A mediocre life as an obedient, Christian housewife wore away Anise’s drive for life in a small southern town. Her husband is content to enjoy her servitude. One early afternoon, opportunity in the form of a dryad hoping to form a connection to the human world, knocks on her door and invites her to visit the world of the faeries. A new love and escape awaits Anise in the forest that challenges the upbringing of her faith! Will she find a way to love her life once more? Transformation, magic, romance abound!
Contains erotica and other adult themes.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I started this book back in 2011 as a project for NaNoWriMo. In 2009, I was hospitalized for a severe breakdown and lost all of my access to creative ability due to medication and trauma from the experience. I was an avid roleplayer and very connected to the characters I created. The characters here were meant to help me try to reconnect to them.
Anywhere But Me was an exercise in rehabilitating myself, which took years to recover. I had many strong opinions back then, and still do, about the way I viewed women were treated, and wanted to write a book to combat those obstacles.
I am publishing Anywhere But Me for the first time since I wrote it nearly ten years ago, because I am finally growing past my fears as an artist. I hope it will help me to continue to climb my way out of the proverbial hole, and flourish.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I have been an avid online roleplayer since I had AOL in 1996. I spent many years creating characters and making fun and terribly written stories with online friends. Many characters had gone away, while others have stayed with me through these years. They have gained fifteen to twenty years of refinement, and became perfect templates to use for book characters. For Anywhere But Me, the characters are played by these other characters, who I perceive as merely actors for a show. I am jealously possessive of my core characters however, which is why I hesitate to share their names here.
Starry specs of dust displaced the soft rays of sunlight. The golden light spotted the floor. It soon passed between her and the television, distorting colors and obstructing the screen. But before she could feel annoyed with the intrusive light, a knock danced on the door.
She pressed the pause button. Another knock came to her door before the remote could be set back down. “I’m coming, hold your horses!” She called to the front of the house. Just as she reached the door, a third knock sounded. Rolling her eyes, she opened the door. “You know, you could wait longer than two seconds before you knock again.” She said, then widened her eyes at what stood before her door.
“Oh, I’m terribly sorry,” replied her visitor. Shining ebony eyes with moonlight pupils gazed down to her from seven feet high. Tresses of rustling willow leaves hung down from the person’s head. They rested unevenly across gray, arboraceous shoulders, back, and hips. She was unable to tell whether this person, creature, or plant was male or female. Over its shoulders and around its torso was a leafy, linen tunic. It stopped a few inches above jutting knees. Pointed ears poked out from its leafy hair. A kind, diplomatic, and nervous smile crossed its lips. “Uhm, hello!” spoke the creature, waving a massive hand. A leaf stuck out of the side of the ring finger. The hand lowered, clutching a tablet. The creature gazed at the human, giving room to let her respond. The ebony and moonlight eyes held growing embarrassment. It pulled the tablet closer to shield its face when the human only stared. “Ahem…” it cleared its throat, “I’m here on behalf of the Fae World. We are in search of a potential human diplomat who… could…” It trailed off, rocking back and forth on its heels. She glanced at the massive bare feet, then back up at the creature.
It bit its bottom lip. “We… are… looking for a human diplomat for our world. You see, the human world is, um… rather far behind on its information about…” it sighed, trailing off again. “I’m sorry, just about every human I’ve visited either screamed at me or called me names. I didn’t think the situation was this dire. My superior and I told the other groves that they were wrong about humans not believing in us anymore. It seemed reasonable that they wouldn’t mind seeing one of us again. I mean, you guys have produced so many amazing stories about wizards and magic. You know about dragons, you know about so many things. You write so many beautiful songs… yet… coming here, every single one has screamed and fled from me as if I’m a monster.” The creature frowned, hurt. “I’m not a monster. I’m harmless. I swear.”
“I’m dreaming.” Anise proclaimed, and was about to shut the door when the massive hand caught it.
“No, please, don’t do this.” The visitor pleaded. “If you won’t become our diplomat, at least don’t tell me I’m not real to my face. It’s rather hurtful that I hear such things. Don’t go. You’re the first one who hasn’t screamed in my face. You’re the first one who has stood here and listened to me this long.”
She stared agape at the visitor. Despite the shock she felt, the desperation she heard invoked guilt into her chest. She ran her hand through her frizzled hair. “I don’t know how to feel or what to do. I don’t even know what you are.”
“I’m a dryad.” It answered through the breath of relief. She could hear the echoes of disappointment that it had to tell her what it was. “I’m a dryad of the willow trees. If… if you don’t know what to do, why don’t we just take a seat out here? Talk to me for a while. If you’re just dreaming, then there is no harm, right?” The dryad gave a nervous smile. Then the smile turned into a frown. “I’m not doing this very well at all.”
Her foggy apathy reigned despite standing before a mythological creature who claimed it was affronted that nobody believed it existed. Her mind was torn and she wondered if she was hallucinating. She recalled her lessons from Sunday school about all the evil and Satanic demons. She was probably supposed to react by now. Her apathy permitted the appearance of true discomfort.
She shuddered and shook her head. “N-no… No, no, I can’t talk to you. You… you’re an abomination against God! Sent here by Satan… That’s all this is. Just a messenger of Satan. I don’t need you right now. I have enough things making my life miserable! Just go. Just get out of here.” The door shut and shielded her.
“Oh, don’t be like that!” the dryad pleaded. The lock clicked into place. It side-stepped to the window and touched its hand against the wall. “Things have changed since the age of demons! That’s what I’m here about! The spirit world only wants to get back into contact with the humans.”
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