CHAPTER1 New York
Dave Hampton had the looks of a star. With a full head of dark hair always perfectly coiffed, blue eyes, and well-chiseled features, he could have been the lead in a dramatic television show. He was, in fact, a television star, but not in a drama series. He had his own news, commentary, and talk show airing at six o’clock eastern time, Monday through Friday. From Maine to California, millions of Americans adjusted their schedules so they could watch the show live, and those who couldn’t watch it live recorded it.
Hampton specialized in controversy and conspiracy theories. There were few who were ambivalent about him—the public either loved him or hated him. “Innovative, brave, probing,” his supporters said. “A wacko, conspiracy nut-job,” his detractors said.
Today his guests had discussed such subjects as whether or not the United States was purposely not drilling for domestic oil in order to exhaust all the oil reserves of the rest of the world, to whether or not Errol Flynn was actually a Nazi spy.
The guests were gone now and the show was on a commercial break before the final segment, which Hampton called “Critical Update.”
“Back in one minute thirty seconds, Dave,” the director said, his voice audible in Dave’s ear plug.
“I don’t see my CU queued on the teleprompter,” Dave said.
“Sure it is,” the director said. “Untapped Oil Reserves.”
“That’s not the one I want. I changed it, remember? I want Sinister Shadow.”
“You mean you were serious about that?”
“If you don’t put it on the teleprompter, I’m going to try and wing it, and that will make it worse.”
“All right, all right,” the studio floor manager said. “Just a minute.”
Dave stared into the three teleprompters, which were just below the camera lenses. “I’m waiting.”
“Coming up—now,” the director said.
The story on the teleprompter changed, and Dave acknowledged, “Thanks.”
“We’re going to hear about this one, Dave. This is the kookiest of them all.”
“I wish you were right,” the studio floor manager said.
“Come on, you mean you actually believe this?”
“I’m afraid I do,” she said.
“Ten seconds, stand by.”
Dave nodded and looked at the camera. When the red light came on, he began to speak.
“Have you ever had one of those feelings that nag at you? You know what I’m talking about, a smell that is familiar but you just can’t place it, a voice, face, or event that is just on the other side of memory, or a tune that haunts you from your past?
“I’m having just such a sensation now. There is something up, something going on—and though I don’t know what it is, I know that it is mon-u-ment-al
! It is of earth-shaking proportions, and when I say earth shaking, I’m not just engaging in hyperbole.
“Whatever this is—and for lack of a better word, I am going to call it
"Compelling...poignant...Coming off like James Van Praagh tempered with the down-to-earth apeal of Caroline Myss, Edward offers an intriguing collection of anecodotes that may not convince the cynical but that can both comfort and fascinate the merely skeptical."
--Publishers Weekly on One Last Time