They Came From Planet Q

They Came From Planet Q by Laura Dower

Book: They Came From Planet Q by Laura Dower Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laura Dower
    I ripped off silver birthday wrapping paper, lifted a pale pink box lid, and tore through a bunch of sparkly tissue.
    There it was.
    â€œA CAMERA? NO WAY!” I cried.
    â€œWhat do you mean no way ?” Dad joked. “All we ever give you are cameras.”
    â€œYeah, I know,” I said, smirking. “This makes camera number twenty-two in my collection!”
    Kids at school know me as “photographer at large” because I snap photos for the school paper. I try to show up at all soccer games, school musicals, and spelling bees. And now that I’m a member of the Monster Squad, photography comes in handy more than ever. I’m working on a photo scrapbook of all our Monster Squad adventures.
    Monster Squad is this top secret group formed by genius B-Monster movie director Oswald Leery. A few months back, Leery and his sidekick, Walter Block, invited four of us Riddle Elementary fifth-graders (and superfans of the B-Monster movies) to join him and track down B-Monsters in the real world.
    How do B-Monsters get out into the world, you ask? Well, when a Leery B-Monster movie is screened from an original movie reel, the B-Monster has the ability to escape. If you were stuck in a movie reel, wouldn’t you want out?
    When Leery explained this all to me, I jumped right on the bandwagon because . . . well, I couldn’t think of a single reason not to. I could not turn away the chance to hunt down B-Monsters and take photos at the same time! After all, my grandpa Max was the original photographer and cinematographer for all of Leery’s movies.
    And I inherited his photography gene—big time.
    An entire wall of my bedroom is covered with cool B-Monster photos that my grandpa took on and off the movie set. He has shots of B-Monsters attacking, eating, and flying warp speed into the ozone layer. My favorite shot shows a bunch of glowing robot props from They Came from Planet Q —with Grandpa posing in the middle.
    I inherited more than a photo gene from Grandpa though; I inherited most of his camera collection, too. Many of the cameras are old-fashioned, like the ones that take sepia-toned pictures (brown and white instead of black-and-white), but they work like new. There are Polaroid-type cameras (where the picture comes right out); cameras with long-range lenses; and cameras that have a special “B-Monster Vision” knob.
    â€œWas this really one of Grandpa’s cameras?” I asked my parents. “It looks so plain.”
    â€œCame from his secret stash, I guess,” Mom explained. “It was at the bottom of a box in the attic, all wrapped up in brown paper with a bunch of other movie props. At first we thought it was broken. The lens was scratched a bit and that dial on top was covered with grime. But then your father found this new repair shop . . .”
    â€œReely Good Things!” Dad piped up. “It’s a brand-new store at Petroglyph Mall down on the lower level. They sell cameras and DVDs. I saw some B-Monster movies in the shop. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have some original reels there!”
    â€œOriginal reels?” I gulped.
    I knew what that meant. A new B-Monster could be released at any moment. The squad already eliminated three. I wasn’t really sure I was ready for number four.
    My dad knows Petroglyph Mall like the back of his hand. He’s the head of security there. Twenty-six different guys report to him! He knows all the store owners, which is a major bonus, because they offer cool discounts and specials, like offering to fix my new camera.
    â€œThanks for this,” I said, squeezing my arms around both Mom and Dad at the same time. “You get the best presents.”
    â€œWell . . .” Mom shrugged. “You’re the best daughter.”
    Dad nodded at the camera. “Looks pretty interesting . . .”
    â€œMore like pretty strange ,” I said. “What are all

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