From the May Issue, Kristi DeMeester’s “The Beautiful Nature of Venom.”
1. What’s with literary fiction’s fascination regarding collarbones? Is it the sound that word makes?
Iâ€™ve always found a strange beauty in that which is fragile. The physical collarbone has always struck me as incredibly delicate, easily breakable; a thing that houses the heart, and what I love about the word itself is that the sound of it rolling off the tongue mimics this fragility. There is eroticism in not only seeing the collarbone exposed but also in the round curvature of the syllables.
2. What animal is inside you?
A raven. All sleek feathered and contemplative. Possibly perched on some bust of Pallas after tapping on some chamber door.
3. How do you define “dark fiction”?
As reading and writing that must be done in the dark. For me, there have always been dark, strange ideas lurking in every corner of my brain. Too often, we hesitate to discuss these strange parts of ourselves out of embarrassment or fear that others will find us odd or mentally touched. Dark fiction is where our secrets and demons lie. Itâ€™s what we see when we close our eyes. Itâ€™s what haunts us. Dark fiction, for me, is the outlet for all of these things.
4. What made you write “The Beautiful Nature of Venom”?
I started this story without any intentions regarding what it would ultimately become. I initially wanted to explore the predatory nature of both man and woman. Of course, the stereotype is of man as predator, chasing his metaphorical rabbit until she stops long enough for him to sink his teeth in. During the opening sections, I began to consider how a woman might turn this on a man, how she might become the hunter all while feeling some sympathy, almost wishing that he could understand that this act of giving your body to another is both dangerous and beautiful. This makes me sound like a prude, but it was her desire for him to understand and that momentary awareness at the end that intrigued me. The spider is methodical, always planning its movements, and it was this awareness that I wanted to convey.
5. Carnage or Venom – which is your favorite Spider-Man villain?
Carnage. I love the idea of a character that lacks all emotion and sympathy for his victims. The idea of forcing humanity to exist in chaos, something that we desperately fight against, cannot possibly survive, is fascinating. And look at that backstory! Pushing your grandmother down the stairs? Writing your name over the scene of your crime in your own blood? Itâ€™s bad ass.
6. What army would you like at your command?
An army of the undead.