ericjkrause (joined almost 11 years ago)
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Eric J. Krause pens stories from Orange County, California, just minutes away from Disneyland. He has over two dozen short stories published in magazines such as The Absent Willow Review, Trail of Indiscretion, Allegory, and Nocturnal Ooze, just to name a few.


They were right in front of him, huddled on the stage. Fred checked his cell phone and saw the show started in ten minutes. If he didn't have those marionettes in his possession before then, the world would end. Or at least this theater. But since his wife and daughter were in the audience, it might as well be the whole world.

"Nice try, Fred," a voice sounded behind him. Judy. She, the hater of all things puppets and puppet lovers, had planted the bomb in one of the heads. "But if you move, I'll put a bullet through your...

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I laughed the first time I saw the shirt. "I'm With Stupid," with an arrow underneith pointing to the right. It was funny because the star of the football team, who everyone knew couldn't add 2+2 together without serious help, walked next to him. I doubt either one realized what was going on, and when they saw me laughing, I have no clue what they thought I was going on about. Whatever. The arrow should have been pointing at the entire high school life anyway, right?

It wasn't until a few years later that I fully understood the significance of...

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The storm had blown over, but not before it had blown over his ship, along with all of his crew. The captain always went down with the ship, but by the time he woke up from a plank smacking him upside the head, he found himself drifting alone on a plank of wood in the middle of the ocean, no one else in sight. Too late to sacrifice himself to the sea gods now.

As he drifted, he knew shore was near. There were too many birds flying about for it not to be. He just had to hope the...

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He didn't know what to say. No one did. It had never landed on anyone's finger before. The fabled winged bug, unlike any other on this planet, stayed away from all lifeforms. Of course there were stories about what would happen if it actually did touch someone, and he guessed he was about to find out. Would he die? Would untold riches come his way? Would he become the most famous person on Terra 12?

The bug, which felt lighter than a feather in his hand, looked up at him. He couldn't help but wonder what it thought. Or did...

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"What's that, Daddy?"

James hid a smile behind his hand and answered, "That's a telephone, sweetie. You put money in it to make it work."

"Nuh-uh. It's too big. See?" She pointed to his cell in his hand.

"It's from before cell phones."

She rolled her eyes and walked away, her four-year-old way of telling him he was nuts, and the conversation was over.

James chuckled, picked up the handset, and put it to his ear. He did it basically to show her that it really was a phone in case she turned around. What happened, though, froze his blood....

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She sat waiting in her normal spot overlooking the city. He said he'd return to her one day, and though it hadn't happened yet, she wouldn't give up hope. He'd always been a man of his word, and a measly thing like death wouldn't change that.

When the accident claimed his life, ripped him from her, she thought she'd find a way to join him in the afterlife. But one thing he said before passing for good gave her hope. "Wait for me." She knew what he meant; where he meant. And so she waited every day for the past...

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All he needed was one picture. That was it. Just one. Too bad for him it was a specific picture. But the Internet always had what you needed, right? Heck, he was willing to pay for it. The entire company was counting on him.

"I got this, guys," he said as everyone was leaving for the night. "We're gold come morning. The investers just want to see that view added to the presentation."

They believed him. Heck, he believed himself. And he succeeded. It took a chunk out of his boss's platinum card, but big deal. This merger would earn...

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The giant surveyed the landscape, wondering where all the people were. Truth was, he didn't know he was a giant. Everyone else he had ever come in contact with was a giant, so humans - the little people he had no knowledge of - didn't exist in his mind. Yes, he saw them, but they were nothing but insignificant little insects, ants, only there to annoy and crush.

He marveled at this world, so green and rocky, so unlike the limitless cloudy floors of his huge domain. He reached down and picked a few blades of grass, and at once...

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The general stood in the grand ballroom, waiting for everyone to clear out. Yes, the guests had a great time at the victory party; the rebels had been routed, and victory for his king had been ensured. But no one knew the price better than him. As the upper class cheered him, shook his hand, and touted him as the grandest of the grand, he mourned for those on the side of so-called evil. He knew many of them, if not personally, then through family. He hadn't grown up in this environment, but in that of the rebellion. Sure, his...

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