Sunday Snippet: My Boss is the Devil by Ben Schenkman

Posted April 28, 2024 by Jen in Sunday Snippet Tags: ,

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My Boss is the Devil

Author: Ben Schenkman
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: December 28, 2023
Series: The Devil You Know: Book One
Genre: Supernatural/Occult Fiction


book cover of My Boss is the Devil by Ben Schenkman“Nice night, isn’t it?”

I froze. I think I stayed that way for a solid minute until I had enough of a handle on my heart rate to turn my head to the left, without screaming like a child, toward the shadow of the mausoleum where the voice had come from. I’m no coward, but I normally hear people when they sneak up on me and there was no sneaking going on. Color me creeped right the hell out.

Sitting to my left, and slightly behind me, was a man in a black suit, black shirt, and red tie. His eyes were so deep brown to be almost black. His sable hair was choppy and short but perfect in its slight disarray. He had a small, tightly trimmed, van-dyke beard and slim features. The suit was well-tailored and slim fit, accentuating a lithe build. He sat with a performer or dancer’s poise, looking at me. I remembered that one of the local clubs had a goth night on Thursdays… probably just another peaceful cemetery walker like myself.

He repeated himself as if I hadn’t heard him, “Nice night, isn’t it?”

“Uh, yeah, nice night.” I hoped there was no quaver in my voice.

“I love cemeteries at night,” continued the man with the red tie. “So peaceful, don’t you think?”

I glanced over to the circle. Amy sat across from Rob, facing my direction. I tried to make little motions with my hand and catch her eye. She looked up, smiled at me but motioned to their little altar with her head, and then went back to staring at the center of the circle. Thanks, Amy.

“Quiet as the grave,” I quipped quietly and immediately cursed myself mentally for needing to be clever. “Just what I was thinking. I hate to ask, but do you know these guys? They don’t seem to mind the fact that you just showed up, so I don’t want to assume that you mean trouble.”

“No, sorry, I don’t know those three. And trouble?” He feigned shock, then smiled. “I mean no trouble at all. Actually, Nick, I popped by to see you.”

“Well, that’s very friendly of…” I stopped talking as my mouth closed on the last syllable and I realized he had addressed me by name. My name. That he didn’t know. Because I’d never met him, and he claimed not to know my friends. Top it all off with the fact that I had remembered to take off my name tag, and I felt decidedly uncertain about my situation. I decided to fake it, “…you. I can’t say that we’ve met before, I don’t usually forget such friendly faces.”

“We haven’t met, but I’m more than willing to make introductions.” He reached a hand toward me. There’s something instinctive in the human condition to return an offered handshake, so I shook it. “Call me Lu.”

“You don’t look like a Lou,” I said, eyeing his outfit.

“You were expecting Cypher or something, I take it?”

I cleared my throat, realizing I had probably insulted him. “No, uh, sure thing. Lou.”

“No no, not Lou. Lu.”

I tried to hear the difference, but couldn’t. “I’m guessing you don’t mean Lu like ‘Lulu,’ do you?” I asked as nonchalantly as possible. This was getting decidedly weird.

“In pronunciation, yes. In meaning? Entirely different.” He grinned and I, if I wasn’t already imagining things, might have said his eyes flickered. But I was still thoroughly convinced that I was imagining things, so maybe I made that up.

I smiled, because I couldn’t think of anything else to do, and went on like a blithering idiot, “So, Lu, what brings you to a graveyard in the middle of a dark mass to see little old me?” Why did I say that? Why, God, why?

“You’re wondering why my sudden appearance doesn’t bother your friends, aren’t you?” Lu seemed to like to state the obvious.

“I was thinking something along those lines, yes.” I looked at the flask I had been drinking from, wondering suddenly if I hadn’t managed to get my hands on the good stuff after all.

“I’ll tell you a secret. You’ll have to come closer, I need to whisper it.” Lu wore a sly grin that would make the Cheshire Cat whimper.

What choice did I have? If you’ve ever been punched in the gut by the brass knuckles of freakish circumstances, then you know I didn’t have a choice. I was already sitting, so I sidled closer to this strange man who called himself Lu.

He leaned over and put his mouth right by my ear, and then with the slightest of breath, he whispered, “They can’t see me.

About the Book:

What’s better than being a college dropout twenty-something working as a barista in New Haven, CT? Just about anything.

Nick would give anything to escape the dead-end life he’s made for himself. He gets the offer of a lifetime from Lucifer himself, to trade his apron for a suit. Should he really consider becoming an agent of the Devil? With the way things are going for Nick, of course he should.

Lucifer wants to give Nick a chance to do what he always wanted, to help people, wielding power and influence to make their dreams come true. He would have to sell his soul, but the Devil is a gambling man and lets Nick experience his new life before he has to sign on the dotted line. Can he use the Devil’s power for good, and make his mark on the world, or will he fall victim to his own desires and lose his humanity?

As if that wasn’t enough, the very friend that made the meeting with Lucifer possible turns on Nick, and he needs to do some quick thinking to come out on top. Maybe the ends justify the means, but there are no easy answers.

Finding the balance between good and evil is about to require a lot of coffee.

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