Cities Of The Red Night Quotes

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Black for hunting through the night For death and mourning the color's white Gold for a bride in her wedding gown And red to call the enchantment down White silk when our bodies burn Blue banners when the lost return Flame for the birth of a Nephilim And to wash away our sins. Gray for the knowledge best untold Bone for those who don't grow old Saffron lights the victory march Green to mend our broken hearts Silver for the demon towers And bronze to summon wicked powers -Shadowhunter children's rhyme
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Black for hunting through the night For death and sorrow, the color’s white Gold for a bride in her wedding gown, And red to call enchantment down.
Cassandra Clare
That's a sweet piece," said Jean, briefly forgetting to be aggravated. "You didn't snatch that off a street." "No," said Locke, before taking another deep draught of the warm water in the decanter. "I got it from the neck of the governor's mistress." "You can't be serious." "In the governor's manor." "Of all the -" "In the governor's bed." "Damned lunatic!" "With the governor sleeping next to her." The night quiet was broken by the high, distant trill of a whistle, the traditional swarming noise of city watches everywhere. Several other whistles joined in a few moments later. "It is possible," said Locke with a sheepish grin, "that I have been slightly too bold.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
Suppose neutral angels were able to talk, Yahweh and Lucifer – God and Satan, to use their popular titles – into settling out of court. What would be the terms of the compromise? Specifically, how would they divide the assets of their early kingdom? Would God be satisfied the loaves and fishes and itty-bitty thimbles of Communion wine, while Satan to have the red-eye gravy, eighteen-ounce New York Stakes, and buckets of chilled champagne? Would God really accept twice-a-month lovemaking for procreative purposes and give Satan the all night, no-holds-barred, nasty “can’t-get-enough-of-you” hot-as-hell-fucks? Think about it. Would Satan get New Orleans, Bangkok, and the French Riviera and God get Salt Lake City? Satan get ice hockey, God get horseshoes? God get bingo, Satan get stud poker? Satan get LSD; God, Prozac? God get Neil Simon; Satan Oscar Wilde?
Tom Robbins
...a city that was to live by night after the wilderness had passed. A city that was to forge out of steel and blood-red neon its own peculiar wilderness.
Nelson Algren (Chicago: City on the Make)
Vimes felt his hand begin to move of its own accord-- And stopped. Red rage froze. There was The Beast, all around him. And that's all it was. A beast. Useful, but still a beast. You could hold it on a chain, and make it dance, and juggle balls. It didn't think. It was dumb. What you were, what you were, was not The Beast.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
No matter what creatures people fear in the dead of the night, in this city, violence is more likely to be carried out by men
Bethany Griffin (Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1))
They ask me how did you get here? Can’t you see it on my body? The Libyan desert red with immigrant bodies, the Gulf of Aden bloated, the city of Rome with no jacket. I hope the journey meant more than miles because all of my children are in the water. I thought the sea was safer than the land. I want to make love, but my hair smells of war and running and running. I want to lay down, but these countries are like uncles who touch you when you’re young and asleep. Look at all these borders, foaming at the mouth with bodies broken and desperate. I’m the colour of hot sun on the face, my mother’s remains were never buried. I spent days and nights in the stomach of the truck; I did not come out the same. Sometimes it feels like someone else is wearing my body.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
If you were close enough to her ruby-red lips you would hear her say, 'I will rise now and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek the one I love.' She is whispering that, and she whispers, 'By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. My beloved is mine and I am his.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Red sky at night, the city's alight.
Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1))
I’ve got so much inside me I have no idea about. I’m like the mayor of a city I’ve never seen.” He smiles at my phrasing. “If you knew the kind of little miracles happening every moment you breathe in, you wouldn’t be able to handle it. A valve could close and not open; an artery could split, you could die. At any moment. It’s nothing but miracles inside your tiny city.” He presses a kiss to my temple. “Holy shit.” I clutch at him. “You wouldn’t believe the stats on people who go to bed one night and never wake up. Normal, healthy people who aren’t even old.” “Why would you tell me this? Is this what you think about?” There’s the longest pause. “I used to. Not so much anymore.” “I think I preferred it when I thought I was full of white bones and red goo. Why am I now thinking about dying tonight?” “Now you see why I can’t do small talk. 
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
The minute you land in New Orleans, something wet and dark leaps on you and starts humping you like a swamp dog in heat, and the only way to get that aspect of New Orleans off you is to eat it off. That means beignets and crayfish bisque and jambalaya, it means shrimp remoulade, pecan pie, and red beans with rice, it means elegant pompano au papillote, funky file z'herbes, and raw oysters by the dozen, it means grillades for breakfast, a po' boy with chowchow at bedtime, and tubs of gumbo in between. It is not unusual for a visitor to the city to gain fifteen pounds in a week--yet the alternative is a whole lot worse. If you don't eat day and night, if you don't constantly funnel the indigenous flavors into your bloodstream, then the mystery beast will go right on humping you, and you will feel its sordid presence rubbing against you long after you have left town. In fact, like any sex offender, it can leave permanent psychological scars.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
Old Money Blue hydrangea, cold cash, divine, Cashmere, cologne and white sunshine. Red racing cars, Sunset and Vine, The kids were young and pretty. Where have you been? Where did you go? Those summer nights seem long ago, And so is the girl you used to call, The Queen of New York City. But if you send for me you know I'll come, And if you call for me you know I'll run. I'll run to you, I'll run to you, I'll run, run, run. I'll come to you, I'll come to you, I'll come, come, come. Ohh, Ohh. Ahh, Ahh. The power of youth is on my mind, Sunsets, small town, I'm out of time. Will you still love me when I shine, From words but not from beauty? My father's love was always strong, My mother's glamour lives on and on, Yet still inside I felt alone, For reasons unknown to me. But if you send for me you know I'll come, And if you call for me you know I'll run. I'll run to you, I'll run to you, I'll run, run, run. I'll come to you, I'll come to you, I'll come, come, come. Ohh, Ohh. Ahh, Ahh. And if you call, I'll run, run, run, If you change your mind, I'll come, come, come. Ohh, Ohh. Ahh, Ahh. Blue hydrangea, cold cash, divine, Cashmere, cologne and hot sunshine. Red racing cars, Sunset and Vine, And we were young and pretty.
Lana Del Rey
Rose, I’m sorry I had to leave so quickly, but when the Alchemists tell me to jump … well, I jump. I’ve hitched a ride back to that farm town we stayed in so that I can pick up the Red Hurricane, and then I’m off to Saint Petersburg. Apparently, now that you’ve been delivered to Baia, they don’t need me to stick around anymore. I wish I could tell you more about Abe and what he wants from you. Even if I was allowed to, there isn’t much to say. In some ways, he’s as much a mystery to me as he is to you. Like I said, a lot of the business he deals in is illegal—both among humans and Moroi. The only time he gets directly involved with people is when something relates to that business—or if it’s a very, very special case. I think you’re one of those cases, and even if he doesn’t intend you harm, he might want to use you for his own purposes. It could be as simple as him wanting to contract you as a bodyguard, seeing as you’re rogue. Maybe he wants to use you to get to others. Maybe this is all part of someone else’s plan, someone who’s even more mysterious than him. Maybe he’s doing someone a favor. Zmey can be dangerous or kind, all depending on what he needs to accomplish. I never thought I’d care enough to say this to a dhampir, but be careful. I don’t know what your plans are now, but I have a feeling trouble follows you around. Call me if there’s anything I can help with, but if you go back to the big cities to hunt Strigoi, don’t leave any more bodies unattended! All the best, Sydney P.S. “The Red Hurricane” is what I named the car. P.P.S. Just because I like you, it doesn’t mean I still don’t think you’re an evil creature of the night. You are.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
The only thing I know about books, is that they should be like a woman's dress: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting. I read people.
James A. Newman (Red Night Zone - Bangkok City)
Who was I? The stranger was footsteps in the snow a long time ago.
William S. Burroughs (Cities of the Red Night)
yoga soul today. instant resonation. Spring Somewhere a black bear has just risen from sleep and is staring down the mountain. All night in the brisk and shallow restlessness of early spring I think of her, her four black fists flicking the gravel, her tongue like a red fire touching the grass, the cold water. There is only one question: how to love this world. I think of her rising like a black and leafy ledge to sharpen her claws against the silence of the trees. Whatever else my life is with its poems and its music and its cities, it is also this dazzling darkness coming down the mountain, breathing and tasting; all day I think of her – her white teeth, her wordlessness, her perfect love.
Mary Oliver
Emma whirled and looked up. Someone stood at the top of the stairs: a young Shadowhunter with dark hair, a gleaming chakhram still in his right hand. Several others were hooked to his weapons belt. In the red light of the demon towers he seemed to glow- a tall, thin figure in dark gear against the darker black of night, the Accords Hall rising like a pale moon behind him. “Brother Zachariah?” said Helen in amazement.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
This book is dedicated to the Ancient Ones, to the Lord of Abominations, Humwawa, whose face is a mass of entrails, whose breath is the stench of dung and the perfume of death, Dark Angel of all that is excreted and sours, Lord of Decay, Lord of the Future, who rides on a whispering south wind, to Pazuzu, Lord of Fevers and Plagues, Dark Angel of the Four Winds with rotting genitals from which he howls through sharpened teeth over stricken cities, to Kutulu, the Sleeping Serpent who cannot be summoned, to the Akhkharu, who such the blood of men since they desire to become men, to the Lalussu, who haunt the places of men, to Gelal and Lilit, who invade the beds of men and whose children are born in secret places, to Addu, raiser of storms who can fill the night sky with brightness, to Malah, Lord of Courage and Bravery, to Zahgurim, whose number is twenty-three and who kills in an unnatural fashion, to Zahrim, a warrior among warriors, to Itzamna, Spirit of Early Mists and Showers, to Ix Chel, the Spider-Web-that-Catches-the-Dew-of-Morning, to Zuhuy Kak, Virgin Fire, to Ah Dziz, the Master of Cold, to Kak U Pacat, who works in fire, to Ix Tab, Goddess of Ropes and Snares, patroness of those who hang themselves, to Schmuun, the Silent One, twin brother of Ix Tab, to Xolotl the Unformed, Lord of Rebirth, to Aguchi, Master of Ejaculations, to Osiris and Amen in phallic form, to Hex Chun Chan, the Dangerous One, to Ah Pook, the Destroyer, to the Great Old One and the Star Beast, to Pan, God of Panic, to the nameless gods of dispersal and emptiness, to Hassan i Sabbah, Master of Assassins. To all the scribes and artists and practitioners of magic through whom these spirits have been manifested…. NOTHING IS TRUE. EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED.
William S. Burroughs (Cities of the Red Night)
There is a whirlwind in southern Morocco, the aajej, against which the fellahin defend themselves with knives. There is the africo, which has at times reached into the city of Rome. The alm, a fall wind out of Yugoslavia. The arifi, also christened aref or rifi, which scorches with numerous tongues. These are permanent winds that live in the present tense. There are other, less constant winds that change direction, that can knock down horse and rider and realign themselves anticlockwise. The bist roz leaps into Afghanistan for 170 days--burying villages. There is the hot, dry ghibli from Tunis, which rolls and rolls and produces a nervous condition. The haboob--a Sudan dust storm that dresses in bright yellow walls a thousand metres high and is followed by rain. The harmattan, which blows and eventually drowns itself into the Atlantic. Imbat, a sea breeze in North Africa. Some winds that just sigh towards the sky. Night dust storms that come with the cold. The khamsin, a dust in Egypt from March to May, named after the Arabic word for 'fifty,' blooming for fifty days--the ninth plague of Egypt. The datoo out of Gibraltar, which carries fragrance. There is also the ------, the secret wind of the desert, whose name was erased by a king after his son died within it. And the nafhat--a blast out of Arabia. The mezzar-ifoullousen--a violent and cold southwesterly known to Berbers as 'that which plucks the fowls.' The beshabar, a black and dry northeasterly out of the Caucasus, 'black wind.' The Samiel from Turkey, 'poison and wind,' used often in battle. As well as the other 'poison winds,' the simoom, of North Africa, and the solano, whose dust plucks off rare petals, causing giddiness. Other, private winds. Travelling along the ground like a flood. Blasting off paint, throwing down telephone poles, transporting stones and statue heads. The harmattan blows across the Sahara filled with red dust, dust as fire, as flour, entering and coagulating in the locks of rifles. Mariners called this red wind the 'sea of darkness.' Red sand fogs out of the Sahara were deposited as far north as Cornwall and Devon, producing showers of mud so great this was also mistaken for blood. 'Blood rains were widely reported in Portugal and Spain in 1901.' There are always millions of tons of dust in the air, just as there are millions of cubes of air in the earth and more living flesh in the soil (worms, beetles, underground creatures) than there is grazing and existing on it. Herodotus records the death of various armies engulfed in the simoom who were never seen again. One nation was 'so enraged by this evil wind that they declared war on it and marched out in full battle array, only to be rapidly and completely interred.
Michael Ondaatje
As I passed below the haloes of the green and red traffic signals, I was taken by this strange view of the evening, the city streets full of people— people waiting, the people they were waiting for, people out to eat together, people going somewhere together, people heading home together. I allowed my thoughts to settle on the brightness filling their hearts and lungs, squinting as I walked along and counted all the players of this game I would never play.
Mieko Kawakami (All the Lovers in the Night)
As the day light left the city that night, the streetlamps were not up to anything like their usual candle-power. It was difficult to make anything out clearly. Ordinary social restraints were apt to be defective or not there at all. The screaming that went on all night, ignored as background murmur during the day, now, absent the clamor of street traffic, had taken on urgency and despair – a chorale of pain just about to pass from its realm of the invisible into something that might actually have to be dealt with. Figures which late at night appeared only in levels of grey were now seen to possess color, not the fashionable shades of daytime but blood reds, morgue yellows, and poison greens.
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
Andromeda.” Allister moved closer. “An autumn constellation, forty-four light-years away.” His steps were smooth and indifferent, but his voice was dry, as though he found my panic attack positively boring. His attitude brought a small rush of annoyance in, but it was suddenly swayed as my lungs contracted and wouldn’t release. I couldn’t keep a strangled gasp from escaping. “Look up.” It was an order, carrying a harsh edge. With no fight in me, I complied and tilted my head. Tears blurred my vision. Stars swam together and sparkled like diamonds. I was glad they weren’t. Humans would find a way to pluck them from the sky. “Andromeda is the dim, fuzzy star to the right. Find it.” My eyes searched it out. The stars weren’t often easy to see, hidden behind smog and the glow of city lights, but sometimes, on a lucky night like tonight, pollution cleared and they became visible. I found the star and focused on it. “Do you know her story?” he asked, his voice close behind me. A cold wind touched my cheeks, and I inhaled slowly. “Answer me.” “No,” I gritted. “Andromeda was boasted to be one of the most beautiful goddesses.” He moved closer, so close his jacket brushed my bare arm. His hands were in his pockets and his gaze was on the sky. “She was sacrificed for her beauty, tied to a rock by the sea.” I imagined her, a red-haired goddess with a heart of steel chained to a rock. The question bubbled up from the depths of me. “Did she survive?” His gaze fell to me. Down the tear tracks to the blood on my bottom lip. His eyes darkened, his jaw tightened, and he looked away. “She did.
Danielle Lori (The Maddest Obsession (Made #2))
Slowly the truth is loading I'm weighted down with love Snow lying deep and even Strung out and dreaming of Night falling on the city Quite something to behold Don't it just look so pretty This disappearing world We're threading hope like fire Down through the desperate blood Down through the trailing wire Into the leafless wood Night falling on the city Quite something to behold Don't it just look so pretty This disappearing world This disappearing world I'll be sticking right there with it I'll be by your side Sailing like a silver bullet Hit 'em 'tween the eyes Through the smoke and rising water Cross the great divide Baby till it all feels right Night falling on the city Sparkling red and gold Don't it just look so pretty This disappearing world"~David Gray
David Gray
Those who have not lived in New Orleans have missed an incredible, glorious, vital city--a place with an energy unlike anywhere else in the world, a majority-African American city where resistance to white supremacy has cultivated and supported a generous, subversive, and unique culture of vivid beauty. From jazz, blues, and and hip-hop to secondlines, Mardi Gras Indians, jazz funerals, and the citywide tradition of red beans and rice on Monday nights, New Orleans is a place of art and music and food and traditions and sexuality and liberation.
Jordan Flaherty (Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six)
You could feel the war getting ready in the sky that night. The way the clouds moved aside and came back, and the way the stars looked, a million of the swimming between the clouds, like the enemy disks, and the feeling that the sky might fall upon the city and turn it to chalk dust, and the moon go up in red fire; that was how the night felt.
Ray Bradbury
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red stain on the stone floor, and the pure water in the village well--thousands of acres of land--a whole province of France--all France itself--lay under the night sky, concentrated into a faint hairbreadth line. So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible creature on it.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Like raindrops, beautiful women were every-where. Like raindrops, only a few ever landed on you. They would either soak into your constitution or drip away into that puddle of other former love disasters drying out; dying in the Bangkok sun. Red Night Zone - Bangkok City
James A. Newman
And when the last red man shall have perished from the earth and his memory among white men shall have become a myth, these shores shall swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children shall think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway or in the silence of the woods they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night, when the streets of your cities and villages shall be silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land. The white man will never be alone. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not altogether powerless.
Chief Seattle
I memorized all of “John Carter” and “Tarzan,” and sat on my grandparents’ front lawn repeating the stories to anyone who would sit and listen. I would go out to that lawn on summer nights and reach up to the red light of Mars and say, “Take me home!” I yearned to fly away and land there in the strange dusts that blew over dead-sea bottoms toward the ancient cities.
Ray Bradbury
Along the open road on winter nights, homeless, cold, and hungry, one voice gripped my frozen heart: 'Weakness or strength: you exist, that is strength. You don't know where you are going or why you are going, go in everywhere, answer everyone. No one will kill you, any more than if you were a corpse.' In the morning my eyes were so vacant and my face so dead, that the people I met may not even have seen me. In cities, mud went suddenly red and black, like a mirror when a lamp in the next room moves, like treasure in the forest! Good luck, I cried, and I saw a sea of flames and smoke rise to heaven; and left and right, all wealth exploded like a billion thunderbolts.
Arthur Rimbaud
I dream of a small room and a man with one eye. Blood seeps like scarlet tears from his empty socket. I turn away and the room becomes a hallway that becomes a stairway that becomes a roof. The wind tugs at my body; the sky tries to wrap me in stars. Below me, a gazebo glows with red light. A line of black cars crawls like cockroaches through the streets. An air conditioner exhaust fan chitters angrily near the roof’s edge, one of its blades bent just enough to scrape against the side of the casing. For a second I let the wind push me close enough to the fan’s razor- sharp blades that a lock of my hair gets snipped and sent out into the night. As it twists and flutters toward the gazebo, I think about just letting go, letting the breeze carry my body into the whirling blades, the wind scattering pieces of me throughout the city. Blood and flesh seeping into the cracked pavement. Flowers blooming wherever I land.
Paula Stokes (Vicarious (Vicarious, #1))
SPRING Somewhere a black bear has just risen from sleep and is staring down the mountain. All night in the brisk and shallow restlessness of early spring I think of her, her four black fists flicking the gravel, her tongue like a red fire touching the grass, the cold water. There is only one question: how to love this world. I think of her rising like a black and leafy ledge to sharpen her claws against the silence of the trees. Whatever else my life is with its poems and its music and its glass cities, it is also this dazzling darkness coming down the mountain, breathing and tasting; all day I think of her— her white teeth, her wordlessness, her perfect love.
Mary Oliver (House of Light)
unsolicited advice to adolescent girls with crooked teeth and pink hair When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you gave him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in a bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.
Jeanann Verlee
The hotel was guest-friendly with hourly rates and had enough room to swing a cat, if it were a small cat and you wanted to swing it.
James A. Newman (Red Night Zone - Bangkok City)
Not your dark poisons again, White sleep! This fantastically strange garden Of trees in deepening twilight Fills up with serpents, nightmoths, Spiders, bats. Approaching stranger! Your abandoned shadow In the red of evening Is a dark pirate ship Of the salty oceans of confusion. White birds from the outskirts of the night Flutter out over the shuddering cities Of steel.
Georg Trakl (Twenty Poems of Georg Trakl)
Martin thought of the iron El trestles winding and stretching across the city, of department store windows and hotel lobbies, of electric elevators and street-car ads, of the city pressing its way north on both sides of the great park, of dynamos and electric lights, of ten-story hotels, of the old iron tower near the depot at West Brighton with its two steam-driven elevators rising and falling in the sky--and in his blood he felt a surge of restlessness, as if he were a steam train spewing fiery coal smoke into the black night sky as he roared along a trembling El track, high above the dark storefronts, the gaslit saloons, the red-lit doorways, the cheap beer dives, the dance halls, the gambling joints, the face in the doorway, the sudden cry in the night.
Steven Millhauser (Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer)
How many were the aquarelles she painted for me; what a revelation it was when she showed me the lilac tree that grows out of mixed blue and red! Sometimes, in our St Petersburg house, from a secret compartment in the wall of her dressing room (and my birth room), she would produce a mass of jewelry for my bedtime amusement. I was very small then, and those flashing tiaras and chokers and rings seemed to me hardly inferior in mystery and enchantment to the illumination in the city during imperial fêtes, when, in the padded stillness of a frosty night, giant monograms, crowns, and other armorial designs, made of coloured electric bulbs - sapphire, emerald, ruby - glowed with a kind of charmed constraint above snow-lined cornices on housefronts along residential streets.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
Down through this verdant land Carter walked at evening, and saw twilight float up from the river to the marvelous golden spires of Thran. And just at the hour of dusk he came to the southern gate, and was stopped by a red-robed sentry till he had told three dreams beyond belief, and proved himself a dreamer worthy to walk up Thran's steep mysterious streets and linger in the bazaars where the wares of the ornate galleons were sold. Then into that incredible city he walked; through a wall so thick that the gate was a tunnel, and thereafter amidst curved and undulant ways winding deep and narrow between the heavenward towers. Lights shone through grated and balconied windows, and, the sound of lutes and pipes stole timid from inner courts where marble fountains bubbled. Carter knew his way, and edged down through darker streets to the river, where at an old sea tavern he found the captains and seamen he had known in myriad other dreams. There he bought his passage to Celephais on a great green galleon, and there he stopped for the night after speaking gravely to the venerable cat of that inn, who blinked dozing before an enormous hearth and dreamed of old wars and forgotten gods.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath)
When he reached the Neva he stood still for a minute and turned a keen glance up the river into the smoky frozen thickness of the distance, which was suddenly flushed crimson with the last purple and blood -red glow of sunset, still smouldering on the misty horizon... . Night lay over the city, and the
Fyodor Dostoevsky (White Nights)
Fairy-tale city. From the air, red rooftops hug a kink in a dark river, and by night the forested hills appear as spans of black nothing against the dazzle of the lit castle, the spiking Gothic towers, the domes great and small. The river captures all the lights and teases them out, long and wavering, and the side-slashing rain blurs it all to a dream. This was Akiva’s first sight of Prague;
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
The plane banked, and he pressed his face against the cold window. The ocean tilted up to meet him, its dark surface studded with points of light that looked like constellations, fallen stars. The tourist sitting next to him asked him what they were. Nathan explained that the bright lights marked the boundaries of the ocean cemeteries. The lights that were fainter were memory buoys. They were the equivalent of tombstones on land: they marked the actual graves. While he was talking he noticed scratch-marks on the water, hundreds of white gashes, and suddenly the captain's voice, crackling over the intercom, interrupted him. The ships they could see on the right side of the aircraft were returning from a rehearsal for the service of remembrance that was held on the ocean every year. Towards the end of the week, in case they hadn't realised, a unique festival was due to take place in Moon Beach. It was known as the Day of the Dead... ...When he was young, it had been one of the days he most looked forward to. Yvonne would come and stay, and she'd always bring a fish with her, a huge fish freshly caught on the ocean, and she'd gut it on the kitchen table. Fish should be eaten, she'd said, because fish were the guardians of the soul, and she was so powerful in her belief that nobody dared to disagree. He remembered how the fish lay gaping on its bed of newspaper, the flesh dark-red and subtly ribbed where it was split in half, and Yvonne with her sleeves rolled back and her wrists dipped in blood that smelt of tin. It was a day that abounded in peculiar traditions. Pass any candy store in the city and there'd be marzipan skulls and sugar fish and little white chocolate bones for 5 cents each. Pass any bakery and you'd see cakes slathered in blue icing, cakes sprinkled with sea-salt.If you made a Day of the Dead cake at home you always hid a coin in it, and the person who found it was supposed to live forever. Once, when she was four, Georgia had swallowed the coin and almost choked. It was still one of her favourite stories about herself. In the afternoon, there'd be costume parties. You dressed up as Lazarus or Frankenstein, or you went as one of your dead relations. Or, if you couldn't think of anything else, you just wore something blue because that was the colour you went when you were buried at the bottom of the ocean. And everywhere there were bowls of candy and slices of special home-made Day of the Dead cake. Nobody's mother ever got it right. You always had to spit it out and shove it down the back of some chair. Later, when it grew dark, a fleet of ships would set sail for the ocean cemeteries, and the remembrance service would be held. Lying awake in his room, he'd imagine the boats rocking the the priest's voice pushed and pulled by the wind. And then, later still, after the boats had gone, the dead would rise from the ocean bed and walk on the water. They gathered the flowers that had been left as offerings, they blew the floating candles out. Smoke that smelt of churches poured from the wicks, drifted over the slowly heaving ocean, hid their feet. It was a night of strange occurrences. It was the night that everyone was Jesus... ...Thousands drove in for the celebrations. All Friday night the streets would be packed with people dressed head to toe in blue. Sometimes they painted their hands and faces too. Sometimes they dyed their hair. That was what you did in Moon Beach. Turned blue once a year. And then, sooner or later, you turned blue forever.
Rupert Thomson (The Five Gates of Hell)
Hurrying on, Barbee nodded to the workman as casually as he could. His skin felt goose-pimpled under the thin red robe, and he couldn't help shivering to a colder chill than he felt in the frosty air. For the quiet city, it seemed to him, was only a veil of painted illusion. Its air of sleepy peace concealed brooding horror, too frightful for sane minds to dwell upon. Even the cheery bricklayer with the lunch pail might - just might - be the monstrous Child of Night.
Jack Williamson (Darker Than You Think)
When it came to "getting away from it all," there really weren’t many places quite like the top of the tallest mountain in the world. He glanced around the summit, noting the other reason why he enjoyed coming up here. It was tradition for every expedition to the top of Everest to leave something behind—a small token or marker indicating their successful climb to the famous peak. Each one was different and each one seemed to reflect the personality of the party it represented: small flags and banners with the hand-written names of climbers past, a used oxygen canister, a spare glove, even a small metal lunchbox with (Clark noted with a small smile) a picture of Superman on the cover. To Clark, each of these markers indicated the pinnacle of human achievement, the fulfilled promise of the best the human race had to offer. And today, it represented something else as well: man’s ability to conquer the harsh reality of nature… a point in stark contrast to the previous night’s activities. This set were Sherpa prayer flags, each displaying a symbol, not of a distant god or mythological beast, but denoting some aspect of the enlightened human mind: compassion, perfect action, fearlessness. His thoughts turned to another example of the peak of human achievement, of what one man with drive, desire and dedication could accomplish without the benefit of superpowers or metagene enhancement. One that held a much more personal meaning to Clark. Bruce.
Chris Dee (World's Finest: Red Cape, Big City)
ANTHONY: I feel you, Johanna, I feel you Do they think that walls can hide you? Even now I'm at your window I am in the dark beside you, Buried sweetly in your yellow hair, Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: And are you beautiful and pale, With yellow hair, like her I'd want you beautiful and pale, The way I've dreamed you were, Johanna... ANTHONY: Johanna... SWEENEY TODD: And if you're beautiful, what then, With yellow hair, like wheat? I think we shall not meet again — My little dove, my sweet Johanna… ANTHONY: I'll steal you, Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: Goodbye, Johanna. You're gone, and yet you're mine. I'm fine, Johanna, I'm fine! ANTHONY: Johanna… BEGGAR WOMAN: Smoke! Smoke! Sign of the devil! Sign of the devil! City on fire! Witch! Witch! Smell it, sir! An evil smell! Every night at the vespers bell — Smoke that comes from the mouth of hell — City on fire! City on fire! Mischief! Mischief! Mischief... SWEENEY TODD: And if I never hear your voice, My turtledove, my dear, I still have reason to rejoice: The way ahead is clear, Johanna... JOHANNA: I'll marry Anthony Sunday Anthony…Sunday… ANTHONY: I feel you… SWEENEY TODD: And in that darkness when I'm blind With what I can't forget — ANTHONY: Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: It's always morning in my mind, My little lamb, my pet, Johanna… JOHANNA: I knew you'd come for me one day… Come for me…one day… SWEENEY TODD/ANTHONY: You stay, Johanna — Johanna… SWEENEY TODD: The way I've dreamed you are Oh look, Johanna — a star! ANTHONY: Buried sweetly in your yellow hair… SWEENEY TODD: A shooting star! BEGGAR WOMAN: There! There! Somebody, somebody look up there! Didn't I tell you? Smell that air! City on fire! Quick, sir! Run and tell! Warn 'em all of the witch's spell! There it is, there it is, the unholy smell! Tell it to the Beadle and the police as well! Tell 'em! Tell 'em! Help! Fiend! City on fire! City on fire! Mischief! Mischief! Mischief...Fiend . . . Alms…alms...for a miserable woman… SWEENEY TODD: And though I'll think of you, I guess, until the day I die, I think I miss you less and less as every day goes by, Johanna... ANTHONY: Johanna... JOHANNA: With you beside me on Sunday, Married on…Sunday… SWEENEY TODD: And you'd be beautiful and pale, And look too much like her. If only angels could prevail, We'd be the way we were, Johanna... ANTHONY: I feel you...Johanna… JOHANNA'S VOICE: Married on Sunday…married on Sunday ... SWEENEY TODD: Wake up, Johanna! Another bright red day! We learn, Johanna, to say goodbye! ANTHONY: I’ll steal you!
Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
They aren’t destroying everything, then,” she said. “Yes, how terribly blessed we must be.” Aturach laughed, extending his arms to the sky. “Thank you, O Wise Healer, for in Your infinite wisdom, You have decided to kill only most of the people in this city. Let all who doubt Your mercy hear my cry.” He cupped his hands over his mouth and screamed into the night sky. “It could have been worse, ingrates! Fall to your knees and be grateful that the Gods killed only half of your families!” “You’re not helping.
Sam Sykes (The City Stained Red (Bring Down Heaven, #1))
One Autumn night, in Sudbury town, Across the meadows bare and brown, The windows of the wayside inn Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves Their crimson curtains rent and thin.” “As ancient is this hostelry As any in the land may be, Built in the old Colonial day, When men lived in a grander way, With ampler hospitality; A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, Now somewhat fallen to decay, With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall. A region of repose it seems, A place of slumber and of dreams, Remote among the wooded hills! For there no noisy railway speeds, Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds; But noon and night, the panting teams Stop under the great oaks, that throw Tangles of light and shade below, On roofs and doors and window-sills. Across the road the barns display Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, Through the wide doors the breezes blow, The wattled cocks strut to and fro, And, half effaced by rain and shine, The Red Horse prances on the sign. Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode Deep silence reigned, save when a gust Went rushing down the county road, And skeletons of leaves, and dust, A moment quickened by its breath, Shuddered and danced their dance of death, And through the ancient oaks o'erhead Mysterious voices moaned and fled. These are the tales those merry guests Told to each other, well or ill; Like summer birds that lift their crests Above the borders of their nests And twitter, and again are still. These are the tales, or new or old, In idle moments idly told; Flowers of the field with petals thin, Lilies that neither toil nor spin, And tufts of wayside weeds and gorse Hung in the parlor of the inn Beneath the sign of the Red Horse. Uprose the sun; and every guest, Uprisen, was soon equipped and dressed For journeying home and city-ward; The old stage-coach was at the door, With horses harnessed, long before The sunshine reached the withered sward Beneath the oaks, whose branches hoar Murmured: "Farewell forevermore. Where are they now? What lands and skies Paint pictures in their friendly eyes? What hope deludes, what promise cheers, What pleasant voices fill their ears? Two are beyond the salt sea waves, And three already in their graves. Perchance the living still may look Into the pages of this book, And see the days of long ago Floating and fleeting to and fro, As in the well-remembered brook They saw the inverted landscape gleam, And their own faces like a dream Look up upon them from below.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Every Halloween the Empire State Building is lit orange in celebration. On that night, the night of the falling, the skyscraper’s lights blended almost seamlessly into the red-brown glow of the evening sky. The cloud cover was so low that the lights of Times Square could be seen from just about anywhere in the city; all of Manhattan was captured within its glow. And there was a feeling within it all. It was as if a higher power had been watching New York that evening, waiting, preparing for something important to happen.
Ryan Tim Morris (The Falling)
Do you want to know my favorite?” My grip tightened on the railing. In. Out. “Andromeda.” Allister moved closer. “An autumn constellation, forty-four light-years away.” His steps were smooth and indifferent, but his voice was dry, as though he found my panic attack positively boring. His attitude brought a small rush of annoyance in, but it was suddenly swayed as my lungs contracted and wouldn’t release. I couldn’t keep a strangled gasp from escaping. “Look up.” It was an order, carrying a harsh edge. With no fight in me, I complied and tilted my head. Tears blurred my vision. Stars swam together and sparkled like diamonds. I was glad they weren’t. Humans would find a way to pluck them from the sky. “Andromeda is the dim, fuzzy star to the right. Find it.” My eyes searched it out. The stars weren’t often easy to see, hidden behind smog and the glow of city lights, but sometimes, on a lucky night like tonight, pollution cleared and they became visible. I found the star and focused on it. “Do you know her story?” he asked, his voice close behind me. A cold wind touched my cheeks, and I inhaled slowly. “Answer me.” “No,” I gritted. “Andromeda was boasted to be one of the most beautiful goddesses.” He moved closer, so close his jacket brushed my bare arm. His hands were in his pockets and his gaze was on the sky. “She was sacrificed for her beauty, tied to a rock by the sea.” I imagined her, a red-haired goddess with a heart of steel chained to a rock. The question bubbled up from the depths of me. “Did she survive?” His gaze fell to me. Down the tear tracks to the blood on my bottom lip. His eyes darkened, his jaw tightened, and he looked away. “She did.” I found the star again. Andromeda. “Ask me what her name means.” It was another rough demand, and I had the urge to refuse. To tell him to stop bossing me around. However, I wanted to know—I suddenly needed to. But he was already walking away, toward the exit. “Wait,” I breathed, turning to him. “What does her name mean?” He opened the door and a sliver of light poured onto the terrace. Black suit. Broad shoulders. Straight lines. His head turned just enough to meet my gaze. Blue. “It means ruler of men.” An icy breeze almost swallowed his words before they reached me, whipping my hair at my cheeks. And then he was gone.
Danielle Lori (The Maddest Obsession (Made #2))
But the rhythm of the step, step, step and the sound of the lapping water and the calls of birds began to still that relentless fretting. It was the familiar rhythm of the greensong. He let it come over him like a trance. His legs began to move, it seemed, of themselves, so he no longer thought about walking or even moving, he simply flowed forward as if he were a part of the bridge, as if he himself were a breeze on the night air. The bridge was alive under him. The bridge was part of Alvin, he understood now. It was as if Alvin’s hands bore him up, as if the water and wind drew him along.
Orson Scott Card (The Tales of Alvin Maker: Seventh Son, Red Prophet, Prentice Alvin, Alvin Journeyman, Heartfire, The Crystal City)
One cool morning—a rainstorm had swept through the night before; now the City of Angels sparkled like Eden itself—he was walking between soundstages in Culver City, carrying a cardboard cup of coffee, nodding to this glorious creature (dressed as a harem girl), then that glorious creature (a cowgirl), then that glorious creature (a secretary?)—they all smiled at him—when he ran into, of all people, an old pal of his from the Major Bowes days, a red-haired pianist who’d bounced around the Midwest in the 1930s, Lyle Henderson (Crosby would soon nickname him Skitch). Henderson was strolling with a creature much more glorious, if possible, than the three Sinatra had just encountered. She was tall, dark haired, with sleepy green eyes, killer cheekbones, and absurdly lush lips, lips he couldn’t stop staring at. Frankie! Henderson said, as they shook hands. His old chum was doing all right these days. Sinatra smiled, not at Henderson. The glorious creature smiled back bashfully, but with a teasing hint of directness in her dark eyes. The pianist—he was doing rehearsal duty at the studio—then got to say the six words that someone had to say, sometime, but that he and he alone got to say for the first time in history on this sparkling morning: Frank Sinatra, this is Ava Gardner.
James Kaplan (Frank: The Voice)
One Autumn night, in Sudbury town, Across the meadows bare and brown, The windows of the wayside inn Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves Of woodbine, hanging from the eaves Their crimson curtains rent and thin. As ancient is this hostelry As any in the land may be, Built in the old Colonial day, When men lived in a grander way, With ampler hospitality; A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, Now somewhat fallen to decay, With weather-stains upon the wall, And stairways worn, and crazy doors, And creaking and uneven floors, And chimneys huge, and tiled and tall. A region of repose it seems, A place of slumber and of dreams, Remote among the wooded hills! For there no noisy railway speeds, Its torch-race scattering smoke and gleeds; But noon and night, the panting teams Stop under the great oaks, that throw Tangles of light and shade below, On roofs and doors and window-sills. Across the road the barns display Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay, Through the wide doors the breezes blow, The wattled cocks strut to and fro, And, half effaced by rain and shine, The Red Horse prances on the sign. Round this old-fashioned, quaint abode Deep silence reigned, save when a gust Went rushing down the county road, And skeletons of leaves, and dust, A moment quickened by its breath, Shuddered and danced their dance of death, And through the ancient oaks o'erhead Mysterious voices moaned and fled. These are the tales those merry guests Told to each other, well or ill; Like summer birds that lift their crests Above the borders of their nests And twitter, and again are still. These are the tales, or new or old, In idle moments idly told; Flowers of the field with petals thin, Lilies that neither toil nor spin, And tufts of wayside weeds and gorse Hung in the parlor of the inn Beneath the sign of the Red Horse. Uprose the sun; and every guest, Uprisen, was soon equipped and dressed For journeying home and city-ward; The old stage-coach was at the door, With horses harnessed,long before The sunshine reached the withered sward Beneath the oaks, whose branches hoar Murmured: "Farewell forevermore. Where are they now? What lands and skies Paint pictures in their friendly eyes? What hope deludes, what promise cheers, What pleasant voices fill their ears? Two are beyond the salt sea waves, And three already in their graves. Perchance the living still may look Into the pages of this book, And see the days of long ago Floating and fleeting to and fro, As in the well-remembered brook They saw the inverted landscape gleam, And their own faces like a dream Look up upon them from below.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Today, I declare your rule to be at its end. Your cities are not your cities. Your vessels are not your vessels. Your planets are not your planets. They were built by us. And they belong to us, the common trust of man. Now we take them back. Never mind the darkness you spread, never mind the night you summon, we will rage against it. We will howl and fight till our last breath, not just in the mines of Mars, but on the shores of Venus, on the dunes of Io’s sulfur seas, in the glacial valleys of Pluto. We will fight in the towers of Ganymede and the ghettos of Luna and the storm-stricken oceans of Europa. And if we fall, others will take our place, because we are the tide. And we are rising.” Then
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
Julius explained that the palace rooms where they stood were called Wunderkammers, or wonder rooms. Souvenirs of nature, of travels across continents and seas; jewels and skulls. A show of wealth, intellect, power. The first room had rose-colored glass walls, with rubies and garnets and bloodred drapes of damask. Bowls of blush quartz; semiprecious stone roses running the spectrum of red down to pink, a hard, glittering garden. The vaulted ceiling, a feature of all the ten rooms Julius and Cymbeline visited, was a trompe l'oeil of a rosy sky at down, golden light edging the morning clouds. The next room was of sapphire and sea and sky; lapis lazuli, turquoise and gold and silver. A silver mermaid lounged on the edge of a lapis lazuli bowl fashioned in the shape of an ocean. Venus stood aloft on the waves draped in pearls. There were gold fish and diamond fish and faceted sterling silver starfish. Silvered mirrors edged in silvered mirror. There were opals and aquamarines and tanzanite and amethyst. Seaweed bloomed in shades of blue-green marble. The ceiling was a dome of endless, pale blue. A jungle room of mica and marble followed, with its rain forest of cats made from tiger's-eye, yellow topaz birds, tortoiseshell giraffes with stubby horns of spun gold. Carved clouds of smoky quartz hovered over a herd of obsidian and ivory zebras. Javelinas of spotted pony hide charged tiny, life-sized dik-diks with velvet hides, and dazzling diamond antlers mingled with miniature stuffed sable minks. Agate columns painted a medley of dark greens were strung with faceted ropes of green gold. A room of ivory: bone, teeth, skulls, and velvet. A room crowded with columns all sheathed in mirrors, reflecting world maps and globes and atlases inlaid with silver, platinum, and white gold; the rubies and diamonds that were sometimes set to mark the location of a city or a town of conquest resembled blood and tears. A room dominated by a fireplace large enough to hold several people, upholstered in velvets and silks the colors of flame. Snakes of gold with orange sapphire and yellow topaz eyes coiled around the room's columns. Statues of smiling black men in turbans offering trays of every gem imaginable-emerald, sapphire, ruby, topaz, diamond-stood at the entrance to a room upholstered in pistachio velvet, accented with malachite, called the Green Vault. Peridot wood nymphs attended to a Diana carved from a single pure crystal of quartz studded with tiny tourmalines. Jade tables, and jade lanterns. The royal jewels, blinding in their sparkling excess: crowns, tiaras, coronets, diadems, heavy ceremonial necklaces, rings, and bracelets that could span a forearm, surrounding the world's largest and most perfect green diamond. Above it all was a night sky of painted stars, with inlaid cut crystal set in a serious of constellations.
Whitney Otto (Eight Girls Taking Pictures)
On the labour front in 1919 there was an unprecedented number of strikes involving many millions of workers. One of the lager strikes was mounted by the AF of L against the United States Steel Corporation. At that time workers in the steel industry put in an average sixty-eight-hour week for bare subsistence wages. The strike spread to other plants, resulting in considerable violence -- the death of eighteen striking workers, the calling out of troops to disperse picket lines, and so forth. By branding the strikers Bolsheviks and thereby separating them from their public support, the Corporation broke the strike. In Boston, the Police Department went on strike and governor Calvin Coolidge replaced them. In Seattle there was a general strike which precipitated a nationwide 'red scare'. this was the first red scare. Sixteen bombs were found in the New York Post Office just before May Day. The bombs were addressed to men prominent in American life, including John D. Rockefeller and Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. It is not clear today who was responsible for those bombs -- Red terrorists, Black anarchists, or their enemies -- but the effect was the same. Other bombs pooped off all spring, damaging property, killing and maiming innocent people, and the nation responded with an alarm against Reds. It was feared that at in Russia, they were about to take over the country and shove large cocks into everyone's mother. Strike that. The Press exacerbated public feeling. May Day parades in the big cities were attacked by policemen, and soldiers and sailors. The American Legion, just founded, raided IWW headquarters in the State of Washington. Laws against seditious speech were passed in State Legislatures across the country and thousands of people were jailed, including a Socialist Congressman from Milwaukee who was sentenced to twenty years in prison. To say nothing of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917 which took care of thousands more. To say nothing of Eugene V. Debs. On the evening of 2 January 1920, Attorney General Palmer, who had his eye on the White House, organized a Federal raid on Communist Party offices throughout the nation. With his right-hand assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, at his right hand, Palmer effected the arrest of over six thousand people, some Communist aliens, some just aliens, some just Communists, and some neither Communists nor aliens but persons visiting those who had been arrested. Property was confiscated, people chained together, handcuffed, and paraded through the streets (in Boston), or kept in corridors of Federal buildings for eight days without food or proper sanitation (in Detroit). Many historians have noted this phenomenon. The raids made an undoubted contribution to the wave of vigilantism winch broke over the country. The Ku Klux Klan blossomed throughout the South and West. There were night raidings, floggings, public hangings, and burnings. Over seventy Negroes were lynched in 1919, not a few of them war veterans. There were speeches against 'foreign ideologies' and much talk about 'one hundred per cent Americanism'. The teaching of evolution in the schools of Tennessee was outlawed. Elsewhere textbooks were repudiated that were not sufficiently patriotic. New immigration laws made racial distinctions and set stringent quotas. Jews were charged with international conspiracy and Catholics with trying to bring the Pope to America. The country would soon go dry, thus creating large-scale, organized crime in the US. The White Sox threw the Series to the Cincinnati Reds. And the stage was set for the trial of two Italian-born anarchists, N. Sacco and B. Vanzetti, for the alleged murder of a paymaster in South Braintree, Mass. The story of the trial is well known and often noted by historians and need not be recounted here. To nothing of World War II--
E.L. Doctorow (The Book of Daniel)
Necessities 1 A map of the world. Not the one in the atlas, but the one in our heads, the one we keep coloring in. With the blue thread of the river by which we grew up. The green smear of the woods we first made love in. The yellow city we thought was our future. The red highways not traveled, the green ones with their missed exits, the black side roads which took us where we had not meant to go. The high peaks, recorded by relatives, though we prefer certain unmarked elevations, the private alps no one knows we have climbed. The careful boundaries we draw and erase. And always, around the edges, the opaque wash of blue, concealing the drop-off they have stepped into before us, singly, mapless, not looking back. 2 The illusion of progress. Imagine our lives without it: tape measures rolled back, yardsticks chopped off. Wheels turning but going nowhere. Paintings flat, with no vanishing point. The plots of all novels circular; page numbers reversing themselves past the middle. The mountaintop no longer a goal, merely the point between ascent and descent. All streets looping back on themselves; life as a beckoning road an absurd idea. Our children refusing to grow out of their childhoods; the years refusing to drag themselves toward the new century. And hope, the puppy that bounds ahead, no longer a household animal. 3 Answers to questions, an endless supply. New ones that startle, old ones that reassure us. All of them wrong perhaps, but for the moment solutions, like kisses or surgery. Rising inflections countered by level voices, words beginning with w hushed by declarative sentences. The small, bold sphere of the period chasing after the hook, the doubter that walks on water and treads air and refuses to go away. 4 Evidence that we matter. The crash of the plane which, at the last moment, we did not take. The involuntary turn of the head, which caused the bullet to miss us. The obscene caller who wakes us at midnight to the smell of gas. The moon's full blessing when we fell in love, its black mood when it was all over. Confirm us, we say to the world, with your weather, your gifts, your warnings, your ringing telephones, your long, bleak silences. 5 Even now, the old things first things, which taught us language. Things of day and of night. Irrational lightning, fickle clouds, the incorruptible moon. Fire as revolution, grass as the heir to all revolutions. Snow as the alphabet of the dead, subtle, undeciphered. The river as what we wish it to be. Trees in their humanness, animals in their otherness. Summits. Chasms. Clearings. And stars, which gave us the word distance, so we could name our deepest sadness.
Lisel Mueller (Alive Together)
They were all there for the food, the drink, and the ambience, even as everyone devoured plates as disparate as Korean bibimbap and French vichyssoise. "I'm going over there." Ana pointed to a midnight-blue food truck that was known for having the best bao, steamed Vietnamese buns, in Denver. Which, given the popularity of the southeast Asian cuisine in the city lately, was more of an accomplishment than it might have seemed. "What about you?" Rachel asked Melody. "I'm having what you're having. You never steer me wrong." "Then A Parisian in Denver is the way to go. Come on. I want to say hello to Lilia." They found their way to the end of the line in front of a food truck painted in red, blue, and white, and Rachel craned her neck to feet a better look at the chalkboard that proclaimed the day's specials. There was French street food like crepes and merguez sausages alongside trendy favorites like duck confit pommes frites.
Carla Laureano (The Saturday Night Supper Club (The Supper Club, #1))
How did the name misfit even come about?" Sam asked. "It's so... dumb." Willo laughed. "Well, it's really not," she said. "We used to call them all sorts of slang terms: kooks, greasers, killjoys, chumps, and we had to keep changing the name as times changed. We used nerds for a long time, and then we started calling them dweebs." Willo hesitated. "And then a group of kids wasn't so nice to your mom." "I had braces," Deana said. "I had pimples. I had a perm. You do the math." She smiled briefly, but Sam could tell the pain was still there. Deana continued: "And I worked here most of the time so I really didn't get a chance to do a lot with friends after school. It was hard." This time, Willo reached out to rub her daughter's leg. "Your mom was pretty down one Christmas," she said. "All of the kids were going on a ski trip to a resort in Boyne City, but she had to stay here and work during the holiday rush. She was moping around one night, lying on the couch and watching TV..." "... stuffing holiday cookies in my mouth," Deana added. "... and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer came on. She was about to change the channel, but I made her sit back down and watch it with me. Remember the part about the Island of Misfit Toys?" Sam nodded. Willo continued. "All of those toys that were tossed away and didn't have a home because they were different: the Charlie-in-the-Box, the spotted elephant, the train with square wheels, the cowboy who rides an ostrich..." "... the swimming bird," Sam added with a laugh. "And I told your mom that all of those toys were magical and perfect because they were different," Willo said. "What made them different is what made them unique." Sam looked at her mom, who gave her a timid smile. "I walked in early the next morning to open the pie pantry, and your mom was already in there making donuts," Willo said. "She had a big plate of donuts that didn't turn out perfectly and she looked up at me and said, very quietly, 'I want to start calling them misfits.' When I asked her why, she said, 'They're as good as all the others, even if they look a bit different.' We haven't changed the name since.
Viola Shipman (The Recipe Box)
Okay, so I shouldn't have fucked with her on the introduction thing. Writing nothing except, Saturday night. You and me. Driving lessons and hot sex ... in her notebook probably wasn't the smartest move. But I was itching to make Little Miss Perfecta stumble in her introduction of me. And stumbling she is. "Miss Ellis?" I watch in amusement as Perfection herself looks up at Peterson. Oh, she's good. This partner of mine knows how to hide her true emotions, something I recognize because I do it all the time. "Yes?" Brittany says, tilting her head and smiling like a beauty queen. I wonder if that smile has ever gotten her out of a speeding ticket. "It's your turn. Introduce Alex to the class." I lean an elbow on the lab table, waiting for an introduction she has to either make up or fess up she knows less than crap about me. She glances at my comfortable position and I can tell from her deer-in-the-headlights look I've stumped her. "This is Alejandro Fuentes," she starts, her voice hitching the slightest bit. My temper flares at the mention of my given name, but I keep a cool facade as she continues with a made-up introduction. "When he wasn't hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. And he has a secret desire nobody would ever guess." The room suddenly becomes quiet. Even Peterson straightens to attention. Hell, even I'm listening like the words coming out of Brittany's lying, pink-frosted lips are gospel. "His secret desire," she continues, "is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you, Mrs. Peterson." Yeah, right. I look over at my friend Isa, who seems amused that a white girl isn't afraid of giving me smack in front of the entire class. Brittany flashes me a triumphant smile, thinking she's won this round. Guess again, gringa. I sit up in my chair while the class remains silent. "This is Brittany Ellis," I say, all eyes now focused on me. "This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy's money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets." It might not be what she wrote, but it's probably close enough to the truth. Unlike her introduction of me. Chuckles come from mis cuates in the back of the class, and Brittany is as stiff as a board beside me, as if my words hurt her precious ego. Brittany Ellis is used to people fawning all over her and she could use a little wake-up call. I'm actually doing her a favor. Little does she know I'm not finished with her intro. "Her secret desire," I add, getting the same reaction as she did during her introduction, "is to date a Mexicano before she graduates." As expected, my words are met by comments and low whistles from the back of the room. "Way to go, Fuentes," my friend Lucky barks out. "I'll date you, mamacita, " another says. I give a high five to another Latino Blood named Marcus sitting behind me just as I catch Isa shaking her head as if I did something wrong. What? I'm just having a little fun with a rich girl from the north side. Brittany's gaze shifts from Colin to me. I take one look at Colin and with my eyes tell him game on. Colin's face instantly turns bright red, resembling a chile pepper. I have definitely invaded his territory.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
This trip would be a lot easier if we had weapons bearers coming with us,” he grumbled, toeing his waiting pile of belongings. He looked rumpled, red-eyed, and hurting, not much of a surprise after all he’d had to drink the previous night. “You’d think every lad in Delphi would jump at the chance to join us on a fabulous quest like this.” “We’ll have weapons bearers when we reach our quest’s start at Iolkos,” Polydeuces told him. “Maybe before. We’ll pass through many cities before we reach Iolkos. Jason hasn’t completed his crew yet.” “I still don’t see why we can’t find any now,” Castor persisted. “It’s a fine opportunity for any boy would hopes to be a warrior someday. They can’t all have kinsmen to teach them about the warrior’s life and how to fight. We’d see to it that they learn how to use the sword and spear and shield they carry for us.” “You don’t have shields,” I pointed out. “We’ll get them in Iolkos!” Castor snapped, then winced and cradled his head tenderly in one hand. “Just as well I don’t have a shield yet: If that scrawny boy’d had the sense to become my weapons bearer, the weight of it would’ve crushed him.” “What scrawny boy?” I asked. “Someone with no stomach for adventure, that’s all,” Polydeuces said, resting one hand on my shoulder. “Not like us, eh, Helen?
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
The sun spangled the big pond, and through the quivers of light, we watched scores of fat koi that swam there from spring through autumn before being moved to indoor aquariums. Mom bought a twenty-five-cent bag of bread cubes, and the fish ventured right up to us, fins wimpling, mouths working, and we fed them. I felt the most unexpected tenderness toward those koi, because they were so beautiful and colorful and, I don’t know, like music made flesh. My mom kept pointing to this one and that one—how red, how orange, how yellow, how golden—and suddenly I couldn’t talk about them because my throat grew tight. I knew if I talked about them, my voice would tremble, and I might even tear up. I wondered what was wrong with me. They were just fish. Maybe I was turning sissy, but at least I fed the last of the bread to them without embarrassing myself. Almost half a century later, I feel that same tenderness toward nearly everything that swims and flies and walks on all fours, and I’m not embarrassed. Creation moves and astonishes if you let it. When I realize how unlikely it is that anything at all should live on this world spun together from dust and hot gases, that creatures of almost infinite variety should at night look up at the stars, I know that it’s all more fragile than it appears, and I think maybe the only thing that keeps the Earth alive and turning is our love for it.
Dean Koontz (The City)
Old Dudley would get out his gun and take it apart and, as Rabie cleaned the pieces, would explain the mechanism to him. Then he’d put it together again. Rabie always marveled at the way he could put it together again. Old Dudley would have liked to have explained New York to Rabie. If he could have showed it to Rabie, it wouldn’t have been so big—he wouldn’t have felt pressed down every time he went out in it. “It ain’t so big,” he would have said. “Don’t let it get you down, Rabie. It’s just like any other city and cities ain’t all that complicated.” But they were. New York was swishing and jamming one minute and dirty and dead the next. His daughter didn’t even live in a house. She lived in a building—the middle in a row of buildings all alike, all blackened-red and gray with rasp-mouthed people hanging out their windows looking at other windows and other people just like them looking back. Inside you could go up and you could go down and there were just halls that reminded you of tape measures strung out with a door every inch. He remembered he’d been dazed by the building the first week. He’d wake up expecting the halls to have changed in the night and he’d look out the door and there they stretched like dog runs. The streets were the same way. He wondered where he’d be if he walked to the end of one of them. One night he dreamed he did and ended at the end of the building—nowhere.
Flannery O'Connor (The Complete Stories)
I am tied to old ways, which I learned in a hard house. It was a loving house even as it was besieged by its country, but it was hard. Even in Paris, I could not shake the old ways, the instinct to watch my back at every pass, and always be ready to go. A few weeks into our stay, I made a friend who wanted to improve his English as much as I wanted to improve my French. We met one day in the crowd in front of Notre Dame. We walked to the Latin Quarter. We walked to a wine shop. Outside the wine shop there was seating. We sat and drank a bottle of red. We were served heaping piles of meats, bread, and cheese. Was this dinner? Did people do this? I had not even known how to imagine it. And more, was this all some elaborate ritual to get an angle on me? My friend paid. I thanked him. But when we left I made sure he walked out first. He wanted to show me one of those old buildings that seem to be around every corner in that city. And the entire time he was leading me, I was sure he was going to make a quick turn into an alley, where some dudes would be waiting to strip me of … what, exactly? But my new friend simply showed me the building, shook my hand, gave a fine bonne soiree, and walked off into the wide open night. And watching him walk away, I felt that I had missed part of the experience because of my eyes, because my eyes were made in Baltimore, because my eyes were blindfolded by fear.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
She drifted down the walk carelessly for a moment, stunned by the night. The moon had come out, and though not dramatically full or a perfect crescent, its three quarters were bright enough to turn the fog and dew and all that had the power to shimmer a bright silver, and everything else- the metal of the streetlamps, the gates, the cracks in the cobbles- a velvety black. After a moment Wendy recovered from the strange beauty and remembered why she was there. She padded into the street before she could rethink anything and pulled up her hood. "Why didn't I do this earlier?" she marveled. Sneaking out when she wasn't supposed to was its own kind of adventure, its own kind of magic. London was beautiful. It felt like she had the whole city to herself except for a stray cat or two. Despite never venturing beyond the neighborhood much by herself, she had plenty of time with maps, studying them for someday adventures. And as all roads lead to Rome, so too do all the major thoroughfares wind up at the Thames. Names like Vauxhall and Victoria (and Horseferry) sprang from her brain as clearly as if there had been signs in the sky pointing the way. Besides Lost Boys and pirates, Wendy had occasionally terrified her brothers with stories about Springheel Jack and the half-animal orphan children with catlike eyes who roamed the streets at night. As the minutes wore on she felt her initial bravery dissipate and terror slowly creep down her neck- along with the fog, which was also somehow finding its way under her coat, chilling her to her core. "If I'm not careful I'm liable to catch a terrible head cold! Perhaps that's really why people don't adventure out in London at night," she told herself sternly, chasing away thoughts of crazed, dagger-wielding murderers with a vision of ugly red runny noses and cod-liver oil. But was it safer to walk down the middle of the street, far from shadowed corners where villains might lurk? Being exposed out in the open meant she would be more easily seen by police or other do-gooders who would try to escort her home. "My mother is sick and requires this one particular tonic that can only be obtained from the chemist across town," she practiced. "A nasty decoction of elderberries and slippery elm, but it does such wonders for your throat. No one else has it. And do you know how hard it is to call for a cab this time of night? In this part of town? That's the crime, really." In less time than she imagined it would take, Wendy arrived at a promenade that overlooked the mighty Thames. She had never seen it from that particular angle before or at that time of night. On either bank, windows of all the more important buildings glowed with candles or gas lamps or even electric lights behind their icy panes, little tiny yellow auras that lifted her heart. "I do wish I had done this before," she breathed. Maybe if she had, then things wouldn't have come to this...
Liz Braswell (Straight On Till Morning (Twisted Tales))
longer; it cannot deceive them too much." Madame Defarge looked superciliously at the client, and nodded in confirmation. "As to you," said she, "you would shout and shed tears for anything, if it made a show and a noise. Say! Would you not?" "Truly, madame, I think so. For the moment." "If you were shown a great heap of dolls, and were set upon them to pluck them to pieces and despoil them for your own advantage, you would pick out the richest and gayest. Say! Would you not?" "Truly yes, madame." "Yes. And if you were shown a flock of birds, unable to fly, and were set upon them to strip them of their feathers for your own advantage, you would set upon the birds of the finest feathers; would you not?" "It is true, madame." "You have seen both dolls and birds to-day," said Madame Defarge, with a wave of her hand towards the place where they had last been apparent; "now, go home!" XVI. Still Knitting Madame Defarge and monsieur her husband returned amicably to the bosom of Saint Antoine, while a speck in a blue cap toiled through the darkness, and through the dust, and down the weary miles of avenue by the wayside, slowly tending towards that point of the compass where the chateau of Monsieur the Marquis, now in his grave, listened to the whispering trees. Such ample leisure had the stone faces, now, for listening to the trees and to the fountain, that the few village scarecrows who, in their quest for herbs to eat and fragments of dead stick to burn, strayed within sight of the great stone courtyard and terrace staircase, had it borne in upon their starved fancy that the expression of the faces was altered. A rumour just lived in the village—had a faint and bare existence there, as its people had—that when the knife struck home, the faces changed, from faces of pride to faces of anger and pain; also, that when that dangling figure was hauled up forty feet above the fountain, they changed again, and bore a cruel look of being avenged, which they would henceforth bear for ever. In the stone face over the great window of the bed-chamber where the murder was done, two fine dints were pointed out in the sculptured nose, which everybody recognised, and which nobody had seen of old; and on the scarce occasions when two or three ragged peasants emerged from the crowd to take a hurried peep at Monsieur the Marquis petrified, a skinny finger would not have pointed to it for a minute, before they all started away among the moss and leaves, like the more fortunate hares who could find a living there. Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red stain on the stone floor, and the pure water in the village well—thousands of acres of land—a whole province of France—all France itself—lay under the night sky, concentrated into a faint hair-breadth line. So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray of light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsible
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
The temperature was in the nineties, and on hot nights Chicagoans feel the city body and soul. The stockyards are gone, Chicago is no longer slaughter-city, but the old smells revive in the night heat. Miles of railroad siding along the streets once were filled with red cattle cars, the animals waiting to enter the yards lowing and reeking. The old stink still haunts the place. It returns at times, suspiring from the vacated soil, to remind us all that Chicago had once led the world in butcher-technology and that billions of animals had died here. And that night the windows were open wide and the familiar depressing multilayered stink of meat, tallow, blood-meal, pulverized bones, hides, soap, smoked slabs, and burnt hair came back. Old Chicago breathed again through leaves and screens. I heard fire trucks and the gulp and whoop of ambulances, bowel-deep and hysterical. In the surrounding black slums incendiarism shoots up in summer, an index, some say, of psychopathology. Although the love of flames is also religious. However, Denise was sitting nude on the bed rapidly and strongly brushing her hair. Over the lake, steel mills twinkled. Lamplight showed the soot already fallen on the leaves of the wall ivy. We had an early drought that year. Chicago, this night, was panting, the big urban engines going, tenements blazing in Oakwood with great shawls of flame, the sirens weirdly yelping, the fire engines, ambulances, and police cars – mad-dog, gashing-knife weather, a rape and murder night, thousands of hydrants open, spraying water from both breasts.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
...and the handsome jester, Devil’s Gold, is shaking his bead-covered rattle, making medicine and calling us by name. We are so tired from our long walk that we cannot but admire his gilded face and his yellow magic blanket. And, holding each other’s hands like lovers, we stoop and admire ourselves in the golden pool that flickers in the great campfire he has impudently built at the crossing of two streets in Heaven. But we do not step into the pool as beforetime. Our boat is beside us, it has overtaken us like some faithful tame giant swan, and Avanel whispers: “Take us where The Golden Book was written.” And thus we are up and away. The boat carries us deeper, down the valley. We find the cell of Hunter Kelly,— . St. Scribe of the Shrines. Only his handiwork remains to testify of him. Upon the walls of his cell he has painted many an illumination he afterward painted on The Golden Book margins and, in a loose pile of old torn and unbound pages, the first draft of many a familiar text is to be found. His dried paint jars are there and his ink and on the wall hangs the empty leather sack of Johnny Appleseed, from which came the first sowing of all the Amaranths of our little city, and the Amaranth that led us here. And Avanel whispers:—“I ask my heart: —Where is Hunter Kelly, and my heart speaks to me as though commanded: ‘The Hunter is again pioneering for our little city in the little earth. He is reborn as the humblest acolyte of the Cathedral, a child that sings tonight with the star chimes, a red-cheeked boy, who shoes horses at the old forge of the Iron Gentleman. Let us also return’.” It is eight o’clock in the evening, at Fifth and Monroe. It is Saturday night, and the crowd is pouring toward The Majestic, and Chatterton’s, and The Vaudette, and The Princess and The Gaiety. It is a lovely, starry evening, in the spring. The newsboys are bawling away, and I buy an Illinois State Register. It is dated March 1, 1920. Avanel of Springfield is one hundred years away. The Register has much news of a passing nature. I am the most interested in the weather report, that tomorrow will be fair. THE END - Written in Washington Park Pavilion, Springfield, Illinois.
Vachel Lindsay (The Golden Book of Springfield)
We eat in silence for a few minutes, and then Alexandra says, “That reminds me. Matthew, could you escort me to a charity dinner the second Saturday in December? Steven is going to be out of town.” She looks toward me. “I would ask my darling brother to do it, but we all know he spends his Saturday nights with the city slu—” she glances at her daughter “—undesirables.” Before Matthew can answer, Mackenzie puts her two cents in. “I don’t think Uncle Matthew can come, Momma. He been too busy bein’ pussy whipped. Wha’s pussy whipped, Daddy?” As soon as the words leave her angelic little lips, a horrendous chain reaction is set off: Matthew chokes on the black olive in his mouth, which flies out and nails Steven right in the eye. Steven doubles over, holding his eye and yelling, “I’m hit! I’m hit!” and then goes on about how the salt from the olive juice is eating away at his cornea. My father starts coughing. George stands up and begins pounding on his back while asking no one in particular if he should perform the Heimlich. Estelle knocks over her glass of red wine, which quickly seeps into my mother’s lace tablecloth. She makes no move to clean up the mess, but instead chants, “Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness.” My mother runs around the dining room like a chicken with its head cut off, searching for non-cloth napkins to wipe up the stain, all the while assuring Estelle that everything’s fine. And Frank…well…Frank just keeps eating. While the chaos continues around us, Alexandra’s death-ray glare never wavers from Matthew and me. After squirming under it for about thirty seconds, Matthew caves. “It wasn’t me, Alexandra. I swear to Christ it wasn’t me.” Chicken shit. Thanks, Matthew. Way to leave my ass blowing in the wind. Remind me never to go to war with him as my wingman. But as The Bitch glower is turned full force on me alone, I forgive him. I feel like at any moment I’ll be reduced to a smoking pile of Drew ash on the chair. I dig deep and give her the sweetest Baby Brother smile I can manage. Take a look. Is it working? I’m so fucking dead. See, there’s one thing about Bitch Justice you should know. It’s swift and merciless. You won’t know when it’s coming; all you can be certain of is that it will come. And when it does, it will be painful. Very, very painful.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
After the Grand Perhaps” After vespers, after the first snow has fallen to its squalls, after New Wave, after the anorexics have curled into their geometric forms, after the man with the apparition in his one bad eye has done red things behind the curtain of the lid & sleeps, after the fallout shelter in the elementary school has been packed with tins & other tangibles, after the barn boys have woken, startled by foxes & fire, warm in their hay, every part of them blithe & smooth & touchable, after the little vandals have tilted toward the impossible seduction to smash glass in the dark, getting away with the most lethal pieces, leaving the shards which travel most easily through flesh as message on the bathroom floor, the parking lots, the irresistible debris of the neighbor’s yard where he’s been constructing all winter long. After the pain has become an old known friend, repeating itself, you can hold on to it. The power of fright, I think, is as much as magnetic heat or gravity. After what is boundless: wind chimes, fertile patches of the land, the ochre symmetry of fields in fall, the end of breath, the beginning of shadow, the shadow of heat as it moves the way the night heads west, I take this road to arrive at its end where the toll taker passes the night, reading. I feel the cupped heat of his left hand as he inherits change; on the road that is not his road anymore I belong to whatever it is which will happen to me. When I left this city I gave back the metallic waking in the night, the signals of barges moving coal up a slow river north, the movement of trains, each whistle like a woodwind song of another age passing, each ambulance would split a night in two, lying in bed as a little girl, a fear of being taken with the sirens as they lit the neighborhood in neon, quick as the fire as it takes fire & our house goes up in night. After what is arbitrary: the hand grazing something too sharp or fine, the word spoken out of sleep, the buckling of the knees to cold, the melting of the parts to want, the design of the moon to cast unfriendly light, the dazed shadow of the self as it follows the self, the toll taker’s sorrow that we couldn’t have been more intimate. Which leads me back to the land, the old wolves which used to roam on it, the one light left on the small far hill where someone must be living still. After life there must be life.
Lucie Brock-Broido (A Hunger)
it died away, Stu said: “This wasn’t on the agenda, but I wonder if we could start by singing the National Anthem. I guess you folks remember the words and the tune.” There was that ruffling, shuffling sound of people getting to their feet. Another pause as everyone waited for someone else to start. Then a girl’s sweet voice rose in the air, solo for only the first three syllables: “Oh, say can—” It was Frannie’s voice, but for a moment it seemed to Larry to be underlaid by another voice, his own, and the place was not Boulder but upstate Vermont and the day was July 4, the Republic was two hundred and fourteen years old, and Rita lay dead in the tent behind him, her mouth filled with green puke and a bottle of pills in her stiffening hand. A chill of gooseflesh passed over him and suddenly he felt that they were being watched, watched by something that could, in the words of that old song by The Who, see for miles and miles and miles. Something awful and dark and alien. For just a moment he felt an urge to run from this place, just run and never stop. This was no game they were playing here. This was serious business; killing business. Maybe worse. Then other voices joined in. “—can you see, by the dawn’s early light,” and Lucy was singing, holding his hand, crying again, and others were crying, most of them were crying, crying for what was lost and bitter, the runaway American dream, chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected, and stepping out over the line, and suddenly his memory was not of Rita, dead in the tent, but of he and his mother at Yankee Stadium—it was September 29, the Yankees were only a game and a half behind the Red Sox, and all things were still possible. There were fifty-five thousand people in the Stadium, all standing, the players in the field with their caps over their hearts, Guidry on the mound, Rickey Henderson was standing in deep left field (“—by the twilight’s last gleaming—”), and the light-standards were on in the purple gloaming, moths and night-fliers banging softly against them, and New York was around them, teeming, city of night and light. Larry joined the singing too, and when it was done and the applause rolled out once more, he was crying a bit himself. Rita was gone. Alice Underwood was gone. New York was gone. America was gone. Even if they could defeat Randall Flagg, whatever they might make would never be the same as that world of dark streets and bright dreams.
Stephen King (The Stand)
Of course, no china--however intricate and inviting--was as seductive as my fiancé, my future husband, who continued to eat me alive with one glance from his icy-blue eyes. Who greeted me not at the door of his house when I arrived almost every night of the week, but at my car. Who welcomed me not with a pat on the arm or even a hug but with an all-enveloping, all-encompassing embrace. Whose good-night kisses began the moment I arrived, not hours later when it was time to go home. We were already playing house, what with my almost daily trips to the ranch and our five o’clock suppers and our lazy movie nights on his thirty-year-old leather couch, the same one his parents had bought when they were a newly married couple. We’d already watched enough movies together to last a lifetime. Giant with James Dean, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Reservoir Dogs, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, All Quiet on the Western Front, and, more than a handful of times, Gone With the Wind. I was continually surprised by the assortment of movies Marlboro Man loved to watch--his taste was surprisingly eclectic--and I loved discovering more and more about him through the VHS collection in his living room. He actually owned The Philadelphia Story. With Marlboro Man, surprises lurked around every corner. We were already a married couple--well, except for the whole “sleepover thing” and the fact that we hadn’t actually gotten hitched yet. We stayed in, like any married couple over the age of sixty, and continued to get to know everything about each other completely outside the realm of parties, dates, and gatherings. All of that was way too far away, anyway--a minimum hour-and-a-half drive to the nearest big city--and besides that, Marlboro Man was a fish out of water in a busy, crowded bar. As for me, I’d been there, done that--a thousand and one times. Going out and panting the town red was unnecessary and completely out of context for the kind of life we’d be building together. This was what we brought each other, I realized. He showed me a slower pace, and permission to be comfortable in the absence of exciting plans on the horizon. I gave him, I realized, something different. Different from the girls he’d dated before--girls who actually knew a thing or two about country life. Different from his mom, who’d also grown up on a ranch. Different from all of his female cousins, who knew how to saddle and ride and who were born with their boots on. As the youngest son in a family of three boys, maybe he looked forward to experiencing life with someone who’d see the country with fresh eyes. Someone who’d appreciate how miraculously countercultural, how strange and set apart it all really is. Someone who couldn’t ride to save her life. Who didn’t know north from south, or east from west. If that defined his criteria for a life partner, I was definitely the woman for the job.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Ode to the Beloved’s Hips" Bells are they—shaped on the eighth day—silvered percussion in the morning—are the morning. Swing switch sway. Hold the day away a little longer, a little slower, a little easy. Call to me— I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock right now—so to them I come—struck-dumb chime-blind, tolling with a throat full of Hosanna. How many hours bowed against this Infinity of Blessed Trinity? Communion of Pelvis, Sacrum, Femur. My mouth—terrible angel, ever-lasting novena, ecstatic devourer. O, the places I have laid them, knelt and scooped the amber—fast honey—from their openness— Ah Muzen Cab’s hidden Temple of Tulúm—licked smooth the sticky of her hip—heat-thrummed ossa coxae. Lambent slave to ilium and ischium—I never tire to shake this wild hive, split with thumb the sweet- dripped comb—hot hexagonal hole—dark diamond— to its nectar-dervished queen. Meanad tongue— come-drunk hum-tranced honey-puller—for her hips, I am—strummed-song and succubus. They are the sign: hip. And the cosign: a great book— the body’s Bible opened up to its Good News Gospel. Alleluias, Ave Marías, madre mías, ay yay yays, Ay Dios míos, and hip-hip-hooray. Cult of Coccyx. Culto de cadera. Oracle of Orgasm. Rorschach’s riddle: What do I see? Hips: Innominate bone. Wish bone. Orpheus bone. Transubstantiation bone—hips of bread, wine-whet thighs. Say the word and healed I shall be: Bone butterfly. Bone wings. Bone Ferris wheel. Bone basin bone throne bone lamp. Apparition in the bone grotto—6th mystery— slick rosary bead—Déme la gracia of a decade in this garden of carmine flower. Exile me to the enormous orchard of Alcinous—spiced fruit, laden-tree—Imparadise me. Because, God, I am guilty. I am sin-frenzied and full of teeth for pear upon apple upon fig. More than all that are your hips. They are a city. They are Kingdom— Troy, the hollowed horse, an army of desire— thirty soldiers in the belly, two in the mouth. Beloved, your hips are the war. At night your legs, love, are boulevards leading me beggared and hungry to your candy house, your baroque mansion. Even when I am late and the tables have been cleared, in the kitchen of your hips, let me eat cake. O, constellation of pelvic glide—every curve, a luster, a star. More infinite still, your hips are kosmic, are universe—galactic carousel of burning comets and Big Big Bangs. Millennium Falcon, let me be your Solo. O, hot planet, let me circumambulate. O, spiral galaxy, I am coming for your dark matter. Along las calles de tus muslos I wander— follow the parade of pulse like a drum line— descend into your Plaza del Toros— hands throbbing Miura bulls, dark Isleros. Your arched hips—ay, mi torera. Down the long corridor, your wet walls lead me like a traje de luces—all glitter, glowed. I am the animal born to rush your rich red muletas—each breath, each sigh, each groan, a hooked horn of want. My mouth at your inner thigh—here I must enter you—mi pobre Manolete—press and part you like a wound— make the crowd pounding in the grandstand of your iliac crest rise up in you and cheer.
Natalie Díaz
Nevertheless, it would be prudent to remain concerned. For, like death, IT would come: Armageddon. There would be-without exaggeration-a series of catastrophes. As a consequence of the evil in man...-no mere virus, however virulent, was even a burnt match for our madness, our unconcern, our cruelty-...there would arise a race of champions, predators of humans: namely earthquakes, eruptions, tidal waves, tornados, typhoons, hurricanes, droughts-the magnificent seven. Floods, winds, fires, slides. The classical elements, only angry. Oceans would warm, the sky boil and burn, the ice cap melt, the seas rise. Rogue nations, like kids killing kids at their grammar school, would fire atomic-hydrogen-neutron bombs at one another. Smallpox would revive, or out of the African jungle would slide a virus no one understood. Though reptilian only in spirit, the disease would make us shed our skins like snakes and, naked to the nerves, we'd expire in a froth of red spit. Markets worldwide would crash as reckless cars on a speedway do, striking the wall and rebounding into one another, hurling pieces of themselves at the spectators in the stands. With money worthless-that last faith lost-the multitude would riot, race against race at first, God against God, the gots against the gimmes. Insects hardened by generations of chemicals would consume our food, weeds smother our fields, fire ants, killer bees sting us while we're fleeing into refuge water, where, thrashing we would drown, our pride a sodden wafer. Pestilence. War. Famine. A cataclysm of one kind or another-coming-making millions of migrants. Wearing out the roads. Foraging in the fields. Looting the villages. Raping boys and women. There'd be no tent cities, no Red Cross lunches, hay drops. Deserts would appear as suddenly as patches of crusty skin. Only the sun would feel their itch. Floods would sweep suddenly over all those newly arid lands as if invited by the beach. Forest fires would burn, like those in coal mines, for years, uttering smoke, making soot for speech, blackening every tree leaf ahead of their actual charring. Volcanoes would erupt in series, and mountains melt as though made of rock candy till the cities beneath them were caught inside the lava flow where they would appear to later eyes, if there were any eyes after, like peanuts in brittle. May earthquakes jelly the earth, Professor Skizzen hotly whispered. Let glaciers advance like motorboats, he bellowed, threatening a book with his fist. These convulsions would be a sign the parasites had killed their host, evils having eaten all they could; we'd hear a groan that was the going of the Holy Ghost; we'd see the last of life pissed away like beer from a carouse; we'd feel a shudder move deeply through this universe of dirt, rock, water, ice, and air, because after its long illness the earth would have finally died, its engine out of oil, its sky of light, winds unable to catch a breath, oceans only acid; we'd be witnessing a world that's come to pieces bleeding searing steam from its many wounds; we'd hear it rattling its atoms around like dice in a cup before spilling randomly out through a split in the stratosphere, night and silence its place-well-not of rest-of disappearance. My wish be willed, he thought. Then this will be done, he whispered so no God could hear him. That justice may be served, he said to the four winds that raged in the corners of his attic.
William H. Gass (Middle C)
Father will bury us with both hands. He boasts of me to his so-called friends, telling them I’m the next queen of this kingdom. I don’t think he’s ever paid so much attention to me before, and even now, it is minuscule, not for my own benefit. He pretends to love me now because of another, because of Tibe. Only when someone else sees worth in me does he condescend to do the same. Because of her father, she dreamed of a Queenstrial she did not win, of being cast aside and returned to the old estate. Once there, she was made to sleep in the family tomb, beside the still, bare body of her uncle. When the corpse twitched, hands reaching for her throat, she would wake, drenched in sweat, unable to sleep for the rest of the night. Julian and Sara think me weak, fragile, a porcelain doll who will shatter if touched, she wrote. Worst of all, I’m beginning to believe them. Am I really so frail? So useless? Surely I can be of some help somehow, if Julian would only ask? Are Jessamine’s lessons the best I can do? What am I becoming in this place? I doubt I even remember how to replace a lightbulb. I am not someone I recognize. Is this what growing up means? Because of Julian, she dreamed of being in a beautiful room. But every door was locked, every window shut, with nothing and no one to keep her company. Not even books. Nothing to upset her. And always, the room would become a birdcage with gilded bars. It would shrink and shrink until it cut her skin, waking her up. I am not the monster the gossips think me to be. I’ve done nothing, manipulated no one. I haven’t even attempted to use my ability in months, since Julian has no more time to teach me. But they don’t believe that. I see how they look at me, even the whispers of House Merandus. Even Elara. I have not heard her in my head since the banquet, when her sneers drove me to Tibe. Perhaps that taught her better than to meddle. Or maybe she is afraid of looking into my eyes and hearing my voice, as if I’m some kind of match for her razored whispers. I am not, of course. I am hopelessly undefended against people like her. Perhaps I should thank whoever started the rumor. It keeps predators like her from making me prey. Because of Elara, she dreamed of ice-blue eyes following her every move, watching as she donned a crown. People bowed under her gaze and sneered when she turned away, plotting against their newly made queen. They feared her and hated her in equal measure, each one a wolf waiting for her to be revealed as a lamb. She sang in the dream, a wordless song that did nothing but double their bloodlust. Sometimes they killed her, sometimes they ignored her, sometimes they put her in a cell. All three wrenched her from sleep. Today Tibe said he loves me, that he wants to marry me. I do not believe him. Why would he want such a thing? I am no one of consequence. No great beauty or intellect, no strength or power to aid his reign. I bring nothing to him but worry and weight. He needs someone strong at his side, a person who laughs at the gossips and overcomes her own doubts. Tibe is as weak as I am, a lonely boy without a path of his own. I will only make things worse. I will only bring him pain. How can I do that? Because of Tibe, she dreamed of leaving court for good. Like Julian wanted to do, to keep Sara from staying behind. The locations varied with the changing nights. She ran to Delphie or Harbor Bay or Piedmont or even the Lakelands, each one painted in shades of black and gray. Shadow cities to swallow her up and hide her from the prince and the crown he offered. But they frightened her too. And they were always empty, even of ghosts. In these dreams, she ended up alone. From these dreams, she woke quietly, in the morning, with dried tears and an aching heart.
Victoria Aveyard (Queen Song (Red Queen, #0.1))
It was like a page out of the telephone book. Alphabetically, numerically, statistically, it made sense. But when you looked at it up close, when you examined the pages separately, or the parts separately, when you examined one lone individual and what constituted him, examined the air he breathed, the life he led, the chances he risked, you saw something so foul and degrading, so low, so miserable, so utterly hopeless and senseless, that it was worse than looking into a volcano. Outwardly it seems to be a beautiful honeycomb, with all the drones crawling over each other in a frenzy of work; inwardly it’s a slaughterhouse, each man killing off his neighbor and sucking the juice from his bones. Superficially it looks like a bold, masculine world; actually it’s a whorehouse run by women, with the native sons acting as pimps and the bloody foreigners selling their flesh... The whole continent is sound asleep and in that sleep a grand nightmare is taking place… At night the streets of New York reflect the crucifixion and death of Christ. When the snow is on the ground and there is the utmost silence there comes out of the hideous buildings of New York a music of such sullen despair and bankruptcy as to make the flesh shrivel. No stone was laid upon another with love or reverence; no street was laid for dance or joy. One thing has been added to another in a mad scramble to fill the belly, and the streets smell of empty bellies and full bellies and bellies half full. The streets smell of a hunger which has nothing to do with love; they smell of the belly which is insatiable and of the creations of the empty belly which are null and void. Just as the city itself had become a huge tomb in which men struggled to earn a decent death so my own life came to resemble a tomb which I was constructing out of my own death. I was walking around in a stone forest the center of which was chaos; sometimes in the dead center, in the very heart of chaos, I danced or drank myself silly, or I made love, or I befriended some one, or I planned a new life, but it was all chaos, all stone, and all hopeless and bewildering. Until the time when I would encounter a force strong enough to whirl me out of this mad stone forest no life would be possible for me nor could one page be written which would have meaning… Everybody and everything is a part of life... As an individual, as flesh and blood, I am leveled down each day to make the fleshless, bloodless city whose perfection is the sum of all logic and death to the dream. I am struggling against an oceanic death in which my own death is but a drop of water evaporating. To raise my own individual life but a fraction of an inch above this sinking sea of death I must have a faith greater than Christ’s, a wisdom deeper than that of the greatest seer. I must have the ability and the patience to formulate what is not contained in the language of our time, for what is now intelligible is meaningless. My eyes are useless, for they render back only the image of the known. My whole body must become a constant beam of light, moving with an ever greater rapidity, never arrested, never looking back, never dwindling. The city grows like a cancer; I must grow like a sun. The city eats deeper and deeper into the red; it is an insatiable white louse which must die eventually of inanition. I am going to starve the white louse which is eating me up. I am going to die as a city in order to become again a man. Therefore I close my ears, my eyes, my mouth. Infinitely better, as life moves toward a deathly perfection, to be just a bit of breathing space, a stretch of green, a little fresh air, a pool of water. Better also to receive men silently and to enfold them, for there is no answer to make while they are still frantically rushing to turn the corner.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #2))
Did you ever look back? To the times where things are easy. Its beautiful. Roses are red, as the sun shone its light on a crispy meadowed leaves. All the laughter and joy, memories of long lost innocence and naive optimism. Its another day in paradise. Have you ever wondered about the future? People grow apart, life gets lonely with your mind playing chase with you. Its daunting. Violets might not be blue, but I certainly do. Like the cold wind that freezes you in your track as you venture the dark, soulless night in this city of stars. Is this really the life in paradise? I walk alone on a crowded street, can't shake my loneliness in these busy madness. But the dawn did come, enlightening lost souls in its radiant crimson light. Like a fire rekindled to ignite this young body of an old soul. Its another day in paradise, and youre hoping to see it coming. And when the time comes, it will be nothing like you've ever seen.
Jonathan Davy
Big Log" My love is in league with the freeway Its passion will ride, as the cities fly by And the taillights dissolve, in the coming of night And the questions in thousands take flight My love is the miles and the waiting The eyes that just stare, and the glance at the clock And the secret that burns, and the pain that won't stop And its fuel is the years Leading me on – leading me down the road Driving beyond – driving me down the road My love is exceeding the limit Red-eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles Distance and longing, my thoughts do collide Should I rest for a while at the side Your love is cradled in knowing Eyes in the mirror, still expecting they'll come Sensing too well when the journey is done There is no turning back – no There is no turning back – on the run My love is in league with the freeway Oh the freeway, and the coming of night-time My love My love is in league with the freeway Robert Plant, The Principle Of Moments (1983)
Robert Plant
The British burnt down villages and took chiefs as hostages, but it wasn’t until 5 August that the Oba gave himself in.50 He walked into Benin City with hundreds of followers, some twenty elegant wives, many chiefs, and musicians. Messengers walked in front, carrying a white flag. He spent two nights at Obaseki’s house, deliberating on his future. On 7 August the Oba walked to the new court building, which stood in front of his palace from which he had fled six months earlier. He was dressed in full red coral regalia, including a headdress, collar, bangles up to his elbows and ankle bracelets. A huge crowd assembled. The Oba hesitated, and then kneeled in front of Roupell. Three times the Oba lowered his forehead to the dirt ground. He had performed the traditional act of obeisance, in full view of his own people. It was a very public surrender, and exactly the humiliation the British sought. Roupell told the Oba that he’d been deposed, and that he and his chiefs would stand trial for the killing of Phillips and the six other white men.
Barnaby Phillips (Loot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes)
There were three ways to get around inside Port City. Ground level was the movalongs. Second level was the Bridge—a raised platform on which you could stroll, watching at leisure the swifter bob of heads below you. Up above the Bridge were the bubbles, strung on their cables like jewels on a chain, sliding swiftly and unceasingly around the city. They were beautiful to look at, especially at night, when they were lit from within, and their colorful neo-lucite walls glowed green, rose, red, orange, and blue, a mobile circlet of gemstones. Leiko adored them and took them every chance she got. They made Jimson nervous as they careened through the air, but he rode them once in a while just to look down and see the magical city, blue, rose, red.
Elizabeth A. Lynn (A Different Light)
And the first thing I did, why, I bought myself a flaming-red dress and higheeled sequined shoes and everyone thought I was Real, and Miss Thing said, ‘Hurray, honey! youve done it—stick to it,
John Rechy (City of Night)
Tonight, just as the wan winter-evening light fanned out into all the colors of the hustlers' night, God tossed a handful of city rain across the green and red tavern legends like tossing a handful of red and green confetti. Overhead the wavering warning lamps of the El began casting a blood-colored light down the rails to guide the empty cars of evening down all the nameless tunnels of the night.
Nelson Algren (The Man with the Golden Arm)
So it was with the various eccentrics she discovered in the next years. Some she went home with, some she didn't; some she photographed, others she just talked to, but everyone impressed her. Like the irate lady who appeared to Diane one night pulling a kiddy's red express wagon trimmed with bells and filled with cats in fancy hats and dresses. Like the man in Brooklyn who called himself the Mystic Barber who teleported himself to Mars and said he was dead and wore a copper band around his forehead with antennae on it to receive instructions from the Martians. Or the lady in the Bronx who trained herself to eat and sleep underwater or the black who carried a rose and noose around with him at all times, or the person who invented a noiseless soup spoon, or the man from New Jersey who'd collected string for twenty years, winding it into a ball that was now five feet in diameter, sitting monstrous and splendid in his living room.
Patricia Bosworth (Diane Arbus: A Biography)
University Hospital, Boston The trees on the hospital lawn are lush and thriving. They too are getting the best of care, like you, and the anonymous many, in the clean rooms high above this city, where day and night the doctors keep arriving, where intricate machines chart with cool devotion the murmur of the blood, the slow patching-up of bone, the despair of the mind. When I come to visit and we walk out into the light of a summer day, we sit under the trees- buckeyes, as sycamore and one black walnut brooding high over a hedge of lilacs as old as the red-brick building behind them, the original hospital built before the Civil War. We sit on the law together, holding hands while you tell me: you are better. How many young men, I wonder, came here, wheeled on cots off the slow trains from th red and hideous battlefields to lie all summer in the small and stuffy chambers while doctors did what they could, longing for tools still unimagined, medicines still unfound, wisdoms still unguessed at, and how many died staring at the leaves of the trees, blind to the terrible effort around them to keep them alive? I look into your eyes which are sometimes green and sometimes gray, and sometimes full of humor, but often not, and tell myself, you are better, because my life without you would be a place of parched and broken trees. Later, walking the corridors down to the street, I turn and step inside an emty room. Yesterday someone was here with a gasping face. Now the bed is made all new, the machines have been rolled away. The silence continues, deep and neutral, as I stand there, loving you.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume One)
So this pickup group, these exiles and horny kids, sullen civilians called up in their middle age, men fattening despite their hunger, flatulent because of it, pre-ulcerous, hoarse, runny-nosed, red-eyed, sore-throated, piss-swollen men suffering from acute lower backs and all-day hangovers, wishing death on officers they truly hate, men you have seen on foot and smileless in the cities and forgot, men who don't remember you either, knowing they ought to be grabbing a little sleep, not out here performing for strangers, give you this evensong, climaxing now with its rising fragment of some ancient scale, voices overlapping three and fourfold, filling the entire hollow of the church - no counterfeit baby, no announcement of the Kingdom, not even a try at warming or lighting this terrible night, only, damn us, our scruffy obligatory little cry, our maximum reach outward - praise be to God! - for you to take back to your war-address, your war-identity, across the snow's footprints and tire tracks finally to the path you must create by yourself, alone in the dark. Whether you want it or not, whatever seas you have crossed, the way home...
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Moscow swam in color. Hazy floodlights of Red Square mixed with the neon of casinos in Revolution Square. Light wormed its way from the underground mall in the Manezh. Spotlights crowned new towers of glass and polished stone, each tower capped by a spire. Gilded domes still floated around the Garden Ring, but all night earth-movers tore at the old city and dug widening pools of light to raise a modern, vertical Moscow more like Houston or Dubai.
Martin Cruz Smith (Wolves Eat Dogs)
Often Khaster heard noises in the night he could not identify. They were the sounds made by animals, but had a human resonance to them. Sometimes gouts of light would spurt into the sky-red, turquoise, gold-and some moments later thunder would come, but from beneath the earth rather than the heavens. Strange smells, bitter yet musky and sweet, would occasionally come in through an open window to haunt a room. Khaster knew that the priest-mages of Madragore employed a regiment of alchemists who worked in a shuttered citadel on the east of the city. Its huge domed roof, which was covered in flaky verdigis scales rose up from an area of factories and tanning shops. Stories leaked out of the citadel along with the fumes. Creatures were made there, homunculi, golems, beasts of war. Sometimes the creatures escaped or were let out to roam the city by their keepers. That accounted for the strange nocturnal noises. But perhaps these were only stories after all. Perhaps the citadel hid secrets of a more mundane yet brutal nature. Prisoners could be interrogated there, tortured with corrosive steams. The alchemists made killing perfumes for use on the battlefield. Khaster had heard tales of a liquid that when released into the air corroded all the flesh from anyone who smelled its delicate aroma. The alchemists made weapons; if not magical beasts, then mordant potions and poisons. They had to test them on someone.
Storm Constantine (Sea Dragon Heir (The Chronicles of Magravandias, #1))
As people started to leave, Sherrena and Lora found a quiet spot in the hallway. “I got drama,” Sherrena began. “Drama for your momma! Me and Lamar Richards are going at it again—the man with no legs. He shorted me on my rent this month.” “How much?” Lora’s voice, with soft traces of the island accent, belonged to a librarian. She was older than Sherrena and that night was elegantly dressed in dark slacks, gold earrings, and a layered red blouse. She folded her fur-lined coat on her lap. “Thirty dollars.” Sherrena shrugged. “But that’s not it. It’s the principle….He already owes me two sixty for that bad job for the painting.” When Lamar and the boys had finished painting, he called Sherrena, and she came over. She noticed that the boys had not filled in the holes; had dripped white paint on the brown trim; had ignored the pantry. Lamar said Quentin had not dropped off hole-filler or brown paint. “You’re supposed to go and ask for it, then,” Sherrena snapped back. She refused to credit Lamar a cent toward his debt. “And then,” Sherrena continued, “he did his bathroom floor over without my knowledge and deducted thirty dollars out of the rent.” When painting, Lamar had found a box of tile in Patrice’s old place and had used it to retile his bathroom floor, securing each piece with leftover paint. “I told him, ‘Do not—do not ever deduct any more rent from me ever again!’ Plus, how can you deduct when you owe me?” Lora recrossed her legs. “He’s a player, that’s all he is. Time for him to go….They just try to take, take, take, take, take.” “The thing is”—Sherrena circled back to Lamar’s painting job—“I would have never paid anybody two sixty to do that.” “I can get painting done in five rooms, thirty bucks a room, a hundred and fifty dollars.” “No, no, no. Our people do it for twenty dollars a room, twenty-five at the most.” “Exactly.” “As far as I’m concerned, he still owes the two sixty. Excuse me, now it’s two ninety.” The old friends laughed. It was just what Sherrena needed.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
It is not that simple to adhere to good routines in tri cities wa dentist hygiene, but it is something that you need to do your whole life. You need to stay committed if you want your smile to constantly be a healthy one. This short article is packed with great dental care guidance. Avoid drinking soda water as part of your daily routine. Beverages rich in sugar can cause dental caries and staining unless you brush your teeth right away. This assists your teeth and naturally your overall health. It is essential that you brush your teeth regularly. Do it at least twice, preferably post-meal. Take a minimum of two minutes, brushing every surface of your teeth. Never ever brush too harshly, and constantly make use of a tooth paste with fluoride. You ought to also thoroughly floss your teeth afterward. Do not ever chew on ice. Chewing ice can crack teeth and make it easier for germs that triggers tooth cavities to stick to teeth and develop troubles. In addition, you ought to make use of care when consuming popcorn or nuts because these can also cause damages. If you fear that you have a broken tooth, visit your dental practitioner as soon as possible. Brilliant use of lipstick can make your teeth look more beautiful. Light average or red coral shades are going to have your teeth looking whiter than they truly are. Lighter shades have the tendency to have a reverse result. If they are white, they can make your teeth appear yellow even! You have to successfully brush at least two times daily to keep teeth in good shape. It is essential to brush in the early morning in order to remove collected germs from sleeping. During the night, you brush to clean away food debris you gathered during your day. Does tarter develop up on your teeth rapidly? If you do, you should buy a great anti-tartar tooth paste and mouthwash. Tartar typically kinds on your bottom front teeth and your upper molars. See a dental expert frequently to eliminate tartar. Do cold and hot foods trigger your teeth to hurt? Select a toothpaste for sensitive gums and teeth, and see a dental expert when you can. Go to an additional dental professional for a 2nd opinion if your dentist tells you a deep cleaning is needed. This form of cleaning costs a lot more so make certain that you aren't being ripped off. Does it appear outrageous to pay out $75 for a tooth brush? Well, many dental experts assert that a more pricey electricity toothbrush is one of the most efficient ways of cleaning your teeth, right alongside getting your teeth cleaned at the dental practitioner office. While you will not be removing everything on your teeth 100 percent, you will still get a remarkable clean. Search for models that have numerous styles of heads, and ensure the warranty is excellent! Take your time when brushing your teeth. Brushing could be something you already do, however you might rush when brushing. Do not make this mistake. Take care and sufficient time while you brush your teeth. Maximize the time when your brushing your teeth. See to it you brush comprehensive for one full minute or more. Do you really desire to get your tongue pierced? Piercing your tongue makes the location attractive to germs. It could chip off the enamel of your teeth if you aren't careful. Constantly follow appropriate brushing methods. You must do it as soon as you awaken and right prior to going to sleep. When you are asleep at night, your saliva dries, and this prevents bacteria that cause cavities from working. Make certain you set the timer for at least two minutes and brush around your teeth at a 45-degree angle. Since these fruits include carbonic acids that can ha
Do You Dislike Your Teeth Have a look at This Article
He had turned forty yesterday, and a bunch of his friends had thrown a big party for him down at the bar across the street from his bail bond office. The beer had been flowing freely. They’d even sprung for a day-old cake from the deli section of one of the big grocery stores across town. Their gift to Wilson had been Wanelle, the prettiest hooker on their side of the city, which was a title Wanelle held proudly, even if her claim to fame came from a real long stretch of the truth. Still, Wanelle had all her own teeth and clear skin, and she was almost pretty when she laughed. Wilson knew her slightly. He’d seen her around Ft. Worth from time to time, but buying a woman had never been his style. He’d felt trapped when Wanelle had been presented to him, especially since his buddies had tied a big red bow around her neck. Turning her down would have been a serious social faux pas to his friends and to Wanelle. So, rather than hurt everyone’s feelings, Wilson had graciously accepted, and they’d spent the night in her fifth floor apartment, only to be awakened by the scent of smoke.
Sharon Sala (Nine Lives (Cat Dupree, #1))
Saw-Scaled Viper     Alternative Names: Echis, Carpet viper, Little Indian viper Where in the world? Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Indian subcontinent Habitat: Desert, fields, towns and cities Common prey: Lizards, frogs, scorpions, centipedes and large insects Size: 40 to 60 cm (15 to 23 inches) Lifespan: 25 to 30 years Conservation status: Not classified   Description: The saw-scaled viper or carpet viper may be a small snake, only able to grow as long as 60 centimeters or a little less than two feet, but it is considered one of the deadliest snakes in the world. In fact, some scientists say that wherever this snake is found, it is responsible for about 80% of human deaths from snake bites.   There are three main reasons why the saw-scaled viper is so deadly. Firstly it is the saw-scaled viper’s aggressive behavior. It has a nasty temper and is easily provoked.   Secondly, it has a very quick strike, which when combined with a very defensive attitude, can be lethal to humans living nearby. The saw-scaled viper strikes so quickly that even the distinctive sawing sound it makes with its scales when agitated is not warning enough.   Thirdly, the saw-scaled viper’s venom is highly toxic to humans, with the venom from the females being two times more toxic than the venom from the male snakes. Its venom destroys red blood cells and the walls of the arteries, so within 24 hours, the victim can die of heart failure. There is an anti-venom available, and as long as this is administered very shortly after the bite, the victim can be saved.   Like other snakes, the saw-scaled viper’s diet consists of small animals like mice and lizards, as well as large insects. It hunts at night, hiding behind rocks and when it sees its prey, it coils and launches itself quickly and with accuracy, often biting its prey at the first attempt. The bite kills the prey within seconds, making it easy for the viper to drag it away or eat it on the spot.   Visit to see footage of the saw scaled viper in action (Be Aware: your method of reading this kindle book may not support video)
I.C. Wildlife (25 Most Deadly Animals in the World! Animal Facts, Photos and Video Links. (25 Amazing Animals Series Book 7))
26 In which we say goodbye to Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard After the hospital, where Mr. Whittard had his arm bandaged, they went in a taxi to the hotel. They drove through the streets of the city, where it no longer snowed. Alice folded all the clothes the museum curator had given her and left them neatly on her bed. She re-dressed herself, the way she had always dressed, in jeans and a T-shirt. She applied blood-red lipstick, which was way too grown-up for her. The sun was just up. It shone everywhere on the snow and on the glistening white trees and on all the windows. Behind each window there were people waking up to Christmas Day. They would no doubt open their presents, eat, and ice-skate. They would not set a time limit; they would skate into the night, and their cheeks would burn bright, and they would smile. Somewhere a man would take a violin out and begin to play. At the airport the family’s three suitcases were checked and the large, unusually shaped package was checked as well. The unusually shaped package went through the X-ray machine, and security looked very surprised until Ophelia’s father produced his card, which read: MALCOLM WHITTARD LEADING INTERNATIONAL EXPERT ON SWORDS They took their seats and rested, waiting for takeoff. Ophelia felt for Alice’s hand, and Alice squeezed in return until they were high in the air. Ophelia looked at her watch. They would be home within a few hours. She went to calculate … and stopped. Be brave, her mother whispered in her ear, and then was gone. From the airplane window Ophelia could see the city below. All the small and winding gray cobblestone streets, all the shining silver buildings and bridges, the museum, getting smaller and smaller until it was lost. She caught just a glimpse of the vast and fabled sea before the clouds covered this world. In that tiny moment she fancied she saw blue water, perfect blue water, the whitecaps breaking. Then that view was gone, swallowed up by the whitest clouds she’d ever seen. Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard, brave, curious girl, closed her eyes and smiled. THE END.
Karen Foxlee (Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy)
I remember my visit to the opencast iron ore mines in Keonjhar, Orissa. There was forest there once. And children like these. Now the land is like a raw, red wound. Red dust fills your nostrils and lungs. The air is red, the water is red, the people are red, their lungs and hair are red. All day and all nights trucks rumble through their villages, bumper to bumper, thousands and thousands of trucks, taking ore to Paradip port from where it will go to China. There it will turn into cars and smoke and sudden cities that spring up overnight. Into a 'growth rate' that leaves economists breathless. Into weapons to make war.
Arundhati Roy
The New Tower of Babel and its fellow houses stretched their somber heights high above the cathedral spire, that the young girls in the work-rooms and wireless stations gazed down just as deep from the thirtieth story windows on the star-crowned virgin as she, in earlier days, had looked down on the pious red roofs.  In place of doves, flying machines swarmed over the cathedral roof and over the city, resting on the roofs, from which, at night glaring pillars and circles indicated the course of flight and landing points. The Master of Metropolis had already considered, more than once, having the cathedral pulled down, as being pointless and an obstruction to the traffic in the town of fifty million inhabitants. But the small, eager sect of Gothics, whose leader was Desertus, half monk, half one enraptured, had sworn the solemn oath: If one hand from the wicked city of Metropolis were to dare to touch just one stone of the cathedral, then they would neither repose nor rest until the wicked city of Metropolis should lie, a heap of ruins, at the foot of her cathedral.
Thea von Harbou (Metropolis)
THERE WAS A HOUSE in the great Metropolis which was older than the town.  Many said that it was older, even, than the cathedral, and, before the Archangel Michael raised his voice as advocate in the conflict for God, the house stood there in its evil gloom, defying the cathedral from out its dull eyes. It had lived through the time of smoke and soot.  Every year which passed over the city seemed to creep, when dying, into this house, so that, at last it was a cemetery—a coffin, filled with dead tens of years. Set into the black wood of the door stood, copper-red, mysterious, the seal of Solomon, the pentagram. It was said that a magician, who came from the East (and in the track of whom the plague wandered) had built the house in seven nights.  But the masons and carpenters of the town did not know who had mortared the bricks, nor who had erected the roof.  No foreman’s speech and no ribboned nosegay had hallowed the Builder’s Feast after the pious custom.  The chronicles of the town held no record of when the magician died nor of how he died.  One day it occurred to the citizens as odd that the red shoes of the magician had so long shunned the abominable plaster of the town.  Entrance was forced into the house and not a living soul was found inside.  But the rooms, which received, neither by day nor by night, a ray from the great lights of the sky, seemed to be waiting for their master, sunken in sleep.  Parchments and folios lay about, open, under a covering of dust, like silver-grey velvet.
Thea von Harbou (Metropolis)
1 It was early December. The streets of Milan glistened with Christmas decorations, with people coming and going carefree, carrying elegant shopping bags. It was past eight, and several minutes earlier I had closed behind me the door of Passerella, the modelling agency I ran. I had let my assistant, Giovanni, file the photos of the new faces we had initially chosen for Dante’s summer collection. He was an up-and-coming designer. The minute I walked down Monte Napoleone, one of the city’s most commercial streets, the chilly air forced me to wrap up well in my brand new light green coat. An original piece of cashmere, the five letters embossed on its lapel making it even more precious in that cold weather. My fingers contentedly groped for the word “Prada” before I stuck my hand into its warm pocket, while clutching my favourite handbag tight. A huge red ostrich Hermes where you could find cosmetics, scarves, and accessories, which I could use throughout the day, giving a different twist to my appearance. I wanted to walk a little bit to let off steam. My job may have been pleasant as it had to do with the world’s most beautiful creatures, men and women, but it wasn’t without its tensions. Models went to and fro, trade representatives looking for new faces, endless castings, phone calls, text messages, tailors, photographers, reports from my secretary and assistants—a rowdy disorder! I had already left the building where my job was, and I was going past another two entrances of nearby premises, when my leg caught on something. I instantly thought of my brand new Manolo Blahnik shoes. I’d only put them on for the second time, and they were now falling victim to the rough surface of a cardboard box, where a homeless man slept, at the entrance of a building. My eyes sparked as I checked if my high heels were damaged. On the face of it, they were intact. But that wasn’t enough for me. I found a lighter, and tried to check their red leather in the dim light. Why should the same thing happen over and over again every time I buy new shoes? I wondered and walked on, cursing. Why had that bloke chosen that specific spot to sleep, and why had I headed for his damn cardboard box! As I held my lighter, my angry gaze fell on the man who was covered with an impermeable piece of nylon, and carried on sleeping. He looked so vulnerable out in the cold that I didn’t dare rouse him from his sleep. After all, how could I hold him responsible in this state? I quickened my gait. Bella was waiting for me to start our night out with a drink and supper at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the imposing arcade with a dome made of glass, its ambience warm and romantic. Bella’s office was nearby, and that meeting place was convenient for both of us. That’s where we made up our minds about how to spend the night.I walked several metres down the road, but something made me stop short. I wanted to have a second look at that man. I retraced my steps. He was a young man who, despite his state, seemed so out of place. His unkempt hair and unshaven face didn’t let me see anything else but his profile, which reminded of an ancient Greek statue, with pronounced cheekbones and a chiselled nose. This second time, he must have sensed me over him. The man’s body budged, and he eyed me without making me out, dazzled by the lighter flame. As soon as I realised what I had done, I took to my heels. What had made me go back? Maybe, the sense of guilt I felt inside my warm Prada coat, maybe, the compassion I had to show as Christmas was just around the corner. All I knew was that a small bell jingled within, and I obeyed it. I walked faster, as if to escape from every thought. As I left, I stuck my hand in my bag, and got hold of my mobile. My secretary’s voice on the other end of the line sounded heavy and imposing. Giovanni wasn’t the embodiment of “macho” man, but he had all it takes to be the perfect male. Having chosen to quit modelling, he still looked gorgeous at the age of
Charlotte Bee (SLAVE AT MY FEET)
The wind howled about the bus, and the wipers slooshed heavily back and forth across the windshield, smeering the city into a red and yellow neon wetness. It was early afternoon, but it looked like night through the glass
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
For a moment I held her hand in mine and felt her warm, dry pressure. Then I went out to get the rum. The night stood big and silent about the little house. The leather seats of our car were moist. I stood and looked toward the horizon where the red glow of the city rose against the sky. I would gladly have stayed out there; but already I could hear Lenz calling.
Erich Maria Remarque (Three Comrades)
Shirt" I remember once I ran after you and tagged the fluttering shirt of you in the wind. Once many days ago I drank a glassful of something and the picture of you shivered and slid on top of the stuff. And again it was nobody else but you I heard in the singing voice of a careless humming woman. One night when I sat with chums telling stories at a bonfire flickering red embers, in a language its own talking to a spread of white stars: It was you that slunk laughing in the clumsy staggering shadows. Broken answers of remembrance let me know you are alive with a peering phantom face behind a doorway somewhere in the city’s push and fury. Or under a pack of moss and leaves waiting in silence under a twist of oaken arms ready as ever to run away again when I tag the fluttering shirt of you.
Carl Sandburg (Chicago Poems)
Transparent tubes divided Phil’s blood into shades of red, fading to straw colored plasma. I watched his fluid swirl past his shoulders and disappear into machines. He offered himself to blood banks all over the city, his plasma rushed to hospitals where it would circulate through other people’s bodies. The map of my love’s tapped arteries would look like a bloodshot eye over the city of Albuquerque. His blood bought us dinner. I dreamed he was my mother, and I nursed his arm. I wrote a poem about it, how I suckled his arm dry like a sore teat.
Jalina Mhyana (Dreaming in Night Vision: A Story in Vignettes)
So, as time went on and the war was finally won and the last British soldiers departed for their homeland, the king’s messengers became couriers without an army. On rainy nights the eerie pair still roamed, galloping along forever with a message never to be delivered, the writer of the message long since dead and buried in the red earth of King’s Mountain. Settlements grew into towns, then cities, and the two riders became wary of the main roads, taking to the country lanes in their endless search for the way to Charlottesburg. Some say you can still see them. A cold, rainy night in early October is the best time to look for the King’s Messengers. For then they were most apt to suddenly appear galloping over the hill on some lonely dirt road between King’s Mountain and Salisbury, two specters hurtling through the night on their phantom steeds, pausing sporadically to inquire the way to Charlottesburg. And, if by chance they should ask you, it doesn’t really matter in which direction you point for even with the best of directions an invisible power thwarts and diverts the restless apparitions at every turn. —The King’s Messengers
Nancy Roberts (This Haunted Land)
a shrewd and tawdry city, shining like toyland between the swamps and the sea. The night was weighted with derelicts and dancers, terminal breathing in wards, clenched fists of women as they pushed each time the pains came, chips in perfect alignment on green felt as men thumbed up the corners of the hole cards just enough to read the news, giggling young men in a chickenwire apartment painting the body of one of their chums a lovely gold, ambulances and tow trucks moving away in separate directions with a load of torn flesh or a load of ripped metal, thousands and thousands of picture tubes all telling the same jokes at the same instant to a hundred thousand living rooms, frantic rumps ram-packing the beach sand under the spread towelling, the simultaneous squirts of red tomato and yellow mustard in a hundred different places to disguise the flannelly taste of fried meat, a thousand simultaneous sobbings, thrashings, swallowings, vomitings, ejaculations, coughings, scratchings, cursings, shy touchings, whisperings, kickings. . . . He had never considered himself particularly imaginative. Never before had he felt this way about a city, and he knew that it could only be possible in a strange city, and at a time when grief and uncertainty and introspection had sharpened and heightened awareness. This great Gold Coast became a gigantic cruise ship moving through time rather than space, constantly assimilating the foods, the newborn, the gadgetry, spewing aft the unending tonnage of garbage and waste and dead bodies and broken toys, rolling imperceptibly in the slow tides of history, the passengers unaware that no city is forever, that it will end one day and the eternality of time will cover it in a silence of dust, sand and vines.
John D. MacDonald (The Last One Left)
Mother’s yellow station wagon slid like a Monopoly icon along the gray road that cut between fields of Iowa corn, which was chlorophyll green and punctuated in the distance by gargantuan silver silos and gleaming, unrusted tractors glazed cinnamon red. Mother told me how the wealth of these farmers differed from the plight of the West Texas dirt farmers of her Dust Bowl youth, who doled out mortgaged seed from croker sacks. But because I was seventeen and had bitten my cuticles raw facing the prospect of fitting in at the private college we’d reach that night—which had accepted me through some mixture of pity and oversight—and because I was split-headed with the hangover Mother and I had incurred the night before, sucking down screwdrivers in the unaptly named Holiday Inn in Kansas City, I told Mother something like, Enough already about your shitty youth. You’ve told me about eight million times since we pulled out of the garage.
Mary Karr (Lit)
Anita Sundström hoped she wasn’t making a ghastly mistake. A decision made in haste to be repented at leisure. Well, over the next two weeks. She stood nervously on the single platform of the small station in Simrishamn. The end of the line from Malmö. The day had turned out bright and warm after the previous night’s heavy rain, though she found herself shivering slightly as she looked down the deserted track while she waited for his train. She knew he was on it as he had texted ahead. She glanced across to the red-brick police station. Windows were open to let in much-needed air. Police life would be going on as usual. It reminded her that it was good to be on holiday. Her month-long summer leave had begun three days ago. When the weather was like this, it was good to get out of the city and escape to the countryside and coast of her beloved Österlen. She
Torquil MacLeod (Midnight In Malmö (Inspector Anita Sundstrom #4))
So this be how I bring the cure at last to all the Nighted States, save every poory children, young to die. Is how a city kilt for selfish love, and rise from this same smallness. Be how the new America begin, in wars against all hope—a country with no power in a world that hate its life. Be what I seeing, when our Russian boat pull to the nighten waters, as the shore hush from me, drift away all worlds I known. See the shore and see the smoke of Quantico afar, and I comprehend, this all a country, and is mine. Pasha be by me, in his sorrow, talking how he bad for life, and I hold his hand in habit, watch my townie stars, the brushy land beneath their eyes. And I know, inside this final loss, I going to save this place. I be small in all this blackness world, this ship of drunken vampires, but through my hearten wounds, I living yet, and all my love the same. Nor death been ever arguments to me, I know my truth. I know ain't evils in no life nor cruelties in no red hell can change the vally heart of Ice Cream Star.
Sandra Newman (The Country of Ice Cream Star)
In scores of cities all over the United States, when the Communists were simultaneously meeting at their various headquarters on New Year’s Day of 1920, Mr. Palmer’s agents and police and voluntary aides fell upon them—fell upon everybody, in fact, who was in the hall, regardless of whether he was a Communist or not (how could one tell?)—and bundled them off to jail, with or without warrant. Every conceivable bit of evidence—literature, membership lists, books, papers, pictures on the wall, everything—was seized, with or without a search warrant. On this and succeeding nights other Communists and suspected Communists were seized in their homes. Over six thousand men were arrested in all, and thrust summarily behind the bars for days or weeks—often without any chance to learn what was the explicit charge against them. At least one American citizen, not a Communist, was jailed for days through some mistake—probably a confusion of names—and barely escaped deportation. In Detroit, over a hundred men were herded into a bull-pen measuring twenty-four by thirty feet and kept there for a week under conditions which the mayor of the city called intolerable. In Hartford, while the suspects were in jail the authorities took the further precaution of arresting and incarcerating all visitors who came to see them, a friendly call being regarded as prima facie evidence of affiliation with the Communist party. Ultimately a considerable proportion of the prisoners were released for want of sufficient evidence that they were Communists. Ultimately, too, it was divulged that in the whole country-wide raid upon these dangerous men—supposedly armed to the teeth—exactly three pistols were found, and no explosives at all. But at the time the newspapers were full of reports from Mr. Palmer’s office that new evidence of a gigantic plot against the safety of the country had been unearthed; and although the steel strike was failing, the coal strike was failing, and any danger of a socialist régime, to say nothing of a revolution, was daily fading, nevertheless to the great mass of the American people the Bolshevist bogey became more terrifying than ever. Mr. Palmer was in full cry. In public statements he was reminding the twenty million owners of Liberty bonds and the nine million farm-owners and the eleven million owners of savings accounts, that the Reds proposed to take away all they had. He was distributing boilerplate propaganda to the press, containing pictures of horrid-looking Bolsheviks with bristling beards, and asking if such as these should rule over America. Politicians were quoting the suggestion of Guy Empey that the proper implements for dealing with the Reds could be “found in any hardware store,” or proclaiming, “My motto for the Reds is S. O. S.—ship or shoot. I believe we should place them all on a ship of stone, with sails of lead, and that their first stopping-place should be hell.” College graduates were calling for the dismissal of professors suspected of radicalism; school-teachers were being made to sign oaths of allegiance; business men with unorthodox political or economic ideas were learning to hold their tongues if they wanted to hold their jobs. Hysteria had reached its height.
Frederick Lewis Allen (Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s (Harper Perennial Modern Classics))
In December of each year the Tolowa people gathered together at the Axis Mundi to celebrate the creation of the earth. It’s a ten day celebration beginning at the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year ... It would take days for people to arrive and as the population grew, the new Anglo settlement in Crescent City became a little worried, they thought that the Indians were maybe gathering to ... wipe them out or something. Since they had only been in the area less than a year, the settlers didn’t realize that this was a normal annual thing. So the Tolowa people all across the area and the Yurok further south gathered together at the centre of the world, to dance and celebrate ... They danced all night until morning, and then they rested during the day and prepared food and so forth and then in the evening the dance started again ... And each night the dance became a little more elaborate than the night before ... On about the sixth night ... the local militiamen got together, and they drank some whisky and got a good buzz going, and then they got on their horses and went out and surrounded the village, which was one of the larger towns in the area. And of course we all lived in plankhouses made from redwood then. They lined up along a slough which lies in front of the village and then they began to set the buildings on fire, and as the people were trying to escape they were killed. Anybody who jumped into the slough to get away was gunned down into the water. And it happens that I have a great-great-uncle who survived, he was in the sweat house and he slid out and went into the slough and got away, and then he pushed himself southward in the slough. In the morning the entire village was set aflame, and hundreds of people were burned and killed outright. He said the slough was literally red with the blood of the people, and the babies that were found crying were just tossed into the flames to destroy them as well. So several hundred people perished there at ... Yan’daak’$$$$t, and later the place was called Burnt Ranch. And the local people still know where Burnt Ranch is ... The next year, because Axis Mundi was destroyed, the dance was moved to ‘Eechuulet, and they started to dance there and they were attacked again and my great-grandmother said that there were seven layers of bodies in the dance house when they burned it. They just stacked them in and torched the house down and ... burned them up there. The next year, 1855, there was ... a battle at the mouth of the Smith River, where about seventy of our people were killed. But by this time our numbers were drastically reduced...
James Wilson (The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America)
Gabriel Solomon, our sandy-lashed, red-haired, soon-to-be-surgeon waiter, recited the night's menu: salad, broiled salmon, boiled red potatoes, sliced tomatoes and corn on the cob, all served family style. A vast slab of butter lay on a white plate next to baskets of bread- white Wonder bread and buttermilk biscuits, neither of which had ever touched our lips. There was a bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup in the center of the table, a novelty for Jews who didn't mix dairy foods with meat. "The milk is from the farm's cows," Gabe explained. "It's pasteurized but it doesn't taste like city milk. If you'd like city milk, it will be delivered to you. But try the farm milk. Some guests love it. The children seem to enjoy it with syrup." Gabe paused. "I forgot to ask you, do you want your salad dressed or undressed?" Jack immediately replied, "Undressed of course," and winked. My mother worried about having fish with rolls and butter. "Fish is dairy," my father pronounced, immediately an expert on Jewish dietary laws. "With meat it's no butter and no milk for the children." Lil kept fidgeting in her straight-backed chair. "What kind of food is this?" she asked softly. "What do they call it?" "American," the two men said in unison. Within minutes Gabe brought us a bowl filled with iceberg lettuce, butter lettuce, red oak lettuce. "These are grown right here, in our own garden. We pick the greens daily. I brought you some oil and vinegar on the side, and a gravy boat of sour cream for the tomatoes. Take a look at these tomatoes." Each one was the size of a small melon, blood red, virtually seedless. Our would-be surgeon sliced them, one-two-three. We had not encountered such tomatoes before. "Beauties, aren't they?" asked Gabe. Jack held to certain eccentricities in his summer food. Without fail he sprinkled sugar over tomatoes, sugared his melons no matter how ripe and spread his corn with mustard- mustard!
Eleanor Widmer (Up from Orchard Street)
I’ve got so much inside me I have no idea about. I’m like the mayor of a city I’ve never seen.” He smiles at my phrasing. “If you knew the kind of little miracles happening every moment you breathe in, you wouldn’t be able to handle it. A valve could close and not open; an artery could split, you could die. At any moment. It’s nothing but miracles inside your tiny city.” He presses a kiss to my temple. “Holy shit.” I clutch at him. “You wouldn’t believe the stats on people who go to bed one night and never wake up. Normal, healthy people who aren’t even old.” “Why would you tell me this? Is this what you think about?” There’s the longest pause. “I used to. Not so much anymore.” “I think I preferred it when I thought I was full of white bones and red goo. Why am I now thinking about dying tonight?” “Now you see why I can’t do small talk.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
Thirty-Three If the martyr is made when the breaking heart breaks open, and one holds in the crib of her palm the ghost of something as singular as last night's argument, then what was mystery is worse—the advent of the end. They sleep in the sea of a bed, blue as breath, the tangle of needle-net holding them close. And if they dance, it is like lanterns on a lake, as nothing lasts for very long, so frail, those passive vessels. Imagine the elemental glow and a city of stars still forming, the work in progress of heaven like the swirl of color in a vanity rose: where one shade ends the other may begin, or not, its own red. She scowls her lover's scowl. When Christ comes down from the mountain, he marches to Jerusalem unaware. This is how the dead get by, and the dying make due: like anyone, they are preserved with such affection as to disenchant their grief.
Jill Alexander Essbaum (Heaven)
was commanded, in a dream naturally, to begin the epitaphs of thirty-three friends without using grand words like love pity pride sacrifice doom honor heaven hell earth: 1. O you deliquescent flower 2. O you always loved long naps 3. O you road-kill Georgia possum 4. O you broken red lightbulb 5. O you mosquito smudge fire 6. O you pitiless girl missing a toe 7. O you big fellow in pale-blue shoes 8. O you poet without a book 9. O you lichen without tree or stone 10. O you lion without a throat 11. O you homeless scholar with dirty feet 12. O you jungle bird without a jungle 13. O you city with a single street 14. O you tiny sun without an earth 15. Forgive me for saying good-night quietly 16. Forgive me for never answering the phone 17. Forgive me for sending too much money 18. Pardon me for fishing during your funeral 19. Forgive me for thinking of your lovely ass 20. Pardon me for burning your last book 21. Forgive me for making love to your widow 22. Pardon me for never mentioning you 23. Forgive me for not knowing where you’re buried 24. O you forgotten famous person 25. O you great singer of banal songs 26. O you shrike in the darkest thicket 27. O you river with too many dams 28. O you orphaned vulture with no meat 29. O you who sucked a shotgun to orgasm 30. Forgive me for raising your ghost so often 31. Forgive me for naming a bird after you 32. Forgive me for keeping a nude photo of you 33. We’ll all see God but not with our eyes
Jim Harrison (The Shape of the Journey: New & Collected Poems)
Ten shockingly arty events What arty types like to call a ‘creative tension’ exists in art and music, about working right at the limits of public taste. Plus, there’s money to be made there. Here’s ten examples reflecting both motivations. Painting: Manet’s Breakfast on the Lawn, featuring a group of sophisticated French aristocrats picnicking outside, shocked the art world back in 1862 because one of the young lady guests is stark naked! Painting: Balthus’s Guitar Lesson (1934), depicting a teacher fondling the private parts of a nude pupil, caused predictable uproar. The artist claimed this was part of his strategy to ‘make people more aware’. Music: Jump to 1969 when Jimi Hendrix performed his own interpretation of the American National Anthem at the hippy festival Woodstock, shocking the mainstream US. Film: In 1974 censors deemed Night Porter, a film about a love affair between an ex-Nazi SS commander and his beautiful young prisoner (featuring flashbacks to concentration camp romps and lots of sexy scenes in bed with Nazi apparel), out of bounds. Installation: In December 1993 the 50-metre-high obelisk in the Place Concorde in the centre of Paris was covered in a giant fluorescent red condom by a group called ActUp. Publishing: In 1989 Salman Rushdie’s novel Satanic Verses outraged Islamic authorities for its irreverent treatment of Islam. In 2005 cartoons making political points about Islam featuring the prophet Mohammed likewise resulted in riots in many Muslim cities around the world, with several people killed. Installation: In 1992 the soon-to-be extremely rich English artist Damien Hirst exhibited a 7-metre-long shark in a giant box of formaldehyde in a London art gallery – the first of a series of dead things in preservative. Sculpture: In 1999 Sotheby’s in London sold a urinoir or toilet-bowl-thing by Marcel Duchamp as art for more than a million pounds ($1,762,000) to a Greek collector. He must have lost his marbles! Painting: Also in 1999 The Holy Virgin Mary, a painting by Chris Ofili representing the Christian icon as a rather crude figure constructed out of elephant dung, caused a storm. Curiously, it was banned in Australia because (like Damien Hirst’s shark) the artist was being funded by people (the Saatchis) who stood to benefit financially from controversy. Sculpture: In 2008 Gunther von Hagens, also known as Dr Death, exhibited in several European cities a collection of skinned corpses mounted in grotesque postures that he insists should count as art.
Martin Cohen (Philosophy For Dummies, UK Edition)
Unlike the city-dwelling hipsters who spent their nights wired to their phones streaming music or assessing the efficacy of a cabbage and baby food diet before tumbling from their beds after three hours of sleep desperate for a full-fat, four-shot, mocha latte with a caramel drizzle and a Red Bull chaser to get them on their feet again, the older and much wiser Rona Macallan – immune to the allure of caffeine and the frivolous banality of the internet – enjoyed a stress-free existence tending to her livestock, untroubled by the burden of social media and a relentless compulsion to share her schedule with the rest of the world.
Pete Brassett (Perdition (DI Munro & DS West #7))
The men worked hard and faithfully. As a rule, in spite of the number of rough characters among them, they behaved very well. One night a few of them went on a spree, and proceeded "to paint San Antonio red." One was captured by the city authorities, and we had to leave him behind us in jail. The others we dealt with ourselves, in a way that prevented a repetition of the occurrence.
Theodore Roosevelt (The Rough Riders)
Nothing,’ said Kaushalya wistfully. ‘The sun will rise. The birds will chirp and the city will go about its business. The world does not need us, my husband. We need the world. Come, let us go inside and prepare for Bharata’s coronation. Fortunes and misfortunes come and go but life continues.’ The motif of the beloved leaving on a chariot is a recurring one in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Ram leaves Ayodhya on his chariot and the people of Ayodhya try to stop him. Krishna leaves Vrindavan on his chariot and the milkmaids of Vrindavan try to stop him by hurling themselves before the chariot. Krishna does not keep his promise to return but Ram does. Unlike the departure of the Buddha that takes place in secret, Ram’s departure is public, with everyone weeping as the beloved is bound by duty to leave. Ram’s stoic calm while leaving the city is what makes him divine in the eyes of most people. He does what no ordinary human can do; he represents the acme of human potential. According to the Kashmiri Ramayana, Dashratha weeps so much that he becomes blind. Guha, the Boatman The chariot stopped when it reached the banks of the river Ganga. ‘Let us rest,’ said Ram. So everyone sat on the ground around the chariot. Slowly, the night’s events began to take their toll. People began to yawn and stretch. No sooner did their heads touch the ground than they fell asleep. Sita saw Ram watching over the people with a mother’s loving gaze. ‘Why don’t you sleep for some time?’ asked Sita. ‘No, the forest awaits.’ As the soft sounds of sleep filled the air, Ram alighted from the chariot and told Sumantra, ‘We will take our leave as they sleep. When they awaken tell the men and women of Ayodhya that if they truly love me, they must return home. I will see you, and them, again in fourteen years. No eclipse lasts forever.’ Ram walked upriver. Sita and Lakshman followed him. Sumantra watched them disappear into the bushes. The sky was red by the time they reached a village of fisherfolk; the sun would soon be up. ‘Guha,’ Ram
Devdutt Pattanaik (Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana)
It had been strange at first, getting used to the rhythm of a city where the sun simply fell beneath the horizon like a quiescent murder victim each night,
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
Imitation nation by nation, the simple means of communication and conflict. Stranger than fiction, always has been this way. In the heart of Rome, I never wanted this Halloween season to end, sweet dreams of dark love and wild west wide nights the universe was inside all along. The mystic river beyond metaphysical questions, I can't believe these pink walls anymore, can't remember the names of every street corner I lost my mind to every kind of street art sensual experience. Sunrise rooftops, all the make-up in the world couldn't heal the wounds from the false words in the every day scene of the fiery red lips predicting a gone future puff by single breath. Seeing my skin peel off the city lights.
Brandon Villasenor (Prima Materia (Radiance Hotter than Shade, #1))
The river twists and turns to face the city. It looms suddenly, massive, stamped on the landscape. Its light wells up around the surrounds, the rock hills, like bruise-blood. Its dirty towers glow. I am debased. I am compelled to worship this extraordinary presence that has silted into existence at the conjunction of two rivers. It is a vast pollutant, a stench, a klaxon sounding. Fat chimneys retch dirt into the sky even now in the deep night. It is not the current which pulls us but the city itself, its weight sucks us in. Faint shouts, here and there the calls of beasts, the obscene clash and pounding from the factories as huge machines rut. Railways trace urban anatomy like protruding veins. Red brick and dark walls, squat churches like troglodytic things, ragged awnings flickering, cobbled mazes in the old town, culs-de-sac, sewers riddling the earth like secular sepulchres, a new landscape of wasteground, crushed stone, libraries fat with forgotten volumes, old hospitals, towerblocks, ships and metal claws that lift cargoes from the water. How could we not see this approaching? What trick of topography is this, that lets the sprawling monster hide behind corners to leap out at the traveller? It is too late to flee.
China Miéville (Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon, #1))
ON A WARM, drowsy afternoon in early September, Ed Murrow, Vincent Sheean, and Ben Robertson, a correspondent for the New York newspaper PM, stopped at the edge of a field several miles south of London. The three had spent the day driving down the Thames estuary in Murrow’s Talbot Sunbeam roadster, enjoying the sun and looking for dogfights between Spitfires and Messerschmitts. Their search had been fruitless, and they stopped to buy apples from a farmer. Stretching out on the field to eat them, they drowsily listened to the chirp of crickets and buzzing of bees. The war seemed very far away. Within minutes, however, it returned with a vengeance. Hearing the harsh throb of aircraft engines, the Americans looked up at a sky filled with wave after wave of swastika-emblazoned bombers that clearly were not heading for their targets of previous days—the coastal defenses and RAF bases of southern England. Following the curve of the Thames, they were aimed straight at London. In minutes the sky over the capital was suffused with a fiery red glow; black smoke billowed up into a vast cloud that blanketed much of the horizon. When shrapnel from antiaircraft guns rained down around the American reporters, they dived into a nearby ditch, where, stunned, they watched the seemingly endless procession of enemy aircraft flying north. “London is burning. London is burning,” Robertson kept repeating. Returning to the city, they found flames sweeping through the East End, consuming dockyards, oil tanks, factories, overcrowded tenements, and everything else in their path. Hundreds of people had been killed, thousands injured or driven from their homes. Under a blood-red moon, women pushed prams piled high with their salvaged belongings. That horrific evening marked the beginning of the Blitz: from September 7 on, London would endure fifty-seven straight nights of relentless bombing. Until then, no other city in history had ever been subjected to such an onslaught. Warsaw and Rotterdam had been heavily bombed by the Germans early in the war, but not for the length of time of the assault on London. Although
Lynne Olson (Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour)
By late January 2014, Tesla had completed the construction of a cross-country Supercharger corridor that would allow Model S drivers to get from Los Angeles to New York without having to spend a penny on energy. The electric highway took a northern route through Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Illinois, before approaching New York from Delaware. The path it cut was similar to a trip taken by Musk and his brother, Kimbal, in a beat-up 1970s BMW 320i in 1994. Within days of the route’s completion, Tesla staged a cross-country rally to show that the Model S could easily handle long-distance driving, even in the dead of winter. Two hot-pepper-red Model S’s, driven by members of the Supercharging team, left Tesla’s Los Angeles–based design studio just after midnight on Thursday, January 30. Tesla planned to finish the trip at New York’s City Hall on the night of February 1, the day before Super Bowl XLVIII, which would take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just across the state line. Along the way, the cars would drive through some of the snowiest and most frigid places in the country, in one of the coldest weeks of the year. The trip took a little longer than expected. The rally encountered a wild snowstorm in the Rocky Mountains that temporarily closed the road over Vail Pass and then provided an icy entrance to Wyoming. Somewhere in South Dakota, one of the rally’s diesel support vans broke down, forcing its occupants to catch a flight from Sioux Falls to rejoin the rest of the crew in Chicago. And in Ohio, the cars powered through torrential rains as the fatigued crew pressed on for the final stretch. It was 7:30 A.M. on Sunday, February 2, when the Teslas rolled up to New York’s City Hall on a bright, mild morning. The 3,427-mile journey had taken 76 hours and 5 minutes—just over three days. The cars had spent a total of 15 hours and 57 seconds charging along the way,
Hamish McKenzie (Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil)
Curse you then. However beat and done with it all I am, I must haul myself up, and find the particular coat that belongs to me; must push my arms into the sleeves; must muffle myself up against the night air and be off. I, I, I, tired as I am, spent as I am, and almost worn out with all this rubbing of my nose along the surfaces of things, even I, an elderly man who is getting rather heavy and dislikes exertion, must take myself off and catch some last train. Again I see before me the usual street. The canopy of civilization is burnt out. The sky is dark as polished whalebone. But there is a kindling in the sky whether of lamplight or of dawn. There is a stir of some sort—sparrows on plane tree somewhere chirping. There is a sense of the break of day. I will not call it dawn. What is dawn in the city to an elderly man standing in the street looking up rather dizzily at the sky? Dawn is some sort of whitening of the sky; some sort of renewal. Another day; another Friday; another twentieth of March, January, or September. Another general awakening. The stars draw back and are extinguished. The bars deepen themselves between the waves. The film of mist thickens on the fields. A redness gathers on the roses, even on the pale rose that hangs by the bedroom window. A bird chirps. Cottagers light their early candles. Yes, this is the eternal renewal, the incessant rise and fall and fall and rise again. And in me too the wave rises. It swells; it arches its back. I am aware once more of a new desire, something rising beneath me like the proud horse whose rider first spurs and then pulls him back. What enemy do we now perceive advancing against us, you whom I ride now, as we stand pawing this stretch of pavement? It is death. Death is the enemy. It is death against whom I ride with my spear couched and my hair flying back like a young man’s, like Percival’s, when he galloped in India. I strike spurs into my horse. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! The waves broke on the shore.
Virginia Woolf