A young man finds a mysterious silver ring that holds extraordinary powers -- a ring that the darkest evil in the universe wants for its very own.
Robert Swartwood's THE SILVER RING is a full-tilt no-holds-barred bobsled of a ride, absolutely engaging and a hundred percent fun. If this one doesn't grab you, it's time to up your Ritalin."
Joe Schreiber, author of CHASING THE DEAD
Five minutes before the man with the gun entered the store, two little girls cut in front of me in line.
It wasn’t really their fault. I was waiting in line, yeah, but this being a convenience store, the tabloid magazines were stored on a rack beneath the counter, and I was turned toward them, reading the ridiculous headlines about even more ridiculous celebrities. Above me, the speakers in the ceiling poured out some song by Bruce Springsteen.
It was summer and the temperature was stifling and for the past week after work I’d been stopping in for a slushie. The movie theater where I worked was having a promotion with this chain of stores: bring in your ticket stub for a free sixteen ounce soda or slushie. The theater floors always littered with stubs, I figured what the hey and stocked up on ticket stubs.
So I was standing there, a Cherry Coke slushie in one hand and reading a recent headline about Tom Cruise, when the man who’d been in line before me finished his purchase and turned away. The two girls stepped up and threw candy bars down on the counter.
The cashier—a woman named Dorothy, who never seemed to have a night off because I always saw her in here—gave me a look, as if asking, You mind?
I shrugged, took a sip of my slushie, and reached into my pocket for a ticket stub.
Among some change and a pack of gum, my fingers touched something solid that at first didn’t make sense. Pulling it out, I realized it was a ring I’d found tonight while cleaning house seven, one of the biggest houses. It was silver and looked expensive and I’d meant to turn it in to one of the managers but then we’d gotten busy and I’d forgotten. And now here it was resting in the palm of my hand.
It had a neutral look to it, like it could belong to either a man or a woman, and I don’t know why, but right then I needed to try it on. Just to see if it would fit, I told myself, and so I slipped it onto my finger. Not that I knew much about jewelry at seventeen, but it fit perfectly.
Before I had a chance to slide it back off the two girls shouted, “Thank you!” and suddenly turned away. The one closest bumped into me, causing me to drop my slushie. It hit the floor and spilled reddish-brown slush across the linoleum.
The girl who’d bumped me stood completely still, her mouth open and her eyes wide. The other girl had to cover her mouth as she giggled.
“I’m so sorry,” the one girl said.
Outside, a car beeped, and the other girl said, “Come on, Mom’s waiting,” and then the girls were hurrying away, an electronic buzzer going ding-dong when they exited.
Dorothy was already coming out from behind the counter, a roll of paper towels in her hand.
“This is why I don’t have any kids,” she said with a sigh.