Meet Lady Gray

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Meet ‘Lady Gray’

           Our beloved Bengal cat, George, left us for animal heaven some months back after a twelve-year love affair. It was a sad and traumatic moment for Julie and me…we buried George under some trees on our property, and, each morning, we look out the kitchen window at his burial spot and say, “Hello, George, we love you.”

          As though George’s spirit reminds us of our time together in some peculiar ways, he finally put an exclamation point on it all…

          Before George passed away, a small gray and white kitten came several times to our house and looked through the windows. It seemed obvious to us that the two transferred some mutual affection. George was a declawed, neutered house cat and could not go outside so the two enjoyed and passed their furry feelings via empty space.

          After George died, the gray and white kitten came often to our kitchen door. Julie gave her some turkey bits, steak leftovers, and, finally included on her shopping list some cat food and treats. Julie left each food serving just outside the door.

          At some point, with soft coaxing, the kitten timidly entered the house, but left after a brief stay. Julie and I had different views on the kitten. Julie was sure the kitten had a home nearby, and we could not just arbitrarily adopt the cat…plus, Julie was still at an emotional level over George and did not think she wanted another animal pet. I took an opposite view: I didn’t think the kitten had a nearby home and genuinely felt she wanted our home as her home. Of course, we both were likely right – maybe she had a home but was cast aside…and, there were stray cats around 

          As days and weeks passed, the kitten continued her daily visits, and, with each visit, lingered around our property, came into the house on occasion and stayed a bit longer each time before Julie put her outside. Julie was also worried about the kitten having fleas or other ailments, likely having been abandoned either by her previous owners or simply had survived in the wild.

          The young cat was accompanied on occasion by a larger black and white male cat. It was apparent that the gray and white female held dominance over the bigger male, not sharing her food with him, and giving us reason to believe the female was in season.

          Julie and I had e-mailed and called neighbors to find out if they knew to whom the kitten belonged. We got no helpful information. In the meantime, there was concern that we were feeding ‘gray and white’ too much food because the cat was developing quite a girth…and, sure, we considered the fact she could be in a gestation period.

          Finally, there came the day when ‘gray and white’ entered the house and did not want to leave. It was during this time that Julie and I came together in our decision to keep the lovely feline. Her personality was so lovingly tender and timid. We would open the door for her to leave, and she would back away. In short, we fell in love with the little critter…bloated tummy and all – we felt the big tummy could be from all the food Julie was feeding her.

          We are picking her up today at 1:00 PM from the Vet Hospital, where she has been spayed, wormed, and inoculated to boost immunity. The Vet tells us ‘Lady Gray’ is likely one-year old or thereabouts.

          Julie and I are excited about having this little beauty in our lives…

          We consider ‘Lady Gray’ a gift from God…

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 30, 2017

 

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Naive and/or Wise Observations

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Naive and/or Wise Observations

A – People who must have their lives constantly validated, politicians, for example, will ultimately become in absentia!

B – Politics was created to satisfy Beatific games!

C – Many believe that life is really simple, not meant to be so costly and Complicated by politicians.

D – Clashing IQs definitely lead to Demented behavior.

E – False and misleading media reportage becomes an Enemy of the people.

F – There is an increasing lack of Fidelity in the would-be leaders of the free world.

G – Too many gremlins of Graft and Greed occupy important seats of decision making for ‘We the People’.

H – Being an optimist, I believe Hatred will disappear when hell freezes over…

I – The road of good Intentions has pot holes on occasion.

J – Lady Justice is not blind but she does wear a blindfold.

K – Politicians are killing me ‘not’ so softly with their words.

L – It’s true! Love does ‘Trump’ all!

M – Ah, sweet Mystery of Life and love!

N – A great spaceman, Neil Armstrong, said: “ It’s a great thing for a man to walk on the moon. But it’s a greater thing for God to walk on the earth.”

O – Here is One quote I love (from Antonin Scalia): “God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and he has not been disappointed…. If I have any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

P – We are Polarized in our beautiful country…but spring and summer is coming! Huh!

Q – I’m a Querulous lad! I want our country to work and get back its greatness!

R – I no doubt Rankle a few Readers with my comments…but, Really, that’s no reason not to buy my books at http://billyraychitwood.com.

S – Pardon my Silliness. It’s not hazardous to your health.

T – Is it not a Thrill ‘To gather’ some words ‘Together’ That Titillate your own emotions. Great Therapy, This writing business!

U – Following the same Thread of Thinking, I’m in Utopia when I get 5-Star Reviews!

V – This letter says it all about me, truly! Vagabond, I am! Some might like better ‘a hopeless hobo’.

W – Or, following that ‘V’ thought, some might like to call me a Wanderlust, a Wastrel, or Worse!

X – Now, this is true! I’m going to the Doctor next week and I will get an X-Ray…and maybe play a Zylophone! Okay, too much of a stretch…sorry.

Y – Another truth! My tomorrows and my Yesterdays are flying by!

Z – As in surprising, ‘Zounds’, I ran the alphabet! Can I hear from someone: “Zuper job, Billy Ray!”

Billy Ray Chitwood – March 11, 2017

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The Phantom Lady

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The Phantom Lady

            Unnoticed, the lady came quietly into the store and stood in front of the counter. She had about her an ethereal quality, dressed in a soft burgundy and gold outfit. Her face professed a youthful beauty, yet, mystical and serene with a quiet mysterious attraction.

            It was some seconds before the store owner became aware of her standing directly across from him.

            When he looked up, she simply uttered one word with a stoic, “Thanks.”

            The store owner looked to his left, to his right, and spoke to the woman across from him: “How can I help you?”

            “Thanks.”

            “Yes, I heard you but I’ve yet to do anything for you.” He smiled amiably. “Are you alright?”

            The store owner squinted and stared at the woman across from him. She was beautiful! Her eyes were fixed steadily on him, and he began to get a creepy feeling, like the woman was under some sort of emotional distress. She appeared dignified along with her beauty and without any outward sign of physical injury.

            “Thanks!” This time her voice was more strident, more impatient.

            The store owner was in an unknown territory, not able to think beyond ‘weird’ and ‘odd-ball’ but was sure this lady definitely had some sort of mental condition. The owner saw ‘hop-heads’ all the time, could see their glazed over eyes and their stupid behavioral patterns. This lovely lady gave no indication of being on drugs. She was more prim and proper than most people who came into his store. There was also an inexplicable quality about the woman he could not identify.

            The owner opened a counter fridge and took a bottle of water, and spoke, “Here, lady, drink some water. You could be dehydrated. Come, sit for a spell.” He pulled a straight-back chair from behind the counter and gently guided her to a sitting position.

            “Thanks.” The lady never blinked, her eyes locked in one position. The bottle of water she loosely held fell from her hand to her lap to the floor.

“Lady, can you tell me what’s wrong with you? I don’t understand what your ‘Thanks’ is saying to me. Can you say more than ‘Thanks’?”

            “Thanks!” The lady was back to a more forceful, yet, perfect enunciation.

            The store owner shook his head, frustrated with this turn of events. ‘Yes, the woman was enunciating perfectly’ but there was no context. ‘What am I supposed to do here?’ he mumbled.

            It was afternoon slow time so the store thankfully was empty. The owner knew most of the people in the small town of Green Valley, but this lady apparently just got off the bus heading to Macon.

            “Are you hungry, lady? Can you nod your head if you are?”

            “Thanks.” She was back to the low-key ‘Thanks’. There was no nod of her head.

            “Hi, Ken,” it was the town sheriff’s deputy walking his beat. He noticed through the store window in passing that Ken was seemingly carrying a worried expression. The deputy walked into the store and asked, “Things going okay?”

            Ken sighed, “Hey, Cliff, I’m glad to see you, darn happy to see you, actually.”

            “What’s up?”

            “This nice lady, Cliff, she’s in some kind of trouble. She comes in, stands across the counter and says, ‘Thanks,’ rather matter-of-factly, and every time I try to offer help, she says the same thing, ‘Thanks’, and at times she’s a bit more forceful the way she says it. I can’t figure it out. She looks physically fine, very pretty, but must have something going on in her brain…you know her?”

            After carefully eying the woman, Cliff said, “I think I saw her get off the bus at the Drug Store Stop. A cute lady like her, you can’t miss noticing. She seems to be ‘out of it’, like walking in her sleep, or, hypnotized.”

            “Did she have any baggage? All I see is that purse she’s hanging onto.”

            “Nope, didn’t see any baggage… You have no idea what she means when she says, ‘Thanks’?”

            “Not the foggiest, Cliff… Excuse me, I have to wait on Mrs. Barnes.”

            Ken gathered a few articles for Mrs. Barnes. She gave a ‘You’re welcome’ to his “Thanks” and left. Ken ‘smiled’ at the parting exchange and went back to Cliff and the puzzling woman.

            “So, what do we do, Cliff?” Ken asked.

            The woman began to tremble and her purse fell to the floor, as though she was nudging it to fall.

            The two men looked at each other, shaking their heads with wrinkled brows

            “Maybe we need to look into her purse, Ken… I don’t know what else to do – other than take her to the Sheriff’s office and see what ‘Sheriff Goose’ has to say. I mean, this is crazy, she seems well enough within herself, more or less calm about her presence here… It’s like someone has hypnotized her to say ‘Thanks’ over and over.”

            “Maybe that’s a reasonable assumption, but, for goodness sake, why? Why would someone do that?”

            “Gee, I don’t know, Ken, just thinking off the top of my head.”

            “Thanks.” The stiffly aberrant lady spoke again the familiar word that was now cryptic and out of place. She uttered the word sternly, almost in the form of a rebuke, her face showing no strain, her body perfectly erect and proper, almost surreal in her burgundy and gold outfit.      

            “This is nuts, Ken!” said Cliff as he grabbed her purse from the floor.

            “Wait, Cliff, don’t open her purse yet. We could be opening ‘Pandora’s Box’. You know the World today. It’s got a lot of ‘Crazies’, people angry with the government, fearful, frustrated, out of work, ugly mass killings by illegal immigrants or just bad people. I’ve never seen the country with this blind kind of runaway madness. This woman could be part of a plan, like, we could be one of those ‘soft targets’ that the newscasts are always reporting. Maybe she’s been programmed or hypnotized strictly for that purpose…”

            “Ken, listen to yourself! This is quaint little Green Valley, Georgia. We know everybody in town…”

            “We don’t know her, Cliff!”

            “Well, right, Ken, but come on! Who’s going to get off a bus in Green Valley, Georgia, particularly a neat looking lady like this and just start killing people? She’s simply got a bad mental problem of some kind.”

            “Hope you’re right, good buddy.”

            “Thanks,” now a steady monotonic stream from the trance-like woman in the chair, at five-second intervals, her stare, her body in a more sustained tremble.

            “Cliff, don’t open that purse! Let’s get out of here now! I’ve got a really bad feeling!”

            Cliff dropped the purse on the lap of the chanting and robotic-like lady, allowed Ken to pull him out the front door of the store onto the sidewalk. Ken slammed closed the door behind him, took a final look through the plate glass and saw the woman’s mouth still moving in a mechanical-like way.

            Both men ran across the street to the other sidewalk.

            There were a dozen people on either side of the street but they sensed danger and all ended up near Cliff and Ken. They knew only that something was happening outside their understanding. They instinctively followed the deputy’s and store owner’s actions.

            Across the street, the crowd was growing slightly as people emerged from other stores and offices and saw the anxious deputy and store owner. They waited and no one spoke. There was a fearful anticipation of some awful event about to happen at Ken’s store. The people followed the eyes of the deputy, could see the depth of his own fear, and made it their own.

            Cars slowed near the crowd and sped away with the rapid waving of Cliff’s arms. The car people could read the distress gathered on the sidewalk and considered it their best decision to be away from that location.

            The seconds ticked away and became long minutes of stress. Cliff finally spoke to the crowd: “All of you stay where you are. I’m going across the street to assess the situation. This could be nothing more than an odd moment in our town’s history, but we have to be safe and err on the side of good judgement.”

            Cliff crossed the street and tentatively stepped to the plate glass window. The sun caused a white-out glare, and Cliff could not make out anything. Carefully, he edged to the door, slowly opened it, and stepped inside.

            There was no one in the store! The mystery woman was not there. The chair was back in its normal spot. There was no purse on the floor, no A/C or electric equipment sounds in the store at all. It was eerily still and darker than usual, even with the sun splashed all across the plate glass window.

            Cliff searched every square foot of the store, and the silence became deafening. The backdoor emergency and employee exit was key-locked by Ken, could only be opened and locked by him. There was a steel bar across the door for added security against robbery or vandalism.

            When his search was completed Cliff returned to the small crowd gathered on the opposite sidewalk.

            The crowd was sent home with the announcement that all was secure. When asked of the crowd what had happened, Cliff and Ken never told the exact nature of the alarm, only dismissing the incident as a misperception.  

            Later, Cliff and Ken re-entered the store, confident that there were no explosive devices, just the unnerving bafflement of the mystical and mysterious woman.

*

            When the dream ended, his body was covered in sweat and cold to the touch. His wife hovered over him with worried words and sympathetic frowns.

            “You were turning and tossing, honey! Are you coming down with something? You’re all sweaty!”

            A full moon from a clear night shone through the bank of windows of the master bedroom and provided light enough to show agony on his face.

            Ken shook his head several times before answering. “Just a bad dream, Dixie…a bad dream that was so very real. I’ve never had a dream so real in my life.”

            “You want to talk about it?” Her blue watery eyes showed concern and love.

            “Not now, Honey. I’ll tell you all about it in the morning. You go back to sleep. I’m going to get a glass of water and try sleep again without riding a nightmare.”

            Over coffee and pancakes the next morning, Ken told Dixie of his strange and mystifying nightmare in vivid detail. Nothing was left out of his accounting. At the finish, he was sweaty again. “I just can’t believe the reality of that dream. When I see Cliff, I’ll find out how and if his sleep was interrupted last night.”

            “Dreams can be weird, Kenny, but you can’t believe Cliff would have the same dream?”

            “Yeah, I know, Dixie, but this one…this one took a lot out of me. I’m left thinking, this one just had to mean something, and I’ve got the gnawing feeling that I need to talk to Cliff.”

            At the store in mid-morning, Cliff stopped during his ‘beat’ walk, wearing a harried expression on his face.

            “What’s up, Cliff? You have a dream last night?”

            “What? You kidding me? How would you know that, good buddy?”

            “So, you did have a dream last night?”

            “A ‘lulu’, an off the wall nightmare! Don’t tell me you had one as well?”

            “Like you said, Cliff, a ‘lulu’…”

            They were stunned! Their dreams were discussed and found to be identical!

            Thus, an ‘urban legend’ was born…and sanctified by strange occurrences in the small town of Green Valley, Georgia.

            Not only occurrences but identical mystic dreams by the citizens as well.

            Green Valley became a virtual ghost town with very little stirring of its people…most stayed closed in and did not stray very far from home.

            The most beguiling effects of the Green Valley anomaly began occurring when other small towns across the country reported disturbances of a pretty lady in a burgundy and gold dress who communicated in strange monosyllabic utterings, then disappeared not to be seen again.

            Soon, the national media picked up the story and ran a steady stream of possible scenarios…’The Phantom Lady’ is reported by ‘Space Mysteries Network’ as a robotic machine sent from an unknown planet to create chaos on earth as a prelude to an outer-space attack’.

            The prime-time TV networks ran various three-part and five-part ‘Strange Cosmic Events’ highlighting an all-women planet invading our country with identical clones’.

             Magazine and major Newspapers ran serial issues suggesting Secret Projects of the United States Supreme Court in collusion with the United States Government.

            Of course, there were some people in the political ranks issuing reports of Political Chicanery, producing elaborate and outlandish reports that staggered the mind even beyond ‘The Phantom Lady’ incident.  

            The year of 2029 was becoming an alarming amalgam of Progress and Uncertainty.

 {Short Story by Billy Ray Chitwood – March 2, 2017}

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Sunrise Sonata

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Sunrise Sonata

The man’s countenance projected a sorrowful and faraway expression as his body found some measure of comfort against the boulder just below the rise of the hill. The spot was his place of meditation.

 

He came during darkness after the awful TV news of a mob’s protest turned violent killing innocents and destroying property over several city blocks.

 

In the dark quietness he lifted his tenor saxophone toward the starlit sky and filled the cool air with soft mellifluous notes, springing from a well of remembered love songs. The soft notes floated upward toward a Deity the man could never forsake, to the Omniscient and Omnipotent King of Kings, the golden instrument praying in its way for the miracle of Love and Peace.

 

Tears came to dry upon his face time and again as the agony of soul sought release. The anger and hate of hooded protesters could not stop the madness that plagued the Earth. Only the merger of kindred minds could bring the world together.

 

The man watched the sunrise from his spot of somber solitude, and a spiritual stirring came to his body, a feeling of some respite, a sense of Designed Expectation.

 

He rose, placed his saxophone in its case and walked from the hill. He was sure he could hear the rapturous sounds of his saxophone in the air behind him.

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – February 11, 2017

 

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‘The Way We Were’ – Then and/or Now

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The Way We Were – Then or Now

 We awake in the cave, our minds blurred by realities of living.

 Moira goes deeper into the cave to bathe.

 Somehow, we have ended up here above the land we now see through the opening of the only home Moira and I have ever known. We eat certain vegetation, sweetly sour berries, and meat from the kills of our crude weapons. Over time we have developed a language that allows us to communicate with each other.

 Who are we? What are we? What is our purpose? Are we creations of some bewildering fate that allows us the awareness of thought? We can think and therefore we exist. There must be more than the hunt, the kill, the cave in which we live.

 What of this thing I hold in my hand, heavy and gouged by the passing of time? How is it I know to call it a rock? I throw the rock into the wall of the cave and it bounces here and there, finally landing not far from the great opening.

 Moira’s question breaks into my thoughts.

 “Why do you throw the rock, Meito?”

 Without looking at Moira, I fumble with the dirt and pebbles on the ground where I kneel, I respond. “I throw the rock because of my confusion and our way of living…the rock has thickness, weight, and no feelings. Why can’t we be like the rock?”

 Moira stands a few feet away from me. She has just come from the cleansing water pit deep in the cave, her long black hair wet and stringy. Her pretty face and deep brown eyes show innocence and purity. The meager animal skin she wears clings to her body and does little to hide the sensual fullness of her youth.

 “Because the rock has little function,” Moira answers. “Because the rock has no feeling, cannot hunt, kill, and show love. Meito, we have this same conversation so often. This is where we are and must accept our destiny. We have made our lives better than when we met some years ago, hopeless and lost in this wild mountainside. We will go on and trust in our love. I believe there is some spirit power that will guide us to where it is we are going.”

 As I stand, a smile appears on Moira’s face and her eyes sparkle with an unfathomable certainty. She sees my heavy brown beard part and show its own smile. I go to her, and we embrace.

 “You always lift me out of my depression. We will let life happen as it is destined to happen. The people we see hiding behind trees, fleeing from us – as we flee from them – maybe, one day, we can unite and get out of the caves… You are beautiful, sweet Moira, and your love is enough for me.”

 We soon leave the cave for our hunt.

 It is a beautiful day on the mountain.

 Flash Fiction by:

 Billy Ray Chitwood – January 1, 2017

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Flowers and Fate

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Flowers and Fate

“Red or yellow roses, Sir?” the older lady in the flower shop asked.

The young man in his early thirties smiled and raised his brow. “Now, how did you know it was to be roses, Millie?” He knew her from a name tag.

“It’s the body language, young man. Your step, your face, the happy gleam in your eyes.”

“Really! I’m that obvious?”

“You’re that obvious,” she teasingly grinned, “plus I’ve had this shop too many years not to know when love walks through the door.”

He put his hands on the counter and gently asked, “And, do you know how many roses I’ll be sending FTD today?”

“You’re a two-dozen fellow, I’m betting.” She pursed her lips.

“And, does my step, my face, and the happy gleam in my eyes tell you which color I’ll pick?”

“Red, of course! You’re obviously in love and you want the red roses to convey your love for the young lady.” She tilted her head slightly in a positive gesture.

“Why would I not choose yellow roses?” the man asked, amused by the conversation.

“Yellow roses would be fine, but you wish to make a deeper statement. Red gets the point of love across rather profoundly. They say, ‘I love you’. Yellow roses convey happiness and joy in more of a friendship fashion… My goodness, listen to me, giving you information you likely already know.”

“No, you’ve actually tagged me perfectly, and I thank you. It will be two dozen red roses, and I trust you will pick out twenty-four of your very best.”

“It will be my pleasure, plus an extra red rose to accentuate the strong statement. I shall make it a very special arrangement for you. You will wish a card sent with the roses…”

His name was Farris Stanley Ballanger. The flowers were going to Johnnie Ballanger, his wife. On a short business trip to help out one of his service station managers, he would be home tomorrow and wanted Johnnie to receive the flowers before his arrival.

Stan spent some time in thought at the counter as to the words he would put on the card. Smiling, finally satisfied with his choice of words, he placed the card in the accompanying envelope, wrote ‘Dear Sweet Johnnie’ on the front, and handed it to Millie.

Stan paid for the flowers and chatted a few moments more with Millie.

As Stan was about to leave the store, he asked: “Do you mind if I hug you, Millie? You are such a great person.”

Millie obliged, and Stan left the store.

Later around midnight as Stan closed and locked his service station, he was robbed at gunpoint, prodded to the ‘Men’s Room’ and shot to death at close range. His body was not found until daybreak when the service station attendants arrived for work.

Stan’s roses arrived the next morning before news of the robbery and homicide reached Johnnie. Her heart filled with love overflowing as she read what Stan had written on the card:

Love and Time Eternal

It matters not the hours, the days, the years, the lifetime we spend together!

What matters is all the love we have gathered in our hearts

That will last eternally…

Forever, Stanley

– Flash fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood –

December 16, 2016

In Memory of my Uncle Stanley Balsinger who lives forever in my heart! 

PHOENIX FIRE – LAUNCH DAY

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♥ BOOK LAUNCH  ♥

Buy Sites:

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Here’s a truly beautiful love story with some suspense thrown in. It is a story I enjoyed so much writing, because, well, let’s just say there were some personal moments written between some of those lines. Here’s a minor caveat: keep the tissues handy! You will love PHOENIX FIRE!

Please pick up a paperback copy or Kindle or KDP – you won’t be sorry, and, PLEASE, write an Amazon and Goodreads Review – You, the readers, are the authors’ life blood… PLEASE REBLOG THIS LAUNCH POST OF “PHOENIX FIRE”

ScdS7qTI_bigger Here’s a description of PHOENIX FIRE: ScdS7qTI_bigger

A Phoenix, Arizona entrepreneur and an ad agency director fall in love in a most unusual way. Their relationship is interrupted by sibling clashes, a gambling addiction, a murder, and a matriarch’s secret that ultimately causes emotional chaos and disorientation. This is a book that will draw the reader into the story and compel them to stay glued until the end. The gripping climax to PHOENIX FIRE is powerful, and tissues are recommended. Treat yourself to a marvelous romance, mixed with some suspense and a desert odyssey to save one’s soul. A truly great read.

– Billy Ray Chitwood – 6/22/16 –

My genres are usually mystery and suspense, some stories taken from true life events – thirteen books in all, with one in the oven.

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Where Did All The Flowers Go?

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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.

Why?

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?

Yes.

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:

goo.gl/nWMXm3

Other Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

 http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://goodreads.com/author/dashboard/billyraychitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

http://googleplus.com/billyraychitwood

http://linkedin.com

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

Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations.

Sunday With The Grandparents

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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:

goo.gl/nWMXm3

Other Links:

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

 http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://goodreads.com/author/dashboard/billyraychitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://facebook.com/billyrayscorner

http://googleplus.com/billyraychitwood

http://linkedin.com

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

Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations.

Dreams Denied

 

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Phoenix, Arizona

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Amazon US – goo.gl/fMt82R

Amazon UK – goo.gl/HTQGo

Amazon Worldwide – http://authl.it/1sv

A book inspired by the

brutal murder of a young actress.

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Dreams Denied

A beautiful desert city – Phoenix, Arizona!

I fell in love with it the first time we met so many years ago, after a long drive from California.

Those were the days when I ran loose and let the world wait for me. There was some work but it was mostly play – enjoying film work, television commercials, even had a starring role in a stage play at the Phoenix Little Theater – The Pleasure of His Company… A real ‘hoot’, and it even got great reviews in both Phoenix newspapers.

My play time was often with some attorney buddies – cocktail hours, playing Liar’s Poker but for the most part, it was I chasing the pretty ladies. Ever so often one of those pretty ladies would come along and I would suspend my operational procedures…until our time was over… Okay, I was a very nice guy but a ‘lotus eater’ of the worst kind.

One of my attorney buddies had a lovely lady as their receptionist and secretary. She was also a very dear friend of mine and of some of the ladies I dated. And, she had been the one to get me into acting, TV commercials, and modeling. Carmen had her dreams of home and hearth, someone to love and with whom to grow old.

This is her story! The forensic details are all pretty much true, but I have fictionalized and imagined some events in the book.

By all accounts, Carmen spent her last night of life at dinner at a nice and well-known Phoenix restaurant with her boyfriend. After dinner it is supposed Carmen followed in her own car her boyfriend to his apartment.

That was basically what was known at the time.

Carmen lived with her mother and two children in an apartment complex across the street from an elementary school.

The morning after the dinner, Carmen’s car was found on the side of the road next to the elementary school, car doors open, and her purse in the front seat area.

Then, it would be many weeks before Carmen’s body was found in the northeast section of Phoenix by two rock hunters. She lay in an arroyo, ravaged by the summer heat and the denizens of the desert. It appeared the perp or perps stopped dragging her body across the desert floor every few paces to drop heavy rocks on her head…presumably making sure she was dead. So much of forensic value was lost with the passage of time and summer monsoons.

After all the years I decided to write a series of mysteries. The series is called the Bailey Crane Mystery Series – Books 1-6.

An Arizona Tragedy – A Bailey Crane Mystery – Book 1, is the first book in the series and it is about the awful tragedy that brutal murder created            .

Sitting here, writing this post, I want to tell you so much more… But, suffice, the book represents in some small way my closure. Of course, I hope you buy the book and meet Bailey Crane…yeah, he’s a lot like me.

Billy Ray Chitwood – April 7, 2016

Some Other Links:

http://www.goo.gl/nWMXm3 (Website)

amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://about.me/brchitwood

http://twitter.com/brchitwood

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://linkedin.com

Proud member of #asmsg – #IAN – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven blog nominations.