Dark Skin Quotes

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You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong." He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin. "My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe. His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, "But I resist it." "Why..." I swallow hard. "Why is that your first instinct?" "Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating." He releases me but doesn't pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. "Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
If I could dream, I know I'd dream about you.I'd dream about the way you smell and how your dark hair feels like silk between my fingers. I'd dream about the smoothness of your skin and the fierceness of your lips when we kiss. Without dreams,I have to be content with my own imagination—which is almost as good. I can picture all those things perfectly.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
She smiled. Her skin looked whiter than he recalled, and dark spidery veins were beginning to show beneath its surface. Her hair was still the color of spun silver and her eyes were still green as a cat’s. She was still beautiful. Looking at her, he was in London again. He saw the gaslight and smelled the smoke and dirt and horses, the metallic tang of fog, the flowers in Kew Gardens. He saw a boy with black hair and blue eyes like Alec’s, heard violin music like the sound of silver water. He saw a girl with long brown hair and a serious face. In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants. And then there was Camille.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Have you ever fought an opponent you had no defense against? Like a fire breather or an acid spitter?" "Once I faced a female with diamond skin," Nix said breathlessly. "I was transfixed - even as she was choking the life out of me." "Really?" "No, I saw that character on X-Men. I just wanted to commiserate. Alas, I have no weaknesses.
Kresley Cole (Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #8))
You tried to drink the East River,"Magnus said, and Alec saw, as if for the first time, that Magnus's clothes were soaking wet too, sticking to his body like a dark second skin.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
The usual warmth of his hands wasn’t there. They chilled my skin as they slipped to my waist, and I realized he was scared.
M.R. Noble (Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes)
When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They're in everything you do. They're in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don't think they're perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don't frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don't want perfect. You want them. You want—" He broke off then, as if realizing everyone was looking at him again. "You want what?" said Dru with enormous eyes. "Nothing," Julian said. "I'm just talking.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Loneliness is a strange sort of thing. It creeps on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes by your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can't breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leaches the light out of every corner. It's a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when you're struggling to stand up. You wake up in the morning and wonder who you are. You fail to fall asleep at night and tremble in your skin. You doubt you doubt you doubt. do I don't I should I why won't I And even when you're ready to let go. When you're ready to break free. When you're ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend stand beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can't find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you're not enough never enough never ever enough. Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion. Sometimes it just won't let go.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Magnus? Magnus Bane?” “That would be me.” The man blocking the doorway was as tall and thin as a rail, his hair a crown of dense back spikes. Clary guessed from the curse of his sleepy eyes and the gold tone of his evenly tanned skin that he was part Asian. He wore jeans and a black shirt covered with dozens of metal buckles. His eyes were crusted with a raccoon mask of charcoal glitter, his lips painted a dark shade of blue. He raked a ring-laden hand through his spiked hair and regarded them thoughtfully. “Children of the Nephilim,” he said. “Well, well. I don’t recall inviting you. I must have been drunk.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
I am not a graceful person. I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset. I am a Tuesday 2 a.m., gunshots muffled by a few city blocks, I am a broken window during February. My bones crack on a nightly basis. I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness. I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen. The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm. You don’t see the lightning, but you hear the echoes.
Anna Peters
The witchlight made his skin paler, his eyes more intently blue. They were the color of the water in the North Atlantic, where the ice drifted on its blue-black surface like the snow clinging to the dark glass pane of a window.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
He’s going to get us all killed,” she said. Jesper stretched his long arms overhead and grinned, his teeth white against his dark skin. He had yet to give up his rifle, and the silhouette of it across his back made him resemble a gawky, long-limbed bird. “Statistically, he’ll probably only get some of us killed.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
All night I streched my arms across him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing with all my skin and bone ''Please keep him safe. Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed to pieces.'' Makes a cathedral, him pressing against me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars.
Richard Siken (Crush)
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)
Richard began to understand darkness: darkness as something solid and real, so much more than a simple absence of light. He felt it touch his skin, questing, moving, exploring: gliding through his mind. It slipped into his lungs, behind his eyes, into his mouth...
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
Above, the stars shone hard and bright, sparks struck off the dark skin of the universe.
Stephen King (The Stand)
We feel cold, but we don't mind it, because we will not come to harm. And if we wrapped up against the cold, we wouldn't feel other things, like the bright tingle of the stars, or the music of the aurora, or best of all the silky feeling of moonlight on our skin. It's worth being cold for that.
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
Dark circles under my eyes sink deeper and deeper into my skull, in contrast to my pale skin there is an undeniable resemblance to a fresh corpse.
Dee Remy
Don't be afraid, the darkness you're in is no greater than the darkness inside your own body, they are two darknesses separated by a skin, I bet you've never thought of that, you carry a darkness about with you all the time and that doesn't frighten you...my dear chap, you have to learn to live with the darkness outside just as you learned to live with the darkness inside
José Saramago (All the Names)
Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colorful as a child's transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.
Gerald Durrell (My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy, #1))
I settled on the floor and whispered to Sam, “I want you to listen to me, if you can.” I leaned the side of my face against his ruff and remembered the golden wood he had shown me so long ago. I remembered the way the yellow leaves, the color of Sam’s eyes, fluttered and twisted, crashing butterflies, on their way to the ground. The slender white trunks of the birches, creamy and smooth as human skin. I remembered Sam standing in the middle of the wood, his arms stretched out, a dark, solid form in the dream of the trees. His coming to me, me punching his chest, the soft kiss. I remembered every kiss we’d ever had, and I remembered every time I’d curled in his human arms. I remembered the soft warmth of his breath on the back of my neck while we slept. I remembered Sam.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
There are people in the world, who are just wrong, and then there are the masses of population that are right, or at the very least they lie in the veil of between. I on the other hand, do not belong to any group. I don’t exist. It’s not that I don’t have substance; I have a body like everyone else. I can feel the fire when it burns against my skin, the rain when it caresses my face and the breeze as it fingers my hair. I have all the senses that other people do. I am just empty, inside.
J.D. Stroube (Caged in Darkness (Caged, #1))
He flushed, the colour dark against his pale skin. 'I mean. Tessa Gray, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?' Jem...
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
One of the few downsides to being awakened is that we no longer require sleep; therefore we also no longer dream. It's a shame, because if I could dream, I know I'd dream about you.I'd dream about the way you smell and how your dark hair feels like silk between my fingers. I'd dream about the smoothness of your skin and the fierceness of your lips when we kiss. Without dreams, I have to be content with my own imagination– which is almost as good. I can picture all of those things perfectly, as well as how it'll be when I take your life from this world.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
But they were doughnuts of darkness. Evil, damned doughnuts, tainted by the spawn of darkness . . . . . . which could obviously be redeemed only by passing through the fiery, cleansing inferno of a wizardly digestive tract.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
Give me your skin as sheer as a cobweb, let me open it up and listen in and scoop out the dark.
Anne Sexton (Transformations)
Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.
Stephen King (Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1))
He trapped my hand against his chest and yanked my sleeve down past my wrist, covering my hand with it. Just as quickly, he did the same thing with the other sleeve. He held my shirt by the cuffs, my hands captured. My mouth opened in protest. Reeling me closer, he didn’t stop until I was directly in front of him. Suddenly he lifted me onto the counter. My face was level with his. He fixed me with a dark, inviting smile. And that’s when I realized this moment had been dancing around the edge of my fantasies for several days now. "Take off your hat," I said, the words tumbling out before I could stop them. He slid it around, the brim facing backward. I scooted to the edge of the counter, my legs dangling one on either side of him. Something inside of me was telling me to stop—but I swept that voice to the far back of my mind. He spread his hands on the counter, just outside my hips. Tilting his head to one side, he moved closer. His scent, which was all damp dark earth, overwhelmed me. I inhaled two sharp breaths. No. This wasn’t right. Not this, not with Patch. He was frightening. In a good way, yes. But also in a bad way. A very bad way. "You should go," I breathed. "You should definitely go." "Go here?" His mouth was on my shoulder. "Or here?" It moved up my neck. My brain couldn’t process one logical thought. Patch’s mouth was roaming north, up over my jaw, gently sucking at my skin... "My legs are falling asleep," I blurted. It wasn’t a total lie. I was experiencing tingling sensations all through my body, legs included. "I could solve that." Patch’s hands closed on my hips.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
That's what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I'm trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it's over and there's one more person in the world who thinks I'm a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I'm going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand on the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don't.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
Their dark skin, their gender, their economic status--none of those were acceptable excuses for not giving the fullest rein to their imaginations and ambitions.
Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures)
This is a kill-or-be-killed scenario, leech," Regin the Radiant, a glowing-skinned millennium-old swordswoman, told Ellie in a baleful tone. "So raise your weapon and prepare for your end. 'Cause I'm about to take your head." Ellie yawned. Ten days of this was getting old. "Girl, I don't wanna play video games anymore.
Kresley Cole (Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #11))
It doesn't matter", he murmured against my skin. His fingers traced the cuts, healing the veins beneath them. "There's only one thing that does." "What?" I whispered. He looked at me through his long,, dark lashes, with my hands still in his. "Killing Jude.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
He methodically basted the dark skin of the Alsatian, which he had stuffed with garlic and herbs. "One rule in life", he murmured to himself. "If you can smell garlic, everything is all right".
J.G. Ballard (High-Rise)
When she opened her eyes, she was both in her body and watching it, nowhere near the cavity of the tree. The Blue that was before her stood inches from a boy in an Aglionby sweater. There was a slight stoop to his posture, and his shoulders were spattered darkly with rain. It was his fingers that Blue felt on her face. He touched her cheek with the backs of his fingers. Tears coursed down the other Blue's face. Though some strange magic, Blue could feel them on her face as well. She could feel, too, sick, rising misery she'd felt in the churchyard, the grief that felt bigger than her. The other Blue's tears seemed endless. One drop slid after another, each following an identical path down her cheeks. The boy in the Aglionby sweater leaned his forehead against Blue's. She felt the pressure of his skin against hers, and suddenly she could smell mint. It'll be okay. Gansey told the other Blue. She could tell that he was afraid. It'll be okay. Impossibly, Blue realized that this other Blue was crying because she loved Gansey. And that the reason Gansey touched her like that, his fingers so careful with her, was because he knew that her kiss could kill him. She could feel how badly the other Blue wanted to kiss him, even as she dreaded it. Though she couldn't understand why, her real, present day memories in the tree cavity were clouded with other false memories of their lips nearly touching, a life this other Blue had already lived. Okay, I'm ready- Gansey's voice caught, just a little. Blue, kiss me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
The laughter in his deep-set black eyes, the feverish heat of his big hand around mine, the flash of his white teeth against his dark skin, his face stretching into the wide smile that had always been like a key to a secret door where only kindred spirits could enter.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
Bluebell,” she said, remembering from Erotique. “Pretty name.” “I call Dmitri Dark Overlord.” “Shae,” Dmitri said and the female vampire rose at once to walk quickly into the house. “Now, pretty Bluebell”—another languid stroke across her skin—“tell the Overlord what you discovered.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4))
There is nothing good about watching another man claim your ship because your skin is too dark to do it yourself," he says, each word a glancing wound. "So in future, you needn't demand apologies on my behalf.
Mackenzi Lee (The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1))
Now and then, an inch below the water's surface, the muscles of his stomach tightened involuntarily as he recalled another detail. A drop of water on her upper arm. Wet. An embroidered flower, a simple daisy, sewn between the cups of her bra. Her breasts wide apart and small. On her back, a mole half covered by a strap. When she climbed out of the pond a glimpse of the triangular darkness her knickers were supposed to conceal. Wet. He saw it, he made himself see it again. The way her pelvic bones stretched the material clear of the skin, the deep curve of her waist, her startling whiteness. When she reached for her skirt, a carelessly raised foot revealed a patch of soil on each pad of her sweetly diminished toes. Another mole the size of a farthing on her thigh and something purplish on her calf--a strawberry mark, a scar. Not blemishes. Adornments.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
I’m totally calm. I would just like to know who marred your skin so that I can put a name and face to the creature I’m going to kill very slowly.” “I think we might have different definitions of calm,” I said wryly. “I’ve never been calmer in my life.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3))
Emma swallowed. She was remembering Julian, two years ago, standing in the overlapping circles of fire where the parabatai ritual was performed. The look on his face as they each stepped into the central circle and the fire rose up around them, and he unbuttoned his shirt to let her touch the stele to his skin and carve the rune that would bind them together for their whole lives. She knew if she just reached out now, she could touch it, touch the rune cut into his shoulder, the rune she had put there …
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
In a lightning-fast move, he placed both of his hands on the brick wall, caging me with his body. He leaned toward me and my heart shifted into a gear I didn't know existed. His warm breath caressed my neck, melting my frozen skin. I tilted my head, waiting for the solid warmth of his body on mine. I could see his eyes again and those dark orbs screamed hunger . "I heard a rumor." "What's that?" I struggled to get out. "It's your birthday." Terrified speaking would break the spell, I licked my suddenly dry lips and nodded. "Happy birthday." Noah drew his lips closer to mine; that sweet musky smell overwhelmed my senses. I could almost taste his lips when he unexpectedly took a step back, inhaling deeply. The cold air slapped me into the land of sober.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
A child who can love the oddities of a fantasy book cannot possibly be xenophobic as an adult. What is a different color, a different culture, a different tongue for a child who has already mastered Elvish, respected Puddleglums, or fallen under the spell of dark-skinned Ged?
Jane Yolen (Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood)
You don't know. When I'm out there at night I feel close to my own body, I can feel my blood moving, my skin and fingernails, everything, it's like I'm full of electricity and I'm glowing in the dark - I'm on fire almost - I'm burning away into nothing - but it doesn't matter because I know exactly who I am.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Celaena opened her arms wide, Goldryn burning bright in one hand. “Behold my power, Maeve. Behold what I grapple with in the deep dark, what prowls under my skin.” Celaena exhaled a breath and extinguished each and every flame in the city. The power wasn't in might or skill. It was in the control — the power lay in controlling herself.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Once upon a time, there was a naïve and innocent girl who thought she could tame the beast and live happily ever after. But the beast did not want to be tamed, for he was a beast and beasts care not for such things, and the girl died along with her dreams. From childhood's grave sprang a young woman, jaded before her years, who knew that beasts could wear the skins of men, and that evil could exist in sunlight, as well as darkness. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Nenia Campbell (Terrorscape (Horrorscape, #3))
Words could cut just as deep as sharpened claws, and while the skin could heal, the wounds words left behind never faded as quickly.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements, #3))
People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. People who love themselves have no reason to ever judge another person on looks. There is simply no need. People who love themselves no longer look at beauty on a sliding scale or as a competition. There is nobody more beautiful or less beautiful than anyone else, including themselves. People who love themselves no longer see fat or skinny, tall or short, fair or dark skin, gay or straight, strong or weak. They only see people. Beautiful, beautiful people.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing)
Because I know it in my bones. You are the only female I desire, the only water that will quench my thirst, the only sun that will warm my skin, the only lips that were made for mine.
Dannika Dark (Impulse (Mageri, #3))
It looks as though your shop is doing well," Luka said gazing around, "Could you help me find a gift for a lady friend of mine?" My heart plunged to my grenn satin slippers, and I had to stare down at Azarte for a minute, petting him hard. Naturally Luka had a "lady friend." She was probably nobly born: the daughter of a count or a duke. I imagined her having thick dark hair and clear skin, and was bitterly jealous. "Of course," I stammered after a time. "What would she like? A gown? A sash?" If she came in for a fitting, I decided to "accidentlly" poke her with every pin.
Jessica Day George
A lone, dark-skinned foreigner would raise a red flag. The cops would never admit to racial profiling, but it is real in this lily-white neighborhood.
Marilyn Dalla Valle (Westwind Secrets)
In these moments, it always feels like my skin is too thin, like everyone can see right inside me, can see my empty and dark insides.
Jasmine Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man's importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The real world is in a much darker and deeper place than this, and most of it is occupied by jellyfish and things. We just happen to to forget all that. Don't you agree? Two-thirds of earth's surface is ocean, and all we can see with the naked eye is the surface: the skin.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
And it was good just to hold her and touch the softness of her skin. He wanted to hold her hard, not to hurt her but to keep her safe, to show her that he was strong enough to protect her. Her beauty was like fire and strange music, and he loved her.
L.J. Smith (Dark Visions (Dark Visions, #1-3))
Beat him until there’s no skin left on his back. If he passes out, wake him and beat him again. (Father) Love you, too, Father. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
The walls weren't moving, and the room was open - gaping. No colors, but shades of darkness, of night . Only those star-flecked violet eyes were bright, full of color and light. He gave me a lazy smile before he leaned forward. I pulled away, but his hands were like shackles. I could do nothing as his mouth met with my cheek, and he licked away a tear. His tongue was hot against my skin, so startling that I couldn't move as he licked away another path of salt water, and then another. My body went taut and loose all at once and I burned, even as chills shuddered along my limbs. It was only when his tongue danced along the damp edges of my lashes that I jerked back. He chuckled as I scrambled for the corner of the cell. I wiped my face as I glared at him. He smirked, sitting down against a wall. "I figured that would get you to stop crying." "It was disgusting." I wiped my face again. "Was it?" He quirked an eyebrow and pointed to his palm - to the place where my tattoo would be. "Beneath all your pride and stubbornness, I could have sworn I detected something that felt differently. Interesting." "Get out." "As usual, your gratitude is overwhelming.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
The night breathed through the apartment like a dark animal. The ticking of a clock. The groan of a floorboard as he slipped out of his room. All was drowned by its silence. But Jacob loved the night. He felt it on his skin like a promise. Like a cloak woven from freedom and danger.
Cornelia Funke (Reckless (Mirrorworld, #1))
He shifted over without comment, lifting the blankets, and I scrambled into the warm sheets beside him. He smelled like soap and sleep and bare skin. He smelled familiar. Not the deja vu familiar of Guy or Mel. Familiar like...the ache in your chest of homesickness, of longing for harbor after weeks of rough seas or craving a fire's warmth after snow--or wanting back something you should never have given away.
Josh Lanyon (The Dark Tide (The Adrien English Mysteries, #5))
In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Imagine a guy. He’s a little taller than you, with perfect skin, skin that just screams “touch me!” and dark hair and gorgeous blue eyes and he looks so sweet and he is sweet. And then have him blush a little.
Elizabeth Scott (The Unwritten Rule)
You're everything. You're... You're chaos and order and everything between. Like sunshine kept back by clouds. Like the entire world's imploded inside you, but all I see are the stars are sewn into your skin. You're filled with soft, dark music. I hear it all the time. Your music.
Tara Sim (Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1))
Things are not always as bad as they seem. Sometimes, the darkness only makes it easier to see the light.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
Well, when the fear of death seizes you—when the dark thoughts come—you stare the darkness right back, and you tell it, ‘I will not listen to you, for I am infinite Batmans.
Brandon Sanderson (Skin Deep (Legion, #2))
God...this was who he loved, he thought. And always would. It was the thrust of that stubborn jaw, and the dark, slashing eyebrows, and those piercings up his ear and in his full lower lip. It was that thick, glossy black hair and the golden skin and that heavily muscled body. It was the way he laughed and the fact that he never, ever cried. It was the scars on his inside no one knew about and the conviction that he would always be the first to run into a burning building or a bloody fight or a car wreck. It was all the things Qhuinn had been and was ever going to be.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
My child, I know you're not a child But I still see you running wild Between those flowering trees. Your sparkling dreams, your silver laugh Your wishes to the stars above Are just my memories. And in your eyes the ocean And in your eyes the sea The waters frozen over With your longing to be free. Yesterday you'd awoken To a world incredibly old. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. You had to kill this child, I know. To break the arrows and the bow To shed your skin and change. The trees are flowering no more There's blood upon the tiles floor This place is dark and strange. I see you standing in the storm Holding the curse of youth Each of you with your story Each of you with your truth. Some words will never be spoken Some stories will never be told. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. I didn't say the world was good. I hoped by now you understood Why I could never lie. I didn't promise you a thing. Don't ask my wintervoice for spring Just spread your wings and fly. Though in the hidden garden Down by the green green lane The plant of love grows next to The tree of hate and pain. So take my tears as a token. They'll keep you warm in the cold. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. You've lived too long among us To leave without a trace You've lived too short to understand A thing about this place. Some of you just sit there smoking And some are already sold. This is the age you are broken Or turned into gold. This is the age you are broken or turned into gold.
Antonia Michaelis (The Storyteller)
I love everything about you, Emma. I love the way I can recognize your footsteps in the hallway outside my room even when I didn't know you were coming. No one else walks or breathes or moves like you do. I love the way you gasp when you're asleep like your dreams have surprised you. I love the way when we stay together on the beach our shadows blend into one person. I love the way you can write on my skin with your fingers and I can understand it better than I could understand someone else shouting in my ear. I didn't want to love you like this. It's the worst idea in the world that I love you like this. But I can't stop. Believe me, I tried.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
We don't fall in love with people because they're good people. We fall in love with people whose darkness we recognise. You can fall in love with a person for all of the right reasons, but that kind of love can still fall apart. But when you fall in love with a person because your monsters have found a home in them-- that's the kind of love that owns your skin and bones. Love, I am convinced, is found in the darkness. It is the candle in the night.
C. JoyBell C.
She touched the healthy folds of skin around the baby's neck, wrists, and thighs, the dark lines crying for life made in his forehead, and thought how people start with wrinkles and end with wrinkles, grow into their skin and then live to grow out of it again.
Shannon Hale (Enna Burning (The Books of Bayern, #2))
We have big plans. Oh yes. We're fumbling in the dark, but at least we're in motion. Everyone is working now; Julie and I are just pausing for a moment to enjoy the view, because it's a beautiful day. The sky is blue. The grass is green. The sun is warm on our skin. We smile, because this is how we save the world. We will not let Earth become a tomb, a mass grave spinning through space. We will exhume ourselves. We will fight the curse and break it. We will cry and bleed and lust and love, and we will cure death. We will be the cure. Because we want it.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
That's a big nose," he croaked and instantly realized he shouldn't have said something so impolite. I must be light headed, e thought. But the face smiled. The teeth seemed inordinatley white against the dark beard and skin. The only one I have," he said.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
Will I keep fighting to be the man I think I am? Or will I disown him and everything he loves, and step into the skin of the person this world would like for me to be?
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
Such a fuss ofer a few mundanes." Mrs Dark chuckled and moved to stand beside her sister, so that Will, with his blazing sword, was between Tessa and both ladies. "We have no quarrel with you, Shadowhunter, unless you choose to pick one. You have invaded our territory and broken the Covenant Law in doing so. We could report you to the Clave-" "While the Clave disapproves of trespassers, oddly, they take an even darker view of beheading and skinning people. They're peculiar that way," Will said
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Your place is with me,” Jem said. “It always will be.” “What do you mean?” He flushed, the color dark against his pale skin. “I mean,” he said, “Tessa Gray, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” Tessa sat bolt upright. “Jem!” They stared at each other for a moment. At last he said, trying for lightness, though his voice cracked, “That was not a no, I suppose, though neither was it a yes.” “You can’t mean it.” “I do mean it.” “You can’t—I’m not a Shadowhunter. They’ll expel you from the Clave—” He took a step closer to her, his eyes eager. “You may not be precisely a Shadowhunter. But you are not a mundane either, nor provably a Downworlder. Your situation is unique, so I do not know what the Clave will do. But they cannot forbid something that is not forbidden by the Law. They will have to take your—our—individual case into consideration, and that could take months. In the meantime they cannot prevent our engagement.” “You are serious.” Her mouth was dry. “Jem, such a kindness on your part is indeed incredible. It does you credit. But I cannot let you sacrifice yourself in that way for me.” “Sacrifice? Tessa, I love you. I want to marry you.
Cassandra Clare
Sebastian's eyes were the color of smoke and silver. His pale skin, raven hair, and naturally dark red lips, paired with a rebel attitude and a poet's soul, pulled me in like a dark, magnetic force.
Kelly Keaton (A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters, #2))
I felt an unrelenting restlessness. It was the first time I had ever experienced jealousy, and that emotion clung to my skin day and night like a dark stain, a contamination I could not shed; it became so unbearable that when finally I rid myself of it, I was freed forever of the desire to possess another person or the temptation ever to belong to anyone.
Isabel Allende (Eva Luna)
Caden let out his own moan when her lips pressed against the skin in front of his ear. She exhaled roughly. The rush of her breath over his skin brought goose bumps to his neck. He trailed soft kisses across her cheek until he found her lips. And then he couldn’t go slow anymore. And neither could she.
Laura Kaye (Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness, #1))
I wake sometimes in the dark terrified by my life's precariousness, its thready breath. Beside me, my husband's pulse beats at his throat; in their beds, my children's skin shows every faintest scratch. A breeze would blow them over, and the world is filled with more than breezes: diseases and disasters, monsters and pain in a thousand variations. I do not forget either my father and his kind hanging over us, bright and sharp as swords, aimed at our tearing flesh. If they do not fall on us in spite and malice, then they will fall by accident or whim. My breath fights in my throat. How can I live on beneath such a burden of doom? I rise then and go to my herbs. I create something, I transform something. My witchcraft is as strong as ever, stronger. This too is good fortune. How many have such power and leisure and defense as I do? Telemachus comes from our bed to find me. He sits with me in the greensmelling darkness, holding my hand. Our faces are both lined now, marked with our years. Circe, he says, it will be all right. It is not the saying of an oracle or a prophet. They are words you might speak to a child. I have heard him say them to our daughters, when he rocked them back to sleep from a nightmare, when he dressed their small cuts, soothed whatever stung. His skin is familiar as my own beneath my fingers. I listen to his breath, warm upon the night air, and somehow I am comforted. He does not mean it does not hurt. He does not mean we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
So Mo began filling the silence with words. He lured them out of the pages as if they had only been waiting for his voice, words long and short, words sharp and soft, cooing, purring words. They danced through the room, painting stained glass pictures, tickling the skin. Even when Meggie nodded off she could still hear them, although Mo had closed the book long ago. Words that explained the world to her, its dark side and its light side, words that built a wall to keep out bad dreams. And not a single bad dream came over that wall for the rest of the night.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: "honey-colored skin," "thin arms," "brown bobbed hair," "long lashes," "big bright mouth"); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark innerside of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
I'm so fucking tired of black women always being described by their skin tones! Honey-colored this! Dark-chocolate that! My paternal grandmother was mocha-tinged, café-au-lait, graham-fucking-cracker brown! How come they never describe the white characters in relation to foodstuffs and hot liquids? Why aren't there any yogurt-colored, egg-shell-toned, string-cheese-skinned, low-fat-milk white protagonists in these racist, no-third-act-having books? That's why black literature sucks!
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
Alec slid his hand up to cup his boyfriend's jaw. There was light stubble on Magnus's skin, which Alec always loved. It made him think of the way Magnus looked when he first woke up, before the rest of the world saw him, before he put on his clothes like armor, when he was just Alec's.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
Your Catfish Friend If I were to live my life in catfish forms in scaffolds of skin and whiskers at the bottom of a pond and you were to come by one evening when the moon was shining down into my dark home and stand there at the edge of my affection and think, “It's beautiful here by this pond. I wish somebody loved me,” I'd love you and be your catfish friend and drive such lonely thoughts from your mind and suddenly you would be at peace, and ask yourself, “I wonder if there are any catfish in this pond? It seems like a perfect place for them.
Richard Brautigan (The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster)
Don’t tell thin women to eat a cheeseburger. Don’t tell fat women to put down the fork. Don’t tell underweight men to bulk up. Don’t tell women with facial hair to wax, don’t tell uncircumcised men they’re gross, don’t tell muscular women to go easy on the dead-lift, don’t tell dark-skinned women to bleach their vagina, don’t tell black women to relax their hair, don’t tell flat-chested women to get breast implants, don’t tell “apple-shaped” women what’s “flattering,” don’t tell mothers to hide their stretch marks, and don’t tell people whose toes you don’t approve of not to wear flip-flops. And so on, etc, etc, in every iteration until the mountains crumble to the sea. Basically, just go ahead and CEASE telling other human beings what they “should” and “shouldn't” do with their bodies unless a) you are their doctor, or b) SOMEBODY GODDAMN ASKED YOU.
Lindy West
I had a tendency to forget how handsome he was when I was plotting how to peel his skin from the network of muscles and sinew that danced as he moved.
Jocelynn Drake (Nightwalker (Dark Days, #1))
Rejoice with glitters of ashes tonight Sparkling for moon's spiced silver bite Upon skin of darkness, loving night more Storm begins unlocking cold wind's door
Munia Khan
Whitepeople believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. In a way, he thought, they were right. The more coloredpeople spent their strength trying to convince them how gentle they were, how clever and loving, how human, the more they used themselves up to persuade whites of something Negroes believed could not be questioned, the deeper and more tangled the jungle grew inside. But it wasn’t the jungle blacks brought with them to this place from the other (livable) place. It was the jungle whitefolks planted in them. And it grew. It spread. In, through and after life, it spread, until it invaded the whites who had made it. Touched them every one. Changed and altered them. Made them bloody, silly, worse than even they wanted to be, so scared were they of the jungle they had made. The screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Take a shower. Wash away every trace of yesterday. Of smells. Of weary skin. Get dressed. Make coffee, windows open, the sun shining through. Hold the cup with two hands and notice that you feel the feeling of warmth. 
 You still feel warmth.
Now sit down and get to work. Keep your mind sharp, head on, eyes on the page and if small thoughts of worries fight their ways into your consciousness: threw them off like fires in the night and keep your eyes on the track. Nothing but the task in front of you.  Get off your chair in the middle of the day. Put on your shoes and take a long walk on open streets around people. Notice how they’re all walking, in a hurry, or slowly. Smiling, laughing, or eyes straight forward, hurried to get to wherever they’re going. And notice how you’re just one of them. Not more, not less. Find comfort in the way you’re just one in the crowd. Your worries: no more, no less. Go back home. Take the long way just to not pass the liquor store. Don’t buy the cigarettes. Go straight home. Take off your shoes. Wash your hands. Your face. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. It’s still beating. Still fighting. Now get back to work.
Work with your mind sharp and eyes focused and if any thoughts of worries or hate or sadness creep their ways around, shake them off like a runner in the night for you own your mind, and you need to tame it. Focus. Keep it sharp on track, nothing but the task in front of you. Work until your eyes are tired and head is heavy, and keep working even after that. Then take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.
Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. 
You’re doing just fine.
You’re doing fine. I’m doing just fine.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They’re in everything you do. They’re in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don’t think they’re perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don’t frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don’t want perfect. You want them. You want-
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Afterward, I curl around her. We lie in silence until darkness falls, and then, haltingly, she begins to talk...She speaks without need or even room for response, so I simply hold her and stroke her hair. She talks of the pain, grief, and horror of the past four years; of learning to cope with being the wife of a man so violent and unpredictable his touch made her skin crawl and of thinking, until quite recently, that she'd finally managed to do that. And then, finally, of how my appearance had forced her to realize she hadn't learned to cope at all.
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
Don't be upset. Don't listen to me. I only meant that I am jealous of a dark, unconscious element, something irrational, unfathomable. I am jealous of your toilet articles, of the drops of sweat on your skin, of the germs in the air you breathe which could get into your blood and poison you. And I am jealous of Komarovsky, as if he were an infectious disease. Someday he will take you away, just as certainly as death will someday separate us. I know this must seem obscure and confused, but I can't say it more clearly. I love you madly, irrationally, infinitely.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
Should we leave now?” “I need to finish my tea first,” Jem said. “Anyway, I don’t see what you’re so fired up about. You said the place hadn’t been used as a brothel in ages?” “I want to be back before dark,” Will said. He was leaning nearly across Tessa’s lap, and she could smell that faint boy-smell of leather and metal that seemed to cling to his hair and skin. “I have an assignation in Soho this evening with a certain attractive someone.” “Goodness,” Tessa said to the back of his head. “If you keep seeing Six-Fingered Nigel like this, he’ll expect you to declare your intentions.” Jem choked on his tea.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
He looked at her and tilted his head very slightly in wonder. He had forgotten, as he always forgot, how beautiful she was. Her hair was held away from her face by the ruby and gold headband that crossed her dark brows. Her skin was flawless and so fair as to be translucent. She dressed as always in an imitation of Hephestia, but it was far easier to imagine the impersonal cruelty of the Great Goddess than to see cruelty in the face in the Queen of Attolia. Looking at her, Eugenides smiled. Attolia saw his smile, without any hint of self-effacement or flattery or opportunism, a smile wholly unlike that of any member of her court, and she hit him across the face with her hand. His head rocked on his shoulders. He made no sound but sank to his knees...
Megan Whalen Turner (The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2))
no matter how early you rise or how late you turn in, you never see that point where light begins or the first bruise of darkness bleeds in under its fragile skin; the beauty, and the scary, unfathomable wisdom of transition.
Irvine Welsh (Skagboys (Mark Renton Series Book 1))
I was beautiful; after all, my skin was as rich and dark as wet, brown mud, a complexion that any and every pale white girl would pray for - that is, if she believed in God. My butt sat high in the air and my hips obviously gave birth to Creation. Titties like mangoes, firm, sweet, and ready. My thighs and legs were big and powerful, kicking Vanna White and Cindy Crawford to the curb.
Sister Souljah (No Disrespect)
You look pretty unscarred. (Sin) Boy, you better be glad you’re stunning when you’re naked or I’d skin you for that. I’ve been through hell this week because of you. Do you think I wanted to come crawling back here only to have you tell me to get lost again? I know it’s hard for you to believe, but I do have my pride, and you’ve kicked it for the last time. (Kat) You missed me? (Sin)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
Nix and Lothaire: When the collar dropped to the ground, Lothaire rolled his head on his neck. But instead of disappearing immediately, he traced to stand mere feet from Nïx. A towering vampire with skin like marble and chillingly flawless features was staring down a petite Valkyrie with crazed eyes and a cryptic smile. The tension between the two was palpable. Even on the verge of flipping the fuck out, Regin couldn’t look away. “The Accession grinds on, does it not?” Lothaire said. “Just like old times.” Nïx winked. “Alas, Dorada will come for you once she rises again.” “I’ll be ready.” He narrowed his red eyes. “You’ve likely foreseen this moment. Tell me, are we to fight now? As in the past?” “You defy foresight, Lothaire.” “That’s only fair, Phenïx, since you’ve long defied insight.” Phenïx? Nïx canted her head. “What does your Endgame tell you?” “That white queen will never take black king.” He gave her a formal bow. “Until our next match.” “There won’t be a next match, vampire.” His brow creased into a frown, the Enemy of Old disappeared.
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
We forget how truly fragile we are. Skin. We do so much to it. Burn it. Tattoo it. Rub chemical into its surface. Sometimes we scrape it, pierce it, poke holes through its softness. Skin holds us together. IT keeps the blood inside. Without it, we die.
Jeyn Roberts (Dark Inside (Dark Inside, #1))
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from the truths of others. The dark protects us from what we dare not know. Its second gift is comforting illusion: the ease of gentle dreams in night’s embrace, the beauty that imagination brings to what would repel in the day’s harsh light. But the greatest of its comforts is the illusion that dark is temporary: that every night brings a new day. Because it’s the day that is temporary. Day is the illusion. Its third gift is the light itself: as days are defined by the nights that divide them, as stars are defined by the infinite black through which they wheel, the dark embraces the light, and brings it forth from the center of its own self. With each victory of the light, it is the dark that wins. The dark is generous, and it is patient. It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt. The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause those seeds to sprout. The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is the soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light. The dark’s patience is infinite. Eventually, even stars burn out. The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins. It always wins because it is everywhere. It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun, and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet. The brightest light casts the darkest shadow. The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins – but in the heart of its strength lies its weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.
Matthew Woodring Stover
He sat down on the edge of Lucie’s bed—and immediately leaped back up, blushing. Lucie took her hands off her hips, amused. “A ghost with a sense of propriety. That is funny.” He looked at her darkly. He really did have a most arresting face, she thought. His black hair and green eyes made a wintry contrast against his pale skin. As a writer, one had to pay attention to these things. Descriptions were very important.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
The light. The light is so bright that all that remains is you and the darkness. You can feel the audience breathing. It's like holding a gun or standing on a precipice and knowing you must jump. It feels slow and fast. It's like dying and being born and fucking and crying. It's like falling in love and being utterly alone with God; you taste your own mouth and feel your own skin and I knew I was alive and I knew who I was and that that wasn't who I'd been up till then. I'd been so far away but I knew I was home.
Russell Brand (My Booky Wook)
I feel it, I feel my thin morals dissolving. I feel my flimsy, moth-eaten skin of humanity begin to come apart, and with it, the veil keeping me from complete darkness. There are no lines I won't cross. No illusions of mercy. I wanted to be better for her. For her happiness. For her future. But if she's gone, what good is goodness? - Warner
Tahereh Mafi (Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5))
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from us the truths of others. The dark protects us from what we dare not know.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars: Novelizations #3))
Somewhere, a dark car raced along a night road. A hand gripped the wheel, leather bands looped over the wrist bone. The Greywaren. Ronan. In this dreamplace, all times were the same time, and so Adam had a strange, lucid beat of reliving the moment Ronan had offered his hand to help Adam up from the asphalt. Stripped of context, the physical sensations exploded: the surprising shock of heat from that skin-to-skin grip; the soft hiss of the bracelets against Adam’s wrist; the sudden bite of possibility —
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human— looks out of the heart burning with purity— for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love— be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love —cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy —must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye— yes, yes, that's what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
Annabel was, like the writer, of mixed parentage: half-English, half-Dutch, in her case. I remember her features far less distinctly today than I did a few years ago, before I knew Lolita. There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: "honey-colored skin," "thin arms," "brown bobbed hair," "long lashes," "big bright mouth"); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark innerside of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Sometimes being crazy is a demon. And sometimes the demon is me. And I visit quiet sidewalks and loud parties and dark movies, and a small demon looks out at the world with me. Sometimes it sleeps. Sometimes it plays. Sometimes it laughs with me. Sometimes it tries to kill me. But it’s always with me. I suppose we’re all possessed in some way. Some of us with dependence on pills or wine. Others through sex or gambling. Some of us through self-destruction or anger or fear. And some of us just carry around our tiny demon as he wreaks havoc in our mind, tearing open old dusty trunks of bad memories and leaving the remnants spread everywhere. Wearing the skins of people we’ve hurt. Wearing the skins of people we’ve loved. And sometimes, when it’s worst, wearing our skins.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Because fate would not slight me so unspeakably. I'd seek a noon-day sun if I were paired with one such as you." "Such as me," she repeated blandly. She'd been mocked too often over her lifetime to take offense. Her skin was as thick as armor. "Yes, you. An ignorant, mortal Kmart checkout girl." He took the sharpest knife from his place setting, absently turning it between his left thumb and forefinger. "Kmart? I should have been so lucky. Those jobs were hard to come by. I worked at my uncle's outfitter shop." "Then you're even worse. You're an outfitter checkout girl with aspirations for Kmart." "Still better than a demon.
Kresley Cole (Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #11))
At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin. I watched their wings shining like bits of chrome in the dark and felt the longing build in my chest. The way those bees flew, not even looking for a flower, just flying for the feel of the wind, split my heart down its seam.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
In the pain, I imagine bliss. My thoughts are like wind, rushing, curling into the depths of myself, expelling, dispelling darkness. I imagine love, I imagine wind, I imagine gold hair and green eyes and whispers, laughter I imagine Me extraordinary, unbroken the girl who shocked herself by surviving, the girl who loved herself through learning, the girl who respected her skin, understood her worth, found her strength s t r o n g s t r o n g e r strongest Imagine me master of my own universe I am everything I ever dreamed of
Tahereh Mafi (Imagine Me (Shatter Me, #6))
You don't think I could bring myself to mark your lovely skin? I'll take my knife to you, if that's the case. I'll carve my name in your breast so that every beat of your heart will remind you that you are mine—and mine alone. Because blood is binding, and because I would rather see you destroyed than see you free or in the possession of another, so I suggest you not try me, or you will suffer as no earthly creature has.” He slammed her back against the wall. “Or ever will. But that is a suggestion, and one you are free to disregard at your own peril. But you are are going to answer my question.
Nenia Campbell (Terrorscape (Horrorscape, #3))
Looking at you reminds me of the kind of man I should be with." "And what kind of man is that? Drunken, poor, pathetic?" "No. I´ve never met him, but I see him plain as day. He has crinkles around his eyes when he smiles and tanned skin from working outdoors. Honest labor has callused his hands. He and I will hunt together, cook and eat big family meals together. He´ll marry me and love my family, too." Voice gone soft, she said, "He´ll give me a baby boy and a girl.
Kresley Cole (Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #11))
Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs, you look like a world, lying in surrender. My rough peasant's body digs in you and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth. I was lone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me, and nigh swamped me with its crushing invasion. To survive myself I forged you like a weapon, like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling. But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you. Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk. Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence! Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad! Body of my woman, I will persist in your grace. My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road! Dark river-beds where the eternal thirst flows and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.
Pablo Neruda (Selected Poems)
He looked down at himself and laughed softly. ‘‘My dark side dresses better than I do.’’ He stood up and reached for clothes folded neatly on a table to the side as he loosened the tie on his robe. He hesitated, smiled, and raised his eyebrows. ‘‘If you don’t mind, Claire . . . ?’’ ‘‘Oh. Sorry.’’ Claire turned her back. She didn’t like turning her back on him, even with the cell door locked. He was better behaved when he knew she was watching. She focused on the faint, distorted image of his reflection on the TV screen as he shed the dressing gown and began to pull on his clothing. She couldn’t see much, except that he was very pale all over. Once she was sure his pants were up, she glanced behind her. He had his back to her, and she couldn’t help but compare him with the only other man she’d really studied half-naked. Shane was broad, strong, solid. Myrnin looked fragile, but his muscles moved like cables under that pale skin—far stronger than Shane’s, she knew. Myrnin turned as he buttoned his shirt. ‘‘It’s been a while since a pretty girl looked at me with such interest,’’ he said. She looked away, feeling the blush work its heat up through her neck and onto her cheeks. ‘‘It’s all right, Claire. I’m not offended.
Rachel Caine (Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4))
Mark nearly fell forward, and threw his arms around Julian. Julian barely managed to catch himself before almost falling over. Mark was whipcord thin, but strong, his hands fisting in Julian's shirt. Julian could feel Mark's heart hammering, feel the sharp bones under his skin. He smelled like earth and mildew and grass and nighttime air. "Julian," Mark said, muffled, his body shaking. "Julian, my brother, my brother." Julian sighed. He wanted to relax into his older brother, let Mark hold him up the way he once had. But Mark was slighter than he was, fragile under his hands. He would be holding Mark up from now on. It was not what he had imagined, dreamed of, but it was the reality. It was his brother. He tightened his hands on Mark and adjusted his heart to bear the new burden.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
As Damiano strolled to the back platform, he returned her smile, white teeth against bronzed skin, then he dropped into the water. The man was sex on a stick. MacRieve stepped in front of her, clasping her nape, jealousy ablaze in his expression. "Eyes on the prize, woman. It's a werewolf you'll have, or none at all.
Kresley Cole (Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #8))
A new beginning done right," she said out loud, because everyone knew that saying it out loud made it true. "You hear that, karma?" She glanced upward through her slightly leaky sunroof into a dark sky, where storm clouds tumbled together like a dryer full of gray wool blankets. "This time, I'm gong to be strong." Like Katharine Hepburn. Like Ingrid Bergman ."So go torture someone else and leave me alone." A bolt of lightning blinded her, followed by a boom of thunder that nearly had her jerking out of her skin. "Okay, so I meant pretty please leave me alone." -Maddie
Jill Shalvis (Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1))
I could have grabbed his shirt collar. I could have pulled him close to me, so close he could feel my breath on his skin, and I could have said to him, "This is just a crisis. A flash! A single match struck against the implacable darkness of time! You are the one who taught me to never give up. You taught me that new possibilities emerge for those who are prepared, for those who are ready. You have to believe!
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
All right," he said. Magnus whipped toward him in the dark, all coiled energy now, all cheekbones and shimmering eyes. “Really?” “Really,” Alec said. He reached out a hand, and interlinked his fingers with Magnus’s. There was a glow being woken in Alec’s chest, where all had been dark. Magnus cupped his long fingers under Alec’s jawline and kissed him, his touch light against Alec’s skin: a slow and gentle kiss, a kiss that promised more later, when they were no longer on a roof and could be seen by anyone walking by. “So I’m your first ever Shadowhunter, huh?” Alec said when they separated at last. “You’re my first so many things, Alec Lightwood,” Magnus said.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They're in everything you do. They're in the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And you don't think they're perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truth of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don't frighten you away; in fact you love them more for it, because you don't want perfect. You want them.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Tirelessly they flew on and on, and tirelessly she kept pace. She felt a fierce joy possessing her, that she could command these immortal presences. And she rejoiced in her blood and flesh, in the rough pine bark she felt next to her skin, in the beat of her heart and the life of all her senses, and in the hunger she was feeling now, and in the presence of her sweet-voiced bluethroat dæmon, and in the earth below her and the lives of every creature, plant and animal both; and she delighted in being of the same substance as them, and in knowing that when she died her flesh would nourish other lives as they had nourished her.
Philip Pullman (The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2))
Uriah looked better than he did an hour ago--he washed the blood from his mouth, and some of the color returned to his face. I'm struck, suddenly, by how handsome he is-- all his features are proportionate, his eyes dark and lively, his skin bronze-brown. And he has probably always been handsome. Only boys who have been handsome from a young age have that arrogance in their smile. Not like Tobias, who is almost shy when he smiles like he is surprised you bothered to look at him from the first place.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
The whole idea of it makes me feel like I'm coming down with something, something worse than any stomach ache or the headaches I get from reading in bad light-- a kind of measles of the spirit, a mumps of the psyche, a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul. You tell me it is too early to be looking back, but that is because you have forgotten the perfect simplicity of being one and the beautiful complexity introduced by two. But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit. At four I was an Arabian wizard. I could make myself invisible by drinking a glass of milk a certain way. At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince. But now I am mostly at the window watching the late afternoon light. Back then it never fell so solemnly against the side of my tree house, and my bicycle never leaned against the garage as it does today, all the dark blue speed drained out of it. This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself, as I walk through the universe in my sneakers. It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends, time to turn the first big number. It seems only yesterday I used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light. If you cut me I could shine. But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life, I skin my knees. I bleed.
Billy Collins
If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?” – President John F. Kennedy (June 11, 1963)
John F. Kennedy
One ravishing dark-haired beauty wearing leather pants and strategically applied electrical tape, stared hard at me and, when she saw me looking, licked her lips very, very slowly. She trailed a fingertip over her chin, down across her throat, and down over her sternum and gave me a smile so wicked that it's parents should have sent it to military school.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
The chanting grew louder, deep male voice pumping. She looked to the brothers, the tall, fierce men who were now part of her life. Wrath pivoted and put his arm around her. Together, they swayed to the rhythm that swelled, filling the air. The brothers were as one as they paid homage in their language, a single powerful entity. But then, in a high, keening call, one voice broke out, lifting above the others, shooting higher and higher. The sound of the tenor was so clear, so pure, it brought shivers to the skin, a yearning warmth to the chest. The sweet notes blew the ceiling off with their glory, turning the chamber into cathedral, the brothers into a tabernacle. Bringing the very heavens close enough to touch. It was Zsadist. His eys closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang. The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
I’m just trying to imagine you in flannel pink sock monkey pajamas. I’m sure you look stunning in pink. (Damien) Actually, with his skin tone he probably does look really good in it. I would definitely say he’s an autumn. (Kish) That’s summer, you dweeb. (Damien) I find it fascinating that you two women know that color palettes for clothes have a name. The fact you corrected him really scares me. (Sin)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
In bed, I steal moments of tenderness when sex has finally exhausted me to the point where I’m too bone weary to fret anymore about the enormous capacity for evil that’s taken up squatter’s rights inside me. I touch him, put all those things I don’t say into my hands as I trace the red and black tattoos on his skin, the sharp planes and hollows of his face, bury my hands in his dark hair. He watches me in silence when I do, eyes dark, unfathomable. I sometimes wake up to find he’s pulled me close to him and is holding me, spooned into my back with his face in my hair, and those hands that don’t speak like mine don’t speak move over my skin and tell me I’m cherished, honored, seen.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
The best I can say, it's like this. A man's in his skin, see, like a nut in its shell ... It's hard and strong, that shell, and it's all full of him. Full of grand man-meat, man-self. And that's all. That's all there is. A woman's a different thing entirely. Who knows where a woman begins and ends? Listen mistress, I have roots, I have roots deeper than this island. Deeper than the sea, older than the raising of the lands. I go back into the dark ... I go back into the dark! Before the moon I am, what a woman is, a woman of power, a woman's power, deeper than the roots of trees, deeper than the roots of islands, older than the Making, older than the moon. Who dares ask questions of the dark? Who'll ask the dark its name?
Ursula K. Le Guin (Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle, #4))
He kissed her a little more deeply and was happy to hear her gasp of pleasure. The sound brought his erection back to life, and he brushed his fingertips over her collarbone. "How 'bout you hop on up here with me?" "I don't think you're quite ready for that yet." "Wanna bet?" He took her hand and put it under the hospital sheets. The throathy laugh as she gripped him gently was yet another marvel. Just like her constant presence in his room, her fierce protection of him, her love, her strength. She was everything to him. His whole world. He'd gone from being blasé about his death to being desperate to live. For her. For them. For their future. "What do you say we give it another day?" she said. "An hour." "Until you can sit up on your own." "Deal." Thank God he was a fast healer. (..............) Wrath struggled on the bed, trying to force himself upright so that he bore the weight of his upper body on his hips. Beth watched him the whole time, refusing to help. When he was steady, he rubbed his hands together in anticipation. He could feel her skin already. "Wrath," she said with warning as he beamed at her. "Come up here, leelan, A deal's a deal.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
That night we played truth or dare. You said that after a while you stopped trying to earn your mother's affection." I pause. "Why didn't you give up with me, too?" "You know why," he says quietly. I close my eyes. I do know, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to hear it. But some part of me must be, because I wouldn't have asked the question otherwise, not of Bishop, the boy who never chooses to say something easy just because the truth is hard. Maybe I want to hear it so that i will know, once and for all, that there is no going back. "Because I'm in love with you, Ivy," he whispers. "Giving up on you isn't an option." He lifts my hair away from the back of my neck and kisses the delicate skin there. My breath shudders out of me. The silence spirals into the dark room, and maybe it was foolish to ask the question, but I'm not sorry. I uncurl his hand and kiss his palm, his skin cool and dry. I place his hand over my heart, cover it with my own. We fall asleep that way. His lips on my neck. My heart in his hand.
Amy Engel (The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1))
Technically, on the spectrum of very bad things, they did nothing truly wicked. But of course, that spectrum has no measure for the greatest of all carnal sins, the kind that occurs before skin touches skin, before wondering turns to yearning, yearning to having, having to holding for dear life, when two people cling to each other so desperately that even when they lie, inches apart, neither is fully satisfied until the light between them turns to darkness.
Galt Niederhoffer (The Romantics)
My dearest Rose, One of the few downsides to being awakened is that we no longer require sleep; therefore we also no longer dream. It's a shame, because if I could dream, I know I'd dream about you. I'd dream about the way you smell and how your dark hair feels like silk between my fingers. I'd dream about the smoothness of your skin and the fierceness of your lips when we kiss. Without dreams, I have to be content with my own imagination - which is almost as good. I can picture all of those things perfectly, as well as how it'll be when I take your life from this world. It's something I regret having to do, but you've made my choice inevitable. Your refusal to join me in eternal life and love leaves no other course of action, and I can't allow someone as dangerous as you to live. Besides, even if I forced your awakening, you now have so many enemies among the Strigoi that one of them would kill you. If you must die, it'll be by my hand. No one else's. Nonetheless, I wish you well today as you take your trails - not that you need any luck. If they actually making you take them, it's a waste of everyone's time. You're the best in that group, and by this evening you'll wear your promise mark. Of course, that means you'll be all that much more of a challenge when we meet again - which I'll definitely enjoy. And we will be meeting again. With graduation, you'll be turned out of the Academy, and once you're outside the wards, I'll find you. There is no place in this world you can hide from me. I'm watching. Love, Dimitri
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
Writing: such has been my crime ever since I was a small child. To this day writing remains my crime. Now, although I am out of prison, I continue to live inside a prison of another sort, one without steel bars. For the technology of oppression and might without justice has become more advanced, and the fetters imposed on mind and body have become invisible. The most dangerous shackles are the invisible ones, because they deceive people into believing they are free. This delusion is the new prison that people inhabit today, north and south, east and west...We inhabit the age of the technology of false consciousness, the technology of hiding truths behind amiable humanistic slogans that may change from one era to another...Democracy is not just freedom to criticize the government or head of state, or to hold parliamentary elections. True democracy obtains only when the people - women, men, young people, children - have the ability to change the system of industrial capitalism that has oppressed them since the earliest days of slavery: a system based on class division, patriarchy, and military might, a hierarchical system that subjugates people merely because they are born poor, or female, or dark-skinned.
Nawal El Saadawi (Memoirs from the Women's Prison)
Rush-hour on the A rain. A blind man staggers forth, his cane tapping lightly own the aisle. He leans against the door, raises a violin to chin, and says I’m sorry to bother you, folks. But please. Just listen. And it kills me, the word sorry. As if something like music should be forgiven. He nuzzles into the wood like a lover, inhales, and at the first slow stroke, the crescendo seeps through our skin like warm water, we who have nothing but destinations, who dream of light but descend into the mouths of tunnels, searching. Beads of sweat fall from his brow, making dark roses on the instrument. His head swooning to each chord exhaled through the hollow torso. The woman beside me has put down her book, closed her eyes, the baby has stopped crying, the cop has sat down, and I know this train is too fast for dreaming, that these iron jaws will always open to swallow a smile already lost. How insufficient the memory, to fail before death. how will hear these notes when the train slides into the yard, the lights turned out, and the song lingers with breaths rising from empty seats? I know I am too human to praise what is fading. But for now, I just want to listen as the train fills completely with warm water, and we are all swimming slowly toward the man with Mozart flowing from his hands. I want nothing but to put my fingers inside his mouth, let that prayer hum through my veins. I want crawl into the hole in his violin. I want to sleep there until my flesh becomes music.
Ocean Vuong
Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will fight one another and hurt one another and maim one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done. And even if you avoid warfare and violent death, little boy, what else do you think life has in store for you? You have already seen what it is capable of doing. It took your mother from you, drained her of health and beauty, and then cast her aside like the withered, rotten husk of a fruit. It will take others from you too, mark me. Those whom you care about--lovers, children--will fall by the wayside, and your love will not be enough to save them. Your health will fail you. You will become old and sick. Your limbs will ache, your eyesight will fade, and your skin will grow lined and aged. There will be pains deep within that no doctor will be able to cure. Diseases will find a warm, moist place inside you and there they will breed, spreading through your system, corrupting it cell by cell until you pray for the doctors to let you die, to put you out of your misery, but they will not. Instead you will linger on, with no one to hold your hand or soothe your brow, as Death comes and beckons you into his darkness. The life you left behind you is no life at all. Here, you can be king, and I will allow you to age with dignity and without pain, and when the time comes for you to die, I will send you gently to sleep and you will awaken in the paradise of your choosing, for each man dreams his own heaven.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
I didn’t want to see you but you invaded my world Every dark corner you found a way in Bringing color to the lifeless and lost. I didn’t want to touch you but you reached inside me Every lost memory you found a way to melt the frost Until the small closed world inside opened up into the sea You made me love you by the smile on your face, the kindness in your eyes and the heat of your skin. One kiss makes all that’s been hurt fade away. You made me love you for the man inside. The one no one sees but me. The man who listens to what my heart has to say. I didn’t want to love you but you’re impossible not to love. Every perfect moment I spend in your arms draws me closer Showing me that life isn’t over because its path takes a sudden turn I didn’t see you coming when you arrived Nothing prepared me for the gift of a second chance. I’ve been loved in life but all that matters now is that I’m loved by you You made me love you by the smile on your face, the kindness in your eyes and the heat of your skin. One kiss makes all that’s been hurt fade away. You made me love you for the man inside. The one no one sees but me. The man who listens to what my heart has to say. I’ll spend eternity in your arms if you’ll trust me when I say that I love you.
Abbi Glines (While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3))
What I will tell you, son of sons, is this: shortly, if not already, you will begin noticing the blackness inside us all. You will develop black secrets and commit black actions. You will be shocked at the insensitivities and transgressions you are capable of, yet you will be unable to stop them. And by the time you are thirty, your friends will all have black secrets, too, but it will be years before you learn exactly *what* their black secrets are. Life at that point will become like throwing a Frisbee in a graveyard; much of the pleasure of your dealings with your friends will stem from the contrast between your sparkling youth and the ink you now know lies at your feet. Later, as you get to be my age, you will see your friends begin to die, to lose their memories, to see their skins turn wrinkled and sick. You will see the effects of dark secrets making themslves know - via their minds and bodies and via the stories your friends - yes, Harmony, Gaia, Mei-lin, Davidson, and the rest - will begin telling you at three-thirty in the morning as you put iodine on their bruises, arrange for tetanus shots, dial 911, and listen to them cry. The only payback for all of this - for the conversion of their once-young hearts into tar - will be that you will love your friends more, even though they have made you see the universe as an emptier and scarier place - and they will love you more, too.
Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet)
No one else. It was me who had to carry myself over the finish line, and all I needed to remember when I felt like not trying was that that feeling wouldn't last forever. Forever. I used to believe it didn't exist. One word has terrified me as a child and it haunted me. But now I knew, and many small ways, but it was real, But it didn't scare me anymore. Forever wasn't a little girl cowering in the closet. Forever wasn't the shadows sitting in the back of the class. Forever wasn't doing what I thought Carl and Rose wanted instead of what I needed to do with my life. Forever wasn't believing I was some kind of replacement daughter and that I was letting them down. Forever wasn't being the one who needed protection. Forever wasn't pain and grief forever wasn't a problem. Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held. Forever was the glistening silver lining of the dark cloud, no matter how heavy and thick it was. Forever was knowing it moments of weakness didn't equate to an eternity of them. Forever was knowing that I was strong. Forever was Carl and Rosa, Ainsley and Kira, Hector and Rider. Jaden would always be a part of my forever. Forever was in the fire-breathing dragon inside me that had shed the fear like a snake shedding skin. Forever was simply a promise of more. Forever was a work in progress. And I couldn't wait for forever.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
This is the swamp as I see it, but what I can’t capture on canvas is you as I see you. No brush or paint will ever show the hero that you are. It will never be able to portray the sound of your voice when you whisper my name. The way my skin tingles when you touch me. The passion of you inside me. I love you, Talon. I know that I can’t keep you. No one can ever tame a wild beast. You have a job to do and so do I. I only hope that when you think of me, it’ll bring a smile to your face. Love always, Sunshine. (Sunshine's note)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter #2))
I see a few hands stretching out to me at the edge of the net, so I grabbed the first one I could reach and pull myself across. I roll off, and would have fallen face-first onto a wood floor if he had not caught me. "He" is the young man attached to the hand I grabbed. He has a spare upper lip and a full lower lip. His eyes are so deep-set that his eyelashes touch the skin under his eyebrows, and they are dark blue, a dreaming, sleeping, waiting color.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
All her violence had drained away, replaced by a fear older and deeper than anything she'd ever experienced. An old, old recognition. Something inside her knew him from a time when girls took skin bags to the river to get water, a time when panthers walked in the darkness outside mud huts. From a time before electric lights, before candles, when darkness was fended off with stone lamps. When darkness was the greatest danger of all.
L.J. Smith (The Hunter (The Forbidden Game, #1))
I erupt from the dark, crushing tunnel into a flash of light and noise. A new kind of air surrounds me, dry and cold, as they wipe the last smears of home off my skin. I feel a sharp pain as they snip something, and suddenly I am less. I am no one but myself, tiny and feeble and utterly alone. I am lifted and swungthrough great heights across yawning distances, and given to Her. She wraps around me, so much bigger and softer than I ever imagined from inside,and I strain my eyes open. I see Her. She is immense, cosmic. She is the world. The world smiles down on me, and when She speaks it’s the voice of God, vast and resonant with meaning, but words unknowable, ringing gibberish in my blank white mind.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
Forever wasn't pain and grief. Forever wasn't a problem. Forever was my heartbeat and it was the hope tomorrow held. Forever was the glistening silver lining of every dark cloud, no matter how heavy and thick it was. Forever was knowing moments of weakness didn't equate to an eternityof them.Forever was knowing that I was strong.Forever was the fire breathing dragon inside me that had shed the fear like a snake shedding skin. Forever was simply a promise of more. Forever was a work in progress.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
It's cool in the basement, so I pull the blanket up to my chest. Caleb slides in beside me, and I feel his bare legs against mine. "You're shivering," he says, his voice a low whisper. "I'm a little cold... and a little nervous." "Don't be nervous, Maggie. It's juste me." It's the real Caleb, without the tough facade. I'm glad it's completely dark now and he can't see my trembling fingers as they move up to his beautiful face. "I know." He pulls me closer. I rest my head in the crook of his arm and am more content than ever. "Maggie ?" "Yeah ?" "Thanks." "For what ?" "For making me feel alive again." I drape my arm across his chest, the warmth of his skin melting into mine. I want to remember this night forever, because we'll probably never get another chance to hold each other like this again. It makes me want to do more than just sleep in his arms. I try and relax, to slow my own erratic heartbeat as I wrap my right leg, the one that wasn't severely damaged in the accident, around him. It's a definite hint that I'm ready to do more than just lie in his arms. He moans in response. "Maggie, you're treading into dangerous territory. I'm trying to be a good, honorable guy here." " I know. But I'm not asking you to be one." "You sure you know what you're getting into ?" "Nope. I've got no clue." I start kissing and feeling my way across his broad chest. "You're killing me", he says, his hands slowly reaching for me and urging me up so we're face to face.
Simone Elkeles (Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2))
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword. A pebble could be a diamond. A tree was a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was the Queen and he was the King. In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair. Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. When they were ten he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven he kissed her for the first time. When they were thirteen they got into a fight and for three weeks they didn't talk. When they were fifteen she showed him the scar on her left breast. Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. "What if I die?" she asked. "Even then," he said. For her sixteenth birthday, he gave her an English dictionary and together they learned the words. "What's this?" he'd ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle and she'd look it up. "And this?" he'd ask, kissing her elbow. "Elbow! What kind of word is that?" and then he'd lick it, making her giggle. "What about this," he asked, touching the soft skin behind her ear. "I don't know," she said, turning off the flashlight and rolling over, with a sigh, onto her back. When they were seventeen they made love for the first time, on a bed of straw in a shed. Later-when things happened that they could never have imagined-she wrote him a letter that said: When will you learn that there isn't a word for everything?
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED It is impossible for my mother to do even the simplest things for herself anymore so we do it together, get her dressed. I choose the clothes without zippers or buckles or straps, clothes that are simple but elegant, and easy to get into. Otherwise, it's just like every other day. After bathing, getting dressed. The stockings go on first. This time, it's the new ones, the special ones with opaque black triangles that she's never worn before, bought just two weeks ago at her favorite department store. We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes into the stocking tip then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle and over her cool, smooth calf then the other toe cool ankle, smooth calf up the legs and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist. You're doing great, Mom, I tell her as we ease her body against mine, rest her whole weight against me to slide her black dress with the black empire collar over her head struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve. I reach from the outside deep into the dark for her hand, grasp where I can't see for her touch. You've got to help me a little here, Mom I tell her then her fingertips touch mine and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth together, then we rest, her weight against me before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep and now over the head. I gentle the black dress over her breasts, thighs, bring her makeup to her, put some color on her skin. Green for her eyes. Coral for her lips. I get her black hat. She's ready for her company. I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits waiting outside the bedroom, come in. They tell me, She's beautiful. Yes, she is, I tell them. I leave as they carefully zip her into the black body bag. Three days later, I dream a large, green suitcase arrives. When I unzip it, my mother is inside. Her dress matches her eyeshadow, which matches the suitcase perfectly. She's wearing coral lipstick. "I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving and I wake up. Four days later, she comes home in a plastic black box that is heavier than it looks. In the middle of a meadow, I learn a naked more than naked. I learn a new way to hug as I tighten my fist around her body, my hand filled with her ashes and the small stones of bones. I squeeze her tight then open my hand and release her into the smallest, hottest sun, a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
Hamilton touched me because it reflected the kind of history I'd lived myself. It told a story about America that allowed the diversity in. I thought about this afterward: So many of us go through life with our stories hidden, feeling ashamed or afraid when our whole truth doesn't live up to some established ideal. We grow up with messages that tell us that there's only one way to be American - that if our skin is dark or our hips are wide, if we don't experience love in a particular way, if we speak another language or come from another country, then we don't belong. That is, until someone dares to start telling that story differently.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Once, he’d been the Seducer, the Executioner, the High Priest of the Hourglass, the Prince of the Darkness, the High Lord of Hell. Once, he’d been Consort to Cassandra, the great Black-Jeweled, Black Widow Queen, the last Witch to walk the Realms. Once, he’d been the only Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince in the history of the Blood, feared for his temper and the power he wielded. Once, he’d been the only male who was a Black Widow. Once, he’d ruled the Dhemlan Territory in the Realm of Terreille and her sister Territory in Kaeleer, the Shadow Realm. He’d been the only male ever to rule without answering to a Queen and, except for Witch, the only member of the Blood to rule Territories in two Realms. Once, he’d been married to Hekatah, an aristo Black Widow Priestess from one of Hayll’s Hundred Families. Once, he’d raised two sons, Mephis and Peyton. He’d played games with them, told them stories, read to them, healed their skinned knees and broken hearts, taught them Craft and Blood Law, showered them with his love of the land as well as music, art, and literature, encouraged them to look with eager eyes upon all that the Realms had to offer—not to conquer but to learn. He’d taught them to dance for a social occasion and to dance for the glory of Witch. He’d taught them how to be Blood. But that was a long, long time ago.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
I confront the city with my body; my legs measure the length of the arcade and the width of the square; my gaze unconsciously projects my body onto the facade of the cathedral, where it roams over the mouldings and contours, sensing the size of recesses and projections; my body weight meets the mass of the cathedral door, and my hand grasps the door pull as I enter the dark void behind. I experience myself in the city, and the city exists through my embodied experience. The city and my body supplement and define each other. I dwell in the city and the city dwells in me.
Juhani Pallasmaa (The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses)
You must find a place on a woman's body and live there. In the dark, the noise far away, Sam ran his hands over Calliope's body and the world of work and worry seemed to move away. He found two depressions at the bottom of her back where sunlight collected, and he lived there, out of the wind and noise. He grew old there, died and ascended to the Great Spirit, found heaven in her cheek on his chest, the warm wind of her breath across his stomach carried sweet grass and sage, and... In another lifetime he had lived on the soft skin under her right breast, his lips riding light over the ridge and valley of every rib, shuffling through downy, dew damp hairs like a child dancing through autumn leaves. In the mountain of her breast, he fasted at the medicine wheel of her aureole, received a vision that he and she were steam people, mingled wet with no skin seperating them. And there he lived, happy. She followed, traveled, lived with him and in him as he was in her. They lived lifetimes and slept and dreamed together. It was swell.
Christopher Moore (Coyote Blue)
Years later, after I’d met and married my husband—a man who is light-skinned to some and dark-skinned to others, who speaks like an Ivy League–educated black Hawaiian raised by white middle-class Kansans—I’d see this confusion play out on the national stage among whites and blacks alike, the need to situate someone inside his or her ethnicity and the frustration that comes when it can’t easily be done. America would bring to Barack Obama the same questions my cousin was unconsciously putting to me that day on the stoop: Are you what you appear to be?
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Ghislaine didn’t look up from the book she was poring over. There was a stack of them on the desk before her, and another beside the narrow bed. Where the eldest and cleverest of her Thirteen had gotten them from, who she’d likely gutted to steal them, Manon didn’t care. “Hello, and come right in, why don’t you” was the response. Manon leaned against the door and crossed her arms. Only with books, only when reading, was Ghislaine so snappish. On the battlefield, in the air, the dark-skinned witch was quiet, easy to command. A solid soldier, made more valuable by her razor-sharp intelligence, which had earned her the spot among the Thirteen.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
It was like staring into the face of a familiar stranger. You know, that person you see in a crowd and swear you know, but you really don't? Now she was me - the familiar stranger. She had my eyes. They were the same hazel color that could never decide whether it wanted to be green or brown, but my eyes had never been that big and round. Or had they? She had my hair - long and straight and almost as dark as my grandma’s had been before hers had begun to turn silver. The stranger had my high cheekbones, long, strong nose, and wide mouth - more features from my grandma and her Cherokee ancestors. But my face had never been that pale. I’d always been olive-ish, much darker skinned than anyone else in my family. But maybe it wasn’t that my skin was suddenly so white ... maybe it just looked pale in comparison to the dark blue outline of the crescent moon that was perfectly positioned in the middle of my forehead. Or maybe it was the horrid fluorescent lighting. I hoped it was the lighting. I stared at the exotic-looking tattoo. Mixed with my strong Cherokee features it seemed to brand me with a mark of wildness ... as if I belonged to ancient times when the world was bigger ... more barbaric. From this day on my life would never be the same. And for a moment — just an instant—I forgot about the horror of not belonging and felt a shocking burst of pleasure, while deep inside of me the blood of my grandmother’s people rejoiced.
P.C. Cast
Often black people, especially non-gay folk, become enraged when they hear a white person who is gay suggest homosexuality is synonymous with the suffering people experience as a consequence of racial exploitation and oppression. The need to make gay experience and black experience of oppression synonymous seems to be one that surfaces much more in the minds of white people. Too often it is a way of minimizing or diminishing the particular problems people of color face in a white supremacist society, especially the problems ones encounter because they do not have white skin. Many of us have been in discussions where a non-white person – a black person – struggles to explain to white folks that while we can acknowledge that gay people of all colors are harassed and suffer exploitation and domination, we also recognize that there is a significant difference that arises because of the visibility of dark skin. Often homophobic attacks on gay people of all occur in situations where knowledge of sexual preference is established – outside of gay bars, for example. While it in no way lessens the severity of such suffering for gay people, or the fear that it causes, it does mean that in a given situation the apparatus of protection and survival may be simply not identifying as gay. In contrast, most people of color have no choice. No one can hide, change or mask dark skin color. White people, gay and straight, could show greater understanding of the impact of racial oppression on people of color by not attempting to make these oppressions synonymous, but rather by showing the ways they are linked and yet differ. Concurrently, the attempt by white people to make synonymous experience of homophobic aggression with racial oppression deflects attention away from the particular dual dilemma that non-white gay people face, as individuals who confront both racism and homophobia.
bell hooks (Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black)
When you love someone, they become a part of who you are. They're in everything you do. They're the air you breathe and the water you drink and the blood in your veins. Their touch stays on your skin and their voice stays in your ears and their thoughts stay in your mind. You know their dreams because their nightmares pierce your heart and their good dreams are your dreams too. And they don't think they're perfect, but you know their flaws, the deep-down truths of them, and the shadows of all their secrets, and they don't frighten you away; in fact, you love them more for it, because you don't want perfect. You want them.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Fine. But remember, little rabbit, not a word to anyone." He moved close enough that the dark heat of him lapped against her in a quiet threat that made her glad for the blade. "I'm not a nice man when I'm angry." She held her position, a ragged attempt to erase the humiliation of the panic attack. "I'm fairly certain you're not a nice man at all." His answer was a slow smile that whispered of silk sheets, erotic whispers, and sweat-damp skin. The unhidden intent of it had her heart slamming hard against her ribs. "No" she said. Voice raw. "A challenge.” He wasn't touching her and yet she felt caressed by a thousand ropes of fur, soft and lush and unmistakably sexual. "I accept
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4))
She was resilient A brave soldier when life tested her It didn't matter that she did strange things like stand tall under the rain letting the drops kiss her skin thinking the storm was romantic It was hard to quiet her not that you would want to when she spoke, it was captivating Her heart was like a candle warm and delicate just what you needed during darkness Sometimes, she'd go off and explore the world test her limits laugh too much cry when humans were cruel It wasn't hard to see why people envied her You'd come to realize she was a lion and she could not be tamed.
M.J. Abraham
She is sixteen and her skin is the darkness before the black, the plum of the day’s light, her breasts like sunsets trapped beneath her skin, but for all her youth and beauty she has a sour distrusting expression that only dissolves under the weight of immense pleasure. Her dreams are spare, lack the propulsion of a mission, her ambition is without traction. Her fiercest hope? That she will find a man. What she doesn’t yet know: the cold, the backbreaking drudgery of the factorias, the loneliness of Diaspora, that she will never again live in Santo Domingo, her own heart. What else she doesn’t know: that the man next to her would end up being her husband and the father of her two children, that after two years together he would leave her, her third and final heartbreak, and she would never love again.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
In Plaster I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints. 
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality -- She lay in bed with me like a dead body 
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was 
 Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold. I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer. 
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior! 
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist. 
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her: She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages. 

Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful. 
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose 
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain, And it was I who attracted everybody's attention, 
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed. 
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up -- 
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality. 

I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it. 
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun 
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice 
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience: She humored my weakness like the best of nurses, 
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly. In time our relationship grew more intense. 

She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish. 
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself, 
As if my habits offended her in some way. She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded. 
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces 
Simply because she looked after me so badly. Then I saw what the trouble was: she thought she was immortal. She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior, 
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful -- Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse! 
And secretly she began to hope I'd die. Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely, 
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water. 

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her. She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp -- I had forgotten how to walk or sit, So I was careful not to upset her in any way 
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself. Living with her was like living with my own coffin: Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully. I used to think we might make a go of it together -- 
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close. 
Now I see it must be one or the other of us. She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy, 
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit. I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, 
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me. --written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
A Blessing Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone. They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. She is black and white, Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist. Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom.
James Wright (Above the River: The Complete Poems)
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
Truth is to be found in dreams,” the King said, looking down at them. From this angle, Emma could see that odd splitting of his face ended at his throat, which was ordinary skin. “Tell me, Shadowhunters: you enter a cave. Inside the cave is and egg, lit from within and glowing. You know that it beats with you dreams-not the ones you have during the day, but the ones you half-remember in the morning. It splits open.What emerges?” “A rose,” said Mark. “With thorns.” Cristina cut her eyes toward him in surprise but remained motionless. “An angel,” she said. “With bloody hands.” “A knife,” said Emma. “Pure and clean.” “Bars,” Julian said quietly. “The bars of a prison cell.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
You think that the world we live in is ordinary. We make noise and static to fill the empty spaces where ghosts live. We let other people grow our food, bleach our clothes. We seal ourselves in, clean the dirt from our skins, eat of animals whose blood does not stain our hands. We long ago left the ways of our ancestors, oracles and blood sacrifice, traffic with the spirit world, listening for the voices out of stones and trees. But maybe sometimes you have felt the uncanny, alone at night in a dark wood, or waiting by the edge of the ocean for the tide to come in. We have paved over the ancient world, but that does not mean we have erased it.
Sarah McCarry (All Our Pretty Songs (Metamorphoses, #1))
Admirable, however, as the Paris of the present day appears to you, build up and put together again in imagination the Paris of the fifteenth century; look at the light through that surprising host of steeples, towers, and belfries; pour forth amid the immense city, break against the points of its islands, compress within the arches of the bridges, the current of the Seine, with its large patches of green and yellow, more changeable than a serpent's skin; define clearly the Gothic profile of this old Paris upon an horizon of azure, make its contour float in a wintry fog which clings to its innumerable chimneys; drown it in deep night, and observe the extraordinary play of darkness and light in this sombre labyrinth of buildings; throw into it a ray of moonlight, which shall show its faint outline and cause the huge heads of the towers to stand forth from amid the mist; or revert to that dark picture, touch up with shade the thousand acute angles of the spires and gables, and make them stand out, more jagged than a shark's jaw, upon the copper-coloured sky of evening. Now compare the two.
Victor Hugo (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
I continue to marvel at the reluctancy of people to look into the mirror and see all the darkness that's within them: all the deceit, the dishonesty, the insincerity, the lack, the need, the want, the lies...they would rather look upon the mural of themselves that they've painted on the wall, and stare at that inanimate portrait of beauty, all the while telling themselves that it is the mirror image of them! This is a falsity, this is unreal! It is only when you turn to the unveiled mirror and bravely face your light and your darkness at once, that you will be able to see the true image of you! How can you pull the thorns from your skin if you are too afraid to open your eyes and look at them? You must open your eyes first, look at the thorns where they are piercing your flesh, and only then can you pull them out!
C. JoyBell C.
Creatures of the Darkness BY VICKI JORDAN It was world of vampires and demons, where innocence was rare and so were the living. It was a world of darkness, where light had been outlawed and nightfall had swallowed us whole. An epic war had been fought, and the creatures of the dark had finally prevailed over the promoters of the light. Finally, for the first time in existence, the people of the shadows could come out and freely walk among one another in the rays of the dying sun, which had once been used to shun them away. A little girl, a child of the light, had survived the battle and crawled out from under the ashes of the destruction. She looked around at her altered world in dismay and confronted a vampire about the changes, of which she did not approve. “Why did you turn my world into a world of night, and make wrong into a new form of right? How could you make all the light disappear, and with it everyone I once loved so dear? Why are the shadows now the new sun, and why is everything lost what you have won?” The vampire looked down at the little girl with amusement and delight. “Because, little girl, this is the real world you see, where there’s no light to shine on false identities. We didn’t destroy the world just to scare; we simply uncovered what was already there. What has come out was all the darkness that was once hidden within, and you’ll soon meet the darkness in you once my fangs pierce your skin.” We are our own greatest fears…..
Chris Colfer (Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal)
And, I think, this greening does thaw at the edges, at least, of my own cold season. Joy sneaks in: listening to music, riding my bicycle, I catch myself feeling, in a way that’s as old as I am but suddenly seems unfamiliar, light. I have felt so heavy for so long. At first I felt odd- as if I shouldn’t be feeling this lightness, that familiar little catch of pleasure in the heart which is inexplicable, though a lovely passage of notes or the splendidly turned petal of a tulip has triggered it. It’s my buoyancy, part of what keeps me alive: happy, suddenly with the concomitant experience of a sonata and the motion of the shadows of leaves. I have the desire to be filled with sunlight, to soak my skin in as much of it as I can drink up, after the long interior darkness of this past season, the indoor vigil, in this harshest and darkest of winters, outside and in.
Mark Doty (Heaven's Coast: A Memoir)
It could have been anyone,” I said. “All the women who look at you when we go out. Ms. Bisette at school. God, even Hiyam. Why me?” He stared at the coffee table, the reflection of snow like confectioner’s sugar sifting down. “It couldn’t have been anyone,” he said softly. “For a long time before I met you, I felt my life was this kind of test. I was in deep, cold water, swimming for shore, and my arms were getting tired,my skin numb. On the shore was everything I thought I wanted: a better job, a house, a family.” He swallowed, his throat cording with tension. “But I could barely keep my head above water. Eventually I stopped seeing the shore. Only cold dark blue, in all directions. I know it’s cliché, but when I met you, my eyes opened. I looked around, and realized I could stand up whenever I wanted. There was firm ground under my feet. That shore in the distance was an illusion. I was already somewhere beautiful.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
Men who have not been violated don’t understand what it is like to have the edges of your body blurred—to feel that every inch of your skin is a place where fingers can press, that every hole and orifice is a place where others can put parts of their bodies. When your body stops being corporeal, your soul has no place to go, so it finds the next window to escape. My soul left me when I was six. It flew away past a flapping curtain over a window. I ran after it, but it never came back. It left me alone on wet stinking mattresses. It left me alone in the choking dark. It took my tongue, my heart, and my mind. When you don’t have a soul, the ideas inside you become terrible things. They grow unchecked, like malignant monsters. You cry in the night because you know the ideas are wrong—you know because people have told you that—and yet none of it does any good. The ideas are free to grow. There is no soul inside you to stop them.
Rene Denfeld (The Enchanted)
This was a face such as I had never seen before, even in the most fanciful of dreams, a face that was, in its way, a work of art. For it was light and dark, night and day, this world and the Otherworld. On the left side, the face of a youngish man, the skin weathered but fair, the eye gray and clear, the mouth well formed if unyielding in character. On all the right side, extending from an undrawn mark down the exact center, an etching of line and curve and feathery pattern, like the mask of some fierce bird of prey. An eagle? A goshawk? No, it was, I thought, a raven, even as far as the circles about the eye and the suggestion of predatory beak around the nostril. The mark of the raven. If I had not been so frightened, I might have laughed at the irony of it. The pattern extended down his neck and under the border of his leather jerkin and the linen shirt he wore beneath it. His head was completely shaven, and the skull, too, was colored the same, half-man, half-wild creature; some great artist of the inks and needle had wrought this over many days, and I imagined the pain must have been considerable.
Juliet Marillier (Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters, #2))
Beauty was all around them. Unsuspected tintings glimmered in the dark demesnes of the woods and glowed in their alluring by-ways. The spring sunshine sifted through the young green leaves. Gay trills of song were everywhere. There were little hollows where you felt as if you were bathing in a pool of liquid gold. At every turn some fresh spring scent struck their faces: Spice ferns...fir balsam...the wholesome odour of newly ploughed fields. There was a lane curtained with wild-cherry blossoms; a grassy old field full of tiny spruce trees just starting in life and looking like elvish things that had sat down among the grasses; brooks not yet "too broad for leaping"; starflowers under the firs; sheets of curly young ferns; and a birch tree whence someone had torn away the white-skin wrapper in several places, exposing the tints of the bark below-tints ranging from purest creamy white, through exquisite golden tones, growing deeper and deeper until the inmost layer revealed the deepest, richest brown as if to tell tha all birches, so maiden-like and cool exteriorly, had yet warm-hued feelings; "the primeval fire of earth at their hearts.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6))
I thought. I thought of the slow yellow autumn in the swamp and the high honey sun of spring and the eternal silence of the marshes, and the shivering light on them, and the whisper of the spartina and sweet grass in the wind and the little liquid splashes of who-knew-what secret creatures entering that strange old place of blood-warm half earth, half water. I thought of the song of all the birds that I knew, and the soft singsong of the coffee-skinned women who sold their coiled sweet-grass baskets in the market and on Meeting Street. I thought of the glittering sun on the morning harbor and the spicy, somehow oriental smells from the dark old shops, and the rioting flowers everywhere, heavy tropical and exotic. I thought of the clop of horses' feet on cobblestones and the soft, sulking, wallowing surf of Sullivan's Island in August, and the countless small vistas of grace and charm wherever the eye fell; a garden door, a peeling old wall, an entire symmetrical world caught in a windowpane. Charlestone simply could not manage to offend the eye. I thought of the candy colors of the old houses in the sunset, and the dark secret churchyards with their tumbled stones, and the puresweet bells of Saint Michael's in the Sunday morning stillness. I thought of my tottering piles of books in the study at Belleau and the nights before the fire when my father told me of stars and butterflies and voyages, and the silver music of mathematics. I thought of hot, milky sweet coffee in the mornings, and the old kitchen around me, and Aurelia's gold smile and quick hands and eyes rich with love for me.
Anne Rivers Siddons (Colony)
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.” It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze. Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.” Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor. Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him. He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist. When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch. I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger. He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret. He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.” I nodded my head hesitantly. “First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.” He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.” I sucked in a deep breath. He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.” He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer. “Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
That night, Ronan didn’t dream. After Gansey and Blue had left the Barns, he leaned against one of the front porch pillars and looked out at his fireflies winking in the chilly darkness. He was so raw and electric that it was hard to believe that he was awake. Normally it took sleep to strip him to this naked energy. But this was not a dream. This was his life, his home, his night. After a few moments, he heard the door ease open behind him and Adam joined him. Silently they looked over the dancing lights in the fields. It was not difficult to see that Adam was working intensely with his own thoughts. Words kept rising up inside Ronan and bursting before they ever escaped. He felt he’d already asked the question; he couldn’t also give the answer. Three deer appeared at the tree line, just at the edge of the porch light’s reach. One of them was the beautiful pale buck, his antlers like branches or roots. He watched them, and they watched him, and then Ronan could not stand it. “Adam?” When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer. Inside, they pretended they would dream, but they did not. They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other. “Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said. Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth. He was never sleeping again.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
The Priestess Her skin was pale, and her eyes were dark, and her hair was dyed black. She went on a daytime talk show and proclaimed herself a vampire queen. She showed the cameras her dentally crafted fangs, and brought on ex-lovers who, in various stages of embarrassment, admitted that she had drawn their blood, and that she drank it. "You can be seen in a mirror, though?" asked the talk show hostess. She was the richest woman in America, and had got that way by bringing the freaks and the hurt and the lost out in front of her cameras and showing their pain to the world. The studio audience laughed. The woman seemed slightly affronted. "Yes. Contrary to what people may think, vampires can be seen in mirrors and on television cameras." "Well, that's one thing you finally got right, honey," said the hostess of the daytime talk show. But she put her hand over her microphone as she said it, and it was never broadcast.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Instructions for a Broken Heart I will find a bare patch of earth, somewhere where the ruins have fallen away, somewhere where I can fit both hands, and I will dig a hole. And into that hole, I will scream you, I will dump all the shadow places of my heart—the times you didn’t call when you said you’d call, the way you only half listened to my poems, your eyes on people coming through the swinging door of the café—not on me—your ears, not really turned toward me. For all those times I started to tell you about the fight with my dad or when my grandma died, and you said something about your car, something about the math test you flunked, as an answer. I will scream into that hole the silence of dark nights after you’d kissed me, how when I asked if something was wrong—and something was obviously so very wrong—how you said “nothing,” how you didn’t tell me until I had to see it in the dim light of a costume barn—so much wrong. I will scream all of it. Then I will fill it in with dark earth, leave it here in Italy, so there will be an ocean between the hole and me. Because then I can bring home a heart full of the light patches. A heart that sees the sunset you saw that night outside of Taco Bell, the way you pointed out that it made the trees seem on fire, a heart that holds the time your little brother fell on his bike at the fairgrounds and you had pockets full of bright colored Band-Aids and you kissed the bare skin of his knees. I will take that home with me. In my heart. I will take home your final Hamlet monologue on the dark stage when you cried closing night and it wasn’t really acting, you cried because you felt the words in you and on that bare stage you felt the way I feel every day of my life, every second, the way the words, the light and dark, the spotlight in your face, made you Hamlet for that brief hiccup of a moment, made you a poet, an artist at your core. I get to take Italy home with me, the Italy that showed me you and the Italy that showed me—me—the Italy that wrote me my very own instructions for a broken heart. And I get to leave the other heart in a hole. We are over. I know this. But we are not blank. We were a beautiful building made of stone, crumbled now and covered in vines. But not blank. Not forgotten. We are a history. We are beauty out of ruins.
Kim Culbertson (Instructions for a Broken Heart)
And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself.
Anonymous
Can I tell my daughter that I loved her father? This was the man who rubbed my feet at night. He praised the food that I cooked. He cried honestly when I brought out trinkets I had saved for the right day, the day he gave me my daughter, a tiger girl. How could I not love this man? But it was a love of a ghost. Arms that encircled but did not touch. A bowl full of rice but without my appetite to eat it. No hunger. No fullness. Now Saint is a ghost. He and I can now love equally. He knows the things I have been hiding all these years. Now I must tell my daughter everything. That she is a daughter of a ghost. She has no chi . This is my greatest shame. How can I leave this world without leaving her my spirit? So this is what I will do. I will gather together my past and look. I will see a thing that has already happened. The pain that cut my spirit loose. I will hold that pain in my hand until it becomes hard and shiny, more clear. And then my fierceness can come back, my golden side, my black side. I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter's tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose. She will fight me, because this is the nature of two tigers. But I will win and give her my spirit, because this is a way a mother loves her daughter. I hear my daughter speaking to her husband downstairs. They say words that mean nothing. They sit in a room with no life in it. I know a thing before it happens. She will hear the table and vase crashing on the floor. She will come upstairs and into my room. Her eyes will see nothing in the darkness, where I am waiting between the trees.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
Raoden regarded himself in a small piece of polished steel. His shirt was yellow dyed with blue stripes, his trousers were bright red, and his vest a sickly green. Over all, he looked like some kind of confused tropical bird. His only consolation was that as silly he looked, Galladon was much worse. The large, dark-skinned Dula looked down at his pink and light green clothing with a resigned expression. "Don't look so sour, Galladon." Raoden said with a laugh. "Aren't you Dulas supposed to be fond of garish clothing?“ "That's the aristocracy—the citizens and republicans. I'm a farmer; pink isn't exactly what I consider a flattering color."Then he looked up at Raoden with narrow eyes. "If you make even one comment about my resembling a kathari fruit, I will take off this tunic and hang you with it." Raoden chuckled. "Someday I'm going to find that scholar who told me all Dulas were even-tempered, then force him to spend a week locked in a room with you, my friend.
Brandon Sanderson (Elantris (Elantris, #1))
Let’s say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don’t worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you’re the one who shot him. He had been a big, twitchy guy with veiny skin stretched over swollen biceps, a tattoo of a swastika on his tongue. Teeth filed into razor-sharp fangs-you know the type. And you’re chopping off his head because, even with eight bullet holes in him, you’re pretty sure he’s about to spring back to his feet and eat the look of terror right off your face. On the follow-through of the last swing, though, the handle of the ax snaps in a spray of splinters. You now have a broken ax. So, after a long night of looking for a place to dump the man and his head, you take a trip into town with your ax. You go to the hardware store, explaining away the dark reddish stains on the broken handle as barbecue sauce. You walk out with a brand-new handle for your ax. The repaired ax sits undisturbed in your garage until the spring when, on one rainy morning, you find in your kitchen a creature that appears to be a foot-long slug with a bulging egg sac on its tail. Its jaws bite one of your forks in half with what seems like very little effort. You grab your trusty ax and chop the thing into several pieces. On the last blow, however, the ax strikes a metal leg of the overturned kitchen table and chips out a notch right in the middle of the blade. Of course, a chipped head means yet another trip to the hardware store. They sell you a brand-new head for your ax. As soon as you get home, you meet the reanimated body of the guy you beheaded earlier. He’s also got a new head, stitched on with what looks like plastic weed-trimmer line, and it’s wearing that unique expression of “you’re the man who killed me last winter” resentment that one so rarely encounters in everyday life. You brandish your ax. The guy takes a long look at the weapon with his squishy, rotting eyes and in a gargly voice he screams, “That’s the same ax that beheaded me!” IS HE RIGHT?
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
These were dangerous thoughts, he knew. They were the kind that crept up on a Watchman when the chase was over and it was just you and him, facing one another in that breathless little pinch between the crime and the punishment. And maybe a Watchman had seen civilization with the skin ripped off one time too many and stopped acting like a Watchman and started acting like a normal human being and realized that the click of the crossbow or the sweep of the sword would make all the world so clean. And you couldn’t think like that, even about vampires. Even though they’d take the lives of other people because little lives don’t matter and what the hell can we take away from them? And, too, you couldn’t think like that because they gave you a sword and a badge and that turned you into something else and that had to mean there were some thoughts you couldn’t think. Only crimes could take place in darkness. Punishment had to be done in the light. That was the job of a good Watchman, Carrot always said. To light a candle in the dark.
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
Vishous came up onto the dais, his eyes down. He accepted the silver glove from Z and slipped it over the black leather he already wore on his hand. Then he scored himself with a quick flash of the black blade and stared at the skull as his blood dripped down into the basin, joining the others'. "My flesh," he whispered. He seemed to hesitate before turning to Butch. Then he pivoted and their eyes met. As candlelight flickered over V's hard face and got caught in his diamond irises, Butch felt his breath get tight: At that moment, his roommate looked as powerful as a god...and maybe even as beautiful. Vishous stepped in close and slid his hand from Butch's shoulder to the back of his neck. "Your flesh," V breathed. Then he paused, as if asking for something. Without thinking, Butch titled his chin up, aware that he was offering himself, aware the he...oh, fuck. He stopped his thoughts, completely weirded out by the vibe that had sprung up from God only knew where. In slow motion Vishous's dark head dropped down and there was a silken brush as his goatee moved against Butch's throat. With delicious precision, V's fangs pressed against the vein that ran up from Butch's heart, then slowly, inexorably, punched through skin. Their chests merged. Butch closed his eyes and absorbed the feel of it all, the warmth of their bodies so close, the way V's hair felt soft on his jaw, the slide of a powerful male arm as it slipped around his waist. On their own accord, Butch's hands left the pegs and came to rest on V's hips, squeezing that hard flesh, bringing them together from head to foot. A tremor went through one of them. Or maybe...shit, it was more likely they both shuddered.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
He loved her manner of sleepy acquiescence when they lay on the beach at dusk. He drew solace and sedation from her nearness. He had a craving to touch her always, to remain always in physical communication. He liked to encircle her ankle loosely with his fingers...to lightly and lovingly caress the downy skin of her fair, smooth thigh with the backs of his nails or dreamily, sensuously, almost unconsciously, slide his proprietary, respectful hand up the shell-like ridge of her spine... ...she was puzzled by the convulsive ecstasy men could take from [her body], by the intense and amazing need they had merely to touch it, to reach out urgently and press it, squeeze it, rub it... ...It thrilled Nurse Duckett rapturously that Yossarian could not keep his hand off her when they were together. She loved to look at his wide, long, sinewy back with its bronzed, unblemished skin. She loved to bring him to flame instantly by taking his whole ear in her mouth suddenly and running her hand down his front all the way. She loved to make him burn and suffer till dark, then satisfy him. Then kiss him adoringly because she had brought him such bliss.
Joseph Heller (Catch 22)
In the variety of the tone of her words, moods, hugs, kisses, brushes of the lips, and this night the upside-down kiss over the back of the chair with her dark eyes heavy hanging and her blushing cheeks full of sweet blood and sudden tenderness brooding like a hawk over the boy over the back, holding the chair on both sides, just an instant, the startling sudden sweet fall of her hair over my face and the soft downward brush of her lips, a moment's penetration of sweet lip flesh, a moment's drowned in thinking and kissing in it and praying and hoping and in the mouth of life when life is young to burn cool skin eye-blinking joy - I held her captured upside down, also for just a second, and savored the kiss which first had surprised me like a blind man's bluff so I didn't know really who was kissing me for the very first instant but now I knew and knew everything more than ever, as, grace-wise, she descended to me from the upper dark where I'd thought only cold could be and with all her heavy lips and breast in my neck and on my head and sudden fragrance of the night brought with her from the porch, of some 5 & 10 cheap perfumes of herself the little hungry scent of perspiration warm in her flesh like presciousness.
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course. I didn’t feel it happen, the slip. Even if I had, I was so wrapped up in him that I couldn’t imagine pulling back or letting go of his warm skin or that moment. His touch was feather-light, stroking my skin with a kind of reverence, but the instant his lips found mine again, a single thought was enough to rocket me out of the honey-sweet haze. The memory of Clancy’s face as he had leaned in to do exactly what Liam was doing now suddenly flooded my mind, twisting its way through me until I couldn’t ignore it. Until I was seeing it play out glossy and burning like it was someone else’s memory and not mine. And then I realized—I wasn’t the only one seeing it. Liam was seeing it, too. How, how, how? That wasn’t possible, was it? Memories flowed to me, not from me. But I felt him grow still, then pull back. And I knew, I knew by the look on his face, that he had seen it. Air filled my chest. “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t want—he—” Liam caught one of my wrists and pulled me back to him, his hands cupping my cheeks. I wondered which one of us was breathing harder as he brushed my hair from my face. I tried to squirm away, ashamed of what he’d seen, and afraid of what he’d think of me. When Liam spoke, it was in a measured, would-be-calm voice. “What did he do?” “Nothing—” “Don’t lie,” he begged. “Please don’t lie to me. I felt it…my whole body. God, it was like being turned to stone. You were scared—I felt it, you were scared!” His fingers came up and wove through my hair, bringing my face close to his again. “He…” I started. “He asked to see a memory, and I let him, but when I tried to move away…I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t move, and then I blacked out. I don’t know what he did, but it hurt—it hurt so much.” Liam pulled back and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt the muscles in his arms strain, shake. “Go to the cabin.” He didn’t let me protest. “Start packing.” “Lee—” “I’m going to find Chubs,” he said. “And the three of us are getting the hell out of here. Tonight.” “We can’t,” I said. “You know we can’t.” But he was already crashing back through the dark path. “Lee!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
She isn't traumatized, she isn't weighed down by any obvious grief. She's just sad, all the time. An evil little creature that wouldn't have shown up on any X-rays was living in her chest, rushing through her blood and filling her head with whispers, saying she wasn't good enough, that she was weak and ugly and would never be anything but broken. You can get it into your head to do some unbelievably stupid things when you run out of tears, when you can't silence the voices no one else can hear, when you've never been in a room where you felt normal. In the end you get exhausted from always tensing the skin around your ribs, never letting your shoulders sink, brushing along walls all your life with white knuckles, always afraid that someone will notice you, because no one's supposed to do that. All Nadia knew was that she had never felt like someone who had anything in common with anyone else. She had always been entirely alone in every emotion. She sat in a classroom full of her contemporaries, looking like everything was the same as usual, but inside she was standing in a forest screaming until her heart burst. The trees grew until one day the sunlight could no longer break through the foliage, and the darkness in here became impenetrable.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough,no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend,who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl,that's not you?" He's figured out more about me than I have. And even though it seems impossible that he could feel something for me,given all that I'm not...maybe it isn't.I frown at him. "You've been paying close attention,haven't you?" "I like to observe people." "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar." He puts his hand on the rock next to him, his fingers lining up with mine. I look down at our hands. He has long, narrow fingers. Hands made for mine, deft movements.Not Dauntless hands, which should be thick and tough and ready to break things. "Fine." He leans his face closer to mine, his eyes focusing on my chin, and my lips,and my nose. "I watched you because I like you." He says it plainly, boldly, and his eyes flick up to mine. "And don't call me 'Four," okay? It's nice to hear my name again." Just like that,he has finally declared himself, and I don't know how to respond. My cheeks warm,and all I can think to say is, "But you're older than I am...Tobias." He smiles at me. "Yes,that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it?" "I'm not trying to be self-deprecating," I say, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty.I-" He laughs,a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple. "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly,but I am certainly not pretty." "Fine.You're not pretty.So?" He kisses my cheek. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart.You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus..." His voice softens. "You aren't giving me that look.Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." "Well," I say. "You're not." For a second his dark eyes are on mine, and he's quiet. Then he touches my face and leans in close, brushing my lips with his.The river roars and I feel its spray on my ankles.He grins and presses his mouth to mine. I tense up at first,unsure of myself, so when he pulls away,I'm sure I did something wrong,or badly.But he takes my face in his hands,his figners strong against my skin,and kisses me again, firmer this time, more certain. I wrap an arm around him,sliding my hand up his nack and into his short hair. For a few minutes we kiss,deep in the chasm,with the roar of water all around us. And when we rise,hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently,we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Seven hundred years ago, Tersa had told [Daemon] the living myth was coming. Seven hundred years of waiting, watching, searching, hoping. Seven hundred heartbreaking, exhausting years. He refused to give up, refused to wonder if she’d been mistaken, refused because his heart yearned too much for that strange, wonderful, terrifying creature called Witch. In his soul, he knew her. In his dreams, he saw her. He never envisioned a face. It always blurred if he tried to focus on it. But he could see her dressed in a robe made of dark, transparent spidersilk, a robe that slid from her shoulders as she moved, a robe that opened and closed as she walked, revealing bare, night-cool skin. And there would be a scent in the room that was her, a scent he would wake to, burying his face in her pillow after she was up and attending her own concerns. It wasn’t lust—the body’s fire paled in comparison to the embrace of mind to mind—although physical pleasure was part of it. He wanted to touch her, feel the texture of her skin, taste the warmth of her. He wanted to caress her until they both burned. He wanted to weave his life into hers until there was no telling where one began and the other ended. He wanted to put his arms around her, strong and protecting, and find himself protected; possess her and be possessed; dominate her and be dominated. He wanted that Other, that shadow across his life, who made him ache with every breath while he stumbled among these feeble women who meant nothing to him and never could. Simply, he believed that he had been born to be her lover.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
Give yourself to me, Gemma, and you will never be alone again. You'll be worshiped. Adored. Loved. But you must give yourself to me- a willing sacrifice.' Tears slip down my face. 'Yes,' I murmur. Gemma, don't listen,' Circe says hoarsely, and for a moment, I don't see Eugenia; I see only the tree, the blood pumping beneath its pale skin, the bodies of the dead hanging from it like chimes. I gasp, and Eugenia is before me again. 'Yes, this is what you want, Gemma. Try as you might, you cannot kill this part of yourself. The solitude of the self taht waits just under the stairs of your soul. Always there, no matter how much you've tried to get rid of it. I understand. I do. Stay with me and never be lonely again.' Don't listen... to that... bitch,' Circe croaks, and the vines tighten around her neck. No, you're wrong,' I say to Eugenia as if coming out of a long sleep. 'You couldn't kill this part of yourself. And you couldn't accept it, either.' I'm sure I don't know what you mean.' she says, sounding uncertain for the first time. That's why they were able to take you. They found your fear.' And what, pray, was it?' Your pride. You couldn't believe you might have some of the same qualities as the creatures themselves.' I am not like them. I am their hope. I sustain them.' No. You tell yourself that. That's why CIrce told me to search my dark corners. So I wouldn't be caught off guard.' Circe laughts, a splintered cackle that finds a way under my skin. And what about you, Gemma?' Eugenia purrs. 'Have you "searched" yourself, as you say?' I've done things I'm not proud of. I've made mistakes,' I say, my voice growing stronger, my fingers feeling for the dagger again. 'But I've done good, too.' And yet, you're alone. All that trying and still you stand apart, watching from the other side of the grass. Afraid to have what you truly want because what if it's not enough after all? What if you get it and you still feel alone and apart? So much better to wrap yourself in the longing. The yearning. The restlessness. Poor Gemma. She doesn't quite fit, does she? Poor Gemma- all alone. It's as if she's delivered a blow to my heart. My hand falters. 'I-I...' Gemma, you're not alone,' Circe gasps, and my hand touches metal. No. I'm not. I'm like everyone else in this stupid, bloody, amazing world. I'm flawed. Impossibly so. But hopeful. I'm still me.' I've got it now. Sure and strong in my grip. 'I see through you. I see the truth.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
This seemed to be happening more and more lately out in Greater Los Angeles, among gatherings of carefree youth and happy dopers, where Doc had begun to notice older men, there and not there, rigid, unsmiling, that he knew he'd seen before, not the faces necessarily but a defiant posture, an unwillingness to blur out, like everyone else at the psychedelic events of those days, beyond official envelopes of skin. Like the operatives who'd dragged away Coy Harlingen the other night at that rally at the Century Plaza. Doc Knew these people, he'd seen enough of them in the course of business. They went out to collect cash debts, they broke rib cages, they got people fired, they kept an unforgiving eye on anything that might become a threat. If everything in this dream of prerevolution was in fact doomed to end and the faithless money-driven world to reassert its control over all the lives it felt entitled to touch, fondle, and molest, it would be agents like these, dutiful and silent, out doing the shitwork, who'd make it happen. Was it possible, that at every gathering--concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, and freak-in, here, up north, back east, wherever--those dark crews had been busy all along, reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday, all they could sweep up, for the ancient forces of greed and fear? 'Gee,' he said to himself out loud, 'I dunno...
Thomas Pynchon (Inherent Vice)
Wandering back into the bedroom, my gaze immediately strayed to the large bed along the wall and the lump beneath the covers. Pale light streamed through the half-open curtains, settling around the still-sleeping form of a Winter sidhe. Or a former Winter sidhe. Pausing in the doorframe, I took advantage of the serene moment just to watch him, a tiny flutter going through my stomach. Sometimes, it was still hard to believe that he was here, that this wasn’t a dream or a mirage or a figment of my imagination. That he was mine forever: my husband, my knight. My faery with a soul. He lay on his stomach, arms beneath the pillow, breathing peacefully, his dark hair falling over his eyes. The covers had slipped off his lean, muscular shoulders, and the early morning rays caressed his pale skin. Normally, I didn’t get to watch him sleep; he was usually up before me, in the courtyard sparring with Glitch or just prowling the halls of the castle. In the early days of our marriage, especially, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to find him gone, the hyper-awareness of his warrior days making it impossible for him to stay in one place, even to sleep. He’d grown up in the Unseelie Court, where you had to watch your back every second of every day, and centuries of fey survival could not be forgotten so easily. That paranoia would never really fade, but he was gradually starting to relax now, to the point where sometimes, though not often, I would wake with him still beside me, his arm curled around my waist. And given how rare it was, to see him truly unguarded and at ease, I hated to disturb him. But I walked across the room to the side of the bed and gently touched his shoulder. He was awake in an instant, silver eyes cracking open to meet mine, never failing to take my breath away. “Hey,” I greeted, smiling. “Sorry to wake you, but we have to be somewhere soon, remember?
Julie Kagawa (Iron's Prophecy (The Iron Fey, #4.5))
Julian," she said huskily, "you were right the other morning. You know me so well. I'm not made for illicit affaires, all that sneaking around to avoid discovery." In the dark, her hands crept up to his shoulders, then his face. Her finger teased through his hair. "Why should we hide at all? Let all London see us together. I don't care what anyone says or thinks. I love you, and I want the world to know." He wanted to weep. For joy, for frustration. She was so brave, his beautiful Lily, and the situation was so damned unfair. It wasn't her fault that she made these heartrending declarations at a moment when their lives were probably in danger and he couldn't possibly reciprocate. That fault was his, for choosing to live the way he had and making the decisions he'd made. He didn't deserve her, didn't deserve her love. He most certainly didn't merit those warm brushes of her lips against his skin. But damned if he could bring himself to stop them. "We're in love, Julian. Isn't it wonderful?" "No," he murmured as she kissed him again. "It's not wonderful. It's a disaster." Her lips grazed his jaw, then his throat. "I can feel you speaking, and I know you're probably making some valiant protest. But you know I can't hear those words. Your body is making an altogether different argument, and I'm listening to it." Her fingers crept inside his waistcoat, splaying over the thin lawn of his shirt. "Take your heart, for example." Yes, take it. Take it and keep it, always.
Tessa Dare (Three Nights with a Scoundrel (Stud Club, #3))
That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound. It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us. Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith. Why? The truth is plain: We were not born to be niggers.
David Simon (The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood)
To all who walk the dark path, and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us: Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive. And you will arrive too. No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time, but hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark. In the dark you find yourself, all bones and exhaustion and helplessness. In the dark you find your basest self. In the dark you find the bottom of watery trenches the rest of the world only sees the surface of. You will see things that no normal person will ever see. Terrible things. Mysterious things. Things that try to burrow into your mind like a bad seed. Things that whisper dark and horrid secrets that you want to forget. Things that scream lies. Things that want you dead. Things that will stop at nothing to pull you down further and kill you in the most terrible way of all … by your own trembling hand. These things are fearsome monsters … the kind you always knew would sink in their needle-sharp teeth and pull you under the bed if you left a dangling limb out. You know they aren’t real, but when you’re in that black, watery hole with them they are the realest thing there is. And they want us dead. And sometimes they succeed. But not always. And not with you. You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not. You have won many battles. There are no medals given out for these fights, but you wear your armor and your scars like an invisible skin, and each time you learn a little more. You learn how to fight. You learn which weapons work. You learn who your allies are. You learn that those monsters are exquisite liars who will stop at nothing to get you to surrender. Sometimes you fight valiantly with fists and words and fury. Sometimes you fight by pulling yourself into a tiny ball, blotting out the monsters along with the rest of the world. Sometimes you fight by giving up and turning it over to someone else who can fight for you. Sometimes you just fall deeper. And in the deepest, night-blind fathoms you’re certain that you’re alone. You aren’t. I’m there with you. And I’m not alone. Some of the best people are here too … feeling blindly. Waiting. Crying. Surviving. Painfully stretching their souls so that they can learn to breathe underwater … so that they can do what the monsters say is impossible. So that they can live. And so that they can find their way back to the surface with the knowledge of things that go bump in the night. So that they can dry themselves in the warm light that shines so brightly and easily for those above the surface. So that they can walk with others in the sunlight but with different eyes … eyes that still see the people underwater, allowing them to reach out into the darkness to pull up fellow fighters, or to simply hold their cold hands and sit beside the water to wait patiently for them to come up for air. Ground zero is where the normal people live their lives, but not us. We live in the negatives so often that we begin to understand that life when the sun shines should be lived full throttle, soaring. The invisible tether that binds the normal people on their steady course doesn’t hold us in the same way. Sometimes we walk in sunlight with everyone else. Sometimes we live underwater and fight and grow. And sometimes …  … sometimes we fly.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
First I need to do something.’ He pulled me closer towards him until our lips were almost touching. ‘What might that be?’ I managed to stutter, closing my eyes, anticipating the warmth of his lips against mine. But the kiss didn’t come. I opened my eyes. Alex had jumped to his feet. ‘Swim,’ he said, grinning at me. ‘Come on.’ ‘Swim?’ I pouted, unable to hide my disappointment that he wanted to swim rather than make out with me. Alex pulled his T-shirt off in one swift move. My eyes fell straightaway to his chest – which was tanned, smooth and ripped with muscle, and which, when you studied it as I had done, in detail, you discovered wasn’t a six-pack but actually a twelve-pack. My eyes flitted to the shadowed hollows where his hips disappeared into his shorts, causing a flutter in parts of my body that up until three weeks ago had been flutter-dormant. Alex’s hands dropped to his shorts and he started undoing his belt. I reassessed the swimming option. I could definitely do swimming. He shrugged off his shorts, but before I could catch an eyeful of anything, he was off, jogging towards the water. I paused for a nanosecond, weighing up my embarrassment at stripping naked over my desire to follow him. With a deep breath, I tore off my dress then kicked off my underwear and started running towards the sea, praying Nate wasn’t doing a fly-by. The water was warm and flat as a bath. I could see Alex in the distance, his skin gleaming in the now inky moonlight. When I got close to him, his hand snaked under the water, wrapped round my waist and pulled me towards him. I didn’t resist because I’d forgotten in that instant how to swim. And then he kissed me and I prayed silently and fervently that he took my shudder to be the effect of the water. I tried sticking myself onto him like a barnacle, but eventually Alex managed to pull himself free, holding my wrists in his hand so I couldn’t reattach. His resolve was as solid as a nuclear bunker’s walls. Alex had said there were always chinks. But I couldn’t seem to find the one in his armour. He swam two long strokes away from me. I trod water and stayed where I was, feeling confused, glad that the night was dark enough to hide my expression. ‘I’m just trying to protect your honour,’ he said, guessing it anyway. I groaned and rolled my eyes. When was he going to understand that I was happy for him to protect every other part of me, just not my honour?
Sarah Alderson (Losing Lila (Lila, #2))
You make out with a boy because he’s cute, but he has no substance, no words to offer you. His mouth tastes like stale beer and false promises. When he touches your chin, you offer your mouth up like a flower to to be plucked, all covered in red lipstick to attract his eye. When he reaches his hand down your shirt, he stops, hand on boob, and squeezes, like you’re a fruit he’s trying to juice. He doesn’t touch anything but skin, does not feel what’s within. In the morning, he texts you only to say, “I think I left the rest of my beer at your place, but it’s cool, you can drink it. Last night was fun.” You kiss a girl because she’s new. Because she’s different and you’re twenty two, trying something else out because it’s all failed before. After spending six weekends together, you call her, only to be answered by a harsh beep informing you that her number has been disconnected. You learn that success doesn’t come through experimenting with your sexuality, and you’re left with a mouth full of ruin and more evidence that you are out of tune. You fall for a boy who is so nice, you don’t think he can do any harm. When he mentions marriage and murder in the same sentence, you say, “Okay, okay, okay.” When you make a joke he does not laugh, but tilts his head and asks you how many drinks you’ve had in such a loving tone that you sober up immediately. He leaves bullet in your blood and disappears, saying, “Who wants a girl that’s filled with holes?” You find out that a med student does. He spots you reading in a bar and compliments you on the dust spilling from your mouth. When you see his black doctor’s bag posed loyally at his side, you ask him if he’s got the tools to fix a mangled nervous system. He smiles at you, all teeth, and tells you to come with him. In the back of his car, he covers you in teethmarks and says, “There, now don’t you feel whole again.” But all the incisions do is let more cold air into your bones. You wonder how many times you will collapse into ruins before you give up on rebuilding. You wonder if maybe you’d have more luck living amongst your rubble instead of looking for someone to repair it. The next time someone promises to flood you with light to erase your dark, you insist them you’re fine the way you are. They tell you there’s hope, that they had holes in their chest too, that they know how to patch them up. When they offer you a bottle in exchange for your mouth, you tell them you’re not looking for a way out. No, thank you, you tell them. Even though you are filled with ruins and rubble, you are as much your light as you are your dark.
Lora Mathis
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall