Door Handle Quotes

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

That was the goth stage, where I decided I'd never get the girl of my dreams because of my scars. Not to mention my hairstyle. (pause) But then she slammed a door handle into my gut. And when a girl does that to a boy, it means she likes him.
Lisa McMann (Wake (Wake, #1))
I turned in my seat. Will’s face was in shadow and I couldn’t quite make it out. ‘Just hold on. Just for a minute.’ ‘Are you all right?’ I found my gaze dropping towards his chair, afraid some part of him was pinched, or trapped, that I had got something wrong. ‘I’m fine. I just . . . ’ I could see his pale collar, his dark suit jacket a contrast against it. ‘I don’t want to go in just yet. I just want to sit and not have to think about . . . ’ He swallowed. Even in the half-dark it seemed effortful. ‘I just . . . want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.’ I released the door handle. ‘Sure.’ I closed my eyes and lay my head against the headrest, and we sat there together for a while longer, two people lost in remembered music, half hidden in the shadow of a castle on a moonlit hill.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
Are you defending Marcie?” He shook his head. “I don’t need to. She handled herself. You, on the other hand…” I pointed at the door. “Out.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
Humor can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle.
G.K. Chesterton
The door handle is the handshake of the building.
Juhani Pallasmaa (The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses)
The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions. The door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed. Or that lovely poem that didn't get written because someone knocked on the door.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Love is like a door knob that I’ve mistaken for a shower handle, and I’m trying to turn up the heat on our relationship, but the handle won’t turn and I’ve got shampoo in my eyes and my wetsuit is dry and I started crying just as the zookeeper asked me to leave.
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
But then you slammed a door handle into my gut. And when a girl does that to a guy; it means she likes him.
Lisa McMann (Wake (Wake, #1))
Independence is the luxury of all those people who are too confident, and busy, and popular, and attractive to be just plain old lonely. And make no mistake, lonely is absolutely the worst thing to be. Tell someone that you've got a drink problem, or an eating disorder, or your dad died when you were a kid even, and you can almost see their eyes light up with the sheer fascinating drama and pathos of it all, because you've got an issue, something for them to get involved in, to talk about and analyse and discuss and maybe even cure. But tell someone you’re lonely and of course they’ll seem sympathetic, but look very carefully and you'll see one hand snaking behind their back, groping for the door handle, ready to make a run for it, as if loneliness itself were contagious. Because being lonely is just so banal, so shaming, so plain and dull and ugly.
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
When she grabbed for the door handle, I said, quietly, “Harper, I will love you for the rest of my life.
Molly McAdams (Stealing Harper (Taking Chances, #1.5))
Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda." "Is that what it means to be a Christian?" It sounded kind of stupid as Mack said it, but it was how he was trying to sum everything up in his mind. "Who said anything about being a Christian? I'm not a Christian." The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected and he couldn't keep himself from grinning. "No, I suppose you aren't." They arrived at the door of the workshop. Again Jesus stopped. "Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslim, Democrats, Republicans, and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some were bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraquis, Jews and Palistinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved." "Does that mean," asked Mack, "that all roads will lead to you?" "Not at all," smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
I'm taking a quick shower. I'm gross. I need to be clean." "You shouldn't be doing that." The door handle jingled. It wasn't locked. "Alex!" "I'm naked," I warned. Silence and then, "Is that supposed to make me not want to come in there?
Jennifer L. Armentrout
There was a door And I could not open it. I could not touch the handle. Why could I not walk out of my prison? What is hell? Hell is oneself, Hell is alone, the other figures in it Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from And nothing to Escape to. One is always alone.
T.S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party)
Sometimes I have the feeling that we're in one room with two opposite doors and each of us holds the handle of one door, one of us flicks an eyelash and the other is already behind his door, and now the first one has but to utter a word ad immediately the second one has closed his door behind him and can no longer be seen. He's sure to open the door again for it's a room which perhaps one cannot leave. If only the first one were not precisely like the second, if he were calm, if he would only pretend not to look at the other, if he slowly set the room in order as though it were a room like any other; but instead he does exactly the same as the other at his door, sometimes even both are behind the doors and the the beautiful room is empty.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Milena)
But I have sometimes thought that a woman's nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.
Edith Wharton (The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton)
Were you bluffing about getting out?" Gabriel grabbed the door handle. When he was standing in the grit and rubble of the shoulder, feeling the rain trail down his collar, he hesitated before closing the door. "You know I don't even have a phone." "Would now be a bad time for a joke about smoke signals?" "Fuck you.
Brigid Kemmerer (Spark (Elemental, #2))
...she's leaving now. ... Janis attacks the back door of the school gym and finds herself in a heavy cloud of smoke. She realizes she's found the Goths' hangout. Who knew? "Oof," someone says. She keeps walking, muttering, "sorry" to whomever it was she hit with the flying door. *** Cabel: ... That was the Goth stage where I decided I'd never get the girl of my dreams because of my scars. Not to mention the hairstyle. (pause) But then she slammed a door handle into my gut. And, when a girl does that to a boy, it means she likes him.
Lisa McMann (Wake (Wake, #1))
Amos stopped before the entrance, which was the size of a garage door—a dark heavy square of timber with no visible handle or lock. “Carter after you.” “Um, how do I—” “How do you think?” Great another mystery. I was about to suggest we ram Amos’s head against it and see if that worked.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
Dad himself used to tell a story about one time when Mother went off to fill a lecture engagement and left him in charge at home. When Mother returned, she asked him if everything had run smoothly. Didn't have any trouble except with that one over there,' he replied. 'But a spanking brought him into line.' Mother could handle any crisis without losing her composure. That's not one of ours, dear,' she said. 'He belongs next door.
Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. (Cheaper by the Dozen)
Finnik?” I say. “Maybe some pants?”
He looks down at his legs as if noticing them for the first time. Then he whips of his hospital gown, leaving him in just is underwear. “Why? Do you find this”-he strikes a ridiculously proactive pose-“distracting?”
I can’t help laughing because it’s funny, and it’s extra funny because Boggs looks so uncomfortable, and I’m happy because Finnik actually sounds like the guy I met at the Quarter Quell.
“I’m only human, Odair.” I get in before the elevator doors close. “Sorry,” I say to Boggs.
“Don’t be. I thought you… handled that well,” He says. “Better than my having to arrest him, anyway.”
 
Fulvia Cardew hustles over an makes a sound of frustration when she sees my clean face. “All that hard work, down the drain. I’m not blaming you, Katniss. It’s just that very few people are born with camera-ready faces. Like him.” She snags Gale, who’s in a conversation with Plutarch, and spins him towards us. “Isn’t he handsome?”
Gale does look stricking in the uniform, I guess. But the question just embarrasses us both Given our history. I’m trying to think of a witty comeback when Boggs says brusquely, “Well don’t expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Does that mean,' said Mack, 'that all roads lead to you?' 'Not at all.' Jesus smiled as he reached for the door handle to the shop. 'Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Minho clucked his tongue. “Who cares about that? What’s this freakin’ stuff about her being the Betrayer?” “And what’s ‘Group A, Subject A1’ mean?” This was Newt, who handed over the fire extinguisher to Thomas. “Anyway, your turn to break a buggin’ door handle.
James Dashner (The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2))
Janco leaned on the threshold of my door with his face creased in annoyance. “Did she just—” “Yes.” “But I don’t—” “Yes. You do. We both stink.” “Well, I’m not—” “Yes. You are.” He huffed. “You won’t let—” “No. No complaining. Let’s go.” I grabbed a clean shirt and pants from my saddlebags. “Well, she could have handled it better,” he grumped. “No. She couldn’t.” He settled into a sulky silence as we visited the bathhouse.
Maria V. Snyder (Sea Glass (Glass, #2))
The road climbed into the mountains, Jonah taking the hairpin curves as fast as he dared. "You look so macho clutching the door handle that way," he said to Hamilton. "Just...be...careful," Hamilton said through clenched teeth.
Jude Watson (A King's Ransom (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #2))
There was a time when I experienced architecture without thinking about it. Sometimes I can almost feel a particular door handle in my hand, a piece of metal shaped like the back of a spoon. I used to take hold of it when I went into my aunt's garden. That door handle still seems to me like a special sign of entry into a world of different moods and smells. I remember the sound of the gravel under my feet, the soft gleam of the waxed oak staircase, I can hear the heavy front door closing behind me as I walk along the dark corridor and enter the kitchen, the only really brightly lit room in the house.
Peter Zumthor
She paused, frowning at him. But his eyes drifted to the small wooden door just a few feet away. A broom closet. She followed his attention, and a slow smile spread across her face. She turned toward it, but he grabbed her hand, bringing his face close to hers. “You’re going to have to be very quiet.” She reached the knob and opened the door, tugging him inside. “I have a feeling that I’m going to be telling you that in a few moments,” she purred, eyes gleaming with the challenge. Chaol’s blood roared through him, and he followed her into the closet and wedged a broom beneath the handle.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
Slicker than snot on a door handle.
Kim Harrison (Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1))
I stood there, staring at the closed doors. I reached out and touched the bone handle. You can fix this, I told myself. You can make this right. But I just stood there, frozen, Mal's words ringing in my ears. I bit down hard on my lip to silence the sob that shook my chest. That's good, I thought as the tears spilled over. That way the servants won't hear. An ache had started between my ribs, a hard, bright shard of pain that lodged beneath my sternum, pressing tight against my heart. I didn't hear the Darkling move; I only knew when he was beside me. His long fingers brushed the hair back from my neck and rested on the collar. When he kissed my cheek, his lips were cold.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
She would love it. Just as he loved her. He paused for a second, his fingers touching the door handle. He was in love. The realisation came to him quite suddenly.
Lesley Lokko (Bitter Chocolate)
I touched the combination lock. I concentrated so hard I felt like I was dead-lifting five hundred pounds. My pulse quickening. A line of sweat trickled down my nose. Finally I felt gears turning. Metal groaned, tumblers clicked, and the bolts popped back. Carefully avoiding the handle, I pried open the door with my fingertips and extracted an unbroken vial of green liquid. Hal exhaled. Thalia kissed me on the cheek, which she probably shouldn't haven't done while I was holding a tube of deadly poison. "You are so good," she said. Did that make the risk worth? Yeah, pretty much.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus))
Their hands slapped library door handles together, their chests broke track tapes together, their tennis shoes beat parallel pony tracks over lawns, trimmed bushes, squirreled trees, no one losing, both winning, thus saving their friendship for other times of loss.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
Trying to exhaust himself, Vaughan devised an endless almanac of terrifying wounds and insane collisions: The lungs of elderly men punctured by door-handles; the chests of young women impaled on steering-columns; the cheek of handsome youths torn on the chromium latches of quarter-lights. To Vaughan, these wounds formed the key to a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology. The images of these wounds hung in the gallery of his mind, like exhibits in the museum of a slaughterhouse.
J.G. Ballard (Crash)
The King emerged from the library, paperwork in hand, eyebrows furrowed. "Well, what is it, what is it?" he said crossly. "Can you not let me work for five minutes at a time?" The girls burst into angry cries. Kale let out another piercing shriek. "Him-him-him-" said Delphinium, pointing a shaking finger at Mr. Hyette, who laughed still. "He-he-him!" "He-he-he was spying on us!" "And we weren't even wearing our boots!" "Or even our stockings!" Thunpfwhap. The King threw Mr. Hyette up against the paneling. My Hyette's head slammed against the wainscot. Kale stopped midscream, hiccupped, and giggled. "Mr. Hyeete!" said the King. Mr. Hyette struggled against the King's steel grip. "Ow," he said. "I say, ow!" The King yanked Mr. Hyette from the wall and grabbed him by the scruff of his fluffy cravat. He handled Mr. Hyette out the entrance hall doors, slamming them behind him. Outside, gravel scuffled. "I say," said Bramble, in an impeccable impersonation of Mr. Hyette. "I say, I say! I say-this Royal Business could actually be quite a lot of fun!
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible. When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth. "Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger." Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud? "Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly. "Okay, good. What else?" I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
Women are raised to work with dexterity, to keep their nimble fingers ready, their minds alert. It is her job to know how to handle the stream of bombs, how to kindly decline giving her number, how to move her hand from the button of her jeans, to turn down a drink. When a woman is assaulted, one of the first questions people ask is, ‘did you say no?’ This question assumes that the answer was always yes, and that it is her job to revoke the agreement. To defuse the bomb she was given. But why are they allowed to touch us until we physically fight them off? Why is the door open until we have to slam it shut?
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
We must learn to close doors. A business strategy is primarily a statement on what not to engage in. Adopt a life strategy similar to a corporate strategy: Write down what not to pursue in your life. In other words, make calculated decisions to disregard certain possibilities and when an option shows up, test it against your not-to-pursue list. It will not only keep you from trouble but also save you lots of thinking time. Think hard once and then just consult your list instead of having to make up your mind whenever a new door cracks open. Most doors are not worth entering, even when the handle seems to turn so effortlessly.
Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly)
Well," he said, opening the door to his car, "all you can do is put on an appearance of confidence sometimes. And after a while, others will start to believe it." [Eric Weber] grabbed the door handle to pull it closed. "And then you die.
Neil Strauss (The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists)
His demanding tongue tasted so damn good, and his piercing bit deliciously against her lip from the aggressive way he pursued her over and over. His hands tugged and massaged at her hair and neck. He just surrounded her. The difference in their height made Caden lean down over her. The way he forced her head back commanded her to open up to him. With the metal handle of the door pressing into her back, she felt completely enveloped in him, in his ardor, his scent. The world dropped away. There was just Caden.
Laura Kaye (Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness, #1))
Most people think the closet is a small room. They think you can touch the walls, touch the door, turn the handle, and walk free. But when you're inside it, the closet is vast. No walls, no door, just empty darkness stretching the length of the world.
S.J. Sindu (Marriage of a Thousand Lies)
Seven things has Lady Lackless Keeps them underneath her black dress One a ring that’s not for wearing One a sharp word, not for swearing Right beside her husband’s candle There’s a door without a handle In a box, no lid or locks Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks There’s a secret she’s been keeping She’s been dreaming and not sleeping On a road, that’s not for traveling Lackless likes her riddle raveling.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
Haden flashed me a grin. “You ever been stumping?” “Er … I don’t even know what that is.” “It involves muddy logging roads, four-wheel drive, and holding on to the ‘oh, shit’ handle above your door.
Gwen Hayes
It's too late, mate. There's no saving someone once the cartel has them in the crosshairs. You just fucking pray." Nick popped the handle on his door and drew his gun. "I'm Catholic. I don't pray, I just ask for forgiveness after.
Abigail Roux (Crash & Burn (Cut & Run, #9))
She wasn't kind of lady that depended on a man and I think that's what made her so irrestible to them, any man she had loved she wanted ~ and the men that loved her back couldn't handle not being needed, so she showed them the door and grew her own wings as they walked out. Love to her isn't a maybe thing, nor is it attachment and any man whom thinks he will ever own her would be best not to try at all.
Nikki Rowe
I took a very careful hold of the metal door handle. No shocks and nothing exploded. I pulled gently and the door yielded, but I stayed on the balls of my feet. If I felt the tension of a wire or heard a click, I was going to set a new land speed record for a scared white guy in a hazmat suit.
Jonathan Maberry (The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger, #3))
When he at least reached the door the handle had cease to vibrate. Lowering himself suddenly to his knees he placed his head and the vagaries of his left eye (which was for ever trying to dash up and down the vertical surface of the door), he was able by dint of concentration to observe, within three inches of his keyholed eye, an eye which was not his, being not only of a different colour to his own iron marble, but being, which is more convincing, on the other side of the door.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
Hey,” the other said, coming to life. “You’re supposed to be in jail.” Al grinned at him, his white-gloved grip tightening on the wooden handle, which was intricately carved in the shape of a naked, writhing woman. Nice. “And your momma wanted you to have a brain,” he said, yanking the door open and slamming it into the guy’s face.
Kim Harrison (The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, #6))
I thought you'd be better at this." "Why?" Bridget shrugged. "'Cause your dad's a cop." "Right," Matt said, shifting his body so he wasn't blocking the light. "Why wouldn't he teach me Breaking and Entering 101?" Bridget stifled a yawn. "Might be helpful now." "Patience, grasshopper." Matt inserted a second metal prong into the lock. "I know a few tricks." Bridget heard a soft click, and Matt raised his eyebrows in an unspoken "I told you so" before twisting the handle. The door swung open. "Slick, MacGyver," Bridget whispered, patting him on the head. "Remind me to give you a cookie.
Gretchen McNeil (Possess)
After hearing the boy scream, the cats formed their pyramid in front of the glass door. Belle turned the handle while Harry and the others pushed the door open. They scrambled in and searched the room and small bathroom and shower. Bombarded with the boy’s scent, the cats continued to search. He had to be somewhere. A knock on the door startled the animals. Belle ran to the door and sniffed. “Food,” she whispered. “Must be for the boy.” “We must find that boy,” Harry said. “If the human enters, they will find us. Quickly, everyone, show time!” One-by-one, the cats crawled under the bed sheet and maneuvered between the opened books. “Just as in The Catman’s act,” Curry said, trying not to snicker. “Hush!” Belle scolded. Two moved upward, two downward, two to the right, and three to the left. Belle and Harry crouched in the middle. Allie crawled to the pillow and poked out her back and head. With her ears lowered, only her straggling black hair could be seen.
Mary K. Savarese (The Girl In The Toile Wallpaper (The Star Writers Trilogy #1))
The woman dashed up the staircase toward the library's main doors. Arriving at the top of the stairs, she grabbed the handle and tried desperately to open each of the three giant doors. The library's closed, lady. But the woman didn't seem to care. She seized one of the heavy ring-shaped handles, heaved it backward, and let it fall with a loud crash against the door. Then she did it again. And again. And again. Wow, the homeless man thought, she must really need a book.
Dan Brown
The next morning, when I went in to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I noticed the index card over the sink. RIGHT FAUCET DRIPS EASILY, it said. TIGHTEN WITH WRENCH AFTER USING. And then there was an arrow, pointing down to where a small wrench was tied with bright red yarn to one of the pipes. This is crazy, I thought. But that wasn't all. In the shower, HOT WATER IS VERY HOT! USE WITH CARE was posted over the soap dish. And on the toilet: HANDLE LOOSE. DON'T YANK. (As if I had some desire to do that.) The overhead fan was clearly BROKEN, the tiles by the door were LOOSE so I had to WALK CAREFULLY. And I was informed, cryptically, that the light over the medicine cabinet works, BUT ONLY SOMETIMES.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
He grabbed the holy shit handle above his door and held on tight.
Sara Hubbard (Blood, She Read)
She wasn't the kind of lady that depended on a man and I think that's what made her so irrestible to them, any man she had loved; she wanted ~ and the men that loved her back couldn't handle not being needed, so she showed them the door and grew her own wings as they walked out. Love to her isn't a maybe thing, nor is it attachment and any man whom thinks he will ever own her would be best not to try at all.
Nikki Rowe
We can never dispense with language and the other symbol systems; for it is by means of them, and only by their means, that we have raised ourselves above the brutes, to the level of human beings. But we can easily become the victims as well as the beneficiaries of these systems. We must learn how to handle words effectively; but at the same time we must preserve and, if necessary, intensify our ability to look at the world directly and not through that half opaque medium of concepts, which distorts every given fact into the all too familiar likeness of some generic label or explanatory abstraction.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell)
It’s a problem” is another deadening phrase. It’s heavy and negative. “It’s an opportunity” opens the door to growth. Each time you can see the gift in life’s obstacles, you can handle difficult situations in a rewarding way. Each time you have the opportunity to stretch your capacity to handle the world, the more powerful you become.
Susan Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway®: Dynamic techniques for turning Fear, Indecision and Anger into Power, Action and Love)
Amateur,” Kavinsky said. “This is the way to dream back Gansey’s balls for him.” “Is this going to be a thing?” Ronan demanded. He was angry, but not as angry as he would’ve been before he started drinking. He put his fingers on the door handle, ready to get out. “Like, is this going to be what’s funny to you? Because I don’t want this that bad. I can figure it out myself.” “Sure you can,” Kavinsky said. He cocked a finger at him. “Give him that pen. Write him a little note with it. In fucking George Washington letters, ‘Dear Dick, drive this, ex-oh-ex-oh. Ronan Lynch.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
The moving parts of the house were all silent, its surfaces smooth. The closet doors had no handles. None of the woodwork had fixtures. Drawers had gentle indents. The kitchen cabinets pushed open and shut with a click. Franklin, the whole house was on Zoloft. You
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Sometimes I have the feeling that we're in one room with two opposite doors and each of us holds the handle of one door, one of us flicks an eyelash and the other is already behind his door, and now the first one has but to utter a word ad immediately the second one has closed his door behind him and can no longer be seen. He's sure to open the door again for it's a room which perhaps one cannot leave. If only the first one were not precisely like the second, if he were calm, if he would only pretend not to look at the other, if he slowly set the room in order as though it were a room like any other; but instead he does exactly the same as the other at his door, sometimes even both are behind the doors and the the beautiful room is empty." Franz Kafka (in a letter to Milena Jesenska)
Edmund White (The Beautiful Room Is Empty (The Edmund Trilogy, #2))
He told me that everyone had a hidden door, which was the way into the heart, and that it was a point of honour with him to be able to find the handles to those doors. For the heart was both key and lock, and he who could master the hearts of men and learn their secrets was well on the way to mastering the Fates and controlling the thread of his own destiny. Not, he hastened to add, that any man can really do that. Not even the gods, he said, were more powerful than the Three Fatal Sisters. He did not mention them by name, but spat to avoid bad luck; and i shivered to think of them in their glum cave, spinning out lives, measuring them, cutting them off.
Margaret Atwood (The Penelopiad)
There's little to see, but things leave an impression. It's a matter of time and repetition. As something old wears thin or out, something new wears in. The handle on the pump, the crank on the churn, the dipper floating in the bucket, the latch on the screen, the door on the privy, the fender on the stove, the knees of the pants and the seat of the chair, the handle of the brush and the lid to the pot exist in time but outside taste; they wear in more than they wear out. It can't be helped. It's neither good nor bad. It's the nature of life.
Wright Morris
He is not a forgiving tutor, and he doesn't know how to be nice. Kevin can piss anyone off on an Exy court, up to and including a drugged Andrew. Well, anyone except Renee, but she's not human so she doesn't count." Neil looked at Andrew again. "I thought his medicine made that impossible." "Spring was a learning experience." Nicky propped his racquet against his shoulder and started for the door. "Wish you'd seen it. Andrew would've taken Kevin's head off if Kevin hadn't already thrown Andrew's racquet halfway across the court. I can't wait to see how you handle it.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
But the kitchen will not come into its own again until it ceases to be a status symbol and becomes again a workshop. It may be pastel. It may be ginghamed as to curtains and shining with copper like a picture in a woman's magazine. But you and I will know it chiefly by its fragrances and its clutter. At the back of the stove will sit a soup kettle, gently bubbling, one into which every day are popped leftover bones and vegetables to make stock for sauces or soup for the family. Carrots and leeks will sprawl on counters, greens in a basket. There will be something sweet-smelling twirling in a bowl and something savory baking in the oven. Cabinet doors will gape ajar and colored surfaces are likely to be littered with salt and pepper and flour and herbs and cheesecloth and pot holders and long-handled forks. It won't be neat. It won't even look efficient. but when you enter it you will feel the pulse of life throbbing from every corner. The heart of the home will have begun once again to beat.
Phyllis McGinley
I thought about how people seemed always to keep their distance. And how I always made sure to keep mine. The schoolmaster, Mr. Henderson, had sanitized the door latch I'd touched. And Mr. Johnson, the postmaster, had wanted to sanitize my letter before he handled it. Two people slow to change. But the others? I suppose I ought to think about them one by one.
Lauren Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea)
I thought about how people seemed always to keep their distance. And how I always made sure to keep mine. The schoolmaster, Mr. Henderson, had sanitized the door latch I'd touched. And Mr. Johnson, the postmaster, had wanted to sanitized my letter before he handled it. Two people slow to change. But the others? I suppose I ought to think about them one by one.
Lauren Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea)
The man who is more than his chemistry, walking on the earth, turning his plow point for a stone, dropping his handles to slide over an outcropping, kneeling in the earth to eat his lunch; that man who is more than his elements knows the land that is more than its analysis. But the machine man, driving a dead tractor on land he does not know and love, understands only chemistry; and he is contemptuous of the land and of himself, then the corrugated iron doors are shut, he goes home, and his home is not the land.
John Steinbeck
It was one of those moments in which I become very uncomfortable. One of those times when nothing you say can be right, and almost anything you do say is wrong. I could see no answer but the classic Croaker approach. I began to back away. That is how I handle my women. Duck for cover when they get distressed. I almost made it to the door. She could move when she wanted. She crossed the gap and put her arms around me, rested a cheek against my chest. And that is how they handle me, the sentimental fool. The closet romantic.
Glen Cook (Shadow Games (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #4))
Nick looked for his coat on the rack.I snagged mine and shrugged it on without stopping.I swung open the front door of the restaurant.The frigid night wind blew snow into my eyes. "Hayden," Nick called me. "Close the door," hollered the couples in the booths nearest us. I let go of the door handle, then turned to Nick in the warm room. When he just stood there,staring down at me,I walked back to him. "On second thought,"he said, "I don't know about this." I was not going to get dissed again.I said brightly, "Oh,don't be scared.It's easy!" I jerked his puffy parka down from the rack and held it open for him. "Try one arm at a time." Glaring at me,he took the coat and shrugged it on. "Close the door!" shouted the couples around us as we walked outside.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
Bright flashes of memory sparked through Kaz’s mind. A cup of hot chocolate in his mittened hands, Jordie warning him to let it cool before he took a sip. Ink drying on the page as he’d signed the deed to the Crow Club. The first time he’d seen Inej at the Menagerie, in purple silk, her eyes lined with kohl. The bone-handled knife he’d given her. The sobs that had come from behind the door of her room at the Slat the night she’d made her first kill. The sobs he’d ignored. Kaz remembered her perched on the sill of his attic window, sometime during that first year after he’d brought her into the Dregs. She’d been feeding the crows that congregated on the roof. “You shouldn’t make friends with crows,” he’d told her. “Why not?” she asked. He’d looked up from his desk to answer, but whatever he’d been about to say had vanished on his tongue. The sun was out for once, and Inej had turned her face to it. Her eyes were shut, her oil-black lashes fanned over her cheeks. The harbor wind had lifted her dark hair, and for a moment Kaz was a boy again, sure that there was magic in this world. “Why not?” she’d repeated, eyes still closed. He said the first thing that popped into his head. “They don’t have any manners.” “Neither do you, Kaz.” She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
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)
Kate knocked on his door and sucked in some air when he opened the door fresh from a shower. His hair was wet and he had a towel wrapped low on his hips. "Jeez," Kate said, staring at the towel, her mind running amuck over what the towel was hiding, unable to drag her eyes to Nick's face. "Is that a good jeez or a bad jeez?" "It's just jeez. Don't you have a robe?" "The room didn't come with a robe." "Okay, so that's why you're wearing the towel. I can see that. Makes perfect sense." A smile twitched at the corners of Nick's mouth. "Is there something I can do for you?" "No! Gosh. Absolutely not." Kate stared at the towel. She was pretty sure she saw it move. Nick tightened his grip on the towel. "Kate?" "Yep?" "You're staring." "I know. I can't help myself." "Cute," Nick said. Kate squinched her eyes shut and wrinkled her nose. "Ugh! I hate being cute." "Cute is good." "It's not. I'm an FBI agent. There's no cute in the FBI. Cute is goofy." "I'd grab you and kiss you, but I'd lose my towel, and I'm afraid you'd faint at the sight of me naked." "I think I could handle it." Nick dropped his towel
Janet Evanovich (The Chase (Fox and O'Hare, #2))
1. I told you that I was a roadway of potholes, not safe to cross. You said nothing, showed up in my driveway wearing roller-skates. 2. The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, “You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.” 3. Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay. 4. The last eight times I told you I loved you, they sounded like apologies. 5. You recorded me a CD of you repeating, “You are beautiful.” I listened to it until I no longer thought in my own voice. 6. Into the half-empty phone line, I whispered, “We will wake up believing the worst in each other. We will spit shrapnel at each other’s hearts. The bruises will lodge somewhere we don’t know how to look for and I will still pretend I don’t know its coming.” 7. You photographed my eyebrow shapes and turned them into flashcards: mood on one side, correct response on the other. You studied them until you knew when to stay silent. 8. I bought you an entire bakery so that we could eat nothing but breakfast for a week. Breakfast, untainted by the day ahead, was when we still smiled at each other as if we meant it. 9. I whispered, “I will latch on like a deadbolt to a door and tell you it is only because I want to protect you. Really, I’m afraid that without you I mean nothing.” 10. I gave you a bouquet of plane tickets so I could practice the feeling of watching you leave. 11. I picked you up from the airport limping. In your absence, I’d forgotten how to walk. When I collapsed at your feet, you refused to look at me until I learned to stand up without your help. 12. Too scared to move, I stared while you set fire to your apartment – its walls decaying beyond repair, roaches invading the corpse of your bedroom. You tossed all the faulty appliances through the smoke out your window, screaming that you couldn’t handle choking on one more thing that wouldn’t just fix himself. 13. I whispered, “We will each weed through the last year and try to spot the moment we began breaking. We will repel sprint away from each other. Your voice will take months to drain out from my ears. You will throw away your notebook of tally marks from each time you wondered if I was worth the work. The invisible bruises will finally surface and I will still pretend that I didn’t know it was coming.” 14. The entire time, I was only pretending that I knew it was coming.
Miles Walser
He reaches for a few strands of my hair, twining them around his finger. “You busy later?” “I was supposed to go to a meet-and-greet in Fairport with Mom, but I told her I needed to study for SATs.” “She believed this? It’s summer, Sam.” “Nan’s got me signed up for this crazy prep simulation. And . . . I might have told Mom when she was a little distracted.” “But not intentionally, of course.” “Of course not,” I say. “So if I were to come see you after eight, you’d be studying.” “Absolutely. But I might want a . . . study buddy. Because I might be grappling with some really tough problems.” “Grappling, huh?” “Tussling with,” I say. “Wrestling. Handling.” “Gotcha. Sounds like I should bring protective gear to study with you.” Jase grins at me. “You’re pretty tough. You’ll be fine.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
But you sent off that Flounder fellow," Loki said, and I rolled my eyes. "His name is Finn, and I know you know that," I said as I left the room. Loki grabbed the vacuum and followed me. "You called him by his name this morning." "Fine, I know his name," Loki admitted. We went into the next room, and he set down the vacuum as I started peeling the dusty blankets off the bed. "But you were okay with Finn going off to Oslinna, but not Duncan?" "Finn can handle himself," I said tersely. The bedding got stuck on a corner, and Loki came over to help me free it. Once he had, I smiled thinly at him. "Thank you." "But I know you had a soft spot for Finn," Loki continued. "My feelings for him have no bearing on his ability to do his job." I tossed the dirty blankets at Loki. He caught them easily before setting them down by the door, presumably for Duncan to take to the laundry chute again. "I've never understood exactly what your relationship with him was, anyway," Loki said. I'd started putting new sheets on the bed, and he went around to the other side to help me. "Were you two dating?" "No." I shook my head. "We never dated. We were never anything." I continued to pull on the sheets, but Loki stopped, watching me. "I don't know if that's a lie or not, but I do know that he was never good enough for you." "But I suppose you think you are?" I asked with a sarcastic laugh. "No, of course I'm not good enough for you," Loki said, and I lifted my head to look up at him, surprised by his response. "But I at least try to be good enough." "You think Finn doesn't?" I asked, standing up straight. "Every time I've seen him around you, he's telling you what to do, pushing you around." He shook his head and went back to making the bed. "He wants to love you, I think, but he can't. He won't let himself, or he's incapable. And he never will." The truth of his words stung harder than I'd thought they would, and I swallowed hard. "And obviously, you need someone that loves you," Loki continued. "You love fiercely, with all your being. And you need someone that loves you the same. More than duty or the monarchy or the kingdom. More than himself even." He looked up at me then, his eyes meeting mine, darkly serious. My heart pounded in my chest, the fresh heartache replaced with something new, something warmer that made it hard for me to breathe. "But you're wrong." I shook my head. "I don't deserve that much." "On the contrary, Wendy." Loki smiled honestly, and it stirred something inside me. "You deserve all the love a man has to give." I wanted to laugh or blush or look away, but I couldn't. I was frozen in a moment with Loki, finding myself feeling things for him I didn't think I could ever feel for anyone else. "I don't know how much more laundry we can fit down the chute," Duncan said as he came back in the room, interrupting the moment. I looked away from Loki quickly and grabbed the vacuum cleaner. "Just get as much down there as you can," I told Duncan. "I'll try." He scooped up another load of bedding to send downstairs. Once he'd gone, I glanced back at Loki, but, based on the grin on his face, I'd say his earlier seriousness was gone. "You know, Princess, instead of making that bed, we could close the door and have a roll around in it." Loki wagged his eyebrows. "What do you say?" Rolling my eyes, I turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out the conversation. "I'll take that as a maybe later!" Loki shouted over it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
The room behind me was dark. "Thief," intoned a lovely voice in the blackness. "You do know," Ianthe tittered from outside the cottage, her steps slowing into a walk, "that we'll have to kill whoever is inside there with you. Selfish of you, Feyre." I panted, holding the door open, making sure they couldn't see me on the other side. "You have seen my twin," the Weaver hissed softly- with a hint of wonder. "I smell him on you." Outside, Ianthe and the guard grew closer. Closer and closer. Somewhere deep in the room, I felt her move. Felt her stand. And take a step toward me. "What are you," the Weaver breathed. "Feyre, you can be quite tedious," Ianthe said. Right outside. I could barely make out her pale robes through the crack between the door and the threshold. "Do you think you can ambush us in there? I saw your shield. You're drained. And I do not think your glowing trick will help." The Weaver's dress rustled as she crept closer in the gloom. "Who did you bring, little wolf? Who did you bring to me?" Ianthe and her two guards stepped over the threshold. Then another step. Past the open door. They didn't see me in the shadows behind it. "Dinner," I said to the Weaver, whirling around the door- to it's outside face. And let go of the handle. Just as the door slammed shut hard enough to rattle the cottage, I saw the ball of faelight that Ianthe lifted to illuminate the room. Saw the horrible face of the Weaver, that mouth of stumped teeth opening wide with delight and unholy hunger. A death-god of old- starved for life. With a beautiful priestess before her. I was already hurtling for the trees when the guards and Ianthe began screaming.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Sirius, I need you to set off at once. You are to alert Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg, Mundungus Fletcher —the old crowd. Lie low at Lupin's for a while, I will contact you there." "But —" said Harry. He wanted Sirius to stay. He did not want to say goodbye again so quickly, "You'll see me very soon, Harry," said Sirius, turning to him. "I promise you. But I must do what I can, you understand, don't you?" "Yeah," said Harry.. "Yeah... of course I do." Sirius grasped his hand briefly, nodded to Dumbledore, transformed again into the black dog, and ran the length of the room to the door, whose handle he turned with a paw. Then he was gone.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
When my generation of women walked away from the kitchen we were escorted down that path by a profiteering industry that knew a tired, vulnerable marketing target when they saw it. "Hey, ladies," it said to us, "go ahead, get liberated. We'll take care of dinner." They threw open the door and we walked into a nutritional crisis and genuinely toxic food supply. If you think toxic is an exaggeration, read the package directions for handling raw chicken from a CAFO. We came a long way, baby, into bad eating habits and collaterally impaired family dynamics. No matter what else we do or believe, food remains at the center of every culture. Ours now runs on empty calories.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
The smile that curled his lips was as arrogant as it was beautiful. “You need to accept the fact that you’re Orange and that you’re always going to be alone because of it.” A measure of calm had returned to Clancy’s voice. His nostrils flared when I tried to turn the door handle again. He slammed both hands against it to keep me from going anywhere, towering over me. “I saw what you want,” Clancy said. “And it’s not your parents. It’s not even your friends. What you want is to be with him, like you were in the cabin yesterday, or in that car in the woods. I don’t want to lose you, you said. Is he really that important?” Rage boiled up from my stomach, burning my throat. “How dare you? You said you wouldn’t—you said—” He let out a bark of laughter. “God, you’re naive. I guess this explains how that League woman was able to trick you into thinking you were something less than a monster.” “You said you would help me,” I whispered. He rolled his eyes. “All right, are you ready for the last lesson? Ruby Elizabeth Daly, you are alone and you always will be. If you weren’t so stupid, you would have figured it out by now, but since it’s beyond you, let me spell it out: You will never be able to control your abilities. You will never be able to avoid being pulled into someone’s head, because there’s some part of you that doesn’t want to know how to control them. No, not when it would mean having to embrace them. You’re too immature and weak-hearted to use them the way they’re meant to be used. You’re scared of what that would make you.” I looked away. “Ruby, don’t you get it? You hate what you are, but you were given these abilities for a reason. We both were. It’s our right to use them—we have to use them to stay ahead, to keep the others in their place.” His finger caught the stretched-out collar of my shirt and gave it a tug. “Stop it.” I was proud of how steady my voice was. As Clancy leaned in, he slipped a hazy image beneath my closed eyes—the two of us just before he walked into my memories. My stomach knotted as I watched my eyes open in terror, his lips pressed against mine. “I’m so glad we found each other,” he said, voice oddly calm. “You can help me. I thought I knew everything, but you…” My elbow flew up and clipped him under the chin. Clancy stumbled back with a howl of pain, pressing both hands to his face. I had half a second to get the hell out, and I took it, twisting the handle of the door so hard that the lock popped itself out. “Ruby! Wait, I didn’t mean—!” A face appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Lizzie. I saw her lips part in surprise, her many earrings jangling as I shoved past her. “Just an argument,” I heard Clancy say, weakly. “It’s fine, just let her go.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Are these from you?” The voice so startled me that I whirled around. Unfortunately, I was still holding the rake in my hand. Even more unfortunately, the wooden handle caught him right along the side of his face. He staggered back, stunned, the bottle of wine I’d just left at his door slipping from his grasp and shattering on the path with a crash. The scent of merlot drifted up around us, canceling out the smells of spring. “Oops,” I said in a strangled voice. “Jesus Christ, lady,” my new neighbor cursed, rubbing his cheek. “What is your problem?
Kristan Higgins (Too Good to Be True)
If you really want to know something about me, you should know this: I like my music loud. I mean loud. I'm not talking about the kind of loud where your parents knock on your bedroom door and ask you to turn it down. Please. That's amateur hour. When I say loud, I mean you-can't-hear-your-parents-knocking-and-the-neighbors-are-putting-a-FOR-SALE-sign-on-their-house-and-moving-to-another-block-because-they-can't-handle-the-constant-noise-anymore loud. You have to turn it up so that your chest shakes and the drums get in between your ribs like a heartbeat and the bass goes up your spine and frizzles your brain and all you can do is dance or spin in a circle or just scream along because you know that however this music makes you feel, it's exactly right. If you are not this kind of person, then I don't think we'll be great friends.
Robin Benway (Audrey, Wait!)
[...] he would see that birth and death were only two tremendous moments in an eternal waking, and his face would glow with amazement as he understood this; he would feel - gently he grasped the copper handle of the door - the warmth of the mountains, woods, rivers and valleys, would discover the hidden depths of human existence, would finally understand that the unbreakable ties that bound him to the world were not imprisoning chains and condemnation but a kind of clinging to an indestructible sense that he had a home; and he would discover the enormous joys of mutuality which embraced and animated everything: rain, wind, sun and snow, the flight of a bird, the taste of fruit, the scent of grass; and he would suspect that his anxieties and bitterness were merely cumbersome ballast required by the live roots of his past and the rising airship of his certain future, and, then - he started opening the door - he would finally know that our every moment is passed in a procession across dawns and day's-ends of the orbiting earth, across successive waves of winter and summer, threading the planets and the stars. Suitcase in hand, he stepped into the room and stood there blinking in the half-light.
László Krasznahorkai (The Melancholy of Resistance)
I sat on a bench and did what, as a girl, I had done whenever I needed to calm myself: instead of pressing the button with the number 4 on it, I let myself go up to the sixth floor. That space had been empty and dark for many years, ever since the lawyer who had his office there had left, taking with him even the light bulb from the landing. When the elevator stopped, I let my breath glide into my stomach and then return slowly to my throat. As always, after a few seconds, the light in the elevator went out, too. I thought of reaching my hand out to one of the door handles: you had only to pull it and the light would return. But I didn't move and continued to send my breath deep into my body. The only sound was that of the woodworms eating into the panelled walls. Just a few months earlier (five, six?), on a sudden impulse, I had revealed to my mother, during one of my brief visits, that as an adolescent I used to retreat to that secret place, and I brought her up there, to the top. Maybe I wanted to try to establish an intimacy that there had never been, maybe I wanted to let her know in some confused way that I had always been unhappy. But she seemed to me only amused by the fact that I had sat suspended in the void, in a dilapidated elevator.
Elena Ferrante (Troubling Love)
The door handle turned. Someone knocked, and a man's voice called, "Uh, hello?" Valkyrie looked at Skulduggery, looked back at the others, looked at Skulduggery again. "Hello," Skulduggery said, speaking loudly to be heard over the alarm. "Hi," said the man. "The door's locked." "Is it?" "Yes." "That's funny" said Skulduggery. "Hold on a moment." He reached out, jiggled the handle a few times, then stepped back. "Yes, it's locked. You wouldn't happen to have the key, would you?" There was a delay in response from the other side. "I'm sorry," the man called, "Who am I speaking with?" Skulduggery tilted his head. "Who am I speaking with?" "This is Oscar Nightfall." "Are you sure?" "What?" "Are you sure you are who you say you are? This is the Great Chamber, after all. It's a very important place for very important people. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone, and I'm not saying that this applies to you in particular, but someone could conceivably lie about who they are in order to gain access to this room. I have to be vigilant, especially now. There's a war on, you know." Oscar Nightfall sounded puzzled. Who are you?" "Me? I'm nobody. I'm a cleaner. I'm one of the cleaners. I was cleaning the thrones and the door shut behind me. Now I can't get out. Could you try and find a key?" "What's your name? Give me you name." "No. It's mine." "Tell me your name!" "My name is Oscar Nightfall." "What? No it isn't. That's my name." "Is it? Since when?" "Since I took it!" "You didn't ask me if you could take it. I was using it first." "Open this door immediately." "I don't have the key." "I'll fetch the Cleavers." "I found the key. It was in the keyhole. It's always the last place you look isn't it? I'm unlocking the door now. Here we go." Skulduggery relaxed the air pressure, opened the door, and pulled Oscar Nightfall inside. Valkyrie stuck out her foot, and Oscar stumbled over it and Vex shoved him to Ghastly and Ghastly punched him. Oscar fell down and didn't get up again. Skulduggery closed the door once more.
Derek Landy (Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8))
What are you storing up there?" Virginia Dare yelled from the stairwell below. The immortal was outlined with a translucent green aura that lifted her fine black hair off her back and shoulders like a cloak. "Just a few small alchemical experiments...," Dee began. A thunderous explosion dropped the trio to their knees. Bits of plaster rained down from the ceiling and a heavy smell of sewage filled the stairwell. "And one or two big ones," he added. "We need to get out of here.The entire building is going to collapse," Dare said. She turned and continued down the stairs, Dee and Josh close on her heels. Josh breathed deeply. "Am I smelling burning bread?" he asked, surprised. Dare glanced back up at Dee. "I don't even want to know what that smell is coming from." "No,you don't," the doctor agreed. When they reachd the bottom of the stairs,Virginia flung herself against the double doors but bounced off them. They were padlocked, a thick chain woven through their handles. "I'm sure that breaches a fire code," Dee murmured.
Michael Scott (The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #5))
You’re not gonna believe what just happened to me,” Jase says the minute I flip my cell open, taking advantage of break at the B&T. I turn away from the picture window just in case Mr. Lennox, disregarding the break sign, will come dashing out to slap me with my first-ever demerit. “Try me.” His voice lowers. “You know how I put that lock on the door of my room? Well, Dad noticed it. Apparently. So today, I’m stocking the lawn section and he comes up and asks why it’s there.” “Uh-oh.” I catch the attention of a kid sneaking into the hot tub (there’s a strict no-one-under-sixteen policy) and shake my head sternly. He slinks away. Must be my impressive uniform. “So I say I need privacy sometimes and sometimes you and I are hanging out and we don’t want to be interrupted ten million times.” “Good answer.” “Right. I think this is going to be the end of it. But then he tells me he needs me in the back room to have a ‘talk.’” “Uh-oh again.” Jase starts to laugh. “I follow him back and he sits me down and asks if I’m being responsible. Um. With you.” Moving back into the shade of the bushes, I turn even further away from the possible gaze of Mr. Lennox. “Oh God.” “I say yeah, we’ve got it handled, it’s fine. But, seriously? I can’t believe he’s asking me this. I mean, Samantha. Jesus. My parents? Hard not to know the facts of life and all in this house. So I tell him that we’re moving slowly and—” “You told him that?” God, Jase! How am I ever going to look Mr. Garret in the eye again? Help. “He’s my dad, Samantha. Yeah. Not that I didn’t want to exit the conversation right away, but still . . .” “So what happened then?” “Well, I reminded him they’d covered that really thoroughly in school, not to mention at home, and we weren’t irresponsible people.” I close my eyes, trying to imagine having this conversation with my mother. Inconceivable. No pun intended. “So then . . . he goes on about”—Jase’s voice drops even lower—“um . . . being considerate and um . . . mutual pleasure.” “Oh my god! I would’ve died. What did you say?” I ask, wanting to know even while I’m completely distracted by the thought. Mutual pleasure, huh? What do I know about giving that? What if Shoplifting Lindy had tricks up her sleeve I know nothing about? It’s not like I can ask Mom. “State senator suffers heart attack during conversation with daughter.” “I said ‘Yes sir’ a lot. And he went on and on and on and all I could think was that any minute Tim was gonna come in and hear my dad saying things like, ‘Your mom and I find that . . . blah blah blah.’” I can’t stop laughing. “He didn’t. He did not mention your mother.” “I know!” Jase is laughing too. “I mean . . . you know how close I am to my parents, but . . . Jesus.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
By the middle of the afternoon it had rained so much that the drains were overflowing, clogged up with leaves and newspapers. The water built up until it was sliding across the road in great sheets, rippled by the wind and parted like a football crowd by passing cars. I was shocked by the sheer volume of water that came pouring out of the darkness of the sky. Watching the weight of it crashing into the ground made me feel like a very young child, unable to understand what was really happening. Like trying to understand radio waves, or imagining computers communicating along glass cables. I leant my face against the window as the rain piled upon it, streaming down in waves, blurring my vision, making the shops opposite waver and disappear. There was a time when I might have found this exhilarating, even miraculous, but not that day. That day it made me nervous and tense, unable to concentrate on anything while the noise of it clattered against the windows and the roof. I kept opening the door to look for clear skies, and slamming it shut again. And then around teatime, from nowhere, I smashed all the dirty plates and mugs into the washing-up bowl. Something swept through me, swept out of and over me, something unstoppable, like water surging from a broken tap and flooding across the kitchen floor. I don't quite understand why I felt that way, why I reacted like that. I wanted to be saying it's just something that happens. But I was there, that day, slamming the kitchen door over and over again until the handle came loose. Smacking my hand against the worktop, kicking the cupboard doors, throwing the plates into the sink. Going fuckfuckfuck through my clenched teeth. I wanted someone to see me, I wanted someone to come rushing in, to take hold of me and say hey hey what are you doing, hey come on, what's wrong. But there was no one there, and no one came.
Jon McGregor (If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things)
Antonia: I meant to tell you, and then forgot: call a spade a spade, and say 'arse', 'prick', 'cunt', and 'fuck', otherwise the only people who'll understand you will be the scholars of the Capranica think tank - you and your 'rose in the ring', your 'obelisk in the arsenal' your 'leek in the garden', your 'bolt in the door', your 'key in the lock', your 'pestle in the mortar', your 'nightingale in the nest', your 'sapling in the ditch', your 'syringe in the flap-valve', your 'sword in the sheath'; and the same goes for 'the stake', 'the crozier', the parsnip', 'the little monkey', 'his thingummy', 'her thingummy', 'the apples', 'the leaves of the mass book', 'that thingy', 'the graceful whatyamacallit', 'that whatsit', 'that doings', 'that latest news', 'the handle', 'the dart', 'that carrot', 'the root' and all the other shit that comes out of your mouth, but there you go, pussyfooting around. Let your yes mean yes, your no, no, and otherwise, just shut it.
Pietro Aretino (The Secret Life of Nuns)
She narrowed her eyes at him. She wanted to tell him that it was his fault, that she would never have tripped if he’d just stayed the same old Jay he’d always been, gangly and childlike. But she knew that she was being irrational. He was bound to grow up eventually; she’d just never imagined that he’d grow up so well. Instead she accused him: “Well, maybe if you hadn’t pushed me I wouldn’t have fallen.” She made the outlandish accusation with a completely straight face. He shook his head. “You’ll never be able to prove it. There were no witnesses—it’s just your word against mine.” She giggled and hopped down. “Yeah, well, who’s gonna believe you over me? Weren’t you the one who shoplifted a candy bar from the Safeway?” She limped over to the sink while she taunted him with her words, and she washed the dirt from the minor scrapes on her palms. “Whatever! I was seven. And I believe you were the one who handed it to me and told me to hide it in my sleeve. Technically that makes you the mastermind of that little operation, doesn’t it?” He came up behind her, and reaching around her, he poured some of the antibacterial wash onto her hands. She was taken completely off guard by the intimate gesture. She froze as she felt his chest pressing against her back until that was all she could think about for the moment and the temporarily forgot how to speak. She watched as the red scrapes fizzed with white bubbles from the disinfectant. He leaned over her shoulder, setting the bottle down and pulling her hands up toward him. He blew on them too. Violet didn’t even notice the sting this time. And then it was over. He released her hands, and as she stood there, dazed, he handed her a clean towel to dry them on. When she turned around to face him, she realized that she had been the only one affected by the moment, that his touch had been completely innocent. He was looking at her like he was waiting for her to say something, and she was suddenly aware that her mouth was still open. She finally gathered her wits enough to speak again. “Yeah, well, maybe if you hadn’t done it right in front of the cashier, we might have gotten away with it. Instead, you got both of us grounded for stealing.” He didn’t miss a beat, and he seemed unaware of her temporary lapse. “And some might say that our grounding saved us from a life of crime.” She hung the towel over the oven’s door handle. “Maybe it saved me, but the jury’s still out on you. I always thought you were kind of a bad seed.” He gave her a questioning look. “Seriously, a ‘bad seed’, Vi? When did you turn ninety and start saying things like ‘bad seed’?” She pushed him as she walked by, even though he really wasn’t in her way. He gave her a playful shove from behind and teased her, “Don’t make me trip you again.” Now more than ever, Violet hoped that this crush of hers passed soon, so she could get back to the business of being just friends. Otherwise, this was going to be a long—and painful—year.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Atticus adjusted his glasses as he peered down at the blanket. “Hey, is that the book Nellie told us about?” Jake’s eyes flicked to Olivia’s book. “You’ve got it outside in the sun? Are you out of your minds?” Amy crossed her arms. “We’re being careful.” “It’s not about careful, this is a five-hundred-year-old manuscript! You should be wearing gloves—Atticus brought some—and keeping it out of the sunlight.” “It didn’t take you long to start barking orders!” Any exclaimed, her face flushing. “But then you always know best, don’t you?” “Somebody has to be mature in this situation,” Jake said, his gaze flashing at Ian, who was now intently trying to brush cookie crumbs off his pants. “True. In that case, we’d rather consult your little brother,” Ian said with a smirk. “Medieval manuscripts are his field, am I right?” “Technically, it’s early Renaissance,” Jake said. “Thanks for the correction, my good man. Amy is right—you do know best.” Ian slipped his arm around Amy. “She’s so perceptive. One of the many things I adore about her.” “It’s getting chilly. Why don’t we go inside?” Amy suggested brightly as she tried to step out of the circle of Ian’s arm. Ian took the opportunity to rub her shoulder. “You do feel rather cold,” he said. “Let’s sit by the fire. Jake, since you’re so interested in proper handling, why don’t you take the book?” Jake snatched up the book and furiously stomped off toward the house. “You forgot to wear gloves!” Ian called after him. Amy pushed him away. “Really, Ian.” “What a touchy guy,” Ian said. “Frankly, I don’t know what you see in him.” He winced as the kitchen door slammed, then glanced at Amy’s red face. “Hmmm. It might be a good time for me to take a walk.
Jude Watson (Nowhere to Run (The 39 Clues: Unstoppable, #1))
Snake Street is an area I should avoid. Yet that night I was drawn there as surely as if I had an appointment.  The Snake House is shabby on the outside to hide the wealth within. Everyone knows of the wealth, but facades, like the park’s wall, must be maintained. A lantern hung from the porch eaves. A sign, written in Utte, read ‘Kinship of the Serpent’. I stared at that sign, at that porch, at the door with its twisted handle, and wondered what the people inside would do if I entered. Would they remember me? Greet me as Kin? Or drive me out and curse me for faking my death?  Worse, would they expect me to redon the life I’ve shed? Staring at that sign, I pissed in the street like the Mearan savage I’ve become. As I started to leave, I saw a woman sitting in the gutter. Her lamp attracted me. A memsa’s lamp, three tiny flames to signify the Holy Trinity of Faith, Purity, and Knowledge.  The woman wasn’t a memsa. Her young face was bruised and a gash on her throat had bloodied her clothing. Had she not been calmly assessing me, I would have believed the wound to be mortal. I offered her a copper.  She refused, “I take naught for naught,” and began to remove trinkets from a cloth bag, displaying them for sale. Her Utte accent had been enough to earn my coin. But to assuage her pride I commented on each of her worthless treasures, fighting the urge to speak Utte. (I spoke Universal with the accent of an upper class Mearan though I wondered if she had seen me wetting the cobblestones like a shameless commoner.) After she had arranged her wares, she looked up at me. “What do you desire, O Noble Born?” I laughed, certain now that she had seen my act in front of the Snake House and, letting my accent match the coarseness of my dress, I again offered the copper.  “Nay, Noble One. You must choose.” She lifted a strand of red beads. “These to adorn your lady’s bosom?”             I shook my head. I wanted her lamp. But to steal the light from this woman ... I couldn’t ask for it. She reached into her bag once more and withdrew a book, leather-bound, the pages gilded on the edges. “Be this worthy of desire, Noble Born?”  I stood stunned a moment, then touched the crescent stamped into the leather and asked if she’d stolen the book. She denied it. I’ve had the Training; she spoke truth. Yet how could she have come by a book bearing the Royal Seal of the Haesyl Line? I opened it. The pages were blank. “Take it,” she urged. “Record your deeds for study. Lo, the steps of your life mark the journey of your soul.”   I told her I couldn’t afford the book, but she smiled as if poverty were a blessing and said, “The price be one copper. Tis a wee price for salvation, Noble One.”   So I bought this journal. I hide it under my mattress. When I lie awake at night, I feel the journal beneath my back and think of the woman who sold it to me. Damn her. She plagues my soul. I promised to return the next night, but I didn’t. I promised to record my deeds. But I can’t. The price is too high.
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
I’ve never skydived, bungee-jumped, or parasailed. As I remove the headset, I try to calculate the fall and can’t. Maybe my brain is protecting me from myself and what I’m about to do. I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but I’ve heard hitting the water from such-and-such height feels like hitting concrete at such-and-such miles per hour. In other words, it’s a bone-shattering experience. I seriously doubt those calculations are based on the Syrena bone structure though. In fact, I’m counting on it. “No lower, okay?” Dan says, looking out his window to the water below. “Oh, you see sharks! Wow, it looks like a feeding frenzy down there. Hey, don’t touch that!” I grip the handle harder, but the door won’t budge. Leaning back, I get in the mule-kick position. “Emma, don’t!” Toraf yells. “Those are sharks, Emma!” I take a deep breath. “Wait until I have them under control before you jump.” A joint effort from two half-Syrena legs sends the door flying to a watery grave. “They want proof?” I grumble to myself as I lean into the wind, “I’ll show them proof.” Right before I hit the water, I can still hear Toraf screaming.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Dating yes. But she thinks we're, uh, more than dating." "Oh," he says, thoughtful. Then he grins. "Oh." The reason her lips are turning his favorite color is because Emma's mom thinks they've been dating and mating. The blush extends down her neck and disappears into her T-shirt. He should probably say something to make her feel more comfortable. But teasing her seems so much more fun. "Well then, the least she could do is give us some privacy-" "Ohmysweetgoodness!" She snatches her backpack from the seat and marches around her car to the driver's side. Before she can get the door unlocked, he plucks the key from her fingers and tucks it into his jeans' pocket. She moves to retrieve it, but stops when she realizes where she's about to go fishing. He's never seen her this red. He laughs. "Calm down, Emma. I'm just kidding. Don't leave." "Yeah, well, it's not funny. You should have seen her this morning. She almost cried. my mom doesn't cry." She crosses her arms again but relaxes against her door. "She cried? That's pretty insulting." She cracks a tiny grin. "Yeah, it's an insult to me. She thinks I would...would..." "More than date me?" She nods. He steps toward her and puts his hand beside her on the car, leaning in. A live current seems to shimmy up his spine. What are you doing? "But she should know that you don't even think of me like that. That it would never even cross your mind," he murmurs. She looks away, satisfying his unspoken question-it has crossed her mind. The same way it crosses his. How often? Does she feel the voltage between them, too? Who cares, idiot? She belongs to Grom. Or are you going to let a few sparks keep you from uniting the kingdoms? He pulls back, clenching his teeth. His pockets are the only safe place for his hands at the moment. "Why don't I meet her then? You think that would make her feel better?" "Um." She swipes her hair to the other side of her face. Her expression falls somewhere between shock and expectation. And she had every right to expect it-he's been entertaining the idea of kissing her for over two weeks now. She fidgets the door handle. "Yeah, it might. She won't let me go anywhere-especially with you-if she doesn't meet you first." "Should I be afraid?" She sighs. "Normally I would say no. But after this morning..." She shrugs. "How about I follow you to your house so you can drop off your car? Then she can interrogate me. When she sees how charming I am, she'll let you ride to the beach with me." She rolls her eyes. "Just don't be too charming. If you're too smooth, she'll never believe-just don't overdue it, okay?" "This is getting complicated," he says, unlocking her car. "Just remember, this is your idea and your fault. Now would be the time to back out." He chuckles and opens the door for her. "Don't lose me on the road.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
It is a remarkable fact that the people who do things by hand still find time to add to their work some elaboration of mere beauty which makes it a joy to look on, while our machine-made tools, which could do so at much less cost, are too utilitarian to afford any ornament. It used to give me daily pleasure in Teheran to see the sacks in which refuse is carried off the streets woven with a blue and red decorative pattern: but can one imagine a borough council in Leeds or Birmingham expressing a delicate fancy of this kind? Beauty, according to these, is what one buys for the museum: pots and pans, taps and door-handles, though one has to look at them twenty times a day, have no call to be beautiful. So we impoverish our souls and keep our lovely things for rare occasions, even as our lovely thoughts - wasting the most of life in pondering domestic molehills or the Stock Exchange, among objects as ugly as the less attractive forms of sin.
Freya Stark (The Valleys of the Assassins: and Other Persian Travels (Modern Library))
Do you know why I remembered you?” he asked me suddenly. It was a question so out of nowhere that it took me a little while to figure out what he was talking about. “You mean from Latin Convention?” “Yeah.” “Was it my Coliseum model?” I was only half-joking. Steven had helped me build it; it had been pretty impressive. “No.” Cam ran his hand through his hair. He wouldn’t look at me. “It’s because I thought you were really pretty. Like, maybe the prettiest girl I’d ever seen.” I laughed. In the car, it sounded really loud. “Yeah, right. Nice try, Sextus.” “I mean it,” he insisted, his voice rising. “You’re making that up.” I didn’t believe it could be true. I didn’t want to let myself believe it. With the boys any compliment like this would always be the first part of a joke. He shook his head, lips tight. He was offended that I didn’t believe him. I hadn’t meant to hurt his feelings. I just didn’t see how it could be true. It was almost mean of him to lie about it. I knew what I looked like back then, and I wasn’t the prettiest girl anybody had ever seen, not with my thick glasses and chubby cheeks and little-girl body. Cam looked me in the eyes then. “The first day, you wore a blue dress. It was, like, corduroy or something. It made your eyes look really blue.” “My eyes are gray,” I said. “Yes, but that dress made them look blue.” He looked so sweet, the way he watched me, waiting for my reaction. His cheeks were flushed peach. I swallowed hard and said, “Why didn’t you come up to me?” He shrugged. “You were always with your friends. I watched you that whole week, trying to get up the nerve. I couldn’t believe it when I saw you at the bonfire that night. Pretty bizarre, huh?” Cam laughed, but he sounded embarrassed. “Pretty bizarre,” I echoed. I couldn’t believe he’d noticed me. With Taylor by my side, who would have even bothered to look at me? “I almost messed up my Catullus speech on purpose, so you’d win,” he said, remembering. He inched a little closer to me. “I’m glad you didn’t,” I said. I reached out and touched his arm. My hand shook. “I wish you had come up to me.” That’s when he dipped his head low and kissed me. I didn’t let go of the door handle. All I could think was, I wish this had been my first kiss.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
Mom?” Then again, louder. “Mom?” She turned around so quickly, she knocked the pan off the stove and nearly dropped the gray paper into the open flame there. I saw her reach back and slap her hand against the knobs, twisting a dial until the smell of gas disappeared. “I don’t feel good. Can I stay home today?” No response, not even a blink. Her jaw was working, grinding, but it took me walking over to the table and sitting down for her to find her voice. “How—how did you get in here?” “I have a bad headache and my stomach hurts,” I told her, putting my elbows up on the table. I knew she hated when I whined, but I didn’t think she hated it enough to come over and grab me by the arm again. “I asked you how you got in here, young lady. What’s your name?” Her voice sounded strange. “Where do you live?” Her grip on my skin only tightened the longer I waited to answer. It had to have been a joke, right? Was she sick, too? Sometimes cold medicine did funny things to her. Funny things, though. Not scary things. “Can you tell me your name?” she repeated. “Ouch!” I yelped, trying to pull my arm away. “Mom, what’s wrong?” She yanked me up from the table, forcing me onto my feet. “Where are your parents? How did you get in this house?” Something tightened in my chest to the point of snapping. “Mom, Mommy, why—” “Stop it,” she hissed, “stop calling me that!” “What are you—?” I think I must have tried to say something else, but she dragged me over to the door that led out into the garage. My feet slid against the wood, skin burning. “Wh-what’s wrong with you?” I cried. I tried twisting out of her grasp, but she wouldn’t even look at me. Not until we were at the door to the garage and she pushed my back up against it. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. I know you’re confused, but I promise that I’m not your mother. I don’t know how you got into this house, and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to know—” “I live here!” I told her. “I live here! I’m Ruby!” When she looked at me again, I saw none of the things that made Mom my mother. The lines that formed around her eyes when she smiled were smoothed out, and her jaw was clenched around whatever she wanted to say next. When she looked at me, she didn’t see me. I wasn’t invisible, but I wasn’t Ruby. “Mom.” I started to cry. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be bad. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry! Please, I promise I’ll be good—I’ll go to school today and won’t be sick, and I’ll pick up my room. I’m sorry. Please remember. Please!” She put one hand on my shoulder and the other on the door handle. “My husband is a police officer. He’ll be able to help you get home. Wait in here—and don’t touch anything.” The door opened and I was pushed into a wall of freezing January air. I stumbled down onto the dirty, oil-stained concrete, just managing to catch myself before I slammed into the side of her car. I heard the door shut behind me, and the lock click into place; heard her call Dad’s name as clearly as I heard the birds in the bushes outside the dark garage. She hadn’t even turned on the light for me. I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights. “Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back. “You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice. “Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…” “I know, I believe you.” At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket. “Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger. Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces. “Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?” I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself. “You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—” I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!” “You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.” “No!” I shrieked. “No!” He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door. I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them. But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room. “—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
In matters of affection, the rules of engagement at Empire High were detailed yet unambiguous, an extension of procedures established in junior high, a set of guidelines that couldn't have been clearer if they'd been posted on the schoolhouse door. If you were a girl and your heart inclined toward a particular boy, you had one of your girlfriends make inquiries from one of that boy's friends. Such contact represented the commencement of a series of complex negotiations, the opening rounds of which were handled by friends. Boy's friend A might report to Girl's friend B that the boy in question considered her a fox, or, if he felt particularly strongly, a major fox. Those experienced in these matters knew that it was wise to proceed cautiously, since too much ardor could delay things for weeks. The girl in question might be in negotiations with other parties, and no boy wanted to be on record as considering a girl a major fox only to discover that she considered him merely cool. Friends had to be instructed carefully about how much emotional currency they could spend, since rogue emotions led to inflation, lessening the value of everyone's feelings. Once a level of affection within the comfort zone of both parties was agreed upon, the principals could then meet for the exchange of mementos - rings, jackets, photos, key chains - to seal the deal, always assuming that seconds had properly represented the lovers to begin with.
Richard Russo (Empire Falls)
And when spring comes to the City people notice one another in the road; notice the strangers with whom they share aisles and tables and the space where intimate garments are laundered. going in and out, in and out the same door, they handle the handle; on trolleys and park benches they settle thighs on a seat in which hundreds have done it too. Copper coins dropped in the palm have been swallowed by children and tested by gypsies, but it’s still money and people smile at that. It’s the time of year when the City urges contradiction most, encouraging you to buy street food when you have no appetite at all; giving you a taste for a single room occupied by you alone as well as a craving to share it with someone you passed in the street. Really there is no contradiction—rather it’s a condition; the range of what an artful City can do. What can beat bricks warming up to the sun? The return of awnings. The removal of blankets from horses’ backs. Tar softens under the heel and the darkness under bridges changes from gloom to cooling shade. After a light rain, when the leaves have come, tree limbs are like wet fingers playing in woolly green hair. Motor cars become black jet boxes gliding behind hoodlights weakened by mist. On sidewalks turned to satin figures move shoulder first, the crowns of their heads angled shields against the light buckshot that the raindrops are. The faces of children glimpsed at windows appear to be crying, but it is the glass pane dripping that makes it seem so.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
[Stice's] parents had met and fallen in love in a Country/Western bar in Partridge KS — just outside Liberal KS on the Oklahoma border — met and fallen in star-crossed love in a bar playing this popular Kansas C/W-bar-game where they put their bare forearms together and laid a lit cigarette in the little valley between the two forearms' flesh and kept it there till one of them finally jerked their arm away and reeled away holding their arm. Mr. and Mrs. Stice each discovered somebody else that wouldn't jerk away and reel away, Stice explained. Their forearms were still to this day covered with little white slugs of burn-scar. They'd toppled like pines for each other from the git-go, Stice explained. They'd been divorced and remarried four or five times, depending on how you defined certain jurisprudential precepts. When they were on good domestic terms they stayed in their bedroom for days of squeaking springs with the door locked except for brief sallies out for Beefeater gin and Chinese take-out in little white cardboard pails with wire handles, with the Stice children wandering ghostlike through the clapboard house in sagging diapers or woolen underwear subsisting on potato chips out of econobags bigger than most of them were, the Stice kids. The kids did somewhat physically better during periods of nuptial strife, when a stony-faced Mr. Stice slammed the kitchen door and went off daily to sell crop insurance while Mrs. Stice —whom both Mr. Stice and The Darkness called 'The Bride' —while The Bride spent all day and evening cooking intricate multicourse meals she'd feed bits of to The Brood (Stice refers to both himself and his six siblings as 'The Brood') and then keep warm in quietly rattling-lidded pots and then hurl at the kitchen walls when Mr. Stice came home smelling of gin and of cigarette-brands and toilet-eau not The Bride's own. Ortho Stice loves his folks to distraction, but not blindly, and every holiday home to Partridge KS he memorizes highlights of their connubial battles so he can regale the E.T.A. upperclass-men with them, mostly at meals, after the initial forkwork and gasping have died down and people have returned to sufficient levels of blood-sugar and awareness of their surroundings to be regaled.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
was to prepare more land, for I had now seed enough to sow above an acre of ground. Before I did this, I had a week's work at least to make me a spade, which, when it was done, was but a sorry one indeed, and very heavy, and required double labour to work with it. However, I got through that, and sowed my seed in two large flat pieces of ground, as near my house as I could find them to my mind, and fenced them in with a good hedge, the stakes of which were all cut off that wood which I had set before, and knew it would grow; so that, in a year's time, I knew I should have a quick or living hedge, that would want but little repair. This work did not take me up less than three months, because a great part of that time was the wet season, when I could not go abroad. Within-doors, that is when it rained and I could not go out, I found employment in the following occupations - always observing, that all the while I was at work I diverted myself with talking to my parrot, and teaching him to speak; and I quickly taught him to know his own name, and at last to speak it out pretty loud, “Poll,” which was the first word I ever heard spoken in the island by any mouth but my own. This, therefore, was not my work, but an assistance to my work; for now, as I said, I had a great employment upon my hands, as follows: I had long studied to make, by some means or other, some earthen vessels, which, indeed, I wanted sorely, but knew not where to come at them. However, considering the heat of the climate, I did not doubt but if I could find out any clay, I might make some pots that might, being dried in the sun, be hard enough and strong enough to bear handling, and to hold anything that was dry, and required to be kept so; and as this was necessary in the preparing corn, meal, &c., which was the thing I was doing, I resolved
Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe)
I hadn't told him the news yet, but in that same preternatural way he was always aware of what I was feeling or thinking, he could smell my lies a mile away. He was just giving me time to come to him. To tell him I'd be baking his bun for the next seven and a half months. ''I'm okay." Dex's chuckle filled my ears as he wrapped his arms around my chest from behind, his chin resting on the top of my head. "Just okay?" He was taunting me, I knew it. This man never did anything without a reason. And this reason had him resembling a mama bear. A really aggressive, possessive mama bear. Which said something because Dex was normally that way. I couldn't even sit around Mayhem without him or Sonny within ten feet. I leaned my head back against his chest and laughed. "Yeah, just okay." He made a humming noise deep in his throat. "Ritz," he drawled in that low voice that reached the darkest parts of my organs. "You're killin' me, honey." Oh boy. Did I want to officially break the news on the side of the road with chunks of puke possibly still on my face? Nah. So I went with the truth. "I have it all planned out in my head. I already ordered the cutest little toy motorcycle to tell you, so don't ruin it." A loud laugh burst out of his chest, so strong it rocked my body alongside his. I friggin' loved this guy. Every single time he laughed, I swear it multiplied. At this rate, I loved him more than my own life cubed, and then cubed again. "All right," he murmured between these low chuckles once he'd calmed down a bit. His fingers trailed over the skin of the back of my hand until he stopped at my ring finger and squeezed the slender bone. "I can be patient." That earned him a laugh from me. Patience? Dex? Even after more than three years, that would still never be a term I'd use to describe him. And it probably never would. He'd started to lose his shit during our layover when Trip had called for instructions on how to set the alarm at the new bar. "Dex, Ris, and Baby Locke, you done?" Sonny yelled, peeping out from over the top of the car door. "Are you friggin' kidding me?" I yelled back. Did everyone know? That slow, seductive smile crawled over his features. Brilliant and more affectionate than it was possible for me to handle, it sucked the breath out of me. When he palmed my cheeks and kissed each of my cheeks and nose and forehead, slowly like he was savoring the pecks and the contact, I ate it all up. Like always, and just like I always would. And he answered the way I knew he would every single time I asked him from them on, the way that told me he would never let me down. That he was an immovable object. That he'd always be there for me to battle the demons we could see and the invisible ones we couldn't. "Fuckin' love you, Iris," he breathed against my ear, an arm slinking around my lower back to press us together. "More than anything.
Mariana Zapata (Under Locke)
In the center of the room Elizabeth stood stock still, clasping and unclasping her hands, watching the handle turn, unable to breathe with the tension. The door swung open, admitting a blast of frigid air and a tall, broad-shouldered man who glanced at Elizabeth in the firelight and said, “Henry, it wasn’t necess-“ Ian broke off, the door still open, staring at what he momentarily thought was a hallucination, a trick of the flames dancing in the fireplace, and then he realized the vision was real: Elizabeth was standing perfectly still, looking at him. And lying at her feet was a young Labrador retriever. Trying to buy time, Ian turned around and carefully closed the door as if latching it with precision were the most paramount thing in his life, while he tried to decide whether she’d looked happy or not to see him. In the long lonely nights without her, he’d rehearsed dozens of speeches to her-from stinging lectures to gentle discussions. Now, when the time was finally here, he could not remember one damn word of any of them. Left with no other choice, he took the only neutral course available. Turning back to the room, Ian looked at the Labrador. “Who’s this?” he asked, walking forward and crouching down to pet the dog, because he didn’t know what the hell to say to his wife. Elizabeth swallowed her disappointment as he ignored her and stroked the Labrador’s glossy black head. “I-I call her Shadow.” The sound of her voice was so sweet, Ian almost pulled her down into his arms. Instead, he glanced at her, thinking it encouraging she’d named her dog after his. “Nice name.” Elizabeth bit her lip, trying to hide her sudden wayward smile. “Original, too.” The smile hit Ian like a blow to the head, snapping him out of his untimely and unsuitable preoccupation with the dog. Straightening, he backed up a step and leaned his hip against the table, his weight braced on his opposite leg. Elizabeth instantly noticed the altering of his expression and watched nervously as he crossed his arms over his chest, watching her, his face inscrutable. “You-you look well,” she said, thinking he looked unbearably handsome. “I’m perfectly fine,” he assured her, his gaze level. “Remarkably well, actually, for a man who hasn’t seen the sun shine in more than three months, or been able to sleep without drinking a bottle of brandy.” His tone was so frank and unemotional that Elizabeth didn’t immediately grasp what he was saying. When she did, tears of joy and relief sprang to her eyes as he continued: “I’ve been working very hard. Unfortunately, I rarely get anything accomplished, and when I do, it’s generally wrong. All things considered, I would say that I’m doing very well-for a man who’s been more than half dead for three months.” Ian saw the tears shimmering in her magnificent eyes, and one of them traced unheeded down her smooth cheek. With a raw ache in his voice he said, “If you would take one step forward, darling, you could cry in my arms. And while you do, I’ll tell you how sorry I am for everything I’ve done-“ Unable to wait, Ian caught her, pulling her tightly against him. “And when I’m finished,” he whispered hoarsely as she wrapped her arms around him and wept brokenly, “you can help me find a way to forgive myself.” Tortured by her tears, he clasped her tighter and rubbed his jaw against her temple, his voice a ravaged whisper: “I’m sorry,” he told her. He cupped her face between his palms, tipping it up and gazing into her eyes, his thumbs moving over her wet cheeks. “I’m sorry.” Slowly, he bent his head, covering her mouth with his. “I’m so damned sorry.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))