Lucinda’s Candle by Candice Coates

What was she thinking? She felt the fool, standing outside in the rain, her legs tethered to the ground by the invisible rope called ‘indecision.’ She had heard about others coming here, she fancied it foolishness, hence why she was beginning to believe herself the fool.

The garishly loud jingle of the brass bells hanging from the storefront door clanged, pulling her out of her thoughts. A middle-aged woman, 1396113137qumq6clutching her purchase to her chest with greedy hands, locked eyes with her before shame snatched them away and she scurried off into the shadows of the night, the heady fragrance of candle wax dragging in her wake.

Lucinda shook her head. Her kind was so odd when it came to these kinds of things, these kinds of purchases. It was mostly because of their own mental assimilation to being on Earth, passing for native Earthlings.

Lucinda’s kind looked no different than the true Earthlings, though they were decedents, they were different. Who else would open a store with a glaring sign saying “Free Smells?”

The message was misleading in its nature. The scents weren’t free of cost, not by a long shot, and once those “scents” were set free, there was a lot of responsibility to be managed.

Again Lucinda hesitated, her fingers drawing away from the door handle as if it had burned her. She forced herself to take hold of it and step in. She needed help and fast. She needed to free a scent, a particular scent at that.

*  *  *

If it were at all possible, Lucinda felt even more stupid after explaining her need to the Nose. He stared at her curiously, stroking his naked chin as if it were heavily bearded.

Leaning forward, one of his eyes narrowing, he said, “You are not the usual customer. I mean, if we were home your request would not be so unusual.”

The tension in Lucinda’s shoulders fled. The Nose clucked his tongue. “Alas, we are not home and so this is unusual.”

“Does that mean you don’t have such a candle?” Defeat was scrapping its claws down her belly with the worst of cramping.

The Nose held her gaze. “My dear, we are on Earth now, have been for centuries,”

“I understand that,” She pressed her eyes closed as not to lose her patience.

“Then you know the saying, “When in Rome, do like the Romans.” Forget about…that.” He wagged his finger at her with disgust as if the “that” she had confessed to him was the vilest thing he had heard of. Such sad assimilation.

Lucinda wished she had it that easy. But wishing was as useless as believing that some magic could solve her problem. An Earthling might have believed the candles were the works of magic. This, the store, in Lucinda’s mind, was far more reproachable, but she was desperate.

The Senthians had lost, this, the candles was their end. Claiming one was Lucinda’s right, or more so her rebellion. The Senthians weren’t meant to be freed…but then they were no longer home. The rules did not apply. She chewed her lip, more indecision.

“Maybe I should forget about this,” she said.

“Exactly! None of us can go backward. But the smells are still available. I have some very nice woodsy tones, nodes of pine with touches of sweetness. What woman doesn’t enjoy a sweet scent.”

He winked. “I could even mix you the perfect blend if you’d like. You tell me what you want down to the smallest detail and it’s done. I can whip you up the perfect companion, tall, handsome, sensitive, dotting, boyfriend or husband. A master in the kitchen!”

Lucinda was feeling sick. She shook her head and made to rise.

He smacked the table top. “Just can’t get that issue off your brain, can you?! What you want is a Prophet! No one asks for those!”

“So you don’t have one, or can’t mix one, because clearly, that is what I am looking for. I don’t need,” She swallowed her words rather than lie. She would love a nice male companion mixed up just the way she liked, but the thought didn’t sit well with her, playing God that way.

Senthians were once an elegant race. Now they were nothing but candles whipped up at the whims of lonely women and men.

The Nose finally heeled and stood. “I don’t need to mix one. They couldn’t be rendered. Prophets are very specific in their structure.” He disappeared into the back of his shop and returned with a round jar, cocooned in a centuries-old skin of dust.

He dropped the jarred Prophet on the table and spit out a hefty price, one that made Lucinda wish to faint. She paid it anyhow and with hands just as greedy as the woman she had met outside the store, she clutched the candle to her chest.

“I hope you like forevers, because that’s what  he will be once you release his scent; a forever responsibility for you and you alone.” The Nose warned. “Prophets are not like their Senthian brothers. They can’t be re-rendered.  There are no returns for obvious reasons.”

Lucinda swallowed down the knot in her throat, the jarred Prophet suddenly feeling warm and heavy in her hands. “I-I understand.” She said, and with haste ran from the store.

THE END FOR NOW.

A NOTE TO READERS: A few years ago, a friend and I were window shopping. We stopped at a store that had some of the most lovely, heady, masculine scented candles I had ever smelled. They weren’t overpowering at all, as some of the candles can be. My friend and I laughed and said, “Wouldn’t that be something if you could just buy a candle that was made of the perfect man, burn it and there he was? Could you imagine women shopping for men like they did candles?” We laughed then and I am laughing now, but that is not Lucinda’s reason for a candle…obviously. I hope you enjoyed the start of her tale.

Cheers!

*This story was originally written and published on my sister site, http://www.icameforthesoup.com on July 28th, 2015.

Nexus Gate Update in 2018

Hello Friends,

We have rolled, some of us through the snow, out of the 2017 year, into the glory of 2018! Having made it through, I think we should all do a happy dance!

Publication of my debut novel, Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal, is glowing on the horizon, and for that, I am truly grateful. For that, I get up every day and chomp through page after page of necessary edits with the hope of reaching my deadline.

 

I have made much progress since last we had our chat, however, there is still much work to do. At least 14,000 words need to be sweetly kissed goodbye, as well as, a new cover image potentially needing to be created. (If you are digging the current image, let me know. I may even consider doing a voting poll between covers. Anything could happen.)

 

Nexus Gate 4037 Use Banner Picture image

With that being said, I am pushing back my publication date.

Now, don’t boo me yet. As I’ve said before, this is my first go at the self-publication-rodeo and with that being the case, my process is not as smooth-going as veterans at this venture, but I am learning, and I am pressing forward.

A late Spring publication date is ideal. Summer, is probably more practical. Either way, continue to cheer me on and pray my success! It is very much appreciated.

In other news, my creativity has been flowing like crazy and four new storylines for Science Fantasy Fiction have been born. I will give you the goods on those in the future.

Until later, friends!

~Candice

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” ~ William Edward Hickson

 

Five Chapters in & Counting: Disius 9 365-Day Novel Progress Report

disius-9

Woohoo! Although I am still two days behind on my words-for-the-day with Disius 9, the story is growing splendidly. I have to say that this writing prompt and adventure is nothing like any that I have done before. The feeling and creative growth that I am experiencing have much to do with this.

These characters, this random daily word prompting is really amazing to me. If you are a writer you are familiar with how your story tells you where to go as you give it life. It shows you the ebbs and flows and yet leaves you the wide reach of freedom to dress and undress the story as you like.

For me, with this story, I fell less like it’s telling me how to write it and more like it’s showing me. Unlike other stories that I have written, I am writing Disius 9 out of what I am witnessing through my imagination and less out of what I am hearing and instinctively building.

Like any bystander or witness, I am making assumptions about the characters and plot only to find out a few moments later how off in my assumption I have been. The movie continues to play and the scenes make this clear. As this happens, I respond accordingly.

Unlike with my other stories, this one has yet to reveal who are what the villain is although there are many hints to the vileness and trouble that awaits with each scene that unfolds. I as the writer, feel much like the reader, only finding out more with each daily word I spin from.

These characters, Denim Rays, Besting Card, Congressman Meekus Claudius, and of course, Charis Joba, have a unique depth and richness that they are sharing with me, which is unlike stories I’ve borne out of the influence of my dreams.

With the stories I have jotted down from my dreams or from the stream of my raw imagination, I have had the authority, for the most part, to mold, build, and dress them as I saw fit. Without being a cast of divas or devos they politely, gently, reveal themselves and teach me how to write them. For instance, I have learned that Lexem Hold, is not as shallow as she seems at first.

All in all, writing this random-word novel in 365-days is a pretty fantastic experience!

As it stands, I have had to quadruple some days, writing an average of 273 words per random word, which at this pace would give me a 100k tome novel. Since on some days I use multiple words, there has been the occasional mix up where I use one word before the other. But for the most part, I have stuck to the path and been consistent with using each word within their proper order.

That is all there is to report for now. If you haven’t had the chance to read the excerpt for Disius 9, you can find it HERE. Also, if this is your first time hearing about the writing prompt for writing a novel in 365-days, you can find out more about that on my sister site www.icameforthesoup.com.

Thank you for tuning in!

Artistically,

Candice Coates

“Every word spoken has the potential to be a light in the dark”. ~Candice Coates