More Than Hours: A Short Story

He stumbled through the darkness, the light at his back forcing everything into angrier shadows that toyed with his perception. His fingers curved and clawed at nothing as if to anchor himself to where he was.

Where was he? He felt as if he’d been in a terrible accident like his body had been jettisoned, head-first through plate glass, accept there was no road nearby, no sound of distress from on-lookers who’d had the misfortune of watching him play with death.

No. He was alone, disoriented and meandering through dark woods with the brightest of light ebbing down into a dim glow around him. He stopped and gulped at air, wishing it was water. How he thirsted. His heart thrumming an erratic tattoo in his chest, he lifted his eyes upward and glanced through the canopy of the trees.

Dark foliage and branches like skeletal fingers wove above him, yielding very little ground to the setting sun above. It was dusk here. Here, not where he’d been only moments ago.

He’d stepped through time. How much time…he didn’t know. He felt his chest tense as his lungs fought to take in air. His fingers clumsily met with the cold metal of a ticking clock dangling from around his neck.

The Ministry of Time, but not the sanctioned ministry, he was of Ionic, a covenant far more complex than any the ministry had known of.

With careful fingers, he pried open the clocks face saw the numbers and the arms and knew their pointing and telling was more than that of hours. The year was 1936.

“1936,” the words were dry on his tongue. Still, a tinge of hope rolled through him like a wave against the shoreline. He wasn’t very close to his true timeline. But he was indeed closer.

You will never see that time again, Cassius. You’ve been blocked. In 77 A.D you are a dead man. Outside of time, you are worth more alive than dead.

The words of his Lanista echoed in his ears. No, in there were no Lanista’s in Ionic, still, the man had purchased him, purchased him from the grip of death and sentanced him to a fate fare worse.

Cassius would never see his life or loved ones again, but he would live through time, redeeming time for others. His current mission was in 1936.

Growling and shaking off the fuzz of confusion, he straightened himself as if in the Colosseum and focused his mind on the task at hand. He was still a gladiator, no matter the millennia. And like a gladiator, he would win his life back no matter where he stood in time.


*More tidbits and side stories from Ministry of Time or, as you’ve just read, not the Ministry, but a branch called ‘Ionic.’ I’m sure more will come. I think I will gather up each of the other short tales that have come from this thread and create a page for them on my author site. In the meantime, you can sample the first few chapters of my debut novel, Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal, which introduces the Ministry of Time and thusly Ionic. NG 4037 will be out soon! These are my results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt March 26th, 2018.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!


Hunger in the Veins: Flash Fiction #Monday’sMuse #SciFi #Thriller

Vein City. That wasn’t its true name, but that’s how he felt about it. From there the very lifeblood of the world seemed to flow. He flexed his hands and watched his own veins pulse. It had cost him nearly everything within him to get there. 

Flipping open his wallet he stared at the nearly faded photograph of his family. So much had happened in so little time, but it was enough to wipe his mind clean. He couldn’t even remember their names. All he remembered were their faces.

That would have to be enough.

Truth be told, few men ever came back from the grave in the way that he had and those that did were only shells of themselves.

That was what Embryous was all about. Taking fully grown men and women, developed in every form of the word but not in their hearts, not in their emotions. Emotions were fickle. They got in the way. They kept the underdeveloped, the embryous, from doing what they were designed to do.

He flexed his hands again. They still burned from the crushing grip they’d held on…what was his name? He glanced back at the dead man’s face. Daryl, his name was Daryl. Daryl’s eyes were cold, lifeless, the product of Embryous, meaning dead.

In fairness, the Daryl had asked for it. They all had. Anyone who looked him in the eye saw his hunger. For anyone who tried to stop him from feeding his appetite, that look was the last thing they saw. Nothing would keep him from his former life. Nothing would keep him from his family.

That was why he was in Vein City. His family was his lifeblood and he was determined to live again.


*I don’t know if I will ever get around to fleshing out this tale, but I am curious about the nameless main character and Embryous. I have an inkling that things for him are not what they seem and finding that out will be like kicking a hornet’s nest. Anyhow, these are my results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt August 21st, 2017.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

3 Things You Didn’t Know About These Novels: Battle of the Books Which will be Published First? #indieauthor #writing #Scifi


Welcome to the start of the Battle of the Books blog tour! A creative adventure where I, the author, invite you, the readers, to help me decide which of these two novels that I’ve written will be indie published first!


  • Read teaser chapters of both books. (NEXUS GATE  and WARDEN)
  • Follow the link at the end of the Chapter Teaser back to the Voting Polls  and cast your vote for which story YOU think should be indie Published first
  • Leave your constructive criticism for both stories
  • Follow the author site of Candice Coates as well as on social media!
  • Stay connected by following the blog tour to learn more about the books as well as about me, the author



nexus-gate-4037-the-animal-coverBook Flap: Most important rules of time surveillance; never disrupt your host timeline and never step into the future. Decorated Surveillance Specialist Vivian Leona of 6037 has broken both. Losing her husband, John Joseph Spruce, in the Nexus of time past, Vivian mistakenly pulls the wrong man into the future, a man recorded by history as having died on that very day in 1837. The consequences for keeping him alive in the future could prove far worse than Vivian bargains for, especially in the American South’s New Golden Age, 4037, where any overt emotion or cause of such, like racism, is seen as a deadly contingent—‘conditions’ cured only by euthanasia. Slave foreman and bounty hunter ‘Tucker’ John Josephus Spruce of 1837 is called ‘The Animal’ by those he hunts, and a ‘necessary evil’ by those who enlist his skills, but are his ‘talents’ enough to keep him alive when he steps into a deadly snare set twenty-two hundred years in the future where he is now pawn and prey? Will Tucker John’s instincts lead him towards retribution for his abduction, or will they make Vivian his only ally while setting him on an unexpected hunt for the one not only out for his blood, but the very woman’s he’s purposed to destroy?


  1. The concept for this story, like many that I have come up with, was born from a dream that I had nearly fifteen years ago.
  2. This story is Book 1 of a series. There are 3 stand-alone books that follow the lives of the characters you will meet in The Animal, with 2 additional Books that act as spin-offs.
  3. The follow-up novels within the series are inspired by free-flow writing as well as the results of writing prompts that I did, here, on i came for the soup.



warden-coverBook Flap: Ever since the bizarre death of her grandmother, Maeve Grandie has made it her sole purpose to be reliable, even if that means living a dreadfully predictable life. The only sense of adventure Maeve experiences is in her dreams. The only problem is her peculiar hereditary condition that gives her rashes on her hands and arms, turning the veins of her arms a screaming azurite blue, not only gives her weird dreams but causes her to sleepwalk as well. But what would happen if those dreams that carry her into a bizarre land where people can cause their arms to ignite with blue flames and tear open the sky with their bare hands is not really a dream at all? What if the dream world, Maeve finds herself suddenly trapped in, is actually a true world of wonder but one she is somehow destroying just by being there? Senior Warden Vincent Jasper of Trident finds himself facing that very real and immeasurable danger when a young woman in the ugly pink nightgown interferes with an arrest right before disappearing through an Unzoned Door in the Universe causing the very threads of the Cluster and Realms to ripple and stretch, putting it and the lives of all who live within it in grave danger. Not only is the woman unknown but she keeps opening Doors and is somehow hiding right underneath his nose. Can Jasper and his team along with the rest of Trident, apprehend this villainous threat clad in garish pink flannel and ruffles? Or will they find out that she is not the threat at all but the weapon of someone else, all before their side of the universe collapses?


  1. This novel is my very first, as well as, successful attempt at a summer session of NaNoWriMo, reaching over 56k words within 30 days, and being completed as a first draft in 96 glorious days!
  2. Every woman who has Beta-Read the second draft has had a crush on Senior Warden Vincent Jasper…Myself included.
  3. This story is also part of a series of 3 stand-alone books and a spin-off series that is currently in being crafted in note form.



Be sure to follow my AUTHOR SITE for a bio AND spread the word to others about this novel adventure that is taking place!


Each of these bloggers are fantastic writers and creatives. Check out the tour on their creative space and be sure to follow them and their projects!

Click the Banner below for blog tour dates as well as links to sample chapters and voting!

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~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Chapter 18: Ascension Graveyard by Candice Coates

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Chapter 18

The Encounter Blog interview with Etta Castle Teague

HL: I want to talk a bit more about your super power. Yeah, we know you don’t like the term but it’s fitting. You want to describe that a bit more? I mean for me, it would be like getting a brand new toy.

ECT: Mr. Albert, being a toymaker, had an obsession with toys, too. I mean who doesn’t like toys? Although he didn’t leave much room for me to get to know other children, he did make sure I was beyond toy savvy. I had knowledge of all the newest gadgets and toys that came on the market. I even got to fool around with them. That was a perk of being raised by him. I did not, however, take a liking to things like Kaleidoscopes.

HL: Kaleidoscopes? Really?

ECT: I absolutely hate them. Mr. Albert had a ridiculous collection of them. They all made me motion sick.  It's amazing how volatile discarded pieces of broken glass, beads and other little bits of colored trash can be when they are seen through mirrors and lenses.Super powers can be a little like that, too.   

*          *          *

Jørn tried Etta’s phone one more time before it went straight into voicemail. He didn’t bother trying to leave her a message. The automated voice told him at the final ring that her mailbox was completely full.

She had always had such a bad habit of not deleting her messages.

He shoved his phone into his pocket and slung on his jacket. It was almost five in the evening now, but at least he had managed to convince another doctor to come in a few hours early and cover his shift. Lucky for Jørn, Doctor Michael Baxter didn’t have anyone who was supposed to ascend. He clearly had not caught wind of the mess that was taking place. It was either that or he just didn’t care. Nevertheless, Dr. Baxter’s apathy had worked in Jørn’s favor.

Chapter 16: Ascension Graveyard by Candice Coates

*Follow this LINK for the Table of Contents

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Chapter 16

The Encounter Blog interview with Etta Castle Teague

HL: What made you want to be part of the Seats of the Silence? They are a pretty useless lot when you think about it.

ECT: They weren’t always. Mr. Albert is one of the original Silent Ones, or he at least was a descendant of an original Silent One. He and others like him were never fully affected by the Event Boundaries of the T.O.W.E.S Net. Why? Because they were older, young teens, when the T.O.W.E.S began getting more personal with humanity and calling them to ascend world wide, instead of in smaller, rural locations.

It all has to do with alien abductions, really. No on really knows when the first account of alien abduction was reported. I reckon that is when this all truly began. I’ll speak more on that in a bit.

Anyhow, the mind has to be fresh, new and impressionable in order for the lie of the sequence to be accepted. The T.O.W.E.S did other things to the older adults to make them comply.

Small children and infants, however, are more sensitive to the affects of the Yard’s event boundaries, where the programming first takes place. This is where people learn to forget, learn to acquiesce to abnormality, learn to not question, but silently lead themselves straight to the slaughter.  As I said, The Original Silent Ones were older when the T.O.W.E.S came. They don’t remember everything of the past, but they were able to maintain enough memory to recognize there was a threat and that the ascension was NOT normal.

HL: If that is the case, how have you managed to be as you are, more aware than even the older Silent Ones? It’s as if you’re not effected by them at all.

ECT: I was never programmed, at least not by the T.O.W.E.S, Their Net, or event boundaries. That doesn’t mean that I am immune to the Net and its frequency if I am in the Yard when an ascension is taking place.

Truth is…no one is completely immune.

 *          *          *

Etta had only driven a few blocks from the Mall when she had to stop and pull over. She stumbled out of her car, engine still running, emptying her stomach in a nearby ditch. She choked in a deep breath, batting away the tears that had blurred her vision, and dropped her weight on the curb, her teeth chattering. She couldn’t still her equilibrium.

Her eyes felt heavy, like they were flexing or worse, cramping. The strain was making her feel awful. Placing her head between her knees, she forced herself to calm down and her equilibrium to balance.

It was a frightening struggle.