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The Cold Man

One day, when he’s ten, before he develops his stutter, the boy who will be the Cold Man walks bravely up to the crazy man in the park. The man’s snapping pictures of families, humming to himself. The boy taps him on the shoulder.

“You always keep the lens cap on,” he says bluntly. “Is that because you’re crazy?”

The man blinks at him and, too slowly, smiles. “No,” he says. “It’s because cameras can capture other things than light.”

The boy sees that the man’s irises are a perfect silver, and that, like coins, their rims are stamped with words.