Monday, December 17, 2012

Writing Prompt #118

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

What in the world is that in your stocking?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Writing Prompt #117

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

Santa has a terrible secret that may ruin Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Writing Prompt #116

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

A newborn child can converse in perfect English.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Exercise to Stay Healthy!

We writers are often a sedentary bunch. After all, one of the main rules of writing is to simply plant your butt in a chair and write. It's great for adding words, but not so much for keeping fit. That's why I believe writers (and everyone) should take some time each day to be active. Even if you don't have time for much exercise, do whatever you can to carve out at least 30 minutes in you schedule. Your body will thank you!

One easy way to get your daily dose of exercise is to simply walk. Put in some ear buds to listen to your favorite tunes, an audiobook, or podcasts, and take a stroll around your neighborhood. You don't need to set the world on fire with speed or distance; simply move fast and far enough to work up a sweat, and you're doing great! If the weather isn't conducive to outdoor activity, walk inside your house. You don't need a treadmill, just a few square feet of space. Walk in place, do some sidesteps, and, if you're feeling extra-invigorated, partake in a few jumping jacks. Just keep moving! And if your family looks at you funny, look right back at them and dare them to join you. After all, you're the one making the healthy choice, while they're sitting there on their keisters. Catch up on each of your days, or watch TV or a movie while you all walk in place. Have fun with it!

And speaking of watching TV or a movie, who says you need to sit down to watch, even if you've already done your daily dose of exercise? Stand up! Just this act will burn more calories than sitting, and who doesn't want to burn more calories? Throw in a slow walk to keep your feet and legs from falling asleep or cramping up, and you're burning even more!

Walks, both indoors and out, also can help your writing more directly than just keeping you healthy. Don't you hate it when you're sitting in front of your computer or pad of paper and the ideas won't come? Get up and take a walk. Even if you don't actively think about your momentary writer's block, your subconscious mind will chisel away at the idea while your body gets into shape. I, personally, find an invigorating walk outdoors works best, but I've also found mindlessly watching the boob-tube while pounding my feet works, as well. Simply put, get up and move, and you'll be surprised at how easy the idea gets unstuck. Then get back to your writing!

In the coming weeks, I'll talk more about a healthy lifestyle. I'm no expert, but I've shed about 80 pounds with the tips I'll talk about. I'll cover how to get faster and go further in your walks, how to eat better, how to start running, cross-training, and fun things like running races and apps to help get you in shape. I hope you'll check back every week or two. Stay healthy and keep writing!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Writing Prompt #115

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

The Mayans were right...sort of.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Writing Prompt #114

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

The airline didn't lose your luggage -- they changed it into something different.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How I Use Twitter

Most writers know Twitter is a necessity nowadays. It's one of the easiest ways to get out of your isolation and visit with other authors (and other types of people) the world over. And, of course, with so many people using the service, there are plenty of thoughts on how to use Twitter. Some people say you should never "pimp" your work, while others do nothing but. Some people say you should not post more than two or three tweets a day, while others post more than that a minute. And, of course, most are in between those extremes. So is the way I use Twitter the best? No, of course not. I'm simply giving you insight into how I choose to tweet. If you take a few tips from it, great! If not, hey, at least you get a little bit of insight into me. And I know writers (and people in general) love these little looks into other lives.

I follow a ton of people. I do this because I follow back writers. What this means is that if someone follows me, and they look like they are a writer from their description, I will follow back. I'm now following over 2000 people, so there's no way I could keep up with everyone. For this reason, I use TweetDeck. This lets me choose who's tweets I see. Because of this, I actually follow many less people than my actual follower count. So why do I do this rather than simply not follow so many people? This way, if someone does actually want to get in touch with me, and I'm not following them on TweetDeck, they still can quite easily. And, of course, I can add them to my TweetDeck easy, as well. My TweetDeck people are a mix of those I've friended (mostly through the Friday Flash community) through the years, and those who have interacted with me.

So how does one go about getting on my TweetDeck list and actually being read by me? If I don't already count you as a social media friend, you need to interact with me. If you retweet one of my posts or interact with me about something I've posted, I'll add you to TweetDeck, usually right away. I also occasionally will go to the Twitter home page and take ten to fifteen minutes to scroll through my unedited timeline. If I see someone who I don't already follow on TweetDeck making an interesting post, I'll check out more tweets by that person. If what they post isn't all retweets and/or a constant stream of self-promotion, I'll add them to my TweetDeck. I think this is a good tip for everyone. People will be much more receptive of your self-promotion (i.e. more likely to not only retweet you to their followers, but also actively go and check out your link to your blog post, book on Amazon, or whatever) if you add in other types of tweets. For example, I post about my writing life, my exercise life, tell occasional jokes, and other things that don't require a link. Things like this go a long way, not only with me, but I'm guessing many other people using Twitter. Post your links, just not every time you send a tweet.

Now you might be asking how often I read and post. Probably not enough, but it is what it is. I try to log onto TweetDeck at least a couple times a day. Ideally, and I often do this, when I'm on the Internet, I have TweetDeck open. Depending on how much time I have (or how I'm feeling that day), I may or may not read all of the tweets that are there when I log in. Probably about half the time I simply erase what's already posted (maybe reading a few of the most recent tweets in my columns) and read the new tweets that come in. I do, however, read all of the new ones that come in while I'm online. I usually post one or two self-promoting tweets when I'm on, either blog posts, recently published short stories, or links to my books. I also try to post funny things (my current favorite is posting a page from my one-a-day "You might be a redneck if..." calendar), updates on my writing (not links, but what I'm doing), updates on runs I've taken, other jokes, or whatever else strikes my fancy at the moment. I do try to retweet other people, though I probably don't do this enough. It's a fine line, really. If you retweet too much, people ignore your other posts, but if you don't do it enough, people don't pay back the retweets by retweeting your self-promotion links. It doesn't seem to be a set formula to me, so I vary how often I retweet.

As I said at the beginning, I'm not trying to change the way anyone uses Twitter, I'm simply offering insight into how I use it. If you take anything away from this post, great! If not, thanks for reading. If you don't already follow me on Twitter and would like to, here's a link to me: @ericjkrause If I already know you from another medium (including real life), I'll add you to my TweetDeck right away. If I don't, you saw above how you can get onto my TweetDeck. I hope you enjoyed this inside look into my Twitter habit!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Writng Prompt #113

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

A new app for your phone bends the laws of physics.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Writing Prompt #112

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

A patch of quicksand leads to another world.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

16 Short Horror Stories

Halloween is now over, but why let the horror stories vanish? This year I reposted two short horror stories a day for eight days, ending on Halloween. One was a story that I'd had published in an ezine, collection, or someone's blog, while the other was a Friday Flash story I'd written through the years. I'm going to put them all in one place in case you want to see what I released but missed my posts on either Facebook or Twitter. Enjoy the reads!

Eight Days of Previously Published Horror Stories
1. 1-800-FUN-TALK
2. The Bird
3. The Eye
4. Fast Food Zombies
5. Find the Flag
6. Scream Time
7. Weeds and Dead Flowers
8. The Clown Killer

Eight Days of Revisited Friday Flash Horror Stories
1. Shadow in the Mirror
2. Chained Love
3. The Black and White Photograph
4. Pumpkin Patch of the Damned
5. The Scarecrow
6. The Fantabulous Funnybone Floatiboats
7. Bloody Mary
8. The Green-Faced Witch

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Story #8 - The Green-Faced Witch

 This one might not scare the pants off of you, but I hope it'll take you back to old campfire stories you heard in your youth. I wrote this one for the young teen/tween set, but I think it's fun, and it takes place on Halloween night, so it's a perfect wrap for my eight days of revisited Friday Flash horror stories. I hope you enjoy the read!

The Green-Faced Witch
by Eric J. Krause

Jeremy stalked over to the snack table and let out an exaggerated sigh. Why did it have to rain on Halloween night? He had the perfect costume and everything. He would have had a full bag of candy, but instead Mom forbade him from trudging around the neighborhood in the wet weather. Now he was stuck at a party in his school's auditorium.

He scarfed down a few chips and scanned the room for his friends. Before he spotted anyone, a voice came from behind him. "Fun party, huh?"

He turned and found a girl in a witch costume. He didn't recognize her, but she looked pretty cute underneath all the green makeup. "I guess. I'd rather be out Trick or Treating."

"Not me. Parties are way more fun. You get to meet all sorts of people."

He squinted, trying to figure out who she was, but no luck. "Do you go to school here?"

"I used to. I like to come back and visit on Halloween."

Before she could elaborate, Mr. Martin, the assistant principal, spoke up. "Gather around, everyone. It can't be Halloween without a spooky story."

The witch grabbed Jeremy's hand. Her grip was ice cold and clammy, as if she'd just come in from the wet weather. She led him over to the group, and they all formed a circle. The lights shut off, and Mr. Martin held up a flashlight to his face. Everyone giggled, but quieted quickly in anticipation of the story.

"Thirty years ago tonight," Mr. Martin said in his creepiest voice, "a student from this very school went out Trick or Treating with her friends. She dressed up as a witch, complete with green makeup covering her face. She had a great time, and pulled in a sack-full of candy, but when they got to the large house right across the street from the school, they stopped."

One of the kids called out, "But there's no house across the street. It's a mini-mall."

Mr. Martin nodded. "It is now, but back then, it was a rickety old mansion. Most kids, and even many adults, kept their distance because they said it was haunted. And no one could dispute that, especially on dark Halloween nights.

"The young witch's group of friends crossed the street to stay as far away from the house as possible. But not her. She saw a light on and guessed whoever lived there probably had the best candy. What better place to Trick or Treat than at a haunted house? None of her friends would go up there with her. Instead, they watched as she approached the front of the house alone.

"As she stepped up to the door, it creaked open, but no one was there. She pushed it all the way open and called out, "Is anyone here?" She received no answer. Just as she started to turn away to go back to her friends, a small sign in the middle of the floor caught her eye. "This way for candy," it read. How could she pass that up? She stepped inside, and the door slammed shut.

"Her friends hollered at her to come back out, but the door remained closed. One friend ran to a pay phone in front of the school--remember, this was before people carried cell phones--and called the police. When an officer showed up a few minutes later and walked through the house, no one was there. The girl was never seen again.

"People say on dark Halloween nights, just like this one, a strange girl in a witch costume can be seen wandering around the area looking for her friends."

Mr. Martin gave a sinister laugh, and the auditorium lights flashed back on. No one said anything for a few seconds, but then the room filled with laughs and applause. Jeremy turned to the girl in the witch costume to ask if she liked the story, especially since she was dressed the same as the ghost, but she was gone.

Darren, a kid he knew from his math class, was sitting a few feet away. "Hey, did you see where the girl that was here went?"

Darren gave him a funny look. "What are you talking about? There was no girl sitting here. You walked over here alone."

Jeremy's blood froze, and he pulled out his cell phone to call his parents. It was time to go home and hide under the covers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Story #7 - Bloody Mary

For the day before Halloween, I hope you agree this one fits the scary bill. It's also a bit gory, but that's perfect for the season, too, right? I wonder how many of you played this game as kids. If you're reading this, the results were nothing like this tale. Enjoy!

Bloody Mary
by Eric J. Krause

Jenni handed Samantha a thumbtack. "Jab your thumb and wipe the blood on your forehead. Then spin around three times and say, 'Bloody Mary,' each time."

"No," Samantha said. "That'll hurt."

"But you said 'dare,'" Melinda said. "If you don't do it, you lose."

"And we tell the whole school you like Gerald Wilcox," Jenni said.

Samantha froze. They would, too. They'd been holding that threat over her head to make her do whatever they wanted ever since Jenni saw her doodles proclaiming her love for Gerald on the inside of her notebook. Fine. What was a few seconds of pain compared to an entire school year of torture?

"What happens after I spin and say her name?"

"Bloody Mary will show up in the mirror over the fireplace," Melinda said.

Samantha chuckled. "And then she'll grant me my greatest wish, right?"

The other two girls rolled their eyes. "No," Jenni said. "She'll probably do something bloody. Why do you think they call her Bloody Mary?"

Samantha held out her thumb and positioned the tack over it. The two girls squealed in delight and pushed closer. They hadn't thought she'd do it. She nicked her thumb, bringing a quick sting, and fought hard not to jam it in her mouth. Instead, as the rules said, she rubbed the blood on her forehead and spun three times, chanting "Bloody Mary," with each spin. Only then did she suck her thumb to quell the bleeding.

Jenni was the unlucky one who noticed first. She let out a gasp and pointed to the mirror. Blood poured down her face as her eyeballs melted. Melinda screamed and tried to run out of the room, but her yells turned to gags, and she skidded down on the carpet. Her tongue turned to gore, and blood gushed from her mouth.

An evil presence grabbed Samantha by the chin and forced her to look at the mirror. A beautiful woman with alabaster skin, a blood-red dress, and glowing eyes smiled down at her.

"How did you trick them into letting you call me, my daughter?" Bloody Mary asked.

Samantha flashed a wicked grin. "Mind manipulation. These two stupid sluts proved to be no challenge."

"All because of the boy?"

Samantha scoffed and gave her mother a look that said she was getting a bit dull in her old age. "Not any boy. Unwittingly or not, they did almost force out the Anti-Christ before his time. The agents of good would have no doubt intervened and put an end to his wicked ways before we could even start. And where would that leave us?"

A whimper escaped Jenni as she tried to look around the room with holes where her eyes used to be. A strangled moan erupted from Melinda as she reached into her mouth, only to find her tongue obliterated.

"Let me put them out of their miseries, Daughter. I swear, sometimes you surpass even me in your cruelty."

"Don't go soft on me, Mother. We've been planning this for two millennia. These girls mean nothing in the grand scheme of things."

"Fine, fine. Shall I take my leave for now?"

A look of hate flashed across Samantha's face. "Not yet. The blind one's parents are around somewhere. Don't you think their genitals need to be punished for breeding such a stupid bitch?"

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Story #6 - The Fantabulous Funnybone Floatiboats

I enjoyed naming this one because it really doesn't fit the mood of the story, which I hope you will agree is pretty spooky. And gruesome. I still cringe at a certain part late in the story. I wonder if you will do the same? Enjoy reading!

The Fantabulous Funnybone Floatiboats
by Eric J. Krause

Heidi waited for the last boat to cycle through, and then grabbed her waders, flashlight, and walkie-talkie. She couldn't put into words how much she dreaded Tuesday nights, her turn to walk the flume. As light and airy as it was during the day, the building was that much darker and heavier once the last guest left.

She took a deep breath and stepped down into the water. Though it was only 18 inches deep and the waders were insulated, she felt chills flash all over her body. That wasn't from anything other than her dread and anticipation. So far.

During the day, the Fantabulous Funnybones sang and danced to the delight of the children, and to a lesser extent, their parents. Now, though, in the dark of night, the various dogs, cats, and mice stared down with menace in their dead, mechanical eyes. But as creepy as the robots were, they weren't the problem. No, the real problems drifted unseen around the lifeless automatons.

Or at least that's what the stories said. And as much as she laughed about it with her coworkers in the well-lit break room, she didn't when she was down here alone.

She sloshed through the first room without incident. The flume and propulsion devices worked fine, and she didn't hear any cringe-worthy sounds. Just as she did every Tuesday night, she said, "One down, four to go," referring to the various rooms of the ride.

It started in the second room. Just tappings and footsteps up among the characters. Heidi ignored it, instead focusing on the flume. She'd heard it all before. But then came a whisper that caused her blood to run cold.

"Heidi, Heidi." She couldn't tell where it originated from, but she knew right away it wasn't human. The malice in the voice caused her to pick up her pace. Her flashlight stayed trained on the flume and propulsion system, but her attention remained up amongst the cartoon characters. She saw nothing.

As she passed from the second room to the third, she walked through the coldest spot she'd ever felt. If every air conditioning vent in the building was pointed to that one area, it wouldn't have been as cold. She sloshed a few steps forward, and the air remained frozen. A voice, different from the one before, said something, but it was so garbled that she couldn't understand. This time she lifted her flashlight, but other than the various Funnybone characters, she saw nothing.

After a few more feet, the voice returned, and this time she had no problem understanding it. "Die, die, die." As it spoke, something splashed into the water in front of her. A scream escaped her lips, and she positioned her flashlight so she could see. It was an animatronics eye. She pulled out her walkie-talkie, intent on calling for help. She'd feel stupid relaying the story, but at this point, she didn't care.

Before she could press the talk button, the ride turned on. But that was impossible. A padlock lay attached to the start mechanism, and the only key was in her pocket. Either someone had cut the lock, which they wouldn't do--they knew she was in here--or even more improbable, something in here caused an override.

As the Fantabulous Funnybones sang their signature song of tolerance and peace, the water propulsion jets spit out more air than necessary to move the boats at a steady pace. It knocked Heidi off-balance, and the walkie-talkie flew from her hand. It splashed into the water at the same time she did, but it was far out of her reach and already rushing away in the current.

She tried to prop herself up, but her hand slipped on the bottom. Her head went under, and before she could pull it out, hands pushed her down. She struggled and tried to scream, but water rushed into her lungs. She'd only been under a second, and she already felt the first signs of drowning. She knew she shouldn't panic, but with phantom hands still pushing down, that was impossible. Thrashing about did no good.

Her head hit the bottom, and the hands disappeared. She pushed up, but pain assaulted her scalp. Through the chlorinated water, she saw her hair stuck in one of the propulsion mechanisms. A quick yank broke a good chunk of hair loose (with a fair amount of scalp). It wasn't enough. She still couldn't rise. And she'd already taken in too much water. Unless she acted fast, she was going to drown in a foot and a half of water.

Heidi grasped her hair and planted her feet on the bottom of the flume. It would hurt like a bitch, but her legs were strong enough to pull her free. And she had to hurry. Not only was she about to pass out, but the boats had no doubt been launched. With the speed of the propulsion jets, they'd not only get to her in a hurry, but would hit too hard to survive.

With the speed of the water, she couldn't get traction on the bottom of the flume. She tried a new angle and moved her feet to the side of the flume. She pushed hard, screamed out the last of the air in her lungs as her scalp ripped, and freed herself. She pushed up, but before she broke the surface, the first boat slammed into her. She didn't die right away, but it pinned her down, trapping her at the bottom.

As the happy music of the Fantabulous Funnybone Floatiboat attraction played above her, the last thing she heard was a raspy voice.

"Join us."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Story #5 - The Scarecrow

Who's spooked by scarecrows? Surprisingly, this one was written in May of 2010 instead of October. I think it goes great with the Halloween season. Enjoy the read!

The Scarecrow
by Eric J. Krause

Teddy lifted one strand of barbed wire high enough for Cal to scoot through unscathed. They'd thought earlier the full moon would hinder them by illuminating their shenanigans, but the bright light had thus far proved to be their ally in sneaking onto the Johnstone farm.

Cal pointed at the paint cans and brushes. "Pass those over, and then I'll help you through." Teddy complied, and less than a minute later they headed towards the main barn.

"This'll teach his ass," Cal muttered under his breath.

Teddy nodded but said nothing. Cal hadn't explained how Farmer Johnstone had messed with him. But if Cal said the farmer was in the wrong, that was good enough for Teddy.

"There's the barn. Think of good cuss words to paint on the side."

Teddy frowned. "Cuss words? I thought we were just going to give it a crappy paint job."

"Yeah, that'd show him. Let's do his chores. The paint job on there now is so piss-poor, I don't think it's possible to make it worse."

Teddy's retort died in his throat. The scarecrow was looking at him. But that wasn't the weird part. Its eyes glowed ruby red. And they followed him.

"What the hell's up with that scarecrow?"

Cal looked over at it. "What? It's a scarecrow. Now you're afraid of scarecrows and cuss words?"

Teddy felt himself blush. "No, no. It just . . ." What? Looked at him? He glanced back and saw it was nothing but a crude, lifeless face. "Never mind."

Teddy thought he heard Cal mutter that he should have brought Dean instead. He gritted his teeth and promised himself he wouldn't disappoint Cal.

"Alright. You got some good words?"

Teddy nodded and tried to catch his breath. He was nervous, but not as much as this warranted. It felt like he'd just run the mile in PE. He glanced back and saw the scarecrow staring at him again, its glowing eyes back.



Teddy wanted Cal to look at the scarecrow to tell him he wasn't crazy, but he caught himself. He didn't want Cal to start hanging out with other people because he was a chicken.


"Uh, what if we just did one cuss word per wall. I mean, we'll write it a bunch of times, but each one will have a cuss word theme."

Cal thought for a second, then smiled. "See? This is why I brought you. That's brilliant."

Teddy could only nod. His whole body felt like it was being pushed to the ground. He looked up at the moon. Did it look bigger than normal tonight?

No, the moon wasn't the problem. The scarecrow . . .

Teddy looked back at it and had to stifle a scream. Its face. It was . . . different. He shook his head. Wasn't its mouth straight across before? A piece of string? Now it looked almost real.

"Come on, bro, we need to finish before we get caught." Cal was already painting "shit" over and over on one wall. "Either help me or pick a different wall to start on."

Teddy decided to head around the corner to get away from the scarecrow. Neither his feet nor the paint can wanted to lift up. He glanced over his shoulder and tripped, spilling the paint.

"Dude! Watch it! Now we won't have enough."

He opened his mouth to apologize, but couldn't. The scarecrow. It moved. It couldn't be the wind, as there wasn't so much as a breeze. No, it'd shifted on its own.

"It's moving, Cal, it's moving!"

Cal dropped his paintbrush. "What? Old man Johnstone? Crap! Grab your stuff and book." He grabbed his paint can, shoved the brush in, and took off the way they came.

Teddy watched him go. He wanted to follow, but couldn't move. He couldn't even scream. He found that out as the scarecrow stumbled towards him, the hay and leaved stuffed inside shuffling about.

It reached him and smiled. How had he ever viewed its face as anything other than real? The odor emanating from it, though a pleasant harvest blend on the surface, had a decay underneath that had nothing to do with nature. It reached out and brushed his cheek with an outstretched finger. It felt like a mix between a dried-out leaf and a squished slug. If he had any control of his muscles, he'd have retched and spilled his dinner down with the paint.

"Your turn," it said in a barely audible whisper.

It pushed its palm onto his forehead, and the world blinked. When everything reappeared, he found himself standing in the middle of the Johnstone field. At least he thought he was standing. He couldn't feel anything at all.

After a few minutes of trying, he flopped his head around, though he wished he hadn't. Not only was he wearing the scarecrow's clothes, complete with hay and leaves, but someone who looked exactly like him was hightailing it out of the field.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Story #4 - Pumpkin Patch of the Damned

 This one comes from all the way back on October 30, 2009. It's not a horror story, per se, but some of you who hate venturing out on Saturday afternoons might find it to be. I hope you enjoy this one!

Pumpkin Patch of the Damned
by Eric J. Krause

Why the hell wasn't this ever an easy process? And every year Daisy had to come during the game. Just because there were games morning, noon, and night on Saturdays didn't make it any better. Think of all the great plays he was missing.

"Daddy, can I go in the bouncy house?"

He looked over at the purple balloon structure shaped like a haunted house, complete with a blow-up Frankenstein and a few sheets with eye holes cut in them glued to the side. Those things used to be a huge treat when he was a kid, but nowadays you couldn't go a city block without bouncing into one.

"No, we're going to grab a pumpkin and get out of here."

"Don't listen to your father. Go have fun, baby."

"Yo, Dad, a corn maze. I'm gonna go check it out."

A corn maze? In the suburbs? He'd been in a corn maze once when he was a kid. His parents drove he and his brothers an hour and a half out of town to get to a farm in the country. Now here was one in this empty lot that'd probably be a Denny's or a Walgreens by this time next year.

"No, we're just here for a pumpkin. Go grab your sister and pick one out so we can get on home."

"Pish-posh. Go have fun, sweetie. Don't get lost!"

He turned to Daisy, ready to tell her off. She'd promised him fifteen minutes, half-an-hour tops. Now here she was sending the kids off to pointless activities instead of what they were here for: to find a carving pumpkin.

Before he could lay into her, her eyes sparkled. "Ooh, a craft fair. You don't mind, do you honey?"

Holy hell, a craft fair? How could this lot hold so much crap? Were there even any damn pumpkins in this pumpkin patch? None that he'd seen. Next year they'd just get one at the megamart down the street. If they'd done that this time, he'd be on his way home by now to watch State versus U.

"No, Daisy. Come on. You promised. Get the kids, let's pick out a pumpkin, and we'll get out of here."

Of course she paid him no mind and wandered over to the half-dozen or so booths, her hand already in her purse to snatch out her wallet.

He found a random bale of hay and took a seat. His eyes scanned all three attractions, but he couldn't spot the kids or his wife. Would he ever see them again, or was he stuck forever here in this pumpkin patch of the damned?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Story #3 - The Black and White Photograph

 In this third installment of eight for Halloween, I'm revisiting my Friday Flash from October 14, 2010. This one is a horror story set in a first-grade classroom that involves a mystical photograph. I hope it gives you the creeps. Enjoy!

The Black and White Photograph
by Eric J. Krause

Andrea sat at her desk with her lukewarm coffee and glanced at the clock. A half-hour until first-grade recess. In years past, these oral reports usually took about that long, but this class never made anything easy. No doubt they'd do everything they could to stall the process, so she figured on another half-hour after recess. But she'd put a button on this project, even if it took the rest of the school day.

The first few students did a great job. She had to prompt them to give their first and last names--they found it silly since everyone already knew who they were--but otherwise it went quick and smooth. They showed an old family photograph, briefly explained what the picture was about, and said why they liked it. Instead of having each student take five minutes to allow everyone to scrutinize the picture (and, yes, this group would drag it out to a full five minutes or more), she'd promised they could get up and look at all the photos at the end. That would be a horribly noisy unorganized chunk of time, but it was better than wasting that same amount with each presentation.

Though a few of her usual suspects mucked up the process a bit with feet dragging and excess questions, she was pleased with the kids. They might hit recess with only a few left to complete. But up next was one of her wildcards. Maude (such a strange name for a child nowadays) could give the best report of the day, or she'd forget about her photo altogether and perform a song and dance. To Andrea's relief, the girl clutched a black and white photograph on her way to the front of the class.

When Maude held up the picture, everyone in class, even her most rowdy boys, went silent. Andrea perked up because this never happened. Jared and Hector would whisper and giggle even if she brought in their favorite animated feature to watch.

"This is my great-great-great Grandma Maude. She's relaxing in her favorite sofa on a warm day. I love this picture because she's me."

"You mean she looks like you, Maude?" Andrea asked. She couldn't see the picture clear enough from back at her desk to tell. Or was Maude simply confused because she shared her ancestor's name?

Maude looked up and flashed a wicked grin, unlike any a six year old should possess. "No, Mrs. Billups. Watch."

Some sort of energy pulsed out of the photo, and every student slumped down in their desk. A few face-planted hard on the surface. How was she going to explain broken and bloodied noses to the parents?

"And now I have seventeen more souls stored up next time I need to be young again. But I can always use another."

Before Andrea could do anything, Maude stepped forward and held up the photo. The woman in the picture really did look like the girl. The eyes glowed silver, and she couldn't look away.

"It's true about photography and the stealing of souls. It's not the camera that does it, but properly prepared photographs. Don't worry, Mrs. Billups. You won't remember this until you die."

The glowing eyes flashed, and Andrea found herself sitting at her desk. Maude walked back to her seat, her photo in hand. Had she given a presentation? Andrea couldn't remember. She glanced around the room and saw four or five of the kids sporting bloody noses. The entire class noticed at that same moment, and all hell broke loose.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Story #2 - Chained Love

In this second Friday Flash Horror/Halloween revisit, I have a zombie love story of sorts for you. This one comes from way back on the 1st of July, 2010. I hope you have fun reading it!

Chained Love
by Eric J. Krause

The chains on the bed rattled, jarring him from his uneasy slumber. Meredith needed to feed again. Sean headed for the kitchen for the raw hamburger. She calmed down, seemingly aware of what he was up to.


Sean clicked off the radio, unable to stomach any more talk about the new zombie epidemic. Besides, he was almost home. He'd take Meredith up to their cabin in the mountains. It was fully stocked with food and water for emergencies, though he'd always figured the crisis would be an earthquake or flood, not zombies. Whatever. They'd beat this. Together.

As he pulled into the driveway, he saw something lying on the front porch. Something mauled. Something bloody.

He put the car in park and leapt out. Tears filled his eyes as he guessed what this was. They'd been here and gotten to Meredith. He broke down right there when he saw he wasn't mistaken. Her body was decimated by bite and rip marks; her head attached only by a few sinews of muscle.


The hamburger disappeared fast. Meredith took big bites out of the middle, but ate carefully around his fingers, even though he wore heavy-duty work gloves. Was this thing trying to lull him into a false sense of security, or was she still in there? Best not to dwell on it. The isolation was close enough to driving him mad without such thoughts.

With the meat gone, she licked and sucked the excess off his fingers. A week or so ago, before she'd been constructed of rotting flesh, it would've turned him on. Their sensual play with food had led to many a night of passionate love making. Now though, as he felt the pressure of her lips and tongue, it was all he could do to keep from vomiting.

She lay passive, staring into his eyes. He'd learned during the week that if he talked to her, she wouldn't respond. Nothing about her showed any sort of recognition, any sort of humanity. It pained him to converse with her like that, so he stopped. He left her chained, unmoving on the bed, and went to wash off the glove.


"Sean, did you see this report? There are actual zombies roaming the streets of New York."

"Yeah, I saw it earlier on CNN. I thought they were just making up a funny news story or something."

"No, it seems legit." Meredith paused. "Do you suppose they wander around, arms outstretched, moaning for brains?"

He looked and saw her mouth fighting a smile, trying to stay serious, and that did it. He busted up laughing, and she joined him.


The power flickered. The generator wouldn't hold out much longer. He hadn't heard anything outside in quite some time, but that didn't mean it was safe. He'd taken pains to make sure nothing could squeeze though the boards on the windows and doors. That meant he couldn't see out, either. The Internet had been down for days, and his satellite TV picked up nothing but static.

He wouldn't worry so much about the power--the raw hamburger for Meredith was almost gone, and he'd been eating out of cans for a few days anyway--except for how stuffy the house was. He'd been running electric fans around the clock, and he could still barely tolerate it.

He sighed and looked at the bed. If her schedule held up, it'd be feeding time in an hour or so. What would he do when the meat was gone?


Sean carried her remains to the bed, tears so thick in his eyes he couldn't see straight. Before he lost it altogether, he needed to protect himself. The work would keep his mind clear. He washed Meredith's blood off the porch, hooked the generator up in the garage, and boarded up the house.

With the physical labor done, he came inside to mourn his dead wife, but stopped in his tracks at the bedroom door. Her flesh. It was growing back. It looked dead, rotted, but it was there. That could only mean she'd be moving soon.

He rushed into the garage and grabbed the rope of heavy chain that'd been there since they'd moved in. He had no idea what the previous owners had used it for, or why they hadn't taken it, but at this point, he didn't care. Good thing he'd never gotten around to tossing it like Meredith wanted.

He wrapped it tight around her and secured it to the bed frame with padlocks. There. If that didn't hold, he was a dead man. He didn't have anything better. There was nothing left to do now but wait for her to wake up.


Meredith sucked the last of the hamburger off of his glove with a hearty smack. As she did so, she gave him a lusty gaze. But no, that was impossible. This wasn't actually his wife. It was just a moving shell, a monster. Right?

He looked around the kitchen, but found little he could feed her. There was plenty of canned ravioli, but somehow he didn't think that would satisfy. And he couldn't let her starve because, god damn it, what if that really had been her soul staring up at him?

He sighed and slumped to the floor. He was sick and tired of this fucking isolation. But it didn't have to be like this. He could set her free. What better way to say "I love you" than giving her his flesh? It'd grow back. Hers did. And then they could be together forever.

Sean rushed into the bedroom before he could rethink this, and worked on unlocking the padlocks. Meredith shifted, as if she could sense his intentions. As he folded the chains off of her torso, allowing her to sit up for the first time as a dead woman, he giggled. Would they wander the streets, arms outstretched, moaning "hearts" instead of "brains?"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Story #1: Shadow in the Mirror

I decided I'd revisit eight of my former Friday Flash stories for Halloween this year. Since it is for Halloween, I'm going to choose horror stories to republish - one a day until Halloween. If you've already read these, I hope you enjoy revisiting them; if you haven't seen 'em before, I hope you enjoy them. This first one comes from way back in October of 2009. It's called Shadow in the Mirror. Enjoy the read!

Shadow in the Mirror
by Eric J. Krause

Brianna ran her brush through her long blond hair, counting each stroke, a ritual she'd kept up since high school. She sometimes felt silly, but it really did make her hair that much silkier. Since she and Tim had found this old-fashioned vanity, complete with its fancy mirror, at a garage sale, brushing her hair at it felt right. She didn't know if it was real or faux antique, but she could picture an old-timey, high society lady from years past doing the same.

She set down her brush and did a double-take. Her reflection brushed its hair an extra time. They stared at each other, neither moving. Brianna let out her breath and giggled at her overactive imagination. She stood up to head for the kitchen when a shadow flashed in the mirror.

"What the hell?" She whirled around but didn't see anything. Tim was working late, so it couldn't have been him. Besides, she'd have heard the bedroom door open. It creaked even if moved an inch.

She turned back to the mirror and gasped. Not only was her reflection gone, but there were bright crimson splotches all over the surface. She hesitated for a second before runner her finger over one of the spots. It came back dry and didn't distort the crimson. It was on the other side of the mirror. Impossible. She ran her hand along the braided wood pattern of the frame and felt the back. Just wood-paneled backing, as she expected.

Before she turned her attention to the puzzle of the crimson splotches (blood?) and no reflection, the shadow again crawled across the mirror. It moved slow and seemed to focus on her. It glowed black, as if it not only blocked the light, but ate it as well.

In the mirror, the shadow lightened. Behind Brianna, in her room, in her world, the lights dimmed. The proportion of light lost from the lamps matched the loss of dark in the shadow's mirror world. Whatever it was that murdered her reflection (that's what it did, right?) was coming for her.

Brianna did the only thing she could think of: she picked up her hairbrush and smashed it into the glass. The vanity and mirror, being bolted together, rocked back, but the glass didn't have a mark. The light continued to seep out of her room.

She smacked the brush into the mirror again, this time leaving a dimple in the glass. The light flickered back to full brightness behind her. The shadow in the mirror world remained, but it looked halfway between solid and gone.

She swung again, this time breaking the impact zone into a spider-webbed crack. The shadow disappeared. Another smack brought a second large crack and got rid of the crimson goop. Her reflection flickered back--her true reflection from an ordinary mirror.

Brianna took a deep breath and stared at herself through the ruined glass. Whatever magic that had lived in the mirror was gone. Would it come back? She didn't know, but had no interest in keeping the vanity set to find out. She wasn't sure what she'd tell Tim. A lie would have a much clearer ring of truth than this mess.

She stood up and walked out of the room. All of that could wait. Right now she needed a stiff drink.


I hope you enjoyed the story. Check back tomorrow for another tale of horror. Happy Halloween!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Writing Prompt #111

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

The fireplace leads to a wonderland, but only when it's lit.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Writing Prompt #110

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

An alien society seizes control of your tablet computer.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Writing Prompt #109

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

A new app lets you copy your soul and download it into different things.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Writing Prompt #108

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

Your pen contains magic ink.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Short Story-Reese Copy Company

Today I have a new short story available to read over at It's called Reese Copy Company, and it's a tale of ghostly horror. I used to work at a place where I spent my eight hours a day making copies for law firms and other such businesses, and this is where I got the idea. Hope you enjoy the tale, and let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

First Drafts

Since I'm in the middle of a first draft at the moment, I thought this would be an excellent topic for the week. I know many would-be authors (and even authors who've already written their own books) worry about the correct procedure for working on first drafts. Do you simply write as fast as you can and worry about it when it's time to edit, do you edit as you go, or do you do a mix of both? So I'm going to give you my answer in both short and long form.

The short answer is to write it however you're most comfortable. As long as it gets written, you've done it the correct way.

The long answer is the same, but I'd like to expand on it. Some writers can turn off their internal editor and simply pour words onto the page. This usually means the first draft will be done quicker, but the editing process will take longer. Others claim they can't move on if a page is not perfect. They must edit, edit again, and so on until they are happy enough with the work to continue with new words. This will undoubtedly lead to first drafts taking a much longer time, but editing, at least the copy editing stage, will be much shorter. And then you have the middle ground, where you think about the final product (word choices, tense, POV issues, plot devices, etc.) as you write. You're not simply pouring words onto the page, but you're not taking the time to fully edit, either. Some days the words will fly onto the page, and others you will struggle to get many at all (though, to be fair, this happens no matter how you choose to work on your draft).

So how do you know which way to work? Simple: try different ways to see what makes you most comfortable. A comfortable writer is a productive writer. If you hate your process, why continue doing it? Find a better way. Personally, I choose the middle ground. I can't just let the words fly and fix them later, but neither do I see the point in fixing up everything as I go. I often spend too much time sitting staring at my paper trying to come up with that perfect word or phrase, but if I catch myself doing this too often, I can simply put a good enough word for now down (I will often highlight or circle the word to know to fix it in edits) and continue with my draft. This gets me through a first draft quick enough, even if it's not as quick as possible. I find it makes my editing easier, though it is still a long process.

How about you? Which first draft process do you use? Have you tried other methods, or do you simply know this is for you? Are you happy with your method, or are you still searching? Feel free to share in the comments!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Newest Short Story: Razor Wire

My newest short story available to read is called Razor Wire. It's a violent horror story in issue 17 of the awesome online horror magazine, 69 Flavors of Paranoia. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Writing Prompt #107

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

A tiny planet declares independence from the intergalactic empire.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Keyword Tags and Reviews on Amazon

Today I want to ask for a favor. But don't worry, if you do me a favor, I will return in kind. I'd like some help in marketing my Young Adult Paranormal novel, Ghost Betweens. If you could click on the title, it'll take you to the appropriate page on Amazon. If you scroll down below the reviews, you'll see a section called "Tags Customers Associate with This Product." Here's where the favor comes in. Even if you haven't read it, can you check the boxes next to the tags? And if you have read it, and if you think there are some other tags that apply, feel free to create those new ones. All of this will help customers find my book.

Another way to help me sell the book is by posting a review for it. If you've read the book, I'd be delighted if you left a review on my Ghost Betweens site on Amazon. Even if it's just two or three lines, that's quite helpful. Please leave an honest review (though, of course, I'm hoping it will be positive!). And if you don't have a copy of the book yet, I'll be releasing it for free for the Kindle starting tomorrow, June 28, until Saturday, June 30. Download a copy, give it a read, and give me a review! If you don't have a Kindle, you can turn most any device into one with a free Kindle Reader App.

At the beginning of this post, I did promise I would return the favor. If you check the tags on Ghost Betweens, in the comment section below, leave me a link to your book on Amazon, and I will gladly check the tags for you. This way, we both get that little bit extra help in marketing our books. Remember, readers like to use keywords when searching for something to read on Amazon, so this will help. And if you pick up a free copy of Ghost Betweens and leave an honest review, I will gladly read your book and leave a review. Remember, positive reviews help sell books, and I'm confident enough in my story that if you enjoy YA Paranormal books, I think you'll get a kick out of Ghost Betweens.

If you do leave a review for me on Amazon, please let me know in the comments below, message me in Twitter (@ericjkrause), or find me on Facebook (The Fictional World of Eric J. Krause). Give me the link to your book on Amazon, and when you plan on promoting it for free so I can download a copy. I'll put your book at the top of my "to-read" list and I'll leave a review for you on Amazon. All sound good? You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. We Indie Authors need to stick together, right?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Writing Prompt #106

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

The heat and humidity begin to melt people. Literally.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Friday Flash: Behind the Glass

Behind the Glass
by Eric J. Krause

Donny didn't notice the blood spilling from his nose. He didn't realize his left eye had already begun the process of swelling shut. The three loose teeth in his mouth--one on top and two below--didn't cross his mind. All that mattered at the moment was the reflection in the mirror. No, not his, but what was behind him, beyond him.

Bronco and his cronies caught up to Donny after school in Pride Park. Donny was lab partners with Jessica Tanner in chemistry class, and Bronco figured that meant Donny and Jessica had a thing. Though it wasn't true (Donny wouldn't have said no, but the problem was Jessica wouldn't have said yes), it made perfect sense that Bronco would consider that the only explanation. After all, he couldn't spell chemistry. Heck, he probably didn't even know what letter it started with.

Bronco had a crush--a mad crush--on Jessica, and anyone he noticed getting close to her got a beat down. Now Donny found himself on that list without earning it. Jessica had already put him in the dreaded friend zone for which there was no escaping for guys like him. Did Bronco understand that? Of course not. He still didn't understand why it was called tying his shoes when all he had to do was connect the Velcro strips.

But who cared about all of that? What mattered was in the mirror. Another world. A world where Bronco couldn't get him.

Or did he just have a concussion? Maybe he was just seeing things. Maybe? Ha! No doubt about it. Medieval castles surrounded by a lush forest, his idea of heaven, didn't show up in mirrors in a public park restroom. Or any mirror, for that matter. No, Bronco and his crew added a brain bruise to the bargain.

Donny put his hand up to the glass and gasped. It gave a little, as if made of a sheet of plexiglass. He pushed again, this time harder, and his hand disappeared in a sploosh. Dare he go further? It wasn't like Bronco would stop. Donny would remain lab partners with Jessica, and Bronco would still be after him, probably with worse results next time.

That made up his mind. He pushed his arm in further and watched in awe as it disappeared. He couldn't see it on the other side, but that didn't bother him. He'd be in the castle universe soon enough, far away from Bronco. He shoved his other arm in and crawled up onto the counter, where he threw his entire body through.


Donny opened his eyes and found himself in a long, dark corridor, no castle in sight. He looked back at the mirror, the back side of it, with a full view of that public restroom. On the floor, sprawled out as if dead, lay his body. He pushed against the glass to get back, but this time his hands wouldn't pass through.

He pounded against the glass, but it still wouldn't budge. He couldn't leave his body lying there helpless. He sagged against the mirror and let out a huge sigh. What else could he do? He turned and looked down the dark corridor. A bright light now shone at the other end. He started towards it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Game of Seven

This week on Facebook, the Game of Seven writing meme made its rounds, and I had a blast participating. Here are the rules: Go to page 7 or 77 of your latest work. Read down to the seventh line and then post online the next seven lines or sentences.

I started my latest project, Dragon Dreams, on Monday, so I'm taking my 7 lines from page 7. Since it's a first draft, these lines haven't been edited in any way, so take them as you will. Dragon Dreams is the sequel to Dragon Guard, a book I have coming out next February from Hunt Press. This is a planned trilogy.

As they buckled up and pulled the shoulder restraints down, he could feel all of her concentration on him. "Fine," she said. "I don't get it, but if it's that important to you, we'll go. I'll speak the incantation. You picture Rico's realm and keep me in mind."
"Okay. Thanks, Andi. I love you."
"You better," she said, but he heard the smile in her voice. "And I'm not kidding about browsing extra-long in the jewelry and gem store."

Hope you enjoyed the (very) brief peek at my latest project!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Writing Prompt #105

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

Days begin to run backwards.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Blessed "Ah-Ha" moment

I'm guessing most writers are like me: when we write, we live for that "Ah-ha" moment. That time when something in our story clicks to bring the story new meaning, or make it bigger/better. You might have your own definition of your "Ah-ha" moment, but for all writers, it's a wonderful thing. Your subconscious just saved your bacon (even if you didn't realize it needed saving).

Honestly, since I plot so heavily before I even attempt my 1st draft (heck, my outline could probably be called my 1st draft), I don't get the "Ah-ha" moment all that often. I know where I'm going, and I know how I want to get there. It's simply a matter of filling in the blanks. My "Ah-ha" moments come before I really start--so that's the hook of the story; so that's how I want to end it; so that's the villain's master plan; etc. It works well for me, and when I start plotting, I can usually chug along pretty well without huge surprises.

Which makes days like today especially worthwhile. I'm almost done plotting the second book in my modern fantasy trilogy (the first one should be available sometime in the beginning of 2013 thanks to Hunt Press), and I know how it's going to end. I'm just filling in a few more blanks to get there. As I was plotting today, I started on the final climactic battle, and my blood ran cold. What the heck? I hadn't done anything I hadn't planned on. And then it dawned on me (my subconscious mind decided to finally spill the beans): a horrific event to my two main characters was about to happen. No, I told myself. That can't happen. What does it mean to the rest of this book and to book 3? And then it dawned on me: Ah-ha! It means much despair and hardship for the two main characters, plus it makes the ending to this book much more believable. Ah-ha!

I think if my subconscious hadn't spoken up, I would have still had a great, compelling ending that led well into book 3. But now I have something even better. So what I'm saying is listen to your subconscious, you muse, as some writers like to say. It'll likely take your story in a way you hadn't anticipated, but that's great. If the subconscious mind thinks it's a great idea, you should probably listen; it likely would have buried it in a corner of your mind where you never would have seen it if it wasn't any good. And just for the fun of it (I know it was great fun for me today), when this happens to you, say it out loud: Ah-ha! Happy writing, everyone!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Writing Prompt #104

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

Terrorists create an app that instantly kills anyone who downloads it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Writing Prompt #103

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

The scent of a certain rose does strange things to people's minds.

Free Download of Ghost Betweens

Today and tomorrow (Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15), you can get the Kindle edition of Ghost Betweens free at Amazon. Click here to go to the page. I'd be thrilled if you not only read it, but also hopped back over to that page when you finished to write a review on Amazon.

Ghost Betweens is for ages 14+ in my opinion. It's just as much for adults as high school students, so don't let the YA tag fool you if you don't have teens in your life. Give it a read!

And you can always still get the paperback if you enjoy it and want to share the book with someone who doesn't have a Kindle. Click here for the paperback edition.

Of course not everyone has a Kindle, but you can get a Kindle Reader app for your Apple product, smartphone, and/or your computer. Click here to go to that page. I've used the app for my iPod Touch, and it works great! So you have plenty of opportunity to read my Young Adult Paranormal Adventure/Romance, Ghost Betweens. Give it a shot! (And if you like it, make sure you tell your friends!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I've Been Interviewed

Check out this interview with me about Ghost Betweens and writing over at Different Outcomes. Click here to read it. I had a great time answering the questions, and I hope you enjoy them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ghost Betweens in paperback at Amazon

You can now get the paperback edition of Ghost Betweens at Amazon. Click here to go to the page.
It's $9.99, and available for the Super Shipping option (spend $25 on one order and get that shipping free). So go buy 3 copies, one for you and two for friends! Shipping will be free!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Writing Prompt 102

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

Space aliens built the pyramids.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ghost Betweens in Paperback

Ghost Betweens is now available for purchase in paperback at CreateSpace for $9.99. If you don't have a Kindle or free Kindle Reader App, now is your chance to read my Young Adult Paranormal Romance/Adventure. (And don't let the YA tag throw you; it's a great read for adults, as well!)

Click here to find it in the CreateSpace shop.

Amazon will also be selling the paperback for the same price. That will be ready in 5 to 7 days (and hopefully sooner). Enjoy reading, folks, and don't forget to leave a review at Amazon if you enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ghost Betweens--My Young Adult Paranormal Adventure

You can now purchase the ebook for Ghost Betweens for the Kindle. Click here to find it on Amazon
Give it a look! I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Poll About the Sample Chapters

If you'll look to the right, you'll see I constructed a poll regarding the ten sample chapters I published for my upcoming Young Adult Paranormal novel, Ghost Betweens. I hope you take a few seconds to choose an answer. I have no idea how the chapters were perceived, as I received very little feedback on them. Did I waste my time posting the chapters? Did they work in drumming up interest? Please let me know. And if you have additional comments, or have an answer that wasn't listed in the poll, please let me know in the comment section of this post, on Facebook (if you came from there), or on Twitter (if you came from there). Thank you! EDIT: Poll is now gone. Thanks to those of you who voted. If you would still like to share your opinion on the matter, I'd be glad to see it in the comments.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chapter 10--Ghost Betweens

Click to read Chapter Nine Part Two

Chapter 10

The four of them walked around, snapping pictures as they went. Everywhere Josh turned, he could see something, but nothing substantial. By the looks on Whisper's face, she experienced the same. Zach and Kendra grew giddier and giddier as they went.

"Man, this is so cool," Zach said. "Are you guys getting all these blips and streaks on your cameras?"

Kendra snuggled up next to him. "Totally, babe. It's pretty awesome."

Josh walked over to Whisper. "I don't know. Cool and awesome aren't the first two words coming to my mind."

"Yeah. Creepy is first, second, and third for me. And I'm getting a lot more than just blurs and blips. How about you?"

"Uh-huh. No fulls, but plenty of partial apparitions. I wonder if we have enough for Mr. Baxter yet."

Zach turned and snarled at them. "We're not leaving yet, you chickens."

Kendra grinned in a dark way Josh had never seen from her before. "Come on. It's just starting to get fun."

"But you didn't like it here the other day," Whisper said.

"Whatever. Now I know it's fun."

Zach pointed to the barn. "Let's go inside. I want to see if we can meet that old farmer dude and his headless henchman."

Kendra snuggled up to him as they quickened their pace, while Josh and Whisper slowed down. "Do you think we should?" Whisper said.

"No, but maybe we'll get some sort of clue about what's going on in there. It does seem to be one of the major hotspots in this whole place."

She hesitated, then nodded, and they followed Zach and Kendra. She clutched Josh's elbow with one hand, while the other held her camera, which clicked almost non-stop.

The balls of light, the streaks of energy, and the apparitions swarmed around them, but they didn't get much closer. It was like the energy was herding the group into the barn, and Josh didn't like that one bit. He almost said something, but didn't want to freak Whisper out any more. He needed to see inside.

Zach and Kendra reached the door, oblivious to their surroundings. Josh had no idea how they couldn't sense all the ghosts around them. They were all in the middle of a supernatural sea on the verge of drowning. The claw-like grip on his arm proved Whisper felt the same. Before the expected wave washed over them, they made it through the barn's door.

"Jeez, it's freezing," Whisper said. It had been unseasonably cold in the field, but it was like a meat locker in here. Zach had an arm around Kendra, presumably to keep her warm. Without thinking, Josh did the same for Whisper, and she snuggled into him. A tiny part of his brain recognized what just happened, but for the most part, he focused on the interior of the barn.

Though it felt a hundred times creepier in here, there was no sign of any ghosts. Josh had expected all of the visible energy from outside jammed into this tiny space. That there was nothing set him on edge even more.

Whisper shuddered against him. Zach and Kendra stood in the exact center of the floor plan and snapped picture after picture. They didn't stop to examine any of the shots. Josh raised his camera to take a few of his own when movement caught his eye in the hayloft.

Before he could ask what it was, Zach's voice rang though the small space. "Cool, it's the headless henchman." Kendra squealed as if she had found a basket of kittens.

Josh whirled around and saw it in the far corner. It made no move, but ill intent bled off. If it had eyes, he imagined they'd be sizing the group up.

"What is it?" Whisper asked.

Josh almost blurted out that it was a ghost, but that wasn't the full truth. It felt like all of the other apparitions they'd encountered, but there was something more to it. Much more, and he couldn't begin to explain. At least he had the wherewithal to snap a few pictures.

"There he is," Zach said, pointing up to the hayloft. Josh's attention shifted. Whatever Zach saw must've been what he noticed a minute ago.

The farmer looked down at them. Like the headless ghost, an aura of something more surrounded him, like extra power from beyond the grave. Whisper stiffened, and Josh felt his own legs turn to jelly.

Though the farmer was mostly transparent, he looked like he could do some actual damage. Especially since he held an overlarge machete in one hand. The look in his eyes said he both knew how to use it and wouldn't hesitate to do so.

"This is so cool," Zach said.

Kendra let out a shriek like she'd just found a great deal on a new purse. "So awesome, babe. Keep taking pictures."

Josh turned to Whisper and saw she agreed with him. This was anything but cool and awesome. Kendra did remind him, however, that he had a camera. He pointed it up towards the farmer and snapped away. Whisper joined in.

"Leave, Ghost Betweens," the farmer said. His mouth moved, but the words came to Josh's mind, not his ears. "You're not wanted here."

"But we are here," Whisper said. Josh was impressed with the forcefulness she put into her voice.

But it hadn't been her voice. Not really. He'd heard her in his mind, too, like the farmer.

Scuffling in the corner reminded him the headless ghost was still there. It stalked forward a few steps, and Josh had the distinct feeling it'd be salivating if it had a mouth.

"I can't hold him back much longer, Ghost Betweens. He may not have the power to destroy you, but I assure you your friends will become meat ribbons in short order." The farmer pointed at Zach and Kendra, who seemed oblivious to the conversation and kept snapping shots.

"What are Ghost Betweens?" Josh said. He meant to say it out loud, but the words traveled through his mind before they reached his lips. He wanted to ask more, but the sensation of telepathy, or whatever this was, stunned him.

"Don't play coy with me." The farmer took a step forward, off of the hayloft, and floated down to the ground.

"Cool," Zach and Kendra said simultaneously. It might have been funny in another circumstance, but right now Josh wasn't laughing.

"Your friends can stay," the farmer said, motioning at Zach and Kendra with his huge blade. "But you two must leave."

"You just said you'd let the headless one kill them," Whisper said.

"Alone they're safe. Don't test our patience any longer by lingering."

When they didn't move, the farmer nodded. The headless one leapt forward.

To be continued in the book...

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Chapter 9 Part 2--Ghost Betweens

Click here to read Chapter Nine Part One

Chapter 9 Part 2

As Josh scrolled through the pictures he'd taken at the park, his mind wandered to Whisper. They'd got along great, but he still couldn't tell how she felt about him. He should just man up and ask her out. What was the worst thing that could happen? She could say no. He'd been rejected before. But he really liked Whisper, and he wanted to be her friend even if he couldn't date her. So the worst thing might be that she wouldn't want anything to do with him. It would be better to just wait and see what happened. Knowing Kendra, he wouldn't have to wait long, and if Whisper wasn't interested, it'd be Kend's fault, not his, and they could stay friends.

His phone jarred him out of his thoughts. He looked and saw it was Zach. "Hey, what's up?"

"Nothing. Just seeing how things went for you guys. Ghost-wise for me, you and Whisper-wise for Kendra." Kendra must've been with him because he heard her yell at Zach for being a jerk.

Josh laughed. "Nothing to report. No ghosts, and tell Kend that Whisper and I had a good time as friends."

He relayed the message, and Josh heard a brief scuffle, in what he imagined was for control of the phone. After a few seconds, Kendra's voice rang in his ear. "Seriously, Josh, how can you be so blind? The girl is hot for you. Ask her out."

Zach's voice filled the background with shouts for Kendra to give him the phone back. Finally, after more sounds of a scuffle, Zach was back.

"Sorry, dude. You know how she gets with this kind of stuff."

Josh bit the inside of his cheek to refrain from cracking a joke about Zach needing to control his woman. Zach would probably relate it to Kendra, and they'd both be in big trouble. Instead, he asked, "Did you guys find anything?"

Josh groaned. "Yeah, every frickin' shoe sale in the mall. But nothing ghost-wise. Kendra was good and took ten minutes of pictures. I kept snapping as she shopped. Ow! I mean we shopped. While we shopped."

Josh lost it and almost dropped the phone in laughter. It wouldn't have been as funny if he knew Zach didn't have a good time. But Zach always had fun with Kendra, no matter what he said.

"Anyway," Zach said when order had been restored on both ends, "we just wanted to know how everything went. See you tomorrow, dude." Kendra said something Josh couldn't make out. "Kendra says to not be a wimp and ask Whisper out."

If it were only that easy. "Tell her to not worry about it. If it happens, it happens. It shouldn't concern her."

"No way, dude. I'm not telling her that." She yelled in the background that she should be told what was being said.

"Just tell her I'll try. Okay?"

"You're going to get me beat up, dude. You know she can't resist gossip. Ow! That hurt, Kendra! See you, dude."

"Good luck," Josh said, but he wasn't sure if Zach heard. He shook his head, wondered if he and Whisper would be like that, and decided to push it out of his mind. He got started on his real homework.

Click to read Chapter Ten

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(test) Coyote--short story

This is a test to see if I can get downloads to work. I plan on making all ten sample chapters of Ghost Betweens available in one .pdf document, but I need to know I can do it first. If you'll help me by downloading this short story, hey, you get to read the short story! This is a story about a woman who is face-to-face with a coyote and remembers a horrific incident with a coyote from when she was younger. I'm sure most of you won't believe this, but I'm classifying this as contemporary fiction rather than speculative. I know, I don't write things without ghosties, ghoulies, dragons, or other such things very often.

Anyway, if you could download the story via the link and let me know it worked for you, I'd appreciate it. When you click on the link, there will be a big blue button on the right of the screen that says "Download or Print." Click it and follow the instructions. If you're not interested in downloading it but are intrigued and want to read the story anyway, it's posted as a .pdf below. Let me know if it was successful either in the comments below, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Thank you!

EDIT: Okay, looks like there is a download button on the bottom of the embedded file right here on the screen. What do you folks think: when I post my sample chapters, should I only have the embedded content since there is a download option (for those who would like to read it on their eReaders or whatever) or should I continue to have both the link and the embedded page? Thanks for your opinion! I appreciate it!

Click here to get to the download page


Chapter 9 Part 1--Ghost Betweens

Click to read Chapter Eight Part Two

Chapter 9 Part 1

As Josh and Zach headed to Mr. Baxter's class, neither said anything about Kendra's outburst. He had a silly thought that Zach didn't even remember it, and if asked, Kendra wouldn't either. But that was stupid. There was no supernatural force blanking their memories. Why would he even think something like that?

They walked into the classroom and found the girls already there. Kendra gave him a big smile and discreetly pointed to Whisper before she gravitated over to Zach. What had that meant? Whisper looked up from the computer screen and smiled. His heart skipped a beat. Had Whisper been talking about him with Kendra? Or was Kendra simply trying to play matchmaker when Whisper wasn't interested like that?

He pushed it out of his mind for the moment and stepped forward to the monitor. "These are amazing," Mr. Baxter said. "You four got some great pictures. There are energy blurs, energy balls, mist, partial apparitions, and even some full-bodied ones. And you're not pulling one over on me? These were all taken yesterday afternoon in that half-hour?"

Whisper nodded. "It might have been a bit longer than thirty minutes, but if so, it wasn't by much."

"Forty-five minutes, tops," Josh added.

"Yeah, but Josh and Whisper had all the fun," Zach said. "They actually saw some cool stuff. Kendra and I couldn't. And believe me, I tried."

Mr. Baxter nodded as if he expected it. Josh didn't think it would be proper to ask right now, but he filed it away. He glanced over to Whisper, and they shared a look that said she'd caught it, too.

Mr. Baxter continued scrolling through the pictures, and when he reached the end, he pointed at the shots of the tree. Josh shuddered when he thought of the ghost cycling through its last moments before the hanging. "I don't see anything on these last few. Why did you take them?"

"That was all Josh and Whisper," Kendra said. "They said they saw some funky ghost hanging himself or something. Gag."

"Yeah, but we didn't see anything," Zach said. "And we looked even after they left."

"Nothing," Kendra echoed.

Mr. Baxter looked up at Whisper and Josh. "But you saw something? Something that wouldn't stick to the digital photos?"

"A farmer," Whisper said. "He hung himself."

"We watched him do it over and over. Like he was stuck in an endless loop."

Mr. Baxter nodded. "Yeah, I expected plenty of residual activity there, but these other photos. Wow."

"You expected stuff?" Zach said.

"Sigh, Mr. Baxter. You're showing your nerd."

"I'll ignore Ms. Phelps, and say, yes, I was expecting a few bits of evidence. It would be hard not to get something at that place. But this? This is almost unimaginable."

"What do you mean?" Josh asked. "What kind of place is it?"

He waved his hand to shoo the question away. "Not now, not now. But can you four do me a huge favor? With the cameras again?"

"Back to the dirty old spooky farm?" Kendra asked.

"Not today, but maybe tomorrow." He glanced up at them, a look of concern etched on his face. "You don't mind giving up a Friday afternoon at the farm tomorrow, do you?"

"No way," Zach said. "You couldn't keep us away."

Everyone laughed.

"Yeah, I guess that pretty much sums up all of our opinions," Josh said. "Except maybe Kendra."

She stuck her tongue out at him. "Shows what you know. I don't mind." She gripped Zach's arm a bit tighter, though.

"Yeah, that goes for me, too," Whisper said. "I can't wait to go back. But why tomorrow? Why not this afternoon?"

"I have another task for you. As I said, if you don't mind." When they each nodded, he continued. "I'd like you to go in teams of two to separate locations. A park, a shopping center, a gas station, anywhere. Take a few pictures and examine them on your own computers when you get home. Email me if you find anything strange." He handed them each a business card with his name and email address--the generic Gmail one he gave to all his students.

"Ooh, I like this assignment, Mr. B," Kendra said. "Come on, Zachy. I want to go take pictures at the mall."

"Good, good," Mr. Baxter said. "Mr. Hart, Ms. Douglas, maybe you two could go somewhere a bit less crowded. A local park perhaps? Don't stay long," he chuckled and looked at Zach. "Though I believe you may be out of luck, Mr. Riley."

"Sigh. I'll be good, Mr. B. We'll take pictures before we shop."

Zach shot a pleading look to Josh, who laughed. But then it sunk in. He was going to be alone with Whisper again. That was way awesome, but butterflies flapped around in his stomach. And they started to multiply.

He turned to Whisper. Was she blushing? "Are you okay with this? Would you rather go with Kendra?"

Kendra make a clicking sound, and when he looked at her, she mouthed, "Don't be dumb," and motioned at Whisper.

Before Whisper could answer, Mr. Baxter said, "You don't mind, do you Ms. Douglas? Because I'd really like to team you up with Mr. Hart in this one."

Whoa! Was Mr. Baxter trying to set them up, too? No, why would he do that? But what was going on?

Whisper blushed harder, noticeable to Josh this time, and nodded. "Yeah, it's fine. He proved he's a gentleman yesterday."

Kendra rolled her eyes at Josh, grabbed Zach's hand, and walked out. "We'll see you guys tomorrow."

"Pictures, Ms. Phelps. Remember the pictures." As they got to the door, he added, "And homework!"

"Don't worry," Zach called back as they left.

Whisper giggled, and Josh and Mr. Baxter just shook their heads. "Doesn't really matter," he said. "I believe you two are the key, being as you saw the apparition in the tree and they didn't."

"What's going on, Mr. Baxter?" Josh asked. "Something more than you're telling us. That's easy to see."

"I know, Mr. Hart, but you're just going to have to trust me today. Email if you see anything this afternoon, and head over to the farm tomorrow after school. Don't bother coming to see me. Email me tomorrow night about the farm, whether anything big shows up or not. Take as many pictures as you can, but only stay a short time, just like yesterday. Got it?"

They both nodded.

"I'll clue you in later, I promise. But I don't want anything tainted until I see more of what's going on. Okay? Now get to it. I'll see you both in class tomorrow."

They both said goodbye and headed for Josh's car.

Click here to read Chapter Nine Part Two

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Writing Prompt #101

Here is this week's speculative fiction prompt. I'm not labeling it this week, so take it whatever direction you choose. Have fun with it!

Ancient Atlantis is discovered, and it is a thriving society.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chapter 8 Part 2--Ghost Betweens

Click to read Chapter Eight Part One

Chapter 8 Part 2

Josh popped the last of his peanut butter sandwich into his mouth and shook his head. "Why can't she just listen to me? I don't have time to get a job. When football season is over next year, I'll be happy to, but not now."

"We'll find something that'll work around football, dude. Weekends will be shot, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?"

"What do you mean we?"

Zach punched him lightly in the arm. "Like I'm going to let you go get all the money. When Kendra sees how you're spoiling Whisper, she's going to insist I get a job, too."

Josh choked on his soda, and had to spit some out. People around them laughed and asked him if he had a drinking problem. He ignored them and said, "What do you mean by spoiling Whisper? Did she say something to you and Kendra?"

"No wonder you don't have a girlfriend. Dude, she was practically asking you out yesterday. You didn't pick up on any of that?"

Josh frowned. "I guess. I don't know. We talked pretty easily in the car. Usually I get all flustered with pretty girls."

"See? Perfect girlfriend. Believe it or not, when you go out with a girl, you need stuff in common so you can talk. You can't just make out all the time." He paused, a wistful look on his face. "Though that'd be pretty cool."

"Yeah, but what do you and Kendra talk about? You guys don't have anything in common."

"That's not true."

Josh raised his eyebrows. "What do you talk about?"

"Uh, we talk about stuff we did with you. And we both like talking about Kendra."

"Yeah, Kendra can talk about herself all day if you let her." Josh barked out a laugh.

"So see? You don't need much in common with your girlfriend, but you need something."

"And why are you saying I'll spoil Whisper if I have a job? Seems to me I'll hardly be able to see her, at least during football season."

"Yeah, but if you have a job, you have money. I doubt your mom is going to take any. She's just tired of having to fork over cash when you need it for fun stuff. And if you're working and playing football, what use are you going to have of it other than buying Whisper gifts and dinners and stuff? You're going to make her a happy girlfriend. And Kendra's going to be all jealous and want me to get her things, too. So if you get a job, I need one, too."

Josh laughed. "Yeah, I imagine she'll be pretty high-maintenance when she sees she can. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. I'm not sure Whisper wasn't just being friendly since she's the new girl at school."

Zach shook his head and said, "Clueless," under his breath. Josh let it go.

"Anyway," Zach said. "Since we're just sixteen, places can't make us work too many hours. You'll have plenty of time for your new lady."

"Knock it off, will you? I don't want any rumors started about something that hasn't happened."

"Rumors about what? I love rumors."

Josh jumped as Kendra came up behind them, followed by Whisper. Kendra walked over to Zach, gave him a peck on the cheek, and sat between the two boys. Whisper settled in next to Josh, and his heart jumped up into his throat. She smiled and mouthed, "Hi," and he did the same. How did girls manage to sit so close without actually touching? He wanted her to melt into him like yesterday at the farm, but he wasn't about to push it.

"What rumor are you guys talking about?" Kendra said, practically bouncing on the lip of the concrete planter. "I love gossip. Tell me, tell me, tell me."

Zach shook his head, while Josh tried to head her off. "It's nothing, Kend. It didn't happen anyway."

"It doesn't matter if it's true or not, I still want to know." She turned to Zach. "Come on, baby. I'll totally make out with you this weekend if you tell me."

"You'll make out with me anyway," Zach said, fighting to keep a straight face.

She leaned past Josh, winked at Whisper, who was doing her absolute best not to crack up, and looked back at Zach. "Not if I'm mad at you."

Zach said something in a low voice to her. He had no doubt she knew he liked Whisper, but that didn't mean he wanted her blabbing that with her sitting right next to him. He turned to Whisper and said, "She does this all the time. You get used to it."

"It's hilarious," Whisper said. "Is this rumor or whatever even worth her getting this worked up?"

"It hardly ever is."

Whisper chuckled and looked over at them. "Did you ask Zach about yesterday after we left? They seem fine, so I'm guessing nothing happened."

"No, it hasn't come up yet." He turned to Zach and Kendra, who were still arguing in lowered voices. "Hey, did you guys see anything yesterday after we left?"

They both stiffened, and he could have sworn Kendra turned pale. After a second or two, they both put on fake smiles.

"No, nothing," Zach said.

"We left just a couple of minutes after you guys," Kendra added.

Josh frowned and turned back to Whisper, who looked as confused as he felt.

"Are you guys sure? You don't look very happy about it."

Zach forced a laugh. "No, we didn't see anything so we left."

Kendra rolled her eyes, stood, and said, "Seriously, Josh, why do you have to always push the questions too far? I swear." She grabbed Zach's hand and stomped off. Zach didn't look back.

"That was weird," Whisper said.

Josh nodded. "Yeah. She doesn't usually act like that."

Whisper gave a half-smile. "I'd agree with the nervousness part, but she seems the type to stomp off in a huff."

"No, she's a get in your face type. So's Zach. That's one reason they get along so well. Plus I never push her too far. I mean, I do when I'm picking on her, but never seriously."

Before Josh's brain realized he was alone with Whisper for the second time in two days, the lunch bell rang, signaling the start of the passing period to fifth period. Whisper stood, and picked up her backpack.

"Do you think they'll show to Mr. Baxter's class?"

"Yeah. Zach wouldn't miss it, and besides, she's pissed at me, not you, so she can make a show of ignoring me."

Whisper laughed. "You guys seem to have quite the relationship. Sometime you need to tell me about it."

A lump jammed into his throat. Was she trying to get him to ask her out? Should he? Instead, he chickened out and said, "Yeah, totally. I will."

"Sounds good. I have to get to class, so I'll see you after school."

"Okay, I'm looking forward to it."

She gave him a knowing smile and walked off. He watched her go, and then turned to head to his own class. Damn. Why did reading girls have to be so hard? Did she want him to ask her out, or did she just want to be friends? He wished Zach were here right now to bounce the question off of him. But he'd already said Whisper liked him. He shook his head and tried to push it from his mind so he didn't drive himself crazy.

Click to read Chapter Nine Part One

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Chapter 8 Part 1--Ghost Betweens

Click to read Chapter Seven

Chapter 8 Part 1

As Josh walked up to the front door, he saw right away his mom was home. He pushed the door open and yelled, "Hi, Mom, I'm home."

She stuck her head out of the kitchen. "About time. I wanted you to do the damn grocery shopping today, but you're nowhere to be found. I've got too much going on to do it myself."

"Sorry. I joined a . . ."

"I don't care what you did. If you have time for foolishness, you have time to get a job and help out around here. I do too much as it is."

"I can't get a job. I have a ton of homework, and come spring and all through summer, not to mention fall, I have football practice."

"Tough, Mister. It's time you start pulling your weight. Starting tomorrow after school, I want you out looking for a job."

"Pulling my weight? How often do I ask you for any money? How often do I clean the house, top to bottom, without you even prompting me?"

"And I have two jobs, so boo-hoo for you. Tomorrow. You hear me?"

Josh started to say something, but kept his mouth shut. No need to make this worse. She just had a bad day. By tomorrow this'll all have blown over and she wouldn't even mention this. He stalked up the stairs.

Halfway up, she yelled, "Do you hear me?"

"Yes, fine, I hear you," he called over his shoulder and continued up. At the top of the landing, something shot past him and down the hall. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. What the heck was that? He looked down to see if Mom saw it, too, but she'd already headed into the kitchen. It reminded him of the ghosts at the farm, the ones that he only saw out of the corner of his eye. This one had been right in front of him, though. It had gone towards his room, but he was pretty sure it moved past the door, so he should be safe.

He shook his head. He hadn't really seen it anyway, right? It was just his nerves from the argument with Mom and the frights at the farm. Yeah, that's all it had been. He headed into his room and threw himself down on his bed. Homework could wait a few minutes.

Click to read Chapter Eight Part Two

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