We recently published Michelle Ross’s glorious “Deposition.” Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) I love the use of ritual in this piece, the nightly burying of the spoons. Was this image what kickstarted this piece? Or was there ever a different ritual that Sam performed?
This is precisely the image that kickstarted the piece, and I can’t take credit for it. Vanessa Gebbie supplied the image as a prompt in a flashathon Meg Pokrass organized. I usually resist such specific prompts, in part I guess because it bugs me somehow to begin with someone else’s words or image, but these flashathons have dulled my resistance. Drafting a new micro or flash every hour for fifteen hours straight, I take inspiration wherever I find it. Of course, as writers we are often responding to others’ words in one fashion or another, even if typically less directly. In this case, I was immediately taken with the image and couldn’t help but follow it.
2) The sensuality of spoons is something I’ve never thought of before — we see how the characters think they are. For you, what makes a spoon sensual?
All cutlery is sensual, I think, both because of the function spoons, knives, and forks serve, but also because of their forms—the way these pieces are shaped to fit the hand, the mouth. Spoons most especially, though. They’re more inviting than other cutlery. I love soups, but I think that beyond the soup itself, one of the pleasures of eating soup is that it’s eaten with a spoon. Ice cream, if it’s solid enough, could be eaten from a bowl just fine with a fork, but some measure of the pleasure of the experience would be taken away with the spoon. Imagine sucking the last bit of ice cream off a fork. Not the same by a long shot.