Read the first chapter of Denin Harvick’s story before he became the superhero speedster known as Slaycick with the Majesties of Canaan, then download the full eBook right here!
A Speedster’s Remorse
“Runner’s to your mark!”
The temperature over the Olympic stadium in Los Angeles was one hundred and ten degrees. It was a scorcher. Denin Harvick jumped up and down a few times in an effort to keep his legs loose before he loaded himself into the starting blocks. He was in lane five and was staring down the track at the finish line; envisioning himself winning the race. The London born sprinter who was half British- half Jamaican, was in his semi-final round and led the entire world with the fastest time in the one-hundred-meter dash with a time of 9.66.
Denin kneeled down and backed himself into the starting blocks slowly as if he was a coiled spring being pushed back. He made sure he had just the right amount of tension on his front leg, so he could get a very explosive start when he launched out of the blocks. He fixed his gaze on the starting line as both of his arms were locked and extended on the ground with his hands just behind the starting line.
Representing the UK in the Olympics was always a dream of his as a child. Though he had dual citizenship, the UK was his home. His father, who was Jamaican, only saw Denin sparingly throughout his life. Nonetheless, he had achieved one of his many goals which was to make it to the Olympics. It made his mother proud and making his mother proud was always the sweetest sensation to him. He was now only one race away from making the Olympic finals. He had worked so hard for it after barely missing the 2024 Olympics and now four years later, he was favored to win the gold by a long shot.
He rose up slowly, lifting his backside in the air and keeping the same amount of tension on his front leg. Only his arms supported the weight of his upper body as he leaned forward just a bit. The gun starter held the sprinters in that position for a few seconds, which to the sprinters, seemed like an eternity.
The gun went off and the sprinters were out of the blocks and driving down the track. Denin was always known for his quick start. After his first three steps the crowd could see he was already in front of half of the pack. Two other sprinters were neck and neck with him as they neared thirty meters. Denin and the two other sprinters put a small gap of separation between them and the rest of the pack. One sprinter from Canada and the other from America were side by side with him until about fifty meters in to the race where Denin began to pull away with fluidity. His form was graceful; poetic to say the least and his stride was long and quick. His muscular frame with bulging arms and tree trunk legs flexed as he pumped showing the definition and intricate details of his muscle tone. The moment of it would only be caught in slow motion or through the lens of many photographers for their respective magazines, newspapers, social media or blog sites. Because in real time, the only thing the crowd in the stadium saw along with the two billion viewers at home was nine seconds of blistering speed barreling down the track.
By the time they got to seventy meters, Denin had opened up his lead and was watching himself on the big screen located behind the seats at the north end of the stadium where the finish line was located. He felt himself pulling away from the competition, even the other two sprinters who tried to push him during the first part of the race. By the time they got to eighty-five meters, Denin had increased his lead by three steps in front of the second place finisher from America. He began to decrease his speed; shutting it down early as he coasted across the finish line seamlessly while smiling and waving to the crowd. The time on the clock read 9.62 as the crowd erupted. It was a fast time that was ran with so much ease that the broadcasters and journalist across the globe were predicting a world-record performance in the finals.
“Denin, get over here,” said Ryan Feathers, the trackside correspondent for NBC. “That race looked easy for you. How do you feel about the finals tomorrow night?”
The cameraman zoomed in on Denin who had a cheesy grin on his face. Denin grabbed at the rubber bands that held his hair together and pulled them off. His skinny dreadlocks fell to his shoulders as he began to address the question, still somewhat breathing heavily from the race he won just seconds ago.
“I feel confident, Ryan,” responded Denin. “This has been a great year for me. I’ve worked hard and treated my body well throughout the course of this year. I haven’t lost any races this year and I only have one more to go for an undefeated season and ultimately Olympic gold.”
“Take us through your race,” said Ryan. “You seemed to really get out of the blocks well and then you just ran away from the pack.”
“Yeah, that was my goal. Getting out the blocks and taking an early lead can play a psychological game with the opponents. I know if I get out on everyone quick, there is no one who can catch me. This is my year.”
“Can we expect a new world record from you tomorrow in the finals?”
“I’ll say this. Usain Bolt set the record high many years ago, but if the conditions are right tomorrow like it is today, you will see a world record,” said Denin as he looked into the camera, addressing the home audiences. I know I’m more than capable of breaking it and tomorrow I will be running through the tape full speed. No early shut downs for me tomorrow.”
“There you have it from the horse’s mouth,” said Ryan. “Back to you Shirley and Chuck.
Denin walked off the track and signed a few autographs for some fans sitting in the front row. He proceeded to the tunnel. He grabbed his back pack, quickly put on his warm-up, and changed his shoes. Denin headed back to his hotel room after talking to a few more reporters. Once he got to his hotel, he sprawled across the bread and turned on the television. He enjoyed hearing the sports analysts talking about him. ESPN and a few other renowned sports channels were showing footage of Denin’s race. He was simultaneously excited and nervous about the next day’s race.
He knew he was a bright spotlight in a world that was falling apart. The Olympics were one of the only few events that brought the world together and even the light was starting to dim in that arena. Nonetheless, Denin Harvick, like many other young sports stars and entertainers was too caught up in himself to care about the social, political, and spiritual ills the world was enduring. His endorsements, sponsorships and commercials paid him handsomely along with a modeling gig that he fell into for being good-looking and built. He drifted to sleep with his mind wrapped around the finals until a phone call interrupted his slumber.
“Hello,” said Denin in a groggy voice.
“Denin, get your butt up!” said the voice on the end.
It was his agent, Patrick Bethard, a fast talking Irish man who took his clients and their livelihood very seriously.
“What’s up?” asked Denin
“You failed your urine test! That’s what’s up. They’re getting ready to break the story. What the hell, Denin? Are you using?”
“I haven’t done anything, Pat! Slow down.”
“Denin, I want you to listen to me,” said Patrick. “This kind of stuff is serious. If you lie to me, I can’t help you. The media is about to be all over this thing and you need to have a reason as to why the Olympic committee is saying that you failed your drug test. They’re calling it a diluted substance, implying that you may have used a masking agent. Now, before you tell me you didn’t do anything, I want you to remember that the truth always comes out, Denin. You were young when the Balco scandal took place, but many popular athletes lost their reputation after denying vehemently that they weren’t using. So, I’m going to ask you again. What’s up?”
There was a long silence. Denin’s heart was racing as he searched for an explanation or a lie that would make sense. He couldn’t find one. With a sigh of defeat, Denin unleashed the truth.
“I took something, Pat. I’ve used before, but I never got caught because the masking agent I was using was potent and I was told it would dissolve in my system quicker. It worked all this time until now.”
“Oh my God, Denin! What were you thinking? When I took you on as a client, we made a pact to do things the right way. What would drive you to do something like this?”
“Everybody’s using, Pat. How do you think I even found out about it this stuff? There are others using the same stuff I’m using.”
“So what are we doing? Playing follow the leader?” shouted Patrick. “Let them get caught! Not you! You’re not one of them! It’s your job to stay clean, Denin!”
Denin sat in silence with the reality of what was about to happen to his career. He had no words to rebuttal with. Patrick gathered himself to give Denin the best advice he could before the curtains were pulled on his career.
“Ok,” said Patrick taking a deep breath of frustration. “The best way to handle these things is to get out in front of it. I’m going to organize a press conference and prepare a statement. You’re going to read that statement in front of the press tomorrow. Your corporate sponsors are going to pull out, but I’m going to help you weather the storm. This is your first offense, so maybe the ban won’t be too harsh.”
“The ban?” asked Denin
“Yes, Denin. They’re going to ban you. Our hope is that it will be a short ban. Get your rest. I’ll be at your hotel in the morning at seven a.m. Be up and ready to go. We have a lot to go over.”
Denin could not sleep anymore. He stayed awake with the few hours he had left. The world’s fastest man that everyone grew to love would now be the most hated, labeled a cheat, and stripped of the accolades that he had earned. It worried him, but he knew he would have to face the music and the tunes would not sound good.
“What I did was wrong and there are no excuses for it,” said Denin Harvick as he stood at a podium in front of many reporters and with camera lights flashing in his face. “I’m ashamed of what I’ve done and I’m even more sorry for hurting my fans, the Olympic committee, the Track & Field Federation, and my family. I accept the punishment and any repercussions that the committee hands down. Once again, I’m sorry.”
Denin left the podium with tears running down his face as reporters tried to shout over each other to asks questions for their feature stories. Denin ignored them and walked past a crowd of people who continued to snap photos for their own amusement at his downfall. Much of the sports world was in shock. The breaking news was on every major network across the globe. It became the big story of the Olympic games for the rest of the week. As his agent had predicted, all of Denin’s sponsors had dropped him. In addition, the Olympic committee had immediately released him from the games and the governing board of Track and Field had issued a four-year ban against Denin stating he could not compete in the sport until 2032.
Denin left Los Angeles inconspicuously, hoping to avoid media. He quickly returned to London and took himself off the radar of society. He was already the joke of many memes on social media. The shame and ridicule he endured over the next year of his life would force him into hiding. He began to live a very secluded life as he distanced himself from friends and family. He left his soul open to depression and his mind open to negative thoughts which both fed off of each other. What was once a fully loaded ego had now become a scrawny shell of low self-esteem.
Too ashamed to take a regular nine to five job in fear that people would recognize him, Denin tried to live off the money he had earned during his few years on top as the world’s fastest man. That money quickly dwindled over the next three years. With no money coming in, Denin found himself on the end of a foreclosure settlement that obligated him to leave a beautiful mansion and downsize to an apartment that he was only able to make payments on for another year before all of his financial resources were depleted. After being evicted from his apartment, Denin turned to a life on the streets. He began selling drugs as well as using them. Too prideful to ask anyone for help despite the sinking ship he was on, Denin decided he would rather drown in private rather than expose the man he was now. Hardly recognizable, Denin Harvick had hit rock bottom.
Hey, friends and fam! If you enjoyed the first chapter of “Speed Trap” make sure you download the whole book for your eReader device or phone. Read up on the full journey Denin Harvick’s life before he became the dazzling speedster/superhero known as Slaycick. Also make sure you get the first two installments of the Majesties of Canaan Saga; The Goliath Project (book 1) and Secret of the Oramite (book 2). Get them now and enjoy an adventurous read!