Mama, the monster has come for me at last. You say they are gods, that it is good to go with the gods, but I am not so sure.
So fast. How can anything move so fast?
The meadow was empty of danger, Mama, I swear by my nose and ears. I only paused a moment, to feel the sun on my fur. I meant to gather food, to return to my mate in the tunnels below, nestled tightly with our young.
The monster’s gaze is hard on me, now. I can barely breathe.
So ugly. Mama, how can a god be so ugly?
I have seen them before, but from behind a rock or a tree, from distant hillside or burrow. I watched as others were taken. I thought myself safe and clever.
I was wrong.
—from “Not Go Quietly” by Sonia Orin Lyris
Which god(s) did you write about in your story, and why?
You. I wrote about you.
I was once addicted to Pokemon Go. I was one of those people who wander around, gape-mouthed, intently pawing their phone to conquer little creatures.
Conquer by hitting them until they lose consciousness, that is.
But no, it’s okay. Only make-believe. Not real creatures. Just a game.
Just a game.
When I finally broke my addiction, it occurred to wonder, what if those creatures actually were real? How would the game seem to them?
Or, in other words, how would they see you, oh Player?
I wrote about you.
What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?
I’m just finishing up a novel about witches and demons, about the tension between the ancient forest and the voracious human demand for new construction. I also wanted to explore what it means to be other yet find a way to be part of a whole.
I got to write about magic, smart kids, what it means to step out of your comfort zone, and what it’s like to hear the forest speak.
Also, you know, demons. Always fun.
What is your favorite chocolate, and why?
When I ask people this question, they often talk about percentage cacao or what flavoring they like best. Some get really brave and confide in me that they like milk chocolate. Usually in a whisper.
My answer is a little more specific.
I have no investment in Zotter Chocolate beyond my experience that they do marvelous work with the bean, have splendid artwork on their bar wrappers, and the Zotter family borders on being a real-life better version of Willy Wonka–amazing confectioners who are just a touch eccentric in all the best ways.
They make a stunning array of excellent bars and confections. Here are two that I favor, and yes, one is milk chocolate. Dark milk, because you truly can have it all:
1. 72% Opus 2021
2. 80%/20% Milk Chocolate Super Dark (without sugar)
Anything you’d like to share with the readers, promotional or otherwise?
This is deep, immersive fantasy, touching on themes of destiny, power, and love. There’s also magic, gold, horses, and some amazing people. The story goes places that still surprise me.
Get hooked. Chapter one right here.
About Sonia Orin Lyris
Sonia Orin Lyris’s stories have been published in various places, including Asimov’s SF Magazine, Wizards of the Coast anthologies, and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
Her stories have been called “immersive,” “ruthless,” and “unsparing.”
She is the author of The Seer Saga, an epic high-fantasy series, and co-creator of Rochi, a divination and gambling game from Campaign Coins.
Her hobbies include dance, martial arts, decoding reality, fine chocolate, humans, and feline poetry.