The Angel Maker – Chapter Two

I was looking for any detectable signs of grief but was momentarily distracted when she crossed her legs and let one of her feet slide out of its slipper.  She balanced it on her toe, while gently swinging her leg back and forth.  To say that it was enticingly sexy would have been an understatement.

I watched, almost completely mesmerized by the fluidity of her movements until, once again I snapped back into reality.  She was a potential suspect, not the object of my fantasies.

I had heard of women like her.  Women who could paralyze you with one look and have your complete submission before you even knew there was a battle for your soul.  As I studied her face, I wondered “is she really that beautiful or does she just act like she’s that beautiful?”

Unprompted, she began to talk.  “You know, detective Hooker.  I’m sure like everyone, you probably question my motives for marrying a man so much older than I.  These ‘May-December’ unions are almost never accepted and seem to invite hostile accusations.  Wouldn’t you agree?”

I hesitantly said “yes, I agree but I also understand why people who are close to these older gentleman, especially their children would be skeptical.”

She said “I guess you want to hear me say that I loved my husband and that I would have never wanted anything to happen to him.”

“Did you love your husband?” I asked.

She stood up and slowly walked over to the window.  As she looked out over the expansive manicured grounds, in a soft monotone she said “detective Hooker, love isn’t a tangible thing.  There are different degrees.  There are different planes on which it resides.  It can be passionate.  Obligatory. Casual.  It can be used as a weapon.  It can be used as a bargaining chip.  It can be comfortable.  It can be intense or it can be apathetic.”  She turned and said “it can be any or all of those things.  It can also be platonic.”

“Is that your way of telling me that your marriage to Mr. Stark was platonic?” I asked.

She sat back down and said “unless that is of particular pertinence to your investigation, I am not going to answer that question.”

She had already told me that they slept in separate bedrooms and although forty years her junior, Mr. Stark could have most likely with or without the help of some little blue pills, been functional.  If their union was platonic, there was a reason.

“Would you say your marriage was a happy one?” I asked.

Without missing a beat, she said “is your marriage a happy one?  I mean, I assume you’re a family man.”

When I told her that I wasn’t married, it was like handing her a loaded weapon.  With an almost subtle hostility, she began firing.

“Why is that?” she asked.  “Are you married to your job?  Have you never found the right one or have you just never found who you consider to be your equal?  Are you a snob?  Are you a psychopath?”  Then she leaned forward and said “or is it all of those things?”

I smugly asked “is that supposed to rattle me?”

“Did it?” she asked.  “No,” I said.

With a smile, she said “good, because I was just gauging the temperature.”

I said “okay, now getting back to you.  Was your marriage a happy one?”

With an almost playful look in her eyes, she said “detective Hooker. Happiness is a state of mind, don’t you think?”

She was a smooth operator and an expert at deflection.  She was using my own questions to manipulate me but deflection often reveals more than an answer.

One thing was clear.  Mrs. Emberlyn Stark had a secret.

 

To be continued______________

 

 

The Angel Maker – Chapter One

My name is Brockton Hooker and I was working my first solo case.  For almost three years I had worked alongside seasoned detectives, learning the proverbial ropes and being the second banana.  Many were slowly burning out and more than willing to let me help ease their work load by cutting me loose.  What to them might have been a run-of-the-mill case, was to me a chance to make a name for myself.

Some poor slob had mysteriously died in his sleep and the investigation fell to me.  He lived in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia.  Old money lived there and you could smell it all the way downtown.

The dead man was a third generation real estate mogul named Coleman Stark.  The Stark dynasty had virtually swallowed up the other brokers and created a monopoly that encompassed almost the entire state of Pennsylvania.

As I entered the three-story mansion, I tried to give the impression that I frequented houses of that ilk on a regular basis but I admit that I was intimidated by an elegance that was completely foreign to me.  It was a far cry from my tiny one bedroom walk-up in the seedy part of town.

An enormous chandelier graced the foyer and I was certain that it was bigger than most people’s living rooms.  Light performed pirouettes on the crystals and I thought  “if I had a dollar for every one of those crystals, I could retire tomorrow.”

Like many older wealthy gentlemen, Mr. Coleman had been married and divorced more than a few times.  Against his children’s wishes, he married his much younger secretary shortly before he retired.

There had been whispers about her and Coleman’s children had unsuccessfully tried to convince him that she, who they referred to as Jezebel, was nothing more than a gold-digger.  He had refused their demand to make her sign a prenuptial agreement.  His view was that it would be insulting and told them that he was sure of her love for him, even if they weren’t.  This angered his children, especially since he would become her third husband at the age of only 27.

Shortly after I arrived, I heard the officers whispering about her nickname, “The Angel Maker.”  One of them said her two previous husbands had died of heart attacks and even though in both cases, the coroners’ report confirmed no foul play, there were lingering questions.  Like Mr. Stark, they had been much older men of considerable means but unlike Mr. Stark, they had left her nothing more than a mere pittance in their wills.

The first time I saw her, despite my obvious lame attempt at professionalism, I was immediately captivated by this alluring vision of beauty.  I could feel myself questioning how she could possibly be a murderer but I could certainly understand how a man of a certain age could die of a heart attack.  Getting frisky with her would surely try even a healthy young man, but it would be a marvelous way to go.

She had all the earmarks of what old money could buy.  Her long blonde hair hung loosely around her shoulders.  Her piercing green eyes were almost hypnotic and I suddenly got the feeling that she knew she could have her way with me.

She almost floated as she walked toward me and extended her hand.  For a brief moment, I was unsure whether to shake it or bring it to my mouth and kiss it, while on one knee.  She had smooth, shapely legs that seemed to go all the way up to her shoulders.  With a flick of her hand, she tossed her hair behind her back and in a soft, beckoning voice said “hello.  I’m Emberlyn Stark, and you are?”

I think I said Brockton Hooker but I’m not sure.  She was the epitome of pure, raw sex appeal and I was drawn to her like a moth to a flame.  I fumbled my words as I tried to ask if she was up to answering a few questions about her late husband.  Apparently I managed to get the words out because she smiled and said “of course.”

We sat down and I immediately entered a fantasy world.  I began to play a mental video of writhing naked on the floor with her.  Her long hair would cover me like a soft blanket and her skin would feel like liquid silk as my hungry hands explored her body.  We would fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

I was abruptly brought back to reality when she leaned over and said “are you alright, detective Hooker?”  I managed a polite but embarrassed “yes,” as I began.

“Can you tell me the last time you saw your husband alive?”  I asked.
“Last night,” she said.
“Did he seem to be ill?”
“No.  He was in good spirits and went to bed at his usual time.  I followed later.”
“What time would that be?”  I asked.
“His usual time is around nine o’clock.  With an almost impish smile, she said “I am a bit more of a night owl.”

She had used the present tense about his bedtime, which was an indication of either not yet accepting the fact that he was dead or being a manipulative psychopath, knowing how to use the exact right word or phrase.

I mentioned that the time of death seemed to have been several hours ago and asked why she hadn’t noticed that something wasn’t right when she woke this morning.
“We sleep in separate bedrooms detective, so there’s no way I would have noticed.”

“Who discovered his body?” I asked.
She said “our maid, Helga but she’s understandably quite a mess right now.”  She motioned for the butler and said “Bronson, would you please ask Helga to come here?”

Helga reluctantly came into the room, not really knowing what to expect.  I have to admit that it was difficult for me to keep my composure.  She was one of those unfortunate women you hear described as falling out of an ugly tree and hitting every single branch on the way down.  She spoke with a thick accent, aided by hands that nervously flitted in such a way that it reminded me of an insect trapped in a glass jar desperately trying to get free.

All I could gather from Helgas’ manic sign language was that she had discovered Mr. Stark laying in the bed, clutching a rose.

“A rose?”  I asked.  “Yes,” Helga said.  “A rose.”  She wiped her nose with a tissue, did the sign of the cross and said “now he is with the angels.”

The irony of that statement was not lost on me.  Mr. Stark was “with the angels” and I was sitting in front of the “angel maker.”

 

To be continued_________________

 

 

Everybody Has A Story

When I was twenty years old, my second job was in the credit department at Sears, Roebuck & Co.  I knew nothing about credit but because I had never missed a day of work at the telephone company or school, they hired me.

Back then (way back then), there were two kinds of credit offered.  One was an SRC (Sears Revolving Charge) which worked pretty much like credit cards do today.  The other was EP (Easy Payment) which meant you had to pay an agreed amount every month.

My family never talked to me about anything or anybody so I always had a natural curiosity about other people.  I loved to hear their stories and learn things, like where they got their name.  I never knew where I got mine.

One day a lady walked up to the counter just as I was about to go on break.  I asked her if I could help and she said she wanted to pay her bill.

“This won’t take long,” I thought, so I took her money and asked her name.

“Easter B. Monday,” she said.  I wasn’t sure if she was teasing me but I looked at her and said “what a cool name.”  Sure enough, when I looked up her account, there was her name.  Easter B. Monday.

After I marked her account, I told my supervisor that I was taking my break.  I loved to walk around the store, silently punishing myself by looking at the things I could never afford to buy, like clothes and shoes.

I walked over to the escalators and sitting on one of the many benches flanked by huge metal ashtrays, sat Easter B. Monday.  She looked at me, gave me a smile and waved.

Sometimes I think my daddy was right when he said “you’ve never met a stranger, have you?”  Without so much as a by your leave, I brazenly plopped right down beside her.

I had seen some strange and unusual names.  Names like Hiram, Harlan and Horatio.  They didn’t pique my interest, although if Horatios’ last name had been Hornblower, I might have felt the need to find out more.

I came right out and said, “I’m curious.  Would you mind telling me how you got your name?”

“Chile, I was born at home on Easter morning,” she said.  “My mama said she knew right away that if I was a girl, my name was going to be Easter.”

“What does the ‘B’ stand for?”  I asked.

“Basket.  For the first few weeks, I slept in a basket at the foot of mama and daddys’ bed and my daddy named me for it.  After a while, I slept in a dresser drawer.  Then, I remember sleeping on some quilts that had been folded up and put on the floor.  I don’t know how old I was when I got my first bed.”

She repeated her name.  “Easter Basket Monday.”  She let out a genuine, jovial laugh and said “I’ve been after trying to find me a husband whose last name is Sunday but I ain’t never found one.”

She went on as if hungry for conversation, as was I.  “My mamas’ name was Sunny Ray Munroe.  When she married my daddy she became Sunny Ray Monday.”  She was straight-faced when she said “and my daddys’ name was Poke Salad Monday.”  I couldn’t help but giggle and I thought she must be pulling my leg but she went on.

“His mama was a slave down in New Orleans and she named him after one of her favorite dishes.  He wasn’t sure how old she was when she jumped the broom with his daddy but he thinks she was pretty young.  Neither one of them could read or write so there aren’t any records.”

“He never knew his daddy and his mama never talked much about him.  She only told him that before he was born, his daddy fell out of a tree and two days later, he died.”

“She died when my daddy was about 15.  She got something wrong with her lungs and after she died, my daddy made his way up here.  That’s where he met my mama.”

I didn’t come along until he and mama were might near too old.  When I did, she named me Easter.  She said I was a miracle and I was special because I was born on the day Jesus was resurrected.”

I asked if her mama was still alive.  “Yes’um.” she said.  “She sure is.  She’s nigh onto ninety-eight years old.  I take care of her.  Why do you think I’ve never been able to find a husband?”  Again, she just hollered.

Even at the tender age of twenty, I appreciated the sacrifice she was making by looking after her mama and I hoped that someday her “Mr. Sunday” would find her.

She told me that her daddy had died some years back and they couldn’t hardly get anybody to make him a tombstone.  The stone mason thought they were being somewhat sacrilegious and turned them away at first, when they wanted the name “Poke Salad Monday” inscribed on it.

“Did they do it for you?”  I asked.

“Yes’um.  They sure did.  He’s buried up there at the colored cemetery.  Mama says she wants to lay down right beside him when the Good Lord calls her home and someday, I reckon I’ll be there too.”

Suddenly I looked up and saw my supervisor coming toward me.  I had been gone for more than an hour.  I got a severe reprimand but I didn’t care.  I had no plans to have a career at Sears.

I will never forget that lovely woman who gave everything so freely.  I admit that I secretly wished that she had been my mama.  She gave me the gift of her smiles, her laughter and her stories.  Although it has been more than forty years since that chance meeting, I have never forgotten her.

I never saw her again after that day.  Maybe she came in to pay her bill on my day off or maybe our paths were only meant to cross once.  Sometimes the briefest encounter can have the greatest impact.

Everybody has a story.  This is hers.  The story of Easter B. Monday.

 

Happy Mothers’ Day, Mama

You’ve been gone for more than nine years but I still think about you now and then.  I still carry you around in the trunk of my car although I rarely, if ever, remember that you are there.

For years, I searched for a proper urn to put you in but I could never find one.  Just a few weeks ago, I found one that would have been perfect but I was afraid if I took you out of my car, it would be bad luck.

I have always thought that somehow, since you never cared about me when you were alive, maybe you would care about me when you were dead.

I never thought it was disrespectful or maybe I didn’t think it was as disrespectful as it was when you called me a parasite or told me that I looked like a street-walker.

I remember that you hated the few times my daddy defended me and you would start calling me “your highness” or “your royalness.”  When he left, you would grab my hair and pull it so hard it left knots on my head and then you’d start beating me.

I have no idea where you are but I imagine that you are in Heaven.  God seems to forgive people who almost beat their children to death and think it was deserved and He seems to overlook the drunks who inflict their vicious abuse on somebody and never remember it.

In my mind, I can still see your long, chestnut brown hair, your porcelain skin and your ice blue eyes.  I remember how statuesque I thought you looked wearing your high heels, even after you kicked me between the legs and made me bleed.

I remember thinking there was nothing you couldn’t do.  How I wanted to be like you.

I remember that you never fell apart, even when you had to endure the devastation of losing your first son by my hands.

I remember that you never cried but I remember that you would beat me until I did.  Once you made me cry, I remember the look of satisfaction on your face.

You used to make fun of me when I cried.  You would smirk and say “that’s right.  Turn on the waterworks.”  Then you would beat me until I stopped. As determined as I was to hold back my tears, you always won.

I’m different today.  You couldn’t make me cry and you wouldn’t have to beat me to make me stop.  Now I can smirk when I say the waterworks have been turned off.  I will never shed another tear.  I win.

I remember how afraid I was when you towered over me and gritted your teeth.  I remember the fear I felt when I saw your clenched fists.  I remember how hard you could hit when you had a broom handle or a baseball bat or a belt in your hands.

Even when you weren’t armed with a weapon, your words became tools that inflicted horrible, invisible slashes.  The wounds were so deep that I could almost feel myself bleeding to death.

I used to wish you had been allowed to deliver what would have surely been a fatal blow.  A hammer strike to the back of my head would have ended my torture but as fate would have it, your mama walked in and stopped you.

I remember asking why you didn’t just kill me.  You said “because I don’t want to go to jail.”

I remember seeing such hatred in those ice blue eyes.  I remember asking why you didn’t love me and I remember what you said.

I remember your beautiful long fingers that covered my entire face when you slapped me.  I remember how sometimes, you would powder my face to try to hide the bruises you left.

I remember how you would look at my youngest daughter with that same familiar hatred in your ice blue eyes, because she looked just like me.

I raised my bright, beautiful, intelligent and talented children not knowing their grandmother and grandfather because you weren’t interested in them. They were mine and because of that, you thought they weren’t worth knowing.

I think you would be happy if you knew that I am alone.  I think you would smile if you knew that my children no longer speak to me.  I think you would be satisfied if you knew that I will get no acknowledgment for Mothers’ Day.

I think you would tell me that I am getting exactly what I deserve and you would say the reason is that I have never done anything to make anybody love me.  That’s why you said you didn’t love me.

I wish I knew the love of a mama.  When I broke my leg the second time, I wish I knew how it felt to be comforted instead of being threatened that if I broke it again, you would whip me.  I wish I knew how it felt to wake up and see you sitting beside my bed, because I was sick.

I wish I knew how it felt for you to walk into my room and say “time to rise and shine,” instead of waking me up by throwing a drawer of silverware in my face.

I wish I knew how it felt to be hugged by you…just once.

I wish all these things but they will never happen.  I won’t see you in Heaven because you damaged me beyond repair.  You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons taught me how to hate.  You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons taught me that I am worthless.

You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons taught me to despise the phrase “I love you.”  You, other mamas and other mamas’ sons made it impossible for me to be able to say those words to my children.

You never said it to me but other mamas and other mamas’ sons cavalierly tossed that phrase around after a violent outburst of soul-killing abuse, as if it could repair the emotional murder they had just commited.

I think I’ll borrow the sarcastic phrase my oldest daughter used in her last scathing email, when she made sure that her family, my family, her friends and I all knew what a worthless piece of garbage she thinks I am.

“Well done.  Good job.  You are the best!!”

One Lovely Blog Award

My thanks to Elizabeth @marriagetroublesite.wordpress.com for the nomination.

RULES:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.

2.  Share 7 facts about yourself.

3.  Nominate up to 15 people for the award.

4.  Let the people know they have been nominated.

SEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME:

1.  I have the rarest eye color in the world.  So does my youngest daughter.  Only 2% of the entire population have green eyes.  Not only do we have green eyes, we both have central heterochromia iridum.  Our pupils are surrounded by yellow and the outer iris is green.  I also have sectoral heterochromia.  I have a brown spot in one of my eyes.  She does not.
My oldest daughter has the appearance of complete heterochromia, like David Bowie.  Like him, hers is the result of an injury which is technically called aniscoria.  She was hit in the face by a hard kicked soccer ball and one pupil is permanently frozen in a dilated position.

2.  I never had wisdom teeth nor did my mama.  That is a result of a mutation that happens in 35% of the population.  Unfortunately, I didn’t pass that along to any of my children.
There is recent evidence that the suppression of wisdom teeth was a mutation that popped up in China three to four hundred thousand years ago.

3.  My feet are so different, they look like they belong to separate people.  They are also different sizes.  (I wouldn’t be surprised if one day I found out that I was the result of a scientific experiment gone horribly wrong.)

4.  I’ve scared many a neighbor (and still do) by walking down a ladder from my roof, like I walk down stairs.  It never made any sense to me to crawl down a ladder backward.

5.  I can spell complete sentences and have never met but one other person who not only could understand every word I spell, they could respond in kind.

6.  If I care about you and you need me, I would crawl on my hands and knees to the ends of the Earth to help you…but if you fuck me over, you’re on your own.

7.  I really hate to write and I think everything I write is rubbish.

MY NOMINEES:

TenacityT@tenacitygoddess.com

apensiveheart@apensiveheart.wordpress.com

swanriver@swimmingashardasIcanstayingafloat.wordpress.com

ifonlymommy@livinglifeafterdivorceandbetrayal.wordpress.com

Robert Matthew Goldstein@robertmgoldsmith.wordpress.com

watchmesurvive@watchmesurvive.wordpress.com

socialworkerangel@iammyownisland.wordpress.com

shatteredwife@shatteredbyaffair.wordpress.com

lookfabkim@lookfab.wordpress.com

Embeecee@sparksfromacombustiblemind.wordpress.com

thedarkestfairytale@thedarkestfairytale.wordpress.com

geminilver@andtwobecameone.wordpress.com

True Facts About The Town Of Whisper

Pansy Faye’s grandfather and Elwyn Turner were loosely based on my grandpa.  He was an entrepreneur who owned cafes, fillin’ stations and little grocery stores.  He would let people take a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk or a pack of cigarettes, with the promise of repayment on payday.  Most of them returned.  Some of them didn’t.

Pansy Faye, Leroy, Ron Carson, and Billy Ray were all fictional characters.

Lucy Maes’ character was loosely based on a man who owned a tire place in the middle of town.  My friend and I knew the owners of a restaurant next door and we stopped by to grab a bite to eat.  This man was eating a salad for lunch, started laughing and then started choking.  I thought about trying to dislodge whatever was in his mouth but I was told to stay away.
Since it was prior to 1973, EMS had not yet been established.  I remember everybody just standing around, watching this man choke to death.

My daddy was by no means a Baptist preacher but Reverend Smythes’ reading habits were loosely based on him.  He loved to read Earl Stanley Gardner books and was even known to read a Harlequin Romance Novel.

Ron Carson’s sons’ names were based on the husband of a friend of mine when I lived in Philadelphia.  His name was Paul Peter.  He had a brother named Peter Paul.

Leroy’s mama being carried around in the trunk of his car is based on me.  I carry my mama’s ashes in the trunk of my car and have for nine years.

The airplane crash was based on a crash that happened near my hometown. A large jumbo jet collided with a small private plane.  It was the first crash investigated by the NTSB.  None of the passengers survived and the only body intact was a stewardess found in a tree, still strapped to her jumpseat.  People were combing through the woods, taking jewelry from limbs.

The story about the cats in the well was fictional.

Matt Perkins was a fictional character.

Joshua Beacham was the fictional name of a real person.  The entire story is true.

Chick Larson was a fictional character.

Myrna Brown was the fictional name of a real person.  I did not know her personally but I knew of her through one of my roommates.
She did work at the Whisk A Go-Go in Augusta, Georgia.
Did she really roll one of the most famous golfers of all time while he was there for the Masters?  Yes, she did.
Do I know who it was?  Yes, I do.
Will I divulge his name?  No.

Sherry Plemmons was based on a real person.  The tragic events that I wrote about really happened.

The person telling the story is loosely based on Loser in that he would use any means available, be it charm, lies, hollow flattery or bullying to get information.

His daddy really did tell him to be nice to the ugly girls as well as the pretty ones because the ugly ones would be so grateful for the attention, they would do anything.

Although he fully expected to win a Pulitzer Prize, he never did.

The Blue Sky Tag

A big thank you to socialworkerangela – I AM MY OWN ISLAND for the nomination.

The Rules:

1.  Ask 11 questions.

2.  Tag 11 people.

3.  Answer the 11 questions given to you.

 

The 11 questions asked of me:

1.  Ocean or Mountains.
Hands down.  Mountains.  I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and I have never lost my love for them.  The ocean has always seemed too cold and lonesome.

2.  Cat or dog.
Cat.

3.  Why did you start your blog?
To tell the story of my life.

4.  Favorite movie.
I have several but I guess if I had to pick, it would be Gone With The Wind.

5.  Favorite quote.
“Sometimes the person you’d take a bullet for, is the one holding the gun.”

6.  Beatles or Elvis.
I didn’t really care that much about either one of them.  Maybe Elvis.

7.  What Harry Potter character would you like to be?
This is completely lost on me.  I have never read the books nor seen the movies.

8.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Realistically, Las Vegas, to see my RBS.  Unrealistically, probably Ireland.

9.  Favorite color and why.
I have two.  Pink and seafoam green.  I’m not sure why.  I just like the combination.

10.  Your most prized possession.
My RBS.

11.  One lesson you’ve learned in life.
Never trust a man.

 

My 11 questions:

1.  Murder mystery or love story?

2.  Favorite color car and why.

3.  Favorite childhood memory.

4.  Last time you did a first.

5.  Best and worst traits you inherited.

6.  Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?

7.  What is your biggest regret?

8.  What is your greatest joy?

9.  If you could meet any famous person, who would it be?

10.  What song gives you chills?

11.  Silver or gold?

 

My nominees:

1.  learningtolivelikewater

2.   survivednarc

3.  creativerational

4.  ifonlymommy

5.  Tikeetha T.

6.  Ogden Fahey

7.  Embeecee

8.  davebarclay1954

9.  Brian Lageose

10.  samlobos

11.  gettingrealwithPTSD

A Town Called Whisper – Introduction

There was once a sleepy little town nestled in the mountains of Tennessee, called Whisper.  Population, 154.

It boasted a single engine fire station, a barbershop, a cafe and an auto repair garage where everybody took their cars to be fixed.

There was a one room combination police station/court-house with two jail cells that to anybody’s recollection had never been occupied.

The post office was in the center of town and mail, weather permitting, was delivered only once a week.

On top of the hill, you would find the local church where Sunday go to meetin’ services were held both in the morning and at night.  The cemetery was right out back, where generations of relatives lay after their time on earth had been served and the angels had come to take them home.

What you wouldn’t find was a golf course, a local newspaper, a locked door or a gun.  In that little corner of the world, the closest thing to a weapon was Billy Ray Beans’ collection of fishin’ poles.

He had one for every conceivable kind of fish and he liked to carry them around in the back of his 1950 Seacrest Green Chevy pick-up truck.  If he wasn’t careful taking a curve, they would be catapulted out and go flying through the air like missiles.

When he came to town, Leroy the barber, would start hollerin’.  “Look out y’all.  Billy Ray’s loose again.”

Aside from the annual Harvest Ho-down and the much-anticipated Christmas Eve parade, not much happened in Whisper.

To the residents, it was and always had just been home.  It was the kind of place where everybody knew everybody’s name and it was jokingly said to be illegal to be in a bad mood.

If you hadn’t heard of it, you were among the majority but on June 14, 1965, a tragedy befell the small town and with my help, it soon became renown.

I am a reporter for the Kentucky Free Press, located about 138 miles from Whisper.

What was assigned to be a story about an unfortunate event, became an obsession for me.  As a seasoned reporter, I had to ask the usual questions of who, what, where, when and why but I went a step beyond the norm.

I took those questions to unexpected limits and the answers they rendered took a twist that would haunt me forever.

This is my story about the people of Whisper, the victims of the tragedy and the results that killed a town and changed my life forever.

 

To be continued_______________________