Monday, February 28, 2011

Writing Prompt #54

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm labeling it as horror this week, but take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

A doll comes to life.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FridayFlash--Take That First Step

Take That First Step
by Eric J. Krause

Blue water sparkled below. The white wash of the current dashed against the jagged rocks of the cliff face. It was pretty as a painting, as his momma used to say. He was high enough up that he couldn't see the individual waves, so it might as well have been on a canvas.

Up here all that existed was him and the beautiful sights. He refused to turn and look at the landmass. That brought nothing but thoughts of his failed marriage, his soon to be ex-job, and the mountain of debt he'd never manage to claw his way out of. No, his future didn't lie that way.

He'd never been up here before. In fact, he hadn't even known this breathtaking point existed. With so much going wrong, he needed something right in his life. He'd parked his car in a turnout on the highway and hiked up through the rocks and shrubs in the off-chance he'd find something wonderful. His shoes weren't ideal for the terrain, and he knew his slacks were now trash-bound, but he had to take the gamble. If he'd done that with more frequency, maybe his life wouldn't be utter garbage. He'd read that risk-takers often had the most success. Slow and steady didn't always win the race.

As he looked out at the ocean view, he understood how that was true. If he had decided to keep driving, he'd certainly be home by now, but so what? This--this awe-inspiring, life-altering view--would never have existed. For him, at least. If he listened hard enough, he could make out the crash of the waves. And hints of the salty sea air wafted to him, bringing a peace he no longer thought he could have.

All this because he dared get out of his car and take that first step. After all these years, could that be the meaning of life? Take that step. Take the plunge. Yeah, that sounded right. Not just sounded right, but it felt right. That was advice that would fix everything.

Without another thought, he took that first step off the cliff's edge. He took the plunge.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where to buy Way Over the Line

If you'd like to see the first 15 chapters (roughly the first third of the book),you can click here for that.

If you're interested in picking up your (e)copy of Way Over the Line, you have options.

As a paperback:

You can buy it at Amazon for $12.99

You can buy it at CreateSpace for $12.99

As an ebook:

You can buy it at Smashwords in many different formats

You can buy it at Amazon for the Kindle

You can buy it at Amazon UK for the Kindle

You can buy it at Barnes & Noble for the Nook

It is also available at the iBookstore (soon if not yet). I don't have a link for it, but I'm sure a simple search will turn it up.

At each spot it is available for the low price of $1.99. I hope you make time to pick up a copy of your very own, and I'd love to hear what you think of it, either here on my blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, or as a review on whichever site you purchase it on.

Thanks! I hope you enjoy the story!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Writing Prompt #53

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm labeling it as fantasy this week, but take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

You often turn invisible, but can't control when or how long.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

#FridayFlash--The Lucky Slot Machine

The Lucky Slot Machine
by Eric J. Krause

He sat at the slot machine, pressing "Play Max Credits," never looking up. This was the luckiest machine in the casino, and no one would play it but him.

Singe bar; blank; seven.


Double bar; single bar; triple bar.

Ten credits.


Blank; blank; double bar.


A cocktail waitress walked by. "Drinks, sir?" He answered with a quick shake of the head, and she wandered off. He never saw her look of concern.

Cherry; blank; seven.

Four credits.


Jackpot; jackpot; (he gave a harsh inhale); blank.



Single bar; single bar; single bar.

Twenty credits.


Blank; seven; blank.


Eyes lingered on him, but he felt none of it. Or, if he did, he figured they were jealous of his machine. He couldn't lose.

Eight or nine hours ago (it was actually four days, but he'd lost all track of time), he put in two hundred credits ($50). He stood now at 146. No big wins, but it paid out steady.

Jackpot; jackpot; (sharp inhale); single bar.



Blank; single bar; single bar.


Seven; double bar; blank.


Triple bar; triple bar; triple bar.

Sixty credits.

Whoot! Back to two hundred credits. A voice in the back of his mind told him to stop and press the cash-out button. Breaking even was the same as winning on the slots. He'd gone in expecting to lose, after all.


Blank; seven; jackpot.

That stupid voice didn't know this was a lucky machine. It was only a matter of time. And then he'd be on Easy Street.


Double bar; blank; single bar.


Single bar; single bar; triple bar.

Ten credits.

Yes, he'd be a fool to leave. This had to be the luckiest machine on the strip. It was just too bad he'd muted that nagging voice in his head--the one that said luck isn't always a good thing. Every passer-by who had to look at his emaciated form would agree.


Blank; triple bar; double bar.


Seven; jackpot; blank.


Single bar; blank; seven.


Blank; blank; cherry.

Four credits.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

#FridayFlash--The Ouija Board of Love

The Ouija Board of Love
by Eric J. Krause

Robby led Amanda over to the table and pulled her chair out. She giggled, gave him a little curtsy, and sat down. He'd already set the board out, and she looked at it with interest.

"So this is what an Ouija Board looks like. It reminds me of a creepy alphabet chart that might be hanging in a Kindergarten classroom."

"What better way for the spirits to communicate with us?"

"And you really think they'll tell us why David broke up with me?"

He gave a noncommittal shrug. He and Amanda had been best friends for fifteen years, since they were three years old. The friendship was purely platonic, but when David broke up with her last week, Robby realized how relieved he was. He discovered feelings for her that went way past normal friendship. And if it all went according to plan, this Ouija Board could get her to see him as more than just a friend, too.

"So what do we do?"

"We put our hands on the pointer and wait for the spirits to move it. Keep your hands still, but go with it when it does move."

"Right," she said with a giggle. "Either it won't move at all, or one of us will push it."

He shook his head and gave an exaggerated eye roll. "Oh ye of little faith."

She gave back an eye roll of her own and put her hands on the pointer. "Do we ask questions, or does it just move?"

"It can do either. If it doesn't move, we'll ask it some stuff."

She concentrated on the board, and he concentrated on her. Damn, she was beautiful. How had he gone all the way through high school without realizing that? He vowed to make amends for that now that they were in college. Especially since she was now a free agent, so to speak. He gently nudged the pointer towards the "H" and then the "I."

"You did that," she said.

He flashed his best innocent look. "Not me. The ghosts."

She shook her head but played along. "Hi back. Are you here to give me advice on David Bellows?"

Robby pushed it towards "Yes."

"So how do you suggest I get him back?"


She frowned at him, her confusion throwing off a sexy vibe. "What does that mean? Do not go back to him? Why not?"


Her frown deepened. "Good guy here?" Her eyes went wide. "Robby, are you saying . . . ?"

In the boldest move of his life, at least as far as he could remember, he shoved the pointer towards "Yes."

She looked at him with shock etched on her face. Just when he was about to apologize, the corners of her mouth twitched up, and her face blossomed into a smile. "Look, it's moving again."

This time she guided the pointer. "K-I-S-S-H-E-R."

Robby needed no other invitation. He leaned across the table and planted a quick peck on her lips. Before he could retreat back to his seat, she reached out, gripped the back of his head, and kissed him hard. He moaned into her mouth and returned the kiss with gusto.

In their new-found passion, neither noticed the pointer sliding around the board on its own. "A-N-D-T-H-E-Y-L-I-V-E-D-H-A-P-P-I-L-Y-E-V-E-R-A-F-T-E-R."