I cannot go to school today"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox.
And there's one more - that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be the instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke.
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in.
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My toes are cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There's a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is ...
What? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is .............. Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
Arthur Dent: What happens if I press this button?
Ford Prefect: I wouldn't-
Arthur Dent: Oh.
Ford Prefect: What happened?
Arthur Dent: A sign lit up, saying 'Please do not press this button again.
Douglas Adams (The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts)
Patch was dressed in the usual: black shirt, black jeans and a thin silver necklace that flashed against his dark complexion. His sleeves were pushed up his forearms, and I could see his muscles working as he punched buttons. He was tall and lean and hard, and I wouldn't have been surprised if under his clothes he bore several scars, souvenirs from street fights and other reckless behavior.
Not that I wanted a look under his clothes.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the up button.
The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
His finger flicked open a button on my cardigan-then two, three, four. It tumbled off my shoulders, leaving me in my camisole. He pushed up the hem, teasing and stroking his thumb across my stomach. My breath came in a sharp intake of air.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
From Chapter 1:
Isabel went into the kitchen. Their butterball of a beagle wagged his tail and peered up at her with his soulful brown eyes. He was eager to get his reward for looking cute as a button, and he knew she was a pushover.
Ed Lynskey (To Dye For (An Isabel and Alma Trumbo Cozy Mystery Book 11))
I captured her cheeks, pulling her back to my hungry mouth. Man, I couldn’t get enough of her taste, of how she gave it right back to me on all fronts. Her hands went to the button on my jeans.
There was a cracking sound in the house. Most likely something had just went up in flames.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
If you die in an elevator make sure you press the UP button.
Miss Leefolt sigh, hang up the phone like she just don't know how her brain gone operate without Miss Hilly coming over to push the Think buttons.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
I’ve always thought you should be able to freeze time. This way you could hit the Pause button at a really good point in your life so that nothing changes
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
It's so quiet this high up, the feeling you get is that you're one of those space monkeys. You do the little job you're trained to do. Pull a lever. Push a button. You don't understand any of it, and then you just die.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Life needed a fast forward button. Because there were days you just don't want to live through, not again, but they kept coming around and you were powerless to stop time or speed it up or do anything to keep from having to face it.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
Barrons breaks heads. Ryodan turns them inside out. Barrons fucks you up. Ryodan makes you fuck yourself up. He pushes buttons and rearranges things according to his own private, coolly sociopathic plan.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
Black is the color that is no color at all.
Black is the color of a child's still, empty bedroom. The heaviest hour of night-the one that traps you in your bunk, suffocating in another nightmare. It is a uniform stretched over the broad shoulders of an angry young man. Black is the mud, the lidless eye watching your every breath, the low vibrations of the fence that stretches up to tear at the sky.
It is a road. A forgotten night sky broken up by faded stars.
It is the barrel of a new gun, leveled at your heart.
The color of Chubs's hair, Liam's bruises, Zu's eyes.
Black is a promise of tomorrow, bled dry from lies and hate.
I see it in the face of a broken compass, feel it in the numbing grip of grief.
I run, but it is my shadow. Chasing, devouring, polluting. It is the button that should never have been pushed, the door that shouldn't have opened, the dried blood that couldn't be washed away. It is the charred remains of buildings. The car hidden in the forest, waiting. It is the smoke.
It is the fire.
Black is the color of memory.
It is our color.
The only one they'll use to tell our story.
Alexandra Bracken (In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
It’s like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and there you’ve got ricing pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can’t tell what’s going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni gratin in the darkness when nobody’s looking and only then turns back into rice pudding. We think it’s only natural to get rice pudding after we put rice pudding mix in the microwave and the bell rings, but to me, that is just a presumption. I would be kind of relieved if, every once in a while, after you put rice pudding mix in the microwave and it rang and you opened the top, you got macaroni gratin. I suppose I’d be shocked, of course, but I don’t know, I think I’d be kind of relieved too. Or at least I think I wouldn’t be so upset, because that would feel, in some ways, a whole lot more real.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Is that the basis of friendship? Is it as reactive as that? Do we respond only to people who seem to find us interesting?... Do we all buzz or ring or light up when people press our vanity buttons, and only then? Can I think of anyone in my whole life whom I have liked without his first showing signs of liking me?
Wallace Stegner (Crossing to Safety)
We may be fascinated by the temptations of random encounters. Still, randomness can upset us by the pertinacity of our habits, actuating warning signals or panic buttons in our minds and preventing us from opening up to others. If we want to meet others and, even so, better understand how we are wired and what makes us tick, we must cultivate our tastes and tame the flavors of our lifestyle. ("I seek you")
Maybe you've never fallen into a frozen stream. Here's what happens.
1. It is cold. So cold that the Department of Temperature Acknowledgment and Regulation in you brain gets the readings and says, "I can't deal with this. I'm out of here." It puts up the OUT TO LUNCH sign and passes all responsibility to the...
2. Department of Pain and the Processing Thereof, which gets all this gobbledygook from the temperature department that it can't understand. "This is so not our job," it says. So it just starts hitting random buttons, filling you with strange and unpleasant sensations, and calls the...
3. Office of Confusion and Panic, where there is always someone ready to hop on the phone the moment it rings. This office is at least willing to take some action. The Office of Confusion and Panic loves hitting buttons.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
It's true. somewhere inside us we are all the ages we have ever been. We're the 3 year old who got bit by the dog. We're the 6 year old our mother lost track of at the mall. We're the 10 year old who get tickled till we wet our pants. We're the 13 year old shy kid with zits. We're the 16 year old no one asked to the prom, and so on. We walk around in the bodies of adults until someone presses the right button and summons up one of those kids.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
I don’t know anything about art so I can’t tell you that it’s watercolor or acrylic or that it’s on canvas or anything art related at all. I can tell you that it’s a painting of a hand, my hand, turned up and opened to the world and that it reaches into my body and rips out everything that’s left. Because in the palm, right in the center, is the pearl button I never reached.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
I thought about how my great-grandparents had starved to death. I thought about their wasted bodies being fed to incinerators because people they didn’t know hated them. I thought about how the children who lived in this house had been burned up and blown apart because a pilot who didn’t care pushed a button. I thought about how my grandfather’s family had been taken from him and how because of that my dad grew up feeling like he didn’t have a dad. And how I had acute stress and nightmares and was sitting alone in a falling down house and crying hot stupid tears all over my shirt. All because of a seventy year old hurt that had somehow been passed down to me like some poisonous heirloom.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
She sat up, cheeks flushed and golden hair tousled. She was so beautiful that it made my soul ache. I always wished desperately that I could paint her in these moments and immortalize that look in her eyes. There was a softness in them that I rarely saw at other times, a total and complete vulnerability in someone who was normally so guarded and analytical in the rest of her life. But although I was a decent painter, capturing her on canvas was beyond my skill.
She collected her brown blouse and buttoned it up, hiding the brightness of turquoise lace with the conservative attire she liked to armor herself in. She’d done an overhaul of her bras in the last month, and though I was always sad to see them disappear, it made me happy to know they were there, those secret spots of color in her life.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
A person's true character lies somewhere until after you might have pressed the wrong button without knowing, then you'll realize that there are dogs in human form.
Michael Bassey Johnson
I never meet a ragged boy in the street without feeling that i may owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned up under his coat.
James A. Garfield
An (emotional) vampire goes in for the kill by stirring up your emotions. Pushing your buttons throws you off center, which renders you easier to drain. Of all the emotional types, empaths are often the most devestated.
Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.
Louise Erdrich (Original Fire)
For God's sake, Connor, will you leave my fucking belly button the fuck alone and either move up a fucking bit or down a fucking bit!
Suzanne Wright (From Rags)
Once upon a time,” I began. “There was a little boy born in a little town. He was perfect, or so his mother thought. But one thing was different about him. He had a gold screw in his belly button. Just the head of it peeping out.
“Now his mother was simply glad he had all his fingers and toes to count with. But as the boy grew up he realized not everyone had screws in their belly buttons, let alone gold ones. He asked his mother what it was for, but she didn’t know. Next he asked his father, but his father didn’t know. He asked his grandparents, but they didn’t know either.
“That settled it for a while, but it kept nagging him. Finally, when he was old enough, he packed a bag and set out, hoping he could find someone who knew the truth of it.
“He went from place to place, asking everyone who claimed to know something about anything. He asked midwives and physickers, but they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The boy asked arcanists, tinkers, and old hermits living in the woods, but no one had ever seen anything like it.
“He went to ask the Cealdim merchants, thinking if anyone would know about gold, it would be them. But the Cealdim merchants didn’t know. He went to the arcanists at the University, thinking if anyone would know about screws and their workings, they would. But the arcanists didn’t know. The boy followed the road over the Stormwal to ask the witch women of the Tahl, but none of them could give him an answer.
“Eventually he went to the King of Vint, the richest king in the world. But the king didn’t know. He went to the Emperor of Atur, but even with all his power, the emperor didn’t know. He went to each of the small kingdoms, one by one, but no one could tell him anything.
“Finally the boy went to the High King of Modeg, the wisest of all the kings in the world. The high king looked closely at the head of the golden screw peeping from the boy’s belly button. Then the high king made a gesture, and his seneschal brought out a pillow of golden silk. On that pillow was a golden box. The high king took a golden key from around his neck, opened the box, and inside was a golden screwdriver.
“The high king took the screwdriver and motioned the boy to come closer. Trembling with excitement, the boy did. Then the high king took the golden screwdriver and put it in the boy’s belly button.”
I paused to take a long drink of water. I could feel my small audience leaning toward me. “Then the
high king carefully turned the golden screw. Once: Nothing. Twice: Nothing. Then he turned it the third time, and the boy’s ass fell off.”
There was a moment of stunned silence.
“What?” Hespe asked incredulously.
“His ass fell off.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
There’s smashed glass glittering everywhere like stars. It’s a Western,
Henry. It’s a downright shoot-em-up. We’ve made a graveyard
out of the bone white afternoon.
It’s another wrong-man-dies scenario, and we keep doing it Henry,
keep saying until we get it right … but we always win and we never quit.
See, we’ve won again,
here we are at the place where I get to beg for it, where I get to say Please,
for just one night, will you lie down next to me, we can leave our clothes on,
we can stay all buttoned up …
But we both know how it goes—I say I want you inside me and you hold
my head underwater. I say I want you inside me and you split me open
with a knife.
Richard Siken (Crush)
I realized everyone around me was wearing a uniform. Black pants, white button-down shirts, green ties. Gotta love the smell of institutional equality in the morning.
Francesca Zappia (Made You Up)
Being a successful couple was learning what you were willing to compromise on, and what you weren't; learning when to stand your ground, and when to give it up; what was truly important enough to fight over, and what was just you being pissy. You learned each other's hot buttons, the places that hurt, or angered, when you pressed them. Love makes you learn where all the pitfalls are, and how to avoid them, or how to set them off.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #21))
Reality was one step out of line, a cardigan with the buttons done up wrong.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
To Cam surprise, she was smiling up at him steadily, her eyes midnight.
His expression turned quizzical. "What's so amusing?"
Amelia toyed with a button on his coat. "I was just thinking . . . tonight those two old hens will probably go to their beds, cold and alone." An impish grin curved her lips. "Whereas I will be with a wicked, handsome Rom who will keep me warm all night.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him; if she’d returned Richard's kiss on the corner of Bleeker and McDougal, gone off somewhere (where?) with him, never bought the packet of incense or the alpaca coat with rose-shaped buttons. Couldn’t they have discovered something larger and stranger than what they've got. It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future, as taking place in Italy or France, among big sunny rooms and gardens; as being full of infidelities and great battles; as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself.
Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. This is who I am--a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port.
Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. Richard had stood beside her at the pond's edge at dusk, wearing cut-off jeans and rubber sandals. Richard had called her Mrs. Dalloway, and they had kissed. His mouth had opened to hers; (exciting and utterly familiar, she'd never forget it) had worked its way shyly inside until she met its own. They'd kissed and walked around the pond together.
It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
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))
My name is Felicia au…” I feint a whip at her face. She brings her blade up, and Victra goes diagonal and impales her at the belly button. I finish her off with a neat decapitation. “Bye, Felicia.” Victra spits, turning to the last Praetorian.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
Ayden and Blake stared each other down.
"Oh. My. God," Luna blurted from Ayden's back seat. "It's a love triangle."
We all looked at her like she'd sprouted an alien from her head. "it's just like in a book. Two guys after one girl and-"
I groaned. "That's ridiculous, Luna, this is not a love triangle."
"Says the girl in the middle of a love triangle. Luna ignored my protests and prattled on. "Not one Hexy Boy but two. I've got to call Danica. Oooo," she squealed and clapped her hands,"We could have teams. Team Ayden and Team Blake. With T-shirt and buttons and-"
"I could make a website," Lucian offered.
"No!" My voice pitched with panic. "No teams. No shirts. No-"
"I'll get you some headshots," Blake said, turning his profile towards Luna and Lucian. "I've been told the left is my best side. What do you think?"
"Aurora's right," Ayden said. "This is buts. Blake you can follow us-"
"Dude, you know no one would pick Team Ayden. You're just jealous."
"That's not true. My team would be way bigger than yours."
"Dare to dream, little man, dare to dream."
"Care to make a wager on it?"
"Fine. How about-"
"You two shut up!" I shoved myself out of the car.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
I pick up the phone and jab the answer button.
“Listen, dancing queen, I’m drunk, horny, and in no mood to hear about pretty men who aren’t going to fuck me. So for the love of my poor neglected vagina, order yourself another Cosmo and please fuck off.”
There’s a pause and an uncertain cough. “I’m more than happy to fuck off, but if it makes a different, I wasn’t going to talk about dicks. I’m far more interested to hear more about your poor neglected vagina. How’s she been? We haven’t had a face-to-face in a while.
Leisa Rayven (Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1))
People should fall in love more. Fall in love with the way your coffee swirls as soon as you pour the milk in. Fall in love with the look your dog gives you when you wake up. Fall in love with the rare moment when your cat doesn’t ignore you. Fall in love with the person who tells you to have a good day. Fall in love with the waiter who gives you extra chili fries. Fall in love with sweaters in winter and cold lemonade in summer. Fall in love with the moment your head hits the pillow. Fall in love with talking to someone until 4 a.m. Fall in love with the days you can hit the snooze button over and over again. Fall in love when a lover stares at you for five hours. Fall in love with the stars when they look at you. Fall in love with the sound of someone breathing. Fall in love with the bus if it’s on time or the train if it comes early. Fall in love with everything possible.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts)
I don’t ever want to hurt anyone, but I really wish there was something like a reset button on my life.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
The dress code says
we must cover ourselves
skirts that reach well below
our lascivious knees,
polos buttoned over
the rim of the canyon,
a glimpse of which can send a boy
plunging to such depths
he may never climb back up
that if a hiker strays
off the path, trips, and
winds up crippled,
is it really the canyon's fault?
Christine Heppermann (Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty)
... because he was going to marry her.
“It is customary to ask,” she now said as she turned to watch him button up a black shirt over that chest she’d licked and sucked and kissed not long ago.
“Why?” He shrugged. “I’m not giving you a choice.
Nalini Singh (Lord of the Abyss (Royal House of Shadows, #4))
I missed her so much I wanted to die: a hard, physical longing, like a craving for air underwater. Lying awake, I tried to recall all my best memories of her—to freeze her in my mind so I wouldn’t forget her—but instead of birthdays and happy times I kept remembering things like how a few days before she was killed she’d stopped me halfway out the door to pick a thread off my school jacket. For some reason, it was one of the clearest memories I had of her: her knitted eyebrows, the precise gesture of her reaching out to me, everything. Several times too—drifting uneasily between dreaming and sleep—I sat up suddenly in bed at the sound of her voice speaking clearly in my head, remarks she might conceivably have made at some point but that I didn’t actually remember, things like Throw me an apple, would you? and I wonder if this buttons up the front or the back? and This sofa is in a terrible state of disreputableness.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also.
You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly.
Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.
James Joyce (Selected Letters of James Joyce)
Can I borrow your phone?" she asked.
I frowned, unsure what she would do. "Sure." I pulled my phone from my pocket, handing it to her.
She fingered the buttons for a moment, and then dialed, closing her eyes as she waited.
"I'm sorry for calling you so early," she stammered, "but this couldn't wait. I . . . can't go to dinner with you on Wednesday."
She had called Parker. My hands trembled with apprehension, wondering if she was going to ask him to pick her up - to save her - or something else.
She continue, "I can't see you at all, actually. I'm . . . pretty sure I'm in love with Travis."
My whole world stopped. I tried to replay her words over. Had I heard them correctly? Did she really just say what I thought she had, or was it just wishful thinking?
Abby handed the phone back to me, and then reluctantly peered up into my eyes.
"He hung up," she said with a frown.
"You love me?"
"It's the tattoos," she said, flippant and shrugging, as if she hadn't just said the one thing I'd ever wanted to hear.
Pigeon loved me.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
I started to put my phone back in my bag when Ozzy yelled out, his accent so thick, I was only half certain he said, "Where the foock are ya goin'?"
Uncle Bob jumped. I must've turned on my GPS.
"You have to tahn the foock around. You're in the middle of foockin' nowhere."
"What the hell is that?" Uncle Bob asked, almost swerving off the road.
"Sorry, it's Ozzy." I grabbed my phone and turned down the volume. "He's so demanding." I pushed a few buttons to turn off the app, then put the phone to my ear. "Sweet, buttermilk pancakes, Ozzy, you have to stop calling me. You're a married man!" I pretended to hang up, then rolled my eyes. "Rock stars.
Darynda Jones (Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5))
There was a click and then nothing CALL DISCONECTED flashed on the digital display. "NO! NO!" Clary hit the redial button, her fingers trembling. Simon picked up immediatly.
"Sorry. Yossarian scratched me and I dropped the phone.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
I pray not to be such a whiny, self-obsessed baby, and give thanks that I am not quite as bad as I used to be (talk about miracles). Then something comes up, and I overreact and blame and sulk, and it feels like I haven't made any progress at all. But it turns out I'm less of a brat than before, and I hit the reset button much sooner, shake it off, and get my sense if humor back.
Anne Lamott (Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers)
Freedom is a pair of trousers and a buttoned coat. A man’s tunic and a tricorne hat. If only she had known. The darkness claimed he’d given her freedom, but really, there is no such thing for a woman, not in a world where they are bound up inside their clothes, and sealed inside their homes, a world where only men are given leave to roam.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Matthias flinched, teeth grinding. "Which one of them told you?" He zeroed in on Ayden.
"One?" I said.
With a growl, Matthias pushed a button on his watch and spoke into it. "What part of 'don't tell her anything' didn't you all understand?"
A moment of silence, then Blake's voice cracked through static, "Can't-" The static sounded suspiciously like crinkling paper. "Hear-" More "static" then, "break- up.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
I'd been at the mercy of a prick on a power trip, the kind of buttoned-up bantam rooster who gets off on control and then, when you resist him, tells you that you've got issues with control.
Norah Vincent (Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin)
I don't need these," Ian said, flashing emerald in his turquoise gaze for a split second, "when I have this."
With a casual swipe of his hand, he ripped his shirt open, causing buttons to fly everywhere. Another swipe took his sleep mask all the way off. Finally, he finger-combed his shoulder-length hair and smiled at his reflection in the rearview mirror.
"I am, after all, irresistible."
I couldn't contain my snort. "I resisted you just fine the day we met, or don't you remember me sticking a knife in your chest?"
Ian smiled with lazy wickedness. "I remember, but you seem to have forgotten that you kissed me first. And thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jeaniene Frost (Up from the Grave (Night Huntress, #7))
My gaze crept to where Sadi stood only a few feet from her, breathing heavily. Her white blouse was torn. Buttons popped and missing. Her normally coiffed hair looked like she’d been inside a wind tunnel, but the best part? Fingernail marks were etched down the side of Sadi’s face and reddish-blue blood had been drawn. A disturbing level of pride rippled through me. Kitten got claws and then some. “She doesn’t play nice with others,” Sadi huffed out. “So I’m in the process of adjusting her attitude.” “And I’m in the process of getting ready to cut out your heart, bitch.” In spite of everything that was so damn messed up, my lips twitched into a small smile. “Get out.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Want your boat, Georgie?' Pennywise asked. 'I only repeat myself because you really do not seem that eager.' He held it up, smiling. He was wearing a baggy silk suit with great big orange buttons. A bright tie, electric-blue, flopped down his front, and on his hands were big white gloves, like the kind Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck always wore.
Yes, sure,' George said, looking into the stormdrain.
And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue...'
Do they float?'
Float?' The clown’s grin widened. 'Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy...'
The clown seized his arm.
And George saw the clown’s face change.
What he saw then was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the thing in the cellar look like sweet dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke.
They float,' the thing in the drain crooned in a clotted, chuckling voice. It held George’s arm in its thick and wormy grip, it pulled George toward that terrible darkness where the water rushed and roared and bellowed as it bore its cargo of storm debris toward the sea. George craned his neck away from that final blackness and began to scream into the rain, to scream mindlessly into the white autumn sky which curved above Derry on that day in the fall of 1957. His screams were shrill and piercing, and all up and down Witcham Street people came to their windows or bolted out onto their porches.
They float,' it growled, 'they float, Georgie, and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too–'
George's shoulder socked against the cement of the curb and Dave Gardener, who had stayed home from his job at The Shoeboat that day because of the flood, saw only a small boy in a yellow rain-slicker, a small boy who was screaming and writhing in the gutter with muddy water surfing over his face and making his screams sound bubbly.
Everything down here floats,' that chuckling, rotten voice whispered, and suddenly there was a ripping noise and a flaring sheet of agony, and George Denbrough knew no more.
Dave Gardener was the first to get there, and although he arrived only forty-five seconds after the first scream, George Denbrough was already dead. Gardener grabbed him by the back of the slicker, pulled him into the street...and began to scream himself as George's body turned over in his hands. The left side of George’s slicker was now bright red. Blood flowed into the stormdrain from the tattered hole where his left arm had been. A knob of bone, horribly bright, peeked through the torn cloth.
The boy’s eyes stared up into the white sky, and as Dave staggered away toward the others already running pell-mell down the street, they began to fill with rain.
Stephen King (It)
The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons - and are also lucky - justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
They were thirty feet away—much too far to reach the elevator—but Leo pulled out a screwdriver and chucked it like a throwing knife. An impossible shot. The screwdriver spun straight past Clytius and slammed into the UP button.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Brendan cleared his throat hard. “What does ‘follow’ mean?”
“Don’t,” Deke rushed to say. “Don’t press it.”
His thumb was already on the way back up. “Too late.”
All three of his crew members surged to their feet. “No. Brendan, don’t tell me you just tapped the blue button,” Sanders groaned, hands on his mop of red hair. “She’s going to see you followed her. She’s going to know you internet stalked her.”
“Can’t I just unfollow now?” Brendan started to tap again.
Fox lunged forward. “No! No, that’s even worse. If she already noticed you followed her, she’s just going to think you’re playing games.”
“Jesus. I’m deleting the whole thing,” Brendan said, throwing the offending device onto the dashboard.
Tessa Bailey (It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters, #1))
It took me all of five minutes to button up my shirt, find a belt, and slip on socks and shoes. The girls, however, took for fucking ever.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Was it boredom or sadism that made the shirt service people do up every single button?
Ian McEwan (Amsterdam)
...But the heart is not a computer that can be upgraded so quickly and easily with the latest version of love.
Love cannot be sealed hermetically inside a tight box like any other on the store shelf; even though the word itself is in public domain, its quality is not.
Love cannot promise a full customer satisfaction garanteed or a whole lifetime of dreams shared refunded, with no questions asked.
Love cannot be agreed to in terms and conditions as quickly as the "Next" button being clicked. These unspoken terms and conditions grow and develop over time until it gets very messy, and no one remembers how such a mess of accusation and anger was able to overshadow their pure ecstasy of love, the spark between two people turning on a new operation system of togetherness for the first time.
Love is always beta; never a golden master.
If love were a computer, constant bug reports and subsequent fixes are the name of the game, and there are many unexplained breakdowns. The heart is too stubborn for explanations and too impatient for forgiveness, and there is usually no one at the tech support line.
Forgive me stan, if I've crashed so often. It's just to hard to boot up to a whole new future without you. I am an empty monitor in search of a "hello.
Leaving my father behind—with all of his baggage—was like giving up an old teddy bear. You know it’s just an object, incapable of comforting you with its tattered fur and missing button eye, but it’s something you cling to, even though you know it can’t give anything back.
Samantha Hart (Blind Pony: As True A Story As I Can Tell)
He saw it for the first time: on the day he died he would be wearing unmatching socks, there would be unanswered e-mails, and in the hovel he called home there would still be shirts missing cuff buttons, a malfunctioning light in the hall, and unpaid bills, uncleared attics, dead flies, friends waiting for a reply and lovers he had not owned up to.
Ian McEwan (Solar)
I will be on the look out for you, my dear girl," he wrote. "You must expect to give yourself up when you come." For this buttoned-up age, for Burnham, it was a letter that could have steamed itself open.
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
It's a long story. Want a refill?"
"No, let's start the steak. Where's the button?"
"Well, push it."
"Me? You offered to cook."
"Ben Caxton, I will lie here and starve before I will get up to push a button six inches from your finger"
"As you wish." He pressed the button. "But don't forget who cooked dinner.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Relax.” “You try to relax when a football is being shoved up your ass.” Her
Penelope Sky (Buttons & Lace (Buttons, #1))
Anyway, it seems to me that the way most people go on living (I suppose there are a few exceptions), they think that the world of life (or whatever) is this place where everything is (or is supposed to be) basically logical and consistent.... It's like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and there you've got rice pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can't tell what's going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni gratin in the darkness when nobody's looking and only then turns back into rice pudding. We think it's natural to get rice pudding after we put rice pudding mix in the microwave and the bell rings, but to me that's just a presumption. I would be kind of relieved if, every once in a while, after you put rice pudding mix in the microwave and it rang and you opened the top, you got macaroni gratin.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Well, you are awfully pale." I exhaled slowly. Refused to look up. He reached for my bare foot and squeezed my toes. "And cold." I pulled my feet away. "Bad circulation." "You could always bite me, just to test.I hate you, too, by the way. Just so you know." "Oh, I do. I would suggest make-up sex, but... " "Too bad you have scruples," I said. "Now you're just being cruel." "I like pushing your buttons." "You'd enjoy it more if you undid them first." Save me. "I think I should go and help Daniel." "With what?" "Anything." Noah stood. There was a mischievous smile on his lips as he left.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Some people, I am told, have memories like computers, nothing to do but punch the button and wait for the print-out. Mine is more like a Japanese library of the old style, without a card file or an indexing system or any systematic shelf plan. Nobody knows where anything is except the old geezer in felt slippers who has been shuffling up and down those stacks for sixty-nine years. When you hand him a problem he doesn't come back with a cartful and dump it before you, a jackpot of instant retrieval. He finds one thing, which reminds him of another, which leads him off to the annex, which directs him to the east wing, which sends him back two tiers from where he started. Bit by bit he finds you what you want, but like his boss who seems to be under pressure to examine his life, he takes his time.
Wallace Stegner (The Spectator Bird)
I only believe in the easy things, like red lipstick
and coffee before noon and writing essays in pen.
I make my mind up about boys and then I unmake it,
compare us to continental drift, two ships passing.
I hit the snooze button too often. Write disposable
poems on napkins and old homework, try to discipline
myself when it comes to removing my makeup
before bed. I am trying to understand men better,
cut them some slack, write about them less. I dream
about oceans and mountains and wolves. I do not
always love myself. I do not always forgive myself.
I write apology letters and do not send them. Usually,
I do not mean it when I tell someone goodbye.
Before he had time to figure it out, his walkie-talkie crackled and a voice came on. He punched a button. "Sheriff here. What's up?"
"Someone called about a public disturbance behind schmitty's bar," a woman's voice reported. "Cathy use the proper code number," Billy growled. "There ain't no number for a guy acting like a cockroach!" the woman yelled. "he climbed into their Dumpster and he's wallowing in the trash.
Kerrelyn Sparks (The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake, #4))
If you really want to kill a libriomancer, hook a bomb up to a big red button and tell him not to press it
Jim C. Hines (Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris, #2))
How about you?” I asked my third child. I kissed Abby’s protruding belly button, and then stood up again.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Power up your intelligence. Hit that creativity button.
I must have bitten Angus Young too, because his brother Malcolm walked up to me in a rage. I was wearing platform boots, and Malcolm's face was eye level with my belly button. "You fucking bastard," he roared at my navel. "You can bite my brother, fine! But if you fucking bite me, I'll bite your fucking nose off, you dog-faced faggot."
I think I said something like "you and what stepladder," because before I knew it, he was attacking me, climbing up my leg and clawing at my face like a crazed cat.
Here we are, at the place where I get to beg for it. Where I get to say ‘Please, for just one night, will you lay down next to me? We can leave our clothes on, we can stay all buttoned up?’ But we both know how it goes – I say I want you inside me and you hold my head underwater. I say I want you inside me and you split me open with a knife.
I cook better than you," Nick corrected absently. "I think monkeys can probably be taught to cook better than you."
"I'd like to have a monkey that cooked for me," said Jamie. " I would pay him in bananas. His name would be Alphonse."
"I agree, that would be awesome." Mae said. "People would come for dinner just to see the monkey chef."
"You're raving," Nick said, defrosting chicken in the microwave. Mae was a bit impressed with how he seemed to look at the appliance and instantly comprehend its mysteries, when she'd been heating up ready-made meals for years by a method of pressing random buttons and hoping. " I know that's the only way Jamie communicates with people, but I expected better of you, Mavis."
"We're cutting out the whole Mavis thing right now, Nick," Mae said warningly.
"How many bananas would be good payment for a monkey?" Jamie wanted to know. " I would want to pay Alphonse a fair wage.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Covenant)
People say depression lies. Anxiety is just stupid. It’s unable to tell the difference between things that are actually scary (being buried alive, for example) and things that are not scary at all (being in bed under the covers). It hits all the same buttons. Stop. Go. Up. Down. It’s all the same to anxiety.
Maureen Johnson (Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1))
Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed a red-painted finger down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.” Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?” “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?” In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red—
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
The past--the wild charge at the head of his men up San Juan Hill; the first years of his marriage when he worked late into the summer dusk down in the busy city for young Hildegarde whom he loved; the days before that when he sat smoking far into the night in the gloomy old Button house on Monroe Street with his grandfather-all these had faded like unsubstantial dreams from his mind as though they had never been. He did not remember.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
How small and neat and comically serious the other men looked, with their grey-flecked crew cuts and their button-down collars and their brisk little hurrying feet! There were endless desperate swarms of them, hurrying through the station and the streets, and an hour from now they would all be still. The waiting mid-town office buildings would swallow them up and contain them, so that to stand in one tower looking out across the canyon to another would be to inspect a great silent insectarium displaying hundreds of tiny pink men in white shirts, forever shifting papers and frowning into telephones, acting out their passionate little dumb show under the supreme indifference of the rolling spring clouds.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
It would be erroneous to say Sohrab was quiet. Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life.
Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.
Sohrab's silence wasn't the self imposed silence of those with convictions, of protesters who seek to speak their cause by not speaking at all. It was the silence of one who has taken cover in a dark place, curled up all the edges and tucked them under.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
This was music that had not only escaped, but had robbed a bank on the way out. It was music with its sleeves rolled up and its top button undone, raising its hat and grinning and stealing the silver.
Terry Pratchett (Soul Music (Discworld, #16; Death, #3))
They did go on so, don't you think, those Victorian poets, they took themselves so horribly seriously?' he said, pushing the lift button, summoning it from the depths. As it creaked up, Blackadder said, 'That's not the worst thing a human being can do, take himself seriously.
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
We're only three class sessions in and I'm already behind? And to hear it from him? This buttoned-up Bible-thumper I can't get out of my head?
Christina Lauren (Autoboyography)
I can see your damned belly button. Maybe you should cover up.
I can see your stupid face! Maybe you should cover up.
You have ten minutes,” he told me. “Ten minutes to think about what you did wrong and how bad you feel right now. Are you ready?”
He’d actually clicked a button on his watch and timed me, and for those ten minutes I brooded and sulked and wallowed in humiliation. I remembered the errors I’d made on the field and corrected them in my head. I imagined punching every player on the opposing team square in the mouth. And then Dad told me my time was up.
“There. It’s over now,” he said. “Now you look forward and figure out how you’re going to get better.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
I grew up having to piss in a bucket ’cos there was no indoor shitter, and now I have these computerised Japanese super-loo things that have heated seats and wash and blow-dry your arse at the touch of a button. Give it a couple of years and I’ll have a bog with a robot arm that pulls out my turds, so I don’t have to strain.
Ozzy Osbourne (I Am Ozzy)
Carson McClain, you scare me like nothing has ever scared me before. You drive me crazy and make me laugh and push my buttons on purpose. You make me feel safe and smart and pretty. Sometimes I think I might actually melt when you wrap your arms around me, and right now I feel a little bit like I might die if you don't kiss me.
Cora Carmack (All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1))
All things pass in the end, even the worst melancholy. I opened my dresser and pulled out the lava box that held my button. My eyes glazed at the sight of it, and this time I felt my spirit rise up to meet my will. I would not give up. I would err on the side of audacity. That was what I'd always done.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings)
I’ve gotten my Phosphor to work at last.” Henry proudly brandished the object. “It functions on the principle of witchlight but is five times more powerful. Merely press a button, and you will see a blaze of light the like of which you have never imagined.”
There was a silence. “So,” said Will finally, “it’s a very, very bright witchlight, then?”
“Exactly,” Henry said.
“Is that useful, precisely?” Jem inquired. “After all, witchlight is just for illumination. It’s not as if it’s dangerous… .”
“Wait till you see it!” Henry replied. He held up the object. “Watch.”
Will moved to object, but it was too late; Henry had already pressed the button. There was a blinding flare of light and a whooshing sound, and the room was plunged into blackness. Tessa gave a yelp of surprise, and Jem laughed softly.
“Am I blind?” Will’s voice floated out of the darkness, tinged with annoyance. “I’m not going to be at all pleased if you’ve blinded me, Henry.”
“No.” Henry sounded worried. “No, the Phosphor seems to— Well, it seems to have turned all the lights in the room off.”
“It’s not supposed to do that?” Jem sounded mild, as always.
“Er,” said Henry, “no.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
They said that I’d forget you,
and I knew it wasn’t true.
But sometimes I wake up now,
and my heart’s no longer blue.
I press the Keurig button,
dancing across the room—
Sometimes it’s nearly seven,
before I’ve thought of you.
And though we sleep together,
all night side by side,
one day I’ll have my coffee
without you in my mind.
Coco J. Ginger
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.
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
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.-
I almost went to bed
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)
He looked down at himself and laughed softly. ‘‘My dark side dresses better than I do.’’ He stood up
and reached for clothes folded neatly on a table to the side as he loosened the tie on his robe. He hesitated, smiled, and raised his
eyebrows. ‘‘If you don’t mind, Claire . . . ?’’
‘‘Oh. Sorry.’’ Claire turned her back. She didn’t like turning her back on him, even with the cell door locked. He was better
behaved when he knew she was watching. She focused on the faint, distorted image of his reflection on the TV screen as he shed
the dressing gown and began to pull on his clothing. She couldn’t see much, except that he was very pale all over. Once she was
sure his pants were up, she glanced behind her. He had his back to her, and she couldn’t help but compare him with the only other
man she’d really studied half-naked. Shane was broad, strong, solid. Myrnin looked fragile, but his muscles moved like cables
under that pale skin—far stronger than Shane’s, she knew.
Myrnin turned as he buttoned his shirt. ‘‘It’s been a while since a pretty girl looked at me with such interest,’’ he said. She looked
away, feeling the blush work its heat up through her neck and onto her cheeks. ‘‘It’s all right, Claire. I’m not offended.
Rachel Caine (Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4))
I pick up the phone and press the few buttons until I can hear my heavy, creeper breathing over the PA system. I start beat boxing into the phone, making sure I spit more than necessary. “Yo, Marky Mark. Please come to your office immediately, there's a funky bunch of manly stud waiting for you.
Jay McLean (More Than Forever (More Than, #4))
I slip her shirt over her head and she tries to cover herself, but I move her arms out of the way and kiss up her neck while I talk about all the things that are no longer just mine.
'Will, stop.' She laughs and attempts to pull my hands away from her bra. 'You can't take off my bra, we're in our driveway. What if they come outside?'
'It's dark,' I whisper. 'And it's not your bra. It's our bra and I want it off.' I slip it off her, pulling her against me as I rub my hands down the length of her back, then around to the button on the front of her jeans. 'And I want to take off our pants.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
If we can use an H-bomb--and as you said it's no checker game; it's real, it's war and nobody is fooling around--isn't it sort of ridiculous to go crawling around in the weeds, throwing knives and maybe getting yourself killed . . . and even losing the war . . . when you've got a real weapon you can use to win? What's the point in a whole lot of men risking their lives with obsolete weapons when one professor type can do so much more just by pushing a button?'
Zim didn't answer at once, which wasn't like him at all. Then he said softly, 'Are you happy in the Infantry, Hendrick? You can resign, you know.'
Hendrick muttered something; Zim said, 'Speak up!'
I'm not itching to resign, sir. I'm going to sweat out my term.'
I see. Well, the question you asked is one that a sergeant isn't really qualified to answer . . . and one that you shouldn't ask me. You're supposed to know the answer before you join up. Or you should. Did your school have a course in History and Moral Philosophy?'
What? Sure--yes, sir.'
Then you've heard the answer. But I'll give you my own--unofficial--views on it. If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cuts its head off?'
Why . . . no, sir!'
Of course not. You'd paddle it. There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy with an H-Bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it's not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It's never a soldier's business to decide when or where or how--or why--he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people--"older and wiser heads," as they say--supply the control. Which is as it should be. That's the best answer I can give you. If it doesn't satisfy you, I'll get you a chit to go talk to the regimental commander. If he can't convince you--then go home and be a civilian! Because in that case you will certainly never make a soldier.
Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
When I go to the woods now, I always head out along the brook and go straight to the big maple. I run there, like Toby must have done on that stormy night, then I bend down and crawl on the earth. Because what if there’s a clue? What if there’s a piece of chunky strawberry bubble gum still bundled up in its waxy wrapper, or a weather-faded matchbook, or a fallen button from somebody’s big gray coat? What if buried under all those leaves is me? Not this me, but the girl in a Gunne Sax dress with the back zipper open. The girl with the best boots in the world. What if she’s under there? What if she’s crying? Because she will be, if I find her. Her tears tell the story of what she knows. That the past, present, and future are just one thing. That there’s nowhere to go from here. Home is home is home.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
There are only two buttons in our consciousness, it wakes up or sleeps forever.
At that time my notions of nuclear power were utterly idyllic. At school and at the university we'd been taught that this was a magical factory that made "energy out of nothing," where people in white robes sat and pushed buttons. Chernobyl blew up when we weren't prepared.
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
scraps of love
torn and tattered
threads of hope
frayed and tangled
yarn and batting
wrapped up in
this warm repair
my patchwork family
Wendelin Van Draanen (Runaway)
When I was in eighth grade, I used a self-timing camera to take nude pictures of myself in various stages of erection. I then exchanged my biology teacher’s slides with the images. The teacher, in a state of panic, kept rapidly pressing the ‘next’ button. It was like a pornographic flip-book. That was the last straw in a very heavy pile of straws. I was expelled, and I ended up transferring mid-year from boarding school to a public school near home.
Dani Alexander (Shattered Glass (Shattered Glass, #1))
He said to the big fellow with the taffy hair, “Before we finish off this operation, I need to hit you up with some ideas.” At that moment, Cade noticed how physically similar Preston was to Merlin Olsen, the NFL great, actor, and all-round good man. He marveled at Preston, the man who couldn’t be happier, as he twirled his head from monitor to monitor, adjusting joysticks and pressing buttons in this claustrophobic workspace.
John M. Vermillion (Awful Reckoning: A Cade Chase and Simon Pack Novel)
Will you call me before Christmas?' she asks.
Maybe.' I pull on my vest, wondering why I even came here in the first place.
You've still got my number, don't you?' She reaches for a pad and begins to write it down.
Yeah, Blair. I've got your number. I'll get in touch.'
I button up my jeans and turn to leave.
If I don't see you before Christmas,' she stops. 'Have a good one.'
I look at her a moment. 'Hey, you too.'
She picks up the stuffed black cat and strokes its head.
I step out the door and start to close it.
Clay?' she whispers loudly.
I stop but don't turn around.'Yeah?'
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
He sent his new press secretary, Sean Spicer—whose personal mantra would shortly become “You can’t make this shit up”—to argue his case in a media moment that turned Spicer, quite a buttoned-down political professional, into a national joke, which he seemed destined to never recover from. To boot, the president blamed Spicer for not making the million phantom souls seem real.
Michael Wolff (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House)
It taught me that it is easier to be an insider as an outsider than to be an outsider as an insider. If a white guy chooses to immerse himself in hip-hop culture and only hang out with black people, black people will say, “Cool, white guy. Do what you need to do.” If a black guy chooses to button up his blackness to live among white people and play lots of golf, white people will say, “Fine. I like Brian. He’s safe.” But try being a black person who immerses himself in white culture while still living in the black community. Try being a white person who adopts the trappings of black culture while still living in the white community.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
I’m going to lie this one right on the line, right here, right now: I’m pro big pants. Strident feminism NEEDS big pants. Really big. I’m currently wearing a pair that could have been used as a fire blanket to put out the Great Fire of London at any point during the first 48 hours or so. They extend from the top of my thigh to my belly button, and effectively double up as a second property that I can escape to at weekends. If I were going to run for parliament, it would be solely on a platform of ‘Get Women In Massive Grundie’s’.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
My chest clenched as I looked down at the oil-stained asphalt. Here but not. Existing but not living. I knew that feeling. Lived it for several years. Some days it felt like I was still wearing that feeling like a heavy jacket buttoned up too tightly.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
More often than not, your best move is to keep quiet.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
You’ve stepped on the train to La-La Land if you think you’re getting this ice cream, Button.”
“Button?” ““You heard me” He grins then-all teeth-and gestures toward the other flavours with a nod of his head. “Give up the ghost and grab the Neapolitan over there. Because this ice cream is mine.
Kristen Callihan (Fall (VIP, #3))
He reached in his pocket, took out the gray button that had fallen off her suit the first time they’d met. When she’d viewed him as a murder suspect. “And I have my talisman to remind me.”
It never failed to baffle her—and on a deeper level delight her—that he carried it with him, always. “What ever happened to that suit anyway?”
Humor flickered in his eyes. “It was hideous, and met the fate it deserved. This”—he held up the button—“was the best part of it.
J.D. Robb (Salvation in Death (In Death, #27))
All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.
Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames--
These must all be fairy names!
Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!
Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all
Robert Louis Stevenson
I love you, too,” she said.
He took her face in his hands and kissed her, once,
deeply, on the mouth. “I mean,” he said, “I really love
She quirked a brow. “Is this a contest?”
“It is anything you want,” he promised.
She grinned, that enchanting, perfect smile that was so
quintessentially hers. “I feel I must warn you, then,” she
said, cocking her head to the side. “When it comes to
contests and games, I always win.”
Her eyes grew sly. “Whenever it matters.”
He felt himself smile, felt his soul lighten and his worries
slip away. “And what, precisely, does that mean?”
“It means,” she said, reaching up and undoing the buttons
of her coat, “that I really really love you.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
On May 26th, 2003,
Aaron Ralston was hiking,
a boulder fell on his right hand,
he waited four days,
he then amputated
his own arm with a pocketknife.
On New Year’s Eve,
a woman was bungee jumping,
the cord broke,
she fell into a river
and had to swim back to land
in crocodile-infested waters
with a broken collarbone.
Claire Champlin was smashed in the face
by a five-pound watermelon
being propelled by a slingshot.
Mathew Brobst was hit by a javelin.
David Striegl was actually
punched in the mouth by a kangaroo.
The most amazing part of these stories
is when asked about the experience
they all smiled, shrugged and said
“I guess things could’ve been worse.”
So go ahead,
tell me you’re having a bad day.
Tell me about the traffic.
Tell me about your boss.
Tell me about the job you’ve been trying to quit for the past four years.
Tell me the morning is just a townhouse burning to the ground and the snooze button is a fire extinguisher.
Tell me the alarm clock
stole the keys to your smile,
drove it into 7 am
and the crash totaled your happiness.
Tell me how blessed are we to have tragedy
so small it can fit on the tips of our tongues.
When Evan lost his legs he was speechless.
When my cousin was assaulted
she didn’t speak for 48 hours.
When my uncle was murdered,
we had to send out a search party
to find my father’s voice.
Most people have no idea
that tragedy and silence
often have the exact same address.
When your day is a museum of disappointments,
hanging from events that were outside of your control,
when you feel like your guardian angel put in his two weeks notice two months ago
and just decided not to tell you,
when it seems like God
is just a babysitter that’s always on the phone,
when you get punched in the esophagus by a fistful of life.
two million people die of dehydration.
So it doesn’t matter if
the glass is half full or half empty.
There’s water in the cup.
Drink it and stop complaining.
Muscle is created by lifting things
that are designed to weigh us down.
When your shoulders are heavy
stand up straight and call it exercise.
Life is a gym membership
with a really complicated cancellation policy.
you will survive,
things could be worse,
and we are never given
anything we can’t handle.
When the whole world crumbles,
you have to build a new one
out of all the pieces that are still here.
you are still here.
The human heart beats
approximately 4,000 times per hour
and each pulse,
each palpitation is a trophy,
engraved with the words
“You are still alive.”
You are still alive.
So act like it.
Rudy Francisco (Helium (Button Poetry))
Would - would you mind telling me -" he said to the guide, much deflated, "what was so stupid about that?"
"We know how the Universe ends-" said the guide, "and Earth has nothing to do with it, except that it gets wiped out, too."
"How - how does the Universe end?" said Billy.
"We blow it up, experimenting with new fuels for our flying saucers. A Trafalmodarian test pilot presses a starter button, and the whole Universe disappears." So it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
The buzzer rang. Magnus pressed the button to let him enter, speechless for a moment because he had wanted Alec there, so badly, and here he was. It felt more like magic than anything he could do.
Then Alec was there, standing in the open doorway.
“I wanted to see you,” said Alec with devastating simplicity. “Is this okay? I can go away if you’re busy or anything.”
It must have been raining a little outside. There were sparkling drops of water in Alec’s messy black hair. He was wearing a hoodie that Magnus thought he might have found in a Dumpster, and sloppy jeans, and his whole face was lit up just because he was looking at Magnus.
“I think,” said Magnus, pulling Alec in by the strings on his awful gray hoodie, “that I could be persuaded to clear my schedule.
Cassandra Clare (What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (The Bane Chronicles, #8))
Bullying happens because weak people need to prop up their ego by beating up or humiliating others.
Bruce Dickinson (What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography)
But as I stood there dressed in a cute black pants suit and white button-up shirt and heels, I felt completely out of place. Not necessarily because of the clothes, but…I just don’t belong there. I can’t put my finger on it, but that Monday and the rest of that week when I woke up, got dressed and walked into that store, something was itching the back part of my consciousness. I couldn’t hear the actual words, but it felt like: This is your life, Camryn Bennett. This is your life.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Sometimes we’re on a collision course, and we just don’t know it. Whether it’s by accident or by design, there’s not a thing we can do about it. A woman in Paris was on her way to go shopping, but she had forgotten her coat - went back to get it. When she had gotten her coat, the phone had rung, so she’d stopped to answer it; talked for a couple of minutes. While the woman was on the phone, Daisy was rehearsing for a performance at the Paris Opera House. And while she was rehearsing, the woman, off the phone now, had gone outside to get a taxi. Now a taxi driver had dropped off a fare earlier and had stopped to get a cup of coffee. And all the while, Daisy was rehearsing. And this cab driver, who dropped off the earlier fare; who’d stopped to get the cup of coffee, had picked up the lady who was going to shopping, and had missed getting an earlier cab. The taxi had to stop for a man crossing the street, who had left for work five minutes later than he normally did, because he forgot to set off his alarm. While that man, late for work, was crossing the street, Daisy had finished rehearsing, and was taking a shower. And while Daisy was showering, the taxi was waiting outside a boutique for the woman to pick up a package, which hadn’t been wrapped yet, because the girl who was supposed to wrap it had broken up with her boyfriend the night before, and forgot.
When the package was wrapped, the woman, who was back in the cab, was blocked by a delivery truck, all the while Daisy was getting dressed. The delivery truck pulled away and the taxi was able to move, while Daisy, the last to be dressed, waited for one of her friends, who had broken a shoelace. While the taxi was stopped, waiting for a traffic light, Daisy and her friend came out the back of the theater. And if only one thing had happened differently: if that shoelace hadn’t broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn’t stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would’ve crossed the street, and the taxi would’ve driven by. But life being what it is - a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone’s control - that taxi did not go by, and that driver was momentarily distracted, and that taxi hit Daisy, and her leg was crushed.
Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay)
Yale said, “l used to worry about Reagan pressing the button, you know? And asteroids, all that. And then I had this realization. If you had to choose when, in the timeline of the earth, you got to live—wouldn’t you choose the end? You haven’t missed anything, then. You die in 1920 you miss rock and roll. You die in 1600, you miss Mozart. Right? I mean the horrors pile up, too, but no one wants to die before the end of the story.
Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers)
There’s a stereotype of what we are all meant to find attractive and erotic, but I don’t neatly fall into those categories. Satin lingerie, a heart-shaped tub, flowers and champagne don’t turn me on. You shouldn’t be scrubbed clean before you have sex. I hate boys who are frightened of pee and shit and menstrual blood. I say no to boys who want to wake up next to a fully made-up woman. I say no to boys who prefer stockings and garters to perfect nudity. Who wants a boy who won’t kiss you when you’ve just been sick? I want a man who will let me pee in his belly button. I want a man to accept the beast in me. I don’t want a man who thinks the woman of his dreams doesn’t go to the toilet. One does, you know.
Leo looked like a Latino Santa’s elf, with curly black hair, pointy ears, a cheerful, babyish face, and a mischievous smile that told you right away this guy should not be trusted around matches or sharp objects. His long, nimble fingers wouldn’t stop moving—drumming on the seat, sweeping his hair behind his ears, fiddling with the buttons of his army fatigue jacket. Either the kid was naturally hyper or he was hopped up on enough sugar and caffeine to give a heart attack to a water buffalo.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
No device of the printer's art, not even capital letters, can indicate the intensity of that shriek of rage. Emerson is known to his Egyptian workers by the admiring sobriquet of Father of Curses. The volume as well as the content of his remarks earned him the title; but this shout was extraordinary even by Emerson's standards, so much so that the cat Bastet, who had become more or less accustomed to him, started violently, and fell with a splash into the bathtub.
The scene that followed is best not described in detail. My efforts to rescue the thrashing feline were met with hysterical resistance; water surged over the edge of the tub and onto the floor; Emerson rushed to the rescue; Bastet emerged in one mighty leap, like a whale broaching, and fled -- cursing, spitting, and streaming water. She and Emerson met in the doorway of the bathroom.
The ensuing silence was broken by the quavering voice of the safragi, the servant on duty outside our room, inquiring if we required his assistance. Emerson, seated on the floor in a puddle of soapy water, took a long breath. Two of the buttons popped off his shirt and splashed into the water. In a voice of exquisite calm he reassured the servant, and then transferred his bulging stare to me.
I trust you are not injured, Peabody. Those scratches...'
The bleeding has almost stopped, Emerson. It was not Bastet's fault.'
It was mine, I suppose,' Emerson said mildly.
Now, my dear, I did not say that. Are you going to get up from the floor?'
No,' said Emerson.
He was still holding the newspaper. Slowly and deliberately he separated the soggy pages, searching for the item that had occasioned his outburst. In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)
Elizabeth Peters (The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5))
Wow,' said Zaphod Beeblebrox to the Heart of Gold. There wasn't much else he could say.
He said it again because he knew it would annoy the press. 'Wow.'
The crowd turned their faces back toward him expectantly. He winked at Trillian, who raised her eyebrows and widened her eyes at him. She knew what he was about to say and thought him a terrible show-off.
'That is really amazing.' he said. 'That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it.'
A marvelous presidential quote, absolutely true to form. The crowd laughed appreciativley, the newsman gleefully punched buttons on their Sub-Etha News-Matics and the President grinned.
As he grinned his heart screamed unbearably and he fingered the small Paralyso-Matic bomb that nestled quietly in his pocket.
Finally he could bear it no more. He lifted his heads up to the sky, let out a wild whoop in major thirds, threw the bomb to the ground and ran forward through the sea of suddenly frozen beaming smiles.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
If you're not Gryffindor, we'll disinherit you," said Ron, "but no pressure."
Lily and Hugo laughed, but Albus and Rose looked solemn.
"He doesn't mean it," said Hermione and Ginny, but Ron was no longer paying attention. Catching Harry's eye, he nodded covertly to a point of some fifty yards away. The steam had thinned for a moment, and three people stood in sharp relief against the shifting mist.
"Look who it is"
Draco Malfoy was standing there with his wife and son, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. His hair was receding somewhat, with emphasised the pointed chin. The new boy resembled Draco as much as Albus resembled Harry. Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny staring at him, nodded curtly and turned away again.
"So that's little Scorpius" said Ron under his breath. "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains."
"Ron for heaven's sake," said Hermione, half-stern, half-amused. "Don't try to turn them against each other before they've even started school!"
"You're right, sorry" said Ron, but unable to help himself, he added, "don't get too friendly with him, though Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pure-blood."
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
In that case, it's good that you're a human Cuisinart," she said.
"A Cuisinart. It's an appliance from the Broken. You put vegetables into it, push a button, and it chops them into tiny pieces."
Richard frowned. "Why would you need an appliance to chop vegetables? Wouldn't it be easier to chop them with a knife?"
"It's meant to save time," she explained.
"Well, cleaning it usually eats up most of the time you save on chopping."
"So you're telling me that I'm useless."
"It's a neat gadget!"
"And I'm hard to clean, apparently."
She checked his face. Tiny sparks danced in his eyes. He was pulling her leg. Well. If that's how it is... "Considering last night's argument, I think that you're remarkably difficult to clean."
"There probably is a retort to this that's not off-color," he said. "But I can't think of one.
Ilona Andrews (Steel's Edge (The Edge, #4))
Should i even bother scanning the crowd for my parents? I could turn around and go back to the dormitory. Then I see her. My mother stands alone near the railing with her hands clasped in front of her. she has never looked more out of place, with her gray slacks and gray jacket buttoned at the throat, her hair in its simple twist and her face placid. I start toward her, tears jumping into my eyes. She came. She came for me. I walk faster. She sees me, and for a second her expression is blank, like she doesn't know who I am. Then her eyes light up, and she opens her arms. She smells like soap and laundry detergent.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
They say that in D.C., all the museums and the monuments have been concessioned out and turned into a tourist park that now generates about 10 percent of the Government's revenue.
The Feds could run the concession themselves and probably keep more of the gross, but that's not the point. It's a philosophical thing. A back-to-basics thing. Government should govern. It's not in the entertainment industry, is it? Leave entertaining to Industry weirdos -- people who majored in tap dancing. Feds aren't like that. Feds are serious people. Poli-sci majors. Student council presidents. Debate club chairpersons. The kinds of people who have the grit to wear a dark wool suit and a tightly buttoned collar even when the temperature has greenhoused up to a hundred and ten degrees and the humidity is thick enough to stall a jumbo jet. The kinds of people who feel most at home on the dark side of a one-way mirror.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
They program you to have no emotion – like if somebody sitting next to you gets killed you just have to carry on doing your job and shut up,‘ Steve Annabell, a British veteran of the Falkan War … ‘When you leave the service, when you come back from a situation like that, there’s no button they can press to switch your emotions back on. So you walk around like a zombie. They don’t deprogram you. If you become a problem they just sweep you under the carpet.
When it comes right down to it, the challenge of mindfulness is to realize that “this is it” Right now is my life. The question is, What is my relationship to it going to be? Does my life just automatically “happen” to me? Am I a total prisoner of my circumstances or my obligations, of my body or my illness, or of my history? Do I become hostile or defensive or depressed if certain buttons get pushed, happy if other buttons are pushed, and frightened if something else happens? What are my choices? Do I have any options? We will be looking into these questions more deeply when we take up the subject of our reactions to stress and how our emotions affect our health. For now the important point is to grasp the value of bringing the practice of mindfulness into the conduct of our daily lives. Is there any waking moment of your life that would not be richer and more alive for you if you were more fully awake while it was happening?
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness)
I have a horrid scar right under my left knee from you. Well, the absence of you. Seems appropriate. But I still miss you. My pillowcase smells like you, so I bury my face in it and breathe it in. Things feel empty. My couch, my living room, my heart. I see pictures of things. Silly things, beautiful things, and I want to share them with you. But alas, I cannot, I do not, I press the red button when you call.
World-class cereal-eating is a dance of fine compromises. The giant heaping bowl of sodden cereal, awash in milk, is the mark of the novice. Ideally one wants the bone-dry cereal nuggets and the cryogenic milk to enter the mouth with minimal contact and for the entire reaction between them to take place in the mouth. Randy has worked out a set of mental blueprints for a special cereal-eating spoon that will have a tube running down the handle and a little pump for the milk, so that you can spoon dry cereal up out of a bowl, hit a button with your thumb, and squirt milk into the bowl of the spoon even as you are introducing it into your mouth. The next best thing is to work in small increments, putting only a small amount of Cap’n Crunch in your bowl at a time and eating it all up before it becomes a pit of loathsome slime, which, in the case of Cap’n Crunch, takes about thirty seconds.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon (Crypto, #1))
I fell. I got up. I fell again. I got up again. Even when I fell on my face, I was still falling forward.
Cathrine Ann (The beautiful buttons : a memoir)
... And the one on the pigeons, trained to peck a button that made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group never gave up. They'd peck themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked?
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
My head whips back from the impact and my ribs twang like a dropped guitar. The sky spins above me like a penny. My bike has dematerialized, and my iPod is strewn about the intersection in a million glittering pieces. When I try to move, ten different parts of my body light up at once, like someone's pressing all the buttons at an anatomy exhibit. The magnolia tree blows me a kiss of perfumed air, and I can't decide if what I'm feeling is incredible bliss of excruciating pain. This might just be the greatest moment of my life. It's possible. And if it is, I don't want to waste it lying around in the middle of the road. For a single, golden second I breathe galaxies.
Hilary T. Smith (Wild Awake)
Thursday morning. I usually let my Mum wake me up but today I have set my alarm for seven. Even from under my duvet, I can hear it bleating on the other side of my room. I hid it inside my plastic crate for faulty joysticks so that I would have to get out of bed, walk across the room, yank it out of the box by its lead and, only then, jab the snooze button. This was a tactical manoeuvre by my previous self. He can be very cruel.
Joe Dunthorne (Submarine)
Wesley, you asshole,” Eriksson says. “Aren’t you going to tell us?” “Tell you what?” I growl. My sex life is none of their goddamn business. “How is he? Jesus Christ. The TV news makes it sound like your boyfriend might be getting last rites.” My fingers falter on the buttons of my bright green checked shirt. “W-what?” Our backup goalie Tomilson speaks up wryly. “I think what Mr. Sensitive is trying to ask is, is your partner okay?
Sarina Bowen (Us (Him, #2))
He stands up, slowly, and puts his hands on the zipper of his jeans, where I notice there's a bulge that looks like someone stuck a cucumber in his pants. That can be his...thing, can it? He undoes the button then his fly and then slides his jeans down. He's wearing those tight boxer-briefs things, like that guy in the Calvin Klein commercial, and I realize, it's definitely not a cucumber.
Sarah Darer Littman (Want to Go Private?)
Performance without rehearsal.
Body without alterations.
Head without premeditation.
I know nothing of the role I play.
I only know it’s mine. I can’t exchange it.
I have to guess on the spot
just what this play’s all about.
Ill-prepared for the privilege of living,
I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands.
I improvise, although I loathe improvisation.
I trip at every step over my own ignorance.
I can’t conceal my hayseed manners.
My instincts are for happy histrionics.
Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more.
Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel.
Words and impulses you can’t take back,
stars you’ll never get counted,
your character like a raincoat you button on the run —
the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness.
If only I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance,
or repeat a single Thursday that has passed!
But here comes Friday with a script I haven’t seen.
Is it fair, I ask
(my voice a little hoarse,
since I couldn’t even clear my throat offstage).
You’d be wrong to think that it’s just a slapdash quiz
taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.
I’m standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there’s no question, this must be the premiere.
And whatever I do
will become forever what I’ve done.
Wisława Szymborska (Map: Collected and Last Poems)
Eve rolled over, rubbed her bare butt, and wondered if she'd have rug burns. Still vibrating from the last orgasm, she closed her eyes again. "Huh?"
"Fifty credits." He leaned over, gently kissed the tip of her breast. "You lost, Lieutenant."
"I'm naked," she pointed out. "I don't generally keep credits up my -- "
"I'm happy to take your IOU." He rose, all graceful, gleaming muscles, and took a memo card from his console. "Here you are." Handed it to her.
She stared down at it, knowing dignity was as lost as the fifty credits. "You're really enjoying this."
"Oh, more than you can possibly imagine."
Scowling at him, she engaged the memo. "I owe you, Roarke, fifty credits, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve." She shoved the memo at him. "Satisfied."
"In every possible way." He thought, sentimentally, that he would tuck the memo away with the little gray suit button he'd kept from their very first meeting. "I love you, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, in every possible way.
J.D. Robb (Ceremony in Death (In Death, #5))
Do not think of him with Blay. Do not think of him with Blay. Do not think of him—
“I didn’t know you were a sherry man.”
“Huh?" Qhuinn glanced down at what he’d poured himself. Fuck. In the midst of the self-lecture, he’d picked up the wrong bottle. “Oh, you know… I’m good with it.”
To prove the point, he tossed back the hooch—and nearly choked as the sweetness hit his throat.
He served himself another only so he didn’t look like the kind of idiot who wouldn’t know what he was dishing out into his own glass.
Okay, gag. The second was worse than the first.
From out of the corner of his eye, he watched Saxton settle in at the table, the brass lamp in front of him casting the most perfect glow over his face. Shiiiiiit, he looked like something out of a Ralph Lauren ad, with his buff-colored tweed jacket and his pointed pocket square and that button-down/sweater vest combo keeping his fucking liver cozy.
Meanwhile, Qhuinn was sporting hospital scrubs, bare feet. And sherry.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Interesting. You were able to determine ‘my type’ in the all of five minutes we’ve been talking?”
Now he was pushing her buttons a bit. “Yes.”
“That’s impressive. See, it’s my job to size people up. So I’m intrigued to hear if you’re as good as
you obviously think you are.”
Sidney threw him a look. “Honey, you know exactly what your type is. And so does every single
woman in her thirties.”
“I see.” He leaned back in his chair and beckoned with this hand. “Now I really need to hear this.
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
New Rule: You can't force the ATM to do something it doesn't want to do. Excuse me, lady in front of me at the Citibank ATM, but you've been standing there punching buttons for ten minutes--what are you trying to do, write a novel on it? You hear those beeping noises? That's the ATM saying, "Stop it, you're hurting me." A chicken would have gotten forty bucks out of that thing by now just by pecking the buttons randomly.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
I stared at the paper. I said, “This isn’t reading. This is drawing.” “Writing,” she corrected. “It’s like buttons and hems. You’ve got to learn those before you can sew on the machine. You’ve got to know your letters before you can read.” I supposed so, but it was boring. When I said so she got up again and wrote something along the bottom of the paper. “What’s that?” I asked. “‘Ada is a curmudgeon,’” she replied. “Ada is a curmudgeon,” I copied at the end of my alphabet. It pleased me. After
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (The War That Saved My Life (The War That Saved My Life, #1))
I was stuck in Port Ticonderoga, proud bastion of the common-and-garden variety button and of lower-priced long johns for the budget-minded shoppers. I would stagnate here, nothing would ever happen to me, I would end up an old-maid like Miss Violence, pitied and derided. This at the bottom was my fear. I wanted to be elsewhere, but I saw no way to get there. Once in a while, I found myself hoping that I would be abducted by white slavers, even though I didn't believe in them. At least it would be a change...
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
MADDY’S TRUTHS Make room for who you are by knowing who you’re not. Smile all the time, at everyone, without exception: when you’re happy it will be contagious, and when you’re angry it will drive the person you’re mad at bonkers. Blow-dry before lipstick. Counters before sweeping. Water before dinner. To hell with what everyone thinks about your life, but you should know what you think about it. Don’t stay out past one a.m.—nobody is proud of the stories born later than that. Plans contingent on perfection fail. It’s dangerous to fight who you are. The stupidest thing you can do is believe your own bullshit, but you probably will every once in a while. Flowery perfume smells like a cover-up. Don’t have a room your kids can’t play in or a couch your kids can’t sit on; it’s their house too. If you don’t know what to say, say, “I don’t know what to say.” If you mess up, say, “I messed up.” If you need help, say, “I need help.” Never count on any one thing. Don’t confuse wanting to have sex and rent movies with someone for wanting to marry him. Never buy button-fly jeans—they aren’t flattering on anyone ever.
Abby Fabiaschi (I Liked My Life)
The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements—all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics—to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think.
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book)
Humans are often more stupid than they realize. Because of our weaknesses are so easily exploited. Just like a child's clumsy fingers messing up the buttons on a shirt. It's easy to mock someone who buttoned his shirt wrongly. It's easy to mock someone who had buttoned wrongly yet remains oblivious to it. But there are also people who completely fail to realize that they buttoned them all wrongly. Just a moment's error, a wrong choice, traps us on the road of no return. But who can reprimand them for that? Why can't humans be lonely? Why can't we yearn for those right by our side? On such a cold lonely night, who can stand to bear it alone? Imagine the fright when we realize the severity of our mistakes. Whoever said love was a happy affair?
Yuuri Eda (恋とは呼べない 3)
Some called it a witch hunt, said she’s after him. I ask, starting when. Mark the day. Trace it back. I can almost guarantee that after the assault she tried to live her life. Ask her what she did the next day and she’d say, well, I went to work. She didn’t pick up a pitchfork, hire a lawyer. She made her bed, buttoned up her shirt, took shower after shower. She tried to believe she was unchanged, to move on until her legs gave out. Every woman who spoke out did so because she hit a point where she could no longer live another day in the life she tried to build. So she turned, slowly, back around to face it. Society thinks we live to come after him. When in fact, we live to live. That’s it. He upended that life, and we tried to keep going, but couldn’t. Each time a survivor resurfaced, people were quick to say what does she want, why did it take her so long, why now, why not then, why not faster. But damage does not stick to deadlines. If she emerges, why don’t we ask her how it was possible she lived with that hurt for so long, ask who taught her to never uncover it.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
While Emma pressed the unlock button on her key fob, Aidan started walking away, but then he stopped. He turned back and shook his head. “Oh f*ck it.” Taking Emma totally off guard, he shoved her against the car. He wrapped his arms around her waist, jerking her flush against him. Electricity tingled through her at his touch, and his scent invaded her nostrils, making her feel lightheaded.
She squirmed in his arms. “What are you—”
He silenced her by leaning over and crushing his lips against hers. She protested by pushing her hands against his chest, but the warmth of his tongue sliding open her lips caused her to feel weak. Her arms fell limply at her sides.
Aidan’s hands swept from her waist and up her back. He tangled his fingers through her long hair as his tongue plunged in her mouth, caressing and teasing Emma’s. Her hands left her side to wrap around his neck, drawing him even closer to her. God, it had been so very long since someone had kissed her, and it had taken Travis a week to get up the nerve to kiss her like this. Aidan was hot and heavy right out of the gate.
Using his hips, Aidan kept her pinned against the car as he kept up his assault on her mouth. Just when she thought she couldn’t breathe and might pass out, he released her lips. Staring down at her with eyes hooded and drunk with desire, Aidan smiled. “Maybe that will help you with your decision.
Katie Ashley (The Proposition (The Proposition, #1))
I don’t know if I ever liked you,” I say, and bathroom acoustics being what they are, the declaration is magnified and that much more unkind, which makes me feel bad until I see that he is missing a shoe, and I feel it anew, this terrible disappointment in myself that I am happy to take out on him. He is the most obvious thing that has ever happened to me, and all around the city it is happening to other silly, half-formed women excited by men who’ve simply met the prerequisite of living a little more life, a terribly unspecial thing that is just what happens when you keep on getting up and brushing your teeth and going to work and ignoring the whisper that comes to you at night and tells you it would be easier to be dead. So, sure, an older man is a wonder because he has paid thirty-eight years of Con Ed bills and suffered food poisoning and seen the climate reports and still not killed himself, but somehow, after being a woman for twenty-three years, after the ovarian torsion and student loans and newfangled Nazis in button-downs, I too am still alive, and actually this is the more remarkable feat. Instead I let myself be awed by his middling command of the wine list.
I got out of the car and slammed its door. How matter-of-fact, how square that slam sounded in the void of the sunless day! Woof, commented the dog perfunctorily. I pressed the bell button, it vibrated through my whole system. Personne. Je resonne. Repersonne. From what depth this re-nonsense? Woof, said the dog. A rush and a shuffle, and woosh-woosh went the door.
Couple of inches taller. Pink-rimmed glasses. New, heaped-up hairdo, new ears. How simple! The moment, the death that I had kept conjuring up for three years was as simple as a bit of dry wood. She was frankly and hugely pregnant. Her head looked smaller (only two seconds had passed really, but let me give them as much wooden duration as life can stand), and her pale-freckled cheeks were hollowed, and her bare shins and arms had lost all their tan, so that the little hairs showed. She wore a brown, sleeveless felt dress and sloppy felt slippers.
'We-e-ell!' she exhaled after a pause with all the emphasis of wonder and welcome.
'Husband at home?' I croaked, fist in pocket.
I could not kill her, of course, as some have thought. You see I loved her. It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.
Between the roof of the shed and the big plant that hangs over the fence from the house next door I could see the constellation Orion. People say that Orion is called Orion because Orion was a hunter and the constellation looks like a hunter with a club and a bow and arrow, like this:
But this is really silly because it is just stars, and you could join up the dots in any way you wanted, and you could make it look like a lady with an umbrella who is waving, or the coffeemaker which Mrs. Shears has, which is from Italy, with a handle and steam coming out, or like a dinosaur.
And there aren't any lines in space, so you could join bits of Orion to bits of Lepus or Taurus or Gemini and say that they were a constellation called the Bunch of Grapes or Jesus or the Bicycle (except that they didn't have bicycles in Roman and Greek times, which was when they called Orion Orion). And anyway, Orion is not a hunter or a coffeemaker or a dinosaur. It is just Betelgeuse and Bellatrix and Alnilam and Rigel and 17 other stars I don't know the names of. And they are nuclear explosions billions of miles away. And that is the truth.
I stayed awake until 5:47. That was the last time I looked at my watch before I fell asleep. It has a luminous face and lights up if you press a button, so I could read it in the dark. I was cold and I was frightened Father might come out and find me. But I felt safer in the garden because I was hidden. I looked at the sky a lot. I like looking up at the sky in the garden at night. In summer I sometimes come outside at night with my torch and my planisphere, which is two circles of plastic with a pin through the middle. And on the bottom is a map of the sky and on top is an aperture which is an opening shaped in a parabola and you turn it round to see a map of the sky that you can see on that day of the year from the latitude 51.5° north, which is the latitude that Swindon is on, because the largest bit of the sky is always on the other side of the earth.
And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don't even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in your life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means that they are so small you don't have to take them into account when you are calculating something.
I didn't sleep very well because of the cold and because the ground was very bumpy and pointy underneath me and because Toby was scratching in his cage a lot. But when I woke up properly it was dawn and the sky was all orange and blue and purple and I could hear birds singing, which is called the Dawn Chorus. And I stayed where I was for another 2 hours and 32 minutes, and then I heard Father come into the garden and call out, "Christopher...? Christopher...?
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
I read about that in introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats who'd give themselves electric shocks for something to do And the one on the pigeons, trained to peck a button that made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group never gave up. They'd peck themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked?
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Last night I thought I kissed
the loneliness from out your belly button.
I thought I did, but later you sat up,
all bones and restless hands, and told me
there is a knot in your body that I cannot undo.
I never know what to say to these things.
“It’s okay.” “Come back to bed.”
“Please don’t go away again.”
Sometimes you are gone for days at a time
and it is all I can do not to call the police,
file a missing person’s report, even though
you are right there, still sleeping next to me
in bed. But your eyes are like an empty house
in winter: lights left on to scare away intruders.
Except in this case I am the intruder and you
are already locked up so tight that no one
could possibly jimmy their way in.
Last night I thought I gave you a reason
not to be so sad when I held your body like
a high note and we both trembled from the effort.
Some people, though, are sad against all reason,
all sensibility, all love. I know better now.
I know what to say to the things you admit to me
in the dark, all bones and restless hands.
“It’s okay.” “You can stay in bed.”
“Please come back to me again.
Zane rolled his eyes. "At least I think with my head and not with my ass," he muttered as he buttoned his jeans and zipped up.
"Your ass is more fun to look at," Ty shot back from under the pillow.
Stopping in place, Zane boggled at the pillow. "You did not just say you've looked at my ass." Dear God. The tease of that was fucking inflammatory. He didn't need this kind of torture.
"You show it often enough," Ty countered in a sly tone, still muffled.
"You don't mean that literally," Zane muttered as he started stacking folders on the table, trying to make room for food. "I mean everything I say literally.Literally," he said with wry emphasis.
Abigail Roux (Cut & Run (Cut & Run, #1))
Eleanor found herself unexpectedly admiring her own feet. Theodora dreamed over the fire beyond the tips of her toes, and Eleanor thought with deep satisfaction that her feet were handsome in their red sandals; what a complete and separate thing I am, she thought, going from my red toes to the top of my head, individually an I, possessed of attributes belonging only to me. I have red shoes, she thought-that goes with being Eleanor; I dislike lobster and sleep on my left side and crack my knuckles when I am nervous and save buttons. I am holding a brandy glass which is mine because I am here and I am using it and I have a place in this room. I have red shoes and tomorrow I will wake up and I will still be here. 'I have red shoes,' she said very softly, and Theodora turned and smiled up at her.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
I ripped the pages out of the book.
I reversed the order, so the last one was first, and the first was last.
When I flipped through them, it looked like the man was floating up through the sky.
And if I'd had more pictures, he would've flown through a window, back into the building, and the smoke would've poured into the hole that the plane was about to come out of.
Dad would've left his messages backward, until the machine was empty, and the plane would've flown backward away from him, all the way to Boston.
He would've taken the elevator to the street and pressed the button for the top floor.
He would've walked backward to the subway, and the subway would've gone backward through the tunnel, back to our stop.
Dad would've gone backward through the turnstile, then swiped his Metrocard backward, then walked home backward as he read the New York Times from right to left.
He would've spit coffee into his mug, unbrushed his teeth, and put hair on his face with a razor.
He would've gotten back into bed, the alarm would've rung backward, he would've dreamt backward.
Then he would've gotten up again at the end of the night before the worst day.
He would've walked backward to my room, whistling 'I Am the Walrus' backward.
He would've gotten into bed with me.
We would've looked at the stars on my ceiling, which would've pulled back their light from our eyes.
I'd have said 'Nothing' backward.
He'd have said 'Yeah, buddy?' backward.
I'd have said 'Dad?' backward, which would have sounded the same as 'Dad' forward.
He would have told me the story of the Sixth Borough, from the voice in the can at the end
to the beginning, from 'I love you' to 'Once upon a time.'
We would have been safe.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Many freeze types unconsciously believe that people and danger are synonymous, and that safety lies in solitude. Outside of fantasy, many give up entirely on the possibility of love. The freeze response, also known as the camouflage response, often triggers the individual into hiding, isolating and eschewing human contact as much as possible. This type can be so frozen in retreat mode that it seems as if their starter button is stuck in the ‘off’ position. It is usually the most profoundly abandoned child - ‘the lost child’ - who is forced to ‘choose’ and habituate to the freeze response… Unable to successfully employ fight, flight or fawn responses, the freeze type’s defenses develop around classical dissociation.
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it.
Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me.
What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling?
I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!”
So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him.
He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart.
I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze.
“Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.”
My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb.
The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine.
He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms.
He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him.
How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive.
I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest.
I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
It was uncanny. You press a button and a man drops dead a hundred meters away. It seemed hollow and remote, falsifying everything. It was a trick of the lenses. The man is an accurate picture. Then he is upside down. Then he is right side up. You shoot at a series of images conveyed to you through a metal tube. The force of a death should be enormous but how can you know what kind of man you’ve killed or who was the braver and stronger if you have to peer through layers of glass that deliver the image but obscure the meaning of the act? War has a conscience or it’s ordinary murder.
Don DeLillo (Libra)
This is my friend Veronica,” I told him. “And this is Kaidan.”
“Oh, I've heard all about you.” Veronica gave him a big smile.
His brow elevated, but he didn't take the bait. Instead, he stared at me funny. “Nice wart.” Leaning forward without touching me, he flicked the wart from the tip of my nose.
Veronica let out a loud cackle, proving she should be the one in my costume.
“I told you it was stupid!” She gloated.
With my pointer finger, I moved the paint around my nose to fill in the blank spot. When I finished, he was still watching me.
“Your hair's grown a lot,” I said to him.
“So has your bottom.”
My eyes rounded and blood rushed to my face. Veronica hooted with hilarity, bending at the waist. Even Jay let out a loud snicker, the traitor.
I wished Kaidan weren't so perceptive, but it was true. The feminine curves that had always eluded me were finally making an appearance. Stupid tight dress.
“Dude, you can get away with anything,” said the pirate to the straight-faced ape.
“I meant it as a compliment.”
“That was awesome.” Veronica grabbed Jay by the hand. “Come on. Let's go find me a drink.”
She winked at me as they ambled away. I gave my attention to the dry, trampled grass and scattered cans for a moment before working up the nerve to say something.
“My dad gave me a cell phone.” And a car. And a ton of money.
Kaidan set the ape head on the ground and pulled his phone from a fuzzy pocket, blowing off brown lint. Then he held his furry thumbs above the buttons and nodded at me. I started to give him my number, but his brow creased in frustration with the big, costumed hands.
“Here,” I said, taking his phone. Saving my number for him gave me a thrill.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
He handed the garments to her, and began to unknot his necktie. "Wait- take this too."
Cassandra's eyes widened as he began on his shirt cuffs. "How much more clothing do you plan to remove?" she asked uneasily.
Tom grinned, not missing the quick, interested flick of her gaze over him. "I'm only rolling up my sleeves." He paused, his hands going to the top button of his collar. "Although if you insist-"
"No," she said quickly, blushing at his teasing. "That's quite enough."
A warm mist had started to spread through the room, sweating the white tiles. Cassandra's skin was turning luminous from the humid air. Little wisps of hair at her forehead had drawn up into delicate curls he longed to play with.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,b
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering any of it.
Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.
Dorianne Laux (The Book of Men)
Come,we cannot leave the poor man pacing the swamp.He will think we are engaging in something other than conversation."
Wickedly Savannah moved her body against his,her hands sliding provocatively, enticingly, over the rigid thickness straining his trousers. "Aren't we?" she asked with that infuriating sexy smile he could never resist.
"We have a lot of clean-up to do here, Savannah," he said severely. "And we need to get word to our people, spread the society's list through our ranks, warn those in danger."
Her fingers were working at the buttons of his shirt so that she could push the material aside to examin his chest and shoulder,where two of the worst wounds had been.She had to see his body for herself, touch him to assure herself he was completely healed. "I suggest, for now,that your biggest job is to create something for Gary to do so we can have a little privacy.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
He nearly called you again last night. Can you imagine that, after all this time? He can. He imagines calling you or running into you by chance. Depending on the weather, he imagines you in one of those cotton dresses of yours with flowers on it or in faded blue jeans and a thick woollen button-up cardigan over a checkered shirt, drinking coffee from a mug, looking through your tortoiseshell glasses at a book of poetry while it rains. He thinks of you with your hair tied back and the characteristic sweet scent on your neck. He imagines you this way when he is on the train, in the supermarket, at his parents' house, at night, alone, and when he is with a woman.
He is wrong, though. You didn't read poetry at all. He had wanted you to read poetry, but you didn't. If pressed, he confesses to an imprecise recollection of what it was you read and, anyway, it wasn't your reading that started this. It was the laughter, the carefree laughter, the three-dimensional Coca-Cola advertisement that you were, the try-anything-once friends, the imperviousness to all that came before you, the chain telephone calls, the in-jokes, the instant music, the sunlight you carried with you, the way he felt when you spoke to his parents, the introductory undergraduate courses, the inevitability of your success, the beach houses, ...
Elliot Perlman (Seven Types of Ambiguity)
Wheeling around, he went blindly for the doors, messing up the piles, nearly knocking himself over on the coffee table.
Saxton got there first, blocking the way out with his body.
Blay's eyes locked on the males face." Get out of my way. Right now. You don't want to be around me."
"Is that not for me to decide."
Blay shifted his focus to those lips he knew so well. "Don't push me."
"If you don't get the fuck out of my way, I'm going to bend you over that desk of your-"
Wrong thing to say. In the wrong tone. At the wrong time.
Blay let out a roar that rattled the diamond-paned windows. Then he grabbed his lover by the back of the head and all but threw Saxton across the room. As the male caught himself of the desk, papers went flying, the confetti of yellow legal pad and computer printouts falling down like snow.
Saxton's torso curled around as he looked behind at what was coming at him.
"Too late to run." Blay growled as he ripped open his button fly.
Falling upon the male, he was rough with his hands, tearing the the layers that kept him from what he was going to take. When there were no barriers, he bared his fangs and bit down on Saxton's shoulder through his clothes, locking the male beneath him even as he grabbed those wrist and all but nailed them to the leather blotter.
And then he pushed in hard and let out everything he had, his body taking over .. . even as his heart stayed far, far away.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Wow,” Ryan said, taking the excedo in from his bare feet to his worn jeans and wrinkled T-shirt. “Protesting showers?”
“Bite me.” Trance stood aside and let Ryan inside, despite his growled words.
Ryan strode to the living room, went straight to Trance's DVD player, and inserted one of his sex discs.
Trance stood in the entrance to the living room, arms crossed, leaning against the wall as if it were the only thing holding him up. “I don't remember making a movie date with you.”
“Keep your dick in your pants, Romeo.” Ryan pushed Play and stood back. “What do you know about that?”
Trance's eyes shot wide, and he yanked himself off the wall. “I know you need an ass-kicking if you came to watch porn with me—oh, fuck me, that's you. Turn it off! I don't need to see that.”
Ryan hit the Pause button. “Well?”
“Well, what?” Trance shuddered. “Christ. I'm going to have to gouge out my eyes now.
Sydney Croft (Taming the Fire (ACRO, #4))
‘You are your” “Past, Present,” “& Future,’ he said” ” ‘You divide into” “those components” “in this room’ ” ” ‘But I do not have” “components!’ ” “our three voices said,” ” ‘My
secret name—” “Time’s secret name” “is Oneness,” “is One Thing’ ” “As I—the one” “in the middle—spoke,” “the one of us in front—” “who was the Past—” “had already” “finished speaking” “& was awaiting” “his reply” “He said,” ” ‘Don’t we seem” “to experience” “things
somewhat this way?” “There is past, present” :& future’ ” “The Future then cried out,” ” ‘Where is my life?” ‘Where is my life?” “You have stolen” “my life!’ ” “There was a silence” “The man” “reached out &” “pressed a button” “on the cave wall—” “we three united” “into
one again” “while he wrote words on” “a clipboard” “Then he looked up & said,” ” ‘Going forward?” “Going on?” “Death lies ahead, you know’ ” “Any woman” “may already” “be dead,’ ” “I said
Alice Notley (The Descent of Alette)
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such."
"You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness."
"Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?”
“Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.”
“Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Ian stared until she disappeared inside the elevator. Then he glanced back at me.
"Don't fret, poppet. I'll get her."
"We need to do this discreetly. If I wanted to make a colossal scene, I'd just drag her off kicking and screaming now," I said, not adding, "dumb ass" only because he was family.
"She'll come without a fuss," Ian said with confidence.
"You can't green-eye her in the elevator, it'll have video surveillance. So will the garage," I retorted.
"I don't need these," Ian said, flashing emerald in his turquoise gaze for a split second, "when I have this."
With a casual swipe of his hand, he ripped his shirt open, causing buttons to fly everywhere. Another swipe took his sleep mask all the way off. Finally, he finger-combed his shoulder-lenght hair and smiled at his reflection in the rearview mirror.
"I am after all, irresistible.
Jeaniene Frost (Up from the Grave (Night Huntress, #7))
and I feel it anew, this terrible disappointment in myself that I am happy to take out on him. He is the most obvious thing that has ever happened to me, and all around the city it is happening to other silly, half-formed women excited by men who’ve simply met the prerequisite of living a little more life, a terribly unspecial thing that is just what happens when you keep on getting up and brushing your teeth and going to work and ignoring the whisper that comes to you at night and tells you it would be easier to be dead. So, sure, an older man is a wonder because he has paid thirty-eight years of Con Ed bills and suffered food poisoning and seen the climate reports and still not killed himself, but somehow, after being a woman for twenty-three years, after the ovarian torsion and student loans and newfangled Nazis in button-downs, I too am still alive, and actually this is the more remarkable feat. Instead I let myself be awed by his middling command of the wine list.
Raven Leilani (Luster)
The men digging in on both sides of me cursed the stench and the mud. I began moving the heavy, sticky clay mud with my entrenching shovel to shape out the extent of the foxhole before digging deeper. Each shovelful had to be knocked off the spade, because it stuck like glue. I was thoroughly exhausted and thought my strength wouldn’t last from one sticky shovelful to the next.
Kneeling on the mud, I had dug the hole no more than six or eight inches deep when the odor of rotting flesh got worse. There was nothing to do but continue to dig, so I closed up my mouth and inhaled with short shallow breaths. Another spadeful of soil out of the hole released a mass of wriggling maggots that came welling up as though those beneath were pushing them out. I cursed and told the NCO as he came by what a mess I was digging into.
‘You heard him, he said put the holes five yards apart.’
In disgust, I drove the spade into the soil, scooped out the insects, and threw them down the front of the ridge. The next stroke of the spade unearthed buttons and scraps of cloth from a Japanese army jacket in the mud—and another mass of maggots. I kept on doggedly. With the next thrust, metal hit the breastbone of a rotting Japanese corpse. I gazed down in horror and disbelief as the metal scraped a clean track through the mud along the dirty whitish bone and cartilage with ribs attached. The shoved skidded into the rotting abdomen with a squishing sound. The odor nearly overwhelmed me as I rocked back on my heels.
I began choking and gagging as I yelled in desperation, ‘I can’t dig in here! There’s a dead Nip here!’
The NCO came over, looked down at my problem and at me, and growled, ‘You heard him; he said put the holes five yards apart.
Eugene B. Sledge (With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa)
Oh my God, he thought suddenly. I’ve got a hard-on. “You want some or what?” Bailey asked softly. Reece took the water and drank down a sizeable amount. He grew paranoid that she could see his hard-on, but that would be impossible. The lights were dim. There was an armrest between them. Relax, bro. You’re cool. She can’t see your . . . oh, wait a minute. There it goes. It’s going down. Phew! Thank God. How embarrassing would that have been, right? For her to see how much she turns me on? How much I can’t stop thinking about the kind of panties she wears under those cigarette pants. The way her tits look in her button-up tops. Man, I love how she buttons them all the way up . . . wait a minute. Hold up. I mean down! Go down! Stupid dick!
S. Walden (LoveLines (The Wilmington Saga, #1))
Love me like a wrong turn on a bad road late at night, with no
moon and no town anywhere
and a large hungry animal moving heavily through the brush in
Love me with a blindfold over your eyes and the sound of rusty
blurting from the faucet in the kitchen, leaking down through
the floorboards to hot cement. Do it without asking,
without wondering or thinking anything, while the machinery’s
shut down and the watchman’s slumped asleep before his small TV
showing the empty garage, the deserted hallways, while the thieves
the fence with steel clippers. Love me when you can’t find
a decent restaurant open anywhere, when you’re alone in a glaring
with two nuns arguing in the back booth, when your eggs are
and your hash browns underdone. Snick the buttons off the front
of my dress
and toss them one by one into the pond where carp lurk just
beneath the surface,
their cold fins waving. Love me on the hood of a truck no one’s
in years, sunk to its fenders in weeds and dead sunflowers;
and in the lilies, your mouth on my white throat, while turtles
their bellies through slick mud, through the footprints of coots and
Do it when no one’s looking, when the riots begin and the planes
when the bus leaps the curb and the driver hits the brakes and the
pedal sinks to the floor,
while someone hurls a plate against the wall and picks up another,
love me like a freezing shot of vodka, like pure agave, love me
when you’re lonely, when we’re both too tired to speak, when you
in anything, listen, there isn’t anything, it doesn’t matter; lie down
with me and close your eyes, the road curves here, I’m cranking up
and we’re going, we won’t turn back as long as you love me,
as long as you keep on doing it exactly like that.
Kim Addonizio (Tell Me)
Nostos algos. I want to go home. A phrase that's stuck on a loop, that I hear before falling asleep, waiting in line for my coffee, tapping the elevator button and rising through the sky to my apartment...and yet my desire is not attached to a particular place...I want to go home but what I mean, what I'm grasping for, is not a place. It's a feeling. I want to go back. But back where? Maybe to the first time I heard Stevie Nicks, to watching the snow fall outside the window with a paperback folded open in my lap, to the moment before I tasted alcohol, to virginity and not really knowing that things die, back to believing that something great is still up ahead, back to before I made the choices that would hem me in to the life I live now. A life that I regret sometimes, I think, only because it's mine, because it's turned out this way and not some other way, because I can't go back and change what will happen.
Julie Buntin (Marlena)
I wait, washed, brushed, fed, like a prize pig. Sometime in the eighties they invented pig balls, for pigs who were being fattened in pens. Pig balls were large colored balls; the pigs rolled them around with their snouts. The pig marketers said this improved their muscle tone; the pigs were curious, they liked having something to think about. I read about that in Introduction to Psychology; that, and the chapter on caged rats who'd give themselves electric shocks for something to do. And the one on the pigeons trained to peck a button that made a grain of corn appear. Three groups of them: the first one got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group never gave up. They'd peck themselves to death, rather than quit. Who knew what worked?
I wish I had a pig ball.
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat.
“This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand.
My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it.
Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?”
His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet.
He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.”
“She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.”
As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded.
Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.”
At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag.
“Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.”
“Are you?” Daemon replied.
Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
“Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans.
And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
“I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.”
One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away.
“Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his.
I saw red.
The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red—
“And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails.
The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
I ran through a restaurant like the fraught heroine in a romantic comedy," I reminded him in a whisper. "That's crazy. That's drama. That's -"
"Real," he cut me off. "Shit was overwhelming you, you had a reaction and you're allowed, Kia. You didn't hide that either." He moved, rolling me and pulling us down in the bed so my head was to the pillows, his arms were still around me, his torso was resting on mine and his face was super close. "What you didn't do was, when I fucked up, hurt your feels, you didn't call me on it. I keep tellin' you I'm not him and I'll keep doin' it until you work him outta you, baby, but, in a healthy relationship, you're allowed to get pissed and in my face. Fuck, I need you to do that so I know what buttons not to push, where I can't go and avoid those places. And I'll do the same for you. Its part of learning how to take care of each other. Its fightin but its a form of communication and it's also a form of trust. We have words, we come to terms, we learn about each other and we move on stronger.
Kristen Ashley (Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell, #1))
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.
Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb.
At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another.
By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names.
The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light.
Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
The animosity I felt from the colored people I encountered growing up was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. It taught me that it is easier to be an insider as an outsider than to be an outsider as an insider. If a white guy chooses to immerse himself in hip-hop culture and only hang out with black people, black people will say, “Cool, white guy. Do what you need to do.” If a black guy chooses to button up his blackness to live among white people and play lots of golf, white people will say, “Fine. I like Brian. He’s safe.” But try being a black person who immerses himself in white culture while still living in the black community. Try being a white person who adopts the trappings of black culture while still living in the white community. You will face more hate and ridicule and ostracism than you can even begin to fathom. People are willing to accept you if they see you as an outsider trying to assimilate into their world. But when they see you as a fellow tribe member attempting to disavow the tribe, that is something they will never forgive.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
But Charlie and I have a very special relationship and I wanted to let her know I was home. Don't worry, I'm not one of those crazy cat ladies. I just like my favorite cat to know I'm home so we can talk, have dinner together, and watch Hoarders.
I assumed she was in our master bathroom because that's where the cats like to hang out when we're not home. They record most of their "cute kitty with loofah" YouTube videos in there.
Now, in order to let her know I was home I could have walked to the bathroom or yelled for her, which is what I usually do. But for some reason in that day I did something else. We have an intercom where I can push a button and talk to someone in another room. Sometimes it's fun to use when we have company. I'll get on it from a different part of the house and whisper stuff like, "Is there anything you ever really wanted to tell God? I'm listening." Oh, we have fun.
Anyway, I got on the intercom and I said, "Charlie, I'm home! Charlie!" and I hung up and I waited for Charlie to come running. I didn't think anything of it until I looked over and Portia was staring at me.
She said, "Did you just intercom the cat?"
And I looked at her and I had no choice but to say, "Yes. I did just intercom the cat."
In my defense, I was very tired and if I wanted to walk all the way to the bathroom to find Charlie I would have had to get on my Segway, ride it to the escalator, take the escalator to the third floor, cross the champagne fountain, get my retina scanned, and deactivate dozens of laser beams.
Okay, that isn't true. I would have had to walk down the hall.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
The more obsessed with personal identity campus liberals become, the less willing they become to engage in reasoned political debate. Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: 'Speaking as an X' . . . This is not an anodyne phrase. It tells the listener that I am speaking from a privileged position on this matter. (One never says, 'Speaking as an gay Asian, I fell incompetent to judge on this matter'). It sets up a wall against questions, which by definition come from a non-X perspective. And it turns the encounter into a power relation: the winner of the argument will be whoever has invoked the morally superior identity and expressed the most outrage at being questioned. So classroom conversations that once might have begun, 'I think A, and here is my argument', now take the form, 'Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B'. This makes perfect sense if you believe that identity determines everything. It means that there is no impartial space for dialogue. White men have one "epistemology", black women have another. So what remains to be said?
What replaces argument, then, is taboo. At times our more privileged campuses can seem stuck in the world of archaic religion. Only those with an approved identity status are, like shamans, allowed to speak on certain matters. Particular groups -- today the transgendered -- are given temporary totemic significance. Scapegoats -- today conservative political speakers -- are duly designated and run off campus in a purging ritual. Propositions become pure or impure, not true or false. And not only propositions but simple words. Left identitarians who think of themselves as radical creatures, contesting this and transgressing that, have become like buttoned-up Protestant schoolmarms when it comes to the English language, parsing every conversation for immodest locutions and rapping the knuckles of those who inadvertently use them.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.” “Snap ending.” Mildred nodded. “Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumor of a title to you, Mrs. Montag), whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors. Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” Mildred arose and began to move around the room, picking things up and putting them down. Beatty ignored her and continued: “Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” Mildred smoothed the bedclothes. Montag felt his heart jump and jump again as she patted his pillow. Right now she was pulling at his shoulder to try to get him to move so she could take the pillow out and fix it nicely and put it back. And perhaps cry out and stare or simply reach down her hand and say, “What’s this?” and hold up the hidden book with touching innocence. “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
It's a complex song, and it's fascinating to watch the creative process as they went back and forth and finally created it over a few months. Lennon was always my favorite Beatle. [ He laughs as Lennon stops during the first take and makes the band go back and revise a chord.] Did you hear that little detour they took? It didn't work, so they went back and started from where they were. It's so raw in this version. It actually makes the sound like mere mortals. You could actually imagine other people doing this, up to this version. Maybe not writing and conceiving it, but certainly playing it. Yet they just didn't stop. They were such perfectionists they kept it going This made a big impression on me when I was in my thirties. You could just tell how much they worked at this.
They did a bundle of work between each of these recording. They kept sending it back to make it closer to perfect.[ As he listens to the third take, he points out how instrumentation has gotten more complex.] The way we build stuff at Apple is often this way. Even the number of models we'd make of a new notebook or iPod. We would start off with a version and then begin refining and refining, doing detailed models of the design, or the buttons, or how a function operates. It's a lot of work, but in the end it just gets better, and soon it's like, " Wow, how did they do that?!? Where are the screws?
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow.
Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
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.”
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))
As he catches my eye he beams at me, his dark face bright with affection. Anyone can see it who cares to look at him, he is hopelessly indiscreet. He puts his hand to his heart as if swearing fidelity to me. I look to left and right, thank God no-one is looking, they are all getting on their horses and George the duke is shouting for the guard. Recklessly, Richard stands there, his hand on his heart, looking at me as if he wants the world to know that he loves me.
He loves me.
I shake my head as if reproving him, and I look down at my hands on the reins. I look up again and he is still fixing his gaze on me, his hand still on his heart. I know I should look away, I know I should pretend to feel nothing but disdain – this is how the ladies in the troubadour poems behave. But I am a girl, and I am lonely and alone, and this is a handsome young man who has asked how he may serve me and now stands before me with his hand on his heart and his eyes laughing at me.
One of the guard stumbled while mounting his horse and his horse shied, knocking the nearby horseman. Everyone is looking that way, and the king puts his arm around his wife. I snatch off my glove and, in one swift gesture, I throw it towards Richard. He catches it out of the air and tucks it in the breast of his jacket. Nobody has seen it. Nobody knows. The guardsman steadies his horse, mounts it, nods his apology to his captain, and the royal family turn and wave to us.
Richard looks at me, buttoning the front of his jacket, and smiles at me warmly, assuredly. He has my glove, my favour.
Philippa Gregory (The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #4; Cousins War, #4))
It’s weird being alone in the museum. It’s dark and eerily quiet: Only the after-hours lights are on—just enough to illuminate the hallways and stop you from tripping over your own feet—and the background music that normally plays all the time is shut off.
I quickly organize the flashlights and check their batteries, and when I don’t hear Porter walking around, I stare at the phone sitting at the information desk. How many chances come along like this? I pick up the receiver, press the little red button next to the word ALL, and speak into the phone in a low voice. “Paging Porter Roth to the information desk,” I say formally, my voice crackling through the entire lobby and echoing down the corridors. Then I press the button again and add, “While you’re at it, check your shoes to make sure they’re a match, you bastard. By the way, I still haven’t quite forgiven you for humiliating me. It’s going to take a lot more than a kiss and a cookie to make me forget both that and the time you provoked me in the Hotbox.”
I’m only teasing, which I hope he knows. I feel a little drunk on all my megaphone power, so I page one more thing:
“PS—You look totally hot in those tight-fitting security guard pants tonight, and I plan to get very handsy with you at the movies, so we better sit in the back row.”
I hang up the phone and cover my mouth, silently laughing at myself. Two seconds later, Porter’s footfalls pound down Jay’s corridor—Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! He sounds like a T. rex running from Godzilla. He races into the lobby and slides in front of the information desk, grabbing onto the edge to stop himself, wild curls flying everywhere. His grin is enormous.
“Whadidya say ’bout where you want to be puttin’ your hands on me?” he asks breathlessly.
“I think you have me confused with someone else,” I tease.
His head sags against the desk. I push his hair away from one of his eyes. He looks up at me and asks, “You really still haven’t forgiven me?”
“Maybe if you put your hands onme, I might.”
“Don’t go getting my hopes up like that.”
“Oh, your hopes should be up. Way up.”
“Dear God, woman,” he murmurs. “And here I was, thinking you were a classy dame.”
“Pfft. You don’t know me at all.”
“I aim to find out. What are we still doing here? Let’s blow this place and get to the theater, fast.
Jenn Bennett (Alex, Approximately)
In the economic sphere too, the ability to hold a hammer or press a button is becoming less valuable than before. In the past, there were many things only humans could do. But now robots and computers are catching up, and may soon outperform humans in most tasks. True, computers function very differently from humans, and it seems unlikely that computers will become humanlike any time soon. In particular, it doesn’t seem that computers are about to gain consciousness, and to start experiencing emotions and sensations. Over the last decades there has been an immense advance in computer intelligence, but there has been exactly zero advance in computer consciousness. As far as we know, computers in 2016 are no more conscious than their prototypes in the 1950s. However, we are on the brink of a momentous revolution. Humans are in danger of losing their value, because intelligence is decoupling from consciousness.
Until today, high intelligence always went hand in hand with a developed consciousness. Only conscious beings could perform tasks that required a lot of intelligence, such as playing chess, driving cars, diagnosing diseases or identifying terrorists. However, we are now developing new types of non-conscious intelligence that can perform such tasks far better than humans. For all these tasks are based on pattern recognition, and non-conscious algorithms may soon excel human consciousness in recognising patterns. This raises a novel question: which of the two is really important, intelligence or consciousness? As long as they went hand in hand, debating their relative value was just a pastime for philosophers. But in the twenty-first century, this is becoming an urgent political and economic issue. And it is sobering to realise that, at least for armies and corporations, the answer is straightforward: intelligence is mandatory but consciousness is optional.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Fuck off, Philip, I love him,” Henry says. “Oh, you love him, do you?” It’s so patronizing that Alex’s hand twitches into a fist under the table. “What exactly do you intend to do, then, Henry? Hmm? Marry him? Make him the Duchess of Cambridge? The First Son of the United bloody States, fourth in line to be Queen of England?” “I’ll fucking abdicate!” Henry says, voice rising. “I don’t care!” “You wouldn’t dare,” Philip spits back. “We have a great uncle who abdicated because he was a fucking Nazi, so it’d hardly be the worst reason anyone’s done it, would it?” Henry’s yelling now, and he’s out of his chair, hands shaking, towering over Philip, and Alex notices that he’s actually taller. “What are we even defending here, Philip? What kind of legacy? What kind of family, that says, we’ll take the murder, we’ll take the raping and pillaging and the colonizing, we’ll scrub it up nice and neat in a museum, but oh no, you’re a bloody poof? That’s beyond our sense of decorum! I’ve bloody well had it. I’ve sat about long enough letting you and Gran and the weight of the damned world keep me pinned, and I’m finished. I don’t care. You can take your legacy and your decorum and you can shove it up your fucking arse, Philip. I’m done.” He huffs out an almighty breath, turns on his heel, and stalks out of the kitchen. Alex, mouth hanging open, remains frozen in his seat for a few seconds. Across from him, Philip is looking red-faced and queasy. Alex clears his throat, stands, and buttons his jacket. “For what it’s worth,” he says to Philip, “that is the bravest son of a bitch I’ve ever met.” And he leaves too.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Are you falling asleep before midnight?" Cassie leaned over the edge of the couch to look at Jack. He was stretched out on the floor, his head resting against a pillow near the center of the couch, his eyes closed. She was now wide awake and headache free. He wasn't in so good a shape. "The new year is eighteen minutes away."
"Come kiss me awake in seventeen minutes."
She blinked at that lazy suggestion, gave a quick grin, and dropped Benji on his chest.
He opened one eye to look up at her as he settled his hand lightly on the kitten. "That's a no?"
She smiled. She was looking forward to dating him, but she was smart enough to know he'd value more what he had to work at.
He sighed. "That was a no. How much longer am I going to be on the fence with you?"
"Is that a rhetorical question or do you want an answer?" If this was the right relationship God had for her future, time taken now would improve it, not hurt it. She was ready to admit she was tired of being alone.
He scratched Benji under the chin and the kitten curled up on his chest and batted a paw at his hand. "Rhetorical. I'd hate to get my hopes up."
She leaned her chin against her hand, looking down at him. "I like you, Jack."
"You just figured that out?"
"I'll like you more when you catch my mouse."
"The only way we are going to catch T.J. is to turn this place into a cheese factory and help her get so fat and slow that she can no longer run and hide."
Or you could move your left hand about three inches to the right right and catch her."
Jack opened one eye and glanced toward his left. The white mouse was sitting motionless beside the plate he had set down earlier. "Let her have the cheeseburger. You put mustard on it."
He smiled. "I'm serious."
"So am I."
Jack leaned over, caught Cassie's foot, and tumbled her to the floor. "Oops."
"That wasn't fair. You scared my mouse."
Jack set the kitten on the floor. "Benji, go get her mouse."
The kitten took off after it.
"You're teaching her to be a mouser."
"Working on it. Come here. You owe me a kiss for the new year."
"Do I?" She reached over to the bowl of chocolates on the table and unwrapped a kiss. She popped the chocolate kiss into his mouth. "I called your bluff."
He smiled and rubbed his hand across her forearm braced against his chest. "That will last me until next year."
She glanced at the muted television. "That's two minutes away."
"Two minutes to put this year behind us." He slid one arm behind his head, adjusting the pillow.
She patted his chest with her hand. "That shouldn't take long." She felt him laugh. "It ended up being a very good year," she offered.
"Next year will be even better."
"Absolutely." He reached behind her ear and a gold coin reappeared. "What do you think? Heads you say yes when I ask you out, tails you say no?"
She grinned at the idea. "Are you cheating again?" She took the coin. "This one isn't edible," she realized, disappointed. And then she turned it over. "A real two-headed coin?"
"A rare find." He smiled. "Like you."
"That sounds like a bit of honey."
"I'm good at being mushy."
He glanced over her shoulder. "Turn up the TV. There's the countdown."
She grabbed for the remote and hit the wrong button. The TV came on full volume just as the fireworks went off. Benji went racing past them spooked by the noise to dive under the collar of the jacket Jack had tossed on the floor. The white mouse scurried to run into the jacket sleeve.
"Tell me I didn't see what I think I just did."
"I won't tell you," Jack agreed, amused. He watched the jacket move and raised an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to rescue the kitten or the mouse?
Dee Henderson (The Protector (O'Malley, #4))
Evie stayed, however, the silence spinning out until it seemed that the pounding of his heart must be audible. “Do you want to know what I think, Sebastian?” she finally asked.
It took every particle of his will to keep his voice controlled. “Not particularly.”
“I think that if I leave this room, you’re going to ring that bell again. But no matter how many times you ring, or how often I come running, you’ll never bring yourself to tell me what you really want.”
Sebastian slitted his eyes open…a mistake. Her face was very close, her soft mouth only inches from his. “At the moment, all I want is some peace,” he grumbled. “So if you don’t mind—”
Her lips touched his, warm silk and sweetness, and he felt the dizzying brush of her tongue. A floodgate of desire opened, and he was drowning in undiluted pleasure, more powerful than anything he had known before. He lifted his hands as if to push her head away, but instead his trembling fingers curved around her skull, holding her to him. The fiery curls of her hair were compressed beneath his palms as he kissed her with ravenous urgency, his tongue searching the winsome delight of her mouth.
Sebastian was mortified to discover that he was gasping like an untried boy when Evie ended the kiss. Her lips were rosy and damp, her freckles gleaming like gold dust against the deep pink of her cheeks. “I also think,” she said unevenly, “that you’re going to lose our bet.”
Recalled to sanity by a flash of indignation, Sebastian scowled. “Do you think I’m in any condition to pursue other women? Unless you intend to bring someone to my bed, I’m hardly going to—”
“You’re not going to lose the bet by sleeping with another woman,” Evie said. There was a glitter of deviltry in her eyes as she reached up to the neckline of her gown and deliberately began to unfasten the row of buttons. Her hands trembled just a little. “You’re going to lose it with me.”
Sebastian watched incredulously as she stood and shed the dressing gown. She was naked, the tips of her breasts pointed and rosy in the cool air. She had lost weight, but her breasts were still round and lovely, and her hips still flared generously from the neat inward curves of her waist. As his gaze swept to the triangle of red hair between her thighs, a swell of acute lust rolled through him.
He sounded shaken, even to his own ears. “You can’t make me lose the bet. That’s cheating.”
“I never promised not to cheat,” Evie said cheerfully, shivering as she slipped beneath the covers with him.
“Damn it, I’m not going to cooperate. I—” His breath hissed between his teeth as he felt the tender length of her body press against his side, the springy brush of her private curls on his hip as she slid one of her legs between his. He jerked his head away as she tried to kiss him. “I can’t…Evie…” His mind searched cagily for a way to dissuade her. “I’m too weak.”
Ardent and determined, Evie grasped his head and turned his face to hers. “Poor darling,” she murmured, smiling. “Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle with you.”
“Evie,” he said hoarsely, aroused and infuriated and pleading, “I have to prove that I can last three months without—no, don’t do that. Damn you, Evie—
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Mr. Wonderful was probably taking his sweet time, right?”
“No, it was actually my fault this morning. I was busy with…paperwork.”
“Oh. Well, that’s alright. Don’t worry about it. What kind of paperwork?”
He smiled. “Nothing important.”
Mr. Kadam held the door for me, and we walked out into an empty hallway. I was just starting to relax at the elevator doors when I heard a hotel room door close. Ren walked down the hall toward us. He’d purchased new clothes. Of course, he looked wonderful. I took a step back from the elevator and tried to avoid eye contact.
Ren wore a brand new pair of dark-indigo, purposely faded, urban-destruction designer jeans. His shirt was long-sleeved, buttoned-down, crisp, oxford-style and was obviously of high quality. It was blue with thin white stripes that matched is eyes perfectly. He’d rolled up the sleeves and left his shirt untucked and open at the collar. It was also an athletic cut, so it fit tightly to his muscular torso, which made me suck in an involuntary breath in appreciation of his male splendor.
He looks like a runway model. How in the world am I going to be able to reject that? The world is so unfair. Seriously, it’s like turning Brad Pitt down for a date. The girl who could actually do it should win an award for idiot of the century.
I again quickly ran through my list of reasons for not being with Ren and said a few “He’s not for me’s.” The good thing about seeing his mouthwatering self and watching him walk around like a regular person was that it tightened my resolve. Yes. It would be hard because he was so unbelievably gorgeous, but it was now even more obvious to me that we didn’t belong together.
As he joined us at the elevator, I shook my head and muttered under my breath, “Figures. The guy is a tiger for three hundred and fifty years and emerges from his curse with expensive taste and keen fashion sense too. Incredible!”
Mr. Kadam asked, “What was that, Miss Kelsey?”
Ren raised an eyebrow and smirked.
He probably heard me. Stupid tiger hearing.
The elevator doors opened. I stepped in and moved to the corner hoping to keep Mr. Kadam between the two of us, but unfortunately, Mr. Kadam wasn’t receiving the silent thoughts I was projecting furiously toward him and remained by the elevator buttons. Ren moved next to me and stood too close. He looked me up and down slowly and gave me a knowing smile. We rode down the elevator in silence.
When the doors opened, he stopped me, took the backpack off my shoulder, and threw it over his, leaving me with nothing to carry. He walked ahead next to Mr. Kadam while I trialed along slowly behind, keeping distance between us and a wary eye on his tall frame.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Brushing through my hair was usually bad enough after a shower. Letting it dry without brushing it was a terrible mistake. It was full of painful tangles, and I hadn’t made much progress when the door at the end of the veranda opened and Ren walked out. I squeaked in alarm and hid behind my hair. Perfect, Kells.
He was still barefoot, but had on khaki pants and a sky-blue button-down shirt that matched his eyes. The effect was magnetic, and here I was in flannel pajamas with giant tumbleweed hair.
He sat across from me and said, “Good evening, Kells. Did you sleep well?”
“Uh, yes. Did you?”
He grinned a dazzling white smile and nodded his head slightly. “Are you having trouble?” he asked and watched my detangling progress with an amused expression.
“Nope. I’ve got it all under control.”
I wanted to divert his attention away from my hair, so I said, “How’s your back and your, um, arm, I guess it would be?”
He smiled. “They’re completely fine. Thank you for asking.”
“Ren, why aren’t you wearing white? That’s all I’ve ever seen you wear. Is it because your white shirt was torn?”
He responded, “No, I just wanted to wear something different. Actually, when I change to a tiger and back, my white clothes reappear. If I changed to a tiger now and then switch back to a man again, my current clothes would be replaced with my old white ones.”
“Would they still be torn and bloody?”
“No. When I reappear, they’re clean and whole again.”
“Hah. Lucky for you. It would be pretty awkward if you ended up naked every time you changed.”
I bit my tongue as soon as the words came out and blushed a brilliant shade of red. Nice, Kells. Way to go. I covered up my verbal blunder by tugging my hair in front of my face and yanking through the tangles.
He grinned. “Yes. Lucky for me.”
I tugged the brush through my hair and winced. “That brings up another question.”
Ren rose and took the brush out of my hand.
“What…what are you doing?” I stammered.
“Relax. You’re too edgy.”
He had no idea.
Moving behind me, Ren picked up a section of my hair and started gently brushing through it. I was nervous at first, but his hands in my hair were so warm and soothing that I soon relaxed in the chair, closed my eyes, and leaned my head back.
After a minute of brushing, he pulled a lock away from my neck, leaned down by my ear, and whispered, “What was it you wanted to ask me?”
“Umm…what?” I mumbled disconcertingly.
“You wanted to ask me a question.”
“Oh, right. It was, uh-that feels nice.”
Did I say that out loud?
Ren laughed softly. “That’s not a question.”
Apparently, I did.
“Was it something about me changing into a tiger?”
“Oh, yes. I remember now. You can change back a forth several times per day, right? Is there a limit?”
“No. There’s no limit as long as I don’t remain human for more than a total of twenty-four minutes in a twenty-four hour day.” He moved to another section of hair. “Do you have any more questions, sundari?
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
A cell phone rang from the end table to my right and Kristen bolted up straight. She put her beer on the coffee table and dove across my lap for her phone, sprawling over me.
My eyes flew wide. I’d never been that close to her before. I’d only ever touched her hand.
If I pushed her down across my knees, I could spank her ass.
She grabbed her phone and whirled off my lap. “It’s Sloan. I’ve been waiting for this call all day.” She put a finger to her lips for me to be quiet, hit the Talk button, and put her on speaker. “Hey, Sloan, what’s up?”
“Did you send me a potato?”
Kristen covered her mouth with her hand and I had to stifle a snort. “Why? Did you get an anonymous potato in the mail?”
“Something is seriously wrong with you,” Sloan said. “Congratulations, he put a ring on it. PotatoParcel.com.” She seemed to be reading a message. “You found a company that mails potatoes with messages on them? Where do you find this stuff?”
Kristen’s eyes danced. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you have the other thing though?”
“Yeeeess. The note says to call you before I open it. Why am I afraid?”
Kristen giggled. “Open it now. Is Brandon with you?”
“Yes, he’s with me. He’s shaking his head.”
I could picture his face, that easy smile on his lips.
“Okay, I’m opening it. It looks like a paper towel tube. There’s tape on the—AHHHHHH! Are you kidding me, Kristen?! What the hell!”
Kristen rolled forward, putting her forehead to my shoulder in laughter.
“I’m covered in glitter! You sent me a glitter bomb? Brandon has it all over him! It’s all over the sofa!”
Now I was dying. I covered my mouth, trying to keep quiet, and I leaned into Kristen, who was howling, our bodies shaking with laughter. I must not have been quiet enough though.
“Wait, who’s with you?” Sloan asked.
Kristen wiped at her eyes. “Josh is here.”
“Didn’t he have a date tonight? Brandon told me he had a date.”
“He did, but he came back over after.”
“He came back over?” Her voice changed instantly. “And what are you two doing? Remember what we talked about, Kristen…” Her tone was taunting.
Kristen glanced at me. Sloan didn’t seem to realize she was on speaker. Kristen hit the Talk button and pressed the phone to her ear. “I’ll call you tomorrow. I love you!” She hung up on her and set her phone down on the coffee table, still tittering.
“And what did you two talk about?” I asked, arching an eyebrow.
I liked that she’d talked about me. Liked it a lot.
“Just sexually objectifying you. The usual,” she said, shrugging. “Nothing a hot fireman like you can’t handle.”
A hot fireman like you.I did my best to hide my smirk.
“So do you do this to Sloan a lot?” I asked.
“All the time. I love messing with her. She’s so easily worked up.” She reached for her beer.
I chuckled. “How do you sleep at night knowing she’ll be finding glitter in her couch for the next month?”
She took a swig of her beer. “With the fan on medium.”
My laugh came so hard Stuntman Mike looked up and cocked his head at me.
She changed the channel and stopped on HBO. Some show. There was a scene with rose petals down a hallway into a bedroom full of candles. She shook her head at the TV. “See, I just don’t get why that’s romantic. You want flower petals stuck to your ass? And who’s gonna clean all that shit up? Me? Like, thanks for the flower sex, let’s spend the next half an hour sweeping?”
“Those candles are a huge fire hazard.” I tipped my beer toward the screen.
“Right? And try getting wax out of the carpet. Good luck with that.”
I looked at the side of her face. “So what do you think is romantic?”
“Common sense,” she answered without thinking about it. “My wedding wouldn’t be romantic. It would be entertaining. You know what I want at my wedding?” she said, looking at me. “I want the priest from The Princess Bride. The mawage guy.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
The hospital is as busy as it was yesterday. We go in through the main entrance, and people walk in every direction. The people in scrubs and white coats all walk a little bit faster. There’s a guy sleeping on one of the waiting room sofas, and a hugely pregnant woman leaning against the wall by the elevator. She’s swirling a drink in a plastic cup. That baby is giving her T-shirt a run for its money. A toddler is throwing a tantrum somewhere down the hallway. The shrieking echoes.
We move to the bank of elevators, too, and Melonhead isn’t one of those guys who insists on pressing a button that’s already lit. He smiles and says “Good afternoon” to the pregnant woman, but I can’t look away from her swollen belly.
My mother is going to look like that.
My mother is going to have a baby.
My brain still can’t process this.
Suddenly, the woman’s abdomen twitches and shifts. It’s startling, and my eyes flick up to find her face.
She laughs at my expression. “He’s trying to get comfortable.”
The elevator dings, and we all get on. Her stomach keeps moving.
I realize I’m being a freak, but it’s the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop staring.
She laughs again, softly, then comes closer. “Here. You can feel it.”
“It’s okay,” I say quickly.
Melonhead chuckles, and I scowl.
“Not too many people get to touch a baby before it’s born,” she says, her voice still teasing. “You don’t want to be one of the chosen few?”
“I’m not used to random women asking me to touch them,” I say.
“This is number five,” she says. “I’m completely over random people touching me. Here.” She takes my wrist and puts my hand right over the twitching.
Her belly is firmer than I expect, and we’re close enough that I can look right down her shirt. I’m torn between wanting to pull my hand back and not wanting to be rude.
Then the baby moves under my hand, something firm pushing right against my fingers. I gasp without meaning to.
“He says hi,” the woman says.
I can’t stop thinking of my mother. I try to imagine her looking like this, and I fail.
I try to imagine her encouraging me to touch the baby, and I fail.
The elevator dings.
“Come on, Murph,” says Melonhead.
I look at the pregnant lady. I have no idea what to say. Thanks?
“Be good,” she says, and takes a sip of her drink.
The elevator closes and she’s gone
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful?
It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges?
I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want.
When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking
'Is this the one I am too appear for,
Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar?
Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus,
Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules.
Is this the one for the annunciation?
My god, what a laugh!'
But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me.
I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button.
I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year.
After all I am alive only by accident.
I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way.
Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains,
The diaphanous satins of a January window
White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory!
It must be a tusk there, a ghost column.
Can you not see I do not mind what it is.
Can you not give it to me?
Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small.
Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity.
Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam,
The glaze, the mirrory variety of it.
Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate.
I know why you will not give it to me,
You are terrified
The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it,
Bossed, brazen, an antique shield,
A marvel to your great-grandchildren.
Do not be afraid, it is not so.
I will only take it and go aside quietly.
You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle,
No falling ribbons, no scream at the end.
I do not think you credit me with this discretion.
If you only knew how the veils were killing my days.
To you they are only transparencies, clear air.
But my god, the clouds are like cotton.
Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide.
Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in,
Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million
Probable motes that tick the years off my life.
You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine-----
Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole?
Must you stamp each piece purple,
Must you kill what you can?
There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me.
It stands at my window, big as the sky.
It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center
Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history.
Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger.
Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty
By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it.
Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil.
If it were death
I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes.
I would know you were serious.
There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday.
And the knife not carve, but enter
Pure and clean as the cry of a baby,
And the universe slide from my side.
The things about you I appreciate
May seem indelicate:
I'd like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I'd like to have you in my power
And see your eyes dilate.
I'd like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate.
Sometimes I feel it is my fate
To chase you screaming up a tower
Or make you cower
By asking you to differentiate
Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
I'd like successfully to guess your weight
And win you at a fête.
I'd like to offer you a flower.
I like the hair upon your shoulders,
Falling like water over boulders.
I like the shoulders too: they are essential.
Your collar-bones have great potential
(I'd like your particulars in folders
I like your cheeks, I like your nose,
I like the way your lips disclose
The neat arrangement of your teeth
(Half above and half beneath)
I like your eyes, I like their fringes.
The way they focus on me gives me twinges.
Your upper arms drive me berserk.
I like the way your elbows work.
On hinges …
I like your wrists, I like your glands,
I like the fingers on your hands.
I'd like to teach them how to count,
And certain things we might exchange,
Something familiar for something strange.
I'd like to give you just the right amount
And get some change.
I like it when you tilt your cheek up.
I like the way you not and hold a teacup.
I like your legs when you unwind them.
Even in trousers I don't mind them.
I like each softly-moulded kneecap.
I like the little crease behind them.
I'd always know, without a recap,
Where to find them.
I like the sculpture of your ears.
I like the way your profile disappears
Whenever you decide to turn and face me.
I'd like to cross two hemispheres
And have you chase me.
I'd like to smuggle you across frontiers
Or sail with you at night into Tangiers.
I'd like you to embrace me.
I'd like to see you ironing your skirt
And cancelling other dates.
I'd like to button up your shirt.
I like the way your chest inflates.
I'd like to soothe you when you're hurt
Or frightened senseless by invertebrates.
I'd like you even if you were malign
And had a yen for sudden homicide.
I'd let you put insecticide
Into my wine.
I'd even like you if you were Bride
Or something ghoulish out of Mamoulian's
Jekyll and Hyde.
I'd even like you as my Julian
Or Norwich or Cathleen ni Houlihan.
If you were something muttering in attics
Like Mrs Rochester or a student of Boolean
You are the end of self-abuse.
You are the eternal feminine.
I'd like to find a good excuse
To call on you and find you in.
I'd like to put my hand beneath your chin,
And see you grin.
I'd like to taste your Charlotte Russe,
I'd like to feel my lips upon your skin
I'd like to make you reproduce.
I'd like you in my confidence.
I'd like to be your second look.
I'd like to let you try the French Defence
And mate you with my rook.
I'd like to be your preference
I'd like to be around when you unhook.
I'd like to be your only audience,
The final name in your appointment book,
Your future tense.