Dark Alley Quotes

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

When we come face-to-face with one down a dark alley, we're going to be having a shufti to see if it's solid, aren't we, we're not going to be asking, 'Excuse me, are you the imprint of a departed soul?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
What do you want to show me?" "Nothing, really. I just want to be alone with you for a minute." He pulled her to the back of the driveway, where they were almost completely hidden by a line of trees and the RV and the garage. "Seriously?" she said. "That was so lame." "I know," he said, turning to her. "Next time, I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this dark alley, I want to kiss you.'" She didn't roll her eyes. She took a breath, then closed her mouth. He was learning how to catch her off guard. She pushed her hands deeper in her pockets, so he put his hands on her elbows. "Next time," he said, "I'll just say, 'Eleanor, duck behind these bushes with me, I'm going to lose my mind if I don't kiss you.'" She didn't move, so he thought it was probably okay to touch her face. Her skin was as soft as it looked, white and smooth as freckled porcelain. "I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this rabbit hole...'" He laid his thumb on her lips to see if she'd pull away. She didn't. He leaned closer. He wanted to close his eyes, but he didn't trust her not to leave him standing there.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Where would you like to go, what would you really like to do with your life? See Istanbul, Port Said, Nairobi, Budapest. Write a book. Smoke too many cigarettes. Fall off a cliff but get caught in a tree halfway down. Get shot at a few times in a dark alley on a Morrocan midnight. Love a beautiful woman.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
But I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road- there one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal in the dirt.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I loved the idea of a girl going into a dark alley, and a monster comes, and then she just aces him. It’s like, you want to see the tiny person suddenly take control. God, my whole career is basically about that!
Joss Whedon
Poetry: three mismatched shoes at the entrance of a dark alley.
Charles Simic (Dime-Store Alchemy)
Love isn't always magic. But if I offered my body to the magician, if I told him to cut me in half so after that I could come to you whole and ask for you back would you listen for this dark alley love song? For the winter we heated our home from the steam off our own bodies?
Andrea Gibson (The Madness Vase)
Always follow your dreams, even if they lead you down a few dark alleys.
Teresa Mummert
To me, you'll always be like a bright star that shines and guides me from the opposite end of a dark alley. Good-bye, Kirito. It was really fortunate of me to have met you and to have been with you. — Sachi
Reki Kawahara (ソードアート・オンライン 2: アインクラッド [Sōdo āto onrain 2: Ainkuraddo] (Sword Art Online Light Novel, #2))
I'm pretty sure lurking in a dark alley to mug me with your apology isn't the usual way to go about saying you're sorry. But I didn't read that Mars-Venus book, so who knows.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
I do love this physical world. I love this physical life with you. And the air and the country. The backyard, the gravel in the back alley. The grass. The cool nights. Lying in bed talking with you in the dark.
Kent Haruf (Our Souls at Night)
This you may say of man - when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
And Irene hadn’t broken the letter of any ordinances – she hoped. She’d just jumped up and down on the spirit of them, then taken them down a dark alley and made some pointed suggestions at knife-point.
Genevieve Cogman (The Masked City (The Invisible Library, #2))
I almost cried. But I didn't, because if you're in seventh grade and you cry while wearing a blue floral cape and yellow tights with white feathers on the butt, you just have to curl up and die somewhere in a dark alley.
Gary D. Schmidt (The Wednesday Wars)
We love men because they can never fake orgasms, even if they wanted to. Because they write poems, songs, and books in our honor. Because they never understand us, but they never give up. Because they can see beauty in women when women have long ceased to see any beauty in themselves. Because they come from little boys. Because they can churn out long, intricate, Machiavellian, or incredibly complex mathematics and physics equations, but they can be comparably clueless when it comes to women. Because they are incredible lovers and never rest until we’re happy. Because they elevate sports to religion. Because they’re never afraid of the dark. Because they don’t care how they look or if they age. Because they persevere in making and repairing things beyond their abilities, with the naïve self-assurance of the teenage boy who knew everything. Because they never wear or dream of wearing high heels. Because they’re always ready for sex. Because they’re like pomegranates: lots of inedible parts, but the juicy seeds are incredibly tasty and succulent and usually exceed your expectations. Because they’re afraid to go bald. Because you always know what they think and they always mean what they say. Because they love machines, tools, and implements with the same ferocity women love jewelry. Because they go to great lengths to hide, unsuccessfully, that they are frail and human. Because they either speak too much or not at all to that end. Because they always finish the food on their plate. Because they are brave in front of insects and mice. Because a well-spoken four-year old girl can reduce them to silence, and a beautiful 25-year old can reduce them to slobbering idiots. Because they want to be either omnivorous or ascetic, warriors or lovers, artists or generals, but nothing in-between. Because for them there’s no such thing as too much adrenaline. Because when all is said and done, they can’t live without us, no matter how hard they try. Because they’re truly as simple as they claim to be. Because they love extremes and when they go to extremes, we’re there to catch them. Because they are tender they when they cry, and how seldom they do it. Because what they lack in talk, they tend to make up for in action. Because they make excellent companions when driving through rough neighborhoods or walking past dark alleys. Because they really love their moms, and they remind us of our dads. Because they never care what their horoscope, their mother-in-law, nor the neighbors say. Because they don’t lie about their age, their weight, or their clothing size. Because they have an uncanny ability to look deeply into our eyes and connect with our heart, even when we don’t want them to. Because when we say “I love you” they ask for an explanation.
Paulo Coelho
He sounded so tired and so earnest. I worried my lips between my teeth before asking, "Does this have anything to do with what you told me before?" Tybalt blinked. Then he snorted a brief laugh, and asked, "October, in the years since your return ... has anything not been in some way related to what I told you before? You handed me a hope chest in a dark alley. You took my heart as collateral, and you've never returned it.
Seanan McGuire (Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6))
Your hair," repeated Dimitri. His eyes were wide, almost awestruck. "Your hair is beautiful." I didn't think so, not in its current state. of course, considering we were in a dark alley filled with bodies, the choices were kind of limited. "You see? You're not one of them. Strigoi don't see beauty. Only death. You found something beautiful. One thing that's beautiful." Hesitantly, nervously, he ran his fingers along the strands I'd touched earlier. "But is it enough?" "It is for now." I pressed a kiss to his forehead and helped him stand. "It is for now.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
I hoofed it out of the alley, returned aboveground. Collided with people as I tore down the street, running fast as I could, chasing demons I would never catch.
Lee Matthew Goldberg (Stalker Stalked)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
If Célian met chivalry in a dark alley, he would beat it to death, then find its sister, generosity, and kill her too. “I
L.J. Shen (Dirty Headlines)
All your emotions were so intense—your anger like daggers, your unhappiness a poisoned well. Even your love had such sharp corners and dark alleys.
Sherry Thomas (Not Quite a Husband (The Marsdens, #2))
It had always been Roth; from the moment he swaggered into that d- alley, where I'd been unsuccessfully fighting off a demon, it had been him for me. Maybe I'd been too blind to see that after he returned from the pits. Maybe I had been too angry with him after the way he initially acted.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3))
I'm a licensed private investigator and have been for quite a while. I'm a lone wolf, unmarried, getting middle-aged, and not rich. I've been in jail more than once and I don't do divorce business. I like liquor and women and chess and a few other things. The cops don't like me too well, but I know a couple I get along with. I'm a native son, born in Santa Rosa, both parents dead, no brothers or sisters, and when I get knocked off in a dark alley sometime, if it happens, as it could to anyone in my business, nobody will feel that the bottom has dropped out of his or her life.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
Imama had in her palm a tiny firefly of guidance, and in the burst of its light, she had made her way through every dark alley of life without ever stumbling.
Umera Ahmed (Peer e Kamil)
Being a fiction writer is really like being an actor, because if you're going to write convincingly it has to sound right and play right. The only way that works is to emotionally and technically act out and see the scene you're in. There's no better job in the world, because when I sit down at that computer I'm the world's best forensics expert, if that's what I'm writing about that day. Or I'm some crazed psycho running down a dark alley. Or I'm a gorgeous woman looking to find a man that night. Whatever! But I'm all of those things, every day. How can you beat that?
Ridley Pearson
Why are you so interested in crime?” people ask me, and I always go back to that moment in the alley, the shards of a dead girl’s Walkman in my hands. I need to see his face. He loses his power when we know his face.
Michelle McNamara (I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer)
Most craft give a nod, however brief and unfriendly, towards beauty. Vogon ships did not nod towards beauty. They pulled on ski masks and mugged beauty in a dark alley They spat in the eye of beauty and bludgeoned their wait through the notions of aesthetics and aerodynamics. Vogon cruisers did not so much travel through space as defile it and toss it aside.
Eoin Colfer (And Another Thing... (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #6))
She knew there was something dark in her then, when she left the alley and the shadows followed.
Daniella Michalleni
Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life.
Lawrence K. Fish
How helpless they all looked in the ugliness of sleep. A third of life spent unconscious and corpselike. And some, the great majority, stumbled through their waking hours scarcely more awake, helpless in the face of destiny. They stumbled down a dark alley toward their deaths. They sent exploring feelers into the light and met fire and writhed back again into the darkness of their blind groping.
William Lindsay Gresham (Nightmare Alley)
Kaz Brekker didn’t need a reason. Those were the words whispered on the streets of Ketterdam, in the taverns and coffeehouses, in the dark and bleeding alleys of the pleasure district known as the Barrel. The boy they called Dirtyhands didn’t need a reason any more than he needed permission – to break a leg, sever an alliance, or change a man’s fortunes with the turn of a card.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Human beings set out to encounter other worlds, other civilizations, without having fully gotten to know their own hidden recesses, their blind alleys, well shafts, dark barricaded doors.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
His world closes in. The sky is endless no longer but pieced into squares of brick and bright cloths hanging down to dry. Underfoot, no longer stone but rubble, earth, the peelings and rotted scraps of the inedible. He smells the smoke of cooking fires, he hears men arguing and babies screaming like seagulls, he sees young women looking shyly down from high windows, exchanging glances. Now, he is no longer the watcher. Watched. Shouts echo in the dark between twisted walls and back alleys. A twisted smile in a doorway. A stranger’s voice. A stranger’s language.
Michael Tobert (Karna's Wheel)
Is it later yet?” Roth asked. Casting him a lingering look, I grinned as I rose fluidly, with a grace I never thought I’d ever be capable of. “Only if you can catch me.” Roth rose at once, capturing my hand before I could even take off, threading his fingers through mine. “Already did, Layla.” And so he had, a long time ago, when he strutted into a dark alley and took out a Poser demon. Truth be told, I really didn’t even want to run. This was love, and love could change people, even if that person was really a demon and the Crown Prince of Hell. “I love you,” I told him, and I told him that every day and I would tell him that over and over again. Roth lowered his forehead to mine as he brought our joined hands to his chest, placing them above his heart. “And I love you,” he said. “With every breath I take, I will always love you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3))
When a human doctor, after much bleeding and cupping, finds that a patient has died out of sheer desperation, he can always say, "Dear me, will of the gods, that will be thirty dollars please," and walk away a free man. This is because human beings are not, technically, worth anything. A good racehorse, on the other hand, may be worth twenty thousand dollars. A doctor who lets one hurry off too soon to that great paddock in the sky may well expect to hear, out of some dark alley, a voice saying something on the lines of "Mr. Chrysoprase is very upset," and find the brief remainder of his life full of incident.
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
I wish I knew how to turn the volume down on the sadness in this girl’s eyes. I wish I could take her out of this dark, smelly alley and tuck her away some place safe.
Cal Armistead (Being Henry David)
I am a book. Sheaves pressed from the pulp of oaks and pines a natural sawdust made dingy from purses, dusty from shelves. Steamy and anxious, abused and misused, kissed and cried over, smeared, yellowed, and torn, loved, hated, scorned. I am a book. I am a book that remembers, days when I stood proud in good company When the children came, I leapt into their arms, when the women came, they cradled me against their soft breasts, when the men came, they held me like a lover, and I smelled the sweet smell of cigars and brandy as we sat together in leather chairs, next to pool tables, on porch swings, in rocking chairs, my words hanging in the air like bright gems, dangling, then forgotten, I crumbled, dust to dust. I am a tale of woe and secrets, a book brand-new, sprung from the loins of ancient fathers clothed in tweed, born of mothers in lands of heather and coal soot. A family too close to see the blood on its hands, too dear to suffering, to poison, to cold steel and revenge, deaf to the screams of mortal wounding, amused at decay and torment, a family bred in the dankest swamp of human desires. I am a tale of woe and secrets, I am a mystery. I am intrigue, anxiety, fear, I tangle in the night with madmen, spend my days cloaked in black, hiding from myself, from dark angels, from the evil that lurks within and the evil we cannot lurk without. I am words of adventure, of faraway places where no one knows my tongue, of curious cultures in small, back alleys, mean streets, the crumbling house in each of us. I am primordial fear, the great unknown, I am life everlasting. I touch you and you shiver, I blow in your ear and you follow me, down foggy lanes, into places you've never seen, to see things no one should see, to be someone you could only hope to be. I ride the winds of imagination on a black-and-white horse, to find the truth inside of me, to cure the ills inside of you, to take one passenger at a time over that tall mountain, across that lonely plain to a place you've never been where the world stops for just one minute and everything is right. I am a mystery. -Rides a Black and White Horse
Lise McClendon
What is interesting is that elephants can accurately and reliably figure out who is friend and who is foe. Compare this to us humans, who still walk down dark alleys at night, fall for Ponzi schemes, and buy lemons from used-car salesmen.
Jodi Picoult (Leaving Time)
Quick, I told myself. Try to remember what you learned from Jimbo's Self Defence for Young Ladies. Jimbo was a beefy man with prison tats. "Go into the nearest dark alley," I recalled Jimbo saying. "Freeze like a rabbit or the creature you desire your attacker to mistake you for. If your attacker shouts out to you, respond politely - maybe your optimism will change his mind. If you're about to get into an elevator with a man you feel uncomfortable spending time with in a small, escapeless room, head right in. Remember , fear i an irrational emotion, you should probably ignore it." Armed with these tips, I hung a right into the nearest dead-end, curled into a ball and started rolling.
The Harvard Lampoon (Nightlight: A Parody)
I speak out of the deep of night out of the deep of darkness and out of the deep of night I speak. if you come to my house, friend bring me a lamp and a window I can look through at the crowd in the happy alley.
Forugh Farrokhzad
Night, forever. But within it, a city, shadowy and only real in certain ways. The entity cowered in its alley, where the mist was rising. This could not have happened! Yet it had. The streets had filled with… things. Animals! Birds! Changing shape! Screaming and yelling! And, above it all, higher than the rooftops, a lamb rocking back and forth in great slow motions, thundering over the cobbles… And then bars had come down, slamming down, and the entity had been thrown back. But it had been so close! It had saved the creature, it was getting through, it was beginning to have control… and now this… In the darkness of the inner city, above the rustle of the never-ending rain, it heard the sound of boots approaching. A shape appeared in the mist. It drew nearer. Water cascaded off a metal helmet and an oiled leather cloak as the figure stopped and, entirely unconcerned, cupped its had in front of its face and lit a cigar. Then the match was dropped on the cobbles, where it hissed out, and the figure said: “What are you?” The entity stirred, like an old fish in a deep pool. It was too tired to flee. “I am the Summoning Dark.” It was not, in fact, a sound, but had it been, it would have been a hiss. “Who are you?” “I am the Watchman.” “They would have killed his family!” The darkness lunged, and met resistance. “Think of the deaths they have caused! Who are you to stop me?” “He created me. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen? Me. I watch him. Always. You will not force him to murder for you.” “What kind of human creates his own policeman?” “One who fears the dark.” “And so he should,” said the entity, with satisfaction. “Indeed. But I think you misunderstand. I am not here to keep the darkness out. I am here to keep it in.” There was a clink of metal as the shadowy watchman lifted a dark lantern and opened its little door. Orange light cut through the blackness. “Call me… the Guarding Dark. Imagine how strong I must be.” The Summoning Dark backed desperately into the alley, but the light followed it, burning it. “And now,” said the watchman, “get out of town.
Terry Pratchett (Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch, #7))
There's always choices. Not liking the ones you've got is a different issue.
Penny Alley (Incubus Moon)
She, the first-born daughter of water, faced darkness and smiled. Took mystery as her lover and raised light as her child. Man that shit was wild. You should have seen how they ran. She woke up in an alley with a gun in her hand. Tupac in lotus form, Ennis’ blood on his hands.
Saul Williams (The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop)
Less publicly, women call each other “sluts” and “whores,” doubt each other’s stories, and help perpetuate the myth that if we always dress modestly, drink responsibly, and avoid dark alleys and dangerous-looking men, we’ll be effectively rape-proofed. We are part of the problem.
Kate Harding (Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do about It)
Sword rang on sword, the metallic sounds echoing throughout the wide market place and filling the crannies of every dark alley. Strength waged against strength, as, indeed, rivals of evil have ever-battled the adversaries of truth. The face of one combatant appeared cool and certain, the other passionate in his resolve, intent upon seeing the battle through and winning the day with valor...
Alicia A. Willis
I wasn’t afraid of your average dark alley. I had standard Agency-issue spells in my coat and a nine millimeter in my purse for dealing with the less dangerous pests, but even I knew you have to be careful with an upset woman.
J.C. Nelson (Free Agent (Grimm Agency, #1))
I was nineteen at the time, prowling the streets and alleys with my usual supply of hot dogs, the street lights with their foggy haloes showing dark, formless shapes moving out from the darkness of the fog and disappearing again.
Fynn (Anna and Mister God)
Her own awareness had risen like the dawn on her back.Like a leaden sunrise veiled in a swirl of storm clouds. It was no longer enough to have answers for Shiva's sake. Indeed, it had ceased to be about mere vengeance the moment Khalid's lips touched hers in the alley by the souk. She had wanted there to be a reason for this madness, needed there to be a reason, so that she could be with him. So that she could be by his side, make him smile as she laughed, weave tales by lamplight, and share secrets in the dark.So that she could fall asleep in his arms and awaken to a brilliant tomorrow. But it was too late. He was the Mehrdad of her nightmares. She had opened the door. She had seen the bodies hanging from the walls, without explanation. Without justification. And without one, Shahrzad knew what must be done. Khalid had to answer for such vile deeds. Such rampant death. Even if he was her air. Even if she loved him beyond words.
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
The dark is settling in. The sky glows yellow- pale- anemic from the city lights. The Tenderloin at night is a real horror show. Every 3 feet someone is accosting you with a plea for a handout or the offer of drug or sex. The men and women wander the streets and alleys with a threatening, violont want. Takers looking to take, hustlers looking to hustle, all trying to satisfy a craving that is parpatually unsatisfiable. And tonight I'm one of them.
Nic Sheff (Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines)
The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man....For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live—for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live—for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
He calls me his Queen of the Night. He shows me the wonders in this incredible city. He encourages me to find my own way, and to choose what I think is right or wrong. And the sex, God, the sex! I never knew what sex was until him! It’s not soft music and candlelight, a choice, a deliberate action. It’s as involuntary as breathing, and as impossible not to do. It’s slammed up against a wall in a dark alley, or flat on my back on cold concrete because I can’t stand one more second without him. It’s on my hands and knees, dry-mouthed, heart-in-my-throat, waiting for the moment he touches me, and I’m alive again. It’s punishing and purifying, velvet and violent, and it makes everything else melt away, until nothing matters but getting him inside me and I wouldn’t just die for him—I’d kill for him, too. Like I did tonight.
Karen Marie Moning (Faefever (Fever, #3))
I bent down over my neighborhood, taking in the people there. At first, they'd just seemed arranged the same way they were everywhere else: in random formations, some in groups, some alone. Then, though, I saw the single figure at the back of my house, walking away from the back door. And another person, a girl, running through the side yard, where the hedge would have been, while someone else, with a badge and flashlight followed. There were three people under the basketball goal, one lying prone on the ground. I took a breath, then moved in closer. Two people were seated on the curb between Dave's and my houses: a few inches away two more walked up the narrow alley to Luna Blu's back door. A couple stood in the driveway, facing each other. And in that empty building, the old hotel, a tiny set of cellar doors had been added, flung open, a figure standing before them. Whether they were about to go down, or just coming up, was unclear, and the cellar itself was a dark square. But I knew what was down below. He'd put me everywhere. Every single place I'd been, with him or without, from the first time we'd met to the last conversation. It was all there, laid out as carefully, as real as the buildings and streets around it. I swallowed, hard, then reached forward, touching the girl running through the hedge. Not Liz Sweet. Not anyone, at that moment, not yet. But on her way to someone. To me.
Sarah Dessen (What Happened to Goodbye)
I turned, hiking my coat up around my chin. Anyone who looked closely would be able to see that something wasn't right, but the alley was dark and narrow, and frankly, the sort of person you meet in dark alleyways at dawn is looking for things besides pointed ears.​
Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1))
Outside everything was uncannily visible in the light of the full moon, but here in the dark shaded alleys the night was conscious of itself. ("The Moon Slave")
Barry Pain (Ghostly By Gaslight)
Yeah,” Tamara said. “An old bowling alley. There must be a town not too far from here. But how could Aaron be there? And don’t say something like ‘working on his score’ or ‘maybe he’s in a bowling league’ or something like that. Be serious.” Call leaned against the rough bark of a nearby tree and resisted the urge to sit down. He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get up again. “I’m serious. It might be hard to tell in the dark, but I have my most super-serious face on.
Cassandra Clare (The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1))
There’s a scream that can’t be silenced.It’s rising, growing louder and louder. It’s the scream of a child abandoned, suddenly long ago. As the scream echoed then in that alley, it echoes now in my mind. It penetrates all the dark places. It slams into the loss, bounces against the regret.. and the pain.
Tom Taylor
There were police everywhere, bustling back and forth, murmuring in the barely audible whisper used only by cops and children. There are more similarities between the two than you might think, starting with whether or not you’d want them waiting for you in a dark alley with a gun. I’ve worked with the police, and I’ve even liked some of them, but that doesn’t mean I have to like them as a breed. Power brings out the worst in almost everyone.
Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1))
Even if they did hear, they'd keep walking. That's what people do. They tell themselves they'll just die too. They tell themselves their life is more precious than the person dying at close to their feet. They just don't give a fuck in short. A dark smiles curves my lips as he stares up at me in suprised horror. He came into this alley as the predator. He'll die as the prey.
S.T. Abby (Mindf*ck Series (Mindf*ck, #1-5))
Fat Charlie blew his nose. "I never knew I had a brother," he said. "I did," said Spider. "I always meant to look you up, but I got distracted. You know how it is." "Not really." "Things came up." "What kind of things?" "Things. They came up. That's what things do. They come up. I can't be expected to keep track of them all." "Well, give me a f'rinstance." Spider drank more wine. "Okay. The last time I decided that you and I should meet, I, well, I spent days planning it. Wanted it to go perfectly. I had to choose my wardrobe. Then I had to decide what I'd say to you when we met. I knew that the meeting of two brothers, well, it's the subject of epics, isn't it? I decided that the only way to treat it with the appropriate gravity would be to do it in verse. But what kind of verse? Am I going to rap it? Declaim it? I mean, I'm not going to greet you with a limerick. So. It had to be something dark, something powerful, rhythmic, epic. And then I had it. The perfect line: Blood calls to blood like sirens in the night. It says so much. I knew I'd be able to get everything in there - people dying in alleys, sweat and nightmares, the power of free spirits uncrushable. Everything was going to be there. And then I had to come up with a second line, and the whole thing completely fell apart. The best I could come up with was Tum-tumpty-tumpty-tumpty got a fright." Fat Charlie blinked. "Who exactly is Tum-tumpty-tumpty-tumpty?" "It's not anybody. It's just there to show you where the words ought to be. But I never really got any futher on it than that, and I couldn't turn up with just a first line, some tumpties and three words of an epic poem, could I? That would have been disrespecting you." "Well...." "Exactly. So I went to Hawaii for the week instead. Like I said, something came up.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys)
Seoul is a city of layers and Jesse peels them back with his penetrating gaze, taking in the glitzy Western bars, the alleys sloping upward into cramped housing developments, the doorways leading to dark hallways that lead to offices and noodle shops the casual observer would never even know existed.
Paula Stokes (Ferocious (Vicarious, #2))
People like Jim [a defender of punch-down rape jokes] desperately want to believe that the engines of injustice run on outsized hate—stranger rapes in dark alleys, burning crosses and white hoods—but the reality is that indifference, bureaucracy, and closed-door snickers are far more plentiful fuels.
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
Surreal realized Daemon’s madness was confined to emotions, to people, to that single tragedy he couldn’t face. It was as if Titian had never died, as if Surreal hadn’t spent three years whoring in back alleys before Daemon found her again and arranged for a proper education in a Red Moon house. He thought she was still a child, and he continued to fret about Titian’s absence. But when she mentioned a book she was reading, he made a dry observation about her eclectic taste and proceeded to tell her about other books that might be of interest. It was the same with music, with art. They posed no threat to him, had no time frame, weren’t part of the nightmare of Jaenelle bleeding on that Dark Altar.
Anne Bishop (Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels, #2))
Can I be honest with you, Mr. Wind-Up Bird? I mean, really, really, really honest? Sometimes I get sooo scared! I’ll wake up in the middle of the night all alone, hundreds of miles away from anybody, and it’s pitch dark, and I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen to me in the future, and I get so scared I want to scream. Does that happen to you, Mr. Wind-Up Bird? When it happens, I try to remind myself that I am connected to others—other things and other people. I work as hard as I can to list their names in my head. On that list, of course, is you, Mr. Wind-Up Bird. And the alley, and the well, and the persimmon tree, and that kind of thing. And the wigs that I’ve made here with my own hands. And the little bits and pieces I remember about the boy. All these little things (though you’re not just another one of those little things, Mr. Wind-Up Bird, but anyhow…) help me to come back “here” little by little.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Admit it, you want to be fucked and it’s not Emen, that dull fuck, you want to feel saddled fast and riding hard between your legs. It’s me. My bruises on your skin, my bite marks for you to wear as if it were the finest jewelry.
Penny Alley (Incubus Moon)
Good fear protects you from getting hurt. Don't put your hand on a hot stove. Avoid dark alleys. Stay away from high, open places and trees during a lightning storm! Bad fear, though. It makes you think twice about taking the kind of risk that might turn out to be good for you. Applying for a job. Telling someone you love them. Writing the great American novel. Bad fear protects you from life. Keeps you from really living! You listen bad fear, you may as well just disappear.
Jocelyn Davies (The Odds of Lightning)
A man walked in long strides through the darkness toward them. Nothing but a dark silhouette, shadow against shadow, he walked down the alley with the grace of a predator.
Pamela Clare (Hard Evidence (I-Team, #2))
I live completely without regret. Sure there are plenty of things that someone could second guess, but I see the path of life like driving down the road without a map. The thing is, some dark alleys open up in majestic places, and some bright and shiny highways to the top end in cliffs to the bottom. You never know until you get there. What I know for sure is that if many years ago I actually had a map to the path of life, the destination that I would have chosen is right here, with this family, in this place, and with these smiles. That makes anything that could have been regretful, the best decision in the world.
Michael A. Wood Jr.
Addiction was like a man in a dark trench coat, stalking me, waiting for me to get off the well-lit sidewalk and step into an alley. I had seen the alley. I had watched Nana walk into the alley and I had watched my mother go after him, and I was so angry at them for not being strong enough to stay in the light.
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
I've prowled the dirtiest back alleys of sadness, okay? And I know what it's like to fight for your life on those mean streets. So if you need someone to vent to or someone to be quiet with or someone to talk your ear off, I can be that person. I'm not scared of the dark places.
Emery Lord (When We Collided)
The park was the heart of the city. He had come to the city – and with a knowing in his blood – he had established himself at the heart of it. Everyday he looked at the heart of it; every day; he was so stunned and awed and overwhelmed that just to think about it made him sweat. There was something, in the center of the park, that he had discovered. It was a mystery although it was in a glass case for everybody to see and there was a typewritten card over it telling all about it. But there was something the card couldn't say and what it couldn't say was inside him. He could not show the mystery to just anybody; but he had to show it to somebody. Who he had to show it to was a special person. This person could not be from the city but he didn't know why. He knew he would know him when he saw him and that he would have to see him soon or the nerve inside him would grow so big that he would be forced to steal a car or rob a bank or jump out of a dark alley onto a woman.
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
So much darkness made her uneasy. There was definitely a weight pushing down on the world. Misfortune was always hovering close around people’s shoulders. But she would fight it off, and keep fighting with all her might. Otherwise she would be annihilated by this nameless, all-reaching gloom which she couldn’t figure out or map.
Leila Aboulela (Lyrics Alley)
That’s funny. You would think after being followed and shoved into a dark alley by a stranger, you would be at least a little shaken. Don’t tell me, you are a black belt just waiting for the perfect moment to strike.” He laughed soundlessly. “I mean your words do sound brave but your eyes and the fact that you’re trembling like a scared little kitten say something else entirely.” Even though the alley was submerged in darkness and shadows, it was obvious there was a devilish grin stretched across his face...
Nicole Rae
In her fantastic mood she stretched her soft, clasped hands upward toward the moon. 'Sweet moon,' she said in a kind of mock prayer, 'make your white light come down in music into my dancing-room here, and I will dance most deliciously for you to see". She flung her head backward and let her hands fall; her eyes were half closed, and her mouth was a kissing mouth. 'Ah! sweet moon,' she whispered, 'do this for me, and I will be your slave; I will be what you will.' Quite suddenly the air was filled with the sound of a grand invisible orchestra. Viola did not stop to wonder. To the music of a slow saraband she swayed and postured. In the music there was the regular beat of small drums and a perpetual drone. The air seemed to be filled with the perfume of some bitter spice. Viola could fancy almost that she saw a smoldering campfire and heard far off the roar of some desolate wild beast. She let her long hair fall, raising the heavy strands of it in either hand as she moved slowly to the laden music. Slowly her body swayed with drowsy grace, slowly her satin shoes slid over the silver sand. The music ceased with a clash of cymbals. Viola rubbed her eyes. She fastened her hair up carefully again. Suddenly she looked up, almost imperiously. "Music! more music!" she cried. Once more the music came. This time it was a dance of caprice, pelting along over the violin-strings, leaping, laughing, wanton. Again an illusion seemed to cross her eyes. An old king was watching her, a king with the sordid history of the exhaustion of pleasure written on his flaccid face. A hook-nosed courtier by his side settled the ruffles at his wrists and mumbled, 'Ravissant! Quel malheur que la vieillesse!' It was a strange illusion. Faster and faster she sped to the music, stepping, spinning, pirouetting; the dance was light as thistle-down, fierce as fire, smooth as a rapid stream. The moment that the music ceased Viola became horribly afraid. She turned and fled away from the moonlit space, through the trees, down the dark alleys of the maze, not heeding in the least which turn she took, and yet she found herself soon at the outside iron gate. ("The Moon Slave")
Barry Pain (Ghostly By Gaslight)
In the alley where I last saw Justine, there was no sun. The storefronts displayed carnation bouquets and orthopedic shoes and hearing aids, but in the alley, these same stores were just dark walls, and looking at them was like looking at the back of someone who has turned and walked away from you.
Rebecca Godfrey (The Torn Skirt)
At the stroke of midnight in Washington, a drooling red-eyed beast with the legs of a man and a head of a giant hyena crawls out of its bedroom window in the South Wing of the White House and leaps fifty feet down to the lawn...pauses briefly to strangle the Chow watchdog, then races off into the darkness...towards the Watergate, snarling with lust, loping through the alleys behind Pennsylvania Avenue, and trying desperately to remember which one of those fore hundred identical balconies is the one outside of Martha Mitchell's apartment....Ah...Nightmares, nightmares. But I was only kidding. The President of the United States would never act that weird. At least not during football season.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
Why do bad things happen? For pedagogical reasons, so that we can experience the power of Allah, catch a glimpse of Hell and fear it, so that we can practice seeking refuge in Him and, when relief comes give thanks to His mercy. Darkness was created so that, like plants, we could yearn and turn to the light.
Leila Aboulela (Lyrics Alley)
Man comes into the world a blind, groping mite. He knows hunger and the fear of noise and of falling. His life is spent in flight - flight from hunger and from the thunderbolt of destiny. From his moment of birth he begins to fall through the whistling air of Time: down, down into a chasm of darkness . . . we come like a breath of wind over the fields of morning. We go like a lamp flame caught by a blast from a darkened window. In between we journey from table to table, from battle to bottle, from bed to bed. We suck, we chew, we swallow, we lick, we try to mash life into us like an am-am-amoeba God damn it! Somebody lets us loose like a toad out of a matchbox and we jump and jump and jump and the guy always behind us, and when he gets tired he stomps us to death and our guts squirt out on each side of the boot of All Merciful Providence. The son-of-a-bitch!
William Lindsay Gresham (Nightmare Alley)
Darkness was a beautiful thing. The kiss of a shadow. A caress as soft as moonlight. It had always been my refuge, my place of escape, whether I was sneaking onto a rooftop lit only by the stars or down a midnight alley to be with my brothers. Darkness was my ally. It made me forget the world I was in and invited me to dream of another.
Mary E. Pearson (The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3))
He had dreamt about a dark-haired foreign boy. This boy held the key to the undoing of their demise. He had carried his curse for too long. Time was short, the alignment was coming. The vivid dream had spoken to him about Florence. As the sun overshadowed the top of the open-air coliseum, the light briefly hit his three golden symbols. He would need to cover them before he was spotted. Glancing around, he found what he needed. He rolled through the mud until he was coated. On the outside, he was Celestial KittyCat — a black, scrappy, alley cat with a golden brand on his side. A brand of a sun, a star, and a moon all in alignment. On the inside, he was still Patrick, and his heart still yearned for CallaLyly. He scowled as he thought about the curse that was planted by a mystic from the Far East over two and a half centuries ago.
Mary K. Savarese (The Girl In The Toile Wallpaper (The Star Writers Trilogy, #1))
Let me sing the beauty of my Maggie. Legs:--the knees attached to the thighs, knees shiny, thighs like milk. Arms:--the levers of my content, the serpents of my joy. Back:--the sight of that in a strange street of dreams in the middle of Heaven would make me fall sitting from glad recognition. Ribs?--she had some melted and round like a well formed apple, from her thigh bones to waist I saw the earth roll. In her neck I hid myself like a lost snow goose of Australia, seeking the perfume of her breast. . . . She didn't let me, she was a good girl. The poor big alley cat, though almost a year younger, had black ideas about her legs that he hid from himself, also in his prayers didn't mention . . . the dog. Across the big world darkness I've come, in boat, in bus, in airplane, in train standing my shadow immense traversing the fields and the redness of engine boilers behind me making me omnipotent upon the earth of the night, like God--but I have never made love with a little finger that has won me since. I gnawed her face with my eyes; she loved that; and that was bastardly I didn't know she loved me--I didn't understand.
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
Power loves not the light of day, nor the attention of curious eyes. In darkness it thrives most...A lord may send his army hither and thither, but the true testing of his power is in those places where his army is not...Has he sent its long fingers far enough through the backstreets and alleys, into the drinking dens and the lending-houses, so that he may gather them unto himself and hold them firm without a single swordsman?
Brian Ruckley (Bloodheir (The Godless World, #2))
The moon was up now and the trees were dark against it, and he passed the frame houses with their narrow yards, light coming from the shuttered windows; the unpaved alleys, with their double rows of houses; Conch town, where all was starched, well-shuttered, virtue, failure, grit and boiled grunts, under-nourishment, prejudice, righteousness, inter-breeding and the comforts of religion; the open-doored, lighted Cuban boilto houses, shacks whose only romance was their names
Ernest Hemingway (To Have and Have Not)
Her dark brown eyes were staring straight at him. “Pretty teeth.” She had a light Texan accent. Not as hearty as the others he’d been hearing on his ride from California. “Long.” Her right index finger was in his mouth. It suddenly occurred to him that he hadn’t yet retracted his canines. She smiled at him. “You’re pretty too.” Wow, she was REALLY drunk. With a sudden surge of strength, she slammed Zach against the far alley wall. Then she was leaning into him, “I’ve never seen anyone as pretty as you.” Zach had been called a lot of things in his lifetime, “pretty” had never been one of them. She growled as she smiled… uh, no… leered at him. She kissed him
Shelly Laurenston
For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live- for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live- for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know- fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
After that, the strawberry wood became my favorite place to go. In the summer I picked the fruit, and ran up and down the alleys of trees, and in autumn, collected acorns, and lay on my back watching the sky through the open branches. In the spring, I picked violets, and wild garlic by the riverbank. In winter I built tunnels under the barrows of brambles, and all year round I watched the well, and listened to its breathing, and sometimes dropped a coin or a stone into the water, and whispered into the darkness.
Joanne Harris (The Strawberry Thief (Chocolat, #4))
As for describing the smell of a spaniel mixed with the smell of torches, laurels, incense, banners, wax candles and a garland of rose leaves crushed by a satin heel that has been laid up in camphor, perhaps Shakespeare, had he paused in the middle of writing Antony and Cleopatra — But Shakespeare did not pause. Confessing our inadequacy, then, we can but note that to Flush Italy, in these the fullest, the freest, the happiest years of his life, meant mainly a succession of smells. Love, it must be supposed, was gradually losing its appeal. Smell remained. Now that they were established in Casa Guidi again, all had their avocations. Mr. Browning wrote regularly in one room; Mrs. Browning wrote regularly in another. The baby played in the nursery. But Flush wandered off into the streets of Florence to enjoy the rapture of smell. He threaded his path through main streets and back streets, through squares and alleys, by smell. He nosed his way from smell to smell; the rough, the smooth, the dark, the golden. He went in and out, up and down, where they beat brass, where they bake bread, where the women sit combing their hair, where the bird-cages are piled high on the causeway, where the wine spills itself in dark red stains on the pavement, where leather smells and harness and garlic, where cloth is beaten, where vine leaves tremble, where men sit and drink and spit and dice — he ran in and out, always with his nose to the ground, drinking in the essence; or with his nose in the air vibrating with the aroma. He slept in this hot patch of sun — how sun made the stone reek! he sought that tunnel of shade — how acid shade made the stone smell! He devoured whole bunches of ripe grapes largely because of their purple smell; he chewed and spat out whatever tough relic of goat or macaroni the Italian housewife had thrown from the balcony — goat and macaroni were raucous smells, crimson smells. He followed the swooning sweetness of incense into the violet intricacies of dark cathedrals; and, sniffing, tried to lap the gold on the window- stained tomb. Nor was his sense of touch much less acute. He knew Florence in its marmoreal smoothness and in its gritty and cobbled roughness. Hoary folds of drapery, smooth fingers and feet of stone received the lick of his tongue, the quiver of his shivering snout. Upon the infinitely sensitive pads of his feet he took the clear stamp of proud Latin inscriptions. In short, he knew Florence as no human being has ever known it; as Ruskin never knew it or George Eliot either.
Virginia Woolf (Flush)
I guess you’ll just have to get used to having a police car outside the grocery store, the gym, and wherever it is you go for lunch with your friends,” Jack lectured. “And this goes without saying: you need to be careful. The police surveillance is a precautionary measure, but they can’t be everywhere. You should stick to familiar surroundings, and be vigilant and alert at all times.” “I got it. No walking through dark alleys while talking on my cell phone, no running at night with my iPod, no checking out suspicious noises in the basement.” “I seriously hope you’re not doing any of those things anyway.” “Of course not.” Jack pinned her with his gaze. She shifted against the counter. “Okay, maybe, sometimes, I’ve been known to listen to a Black Eyed Peas song or two while running at night. They get me moving after a long day at work.” Jack seemed wholly unimpressed with this excuse. “Well, you and the Peas better get used to running indoors on a treadmill.” Conscious of Wilkins’s presence, and the fact that he was watching her and Jack with what appeared to be amusement, Cameron bit back her retort. Thirty thousand hotel rooms in the city of Chicago and she picked the one that would lead her back to him.
Julie James (Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1))
I always imagined rape as this violent scene of a woman walking alone down a dark alley and getting mugged and beaten by some masked criminal. Rape was an angry man forcing himself inside a damsel in distress. I would not carry the trauma of a cliché rape victim. I would not shriek in the midst of my slumber with night terrors. I would not tremble at the sight of every dark haired man or the mention of Number 1’s name. I would not even harbor ill will towards him. My damage was like a cigarette addiction- subtle, seemingly innocent, but everlasting and inevitably detrimental. Number 1 never opened his screen door to furious crowds waving torches and baseball bats. Nobody punched him out in my honor. The Nightfall crowd never socially ostracized him. Even the ex-boyfriend who’d second handedly fused the entire fiasco continued to mingle with him in drug circles. Everybody continued with business as usual. And when I told my parents I lost my virginity against my will, unconscious on a bathroom floor, Carl did not erupt in fury and demand I give him all I knew about his whereabouts so he could greet him with a rifle. Mom blankly shrugged and mumbled, “Oh, that’s too bad,” and drifted into the kitchen as if I’d received a stubbed toe rather than a shredded hymen. Everyone in my life took my rape as lightly as a brief thunderstorm that might have been frightening when it happened, but was easy to forget about. I adopted that mentality as the foundation of my sex life. I would, time and time again, treat sex as flimsily as it started. I would give it away as if it was cheap, second hand junk, rather than a prize that deserved to be earned.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
The rock I'd seen in my life looked dull because in all ignorance I'd never thought to knock it open. People have cracked ordinary New England pegmatite - big, coarse granite - and laid bare clusters of red garnets, or topaz crystals, chrysoberyl, spodumene, emerald. They held in their hands crystals that had hung in a hole in the dark for a billion years unseen. I was all for it. I would lay about me right and left with a hammer, and bash the landscape to bits. I would crack the earth's crust like a piñata and spread to the light the vivid prizes in chunks within. Rock collecting was opening the mountains. It was like diving through my own interior blank blackness to remember the startling pieces of a dream: there was a blue lake, a witch, a lighthouse, a yellow path. It was like poking about in a grimy alley and finding an old, old coin. Nothing was at it seemed. The earth was like a shut eye. Mother's not dead, dear - she's only sleeping. Pry open the thin lid and find a crystalline intelligence inside, a rayed and sidereal beauty. Crystals grew inside rock like arithmetical flowers. They lengthened and spread, adding plane to plane in awed and perfect obedience to an absolute geometry that even the stones - maybe only the stones - understood.
Annie Dillard (An American Childhood)
The third mercenary—standing between Yrene and the mist—drew his short sword. Yrene didn’t have time to cry out in surprise or warning as a dark figure slipped from the mist and grabbed him. Not in front, but from the side, as if they’d just appeared out of thin air. The mercenary threw Yrene to the ground and drew the sword from across his back, a broad, wicked-looking blade. But his companion didn’t even shout. More silence. “Come out, you bleedin’ coward,” the ringleader growled. “Face us like a proper man.” A low, soft laugh. Yrene’s blood went cold. Silba, protect her. She knew that laugh—knew the cool, cultured voice that went with it. “Just like how you proper men surrounded a defenseless girl in an alley?” With that, the stranger stepped from the mist. She had two long daggers in her hands. And both blades were dark with dripping blood.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
...Would you like to know the view I have out of my window, since you love snow? So here you are: the broad whiteness of the Moldau, and along that whiteness, little black silhouettes of people cross from one shore to the other, like musical notes. For example, the figure of some boy is dragging behind him a D-sharp: a sledge. Across the river there are snowy roofs in a distant, lightweight sky... I walked around the cathedral along a slippery path between snowdrifts. The snow was light, dry: grab a handful, throw it up, and it disperses in the air like dust, as if flying back up. The sky darkened. In it appeared a thin golden moon: half of a broken halo. I walked along the edge of the fortress wall. Old Prague lay below in the thickening mist. The snowy roofs clustered together, cumbrous and dim. The houses seemed to have been piled anyhow, in a moment of terrible and fantastic carelessness. In this frozen storm of outlines, in this snowy semi-darkness, the streetlamps and windows were burning with a warm and sweet lustre, like well-licked punch lollipops. In just one place you could also see a little scarlet light, a drop of pomegranate juice. And in the fog of crooked walls and smoky corners I divined an ancient ghetto, mystical ruins, the alley of Alchemists...
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
It was now autumn, and I made up my mind to make, before winter set in, an excursion across Normandy, a country with which I was not acquainted. It must be borne in mind that I began with Rouen, and for a week I wandered about enthusiastic with admiration, in that picturesque town of the Middle Ages, in that veritable museum of extraordinary Gothic monuments. Well, one afternoon, somewhere about four o'clock, as I happened to be passing down an out-of-the-way by-street, in the middle of which flowed a deep river, black as ink, named the Eau de Robec, my attention wholly directed to examining the bizarre and antique physiognomy of the houses, was all of a sudden attracted by the sight of a series of shops of furniture brokers, one after the other, from door to door along the street. Ah! these second-hand brokers had well chosen their locality, these sordid old traffickers of bric-a-brac, in this fantastic alley leading up from stream of that sinister dark water, under the steep pointed overhanging gables of tiled roofs and projecting shingle eaves, where the weathercocks of the past still creaked overhead. ("Who Knows?")
Guy de Maupassant (Ghostly By Gaslight)
Grover: Oh, um—well, it’s a little embarrassing. I got this request once from a muskrat who wanted to hear “Muskrat Love.” Well ... Ilearned it, and I have to admit I enjoy playing it. Honestly, it’s not just for muskrats anymore! It’s a very sweet love story. I get misty-eyed every time I play it. So does Percy, but I think that’s because he’s laughing at me. Who would you least like to meet in a dark alley—a Cyclops or an angry Mr. D? Grover: Blah-hah-hah! What kind of question is that? Um—well... I’d much rather meet Mr. D, obviously, because he’s so . . . er, nice. Yes, kind and generous to all us satyrs. We all love him. And I’m not just saying that because he’s always listening, and he would blast me to pieces if I said anything different. In your opinion, what’s the most beautiful spot in nature in all of America? Grover: It’s amazing there are any nice spots left, but I like Lake Placid in upstate New York. Very beautiful, especially on a winter day! And the dryads up there—wow! Oh, wait, can you edit that part out? Juniper will kill me. Are tin cans really that tasty? Grover: My old granny goat used to say, “Two cans a day keep the monsters away.” Lots of minerals, very filling, and the texture is wonderful. Really, what’s not to like? I can’t help it if human teeth aren’t built for heavy-duty dining. Interview with PERCY JACKSON, Son of Poseidon What’s your favorite part about summers at
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
The first discovery of Dostoievsky is, for a spiritual adventurer, such a shock as is not likely to occur again. One is staggered, bewildered, insulted. It is like a hit in the face, at the end of a dark passage; a hit in the face, followed by the fumbling of strange hands at one's throat. Everything that has been forbidden, by discretion, by caution, by self-respect, by atavistic inhibition, seems suddenly to leap up out of the darkness and seize upon one with fierce, indescribable caresses.   All that one has felt, but has not dared to think; all that one has thought, but has not dared to say; all the terrible whispers from the unspeakable margins; all the horrible wreckage and silt from the unsounded depths, float in upon us and overpower us. There is so much that the other writers, even the realists among them, cannot, will not, say. There is so much that the normal self-preservative instincts in ourselves do not want said. But this Russian has no mercy. Such exposures humiliate and disgrace? What matter? It is well that we should be so laid bare. Such revelations provoke and embarrass? What matter? We require embarrassment. The quicksilver of human consciousness must have no closed chinks, no blind alleys. It must be compelled to reform its microcosmic reflections, even down there, where it has to be driven by force. It is extraordinary how superficial even the great writers are; how lacking in the Mole's claws, in the Woodpecker's beak! They seem labouring beneath some pathetic vow, exacted by the Demons of our Fate, under terrible threats, only to reveal what will serve their purpose! This applies as much to the Realists, with their traditional animal chemistry, as to the Idealists, with their traditional ethical dynamics. It applies, above all, to the interpreters of Sex, who, in their conventional grossness, as well as in their conventional discretion, bury such Ostrich heads in the sand!
John Cowper Powys (Visions and Revisions: A Book of Literary Devotions)
It's easy for the reader from his quiet vantage point high above the melee whence his eye sweeps over the whole horizon and he can see everything that is happening below--but a man down there can only see the subject nearest him. In the same way, in the world chronicle of mankind, there seem to be many centuries that could be crossed out and expunged as useless. There have been many errors committed in the world which we would not expect a child to commit today. What tortuous, blind, impassable, devious paths has mankind trodden in its search for eternal truth, while all the time, right before it, lay the straight road leading to the glittering edifice destined to be the palace of the ruler. This road is the clearest and the most beautiful of all, flooded by sunlight during the day and brightly illuminated at night, but the human throng flows past it in darkness. And how many times, even when inspired by God-given good sense, have men still managed to step back and turn away from it; succeeded again and again in losing themselves in back alleys in broad daylight; succeeded again and again in filling each others eyes with blinding smoke and trudging wearily after a mirage; again and again succeeded in coming to the very brink of the precipice, then asking each other, horrified, in which direction the road can be found. The present generation see all this clearly and is surprised at the erring and blundering of its ancestors, laughs at their folly. So it's not for nothing that mankind's chronicle is scarred out by heavenly flames, that each letter in it cries out, and that from every page a piercing finger is pointed at the present generation. But today's generation just laughs, sure of its strength and full of pride, and it starts off along a path of new errors over which its decedents in turn will pour their scorn.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
All that night, after I shut the door and left Number 16 empty, I went looking for the parts of my city that have lasted. I walked down streets that got their names in the Middle Ages: Copper Alley, Fishamble Street, Blackpitts where the plague dead were buried. I looked for cobblestones worn smooth and iron railings gone thin with rust. I ran my hand over the cool stone of Trinity’s walls and I crossed the spot where nine hundred years ago the town got its water from Patrick’s Well; the street sign still tells you so, hidden in the Irish that no one ever reads. I paid no attention to the shoddy new apartment blocks and the neon signs, the sick illusions ready to fall into brown mush like rotten fruit. They’re nothing; they’re not real. In a hundred years they’ll be gone, replaced and forgotten. This is the truth of bombed-out ruins: hit a city hard enough and the cheap arrogant veneer will crumble faster than you can snap your fingers; it’s the old stuff, the stuff that’s endured, that might just keep enduring. I tilted my head up to see the delicate, ornate columns and balustrades above Grafton Street’s chain stores and fast-food joints. I leaned my arms on the Ha’penny Bridge where people used to pay half a penny to cross the Liffey, I looked out at the Custom House and the shifting streams of lights and the steady dark roll of the river under the falling snow, and I hoped to God that somehow or other, before it was too late, we would all find our way back home.
Tana French (Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad #3))
Time would heal the wound that was Frank; the world would continue to spin, to wobble, its axis only slightly skewed, momentarily displaced, by the brief, shuddering existence of one man -one THING - a post-human mutant, a blurred Xerox copy of a human being, the offspring of the waste of technology, the bent shadow of a fallen angel; Frank was all of these things. . . he was the sum of everything dark and sticky, the congealment of all things wrong and dark and foul in this world and every other seedy rathole world in every back-alley universe throughout the vast garbage dump of creation; God rolled the dice and Frank lost. . . he was a spiritual flunkie, a universal pain-in-the-ass, a joy-riding, soul-sucking cosmic punk rolling through time and space and piling up a karmic debt of such immense magnitude so as to invariably glue the particular vehicle of the immediate moment to the basement of possibility - planet earth - and force Frank to RE-ENLIST, endlessly, to return, over and over, to a flawed world somewhere to spend the Warhol-film-loop nights of eternity serving concurrent life sentences roaming the dimly lit hallways of always, stuck in the dense overshoes of physicality, forever, until finally - one would hope there is always a FINALLY - eventually, anyway - God would step in and say ENOUGH ALREADY and grab Frank by the collar of one of his thrift-shop polyester flower-print shirts and hurl him out the back door of the cosmos, expelling the rotten orb into the great wide nothingness and out of our lives - sure, that would be nice - but so would a new Cadillac - quit dreaming - it just doesn't work that way. . .
George Mangels (Frank's World)
I took a step toward her, but she turned from me and stomped back to her car. I watched her drive off. After a moment, I walked up the limestone steps and through the phantom oak-and-glass front doors of the house where I grew up. I paced the hall, entered the long rectangle of dining room, rested a hand on the carved cherrywood mantel, then passed into the kitchen. The house was so real around me that I could smell the musty linen in the cedar closet, the gas from the leaky burner on the stove, the sharp tang of geraniums that I had planted in clay pots. I lay down on the exact place where the living room couch had been pushed tight under the leaded-glass windows. I closed my eyes and it was all around me again. The stuffed bookshelves, the paneling, the soft slap of my mother's cards on the table. I could see from the house of my dark mind the alley, from the alley the street leading to the end of town, its farthest boundary the lucid silence of the dead. Between the graves my path, and along that path her back door, her face, her timeless bed, and the lost architecture of her bones. I turned over and made myself comfortable in the crush of wild burdock. A bee or two hummed in the drowsy air. The swarm had left the rubble and built their houses beneath the earth. They were busy in the graveyard right now, filling the skulls with white combs and the coffins with sweet black honey.
Louise Erdrich (The Plague of Doves)
THE ANTHEM OF HOPE Tiny footprints in mud, metal scraps among thistles Child who ambles barefooted through humanity’s war An Elderflower in mud, landmines hidden in bristles Blood clings to your feet, your wee hands stiff and sore You who walk among trenches, midst our filth and our gore Box of crayons in hand, your tears tumble like crystals Gentle, scared little boy, at the heel of Hope Valley, The grassy heel of Hope Valley. And the bombs fall-fall-fall Down the slopes of Hope Valley Bayonets cut-cut-cut Through the ranks of Hope Valley Napalm clouds burn-burn-burn All who fight in Hope Valley, All who fall in Hope Valley. Bullets fly past your shoulder, fireflies light the sky Child who digs through the trenches for his long sleeping father You plant a kiss on his forehead, and you whisper goodbye Vain corpses, brave soldiers, offered as cannon fodder Nothing is left but a wall; near its pallor you gather Crayon ready, you draw: the memory of a lie Kind, sad little boy, sketching your dream of Hope Valley Your little dream of Hope Valley. Missiles fly-fly-fly Over the fields of Hope Valley Carabines shoot-shoot-shoot The brave souls of Hope Valley And the tanks shell-shell-shell Those who toiled for Hope Valley, Those who died for Hope Valley. In the light of gunfire, the little child draws the valley Every trench is a creek; every bloodstain a flower No battlefield, but a garden with large fields ripe with barley Ideations of peace in his dark, final hour And so the child drew his future, on the wall of that tower Memories of times past; your tiny village lush alley Great, brave little boy, the future hope of Hope Valley The only hope of Hope Valley. And the grass grows-grows-grows On the knolls of Hope Valley Daffodils bloom-bloom-bloom Across the hills of Hope Valley The midday sun shines-shines-shines On the folk of Hope Valley On the dead of Hope Valley From his Aerodyne fleet The soldier faces the carnage Uttering words to the fallen He commends their great courage Across a wrecked, tower wall A child’s hand limns the valley And this drawing speaks volumes Words of hope, not of bally He wipes his tears and marvels The miracle of Hope Valley The only miracle of Hope Valley And the grass grows-grows-grows Midst all the dead of Hope Valley Daffodils bloom-bloom-bloom For all the dead of Hope Valley The evening sun sets-sets-sets On the miracle of Hope Valley The only miracle of Hope Valley (lyrics to "the Anthem of Hope", a fictional song featured in Louise Blackwick's Neon Science-Fiction novel "5 Stars".
Louise Blackwick (5 Stars)
Think of Chicago as a piece of music, perhaps,” he continued. “In it you can hear the thousands of years of people living here and fishing and hunting, and then bullets and axes, and the whine of machinery, and the bellowing of cattle, and the shriek of railroads, and the thud of fists and staves and crowbars, and a hundred languages, a thousand dialects. And the murmur of the lake like a basso undertone. Ships and storms, snow and fire. To the north the vast dark forests, and everywhere else around the city rolling fields of farms, and all roads leading to Chicago, which rises from the plains like Oz, glowing with light and fire at night, drawing people to it from around the world. A roaring city, gunfire and applause and thunder. Gleaming but made of bone and stone. Bitter cold and melting hot and clotheslines hung in the alleys and porches like the webbing of countless spiders. A city without illusions but with vaulting imaginations and expectations. A city of burning energies on the shore of a huge northern sea. An American city, with all the violence and humor and grace and greed of this particular powerful adolescent country. Perhaps the American city—no other city in the nation is as big and central and grown up from the very soil. Chicago was never ruled by Spain or England or France or Russia or Texas, it shares no ocean with other countries, it is no mere regional captain, like Cincinnati or Nashville; it is itself, all brawn and greed and song, brilliant and venal, almost a small nation, sprawling and vulgar and foul and beautiful, cold and cruel and wonderful. Its music is the blues, of course. Sad and uplifting at once, elevating and haunting at the same time. You sing so that you do not weep. You have no choice but to sing. So you raise up your voice and sing of love and woe, and soon another voice joins in, and you sing together, for a while, for a time, perhaps a brief time, but perhaps not.…
Brian Doyle