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E. Templeton

publication date: Jan 17, 2017
author/source: E. Templeton

"Hey, what happened to the game?" Kevin said, picking up the remote.

"Shh!" Erin ripped the remote from his hands. "It's a special bulletin. Listen."

"As many viewers know," the easily recognizable announcer was saying, "I have been planning to leave the station for some time." He was alone on camera, sitting at his familiar desk though in an unfamiliar grey sweater and with the camera slightly askew.

"While unorthodox, the adventure that awaits me is one of which many men dream but few dare take. Men like Sir Edmond Hillary, Ernest Shackelton, Elliot Templeton have conquered the material, but did not dare scratch the ethereal. 'The Afterlife'---as some have called it---beckons me like the Sirens to shed this handsome shell of mine and to enter the realm of the spirit."

"You've got to be kidding me…" Erin said, glancing quickly at Kevin who had himself now leaned forward on the couch.

"The unexplored void," the man continued. "The darkness beyond the light. The ultimate rush. Death is a mystery just begging to be unraveled, and as a newsman, I accept her challenge. Whether I will be able to return and report my findings or not has yet to be seen. But until then, this is Sidney August bidding you all---perhaps one final time---a heartfelt adieu."

Sidney slipped a small black pill into his mouth and swallowed without water. The camera never wavered, and no one rushed to his aid. His cold grey eyes remained fixed straight ahead, straight into a million pairs more all across the nation where both speechlessness and cries of horror reigned in equal measure.

Soon Sidney's skin went pale and his eyelids drooped. His lips twitched and his body in one convulsive snap finally slumped away from the desk and out of view, knocking his empty chair a few inches away until it, too, went still.

Erin and Kevin stared in silent shock at the screen unable to comprehend what had just occurred. Then quietly, through trembling lips, Erin asked the only question that seemed reasonable: "Who is Elliot Templeton?"