Curtains Come Down Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Curtains Come Down. Here they are! All 100 of them:

This could be the last night of our lives, certainly the last even barely ordinary one. The last night we go to sleep and get up just as we always have. And all I could think of was that I wanted to spend it with you." Her heart skipped a beat. "Jace-" "I don't mean it like that," he said. "I won't touch you, not if you don't want me to. I know it's wrong - God, it's all kinds of wrong - but I just want to lie down with you and wake up with you, just once, just once ever in my life." There was desperation in his voice. "It's just this one night. In the grand scheme of things, how much can this one night matter?" ...There was nothing she had ever wanted in her life more than she wanted this night with Jace. "Close the curtains, then, before you come to bed," she said. "I can't sleep with this much light in the room.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin...
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
For many of us, the curtain had just come down on childhood.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
Out- out are the lights- out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, "Man," And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Edgar Allan Poe
Aubade I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
For Someone Awakening To The Trauma of His or Her Past: For everything under the sun there is a time. This is the season of your awkward harvesting, When the pain takes you where you would rather not go, Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place You had forgotten you knew from the inside out; And a time when that bitter tree was planted That has grown always invisibly beside you And whose branches your awakened hands Now long to disentangle from your heart. You are coming to see how your looking often darkened When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love, How deep down your eyes were always owned by something That faced them through a dark fester of thorns Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong; You could only see what touched you as already torn. Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning. And your memory is ready to show you everything, Having waited all these years for you to return and know. Only you know where the casket of pain is interred. You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering And according to your readiness, everything will open. May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide Who can accompany you through the fear and grief Until your heart has wept its way to your true self. As your tears fall over that wounded place, May they wash away your hurt and free your heart. May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound So that for the first time you can walk away from that place, Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed, And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
My lovers suffocate me! Crowding my lips, and thick in the pores of my skin, Jostling me through streets and public halls...coming naked to me at night, Crying by day Ahoy from the rocks of the river...swinging and chirping over my head, Calling my name from flowerbeds or vines or tangled underbrush, Or while I swim in the bath....or drink from the pump on the corner....or the curtain is down at the opera.....or I glimpse at a woman’s face in the railroad car; Lighting on every moment of my life, Bussing my body with soft and balsamic busses, Noiselessly passing handfuls out of their hearts and giving them to be mine
Walt Whitman
Oh, God, I though, this is like two people in a play, in a moment the curtain will come down, we shall bow to the audience, and go off to our dressing-rooms.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
the bouquet Between me and the world you are a bay, a sail the faithful ends of a rope you are a fountain, a wind, a shrill childhood cry. Between me and the world you are a picture frame, a window a field covered in wildflowers you are a breath, a bed, a night that keeps the stars company. Between me and the world, you are a calendar, a compass a ray of light that slips through the gloom you are a biographical sketch, a book mark a preface that comes at the end. between me and the world you are a gauze curtain, a mist a lamp shining in my dreams you are a bamboo flute, a song without words a closed eyelid carved in stone. Between me and the world you are a chasm, a pool an abyss plunging down you are a balustrade, a wall a shield’s eternal pattern.
Bei Dao
But see, amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued. Out- out are the lights- out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, "Man," And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Edgar Allan Poe
Duchess was barking her head off as she raced after a snarling, hissing, yowling white ball of Maleficent. Aphrodite was chasing after the dog, screaming for her to ''Come! Stay. Be good, damnit!'' Damien was close behind her, flailing his arms and yelling ''Duchess! Come!'' All of a sudden the Twins' cat, the huge and very stuck-up Beelzebub joined in the chase, only he was tearing around after Duchess. ''Ohmygod! Beelzebub! Honey!'' Shaunee ran into my view, yelling at the top of her very healthy lungs. ''Beelzebub! Duchess! Stop!'' Erin wailed, right behind her twin. Darius suddenly burst out into the hallway, and I stepped back behind the curtains, not sure is my shrouding could be detected by him. Apparently he didn't notice me, or anything else, because he ran into the Council Room. I peeked through the drapes and could hear him telling Neferet that she was needed on the school grounds-that there was an 'altercation.' Then Neferet was hurrying out of the room and down the hall, following Darius into the dog-barking, cat-yowling, kid-screaming craziness. I noticed that through all of it I hadn't seen hide nor hair of Jack. Talk about an excellent diversion!
Kristin Cast (Untamed (House of Night, #4))
UP You wake up filled with dread. There seems no reason for it. Morning light sifts through the window, there is birdsong, you can't get out of bed. It's something about the crumpled sheets hanging over the edge like jungle foliage, the terry slippers gaping their dark pink mouths for your feet, the unseen breakfast--some of it in the refrigerator you do not dare to open--you will not dare to eat. What prevents you? The future. The future tense, immense as outer space. You could get lost there. No. Nothing so simple. The past, its density and drowned events pressing you down, like sea water, like gelatin filling your lungs instead of air. Forget all that and let's get up. Try moving your arm. Try moving your head. Pretend the house is on fire and you must run or burn. No, that one's useless. It's never worked before. Where is it coming form, this echo, this huge No that surrounds you, silent as the folds of the yellow curtains, mute as the cheerful Mexican bowl with its cargo of mummified flowers? (You chose the colours of the sun, not the dried neutrals of shadow. God knows you've tried.) Now here's a good one: you're lying on your deathbed. You have one hour to live. Who is it, exactly, you have needed all these years to forgive?
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
Tell about the quality of light coming in through your window. Jump in and write. Don’t worry if it is night and your curtains are closed or you would rather write about the light up north—just write. Go for ten minutes, fifteen, a half hour.
Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within)
The moon from any window is one part whoever’s looking. The part I can’t see is everything my sister keeps to herself. One part my dead brother’s sleepless brow, the other part the time I waste, the time I won’t have. But which is the lion killed for the sake of the honey inside him, and which the wine, stranded in a valley, unredeemed? And don’t forget the curtains. Don’t forget the wind in the trees, or my mother’s voice saying things that will take my whole life to come true. One part earnest child grown tall in his mother’s doorway, and one a last look over the shoulder before leaving. And never forget it answers to no address, but calls wave after wave to a path or thirst. Never forget the candle climbing down without glancing back. And what about the heart counting alone, out loud, in that game in which the many hide from the one? Never forget the cry completely hollowed of the dying one who cried it. Only in such pure outpouring is there room for all this night.
Li-Young Lee (Book of My Nights: Poems (American Poets Continuum, 68))
Pull back the curtain and jump down the rabbit hole.
Brad Jensen
For many of us, the curtain has just come down on childhood.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
This. This is exactly it. "It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside — but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond — only a glimpse — and heard a note of unearthly music. This moment came rarely — went swiftly, leaving her breathless with the inexpressible delight of it. She could never recall it — never summon it — never pretend it; but the wonder of it stayed with her for days. It never came twice with the same thing. Tonight the dark boughs against that far-off sky had given it. It had come with a high, wild note of wind in the night, with a shadow wave over a ripe field, with a grey bird lighting on her windowsill in a storm, with the singing of “Holy, holy, holy” in church, with a glimpse of the kitchen fire when she had come home on a dark autumn night, with the spirit-like blue of ice palms on a twilit pane, with a felicitous new word when she writing down a ‘description’ of something. And always when the flash came to her Emily felt that life was a wonderful, mysterious thing of persistent beauty.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1))
i am dead but i know the dead are not like this." the dead can sleep they don’t get up and rage they don’t have a wife. her white face like a flower in a closed window lifts up and looks at me. the curtain smokes a cigarette and a moth dies in a freeway cash as I examine the shadows of my hands. an owl, the size of a baby clock rings for me, come on come on it says as Jerusalem is hustled down crotch-stained halls. the 5 a.m. grass is nasal now in hums of battleships and valleys in the raped light that brings on the fascist birds. I put out the lamp and get in bed beside her, she thinks I’m there mumbles a rosy gratitude as I stretch my legs to coffin length get in and swim away from frogs and fortunes.
Charles Bukowski (Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame)
The ticking was gone from my mind and all was quiet everywhere in the world and I held the curtain like I held the sound of the bullets going into the draft horse, his favourite, in the barn, one two three, and I stood at the window in Stevie’s jacket and looked and waited and still the rain kept coming down outside one two three and I was thinking oh what a small sky for so much rain.
Colum McCann (Everything in This Country Must)
Instructions for Dad. I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you. I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me. Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people. I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums. I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements. I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave. I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy). I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals. Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare. Music- "Blackbird" by the Beatles. "Plainsong" by The Cure. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it). Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money. And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream. Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that. OK. That's it. I love you. Tessa xxx
Jenny Downham
Now journeys were not simple matters for Grace; nothing is simple if your mind is a fetch-and-carry wanderer from sliced perilous outer world to secret safe inner world; if when night comes your thought creeps out like a furred animal concealed in the dark, to fine, seize, and kill its food and drag it back to the secret house in the secret world, only to discover that the secret world has disappeared or has so enlarged that it's a public nightmare; if then strange beasts walk upside down like flies on the ceiling; crimson wings flap, the curtains fly; a sad man wearing a blue waistcoat with green buttons sits in the centre of the room, crying because he has swallowed the mirror and it hurts and he burps in flashes of glass and light; if crakes move and cry; the world is flipped, unrolled down in the vast marble stair; a stained threadbare carpet; the hollow silver dancing shoes, hunting-horns...
Janet Frame
He no sooner saw the woman than he saw the aftermath of her - his marriage proposal and her acceptance, the home they would set up together, the drawn rich silk curtains leaking purple light, the bed sheets billowing like clouds, the wisp of aromatic smoke winding from the chimney - only for every wrack of it - its lattice of crimson roof tiles, its gables and dormer windows, his happiness, his future - to come crashing down on him in the moment of her walking past.
Howard Jacobson
My parents kept a small cabin the mountains. It was a simple thing, just four walls, and very dark inside. A heavy felt curtain blotted out whatever light made it through the canopy of huge pines and down into the cabin's only window. There was a queen-size bed in there, an armchair, and a wood-burning stove. It wasn't an old cabin. I think my parents built it in the seventies from a kit. In a few spots the wood beams were branded with the word HOME-RITE. But the spirit of the place me think of simpler times, olden days, yore, or whenever it was that people rarely spoke except to say there was a store coming or the berries were poisonous or whatnot, the bare essentials. It was deadly quiet up there. You could hear your own heart beating if you listened. I loved it, or at least I thought I ought to love it - I've never been very clear on that distinction.
Ottessa Moshfegh (Homesick for Another World)
The curtain has just come down on childhood
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
Good night. What? Those ladies behind those windows? Dream, monsieur, cheap dream, a trip to the Indies! Those persons perfume themselves with spices. You go in, they draw the curtains, and the navigation begins. The gods come down onto the naked bodies and the islands are set adrift, lost souls crowned with the tousled hair of palm trees in the wind. Try it.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
Aren’t you a little young to be a captain? Not that I’m sure you weren’t wonderful at it,” I added hastily, “but Frank’s got to be your same age, and Mr. Graces and Mr. Liu are both older than you. How on earth did it happen?” He shut down. It was like a curtain being pulled across a window. This was a subject he definitely did not wish to discuss. “The title is honorary,” he said, not meeting my gaze. “I can’t stop them calling me that, even though I’ve asked them not to. I was the highest-ranking officer to survive the…accident.” Accident? I supposed this was another one of those things he didn’t want to tell me because it would make me hate him. Recognizing that dropping that particular topic-for now at least-would probably be best. I said, “John, I can warn you about the Furies. And I know exactly where the coffin is. All you have to do is take me back to Isla Huesos-just this one time, to help Alex-and I’ll never mention going there again. I’ll even,” I said, reaching up to straighten the collar of his leather jacket, which had gone askew, “forgive you for the waffles-“ John seized me by both shoulders, pulling me towards him so abruptly that Hope gave an alarmed flap of her wings. “Pierce,” he said. “Do you mean that?” When I pushed back some of the hair that had tumbled into my face and raised my dark eyes to meet his light ones, I saw that he was staring down at me with an intensity that burned. “You’ll never mention going back to Isla Huesos again if I take you there right now, this once, to talk to your cousin Alex?” he demanded. “You’ll give…cohabitation another chance?” His sudden fierceness was making me nervous. “Of course, John,” I said. “But it’s not like I have a choice.” “What if you did?” he asked, his grip tightening. I blinked. “But I can’t. You said-“ He gave me a little shake. “Never mind what I said. What if I was wrong?” I reached up to lay a hand on his cheek. It felt a little scratchy, because he hadn’t shaved. I didn’t care about stubble. What I cared about was the desperate need I saw in his eyes. The need for me. “I’d come back,” I said, simply, “to stay with you.” A second later, the late-and everything around it-was gone.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
She nearly stopped forever just outside Ashton, because she came to a tiny cottage buried in a garden. I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
[I]ch habe es noch in diesem Sommer erneut zu Papier gebracht: Berlin wird leben, und die Mauer wird fallen." ("I put it down on paper again in the summer of this year: Berlin will live, and the Wall will come down.") Speech at Rathaus Schöneberg (Berlin City Hall) on November 10, 1989 [the day after the de facto abolition of intra-German border controls by the East German government]
Willy Brandt
As the curtain closed, as the echoes stood up to leave: He wouldn’t of done it for any other reason—he didn’t want to have anybody to have to take the risk just for—I guess not, old fellow, because there wasn’t anybody but him left—He did it because—I guess not—because everybody left and he knows he can’t run them logs down by himself—He did it because . . . he finally saw how it was . . . because . . . he finally saw that there wasn’t any sense. Because of rust, of rot. Of push, of squeeze. Because there is really no strength beyond the strength of those around you. Because of weakness. Because of no grit, no grit anywhere at all and labor availeth not. Because all is vanity and vexation of the spirit. Because of that drum on the donkey forever breaking down. Of bruises from springbacks. Of sinus headaches and ingrown toenails. Of rain and the seas are still not full. Because of everything coming so thick and so fast for so long for so very long for finally too long. . .
Ken Kesey (Sometimes a Great Notion)
Adolf Hitler is probably the last of the great adventurer-conquerors in the tradition of Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon, and the Third Reich the last of the empires which set out on the path taken earlier by France, Rome and Macedonia. The curtain was rung down on that phase of history, at least, by the sudden invention of the hydrogen bomb, of the ballistic missile and of rockets that can be aimed to hit the moon. In our new age of terrifying, lethal gadgets, which supplanted so swiftly the old one, the first great aggressive war, if it should come, will be launched by suicidal little madmen pressing an electronic button. Such a war will not last long and none will ever follow it. There will be no conquerors and no conquests, but only the charred bones of the dead on an uninhabited planet.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
As she rounded a corner one of her favourite songs came on the radio, and sunlight filtered through the trees the way it does with lace curtains, reminding her of her grandmother, and tears began to slide down her cheeks. Not for her grandmother, who was then still very much among the living, but because she felt an enveloping happiness to be alive, a joy made stronger by the certainty that someday it would all come to an end. It overwhelmed her, made her pull the car to the side of the road. Afterwards she felt a little foolish, and never spoke to anyone about it. Now, however, she knows she wasn’t being foolish. She realizes that for no particular reason she stumbled into the core of what it is to be human. It’s a rare gift to understand that your life is wondrous, and that it won’t last forever.
Steven Galloway (The Cellist of Sarajevo)
The glow lasted through the night, beyond the bar's closing, when there were no cabs on the street. And so Mathilde and Lotto decided to walk home, her arm in his, chatting about nothing, about everything, the unpleasant, hot breath of the subway belching up from the grates. 'Chthonic', he said, booze letting loose the pretension at his core, which she still found sweet, an allowance from the glory. It was so late, there were few other people out, and it felt, just for this moment, that they had the city to themselves. She thought of all the life just underfoot, the teem of it that they were passing over, unknowing. She said, 'Did you know that the total weight of all the ants on Earth is the same as the total weight of all the humans on Earth.' She, who drank to excess, was a little bit drunk, it was true, there was so much relief in the evening. When the curtains closed against the backdrop, an enormous bolder blocking their future had rolled away. 'They'll still be here when we're gone,' he said. He was drinking from a flask. By the time they were home, he'd be sozzeled. 'The ants and the jellyfish and the cockroaches, they will be the kings of the Earth.'... 'They deserve this place more than we do,' she said. 'We've been reckless with our gifts.' He smiled and looked up. There were no stars, there was too much smog for them. 'Did you know,' he said, 'they just found out just a while ago that there are billions of worlds that can support life in our galaxy alone.' ...She felt a sting behind here eyes, but couldn't say why this thought touched her. He saw clear through and understood. He knew her. The things he didn't know about her would sink an ocean liner. He knew her. 'We're lonely down here,' he said, 'it's true, but we're not alone.' In the hazy space after he died, when she lived in a sort of timeless underground grief, she saw on the internet a video about what would happen to our galaxy in billions of years. We are in an immensely slow tango with the Andromeda galaxy, both galaxies shaped like spirals with outstretched arms, and we are moving toward each other like spinning bodies. The galaxies will gain speed as they draw near, casting off blue sparks, new stars until they spin past each other, and then the long arms of both galaxies will reach longingly out and grasp hands at the last moment and they will come spinning back in the opposite direction, their legs entwined, never hitting, until the second swirl becomes a clutch, a dip, a kiss, and then at the very center of things, when they are at their closest, there will open a supermassive black hole.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
The Conqueror Worm Lo! 'tis a gala night Within the lonesome latter years! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight In veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre, to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres. Mimes, in the form of God on high, Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly— Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Wo! That motley drama—oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased for evermore, By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot, And much of Madness, and more of Sin, And Horror the soul of the plot. But see, amid the mimic rout A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And the angels sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued. Out—out are the lights—out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, And the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, "Man," And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Conqueror Worm)
Nobody in Faha could remember when it started. Rain there on the western seaboard was a condition of living. It came straight-down and sideways, frontwards, backwards and any other wards God could think of. It came in sweeps, in waves, sometimes in veils. It came dressed as drizzle, as mizzle, as mist, as showers, frequent and widespread, as a wet fog, as a damp day, a drop, a dripping, and an out-and-out downpour. It came the fine day, the bright day, and the day promised dry. It came at any time of the day and night, and in all seasons, regardless of calendar and forecast, until in Faha your clothes were rain and your skin was rain and your house was rain with a fireplace. It came off the grey vastness of an Atlantic that threw itself against the land like a lover once spurned and resolved not to be so again. It came accompanied by seagulls and smells of salt and seaweed. It came with cold air and curtained light. It came like a judgment, or, in benign version, like a blessing God had forgotten he had left on. It came for a handkerchief of blue sky, came on westerlies, sometimes—why not?—on easterlies, came in clouds that broke their backs on the mountains in Kerry and fell into Clare, making mud the ground and blind the air. It came disguised as hail, as sleet, but never as snow. It came softly sometimes, tenderly sometimes, its spears turned to kisses, in rain that pretended it was not rain, that had come down to be closer to the fields whose green it loved and fostered, until it drowned them.
Niall Williams (This is Happiness)
Pulling to a stop in front of Aly’s house, I take a deep breath. With a flick of my wrist, I cut the engine and listen to the silence. I’ve sat in this exact spot more times than I can count. In many ways, Aly’s house is like my sanctuary. A place I go when my own home feels like a graveyard. I glance up at the bedroom window of the girl who knows me better than anyone, the only person I let see me cry after Dad died. I won’t let this experiment take that or her away from me. Tonight, I’m going to prove that Aly and I can go back to our normal, easy friendship. Throwing open my door, I trudge up her sidewalk, plant my feet outside her front door, and ring the bell. “Coming!” I step back and see Aly stick her head out of her second-story window. “No problem,” I call back up. “Take your time.” More time to get my head on straight. Aly disappears behind a film of yellow curtain, and I turn to look out at the quiet neighborhood. Up and down the street, the lights blink on, filling the air with a low hum that matches the thrumming of my nerves. Across the street, old Mr. Lawson sits at his usual perch under a gigantic American flag, drinking beer and mumbling to himself. Two little girls ride their bikes around the cul-de-sac, smiling and waving. Just a normal, run-of-the-mill Friday night. Except not. I thrust my hands into my pockets, jiggling the loose change from my Taco Bell run earlier tonight, and grab my pack of Trident. I toss a stick into my mouth and chew furiously. Supposedly, the smell of peppermint can calm your nerves. I grab a second stick and shove it in, too. With the clacking sound of Aly’s shoes approaching the door behind me, I remind myself again about tonight’s mission. All I need is focus. I take another deep breath for good measure and rock back on my heels, ready to greet my best friend. She opens the door, wearing a black dress molded to her skin, and I let the air out in one big huff.
Rachel Harris (The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1))
Over his wine Dick looked at them again; in their happy faces, the dignity that surrounded and pervaded the party, he perceived all the maturity of an older America. For a while the sobered women who had come to mourn for their dead, for something they could not repair, made the room beautiful. Momentarily, he sat again on his father's knee, riding with Moseby while old loyalties and devotions fought on around him. Almost with an effort he turned his back to his two women at the table and faced the new world in which he believed. -Do you mind if I pull down the curtain?
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night)
I pray where I am, sitting by the window, looking out through the curtain at the empty garden. I don't even close my eyes. Out there or inside my head, it's an equal darkness. Or light. My God. Who Art in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within. I wish you would tell me Your Name, the real one I mean. But You will do as well as anything. I wish I knew what You were up to. But whatever it is, help me to get through it, please. Though maybe it's not our doing: I don't believe for an instant that what's going on out there is what You meant. I have enough daily bread, so I won't waste time on that. It isn't the main problem. The problem is getting it down without choking on it. Now we come to forgiveness. Don't worry about forgiving me right now. There are more important things. For instance: keep the others safe, if they are safe. Don't let them suffer too much. If they have to die, let it be fast. You might even provide a Heaven for them. We need You for that. Hell we can make for ourselves. I suppose I should say I forgive whoever did this, and whatever they're doing now. I'll try, but it isn't easy. Temptation comes next. At the Center, temptation was anything much more than eating and sleeping. Knowing was a temptation. What you don't know won't tempt you, Aunt Lydia used to say. Maybe I don't really want to know what's going on. Maybe I'd rather not know. Maybe I couldn't bear to know. The Fall was a fall from innocence to knowledge. I think about the chandelier too much, though it's gone now. But you could use a hook, in the closet. I've considered the possibilities. All you'd have to do, after attaching yourself, would be to lean your weight forward and not fight. Deliver us from evil. Then there's Kingdom, power, and glory. It takes a lot to believe in those right now. But I'll try it anyway. In Hope, as they say on the gravestones. You must feel pretty ripped off. I guess it's not the first time. If I were You I'd be fed up. I'd really be sick of it. I guess that's the difference between us. I feel very unreal talking to You like this. I fee as if I'm talking to a wall. I wish You'd answer. I feel so alone. All alone by the telephone. Except that I can't use the telephone. And if I could, who could I call? Oh God. It's no joke. Oh God oh God. How can I keep on living.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollows of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flesh of tattered flags kindling in the doom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumn trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore. It seemed now as if, touched by human penitence and all its toil, divine goodness had parted the curtain and displayed behind it, single, distinct, the hare erect; the wave falling; the boat rocking; which, did we deserve them, should be ours always. But alas, divine goodness, twitching the cord, draws the curtain; it does not please him; he covers his treasures in a drench of hail, and so breaks them, so confuses them that it seems impossible that their calm should ever return or that we should ever compose from their fragments a perfect whole or read in the littered pieces the clear words of truth. For our penitence deserves a glimpse only; our toil respite only. The nights now are full of wind and destruction; the trees plunge and bend and their leaves fly helter skelter until the lawn is plastered with them and they lie packed in gutters and choke rain pipes and scatter damp paths. Also the sea tosses itself and breaks itself, and should any sleeper fancying that he might find on the beach an answer to his doubts, a sharer of his solitude, throw off his bedclothes and go down by himself to walk on the sand, no image with semblance of serving and divine promptitude comes readily to hand bringing the night to order and making the world reflect the compass of the soul. The hand dwindles in his hand; the voice bellows in his ear. Almost it would appear that it is useless in such confusion to ask the night those questions as to what, and why, and wherefore, which tempt the sleeper from his bed to seek an answer.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Tell me!” Cecily insisted later, shaking Colby by both arms. “Cut it out, you’ll dismember me,” Colby said, chuckling. She let go of the artificial arm and wrapped both hands around the good one. “I want to know. Listen, this is my covert operation. You’re just a stand-in!” “I promised I wouldn’t tell.” “You promised in Lakota. Tell me in English what you promised in Lakota.” He gave in. He did tell her, but not Leta, what was said, but only about the men coming to the reservation soon. “We’ll need the license plate number,” she said. “It can be traced. “Oh, of course,” he said facetiously. “They’ll certainly come here with their own license plate on the car so that everyone knows who they are!” “Damn!” He chuckled at her irritation. He was about to tell her about his alternative method when a big sport utility vehicle came flying down the dirt road and pulled up right in front of Leta’s small house. Tate Winthrop got out, wearing jeans and a buckskin jacket and sunglasses. His thick hair fell around his shoulders and down his back like a straight black silk curtain. Cecily stared at it with curious fascination. In all the years she’d known him, she’d very rarely seen his hair down. “All you need is the war paint,” Colby said in a resigned tone. He turned the uninjured cheek toward the newcomer. “Go ahead. I like matching scars.” Tate took off the dark glasses and looked from Cecily to Colby without smiling. “Holden won’t tell me a damned thing. I want answers.” “Come inside, then,” Cecily replied. “We’re attracting enough attention as it is.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
We're buying curtains, babe, that activity hardly requires a cart," he noted. "We're in a home store, Tate," I replied, thinking my answer said all. "And?" he returned, stating plainly my answer did not say all. "A mega home store," I added. "And?" "And, I came here a few days ago to buy you sheets. I ended up buying you two sets of sheets, six new pillows, a down comforter, a comforter cover and shams. That happens in a home store," I educated him. "You come in needing a spatula and you go out with a spatula, new kitchen towels, candles, candle holders, cool things to seal open chip bags, a variety of frames, a soap dispenser and a new vacuum cleaner.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
What we see is acting, isn’t it, Francis?” “Is it?” he said derisively. “You won’t get your diamonds back, I fear, when the curtain comes down. And the name, please, is Lymond: a new medal: choose the trussell or the pile. My present face is the provident, forbearing one.” The smiling eyes turned on her were empty. “De los álamos vengo, madre. From the stews and alleyways of Europe with a taste for play acting—yes—and killing and treason and crimes, they say, nameless and enticingly erotic. Haven’t I been worth five years’ excellent gossip to you? Are you not all waiting agog to see me seize my sister-in-law by the hair? When I think of it, damn it, I’m a public benefactor.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles, #1))
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make one almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of revery. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. Black fantastic shadows crawl into the corners of the room, and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills, and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colors of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.
Oscar Wilde (Complete Works)
Back in grade school, my shrinks tried to channel my viciousness into a constructive outlet, so I cut things with scissors. Heavy, cheap fabrics Diane bought by the bolt. I sliced through them with old metal shears going up and down: hateyouhateyouhateyou. The soft growl of the fabrics as I sliced it apart, and that perfect last moment, when your thumb is getting sore and your shoulders hurt from hunching and cut, cut, cut... free, the fabric now swaying in two pieces in your hands, a curtain parted. And then what? That's how I felt now, like I'd been sawing away at something and come to the end and here I was by myself again, in my small house with no job, no family, and I was holding two ends of fabric and didn't know what to do next.
Gillian Flynn (Dark Places)
She nearly stopped forever just outside Ashton, because she came to a tiny cottage buried in a garden. I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin. . . .
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
Big squidhead lies a-sleeping at the bottom of the sea, And one day, when the stars are right, he’ll wake up presently, And then may wipe us all out, which sounds worrying to me, While the Tcho-Tcho sing this song… Aie! Ftagn! Ftagn! Cthulhu! Cosmic horror coming to you, The Old Ones are back now with a view to Sucking out your brains. Big Squidhead lies a-sleeping, although, in a way, he’s dead. There are dreams that change reality a-running round his head. He lies in dread R’lyeh, which is on the ocean bed. But pops up and down for fun. And the Tcho-Tcho sing Aie! Ftagn! Ftagn! Yog-Sothoth! The streets will be chockablock with shoggoth, How sweetly their cries ‘Tekeli-li!’ doth Improve the slimy hour. Big Squidhead lies a-scheming at the bottom of the sea, He is counting out the aeons that make up eternity, And when he’s done, it’s curtains for the mast majority, While the Tcho-Tcho get on down. Aie! Ftagn! Ftagn! Shub-Niggurath! We’re on the winning side to see the aftermath, Put on your marching boots because we’re on the path, To the end times, here we come! To the end times, here we come! To the end times! Here! We! Coooooooooome!
Jonathan L. Howard
My dear Princess, if you could creep unseen about your City, peeping at will through the curtain-shielded windows, you would come to think that all the world was little else than a big nursery full of crying children with none to comfort them. The doll is broken: no longer it sweetly sqeaks in answer to our pressure, "I love you, kiss me." The drum lies silent with the drumstick inside, no longer do we make a brave noise in the nursery. The box of tea-things we have clumsily put out foot upon; there will be no more merry parties around the three-legged stool. The tin trumpet will not play the note we want to sound; the wooden bricks keep falling down; the toy has exploded and burnt our fingers. Never mind, little man, little woman, we will try and mend things to-morrow
Jerome K. Jerome
This is where you come when you are lost, when you feel that you are never going to find the place. You go to the first place, the first country, to her net curtains and her singular food, to her safe and open door. You lie down. You eat. You listen to her. And you know that this house will not fall down. This house is sturdy and is made of bricks, and the wolf will not come and blow it down.
Diana Evans (Ordinary People)
What is this, behind this veil, is it ugly, is it beautiful? It is shimmering, has it breasts, has it edges? I am sure it is unique, I am sure it is what I want. When I am quiet at my cooking I feel it looking, I feel it thinking 'Is this the one I am too appear for, Is this the elect one, the one with black eye-pits and a scar? Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus, Adhering to rules, to rules, to rules. Is this the one for the annunciation? My god, what a laugh!' But it shimmers, it does not stop, and I think it wants me. I would not mind if it were bones, or a pearl button. I do not want much of a present, anyway, this year. After all I am alive only by accident. I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way. Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, The diaphanous satins of a January window White as babies' bedding and glittering with dead breath. O ivory! It must be a tusk there, a ghost column. Can you not see I do not mind what it is. Can you not give it to me? Do not be ashamed--I do not mind if it is small. Do not be mean, I am ready for enormity. Let us sit down to it, one on either side, admiring the gleam, The glaze, the mirrory variety of it. Let us eat our last supper at it, like a hospital plate. I know why you will not give it to me, You are terrified The world will go up in a shriek, and your head with it, Bossed, brazen, an antique shield, A marvel to your great-grandchildren. Do not be afraid, it is not so. I will only take it and go aside quietly. You will not even hear me opening it, no paper crackle, No falling ribbons, no scream at the end. I do not think you credit me with this discretion. If you only knew how the veils were killing my days. To you they are only transparencies, clear air. But my god, the clouds are like cotton. Armies of them. They are carbon monoxide. Sweetly, sweetly I breathe in, Filling my veins with invisibles, with the million Probable motes that tick the years off my life. You are silver-suited for the occasion. O adding machine----- Is it impossible for you to let something go and have it go whole? Must you stamp each piece purple, Must you kill what you can? There is one thing I want today, and only you can give it to me. It stands at my window, big as the sky. It breathes from my sheets, the cold dead center Where split lives congeal and stiffen to history. Let it not come by the mail, finger by finger. Let it not come by word of mouth, I should be sixty By the time the whole of it was delivered, and to numb to use it. Only let down the veil, the veil, the veil. If it were death I would admire the deep gravity of it, its timeless eyes. I would know you were serious. There would be a nobility then, there would be a birthday. And the knife not carve, but enter Pure and clean as the cry of a baby, And the universe slide from my side.
Sylvia Plath
A night breeze ruffled a curtain. Arin’s bedroom--she realized with soft surprise--had come to feel like her own. He was lazily tracing circles on her belly. It hypnotized her into a rare, pure unthinking. He settled back on the bed, propped on one elbow. “It occurs to me that there is something we have never done.” Her thoughts rushed back. She arched one brow. He moved to whisper in her ear. “Yes,” she laughed. “Let’s.” “Now?” “Now.” So they reached for dressing robes and the bedside lamp, and padded barefoot through his suite, rushing slightly, and then through the silent house, suppressing giddy breaths. They couldn’t look each other in the face; a wild, loud joyousness threatened to break free if they did. They wound down the staircase and into the parlor. They shut the door behind them, but still… “We are going to wake the whole house,” Kestrel said. “How should we do this?” She led him to her piano. “Easy.” He placed a palm on the instrument as if already feeling it vibrate with music. He cleared his throat. “Now that I think about it, I’m a little nervous.” “You’ve sung for me before.” “Not the same.” “Arin. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.” Her words silenced him, steadied him. Anticipation lifted within her like the fragrance of a garden under the rain. She sat at the piano, touching the keys. “Ready?” He smiled. “Play.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
They’re close. Voices loud and fierce, Slapping faces with words. A scream … A cry … They’re getting closer. Did I lock the door? It’s too late to check. They’re coming. I barely move, barely breathe. Perhaps they’ll go away. But they’re getting closer. The door slams against the wall. My eyes squeeze shut. This curtain is not a shield. They’re here. They’ve come for me. I freeze. Metal rings clank together. My barrier is cast aside. Wearily, I look. Reddened eyes glower at one another … But not at me. I wonder. A moment of silence … Water streams down my face. Steam rolls around my flesh. I glare at the intruders And slide the curtain between us. I wait. He shrieks, “She took my glow stick!” She howls, “No, I didn’t!” I scowl. “Go tell your father about it.” They leave. I inhale the lavender mist. Slather bubbles over my skin. Five more minutes … And, next time, I shall lock the door.
Barbara Brooke
The shower alone has a panel with more than a hundred options you can choose regulating water temperature, pressure, soaps, shampoos, scents, oils, and massaging sponges. When you step out on a mat, heaters come on that blow-dry your body. Instead of struggling with the knots in my wet hair, I merely place my hand on a box that sends a current through my scalp, untangling, parting, and drying my hair almost instantly. It floats down around my shoulders in a glossy curtain.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
One of the things I find strangest and hardest is that we were having such conversations. We should have been talking about discos and electronic mail and exams and bands. How could this have been happening to us? How could we have been huddled in the dark bush, cold and hungry and terrified, talking about who we should kill? We had no preparation for this, no background, no knowledge. We didn’t know if we were doing the right thing, ever. We didn’t know anything. We were just ordinary teenagers, so ordinary we were boring. Overnight they’d pulled the roof off our lives. And after they’d pulled off the roof they’d come in and torn down the curtains, ripped up the furniture, burnt the house and thrown us into the night, where we’d been forced to run and hide and live like wild animals. We had no foundations, and we had no secure walls around our lives any more. We were living in a strange long nightmare, where we had to make our own rules, invent new values, stumble around blindly, hoping we weren’t making too many mistakes. We clung to what we knew and what we thought was right, but all the time those things too were being stripped from us. I didn’t know if we’d be left with nothing, or if we’d left with a new set of rules and attitudes and behaviours, so that we weren’t able to recognise ourselves any more. We could end up as new, distorted, deformed creatures, with only a few physical resemblances to the people we once were.
John Marsden (The Dead of Night (Tomorrow, #2))
Is everything okay, Vi?” She swallowed, setting the rest down. “It’s perfect…” She wrapped her blanket around her and went to Jay’s chair. She leaned over him, her curls falling around hre shoulders like a dark curtain. “You’re perfect.” She smiled as she collapsed on top of him, kissing him. He groaned and pulled her closer, making room for her as the kiss deepened. She’d wanted to be in control but had too quickly lost the upper hand. Her breathing became uneven, and she pressed herself against him, squirming to get coser. The warmth between them spread through her like a fever, making her restless and impatient. He stopped her then, before there was no going back, drawing his face away to create the most microscopic fissure between them. “You taste like tacos.” Violet gasped as she tried to catch her breath. “What?” She blinked, trying to gather her thoughts. “Really, Jay? Is that a complaint or something?” He shook his head. “Of course not.” “Good. Because this is: I hate it when you stop like that.” She pushed herself away from him and sat upright, crossing her arms in front of her. “Come on, Violet, that’s not what I meant.” The dazed look in his eyes only made Violet feel slightly better. She was glad he was at least a little bit bothered. “It’s just that I wanted to talk to you…you know, before we got distracted.” “God, I really am the guy,” she glowered, but her shoulders slumped. He hauled her toward him, dragging her into his arms. “Stop it. You are not the guy.” He kissed her on the mouth, ignoring the fact that she wasn’t kissing back. But as annoyed as she was, it was hard to stay mad. Especially here…now. It truly was magical. So when he pulled out the Oreos and dangled them in front of her-a peace offering-she shook her head and sighed. “You’re impossible.” But there was no real fight in her words, and she couldn’t stop her lips from twitching when he grinned down at her. He took her reluctant smile as surrender and settled back, bringing her with him until they were curled up against each other.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill. The thing about being on a hill, as opposed to standing back from it, is that you can almost never see exactly what’s to come. Between the curtain of trees at every side, the ever-receding contour of rising slope before you, and your own plodding weariness, you gradually lose track of how far you have come. Each time you haul yourself up to what you think must surely be the crest, you find that there is in fact more hill beyond, sloped at an angle that kept it from view before, and that beyond that slope there is another, and beyond that another and another, and beyond each of those more still, until it seems impossible that any hill could run on this long. Eventually you reach a height where you can see the tops of the topmost trees, with nothing but clear sky beyond, and your faltering spirit stirs—nearly there now!—but this is a pitiless deception. The elusive summit continually retreats by whatever distance you press forward, so that each time the canopy parts enough to give a view you are dismayed to see that the topmost trees are as remote, as unattainable, as before. Still you stagger on. What else can you do? When, after ages and ages, you finally reach the telltale world of truly high ground, where the chilled air smells of pine sap and the vegetation is gnarled and tough and wind bent, and push through to the mountain’s open pinnacle, you are, alas, past caring. You sprawl face down on a sloping pavement of gneiss, pressed to the rock by the weight of your pack, and lie there for some minutes, reflecting in a distant, out-of-body way that you have never before looked this closely at lichen, not in fact looked this closely at anything in the natural world since you were four years old and had your first magnifying glass. Finally, with a weary puff, you roll over, unhook yourself from your pack, struggle to your feet, and realize—again in a remote, light-headed, curiously not-there way—that the view is sensational: a boundless vista of wooded mountains, unmarked by human hand, marching off in every direction. This really could be heaven.
Bill Bryson
When the music stopped, the curtains to their booth flew open. Jax, the devastatingly handsome Nordic wolf, leered down on the lovers, who smiled up at him in amusement. “I said pretend to be her mate. At any point, did you hear me say, ‘Come up to New York and fuck my sister in public…during one of my company events?’ Did I say that? I really don’t recall saying that.” Jax scrubbed his fingers over his tightly cropped hair. He moved to the balcony, overlooking the patrons who were shuffling into the lobby for the intermission. “Sorry.” Dimitri laughed. He knew that they should have been slightly less conspicuous but the draw of his mate had been too much to resist. “Sorry? Really? That’s all you’ve got?” He turned to Gillian, who scrambled up to her feet, adjusting her dress. “And you? What’s your excuse, little sister? Seriously, every shifter in the room could hear you.” “Um, well, yeah, sorry about that. But technically this is your fault. I mean, what did you expect? You asked Dimitri to come here…to pretend to be my mate.” Gillian reasoned that her comeback sounded solid, inexperienced in dealing with her Alpha brother.
Kym Grosso (Dimitri (Immortals of New Orleans, #6))
Und Berlin? Und die Mauer? Die Stadt wird leben, und die Mauer wird fallen. Aber eine isolierte Berlin-Lösung, eine, die nicht mit weiterreichenden Veränderungen in Europa und zwischen den Teilen Deutschlands einhergeht, ist immer illusionär gewesen und im Laufe der Jahre nicht wahrscheinlich geworden." ("And Berlin? And the Wall? The city will remain alive, and the Wall is going to come down. But an isolated solution for Berlin, one that does not go hand in hand with the broader changes in Europe and between the two parts of Germany, has always been illusionary and has not become any more probable over the course of the years.")
Willy Brandt (Erinnerungen (Spiegel-Edition, #15))
When they stopped to pick up Mike, Violet started to get out so she could climb in back with Chelsea, giving Mike’s longer legs the front seat, but Jay reached out and caught her wrist. “What are you doing? I want you to sit with me.” His fingers moved to lace through hers as he drew her back inside. “Mike can sit in back.” Violet felt herself blush with satisfaction. Mike came out of his house and jumped down the porch without ever touching the steps. Behind the darkened curtains, the television flickered. “Here he comes!” Chelsea squealed, sounding like a little girl as she bounced up and down in the backseat, shaking the entire car. She clapped her hands with excitement. Violet pulled her seat as far forward as she could to give Mike some extra room. He’d need it if he was going to be confined back there with Chelsea. “Heeyyy, Mike.” Chelsea managed to drawl the two words into several long syllables as Mike slid into the car. The syrupiness of it sounded so foreign oozing from Chelsea’s mouth. “Hey,” Mike said back to her. One word, one syllable. “So I guess it’s just the four of us tonight,” she purred. “Really? I thought we were meeting a buncha people.” “Nope. Just us. Everyone else bailed.” Violet smiled to herself as she listened to Chelsea’s account, amazed that her words came out sounding so…sincere. But Violet knew better. And she realized from the look Jay flashed her that he knew too. Mike, on the other hand, was too new to understand the disturbing way that Chelsea’s mind worked. There was a brief pause, and then Violet swore she could hear a smile in his voice when he answered, “That’s cool.” He might rethink that later, Violet thought, when Chelsea stops holding back and decides to assault him right in the middle of a crowded movie theater. Unless he’s into that kind of thing. She grinned wickedly to herself. And then she wondered if Jay would attack her. She hoped so.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
I could live there all alone, she thought, slowing the car to look down the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will raise white cats and sew white curtains for the windows and sometimes come out of my door to go to the store to buy cinnamon and tea and thread. People will come to me to have their fortunes told, and I will brew love potions for sad maidens; I will have a robin....
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
Fireheart sprang forward and burst through the curtain of lichen. Tigerclaw and Bluestar were writhing on the floor of the den. Bluestar’s claws scored again and again across Tigerclaw’s shoulder, but the deputy’s greater weight kept her pinned down in the soft sand. Tigerclaw’s fangs were buried in her throat, and his powerful claws raked her back. “Traitor!” Fireheart yowled. He flung himself at Tigerclaw, slashing at his eyes. The deputy reared back, forced to release his grip on Bluestar’s throat. Fireheart felt his claws rip through the deputy’s ear, spraying blood into the air. Bluestar scrambled to the side of the den, looking half stunned. Fireheart could not tell how badly hurt she was. Pain lanced through him as Tigerclaw gashed his side with a blow from his powerful hindpaws. Fireheart’s paws skidded in the sand and he lost his balance, hitting the ground with Tigerclaw on top of him. The deputy’s amber eyes blazed into his. “Mousedung!” he hissed. “I’ll flay you, Fireheart. I’ve waited a long time for this.” Fireheart summoned every scrap of skill and strength he possessed. He knew Tigerclaw could kill him, but in spite of that he felt strangely free. The lies and the need for deceit were over. The secrets—Bluestar’s and Tigerclaw’s—were all out in the open. There was only the clean danger of battle. He aimed a blow at Tigerclaw’s throat, but the deputy swung his head to one side and Fireheart’s claws scraped harmlessly through thick tabby fur. But the blow had loosened Tigerclaw’s grip on him. Fireheart rolled away, narrowly avoiding a killing bite to his neck. “Kittypet!” Tigerclaw taunted, flexing his haunches to pounce again. “Come and find out how a real warrior fights.” He threw himself at Fireheart, but at the last moment Fireheart darted aside. As Tigerclaw tried to turn in the narrow den, his paws slipped on a splash of blood and he crashed awkwardly onto one side. At once Fireheart saw his chance. His claws sliced down to open a gash in Tigerclaw’s belly. Blood welled up, soaking into the deputy’s fur. He let out a high-pitched caterwaul. Fireheart pounced on him, raking claws across his belly again, and fastening his teeth into Tigerclaw’s neck. The deputy struggled vainly to free himself, his thrashing growing weaker as the blood flowed. Fireheart let go of his neck, planting one paw on Tigerclaw’s outstretched foreleg, and the other on his chest. “Bluestar!” he called. “Help me hold him down!” Bluestar was crouching behind him in her moss-lined nest. Blood trickled down her forehead, but that did not alarm Fireheart as much as the look in her eyes. They were a vague, cloudy blue, and she stared horror-struck in front of her as if she was witnessing the destruction
Erin Hunter (Warriors Boxed Set (Books 1-3))
He looked more at ease, more sure, like all this time I'd only ever come face-to-face with his shadow. Standing there in that moment, I felt like I'd stumbled upon something sacred, more intimate even than what had passed between us in the house. Like Gus had pulled back the curtains in the window of a house I'd been admiring, whose insides I'd been dreaming about but even so, underestimated. I liked seeing Gus like this, with the people he knew would always love him. We'd just had sex like the world was burning down around us, but if I ever got to kiss Gus again, I wanted it to be this version of him. The one who didn't feel so weighed down by the world around him that he had to lean just to stay upright.
Emily Henry (Beach Read)
My son is not very complicated, Mariotta, although the artifice glitters. He’s afraid—” “Afraid!” Blue eyes, dead of feeling, looked into blue. “Afraid of what? Damned by the church and condemned by the law: what possible capacity for fear can heart and head still find? Oimè el cor, oimè la testa … After five years of villainy, I promise you, I have the refinement of a cow-cabbage.” “—Afraid I might puncture the cocoon of Attic detachment. What we see is acting, isn’t it, Francis?” “Is it?” he said derisively. “You won’t get your diamonds back, I fear, when the curtain comes down. And the name, please, is Lymond: a new medal: choose the trussell or the pile. My present face is the provident, forbearing one.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles, #1))
Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray (Clydesdale Classics))
Take out a piece of paper and get ready to write. Really do it; it will be fun. OK. Now, read the following list of words out loud one time, and then try to write as many of them as you can remember on the paper without looking back. When you think you have them all down on paper, come back to the book. Go: door, glass, pane, shade, ledge, sill, house, open, curtain, frame, view, breeze, sash, screen, shutter Now, take a look at the list. How did you do? Did you write down all the words? Did you write the word “window” down? If this test is presented properly, 85 percent of people taking it will remember seeing “window” in the list, but it isn’t there. If you did, you just gave yourself a false memory thanks to the misinformation effect.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart)
The family were wild," she said suddenly. "They tried to marry me off. And then when I'd begun to feel that after all life was scarcely worth living I found something"—her eyes went skyward exultantly—"I found something!" Carlyle waited and her words came with a rush. “Courage—just that; courage as a rule of life, and something to cling to always. I began to build up this enormous faith in myself. I began to see that in all my idols in the past some manifestation of courage had unconsciously been the thing that attracted me. I began separating courage from the other things of life. All sorts of courage—the beaten, bloody prize-fighter coming up for more—I used to make men take me to prize-fights; the déclassé woman sailing through a nest of cats and looking at them as if they were mud under her feet; the liking what you like always; the utter disregard for other people's opinions—just to live as I liked always and to die in my own way—Did you bring up the cigarettes?" He handed one over and held a match for her silently. "Still," Ardita continued, "the men kept gathering—old men and young men, my mental and physical inferiors, most of them, but all intensely desiring to have me—to own this rather magnificent proud tradition I'd built up round me. Do you see?" "Sort of. You never were beaten and you never apologized." "Never!" She sprang to the edge, poised or a moment like a crucified figure against the sky; then describing a dark parabola plunked without a slash between two silver ripples twenty feet below. Her voice floated up to him again. "And courage to me meant ploughing through that dull gray mist that comes down on life—not only over-riding people and circumstances but over-riding the bleakness of living. A sort of insistence on the value of life and the worth of transient things." She was climbing up now, and at her last words her head, with the damp yellow hair slicked symmetrically back, appeared on his level. "All very well," objected Carlyle. "You can call it courage, but your courage is really built, after all, on a pride of birth. You were bred to that defiant attitude. On my gray days even courage is one of the things that's gray and lifeless." She was sitting near the edge, hugging her knees and gazing abstractedly at the white moon; he was farther back, crammed like a grotesque god into a niche in the rock. "I don't want to sound like Pollyanna," she began, "but you haven't grasped me yet. My courage is faith—faith in the eternal resilience of me—that joy'll come back, and hope and spontaneity. And I feel that till it does I've got to keep my lips shut and my chin high, and my eyes wide—not necessarily any silly smiling. Oh, I've been through hell without a whine quite often—and the female hell is deadlier than the male." "But supposing," suggested Carlyle, "that before joy and hope and all that came back the curtain was drawn on you for good?" Ardita rose, and going to the wall climbed with some difficulty to the next ledge, another ten or fifteen feet above. "Why," she called back, "then I'd have won!
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Offshore Pirate)
A man on his deathbed left instructions For dividing up his goods among his three sons. He had devoted his entire spirit to those sons. They stood like cypress trees around him, Quiet and strong. He told the town judge, 'Whichever of my sons is laziest, Give him all the inheritance.' Then he died, and the judge turned to the three, 'Each of you must give some account of your laziness, so I can understand just how you are lazy.' Mystics are experts in laziness. They rely on it, Because they continuously see God working all around them. The harvest keeps coming in, yet they Never even did the plowing! 'Come on. Say something about the ways you are lazy.' Every spoken word is a covering for the inner self. A little curtain-flick no wider than a slice Of roast meat can reveal hundreds of exploding suns. Even if what is being said is trivial and wrong, The listener hears the source. One breeze comes From across a garden. Another from across the ash-heap. Think how different the voices of the fox And the lion, and what they tell you! Hearing someone is lifting the lid off the cooking pot. You learn what's for supper. Though some people Can know just by the smell, a sweet stew From a sour soup cooked with vinegar. A man taps a clay pot before he buys it To know by the sound if it has a crack. The eldest of the three brothers told the judge, 'I can know a man by his voice, and if he won't speak, I wait three days, and then I know him intuitively.' The second brother, 'I know him when he speaks, And if he won't talk, I strike up a conversation.' 'But what if he knows that trick?' asked the judge. Which reminds me of the mother who tells her child 'When you're walking through the graveyard at night and you see a boogeyman, run at it, and it will go away.' 'But what,' replies the child, 'if the boogeyman's Mother has told it to do the same thing? Boogeymen have mothers too.' The second brother had no answer. 'I sit in front of him in silence, And set up a ladder made of patience, And if in his presence a language from beyond joy And beyond grief begins to pour from my chest, I know that his soul is as deep and bright As the star Canopus rising over Yemen. And so when I start speaking a powerful right arm Of words sweeping down, I know him from what I say, And how I say it, because there's a window open Between us, mixing the night air of our beings.' The youngest was, obviously, The laziest. He won.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show— Fantoccini, Marionette Circus, and Your Plain Meadow Carnival. Arriving Immediately! Here on Display, one of our many attractions: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD! Halloway’s eyes leaped to the poster on the inside of the window. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD! And back to the cold long block of ice. It was such a block of ice as he remembered from traveling magician’s shows when he was a boy, when the local ice company contributed a chunk of winter in which, for 12 hours on end, frost maidens lay embedded, on display while people watched and comedies toppled down the raw white screen and coming attractions came and went and at last the pale ladies slid forth all rimed, chipped free by perspiring sorcerers to be led off smiling into the dark behind the curtains
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
When I wake, it seems a little less hot than usual, so I’m worried I have a fever until light flashes behind the curtains and the sound of a detonation rolls in with a force that makes the windows rattle. As I step outside with a plastic bag over my cast, a stiff breeze pulls my hair away from my face, and I see the pregnant clouds of the monsoon hanging low over the city. The rains have finally decided to come. I sit down on the lawn, resting my back against the wall of the house, and light an aitch I’ve waited a long time to smoke. Suddenly the air is still and the trees are silent, and I can hear laughter from my neighbor’s servant quarters. A bicycle bell sounds in the street, reminding me of the green Sohrab I had as a child. Then the wind returns, bringing the smell of wet soil and a pair of orange parrots that swoop down to take shelter in the lower branches of the banyan tree, where they glow in the shadows.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
He raised an eyebrow. "Where did you get this? Is our Anne Boleyn suddenly from Mars?" He chuckled. "I always thought she hailed from Wiltshire." Luce's mind raced to catch up. She was playing Anne Boleyn? She'd never read this play, but Daniel's costume suggested he was playing the king, Henry VIII. "Mr. Shakespeare-ah,Will-thought it would look good-" "Oh,Will did?" Daniel smirked, bot believing her at all but seeming not to care. It was strange to feel that she could do or say almost anything and Daniel would still find it charming. "You're a little bit mad, aren't you, Lucinda?" "I-well-" He brushed her cheek with the back of his finger. "I adore you." "I adore you,too." The words tumbled from her mouth,feeling so real and so true after the last few stammering lies. It was like letting out a long-held breath. "I've been thinking, thinking a lot,and I wanted to tell you that-that-" "Yes?" "The truth is that what I feel for you is...deeper than adoration." She pressed her hands over his heart. "I trust you. I trust your love. I know how strong it is,and how beautiful." Luce knew that she couldn't come right out and say what she really meant-she was supposed to be a different version of herself,and the other times,when Daniel had figured out who she was, where she'd come from,he'd clammed up immediately and told her to leave. But maybe if she chose her words carefully, Daniel would understand. "It may seem like sometimes I-I forgot what you mean to me and what I mean to you,but deep down...I know.I know because we are meant to be together.I love you, Daniel." Daniel looked shocked. "You-you love me?" "Of course." Luce almost laughed at how obvious it was-but then she remembered: She had no idea which moment from her past she'd walked into.Maybe in this lifetime they'd only exchanged coy glances. Daniel's chest rose and fell violently and his lower lip began to quiver. "I want you to come away with me," he said quickly.There was a desperate edge to his voice. Luce wanted to cry out Yes!, but something held her back.It was so easy to get lost in Daniel when his body was pressed so close to hers and she could feel the heat coming off his skin and the beating of his heart through his shirt.She felt she could tell him anything now-from how glorious it had felt to die in his arms in Versailles to how devastated she was now that she knew the scope of his suffering. But she held back: The girl he thought she was in this lifetime wouldn't talk about those things, wouldn't know them. Neither would Daniel. So when she finally opened her mouth,her voice faltered. Daniel put a finger over her lips. "Wait. Don't protest yet. Let me ask you properly.By and by, my love." He peeked out the cracked wardrobe door, toward the curtain.A cheer came from the stage.The audience roared with laughter and applause. Luce hadn't even realized the play had begun. "That's my entrance.I'll see you soon." He kissed her forehead,then dashed out and onto the stage.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
Anyone who’s spent time below the Mason-Dixon line knows this truth: Southern women are anything but ordinary. Our unique, often unspoken code of conduct has allowed us to survive good times and bad, and never lose the sense of who we are. Margaret Mitchell, the belle of Southern female writers, got it right when she had Scarlett O’Hara come down the stairs in a dress made out of curtains: a Southern girl knows that pride and endurance always come before vanity. Our character is both created by, and essential to, the fabric of our society. Without the strength of the Southern girl, the South couldn’t have survived its rich and rocky history; without history, on the other hand, the Southern girl wouldn’t be who she is today. It’s sometimes suggested (by Yankees, we’d wager) that Grits are one-dimensional. This is not surprising: those who don’t understand us see only our outward devotion to femininity and charm. What they are missing is the fact that, like the magnolia tree, our beautiful blossoms are the outward expression of the strength that lies beneath.
Deborah Ford (Grits (Girls Raised in the South) Guide to Life)
I have had so many Dwellings, Nat, that I know these Streets as well as a strowling Beggar: I was born in this Nest of Death and Contagion and now, as they say, I have learned to feather it. When first I was with Sir Chris. I found lodgings in Phenix Street off Hogg Lane, close by St Giles and Tottenham Fields, and then in later times I was lodged at the corner of Queen Street and Thames Street, next to the Blew Posts in Cheapside. (It is still there, said Nat stirring up from his Seat, I have passed it!) In the time before the Fire, Nat, most of the buildings in London were made of timber and plaister, and stones were so cheap that a man might have a cart-load of them for six-pence or seven-pence; but now, like the Aegyptians, we are all for Stone. (And Nat broke in, I am for Stone!) The common sort of People gawp at the prodigious Rate of Building and exclaim to each other London is now another City or that House was not there Yesterday or the Situacion of the Streets is quite Changd (I contemn them when they say such things! Nat adds). But this Capital City of the World of Affliction is still the Capitol of Darknesse, or the Dungeon of Man's Desires: still in the Centre are no proper Streets nor Houses but a Wilderness of dirty rotten Sheds, allways tumbling or takeing Fire, with winding crooked passages, lakes of Mire and rills of stinking Mud, as befits the smokey grove of Moloch. (I have heard of that Gentleman, says Nat all a quiver). It is true that in what we call the Out-parts there are numberless ranges of new Buildings: in my old Black-Eagle Street, Nat, tenements have been rais'd and where my Mother and Father stared without understanding at their Destroyer (Death! he cryed) new-built Chambers swarm with life. But what a Chaos and Confusion is there: meer fields of Grass give way to crooked Passages and quiet Lanes to smoking Factors, and these new Houses, commonly built by the London workmen, are often burning and frequently tumbling down (I saw one, says he, I saw one tumbling!). Thus London grows more Monstrous, Straggling and out of all Shape: in this Hive of Noise and Ignorance, Nat, we are tyed to the World as to a sensible Carcasse and as we cross the stinking Body we call out What News? or What's a clock? And thus do I pass my Days a stranger to mankind. I'll not be a Stander-by, but you will not see me pass among them in the World. (You will disquiet your self, Master, says Nat coming towards me). And what a World is it, of Tricking and Bartering, Buying and Selling, Borrowing and Lending, Paying and Receiving; when I walk among the Piss and Sir-reverence of the Streets I hear, Money makes the old Wife trot, Money makes the Mare to go (and Nat adds, What Words won't do, Gold will). What is their God but shineing Dirt and to sing its Devotions come the Westminster-Hall-whores, the Charing-cross whores, the Whitehall whores, the Channel-row whores, the Strand whores, the Fleet Street whores, the Temple-bar whores; and they are followed in the same Catch by the Riband weavers, the Silver-lace makers, the Upholsterers, the Cabinet-makers, Watermen, Carmen, Porters, Plaisterers, Lightemen, Footmen, Shopkeepers, Journey-men... and my Voice grew faint through the Curtain of my Pain.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamored of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those who minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black, fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room, and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of the birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleeper, and yet must needs call forth Sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin, dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colors of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colors, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness, and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
...the letters begin to cross vast spaces in slow sailing ships and everything becomes still more protracted and verbose, and there seems no end to the space and the leisure of those early nineteenth century days, and faiths are lost and the life of Hedley Vicars revives them; aunts catch cold but recover; cousins marry; there is the Irish famine and the Indian Mutiny, and both sisters remain, to their great, but silent grief, for in those days there were things that women hid like pearls in their breasts, without children to come after them. Louisa, dumped down in Ireland with Lord Waterford at the hunt all day, was often very lonely; but she stuck to her post, visited the poor, spoke words of comfort (‘I am sorry indeed to hear of Anthony Thompson's loss of mind, or rather of memory; if, however, he can understand sufficiently to trust solely in our Saviour, he has enough’) and sketched and sketched. Thousands of notebooks were filled with pen and ink drawings of an evening, and then the carpenter stretched sheets for her and she designed frescoes for schoolrooms, had live sheep into her bedroom, draped gamekeepers in blankets, painted Holy Families in abundance, until the great Watts exclaimed that here was Titian's peer and Raphael's master! At that Lady Waterford laughed (she had a generous, benignant sense of humour); and said that she was nothing but a sketcher; had scarcely had a lesson in her life—witness her angel's wings, scandalously unfinished. Moreover, there was her father's house for ever falling into the sea; she must shore it up; must entertain her friends; must fill her days with all sorts of charities, till her Lord came home from hunting, and then, at midnight often, she would sketch him with his knightly face half hidden in a bowl of soup, sitting with her notebook under a lamp beside him. Off he would ride again, stately as a crusader, to hunt the fox, and she would wave to him and think, each time, what if this should be the last? And so it was one morning. His horse stumbled. He was killed. She knew it before they told her, and never could Sir John Leslie forget, when he ran down-stairs the day they buried him, the beauty of the great lady standing by the window to see the hearse depart, nor, when he came back again, how the curtain, heavy, Mid-Victorian, plush perhaps, was all crushed together where she had grasped it in her agony.
Virginia Woolf
Lo! ’tis a gala night Within the lonesome latter years! An angel throng, bewinged, bedight In veils, and drowned in tears, Sit in a theatre, to see A play of hopes and fears, While the orchestra breathes fitfully The music of the spheres. Mimes, in the form of God on high, Mutter and mumble low, And hither and thither fly — Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things That shift the scenery to and fro, Flapping from out their Condor wings Invisible Wo! That motley drama! — oh, be sure It shall not be forgot! With its Phantom chased forever more, By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in To the self-same spot, And much of Madness and more of Sin And Horror the soul of the plot. But see, amid the mimic rout, A crawling shape intrude! A blood-red thing that writhes from out The scenic solitude! It writhes! — it writhes! — with mortal pangs The mimes become its food, And the seraphs sob at vermin fangs In human gore imbued. Out — out are the lights — out all! And over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, And the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Edgar Allan Poe (Tales Of The Grotesque and Arabesque)
to look around. At first sight, the apartment was perfectly ordinary. He made a quick circuit of the living room, kitchenette, bathroom, and bedroom. The place was tidy enough, but with a few items strewn here and there, the sort of things that might be left lying around by a busy person—a magazine, a half-finished crossword puzzle, a book left open on a night table. Abby had the usual appliances—an old stove and a humming refrigerator, a microwave oven with an unpronounceable brand name, a thirteen-inch TV on a cheap stand, a boom box near a modest collection of CDs. There were clothes in her bedroom closet and silverware, plates, and pots and pans in her kitchen cabinets. He began to wonder if he’d been unduly suspicious. Maybe Abby Hollister was who she said she was, after all. And he’d taken a considerable risk coming here. If he was caught inside her apartment, all his plans for the evening would be scotched. He would end up in a holding cell facing charges that would send him back to prison for parole violation. All because he’d gotten a bug up his ass about some woman he hardly knew, a stranger who didn’t mean anything. He decided he’d better get the hell out. He was retracing his steps through the living room when he glanced at the magazine tossed on the sofa. Something about it seemed wrong. He moved closer and took a better look. It was People, and the cover showed two celebrities whose recent marriage had already ended in divorce. But on the cover the stars were smiling over a caption that read, Love At Last. He picked up the magazine and studied it in the trickle of light through the filmy curtains. The date was September of last year. He put it down and looked at the end tables flanking the sofa. For the first time he noticed a patina of dust on their surfaces. The apartment hadn’t been cleaned in some time. He went into the kitchen and looked in the refrigerator. It seemed well stocked, but when he opened the carton of milk and sniffed, he discovered water inside—which was just as well, since the milk’s expiration period had ended around the time that the People cover story had been new. Water in the milk carton. Out-of-date magazine on the sofa. Dust everywhere, even coating the kitchen counters. Abby didn’t live here. Nobody did. This apartment was a sham, a shell. It was a dummy address, like the dummy corporations his partner had set up when establishing the overseas bank accounts. It could pass inspection if somebody came to visit, assuming the visitor didn’t look too closely, but it wasn’t meant to be used. Now that he thought about it, the apartment was remarkable for what
Michael Prescott (Dangerous Games (Abby Sinclair and Tess McCallum, #3))
New York is a city of eight million people, approximately seven million of whom will be furious when they hear you were in town and didn’t meet them for an expensive dinner, five million furious you didn’t visit their new baby, three million furious you didn’t see their new show, one million furious you didn’t call for sex, but only five actually available to meet you. It is completely reasonable to call none of them. You could instead sneak off to a terrible, treacly Broadway show that you will never admit you paid two hundred dollars to see. This is what Less does on his first night, eating a hot dog dinner to make up for the extravagance. You cannot call it a guilty pleasure when the lights go down and the curtain goes up, when the adolescent heart begins to beat along with the orchestra, not when you feel no guilt. And he feels none; he feels only the shiver of delight when there is nobody around to judge you. It is a bad musical, but, like a bad lay, a bad musical can still do its job perfectly well. By the end, Arthur Less is in tears, sobbing in his seat, and he thinks he has been sobbing quietly until the lights come up and the woman seated beside him turns and says, “Honey, I don’t know what happened in your life, but I am so so sorry,” and gives him a lilac-scented embrace. Nothing happened to me, he wants to say to her. Nothing happened to me. I’m just a homosexual at a Broadway show
Andrew Sean Greer (Less (Arthur Less, #1))
Her room was darkened with the curtains drawn, but he could sense her inside, moving around quietly. Her heartbeat had turned languid; she must be preparing for bed. He cocked his head, listening intently. The closet door opened and shut, and there was the sound of running water. He held the goblet with such tense care his fingers began to ache. When she had turned the faucet off, he said telepathically, "Tess, come to your window." Startled, frozen silence. Then the languid pace of her heart exploded into a furious rhythm. For a moment, when she didn't move, he thought she might disobey and end their tenuous relationship. Then he heard the soft rustle of cloth, and the creak of floorboards. When she appeared in the darkened window, she looked shadowy, like the half-hidden, opaque moon, her skin pale like pearls and hair lustrous with darkness. She looked down at him but said nothing. He held the goblet up to show it to her. "Are you sure you want to give this to me?" Because it mattered. It mattered what she said. While the struggle made the offering sweet, it was the act of the gift itself that was the vital part of the covenant. She didn't respond for long moments. He stood motionless as he waited, until finally she moved to put her hand to the windowpane. "Yes." He inclined his head to her, brought the goblet to his lips and drank. Pure, undiluted power slid down his throat. Like the delicate skin at her wrist, it was warm and perfumed with her scent. Such precious, beautiful life.
Thea Harrison (Night's Honor (Elder Races, #7))
They read the names out from sixth place to first. We were standing backstage behind a huge curtain, and Rachael and Evgeni were right next to us. Swell. I thought maybe we stood a chance of coming in fourth. But they didn’t call us. “This is crazy!” I whispered to Aneta. “We’re top three?” Then they called a German couple. We were in the top two! Rachael smiled at me. “Oh, Derek! Great job!” she said. What she really meant was, “We’re going to take first place and you can have our sloppy seconds.” Then we heard, “In second place, from England…” Rachael’s face went white as a ghost. She and Evgeni were second! That left only one place for us… “Derek Hough and Aneta Piotrovska are world champions!” I started screaming, “What? What?” and jumping up and down. So much for my neck pain. This wasn’t real; it couldn’t be! I ran out from behind the curtain, pumping my fists in the air. I caught a glimpse of Rachael’s face. She was beyond pissed. “We did it! We did it!” I yelled. The rest happened in slow motion: I ran out and jumped off the stage and the floor. While I was midair, I remember thinking, “ I’m wearing these Cuban heels. This isn’t gonna be good.” Then I hit the floor and my legs buckled. I fell into a roll, then stood straight up--as if I meant to do it all along. I limped over to Aneta to collect our trophy and we hugged. I didn’t give a crap about anything else. Not my neck or my knees or Rachael fuming as they snapped pictures of all of us. It was an amazing moment, a total high.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
Stopping just short of her mouth, he rasped, “Are you still engaged to Blakeborough?” Her gorgeous eyes narrowed. “My engagement didn’t stop you last night.” “It would now.” A coy smile broke over her lips, and she tightened her grip on his neck. “Then I suppose it’s a good thing I am not.” With a growl of triumph, he kissed her once more. She was here. She was his. Nothing else mattered. Still kissing her, he jerked both sets of curtains closed. Then he tugged her onto his lap and began to tear at the fastenings of her pelisse-dress. He wanted to touch her, taste her…be inside her. He could think of naught else. “I take it that you mean to seduce me,” she murmured between kisses. “Yes.” Seduce her and marry her. And then seduce her again, as often as he could. “Well then, carry on.” So he did. He unfastened her clothes just enough to bare her breasts, then seized one in his mouth. God, she was perfect. His perfect jewel. She buried her hands in his hair to pull her into him, sighing and moaning as if she would die if he didn’t make love to her. Which was exactly how he felt. Working his hand up beneath her skirts and into the slit in her drawers, he found her so wet and hot that he nearly came right there. He slipped a finger inside her silky sweetness, and she gasped, then began to tug at his trouser buttons. “You’re all I want, Jane.” As he stroked her, he used his other hand to brush hers away so he could unfasten his own trouser buttons. “The only woman I ever cared about.” “You’re the only man Iever cared about.” She undulated against his fingers, begging for him with her body. “Why do you think…I waited for you so long?” “Not long enough, apparently,” he muttered, “or you wouldn’t have gotten yourself engaged to Blakeborough.” He tugged at her nipple with his teeth, then relished her cry of pleasure. “I only…did it because I was…tired of waiting.” She arched against his mouth. “Because you clearly weren’t…coming back for me.” “I was sure you hated me.” At last he got his trousers open. “You acted like you hated me still.” “I did.” Her breath was unsteady. “But only because…you tore us apart.” He shifted her to sit astride him. “And now?” Flashing him a provocative smile he would never have dreamed she had in her repertoire, she unbuttoned his drawers. “Do I look like I hate you?” His cock, so hard he thought it might erupt right there and embarrass him, sprang free. “You look like…like…” He paused to take in her lovely face with its flushed cheeks, sparkling eyes, and lush lips. Then he swept his gaze down to her breasts with their brazen tips, displayed so enticingly above the boned corset and her undone shift. He then dropped his eyes to the smooth thighs emerging from beneath her bunched-up skirts. Shoving the fabric higher, he exposed her dewy thatch of curls, and a shudder of anticipation shook him. “You look like an angel.” She uttered a breathy laugh. “A wanton, more like.” Taking his cock in her hand, she stroked it so wonderfully that he groaned. “Would an angel do this?
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
muddy ground. He pushed himself backward, his hands frantically splashing in puddles of muddied water. The darkness of the cemetery made it impossible to see anything more than a shadow, but Cody knew what stalked him. He knew the evil coming. He screamed and jumped back to his feet. He ran as fast as he could on the slippery ground. Another loud crash of thunder followed a bright flash of lightning. He was so close, so close to the entrance to the cemetery, but the rain, stronger than before, hammered down upon him. He splashed through puddles of water, flinching from the sheets of rain slapping his face. He struggled to increase his speed, his tears blending in with the rain. Four bicycles lay scattered on the ground near the entrance of the cemetery. Cody yanked his bicycle upright off the ground and checked behind him, but there wasn’t anything there. He hesitated, his heart breaking at the sight of his friends’ bikes lying next to his. “I’m so sorry,” he cried before mounting his own bike. The mud, caked onto the soles of his shoes, caused his feet to slip on the wet pedals. He peered into the dark depths of the cemetery again and found the familiar shadow creeping towards him. Whimpering again, Cody reached down to scrape the mud off with his bare hands, and then pedaled a mile to his home in the heavy rain. Rain-drenched, Cody jumped the curb in front of his house and dropped his bicycle on the lawn. He ran to his open bedroom window, stumbled through it, and fell onto the floor. His bedroom curtains flapped inward
Robert Pruneda (Devil's Nightmare (Devil's Nightmare #1))
At the time of solitude, I went where Narmada was sleeping. She got awake and sat up. She neither got scared nor nervous but she immediately got off the bed. She kept both her hands tied on her chest. I was standing so close to her that my face was near her face. We could sense each other’s breath. I called out her name and could not speak anything else. After a moment, I started - “I love you Narmada…I like to be with you…I want to marry you.” She got nervous and said - “Please, go to your room, why have you come here? It may cause trouble if Jaanki sees us like this.” She was neck down. Her eyes were on the floor. Her heart was beating fast. “Don’t you want to talk to me? Why are you angry with me? Why don’t you trust on my feelings for you?” - I softly asked her. “I guess you don’t like my friendship with Varsha. You and Varsha are poles apart.” - I added. She said - “You please go. It would not be nice if someone sees us like this. I do not want anything from you.” I said - “But I am dying for you and I know you too are made for me.” Her eyes suddenly fell on maid behind the curtains of the door who was trying to listen to our conversation. Narmada said - “You please leave right now, we’ll talk later. Mom is not at home.” I went by on her prescriptive tone. She was fighting for her self-being and the reason was only Varsha. She felt suffocated with my friendship with Varsha. I was glad to hear her words - “WE’LL TALK LATER”. This meant, she gave her consent to my love. She understood my restlessness. -- Excerpts from Romantic Novel "Narmada
Laxman Rao
So, about your classes,” said Doug. “I put in the requirements already. History of Woodsmen and Pirates, Safety Rules for the Internet, and”—he cleared his throat—“Remedial Goodness 101.” “Let me guess...” said Mal. She popped a piece of candy into her mouth. “New class?” Doug nodded sheepishly. “Come on, guys,” Mal said, dropping the wrapper on the floor. “Let’s go find our dorms.” She started up a flight of stairs. Carlos, Jay, and Evie followed her. “Oh! Uh, yeah, your dorms are that way, guys,” said Doug, pointing in the opposite direction. As Mal and her friends came back down the stairs and headed in the direction he indicated, Doug hung back, counting through the dwarves again. “Dopey, Doc, Bashful, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, and...” “Sneezy,” said Carlos, passing him and ascending the opposite staircase. Doug sighed and looked at the ceiling. Upstairs, Mal and Evie opened the door to their dorm room. It was light and airy and dappled in sunlight. The white canopy beds were covered with pink pillows, and flowery curtains fluttered gently in the fresh breeze from the open windows. Evie’s eyes widened with delight as Mal’s narrowed in horror. “Wow,” said Evie. “This place is so amazing—” “Gross,” said Mal. “I know, right?” said Evie, changing her tune. “Amazingly gross. Ew!” When Mal wasn’t looking, Evie couldn’t help giving a silent gasp of joy at her new crib. “I am going to need some serious sunscreen,” said Mal, arms crossed. “Yeah,” said Evie. “E,” said Mal, pointing to the windows. She closed the curtains as Evie moved to other windows in the room and did the same, plunging the dorm into darkness. “Whoa!” said Mal. “That is much better.
Walt Disney Company (Descendants Junior Novel)
I have talked to many people about this and it seems to be a kind of mystical experience. The preparation is unconscious, the realization happens in a flaming second. It was on Third Avenue. The trains were grinding over my head. The snow was nearly waist-high in the gutters and uncollected garbage was scattered in a dirty mess. The wind was cold, and frozen pieces of paper went scraping along the pavement. I stopped to look in a drug-store window where a latex cooch dancer was undulating by a concealed motor–and something burst in my head, a kind of light and a kind of feeling blended into an emotion which if it had spoken would have said, “My God! I belong here. Isn’t this wonderful?” Everything fell into place. I saw every face I passed. I noticed every doorway and the stairways to apartments. I looked across the street at the windows, lace curtains and potted geraniums through sooty glass. It was beautiful–but most important, I was part of it. I was no longer a stranger. I had become a New Yorker. Now there may be people who move easily into New York without travail, but most I have talked to about it have had some kind of trial by torture before acceptance. And the acceptance is a double thing. It seems to me that the city finally accepts you just as you finally accept the city. A young man in a small town, a frog in a small puddle, if he kicks his feet is able to make waves, get mud in his neighbor’s eyes–make some impression. He is known. His family is known. People watch him with some interest, whether kindly or maliciously. He comes to New York and no matter what he does, no one is impressed. He challenges the city to fight and it licks him without being aware of him. This is a dreadful blow to a small-town ego. He hates the organism that ignores him. He hates the people who look through him. And then one day he falls into place, accepts the city and does not fight it any more. It is too huge to notice him and suddenly the fact that it doesn’t notice him becomes the most delightful thing in the world. His self-consciousness evaporates. If he is dressed superbly well–there are half a million people dressed equally well. If he is in rags–there are a million ragged people. If he is tall, it is a city of tall people. If he is short the streets are full of dwarfs; if ugly, ten perfect horrors pass him in one block; if beautiful, the competition is overwhelming. If he is talented, talent is a dime a dozen. If he tries to make an impression by wearing a toga–there’s a man down the street in a leopard skin. Whatever he does or says or wears or thinks he is not unique. Once accepted this gives him perfect freedom to be himself, but unaccepted it horrifies him. I don’t think New York City is like other cities. It does not have character like Los Angeles or New Orleans. It is all characters–in fact, it is everything. It can destroy a man, but if his eyes are open it cannot bore him. New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it–once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough. All of everything is concentrated here, population, theatre, art, writing, publishing, importing, business, murder, mugging, luxury, poverty. It is all of everything. It goes all right. It is tireless and its air is charged with energy. I can work longer and harder without weariness in New York than anyplace else….
John Steinbeck
We start with a next-generation miso soup: Kyoto's famous sweet white miso whisked with dashi made from lobster shells, with large chunks of tender claw meat and wilted spinach bobbing on the soup's surface. The son takes a cube of topflight Wagyu off the grill, charred on the outside, rare in the center, and swaddles it with green onions and a scoop of melting sea urchin- a surf-and-turf to end all others. The father lays down a gorgeous ceramic plate with a poem painted on its surface. "From the sixteenth century," he tells us, then goes about constructing the dish with his son, piece by piece: First, a chunk of tilefish wrapped around a grilled matsutake mushroom stem. Then a thick triangle of grilled mushroom cap, plus another grilled stem the size of a D-sized battery, topped with mushroom miso. A pickled ginger shoot, a few tender soybeans, and the crowning touch, the tilefish skin, separated from its body and fried into a ripple wave of crunch. The rice course arrives in a small bamboo steamer. The young chef works quickly. He slices curtains of tuna belly from a massive, fat-streaked block, dips it briefly in house-made soy sauce, then lays it on the rice. Over the top he spoons a sauce of seaweed and crushed sesame seeds just as the tuna fat begins to melt into the grains below. A round of tempura comes next: a harvest moon of creamy pumpkin, a gold nugget of blowfish capped with a translucent daikon sauce, and finally a soft, custardy chunk of salmon liver, intensely fatty with a bitter edge, a flavor that I've never tasted before. The last savory course comes in a large ice block carved into the shape of a bowl. Inside, a nest of soba noodles tinted green with powdered matcha floating in a dashi charged with citrus and topped with a false quail egg, the white fashioned from grated daikon.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
Rebel [Verse 1] I don't give a fuck my brudda, I never have I'm straight from the gutter my brudda, we never had We living on a budget - holes in the rooftop Room full of buckets, it's getting bad Things could be worse I suppose, school trips, school kids Cursing my clothes, is it the same in every house When the curtains are closed? (daydreamin') I'm in a world of my own (I ain't leavin') It must be because I hate my reality That's why I'm on the verge of embracing insanity Put me in a padded room Throw away the key and let me escape the anarchy I can't take it, I turn my back on the world I can't face it, Ray-Ban gang fam Can't see my eyes cause I'm on my dark shades shit (Ray Charles) [Bridge] Black everything, you can ask David Cameron if we're living in the dark ages Black everything, you can ask David Black everything, you can ask David Black everything, you can ask David Cameron if we're living in the dark ages [Hook] (It's a living hell) I'm a rebel Always have been Where I'm come from it's a mad ting (It's a living hell) Standing in my Stan Smiths Stamping on the canvas for action (It's a living hell) All I acquired from the riot Is people are sick and tired of being quiet (It's a living hell) Dying to be heard That's why there's fire in my words [Verse 2] I don't give a fuck my brudda, I never will Straight from the gutter my brudda, rare real We been living life like "fuck it", living life like there's nothing To live for but the money, I'mma keep it 100 The hunger inside is what drives us That's why there's youngers inside who are lifers They say love is blind so you might just Fall in love with them crimes that'll blind us And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't out late Around H, scales out, another ounce weighed More pounds made, sounds great Salts under my tongue, my mouth's laced So many feds chasing me down, the ground shakes Helicopters, bikes and cars chasing So many officers behind, my heart's racing [Bridge] [Hook x2]
Ghetts
Curtis Bane screamed and though I came around fast and fired in the same motion, he’d already pulled a heater and begun pumping metal at me. We both missed and I was empty, that drum clicking uselessly. I went straight at him. Happily, he too was out of bullets and I closed the gap and slammed the butt of the rifle into his chest. Should’ve knocked him down, but no. The bastard was squat and powerful as a wild animal, thanks to being a coke fiend, no doubt. He ripped the rifle from my grasp and flung it aside. He locked his fists and swung them up into my chin, and it was like getting clobbered with a hammer, and I sprawled into a row of trash cans. Stars zipped through my vision. A leather cosh dropped from his sleeve into his hand and he knew what to do with it all right. He swung it in a short chopping blow at my face and I got my left hand up and the blow snapped my two smallest fingers, and he swung again and I turned my head just enough that it only squashed my ear and you better believe that hurt, but now I’d drawn the sawback bayonet I kept strapped to my hip, a fourteen-inch grooved steel blade with notched and pitted edges—Jesus-fuck who knew how many Yankee boys the Kraut who’d owned it gashed before I did for him—and stabbed it to the guard into Bane’s groin. Took a couple of seconds for Bane to register it was curtains. His face whitened and his mouth slackened, breath steaming in the chill, his evil soul coming untethered. He had lots of gold fillings. He lurched away and I clutched his sleeve awkwardly with my broken hand and rose, twisting the handle of the blade side to side, turning it like a car crank into his guts and bladder, putting my shoulder and hip into it for leverage. He moaned in panic and dropped the cosh and pried at my wrist, but the strength was draining from him and I slammed him against the wall and worked the handle with murderous joy. The cords of his neck went taut and he looked away, as if embarrassed, eyes milky, a doomed petitioner gaping at Hell in all its fiery majesty. I freed the blade with a cork-like pop and blood spurted down his leg in a nice thick stream and he collapsed, folding into himself like a bug does when it dies.
Laird Barron (The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All)
There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room, and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills, and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleepers, and yet must needs call forth sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness, and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Then I’ll sing, though that will likely have the child holding his ears and you running from the room.” This, incongruously, had her lips quirking up. “My father isn’t very musical. You hold the baby, I’ll sing.” She took the rocking chair by the hearth. Vim settled the child in his arms and started blowing out candles as he paced the room. “He shall feed his flock, like a shepherd…” More Handel, the lilting, lyrical contralto portion of the aria, a sweet, comforting melody if ever one had been written. And the baby was comforted, sighing in Vim’s arms and going still. Not deathly still, just exhausted still. Sophie sang on, her voice unbearably lovely. “And He shall gather the lambs in his arm… and gently lead those that are with young.” Vim liked music, he enjoyed it a great deal in fact—he just wasn’t any good at making it. Sophie was damned good. She had superb control, managing to sing quietly even as she shifted to the soprano verse, her voice lifting gently into the higher register. By the second time through, Vim’s eyes were heavy and his steps lagging. “He’s asleep,” he whispered as the last notes died away. “And my God, you can sing, Sophie Windham.” “I had good teachers.” She’d sung some of the tension and worry out too, if her more peaceful expression was any guide. “If you want to go back to your room, I can take him now.” He didn’t want to leave. He didn’t want to leave her alone with the fussy baby; he didn’t want to go back to his big, cold bed down the dark, cold hallway. “Go to bed, Sophie. I’ll stay for a while.” She frowned then went to the window and parted the curtain slightly. “I think it’s stopped snowing, but there is such a wind it’s hard to tell.” He didn’t dare join her at the window for fear a chilly draft might wake the child. “Come away from there, Sophie, and why haven’t you any socks or slippers on your feet?” She glanced down at her bare feet and wiggled long, elegant toes. “I forgot. Kit started crying, and I was out of bed before I quite woke up.” They shared a look, one likely common to parents of infants the world over. “My Lord Baby has a loyal and devoted court,” Vim said. “Get into bed before your toes freeze off.” She gave him a particularly unreadable perusal but climbed into her bed and did not draw the curtains. “Vim?” “Hmm?” He took the rocker, the lyrical triple meter of the aria still in his head. “Thank you.” He
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
In Hiding - coming summer of 2020 WAYNE ANTHONY SEEKS REDEMPTION FROM A BAD DAY - Although warned about getting the stitches wet, he believed a hot shower was the only road to his redemption. Experienced taught him the best way to relieve the tightness in his lower back was by standing beneath the near-scalding water. Dropping the rest of his clothing, he turned the shower on full blast. The hot water rushed from the showerhead filling the tiny room with steam, instantly the small mirror on the medicine cabinet fogged up. The man quietly pulled the shower curtain back and entered the shower stall without a sound. Years of acting as another’s shadow had trained him to live soundlessly. The hot water cascaded over his body as the echo from the pounding water deadened slightly. Grabbing the sample sized soap, he pulled the paper off and tossed the wrapper over the curtain rail. Wayne rubbed the clean smelling block until his large hands disappeared beneath the lather. He ignored the folded washcloth, opting to use his hands across his body. Gently he cleaned the injury allowing the slime of bacterial soap to remove the residual of the rust-colored betadine. All that remained when he finished was the pale orange smear from the antiseptic. This scar was not the only mar to his body. The water cascaded down hard muscles making rivulets throughout the thatches of dark hair. He raised his arms gingerly as he washed beneath them; the tight muscles of his abdomen glistened beneath the torrent of water. Opening a bottle of shampoo-slash-conditioner, he applied a dab then ran his hands across his scalp. Finally, the tension in his square jaw had eased, making his handsome face more inviting. The cords of his neck stood out as he rinsed the shampoo from his hair. It coursed down his chest leading down to his groin where the scented wash caught in his pelvic hair. Wayne's body was one of perfection for any woman; if that was, she could ignore the mutilations. Knife injuries left their mark with jagged white lines. Most of these, he had doctored himself; his lack of skill resulted in crude scars. The deepest one, undulated along the left side of his abdomen, that one had required the art of a surgeon. Dropping his arms, he surrenders himself to the pelting deluge from the shower. The steamy water cascaded down his body, pulling the soap toward the drain. Across his back, it slid down several small indiscernible pockmarks left by gunshot wounds, the true extent of their damage far beneath his skin. Slowly the suds left his body, snaking down his muscular legs. It slithered down the scars on his left knee, the result of replacement surgery after a thug took a bat to it. Wayne stood until the hot water cooled, and ran translucent over his body. Finally, he washes the impact of the long day from his mind and spirit.
Caroline Walken
So, you want to improve your home like you have some knowledge and respect for the endeavor, yes? Very well. First, you need to know the basics associated with it to showcase what type of knowledge you actually have about it. If that is not enough, try reviewing the article listed below to assist you. Home improvement is often a daunting task. This is because of the time and the amounts of money required. However, it doesn't have to be so bad. If you have several projects in your house, divide them up into several smaller DIY projects. For example you may want to redo the entire living room. Start simple, by just replacing the carpet, and before you know it, your living room will be like new. One great way to make the inside of your home sparkle is to put new molding in. New molding helps create a fresh sense in your living space. You can purchase special molding with beautiful carvings on them to add a unique touch of elegance and style to your home. When it comes to home improvement, consider replacing your windows and doors. This not only has a chance of greatly improving the value of the home, but may also severely decrease the amount of money required to keep your house warm and dry. You can also add extra security with new doors and windows. Change your shower curtain once a month. Showering produces excessive humidity in a bathroom that in turn causes shower curtains to develop mold and mildew. To keep your space fresh and healthy, replace your curtains. Don't buy expensive plastic curtains with hard to find designs, and you won't feel bad about replacing it. Sprucing up your walls with art is a great improvement idea, but it doesn't have to be a painting. You can use practically anything for artwork. For instance, a three-dimensional tile works great if you contrast the colors. You can even buy some canvas and a frame and paint colored squares. Anything colorful can work as art. If you are renovating your kitchen but need to spend less money, consider using laminate flooring and countertops. These synthetic options are generally much less expensive than wood, tile, or stone. They are also easier to care for. Many of these products are designed to closely mimic the natural products, so that the difference is only visible on close inspection. New wallpaper can transform a room. Before you add wallpaper, you need to find out what type of wall is under the existing wallpaper. Usually walls are either drywall or plaster smoothed over lath. You can figure out what kind of wall you are dealing with by feeling the wall, plaster is harder, smoother, and colder than drywall. You can also try tapping the wall, drywall sounds hollow while plaster does not. Ah, you have read the aforementioned article, or you wouldn't be down here reading through the conclusion. Well done! That article should have provided you with a proper foundation of what it takes to properly and safely improve your home. If any questions still remain, try reviewing the article again.
GutterInstallation
To be fair, if we had married then, who knows what would have become of us? I doubt I would have liked your running about the country as a spy, leaving me alone for weeks at a time. And I daresay you would have had trouble concentrating on your work for worrying about me.” His grateful smile showed that he appreciated her attempt to mitigate his betrayal. “Of course, later you could have…well…come after me. Once you established your business. While I was still un-betrothed. Why didn’t you?” “I don’t suppose you would accept rampant idiocy as a reason?” “I would…if I really thought it were the reason.” When he stiffened, she added archly, “You aren’t generally an idiot. Daft and a tad overbearing, yes, but not an idiot.” A sigh escaped him. He leaned past her to pull the curtain open just enough so he could keep an eye on the street. When it looked as if he might not answer, she added, “Tristan thinks you didn’t come after me because you were afraid that I couldn’t love you.” He cast her a startled glance. “You told Tristan the truth about us?” She winced. “And Lisette and Max. Sorry. Tristan sort of…forced it out of me.” “Well, that explains why Max and Lisette were willing to bring you here in the midst of such a crucial investigation. They’ve been pressing me for a long time to give you another chance. Because they thought you betrayed me.” Grabbing her hands, he gazed down at them with a haunted look. “And I suppose there’s some truth to my brother’s words. But I also didn’t come after you because that would have been a tacit admission that I’d made a mistake. That in so doing, I’d ruined our lives. I was afraid if I admitted I’d been wrong, then it had all been for nothing. I’d sacrificed my happiness--your happiness--for nothing.” “Oh, Dom,” she whispered and squeezed his hands. “A part of me also thought if I didn’t approach you at all, there was still a chance we could be together again. But if I asked and you said no--or worse yet, said that you no longer cared about me--it would be over for good. As long as I didn’t ask, there was always hope. And hope is what kept me going.” A muscle flexed in his jaw. “Until you got engaged. That quashed my hope. It was what I’d told myself I wanted for you. Because it proved that I’d been right to put you aside.” He lifted his gaze to hers. “Unfortunately, being right was cold comfort when it meant I’d lost you for good. By the time you came to me that day at Rathmoor Park, I was in a very dark state. I was resigning myself to a lifetime of loneliness, of wanting you and not having you.” “You would have let me marry Edwin?” she said incredulously. “Even though you still loved me?” “You were still going to marry him, weren’t you?” he countered. “Knowing that you still loved me.” “True.” She attempted a smile. “I would have done it just to bedevil you.” “No doubt,” he said dryly. “But it would have been a mistake, and I’d have been miserable.” He pressed a kiss to their joined hands. “Then I suppose we should really thank Nancy for her shenanigans. Or else we’d still be separate and miserable.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
I am speaking of the evenings when the sun sets early, of the fathers under the streetlamps in the back streets returning home carrying plastic bags. Of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted stations in the middle of winter, where sleepy sailors scrub the decks, pail in hand and one eye on the black-and-white television in the distance; of the old booksellers who lurch from one ϧnancial crisis to the next and then wait shivering all day for a customer to appear; of the barbers who complain that men don’t shave as much after an economic crisis; of the children who play ball between the cars on cobblestoned streets; of the covered women who stand at remote bus stops clutching plastic shopping bags and speak to no one as they wait for the bus that never arrives; of the empty boathouses of the old Bosphorus villas; of the teahouses packed to the rafters with unemployed men; of the patient pimps striding up and down the city’s greatest square on summer evenings in search of one last drunken tourist; of the broken seesaws in empty parks; of ship horns booming through the fog; of the wooden buildings whose every board creaked even when they were pashas’ mansions, all the more now that they have become municipal headquarters; of the women peeking through their curtains as they wait for husbands who never manage to come home in the evening; of the old men selling thin religious treatises, prayer beads, and pilgrimage oils in the courtyards of mosques; of the tens of thousands of identical apartment house entrances, their facades discolored by dirt, rust, soot, and dust; of the crowds rushing to catch ferries on winter evenings; of the city walls, ruins since the end of the Byzantine Empire; of the markets that empty in the evenings; of the dervish lodges, the tekkes, that have crumbled; of the seagulls perched on rusty barges caked with moss and mussels, unϩinching under the pelting rain; of the tiny ribbons of smoke rising from the single chimney of a hundred-yearold mansion on the coldest day of the year; of the crowds of men ϧshing from the sides of the Galata Bridge; of the cold reading rooms of libraries; of the street photographers; of the smell of exhaled breath in the movie theaters, once glittering aϱairs with gilded ceilings, now porn cinemas frequented by shamefaced men; of the avenues where you never see a woman alone after sunset; of the crowds gathering around the doors of the state-controlled brothels on one of those hot blustery days when the wind is coming from the south; of the young girls who queue at the doors of establishments selling cut-rate meat; of the holy messages spelled out in lights between the minarets of mosques on holidays that are missing letters where the bulbs have burned out; of the walls covered with frayed and blackened posters; of the tired old dolmuşes, ϧfties Chevrolets that would be museum pieces in any western city but serve here as shared taxis, huϫng and puϫng up the city’s narrow alleys and dirty thoroughfares; of the buses packed with passengers; of the mosques whose lead plates and rain gutters are forever being stolen; of the city cemeteries, which seem like gateways to a second world, and of their cypress trees; of the dim lights that you see of an evening on the boats crossing from Kadıköy to Karaköy; of the little children in the streets who try to sell the same packet of tissues to every passerby; of the clock towers no one ever notices; of the history books in which children read about the victories of the Ottoman Empire and of the beatings these same children receive at home; of the days when everyone has to stay home so the electoral roll can be compiled or the census can be taken; of the days when a sudden curfew is announced to facilitate the search for terrorists and everyone sits at home fearfully awaiting “the oϫcials”; CONTINUED IN SECOND PART OF THE QUOTE
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)
ESTRAGON: You say we have to come back tomorrow? VLADIMIR: Yes. ESTRAGON: Then we can bring a good bit of rope. VLADIMIR: Yes. Silence. ESTRAGON: Didi? VLADIMIR: Yes. ESTRAGON: I can't go on like this. VLADIMIR: That's what you think. ESTRAGON: If we parted? That might be better for us. VLADIMIR: We'll hang ourselves tomorrow. ( Pause. ) Unless Godot comes. ESTRAGON: And if he comes? VLADIMIR: We'll be saved. Vladimir takes off his hat (Lucky's), peers inside it, feels about inside it, shakes it, knocks on the crown, puts it on again. ESTRAGON: Well? Shall we go? VLADIMIR: Pull on your trousers. ESTRAGON: What? VLADIMIR: Pull on your trousers. ESTRAGON: You want me to pull off my trousers? VLADIMIR: Pull ON your trousers. ESTRAGON: ( realizing his trousers are down) . True. He pulls up his trousers. VLADIMIR: Well? Shall we go? ESTRAGON: Yes, let's go. They do not move. Curtain.
Anonymous
I didn’t want to go, but his arms were underneath me, easing me toward the edge of the gurney and a waiting wheelchair padded with pillows. I was afraid any resistance would result in another game of hospital gown peekaboo. He settled me so gently in the soft wheelchair that my hip and my back hardly hurt. Pushing me past the curtain and into the bustling emergency room, he leaned close, over me, to say, “I fixed it. They’re going to lose the records of your visit, so you’ll never get billed. But you’re my girlfriend.” “What do you mean, I’m your girlfriend?” What delicious blackmail was this? And was it worth the price? Perhaps I could stand it. ‘I had to make them think I have a vested interest in you,” he whispered. “They never would have agreed to lose your records if I told them you were my friend at twelve years old but not so much at eighteen and I had pretty much walked in and stolen the birthright to your family farm. See? Shhh. Hey, Brody.” He slapped hands with another man in scrubs wheeling an empty gurney in the opposite direction. The man eyed me, waggled his eyebrows at Hunter, and kept going. “Couldn’t you have said we’re friends and left it at that?” I needed to keep up the façade that I did not like the idea at all. At the same time, I was a little afraid Hunter would call the charade off. “I have a lot of friends,” he explained, wheeling me into a waiting room marked X-RAY. he rounded the wheelchair and knelt in front of me. Behind him, a door stood ajar. A contraption I assumed to be an X-ray machine was visible through the crack. He glanced over his shoulder at the door, then turned back to me. “Sorry about this,” he murmured as he slid both hands into my hair and kissed me. All I could do at first was feel. His lips were on mine. His hands held me steady, so I couldn’t have shrugged away if I’d tried, but I would not try. Bright tingles spread from my lips across my face and down my neck to my chest. I longed to pull him closer for more. I reminded myself that we were faking this for a reason. I didn’t want to make the kiss deeper than necessary in case it turned him off. Hunter deepened it. His tongue pressed past my teeth and swept inside my mouth. One of his hands released my hair and caressed my shoulder, traveling down. The farther his hand went, the higher I felt. My hip hardly hurt and my back pain was gone. I wondered how low his hand would go. I never found out. A shadow stood in the doorway and cleared its throat. I stopped kissing Hunter back and braced for him to jump away. He did back off, but very slowly. He sat back on his haunches and glared at the X-ray tech as if she had a lot of nerve. His cheeks were bright red. “So, Hunter,” she said mischievously. “This is your girlfriend.” “Hullo.” I gave her a small wave. “And you got hit by a taxi while you were crossing the street to visit Hunter? That is so romantic! Have you seen Sleepless in Seattle?” “Not romantic,” I said flatly. “I hate that movie. They don’t meet until the last scene. They don’t kiss at all.” Too late I realized I sounded like I was begging Hunter for more. “But in that movie,” the tech said, “they talk about An Affair to Remember. Have you seen that? Deborah Kerr is crossing the street to meet Cary Grant and gets hit by a car. Years later he comes back to her and she’s paralyzed from the waist down.” “You call that romantic?” I heard myself yelling. “That is repulsive!” Hunter stood and put a heavy hand on my shoulder as he pushed my wheelchair past the tech and through the doorway to the X-ray machine. “Erin is in a lot of pain,” he murmured to the tech, “and she doesn’t want to think about being paralyzed from the waist down.” After that the tech was a lot nicer, because Hunter had a way with people. Hunter lifted me onto the table and left the room so he wouldn’t be irradiated or see my bony ass.
Jennifer Echols (Love Story)
the lights would come on; when he left, they would fade back down.  Once he was in the kitchen, the lights turned on and the curtains retracted to show a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains.   Howard grabbed his cup from beneath the coffee pot and sat alone at the breakfast table. “Good morning, Hal.”  Howard
Richard Stephenson (Collapse (New America - Book 1))
Raise me up and cut me down, broken is the Son of Man. Pierce Me, stripe Me, Hide me behind a stone, I am the Ophikomen (that which is hidden and comes later). The rock is rolled, the curtain torn, I am brought to light. We the Three in One. Iam the Father, I am the Son, We send the Spirit, We the Three in One. We are the Son of Man.
J. Michael Morgan (Yeshua Cup: The Melchizedek Journals)
The market is flooded with all of the cheap stuff coming out of Russia. You know, the Curtain comes down and they flood the market with junk.
Jack Silkstone (PRIMAL Origin (PRIMAL, #1))
Was There Anything I Could Do? She comes home and she's happy She comes home and she's blue She comes home and she tells him Listen baby we're through I don't know what happened next All I know is she moved Packed up her bags and her curtains Left him in his room Was there anything I could do? She went out with her paint box Paints the chapel blue She went out with her matchsticks Torched a car wash too I don't know where she's living All I've got is a card A picture of her at the pyramids A knife held to her heart Was there anything I could do? She came down from the mountains Said goodbye to her guru She went back to her room Lost herself in voodoo I don't say that I blame her People don't know what they want If you spend your life looking behind you You don't see what's up front Was there anything I could do? Putting out her fire Putting out her fire
Go-Betweens