Colored Wall Quotes

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I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
She said it out loud, the words distributed into a room that was full of cold air and books. Books everywhere! Each wall was armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see paintwork. There were all different styles and sizes of lettering on the spines of the black, the red, the gray, the every-colored books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen. With wonder, she smiled. That such a room existed!
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
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))
She looked up at him with a smile. The smile broke what was left of his resistance - shattered it. He had let the walls down when he'd thought she was gone, and there was no time to build them back up. Helplessly he pulled her against him. For a moment she clung to him tightly, warm and alive in his arms. Her hair brushed his cheek. The color had come back into the world; he could breathe again, and for that moment he breathed her in - she smelled of salt, blood, tears, and Tessa.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Into this new love, die your way begins on the other side become the sky take an axe to the prison wall, escape walk out like someone suddenly born into color do it now
Rumi
I felt like it needed some color down there, so I painted the walls with the motherfucker.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
It isn't that it's too soon, you're on the back of my bike, it ain't too soon. You can buy sheets. You cannot install blinds." "um..." I mumbled. "Can you explain the difference?" "Sheets are chick territory," he said without delay. "You gotta use tools, that's dick territory." "Oh," I whispered. "Don't tread on dick territory," he advised. "So, um... is a paintbrush a tool?" I asked cautiously. "If you're paintin' the side of the house, yeah. If you're painting mud colored paint in a room, no." "It's terracotta," I said softly. "Whatever," he muttered, his mouth twitching. "Or, the paint chip called it Mexican horizon. The blue is dawn sky." "Definitely chick territory," Tate replied, losing the fight with his grin. "What about...pictures for the walls?" I asked. "Chick," he answered instantly. "Um...could I ask that, instead of you getting angry and being a jerk, maybe you give me a head's up when I'm doing something stupid?
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
Introduction to Poetry I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or press an ear against its hive. I say drop a mouse into a poem and watch him probe his way out, or walk inside the poem's room and feel the walls for a light switch. I want them to waterski across the surface of a poem waving at the author's name on the shore. But all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.
Billy Collins (The Apple that Astonished Paris)
History has rewritten itself so many times I'm not really sure how it was to begin with -- it's a bit like trying to guess the original color of a wall when it's been repainted eight times.
Jasper Fforde (Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4))
What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle. What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel. What I thought was an injustice turned out to be a color of the sky.
Tony Hoagland
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))
Sometimes I close my eyes and paint these walls a different color. I imagine I’m wearing warm socks and sitting by a fire. I imagine someone’s given me a book to read, a story to take me away form the torture of my own mind. I want to be someone else somewhere else with something else to fill my mind. I want to run, to feel the wind tug at my hair. I want to pretend that this is just a story within a story. That this cell is just a scene, that these hands don’t belong to me, that this window leads to somewhere beautiful if only I could break it. I pretend this pillow is clean, I pretend this bed is soft. I pretend and pretend and pretend until the world becomes so breathtaking behind my eyelids that I can no longer contain it. But then my eyes fly open and I’m caught around the throat by a pair of hands that won’t stop suffocating suffocating suffocating. My thoughts, I think, will soon be sound. My mind, I hope, will soon be found.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
One thing I’ve learned in the woods is that there is no such thing as random. Everything is steeped in meaning, colored by relationships, one thing with another.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
My memories of them had rubbed thin with overuse, worn to frail color transparencies flickering on the walls of my mind
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles & smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun & he's guilty. And all men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others & look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt & sin, why, often that's your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it & sometimes break in two. I've known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't let himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
Your brother Robb has been crowned King in the North. You and Aemon have that in common. A king for a brother.” said Mormont. “And this too,” said Jon. “A vow.” The Old Bear gave a loud snort, and the raven took flight, flapping in a circle about the room. “Give me a man for every vow I’ve seen broken and the Wall will never lack for defenders.” “I’ve always known that Rob will be Lord of Winterfell.” Mormont gave a whistle, and the bird flew to him again and settled on his arm. “A lord’s one thing, a king’s another. They will garb your brother Robb in silks, satins, and velvets of a hundred different colors, while you live and die in black ringmail. He will wed some beautiful princess and father sons on her. You’ll have no wife, nor will you ever hold a child of your own blood in your arms. Robb will rule, you will serve. Men will call you a crow. Him they’ll call `Your Grace’. Singers will praise every little thing he does, while your greatest deeds all go unsung. Tell me that none of this troubles you, Jon… and I’ll name you a liar, and know I have the truth of it.” Jon drew himself up, taut as a bowstring “And if it did trouble me, what might I do, bastard as I am?” “What will you do?” Mormont asked. “Bastard as you are.” “Be troubled,” said Jon, “and keep my vows.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Simon's walls were covered in what looked like pages ripped from a comic book, but when I squinted, I realized they were hand drawn. Some were black-and-white, but most were in full color, everything from character sketches to splash panels to full pages, done in a style that wasn't quite manga, wasn't quite comic book.
Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1))
I’m missing out on a pale yellow shirt today. It’s the color of nursery walls when the unborn baby’s gender is a surprise. It’s the color of my cowardly soul.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
History, of course, is never real. People either glorify it or horrify it. Or at the very least color it.
Paula Wall (The Rock Orchard)
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))
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)
The master of ceremonies asked people to say what they thought the function of the novel might be in modern society, and one critic said, “To provide touches of color in rooms with all-white walls.” Another one said, “To describe blow-jobs artistically.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
I don't know if you realize this, but there are some researchers - doctors - who are giving this kind of drug to volunteers, to see what the effects are, and they're doing it the proper scientific way, in clean white hospital rooms, away from trees and flowers and the wind, and they're surprised at how many of the experiments turn sour. They've never taken any sort of psychedelic themselves, needless to say. Their volunteers - they're called 'subjects,' of course - are given mescaline or LSD and they're all opened up to their surroundings, very sensitive to color and light and other people's emotions, and what are they given to react to? Metal bed-frames and plaster walls, and an occasional white coat carrying a clipboard. Sterility. Most of them say afterward that they'll never do it again.
Alexander Shulgin (Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story)
She stood with her nose up, sniffing delightedly. It was the delicious mildewy fragrance of old books. Hundreds of them, she saw, looking round the room. Books were lined up on shelves on all four walls, stacked on the floor, and piled on the desk, old books in leather covers mostly, although some of the ones on the floor had newer looking colored jackets.
Diana Wynne Jones (House of Many Ways (Howl's Moving Castle, #3))
Through love, tribes have been intermixing colors to reveal a new rainbow world. And as more time passes, this racial and cultural blending will make it harder for humans to side with one race, nation or religion over another.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Jace looked around uneasily at the walls hung with veils, fans, tiaras, and seed-pearl-encrusted trains. “Everything is .. .so white.” “Of course it’s white,” said Simon. “It’s a wedding.” “White for Shadowhunters is the color of funerals,” Luke explained. “But for mundanes, Jace, it’s the color of weddings. Brides wear white to symbolize their purity.” “I thought Jocelyn said her dress wasn’t white,” Simon said. “Well,” said Jace, “I suppose that ship has sailed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
To write, for a lesbian, is to learn to take down the patriarchal posters in her room. It means learning to live with bare walls for a while. It means learning how not to be afraid of the ghosts which assume the color of the bare wall.
Nicole Brossard (The Aerial Letter)
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
Wind and storm colored July. Also, in the middle, cadaverous, awful, lay the grey puddle in the courtyard, when holding an envelope in my hand, I carried a message. I came to the puddle. I could not cross it. Identity failed me. We are nothing, I said, and fell. I was blown like a feather. I was wafted down tunnels. Then very gingerly, I pushed my foot across. I laid my hand against a brick wall. I returned very painfully, drawing myself back into my body over the grey, cadaverous space of the puddle. This is life then to which I am committed.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves (Annotated))
Most officially “poor” Americans today have things that middle-class Americans of an earlier time could only dream about—including color TV, videocassette recorders, microwave ovens, and their own cars. Moreover, half of all poor households have air-conditioning. Leftist redistribution of income could never accomplish that, because there are simply not enough rich people for their wealth to have such a dramatic effect on the living standards of the poor, even if it was all confiscated and redistributed. Moreover, many attempts at redistributing wealth in various countries around the world have ended up redistributing poverty. After all, rich people can see the political handwriting on the wall, and can often take their money and leave the country, long before a government program can get started to confiscate it. They are also likely to take with them skills and entrepreneurial experience that are even harder to replace than the money.
Thomas Sowell (Controversial Essays)
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
It was dark in the alcove, so dark that Jace was only an outline of shadows and gold. His body pinned Clary's to the wall. His hands slid down along her body and reached the end of her dress, drawing it up along her legs. "What are you doing?" She whispered. "Jace?" He looked at her. The peculiar light in the club turned his eyes an array of fractured colors. His smile was wicked. "You can tell me to stop whenever you want," he said. "But you won't.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
When I pull down the wall, I turn off all the colors, I wash them away. And I need color to paint. I want to paint. I need to paint.
Amy Harmon (The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses, #1))
WITHIN THESE WALLS, he became my solace, my sanctuary, and my strength. Like a white knight, he saved me from a life of gray and showed me a world full of color.
J.L. Berg (Within These Walls (The Walls Duet, #1))
Women. No offense. But she doesn't even realize what she just said. These are her accomplishments. Challenges she's lived through. Shithead was just standing along for the ride. In the background. Like wallpaper. You can change the color of the walls anytime, and it might look different, but the room's still the same.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
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)
DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME Do not fall in love with people like me. People like me will love you so hard that you turn into stone, into a statue where people come to marvel at how long it must have taken to carve that faraway look into your eyes. Do not fall in love with people like me. We will take you to museums and parks and monuments and kiss you in every beautiful place so that you can never go back to them without tasting us like blood in your mouth. Do not come any closer. People like me are bombs. When our time is up, we will splatter loss all over your walls in angry colors that make you wish your doorway never learned our name. Do not fall in love with people like me. With the lonely ones. We will forget our own names if it means learning yours. We will make you think that hurricanes are gentle, that pain is a gift. You will get lost in the desperation, in the longing for something that is always reaching, but never able to hold. Do not fall in love with people like me. We will destroy your apartment. We will throw apologies at you that shatter on the floor and cut your feet. We will never learn how to be soft. We will leave. We always do.
Caitlyn Siehl (What We Buried)
The color scheme of the whole sanatorium seemed to be based on liver. Dark, glowering woodwork, burnt-brown leather chairs, walls that might once have been white but had succumbed under a spreading malady of mod or damp. A mottled brown linoleum sealed off the floor.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
It was an old kender proverb—Don’t change color to match the walls. Look like you belong and the walls will change color to match you.
Margaret Weis (Time of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #1))
These are her accomplishments. Challenges she's lived through. Shithead was just along for the ride. In the background. Like wallpaper. You can change the color of the walls anytime, and it might look different, but the room's still the same.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
I need to prolong this moment; it’s not often I gain the upper hand. I put on lipstick using the wall as a mirror. The color is called Flamethrower and it’s my trademark. Vicious, violent, poisonous red. Slit-wrists red. The color of the devil’s underpants,according to Dad. I have so many tubes that I always have a tube within a three-foot radius. I am black and white, but thanks to Flamethrower, I can be Technicolor. I live in terror of it being discontinued by the manufacturer, hence my hoarding.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
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)
I know every microscopic detail of his face. I know the shape of his brows for every emotion. He is the most beautiful man who ever lived, and at one time I couldn't have said with any certainty what color eyes he had. He was no more memorable that a picture hanging on the wall that I'd long gotten used to. How many times did my gaze pass right over him, not realizing he was looking back at me? Always watching. Listening. Waiting.
Sarah Hogle (You Deserve Each Other)
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)
If you can't put magnolia on a wall then there are always a million other colors you can use, if you can't pay your phone bill then just write letters telling them. I'm not playing down the importance of these things, yes you need money for food, yes you need food to survive, but you also need sleep to have energy, to smile to be happy, and to be happy so you can laugh, just so you don't keel over with a heart attack. People forget they have options. And they forget that those things really don't matter. They should concentrate on what they have and not what they don't have. And by the way, wishing and dreaming doesn't mean concentrating on what you don't have, it's positive thinking that encourages hoping and believing, not whining and moaning.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
Almost Home by Sugar Mae Cole Home isn’t always a place you picture in your mind With furniture and cookies and music playing and people laughing. Home is something you can carry around like a dream And let it grow in your heart until you’re ready for it. Losing things helps you appreciate when you find them again And finding things gives you hope that when you lose things It might not be forever. Once, long ago, a girl lost her home, but she didn’t lose her dream. She hung on to it as the wind kept trying to blow it away, But that just made it stronger. So now she has keys and walls of many colors And people around her who think she’s something.
Joan Bauer (Almost Home)
A story is a map of the world. A gloriously colored and wonderful map, the sort one often sees framed and hanging on the wall in a study full of plush chairs and stained-glass lamps: painstakingly lettered, researched down to the last pebble and participle, drawn with dash and flair, with cloud-goddesses in the corners and giant squid squirming up out of the sea...[T]here are more maps in the world than anyone can count. Every person draws a map that shows themselves at the center.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (Fairyland, #4))
Empty the theaters save for clowns and furnish the rooms with glass walls and pretty colors running up and down the walls like confetti or blood or sherry or sauterne.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wall-Paper)
The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others. No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wall-Paper)
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)
We regard the photograph, the picture on our wall, as the object itself (the man, landscape, and so on) depicted there. This need not have been so. We could easily imagine people who did not have this relation to such pictures. Who, for example, would be repelled by photographs, because a face without color and even perhaps a face in reduced proportions struck them as inhuman.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
The palace was beautiful and cold. Each room was different, displaying one rich color after another. Wide pillars and reliefs decorated each room, quartz giving way to marble, marble giving way to onyx, malachite, and granite. While the memory of Mount Olympus from her one childhood visit was hazy, she most clearly remembered the stark white walls and absence of color. The Palace of Hades was its opposite and spoke to its master's dominion over everything that lay within the earth.
Rachel Alexander (Receiver of Many (Hades & Persephone, #1))
L.A. kills people.' Jacaranda said. 'You're lucky you're leaving. You'll be able to write.' She looked paler, going through another depression, smoking in bed in her lilac room. The walls were the color of her veins. She was getting too thin, even for the modeling. . .Jacaranda died last winter when the flowering trees were bare. You couldn't even tell which ones once cried the purple blossoms she named herself after.
Francesca Lia Block (Girl Goddess #9: Nine Stories)
The moon had risen behind him, the color of a shark's underbelly. It lit the ruined walls, and the skin of his arms and hands, with its sickly light, making him long for a mirror in which to study his face. Surely he'd be able to see the bones beneath the meat; the skull gleaming the way his teeth gleamed when he smiled. After all, wasn't that what a smile said? Hello, world, this is the way I'll look when the wet parts are rotted.
Clive Barker (The Great and Secret Show (Book of the Art #1))
Somehow, impossibly, the interior of the space we’re in is coated in ice. It shines as light from above cascades down on it, reflecting and refracting, spinning different colors with every new facet of itself. There are planes and crags of it around the walls, with parts of it worked smooth, while others are ragged and shifting.", FADE by Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow (Fade (Fade, #1))
Most recently she’s been helping Bing redecorate his basement. I felt like it needed some color down there, so I painted the walls with the motherfucker
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
For on the far wall, a girl with long brown hair and tea-colored eyes was slowly rising to her feet. Imogen.
Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Shadow Throne (Ascendance, #3))
To provide touches of color in rooms with all-white walls.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I wanted to study graphic design, because I wanted to work in an office with designer desks, ergonomic chairs, pool tables, and walls so colorful it looks like a flock of flamingoes exploded and splattered evenly from floor to ceiling.
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
It was the only time the heavy panic set in, panic that she would never leave, never get to go home. She would be forgotten here, wearing the same pale clothes as everyone else, blending in with the patients and the nurses and the walls, and her family would be outside in the world and she would bleed away like a memory, like a colorful shirt washed too many times.
V.E. Schwab (Vicious (Villains, #1))
She watched the tunnels as they flowed past: bare walls of concrete, a net of pipes and wires, a web of rails that went off into black holes where green and red lights hung as distant drops of color. There was nothing else to dilute it, so that one could admire naked purpose and the ingenuity that had achieved it.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
He'd done his walls with paint from Holy Basil. God, I yearned for their colors. I hadn't been able to afford them myself but I knew their color chart like the back of my hand. His hall was done in Gangrene, his stairs in Agony and his living room--unless I was very much mistaken--in Dead Whale. Colors I personally very much approved of.
Marian Keyes (The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family, #5))
You painted armless beings, swimming in blinding color, and they had to exist like that forever. Could they see you with all those tiny, scattered eyes? Or did they only see the heaven and hell of their own shining realm, anchored to the studs in the wall by a piece of twisted wire?
Anne Rice (The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3))
With blue vinyl-tile floor, pale-green wainscoating, pink walls, a yellow ceiling, and orange-and-white stork-patterned drapes, the expectant fathers' lounge churned with the negative energy of color overload. It would have served well as the nervous-making set for a nightmare about a children's-show host who led a secret life as an ax murderer. The chain-smoking clown didn't improve the ambience.
Dean Koontz
You risked your life for me." He took my shoulders into his hands. "When are you going to learn, Dutch: No one matters but you and the baby. You keep risking your life--" He threw one hand out to indicate our surroundings. "--on things that are not the least bit important." He stepped even closer. "On people who committed suicide and crazy chicks in cemeteries and--" He stopped and dropped a heated gaze on me. His voice cracked when he said in a hushed tone, "I can't lose you." "And I can lose you?" I asked, almost screaming at him. He lowered his head and pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger. Then he admitted what was probably his greatest fear. "I don't know how to win. I don't have the faintest idea of how to kill the Twelve. And when I saw your name on that wall." His breath hitched in his chest. Then he focused his coffee-colored gaze on me. "If you die," he said with a savage vehemence in his voice, "I will go straight to hell and kill every demon there. Or I'll perish in the attempt.
Darynda Jones (Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7))
Imagine a wall that's green on one side and red on the other. You stand on one side and only see green. I stand on the other side and only see red. We'll both be right about the color we see, even though we disagree on what color the wall is. Being able to realize that the other person has a valid point, even if you disagree with it, that's maturity.
Oliver Gaspirtz
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)
If you could imagine the color of anger, it had been splashed over every wall. Rage, something dense and seething, was hanging from every chandelier, resentment woven into thick carpets padding the room, hatred flickering underneath every lampshade. The floor was bathed in a creeping shadow, a particular darkness that had seeped up into the walls.......
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
Kneeling in the keeping room where she usually went to talk-think it was clear why Baby Suggs was so starved for color. There was’t any except for two orange squares in a quilt that made the absence shout. The walls of the room were slate-colored, the floor earth-brown, the wooden dresser the color of itself, curtains white, and the dominating feature, the quilt over an iron cot, was made up of scraps of blue serge, black, brown and gray wool–the full range of the dark and the muted that thrift and modesty allowed. In that sober field, two patches of orange looked wild–like life in the raw.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Ideas in modern Russia are machine-cut blocks coming in solid colors; the nuance is outlawed, the interval walled up, the curve grossly stepped.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
Her name, he says like the Lord's taken in vain. Sometimes he says "Mexico," and the word has nothing in it at all. A wall with no colors painted on it.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna)
You know home isn’t really about what color your couch is or what you hang on the wall... Home is about knowing you are in the right place with the right people.
Jay Crownover (Salvaged (Saints of Denver, #4))
Her mother rolled an avocado back and forth on the spotless tabletop. The floor and the tabletop and the walls were all the same clean color, and everything was equally clean and unused. The avocado was, of course, fake, as all avocados were.
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale (Welcome to Night Vale, #1))
Many women are singing together of this: one is in a shoe factory cursing the machine, one is at the aquarium tending a seal, one is dull at the wheel of her Ford, one is at the toll gate collecting, one is tying the cord of a calf in Arizona, one is straddling a cello in Russia, one is shifting pots on the stove in Egypt, one is painting her bedroom walls moon color, one is dying but remembering a breakfast, one is stretching on her mat in Thailand, one is wiping the ass of her child, one is staring out the window of a train in the middle of Wyoming and one is anywhere and some are everywhere and all seem to be singing, although some can not sing a note.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
White institutions are constantly communicating how much Blackness they want. It begins with numbers. How many scholarships are being offered? How many seats are being “saved” for “neighborhood kids”? How many Black bodies must be present for us to have “good” diversity numbers? How many people of color are needed for the website, the commercials, the pamphlets? But numbers are only the beginning. Whiteness constantly polices the expressions of Blackness allowed within its walls, attempting to accrue no more than what’s necessary to affirm itself. It wants us to sing the celebratory “We Shall Overcome” during MLK Day but doesn’t want to hear the indicting lyrics of “Strange Fruit.” It wants to see a Black person seated at the table but doesn’t want to hear a dissenting viewpoint. It wants to pat itself on the back for helping poor Black folks through missions or urban projects but has no interest in learning from Black people’s wisdom, talent, and spiritual depth. Whiteness wants enough Blackness to affirm the goodness of whiteness, the progressiveness of whiteness, the openheartedness of whiteness. Whiteness likes a trickle of Blackness, but only that which can be controlled.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
All my grandfather ever wanted to do was wake up at dawn and watch my grandmother kneel and pray in a village hidden between Jaffa and Haifa my mother was born under an olive tree on a soil they say is no longer mine but I will cross their barriers, their check points their damn apartheid walls and return to my homeland I am an Arab woman of color and we come in all shades of anger
Rafeef Ziadah
She could taste her children on her tongue, the colors they wore. Jacqueline was yellow. Gunnar was blue. Gabriela had always been red. All their weight. Their history inside of her. And she remembered her mother's synesthesia and was startled as guilt crept up her throat.
Laura Gentile (Within Paravent Walls)
It is not I who mix the colors but your own vision,' he answered. 'I only place them next to one another on the wall in their natural state; it is the observer who mixes the colors in his own eye, like porridge. Therein lies the secret. The better the porridge, the better the painting, but you cannot make good porridge from bad buckwheat. Therefore, faith in seeing, listening, and reading is more important than faith in painting, singing, or writing.' He took blue and red and placed them next to each other, painting the eyes of an angel. And I saw the angel's eyes turn violet. 'I work with something like a dictionary of colors,' Nikon added, 'and from it the observer composes sentences and books, in other words, images. You could do the same with writing. Why shouldn't someone create a dictionary of words that make up one book and let the reader himself assemble the words into a whole?
Milorad Pavić (Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel)
Celaena jabbed the cue, and hit the ball with such force that it zoomed toward the back wall of the table, knocking three colored balls out of its way before it collided with the number three ball, sending it shooting straight for a hole. It stopped rolling at the edge of the pocket. A shriek of rage ripped from her throat, and Celaena ran over to the pocket. She first screamed at the ball, then took the cue in her hands and bit down upon the shaft, still screaming through her clamped teeth. Finally the assassin stopped and slapped the three ball into the pocket.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
My memories of them had rubbed thin with overuse, worn to frail color transparencies flickering on the walls of my mind: Jamie scrambling intent and surefooted up to a high branch, Peter's laugh arcing out of the trompe-l'oeil dazzle of green ahead. Through some slow sea change they had become children out of a haunting storybook, bright myths from a lost civilization; it was hard to believe they had once been real and my friends.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
The dying need but little, dear, —    A glass of water's all, A flower's unobtrusive face    To punctuate the wall, A fan, perhaps, a friend's regret,    And certainly that one No color in the rainbow    Perceives when you are gone.
Emily Dickinson (Poems by Emily Dickinson, Three Series, Complete)
dark light. [Not actually an oxymoron. It's the color past ultra-violet. The technical term for it is infrablack. It can be seen quite easily under experimental conditions. To perform the experiment simply select a healthy brick wall with a good run-up, and, lowering your head, charge. The color that flashes in bursts behind your eyes, behind the pain, just before you die, is infra-black.]
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
And it was in the midst of shouts rolling against the terrace wall in massive waves that waxed in volume and duration, while cataracts of colored fire fell thicker through the darkness, that Dr. Rieux resolved to compile this chronicle, so that he should not be one of those who hold their peace but should bear witness in favor of those plague-stricken people; so that some memorial of the injustice and outrage done them might endure; and to state quite simply what we learn in time of pestilence: that there are more things to admire in men than to despise.
Albert Camus (The Plague)
She looked up at him with a smile. The smile broke what was left of his resistance—shattered it. He had let the walls down when he'd thought she was gone, and there was no time to build them back up. Helplessly he pulled her against him. For a moment she clung to him tightly, warm and alive in his arms. Her hair brushed his cheek. The color had come back into the world; he could breathe again, and for that moment he breathed her in—she smelled of salt, blood, tears, and Tessa.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
I like the color of the Caribbean." I paused and absorbed the warmth of her smile before adding, "Dogs, not cats. Boxers, not briefs. Redheads over brunettes..." I glanced sideways at her, and she met my gaze. "I have a penchant for girls in velvet jackets... and I think you're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen." She choked in surprise, sputtered, and shook her head. "You see? This is what I mean." "What?" "Nobody talks like that. I barely know you." I was genuinely confused. Didn't girls like to hear this stuff? Besides, it was, conveniently enough, the truth. "Well, I talk like this. And you should be used to people telling you you're beautiful." "Well, I'm not," she said, and she sounded like she was getting irritated with me again. The feeling was mutual. I leaned against the wall and pulled up one knee. "Okay. I take it back. You are completely average. Dull, dull, dull. Unremarkable in every way.
Anne Greenwood Brown (Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath, #1))
I thought. I thought of the slow yellow autumn in the swamp and the high honey sun of spring and the eternal silence of the marshes, and the shivering light on them, and the whisper of the spartina and sweet grass in the wind and the little liquid splashes of who-knew-what secret creatures entering that strange old place of blood-warm half earth, half water. I thought of the song of all the birds that I knew, and the soft singsong of the coffee-skinned women who sold their coiled sweet-grass baskets in the market and on Meeting Street. I thought of the glittering sun on the morning harbor and the spicy, somehow oriental smells from the dark old shops, and the rioting flowers everywhere, heavy tropical and exotic. I thought of the clop of horses' feet on cobblestones and the soft, sulking, wallowing surf of Sullivan's Island in August, and the countless small vistas of grace and charm wherever the eye fell; a garden door, a peeling old wall, an entire symmetrical world caught in a windowpane. Charlestone simply could not manage to offend the eye. I thought of the candy colors of the old houses in the sunset, and the dark secret churchyards with their tumbled stones, and the puresweet bells of Saint Michael's in the Sunday morning stillness. I thought of my tottering piles of books in the study at Belleau and the nights before the fire when my father told me of stars and butterflies and voyages, and the silver music of mathematics. I thought of hot, milky sweet coffee in the mornings, and the old kitchen around me, and Aurelia's gold smile and quick hands and eyes rich with love for me.
Anne Rivers Siddons (Colony)
At lunch break [from cheesemaking] I checked out the wildly colorful powder room, where a quote from Alice in Wonderland was painted on the wall: There's no use in trying,' Alice said. 'One can't believe impossible things.' I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Barbara Kingsolver
Here is something I have learned the hard way, but which a lot of well-meaning people in the West have a hard time accepting: All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not. A culture that celebrates femininity and considers women to be the masters of their own lives is better than a culture that mutilates girls’ genitals and confines them behind walls and veils or flogs or stones them for falling in love. A culture that protects women’s rights by law is better than a culture in which a man can lawfully have four wives at once and women are denied alimony and half their inheritance. A culture that appoints women to its supreme court is better than a culture that declares that the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. It is part of Muslim culture to oppress women and part of all tribal cultures to institutionalize patronage, nepotism, and corruption. The culture of the Western Enlightenment is better. In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn’t translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance, and abuse. Many people genuinely feel pain at the thought of the death of whole cultures. I see this all the time. They ask, “Is there nothing beautiful in these cultures? Is there nothing beautiful in Islam?” There is beautiful architecture, yes, and encouragement of charity, yes, but Islam is built on sexual inequality and on the surrender of individual responsibility and choice. This is not just ugly; it is monstrous.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations)
The city lies at the galaxy's dust-stranded edge, enfolding a moon that used to be a world, or a world that used to be a moon; no one is certain anymore. In the mornings its skies are radiant with clouds like the plumage of a bird ever-rising, and in the evenings the stars scatter light across skies stitched and unstitched by the comings and goings of fire-winged starships. Its walls are made of metal the color of undyed silk, and its streets bloom with aleatory lights, small solemn symphonies, the occasional duel.
Yoon Ha Lee (Conservation of Shadows)
But I need you to know that I’m all in with you. I’m giving you all of myself. I know I can be a real asshole, and I guarantee you that I’m going to fuck things up along the way. Possibly in the next five minutes…” he says, smiling as his fingers brush against her cheek. “And I know I’ll probably drive you up the fucking wall with how protective I get over this baby and just mess all kinds of shit up so I wanna apologize in advance.
Madeleine Beckett (Color of Forgiveness (Color, #2))
Time can vanish in exploring these places, like wandering through an art gallery of unexpected forms and colors. Sometimes, I look up from my microscope at the end of an hour, and I’m taken aback at the plainness of the ordinary world, the drab and predictable shapes.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses)
The women here are so white,” Rin marveled. “Like the girls in wall paintings.” The skin tones she observed from the caravan had moved up the color gradient the farther north they drove. She knew that the people of the northern provinces were industrialists and businessmen. They were citizens of class and means; they didn’t labor in the fields like Tikany’s farmers did. But she hadn’t expected the differences to be this pronounced. “They’re pale as their corpses will be,” Tutor Feyrik said dismissively. “They’re terrified of the sun.
R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1))
Those mountains are my mind’s wall and wellspring. Down here, the light is peach colored, and as the sun shifts, one loose shadow, like thought, takes on a sharp edge.
Gretel Ehrlich
The bleached ceilings, walls, and floors gleam in perfection. Drained of color, wiped of contamination, forever untainted they exist; a cold reminder of my purity.
Celeste Simone (Oriana's Eyes (Great Oak Trilogy, #1))
The master of ceremonies asked people to say what they thought the function of the novel might be in modern society, and one critic said, 'To provide touches of color in rooms with all white walls.' Another one said, 'to describe blow-jobs artistically.' Another one said, 'to teach wives of junior executives what to buy next and how to act in a French restaurant.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
There’s enough thermex inside Kaiser to level a house. So unless you’d like your nice, glowy walls decorated in a lovely new color called blood and brains, I suggest you let me up. Now.
Jay Kristoff (LIFEL1K3)
mountains. They stand at every view, like a mother offering a blanket in which to wrap everyday life and shelter it from useless. dreads. In june they are walls of white rhodendron blossom. In autumn the forests set themselves afflame with color. Even winter has its icy charms.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna)
The sky is the color of gray flannel, the darkness broken only by the dormer window of another early riser. The woman who lives in that attic painted her walls yellow, and the reflected light bounces out like a spring crocus. If light were sound, her window would be playing a concerto.
Eloisa James (Paris in Love)
It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls. The paint and paper look as if a boys' school had used it. It is stripped off--the paper--in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide--plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions. The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others. No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories)
The garden was the most beautiful place Margherita had ever seen. In spring, it was a sea of delicate blossom. In summer, it was green and fruitful. In autumn, the trees blazed gold and red and orange, as vivid as Margherita's hair. Even in winter, it was beautiful, with bare branches against the old stone walls and green hedges in curves and curlicues about beds of winter-flowering herbs and flowers.
Kate Forsyth (Bitter Greens)
I know a girl She puts the color inside of my world But she's just like a maze Where all of the walls all continually change And I've done all I can To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands Now I'm starting to see Maybe it's got nothing to do with me Fathers, be good to your daughters Daughters will love like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothers So mothers, be good to your daughters too
John Mayer
I was pressed to the wall and held there by his body. “Searchin’,” he whispered, his different colored eyes burning into mine. “My whole life, searchin’ for something, missing something, something I did not know. Until I found you. And my whole life is a long fuckin’ life to be needing something I could not find.
Kristen Ashley (Wild and Free (The Three, #3))
Words present us with little pictures, clear and familiar, like those that are hung on the walls of schools to give children an example of what a workbench is, a bird, an anthill, things conceived of as similar to all others of the same sort. But names present a confused image of people--and of towns, which they accustom us to believe are individual, unique like people--an image which derives from them, from the brightness or darkness of their tone, the color with which it is painted uniformly, like one of those posters, entirely blue or entirely red, in which, because of the limitations of the process used or by a whim of the designer, not only the sky and the sea are blue or red, but the boats, the church, the people in the streets.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
The entrance hall was designed to impress. The floor was a buttery cream-colored marble and the walls were paneled in dark wood. I'm not a lumberjack, so I had no idea what kind of wood it was, but it looked expensive.
Eileen Cook (Unraveling Isobel)
Taking architecture seriously therefore makes some singular strenuous demands upon us. It requires that we open ourselves to the idea that we are affected by our surroundings even when they are made of vinyl and would be expensive and time-consuming to ameliorate. It means conceding that we are inconveniently vulnerable to the color of our wallpaper and that our sense of purpose may be derailed by an unfortunate bedspread. At the same time, it means acknowledging that buildings are able to solve no more than a fraction of our dissatisfactions or prevent evil from unfolding under their watch. Architecture, even at its most accomplished, will only ever constitute a small, and imperfect (expensive, prone to destruction, and morally unreliable), protest against the state of things. More awkwardly still, architecture asks us to imagine that happiness might often have an unostentatious, unheroic character to it, that it might be found in a run of old floorboards or in a wash of morning light over a plaster wall—in undramatic, frangible scenes of beauty that move us because we are aware of the darker backdrop against which they are set.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
I am not better than you because of my religion, color, culture, education, status, wealth, etc. I am not, and neither are you, I must accept, and so should you, that there are differences between us that we were born into. Why do we focus on these differences? Put your hand in mine and let us accept that our differences should not come in the way of us uniting for the basic human values that we share: compassion, peacefulness, respect, honesty, innocence, humbleness and sympathy. Does a baby born here smile differently from a baby born anywhere in the world? Do they cry any differently? We may not speak the same language and we may not live the same lifestyle, but a smile I put on my face when I see you puts a smile on your face before you can even think of it. Now, THAT is powerful. I hope that every sense of arrogance or greed in my heart is deviated to a sense of humility, so the wall of ignorance to the real issues in the world can be shattered by the common rights that I share with all of my brothers and sisters in humanity.
Najwa Zebian (Mind Platter)
Earlier today Brigid visited her favorite shop, Knit One Purl Too. She was running out of the fabulous purple Shibui yarn she’d bought last time. The minute she walked in the door and saw all the colorful skeins of yarn bundled along the walls, almost up to the ceiling, she felt her spirits lift. So much color, so much texture—such unlimited possibilities!
Shari Lapena (A Stranger in the House)
During that war we had a word for extreme man-made disorder which was fubar, an acronym for 'fucked up beyond all recognition.' Well - the whole planet is now fubar with postwar miracles, but, back in the early 1960s, I was one of the first persons to be totally wrecked by one - an acrylic wall-paint whose colors, according to advertisements of the day, would '... outlive the smile on the "Mona Lisa".' The name of the paint was Sateen Dura-Luxe. Mona Lisa is still smiling.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
XXXVII. The dying need but little, dear, —    A glass of water's all, A flower's unobtrusive face    To punctuate the wall, A fan, perhaps, a friend's regret,    And certainly that one No color in the rainbow    Perceives when you are gone.
Emily Dickinson (Poems by Emily Dickinson, Three Series, Complete)
It turns out that playing it safe, at least in matters of the heart, is the most dangerous thing you can do. By that route, you become a butterfly pinned to the wall, with wonderful colors and all kinds of potential but going nowhere. Your wings are clipped. To really fly you must claim the courage to live out of your real self, the one God called into being.
Paula Rinehart (Strong Women, Soft Hearts)
Cordelia," said Matthew. He looked slightly stunned, as if he'd walked into a wall. "You look different." "Different?" Anna scoffed. "She looks stunning." James hadn't moved. He was looking at Cordelia, and his eyes had darkened, from the color of a tiger's eyes to something richer and deeper. Something like the gold of Cortana when it flashed in the air. Cordelia could feel her heart beating in her throat, a sharp pulse, as if she had drunk too much of her mother's strong tea.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
There were books everywhere. Hundreds of books. Thousands of books. There were books of every size, shape, and color. They lined the walls from floor to ceiling, standing straight and rigid as soldiers on the polished mahogany shelves, the gilt lettering on their worn spines glinting in the soft light, the scent of supple leather and aging paper filling the air.
Ellery Adams (Murder in the Mystery Suite (Book Retreat Mysteries, #1))
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))
She had been struck by the figure of a woman's back in a mirror. She stopped and looked. The dress the figure wore was the color called ashes of roses, and Ada stood, held in place by a sharp stitch of envy or th woman's dress and the fine shape of her back and her thick dark hair and the sense of assurance she seemed to evidence in her very posture. Then Ada took a step forward, and the other woman did too, and Ada realized that it was herself she was admiring, the mirror having caught the reflection of an opposite mirror on the wall behind her. The light of the lamps and the tint of the mirrors had conspired to shift colors, bleaching mauve to rose. She climbed the steps to her room and prepared for bed, but she slept poorly that night, for the music went on until dawn. As she lay awake she thought how odd it had felt to win her own endorsement.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
It was white. White and gold. It was livery. I told myself it meant nothing. It was just a color. But I was wrong. That color meant everything. It was a command to the Queen’s ladies that they shouldn’t greet me or acknowledge that I’d entered a room. It was an indelible line drawn between me and the other Grisha. It was a signal to the King that he could follow me into my chambers and press me up against the wall, that I was available for his use. That there was no point to crying out.
Leigh Bardugo (The Tailor (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1.5))
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such." "You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness." "Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?” “Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.” “Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
The noise from the party raging downstairs seeped into my quiet space. I palmed my blue and red bouncy ball as I lay on my bed facing the wall. I threw it in the air a few times to watch the colors blur together before bouncing it off the wall above my headboard.
Aileen Erin (Becoming Alpha (Alpha Girl, #1))
I know I overthink too much, like my mind is the sky and it explodes and rains stardust. I know I can be insecure, like I am always staring in the mirror and seeing another. But I will love you wholly. I will think of you often. I will make you feel like the sun, never ever forgotten. She said her favorite color was purple, and now I haven’t seen purple the same since. I see lavender and think of her, I see her bedroom walls and dream of her, I wear purple t-shirts to feel her around me, I write love letters in purple crayon, because she makes my heart wild and carefree. I know life doesn’t play out like the movies. But I want a happy ending with you.
Courtney Peppernell (Mending the Mind (Pillow Thoughts, #3))
There were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-colored toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolate in neat rows; there was a large barrel of Every Flavor Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizbees, the levitating sherbert balls that Ron had mentioned; along yet another wall were "Special Effects" sweets: Droobles Best Blowing Gum (which filled a room with bluebell-colored bubbles that refused to pop for days), the strange, splinter Toothflossing Stringmints, tiny black Pepper Imps ("breathe fire for your friends!"), Ice Mice ("hear your teeth chatter and squeak!"), peppermint creams shaped like toads ("hop realistically in the stomach!"), fragile sugar-spun quills, and exploding bonbons.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Picture whiteness as a neutral backdrop, a white wall. It is easier to paint a white wall light blue than it is to paint a dark green wall light blue. The dominant media is filled with images of many types of white people; white people, for the most part, have the freedom to be anything they like. People of color need to scrub away the dark green—racial stereotypes and expectations—before determining whether we are really ace.
Angela Chen (Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex)
All of us in combat were inextricably dependent on each other for our very lives. We were not only fighting for our country, we were fighting for each other. • I know that part of what I was fighting for was the freedom we all cherish so dearly, including freedom of speech, but this is different. Having the right to free speech does not mean you have a right to your own facts or your own truth. Having free speech is not a free pass to spew hatred or to abandon civil discourse. • The commitment and sacrifice of military members extends beyond combat. The sacrifices are real and exist twenty-four/seven regardless if we are in peacetime or war. • In some way, we are like Plato’s prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn our heads. We only see shadows on the cave wall. We are oblivious to the larger, more colorful and more desirable world outside of the cave. • I think where religion may go astray is when leaders and followers of a specific religious doctrine or tradition mistake the vehicle of religion for truth itself.
Ron Garan (Floating in Darkness - A Journey of Evolution)
The differences which exist between every one of our real impressions -- differences which explain why a uniform depiction of life cannot bear much resemblance to the reality -- derive probably from the following cause: the slightest word that we have said, the most insignificant action that we have performed at anyone epoch of our life was surrounded by, and colored by the reflection of things which logically had no connection with it and which later have been separated from it by our intellect which could make nothing of it for its own rational purposes, things, however, in the midst of which -- here the pink reflection of the evening upon the flower-covered wall of a country restaurant, a feeling of hunger, the desire for women, the pleasure of luxury; here the blue volutes of the morning sea and, enveloped in them, phrases of music half emerging like the shoulders of water-nymphs -- the simplest act or gesture remains immured as within a thousand vessels, each one of them filled with things of a color, a scent, a temperature that are absolutely different one from another, vessels, moreover, which being disposed over the whole range of our years, during which we have never ceased to change if only in our dreams and our thoughts, are situated at the most various moral altitudes and give us the sensation of extraordinarily diverse atmospheres.
Marcel Proust
We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea. The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. ...
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Jesus, Mary …” She said it out loud, the words distributed into a room that was full of cold air and books. Books everywhere! Each wall was armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see the paintwork. There were all different styles and sizes of lettering on the spines of the black, the red, the gray, the every-colored books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen. With wonder, she smiled. That such a room existed! Even when she tried to wipe the smile away with her forearm, she realized instantly that it was a pointless exercise. She could feel the eyes of the woman traveling her body, and when she looked at her, they had rested on her face. There was more silence than she ever thought possible. It extended like an elastic, dying to break. The girl broke it. “Can I?” The two words stood among acres and acres of vacant, wooden-floored land. The books were miles away. The woman nodded. Yes, you can
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
The Idea of Order at Key West She sang beyond the genius of the sea. The water never formed to mind or voice, Like a body wholly body, fluttering Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry, That was not ours although we understood, Inhuman, of the veritable ocean. The sea was not a mask. No more was she. The song and water were not medleyed sound Even if what she sang was what she heard, Since what she sang was uttered word by word. It may be that in all her phrases stirred The grinding water and the gasping wind; But it was she and not the sea we heard. For she was the maker of the song she sang. The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea Was merely a place by which she walked to sing. Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew It was the spirit that we sought and knew That we should ask this often as she sang. If it was only the dark voice of the sea That rose, or even colored by many waves; If it was only the outer voice of sky And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled, However clear, it would have been deep air, The heaving speech of air, a summer sound Repeated in a summer without end And sound alone. But it was more than that, More even than her voice, and ours, among The meaningless plungings of water and the wind, Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres Of sky and sea. It was her voice that made The sky acutest at its vanishing. She measured to the hour its solitude. She was the single artificer of the world In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea, Whatever self it had, became the self That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we, As we beheld her striding there alone, Knew that there never was a world for her Except the one she sang and, singing, made. Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know, Why, when the singing ended and we turned Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights, The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there, As the night descended, tilting in the air, Mastered the night and portioned out the sea, Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles, Arranging, deepening, enchanting night. Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon, The maker's rage to order words of the sea, Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred, And of ourselves and of our origins, In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds
Wallace Stevens
Before she knew it the afternoon was done, and the trainees were taking their new mounts to the stables for grooming. Daine, Onua, Buri, and Sarge helped then too, though Daine couldn't see how she could ever be comfortable telling a twenty-year-old man he was missing spots on the pony he was grooming. She did try it: "Excuse me, trainee what did you say your name was?" Blue gray eyes twinkled at her over his cream-colored mare's back. "I didn't. It's Farant. " His blond hair curled thickly over his head, almost matching the pony's in color. "Thank you. Trainee Farant, you're missing spots. " "Not at all, sweetheart. I'm just combing too fast for you to see. " "Trainee Farant, you're missing spots!" Sarge boomed just behind Daine. She thought later she actually might have levitated at that moment certainly Farant had. Next time the assistant horsemistress tells you something, don't flirt correct it!" He moved on, and Daine pressed her hands against her burning cheeks. Farant leaned on his mare and sighed. "Yes, Assistant Horsemistress. Right away. " He winked at her and went back to work. Daine went to Sarge as the trainees were finishing up. "Sarge, I-" He shook his head. Daine thought if he leaned against the stable wall any harder, it would collapse. How did a human, without bear blood in him, get to be so large? "Not your fault. These city boys see you, you're young, sweet-lookin'",he winked at her,"they're gonna try to take advantage. If they can't keep their minds on the job after I've had them two weeks already in my patty-paws, then I ain't been doing my job right. " His grin was wolfish. "But that can be fixed. " Seeing her open mouthed stare, he asked, "Something the matter, my lamb?" She closed her jaw. "No, sir. I just never met nobody like you. " "And if you're lucky, you won't again, " muttered Buri, passing by.
Tamora Pierce (Wild Magic (Immortals, #1))
In my yellow room, Sunflowers with purple eyes stands out on a yellow background. They bath their stems in a yellow pot, on a yellow table. In a corner of the painting, the signature of the painter: Vincent. And the yellow sun that passes through the yellow curtains of my room floods all this fluorescence with gold. And in the morning upon awakening, from my bed, I imagin that all this smells very good. Oh yes! He loved yellow, this good Vincent, this painter from holland. Those glimmers of sunlight rekindled his soul That abhorred the fog, that needed the warmth. When two of us were together in arles, both of us mad and at constant war over the beauty of color, me, i loved the color red, Where to find a perfect vermilion? He traced with his most yellow brush on the wall, Suddenly turned violet. Je suis saint esprit Je suis sain d'espri. Paul gauguin, 1894.
Paul Gauguin
The last clear thought I have is of my grandmother’s rust-colored wall clock ticking away in the darkness of my apartment—my sanctuary where I dreamed and desired and hoped for goodness and love. I wonder how long that clock will tick without anyone around to hear it. I wonder if maybe I should have taken my grandmother’s silverware or jewelry instead. I wonder – if I knew then what I know now – if I still would have approached Jade that first night and invited her into my life, only to watch as she took it from me and fed it to some Godless thing, as my mother had called it. Would I still have given myself over to her, knowing it would end the same way, with the barbaric flicker of hope that this time she could love me?
J. Tonzelli (The End of Summer: Thirteen Tales of Halloween)
The master of ceremonies asked people to say what they thought the function of the novel might be in modern society, and one critic said, "To provide touches of color in rooms with all-white walls." Another one said, "To describe blow-jobs artistically." Another one said, "To teach wives of junior executives what to buy next and how to act in a French restaurant.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me. But in the main, I feel like a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall In company with other bags, white, red and yellow. Pour out the contents, and there is discovered a jumble of small, things priceless and worthless. A first water diamond, an empty spool bits of broken glass, lengths of string, a key to a door long since crumbled away, a rusty knife-blade, old shoes saved for a road that never was and never will be, a nail bent under the weight of things too heavy for any nail, a dried flower or two still a little fragrant. in your hand is the brown bag. On the ground before you is the jumble it held so much like the jumble in the bags could they be emptied that all might be dumped in a single heap and the bags refilled without altering the content of any greatly. A bit of colored glass more or less would not matter. Perhaps that is how the Great Stuffer of Bags filled them in the first place, who knows?
Zora Neale Hurston (How It Feels to Be Colored Me)
I pressed forward, pushing my body along hers, and wrapped my arms around her waist. Some of the intensity of my anger dissipated and drained away. After a very long, steamy kiss, I broke away, breathing hard. Rimmel's head collapsed against the wall and she stared up at me with unfocused hazel eyes. The flecks of color in the center were green today. "Romeo," she gasped. I pulled back enough so I could lift her arm and grasp her fingers. She made a sound of protest when I pushed back the material of the shirt once more and stared down at the dark blotches marring her skin. "How were you going to explain this to me?" I rumbled. "I wasn't going to lie, it that's what you're implying," she snapped. "Ah, baby." I groaned and lifted her wrist to press my lips to the marks. "I'm being a jerk." "You said it…" She agreed, letting the rest of her sentence fall away. I smiled against her skin and then kissed her inner wrist once more.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
Or maybe I just wasn't looking. I hadn't known that a light could be a feeling and a sound could be a color and a kiss could be both a question and an answer. And that heaven could be the ocean or a person or this moment or something else entirely. But today, heaven was a wood-floored room with blue walls and a messy desk and Decker not letting go. He was still holding onto me.
Megan Miranda (Fracture (Fracture, #1))
What filled the rooms of Grete's cottage so decidedly were woven baskets and wooden boxes and clay pots glazed in red and blue, each with its own mishmash of this and that. Roots and leaves still redolent of dirt. Balls of scratchy wool-purple twining into pink easing into periwinkle fading into gray. At least three boxes held squares and strips of fabric, all colors, and eight pots overflowed with apples. The walls were lined with shelves, the shelves were lined with books. Wordless spines peered out. As soon as Isabelle saw them, she itched to open it up and read it from cover to cover.
Frances O'Roark Dowell (Falling In)
[High angel] Carter's fucked-up sense of humor in action.' [The angel] Lucinda flushed deep crimson. 'How can you use such language so carelessly? You sound like you're… like you're in a locker room!" I smoothed down my tank top. 'No way. I'd never wear this in a locker room.' 'Yeah, it isn't even in school colors,' said Peter. I couldn't resist toying with the guardian. 'If i were in a locker room, i'd probably have on a short cheerleader skirt. And no underwear.' Peter continued playing off me. 'And you'd do that one cheer, right? The one with your hands splayed against the shower wall and ass sticking out?' 'That's me,' i agreed. 'Always ready to take one for the team.' Even Cody[, the other vampire] flushed at our crassness. Lucinda was practically purple. 'You–you two have no sense of decency! None at all.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
She falls back like a dead weight. The red hair loosens from the hair band and spreads in the colorful surface of the pillows, her white body is in sharp contrast, the gleam in her bloodshot eyes becomes intense and shines. My aunt, lying like this, looks like a goddess in an orgasm, only that, inside, she is suffering. I close my eyes and breathe deeply. The same is happening to us, we're really disappearing. I think of the matter of our bodies, changeable, disappearing in the particles of the air while we breathe. In this room, everywhere, we are printed on the walls, in the air that settles on things. I breathe and look at her. I'm stuck in her.
Pat R (Os Homens Nunca Saberão Nada Disto)
…and do you know what?” “What?” “People don’t talk about anything.” “Oh, they must!” “No, not anything. They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else. And most of the time in the caves they have the joke boxes on and the same jokes most of the time, or the musical wall lit and all the colored patterns running up and down, but it’s only color and all abstract. And at the museums, have you ever been? All abstract. That’s all there is now. My uncle says it was different once. A long time back sometimes pictures said things or even showed people.
Ray Bradbury
But my parents understood that the world that they made within the walls of our house was what constituted home. So I grew up in spaces framed by art and color, filled with candlelight, marked by beauty. I grew up within a rhythm of time made sacred by family devotions in the morning and long conversations in the evening. I grew up with the sense of our daily life as a feast and delight; a soup-and-bread dinner by the fire, Celtic music lilting in the shadows, and the laughter of my siblings gave me a sense of the blessedness of love, of God's life made tangible in the food and touch and air of our home. It was a fight for my parents, I know. Every day was a battle to bring order to mess, peace to stressful situations, beauty to the chaos wrought by four young children. But that's the reality of incarnation as it invades a fallen world....What my parents-bless them-knew...is that to make a home right in the midst of the fallen world is to craft out a space of human flesh and existence in which eternity rises up in time, in which the kingdom comes, in which we may taste and see the goodness of God.
Sally Clarkson (The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming)
Standing in the courtyard with a glass eye; only half the world is intelligible. The stones are wet and mossy and in the crevices are black toads. A big door bars the entrance to the cellar; the steps are slippery and soiled with bat dung. The door bulges and sags, the hinges are falling off, but there is an enameled sign on it, in perfect condition, which says: “Be sure to close the door.” Why close the door? I can’t make it out. I look again at the sign but it is removed; in it’s place there is a pane of colored glass. I take out my artificial eye, spit on it and polish it with my handkerchief. A woman is sitting on a dais above an immense carven desk; she has a snake around her neck. The entire room is lined with books and strange fish swimming in colored globes; there are maps and charts on the wall, maps of Paris before the plague, maps of the antique world, of Knossos and Carthage, of Carthage before and after the salting. In the corner of the room I see an iron bedstead and on it a corpse is lying; the woman gets up wearily, removes the corpse from the bed and absent mindedly throws it out the window. She returns to the huge carven desk, takes a goldfish from the bowl and swallows it. Slowly the room begins to revolve and one by one the continents slide into the sea; only the woman is left, but her body is a mass of geography. I lean out the window and the Eiffle Tower is fizzing champagne; it is built entirely of numbers and shrouded in black lace. The sewers are gurgling furiously. There are nothing but roofs everywhere, laid out with execrable geometric cunning.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
For the first time in her life, Alba wanted to be beautiful. She regretted that the splendid women in her family had not bequeathed their attributes to her, that the only one who had, Rosa the Beautiful, had given her only the algae tones in her hair, which seemed more like a hairdresser's mistake then anything else. Miguel understood the source of her anxiety. He led her by the hand to the huge Venetian mirror that adorned one wall of their secret room, shook the dust from the cracked glass, and lit all the candles they had and arranged them around her. She stared at herself in the thousand pieces of the mirror. In the candlelight her skin was the unreal color of wax statues. Miguel began to caress her and she saw her face transformed in the kaleidoscope of the mirror, and she finally believed that she was the most beautiful woman in the universe because she was able to see herself with Miguel's eyes.
Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits)
Blast it! Where is that letter?" Sophia pulled it from her pocket. "I have it here." Sir Reginald's voice lifted with amazament. "You took that from me? When we were-" "Yes," she said, her color high. "I thought you'd sold my jewelry and that the envelope contained the payment. I wanted proof,so I took it." "By kissing me?" Outside, lightning cracked. "You kissed him?" Dougal demanded. "Only once." "Actually, it was twice," Sir Reginald said softly. Dougal punched him, sending the dandy flying into the wall, where he slid to the floor. "B'God, that's a nice one!" Red cried. "MacLean, I'd like to see you in a real mill." "Aye," the earl agreed. "He's got a good solid left." "What do you know about boxing? Red asked rudely. "I've seen every large match for the last-" Thunder crashed as lightning sent shards of light flashing into the great hall. "That's enough," Dougal said firmly, noting Sophia's pale face.
Karen Hawkins (To Catch a Highlander (MacLean Curse, #3))
The Sleeping I have imagined all this: In 1940 my parents were in love And living in the loft on West 10th Above Mark Rothko who painted cabbage roses On their bedroom walls the night they got married. I can guess why he did it. My mother’s hair was the color of yellow apples And she wore a velvet hat with her pajamas. I was not born yet. I was remote as starlight. It is hard for me to imagine that My parents made love in a roomful of roses And I wasn’t there. But now I am. My mother is blushing. This is the wonderful thing about art. It can bring back the dead. It can wake the sleeping As it might have late that night When my father and mother made love above Rothko Who lay in the dark thinking Roses, Roses, Roses.
Lynn Emanuel (Hotel Fiesta)
My mom was sitting at the kitchen table. She’d set her coffee down, making a noise that made me look her way. I’d begun to notice her less and less often, like her colors were fading and blending in with walls. She was shrinking. Or maybe her sphere of influence in the family was shrinking. My dad glanced at her, too, and then wrote something on a napkin. He slid it across the counter to me—Don’t worry. Come home in one piece. Have fun and act like a sixteen-year-old for a change.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Glass Girl (Glass Girl, #1))
12.  If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way. [This extremely concise expression is intelligibly paraphrased by Chia Lin: “even though we have constructed neither wall nor ditch.” Li Ch’uan says: “we puzzle him by strange and unusual dispositions;” and Tu Mu finally clinches the meaning by three illustrative anecdotes—one of Chu-ko Liang, who when occupying Yang-p’ing and about to be attacked by Ssu-ma I, suddenly struck his colors, stopped the beating of the drums, and flung open the city gates, showing only a few men engaged in sweeping and sprinkling the ground. This unexpected proceeding had the intended effect; for Ssu-ma I, suspecting an ambush, actually drew off his army and retreated. What Sun Tzu is advocating here, therefore, is nothing more nor less than the timely use of “bluff.”]
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Los Angeles didn't get like this often. He hated it when it did. And this time it was holding on. It had been brutal at the cemetery three weeks ago. His father's nine widows had looked ready to drop. The savage light had leached the color from the flowers. The savage heat had got at the mound of earth from the grave even under its staring green blanket of fake grass. He'd stayed to watch the workmen fill the grave. The earth was dry. Even the sharp walls of the grave were dry. What the hell was he doing remembering that?
Joseph Hansen (Skinflick)
Moths fly toward burning bulbs not because they’re drunk with love or exhausted from flight, wanting to wait out the pain in their wings, as if waiting was something warm they could wrap themselves around. They fly and die simply because they cannot see what we see. Instead they see stars off in the distance, the same stars we long ago used to navigate the darkness we still know nothing about. It’s hard to imagine what we once needed to know to know where we were. Without depth, with color, the moths look to the light until it calls to them. We are good at thinking we can stay. We are good at finding hurt. I live in a mapped city that keeps expanding like regret. When I look out the window I see a house so close I can hear a toilet flush. At night we take black lights and hunt scorpions stuck to our stucco walls. I walk around darkening rooms not in use, but I cannot stop the sun or streetlights from shining in. We are all aglow. I don’t want to think about the sun burning out or the billion small deaths I continue to cause. Even in the desert, a place whose name I learned to spell by the sweet treat of its opposite, the extra s demanding more, even after all these years of genetics, of rock slides, of canyons cut deep and persistent as a heart, moths spin in circles toward their stars.
Josh Rathkamp
School is a terrible place, I have decided. There is nothing good about it except for math class. Everything else is a total waste of time. As I mentioned before I have done a lot of reading about prisons, and I notice that they always describe them as painted in very dull colors, and my school is also painted in these kinds of colors, with greenish lockers and brownish walls and grayish floors. Actually they recently fixed up one wing of the school, and now that part of the school is just the opposite—all the colors are really bright, with bright red and yellow lockers and blue doors and shiny white floors that are already all scuffed up. It's funny because I thought the other colors were terrible but these are much worse, because they make it seem like it's normal to be happy there when it isn't.
Dara Horn (The World to Come)
I say is someone in there?’ The voice is the young post-New formalist from Pittsburgh who affects Continental and wears an ascot that won’t stay tight, with that hesitant knocking of when you know perfectly well someone’s in there, the bathroom door composed of thirty-six that’s three times a lengthwise twelve recessed two-bevelled squares in a warped rectangle of steam-softened wood, not quite white, the bottom outside corner right here raw wood and mangled from hitting the cabinets’ bottom drawer’s wicked metal knob, through the door and offset ‘Red’ and glowering actors and calendar and very crowded scene and pubic spirals of pale blue smoke from the elephant-colored rubble of ash and little blackened chunks in the foil funnel’s cone, the smoke’s baby-blanket blue that’s sent her sliding down along the wall past knotted washcloth, towel rack, blood-flower wallpaper and intricately grimed electrical outlet, the light sharp bitter tint of a heated sky’s blue that’s left her uprightly fetal with chin on knees in yet another North American bathroom, deveiled, too pretty for words, maybe the Prettiest Girl Of All Time (Prettiest G.O.A.T.), knees to chest, slew-footed by the radiant chill of the claw-footed tub’s porcelain, Molly’s had somebody lacquer the tub in blue, lacquer, she’s holding the bottle, recalling vividly its slogan for the past generation was The Choice of a Nude Generation, when she was of back-pocket height and prettier by far than any of the peach-colored titans they’d gazed up at, his hand in her lap her hand in the box and rooting down past candy for the Prize, more fun way too much fun inside her veil on the counter above her, the stuff in the funnel exhausted though it’s still smoking thinly, its graph reaching its highest spiked prick, peak, the arrow’s best descent, so good she can’t stand it and reaches out for the cold tub’s rim’s cold edge to pull herself up as the white- party-noise reaches, for her, the sort of stereophonic precipice of volume to teeter on just before the speaker’s blow, people barely twitching and conversations strettoing against a ghastly old pre-Carter thing saying ‘We’ve Only Just Begun,’ Joelle’s limbs have been removed to a distance where their acknowledgement of her commands seems like magic, both clogs simply gone, nowhere in sight, and socks oddly wet, pulls her face up to face the unclean medicine-cabinet mirror, twin roses of flame still hanging in the glass’s corner, hair of the flame she’s eaten now trailing like the legs of wasps through the air of the glass she uses to locate the de-faced veil and what’s inside it, loading up the cone again, the ashes from the last load make the world's best filter: this is a fact. Breathes in and out like a savvy diver… –and is knelt vomiting over the lip of the cool blue tub, gouges on the tub’s lip revealing sandy white gritty stuff below the lacquer and porcelain, vomiting muddy juice and blue smoke and dots of mercuric red into the claw-footed trough, and can hear again and seems to see, against the fire of her closed lids’ blood, bladed vessels aloft in the night to monitor flow, searchlit helicopters, fat fingers of blue light from one sky, searching.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
I lean back into your body - memory is a shade of the color blue. Painted the walls white, the clocks went back an hour and who knew you'd be the one? I am okay with chopsticks, you know how to please just about any man. Your cheeks a hot air balloon lifting up into the sky, a kind of yellow vibrant, tastes like the milkshakes in Pulp Fiction. The McDonald's lobby is now open 24 hours in case you really want a big mac or some french fries and do not have a car. It might make you fat but it might be worth it. The ones who will love you regardless.
Eric Shaw
Okay, what in Hades just happened? Stones don’t glow blue or any other color and they certainly don’t burn circles on you.” The stone wasn’t talking. Alexandra considered herself well grounded, yet here she stood, talking to a stone that glowed, burned circles, and refused to answer. A thread of sensation pricked at the edges of her mind, then grew stronger. It mirrored an idea then became clear. Tell no one. What? Looking from side to side, she backed against the wall. Although it felt like someone whispered in her ear, she stood there alone. The day’s trauma must have pushed her over the edge, yet the sensation persisted. Tell no one. She froze. Her eyes darted around the room. The muscles in her legs tightened as she prepared to bolt from the room. Alexandra swallowed and licked her lips. “Who would believe me anyway?” she whispered.
H.H. Laura (Larkspur (Sensate Nine Moon Saga, #1))
Finding unscented candles was another challenge he never thought he’d have to face. Colors were fine, colors could be useful as elements in various spells. But since meeting Amelia, he’d spent way too much time standing in front of walls of candles labeled with names like “Cranberry Spice” and “Warm Honey.” Christian bookstores and other religious supply shops became their go-to spots to find simple, unadorned, non-scented votive candles. Another deep irony, he observed. If only those kind, wide-eyed women at the cash registers knew what those candles were being used for.
Carrie Vaughn (Low Midnight (Kitty Norville, #13))
The Creator sat upon the throne, thinking. Behind him stretched the illimitable continent of heaven, steeped in a glory of light and color; before him rose the black night of Space, like a wall. His mighty bulk towered rugged and mountain-like into the zenith, and His divine head blazed there like a distant sun. At His feet stood three colossal figures, diminished to extinction, almost, by contrast -- archangels -- their heads level with His ankle-bone. When the Creator had finished thinking, He said, "I have thought. Behold!" He lifted His hand, and from it burst a fountain-spray of fire, a million stupendous suns, which clove the blackness and soared, away and away and away, diminishing in magnitude and intensity as they pierced the far frontiers of Space, until at last they were but as diamond nail heads sparkling under the domed vast roof of the universe.
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth)
I have performed the following experiment in workshops for nearly 40 years now: Everybody in the class is asked to describe the hall they passed through to get to the classroom. I must have tried this several hundred times by now, and I have never encountered two people who agreed totally about what was or was not in the hall, the color of the walls, or any similar data. We do not walk through the “same” hall: we walk through a reality-tunnel constructed by our imprinted, conditioned and learned brain circuits. The same experiment works with hearing, and other senses, as well as with vision and memory. Try it with a half-dozen friends. Let somebody with a watch say “Go!” and then all of you be silent and listen for one full minute — 60 surprisingly long seconds. You will all hear some sounds nobody else hears and miss some sounds everybody else caught. From 'In Doubt We Trust: Cults, religions, and BS in general
Robert Anton Wilson
He crushed me against the wall, bracing me with his body. I strained, trying to break free. He might have been made of stone for all the good it did me. Except he was made of flesh and he was stark naked. I strained every muscle I had. Nothing. Outmuscling him was beyond me. “Feel better?” he inquired. “Lean over to the left, Your Majesty.” “Want a shot at my jugular with your teeth?” He leaned to the right, exposing his thick neck. “Carotid’s better.” “My teeth are too small. I wouldn’t cause enough damage for you to bleed out. Jugular is better—if I rip it a bit and get air bubbles into the bloodstream, they’ll be in your heart in two breaths. You would pass out at my feet.” A normal human would die, but it took more than an air embolism to bring a shapeshifter down permanently. “Here you go.” He leaned his head to me, his neck so close to my lips, I felt the heat coming off his skin. His breath was warm against my ear. His voice was a ragged snarl. “I miss you.” This wasn’t happening. “I worry about you.” He dipped his head and looked into my eyes “I worry something stupid will happen and I won’t be there and you’ll be gone. I worry we won’t ever get a chance and it’s driving me out of my skull.” No, no, no, no . . . We stared at each other. The tiny space between us felt too hot. Muscles bulged on his naked frame. He looked feral. Mad gold eyes stared into mine. “Do you miss me, Kate?” I closed my eyes, trying to shut him out. I could lie and then we’d be back to square one. Nothing would be resolved. I’d still be alone, hating him and wanting him. He grabbed my shoulders and shook me once. “Do you miss me?” I took the plunge. “Yes.” He kissed me. The taste of him was like an explosion of color in a gray room. It was a fierce, possessive kiss and I melted into it. His tongue brushed mine, eager and hot. I licked at it, tasting him again. My arms slid around his neck. He growled, pulling me to him, and kissed my lips, my cheeks, my neck . . . “Don’t make me leave.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
Clowns.” Clowns? “Really?” I tried to imagine a tiny Aiden crying over men and women with overly painted faces and red noses, but I couldn’t. The big guy was still facing me. His expression clear and even, as he dipped his chin. “Eh.” God help me, he’d gone Canadian on me. I had to will my face not to react at the fact he’d gone with the one word he usually used only when he was super relaxed around other people. “I thought they were going to eat me.” Now imagining that had me cracking a little smile. I slid my palm under my cheek. “How old were you? Nineteen?” Those big chocolate-colored eyes blinked, slow, slow, slow. His dark pink lips parted just slightly. “Are you making fun of me?” he drawled. “Yes.” The fractures of my grin cracked into bigger pieces. “Because I was scared of clowns?” It was like he couldn’t understand why that was amusing. But it was. “I just can’t imagine you scared of anything, much less clowns. Come on. Even I’ve never been scared of clowns.” “I was four.” I couldn’t help but snicker. “Four… fourteen, same difference.” Based on the mule-ish expression on his face, he wasn’t amused. “This is the last time that I come over to save you from the boogeyman.” Shocked out of my mind for a split second, I tried to pretend like I wasn’t, but… I was. He was joking with me. Aiden was in bed joking around. With me. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I was just messing with you.” I scooted one more millimeter closer to him, drawing my knees up so that they hit his thighs. “Please don’t leave yet.” “I won’t,” he said, settling on his pillow with his hands under his cheek, his eyes already drifting to a close. I didn’t need to ask him to promise not to leave me; I knew he wouldn’t if he said so. That was just the kind of man he was. “Aiden?” I whispered. “Hmm?” he murmured. “Thank you for coming in here with me.” “Uh-huh.” That big body adjusted itself just slightly before he let out a long, deep exhale. Without turning around, I laid the flashlight down behind me and aimed the beam toward the wall. He didn’t ask if I was really going to leave the flashlight on all night—or at least however long the battery lasted—instead, I just smiled at him as I took my glasses off and set them on the unused nightstand behind me. Then I tucked my hands under my cheek and watched him. “Good night. Thank you again for staying with me.” Peeking one eye open, just a narrow slit, he hummed. “Shh.” That ‘shh’ was about as close to a ‘you’re welcome’ as I was going to get. I closed my eyes with a little grin on my face. Maybe five seconds later, Aiden’s spoke up. “Vanessa?” “Hmm?” “Why was I saved on your work phone as Miranda P.?” That had my eyes snapping open. I hadn’t deleted that entry off the contacts when I quit, had I? “It’s a long, boring story, and you should go to sleep. Okay?” The “uh-huh” out of him sounded as disbelieving as it should have. He knew I was full of shit, but somehow, knowing he knew, wasn’t enough to keep me from falling asleep soon after
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Gamache loved to see inside the homes of people involved in a case. To look at the choices they made for their most intimate space. The colors, the decorations. The aromas. Were there books? What sort? How did it feel? He'd been in shacks in the middle of nowhere, carpets worn, upholstery torn, wallpaper peeling off. But stepping in he'd also noticed the smell of fresh coffee and bread. Walls were taken up with immense smiling graduation photos and on rusty pocked TV trays stood modest chipped vases with cheery daffodils or pussy willows or some tiny wild flower picked by worn hands for eyes that would adore it. And he'd been in mansions that felt like mausoleums.
Louise Penny (The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3))
Firmly planted. Not fallen from on high: sprung up from below. Ochre, the color of burnt honey. The color of a sun buried a thousand years ago and dug up only yesterday. Fresh green and orange stripes running across its still-warm body. Circles, Greek frets: scattered traces of a lost alphabet? The belly of a woman heavy with child, the neck of a bird. If you cover and uncover its mouth with the palm of your hand, it answers you with a deep murmur, the sound of bubbling water welling up from its depths; if you tap its sides with your knuckles, it gives a tinkling laugh of little silver coins falling on stones. It has many tongues: it speaks of the language of clay and minerals, of air currents flowing between canyon walls, of washerwomen as they scrub, of angry skies, of rain. A vessel of baked clay: do not put it in a glass case alongside rare precious objects. It would look quite out of place. Its beauty is related to the liquid that it contains and to the thirst that it quenches. Its beauty is corporal: I see it, I touch it, I smell it, I hear it. If it is empty, It must be filled; if it is full, it must be emptied. I take it by the shaped handle as I would take a woman by the arm, I lift it up, I tip over a pitcher into which I pour milk or pulque - lunar liquids that open and close the doors of dawn and dark, waking a sleeping.
Octavio Paz
Every morning a great wall of fog descends upon the city of San Francisco. It begins far out at sea. It forms over the Farallons, covering the sea lions on their rocks, and then it sweeps onto Ocean Beach, filling the long green bowl of Golden Gate Park. The fog obscures the early morning joggers and the lone practitioners of tai chi. It mists up the windows of the Glass Pavilion. It creeps over the entire city, over the monuments and movie theaters, over the Panhandle dope dens and the flophouses in the Tenderloin. The fog covers the pastel Victorian mansions in Pacific Heights and shrouds the rainbow-colored houses in the Haight. It walks up and down the twisting streets of Chinatown; it boards the cable cars, making their clanging bells sound like buoys; it climbs to the top of Coit Tower until you can’t see it anymore; it moves in on the Mission, where the mariachi players are still asleep; and it bothers the tourists. The fog of San Francisco, that cold, identity-cleansing mist that rolls over the city every day, explains better than anything else why that city is what it is.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
They all stood unwilling on the sandbar, holding to the net. In the eastern sky were the familiar castles and the round towers to which they were used, gray, pink, and blue, growing darker and filling with thunder. Lightning flickered in the sun along their thick walls. But in the west the sun shone with such a violence that in an illumination like a long-prolonged glare of lightning the heavens looked black and white; all color left the world, the goldenness of everything was like a memory, and only heat, a kind of glamor and oppression, lay on their heads. The thick heavy trees on the other side of the river were brushed with mile-long streaks of silver, and a wind touched each man on the forehead. At the same time there was a long roll of thunder that began behind them, came up and down mountains and valleys of air, passed over their heads, and left them listening still. With a small, near noise a mockingbird followed it, the little white bars of its body flashing over the willow trees. 'We are here for a storm now,' Virgil said. 'We will have to stay till it’s over.' ("The Wide Net")
Eudora Welty (The Collected Stories)
It kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was… “Ready for-?” He broke off, and then frowned as if it had all become clear. “Wait.” He dropped his arms from around my waist and took a step away from me. “You think I spent the night wit you?” “Didn’t you?” I blinked back at him. “There’s only the one bed. And…well, you were in it when I woke up.” Thunder boomed overhead. It wasn’t as loud as the violent cracks that had occurred in my dream. Although the rumbles were long enough-and intense enough-that the silverware on the table began to make an eerie tinkling sound. And my bird, who’d been calmly cleaning herself on the back of my chair, suddenly took off, seeing shelter on the highest bookshelf against the far wall. I realized I’d just insulted my host, and no joke was going to get me out of it this time. “For your information, Pierce,” John said, his tone almost disturbingly calm-but his eyes flashed the same shade as the stone around my neck, which had gone the color of the metal studs at his wrists-“I spent most of last night on the couch. Until one point early this morning, when I heard you call my name. You were crying in your sleep.” The salt water I’d tasted on my lips. Not due to rain from a violent hurricane, but from the tears I’d shed, watching him die in front of me. “Oh,” I said uncomfortably. “John, I’m so-“ It turned out he wasn’t finished. “I put my arms around you to try to comfort you, because I know what this place can be like, at least at first. It’s not exactly hell, but it’s the next closest place to it. You wouldn’t let go of me. You held on to me like you were drowning, and I was your only lifeline.” I swallowed, astonished at how close he’d come to describing my dream…except it had been the other way around. I’d been his lifeline; only he’d let go of me, sacrificing himself so that I could live. “Right,” I said. “Of course. I’m sorry.” I couldn’t believe how stupid I’d been, especially since my mother had always worried so much about my talking in my sleep. On the other hand, I had been upfront with him about my lack of experience when it came to men. “But this is good, see?” I reached out to take his hand. “I told you I could never hate you-“ He pulled his hand away, exactly like in my dream. Well, not exactly, because he wasn’t being sucked from my grasp by a giant ocean swell. Instead, he’d dropped my fingers because he was leaving to go sort the souls of the dead. “You will,” he assured me, bitterly. “You’re already regretting your decision to-what was it you called it? Oh, right-cohabitate with me.” “No,” I insisted. “I’m not. All I said was that I want to take things more slowly-“ That had nothing to do with him-it had to do with me and my fear of not being able to control myself when he was kissing me. It was too humiliating to admit that out loud, however.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Men may perish, but the world will neither celebrate nor mourn. It will go on.' His smile thinned. 'Would you like to know how?' 'No.' 'Animals will swell to fill the void left by men," he told her. 'And over-swell it, perhaps. There will be other extinctions and other recoveries. The sky will clear, but those who see it will not marvel at its many colors. Those ruins will collapse, burying treasures like this-' He waved at the walls. '-and this-' He picked up the spoon from her coffee tray and tossed it down again with a clatter. '-forever, but the world will go on. Years become centuries so easily when no one is there to count them. Centuries become millennia. The forests will reclaim the lands that Men have razed. Rivers will carve canyons across the scars left by this fallen cities. Mountains will rise up, trapping seas to dry under and uncaring sun and leaving the bones of whales to bleach in the newborn deserts for no one to find, no one to be inspired by thoughts of giants and dragons. And still the worlds will go on, and I will go on with it through ages that can only be measured by the coming and going of glaciers. The stars themselves will shift in the heavens and no one will be there to invent names for their new alignments or remember the stories of the old ones, no one but me. In time, the sun itself will begin to cool. Here on Earth, the world goes on and on as its remaining life passes through its last changes and dies away. It will be quiet. And lonely.' His mouth curved into a bitter line. 'But I'll live.' 'Stop it,' Lan whispered through numb lips. 'I read once that the sun will someday swell and engulf this world before it burns itself out. Perhaps I will finally die with it. Or perhaps I' will continue to endure... my ashes pulled eternally apart through the frozen vacuum of space, and I with no more mouth to scream... still alive.
R. Lee Smith (Land of the Beautiful Dead)
Fan would have expected that one or two of the Girls would have long rebelled at spending a life in a room, would have begged, say, the dentist, to help them steal away, but the funny thing about this existence is that once firmly settled we occupy it with less guard than we know. We watch ourselves routinely brushing our teeth, or coloring the wall, or blowing off the burn from a steaming yarn of soup noodles, and for every moment there is a companion moment that elides onto it, a secret span that deepens the original’s stamp. We feel ever obliged by everyday charges and tasks. They conscript us more and more. We find world enough in a frame. Until at last we take our places at the wheel, or wall, or line, having somewhere forgotten that we can look up.
Chang-rae Lee (On Such a Full Sea)
Then I saw the keyboard of an organ which filled one whole side of the walls. On the desk was a music-book covered with red notes. I asked leave to look at it and read, ‘Don Juan Triumphant.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, 'I compose sometimes.’ I began that work twenty years ago. When I have finished, I shall take it away with me in that coffin and never wake up again.’ 'You must work at it as seldom as you can,’ I said. He replied, 'I sometimes work at it for fourteen days and nights together, during which I live on music only, and then I rest for years at a time.’ 'Will you play me something out of your Don Juan Triumphant?’ I asked, thinking to please him. 'You must never ask me that,’ he said, in a gloomy voice. 'I will play you Mozart, if you like, which will only make you weep; but my Don Juan, Christine, burns; and yet he is not struck by fire from Heaven.’ Thereupon we returned to the drawing-room. I noticed that there was no mirror in the whole apartment. I was going to remark upon this, but Erik had already sat down to the piano. He said, 'You see, Christine, there is some music that is so terrible that it consumes all those who approach it. Fortunately, you have not come to that music yet, for you would lose all your pretty coloring and nobody would know you when you returned to Paris. Let us sing something from the Opera, Christine Daae.’ He spoke these last words as though he were flinging an insult at me.” “What did you do?” “I had no time to think about the meaning he put into his words. We at once began the duet in Othello and already the catastrophe was upon us. I sang Desdemona with a despair, a terror which I had never displayed before. As for him, his voice thundered forth his revengeful soul at every note. Love, jealousy, hatred, burst out around us in harrowing cries. Erik’s black mask made me think of the natural mask of the Moor of Venice. He was Othello himself. Suddenly, I felt a need to see beneath the mask. I wanted to know the FACE of the voice, and, with a movement which I was utterly unable to control, swiftly my fingers tore away the mask. Oh, horror, horror, horror!” Christine stopped, at the thought of the vision that had scared her, while the echoes of the night, which had repeated the name of Erik, now thrice moaned the cry: “Horror! … Horror! … Horror!
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
Artists are the flowers of our world. The best ones are those that can stand out from the crowd and create their own concrete garden -- to move us, inspire us, and makes us think hard. A flower with no smell to it is just something to look at. However, a flower that emits a beautiful fragrance is the one we want in our homes and on our walls. Your mission as an artist, is to become the best-smelling flower in the world, so that when the day finally comes when you are plucked from the ground, the world will cry for the loss of your mind-stimulating fragrance. Be different. Be original. Nobody will remember a specific flower in garden loaded with thousands of the same flower, but they will remember the one that managed to change its color to purple. Truth Is Crying, 2008
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
They loved the sea. They taught themselves to sail, to navigate and read the weather. Without their mother's knowledge and long before she thought them old enough to sail outside the harbor, they were piloting their catboat all the way to the Isles of Shoals. They were on the return leg of one such excursion when the fickle weather of early spring took an abrupt turn and the sky darkened and the sun vanished and the wind came squalling off the open sea. They were a half mile from the harbor when the storm overtook them. The rain struck in a slashing torrent and the swells hove them so high they felt they might be sent flying--then dropped them into troughs so deep they could see nothing but walls of water the color of iron. They feared the sail would be ripped away. Samuel Thomas wrestled the tiller and John Roger bailed in a frenzy and both were wide-eyed with euphoric terror as time and again they were nearly capsized before at last making the harbor. When they got home and Mary Margaret saw their sodden state she scolded them for dunces and wondered aloud how they could do so well in their schooling when they didn't have sense enough to get out of the rain.
James Carlos Blake (Country of the Bad Wolfes)
MY DREAM If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear. Our evolution depends on our memory. If we keep forgetting the mistakes of the past, only to keep repeating them, then we will never change. And if we keep recycling through the exact same kind of leaders— the kind who do not propel us forward, but only hold us back—then perhaps what we really need now is a completely different style of leadership altogether. We need heart-driven leaders, not strictly mind-driven ones. We need compassionate humanitarians, not greedy businessmen. Peacemakers, not war instigators. We need unity, not division. Angels, not devils.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
There was something wonderful about the atmosphere at Stony Cross Park. One could easily imagine it as some magical place set in some far-off land. The surrounding forest was so deep and thick as to be primeval in appearance, while the twelve-acre garden behind the manor seemed too perfect to be real. There were groves, glades, ponds, and fountains. It was a garden of many moods, alternating tranquility with colorful tumult. A disciplined garden, every blade of grass precisely clipped, the corners of the box hedges trimmed to knife blade crispness. Hatless, gloveless, and infused with a sudden sense of optimism, Annabelle breathed deeply of the country air. She skirted the edge of the terraced gardens at the back of the manor and followed a graveled path set between raised beds of poppies and geraniums. The atmosphere soon became thick with the perfume of flowers, as the path paralleled a drystone wall covered with tumbles of pink and cream roses. Wandering more slowly, Annabelle crossed through an orchard of ancient pear trees, sculpted by decades into fantastic shapes. Farther off, a canopy of silver birch led to woodland beds that appeared to melt seamlessly into the forest beyond.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
New York City manages expertly, and with marvelous predictability, whatever it considers humanly important. Fax machines, computers, automated telephones and even messengers on bikes convey a million bits of data through Manhattan every day to guarantee that Wall Street brokers get their orders placed, confirmed, delivered, at the moment they demand. But leaking roofs cannot be fixed and books cannot be gotten into Morris High in time to meet the fall enrollment. Efficiency in educational provision for low-income children, as in health care and most other elementals of existence, is secreted and doled out by our municipalities as if it were a scarce resource. Like kindness, cleanliness and promptness of provision, it is not secured by gravity of need but by the cash, skin color and class status of the applicant.
Jonathan Kozol (Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools)
He stared at me. “Every person exists in their own shallow bowl, and they can’t see over the rim,” he explained. “But they think that their world is the world—the truth. When in reality, no two bowls are identical, and all people are stuck trapped in their own.” Listening to my love, I felt as if we were transported back to the trail, staring at the inky field of ghostly stars. My hair dangling off our bed and onto the hardwood floor, almost upside down, I challenged him, intoxicated. “No that’s silly. We see the color of the walls, the same.” “There is no way to prove that your blue is my blue,” he said. And sobering, I began seeing how my love’s allegory was a hard truth, very dark—how our shallow bowls, differences of perspective, account for all declarations of others’ “wrongness” (one’s own rightness), and the sense of being wronged.
Aspen Matis (Your Blue Is Not My Blue: A Missing Person Memoir)
He's prowling back and forth like a lion with distemper now. There's a shiny streak down one side of his face. "I shouldn't have let her go ahead - I ought to be hung! Something's gone wrong. I can't stand this any more!" he says with a choked sound. "I'm starting now -" "But how are you -" "Spring for it and fire as I go if they try to stop me." And then as he barges out, the fat lady waddling solicitously after him, "Stay there; take it if she calls - tell her I'm on the way-" He plunges straight at the street-door from all the way back in the hall, like a fullback headed for a touchdown. That's the best way. Gun bedded in his pocket, but hand gripping it ready to let fly through lining and all. He slaps the door out of his way without slowing and skitters out along the building, head and shoulders defensively lowered. It *was* the taxi, you bet. No sound from it, at least not at this distance, just a thin bluish haze slowly spreading out around it that might be gas-fumes if its engine were turning; and at his end a long row of un-colored spurts - of dust and stone-splinters - following him along the wall of the flat he's tearing away from. Each succeeding one a half yard too far behind him, smacking into where he was a second ago. And they never catch up. ("Jane Brown's Body")
Cornell Woolrich (The Fantastic Stories of Cornell Woolrich (Alternatives SF Series))
Where did Grizel go?” Sandor asked as they turned to leave. “She’s supposed to stay by your side.” “I’m right here,” a husky female voice said as a lithe gray goblin in a fitted black jumpsuit seemed to melt out of the shadows. Fitz’s bodyguard was just as tall as Sandor, but far leaner—and what she lacked in bulk she made up for in stealth and grace. “I swear,” she said, tapping Sandor on the nose. “It’s almost too easy to evade you.” “Anyone can hide in this chaos,” Sandor huffed. “And now is not the time for games!” “There’s always time for games.” Grizel tossed her long ponytail in a way that almost seemed . . . Was it flirty? Sandor must’ve noticed too, because his gray skin tinted pink. He cleared his throat and turned to Sophie. “Weren’t we heading to the cafeteria?” She nodded and followed Fitz into the mazelike halls, where the colorful crystal walls shimmered in the afternoon sunlight. The cafeteria was on the second floor of the campus’s five-story glass pyramid, which sat in the center of the courtyard framed by the U-shaped main building. Sophie spent most of the walk wondering how long it would take Dex to notice her new accessories. The answer was three seconds—and another after that to notice the matching rings on Fitz’s thumbs. His periwinkle eyes narrowed, but he kept his voice cheerful as he said, “I guess we’re all giving rings this year.” Biana held out her hand to show Sophie a ring that looked familiar—probably because Sophie had a less sparkly, slightly more crooked, definitely less pink version on her own finger. “I also made one for you,” Dex told Fitz. “It’s in your thinking cap. And I have some for Tam and Linh, whenever we see them again. That way we’ll all have panic switches—and I added stronger trackers, so I can home in on the signal even if you don’t press your stone. Just in case anything weird happens.” “Your Technopath tricks aren’t necessary,” Sandor told him, pointing to their group of bodyguards—four goblins in all. “But it’s still good to have a backup plan, right?” Biana asked, admiring her ring from another angle. The pink stone matched the glittery shadow she’d brushed around her teal eyes, as well as the gloss on her
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
No more peeping through keyholes! No more mas turbating in the dark! No more public confessions! Unscrew the doors from their jambs! I want a world where the vagina is represented by a crude, honest slit, a world that has feeling for bone and contour, for raw, primary colors, a world that has fear and respect for its animal origins. I’m sick of looking at cunts all tickled up, disguised, deformed, idealized. Cunts with nerve ends exposed. I don’t want to watch young virgins masturbating in the privacy of their boudoirs or biting their nails or tearing their hair or lying on a bed full of bread crumbs for a whole chapter. I want Madagascan funeral poles, with animal upon animal and at the top Adam and Eve, and Eve with a crude, honest slit between the legs. I want hermaphrodites who are real hermaphrodites, and not make-believes walking around with an atrophied penis or a dried-up cunt. I want a classic purity, where dung is dung and angels are angels. The Bible a la King James, for example. Not the Bible of Wycliffe, not the Vulgate, not the Greek, not the Hebrew, but the glorious, death-dealing Bible that was created when the English language was in flower, when a vocabulary of twenty thousand words sufficed to build a monument for all time. A Bible written in Svenska or Tegalic, a Bible for the Hottentots or the Chinese, a Bible that has to meander through the trickling sands of French is no Bible-it is a counterfeit and a fraud. The King James Version was created by a race of bone-crushers. It revives the primitive mysteries, revives rape, murder, incest, revives epilepsy, sadism, megalomania, revives demons, angels, dragons, leviathans, revives magic, exorcism, contagion, incantation, revives fratricide, regicide, patricide, suicide, revives hypnotism, anarchism, somnambulism, revives the song, the dance, the act, revives the mantic, the chthonian, the arcane, the mysterious, revives the power, the evil, and the glory that is God. All brought into the open on a colossal scale, and so salted and spiced that it will last until the next Ice Age. A classic purity, then-and to hell with the Post Office authorities! For what is it enables the classics to live at all, if indeed they be living on and not dying as we and all about us are dying? What preserves them against the ravages of time if it be not the salt that is in them? When I read Petronius or Apuleius or Rabelais, how close they seem! That salty tang! That odor of the menagerie! The smell of horse piss and lion’s dung, of tiger’s breath and elephant’s hide. Obscenity, lust, cruelty, boredom, wit. Real eunuchs. Real hermaphrodites. Real pricks. Real cunts. Real banquets! Rabelais rebuilds the walls of Paris with human cunts. Trimalchio tickles his own throat, pukes up his own guts, wallows in his own swill. In the amphitheater, where a big, sleepy pervert of a Caesar lolls dejectedly, the lions and the jackals, the hyenas, the tigers, the spotted leopards are crunching real human boneswhilst the coming men, the martyrs and imbeciles, are walking up the golden stairs shouting Hallelujah!
Henry Miller (Black Spring)
However, questions arise. Are there people who aren't naive realists, or special situations in which naive realism disappears? My theory—the self-model theory of subjectivity—predicts that as soon as a conscious representation becomes opaque (that is, as soon as we experience it as a representation), we lose naive realism. Consciousness without naive realism does exist. This happens whenever, with the help of other, second-order representations, we become aware of the construction process—of all the ambiguities and dynamical stages preceding the stable state that emerges at the end. When the window is dirty or cracked, we immediately realize that conscious perception is only an interface, and we become aware of the medium itself. We doubt that our sensory organs are working properly. We doubt the existence of whatever it is we are seeing or feeling, and we realize that the medium itself is fallible. In short, if the book in your hands lost its transparency, you would experience it as a state of your mind rather than as an element of the outside world. You would immediately doubt its independent existence. It would be more like a book-thought than a book-perception. Precisely this happens in various situations—for example, In visual hallucinations during which the patient is aware of hallucinating, or in ordinary optical illusions when we suddenly become aware that we are not in immediate contact with reality. Normally, such experiences make us think something is wrong with our eyes. If you could consciously experience earlier processing stages of the representation of the book In your hands, the image would probably become unstable and ambiguous; it would start to breathe and move slightly. Its surface would become iridescent, shining in different colors at the same time. Immediately you would ask yourself whether this could be a dream, whether there was something wrong with your eyes, whether someone had mixed a potent hallucinogen into your drink. A segment of the wall of the Ego Tunnel would have lost its transparency, and the self-constructed nature of the overall flow of experience would dawn on you. In a nonconceptual and entirely nontheoretical way, you would suddenly gain a deeper understanding of the fact that this world, at this very moment, only appears to you.
Thomas Metzinger (The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self)
Why not?” I asked, letting my tears spill over. It was easy to cry. All I had to do was look at Alex’s limp body, and the tears came effortlessly. “You were happy enough to do it to me.” There was a beat. Then John said cautiously, “What do you mean?” “The consequences, John?” I let out a bitter laugh. “Persephone wasn’t doomed to stay in the Underworld because she ate a pomegranate. She was doomed to stay there because she did with Hades what we did last night. That’s what the pomegranate symbolizes, right?” John stared, speechless. But I could tell I was right by the color that slowly started to suffuse his cheeks…and the fact that he didn’t try to contradict me. And of course the fact that the whole thing was spelled out right in front of me by the statue Hope was sitting on. I didn’t get why the Rectors were so obsessed by the myth of Persephone that they’d put a statue of it in their mausoleum, but it was clear enough they were involved in an underworld of one kind or another. “Don’t worry,” I said, lowering my voice because I didn’t want Frank to overhear. “I don’t blame you. You asked me if I was sure, despite the consequences. I said I was. But I thought by consequences you meant a baby, and I already knew that could never happen. I guess Mr. Smith must have told you last night that he found out the pomegranate symbolized something completely different than babies or death-“ “Pierce.” John grasped my hand. His fingers were like ice, but his voice and his gaze had an urgency that was anything but cold. “That isn’t why I did it. I love you. I’ve always loved you, because you’re good…you’re so good, you make me want to be good, too. But that’s the problem, Pierce. I’m not good. And I’ve always been afraid that when you find out the truth about me, you’d run away again-“ I sucked in my breath to tell him for the millionth time that this wasn’t true, but he cut me off, not allowing me to speak until he’d had his say. “Then you almost died yesterday,” he went on, “and it was my fault. I wanted to show you how much I loved you, and things…things went further than I expected. But you didn’t stop me”-his silver eyes blazed, as if daring me to deny what he was saying-“even though I told you we could slow down if you wanted to.” “I know,” I said softly, dropping my gaze to look down at our joined fingers. We’d each kept a hand on Alex. “I know you did.” “I don’t want to lose you again,” he said fiercely. “I lost you once and I couldn’t bear it. I won’t go through that again. I…I know I did the wrong thing. But it didn’t feel wrong at the time.” I raised my gaze to his. “You’re right about that, at least,” I said. “So am I forgiven?” he asked. I hesitated, confused by the myriad of emotions I was feeling. John had known. He’d known the whole time we had been together the night before that he was forever sealing my destiny to his. Of course, he’d thought I’d known, too. He’d asked if I was sure it was what I wanted, despite the consequences. I might have misunderstood what those consequences were, but I’d been very adamant in my response. I’d said yes. And I’d meant it. “Excuse me,” called Frank’s voice from the opposite wall of vaults. “But you might want to take a look at the boy.” John and I both glanced down. Beneath the hands we’d left on Alex, he’d come back to life.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
It was a dead hole, smelling of synthetic leather and disinfectant, both of which odors seemed to emanate from the torn scratched material of the seats that lined the three walls. It smelled of the tobacco ashes which had flooded the two standing metal ashtrays. On the chromium lip of one, a cigar butt gleamed wetly like a chewed piece of beef. There was the smell of peanut shells and of the waxy candy wrappers that littered the floor, the smell of old newspapers, dry, inky, smothering and faintly like a urinal, the smell of sweat from armpits and groins and backs and faces, pouring out and drying up in the lifeless air, the smell of clothes—cleaning fluids imbedded in fabric and blooming horribly in the warm sweetish air, picking at the nostrils like thorns—all the exudations of the human flesh, a bouquet of animal being, flowing out, drying up, but leaving a peculiar and ineradicable odor of despair in the room as though chemistry was transformed into spirit, an ascension of a kind, …Light issuing from spotlights in the ceiling was sour and blinding like a sick breath. There was in that room an underlying confusion in the function of the senses. Smell became color, color became smell. Mute started at mute so intently they might have been listening with their eyes, and hearing grew preternaturally acute, yet waited only for the familiar syllables of surnames. Taste died, mouth opened in the negative drowsiness of waiting.
Paula Fox (Desperate Characters)
And I read something else," Jacob goes on. "There was this discussion of the story of Cain and Abel, from the Bible. After Cain kills his brother, God says, 'The bloods of your brother call out to me.' Not blood. Bloods. Weird, right? So the Talmud tries to explain it." "I can explain it," says William. "The scribe was drunk." "William!" cries Jeanne. "The Bible is written by God!" "And copied by scribes," the big boy replies. "Who get drunk. A lot. Trust me." Jacob is laughing. "The rabbis have a different explanation. The Talmud says it's 'bloods' because Cain didn't only spill Abel's blood. He spilled the blood of Abel and all the descendants he never had." "Huh!" "And then it says something like, 'Whoever destroys a single life destroys the whole world. And whoever saves a single life saves the whole world." There are sheep in the meadow beside the road. Gwenforte walks up to the low stone wall, and one sheep--a ram--doesn't run away. They sniff each other's noses. Her white fur beside the ram's wool--two textures, two colors, both called white in our inadequate language. Jeanne is thinking about something. At last, she shares it. "William, you said that it takes a lifetime to make a book." "That's right." "One book? A whole lifetime?" William nods. "A scribe might copy out a single book for years. An illuminator would then take it and work on it for longer still. Not to mention the tanner who made the parchment, and the bookbinder who stitched the book together, and the librarian who worked to get the book for the library and keep it safe from mold and thieves and clumsy monks with ink pots and dirty hands. And some books have authors, too, like Saint Augustine or Rabbi Yehuda. When you think about it, each book is a lot of lives. Dozens and dozens of them." Dozens and dozens of lives," Jeanne says. "And each life a whole world." "We saved five books," says Jacob. "How many worlds is that?" William smiles. "I don't know. A lot. A whole lot.
Adam Gidwitz (The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog)
When a fine old carpet is eaten by mice, the colors and patterns of what's left behind do not change,' wrote my neighbor and friend, the poet Jane Hirschfield, after she visited an old friend suffering from Alzheimer's disease in a nursing home. And so it was with my father. His mind did not melt evenly into undistinguishable lumps, like a dissolving sand castle. It was ravaged selectively, like Tintern Abbey, the Cistercian monastery in northern Wales suppressed in 1531 by King Henry VIII in his split with the Church of Rome. Tintern was turned over to a nobleman, its stained-glass windows smashed, its roof tiles taken up and relaid in village houses. Holy artifacts were sold to passing tourists. Religious statues turned up in nearby gardens. At least one interior wall was dismantled to build a pigsty. I've seen photographs of the remains that inspired Wordsworth: a Gothic skeleton, soaring and roofless, in a green hilly landscape. Grass grows in the transept. The vanished roof lets in light. The delicate stone tracery of its slim, arched quatrefoil windows opens onto green pastures where black-and-white cows graze. Its shape is beautiful, formal, and mysterious. After he developed dementia, my father was no longer useful to anybody. But in the shelter of his broken walls, my mother learned to balance her checkbook, and my heart melted and opened. Never would I wish upon my father the misery of his final years. But he was sacred in his ruin, and I took from it the shards that still sustain me.
Katy Butler (Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death)
Kathleen," he calls, his voice a groan. There is magic in names. Can she hear him? "Kathleen," he calls again, louder. Behind him, the denizens of Twilight murmur. "KATHLEEN," he cries. His anguish batters the shining wall, shifting the starstruck colors from rose and lapis to deep purple and bloody magenta, but it remains inviolable. Shadowman drops his scythe in the waters. He'll scream forever, if need be, until the day the walls tumble into the ocean. "Hey, you." Shadowman's attention whips to the top of the wall some distance down the shoreline to his left. An angel is perched on the edge - fair hair, fair-eyed, skin a soft café. A recent crossing. "Trade you," Custo says. Shadowman has no words. "You want in or don't you? Heaven's no place for me, and I'm not hanging around until they figure it out." The angel glances over his shoulder. The murmurs of Twilight grow louder, sharper, but Shadowman pays them no mind. Not anymore. They've already done their worst. "I do," Shadowman says. Custo flashes a grin. "Meet me at the wall.
Erin Kellison (Shadow Bound (Shadow, #1))
I like to watch Peter when he doesn’t know I’m looking. I like to admire the straight line of his jaw, the curve of his cheekbone. There’s an openness to his face, an innocence--a certain kind of niceness. It’s the niceness that touches my heart the most. It’s Friday night at Gabe Rivera’s house after the lacrosse game. Our school won, so everyone is in very fine spirits, Peter most of all, because he scored the winning shot. He’s across the room playing poker with some of the guys from his team; he is sitting with his chair tipped back, his back against the wall. His hair is still wet from showering after the game. I’m on the couch with my friends Lucas Krapf and Pammy Subkoff, and they’re flipping through the latest issue of Teen Vogue, debating whether or not Pammy should get bangs. “What do you think, Lara Jean?” Pammy asks, running her fingers through her carrot-colored hair. Pammy is a new friend--I’ve gotten to know her because she dates Peter’s good friend Darrell. She has a face like a doll, round as a cake pan, and freckles dust her face and shoulders like sprinkles. “Um, I think bangs are a very big commitment and not to be decided on a whim. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you could be growing them out for a year or more. But if you’re serious, I think you should wait till fall, because it’ll be summer before you know it, and bangs in the summer can be sort of sticky and sweaty and annoying…” My eyes drift back to Peter, and he looks up and sees me looking at him, and raises his eyebrows questioningly. I just smile and shake my head. “So don’t get bangs?” My phone buzzes in my purse. It’s Peter. Do you want to go? No. Then why were you staring at me? Because I felt like it.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
They told me the drugs would take away the pain. They told me the drugs would help me sleep. They are wrong. The pain of losing Damien hasn't gone away. And I hardly ever sleep. There's a part of me that wishes I could close my eyes and shut out the world, but I can't. I can't because I know behind my eyelids, I'll see him. He'll be there looking so fresh and alive. His skin will be vibrant with color, his blue blue eyes sparkling. He'll flash me his radiant smile and for a few minutes, I'll actually believe that he didn't die. I'll believe it and then I wake up to discover that my mind is torturing me with what could have been and I lose control of my emotions. I scream. Sob. Hug my knees to my chest. Rock back and forth. Tug at my hair. I pace the length of my shoebox room and throw myself into the padded white walls. I pray for someone or something to come along and take the pain away. I pray for someone or something to erase my memory so that I'll never have to think of Damien again. And so that I'll never have to live with the painful reminder that I am the reason he died. Damien died for me. And for love. And I'm not quite sure what else. Maybe to prove a point.
Lauren Hammond (White Walls (Asylum, #2))
It all suddenly made me nervous, and a little, tiny, baby bit worried. Pulling one of the stools at the island back, I plopped into it and simply stared at that discolored, harsh face in unease. “I just want to know whether I need to steal a bat or make a phone call.” His mouth had been open and poised to argue with me… until he heard the last thing I said. “What?” “I need to know—” “What do you need to steal a bat for?” “Well, no one I know owns one, and I can’t go buy one at the store and have it caught on videotape.” “Videotape?” Did he know nothing? “Aiden, come on, if you beat the shit out of someone with a bat, they’re going to look for suspects. Once they have suspects, they’ll look through their things or their purchases. They’ll see I bought one recently and know it was premeditated. Why are you looking at me like that?” His mauve-colored eyelids went heavy over the bright whites of his eyes, and the expression on his face was filled such a vast range of emotions, one after another after another, that I wasn’t sure which one I was supposed to hold on to. He switched the icepack to the other side of his bruised jaw and shook his head. “The amount you know about committing crimes is terrifying, Van.” His mouth twitched under the rainbow of whatever he was thinking. “It scares the hell out of me, and I don’t get scared easily.” I snorted, pretty pleased with myself. “Calm down. I went through this phase when I was into watching a lot of crime TV shows. I’ve never even stolen a pen in my life.” Aiden’s careful expression didn’t go anywhere. “I’m not trying to kill anyone… unless we had to,” I joked weakly. His nostrils flared so slightly I almost missed it. But what I didn’t miss was the way the corners of his mouth tipped up into a tiny smile. I smiled at him as innocently as possible. “So do you want to tell me who’s going to get the fists of fury?” I hoped I sounded as harmless as I intended, even though I felt the exact opposite as every second passed. “Fists of fury?” “Yep.” I held up my hands just a little so he could see them. He had no idea the number of fights I’d gotten into with my sisters over the years. I didn’t always win—I rarely won if I was going to be honest—but I never gave up. The sigh that came out of him was so long and drawn out, I kind of prepped myself for the half-assed answer that was going to come out of his mouth. “It’s nothing.” There it was
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
It had all begun on the elevated. There was a particular little sea of roots he had grown into the habit of glancing at just as the packed car carrying him homeward lurched around a turn. A dingy, melancholy little world of tar paper, tarred gravel, and smoky brick. Rusty tin chimneys with odd conical hats suggested abandoned listening posts. There was a washed-out advertisement of some ancient patent medicine on the nearest wall. Superficially it was like ten thousand other drab city roofs. But he always saw it around dusk, either in the normal, smoky half-light, or tinged with red by the flat rays of a dirty sunset, or covered by ghostly windblown white sheets of rain-splash, or patched with blackish snow; and it seemed unusually bleak and suggestive, almost beautifully ugly, though in no sense picturesque; dreary but meaningful. Unconsciously it came to symbolize for Catesby Wran certain disagreeable aspects of the frustrated, frightened century in which he lived, the jangled century of hate and heavy industry and Fascist wars. The quick, daily glance into the half darkness became an integral part of his life. Oddly, he never saw it in the morning, for it was then his habit to sit on the other side of the car, his head buried in the paper. One evening toward winter he noticed what seemed to be a shapeless black sack lying on the third roof from the tracks. He did not think about it. It merely registered as an addition to the well-known scene and his memory stored away the impression for further reference. Next evening, however, he decided he had been mistaken in one detail. The object was a roof nearer than he had thought. Its color and texture, and the grimy stains around it, suggested that it was filled with coal dust, which was hardly reasonable. Then, too, the following evening it seemed to have been blown against a rusty ventilator by the wind, which could hardly have happened if it were at all heavy. ("Smoke Ghost")
Fritz Leiber (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
Deacon met my glare with an impish grin. “Anyway, did you celebrate Valentine’s Day when you were slumming with the mortals?” I blinked. “Not really. Why?” Aiden snorted and then disappeared into one of the rooms. “Follow me,” Deacon said. “You’re going to love this. I just know it.” I followed him down the dimly-lit corridor that was sparsely decorated. We passed several closed doors and a spiral staircase. Deacon went through an archway and stopped, reaching along the wall. Light flooded the room. It was a typical sunroom, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, wicker furniture, and colorful plants. Deacon stopped by a small potted plant sitting on a ceramic coffee table. It looked like a miniature pine tree that was missing several limbs. Half the needles were scattered in and around the pot. One red Christmas bulb hung from the very top branch, causing the tree to tilt to the right. “What do you think?” Deacon asked. “Um… well, that’s a really different Christmas tree, but I’m not sure what that has to do with Valentine’s Day.” “It’s sad,” Aiden said, strolling into the room. “It’s actually embarrassing to look at. What kind of tree is it, Deacon?” He beamed. “It’s called a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.” Aiden rolled his eyes. “Deacon digs this thing out every year. The pine isn’t even real. And he leaves it up from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. Which thank the gods is the day after tomorrow. That means he’ll be taking it down.” I ran my fingers over the plastic needles. “I’ve seen the cartoon.” Deacon sprayed something from an aerosol can. “It’s my MHT tree.” “MHT tree?” I questioned. “Mortal Holiday Tree,” Deacon explained, and smiled. “It covers the three major holidays. During Thanksgiving it gets a brown bulb, a green one for Christmas, and a red one for Valentine’s Day.” “What about New Year’s Eve?” He lowered his chin. “Now, is that really a holiday?” “The mortals think so.” I folded my arms. “But they’re wrong. The New Year is during the summer solstice,” Deacon said. “Their math is completely off, like most of their customs. For example, did you know that Valentine’s Day wasn’t actually about love until Geoffrey Chaucer did his whole courtly love thing in the High Middle Ages?” “You guys are so weird.” I grinned at the brothers. “That we are,” Aiden replied. “Come on, I’ll show you your room.” “Hey Alex,” Deacon called. “We’re making cookies tomorrow, since it’s Valentine’s Eve.” Making cookies on Valentine’s Eve? I didn’t even know if there was such a thing as Valentine’s Eve. I laughed as I followed Aiden out of the room. “You two really are opposites.” “I’m cooler!” Deacon yelled from his Mortal Holiday Tree room
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Deity (Covenant, #3))
After All This" After all this love, after the birds rip like scissors through the morning sky, after we leave, when the empty bed appears like a collapsed galaxy, or the wake of disturbed air behind a plane, after that, as the wind turns to stone, as the leaves shriek, you are still breathing inside my own breath. The lighthouse on the far point still sweeps away the darkness with the brush of an arm. The tides inside your heart still pull me towards you. After all this, what are these words but mollusk shells a child plays with? What could say more than the eloquence of last night’s constellations? or the storm anchored by its own flashes behind the far mountains? I remember the way your body wavers under my touch like the northern lights. After all this, I want the certainty of hidden roots spreading in all directions from their tree. I want to hear again the sky tangled in your voice. Some nights I can hear the footsteps of the stars. How can these words ever reveal the secret that waits in their sleeping light? The words that walk through my mind say only what has already passed. Beyond, the swallows are still knitting the wind. After a while, the smokebush will turn to fire. After a while, the thin moon will grow like a tear in a curtain. Under it, a small boy kicks a ball against the wall of a burned out house. He is too young to remember the war. He hardly knows the emptiness that kindles around him. He can speak the language of early birds outside our window. Someday he will know this kind of love that changes the color of the sky, and frees the earth from its moorings. Sometimes I kiss your eyes to see beyond what I can imagine. Sometimes I think I can speak the language of unborn stars. I think the whole earth breathes with you. After all this, these words are all I have to say what is impossible to think, what shy dreams hide in the rafters of my heart, because these words are only a form of touch, only tell you I have no life that isn’t yours, and no death you couldn’t turn into a life.
Richard Jackson (Resonance)
Life in the Cause would lurch forward as it always did. You worked, slaved, fought off the rats, the mice, the roaches, the ants, the Housing Authority, the cops, the muggers, and now the drug dealers. You lived a life of disappointment and suffering, of too-hot summers and too-cold winters, surviving in apartments with crummy stoves that didn’t work and windows that didn’t open and toilets that didn’t flush and lead paint that flecked off the walls and poisoned your children, living in awful, dreary apartments built to house Italians who came to America to work the docks, which had emptied of boats, ships, tankers, dreams, money, and opportunity the moment the colored and the Latinos arrived. And still New York blamed you for all its problems. And who can you blame? You were the one who chose to live here, in this hard town with its hard people, the financial capital of the world, land of opportunity for the white man and a tundra of spent dreams and empty promises for anyone else stupid enough to believe the hype. Sister Gee stared at her neighbors as they surrounded her, and at that moment she saw them as she had never seen them before: they were crumbs, thimbles, flecks of sugar powder on a cookie, invisible, sporadic dots on the grid of promise, occasionally appearing on Broadway stages or on baseball teams with slogans like “You gotta believe,” when in fact there was nothing to believe but that one colored in the room is fine, two is twenty, and three means close up shop and everybody go home; all living the New York dream in the Cause Houses, within sight of the Statue of Liberty, a gigantic copper reminder that this city was a grinding factory that diced the poor man’s dreams worse than any cotton gin or sugarcane field from the old country. And now heroin was here to make their children slaves again, to a useless white powder. She looked them over, the friends of her life, staring at her. They saw what she saw, she realized. She read it in their faces. They would never win. The game was fixed. The villains would succeed. The heroes would die.
James McBride (Deacon King Kong)
You.” Hard thrust. “Go.” Another thrust directly to my spot, my pussy walls clenching and holding his fingers but he doesn’t let me. “When. I. Say. So.” He fucks me with his fingers so hard and I come just as hard, so loud with a scream that pierces my ears. I literally hear a buzz and see color behind my eyes. Maybe it’s the bitter taste of the truth on my tongue, or the answering silent, yet volcanic anger from Ace. Maybe it’s the grief that slices the room into uneven dimensions of breathless agony—but for whatever reason, my orgasm is hard and intense. It’s the type of climax that I knew Ace could easily give me, but we both knew it was heightened by misery and grief. A kind of grief that we both refused to face. Grief heightened by orgasm. Orgasm heightened by grief. . . My entire body shakes, Ace flips me over to my side and somehow in the darkness of my room, our gazes connect and I can see the blues like I do in my nightmares and my dreams. I see them as much as they see me. I know these eyes belong to the devil, the spawn of my hate. But they still see me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. To be seen and he has, since the very first day we met. “You will fucking die when I say so.” He growls, like a solemn vow. “You will fade away like the kind of nothing that you think you are, when I say so. But for now, you fucking stay here and you fight that shit for me. I fucking need you to fight it.
Thandiwe Mpofu (Reckless Hate (Westbrook Blues, #1))
Julius explained that the palace rooms where they stood were called Wunderkammers, or wonder rooms. Souvenirs of nature, of travels across continents and seas; jewels and skulls. A show of wealth, intellect, power. The first room had rose-colored glass walls, with rubies and garnets and bloodred drapes of damask. Bowls of blush quartz; semiprecious stone roses running the spectrum of red down to pink, a hard, glittering garden. The vaulted ceiling, a feature of all the ten rooms Julius and Cymbeline visited, was a trompe l'oeil of a rosy sky at down, golden light edging the morning clouds. The next room was of sapphire and sea and sky; lapis lazuli, turquoise and gold and silver. A silver mermaid lounged on the edge of a lapis lazuli bowl fashioned in the shape of an ocean. Venus stood aloft on the waves draped in pearls. There were gold fish and diamond fish and faceted sterling silver starfish. Silvered mirrors edged in silvered mirror. There were opals and aquamarines and tanzanite and amethyst. Seaweed bloomed in shades of blue-green marble. The ceiling was a dome of endless, pale blue. A jungle room of mica and marble followed, with its rain forest of cats made from tiger's-eye, yellow topaz birds, tortoiseshell giraffes with stubby horns of spun gold. Carved clouds of smoky quartz hovered over a herd of obsidian and ivory zebras. Javelinas of spotted pony hide charged tiny, life-sized dik-diks with velvet hides, and dazzling diamond antlers mingled with miniature stuffed sable minks. Agate columns painted a medley of dark greens were strung with faceted ropes of green gold. A room of ivory: bone, teeth, skulls, and velvet. A room crowded with columns all sheathed in mirrors, reflecting world maps and globes and atlases inlaid with silver, platinum, and white gold; the rubies and diamonds that were sometimes set to mark the location of a city or a town of conquest resembled blood and tears. A room dominated by a fireplace large enough to hold several people, upholstered in velvets and silks the colors of flame. Snakes of gold with orange sapphire and yellow topaz eyes coiled around the room's columns. Statues of smiling black men in turbans offering trays of every gem imaginable-emerald, sapphire, ruby, topaz, diamond-stood at the entrance to a room upholstered in pistachio velvet, accented with malachite, called the Green Vault. Peridot wood nymphs attended to a Diana carved from a single pure crystal of quartz studded with tiny tourmalines. Jade tables, and jade lanterns. The royal jewels, blinding in their sparkling excess: crowns, tiaras, coronets, diadems, heavy ceremonial necklaces, rings, and bracelets that could span a forearm, surrounding the world's largest and most perfect green diamond. Above it all was a night sky of painted stars, with inlaid cut crystal set in a serious of constellations.
Whitney Otto (Eight Girls Taking Pictures)
Tell me something else instead. Tell me what you’re looking forward to most about going to school here.” “You go first. What are you most excited about?” Right away, Peter says, “That’s easy. Streaking the lawn with you.” “That’s what you’re looking forward to more than anything? Running around naked?” Hastily I add, “I’m never doing that, by the way.” He laughs. “It’s a UVA tradition. I thought you were all about UVA traditions.” “Peter!” “I’m just kidding.” He leans forward and puts his arms around my shoulders, rubbing his nose in my neck the way he likes to do. “Your turn.” I let myself dream about it for a minute. If I get in, what am I most looking forward to? There are so many things, I can hardly name them all. I’m looking forward to eating waffles every day with Peter in the dining hall. To us sledding down O-Hill when it snows. To picnics when it’s warm. To staying up all night talking and then waking up and talking some more. To late-night laundry and last-minute road trips. To…everything. Finally I say, “I don’t want to jinx it.” “Come on!” “Okay, okay…I guess I’m most looking forward to…to going to the McGregor Room whenever I want.” People call it the Harry Potter room, because of the rugs and chandeliers and leather chairs and the portraits on the wall. The bookshelves go from the floor to the ceiling, and all of the books are behind metal grates, protected like the precious objects they are. It’s a room from a different time. It’s very hushed--reverential, even. There was this one summer--I must have been five or six, because it was before Kitty was born--my mom took a class at UVA, and she used to study in the McGregor Room. Margot and I would color, or read. My mom called it the magic library, because Margot and I never fought inside of it. We were both quiet as church mice; we were so in awe of all the books, and of the older kids studying. Peter looks disappointed. I’m sure it’s because he thought I would name something having to do with him. With us. But for some reason, I want to keep those hopes just for me for now. “You can come with me to the McGregor Room,” I say. “But you have to promise to be quiet.” Affectionately Peter says, “Lara Jean, only you would look forward to hanging out in a library.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
I remember." I nod. Wanting to say: I remember everything-all of it-the question is: Do you? But instead, I stare down at my feet, smiling stupidly. Everything I do around him is stupid. Some Seeker I've turned out to be. Attempting to redeem myself,say something normal,not let on that I already know he's employed here-thanks to the raven who allowed me to spy on him earlier,I say, "So,I guess you hang out here a lot then?" He pushes a hand through his hair, as his eyes-the color of aquamarines-glide down the length of me.And damn if I can't feel their trajectory. It's like showering in a stream of warm, molten honey-dripping from the top of my forehead all the way down to my feet. "I guess you could say that," he says,voicelow and deep. "More than most, anyway." He waves a damp towel, tugs on the string of his apron, and I blush in reply. The sight of it reminding me of what I saw in the alleyway-watching him lean against the wall,his face so soft anddreamy I longed to touch him-kiss him-like I did in the dream. I study him closely,seeking traces of recognition, remembrance-some small token of evidence to assure me that, as odd as it seems,that kiss in the cave was as real as it felt-but coming up empty. "So,how long have you worked here?" I ask, returning to the topic at hand. My gaze drifting over the black V-necked T-shirt skimming the sinuous line of his body-telling myself it's all part of my reconnaissance,my need to gather as uch information as I can about him and his kin. But knowing that's not really it.The truth is,I like looking at him, being near him. "I guess you could say somewhere between too long and not long enough-depending on the state of my wallet." His laugh is good-natured and easy-the kid that starts at the belly and trips all the way up. "It's pretty much the only decent game in town." He shrugs. "One way or another,you end up working for the Richters,and believe me, this is one of the better gigs." I peer at him closely,remembering what Cade said when I was here via the raven. How he referred to him by another name. "You're not a Richter?" I ask,holding my breath in my cheeks.Despite what Paloma told me, I need to hear it from him,confirm that he doesn't identify with their clan. "I go by Whitefeather," he says,gaze steady and serious. "I was raised by my mom,didn't even know the Richters when I was a kid." Despite getting the answer I wanted, I frown in return. His being a Richter was a good reason to avoid him-without it,I'm out of excuses. "Is that okay?" He dips his head toward mine,his mouth tugging at the side. "You seem a little upset by the news." I shake my head,break free of my reverie, and say, "No-not at all. Believe me,it's more like a relief." I meet his gaze,seeing the way it narrows in question. "Guess I'm not a big fan of your brother," I add,watching as he throws his head back and laughs,the sight of that long,glorious column of neck forcing me to look away,it's too much to take. "If it makes you feel any better, most of the time I'd have to agree." He returns to me,the warmth of his gaze solely reponsible for the wave of comfort that flows through me.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
That day in Chartres they had passed through town and watched women kneeling at the edge of the water, pounding clothes against a flat, wooden board. Yves had watched them for a long time. They had wandered up and down the old crooked streets, in the hot sun; Eric remembered a lizard darting across a wall; and everywhere the cathedral pursued them. It is impossible to be in that town and not be in the shadow of those great towers; impossible to find oneself on those plains and not be troubled by that cruel and elegant, dogmatic and pagan presence. The town was full of tourists, with their cameras, their three-quarter coats, bright flowered dresses and shirts, their children, college insignia, Panama hats, sharp, nasal cries, and automobiles crawling like monstrous gleaming bugs over the laming, cobblestoned streets. Tourist buses, from Holland, from Denmark, from Germany, stood in the square before the cathedral. Tow-haired boys and girls, earnest, carrying knapsacks, wearing khaki-colored shorts, with heavy buttocks and thighs, wandered dully through the town. American soldiers, some in uniform, some in civilian clothes, leaned over bridges, entered bistros in strident, uneasy, smiling packs, circled displays of colored post cards, and picked up meretricious mementos, of a sacred character. All of the beauty of the town, all the energy of the plains, and all the power and dignity of the people seemed to have been sucked out of them by the cathedral. It was as though the cathedral demanded, and received, a perpetual, living sacrifice. It towered over the town, more like an affliction than a blessing, and made everything seem, by comparison with itself, wretched and makeshift indeed. The houses in which the people lived did not suggest shelter, or safety. The great shadow which lay over them revealed them as mere doomed bits of wood and mineral, set down in the path of a hurricane which, presently, would blow them into eternity. And this shadow lay heavy on the people, too. They seemed stunted and misshapen; the only color in their faces suggested too much bad wine and too little sun; even the children seemed to have been hatched in a cellar. It was a town like some towns in the American South, frozen in its history as Lot's wife was trapped in salt, and doomed, therefore, as its history, that overwhelming, omnipresent gift of God, could not be questioned, to be the property of the gray, unquestioning mediocre.
James Baldwin (Another Country)
So sentences are copied, constructed, or created; they are uttered, mentioned, or used; each says, means, implies, reveals, connects; each titillates, invites, conceals, suggests; and each is eventually either consumed or conserved; nevertheless, the lines in Stevens or the sentences of Joyce and James, pressed by one another into being as though the words before and the words after were those reverent hands both Rilke and Rodin have celebrated, clay calling to clay like mating birds, concept responding to concept the way passionate flesh congests, every note a nipple on the breast, at once a triumphant pinnacle and perfect conclusion, like pelted water, I think I said, yet at the same time only another anonymous cell, and selfless in its service to the shaping skin as lost forgotten matter is in all walls; these lines, these sentences, are not quite uttered, not quite mentioned, peculiarly employed, strangely listed, oddly used, as though a shadow were the leaves, limbs, trunk of a new tree, and the shade itself were thrust like a dark torch into the grassy air in the same slow and forceful way as its own roots, entering the earth, roughen the darkness there till all its freshly shattered facets shine against themselves as teeth do in the clenched jaw; for Rabelais was wrong, blue is the color of the mind in borrow of the body; it is the color consciousness becomes when caressed; it is the dark inside of sentences, sentences which follow their own turnings inward out of sight like the whorls of a shell, and which we follow warily, as Alice after that rabbit, nervous and white, till suddenly—there! climbing down clauses and passing through ‘and’ as it opens—there—there—we’re here! . . . in time for tea and tantrums; such are the sentences we should like to love—the ones which love us and themselves as well—incestuous sentences—sentences which make an imaginary speaker speak the imagination loudly to the reading eye; that have a kind of orality transmogrified: not the tongue touching the genital tip, but the idea of the tongue, the thought of the tongue, word-wet to part-wet, public mouth to private, seed to speech, and speech . . . ah! after exclamations, groans, with order gone, disorder on the way, we subside through sentences like these, the risk of senselessness like this, to float like leaves on the restful surface of that world of words to come, and there, in peace, patiently to dream of the sensuous, imagined, and mindful Sublime.
William H. Gass (On Being Blue)
There was one panicked moment. He picked a book from the wall, and the shapes inside, all the letters, were friends to him; but as he settled before them and began to mouth and mutter them, waiting for them to sound as words in his head, they were all gibberish. He grew frantic very quickly, fearing that he had lost what it was he had gained.t pieced it together into a different language. Shekel was dumbstruck at the realization that these glyphs he had conquered could do the same job for so many peoples who could not understand each other at all. He grinned as he thought about it. He was glad to share. He opened more foreign volumes, making or trying to make the noises that the letters spelled and laughing at how strange they sounded. He looked carefully at the pictures and cross-referenced them again, tentatively he concluded that in this lanugage, this particular clutch of letters meant 'boat' and this other set 'moon'. ....he reached new shelving and opened a book whose script was like nothing he knew. He laughed, delighted at its strange curves. He moved off further and found yet another alphabet. And a little way off there was another. For hours he found intrigue and astonishment by exploring the non-Ragamoll shelves. He found in those meaningless words and illegible alphabets not only an awe at the world, but the remnants of the fetishism to which he had been subjected before, when all books had existed for him as those did now, only as mute objects with mass and dimension and color, but without content. .... He gazedc at the books in Base and High Kettai and Sunglari and Lubbock and Khadohi with a kind of fascinated nostalgia for his own illiteracy, without for a fraction of a moment missing it.
China Miéville (The Scar (New Crobuzon, #2))
Arin had bathed. He was wearing house clothes, and when Kestrel saw him standing in the doorway his shoulders were relaxed. Without being invited, he strode into the room, pulled out the other chair at the small table where Kestrel waited, and sat. He arranged his arms in a position of negligent ease and leaned into the brocaded chair as if he owned it. He seemed, Kestrel thought, at home. But then, he had also seemed so in the forge. Kestrel looked away from him, stacking the Bite and Sting tiles on the table. It occurred to her that it was a talent for Arin to be comfortable in such different environments. She wondered how she would fare in his world. He said, “This is not a sitting room.” “Oh?” Kestrel mixed the tiles. “And here I thought we were sitting.” His mouth curved slightly. “This is a writing room. Or, rather”--he pulled his six tiles--“it was.” Kestrel drew her Bite and Sting hand. She decided to show no sign of curiosity. She would not allow herself to be distracted. She arranged her tiles facedown. “Wait,” he said. “What are the stakes?” She had given this careful consideration. She took a small wooden box from her skirt pocket and set it on the table. Arin picked up the box and shook it, listening to the thin, sliding rattle of its contents. “Matches.” He tossed the box back onto the table. “Hardly high stakes.” But what were appropriate stakes for a slave who had nothing to gamble? This question had troubled Kestrel ever since she had proposed the game. She shrugged and said, “Perhaps I am afraid to lose.” She split the matches between them. “Hmm,” he said, and they each put in their ante. Arin positioned his tiles so that he could see their engravings without revealing them to Kestrel. His eyes flicked to them briefly, then lifted to examine the luxury of his surroundings. This annoyed her--both because she could glean nothing from his expression and because he was acting the gentleman by averting his gaze, offering her a moment to study her tiles without fear of giving away something to him. As if she needed such an advantage. “How do you know?” she said. “How do I know what?” “That this was a writing room. I have never heard of such a thing.” She began to position her own tiles. It was only when she saw their designs that she wondered whether Arin had really been polite in looking away, or if he had been deliberately provoking her. She concentrated on her draw, relieved to see that she had a good set. A tiger (the highest tile); a wolf, a mouse, a fox (not a bad trio, except the mouse); and a pair of scorpions. She liked the Sting tiles. They were often underestimated. Kestrel realized that Arin had been waiting to answer her question. He was watching her. “I know,” he said, “because of this room’s position in your suite, the cream color of the walls, and the paintings of swans. This was where a Herrani lady would pen her letters or write journal entries. It’s a private room. I shouldn’t be allowed inside.” “Well,” said Kestrel, uncomfortable, “it is no longer what it was.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
He whirled,almost violently,and stared at her accusingly. "Damn it, Gennie, I've had my head lopped off." It was her turn to stare.Her fingers went numb against the stoneware. Her pulse seemed to stop long enough to make her head swim before it began to race. The color drained from her face until it was like porcelain against the glowing green of her eyes.On another oath, Grant dragged a hand through his hair. "You're spilling the coffee," he muttered, then stuck his hands in his pockets. "Oh." Gennie looked down foolishly at the tiny twin puddles that were forming on the floor,then set down the mugs. "I'll-I'll wipe it up." "Leave it." Grant grabbed her arm before she could reach for a towel. "Listen,I feel like someone's just given me a solid right straight to the gut-the kind that doubles you over and makes your head ring at the same time.I feel that way too often when I look at you." When she said nothing, he took her other arm and shook. "In the first place I never asked to have you walk into my life and mess up my head. The last thing I wanted was for you to get in my way,but you did.So now I'm in love with you, and I can tell you,I'm not crazy about the idea." Gennie found her voice, though she wasn't quite certain what to do with it. "Well," she managed after a moment, "that certainly puts me in my place." "Oh,she wants to make jokes." Disgusted, Grant released her to storm over to the coffee. Lifting a mug, he drained half the contents, perversely pleased that it scalded his throat. "Well, laugh this off," he suggested as he slammed the mug down again and glared. "You're not going anywhere until I figure out what the hell I'm going to do about you." Struggling against conflicting emotions of amusement,annoyance,and simple wonder, she put her hands on her hips. The movement shifted the too-big robe so that it threatened to slip off one shoulder. "Oh,really? So you're going to figure out what to do about me, like I was an inconvenient head cold." "Damned inconvenient," he muttered. "You may not have noticed, but I'm a grown woman with a mind of my own, accustomed to making my own decisions. You're not going to do anything about me," she told him as her temper began to overtake everything else. She jabbed a finger at him,and the gap in the robe widened. "If you're in love with me, that's your problem. I have one of my own because I'm in love with you." "Terrific!" he shouted at her. "That's just terrific.We'd both have been better off if you'd waited out that storm in a ditch instead of coming here." "You're not telling me anything I don't already know," Gennie retorted, then spun around to leave the room. "Just a minute." Grant had her arm again and backed her into the wall. "You're not going anywhere until this is settled." "It's settled!" Tossing her hair out of her face, she glared at him. "We're in love with each other and I wish you'd go jump off that cliff.If you had any finesse-" "I don't." "Any sensitivty," she continued, "you wouldn't announce that you were in love with someone in the same tone you'd use to frighten small children.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Paint in several colors was squeezed out of tubes and mixed and applied to woven fabric stretched on a wooden frame so artfully we say we see a woman hanging out a sheet rather than oil on canvas. Ana Teresa Fernandez’s image on that canvas is six feet tall, five feet wide, the figure almost life-size. Though it is untitled, the series it’s in has a title: Telaraña. Spiderweb. The spiderweb of gender and history in which the painted woman is caught; the spiderweb of her own power that she is weaving in this painting dominated by a sheet that was woven. Woven now by a machine, but before the industrial revolution by women whose spinning and weaving linked them to spiders and made spiders feminine in the old stories. In this part of the world, in the creation stories of the Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo, Choctaw, and Cherokee peoples, Spider Grandmother is the principal creator of the universe. Ancient Greek stories included an unfortunate spinning woman who was famously turned into a spider as well as the more powerful Greek fates, who spun, wove, and cut each person’s lifeline, who ensured that those lives would be linear narratives that end. Spiderwebs are images of the nonlinear, of the many directions in which something might go, the many sources for it; of the grandmothers as well as the strings of begats. There’s a German painting from the nineteenth century of women processing the flax from which linen is made. They wear wooden shoes, dark dresses, demure white caps, and stand at various distances from a wall, where the hanks of raw material are being wound up as thread. From each of them, a single thread extends across the room, as though they were spiders, as though it came right out of their bellies. Or as though they were tethered to the wall by the fine, slim threads that are invisible in other kinds of light. They are spinning, they are caught in the web. To spin the web and not be caught in it, to create the world, to create your own life, to rule your fate, to name the grandmothers as well as the fathers, to draw nets and not just straight lines, to be a maker as well as a cleaner, to be able to sing and not be silenced, to take down the veil and appear: all these are the banners on the laundry line I hang out.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
I like rainbows. We came back down to the meadow near the steaming terrace and sat in the river, just where one of the bigger hot streams poured into the cold water of the Ferris Fork. It is illegal – not to say suicidal – to bathe in any of the thermal features of the park. But when those features empty into the river, at what is called a hot pot, swimming and soaking are perfectly acceptable. So we were soaking off our long walk, talking about our favorite waterfalls, and discussing rainbows when it occurred to us that the moon was full. There wasn’t a hint of foul weather. And if you had a clear sky and a waterfall facing in just the right direction… Over the course of a couple of days we hked back down the canyon to the Boundary Creek Trail and followed it to Dunanda Falls, which is only about eight miles from the ranger station at the entrance to the park. Dunanda is a 150-foot-high plunge facing generally south, so that in the afternoons reliable rainbows dance over the rocks at its base. It is the archetype of all western waterfalls. Dunenda is an Indian name; in Shoshone it means “straight down,” which is a pretty good description of the plunge. ... …We had to walk three miles back toward the ranger station and our assigned campsite. We planned to set up our tents, eat, hang our food, and walk back to Dunanda Falls in the dark, using headlamps. We could be there by ten or eleven. At that time the full moon would clear the east ridge of the downriver canyon and would be shining directly on the fall. Walking at night is never a happy proposition, and this particular evening stroll involved five stream crossings, mostly on old logs, and took a lot longer than we’d anticipated. Still, we beat the moon to the fall. Most of us took up residence in one or another of the hot pots. Presently the moon, like a floodlight, rose over the canyon rim. The falling water took on a silver tinge, and the rock wall, which had looked gold under the sun, was now a slick black so the contrast of water and rock was incomparably stark. The pools below the lip of the fall were glowing, as from within, with a pale blue light. And then it started at the base of the fall: just a diagonal line in the spray that ran from the lower east to the upper west side of the wall. “It’s going to happen,” I told Kara, who was sitting beside me in one of the hot pots. Where falling water hit the rock at the base of the fall and exploded upward in vapor, the light was very bright. It concentrated itself in a shining ball. The diagonal line was above and slowly began to bend until, in the fullness of time (ten minutes, maybe), it formed a perfectly symmetrical bow, shining silver blue under the moon. The color was vaguely electrical. Kara said she could see colors in the moonbow, and when I looked very hard, I thought I could make out a faint line of reddish orange above, and some deep violet at the bottom. Both colors were very pale, flickering, like bad florescent light. In any case, it was exhilarating, the experience of a lifetime: an entirely perfect moonbow, silver and iridescent, all shining and spectral there at the base of Dunanda Falls. The hot pot itself was a luxury, and I considered myself a pretty swell fellow, doing all this for the sanity of city dwellers, who need such things more than anyone else. I even thought of naming the moonbow: Cahill’s Luminescence. Something like that. Otherwise, someone else might take credit for it.
Tim Cahill (Lost in My Own Backyard: A Walk in Yellowstone National Park)
He opened his eyes then, white fire flaring hotly within them. “Send me home, Legna,” he commanded her, his voice hoarse with suppressed emotion. She moved her head in affirmation even as she leaned toward him to catch his mouth once more in a brief, territorial kiss, her teeth scoring his bottom lip as she broke away. It was an incidental wound, one he could heal in the blink of an eye. But he wouldn’t erase her mark on him, and they both knew it. Finally, she stepped back, closed her eyes, and concentrated on picturing his home in her thoughts. She had been in his parlor dozens of times as a guest, always accompanied by Noah. His library, his kitchen, even the grounds of the isolated estate were well known to her. She could have sent him to any of those locations. But as she began to focus, her mind’s eye was filled with the image of a dark, elegant room she had never seen before. Hand-carved ebony-paneled walls soared up into a vast ceiling, enormous windows of intricate stained glass spilled colored light over the entire room as if a multitude of rainbows had taken up residence. It all centered around an enormous bed, the coverlet’s color indistinguishable under the blanket of colorful dawn sunlight that streamed into the room. She could feel the sun’s warmth, ready and waiting to cocoon any weary occupant who thrived on sleeping in the heat of the muted daylight sun. It was a beautiful room, and she knew without a doubt that it was Gideon’s bedroom and that he had shared the image of it with her. If she sent him there, it would be the first time she had ever teleported someone to a place she had not first seen for herself. The ability to take images of places from others’ minds for teleporting purposes was an advanced Elder ability. “You can do it,” he encouraged her softly, all of his thoughts and his will completely full of his belief in that statement. Legna kept his gaze for one last long moment, and with a flick of a wrist sent him from the room with a soft pop of moving air. She exhaled in wonder, everything inside of her knowing without a doubt that he had appeared in his bedroom, safe and sound, that very next second. Legna turned to look at her own bed and wondered how she would ever be able to sleep. Nelissuna . . . go to bed. I will help you sleep. Gideon’s voice washed through her, warming her, comforting her in a way she hadn’t thought possible. This was the connection that Jacob and Isabella shared. For the rest of the time both of them lived, each would be privy to the other’s innermost thoughts. She realized that because he was the more powerful, it was quite possible he would be able to master parts of himself, probably even hide things from her awareness and keep them private—at least, until she learned how to work her new ability with better skill. After all, she was a Demon of the Mind. It was part of her innate state of being to figure the workings of their complex minds. She removed her slippers and pushed the sleeves of her dress from her shoulders so that it sheeted off her in one smooth whisper of fabric. She closed her eyes, avoiding looking in the mirror or at herself, very aware of Gideon’s eyes behind her own. His masculine laughter vibrated through her, setting her skin to tingle. So, you are both shy and bold . . . he said with amusement as she quickly slid beneath her covers. You are a source of contradictions and surprises, Legna. My world has begun anew. As if living for over a millennium is not long enough? she asked him. On the contrary. Without you, it was far, far too long. Go to sleep, Nelissuna. And a moment after she received the thought, her eyes slid closed with a weight she could not have contradicted even if she had wanted to. Her last thought, as she drifted off, was that she had to make a point of telling Isabella that she might have been wrong about what it meant to have another to share one’s mind with.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be ‘ordered’ the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica. [M]en will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button. Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. “[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground. [V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. [W]all screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. [T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that! There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be ‘farms’ turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction…. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran". [M]ankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. [T]he most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work! in our a society of enforced leisure.
Isaac Asimov