Claim Her Quotes

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Their hands clasped between them, he whispered into her ear, "I claim you, too, Aelin Galathynius.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I do not mourn the loss of my sister because she will always be with me, in my heart," she says. "I am, however, rather annoyed that my Tara has left me to suffer you lot alone. I do not see as well without her. I do not hear as well without her. I do not feel as well without her. I would be better off without a hand or a leg than without my sister. Then at least she would be here to mock my appearance and claim to be the pretty one for a change. We have all lost our Tara, but I have lost a part of myself as well.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
I've always loved strong women, which is lucky for me because once you're over about twenty-five there is no other kind. Women blow my mind. The stuff that routinely gets done to them would make most men curl up and die, but women turn to steel and keep on coming. Any man who claims he's not into strong women is fooling himself mindless; he's into strong women who know how to pout prettily and put on baby voices, and who will end up keeping his balls in her makeup bags.
Tana French (Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3))
Sadly, the signals that allow men and women to find the partners who most please them are scrambled by the sexual insecurity initiated by beauty thinking. A woman who is self-conscious can't relax to let her sensuality come into play. If she is hungry she will be tense. If she is "done up" she will be on the alert for her reflection in his eyes. If she is ashamed of her body, its movement will be stilled. If she does not feel entitled to claim attention, she will not demand that airspace to shine in. If his field of vision has been boxed in by "beauty"--a box continually shrinking--he simply will not see her, his real love, standing right before him.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Wolfy, is it? And what do you know about my turning?" "I asked around when I figured out I was your... mate." He stood, crossing to her. "Well, let's hear it." "Basically, you'll lose your mind, turning animalistic, hunting me down until you claim me repeatedly, biting my neck and marking me as your possession. Nothing will stop you- no cage can hold you. Did I miss anything? "Aye, Lousha." His gaze raked over her and his voice deepened. "The fact that you're going to like it.
Kresley Cole (Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #8))
the wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling. Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Usually, she considered Valgu a solid judge of character. She found it easy to concede trust to those he would call friend. But this man, and his brazen claim that he had the ability to restore her wings. Tegija seemed task oriented, and had an heir of self important pride, common traits among attractive men. Tegija was in all things the exact opposite of her private nightmare. The one where her brothers failed to retrieve her, and the House sold her off to some nervous indecisive man child. No one had even bothered to introduce them.
Andrea Luhman (Missing Wings (Aranysargas, #1))
Mom, how do you know if the guy is the guy?” You mean if he’ll be a good husband?” She pauses, then says “The ticket is for the man to love the woman more than she loves him.” Shouldn’t it be equal?” Mom cackles. “It can never be equal.” But what if the woman loves the man more?” A life of hell awaits her. As women, the deck is stacked against us because time is our enemy. We age, while men season. And trust me, there are plenty of women out there looking for a man, and they don’t mind staking a claim on somebody else’s husband, no matter how old, creaky, and deaf they are.
Adriana Trigiani (Very Valentine (Valentine, #1))
So many men had tried to make her a queen. Now she understood that she was meant for something more. The Darkling had told her he was destined to rule. He had claimed his throne, and a part of her too. He was welcome to it. For the living and the dead, she would make herself a reckoning. She would rise.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
You might be locked in a world not of your own making, her eyes said, but you still have a claim on how it is shaped. You still have responsibilities.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
a man would know the women he was meant to be with because she made him weak. Till he claimed her and she made him strong.
Kresley Cole (If You Deceive (MacCarrick Brothers, #3))
For with my intuition I knew that this man was repeating a pattern over and over again: courting a woman with his intelligence and sympathy, claiming her emotionally; then, when she began to claim in return, running away. And the better a woman was, the sooner he would begin to run. I knew this with my intuition, and yet I sat there in my dark room, looking at the hazed wet brilliance of the purple London night sky, longing with my whole being.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
as the old pharaoh was laid to rest, allowing her brother to claim his place fully upon the Isis Throne.
Stephanie Marie Thornton (Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt)
Macon Ethan I lay my head down on his chest and cried because had lived because he had died a dry ocean, a desert of emotion happysad darklight sorrowjoy swept over me, under me i could hear the sound but i could not understand the words and then i realized the sound was me, breaking in one moment i was feeling everything and i was feeling nothing i was shattered, i was saved, i lost everthing, i was given everything else something in me died, something in me was born, i only knew the girl was gone whoever i was now, i would never be her again this is the way the world ends not with a bang but a whimper claim yourself claim yourself claim yourself claim gratitude fury love despair hope hate first green is gold but nothing green can stay dont try nothing green can stay -Lena Duchannes
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
He surged upward and paused at her entrance. “Look at me, Alexa.” Half drugged, she opened her eyes and gazed at the man she loved with every part of her being, waiting for him to claim her, waiting to take anything he could give. “It’s always been you.” He paused as if to be sure she heard and understood the words. Intensity gleamed within amber depths. He gripped her fingers, as if trying to speak beyond words. “And it will always be you.
Jennifer Probst (The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1))
For a group of people who claimed to be concerned for her safety, they did seem to have developed rather a habit of encouraging uprisings against monarchs.
Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
He smelled of magic and heartbreak, and something about the combination made her think that despite what he claimed, he wanted to be her hero.
Stephanie Garber (Finale (Caraval, #3))
You try every trick in the book to keep her. You write her letters. You drive her to work. You quote Neruda. You compose a mass e-mail disowning all your sucias. You block their e-mails. You change your phone number. You stop drinking. You stop smoking. You claim you’re a sex addict and start attending meetings. You blame your father. You blame your mother. You blame the patriarchy. You blame Santo Domingo. You find a therapist. You cancel your Facebook. You give her the passwords to all your e-mail accounts. You start taking salsa classes like you always swore you would so that the two of you could dance together. You claim that you were sick, you claim that you were weak—It was the book! It was the pressure!—and every hour like clockwork you say that you’re so so sorry. You try it all, but one day she will simply sit up in bed and say, No more, and, Ya, and you will have to move from the Harlem apartment that you two have shared. You consider not going. You consider a squat protest. In fact, you say won’t go. But in the end you do.
Junot Díaz (This Is How You Lose Her)
And I'm ill with the thought of your kiss, coffee-laced intoxicating on her lips... shut it out, I've got no claim on you now, I'm not allowed to wear you freedom down
A Fine Frenzy
Who would come for her?" he snarled, rallying. Behind me, a voice shouted, "Tybalt, King of Cats. My claim precedes yours.
Seanan McGuire (An Artificial Night (October Daye, #3))
What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
Da. This is going very well already." Thomas barked out a laugh. "There are seven of us against the Red King and his thirteen most powerful nobles, and it's going well?" Mouse sneezed. "Eight," Thomas corrected himself. He rolled his eyes and said, "And the psycho death faerie makes it nine." "It is like movie," Sanya said, nodding. "Dibs on Legolas." "Are you kidding?" Thomas said. "I'm obviously Legolas. You're . . ." He squinted thoughtfully at Sanya and then at Martin. "Well. He's Boromir and you're clearly Aragorn." "Martin is so dour, he is more like Gimli." Sanya pointed at Susan. "Her sword is much more like Aragorn's." "Aragorn wishes he looked that good," countered Thomas. "What about Karrin?" Sanya asked. "What--for Gimli?" Thomas mused. "She is fairly--" "Finish that sentence, Raith, and we throw down," said Murphy in a calm, level voice. "Tough," Thomas said, his expression aggrieved. "I was going to say 'tough.' " As the discussion went on--with Molly's sponsorship, Mouse was lobbying to claim Gimli on the basis of being the shortest, the stoutest, and the hairiest-- "Sanya," I said. "Who did I get cast as?" "Sam," Sanya said. I blinked at him. "Not . . . Oh, for crying out loud, it was perfectly obvious who I should have been." Sanya shrugged. "It was no contest. They gave Gandalf to your godmother. You got Sam.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
He had come for her. She held his gaze as she grabbed her own dagger and cut her palm, right over the scar she’d given herself at Nehemia’s grave. And though she knew he could read the words on her face, she said, “To what ever end?” He nodded, and she joined hands with him, blood to blood and soul to soul, his other arm coming around to grip her tightly. Their hands clasped between them, he whispered into her ear, “I claim you, too, Aelin Galathynius.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
He dropped his voice, so low that Tessa wasn’t sure if what he said next was real or part of the dream darkness rising to claim her, though she fought against it. “I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I had always thought one could not be truly lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.” He closed his eyes as if he were bone-weary, and she saw how thin his eyelids were, like parchment paper, and how tired he looked. “Wo ai ni, Tessa,” he whispered. “Wo bu xiang shi qu ni.” She knew, without knowing how she knew, what the words meant. I love you. And I don’t want to lose you.
Cassandra Clare
She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love. He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love. He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises. She had desperately wanted his promises. She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get. Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation. He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving. If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct. If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself. He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see. If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow. He was deathly afraid of his shadow. She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it. She thought her love would change him. He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave. He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain. He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him. Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her. His dark heart concealed. She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender. Wide open, exposed to deception. It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love. It was blinding the way she wanted him. She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen. She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed. He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs. Intimacy would lead to his undoing—in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake. When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it. Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem. She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life. He stirred her core. The place she dared not enter. The place she could not stir for herself. But something wasn’t right. His eyes were cold and dark. His energy, unaffected. He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess. Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain. And her heart stopped.
G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
When the late Pope John Paul II decided to place the woman so strangely known as “Mother” Teresa on the fast track for beatification, and thus to qualify her for eventual sainthood, the Vatican felt obliged to solicit my testimony and I thus spent several hours in a closed hearing room with a priest, a deacon, and a monsignor, no doubt making their day as I told off, as from a rosary, the frightful faults and crimes of the departed fanatic. In the course of this, I discovered that the pope during his tenure had surreptitiously abolished the famous office of “Devil’s Advocate,” in order to fast‐track still more of his many candidates for canonization. I can thus claim to be the only living person to have represented the Devil pro bono.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Some say that I was once uncommonly beautiful, but I wouldn't wish beauty on any woman who has not her own freedom, and who chooses not the hands that claim her.
Lawrence Hill (Someone Knows My Name)
She was mine. Didn’t she know that? Because my body was screaming it - demanding me to stake my claim on her.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I can't - Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize - my prize - it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won't harm you, I swear that he won't, but you must...hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you're not better off dead. Swallow your pride." "Maybe it's not as easy for me as it is for you." He wheeled on her. "It's not easy for me," "You know that it's not. What do you think I have had to swallow these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?" "Truly," she said, "I haven't the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else." He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: "You can make people feel so small.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
His gaze swept her head to toe. “You’re wearing my colors, love.” He stalked forward and leaned down to brush her cheek with a kiss. “Soon you’ll be wearing me,” he whispered for her ears only.
Rebecca Zanetti
I don't think she realized how much she cared for him, or he for her, until the end. Hasn't someone said a woman may be known by the men who love her enough to die for her? (If they haven't, I claim the credit myself.)
Elizabeth Peters (The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10))
The emancipation of woman will only be possible when woman can take part in production on a large, social scale, and domestic work no longer claims anything but an insignificant amount of her time.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
I definitely like it--lips and mouths and tongues together. When my tongue runs over my own lips, I can taste her there, and it's as if she's laid claim to me.
Shay Savage (Transcendence (Transcendence, #1))
I liked reading about the nun who ate so dainty with her fingers she never dripped any grease on herself. I've never been able to make that claim and I use a fork.
Helene Hanff (84, Charing Cross Road)
Never believe a man’s claim that he has to harm his partner in order to protect her; only abusers think this way.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Jared had his back to the wall, which Kami thought was a reflex when he was uncomfortable. She wanted to shield him. “He was doing some—Zen jogging,” she claimed. Jared flicked her an incredulous glance. “Yes,” he said slowly. “Zen jogging. I wasn’t wearing that many clothes because—that’s part of the process. You’re meant to commune with the elements. Normally, I wouldn’t have worn my jeans, but I put them on because I know the English are a modest people.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
We Americans claim to be a peace-loving people. We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. Yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. We are ready to hang, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America is becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and that she will eventually plant her iron foot on the necks of all other nations. Such is the logic of patriotism.
Emma Goldman
Cinder flexed her tongue, testing it, and raised her voice."I am princess Selene." Levana leaned forward. "Your are an impostor!" "And I am ready to claim what's mine. People of Artemisia, this is your chance. Renounce Levana as your queen and swear fealty to me, or I swear that when I wear that crown, very person in this room will be punished for their betrayal.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Again, stepping nearer, he besought her with another tremulous eager call upon her name. 'Margaret!' Still lower went the head; more closely hidden was the face, almost resting on the table before her. He came close to her. He knelt by her side, to bring his face to a level with her ear; and whispered-panted out the words: — 'Take care. — If you do not speak — I shall claim you as my own in some strange presumptuous way.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
The wolf in him demanded he kick (the door) down and claim her. The man in him just wanted to hold her close and protect her. He’d never been so torn. So confused. So damned horny!
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Play (Dark-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #1))
I cupped her chin and tilted it back, deepening the kiss, wanting to somehow claim her very soul. Funny thing was, it was my soul that was being claimed, my breath that was being stolen, and my heart that was pounding crazy fast in my chest.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Return (Titan, #1))
He sees her like I do: at seventeen, twenty, thirty. Superimposed over the fourteen-year-old, he sees the woman she'll become. And he's staking claim. Over. my. Dead. Fucking. Body. And I can't die.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.
Elisabeth Elliot (Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control)
You’ll know her by a crown of stars and flowers, and then when you take her to your bed and claim her, you will swear your loyalty to me.
Richelle Mead (Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1))
He didn’t back away again as she approached and said with every ember left in her shredded heart, “I claim you, Rowan Whitethorn. I don’t care what you say and how much you protest. I claim you as my friend.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
He'd come to recognize the bizarre phenomenon of Zoya's beauty, the way men loved to create stories around it. They said she was cruel because she'd been harmed in the past. They claimed she was cold because she just hadn't met the right fellow to warm her. Anything to soften the edges and sweeten her disposition--and what was the fun in that? Zoya's company was like strong drink. Bracing--and best to abstain if you couldn't handle the kick.
Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars (King of Scars, #1))
Nick spoke for the first time. "Can I go to the nurse's office too?" Ms. Popplewell looked at him It obviously took her only one look to decide. "No." "I'm traumatized too," Nick claimed, his voice completely flat. "He's a delicate flower," Alan said under his breath.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Surrender)
Shall I tell you the secret of true love? her father once asked her. A friend of mine liked to tell me that women love flowers. He had many flirtations, but he never found a wife. Do you know why? Because women may love flowers, but only one woman loves the scent of gardenias in late summer that remind her of her grandmother's porch. Only one woman loves apple blossoms in a blue cup. Only one woman loves wild geraniums. That's Mama! Inej had cried. Yes. Mama loves wild geraniums because no other flower has quite the same color, and she claims that when she snaps the stem and puts a sprig behind her ear, the whole world smells like summer. Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favourite flower, your favourite song, your favourite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Salem snorted. "The Vamp basically told her, 'I'm in a weird place in me life right now, and I need some space.' Of course, he told her that by pointing a bloody sword at her whilst bellowing, 'I forsake you!' in front of the whole kingdom.
Kresley Cole (Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark, #12; The Dacians, #1))
Well, are you ready, Lada Dragwlya, daughter of the dragon?" Fire burned in her heart, and her wounded soul spread out, casting a shadow like wings across her country. This was hers. Not because of her father. Not because of Mehmed. Because the land itself had claimed her as its own. "Not Dragwlya," she said. "Lada Dracul. I am no longer the daughter of the dragon." She lifted her chin, sights set on the horizon. "I am the dragon.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
He didn't just want to fuck her, he didn't just want her in his bed... He wanted her on the back of his bike. Yeah, he wanted to lay claim to Danielle West, ink his name on her body and slap an old lady patch on her ass. And worse, he wanted the world to know it.
Madeline Sheehan (Unbeautifully (Undeniable, #2))
Manon smirked at Lorcan. “Your claim on her, male, is at the very bottom of the list.
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Tessa reached to brush the damp hair from his forehead. He leaned into her touch, his eyes closing. “Jem—have you ever—” She hesitated. “Have you ever thought of ways to prolong your life that are not a cure for the drug?”   At that his eyelids flew open. “What do you mean?”   She thought of Will, on the floor of the attic, choking on holy water. “Becoming a vampire. You would live forever—”   He scrambled upright against the pillows of the bed. “Tessa, no. Don’t—you can’t think that way.”    “Is the thought of becoming a Downworlder truly so horrible to you?”   “Tessa …” He exhaled slowly. “I am a Shadowhunter. Nephilim. Like my parents before me. It is the heritage I claim, just as I claim my mother’s heritage as part of myself. It does not mean I hate my father. But I honor the gift they gave me, the blood of the Angel, the trust placed in me, the vows I have taken. Nor, I think, would I make a very good vampire. [redacted for spoilers] I would no longer be Will’s parabatai, no longer be welcome in the Institute. No, Tessa. I would rather die and be reborn and see the sun again, than live to the end of the world without daylight.”   “A Silent Brother, then,” she said.    His eyes softened slightly. “The path of Silent Brotherhood is not open to me.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
She smiled darkly and shook her head. 'I'm not crazy. I'm not. Of course what else would a crazy person claim? That's the Kafkaesque genius of it all. If you're not crazy but people have told the world you are, then all your protests to the contrary just underscore their point. Do you see what I'm saying?
Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island)
Faster than lightening, his hand shot out and she gagged, jolting as he grabbed her tongue between his fingers...He released her tongue, and she gasped for breath. She swore at him, a filthy, foul name, and spat at his feet. And that's when he bit her. She cried out as those canines pierced the spot between her neck and shoulder, a primal act of aggression--the bite so strong and claiming that she was too stunned to move. He had her pinned against the tree and clamped down harder, his canines digging deep, her blood spilling onto her shirt. Pinned, like some weakling. But that was what she'd become, wasn't it? Useless, pathetic. She growled, more animal than sentient being. And shoved. Rowan staggered back a step, teeth ripping her skin and she struck his chest. She didn't feel the pain, didn't care about the blood or flash of light. No, she wanted to rip his throat out--rip it out with the elongated canines she bared at him as she finished shifting and roared. Rowan grinned. "There you are.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
We are the Thirteen, from now until the Darkness claims us.” She said it quietly, but knew all could hear her. “Let’s remind them why.” Manon kicked her mount into action.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
I've got no claim. She's not mine. She's hers. But if you think for one second I'm not willing to bathe in blood to be by her side when all this is over, then you're insane... I will rip all three suns out of heaven to keep her safe, you hear me? I will kill the fucking sky.
Jay Kristoff (Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3))
From that first moment, in a way she could never explain, the Meadows claimed her and made her their own.
Elizabeth George Speare (The Witch of Blackbird Pond)
Speaking of, her family is due in any minute to claim her body. What am I supposed to tell them when we can’t give the body over? Again, I don’t think ‘oops’ will quite cover it. (Tate)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
I’ve read hundreds of novels in my life, most of them claiming that love was the center of the universe. That it could heal any damage inside of us. That it was what we needed to survive. From Darcy to Heathcliff, I thought they were fools. That love was something fictional, only found in worn pages of a book. That it was just made up to keep humans full of hope, that it was a lie. But all that changed since I met my Elizabeth Bennett. I never thought I would find myself completely and utterly consumed by another until her. She took my hand and led me out of the darkness and showed me that, whatever our souls are made of, hers and mine are the same. I’m sorry, please forgive me. You once asked me who I loved most in this world. It’s you. — Hardin ( Movie- "After" - Hardin's letter to Tessa )
Anna Todd
And when Jace was ten years old, Valentine killed him. Michael, I mean." "That sounds like something he would do," said Luke. His tone was neutral, but there was something in his voice that made Clary look at him sideways. Did he not believe her? "Jace saw him die, " she added, as if to bolster her claim. "That's awful," said Luke. "Poor messed-up kid.
Cassandra Clare
Emperor, right." she retacked the curtain "That's weird to say, after eighteen years of listening to celebrity gossip feeds go on and on about 'Earth's favorite prince'". She claimed one of the lumpy sofa cushions, curling her legs beneath her. "I had a picture of him taped to my wall when I was fifteen. Grand-mere cut it off a cereal box." Wolf scowled. "Of course, half the girls in the world probably have had that same picture from that same cereal box." Wolf scrunched his shoulders against his neck, and Scarlet grinned, teasing. "Oh, no. You're not going to have to fight him for pack dominance now are you? Come here." She beckoned him with a wave of her hand and he was at her side in half a second, the glower softening as he pulled her against his chest.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a buket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
If you love me as you claim to, then you love her as well. She’s part of me. Do you understand? She’s part of my flesh and my life. When you say things against her, you say them against me. When you cut her, you cut me. Do you understand?
Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love)
Women buy underwear for the men they love. It’s economics. Data supports this claim.” “Are you telling me you love me, Stella?” She hugged Karate Bear tight and nodded, suddenly overcome by shyness. “You’re not going to give me the words?” he asked. “I’ve never said them to anyone but my parents.” “You think I run around telling women I love them?” He pulled her close and pressed their foreheads together. “I’m going to get the words out of you. Tonight.
Helen Hoang (The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1))
Her violence frightened me. She always claimed that I was the jealous one, and I was often jealous, but when I saw things working against me I simply became disgusted and withdrew. Lydia was different. She reacted. She was the Head Cheerleader at the Game of Violence.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Pay closer attention to it's ears, the reason it's named the Rabbit. Is it just me, or do those ears also look like someone making a rude V-Sign hand gesture? Oh, I get it now. Yes, very funny! Those bunny ears are meant to stimulate the clitoris, right? And of course, statistics and studies in bullshit magazines claim that 1 in every 2 men can't find the clitoris, right? Meaning what I think it means and that the sexist female who obviously designed this device is basically sticking two fingers up at crappy men, because her world famous toy can find the users clitoris quicker
Jimmy Tudeski (Comedian Gone Wrong)
Lucas nodded the instant before Hawke caught the first hint of an exquisitely familiar scent on the breeze. Autumn leaves and spice and strength. His wolf stretched out at the intoxication of it. Maybe she wasn’t his mate, but the animal wasn’t bothered. It still wanted the man to take her, to claim her. To bite her. Jesus.
Nalini Singh (Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling, #10))
As soon as the words presented themselves, Gabriel knew that they were perfect for him. Perfect for what he was contemplating doing to her. Perfect for his own self-justification. Tasting. Taking. Sucking. Sinning. Draining. Abandoning. She was pure. She was innocent. He wanted her. Facilis descensus Averni. But he would not be the one to make her bleed. He could not, would not, make another girl bleed for the rest of his life. All thoughts of seduction and mad, passionate f*cking on desks and chairs, against walls and bookshelves and windows, immediately gave way. He would not take her. He would not mark her and claim what he had no right to claim.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno, #1))
He has bragged greatly about you. The Lahnahsahna, a true warrior’s wife. He told his people he did not claim you. He told his people he battled you before he won you. He told his people you challenged him. The warrior king’s bride fought like a warrior. She did not lay back and accept her fate. She stood strong and shouted in the face of a king. She fought and did not give up. Even knowing she’d taste defeat, she fought on, like a true warrior. He told his people you are not his queen. You are his warrior queen.
Kristen Ashley (The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland, #2))
She didn't want soft and gentle. She needed his rough possession, claiming her, branding her, taking her in a firestorm of heat and flame that would end the world around them, leaving them nothing but ashes, clean and fierce and forever welded together.
Christine Feehan (Wild Fire (Leopard People, #3))
Sahara dug her fingers into his arms. “You do not do this,” she said, and it was an order. “You do not let that monster destroy the life we are going to have together. You are mine, not his. You have always been mine.” The claiming was so absolute, it dared him to fight. Kaleb had no intention of doing so. Shuddering, he crushed her to him. “Yes,” he said, battling the rage because if he gave in to it, he would lose Sahara. “I’m yours. I will always be yours.
Nalini Singh (Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12))
Wolf took Scarlet’s hands into his, as tenderly as he would pick up an injured butterfly, and slid the band onto her finger. His voice was rough and wavering as he recited—“I, Ze’ev Kesley, do hereby claim you, Scarlet Benoit, as my wife and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything.” He smiled down at her, his eyes swimming with emotion. Scarlet returned the look, and though Wolf’s expression teetered between proud and bashful, Scarlet’s face contained nothing but joy. “You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one. Scarlet took the second ring—a significantly larger version of the same unadorned band—and pressed it onto Wolf’s finger. “I, Scarlet Benoit, do hereby claim you, Ze’ev Kesley, as my husband and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything. You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one.” Wolf folded his hands around hers. From where she sat, Cinder could see that he was shaking. Kai grinned. “By the power given to me by the people of Earth, under the laws of the Earthen Union and as witnessed by those gathered here today, I do now pronounce you husband and wife.” He spread his hands in invitation. “You may kiss your—” Wolf wrapped his arms around Scarlet’s waist, lifting her off the floor, and kissed her before Kai could finish. Or maybe she kissed him. It seemed mutual, as her hands wound through his disheveled hair. The room exploded with cheers, everyone launching to their feet to congratulate the still-kissing couple. Scarlet had lost one of her red shoes. “I’ll get the champagne,” said Thorne, heading toward the kitchen. “Those two are going to be thirsty when they finally come up for air.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
What do you care?" I barked, and his grip tightened enough on my wrists that I knew my bones would snap with a little more pressure. "What do I care?" he breathed, wrath twisting his features. Wings - those membranous, glorious wings - flared from his back, crafted from the shadows behind him. "What do I care?" But before he could go on, his head snapped to the door, then back to my face. The wings vanished as quickly as they had appeared, and then his lips were crushing into mine. His tongue pried my mouth open, forcing himself into me, into the space where I could still taste Tamlin. I pushed and trashed, but he held firm, his tongue sweeping over the roof of my mouth, against my teeth, claiming me - The door was flung wide, and Amarantha's curved figure filled its space. Tamlin - Tamlin was beside her, his eyes slightly wide, shoulders tight as Rhys's lips still crushed mine. Amarantha laughed, and a mask of stone slammed down on Tamlin's face. void of feeling, void of anything vaguely like the Tamlin I'd been tangled up with moments before.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
The Darkling had told her he was destined to rule. He had claimed his throne, and a part of her too. He was welcome to it. For the living and the dead, she would make herself a reckoning. She would rise.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
This is scary,” she whispers. “I’ve never had a boyfriend before. I don’t know how this works. Do people become exclusive this fast? Are we supposed to pretend we’re not that interested for a few more dates?” Oh, dear God. I’ve never been turned on by a girl laying claim to me before. I usually run in the other direction. She’s obliterating every single thing I thought I knew about myself with every new sentence that passes those lips. “I have no interest in faking disinterest,” I say. “If you want to call yourself my girlfriend half as much as I wish you would, then it would save me a whole lot of begging. Because I was literally about to drop to my knees and beg you.” She squints her eyes playfully. “No begging. It screams desperation.” “You make me desperate,” I say, pressing my lips to hers again.
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
You may claim no affiliation with them, but perhaps some have crossed your path.And perhaps you'd like to help us find them." "Oh,sure.You killed my mother. You can imagine I'm dying to help you out." Thomas manages to ignore me again. He glances at the first photo projected on the wall. "Know this person?" I shake my head. "Never seen him before." Thomas clicks the remote. Another photo pops up. "How about this one?" "Nope." Another photo. "How about this?" "Nope." Yet another stranger pops up on the wall. "Seen this girl before?" "Never seen her in my life." More unfamiliar faces. Thomas goes through them without blinking an eye or questioning my responses. What a stupid puppet of the state. I watch him as we continue, wishing I weren't chained so I could beat this man to the ground.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
Whether it appears in a story about a man killing his girlfriend while calling her a whore or in trying to battle conservative claims that emergency contraception or the HPV vaccine will make girls promiscuous, the purity myth in America underlies more misogyny than most people would like to admit
Jessica Valenti (The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women)
So Rhys went against orders, and marched in his whole legion to get Myriam out. For his friend, for my lover- and for that bastard Drakon's sake. Rhys sacrificed his legion in the process, got all of them captured and tortured afterward. Yet everyone insists Rhysand is soulless, wicked. But the male I knew was the most decent of them all. Better than that prick-prince. You don't lose that quality, no matter the centuries, and Rhys was too smart to do anything but have the vilification of his character be a calculated move. And yet here you are- his mate. The most powerful High Lord in the world lost his mate, and has not yet come to claim her, even when she is defenseless in the woods." Jurian Chuckled. "Perhaps that's because Rhysand has not lost you at all. But rather unleashed you upon us.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
I love you, Holder. So much," she says firmly. "And just so you know...so did Hope." As soon as the words leave her mouth, I'm completely consumed by a sense of peace. For the first time since the second she was taken from me, I finally know what forgiveness feels like. "I wish you could feel what that just did to me." I claim her mouth with mine at the same time she completely consumes my heart.
Colleen Hoover (Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2))
In real life during the last decade of the twentieth century, Rumpelstiltskin would probably get the queen's daughter. He would no doubt addict her to heroin, turn her out as a prostitute, confiscate her earnings, beat her for pleasure, hack her to pieces, and escape justice by claiming that society's intolerance for bad-tempered, evil-minded trolls had driven him temporarily insane.
Dean Koontz (Dragon Tears)
I know what you are. I've always known from the beginning, Kushiel's Chosen. It is folly, to make claim on one whom the gods have marked for their own. And unlike the others, I am no fool, to grasp at that which burns to the touch. What you have given..." she raised one hand, palm upward, the garnet seal dangling at her wrist, "... I hold in an open hand.
Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel's Avatar (Phèdre's Trilogy, #3))
One-way ticket to Las Vegas: three hundred fifty dollars. A week's stay at the Bellagio while he convinced Nicki to give him this crazy job: eighteen hundred dollars. Cost of pizza to bribe his way into her apartment: fifteen bucks. Seeing her reaction to his claim that she didn't particularly affect him sexually: absolutely priceless.
Shayla Black (Strip Search (Sexy Capers, #2))
He didn't just kiss, he claimed ownership. Took her mouth with urgency, as if his life depended on his kissing her.
Karen Marie Moning (The Dark Highlander (Highlander, #5))
There was nowhere else she belonged but right here with him. In his life, in his home, in his arms. She was his—and it was time to stake his claim.
Roxie Rivera (Nikolai (Her Russian Protector, #4))
She'd abandoned the animal she loved as she herself had been abandoned repeatedly in the past by people who had claimed to love her.
Flora Rheta Schreiber (Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities)
I am not a one-issue voter in the sense that indicates I am an ignorant fundamentalist who only cares about one thing. I believe in protecting the environment. I believe in caring for the poor, the orphan, the widow in her distress. These are some of the so-called "issues" that many of us use to justify voting for Obama. How can we possibly claim it is Christian love for the poor and helpless that motivates us to vote for such a man when he is so committed to the killing of the most helpless among us?
Joseph Bayly
What if I say I can't bear to lose you?" A smile tugged at her lips. "I'd say you're a liar. That claims like that belong to romantic ninnies." She raised her hand and let her fingertips trace the line of his beautiful jaw. He closed his eyes. "We would go on, you and I. If I couldn't be queen, you would find a way to win this battle and save this country. You would make a sheltering place for my people. You would march an bleed and crack terrible jokes until you had done all you said you would. I suppose that's why I love you.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
Dang! Look at that RAINBOW!" Piper shouted, accidently spewing bits of apple pie from her overstuffed mouth. All quickly turned and saw... ...exactly what Piper claimed, a rainbow.
Victoria Forester (The Girl Who Could Fly (Piper McCloud, #1))
Shh.” His breath at her ear sent a delicious shiver down her spine. “Be very quiet and very still or everyone will know I’m fingering your pussy under this blanket. It needs to be our little secret, doesn’t it, baby girl?
Tessa Bailey (Staking His Claim (Line of Duty, #5))
[Camila] was quite incapable of establishing any harmony between the claims of her art, of her appetites, or her dreams, and of her crowded daily routine. Each of these was a world in itself.
Thornton Wilder (The Bridge of San Luis Rey)
Her timing sucked. She was pretty sure the Fates were smoking joints and sitting around laughing at their crystal ball.
T.S. Joyce (Claim the Bear (Hells Canyon Shifters, #4))
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there. All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences. As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead. She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope. As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation. She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
Clearly we're Sorceri." Sabine gestured at her resplendent self. "Ergo, we'd enjoy some Sorceri wine." "Don't got it." Sabine quirked a red brow. "Do you not? Check with Erol, shifter. He'll have an emergency bottle for me--because whenever I arrive, it's an emergency.
Kresley Cole (Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark, #12; The Dacians, #1))
she decided no human man would ever touch her again. the doors to her body and heart were already locked, and she would give the key to only one man, perhaps someday...perhaps never...but all the same she didnt care about falling in love, or getting married, or any of that, anymore. it was too late for mortal men to stake any sort of claim to her affections. if she grews old and died alone, it would be in full posession of her heart. and if she ever gave it, she would give it eternally, and without regret.
Dianne Sylvan (Queen of Shadows (Shadow World, #1))
Char bought a pack of clove cigarettes, claiming they tasted good, to which I ask why doesn't she just go suck on a clove so I don't have to inhale her perfumed second hand smoke?
Julie Halpern (Into the Wild Nerd Yonder)
When you're a parent you find yourself looking at the unknown that is your child, trying to find a piece of yourself inside her, because sometimes that is what it takes to claim.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
The confusion of love with abuse is what allows abusers who kill their partners to make the absurd claim that they were driven by the depths of their loving feelings. The news media regrettably often accept the aggressors’ view of these acts, describing them as “crimes of passion.” But what could more thoroughly prove that a man did not love his partner? If a mother were to kill one of her children, would we ever accept the claim that she did it because she was overwhelmed by how much she cared? Not for an instant. Nor should we. Genuine love means respecting the humanity of the other person, wanting what is best for him or her, and supporting the other person’s self-esteem and independence. This kind of love is incompatible with abuse and coercion.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Maybe we should go by tube', he said. A taxi'll come', she said. 'I'm in no hurry'. She remembered something a woman in Paris had told her once. A woman in her forties, much married, elegant, a little world-weary. There is nothing easier in this world, this woman had claimed, than getting a man to kiss you. Oh really? Eva had said, so how do you do that? Just stand close to a man, the woman has said, very close, as close as you can without touching - he will kiss you in one minute or two. It's inevitable. For them it's like an instinct - they can't resist. Infaillible. So Eva stood close to Romer in the doorway of the shop on Frith Street as he shooted and waved at the passing cars moving down the dark street, hoping one of them might be a taxi. We're out of luck', he said, turning, to find Eva standing very close to him, her face lifted. I'm in no hurry', she said. He reached for her and kissed her.
William Boyd (Restless)
They said she was cruel because she’d been harmed in the past. They claimed she was cold because she just hadn’t met the right fellow to warm her. Anything to soften her edges and sweeten her disposition—and what was the fun in that? Zoya’s company was like strong drink. Bracing— and best to abstain if you couldn’t handle the kick.
Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars (King of Scars, #1))
I’m pregnant.” Brent dropped his bag on the driveway. “What?” “I’m pregnant and you almost got blown up, you ass,” Hayden said shakily. “I’m never speaking to you again.” He went toward her slowly, laying a reverent hand on her belly. “There could be a mini-duchess in here?” His exhale sounded shaky. “Holy shit.
Tessa Bailey (Staking His Claim (Line of Duty, #5))
Every other person who is at the heart of any religion has had his or her beginning either in fancy or in fact. But nevertheless, there is a beginning. Jesus' birth in Bethlehem was a moment preceded by eternity. His being neither originated in time nor came about by the will of humanity. The Author of time, who lived in the eternal, was made incarnate in time that we might live with the eternal in view. In that sense, the message of Christ was not the introduction of a religion, but an introduction to truth about reality as God alone knows it. To deny Jesus' message while pursuing spirituality is to conjure an imaginary religion in an attempt to see heaven while sight is confined to the earth. That is precisely what Jesus challenged when he said, "I have come that [you] may have life" (John 10:10). His life spells living. Your life or my life, apart from Him, spells death.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
Food won't go down when you know your mother didn't want you, never liked to feed you, always hated you in her rooms. You were wrong to clutch and swallow and move your mouth. You must not be flushed, layered in fat or ripe from meat or she will despise your sight. Your skeleton cries, "I make no demands, I am ashamed of my needs, I am unworthy. I'm aware of those more deserving, those with prior and urgent claims to food." Skeleton says, "My safety is in slightness, my pride is denial. My victory is no gluttony, no guilt.
Jenny Holzer
We are his temple. We do not turn in a certain directlon to pray. We are not bound by having to go into a building so that we can commune with God. There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us. Even today He would overturn the tables of those who make it a marketplace for their own lust, greed, and wealth.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
After everything I’d done, she was the one to bring back her light. She’d claimed her own destiny once again and in the same breath handed it over to me.
Pepper Winters (Twisted Together (Monsters in the Dark, #3))
Facts are but the Play-things of lawyers,-- Tops and Hoops, forever a-spin... Alas, the Historian may indulge no such idle Rotating. History is not Chronology, for that is left to Lawyers,-- nor is it Remembrance, for Remembrance belongs to the People. History can as little pretend to the Veracity of the one, as claim the Power of the other,-- her Practitioners, to survive, must soon learn the arts of the quidnunc, spy, and Taproom Wit,-- that there may ever continue more than one life-line back into a Past we risk, each day, losing our forebears in forever,-- not a Chain of single Links, for one broken Link could lose us All,-- rather, a great disorderly Tangle of Lines, long and short, weak and strong, vanishing into the Mnemonick Deep, with only their Destination in common.
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
What is even happening here?" Will said, looking to each of us and the back to wherever the cougars had wandered off to. "Am I drunk? Hanna, they just pinched my ass and this one"- he motioned to George- "wants to claim me for his own. A little help?" Hanna took a drink off her frilly drink, complete with big pink umbrella and some sort of neon glow stick. "I don't know, you seem to be doing pretty well on your own there," she said, then took another long pull of her straw.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Beginning (Beautiful Bastard, #3.5))
Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." "This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.
Frederick Douglass
This was the real world then- Beauty and I free to have each other and all the others gone. Just the two of us in my bedchamber, where I should envelop her naked soul in rituals and ordeals beyond our past experiences, our dreams. No one to save her from me. No one to save me from her. My slave, my poor helpless slave...
A.N. Roquelaure (The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty)
Captain Harvile: Poor Phoebe, she would not have forgotten him so soon. It was not in her nature. Anne Elliot: It would not be in the nature of any woman who truly loved. Captain Harvile: Do you claim that for your sex? Anne Elliot: We do not forget you as soon as you forget us. We cannot help ourselves. We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You always have business of some sort or other to take you back into the world. Captain Harvile: I won't allow it to be any more man's nature than women's to be inconstant or to forget those they love or have loved. I believe the reverse. I believe... Let me just observe that all histories are against you, all stories, prose, and verse. I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which did not have something to say on women's fickleness. Anne Elliot: But they were all written by men.
Jane Austen
Beautiful. You can be taught. Makes my job so much easier when you’re actually intelligent. You’d be amazed at the idiots I’ve come across.” – Death “I try to keep my stupid to a bare minimum, since my mom’s always telling me it can be fatal in large doses.” – Nick “Oh, she’s right. Believe me, I know. For that matter, it can be fatal even in small measures. Remind me sometime to tell you about the woman I claimed who was vacuuming her cat.” – Death
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
Getting ink felt right, like it would help her put her life in order, to move forwards. It was her body, despite the things that'd been done to it, and she wanted to claim it, to own it, to prove that to herself. She knew it wasn't magic, but the idea of writing her own identity felt like the closest she could get to reclaiming her life. Sometimes there's power in the act; sometimes there's strength in words. She wanted to find an image that represented those things she was feeling, to etch it on her skin as tangible proof of her decision to change.
Melissa Marr (Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely, #2))
He took her hand and they started walking toward the baggage claim. They didn't say anything to each other. They swung their held hands like little kids, like they believed anything could happen, like they might take off soaring into the air. All the things you wanted to happen could happen. Why not?
Ann Brashares (Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood, #5))
A seductive female voice added, “Hello Henry, I’m the deputy director. But you can call me Samantha.” Henry’s response was accusing. “You’re a droid!” “I’m an R9054, one of the most powerful robotic systems devised by Ingermann-Verex, my makers. And I prefer the term humanoid if you don’t mind.” Locking onto her image, Henry noted the strange wrap-round view panel enshrouding the top part of the body shell. Inside, there was a human face seemingly trapped inside an electronic body. Although he’d seen a number of droids with similar face screens, Samantha’s was the most realistic, so he guessed her claims of being top of her range were probably right.
Andrew R. Williams (Samantha's Revenge (Arcadia's Children #1))
Have you ever heard a woman claim that the reason why she is chronically mistreating her male partner is because a previous man abused her? I have never run into this excuse in the fifteen years I have worked in the field of abuse. Certainly I have encountered cases where women had trouble trusting another man after leaving an abuser, but there is a critical distinction to be made: Her past experiences may explain how she feels, but they are not an excuse for how she behaves. And the same is true for a man.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Who claims Truth, Truth abandons. History is hir'd, or coerc'd, only in Interests that must ever prove base. She is too innocent, to be left within the reach of anyone in Power,- who need but touch her, and all her Credit is in the instant vanish'd, as if it had never been. She needs rather to be tended lovingly and honorably by fabulists and counterfeiters, Ballad-Mongers and Cranks of ev'ry Radius, Masters of Disguise to provide her the Costume, Toilette, and Bearing, and Speech nimble enough to keep her beyond the Desires, or even the Curiosity, of Government.
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
An old septon once claimed I was living proof of the goodness of the gods. (...) Why, if the gods were cruel, they would have made me my mother’s firstborn, and Doran her third. I am a bloodthirsty man, you see. And it is me you must contend with now, not my patient, prudent, and gouty brother. -- Oberyn Martell
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Not long, not long my father said Not long shall you be ours The Raven King knows all too well Which are the fairest flowers. The priest was all too worldly Though he prayed and rang his bell The Raven King three candles lit The priest said it was well Her arms were all too feeble Though she claimed to love me so The Raven King stretched out his hand She sighed and let me go The land is all too shallow It is painted on the sky And trembles like the wind-shook rain When the Raven King goes by For always and for always I pray remember me Upon the moors, beneath the stars With the King’s wild company.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Trehan &Lothaire “My Bride poisoned me so that I would lose a match against the demon male she loves.” Lothaire hiked his shoulders. “So?” “Did you not hear me? She dumped toxins into a goblet of blood, then handed it to me, urging me to drink” “Who doesn’t have petty spats during courtship? So fucking what?” “So she doesn’t fucking want me!” Lothaire roared back, “She doesn’t get a godsdamned say in the matter!” “Trehan’s brows drew together. “What are you advising “advising—that I abduct her? As you recently did the Forbearer king? And your Bride before him?” Lothaire snapped his fingers. “Exactly
Kresley Cole (Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark, #12; The Dacians, #1))
Yes, Mama loves wild geraniums because no other flower has quite the same color, and she claims that when she snaps the stem and puts a sprig behind her ear, the whole world smells like summer. Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
You need to have mercy on me, baby," his tone turned slightly threatening, "before I snap." "I told you to stay the fuck away from him. I told you not to let him touch you. I told you not to let him kiss you. Did he fuckin' kiss you again? You let him fucking touch you again?" "Am i gonna have to beat the shit out o' him? Is that what it's gonna take?" "He can't fuck you, Elaina." His hands released her wrists and dropped down until his arms encircled her waist completely. He hugged her to him, running his hands up and down her back. "I get that you're too young for me. I can't have you yet." His hands clenched tight in pure possession. "But baby, you need to take care. You belong to me--" She jerked in his arms and caught him off guard. "I don't belong to you---" His head whipped up to glare at her face and his hand grabbed her chin and lifted it. "You're gonna fckin' belong to me. Just as soon as you get grown, I've told you before. But you need to take care, protect what's mine, or all bets are off and I'll move in now. Your choice. I'll give you time and space but you gotta promise. Nobody fucks you. Now. Promise Now.
Lynda Chance (Staking His Claim (Ranchers of Chatum County, #1))
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men. Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage was set for some psychologists to take the view that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors that couldn’t be denied—because they were simply too obvious—should be considered mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus full of descriptions of young children who “seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of women whose “provocative” behavior causes men to become violent or sexually assaultive toward them. I wish I could say that these theories have long since lost their influence, but I can’t. A psychologist who is currently one of the most influential professionals nationally in the field of custody disputes writes that women provoke men’s violence by “resisting their control” or by “attempting to leave.” She promotes the Oedipus complex theory, including the claim that girls wish for sexual contact with their fathers. In her writing she makes the observation that young girls are often involved in “mutually seductive” relationships with their violent fathers, and it is on the basis of such “research” that some courts have set their protocols. The Freudian legacy thus remains strong.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Grandfather’s Hands             Your grandfather’s hands were brown. Your grandmother kissed each knuckle,   circled an island into his palm and told him which parts they would share, which part they would leave alone.   She wet a finger to draw where the ocean would be on his wrist, kissed him there, named the ocean after herself.   Your grandfather’s hands were slow but urgent. Your grandmother dreamt them,   a clockwork of fingers finding places to own– under the tongue, collarbone, bottom lip, arch of foot.   Your grandmother names his fingers after seasons– index finger, a wave of heat, middle finger, rainfall.   Some nights his thumb is the moon nestled just under her rib. “Your grandparents often found themselves in dark rooms, mapping out each other’s bodies,   claiming whole countries with their mouths.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
Women in the online gaming community have been harassed, threatened, and driven out. Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic who documented such incidents, received support for her work, but also, in the words of a journalist, 'another wave of really aggressive, you know, violent personal threats, her accounts attempted to be hacked. And one man in Ontario took the step of making an online video game where you could punch Anita's image on the screen. And if you punched it multiple times, bruises and cuts would appear on her image.' The difference between these online gamers and the Taliban men who, last October, tried to murder fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai for speaking out about the right of Pakistani women to education is one of degree. Both are trying to silence and punish women for claiming voice, power, and the right to participate. Welcome to Manistan.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
She was given a man's name." The stable master nearly jumped out of his tunic. He hadn't heard Alec Kincaid's approach. He turned around and came face to shoulders with the giant warrior. " 'Twas her mama's way of giving her a place in this family. Baron Jamison weren't the man who fathered Jamie. He claimed her for his own, though. I'll give him that much kindness. Did you get a good look at her, then?" he added in a rush. Alec nodded. "You'll be taking her with you, won't you?" The Kincaid stared at the old man a long minute before answering. "Aye, Beak. I'll be taking her with me." The choice had been made.
Julie Garwood (The Bride (Lairds' Fiancées, #1))
Thing that got me was not her list of things she hated, since she was obviously crazy as a Cyborg, but fact that always somebody agreed with her prohibitions. Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: "Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop." Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them "for their own good" — not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.
Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress)
He is so beautiful," she thought, aching from the sadness that she saw in his eyes. In the late-afternoon sunlight, those eyes were almost green. She took his face in her hands and pulled him to her, claiming the kiss she had so desperately wanted the day before but had forgotten in the heat of the moment. She closed her eyes and felt him respond to her mouth, his tongue seeking hers.
Shira Anthony (From the Depths)
She had her eyes on one ship in particular, had been watching, coveting, all day. It was a gorgeous vessel, its hull and masts carved from dark wood and trimmed in silver, its sails shifting from midnight blue to black, depending on the light. A name ran along its hull—Saren Noche—and she would later learn that it meant Night Spire. For now she only knew that she wanted it. But she couldn’t simply storm a fully manned craft and claim it as her own. She was good, but she wasn’t that good. And then there was the grim fact that Lila didn’t technically know how to sail.
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
We don't really want to get what we think that we want. I am married to a wife and relationship with her are cold and I have a mistress. And all the time I dream oh my god if my wife were to disappear - I'm not a murderer but let us say- that it will open up a new life with the mistress.Then, for some reason, the wife goes away, you lose the mistress. You thought this is all I want, when you have it there, you turn out it was a much more complex situation. It was not to live with the mistress, but to keep her as a distance as on object of desire about which you dream. This is not an excessive example, I claim this is how things function. We don't really want what we think we desire
Slavoj Žižek
These thoughts were as familiar to her, and as comforting, as the precise configuration of her knees, their matching but competing, symmetrical and reversible, look. A second thought always followed the first, one mystery bred another: Was everyone else really as alive as she was? For example, did her sister really matter to herself, was she as valuable to herself as Briony was? Was being Cecilia just as vivid an affair as being Briony? Did her sister also have a real self concealed behind a breaking wave, and did she spend time thinking about it, with a finger held up to her face? Did everybody, including her father, Betty, Hardman? If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone’s thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone’s claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no one was. One could drown in irrelevance. But if the answer was no, then Briony was surrounded by machines, intelligent and pleasant enough on the outside, but lacking the bright and private inside feeling she had. This was sinister and lonely, as well as unlikely. For, though it offended her sense of order, she knew it was overwhelmingly probably that everyone else had thoughts like hers. She knew this, but only in a rather arid way; she didn’t really feel it.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
She’d never really believed in it before. Then, as she hit her late thirties, her body said, OK, you don’t believe in PMS? I’ll show you PMS. Get a load of this, bitch. Now, for one day every month, she had to fake everything: her basic humanity, her love for her children, her love for Ed. She’d once been appalled to hear of women claiming PMS as a defense for murder. Now she understood. She could happily murder someone today! In fact, she felt like there should be some sort of recognition for her remarkable strength of character that she didn’t.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
I have more baggage than baggage claim. I'm damaged goods. I'm not good at...” she released him for a moment and fingered between the two of them “this.” “Well, I think you're dancing just fine, Miss Gerhart.” he smirked. He knew that was not what she meant, but he had hoped to lighten their mood. Maybe if he could get her to relax she would give him a chance.
J.B. McGee (Broken (This, #1))
Elisa, tell me truly. Have you attained that kind of power? The kind that would frighten an animagus?" "I have." Her eyes widen and her lips part. She says to Storm, "You always speak truly, yes?" "Yes, Your Highness." "You are also an animagus, are you not?" "I am." "And you believe my sister has the kind of power she claims?" "No," he says. "She is being modest.
Rae Carson (The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3))
Those who claim that any woman can reprogram her consciousness if only she is sufficiently determined hold a shallow view of the nature of patriarchal oppression. Anything done can be undone, it is implied; nothing has been permanently damaged, nothing irretrievably lost. But this is tragically false. One of the evils of a system of oppression is that it may damage people in ways that cannot always be undone. Patriarchy invades the intimate recesses of personality where it may maim and cripple the spirit forever.
Sandra Lee Bartky (Femininity And Domination: Studies In The Phenomenology Of Oppression)
Tella claimed she didn’t want love—she liked to say love trapped and controlled and ripped hearts apart. But the truth was she also knew love healed and held people together, and deep down she wanted it more than anything. She enjoyed the kisses, but a part of her always wished that whenever she walked away from a boy he’d run after her, beg her to stay, and then promise he’d never leave.
Stephanie Garber (Legendary (Caraval, #2))
The accounts of rape, wife beating, forced childbearing, medical butchering, sex-motivated murder, forced prostitution, physical mutilation, sadistic psychological abuse, and other commonplaces of female experi ence that are excavated from the past or given by contemporary survivors should leave the heart seared, the mind in anguish, the conscience in upheaval. But they do not. No matter how often these stories are told, with whatever clarity or eloquence, bitterness or sorrow, they might as well have been whispered in wind or written in sand: they disappear, as if they were nothing. The tellers and the stories are ignored or ridiculed, threatened back into silence or destroyed, and the experience of female suffering is buried in cultural invisibility and contempt… the very reality of abuse sustained by women, despite its overwhelming pervasiveness and constancy, is negated. It is negated in the transactions of everyday life, and it is negated in the history books, left out, and it is negated by those who claim to care about suffering but are blind to this suffering. The problem, simply stated, is that one must believe in the existence of the person in order to recognize the authenticity of her suffering. Neither men nor women believe in the existence of women as significant beings. It is impossible to remember as real the suffering of someone who by definition has no legitimate claim to dignity or freedom, someone who is in fact viewed as some thing, an object or an absence. And if a woman, an individual woman multiplied by billions, does not believe in her own discrete existence and therefore cannot credit the authenticity of her own suffering, she is erased, canceled out, and the meaning of her life, whatever it is, whatever it might have been, is lost. This loss cannot be calculated or comprehended. It is vast and awful, and nothing will ever make up for it.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
ROSE of all Roses, Rose of all the World! The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled Above the tide of hours, trouble the air, And God’s bell buoyed to be the water’s care; While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand. Turn if you may from battles never done, I call, as they go by me one by one, Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace, For him who hears love sing and never cease, Beside her clean-swept hearth, her quiet shade: But gather all for whom no love hath made A woven silence, or but came to cast A song into the air, and singing past To smile on the pale dawn; and gather you Who have sought more than is in rain or dew Or in the sun and moon, or on the earth, Or sighs amid the wandering starry mirth, Or comes in laughter from the sea’s sad lips; And wage God’s battles in the long grey ships. The sad, the lonely, the insatiable, To these Old Night shall all her mystery tell; God’s bell has claimed them by the little cry Of their sad hearts, that may not live nor die. Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World! You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing. Beauty grown sad with its eternity Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea. Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait, For God has bid them share an equal fate; And when at last defeated in His wars, They have gone down under the same white stars, We shall no longer hear the little cry Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die. The Sweet Far Thing
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
One new indulgence was to go out evenings alone. This I worked out carefully in my mind, as not only a right but a duty. Why should a woman be deprived of her only free time, the time allotted to recreation? Why must she be dependent on some man, and thus forced to please him if she wished to go anywhere at night? A stalwart man once sharply contested my claim to this freedom to go alone. “Any true man,” he said with fervor, “is always ready to go with a woman at night. He is her natural protector.” “Against what?” I inquired. As a matter of fact, the thing a woman is most afraid to meet on a dark street is her natural protector. Singular
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography)
Every fop and fool in London has been sniffing after her." Having said that, Jason returned his attention for the report. "Go ahead and read off the names, if you must." Frowning in surprise at Jason's dismissive attitude, Charles took the seat across the desk from him and put on his spectacles. "First, there is young Lord Crowley, who has already asked my permission to court her." "No. Too impulsive," Jason decreed flatly. "What makes you say so?" Charles said with a bewildered look. "Crowley doesn't know Victoria well enough to want to 'court' her, as you so quaintly phrased it." "Don't be ridiculous. The first four men on this list have already asked my permission to do the same thing- providing, of course, that your claim on her is not unbreakable.” “No, to all those four men- for the same reason,” Jason said curtly, leaning back in his chair, absorbed in the report in his hand. Who’s next?” “Crowley’s friend, Lord Wiltshire.” “Too young. Who’s next?” “Arthur Landcaster.” “Too short,” Jason said cryptically. “Next?” “William Rogers,” Charles shot back in a challenging voice, “and he’s tall, conservative, mature, intelligent, and handsome. He’s also the heir to one of the finest estates in England. I think he would do very well for Victoria.” “No.” “No?” Charles burst out. “Why not?” “I don’t like the way Roger sits a horse.” “You don’t like_” Charles bit out in angry disbelief; then he glanced at Jason’s implacable face and sighed. “Very well. The last name on my list is Lord Terrance. He sits horses extremely well, in addition to being and excellent chap. He is also tall, handsome, intelligent, and wealthy. Now,” he finished triumphantly, “what fault can you find with him?” Jason’s jaw tightened ominously.“I don’t like him.
Judith McNaught (Once and Always (Sequels, #1))
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.” The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.” She echoed, “Take care of it?” “Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.” For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.” The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.” “That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.” To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.” “I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said. In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince. “Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.” “Sorry,” she recommended. “I said that already.” Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’” He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Behold, the Spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. Yet, hear me, people, we have now to deal with another race – small and feeble when our fathers first met them but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away; they deface her with their buildings and their refuse. The nation is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all that are in its path. We cannot dwell side by side. Only seven years ago we made a treaty by which we were assured that the buffalo country should be left to us forever. Now they threaten to take that away from us. My brothers, shall we submit or shall we say to them: 'First kill me before you take possession of my land
Sitting Bull
I say no wealth is worth my life! Not all they claim was stored in the depths of Troy, that city built on riches, in the old days of peace before the sons of Achaea came- not all the gold held fast in the Archer's rocky vaults, in Phoebus Apollo's house on Pytho's sheer cliffs! Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding, tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions. But a man's life breath cannot come back again- no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man's clenched teeth. Mother tells me, the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet, that two fates bear me on to the day of death. If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies... true, but the life that's left me will be long, the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.
Homer (The Iliad)
The Other" She had too much so with a smile you took some. Of everything she had you had Absolutely nothing, so you took some. At first, just a little. Still she had so much she made you feel Your vacuum, which nature abhorred, So you took your fill, for nature's sake. Because her great luck made you feel unlucky You had redressed the balance, which meant Now you had some too, for yourself. As seemed only fair. Still her ambition Claimed the natural right to screw you up Like a crossed out page, lossed into a basket. Somebody, on behalf of the gods, Had to correct that hubris. A little touch of hatred steadied the nerves. Everything she had won, the happiness of it, You collected As your compensation For having lost. Which left her absolutely Nothing. Even her life was Trapped in the heap you took. She had nothing. Too late you saw what had happened. It made no difference that she was dead. Now that you had all she had ever had You had much too much. Only you Saw her smile, as she took some. At first, just a little.
Ted Hughes
He'd been unable to discern whether this frantic bustle of hers was what it claimed to be - an ardent determination to live every remaining day to the fullest - or quite the opposite: an evasion. An equally ardent determination to distract herself, from what only she could know, and thus a complete failure to inhabit her life in the scarcest respect.
Lionel Shriver (So Much for That)
She had a lot of nerve signing her note "Love." [...] But she did sign it that way: "Love." What did that mean? Did she mean it, or was it habit? She probably signed all of her letters with "Love." Dear Insured, We are sorry but your policy will not pay for your barium enema as it was done for recreational purposes. Love, Jody. Claims Dept... Maybe not.
Christopher Moore (Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1))
Snow. I wondered what it felt like. Aunt Bernette said it could be both soft and hard, cold and hot. It stung and burned when the wind pelted it through the air, and it was a gentle cold feather when it drifted down in lazy circles from the sky. I couldn't imagine it being so many things, and I wondered if she had taken license with her story as Father always claimed. I couldn't stop thinking of it. Snow.
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
Shame is...not a productive emotion," Charles told her. There was a funny little pause when he tilted his head to look at her face and then away. "Brother Wolf liked claiming you in front of the others so that there will be no question who you belong to. While I... I regret your embarrassment but otherwise I agree with Brother Wolf.
Patricia Briggs (Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3; Mercy Thompson World - Complete #9))
Freedom is a pair of trousers and a buttoned coat. A man’s tunic and a tricorne hat. If only she had known. The darkness claimed he’d given her freedom, but really, there is no such thing for a woman, not in a world where they are bound up inside their clothes, and sealed inside their homes, a world where only men are given leave to roam.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't rightly see how somebody who claims to have had -What'd you say? One partner?-can be welled trained." He had a point. Her brain clicked away. "I was referring to the instructional videotapes my agency has all its new employees watch." "They train you by watching videos?" His eyes narrowed reminding her of a hunter looking down a gun sight,"Now, ain't that interesting." She felt a little surge of pleasure as her child lost another few points on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Even a computer couldn't have picked a more perfect match.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3))
Oh, it’s our pleasure,” Maryse told her son. She advanced on Alec, her hands out. She reminded Magnus of a bird of prey, talons outstretched, overcome by hunger. “What do you say,” she said in an alarmingly sweet voice, “you let me hold the baby? I’m the one in the room with the most experience with babies, after all.” “That’s not true, Alec,” said Robert. “That is not true! I was very involved with all of you when you were young. I’m excellent with babies.” Alec blinked at his father, who had appeared by Alec’s side with Shadowhunter speed. “As I recall,” Maryse said, “you bounce them.” “Babies love that,” Robert claimed. “Babies love bouncing.
Cassandra Clare (Born to Endless Night (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #9))
What do you mean, the police were suspicious because you weren’t wearing enough clothes?” Ash demanded, staring coldly at Jared. “Where were your clothes?" "He was doing some—Zen jogging,” she claimed. Jared flicked her an incredulous glance. “Yes,” he said slowly. “Zen jogging. I wasn’t wearing that many clothes because—that’s part of the process. You’re meant to commune with the elements. Normally, I wouldn’t have worn my jeans, but I put them on because I know the English are a modest people.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
Lucy Mason, you brought the color in. You brought me to life when I didn’t even realize I’d stopped breathing.” He laid his hand over hers on his cheek. “Now I can’t get enough air. It’s everywhere because of you.” When he pulled the ring out of his jacket and popped open the lid, she didn’t take her eyes off his face for a second. “Be my air. Let me be yours. Forever. Marry me, Lucy.” “Yes.” She knelt down in front of him on the ground, meeting him halfway as always. “Yes, Matt. Of course, yes.
Tessa Bailey (Staking His Claim (Line of Duty, #5))
The witch who claims to forbear her magick for fear of causing the next Indian tsunami is really saying that she is powerful enough to kill thousands of innocent strangers when all she meant to do was water her mugwort. She can't be challenged to produce evidence of this, because doing could provoke earthquakes and Africanized bee attacks.
Thomm Quackenbush (Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft)
They say an infant can't see when it is as young as your sister was, but she opened her eyes, and she looked at me. She was such a little bit of a thing. But while I was holding her, she opened her eyes. I know she didn't really study my face. Memory can make a thing seem to have been much more than it was. But I know she did look right into my eyes. That is something. And I'm glad I knew it at the time, because now, in my present situation, not that I am about to leave this world, I realize there is nothing more astonishing than a human face...You feel your obligation to a child when you have seen it and held it. Any human face is a claim on you, because you can't help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it. But this is truest of the face of an infant. I consider that to be one kind of vision, as mystical as any.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
Dakkan, my spear. My grandmother had a huge problem with that name, because the closest translation of it to English would be “Stabby.” She claimed it wasn’t a proper name for a weapon, so after the first Dakkan broke, I offered to name the new one Sharpy McStabbison, the Son of Stabby, after which she groaned and left my quarters, followed by a throng of her advisors all giving me reproachful looks.
Ilona Andrews (Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder, #1; Kate Daniels #10.5))
Let us define our terms. A woman who writes her lover four letters a day is not a graphomaniac, she is simply a woman in love. But my friend who xeroxes his love letters so he can publish them someday--my friend is a graphomaniac. Graphomania is not a desire to write letters, diaries, or family chronicles (to write for oneself or one's immediate family); it is a desire to write books (to have a public of unknown readers). In this sense the taxi driver and Goethe share the same passion. What distinguishes Goethe from the taxi driver is the result of the passion, not the passion itself. "Graphomania (an obsession with writing books) takes on the proportions of a mass epidemic whenever a society develops to the point where it can provide three basic conditions: 1. a high degree of general well-being to enable people to devote their energies to useless activities; 2. an advanced state of social atomization and the resultant general feeling of the isolation of the individual; 3. a radical absence of significant social change in the internal development of the nation. (In this connection I find it symptomatic that in France, a country where nothing really happens, the percentage of writers is twenty-one times higher than in Israel. Bibi [character from the book] was absolutely right when she claimed never to have experienced anything from the outside. It is this absence of content, this void, that powers the moter driving her to write). "But the effect transmits a kind of flashback to the cause. If general isolation causes graphomania, mass graphomania itself reinforces and aggravates the feeling of general isolation. The invention of printing originally promoted mutual understanding. In the era of graphomania the writing of books has the opposite effect: everyone surrounds himself with his own writings as with a wall of mirrors cutting off all voices from without.
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
She felt both relaxed and protected with him, at least from outside forces. Nothing, it seemed, could protect her from him, and tonight she wasn’t even certain she wanted to be. Claimed, and mated. She was his, but was he hers? And if he was, what in hell did they do about it? “I don’t even know what you want,” she said fretfully, beginning to lose herself in rising sensation. “This,” he muttered in a dark, rough tone. “You. Everything.
Linda Howard (Cry No More)
There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us. Even today He would overturn the tables of those who make it a marketplace for their own lust, greed and wealth.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
My mother's suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother's unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me. At the age of twelve, before I had one year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering. At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the sufferings of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful. It made me want to drive coldly to the heart of every question and it open to the core of suffering I knew I would find there. It made me love burrowing into psychology, into realistic and naturalistic fiction and art, into those whirlpools of politics that had the power to claim the whole of men's souls. It directed my loyalties to the side of men in rebellion; it made me love talk that sought answers to questions that could help nobody, that could only keep alive in me that enthralling sense of wonder and awe in the face of the drama of human feeling which is hidden by the external drama of life.
Richard Wright (Black Boy (American Hunger))
I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be. And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, "I'm sorry, but I never could read one of those things." Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God," I said, "and, when God finds a minute, I'm sure he'll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even YOU can understand.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
Melody began to mumble incomprehensibly under her breath as she worked frantically on securing her most important papers into bankers boxes. Her father stomped into her room, eating a banana. Melody looked up at him with a sweaty and nauseated look on her face. “What are you tramping around so heavily about?” she asked him. Bernie finished the last of the banana, and then held the peel in his hand as though it were a washcloth he had just found on the floor of a gym locker room. Melody pointed to her trashcan with her eyes. “I make an insane amount of noise when I approach you, because you once yelled at me claiming that I was 'sneaking up on you',” Bernie replied, using finger quotes on the last phrase. “That kind of treatment stays with a guy.” Melody shook her head. Her father knew how much she hated finger quotes. Why he insisted on using them was beyond her. “I was five at the time”, she said. “Ah,” Bernie said, with a knowing grin on his face. “The angry period.
B.M.B. Johnson (Melody Jackson v. the Hound from Hell It happened on Lafayette Street Season One)
She didn’t know which one of them moved first, but then Rowan’s mouth was on hers, and Aelin gripped his shirt, pulling him closer, claiming him as he claimed her. His arms wrapped tighter around her, but gently—so careful of the wounds that ached. He brushed his tongue against hers, and she opened her mouth to him. Each movement of their lips was a whisper of what was to come once they were both healed, and a promise. The kiss was slow—thorough. As if they had all the time in the world. As if they were the only ones in it.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Tread lightly, little one." He warned. "You don't want to push me. Not tonight." Her eyes darkened with anger, narrowing as she met his gaze. "Really? And why is that Raj?"..."I am tired of you thinking you have the right to control me. You are not my boyfriend, and you sure as hell are not my keeper, so from where I stand, you've got no claim on me what so ever. Like the song says, you don't want me for yourself so let me find someone else. It's shit or get off the pot time, Raj. It's now or never, Time to-" She gave a shriek as Raj swung an arm around her waist and lifted her off her feet. He threaded the fingers of one hand through her hair and pulled it aside, freeing the long line of her neck. "Then I choose now," he growled and sank his fangs into the velvet skin of her neck puncturing the fragile walls of her jugular.
D.B. Reynolds (Rajmund (Vampires in America, #3))
Has she accepted you?" "Not yet.She wants to discuss it with you first." "Thank God.Because I'll tell her that it's the worst idea I've ever heard." Leo arched a brow."You doubt I could protect her?" "I doubt you could keep from murdering each other!I doubt she could ever be happy in such volatile circumstances.I doubt...no,I won't bother listing all my concerns,it would take too bloody long." Harry's eyes were ice-cold. "The answer is no,Ramsay.I'll do what is necessary to take care of Cat.You can return to Hampshire." "I'm afraid it won't be that easy to get rid of me," Leo said."Perhaps you didn't notice that I haven't asked for your permission.There is no choice.Certain things have happened that can't be undone.Do you understand?" He saw from Harry's expression that only a few fragile constraints stood between him and certain death. "You seduced her deliberately," Harry managed to say. "Would you be happier if I claimed it was an accident?" "The only thing that would make me happy is to weight you with rocks and toss you into the Thames." "I understand.I even sympathize.I can't imagine what it would be like to face a man who's compromised your sister,how difficult it would be to keep from murdering him on the spot.Oh, but wait.." Leo tapped a forefinger thoughtfully on his chin. "I can imagine.Because I went through it two bloody months ago." Harry's eyes narrowed."That wasn't the same.Your sister was still a virgin when I married her." Leo gave him an unrepenting glance. "When I compromise a woman,I do it properly." "That does it," Harry muttered, leaping for his throat.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Cyril had staked out his claim and refused to move. "Move over!" I said, freeing one hand from holding the cat to push. "Dogs are supposed to sleep at the foot of the bed." Cyril had never heard of this rule. He jammed his body up against my back and began to snore. I tugged at the rugs, trying to get enough to cover me, and turned on my side, the cat cradled in my arms. Princess Arjumand paid no attention to the regulations of animals on the bed either. She promptly wriggled free and walked round the bed, treading on Cyril, who responded with a faint "oof," and kneading her claws in my leg. Cyril shoved and shoved again until he had the entire bed and all the covers, and Princess Arjumand draped herself across my neck with her full weight on my Adam's apple. Cyril shoved some more. An hour into this little drama it began to rain in earnest, and everyone moved in under the covers and began jockeying for position again.
Connie Willis (To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2))
Dad staggered in, eyes eerily lit. The corners of his mouth foaming spit. His demons planned an overnight stay. Mom motioned to take the girls away. hide them in their rooms, safe in their beds. We closed the doors, covered our heads, as if the blankets could mute the sounds of his blows or we could silence her screams behind out pillows. I hugged the littlest ones close to my chest, till the beat of my heart lulled them to rest. Only then did I let myself cry. Only then did I let myself wonder why Mom didn't fight back, didn't defend, didn't confess to family or friend. Had Dad's demons claimed her soul? Or was this, as well, a woman's role?
Ellen Hopkins (Burned (Burned, #1))
You’ve been in the mating frenzy before.” Eric looked up at her, his eyes quiet. “Yes.” ”With Kirsten.” ”Yes.” Iona touched her hands together. “You must have loved her very much.” Eric nodded. “Yes. Very much.” ”Then why do you want another mate?” Eric pushed himself from the fireplace and came to her, the first flickers of fire shadowing his tall, naked body. He skimmed warm hands down her arms. ”Because I saw you.
Jennifer Ashley (Mate Claimed (Shifters Unbound, #4))
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Her face screws up in disgust and she steps forward. "You're a fool, Miller Hart. He'll never let you walk away." He explodes. "I love her!" he roars, knocking every person back in the room. "I fucking love her!" Tears burst from my eyes and I fall into his side. He immediately grabs me and pulls me close. "I love her. I love everything she stands for and I love how much she loves me. It's more than you love me. It's more than any of you claim to love me! It's pure and light. It's made me feel. It's made me want more. If any fucker tries to take her away from me, I'll fucking kill them." Pulling up for a second, he gathers a long breath. "Slowly," he adds, shaking beside me, clinging to me tightly, like he's afraid someone will try right now. "I don't care what he says. I don't care what he thinks he can do to me. It'll be him sleeping with one eye open, Sophia, not me. So tell him. Fucking run to him and confirm what he already knows. I don't want to fuck for living anymore. Tell him I don't want to line his pockets anymore. You're not holding me to ransom. Miller Hart is out of the game. The Special One has quit!" He withdraws and takes a few moments to suck in another calming gulp of air, while everyone looks at him, shocked. Including me. "I love her. Go to him. Tell him I love her. Tell him I'm Olivia's now. And tell him if he even thinks about touching a hair on her precious head, it'll be the last thing he ever does.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Unveiled (One Night, #3))
Don't you ever think of going back?" Silly question. There are threads that help you find your way back, and there are threads that intend to bring you back. Mind turns to the pull, it's hard to pull away. I'm always thinking of going back. When Lot's wife looked over her shoulder, she turned into a pillar of salt.Pillars hold things up, and salt keeps things clean, but it's a poor exchange for losing your self. People do go back, but they don't survive, because two realities are claiming them at the same time. Such things are too much. You can salt your heart, or kill your heart, or you can choose between two realities. There is much pain here. Some people think you can have your cake and eat it. The cake goes mouldy and they choke on what's left.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
... there's the fact of her being a hundred and four years old. I keep saying that's her age, but actually I'm just guessing. We don't really know for sure how old she is, and she claims she doesn't remember, either. When you ask her, she says, "Zuibun nagaku ikasarete itadaite orimasu ne." .... (footnote) Zuibun nagaku ikasarete itadaite orimasu ne -- "I have been alive for a very long time, haven't I?" Totally impossible to translate, but the nuance is something like: "I have been caused to live by the deep conditions of the universe to which I am humbly and deeply grateful. P. Arai calls it the "gratitude tense," and says the beauty of this grammatical construction is that "there is no finger pointed to a source." She also says, "It is impossible to feel angry when using this tense.
Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being)
She waited for a man who would marvel her with his intellect, wit and physique, all at the same time. Someone who would beguile her, unnerve her, possess her, and claim her and then make her jealous with deceit and accusations. Someone who wouldn’t bore her after a few hours of company. Someone who wouldn’t be distracted by someone younger than her - even at that age, she had her insecurities........ She waited for a man who would be worth a chase and a challenge, who would beguile her and ravage her, and be true to her. She was no fool. She knew the limitations of affectation and ceremonial overtures between husband and wife. She knew the limits of compatibility, being put off by a few of her suitors instantly. She knew that love was not a guarantee to lifetime of happiness. She knew the importance of money and it’s effect on men. She knew the value of having the best in jewelry, clothes and company, for a person was judged accordingly, and if one wished to be a success, one had to look the part. And that required continuity of resources, not affection. But still she waited. She waited for a man who would surprise her beyond her expectations. She waited for a man who would be magical. She waited for a man who would never come.
Noorilhuda (The Governess)
Sahara dug her fingers into his arms. “You do not do this,” she said, and it was an order. “You do not let that monster destroy the life we are going to have together. You are mine, not his. You have always been mine.” The claiming was so absolute, it dared him to fight. Kaleb had no intention of doing so. Shuddering, he crushed her to him. “Yes,” he said, battling the rage because if he gave in to it, he would lose Sahara. “I’m yours. I will always be yours.” Her lips on his jaw, on his cheek, her love fierce. “Remember that. Each action, every action you take, it has my name on it.
Nalini Singh (Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12))
Dread was always with her, an alarm system in her head, alert to her next disaster. Despite being resigned to a life of misfortune, she became resourceful. She grudgingly noticed that things always worked out, even when she claimed defeat. An inconvenient truth, yet it was right there, in her face, betraying her self-punishments and assumptions. She kept overcoming things, dammit, aggravating herself. She still felt so much joy, despite her efforts to be miserable. Her life was full of miracles and spectacles that she was afraid to rely on so she didn’t know how to enjoy, how to be thankful, without guilt. She didn’t want to win and she didn’t want to lose. Ambiguity intrigued her and she found passion in the gaps between hope and despair.
G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well. But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me? Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle... If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Frederick Douglass
There were intervals in which she could sit perfectly still, enjoying the outer stillness and the subdued light. The red fire with its gently audible movement seemed like a solemn existence calmly independent of the petty passions, the imbecile desires, the straining after worthless uncertainties, which were daily moving her contempt. Mary was fond of her own thoughts, and could amuse herself well sitting in the twilight with her hands in her lap; for, having early had strong reason to believe that things were not likely to be arranged for her peculiar satisfaction, she wasted no time in astonishment and annoyance at that fact. And she had already come to take life very much as a comedy in which she had a proud, nay, a generous resolution not to act the mean or treacherous part. Mary might have become cynical if she had not had parents whom she honoured, and a well of affectionate gratitude within her, which was all the fuller because she had learned to make no unreasonable claims. She sat to-night revolving, as she was wont, the scenes of the day, her lips often curling with amusement at the oddities to which her fancy added fresh drollery: people were so ridiculous with their illusions, carrying their fools' caps unawares, thinking their own lies opaque while everybody else's were transparent, making themselves exceptions to everything, as if when all the world looked yellow under a lamp they alone were rosy.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
Nature is not infallible. Nature makes mistakes. That's what evolution is all about: growth by trail and error. Nature can be stupid and cruel. Oh, my, how cruel! That's okay. There's nothing wrong with Nature being dumb and ugly because it is simultaneously--paradoxically--brilliant and superb. But to worship the natural at the exclusion of the unnatural is to practice Organic Fascism--which is what many of my pilgrims practice. And in the best tradition of fascism, they are totally intolerant of those who don't share their beliefs; thus, they foster the very kinds of antagonism and tension that lead to strife, which they, pacifists one and all, claim to abhor. To insist that a woman who paints berry juice on her lips is somehow superior to the woman who wears Revlon lipstick is sophistry; it's smug sophistical skunkshit. Lipstick is a chemical composition, so is berry juice, and they both are effective for decorating the face. If lipstick has advantages over berry juice then let us praise that part of technology that produced lipstick. The organic world is wonderful, bot the inorganic isn't bad, either. The world of plastic and artifice offers its share of magical surprises. A thing is good because it's good, not because it's natural. A thing is bad because it's bad, not because it's artificial. It's not a damn iota better to be bitten by a rattlesnake than shot by a gun.
Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues)
The hoopoe said: 'Your heart's congealed like ice; When will you free yourself from cowardice? Since you have such a short time to live here, What difference does it make? What should you fear? The world is filth and sin, and homeless men Must enter it and homeless leave again. They die, as worms, in squalid pain; if we Must perish in this quest, that, certainly, Is better than a life of filth and grief. If this great search is vain, if my belief Is groundless, it is right that I should die. So many errors throng the world - then why Should we not risk this quest? To suffer blame For love is better than a life of shame. No one has reached this goal, so why appeal To those whose blindness claims it is unreal? I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give My heart to home and trade and never live. We've been and heard so much - what have we learned? Not for one moment has the self been spurned; Fools gather round and hinder our release. When will their stale, insistent whining cease? We have no freedom to achieve our goal Until from Self and fools we free the soul. To be admitted past the veil you must Be dead to all the crowd considers just. Once past the veil you understand the Way From which the crowd's glib courtiers blindly stray. If you have any will, leave women's stories, And even if this search for hidden glories Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest Is not mere talk but an exacting test. The fruit of love's great tree is poverty; Whoever knows this knows humility. When love has pitched his tent in someone's breast, That man despairs of life and knows no rest. Love's pain will murder him and blandly ask A surgeon's fee for managing the task - The water that he drinks brings pain, his bread Is turned to blood immediately shed; Though he is weak, faint, feebler than an ant, Love forces him to be her combatant; He cannot take one mouthful unaware That he is floundering in a sea of care.
Attar of Nishapur
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
Open Letter to Neil Armstrong" Dear Neil Armstrong, I write this to you as she sleeps down the hall. I need answers I think only you might have. When you were a boy, and space was simple science fiction, when flying was merely a daydream between periods of History and Physics, when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved could only be wrapped in your imagination.. Before the world knew your name; before it was a destination in the sky.. What was the moon like from your back yard? Your arm, strong warm and wrapped under her hair both of you gazing up from your back porch summers before your distant journey. But upon landing on the moon, as the earth rose over the sea of tranquility, did you look for her? What was it like to see our planet, and know that everything, all you could be, all you could ever love and long for.. was just floating before you. Did you write her name in the dirt when the cameras weren't looking? Surrounding both your initials with a heart for alien life to study millions of years from now? What was it like to love something so distant? What words did you use to bring the moon back to her? And what did you promise in the moons ear, about that girl back home? Can you, teach me, how to fall from the sky? I ask you this, not because I doubt your feat, I just want to know what it's like to go somewhere no man had ever been, just to find that she wasn't there. To realize your moon walk could never compare to the steps that led to her. I now know that the flight home means more. Every July I think of you. I imagine the summer of 1969, how lonely she must have felt while you were gone.. You never went back to the moon. And I believe that's because it dosen't take rockets to get you where you belong. I see that in this woman down the hall, sometimes she seems so much further. But I'm ready for whatever steps I must take to get to her.I have seem SO MANY skies.. but the moon, well, it always looks the same. So I gotta say, Neil, that rock you landed on, has got NOTHING on the rock she's landed on. You walked around, took samples and left.. She's built a fire cleaned up the place and I hope she decides to stay.. because on this rock.. we can breath. Mr. Armstrong, I don't have much, many times have I been upside down with trauma, but with these empty hands, comes a heart that is often more full than the moon. She's becoming my world, pulling me into orbit, and I now know that I may never find life outside of hers. I want to give her EVERYTHING I don't have yet.. So YES, for her, I would go to the moon and back.... But not without her. We'd claim the moon for each other, with flags made from sheets down the hall. And I'd risk it ALL to kiss her under the light of the earth, the brightness of home... but I can do all of that and more right here, where she is..And when we gaze up, her arms around ME, I will NOT promise her gifts of moon dust, or flights of fancy. Instead I will gladly give her all the earth she wants, in return for all the earth she is. The sound of her heart beat and laughter, and all the time it takes to return to fall from the sky,down the hall, and right into love. God, I'd do it every day, if I could just land next to her. One small step for man, but she's one giant leap for my kind.
Mike McGee
A few years after I gave some lectures for the freshmen at Caltech (which were published as the Feynman Lectures on Physics), I received a long letter from a feminist group. I was accused of being anti-women because of two stories: the first was a discussion of the subtleties of velocity, and involved a woman driver being stopped by a cop. There's a discussion about how fast she was going, and I had her raise valid objections to the cop's definitions of velocity. The letter said I was making the women look stupid. The other story they objected to was told by the great astronomer Arthur Eddington, who had just figured out that the stars get their power from burning hydrogen in a nuclear reaction producing helium. He recounted how, on the night after his discovery, he was sitting on a bench with his girlfriend. She said, "Look how pretty the stars shine!" To which he replied, "Yes, and right now, I'm the only man in the world who knows how they shine." He was describing a kind of wonderful loneliness you have when you make a discovery. The letter claimed that I was saying a women is incapable of understanding nuclear reactions. I figured there was no point in trying to answer their accusations in detail, so I wrote a short letter back to them: "Don't bug me, Man!
Richard P. Feynman
In the Land under the Hill, in the Time Before … Once upon a time, there was a beautiful lady of the Seelie Court who lost her heart to the son of an angel. Once upon a time, there were two boys come to the land of Faerie, brothers noble and bold. One brother caught a glimpse of the fair lady and, thunderstruck by her beauty, pledged himself to her. Pledged himself to stay. This was the boy Andrew. His brother, the boy Arthur, would not leave his side. And so the boys stayed beneath the hill, and Andrew loved the lady, and Arthur despised her. And so the lady kept her boy close to her side, kept this beautiful creature who swore his fealty to her, and when her sister lay claim to the other, the lady let him be taken away, for he was nothing. She gave Andrew a silver chain to wear around his neck, a token of her love, and she taught him the ways of the Fair Folk. She danced with him in revels beneath starry skies. She fed him moonshine and showed him how to give way to the wild. Some nights they heard Arthur’s screams, and she told him it was an animal in pain, and pain was in an animal’s nature. She did not lie, for she could not lie. Humans are animals. Pain is their nature. For seven years they lived in joy. She owned his heart, and he hers, and somewhere, beyond, Arthur screamed and screamed. Andrew didn’t know; the lady didn’t care; and so they were happy. Until the day one brother discovered the truth of the other. The lady thought her lover would go mad with the grief of it and the guilt. And so, because she loved the boy, she wove him a story of deceitful truths, the story he would want to believe. That he had been ensorcelled to love her; that he had never betrayed his brother; that he was only a slave; that these seven years of love had been a lie. The lady set the useless brother free and allowed him to believe he had freed himself. The lady subjected herself to the useless brother’s attack and allowed him to believe he had killed her. The lady let her lover renounce her and run away. And the lady beheld the secret fruits of their union and kissed them and tried to love them. But they were only a piece of her boy. She wanted all of him or none of him. As she had given him his story, she gave him his children. She had nothing left to live for, then, and so lived no longer. This is the story she left behind, the story her lover will never know; this is the story her daughter will never know. This is how a faerie loves: with her whole body and soul. This is how a faerie loves: with destruction. I love you, she told him, night after night, for seven years. Faeries cannot lie, and he knew that. I love you, he told her, night after night, for seven years. Humans can lie, and so she let him believe he lied to her, and she let his brother and his children believe it, and she died hoping they would believe it forever. This is how a faerie loves: with a gift.
Cassandra Clare (Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #6))
Down through the druid wood I saw Wildman join with Cleaver Creek, put on weight, exchange his lean and hungry look for one of more well-fed fanaticism. Then came Chichamoonga, the Indian Influence, whooping along with its banks war-painted with lupine and columbine. Then Dog Creek, then Olson Creek, then Weed Creek. Across a glacier-raked gorge I saw Lynx Falls spring hissing and spitting from her lair of fire-bright vine maple, claw the air with silver talons, then crash screeching into the tangle below. Darling Ida Creek slipped demurely from beneath a covered bridge to add her virginal presence, only to have the family name blackened immediately after by the bawdy rollicking of her brash sister, Jumping Nellie. There followed scores of relatives of various nationalities: White Man Creek, Dutchman Creek, Chinaman Creek, Deadman Creek, and even a Lost Creek, claiming with a vehement roar that, in spite of hundreds of other creeks in Oregon bearing the same name, she was the one and only original...Then Leaper Creek...Hideout Creek...Bossman Creek...I watched them one after another pass beneath their bridges to join in the gorge running alongside the highway, like members of a great clan marshaling into an army, rallying, swelling, marching to battle as the war chant became deeper and richer.
Ken Kesey (Sometimes a Great Notion)
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close." I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine." "This isn't going to work. It never would have." "Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us." "God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess." A mess? "You 're beautiful." "I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability." "Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability." "But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?" Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open. "Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked. I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you." She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours." To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together." Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose." She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me. I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair. She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;— Go forth, under the open sky, and list To Nature’s teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters, and the depths of air— Comes a still voice— Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix for ever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods—rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,— Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death, Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone. So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw In silence from the living, and no friend Take note of thy departure? All that breathe Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will chase His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments, and shall come And make their bed with thee. As the long train Of ages glide away, the sons of men, The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes In the full strength of years, matron and maid, The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man— Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, By those, who in their turn shall follow them. So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis)
According to the biographical notes, Monsieur Julian Carax was twenty-seven, born with the century in Barcelona, and currently living in Paris; he wrote in French and worked at night as a professional pianist in a hostess bar. The blurb, written in the pompous, moldy style of the age, proclaimed that this was a first work of dazzling courage, the mark of a protean and trailblazing talent, and a sign of hope for the future of all of European letters. In spite of such solemn claims, the synopsis that followed suggested that the story contained some vaguely sinister elements slowly marinated in saucy melodrama, which, to the eyes of Monsieur Roquefort, was always a plus: after the classics what he most enjoyed were tales of crime, boudoir intrigue, and questionable conduct. One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. By the time the mind is able to comprehend what has happened, the wounds of the heart are already too deep. She laughed nervously. She had around her a burning aura of loneliness. "You remind me a bit of Julian," she said suddenly. "The way you look and your gestures. He used to do what you are doing now. He would stare at you without saying a word, and you wouldn't know what he was thinking, and so, like an idiot, you'd tell him things it would have been better to keep to yourself." "Someone once said that the moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you've already stopped loving that person forever." I gulped down the last of my coffee and looked at her for a few moments without saying anything. I thought about how much I wanted to lose myself in those evasive eyes. I thought about the loneliness that would take hold of me that night when I said good-bye to her, once I had run out of tricks or stories to make her stay with me any longer. I thought about how little I had to offer her and how much I wanted from her. "You women listen more to your heart and less to all the nonsense," the hatter concluded sadly. "That's why you live longer." But the years went by in peace. Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don't stop at your station.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed. The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts. The president does this at a high rate and at a fast pace. One attempt during the 2016 campaign to track his utterances found that 78 percent of his factual claims were false. This proportion is so high that it makes the correct assertions seem like unintended oversights on the path toward total fiction. Demeaning the world as it is begins the creation of a fictional counterworld. The second mode is shamanistic incantation. As Klemperer noted, the fascist style depends upon “endless repetition,” designed to make the fictional plausible and the criminal desirable. The systematic use of nicknames such as “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” displaced certain character traits that might more appropriately have been affixed to the president himself. Yet through blunt repetition over Twitter, our president managed the transformation of individuals into stereotypes that people then spoke aloud. At rallies, the repeated chants of “Build that wall” and “Lock her up” did not describe anything that the president had specific plans to do, but their very grandiosity established a connection between him and his audience. The next mode is magical thinking, or the open embrace of contradiction. The president’s campaign involved the promises of cutting taxes for everyone, eliminating the national debt, and increasing spending on both social policy and national defense. These promises mutually contradict. It is as if a farmer said he were taking an egg from the henhouse, boiling it whole and serving it to his wife, and also poaching it and serving it to his children, and then returning it to the hen unbroken, and then watching as the chick hatches. Accepting untruth of this radical kind requires a blatant abandonment of reason. Klemperer’s descriptions of losing friends in Germany in 1933 over the issue of magical thinking ring eerily true today. One of his former students implored him to “abandon yourself to your feelings, and you must always focus on the Führer’s greatness, rather than on the discomfort you are feeling at present.” Twelve years later, after all the atrocities, and at the end of a war that Germany had clearly lost, an amputated soldier told Klemperer that Hitler “has never lied yet. I believe in Hitler.” The final mode is misplaced faith. It involves the sort of self-deifying claims the president made when he said that “I alone can solve it” or “I am your voice.” When faith descends from heaven to earth in this way, no room remains for the small truths of our individual discernment and experience. What terrified Klemperer was the way that this transition seemed permanent. Once truth had become oracular rather than factual, evidence was irrelevant. At the end of the war a worker told Klemperer that “understanding is useless, you have to have faith. I believe in the Führer.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
She pushed and elbowed and knocked and strained to catch him, and finally, she did, reaching out for his hand--adoring the fact that neither of them wore gloves, loving the way their skin came together, the way his brought wonderful heat in a lush, irresistible current. He felt it too. She knew it because he stopped the instant they touched, turning to face her, grey eyes wild as Devonshire rain. She knew it because he whispered her name, aching and beautiful and soft enough for only her to hear. And she it because his free hand rose, captured her jaw and titled her face up to him even as he leaned down and stole her lips and breath and thought in a kiss that she would never in her lifetime forget. The was like food and drink, like sleep, like breath. She needed it with the same elemental desire and she cared not a bit that all of London was watching. Yes, she was masked, but it did not matter. She would have stripped to her chemise for this kiss. To her skin. Their fingers still intertwined, he wrapped their arms behind her back and pulled her to him, claiming her mouth with lips and tongue and teeth, marking her with one long luscious kiss that went on and on until she thought she might die from the pleasure of it. Her free hand was in his hair then, tangling in the soft locks, loving their silky promise. She was lost, claimed and fairly consumed by the intensity of the kiss, and for the first time in her life, Pippa gave herself up to emotion, pouring every bit of her desire and her passion and her fear and her need into this moment This caress. This man. This man, who was everything she had never allowed herself to dream she would find. This man, who made her believe in friendship. In partnership.. In love
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
School went exactly as Violet thought it would: weird. It wasn’t her best, and it wasn’t her worst, day ever. It was just weird. Jay was true to his word, deciding not to hold anything back. And it started the second they got out of the car, when he claimed her hand and refused to let go, even when Violet tugged and pulled to try to get it away from him. He ignored her mute protests and held on tight, smiling more to himself than to her, and paraded her right into the school like that. Not that they’d never held hands before, because they had. But this was entirely different, and Jay was hell-bent on making sure that everyone knew it. And just in case anyone wondered what the hand-holding actually meant, he made sure to clear things up for them by planting a big, albeit very satisfying, kiss on her lips, right in the middle of the hallway. Violet didn’t try to pull away from that; in fact, she was dismayed to find herself leaning into him, craving more, and not caring—at least at that moment—who might see them together. Unfortunately that person turned out to be Chelsea. Chelsea, of all people, along with Claire, who happened to walk up at very inopportune instant. “Well, well, well,” Chelsea said in an oh-so-innocent voice. “Look what we have here, Claire-bear. It’s old Jay and Violet.” The unconcealed smile was embedded deep in her voice. “Only, and correct me if I’m wrong, this looks a little more than friendly, don’t you think?” “I never kiss my friends like that,” Claire replied, blank-faced and serious, oblivious to sarcasm. Jay’s answer was to pull Violet closer, wrapping his arm around her waist. Violet cringed. Chelsea cocked her head at Claire. “I was just trying to make a point.” Claire looked confused. “What point?” “Seriously, Claire? That Violet and Jay are dating now.” She glanced away from poor confused Claire and flashed a gloating look to the couple in front of her. “It’s about time, by the way. I think everyone will thank you for putting us all out of our misery. I, for one, was completely fed up with watching you two lovesick puppies pining over each other. Seriously, it was disgusting.” She grabbed Claire by the sleeve of her snug, body-hugging hoodie and led her down the hallway, toward their first-period class. Violet watched in stunned silence, processing everything that Chelsea had said to them, as Claire bounded along in Chelsea’s commanding wake. Jay decided that it was his turn to gloat. “You pined for me?” he asked, stupid grin and all. Violet hit him in the arm. “Shut up!” She shook her head. “I’m pretty sure she was talking about you anyway.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back — For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep. The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown, Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own. Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear. And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair. When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail, Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail. When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar, Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home, Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain, The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again. If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay, Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away. Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can; But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man! If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride; Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide. The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies; And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies. The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will; But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill. Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same. Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same. Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own: He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone. Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law. Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they; But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!
Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book)
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down… All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does. Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know. She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
Eventually they climb sixteen steps into the Gallery of Mineralogy. The guide shows them a gate from Brazil and violet amethysts and a meteorite on a pedestal that he claims is as ancient as the solar system itself. Then he leads them single file down two twisting staircases and along several corridors and stops outside an iron door with a single keyhole. “End of tour,” he says. A girl says, “But what’s through there?” “Behind this door is another locked door, slightly smaller.” “And what’s behind that?” “A third locked door, smaller yet.” “What’s behind that?” “A fourth door, and a fifth, on and on until you reach a thirteenth, a little locked door no bigger than a shoe.” The children lean forward. “And then?” “Behind the thirteenth door”—the guide flourishes one of his impossibly wrinkled hands—“is the Sea of Flames.” Puzzlement. Fidgeting. “Come now. You’ve never heard of the Sea of Flames?” The children shake their heads. Marie-Laure squints up at the naked bulbs strung in three-yard intervals along the ceiling; each sets a rainbow-colored halo rotating in her vision. The guide hangs his cane on his wrist and rubs his hands together. “It’s a long story. Do you want to hear a long story?” They nod. He clears his throat. “Centuries ago, in the place we now call Borneo, a prince plucked a blue stone from a dry riverbed because he thought it was pretty. But on the way back to his palace, the prince was attacked by men on horseback and stabbed in the heart.” “Stabbed in the heart?” “Is this true?” A boy says, “Hush.” “The thieves stole his rings, his horse, everything. But because the little blue stone was clenched in his fist, they did not discover it. And the dying prince managed to crawl home. Then he fell unconscious for ten days. On the tenth day, to the amazement of his nurses, he sat up, opened his hand, and there was the stone. “The sultan’s doctors said it was a miracle, that the prince never should have survived such a violent wound. The nurses said the stone must have healing powers. The sultan’s jewelers said something else: they said the stone was the largest raw diamond anyone had ever seen. Their most gifted stonecutter spent eighty days faceting it, and when he was done, it was a brilliant blue, the blue of tropical seas, but it had a touch of red at its center, like flames inside a drop of water. The sultan had the diamond fitted into a crown for the prince, and it was said that when the young prince sat on his throne and the sun hit him just so, he became so dazzling that visitors could not distinguish his figure from light itself.” “Are you sure this is true?” asks a girl. “Hush,” says the boy. “The stone came to be known as the Sea of Flames. Some believed the prince was a deity, that as long as he kept the stone, he could not be killed. But something strange began to happen: the longer the prince wore his crown, the worse his luck became. In a month, he lost a brother to drowning and a second brother to snakebite. Within six months, his father died of disease. To make matters even worse, the sultan’s scouts announced that a great army was gathering in the east. "The prince called together his father’s advisers. All said he should prepare for war, all but one, a priest, who said he’d had a dream. In the dream the Goddess of the Earth told him she’d made the Sea of Flames as a gift for her lover, the God of the Sea, and was sending the jewel to him through the river. But when the river dried up, and the prince plucked it out, the goddess became enraged. She cursed the stone and whoever kept it.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)