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 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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Winter Musings

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Winter Musing

The trees are bare and ungiving

Like the souls of sick minds,

Their dead leaves floating in the

Wind to a winter of indifference.

 

Among the chaos of winter urges

Comes the hope of a white dove,

Spreading its inviting wings of

Devotion to an ancient Deity.

 

Soon the loveliness of Spring and

Fertile minds will convene again

To delve into the mysteries of life,

The primeval phenomenon of Faith.

Billy Ray Chitwood – Christmas day – 2016

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS

 

Though it seems likely you were born in April, the date of December 25 has become the date much of the world has designated as the day we celebrate your birth. Here in the United States, most of our citizens enjoy your birthday as a paid holiday. On your birthday, many of us celebrate by gift sharing with our family and friends, participating in a special tradition of giving for which you are so very well known.

 

We do not know of every word you spoke and every deed that was rendered. Much of your living our historical experts cannot account, but from what has been recorded we know that you were unlike any other person on our earth at that time, that you spoke to the masses in parables for living an honorable and charitable life, that you spoke of God, your Father, and His Kingdom. We know that you were reviled and hated by the Roman rulers and were considered an enemy to their pagan icons and political agenda. At the end we know how you suffered from the stones and thorns of hate, how you carried the heavy cross to Golgotha, there to be fixed by nails to that cross and die a slow and painful death.

 

Some among us doubt your message of faith and the Kingdom of God, your Father. Some doubt that you died there on Calvary’s cross for the sins of humankind. Some even mock your words and arrogantly pronounce all your goodness as mere mythology. But they are few, dear Jesus, and there are a great majority of us who have read of your short time among us, believe in your message, who are not without sin but strive to grow our faith and believe in the miracle of creation – that incredible and meticulous nine months of a child’s birth, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the great order of the universe.

 

Our world today has changed not so much from the world you entered, dear Jesus. We still have those political and iconic problems throughout all parts of our planet. We have our ‘machines’ now that make our lives so easily disposed to sloth and idleness. We have our poor, our wealthy, and our in-be-tweens. We have created a bureaucratic welfare system that keeps so many of our people dependent on a government’s treasury, that makes it more sensible to stay at home and receive other people’s money than to work for it themselves. Yet, we do have those who truly need the goodness and help that comes from the heart, those teachings you passed along to us.

 

We still have famine and wars, so many prophesied in the Bible. We seem to be coming to some end-point, Jesus. We have terrorists who wish to kill us because they believe it part of their religious mandates. It appears we do not learn from the lessons of history. The world seems to be imploding while the good minds among us seek a paradigm for peace and prosperity.

 

So, in celebrating your birth, dear Jesus, I wish this long birthday card was a testimonial to how far we have come in loving our neighbor and honoring all of your Father’s ‘Ten Commandments’. Our knowledge is exploding. There are lots of new machines and toys for living, maybe even some tiny robots that go roaming around in our bodies to extend our lives, but, for good will and love, I fear we have not come so far since that awful day you were nailed on the cross near Jerusalem.  

 

For me, Jesus, I’m trying to grow my faith, endeavoring to be better than I am, wanting that eternal life in that great Kingdom by your Father’s House.

 

Billy Ray Chitwood – Christmas, 2016

 

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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.

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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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Imagine

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Imagine

Imagine the end of corruption, evil, and greed.

Imagine no need for news and sensationalism.

Imagine hearts and minds filled only with love.

Imagine Peace an unbroken global standard.

Imagine Freedom and Liberty uncompromised.

Imagine honesty and integrity never doubted.

Imagine crime and wars words void and unspoken.

Imagine Happiness an implicit way of life.

“Hey, man, you nuts? You can’t have a world like that! How you gonna know what’s good without some bad? We gotta have opposites in life. You know, ‘hate and love’, ‘crime and punishment’, ‘peace and war’.”

“Why are you looking over my shoulder? This is none of your business. Plus, I’m not finished with this, yet. Sure, I’m presenting some kind of ‘Eloi’ scenario here – you know, it was one of H. G. Wells ‘time travel’ stops. AND, I know what you’re saying…how do you get billions of people in that mindset? The Philosophy Professor wanted the class to write a paper on ‘Faith and Spiritual Disparity’ in the world, while offering an idealistic human condition… Now, buzz off, I have to finish this paper.”

“Okay, pal, but you’re writing that ‘Imagine’ stuff about Heaven or a parallel universe Utopia.”

“Well, now, you are the bright one! That’s exactly what I’m doing… Now, go, and bring back McDonald’s Big Macs, French fries, and coke – to be more exact, Coca Cola!”

Flash Fiction by: Billy Ray Chitwood – 7/26/16

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.

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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:

goo.gl/nWMXm3

Other Links: http://www.about.me/brchitwood

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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

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

Proud recipient of eleven + blog award nominations.

When a Leader…

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When a Leader…

When a leader denies the urges of greed and trappings of gold to do what is right for the nation he leads, the people will always win.

When a leader stands by what he/she knows to be morally right, when a soft compromise does not damage the true essence of a law, policy, and principle, the people will always win.

When a leader is given false data and acts on that data, yet later discovers the fallacies therein and declares an action void, the people will always win.

When a leader is charismatic and genuinely speaks from the heart without mutterings of doubt, the people will always win.

When a leader takes the complexity of an issue away so that all can understand, the people will always win.

When a leader protects by all means available against an enemy off our shores, with a sound entry and exit strategy, the people will always win.

When a leader provides jobs and a thriving economy, the people will always win.

When a leader can provide avenues of learning for the skills of many, the people will always win.

When a leader keeps the military components of his nation at the highest qualitative and quantitative numbers, the people will always win.

When a leader has Faith in a higher Intelligence, without bias for those of other legitimate Faiths, and shows that in his actions, the people will always win.

When a leader follows a script for governance and the rule of law, written in the blood of past generations, the people will always win.

When a leader and his team of leaders know when it is time to go and replace themselves with honorable men and women, the people will always win.

Billy Ray Chitwood – April 14, 2016

(I write blogs, books of non-fiction, and fiction – mystery, suspense, and romance)

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A Parable of Sorts

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Because so much is happening in the world today, I thought I would get 2016 started with a short story I wrote back three years ago. It conveys the ugliness in the world but it has faith and love as well. Hope you enjoy:

It’s curious how the mind can wander off into a story.

During a ‘time out’ from working on my WIP (a new book) my mind began its wandering and somehow settled on some of the world’s more problematic issues – at least, from the perspective of someone living in the USA and being bombarded each day with unsettling news from far away places, news of Syria’s internal devastating turmoil, of Iran’s new leadership, plus a ‘new treaty’, and how it might hold little promise for relieving old angers and hatreds, news of a North Korea that seems always deleterious and scary…

I reached for my laptop and began to type this rather small piece that became a fanciful story. I decided at its conclusion that it had some ‘nuance’ here and there and decided to give it a title, “A Parable of Sorts.” I’m posting it here because I’m a writer who can hardly ever let anything I write, good or bad, go to waste. Hopefully, this little tale will not be too disconcerting to the senses. With this said, here’s the tale…

A Parable Of Sorts

Sasha begged him not to go. “You belong here with me, Leonid. The battle is within you, not with North Korea. What of us?” She tugged at his tattered coat.

He smiled benignly, “You’re a lovely and silly girl. You do not understand the reality of our time. To stay would be to defy my beliefs, my convictions, and, yes, my anger and hatred.”

“You would die for these beliefs and convictions, this anger and hatred?”

“We all must die, Sasha.”

“You brought me here to be left alone in a strange country?”

“Hong Kong is not a strange country, foolish one. We’ve been here sometime now. You know many of our native people. Go to them when your money runs out. Stay with them. Should something go wrong, I will return for you.”

“Please, Leonid, you go to die and you know it. You’ve told me of your plans. You go on a suicide mission. I’ve begged before and I beg of you, now, please stay!”

At the door of the small efficiency apartment, Leonid paused with his hand on the door knob. His dark eyes and handsome face held a strange and wistful look. He removed his hand from the door knob, returned to Sasha where she stood by the tiny dining table. “You are so beautiful, my blue-eyed wonder.” He embraced and gave her a long passionate kiss.

He then quickly twisted her head until he heard the snap. The lips were still in a half-smile as her head dangled and fell to his right shoulder, her blue eyes large and vacant in their death stare. In a whisper, he spoke, to the face he had loved, “Better you go this way, my dear Sasha, than to linger in life’s pain. You cannot know but I did love you.”

Leonid gently lowered her body onto a soiled stuffed chair just a few feet from the dining table, gazed upon her splayed form for some seconds, then slowly left the apartment. Tears welled but he willed them away, a final and essential part of his being had snapped and was forever lost to him.

*****

Night, reluctant to shed its vagueness, was slowly showing its lightened eastern clouds as the sun gave way to earth’s perpetual orbital pattern. Leonid walked in the shadows along streets leading to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace. It was still quiet in this city known as ‘Flat Land’ in its translation. In his backpack he carried explosives with timer mechanisms that he would plant at key buildings. The explosive carefully strapped to his body he would save for the KMP.

His thoughts were well focused on his morning’s mission but he could not deny the flashing memories that brought him to this point in time…

His father, mother, and brother had been ruthlessly killed here in Pyongyang in 2012 by a squad of government gangsters of the ‘People’s Republic of Korea.’ His family was shown no mercy as they were chopped to death by machetes, labeled spies against the state. Four hours later his older brother and sister were pulled from their lodgings, beaten, and then chopped to death. The government squad had no ears to listen to his family’s protests of innocence, their legitimate reason for being in the ‘Flat Land,’ their labored cries of mercy.

Pyongyang’s government never wavered from their ill-gotten information about his family. Never mind that his mother had pleasantly refused to cater a special luncheon for the squad and their friends, the sole event and motive that brought the hatred and the killings. Never mind that his sister would be raped before she was chopped. The killings were all justified, each query quashed and forgotten by the government.

His marriage to Sasha prior to the family murders made home life an hourly ebb and flow of emotions. When sleep would come there were the hellish nightmares, waking, screaming the names of his dead family, his body slick with sweat and tears, Sasha clinging to him, sobbing, trying desperately to slay the night-dragons that possessed him.

Then came the job loss and it was as though the people of Hong Kong could see the rage in his eyes, the stench of hatred from his body. He became a man avoided and feared. Sasha tried to get him help, would set an appointment for him to see someone who might be able to help him, but he would not arrive at the set time. Sasha was the only person in the large city who could give him moments of relative calm, but then those times of surcease became fewer and fewer.

He would not bathe nor shave, only when Sasha would run his bath and physically pull and push him to the tub and wash and rinse him. For those few precious moments Sasha could almost sense some warmth come to him…but it never lasted long. The strange hatred that occupied him never resulted in personal damage to her. She did the talking, asking questions of him, and he bluntly answered the questions – until the fateful day he killed her! It was only some modicum of revenge that would fulfill what was left of his putrid life…

As he walked in the shadowy stillness, a voice came to him from an alleyway just a few feet away: “Leonid, I must talk to you. Come walk with me in the alley.”

Leonid stopped, momentarily startled…no one knew his name, knew that he was here in Pyongyang. “Who speaks my name?” He braced himself against a building corner near the alley, moving his hand near a detonator that would vaporize him and much of the immediate area.

“A friend, Leonid. Please come these few steps and talk to me. There is no harm intended. We will talk, and you can do then what you will.” The voice had a calm and soft cadence, and Leonid knew that the man spoke the truth.

Leonid walked a few feet into the alley until he saw a man’s form. What struck him were the man’s eyes. They glowed in the semi-darkness, matched the tenor of the stranger’s voice. Oddly, Leonid was not afraid of the stranger and walked some fifty feet further down the alley, stopping when the stranger sat on a wooden crate. The stranger bid Leonid to sit on another wooden crate nearby.

“How is it that you know me and what do you want?”

“I’m just a man who knows the pain you carry within you and the mission that you are on.”

“How could you possibly know such things?”

“I have been with you all the way from Hong Kong, Leonid, mourning with you the loss of your beloved Sasha.”

“I killed her! With these ugly knotted hands, I killed her. How can you know this, Tell me who you are and why you are here, or, I will…”

“Leonid, just a few questions I have and you can be on your way.” The stranger’s voice was mesmerizing, measured in softness and tone. “Why is it, Leonid, that we are here on this spinning orb we call earth?”

There was rapture in the stranger’s voice that commanded a response. “We are here to live in parables and to die and be no more.”

The stranger’s eyes seemed to glow more brightly and the long beard he wore was a pellucid whiteness that seemed somehow unearthly. Leonid quickly considered whether of not he was awake or in a dream.

The stranger spoke. “So, why is it that the moon falls from the sky, the sun does not bring us daylight, and birth has no precise process to follow?”

Still taken by the stranger’s soothing voice, but a bit nonplussed, Leonid responded. “But you know that is not so. What is your motive here?”

The stranger seemed not to hear the question. “Why is there no evil and good in the world?”

“Stop confounding me with your Socratic silliness. Of course, there is evil and there is good in the world.”

“And why do you think that is so?”

“God only knows.”

“You speak His name as though you know him, Leonid. Do you know God?”

“There is no God!”

“Yet, you say He knows about evil and good.”

“Look, your aura wraps me in some kind of spell and I seem compelled to listen to your words. Please tell me what it is you wish me to know.”

“One last question, your response, and I will say my final words to you. “Did you truly love Sasha?”

“Of course, with all my heart I loved her, but my heart and soul is heavy with grief and hatred.”

“Like the hatred of Jesus’ enemies as they crucified Him on the cross? Like the hatred of the Americans for the Japanese during World War Two? Like the psychotic hatred of serial killers?”

“Yes, yes! How else can I answer such questions?”

“You can answer such questions by having Faith that there is more to come beyond this life, by believing that evil only spreads when good people are paralyzed by anger, fear, and hatred. To Love is to have Faith. To have Faith is to have Love. These noble elements of living decide our ultimate destinies. People have choices to make all their earthly lives. They will not always make the right choices, but Faith and Love will make all the wrong choices bearable and inconsequential when the last grain of sand is gathered.”

As more light came to the alley Leonid thought that he understood what the stranger was saying to him. He wanted to say something but no words would come.

The stranger lifted himself from the crate and stood in front of Leonid. “May I touch your head, Leonid, so that it might bless you?”

With tears now flowing, Leonid merely moved his head downward. The stranger touched his head. Leonid sensed warmth on his head and a coursing flutter through his body. Then, the hand left his head.

When Leonid raised his head, the stranger was gone and daylight streamed throughout the alley.

*****

When Leonid awoke, his head was on his own pillow. He was gazing at the adjoining pillow into the wondrous blue eyes of his beloved Sasha, a sweet smile upon her face.

“You look different somehow, my love. Do you still intend to carry out your vendetta against North Korea? Please say that you will not.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled her face to his chest.

“No, my precious love, there will be no vendetta, not ever…” Leonid tightly wound himself around Sasha and gave her a long and tender kiss. “I’m torn,” he said, “making love to you, or, bacon and eggs?” He paused only briefly, “Oh, to hell with the bacon and eggs…”

[END of ‘short story’]

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 2, 2016

Bill Chitwood

(Story was first written in June of 2013)

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