Keith R Parris - United States Air Force Pilot Wings

Whispers and Little White Lies - Excerpt 1

Whispers and Little White Lies Excerpt 2

Her real father had been a fighter pilot. Katherine Carmichael's most vivid memories about the man who played such a brief role in her life were of the Easter Sunday he said goodbye and of the nightmares that plagued her far longer than she cared to remember. Her father had, in fact, perished in the fiery crash of his F-4 Phantom after only eight missions in Vietnam. All the other exploits of Lieutenant Don Bamberg Barron, call sign "Red Bam-Bam," continued to be part of Kate's heritage only as borrowed memories. They were events which had been told to her so often and with such clarity that they eventually became inseparable from the tragedy that defined her. Seemingly less well remembered were the whispers and, no matter how deeply believed or disbelieved, how thoroughly understood or misunderstood, these dark fragments of her father were punished like some traitor and shipped off to a fragile and imperfect mental exile.

Even though much of what Kate had been told about her real father was innocently conceived by people trying to protect her while trying to carry their own, grave burdens, this betrayal of a child's trust, of a child's faith and unquestioning belief, could not later be wished away. The darkness born of a whisper, of a secret breath without a voice, and the dimension to which it was exiled continued to live and did not perish with the slow and uncertain fading away of her nightmares. Kate's borrowed memories created one universe for her to inhabit. The darkness created another. It was impossible for Kate to know the difference.


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