I was a beaten man!
There was nothing left! No wife! No children! No job!
The only clothes I owned were covering my body.
The black ashes that were once my house had an acrid, gagging odor, mixed with the smells of fire-fighting liquids, dampness, and death.
How does one describe a body bereft of feelings, a body with all its tears shed, a hollow core of nothingness covered with flesh? Nothing there! Nothing I could or would ever be able to find.
That was my truth! Standing there in a starless night of misty rain and appropriate bleakness, looking for the last time at the sum of my existence, there in those black, damp clumps of earth and bones, there with the only pieces of love I had ever known, there in that eerie graveyard of ashes.
A silly argument after the boys were put to bed, a petulant escape into the night of bar rooms and feigned grievance. Heard the sounds of fire engines through my whiskey haze. Gave it little thought. Fire engines rushed to others’ houses, not mine.
Finally, the Bacchus glow came and recognized the inanity of my actions.
That glow happily took me to the charred ruins of my only prized possessions.
People talked to me, tried to comfort me. Their voices were lost in my sobbing growls.
Then I was alone with my mind and its torturous playback of my fatuous acts in life.
For three days and nights, I stayed awake in the wooded area behind the ashes, unseen, not wanting to be seen.
At 11:00 PM that third night I heard off in the distance the freight train whistle.
I walked the quarter mile to the trestle and watched for the light that would announce its coming and the roar from the rails.
Like a thief in the night I left the bush behind which I hid and stepped on the trestle.
The train was but a hundred yards away when I raised my arms to the heavens and cried, “Oh, God, please forgive me!”
Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood
July 19, 2016
I’ve written thirteen books in the genres of mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and memoir, some of which are inspired by true life events…hope you will preview the books on my website: http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3
My JUST RELEASED romance novel, PHOENIX FIRE, was a real joy for me to write. I’m betting (praying, really!) that readers will enjoy this book immensely…with one caveat – keep the tissue handy. I know tissues were needed when I wrote it. So, please give it a read and leave an Amazon and Goodreads review = reviews are the life blood of authors. But, then, you’ve heard that time and again. Here are the BUY SITES for PHOENIX FIRE:
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