Dull Eyes Quotes

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It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome.
Joseph Conrad
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
Albert Einstein (Living Philosophies)
The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.
Bethany Brookbank (Write like no one is reading)
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script. It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Thermodynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter... Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold... that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle. But...if me, my birth, if that's a thermodynamic miracle... I mean, you could say that about anybody in the world!. Yes. Anybody in the world. ..But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another's vantage point. As if new, it may still take our breath away. Come...dry your eyes. For you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.
John Grogan
So she sat on with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality.
Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass)
Not one day in anyone’s life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy, or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down’s-syndrome child. Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example. Each smallest act of kindness—even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile—reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will. All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined—those dead, those living, those generations yet to come—that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands. Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength—to the very survival of the human tapestry. Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in this momentous day.
Dean Koontz (From the Corner of His Eye)
A woman may possess the wisdom and chastity of Minerva, and we give no heed to her, if she has a plain face. What folly will not a pair of bright eyes make pardonable? What dullness may not red lips are sweet accents render pleasant? And so, with their usual sense of justice, ladies argue that because a woman is handsome, therefore she is a fool. O ladies, ladies! there are some of you who are neither handsome nor wise.
William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair)
Whoever invented karaoke is evil. They should be shot between the eyes with a dull bullet.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide—plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories)
This near enough? Whatcha gonna do, doll girl? Cry all over me?" Claire hid her eyes as the biker reached out for Eve with one tattooed hand. No," Eve said breathlessly. "I'm going to let my boyfriend beat the crap out of you." There was a dull thunk of wood meeting flesh, and a howl. Then another, much harder thunk, and a crash as a body hit the floor. The biker was down. Claire stared at him in disbelief, then looked past him, to the figure standing there with the field hockey stick in both hands. Michael Glass.
Rachel Caine (The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2))
She looks at me, square in the eye. Taking aim. And then she pulls the trigger. “Because I hated you.” The wind, the noise, it all just goes quiet for a second, and I’m left with a dull ringing in my ear, like after a show, like after a heart monitor goes to flatline. “Hated me? Why?” “You made me stay.” She says it quietly, and it almost gets lost in the wind and the traffic and I’m not sure I heard her. But then she repeats it louder this time. “You made me stay!” And there it is. A hollow blown through my heart, confirming what some part of me has always known. She knows.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
Dirge Without Music I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind: Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned. Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you. Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust. A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew, A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost. The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,— They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve. More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world. Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
Violence harms the one who does it as much as the one who receives it. You could cut down a tree with an axe. The axe does violence to the tree, and escapes unharmed. Is that how you see it? Wood is soft compared to steel, but the sharp steel is dulled as it chops, and the sap of the tree will rust and pit it. The mighty axe does violence to the helpless tree, and is harmed by it. So it is with men, though the harm is in the spirit.
Robert Jordan (The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1))
The man running toward me is not a man, he is a boy. A shaggy-haired boy with a crease between his eyebrows. Will. Dull-eyed and mindless, but still Will. He stops running and mirrors me, his feet planted and his gun up. In an instant, I see his finger poised over the trigger and hear the bullet slide into the chamber, and I fire. My eyes squeezed shut. Can't breathe. The bullet hit him in the head. I know because that's where I aimed it.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
When our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us. There are people who see only dullness in the world and that is because their eyes have already been dulled. So much depends on how we look at things. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see.
John O'Donohue (Beauty: The Invisible Embrace)
After a week he was moved to a different wing and into a shared six-by-eight with a grizzled old con called Alf. He had faded tattoos that stained most of the visible skin on his hands, arms and neck a dull blue, sharp eyes and a thick beard that made his mouth look like an axe wound on a bear.
R.D. Ronald (The Zombie Room)
I knew a girl and she felt like art. Sometimes colorful, sometimes dull, Sometimes with bright, hopeful eyes, Sometimes only black and white, But she was always a piece of exquisite art.
Melanie Sargsian (Lovember: A Collection of Short Love Stories)
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)
Our life is like a land journey, too even and easy and dull over long distances across the plains, too hard and painful up the steep grades; but, on the summits of the mountain, you have a magnificent view--and feel exalted--and your eyes are full of happy tears--and you want to sing--and wish you had wings! And then--you can't stay there, but must continue your journey--you begin climbing down the other side, so busy with your footholds that your summit experience is forgotten.
Lloyd C. Douglas (The Robe)
I mustered all my strength, drew back, and swung. The sword's blade hit the side of her neck, hard and deep. She gave a horrible, sickening cry, a shriek that made my skin crawl. She tried to move toward me. I pulled back and hit again. Her hands clutched at her throat, and her knees gave way. I struck and struck, the sword digging in deeper into her neck each time. Cutting off someone's head was harder than I thought it would be. The old, dull sword probably wasn't helping. But finally, I gained enough sense to realize she wasn't moving. Her head lay there, detached from her body, her dead eyes looking up at me as though she couldn't believe what had happened. That made two of us.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
It's extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it's just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome. Nevertheless, there can be but few of us who had never known one of these rare moments of awakening when we see, hear, understand ever so much—everything—in a flash—before we fall back again into our agreeable somnolence.
Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim)
They grabbed for me, but he bared his teeth in a smile that was anything but friendly - and they halted. "No more household chores, no more tasks," he said, his voice an erotic caress. Their yellow eyes went glazed and dull, their sharp teeth gleaming as their mouths slackened. "Tell the others, too. Stay out of her cell, and don't touch her. If you do, you're to take your own daggers and gut yourselves. Understood?" Dazed, numb nods, then they blinked and straightened. I hid my trembling. Glamour, mind control - whatever it was he had done, it worked. They beckoned - but didn't dare touch me. Rhysand smiled. "You're welcome," he purred as I walked out.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Grace stopped in the door, dimly silhouetted by the dull gray morning light, and looked back at me, at my eyes, my mouth, my hands, in a way that made something inside me knot and unknot unbearably. I didn't think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, waiting for me to follow, I knew I'd do anything to stay with her.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Be helpless, dumbfounded, Unable to say yes or no. Then a stretcher will come from grace to gather us up. We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty. If we say we can, we’re lying. If we say No, we don’t see it, That No will behead us And shut tight our window onto spirit. So let us rather not be sure of anything, Beside ourselves, and only that, so Miraculous beings come running to help. Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute, We shall be saying finally, With tremendous eloquence, Lead us. When we have totally surrendered to that beauty, We shall be a mighty kindness.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
In the deepening spring of May, I had no choice but to recognize the trembling of my heart. It usually happened as the sun was going down. In the pale evening gloom, when the soft fragrance of magnolias hung in the air, my heart would swell without warning, and tremble, and lurch with a stab of pain. I would try clamping my eyes shut and gritting my teeth, and wait for it to pass. And it would pass –but slowly, taking its own time, and leaving a dull ache behind.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
But I never looked like that!’ - How do you know? What is the ‘you’ you might or might not look like? Where do you find it - by which morphological or expressive calibration? Where is your authentic body? You are the only one who can never see yourself except as an image; you never see your eyes unless they are dulled by the gaze they rest upon the mirror or the lens (I am interested in seeing my eyes only when they look at you): even and especially for your own body, you are condemned to the repertoire of its images.
Roland Barthes (Roland Barthes)
Shawn turned back toward me, eyes dull from death but shining from tears, finally spoke to me. Just two words, like a joke he'd been saving. YOU COMING?
Jason Reynolds (Long Way Down)
Death," said Akiva. His life was leaving him fast now that he no longer held his wound. His eyes just wanted to drift closed. "I'm ready." "Well, I'm not. I hear it's dull, being dead." She said it lightly, amused, and he peered up at her. Had she just made a joke? She smiled. Smiled He did, too. Amazed, he felt it happening, as if her smile had triggered a reflex in him. "Dull sounds nice," he said, letting his eyes flutter closed. "Maybe I can catch up on my reading.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will--warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.' Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories)
April ended and May came along, but May was even worse than April. In the deepening spring of May, I had no choice but to recognize the trembling of my heart. It usually happened as the sun was going down. In the pale evening gloom, when the soft fragrance of magnolias hung in the air, my heart would swell without warning, and tremble, and lurch with a stab of pain. I would try clamping my eyes shut and gritting my teeth, and wait for it to pass. And it would pass....but slowly, taking its own time, and leaving a dull ache behind. At those times I would write to Naoko. In my letters to her, I would describe only things that were touching or pleasant or beautiful: the fragrance of grasses, the caress of a spring breeze, the light of the moon, a movie I'd seen, a song I liked, a book that had moved me. I myself would be comforted by letters like this when I would reread what I had written. And I would feel that the world I lived in was a wonderful one. I wrote any number of letters like this, but from Naoko or Reiko I heart nothing.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Elide saw the sorrow on her face before she reached her. The dullness and pain in the golden eyes. She went still. "Who?" Manon's throat bobbed. "All." All of the Thirteen. All those fierce, brilliant witches. Gone. Elide put a hand to her heart, as if it could stop it from cracking. But Manon closed the distance between them, and even with that grief in her battered, bloodied face, she put a hand on Elide's shoulder. In comfort. As if the witch had learned to do such things.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
They were jet, those wings, as deep as the sky, as black as Eoduin's hair—no, blacker, for they were dull, unoiled. They gave off no sheen in the light, no gleam to the eye. They drank up the light and diminished it: they were wings of pure shadow.
Meredith Ann Pierce (The Darkangel (Darkangel Trilogy, #1))
Look at Charlie Brown's face. Would you please hold still a minute Charlie Brown? I want Linus to study your face. Now this is what you call a failure face, Linus. Notice how it has failure written all over it. Study it carefully Linus. You rarely see such a good example. Notice the deep lines, the dull vacant look in the eyes. Yes, I would say this is one of the finest examples of a failure face that your liable to see for a long while.
Charles M. Schulz
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
Run,” he whispered. “Run.” “No, Rand,” I said, brushing the dirt from his face. “I’m tired of running.” “Forgive me, please.” He clutched my hand as his eyes beseeched me through tears of pain. “You’re forgiven.” He sighed once, then stopped breathing. The shine in his brown eyes dulled. I pulled his hood over his head.
Maria V. Snyder (Poison Study (Study, #1))
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art! Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes. Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart, Vulture, whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise? Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies, Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood, The Elfin from the green grass, and from me The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
Edgar Allan Poe
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was--but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasureable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me--upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain--upon the bleak walls--upon the vacant eye-like windows--upon a few rank sedges--and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees--with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales)
There is something sustaining in the very agitation that accompanies the first shocks of trouble, just as an acute pain is often a stimulus, and produces an excitement which is transient strength. It is in the slow, changed life that follows--in the time when sorrow has become stale, and has no longer an emotive intensity that counteracts its pain--in the time when day follows day in dull unexpectant sameness, and trial is a dreary routine--it is then that despair threatens; it is then that the peremptory hunger of the soul is felt, and eye and ear are strained after some unlearned secret of our existence, which shall give to endurance the nature of satisfaction.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
My daughter has a mother. She is not and never will be yours. You stay the fuck away from her. And if I ever see you look at her again the way you were earlier, I'll fucking cut your eyes out with a dull spoon.
Nicole Jacquelyn (Craving Constellations (The Aces, #1))
We were lying on our backs in the foothills, watching the sky and making a list called "Never." All the things we would never do. Let's never get married. Let's never get fat. Let's never sleep with a married man. Let's never stop being students, even after we graduate. Let's never get dull-eyed and ironic. Let's never get stuck in a rut-- or trapped in a life we didn't choose. Let's never grow bitter.
Danzy Senna (Symptomatic)
Water drinkers perceive nothing but the crude and material appearance of things, while intoxication, on the contrary, dulls the eyes of the body and brightens those of the soul.
Gérard de Nerval
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenité (Drop your Foreign Accent)
my heart would swell without warning, and tremble, and lurch with a stab of pain. I would try clamping my eyes shut and gritting my teeth, and waiting for it to pass. And it would pass -- but slowly, taking its own time, and leaving a dull ache behind.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Pride swelled my chest. Uncovered by the lack of makeup, the dusting of freckles on her nose made her adorable. Her body told you she was a dream to fuck, the confidence in her posture told you she’d take no shit from anyone, and the mischievous amusement in her eyes told you there would never be a dull moment.
Sylvia Day (Captivated by You (Crossfire, #4))
As I grew up, everything started getting grey and dull. I could still remember the amazing intensity of the world I'd lived in as a child, but I thought the dulling of perception was an inevitable consequence of age - just as a lens of the eye is bound gradually to dim. I didn't understand that clarity is in the mind.
Keith Johnstone (Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre)
All around us were people I had spent ten years avoiding--shapeless women in wool bathing suits, dull-eyed men with hairless legs and self-conscious laughs, all Americans, all fearsomely alike. These people should be kept at home, I thought; lock them in the basement of some goddamn Elks Club and keep them pacified with erotic movies; if they want a vacation, show them a foreign art film; and if they still aren't satisfied, send them into the wilderness and run them with vicious dogs.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Rum Diary)
So remember those who win the game Lose the love they sought to gain In debitures of quality and dubious integrity Their small-town eyes will gape at you In dull surprise when payment due Exceeds accounts received at seventeen
Janis Ian
I love your eyes, my darling friend, Their play so passionate and bright'ning, When a sudden stare up you send, And like a heaven-blown lightning, It'd take in all from end to end But there's more that I admire: Your eyes when they're downcast In bursts of love-inspired fire And through the eyelash goes fast A somber, dull call of desire..
Andrei Tarkovsky (Stalker: un film de Andreï Tarkovski)
As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say, "The breath goes now," and some say, "No," So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; 'Twere profanation of our joys To tell the laity our love. Moving of the earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant; But trepidation of the spheres, Though greater far, is innocent. Dull sublunary lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it. But we, by a love so much refined That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion. Like gold to airy thinness beat. If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two: Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if the other do; And though it in the center sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like the other foot, obliquely run; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.
John Donne
Five minutes before Julian arrived, they might be slouched in the living room -- curtains drawn, dinner simmering on chafing dishes in the kitchen, everyone tugging at collars and dull-eyed with fatigue -- but the instant the doorbell rang their spines would straighten, conversation would snap to life, the very wrinkles would fall from their clothes.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those blue patches of sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.
Kate Chopin
I do not like the killers, and the killing bravely and well crap. I do not like the bully boys, the Teddy Roosevelt’s, the Hemingways, the Ruarks. They are merely slightly more sophisticated versions of the New Jersey file clerks who swarm into the Adirondacks in the fall, in red cap, beard stubble and taut hero’s grin, talking out of the side of their mouths, exuding fumes of bourbon, come to slay the ferocious white-tailed deer. It is the search for balls. A man should have one chance to bring something down. He should have his shot at something, a shining running something, and see it come a-tumbling down, all mucus and steaming blood stench and gouted excrement, the eyes going dull during the final muscle spasms. And if he is, in all parts and purposes, a man, he will file that away as a part of his process of growth and life and eventual death. And if he is perpetually, hopelessly a boy, he will lust to go do it again, with a bigger beast.
John D. MacDonald (A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5))
A pretty face had been damaged by acne scars and she wore and extra forty pounds on her frame like a threat. Her eyes were dull with anger disguised as apathy. If she kept on her current path, she'd grow into the type of person who fed her kids Doritos for breakfast and purchased angry bumper stickers with lots of exclamation points. But right now, she was just another in a long line of pissed-off small-town girls with a shitty outlook.
Dennis Lehane
Gypsy On Wednesday morning, clear and calm, I went to Astor Place. And had a Gypsy read my palm or maybe just my face. She said my heart was heavy and my head was stuffed with lies. But things like that weren't on my hands, they hid behind my eyes. The room is dull and dank and cold but at least I have a hand to hold.
Bo Burnham (Egghead; or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone)
With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
She bewitches you," Trevanion said. "And she is yours for the taking. Any fool can see that. So take her and get whatever needs to be gotten out of your system." ... "Maybe you are right, Trevanion," he said, turning back to his father. "But it is her hope that bewitches me, and that hope I may never get out of my system, no matter how many times she's to be gotten. Can you not see it burning in her eyes? Does it not make you want to look away when you have none to give in return? Her hope fills me with... something other than this dull weight I wake with each morning.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
What did they do to you, to make you withdraw so far into yourself? (Sin doesn’t answer.) You’ve left me again, haven’t you? I can always tell. Your eyes turn dull, cold. Very well, I shall leave you in peace. But know this: One day I am going to find the heart you have buried away from the world. (Callie) And what would you do with it if you found it? (Sin) I would hold it safe and keep it from the hurt that has shriveled it. (Callie)
Kinley MacGregor (Born in Sin (Brotherhood of the Sword, #3; MacAllister, #2))
There was a sudden sunburst in my head. And then black night. That blackness was sublime. I felt distributed through space and time: One foot upon a mountaintop, one hand 150  Under the pebbles of a panting strand, One ear in Italy, one eye in Spain, In caves, my blood, and in the stars, my brain. There were dull throbs in my Triassic; green Optical spots in Upper Pleistocene, An icy shiver down my Age of Stone, And all tomorrows in my funnybone. During
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
Indians have been both afflicted and enriched by centuries of migrations. Loyalty to different rulers has dulled our capacity for a single allegiance. Instead, we have developed an extraordinary ability to be compassionate and cruel, sensitive and callous, deep and fickle, all at the same time. To the untrained eye, we may appear colourful and picturesque; to the critical eye, we are but shoddy imitations of our various masters.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Wings of Fire)
It is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore. It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls. The paint and paper look as if a boys' school had used it. It is stripped off--the paper--in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life. One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide--plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions. The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others. No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories)
a little downy girl still wearing poppies still eating popcorn in the colored gloam where tawny Indians took paid croppers because you stole her from her wax-browed and dignified protector spitting into his heavy-lidded eye ripping his flavid toga and at dawn leaving the hog to roll upon his new discomfort the awfulness of love and violets remorse despair while you took a dull doll to pieces and threw its head away because of all you did because of all I did not you have to die
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Beauty is one of the great facts of the world, like sunlight,or springtime, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you...Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed...Ah! realise your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar...Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing...The world belongs to you for a season...how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last. The common hillflowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty, becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to...Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Although people call love a capricious and unaccountable emotion that arises like an illness, nonetheless it has its own laws and reasons, like everything else. If these laws have been little studied so far, that is because a person struck down by love is in no condition to observe with a scholar's eye as the impression steals into his soul and shackles his emotions like a dream, as first his eyes go blind, at which moment his pulse and then his heart begin beating harder, all of a sudden there arises as of yesterday an undying devotion, the desire to sacrifice oneself; one's I gradually vanishes and crosses over into him or her; the mind becomes wither unusually dull or unusually sharp; the will surrenders to the will of another; and the head bows, the knees shake and the tears and fever come.
Ivan Goncharov (Oblomov)
I look up and meet his eyes. I want to scratch them out. And then spit in his face. And then curse him for being exactly what I thought he was. A bad boy. A playboy. A heartbreaker. But I also want to kiss him. And let him carry me up to the private room above us and put an end to the dull ache of desire that’s been plaguing me since the first night we met when I pulled his shirt over his head. Dammit!
M. Leighton (Down to You (The Bad Boys, #1))
Encounters between people, it often seems to me, are like trains passing at breakneck speed in the night. We cast fleeting looks at the passengers sitting behind dull glass in dim light, who disappear from our field of vision almost before we perceive them. Was it really a man and a woman who flashed past like phantoms, who came out of nothing into the empty dark, without meaning or purpose? Did they know each other? Did they talk? Laugh? Cry? People will say: That's how it is when strangers pass one another in rain and wind and there might be something in the comparison. But we sit opposite people for longer, we eat and work together, lie next to each other, live under the same roof. Where is the haste? Yet everything that gives the illusion of permanence, familiarity, and intimate knowledge: isn't it a deception invented to reassure, with which we try to conceal and ward off the flickering, disturbing haste because it could be impossible to live with all the time. Isn't every exchange of looks between people like the ghostly brief meeting of eyes between travellers passing one another, intoxicated by the inhuman speed and the shock of air pressure that makes everything shudder and clatter? Don't our looks bounce off others, as in the hasty encounter of the night, and leave us with nothing but conjectures, slivers of thoughts and imagined qualities? Isn't it true that it's not people who meet, but rather the shadows cast by their imaginations?
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her, when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air. How fresh, how calm, stiller than this of course, the air was in the early morning; like the flap of a wave; the kiss of a wave; chill and sharp and yet (for a girl of eighteen as she then was) solemn, feeling as she did, standing there at the open window, that something awful was about to happen; looking at the flowers, at the trees with the smoke winding off them and the rooks rising, falling; standing and looking until Peter Walsh said, "Musing among the vegetables?"—was that it?—"I prefer men to cauliflowers"—was that it? He must have said it at breakfast one morning when she had gone out on to the terrace—Peter Walsh. He would be back from India one of these days, June or July, she forgot which, for his letters were awfully dull; it was his sayings one remembered; his eyes, his pocket-knife, his smile, his grumpiness and, when millions of things had utterly vanished—how strange it was!—a few sayings like this about cabbages.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
What a Crazy Woman Thinks About While Walking Down the Street She tries to walk not too fast and not too slow. She doesn’t want to attract any attention. She pretends she doesn’t hear the whistles and catcalls and lewd comments. Sometimes she forgets and leaves her house in a skirt or a tank top because it’s a warm day and she wants to feel warm air on her bare skin. Before long, she remembers. She keeps her keys in her hand, three of them held between her fingers, like a dull claw. She makes eye contact only when necessary and if a man should catch her eye, she juts her chin forward, makes sure the line of her jaw is strong. When she leaves work or the bar late, she calls a car service and when the car pulls up to her building, she quickly scans the street to make sure it’s safe to walk the short distance from the curb to the door. She once told a boyfriend about these considerations and he said, “You are completely out of your mind.” She told a new friend at work and she said, “Honey, you’re not crazy. You’re a woman.
Roxane Gay (Difficult Women)
Your scorn for mediocrity blinds you to its vast primitive power. You stand in the glare of your own brilliance, unable to see into the dim corners of the room, to dilate your eyes and see the potential dangers of the mass, the wad of humanity. Even as I tell you this, dear student, you cannot quite believe that lesser men, in whatever numbers, can really defeat you. But we are in the age of the mediocre man. He is dull, colorless, boring — but inevitably victorious. The amoeba outlives the tiger because it divides and continues in its immortal monotony. The masses are the final tyrants. See how, in the arts, Kabuki wanes and withers while popular novels of violence and mindless action swamp the mind of the mass reader. And even in that timid genre, no author dares to produce a genuinely superior man as his hero, for in his rage of shame the mass man will send his yojimbo, the critic, to defend him. The roar of the plodders is inarticulate, but deafening. They have no brain, but they have a thousand arms to grasp and clutch at you, drag you down.
Trevanian (Shibumi)
there is a list of questions i want to ask but never will there is a list of questions i go through in my head every time i'm alone and my mind can't stop itself from searching for you there is a list of questions i want to ask so if you're listening somewhere here i am asking them what do you think happens to the love that's left behind when two lovers leave how blue do you think it gets before it passes away does it pass away or does it still exist somewhere waiting for us to come back when we lied to ourselves by calling this unconditional and left which one of us hurt more i shattered into a million little pieces and those pieces shattered into a million more crumbled into dust till there was nothing left of me but the silence tell me how love how did the grieving feel for you how did the mourning hurt how did you peel your eyes open after every blink knowing i'd never be there staring back it must be hard to live with what ifs there must always be this constant dull aching in the pit of your stomach trust me i feel it too how in the world did we get here how did we live through it and how are we still living how many months did it take before you stopped thinking of me or are you still thinking of me cause if you are then maybe i am too thinking of you thinking of me with me in me around me everywhere you and me and us do you still touch yourself to the thoughts of me do you still imagine my naked naked tiny tiny body pressed into yours do you still imagine the curve of my spine and how you wanted to rip it out of me cause the way it dipped into my perfectly rounded bottom drove you crazy baby sugar baby sweet baby ever since we left how many times did you pretend it was my hand stroking you how many times did you search for me in your fantasies and end up crying instead of coming don't you lie to me i can tell when you're lying cause there's always that little bit of arrogance in your response are you angry with me are you okay and would you tell me if you're not and if we ever see each other again do you think you'd reach out and hold me like you said you would the last time we spoke and you talked of the next time we would or do you think we'd just look shake in our skin as we pine to absorb as much as we can of each other cause by this time we've probably got someone else waiting at home we were good together weren't we and is it wrong that i'm asking you these questions tell me love that you have been looking for these answers too
Rupi Kaur (the sun and her flowers)
Swear to God, you come near us and–” “Like this?” The biker sidestepped a slash from the hockey stick, grabbed it on the way, and yanked it out of Eve’s hands. He tossed it over his shoulder to land on the floor with a clatter. “This near enough? Whatcha gonna do, doll girl?” Claire hid her eyes as the biker reached out for Eve with one tattooed hand. “No,” Eve said breathlessly. “I’m going to let my boyfriend beat the crap out of you.” There was a dull thunk of wood meeting flesh, and a howl. Then another, harder thunk, and a crash as a body hit the floor. The biker was down. Claire stared at him in disbelief, then looked past him, to the figure standing there with the field hockey stick in both hands. Michael Glass. Back from the dead, again, a gorgeous blond avenging angel, breathing hard.
Rachel Caine (The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2))
It is neither judgment nor judgment according to the status quo with which we have a problem, but rather judgment according to God's Word. We sharply dress ourselves, go out into the world, shape ourselves, our personalities according to the world's standards and preferences, allow ourselves to be made dull by the world and its desires in order to appear successful and happy and attractive in the eyes of the world: we love the world's judgment but we hate God's judgment. Absurdly enough, the one which really matters, the one out of the purest of loves rather than that of a mere contract in hopes of mutual gain, is the one from which we so adamantly try to cut off, shut off, and distance ourselves.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with itshideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius-- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial.That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you.But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days,listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals,of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism-- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol.With your personality there is nothing you could not do.The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself.I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time.The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
In the dream from which he'd wakened he had wandered in a cave where the child led him by the hand. Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls. Like pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast. Deep stone flues where the water dripped and sang. Tolling in the silence the minutes of the earth and the hours and the days of it and the years without cease. Until they stood in a great stone room where lay a black and ancient lake. And on the far shore a creature that raised its dripping mouth from the rimstone pool and stared into the light with eyes dead white and sightless as the eggs of spiders. It swung its head low over the water as if to take the scent of what it could not see. Crouching there pale and naked and translucent, its alabaster bones cast up in shadow on the rocks behind it. Its bowels, its beating heart. The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell. It swung its head from side to side and then gave out a low moan and turned and lurched away and loped soundlessly into the dark.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
She considered me as if grasping all at once the incredible -- and somehow tedious, confusing and unnecessary -- fact that the distant, elegant, slender, forty-year-old valetudinarian in velvet coat sitting beside her had known and adored every pore and follicle of her pubescent body. In her washed-out gray eyes, strangely spectacled, our poor romance was for a moment reflected, pondered upon, and dismissed like a dull party, like a rainy picnic to which only the dullest bores had come, like a humdrum exercise, like a bit of dry mud caking her childhood.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Little Fox, when I saw you, I thought-' He broke off as he set her atop all the twisted sheets. Then he fisted her hair in his hand and tugged until she was looking up at him. His face had all the agony of a fallen star, broken and beautiful, with eyes so blue, the colour of everything else looked dull. Deliberately, his gaze fell to her lips. Her breathing turned ragged, and she wished just once that he could kiss her. He leaned closer and gently twisted her hair, angling her head as he brought their mouths incredibly close. 'You're still bleeding.' He licked the centre of her lips, soft and agonisingly slow. His tongue felt like heaven and hell. Like everything she wanted and all she couldn't have. She had to stop herself from leaning closer, though she doubted Jacks would let her. She could feel his fingers against her scalp, holding her in place, keeping her lips just shy of his. But maybe it was close enough. Maybe they didn't have to touch. She could live like this as long as she could live with him.
Stephanie Garber (The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #2))
Hardly had the light been extinguished, when a peculiar trembling began to affect the netting under which the three children lay. It consisted of a multitude of dull scratches which produced a metallic sound, as if claws and teeth were gnawing at the copper wire. This was accompanied by all sorts of little piercing cries. The little five-year-old boy, on hearing this hubbub overhead, and chilled with terror, jogged his brother's elbow; but the elder brother had already shut his peepers, as Gavroche had ordered. Then the little one, who could no longer control his terror, questioned Gavroche, but in a very low tone, and with bated breath:-- "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche, who had just closed his eyes. "What is that?" "It's the rats," replied Gavroche. And he laid his head down on the mat again. The rats, in fact, who swarmed by thousands in the carcass of the elephant, and who were the living black spots which we have already mentioned, had been held in awe by the flame of the candle, so long as it had been lighted; but as soon as the cavern, which was the same as their city, had returned to darkness, scenting what the good story-teller Perrault calls "fresh meat," they had hurled themselves in throngs on Gavroche's tent, had climbed to the top of it, and had begun to bite the meshes as though seeking to pierce this new-fangled trap. Still the little one could not sleep. "Sir?" he began again. "Hey?" said Gavroche. "What are rats?" "They are mice." This explanation reassured the child a little. He had seen white mice in the course of his life, and he was not afraid of them. Nevertheless, he lifted up his voice once more. "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche again. "Why don't you have a cat?" "I did have one," replied Gavroche, "I brought one here, but they ate her." This second explanation undid the work of the first, and the little fellow began to tremble again. The dialogue between him and Gavroche began again for the fourth time:-- "Monsieur?" "Hey?" "Who was it that was eaten?" "The cat." "And who ate the cat?" "The rats." "The mice?" "Yes, the rats." The child, in consternation, dismayed at the thought of mice which ate cats, pursued:-- "Sir, would those mice eat us?" "Wouldn't they just!" ejaculated Gavroche. The child's terror had reached its climax. But Gavroche added:-- "Don't be afraid. They can't get in. And besides, I'm here! Here, catch hold of my hand. Hold your tongue and shut your peepers!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
She didn't do anything at all except arrived without warning in the middle of the night (right when I least expected it) She walked by me, with a strut in her step smelling like summer causing me to turn my head (even the leaves swayed her way) All she did was look at me with bright, curious eyes filled with mirth and secrets (as if an adventure was about to happen) I tried not to think of her at all not the curves of her body or the stories that she told (you knew there'd never be dull conversations) By then, I couldn't walk away I got caught up in her storm without a care in the world (I was a very good swimmer) She was a hurricane who created her own sunshine.
M.J. Abraham
Living is made up of these little things - a day to day business punctuated with things seen, seen best when we weren't looking for them, or things that just happened to us while we were walking "dully along" and that we ought to notice these things. It is very easy to bandage the eyes and tell everyone that life is dull. But I am called odd by these people because I really don't think so. I try to make the day have a THING in it, and it usually does whether I try or not. And that makes the day. Period. But I am purposeless. I am talking of this far too seriously, but it rather hurts when I think that I was once very vulnerable to the charges that come my way. I have tried so damned hard to put a thing as simply as it appeared to me, and tried too damned hard not to let myself blow up a simple happening into a symbol of unrequited love but to leave it as it is. shit.
Lew Welch (I Remain, Vol. 1: 1949-1960)
I saw you there, In a dress of virgin white. Like an angel descended from heaven To be here amongst ordinary mortals. I saw you there, Your big, brown eyes. Like the moist soil after the rains Full of hope, courage & life. I saw you there Your dark hair, curly. Like the dark clouds trying vainly to mask The moons eternal beauty. I saw you there Inspiring hope and life. Like the rainbow that brings a smile after thunder Lighting and the dull grey sky. I saw you there and realised the purpose of this life. Like the firely loves the light, to love you for the rest of my life. I saw you there and met my true self. I never knew Love This was Love. Love at first sight.
Prashanth
But what's left on earth that I haven't tried?" Prince Lír demanded. "I have swum four rivers, each in full flood and none less than a mile wide. I have climbed seven mountains never before climbed, slept three nights in the Marsh of the Hanged Men, and walked alive out of that forest where the flowers burn your eyes and the nightingales sing poison. I have ended my betrothal to the princess I had agreed to marry — and if you don't think that was a heroic deed, you don't know her mother. I have vanquished exactly fifteen black knights waiting by fifteen fords in their black pavilions, challenging all who come to cross. And I've long since lost count of the witches in the thorny woods, the giants, the demons disguised as damsels; the glass hills, fatal riddles, and terrible tasks; the magic apples, rings, lamps, potions, swords, cloaks, boots, neckties, and nightcaps. Not to mention the winged horses, the basilisks and sea serpents, and all the rest of the livestock." He raised his head, and the dark blue eyes were confused and sad. "And all for nothing," he said. "I cannot touch her, whatever I do. For her sake, I have become a hero — I, sleepy Lír, my father's sport and shame — but I might as well have remained the dull fool I was. My great deeds mean nothing to her.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
I surveyed my kingdom. Chaos. Cruelty. Abandon. I had always been holding back. Always been restrained. I wanted to be bigger, brighter, better; I wanted to be capricious, malicious, sly. Until now, I had not known the intoxicating sweetness of attention. In the world above, it had always been Käthe or Josef who captivated people’s eyes and hearts— Käthe with her beauty, Josef with his talent. I was forgotten, overlooked, ignored— the plain, drab, practical,talentless sister. But here in the Underground, I was the sun around which their world spun, the axis around which their maelstrom twirled. Liesl the girl had been dull, drab, and obedient; Elisabeth the woman was a queen.
S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong (Wintersong, #1))
Love Letter" Not easy to state the change you made. If I'm alive now, then I was dead, Though, like a stone, unbothered by it, Staying put according to habit. You didn't just tow me an inch, no- Nor leave me to set my small bald eye Skyward again, without hope, of course, Of apprehending blueness, or stars. That wasn't it. I slept, say: a snake Masked among black rocks as a black rock In the white hiatus of winter- Like my neighbors, taking no pleasure In the million perfectly-chisled Cheeks alighting each moment to melt My cheeks of basalt. They turned to tears, Angels weeping over dull natures, But didn't convince me. Those tears froze. Each dead head had a visor of ice. And I slept on like a bent finger. The first thing I was was sheer air And the locked drops rising in dew Limpid as spirits. Many stones lay Dense and expressionless round about. I didn't know what to make of it. I shone, mice-scaled, and unfolded To pour myself out like a fluid Among bird feet and the stems of plants. I wasn't fooled. I knew you at once. Tree and stone glittered, without shadows. My finger-length grew lucent as glass. I started to bud like a March twig: An arm and a leg, and arm, a leg. From stone to cloud, so I ascended. Now I resemble a sort of god Floating through the air in my soul-shift Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
Sylvia Plath (Crossing the Water)
My mother used to say there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who want, and those who take. Most of us are sheep who spend our lives in want. We follow the path worn smooth and velvety from the hooves before us. There’s no need for leashes or fences—we call those things law and morality. Man is the only animal that can reason and all he does with reason is shackle himself. We eat what we’re fed and we fuck what we can’t outrun and it’s never what we dream about but it dulls the screaming edge of desire just enough. Enough so we keep our heads down, our eyes on the ground. Our fetters are fashioned from conformity and fear. But sometimes an animal can’t be contained. Sometimes a head lifts from the herd and a wolfish intelligence kindles, the nostrils flaring, the eyes catching sickles of moonlight and a hot, earthy breath clotting the cold air, and someone realizes there’s really nothing stopping us from taking whatever we want. And everything is prey.
Leah Raeder (Black Iris)
The Words, Kaladin. That was Syl’s voice. You have to speak the Words! I FORBID THIS. YOUR WILL MATTERS NOT! Syl shouted. YOU CANNOT HOLD ME BACK IF HE SPEAKS THE WORDS! THE WORDS, KALADIN! SAY THEM! “I will protect even those I hate,” Kaladin whispered through bloody lips. “So long as it is right.” A Shardblade appeared in Moash’s hands. A distant rumbling. Thunder. THE WORDS ARE ACCEPTED, the Stormfather said reluctantly. “Kaladin!” Syl’s voice. “Stretch forth thy hand!” She zipped around him, suddenly visible as a ribbon of light. “I can’t…” Kaladin said, drained. “Stretch forth thy hand!” He reached out a trembling hand. Moash hesitated. Wind blew in the opening in the wall, and Syl’s ribbon of light became mist, a form she often took. Silver mist, which grew larger, coalesced before Kaladin, extending into his hand. Glowing, brilliant, a Shardblade emerged from the mist, vivid blue light shining from swirling patterns along its length. Kaladin gasped a deep breath as if coming fully awake for the first time. The entire hallway went black as the Stormlight in every lamp down the length of the hall winked out. For a moment, they stood in darkness. Then Kaladin exploded with Light. It erupted from his body, making him shine like a blazing white sun in the darkness. Moash backed away, face pale in the white brilliance, throwing up a hand to shade his eyes. Pain evaporated like mist on a hot day. Kaladin’s grip firmed upon the glowing Shardblade, a weapon beside which those of Graves and Moash looked dull. One after another, shutters burst open up and down the hallway, wind screaming into the corridor. Behind Kaladin, frost crystalized on the ground, growing backward away from him. A glyph formed in the frost, almost in the shape of wings. Graves screamed, falling in his haste to get away. Moash backed up, staring at Kaladin. “The Knights Radiant,” Kaladin said softly, “have returned.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive)
Every day we’re bombarded with information and images—with adolescents in heavy makeup pretending to be grown women as they advertise miraculous creams promising eternal beauty; with the story of an aging couple who climbed Mount Everest to celebrate their wedding anniversary; with new massage gizmos, and pharmacy windows that are chockablock with slimming products; with movies that give an entirely false impression of reality, and books promising fantastic results; with specialists who give advice about how to succeed in life or find inner peace. And all these things make us feel old, make us feel that we’re leading dull, unadventurous lives as our skin grows ever more flaccid, and the pounds pile on irrevocably. And yet we feel obliged to repress our emotions and our desires, because they don’t fit with what we call “maturity.” Choose what information you listen to. Place a filter over your eyes and ears and allow in only things that won’t bring you down, because we have our day-to-day life to do that.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Then Wang Lung turned to the woman and looked at her for the first time. She had a square, honest face, a short, broad nose with large black nostrils, and her mouth was wide as a gash in her face. Her eyes were small and of a dull black in color, and were filled with some sadness that was not clearly expressed. It was a face that seemed habitually silent and unspeaking, as though it could not speak if it would. She bore patiently Wang Lung’s look, without embarrassment or response, simply waiting until he had seen her. He saw that it was true there was not beauty of any kind in her face—a brown, common, patient face. But there were no pock-marks on her dark skin, nor was her lip split. In her ears he saw his rings hanging, the gold-washed rings he had bought, and on her hands were the rings he had given her. He turned away with secret exultation. Well, he had his woman!
Pearl S. Buck (The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1))
Infrared satellite imagery, optical telescopes, and the Hubbell space telescope bring vastness within our visual sphere. Electron microscopes let us wander the remote universe of our own cells. But at the middle scale, that of the unaided eye, our senses seem to be strangely dulled. With sophisticated technology, we strive to see what is beyond us, but are often blind to the myriad sparkling facets that lie so close at hand. We thing we're seeing when we've only scratched the surface. Our acuity at this middle scale seems diminished, not by any failing of the eyes, but by the willingness of the mind. Has the power of our devices led us to distrust our unaided eyes? Or have we become dismissive of what takes no technology but only time and patience to perceive? Attentiveness alone can rival the most powerful magnifying lens.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses)
Tell me something about yourself.” “I’d rather save the small talk.” “There’s no need to be rude, child, and believe me, I’m asking for a reason. Tell me something about yourself. Anything.” “I’m twenty-eight . . .” He rejected that one out of hand. “Something personal. Something . . . interior. Tell me something you love.” I thought about it for a long few seconds, then said, “Ralph Lauren’s summer line this year. Not the spring collection, which was way too pastel, and the winter was really crappy, all bland browns and grays. But he’s got some good fabrics this summer, kind of a hot tangerine matched with dull red. Only he skirts, though. Hiscapri pants are for shit. Pockets? Who wants pockets on capri pants? What woman in her right mind puts extra fabric on her hips?” There was a long and ringing silence. Patrick’s eyes were wide and rather frightened. He finally cleared his throat and said, “Anything else apart from fashion?” “What do you want me to say? Puppies? Fluffy kittens? Babies?” “Let’s try something simple. Your favorite food.” I rolled my eyes. “Chocolate.” Duh .
Rachel Caine (Heat Stroke (Weather Warden, #2))
At every new torment which is too hard to bear we feel yet another vein protrude, to unroll its sinuous and deadly length along our temples or beneath our eyes. And thus gradually are formed those terrible ravaged faces, of the old Rembrandt, the old Beethoven, at whom the whole world mocked. And the pockets under the eyes and the wrinkled forehead would not matter much were there not also the suffering of the heart. But since strength of one kind can change into a strength of another kind, since heat which is stored up can become light and the electricity in a flash of lightning can cause a photograph to be taken, since the dull pain in our heart can hoist above itself like a banner the visible permanence of an image for every new grief, let us accept the physical injury which is done to us for the sake of the spiritual knowledge which grief brings; let us submit to the disintegration of our body, since each new fragment which breaks away from it returns in a luminous and significant form to add itself to our work, to complete it at the price of sufferings of which others more richly endowed have no need, to make our work at least more solid as our life crumbles away beneath the corrosive action of our emotions.
Marcel Proust (Time Regained)
It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative...we were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or a TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crispier, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
It was almost a mystical experience. I do not know how else to put it. My mind outran time as he neared, and it was as though I had an eternity to ponder the approach of this man who was my brother. His garments were filthy, his face blackened, the stump of his right arm raised, gesturing anywhere. The great beast that he rode was striped, black and red, with a wild red mane and tail. But it really was a horse, and its eyes rolled and there was foam at its mouth and its breathing was painful to hear. I saw then that he wore his blade slung across his back, for its haft protruded high above his right shoulder. Still slowing, eyes fixed upon me, he departed the road, bearing slightly toward my left, jerked the reins once and released them, keeping control of the horse with his knees. His left hand went up in a salute-like movement that passed above his head and seized the hilt of his weapon. It came free without a sound, describing a beautiful arc above him and coming to rest in a lethal position out from his left shoulder and slanting back, like a single wing of dull steel with a minuscule line of edge that gleamed like a filament of mirror. The picture he presented was burned into my mind with a kind of magnificence, a certain splendor that was strangely moving. The blade was a long, scythe like affair that I had seen him use before. Only then we had stood as allies against a mutual foe I had begun to believe unbeatable. Benedict had proved otherwise that night. Now that I saw it raised against me I was overwhelmed with a sense of my own mortality, which I had never experienced before in this fashion. It was as though a layer had been stripped from the world and I had a sudden, full understanding of death itself.
Roger Zelazny (The Guns of Avalon (The Chronicles of Amber, #2))
Sometimes,’ she said, ‘I think I must have invented him.’ I know all I want to about your child,’ Chauvin said harshly. Anne Desbaresdes moaned again, louder than before. Again she put her hand on the table. His eyes followed her movement and finally, painfully, he understood and lifted his own leaden hand and placed it on hers. Their hands were so cold they were touching only in intention, an illusion, in order for this to be fulfilled, for the sole reason that it should be fulfilled, none other, it was no longer possible. And yet, with their hands frozen in this funereal pose, Anne Desbaresdes stopped moaning. One last time,’ she begged, ‘tell me about it one last time.’ Chauvin hesitated, his eyes somewhere else, still fixed on the back wall. Then he decided to tell her about it as if it were a memory. He had never dreamed, before meeting her, that he would one day want anything so badly.’ And she acquiesced completely?’ Wonderfully.’ Anne Desbaresdes looked at Chauvin absently. Her voice became thin, almost childlike. I'd like to understand why his desire to have it happen one day was so wonderful?’ Chauvin still avoided looking at her. Her voice was steady, wooden, the voice of a deaf person. There's no use trying to understand. It's beyond understanding.’ You mean there are some things like that that can't be gone into?’ I think so.’ Anne Desbaresdes' expression became dull, almost stupid. Her lips had turned pale, they were gray and trembled as though she were on the verge of tears. She does nothing t try and stop him?’ she whispered. No. Have a little more wine.’ She sipped her wine. He also drank, and his lips on the glass were also trembling. Time,’ he said Does it take a long time, a very long time?’ Yes, a very long time. But I don't know anything.’ He lowered his voice. ‘Like you, I don't know anything. Nothing at all.’ Anne Desbaresdes forced back her tears. Her voice was normal, momentarily awake. She will never speak again,’ she said.
Marguerite Duras (Moderato Cantabile)
Still, it is true, lamb," said Satan. "Look at you in war—what mutton you are, and how ridiculous!" "In war? How?" "There has never been a just one, never an honorable one—on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful—as usual—will shout for the war. The pulpit will—warily and cautiously—object—at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers—as earlier—but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation—pulpit and all—will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
Has it ever occurred to you, Master Ninefingers, that a sword is different from other weapons? Axes and maces and so forth are lethal enough, but they hang on the belt like dumb brutes." He ran an eye over the hilt, plain cold metal scored with faint grooves for a good grip, glinting in the torchlight. "But a sword... a sword has a voice." "Eh?" "Sheathed it has little to say, to be sure, but you need only put your hand on the hilt and it begins to whisper in your enemy's ear." He wrapped his fingers tightly round the grip. "A gentle warning. A word of caution. Do you hear it?" Logen nodded slowly. "Now," murmured Bayaz, "compare it to the sword half drawn." A foot length of metal hissed out of the sheath, a single silver letter shining near the hilt. The blade itself was dull, but its edge had a cold and frosty glint. "It speaks louder, does it not? It hisses a dire threat. It makes a deadly promise. Do you hear it?" Logen nodded again, his eye fastened on that glittering edge. "Now compare it to the sword full drawn." Bayaz whipped the long blade from its sheath with a faint ringing sound, brought it up so that the point hovered inches from Logen's face. "It shouts now, does it not? It screams defiance! It bellows a challenge! Do you hear it?" "Mmm," said Logen, leaning back and staring slightly crosseyed at the shining point of the sword. Bayaz let it drop and slid it gently back into its scabbard, something to Logen's relief. "Yes, a sword has a voice. Axes and maces and so forth are lethal enough, but a sword is a subtle weapon, and suited to a subtle man. You I think, Master Ninefingers, are subtler than you appear." Logen frowned as Bayaz held the sword out to him. He had been accused of many things in his life, but never subtlety. "Consider it a gift. My thanks for your good manners.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
Joffrey called out, “Dog!” Sandor Clegane seemed to take form out of the night, so quickly did he appear. He had exchanged his armor for a red woolen tunic with a leather dog’s head sewn on the front. The light of the torches made his burned face shine a dull red. “Yes, Your Grace?” he said. “Take my betrothed back to the castle, and see that no harm befalls her,” the prince told him brusquely. And without even a word of farewell, Joffrey strode off, leaving her there. Sansa could feel the Hound watching her. “Did you think Joff was going to take you himself?” He laughed. He had a laugh like the snarling of dogs in a pit. “Small chance of that.” He pulled her unresisting to her feet. “Come, you’re not the only one needs sleep. I’ve drunk too much, and I may need to kill my brother tomorrow.” He laughed again. He was mocking her, she realized. “No one could withstand him,” she managed at last, proud of herself. It was no lie. Sandor Clegane stopped suddenly in the middle of a dark and empty field. She had no choice but to stop beside him. “Some septa trained you well. You’re like one of those birds from the Summer Isles, aren’t you? A pretty little talking -bird, repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite.” “ Take your look.” His fingers held her jaw as hard as an iron trap. His eyes watched hers. Drunken eyes, sullen with anger. She had to look. The right side of his face was gaunt, with sharp cheekbones and a grey eye beneath a heavy brow. His nose was large and hooked, his hair thin, dark. He wore it long and brushed it sideways, because no hair grew on the other side of that face. The left side of his face was a ruin. His ear had been burned away; there was nothing left but a hole. His eye was still good, but all around it was a twisted mass of scar, slick black flesh hard as leather, pocked with craters and fissured by deep cracks.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
A murmur ran through the crowd, and I looked around to see what all the fuss was about. Then I saw him, walking past table after table as if everybody weren't stopping to stare at him. Loki had ventured down from where he'd been hiding in the servants' quarters. Since I'd granted him amnesty, he was no longer being guarded and was free to roman as he pleased, but I hadn't exactly invited him to the wedding. As Tove and I danced, I didn't take my eyes off Loki. He walked around the dance floor toward the refreshments, but he kept watching me. He got a glass of champagne from the table, and even as he drank his eyes never left me. Another Markis came over and cut in to dance with me, but I barely noticed when I switched partners. I tried to focus on the person I was dancing with. But there was something about the way Loki looked at me, and I couldn't shake it. The song had switched to something contemporary, probably the sheet music that Willa had slipped the orchestra. She'd insisted the whole thing would be far too dull if they only played classical. The murmur died down, and people returned to dancing and talking. Loki took another swig of his champagne, then set the glass down and walked across the dance floor. Everyone parted around him, and I wasn't sure if it was out of fear or respect. He wore all black, even his shirt. I had no idea where he'd gotten the clothes, but he did look debonair. "May I have this dance?" Loki asked my dance partner, but his eyes were on me. "Um, I don't know if you should," the Markis fumbled, but I was already moving away from him. "No, it's all right," I said. Uncertainly, the Markis stepped back, and Loki took my hand. When he placed his hand on my back, a shiver ran up my spine, but I tried to hide it and put my hand on his shoulder. "You know, you weren't invited to this," I told him, but he merely smirked as we began dancing. "So throw me out." "I might." I raised my head defiantly, and that only made him laugh. "If it's as the Princess wishes," he said, but he made no move to step away, and for some odd reason, I felt relieved.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
And so I make my way across the room steadily, carefully. Hands shaking, I pull the string, lifting my blinds. They rise slowly, drawing more moonlight into the room with every inch And there he is, crouched low on the roof. Same leather jacket. The hair is his, the cheekbones, the perfect nose . . . the eyes: dark and mysterious . . . full of secrets. . . . My heart flutters, body light. I reach out to touch him, thinking he might disappear, my fingers disrupted by the windowpane. On the other side, Parker lifts his hand and mouths: “Hi.” I mouth “Hi” back. He holds up a single finger, signalling me to hold on. He picks up a spiral-bound notebook and flips open the cover, turning the first page to me. I recognize his neat, block print instantly: bold, black Sharpie. I know this is unexpected . . . , I read. He flips the page. . . . and strange . . . I lift an eyebrow. . . . but please hear read me out. He flips to the next page. I know I told you I never lied . . . . . . but that was (obviously) the biggest lie of all. The truth is: I’m a liar. I lied. I lied to myself . . . . . . and to you. Parker watches as I read. Our eyes meet, and he flips the page. But only because I had to. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you, Jaden . . . . . . but it happened anyway. I clear my throat, and swallow hard, but it’s squeezed shut again, tight. And it gets worse. Not only am I a liar . . . I’m selfish. Selfish enough to want it all. And I know if I don’t have you . . . I hold my breath, waiting. . . . I don’t have anything. He turns another page, and I read: I’m not Parker . . . . . . and I’m not going to give up . . . . . . until I can prove to you . . . . . . that you are the only thing that matters. He flips to the next page. So keep sending me away . . . . . . but I’ll just keep coming back to you. Again . . . He flips to the next page. . . . and again . . . And the next: . . . and again. Goose bumps rise to the surface of my skin. I shiver, hugging myself tightly. And if you can ever find it in your (heart) to forgive me . . . There’s a big, black “heart” symbol where the word should be. I will do everything it takes to make it up to you. He closes the notebook and tosses it beside him. It lands on the roof with a dull thwack. Then, lifting his index finger, he draws an X across his chest. Cross my heart. I stifle the happy laugh welling inside, hiding the smile as I reach for the metal latch to unlock my window. I slowly, carefully, raise the sash. A burst of fresh honeysuckles saturates the balmy, midnight air, sickeningly sweet, filling the room. I close my eyes, breathing it in, as a thousand sleepless nights melt, slipping away. I gather the lavender satin of my dress in my hand, climb through the open window, and stand tall on the roof, feeling the height, the warmth of the shingles beneath my bare feet, facing Parker. He touches the length of the scar on my forehead with his cool finger, tucks my hair behind my ear, traces the edge of my face with the back of his hand. My eyes close. “You know you’re beautiful? Even when you cry?” He smiles, holding my face in his hands, smearing the tears away with his thumbs. I breathe in, lungs shuddering. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, black eyes sincere. I swallow. “I know why you had to.” “Doesn’t make it right.” “Doesn’t matter anymore,” I say, shaking my head. The moon hangs suspended in the sky, stars twinkling overhead, as he leans down and kisses me softly, lips meeting mine, familiar—lips I imagined, dreamed about, memorized a mil ion hours ago. Then he wraps his arms around me, pulling me into him, quelling every doubt and fear and uncertainty in this one, perfect moment.
Katie Klein (Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1))
I opened myself up to the kiss and kissed him back with enthusiasm. Putting all my secret emotions and tender feelings into the embrace, I wound my arms around his neck and slid my hands into his hair. Pulling his body that much closer to mine, I embraced him with all the warmth and affection that I wouldn’t allow myself to express verbally. He paused, shocked for a brief instant, and then quickly adjusted his approach, escalating into a passionate frenzy. I shocked myself by matching his energy. I ran my hands up his powerful arms and shoulders and then down his chest. My senses were in turmoil. I felt wild. Eager. I clutched at his shirt. I couldn’t get close enough to him. He even smelled delicious. You’d think that several days of being chased by strange creatures and hiking through a mysterious kingdom would make him smell bad. In fact, I wanted him to smell bad. I’m sure I did. I mean, how can you expect a girl to be fresh as a daisy while traipsing through the jungle and getting chased by monkeys. It’s just not possible. I desperately wanted him to have some fault. Some weakness. Some…imperfection. But Ren smelled amazing-like waterfalls, a warm summer day, and sandalwood trees all wrapped up in a sizzling, hot guy. How could a girl defend herself from a perfect onslaught delivered by a pefect person? I gave up and let Mr. Wonderful take control of my senses. My blood burned, my heart thundered, my need for him quickened, and I lost all track of time in his arms. All I was aware of was Ren. His lips. His body. His soul. I wanted all of him. Eventually, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently separated us. I was surprised that he had the strength of will to stop because I was nowhere near being able to. I blinked my eyes open in a daze. We were both breathing hard. “That was…enlightening,” he breathed. “Thank you, Kelsey.” I blinked. The passion that had dulled my mind dissipated in an instant, and my mind sharply focused on a new feeling. Irritation. “Thank you? Thank you! Of all the-“ I slammed up the steps angrily and then spun around to look down at him. “No! Thank you, Ren!” My hands slashed at the air. “Now you got what you wanted, so leave me alone!” I ran up the stairs quickly to put some distance between us. Enlightening? What was that about? Was he testing me? Giving me a one-to-ten score on my kissing ability? Of all the nerve? I was glad that I was mad. I could shove all the other emotions into the back of my mind and just focus on the anger, the indignation. He leapt up the stairs two at a time. “That’s not all I want, Kelsey. That’s for sure.” “Well, I no longer care about what you want!” He shot me a knowing look and raised an eyebrow. Then, he lifted his foot out of the opening, placed it on the dirt, and instantly changed back into a tiger. I laughed mockingly. “Ha!” I tripped over a stone but quickly found my footing. “Serves you right!” I shouted angrily and stumbled blindly along the dim path. After figuring out where to go, I marched off in a huff. “Come on, Fanindra. Let’s go find Mr. Kadam.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))