Brought Down Quotes

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A gun. I had been brought down by a gun. It was practically comical. Cheaters, I thought.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. "Can they be brought together?" This is a practical question. We must get down to it. "I despise intelligence" really means: "I cannot bear my doubts.
Albert Camus
Darkness always had its part to play. Without it, how would we know when we walked in the light? It’s only when its ambitions become too grandiose that it must be opposed, disciplined, sometimes—if necessary—brought down for a time. Then it will rise again, as it must.
Clive Barker (Abarat)
My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. There is no District 12. I am the Mockingjay. I brought down the Capitol. President Snow hates me. He killed my sister. Now I will kill him. And then the Hunger Games will be over....
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
He fixed his dark eyes on her. 'I am Kekrops, the first and eternal king of Athens. I would welcome you to my city.' He held up the covered platter. ' Also, I brought a Bundt cake.' Piper glanced at her friends. 'A trick?' 'Probably?' Annabeth said. 'At least he brought dessert.' Percy smiled down at the snake guys. 'Welcome aboard!
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don't know. I don't really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn't... I might have become as awful as that prick we're going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training," he said to Cassian, "I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty." Cassian's eyes gleamed bright. Rhys said to Azriel, "If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair." Azriel bowed his head in thanks. Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. "If I had not met my cousin, I would neer have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kidness can thrive even amongst cruelty." She wiped away her teas as she nodded. I waited for Amren to offer a retort. But she was only waiting. Rhys bowed his head to her. "If I had not met a tiny monster who hoards jewels more fiercely than a firedrake..." A quite laugh from all of us at that. Rhys smiled softly. "My own power would have consumed me long ago." Rhys squeezed my hand as he looked to me at last. "And if I had not met my mate..." His words failed him as silver lined his eyes. He said down the bond, I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have... The wait was worth it. He wiped away the tears sliding down my face. "I believe that everything happened, exactly the way it had to... so I could find you." He kissed another tear away.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
A gun I had been brought down by a gun. It was practically comical. Cheaters, I thought. I’d spent my life focusing on hand to hand combat, learning to dodge fangs and powerful hands that could snap my neck. A gun? It was so… well, easy. Should I be insulted? I didn’t know. Did it matter? I didn’t know that either. All I knew in that moment was that I was going to die, regardless.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.
Malcolm Muggeridge (Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society)
Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It's healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I've worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold. Oh, I'll accomodate them, I'll rummage around for something to feed them, for a 'vegetarian plate', if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.
Anthony Bourdain
He loved mountains, or he had loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away; but now he was borne down by the insupportable weight of Middle-earth. He longed to shut out the immensity in a quiet room by a fire.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
You make me thank god for every mistake I ever made, Because each one led me down the path that brought me to you.
Pablo Neruda (The Poetry of Pablo Neruda)
Why does an apple fall when it is ripe? Is it brought down by the force of gravity? Is it because its stalk withers? Because it is dried by the sun, because it grows too heavy, or because the boy standing under the tree wants to eat it? None of these is the cause.... Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own freewill is in the historical sense not free at all but is bound up with the whole course of history and preordained from all eternity.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Most of the members of the convent were old-fashioned Satanists, like their parents and grandparents before them. They'd been brought up to it, and weren't, when you got right down to it, particularly evil. Human beings mostly aren't. They just get carried away by new ideas, like dressing up in jackboots and shooting people, or dressing up in white sheets and lynching people, or dressing up in tie-dye jeans and playing guitars at people. Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow. Anyway, being brought up as a Satanist tended to take the edge off it. It was something you did on Saturday nights. And the rest of the time you simply got on with life as best you could, just like everyone else.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is as strong as death' "Ours is stronger than that," Clary whispered, remembering how she had brought him back. And this time, when his eyes darkened, she reached up and drew him down to her mouth.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
It was time to take the pumpkin out of the pot and eat it. In the final analysis, that was what solved these big problems of life. You could think and think and get nowhere, but you still had to eat your pumpkin. That brought you down to earth. That gave you a reason for going on. Pumpkin.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
You are not Kaia the Disappointment. Do you hear me? That’s what I was trying to tell you earlier. You are Kaia the Mighty. How many Harpies out there do you think could have brought down the most badass Lord of the Underworld? The same Lord who also happens to be the strongest, sexiest and smartest. And by the way, in case there’s any doubt, I’m describing me.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld, #8))
She put a wedge beside my heart And then she brought the mallet down She sang no song to guide her work I lost my heart without a sound
Shannon Hale
she glanced down and saw that a glove of blood covered her lower arm from the elbow to the wrist. The arm was throbbing, stiff, and painful. "Is this when you start tearing strips off your T-shirt to bind up my wound?" she joked. She hated the sight of blood, especially her own. "If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked." He dug into his pocket and brought out his stele. "It would have been a lot less painful.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Auri stood, and in the circle of her golden hair she grinned and brought the weight of her desire down full upon the world. And all things shook. And all things knew her will. And all things bent to please her.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2.5))
You knocked the door down." Disbelief rang in his matter-of-fact tone. "I know," she answered,unable to say anything else. Unable to look away from his body. "But it's solid oak." "I know." She felt the solid oak beneath her and a little shocked that she'd done it, too. If it mattered at all, her shoulder felt a little bruised. And it was the slight pain that brought some reality back into the moment. "You don't have any clothes on." Oh, God, did she really say that?
C.C. Hunter (Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls, #2))
I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your un-dumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it would lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is just really a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any the more by giving myself away like this —But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.
Vita Sackville-West (The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf)
What do you think it would have been like if Valentine had brought you up along with me? Would you have loved me?" Clary was very glad she had put her cup down, because if she hadn't, she would have dropped it. Sebastian was looking at her not with any shyness or the sort of natural awkwardness that might be attendant on such a bizarre question, but as if she were a curious, foreign life-form. "Well," she said. "You're my brother. I would have loved you. I would have...had to.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Runny's Nicpic One day Runny Babbit Met little Franny Fog. He said, "Let's have a nicpic Down by the lollow hog." He brought some cutter bookies, Some teanuts and some pea. And what did Franny Fog bring? Her whole fog framily.
Shel Silverstein (Runny Babbit Book and Abridged CD)
Six foot six he stood on the ground He weighed two hundred and thirty-five pounds But I saw that giant of a man brought down To his knees by love
Johnny Cash
When he was gone, would I be like Achilles, wailing over his lost lover Patroclus? I tried to picture myself running up and down the beaches, tearing at my hair, cradling some scrap of old tunic he had left behind. Crying out for the loss of half my soul. I could not see it. That knowledge brought its own sort of pain.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Don't worry, kid." Blitz brought out the silken cord. "This rope can't be weakened. And Hearthstone's right. We might as well tie it to one another for safety." "That way if we fall," Sam said, "We'll fall together." "Sold," I said, trying to tamp down my anxiety. "I love dying with friends.
Rick Riordan (The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1))
Then, like I wasn't thrown enough, Cal leaned down and picked up a potted African violet on the low table next to the sofa and brought it over to me. For a second, I wondered if this was his socially awkward way of trying to give me flowers.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
A BIRTHDAY Something continues and I don't know what to call it though the language is full of suggestions in the way of language but they are all anonymous and it's almost your birthday music next to my bones these nights we hear the horses running in the rain it stops and the moon comes out and we are still here the leaks in the roof go on dripping after the rain has passed smell of ginger flowers slips through the dark house down near the sea the slow heart of the beacon flashes the long way to you is still tied to me but it brought me to you I keep wanting to give you what is already yours it is the morning of the mornings together breath of summer oh my found one the sleep in the same current and each waking to you when I open my eyes you are what I wanted to see.
W.S. Merwin
Then Manon Blackbeak whirled and brought Wind-Cleaver down upon her grandmother.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
There was just one moon. That familiar, yellow, solitary moon. The same moon that silently floated over fields of pampas grass, the moon that rose--a gleaming, round saucer--over the calm surface of lakes, that tranquilly beamed down on the rooftops of fast-asleep houses. The same moon that brought the high tide to shore, that softly shone on the fur of animals and enveloped and protected travelers at night. The moon that, as a crescent, shaved slivers from the soul--or, as a new moon, silently bathed the earth in its own loneliness. THAT moon.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
What young people didn't know, she thought, lying down beside this man, his hand on her shoulder, her arm; oh, what young people did not know. They did not know that lumpy, aged, and wrinkled bodies were as needy as their own young, firm ones, that love was not to be tossed away carelessly . . . No, if love was available, one chose it, or didn't chose it. And if her platter had been full with the goodness of Henry and she had found it burdensome, had flicked it off crumbs at a time, it was because she had not know what one should know: that day after day was unconsciously squandered. . . . But here they were, and Olive pictured two slices of Swiss cheese pressed together, such holes they brought to this union--what pieces life took out of you.
Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge, #1))
And I, the for­mer mys­tic, was think­ing: Yes, man is stronger, greater than God. When Adam and Eve de­ceived You, You chased them from par­adise. When You were dis­pleased by Noah’s generation, You brought down the Flood. When Sodom lost Your fa­vour, You caused the heav­ens to rain down fire and damna­tion. But look at these men whom You have be­trayed, al­low­ing them to be tortured, slaugh­tered, gassed, and burned, what do they do? They pray be­fore You! They praise Your name!
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
Prejudice and bigotry are brought down...by the sheer force of determination of individuals to succeed and the refusal of a human being to let prejudice define the parameters of the possible.
Condoleezza Rice
He told us that most of us would die violently, and those who did not would be brought down to the level of beasts.
Ernest J. Gaines (A Lesson Before Dying)
How oft, in nations gone corrupt, And by their own devices brought down to servitude, That man chooses bondage before liberty. Bondage with ease before strenuous liberty.
John Milton
With the Black Company series Glen Cook single-handedly changed the face of fantasy—something a lot of people didn’t notice and maybe still don’t. He brought the story down to a human level, dispensing with the cliché archetypes of princes, kings, and evil sorcerers. Reading his stuff was like reading Vietnam War fiction on peyote.
Steven Erikson
Even the wealthiest professional woman can be "brought down" by being in a relationship where she longs to be loved and is consistently lied to. To the degree that she trusts her male companion, lying and other forms of betrayal will most likely shatter her self-confidence and self-esteem.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Promise me we'll stay together, okay?" His eyes are once again the clear blue of a perfectly transparent pool. They are eyes to swim in, to float in, forever. "You and me." "I promise," I say. Behind us the door creaks open, and I turn around, expecting Raven, just as a voice cuts through the air: "Don't believe her." The whole world closes around me, like an eyelid: For a moment, everything goes dark. I am falling. My ears are full of rushing; I have been sucked into a tunnel, a place of pleasure and chaos. My head is about to explode. He looks different. He is much thinner, and a scar runs from his eyebrow all the way down to his jaw. On his neck, just behind his left ear, a small tattooed number curves around the three-pronged scar that fooled me, for so long, into believing he was cured. His eyes-once a sweet, melted brown, like syrup-have hardened. Now they are stony, impenetrable. Only his hair is the same: that auburn crown, like leaves in autumn. Impossible. I close my eyes and reopen them: the boy from a dream, from a different lifetime. A boy brought back from the dead. Alex.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
The light of my eyes, I said, light of my eyes, light of the world, that's what you are, light of my life. I didn't know what light of my eyes meant, and part of me wondered where on earth had I fished out such claptrap, but it was nonsense like this that brought tears now, tears I wished to down in his pillow, soak in his bathing suit, tears I wanted him to touch with the tip of his tongue and make sorrow go away.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
I brought Sammy inside and put him to bed. Said his prayer with him. “‘Now I lay me down to sleep…’” To me, just random noise. Gibberish. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but I felt that, when it came to God, there was a broken promise in there somewhere.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
Papa sat with me tonight. He brought the accordion down and sat close to where Max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. the accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on, and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
And what makes you so certain I won't enlighten the world about your romantic indiscretions?" "Because it won't save you from prison. And if you ruin Rose, you'll destroy whatever weak chance you had of Lissa helping you with your warped fantasy." Victor flinched just a little; Dimitri was right. Dimitri stepped forward, pressing close to the bars as I had earlier. I'd though I had a scary voice, but when he spoke his next words, I realized I wasn't even close. "And it'll be pointless anyway, because you won't stay alive long enough in prison to stage your grand plans. You aren't the only one with connections." My breath caught a little. Dimitri brought so many things to my life: love, comfort, and instruction. I got so used to him sometimes I forgot how dangerous he could be. As he stood there, tall and threatening while he glared down at Victor, I felt a chill run down my spine. I remembered how when I had first come to the Academy, people said Dimitri was a god. In this moment, he looked like it.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
After perhaps thirty meters, just as a soldier turned around, the girl was felled. Hands were clamped upon her from behind and the boy next door brought her down. He forced her knees to the road and suffered the penalty. He collected her punches as if they were presents. Her bony hands and elbows were accepted with nothing but a few short moans. He accumulated the loud, clumsy specks of saliva and tears as if they were lovely to his face, and more important, he was able to hold her down.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole? For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea. Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection. Still more: this one human being lives on and on. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole.
Nikola Tesla
Brittney, it was wrong to murder even before Moses brought down the commandments. Right and wrong doesn't come from God. It's inside us. And we know it. And even if God appears right in front of us, and tells us to our faces to murder, it's still wrong.
Michael Grant
She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien's theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can't move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.
William Gibson (Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1))
I brought my lips down to hers, and it was like everything that had ever happened to me had simply been a warm-up for this moment, that this was where my life truly began.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
God didn’t design your life so you would constantly fall down, but he does hope that you will be brought to your knees.
Shannon L. Alder
People always think killing requires a force: a cup of poison tipped into a mouth, a knife parting flesh from bone, a fist brought down repeatedly. Wrong. Here’s how you kill: You stay silent, you make bargains that peel the layers off your soul one by one, you build a scaffolding of flimsy excuses and live your life on them. I may have killed to save, but I killed all the same.
Roshani Chokshi (A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2))
No, but it was a close call. Brought you something.” “Turtle pee?” Cam laughed and shook his head as he reached into his backpack. “Sorry to let you down, but no.” He pulled out papers stapled together. “It’s a syllabus. I know. Thrilling shit right here.
J. Lynn (Wait for You (Wait for You, #1))
You're too important, too special to throw everything away for a pure." Seth sighed, dropping his hands to mine. "Now, I brought us a movies to watch, the one that has sparkly vampires in it. I thought you'd be down for that.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Pure (Covenant, #2))
The wolf blood, Arya remembered now. I'll be as strong as Robb, I said I would. She took a deep breath, then lifted the broomstick in both hands and brought down across her knee. It broke with a loud crack, and she threw the pieces aside. 'I am a direwolf, and done with the wooden teeth.
George R.R. Martin
I brought your son back from the dead!" shouted Kell, lunging to his feet. "I did it knowing it would bind our lives, knowing what it would mean for me, what I would become, knowing that the resurrection of his life would mean the end of mine, and I did it anyway, because he is my brother and your son and the future king of Arnes." Kell gasped for breath, tears streaming down his face "What more could I possibly do?
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
I was making frequent use of cocaine at that time ... I had been the first to recommend the use of cocaine, in 1885, and this recommendation had brought serious reproaches down on me.
Sigmund Freud (The Interpretation of Dreams)
I didn’t know what to do for my project so I brought in a paper cup filled with dirt just hoping that she’d know I’m an idiot and just walk right on past me just as long as I was holding something. “What do you have there, Brian?” “It’s a cup of dirt. Just put an ‘F’ on it there and let me go home.” “Well, explain it.” “Well, it’s a cup with dirt in it. I call it ‘Cup of Dirt.’ You should move on now. Just go ahead and move on. Head on down the line there.
Brian Regan (Live)
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
A demon lunged for Alastair: Cordelia brought Cortana down in a great curving arc, severing its head. Alastair looked peevish. “Really,” he said. “I could have done that on my own.” Cordelia considered killing Alastair, but there was no time.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
Aren't they supposed to be hiring someone else to train me, ANYWAY?" "Yes," he said, getting up and pulling her to her feet with him. "and I'm worried that if you get into the habit of making out with your instructors, you'll wind up making out with him, too." "Don't be sexist. They could find me a female instructor." "In that case you have my permission to make out with her, as long as I can watch." "Nice." Clary grinned, bending down to fold up the blanket they'd brought to sit on. "You're just worried they'll hire a male instructor and he'll be hotter than you." Jace's eyebrows went up. "Hotter than ME?" "It could happen," Clary said. "You know, theoretically." "Theoretically the planet can crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other side, forever and tragically parted, but I'm not worried about that, either. Some things," Jace said, with his customary crooked smile, "are just too unlikely to dwell upon.
Cassandra Clare
I'll tell you what justice is. Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a word of warning
Joseph Heller (Catch 22)
Brooding, she changed the pool into the sea, and made the minnows into sharks and whales, and cast vast clouds over this tiny world by holding her hand against the sun, and so brought darkness and desolation, like God himself, to millions of ignorant and innocent creatures, and then took her hand away suddenly and let the sun stream down.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Well, I think the Yoruba gods are truthful. Truthful in the sense that i consider religion and the construct of deities simply an extension of human qualities taken, if you like, to the nth degree. i mistrust gods who become so separated from humanity that enormous crimes can be committed in their names. i prefer gods who can be brought down to earth and judged, if you like.
Wole Soyinka
And then that voice from behind her said her name again. "Celaena." They had done this. Her bloody fingers slid down Dorian's face, to his neck. He just stared at her, suddenly still. "Celaena," a familiar voice said. A warning. They had did this. They had betrayed her. Betrayed Nehemia. They had taken her away. Her nail brushed Dorian's exposed throat. "Celaena," the voice said. Celaena slowly turned. Chaol stared at her, a hand on his sword. The sword she'd brought to the warehouse- the sword she'd left there. Archer had told her that Chaol had known they were going to do this. He had known. She shattered completely, and launched herself at him.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
She brought her mouth close to his ear. "My name is Celaena Sardothien," she whispered. "But it makes no difference if my name's Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I'd still beat you, no matter what you call me." She smiled at him as she stood. He just stared up at her, his bloody nose leaking down the side of his cheek. She took the handkerchief from her pocket and dropped it on his chest. "You can keep that," she said before she walked off the veranda.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
The things I want to do to you…” he whispered roughly. I took my hand behind his head and brought his ear down to my mouth. “Do them,” I breathed back, and licked the rim of his ear. He let out a small moan and suddenly his lips were on mine. The sweet business was out of the way.
Karina Halle (Lying Season (Experiment in Terror, #4))
I won't apologize for the choices I made, because all of them brought me to the wonderful place I am today.
Holly Madison (Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny)
Auri hopped down from the chimney and skipped over to where I stood, her hair streaming behind her. "Hello Kvothe." She took a half-step back. "You reek." I smiled my best smile of the day. "Hello Auri," I said. "You smell like a pretty young girl." "I do," she agreed happily. She stepped sideways a little, then forward again, moving lightly on the balls of her bare feet. "What did you bring me?" she asked. "What did you bring me?" I countered. She grinned. "I have an apple that thinks it is a pear," she said, holding it up. "And a bun that thinks it is a cat. And a lettuce that thinks it is a lettuce." "It's a clever lettuce then." "Hardly," she said with a delicate snort. "Why would anything clever think it was a lettuce?" "Even if it is a lettuce?" I asked. "Especially then," she said. "Bad enough to be a lettuce. How awful to think you are a lettuce too." She shook her head sadly, her hair following the motion as if she were underwater. I unwrapped my bundle. "I brought you some potatoes, half a squash, and a bottle of beer that thinks it is a loaf of bread." "What does the squash think it is?" she asked curiously, looking down at it. She held her hands clasped behind her back "It knows it's a squash," I said. "But it's pretending to be the setting sun." "And the potatoes?" she asked. "They're sleeping," I said. "And cold, I'm afraid." She looked up at me, her eyes gentle. "Don't be afraid," she said, and reached out and rested her fingers on my cheek for the space of a heartbeat, her touch lighter than the stroke of a feather. "I'm here. You're safe.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
I'm falling for you so hard that I can feel the scrapes on my knees as I'm brought to them. I understand you are scared because I'm absolutely terrified, but I'm not going to hurt you or kick you when you're down.
Ella Frank (Entice (Exquisite, #2))
Oh, hey. Christmas cups. Did you bring me a gingerbread latte?” Cath looked down guiltily at her cup. “I brought you an eggnog latte,” Levi said, holding it out. “And I’ve been keeping it warm in my mouth.
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishing frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain. And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was is; everything that ever will be is - and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we image that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
My eyes moved over his face. 'Why did you do it?' He was silent for a couple beats, looking down, taking his bottom lip between his teeth before he brought his hands up and said, 'I don't know.' His expression turned thoughtful, his eyes meeting mine, and then he continued. 'When you were in the trap, I couldn't speak to you to reassure you. You can't hear me...I can't help that.' He looked down for a second and then back up at me. 'But I want you to see me.' An expression of vulnerability washed over his face. 'Now you can see me.
Mia Sheridan (Archer's Voice)
I wasn’t aware of just how close he’d moved to me until now. So many details came into focus. The shape of his lips, the line of his neck. “I’m not dangerous,” I breathed. He brought his face toward mine. “You are to me.” And somehow, against all reason, we were kissing. I closed my eyes, and the world around me faded. The noise, the smoke . . . it was gone. All that mattered was the taste of his mouth, a mix of cloves and mints. There was a fierceness in his kiss, a desperation . . . and I answered, just as hungry for him. I didn’t stop him when he pulled me closer, so that I almost sat on his lap. I’d never been wrapped around someone’s body like that, and I was shocked at how eagerly mine responded. His arm went around my waist, pulling me onto him further, and his other hand slid up the back of my neck, getting entangled in my hair. He took his lips away from my mouth, gently trailing kisses down to my neck. I tipped my head back, gasping when the intensity returned to his mouth. There was an animalistic quality that sent shock waves through the rest of my body.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
You must be blind." "Why?" he asked, coming over to her. "Well, I feel like such an ass for saying this." She smoothed the front of her off-the-rack-and-then-some slacks. "But I wish I had better clothes. Then I'd be beautiful." Rehvenge paused. And then he shocked the crap out of her by kneeling before her. As he looked up, he had a slight smile on his lips. "Don't you get it Ehlena." With gentle hands, he stroked down her calf and brought her foot forward, balancing it on his thigh. As he undid the laces of her cheapo Keds sneaker, he whispered, "No matter what you wear... to me, you will always have diamonds on the soles of your shoes.
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
And then he smiled, kind of a quirky half smile that tipped up only the right corner of his mouth. Because of that smile, that goddamn human smile, I had to swallow down a burst of affection that nearly brought tears to my eyes. Instead, I looked away, and hated myself - for my inability to hate him despite the things he said, the things he did, the things he expected.
Chloe Neill
He stood up. "Let's go." The sun spilling through the window hit his chest, making his bare skin look even more golden. "That's okay," she sputtered. "You don't have to...tag along." "Yes, I do. I'm your shadow until after breakfast." Oh great. Her gaze slipped down to his open shirt again. Was she going to have to look, or try not to look, at his chest all morning? "Then at least button your shirt." The words were out before she realised how that sounded. The disappointment in his eyes vanished and a sexy twinkle took its place. The twinkle brought out the gold flecks in his irises, which she used to admire so much. "Why?" he asked. "Does it bother you?" She glared at him. "Don't go there.
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
I'm not mad at you." He presses the cold cloth against my forehead. "I'm mad at myself. I did this. Well, Easton and I. I brought this on you. I'm Reed the Destroyer." He sounds sad. "Didn't you know that?" "I don't like that name." He sits next to me, drawing the cloth around and around my face, down my neck and onto my shoulder. It feels heavenly. "Yeah, and what would you call me instead?" I open my mouth and say, "Mine.
Erin Watt (Paper Princess (The Royals, #1))
New Rule: Conspiracy theorists who are claiming that we didn't really kill Bin Laden must be reminded that they didn't think he did the crime in the first place. Come on, nutjobs, keep your bullshit straight: The towers were brought down in a controlled demolition by George W. Bush to distract attention from Hawaii, where CIA operatives were planting phony birth records so that a Kenyan named Barack Obama could someday rise to power and pretend to take out the guy we pretended took out the Towers. And I know that's true because I just got it in an e-mail from Trump.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Aren’t you supposed to be hiring someone else to train me full-time anyway?” “Yes,” he said, getting up and pulling her to her feet along with him, “and I’m worried that if you get into the habit of making out with your instructors, you’ll wind up making out with him, too.” “Don’t be sexist. They could find me a female instructor.” “In that case you have my permission to make out with her, as long as I can watch.” “Nice.” Clary grinned, bending down to fold up the blanket they’d brought to sit on. “You’re just worried they’ll hire a male instructor and he’ll be hotter than you.” Jace’s eyebrows went up. “Hotter than me?” “It could happen,” Clary said. “You know, theoretically.” “Theoretically the planet could suddenly crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other side, forever and tragically parted, but I’m not worried about that, either. Some things,” Jace said, with his customary crooked smile, “are just too unlikely to dwell upon.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
If you are very quiet and do not look away, you may see the brightest star in the constellation glow steadily brighter. It brightens until it overwhelms every other star in the sky, brightens until it seems to touch the ground, and then the glow is gone, and in its place is a girl. Her hair and lashes are painted a shifting silver, and a scar crosses one side of her face. She is dressed in Sealand silk and a necklace of sapphire . Some say that, once upon a time, she had a prince, a father, a society of friends. Others say that she was once a wicked queen ,a worker of illusions, a girl who brought darkness across the lands. Stilll others say that she once had a sister, and that she loved her dearly. Perhaps all of these are true. She walks to the boy, tilts her head up at him, and smiles. He bends down to kiss her. Then he helps her onto the horse, and she rides away with him to a faraway place, until they can no longer be seen. These are only rumour,of course, and make little more than a story to tell round a fire. But it is told. And thus they live on. —“The Midnight Star,” a folktale
Marie Lu (The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3))
I write poetry, worry, smile, laugh sleep continue for a while just like most of us just like all of us; sometimes I want to hug all Mankind on earth and say, god damn all this that they've brought down upon us, we are brave and good even though we are selfish and kill each other and kill ourselves, we are the people born to kill and die and weep in dark rooms and love in dark rooms, and wait, and wait and wait and wait. we are the people. we are nothing more.
Charles Bukowski (What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire)
I want to be with you.” My words brought a hugegrin to his incredibly beautiful face. “You’re my present and my future,Sadie, I will use whatever power I have to make you happy.” He leaned down and touched his perfect lips to mine, and my heart took flight. I would never get tired of his kiss. Jax Stone was my everything.
Abbi Glines (Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1))
From the people who brought you "zero tolerance," I present the Gun-Free Zone! Yippee! Problem solved! Bam! Bam! Everybody down! Hey, how did that deranged loner get a gun into this Gun-Free Zone?
Ann Coulter
I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. Oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly.You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.
Vita Sackville-West
the sad end he met in Afghanistan was more accurately a function of his stubborn idealism--his insistence on trying to do the right thing. In which case it wasn't a tragic flaw that brought Tillman down, but a tragic virtue.
Jon Krakauer (Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman)
Now, Mama, Papa, and sir," said Ramses, "please withdraw to the farthest corner and crouch down with your backs turned. It is as I feared; we will never break through by this method. The walls are eight feet thick. Fortunately I brought along a little nitroglycerin--" "Oh, good Gad," shrieked Inspector Cuff.
Elizabeth Peters (The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5))
After another minute Reuben brought forth the following sentence: "I ha' scranleted two hundred furrows come five o'clock down i' the bute." It was a difficult remark, Flora felt, to which to reply.
Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm)
How do I look to him?" she asked herself. She got up and brought a long mirror towards the window. She stood it on the floor against a chair. Then she sat down in front of it on the rug and, facing it, slowly opened her legs. The sight was enchanting. The skin was flawless, the vulva, roseate and full. She thought it was like the gum plant leaf with its secret milk that the pressure of the finger could bring out, the odorous moisture that came like the moisture of the sea shells. So was Venus born of the sea with this little kernel of salty honey in her, which only caresses could bring out of the hidden recesses of her body.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
I didn’t know if his art was helping. But Moses’s pictures were like that, glorious and terrible. Glorious because they brought memory to life, terrible for the same reason. Time softens memories, sanding down the rough edges of death. But Moses’s pictures dripped with life and reminded us of our loss.
Amy Harmon (The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses, #1))
I had my arms around his waist, smiling as I looked up at him. Being with Alex made me so completely happy, in an easy, uncomplicated way that I hadn't felt since I was a small child. "I love you," I said. In the five days we'd been there, it was the first time I'd said the words to him in English; they just slipped out. Alex's expression went very still as he looked down at me, his dark hair stirred by the slight breeze. I picked up a sudden wave of his emotions, and they almost brought tears to my eyes. Gently, he took my face in his hands and kissed me. "I love you, too," he said against my lips.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
I guess the answer would be yes." "Got to love that word." He kissed her so sweetly then, it brought tears to her eyes. "Got it in you to say it again?" And then he did the unthinkable. He went down on one knee.
Cindy Gerard (To the Brink (The Bodyguards #3))
My name is Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as "quothe." Names are important as they tell you a great deal about a person. I've had more names than anyone has a right to. The Adem call me Maedre. Which, depending on how it's spoken, can mean The Flame, The Thunder, or The Broken Tree. "The Flame" is obvious if you've ever seen me. I have red hair, bright. If I had been born a couple of hundred years ago I would probably have been burned as a demon. I keep it short but it's unruly. When left to its own devices, it sticks up and makes me look as if I have been set afire. "The Thunder" I attribute to a strong baritone and a great deal of stage training at an early age. I've never thought of "The Broken Tree" as very significant. Although in retrospect, I suppose it could be considered at least partially prophetic. My first mentor called me E'lir because I was clever and I knew it. My first real lover called me Dulator because she liked the sound of it. I have been called Shadicar, Lightfinger, and Six-String. I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know." I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Jack? It’s Margeaux.” “My sister? Why would my sister be calling me? How did she get my number? Crazy questions blipped through my head. I knew she had married and was living in New Orleans, but we rarely spoke and have never been close by any means” “Margeaux?” “I’m calling from the police station. Dad was just brought in and I thought I should let you know.” “What! Why was he brought in?” “Jack, he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He drove himself into New Orleans to Quest Diagnostic for some blood tests and he was waiting to be called. Apparently, they took other people back that had come in after him. He got upset and made a scene. The staff tried to explain that those people all had appointments and he didn’t. He became so abusive, they called security, but before they even got there, Dad knocked down one of the technicians. That’s when they called the police. They came and took him.
Behcet Kaya (Treacherous Estate (Jack Ludefance, #1))
The council meeting was soon over, and Manon paused as she walked past Vernon on her way out. She put a hand on his shoulder, her nails digging into his skin, and he yelped as she brought her iron teeth close to his ear. "Just because she is dead, Lord, do not think I will forget what you tried to do to her." Vernon paled. "You can't touch me." Manon dug her nails in deeper. "No, I can't," she purred into his ear. "But Aelin Galathynius is alive. And I hear that she has a score to settle." She yanked out her nails and squeezed his shoulder, setting the blood running down Vernon's green tonic before she stalked from the room.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wildflowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them and they were none of them afraid neither horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses)
So,” he said, flicking her nose, “how long have you wanted—” “I don’t see how that’s any of your business, Captain Westfall. And I won’t tell you until you tell me.” He flicked her nose again, and she batted away his fingers. He caught her hand in his, holding it up so he could look at her amethyst ring—the ring she never took off, not even to bathe. “The Yulemas ball. Maybe earlier. Maybe even Samhuinn, when I brought you this ring. But Yulemas was the first time I realized I didn’t like the idea of you with—with someone else.” He kissed the tips of her fingers. “Your turn.” “I’m not telling you,” she said. Because she had no idea; she was still figuring out when it had happened, exactly. It somehow felt as if it had always been Chaol, even from the very beginning, even before they’d ever met. He began to protest, but she pulled him back down on top of her. “And that’s enough talking. I might be tired, but there are still plenty of things to do instead of going for a run.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
As for the story itself, it was entitled "The Dancing Fool." Like so many Trout stories, it was about a tragic failure to communicate. Here was the plot: A flying saucer creature named Zog arrived on Earth to explain how wars could be prevented and how cancer could be cured. He brought the information from Margo, a planet where the natives conversed by means of farts and tap dancing. Zog landed at night in Connecticut. He had no sooner touched down than he saw a house on fire. He rushed into the house, farting and tap dancing, warning the people about the terrible danger they were in. The head of the house brained Zog with a golfclub.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Nancy waded out to her own rocks and searched her own pools and let that couple look after themselves. She crouched low down and touched the smooth rubber-like sea anemones, who were stuck like lumps of jelly to the side of the rock. Brooding, she changed the pool into the sea, and made the minnows into sharks and whales, and cast vast clouds over this tiny world by holding her hand against the sun, and so brought darkness and desolation, like God himself, to millions of ignorant and innocent creatures, and then took her hand away suddenly and let the sun stream down. Out on the pale criss-crossed sand, high-stepping, fringed, gauntleted, stalked some fantastic leviathan (she was still enlarging the pool), and slipped into the vast fissures of the mountain side. And then, letting her eyes slide imperceptibly above the pool and rest on that wavering line of sea and sky, on the tree trunks which the smoke of steamers made waver on the horizon, she became with all that power sweeping savagely in and inevitably withdrawing, hypnotised, and the two senses of that vastness and this tininess (the pool had diminished again) flowering within it made her feel that she was bound hand and foot and unable to move by the intensity of feelings which reduced her own body, her own life, and the lives of all the people in the world, for ever, to nothingness. So listening to the waves, crouching over the pool, she brooded.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
What brought you here isn't your fault. We human beings have to live each day to its fullest and do our best in whatever environment we find ourselves in. There's no need to feel any shame just because your "fullest" and "best" look different from those of others.
Naoki Higashida (Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism)
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? —But it’s nicer here… So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doings things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? —But we have to sleep sometime… Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Deep down, I’d known how this would end all along. I’d sensed it from the moment we’d first met, from the time I’d first glimpsed the Balisarda in his bandolier—two star-crossed lovers brought together by fate or providence. By life and by death. By gods, or perhaps monsters. We would end with a stake and a match.
Shelby Mahurin (Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove, #3))
[ ... ]when we have been brought very low and helped, sorely wounded and healed, cast down and raised again, have given up all hope--and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety; and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over, we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God, beyond and against appearances[....]
John Newton
You’ve thrown down the gauntlet. You’ve brought my wrath down upon your house. Now, to prove that I exist I must kill you. As the child outlives the father, so must the character bury the author. If you are, in fact, my continuing author, then killing you will end my existence as well. Small loss. Such a life, as your puppet, is not worth living. But… If I destroy you and your dreck script, and I still exist… then my existence will be glorious, for I will become my own master.
Chuck Palahniuk (Damned (Damned, #1))
Have you wondered what our babies would have looked like?" Jen asked absently as she frowned inwardly trying to picture the future she might have had with her wolf. "Baby this isn't really the time to discuss our babies. Let's focus on who is carrying you so that I can get you back so that we can make babies." Jen groaned and felt the arms around her tighten which brought a gasp from her. Decebel must have sensed her pain as she felt his worry. "I'm okay, just hurts." Jen actually felt a smile spread across her face, "So you want to make babies with me?" This time when Decebel laughed she swore she could feel his hands run down her sides to her waist. "Only you would want to discuss making babies at a time like this." "Well you have to admit that it's a better topic than my nearly being killed and now being kidnapped. Seriously Dec, I'd much rather think about us making babies.
Quinn Loftis
He’d just poured himself a hot cup of coffee, his mouth already watering as he brought the mug to his lips. “Oh, thanks, sweetie.” And like that, the cup was gone. He glared down at the female who dared take his coffee. The life-giving elixir was his! Then he noticed she was fully dressed. “You’re leaving?” Damn. And he really did have plans for that adorable little ass. “Oh, yeah.” She sipped the coffee and grimaced. “Geez. Battery acid.” It suddenly occurred to him…She was perky. Who was perky at five-thirty in the morning? Good Lord!Morning people were perky at five-thirty in the morning!
Shelly Laurenston (The Beast in Him (Pride, #2))
I brought a condom," I tell her when I slide her panties down. We're both hot and sweaty, and I can't resist hr anymore. "I did, too," she whispers against my neck. "But we might not be able to use it." "Why not?" I expect her to tell em this was all a mistake, that she really didn't mean to get me all hot and bothered just to tell me I'm not worthy enough to take her virginity, but it's the truth. She clears her throat. "It all d-d-depends on whether or not you're allergic to l-l-latex.
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2))
Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows The West Wind goes walking, and about the walls it goes. What news from the West, oh wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight? Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight? ‘I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey; I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more. The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.’ Oh, Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar. But you came not from the empty lands where no men are. From the mouth of the sea the South Wind flies, From the sand hills and the stones; The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans What news from the South, oh sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve? Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve. ‘Ask me not where he doth dwell--so many bones there lie On the white shores and on the black shores under the stormy sky; So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing sea. Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!’ Oh Boromir! Beyond the gate the Seaward road runs South, But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey seas mouth. From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, And past the roaring falls And loud and cold about the Tower its loud horn calls. What news from the North, oh mighty wind, do you bring to me today? What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away. ‘Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought. His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest; And Rauros, Golden Rauros Falls, bore him upon its breast.’ Oh Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze To Rauros, Golden Rauros Falls until the end of days.
J.R.R. Tolkien
I don’t bite Marcus. You can come sit on the comfy old couch with me. That chair is incredibly uncomfortable.” Just the opening I needed. I jumped up and sat down on the end of the couch and stretched my legs out in front of me. “You don’t have to tell me twice. I was just being polite.” Will ow chuckled and brought a blanket over to the sofa with her.
Abbi Glines (Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2))
While I was backstage before presenting the Best New Artist award, I talked to George Strait for a while. He's so incredibly cool. So down-to-earth and funny. I think it should be known that George Strait has an awesome, dry, subtle sense of humor. Then I went back out into the crowd and watched the rest of the show. Keith Urban's new song KILLS ME, it's so good. And when Brad Paisley ran down into the front row and kissed Kimberley's stomach (she's pregnant) before accepting his award, Kellie, my mom, and I all started crying. That's probably the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I thought Kellie NAILED her performance of the song we wrote together "The Best Days of Your Life". I was so proud of her. I thought Darius Rucker's performance RULED, and his vocals were incredible. I'm a huge fan. I love it when I find out that the people who make the music I love are wonderful people. I love Faith Hill and how she always makes everyone in the room feel special. I love Keith Urban, and how he told me he knows every word to "Love Story" (That made my night). I love Nicole Kidman, and her sweet, warm personality. I love how Kenny Chesney always has something hilarious or thoughtful to say. But the real moment that brought on this wave of gratitude was when Shania Twain HERSELF walked up and introduced herself to me. Shania Twain, as in.. The reason I wanted to do this in the first place. Shania Twain, as in.. the most impressive and independent and confident and successful female artist to ever hit country music. She walked up to me and said she wanted to meet me and tell me I was doing a great job. She was so beautiful, guys. She really IS that beautiful. All the while, I was completely star struck. After she walked away, I realized I didn't have my camera. Then I cried. You know, last night made me feel really great about being a country music fan in general. Country music is the place to find reality in music, and reality in the stars who make that music. There's kindness and goodness and....honesty in the people I look up to, and knowing that makes me smile. I'm proud to sing country music, and that has never wavered. The reason for the being.. nights like last night.
Taylor Swift
It must be very tiring for the Consort," Lorelei said next to me. [...] "Perhaps a mount could be brought...?" Lorelei suggested. Out of a corner I saw both Barabas and George freeze. Yes, I know I've been insulted. Settle down. "Thank you for your concern. I can manage." "Please, it's no trouble at all. You could hurt yourself. I know that even something minor like a twisted ankle would present a big problem for a human..." Do not punch the pack princess; do not punch the pack princess... "We wouldn't want you to struggle to keep up." Okay, she went too far. I gave her a nice big smile. Curran's face snapped into a neutral expression. "We just got here, baby. It's too early for you to start killing people.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6 & #5.8))
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible. When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth. "Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger." Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud? "Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly. "Okay, good. What else?" I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
I don't like forgetting," I said with my eyes closed. A single tear slipped down my cheek and I let it. "I don't want to forget these moments that constantly remind me of who I am, who I was, and who you are. I don't want to forget my past and all the things that have brought me here. With you.
Nadège Richards (5 Miles)
Keep that red-haired girl of yours in the open air all summer and don't let her read books until she gets more spring into her step." This message frightened Marilla wholesomely. She read Anne's death warrant by consumption in it unless it was scrupulously obeyed. As a result, Anne had the golden summer of her life as far as freedom and frolic went. She walked, rowed, berried, and dreamed to her heart's content; and when September came she was bright-eyed and alert, with a step that would have satisfied the Spencervale doctor and a heart full of ambition and zest once more. "I just feel like studying with might and main," she declared as she brought her books down from the attic. "Oh, you good old friends, I'm glad to see your honest face once more - yes, even you, geometry.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
And the Shadow fell upon the land, and the world was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was as blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon. And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died. And men cried out to the Creator, saying, O Light of the Heavens, Light of the World, let the Promised One be born of the mountain, according to the prophecies, as he was in ages past and will be in ages to come. Let the Prince of the Morning sing to the land that green things will grow and the valleys give forth lambs. Let the arm of the Lord of the Dawn shelter us from the Dark, and the great sword of justice defend us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
Robert Jordan (The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1))
From a distance,' he says, 'my car looks just like every other car on the freeway, and Sarah Byrnes looks just like the rest of us. And if she's going to get help, she'll get it from herself or she'll get it from us. Let me tell you why I brought this up. Because the other day when I saw how hard it was for Mobe to go to the hospital to see her, I was embarrassed that I didn't know her better, that I ever laughed at one joke about her. I was embarrassed that I let some kid go to school with me for twelve years and turned my back on pain that must be unbearable. I was embarrassed that I haven't found a way to include her somehow the way Mobe has.' Jesus. I feel tears welling up, and I see them running down Ellerby's cheeks. Lemry better get a handle on this class before it turns into some kind of therapy group. So,' Lemry says quietly, 'your subject will be the juxtaposition of man and God in the universe?' Ellerby shakes his head. 'My subject will be shame.
Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)
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))
I smiled sweetly at his embarressment, beginning to walk again, kicking up golden leaves. I heard him scuffling leaves behind me. "And what was the point of this again?" Forget it!" Sam said. "Do you you like this place or not?" I stoped in my tracks, spinning to face him. "Hey." I pointed at him; he raised his eyebrows and stopped in his tracks. "You didn't think Jack would be here at all, did you?" His thick black eyebrows went up even farther. Did you evan intend to look for him at all?" He held his hands up as if a surrender. "What do you want me to say?" You were trying to see if I would reconize it, wern't you?" I took anouther step, colsing the distance between us. I could feel the heat of his body, even without touching him, in the increasing cold of the day. "YOU told me about this wood somehow. How did you show it to me?" I keep trying to tell you. You wont listen. Because you're stubbon. It's how we speek- it's the only words we have. Just pictures. Just simple little picters. You HAVE changed Grace. Just not your skin. I want you to believe me." His hands were still raise, but he was starting to grin at me in the failing light. So you brought me here to see this." I stepped forward again, and he stepped back. Do you like it?" Under false pretence." Anouther step forward; anouther back. The grine widened So do you like it?" When you knew we wouldn't come across anybody else." His teeth flashed in his grin. "Do you like it?" I punched my hands into his chest. "You know I love it. You knew I would." I went to punch him, and he grabed my wrists. For a moment we stood there like that, him looking down at me with a grin half-caught on his face, and me lookingup at him: Still Life with Boy and Girl. It would've been the perfect moment to kiss me, but he didn't. He just looked at me and looked at me, and by the time I relizeed I could just as easily kiss him, I noticed that his grin was slipping away. Sam slowly lowered my wrists and relesed them. "I'm glad." he said very quietly. My arms still hung by my sides, right where Sam had put them. I frowned at him. "You were supposed to kiss me." I thought about it." I just kept looking at the soft, sad shape of his lips, looking just like his voice sounded. I was probably staring, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted him to kiss me and how stupide it was to want it so badly. "Why don't you?" He leaned over and gave mr the lightest of kisses. His lips, cool and dry, ever so polite and incredibly maddening. "I have to get inside soon," he whispered "It's getting cold
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
When most people looked at Josie Tyrell, they only saw a certain collection of bones, a selection of forms filling space. But Michael saw past the mouth and the eyes, the architecture of the body, her fleshly masquerade. Other boys were happy enough to enjoy the show, they just wanted to be entertained in the body's shadow theater. But Michael had to come backstage. He went down into the mines, into the dark, and brought up the gold, your new self, a better self. But what good was it if he was just going to leave her behind?
Janet Fitch (Paint it Black)
I brought the birdcages to the windows. I opened the windows, and opened the birdcages. I poured the fish down the drain. I took the dogs and cats downstairs and removed their collars. I released the insects onto the street. And the reptiles. And the mice. I told them, Go. All of you. Go. And they went. And they didn’t come back
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. “Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide. “Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.” “She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?” “Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.” “And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?” “Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.” “And who are all these young men and women on each side?” “They are her sons and daughters.” “She must have had a very large family, Sir.” “Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.” “Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?” “No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” “And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.” “They are her beasts.” “Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.” “Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.” I looked at my Teacher in amazement. “Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
There were now and then, though rarely, the hours that brought the welcome shock, pulled down the walls and brought me back again from my wanderings to the living heart of the world. Sadly and yet deeply moved, I set myself to recall the last of these experiences. It was at a concert of lovely old music. After two of three notes of the piano the door was opened of a sudden to the other world. I sped through heaven and saw God at work. I suffered holy pains. I dropped all my defenses and was afraid of nothing in the world. I accepted all things and to all things I gave up my heart.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
Stargirl began to improvise. She flung her arms to a make-believe crowd like a celebrity on parade. She waggled her fingers at the stars. She churned her fists like an egg-beater. Every action echoed down the line behind her. The three hops of the bunny became three struts of a vaudeville vamp. Then a penguin waddle. Then tippy-toed priss. Every new move brought new laughter from the line.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
In 1965, worked with Nite Owl bringing street gangs under control. Tackled the Big Figure together. Brought down Underboss together. Good team. Until he got soft, like rest. Until he quit. No staying power. None of them. Except Comedian. Met him in 1966. Forceful personality. Didn't care if people liked him. Uncompromising. Admired that. Of us all, he understood most. About world. About people. About society and what's happening to it. Things everyone knows in gut. Things everyone too scared to face, too polite to talk about. He understood. Understood man's capacity for horrors and never quit. Saw the world's black underbelly and never surrendered. Once man has seen, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend it doesn't exist. No matter who orders him to look the other way. We do not do this thing because it is permitted. We do it because we have to. We do it because we are compelled.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the war. I believed in it. I don’t know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable -- which I need not discuss today -- it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed? We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy -- what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
I thought she was sleeping until I heard her call out from across the room, “Will you bring me a glass of water?” I did. Then in her always-sleepy tone and drawl she said, “Do you remember when you were a little boy and you would ask your mama to bring you a glass of water?” Yeah. “You know how half the time you weren’t even thirsty. You just wanted that hand that was attached to that glass that was attached to that person you just wanted to stay there until you fell asleep.” She took the glass of water that I brought her and just sat it down full on the table next to her. Wow, I thought. What am I gonna do with love like this.
Dito Montiel
Lucy Mason, you brought the color in. You brought me to life when I didn’t even realize I’d stopped breathing.” He laid his hand over hers on his cheek. “Now I can’t get enough air. It’s everywhere because of you.” When he pulled the ring out of his jacket and popped open the lid, she didn’t take her eyes off his face for a second. “Be my air. Let me be yours. Forever. Marry me, Lucy.” “Yes.” She knelt down in front of him on the ground, meeting him halfway as always. “Yes, Matt. Of course, yes.
Tessa Bailey (Staking His Claim (Line of Duty, #5))
When I brought my eyes back to his, I knew without a doubt that if we were anywhere else—alone—he would kiss me. He swallowed, and my eyes tracked down to his throat before slowly climbing back up by way of his strong chin, nose, and dark-as-night brown eyes. He raised one eyebrow, an unspoken question, and I realized at that moment that I wanted it. I wanted Wes. Michael had been my endgame, but I couldn’t bring myself to care about that anymore. I wouldn’t run through a train station for Michael. But I would do it for Wes. Holy shit.
Lynn Painter (Better Than the Movies)
I have been called Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, and Kvothe Kingkiller. I have earned those names. Bought and paid for them. But I was brought up as Kvothe. My father once told me it meant "to know." I have, of course, been called many other things. Most of them uncouth, although very few were unearned. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Nice piano," I said. "Do you play?" "oh no, but Edwart does!" Eva Mullen said. "A little," Edwart said sheepishly. "Go ahead, play!" Eva said. She picked up the triangle that was lying on the piano and handed it to Edwart. He started banging on it. It sounded like construction work very early in the morning. "Whoops. I messed up. Let me start over," he said. He started banging again. "Wait. Uh. I haven't practiced in a while. Let me start over." Edwart continued to bang the triangle. Eva closed her eyes and raised her arms, swaying rhythmically to Edwart's music. Edwart held the triangle up high, in what appeared to be a grand finish, but then he brought it down hard, hitting the top of the piano. He continued to bang the piano, putting the entire force of his slim body into each smash. The piano shook. The room vibrated. When he finished I subtly removed my hands from my ears. "I wrote that for you," Edwart murmured, drawing me close. "It's called Belle's Lullaby.
The Harvard Lampoon (Nightlight: A Parody)
A Kite is a Victim A kite is a victim you are sure of. You love it because it pulls gentle enough to call you master, strong enough to call you fool; because it lives like a desperate trained falcon in the high sweet air, and you can always haul it down to tame it in your drawer. A kite is a fish you have already caught in a pool where no fish come, so you play him carefully and long, and hope he won't give up, or the wind die down. A kite is the last poem you've written so you give it to the wind, but you don't let it go until someone finds you something else to do. A kite is a contract of glory that must be made with the sun, so you make friends with the field the river and the wind, then you pray the whole cold night before, under the travelling cordless moon, to make you worthy and lyric and pure. Gift You tell me that silence is nearer to peace than poems but if for my gift I brought you silence (for I know silence) you would say This is not silence this is another poem and you would hand it back to me There are some men There are some men who should have mountains to bear their names through time Grave markers are not high enough or green and sons go far away to lose the fist their father’s hand will always seem I had a friend he lived and died in mighty silence and with dignity left no book son or lover to mourn. Nor is this a mourning song but only a naming of this mountain on which I walk fragrant, dark and softly white under the pale of mist I name this mountain after him. -Believe nothing of me Except that I felt your beauty more closely than my own. I did not see any cities burn, I heard no promises of endless night, I felt your beauty more closely than my own. Promise me that I will return.- -When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you.- Song I almost went to bed without remembering the four white violets I put in the button-hole of your green sweater and how i kissed you then and you kissed me shy as though I'd never been your lover -Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart. Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist and fragrance of dying.-
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
God had poked His finger down into my nerves and gently, almost without thinking, brought a little confusion among those threads. And God had pulled His finger back, and behold--there were filaments and fine rootlike threads on His finger from the threads of my nerves. And there remained an open hole behind His finger which was the finger of God, and a wound in my brain behind the path of His finger. But after God had touched me with the finger of His hand, He let me be and touched me no more and let nothing evil come upon me. He let me depart in peace and He let me depart with the open hole. And nothing evil will come upon me from God who is the Lord through all Eternity....
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
All these young children being sent to prison forever, all this grief and violence. Those judges throwing people away like they're not even human, people shooting each other, hurting each other like they don't care. I don't know, it's a lot of pain. I decided that I was supposed to be here [at the court] to catch some of the stones people cast at each other.' I chuckled when she said it. During the McMillian hearings, a local minister had held a regional church meeting about the case and had asked me to come speak. There were a few people in the African American community whose support of Walter was muted, not because they thought he was guilty but because he had had an extramarital affair and wasn't active in the church. At the church meeting, I spoke mostly about Walter's case, but I also reminded people that when the woman accused of adultery was brought to Jesus, he told the accusers who wanted to stone her to death, 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.' The woman's accusers retreated, and Jesus forgave her and urged her to sin no more. But today, our self-righteousness, our fear, and our anger have caused even the Christians to hurl stones at the people who fall down, even when we know we should forgive or show compassion. I told the congregation that we can't simply watch that happen. I told them we have to be stonecatchers. When I chuckled at the older woman's invocation of the parable, she laughed, too. 'I heard you in that courtroom today. I've even seen you hear a couple of times before. I know you's a stonecatcher, too.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
God and religion before every thing!' Dante cried. 'God and religion before the world.' Mr Casey raised his clenched fist and brought it down on the table with a crash. 'Very well then,' he shouted hoarsely, 'if it comes to that, no God for Ireland!' 'John! John!' cried Mr Dedalus, seizing his guest by the coat sleeve. Dante stared across the table, her cheeks shaking. Mr Casey struggled up from his chair and bent across the table towards her, scraping the air from before his eyes with one hand as though he were tearing aside a cobweb. 'No God for Ireland!' he cried, 'We have had too much God in Ireland. Away with God!
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
The next night I went back to the sea dressed in 1950s silk travel scarves – Paris with the Eiffel tower and ladies in hats and pink poodles, Venice with bronze horses and gondoliers, New York in celestial blue and silver. I brought candles and lit the candles, all the candles, in a circle around the lifeguard stand and put a tape in my boom box. I came down the ramp with the sea lapping at my feet and the air like a scarf of warm silk and the stars like my tiara. And my angel was sitting there solemnly in the sand, sitting cross-legged like a buddha, with sand freckling his brown limbs and he watched me the way no boy had ever watched me before, with so much tenderness and also a tremendous sorrow, which was what my dances were about just as much, the sorrow of not being loved the way my womb, rocking emptily inside of me, insisted I be loved, the sorrow of never finding the thing I had been searching for.
Francesca Lia Block (Echo)
It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
Kazi of Brightmist...you are the love I didn't know I needed. You are the hand pulling me through the wilderness, The sun warming my face. You make me stronger, smarter, wiser. You are the compass that makes me a better man. With you by my side, no challenge will be too great. I vow to honor you, Kazi, and do all I can to be worthy of your love. I will never stumble in my devotion to you, and I vow to keep you safe always. My family is now your family, and your family, mine. You have not stolen my heart, but I give it freely, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my wife." He squeezed my hand. His brown eyes danced, just as they had the first time he spoke those vows to me. It was my turn now. I took a deep breath. Were any words enough? But I said the ones closest to my heart, the ones I had said in the wilderness and repeated almost daily when I lay in a dark cell, uncertain where he was but needing to believe I would see him again. "I love you, Jase Ballenger, and I will for all my days. You have brought me fullness where there was only hunger, You have given me a universe of stars and stories, Where there was emptiness. You've unlocked a part of me I was afraid to believe in, And made the magic of wish stalks come true. I vow to care for you, to protect you and everything that is yours. Your home is now my home, your family, my family. I will stand by you as a partner in all things. With you by my side, I will never lack for joy. I know life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes loss, but whatever paths we go down, I want every step to be with you. I want to grow old with you, Jase. Every one of my tomorrows is yours, And in the presence of these witnesses, I take you to be my husband.
Mary E. Pearson (Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2))
Look," Grace said. "How strange! In spite of the rain, you can still see the stars. How bright they are tonight." She pointed, but Lorcan didn't look. His eyes remained fixed intently on her. "I can't think of a finer sight in the whole world than the one I'm looking at right now," he said. In spite of being drenched, Grace flushed at his words. Lorcan's eyes sparkled at her, brighter than ever before. It was as if the rare blue gems of his iriseshad been washed by the rain amd buffed by the moonlight to a new intensity. "Grace, there's been something I've wanted to do for a very long time now, but things have kept getting in the way." He reached forward, bringing a hand to the side of her face. Then he gently but firmly drew her wet face toward his. He gazed at her, as if seeing her for the first time. Then he brought his soft lips down to hers and kissed her.
Justin Somper (Black Heart (Vampirates, #4))
What is human memory?" Manning asked. He gazed at the air as he spoke, as if lecturing an invisible audience - as perhaps he was. "It certainly is not a passive recording mechanism, like a digital disc or a tape. It is more like a story-telling machine. Sensory information is broken down into shards of perception, which are broken down again to be stored as memory fragments. And at night, as the body rests, these fragments are brought out from storage, reassembled and replayed. Each run-through etches them deeper into the brain's neural structure. And each time a memory is rehearsed or recalled it is elaborated. We may add a little, lose a little, tinker with the logic, fill in sections that have faded, perhaps even conflate disparate events. "In extreme cases, we refer to this as confabulation. The brain creates and recreates the past, producing, in the end, a version of events that may bear little resemblance to what actually occurred. To first order, I believe it's true to say that everything I remember is false.
Arthur C. Clarke
Normally, when you challenge the conventional wisdom—that the current economic and political system is the only possible one—the first reaction you are likely to get is a demand for a detailed architectural blueprint of how an alternative system would work, down to the nature of its financial instruments, energy supplies, and policies of sewer maintenance. Next, you are likely to be asked for a detailed program of how this system will be brought into existence. Historically, this is ridiculous. When has social change ever happened according to someone’s blueprint? It’s not as if a small circle of visionaries in Renaissance Florence conceived of something they called “capitalism,” figured out the details of how the stock exchange and factories would someday work, and then put in place a program to bring their visions into reality. In fact, the idea is so absurd we might well ask ourselves how it ever occurred to us to imagine this is how change happens to begin.
David Graeber
The deep roar of the ocean. The break of waves on farther shores that thought can find. The silent thunders of the deep. And from among it, voices calling, and yet not voices, humming trillings, wordlings, and half-articulated songs of thought. Greetings, waves of greetings, sliding back down into the inarticulate, words breaking together. A crash of sorrow on the shores of Earth. Waves of joy on--where? A world indescribably found, indescribably arrived at, indescribably wet, a song of water. A fugue of voices now, clamoring explanations, of a disaster unavertable, a world to be destroyed, a surge of helplessness, a spasm of despair, a dying fall, again the break of words. And then the fling of hope, the finding of a shadow Earth in the implications of enfolded time, submerged dimensions, the pull of parallels, the deep pull, the spin of will, the hurl and split of it, the fight. A new Earth pulled into replacement, the dolphins gone. Then stunningly a single voice, quite clear. "This bowl was brought to you by the Campaign to Save the Humans. We bid you farewell." And then the sound of long, heavy, perfectly gray bodies rolling away into an unknown fathomless deep, quietly giggling.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
She brought her elbow backward and connected with Rand’s ribs. He swore and released her. She whirled on him. “That’s for being so arrogant!” Rand advanced on her, and the grin on his face wasn’t at all reassuring. She took one step back, then turned to sprint into the bathroom, when a pair of hands caught her and slung her over a hard muscled shoulder. “Put me down right now!” She screamed as she pummeled his back. “You are the most annoying, selfish, barbaric, horny man I know, Rand Miller!” He set her back on her feet inside the bathroom, then cupped her chin in his palm. “You are the most gorgeous, intelligent, feisty woman I know, Lucy Flemming.” Lucy narrowed her eyes. What was he up to now? “Flattery won’t help you out of this one.” “It’s not flattery. It’s the truth,” he murmured as he leaned close to her ear. “And, baby?” “Yes?” she answered, her voice nearly inaudible as his nearness began to override her anger. “I’d better be the only horny man you know.
Anne Rainey (Reckless Exposure (Three Kinds of Wicked, #3))
How ... how fragile situations are. But not tenuous. Delicate, but not flimsy, not indulgent. Delicate, that's why they keep breaking, they must break and you must get the pieces together and show it before it breaks again, or put them aside for a moment when something else breaks and turn to that, and all this keeps going on. That's why most writing now, if you read it they go on one two three four and tell you what happened like newspaper accounts, no adjectives, no long sentences, no tricks they pretend, and they finally believe that they really believe that the way they saw it is the way it is ... it never takes your breath away, telling you things you already know, laying everything out flat, as though the terms and the time, and the nature and the movement of everything were secrets of the same magnitude. They write for people who read with the surface of their minds, people with reading habits that make the smallest demands on them, people brought up reading for facts, who know what's going to come next and want to know what's coming next, and get angry at surprises. Clarity's essential, and detail, no fake mysticism, the facts are bad enough. But we're embarrassed for people who tell too much, and tell it without surprise. How does he know what happened? unless it's one unshaven man alone in a boat, changing I to he, and how often do you get a man alone in a boat, in all this ... all this ... Listen, there are so many delicate fixtures, moving toward you, you'll see. Like a man going into a dark room, holding his hands down guarding his parts for fear of a table corner, and ... Why, all this around us is for people who can keep their balance only in the light, where they move as though nothing were fragile, nothing tempered by possibility, and all of a sudden bang! something breaks. Then you have to stop and put the pieces together again. But you never can put them back together quite the same way. You stop when you can and expose things, and leave them within reach, and others come on by themselves, and they break, and even then you may put the pieces aside just out of reach until you can bring them back and show them, put together slightly different, maybe a little more enduring, until you've broken it and picked up the pieces enough times, and you have the whole thing in all its dimensions. But the discipline, the detail, it's just ... sometimes the accumulation is too much to bear.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
The most work he did on [the urinals] was to run a brush once or twice apiece, singing some song as loud as he could in time to the swishing brush; then he'd splash in some Clorox and he'd be through. ... And when the Big Nurse...came in to check McMurphy's cleaning assignment personally, she brought a little compact mirror and she held it under the rim of the bowls. She walked along shaking her head and saying, "Why, this is an outrage... an outrage..." at every bowl. McMurphy sidled right along beside her, winking down his nose and saying in answer, "No; that's a toilet bowl...a TOILET bowl.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive it would dance. This is a fallacy even in relation to known fact. For the variation in human affairs is generally brought into them, not by life, but by death; by the dying down or breaking off of their strength or desire. A man varies his movements because of some slight element of failure or fatigue. He gets into an omnibus because he is tired of walking; or he walks because he is tired of sitting still. But if his life and joy were so gigantic that he never tired of going to Islington, he might go to Islington as regularly as the Thames goes to Sheerness. The very speed and ecstacy of his life would have the stillness of death. The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Ultraviolence" He used to call me DN That stood for deadly nightshade Cause I was filled with poison But blessed with beauty and rage Jim told me that He hit me and it felt like a kiss Jim brought me back Reminded me of when we were kids With his ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence I can hear sirens, sirens He hit me and it felt like a kiss I can hear violins, violins Give me all of that ultraviolence He used to call me poison Like I was poison ivy I could have died right there Cause he was right beside me Jim raised me up He hurt me but it felt like true love Jim taught me that Loving him was never enough With his ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence Ultraviolence I can hear sirens, sirens He hit me and it felt like a kiss I can hear violins, violins Give me all of that ultraviolence We could go back to New York Loving you was really hard We could go back to Woodstock Where they don't know who we are Heaven is on earth I will do anything for you, babe Blessed is this, this union Crying tears of gold, like lemonade I love you the first time I love you the last time Yo soy la princesa, comprende mis white lines Cause I'm your jazz singer And you're my cult leader I love you forever, I love you forever With his ultraviolence (lay me down tonight) Ultraviolence (in my linen and curls) Ultraviolence (lay me down tonight) Ultraviolence (Riviera girls) I can hear sirens, sirens He hit me and it felt like a kiss I can hear violins, violins Give me all of that ultraviolence
Lana Del Rey
The Knowing Afterwards, when we have slept, paradise- comaed and woken, we lie a long time looking at each other. I do not know what he sees, but I see eyes of surpassing tenderness and calm, a calm like the dignity of matter. I love the open ocean blue-grey-green of his iris, I love the curve of it against the white, that curve the sight of what has caused me to come, when he’s quite still, deep inside me. I have never seen a curve like that, except the earth from outer space. I don’t know where he got his kindness without self-regard, almost without self, and yet he chose one woman, instead of the others. By knowing him, I get to know the purity of the animal which mates for life. Sometimes he is slightly smiling, but mostly he just gazes at me gazing, his entire face lit. I love to see it change if I cry–there is no worry, no pity, no graver radiance. If we are on our backs, side by side, with our faces turned fully to face each other, I can hear a tear from my lower eye hit the sheet, as if it is an early day on earth, and then the upper eye’s tears braid and sluice down through the lower eyebrow like the invention of farmimg, irrigation, a non-nomadic people. I am so lucky that I can know him. This is the only way to know him. I am the only one who knows him. When I wake again, he is still looking at me, as if he is eternal. For an hour we wake and doze, and slowly I know that though we are sated, though we are hardly touching, this is the coming the other coming brought us to the edge of–we are entering, deeper and deeper, gaze by gaze, this place beyond the other places, beyond the body itself, we are making love.
Sharon Olds
Whachoo want, white boy? Burn cream? A Band-Aid? Then he raised his own enormous palms to me, brought them up real close so I could see them properly; the hideous constellation of water-filled blisters, angry red welts from grill marks, the old scars, the raw flesh where steam or hot fat had made the skin simply roll off. They looked like the claws of some monstrous science-fiction crustacean, knobby and calloused under wounds old and new. I watched, transfixed, as Tyrone - his eyes never leaving mine - reached slowly under the broiler and, with one naked hand, picked up a glowing-hot sizzle-platter, moved it over to the cutting board, and set it down in front of me. He never flinched.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
Here is another truth about wintering: you’ll find wisdom in your winter, and once it’s over, it’s your responsibility to pass it on. And in return, it’s our responsibility to listen to those who have wintered before us. It’s an exchange of gifts in which nobody loses out. This may involve the breaking of a lifelong habit, one passed down carefully through generations: that of looking at other people’s misfortunes and feeling certain that they brought them upon themselves in a way that you never would. This isn’t just an unkind attitude. It does us harm, because it keeps us from learning that disasters do indeed happen and how we can adapt when they do. It stops us from reaching out to those who are suffering. And when our own disaster comes, it forces us into a humiliated retreat, as we try to hunt down mistakes that we never made in the first place or wrongheaded attitudes that we never held. Either that, or we become certain that there must be someone out there we can blame. Watching winter and really listening to its messages, we learn that effect is often disproportionate to cause; that tiny mistakes can lead to huge disasters; that life is often bloody unfair, but it carries on happening with or without our consent. We learn to look more kindly on other people’s crises, because they are so often portents of our own future.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
Alex: OK, that sounds like a challenge! Well firstly, I would have brought you to a hotel along the coast so that your suite would have the best sea view in the hotel. You could fall asleep listening to the waves crashing against the rocks, I would sprinkle the bed with red rose petals and have candles lit all around the room, I would have your favorite CD playing quietly in the background. But I wouldn’t propose to you there. I would bring you to where there was a huge crowd of people so they could all gasp when I got down on one knee and proposed. Or something like that. Note I have italicized all important buzz words. Rosie: Oh. Alex: Oh? That’s all you can say? One word for the most important night of our lives?
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Woman and children behind the lines!' he yelled, and all the girls jumped. Henry froze with his mouth open. 'Bang the drum slowly and ask not for whom the bell's ringing, for the answer's unfriendly!' He threw a fist in the air. 'Two years have my black ships sat before Troy, and today its gate shall open before the strength of my arm.' Dotty was laughing from the kitchen. Frank looked at his nephew. 'Henry, we play baseball tomorrow. Today we sack cities. Dots! Fetch me my tools! Down with the French! Once more into the breach, and fill the wall with our coward dead! Half a league! Half a league! Hey, batter, batter!' Frank brought his fist down onto the table, spilling Anastasia's milk, and then he struck a pose with both arms above his head and his chin on his chest. The girls cheered and applauded. Aunt Dotty stepped back into the dining room carrying a red metal toolbox.
N.D. Wilson (100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, #1))
Once upon a time,” Nora said, as she fluttered a series of kisses over his shoulders that sent every nerve in his body reeling, “a very poor girl from a fucked-up family became a famous writer with a wicked pen and an even more wicked tongue who made seven figures a year. And she went everywhere she wanted to and did everything she wanted to. And nobody ever tried to stop her. And she had her own pet Angel who needed to learn how to talk. So guess what she did?” “What?” Michael asked. He laughed in surprise as Nora slammed him down onto his back and slid on top of him. She brought her mouth onto his and forced his lips apart. “She gave him her tongue.
Tiffany Reisz (The Angel (The Original Sinners, #2))
My Angel, My greatest hope is that you never have to read this. Vee knows to give you this letter only if my feather is burned and I’m chained in hell or if Blakely develops a devilcraft prototype strong enough to kill me. When war between our races ignites, I don’t know what will become of our future. When I think about you and our plans. I feel a desperate aching. Never have I wanted things to turn out right as as I do now. Before I leave this world, I need to make certain you know that all my love belongs to you. You are the same to me now as you were before you swore the Changeover Vow. You are mine. Always. I love the strength, courage, and gentleness of your soul. I love your body too. How could someone so sexy and perfect be mine? With you I have purpose-someone to love, cherish and protect. There are secrets in my past that weigh on your mind. You've trusted me enough not to ask about them, and it's your faith that has made me a better man. I don’t want to leave you with anything hidden between us. I told you I was banished from heaven for falling in love with a human girl. The I way I explained it, I risked everything to be with her. I said those words because they simplified my motivations. But they weren't the truth. The truth is I had become disenchanted with the archangels’s shifting goals and wanted to push back against them and their rules. That girl was an excuse to let go of an old way of living and accept a new journey that would eventually lead me to you. I believe in destiny, Angel. I believe every choice I've made has brought me closer to you. I looked for you for a very long time. I may have fallen from heaven but I fell for you. I will do whatever it takes to make sure you win this war. Nephilim will come out on top. You’ll fulfill your vow to the Black Hand and be safe. This is my priority even if the cost is my life. I suspect this will make you angry. It may be hard to forgive me. I promised that we would be together at the end of this and you may resent me for the breaking that vow. I want you to know I did everything to keep my word. As I write this I am going over ever possibility that will see us through this. I hope I find a way. But if this choice I have to make comes down to your or me, I choose you. I always have. All my love, Patch
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
She was looking at Alec instead, watching him as he talked to Jace. There was a kinetic, almost feverish energy to him that hadn’t been there before. Something about Jace sharpened him, brought him into focus. If she were going to draw them together, she thought, she would make Jace a little blurry, while Alec stood out, all sharp, clear planes and angles. Jace was looking down as Alec spoke, smiling a little and tapping his water glass with a fingernail. She sensed he was thinking of other things. She felt a sudden flash of sympathy for Alec. Jace couldn’t be an easy person to care about. I was laughing at you because declarations of love amuse me, especially when unrequited. Jace looked up as the waitress passed. “Are we ever going to get any coffee?” he said aloud, interrupting Alec midsentence. Alec subsided, his energy fading.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
There has always been something enigmatic about Cassie. This is one of the things I like in her, and I like it all the more for being, paradoxically, a quality that isn't readily apparent, elusiveness brought to so high a level it becomes almost invisible. She gives the impression of being startlingly, almost childishly open--which is true, as far as it goes: what you see is in fact what you get. But what you don't get, what you barely glimpse: this is the side of Cassie that fascinated me always. Even after all this time I knew there were rooms inside her that she had never let me guess at, let alone enter. There were questions she wouldn't answer, topics she would discuss only in the abstract; try to pin her down and she would skim away laughing, as nimbly as a figure skater.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
The true measure of courage was still waiting for him, however. After way too many years, he’d finally told Blay he was sorry. And then after way too much drama, he’d finally told the guy he was grateful. But coming forward and being real about the fact that he was in love? Even if Blay was with someone else? That was the true divide. And goddamn him, he was going to do it. Not to break the pair of them up, no, that wasn’t it. And not to burden Blay. In this case, payback, as it turned out, was actually a pledge. Something that was made with no expectations and no reservations. It was the jump without a parachute, the leap without knowing, the trip and the fall without anything to catch you. Blay had done that not once, but several times and yeah, sure, Qhuinn wanted to go back to any of those moments of vunerability and beat his earlier incarnations so badly that his head cleared, and he recognized the opportunity he’d been given. Unfortunately, shit didn’t run that way. It was time for him to repay the strength… and in all likelihood, bear the pain that was going to come when he was turned down in a far more kindly manner than he’d provided for. Forcing his lids down, he brought Blay’s knuckles to his mouth, brushing a kiss against them. Then he gave himself up to sleep, letting himself fall into unconsciousness, knowing that, at least for the next few hours, he was safe in the arms of his one and only.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
Once upon a time, there was only darkness, and there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it. They were the Gibborium, and they loved the darkness because it concealed their hideousness. Whenever some other creature contrived to make light, they would extinguish it. When stars were born, they swallowed them, and it seemed that darkness would be eternal. But a race of bright warriors heard of the Gibborium and traveled from their far world to do battle with them. The war was long, light against dark, and many warriors were slain. In the end, when they vanquished the monsters, there were a hundred left alive, and these hundred were the godstars, who brought light to the universe. They made the rest of the stars, including our sun, and there was no more darkness, only endless light. They made children in their image- seraphim - and sent them down to beat light to the worlds that spun in space, and all was good. But one day, the last of the Gibborium, who was called Zamzumin, persuaded them that shadows were needed, that they would make the light seem brighter by contrast, and so the godstars brought shadows into being. But Zamzumin was a trickster. He needed only a shred of darkness to work with. He breathed life into the shadows, and as the godstars had made the seraphim in their own image, so did Zamzumin make the chimaera in his, and so they were hideous, and forever after the seraphim would fight on the side of light, and the chimaera for dark, and they would be enemies until the end of the world.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Zhuangzi's wife died. When Huizu went to convey his condolences, he found Zhuangzi sitting with his legs sprawled out, pounding on a tub and singing. "You lived with her, she brought up your children and grew old," said Huizu. "It should be enough simply not to weep at her death. But pounding on a tub and singing - this is going too far, isn't it?" Zhuangzi said, "You're wrong. When she first died, do you think I didn't grieve like anyone else? But I looked back to her beginning and the time before she was born. Not only the time before she was born, but the time before she had a body. Not only the time before she had a body, but the time before she had a spirit. In the midst of the jumble of wonder and mystery a change took place and she had a spirit. Another change and she had a body. Another change and she was born. Now there's been another change and she's dead. It's just like the progression of the four seasons, spring, summer, fall, winter. "Now she's going to lie down peacefully in a vast room. If I were to follow after her bawling and sobbing, it would show that I don't understand anything about fate. So I stopped.
Zhuangzi (The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu)
Dammit, I couldn't stop her from following me into danger, but I sure as hell was going to protect her while she was here. I would throw myself in front of the dragon if it came down to that. My heart pounded, and I kissed her deeper, my stomach twisting as she parted her lips, letting me in. Her tongue teased mine, and everything that had brought us here — Keirran, Annwyl, the Fade — rushed out of my head. I'd never felt anything like this before: these crazy, swirling emotions, all centered around the girl in my arms. Kenzie scared me, infuriated me, challenged me, and faeries or no, I couldn't imagine a world without this girl. I loved her more than anything else in my life. My heart turned over, and the air caught in my throat. I pulled back, breathless with the realization. I... was in love.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2))
There was nothing left for me to do, but go. Though the things of the world were strong with me still. Such as, for example: a gaggle of children trudging through a side-blown December flurry; a friendly match-share beneath some collision-titled streetlight; a frozen clock, a bird visited within its high tower; cold water from a tin jug; towering off one’s clinging shirt post-June rain. Pearls, rags, buttons, rug-tuft, beer-froth. Someone’s kind wishes for you; someone remembering to write; someone noticing that you are not at all at ease. A bloody ross death-red on a platter; a headgetop under-hand as you flee late to some chalk-and-woodfire-smelling schoolhouse. Geese above, clover below, the sound of one’s own breath when winded. The way a moistness in the eye will blur a field of stars; the sore place on the shoulder a resting toboggan makes; writing one’s beloved’s name upon a frosted window with a gloved finger. Tying a shoe; tying a knot on a package; a mouth on yours; a hand on yours; the ending of the day; the beginning of the day; the feeling that there will always be a day ahead. Goodbye, I must now say goodbye to all of it. Loon-call in the dark; calf-cramp in the spring; neck-rub in the parlour; milk-sip at end of day. Some brandy-legged dog proudly back-ploughs the grass to cover its modest shit; a cloud-mass down-valley breaks apart over the course of a brandy-deepened hour; louvered blinds yield dusty beneath your dragging finger, and it is nearly noon and you must decide; you have seen what you have seen, and it has wounded you, and it seems you have only one choice left. Blood-stained porcelain bowl wobbles face down on wood floor; orange peel not at all stirred by disbelieving last breath there among that fine summer dust-layer, fatal knife set down in pass-panic on familiar wobbly banister, later dropped (thrown) by Mother (dear Mother) (heartsick) into the slow-flowing, chocolate-brown Potomac. None of it was real; nothing was real. Everything was real; inconceivably real, infinitely dear. These and all things started as nothing, latent within a vast energy-broth, but then we named them, and loved them, and in this way, brought them forth. And now we must lose them. I send this out to you, dear friends, before I go, in this instantaneous thought-burst, from a place where time slows and then stops and we may live forever in a single instant. Goodbye goodbye good-
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
CONSORTING WITH ANGELS I was tired of being a woman, tired of the spoons and the pots, tired of my mouth and my breasts, tired of the cosmetics and the silks. There were still men who sat at my table, circled around the bowl I offered up. The bowl was filled with purple grapes and the flies hovered in for the scent and even my father came with his white bone. But I was tired of the gender of things. Last night I had a dream and I said to it . . . "You are the answer. You will outlive my husband and my father." In that dream there was a city made of chains where Joan was put to death in man's clothes and the nature of the angels went unexplained, no two made in the same species, one with a nose, one with an ear in its hand, one chewing a star and recording its orbit, each one like a poem obeying itself, performing God's functions, a people apart. "You are the answer," I said, and entered, lying down on the gates of the city. Then the chains were fastened around me and I lost my common gender and my final aspect. Adam was on the left of me and Eve was on the right of me, both thoroughly inconsistent with the world of reason. We wove our arms together and rode under the sun. I was not a woman anymore, not one thing or the other. 0 daughters of Jerusalem, the king has brought me into his chamber. I am black and I am beautiful. I've been opened and undressed. I have no arms or legs. I'm all one skin like a fish. I'm no more a woman than Christ was a man.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
I am not a toy, September! Fairyland cannot just cast me aside when it’s finished playing with me! If this place could steal my life from me, well, I, too, can steal. I know how the world works—the real world. I brought it all back with me—taxes and customs and laws and the Greenlist. If they wanted to just drop me back in the human world, I can drop the human world into theirs, every bit of it. I punished them all! I bound down their wings and I set the lions on them if they squeaked about it. I made Fairyland nice for the children who come over the gears, I made it safe. I did it for every child before me who had a life here, who was happy here! Don’t you see, September? No one should have to go back. Not ever. We can fix this world, you and I. Uncouple the gears and save us both! Let this be a place where no one has to be dragged home, screaming, to a field full of tomatoes and a father’s fists!
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
It's certainly true that Chernobyl, while an accident in the sense that no one intentionally set it off, was also the deliberate product of a culture of cronyism, laziness, and a deep-seated indifference toward the general population. The literature on the subject is pretty unanimous in its opinion that the Soviet system had taken a poorly designed reactor and then staffed it with a group of incompetents. It then proceeded, as the interviews in this book attest, to lie about the disaster in the most criminal way. In the crucial first ten days, when the reactor core was burning and releasing a steady stream of highly radioactive material into the surrounding areas, the authorities repeatedly claimed that the situation was under control. . . In the week after the accident, while refusing to admit to the world that anything really serious had gone wrong, the Soviets poured thousands of men into the breach. . . The machines they brought broke down because of the radiation. The humans wouldn't break down until weeks or months later, at which point they'd die horribly.
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
I figured I’d lay all my cards on the table. You’re not having sex. I’m not having sex. Thought maybe we could work through our problem together.” “I don’t have a problem.” “So why aren’t you having sex, then?” “Why aren’t you?” “Because I’d like to have it with you, and you haven’t given in to me. Yet” He brought the beer to his lips and watched me as he drank. “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation. You know I’m seeing someone.” “I do. That’s why we’re having this conversation. If you weren’t seeing someone, I’d have you up on that kitchen island showing you what I want to do to you, rather than telling you.” “Is that so?” He moved closer. “It is.” “What if I’m not into you in that way?” Chase looked down, his eyes lingering on my nipples. My very erect nipples. “Your body says otherwise.
Vi Keeland (Bossman)
He took a deep breath. “We came here to train, and we should train. If we just spend all the time we’re supposed to be training making out instead, they’ll quit letting me help train you at all.” “Aren’t they supposed to be hiring someone else to train me full-time anyway?” “Yes,” he said, getting up and pulling her to her feet along with him, “and I’m worried that if you get into the habit of making out with your instructors, you’ll wind up making out with him, too.” “Don’t be sexist. They could find me a female instructor.” “In that case you have my permission to make out with her, as long as I can watch.” “Nice.” Clary grinned, bending down to fold up the blanket they’d brought to sit on. “You’re just worried they’ll hire a male instructor and he’ll be hotter than you.” Jace’s eyebrows went up. “Hotter than me?” “It could happen,” Clary said. “You know, theoretically.” “Theoretically the planet could suddenly crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other side, forever and tragically parted, but I’m not worried about that, either. Some things,” Jace said, with his customary crooked smile, “are just too unlikely to dwell upon.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
The embroidery came later, in the retelling, as the story was told again and again by the men, taking on its own character as it passed over camp. The Prince had ridden out, with only one soldier. Deep in the mountains, he had chased down the rats responsible for these killings. Had ripped them out of their hiding holes and fought them, thirty to one, at least. Had brought them back thrashed, lashed and subdued. That was their Prince for you, a twisty, vicious fiend who you should never, ever cross, unless you wanted your gullet handed to you on a platter. Why, he once rode a horse to death just to beat Torveld of Patras to the mark. In the men's eyes the feat was reflected as the wild, impossible thing it was--their Prince vanishing for two days, then appearing out of the night with a sackful of prisoners thrown over his shoulder, tossing them at the feet of his troop and saying: You wanted them? Here they are.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
In the variety of the tone of her words, moods, hugs, kisses, brushes of the lips, and this night the upside-down kiss over the back of the chair with her dark eyes heavy hanging and her blushing cheeks full of sweet blood and sudden tenderness brooding like a hawk over the boy over the back, holding the chair on both sides, just an instant, the startling sudden sweet fall of her hair over my face and the soft downward brush of her lips, a moment's penetration of sweet lip flesh, a moment's drowned in thinking and kissing in it and praying and hoping and in the mouth of life when life is young to burn cool skin eye-blinking joy - I held her captured upside down, also for just a second, and savored the kiss which first had surprised me like a blind man's bluff so I didn't know really who was kissing me for the very first instant but now I knew and knew everything more than ever, as, grace-wise, she descended to me from the upper dark where I'd thought only cold could be and with all her heavy lips and breast in my neck and on my head and sudden fragrance of the night brought with her from the porch, of some 5 & 10 cheap perfumes of herself the little hungry scent of perspiration warm in her flesh like presciousness.
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
The tale is told by royalty and vagabonds alike, nobles and peasants, hunters and farmers, the old and the young. The tale comes from ever corner of the world, but no matter where it is told, it is always the same story, A boy on horseback, wandering at night, in the woods or on the plains or along the shores. The sound of a lute drifts in the evening air. Over head are the stars of a clear sky, a sheet of light so bright that he reaches up, trying to touch them. He stops and descends from his horse. Then he waits. He waits until exactly midnight, when the newest constellation in the sky blinks into existence. If you are very quiet and do not look away, you may see the brightest star in the constellation glow steadily brighter. It brightens until it overwhelms every other star in the sky, brightens until it seems to touch the ground, and then the glow is gone, and it its place is a girl. Her hair and lashes are painted a shifting silver, and a scar crosses one side of her face. She is dressed in Sealand silks and a necklace of sapphire. Some say that, once upon a time, she had a prince, a father, a society of friends. Other say that she was once a wicked queen, a worker of illusions, a girl who brought darkness across the lands. Still others say that she once had a sister, and that she loved her dearly. Perhaps all of these are true. She walks to the boy, tilts her head up at him, and smiles. He bends down to kiss her. Then he helps her onto the horse, and she rides away with him to a faraway place, until they can no longer be seen. These are only rumors, of course, and make little more than a story to tell around the fire. But it is told. And thus they live on. --"The Midnight Star", a folktale
Marie Lu (The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3))
These Cro-Magnon people were identical to us: they had the same physique, the same brain, the same looks. And, unlike all previous hominids who roamed the earth, they could choke on food. That may seem a trifling point, but the slight evolutionary change that pushed man's larynx deeper into his throat, and thus made choking a possibility, also brought with it the possibility of sophisticated, well articulated speech. Other mammals have no contact between their air passages and oesophagi. They can breathe and swallow at the same time, and there is no possibility of food going down the wrong way. But with Homo sapiens food and drink must pass over the larynx on the way to the gullet and thus there is a constant risk that some will be inadvertently inhaled. In modern humans, the lowered larynx isn't in position from birth. It descends sometime between the ages of three and five months - curiously, the precise period when babies are likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. At all events, the descended larynx explains why you can speak and your dog cannot.
Bill Bryson (The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way)
What pet name would you like me to call you?” “Whatever makes you the happiest. Just pick one.” In that moment, the effect of the baby came back with a vengeance. “I don’t know,” I said, kicking that one out of my head. “I guess one in Spanish makes sense. Bollito? Cuchi cuchi? Pocholito?” “Bollito?” “It’s little bun.” I smiled. “Like those bread buns that are spongey and shiny and so cute that—" “Okay, no.” He frowned. “I think it’s better if we stick to our names,” he said, taking both drinks from the attendant who had just reappeared and placing mine in front of me. “I don’t think I can trust you to pick one in Spanish without knowing what it means.” “I’m very trustworthy—you should know that by now.” I brought a finger to my chin, tapping it a few times. “How about conejito? That’s little bunny.” With a long sigh, Aaron let his massive body fall deeper into the seat. “You are right; you are not a bunny.” I paused. “Osito?” I made a show of looking him up and down, as if I were testing the name on him. “Yeah, that one is way more fitting. You are more of a bear.
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
Behind us the door creaks open, and I turn around, expecting Raven, just as a voice cuts through the air: “Don’t believe her.” The whole world closes around me, like an eyelid: For a moment, everything goes dark. I am falling. My ears are full of rushing; I have been sucked into a tunnel, a place of pressure and chaos. My head is about to explode. He looks different. He is much thinner, and a scar runs from his eyebrow all the way down to his jaw. On his neck, just behind his left ear, a small tattooed number curves around the three-pronged scar that fooled me, for so long, into believing he was cured. His eyes—once a sweet, melted brown, like syrup—have hardened. Now they are stony, impenetrable. Only his hair is the same: that auburn crown, like leaves in autumn. Impossible. I close my eyes and reopen them: the boy from a dream, from a different lifetime. A boy brought back from the dead. Alex.
Lauren Oliver
Some enterprising rabbit had dug its way under the stakes of my garden again. One voracious rabbit could eat a cabbage down to the roots, and from the looks of things, he'd brought friends. I sighed and squatted to repair the damage, packing rocks and earth back into the hole. The loss of Ian was a constant ache; at such moments as this, I missed his horrible dog as well. I had brought a large collection of cuttings and seeds from River Run, most of which had survived the journey. It was mid-June, still time--barely--to put in a fresh crop of carrots. The small patch of potato vines was all right, so were the peanut bushes; rabbits wouldn't touch those, and didn't care for the aromatic herbs either, except the fennel, which they gobbled like licorice. I wanted cabbages, though, to preserve a sauerkraut; come winter, we would want food with some taste to it, as well as some vitamin C. I had enough seed left, and could raise a couple of decent crops before the weather turned cold, if I could keep the bloody rabbits off. I drummed my fingers on the handle of my basket, thinking. The Indians scattered clippings of their hair around the edges of the fields, but that was more protection against deer than rabbits. Jamie was the best repellent, I decided. Nayawenne had told me that the scent of carnivore urine would keep rabbits away--and a man who ate meat was nearly as good as a mountain lion, to say nothing of being more biddable. Yes, that would do; he'd shot a deer only two days ago; it was still hanging. I should brew a fresh bucket of spruce beer to go with the roast venison, though . . . (Page 844)
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for— the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? —But it’s nicer here. . . . So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? —But we have to sleep sometime. . . . Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts. Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Hardly had the light been extinguished, when a peculiar trembling began to affect the netting under which the three children lay. It consisted of a multitude of dull scratches which produced a metallic sound, as if claws and teeth were gnawing at the copper wire. This was accompanied by all sorts of little piercing cries. The little five-year-old boy, on hearing this hubbub overhead, and chilled with terror, jogged his brother's elbow; but the elder brother had already shut his peepers, as Gavroche had ordered. Then the little one, who could no longer control his terror, questioned Gavroche, but in a very low tone, and with bated breath:-- "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche, who had just closed his eyes. "What is that?" "It's the rats," replied Gavroche. And he laid his head down on the mat again. The rats, in fact, who swarmed by thousands in the carcass of the elephant, and who were the living black spots which we have already mentioned, had been held in awe by the flame of the candle, so long as it had been lighted; but as soon as the cavern, which was the same as their city, had returned to darkness, scenting what the good story-teller Perrault calls "fresh meat," they had hurled themselves in throngs on Gavroche's tent, had climbed to the top of it, and had begun to bite the meshes as though seeking to pierce this new-fangled trap. Still the little one could not sleep. "Sir?" he began again. "Hey?" said Gavroche. "What are rats?" "They are mice." This explanation reassured the child a little. He had seen white mice in the course of his life, and he was not afraid of them. Nevertheless, he lifted up his voice once more. "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche again. "Why don't you have a cat?" "I did have one," replied Gavroche, "I brought one here, but they ate her." This second explanation undid the work of the first, and the little fellow began to tremble again. The dialogue between him and Gavroche began again for the fourth time:-- "Monsieur?" "Hey?" "Who was it that was eaten?" "The cat." "And who ate the cat?" "The rats." "The mice?" "Yes, the rats." The child, in consternation, dismayed at the thought of mice which ate cats, pursued:-- "Sir, would those mice eat us?" "Wouldn't they just!" ejaculated Gavroche. The child's terror had reached its climax. But Gavroche added:-- "Don't be afraid. They can't get in. And besides, I'm here! Here, catch hold of my hand. Hold your tongue and shut your peepers!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God. Now, quite plainly natural gifts carry with them a similar danger. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. “Why drag God into it?” you may ask. A certain level of good conduct comes fairly easily to you. You are not one of those wretched creatures who are always being tripped up by sex or dipsomania or nervousness or bad temper. Everyone says you are a nice chap, and between ourselves, you agree with them. You are quite likely to believe that all this niceness is your own doing, and you may easily not feel the need for any better kind of goodness. Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognize their need for Christ at all until one day, the natural goodness lets them down, and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are rich in this sense to enter the kingdom.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
What young people didn’t know, she thought, lying down beside this man, his hand on her shoulder, her arm; oh, what young people did not know. They did not know that lumpy, aged, and wrinkled bodies were as needy as their own young, firm ones, that love was not to be tossed away carelessly, as if it were a tart on a platter with others that got passed around again. No, if love was available, one chose it, or didn’t choose it. And if her platter had been full with the goodness of Henry and she had found it burdensome, had flicked it off crumbs at a time, it was because she had not known what one should know: that day after day was unconsciously squandered. And so, if this man next to her now was not a man she would have chosen before this time, what did it matter: He most likely wouldn’t have chosen her either. But here they were, and Olive pictured two slices of Swiss cheese pressed together, such holes they brought to this union—what pieces life took out of you. Her eyes were closed, and throughout her tired self swept waves of gratitude—and regret. She pictured the sunny room, the sun-washed wall, the bayberry outside. It baffled her, the world. She did not want to leave it yet.
Elizabeth Strout
They laid me down again while somebody fetched a stretcher. As soon as I knew that the bullet had gone clean through my neck I took it for granted that I was done for. I had never heard of a man or an animal getting a bullet through the middle of the neck and surviving it. The blood was dribbling out of the comer of my mouth. ‘The artery's gone,’ I thought. I wondered how long you last when your carotid artery is cut; not many minutes, presumably. Everything was very blurry. There must have been about two minutes during which I assumed that I was killed. And that too was interesting—I mean it is interesting to know what your thoughts would be at such a time. My first thought, conventionally enough, was for my wife. My second was a violent resentment at having to leave this world which, when all is said and done, suits me so well. I had time to feel this very vividly. The stupid mischance infuriated me. The meaninglessness of it! To be bumped off, not even in battle, but in this stale comer of the trenches, thanks to a moment's carelessness! I thought, too, of the man who had shot me—wondered what he was like, whether he was a Spaniard or a foreigner, whether he knew he had got me, and so forth. I could not feel any resentment against him. I reflected that as he was a Fascist I would have killed him if I could, but that if he had been taken prisoner and brought before me at this moment I would merely have congratulated him on his good shooting. It may be, though, that if you were really dying your thoughts would be quite different.
George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
Andromeda.” Allister moved closer. “An autumn constellation, forty-four light-years away.” His steps were smooth and indifferent, but his voice was dry, as though he found my panic attack positively boring. His attitude brought a small rush of annoyance in, but it was suddenly swayed as my lungs contracted and wouldn’t release. I couldn’t keep a strangled gasp from escaping. “Look up.” It was an order, carrying a harsh edge. With no fight in me, I complied and tilted my head. Tears blurred my vision. Stars swam together and sparkled like diamonds. I was glad they weren’t. Humans would find a way to pluck them from the sky. “Andromeda is the dim, fuzzy star to the right. Find it.” My eyes searched it out. The stars weren’t often easy to see, hidden behind smog and the glow of city lights, but sometimes, on a lucky night like tonight, pollution cleared and they became visible. I found the star and focused on it. “Do you know her story?” he asked, his voice close behind me. A cold wind touched my cheeks, and I inhaled slowly. “Answer me.” “No,” I gritted. “Andromeda was boasted to be one of the most beautiful goddesses.” He moved closer, so close his jacket brushed my bare arm. His hands were in his pockets and his gaze was on the sky. “She was sacrificed for her beauty, tied to a rock by the sea.” I imagined her, a red-haired goddess with a heart of steel chained to a rock. The question bubbled up from the depths of me. “Did she survive?” His gaze fell to me. Down the tear tracks to the blood on my bottom lip. His eyes darkened, his jaw tightened, and he looked away. “She did.
Danielle Lori (The Maddest Obsession (Made #2))
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
Then I said to myself, "If the centuries are going by, mine will come too, and will pass, and after a time the last century of all will come, and then I shall understand." And I fixed my eyes on the ages that were coming and passing on; now I was calm and resolute, maybe even happy. Each age brought its share of light and shade, of apathy and struggle, of truth and error, and its parade of systems, of new ideas, of new illusions; in each of them the verdure of spring burst forth, grew yellow with age, and then, young once more, burst forth again. While life thus moved with the regularity of a calendar, history and civilization developed; and man, at first naked and unarmed, clothed and armed himself, built hut and palace, villages and hundred-gated Thebes, created science that scrutinizes and art that elevates, made himself an orator, a mechanic, a philosopher, ran all over the face of the globe, went down into the earth and up to the clouds, performing the mysterious work through which he satisfied the necessities of life and tried to forget his loneliness. My tired eyes finally saw the present age go by end, after it, future ages. The present age, as it approached, was agile, skillful, vibrant, proud, a little verbose, audacious, learned, but in the end it was as miserable as the earlier ones. And so it passed, and so passed the others, with the same speed and monotony.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close." I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine." "This isn't going to work. It never would have." "Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us." "God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess." A mess? "You 're beautiful." "I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability." "Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability." "But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?" Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open. "Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked. I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you." She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours." To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together." Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose." She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me. I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair. She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
The only person that should wear your ring is the one person that would never… 1. Ask you to remain silent and look the other way while they hurt another. 2. Jeopardize your future by taking risks that could potentially ruin your finances or reputation. 3. Teach your children that hurting others is okay because God loves them more. God didn’t ask you to keep your family together at the expense of doing evil to others. 4. Uses religious guilt to control you, while they are doing unreligious things. 5. Doesn't believe their actions have long lasting repercussions that could affect other people negatively. 6. Reminds you of your faults, but justifies their own. 7. Uses the kids to manipulate you into believing you are nothing. As if to suggest, you couldn’t leave the relationship and establish a better Christian marriage with someone that doesn’t do these things. Thus, making you believe God hates all the divorced people and will abandon you by not bringing someone better to your life, after you decide to leave. As if! 8. They humiliate you online and in their inner circle. They let their friends, family and world know your transgressions. 9. They tell you no marriage is perfect and you are not trying, yet they are the one that has stirred up more drama through their insecurities. 10. They say they are sorry, but they don’t show proof through restoring what they have done. 11. They don’t make you a better person because you are miserable. They have only made you a victim or a bitter survivor because of their need for control over you. 12. Their version of success comes at the cost of stepping on others. 13. They make your marriage a public event, in order for you to prove your love online for them. 14. They lie, but their lies are often justified. 15. You constantly have to start over and over and over with them, as if a connection could be grown and love restored through a honeymoon phase, or constant parental supervision of one another’s down falls. 16. They tell you that they don’t care about anyone other than who they love. However, their actions don’t show they love you, rather their love has become bitter insecurity disguised in statements such as, “Look what I did for us. This is how much I care.” 17. They tell you who you can interact with and who you can’t. 18. They believe the outside world is to blame for their unhappiness. 19. They brought you to a point of improvement, but no longer have your respect. 20. They don't make you feel anything, but regret. You know in your heart you settled.
Shannon L. Alder
It came down to that flexibility of a person’s mind. An ability to withstand horrors and snap back, like a fresh elastic band. A flinty mind shattered. In this way, he was glad not to be an adult. A grown-up’s mind—even one belonging to a decent man like Scoutmaster Tim—lacked that elasticity. The world had been robbed of all its mysteries, and with those mysteries went the horror. Adults didn’t believe in old wives’ tales. You didn’t see adults stepping over sidewalk cracks out of the fear that they might somehow, some way, break their mothers’ backs. They didn’t wish on stars: not with the squinty-eyed fierceness of kids, anyway. You’ll never find an adult who believes that saying “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror in a dark room will summon a dark, blood-hungry entity. Adults were scared of different things: their jobs, their mortgages, whether they hung out with the “right people,” whether they would die unloved. These were pallid compared to the fears of a child—leering clowns under the bed and slimy monsters capering beyond the basement’s light and faceless sucking horrors from beyond the stars. There’s no 12-step or self-help group for dealing with those fears. Or maybe there is: you just grow up. And when you do, you surrender the nimbleness of mind required to believe in such things—but also to cope with them. And so when adults find themselves in a situation where that nimbleness is needed . . . well, they can’t summon it. So they fall to pieces: go insane, panic, suffer heart attacks and aneurysms brought on by fright. Why? They simply don’t believe it could be happening. That’s what’s different about kids: they believe everything can happen, and fully expect it to.
Nick Cutter (The Troop)
Stephen had been put to sleep in his usual room, far from children and noise, away in that corner of the house which looked down to the orchard and the bowling-green, and in spite of his long absence it was so familiar to him that when he woke at about three he made his way to the window almost as quickly as if dawn had already broken, opened it and walked out onto the balcony. The moon had set: there was barely a star to be seen. The still air was delightfully fresh with falling dew, and a late nightingale, in an indifferent voice, was uttering a routine jug-jug far down in Jack's plantations; closer at hand and more agreeable by far, nightjars churred in the orchard, two of them, or perhaps three, the sound rising and falling, intertwining so that the source could not be made out for sure. There were few birds that he preferred to nightjars, but it was not they that had brought him out of bed: he stood leaning on the balcony rail and presently Jack Aubrey, in a summer-house by the bowling-green, began again, playing very gently in the darkness, improvising wholly for himself, dreaming away on his violin with a mastery that Stephen had never heard equalled, though they had played together for years and years. Like many other sailors Jack Aubrey had long dreamed of lying in his warm bed all night long; yet although he could now do so with a clear conscience he often rose at unChristian hours, particularly if he were moved by strong emotion, and crept from his bedroom in a watch-coat, to walk about the house or into the stables or to pace the bowling-green. Sometimes he took his fiddle with him. He was in fact a better player than Stephen, and now that he was using his precious Guarnieri rather than a robust sea-going fiddle the difference was still more evident: but the Guarnieri did not account for the whole of it, nor anything like. Jack certainly concealed his excellence when they were playing together, keeping to Stephen's mediocre level: this had become perfectly clear when Stephen's hands were at last recovered from the thumb-screws and other implements applied by French counter-intelligence officers in Minorca; but on reflexion Stephen thought it had been the case much earlier, since quite apart from his delicacy at that period, Jack hated showing away. Now, in the warm night, there was no one to be comforted, kept in countenance, no one could scorn him for virtuosity, and he could let himself go entirely; and as the grave and subtle music wound on and on, Stephen once more contemplated on the apparent contradiction between the big, cheerful, florid sea-officer whom most people liked on sight but who would have never been described as subtle or capable of subtlety by any one of them (except perhaps his surviving opponents in battle) and the intricate, reflective music he was now creating. So utterly unlike his limited vocabulary in words, at times verging upon the inarticulate. 'My hands have now regained the moderate ability they possessed before I was captured,' observed Maturin, 'but his have gone on to a point I never thought he could reach: his hands and his mind. I am amazed. In his own way he is the secret man of the world.
Patrick O'Brian (The Commodore (Aubrey/Maturin, #17))
I On the calm black water where the stars are sleeping White Ophelia floats like a great lily; Floats very slowly, lying in her long veils... - In the far-off woods you can hear them sound the mort. For more than a thousand years sad Ophelia Has passed, a white phantom, down the long black river. For more than a thousand years her sweet madness Has murmured its ballad to the evening breeze. The wind kisses her breasts and unfolds in a wreath Her great veils rising and falling with the waters; The shivering willows weep on her shoulder, The rushes lean over her wide, dreaming brow. The ruffled water-lilies are sighing around her; At times she rouses, in a slumbering alder, Some nest from which escapes a small rustle of wings; - A mysterious anthem falls from the golden stars. II O pale Ophelia! beautiful as snow! Yes child, you died, carried off by a river! - It was the winds descending from the great mountains of Norway That spoke to you in low voices of better freedom. It was a breath of wind, that, twisting your great hair, Brought strange rumors to your dreaming mind; It was your heart listening to the song of Nature In the groans of the tree and the sighs of the nights; It was the voice of mad seas, the great roar, That shattered your child's heart, too human and too soft; It was a handsome pale knight, a poor madman Who one April morning sate mute at your knees! Heaven! Love! Freedom! What a dream, oh poor crazed Girl! You melted to him as snow does to a fire; Your great visions strangled your words - And fearful Infinity terrified your blue eye! III - And the poet says that by starlight You come seeking, in the night, the flowers that you picked And that he has seen on the water, lying in her long veils White Ophelia floating, like a great lily.
Arthur Rimbaud (A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat)
Coddly slammed a fist on the table. “No one will take you seriously if you do not act decisively.” There was a beat of silence after his voice stopped echoing around the room, and the entire table sat motionless. “Fine,” I responded calmly. “You’re fired.” Coddly laughed, looking at the other gentlemen at the table. “You can’t fire me, Your Highness.” I tilted my head, staring at him. “I assure you, I can. There’s no one here who outranks me at the moment, and you are easily replaceable.” Though she tried to be discreet, I saw Lady Brice purse her lips together, clearly determined not to laugh. Yes, I definitely had an ally in her. “You need to fight!” he insisted. “No,” I answered firmly. “A war would add unnecessary strain to an already stressful moment and would cause an upheaval between us and the country we are now bound to by marriage. We will not fight.” Coddly lowered his chin and squinted. “Don’t you think you’re being too emotional about this?” I stood, my chair screeching behind me as I moved. “I’m going to assume that you aren’t implying by that statement that I’m actually being too female about this. Because, yes, I am emotional.” I strode around the opposite side of the table, my eyes trained on Coddly. “My mother is in a bed with tubes down her throat, my twin is now on a different continent, and my father is holding himself together by a thread.” Stopping across from him, I continued. “I have two younger brothers to keep calm in the wake of all this, a country to run, and six boys downstairs waiting for me to offer one of them my hand.” Coddly swallowed, and I felt only the tiniest bit of guilt for the satisfaction it brought me. “So, yes, I am emotional right now. Anyone in my position with a soul would be. And you, sir, are an idiot. How dare you try to force my hand on something so monumental on the grounds of something so small? For all intents and purposes, I am queen, and you will not coerce me into anything.” I walked back to the head of the table. “Officer Leger?” “Yes, Your Highness?” “Is there anything on this agenda that can’t wait until tomorrow?” “No, Your Highness.” “Good. You’re all dismissed. And I suggest you all remember who’s in charge here before we meet again.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
BERENGER: And you consider all this natural? 

DUDARD: What could be more natural than a rhinoceros? 

 BERENGER: Yes, but for a man to turn into a rhinoceros is abnormal beyond question. 

DUDARD: Well, of course, that's a matter of opinion ... 

 BERENGER: It is beyond question, absolutely beyond question! 
DUDARD: You seem very sure of yourself. Who can say where the normal stops and the abnormal begins? Can you personally define these conceptions of normality and abnormality? Nobody has solved this problem yet, either medically or philosophically. You ought to know that. 

 BERENGER: The problem may not be resolved philosophically -- but in practice it's simple. They may prove there's no such thing as movement ... and then you start walking ... [he starts walking up and down the room] ... and you go on walking, and you say to yourself, like Galileo, 'E pur si muove' ... 

 DUDARD: You're getting things all mixed up! Don't confuse the issue. In Galileo's case it was the opposite: theoretic and scientific thought proving itself superior to mass opinion and dogmatism. 

 BERENGER: [quite lost] What does all that mean? Mass opinion, dogmatism -- they're just words! I may be mixing everything up in my head but you're losing yours. You don't know what's normal and what isn't any more. I couldn't care less about Galileo ... I don't give a damn about Galileo. 

 DUDARD: You brought him up in the first place and raised the whole question, saying that practice always had the last word. Maybe it does, but only when it proceeds from theory! The history of thought and science proves that. BERENGER: [more and more furious] It doesn't prove anything of the sort! It's all gibberish, utter lunacy! 

DUDARD: There again we need to define exactly what we mean by lunacy ... 

 BERENGER: Lunacy is lunacy and that's all there is to it! Everybody knows what lunacy is. And what about the rhinoceroses -- are they practice or are they theory?
Eugène Ionesco (Rhinoceros / The Chairs / The Lesson)
Father Brendan Flynn: "A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you gut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!
John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, a Parable)
She pushed and elbowed and knocked and strained to catch him, and finally, she did, reaching out for his hand--adoring the fact that neither of them wore gloves, loving the way their skin came together, the way his brought wonderful heat in a lush, irresistible current. He felt it too. She knew it because he stopped the instant they touched, turning to face her, grey eyes wild as Devonshire rain. She knew it because he whispered her name, aching and beautiful and soft enough for only her to hear. And she it because his free hand rose, captured her jaw and titled her face up to him even as he leaned down and stole her lips and breath and thought in a kiss that she would never in her lifetime forget. The was like food and drink, like sleep, like breath. She needed it with the same elemental desire and she cared not a bit that all of London was watching. Yes, she was masked, but it did not matter. She would have stripped to her chemise for this kiss. To her skin. Their fingers still intertwined, he wrapped their arms behind her back and pulled her to him, claiming her mouth with lips and tongue and teeth, marking her with one long luscious kiss that went on and on until she thought she might die from the pleasure of it. Her free hand was in his hair then, tangling in the soft locks, loving their silky promise. She was lost, claimed and fairly consumed by the intensity of the kiss, and for the first time in her life, Pippa gave herself up to emotion, pouring every bit of her desire and her passion and her fear and her need into this moment This caress. This man. This man, who was everything she had never allowed herself to dream she would find. This man, who made her believe in friendship. In partnership.. In love
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked on CNN if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. Well, the station was flooded with emails, and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad, because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which (a) proves my point, and (b) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him. Now, before I go about demonstration how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness that's dragging us down, let me just say that ignorance has life-and-death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, seventy percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Six years later, thirty-four percent still do. Or look at the health-care debate: At a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross-country to protest highways. This country is like a college chick after two Long Island iced teas: We can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget the town halls, and replace them with study halls. Listen to some of these stats: A majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. Twenty-four percent could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket. Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators, and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only three got their wife's name right on the first try. People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes more twenty-four percent of our budget. It's actually less than one percent. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen ad a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence, because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge." Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll say eighteen percent of us think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. And I haven't even brought up religion. But here's one fun fact I'll leave you with: Did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which came first. I rest my case.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
10 facts about abusive relationships (what i wish i'd known) 1. it's not always loud. it's not always obvious. the poison doesn't always hit you like a gunshot. sometimes, it seeps in quietly, slowly. sometimes, you don't even know it was ever there until months after. 2. love is not draining. love is not tiring. this is not how it is supposed to be. 3. apologies are like band-aids, when what you really need is stitches– they don't actually fix anything long-term. soon enough, you'll be bleeding again, but they will never give you what you really need. 4. this is not your fault. you did not turn them into this. this is how they are, how they've always been. you can't blame yourself. 5. there will be less good days than bad days but the good days will be so amazing that it will feel like everything is better than it actually is. your mind is playing tricks on itself and your heart is trying to convince itself that it made the right choice. 6. they do not love you. they can not love you. this is not love. 7. you're not wrong for wanting to run, so do it. listen to what your gut is telling you. 8. you will let them come back again and again before you realize that they only change long enough for you to let them in one more time. 9. it's okay to be selfish and leave. there is never any crime in putting yourself first. when they tell you otherwise, don't believe them. don't let them tear you down. they want to knock you off your feet so that they can keep you on the ground. 10. after, you will look back on this regretting all the chances given, all the time wasted. you will think about what you know now, and what you would do differently if given the chance. part of you will say that you would never have even given them the time of the day, but another part of you, the larger one, will say that even after everything, you wouldn't have changed a thing. and as much as it will bother you, eventually, you will realize that that is the part that is right. because as much as it hurts, as much as you wish you'd never felt that pain, it has taught you something. it has helped you grow. they brought you something that you would have never gotten from somebody else. at the end of the day, you will accept that even now, you wouldn't go about it differently at all.
Catarine Hancock (how the words come)
KRIT "Fuck," Matty whispered. He'd heard her. It was me who couldn't breathe now. I had thought it was an accident. But she'd fucking done it on purpose. To protect me. Holy hell. "I'm gonna go . . . ," Matty trailed off. I listened to his footsteps until he was gone before pulling back and looking down at Blythe. "You got in front of a six-foot-three one hundred and eighty pounds of muscle because he was going to hit me?" She nodded. "It was my fault he was going to hit you. I was just going to stop him." She was going to stop him. This girl. Never in all my life did I imagine there was anyone like her. Never. "Sweetheart, how did you intend to stop him? I could handle him. I've kicked his ass many, many times." I cupped her chin in my hand. "I had rather had him kick my ass than to have anything happen to you. That was fucking unbearable. You can't do that to me. If you get hurt, I won't be able to handle it." She signed, and her eyes locked back toward the stage. " I made this worse. I'm sorry. Can you go fix things with the two of you so you can get back onstage?" The distressed look on her face meant I wasn't going to be able to leave. I wanted nothing more than to take her back home and hold her all night. But she was really upset about this. I had overreacted. She had been sitting over here staring at the floor with the saddest lost expression, and I couldn't think straight. I had to get to her. "I'll get Green, and we'll go back onstage. But you have to promise me that you won't try and save me again. I take care of you. Not the other way around," I told her. She reached up and touched my face. "Then who will take care of you?" No one had ever cared about that before. That wasn't something I was going to tell her, though. "You safe in my arms is all I need. Okay?" She frowned and glanced away from me. "I'm not agreeing to that," she said. God, she was adorable. I pressed a kiss to her head. "Come with me to get the guys," I told her as I stood up and brought her with me. "You won't do anything to Green then?" she said, sounding hopeful. "No." Until you're asleep tonight. And then I'm beating his ass.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
The child was left alone to die in the hallway. Here, in the dawn, was mortality itself. In the city were places to fall from which one could never emerge -- dark dreams and slow death, the death of children, suffering without grace or redemption, ultimate and eternal loss. The memory of the child stayed with Peter. But that was not to be the end of it, for reality went around in a twisting ring. Even the irredeemable would be redeemed, and there was a balance for everything. There had to be. The old man said, "Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, or the position of the electron. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain. And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is. Everything that ever will be, is. In all possible combinations. Though we imagine that it is in motion and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. So any event is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible. And, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Yes, yes, it ended in my corrupting them all! How it could come to pass I do not know, but I remember it clearly. The dream embraced thousands of years and left in me only a sense of the whole. I only know that I was the cause of their sin and downfall. Like a vile trichina, like a germ of the plague infecting whole kingdoms, so I contaminated all this earth, so happy and sinless before my coming. They learnt to lie, grew fond of lying, and discovered the charm of falsehood. Oh, at first perhaps it began innocently, with a jest, coquetry, with amorous play, perhaps indeed with a germ, but that germ of falsity made its way into their hearts and pleased them. Then sensuality was soon begotten, sensuality begot jealousy, jealousy - cruelty . . . Oh, I don't know, I don't remember; but soon, very soon the first blood was shed. They marvelled and were horrified, and began to be split up and divided. They formed into unions, but it was against one another. Reproaches, upbraidings followed. They came to know shame, and shame brought them to virtue. The conception of honour sprang up, and every union began waving its flags. They began torturing animals, and the animals withdrew from them into the forests and became hostile to them. They began to struggle for separation, for isolation, for individuality, for mine and thine. They began to talk in different languages. They became acquainted with sorrow and loved sorrow; they thirsted for suffering, and said that truth could only be attained through suffering. Then science appeared. As they became wicked they began talking of brotherhood and humanitarianism, and understood those ideas. As they became criminal, they invented justice and drew up whole legal codes in order to observe it, and to ensure their being kept, set up a guillotine. They hardly remembered what they had lost, in fact refused to believe that they had ever been happy and innocent. They even laughed at the possibility o this happiness in the past, and called it a dream. They could not even imagine it in definite form and shape, but, strange and wonderful to relate, though they lost all faith in their past happiness and called it a legend, they so longed to be happy and innocent once more that they succumbed to this desire like children, made an idol of it, set up temples and worshipped their own idea, their own desire; though at the same time they fully believed that it was unattainable and could not be realised, yet they bowed down to it and adored it with tears! Nevertheless, if it could have happened that they had returned to the innocent and happy condition which they had lost, and if someone had shown it to them again and had asked them whether they wanted to go back to it, they would certainly have refused. They answered me: "We may be deceitful, wicked and unjust, we know it and weep over it, we grieve over it; we torment and punish ourselves more perhaps than that merciful Judge Who will judge us and whose Name we know not. But we have science, and by the means of it we shall find the truth and we shall arrive at it consciously. Knowledge is higher than feeling, the consciousness of life is higher than life. Science will give us wisdom, wisdom will reveal the laws, and the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and the Little Orphan)
I was acutely aware of him, and the thought that he was walking me back to my room and would most likely try to kiss me again sent shivers down my spine. For self-preservation purposes, I had to get away. Every minute I spent with him just made me want him more. Since merely annoying him wasn’t working, I’d have to up the ante. Apparently, I needed him not only to fall out-of-like with me, but to hate me as well. I’d frequently been told that I was an all-or-nothing kind of girl. If I were going to push him away, it was going to be so far away that there would be absolutely no change of him ever coming back. I tried to wrench my elbow out of his grasp, but he just held on more tightly. I grumbled at him, “Stop using your tiger strength on me, Superman.” “Am I hurting you?” “No, but I’m not a puppet to be dragged around.” He trailed his fingers down my arm and took my hand instead. “Then you play nice, and I will too.” “Fine.” He grinned. “Fine.” I hissed back. “Fine!” We walked to the elevator, and he pushed the button to my floor. “My room is on the same floor,” Ren edxplained. I scowled and then grinned lopsidedly and just a little bit evilly, “And umm, how exactly is that going to work for you in the morning, Tiger? You really shouldn’t get Mr. Kadam in trouble for having a rather large…pet.” Ren returned my sarcasm as he walked me to my door. “Are you worried about me, Kells? Well, don’t. I’ll be fine.” “I guess there’s no point in asking how you knew which door belong to me, huh, Tiger Nose?” He looked at me in a way that turned my insides to jelly. I spun around but awareness of him shot through my limbs, and I could feel him standing close behind me watching, waiting. I put my key in the lock, and he moved closer. My hand started shaking, and I couldn’t twist the key the right way. He took my hand and gently turned me around. He then put both hands on the door on either side of my head and leaned in close, pinning me against it. I trembled like a downy rabbit caught in the clutches of a wolf. The wolf came closer. He bent his head and began nuzzling my cheek. The problem was…I wanted the wolf to devour me. I began to get lost in the thick sultry fog that overtook me every time Ren put his hands on me. So much for asking for permission…and so much for sticking to my guns, I thought as I felt all my defenses slip away. He whispered warmly, “I can always tell where you are, Kelsey. You smell like peaches and cream.” I shivered and put my hands on his chest to push him away, but I ended up grabbing fistfuls of shirt and held on for dear life. He trailed kisses from my ear down my cheek and then pressed soft kisses along the arch of my neck. I pulled him closer and turned my head so he could really kiss me. He smiled and ignored my invitation, moving instead to the other ear. He bit my earlobe lightly, moved from there to my collarbone, and trailed kisses out to my shoulder. Then he lifted his head and brought his lips about one inch from mine and the only thought in my head was…more. With a devastating smile, he reluctantly pulled away and lightly ran his fingers through the strands of my hair. “By the way, I forgot to mention that you look beautiful tonight.” He smiled again then turned and strolled off down the hall.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
..I began speaking.. First, I took issue with the media's characterization of the post-Katrina New Orleans as resembling the third world as its poor citizens clamored for a way out. I suggested that my experience in New Orleans working with the city's poorest people in the years before the storm had reflected the reality of third-world conditions in New Orleans, and that Katrina had not turned New Orleans into a third-world city but had only revealed it to the world as such. I explained that my work, running Reprieve, a charity that brought lawyers and volunteers to the Deep South from abroad to work on death penalty issues, had made it clear to me that much of the world had perceived this third-world reality, even if it was unnoticed by our own citizens. To try answer Ryan's question, I attempted to use my own experience to explain that for many people in New Orleans, and in poor communities across the country, the government was merely an antagonist, a terrible landlord, a jailer, and a prosecutor. As a lawyer assigned to indigent people under sentence of death and paid with tax dollars, I explained the difficulty of working with clients who stand to be executed and who are provided my services by the state, not because they deserve them, but because the Constitution requires that certain appeals to be filed before these people can be killed. The state is providing my clients with my assistance, maybe the first real assistance they have ever received from the state, so that the state can kill them. I explained my view that the country had grown complacent before Hurricane Katrina, believing that the civil rights struggle had been fought and won, as though having a national holiday for Martin Luther King, or an annual march by politicians over the bridge in Selma, Alabama, or a prosecution - forty years too late - of Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, were any more than gestures. Even though President Bush celebrates his birthday, wouldn't Dr. King cry if he could see how little things have changed since his death? If politicians or journalists went to Selma any other day of the year, they would see that it is a crumbling city suffering from all of the woes of the era before civil rights were won as well as new woes that have come about since. And does anyone really think that the Mississippi criminal justice system could possibly be a vessel of social change when it incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any place in the world, other than Louisiana and Texas, and then compels these prisoners, most of whom are black, to work prison farms that their ancestors worked as chattel of other men? ... I hoped, out loud, that the post-Katrina experience could be a similar moment [to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fiasco], in which the American people could act like the children in the story and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and hasn't for a long time. That, in light of Katrina, we could be visionary and bold about what people deserve. We could say straight out that there are people in this country who are racist, that minorities are still not getting a fair shake, and that Republican policies heartlessly disregard the needs of individual citizens and betray the common good. As I stood there, exhausted, in front of the thinning audience of New Yorkers, it seemed possible that New Orleans's destruction and the suffering of its citizens hadn't been in vain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
Here, Kells. I brought you something,” he said unassumingly and held out three mangos. “Thanks. Um, dare I ask where you got them?” “Monkeys.” I stopped in mid-brush. “Monkeys? What do you mean monkeys?” “Well, monkeys don’t like tigers because tigers eat monkeys. So, when a tiger comes around, they jump up in the trees and pummel the tiger with fruit or feces. Lucky for me today they threw fruit.” I gulped. “Have you ever…eaten a monkey?” Ren grinned at me. “Well, a tiger does have to eat.” I dug a rubber band out of the backpack so I could braid my hair. “Ugh, that’s disgusting.” He laughed. “I didn’t really eat a monkey, Kells. I’m just teasing you. Monkeys are repellant. They taste like meaty tennis balls and they smell like feet.” He paused. “Now a nice juicy deer, that is delectable.” He smacked his lips together in an exaggerated way. “I don’t think I really need to hear about your hunting.” “Really? I quite enjoy hunting.” Ren froze into place. Then, almost imperceptibly, he lowered his body slowly to a crouch and balanced on the balls of his feet. He placed a hand in the grass in front of him and began to creep closer to me. He was tracking me, hunting me. His eyes locked on mine and pinned me to the spot where I was standing. He was preparing to spring. His lips were pulled back in a wide grin, which showed his brilliant white teeth. He looked…feral. He spoke in a silky, mesmerizing voice. “When you’re stalking your prey, you must freeze in place and hide, remaining that way for a long time. If you fail, your prey eludes you.” He closed the distance between us in a heartbeat. Even though I’d been watching him closely, I was startled at how fast he could move. My pulse started thumping wildly at my throat, which was where his lips now hovered as if he were going for my jugular. He brushed my hair back and moved up to my ear, whispering, “And you will go…hungry.” His words were hushed. His warm breath tickled my ear and made goose bumps fan out over my body. I turned my head slightly to look at him. His eyes had changed. They were a brighter blue than normal and were studying my face. His hand was still in my hair, and his eyes drifted down to my mouth. I suddenly had the distinct impression that this was what it felt like to be a deer. Ren was making my nervous. I blinked and swallowed dryly. His eyes darted back up to mine again. He must have sensed my apprehension because his expression changed. He removed his hand from my hair and relaxed his posture. “I’m sorry if I frightened you, Kelsey. It won’t happen again.” When he took a step back, I started breathing again. I said shakily, “Well, I don’t want to hear any more about hunting. It freaks me out. The least you could do is not tell me about it. Especially when I have to spend time with you outdoors, okay?” He laughed. “kells, we all have some animalistic tendencies. I loved hunting, even when I was young.” I shuddered. “Fine. Just keep your animalistic tendencies to yourself.” He leaned toward me again and pulled on a strand of my hair. “Now, Kells, there are some of my animalistic tendencies that you seem to like.” He started making a rumbling sound in his chest, and I realized that he was purring. “Stop that!” I sputtered. He laughed, walked over to the backpack, and picked up the fruit. “So, do you want any of this mango or not? I’ll wash it for you.” “Well, considering you carried it in your mouth all that way just for me. And taking into account the source of said fruit. Not really.” His shoulders fell, and I hurried to add, “But I guess I could eat some of the inside.” He looked up at me and smiled. “It’s not freeze-dried.” “Okay. I’ll try some.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))