Color Face Quotes

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I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps. I hunger for your sleek laugh, your hands the color of a savage harvest, hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin like a whole almond. I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body, the sovereign nose of your arrogant face, I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes, and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight, hunting for you, for your hot heart, Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
Pablo Neruda
After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer's breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer - perhaps more.
Jasper Fforde (The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3))
This is about Tessa. I knew it was." Will flushed, a wash of color across the pallor of this face. "Not just her." "But you love her." Will stared at him. "Of course I do," he said finally. "I had come to think i would never love anyone, but I love her.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
He looks up at me with his night-colored eyes, beautiful and terrible all at once. “For a moment,” he says, “I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.” I make a face at him. “And what made you decide it wasn’t?” He grins up at me. “They missed.
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
I’ve never been the one. Not for anybody.” He closed the distance between them. “You’ll get used to it.” He tipped her face up to his, kissed her. “Why? Why am I the one?” “Because my life opened up, and it flooded with color when you walked back into it.
Nora Roberts (Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1))
She smiled. Her skin looked whiter than he recalled, and dark spidery veins were beginning to show beneath its surface. Her hair was still the color of spun silver and her eyes were still green as a cat’s. She was still beautiful. Looking at her, he was in London again. He saw the gaslight and smelled the smoke and dirt and horses, the metallic tang of fog, the flowers in Kew Gardens. He saw a boy with black hair and blue eyes like Alec’s, heard violin music like the sound of silver water. He saw a girl with long brown hair and a serious face. In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants. And then there was Camille.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Vhat ozzer abilities do you haf?" ter Borcht snapped, which his assistant waited, pen in hand. Gazzy thought. "I have X-ray vision," he said. He peered at ter Borcht's chest, then blinked and looked alarmed. Ter Borcht was startled for a second, but then he frowned. "Don't write dat down," he told his assistant in irritation. The assistant froze in midsentence. "You. Do you haf any qualities dat distinguish you in any way?" Nudge chewed on a fingernail. "You mean, like, besides the WINGS?" She shook her shoulders gently, and her beautiful fawn-colored wings unfolded a bit. His face flushed, and I felt like cheering. "Yes," he said stiffly. "Besides de vings." "Hmm. Besides de vings." Nudge tapped one finger against her chin. "Um..." Her face brightened. "I once ate nine Snickers bars in one sitting. Without barfing. That was a record!" "Hardly a special talent," ter Borcht said witheringly. Nudge was offended. "Yeah? Let's see YOU do it." ... "I vill now eat nine Snickers bars," Gazzy said in a perfect, creepy imitation of ter Borcht's voice, "visout bahfing." Iggy rubbed his forehead with one hand. "Well, I have a highly developed sense of irony." Ter Borcht tsked. "You are a liability to your group. I assume you alvays hold on to someone's shirt, yes? Following dem closely?" "Only when I'm trying to steal their dessert" ...Fang pretended to think, gazing up at the ceiling. "Besides my fashion sense? I play a mean harmonica." "I vill now destroy de Snickuhs bahrs!" Gazzy barked.
James Patterson
If I were you, I'd sue my face for slander.
Terry Pratchett (The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1))
Demon?” Gwen gasped out. Her back jerked ramrod-straight, and her face leeched of color. “Did you just say demon?” Oh, uh…did I say that?” Strider once again glanced around the plane helplessly. “No, no. I think I said seaman.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld, #4))
You’re here!” Isabelle danced up to them in delight, carrying a glass of fuchsia liquid, which she thrust at Clary. “Have some of this!” Clary squinted at it. “Is it going to turn me into a rodent?” “Where is the trust? I think it’s strawberry juice,” Isabelle said. “Anyways, it’s yummy. Jace?” She offered him the glass. “I am a man,” he told her, “and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone, woman, and bring me something brown.” “Brown?” Isabelle made a face. “Brown is a manly color,” said Jace, and yanked on a stray lock of Isabelle’s hair with his free hand. “In fact, look – Alec is wearing it.” Alec looked mournfully down at his sweater. “It was black,” he said. “But then it faded.” “You could dress it up with a sequined headband,” Magnus suggested, offering his boyfriend something blue and sparkly. “Just a thought.” “Resist the urge, Alec.” Simon was sitting on the edge of a low wall with Maia beside him, though she appeared to be deep in conversation with Aline. “You’ll look like Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu.” “There are worse things,” Magnus observed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I don't fancy colors of the face, I'm always attracted to colors of the brain.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Despite our tiffs, despite her nastiness, despite all the fuss and faces she made, and the vulgarity, and the danger, and the horrible hopelessness of it all, I still dwelled deep in my elected paradise - a paradise whose skies were the color of hell-flames - but still a paradise.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
To hear never-heard sounds, To see never-seen colors and shapes, To try to understand the imperceptible Power pervading the world; To fly and find pure ethereal substances That are not of matter But of that invisible soul pervading reality. To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul; To be a lantern in the darkness Or an umbrella in a stormy day; To feel much more than know. To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain; To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon; To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves; To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching. To be a smile on the face of a woman And shine in her memory As a moment saved without planning.
Dejan Stojanovic
He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Martha Medeiros
Red", I write "is the color of life. It's blood, passion, rage. It's menstrual flow and after birth. Beginnings and violent end. Red is the color of love. Beating hearts and hungry lips. Roses, Valentines, cherries. Red is the color of shame. Crimson cheeks and spilled blood. Broken hearts, opened veins. A burning desire to return to white.
Mary Hogan (Pretty Face)
Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to get attention we do, except walk?
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
I settled on the floor and whispered to Sam, “I want you to listen to me, if you can.” I leaned the side of my face against his ruff and remembered the golden wood he had shown me so long ago. I remembered the way the yellow leaves, the color of Sam’s eyes, fluttered and twisted, crashing butterflies, on their way to the ground. The slender white trunks of the birches, creamy and smooth as human skin. I remembered Sam standing in the middle of the wood, his arms stretched out, a dark, solid form in the dream of the trees. His coming to me, me punching his chest, the soft kiss. I remembered every kiss we’d ever had, and I remembered every time I’d curled in his human arms. I remembered the soft warmth of his breath on the back of my neck while we slept. I remembered Sam.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
They do love their pretty colors," grumbled Tolya. "Don't give me any ideas," I whispered. "Maybe I'll decide my personal guard should wear bright yellow pantaloons." For the first time, I saw an expression very much like fear cross his face.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
then, as though it had been waiting on a near by roof for their arrival, the moon came slanting suddenly through the vines and turned the girl's face the color of white roses.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
I pull my foot back again, but Four's hands clamp around my arms, and he pulls me away from her with irresistible force. I breathe through gritted teeth, staring at Molly's blood-covered face, the color deep and rich and beautiful, in a way. She groans, and I hear a gurgling in her throat, watch blood trickle from her lips. "You won," Four mutters. "Stop." I wipe the sweat from my forehead. He stares at me. His eyes too wide; they look alarmed. "I think you should leave," he says. "Take a walk." I'm fine," I say. "I'm fine now," I say again, this time for myself. I wish I could say I felt guilty for what I did. I don't.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?
Karen Blixen
I feel it in here," she said, placing her hand against her chest and then against her stomach, "and here. It’s like there’s not enough air or room inside me. That I may… burst out of my skin or drown in it, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I always have… and will." She tipped her chin up and her entire face was a rosy color. "It’s you. I… I love you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Elixir (Covenant, #3.5))
The moon will never lie to anyone. Be like the moon. No one hates the moon or wants to kill it. The moon does not take antidepressants and never gets sent to prison. The moon never shot a guy in the face and ran away. The moon has been around a long time and has never tried to rip anyone off. The moon does not care who you want to touch or what color you are. The moon treats everyone the same. The moon never tries to get in on the guest list or use your name to impress others. Be like the moon. When others insult or belittle in an attempt to elevate themselves, the moon sits passively and watches, never lowering itself to anything that weak. The moon is beautiful and bright. It needs no makeup to look beautiful. The moon never shoves clouds out of its way so it can be seen. The moon needs not fame or money to be powerful. The moon never asks you to go to war to defend it. Be like the moon.
Henry Rollins (Solipsist)
When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a color, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life, she makes contact, she relishes with passion and yet in a manner more detached, more free, than that of a young man. Being poorly integrated in the universe of humanity and hardly able to adapt herself therein, she, like the child, is able to see it objectively; instead of being interested solely in her grasp on things, she looks for their significance; she catches their special outlines, their unexpected metamorphoses. She rarely feels a bold creativeness, and usually she lacks the technique of self-expression; but in her conversation, her letters, her literary essays, her sketches, she manifests an original sensitivity. The young girl throws herself into things with ardor, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain All.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Disadvantaged white people are not erased by discussions of disadvantages facing people of color, just as brain cancer is not erased by talking about breast cancer. They are two different issues with two different treatments, and they require two different conversations.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Go to hell and take that with you!” She shouted it right in Amelie’s face. Eve was an exotic blaze of color against Amelie’s white fury. And then she slapped the Founder in the face.
Rachel Caine (Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires, #11))
Why did you?” Clary asked. “Why did I what?” “Help me back there.” “You’re my sister.” She swallowed. In the morning light, Sebastian’s face had some color in it. There were faint burns along his neck where demon ichor had splashed him. “You never cared that I was your sister before.” “Didn’t I?” His black eyes flicked up and down her. “Our father’s dead,” he said. “There are no other relatives. You and I, we are the last. The last of the Morgensterns. You are the only one left whose blood runs in my veins, too. You are my last chance.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
...And, all at once, the moon arouse through the thin ghastly mist, And was crimson in color... And they lynx which dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom. And lay down at the feet of the demon. And looked at him steadily in the face.
Edgar Allan Poe
Black is the color that is no color at all. Black is the color of a child's still, empty bedroom. The heaviest hour of night-the one that traps you in your bunk, suffocating in another nightmare. It is a uniform stretched over the broad shoulders of an angry young man. Black is the mud, the lidless eye watching your every breath, the low vibrations of the fence that stretches up to tear at the sky. It is a road. A forgotten night sky broken up by faded stars. It is the barrel of a new gun, leveled at your heart. The color of Chubs's hair, Liam's bruises, Zu's eyes. Black is a promise of tomorrow, bled dry from lies and hate. Betrayal. I see it in the face of a broken compass, feel it in the numbing grip of grief. I run, but it is my shadow. Chasing, devouring, polluting. It is the button that should never have been pushed, the door that shouldn't have opened, the dried blood that couldn't be washed away. It is the charred remains of buildings. The car hidden in the forest, waiting. It is the smoke. It is the fire. The spark. Black is the color of memory. It is our color. The only one they'll use to tell our story.
Alexandra Bracken (In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
I remember you. You were like burning firelight in that cave, all shimmery, dancing color." I lean closer over the island, mesmerized by his words, his hand on my face. If he keeps talking this way, he's going to see me like that again. "Tell me you thought about me. That you think about me now." "I thought about you," I whisper, "I've never stopped thinking about you." Somehow I doubt I ever will.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Women: I liked the colors of their clothing; the way they walked; the cruelty in some faces; now and then the almost pure beauty in another face, totally and enchantingly female. They had it over us: they planned much better and were better organized. While men were watching professional football or drinking beer or bowling, they, the women, were thinking about us, concentrating, studying, deciding - whether to accept us, discard us, exchange us, kill us or whether simply to leave us. In the end it hardly mattered; no matter what they did, we ended up lonely and insane.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Amazingly, he smiled at me. "You're bossy." His pupils were still huge, but a little color had begun to come back into his face, especially along his cheekbones. "I like bossy chicks.
Lili St. Crow (Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1))
It strikes Werner just then as wondrously futile to build splendid buildings, to make music, to sing songs, to print huge books full of colorful birds in the face of the seismic, engulfing indifference of the world - what pretensions humans have!
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
He was like one of those pictures full of small errors, the kind you could only pick out by searching the image from every angle, and even then, a few always slipped by. On the surface, Eli seemed perfectly normal, but now and then Victor would catch a crack, a sideways glance, a moment when his roommate's face and his words, his look and his meaning, would not line up. Those fleeting slices fascinated Victor. It was like watching two people, one hiding in the other's skin. And their skin was always too dry, on the verge of cracking and showing the color of the thing beneath.
Victoria Schwab (Vicious (Villains, #1))
GATHERING LEAVES Spades take up leaves No better than spoons, And bags full of leaves Are light as balloons. I make a great noise Of rustling all day Like rabbit and deer Running away. But the mountains I raise Elude my embrace, Flowing over my arms And into my face. I may load and unload Again and again Till I fill the whole shed, And what have I then? Next to nothing for weight, And since they grew duller From contact with earth, Next to nothing for color. Next to nothing for use. But a crop is a crop, And who's to say where The harvest shall stop?
Robert Frost
He was not a tall man, but he was wide. His face was the color and texture of old leather boots, and he was completely bald except for a gray walrus mustache that would have made Hulk Hogan jealous. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, even though it was chilly and wet. His arms were densely tattooed in style I didn’t recognize.
Grahame Shannon (Tiger and the Robot (Chandler Gray #1))
She reached out and touched the bright colors of the cashmere scarf, her face filled with wonder as much as shock. "This . . .this is Ibrahim's scarf . . .it's a family heirloom. . . " "No, it belongs to this mobster guy named Abe. . . [...] "Mom," I said disbelievingly. "You know Abe." "Yes, Rose. I know him." "Please don't tell me. . ." Oh, man. Why couldn't I have been an illegitimate half-royal like Robert Doru? Or even the mail-man's daughter? "Please don't tell me Abe is my father. . . . " She didn't have to tell me. It was all over her face. "Oh God, " I said. "I'm Zmey's daughter. Zmey Junior. Zmeyette, even." That got her attention. She looked up at me. "What on earth are you talking about?" "Nothing," I said.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
You must live every day as if it counts, which means to love all of it. Never let a single one go by without noting the color of the sky, the song of the bird, the face of the one you love best. And don't let yourself get talked out of the things you really care about, don't put off what you want to be.
C.A. Belmond (A Rather Lovely Inheritance (Penny Nichols, #1))
He took both of my hands, twisting to face me more fully on the flattened box beneath us, and again the colors in his irises seemed to pulse with my heartbeat.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1))
The walls weren't moving, and the room was open - gaping. No colors, but shades of darkness, of night . Only those star-flecked violet eyes were bright, full of color and light. He gave me a lazy smile before he leaned forward. I pulled away, but his hands were like shackles. I could do nothing as his mouth met with my cheek, and he licked away a tear. His tongue was hot against my skin, so startling that I couldn't move as he licked away another path of salt water, and then another. My body went taut and loose all at once and I burned, even as chills shuddered along my limbs. It was only when his tongue danced along the damp edges of my lashes that I jerked back. He chuckled as I scrambled for the corner of the cell. I wiped my face as I glared at him. He smirked, sitting down against a wall. "I figured that would get you to stop crying." "It was disgusting." I wiped my face again. "Was it?" He quirked an eyebrow and pointed to his palm - to the place where my tattoo would be. "Beneath all your pride and stubbornness, I could have sworn I detected something that felt differently. Interesting." "Get out." "As usual, your gratitude is overwhelming.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
I like to watch his hands as he works, making a blank page bloom with strokes of ink, adding touches of color to our previously black and yellowish book. His face takes on a special look when he concentrates. His usual easy expression is replaced by something more intense and removed that suggests an entire world locked away inside him. I've seen flashes of this before: in the arena, or when he speaks to a crowd, or that time he shoved the Peacekeepers' guns away from me in District 11. I don't know quite what to make of it. I also become a little fixated on his eyelashes, which ordinarily you don't notice much because they're so blond. But up close, in the sunlight slanting in from the window, they're a light golden color and so long I don't see how they keep from getting all tangled up when he blinks.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Ty laughed, a carefree, boyish sound, and glanced to his side, distracted by what he saw. “You moved the rug.” “I kitty-cornered it.” “Why would you do that?” Ty asked, aghast. “To see you lose your shit when you got home.” Zane leaned closer, grinning evilly. “There are other things out of order too. Books not alphabetized. Coffee mug handles facing different directions.” He lowered his voice to a whisper as Ty’s eyes widened in horror. “The closet isn’t color coded.” “You’re just watching the world burn, huh?” Zane laughed. “God I missed you.” Ty said in a rush of breath.
Abigail Roux (Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run, #7))
If we dare to dream, we must dare to wake up. When we come to rub our eyes wide open and face up to realness, we can clear our vision and curb a whirlwind of bewilderment that might break our mind apart, once fantasy wrangles with reality and our awareness denies the true colors of facts. ("Behind the frosted glass”)
Erik Pevernagie
The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field. 'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen. I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face. 'Well? Is you?' I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?' 'Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?' 'I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed. Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me. 'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?' She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable, and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses' ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse's whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen's faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
This is mad,” said Ron. “We’re the only ones left who haven’t got anyone — well, except Neville. Hey — guess who he asked? Hermione!” “What?” said Harry, completely distracted by this startling news. “Yeah, I know!” said Ron, some of the color coming back into his face as he started to laugh. “He told me after Potions! Said she’s always been really nice, helping him out with work and stuff — but she told him she was already going with someone. Ha! As if! She just didn’t want to go with Neville...I mean, who would?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
The moon knows,” is what he says, breath colored in liquor and a smile. Louis stares at him. “What are you talking about?” Another manic grin from Harry, and then he pulls him in again, his hand travelling to the side of Louis’ face, cradling his cheek. “The moon knows that we’re in love.
Velvetoscar
Beside me, Molly rolled her shoulders in a few jerky motions and pushed at her hair in fitful little gestures. She tugged at her well-tattered skirts, and grimaced at her boots. "Can you see if there’s any mud on them?" I paused to consider her for a second. Then I said, "You have two tattoos showing right now, and you probably used a fake ID to get them. Your piercings would set off any metal detector worth the name, and you’re featuring them in parts of your anatomy your parents wish you didn’t yet realize you had. You’re dressed like Frankenhooker, and your hair has been dyed colors I previously thought existed only in cotton candy.” I turned to face the door again. “I wouldn’t waste time worrying about a little mud on the boots.
Jim Butcher (Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8))
Die slowly He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Martha Medeiros
His beard was all colors, a grove of trees in autumn, deep brown and fire-orange and wine-red, an untrimmed tangle across the lower half of his face. His cheeks were apple-red. He looked like a friend; like someone you had known all your life.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
He let his eyes flitter over her. “I don’t see anything ‘precisely.’ I can tell you’re slender. I can see you’re wearing white, or some light color. Your face is pale, your lips are reddish. And there appears to be a dark brown octopus attacking your head.” “That’s my hair.” Ransom shrugged. “You asked what I see. I see tentacles.
Tessa Dare (Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1))
There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: "honey-colored skin," "thin arms," "brown bobbed hair," "long lashes," "big bright mouth"); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark innerside of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
He didn’t take her out of the city,” she’d said, cheeks glowing with color for the first time since she’d emerged from her battle with parem . “It’s obvious he’s keeping her there.” But Kaz had simply gazed into the middle distance with that odd look on his face and said, “Too obvious.” “Kaz—” “How would you like a hundred kruge ?” “What’s the catch?” “Exactly. Van Eck’s making it too easy. He’s treating us like marks. But he isn’t Barrel born, and we aren’t a bunch of dumb culls ready to jump at the first shiny lure he flashes. Van Eck wants us to think she’s on that island. Maybe she is. But he’ll have plenty of firepower waiting for us too, maybe even a few Grisha using parem .” “Always hit where the mark isn’t looking,” Wylan had murmured. “Sweet Ghezen,” said Jesper. “You’ve been thoroughly corrupted.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
The Cold Peace wasn’t what took Mark away from us,” said Julian, his cheeks burning with color. “That was you. The Wild Hunt. We can see by your eyes that you ride with Gwyn, don’t deny it.” “Oh,” said Kieran with a slight smirk on his lips. “I would not deny that.” Emma wondered if anyone else heard Julian’s intake of breath. “So you know my brother.” The smirk never left Kieran’s face. “Of course I do.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
The sun has blessed you," Sarita used to say. "Look how he has left his kisses on your face for all to see and be jealous." "The sun loves you more," I said, rubbing my hands over her dry arms, the color of an aged wine gourd, and she laughed. But this is not India and we are not prized for our freckles here. The sun is not allowed to show his love.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
I did my best to fight and claw my way back to the life I once knew, but panic had taken over and colors were swirling and fading all around me. It was all turning into a great cloud of blackness, just like the one I had seen in my dream. The looming cloud of nothingness I had feared for so long was finally grabbing me, wiping my world dark and blank. The darkness was thick and intense, an inky void that stretched to eternity in every direction. Eventually my panic burnt itself out and I simply stayed there in the dark, feeling as if someone had drained my adrenal glands. I was no longer responding to the dark with fear, but acceptance. In fact, curiosity was beginning to take over. The longer I let myself stare into it, the less dark it appeared. After some time, I realized that it was all different shades of murky black and foggy gray overlapping and undulating, just out of focus. I blinked mentally and suddenly she was there, standing above me with concern etched in sooty-colored lines on her monochromatic face.
Misty Mount (The Shadow Girl)
And I know [other] faces aren't this colorful, this vivid, this lived-in, this superbly off-site, this brimming with dark unpredictable music. NOT THAT I EFFING NOTICE... For the record, breathing is overrated.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
The worms were beautifully drawn, with their nervous systems and reproductive organs shaded in different colors of highlighter, but the artist had also given them big goofy smiling faces. Grotesque but lovable in a cross-eyed way.
L.J. Smith (Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3))
Am I talking too much?” He paused, staring into my eyes, genuine worry coloring his face. I shook my head. No, I thought, I’d listen to you talk about nearly anything. You make phone calls sound like an adventure.
Kiera Cass (The Siren)
I'm sure you won't dream of trying to escape from your obligations by fleeing the city...' 'I assure you the thought never even crossed my mind, lord.' 'Indeed? Then if I were you I'd sue my face for slander.
Terry Pratchett (The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1))
I think people are like that. When you really look at them, you stop seeing a perfect nose or straigt teeth. You stop seeing the acne scar or the dimple in the chin. Those things start to blur, and suddenly you see them, the colors, the life inside the shell, and beauty takes on a whole new meaning." Fern didn't look away from the sky as she talked, and Ambrose let his eyes linger on her profile. She wasn't talking about him. She was just being thoughtful, pondering life's ironies. She was just being Fern.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
You don’t need fashion designers when you are young. Have faith in your own bad taste. Buy the cheapest thing in your local thrift shop - the clothes that are freshly out of style with even the hippest people a few years older than you. Get on the fashion nerves of your peers, not your parents - that is the key to fashion leadership. Ill-fitting is always stylish. But be more creative - wear your clothes inside out, backward, upside down. Throw bleach in a load of colored laundry. Follow the exact opposite of the dry cleaning instructions inside the clothes that cost the most in your thrift shop. Don’t wear jewelry - stick Band-Aids on your wrists or make a necklace out of them. Wear Scotch tape on the side of your face like a bad face-lift attempt. Mismatch your shoes. Best yet, do as Mink Stole used to do: go to the thrift store the day after Halloween, when the children’s trick-or-treat costumes are on sale, buy one, and wear it as your uniform of defiance.
John Waters (Role Models)
I'm not going to wear a red dress," she said. "It's the color of sunrise," Helda said. "It's the color of blood," Katsa said. Sighing, Helda carried the dress from the bathing room. "It would look stunning, My Lady," she called, "with your dark hair and your eyes." Katsa yanked at one of the more stubborn knots in her hair. She spoke to the bubbles gathered on the surface of the water. "If there's anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I'll hit him in the face.
Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
You want me to have feelings?" he said. "I already told you that I love you. What else should I say? That I long to be near you every second of every day? I see colors, only around you....I smell perfume, only around you. God, it's like...like I'm alive again. Sometimes I go crazy just wondering if I imagined it all, and I wait to see when it...you...will be taken away from me." "I feel all these things, Abbey," he continued on. "Rage that I can't run my fingers through your hair. Sorrow that I can't lay my face next to yours. Agony that I can't steal the breath from your lips. I can't eat or breathe or sleep for wanting to touch you, and yet I don't eat or breathe or sleep. I'm just here. Stuck in between.
Jessica Verday (The Haunted (The Hollow, #2))
You drive me insane, June,” he murmurs against my hair. “You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you?” I tilt my face up to see him. His eyes reflect the faint lights from the JumboTrons, a rainbow of evening colors. “Billions of people will come and go in this world,” he says softly, “but there will never be another like you.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
concept of slavery and how necessary it became to her own success and the injustices 액상대마초파는곳,텔-KoreaHemp" 액상대마초파는곳,텔-KoreaHemp" 액상대마초파는곳,텔-KoreaHemp" 액상대마초파는곳,텔-KoreaHemp" she faced as a woman and in particular, a woman of color. The novel delves into
액상대마초파는곳,텔-KoreaHemp" vua4gvha5,한국대마초1g,한국대마초종류,한국대마초효능,한국대마초효과,한국대마초피는법,한국대마초피는방법,한국대마초후기,한국대마초추천,한
Her caramel skin and curly beach sand hair spreads in wavy chops like the choppy storm waves on the ocean. Her fluffy rose colored lips glisten with eyes emerald green and almond shaped set deep into her face and yet when she looks at you with those same deep set eyes, it feels like they jump out, speaking to you.
Ami Blackwelder
This is my first real memory of James. In every memory before that, he’s just a flash of color, a warm body with a blurred face, a comforting voice begging me not to die. When he planted himself between our father and me that day, an eight-year-old with small fists clenched at his sides, I think I fell in love with my brother.
Kate Avelynn (Flawed)
There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.
Keith Bellows
Finally I grinned and said, "I won't eat meat if it's been overcooked." She (Amarinda) glanced up at me, confused, and I added, "I thought you should know that, since we're going to be friends now." Amarinda's smile widened. "I think it's unfair that women aren't allowed to wear trousers. They seem far more comfortable than dresses." I chuckled. "They're not. Every year I think fashion invents one more piece I have to add to my wardrobe." "And one more layer to my skirts." She thought for a moment, then said, "I think it's funny when you're rude to the cook. I shouldn't admit that, but his face turns all sorts of colors when you are and there's nothing he can do about it." "He can overcook my meat.
Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Runaway King (Ascendance, #2))
The sunset has turned the sky into a carnival of color as Noah and Brian walk out of the forest, hand in hand. Brian notices Dad and me first and shrugs his hand away, but Noah immediately finds it again. At this, Brian's eyes squint up and his face cracks open in a heart-crushing smile. Noah, like always around Brian, can barely keep his head on his neck, he's so happy.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their other half. It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloveds entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a persons face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself?
Alexandra Adornetto (Halo (Halo, #1))
Things are the way they are, but everything has a reason. Kittens are cute because they're tiny fur-balls with smushed faces. Rainbows are pretty because they have every color in the world in them and they're made from refracted light. Chick flicks are sad because chicks sometimes just need a good cry. And assholes are always assholes for a reason.
Courtney Cole (If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1))
Annabel was, like the writer, of mixed parentage: half-English, half-Dutch, in her case. I remember her features far less distinctly today than I did a few years ago, before I knew Lolita. There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: "honey-colored skin," "thin arms," "brown bobbed hair," "long lashes," "big bright mouth"); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark innerside of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Anna watched as Abel walked across the empty schoolyard, she wondered whether there was a limit to desolation or whether it grew endlessly, infinitely. Desolation with a hundred faces and more, desolation of a hundred different kinds and more, like the color blue.
Antonia Michaelis (The Storyteller)
Again," I whisper. The corner of his mouth lifts, and then I kiss him. Not so gently this time. His hands drop from my face and grab my waist and pull me to him. A small soft groan excapes him, and that noise makes me feel absolutely crazy. I lose it. I wind my hands around his neck and kiss him without holding anything back. I can feel his heart thundering like mine, his breath coming faster, his arms tightening around me. And then I can feel what he feels. He's waited for this moment. He loves how I feel in his arms. He loves the smell of my hair. He loves the way I looked at him just now, flushed and wanting more from him. He loves the color of my lips and now the taste of my mouth is making his knees feel weak and he doesn't want to seem weak in front of me. So i draw back, and his breath comes out in a rush. His arms drop away from me.
Cynthia Hand (Unearthly (Unearthly, #1))
Women of today are still being called upon to stretch across the gap of male ignorance and to educate men as to our existence and our needs. This is an old and primary tool of all oppressors to keep the oppressed occupied with the master's concerns. Now we hear that is is the task of women of Color to educated white women - in the face of tremendous resistance - as to our existence, our differences, our relative roles in our joint survival. This is a diversion of energies and a tragic repetition of racist patriarchal thought.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
At least I want to get up early one more morning, before sunrise. Before the birds, even. I want to throw cold water on my face and be at my work table when the sky lightens and smoke begins to rise from the chimneys of the other houses. I want to see the waves break on this rocky beach, not just hear them break as I did in my sleep. I want to see again the ships that pass through the Strait from every seafaring country in the world - old, dirty freighters just barely moving along, and the swift new cargo vessels painted every color under the sun that cut the water as they pass. I want to keep an eye out for them. And for the little boat that plies the water between the ships and the pilot station near the lighthouse. I want to see them take a man off the ship and put another one up on board. I want to spend the day watching this happen and reach my own conclusions. I hate to seem greedy - I have so much to be thankful for already. But I want to get up early one more morning, at least. And go to my place with some coffee and wait. Just wait, to see what's going to happen.
Raymond Carver
I haven't known you for long, I don't even know what your favorite color is or your favorite song, but…I know every detail and curve of your face and the way your eyes sparkle when you smile. I know that you put your hands to your chest when you laugh and the adorable way you fiddle with your fingers when you're nervous. I think of you every minute of every day. I've realized I can't live my life without you in it. I want you. Only you.
Nicole Gulla (The Lure of the Moon (The Scripter Trilogy, #1))
Okay. I don’t know if I have the right words, but love is this feeling I get when I look at you. A feeling that as long as you’re near me, or in the world even, then everything will be okay. That everything has meaning. It’s as if the world was all shades of sepia—like an old movie reel—and that everywhere I looked I saw suffering and pain. Then I heard your voice, I saw your face, and somehow the color came into everything.
Ryan Winfield (Jane's Melody (Jane's Melody, #1))
...the girl longed for a love that could not be ended by death. From the time she was young, she knew that her true love was there, somewhere, living a life that would one day intersect her own. Knowing this made every day full of sweet possibility. Knowing that her true love lived and breathed and went about his day under her same sun made her fears vanish, her sorrows small, and her hopes high. Though she did not yet know his face, the color of his eyes, still she knew him better than anyone else knew him, knew his hopes and dreams, what made him laugh and cry.
Martine Leavitt (Keturah and Lord Death)
Zhi yin. Jem had told her once that it meant understanding music, and also a bond that went deeper than friendship. Jem played, and he played the years of Will's life as he had seen them. He played two little boys in the training room, one showing the other how to throw knives, and he played the ritual of parabatai: the fire and the vows and burning runes. He played two young men running through the streets of London in the dark, stopping to lean up against a wall and laugh together. He played the day in the library when he and Will had jested with Tessa about ducks, and he played the train to Yorkshire on which Jem had said that parabatai were meant to love each other as they loved their own souls. He played that love, and he played their love for Tessa, and hers for them, and he played Will saying, In your eyes I have always found grace. He played the too few times he had seen them since he had joined the Brotherhood- the brief meetings at the Institute; the time when Will had been bitten by a Shax demon and nearly died, and Jem had come from the Silent City and sat with him all night, risking discovery and punishment. And he played the birth of their first son, and the protection ceremony that had been carried out on the child in the Silent City. Will would have no other Silent Brother but Jem perform it. And Jem played the way he had covered his scarred face with his hands and turned away when he'd found out the child's name was James. He played of love and loss and years of silence, words unsaid and vows unspoken, and all the spaces between his heart and theirs; and when he was done, and he'd set the violin back in its box, Will's eyes were closed, but Tessa's were full of tears. Jem set down his bow, and came toward the bed, drawing back his hood, so she could see his closed eyes and his scarred face. And he had sat down beside them on the bed, and taken Will's hand, the one that Tessa was not holding, and both Will and Tessa heard Jem's voice in their minds. I take your hand, brother, so that you may go in peace. Will had opened the blue eyes that had never lost their color over all the passing years, and looked at Jem and then Tessa, and smiled, and died, with Tessa's head on his shoulder and his hand in Jem's.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
but bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical dilemma/ i havent conquered yet/ do you see the point my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender/ my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face my love is too delicate to have thrown back on my face my love is too beautiful to have thrown back on my face my love is too sanctified to have thrown back on my face my love is too magic to have thrown back on my face my love is too saturday nite to have thrown back on my face my love is too complicated to have thrown back on my face my love is too music to have thrown back on my face
Ntozake Shange (For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf)
I was told The average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7 She picks the colors and the cake first By the age of 10 She knows time, And location By 17 She’s already chosen a gown 2 bridesmaids And a maid of honor By 23 She’s waiting for a man Who wont break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment” Someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely Someone who isn’t a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed Someone Who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one they’ve ever seen To be honest I don’t know what kind of tux I’ll be wearing I have no clue what want my wedding will look like But I imagine The women who pins my last to hers Will butterfly down the aisle Like a 5 foot promise I imagine Her smile Will be so large that you’ll see it on google maps And know exactly where our wedding is being held The woman that I plan to marry Will have champagne in her walk And I will get drunk on her footsteps When the pastor asks If I take this woman to be my wife I will say yes before he finishes the sentence I’ll apologize later for being impolite But I will also explain him That our first kiss happened 6 years ago And I’ve been practicing my “Yes” For past 2, 165 days When people ask me about my wedding I never really know what to say But when they ask me about my future wife I always tell them Her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long I say She thinks too much Misses her father Loves to laugh And she’s terrible at lying Because her face never figured out how to do it correctl I tell them If my alarm clock sounded like her voice My snooze button would collect dust I tell them If she came in a bottle I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys If she was a book I would memorize her table of contents I would read her cover-to-cover Hoping to find typos Just so we can both have a few things to work on Because aren’t we all unfinished? Don’t we all need a little editing? Aren’t we all waiting to be proofread by someone? Aren’t we all praying they will tell us that we make sense She don’t always make sense But her imperfections are the things I love about her the most I don’t know when I will be married I don’t know where I will be married But I do know this Whenever I’m asked about my future wife I always say …She’s a lot like you
Rudy Francisco
Uriah looked better than he did an hour ago--he washed the blood from his mouth, and some of the color returned to his face. I'm struck, suddenly, by how handsome he is-- all his features are proportionate, his eyes dark and lively, his skin bronze-brown. And he has probably always been handsome. Only boys who have been handsome from a young age have that arrogance in their smile. Not like Tobias, who is almost shy when he smiles like he is surprised you bothered to look at him from the first place.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
We all have stories. Or perhaps it's because, as humans, we are already an assemblage of stories and the gulf that exists between us as people is that when we look at each other we might see faces, skin color, gender, race, or attitudes. But we don't see - we can't see the stories. And once we hear each other's stories, we realize the things we see as dividing us are all too often illusions; falsehoods. That the walls between us are, in truth, no thicker than scenery.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
To this day, I wake up at times, look in the mirror, and just stare, obsessed with the idea that the person I am in my head is something entirely different than what everyone else sees. That the way I look will prevent me from doing the things I want; that there really are sneetches with stars and I’m not one of them. I touch my face, I feel my skin, I check my color every day, and I swear it all feels right. But then someone says something and that sense of security and identity is gone before I know it.
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
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)
The finished clock is resplendent. At first glance it is simply a clock, a rather large black clock with a white face and a silver pendulum. Well crafted, obviously, with intricately carved woodwork edges and a perfectly painted face, but just a clock. But that is before it is wound. Before it begins to tick, the pendulum swinging steadily and evenly. Then, then it becomes something else. The changes are slow. First, the color changes in the face, shifts from white to grey, and then there are clouds that float across it, disappearing when they reach the opposite side. Meanwhile, bits of the body of the clock expand and contract, like pieces of a puzzle. As though the clock is falling apart, slowly and gracefully. All of this takes hours. The face of the clock becomes a darker grey, and then black, with twinkling stars where numbers had been previously. The body of the clock, which has been methodically turning itself inside out and expanding, is now entirely subtle shades of white and grey. And it is not just pieces, it is figures and objects, perfectly carved flowers and planets and tiny books with actual paper pages that turn. There is a silver dragon that curls around part of the now visible clockwork, a tiny princess in a carved tower who paces in distress, awaiting an absent prince. Teapots that pour into teacups and minuscule curls of steam that rise from them as the seconds tick. Wrapped presents open. Small cats chase small dogs. An entire game of chess is played. At the center, where a cuckoo bird would live in a more traditional timepiece, is the juggler. Dress in harlequin style with a grey mask, he juggles shiny silver balls that correspond to each hour. As the clock chimes, another ball joins the rest until at midnight he juggles twelve balls in a complex pattern. After midnight, the clock begins once more to fold in upon itself. The face lightens and the cloud returns. The number of juggled balls decreases until the juggler himself vanishes. By noon it is a clock again, and no longer a dream.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
New York City is the most fatally fascinating thing in America. She sits like a great witch at the gate of the country, showing her alluring white face and hiding her crooked hands and feet under the folds of her wide garments--constantly enticing thousands from far within, and tempting those who come from across the seas to go no farther. And all these become the victims of her caprice. Some she at once crushes beneath her cruel feet; others she condemns to a fate like that of galley slaves; a few she favors and fondles, riding them high on the bubbles of fortune; then with a sudden breath she blows the bubbles out and laughs mockingly as she watches them fall.
James Weldon Johnson (The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man)
And, nope, Louis never ever thought he’d be the type to drunkenly screech his love to the sleeping world but here he is and here they are and when Harry’s face bursts into life and color like a newborn star, Louis knows that he never wants to stop being this person. “I LOVE YOU!” he screams again, just to watch the jade of Harry’s eyes dance, and he’s breathless and elated and everything feels endless. “What are you doing?” Harry giggles, glancing brightly between Louis and the sky as he tumbles over, grabbing for Louis’ hands, his shirt, his face. “I’m filling up the sky with my love for you,” Louis says simply, catching his breath with a shrug. “So whenever you look up, it echoes back.
Velvetoscar (Young & Beautiful)
There was no point in lying. "Yes. I am following you." Her carefully controlled exterior faltered. "Why?" "Because I like you. I'm sorry if that makes you nervous." All the color drained from her face. "I thought you thought I was crazy." "I like crazy." "You're unbelievable," she grumbled. "So I've been told.
Anne Greenwood Brown (Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath, #1))
Her eyes were of different colors, the left as brown as autumn, the right as gray as Atlantic wind. Both seemed alive with questions that would never be voiced, as if no words yet existed with which to frame them. She was nineteen years old, or thereabouts; her exact age was unknown. Her face was as fresh as an apple and as delicate as blossom, but a marked depression in the bones beneath her left eye gave her features a disturbing asymmetry. Her mouth never curved into a smile. God, it seemed, had withheld that possibility, as surely as from a blind man the power of sight. He had withheld much else. Amparo was touched—by genius, by madness, by the Devil, or by a conspiracy of all these and more. She took no sacraments and appeared incapable of prayer. She had a horror of clocks and mirrors. By her own account she spoke with Angels and could hear the thoughts of animals and trees. She was passionately kind to all living things. She was a beam of starlight trapped in flesh and awaiting only the moment when it would continue on its journey into forever.” (p.33)
Tim Willocks (The Religion (Tannhauser, #1))
Women’s” war has its own colors, its own smells, its own lighting, and its own range of feelings. Its own words. There are no heroes and incredible feats, there are simply people who are busy doing inhumanly human things.
Svetlana Alexievich (The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II)
Every time our people take two steps forward, it seems that we take a step and a half backward. Things are changing for the better, but when you wear your difference on your face, when the color of your skin defines who you are to others, change doesn’t come easy…
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #4))
He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.” “Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.” He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.” She hadn’t thought she was curious. It hadn’t been an option, after all. Not being able to kiss someone was a lot like being poor. She tried not to dwell on the things she couldn’t have. But now— “Okay,” she said. “What?” “I said okay.” He blushed. Or rather, because he was dead, he became normal colored. “Uh.” He propped himself on an elbow. “Well.” She unburied her face from the pillow. “Just, like—” He leaned toward her. Blue felt a thrill for a half a second. No, more like a quarter second. Because after that she felt the too-firm pucker of his tense lips. His mouth mashed her lips until it met teeth. The entire thing was at once slimy and ticklish and hilarious. They both gasped an embarrassed laugh. Noah said, “Bah!” Blue considered wiping her mouth, but felt that would be rude. It was all fairly underwhelming. She said, “Well.” “Wait,” Noah replied, “waitwaitwait.” He pulled one of Blue’s hairs out of his mouth. “I wasn’t ready.” He shook out his hands as if Blue’s lips were a sporting event and cramping was a very real possibility. “Go,” Blue said. This time they only got within a breath of each other’s lips when they both began to laugh. She closed the distance and was rewarded with another kiss that felt a lot like kissing a dishwasher. “I’m doing something wrong?” she suggested. “Sometimes it’s better with tongue,” he replied dubiously. They regarded each other. Blue squinted, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” “Hey!” he protested. “It’s weird for me, ‘cause it’s you.” “Well, it’s weird for me because it’s you.” “We can stop.” “Maybe we should.” Noah pushed himself up farther on his elbow and gazed at the ceiling vaguely. Finally, he dropped his eyes back to her. “You’ve seen, like, movies. Of kisses, right? Your lips need to be, like, wanting to be kissed.” Blue touched her mouth. “What are they doing now?” “Like, bracing themselves.” She pursed and unpursed her lips. She saw his point. “So imagine one of those,” Noah suggested. She sighed and sifted through her memories until she found one that would do. It wasn’t a movie kiss, however. It was the kiss the dreaming tree had showed her in Cabeswater. Her first and only kiss with Gansey, right before he died. She thought about his nice mouth when he smiled. About his pleasant eyes when he laughed. She closed her eyes. Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Her heavy peasant face was fringed by a bang of red hair like a woolen table-spread, a color at once strange and attractive, an obstinate color, a color that seemed to make Lena feel something alien and bad-tempered had settled over her forehead...
Djuna Barnes
In the afternoon dark clouds suddenly color the sky a mysterious shade and it starts raining hard, pounding the roof and windows of the cabin. I strip naked and run outside, washing my face with soap and scrubbing myself all over. It feels wonderful. In my joy I shut my eyes and shout out meaningless words as the large raindrops strike me on the cheeks, the eyelids, chest, side, penis, legs, and butt - the stinging pain like a religious initiation or something. Along with the pain there's a feeling of closeness, like for once in my life the world's treating me fairly. I feel elated, as if all of a sudden I've been set free. I face the sky, hands held wide apart, open my mouth wide, and gulp down the falling rain.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities. "You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
As long as I can hear the sweet melody of your words, I need not; The angel’s secret, to be whispered in my ears As long as I can lace your silky fingers round my own, I need not; Pretty diamonds, nor big cash nor gold As long as I can watch the handsome sunshine of your face, I need not; Open skies, nor snowfall, nor the rain As long as I can gaze into the emeralds of your eyes, I need not; New colors, new wings or paradise As long as I can feel the tender tickle of your breath, I need not; The drifting wind, nor its call, nor caress As long as I can feel your soft lips upon mine, I need not; Melted sugar, nor the most expensive of wines As long as I can feel your warm body close to me I need not; A blanket, nor a bonfire's luxury As long as I can see you every morning I wake, I need not; A mirror, nor a cloud, nor shade As long as I can keep you in every petal of memories I need not: Dreams, nor desires, nor fantasies And as long as I can hold you in every moment that I breathe, I need not; Oxygen, nor blood, nor heartbeats.
Sanober Khan
I didn’t want to see you but you invaded my world Every dark corner you found a way in Bringing color to the lifeless and lost. I didn’t want to touch you but you reached inside me Every lost memory you found a way to melt the frost Until the small closed world inside opened up into the sea You made me love you by the smile on your face, the kindness in your eyes and the heat of your skin. One kiss makes all that’s been hurt fade away. You made me love you for the man inside. The one no one sees but me. The man who listens to what my heart has to say. I didn’t want to love you but you’re impossible not to love. Every perfect moment I spend in your arms draws me closer Showing me that life isn’t over because its path takes a sudden turn I didn’t see you coming when you arrived Nothing prepared me for the gift of a second chance. I’ve been loved in life but all that matters now is that I’m loved by you You made me love you by the smile on your face, the kindness in your eyes and the heat of your skin. One kiss makes all that’s been hurt fade away. You made me love you for the man inside. The one no one sees but me. The man who listens to what my heart has to say. I’ll spend eternity in your arms if you’ll trust me when I say that I love you.
Abbi Glines (While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3))
when someone speaks he looks at a mouth, not eyes and their colors, which, it seems to him, will always alter depending on the light of a room, the minute of the day. Mouths reveal insecurity or smugness or any other point on the spectrum of character. For him they are the most intricate aspect of faces. He's never sure what an eye reveals. but he can read how mouths darken into callousness, suggest tenderness. One can often misjudge an eye from its reaction to a simple beam of sunlight.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
How can you come to understand your life when even the beginning is so complicated: a single cell imprinted with the color of your eyes and the shape of your face the pattern on your palm and the moods that will shadow you through your life. How can you be alive when every choice you make breaks the world into a thousand filaments each careless step branching into long tributaries of alternate lives shuddering outward and outward like sheet lightning.
Dan Chaon (You Remind Me of Me)
She's locked up with a spinning wheel She can't recall what it was like to feel She says, "This room's gonna be my grave And there's no one who can save me," She sits down to her colored thread She knows lovers waking up in their beds She says, "How long can I live this way Is there someone I can pay to let me go 'Cause I'm half sick of shadows I want to see the sky Everyone else can watch as the sun goes down So why can't I And it's raining And the stars are falling from the sky And the wind And the wind I know it's cold I've been waiting For the day I will surely die And it's here And it's here for I've been told That I'll die before I'm old And the wind I know it's cold... She looks up to the mirrored glass She sees a horse and rider pass She says, "This man's gonna be my death 'Cause he's all I ever wanted in my life And I know he doesn't know my name And that all the girls are all the same to him But still I've got to get out of this place 'Cause I don't think I can face another night Where I'm half sick of shadows And I can't see the sky Everyone else can watch as the tide comes in So why can't I But there's willow trees And little breezes, waves, and walls, and flowers And there's moonlight every single night As I'm locked in these towers So I'll meet my death But with my last breath I'll sing to him I love And he'll see my face in another place," And with that the glass above Her cracked into a million bits And she cried out, "So the story fits But then I could have guessed it all along 'Cause now some drama queen is gonna write a song for me," She went down to her little boat And she broke the chains and began to float away And as the blood froze in her veins she said, "Well then that explains a thing or two 'Cause I know I'm the cursed one I know I'm meant to die Everyone else can watch as their dreams untie So why can't I
Emilie Autumn
When you are faced with food that has been sterilized, fumigated, hydrogenated, hydrolyzed, homogenized, colored, bleached, puffed, exploded, defatted, degermed, texturized, or if you don’t know what has been done to it, the safest rule is not to eat it.
Helen Nearing (Simple Food for the Good Life: Random Acts of Cooking & Pithy Quotations)
You’re right,” Jacks said. “You’re not part of my world. You’re not one of those girls. And maybe that’s why.” “Why what?” “Why I can’t stop thinking about you.” Maddy rolled her eyes. “Guys like you don’t say that to girls like me.” “I’ve never said that to anyone, actually,” Jacks corrected. “In fact, I’ve never done anything like this before.” He let out a little laugh. “How am I doing?” He swallowed hard, trying to push down his nervousness. He was astonished to realize he was nervous. Somehow being around Maddy just put him in a different space. Jacks felt so present. Maddy stared at him, letting the anger and frustration surge through her. “Why are you doing this to me?” she asked finally. He paused, considering. “I’m being honest. I know you may not believe me. But I haven’t been able to not think about you. When we were in the back at the restaurant, and . . .” Jacks’s voice trailed off, his face coloring. “I still feel terrible about what I did. I lied to you and, even though I had good reasons for it, it was wrong of me.” Maddy studied him. Was he telling the truth? Jacks smiled. “I mean this in the best possible way: I’m not going to leave you alone until you let me make it up to you. I’m serious. I’ll be here every night. You might as well get me some pajamas and a toothbrush.” Despite her best efforts not to, Maddy laughed. She looked at Jacks and could see the faintest twinkle of light in his eyes. “So what you’re saying is that I should just give in and let you make it up to me. Otherwise you’ll be tormenting me like this for the rest of my life?” “Pretty much. Yeah.” “Well.” She sighed. “What do you have in mind?” “Come fly with me.
Scott Speer (Immortal City (Immortal City, #1))
I see a few hands stretching out to me at the edge of the net, so I grabbed the first one I could reach and pull myself across. I roll off, and would have fallen face-first onto a wood floor if he had not caught me. "He" is the young man attached to the hand I grabbed. He has a spare upper lip and a full lower lip. His eyes are so deep-set that his eyelashes touch the skin under his eyebrows, and they are dark blue, a dreaming, sleeping, waiting color.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Leicester stared fixedly at the image before him, the color bleached from his face by its brilliance. Seph sensed the headmaster's mind questing out, trying to discover and destroy the wizard behind the image, but finding nothing, no trail of magic, no stone, no flesh and blood to focus on. Jason Haley, the puppeteer, was safely ensconced in the gallery above.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Wizard Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #2))
Cold as winter, strong as stone; She faced the darkness all alone. A silver goddess; a reflection. A mirage; a recollection. No return; no turning back. The past is gone, the future, black. Serpents gather in their nest, And she stands above the rest. Shadows hunt; she hunts the shadow. The moon is risen; she stands below. She views her world through the eyes of others. Black and white; there are no colors, As she looks down upon a shattered youth. A shattered mirror shows a shattered truth.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
It was like I saw your soul in the notes of the music. And it was beautiful." She leaned forward and touched his face lightly, the smooth skin over his hard cheekbone, his hair like feathers against the back of her hand. "I saw rivers, boats like flowers, all the colors of the night sky.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The blindness last just a second, then the colors start flooding into me: not through my eyes but right through my skin, replacing blood and bone, muscle and sinew, until I am redorangebluegreenpurpleyellowredorangebluegreenpurpleyellow. Brian pulls away and looks at me. "Fuck," he says. "I've wanted to do that for so long." His breath's n my face. "So long. You're just...
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
I love you,” he whispered, rubbing his jaw against her temple. “And you love me. I can feel it when you’re in my arms.” He felt her stiffen slightly and draw a shaky breath, but she either couldn’t or wouldn’t speak. She hadn’t thrown the words back in his face, however, so Ian continued talking to her, his hand roving over her back. “I can feel it, Elizabeth, but if you don’t admit it pretty soon, you’re going to drive me out of my mind. I can’t work. I can’t think. I make decisions and then I change my mind. And,” he teased, trying to lighten the mood by using the one topic sure to distract her, “that’s nothing to the money I squander whenever I’m under this sort of violent stress. It wasn’t just the gowns I bought, or the house on Promenade...” Still talking to her, he tipped her chin up, glorying in the gentle passion in her eyes, overlooking the doubt in their green depths. “If you don’t admit it pretty soon,” he teased, “I’ll spend us out of house and home.” Her delicate brows drew together in blank confusion, and Ian grinned, taking her hand from his chest, the emerald betrothal ring he had bought her unnoticed in his fingers. “When I’m under stress,” he emphasized, sliding the magnificent emerald onto her finger, “I buy everything in sight. It took my last ounce of control not to buy one of these in every color.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
After Bill got his shot, a little color crept into his face and he would become almost coy. It was a gruesome sight. I remember once he told me how he'd been propositioned by a queer who offered him twenty dollars. Bill declined, saying "I don't think you would be very well satisfied." Bill twitched his fleshless hips. "You should see me in the nude," he said. "I'm really cute.
William S. Burroughs (Junky)
Aiden was staring. So was Caleb, although he looked like he was quite used to all this...woman on display. Hell, even I was staring. She crossed the hall, her long legs parting the chiffon of her skirt, playing peekaboo. Dear gods, I felt my cheeks start to burn, but I still couldn't look away. As she neared, her all-white eyes flared, and then dimmed. Two bright, emerald-colored eyes appeared. Caleb relaxed beside me, a slow smile creeping across his handsome face—the face I'd missed so much. "Hello, Persephone.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
Her hands shot up. “See that’s exactly what I’m saying. You’re seeing what you want, and what you see you explain away and excuse things like you’re fixing me. I’m not perfect, Ephraim and I really wish you would see that.” “You drool.” “What?” That caught her off guard. “When you’re asleep you drool. I’ve woken up more than a few times with a little puddle forming on my chest.” After a thought he added. “And you snore. Not a delicate snore either mind you.” “I do not!” Her face colored with indignation. He sighed heavily as if the knowledge pained him. “Oh, but you do. I’ve even heard Jill talk about it. Did you know that’s the main reason she was happy about her room. Actually, she and Joshua thanked your Grandmother for putting you at the other end of the house, something about finally getting a decent night’s sleep. They compared your snore to a chainsaw. I can see why they’d say that.
R.L. Mathewson (Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel, #1))
The multicolored leaves were softly glowing against the black sky, creating an untimely nocturnal rainbow which scattered its spectral tints everywhere and dyed the night with a harvest of hues: peach gold and pumpkin orange, honey yellow and winy amber, apple red and plum violet. Luminous within their leafy shapes, the colors cast themselves across the darkness and were splattered upon our streets and our fields and our faces. Everything was resplendent with the pyrotechnics of a new autumn.
Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory)
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))
In a world facing the revolt of ragged and hungry masses of God's children; in a world torn between the tensions of East and West, white and colored, individuals and collectivists; in a world whose cultural and spiritual power lags so far behind her technological capabilities that we live each day on the verge of nuclear co-annihilation; in this world, nonviolence is no longer an option for intellectual analysis, it is an imperative for action
Martin Luther King Jr.
It is true, I suppose, that nobody finds it exactly pleasant to be criticized or shouted at, but I see in the face of the human being raging at me a wild animal in its true colors, one more horrible than any lion, crocodile or dragon. People normally seem to be hiding this true nature, but an occasion will arise (as when an ox sedately ensconced in a grassy meadow suddenly lashes out with its tail to kill the horsefly on its flank) when anger makes them reveal in a flash human nature in all its horror.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
You don’t know my wife. It’s like a toy store for her. Our pen drawer at home is organized by color, and she has an entire basket full of washi tape.” “What’s washi tape?” “It’s, like, pretty tape for decorating. I don’t know. She loves that shit, though.” Del nodded. “Nessa has two full drawers of it. Sometimes I catch her staring at them with this weird smile on her face.
Lyssa Kay Adams (The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1))
She pulled her shoulder-length blond hair around her face, wishing she could hide behind it. This is exactly the kind of attention she went out of her way to avoid. Why she wore dull colors and lurked in the back, blocked by the other kids who were at least a foot taller than her. It was the only way to survive as a twelve year old in high school.
Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1))
It was like staring into the face of a familiar stranger. You know, that person you see in a crowd and swear you know, but you really don't? Now she was me - the familiar stranger. She had my eyes. They were the same hazel color that could never decide whether it wanted to be green or brown, but my eyes had never been that big and round. Or had they? She had my hair - long and straight and almost as dark as my grandma’s had been before hers had begun to turn silver. The stranger had my high cheekbones, long, strong nose, and wide mouth - more features from my grandma and her Cherokee ancestors. But my face had never been that pale. I’d always been olive-ish, much darker skinned than anyone else in my family. But maybe it wasn’t that my skin was suddenly so white ... maybe it just looked pale in comparison to the dark blue outline of the crescent moon that was perfectly positioned in the middle of my forehead. Or maybe it was the horrid fluorescent lighting. I hoped it was the lighting. I stared at the exotic-looking tattoo. Mixed with my strong Cherokee features it seemed to brand me with a mark of wildness ... as if I belonged to ancient times when the world was bigger ... more barbaric. From this day on my life would never be the same. And for a moment — just an instant—I forgot about the horror of not belonging and felt a shocking burst of pleasure, while deep inside of me the blood of my grandmother’s people rejoiced.
P.C. Cast
The other aspect of those weekday-evening trips he loved was the light itself, how it filled the train like something living as the cars rattled across the bridge, how it washed the weariness from his seatmates' faces and revealed them as they were when they first came to the country, when they were young and America seemed conquerable. He'd watch that kind light suffuse the car like syrup, watch it smudge furrows from foreheads, slick gray hairs into gold, gentle the aggressive shine from cheap fabrics into something lustrous and fine. And then the sun would drift, the car rattling uncaringly away from it, and the world would return to its normal sad shapes and colors, the people to their normal sad state, a shift as cruel and abrupt as if it had been made by a sorcerer's wand.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. This, however, is not generally a part of the domestic apparatus on the premises. I think myself that the thing might be managed with several pails of Aspinall and a broom. Only if one worked in a really sweeping and masterly way, and laid on the color in great washes, it might drip down again on one's face in floods of rich and mingled color like some strange fairy rain; and that would have its disadvantages. I am afraid it would be necessary to stick to black and white in this form of artistic composition. To that purpose, indeed, the white ceiling would be of the greatest possible use; in fact, it is the only use I think of a white ceiling being put to.
G.K. Chesterton
The maid in the lime-color panties... She had a plain broad face and was the most virtuous woman alive: she laid for EVERYBODY, regardless of race, creed, color or place of national origin, donating herself sociably as an act of hospitality, procrastinating not even for the moment it might take to discard the cloth or broom or dust mop she was clutching at the time she was grabbed. Her allure stemmed from her accessibility; like Mt. Everest, she was there, and the men climbed on top of her each time they felt the urge.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
When Pidge wakes up, let me know, okay?” he said in a soft voice. “I got spaghetti, and pancakes, and strawberries, and that oatmeal shit with the chocolate packets, and she likes Fruity Pebbles cereal, right, Mare?” he asked, turning. When he saw me, he froze. After an awkward pause, his expression melted, and his voice was smooth and sweet.“Hey, Pigeon.” I couldn’t have been more confused if I had woken up in a foreign country. Nothing made sense. At first I thought I had been evicted, and then Travis comes home with bags full of my favorite foods. He took a few steps into the living room, nervously shoving his hands in his pockets. “You hungry, Pidge? I’ll make you some pancakes. Or there’s uh…there’s some oatmeal. And I got you some of that pink foamy shit that girl’s shave with, and a hairdryer, and a… a….just a sec, it’s in here,” he said, rushing to the bedroom. The door opened, shut, and then he rounded the corner, the color gone from his face. He took a deep breath and his eyebrows pulled in. “Your stuff’s packed.” “I know,” I said. “You’re leaving,” he said, defeated.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Often black people, especially non-gay folk, become enraged when they hear a white person who is gay suggest homosexuality is synonymous with the suffering people experience as a consequence of racial exploitation and oppression. The need to make gay experience and black experience of oppression synonymous seems to be one that surfaces much more in the minds of white people. Too often it is a way of minimizing or diminishing the particular problems people of color face in a white supremacist society, especially the problems ones encounter because they do not have white skin. Many of us have been in discussions where a non-white person – a black person – struggles to explain to white folks that while we can acknowledge that gay people of all colors are harassed and suffer exploitation and domination, we also recognize that there is a significant difference that arises because of the visibility of dark skin. Often homophobic attacks on gay people of all occur in situations where knowledge of sexual preference is established – outside of gay bars, for example. While it in no way lessens the severity of such suffering for gay people, or the fear that it causes, it does mean that in a given situation the apparatus of protection and survival may be simply not identifying as gay. In contrast, most people of color have no choice. No one can hide, change or mask dark skin color. White people, gay and straight, could show greater understanding of the impact of racial oppression on people of color by not attempting to make these oppressions synonymous, but rather by showing the ways they are linked and yet differ. Concurrently, the attempt by white people to make synonymous experience of homophobic aggression with racial oppression deflects attention away from the particular dual dilemma that non-white gay people face, as individuals who confront both racism and homophobia.
bell hooks (Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black)
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
DeAngelo blew up my bus, so I filled his car with shit. Genius, right?" "DeAngelo didn't blow up the bus," Connie said. "I just got the report from the fire marshal. The coffeemaker shorted out and started the fire." Some of the color left Vinnie's face. "Say what?" "Oh man," Lula said. "DeAngelo is gonna be pissed. Least he won't know who did it." "I left a note," Vinnie said. Lula gave a hoot of laughter and fell off her chair.
Janet Evanovich (Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18))
Crooks stood up from his bunk and faced her. "I had enough," he said coldly. "You got no rights comin' in a colored man's room. You got no rights messing around in here at all. Now you jus' get out, an' get out quick. If you don't, I'm gonna ast the boss not to ever let you come in the barn no more." She turned on him in scorn. "Listen, Nigger," she said. "You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?" Crooks stared helplessly at her, and then he sat down on his bunk and drew into himself. She closed on him. "You know what I could do?" Crooks seemed to grow smaller, and he pressed himself against the wall. "Yes, ma'am." "Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny." Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality, no ego--nothing to arouse either like or dislike. He said, "Yes, ma'am," and his voice was toneless. For a moment she stood over him as though waiting for him to move so that she could whip at him again; but Crooks sat perfectly still, his eyes averted, everything that might be hurt drawn in. She turned at last to the other two.
John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
I am the happiest man in the world and here's why: I walk down a street and I see a woman, not tall but well-proportioned, very dark-haired, very neat in her dress, wearing a dark skirt with deep pleats that swing with the rhythm of her rather quick steps; her stockings, of dark color, are carefully, impeccably smooth; her face is not smiling, this woman walks down the street without trying to please, as if she were unconscious of what she represented: a good carnal image of woman, a physical image, more than a sexy image, a sexual image. --Francois Truffaut, "Is Truffaut the Happiest Man on Earth? Yes," 1970
François Truffaut
It strikes Werner just then as wondrously futile to build splendid buildings, to make music, to sing songs, to print huge books full of colorful birds in the face of the seismic, engulfing indifference of the world—what pretensions humans have! Why bother to make music when the silence and wind are so much larger? Why light lamps when the darkness will inevitably snuff them?
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Those who sought her never found her, yet she was known to come to the aid of those in greatest need. And, then again, sometimes she didn’t. She was like that. She didn’t like the clicking of rosaries, but was attracted to the sound of dice. No man knew what She looked like, although there were many times when a man who was gambling his life on the turn of the cards would pick up the hand he had been dealt and stare Her full in the face. Of course, sometimes he didn’t. Among all the gods she was at one and the same time the most courted and the most cursed.
Terry Pratchett (The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1))
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
No more boys taking you on trips, you hear?” His voice was gravelly. “You can take your own self from now on. Last thing you need is some boy distracting you and making this whole situation even more complicated. Promise me you'll stay away from that son of Pharzuph.” I opened my mouth but the words stuck in my dry throat. How sweat beaded up on my forehead. “I tried that once, John,” Patti warned him. “It didn't work out so well for me.” “Have you seen the way he looks at her?” He focused on Patti, but pointed at me. “Yes, and I've seen the way she looks at him. Truthfully, I think they need each other.” “Those two need each other like a bullet needs a target. Trust me. I've seen Nephilim kids killed for falling in love and letting it get in the way of their work.” “Well, you don't have to worry, because we're not in love,” I chimed in. “He doesn't like me like that.” Dad puffed out a breath of air. “Well, he must feel something, 'cause he sure doesn't want that other kid near you.” “Is there someone else you're interested in?” Patti asked. I rolled my colors back up, tucked them inside, and yanked the barrier back into place. Then I entertained the image of Kopano's sweet dimple for a brief second before pushing it away. “I'm not ready to think about that,” I answered. My father tilted his head up to the ceiling and pressed his giant hands to his face, muffling his speech. “I'm way too old for this.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Annabelle stared straight ahead at the canvas, neither seeing nor caring about the fluctuations of light and color that conveyed impressions of approaching nightfall…the dusk of the Roman Empire. Hunt seemed similarly indifferent to the show, his head inclined toward hers, his gaze locked on her face. Though his breathing remained soft and disciplined, it seemed to her that its rhythm had changed ever so slightly. Annabelle moistened her dry lips. “You…you mustn’t stare at me like that.” Soft as the murmur was, he caught it. “With you here, nothing else is worth looking at.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
Then he looked up, despite all best prior intentions. In four minutes, it would be another hour; a half hour after that was the ten-minute break. Lane Dean imagined himself running around on the break, waving his arms and shouting gibberish and holding ten cigarettes at once in his mouth, like a panpipe. Year after year, a face the same color as your desk. Lord Jesus. Coffee wasn't allowed because of spills on the files, but on the break he'd have a big cup of coffee in each hand while he pictured himself running around the outside grounds, shouting. He knew what he'd really do on the break was sit facing the wall clock in the lounge and, despite prayers and effort, count the seconds tick off until he had to come back and do this again. And again and again and again.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Few realize that political action offers little solution to the world’s major problems. Few understand that the elite have created political parties in order to prevent real change from ever taking place. The political arena is merely the “sty” in which two or more mutually hostile agencies, created by the same hidden hand, get the chance to pummel one another. As alternative researcher Juri Lina so brilliantly put it: When the left wing Freemason is finished, the right-wing Freemason takes over The point has been emphasized by many an insider: The elementary principle of all deception is to attract the enemy’s attention to what you wish him to see and to distract his attention from what you so not wish him to see – General Sir Archibald Wavel The world’s power structures have always ‘divided to conquer’ and have always ‘kept divided to keep conquered.’ As a consequence the power structure has so divided humanity – not only into special function categories but into religious and language and color categories – that individual humans are now helplessly inarticulate in the face of the present crisis. They consider their political representation to be completely corrupted, therefore, they feel almost utterly helpless
R. Buckminster Fuller (Critical Path)
For a few moments, attune your mind to the idea of harmony and peaceful coexistence flowing among all peoples and nations. The source of this idea is deep within your heart. As you calmly breathe in and out, picture it radiating from you like a fine, colored vapor gradually covering the face of the earth. See it enter the hearts of everyone, especially those stuck in the mad zones. Feel it circulate everywhere until it comes all the way round and back to you. This is love in action. The source of this love is the Tao. Savor this.
Stephen Russell (Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior)
All the radiance of April in Italy lay gathered together at her feet. The sun poured in on her. The sea lay asleep in it, hardly stirring. Across the bay the lovely mountains, exquisitely different in color, were asleep too in the light; and underneath her window, at the bottom of the flower-starred grass slope from which the wall of castle rose up, was a great cypress, cutting through the delicate blues and violets and rose-colors of the mountains and the sea like a great black sword. She stared. Such beauty; and she there to see it. Such beauty; and she alive to feel it. Her face was bathed in light.
Elizabeth von Arnim (The Enchanted April)
It calms me to think of blue as the color of death. I have long imagined death's approach as the swell of a wave - a towering wall of blue. You will drown, the world tells me, has always told me. You will descend into a blue underworld, blue with hungry ghosts, Krishna blue, the blue faces of the ones you loved. They all drowned, too. To take a breath of water: does the thought panic or excite you? If you are in love with red then you slit or shoot. If you are in love with blue you fill your pouch with stones good for sucking and head down to the river. Any river will do.
Maggie Nelson (Bluets)
…For love it is never the same. What goes on inside is never the same just like this music which changes every instant. For love there are a million variations, a million nights, a million days, contrasts in moods, in textures, whims, a million gestures colored by emotion, by sorrow, joy, fear, courage, triumph, by revelations which deepen the groove, creations which expand its dimensions, sharpen its penetrations. Love is vast enough to include a phrase read in a book, the shape of a neck seen and desired in a crowd, a face loved and desired, seen in the window of a passing subway, vast enough to include a past love, a future love, a film, a voyage, a scene in a dream, an hallucination, a vision. Love-making under a tent, or under a tree, with or without a cover, under a shower, in darkness or in light, in heat or cold.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 3: 1939-1944)
This was a face such as I had never seen before, even in the most fanciful of dreams, a face that was, in its way, a work of art. For it was light and dark, night and day, this world and the Otherworld. On the left side, the face of a youngish man, the skin weathered but fair, the eye gray and clear, the mouth well formed if unyielding in character. On all the right side, extending from an undrawn mark down the exact center, an etching of line and curve and feathery pattern, like the mask of some fierce bird of prey. An eagle? A goshawk? No, it was, I thought, a raven, even as far as the circles about the eye and the suggestion of predatory beak around the nostril. The mark of the raven. If I had not been so frightened, I might have laughed at the irony of it. The pattern extended down his neck and under the border of his leather jerkin and the linen shirt he wore beneath it. His head was completely shaven, and the skull, too, was colored the same, half-man, half-wild creature; some great artist of the inks and needle had wrought this over many days, and I imagined the pain must have been considerable.
Juliet Marillier (Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters, #2))
I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a part of every tribute they can't own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I. "A few steps into the woods grows a bank of wildflowers. Perhaps they are really weeds of some sort, but they have blossoms in beautiful shades of violet and yellow and white. I gather an armful and come back to Rues's side. Slowly, one stem at a time, I decorate her body in the flowers. Covering the ugly wound. Wreathing her face. Weaving her hair with bright colors. "They'll have to show it. Or, even if they choose to turn the cameras elsewhere at this moment, they'll have to bring them back when they collect the bodies and everyone will see her then and know I did it. I step back and take a last look at Rue. She really could be asleep in that meadow after all. ""Bye, Rue," I whisper. I press the three middle fingers of my left hand against my lips and hold them out in her direction. Then I walk away without looking back.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Have you ever stared at a painting so long that the colors blur and you can’t tell what you’re looking at anymore? There’s no form, face, or shape–just color, just swirls of paint? I think people are like that. When you really look at them, you stop seeing a perfect nose or straight teeth. You stop seeing the acne scar or the dimple in the chin. Those things start to blur, and suddenly you see them, the colors, the life inside the shell, and beauty takes on a whole new meaning.
Amy Harmon
Begin. Keep on beginning. Nibble on everything. Take a hike. Teach yourself to whistle. Lie. The older you get the more they'll want your stories. Make them up. Talk to stones. Short-out electric fences. Swim with the sea turtle into the moon. Learn how to die. Eat moonshine pie. Drink wild geranium tea. Run naked in the rain. Everything that happens will happen and none of us will be safe from it. Pull up anchors. Sit close to the god of night. Lie still in a stream and breathe water. Climb to the top of the highest tree until you come to the branch where the blue heron sleeps. Eat poems for breakfast. Wear them on your forehead. Lick the mountain's bare shoulder. Measure the color of days around your mother's death. Put your hands over your face and listen to what they tell you.
Ellen Kort
Room 101" said the officer. The man's face, already very pale, turned a color Winston would not have believed possible. It was definitely, unmistakably, a shade of green. "Do anything to me!" he yelled. "You've been starving me for weeks. Finish it off and let me die. Shoot me. Hang me. Sentence me to twenty-five years. Is there somebody else you want me to give away? Just say who it is and I'll tell you anything you want. I don't care who it is or what you do to them. I've got a wife and three children. The biggest of them isn't six years old. You can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in front of my eyes, and I'll stand by and watch it. But not room 101!" "Room 101" said the officer.
George Orwell (1984)
The Sun by Czeslaw Milosz All colors come from the sun. And it does not have Any particular color, for it contains them all. And the whole Earth is like a poem While the sun above represents the artist. Whoever wants to paint the variegated world Let him never look straight up at the sun Or he will lose the memory of things he has seen. Only burning tears will stay in his eyes. Let him kneel down, lower his face to the grass, And look at the light reflected by the ground. There he will find everything we have lost: The stars and the roses, the dusks and the dawns. Warsaw, 1943
Czesław Miłosz (Collected Poems)
Traveling alone, you get to be whoever you want. I don't mean lie. I mean you get to be a blank slate. You can't leave behind your skin color, or your height, or the handsomeness or homeliness of your face. But you can leave your story behind. If you've broken hearts, the new place doesn't know. If you've lost trust in people and yourself, the new place doesn't know. If everyone thinks you love Jesus, but you never really have figured out what you believe, the new place doesn't care. It may assume you have it all tied nicely in a bow. All your thoughts and histories. Just feeling like your past isn't a vice to hold you in place can be very freeing. Feeling like your family and the expectations and the traditions and the judgments are absent... it can fill your veins with possibility and fire.
Jedidiah Jenkins (To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret)
Ma was heavy, but not fat; thick with child-bearing and work. She wore a loose Mother Hubbard of gray cloth in which there had once been colored flowers, but the color was washed out now, so that the small flowered pattern was only a little lighter gray than the background. The dress came down to her ankles, and he strong, broad, bare feet moved quickly and deftly over the floor. Her thin, steel-gray hair was gathered in a sparse wispy knot at the back of her head. Strong, freckled arms were bare to the elbow, and her hands were chubby and delicate, like those of a plump little girl. She looked out into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
I have been hanging here headless for so long that the body has forgotten why or where or when it happened and the toes walk along in shoes that do not care and although the fingers slice things and hold things and move things and touch things such as oranges apples onions books bodies I am no longer reasonably sure what these things are they are mostly like lamplight and fog then often the hands will go to the lost head and hold the head like the hands of a child around a ball a block air and wood - no teeth no thinking part and when a window blows open to a church hill woman dog or something singing the fingers of the hand are senseless to vibration because they have no ears senseless to color because they have no eyes senseless to smell without a nose they country goes by as nonsense the continents the daylights and evenings shine on my dirty fingernails and in some mirror my face a block to vanish scuffed part of a child’s ball while everywhere moves worms and aircraft fires on the land tall violets in sanctity my hands let go let go let go
Charles Bukowski (Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame)
The supermarket shelves have been rearranged. It happened one day without warning. There is agitation and panic in the aisles, dismay in the faces of older shoppers.[…]They scrutinize the small print on packages, wary of a second level of betrayal. The men scan for stamped dates, the women for ingredients. Many have trouble making out the words. Smeared print, ghost images. In the altered shelves, the ambient roar, in the plain and heartless fact of their decline, they try to work their way through confusion. But in the end it doesn’t matter what they see or think they see. The terminals are equipped with holographic scanners, which decode the binary secret of every item, infallibly. This is the language of waves and radiation, or how the dead speak to the living. And this is where we wait together, regardless of our age, our carts stocked with brightly colored goods. A slowly moving line, satisfying, giving us time to glance at the tabloids in the racks. Everything we need that is not food or love is here in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and the extraterrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity. The cults of the famous and the dead.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
Success. I turned back to my sandwich, only to find that it wasn’t there anymore. Maybe because it had been hijacked. “Give me that!” I told the vamp, who was holding it firmly against his chest, a determined look on his face. “What ees zat?” he demanded, eyeing my prize. “Cheese.” I held it up. “Zat ees not cheese.” “How do you know?” “Eet is orange.” “A lot of cheese is orange.” “Non! No cheese ees that color. Cheese comes from zee milk. Zee milk, eet ees white. When ’ave you seen milk that looks like zat?” I held up the square of little slices and pointed at the bold-faced label. “Processed American Cheese.” He snatched the package, without letting go of his hostage. And eyed it warily. “Eet says ‘cheese food.’” He looked up, obviously perplexed. “What ees thees? Zee cheese, it does not eat.
Karen Chance (Fury's Kiss (Dorina Basarab, #3))
In that case, it's good that you're a human Cuisinart," she said. "I'm sorry?" "A Cuisinart. It's an appliance from the Broken. You put vegetables into it, push a button, and it chops them into tiny pieces." Richard frowned. "Why would you need an appliance to chop vegetables? Wouldn't it be easier to chop them with a knife?" "It's meant to save time," she explained. "Does it?" "Well, cleaning it usually eats up most of the time you save on chopping." "So you're telling me that I'm useless." "It's a neat gadget!" "And I'm hard to clean, apparently." She checked his face. Tiny sparks danced in his eyes. He was pulling her leg. Well. If that's how it is... "Considering last night's argument, I think that you're remarkably difficult to clean." "There probably is a retort to this that's not off-color," he said. "But I can't think of one.
Ilona Andrews (Steel's Edge (The Edge, #4))
If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model and the San Fernando Valley is her teenybopper sister, then New York is their cousin. Her hair is dyed autumn red or aubergine or Egyptian henna, depending on her mood. Her skin is pale as frost and she wears beautiful Jil Sander suits and Prada pumps on which she walks faster than a speeding taxi (when it is caught in rush hour, that is). Her lips are some unlikely shade of copper or violet, courtesy of her local MAC drag queen makeup consultant. She is always carrying bags of clothes, bouquets of roses, take-out Chinese containers, or bagels. Museum tags fill her pockets and purses, along with perfume samples and invitations to art gallery openings. When she is walking to work, to ward off bums or psychos, her face resembles the Statue of Liberty, but at home in her candlelit, dove-colored apartment, the stony look fades away and she smiles like the sterling roses she has brought for herself to make up for the fact that she is single and her feet are sore.
Francesca Lia Block (I Was a Teenage Fairy)
Memory" I’ve memorized all the fish in the sea I’ve memorized each opportunity strangled and I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love and I’ve memorized that too. I’ve memorized green rooms in St. Louis and New Orleans where I wept because I knew that by myself I could not overcome the terror of them and it. I’ve memorized all the unfaithful years (and the faithful ones too) I’ve memorized each cigarette that I’ve rolled. I’ve memorized Beethoven and New York City I’ve memorized riding up escalators, I’ve memorized Chicago and cottage cheese, and the mouths of some of the ladies and the legs of some of the ladies I’ve known and the way the rain came down hard. I’ve memorized the face of my father in his coffin, I’ve memorized all the cars I have driven and each of their sad deaths, I’ve memorized each jail cell, the face of each new president and the faces of some of the assassins; I’ve even memorized the arguments I’ve had with some of the women I’ve loved. best of all I’ve memorized tonight and now and the way the light falls across my fingers, specks and smears on the wall, shades down behind orange curtains; I light a rolled cigarette and then laugh a little, yes, I’ve memorized it all. the courage of my memory.
Charles Bukowski (What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire)
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))
Is that … chocolate cake?” “I thought you might need some.” “Need, not want?” A ghost of a smile was on her lips, and he almost sagged in relief as he said, “For you, I’d say that chocolate cake is most definitely a need.” She crossed from the fireplace to where he stood, stopping a hand’s breadth away and staring up at him. Some of the color had returned to her face. He should step back, put more distance between them. But instead, he found himself reaching for her, a hand slipping around her waist and the other twining itself through her hair as he held her tightly to him. His heart thundered through him so hard he knew she could feel it. After a second, her arms came up around him, her fingers digging into his back in a way that made him realize how close they stood. He shoved that feeling down, even as the silken texture of her hair against his fingers made him want to bury his face in it, and the smell of her, laced with mist and night, had him grazing his nose against her neck. There were other kinds of comfort that he could give her than mere words, and if she needed that kind of distraction … He shoved down that thought, too, swallowing it until he nearly choked on it. Her fingers were moving down his back, still digging into his muscles with a fierce kind of possession. If she kept touching him like that, his control was going to slip completely. And then she pulled back, just far enough to look up at him again, still so close their breath mingled. He found himself gauging the distance between their lips, his eyes flicking between her mouth and her eyes, the hand he had entwined in her hair stilling. Desire roared through him, burning down every defense he’d put up, erasing every line he’d convinced himself he had to maintain.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
If we refuse to forgive, we have stepped into dangerous waters. First, refusing to forgive is to put ourselves in the place of God, as though vengeance were our prerogative, not his. Second, unforgiveness says God’s wrath is insufficient. For the unbeliever, we are saying that an eternity in hell is not enough; they need our slap in the face or cold shoulder to “even the scales” of justice. For the believer, we are saying that Christ’s humiliation and death are not enough. In other words, we shake our fists at God and say, “Your standards may have been satisfied, but my standard is higher!” Finally, refusing to forgive is the highest form of arrogance. Here we stand forgiven. And as we bask in the forgiveness of a perfectly holy and righteous God, we turn to our brother and say, “My sins are forgivable, but yours are not.” In other words, we act as though the sins of others are too significant to forgive while simultaneously believing that ours are not significant enough to matter.
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors: Reading an Old Story in a New Way)
I thought how little we know about the feelings of old people. Children we understand, their fears and hopes and make-believe. I was a child yesterday. I had not forgotten. But Maxim’s grandmother, sitting there in her shawl with her poor blind eyes, what did she feel, what was she thinking? Did she know that Beatrice was yawning and glancing at her watch? Did she guess that we had come to visit her because we felt it right, it was a duty, so that when she got home afterwards Beatrice would be able to say, “Well, that clears my conscience for three months”? Did she ever think about Manderley? Did she remember sitting at the dining room table, where I sat? Did she too have tea under the chestnut tree? Or was it all forgotten and laid aside, and was there nothing left behind that calm, pale face of hers but little aches and little strange discomforts, a blurred thankfulness when the sun shone, a tremor when the wind blew cold? I wished that I could lay my hands upon her face and take the years away. I wished I could see her young, as she was once, with color in her cheeks and chestnut hair, alert and active as Beatrice by her side, talking as she did about hunting, hounds, and horses. Not sitting there with her eyes closed while the nurse thumped the pillows behind her head. “We’ve got a treat today, you know,” said the nurse, “watercress sandwiches for tea. We love watercress, don’t we?
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Do not think of him with Blay. Do not think of him with Blay. Do not think of him— “I didn’t know you were a sherry man.” “Huh?" Qhuinn glanced down at what he’d poured himself. Fuck. In the midst of the self-lecture, he’d picked up the wrong bottle. “Oh, you know… I’m good with it.” To prove the point, he tossed back the hooch—and nearly choked as the sweetness hit his throat. He served himself another only so he didn’t look like the kind of idiot who wouldn’t know what he was dishing out into his own glass. Okay, gag. The second was worse than the first. From out of the corner of his eye, he watched Saxton settle in at the table, the brass lamp in front of him casting the most perfect glow over his face. Shiiiiiit, he looked like something out of a Ralph Lauren ad, with his buff-colored tweed jacket and his pointed pocket square and that button-down/sweater vest combo keeping his fucking liver cozy. Meanwhile, Qhuinn was sporting hospital scrubs, bare feet. And sherry.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
When I call his name, it’s a sound almost entirely out of my control. It soars over the crowd and hits him. Even from where I’m standing, I can tell that he recognized my voice. Hastily he unwinds himself from the girl, stands to attention like an animal sensing danger. And I try to call him again, but that word, that name, was all I had the energy for. I barely have the strength left to stand. I wait helplessly for him to find the sound, and when he does, when his heterochromatic eyes meet mine, my mouth forms the word again, but just barely. The girl at his side disappears. The crowd blurs into senseless shapes and colors. I can’t feel my heart or my body or the heat of the flames. I can only see his face—his bewildered, beautifully familiar face.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
And a variety of more colorful names. Hypothetically.” The privateer cast him an assessing glance. “Just how did you know I wasn’t who I claimed to be, Mister Brekker?” Kaz shrugged. “You speak Kerch like a native—a rich native. You don’t talk like someone who came up with sailors and street thugs.” The privateer turned slightly, giving Kaz his full attention. His ease was gone, and now he looked like a man who might command armies. “Mister Brekker,” he said. “Kaz, if I may? I am in a vulnerable position. I am a king ruling a country with an empty treasury, facing enemies on all sides. There are also forces within my country that might seize any absence as an opportunity to make their own bid for power.” “So you’re saying you’d make an excellent hostage.” “I suspect that the ransom for me would be considerably less than the price Kuwei has on his head. Really, it’s a bit of a blow to my self-esteem.” “You don’t seem to be suffering,” said Kaz. “Sturmhond was a creation of my youth, and his reputation still serves me well. I cannot bid on Kuwei Yul-Bo as the king of Ravka. I hope your plan will play out the way you think it will. But if it doesn’t, the loss of such a prize would be seen as a humiliating blunder diplomatically and strategically. I enter that auction as Sturmhond or as no one at all. If that is a problem—” Kaz settled his hands on his cane. “As long as you don’t try to con me, you can enter as the Fairy Queen of Istamere.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Her mouth was cut, her left eye already beginning to swell. There was raw color along her cheekbone. He managed to take a full, almost easy breath. "You're going to have a hell of a bruise." "I've had them before." The medication was seeping in, turning pain into a mist. She only smiled when he stripped her to the waist and began checking for other injuries. "You've got great hands. I love when you touch me. Nobody ever touched me like that. Did I tell you?" "No." And he doubted she'd remember she was telling him now. He'd make sure to remind her. "And you're so pretty. So pretty," she repeated, lifting a bleeding hand to his face. "I keep wondering what you're doing here." He took her hand, wrapped a cloth gently around it. "I've asked myself the same question." She grinned foolishly, let herself float. Need to file my report, she thought hazily. Soon. "You don't really think we're going to make anything out of this, do you? Roarke and the cop?" "I guess we'll have to find out.
J.D. Robb (Naked in Death (In Death #1))
As June walked toward me from the darkness of the garden into the light of the door, I saw for the first time the most beautiful woman on earth. Astartling white face, burning dark eyes, a face so alive I felt it would consume itself before my eyes. Years ago I tried to imagine a true beauty; I created in my mind an image of just such a woman. I had never seen her until last night. Yet I knew long ago the phosphorescent color of her skin, her huntress profile, the evenness of her teeth. She is bizarre, fantastic, nervous, like someone in a high fever. Her beauty drowned me... By the end of the evening I had extricated myself from her power. She killed my admiration by her talk. Her talk. The enormous ego, false, weak, posturing. She lacks the courage of her personality, which is sensual, heavy with experience. Her role alone preoccupies her. She invents drama in which she always stars. I am sure she creates genuine dramas, genuine chaos and whirlpools of feelings, but I feel that her share in it is a pose. That night, in spite of my response to her, she sought to be whatever she felt I wanted her to be. She is an actress every moment. I cannot grasp the core of June.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
What if life isn’t happening to you? What if the hard stuff, the amazing stuff, the love, the joy, the hope, the fear, the weird stuff, the funny stuff, the stuff that takes you so low you’re lying on the floor crying and thinking, How did I get here? . . . What if none of it is happening to you? What if all of it is happening for you? It’s all about perception, you guys. Perception means we don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are. Take a burning house. To a fireman, a burning house is a job to do—maybe even his life’s work or mission. For an arsonist? A burning house is something exciting and good. What if it’s your house? What if it’s your family who’s standing outside watching every earthly possession you own burning up? That burning house becomes something else entirely. You don’t see things as they are; you see things through the lens of what you think and feel and believe. Perception is reality, and I’m here to tell you that your reality is colored much more by your past experiences than by what is actually happening to you. If your past tells you that nothing ever works out, that life is against you, and that you’ll never succeed, then how likely are you to keep fighting for something you want? Or, on the flip side, if you quit accepting no as the end of the conversation whenever you run up against opposition, you can shift your perception and fundamentally reshape your entire life.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be)
Sometimes after dinner, he would walk into the woods that began behind the house. He would stretch down on the ground on his stomach, his elbows, planted before him, his hands propping his chin and he would watch the patterns of veins on the green blades of grass under his face, he would blow at them and watch the blades tremble then stop again. He would roll over on his back and lie still, feeling the warmth of the earth under him. Far above, the leaves were still green as if the color were condensed in the last effort before the dusk coming to dissolve it. The leaves hung without motion against a sky of polished lemon yellow, its luminous pallor emphasized that its light was failing. He pressed his hips, his back into the earth under him, the earth resisted, but it gave way; it was a silent victory; he felt a dim, sensuous pleasure in the muscles of his legs.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Daemon pulled the bright, deep-red sweater over his head and adjusted the collar of the gold-and-white-checked shirt. Satisfied, he studied his reflection. His eyes were butter melted by humor and good spirits, his face subtly altered by the relaxed, boyish grin. The change in his appearance startled him, but after a moment he just shook his head and brushed his hair. The difference was Jaenelle and the incalculable ways she worried, intrigued, fascinated, incensed, and delighted him. More than that, now, when he was so long past it, she was giving him—the bored, jaded Sadist—a childhood. She colored the days with magic and wonder, and all the things he’d ceased to pay attention to he saw again new. He grinned at his reflection. He felt like a twelve-year-old. No, not twelve. He was at least a sophisticated fourteen. Still young enough to play with a girl as a friend, yet old enough to contemplate the day he might sneak his first kiss. Daemon shrugged into his coat, went into the kitchen, pinched a couple of apples from the basket, sent Cook a broad wink, and gave himself up to a morning with Jaenelle.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
I noticed several things about the drummer all at once. He was focused on the task at hand, keeping perfect rhythm. Instead of a swirl of transparent colors around his torso, there was a small, concentrated starburst of bright red at his sternum. But otherwise his aura was blank. Huh. That was strange. But before I could contemplate it too much, my eyes landed on his face. Wowza. He was smokin' hot. As in H-O-T-T hot. I'd never understood until that moment why girls insisted on adding an extra T. This guy was extra-T worthy. I examined the drummer, determined to find a flaw. Brown hair. An interesting haircut: short around the sides and back, but longer on top, hanging loose and angling across his forehead. His eyes were narrow and his eyebrows were a bit thick and...Oh, who was I kidding? I could pick him apart, but even the shifty slant of his eyes made him more alluring to me.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Centaurs!” Annabeth yelled. The Party Pony army exploded into our midst in a riot of colors: tie-dyed shirts, rainbow Afro wigs, oversize sunglasses, and war-painted faces. Some had slogans scrawled across their flanks like HORSEZ PWN or KRONOS SUX. Hundreds of them filled the entire block. My brain couldn’t process everything I saw, but I knew if I were the enemy, I’d be running. “Percy!” Chiron shouted across the sea of wild centaurs. He was dressed in armor from the waist up, his bow in his hand, and he was grinning in satisfaction. “Sorry we’re late!” “DUDE!” Another centaur yelled. “Talk later. WASTE MONSTERS NOW!” He locked and loaded a double-barrel paint gun and blasted an enemy hellhound bright pink. The paint must’ve been mixed with Celestial bronze dust or something, because as soon as it splattered the hellhound, the monster yelped and dissolved into a pink-and-black puddle. “PARTY PONIES!” a centaur yelled. “SOUTH FLORIDA CHAPTER!” Somewhere across the battlefield, a twangy voice yelled back, “HEART OF TEXAS CHAPTER!” “HAWAII OWNS YOUR FACES!” a third one shouted. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. The entire Titan army turned and fled, pushed back by a flood of paintballs, arrows, swords, and NERF baseball bats. The centaurs trampled everything in their path. “Stop running, you fools!” Kronos yelled. “Stand and ACKK!” That last part was because a panicked Hyperborean giant stumbled backward and sat on top of him.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
I desire you and love you, Cristina, and so does Mark. Stay with us.” Cristina couldn’t move. She thought again of the first time she’d seen Mark and Kieran together. The desire she’d felt. She’d thought at the time she wanted something like what they had: that she wanted that passion for herself and some unnamed boy whose face she didn’t know. But it had been a long time since any face in her dreams had not been either Mark’s or Kieran’s. Since she had imagined any eyes looking into hers that were both the same color. She had not wanted some vague approximation of what they had: She had wanted them. She looked at Mark, who seemed pinned between hope and terror. “Kieran,” he said. His voice shook. “How can you ask her that? She’s not a faerie, she’ll never talk to us again—” “But you will leave me,” she said, hearing her own voice as if it were a stranger’s. “You love each other and belong together. You will leave me and go back to Faerie.” They looked at her with expressions of identical shock. “We will never leave you,” said Mark. “We will stay as close to you as the tide to the shore,” said Kieran. “Neither of us wishes for anything else.” He reached out a hand. “Please believe us, Lady of Roses.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
At some point, to counter the list of the dead, I had begun keeping my own list of the living. It was something I noticed Len Fenerman did too. When he was off duty he would note the young girls and elderly women and every other female in the rainbow in between and count them among the things that sustained him. The young girl in the mall whose pale legs had grown too long for her now too-young dress and who had an aching vulnerability that went straight to both Len's and my own heart. Elderly women, wobbling with walkers, who insisted on dyeing their hair unnatural versions of the colors they had in youth. Middle-aged single mothers racing around in grocery stores while their children pulled bags of candy off the shelves. When I saw them, I took count. Living, breathing women. Sometimes I saw the wounded- those who had been beaten by husbands or raped by strangers, children raped by their fathers- and I would wish to intervene somehow. Len saw these wounded women all the time. They were regulars at the station, but even when he went somewhere outside his jurisdiction he could sense them when they came near. The wife in that bait-'n'-tackle shop had no bruises on her face but cowered like a dog and spoke in apologetic whispers. The girl he saw walk the road each time he went upstate to visit his sisters. As the years passed she'd grown leaner, the fat from her cheeks had drained, and sorrow had loaded her eyes in a way that made them hang heavy and hopeless inside her mallowed skin. When she was not there it worried him. When she was there it both depressed and revived him. ~Len Fenerman on stepping back/letting go/giving up pgs 271-272
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
What do you want?” he growled. “I just want to talk.” I tried to keep my voice steady. “You don't have to try to scare me.” He kept a straight face, and his tone was seductively low. "There's hardly any room for fear when you're so bloody turned-on.” A flash of shock hit me at his audacity. His eyes lowered to my body, but he never moved away. “Ah, there's anger now,” he said coolly, “and a bit of embarrassment.” He was reading me — reading my colors! And I couldn't see his at all. I felt stripped bare before him, vulnerable. I concentrated on why I'd gone there to begin with. “I know what we are now.” I wished my voice weren't shaky. “Congratulations.” He stood over me for a second more, savoring his power, no doubt, and then walked away, tossing the knife in the general direction of the dartboard and hitting the bull's-eye. Never missing a beat, he swaggered to a white couch with oversize pillows. He fell back onto it, propping his big, black boots on the white cushions and lounging back with arms spread wide across the back of the sofa. He stared as if daring me to talk. I had no idea what to say or do. I didn't know anymore why I'd come. Had I just wanted to barge in and say, Ha, I know what we are! and then demand information?
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
The dream was gone. Something had been taken from him. In a sort of panic he pushed the palms of his hands into his eyes and tried to bring up a picture of the waters lapping on Sherry Island and the moonlit veranda, and gingham on the golf-links and the dry sun and the gold color of her neck's soft down. And her mouth damp to his kisses and her eyes plaintive with melancholy and her freshness like new fine linen in the morning. Why, these things were no longer in the world! They had existed and they existed no longer. For the first time in years the tears were streaming down his face. But they were for himself now. He did not care about mouth and eyes and moving hands. He wanted to care, and he could not care. For he had gone away and he could never go back any more. The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. Even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished. “Long ago,” he said, “long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Winter Dreams)
We read the pagan sacred books with profit and delight. With myth and fable we are ever charmed, and find a pleasure in the endless repetition of the beautiful, poetic, and absurd. We find, in all these records of the past, philosophies and dreams, and efforts stained with tears, of great and tender souls who tried to pierce the mystery of life and death, to answer the eternal questions of the Whence and Whither, and vainly sought to make, with bits of shattered glass, a mirror that would, in very truth, reflect the face and form of Nature's perfect self. These myths were born of hopes, and fears, and tears, and smiles, and they were touched and colored by all there is of joy and grief between the rosy dawn of birth, and death's sad night. They clothed even the stars with passion, and gave to gods the faults and frailties of the sons of men. In them, the winds and waves were music, and all the lakes, and streams, and springs,—the mountains, woods and perfumed dells were haunted by a thousand fairy forms. They thrilled the veins of Spring with tremulous desire; made tawny Summer's billowed breast the throne and home of love; filled Autumns arms with sun-kissed grapes, and gathered sheaves; and pictured Winter as a weak old king who felt, like Lear upon his withered face, Cordelia's tears. These myths, though false, are beautiful, and have for many ages and in countless ways, enriched the heart and kindled thought. But if the world were taught that all these things are true and all inspired of God, and that eternal punishment will be the lot of him who dares deny or doubt, the sweetest myth of all the Fable World would lose its beauty, and become a scorned and hateful thing to every brave and thoughtful man.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Alexandra Adornetto
When Your Life Looks Back, When your life looks back-- As it will, at itself, at you--what will it say? Inch of colored ribbon cut from the spool. Flame curl, blue-consuming the log it flares from. Bay leaf. Oak leaf. Cricket. One among many. Your life will carry you as it did always, With ten fingers and both palms, With horizontal ribs and upright spine, With its filling and emptying heart, That wanted only your own heart, emptying, filled, in return. You gave it. What else could do? Immersed in air or in water. Immersed in hunger or anger. Curious even when bored. Longing even when running away. "What will happen next?"-- the question hinged in your knees, your ankles, in the in-breaths even of weeping. Strongest of magnets, the future impartial drew you in. Whatever direction you turned toward was face to face. No back of the world existed, No unseen corner, no test. No other earth to prepare for. This, your life had said, its only pronoun. Here, your life had said, its only house. Let, your life had said, its only order. And did you have a choice in this? You did-- Sleeping and waking, the horses around you, the mountains around you, The buildings with their tall, hydraulic shafts. Those of your own kind around you-- A few times, you stood on your head. A few times, you chose not to be frightened. A few times, you held another beyond any measure. A few times, you found yourself held beyond any measure. Mortal, your life will say, As if tasting something delicious, as if in envy. Your immortal life will say this, as it is leaving.
Jane Hirshfield (Come, Thief)
Instructions for a Broken Heart I will find a bare patch of earth, somewhere where the ruins have fallen away, somewhere where I can fit both hands, and I will dig a hole. And into that hole, I will scream you, I will dump all the shadow places of my heart—the times you didn’t call when you said you’d call, the way you only half listened to my poems, your eyes on people coming through the swinging door of the café—not on me—your ears, not really turned toward me. For all those times I started to tell you about the fight with my dad or when my grandma died, and you said something about your car, something about the math test you flunked, as an answer. I will scream into that hole the silence of dark nights after you’d kissed me, how when I asked if something was wrong—and something was obviously so very wrong—how you said “nothing,” how you didn’t tell me until I had to see it in the dim light of a costume barn—so much wrong. I will scream all of it. Then I will fill it in with dark earth, leave it here in Italy, so there will be an ocean between the hole and me. Because then I can bring home a heart full of the light patches. A heart that sees the sunset you saw that night outside of Taco Bell, the way you pointed out that it made the trees seem on fire, a heart that holds the time your little brother fell on his bike at the fairgrounds and you had pockets full of bright colored Band-Aids and you kissed the bare skin of his knees. I will take that home with me. In my heart. I will take home your final Hamlet monologue on the dark stage when you cried closing night and it wasn’t really acting, you cried because you felt the words in you and on that bare stage you felt the way I feel every day of my life, every second, the way the words, the light and dark, the spotlight in your face, made you Hamlet for that brief hiccup of a moment, made you a poet, an artist at your core. I get to take Italy home with me, the Italy that showed me you and the Italy that showed me—me—the Italy that wrote me my very own instructions for a broken heart. And I get to leave the other heart in a hole. We are over. I know this. But we are not blank. We were a beautiful building made of stone, crumbled now and covered in vines. But not blank. Not forgotten. We are a history. We are beauty out of ruins.
Kim Culbertson (Instructions for a Broken Heart)
Suddenly I know just what I’m going to do. Something that will blow anything Peeta did right out of the water. I go over to the knot-tying station and get a length of rope. I start to manipulate it, but it’s hard because I’ve never made this actual knot myself. I’ve only watched Finnick’s clever fingers, and they moved so fast. After about ten minutes, I’ve come up with a respectable noose. I drag one of the target dummies out into the middle of the room and, using some chinning bars, hang it so it dangles by the neck. Tying its hands behind its back would be a nice touch, but I think I might be running out of time. I hurry over to the camouflage station, where some of the other tributes, undoubtedly the morphlings, have made a colossal mess. But I find a partial container of bloodred berry juice that will serve my needs. The flesh-colored fabric of the dummy’s skin makes a good, absorbent canvas. I carefully finger paint the words on its body, concealing them from view. Then I step away quickly to watch the reaction on the Gamemakers’ faces as they read the name on the dummy. *SENECA CRANE.*
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
And in the background, the constant, high, whining mewl of local disapproval. Within the first few months of her return, to her parents' home, Ammy quickly learned to recognize and despise the ugly face of sympathy. Old female relations with incipient beards and several wobbling chins made overnight trips to Ayemenem to commiserate with her about her divorce. They squeezed her knee and gloated. She fought off the urge to slap them. Or twiddle their nipples. With a spanner. Like Chaplin in Modern Times. When she looked at herself in her wedding photographs, Ammu felt the woman that looked back at her was someone else. A foolish jeweled bride. Her silk sunset-colored sari shot with gold. Rings on very finger. White dots of sandalwood paste over her arched eye-brows. Looking at herself like this, Ammu's soft mouths would twist into a small, bitter, smile at the memory - not of the wedding itself so much as the fact that she had permitted herself to be so painstakingly decorated before being led to the gallows. It seemed so absurd. So futile. Like polishing firewood. ....... Ammu knew that weddings were not something that could be avoided altogether. At least not practically speaking. But for the rest of her life she advocated small weddings in ordinary clothes. it made them less ghoulish, she thought.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Season late, day late, sun just down, and the sky Cold gunmetal but with a wash of live rose, and she, From water the color of sky except where Her motion has fractured it to shivering splinters of silver, Rises. Stands on the raw grass. Against The new-curdling night of spruces, nakedness Glimmers and, at bosom and flank, drips With fluent silver. The man, Some ten strokes out, but now hanging Motionless in the gunmetal water, feet Cold with the coldness of depth, all History dissolving from him, is Nothing but an eye. Is an eye only. Sees The body that is marked by his use, and Time's, Rise, and in the abrupt and unsustaining element of air, Sway, lean, grapple the pond-bank. Sees How, with that posture of female awkwardness that is, And is the stab of, suddenly perceived grace, breasts bulge down in The pure curve of their weight and buttocks Moon up and, in swelling unity, Are silver and glimmer. Then The body is erect, she is herself, whatever Self she may be, and with an end of the towel grasped in each hand, Slowly draws it back and forth across back and buttocks, but With face lifted toward the high sky, where The over-wash of rose color now fails. Fails, though no star Yet throbs there. The towel, forgotten, Does not move now. The gaze Remains fixed on the sky. The body, Profiled against the darkness of spruces, seems To draw to itself, and condense in its whiteness, what light In the sky yet lingers or, from The metallic and abstract severity of water, lifts. The body, With the towel now trailing loose from one hand, is A white stalk from which the face flowers gravely toward the high sky. This moment is non-sequential and absolute, and admits Of no definition, for it Subsumes all other, and sequential, moments, by which Definition might be possible. The woman, Face yet raised, wraps, With a motion as though standing in sleep, The towel about her body, under her breasts, and, Holding it there hieratic as lost Egypt and erect, Moves up the path that, stair-steep, winds Into the clamber and tangle of growth. Beyond The lattice of dusk-dripping leaves, whiteness Dimly glimmers, goes. Glimmers and is gone, and the man, Suspended in his darkling medium, stares Upward where, though not visible, he knows She moves, and in his heart he cries out that, if only He had such strength, he would put his hand forth And maintain it over her to guard, in all Her out-goings and in-comings, from whatever Inclemency of sky or slur of the world's weather Might ever be. In his heart he cries out. Above Height of the spruce-night and heave of the far mountain, he sees The first star pulse into being. It gleams there. I do not know what promise it makes him.
Robert Penn Warren
He leaned closer. “That’s what I’m trying to do. Your face is absolutely adorable when you blush.” My ears burned. Oh great, am I the color of a tomato now? “Yeah, well, I can make you blush,” I retorted. “By telling you how hot you are, and that when that little piece of black hair falls into your eyes, it’s so sexy it makes me forget my words, and...” I stopped, suddenly aware of how warm the mausoleum was. “Go on,” Caspian prodded, shaking his head so that his hair covered one green eye. I blushed again, and glanced around me, slowly backing away from him. I just needed some... space to clear my head. He followed me, stalking my every move. My blood felt like pure oxygen racing through my veins, fizzy and bubbling and making me want to float away. A hard wall at my back stopped me, but Caspian kept coming. I thought desperately of some way to change the subject. “I got you Moby-Dick,” I blurted out. He gave me a sly smile. “Mmmm, did you? How... interesting.” “And Treasure Island, and The Count of Monte Cristo.” I babbled on. “I thought you might like some boy books.” He stopped an inch away from me. I felt like I was his prisoner. “Let’s go back to the sexy and hot thing,” Caspian said. “Could we add a gorgeous or mysterious in there, too?” I gulped. “Like you don’t already know you’re all of those things. You probably had girls falling all over you before.” Caspian cocked his head to one side. “True. But I always thought it was because I was the quiet new guy. And besides, there’s only one person I was ever really interested in.” “Was?” I squeaked. Then I cleared my throat and tried again. “I mean—” “Am,” Caspian corrected himself. “Technically, I guess it’s both. I was interested the first day I saw her, and I still am interested in her.” His eyes glowed in the soft candlelight around us, and every last ounce of coherent thought left me. “It’s... um... really. It’s...” My head felt like it was thickening and my body was overheating, every word dragged from somewhere in the depths of my fuzzy brain. I waved a hand in front of my face to fan myself, and finally spit out what I was trying to say. “It’s hot in here. Don’t you think? It’s really warm.” “I only feel warmth when I’m standing next to you,” Caspian said. He stepped half an inch closer. “Like right now.
Jessica Verday (The Haunted (The Hollow, #2))
Oh, she say. God loves all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love-- and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk about God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Sir Bird preens next to me, tucking feathers into place with a low noise in his throat almost like he’s talking to himself. A slow smile spreads across Finn’s face as he rubs his knuckles—black and blue with several bruises from Sir Bird’s beak. “Let’s see,” he says, flipping through his father’s book. “Here! I’ll need some water in a shallow bowl . . . ink . . . yes, I think this is everything.” He gathers the items, then reads over the entry several times, eyebrows knit in concentration. Dipping his pen in the ink, he whispers strange words while writing on the surface of the water. The ink drips down, elongating the form of the symbols that still hover where he wrote them. I recognize one—change. But the rest I haven’t learned yet. Then, without warning, he lifts up the bowl and dumps the whole thing onto Sir Bird. Only instead of getting wet, as the water washes over his body, Sir Bird’s feathers turn . . . blue. Bright, brilliant, shimmering blue. Squawking in outrage, Sir Bird hops and flies around the room, frantically shaking his feathers. He lands on the desk with a scrabble of clawed feet, then begins trying to bite off the color. “Ha!” Finn says, pointing at his knuckles. “Now you’re black and blue, too!” I can’t help but laugh at my poor, panicking bird. Not to mention the ridiculous pettiness of Finn’s magic show. Picking up Sir Bird, I stroke his feathers and speak softly to him. “Hush now. I’ll make him fix you. You’re still very handsome, but blue isn’t your color, is it?” He caws mournfully, still pulling at his own feathers. “Finn.” He puts his hands behind his back, trying to look innocent. “What? He deserved it.” “He’s a bird. You can’t really find this much satisfaction in revenge against a bird, can you?” His voice comes out just a tad petulant. “He started it.
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
There was a muffled tap again, and I heard a familiar voice whisper faintly, “Kelsey, it’s me.” I unlocked the door and peeked out. Ren was standing there dressed in his white clothes, barefoot, with a triumphant grin on his face. I pulled him inside and hissed out thickly, “What are you doing here? It’s dangerous coming into town! You could have been seen, and they’d send hunters out after you!” He shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “I missed you.” My mouth quirked up in a half smile. “I missed you too.” He leaned a shoulder nonchalantly against the doorframe. “Does that mean you’ll let me stay here? I’ll sleep on the floor and leave before daylight. No one will see me. I promise.” I let out a deep breath. “Okay, but promise you’ll leave early. I don’t like you risking yourself like this.” “I promise.” He sat down on the bed, took my hand, and pulled me down to sit beside him. “I don’t like sleeping in the dark jungle by myself.” “I wouldn’t either.” He looked down at our entwined hands. “When I’m with you, I feel like a man again. When I’m out there all alone, I feel like a beast, an animal.” His eyes darted up to mine. I squeezed his hand. “I understand. It’s fine. Really.” He grinned. “You were hard to track, you know. Lucky for me you two decided to walk to dinner, so I could follow your scent right to your door.” Something on the nightstand caught his attention. Leaning around me, he reached over and picked up my open journal. I had drawn a new picture of a tiger-my tiger. My circus drawings were okay, but this latest one was more personal and full of life. Ren stared at it for a moment while a bright crimson flush colored my cheeks. He traced the tiger with his finger, and then whispered gently, "Someday, I'll give you a portrait of the real me." Setting the journal down carefully, he took both of my hands in his, turned to me with an intense expression, and said, "I don't want you to see only a tiger when you look at me. I want you to see me. The man." Reaching out, he almost touched my cheek but he stopped and withdrew his hand. "I've worn the tiger's face for far too many years. He's stolen my humanity." I nodded while he squeezed my hands and whispered quietly, "Kells, I don't want to be him anymore. I want to be me. I want to have a life." "I know," I said softly. I reached up to stroke his cheek. "Ren, I-" I froze in place as he pulled my hand slowly down to his lips and kissed my palm. My hand tingled. His blue eyes searched my face desperately, wanting, needing something from me. I wanted to say something to reassure him. I wanted to offer him comfort. I just couldn't frame the words. His supplication stirred me. I felt a deep bond with him, a strong connection. I wanted to help him, I wanted to be his friend, and I wanted...maybe something more. I tried to identify and categorize my reactions to him. What I felt for him seemed too complicated to define, but it soon became obvious to me that the strongest emotion I felt, the one that was stirring my heart, was...love.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Wild eyes were another sign. It is something I have seldom seen — the expression of an ecstatic state — though much is foolishly written of them, as if they grew like Jerusalem artichokes along the road. The eyes are black, right enough, whatever their normal color is; they are black because their perception is condensed to a coal, because the touch and taste and perfume of the lover, the outcry of a dirty word, a welcome river, have been reduced in the heat of passion to a black ash, and this unburnt residue of oxidation, this calyx, replaces the pupil so it no longer receives but sends, and every hair is on end, though perhaps only outspread on a pillow, and the nostrils are flared, mouth agape, cheeks sucked so the whole face seems as squeezed as a juiced fruit; I know, for once Lou went into that wildness while we were absorbing one another, trying to kiss, not merely forcefully, not the skull of our skeleton, but the skull and all the bones on which the essential self is hung, kiss so the shape of the soul is stirred too, that's what is called the ultimate French, the furtherest fuck, when a cock makes a concept cry out and climax; I know, for more than once, though not often, I shuddered into that other region, when a mouth drew me through its generosity into the realm of unravel, and every sensation lay extended as a lake, every tie was loosed, and the glue of things dissolved. I knew I wore the wild look then. The greatest gift you can give another human being is to let them warm you till, in passing beyond pleasure, your defenses fall, your ego surrenders, its structure melts, its towers topple, lies, fancies, vanities, blow away in no wind, and you return, not to the clay you came from — the unfired vessel — but to the original moment of inspiration, when you were the unabbreviated breath of God.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
I feel him beside me, hear the even sound of his breathing, smell the delicious saltiness of his skin. I have missed him. I move to face him, and that’s when the pain reminds me that I’ve recently been stabbed. I bury my face in the pillow, but it doesn’t quite muffle my yelp. “Emma?” Galen says groggily. I feel his hand in my hair, stroking the length of it. “Don’t move, angelfish. Stay on your stomach. I’ll go tell Rachel you’re ready for more pain medicine.” Immediately I disobey and turn my face up to him. He shakes his head. “I’ve recently learned where your stubbornness comes from.” I grimace/smile. “My mom?” “Worse. King Antonis. The resemblance is uncanny.” He leans down and presses his lips to mine and all too quickly springs back up. “Now, be a good little deviant and stay put while I go get more pain meds.” “Galen,” I say. “Hmmm?” “How bad am I hurt?” He caresses the outline of my cheek. His touch could disintegrate me. “Hurt at all is bad enough for me.” “Yeah, but you’ve always been a baby about this stuff.” I grin at his faux offense. “Your mother says it’s only a flesh wound. She’s been treating it.” “Mom is here?” “She’s downstairs. Uh…You should know that Grom is here, too.” Grom left the tribunal and headed for land? Did that mean it all ended badly? Well, even worse than my getting impaled? An urgent need to know everything about everything shimmies through me. “Whoa. Sit. Talk. Now.” He laughs. “I will, I promise. But I want to make you comfortable first.” “Well, then, you need to come over here and switch places with the bed.” A blush fills my cheeks, but I don’t care. I need him. All of him. It feels like forever since we’ve talked like this, just me and him. But talking usually doesn’t last long. Lips were made for other things, too. And Galen is especially good at the other things. He walks back and squats by the bed. “You have no idea how tempting that is.” It seems like the violet of his eyes gets darker. It’s the color they get when he has to pull away from me, when we’re about to violate a bunch of Syrena laws if we don’t stop. “But you’re not well enough to…” He runs a hand through his hair. “I’ll go get Rachel. Then we can talk.” I’m a little surprised that his argument didn’t begin with “But the law…” That is what has stopped us in the past. Now the only thing that appears to be stopping us is my stabby condition. What’s changed? And why am I not excited about it? I used to get so frustrated when he would pull away. But a small part of me loved that about him, his respect for the law and for the tradition of his people. His respect for me. Respect is a hard thing to come by when picking from among human boys. Is that respect gone? And is it my fault?
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I'll be right here. Good luck, or break a leg, or something.” As Jay and Gregory turned and headed into the crowd, my traitorous eyes returned to the corner and found another pair or eyes staring darkly back. I dropped my gaze for three full seconds, and then lifted my eyes again, hesitant. The drummer was still staring at me, oblivious to the three girls trying to win back his attention. He put up one finger at the girls and said something that looked like, “Excuse me.” Oh, my goodness. Was he...? Oh, no. Yes, he was walking this way. My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy-a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something. He looked straight into my eyes, which threw me off guard, because nobody ever looked me in the eye like that. Maybe Patti and Jay, but they didn't hold my stare like he was doing now. He didn't look away, and I found that I couldn't take my gaze off those blue eyes. “Who are you?” he asked in a blunt, almost confrontational way. I blinked. It was the strangest greeting I'd ever received. “I'm...Anna.” “Right. Anna. How very nice.” I tried to focus on his words and not his luxuriously accented voice, which made everything sound lovely. He leaned in closer. “But who are you?” What did that mean? Did I need to have some sort of title or social standing to enter his presence? “I just came with my friend Jay?” Oh, I hated when I got nervous and started talking in questions. I pointed in the general direction of the guys, but he didn't take his eyes off me. I began rambling. “They just wrote some songs. Jay and Gregory. That they wanted you to hear. Your band, I mean. They're really...good?” His eyes roamed all around my body, stopping to evaluate my sad, meager chest. I crossed my arms. When his gaze landed on that stupid freckle above my lip, I was hit by the scent of oranges and limes and something earthy, like the forest floor. It was pleasant in a masculine way. “Uh-huh.” He was closer to my face now, growling in that deep voice, but looking into my eyes again. “Very cute. And where is your angel?” My what? Was that some kind of British slang for boyfriend? I didn't know how to answer without continuing to sound pitiful. He lifted his dark eyebrows, waiting. “If you mean Jay, he's over there talking to some man in a suit. But he's not my boyfriend or my angel or whatever.” My face flushed with heat and I tightened my arms over my chest. I'd never met anyone with an accent like his, and I was ashamed of the effect it had on me. He was obviously rude, and yet I wanted him to keep talking to me. It didn't make any sense. His stance softened and he took a step back, seeming confused, although I still couldn't read his emotions. Why didn't he show any colors? He didn't seem drunk or high. And that red thing...what was that? It was hard not to stare at it. He finally looked over at Jay, who was deep in conversation with the manager-type man. “Not your boyfriend, eh?” He was smirking at me now. I looked away, refusing to answer. “Are you certain he doesn't fancy you?” Kaidan asked. I looked at him again. His smirk was now a naughty smile. “Yes,” I assured him with confidence. “I am.” “How do you know?” I couldn't very well tell him that the only time Jay's color had shown mild attraction to me was when I accidentally flashed him one day as I was taking off my sweatshirt, and my undershirt got pulled up too high. And even then it lasted only a few seconds before our embarrassment set in.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Their other hands flipped up, palm to palm, and Merik’s only consolation as he and the domna slid into the next movement of the dance was that her chest heaved as much as his did. Merik’s right hand gripped the girl’s, and with no small amount of ferocity, he twisted her around to face the same direction as he before wrenching her to his chest. His hand slipped over her stomach, fingers splayed. Her left hand snapped up—and he caught it. Then the real difficulty of the dance began. The skipping of feet in a tide of alternating hops and directions. The writhing of hips countered the movement of their feet like a ship upon stormy seas. The trickling tap of Merik’s fingers down the girl’s arms, her ribs, her waist—like the rain against a ship’s sail. On and on, they moved to the music until they were both sweating. Until they hit the third movement. Merik flipped the girl around to face him once more. Her chest slammed against his—and by the Wells, she was tall. He hadn’t realized just how tall until this precise moment when her eyes stared evenly into his and her panting breaths fought against his own. Then the music swelled once more, her legs twined into his, and he forgot all about who she was or what she was or why he had begun the dance in the first place. Because those eyes of hers were the color of the sky after a storm. Without realizing what he did, his Windwitchery flickered to life. Something in this moment awoke the wilder parts of his power. Each heave of his lungs sent a breeze swirling in. It lifted the girl’s hair. Kicked at her wild skirts. She showed no reaction at all. In fact, she didn’t break her gaze from Merik, and there was a fierceness there—a challenge that sent Merik further beneath the waves of the dance. Of the music. Of those eyes. Each leap backward of her body—a movement like the tidal tug of the sea against the river—led to a violent slam as Merik snatched her back against him. For each leap and slam, the girl added in an extra flourishing beat with her heels. Another challenge that Merik had never seen, yet rose to, rose above. Wind crashed around them like a growing hurricane, and he and this girl were at its eye. And the girl never looked away. Never backed down. Not even when the final measures of the song began—that abrupt shift from the sliding cyclone of strings to the simple plucking bass that follows every storm—did Merik soften how hard he pushed himself against this girl. Figuratively. Literally. Their bodies were flush, their hearts hammering against each other’s rib cages. He walked his fingers down her back, over her shoulders, and out to her hands. The last drops of a harsh rain. The music slowed. She pulled away first, slinking back the required four steps. Merik didn’t look away from her face, and he only distantly noticed that, as she pulled away, his Windwitchery seemed to settle. Her skirts stopped swishing, her hair fluttered back to her shoulders. Then he slid backward four steps and folded his arms over his chest. The music came to a close. And Merik returned to his brain with a sickening certainty that Noden and His Hagfishes laughed at him from the bottom of the sea.
Susan Dennard (Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1))
Those clothes are Susie's,' my father said calmly when he reached him. Buckley looked down at my blackwatch dress that he held in his hand. My father stepped closer, took the dress from my brother, and then, without speaking, he gathered the rest of my clothes, which Buckley had piled on the lawn. As he turned in silence toward the house, hardly breathing, clutching my clothes to him, it sparked. I was the only one to see the colors. Just near Buckley's ears and on the tips of his cheeks and chin he was a little orange somehow, a little red. Why can't I use them?' he asked. It landed in my father's back like a fist. Why can't I use those clothes to stake my tomatoes?' My father turned around. He saw his son standing there, behind him the perfect plot of muddy, churned-up earth spotted with tiny seedlings. 'How can you ask me that question?' You have to choose. It's not fair,' my brother said. Buck?' My father held my clothes against his chest. I watched Buckley flare and light. Behind him was the sun of the goldenrod hedge, twice as tall as it had been at my death. I'm tired of it!' Buckley blared. 'Keesha's dad died and she's okay?' Is Keesha a girl at school?' Yes!' My father was frozen. He could feel the dew that had gathered on his bare ankles and feet, could feel the ground underneath him, cold and moist and stirring with possibility. I'm sorry. When did this happen?' That's not the point, Dad! You don't get it.' Buckley turned around on his heel and started stomping the tender tomato shoots with his foot. Buck, stop!' my father cried. My brother turned. You don't get it, Dad,' he said. I'm sorry,' my father said. These are Susie's clothes and I just... It may not make sense, but they're hers-something she wore.' ... You act like she was yours only!' Tell me what you want to say. What's this about your friend Keesha's dad?' Put the clothes down.' My father laid them gently on the ground. It isn't about Keesha's dad.' Tell me what it is about.' My father was now all immediacy. He went back to the place he had been after his knee surgery, coming up out of the druggie sleep of painkillers to see his then-five-year-old son sitting near him, waiting for his eyes to flicker open so he could say, 'Peek-a-boo, Daddy.' She's dead.' It never ceased to hurt. 'I know that.' But you don't act that way.' Keesha's dad died when she was six. Keesha said she barely even thinks of him.' She will,' my father said. But what about us?' Who?' Us, Dad. Me and Lindsey. Mom left becasue she couldn't take it.' Calm down, Buck,' my father said. He was being as generous as he could as the air from his lungs evaporated out into his chest. Then a little voice in him said, Let go, let go, let go. 'What?' my father said. I didn't say anything.' Let go. Let go. Let go. I'm sorry,' my father said. 'I'm not feeling very well.' His feet had grown unbelievably cold in the damp grass. His chest felt hollow, bugs flying around an excavated cavity. There was an echo in there, and it drummed up into his ears. Let go. My father dropped down to his knees. His arm began to tingle on and off as if it had fallen asleep. Pins and needles up and down. My brother rushed to him. Dad?' Son.' There was a quaver in his voice and a grasping outward toward my brother. I'll get Grandma.' And Buckley ran. My father whispered faintly as he lay on his side with his face twisted in the direction of my old clothes: 'You can never choose. I've loved all three of you.
Alice Sebold
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Wanting his mind on other matters, she deliiberately challenged his statement. "You don't know so much about me. There was a man once. He was crazy about me." She tried to look wordly. "Absolutely crazy for me." His answering laughter was warm against her neck, her throat. His lips touched the skin over her pulse and skimmed lightly up to her ear. "Are you, by any chance, referring to that foppish boy with the orange hair and spiked collar? Dragon something?" Savannah gasped and pulled away to glare at im. "How could you possibly know about him? I dated him last year." Gregori nuzzled her neck, inhaling her fragrance, his hand sliding over her shoulder, moving gently over her satin skin to take possession of her breast. "He wore boots and rode a Harley." His breath came out in a rush as his palm cupped the soft weight, his thumb brushing her nipple into a hard peak. The feel of his large hand-so strong, so warm and possessive on her-sent heat curling through her body. Desire rose sharply. He was seducing her with tenderness. Savannah didn't want it to happen. Her body felt better, but the soreness was there to remind her where this could all lead. Her hand caught at his wrist. "How did you find out about Dragon?" she asked, desperate to distract him, to distract herself. How could he make her body burn for his when she was so afraid of him, of having sex with him? "Making love," he corrected, his voice husky, caressing, betraying the ease with which his mind moved like a shadow through hers."And to answer your question, I live in you, can touch you whenever I wish.I knew about all of them. Every damn one." He growled the worrds, and her breath caught in her throat. "He was the only one you thought of kissing." His mouth touched hers. Gently. Lightly. Returned for more. Coaxing, teasing, until she opened to him. He stole her breath, her reason, whirling her into a world of feeling.Bright colors and white-hot heat, the room falling away until there was only his broad shoulders,strong arms, hard body, and perfect,perfect mouth. When he lifted his head, Savannah nearly pulled him back to her.He watched her face,her eyes cloudy with desire, her lips so beautiful, bereft of his. "Do you have any idea how beautiful you are, Savannah? There is such beauty in your soul,I can see it shining in your eyes." She touched his face, her palm molding his strong jaw. Why couldn't she resist his hungry eyes? "I think you're casting a spell over me. I can't remember what we were talking about." Gregori smiled. "Kissing." His teeth nibbled gently at her chin. "Specifically,your wanting to kiss that orange-bearded imbecile." "I wanted to kiss every one of them," she lied indignantly. "No,you did not.You were hoping that silly fop would wipe my taste from your mouth for all eternity." His hand stroked back the fall of hair around her face.He feathered kisses along the delicate line of her jaw. "It would not have worked,you know.As I recall,he seemed to have a problem getting close to you." Her eyes smoldered dangerously. "Did you have anything to do with his allergies?" She had wanted someone, anyone,to wipe Gregori's taste from her mouth,her soul. He raised his voice an octave. "Oh, Savannah, I just have to taste your lips," he mimicked. Then he went into a sneezing fit. "You haven't ridden until you've ridden on a Harley,baby." He sneezed, coughed, and gagged in perfect imitation. Savannah pushed his arm, forgetting for a moment her bruised fist. When it hurt, she yelped and glared accusingly at him. "It was you doing all that to him! That poor man-you damaged his ego for life. Each time he touched me, he had a sneezing fit." Gregori raised an eyebrow, completely unrepentant. "Technically,he did not lay a hand on you.He sneezed before he could get that close.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
The corridor dissolved, and the scene took a little longer to reform: Harry seemed to fly through shifting shapes and colors until his surroundings solidified again and he stood on a hilltop, forlorn and cold in the darkness, the wind whistling through the branches of a few leafless trees. The adult Snape was panting, turning on the spot, his wand gripped tightly in his hand, waiting for something or for someone… His fear infected Harry too, even though he knew that he could not be harmed, and he looked over his shoulder, wondering what it was that Snape was waiting for — Then a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air. Harry thought of lightning, but Snape had dropped to his knees and his wand had flown out of his hand. “Don’t kill me!” “That was not my intention.” Any sound of Dumbledore Apparating had been drowned by the sound of the wind in the branches. He stood before Snape with his robes whipping around him, and his face was illuminated from below in the light cast by his wand. “Well, Severus? What message does Lord Voldemort have for me?” “No — no message — I’m here on my own account!” Snape was wringing his hands. He looked a little mad, with his straggling black hair flying around him. “I — I come with a warning — no, a request — please —” Dumbledore flicked his wand. Though leaves and branches still flew through the night air around them, silence fell on the spot where he and Snape faced each other. “What request could a Death Eater make of me?” “The — the prophecy… the prediction… Trelawney…” “Ah, yes,” said Dumbledore. “How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?” “Everything — everything I heard!” said Snape. “That is why — it is for that reason — he thinks it means Lily Evans!” “The prophecy did not refer to a woman,” said Dumbledore. “It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —” “You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —” “If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?” “I have — I have asked him —” “You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little, “You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?” Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore. “Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her — them — safe. Please.” “And what will you give me in return, Severus?” “In — in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
As I speak, his fingers trail down my arm. I’m just so relieved he’s willing to touch me after I’ve told him this. He turns my hand over and traces the fine lines on my palm. “And?” He looks up beneath heavy lids. “What else should I know about you?” “My skin—” I stop, swallow. He leans down, presses his lips to my wrist in a feathery kiss. “What about your skin?” “You know. You’ve seen it,” I rasp. “It changes. The color becomes—” “Like fire.” His gaze lifts from my wrist and he says that word he said so long ago surrounded in cold mists, tucked on a ledge above a whispering pool of water. “Beautiful.” “You said that before. In the mountains.” “I meant it. Still do.” I laugh weakly. “I guess this means you’re not mad at me.” “I would be mad, if I could.” He frowns. “I should be.” He inches closer to me on the couch. We sink deeper into the tired cushions. “This is impossible.” “This what?” I clutch the collar of his shirt in my fingers. His face is so close I study the varying color of his eyes. For a long time, he says nothing. Stares at me in that way that makes me want to squirm. For a moment, it seems that his irises glow and the pupils shrink to slits. Then, he mutters, “A hunter in love with his prey.” My chest squeezes. I suck in a breath. Pretty wonderful, I think, but am too embarrassed to say it. Even after what he just admitted. He loves me? Studying him, I let myself consider this and whether he can possibly mean it. But what else could it be? What else could drive him to this moment with me? To turn his back on his family’s way of life? As he looks at me in that desperate, devouring way, I’m reminded of those moments in his car when he tended the cut on my palm and ran his hand over my leg. My belly twists. I glance around, see how seriously, dangerously alone we are. More alone than in the stairwell. Or even the first time together, on that ledge. I lick my lips. Now we’re alone with no school bell ready to rip us apart. Even more alarming, no more secrets stand between us. No barriers. Nothing to stop us at all. I hold my breath until I feel the first press of his lips, certain I’ve never been this close to another soul, this vulnerable. We kiss until we’re both breathless, warm and flushed, twisting against each other on the couch. His hands brush my bare back beneath my shirt, trace every bump of my spine. My back tingles, wings vibrating just beneath the surface. I drink the cooler air from his lips, drawing it into my fiery lungs. I don’t even mind when he stops and watches my skin change colors, or touches my face as it blurs in and out. He kisses my changing face. Cheeks, nose, the corners of my eyes, sighing my name it like a benediction between each caress. His lips slide to my neck and I moan, arch, lost to everything but him. In this, with him . . . I’m as close to the sky as I’ve ever been.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
When I close my eyes to see, to hear, to smell, to touch a country I have known, I feel my body shake and fill with joy as if a beloved person had come near me. A rabbi was once asked the following question: ‘When you say that the Jews should return to Palestine, you mean, surely, the heavenly, the immaterial, the spiritual Palestine, our true homeland?’ The rabbi jabbed his staff into the ground in wrath and shouted, ‘No! I want the Palestine down here, the one you can touch with your hands, with its stones, its thorns and its mud!’ Neither am I nourished by fleshless, abstract memories. If I expected my mind to distill from a turbid host of bodily joys and bitternesses an immaterial, crystal-clear thought, I would die of hunger. When I close my eyes in order to enjoy a country again, my five senses, the five mouth-filled tentacles of my body, pounce upon it and bring it to me. Colors, fruits, women. The smells of orchards, of filthy narrow alleys, of armpits. Endless snows with blue, glittering reflections. Scorching, wavy deserts of sand shimmering under the hot sun. Tears, cries, songs, distant bells of mules, camels or troikas. The acrid, nauseating stench of some Mongolian cities will never leave my nostrils. And I will eternally hold in my hands – eternally, that is, until my hands rot – the melons of Bukhara, the watermelons of the Volga, the cool, dainty hand of a Japanese girl… For a time, in my early youth, I struggled to nourish my famished soul by feeding it with abstract concepts. I said that my body was a slave and that its duty was to gather raw material and bring it to the orchard of the mind to flower and bear fruit and become ideas. The more fleshless, odorless, soundless the world was that filtered into me, the more I felt I was ascending the highest peak of human endeavor. And I rejoiced. And Buddha came to be my greatest god, whom I loved and revered as an example. Deny your five senses. Empty your guts. Love nothing, hate nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing. Breathe out and the world will be extinguished. But one night I had a dream. A hunger, a thirst, the influence of a barbarous race that had not yet become tired of the world had been secretly working within me. My mind pretended to be tired. You felt it had known everything, had become satiated, and was now smiling ironically at the cries of my peasant heart. But my guts – praised be God! – were full of blood and mud and craving. And one night I had a dream. I saw two lips without a face – large, scimitar-shaped woman’s lips. They moved. I heard a voice ask, ‘Who if your God?’ Unhesitatingly I answered, ‘Buddha!’ But the lips moved again and said: ‘No, Epaphus.’ I sprang up out of my sleep. Suddenly a great sense of joy and certainty flooded my heart. What I had been unable to find in the noisy, temptation-filled, confused world of wakefulness I had found now in the primeval, motherly embrace of the night. Since that night I have not strayed. I follow my own path and try to make up for the years of my youth that were lost in the worship of fleshless gods, alien to me and my race. Now I transubstantiate the abstract concepts into flesh and am nourished. I have learned that Epaphus, the god of touch, is my god. All the countries I have known since then I have known with my sense of touch. I feel my memories tingling, not in my head but in my fingertips and my whole skin. And as I bring back Japan to my mind, my hands tremble as if they were touching the breast of a beloved woman.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Travels in China & Japan)
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me. Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone’s had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I’m what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker—a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either. I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne—to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why. I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “lighthearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared. So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am … on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why—no, I’m sure that’s the reason why—I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether. As I’ve told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I’m always up against a more powerful enemy. A voice within me is sobbing, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank ANNE’S DIARY ENDS HERE.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)