Entrance Of House Quotes

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Thunder boomed overhead. Lightning flashed, and the bars on the nearest window burst into sizzling, melted stubs of iron. Jason flew in like Peter Pan, electricity sparking around him and his gold sword steaming. Leo whistled appreciatively. “Man, you just wasted an awesome entrance.” Jason frowned. He noticed the hog-tied Kerkopes. “What the—” “All by myself,” Leo said. “I’m special that way.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.
Lloyd Jones
Chiron, I don't think the attic is the proper place for our new Oracle, do you?" "No, indeed." Chiron looked a lot better now that Apollo had worked some medical magic on him. "Rachel may use a guest room in the Big House for now, until we give the matter more thought." "I'm thinking a cave in the hills," Apollo mused. "With torches and a big purple curtain over the entrance . . . really mysterious. But inside, a totally decked-out pad with a game room and one of those home theater systems.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.
Lloyd Jones (Mister Pip)
Whoever you are: in the evening step out of your room, where you know everything; yours is the last house before the far-off: whoever you are. With your eyes, which in their weariness barely free themselves from the worn-out threshold, you lift very slowly one black tree and place it against the sky: slender, alone. And you have made the world. And it is huge and like a word which grows ripe in silence. And as your will seizes on its meaning, tenderly your eyes let it go...
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Book of Images)
The house-elves of Hogwarts swarmed into the entrance hall, screaming and waving carving knives and cleavers, and at their head, the locket of Regulus Black bouncing on his chest, was Kreacher, his bullfrog’s voice audible even above this din: “Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
A bachelor, a studio, those were the names for that kind of apartment. Separate entrance it would say in the ads, and that meant you could have sex, unobserved.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
There were doors that looked like large keyholes, others that resembled the entrances to caves, there were golden doors, some were padded and some were studded with nails, some were paper-thin and others as thick as the doors of treasure houses; there was one that looked like a giant's mouth and another that had to be opened like a drawbridge, one that suggested a big ear and one that was made of gingerbread, one that was shaped like an oven door, and one that had to be unbuttoned.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
The main hallway of the Sternwood place was two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the vizor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. I stood there and thought that if I lived in the house, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. He didn’t seem to be really trying.
Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1))
On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe. I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity.
Jorge Luis Borges
The Boy will not be a failure. Mythili knows.She has seen the generations before.The boy will make it.As his father has said,he does not have the option of failure.He will crack atleast one entrance exam,and he will one day have a nice house in a suburb of San Francisco,or in a suburb of a suburb of San Francisco.He will find a cute Tamil Brahmin wife and make her produce two sweet children.He will drive a Toyota Corolla to work.And there,in the conference room of his office,he will tell his small team,with his hands stretched wide in a managerial way,'We must think out of the box
Manu Joseph (The Illicit Happiness of Other People)
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
At the street corner, a one-storey house built of freestone, but repulsively decrepit and filthy, seemed to command the entrance, like a gaol. And here, indeed, lived La Méchain, like a vigilant proprietess, ever on the watch, exploiting in person her little population of starving tenants.
Émile Zola (L'Argent (Les Rougon-Macquart, #18))
How do we get into Blackmoor's study? Did you climb in?" "No, he lifted me in." "Hmm. Right, then. Vivi will have to give us a boost up." "She will, will she?" from the booster in question. "Well, how else do we sneak in?" "I rather thought that we could knock on the front door and have Bingham let us in," Alex said matter-of-factly, referencing Blackmoor's ancient butler, as she led the trio around the corner of the house and toward the main entrance. "What? We can't do that!" Ella stopped, indignant. "Whyever not?" Vivi asked, following Alex. "It seems a perfectly acceptable way to enter. In fact, I believe I've been entering houses that way for my entire life.
Sarah MacLean (The Season)
Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy "To go outside, and there perchance to stay Or to remain within: that is the question: Whether 'tis better for a cat to suffer The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather That Nature rains on those who roam abroad, Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet, And so by dozing melt the solid hours That clog the clock's bright gears with sullen time And stall the dinner bell. To sit, to stare Outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state A wish to venture forth without delay, Then when the portal's opened up, to stand As if transfixed by doubt. To prowl; to sleep; To choose not knowing when we may once more Our readmittance gain: aye, there's the hairball; For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob, Or work a lock or slip a window-catch, And going out and coming in were made As simple as the breaking of a bowl, What cat would bear the houselhold's petty plagues, The cook's well-practiced kicks, the butler's broom, The infant's careless pokes, the tickled ears, The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks That fur is heir to, when, of his own will, He might his exodus or entrance make With a mere mitten? Who would spaniels fear, Or strays trespassing from a neighbor's yard, But that the dread of our unheeded cries And scraches at a barricaded door No claw can open up, dispels our nerve And makes us rather bear our humans' faults Than run away to unguessed miseries? Thus caution doth make house cats of us all; And thus the bristling hair of resolution Is softened up with the pale brush of thought, And since our choices hinge on weighty things, We pause upon the threshold of decision.
Henry N. Beard (Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse)
They all knew this, but this didn't stop them from good-naturedly crowding around the front door every time it opened, every single time, despite the fact that they were never -EVER- let into the house. I loved this particularly fine thing about dogs: Despite a lifetime of denied entrance, hope never died in their hearts.
Jacqueline Kelly (The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Calpurnia Tate, #1))
He started toward the entrance. Seriously, how could he not? He stopped when he noticed the girl. She was kneeling in her vegetable garden, her back to Leo. She muttered to herself as she dug furiously with a trowel.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Just then, thunder boomed overhead. Lightning flashed, and the bars on the nearest window burst into sizzling, melted stubs of iron. Jason flew in like Peter Pan, electricity sparking around him and his gold sword steaming. Leo whistled appreciatively. “Man, you just wasted an awesome entrance.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
attributes. The women walk toward the house rather hesitantly. Some gaze entranced at the park and the colorful
Marcela Serrano (Ten Women)
Andy kicked her way in, moonlit and angerstruck, doors shattering the decoration behind as she shouted at the shocked furniture: “Blyton Summer Fucking Detective Club! Anybody home?” Kerri and Nate came to flank her right after, rifles aimed at the horrified haunted house. Tim scurried between them, promenaded across the hall, stopped by a decorative suit of armor, and peed on it.
Edgar Cantero (Meddling Kids)
You can be a rich person alone. You can be a smart person alone. But you cannot be a complete person alone. For that you must be part of, and rooted in, an olive grove. This truth was once beautifully conveyed by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner in his interpretation of a scene from Gabriel García Márquez’s classic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude: Márquez tells of a village where people were afflicted with a strange plague of forgetfulness, a kind of contagious amnesia. Starting with the oldest inhabitants and working its way through the population, the plague causes people to forget the names of even the most common everyday objects. One young man, still unaffected, tries to limit the damage by putting labels on everything. “This is a table,” “This is a window,” “This is a cow; it has to be milked every morning.” And at the entrance to the town, on the main road, he puts up two large signs. One reads “The name of our village is Macondo,” and the larger one reads “God exists.” The message I get from that story is that we can, and probably will, forget most of what we have learned in life—the math, the history, the chemical formulas, the address and phone number of the first house we lived in when we got married—and all that forgetting will do us no harm. But if we forget whom we belong to, and if we forget that there is a God, something profoundly human in us will be lost.
Thomas L. Friedman (The Lexus and the Olive Tree)
Lovely house,” Jack said, as he was led—hands still bound—through the grand entrance of Belgrave. He turned to the old lady. “Did you decorate? It has that woman‟s touch.” Miss Eversleigh was trailing behind, but he could hear her choke back a bubble of laughter. “Oh, let it out, Miss Eversleigh,” he called over his shoulder. “Much better for your constitution.
Julia Quinn (The Lost Duke of Wyndham (Two Dukes of Wyndham, #1))
I had arrived at that well-known portion of the story where Ethelred, the hero of the Trist, having sought in vain for peaceable admission into the dwelling of the hermit, proceeds to make good an entrance by force. Here,
Edgar Allan Poe (The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings)
The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow.
Henry David Thoreau
Neither the front nor the back entrance of the Custom-House opens on the road to Paradise
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
On Monday, however, when he returned to his house on the Street of Windows, he discovered a letter floating in a puddle inside the entrance, and on the wet envelope he recognized at once the imperious handwriting that so many changes in life had not changed, and he even thought he could detect the nocturnal perfume of withered gardenias, because after the initial shock, his heart told him everything: it was the letter he had been waiting for, without a moment’s respite, for over half a century.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
Finally, he reached his street. It was quiet, blessedly so, and the only sound was his own groan as he lifted his foot to the first stone step at the entrance to Winstead House. The only sound, that was, until someone whispered his name. He froze. “Anne?” A figure stepped out of the shadows, trembling in the night. “Daniel,” she said again, and if she said anything more, he did not hear it. He was down the stairs in an instant, and she was in his arms, and for the first time in nearly a week, the world felt steady on its axis.
Julia Quinn (A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #2))
I am going to withdraw from the world; nothing that happens there is any concern of mine.” And the snail went into his house and puttied up the entrance. —Hans Christian Andersen, “The Snail and the Rosebush,” 1861
Elisabeth Tova Bailey (The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating)
There was something strangely peaceful about the house, something very rare and difficult to define. It was like a house in an old tale, discovered by the hero one evening in midsummer. In the tale there would be strands of ivy clustering the walls, and barring the entrance and the house itself would have slept for a thousand years.
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
There’s a photo of the goddess Durga at the entrance. She’s sitting on a lion. Despite the weapons in her hands, her expression is serene. Maybe that’s true strength: maintaining a sense of peace but having all the tools to fight whatever might be hurled at you. The rest of the house is still the same: no decorations and walls that are cracked and
Saumya Dave (Well-Behaved Indian Women)
Did you, like, google me or something?” She frowned. “I don’t know that word.” “You looked me up,” he said. “Almost like you had some interest in me.” She wrinkled her nose. “I have an interest in not making you a new set of clothes every other day. I have an interest in you not smelling so bad and walking around my island in smouldering rags.” “Oh, yeah.” Leo grinned. “You’re really warming up to me.” Her face got even redder. “You are the most insufferable person I have ever met! I was only returning a favour. You fixed my fountain.” “That?” Leo laughed. The problem had been so simple he’d almost forgotten about it. One of the bronze satyrs had been turned sideways and the water pressure was off, so it started making an annoying ticking sound, jiggling up and down and spewing water over the rim of the pool. He’d pulled out a couple of tools and fixed it in about two minutes. “That was no big deal. I don’t like it when things don’t work right.” “And the curtains across the cave entrance?” “The rod wasn’t level.” “And my gardening tools?” “Look, I just sharpened the shears. Cutting vines with a dull blade is dangerous. And the pruners needed to be oiled at the hinge, and—” “Oh, yeah,” Calypso said, in a pretty good imitation of his voice. “You’re really warming up to me.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
JONAS RECEIVER OF MEMORY Go immediately at the end of school hours each day to the Annex entrance behind the House of the Old and present yourself to the attendant. Go immediately to your dwelling at the conclusion of Training Hours each day. From this moment you are exempted from rules governing rudeness. You may ask any question of any citizen and you will receive answers. Do not discuss your training with any other member of the community, including parents and Elders. From this moment you are prohibited from dream-telling. Except for illness or injury unrelated to your training, do not apply for any medication. You are not permitted to apply for release. You may lie.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
Rhage re-formed on the lawn of Darius’s former mansion and strode up to the front entrance. The second he came into the house, he heard a series of gasps, and glanced to the left. In the parlor, there were a number of civilians clustered in an awkward, standing group, like they didn’t feel comfortable sitting on all the fancy silk-covered furniture—and their eyes were popped large at the sight of him. Yeah, his reputation still preceded him. Geez, you’re a slut for a couple of centuries, and people just can’t let that shit go after you get properly mated.
J.R. Ward (The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13))
J. R. R. Tolkien gives one of the most entrancing descriptions of the true nature of Sabbath. In book 1 of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he describes a time of rest and healing in the house of Elrond in Rivendell. The hobbits, along with Strider, their guide, have made a dangerous, almost fatal journey to this place. They will soon have to make an even more dangerous, almost certainly fatal journey away from this place. But in the meantime, this: For awhile the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.2 The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have power over the present. That’s Sabbath.
Mark Buchanan (The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath)
All librarians, deep down, loathe their buildings. Something is always wrong—the counter is too high, the shelves too narrow, the delivery entrance too far from the offices. The hallway echoes. The light from windows bleaches books. In short, libraries are constructed by architects, not librarians.
Elizabeth McCracken (The Giant's House)
THE HOUSE OF PAIN Unto the Prison House of Pain none willingly repair, — The bravest who an entrance gain Reluctant linger there, For Pleasure, passing by that door, stays not to cheer the sight. And Sympathy but muffles sound and banishes the light. Yet in the Prison House of Pain things full of beauty blow, — Like Christmas-roses, which attain Perfection 'mid the snow, — Love, entering, in his mild warmth the darkest shadows melt, And often, where the hush is deep, the waft of wings is felt. Ah, me ! the Prison House of Pain ! — what lessons there are bought ! — Lessons of a sublimer strain Than any elsewhere taught, — Amid its loneliness and gloom, grave meanings grow more clear, For to no earthly dwelling-place seems God so strangely near !
Florence Earle Coates
Incorporated into many of the façades are parts of the original structure – stairways that go nowhere, columns supporting nothing, niches that once clearly held Roman busts. The effect is that the houses look as if they grew magically out of the ruins. It is entrancing and there is no other place in Europe like it.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here, Nor There: Travels in Europe (Bryson Book 11))
Caesar laid the foundations for the political geography of modern Europe, as well as slaughtering up to a million people over the whole region. It would be wrong to imagine that the Gauls were peace-loving innocents brutally trampled by Caesar’s forces. One Greek visitor in the early first century BCE had been shocked to find enemy heads casually pinned up at the entrance to Gallic houses, though he conceded that, after a while, one got used to the sight; and Gallic mercenaries had done good business in Italy until the power of Rome had closed their market. Yet the mass killing of those who stood in Caesar’s way was more than even some Romans could take.
Mary Beard (SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome)
Suddenly he stopped as if rooted outside the doors of one house; before his eyes an inexplicable phenomenon occurred: a carriage stopped at the entrance; the door opened; a gentleman in a uniform jumped out, hunching over, and ran up the stairs. What was Kovalev's horror as well as amazement when he recognized him as his own nose!
Nikolai Gogol (The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol)
But when she saw Evie at the entrance of the restaurant, staring fiercely at nothing after the fashion of athletic women, her heart failed her anew. Miss Wilcox had changed perceptibly since her engagement. Her voice was gruffer, her manner more downright, and she was inclined to patronize the more foolish virgin. Margaret was silly enough to be pained at this. Depressed at her isolation, she saw not only houses and furniture, but the vessel of life slipping past her, with people like Evie and Mr. Cahill on board.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
In towering letters Cicero’s words were engraved over the library entrance. Who knows only his own generation remains always a child.
Linda Lafferty (House of Bathory)
north side of the house, where the main entrance was. Why Dad hadn’t had the door open straight onto the yard and the road I really don’t know.
Jo Nesbø (The Kingdom)
I heard Mr. Ingersoll many years ago in Chicago. The hall seated 5,000 people; every inch of standing-room was also occupied; aisles and platform crowded to overflowing. He held that vast audience for three hours so completely entranced that when he left the platform no one moved, until suddenly, with loud cheers and applause, they recalled him. He returned smiling and said: 'I'm glad you called me back, as I have something more to say. Can you stand another half-hour?' 'Yes: an hour, two hours, all night,' was shouted from various parts of the house; and he talked on until midnight, with unabated vigor, to the delight of his audience. This was the greatest triumph of oratory I had ever witnessed. It was the first time he delivered his matchless speech, 'The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child'. I have heard the greatest orators of this century in England and America; O'Connell in his palmiest days, on the Home Rule question; Gladstone and John Bright in the House of Commons; Spurgeon, James and Stopford Brooke, in their respective pulpits; our own Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, and Webster and Clay, on great occasions; the stirring eloquence of our anti-slavery orators, both in Congress and on the platform, but none of them ever equalled Robert Ingersoll in his highest flights. {Stanton's comments at the great Robert Ingersoll's funeral}
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
As the carriage proceeded past the main gate, the estate mansion came into view. Contrary to Pandora's expectations, it wasn't at all cold and imposing. It was a gracious, low-slung residence of two stories, inhabiting its surroundings with comfortable ease. Its classic lines were softened by an abundance of glossy green ivy that mantled the cream stucco façade, and arbors of pink roses that arched cheerfully over the courtyard entrance. Two extended wings curved around the front gardens, as if the house had decided to fill its arms with bouquets. Nearby, a slope of dark, dreaming forest rested beneath a blanket of sunlight.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
The pond lay to the south of the house. To get there you went out the back entrance, and down the narrow twisting path, pushing past the overgrown bracken that, in the early autumn, would still be blocking your way. Or if there were no guardians around, you could take a short cut through the rhubarb patch. Anyway, once you came out to the pond, you’d find a tranquil atmosphere waiting, with ducks and bulrushes and pond-weed.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Maud and Lennart also decide to come along to the hospital. Maud has brought cookies and Lennart decides when he gets to the house’s entrance to bring the coffee percolator, because he’s worried they may not have one at the hospital. And even if they do, Lennart has the feeling it will probably be one of those modern coffeemakers with a lot of buttons. Lennart’s percolator only has one button. Lennart is very fond of that button.
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
(The feast-room in GUNNAR'S house. The entrance-door is in the back; smaller doors in the side-walls. In front, on the left, the greater high-seat; opposite it on the right, the lesser. In the middle of the floor, a wood fire is burning on a built-up hearth. In the background, on both sides of the door, are daises for the women of the household. From each of the high-seats, a long table, with benches, stretches backwards, parallel with the wall. It is dark outside; the fire lights the room.)
Henrik Ibsen (The Vikings of Helgeland The Prose Dramas Of Henrik Ibsen, Vol. III.)
A true community does not need a police force. The very presence of a law enforcement system in a community is an indication that something is not working. And the presence of the police is supposed to make it work. Such a force is essentially repressive, which means that certain people in such a dysfunctional community do not know how to fit in. A community is a place where there is consensus, not where there is a crooked-looking onlooker with a gun, creating an atmosphere of unrest. In my village, houses do not have doors that can be locked. They have entrances. The absence of doors is not a sign of technological deprivation but an indication of the state of mind the community is in. The open door symbolizes the open mind and open heart. Thus a doorless home is home to anybody in the community. It translates the level at which the community operates. In addition, this community does not have a police force because it does not assume that the other person is dishonest or potentially evil. The trust factor must be high. Elders
Malidoma Patrice Somé (Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (Compass))
Whereas in many Greek houses the bathroom was connected to the kitchen area, in Kerkouane many were situated off the entrance vestibule or passageway leading from the street into the house. Although there were pragmatic reasons for such a location, such as the availability of drainage and water, the choice also suggests that in the Punic world the washing of the body was seen as an important ritual act of purification that marked the transition from the public sphere outside the house to the private space of the family.
Richard Miles (Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization)
It involves no disrespect for Mrs. Truman to say that her daughter gets a bigger hand than she does,' observed Richard Rovere. 'This country may be run by and for mothers, but its goddesses are daughters. Margaret's entrance comes closer than anything else to bringing down the house.
David Pietrusza
As I learned the house, and began to read, and began to see more of the Quality, I saw that just as the fields and its workers were the engine of everything, the house itself would have been lost without those who tasked within it. My father, like all the masters, built an entire apparatus to disguise this weakness, to hide how prostrate they truly were. The tunnel, where I first entered the house, was the only entrance that the Tasked were allowed to use, and this was not only for the masters’ exaltation but to hide us, for the tunnel was but one of the many engineering marvels built into Lockless so as to make it appear powered by some imperceptible energy. There were dumbwaiters that made the sumptuous supper appear from nothing, levers that seemed to magically retrieve the right bottle of wine hidden deep in the manor’s bowels, cots in the sleeping quarters, drawn under the canopy bed, because those charged with emptying the chamber-pot must be hidden even more than the chamber-pot itself. The magic wall that slid away from me that first day and opened the gleaming world of the house hid back stairways that led down into the Warrens, the engine-room of Lockless, where no guest would ever visit. And when we did appear in the polite areas of the house, as we did during the soirées, we were made to appear in such appealing dress and grooming so that one could imagine that we were not slaves at all but mystical ornaments, a portion of the manor’s charm. But I now knew the truth—that Maynard’s folly, though more profane, was unoriginal. The masters could not bring water to boil, harness a horse, nor strap their own drawers without us. We were better than them—we had to be. Sloth was literal death for us, while for them it was the whole ambition of their lives. It occurred to me then that even my own intelligence was unexceptional, for you could not set eyes anywhere on Lockless and not see the genius in its makers—genius in the hands that carved out the columns of the portico, genius in the songs that evoked, even in the whites, the deepest of joys and sorrows, genius in the men who made the fiddle strings whine and trill at their dances, genius in the bouquet of flavors served up from the kitchen, genius in all our lost, genius in Big John. Genius in my mother.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
I thought you were talking figuratively! I kept asking and you kept saying, "An entrance to Hell," so I thought, Very well, Cabal, have your moment of melodrama now and bathos later when it turns out your talking about Ipswitch or somewhere, but you meant it. You actually meant it literally.
Jonathan L. Howard (The Fall of the House of Cabal (Johannes Cabal, #5))
SELF-HELP FOR FELLOW REFUGEES If your name suggests a country where bells might have been used for entertainment, or to announce the entrances and exits of the seasons and the birthdays of gods and demons, it's probably best to dress in plain clothes when you arrive in the United States. And try not to talk too loud. If you happen to have watched armed men beat and drag your father out the front door of your house and into the back of an idling truck, before your mother jerked you from the threshold and buried your face in her skirt folds, try not to judge your mother too harshly. Don't ask her what she thought she was doing, turning a child's eyes away from history and toward that place all human aching starts. And if you meet someone in your adopted country and think you see in the other's face an open sky, some promise of a new beginning, it probably means you're standing too far. Or if you think you read in the other, as in a book whose first and last pages are missing, the story of your own birthplace, a country twice erased, once by fire, once by forgetfulness, it probably means you're standing too close. In any case, try not to let another carry the burden of your own nostalgia or hope. And if you're one of those whose left side of the face doesn't match the right, it might be a clue looking the other way was a habit your predecessors found useful for survival. Don't lament not being beautiful. Get used to seeing while not seeing. Get busy remembering while forgetting. Dying to live while not wanting to go on. Very likely, your ancestors decorated their bells of every shape and size with elaborate calendars and diagrams of distant star systems, but with no maps for scattered descendants. And I bet you can't say what language your father spoke when he shouted to your mother from the back of the truck, "Let the boy see!" Maybe it wasn't the language you used at home. Maybe it was a forbidden language. Or maybe there was too much screaming and weeping and the noise of guns in the streets. It doesn't matter. What matters is this: The kingdom of heaven is good. But heaven on earth is better. Thinking is good. But living is better. Alone in your favorite chair with a book you enjoy is fine. But spooning is even better.
Li-Young Lee (Behind My Eyes: Poems)
.. you cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames. For me. Matilda, Great Expectations is such a book. It gave me permission to change my life.
Lloyd Jones (Mister Pip)
The vision made him profoundly sad. He could live without retirement savings. No one in this country actually starves to death. It’s just one future slipping away and being replaced by another. He had his health. They could sell the house. He found a padded bench away from other people, near the entrance to the hotel casino, and called his wife.
Emily St. John Mandel (The Glass Hotel)
entire apparatus to disguise this weakness, to hide how prostrate they truly were. The tunnel, where I first entered the house, was the only entrance that the Tasked were allowed to use, and this was not only for the masters’ exaltation but to hide us, for the tunnel was but one of the many engineering marvels built into Lockless so as to make it appear powered by some imperceptible energy. There were dumbwaiters that made the sumptuous supper appear from nothing, levers that seemed to magically retrieve the right bottle of wine hidden deep in the manor’s bowels, cots in the sleeping quarters, drawn under the canopy bed, because those charged with emptying the chamber-pot must be hidden even more than the chamber-pot itself.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
Across from me at the kitchen table, my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass. She says she doesn’t deprive herself, but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork. In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate. I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it. I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so. Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional. As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast. She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit." It was the same with his parents; as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, rotund stomach and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking making space for the entrance of men into their lives not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave. I have been taught accommodation. My brother never thinks before he speaks. I have been taught to filter. “How can anyone have a relationship to food?" He asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs. I want to tell say: we come from difference, Jonas, you have been taught to grow out I have been taught to grow in you learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much I learned to absorb I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters and I never meant to replicate her, but spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits that’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades. We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit weaving silence in between the threads which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house, skin itching, picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again, Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled. Deciding how many bites is too many How much space she deserves to occupy. Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her, And I don’t want to do either anymore but the burden of this house has followed me across the country I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry". I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza a circular obsession I never wanted but inheritance is accidental still staring at me with wine-stained lips from across the kitchen table.
Lily Myers
I must confess that in all the times I read Madame Bovary, I never noticed the heroine's rainbow eyes. Should I have? Would you? Was I perhaps too busy noticing things that Dr Starkie was missing (though what they might have been I can't for the moment think)? Put it another way: is there a perfect reader somewhere, a total reader? Does Dr Starkie's reading of Madame Bovary contain all the responses which I have when I read the book, and then add a whole lot more, so that my reading is in a way pointless? Well, I hope not. My reading might be pointless in terms of the history of literary criticism; but it's not pointless in terms of pleasure. I can't prove that lay readers enjoy books more than professional critics; but I can tell you one advantage we have over them. We can forget. Dr Starkie and her kind are cursed with memory: the books they teach and write about can never fade from their brains. They become family. Perhaps this is why some critics develop a faintly patronising tone towards their subjects. They act as if Flaubert, or Milton, or Wordsworth were some tedious old aunt in a rocking chair, who smelt of stale powder, was only interested in the past, and hadn't said anything new for years. Of course, it's her house, and everybody's living in it rent free; but even so, surely it is, well, you know…time? Whereas the common but passionate reader is allowed to forget; he can go away, be unfaithful with other writers, come back and be entranced again. Domesticity need never intrude on the relationship; it may be sporadic, but when there it is always intense.
Julian Barnes (Flaubert's Parrot)
Once a man and his wife were sitting by the entrance to their house. They had a roasted chicken in front of them and were about to eat it when the man saw his father coming toward them. So the man quickly grab the chicken and hid it because he didn't want to give him any. The old man came, had a drink, and went away. As the son reached to put the roasted chicken back on the table, he found that it had turned into a large toad, which then spring onto his face, sat right on it, and wouldn't leave him. If anyone tried to take it off, the toad would look at the person viciously as if it wanted to spring right into his face, too. So nobody dared touch it. And the ungrateful son had to feed the toad every day, otherwise, it would have eaten away part of his face. Thus the son wandered aimlessly all over the world.
Jacob Grimm
We sat within the farm-house old, Whose windows, looking o'er the bay, Gave to the sea-breeze damp and cold, An easy entrance, night and day. Not far away we saw the port, The strange, old-fashioned, silent town, The lighthouse, the dismantled fort, The wooden houses, quaint and brown. We sat and talked until the night, Descending, filled the little room; Our faces faded from the sight, Our voices only broke the gloom. We spake of many a vanished scene, Of what we once had thought and said, And who was changed, and who was dead; And all that fills the hearts of friends, When first they feel, with secret pain, Their lives thenceforth have separate ends, And never can be one again; The first slight swerving of the heart, That words are powerless to express, And leave it still unsaid in part, Or say it in too great excess. The very tones in why we spake, Had something strange, I could but mark; The leaves of memory seemed to make A mournful rattling in the dark. Oft died the words upon our lips, As suddenly, from out the fire Built of the wreck of stranded ships, The flames would leap and then expire. And, as their splendor flashed and failed, We thought of wrecks upon the main, Of ships dismasted, that were hailed And sent no answer back again. The windows, rattling in their frames, The ocean, roaring up the beach, The gusty blast, the bickering flames, All mingled vaguely in our speech; Until they made themselves a part Of fancies floating through the brain, The long-lost ventures of the heart, That send no answers back again. O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned! They were indeed too much akin, The drift-wood fire without that burned, The thoughts that burned and glowed within.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Big and little they went on together to Molalla, to Tuska, to Roswell, Guthrie, Kaycee, to Baker and Bend. After a few weeks Pake said that if Diamond wanted a permanent traveling partner he was up for it. Diamond said yeah, although only a few states still allowed steer roping and Pake had to cover long, empty ground, his main territory in the livestock country of Oklahoma, Wyoming, Oregon and New Mexico. Their schedules did not fit into the same box without patient adjustment. But Pake knew a hundred dirt road shortcuts, steering them through scabland and slope country, in and out of the tiger shits, over the tawny plain still grooved with pilgrim wagon ruts, into early darkness and the first storm laying down black ice, hard orange-dawn, the world smoking, snaking dust devils on bare dirt, heat boiling out of the sun until the paint on the truck hood curled, ragged webs of dry rain that never hit the ground, through small-town traffic and stock on the road, band of horses in morning fog, two redheaded cowboys moving a house that filled the roadway and Pake busting around and into the ditch to get past, leaving junkyards and Mexican cafes behind, turning into midnight motel entrances with RING OFFICE BELL signs or steering onto the black prairie for a stunned hour of sleep.
Annie Proulx (Close Range: Wyoming Stories)
soon as they reached the first archway, the polecat Gale found them. She scurried up Hazel’s side and curled around her neck, chittering crossly as if to say: Where have you been? You’re late. “Not the farting weasel again,” Leo complained. “If that thing lets loose in close quarters like this, with my fire and all, we’re gonna explode.” Gale barked a polecat insult at Leo. Hazel hushed them both. She could sense the tunnel ahead, sloping gently down for about three hundred feet, then opening into a large chamber. In that chamber was a presence…cold, heavy, and powerful. Hazel hadn’t felt anything like it since the cave in Alaska where Gaea had forced her to resurrect Porphyrion the giant king. Hazel had thwarted Gaea’s plans that time, but she’d had to pull down the cavern, sacrificing her life and her mother’s. She wasn’t anxious to have a similar experience. “Leo, be ready,” she whispered. “We’re getting close.” “Close to what?” A woman’s voice echoed down the corridor: “Close to me.” A wave of nausea hit Hazel so hard her knees buckled. The whole world shifted. Her sense of direction, usually flawless underground, became completely unmoored. She and Leo didn’t seem to move, but suddenly they were three hundred feet down the corridor, at the entrance of the chamber. “Welcome,” said the woman’s voice. “I’ve looked forward to this.” Hazel’s
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
On my arrival at Tokyo, I rushed into her house swinging my valise, before going to a hotel, with "Hello, Kiyo, I'm back!" "How good of you to return so soon!" she cried and hot tears streamed down her cheeks. I was overjoyed, and declared that I would not go to the country any more but would start housekeeping with Kiyo in Tokyo. Some time afterward, some one helped me to a job as assistant engineer at the tram car office. The salary was 25 yen a month, and the house rent six. Although the house had not a magnificent front entrance, Kiyo seemed quite satisfied, but, I am sorry to say, she was a victim of pneumonia and died in February this year. On the day preceding her death, she asked me to bedside, and said, "Please, Master Darling, if Kiyo is dead, bury me in the temple yard of Master Darling. I will be glad to wait in the grave for my Master Darling." So Kiyo's grave is in the Yogen temple at Kobinata.
Natsume Sōseki (Botchan)
Glancing around the entrance hall, she realized the crate was no longer in the corner. The twins must have raced downstairs the moment it had been mentioned. Clutching it on either side, they lugged it furtively toward the receiving room. "Girls," Kathleen said sharply, "bring that back here at once!" But it was too late. The receiving room's double doors closed, accompanied by the click of a key turning in the lock. Kathleen stopped short, her jaw slackening. West and Helen staggered together, overcome with hilarity. "I'll have you know," Mrs. Church said in amazement, "it took our two stoutest footmen to bring that crate into the house. How did two young ladies manage to carry it away so quickly?" "Sh-sheer determination," Helen wheezed. "All I want in this life," West told Kathleen, "is to see you try to pry that crate away from those two." "I wouldn't dare," she replied, giving up. "They would do me bodily harm.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Nothing goes unobserved in that strict town where people lack occupation. Malicious curiosity there has even invented what is known as a busybody, that is a double mirror fixed to the outside of the windowledge so that the streets can be monitored even from inside the houses, all the comings and goings watched, a kind of trap to catch all the exits and entrances the encounters and gestures that do not realize they are being observed, the looks that prove everything.
Georges Rodenbach (The Bells of Bruges)
There is a tendency for people affected by this epidemic to police each other or prescribe what the most important gestures would be for dealing with this experience of loss. I resent that. At the same time, I worry that friends will slowly become professional pallbearers, waiting for each death of their lovers, friends, and neighbors, and polishing their funeral speeches; perfecting their rituals of death rather than a relatively simple ritual of life such as screaming in the streets. I worry because of the urgency of the situations, because of seeing death coming in from the edges of abstraction where those with the luxury of time have cast it. I imagine what it would be like if friends had a demonstration each time a lover or a friend or a stranger died of AIDS. I imagine what it would be like if, each time a lover, friend or stranger died of this disease, their friends, lovers or neighbors would take the dead body and drive with it in a car a hundred miles an hour to washington d.c. and blast through the gates of the white house and come to a screeching halt before the entrance and dump their lifeless form on the front steps. It would be comforting to see those friends, neighbors, lovers and strangers mark time and place and history in such a public way. But, bottom line, this is my own feelings of urgency and need; bottom line, emotionally, even a tiny charcoal scratching done as a gesture to mark a person's response to this epidemic means whole worlds to me if it is hung in public; bottom line, each and every gesture carries a reverberation that is meaningful in its diversity; bottom line, we have to find our own forms of gesture and communication. You can never depend on the mass media to reflect us or our needs or our states of mind; bottom line, with enough gestures we can deafen the satellites and lift the curtains surrounding the control room.
David Wojnarowicz (Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration)
Whatever any of us may have thought about Hatsumomo, she was like an empress in our okiya since she earned the income be which we all lived. And being an empress she would have been very displeased, upon returning late at night, to find her palace dark and all the servants asleep. That is to say, when she came home too drunk to unbutton her socks, someone had to unbutton them for her; and if she felt hungry, she certainly wasn't going to stroll into the kitchen and prepare something by herself--such as an umeboshi ochazuke, which was a favorite snack of hers, made with leftover rice and pickled sour plums, soaked in hot tea. Actually our okiya wasn't at all unusual in this respect. The job of waiting up to bow and welcome the geisha home almost always fell to the most junior of the "cocoons"--as the young geisha-in-training were often called. And from the moment I began taking lessons at the school, the most junior cocoon in our okiya was me. Long before midnight, Pumpkin and the two elderly maids were sound asleep on their futons only a meter or so away on the wood floor of the entrance hall; but I had to go on kneeling there, struggling to stay awake until sometimes as late as two o'clock in the morning. Granny's room was nearby and she slept with her light on and her door opened a crack. The bar of light that fell across my empty futon made me think of a day, not long before Satsu [Chiyo's sister] and I were taken away from our village, when I'd peered into the back room of our house to see my mother asleep there. My father had draped fishing nets across the paper screens to darken the room, but it looked so gloomy I decided to open one of the windows; and when I did, a strip of bright sunlight fell across my mother's futon and showed her hand so pale and bony. To see the yellow lights streaming from Granny's room onto my futon...I had to wonder if my mother was still alive. We ere so much alike, I felt sure I would have known if she'd died; but of course, I'd had no sign one way or the other.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
A kiss with Lenore is a scenario in which Iskate with buttered soles over the moist rink of lower lip, sheltered from weathers by the wet warm overhang of upper, finally to crawl between lip and gum and pull the lip to me like a child’s blanket and stare over it with beady, unfriendly eyes out at the world external to Lenore, of which I no longer wish to be part. That I must in the final analysis remain part of the world that is external to and other from Lenore Beadsman is to me a source of profound grief. That others may dwell deep, deep within the ones they love, drink from the soft cup at the creamy lake at the center of the Object of Passion, while I am fated forever only to intuit the presence of deep recesses while I poke my nose, as it were, merely into the foyer of the Great House of Love, agitate briefly, and make a small mess onthe doormat, pisses me off to no small degree. But that Lenore finds such tiny frenzies, such conversations just inside the Screen Door of Union, to be not only pleasant and briefly diverting but somehow apparently right, fulfilling, significant, in some sense wonderful, quite simply and not at all surprisingly makes me feel the same way, enlarges my sense of it and me, sends me hurrying up the walk to that Screen Door in my best sportjacket and flower in lapel as excited as any schoolboy, time after time, brings me charging to the cave entrance in leopardskin shirt, avec club, bellowing for admittance and promising general kickings of ass if I am impeded in any way.
David Foster Wallace (The Broom of the System)
Presently a soprano voice of richness and depth floated from the open windows of the parlor, resonating over the darkening greenery. All at once it was as if the entire scene before them was awakened by that voice, infused with unexpected life: the western sky, streaked with bands of pale gold and purple; the two houses, standing gray and disconsolate against that sky; the clusters of trees casting deep black shadows here and there across the ground. The same voice that brought everything suddenly to life also drew them into another, much deeper world—a world that was normally hidden, a world that stretched out into eternity. Yusuke, who had at first looked on with a sense of distance as everyone else sat listening, their faces intent on the music, found himself being gradually drawn in as well, forgetting the moment and the place, lending his ear during that unworldly stretch of time as if entranced. No one spoke. The singing could not have lasted ten minutes, but when it ended he found the darkness all at once grew deeper.
Minae Mizumura
Later he would tell her that their story began at the Royal Hungarian Opera House, the night before he left for Paris on the Western Europe Express. The year was 1937; the month was September, the evening unseasonably cold. His brother had insisted on taking him to the opera as a parting gift. The show was Tosca and their seats were at the top of the house. Not for them the three marble-arched doorways, the façade with its Corinthian columns and heroic entablature. Theirs was a humble side entrance with a red-faced ticket taker, a floor of scuffed wood, walls plastered with crumbling opera posters. Girls in knee-length dresses climbed the stairs arm in arm with young men in threadbare suits; pensioners argued with their white-haired wives as they shuffled up the five narrow flights. At the top, a joyful din: a refreshment salon lined with mirrors and wooden benches, the air hazy with cigarette smoke. A doorway at its far end opened onto the concert hall itself, the great electric-lit cavern of it, with its ceiling fresco of Greek immortals and its gold-scrolled tiers. Andras had never expected to see an opera here, nor would he have if Tibor hadn’t bought the tickets. But it was Tibor’s opinion that residence in Budapest must include at least one evening of Puccini at the Operaház. Now Tibor leaned over the rail to point out Admiral Horthy’s box, empty that night except for an ancient general in a hussar’s jacket. Far below, tuxedoed ushers led men and women to their seats, the men in evening dress, the women’s hair glittering with jewels.
Julie Orringer (The Invisible Bridge (Vintage Contemporaries))
Robert gestured Lydia ahead of him across the threshold of number nineteen. Once inside, the atmosphere was entirely different from his previous visits. Silent calm had been replaced by chatter, laughter, and scolding that bounced into the three-story entrance from various regions of the house. There was a smell of newly lit fires, and the accompanying puffs of smoke, as well as the enticing aroma of cooking wafting up from the kitchens. It was a bustling, busy household. Shodster stepped into the hall and rushed toward Robert, hands outstretched ready to take Robert’s hat and cane. “Thank you, no. Miss Whitfield and I are going for a walk.” Robert took a half step back. “We will be leaving shortly.” Looking to Lydia for confirmation, Shodster nodded. “I do beg your pardon, Miss Whitfield. I was not here for the door. It will not happen again.” “Worry not, Shodster.” Lydia shrugged. “I learned how to open a door some time ago. The trick is to turn the handle.” The butler blinked at Lydia’s lightheartedness. “Yes. That would, indeed, be the trick.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations. The stretch of Hudson Street where I live is each day the scene of an intricate sidewalk ballet. I make my own first entrance into it a little after eight when I put out my garbage gcan, surely a prosaic occupation, but I enjoy my part, my little clang, as the junior droves of junior high school students walk by the center of the stage dropping candy wrapper. (How do they eat so much candy so early in the morning?) While I sweep up the wrappers I watch the other rituals of the morning: Mr Halpert unlocking the laundry's handcart from its mooring to a cellar door, Joe Cornacchia's son-in-law stacking out the empty crates from the delicatessen, the barber bringing out his sidewalk folding chair, Mr. Goldstein arranging the coils of wire which proclaim the hardware store is open, the wife of the tenement's super intendent depositing her chunky three-year-old with a toy mandolin on the stoop, the vantage point from which he is learning English his mother cannot speak. Now the primary childrren, heading for St. Luke's, dribble through the south; the children from St. Veronica\s cross, heading to the west, and the children from P.S 41, heading toward the east. Two new entrances are made from the wings: well-dressed and even elegant women and men with brief cases emerge from doorways and side streets. Most of these are heading for the bus and subways, but some hover on the curbs, stopping taxis which have miraculously appeared at the right moment, for the taxis are part of a wider morning ritual: having dropped passengers from midtown in the downtown financial district, they are now bringing downtowners up tow midtown. Simultaneously, numbers of women in housedresses have emerged and as they crisscross with one another they pause for quick conversations that sound with laughter or joint indignation, never, it seems, anything in between. It is time for me to hurry to work too, and I exchange my ritual farewell with Mr. Lofaro, the short, thick bodied, white-aproned fruit man who stands outside his doorway a little up the street, his arms folded, his feet planted, looking solid as the earth itself. We nod; we each glance quickly up and down the street, then look back at eachother and smile. We have done this many a morning for more than ten years, and we both know what it means: all is well. The heart of the day ballet I seldom see, because part off the nature of it is that working people who live there, like me, are mostly gone, filling the roles of strangers on other sidewalks. But from days off, I know enough to know that it becomes more and more intricate. Longshoremen who are not working that day gather at the White Horse or the Ideal or the International for beer and conversation. The executives and business lunchers from the industries just to the west throng the Dorgene restaurant and the Lion's Head coffee house; meat market workers and communication scientists fill the bakery lunchroom.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
like a black tide. With the sound of a thousand skittering spiders, the specter fled through the main entrance of the school and then disappeared completely. “Holy shit. That was seriously gross,” Aphrodite said. I was going to agree with Aphrodite when I heard the first, terrible cough. I felt the circle break before I saw her fall to her knees. She looked up at me and coughed again. Blood sprayed from her lips. “Didn’t think it would end like this,” she rasped. “I’m getting Thanatos!” Aphrodite called as she sprinted away. “No! This can’t be happening,” Shaunee said, dropping to her knees beside the already blood-soaked Erin. “Twin! Please. You’ll be fine!” Erin fell into her arms. Damien, Stevie Rae, and I shared a look, and then as one, we joined Shaunee while she held her friend. “I’m so sorry,” Shaunee sobbed. “I didn’t mean anything bad that I said to you.” “It’s—it’s okay, Twin.” Erin spoke slowly between wracking coughs as the blood bubbled in her throat and streamed crimson from her eyes and ears and nose. “It was my fault. I—I forgot how to feel.” “We’re here with you,” I said, touching Erin’s hair. “Spirit, calm her.” “Earth, soothe her,” Stevie Rae said. “Air, envelop her,” Damien said. “Fire, warm her,” Shaunee spoke through her tears. Erin smiled and touched Shaunee’s face. “It already has warmed me. I—I don’t feel cold and alone anymore. Don’t feel anything except tired…” “Just rest,” Shaunee said. “I’ll stay with you while you sleep.” “We all will,” I said, wiping tears from my face with the back of my sleeve. Erin smiled one more time at Shaunee, and then she closed her eyes and died in her Twin’s arms.
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
Barbara and I had arrived early, so I got to admire everyone’s entrance. We were seated at tables around a dance floor that had been set up on the lawn behind the house. Barbara and I shared a table with Deborah Kerr and her husband. Deborah, a lovely English redhead, had been brought to Hollywood to play opposite Clark Gable in The Hucksters. Louis B. Mayer needed a cool, refined beauty to replace the enormously popular redhead, Greer Garson, who had married a wealthy oil magnate and retired from the screen in the mid-fifties. Deborah, like her predecessor, had an ultra-ladylike air about her that was misleading. In fact, she was quick, sharp, and very funny. She and Barbara got along like old school chums. Jimmy Stewart was also there with his wife. It was the first time I’d seen him since we’d worked for Hitchcock. It was a treat talking to him, and I felt closer to him than I ever did on the set of Rope. He was so genuinely happy for my success in Strangers on a Train that I was quite moved. Clark Gable arrived late, and it was a star entrance to remember. He stopped for a moment at the top of the steps that led down to the garden. He was alone, tanned, and wearing a white suit. He radiated charisma. He really was the King. The party was elegant. Hot Polynesian hors d’oeuvres were passed around during drinks. Dinner was very French, with consommé madrilène as a first course followed by cold poached salmon and asparagus hollandaise. During dessert, a lemon soufflé, and coffee, the cocktail pianist by the pool, who had been playing through dinner, was discreetly augmented by a rhythm section, and they became a small combo for dancing. The dance floor was set up on the lawn near an open bar, and the whole garden glowed with colored paper lanterns. Later in the evening, I managed a subdued jitterbug with Deborah Kerr, who was much livelier than her cool on-screen image. She had not yet done From Here to Eternity, in which she and Burt Lancaster steamed up the screen with their love scene in the surf. I was, of course, extremely impressed to be there with Hollywood royalty that evening, but as far as parties go, I realized that I had a lot more fun at Gene Kelly’s open houses.
Farley Granger (Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway)
Chatham, go and find a bed.” She had that frowning concern on her face again. It was bloody annoying. He wanted to kiss her until the concern disappeared. Then reach his hand beneath her skirts and demonstrate how misplaced was her pity. “Perhaps we should find a bed together, love.” “Would you kindly cease your nonsense? Just … go lie down. We can discuss the house when you are feeling better.” And, with that final dismissal, she turned her back and left the entrance hall through a cased opening that had once held double doors. Good God, she was aggravating.
Elisa Braden (The Devil Is a Marquess (Rescued from Ruin, #4))
There are human boys here somewhere?” Zoey asked. Aurox’s face scrunched up as he frowned at her. “Not here. Outside—out there. ” He pointed in the general direction of the door to the field house behind them. “Outside the field house!” she almost yelled. “Zo, sometimes I think you don’t listen so good,” Aurox said. Still frowning at her, he continued speaking slowly, as if trying to get her to understand a foreign language. “Two boys. Outside the wall. With the keg. And cups. They. Want. Hot. Vampyre. Chicks.” “Okay, I think I get it.” Stark grabbed Aurox’s arm and started to drag him toward the door and away from Z before she went for his throat, although that would have been funny as hell. “You found two kids, with beer, trying to get over the wall, right?” “See, you listen better.” Aurox patted him on the back, almost knocking Stark over. “But they’re just looking through the hole for vampyre pussy, not trying to get over the wall.” “If you say pussy one more time I’m going to smack the crap out of you,” Zoey said, coming after them. “You can’t come!” Aurox stumbled to a stop. “You have legs and tits!” “Oh. My. Goddess. I’m going to kill him!” Stark stepped between the two of them. He faced Zoey. She’d gone from pale to bright red in zero-point-nothing seconds. “Z, I think this is something that a Warrior needs to handle.” Behind him, Aurox belched, sending a wave of beer air wafting over them. Zoey narrowed her eyes and pointed at Aurox. “You have never been able to drink!” Then she spun around and stomped back to the basement entrance, slamming the door behind her. “She seems mad. Should we bring her a beer?” Aurox said. Stark covered his laugh with a cough. “Ur, no. Z doesn’t like beer.” “Doesn’t like beer? She should. It would make her head feel bubbly and happy.” Stark didn’t bother to cover his laugh a second time. “I wish it worked that way with her, but it doesn’t.” “Because she has legs and tits?” Stark knew it was wrong, but he couldn’t stop himself. “I’m not sure. Maybe you should ask her next time you see her.” Aurox nodded, looking as serious as a drunk could look. “I will.” “That should be fun. But until then, show me where these humans are, and while we’re going there, start back at the beginning and tell me exactly what happened before and after you were introduced to the red Solo cup.
Kristin Cast (Revealed (House of Night, #11))
Once there was and once there was not a devout, God-fearing man who lived his entire life according to stoic principles. He died on his fortieth birthday and woke up floating in nothing. Now, mind you, floating in nothing was comforting, light-less, airless, like a mother’s womb. This man was grateful. But then he decided he would love to have sturdy ground beneath his feet, so he would feel more solid himself. Lo and behold, he was standing on earth. He knew it to be earth, for he knew the feel of it. Yet he wanted to see. I desire light, he thought, and light appeared. I want sunlight, not any light, and at night it shall be moonlight. His desires were granted. Let there be grass. I love the feel of grass beneath my feet. And so it was. I no longer wish to be naked. Only robes of the finest silk must touch my skin. And shelter, I need a grand palace whose entrance has double-sided stairs, and the floors must be marble and the carpets Persian. And food, the finest of food. His breakfast was English; his midmorning snack French. His lunch was Chinese. His afternoon tea was Indian. His supper was Italian, and his late-night snack was Lebanese. Libation? He had the best of wines, of course, and champagne. And company, the finest of company. He demanded poets and writers, thinkers and philosophers, hakawatis and musicians, fools and clowns. And then he desired sex. He asked for light-skinned women and dark-skinned, blondes and brunettes, Chinese, South Asian, African, Scandinavian. He asked for them singly and two at a time, and in the evenings he had orgies. He asked for younger girls, after which he asked for older women, just to try. The he tried men, muscular men, skinny men. Then boys. Then boys and girls together. Then he got bored. He tried sex with food. Boys with Chinese, girls with Indian. Redheads with ice cream. Then he tried sex with company. He fucked the poet. Everybody fucked the poet. But again he got bored. The days were endless. Coming up with new ideas became tiring and tiresome. Every desire he could ever think of was satisfied. He had had enough. He walked out of his house, looked up at the glorious sky, and said, “Dear God. I thank You for Your abundance, but I cannot stand it here anymore. I would rather be anywhere else. I would rather be in hell.” And the booming voice from above replied, “And where do you think you are?
Rabih Alameddine
You must give yourself enough time to get better.” “How much time will that take?” he asked bitterly. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “But you have a lifetime.” A caustic laugh broke from him. “That’s too damned long.” “I understand that you feel responsible for what happened to Mark. But you’ve already been forgiven for whatever you think your sins are. You have,” she insisted as he shook his head. “Love forgives all things. And so many people--” She stopped as she felt his entire body jerk. “What did you say?” she heard him whisper. Beatrix realized the mistake she had just made. Her arms fell away from him. The blood began to roar in her ears, her heart thumping so madly she felt faint. Without thinking, she scrambled away from him, off the bed, to the center of the room. Breathing in frantic bursts, Beatrix turned to face him. Christopher was staring at her, his eyes gleaming with a strange, mad light. “I knew it,” he whispered. She wondered if he might try to kill her. She decided not to wait to find out. Fear gave her the speed of a terrified hare. She bolted before he could catch her, tearing to the door, flinging it open, and scampering to the grand staircase. Her boots made absurdly loud thuds on the stairs as she leaped downward. Christopher followed her to the threshold, bellowing her name. Beatrix didn’t pause for a second, knowing he was going to pursue her as soon as he donned his clothes. Mrs. Clocker stood near the entrance hall, looking worried and astonished. “Miss Hathaway? What--” “I think he’ll come out of his room now,” Beatrix said rapidly, jumping down the last of the stairs. “It’s time for me to be going.” “Did he…are you…” “If he asks for his horse to be saddled,” Beatrix said breathlessly, “please have it done slowly.” “Yes, but--” Good-bye.” And Beatrix raced from the house as if demons were at her heels.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
And then she walked into the room. Like calling this place a “house” was inadequate, saying she “walked” also seemed far too tame. Accurate, yes. I mean, she didn’t do anything extraordinary. Not really. She didn’t glide into the drawing room or ride in on a white horse or anything like that. But she might as well have. She made an entrance and she made it just by entering. I didn’t say “wow” out loud, but I almost did. We both quickly stood, not because we were being gentlemen, but because something about her entrance demanded it. There, in the flesh, was the talk of the town, the movie poster come to life, Angelica Wyatt. “You
Harlan Coben (Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar, #2))
At Dniepropetrovsk the Stalin regime had made great efforts in construction. We were at first impressed as we approached the suburbs of the city, where we saw outlined the large masonry blocks of the proletarian housing erected by the Soviets. Their lines were modern. The buildings were huge, and there were many of them. Undeniably, the Communist system had done something for the people. If the misery of the peasants was great, at least the worker seemed to have benefited from the new times. Still, it was necessary to visit and examine the buildings. We lived for six months in the Donets coal basin. We had plenty of time to test the conclusions that we had reached at the time of our entrance into Dniepropetrovsk. The buildings, so impressive from a distance, were just a gigantic hoax, intended to fool sightseers shepherded by Intourist [Soviet tourism agency] and the viewers of documentary films. Approaching those housing blocks you were sickened by the stench of mud and excrement that rose from the quagmires surrounding each of the buildings. Around them were neither sidewalks nor gravel nor paving stones. The Russian mud was everywhere, and everywhere the walls peeled and crumbled. The quality of the construction materials was of the lowest order. All the balconies had come loose, and already the cement stairways were worn and grooved, although the buildings were only a few years old.
Leon Degrelle (The Eastern Front: Memoirs of a Waffen SS Volunteer, 1941–1945)
With this ring, I promise to respect our differences of opinion. I promise not to get too mad when you leave your nail polish all over the house.” Sandra gave Beverly’s orange nails a meaningful look as she clasped Beverly’s hands and gave them a squeeze. “I promise to kiss you every single day, regardless of whether or not you’ve brushed your teeth. I promise to never talk over you. I promise to listen. I promise to never let money get in the way of loving you. I promise to be there for you, no matter what happens: if this remission ends, if your store fails or if it becomes a wild success, if Vancouver falls into the sea . . . if your nephew can’t find a teaching job and winds up moving in with us.
Heidi Belleau (Straight Shooter (Rear Entrance Video, #3))
A kiss with Lenore is a scenario in which I skate with buttered soles over the moist rink of lower lip, sheltered from weathers by the wet warm overhang of upper, finally to crawl between lip and gum and pull the lip to me like a child’s blanket and stare over it with beady, unfriendly eyes out at the world external to Lenore, of which I no longer wish to be part. That I must in the final analysis remain part of the world that is external to and other from Lenore Beadsman is to me a source of profound grief. That others may dwell deep, deep within the ones they love, drink from the soft cup at the creamy lake at the center of the Object of Passion, while I am fated forever only to intuit the presence of deep recesses while I poke my nose, as it were, merely into the foyer of the Great House of Love, agitate briefly, and make a small mess on the doormat, pisses me off to no small degree. But that Lenore finds such tiny frenzies, such conversations just inside the Screen Door of Union, to be not only pleasant and briefly diverting but somehow apparently right, fulfilling, significant, in some sense wonderful, quite simply and not at all surprisingly makes me feel the same way, enlarges my sense of it and me, sends me hurrying up the walk to that Screen Door in my best sportjacket and flower in lapel as excited as any schoolboy, time after time, brings me charging to the cave entrance in leopardskin shirt, avec club, bellowing for admittance and promising general kickings of ass if I am impeded in any way.
David Foster Wallace (The Broom of the System)
The house is still standing on the banks of the lake in Zurich. Jung’s descendants manage it, but unfortunately it’s not open to the public, so people can’t view the interior. Rumor has it, though, that at the entrance to the original tower there is a stone into which Jung carved some words with his own hand. ‘Cold or Not, God Is Present.’ That’s what he carved into the stone himself.” Tamaru paused again. “ ‘Cold or Not, God Is Present,’ ” he intoned, quietly, once more. “Do you know what this means?” Ushikawa shook his head. “No, I don’t.” “I can imagine. I’m not sure myself what it means. There’s some kind of deep allusion there, something difficult to interpret. But consider this: in this house that Carl Jung built, piling up the stones with his own hands, at the very entrance, he found the need to chisel out, again with his own hands, these words. I don’t know why, but I’ve been drawn to these words for a long time. I find them hard to understand, but the difficulty in understanding makes it all the more profound. I don’t know much about God. I was raised in a Catholic orphanage and had some awful experiences there so I don’t have a good impression of God. And it was always cold there, even in the summer. It was either really cold or outrageously cold. One or the other. If there is a God, I can’t say he treated me very well. Despite all this, those words of Jung’s quietly sank deep into the folds of my soul. Sometimes I close my eyes and repeat them over and over, and they make me strangely calm. ‘Cold or Not, God Is Present.’ Sorry, but could you say that out loud?” “ ‘Cold or Not, God Is Present,’ ” Ushikawa repeated in a weak voice, not really sure what he was saying. “I can’t hear you very well.” “ ‘Cold or Not, God Is Present.’ ” This time Ushikawa said it as distinctly as he could. Tamaru shut his eyes, enjoying the overtones of the words. Eventually, as if he had made up his mind about something, he took a deep breath and let it out. He opened his eyes and looked at his hands. He had on disposable latex gloves so he wouldn’t leave behind any fingerprints. “I’m sorry about this,” Tamaru said in a low voice. His tone was solemn. He took out the plastic bag again, put it over Ushikawa’s head, and wrapped the thick rubber band around his neck. His movements were swift and decisive. Ushikawa was about to protest, but the words didn’t form, and they never reached anyone’s ears. Why is he doing this? Ushikawa thought from inside the plastic bag.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (Vintage International))
Books are admitted to the canon by a compact which confesses their greatness in consideration of abrogating their meaning; so that the reverend rector can agree with the prophet Micah as to his inspired style without being committed to any complicity in Micah's furiously Radical opinions. Why, even I, as I force myself; pen in hand, into recognition and civility, find all the force of my onslaught destroyed by a simple policy of non-resistance. In vain do I redouble the violence of the language in which I proclaim my heterodoxies. I rail at the theistic credulity of Voltaire, the amoristic superstition of Shelley, the revival of tribal soothsaying and idolatrous rites which Huxley called Science and mistook for an advance on the Pentateuch, no less than at the welter of ecclesiastical and professional humbug which saves the face of the stupid system of violence and robbery which we call Law and Industry. Even atheists reproach me with infidelity and anarchists with nihilism because I cannot endure their moral tirades. And yet, instead of exclaiming "Send this inconceivable Satanist to the stake," the respectable newspapers pith me by announcing "another book by this brilliant and thoughtful writer." And the ordinary citizen, knowing that an author who is well spoken of by a respectable newspaper must be all right, reads me, as he reads Micah, with undisturbed edification from his own point of view. It is narrated that in the eighteen-seventies an old lady, a very devout Methodist, moved from Colchester to a house in the neighborhood of the City Road, in London, where, mistaking the Hall of Science for a chapel, she sat at the feet of Charles Bradlaugh for many years, entranced by his eloquence, without questioning his orthodoxy or moulting a feather of her faith. I fear I small be defrauded of my just martyrdom in the same way.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
Did you bring money with you, or shall we play for markers?" She flipped the stack of cards to the table with a professional twist of her wrist. "I don't play for less than a guinea a hand." His lips twitched. "The question is not if I have money. The question is, do you?" "I don't need funds, as I don't plan on losing," she said, her gaze mocking. For a moment, he thought he'd heard her incorrectly. Slowly, he said, "I beg your pardon, but are you saying you could beat me at a game of chance?" A dismissive smile rested on her lips. "Please, Dougal, let's speak frankly," she drawled softly. "Naturally, I expect to win; I was taught by a master." Dougal was entranced. He'd been challenged to many things before, but no one had so blatantly dismissed his chances of winning. "A giunea a hand?" "At least." "I didn't realize I'd need a note from my banker, or I'd have brought one with me." Her eyes sparkled with pure mischief, which inflamed him more. "If you've no money with you, then perhaps there are other things we can play for." The words hung in the room, as thick as the smoke that seeped from the fireplace. Like a blinding bolt of light from a storm-black sky, everything fell into place. This was why she and her minions had worked so hard to convince him that the house was worthless. If he thought it of low value, he'd be eager to wager the deed. Of all the devious plots! Yet Dougal found himself fighting a grin. He'd been feted and petted, fawned upon and sought out, but until now, no one had gone to such lengths to fleece him. Dugal couldn't look away from Sophia. He knew his own worth; women had paid attention to him for so long that he took it for granted. He'd dallied and toyed, taken and enjoyed. But never, in all of his years, had he so desired any woman as he did this one. The irony of it was that she desired him,too-but only for the contents of his pocket. Dougal didn't know whether to laugh or fume. He should be insulted, but instead he found himself watching her with new appreciation.
Karen Hawkins (To Catch a Highlander (MacLean Curse, #3))
Alec Kirkbride later graphically described the events in Amman on 18 July: "A couple of thousand Palestinian men swept up the hill toward the main [palace] entrance... screaming abuse and demanding that the lost towns should be reconquered at once... The king[of Jordan] appeared at the top of the main steps of the building; he was a short dignified figure wearing white robes and headdress. He paused for a moment, surveying the seething mob before, then walked down the steps to push his way through the line of guardsmen into the thick of the demonstrators. He went up to a prominent individual, who was shouting at the top of his voice, and dealt him a violent blow to the side of the head with the flat of his hand. The recipient of the blow stopped yelling... and the king could be heard roaring: 'so you want to fight the Jews, do you? Very well, there is a recruiting office for the army at the back of my house... go there and enlist! The rest of you, get the hell down the hillside!' Most of the crowd got the hell down the hillside, indeed...
Benny Morris (1948: The First Arab-Israeli War)
No one but she had realized that the ballroom bore a rather startling resemblance to the gardens at Charise Dumont’s country house, and that the arbor at the side, with its trellised entrance, was a virtual replica of the place where she and Ian had first waltzed that long-ago night. Across the room, the vicar was standing with Jake Wiley, Lucinda, and the Duke of Stanhope, and he raised his glass to her. Elizabeth smiled and nodded back. Jake Wiley watched the silent communication and beamed upon his little group of companions. “Exquisite bride, isn’t she?” he pronounced, not for the first time. For the past half-hour, the three men had been merrily congratulating themselves on their individual roles in bringing this marriage about, and the consumption of spirits was beginning to show in Duncan and Jake’s increasingly gregarious behavior. “Absolutely exquisite,” Duncan agreed. “She’ll make Ian an excellent wife,” said the duke. “We’ve done well, gentlemen,” he added, lifting his glass in yet another congratulatory toast to his companions. “To you, Duncan,” he said with a bow, “for making Ian see the light.” “To you, Edward,” said the vicar to the duke, “for forcing society to accept them.” Turning to Jake, he added, “And to you, old friend, for insisting on going to the village for the servingwomen and bringing old Attila and Miss Throckmorton-Jones with you.” That toast belatedly called to mind the silent duenna who was standing stiffly beside them, her face completely devoid of expression. “And to you, Miss Throckmorton-Jones,” said Duncan with a deep, gallant bow, “for taking that laudanum and spilling the truth to me about what Ian did two years ago. ‘Twas that, and that alone, which caused everything else to be put into motion, so to speak. But here,” said Duncan, nonplussed as he waved to a servant bearing a tray of champagne, “you do not have a glass, my dear woman, to share in our toasts.” “I do not take strong spirits,” Lucinda informed Duncan. “Furthermore, my good man,” she added with a superior expression that might have been a smile or a smirk, “I do not take laudanum, either.” And on that staggering announcement, she swept up her unbecoming gray skirts and walked off to dampen the spirits of another group. She left behind her three dumbstruck, staring men who gaped at each other and then suddenly erupted into shouts of laughter.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The first movie star I met was Norma Shearer. I was eight years old at the time and going to school with Irving Thalberg Jr. His father, the longtime production chief at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, devoted a large part of his creative life to making Norma a star, and he succeeded splendidly. Unfortunately, Thalberg had died suddenly in 1936, and his wife's career had begun to slowly deflate. Just like kids everywhere else, Hollywood kids had playdates at each other's houses, and one day I went to the Thalberg house in Santa Monica, where Irving Sr. had died eighteen months before. Norma was in bed, where, I was given to understand, she spent quite a bit of time so that on those occasions when she worked or went out in public she would look as rested as possible. She was making Marie Antoinette at the time, and to see her in the flesh was overwhelming. She very kindly autographed a picture for me, which I still have: "To Cadet Wagner, with my very best wishes. Norma Shearer." Years later I would be with her and Martin Arrouge, her second husband, at Sun Valley. No matter who the nominal hostess was, Norma was always the queen, and no matter what time the party was to begin, Norma was always late, because she would sit for hours—hours!—to do her makeup, then make the grand entrance. She was always and forever the star. She had to be that way, really, because she became a star by force of will—hers and Thalberg's. Better-looking on the screen than in life, Norma Shearer was certainly not a beauty on the level of Paulette Goddard, who didn't need makeup, didn't need anything. Paulette could simply toss her hair and walk out the front door, and strong men grew weak in the knees. Norma found the perfect husband in Martin. He was a lovely man, a really fine athlete—Martin was a superb skier—and totally devoted to her. In the circles they moved in, there were always backbiting comments when a woman married a younger man—" the stud ski instructor," that sort of thing. But Martin, who was twelve years younger than Norma and was indeed a ski instructor, never acknowledged any of that and was a thorough gentleman all his life. He had a superficial facial resemblance to Irving Thalberg, but Thalberg had a rheumatic heart and was a thin, nonathletic kind of man—intellectually vital, but physically weak. Martin was just the opposite—strong and virile, with a high energy level. Coming after years of being married to Thalberg and having to worry about his health, Martin must have been a delicious change for Norma.
Robert J. Wagner (Pieces of My Heart: A Life)
Throughout the autumn and the winter activity increased in the Beaulieu area, and with it came mysteries. Lepe House, the mansion at the entrance to the river, was taken over by the Navy and became full of secretive Naval officers; it became known that this was part of a mysterious Navel entity called 'Force J'. Near Lepe House and at the very mouth of the river a construction gang began work in full strength to make a hard, sloping concrete platform running down into the river where the flat-bottomed landing craft could beach to refuel and let their ramps down to embark the vehicles and tanks. This place was about two miles from 'Mastodon'. A mile or so along the coast a country house was occupied by a secret Naval party who did strange things with tugs and wires and winches, and with what looked like a gigantic reel of cotton floating in the sea; this was 'Pluto', Pipe Line Under The Ocean, which was to lay pipes from England to France to carry petrol to supply the armies which were due to land in Normandy. On a bare beach nearby a thousand navvies were camped making huge concrete structures known as 'Phoenix', one of many such sites all along the coast. It was not till after the invasion that it became known that these were a part of the artificial harbour 'Mulberry' on the north coast of France.
Nevil Shute (Requiem for a Wren)
So much for Caligula as emperor; we must now tell of his career as a monster.... He lived in habitual incest with all his sisters, and at a large banquet he placed each of them in turn below him, while his wife reclined above. Many men of honourable rank were first disfigured with the marks of branding-irons and then condemned to the mines, to work at building roads, or to be thrown to the wild beasts; or else he shut them up in cages on all fours, like animals, or had them sawn asunder. Not all these punishments were for serious offences, but merely for criticising one of his shows, or for never having sworn by his genius. Having asked a man who had been recalled from an exile of long standing, how in the world he spent his time there, the man replied by way of flattery: "I constantly prayed the gods for what has come to pass, that Tiberius might die and you become emperor." Thereupon Caligula, thinking that his exiles were likewise praying for his death, sent emissaries from island to island to butcher them all. Wishing to have one of the senators torn to pieces, he induced some of the members to assail him suddenly, on his entrance into the House, with the charge of being a public enemy, to stab him with their styles, and turn him over to the rest to be mangled; and his cruelty was not sated until he saw the man's limbs, members, and bowels dragged through the streets and heaped up before him. He used to say that there was nothing in his own character which he admired and approved more highly than what he called his ἀδιατρεψία, that is to say, his shameless impudence. He seldom had anyone put to death except by numerous slight wounds, his constant order, which soon became well-known, being: "Strike so that he may feel that he is dying." When a different man than he had intended had been killed, through a mistake in the names, he said that the victim too had deserved the same fate. He even used openly to deplore the state of his times, because they had been marked by no public disasters, saying that the rule of Augustus had been made famous by the Varus massacre, and that of Tiberius by the collapse of the amphitheatre at Fidenae,​ while his own was threatened with oblivion because of its prosperity; and every now and then he wished for the destruction of his armies, for famine, pestilence, fires, or a great earthquake. While he was lunching or revelling capital examinations by torture were often made in his presence, and a soldier who was adept at decapitation cut off the heads of those who were brought from prison. At a public banquet in Rome he immediately handed a slave over to the executioners for stealing a strip of silver from the couches, with orders that his hands be cut off and hung from his neck upon his breast, and that he then be led about among the guests.
Suetonius (The Twelve Caesars)
muddy ground. He pushed himself backward, his hands frantically splashing in puddles of muddied water. The darkness of the cemetery made it impossible to see anything more than a shadow, but Cody knew what stalked him. He knew the evil coming. He screamed and jumped back to his feet. He ran as fast as he could on the slippery ground. Another loud crash of thunder followed a bright flash of lightning. He was so close, so close to the entrance to the cemetery, but the rain, stronger than before, hammered down upon him. He splashed through puddles of water, flinching from the sheets of rain slapping his face. He struggled to increase his speed, his tears blending in with the rain. Four bicycles lay scattered on the ground near the entrance of the cemetery. Cody yanked his bicycle upright off the ground and checked behind him, but there wasn’t anything there. He hesitated, his heart breaking at the sight of his friends’ bikes lying next to his. “I’m so sorry,” he cried before mounting his own bike. The mud, caked onto the soles of his shoes, caused his feet to slip on the wet pedals. He peered into the dark depths of the cemetery again and found the familiar shadow creeping towards him. Whimpering again, Cody reached down to scrape the mud off with his bare hands, and then pedaled a mile to his home in the heavy rain. Rain-drenched, Cody jumped the curb in front of his house and dropped his bicycle on the lawn. He ran to his open bedroom window, stumbled through it, and fell onto the floor. His bedroom curtains flapped inward
Robert Pruneda (Devil's Nightmare (Devil's Nightmare #1))
The walk is over too quickly. Tally tries everything she can think of to make it last longer, suggesting that Rupert needs to be taken all around the park and then play some stick-chasing games. But after twenty minutes, Mum says that it’s time to head home. “He’s an old dog,” she tells Tally. “And he had quite a fright yesterday. He’ll be happiest having a sleep on his bed now, while we pop out for a while.” “Can’t Nell and I stay here?” Tally asks, the second they’re inside the house. Mum shakes her head. “Not today. After yesterday’s escapades I think that I want us all to stick together. And besides, Dad is looking forward to seeing you.” “I can’t wait to see him,” says Nell, and Tally wonders how she can be so brave about going to the hospital but so scared about something as silly as the dark. Just like the dog walk, the drive to the hospital doesn’t take long enough. Mum parks the car and they all get out. Tally stares at the building ahead. It is grey and gloomy and huge and she knows that if she were to get lost in there then she’d never find her way out. “This way,” says Mum, leading them towards the main entrance. They walk past a man sitting in a wheelchair and a woman with her arm in a sling, and Tally lowers her eyes so that the only thing she can see is Mum’s feet in front of her. The ground changes from concrete to tiles and then Mum’s feet stop and Tally has to look up There are people everywhere and the lights are so bright that it hurts her eyes. “Dad is on the fifth floor,” mum says. “So we need to take the lift.” Tally steps back, accidentally bumping into Nell.
Libby Scott (Can You See Me?)
It was dusk when Ian returned, and the house seemed unnaturally quiet. His uncle was sitting near the fire, watching him with an odd expression on his face that was half anger, half speculation. Against his will Ian glanced about the room, expecting to see Elizabeth’s shiny golden hair and entrancing face. When he didn’t, he put his gun back on the rack above the fireplace and casually asked, “Where is everyone?” “If you mean Jake,” the vicar said, angered yet more by the way Ian deliberately avoided asking about Elizabeth, “he took a bottle of ale with him to the stable and said he was planning to drink it until the last two days were washed from his memory.” “They’re back, then?” “Jake is back,” the vicar corrected as Ian walked over to the table and poured some Madeira into a glass. “The servingwomen will arrive in the morn. Elizabeth and Miss Throckmorton-Jones are gone, however.” Thinking Duncan meant they’d gone for a walk, Ian flicked a glance toward the front door. “Where have they gone at this hour?” “Back to England.” The glass in Ian’s hand froze halfway to his lips. “Why?” he snapped. “Because Miss Cameron’s uncle has accepted an offer for her hand.” The vicar watched in angry satisfaction as Ian tossed down half the contents of his glass as if he wanted to wash away the bitterness of the news. When he spoke his voice was laced with cold sarcasm. “Who’s the lucky bridegroom?” “Sir Francis Belhaven, I believe.” Ian’s lips twisted with excruciating distaste. “You don’t admire him, I gather?” Ian shrugged. “Belhaven is an old lecher whose sexual tastes reportedly run to the bizarre. He’s also three times her age.” “That’s a pity,” the vicar said, trying unsuccessfully to keep his voice blank as he leaned back in his chair and propped his long legs upon the footstool in front of him. “Because that beautiful, innocent child will have no choice but to wed that old…lecher. If she doesn’t, her uncle will withdraw his financial support, and she’ll lose that home she loves so much. He’s perfectly satisfied with Belhaven, since he possesses the prerequisites of title and wealth, which I gather are his only prerequisites. That lovely girl will have to wed that old man; she has no way to avoid it.” “That’s absurd,” Ian snapped, draining his glass. “Elizabeth Cameron was considered the biggest success of her season two years ago. It was pubic knowledge she’d had more than a dozen offers. If that’s all he cares about, he can choose from dozens of others.” Duncan’s voice was laced with uncharacteristic sarcasm. “That was before she encountered you at some party or other. Since then it’s been public knowledge that she’s used goods.” “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” “You tell me, Ian,” the vicar bit out. “I only have the story in two parts from Miss Throckmorton-Jones. The first time she spoke she was under the influence of laudanum. Today she was under the influence of what I can only describe as the most formidable temper I’ve ever seen. However, while I may not have the complete story, I certainly have the gist of it, and if half what I’ve heard is true, then it’s obvious that you are completely without either a heart or a conscience! My own heart breaks when I imagine Elizabeth enduring what she has for nearly two years. When I think of how forgiving of you she has been-“ “What did the woman tell you?” Ian interrupted shortly, turning and walking over to the window.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Trash first. Then supplies. Stepping forward, I kicked a pile of takeout containers to one side, wanting to clear a path to the cabinets so I could look for latex gloves. But then I stopped, stiffening, an odd scratching sound coming from the pile I’d just nudged with my foot. Turning back to it, I crouched on the ground and lifted a greasy paper at the top of the mess. And that’s when I saw it. A cockroach. In Ireland. A giant behemoth of a bug, the likes I’d only ever seen on nature programs about prehistoric insects. Okay, perhaps I was overexaggerating its size. Perhaps not. Honestly, I didn’t get a chance to dwell on the matter, because the roach-shaped locust of Satan hopped onto my hand. I screamed. Obviously. Jumping back and swatting at my hand, I screamed again. But evil incarnate had somehow crawled up and into the sleeve of my shirt. The sensation of its tiny, hairy legs skittering along my arm had me screaming a third time and I whipped off my shirt, tossing it to the other side of the room as though it was on fire. “What the hell is going on?” I spun toward the door, finding Ronan Fitzpatrick and Bryan Leech hovering at the entrance, their eyes darting around the room as though they were searching for a perpetrator. Meanwhile, I was frantically brushing my hands over my arms and torso. I felt the echo of that spawn of the devil’s touch all over my body. “Cockroach!” I screeched. “Do you see it? Is it still on me?” I twisted back and forth, searching. Bryan and Ronan were joined in the doorway by more team members, but I barely saw them in my panic. God, I could still feel it. I. Could. Still. Feel. It. Now I knew what those hapless women felt like in horror movies when they realized the serial killer was still inside the house.
L.H. Cosway (The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby, #3))
Let’s go home,” she said. He arched his brows. “Already? I thought you would want to stay for a while.” Dark eyes flashed. “No, I want to take you home where women can’t stare at you like hyenas after a baby chick.” He laughed-loudly, which caught a fair bit of attention. “Surely I’m more threatening than a chick?” She smiled, ruining her petulant expression. “A puppy perhaps.” Grey stepped closer so that their torsos touched. It was totally improper behavior, but the gossips already had so much to talk about, one more thing would hardly matter. “Is that all you want to take me home for? To protect me?” Her gaze turned coy. “I received the newest edition of Voluptuous today. I thought I might read to you.” Was it just him or had the temperature in the room suddenly climbed ten degrees. “Let’s go.” He grabbed her by the hand and started weaving their way toward the door. People stopped hi to say hello, and he was forced to speak to them rather than be as rude as he wanted. A good fifteen minutes passed before he and Rose finally made it to the entrance of the ballroom, only to have Vienne La Rieux descend upon them. “Monsieur et Madame le Duc!” she cried, clasping her hands together in front of her breast-abundantly displayed above a peacock-colored gown that must have cost a small fortune. “Finally, you leave my club together, non?” Grey winked at her. “At last, madam. But we may want a room again someday.” The French woman grinned, delighting in Rose’s obvious embarrassment. “Mais oui! An anniversary present, Your Grace. On the house.” He thanked her and bade her farewell. “She knew?” Rose’s tone was incredulous as they made their way closer to the exit. “How could she know?” Grey shrugged. “The woman seems to know deuced near everything that happens here.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
The moment I put it in my mouth and bit down... ... an exquisite and entirely unexpected flavor exploded in my mouth! It burst across my tongue, rushed up through my nose... ... and rose all the way up to my brain!" "No! It can't be!" "How is that possible?! Anyone with eyes can see there's nothing special to that dish! Its fragrance was entirely inferior to Asahi's dish from the get-go!" "That there. That's what it is. I knew something wasn't right." "Asahi?" "Something felt off the instant the cloche was removed. His dish is fried rice. It uses tons of butter, soy sauce and spices. Yet it hardly had any aroma!" "Good catch. The secret is in one of the five grand cuisine dishes I melded together... A slightly atypical take on the French Oeuf Mayonnaise. ." "Ouef Mayonnaise, or eggs and mayonnaise, is an appetizer you can find in any French bistro. Hard-boiled eggs are sliced, coated with a house-blend mayo and garnished with vegetables. Though, in your dish, I can tell you chose very soft-boiled eggs instead. Hm. Very interesting, Soma Yukihira. He took those soft-boiled eggs and some homemade mayo and blended them into a sauce...... which he then poured over his steamed rice and tossed until each and every grain was coated, its flavor sealed inside! To cook them so that each individual grain is completely covered... ... takes incredibly fast and precise wok handling over extremely high heat! No average chef could manage that feat!" " Whaaa?! Ah! It's so thin I didn't notice it at first glance, but there it is, a very slight glaze! That makes each of these grains of rice a miniature, self-contained Omurice! The moment you bite into them, that eggy coating is broken... ... releasing all the flavors and aromas of the dish onto your palate in one explosive rush!" No wonder! That's what entranced the judges. That sudden, powerful explosion of flavor! "Yep! Even when it's served, my dish still hides its fangs. Only when you bite into it does it bite back with all it's got. I call it my Odorless Fried Rice.
Yūto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 36 [Shokugeki no Souma 36] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #36))
Dom stood dumbfounded as Jane disappeared into the street. Then he hurried to catch up to her, to get some answers. She knew. How the blazes did she know? The answer to that was obvious. “So, Nancy told you the truth, did she?” he snapped as he fell into step beside her. Jane didn’t reply, just kept marching toward the inn like a Hussar bent on battle. “When?” he demanded. “How long have you known?” “For nine years, you…you conniving…lying--” “Nine years? You knew all this time, and you didn’t say anything?” “Say anything!” She halted just short of the innyard entrance to glare at him. “How the devil was I to do that? You disappeared into the streets of London as surely as if you were a footpad or a pickpocket.” She planted her hands on her hips. “Oh, I read about your heroic exploits from time to time, but other than that, I neither heard nor saw anything of you until last year, when you showed up at George’s town house. It was only pure chance that I happened to be at dinner with Nancy that day. As you’ll recall, you didn’t stay long. Nor did you behave as if you would welcome any confidences.” Remembering the cool reception he’d given her, he glanced away, unable to bear the accusation in her eyes. “No, I suppose I didn’t.” “Besides,” she said, “it hardly mattered that I knew the truth. I assumed that if you ever changed your mind about making a life with me, you would seek me out. Since you never did, you were clearly determined to remain a bachelor.” His gaze shot back to her. “It was more complicated than that.” She snorted. “It always is with you. Which is precisely why I’m happy I’m engaged to someone else.” That sent jealousy roaring through him. “Yet you let me kiss you.” A pretty blush stained her cheeks. “You…you took me by surprise, that’s all. But it was a mistake. It won’t happen again.” The blazes it wouldn’t. He intended to find out if the past was as firmly in the past as she claimed. But obviously he couldn’t do it here in the street. He glanced up at the gloomy sky. Or right now. She followed the direction of his gaze. “Yes,” she said in a dull voice. “It looks like we’ll have a rainy trip back.” She headed into the innyard. “Perhaps if we hurry, we can reach Winborough before it starts. Besides, we’ve got only three hours until sunset, and it’s not safe to ride in an open phaeton after dark.” She was right, but he didn’t mean to drop this discussion. He needed answers, and once they were on the road, he meant to get them.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Esther Agrees to Help the Jews ESTHER 4 When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes  o and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 2He went up to the entrance of the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. 3And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews,  p with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them  q lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4When Esther’s young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. 5Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this was and why it was. 6Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate, 7and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him,  r and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. 8Mordecai also gave him  s a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her and command her to go to the king to beg his favor and plead with him on behalf of her people. 9And Hathach went and told Esther what Mordecai had said. 10Then Esther spoke to Hathach and commanded him to go to Mordecai and say, 11“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside  t the inner court without being called,  u there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one  v to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.” 12And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for  w three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law,  x and if I perish, I perish.” 17Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Another episode startled Trump’s advisers on the Asia trip. As the president and his entourage embarked on the journey, they stopped in Hawaii on November 3 to break up the long flight and allow Air Force One to refuel. White House aides arranged for the president and first lady to make a somber pilgrimage so many of their predecessors had made: to visit Pearl Harbor and honor the twenty-three hundred American sailors, soldiers, and marines who lost their lives there. The first couple was set to take a private tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, which sits just off the coast of Honolulu and straddles the hull of the battleship that sank into the Pacific during the Japanese surprise bombing attack in 1941. As a passenger boat ferried the Trumps to the stark white memorial, the president pulled Kelly aside for a quiet consult. “Hey, John, what’s this all about? What’s this a tour of?” Trump asked his chief of staff. Kelly was momentarily stunned. Trump had heard the phrase “Pearl Harbor” and appeared to understand that he was visiting the scene of a historic battle, but he did not seem to know much else. Kelly explained to him that the stealth Japanese attack here had devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet and prompted the country’s entrance into World War II, eventually leading the United States to drop atom bombs on Japan. If Trump had learned about “a date which will live in infamy” in school, it hadn’t really pierced his consciousness or stuck with him. “He was at times dangerously uninformed,” said one senior former adviser. Trump’s lack of basic historical knowledge surprised some foreign leaders as well. When he met with President Emmanuel Macron of France at the United Nations back in September 2017, Trump complimented him on the spectacular Bastille Day military parade they had attended together that summer in Paris. Trump said he did not realize until seeing the parade that France had had such a rich history of military conquest. He told Macron something along the lines of “You know, I really didn’t know, but the French have won a lot of battles. I didn’t know.” A senior European official observed, “He’s totally ignorant of everything. But he doesn’t care. He’s not interested.” Tillerson developed a polite and self-effacing way to manage the gaps in Trump’s knowledge. If he saw the president was completely lost in the conversation with a foreign leader, other advisers noticed, the secretary of state would step in to ask a question. As Tillerson lodged his question, he would reframe the topic by explaining some of the basics at issue, giving Trump a little time to think. Over time, the president developed a tell that he would use to get out of a sticky conversation in which a world leader mentioned a topic that was totally foreign or unrecognizable to him. He would turn to McMaster, Tillerson
Philip Rucker (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America)
When we arrived at the wedding at Marlboro Man’s grandparents’ house, I gasped. People were absolutely everywhere: scurrying and mingling and sipping champagne and laughing on the lawn. Marlboro Man’s mother was the first person I saw. She was an elegant, statuesque vision in her brown linen dress, and she immediately greeted and welcomed me. “What a pretty suit,” she said as she gave me a warm hug. Score. Success. I felt better about life. After the ceremony, I’d meet Cousin T., Cousin H., Cousin K., Cousin D., and more aunts, uncles, and acquaintances than I ever could have counted. Each family member was more gracious and welcoming than the one before, and it didn’t take long before I felt right at home. This was going well. This was going really, really well. It was hot, though, and humid, and suddenly my lightweight wool suit didn’t feel so lightweight anymore. I was deep in conversation with a group of ladies--smiling and laughing and making small talk--when a trickle of perspiration made its way slowly down my back. I tried to ignore it, tried to will the tiny stream of perspiration away, but one trickle soon turned into two, and two turned into four. Concerned, I casually excused myself from the conversation and disappeared into the air-conditioned house. I needed to cool off. I found an upstairs bathroom away from the party, and under normal circumstances I would have taken time to admire its charming vintage pedestal sinks and pink hexagonal tile. But the sweat profusely dripping from all pores of my body was too distracting. Soon, I feared, my jacket would be drenched. Seeing no other option, I unbuttoned my jacket and removed it, hanging it on the hook on the back of the bathroom door as I frantically looked around the bathroom for an absorbent towel. None existed. I found the air vent on the ceiling, and stood on the toilet to allow the air-conditioning to blast cool air on my face. Come on, Ree, get a grip, I told myself. Something was going on…this was more than simply a reaction to the August humidity. I was having some kind of nervous psycho sweat attack--think Albert Brooks in Broadcast News--and I was being held captive by my perspiration in the upstairs bathroom of Marlboro Man’s grandmother’s house in the middle of his cousin’s wedding reception. I felt the waistband of my skirt stick to my skin. Oh, God…I was in trouble. Desperate, I stripped off my skirt and the stifling control-top panty hose I’d made the mistake of wearing; they peeled off my legs like a soggy banana skin. And there I stood, naked and clammy, my auburn bangs becoming more waterlogged by the minute. So this is it, I thought. This is hell. I was in the throes of a case of diaphoresis the likes of which I’d never known. And it had to be on the night of my grand entrance into Marlboro Man’s family. Of course, it just had to be. I looked in the mirror, shaking my head as anxiety continued to seep from my pores, taking my makeup and perfumed body cream along with it. Suddenly, I heard the knock at the bathroom door. “Yes? Just a minute…yes?” I scrambled and grabbed my wet control tops. “Hey, you…are you all right in there?” God help me. It was Marlboro Man.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)