TITLE: RING OF FIRE
GENRE: Offbeat Suspense
At the moment of his death, Andy Hansen had never felt more alive.
The captain of the Carolina University wrestling squad was enjoying his senior year immensely. With only one loss so far, he was destined for All-America honors at the spring conference championships. This alone would have been enough to sustain his natural high, but adding three turquoise pills and a petite, auburn-haired freshman named Denise Graham into the mix made for one pumped-up wrestler.
Knowing he stood a very good chance of being shirtless that night, Andy wasn’t taking any chances. If he threw himself into an intense chest workout at the gym, his pecs would be suitably swollen, making an ever-so-inviting pillow for Denise’s fragrant head.
As he closed his apartment door, his hand brushed against a thick, blue piece of paper swinging from the knob. Stupid ad, he thought, and wadded it up.
When it crinkled in his fist, he smoothed the ad out again and discovered a small cellophane packet glued to the back. Three capsules rattled around inside. The headline proclaimed “Increase Your Strength! Maximize Your Reps! Enhance Your Performance the All-Natural Way!” RepMax, the attached product, claimed to be organic--free from ephedrine, synephrine and steroids, any of which could get him kicked off the team in a heartbeat. Andy was intrigued; if God made it, what harm could it do?
He shrugged. He was twenty-one, in the best shape of his life, a bonafide wrestling star with a hot new girlfriend in the wings. In a word: indestructible. He pinched out the pills and tossed them back with a swig of water. Might be just bee pollen, but what the hell. He stuffed the free sample coupon into his pocket.