THE COLLECTOR

Eveline stamps her feet impatiently on the concrete steps, dislodging damp grass, her shins tingling. Daddy has promised her a morning with the beautiful ones, the ladies with the pale faces and ringlet hair done up in bows and bonnets. They whispered to her from rosebud mouths, the faintest swipe of rose petal hued paint marking their cherub lips. They signed surreptitiously with delicate hands, fingers curled or clasping bouquets of faded flowers with velveteen petals, inviting her. Daddy pays the admission price and she pushes the door. Time exhales its musty breath. They’ve been waiting for her return visit.

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