Darkness and Fog

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Darkness and Fog

The darkness and fog are palpable like a viscid sweat crawling all over the body, and my eyes cannot be trusted. Keen concentration is not all it’s made out to be. These dumb-ass images keep popping up all over the space in front, sides, and back of me…and, okay, I admit it – I’m a big boy scared. ‘There’s no moon in the sky – stormy weather’ (ring a bell?). I mean, there is no way this world can be this dark and foggy.

“Why,” Someone might ask, “are you so stupid to be standing where you’re standing?”

The reason is really simple but I’m going to make it as complicated for you as I can.

When I was a little boy, my crippled cousin had to have the light on during his bedtime dark hours. Now, I didn’t tease him about that but if I just mentioned it he chased me up one country road and another. If I didn’t have a pretty good lead he’d catch me. Then, we would end up wrestling until one of us said ‘Uncle’ – usually me! We were best pals and I loved my club-footed cousin-buddy, but he got madder than a frigging copperhead on LSD if anyone brought up sleeping with lights on.

That’s really not part of the complicated story, at least, not in a major way. This darkness and fog just made me think of him. He turned out to be a scratch golfer. He’s gone now, died too damned early in his life. His damned cheating wife was screwing the next door neighbor, and my cousin beat the shit out of the neighbor and threw all her clothes – and her – out of the house. He was club footed but he was no yellow-belly. Nobody gave him any crap, that’s for sure.

Well, again, that’s not part of the complicated story either – but I won’t lead you on any further.

It all starts with my sister, Sarah Lou. She’s fourteen going on twenty-four, if you get my drift, built like a brick shit-house, big boobs, long silky brown hair, great figure, really pretty, and she reckons she’s the ‘cat’s meow’. It seems she knows early on she wants to taste some parts of life she is no way ready to taste.

I’m convinced Sarah Lou is the genuine product of her – and, my – dad. He gets madder than hell and beats up on her…and, Mom.

Dad has this fiery temper, and it’s his way or the highway, so to speak. This is when he’s visiting us. He and Mom are divorced, and Dad seems to have these demons inside him that make for crazy flip-outs at any moment. I’ve noticed his behavior changes when Mom mentions her side of the family – they don’t like him and he doesn’t like them. Of course, the corn whiskey could have something to do with it. He likes his hooch! He’s also tall, good-looking, and has a thing for the ladies. How can I know that? Well, that’s a whole different story.

Well, anyhow, the genes running through Sarah Lou have got to be identical to Dad’s.

Moving the story along, Sarah Lou turns sixteen and elopes with an army corporal, runs off to another state when the corporal gets transferred. Mom is heart-sick and scared because she knows she’s got to tell Dad the news.

Mom and I, my now older club-footed Cousin and his big sister (on my Dad’s side of the family) go to the hotel where my Dad is now living to tell him about Sarah Lou’s elopement. In his hotel room, my Cousin and his sister take the two chairs in the room and I sit under a window on an old radiator…you know, those ugly heavy metal rods all in a row as one unit. Now, the heat isn’t on during this visit, but those units are a might uncomfortable to sit on. I just keep alternating my butt cheeks and somehow manage.

Now, Dad knows right away that something is up, and, he knows it isn’t good news – guess our faces and body language give us away.

When Dad hears the news about Sarah Lou, he stomps around the room in a fury, and, abruptly stops in front of Mom who is sitting on the bed. My sweet hard-working, lovely Mom sits there very still with her hands clasped on her lap with a blanched and pitiful look on her face.

My tainted-gene Dad gives Mom a hard looping open-hand slap to the face, so damned hard it knocks her over. My immediate fear is that he’s knocked something loose in her brain or upper body…and he’s getting ready to do more hitting.

I’m petrified and watching it all from this hotel room radiator and l reckon something snaps inside me. I’ve watched this kind of madness too many times before as a younger kid. Now, I’m not a lot bigger now but I rush him and tackle him onto the bed. Crying and mumbling something stupid, like, ‘I’ve seen you do that to my Mom too many times’. I’ll never forget – he’s got this look on his face like a slight smile and surprise all at the same time.

I grab a bedside table lamp and begin hitting him with it. Pretty soon, he’s not moving. I must have connected with a vulnerable spot on his head. It’s like he just turns his head over to the side and goes to sleep.

Only seconds pass and I tell our little group we likely should leave. So, we hustle out of Dad’s room and loudly close the door.

Mom cries all the way down the elevator, and we go unnoticed out a side entrance in the lobby. I drive my Cousin and his sister home, and, except for the sound of the car engine, no one makes a sound. Only tears flow down our faces. We all hug and kiss each other.

Next, I drive Mom to her folks’ place some forty miles away.

We give Grandma and Grandpa all the news about our visit with Dad, and they’re madder than hornets in a wild wind, ‘Is he dead?’ ‘Is he alive?’ I make Mom promise me that she’ll stay with the grandparents until she hears from me. There’s no way Dad, assuming I didn’t kill him, would go around Grandpa because the latter gave Dad a whipping some months back.

After a few more tears are shed, I take off. Mom insists I take the car when she can’t talk me out of leaving.

My blond head is churning with thoughts as I drive back to the hotel. The closer I get, the more tense I become. There’s this need to know about my Dad, whether he’s okay or dead. I’m a sturdy young man now, 175 pounds, playing quarterback as a freshman at Garden View University. It’s difficult to calculate how hard I hit my Dad with that lamp – I feel like a part of me was holding back.

There is no way to forget what happened, and just go back to my grandparent’s house. I have to know, one way or the other about my Dad, Is he alive? Is he dead?

I park Mom’s car down the street from the hotel and walk to the side entrance of the lobby.

The elevator is on the lobby level as if waiting for me. On Dad’s floor, the elevator doors open and my heart jumps into my mouth!

My Dad is standing in front of me, his eyes blinking like he is trying to clear his head.

“You coming out, young fellow?” Dad asks in an impatient and impersonal tone.

He notices the apparent surprise on my face. “You alright, boy?”

“Dad, it’s me!”

He did a fast look behind him like I was talking to someone else.

Dad blinks some more. “You’re mixed up, boy, I don’t have a son. Now, stay in the elevator or get out. I fell and cracked my head…have to get it taken care of.”

“But, Dad, I hit you on the head with a lamp because you hurt Mom. Let me help you!”

Dad grabs my arm and pulls me out of the elevator onto the hallway carpeting. “Told you, boy, I’ve got no son.” He pushes the lobby button and is gone.

I can’t say how long I stand rooted to that spot in front of the elevator. I am aware enough to know that other people enter and exit the elevator while I’m standing there.

Finally, I take the stairs down seven floors and walk out the side lobby entrance. My befuddled mind is on automatic pilot and leads me down the street to Mom’s car.

When I pull away from the curb, confused and frightened, I drive aimlessly, turning here, turning there, my mind going over and over the events of the day.

I drive for miles not mindful of where I’m going. Tears flow until my eyes get all watery. Finally, my brain tells me to pull off the road.

I’m out in the ‘boonies’ somewhere. There is an old rutted country road, and I turn onto the dirt and gravel, drive a quarter mile and notice that suddenly I can’t see.

The weather changes suddenly and I take the time to think, ‘What the hell am I doing? Out here in nowhere land?’ The reality of the situation makes me ease to the right off the old road, feeling my way as the darkness and fog come together – seemingly all at once.

I get out of the car, touching the metal, holding on to the only reality given me at the moment.

My Dad’s face is flashing at me in the darkness and fog…along with snakes, dinosaurs, crocodiles, and other beasts of the world.

There comes some recalls of life with my Dad in it, not long after the divorce.

Much of those times are rough, but there are tender moments as well – farther back in youth, when he bought me a little boy’s grey suit with a bibbed hat, took pictures of me with a cigarette dangling from my lips, train rides, car rides to visit his folks and grandmother.

His grandmother was almost blind and sat on an old wooden porch in a rocking chair, frail and beautiful like a picture in sepia tone, with a corn cob pipe in the corner of her mouth. She was in her nineties, and Dad had to get within inches of her face before she recognized him and got a sweet smile on her face and hugged him. She made over me as well, and I felt a sense of history – the events, all the things she had seen in her lifetime. Her time was almost up, but she was going to keep rocking and smoking her corn cob pipe for a while yet.

A few happy times flashed by, those times when we played at being a family, without the tempestuous flares of raw emotions: the Saturday movie matinees; Mom and Dad smiling happily when my sister and I danced, when I attempted to write a poem; the endless questions I asked of them both – the insatiable curiosity of a little boy’s mind.

I love them both so much, and, now, my father has no son.

The tears do not stop until the mind reminds me of where I am, in the middle of proverbial nowhere with only the scary flashes coming from too much eye concentration and the memories that are both keepers and throwaways.

So, the world can be dark and foggy, and, maybe, reasons for standing in the darkness and fog are not so simple.

With measured steps I walk a few paces, pivot, return to the car, get in the back seat, and lock the doors.

Assuming a fetus position on the backseat, I try desperately not to think anymore. I can wait out the darkness and the fog.

Tomorrow will come, and the sun will replace the dismal thoughts with hope.

I love my Mom and Dad.

Perhaps I still have both of them.

Billy Ray Chitwood – 8/28/16

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Hope you enjoyed this short story and/or flash fiction – whatever your preference. I’m thinking I might take this piece and make into a book. What do you think?

I’ve authored fourteen books and invite you to my website to preview them. There are mystery, suspense, romance, thrillers, memoirs, time travel, and other genres from which to choose. They have new covers and some of the novels are inspired by true events.

Hope you will read some of my offerings and leave reviews on Amazon. As we are wont to say, reviews are the lifeblood for authors.

My Website: http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3

OTHER LINKS:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://linkedin.con

Proud member of #ASMSG – #IAN – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven Blog Award Nominations.

The Truth We Cannot Know

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The Truth We Cannot Know

The truth we seek

In our struggle to

Know Why our being:

Why a baby cries at birth,

Why a parent grieves at

The loss of a child,

Why tears flow when

Taps is played over our

Lost patriots during

A battle we cannot

Always so easily define,

Why there is a haunting

Of part of us called Soul,

Why we love,

Why we hate,

Why we regret,

Why there is joy,

Why there is despair…

 

We must wait for the

Answers of Why…

Until the darkness in

This life becomes Pure

Light in another dimension,

Promised by an immeasurable

And intangible Faith, at

Times fragile and weak,

At all times the only compass

For our mortal journey.

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 22, 2016

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I write books of fiction and non-fiction, defined by a lucid style and entertainment quality – that of course is my intent. You’re invited to preview my books at http://goo.gl/nWMXm3                                 

My newest release is a romance novel that cuts across some different genres…its title: CLOUD DANCER. Preview this one at goo.gl/FfxbA6 – it is in paperback and Kindle formats.

CloudDancer3D (1)

It’s my hope you will read one or more of my books – and, perhaps, leave an Amazon and/or Goodreads review… the author’s life blood.

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Other Links:

http://goo.gl/nWMXm3 (my website)

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://linkedin.com

Proud Member of ASMSG – AHA – IAN

Proud recipient of eleven blog nominations

LAUNCH

LAUNCH

CloudDancerKindle

A BOOK YOU WON’T FORGET!

ROMANCE – TIME TRAVEL – SUSPENSE

CLOUD DANCER is now available in book form on https://www.createspace.com/6494175 , on Amazon at https://goo.gl/wdnWmQ , and on Kindle ASIN: B01KMOC1NM – Later today or tomorrow.

“It is my humble opinion that this is a great read!”

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 18, 2016

http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3

 

Cloud Dancer – Another Pre-Pub Visit

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Cloud Dancer – Another Pre-Pub Visit

Finishing up proofreading and editing, I thought the cover for the novel should be introduced…hope you like it!

Plus, I’m including the back matter of the cover for just a small sense of the novel’s subject matter.

Blake Fielding is on a Phoenix, AZ freeway when clipped by a semi-truck, causing a multiple pile-up. Hospitalized with his injuries, Blake’s world changes in inscrutable ways. Love comes to capture his heart forever, along with some Déja Vu, time travel, a journey along ‘The Trail of Tears’, and a murder in current time.

It’s my first venture through several genres…it was fun to write. I believe you will find it an enjoyable read.

CloudDancerCSPreview

COMING SOON TO AMAZON!

You’ve heard this so many times, but, since I’m not the best at launching a book, maybe you readers can give me a boost – that is, read the book, then write a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Now, I can’t promise you that your heart will rejoice, but my heart surely will. What I can promise you is an excellent read, with mystical love and romance that will stay with you for a long time. There’s even some historical worthiness coming with this book – specifically about one of our country’s most egregious acts, ‘The Trail of Tears’. So, crossing a few genres in present day, you get to time travel, feel some warm heart nudges, witness a murder, and, well, just read the book – if you don’t like it, I’ll give your money back (but you have to come find me!) 🙂 That’s not going to be necessary because I know you’re going to love this book…just finishing up tightening the nuts and bolts. Cloud Dancer will be released within two weeks.  

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 12, 2016

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You can preview all my books at http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3

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OTHER LINKS:

http://www.goo.gl/about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://goodreads/author/dashboard

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://linkedin.com

Proud member of #ASMSG – #IAN – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven Blog Award Nominations

Cloud Dancer

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Cloud Dancer

That’s the title of my newest book – the one I’m finishing as soon as I write this post. The cover is being created in the next few days – not the image above, but one I think the readers will like.

Why Cloud Dancer? Sounds a bit American Indian-like, does it not? Well, it is.

It occurred to me that my writing thus far has embraced the genres of mystery, suspense, and romance. Because it is my wife’s belief, through her genealogy efforts, that I have a smidgen of Cherokee in my blood, I decided to venture out of my normal zone and write through several genres. The result of my efforts will be Cloud Dancer.

So, Cloud Dancer is to be primarily a romance novel, a love story for the ages, set in 2017 and 1838. It is a novel that will have some narrative sequences regarding the ‘Trail of Tears’ – the forced relocation in the 1830’s by our government of the Cherokee Nation and the other civilized tribes located in the Southeastern Appalachian area of our nation. The book will explore to some extent the pain and suffering of the Cherokee along that historic ‘Trail’ and show some bias against Andrew Jackson’s ‘Indian Removal Act’ of 1830. It was, in my opinion, one of the most corrupt and insensitive acts of our country’s government.

Be that as it may, the book also has an endearing, incredible love story, plus murder and suspense – just could not get away from the genres for which I have great interest. It has Déjà Vu, time travel, and some psycho-babble.

You might be thinking that Cloud Dancer might be too big a project to share with readers. However, in my most humble opinion, it’s one of my best novels. Of course, that is not my judgement to make. The readers, and I pray there are many, will make that decision.

Those who follow my blog will be the first to know when the book is ready for publishing and ordering.

I don’t give 100% guarantees on my books – you know, I like them all, think they are well written and entertaining, and, of the fourteen books, Cloud Dancer could very well be my best.

Thanks for your indulgence.

Billy Ray Chitwood – August 3, 2016

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Visit my website at http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3 for a preview of all my books.

Hope you will check out my books which cross different genres – mystery, romance, suspense, memoir, thriller. I humbly submit they are ‘fun’ reads, and some are inspired by true events.

http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3 – My Website.

Other Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood – Follow me @brchitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://linkedin.com

Proud member of: #ASMSG – #IAN – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations.