It isn't how we look up close so much as in dreams. Our giant is not so tall, our lizard boy merely flaunts crusty skin- not his fault they keep him in a crate and bathe him maybe once a week. When folks scream or clutch their hair and poke at us and glare and speak of how we slithered up from Hell, it is themselves they see: the preacher with the farmer's girls (his bulging eyes, their chicken legs) or the mother lurching towards the sink, a baby quivering in her gnarled hands. Horror is the company you keep when shades are drawn. Evil does not reside in cages.
Copyright © 2005 Gabrielle Calvocoressi. Excerpted from "Circus Fire, 1944," from The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart. Used with permission of Persea Books.