The illustrious Virginia Carraway Stark is a prolific and popular author with a plethora of short stories and novels to her name. She turns her attention- and her pen- to the idea of romantic getaways with a Lovecraftian twist in her short story for Hearts Asunder.
Here’s a disturbingly titillating excerpt from Willows’ Corner:
He was against one of the filter output jets and the water pushed against him in a pleasing way. Elphonse smiled again and put her arms around him and the her legs wrapped firmly around him. If it wasn’t for his shorts he would have been inside her. She kissed him, he returned her ardor. Damn, he was starting to think he wasn’t going to get laid at all this Valentine’s weekend, at least that part was turning around.
He tried to wriggle out of her intensely strong grip to undo the velcro fly of his swimshorts but she held him too tightly to move. He wanted her so badly but the layer of material between them was driving him nuts. He was so caught up in the problem of his swimshorts that he almost didn’t notice that there was a second pair of legs wrapped around him, or something that felt much like legs. He looked into the murk of the dimly lit water and saw the pink and purple tentacles that started at Elphonse’s waist and made up the lower half of her body. One small tentacle crawled up his swim trunks and he shuddered, he shuddered and pulled away but what the tentacle sought and found was hard and ready.
Solomon Burke continued his song and Elphonse started to sing to him as she toyed with him:
You see now what you’ve caused
And I know just what I lost
And I know what the price
I paid, I paid, I paid
For loving someone like you
- Do you have a real life horror story of love gone wrong in your life?
Yes. Yes in so many ways. I’m prone to stalkers and some strange people have come after me. One of the creepiest ones that isn’t a whole long story all on its own was a guy who drew pictures of some demon he said was following him and made him do bad things sometimes. There were swords and apparently his dad and his friends dressed up in robes and did things sometimes. I made sure not to be alone with him much after that. I felt like I was one dimension away from things getting really nutso.
- What do you find makes the combination of love and horror such a potent combination
People who love you will do anything for you, I mean anything. People have a weird and twisted idea of both what the ‘anything’ might be and what love is. Love is intimately connected to the idea of possessing someone and having ownership of them. Love gives us all a sense of belonging and for people who things don’t go right for or for people who came with faulty wiring this can go from, ‘I love you, I brought you roses,’ to, ‘why are you trying to leave, I want to be inside your skin’.
Love is the most powerful emotion we feel (I think) and it lives on a teeter-totter with hatred. If you try to jump off your end when someone has you on this teeter totter they hit the ground with a tooth jarring pound of hatred.
It’s not just love that we’re talking about here either, it’s eroticism. Sex has always been associated with death. The idea of the orgasm being le petite mort. Like a sword he penetrates her and yet she does not die. The imagery of this is the basis for endless ‘secret’ brotherhoods and springs in the modern era from Crowley. The idea of penetration equaling death is an old one and it speaks powerfully to you no matter your gender. In my story it was the man who got penetrated, these things happen and for many it is understandably the greatest horror of all.
- What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentines Day horror story?
I didn’t really have an inspiration for mine except that I got it into my head that a couple should have a horrific experience at a bed and breakfast. Those places kind of creep my out, the idea of walking into a strangers home and having no clue what sort of experience you’re going to have is akin to picking up hitch hikers in my mind. In fact, it’s more frightening because it’s in their demense. Who knows what traps or horrors they could set up for you in there? Maybe it would just be bed bugs and an unhygienic kitchen, I think I’d rather stay in a hostel than go to a B and B. I’m a private person and wouldn’t want strangers in my house and then be made to make breakfast for them. It seems like the sort of person who would be into that would be likely to have an ulterior motive.
BUT in all honesty I have heard nothing but good feedback about B and Bs. I have friends who use them and plan entire trips skipping from one to the next and say they have the loveliest time you could imagine. I think probably my brain did the writer thing where it threw the ‘what if’ into the mix and I’m thinking the worst of a group of people who are some of the most social, extroverted morning people on the planet.
Perhaps there should be a name for a fear of Bed and Breakfasts… or maybe there already is one. I’ll get back to you on that, whatever it is, I think I have that phobia.
Comment on “Virginia Carraway Stark Chats about Tentacles and Romance”
Great interview Virginia and I absolutely loved your story Willows Corner!