Categorized | Fiction

Pre-Order and Excerpt for The Devil’s Guide to Managing Difficult People

Posted on May 7, 2019 by Flames

The Devils Guide to Managing Difficult People | Bennis is pleased to present you with an exclusive excerpt of the upcoming book by author Robyn Bennis. The Devil’s Guide to Managing Difficult People will be released on Kindle.

You can buy the book before it debuts on May 21st or you can pre-order it now! If you like the author’s style, please visit the official website of author Robyn Bennis for links to updates and more books! Enjoy!

Excerpt from The Devil’s Guide to Managing Difficult People

The devil followed me home. I even paid her subway fare.

But I wasn’t about to let someone who thinks she’s Beelzebub into my apartment. At my front door, I beamed my best smile and said, “I just can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done. Here, let me get you a rideshare back to the airport.”

Dee frowned. “I don’t know. I feel like you still need my help, Jordan.”

I wore the same friendly smile you might use on a dangerous dog. “No, I’m good. Thank you again.”

She scrunched her lips and turned her eyes to the side, as if struggling to understand. I took the opportunity to turn away and look for my phone.

“Where the hell,” I began, and turned back to see Dee holding it.

“Hey, who’s this guy that’s all over your Instagram?” she asked, as she scrolled through photos from my date with David. “At a movie. Then dinner. Then an arcade. Aw, that’s cute. Then doing shots. Oh, and look at the timestamps. Big gap from 9 pm to 10:30 pm.” She waggled her eyebrows. “Girl, you must have banged hardcore.”

I reached out to take the phone. She handed it back, wearing a pout. The pout only intensified and was joined by widening puppy-dog eyes as I slipped inside my apartment. I kept the door open a crack but made sure my body was blocking it. I spoke through the gap. “Thank you! I’ll hail a ride for you. Should be here in a few minutes.”

I shut the door and, quiet as possible, set the dead bolt.

Inside, the landline was ringing. I went to the kitchen and disconnected the cord from the wall. I’d been meaning to get rid of that thing, anyway. Nothing but telemarketers and pushy relatives, right?

“Hope that wasn’t an important call.” Dee’s voice came from the living room, inside the apartment.

My heart stopped, then made up for the oversight by beating fast and hard. I could feel my skin heat. I had set the deadbolt, right? I knew I’d set the deadbolt. I was one hundred percent sure I’d set the deadbolt. Yet here was her voice, coming from the living room.
I cautiously stuck my head around the kitchen door.

She was sitting on the couch. She had a bag of chips open in one hand and a beer in the other. My chips. My beer. From my kitchen. The kitchen I was in. The kitchen she couldn’t possibly have accessed without me seeing. She held the beer between her legs, dug into the cushions for the remote control, and turned on the television.

I reached behind me to open the cutlery drawer. “So, uh, how did you get in here?” My voice trembled, cutting in and out like a sheep’s.

“I’m the devil,” she said, her eyes on the television as she clicked from channel to channel. “Didn’t I mention that before? I’m pretty sure I mentioned that. Oh, look, Maury’s on!”

I slid a long, sharp boning knife out of the drawer. With my other hand, I reached for the telephone, before I remembered that I’d just disconnected it. I went for my cell instead.

“Who ya calling?” Dee asked, but not from the living room. Her voice came from just behind my ear, so close I could feel her breath rustling my hair.

I whipped around, felt the cell phone fly from my hand, saw it break into a dozen pieces against the fridge, heard my own desperate scream echo off the walls.

Before I even knew what I was doing, I’d stuck the knife into her belly.

We looked down at the bloody handle together, both of us more surprised than frightened. Without a word, she wrapped her hands around mine, clutching tight as blood oozed over our fingers. I stepped back, let go, wrenched free of her grip.

I took another step back, then another. A wave of cold dread hit me, radiating outward from my core, rather than inward from the air. My skin, though suddenly wet with sweat, was uncomfortably hot. It felt like it was tightening, squeezing into my organs.

I backed away until I was through the kitchen door and flat against the living room wall. I closed my eyes so hard it hurt, then opened them as wide as I could, as if the entire situation were a broken laptop that could be fixed by turning it off and on again. When that failed, my mind raced with ideas to undo this. Not to deal with it, mind you, to undo it. To unstab the woman bleeding to death in my kitchen.

Dee’s eyes drifted to mine as she fell across the countertop. She shot me a somber, accusing look as her knees buckled. “Out, out, brief candle,” she said, struggling to hold onto the counter. “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.” She lost her grip and fell to the tiles, leaving a trail of blood down the front of my dishwasher. “It is a tale told by an idiot.” The blood came faster. Half the kitchen floor was covered in a red, curdling puddle. “Full of sound and fury.” She lay her head against the tile, her fingers relaxing from around the knife handle. “Signifying nothing.” Her arms and legs went limp, but at the last moment, she perked up and asked, “Hey, do you have any domestic IPA? That beer in the fridge is shit.” And then she went still, her vacant eyes still fixed on mine.

To get your copy of The Devil’s Guide to Managing Difficult People by Robyn Bennis, visit the Kindle Store today!

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