Hopefully not a shaggy dog story

A few years ago I wrote a lot of short stories, including flash fictions (a thousand words or less). A number of these were published at Every Day Fiction, which publishes a flash fiction story daily. The story below was one of the stories I published there,  a tale of a man facing an infernal choice. ****************************************************************************************************************** NOT SO INVINCIBLE OVERLORD by Dale Ivan Smith A dark form limned with flickering flame materialized at the far end of the conference table. Bexel, third lord of the Second Hell, unkinked his neck and nodded at Julani. The hell binder amulet hanging against Julani’s chest thrummed, and he relaxed ever so slightly. The demon remained bound, and thus remained the Group’s instrument. For now. Julani rapped the polished tabletop. “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting for an hour.” His assistant Teva entered the room, dressed in a man’s suit, carrying a silver tray bearing a pitcher and two glasses. She laid the tray on the table and stepped back, hand on her holstered pistol. Bexel’s golden eyes regarded Julani for a long moment, and then the demon looked away. “The Invincible Overlord is dead.” The demon’s voice rumbled like distant thunder. “Damn it.” Julani drained his water glass in one long swallow and motioned to Teva, who promptly refilled it. “The Group isn’t going to like this, Bexel.” He shook his head. “Who will keep the local princelings in line?” Or the feuding religious sects, for that matter. He massaged

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The Empowered Series Going “Wide”

My big news this time is The Empowered series is being published on other stores. Renegade, the Empowered prequel novella, and Empowered: Agent are both now available on other stores! Empowered: Traitor will follow next month. I'm finishing Empowered: Outlaw, Book 3 in the series, and am on track to now have it published in October, on both Amazon and the other stores. Book 4 will follow early next year. Also, Renegade is free right now. Here are the other store links for the novella Apple iBooks Kobo Barnes & Noble Google Play And here are the ones for Empowered: Agent, which is at 99 cents or the equivalent right now. Apple iBooks Kobo Barnes & Noble Google Play I have a couple of fun surprises in the works as well. In the meantime, have a great August!

Bonus deleted scene-Empowered: Agent’s original opening

Empowered: Agent originally had a different opening, earlier, when Mat was still in Special Corrections. The novel worked better beginning later, with her already outside and struggling to hang on to a "normal" life." But I liked the scene, so here it is, offered as a bonus deleted scene. Let me know what you think in comments! *** The rose sang in my mind as the corrections officer frog-marched me into Warden Fulbright's office. It was a song of joy that slammed into me like an ocean wave. I fought not to tremble as the damn flower’s stupid happiness threatened to blow my brain. It had been five years since I’d been connected to my superpower, thanks to the null cuffs I’d worn here in Special Corrections, until this morning. The rose was a miniature white, blooming in a brass pot that sat on a credenza beside a window overlooking the Yard. It was happy, fed, and loving the sunlight that came through thee warden’s big window. Warden Fulbright stood beside the credenza, her back to me and the C.O.. Her hands were clasped behind her, and she stared out at the Yard like the two of us weren’t there. Fear oozed up my spine. The plant’s song was drowning out everything else. I took a deep, slow breath, focusing on the in and out of the air from my lungs. I pulled my special awareness in as tight as I could, and the rose’s singing faded away to a

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