But these weren't the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around-they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don't recognize them for what they are until it's too late.
I love you too, I wanted to say with as much hurtful sarcasm as I could muster, but she hadn't seen me, and I kept quiet. I did love her, of course, but mostly just because loving your mother is mandatory, not because she's someone I think I'd like very much if I met her walking down the street. Which she wouldn't be anyway; walking is for poor people
When I was a kid, Granpa Portman's fantastic stories meant it was possible to live a magical life. Even after I stopped believing them, there was still something magical about my grandfather. To have endured all the horrors he did, to have seen the worst of humanity and to have your life made unrecognised by it, to come out of all that the honorable and good and brave person I knew him to be - THAT was magical.
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Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries-but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.
Emma and I slammed together in a dizzy, twirling embrace. I could hardly speak. 'What are you-how did you-" I was tingling all over, certain I was still dreaming. 'I got your electrical letter!' she said. 'My... email?' "Yes, whatever you call it! When I didn't hear from you I got worried, and then I remembered the machinated postbox you said you made for me. Horce was able to guess your password, and-' "We came as soon as we heard, ' said Miss peregrine, shaking her head at my parents.
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Some of my favorite photos from the old days are of people who maybe didn't know how to smile. Maybe smiling in photos wasn't an accepted form of behavior back then. But the big eyes and the oversized dolls that people are carrying, and it's something about their hair - the anachronisms of these photos are really what creep me out.
Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of these ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize that we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries - but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.
I've never really been interested in the vintage photos people pay lots of money for -- civil war tintypes or old daguerrotypes of famous people. Nor do I have any interest in the really gross, dark stuff that some people pay top-dollar, like post-mortem photos of babies (yuck) or press photos of old murder scenes or whatever. I collect in these little niches most other people don't care about -- dark-and-weird-but-fun -- and photos that have been written on, which a lot of sellers think hurts their value. All of which is good news for me!
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There was romance in the unknown, but once a place had been discovered and cataloged and mapped, it was diminished, just another dusty fact in a book, sapped of mystery. So maybe it was better to leave a few spots on the map blank. To let the world keep a little of its magic, rather than forcing it to divulge every last secret. Maybe it was better, now and then, to wonder.
I own a few thousand snapshots, which is small by the standards of most collectors I know. I generally only buy photos I think I may actually be able to use in a book one day. I need that focus when buying, because without it I'd just buy everything and my house would be overrun with bucket loads of snapshots; there are just too many beautiful images in the world, and I'd need to own them all.
You find a lot of junk when you're searching through lost and tossed photo ephemera, but every so often you'll find a gem, a wallet-sized masterpiece you're certain could hang on the wall of a gallery if only someone with a name had taken it. Find one or two of those and you're hooked for life.
Some days, I would find what seemed like entire family trees, torn from once-treasured albums and dumped in disorganized bins, selling 10 for a dollar. I wondered how people could give up pictures of their great-grandparents for complete strangers to paw through - or why complete strangers would want them.
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