find in those childhood memories some semblance of unity and love…

We just need to find a way to dispense that unity and love throughout a troubled world.

I’m thinking we need more of my Grandmas and Grandpas.

      Billy Ray Chitwood – May 11, 2016     

I write books of mystery, suspense, romance, memoir, et al. If you would like to preview the thirteen books I’ve written, you can find them on my website:

Other Links:

Proud member of: #ASMSG – #IAN1 – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations.

Beauty – Eye – Beholder


‘Beauty – Eye – Beholder’

Looks like a big field of chocolate ice cream!

That’s what I’m thinking as I look at this art shot just southwest of Yuma, Arizona. That hits me each time I pass this large stretch of land where the dune buggies and other odd sorts of motorized contraptions buzz across the expanse, motoring fast and furious as they go up the wind-shaped dunes. On the level areas, these Evel Knievel daredevils zip by so fast it scares you just watching.

For the rapt me, this sparkling sand speaks of the Bedouins in Arabia, Negev, and the Sinai, the camels, and the ‘Arabian Nights’. Bedu is Arabic for ‘inhabitant of the desert’, and my mind tries to absorb the lives of these desert Nomads, the desolate days and nights – a culture and way of life for a people who do not know of the great cities in the West, the elegant dress of the high-minded aristocrats…nor do they care to know.

Of course, there are but a few short mind-steps to that troubled area of the world where anger and hate have accumulated over millennia. These robed wanderers of the desert must love as well as hate, must find frequent pleasures in festive times and in their rituals.

Then, the mind can quickly jump to barbaric acts by those extreme Islamic monsters who find it easy to cut off heads and burn the Christians and infidels with expeditious ease.

It appears I’m lingering in this short blog on the ugliness that is all around us. From the political correctness of our words to the critical mass of terrorism and hatred in the world, it sometimes seems we are on the edge of cataclysm, an apocalyptic event to destroy us… or, to right our course.

‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, and some beholders might not find the desert in Yuma as beautiful as I, or this seascape in Mexico…


Or, this lovely valley art…


Yet, with all the beauty around us, we have leaders who seem not to notice and want to take us in directions where our freedom and liberties are usurped, to their ideology of conquer and control.

When our leaders talk about ‘Global Unity’, there is no doubt the phrase has a noble ring. With language barriers and historic ledgers that can never be reconciled, it seems to me an impossible dream. Yet, Science and Technology can create magic in their laboratories, devices that can aid us in communicating with people from all parts of the world, perhaps, breaking down walls of time-worn fears.

However, there is beauty all around us, and, for me, beauty is love and love is beauty.

Billy Ray Chitwood – May 4, 2016

I write books, some inspired by true events in the genres of mystery, suspense, romance, and memoir…hope you can take a look at my website:


Proud member of #ASMSG – #IAN – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations