Category Archives: Emma Cuthbert

Love Letter: Emma Cuthbert

My stories tend towards historical settings and Gothic themes: I want to poke around in the darker reaches of the human mind, and to explore what people are motivated by and capable of under extreme circumstances. I love lingering on physical descriptions, and exploiting those tiny essential details that make a character human.

This is a story of obsessional love, with several unpleasant surprises and twists. It was influenced by the writing of Nabokov and by numerous screen portrayals of well-spoken psychopaths, including those by Anthony Perkins, Anthony Hopkins and John Lithgow.

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My darling Francine,

I stopped there for a moment, just to think about your name. To repeat it out loud. It’s such a delicious juxtaposition of syllables.

The sensible-sounding Fran: that long nasal tone somehow reminding me of Mrs Kirsch, the librarian at McKinley High. I can picture her flat suburban shoes, her thick eyebrows and those provocative gold-rimmed glasses on a chain around her neck: their low Bézier sweep lying in gilt contrast to the soft freckled spheres of her breasts. I can almost feel that rich confluence of curves, the way they hint at the woman beneath the ugly clothes.

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