Brothers From Another Mother Quotes

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Listen, kid. This is what happens: Somebody-girl usually-got a free spirit, doesn't get on too good with her parents. These kids, they're like tied-down helium balloons. They strain against the string and strain against it, and then something happens, and that string gets cut, and they just fly away. And maybe you never see the balloon again. It lands in Canada or somethin', gets work at a restaurant, and before the balloon even notices, it's been pouring coffee in that same dinner to the same sad bastards for thirty years. Or maybe three or four years from now or three or four days from now, the prevailing winds take the balloon back home, because it needs money, or it sobered up, or it misses its kid brother. But listen, kid, that string gets cut all the time." "Yeah, bu-" "I'm not finished, kid. The thing about these balloons is that there are so goddamned many of them. The sky is choked full of them, rubbing up against one another as they float to here or from there, and every one of those damned balloons ends up on my desk, one way or another, and after awhile a man can get discouraged. Everywhere the balloons, and each of them with a mother and father, or God forbid both, and after a while, you can't even see'em individually. You look up at all the balloons in the sky and you can see all of the balloons, but you cannot see any one balloon.
John Green (Paper Towns)
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“ Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
Jordan leaned on the counter. He felt a little like a bartender in a TV show, dispensing sage advice. "What do you owe her?" "Life," Isabelle said. Jordan blinked. This was a little beyond his bartending and advice-offering skills. "She saved your life?" "She saved Jace's life. She could have had anything from the Angel Raziel, and she saved my brother. I've only ever trusted a few people in my life. Really trusted. My mother, Alec, Jace, and Max. I lost one of them already. Clary's the only reason I didn't lose another.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
How did you do it?" I brought the teacup to my mouth for another sip. "How did you guide Sophie's soul? I thought you were a reaper." "He's both," Nash said from behind me, and I turned just as he followed my father through the front door, pulling his long sleeves down one at a time. He and my dad had just loaded Aunt Val's white silk couch into the back of my uncle's truck, so he wouldn't have to deal with the bloodstains when he and Sohie got back from the hospital. "Tod is very talented." Tod brushed the curl back from his face and scowled. Harmony spoke up from the kitchen as the oven door squealed open. "Both my boys are talented." "Both?" I repeated, sure I'd heard her wrong. Nash sighed and slid onto the chair his mother had vacated, then gestured toward the reaper with one hand. "Kaylee, meet my brother, Tod.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1))
Buckley followed the three of them into the kitchen and asked, as he had at least once a day, “Where’s Susie?” They were silent. Samuel looked at Lindsey. “Buckley,” my father called from the adjoining room, “come play Monopoly with me.” My brother had never been invited to play Monopoly. Everyone said he was too young, but this was the magic of Christmas. He rushed into the family room, and my father picked him up and sat him on his lap. “See this shoe?” my father said. Buckley nodded his head. “I want you to listen to everything I say about it, okay?” “Susie?” my brother asked, somehow connecting the two. “Yes, I’m going to tell you where Susie is.” I began to cry up in heaven. What else was there for me to do? “This shoe was the piece Susie played Monopoly with,” he said. “I play with the car or sometimes the wheelbarrow. Lindsey plays with the iron, and when you mother plays, she likes the cannon.” “Is that a dog?” “Yes, that’s a Scottie.” “Mine!” “Okay,” my father said. He was patient. He had found a way to explain it. He held his son in his lap, and as he spoke, he felt Buckley’s small body on his knee-the very human, very warm, very alive weight of it. It comforted him. “The Scottie will be your piece from now on. Which piece is Susie’s again?” “The shoe?” Buckley asked. “Right, and I’m the car, your sister’s the iron, and your mother is the cannon.” My brother concentrated very hard. “Now let’s put all the pieces on the board, okay? You go ahead and do it for me.” Buckley grabbed a fist of pieces and then another, until all the pieces lay between the Chance and Community Chest cards. “Let’s say the other pieces are our friends?” “Like Nate?” “Right, we’ll make your friend Nate the hat. And the board is the world. Now if I were to tell you that when I rolled the dice, one of the pieces would be taken away, what would that mean?” “They can’t play anymore?” “Right.” “Why?” Buckley asked. He looked up at my father; my father flinched. “Why?” my brother asked again. My father did not want to say “because life is unfair” or “because that’s how it is”. He wanted something neat, something that could explain death to a four-year-old He placed his hand on the small of Buckley’s back. “Susie is dead,” he said now, unable to make it fit in the rules of any game. “Do you know what that means?” Buckley reached over with his hand and covered the shoe. He looked up to see if his answer was right. My father nodded. "You won’t see Susie anymore, honey. None of us will.” My father cried. Buckley looked up into the eyes of our father and did not really understand. Buckley kept the shoe on his dresser, until one day it wasn't there anymore and no amount of looking for it could turn up.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Girls say to me, very reasonably, 'why isn't it a bunch of girls? Why did you write this about a bunch of boys?' Well, my reply is I was once a little boy - I have been a brother, a father, I am going to be a grandfather. I have never been a sister, or a mother, or a grandmother. That's one answer. Another answer is of course to say that if you - as it were - scaled down human beings, scaled down society, if you land with a group of little boys, they are more ike a scaled-down version of society than a group of little girls would be. Don't ask me why, and this is a terrible thing to say because I'm going to be chased from hell to breakfast by all the women who talk about equality - this is nothing to do with equality at all. I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been. But one thing you can't do with them is take a bunch of them and boil them down, so to speak, into a set of little girls who would then become a kind of image of civilisation, of society. The other thing is - why aren't they little boys AND little girls? Well, if they'd been little boys and little girls, we being who we are, sex would have raised its lovely head, and I didn't want this to be about sex. Sex is too trivial a thing to get in with a story like this, which was about the problem of evil and the problem of how people are to live together in a society, not just as lovers or man and wife.
William Golding
I like how you call homosexuality an abomination." "I don't say homosexuality's an abomination, Mr. President, the bible does." "Yes it does. Leviticus-" "18:22" "Chapter in verse. I wanted to ask you a couple questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo Mcgary,insists on working on the sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it ok to call the police? Here's one that's really important, cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Red Skins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?
Aaron Sorkin
…He wasn’t even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man. Whereas it looked as if I was the one who’d come up emptyhanded. But I was sure about me, about everything, surer than he could ever be, sure of my life and sure of my death I had waiting for me… I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another. I had done this and I hadn’t done that… Nothing, nothing mattered, and I knew why. So did he. Throughout the whole absurd life I’ve lived, a dark wind had been rising toward me from somewhere deep in my future, across years that were still to come, and as it passed, this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time, in years no more real than the ones I was living. What did other people’s deaths or a mother’s love matter to me; what did his God or the lives people choose or the fate they think they elect matter to me when we’re all elected by the same fate, me and billions of privileged people like him who also called themselves my brothers?
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
I know how it feels, dear one. As if your heart were torn in two. I feel your pain.” I took a deep breath. Another. “Finbar?” “I know how it feels. As if you will never be whole again.” I reached inside my dress, where I wore two cords about my neck. One held my wedding ring; the other the amulet that had once been my mother’s. I left the one, and took off the other. “This is yours. Take it back. Take it back, it was to you she gave it.” I slipped the cord over his head, and the little carven stone with its ash tree sign lay on his breast. He had grown painfully thin. “Show me the other. The other talisman you wear.” Slowly I took out the carven ring, and lifted it on my palm for my brother to see. “He made this for you? Him with the golden hair, and the eyes that devour”? “Not him. Another.” Images were strong in my mind; Red with his arm around me like a shield; Red cutting up and apple; Red kicking a sword from a man’s hand, and catching it in his own; Red barefoot on the sand with the sea around his ankles. “You risked much, to give your love to such a one.” I stared at him. “Love?” “Did you not know, until now, when you must say goodbye?
Juliet Marillier (Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters, #1))
Behold, the Spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. Yet, hear me, people, we have now to deal with another race – small and feeble when our fathers first met them but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away; they deface her with their buildings and their refuse. The nation is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all that are in its path. We cannot dwell side by side. Only seven years ago we made a treaty by which we were assured that the buffalo country should be left to us forever. Now they threaten to take that away from us. My brothers, shall we submit or shall we say to them: 'First kill me before you take possession of my land
Sitting Bull
The character of Moses, as stated in the Bible, is the most horrid that can be imagined. If those accounts be true, he was the wretch that first began and carried on wars on the score or on the pretence of religion; and under that mask, or that infatuation, committed the most unexampled atrocities that are to be found in the history of any nation. Of which I will state only one instance: When the Jewish army returned from one of their plundering and murdering excursions, the account goes on as follows (Numbers xxxi. 13): 'And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp; and Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle; and Moses said unto them, 'Have ye saved all the women alive?' behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore, 'kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him; but all the women- children that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for Yourselves.' Among the detestable villains that in any period of the world have disgraced the name of man, it is impossible to find a greater than Moses, if this account be true. Here is an order to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers, and debauch the daughters. Let any mother put herself in the situation of those mothers, one child murdered, another destined to violation, and herself in the hands of an executioner: let any daughter put herself in the situation of those daughters, destined as a prey to the murderers of a mother and a brother, and what will be their feelings? In short, the matters contained in this chapter, as well as in many other parts of the Bible, are too horrid for humanity to read, or for decency to hear.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
I remember how I would eye with envy all the kids in our neighborhood, in my school, who had a little brother or sister. How bewildered I was by the way some of them treated each other, oblivious to their own good luck. They acted like wild dogs. Pinching, hitting, pushing, betraying one another any way they could think of. Laughing about it too. They wouldn’t speak to one another. I didn’t understand. Me, I spent most of my early years craving a sibling. What I really wished I had was a twin, someone who’d cried next to me in the crib, slept beside me, fed from Mother’s breast with me. Someone to love helplessly and totally, and in whose face I could always find myself.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
What do you know about somebody not being good enough for somebody else? And since when did you care whether Corinthians stood up or fell down? You've been laughing at us all your life. Corinthians. Mama. Me. Using us, ordering us, and judging us: how we cook your food; how we keep your house. But now, all of a sudden, you have Corinthians' welfare at heart and break her up from a man you don't approve of. Who are you to approve or disapprove anybody or anything? I was breathing air in the world thirteen years before your lungs were even formed. Corinthians, twelve. . . . but now you know what's best for the very woman who wiped the dribble from your chin because you were too young to know how to spit. Our girlhood was spent like a found nickel on you. When you slept, we were quiet; when you were hungry, we cooked; when you wanted to play, we entertained you; and when you got grown enough to know the difference between a woman and a two-toned Ford, everything in this house stopped for you. You have yet to . . . move a fleck of your dirt from one place to another. And to this day, you have never asked one of us if we were tired, or sad, or wanted a cup of coffee. . . . Where do you get the RIGHT to decide our lives? . . . I'll tell you where. From that hog's gut that hangs down between your legs. . . . I didn't go to college because of him. Because I was afraid of what he might do to Mama. You think because you hit him once that we all believe you were protecting her. Taking her side. It's a lie. You were taking over, letting us know you had the right to tell her and all of us what to do. . . . I don't make roses anymore, and you have pissed your last in this house.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
President Josiah Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination. Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does. President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus. Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22. President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.
Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing Script Book)
Guilty?” George’s face betrayed his surprise. “Whatever for?” “That neither of your brothers ever offered for me.” Another thing she probably should not have said. But as it happened, Billie did think that Lady Manston felt this way. And when George’s expression slid from curiosity to something that might have been jealousy… well, Billie could not help but feel a little pleased. “So I think she’s trying to make it up to me,” she said gamely. “It’s not as if I was waiting for one of them to ask me, but I think she thinks I was, so now she wants to introduce me —” “Enough,” George practically barked. “I beg your pardon?” He cleared his throat. “Enough,” he said in a much more evenly tempered voice. “It’s ridiculous.” “That your mother feels this way?” “That she thinks introducing you to a pack of useless fops is a sensible idea.” Billie took a moment to enjoy this statement.
Julia Quinn (Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1))
Long ago, when faeries and men still wandered the earth as brothers, the MacLeod chief fell in love with a beautiful faery woman. They had no sooner married and borne a child when she was summoned to return to her people. Husband and wife said a tearful goodbye and parted ways at Fairy Bridge, which you can still visit today. Despite the grieving chief, a celebration was held to honor the birth of the newborn boy, the next great chief of the MacLeods. In all the excitement of the celebration, the baby boy was left in his cradle and the blanket slipped off. In the cold Highland night he began to cry. The baby’s cry tore at his mother, even in another dimension, and so she went to him, wrapping him in her shawl. When the nursemaid arrived, she found the young chief in the arms of his mother, and the faery woman gave her a song she insisted must be sung to the little boy each night. The song became known as “The Dunvegan Cradle Song,” and it has been sung to little chieflings ever since. The shawl, too, she left as a gift: if the clan were ever in dire need, all they would have to do was wave the flag she’d wrapped around her son, and the faery people would come to their aid. Use the gift wisely, she instructed. The magic of the flag will work three times and no more. As I stood there in Dunvegan Castle, gazing at the Fairy Flag beneath its layers of protective glass, it was hard to imagine the history behind it. The fabric was dated somewhere between the fourth and seventh centuries. The fibers had been analyzed and were believed to be from Syria or Rhodes. Some thought it was part of the robe of an early Christian saint. Others thought it was a part of the war banner for Harald Hardrada, king of Norway, who gave it to the clan as a gift. But there were still others who believed it had come from the shoulders of a beautiful faery maiden. And that faery blood had flowed through the MacLeod family veins ever since. Those people were the MacLeods themselves.
Signe Pike (Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World)
Any time someone gives you drugs, the purpose is to subdue. Always. Whether it is from a dealer, a friend, your mother/brother/sister/son, or your government--especially your government--the intention is to subdue, and always to feed another motive. Why? Because in getting high, your power and your intellect are blunted. Can the motive ever be in your best interests? Governments notoriously use sex, drink, and drugs to subdue their people. Notoriously. And we're falling for it.
Northern Adams (Mickey and the Gargoyle)
Silence is another element we find in classic fairy tales — girls muted by magic or sworn to silence in order to break enchantment. In "The Wild Swans," a princess is imprisoned by her stepmother, rolled in filth, then banished from home (as her older brothers had been before her). She goes in search of her missing brothers, discovers that they've been turned into swans, whereupon the young girl vows to find a way to break the spell. A mysterious woman comes to her in a dream and tells her what to do: 'Pick the nettles that grow in graveyards, crush and spin them into thread, then weave them into coats and throw them over your brothers' backs.' The nettles burn and blister, yet she never falters: picking, spinning, weaving, working with wounded, crippled hands, determined to save her brothers. All this time she's silent. 'You must not speak,' the dream woman has warned, 'for a single world will be like a knife plunged into your brothers' hearts.' You must not speak. That's what my stepfather said: don't speak, don't cry, don't tell. That's what my mother said as well, as we sat in hospital waiting rooms -- and I obeyed, as did my brothers. We sat as still and silent as stone while my mother spun false tales to explain each break and bruise and burn. Our family moved just often enough that her stories were fresh and plausible; each new doctor believed her, and chided us children to be more careful. I never contradicted those tales. I wouldn't have dared, or wanted to. They'd send me into foster care. They'd send my young brothers away. And so we sat, and the unspoken truth was as sharp as the point of a knife.
Terri Windling (Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales)
But if he had indeed blushed-and his cheeks did feel a touch warm-neither of his brothers saw it, because they didn't say anything, and if there was anything in life as certain as, say, the sun rising in the east,it was that a Bridgerton never passed up the opportunity to tease and torment another Bridgerton. "She's been talking about Penelope Featherington nonstop," Colin said with a scowl. "I tell you, I've known the girl since we were both in short pants. Er, since I was in short pants, at least. She was in..." He scowled some more, because both his brothers were laughing at him. "She was in whatever it is that young girls wear." "Frocks?" Anthony supplied helpfully. "Petticoats?" was Benedict's suggestion. "The point is," Colin said forcefully, "that I have known her forever, and I can assure you I am not likely to fall in love with her." Anthony turned to Benedict and said, "They'll be married within a year.Mark my words." Colin crossed his arms. "Anthony!" "Maybe two," Benedict said. "He's young yet." "Unlike you," Colin retorted. "Why am I besiged by Mother, I wonder? Good God, you're thirty-one-" "Thirty," Benedict snapped. "Regardless, one would think you'd be getting the brunt of it.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
The white woman across the aisle from me says 'Look, look at all the history, that house on the hill there is over two hundred years old, ' as she points out the window past me into what she has been taught. I have learned little more about American history during my few days back East than what I expected and far less of what we should all know of the tribal stories whose architecture is 15,000 years older than the corners of the house that sits museumed on the hill. 'Walden Pond, ' the woman on the train asks, 'Did you see Walden Pond? ' and I don't have a cruel enough heart to break her own by telling her there are five Walden Ponds on my little reservation out West and at least a hundred more surrounding Spokane, the city I pretended to call my home. 'Listen, ' I could have told her. 'I don't give a shit about Walden. I know the Indians were living stories around that pond before Walden's grandparents were born and before his grandparents' grandparents were born. I'm tired of hearing about Don-fucking-Henley saving it, too, because that's redundant. If Don Henley's brothers and sisters and mothers and father hadn't come here in the first place then nothing would need to be saved.' But I didn't say a word to the woman about Walden Pond because she smiled so much and seemed delighted that I thought to bring her an orange juice back from the food car. I respect elders of every color. All I really did was eat my tasteless sandwich, drink my Diet Pepsi and nod my head whenever the woman pointed out another little piece of her country's history while I, as all Indians have done since this war began, made plans for what I would do and say the next time somebody from the enemy thought I was one of their own.
Sherman Alexie
But, Cass, ask yourself, look out and ask yourself – wouldn’t you hate all white people if they kept you in prison here?’ They were rolling up startling Seventh Avenue. The entire population seemed to be in the streets, draped, almost, from lamp-posts, stoops, and hydrants, and walking through the traffic as though it were not there. ‘Kept you here, and stunted you and starved you, and made you watch your mother and father and sister and lover and brother and son and daughter die or go mad or go under, before your very eyes? And not in a hurry, like from one day to the next, but, every day, every day, for years, for generations? Shit. They keep you here because you’re black, while they go around jerking themselves off with all the jazz about the land of the free and the home of the brave. And they want you to jerk yourself off with the same music, too, only keep your distance. Some days, honey, I wish I could turn myself into one big fist and grind this miserable country to powder. Some days, I don’t believe it has a right to exist. Now, you’ve never felt like that, and Vivaldo’s never felt like that. Vivaldo didn’t want to know my brother was dying because he doesn’t want to know that my brother would still be alive if he hadn’t been born black.
James Baldwin (Another Country)
Will and Lake, Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. Unfortunately, it's also one of the hardest things in the world to hold on to, and one of the easiest to throw away. Neither of you has a mother or a father to go to for relationship advice anymore. Neither of you has anyone to go to for a shoulder to cry on when things get touch, and they will get touch. Neither of you has someone to go to when you just want to share the funny, or the happy, or the heartache. You are both at a disadvantage when it comes to this aspect of love. You both only have each other, and because of this, you will have to work harder at building a strong foundation for your future together. You are not only each other's love; you are also one another's sole confidant. I hand wrote some things onto strips of paper and folded them into stars. It might be an inspirational quote, an inspiring lyric, or just some downright good parental advice. I don't want you to open one and read it until you truly feel you need it. If you have a bad day, if the two of you fight, or if you just need something to lift your spirits...that's what these are for. You can open one together; you can open one alone. I just want there to be something both of you can go to, if and when you ever need it. Will...thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives. So much of the pain and worry I've been feeling has been alleviated by the mere fact that I know my daughter is loved by you....You are a wonderful man, and you've been a wonderful friend to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving my daughter like you do. You respect her, you don't need to change for her, and you inspire her. You can never know how grateful I have been for you, and how much peace you have brought my soul. And Lake; this is me-nudging your shoulder, giving you my approval. You couldn't have picked anyone better to love if I would have hand-picked him myself. Also, thank you for being so determined to keep our family together. You were right about Kel needing to be with you. Thank you for helping me see that. And remember when things get touch for him, please teach him how to stop caring pumpkins... I love you both and with you a lifetime of happiness together. -Julia "And all around my memories, you dance..." ~The Avett Brothers
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
When I was born,” Niall Lynch told his middle son, “God broke the mold so hard the ground shook.” This was already a lie, because if God truly had broken the mold for Niall, He’d made Himself a knockoff twenty years later to craft Ronan and his two brothers, Declan and Matthew. The three brothers were nothing if not handsome copies of their father, although each flattered a different side of Niall. Declan had the same way of taking a room and shaking its hand. Matthew’s curls were netted with Niall’s charm and humor. And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war. There was little to nothing of their mother in any of them. “It was a proper earthquake,” Niall clarified, as if anyone had asked him — and knowing Niall, they probably had. “Four point one on the Richter scale. Anything under four would’ve just cracked the mold, not broken it.” Back then, Ronan was not in the business of believing, but that was all right, because his father wanted adoration, not trust. “And you, Ronan,” Niall said. He always said Ronan differently from other words. As if he had meant to say another word entirely — something like knife or poison or revenge — and then swapped it out for Ronan’s name at the last moment. “When you were born, the rivers dried up and the cattle in Rockingham County wept blood.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
1 You said ‘The world is going back to Paganism’. Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes, And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes, Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem. Hestia’s fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands Tended it. By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. At the hour Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush Arose (it is the mark of freemen’s children) as they trooped, Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance. Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods, Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men, Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing. Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions; Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears … You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop. 2 Or did you mean another kind of heathenry? Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth, Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm. Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound; But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods, Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand, Will limp to their stations for the Last defence. Make it your hope To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them; For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last, And every man of decent blood is on the losing side. Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits Who walked back into burning houses to die with men, Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim. Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs; You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune).
C.S. Lewis
Across from me at the kitchen table, my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass. She says she doesn’t deprive herself, but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork. In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate. I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it. I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so. Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional. As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast. She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit." It was the same with his parents; as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, rotund stomach and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking making space for the entrance of men into their lives not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave. I have been taught accommodation. My brother never thinks before he speaks. I have been taught to filter. “How can anyone have a relationship to food?" He asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs. I want to tell say: we come from difference, Jonas, you have been taught to grow out I have been taught to grow in you learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much I learned to absorb I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters and I never meant to replicate her, but spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits that’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades. We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit weaving silence in between the threads which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house, skin itching, picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again, Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled. Deciding how many bites is too many How much space she deserves to occupy. Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her, And I don’t want to do either anymore but the burden of this house has followed me across the country I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry". I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza a circular obsession I never wanted but inheritance is accidental still staring at me with wine-stained lips from across the kitchen table.
Lily Myers
By the way, a Bulgarian I met lately in Moscow," Ivan went on, seeming not to hear his brother's words, "told me about the crimes committed by Turks and Circassians in all parts of Bulgaria through fear of a general rising of the Slavs. They burn villages, murder, outrage women and children, they nail their prisoners by the ears to the fences, leave them so till morning, and in the morning they hang them- all sorts of things you can't imagine. People talk sometimes of bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it. These Turks took a pleasure in torturing children, -too; cutting the unborn child from the mothers womb, and tossing babies up in the air and catching them on the points of their bayonets before their mothers' eyes. Doing it before the mothers' eyes was what gave zest to the amusement. Here is another scene that I thought very interesting. Imagine a trembling mother with her baby in her arms, a circle of invading Turks around her. They've planned a diversion: they pet the baby, laugh to make it laugh. They succeed, the baby laughs. At that moment a Turk points a pistol four inches from the baby's face. The baby laughs with glee, holds out its little hands to the pistol, and he pulls the trigger in the baby's face and blows out its brains. Artistic, wasn't it? By the way, Turks are particularly fond of sweet things, they say.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I don't really enjoy experiencing pain. No one does. But we will become less human if we learn to detach ourselves from one another to the point that when we experience death of a beautiful being (our mothers, our fathers, our sisters, our brothers, our soul mates, our friends etc.) that it will not bother us that we will not feel. But see that's suppression. It will bother us somewhere deep inside. So, love someone. Hold them tight. Don't fear the loss. Fear the part of being too afraid to love someone. Love Everyone. It's inevitable: we all die. Thats the ugly part of life. But Love and being alive is so beautiful and so strong that the love, the memories stay even in death. Life is love, life is being alive to feel pain. The love the beautiful love always remains. Love. Life. Joy. Peace
Jill Telford
December 25, 4:30 p.m. Dear America, It’s been seven hours since you left. Twice now I’ve started to go to your room to ask how you liked your presents and then remembered you weren’t here. I’ve gotten so used to you, it’s strange that you aren’t around, drifting down the halls. I’ve nearly called a few times, but I don’t want to seem possessive. I don’t want you to feel like I’m a cage to you. I remember how you said the palace was just that the first night you came here. I think, over time, you’ve felt freer, and I’d hate to ruin that freedom, I’m going to have to distract myself until you come back. I decided to sit and write to you, hoping maybe it would feel like I was talking to you. It sort of does, I can imagine you sitting here, smiling at my idea, maybe shaking your head at me as if to say I’m being silly. You do that sometimes, did you know? I like that expression on you. You’re the only person who wears it in a way that doesn’t come across like you think I’m completely hopeless. You smile at my idiosyncrasies, accept that they exist, and continue to be my friend. And, in seven short hours, I’ve started to miss that. I’ve wonder what you’ve done in that time. I’m betting by now you’ve flown across the country, made it to your home, and are safe. I hope you are safe. I can’t imagine what a comfort you must be to your family right now. The lovely daughter has finally returned! I keep trying to picture you home. I remember you telling me it was small, that you had a tree house, and that your garage was where you father and sister did all their work. Beyond that I’ve had to resort to my imagination. I imagine you curled up in a hug with you sister or kicking around a ball with your little brother. I remember that, you know? That you said he liked to play ball. I tried to imagine walking into your house with you. I would have liked that, to see you where you grew up. I would love to see you brother run around or be embraced by your mother. I think it would be comforting to sense the presence of people near you, floorboards creaking and doors shutting. I would have liked to sit in one part of the house and still probably be able to smell the kitchen. I’ve always imagined that real homes are full of the aromas of whatever’s being cooked. I wouldn’t do a scrap of work. Nothing having to do with armies or budgets or negotiations. I’d sit with you, maybe try to work on my photography while you played the piano. We’d be Fives together, like you said. I could join your family for dinner, talking over one another in a collection of conversations instead of whispering and waiting our turns. And maybe I’d sleep in a spare bed or on the couch. I’d sleep on the floor beside you if you’d let me. I think about that sometimes. Falling asleep next to you, I mean, like we did in the safe room. It was nice to hear your breaths as they came and went, something quiet and close keeping me from feeling so alone. This letter has gotten foolish, and I think you know how I detest looking like a fool. But still I do. For you. Maxon
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
The rest of the family looked on with a bemusement that, in the case of Rafa’s mother, occasionally gave way to anger. His father, Sebastián, had his misgivings. His uncle Rafael wondered sometimes whether Toni was pushing his nephew too hard. His godfather, his mother’s brother, Juan, went so far as to say that what Toni was doing to the child amounted to “mental cruelty.” But Toni was hard on Rafa because he knew Rafa could take it and would eventually thrive. He would not have applied the same principles, he insists, with a weaker child. The sense that perhaps he might have been right was what stopped the more doubtful members of his family from outright rebellion. One who did not doubt Toni was Miguel Ángel, the professional football player. Another disciple of the endurance principle, in which he believes with almost as much reverence as Toni himself, Miguel Ángel says that success for the elite sportsman rests on the capacity “to suffer,” even to enjoy suffering. “It means learning to accept that if you have to train two hours, you train two hours; if you have to train five, you train five; if you have to repeat an exercise fifty thousand times, you do it. That’s what separates the champions from the merely talented. And it’s all directly related to the winners’ mentality; at the same time as you are demonstrating endurance, your head becomes stronger.
Rafael Nadal (Rafa)
A Palestinian village whose feudal owner sold it for a kiss through a pane of glass..." Nothing remained of Sireen after the auction apart from you, little prayer rug, because a mother slyly stole you and wrapped up her son who'd been sentenced to cold and weaning - and later to sorrow and longing. It's said there was a village, a very small village, on the border between sun's gate and earth. It's said that the village was twice sold - once for a measure of oil and once for a kiss through a pane of glass. The buyers and sellers rejoiced at its sale, the year the submarine was sunk, in our twentieth century. And in Sireen - the buyers went over the contract - were white-washed houses, lovers, and trees, folk poets, peasants, and children. (But there was no school - and neither tanks nor prisons.) The threshing floors, the colour of golden wine, and the graveyard were a vault meant for life and death, and the vault was sold! People say that there was a village, but Sireen became an earthquake, imprisoned by an amulet as it turned into a banquet - in which the virgins' infants were cooked in their mothers' milk so soldiers and ministers might eat along with civilisation! "And the axe is laid at the root of the tree..." And once again at the root of the tree, as one dear brother denies another and existence. Officer of the orbits... attend, O knight of death, but don't give in - death is behind us and also before us. Knight of death, attend, there is no time to retreat - darkness crowds us and now has turned into a rancid butter, and the forest too is full, the serpents of blood have slithered away and the beaker of our ablution has been sold to a tourist from California! There is no time now for ablution. People say there was a village, but Sireen became an earthquake, imprisoned by an amulet as it turned into a banquet - in which the virgins' infants were cooked in their mothers' milk so soldiers and ministers might eat, along with civilisation!
Samih Al-Qasim (Sadder Than Water: Selected Poems)
Before his death your father begged a promise from me. He made me swear that I would look after you and your mother.” “And you have,” she insisted. He held up his hand to prevent her from saying more. “And made me give my word that I would never touch you in any manner other than brotherly.” Another rueful smile. “So you see, I preferred being able to pretend that I had kept my promise rather than face the truth of breaking my word.” He broke her heart, damn him. “He made me promise not to become attached to you,” she confided, continuing with the evening’s truthful trend. “It seems Papa saw something that neither one of us did.” “Oh, I saw it. I’ve seen it since you were eighteen years old and we danced together at some insipid ball. I don’t remember where it was, or the day of the week, but I remember that you wore a pale tea-colored gown with Belgian lace, and that you had pearls in your hair.” She couldn’t breathe. The tilt of his lips, the bleakness of his gaze, it was all too horrible. “And you wore a red cravat,” she whispered. “I thought you looked so rakish in it.” “I was rakish,” he admitted. “Your father knew that.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
When he got out, I rolled my window down. “You look like you’re going to throw up.” He grimaced, pressing a hand to his stomach. “I don’t know if it’s from this, or if I actually am sick. I think Avery got sick from the weekend. She was puking this morning when I left.” “Avery, huh? At your place?” He rolled his eyes. “Don’t even start.” “But you see, I have to. I have to start. Avery’s my friend. I’m hanging out with your brother. You and I are classmates. I think we can develop our friendship to the stage where I give you shit. We should even start sitting next to each other in class.” “Don’t press your luck.” I kept going, “It’s a natural progression. Don’t fight it, Marcus. It’s like evolution. Don’t fight evolution. You’ll never win. Mother nature is a bitch. She’s always going to win.” “What the fuck are you talking about?” “How I get to give you shit. It’s an amazing experience in life, like giving birth. It’s painful for one person, but breathtaking for another. I’m the baby here. I get to feel air for the first time on my skin. Let me breathe, Marcus. Let me put my baby lungs to work and scream.” “I swear you’re making me even sicker.” “If you gotta puke, don’t suppress. It’s a natural body process.” He eyed me a moment. “Did you rhyme that on purpose?” “Maybe. Or I might be crazy?” I winked. “Or just a classy lady?” “Stop. I’m really going to puke now.” He groaned, pressing his arm against his forehead. “I was going to tease you back about Caden, but forget it. I don’t think I have the energy to deal with your rhyming.” “I’ve been told I’m amazing like that.” “Who told you that?” “Who hasn’t is the real question.” “You’re not making sense.” “I do that too. That’s very true.” I wondered if I should find him a bag, in case he actually was going to upchuck.
Tijan (Anti-Stepbrother)
It was one thing to know with his mind that Human would not really die. It was another thing to believe it. Ender did not take the knives at first. Instead he reached past the blades and took Human by the wrists. “To you it doesn’t feel like death. But to me—I only saw you for the first time yesterday, and tonight I know you are my brother as surely as if Rooter were my father, too. And yet when the sun rises in the morning, I’ll never be able to talk to you again. It feels like death to me, Human, how ever it feels to you.” “Come and sit in my shade,” said Human, “and see the sunlight through my leaves, and rest your back against my trunk. And do this, also. Add another story to the Hive Queen and the Hegemon. Call it the Life of Human. Tell all the humans how I was conceived on the bark of my father’s tree, and born in darkness, eating my mother’s flesh. Tell them how I left the life of darkness behind and came into the half-light of my second life, to learn language from the wives and then come forth to learn all the miracles that Libo and Miro and Ouanda came to teach. Tell them how on the last day of my second life, my true brother came from above the sky, and together we made this covenant so that humans and piggies would be one tribe, not a human tribe or a piggy tribe, but a tribe of ramen. And then my friend gave me passage to the third life, to the full light, so that I could rise into the sky and give life to ten thousand children before I die.” “I’ll tell your story,” said Ender. “Then I will truly live forever.
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
Beckett watched Cole closely. This had been some next level-bullshit. And Cole had already been through some caveman-brutal violence coming up with his horrible mother. A betrayal like that cut deep and hard. He watched as Cole’s eyes filled up, and he curled his hands into fists. His breath came in gasps. His brother’s reality might possibly be caving in. Who the fuck knew. Beckett put the safety on and set down his gun. He turned in his seat and leaned over, grabbing Cole’s shirt and twisting it hard at his chest, pulling the sobbing man closer to him. It was one of the ways he scared the shit out of people, this look he would give, but not now. “Look at me. Fucking look at me!” Cole’s hazel eyes finally locked on Beckett’s. “You are never alone. You will never be alone! We’re together. Do you understand? I will murder the whole world to keep you out of that shit! It will never happen to you again. Do you hear me? Do you fucking hear me?” Cole screamed back at Beckett. Not words, just a guttural noise. Pain. Pain vocalized. Blake careened the car to the side of the road and cut the lights. After it was in park, he turned and faced Cole as well. Cole screamed again. Anger. Hot tears, rage. Pain, so much pain. Beckett panicked. Was it something I said? Shit. Was I too late? Shit. Blake crawled over the seat, sat next to Cole, and he started screaming too. Jesus Christ. The two of them were fucking insane. And if they were going crazy, he would follow. Beckett crawled over too, sloppy and kicking his brothers as he planted himself in the backseat. It took a second before he could match them, before he could go to that place in his head and heart and scream. But he did. For a few heartbeats, three teenage boys raged at their childhood. They hollered at fate. They screamed out pure need. It was the sound of Peter Pan fucking dying, the ghost of dreams that would never be—until Cole started cough-sob-laughing. It was catching, the sliding from one emotion to another. Blake was next, holding his stomach and laughing. Finally Beckett held his head and did the same. They collapsed in a heap, slapping at each other in their hysteria. When they finally caught their breath, they didn’t need words. They didn’t need anything but each other. Cole put up his arm and Blake and Beckett grabbed on. Never alone.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie Begins (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #0))
became Secretary to the King's Council, at which time he changed his name to Balzac and added the particle de, both of which denoted nobility. Bernard-François's marriage to Balzac's mother, Anne Laure Sallambier, was a union made for purposes of convenience, rather than love. Although there was a thirty-two year age difference between the two, Balzac's mother came from a wealthy family of drapemakers and thus held great appeal. Her substantial dowry was another factor that distanced her husband from his impoverished childhood. Honoré de Balzac – named after Saint Honoré of Amiens – was the second Balzac child, although his older brother died as an infant. Balzac's parents would go on to have three more children: two girls, Laure and Laurence (born 1800 and 1802), followed by Henry-François (born 1807). Immediately following his birth, Balzac was placed
Honoré de Balzac (The Lily Of The Valley)
On the day of Calvin’s arrival, Mark was on a business trip with our high-school kids, so I went to the airport with the younger ones. I greeted Calvin as he got off the plane; mom and son—total strangers. He smiled nervously. I loaded everyone into our van and began driving. As I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Calvin talking with the younger children, a wave of peace washed over me. Everything was going to be okay. When Mark returned with the older kids, Tyler, the same age as Calvin, was thrilled that his long-awaited “brother from the other color mother” had finally arrived. Luke, our seventeen-year-old, had persistently warned us that taking in another child would be too chaotic. Before he went to bed on Calvin’s first night, he told me, “I’m glad he’s here.” I thought we were just trying to be good Christians and help someone in need, but when I learned the rest of the story, I realized that we were the ones who had been blessed.
Theresa Thomas (Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families)
Then there is the butterfly-or is it a moth? Humbert's inability to differentiate between the two,his indifference, implies a moral carelessness. This blind indifference echoes his callous attitude towards Lolita's nightly sobs. Those who tell us Lolita is a little vixen who deserved what she got should remember her nightly sobs in the arms of her rapist and jailer, because you see, as Humbert reminds us with a mixture of relish and pathos, "she had absolutely nowhere else to go." This came to mind when we were discussing in our class Humbert's confiscation of Lolita's life. The first thing that struck us in reading Lolita-in fact it was on the very first page-was how Lolita was given to us as Humbert's creature. We only see her in passing glimpses. "What I had madly possessed," he informs us, "was not she, but my own creation, another fanciful Lolita-perhaps, more real than Lolita . . . having no will, no consciousness-indeed no real life of her own." Humbert pins Lolita by first naming her, a name that becomes the echo of his desires. To reinvent her, Humbert must take from Lolita her own real history and replace it with his own, turning Lolita into a reincarnation of his lost, unfulfilled young love. Humbert's solipsization of Lolita. Yet she does have a past. Despite Humbert's attempts to orphan Lolita by robbing her of her history. Lolita has a tragic past, with a dead father and a dead two-year-old brother. And now also a dead mother. Like my students, Lolita's past comes to her not so much as a loss but as a lack, and like my students, she becomes a figment in someone else's dream. When I think of Lolita, I think of that half-alive butterfly pinned to the wall. The butterfly is not an obvious symbol, but it does suggest that Humbert fixes Lolita in the same manner that the butterfly is fixed; he wants her, a living breathing human being, to become stationary, to give up her life for the still life he offers her in return. Lolita's image is forever associated in the minds of her readers with that of her jailer. Lolita on her own has no meaning; she can only come to life through her prison bars. This is how I read Lolita. Again and again as we discussed Lolita in that class. And more and more I thought of that butterfly; what linked us so closely was this perverse intimacy of victim and jailer.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
All the adults were beside themselves with the dislocation of what they were going through, by my grandmother's was of a different order. She had been separated from a sister who was her sole living connection to a family lost in the Holocaust. None of us had ever strayed from one another - ordinary people in the Soviet Union almost never traveled outside of it, and hardly even within it. But our genes also carried generations of anxiety about safety as Jews - if we went to the wrong place, or left the relative safety that came with community, the panic that set in was as intense in the person leaving as in the people being left. (My father left behind his brother and mother, but they weren't as close as my grandmother had been with her sister.) There must be no one for whom this is less natural to comprehend than Americans, whose country enshrines mobility as a national virtue - unless you ask African Americans about their elders, perhaps. It isn't only that Americans don't fear going from one place to another; it's also that thy don't fear letting each other go there and don't use guilt to discourage it, while those who go don't feel ashamed for wanting to.
Boris Fishman (Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table (A Memoir with Recipes))
The family is not of man's making; it is a gift of God and full of life. Upbringing in the family bears a quite special character. No school or educational institution can replace or compensate for the family. "Everything educates in the family, the handshake of the father, the voice of the mother, the older brother, the younger sister, the baby in the cradle, the sick loved one, the grandparents and the grandchildren, the uncles and the aunts, the guests and friends, prosperity and adversity, the feast day and the day of mourning, Sundays and workdays, the prayer and the thanksgiving at the table and the reading of God's Word, the morning and evening prayer. Everything is engaged to educate one another, from day to day, from hour to hour, unintentionally, without previously devised plan, method or system. From everything proceeds an educative influence though it can neither be analyzed nor calculated. A thousand insignificant things, a thousand trifles, a thousand details, all have their effect. It is life itself that here educates, life in its greatness, the rich, inexhaustible, universal life. The family is the school of life, because there is its spring and its hearth.' In A.B.W.M. Kok, Herman Bavinck, Amsterdam, 1945, pp. 1819.]
What if the church became the first place, instead of the last place, that people went looking for this kind of friendship? What if the church were filled with unmarried people but had no “single” people, because married and unmarried people were as family to one another—surrogate brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers and sons and daughters to the rest of the church? What if the church were the place where people discovered that being unmarried is not a prison sentence but an opportunity for grace and communion with Jesus and service to God’s Kingdom and mission? What if the church were the place where being unmarried was not only accepted, but seen as a high and noble calling as it was for Jesus and Paul? What if it is true that God sets the lonely in families? What if it is true that “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for [Jesus’] sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands”? What if the church were the place where anyone in the world could find refuge and solace from the age-old malediction that to be alone is to be lonely?[28] This is exactly what God intends the church to be.
Scott Sauls (Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides)
Melinda Pratt rides city bus number twelve to her cello lesson, wearing her mother's jean jacket and only one sock. Hallo, world, says Minna. Minna often addresses the world, sometimes silently, sometimes out loud. Bus number twelve is her favorite place for watching, inside and out. The bus passes cars and bicycles and people walking dogs. It passes store windows, and every so often Minna sees her face reflection, two dark eyes in a face as pale as a winter dawn. There are fourteen people on the bus today. Minna stands up to count them. She likes to count people, telephone poles, hats, umbrellas, and, lately, earrings. One girl, sitting directly in front of Minna, has seven earrings, five in one ear. She has wisps of dyed green hair that lie like forsythia buds against her neck. There are, Minna knows, a king, a past president of the United States, and a beauty queen on the bus. Minna can tell by looking. The king yawns and scratches his ear with his little finger. Scratches, not picks. The beauty queen sleeps, her mouth open, her hair the color of tomatoes not yet ripe. The past preside of the United States reads Teen Love and Body Builder's Annual. Next to Minna, leaning against the seat, is her cello in its zippered canvas case. Next to her cello is her younger brother, McGrew, who is humming. McGrew always hums. Sometimes he hums sentences, though most often it comes out like singing. McGrew's teachers do not enjoy McGrew answering questions in hums or song. Neither does the school principal, Mr. Ripley. McGrew spends lots of time sitting on the bench outside Mr. Ripley's office, humming. Today McGrew is humming the newspaper. First the headlines, then the sports section, then the comics. McGrew only laughs at the headlines. Minna smiles at her brother. He is small and stocky and compact like a suitcase. Minna loves him. McGrew always tells the truth, even when he shouldn't. He is kind. And he lends Minna money from the coffee jar he keeps beneath his mattress. Minna looks out the bus window and thinks about her life. Her one life. She likes artichokes and blue fingernail polish and Mozart played too fast. She loves baseball, and the month of March because no one else much likes March, and every shade of brown she has ever seen. But this is only one life. Someday, she knows, she will have another life. A better one. McGrew knows this, too. McGrew is ten years old. He knows nearly everything. He knows, for instance, that his older sister, Minna Pratt, age eleven, is sitting patiently next to her cello waiting to be a woman.
Patricia MacLachlan (The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt)
Dressed for Success" Yeah, yeah, yeah Tried to make it little by little Tried to make it bit by bit on my own Quit the job the gray believers Another town where I get close to the bone Whatcha gonna tell your brother? Oh, oh, oh Whatcha gonna tell your father? I don't know Whatcha gonna tell your mother? Let me go I'm gonna get dressed for success Shaping me up for the big time, baby Get dressed for success Shaping it up for your love For your love, yeah, yeah, yeah I'm not afraid, a trembling flower I'll feed your heart and blow the dust from your eyes, oh, oh, oh And in the dark things happen faster I love the way you sway your hips next to mine Whatcha gonna tell your brother? Oh, oh, oh Whatcha gonna tell your father? I don't know Whatcha gonna tell your mother? Let me go I'm gonna get dressed for success Shaping me up for the big time baby Get dressed for success Shaping it up for your love, yeah (Look sharp) Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh, oh Whatcha gonna tell your brother? Oh, oh, oh Whatcha gonna tell your father? I don't know Whatcha gonna tell your mother? Let me go (Dressed for success) I'm gonna get (Dressed for success) I'm gonna get dressed for success Hitting a spot for the big time, baby Get dressed for success Shaping it up for your love For your love, yeah, yeah, yeah For your love, yeah, yeah, yeah For your love, yeah, yeah, yeah For your love, yeah, yeah, yeah Yeah
Mom,” Vaughn said. “I’m sure Sidney doesn’t want to be interrogated about her personal life.” Deep down, Sidney knew that Vaughn—who’d obviously deduced that she’d been burned in the past—was only trying to be polite. But that was the problem, she didn’t want him to be polite, as if she needed to be shielded from such questions. That wasn’t any better than the damn “Poor Sidney” head-tilt. “It’s okay, I don’t mind answering.” She turned to Kathleen. “I was seeing someone in New York, but that relationship ended shortly before I moved to Chicago.” “So now that you’re single again, what kind of man are you looking for? Vaughn?” Kathleen pointed. “Could you pass the creamer?” He did so, then turned to look once again at Sidney. His lips curved at the corners, the barest hint of a smile. He was daring her, she knew, waiting for her to back away from his mother’s questions. She never had been very good at resisting his dares. “Actually, I have a list of things I’m looking for.” Sidney took a sip of her coffee. Vaughn raised an eyebrow. “You have a list?” “Yep.” “Of course you do.” Isabelle looked over, surprised. “You never told me about this.” “What kind of list?” Kathleen asked interestedly. “It’s a test, really,” Sidney said. “A list of characteristics that indicate whether a man is ready for a serious relationship. It helps weed out the commitment-phobic guys, the womanizers, and any other bad apples, so a woman can focus on the candidates with more long-term potential.” Vaughn rolled his eyes. “And now I’ve heard it all.” “Where did you find this list?” Simon asked. “Is this something all women know about?” “Why? Worried you won’t pass muster?” Isabelle winked at him. “I did some research,” Sidney said. “Pulled it together after reading several articles online.” “Lists, tests, research, online dating, speed dating—I can’t keep up with all these things you kids are doing,” Adam said, from the head of the table. “Whatever happened to the days when you’d see a girl at a restaurant or a coffee shop and just walk over and say hello?” Vaughn turned to Sidney, his smile devilish. “Yes, whatever happened to those days, Sidney?” She threw him a look. Don’t be cute. “You know what they say—it’s a jungle out there. Nowadays a woman has to make quick decisions about whether a man is up to par.” She shook her head mock reluctantly. “Sadly, some guys just won’t make the cut.” “But all it takes is one,” Isabelle said, with a loving smile at her fiancé. Simon slid his hand across the table, covering hers affectionately. “The right one.” Until he nails his personal trainer. Sidney took another sip of her coffee, holding back the cynical comment. She didn’t want to spoil Isabelle and Simon’s idyllic all-you-need-is-love glow. Vaughn cocked his head, looking at the happy couple. “Aw, aren’t you two just so . . . cheesy.” Kathleen shushed him. “Don’t tease your brother.” “What? Any moment, I’m expecting birds and little woodland animals to come in here and start singing songs about true love, they’re so adorable.” Sidney laughed out loud. Quickly, she bit her lip to cover.
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
Men profess to prophesy. I will prophesy that the signs of the coming of the Son of Man are already commenced. One pestilence will desolate after another. We shall soon have war and bloodshed. . . . The hearts of the children of men will have to be turned to the fathers, and the fathers to the children, living or dead, to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man. If Elijah did not come, the whole earth would be smitten. There will be here and there a Stake for the gathering of the Saints. Some may have cried peace, but the Saints and the world will have little peace from henceforth. Let this not hinder us from going to the Stakes; for God has told us to flee, not dallying, or we shall be scattered, one here, and another there. There your children shall be blessed, and you in the midst of friends where you may be blessed. . . . The time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes. I saw men hunting the lives of their own sons, and brother murdering brother, women killing their own daughters, and daughters seeking the lives of their mothers. I saw armies arrayed against armies. I saw blood, desolation, fires. The Son of Man has said that the mother shall be against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother. These things are at our doors. They will follow the Saints of God from city to city. Satan will rage, and the spirit of the devil is now enraged. I know not how soon these things will take place; but with a view of them, shall I cry peace? No! I will lift up my voice and testify of them. [DHC3:390-391]
Joseph Smith Jr.
Even without world wars, revolutions and emigration, siblings growing up in the same home almost never share the same environment. More accurately, brothers and sisters share some environments — usually the less important ones — but they rarely share the one single environment that has the most powerful impact on personality formation. They may live in the same house, eat the same kinds of food, partake in many of the same activities. These are environments of secondary importance. Of all environments, the one that most profoundly shapes the human personality is the invisible one: the emotional atmosphere in which the child lives during the critical early years of brain development. The invisible environment has little to do with parenting philosophies or parenting style. It is a matter of intangibles, foremost among them being the parents’ relationship with each other and their emotional balance as individuals. These, too, can vary significantly from the birth of one child to the arrival of another. Psychological tension in the parents’ lives during the child’s infancy is, I am convinced, a major and universal influence on the subsequent emergence of ADD. A hidden factor of great importance is a parent’s unconscious attitude toward a child: what, or whom, on the deepest level, the child represents for the parents; the degree to which the parents see themselves in the child; the needs parents may have that they subliminally hope the child will meet. For the infant there exists no abstract, “out-there” reality. The emotional milieu with which we surround the child is the world as he experiences it. In the words of the child psychiatrist and researcher Margaret Mahler, for the newborn, the parent is “the principal representative of the world.” To the infant and toddler, the world reveals itself in the image of the parent: in eye contact, intensity of glance, body language, tone of voice and, above all, in the day-today joy or emotional fatigue exhibited in the presence of the child. Whatever a parent’s intention, these are the means by which the child receives his or her most formative communications. Although they will be of paramount importance for development of the child’s personality, these subtle and often unconscious influences will be missed on psychological questionnaires or observations of parents in clinical settings. There is no way to measure a softening or an edge of anxiety in the voice, the warmth of a smile or the depth of furrows on a brow. We have no instruments to gauge the tension in a father’s body as he holds his infant or to record whether a mother’s gaze is clouded by worry or clear with calm anticipation. It may be said that no two children have exactly the same parents, in that the parenting they each receive may vary in highly significant ways. Whatever the hopes, wishes or intentions of the parent, the child does not experience the parent directly: the child experiences the parenting. I have known two siblings to disagree vehemently about their father’s personality during their childhood. Neither has to be wrong if we understand that they did not receive the same fathering, which is what formed their experience of the father. I have even seen subtly but significantly different mothering given to a pair of identical twins.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
I was a bird. I lived a bird's life from birth to death. I was born the thirty-second chick in the Jipu family. I remember everything in detail. I remember breaking out of the shell at birth. But I learned later that my mother had gently cracked the shell first to ease my way. I dozed under my mother's chest for the first few days. Her feathers were so warm and soft! I was strong, so I kicked away my siblings to keep the cozy spot. Just 10 days after I was born, I was given flying lessons. We all had to learn quickly because there were snakes and owls and hawks. My little brothers and sisters, who didn't practice enough, all died. My little sister looked so unhappy when she got caught. I can still see her face. Before I could fly, I hadn't known that our nest was on the second-lowest branch of a big tree. My parents chose the location wisely. Snakes could reach the lowest branch and eagles and hawks could attack us if we lived at the top. We soared through the sky, above mountains and forests. But it wasn't just for fun! We always had to watch out for enemies, and to hunt for food. Death was always nearby. You could easily starve or freeze to death. Life wasn't easy. Once, I got caught in a monsoon. I smacked into a tree and lay bleeding for days. Many of my family and friends died, one after another. To help rebuild our clan, I found myself a female and married her. She was so sweet. She laid many eggs, but one day, a human cut down the tree we lived in, crushing all the eggs and my beloved. A bird's life is an endless battle against death. I survived for many years before I finally met my end. I found a worm at some harvest festival. I came fluttering down. It was a bad mistake. Some big guy was waiting to ambush hungry little birdies like me. I heard my own guts pop. It was clear to me that I was going to die at last. And I wanted to know where I'd go when I died.
Osamu Tezuka (Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters (Buddha #2))
Animals are the lower intelligent of creatures, yet God illustrates man as one of them. Why? To demonstrate to us how careless, how thoughtless, and sometimes how cruel and low-life we can be without him. Without God, we go through a hard, disappointing, and dreadful life. We are like fearful, untrained, and bitter children that have played all day and are afraid to go to sleep at night, thinking we are going to miss out or be left out of things. A sailor out on a stormy sea needs a strong sail and anchor for the days and a lighthouse for the nights to survive. This is a good illustration of witnessing. We draw from one another’s strength for the day and mediate on it in the nights in accordance with God’s Word. God has faded out of the mind of this generation, we like immature children, believe that the Toyland of material wealth is a sufficient world. Yet houses, cars, and money really do not fulfill. Abraham begot Isaac, and Isaac begot Jacob – a generation of God-fearing men. But in the next generation, God was not the God of Isaac. He had faded and became second place in their lives. Even in the mother’s womb, there was a struggle for honor and success. Jacob stole his brother’s birthright. Morals were decaying, rottenness appeared. The same things have happened with us. Our whole nation is reaping the results of a fading faith and trust, which is producing decaying morals and a decaying country. We are morally out of control. Unless we, like Jacob, who when frightened for his life desired a moral renewal, acknowledge that we are wrong and find God in the process. We must seek God with our whole hearts. The future of this world is in the hands of the believers. God has left everything in the hands of the church. Therefore, we must witness. An evangelical team must go out and bring the people back to the Garden of Eden as God had originally planned. Grace is always available!
Rosa Pearl Johnson
When he reached the doorman, he stopped. “Did you see Miss Christian come in a few minutes ago?” The doorman nodded. “Yes, sir. She got here just before you arrived.” Relief staggered him. He bolted for the elevator. A few moments later, he strode into the apartment. “Kelly? Kelly, honey, where are you?” Not waiting for an answer, he hurried into the bedroom to see her sitting on the edge of the bed, her face pale and drawn in pain. When she heard him, she looked up and he winced at the dullness in her eyes. She’d been crying. “I thought I could do it,” she said in a raw voice, before he could beg her forgiveness. “I thought I could just go on and forget and that I could accept others thinking the worst of me as long as you and I were okay again. I did myself a huge disservice.” “Kelly…” Something in her look silenced him and he stood several feet away, a feeling of helplessness gripping him as he watched her try to compose herself. “I sat there tonight while your friends and your mother looked at me in disgust, while they looked at you with a mixture of pity and disbelief in their eyes. All because you took me back. The tramp who betrayed you in the worst possible manner. And I thought to myself I don’t deserve this. I’ve never deserved it. I deserve better.” She raised her eyes to his and he flinched at the horrible pain he saw reflected there. Then she laughed. A raw, terrible sound that grated across his ears. “And earlier tonight you forgave me. You stood there and told me it no longer mattered what happened in the past because you forgave me and you wanted to move forward.” She curled her fingers into tight balls and rage flared in her eyes. She stood and stared him down even as tears ran in endless streams down her cheeks. “Well, I don’t forgive you. Nor can I forget that you betrayed me in the worst way a man can betray the woman he’s supposed to love and be sworn to protect.” He took a step back, reeling from the fury in her voice. His eyes narrowed. “You don’t forgive me?” “I told you the truth that day,” she said hoarsely, her voice cracking under the weight of her tears. “I begged you to believe me. I got down on my knees and begged you. And what did you do? You wrote me a damn check and told me to get out.” He took another step back, his hand going to his hair. Something was wrong, terribly wrong. So much of that day was a blur. He remembered her on her knees, her tear-stained face, how she put her hand on his leg and whispered, “Please don’t do this.” It made him sick. He never wanted to go back to the way he felt that day, but somehow this was worse because there was something terribly wrong in her eyes and in her voice. “Your brother assaulted me. He forced himself on me. I didn’t invite his attentions. I wore the bruises from his attack for two weeks. Two weeks. I was so stunned by what he’d done that all I could think about was getting to you. I knew you’d fix it. You’d protect me. You’d take care of me. I knew you’d make it right. All I could think about was running to you. And, oh God, I did and you looked right through me.” The sick knot in his stomach grew and his chest tightened so much he couldn’t breathe. “You wouldn’t listen,” she said tearfully. “You wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say. You’d already made your mind up.” He swallowed and closed the distance between them, worried that she’d fall if he didn’t make her sit. But she shook him off and turned her back, her shoulders heaving as her quiet sobs fell over the room. “I’m listening now, Kelly,” he forced out. “Tell me what happened. I’ll believe you. I swear.” But he knew. He already knew. So much of that day was replaying over and over in his head and suddenly he was able to see so clearly what he’d refused to see before. And it was killing him. His brother had lied to him after all. Not just lied but he’d carefully orchestrated the truth and twisted it so cleverly that Ryan had been completely deceived.
Maya Banks (Wanted by Her Lost Love (Pregnancy & Passion, #2))
Korie: Phil and Willie are so much alike. We went to a marriage seminar at our church one time, and Phil and Kay and Jase and Missy were there as well. Each of the couples took a personality test to see if their personalities were compatible. We all laughed because Phil and Willie scored high in the characteristics for having a dominant personality. They were almost identical in a lot of areas, but somewhat different in that Willie was high in the social category as well. I think Willie got that part of his personality from his mother. It’s funny because people look at the Robertsons and think Jase and Phil are just alike, and they are certainly similar in their love for ducks. But when we took the personality test, we saw that Jase’s personality is much more like his mother’s. So I guess it makes sense that Phil and Jase get along so well in the duck blind. They made a good team, just like Phil and Kay do at home. Kay has always said that Willie is a lot like Phil and even calls him “Phil Jr.” at times. While I wouldn’t go that far, I definitely saw the similarities. They both have strong, charismatic personalities. They are both big-picture guys with big ideas and deep beliefs. Whatever either of them is going in life, he does it all the way, and they are both very opinionated, which can sometimes be a challenge. Phil and Willie haven’t always been as close as they are now. As they grew, they recognized the attributes they have in common and learned to value one another’s differences and strengths. Willie says it couldn’t have happened until after he was thirty, though. He needed to grow up and mature, and Phil has gotten more relaxed as he’s gotten older. Willie loves to hunt with his dad and brothers, but there have been times when he’s had a hard time sitting in Phil’s blind. You can only have one leader in the duck blind, only one man who lines up the men and yells, “Cut ‘em!” when it’s time to shoot. Willie and Phil have both always been leaders, whether it’s in the blind or in business.
Willie Robertson (The Duck Commander Family)
A man on his deathbed left instructions For dividing up his goods among his three sons. He had devoted his entire spirit to those sons. They stood like cypress trees around him, Quiet and strong. He told the town judge, 'Whichever of my sons is laziest, Give him all the inheritance.' Then he died, and the judge turned to the three, 'Each of you must give some account of your laziness, so I can understand just how you are lazy.' Mystics are experts in laziness. They rely on it, Because they continuously see God working all around them. The harvest keeps coming in, yet they Never even did the plowing! 'Come on. Say something about the ways you are lazy.' Every spoken word is a covering for the inner self. A little curtain-flick no wider than a slice Of roast meat can reveal hundreds of exploding suns. Even if what is being said is trivial and wrong, The listener hears the source. One breeze comes From across a garden. Another from across the ash-heap. Think how different the voices of the fox And the lion, and what they tell you! Hearing someone is lifting the lid off the cooking pot. You learn what's for supper. Though some people Can know just by the smell, a sweet stew From a sour soup cooked with vinegar. A man taps a clay pot before he buys it To know by the sound if it has a crack. The eldest of the three brothers told the judge, 'I can know a man by his voice, and if he won't speak, I wait three days, and then I know him intuitively.' The second brother, 'I know him when he speaks, And if he won't talk, I strike up a conversation.' 'But what if he knows that trick?' asked the judge. Which reminds me of the mother who tells her child 'When you're walking through the graveyard at night and you see a boogeyman, run at it, and it will go away.' 'But what,' replies the child, 'if the boogeyman's Mother has told it to do the same thing? Boogeymen have mothers too.' The second brother had no answer. 'I sit in front of him in silence, And set up a ladder made of patience, And if in his presence a language from beyond joy And beyond grief begins to pour from my chest, I know that his soul is as deep and bright As the star Canopus rising over Yemen. And so when I start speaking a powerful right arm Of words sweeping down, I know him from what I say, And how I say it, because there's a window open Between us, mixing the night air of our beings.' The youngest was, obviously, The laziest. He won.
Do you believe yourself in love with Deveaux?” He snarled the words. Between gritted teeth, he said, “It’s emblazoned on your pretty face. But you wouldn’t love him if you truly knew him. Your feelings would wither and die.” “What are you talking about?” “He’s lied to you repeatedly.” “Uh-huh. I’ll just take your word for it?” “No, I received my information from the Fool. He was quite worried about his Empress’s safety when you were in Deveaux’s keeping.” “You know I’ll fact-check.” “I expect you to.” “And why would you two be discussing my safety?” “I’ve been up-front about my intentions with you, unlike Deveaux. Did you never wonder about his instant infatuation with you?” “Maybe he had a thing for cheerleaders.” Death shook his head. “No, he targeted you before he ever saw you.” “That doesn’t make sense.” “You were possessed by someone he hated.” He downed another shot. “Jack despised Brand. That was no secret.” “You never asked yourself why?” “Because Brand was rich and seemed to have everything so easy.” “I’m sure that had something to do with it. However, the main reason he hated Brandon Radcliffe”—Death’s eyes had never looked so flat and dark—“was that they shared a father” “You’re saying Brand and Jackson were . . . half brothers?” Only one son had known of their connection. Was this why Jack’s eyes had darted when I’d asked him if he had any secrets? Death was relishing this. “Deveaux coveted all his brother had: the perfect family, the house, the car. The girl. He could never have any of the others—but he could have you. And he did.” “You’re lying.” You can trust me alone, Evie. “Matthew would’ve told me about this.” Death tsked. “Such trust you have in the Fool. How do you think I learned what my armor would do to your powers?” I tottered on my feet. “H-he wouldn’t!” “It’s nothing personal with him, just strategy and scheming.” I’d thought Matthew an innocent, wide-eyed boy. “The Fool knew that I’d kill you if I had no means to control you. In essence, he’s saved your life. So far, at least.” Death continued, “Deveaux didn’t even like you, but he pursued you.” “You don’t know anything!” I cried, though I could hear Jack’s words: Even when I hated you, I wanted you. “One benefit of my endless life? I have quite a grasp on human behavior.” “Maybe he did target me. But his feelings grew from that. You’ll have to do better than this.” “Do better? As you wish, creature.” With an evil grin, he said, “Deveaux killed your mother.
Kresley Cole (Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2))
INTERNATIONAL LAW WAS CREATED DURING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION BECAUSE a group of Mexicans—and one African American—gang-raped and murdered two teenaged girls in Houston, Texas.1 The crime made history in another way: It led to the most death sentences handed out for a single crime in Texas since 1949.2 Do you even know about this case? The only reason the media eventually admitted that the lead rapist, Jose Ernesto Medellin, was an illegal alien from Mexico was to try to overturn his conviction on the grounds that he had not been informed of his right, as a Mexican citizen, to confer with the Mexican consulate. Journalists have an irritating tendency to skimp on detail when reporting crimes by immigrants, a practice that will not be followed here. One summer night in June 1993, fourteen-year-old Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña, who had just turned sixteen, were returning from a pool party, and decided to take a shortcut through a park to make their 11:30 p.m. curfew. They encountered a group of Hispanic men, who were in the process of discussing “gang etiquette,” such as not complaining if other members talked about having sex with your mother.3 The girls ran away, but Medellin grabbed Jennifer and began ripping her clothes off. Hearing her screams, Elizabeth came back to help her friend. For more than an hour, the five Hispanics and one black man raped the teens, vaginally, anally, and orally—“every way you can assault a human being,” as the prosecutor put it.4 The girls were beaten, kicked, and stomped, their teeth knocked out and their ribs broken. One of the Hispanic men told Medellin’s fourteen-year-old brother to “get some,” so he raped one of the girls, too. But when it was time to kill the girls, Medellin said his brother was “too small to watch” and dragged the girls into the woods.5 There, the girls were forced to kneel on the ground and a belt or shoelace was looped around their necks. Then a man on each side pulled on the cord as hard as he could. The men strangling Jennifer pulled so hard they broke the belt. Medellin later complained that “the bitch wouldn’t die.” When it was done, he repeatedly stomped on the girls’ necks, to make sure they were dead.6 At trial, Medellin’s sister-in-law testified that shortly after the gruesome murders, Medellin was laughing about it, saying they’d “had some fun with some girls” and boasting that he had “virgin blood” on his underpants.7 It’s difficult to understand a culture where such an orgy of cruelty is bragged about at all, but especially in front of women.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
But then the cowboy standing in front of you smiles gently and says, “You sure?” Those two simple words opened up the Floodgates of Hell. I smiled and laughed, embarrassed, even as two big, thick tears rolled down both my cheeks. Then I laughed again and blew a nice, clear explosion of snot from my nose. Of all the things that had happened that day, that single moment might have been the worst. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m doing this,” I insisted as another pair of tears spilled out. I scrambled around the kitchen counter and found a paper towel, using it to dab the salty wetness on my face and the copious slime under my nose. “I am so, so sorry.” I inhaled deeply, my chest beginning to contract and convulse. This was an ugly cry. I was absolutely horrified. “Hey…what’s wrong?” Marlboro Man asked. Bless his heart, he had to have been as uncomfortable as I was. He’d grown up on a cattle ranch, after all, with two brothers, no sisters, and a mother who was likely as lacking in histrionics as I wished I was at that moment. He led a quiet life out here on the ranch, isolated from the drama of city life. Judging from what he’d told me so far, he hadn’t invited many women over to his house for dinner. And now he had one blubbering uncontrollably in his kitchen. I’d better hurry up and enjoy this evening, I told myself. He won’t be inviting me to any more dinners after this. I blew my nose on the paper towel. I wanted to go hide in the bathroom. Then he took my arm, in a much softer grip than the one he’d used on our first date when he’d kept me from biting the dust. “No, c’mon,” he said, pulling me closer to him and securing his arms around my waist. I died a thousand deaths as he whispered softly, “What’s wrong?” What could I possibly say? Oh, nothing, it’s just that I’ve been slowly breaking up with my boyfriend from California and I uninvited him to my brother’s wedding last week and I thought everything was fine and then he called last night after I got home from cooking you that Linguine and Clam Sauce you loved so much and he said he was flying here today and I told him not to because there really wasn’t anything else we could possibly talk about and I thought he understood and while I was driving out here just now he called me and it just so happens he’s at the airport right now but I decided not to go because I didn’t want to have a big emotional drama (you mean like the one you’re playing out in Marlboro Man’s kitchen right now?) and I’m finding myself vacillating between sadness over the end of our four-year relationship, regret over not going to see him in person, and confusion over how to feel about my upcoming move to Chicago. And where that will leave you and me, you big hunk of burning love.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Flauvic was standing by the middle window, one slim hand resting on a golden latch. I realized that one window panel was, in fact, a door, and that a person could step through onto the rocks that just bordered the pool. Flauvic was looking down, the silvery light reflecting off rain clouds overhead, and water below throwing glints in his long golden hair. He had to know I was there. I said, “You do like being near to water, don’t you?” He looked up quickly. “Forgive me for not coming to the door,” he said directly--for him. “I must reluctantly admit that I have been somewhat preoccupied with the necessity of regaining my tranquility.” I was surprised that he would admit to any such thing. “Not caused by me, I hope?” I walked across the fine tiled floor. He lifted a hand in a gesture of airy dismissal. “Family argument,” he said. Smiling a little, he added, “Forbearance is not, alas, a hallmark of the Merindar habit of mind.” Again I was surprised, for he seemed about as forbearing as anyone I’d ever met--but I was chary of appearing to be a flatterer, and so I said only, “I’m sorry for it, then. Ought I to go? If the family’s peace has been cut up, I suppose a visitor won’t be welcome.” Flauvic turned away from the window and crossed the rest of the floor to join me. “If you mean you’d rather not walk into my honored parent’s temper--or more to the point, my sister’s--fear not. They departed early this morning to our family’s estates. I am quite alone here.” He smiled slightly. “Would you like to lay aside your hat and gloves?” “Not necessary,” I said, stunned by this unexpected turn of events. Had the Marquise given up her claim to the crown, or was there some other--secret--reason for her sudden withdrawal? If they had argued, I was sure it had not been about missing social events. I looked up--for he was half a head taller than I--into his gold-colored eyes, and though their expression was merely contemplative, and his manner mild, I felt my neck go hot. Turning away from that direct, steady gaze, I just couldn’t find the words to ask him about his mother’s political plans. So I said, “I came to ask a favor of you.” “Speak, then,” he said, his voice just a shade deeper than usual. I looked over my shoulder and realized then that he was laughing. Not out loud, but internally. All the signs were there; the shadows at the corners of his mouth, the sudden brightness of his gaze. He was laughing at me--at my reaction. I sighed. “It concerns the party I must give for my brother’s coming marriage,” I said shortly, and stole another quick look. His amusement was gone--superficially, anyway. “You must forgive my obtuseness,” he murmured. “But you could have requested your assistance by letter.” “I did. Oh.” I realized what he meant, and then remembered belatedly one of Nee’s more delicate hints about pursuit--and pursuers. “Oh!” So he hadn’t guessed why I’d come; he thought I’d come courting. And, well, here we were alone. My first reaction was alarm. I did find him attractive--I realized it just as I was standing there--but in the way I’d admire a beautifully cut diamond or a sunset above sheer cliffs. Another person, finding herself in my place, could probably embark happily into dalliance and thus speed along her true purpose. But the prospect simply terrified me.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
She won’t rat out on us. Let me talk to her, and she’ll see reason.” “I’d give her some time before you attempt it,” came the wry answer. “She usually doesn’t stay mad long,” Bran said carelessly. Again habit urged me to move. I knew to stay made me a spy-ears, which no one over the age of four is excused in being, yet I didn’t move. I couldn’t move. So I stood there and listened--and thus proved the old proverb about eavesdroppers getting what they deserve. Shevraeth said, “I’m very much afraid it’s my fault. We met under the worst of circumstances, and we seem to have misunderstood one another to a lethal degree.” Bran said, “No, if it’s anyone’s fault, it’s ours--my parents’ and mine. You have to realize our mother saw Tlanth as a haven from her Court life. All she had to do was potter around her garden and play her harp. I don’t think Mel even knows Mother spent a few years at Erev-li-Erval, learning Kheras in the Court of the Empress. Mel scarcely talked before she started hearing stories on the immoral, rotten, lying Court decorations. Mama liked seeing her running wild with Oria and the village brats. Then Mama was killed, and Papa mostly lived shut in his tower, brooding over the past. He didn’t seem to know what to do with Mel. She couldn’t read or write, wouldn’t even sit still indoors--all summer she would disappear for a week at a time, roaming in the hills. I think she knows more about the ways of the Hill Folk than she does about what actually happens at Court. Anyhow, I taught her her letters just a year or so ago, mostly as an excuse to get away from my books. She liked it well enough, except there isn’t much to read up there anymore, beyond what Papa thought I ought to know for preparing a war.” “I see. Yet you’ve told me she shared in the command of your rebels.” Bran laughed again. “That’s because after she learned to read, Mel learned figuring, on her own, and took it over.” “You mean, she took charge of your business affairs?” “Such as they were, yes. Taxes, all that. It’s why I told her she had half the title. Life! She could’ve had the title, and the leadership, for all of me, except we promised Papa when he died that we’d go it together. And working toward the war--it was easier when we did it together. She turned it into a game, though I think she saw it as real before I did.” He sighed. “Well, I know she did. Curst traps prove it.” “Your family was reputed to have a good library.” “Until Papa burned it, after Mama died. Everything gone, and neither of us knowing what we’d lost. Or, I knew and didn’t care, but Mel didn’t even know. Curse it, her maid is sister to the blacksmith. Julen’s never been paid, but sees to Mel because she’s sorry for her.” “There has been, I take it, little contact with family, then?” “Papa had no family left in this part of the world. As for Mama’s royal cousins, when they moved north to Cheras al Kherval, my parents lost touch, and I never did see any reason to try…” I slipped away then, raging against my brother and the Marquis, against Julen for pitying me when I’d thought she was my friend, against nosy listeners such as myself…against Papa, and Galdran, and war, and Galdran again, against the Empress and every courtier ever born. I sat in the room they’d given me and glared into the roaring fire, angry with the entire universe.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I looked up--for he was half a head taller than I--into his gold-colored eyes, and though their expression was merely contemplative, and his manner mild, I felt my neck go hot. Turning away from that direct, steady gaze, I just couldn’t find the words to ask him about his mother’s political plans. So I said, “I came to ask a favor of you.” “Speak, then,” he said, his voice just a shade deeper than usual. I looked over my shoulder and realized then that he was laughing. Not out loud, but internally. All the signs were there; the shadows at the corners of his mouth, the sudden brightness of his gaze. He was laughing at me--at my reaction. I sighed. “It concerns the party I must give for my brother’s coming marriage,” I said shortly, and stole another quick look. His amusement was gone--superficially, anyway. “You must forgive my obtuseness,” he murmured. “But you could have requested your assistance by letter.” “I did. Oh.” I realized what he meant, and then remembered belatedly one of Nee’s more delicate hints about pursuit--and pursuers. “Oh!” So he hadn’t guessed why I’d come; he thought I’d come courting. And, well, here we were alone. My first reaction was alarm. I did find him attractive--I realized it just as I was standing there--but in the way I’d admire a beautifully cut diamond or a sunset above sheer cliffs. Another person, finding herself in my place, could probably embark happily into dalliance and thus speed along her true purpose. But the prospect simply terrified me. He touched my arm, lightly, just enough to guide us back to his window. “It is not merely the sight of water that I find salubrious,” he said. “Its function as a metaphor for study is as…as adaptable--” “You were going to say fluid,” I cut in, almost giddy with relief at the deft change of subject. Once again I saw that brightness in his eyes that indicated internal laughter. “I wasn’t,” he insisted. “I would never be so maladroit.” Forgive my maladroitness… For an instant I was back in that corner room in the State Wing, with Shevraeth standing opposite me. I dismissed the memory as Flauvic went on, “As adaptable, to resume our discourse, as its inherent properties. The clarity, the swift change and movement, the ability to fill the boundaries it encounters, all these accommodating characteristics blind those who take its utility and artistry for granted and overlook its inexorable power.” As if to underline his words--it really was uncanny--the threatening downpour chose that moment to strike, and for a long moment we stood side by side as rain thundered on the glass, running down in rivulets that blurred the scene beyond. Then he turned his back to it. “How may I be of service?” “My brother’s party. I want it to be special,” I said. “I should have been planning it long before. I just found out that it’s a custom, and to cover my ignorance I would like to make it seem I’ve been planning it a long time, so I need some kind of new idea. I want to know what the latest fashion for parties in the Empire’s Court is, and I thought the best thing I could do would be to come to you.” “So you do not, in fact, regard me as an arbiter of taste?” He placed a hand over his heart, mock-solemn. “You wound me.” His tone said, You wound me again. Once again I blushed, and hated it. “You know you’re an arbiter of taste, Flauvic,” I said with some asperity. “If you think I’m here just to get you to parrot out Erev-li-Erval’s latest fad, then you’re--well, I know you don’t believe it. And I didn’t think you fished for compliments.” He laughed out loud, a musical sound that suddenly rendered him very much more like the age we shared. It also made him, just for that moment, devastatingly attractive. I realized that I had to get out of there before I got myself into trouble that it would take a lifetime to get out of.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
When I was 55, I went to Poland and learned that my mother’s five brothers died because of prostate cancer, each when they were close to 55 years old. As I stood looking at the grave of one of them, I realized I was 55 myself. When I returned to the States, I immediately visited my doctor, who informed me that my prostate was large and had nodules. She tested my PSA, and after seeing the result of 9.5, she sent me to the urologist. He was very fast and forceful with his recommendation: biopsy and possible removal. “Wait, wait,” I said. “Let me think about it.” The doctor urged me to make a quick decision, but I wanted to do some research first. The whole next week, I studied the literature about my condition and decided to change my diet, incorporating many more vegetables, before taking drastic medical action. The result? After six months my PSA was down to 5, and after another six months it reached 1. Another half a year later it hit 0.1, and it has been like this every year since.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
If region and state couldn’t serve as a basis for honor, surely strong family values could. Even when they couldn’t manage to live up to their moral code—which favored lifelong, heterosexual, monogamous, pro-life marriage—they took pride in the code itself. It was not easy to live by such a code. One woman of the right had a gay brother who had been married, had a child, and abandoned both “just because of sex,” and the episode had caused an upheaval in the family. In order to avoid the pain of divorce her own parents had caused her, one woman entered a covenant marriage. (Intended to strengthen the institution, covenant marriage was passed into law in Louisiana in 1997, and later in Arkansas and Arizona. It calls on the couple to sign an affidavit that they have undergone pre-marital counseling, and otherwise heightens the requirements for entry and exit from marriage.) She soon discovered her husband was gay, and while the couple later cooperated in raising their two children, she was glad she had tried to keep the marriage together “the way it should be.” The fourteen-year-old daughter of another mother became pregnant and kept the baby. “I’m working full-time and she’s got to finish school. Frankly it’s been very hard.” And it would have been easier for her young daughter, she feels, if she had had an abortion. But there was honor in keeping the baby and “doing the right thing”—an honor they felt to be invisible to liberals.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
As the most perfect subject for painting I have already specified inwardly satisfied [reconciled and peaceful] love, the object of which is not a purely spiritual ‘beyond’ but is present, so that we can see love itself before us in what is loved. The supreme and unique form of this love is Mary’s love for the Christ-child, the love of the one mother who has borne the Saviour of the world and carries him in her arms. This is the most beautiful subject to which Christian art in general, and especially painting in its religious sphere, has risen. The love of God, and in particular the love of Christ who sits at’ the right hand of God, is of a purely spiritual kind. The object of this love is visible only to the eye of the soul, so that here there is strictly no question of that duality which love implies, nor is any natural bond established between the lovers or any linking them together from the start. On the other hand, any other love is accidental in the inclination of one lover for another, or,’ alternatively, the lovers, e.g. brothers and sisters or a father in his love for his children, have outside this relation other conceI1l8 with an essential claim on them. Fathers or brothers have to apply themselves to the world, to the state, business, war, or, in short, to general purposes, while sisters become wives, mothers, and so forth. But in the case of maternal love it is generally true that a mother’s love for her child is neither something accidental just a single feature in her life, but, on the contrary, it is her supreme vocation on earth, and her natural character and most sacred calling directly coincide. But while other loving mothers see and feel in their child their husband and their inmost union with him, in Mary’s relation to her child this aspect is always absent. For her feeling has nothing in common with a wife’s love for her husband; on the contrary, her relation to Joseph is more like a sister’s to a brother, while on Joseph’s side there is a secret awe of the child who is God’s and Mary’s. Thus religious love in its fullest and most intimate human form we contemplate not in the suffering and risen Christ or in his lingering amongst his friends but in the person of Mary with her womanly feeling. Her whole heart and being is human love for the child that she calls her own, and at the same time adoration, worship, and love of God with whom she feels herself at one. She is humble in God’s sight and yet has an infinite sense of being the one woman who is blessed above all other virgins. She is not self-subsistent on her own account, but is perfect only in her child, in God, but in him she is satisfied and blessed, whether. at the manger or as the Queen of Heaven, without passion or longing, without any further need, without any aim other than to have and to hold what she has. In its religious subject-matter the portrayal of this love has a wide series of events, including, for example, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth, the Flight into Egypt, etc. And then there are, added to this, other subjects from the later life of Christ, i.e. the Disciples and the women who follow him and in whom the love of God becomes more or less a personal relation of love for a living and present Saviour who walks amongst them as an actual man; there is also the love of the angels who hover over the birth of Christ and many other scenes in his life, in serious worship or innocent joy. In all these subjects it is painting especially which presents the peace and full satisfaction of love. But nevertheless this peace is followed by the deepest suffering. Mary sees Christ carry his cross, she sees him suffer and die on the cross, taken down from the cross and buried, and no grief of others is so profound as hers. Mary’s grief is of a totally different kind. She is emotional, she feels the thrust of the dagger into the centre of her soul, her heart breaks, but she does not turn into stone.
Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedric 1770-1831
Let’s take this out just a little bit further passed the breakers into some really deep water. Let’s talk about love. Yeah. The love for another, a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, a stranger. Danger. A self centered ship sinker is just up ahead. It surfaced once that love a stranger line was said. It’s a cold heart warmer that’s thawing out the beat. It’s reviving the rhythm that the mainstream system tried to deplete. It’s restoring the lyrics that wickedness tried to delete. It’s setting the tempo free from the obsolete oubliette that the darkness tried to keep discrete. Whew!
Calvin W. Allison (The Sunset of Science and the Risen Son of Truth)
She followed Wally up front where Miss Applebaum was placing two chairs, face to face, about three feet apart. “I want you to sit here,” she told them, “and I want you to talk to each other for ten minutes. Perhaps at the end of that time you will have said everything there is to say, and there will be no more disturbances in class.” No! Caroline thought. She would rather be paddled! One minute would be bad enough, five minutes would be cruel and unusual punishment, and ten was torture! She lowered herself sideways into one of the chairs. What was she supposed to say to a boy who, up until that morning, had thought she was dead? Miss Applebaum stood with arms folded. “Well? I’m waiting.” Caroline crossed her ankles. “You started it,” she said to Wally. “What did I do?” he mumbled, sitting sideways himself. “Dumping all that dead stuff on our side of the river.” “So you pretended to die.” “Is this a normal conversation?” asked Miss Applebaum as she picked up a box of supplies and headed for the closet at the back of the room. “No,” said Caroline, but she was talking to Wally, not her teacher. “This is not a normal conversation because you and your brothers aren’t normal human beings. Normal people don’t go dumping dead fish and birds around the neighborhood.” “It wasn’t my idea,” said Wally. “Well, actually it was my idea—dead fish, I mean—but it was Jake and Josh who—” “So none of you are normal.” “We’re not normal?” said Wally, his voice rising. “What do you call people who go burying each other in the river?” “It was a great performance, and you know it.” “It was dumb.” “You believed I was dead.” “I believe you’re crazy.” “We’ll see about that.” “Whatever you two are arguing about, you’d better get it out of your systems now, because when you come to school tomorrow, I expect you to pay attention,” Miss Applebaum called, sticking her head out of the supply closet. “You and your dumb brothers,” Caroline muttered because she couldn’t think of anything else to say. “You and your stupid sisters,” said Wally. “We’re smarter than the four of you put together,” Caroline told him. “We’ll see,” said Wally. “If you’d just left us alone instead of dumping that dead stuff, things would be okay,” said Caroline. “If you’d go back where you came from, there wouldn’t be any more trouble,” Wally replied. “Oh, yeah? If you went back to where you came from, you’d live in a cave!” “That does it,” said Wally hotly. “The war is on.” “Okay,” called Miss Applebaum, coming back to the front of the room for another box. “If you two have settled things, you may leave now.” She looked from Caroline to Wally. “Unless, of course, you are not agreed.” “We agree,” said Caroline emphatically. The war is definitely on. She could hardly wait to get home and tell her sisters. What she discovered when she got outside was that she wasn’t the only member of her family who had been kept after school. Eddie had stumbled over Jake’s foot in the cafeteria and, sure that he’d tripped her on purpose, brought her tray down on his head. Beth, of course, had waited for Eddie, so there they were again, the three of them coming home late on the very first day. Mother was dusting shelves in the hallway. “Whatever happened to your nose?” she asked, looking at Caroline. “She bumped into something that needs a little fixing,” said Beth. “Needs a lot of straightening out,” put in Eddie. “Well, how was school?” Mother asked. “Urk,” said Eddie. “Ugh,” said Beth. “It has possibilities,” said Caroline.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (The Boys Start the War (Boy/Girl Battle, #1))
Janner, You’re only two years old now. Everyone says you look just like your father, and I take it as a high compliment. A handsome boy you are! I’m no poet like your Uncle Artham, but seeing you sleep here tonight bid me sit and put down some words for you to read one day. Your mother loves you and your brother well. And she has another little one bursting to come out! Foes to this kingdom beware! These three little Wingfeathers will keep this island safe and good. I know it. You’ve royal blood in your veins, no matter what your name or place in this world. The Maker made you the Throne Warden to your little brother, and I wouldn’t wish anyone but you to keep him safe. There are rumors of war, and though I scarcely believe the half of it, should Anniera fall (and I’m sure it won’t!), remember your homeland. Ancient secrets lie beneath these stones and cities. They have been lost to us, but still, we mustn’t let them fall to evil. It occurs to me how silly it is to be writing this to a two-year-old boy. But maybe one day when you’re alone, unsure, doubting yourself, you’ll need these words. Remember this: You are an Annieran. Your father is a king. You are his son. This is your land, and nothing can change that. Nothing. Ah, and no one can change your underclothes but me. I can smell that you’ve soiled them again. Should I fall over dead from the stench in your britches, know when you read this that your father loves you like no other. Your Papa At the end of the letter was a sketch of a little boy sleeping peacefully in a crib surrounded by flowers that had withered from the smell of the child’s soiled underclothes. Janner’s heart felt large and full. He lay down in the tree house
Andrew Peterson (On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness)
I was still brooding over this question when I heard a polite tap outside the tapestry, and a moment later, there was the equally quiet impact of a boot heel on the new tile floor, then another. A weird feeling prickled down my spine, and I twisted around to face the Marquis of Shevraeth, who stood just inside the room. He raised his hands and said, “I am unarmed.” I realized I was glaring. “I hate people creeping up behind me,” I muttered. He glanced at the twenty paces or so of floor between us, then up at the shelves, the map, the new books. Was he comparing this library with the famed Athanarel one--or the equally (no doubt!) impressive one at his home in Renselaeus? I folded my arms and waited for either satire or condescension. When he spoke, the subject took me by surprise. “You said once that your father burned the Astiar library. Did you ever find out why?” “It was the night we found out that my mother had been killed,” I said reluctantly. The old grief oppressed me, and I fought to keep my thoughts clear. “By the order of Galdran Merindar.” “Do you know why he ordered her murder?” he asked over his shoulder, as he went on perusing the books. I shook my head. “No. There’s no way to find out that I can think of. Even if we discovered those who carried out the deed, they might not know the real reasons.” I added sourly, “Well do I remember how Galdran issued lies to cover his misdeeds: Last year, when he commenced the attack against us, he dared to say that it was we who were breaking the Covenant!” I couldn’t help adding somewhat accusingly, “Did you believe that? Not later, but when the war first started.” “No.” I couldn’t see his face. Only his back, and the long pale hair, and his lightly clasped hands were in view as he surveyed my shelves. This was the first time the two of us had conversed alone, for I had been careful to avoid such meetings during his visit. Not wanting to prolong it, I still felt compelled to amplify. I said, “My mother was the last of the royal Calahanras family. Galdran must have thought her a threat, even though she retired from Court life when she adopted into the Astiar family.” Shevraeth was walking along the shelves now, his hands still behind his back. “Yet Galdran had taken no action against your mother previously.” “No. But she’d never left Tlanth before, not since her marriage. She was on her way to Remalna-city. We only know that it was his own household guards, disguised as brigands, that did the job, because they didn’t quite kill the stablegirl who was riding on the luggage coach and she recognized the horses as Merindar horses.” I tightened my grip on my elbows. “You don’t believe it?” Again he glanced back at me. “Do you know your mother’s errand in the capital?” His voice was calm, quiet, always with that faint drawl as if he chose his words with care. Suddenly my voice sounded too loud, and much too combative, to my ears. Of course that made my face go crimson with heat. “Visiting.” This effectively ended the subject, and I waited for him to leave. He turned around then, studying me reflectively. The length of the room still lay between us. “I had hoped,” he said, “that you would honor me with a few moments’ further discourse.” “About what?” I demanded. “I came here at your brother’s invitation.” He spoke in a conversational tone, as though I’d been pleasant and encouraging. “My reasons for accepting were partly because I wanted an interlude of relative tranquility, and partly for diplomatic reasons.” “Yes, Nimiar told me about your wanting to present a solid front with the infamous Astiars. I understand, and I said I’d go along.” “Please permit me to express my profound gratitude.” He bowed gracefully.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
My gaze fell on a plain door-tapestry at the other end of the room. A service access? I turned and saw a narrow, discreet outline of a door tucked in the corner between two bookshelves; that was the service door, then. Might I find some kind of archive beyond that tapestry? I crossed the room, heard no noise beyond, so I lifted the tapestry. The room was small, filled with light. It was a corner room, with two entrances, floor-to-ceiling windows in two walls, and bookshelves everywhere else. In the slanting rays of the morning sun I saw a writing table angled between the windows--and kneeling at the table, dressed in riding clothes, was the Marquis of Shevraeth. He put down his pen and looked up inquiringly. Feeling that to run back out would be cowardly, I said, “Your mother invited me to use the library. I thought this might be an archive.” “It is,” he said. “Memoirs from kings and queens addressed specifically to heirs. Most are about laws. A few are diaries of Court life. Look around.” He picked up the pen again and waved it toward the shelves. “Over there you’ll find the book of laws by Turic the Third, he of the twelve thousand proclamations. Next to it is his daughter’s, rescinding most of them.” He pushed a pile of papers in my direction. “Or if you’d like to peruse something more recent, here are Galdran’s expenditure lists and so forth. They give a fairly comprehensive overview of his policies.” I stepped into the room and bent down to lift up two or three of the papers. Some were proposals for increases in taxes for certain nobles; the fourth was a list of people “to be watched.” I looked at him in surprise. “You found these just lying around?” “Yes,” he said, sitting back on his cushion. The morning light highlighted the smudges of tiredness under his eyes. “He did not expect to be defeated. Your brother and I rode back here in haste, as soon as we could, in order to prevent looting; but such was Galdran’s hold on the place that, even though the news had preceded us by two days, I found his rooms completely undisturbed. I don’t think anyone believed he was really dead--they expected one of his ugly little ploys to catch out ‘traitors.’” I whistled, turning over another paper. “Wish I could have been there,” I said. “You could have been.” This brought me back to reality with a jolt. Of course I could have been there--but I had left without warning, without saying good-bye even to my own brother, in my haste to retreat to home and sanity. And memory. I glanced at him just in time to see him wince slightly and shake his head. Was that regret? For his words--or for my actions that day?
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
I thought about myself showing up on his trail, put there by servants who were--I realized now--doing their very best to throw us together, but with almost disastrous results. It was only his own faith that saved that situation, a faith I hadn’t shared. I looked at him, and again saw that assessing glance. “The throne won’t be ordered until you give the word. You need time to decide if this is the life you want,” he said. “Of all the women I know you’ve the least interest in rank for the sake of rank.” “The direct result of growing up a barefoot countess,” I said, trying for lightness. He smiled back, then took both my hands. “Which brings us to a piece of unpleasant news that I have not known how to broach.” “Unpleasant--oh, can’t it wait?” I exclaimed. “If you wish.” At once I scolded myself for cowardice. “And leave you with the burden? Tell me, if the telling eases it.” He made a faint grimace. “I don’t know that anything can ease it, but it is something you wanted to know and could not find out.” I felt coldness turn my bones to water. “My mother?” “Your mother,” he said slowly, still holding my hands, “apparently was learning sorcery. For the best of motives--to help the kingdom, and to prevent war. She was selected by the Council of Mages to study magic. Her books came from Erev-li-Erval. Apparently the Marquise found out when she was there to establish Flauvic at the Court of the Empress. She sent a courier to apprise her brother.” “And he had her killed.” Now I could not stop the tears from burning my eyes, and they ran unheeded down my cheeks. “And Papa knew about the magic. Which must be why he burned the books.” “And why he neglected your education, for he must have feared that you would inherit her potential for magic-learning. Anyway, I found the Marquise’s letter among Galdran’s things last year. I just did not know how to tell you--how to find the right time, or place.” “And I could have found out last year, if I’d not run away.” I took a deep, unsteady breath. “Well. Now I know. Shall we get on with our task?” “Are you ready for another ride?” “Of course.” He kissed my hands, first one, then the other. I felt that thrill run through me, chasing away for now the pain of grief, of regret. “Then let’s address the business before us. I hope and trust we’ll have the remainder of our lives to talk all this over and compare misguided reactions, but for now…” He rose and pulled me to my feet. Still holding on to my hands, he continued, “…shall we agree to a fresh beginning?” I squeezed his hands back. “Agreed.” “Then let me hear my name from you, just once, before we proceed further. My name, not any of the titles.” “Vidanric,” I said, and he kissed me again, then laughed. Soon we were racing side by side cross-country again, on the last leg of the journey to Remalna-city.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
The New England wilderness March 1, 1704 Temperature 10 degrees She had no choice but to go to him. She set Daniel down. Perhaps they would spare Daniel. Perhaps only she was to be burned. She forced herself to keep her chin up, her eyes steady and her steps even. How could she be afraid of going where her five-year-old brother had gone first? O Tommy, she thought, rest in the Lord. Perhaps you are with Mother now. Perhaps I will see you in a moment. She did not want to die. Her footsteps crunched on the snow. Nobody spoke. Nobody moved. The Indian handed Mercy a slab of cornmeal bread, and then beckoned to Daniel, who cried, “Oh, good, I’m so hungry!” and came running, his happy little face tilted in a smile at the Indian who fed him. “Mercy said we’d eat later,” Daniel confided in the Indian. The English trembled in their relief and the French laughed. The Indian knelt beside Daniel, tossing aside Tommy’s jacket and dressing Daniel in warm clean clothing from another child. Nobody in Deerfield owned many clothes, and if she permitted herself to think about it, Mercy would know whose trousers and shirt these were, but she did not want to think about what dead child did not need clothes, so she said to the Indian, “Who are you? What’s your name?” He understood. Putting the palm of his hand against his chest, he said, “Tannhahorens.” She could just barely separate the syllables. It sounded more like a duck quacking than a real word. “Tannhahorens,” he said again, and she repeated it after him. She wondered what it meant. Indian names had to make a picture. She smiled carefully at the man she had thought was going to burn her alive as an example and said, “I’ll be right back, Tannhahorens.” She took a few steps away, and when he did nothing, she ran to her family. Her uncle swept her into his arms. How wonderful his scratchy beard felt! How strong and comforting his hug! “My brave girl,” he whispered, kissing her hair. “Mercy, they won’t let me help you.” In a voice as childish and puzzled as Daniel’s, he added, “They won’t let me help your aunt Mary, or Will and Little Mary either. I tried to help your brothers and got whipped for it.” He stammered: Uncle Nathaniel, whose reading choices from the Bible were always about war, and whose voice made every battle exciting. He needed her comfort as much as she needed his. “Uncle Nathaniel,” she said, “if I had done better, Tommy and Marah--” “Hush,” said her uncle. “The Lord set a task before you and you obeyed. Daniel is your task. Say your prayers as you march.” In a tight little pack behind Uncle Nathaniel stood her three living brothers. How small and cold they looked. Sam lifted his chin to encourage his sister and said, “At least we’re together. Do the best you can, Mercy. So will we.” They stared at each other, the two closest in age, and Mercy thought how proud their mother would be of Sam. “Mercy,” cried her brother John, panicking, “you have to go! Go fast,” he said urgently. “Your Indian is pointing at you.” Tannhahorens was watching her but not signaling. He isn’t angry, thought Mercy. I don’t have to be afraid, but I do have to return. “Find out your Indian’s name,” she said to her brothers. “It helps. Call him by name.” She took the time to hug and kiss each brother. How narrow their little shoulders; how thin the cloth that must keep them from freezing. She had to go before she wept. Indians did not care for crying. “Be strong, Uncle Nathaniel,” she said, touching the strange collar around his neck. “Don’t tug it,” he said wryly. “It’s lined with porcupine quill tips. If I don’t move at the right speed, the Indians give my leash a twitch and the needles jab my throat.” The boys laughed, pantomiming a hard jerk on the cord, and Mercy said, “You’re all just as mean as you ever were!” “And alive,” said Sam. When they hugged once more, she felt a tremor in him, deep and horrified, but under control.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
The First Crusade: 1096-1099: Jerusalem was recaptured from Muslim rulers in 1099. The Second Crusade: 1147-1149: Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany lead a campaign to capture the County of Edessa. The Third Crusade: 1189-1192: Lead by three European kings with the aim of recapturing Jerusalem, which was again under Muslim rule. The Fourth Crusade: 1202-1204: This represented another attempt at regaining the Holy City. However, it ended with the sacking of Constantinople. The Fifth Crusade:1217-1221: An attempt to succeed where the Fourth Crusade had failed, this campaign also ended in defeat. The Sixth Crusade: 1228-1229: A major success, this Crusade ended with the capture of Jerusalem, Nazareth and other cities. The Seventh Crusade: 1248-1254: Louis IX attempted to conquer Egypt and recapture parts of the Holy Land that had fallen outside of Christian rule. However, he failed as he had to return home to France when his mother died. The Eighth Crusade: 1270: This represented Louis’ second attempt. He began in Tunisia, but died shortly after arriving. His brother was left to ensure the army returned home to France. Prince Edward of England then launched his own campaign, but left to return home once he received news that his father had fallen ill.
William D. Willis (American History: US History: An Overview of the Most Important People & Events. The History of United States: From Indians, to "Contemporary" History ... Native Americans, Indians, New York Book 1))
A CLASSIC WAITS for me, it contains all, nothing is lacking, Yet all were lacking if taste were lacking, or if the endorsement of the right man were lacking. O clublife, and the pleasures of membership, O volumes for sheer fascination unrivalled. Into an armchair endlessly rocking, Walter J. Black my president, I, freely invited, cordially welcomed to membership, My arm around John Kieran, Pearl S. Buck, My taste in books guarded by the spirits of William Lyon Phelps, Hendrik Willem Van Loon, (From your memories, sad brothers, from the fitful risings and callings I heard), I to the classics devoted, brother of rough mechanics, beauty-parlor technicians, spot welders, radio-program directors (It is not necessary to have a higher education to appreciate these books), I, connoisseur of good reading, friend of connoisseurs of good reading everywhere, I, not obligated to take any specific number of books, free to reject any volume, perfectly free to reject Montaigne, Erasmus, Milton, I, in perfect health except for a slight cold, pressed for time, having only a few more years to live, Now celebrate this opportunity. Come, I will make the club indissoluble, I will read the most splendid books the sun ever shone upon, I will start divine magnetic groups, With the love of comrades, With the life-long love of distinguished committees. I strike up for an Old Book. Long the best-read figure in America, my dues paid, sitter in armchairs everywhere, wanderer in populous cities, weeping with Hecuba and with the late William Lyon Phelps, Free to cancel my membership whenever I wish, Turbulent, fleshy, sensible, Never tiring of clublife, Always ready to read another masterpiece provided it has the approval of my president, Walter J. Black, Me imperturbe, standing at ease among writers, Rais'd by a perfect mother and now belonging to a perfect book club, Bearded, sunburnt, gray-neck'd, astigmatic, Loving the masters and the masters only (I am mad for them to be in contact with me), My arm around Pearl S. Buck, only American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, I celebrate this opportunity. And I will not read a book nor the least part of a book but has the approval of the Committee, For all is useless without that which you may guess at many times and not hit, that which they hinted at, All is useless without readability. By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms (89¢ for the Regular Edition or $1.39 for the DeLuxe Edition, plus a few cents postage). I will make inseparable readers with their arms around each other's necks, By the love of classics, By the manly love of classics.
E.B. White
White men never come to Jenuchshadego,” Rising Hawk had told her with some pride. “Not by themselves or in armies. The Genesee towns are surrounded by white settlers, but not us.” He grinned in satisfaction. “Not even the missionaries bother us.” Now he was saying, “This could be a very important dream. But why would a white dog choose you as a messenger?” Rising Hawk rested his chin in his hand and frowned. Livy wasn’t sure she liked his tone. “There wasn’t any message.” “And it doesn’t ask anything of you. This is curious. Perhaps I should tell my mother of your dream. It may mean more to another woman.” “It’s just a dream, Rising Hawk. Don’t make a fuss. It doesn’t mean anything.” There was a flicker of annoyance in his eyes. How could his brother allow such dangerous ignorance to fester in his own home? “Dreams are more important than anything that happens when you are awake,” he insisted. “You can cause yourself great harm if you do not listen. We must find out what it means for you to do. This dream could come from outside of you, from the spirits. To ignore the needs of either can mean sickness for yourself or danger to others, to us.” Exasperated by her blank look, he added, “I am really very surprised my brother has not taught you this.” “He keeps a Christian household, and Christians don’t hold with such things as dreams,” Livy said primly. “Did you know that the missionaries taught me from that book?” “I knew all along you had Christian leanings,” she said, pleased that Gideon had been wrong about his brother. Rising Hawk made an abrupt motion with his hand, dismissing her idea. “Is your white God so very difficult that one needs a book to understand him? Actually, I believe the priests wrote it themselves,” he confided. Speechless, Livy watched him roll onto his feet and disappear into the brush. She half expected lightning to strike him. She hated the way he was always thinking about white people and making comparisons and acting superior. Why, she hardly ever gave Indians a second thought. She wriggled out of her blankets and began bundling their bedrolls, squeezing them into the smallest possible packs, tidy and easy to manage. When Rising Hawk emerged from the trees, unscathed, a moment later, she was mildly disappointed.
Betsy Urban (Waiting for Deliverance)
Oedipa spent the next several days in and out of libraries and earnest discussions with Emory Bortz and Genghis Cohen. She feared a little for their security in view of what was happening to everyone else she knew. The day after reading Blobb's Peregrinations she, with Bortz, Grace, and the graduate students, attended Randolph Driblette's burial, listened to a younger brother's helpless, stricken eulogy, watched the mother, spectral in afternoon smog, cry, and came back at night to sit on the grave and drink Napa Valley muscatel, which Driblette in his time had put away barrels of. There was no moon, smog covered the stars, all black as a Tristero rider. Oedipa sat on the earth, ass getting cold, wondering whether, as Driblette had suggested that night from the shower, some version of herself hadn't vanished with him. Perhaps her mind would go on flexing psychic muscles that no longer existed; would be betrayed and mocked by a phantom self as the amputee is by a phantom limb. Someday she might replace whatever of her had gone away by some prosthetic device, a dress of a certain color, a phrase in a ' letter, another lover. She tried to reach out, to whatever coded tenacity of protein might improbably have held on six feet below, still resisting decay-any stubborn quiescence perhaps gathering itself for some last burst, some last scramble up through earth, just-glimmering, holding together with its final strength a transient, winged shape, needing to settle at once in the warm host, or dissipate forever into the dark. If you come to me, prayed Oedipa, bring your memories of the last night. Or if you have to keep down your payload, the last five minutes-that may be enough. But so I'll know if your walk into the sea had anything to do with Tristero. If they got rid of you for the reason they got rid of Hilarius and Mucho and Metzger-maybe because they thought I no longer needed you. They were wrong. I needed you. Only bring me that memory, and you can live with me for whatever time I've got. She remembered his head, floating in the shower, saying, you could fall in love with me. But could she have saved him? She looked over at the girl who'd given her the news of his death. Had they been in love? Did she know why Driblette had put in those two extra lines that night? Had he even known why? No one could begin to trace it. A hundred hangups, permuted, combined-sex, money, illness, despair with the history of his time and place, who knew. Changing the script had no clearer motive than his suicide. There was the same whimsy to both. Perhaps-she felt briefly penetrated, as if the bright winged thing had actually made it to the sanctuary of her heart-perhaps, springing from the same slick labyrinth, adding those two lines had even, in a way never to be explained, served him as a rehearsal for his night's walk away into that vast sink of the primal blood the Pacific. She waited for the winged brightness to announce its safe arrival. But there was silence. Driblette, she called. The signal echoing down twisted miles of brain circuitry. Driblette! But as with Maxwell's Demon, so now. Either she could not communicate, or he did not exist.
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
There wasn't any message." "And it doesn't ask anything of you. This is curious. Perhaps I should tell my mother of your dream. It may mean more to another woman." "It’s just a dream, Rising Hawk. Don’t make a fuss. It doesn’t mean anything.” There was a flicker of annoyance in his eyes. How could his brother allow such dangerous ignorance to fester in his own home? “Dreams are more important than anything that happens when you are awake,” he insisted. “You can cause yourself great harm if you do not listen. We must find out what it means for you to do. This dream could come from within,” he said, indicating his heart, “or it could come from outside of you, from the spirits. To ignore the needs of either can mean sickness for yourself or danger to others, to us.” Exasperated by her blank look, he added, “I am really very surprised my brother has not taught you this.” “He keeps a Christian household, and Christians don’t hold with such things as dreams,” Livy said primly. “Did you know that the missionaries taught me from that book?” “I knew all along you had Christian leanings,” she said, pleased that Gideon had been wrong about his brother. Rising Hawk made an abrupt motion with his hand, dismissing her idea. “Is your white God so very difficult that one needs a book to understand him? Actually, I believe the priests wrote it themselves," he confided. Speechless, Livy watched him roll onto his feet and disappear into the brush. She half expected lightning to strike him. She hated the way he was always thinking about white people and making comparisons and acting superior. Why, she hardly ever gave Indians a second thought. She wriggled out of her blankets and began bundling their bedrolls, squeezing them into the smallest possible packs, tidy and easy to manage. When Rising Hawk emerged from the trees, unscathed, a moment later, she was mildly disappointed.
Betsy Urban (Waiting for Deliverance)
5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” 7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” 8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” 10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life. 20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” 37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
This particular day in May, Fiona has slipped Thatch a note in the hallway between history and music class, a scrap of paper that says, simply, "cheesecake." Last week, she passed him notes that said "quiche" and "meatballs," and the week before it was "bread pudding" and "veal parmigiana." Most of the time the word is enticing enough to get him over right after school- for example, the veal parmigiana. Thatcher and Jimmy and Phil sat at Fiona's kitchen table throwing apples from the fruit bowl at one another and teasing the Kemps' Yorkshire terrier, Sharky, while Fiona, in her mother's frilly, flowered, and very queer-looking apron, dredged the veal cutlets in flour, dipped them in egg, dressed them with breadcrumbs, and then sautéed them in hot oil in her mother's electric frying pan. The boys really liked the frying part- there was something cool about meat in hot, splattering oil. But they lost interest during the sauce and cheese steps, and by the time Fiona slid the baking pan into the oven, Jimmy and Phil were ready to go home. Not Thatcher- he stayed until Fiona pulled the cheesy, bubbling dish from the oven and ate with Fiona and Dr. and Mrs. Kemp. His father worked late and his brothers were scattered throughout the neighborhood (his two older brothers could drive and many times they ate at the Burger King on Grape Road). Thatcher liked it when Fiona cooked; he liked it more than he would ever admit.
Elin Hilderbrand (The Blue Bistro)
Eleven finally allowed to dye his own eggs, and then only in one color: red. All over the house red eggs gleam in lengthening, solstice rays. Red eggs fill bowls on the dining room table. They hang from string pouches over doorways. They crowd the mantel and are baked into loaves of cruciform tsoureki. But now it is late afternoon; dinner is over. And my brother is smiling. Because now comes the one part of Greek Easter he prefers to egg hunts and jelly beans: the egg-cracking game. Everyone gathers around the dining table. Biting his lip, Chapter Eleven selects an egg from the bowl, studies it, returns it. He selects another. “This looks like a good one,” Milton says, choosing his own egg. “Built like a Brinks truck.” Milton holds his egg up. Chapter Eleven prepares to attack. When suddenly my mother taps my father on the back. “Just a minute, Tessie. We’re cracking eggs here.” She taps him harder. “What?” “My temperature.” She pauses. “It’s up six tenths.” She has been using the thermometer. This is the first my father has heard of it. “Now?” my father whispers. “Jesus, Tessie, are you sure?” “No, I’m not sure. You told me to watch for any rise in my temperature and I’m telling you I’m up six tenths of a degree.” And, lowering her voice, “Plus it’s been thirteen days since my last you know what.” “Come on, Dad,” Chapter Eleven pleads.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
Eleven finally allowed to dye his own eggs, and then only in one color: red. All over the house red eggs gleam in lengthening, solstice rays. Red eggs fill bowls on the dining room table. They hang from string pouches over doorways. They crowd the mantel and are baked into loaves of cruciform tsoureki. But now it is late afternoon; dinner is over. And my brother is smiling. Because now comes the one part of Greek Easter he prefers to egg hunts and jelly beans: the egg-cracking game. Everyone gathers around the dining table. Biting his lip, Chapter Eleven selects an egg from the bowl, studies it, returns it. He selects another. “This looks like a good one,” Milton says, choosing his own egg. “Built like a Brinks truck.” Milton holds his egg up. Chapter Eleven prepares to attack. When suddenly my mother taps my father on the back. “Just a minute, Tessie. We’re cracking eggs here.” She taps him harder. “What?” “My temperature.” She pauses. “It’s up six tenths.” She has been using the thermometer. This is the first my father has heard of it. “Now?” my father whispers. “Jesus, Tessie, are you sure?” “No, I’m not sure. You told me to watch for any rise in my temperature and I’m telling you I’m up six tenths of a degree.” And, lowering her voice, “Plus it’s been thirteen days since my last you know what.” “Come on, Dad,” Chapter Eleven pleads. “Time out,” Milton says. He puts his egg in the ashtray. “That’s my egg. Nobody touch it until I come back.” Upstairs, in the master bedroom, my parents accomplish the act. A child’s natural decorum makes me refrain from imagining the scene in much detail. Only this: when they’re done, as if topping off the tank, my father says, “That should do it.” It turns out he’s right. In May, Tessie learns she’s pregnant, and the waiting begins.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
But, Cass, ask yourself, look out and ask yourself—wouldn’t you hate all white people if they kept you in prison here?” They were rolling up startling Seventh Avenue. The entire population seemed to be in the streets, draped, almost, from lampposts, stoops, and hydrants, and walking through the traffic as though it were not there. “Kept you here, and stunted you and starved you, and made you watch your mother and father and sister and lover and brother and son and daughter die or go mad or go under, before your very eyes? And not in a hurry, like from one day to the next, but, every day, every day, for years, for generations? Shit. They keep you here because you’re black, the filthy, white cock suckers, while they go around jerking themselves off with all that jazz about the land of the free and the home of the brave.
James Baldwin (Another Country)
Ireland’s social fabric was by now such a patchwork quilt that practically everyone had relatives on the adversaries’ side. Sigtrygg had Irish blood from his mother, a princess named Gormflaith, who had been married many times, once to Brian Boru, which made Brian one of Sigtrygg’s stepfathers. Sigtrygg, in turn, had married one of Brian’s daughters by another Irish wife, which made him a son-in-law of Brian’s. To top it off, the rebellious Maelmordha of Leinster was Gormflaith’s brother, which made him Brian’s brother-in-law and Sigtrygg’s uncle.
Robert Wernick (The Vikings)
Did the Führer take her (mother) away?” The question surprised them both, and it forced Papa to stand up. He looked at the brown-shirted men taking to the pile of ash with shovels. He could hear them hacking into it. Another lie was growing in his mouth, but he found it impossible to let it out. He said, “I think he might have, yes.” “I knew it.” The words were thrown at the steps and Liesel could feel the slush of anger, stirring hotly in her stomach. “I hate the Führer,” she said. “I hate him.” And Hans Hubermann? What did he do? What did he say? Did he bend down and embrace his foster daughter, as he wanted to? Did he tell her that he was sorry for what was happening to her, to her mother, for what had happened to her brother? Not exactly. He clenched his eyes. Then opened them. He slapped Liesel Meminger squarely in the face. “Don’t ever say that!” His voice was quiet, but sharp. As the girl shook and sagged on the steps, he sat next to her and held his face in his hands. It would be easy to say that he was just a tall man sitting poorpostured and shattered on some church steps, but he wasn’t. At the time, Liesel had no idea that her foster father, Hans Hubermann, was contemplating one of the most dangerous dilemmas a German citizen could face. Not only that, he’d been facing it for close to a year. “Papa?” The surprise in her voice rushed her, but it also rendered her useless. She wanted to run, but she couldn’t. She could take a Watschen from nuns and Rosas, but it hurt so much more from Papa. The hands were gone from Papa’s face now and he found the resolve to speak again. “You can say that in our house,” he said, looking gravely at Liesel’s cheek. “But you never say it on the street, at school, at the BDM, never!” He stood in front of her and lifted her by the triceps. He shook her. “Do you hear me?” With her eyes trapped wide open, Liesel nodded her compliance. It was, in fact, a rehearsal for a future lecture, when all of Hans Hubermann’s worst fears arrived on Himmel Street later that year, in the early hours of a November morning. “Good.” He placed her back down. “Now, let us try …” At the bottom of the steps, Papa stood erect and cocked his arm. Forty-five degrees. “Heil Hitler.” Liesel stood up and also raised her arm. With absolute misery, she repeated it. “Heil Hitler.” It was quite a sight—an eleven-year-old girl, trying not to cry on the church steps, saluting the Führer as the voices over Papa’s shoulder chopped and beat at the dark shape in the background.
Markus Zusak
Christie did not know before that so many things could be crowded into a basket. Bread and butter, piles of it; a soup-plate piled high with slices of ham, thin, and done to a crisp, and smelling, oh, so appetizing! Sheets of gingerbread, great squares of cheese, a bowl of doughnuts, another bowl of quince sauce, and a pail full of milk. “Mother said you could give some to anybody you pleased,” explained Sarah Ann, who seemed to have recovered her spirits. “She said father wouldn’t grudge anything to the girl who saved Jimmy from getting hurt. My, but I was scared!” she added confidentially. “Whose baby is that? Isn’t he your little brother? What makes him so good with you if he don’t belong? Jimmy would yell awful if a strange girl took him. My sakes! I hope his mother will find him. Do you mean to keep him always if she doesn’t, and bring him up for yours? Wouldn’t that be funny, for a little girl like you to adopt a baby! Oh, wouldn’t it?” What a tongue Sarah Ann had!
Pansy (Christie's Christmas)
Sis rolls her eyes and leads the elderly lady over to the S-shaped tables crammed with silver trays of ham biscuits, pickled shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, venison pate, fruit and cheese in ornately carved-out watermelons, smoked salmon with all the trimmings, sausage balls, and pimento cheese garnished with little cocktail pickles. Sis's mama gets a nibble of shrimp and a ham biscuit and points to another corner of the tent where Richadene's brother, Melvin, is carving a beef tenderloin and serving it on rolls with horseradish and mayonnaise. Next to Melvin, R.L.'s chef friend from Savannah is serving up shrimp and grits in large martini glasses.
Beth Webb Hart (The Wedding Machine)
Care and concern imply another aspect of love; that of responsibility. Today responsibility is often meant to denote duty, something imposed upon one from the outside. But responsibility, in its true sense, is an entirely voluntary act; it is my response to the needs, expressed or unexpressed, of another human being. To be “responsible” means to be able and ready to “respond.” Jonah did not feel responsible to the inhabitants of Nineveh. He, like Cain, could ask: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The loving person responds. The life of his brother is not his brother’s business alone, but his own. He feels responsible for his fellow men, as he feels responsible for himself. This responsibility, in the case of the mother and her infant, refers mainly to the care for physical needs. In the love between adults it refers mainly to the psychic needs of the other person. Responsibility could easily deteriorate into domination and possessiveness, were it not for a third component of love, respect. Respect is not fear and awe; it denotes, in accordance with the root of the word (respicere = to look at), the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality. Respect means the concern that the other person should grow and unfold as he is. Respect, thus, implies the absence of exploitation. I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me. If I love the other person, I feel one with him or her, but with him as he is, not as I need him to be as an object for my use. It is clear that respect is possible only if I have achieved independence; if I can stand and walk without needing crutches, without having to dominate and exploit anyone else. Respect exists only on the basis of freedom: “l’amour est l’enfant de la liberté” as an old French song says; love is the child of freedom, never that of domination.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
A unified Iran is constituted not only politically but also affectively. Liberty and constitutional rule bring "Affection among us." The affective sentiment- that of bonding among differing brothers-produces political bonds of national unity and was associatively linked with other desires. Perhaps foremost was the desire to care for and defend the mother, in particular her bodily integrity. The same words were commonly used to discuss territory and the female body. Laura Mulvey calls these words keys "that could turn either way between the psychoanalytic and the social" (1980, 180). They are not "just words" that open up to either domain; they mediate between these domains, taking power of desire from one to the other. More appropriately, they should be considered cultural nodes of psyhosocial condensation. Tajavuz, literally meaning transgression, expresses both rape and the invasion of territory. Another effective expression, as already noted, was Khak-i pak-i vatan, the pure soil of the homeland. The word used for "pure," pak, is saturated with connotations of sexual purity. Linked to the idea of the purity of a female vatan was the metaphoric notion of the "skirt of chastity" (daman-i 'iffat) and its purity-whether it was stained or not. It was the duty of Iranian men to protect that skirt. The weak and sometimes dying figure of motherland pleaded t her dishonorable sons to arise and cut the hands of foreigners from her skirt. Expressing hope for the success of the new constitutional regime by recalling and wishing away the horrors of previous years, an article in Sur-o Israfil addressed Iran in the following terms: "O Iran! O our Mother! You who have given us milk from the blood of your veins for many long years, and who have fed us with the tissues of your own body! Will we ever live to see your unworthy children entrust your skirt of chastity to the hands of foreigners? Will our eyes ever see foreigners tear away the veil of your chastity?
Afsaneh Najmabadi (Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity)
Leaving the Connecticut River March 8, 1704 Temperature 40 degrees Thou shalt not kill. Ruth lay down and inched forward until she could look over the edge of the cliff to see what had happened. The force of Otter’s fall had brought snow and rock down upon him. One hand stuck out, and part of his face. But I say unto you which hear. Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you…And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other. What could Jesus have been thinking when he said that? This enemy was the murderer and slaughterer of innocent women and children. Ruth was not going to love him, she would never do anything good unto him, and certainly she was not going to offer him yet another chance to strike her in the face. She rejoiced that this enemy had no choice about living or dying, any more than her father and brother had had a choice about living or dying. She thought of her mother, giving water to the wounded French officer, and for that gesture, being left behind. She wondered how Mother felt now, alone in a world where her men had died to save her while she helped their enemies. The savage was alive, trying with that one hand to dig himself free. A rim of ice fell like knives upon him. Ruth cried out. The Indian made no sound. Ruth scuttled backward, out of his sight. She could go get help. Or let him die. It wasn’t fair! It wasn’t supposed to be Ruth who had to love the enemy. That was just a verse you repeated in meeting. She was not going to take it seriously, loving her enemy. But it was the Word of the Lord. The Twenty-third Psalm moved through her mind, as warm and sure as summer wind. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. If she broke the commandment and failed to love her enemy, she would never lie down in green pastures. Not on earth, not in her heart, and not in death. Ruth worked her way through tangles of thin saplings and around boulders. She slid down rock faces. Sweating and sobbing over terrain that could not have been made by God, only by devils, she reached Otter at last. Her bad lungs sounded like sand rubbed on floors. She dug him out, not carefully. She might have to save him but she would not spare him pain. He was bleeding where ice had sliced him and by now her mittens were shredded, and their blood mingled, flecked scarlet on white snow. When he was finally on his feet, she said, “It’s not because I wanted to, you know.” Otter took a short careful step and paused in pain, Ruth thought, though pain did not show on his face. “It’s so I won’t be a killer like you,” she said. He snapped a branch in his strong hands to use as a cane. Laboriously, they made their way up the cliff, crawling part of the way. “Actually, I hate you,” said Ruth. Huge hot tears fell from her eyes and she knew that hate was not as simple as that. Nor were the commandments.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
Question five: * What did your brothers think of your parents’ relationship? Answers: a) Both my brothers were studying in England. They were out of sight and out of mind. They were having a ball of a time away from my parent’s domestic squabbles. As far as I remember, they didn’t care one way or other. That was another reason I could not wait to leave my family in Malaya and be as far away from my dad as possible. I wanted to create my own life where nobody could or would tell me what I could or couldn’t do. As I mentioned in Initiation, I wished my parents had gotten a divorce and Mother had married Uncle James. That to me would have been the ideal solution to my parent’s problems. Unfortunately, women from my mother’s generation and social standing would think divorce to be an insurmountable decrepitude to a marriage, let alone to the welfare of their children. After all, in their marriage vows my parents promised each other, “till death do us part.” My parents’ generation takes pledges and oaths seriously. Their staunch “gentleman’s word of honor” probably influenced me in upholding my personal pledge of allegiance and oath of confidentially to the Enlightened Royal Oracle Society to this day.
Young (Unbridled (A Harem Boy's Saga, #2))
It’s almost Thanksgiving,” she said. “You’re sure you want to stay here?” He shrugged. “Mel and Jack can’t leave—she has babies coming. Preacher and Paige are here—that’s family. If you want to go to Sam’s, I’ll do that with you. But I don’t want to go to L.A. yet.” “You aren’t keeping me a secret from the Valenzuelas, are you?” “God, no, I’ve told them all, every one of them. I even told them to look out—you’re bilingual and tricky. But I’m not ready to share you. In my mother’s Catholic household, it would be separate bedrooms because we’re not married. Even though I’m thirty-seven and she knows we’re living together—it’s her Catholic home. We could stay in a hotel, but I think we’ll visit later. Just give me a little more time. I’ve never been this happy in my life and all day long I look forward to when we’re finally alone together.” He played with the hair that fell to her shoulder. “I’m greedy. This is the best my life has ever been.” “What about Christmas?” she asked him. “What about it?” “Will your family be upset it we go to Dad’s for Christmas? Because my whole family plus Mel’s sister, brother-in-law and the kids will be there—and I want to be with them.” “Then that’s where we’ll be. We can join the Valenzuelas another time. You have to remember, mija—my family is so large that my parents don’t expect to have all the kids together with their own families every year. We’ll do Christmas with them another year.” Thanksgiving
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
The green of Tennessee faded quickly into the foreign world of Brooklyn, heat rising from cement. I thought of my mother often, lifting my hand to stroke my own cheek, imagining her beside me, explaining this newness, the fast pace of it, the impenetrable gray of it. When my brother cried, I shushed him, telling him not to worry. She's coming soon, I said, trying to echo her. She's coming tomorrow. And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn)
When Arturo had ordered her taken into custody, Darling knew the next step would be her execution. As the mother to the heir and widow of the last governor, his mother was to keep herself pristine and chaste in memory of his dead father for the rest of her life. For another man to touch her was viewed as an act of high treason on both their parts. The guards had seized her and she’d been screaming, protesting her innocence and begging for mercy. His brother and sister had been holding on to her waist, crying and pleading for their mother’s life. Darling had been frozen by terror. His father had only been dead three years and all he could hear was the promise he’d made to him the last time they’d spoken. “If anything should ever happen to me, Darling, swear to me that you’ll make sure your mother and siblings are taken care of. They’re not as strong as you. You’ll make a great governor one day. I know it. It’s why I trust you to do right by the three of them.” Still, they’d all screamed and cried until Darling was deaf from it. More guards had come forward to pull his brother and sister away and to handcuff his mother for her execution while Carus had stood there, silent. No word to deny or defend the woman he’d slept with. The woman who’d risked her life and endangered her children for him. He was useless as a protector. And his mother would die if Darling didn’t do something. So he’d seized on Maris’s personal secret to save her life. Biting his lips to make them swell, and pinching and clawing his neck to turn it red, he’d run forward to stop his mother’s arrest. “He’s my boyfriend. I’m the one who slept with him.” The words had flown out of Darling’s mouth before he could stop himself. Or think through the consequences. But
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Silence (The League #5))
The book of Genesis is a window into what cultures were like before the revelation of the Bible. One thing we see early on is the widespread practice of primogeniture—the eldest son inherited all the wealth, which is how they ensured the family kept its status and place in society. So the second or third son got nothing, or very little. Yet all through the Bible, when God chooses someone to work through, he chooses the younger sibling. He chooses Abel over Cain. He chooses Isaac over Ishmael. He chooses Jacob over Esau. He chooses David over all eleven of his older brothers. Time after time he chooses not the oldest, not the one the world expects and rewards. Never the one from Jerusalem, as it were, but always the one from Nazareth. Another ancient cultural tradition revealed in Genesis is that in those societies, women who had lots of children were extolled as heroic. If you had many children, that meant economic success, it meant military success, and of course it meant the odds of carrying on the family name were secure. So women who could not have children were shamed and stigmatized. Yet throughout the Bible, when God shows us how he works through a woman, he chooses the ones who cannot have children, and opens their wombs. These are despised women, but God chooses them over ones who are loved and blessed in the eyes of the world. He chooses Sarah, Abraham’s wife; Rebecca, Isaac’s wife; Samuel’s mother, Hannah; and John’s mother, Elizabeth. God always works through the men or the boys nobody wanted, through the women or girls nobody wanted.
Timothy J. Keller (The Skeptical Student (Encounters with Jesus Series))
With means, if more than a little diminished means, of his own Ethan had done what his father before him, likewise a lawyer, had done, and had once in days past counselled him to do before it was too late, before this might spell an irrevocable retirement. He made a Retreat. (To be sure he had not been bidden so far afield as had his father, who’d spent the last year of peace before the First World War as a legal adviser on international cotton law in Czarist Russia, whence he brought back to his young son in Wales, or so he announced, lifting it whole out of a mysterious deep-Christmas-smelling wooden box, a beautiful toy model of Moscow; a city of tiny magical gold domes, pumpkin- or Christmas-bell-shaped, sparkling with Christmas tinsel-scented snow, bright as new silver half-crowns, and of minuscule Byzantine chimes; and at whose miniature frozen street corners waited minute sleighs, in which Ethan had imagined years later lilliputian Tchitchikovs brooding, or corners where lurked snow-bound Raskolnikovs, their hands stayed from murder evermore: much later still he was to become unsure whether the city, sprouting with snow-freaked onions after all, was intended to be Moscow or St. Petersburg, for part of it seemed in memory built on little piles in the water, like Eridanus; the city coming out of the box he was certain was magic too—for he had never seen it again after that evening of his father’s return, in a strange astrakhan-collared coat and Russian fur cap—the box that was always to be associated also with his mother’s death, which had occurred shortly thereafter; the magic bulbar city going back into the magic scented box forever, and himself too afraid of his father to ask him about it later—though how beautiful for years to him was the word city, the carilloning word city in the Christmas hymn, Once in Royal David’s City, and the tumultuous angel-winged city that was Bunyan’s celestial city; beautiful, that was, until he saw a city—it was London—for the first time, sullen, in fog, and bloodshot as if with the fires of hell, and he had never to this day seen Moscow—so that while this remained in his memory as nearly the only kind action he could recall on the part of either of his parents, if not nearly the only happy memory of his entire childhood, he was constrained to believe the gift had actually been intended for someone else, probably for the son of one of his father’s clients: no, to be sure he hadn’t wandered as far afield as Moscow; nor had he, like his younger brother Gwyn, wanting to go to Newfoundland, set out, because he couldn’t find another ship, recklessly for Archangel; he had not gone into the desert nor to sea himself again or entered a monastery, and moreover he’d taken his wife with him; but retreat it was just the same.)
Malcolm Lowry (October Ferry To Gabriola)
Dared he ask about George? Not a direct inquiry, that wouldn’t do, but a reference to the family, asking whether his mother had happened to encounter Lady Everett lately, and might he ask to be remembered to her son? He sighed and drew another point on his object. No. His widowed mother was ignorant of the situation, but Lady Everett’s husband moved in military circles. His brother’s influence would keep the gossip to a minimum, but Lord Everett might catch a whiff of it, nonetheless, and be quick enough to put two and two together. Let him drop an injudicious word to his wife about George, and the word pass on from Lady Everett to his mother … the Dowager Countess Melton was not a fool. She knew quite well that he was in disgrace; promising young officers in the good graces of their superiors were not sent to the arse-end of Scotland to oversee the renovation of small and unimportant prison-fortresses. But his brother Harold had told her that the trouble was an unfortunate affair of the heart, implying sufficient indelicacy to stop her questioning him about it. She likely thought he had been caught with his colonel’s wife, or keeping a whore in his quarters.
Diana Gabaldon (Voyager (Outlander, #3))
Again I was called to deny self for the good of souls. We must sacrifice the company of our little Henry, and go forth to give ourselves unreservedly to the work. My health was poor, and he would necessarily occupy a great share of my time. It was a severe trial, yet I dared not let my child stand in the way of our duty. I believed that the Lord had spared him to us when he was very sick, and that if I should let him hinder me from doing my duty, God would remove him from me. Alone before the Lord, with most painful feelings and many tears, I made the sacrifice, and gave up my only child for another to have a mother’s care and feelings. We left him in Brother Howland’s family in whom we had the utmost confidence. They were willing to bear burdens to leave us as free as possible to labor in the cause of God. We knew that they could take better care of Henry than we could while journeying with him, and it was for his good that he should have a steady home and good discipline, that his sweet temper be not injured. It was hard parting with my child. His little sad face, as I left him, was before me night and day; yet in the strength of the Lord I put him out of my mind, and sought to do others good. Brother Howland’s family had the whole charge of Henry for five years, without any recompense, and provided him all his clothing, except a present I would bring him once a year, as Hannah did Samuel. 
James White (Collected Writings of James White, Vol. 2 of 2: Words of the Pioneer Adventists)
The eight family members of Noah who were saved on the ark included Ham and his pregnant wife. Cush, the supposed son of Ham, carried the tainted bloodline of Neela. Nimrod sprang from this lineage. But Nimrod was not Ishtar’s interest. She had failed to persuade him to join forces with her. So Ishtar sought another child created by another abomination. After the Flood, Ham in his vile wickedness contested his father Noah’s patriarchal authority by raping his own mother, Emzara. When Emzara gave birth to a son, he was hidden away out of shame and disgrace. Ishtar had heard that Noah cursed that son of abominable union to be a servant of his other brothers. He was cut off from his inheritance. Of the three sons of Noah; Shem, Japheth, and Ham, the lineage of Ham would never be the Seedline of Eve. Shem’s was the chosen line.
Brian Godawa (Abraham Allegiant (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 4))
The Bee-Attitudes Be led by the Holy Spirit. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). 2 Corinthians 3:17 Be free in Christ. And I will walk at liberty and at ease, for I have sought and inquired for (and desperately required) Your precepts. Psalm 119:45 Be uncomplicated. I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out (freely), and will find pasture. John 10:9 Be confident in God. Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5 Be quick to forgive. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 Be honest. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices. Colossians 3:9; There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to tun to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 6:16-20 ESV Be outrageously blessed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Psalm 37:4 Through it all, may this book inspire you to live more joyfully, enjoy life and thrive by living a grateful life.
Aurora A. Ambrose (Green Pastures, Still Waters: Overcoming in The Eye of the Storm (Live Sunny Side Up Book 3))
You!” she snarled, her glower intended for Narian. He walked unflinchingly toward her, keeping me close to his side. “You knew of this plot! Confess the part you have played and I will perhaps spare your life.” Narian put a hand on my shoulder, telling me to stay where I was, then took a few steps closer to the woman who had been like a mother to him. I stood frozen, waiting along with her to hear his answer. What was going on? What had Narian done? “I am not a part of this,” he declared. Nantilam quickly closed the remaining distance between them. She was infuriated, her green eyes flaring as vividly as the flames outside. “But you know more than you have told me.” Her voice was low, dangerous, rumbling with anger. “I know that the Hytanicans’s first rebellion was meant to distract us, and that those captured willingly sacrificed their lives. I know that right now, the men you wanted to execute are waging one last fight to reclaim their kingdom.” My head was spinning, both at the news and at my own idiocy. How could I have failed to see this? How could I not have known it would happen? I had chosen to be blind, even when Narian had all but begged me to come to Cokyri with him. I hadn’t wanted to see it. But the clues had been there. Now people were dying in Hytanica. Someone, probably London, had set the fires here in Cokyri to hinder the arrival of messengers from the province with word of the revolt and to forestall the High Priestess from sending reinforcements. We were trapped and helpless, able only to imagine the battle taking place on the other side of the river. “I knew something was amiss,” the High Priestess simmered. “I knew it the moment I saw Alera with you. You’re a traitor, Narian.” He shook his head, his expression hard. “I am no traitor. I did everything you asked of me. I conquered Hytanica for you and the Overlord, I administered the province as you wanted for months, and I did not plot against you.” Narian’s voice dropped to a fierce whisper. “I am not to blame for what is happening today--for giving the Hytanicans a fair chance at retaking what is rightfully theirs. My only sin is that I did not try to stop them.” Nantilam scrutinized him for what seemed an eternity. “I listened to you,” she vehemently said at last. “I loved you, and I trusted you, and I fought not to lose you after my brother’s death.” “You never trusted me,” Narian contradicted, interrupting whatever else she had intended to say. “And with good reason. You believe the only way to repay a betrayal if with a betrayal. You betrayed me in the worst way imaginable. You lied to me my entire life, trained me and used me as a weapon, never telling me the real reason I was of value to you.” His blue eyes flashed, their sapphire brilliance rivaling the ever-changing emerald sparks in hers. “But I will no longer be manipulated for your causes, and I will not become another warlord. You can consider yourself repaid.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Choochiness is yet another British term that has no precise meaning, but, like pornography, you know it when you see it. The way I have things stacked up, choochiness is a particularly British amalgam of cuddlywuddliness, cutesypiedness, and butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouthedness that embraces everything from shops named The Ketch to Hugh Grant’s stammer. It is a grating and often maddening behavioral pattern that makes others want to reach out and pinch the choochster’s cheeks while secretly longing to stuff a hand grenade right down his throat. “Paul McCartney is choochy; John Lennon is not,” says my brother-in-law, Max, who fled England for France in 1976, largely to escape from rampant choochiness. “Paul McCartney: choochy. John Lennon: not choochy. That’s the difference.” THERE
Joe Queenan (Queenan Country: A Reluctant Anglophile's Pilgrimage to the Mother Country)
By our seventh anniversary, we had five kids and weren’t done yet. Raven was blessed with easy pregnancies and could run around until the moment of delivery. Oh, and did those deliveries become legend. When River was born, the whole crew was laughing their asses off in the waiting room because of Raven’s profanity-laced rants. Our twins came two years later. During their deliveries, a drinking game started with the crew and club guys. Every time Raven screamed a cuss word, Tucker told the guys at the bar and they’d take a shot of whiskey. Half of the guys were wasted by the time Savannah was born. As Avery joined her sister, the other half of the bar was just as drunk off their asses. The obstetrician nearly begged Raven to use pain meds. She refused of course. No one was telling her what to do. For Maverick’s birth, the hospital moved Raven to a room at the end of the hall and kept the other laboring mothers as far away as possible. Another change the third time around was how Raven refused to allow the club guys free fun based on her laboring pains. To play the drinking game, they had to donate a hundred dollars into the kids’ college fund. We figured at least one of our kids would want to do the education thing. The guys donated the money and got ready for Raven to let loose. In her laboring room, she even allowed a mic connected to overhead speakers at the bar. Despite knowing they were all listening, my woman didn’t disappoint. One particular favorite was motherfucking crustacean cunt. When Maverick’s head crowded, she also sounded a little bit like a graboid from Tremors. Hell, I think she did that on purpose because we’d watched the movie the night before. Raven was a born entertainer. That night, we added a few thousand dollars to the kids’ college fund, the guys had a blast getting wasted to Raven’s profanity, and I welcomed my second son. Unlike his angelic brother, Maverick peed on me an hour after birth. I knew that boy was going to be a handful.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Outlaw (Damaged, #4))
Your upbringing must have been the complete opposite of lonely,” she said, “with so many brothers and sisters about.” “You know who I am,” he stated. She nodded. “I didn’t at first.” He walked over to the balustrade and leaned one hip against it, crossing his arms. “What gave me away?” “It was your brother, actually. You looked so alike—” “Even with our masks?” “Even with your masks,” she said with an indulgent smile. “Lady Whistledown writes about you quite often, and she never passes up an opportunity to comment upon how alike you look.” “And do you know which brother I am?” “Benedict,” she replied. “If indeed Lady Whistledown is correct when she says that you are tallest among your brothers.” “You’re quite the detective.” She looked slightly embarrassed. “I merely read a gossip sheet. It makes me no different from the rest of the people here.” Benedict watched her for a moment, wondering if she realized that she’d revealed another clue to the puzzle of her identity. If she’d recognized him only from Whistledown, then she’d not been out in society for long, or perhaps not at all. Either way, she was not one of the many young ladies to whom his mother had introduced him. “What else do you know about me from Whistledown?” he asked, his smile slow and lazy. “Are you fishing for compliments?” she asked, returning the half smile with the vaguest tilt of her lips. “For you must know that the Bridgertons are almost always spared her rapier quill. Lady Whistledown is nearly always complimentary when writing about your family.” “It’s led to quite a bit of speculation about her identity,” he admitted. “Some think she must be a Bridgerton.” “Is she?” He shrugged. “Not that I’m aware of. And you didn’t answer my question.” “Which question was that?” “What you know of me from Whistledown.” She looked surprised. “Are you truly interested?” “If I cannot know anything about you, at least I might know what you know about me.” She smiled, and touched the tip of her index finger to her lower lip in an endearingly absentminded gesture. “Well, let’s see. Last month you won some silly horse race in Hyde Park.” “It wasn’t the least bit silly,” he said with a grin, “and I’m a hundred quid richer for it.” She shot him an arch look. “Horse races are almost always silly.” “Spoken just like a woman,” he muttered. “Well—” “Don’t point out the obvious,” he interrupted. That made her smile. “What else do you know?” he asked. “From Whistledown?” She tapped her finger against her cheek. “You once lopped the head off your sister’s doll.” “And I’m still trying to figure out how she knew about that,” Benedict muttered. “Maybe Lady Whistledown is a Bridgerton, after all.” “Impossible. Not,” he added rather forcefully, “that we’re not smart enough to pull it off. Rather, the rest of the family would be too smart not to figure it out.” -Sophie & Benedict
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
The man she’d laid claim to pulled back slowly as if his lips were reluctant to part from hers. He set her back on her feet, and it belatedly occurred to her that he’d managed to remain standing during the entire affair. How lovely. Not many men could handle her enthusiasm— also known as ‘your fat ass’, according to her wanted-to-be-punched brother— when she jumped on them. And yes, that was another thing her mother tried to curb, given her enthusiastic habit of flinging herself at people to say hello inadvertently took them to the ground— and on some unfortunate occasions to the emergency room. Daddy’s fault. A big man, he never had a problem catching his twin baby girls, even when they got to be taller than most men. Lucky her, though, fate had chosen a big hunk of a guy as her mate. Fist pump.
Eve Langlais (When an Omega Snaps (A Lion's Pride, #3))
Albert, apparently sensing that Traigh was, at that moment, plotting the different ways in which he’d kill their youngest brother, spoke up. “So will it be a hangin’in store fer Graeme, or do ye just plan on beatin’him half to death?” Traigh glanced at Albert. “I have no’decided just yet.” Albert was the most serious of the six MacAulay brothers. He rarely spoke without thinking first, and he was not one to go about chasing lasses like their brothers, Bruce and Albert. Neither was he one to jest frequently. ’Twas also said that Albert was as tightfisted with his money as a bairn is to his mother’s teat. Trying to get money from him was akin to trying to squeeze water from a stone. “I say we hang him,”Albert said, and not in jest. Traigh, though sorely tempted, knew ’twas impossible. “Our mother would have our heads if we hang him.” Albert thought on it for a moment. “Mayhap one day he will be out ridin’and have a mishap, whereby he falls off a cliff.” Traigh stared at him for a long while, uncertain if he was jesting or serious. Part of him was afraid to ask. Albert was just as vexed over Graeme’s behavior as Traigh was. “Remind me never to make ye angry,”he said. Albert raised a blonde brow. “Ye? Nay, I doubt ye’d ever anger me to the point of murder. Graeme, however, is another matter. I fear he has been so busy with book learnin’that he has fergotten everythin’a MacAulay stands for.” “Honor above self,”Traigh said. ’Twas the creed all MacAulays lived by. “Aye,”Albert said. “And right now, I believe he’s puttin’his own feelin’s ahead of everythin’. How anyone can remain angry for so long is beyond me. But then, I have no’had all the book learnin’that Graeme has had. Mayhap he can explain it to us.”Though his voice was laced with sarcasm, there was much truth to what he was saying. Traigh had to chuckle. “Shall we allow him to explain it before or after we beat him senseless?” Albert took a moment before answering. “Mayhap before, fer ’twill be difficult to understand him once I knock out a few of his teeth.” “Again, remind me ne’er to make ye angry, brother.” Albert shrugged his shoulders before urging his horse to move faster, leaving Traigh to wonder if he should mayhap begin to pray that Albert did not get his hands on Graeme first.
Suzan Tisdale (Isle of the Blessed)
I came to see if we had any chance of starting over.” I flinched and caught my breath, his audacity slapping me with the force of an open hand. “Start over?” I felt Mama’s face fit over mine like a mask. That haughty look she reserved for those who addressed her in a manner less than respectful. “A fiancée ends things quite thoroughly.” And yet my heart lurched at the thought that he wanted me again. He leaned back in his chair, a tad more confident, it seemed. More like the Arthur I’d fallen in love with. “She and I were thrown together during the quarantine. It wasn’t like I went looking for another woman.” He shrugged. “Besides, with the war over, I’ll be discharged. We can be together much sooner than we thought possible.” “Be together? As in, get married?” Something in his manner alarmed me. I wasn’t sure what. The return of his arrogance, perhaps? Again his gaze skittered away. “Eventually.” The word barbed at my heart. “But you were going to marry her right away, weren’t you? You told me you were engaged.” He stared at the door that led outside. “She didn’t have any reason to wait. You have—” He swatted his hand toward the front of the house, where the children remained quiet. I stiffened. “I have responsibilities at the moment, yes.” “We’d have to wait, then. Until you get rid of them.” My eyebrows lifted. “Get rid of them? What do you mean? Are you saying you don’t want children? Or that you don’t want these children?” “We have our own life to lead, Rebekah. Children would . . . complicate things. Their daddy will be home soon, right? And then you’ll be free. Besides, I don’t remember you being eager for babies before.” I chewed the edge of my fingernail as I considered how to reply. “You’re right. I wasn’t. But things have changed. My mother has been ill. My brother is dying. I haven’t heard back from Fra—the children’s father. But it’s more than that.” My mouth proclaimed words I hadn’t even thought through completely, words that popped from the soil of my heart like green beans on a hot summer day. His mouth opened and shut, smooth words slithering from his grasp. That handsome face. Those deep blue eyes. They’d roped me in like a naïve calf. But I wasn’t as childlike as I’d once been.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
If we now take one of the two standard groups of a Punaluan family, namely that of a series of natural and remote sisters (i. e., first, second and more remote descendants of natural sisters), their children and their natural or remote brothers on the mother's side (who according to our supposition are not their husbands), we have exactly that circle of persons who later appear as members of a gens, in the original form of this institution. They all have a common ancestress, by virtue of the descent that makes the different female generations sisters. But the husbands of these sisters cannot be chosen among their brothers any more, can no longer come from the same ancestress, and do not, therefore, belong to the consanguineous group of relatives, the gens of a later time. The children of these same sisters, however, do belong to this group, because descent from the female line alone is conclusive, alone is positive. As soon as the proscription of sexual intercourse between all relatives on the mother's side, even the most remote of them, is an accomplished fact, the above named group has become a gens, i. e., constitutes a definite circle of consanguineous relatives of female lineage who are not permitted to marry one another. Henceforth this circle is more and more fortified by other mutual institutions of a social or religious character and thus distinguished from other gentes of the same tribe. Of this more anon. Finding,
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Doubtless there was discussion in the teachers’ common room about which sister the latest Spencer recruit to Poplar class would emulate, Sarah or Jane. It was a close run thing. Diana was in awe of her eldest sister but it wasn’t until later in life that she forged a close relationship with Jane. During their youth Jane was more likely to put her weight and invective behind brother Charles than her kid sister. Diana’s inevitable inclination was to imitate Sarah. During her first weeks she was noisy and disruptive in class. In an attempt to copy her sister Sarah’s exploits she accepted a challenge which nearly got her expelled. One evening her friends, reviewing the dwindling stocks of sweets in their tuck boxes, asked Diana to rendezvous with another girl at the end of the school drive and collect more supplies from her. It was a dare she accepted. As she walked down the treelined road in the pitch black she managed to suppress her fear of the dark. When she reached the school gate she discovered that there was no-one there. She waited. And she waited. When two police cars raced in through the school gates she hid behind a wall. Then she noticed the lights going on all over the school but thought no more about it. Finally she returned to her dorm, terrified not so much at the prospect of getting caught but because she had come back empty handed. As luck would have it a fellow pupil in Diana’s dormitory complained that she had appendicitis. As she was being examined, Diana’s teacher noticed the empty bed. The game was up. It was not just Diana who had to face the music but her parents as well. They were summoned to see Miss Rudge who took a dim view of the episode. Secretly Diana’s parents were amused that their dutiful but docile daughter had displayed such spirit. “I didn’t know you had it in you,” said her mother afterwards.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
These days her family, particularly her sisters, Jane and Sarah and brother Charles, are aware of the appalling problems she has endured. Jane has always given sensible advice and Sarah, from being dubious of her kid sister’s success, is now very protective. “You never criticize Diana in front of her,” notes a friend. Her relations with her mother and her father, when he was alive, are patchier. While Diana enjoys a sporadic but affectionate relationship with her mother, she was robust in her reaction to news that her second husband, Peter Shand Kydd had left her for another woman. Last summer her bond with her father went through a difficult period following publicity surrounding the secret sale of treasures from Althorp House. The children, including the Princess, had written to their father objecting to the trade in family heirlooms. There were bitter exchanges, subsequently regretted, which deeply hurt the Princess of Wales. Even the Prince of Wales intervened, voicing his concern to Raine Spencer who was typically robust in her response. Last autumn a reconciliation between father and daughter was effected. During a leisurely tour around the world the late Earl Spencer was deeply touched by the affection shown towards his youngest daughter by so many strangers. He telephoned from America to tell her just how proud of her that made him feel.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
Deep started to respond and then he felt Kat’s rush of relief. His fragile hope that she had learned to love him as well as Lock crumbled in that instant. She’s glad, he thought, his mouth twisting. So glad we’ve found the blossoms. Because now we can take them back to Mother L’rin and Kat can be rid of us forever. Rid of me. He had no doubt that Kat would have happily joined with Lock if he himself hadn’t been in the picture. He’d lingered outside the bedroom door after seeing their kiss for a moment, intending to go back in. And he knew what Kat meant when she told Lock that he “came with a lot of baggage.” More Earth vernacular, he thought bitterly. Just another way of saying I’m not the one she wants. He’d fooled himself into thinking that she cared for him—that she loved him as he had so stupidly allowed himself to start loving her. But it wasn’t true—she couldn’t wait to get the Moons blossom and leave—he could feel the impatience to be away coming from her already. It doesn’t matter anyway, Deep told himself grimly. I’m no good for her—just look at my past. At what happened to Miranda. I don’t want that to happen to Kat, even if she doesn’t care for me. I couldn’t bear it if…But he couldn’t make himself finish the grim thought. Instead he watched as his brother helped the woman they both loved gather the rare, mystical blossoms. They were laughing as they did and Kat was tickling Lock under the chin with one of the two-headed flowers. Lock is good for her, Deep realized. He’s the one she ought to be with. Not me and not both of us. Just him. The concept of one of them having a female without the other was so foreign to him it was hard to contemplate, but he knew it was true. It didn’t matter who he thought Kat belonged with, though. They had the Moons blossoms—or fifi flowers, as she called them. Mother L’rin would be able to brew a potion to separate Kat from both of them. By this time tomorrow we will be two and one again instead of three, Deep thought. That’s a good thing—good for all of us. But though he tried, he could feel no joy at the idea. All he felt was achingly empty.  
Evangeline Anderson (Sought (Brides of the Kindred, #3))
What exactly is going on?” Resignation clouded Mary Beth’s cute face. “You know men, always looking out for us.” Anger lit like a match inside Maddie as she turned narrowed eyes on Mitch through the windows. She didn’t know what was going on, but she was in the mood for a fight, and this was the perfect excuse to have one. He gave her a sheepish look, and Maddie wanted to throttle him. She turned away. Her veins practically raced with adrenaline. She’d been tamping down her temper so long she’d forgotten how intoxicating it was to let it rise to the surface. How much effort did she spend repressing her emotions? The better question was, why did she continue? She stiffened her spine. Not anymore. Through gritted teeth she said, “Yes, I know.” Mary Beth’s expression turned consoling and she made some motherly “tsk” noises, even though she couldn’t be much older than Maddie. “They can’t help themselves. It’s in their nature, but obviously execution is not their strong suit.” Maddie turned her attention to the woman. She’d deal with Mitch Riley later.     “What in the hell is going on in there?” Mitch cursed. This was the worst thought-out plan in the world. Why did he leave the details up to Tommy? He knew better. He scowled at the mechanic. “You can’t lie for shit.” Tommy shot him a droll look. “What about you? You could have jumped in any time, but no, you just stood there like an idiot.” “I hired you to lie to her so I wouldn’t have to, dumbass.” With his jaw clenched, the words came out like a growl. Tommy jabbed a finger in his direction. “Ha! I knew you were pussy-whipped.” “I’m not pussy-whipped.” One had to have sex to be pussy-whipped. Not that Mitch was about to volunteer that information. “I just don’t want to lie to her.” “Same difference, dickhead.” Irrational anger flared hot in his blood. God, he wanted to take someone out. He was so fucked. “If you’d thought of a halfway decent story, this wouldn’t be happening.” “How in the hell was I supposed to know she’d know anything about cars?” “She has brothers.” “Yeah, well, you could have mentioned that.” Through the glass window, Maddie shot him a death glare. Yep, totally fucked. He shouldn’t have told her about his past; it was another strike against him, one he knew from experience couldn’t be overlooked. Between tarnishing his knight-in-shining-armor image and the subterfuge, somehow he didn’t think he’d be granted a third strike. They watched the women. Mitch tried to decipher the expressions playing across Maddie’s features and finally gave up, resigned to his fate. Ten excruciating minutes later, the door opened, and Mitch steeled himself for the fight that was sure to come. He didn’t care how he managed it, but she wasn’t leaving. Maddie walked across the dark gray, grease-stained floor, and unable to stand it any longer, he said, “Now, Maddie, I can explain.” “There’s no need.” Her voice held no trace of emotion. Not good. “But—” he started, but before he could say any more, Maddie flung herself into his arms. Shocked, he caught her and held tight. He raised a questioning eyebrow at Mary Beth, and a satisfied smirk curled over her lips. “I told Maddie how her transmission blew,” Mary Beth said in a pleased tone. “And how it cost twenty-five hundred dollars, but Tommy knows this guy over in Shelby who can trade him for a sixty-five Corvette carburetor so it would only cost her around four hundred. Unfortunately, I had to explain how Tommy was doing you a huge, gigantic favor so you agreed to represent Luke in his legal troubles.” While
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
When No One Gave A Shit About Me, He Called Me Brother From Another Mother
Lucky Gupta
Buchanan tried to whip the devil out of me. “Find your tongue, lad!” Forgive this regression, but the man hated English. He may have hated everything by then, including me, but he was uncommon prickly when it came to English. You could tell by the way he bullied it. “The bastarde English,” the old man roared. “The verie whoore of a tongue.” We did our best to mimic him note for note, gesture for gesture. He hated that, too. The verie whoore. Old Greek before Breakfast Latin by Noon himself. The point is, what English I had was beaten or twisted into me. We were orphaned and crowned before we could speak or take our first step. No father. No mother. Too many uncles. Hounds for baying. Buchanan was the most religious of my keepers, and the unkindest of spirits among them. We have been told the young queen of Scots was once his student, and that he loved her. Just before giving her over to wreckage, methinks. Pious frauds. Their wicked Jesus. Then occasion smil’d. We were thirteen. The affection of Esme Stuart was one thing, lavished, as it was, so liberally upon us, but the music of his voice was another. We empowered our cousin, gave him name, station, a new sense of gravity, height, and reach, all the toys of privilege. We were told he spoke our mother’s French, the way it flutters about your neck like a small bird. But it was his English that moved us. For the first time, there was kindness in it, charity, heat and light. We didn’t know language could do such things, that could charm with such violence, make such a disturbance in us. Our cousin was our excess, our vice, our great transgression according to some, treason according to others. They came one night and stole him from us, that is, from me. They tore me out of his arms, called me wanton. Better that bairns should weepe, they said. Barking curs. We never saw our cousin again and were never the same after. But the charm was wound up. If we say we can taste words, we are not trying to be clever. And we are an insatiable king. Try now, if you can, to understand the nature of our thoughts touching the translation, its want of a poet. We will consult with Sir Francis. He is closer to the man, some say, than a brother. English is mistress between them. There, Bacon says, is empire. There, a great Britain. Where it is dull, where the glow . . . gleam . . . where the gleam of Majestie is absent or mute . . . When occasion smiles again, we will send for the man, Shakespere. Majestie has left its print on his art. After that hideous Scottish play, his best, darkest, and most complicated characters are . . . us. Lear. Antony. Othello. Fools all. All. The English language must be the best that is in us . . . We are but names, titles, antiquities, forgotten speeches, an accident of blood and historical memory. Aye . . . but this marvelously unexceptional little man. No more of this. By the unfortunate title of this history we must, it seems, prepare ourselves for a tragedy. Some will escape. Some will not. For bully Ben can never suffer a true rival. He killed an actor once for botching his lines. Actors. Southampton waits in our chambers. We will let him. First, to our thoughts. Only then to our Lord of Southampton.
David Teems (I RIDDE MY SOULE OF THEE AT LASTE: The Final Days of William Shakespere Including the Accounte of His Cruelle and Pitielesse Murder by Friend Fellow Poet ... Ben Jonson. (ASK FOR ME TOMORROW Book 1))
In 1937, Gunda Lawrence, a teacher and homemaker from South Dakota, lay close to death from abdominal cancer. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota had given her three months to live. Luckily, Mrs. Lawrence had two exceptional and devoted sons—John, a gifted physician, and Ernest, one of the most brilliant physicists of the twentieth century. Ernest was head of the new Radiation Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley and had just invented the cyclotron, a particle accelerator that generated massive amounts of radioactivity as a side effect of energizing protons. They had in effect the most powerful X-ray machine in the country at their disposal, capable of generating a million volts of energy. Without any certainty what the consequences would be—no one had ever tried anything remotely like this on humans before—the brothers aimed a deuteron beam directly into their mother’s belly. It was an agonizing experience, so painful and distressing to poor Mrs. Lawrence that she begged her sons to let her die. “At times I felt very cruel in not giving in,” John recorded later. Happily, after a few treatments, Mrs. Lawrence’s cancer went into remission and she lived another twenty-two years. More important, a new field of cancer treatment had been born.
Bill Bryson (The Body: A Guide for Occupants)
replied, and thought of Cathy Jones. “Touch that door handle, and I’ll let go,” she’d said, whilst balancing herself on the extreme edge of a chair, her fingers tucked beneath a noose she’d fashioned from torn bedsheets. It had taken ninety minutes to talk her out of it, he recalled, and when he’d finally left the room, he’d vomited until there was nothing but acid left in his stomach. Acid, and the burning shame of knowing that a part of him had wanted her to die. Even while he’d talked her out of it, employing every trick he knew to keep her alive, the deepest, darkest part of his heart had hoped his efforts would fail. Connor watched some indefinable emotion pass across Gregory’s face, and decided not to press it. “Briefing’s about to start,” he said, and left to join his brother at the front of the room. Casting his eye around, Gregory could see officers from all tiers of the Garda hierarchy, as well as various people he guessed were support staff or members of the forensics team. At the last minute, an attractive, statuesque woman with a sleek blonde bob flashed her warrant card and slipped into the back of the room. Precautions had been taken to ensure no errant reporters found their way inside, and all personnel were required to show their badge before the doors were closed. Niall clapped his hands and waited while conversation died down. “I want to thank you all for turning out,” he said. “It’s a hell of a way to spend your weekend.” There were a few murmurs of assent. “You’re here because there’s a killer amongst us,” he said. “Worse than anything we’ve seen in a good long while—not just here, but in the whole of Ireland. There’s no political or gang-related motivation that we’ve found, nor does there seem to be a sexual motivation, but we can’t be sure on either count because the killer leaves nothing of themselves behind. No blood, no fingerprints, no DNA that we’ve been able to use.” He paused, gathering his thoughts. “Contrary to what the press have started calling him, the ‘Butcher’ isn’t really a butcher at all. It’s our view that the murders of Claire Kelly and her unborn child, and of Aideen McArdle were perpetrated by the same person. It’s also our view that this person planned the murders, probably weeks or months in advance, and executed their plans with precision. There was little or no blood found, either at the scene or on the victims’ bodies, which were cleaned with a careful eye for detail after the killer dealt one immobilising blow to the head, followed by a single knife wound to the heart. These were no frenzy attacks, they were premeditated crimes.” One of the officers raised a hand. “Is there any connection between the victims?” she asked. “Aside from being resident in the same town, where they were casual acquaintances but shared no immediate family or friends, they were both female, both married homemakers and both mothers.” “Have you ruled out a copycat?” another one asked, and Niall
L.J. Ross (Impostor (Alexander Gregory Thrillers, #1))
As the next page loaded with another set of 25 emails, his eyes were drawn to the bottom of the screen, where for the first time previously-read messages stood out beneath the bold-type unread ones.  There was something powerfully sentimental, almost tangible, about the realization that his dad had sat before a computer somewhere ten years earlier and had clicked on these same messages.  The most recent one, received just hours before his parents’ death, was from his mom with the subject line, “re: Li’l Ryan’s Bday”. With a lump developing in his throat, he clicked on the message.  His mom had written: “That’s something dads should talk to their sons about ;)”  Hmm.  Didn’t make sense without context. Below the end of the message he found the option to “show quoted text,”  which he clicked on to reveal the entire exchange in reverse chronological order.  She had been responding to his dad’s message: “I’m sure he’ll get it.  I like the idea, but you better be prepared to have a discussion about the birds and bees.  You know how his mind works.  He’ll want to know how that baby got in there.” Ryan’s palms grew sweaty as he began to infer what was coming next.  Not entirely sure he wanted to continue, but certain he couldn’t stop, he scrolled to the end. The thread had started with his mother’s message, “I’m already showing big-time.  Sweaters only get so baggy, and it’s going to be warming up soon.  I think tonight would be the perfect time to tell Ryan.  I wrapped up a T-shirt for him in one of his presents that says ‘Big Brother’ on it.  A birthday surprise!  You think he’ll get it?” Having trouble taking in a deep breath, he rose to a stand and slowly backed away from his computer.  It wasn’t his nature to ask fate “Why?” or to dwell on whether or not something was “fair.”  But this was utterly overwhelming – a knife wound on top of an old scar that had never sufficiently healed. ~~~ Corbett Hermanson peered around the edge of Bradford’s half-open door and knocked gently on the frame.  Bradford was sitting at his desk, leafing through a thick binder.  He had to have heard the knock, Corbett thought, peeking in, but his attention to the material in the binder remained unbroken. Now regretting his timid first knock, Corbett anxiously debated whether he should knock again, which could be perceived as rude, or try something else to get Bradford’s attention.  Ultimately he decided to clear his throat loudly, while standing more prominently in the doorway. Still, Bradford kept his nose buried in the files in front of him. Finally, Corbett knocked more confidently on the door itself. “What!” Bradford demanded.  “If you’ve got something to say, just say it!” “Sorry, sir.  Wasn’t sure you heard me,” Corbett said, with a nervous chuckle. “Do you think I’m deaf and blind?” Bradford sneered.  “Just get on with it already.” “Well sir, I’m sure you recall our conversation a few days back about the potential unauthorized user in our system?  It turns out...” “Close the door!” Bradford whispered emphatically, waving his arms wildly for Corbett to stop talking and come all the way into his office. “Sorry, sir,” Corbett said, his cheeks glowing an orange-red hue to match his hair.  After self-consciously closing the door behind him, he picked up where he’d left off.  “It turns out, he’s quite good at keeping himself hidden.  I was right about his not being in Indiana, but behind that location, his IP address bounces
Dan Koontz (The I.P.O.)