The Cornelius Correspondence: The Cradle Book Tour: Letter #1 of 5
I hope this letter finds you well and among the best of spirits, my dear old friend. I’ve been thinking about you and the conversation we had while sitting in those over-stuffed armchairs before the crackling fire of the dimly lit lounge at Credulous Hall, le sous-sol de la mère crédule, that old stomping ground of ours when we were young and full of unreasonable expectations. It was the darkness we spoke of, and I’ve been pondering it ever since.
The dark. It would be effortless to merely call it a friend. It’s more than that. Hell, it’s more than family. It seeps into your soul, and once it has taken root there, you can’t ever be rid of it. But why would either of us want to? I like my soul just the way it is… stained by darkness. It defines me, and certainly defines my work. It’s best when it’s cool, perhaps even on the frosty side, so arctic a fire can barely hold it at bay. There’s comfort there in its icy inspiration. I like it when there are sounds, a cacophony of insects and other nighttime things serenading me from hidden places. Into it I blissfully wander, following its unearthly call. It’s the realms where I feel most at home. That’s where I like to write… alone in the dark.
With the notable exception of the contorting flames in the hearth, the waltzing shadows they create all around me, and the bottle of spirits on the corner of my desk, I like to have as few distractions as possible. When I’ve given myself chills, which can happen for a myriad of reasons, I know what I’ve just written works. Of the plethora of causes one can get goosebumps, it’s the more deviant ones that interest me the most.
To say I’m drawn to the sinister side of things would be an understatement. It calls to me, whispers through the cool nighttime ether, and it always has. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so eagerly receptive to it, welcoming it with open arms and yearning heart. Even when I was a child, I had a very special relationship with it and the things that dwell there. What people referred to as my “imaginary friends,” weren’t actually so imaginary. Some of them are still around, guardians of a sort, beloved companions most definitely. I have much more in common with what goes bump in the night than with what yawns in the morning.
As a child, I remember quite vividly getting up in the middle of the night to go outside to play… or so I think. To play was always my intention, but what I actually did out there under the gray wash of the full moon I do not know. I like to pretend I was a fumbling freaky thing frolicking through the neighborhood with absolute abandon. The vividness of the memories fades curiously away once I slip out the backdoor, yet returns as I make my way back through the labyrinth of my grandmother’s house to my inadequate sleeping cavity, a hole really where my three siblings and I huddled like animals to stay warm in the winter.
Memories like these sneak into my writing, though twisted and names changed to protect the guilty. Scotty, the boy in my novel Cradle, is more than a creation, more than my shadow. There is more of me in him than I want to confess, and more of his life grounded in reality than anyone in my family would care to admit. But such is the writer’s world, as well you know my dear Cornelius. At least a little of ourselves can be found in every character, and at least a fraction of our lives in every storyline. But if you want to speak of my madness, it’d take an entire tome to fill you in on that, a memoire of me.
My other friends in the dark are chuckling. I think they like the idea.
Pardon me a moment, someone’s tapping on my shoulder and whispering in my ear. Oh, they’re as eager to wander into the dark as I am. It’s time to return. Be well, my friend.
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:
Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)
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.