Domyelle Rhyse is the author of the short story
PROMISES in the
NEW Vampire Anthology
“He’s dying.” She watched surprise pool in Anthony’s old, mud colored eyes.
“How do you know this?” Anger and suspicion, tangled with his possessive jealousy, chilled his voice, and Amelia resisted the desire to step back. She couldn’t risk being locked away. Not now.
“You think I’ve learned nothing from you all these years?” She brushed her hair back over her shoulders, letting it fall into a stream of blue-black to her slim hips, with a hand too slender, too pale. “I want to go see him.”
He glared. “You promised to remain with me, Amelia.”
“And I have, and you spared his life. But now he’s dying. I need to go to him.” She softened her voice and knelt with her hands on his knees, pleading with the blue-gray eyes he claimed to love. “Anthony, please? I’ve stayed for so long, never seeing him, never going to him, not even asking about him, but always here with you, just like you wanted. Please let me go. Give us this one night.”
He rose, his body lean and hard, and crossed to the window to peer out into the night. His porcelain skin paled in the moon’s fullness, turning to unshadowed ice. “You wish to turn him.”
“No!” She took a deep, ragged breath against the shock. After so many attempts to escape, to die, after forcing her to promise to stay with him by threatening Nathan, how could he believe she would want to bring the man she loved into this life? “No, I would never imprison Nathan this way.”
Anthony turned and studied her, sucking her into the depths of his gaze. “You will return.”
She heard the hint of desperation he tried to hide. Nodding, she kept her tone even, playing the game that had kept Nathan safe all these years. “I will return.”
“Then go.” A sly smile carved into his marble face. “Give him my regards.”
She controlled her anger. Soon enough she would be free. But she couldn’t leave him thinking he held the upper hand. “You may have stolen me from him, but he has always held my heart.”
She left before he could respond, back stiff with her pride. There was only so much time before dawn, and she had to speak to Nathan before the sun rose. Taking nothing with her, not even a coat to ward off the new winter chill, she fled into the night, racing to the man she would have married if Anthony had not come into their lives.
Anthony. Pale skin, cinnamon hair, regal, flawless, amusing for the first few hours of their acquaintance with him. They had met the night Nathan proposed, on the patio of a tiny bistro. So many had come up to congratulate them, strangers who showered them with well wishes. Anthony waited until the crowd dissipated and ended up spending most of the evening with them. That was a part of his power. He became woven into the moment, subduing all objections without a single word.
He had taken her while they danced, one cool hand in hers, the other wrapped around her slender body, and promised to leave her fiancé alone only if she stayed with him. To keep Nathan safe, she had given her word.
But it was a hard promise to keep. Amelia was unsuited to the life Anthony had given her, the blood distasteful, and she missed Nathan more than the beating of her now still heart. She tried to starve herself, but he threatened her beloved, warned her that death would not save her lover. She had given in, hoping to keep herself pure from what she had become, always knowing that Nathan’s natural death would release her.
The biting air scraped against her skin, but it was nothing against the desire, the need, to get to Nathan. She reached the rest home just shy of midnight. Age and despair touched the sick-laden air surrounding the low, red brick building, bringing a sour taste to her mouth. She stood in the shadows of an old oak, hesitant, uncertain. Nathan would be over 90 now. Did she want to see him elderly and weak, or did she want to remember him as the man she had said yes to on a cool, spring night? She wandered the yard, seeking his scent, stopping outside his window when she still didn’t have an answer.
Her last memory of him was the night Anthony had found them. Handsome despite his too large ears–he kept them hidden under his thick, ash-blonde hair. His eyes, a hazel green, always hard to meet in their intensity, had been one of the first things to draw her to him. She could feel his calloused fingertips and smooth palms sliding over her skin, sending a shiver through her the like of which she hadn’t felt in years.
It didn’t matter if she saw him now. What could have been, should have been, would remain with her forever. READ MORE
Domyelle Rhyse, or domy (as she prefers to be called), started writing at the age of 10 and fell in love with fantasy when a fifth grade teacher read The Hobbit to the class. She started annoying friends with weird stories in high school but didn’t take her writing seriously until after earning a college degree in English and having a family that took pride in interrupting her every minute. Her short stories and articles have appeared in several online and print magazines and anthologies, including Aoife’s Kiss, Beyond Centauri, Golden Visions, and Distant Passages: The Best from Double-Edged Publishing Vol. 1. As an editor and an admin of Dreaming In Ink Writers Workshop, she’s had the honor of working with a number of authors whose works have been published by both small press and trade publishers. Denyse is the mother of four children and lives in Georgia with her chef husband, her autistic son, and three cats.
The INTERVIEW with Fiona
Name: Denyse but I only answer to domynoe these days
Where are you from: All over the US and Puerto Rico, but most recently settled in Georgia.
A little about yourself: Bachelor’s in English with a Creative Writing Concentration, Associates in Early Childhood Studies, self-trained baker. Been a teacher and an editor, about to go into baking to help the hubs get his name out therehe does the savory, I do the sweet, which pretty much defines our relationship…mostly. I get the spicy in there sometimes. I have four kids, three girls and one boy, and three kitty kids named after X-men. I also run Dreaming In Ink Writers Workshop, a free crit group/workshop that takes all levels of writing and all genres that just turned 11 this year. Also, I’m not as scary as some people seem to think, not a redhead, and am lots thinner than I was 3 years ago.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
The Hobbit. Prior to that, I read all the standard classics for my age: 101 Dalmatians, Black Beauty, etc. A fifth grade teacher read a little of The Hobbit to the class every Friday, and I’ve never been the same. I immersed myself in fantasy, and now my brain defaults to that genre, even when I dream. Some of my biggest fantasy influences are Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, the Raymond E. Feist/Janny Wurts pair up, Melanie Rawn, Katherine Kurtz, Marion Zimmer Bradley:, and most recently Patricia McKillip (I want to grow up and be like her). Because of these authors, my writing is more visual and has more details in everything from description to culture. I love the beauty in McKillip’s writing and hope one day that mine will be as eloquent, richly textured, and lyrical.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Out in the wilds are Assassin’s Choice, an epic fantasy on the small press circuit, and Blood Charms, an urban fantasy still being looked at by agents. I’m working on the second book for the Charms series, another epic fantasy in the same world but at a much later time than Assassin’s, and another urban fantasy in the same world as Charms but on the opposite coast and with a different main character. I can’t stop at just one….
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Dreaming In Ink. I’ve grown a lot, not just in my actual writing but also in how I perceive it, because of the input from other members. And it allows me to be social while still focusing on what I want to do, which is write. And having others believe in you, others who don’t say something is cool just because they know you, when you’re having trouble believing in yourself is amazing. And watching them grow and develop their careers makes me proud to have been a part of their lives in even a small way. Past and present members have all been an amazing group of people.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d like to. I just need writing as a career to see me.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’ve always dabbled in the creative, so probably an artist, an actor, possibly a musician. But never a singer. I’d couldn’t subject people to the torture. That’s reserved for characters.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Strangely, revising. I go through this phase when I absolutely hate what I’m working on. I only keep at it because I’m a glutton for punishment…and I refuse to let anything defeat me. The good news is that coming out of that phase and falling in love again is when I know a novel is about ready for that final polish.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Experiment and find what works for you as a writer, the process that will enable you to complete what you start, then don’t let anyone tell you that your process is wrong. When I started taking my writing seriously, I had people tell me how I was writing wasn’t the “right” way to do it, and it hung me up for years. Don’t get hung up on right or wrong when it comes to process. Do what works for you. On the flip side, if you’re not finishing projects, you probably need to try a different process, so feel free to experiment. And sometimes a book needs a different process than worked before, so again, experiment. Bottom line: it has to work for you and a pox on all those nay sayers. Read more HERE