The Cornelius Correspondence: The Cradle Book Tour:
Letter 4 of 5
by Joshua Skye
One hopes one’s letter reaches you while in a pleasant state of mind. If you’re not, so be it. Someone or something has been scratching at the chamber door for hours this evening, so one finds oneself without much concern for your emotional well-being at this time. Oh dear, did that sound catty, in any way unkind? Allow me an hour’s reprieve.
Two hours have passed and still the scratching continues raking cat-like claws across one’s back, down the spine, sending frosty fingertips over the whole of one’s body. One realizes this is a rather eerie opening to a personal letter, but perhaps your Muse has taken form in this, our correspondence. Please, feel free to use this unnerving discomfort in some future story. Don’t forget a wink or a nod in the dedication.
You might ask why one simply doesn’t fling open the door and investigate, and the answer would have to be a resounding: one doesn’t know. Imaginations run wild and fear becomes addiction after a while. One likes it, like a dog to a bone, moth to a flame, an obsession to a fetishist. Ah, one’s latest fixation… fear. Rather ironic, wouldn’t you say? A Shadow fetishizing shadow. Or maybe it’s just fittingly amusing. Like your Muse, the boogeyman, Krampus, or your favorite porn star, one exists to arouse you, nothing more.
One does admire that you love your characters, even those of unredeeming quality. It makes your stories exponentially more disturbing. How could anyone love a mother… or, more distinctively, Scotty’s mother in the wake of her ghastly neglect? Are you the victim of some sort of variant of Stockholm Syndrome, a childhood pathology that crafts a bond with such a vile parent regardless of said parent’s shortcomings? In fact, your “mommy issues” seem a regular motif in your writing. The relationship between Kincaid and his mother in The Angels of Autumn was dysfunctional as well, though in a resplendently dissimilar way. Love takes on many guises, most of which are just plain unsettling in your world. How bravely and incestuously gothic of you, Joshua.
We’ve corresponded about your main characters, what compels you to bring them to life in all their dysfunctional grandeur, the fact they have eerie similarities to the people you know, but allow one to ask you of monsters. Do they too have origins in entities around you? Your fiends in Angels were truly horrific. I was spellbound by your graphic depictions of those oceanic monstrosities and the vivid transformations from their human forms. What made you deviate from revisiting them in Cradle, though it takes place in the same nightmarish realm?
In the deepest vale of Crepuscule’s Cradle, in the cul-de-sac at the end of Direful Hollow Road, is a once grand Folk-Victorian home known as The Habersham House. It’s a place haunted by far more than rot and neglect – evil dwells here, an evil that craves children.
Eight-year-old Scott Michaels-Greene has a fascination for tales of the strange and unusual, especially local folklore. His favorite story is the one about Habersham House; a ruined old place where many curious children have disappeared.
Hours away from Crepuscule’s Cradle, in Philadelphia, author Radley Barrette has just lost the love of his life to a random act of violence. Amongst his endowments from Danny’s estate is an old house in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, Habersham House. Though grief stricken at leaving behind the only home he and Danny had ever known, he knows he cannot remain in the city. Besides, the isolation may be just what he needs to clear his mind of the writer’s block he’s suffering from.
Crepuscule’s Cradle is not as he imagined. The locals are inhospitable. The skeletal forest surrounding it is as unwelcoming as the town. And the house itself – there is something menacing, something angry inhabiting it with him, and it’s hungry. Radley’s world slowly begins to unravel; the fringes of his reality begin to fray. In the midst of his breakdown, a local boy with an unhealthy fascination for Habersham House begins sneaking around and the evil residing within has taken notice.
Blending fantasy with horror, Crepuscule’s Cradle is the darkest of fairy tales. The morbidity of classic folklore and contemporary style weaves a web of slowly encroaching unease. Radley Barrette’ winter bound home is more than a haunted house, and Crepuscule’s Cradle is more than a mere horror tale. It’s a bedtime story that will pull you into its icy embrace, lull you into a disquiet state, and leave you shivering in the dark.
Cradle is available online at:
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About the Author – Award winning, bestselling author Joshua Skye was born in Jamestown, New York. Growing up, he split his time between Pennsylvania and Texas. Ultimately he settled in the DFW area with his partner, Ray – of nearly two decades, and their son Syrian. They share their lives with two dogs, Gizmo and Gypsy, and a chinchilla named Bella. Skye’s short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies including Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed, and periodicals such as The Sirens Call. He is the author of over ten critically acclaimed novels, among them The Angels of Autumn that takes place in the same nightmarish universe as Cradle.