Dead Father Quotes

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Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
And when I saw him[my father] lying dead in a pool of his own blood, I knew then that I hadn't stopped believing in God. I'd just stopped believing God cared. There might be a God, Clary, and there might be not. Either way, we're on our own.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Let me put it this way, my father believed in a righteous God. Deus volt, that was his motto- 'because God wills it.' It was the Crusaders' motto, and they went into battle and were slaughtered just like my father. And when I saw him lying dead in a pool of his own blood, I knew then that I hadn't stopped believing in God. I'd just stopped believing God cared. There might be a God, Clary, and there might not, but I don't think it matters. Either way we're on our own.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action - Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
You never cared that I was your sister before.” “Didn’t I?” His black eyes flicked up and down her. “Our father’s dead,” he said. “There are no other relatives. You and I, we are the last. The last of the Morgensterns. You are the only one left whose blood runs in my veins, too. You are my last chance.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself plainly when you have need of him.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
You wanted to kill your father in order to be your father yourself. Now you are your father, but a dead father.
Sigmund Freud
Your father's an asshole. It's not a disease. You don't have to catch it.
Rachel Caine (The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2))
I could just remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.
William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying)
I spent most of my youth hauling sides of beef and pork to my father's shop. Carrying you is far more enjoyable." "How sweet," Annabelle mumbled sickly, her eyes closed. "Every woman dreams of being told that she's preferable to a dead cow.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them. For instance, they may remember to mention, a week after the event happened, that when they were in the wood they had met their dead father and had a game with him.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
What kind of wife would I be if I left your father simply because he was dead?
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
Sitting down on the bed, my mind went blank again. I laid my head on the pillow and closed my eyes. Dad is dead. My father is dead and I will never be able to talk to him again. I opened my eyes and checked the time. Almost 6am.
Behcet Kaya (Body In The Woods (Jack Ludefance, #2))
It's not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that walks in us. It's all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we can't get rid of them.
Henrik Ibsen (Ghosts)
He's right. I'm a worthless bastard fathered by a bastard even more worthless than I am." [Fury]
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dead After Dark)
Why did you?” Clary asked. “Why did I what?” “Help me back there.” “You’re my sister.” She swallowed. In the morning light, Sebastian’s face had some color in it. There were faint burns along his neck where demon ichor had splashed him. “You never cared that I was your sister before.” “Didn’t I?” His black eyes flicked up and down her. “Our father’s dead,” he said. “There are no other relatives. You and I, we are the last. The last of the Morgensterns. You are the only one left whose blood runs in my veins, too. You are my last chance.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
So,” Jesper said, adding sugar to his coffee. “Other than Inej making a new pal, what the hell happened out there?” “Let’s see,” said Nina. “Inej fell twenty stories.” “We put a serious hole in my father’s dining room ceiling,” Wylan offered. “Nina can raise the dead,” said Inej. Matthias’ cup clattered against his saucer. It looked ridiculous in his huge hand. “I can’t raise them. I mean, they get up, but it’s not like they come back to life. I don’t think. I’m not totally sure.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
What difference does it make?" he says. "People can think whatever they like. I don't desire their validation." "So you don't mind," I ask him, "that people judge you so harshly?" "I have no one to impress," he says. "No one who cares about what happens to me. I'm not in the business of making friends, love. My job is to lead an army, and it's the only thing I'm good at. No one," he says, "would be proud of the things I've accomplished. My mother doesn't even know me anymore. My father thinks I'm weak and pathetic. My soldiers want me dead. The world is going to hell. And the conversations I have with you are the longest I've ever had.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
I've been down by the stream collecting berries. Would you care for some?" I would, actually, but I don't want to relent too soon. I do walk over and look at them. I've never seen this type before. No, I have. But not in the arena. These aren't Rue's berries, although they resemble them. Nor do they match any I learned about in training. I lean down and scoop up a few, rolling them between my fingers. My father's voice comes back to me. "Not these, Katniss. Never these. They're nightlock. You'll be dead before they reach your stomach." Just then the cannon fires. I whip around, expecting Peeta to collapseto the ground, but he only raises his eyebrows. The hoovercraft appears a hundred metres or so away.What's left of Foxface's emaciated body is lifted into the air.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Nico di Angelo came into Olympus to a hero's welcome, his father right behind him, despite the fact that Hades was only supposed to visit Olympus in winter solstice. The God of the dead looked stunned when his relatives clapped him on the back. I doubt he'd ever got such an enthusiastic welcome before.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Because Father said clocks slay time. He said time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.
William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury)
For every mother who ever cursed God for her child dead in the road, for every father who ever cursed the man who sent him away from the factory with no job, for every child who was ever born to pain and asked why, this is the answer. Our lives are like these things I build. Sometimes they fall down for a reason, sometimes they fall down for no reason at all.
Stephen King (The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, #2))
Believing in him is not the same as believing things about him such as that he was born of a virgin and raised Lazarus from the dead. Instead, it is a matter of giving our hearts to him, of come hell or high water putting our money on him, the way a child believes in a mother or a father, the way a mother or a father believes in a child.
Frederick Buechner
Papa was a man with silver eyes, not dead ones. Papa was an accordion! But his bellows were all empty. Nothing went in and nothing came out.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I mentally began composing a list of words that began with F: Frey. Father. False. Friend. Frick. Frack. And some others.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
Ranger is an unusual name," she managed. "Is it a nickname?" It's a street name," Ranger said. "I was a Ranger in the army." I heard about them Rangers on TV," Grandma said. "I heard they get dogs pregnant." My father's mouth dropped open and a piece of ham fell out. My mother froze, her fork poised in midair. That's sort of a joke," I told Grandma. "Rangers don't get dogs pregnant in real life." I looked at Ranger for corroboration and got another smile.
Janet Evanovich (Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum, #3))
Listen, children: Your father is dead. From his old coats I'll make you little jackets; I'll make you little trousers From his old pants. There'll be in his pockets Things he used to put there, Keys and pennies Covered with tobacco; Dan shall have the pennies To save in his bank; Anne shall have the keys To make a pretty noise with. Life must go on, Though good men die; Anne, eat your breakfast; Dan, take your medicine; Life must go on; I forget just why.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up - for you the flag is flung - for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths - for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen cold and dead. My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Hello! Your dear father is unfortunately very dead," he called. "And you said my dispersal system would never work!
Rachel Caine (Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires, #10))
He remembers his fathers last words: “Stay out of churches, son. All they got a key to is the shit house. And swear to me you’ll never wear a lawman’s badge.
William S. Burroughs (The Place of Dead Roads)
No worries about money, success, fear, joy, pain, sorrow, sex, or love. Absolute zero. No father, mother, girlfriend, lover. The dead are orphans. No company but the silence like a moth's wings. - Garraty's thoughts on death and dying, The Long walk
Richard Bachman
Then listen to me,' he said and cleared his throat. 'It's true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother's hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme. Is it right that you, Okonkwo, should bring your mother a heavy face and refuse to be comforted? Be careful or you may displease the dead. Your duty is to comfort your wives and children and take them back to your fatherland after seven years. But if you allow sorrow to weigh you down and kill you, they will all die in exile.
Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1))
Leave us alone without books and we shall be lost and in confusion at once. We shall not know what to join on to, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise. We are oppressed at being men -- men with a real individual body and blood, we are ashamed of it, we think it a disgrace and try to contrive to be some sort of impossible generalised man. We are stillborn, and for generations past have been begotten, not by living fathers, and that suits us better and better. We are developing a taste for it. Soon we shall contrive to be born somehow from an idea. But enough; I don't want to write more from "Underground.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
Dead flesh and sharpened scalpels didn't bother me. I was my father's daughter, after all. My nightmares were made of darker things.
Megan Shepherd (The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1))
At first she was overjoyed that he would be with her, but then she recalled that human people could not live under the water, and he could only visit her father's palace as a dead man.
Hans Christian Andersen (The Little Mermaid)
I acquired expensive habits and affected manners. I got a third-class degree and a first-class illusion: that I was a poet. But nothing could have been less poetic that my seeing-through-all boredom with life in general and with making a living in particular. I was too green to know that all cynicism masks a failure to cope-- an impotence, in short; and that to despise all effort is the greatest effort of all. But I did absorb a small dose of one permanently useful thing, Oxford's greatest gift to civilized life: Socratic honesty. It showed me, very intermittently, that it is not enough to revolt against one's past. One day I was outrageously bitter among some friends about the Army; back in my own rooms later it suddenly struck me that just because I said with impunity things that would have apoplexed my dead father, I was still no less under his influence. The truth was I was not a cynic by nature, only by revolt. I had got away from what I hated, but I hadn't found where I loved, and so I pretended that there was nowhere to love. Handsomely equipped to fail, I went out into the world.
John Fowles (The Magus)
Just take me with you. Please. I cant. Please, Papa. I cant. I cant hold my son dead in my arms. I thought I could but I cant.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
The thing is that I am a member of that sad, ever-dwindling minority... the child of an unbroken home. I have carried this albatross since the age of eleven, when I started at grammar school. Not a day would pass without somebody I knew turning out to be adopted or illegitimate, or to have mothers who were about to hare off with some bloke, or to have dead fathers and shabby stepfathers. What busy lives they led. How I envied their excuses for introspection, their ear-marked receptacles for every just antagonism and noble loyalty.
Martin Amis (The Rachel Papers)
I've become a collector of stories about unlikely returns: the sudden reappearance of the long-lost son, the father found, the lovers reunited after forty years. Once in awhile, a letter does fall behind a post office desk and lie there for years before it's finally discovered and delivered to the rightful address. The seemingly brain-dead sometimes wake up and start talking. I'm always on the lookout for proof that what is done can sometimes be undone.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
To distract myself from thoughts of my father, i decided to check out the dead body.
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
Did she say anything before she died?" he asked. "Yes," the surgeon said. "She said, 'Forgive him'" "Forgive him?" my father asked. "I think she was referring to the drunk driver who killed her." Wow. My grandmother's last act on earth was a call for forgiveness, love and tolerance. She wanted us to forgive Gerald, the dumb-ass Spokane Indian alcoholic who ran her over and killed her. I think My Dad wanted to go find Gerald and beat him to death. I think my mother would have helped him. I think I would have helped him, too. But my grandmother wanted us to forgive her murderer. Even dead, she was a better person than us.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
Well finish your story anyway." Where was I?" The bubonic plague. The bulldozer was stalled by corpses." Oh, yes. Anyway, one sleepless night I stayed up with Father while he worked. It was all we could do to find a live patient to treat. In bed after bed after bed we found dead people. And Father started giggling," Castle continued. He couldn't stop. He walked out into the night with his flashlight. He was still giggling. He was making the flashlight beam dance over all the dead people stacked outside. He put his hand on my head and do you know what that marvelous man said to me?" asked Castle. Nope." 'Son,' my father said to me, 'someday this will all be yours.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
I have discovered in my long life that there are many words and phrases which have more power than any spell of magick. The most well-known of these is, of course, I love you. But by far the most deadly is, if only. For these two words can strip a man's strength, his courage and his confidence. They become the father of regret and anguish and pain.
David Gemmell (Morningstar)
Millions of deaths would not have happened if it weren’t for the consumption of alcohol. The same can be said about millions of births.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Franz Kafka is Dead He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me." The people whispered and nodded among themselves. They put their arms around each other, and touched their children's hair. They took off their hats and raised them to the small, sickly man with the ears of a strange animal, sitting in his black velvet suit in the dark tree. Then they turned and started for home under the canopy of leaves. Children were carried on their fathers' shoulders, sleepy from having been taken to see who wrote his books on pieces of bark he tore off the tree from which he refused to come down. In his delicate, beautiful, illegible handwriting. And they admired those books, and they admired his will and stamina. After all: who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of his loneliness? One by one families broke off with a good night and a squeeze of the hands, suddenly grateful for the company of neighbors. Doors closed to warm houses. Candles were lit in windows. Far off, in his perch in the trees , Kafka listened to it all: the rustle of the clothes being dropped to the floor, or lips fluttering along naked shoulders, beds creaking along the weight of tenderness. It all caught in the delicate pointed shells of his ears and rolled like pinballs through the great hall of his mind. That night a freezing wind blew in. When the children woke up, they went to the window and found the world encased in ice. One child, the smallest, shrieked out in delight and her cry tore through the silence and exploded the ice of a giant oak tree. The world shone. They found him frozen on the ground like a bird. It's said that when they put their ears to the shell of his ears, they could hear themselves.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
People around me die. They drop like flies. I've gone through life leaving a trail of dead bodies behind me. My mother is dead, my guardian is dead, my aunt is dead—because I killed her, and when my real father finds me, he'll move heaven and earth to make me dead.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
Let me get it straight. Your father was king. You were his only son. Your father dies. You are of age. Your uncle becomes king." "Yes." "Unorthodox.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
When shall I be dead and rid Of all the wrong my father did? How long, how long 'till spade and hearse Put to sleep my mother's curse?
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
My name is Nathaniel Wesninski," he said, "and my father is dead." It wasn't at all funny, but a second later he was laughing. It sounded hysterical but he couldn't stop.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother. The full weight of everything he had seen that night seemed to fall in upon him as Mrs. Weasley held him to her. His mother's face, his father's voice, the sight of Cedric, dead on the ground all started spinning in his head until he could hardly bear it, until he was screwing up his face against the howl of misery fighting to get out of him.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
Don’t you dare mock me. I’ve seen more pain than you can even imagine. (Kiara) Yeah, your mother was shot dead in front of you. Boo-hoo. So what? You think you’re the only one who ever lived through that? My father was publicly executed for the entire Ichidian Universe to watch. The saddest part of that is I just wish I’d been the one who’d gassed the bastard. (Syn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of the Night (The League, #1))
I must court her now,' said the Prince. 'Leave us alone for a minute.' He rode the white expertly down the hill. Buttercup had never seen such a giant beast. Or such a rider. 'I am your Prince and you will marry me,' Humperdinck said. Buttercup whispered, 'I am your servant and I refuse.' 'I am your Prince and you cannot refuse.' 'I am your loyal servant and I just did.' 'Refusal means death.' 'Kill me then.' 'I am your Prince and I’m not that bad — how could you rather be dead than married to me?' 'Because,' Buttercup said, 'marriage involves love, and that is not a pastime at which I excel. I tried once, and it went badly, and I am sworn never to love another.' 'Love?' said Prince Humperdinck. 'Who mentioned love? Not me, I can tell you. Look: there must always be a male heir to the throne of Florin. That’s me. Once my father dies, there won’t be an heir, just a king. That’s me again. When that happens, I’ll marry and have children until there is a son. So you can either marry me and be the richest and most powerful woman in a thousand miles and give turkeys away at Christmas and provide me a son, or you can die in terrible pain in the very near future. Make up your own mind.' 'I’ll never love you.' 'I wouldn’t want it if I had it.' 'Then by all means let us marry.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
You don't think I'm going to deflower you under your father's roof, do you?
Amanda Ashley (Dead Perfect)
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln (The Gettysburg Address)
You see pictures of Buddha and he’s sitting, reclining, at peace. The Hindus have their twelve-armed elephant god, who also seems so content but not powerless. But leave it to Christians to have a dead and bloody man nailed to a cross.
Dave Eggers (Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?)
Your cold mornings are filled with the heartache about the fact that although we are not at ease in this world, it is all we have, that it is ours but that it is full of strife, so that all we can call our own is strife; but even that is better than nothing at all, isn't it? And as you split the frost-laced wood with numb hands, rejoice that your uncertainty is God's will and His grace toward you that that is beautiful, and a part of a greater certainty, as your own father always said in his sermons and to you at home. And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. And when you resent the ache in your heart, remember: You will be dead and buried soon enough.
P. Harding
Each night Father fills me with dread When he sits on the foot of my bed; I'd not mind that he speaks In gibbers and squeaks, But for seventeen years he's been dead.
Edward Gorey (Amphigorey (Amphigorey, #1))
Perrin, my father says a general can take care of the living or weep for the dead, but he cannot do both.
Robert Jordan (The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4))
The italian nanny was attempting to answer the teachers latest question when the moroccan student interupted, shouting "Excuse me, What is an easter?" it would seem that depsite having grown up in a muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," She said. " I have no idea what you people are talking about." The teacher called upon the rest of us to explain. The poles led the charge to the best of their ability. It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of god who call his self jesus and... oh shit." She faltered and her fellow country man came to her aid. He call his self Jesus and then he die one day on two... morsels of... lumber." The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm. he die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father." he weared of himself the long hair and after he die. the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples." he Nice the jesus." he make the good things, and on the easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Oh, I believe you. It’s too ridiculous not to be true. It’s just that each time my world gets stranger, I think: Right. We’re at maximum oddness now. At least I know the full extent of it. First, I find out my brother and I are descended from the pharaohs and have magic powers. All right. No problem. Then I find out my dead father has merged his soul with Osiris and Why not? Then my uncle takes over the House of Life and oversees hundreds of magicians around the world. Then my boyfriend turns out to be a hybrid magician boy/immortal god of funerals. And all the while I’m thinking, Of course! Keep calm and carry on! I’ve adjusted! And then you come along on a random Thursday, la-di-da, and say, Oh, by the way, Egyptian gods are just one small part of the cosmic absurdity. We’ve also got the Greeks to worry about! Hooray!
Rick Riordan (The Staff of Serapis (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #2))
Life is the bad with all the good. The deadly sharks with the beautiful sea stars. The gigantic waves with the sand castles. The licorice with the lemon and lime. The loud lyrics with the rhythm of the music. The liver disease with the love of a father and son. It’s life. Sweet, beautiful, wind on your face, air in your lungs, kisses on your lips. life.
Lisa Schroeder (The Day Before)
I hadn't gotten old enough yet to realize that living sends a person not into the future but back into the past, to childhood and before birth, finally, to commune with the dead. You get older, you puff on the stairs, you enter the body of your father. From there it's only a quick jump to your grandparents, and then before you know it you're time traveling. In this life we grow backwards.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
If you don’t delight in the fact that your Father is holy, holy, holy, then you are spiritually dead. You may be in a church. You may go to a Christian school. But if there is no delight in your soul for the holiness of God, you don’t know God. You don’t love God. You’re out of touch with God. You’re asleep to his character.
R.C. Sproul (Choosing My Religion)
Fortunately I have a son, my beautiful boy Unfortunately he is a drug addict. Fortunately he is in recovery. Unfortunately he relapses. Fortunately he is in recovery again. Unfortunately he relapses. Fortunately he is not dead.
David Sheff (Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction)
An hour or so ago, they were in a heated discussion over whether or not Shane would’ve been a better father than Rick on The Walking Dead. Somehow that had digressed into Daemon arguing that the governor, sociopathic tendencies aside, was a better father figure. The fact that Archer had never eaten at Olive Garden but knew about The Walking Dead absolutely befuddled me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
I thought it was the other girl who had drawn your fancy. Your princess.” Mark gave a choked laugh. “By the Angel,” he said, and saw Kieran blanch at the Shadowhunter words. “Your imagination is limited by your jealousy. Kieran . . . everyone who lives under this roof, whether they are bound by blood or not, we are tied together by an invisible net of love and duty and loyalty and honor. That is what it means to be a Shadowhunter. Family—” “What would I know of family? My father sold me to the Wild Hunt. I do not know my mother. I have three dozen brothers, all of whom would gladly see me dead. Mark, you are all I have.” “Kieran—” “And I love you,” Kieran said. “You are all that exists on the earth and under the sky that I do love.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
At the end of the street was a large glass box with a female mannequin inside it, dressed as a gypsy fortune teller. “Now,” said Wednesday, “at the start of any quest or enterprise it behooves us to consult the Norns.” He dropped a coin into the slot. With jagged, mechanical motions, the gypsy lifted her arm and lowered it once more. A slip of paper chunked out of the slot. Wednesday took it, read it, grunted, folded it up and put it in his pocket. “Aren’t you going to show it to me? I’ll show you mine,” said Shadow. “A man’s fortune is his own affair,” said Wednesday, stiffly. “I would not ask to see yours.” Shadow put his own coin into the slot. He took his slip of paper. He read it. EVERY ENDING IS A NEW BEGINNING. YOUR LUCKY NUMBER IS NONE. YOUR LUCKY COLOUR IS DEAD. Motto: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON. Shadow made a face. He folded the fortune up and put it inside his pocket.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
EVERY ENDING IS A NEW BEGINNING. YOUR LUCKY NUMBER IS NONE. YOUR LUCKY COLOUR IS DEAD. Motto: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON.
Neil Gaiman
Foreigners are sending messages to the planets. We are sending rice and cereals to our dead fore-father through the Brahmins. It is a wise deed?
Periyār
Even if that is the truth,” Derkein said, “what does it have to do with my father suddenly thinking he can raise the dead?
Al Stone (Talisman of El (T.O.E. Trilogy #1))
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there. All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences. As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead. She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope. As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation. She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
You've been brought up like a gentleman and a Christian, and I should be false to the trust laid upon me by your dead father and mother if I allowed you to expose yourself to such temptation.' Well, I know I'm not a Christian and I'm beginning to doubt whether I'm a gentleman,' said Philip.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
It is true that all of us are the beneficiaries of crimes committed by our ancestors, and it is true that nothing can be done about that now because the victims are dead and the survivors are innocent. These are good reasons for keeping our mouths shut about the past: but tell me, what are our reasons for silence about atrocities still to come?
Damon Knight (One Side Laughing: Stories Unlike Other Stories)
What an excellent father you have, girls!' said she, when the door was shut. 'Such joys are scarce since the good Lord saw fit to close the gates of Hell and doom the dead to walk amongst us.
Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1))
Chapter One. The Bride." He held up the book then. "I'm reading it to you for relax." He practically shoved the book in my face. "By S. Morgenstern. Great Florinese writer. The Princess Bride. He too came to America. S. Morgenstern. Dead now in New York. The English is his own. He spoke eight tongues." Here my father put down the book and held up all his fingers. "Eight. Once in Florin City...
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
"I gave up a world for you." He glared at me, not giving me anything. I kept right on going. "I thought, perhaps, when I learned I had powers, I might be able to use them to go home," his eyes flashed but that was all I got so I kept on going, "but not for good. My father isn't dead." Another flash. "He's alive and at home and living maybe with a fake Circe. He'll know the difference, though, I KNOW it. He's out of his mind with worry, I know that too. He's wondering where I am and if I'm okay and how to get me back. I also know that. I know that and I know that my life was good. I loved my life. I loved my home. I loved my job. I had a lot of people who loved me that loved me back." I sucked in a breath and then whispered, "But as much as your world scared me, as much as our practices repulsed me, I still chose you." His torso jerked, it was almost imperceptible, but I caught it. I kept at him. "I gave up my world for you, Lahn. I sat at your side through things people in my world would find loathsome and I did it with my head held high. I even felt 'pride' that I could endure, that I could be a good queen to you.......Everything I did in this fucking place, even before I fell in love with you, was for...fucking...YOU."
Kristen Ashley (The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland, #2))
All the lines that held me to my life were sliced apart in swift cuts, like clipping the strings of a bunch of balloons. Everything that made me who I was - my love for the dead girl upstairs, my love for my father, my loyalty to my new pack, the love for my other brothers, my hatred for my enemies, my home, my name, my self - disconnected from me in that second - snip, snip, snip - and floated up into space.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
... and you're the son of his youngest. He has no other children. Oh, your father's dead, by the way. Fell off a horse two years ago.' 'Good to know.
Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3))
I am writing this book because we're all going to die - In the loneliness of my own life, my father dead, my brother dead, my mother faraway, my sister and my wife far away, nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world, a sweet attention, that now are left to guide and disappear their own way into the common dark of all our deaths, sleeping in me raw bed, alone and stupid: with just this one pride and consolation: my broke heart in the general despair and opened up inwards to the Lord, I made a supplication in this dream
Jack Kerouac (Visions of Cody)
Crown Prince Walther of Morrighan was dead... Silence choked the crowd for a moment and then mother after mother, sister, father, wife, brother, fell to their knees.
Mary E. Pearson (The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2))
We want thing we cannot have. We seek to reclaim a certain moment , sound, sensation. I want to hear my mother's voice. I want to see my children as children. Hands small, feet swift. Everything changes. Boy grown, father dead, daughter taller than me, weeping from a bad dream. Please stay forever, I say to the things I know. Don't go. Don't grow.
Patti Smith (M Train)
When they got to thew bottom of the stairwell, they stopped dead. Blay's father was facing off with a lesser, a Civil War sword in one hand, a dagger in the other. Behind his Joe Friday glasses, his eyes were lit like torches, and they flicked over for a split second. "Stay out of this. This one's mine." The shit was done faster than you can say, Ninja Dad. Blay's father went Ginsu on the slayer, carving the thing up like a turkey, then stabbing it back to the Omega.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
Garraty wondered how it would be, to lie in the biggest, dustiest library silence of all, dreaming endless, thoughtless dreams behind your gummed-down eyelids, dressed forever in your Sunday suit. No worries about money, success, fear, joy, pain, sorrow, sex, or love. Absolute zero. No father, mother, girlfriend, lover. The dead are orphans. No company but the silence like a moth's wing. An end to the agony of movement, to the long nightmare of going down the road. The body in peace, stillness, and order. The perfect darkness of death. How would that be? Just how would that be?
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
Where is the graveyard of dead gods? What lingering mourner waters their mounds? There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. But where in all the world is there a man who worships Jupiter today? And who of Huitzilopochtli? In one year - and it is no more than five hundred years ago - 50,000 youths and maidens were slain in sacrifice to him. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is only by some vagrant savage in the depths of the Mexican forest. Huitzilopochtli, like many other gods, had no human father; his mother was a virtuous widow; he was born of an apparently innocent flirtation that she carried out with the sun. When he frowned, his father, the sun, stood still. When he roared with rage, earthquakes engulfed whole cities. When he thirsted he was watered with 10,000 gallons of human blood. But today Huitzilopochtli is as magnificently forgotten as Allen G. Thurman. Once the peer of Allah, Buddha and Wotan, he is now the peer of Richmond P. Hobson, Alton B. Parker, Adelina Patti, General Weyler and Tom Sharkey. Speaking of Huitzilopochtli recalls his brother Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca was almost as powerful; he consumed 25,000 virgins a year. Lead me to his tomb: I would weep, and hang a couronne des perles. But who knows where it is? Or where the grave of Quetzalcoatl is? Or Xiuhtecuhtli? Or Centeotl, that sweet one? Or Tlazolteotl, the goddess of love? Of Mictlan? Or Xipe? Or all the host of Tzitzimitl? Where are their bones? Where is the willow on which they hung their harps? In what forlorn and unheard-of Hell do they await their resurrection morn? Who enjoys their residuary estates? Or that of Dis, whom Caesar found to be the chief god of the Celts? Of that of Tarves, the bull? Or that of Moccos, the pig? Or that of Epona, the mare? Or that of Mullo, the celestial jackass? There was a time when the Irish revered all these gods, but today even the drunkest Irishman laughs at them. But they have company in oblivion: the Hell of dead gods is as crowded as the Presbyterian Hell for babies. Damona is there, and Esus, and Drunemeton, and Silvana, and Dervones, and Adsullata, and Deva, and Bellisima, and Uxellimus, and Borvo, and Grannos, and Mogons. All mighty gods in their day, worshipped by millions, full of demands and impositions, able to bind and loose - all gods of the first class. Men labored for generations to build vast temples to them - temples with stones as large as hay-wagons. The business of interpreting their whims occupied thousands of priests, bishops, archbishops. To doubt them was to die, usually at the stake. Armies took to the field to defend them against infidels; villages were burned, women and children butchered, cattle were driven off. Yet in the end they all withered and died, and today there is none so poor to do them reverence. What has become of Sutekh, once the high god of the whole Nile Valley? What has become of: Resheph Anath Ashtoreth El Nergal Nebo Ninib Melek Ahijah Isis Ptah Anubis Baal Astarte Hadad Addu Shalem Dagon Sharaab Yau Amon-Re Osiris Sebek Molech? All there were gods of the highest eminence. Many of them are mentioned with fear and trembling in the Old Testament. They ranked, five or six thousand years ago, with Yahweh Himself; the worst of them stood far higher than Thor. Yet they have all gone down the chute, and with them the following: Bilé Ler Arianrhod Morrigu Govannon Gunfled Sokk-mimi Nemetona Dagda Robigus Pluto Ops Meditrina Vesta You may think I spoof. That I invent the names. I do not. Ask the rector to lend you any good treatise on comparative religion: You will find them all listed. They were gods of the highest standing and dignity-gods of civilized peoples-worshiped and believed in by millions. All were omnipotent, omniscient and immortal. And all are dead.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
That would be quite the headline: Niles Whyborne’s Son Run Over by Own Train. Father would probably raise me from the dead just so he could kill me himself.
Jordan L. Hawk (Stormhaven (Whyborne & Griffin #3))
Do you think that your fathers are watching? That they weigh you in their ledgerbook? Against what? There is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground.
Cormac McCarthy
-You are killing me." " -We? Not we. Not in any sense, we. Processes are killing you, not we. Inexorable processes.
Donald Barthelme (The Dead Father)
I am half inclined to think we are all ghosts…it is not only what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers that exists again in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of old dead beliefs and things of that kind. They are not actually alive in us; but there they are dormant all the same, and we can never be rid of them. Whenever I take up a newspaper and read it, I fancy I see ghosts creeping between the lines. There must be ghosts all over the world. They must be as countless as the grains of the sands, it seems to me. And we are so miserably afraid of the light, all of us.
Henrik Ibsen (Ghosts)
That night, the Raka conspirators had plenty of news to report, particularly Ochobu. Aly had not known that the mages of the Chain had been laboring to eliminate any mages who had worked magic on the Crown’s behalf. So far they had killed seven of the most powerful. Chelaol would call this count of the dead another ‘good start,’ Aly thought grimly. This crude business of counting up lives taken struck her as a bad idea. It took the horror from death. When Ochobu named four mages on Lombyn who had had been killed in the streets of their towns, it had been about numbers, not lives. Maybe this is how you become a Rittevon, she thought. You get used to the dead being described as numbers, not fathers or daughters or grandparents. She turned to Dove when Ochobu finished, 'don’t ever be like this,' she urged. 'don’t think that it doesn’t matter if you only hear of murder as a number. If you keep it at a distance.
Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2))
I am not functioning very well. Living with the knowledge that the baby is dead is painful. I feel so far away from you, God. I can only try to believe that you are sustaining me and guiding me through this. Please continue to stand by my side.
Christine O'Keeffe Lafser (An Empty Cradle, a Full Heart: Reflections for Mothers and Fathers after Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death)
The hospital room was as cold as dead skin, the hallway crowded with lost souls and reeking of illness.
Raquel Cepeda (Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina)
Mom talks about moving to Canada as though my father had requested she start wearing fun hats. "Why not try it?" she thought, instead of "This fucking lunatic wants me to go to a country made of ice and casual racism.
Scaachi Koul (One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter)
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Ghosts! […] I almost think we are all of us ghosts. It is not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that ‘walks’ in us. It is all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we cannot shake them off. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sands of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.
Henrik Ibsen
My wife loves written words ... you know, words that stick to parchment and paper like dead flies, and it seems my father felt the same - but I want to hear words! Remember that when you are looking for the right words: You must ask yourself what they SOUND like! Glowing with passion, dark with sorrow, sweet with love, that's what I want. - Cosimo
Cornelia Funke (Inkspell (Inkworld, #2))
Damn it, Tod!" He glared in the reaper's general direction. "Do not sneak up on me in my own house--I don't care how dead you are! Show yourself or get out." Harmony and I shared a small smile, but my father didn't notice. The reaper shrugged and grinned at me, then blinked out of the chair and onto the carpet at my father's back, now fully corporeal. "Fine," he said, inches from my dad's ear, and my father nearly jumped out of his shirt. "Your house, your rules." My dad spun around, his flush deepening until I thought his face would explode. "I changed my mind. Get out!
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers, #3))
...My dad, may he rest in peace, taught me many wonderful things. And one of the things he taught me was never ask a guy what you do for a living. He said "If you think about it, when you ask a guy, what do you do you do for a living," you’re saying "how may I gauge the rest of your utterances." are you smarter than I am? Are you richer than I am, poorer than I am?" So you ask a guy what do you do for a living, it’s the same thing as asking a guy, let me know what your politics are before I listen to you so I know whether or not you’re part of my herd, in which case I can nod knowingly, or part of the other herd, in which case I can wish you dead.
David Mamet
So, to summarize,” Max said, “the dead uncle? Not dead, might be your father. Hot boys are also tragic, everyone wants a piece of your fine ash, and the woman who tried to have you killed is foxing your father?
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, #2))
But once a dead God, always a dead God, even resurrected. The Son must have the taste of death forever in his mouth. The Trinity must be tainted by it; there must be a certain stench at the right hand of God the Father. The horror must be real. Why would God wish that upon Himself? Why not leave death to mortals? Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect? -- Love. That was his answer.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
My father once told me that a happy ending is just the place where you choose to stop telling the story. So this is where I choose to stop. More things are still going to happen, of course, some good, some bad. Some things never get any better. When people die they stay dead. None of us knows why we love, or why we stop loving, or why everyone we love we lose.
Leah Stewart
I’m going to make the wildly unfounded assumption that Satara’s dead by your hand and not Tory’s. Now, stay with me on this, Cajun. My father slit my throat and murdered my wife because he thought I’d betrayed him by getting married. Before that, he loved me more than his life and I was his last surviving child. His second in command. Now what do you think he’s going to do to you once he sees her body? I can assure you, it won’t be a fun-filled trip to Chuck E. Cheese. (Urian)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Originally, he'd wanted to focus his work on the convict leasing system that had stolen years off of his great-grandpa H's life, but the deeper into the research he got, the bigger the project got. How could he talk about Great-Grandpa H's story without also talking about his grandma Willie and the millions of other black people who had migrated north, fleeing Jim Crow? And if he mentioned the Great Migration, he'd have to talk about the cities that took that flock in. He'd have to talk about Harlem, And how could he talk about Harlem without mentioning his father's heroin addiction - the stints in prison, the criminal record? And if he was going to talk about heroin in Harlem in the '60s, wouldn't he also have to talk about crack everywhere in the '80s? And if he wrote about crack, he'd inevitably be writing, to, about the "war on drugs." And if he started talking about the war on drugs, he'd be talking about how nearly half of the black men he grew up with were on their way either into or out of what had become the harshest prison system in the world. And if he talked about why friends from his hood were doing five-year bids for possession of marijuana when nearly all the white people he'd gone to college with smoked it openly every day, he'd get so angry that he'd slam the research book on the table of the beautiful but deadly silent Lane Reading Room of Green Library of Stanford University. And if he slammed the book down, then everyone in the room would stare and all they would see would be his skin and his anger, and they'd think they knew something about him, and it would be the same something that had justified putting his great-grandpa H in prison, only it would be different too, less obvious than it once was.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
If the thing they were fighting for was important enough to die for then it was also important enough for them to be thinking about it in the last minutes of their lives. That stood to reason. Life is awfully important so if you've given it away you'd ought to think with all your mind in the last moments of your life about the thing you traded it for. So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and the safety of the home and the stars and stripes forever? You're goddamn right they didn't. They died crying in their minds like little babies. They forgot the thing they were fighting for the things they were dying for. They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother a father a wife a child They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place where they were born please god just one more look. They died moaning and sighing for life. They knew what was important They knew that life was everything and they died with screams and sobs. They died with only one thought in their minds and that was I want to live I want to live I want to live. He ought to know. He was the nearest thing to a dead man on earth.
Dalton Trumbo (Johnny Got His Gun)
I met this boy here who I knew as a kid and his mum left him with a pedophile for two weeks when he was eight years old and I'm presuming you know everything there is to know about Jonah's father, and that my father is dead, and my mother hasn't been around for years, and God knows Jessa's real story. So what I'm saying here, Sergeant, is that we're just a tad low on the reliable adult quota so you have no right to be all self-righteous about what Chaz did and if you're going to go around not talking to him when his only crime was wanting me to have what he has, then I think you're going to turn out to be a bit of a dud and you know something? I'm just a bit over life's little disappointments right now. Do you understand what I'm saying?
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
This is what I know - Sam is dead. My brother is dead. My mother is dead. My father is dead. My husband is dead. My cat is dead. My dog, who was dead in 1957, is still dead. Yet still I keep thinking that something wonderful is about to happen. Maybe tomorrow.
Patti Smith (Year of the Monkey)
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. “Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide. “Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.” “She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?” “Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.” “And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?” “Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.” “And who are all these young men and women on each side?” “They are her sons and daughters.” “She must have had a very large family, Sir.” “Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.” “Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?” “No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” “And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.” “They are her beasts.” “Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.” “Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.” I looked at my Teacher in amazement. “Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
A child is not an adult, a child didn't ask to be here. Any man that doesn't take care of his responsibilities to his family and to his children, do me a favor STOP calling yourself a man..at least have the decency to admit that you're a boy. You don't know what manhood is.
Stephen A. Smith
My father is dead!" As soon as he'd said it, Fiskadoro saw he'd made it true again--again for the first time. Did it just go around and around? He began to see that his sorrow wasn't simple. It wasn't one thing, but a thousand things carrying him away to the Ocean: the work of a person's life was to drink it.
Denis Johnson (Fiskadoro)
Molly learned long ago that a lot of the heartbreak and betrayal that other people fear their entire lives, she has already faced. Father dead. Mother off the deep end. Shuttled around and rejected time and time again. And still she breathes and sleeps and grows taller. She wakes up every morning and puts on clothes. So when she says it's okay, what she means is that she knows she can survive just about anything.
Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train)
little sun little moon little dog and a little to eat and a little to love and a little to live for in a little room filled with little mice who gnaw and dance and run while I sleep waiting for a little death in the middle of a little morning in a little city in a little state my little mother dead my little father dead in a little cemetery somewhere. I have only a little time to tell you this: watch out for little death when he comes running but like all the billions of little deaths it will finally mean nothing and everything: all your little tears burning like the dove, wasted.
Charles Bukowski (Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way)
GUIL: It [Hamlet's madness] really boils down to symptoms. Pregnant replies, mystic allusions, mistaken identities, arguing his father is his mother, that sort of thing; intimations of suicide, forgoing of exercise, loss of mirth, hints of claustrophobia not to say delusions of imprisonment; invocations of camels, chameleons, capons, whales, weasels, hawks, handsaws -- riddles, quibbles and evasions; amnesia, paranoia, myopia; day-dreaming, hallucinations; stabbing his elders, abusing his parents, insulting his lover, and appearing hatless in public -- knock-kneed, droop-stockinged and sighing like a love-sick schoolboy, which at his age is coming on a bit strong. ROS: And talking to himself. GUIL: And talking to himself.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
And now, I, Moroni would speaksomewhatconcerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye seenot, for ye recieve no witness until after the trial of your faith. For it was by Faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had fiath in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in hime, for he showed himself not unto the world.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Book of Mormon Stories)
I am not blind, nor deaf. I know you all believe me weak, frightened, feeble. Your father knew me better. Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him. I was the grass. Pleasant, complaisant, sweet-smelling, swaying with every breeze. Who fears to walk upon the grass? But it is the grass that hides the viper from his enemies and shelters him until he strikes.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
He held her and rocked her, believing, rightly or wrongly, that Ellie wept for the very intractability of death, its imperviousness to argument or to a little girl’s tears; that she wept over its cruel unpredictability; and that she wept because of the human being’s wonderful, deadly ability to translate symbols into conclusions that were either fine and noble or blackly terrifying. If all those animals had died and been buried, then Church could die (any time!) and be buried; and if that could happen to Church, it could happen to her mother, her father, her baby brother. To herself. Death was a vague idea; the Pet Sematary was real. In the texture of those rude markers were truths which even a child’s hands could feel.
Stephen King (Pet Sematary)
Robot Boy Mr. an Mrs. Smith had a wonderful life. They were a normal, happy husband and wife. One day they got news that made Mr. Smith glad. Mrs. Smith would would be a mom which would make him the dad! But something was wrong with their bundle of joy. It wasn't human at all, it was a robot boy! He wasn't warm and cuddly and he didn't have skin. Instead there was a cold, thin layer of tin. There were wires and tubes sticking out of his head. He just lay there and stared, not living or dead. The only time he seemed alive at all was with a long extension cord plugged into the wall. Mr. Smith yelled at the doctor, "What have you done to my boy? He's not flesh and blood, he's aluminum alloy!" The doctor said gently, "What I'm going to say will sound pretty wild. But you're not the father of this strange looking child. You see, there still is some question about the child's gender, but we think that its father is a microwave blender." The Smith's lives were now filled with misery and strife. Mrs. Smith hated her husband, and he hated his wife. He never forgave her unholy alliance: a sexual encounter with a kitchen appliance. And Robot Boy grew to be a young man. Though he was often mistaken for a garbage can.
Tim Burton
I've lived my life in the structure of the Jedi Order. Yes, it was an organization with a goal- but it was also a family. I said it myself: Anakin was my brother. I had many brothers and sisters. And fathers and mothers. And even a strange little green uncle. I don't have that home now. I don't have that family. Almost every friend I've ever had is dead.
John Jackson Miller (Kenobi (Star Wars Legends))
What would they talk about? Hi, my name's Vane and I howl at the moon late at night in the form of a wolf. I sleep with your daughter and don't think I could live without her. Mind if I have a beer? Oh and while we're at it, let me introduce my brothers. This one here is a deadly wolf known to kill for nothing more than looking at him cross-eyed, and the other one is comatose because some vampires sucked the life out of him after we'd both been sentenced to death by our jealous father. Yeah, that would go over like a lead balloon.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Play (Dark-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #1))
Buckley followed the three of them into the kitchen and asked, as he had at least once a day, “Where’s Susie?” They were silent. Samuel looked at Lindsey. “Buckley,” my father called from the adjoining room, “come play Monopoly with me.” My brother had never been invited to play Monopoly. Everyone said he was too young, but this was the magic of Christmas. He rushed into the family room, and my father picked him up and sat him on his lap. “See this shoe?” my father said. Buckley nodded his head. “I want you to listen to everything I say about it, okay?” “Susie?” my brother asked, somehow connecting the two. “Yes, I’m going to tell you where Susie is.” I began to cry up in heaven. What else was there for me to do? “This shoe was the piece Susie played Monopoly with,” he said. “I play with the car or sometimes the wheelbarrow. Lindsey plays with the iron, and when you mother plays, she likes the cannon.” “Is that a dog?” “Yes, that’s a Scottie.” “Mine!” “Okay,” my father said. He was patient. He had found a way to explain it. He held his son in his lap, and as he spoke, he felt Buckley’s small body on his knee-the very human, very warm, very alive weight of it. It comforted him. “The Scottie will be your piece from now on. Which piece is Susie’s again?” “The shoe?” Buckley asked. “Right, and I’m the car, your sister’s the iron, and your mother is the cannon.” My brother concentrated very hard. “Now let’s put all the pieces on the board, okay? You go ahead and do it for me.” Buckley grabbed a fist of pieces and then another, until all the pieces lay between the Chance and Community Chest cards. “Let’s say the other pieces are our friends?” “Like Nate?” “Right, we’ll make your friend Nate the hat. And the board is the world. Now if I were to tell you that when I rolled the dice, one of the pieces would be taken away, what would that mean?” “They can’t play anymore?” “Right.” “Why?” Buckley asked. He looked up at my father; my father flinched. “Why?” my brother asked again. My father did not want to say “because life is unfair” or “because that’s how it is”. He wanted something neat, something that could explain death to a four-year-old He placed his hand on the small of Buckley’s back. “Susie is dead,” he said now, unable to make it fit in the rules of any game. “Do you know what that means?” Buckley reached over with his hand and covered the shoe. He looked up to see if his answer was right. My father nodded. "You won’t see Susie anymore, honey. None of us will.” My father cried. Buckley looked up into the eyes of our father and did not really understand. Buckley kept the shoe on his dresser, until one day it wasn't there anymore and no amount of looking for it could turn up.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size. The child, who is most at home with wonder, says: Daddy, what is above the sky? And the father says: The darkness of space. The child: What is beyond space? The father: The galaxy. The child: Beyond the galaxy? The father: Another galaxy. The child: Beyond the other galaxies? The father: No one knows. You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box and cover it with wet weeds to die? Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity. If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through the shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?
Stephen King (The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1))
Gretel in Darkness: This is the world we wanted. All who would have seen us dead are dead. I hear the witch's cry break in the moonlight through a sheet of sugar: God rewards. Her tongue shrivels into gas.... Now, far from women's arms And memory of women, in our father's hut we sleep, are never hungry. Why do I not forget? My father bars the door, bars harm from this house, and it is years. No one remembers. Even you, my brother, summer afternoons you look at me as though you meant to leave, as though it never happened. But I killed for you. I see armed firs, the spires of that gleaming kiln-- Nights I turn to you to hold me but you are not there. Am I alone? Spies hiss in the stillness, Hansel we are there still, and it is real, real, that black forest, and the fire in earnest.
Louise Glück
I had always thought that life was the actual thing, the natural thing, and that death was simply the end of living. Now, in this lifeless place, I saw with a terrible clarity that death was the constant, death was the base, and life was only a short, frgile dream. I was dead already. I had been born death, and what I thought was my life was just a game death let me play as it waited to take me. . . Death has an opposite, but the opposite is not mere living. It is not courage or faith or human will. The opposite of death is love. How had I missed that? How does anyone miss that? Love is our only weapon. Only love can turn mere life into a miracle, and draw precious meaning from suffering and fear. For a brief, magical moment, all my fears lifted, and I knew that I would not let death control me. I would walk through the godforsaken country that separated me from my home with love and hope in my heart. I wouuld walk until I had walked all the life out of me, and when I fell I would die that much closer to my father.
Nando Parrado (Miracle in the Andes)
Look, this boy's been kicked around all his life. You know-living in a slum, his mother dead since he was nine. He spent a year and a half in an orphanage while his father served a jail term for forgery. That's not a very good head start. He's had a pretty terrible sixteen years. I think maybe we owe him a few words. That's all.
Reginald Rose (Twelve Angry Men)
I know something happens between the time our mothers and fathers and teachers and mentors send us out into the world telling us, "The world is yours," and "You are beautiful," and "You can be anything," and the time we return to them. Something happens when people tell me I have a pretty face, ignoring me from the neck down. When I watch the news and see unarmed black men and women shot dead over and over, it's kind of hard to believe this world is mine. Sometimes it feels like I leave home a whole person, sent off with kisses from Mom, who is hanging her every hope on my future. By the time I get home I feel like my soul has been shattered into a million pieces. Mom's love repairs me.
Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together)
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt Thaw and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God! How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. That it should come to this! But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two: So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! Must I remember? why, she would hang on him, As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on: and yet, within a month-- Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!-- A little month, or ere those shoes were old With which she follow'd my poor father's body, Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she-- O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason, Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle, My father's brother, but no more like my father Than I to Hercules: within a month: Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, She married. O, most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good: But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Were I to go down into the market-place, armed with the powers of witchcraft, and take a peasant by the shoulders and whisper to him, 'In your lifetime, have you known peace?' wait for his answer, shake his shoulders and transform him into his father, and ask him the same question, and transform him in his turn to his father, I would never hear the word 'Yes,' if I carried my questioning of the dead back for a thousand years. I would always hear, 'No, there was fear, there were our enemies without, our rulers within, there was prison, there was torture, there was violent death.
Rebecca West (Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)
But have you noticed the slight curl at the end of Sam II's mouth, when he looks at you? It means that he didn't want you to name him Sam II, for one thing, and for two other things it means that he has a sawed-off in his left pants leg, and a baling hook in his right pants leg, and is ready to kill you with either of them, given the opportunity. The father is taken aback. What he usually says, in such a confrontation, is "I changed your diapers for you, little snot." This is not the right thing to say. First, it is not true (mothers change nine diapers out of ten), and second it reminds Sam II of what he is mad about. He is mad about being small when you were big, but no, that's not it, he is mad about being helpless when you were powerful, but no, not that either, he is mad about being contingent when you were necessary, not quite it, he is insane because when he loved you, you didn't notice.
Donald Barthelme (The Dead Father)
The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you. There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog. Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other...Equality? Christ in Heaven. What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man than many. Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth. no two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. 'Tis why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain, and I God damn all gentlemen. I don't know who me father was and I don't give a damn. There's only one aristocracy, and that's right here - " he tapped his white skull with a thick finger - "and YOU, Colonel laddie, are a member of it and don't even know it. You are damned good at everything I've seen you do, a lovely soldier, an honest man, and you got a good heart on you too, which is rare in clever men. Strange thing. I'm not a clever man meself, but I know it when I run across it. The strange and marvelous thing about you, Colonel darlin', is that you believe in mankind, even preachers, whereas when you've got my great experience of the world you will have learned that good men are rare, much rarer than you think.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive it would dance. This is a fallacy even in relation to known fact. For the variation in human affairs is generally brought into them, not by life, but by death; by the dying down or breaking off of their strength or desire. A man varies his movements because of some slight element of failure or fatigue. He gets into an omnibus because he is tired of walking; or he walks because he is tired of sitting still. But if his life and joy were so gigantic that he never tired of going to Islington, he might go to Islington as regularly as the Thames goes to Sheerness. The very speed and ecstacy of his life would have the stillness of death. The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
My mom says, "Do you know what the AIDS memorial quilt is all about?" Jump to how much I hate my brother at this moment. I bought this fabric because I thought it would make a nice panel for Shane," Mom says. "We just ran into some problems with what to sew on it." Give me amnesia. Flash. Give me new parents. Flash. Your mother didn't want to step on any toes," Dad says. He twists a drumstick off and starts scraping the meat onto a plate. "With gay stuff you have to be so careful since everything means something in secret code. I mean, we didn't want to give people the wrong idea." My Mom leans over to scoop yams onto my plate, and says, "Your father wanted a black border, but black on a field of blue would mean Shane was excited by leather sex, you know, bondage and discipline, sado and masochism." She says, "Really, those panels are to help the people left behind." Strangers are going to see us and see Shane's name," my dad says. "We didn't want them thinking things." The dishes all start their slow clockwise march around the table. The stuffing. The olives. The cranberry sauce. "I wanted pink triangles but all the panels have pink triangles," my mom says. "It's the Nazi symbol for homosexuals." She says,"Your father suggested black triangles, but that would mean Shane was a lesbian. It looks like female pubic hair. The black triangle does." My father says, "Then I wanted a green border, but it turns out that would mean Shane was a male prostitute." My mom says, "We almost chose a red border, but that would mean fisting. Brown would mean either scat or rimming, we couldn't figure which." Yellow," my father says, "means watersports." A lighter shade of blue," Mom says, "would mean just regular oral sex." Regular white," my father says, "would mean anal. White could also mean Shane was excited by men wearing underwear." He says, "I can't remember which." My mother passes me the quilted chicken with the rolls still warm inside. We're supposed to sit and eat with Shane dead all over the table in front of us. Finally we just gave up," my mom says, "and I made a nice tablecloth out of the material." Between the yams and the stuffing, Dad looks down at his plate and says, "Do you know about rimming?" I know it isn't table talk. And fisting?" my mom asks. I say, I know. I don't mention Manus and his vocational porno magazines. We sit there, all of us around a blue shroud with the turkey more like a big dead baked animal than ever, the stuffing chock full of organs you can still recognize, the heart and gizzard and liver, the gravy thick with cooked fat and blood. The flower centerpiece could be a casket spray. Would you pass the butter, please?" my mother says. To my father she says, "Do you know what felching is?
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
Her eyes weren't blinking. There was still something almost dead in them, something very far away. She seemed to be seeing all the way through to the back of him and beyond, out into the cold space of the future in which they would both soon be dead, out into the nothingness that Lalitha and his mother and his father had already passed into, and yet she was looking straight into his eyes, and he could feel her getting warmer by the minute. And so he stopped looking at her eyes and started looking into them, returning their look before it was too late, before this connection between life and what came after life was lost, and let her see all the vileness inside him, all the hatreds of two thousand solitary nights, while the two of them were still with the void in which the sum of everything they'd ever said or done, every pain they'd inflicted, every joy they'd shared, would weigh less than the smallest feather on the wind.
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
Religion is a totalitarian belief. It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep, who can subject you to total surveillance around the clock every waking and sleeping minute of your life, before you're born and, even worse and where the real fun begins, after you're dead. A celestial North Korea. Who wants this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate? I've been to North Korea. It has a dead man as its president, Kim Jong-Il is only head of the party and head of the army. He's not head of the state. That office belongs to his deceased father, Kim Il-Sung. It's a necrocracy, a thanatocracy. It's one short of a trinity I might add. The son is the reincarnation of the father. It is the most revolting and utter and absolute and heartless tyranny the human species has ever evolved. But at least you can f#$%ing die and leave North Korea!
Christopher Hitchens
At least she speaks well,” his father said, sipping from his wine. Chaol clenched his free hand so hard his glove groaned. “Better than that other one—the swaggering assassin.” Yrene knew. All of it. She knew every scrap of history, knew whose note she carried in her locket. But it didn’t ease the blow, not as his father added, “Who, it turned out, is Queen of Terrasen.” A mirthless laugh. “What a prize you might have had then, my son, if you’d managed to keep her.” “Yrene is the finest healer of her generation,” Chaol said with deadly quiet. “Her worth is greater than any crown.” And in this war, it might very well be. “You don’t need to bother proving my value to him,” Yrene said, her icy eyes pinned on his father. “I know precisely how talented I am. I don’t require his blessing.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
What scared Stanley the most about dying wasn't his actual death. He figured he could handle the pain. It wouldn't be much worse than what he felt now. In fact, maybe at the moment of his death he would be too weak to feel pain. Death would be a relief. What worried him the most was the thought of his parents not knowing what happened to him, not knowing whether he was dead or alive. He hated to imagine what it would be like for his mother and father, day after day, month after month, not knowing, living on false hope. For him, at least, it would be over. For his parents, the pain would never end.
Louis Sachar (Holes (Holes, #1))
I forgive. Cause nobody knows us : except our mothers, and they hardly do (and also tend disappointingly to die before they ought). Or our fathers, whose failings while they’re alive (and absences after they’re dead) infuriate. Or our siblings, who want us dead too cause what they know about us is that somehow we got away with not having to carry the bricks and stones like they did all those years. Cause nobody’s the slightest idea who we are, or who we were, not even we ourselves – except, that is, in the glimmer of a moment of fair business between strangers, or the nod of knowing and agreement between friends. Other than these, we go out anonymous into the insect air and all we are is the dust of colour, brief engineering of wings towards a glint of light on a blade of grass or a leaf in a summer dark.
Ali Smith (How to be Both)
I am very happy, Jane; and when you hear that I am dead, you must be sure and not grieve: there is nothing to grieve about. We all must die one day, and the illness which is removing me is not painful; it is gentle and gradual: my mind is at rest. I leave no one to regret me much: I have only a father; and he is lately married, and will not miss me. By dying young, I shall escape great sufferings. I had not qualities or talents to make my way very well in the world: I should have been continually at fault.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
said Father Nash “was a most wonderful man in prayer, one of the most earnest, devout, spiritually-minded, heavenly-minded men I ever saw. . . . He labored about in many places in central and northern New York, and gave himself up to almost constant prayer, literally praying himself to death at last. I have been informed that he was found dead in his room in the attitude of prayer.
Charles Grandison Finney
Jack glanced at ken. "Lily is a brilliant woman when it comes to academics, but she;'s so blind when it comes to people." It was a small warning to keep Ken's anger from boiling over. "She's struggling to accept that Whitney needs to die, but she needs more time. The pregnancy also probably makes her more emotional when it comes to her father." "When the hell did you get so smart?" Ken demanded. "I've been reading all the pregnancy books." jack sounded a little smug.
Christine Feehan (Deadly Game (GhostWalkers, #5))
There are men regarded today as brilliant economists, who deprecate saving and recommend squandering on a national scale as the way of economic salvation; and when anyone points to what the consequences of these policies will be in the long run, they reply flippantly, as might the prodigal son of a warning father: "In the long run we are all dead." And such shallow wisecracks pass as devastating epigrams and the ripest wisdom.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
Father Forgive Us For Livin’ Why All My Homies Stuck In Prison? Barely Breathin’ Believin That The World Is A Prison, It’s Like A Ghetto We Could Neva Leave… A Broken Rose, Trying to Bloom Through The Cracks Of The Concrete, So Many Otha Things For Us To See, Things To Be, Our History so Full Of Tragedy And Misery, To All My Homies Neva Made It Home, The Dead Peers I Shed Tatooed Tears For When I’m Alone, Picture Us Inside A Ghetto Heaven, A Place To Rest, Findin’ Peace Through This Land Of Stress, In My Chest I Feel Pain, Come In Sudden Storms, Life Full Of Rain In This Game Watch For landstorms, Our Unborn, Neva Gotta Grow Neva Gotta See What’s Next, In This World Full Of Countless Threats, I Beg God To Make A Way For Our Ghetto Kids To Breathe Show A Sign Make Us All Believe, Coz I Ain’t Mad At Cha
Tupac Shakur
Parables are told only because they are true, not because the actions of the characters in them can be recommended for imitation. Good Samaritans are regularly sued. Fathers who give parties for wayward sons are rightly rebuked, Employers who pay equal wages for unequal work have labor-relations problems. And any Shepherd who makes a practice of leaving ninety-nine sheep to chase after a lost one quickly goes out of the sheep-ranching business. The parables are true only because they are like what God is like, not because they are models for us to copy. It is simply a fact that the one thing we dare not under any circumstances imitate is the only thing that can save us. The parables are, one and all, about the foolishness by which Grace raises the dead. They apply to no sensible process at all - only to the divine insanity that brings everything out of nothing.
Robert Farrar Capon (Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace)
Lucy said, 'We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.' 'No fear of that,' said Aslan. 'Have you not guessed?' Their hearts leapt, and a wild hope rose within them. 'There was a real railway accident,' said Aslan softly. 'Your father and mother and all of you are- as you used to call it in the Shadowlands- dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.
C.S. Lewis
Well, so that's the prosecutor! He lived and lived, and then died! And they will say in the papers that he died to the regret of his staff and all mankind, a respected citizen, a rare father, a model husband, and they will write a lot more stuff and nonsense about him; they will add, maybe, that he was mourned by widows and orphans; but if one were to investigate the matter thoroughly, it will emerge that he had nothing to him except his bushy eyebrows.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
Stephen watched the three glasses being raised from the counter as his father and his two cronies drank to the memory of their past. An abyss of fortune or of temperament sundered him from them. His mind seemed older than theirs: it shone coldly on their strifes and happiness and regrets like a moon upon a younger earth. No life or youth stirred in him as it had stirred in them. He had known neither the pleasure of companionship with others nor the vigour of rude male health nor filial piety. Nothing stirred within his soul but a cold and cruel and loveless lust. His childhood was dead or lost and with it his soul capable of simple joys, and he was drifting amid life like the barren shell of the moon. Art thou pale for weariness Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, Wandering companionless...? He repeated to himself the lines of Shelley's fragment. Its alternation of sad human ineffectiveness with vast inhuman cycles of activity chilled him, and he forgot his own human and ineffectual grieving.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
The ceremony was fast so we wouldn't be caught. When it was over, the men all whispered 'Mazel tov' and climbed back onto their shelves. I went up to the boy and pressed the wooden horse into his hands, the only present I could give him. The boy looked at me with big, round eyes. Had I ever been so young? 'We are alive,' I told him. 'We are alive, and that is all that matters. We cannot let them tear us from the pages of the world.' I said it as much for me as for him. I said it in memory of Uncle Moshe, and my mother and father, and my aunts and other uncles and cousins. The Nazis had put me in a gas chamber. I had thought I was dead, but I was alive. I was a new man that day, just like the bar mitzvah boy. I was a new man, and I was going to survive.
Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087)
Why do you ask?" "Because I can." "You can what?" "I can go in the private collection!" I scurried toward him. "My father had a lifetime subscriptioin, Mr. Sheridan, and not just that, but he had special privileges. I'm certain I could use his name to get you into the private collection." Daniel's jaw fell. "Why didn't you say so before?" "What?" I recoiled. "How was I supposed to know you needed it?" "We could've gone ages ago!" My enthusiasm transformed into outrage. "In that case, why didn't you say you needed it?" "Because I didn't know you had a subscription!" "Aha!" I cried, thrusting a finger at him. "Your argument's a circle!" Daniel sprang up. "We wasted all this time-" "Silence!" Joseph roared. "You are like squawking parrots, and I have had quite enough. Miss Fitt, I would ask that you take Mr. Sheridan to the library immediately. Daniel, I would ask that you keep that big mouth of yours silent.
Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1))
I watched him as he lined up the ships in bottles on his deck, bringing them over from the shelves where they usually sat. He used an old shirt of my mother's that had been ripped into rags and began dusting the shelves. Under his desk there were empty bottles- rows and rows of them we had collected for our future shipbuilding. In the closet were more ships- the ships he had built with his own father, ships he had built alone, and then those we had made together. Some were perfect, but their sails browned; some had sagged or toppled over the years. Then there was the one that had burst into flames in the week before my death. He smashed that one first. My heart seized up. He turned and saw all the others, all the years they marked and the hands that had held them. His dead father's, his dead child's. I watched his as he smashed the rest. He christened the walls and wooden chair with the news of my death, and afterward he stood in the guest room/den surrounded by green glass. The bottle, all of them, lay broken on the floor, the sails and boat bodies strewn among them. He stood in the wreckage. It was then that, without knowing how, I revealed myself. In every piece of glass, in every shard and sliver, I cast my face. My father glanced down and around him, his eyes roving across the room. Wild. It was just for a second, and then I was gone. He was quiet for a moment, and then he laughed- a howl coming up from the bottom of his stomach. He laughed so loud and deep, I shook with it in my heaven. He left the room and went down two doors to my beadroom. The hallway was tiny, my door like all the others, hollow enough to easily punch a fist through. He was about to smash the mirror over my dresser, rip the wallpaper down with his nails, but instead he fell against my bed, sobbing, and balled the lavender sheets up in his hands. 'Daddy?' Buckley said. My brother held the doorknob with his hand. My father turned but was unable to stop his tears. He slid to the floor with his fists, and then he opened up his arms. He had to ask my brother twice, which he had never to do do before, but Buckley came to him. My father wrapped my brother inside the sheets that smelled of me. He remembered the day I'd begged him to paint and paper my room purple. Remembered moving in the old National Geographics to the bottom shelves of my bookcases. (I had wanted to steep myself in wildlife photography.) Remembered when there was just one child in the house for the briefest of time until Lindsey arrived. 'You are so special to me, little man,' my father said, clinging to him. Buckley drew back and stared at my father's creased face, the fine bright spots of tears at the corners of his eyes. He nodded seriously and kissed my father's cheek. Something so divine that no one up in heaven could have made it up; the care a child took with an adult. 'Hold still,' my father would say, while I held the ship in the bottle and he burned away the strings he'd raised the mast with and set the clipper ship free on its blue putty sea. And I would wait for him, recognizing the tension of that moment when the world in the bottle depended, solely, on me.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
What do you know of sacrifice? Need I tell you of York's dead . . . of Sandal Castle? My brother did survive the battle, his first. He was seventeen and he entreated them to spare his life. They cut his throat. Their heads were then impaled on York's Micklegate Bar to please the House of Lancaster, to please a harlot and a madman. She had my father's head crowned with straw and she left a spike between the two. . . . That one, she said, was for York's other son.
Sharon Kay Penman (The Sunne in Splendour)
We bring Kingsley comfort, by being here, but only one visitor has brought him any pleasure: Jaime. He enjoyed, he exulted in Jaime – because the dew is yet on him, the glamour is yet on him. Jaime brought his youth, in all its Conradian force (youth, that ‘mighty power’). I haven’t got any youth to offer my father. This year has closed my youth. I’m sorry, Dad: I haven’t got any . . . Sometimes I imagine that the dead are allowed to watch their children. This would be one of their privileges. But there must come a point where the dead really wouldn’t want to look. William Amis, even Rosa Amis: they wouldn’t be watching now.
Martin Amis (Experience)
O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
Mark Twain
Those who are close to us, when they die, divide our world. There is the world of the living, which we finally, in one way or another, succumb to, and then there is the domain of the dead that, like an imaginary friend (or foe) or a secret concubine, constantly beckons, reminding us of our loss. What is memory but a ghost that lurks at the corners of the mind, interrupting our normal course of life, disrupting our sleep in order to remind us of some acute pain or pleasure, something silenced or ignored? We miss not only their presence, or how they felt about us, but ultimately how they allowed us to feel about ourselves or them. (prologue)
Azar Nafisi (Things I've Been Silent About)
She was in big trouble now. "You stupid man," she said to the body on the floor. "Why did you have to lunge at me like that? Why couldn't you have left well enough alone? I told your father I wasn't going to marry you. I told him I wouldn't marry you if you were the last idiot in Britain." She nearly stamped her foot in frustration. Why was it her words never came out quite the way she intended them to? "What I meant to say was that you are an idiot," she said to Percy, who, not surprisingly, didn't respond, "and that I wouldn't marry you if you were the last man in Britain, and- Oh, blast. What am I doing talking to you, anyway? You're quite dead.
Julia Quinn (To Catch an Heiress (Agents of the Crown, #1))
My job is not to sell the books - my father does that - but to look after them. Every so often I take out a volume and read a page or two. After all, reading is looking after in a manner of speaking. Though they're not old enough to be valuable for their age alone, nor improtant enough to be sought after by collectors, my charges are dear to me, even as often as not, they are as dull on the inside as on the outside. No matter how banal the contents, there is always something that touches me. For someone now dead once thought these words significant enough to write them down. People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the boooks they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic. As one tends the graves of the dead, so I tend the books. I clean them, do minor repairs, keep them in good order. And every day I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head. Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so. For it must be very lonely being dead.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
I was with her when she died,” Ned reminded the king. “She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father.” He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister’s eyes. Ned remembered the way she smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black. After that he remembered nothing. They had found him still holding her body, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his.
George R.R. Martin
Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness. God how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life - and to think that negative little paper-shuffling prissies should write condescending obituaries about a man who told the truth, nay who drew breath in pain to tell a tale like that! ... No remedy but in my mind I raise a fist to High Heaven promising that I shall bull whip the first bastard who makes fun of human hopelessness anyway - I know it's ridiculous to pray to my father that hunk of dung in a grave yet I pray to him anyway, what else shall I do? sneer? shuffle paper on a desk and burp rationality? Ah thank God for all the Rationalists the worms and vermin got. Thank God for all the hate mongering political pamphleteers with no left or right to yell about in the Grave of Space. I say that we shall all be reborn with the Only One, and that's what makes me go on, and my mother too. She has her rosary in the bus, don't deny her that, that's her way of stating the fact. If there can't be love among men let there be love at least between men and God. Human courage is an opiate but opiates are human too. If God is an opiate so am I. Thefore eat me. Eat the night, the long desolate American between Sanford and Shlamford and Blamford and Crapford, eat the hematodes that hang parasitically from dreary southern trees, eat the blood in the ground, the dead Indians, the dead pioneers, the dead Fords and Pontiacs, the dead Mississippis, the dead arms of forlorn hopelessness washing underneath - Who are men, that they can insult men? Who are these people who wear pants and dresses and sneer? What am I talking about? I'm talking about human helplessness and unbelievable loneliness in the darkness of birth and death and asking 'What is there to laugh about in that?' 'How can you be clever in a meatgrinder?' 'Who makes fun of misery?' There's my mother a hunk of flesh that didn't ask to be born, sleeping restlessly, dreaming hopefully, beside her son who also didn't ask to be born, thinking desperately, praying hopelessly, in a bouncing earthly vehicle going from nowhere to nowhere, all in the night, worst of all for that matter all in noonday glare of bestial Gulf Coast roads - Where is the rock that will sustain us? Why are we here? What kind of crazy college would feature a seminar where people talk about hopelessness, forever?
Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels)
But it has occurred to me, on occasion, that our memories of our loved ones might not be the point. Maybe the point is their memories—all that they take away with them. What if heaven is just a vast consciousness that the dead return to? And their assignment is to report on the experiences they collected during their time on earth. The hardware store their father owned with the cat asleep on the grass seed, and the friend they used to laugh with till the tears streamed down their cheeks, and the Saturdays when their grandchildren sat next to them gluing Popsicle sticks. The spring mornings they woke up to a million birds singing their hearts out, and the summer afternoons with the swim towels hung over the porch rail, and the October air that smelled like wood smoke and apple cider, and the warm yellow windows of home when they came in on a snowy night. ‘That’s what my experience has been,’ they say, and it gets folded in with the others—one more report on what living felt like. What it was like to be alive.
Anne Tyler (A Spool of Blue Thread)
Even now, so many years later, all this is somehow a very evil memory. I have many evil memories now, but ... hadn't I better end my "Notes" here? I believe I made a mistake in beginning to write them, anyway I have felt ashamed all the time I've been writing this story; so it's hardly literature so much as a corrective punishment. Why, to tell long stories, showing how I have spoiled my life through morally rotting in my corner, through lack of fitting environment, through divorce from real life, and rankling spite in my underground world, would certainly not be interesting; a novel needs a hero, and all the traits for an anti-hero are expressly gathered together here, and what matters most, it all produces an unpleasant impression, for we are all divorced from life, we are all cripples, every one of us, more or less. We are so divorced from it that we feel at once a sort of loathing for real life, and so cannot bear to be reminded of it. Why, we have come almost to looking upon real life as an effort, almost as hard work, and we are all privately agreed that it is better in books. And why do we fuss and fume sometimes? Why are we perverse and ask for something else? We don't know what ourselves. It would be the worse for us if our petulant prayers were answered. Come, try, give any one of us, for instance, a little more independence, untie our hands, widen the spheres of our activity, relax the control and we ... yes, I assure you ... we should be begging to be under control again at once. I know that you will very likely be angry with me for that, and will begin shouting and stamping. Speak for yourself, you will say, and for your miseries in your underground holes, and don't dare to say all of us-- excuse me, gentlemen, I am not justifying myself with that "all of us." As for what concerns me in particular I have only in my life carried to an extreme what you have not dared to carry halfway, and what's more, you have taken your cowardice for good sense, and have found comfort in deceiving yourselves. So that perhaps, after all, there is more life in me than in you. Look into it more carefully! Why, we don't even know what living means now, what it is, and what it is called? Leave us alone without books and we shall be lost and in confusion at once. We shall not know what to join on to, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise. We are oppressed at being men--men with a real individual body and blood, we are ashamed of it, we think it a disgrace and try to contrive to be some sort of impossible generalised man. We are stillborn, and for generations past have been begotten, not by living fathers, and that suits us better and better. We are developing a taste for it. Soon we shall contrive to be born somehow from an idea. But enough; I don't want to write more from "Underground." [The notes of this paradoxalist do not end here, however. He could not refrain from going on with them, but it seems to us that we may stop here.]
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
Now I’ll just have to do without.” She raised her eyebrows. “I’m sorry?” Then Maximus did something very strange: he went on one knee before her. “This isn’t right at all,” he said, continuing to glare as if he found it all her fault. She sat up. “What are you doing?” “Artemis Greaves, will you do me the honor of —” “Are you insane?” she demanded. “What of your father? Your conviction that you must marry for the dukedom?” “My father is dead,” he said softly. “And I’ve decided the dukedom can go hang.” “But —” “Hush,” he snapped. “I’m trying to propose to you properly even without my mother’s necklace.” “But why?” she asked... “I know that this is rather disappointing,” he said. “But I intend to make you respectable.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6))
Life is arduous without any breaks, like a long journey without any inns. Learned variety makes it pleasant. Spend the first part of a fine life in communication with the dead. We are born to know and to know ourselves, and books reliably turn us into people. Spend the second part with the living: see and examine all that's good in the world. Not everything can be found in one country; the universal Father has shared out his gifts and sometimes endows the ugliest with the most. Let the third stage be spent entirely with yourself: the ultimate happiness, to philosophize.
Baltasar Gracián (How to Use Your Enemies)
They watch her when she comes to City Hall, they watch her at the social events, they watch the way she walks, hips rolling with no suggestion of provocation but with every sense that she knows more than any of the rest. A woman like that, they seem to be thinking, a woman like that has lived. Their wives from Orange County, they come from Minnesota or Dallas or St.Louis. They come from places with families, with sagging mothers and fathers with dead eyes and heavy-hanging brows. They carry their own promise of future slackness and clipped lips and demands. They have sisters, sisther with more babies, babies with sweet saliva hanging and more appliance and with husbands with better salaries and two cars and club membership. They iron in housedresses in front of the television set or by the radio, steam rising, matting their faces, as the children with the damp necks cling on them, sticky-handed. They are this. And Alice… and Alice…
Megan Abbott (Die a Little)
If I walked too far and wondered loud enough the fields would change. I could look down and see horse corn and I could hear it then- singing- a kind of low humming and moaning warning me back from the edge. My head would throb and the sky would darken and it would be that night again, that perpetual yesterday lived again. My soul solidifying, growing heavy. I came up to the lip of my grave this way many times but had yet to stare in. I did begin to wonder what the word heaven meant. I thought, if this were heaven, truly heaven, it would be where my grandparents lived. Where my father's father, my favorite of them all, would lift me up and dance with me. I would feel only joy and have no memory, no cornfield and no grave. You can have that,' Franny said to me. 'Plenty of people do.' How do you make the switch?' I asked. It's not as easy as you might think,' she said. 'You have to stop desiring certain answers.' I don't get it.' If you stop asking why you were killed instead of someone else, stop investigating the vaccum left by your loss, stop wondering what everyone left on Earth is feeling,' she said, 'you can be free. Simply put, you have to give up on Earth.' This seemed impossible to me. ... She used the bathroom, running the tap noisily and disturbing the towels. She knew immediately that her mother had bought these towels- cream, a ridiculous color for towels- and monogrammed- also ridiculous, my mother thought. But then, just as quickly, she laughed at herself. She was beginning to wonder how useful her scorched-earth policy had been to her all these years. Her mother was loving if she was drunk, solid if she was vain. When was it all right to let go not only of the dead but of the living- to learn to accept? I was not in the bathroom, in the tub, or in the spigot; I did not hold court in the mirror above her head or stand in miniature at the tip of every bristle on Lindsey's or Buckley's toothbrush. In some way I could not account for- had they reached a state of bliss? were my parents back together forever? had Buckley begun to tell someone his troubles? would my father's heart truly heal?- I was done yearning for them, needing them to yearn for me. Though I still would. Though they still would. Always.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
My mother wasn’t a psychotic criminal. (Kiara) No. I’m sure she was a wonderful lady who loved you dearly. That she held you when you cried, probably even baked you cookies and gave you hugs and kisses before she sent you off to bed at night, and it’s a damn shame a decent woman like her died so tragically. My mother, whore that she was, abandoned me and my sister to our father so that she could return to her cushy life and pretend we didn’t exist while she left us in that house with a man whose name, even though he’d been dead for decades, can still make an assassin wet his pants. And if you think his cruelty was reserved for strangers, think again. My sister and I were target practice for him. So don’t you dare talk to me about pain. My father wrote the book on it and he rammed it down my throat every day of my childhood until they killed him. And the real kicker is, my life under his demented fist was a lot better than Nykyrian’s. At least I was able to hide sometimes from the ones trying to kill me. You want me to call your daddy, baby? Go right ahead. I’ll be more than happy to take you to him. But know that Aksel will have his hands on you in a matter of hours. Then you’ll be able to talk to me about pain and you’ll finally have an idea of what we’ve endured. You won’t live long enough to apologize, but true clarity will be yours before you die. (Syn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of the Night (The League, #1))
The morning Julia found the phone, my parents were over for brunch. Everything was falling apart around Benjy, although I'll never know what he knew at the time, and neither will he. The adults were talking when he reentered the kitchen and said, "The sound of time. What happened to it?" "What are you talking about?" "You know," he said, waving his tiny hand about, "the sound of time." It took time - about five frustrating minutes - to figure out what he was getting at. Our refigerator was being repaired, so the kitchen lacked its omnipresent, nearly imperceptible buzzing sound. He spent virtually all his home life within reach of that sound, and so had come to associate it with life happening. I loved his misunderstanding, because it wasn't a misunderstanding. My grandfather heard the cries of his dead brothers. That was the sound of his time. My father heard attacks. Julia heard the boys' voices. I heard silences. Sam heard betrayals and the sounds of Apple products turning on. Max heard Argus's whining. Benjy was the only one still young enough to hear home.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
No parent should have to bury a child ... No mother should have to bury a son. Mothers are not meant to bury sons. It is not in the natural order of things. I buried my son. In a potter's field. In a field of Blood. In empty, acrid silence. There was no funeral. There were no mourners. His friends all absent. His father dead. His sisters refusing to attend. I discovered his body alone, I dug his grave alone, I placed him in a hole, and covered him with dirt and rock alone. I was not able to finish burying him before sundown, and I'm not sure if that affected his fate ... I begrudge God none of this. I do not curse him or bemoan my lot. And though my heart keeps beating only to keep breaking--I do not question why. I remember the morning my son was born as if it was yesterday. The moment the midwife placed him in my arms, I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding. I remember holding my son, and looking over at my own mother and saying, "Now I understand why the sun comes up at day and the stars come out at night. I understand why rain falls gently. Now I understand you, Mother" ... I loved my son every day of his life, and I will love him ferociously long after I've stopped breathing. I am a simple woman. I am not bright or learn-ed. I do not read. I do not write. My opinions are not solicited. My voice is not important ... On the day of my son's birth I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding ... The world tells me that God is in Heaven and that my son is in Hell. I tell the world the one true thing I know: If my son is in Hell, then there is no Heaven--because if my son sits in Hell, there is no God.
Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot)
We begin the process of being born again through exercising faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, and being baptized by immersion for the remission of sins by one having priesthood authority. 'Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life' (Romans 6:4). And after we come out of the waters of baptism, our souls need to be continuously immersed in and saturated with the truth and the light of the Savior's gospel. Sporadic and shallow dipping in the doctrine of Christ and partial participation in His restored Church cannot produce the spiritual transformation that enables us to walk in a newness of life. Rather, fidelity to covenants, constancy of commitment, and offering our whole soul unto God are required if we are to receive the blessings of eternity. . . . Total immersion in and saturation with the Savior's gospel are essential steps in the process of being born again.
David A. Bednar
That's my town,' Joaquin said. 'What a fine town, but how the buena gente, the good people of that town, have suffered in this war.' Then, his face grave, 'There they shot my father. My mother. My brother-in-law and now my sister.' 'What barbarians,' Robert Jordan said. How many times had he heard this? How many times had he watched people say it with difficulty? How many times had he seen their eyes fill and their throats harden with the difficulty of saying my father, or my brother, or my mother, or my sister? He could not remember how many times he heard them mention their dead in this way. Nearly always they spoke as this boy did now; suddenly and apropos of the mention of the town and always you said, 'What barbarians.
Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Between the roof of the shed and the big plant that hangs over the fence from the house next door I could see the constellation Orion. People say that Orion is called Orion because Orion was a hunter and the constellation looks like a hunter with a club and a bow and arrow, like this: But this is really silly because it is just stars, and you could join up the dots in any way you wanted, and you could make it look like a lady with an umbrella who is waving, or the coffeemaker which Mrs. Shears has, which is from Italy, with a handle and steam coming out, or like a dinosaur. And there aren't any lines in space, so you could join bits of Orion to bits of Lepus or Taurus or Gemini and say that they were a constellation called the Bunch of Grapes or Jesus or the Bicycle (except that they didn't have bicycles in Roman and Greek times, which was when they called Orion Orion). And anyway, Orion is not a hunter or a coffeemaker or a dinosaur. It is just Betelgeuse and Bellatrix and Alnilam and Rigel and 17 other stars I don't know the names of. And they are nuclear explosions billions of miles away. And that is the truth. I stayed awake until 5:47. That was the last time I looked at my watch before I fell asleep. It has a luminous face and lights up if you press a button, so I could read it in the dark. I was cold and I was frightened Father might come out and find me. But I felt safer in the garden because I was hidden. I looked at the sky a lot. I like looking up at the sky in the garden at night. In summer I sometimes come outside at night with my torch and my planisphere, which is two circles of plastic with a pin through the middle. And on the bottom is a map of the sky and on top is an aperture which is an opening shaped in a parabola and you turn it round to see a map of the sky that you can see on that day of the year from the latitude 51.5° north, which is the latitude that Swindon is on, because the largest bit of the sky is always on the other side of the earth. And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don't even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in your life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means that they are so small you don't have to take them into account when you are calculating something. I didn't sleep very well because of the cold and because the ground was very bumpy and pointy underneath me and because Toby was scratching in his cage a lot. But when I woke up properly it was dawn and the sky was all orange and blue and purple and I could hear birds singing, which is called the Dawn Chorus. And I stayed where I was for another 2 hours and 32 minutes, and then I heard Father come into the garden and call out, "Christopher...? Christopher...?
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
At some point, to counter the list of the dead, I had begun keeping my own list of the living. It was something I noticed Len Fenerman did too. When he was off duty he would note the young girls and elderly women and every other female in the rainbow in between and count them among the things that sustained him. The young girl in the mall whose pale legs had grown too long for her now too-young dress and who had an aching vulnerability that went straight to both Len's and my own heart. Elderly women, wobbling with walkers, who insisted on dyeing their hair unnatural versions of the colors they had in youth. Middle-aged single mothers racing around in grocery stores while their children pulled bags of candy off the shelves. When I saw them, I took count. Living, breathing women. Sometimes I saw the wounded- those who had been beaten by husbands or raped by strangers, children raped by their fathers- and I would wish to intervene somehow. Len saw these wounded women all the time. They were regulars at the station, but even when he went somewhere outside his jurisdiction he could sense them when they came near. The wife in that bait-'n'-tackle shop had no bruises on her face but cowered like a dog and spoke in apologetic whispers. The girl he saw walk the road each time he went upstate to visit his sisters. As the years passed she'd grown leaner, the fat from her cheeks had drained, and sorrow had loaded her eyes in a way that made them hang heavy and hopeless inside her mallowed skin. When she was not there it worried him. When she was there it both depressed and revived him. ~Len Fenerman on stepping back/letting go/giving up pgs 271-272
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Still writing?" I usually nod and smile, then quickly change the subject. But here is what I would like to put down my fork and say: Yes, yes, I am. I will write until the day I die, or until I am robbed of my capacity to reason. Even if my fingers were to clench and wither, even if I were to grow deaf or blind, even if I were unable to move a muscle in my body save for the blink of one eye, I would still write. Writing saved my life. Writing has been my window -- flung wide open to this magnificent, chaotic existence -- my way of interpreting everything within my grasp. Writing has extended that grasp by pushing me beyond comfort, beyond safety, past my self-perceived limits. It has softened my heart and hardened my intellect. It has been a privilege. It has whipped my ass. It has burned into me a valuable clarity. It has made me think about suffering, randomness, good will, luck, memory responsibility, and kindness, on a daily basis -- whether I feel like it or not. It has insisted that I grow up. That I evolve. It has pushed me to get better, to be better. It is my disease and my cure. It has allowed me not only to withstand the losses in my life but to alter those losses -- to chip away at my own bewilderment until I find the pattern in it. Once in a great while, I look up at the sky and think that, if my father were alive, maybe he would be proud of me. That if my mother were alive, I might have come up with the words to make her understand. That I am changing what I can. I am reaching a hand out to the dead and to the living and the not yet born. So yes. Yes. Still writing.
Dani Shapiro (Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life)
From early childhood he had experienced the wish to die, to commit suicide, as they say, but never was totally concentrated. He could never come to terms with being born into a world that basically repulsed him in every detail from the very beginning. He grew older and thought that his wish to die would suddenly no longer be there, but this wish grew more intense from year to year, without ever becoming totally intense and concentrated. My constant curiosity got in the way of my suicide, so he said, I thought. We never forgive our fathers for having sired us, nor our mothers for having brought us into the world, he said, nor our sisters for continuing to be witnesses to our unhappiness. To exist means nothing other than we despair, he said. When I go to bed I have no other wise than to die, never to wake up, but then I wake up again and the awful process repeats itself, finally repeats itself for fifty years, he said. To think that for fifty years we don't wish for anything other than to be dead and are still alive and can't change it because we are thoroughly inconsistent, so he said. Because we are wretched, vile creatures. No musical ability! he cried out, no life ability!
Thomas Bernhard (The Loser)
How great indeed is our debt to [Joseph Smith]. His life began in Vermont and ended in Illinois, and marvelous were the things that happened between that simple beginning and that tragic ending. It was he who brought us a true knowledge of God the Eternal Father and His Risen Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. During the short time of his great vision he learned more concerning the nature of Deity than all of those who through centuries had argued that matter in learned councils and scholarly forums. He brought us this marvelous book, the Book of Mormon, as another witness for the living reality of the Son of God. To him, from those who held it anciently, came the priesthood, the power, the gift, the authority, the keys to speak and act in the name of God. He gave us the organization of the Church and its great and sacred mission. Through him were restored the keys of the holy temples, that men and women might enter into eternal covenants with God, and that the great work for the dead might be accomplished. . . . "He was the instrument in the hands of the Almighty.
Gordon B. Hinckley
He is a demon, Clarissa,” said Valentine, still in the same soft voice. “A demon with a man’s face. I know how deceptive such monsters can be. Remember, I spared him once myself.” “Monster?” echoed Clary. She thought of Luke, Luke pushing her on the swings when she was five years old, higher, always higher; Luke at her graduation from middle school, camera clicking away like a proud father’s; Luke sorting through each box of books as it arrived at his store, looking for anything she might like and putting it aside. Luke lifting her up to pull apples down from the trees near his farmhouse. Luke, whose place as her father this man was trying to take. “Luke isn’t a monster,” she said in a voice that matched Valentine’s, steel for steel. “Or a murderer. You are.” “Clary!” It was Jace. Clary ignored him. Her eyes were fixed on her father’s cold black ones. “You murdered your wife’s parents, not in battle but in cold blood,” she said. “And I bet you murdered Michael Wayland and his little boy, too. Threw their bones in with my grandparents’ so that my mother would think you and Jace were dead. Put your necklace around Michael Wayland’s neck before you burned him so everyone would think those bones were yours. After all your talk about the untainted blood of the Clave — you didn’t care at all about their blood or their innocence when you killed them, did you? Slaughtering old people and children in cold blood, that’s monstrous.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
I can hear myself whining again 'Why does God torture me?' - But anybody who's never had a delirium tremens even in their early stages may not understand that it's not so much a physical pain but a mental anguish indescribable to those ignorant people who don't drink and accuse drinkers of irresponsibility - The mental anguish is so intense that you feel you have betrayed your very birth, the efforts nay the birth pangs of your mother when she bore you and delivered you to the world, you've betrayed every effort your father ever made to feed you and raise you and make you strong and my God even 'educate' you for life, you feel a guilt so deep you identify yourself with the devil and God seems far away abandoning you to your sick silliness - You feel sick in the greatest sense of the world, breathing without believing it, sicksicksick, your soul groans, you look at your helpless hands as tho they were on fire and you can't move to help, you look at the world with dead eyes, there's on your face an expression of incalculable repining like a constipated angel on a cloud - In fact it's actually a cancerous look you throw on the world, through browngray wool fuds over your eyes - Your tongue is white and disgusting, your teeth are stained, your hair seems to have dried out overnight, there are huge mucks in the corners of your eyes, greases on your nose, froth at the sides of your moth: in short that very disgusting and well-known hideousness everybody knows who's walked past a city street drunk in the Boweries of the world
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Leaving home is living as though I do not yet have a home, and must look far and wide to find one. Home is the center of my being, where I can hear the voice that says, “You are my beloved. On you my favor rests,” the same voice that gave life to the first Adam and spoke to Jesus, the second Adam. The same voice that speaks to all the children of God and sets them free to live in the midst of a dark world while remaining in the light. I have heard that voice. It has spoken to me in the past and continues to speak to me now. It is the never-interrupted voice of love speaking from eternity and giving life and love wherever it is heard. When I hear that voice, I know that I am home with God and have nothing to fear. As the beloved of my heavenly Father, “I can walk in the valley of darkness: no evil would I fear.” As the beloved I can “cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils.” Having “received without charge,” I can “give without charge.” As the Beloved, I can confront, console, admonish, and encourage without fear of rejection or need for affirmation. As the Beloved I can suffer persecution without desire for revenge and receive praise without using it as a proof of my goodness. As the Beloved I can be tortured and killed without ever having to doubt that the love that is given to me is stronger than death. As the Beloved I am free to live and give life, free also to die while giving life. Jesus has made it clear to me that the same voice that he heard at the river Jordan and on Mount Tabor can also be heard by me.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming)
Desford said abruptly: "How old are you, my child? Sixteen? Seventeen?" "Oh, no, I am much older than that!" she replied. "I'm as old as Lucasta - all but a few weeks!" "Then why are you not downstairs dancing with the rest of them?" he demanded. "You must surely be out!" "No, I'm not," she said. "I don't suppose I ever shall be, either. Unless my papa turns out not to be dead, and comes home to take care of me himself. But I don't think that at all likely, and even if he did come home it wouldn't be of the least use, because he seems never to have sixpence to scratch with. I am afraid he is not a very respectable person. My aunt says he was obliged to go abroad on account of being monstrously in debt." She sighed, and said wistfully: "I know that one ought not to criticize one's father, but I can't help feeling that it was just a little thoughtless of him to abandon me.
Georgette Heyer (Charity Girl)
Will father be there?" she asked. John turned to her in astonishment. Your father is dead," he replied somberly. "Why should he go to Hades? You have it confused with another place that was abolished long ago." After supper they folded up the table-cloth and spread their blankets for the night. What a dream it was," Kismine sighed, gazing up at the stars. "How strange it seems to be here with one dress and a penniless fianc_! Under the stars," she repeated. "I never noticed the stars before. I always thought of them as great big diamonds that belonged to some one. Now they frighten me. They make me feel that it was all a dream, all my youth." It was a dream," said John quietly. "Everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness." How pleasant then to be insane!" So I'm told," said John gloomily. "I don't know any longer. At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion. Well, I have that last and I will make the usual nothing of it." He shivered. "Turn up your coat collar, little girl, the night's full of chill and you'll get pneumonia. His was a great sin who first invented consciousness. Let us lose it for a few hours." So wrapping himself in his blanket he fell off to sleep.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Short Stories)
I was lonely, deadly lonely. And I was to find out then, as I found out so many times, over and over again, that women especially are social beings, who are not content with just husband and family, but must have a community, a group, an exchange with others. Young and old, even in the busiest years of our lives, we women especially are victims of the long loneliness. It was years before I woke up without that longing for a face pressed against my breast, an arm about my shoulder. The sense of loss was there. I never was so unhappy, never felt so great the sense of loneliness. No matter how many times I gave up mother, father, husband, brother, daughter, for His sake, I had to do it over again. Tamar is partly responsible for the title of this book in that when I was beginning it she was writing me about how alone a mother of young children always is. I had also just heard from an old woman who lived a long and full life, and she too spoke of her loneliness
Dorothy Day (The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist)
The parental eye shed no tears when the time for leave-taking came; a half-rouble in copper coins was given to the boy by way of pocket-money and for sweets, and what is more important, the following admonition: "Mind now, Pavlusha, be diligent, don't fool or gad about, and above all please your teachers and superiors. If you please your superiors, then you will be popular and get ahead of everyone even if you lag behind in knowledge and talent. Don't be too friendly with the other boys, they will teach you no good; but if you do make friends, cultivate those who are better off and might be useful. Don't invite or treat anyone, but conduct yourself in such a way as to be treated yourself, and above all, take care of and save your pennies, that is the most reliable of all things. A comrade or friend will cheat you and be the first to put all the blame on you when in a fix, but the pennies won't betray you in any difficulty. With money you can do anything in the world." Having admonished his son thus, the father took leave of him and trundled off home on his 'magpie'. Though from that day the son never set eyes on him more, his words and admonitions had sunk deep into his soul.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further — for time is the longest distance between two places. Not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoe-box. I left Saint Louis. I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I traveled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass. Perhaps I am walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found companions. I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger — anything that can blow your candles out! For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura — and so goodbye. . .
Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)
They had to die. They were killing innocent people. (Wulf) They were surviving, Wulf. You never had to face the choice of being dead at twenty-seven. When most people’s lives are just beginning, we are looking at a death sentence. Have you any idea what it’s like to know you can never see your children grow up? Never see your own grandchildren? My mother used to say we were spring flowers who are only meant to bloom for one season. We bring our gifts to the world and then recede to dust so that others can come after us. When our loved ones die, we immortalize them like this. I have one for my mother and the other four are my sisters. No one will ever know the beauty of my sisters’ laughter. No one will remember the kindness of my mother’s smile. In eight months, my father won’t even have enough of me left to bury. I will become scattered dust. And for what? For something my great-great-great-whatever did? I’ve been alone the whole of my life because I dare not let anyone know me. I don’t want to love for fear of leaving someone like my father behind to mourn me. I will be a vague dream, and yet here you are, Wulf Tryggvason. Viking cur who once roamed the earth raiding villages. How many people did you kill in your human lifetime while you sought treasure and fame? Were you any better than the Daimons who kill so that they can live? What makes you better than us? (Cassandra) It’s not the same thing. (Wulf) Isn’t it? You know, I went to your Web site and saw the names listed there. Kyrian of Thrace, Julian of Macedon, Valerius Magnus, Jamie Gallagher, William Jess Brady. I’ve studied history all my life and know each of those names and the terror they wrought in their day. Why is it okay for the Dark-Hunters to have immortality even though most of you were killers as humans, while we are damned at birth for things we never did? Where is the justice in this? (Cassandra)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
In this martial world dominated by men, women had little place. The Church's teachings might underpin feudal morality, yet when it came to the practicalities of life, a ruthless pragmatism often came into play. Kings and noblemen married for political advantage, and women rarely had any say in how they or their wealth were to be disposed in marriage. Kings would sell off heiresses and rich widows to the highest bidder, for political or territorial advantage, and those who resisted were heavily fined. Young girls of good birth were strictly reared, often in convents, and married off at fourteen or even earlier to suit their parents' or overlord's purposes. The betrothal of infants was not uncommon, despite the church's disapproval. It was a father's duty to bestow his daughters in marriage; if he was dead, his overlord or the King himself would act for him. Personal choice was rarely and issue. Upon marriage, a girl's property and rights became invested in her husband, to whom she owed absolute obedience. Every husband had the right to enforce this duty in whichever way he thought fit--as Eleanor was to find out to her cost. Wife-beating was common, although the Church did at this time attempt to restrict the length of the rod that a husband might use.
Alison Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (World Leaders Past & Present))
I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do -- that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman: Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are fluttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go. O never fear, lads, naught’s to dread, Look not left nor right: In all the endless road you tread There’s nothing but the night. ...Here it Leopold’s father -- and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life’s hopes crumble into dust. ...I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past... I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man. ...I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that... I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love. I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyám. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love, I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
My little brother's greatest fear was that the one person who meant so much to him would go away. He loved Lindsey and Grandma Lynn and Samuel and Hal, but my father kept him stepping lightly, son gingerly monitoring father every morning and every evening as if, without such vigilance, he would lose him. We stood- the dead child and the living- on either side of my father, both wanting the same thing. To have him to ourselves forver. To please us both was an impossibility. ... 'Please don't let Daddy die, Susie,' he whispered. 'I need him.' When I left my brother, I walked out past the gazebo and under the lights hanging down like berries, and I saw the brick paths branching out as I advanced. I walked until the bricks turned to flat stones and then to small, sharp rocks and then to nothing but churned earth for miles adn miles around me. I stood there. I had been in heaven long enough to know that something would be revealed. And as the light began to fade and the sky to turn a dark, sweet blue as it had on the night of my death, I saw something walking into view, so far away I could not at first make out if it was man or woman, child or adult. But as moonlight reached this figure I could make out a man and, frightened now, my breathing shallow, I raced just far enough to see. Was it my father? Was it what I had wanted all this time so deperately? 'Susie,' the man said as I approached and then stopped a few feet from where he stood. He raised his arms up toward me. 'Remember?' he said. I found myself small again, age six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and in a living room in Illinois. Now, as I had done then, I placed my feet on top of his feet. 'Granddaddy,' I said. And because we were all alone and both in heaven, I was light enough to move as I had moved when I was six and he was fifty-six and my father had taken us to visit. We danced so slowly to a song that on Earth had always made my grandfather cry. 'Do you remember?' he asked. 'Barber!' 'Adagio for Strings,' he said. But as we danced and spun- none of the herky-jerky awkwardness of Earth- what I remembered was how I'd found him crying to this music and asked him why. 'Sometimes you cry,' Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.' He had held me against him then, just briefly, and then I had run outside to play again with Lindsey in what seemed like my grandfather's huge backyard. We didn't speak any more that night, but we danced for hours in that timeless blue light. I knew as we danced that something was happening on Earth and in heaven. A shifting. The sort of slow-to-sudden movement that we'd read about in science class one year. Seismic, impossible, a rending and tearing of time and space. I pressed myself into my grandfather's chest and smelled the old-man smell of him, the mothball version of my own father, the blood on Earth, the sky in heaven. The kumquat, skunk, grade-A tobacco. When the music stopped, it cold have been forever since we'd begun. My grandfateher took a step back, and the light grew yellow at his back. 'I'm going,' he said. 'Where?' I asked. 'Don't worry, sweetheart. You're so close.' He turned and walked away, disappearing rapidly into spots and dust. Infinity.
Alice Sebold
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; Let pry through the portage of the head Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it As fearfully as doth a galled rock O'erhang and jutty his confounded base, Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest English. Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof! Fathers that, like so many Alexanders, Have in these parts from morn till even fought And sheathed their swords for lack of argument: Dishonour not your mothers; now attest That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you. Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not; For there is none of you so mean and base, That hath not noble lustre in your eyes. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. The game's afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
The Dead Father was slaying, in a grove of music and musicians. First he slew a harpist and then a performer upon the serpent and also a banger upon the rattle and also a blower of the Persian trumpet and one upon the Indian trumpet and one upon the Hebrew trumpet and one upon the Roman trumpet and one upon the Chinese trumpet of copper-covered wood. Also a blower upon the marrow trumpet and one upon the slide trumpet and one who wearing upon his head the skin of a cat performed upon the menacing murmurous cornu and three blowers on the hunting horn and several blowers of the conch shell and a player of the double aulos and flautists of all descriptions and a Panpiper and a fagotto player and two virtuosos of the quail whistle and a zampogna player whose fingering of the chanters was sweet to the ear and by-the-bye and during the rest period he slew four buzzers and a shawmist and one blower upon the water jar and a clavicytheriumist who was before he slew her a woman, and a stroker of the theorbo and countless nervous-fingered drummers as well as an archlutist, and then whanging his sword this way and that the Dead Father slew a cittern plucker and five lyresmiters and various mandolinists, and slew too a violist and a player of the kit and a picker of the psaltery and a beater of the dulcimer and a hurdy-gurdier and a player of the spike fiddle and sundry kettledrummers and a triangulist and two-score finger cymbal clinkers and a xylophone artist and two gongers and a player of the small semantron who fell with his iron hammer still in his hand and a trictrac specialist and a marimbist and a maracist and a falcon drummer and a sheng blower and a sansa pusher and a manipulator of the gilded ball. The Dead Father resting with his two hands on the hilt of his sword, which was planted in the red and steaming earth. My anger, he said proudly. Then the Dead Father sheathing his sword pulled from his trousers his ancient prick and pissed upon the dead artists, severally and together, to the best of his ability-four minutes, or one pint. Impressive, said Julie, had they not been pure cardboard. My dear, said Thomas, you deal too harshly with him. I have the greatest possible respect for him and for what he represents, said Julie, let us proceed.
Donald Barthelme (The Dead Father)
Rama continued: “I do not know whether there are men born outside humanity, or whether some men are so human as to make others seem unreal. Perhaps a godling lives on earth now and then. Joseph has strength beyond vision of shattering, he has the calm of mountains, and his emotion is as wild and fierce and sharp as the lightning and just as reasonless as far as I can see or know. When you are away from him, try thinking of him and you’ll see what I mean. His figure will grow huge, until it tops the mountains, and his force will be like the irresistible plunging of the wind. Benjy is dead. You cannot think of Joseph dying. He is eternal. His father died, and it was not a death.” Her mouth moved helplessly, searching for words. She cried as though in pain, “I tell you this man is not a man, unless he is all men. The strength, the resistance, the long and stumbling thinking of all men, and all the joy and suffering, too, cancelling each other out and yet remaining in the contents. He is all these, a repository for a little piece of each man’s soul, and more than that, a symbol of the earth’s soul.” Her eyes dropped and her hand withdrew. “I said a door was open.
John Steinbeck (To a God Unknown)
God is all right—why should we mind standing in the dark for a minute outside his window? Of course we miss the inness, but there is a bliss of its own in waiting. What if the rain be falling, and the wind blowing; what if we stand alone, or, more painful still, have some dear one beside us, sharing our outness; what even if the window be not shining, because of the curtains of good inscrutable drawn across it; let us think to ourselves, or say to our friend, ‘God is; Jesus is not dead; nothing can be going wrong, however it may look so to hearts unfinished in childness.’ Let us say to the Lord, ‘Jesus, art thou loving the Father in there? Then we out here will do his will, patiently waiting till he open the door. We shall not mind the wind or the rain much. Perhaps thou art saying to the Father, ‘Thy little ones need some wind and rain: their buds are hard; the flowers do not come out. I cannot get them made blessed without a little more winter-weather.’ Then perhaps the Father will say, ‘Comfort them, my son Jesus, with the memory of thy patience when thou wast missing me. Comfort them that thou wast sure of me when everything about thee seemed so unlike me, so unlike the place thou hadst left.
George MacDonald (Unspoken Sermons Series I, II, and II)
You are the king no doubt, but in one respect, at least, I am your equal: the right to reply. I claim that privilege too. I am not your slave. I serve Apollo. I don't need Creon to speak for me in public. So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption in your life, to the house you live in, those you live with- who are your parents? Do you know? All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood, the dead below the earth and the living here above, and the double lash of your mother and your father's curse will whip you from this land one day, their footfall treading you down in terror, darkness shrouding your eyes that now can see the light! Soon, soon, you'll scream aloud - what haven won't reverberate? What rock of Cithaeron won't scream back in echo? That day you learn the truth about your marriage, the wedding-march that sang you into your halls, the lusty voyage home to the fatal harbor! And a crowd of other horrors you'd never dream will level you with yourself and all your children. There. Now smear us with insults - Creon, myself and every word I've said. No man will ever be rooted from the earth as brutally as you.
Robert Fagles (The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone)
Zeus rolled his eyes. "A dimwitted god, apparently. But yes. With the consensus of the entire Council, I can make you immortal. Then I will have to put up with you forever." "Hmm," Ares mused. "That means I can smash him to a pulp as often as I want, and he'll just keep coming back for more. I like this idea." "I approve as well," Athena said, though she was looking at Annabeth. I glanced back. Annabeth was trying not to meet my eyes. Her face was pale. I flashed back to two years ago, when I'd thought she was going to take the pledge to Artemis and become a Hunter. I'd been on the edge of a panic attack, thinking that I'd lose her. Now, she looked pretty much the same way. I thought about the Three Fates, and the way I'd seen my life flash by. I could avoid all that. No aging, no death, no body in the grave. I could be a teenager forever, in top condition, powerful, and immortal, serving my father. I could have power and eternal life. Who could refuse that? Then I looked at Annabeth again. I thought about my friends from camp: Charles Beckendorf, Michael Yew, Silena Beauregard, so many others who were now dead. I thought about Ethan Nakamura and Luke. And I knew what to do. "No," I said. The Council was silent. The gods frowned at each other like they must have misheard. "No?" Zeus said. "You are . . . turning down our generous gift?" There was a dangerous edge to his voice, like a thunderstorm about to erupt. "I'm honored and everything," I said. "Don't get me wrong. It's just . . . I've got a lot of life left to live. I'd hate to peak in my sophomore year." The gods were glaring at me, but Annabeth had her hands over her mouth. Her eyes were shining. And that kind of made up for it.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
When those who have been placed in my life to lead me and train me betray me and turn against me, as Saul turned against David, I will follow the example of David and refuse to let hope die in my heart. Holy Spirit, empower me to be a spiritual father or mother to those who need me to disciple, love, support, and encourage them. Father, raise up spiritual leaders in our land who can lead others with justice, mercy, integrity, and love. Allow me to be one of these leaders. When I am cut off from my father [physical or spiritual] through his insecurity, jealousy, or pride, cause me to recognize that as You did with David, You want to complete Your work in my life. Holy Spirit, release me from tormenting thoughts or self-blame and striving for acceptance. Cause me to seek only Your acceptance and restoration. I refuse to allow the enemy to cause me to seek revenge against those who have wronged me. I will not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed or seek to avenge myself. I will leave justice to You. Father, cause my heart to be pure as David’s was pure. Through Your power, O Lord, I will refuse to attack my enemies with my tongue, for I will never forget that both death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). I will never seek to sow discord or separation between myself and my Christian brothers and sisters, for it is an abomination to my Lord. I will remain loyal to my spiritual leaders even when they have rejected me or wronged me. I choose to be a man [or woman] after the heart of God, not one who seeks to avenge myself. Holy Spirit, like David I will lead my Christian brother and sister to honor our spiritual leaders even in the face of betrayal. I refuse to sow discord among brethren. I will show kindness to others who are in relationship with the ones who have wronged me. Like David I will find ways to honor them and will not allow offense to cause me to disrespect them. Father, only You are worthy to judge the intents and actions of myself or of those around me. I praise You for Your wisdom, and I submit to Your leading. Lord, I choose to remain loyal to those in a position of authority over me. I choose to focus on the calling You have placed on my life and to refuse to be diverted by the actions of others, even when they have treated me wrongly. Father, may You be able to examine my life and know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my heart toward others (1 Sam.24:11).
John Bevere (The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense)
for my father, 1922-1944 Your face did not rot like the others--the co-pilot, for example, I saw him yesterday. His face is corn- mush: his wife and daughter, the poor ignorant people, stare as if he will compose soon. He was more wronged than Job. But your face did not rot like the others--it grew dark, and hard like ebony; the features progressed in their distinction. If I could cajole you to come back for an evening, down from your compulsive orbiting, I would touch you, read your face as Dallas, your hoodlum gunner, now, with the blistered eyes, reads his braille editions. I would touch your face as a disinterested scholar touches an original page. However frightening, I would discover you, and I would not turn you in; I would not make you face your wife, or Dallas, or the co-pilot, Jim. You could return to your crazy orbiting, and I would not try to fully understand what it means to you. All I know is this: when I see you, as I have seen you at least once every year of my life, spin across the wilds of the sky like a tiny, African god, I feel dead. I feel as if I were the residue of a stranger's life, that I should pursue you. My head cocked toward the sky, I cannot get off the ground, and, you, passing over again, fast, perfect, and unwilling to tell me that you are doing well, or that it was mistake that placed you in that world, and me in this; or that misfortune placed these worlds in us.
James Tate
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Dear Kai, The sun is probably streaming in through the big barn windows now, which means you're awake. And if you're awake, it means you're wondering where I went. I haven't run away from you, I promise. But I knew that today of all days, they'd need me in the house. Tatiana may be the head of our household now, but she's not the one our staff will look to in my mother's absence. And there is so much to do to prepare for the funeral. Also, I have to go tell my grandfather what has happened to his daughter. I don't want him to hear of her death from anyone but me. Thank you for last night. I wish I could say I don't know why you re the one I ran to,- you, Kai, not Tatiana or my father or even my grandfather. But I know why. And I have a confession to make. After you let me cry, after you let me sob and shout and choke on all that pain-after you did all that, and didn't say a word-I didn't fall asleep like you thought. Not right away. I lay there, wadded up into a ball, and you curved your body behind mine. You were barely touching me-your thigh against the edge of my hip, your arm draped lightly across my waist, your fingers entwined with mine. How many times have our hands touched, when we were passing each other tools or helping each other in and out of machines? Hundreds of times. Thousands. But last night was different. You cradled my hand in yours, palms up, our fingers curled in like a pair of fallen leaves. Fallen, maybe, but not dead. My hand never felt so alive. Every place you touched me sparked with energy. I couldn't sleep. Not like that. And so I bent my head, just the slightest bit, until my mouth reached our hands. I smelled the oil you never quite get off your fingers. I breathed in the scent of your skin. And then, as if that was all I was doing, just breathing, I let my bottom lip brush against your knuckle. Time stopped, I was sure you'd see through my ruse and pull away. I was sure you'd know that I was not asleep, that I was not just breathing. But you didn't move, so I did it again. And again. And in the third time, I let my top lip join my bottom. I kissed your hand, Kai. I didn't do it to thank you for letting me cry. For letting me sleep in your arms. I thought you should know. Yours, Elliot Dear Elliot, I know. When will I see you again? Yours, Kai
Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1))
What is so often said about the solders of the 20th century is that they fought to make us free. Which is a wonderful sentiment and one witch should evoke tremendous gratitude if in fact there was a shred of truth in that statement but, it's not true. It's not even close to true in fact it's the opposite of truth. There's this myth around that people believe that the way to honor deaths of so many of millions of people; that the way to honor is to say that we achieved some tangible, positive, good, out of their death's. That's how we are supposed to honor their deaths. We can try and rescue some positive and forward momentum of human progress, of human virtue from these hundreds of millions of death's but we don't do it by pretending that they'd died to set us free because we are less free; far less free now then we were before these slaughters began. These people did not die to set us free. They did not die fighting any enemy other than the ones that the previous deaths created. The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. Solders are paid killers, and I say this with a great degree of sympathy to young men and women who are suckered into a life of evil through propaganda and the labeling of heroic to a man in costume who kills for money and the life of honor is accepting ordered killings for money, prestige, and pensions. We create the possibility of moral choice by communicating truth about ethics to people. That to me is where real heroism and real respect for the dead lies. Real respect for the dead lies in exhuming the corpses and hearing what they would say if they could speak out; and they would say: If any ask us why we died tell it's because our fathers lied, tell them it's because we were told that charging up a hill and slaughtering our fellow man was heroic, noble, and honorable. But these hundreds of millions of ghosts encircled the world in agony, remorse will not be released from our collective unconscious until we lay the truth of their murders on the table and look at the horror that is the lie; that murder for money can be moral, that murder for prestige can be moral. These poor young men and woman propagandized into an undead ethical status lied to about what is noble, virtuous, courageous, honorable, decent, and good to the point that they're rolling hand grenades into children's rooms and the illusion that, that is going to make the world a better place. We have to stare this in the face if we want to remember why these people died. They did not die to set us free. They did not die to make the world a better place. They died because we are ruled by sociopaths. The only thing that can create a better world is the truth is the virtue is the honor and courage of standing up to the genocidal lies of mankind and calling them lies and ultimate corruptions. The trauma and horrors of this century of staggering bloodshed of the brief respite of the 19th century. This addiction to blood and the idea that if we pour more bodies into the hole of the mass graves of the 20th century, if we pour more bodies and more blood we can build some sort of cathedral to a better place but it doesn't happen. We can throw as many young men and woman as we want into this pit of slaughter and it will never be full. It will never do anything other than sink and recede further into the depths of hell. We can’t build a better world on bodies. We can’t build peace on blood. If we don't look back and see the army of the dead of the 20th century calling out for us to see that they died to enslave us. That whenever there was a war the government grew and grew. We are so addicted to this lie. What we need to do is remember that these bodies bury us. This ocean of blood that we create through the fantasy that violence brings virtue. It drowns us, drowns our children, our future, and the world. When we pour these endless young bodies into this pit of death; we follow it.
Stefan Molyneux
[Robert's eulogy at his brother, Ebon C. Ingersoll's grave. Even the great orator Robert Ingersoll was choked up with tears at the memory of his beloved brother] The record of a generous life runs like a vine around the memory of our dead, and every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower. Dear Friends: I am going to do that which the dead oft promised he would do for me. The loved and loving brother, husband, father, friend, died where manhood's morning almost touches noon, and while the shadows still were falling toward the west. He had not passed on life's highway the stone that marks the highest point; but, being weary for a moment, he lay down by the wayside, and, using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down his eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust. Yet, after all, it may be best, just in the happiest, sunniest hour of all the voyage, while eager winds are kissing every sail, to dash against the unseen rock, and in an instant hear the billows roar above a sunken ship. For whether in mid sea or 'mong the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck at last must mark the end of each and all. And every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and every moment jeweled with a joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death. This brave and tender man in every storm of life was oak and rock; but in the sunshine he was vine and flower. He was the friend of all heroic souls. He climbed the heights, and left all superstitions far below, while on his forehead fell the golden dawning, of the grander day. He loved the beautiful, and was with color, form, and music touched to tears. He sided with the weak, the poor, and wronged, and lovingly gave alms. With loyal heart and with the purest hands he faithfully discharged all public trusts. He was a worshipper of liberty, a friend of the oppressed. A thousand times I have heard him quote these words: 'For Justice all place a temple, and all season, summer!' He believed that happiness was the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep to-night beneath a wilderness of flowers. Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing. He who sleeps here, when dying, mistaking the approach of death for the return of health, whispered with his latest breath, 'I am better now.' Let us believe, in spite of doubts and dogmas, of fears and tears, that these dear words are true of all the countless dead. And now, to you, who have been chosen, from among the many men he loved, to do the last sad office for the dead, we give his sacred dust. Speech cannot contain our love. There was, there is, no gentler, stronger, manlier man.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Those clothes are Susie's,' my father said calmly when he reached him. Buckley looked down at my blackwatch dress that he held in his hand. My father stepped closer, took the dress from my brother, and then, without speaking, he gathered the rest of my clothes, which Buckley had piled on the lawn. As he turned in silence toward the house, hardly breathing, clutching my clothes to him, it sparked. I was the only one to see the colors. Just near Buckley's ears and on the tips of his cheeks and chin he was a little orange somehow, a little red. Why can't I use them?' he asked. It landed in my father's back like a fist. Why can't I use those clothes to stake my tomatoes?' My father turned around. He saw his son standing there, behind him the perfect plot of muddy, churned-up earth spotted with tiny seedlings. 'How can you ask me that question?' You have to choose. It's not fair,' my brother said. Buck?' My father held my clothes against his chest. I watched Buckley flare and light. Behind him was the sun of the goldenrod hedge, twice as tall as it had been at my death. I'm tired of it!' Buckley blared. 'Keesha's dad died and she's okay?' Is Keesha a girl at school?' Yes!' My father was frozen. He could feel the dew that had gathered on his bare ankles and feet, could feel the ground underneath him, cold and moist and stirring with possibility. I'm sorry. When did this happen?' That's not the point, Dad! You don't get it.' Buckley turned around on his heel and started stomping the tender tomato shoots with his foot. Buck, stop!' my father cried. My brother turned. You don't get it, Dad,' he said. I'm sorry,' my father said. These are Susie's clothes and I just... It may not make sense, but they're hers-something she wore.' ... You act like she was yours only!' Tell me what you want to say. What's this about your friend Keesha's dad?' Put the clothes down.' My father laid them gently on the ground. It isn't about Keesha's dad.' Tell me what it is about.' My father was now all immediacy. He went back to the place he had been after his knee surgery, coming up out of the druggie sleep of painkillers to see his then-five-year-old son sitting near him, waiting for his eyes to flicker open so he could say, 'Peek-a-boo, Daddy.' She's dead.' It never ceased to hurt. 'I know that.' But you don't act that way.' Keesha's dad died when she was six. Keesha said she barely even thinks of him.' She will,' my father said. But what about us?' Who?' Us, Dad. Me and Lindsey. Mom left becasue she couldn't take it.' Calm down, Buck,' my father said. He was being as generous as he could as the air from his lungs evaporated out into his chest. Then a little voice in him said, Let go, let go, let go. 'What?' my father said. I didn't say anything.' Let go. Let go. Let go. I'm sorry,' my father said. 'I'm not feeling very well.' His feet had grown unbelievably cold in the damp grass. His chest felt hollow, bugs flying around an excavated cavity. There was an echo in there, and it drummed up into his ears. Let go. My father dropped down to his knees. His arm began to tingle on and off as if it had fallen asleep. Pins and needles up and down. My brother rushed to him. Dad?' Son.' There was a quaver in his voice and a grasping outward toward my brother. I'll get Grandma.' And Buckley ran. My father whispered faintly as he lay on his side with his face twisted in the direction of my old clothes: 'You can never choose. I've loved all three of you.
Alice Sebold
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Everything belonged to him--but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he belonged to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible--it was not good for one either--trying to imagine. He had taken a high seat amongst the devils of the land--I mean literally. You can't understand. How could you?--with solid pavement under your feet, surrounded by kind neighbors ready to cheer you or to fall on you, stepping delicately between the butcher and the policeman, in the holy terror of scandal and gallows and lunatic asylums--how can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammeled feet may take him into by the way of solitude--utter solitude without a policeman--by the way of silence, utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness. Of course you may be too much of a fool to go wrong--too dull even to know you are being assaulted by the powers of darkness. I take it, no fool ever made a bargain for his soul with the devil: the fool is too much of a fool, or the devil too much of a devil--I don't know which. Or you may be such a thunderingly exalted creature as to be altogether deaf and blind to anything but heavenly sights and sounds. Then the earth for you is only a standing place -- and whether to be like this is your loss or your gain I won't pretend to say. But most of us are neither one nor the other. The earth for us is a place to live in, where we must put up with sights, with sounds, with smells too, by Jove!-- breathe dead hippo, so to speak, and not be contaminated. And there, don't you see? Your strength comes in, the faith in your ability for the digging of unostentatious holes to bury the stuff in--your power of devotion, not to yourself, but to an obscure, back-breaking business. And that's difficult enough. Mind, I am not trying to excuse or even explain--I am trying to account to myself for--for--Mr. Kurtz--for the shade of Mr. Kurtz. This initiated wraith from the back of Nowhere honored me with its amazing confidence before it vanished altogether. This was because it could speak English to me. The original Kurtz had been educated partly in England, and--as he was good enough to say himself--his sympathies were in the right place. His mother was half-English, his father was half-French. All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
Dear Jessa, I’ve started this letter so many times and I’ve never been able to finish it. So here goes again . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Riley is dead. I’m sorry for ignoring your emails and for not being there for you. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it had been me that died and not Riley. If I could go back in time and change everything I would. I’m sorry I left without a word. There’s no excuse for my behaviour but please know that it had nothing to do with you. I was a mess. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for months. And I felt too guilty and didn’t know how to tell you the truth about what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you knowing. I got all your emails but I didn’t read them until last week. I couldn’t face it and I guess that makes me the biggest coward you’ll ever meet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I never replied. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you. I don’t even know how to ask your forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I’m just glad you’re doing better. I’m better too. I’ve started seeing a therapist – twice a week – you’d like her. She reminds me of Didi. I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who needed therapy, but they made it a condition of me keeping my job. She’s helped me a lot with getting the panic attacks under control. Working in a room the size of a janitor’s closet helps too – there aren’t too many surprises, only the occasional rogue paperclip. I asked for the posting. I have to thank your dad ironically. The demotion worked out. Kind of funny that I totally get where your father was coming from all those years. Looks like I’ll be spending the remainder of my marine career behind a desk, but I’m OK with that. I don’t know what else to say, Jessa. My therapist says I should just write down whatever comes into my head. So here goes. Here’s what’s in my head . . . I miss you. I love you. Even though I long ago gave up the right to any sort of claim over you, I can’t stop loving you. I won’t ever stop. You’re in my blood. You’re the only thing that got me through this, Jessa. Because even during the bad times, the worst times, the times I’d wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping, the times I’d think the only way out was by killing myself and just having it all go away, I’d think of you and it would pull me back out of whatever dark place I’d fallen into. You’re my light, Jessa. My north star. You asked me once to come back to you and I told you I always would. I’m working on it. It might take me a little while, and I know I have no right to ask you to wait for me after everything I’ve done, but I’m going to anyway because the truth is I don’t know how to live without you. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. So please, I’m asking you to wait for me. I’m going to come back to you. I promise. And I’m going to make things right. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll never stop trying for the rest of my life to make things right between us. I love you. Always. Kit
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
If she captured Tamlin’s power once, who’s to say she can’t do it again?” It was the question I hadn’t yet dared voice. “He won’t be tricked again so easily,” he said, staring up at the ceiling. “Her biggest weapon is that she keeps our powers contained. But she can’t access them, not wholly—though she can control us through them. It’s why I’ve never been able to shatter her mind—why she’s not dead already. The moment you break Amarantha’s curse, Tamlin’s wrath will be so great that no force in the world will keep him from splattering her on the walls.” A chill went through me. “Why do you think I’m doing this?” He waved a hand to me. “Because you’re a monster.” He laughed. “True, but I’m also a pragmatist. Working Tamlin into a senseless fury is the best weapon we have against her. Seeing you enter into a fool’s bargain with Amarantha was one thing, but when Tamlin saw my tattoo on your arm … Oh, you should have been born with my abilities, if only to have felt the rage that seeped from him.” I didn’t want to think much about his abilities. “Who’s to say he won’t splatter you as well?” “Perhaps he’ll try—but I have a feeling he’ll kill Amarantha first. That’s what it all boils down to, anyway: even your servitude to me can be blamed on her. So he’ll kill her tomorrow, and I’ll be free before he can start a fight with me that will reduce our once-sacred mountain to rubble.” He picked at his nails. “And I have a few other cards to play.” I lifted my brows in silent question. “Feyre, for Cauldron’s sake. I drug you, but you don’t wonder why I never touch you beyond your waist or arms?” Until tonight—until that damned kiss. I gritted my teeth, but even as my anger rose, a picture cleared. “It’s the only claim I have to innocence,” he said, “the only thing that will make Tamlin think twice before entering into a battle with me that would cause a catastrophic loss of innocent life. It’s the only way I can convince him I was on your side. Believe me, I would have liked nothing more than to enjoy you—but there are bigger things at stake than taking a human woman to my bed.” I knew, but I still asked, “Like what?” “Like my territory,” he said, and his eyes held a far-off look that I hadn’t yet seen. “Like my remaining people, enslaved to a tyrant queen who can end their lives with a single word. Surely Tamlin expressed similar sentiments to you.” He hadn’t—not entirely. He hadn’t been able to, thanks to the curse. “Why did Amarantha target you?” I dared ask. “Why make you her whore?” “Beyond the obvious?” He gestured to his perfect face. When I didn’t smile, he loosed a breath. “My father killed Tamlin’s father—and his brothers.” I started. Tamlin had never said—never told me the Night Court was responsible for that. “It’s a long story, and I don’t feel like getting into it, but let’s just say that when she stole our lands out from under us, Amarantha decided that she especially wanted to punish the son of her friend’s murderer—decided that she hated me enough for my father’s deeds that I was to suffer.” I might have reached a hand toward him, might have offered my apologies—but every thought had dried up in my head. What Amarantha had done to him … “So,” he said wearily, “here we are, with the fate of our immortal world in the hands of an illiterate human.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))