Wind Chill by Patrick Rutigliano
What if you were held captive by your own family?
Emma Rawlins has spent the last year a prisoner. The months following her mother's death dragged her father into a paranoid spiral of conspiracy theories and doomsday premonitions. Obsessing him, controlling him, they now whisper the end days are finally at hand.
And he doesn’t intend to face them alone.
Emma finds herself drugged and dragged to a secluded cabin, the last refuge from a society supposedly due to collapse. Their cabin a snowbound fortress, her every move controlled, but even that isn't enough to weather the end of the world.
Everything she knows is out of reach, lost beyond a haze of white. There is no choice but to play her father's game while she plans her escape.
But there is a force far colder than the freezing drifts. Ancient, ravenous, it knows no mercy. And it's already had a taste...
Wind Chill also contains 8 original stories:
- The Fear Merchant: The local king of Halloween finds himself outdone by a new neighbor and becomes compelled to discover what secrets lie in the haunted house across the street.
- Bang!: A rivalry between two creatures of the night takes a black-humored twist.
- Little Red Vest: A break down leaves a woman stranded on the wrong side of town—and witness to a bizarre performance that can warp time as easily as it does flesh.
- Shadowplay: Still mourning his little brother’s death, an aging wave slave finds comfort in the local playground. But he can’t help but wonder about the strange child who lingers there after dark.
- Jump Cuts: Bitter and dejected, a spinster discovers a way to reconnect with the warmer shades of the human experience. And her own regrets.
- The Skin Trade: A one-night stand leaves a businessman with an unthinkable cargo.
Carrying on the proud tradition of Gene O'Neill, Clive Barker, and Kealan Patrick Burke.
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from the Darkest Depths
Interview with the Author:
What makes Wind Chill so special?
Patrick Rutigliano: Wind Chill explores a twisted family dynamic as much as the supernatural--and all the conflicting emotions attached to someone you love and hate at the same time. Worse, the isolated setting means there really is no way to walk away from this one.
Tell us more about your lead character.
Patrick Rutigliano: Emma is a teenager struggling through the death of her mother while trying to cope with a father left increasingly paranoid from the same incident. The whole experience has left her morbid and rather cynical. She’s basically stepping into a cage whenever she enters her house, and her father doesn’t let her leave it often. Her feelings on him are torn between the man she remembers and the unhinged (albeit well-meaning) prison warden he’s become.
Why should readers give Wind Chill a try?
Patrick Rutigliano: I’m very proud of the complexity of the relationship that exists between these characters. I think it’s pretty accurate to the love-hate dynamic that exists in a lot of families. Being from New England (and having worked outside in freezing conditions), I’m also intimately familiar with cold, so I believe I got that frozen setting down well. The short stories included at the end are also the best I’ve ever written, so there’s that, too. If you want horror, you’ll definitely get it. If you want a black-humored chuckle, you’ll find those, as well.
Wind Chill categories:
- Mystery Thriller
- Horror novella
- Short story collection
- Survival Horror