Feathers Appear Quotes

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Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
I HAVE MADE THIS FOR YOU. She reached out and took a damp square of cardboard. Water dripped off the bottom. Somewhere in the middle, a few brown feathers seemed to have been glued on. 'Thank you. Er ... what is it?' ALBERT SAID THERE OUGHT TO BE SNOW ON IT, BUT IT APPEARS TO HAVE MELTED, said Death. IT IS, OF COURSE, A HOGSWATCH CARD. 'Oh ...' THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A ROBIN ON IT AS WELL, BUT I HAD CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY IN GETTING IT TO STAY ON. 'Ah...' IT WAS NOT AT ALL COOPERATIVE. 'Really ...?' IT DID NOT SEEM TO GET INTO THE HOGSWATCH SPIRIT AT ALL.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
Featherweight by Suzy Kassem One evening, I sat by the ocean and questioned the moon about my destiny. I revealed to it that I was beginning to feel smaller compared to others, Because the more secrets of the universe I would unlock, The smaller in size I became. I didn't understand why I wasn't feeling larger instead of smaller. I thought that seeking Truth was what was required of us all – To show us the way, not to make us feel lost, Up against the odds, In a devilish game partitioned by An invisible wall. Then the next morning, A bird appeared at my window, just as the sun began Spreading its yolk over the horizon. It remained perched for a long time, Gazing at me intently, to make sure I knew I wasn’t dreaming. Then its words gently echoed throughout my mind, Telling me: 'The world you are in – Is the true hell. The journey to Truth itself Is what quickens the heart to become lighter. The lighter the heart, the purer it is. The purer the heart, the closer to light it becomes. And the heavier the heart, The more chained to this hell It will remain.' And just like that, it flew off towards the sun, Leaving behind a tiny feather. So I picked it up, And fastened it to a toothpick, To dip into ink And write my name.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
It was in China, late one moonless night, The Simorgh first appeared to mortal sight – He let a feather float down through the air, And rumours of its fame spread everywhere...
Attar of Nishapur (منطق الطير)
And soon afterwards this manuscript will appear, my final book... There will be outrage and disgust and people will turn on me at the last, they will hate me, my reputation will for ever be destroyed, my punishment earned, self-inflicted like this gunshot wound, and the world will finally know that I was the greatest feather man of them all.
John Boyne (The Absolutist)
But the burning man falling from the sky pulled me from my faraway world. My gaze wandered to the window an instant before he appeared. And then, slowly, like a feather caught on a light breeze, he willowed past my window, turning his grotesque head towards me, his mouth open in a silent scream. He was more than on fire. He was fire. Orange and red flames braided together in the shape of a man, but it was his eyes that caused me to suck in my breath and hold it as I ran to the window. His eyes, scared and imploring, told of a darkness and agony I couldn't begin to understand.
Gwen Hayes (Falling Under (Falling Under, #1))
What, is the jay more precious than the lark Because his feathers are more beautiful? Or is the adder better than the eel Because his painted skin contents the eye?
William Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew)
As one tends to the graves of the dead, so I tend the books. I clean them, do minor repairs, keep them in good order. And every day I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head. Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so, for it must be very lonely being dead.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
One day he trapped a large raven, whose wings he painted red, the breast green, and the tail blue. When a flock of ravens appeared over our hut, Lekh freed the painted bird. As soon as it joined the flock a desperate battle began. The changeling was attacked from all sides. Black, red, green, blue feathers began to drop at our feet. The ravens ran amuck in the skies, and suddenly the painted raven plummeted to the freshly-plowed soil. It was still alive, opening its beak and vainly trying to move its wings. Its eyes had been pecked out, and fresh blood streamed over its painted feathers. It made yet another attempt to flutter up from the sticky earth, but its strength was gone.
Jerzy Kosiński (The Painted Bird)
Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers. One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird. But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.” The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage. She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.” However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage. One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds. If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body. Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door. “Why have you come?” she asked Death. “So that you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied. “If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
My job is not to sell the books - my father does that - but to look after them. Every so often I take out a volume and read a page or two. After all, reading is looking after in a manner of speaking. Though they're not old enough to be valuable for their age alone, nor improtant enough to be sought after by collectors, my charges are dear to me, even as often as not, they are as dull on the inside as on the outside. No matter how banal the contents, there is always something that touches me. For someone now dead once thought these words significant enough to write them down. People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the boooks they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic. As one tends the graves of the dead, so I tend the books. I clean them, do minor repairs, keep them in good order. And every day I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head. Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so. For it must be very lonely being dead.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so. For it must be very lonely being dead.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
And every day I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head. Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so. For it must be very lonely being dead.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
He was discomfited to see how easily men (and women as well) stepped from the train to station platform, from platform to train – with ease, with levity, laughing and talking and greeting each other as though oblivious to the abrupt geographical shifts they were making, and disrespectful of the distance and differences they entered. Many were hatless, their clothes brightly colored. The cases they carried appeared, from the way they handled them, to be feather-light.
Carol Shields (The Stone Diaries)
When they had understood the hoopoe's words, A clamour of complaint rose from the birds: 'Although we recognize you as our guide, You must accept - it cannot be denied - We are a wretched, flimsy crew at best, And lack the bare essentials for this quest. Our feathers and our wings, our bodies' strength Are quite unequal to the journey's length; For one of us to reach the Simorgh's throne Would be miraculous, a thing unknown. [...] He seems like Solomon, and we like ants; How can mere ants climb from their darkened pit Up to the Simorgh's realm? And is it fit That beggars try the glory of a king? How ever could they manage such a thing?' The hoopoe answered them: 'How can love thrive in hearts impoverished and half alive? "Beggars," you say - such niggling poverty Will not encourage truth or charity. A man whose eyes love opens risks his soul - His dancing breaks beyond the mind's control. [...] Your heart is not a mirror bright and clear If there the Simorgh's form does not appear; No one can bear His beauty face to face, And for this reason, of His perfect grace, He makes a mirror in our hearts - look there To see Him, search your hearts with anxious care.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation Prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king And queen moult no feather. I have of late--but Wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all Custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily With my disposition that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most Excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave O'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted With golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to Me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! in form and moving how Express and admirable! in action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the World! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, What is this quintessence of dust? man delights not Me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling You seem to say so.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet (Classics Illustrated #99))
Father Brendan Flynn: "A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you gut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!
John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, a Parable)
When he appeared before the lord, his lordship was smitten immediately with the boy's unadorned beauty, like a first glimpse of the moon rising above a distant mountain. The boy's hair gleamed like the feathers of a raven perched silently on a tree, and his eyes were lovely as lotus flowers. One by one his other qualities became apparent, from his nightingale voice to his gentle disposition, as obedient and true as a plum blossom.
Saikaku Ihara (The Great Mirror of Male Love)
Yuan opens his eyes. White rabbits wandering all around, poking him, touching him, rubbing their noses at his feet, or merely exploring the thick grass, ignoring his presence. As if showing their appearance alone is enough of a favor. Yuan sees the tiniest rabbit struggling to reach him. One of its legs wounded, and a dark rotten feather sticking to its body. The feather smells of death. There must be a dead bird somewhere. Dead bird! Why didn’t he smell it earlier? Yuan, removing the feather, stretches his hand towards the rabbit. It hops on, sensing the burst of healing energy. All living creatures always sense what heals their woe—a code in their subconscious.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
The strangest think I have learned is that it's impossible to know what's inside someone. The wizards didn't teach me this, but I have learned it myself. Those who appear tall and straight and very good are sometimes rotten on the inside, and others, huge and clawed and apparently very bad, sometimes contain a pure and sweet form of goodness. The biggest trap is to judge a person by their outer casing. Their skin. Their hair. Their snow-white feathers.
Karen Foxlee (Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy)
Art is the conscious making of numinous phenomena. Many objects are just objects - inert, merely utilitarian. Many events are inconsequential, too banal to add anything to our experience of life. This is unfortunate, as one cannot grow except by having one’s spirit greatly stirred; and the spirit cannot be greatly stirred by spiritless things. Much of our very life is dead. For primitive man, this was not so. He made his own possessions, and shaped and decorated them with the aim of making them not merely useful, but powerful. He tried to infuse his weapons with the nature of the tiger, his cooking pots with the life of growing things; and he succeeded. Appearance, material, history, context, rarity - perhaps rarity most of all - combine to create, magically, the quality of soul. But we modern demiurges are prolific copyists; we give few things souls of their own. Locomotives, with their close resemblance to beasts, may be the great exception; but in nearly all else with which today’s poor humans are filling the world, I see a quelling of the numinous, an ashening of the fire of life. We are making an inert world; we are building a cemetery. And on the tombs, to remind us of life, we lay wreaths of poetry and bouquets of painting. You expressed this very condition, when you said that art beautifies life. No longer integral, the numinous has become optional, a luxury - one of which you, my dear friend, are fond, however unconsciously. You adorn yourself with the same instincts as the primitive who puts a frightening mask of clay and feathers on his head, and you comport yourself in an uncommonly calculated way - as do I. We thus make numinous phenomena of ourselves. No mean trick - to make oneself a rarity, in this overpopulated age.
K.J. Bishop (The Etched City)
Kiss me again,” he challenged, only half joking. It was so weird to hear him say that, to hear those words out loud. They had kissed. More than once. More than a lot. They had passed the point of being “just friends” by a long shot. She leaned down and gave him a dry, sisterly little peck. And then she leaned back up again and smiled at him innocently. She wished she could a halo appear above her head for effect. Jay made a sound at her that was like a growl, and then he pulled her down . . . hard. He flipped her over so that she was lying on her back and he was poised above her, and taking full advantage of his upper hand, he moved his lips over hers with a feather-light touch, in a way that was anything but innocent. Until she parted her lips and let him kiss her again . . . completely . . . thoroughly. She heard herself moan, and she could feel the throbbing of her own pulse flickering hotly through her veins. He lifted his head and stared down at her, rubbing his thumb across her lower lip. “That’s what I was talking about. A real kiss.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet. Streaming files of wild ducks began to make their appearance high in the air; the back of the squirrel might be heard from the groves of beech and hickory-nuts, and the pensive whistle of the quail at intervals from the neighboring stubble field. The small birds were taking their farewell banquets. In the fullness of their revelry, they fluttered, chirping and frolicking from bush to bush, and tree to tree, capricious from the very profusion and variety around them. There was the honest cock robin, the favorite game of stripling sportsmen, with its loud querulous note; and the twittering blackbirds flying in sable clouds; and the golden-winged woodpecker with his crimson crest, his broad black gorget, and splendid plumage; and the cedar bird, with its red-tipt wings and yellow-tipt tail and its little monteiro cap of feathers; and the blue jay, that nosy coxcomb, in his gay light blue coat and white underclothes, screaming and chattering, nodding and bobbing and bowing, and pretending to be on good terms with every songster of the grove.
Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Graphic Novel))
With sleeves rolled up a few inches on his forearms, it’s easy to surmise both arms are covered in ink. What appears to be bold black feather tips peak along the side of his neck. He’s the gasp-worthy blond in contrast to Easton’s breath-stealing tall, dark, and strikingly handsome.
Kate Stewart (Reverse (The Bittersweet Symphony Duet, #2))
And everyday I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head. Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs?
Diane Setterfield
I'm a basic boneless chicken, yes, I have no bones inside, I'm without a trace of rib cage, yet I hold myself with pride, other hens appear offended by my total lack of bones, they discuss me impolitely in derogatory tones. I am absolutely boneless, I am boneless through and through, I have neither neck nor thighbones, and my back is boneless too, and I haven't got a wishbone, not a bone within my breast, so I rarely care to travel from the comfort of my nest. I have feathers fine and fluffy, I have lovely little wings, but I lack the superstructure to support these splendid things. Since a chicken finds it tricky to parade on boneless legs, I stick closely to the hen house, laying little scrambled eggs.
Jack Prelutsky (The New Kid on the Block)
Owing to the shape of a bell curve, the education system is geared to the mean. Unfortunately, that kind of education is virtually calculated to bore and alienate gifted minds. But instead of making exceptions where it would do the most good, the educational bureaucracy often prefers not to be bothered. In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck. Let’s try to break the problem down a bit. The education system […] is committed to a warm and fuzzy but scientifically counterfactual form of egalitarianism which attributes all intellectual differences to environmental factors rather than biology, implying that the so-called 'gifted' are just pampered brats who, unless their parents can afford private schooling, should atone for their undeserved good fortune by staying behind and enriching the classroom environments of less privileged students. This approach may appear admirable, but its effects on our educational and intellectual standards, and all that depends on them, have already proven to be overwhelmingly negative. This clearly betrays an ulterior motive, suggesting that it has more to do with social engineering than education. There is an obvious difference between saying that poor students have all of the human dignity and basic rights of better students, and saying that there are no inherent educationally and socially relevant differences among students. The first statement makes sense, while the second does not. The gifted population accounts for a very large part of the world’s intellectual resources. As such, they can obviously be put to better use than smoothing the ruffled feathers of average or below-average students and their parents by decorating classroom environments which prevent the gifted from learning at their natural pace. The higher we go on the scale of intellectual brilliance – and we’re not necessarily talking just about IQ – the less support is offered by the education system, yet the more likely are conceptual syntheses and grand intellectual achievements of the kind seldom produced by any group of markedly less intelligent people. In some cases, the education system is discouraging or blocking such achievements, and thus cheating humanity of their benefits.
Christopher Michael Langan
When I was done plucking the birds, the blood and the scattering of white feathers gave my campsite the appearance of a pillow fight gone horribly wrong.
Steven Rinella (Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter)
What appears to be bold black feather tips peak along the side of his neck.
Kate Stewart (Reverse (The Bittersweet Symphony Duet, #2))
The Indians were Araucanians from the south of Chile; several hundreds in number, and highly disciplined. They first appeared in two bodies on a neighbouring hill; having there dismounted, and taken off their fur mantles, they advanced naked to the charge. The only weapon of an Indian is a very long bamboo or chuzo, ornamented with ostrich feathers, and pointed by a sharp spear-head. My informer seemed to remember with the greatest horror the quivering of these chuzos as they approached near. When close, the cacique Pincheira hailed the besieged to give up their arms, or he would cut all their throats. As this would probably have been the result of their entrance under any circumstances, the answer was given by a volley of musketry.
Charles Darwin (The Voyage of the Beagle)
It is not, perhaps, entirely because the whale is so excessively unctuous that landsmen seem to regard the eating of him with abhorrence; that appears to result, in some way, from the consideration before mentioned: i.e. that a man should eat a newly murdered thing of the sea, and eat it too by its own light. But no doubt the first man that ever murdered an ox was regarded as murderer; perhaps he was hung; and if he had been put on his trial by oxen, he certainly would have been; and he certainly deserved it if any murderer does. Go to the meat-market of a Saturday night and see the crowds of live bipeds staring up at the long rows of dead quadrupeds. Does not that sight take a tooth out of the cannibal’s jaw? Cannibals? who is not a cannibal? I tell you it will be more tolerable for the Fejee that salted down a lean missionary in his cellar against a coming famine; it will be more tolerable for that provident Fejee, I say, in the day of judgment, than for thee, civilized and enlightened gourmand, who nailest geese to the ground and featest on their bloated livers in they pate-de-fois-gras. But Stubb, he eats the whale by its own light, does he? and that is adding insult to injury, is it? Look at your knife-handle, there, my civilized and enlightened gourmand dining off that roast beef, what is that handle made of?—what but the bones of the brother of the very ox you are eating? And what do you pick your teeth with, after devouring that fat goose? With a feather of the same fowl. And with what quill did the Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Ganders formerly indite his circulars? It is only within the last month or two that that society passed a resolution to patronize nothing but steel pens.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
Captain Harcourt-Bruce was not only dashing, handsome, and brave, he was also rather romantic. The reappearance of magic in England thrilled him immensely. He was a great reader of the more exciting sort of history - and his head was full of ancient battles in which the English were outnumbered by the French and doomed to die, when all at once would be heard the sound of strange, unearthly music, and upon a hilltop would appear the Raven King in his tall, black helmet with it's mantling of raven-feathers streaming in the wind; he would gallop down the hillside on his tall, black horse with a hundred human knights and a hundred fairy knights at his back, and he would defeat the French by magic. That was Captain Harcourt-Bruce's idea of a magician. That was the sort of thing which he now expected to see reproduced on every battlefield on the Continent. So when he saw Mr Norrell in his drawing-room in Hanoversquare, and after he had sat and watched Mr Norrell peevishly complain to his footman, first that the cream in his tea was too creamy, and next that it was too watery - well, I shall not surprize you when I say he was somewhat disappointed. In fact he was so downcast by the whole undertaking that Admiral Paycocke, a bluff old gentleman, felt rather sorry for him and only had the heart to laugh at him and tease him very moderately about it.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell)
Spring, in Brittany, is milder than spring in Paris, and bursts into flower three weeks earlier. The five birds that herald its appearance—the swallow, the oriole, the cuckoo, the quail, and the nightingale—arrive with the breezes that refuge in the bays of the Armorican peninsula.[28] The earth is covered over with daisies, pansies, jonquils, daffodils, hyacinths, buttercups, and anemones, like the wastelands around San Giovanni of Laterano and the Holy Cross of Jerusalem in Rome. The clearings are feathered with tall and elegant ferns; the fields of gorse and broom blaze with flowers that one may take at first glance for golden butterflies. The hedges, along which strawberries, raspberries, and violets grow, are adorned with hawthorn, honeysuckle, and brambles whose brown, curving shoots burst forth with magnificent fruits and leaves. All the world teems with bees and birds; hives and nests interrupt the child’s every footstep. In certain sheltered spots, the myrtle and the rose-bay flourish in the open air, as in Greece; figs ripen, as in Provence; and every apple tree, bursting with carmine flowers, looks like the big bouquet of a village bride.
François-René de Chateaubriand (Memoirs from Beyond the Grave: 1768-1800)
No one paid much attention when he left. They continued to eat and drink and talk and laugh over their suffering, and occasionally run to the bathroom to be ill. It was this way more or less every night and every morning. Strangers appeared in his hotel room, always a wreck after the previous night. In the morning, they stuck themselves back together again. They rubbed at raccoon-eyed faces full of smeared makeup, looked for lost hats and feathers and beads and phone numbers and shoes and hours. It wasn't a bad life. It wouldn't last, but nothing ever did. They would all be like Alfie in the end, crying on his sofa at dawn and regretting it all. Which was why Magnus stayed away from those kinds of problems. Keep moving. Keep dancing.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
And everyday I open a volume or two, read a few lines or pages, allow the voices of the forgotten dead to resonate inside my head. Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so. For it must be very lonely being dead.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
That ornamentation of branches and leaves, forks, lobes, feathers, minute and without end, and the sky appearing only in irregular flashes and cutouts, maybe existed only because my brother passed there with the light step of a long-tailed tit, was an embroidery, made on nothing, that resembles this thread of ink, as I’ve let it run for pages and pages, full of erasures, of references, of nervous blots, of stains, of gaps, that at times crumbles into large pale grains, at times thickens into tiny marks resembling dotlike seeds, now twists on itself, now forks, now links knots of sentences with edges of leaves or clouds, and then stumbles, and then resumes twisting, and runs and runs and unrolls and wraps a last senseless cluster of words ideas dreams and is finished.
Italo Calvino (The Baron in the Trees)
My favorite chick was the tawny-colored Buff Orpington. She promised to one day be a bodacious plus-sized model of a chicken, wearing fluffy pantaloons under full feathery skirts and with as charming a personality as her appearance suggested. Predictably named Buffy, she didn’t mind being handled and rather seemed to enjoy the company, clucking softly with a closed beak as I picked her up and stroked her silky feathers.
Lucie B. Amundsen (Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm - from Scratch)
In the Scriptures, God appears as Father, and yet the Holy Spirit chose to reveal God’s face to me as Mother.” I never dreamt of calling myself holy, never presumed. Yet God, whom I called Mother, chose to grace even one as flawed as I am with the ecstasy of the Holy Spirit moving through me. And so I became the Mother’s mouthpiece, a feather on Her breath. How was I to describe such a mystery to Guibert? I never sought the visions, and yet they came.
Mary Sharratt (Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen)
The Fool in the Tarot deck frequently depicted a boy with a dog at his heels, staring at the sky while he walked blithely off a cliff, burdened only by a bundle on a stick. The diabolist had admitted a relationship to the card. No single detail was quite right, but much as something might appear similar if one were to unfocus their vision… The young diabolist walked with the sparrow at his shoulder, eyes on the windows without looking through the windows, walking forward as if he were afraid to stop. His burden here was the gas containers. No, he was burdened not just by the gas containers, but by some notion of responsibility. A man, when facing death, aspires to finish what he started. What had the custodian of the Thorburn estate started? What drove him? She knew he sought to do good and to vanquish evil, and she could surmise that both good acts and the existence of evil had touched him deeply. The Fool card was akin to the ace. Depending on the game being played, it was often the lowest card or the highest. Valueless or highly valued. Powerless or powerful. It all depended on context. He sought to kill the demon, and he would either catastrophically fail or succeed. This Fool sought to slay the metaphorical dragon. He felt his own mortality, which was quite possibly her fault, in part, and now he rushed to finish the task he’d set for himself. To better the world. The Fool was wrought with air – the clouds he gazed at, the void beyond the cliff, the feather in his cap, even the dog could often be found mid-step, bounding, just above the ground. He was a Fool wrought with a different element. The familiar didn’t quite fit for the departure from the air, but the traditional dog didn’t conjure ideas of air right off the bat either. What was he wrought with? That was another question that begged an answer.
Wildbow (Pact)
Pay attention to your dreams and follow them closely to where they may lead you. No matter how crazy or seemingly impossible they appear — to you or the world. Yet, be open to the possibility that the road, even the destination will likely be different than what you had imagined. Then it matters not what actually happens. For the journey becomes the destination, constantly metamorphosing with each and every step along the way. You see, taking a bold leap into the unknown means trusting that you will either land on a feathered bed or you will come to realise that you can fly, perhaps toward undreamed of heights. This, as I conceive, is what flowing through a full life entails: Acknowledging the risks of seeking to materialise your dreams, courageously embracing the uncertainty rather than fearing it, and confidently going for the jump anyway. Abandon the comfort. Float away. Adjust the sails according to the Winds of Change.
Omar Cherif
It was raining and I had to walk on the grass. I’ve got mud all over my shoes. They’re brand-new, too.” “I’ll carry you across the grass on the return trip, if you like,” Colby offered with twinkling eyes. “It would have to be over one shoulder, of course,” he added with a wry glance at his artificial arm. She frowned at the bitterness in his tone. He was a little fuzzy because she needed glasses to see at distances. “Listen, nobody in her right mind would ever take you for a cripple,” she said gently and with a warm smile. She laid a hand on his sleeve. “Anyway,” she added with a wicked grin, “I’ve already given the news media enough to gossip about just recently. I don’t need any more complications in my life. I’ve only just gotten rid of one big one.” Colby studied her with an amused smile. She was the only woman he’d ever known that he genuinely liked. He was about to speak when he happened to glance over her shoulder at a man approaching them. “About that big complication, Cecily?” “What about it?” she asked. “I’d say it’s just reappeared with a vengeance. No, don’t turn around,” he said, suddenly jerking her close to him with the artificial arm that looked so real, a souvenir of one of his foreign assignments. “Just keep looking at me and pretend to be fascinated with my nose, and we’ll give him something to think about.” She laughed in spite of the racing pulse that always accompanied Tate’s appearances in her life. She studied Colby’s lean, scarred face. He wasn’t anybody’s idea of a pinup, but he had style and guts and if it hadn’t been for Tate, she would have found him very attractive. “Your nose has been broken twice, I see,” she told Colby. “Three times, but who’s counting?” He lifted his eyes and his eyebrows at someone behind her. “Well, hi, Tate! I didn’t expect to see you here tonight.” “Obviously,” came a deep, gruff voice that cut like a knife. Colby loosened his grip on Cecily and moved back a little. “I thought you weren’t coming,” he said. Tate moved into Cecily’s line of view, half a head taller than Colby Lane. He was wearing evening clothes, like the other men present, but he had an elegance that made him stand apart. She never tired of gazing into his large black eyes which were deep-set in a dark, handsome face with a straight nose, and a wide, narrow, sexy mouth and faintly cleft chin. He was the most beautiful man. He looked as if all he needed was a breastplate and feathers in his hair to bring back the heyday of the Lakota warrior in the nineteenth century. Cecily remembered him that way from the ceremonial gatherings at Wapiti Ridge, and the image stuck stubbornly in her mind. “Audrey likes to rub elbows with the rich and famous,” Tate returned. His dark eyes met Cecily’s fierce green ones. “I see you’re still in Holden’s good graces. Has he bought you a ring yet?” “What’s the matter with you, Tate?” Cecily asked with a cold smile. “Feeling…crabby?” His eyes smoldered as he glared at her. “What did you give Holden to get that job at the museum?” he asked with pure malice. Anger at the vicious insinuation caused her to draw back her hand holding the half-full coffee cup, and Colby caught her wrist smoothly before she could sling the contents at the man towering over her. Tate ignored Colby. “Don’t make that mistake again,” he said in a voice so quiet it was barely audible. He looked as if all his latent hostilities were waiting for an excuse to turn on her. “If you throw that cup at me, so help me, I’ll carry you over and put you down in the punch bowl!” “You and the CIA, maybe!” Cecily hissed. “Go ahead and try…!” Tate actually took a step toward her just as Colby managed to get between them. “Now, now,” he cautioned. Cecily wasn’t backing down an inch. Neither was Tate.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I consider these things idly. Each one of them seems the same size as all the others. Not one seems preferable. Fatigue is here, in my body, in my legs and eyes. That is what gets you in the end. Faith is only a word, embroidered.   I look out at the dusk and think about its being winter. The snow falling, gently, effortlessly, covering everything in soft crystal, the mist of moonlight before a rain, blurring the outlines, obliterating color. Freezing to death is painless, they say, after the first chill. You lie back in the snow like an angel made by children and go to sleep. Behind me I feel her presence, my ancestress, my double, turning in midair under the chandelier, in her costume of stars and feathers, a bird stopped in flight, a woman made into an angel, waiting to be found. By me this time. How could I have believed I was alone in here? There were always two of us. Get it over, she says. I'm tired of this melodrama, I'm tired of keeping silent. There's no one you can protect, your life has value to no one. I want it finished.   As I'm standing up I hear the black van. I hear it before I see it; blended with the twilight, it appears out of its own sound like a solidification, a clotting of the night. It turns into the driveway, stops. I can just make out the white eye, the two wings. The paint must be phosphorescent. Two men detach themselves from the shape of it, come up the front steps, ring the bell. I hear the bell toll, ding-dong, like the ghost of a cosmetics woman, down in the hall. Worse is coming, then. I've
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
That seemed to relax him a little, that simple nothing of a reassurance, as though there was ever a doubt that she wasn't exactly where she wanted to be at this very moment. As if there was even the slightest chance that she would rather be with Grady than Jay. He squeezed her hand, still holding it, and pulled her down so that she was leaning over his chest. "Kiss me again," he challenged, only half joking. It was so weird to hear him say that, to hear those words out loud. They had kissed. More than once. More than a lot. They had passed the point of being "just friends" by a long shot. She leaned down and gave him a dry, sisterly little peck. And then she leaned back up again and smiled at him innocently. She wished she could make a halo appear above her head for effort. Jay made a sound at her that was like a growl, and then he pulled her down...hard. He flipped her over so that she was lying on her back and he was poised above her, and taking full advantage of his upper hand, he moved his lips over hers with a feather-light touch, in a way that was anything but innocent. Until she parted his lips and let him kiss her again...completely...thoroughly. She heard herself moan, and she could feel the throbbing of her own pulse flickering hotly through her veins. He lifted his head and started down at her, rubbing his thumb across her lower lip. "That's what I was talking about. A real kiss." She thought that he was probably trying to gloat, but she was more than a little pleased with herself that he sounded as shaky as she felt after the kiss.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Like many of the things he encountered each day, Professeur was confused by what happened next. He felt an odd sensation and looked down to find the shaft of an arrow protruding from his stomach. For a moment he wondered if La Vierge had played some kind of joke. Then a second arrow appeared, then a third. Professeur stared in horrified fascination at the feathers on the slender shafts. Suddenly he could not feel his legs and he realized he was falling backward. He heard his body make heavy contact with the frozen ground. In the brief moments before he died, he wondered, Why doesn't it hurt?
Michael Punke
O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.… —Psalm 104:24 (NAS) In her intriguing book What’s Your God Language? Dr. Myra Perrine explains how, in our relationship with Jesus, we know Him through our various “spiritual temperaments,” such as intellectual, activist, caregiver, traditionalist, and contemplative. I am drawn to naturalist, described as “loving God through experiencing Him outdoors.” Yesterday, on my bicycle, I passed a tom turkey and his hen in a sprouting cornfield. Suddenly, he fanned his feathers in a beautiful courting display. I thought how Jesus had given me His own show of love in surprising me with that wondrous sight. I walked by this same field one wintry day before dawn and heard an unexpected huff. I had startled a deer. It was glorious to hear that small, secret sound, almost as if we held a shared pleasure in the untouched morning. Visiting my daughter once when she lived well north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, I can still see the dark silhouettes of the caribou and hear the midnight crunch of their hooves in the snow. I’d watched brilliant green northern lights flash across the sky and was reminded of the emerald rainbow around Christ’s heavenly throne (Revelation 4:3). On another Alaskan visit, a full moon setting appeared to slide into the volcanic slope of Mount Iliamna, crowning the snow-covered peak with a halo of pink in the emerging light. I erupted in praise to the triune God for the grandeur of creation. Traipsing down a dirt road in Minnesota, a bloom of tiny goldfinches lifted off yellow flowers growing there, looking like the petals had taken flight. I stopped, mesmerized, filled with the joy of Jesus. Jesus, today on Earth Day, I rejoice in the language of You. —Carol Knapp Digging Deeper: Pss 24:1, 145:5; Hb 2:14
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
Closing the distance between them, he had savored the modest allure of her walk and felt his body respond to the graceful sway of her hips as they approached the pool. He had envisioned her taking off her robe and showing him her slender nakedness, but instead, she had just stood there, as though searching for someone. It skipped through his mind that when he caught up to the girl, he would either apprehend or ravish her. He still wasn't sure which it would be as he stood before her, blocking her escape with a dark, slight smile. As she peered up at him fearfully from the shadowed folds of her hood, he found himself staring into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. He had only encountered that deep, dream-spun shade of cobalt once in his life before, in the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral. His awareness of the crowd them dimmed in the ocean-blue depths of her eyes. 'Who are you?' He did not say a word nor ask her permission. With the smooth self-assurance of a man who has access to every woman in the room, he captured her chin in a firm but gentle grip. She jumped when he touched her, panic flashing in her eyes. His hard stare softened slightly in amusement at that, but then his faint smile faded, for her skin was silken beneath his fingertips. With one hand, he lifted her face toward the dim torchlight, while the other softly brushed back her hood. Then Lucien faltered, faced with a beauty the likes of which he had never seen. His very soul grew hushed with reverence as he gazed at her, holding his breath for fear the vision would dissolve, a figment of his overactive brain. With her bright tresses gleaming the flame-gold of dawn and her large, frightened eyes of that shining, ethereal blue, he was so sure for a moment that she was a lost angel that he half expected to see silvery, feathered wings folded demurely beneath her coarse brown robe. She appeared somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two- a wholesome, nay, a virginal beauty of trembling purity. He instantly 'knew' that she was utterly untouched, impossible as that seemed in this place. Her face was proud and weary. Her satiny skin glowed in the candlelight, pale and fine, but her soft, luscious lips shot off an effervescent champagne-pop of desire that fizzed more sweetly in his veins than anything he'd felt since his adolescence, which had taken place, if he recalled correctly, some time during the Dark Ages. There was intelligence and valor in her delicate face, courage, and a quivering vulnerability that made him ache with anguish for the doom of all innocent things. 'A noble youth, a questing youth,' he thought, and if she had come to slay dragons, she had already pierced him in his black, fiery heart with the lance of her heaven-blue gaze.
Gaelen Foley (Lord of Fire (Knight Miscellany, #2))
Feathers belong to a family of natural luminescence. Included in this group spanning past, present, and future life are fish scales and butterfly wings and the skin of bright berries as the sun passes through them, the glowing eye of an animal when lit at night, the interior of the shell of an abalone, the intricate glitter of the flower of a violet. The leaf of a begonia shatters light when struck with sun, green as viewed from above or red as viewed from below; so do the leaves of a hosta appear to flicker at some point each cloudless day. While seated on the bus, I have seen the back of the neck of a young boy sparkle in this way, so perhaps we, too, are part of the family of glitter and light.
Jackie Polzin (Brood)
MOTHER NATURE was laying down some Law out there in the bayou night, and as befits the order of things, large feathered creatures dove off high branches, swooped low and stuck talons in smaller furry meals, and bandit-eyed coons came stealthily out of hollow logs and glommed finned, scaly chow from the still, brackish shallows, while all those things that slither waited, coiled, for the passing appearance of any prey absentminded, and where the bayou waters butted against land and a screened porch overlooked the boggy stage for these food-chain theatricals, Emil Jadick sat on the arm of the couch and wrapped up a lecture that had been real Type A in tone and content. He said, “And if either of you fucks up because you ain’t been listenin’ to me, I’ll take you off the calendar myself, understood?
Daniel Woodrell (The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do)
Harry’s heart was pumping frantically now that he knew they were on the right track. He led the way forward down the narrow space between the lines of the desks, heading, as he had done in his dream, for the source of the light, the crystal bell jar quite as tall as he was that stood on a desk and appeared to be full of a billowing, glittering wind. “Oh look!” said Ginny, as they drew nearer, pointing at the very heart of the bell jar. Drifting along in the sparkling current inside was a tiny, jewel-bright egg. As it rose in the jar it cracked open and a hummingbird emerged, which was carried to the very top of the jar, but as it fell on the draft, its feathers became bedraggled and damp again, and by the time it had been borne back to the bottom of the jar it had been enclosed once more in its egg.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Beyond doubt, I am a splendid fellow. In the autumn, winter and spring, I execute the duties of a student of divinity; in the summer I disguise myself in my skin and become a lifeguard. My slightly narrow and gingerly hirsute but not necessarily unmanly chest becomes brown. My smooth back turns the colour of caramel, which, in conjunction with the whipped cream of my white pith helmet, gives me, some of my teenage satellites assure me, a delightfully edible appearance. My legs, which I myself can study, cocked as they are before me while I repose on my elevated wooden throne, are dyed a lustreless maple walnut that accentuates their articulate strength. Correspondingly, the hairs of my body are bleached blond, so that my legs have the pointed elegance of, within the flower, umber anthers dusted with pollen.
John Updike (Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories)
MUSSOLINI OBSERVED THAT IN SEEKING TO ACCUMULATE POWER, it is wise to do so in the manner of one plucking a chicken—feather by feather. His tactics live on in our no-longer-new century. When we awaken each morning, we see around the globe what appear to be Fascism’s early stirrings: the discrediting of mainstream politicians, the emergence of leaders who seek to divide rather than to unite, the pursuit of political victory at all costs, and the invocation of national greatness by people who seem to possess only a warped concept of what greatness means. Most often, the signposts that should alert us are disguised: the altered constitution that passes for reform, the attacks on a free press justified by security, the dehumanization of others masked as a defense of virtue, or the hollowing out of a democratic system so that all is erased but the label.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
As people turned away, Kestrel saw a clear path to Irex, tall and black-clad in the center of the space marked for the duel. He smiled at her, and Kestrel was so thrown out of herself that she didn’t know her father had arrived until she felt his hand on her shoulder. He was dusty and smelled of horse. “Father,” she said, and would have tucked herself into his arms. He checked her. “This isn’t the time.” She flushed. “General Trajan,” Ronan said cheerfully. “So glad you could come. Benix, do I see the Raul twins over there, in the front, closest to the dueling ground? No, you blind bat. There, right next to Lady Faris. Why don’t we watch the match with them? You, too, Jess. We need your feminine presence so we can pretend that we’re only interested in the twins because you’d like to chat about feathered hats.” Jess squeezed Kestrel’s hand, and the three of them would have left immediately had the general not stopped them. “Thank you,” he said. Kestrel’s friends dropped their merry act, which Jess wasn’t performing well anyway. The general focused on Ronan, sizing him up like he would a new recruit. Then he did something rare. He gave a nod of approval. The corner of Ronan’s mouth lifted in a small, worried smile as he led the others away. Kestrel’s father faced her squarely. When she bit her lip, he said, “Now is not the time to show any weakness.” “I know.” He checked the straps on her forearms, at her hips, and against her calves, tugging the leather that secured six small knives to her body. “Keep your distance from Irex,” he said, his voice low, though the people nearest to them had withdrawn to give some privacy--a deference to the general. “Your best bet is to keep this to a contest of thrown knives. You can dodge his, throw your own, and might even get first blood. Make him empty his sheaths. If you both lose all six Needles, the duel is a draw.” He straightened her jacket. “Don’t let this turn into hand-to-hand combat.” The general had sat next to her at the spring tournament. He had seen Irex fight and directly afterward had tried to enlist him in the military. “I want you to be at the front of the crowd,” Kestrel said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere else.” A small crease appeared between her father’s brows. “Don’t let him get close.” Kestrel nodded, though she had no intention of taking his advice. She walked through the throngs of people to meet Irex.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
It takes no skill to find a bald eagle. You look for flat rabbits on country roads. Wait a while and the national emblem will appear, menace anything that got there first, and plunge his majestic head deep in a mass of entrails. Alternatively, you can follow some industrious hawk through swamp or bottomland forest until he dispatches a squirrel; an eagle is likely to descend, savage the smaller bird, and steal his prize. The eagle can hunt, of course; he just prefers not to. Benjamin Franklin called him a bird of bad moral character. It takes no skill to find the nest, either. Look for a shipwreck in a tree, layered in feces . . . The likeliest impediment to (the eagles’) reproductive success was a human observer bungling around twice a day, but their welfare was almost incidental anyway. The point was for patriotic human hearts to swell with pride on outdoor weekends, and convincing replicas would have sufficed; the compulsive monitoring was not good husbandry, just an expression of national guilt. I did what I was paid for. Privately I sided with the furred and feathered residents of the area who must have wondered why humans were loosing winged hyenas in their midst . . . They’re glorified vultures. An apex predator that never hunts. Absurd.
Brian Kimberling (Snapper)
I see a man.” Rose bit back a sigh. Of course she did. She seemed to see a man in every cup. And here she’d actually hoped that Sadie Moon might be as unusually talented as her appearance suggested. “He hides himself. A mask. He keeps to the shadows.” Rose’s heart rolled over her chest. “What else?” “You want him,” Sadie said, turning the cup in her palms. “You do not understand what you feel for him, or why he pushes you away.” “No.” Rose was breathless. “I don’t.” Those fey eyes locked with hers. “Because he loves you enough to give you up. He is all about duty and honor, but he is ruled by fear.” She was on the very edge of her seat now. “Yes. He’s afraid of coming out of the shadows.” Sadie shook her head, the feathers on her hat bobbing. “That’s only part of it. He’s afraid for you.” “For me?” Rose’s teeth clicked together. “Why?” The fortune teller shrugged. “For that answer, you will have to go to him. You have many men in your cup, Lady Rose.” Disappointed, Rose sagged a little. “For all the good it does me.” A bright grin flashed beneath that amazing hat. “The man who wants you but will not take you. Another who would take everything you offer and give what he can of himself-but it will not be enough. Another who wants nothing from you at all.” Grey. Kellan? And probably Archer.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Something I'm working on, a possibly helpful spell to cast on yourself in adverse environments... Maybe a self compassion spell that might invite the ancient intelligences in their minute plurality to emerge from the tree line. I am alright in the essenceless stream of becoming I apprehend myself actually dancing with amazing terror while driving the shy and alone animal body itself imagining the breathing maze of dreaming mirrors it dreams itself lost in No one could be expected to do this properly your body in its suchness momentarily in paradise dreaming up all this agonic psychic carnivalia all over again "as the words rain down" like the feathers of birds of paradise that heartbreaking in their naked individuality and that incalculably fine, impossibly necessary to some really friendly abyss you never expected when you were that person sentenced to the futures your bad moods subjugated you to endless hotel hallways the room numbers in no order realizing you will never find yours again and that you must never stop searching laughing like an infant in a bathtub to enjoy the evanescent cartoon pandemonium of awareness while having kinds of relationships We do fine with our sentience for the most part. Thanks anyway. Void yet appearing overthinking sometimes.
Richard Cronshey
A shadow appeared on the awnings further up the land, gliding across each rectangle of canvas towards my table, sinking in the sag, rising again at the edge, and moving on to the next with a flicker of dislocation, then gliding onwards. As it crossed the stripe of sunlight between two awnings, it threaded the crimson beak of a stork through the air, a few inches above the gap; then came a long white neck, the swell of snowy breast feathers and the six-foot motionless span of its white wings and the tips of the black flight feathers upturned and separated as fingers in the lift of the air current. The white belly followed, tapering, and then, trailing behind, the fan of its tail and long parallel legs of crimson lacquer, the toes of each of them closed and streamlined, but the whole shape flattening, when the band of sunlight was crossed, into a two-dimensional shadow once more, enormously displayed across the rectangle of cloth, as distinct and nearly as immobile, so languid was its flight, as an emblematic bird on a sail; then sliding across it and along the nearly still corridor of air between the invisible eaves and the chimneys, dipping along the curl of the lane like a sigh of wonder, and, at last, a furlong away slowly pivoting, at a gradual tilt, out of sight. A bird of passage like the rest of us.
Patrick Leigh Fermor (The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos)
She finds herself, by some miraculous feat, no longer standing in the old nursery but returned to the clearing in the woods. It is the 'green cathedral', the place she first kissed Jack all those weeks ago. The place where they laid out the stunned sparrowhawk, then watched it spring miraculously back to life. All around, the smooth, grey trunks of ancient beech trees rise up from the walls of the room to tower over her, spreading their branches across the ceiling in a fan of tangled branches and leaves, paint and gold leaf cleverly combined to create the shimmering effect of a leafy canopy at its most dense and opulent. And yet it is not the clearing, not in any real or grounded sense, because instead of leaves, the trees taper up to a canopy of extraordinary feathers shimmering and spreading out like a peacock's tail across the ceiling, a hundred green, gold and sapphire eyes gazing down upon her. Jack's startling embellishments twist an otherwise literal interpretation of their woodland glade into a fantastical, dreamlike version of itself. Their green cathedral, more spectacular and beautiful than she could have ever imagined. She moves closer to one of the trees and stretches out a hand, feeling instead of rough bark the smooth, cool surface of a wall. She can't help but smile. The trompe-l'oeil effect is dazzling and disorienting in equal measure. Even the window shutters and cornicing have been painted to maintain the illusion of the trees, while high above her head the glass dome set into the roof spills light as if it were the sun itself, pouring through the canopy of eyes. The only other light falls from the glass windowpanes above the window seat, still flanked by the old green velvet curtains, which somehow appear to blend seamlessly with the painted scene. The whole effect is eerie and unsettling. Lillian feels unbalanced, no longer sure what is real and what is not. It is like that book she read to Albie once- the one where the boy walks through the wardrobe into another world. That's what it feels like, she realizes: as if she has stepped into another realm, a place both fantastical and otherworldly. It's not just the peacock-feather eyes that are staring at her. Her gaze finds other details: a shy muntjac deer peering out from the undergrowth, a squirrel, sitting high up in a tree holding a green nut between its paws, small birds flitting here and there. The tiniest details have been captured by Jack's brush: a silver spider's web, a creeping ladybird, a puffy white toadstool. The only thing missing is the sound of the leaf canopy rustling and the soft scuttle of insects moving across the forest floor.
Hannah Richell (The Peacock Summer)
What in the sodding Dark happened back there on Aarden? What did you find?" He stared at her hand for a long moment. His cheek muscle bunched rhythmically, a tell she had learned meant he was struggling over some internal debate. Sigel's Wives burned down from above; Sherp went on snoring away, and Scow appeared to be giving chase again. Mung, Voth and Rantham hadn't moved from where they lay in some time, either, and Biiko was at his post. This was about as alone as they could ever hope to be. She reached up with her other hand, feather-soft, touched his cheek, his chin. It was rough with stubble, the same fiery copper-and-chestnut as his hair. His jaw stopped twitching and he closed his eyes, but did not resist as she gently turned his head to face her. She could hear the subtle trembling in his breathing and leaned closer, licked her cracked lips. "Triistan, please...tell me what terrible secret you are guarding..." she whispered, barely a breath really, but his eyes snapped open as if she'd struck him. He looked so sad. "I'm sorry," he mumbled. Then he was standing, gently disengaging himself from her, and moving towards Biiko where he stood his watch on the other side of the launch. He paused a moment at the mainmast and she thought he might come back, but he only turned his head, speaking over his shoulder without looking at her. His voice was heavy with sorrow. "Please don't take my journal again." Without bothering to wait for a response, he slipped around the mainmast and left her by herself. Dreysha sat there brooding for a long time. She was angry with him for rejecting her, and with herself for mishandling both him and his Dark-damned journal. Most of all, though, she was angry with herself for what she had felt when he'd looked at her. After awhile Scow snorted himself awake. He groaned and stretched, then grumbled a greeting at her, getting barely a grunt in reply for his trouble. The Mattock stood and stretched some more, his massive frame providing some welcome shade, and she sensed him watching her, could imagine him glancing across the deck at Triistan. He knew his men almost as well as his ship, which is why he stood there silently for awhile. Thunder rumbled again, great boulders of sound rolling across the sea, and this time there could be no doubt it was closer. She rose and leaned over the rail. The southern horizon was lost in a dark shadow beneath towering columns of bruised, sullen clouds. She could smell the rain, though the air was as still as death. Beside her, Scow hawked and spat over the side. "Storm's comin' ". "Aye," she answered softly. "Been coming for some time now." - from the upcoming "RUINE" series.
T.B. Schmid
The stormy black sky had faded to dark gray, and in the distance white, billowing clouds blew across the prairie. They began racing one another, tossed by the wind, and the sun shining on them made them appear a brilliant white against the evening sky. Memories crowded about her:a French trader with laughing eyes; a long ride into Fort Kearney; and somewhere, far back,a little mound of stones receding into the wide plain as a wagon rumbled away.Then he came, a Lakota brave, one with his snow white pony. They bounded together across the sky,and with each leap Jesse's heart fluttered.She stood on the prairie,her long red braides decorated with feathers, the part dusted with ochre. She raised a trembling hand in greeting, but he was gone. Her hand fell back against the quilt, and Jesse saw the clouds again and realized it had only been a memory. She was an old woman,too tired to help with the supper,perhaps even too tired to be of use to Lisbeth. The clouds outside came closer,and the old heart fluttered at the memory of a man who rode on the wind long ago.Now it seemed that the rode again across the sky,into the room.He raised one hand in greeting. "I will ask the Father," he had said, "and I will come for you." Jesse sat up in bed,her face alive with a new light.Rides the Wind smiled and reached out to sweep her up behind him. And the Father said, "Come home. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yes,I have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:6
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
How fond she is of finding morals in things!” Alice thought to herself. “I dare say you’re wondering why I don’t put my arm round your waist,” the Duchess said, after a pause: “the reason is, that I’m doubtful about the temper of your flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?” “He might bite,” Alice cautiously replied, not feeling at all anxious to have the experiment tried. “Very true,” said the Duchess: “flamingoes and mustard both bite. And the moral of that is—‘Birds of a feather flock together.’” “Only mustard isn’t a bird,” Alice remarked. “Right, as usual,” said the Duchess: “what a clear way you have of putting things!” “It’s a mineral, I think,” said Alice. “Of course it is,” said the Duchess, who seemed ready to agree to everything that Alice said: “there’s a large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is—‘The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.’” “Oh, I know!” exclaimed Alice, who had not attended to this last remark. “It’s a vegetable. It doesn’t look like one, but it is.” “I quite agree with you,” said the Duchess; “and the moral of that is—‘Be what you would seem to be’—or, if you’d like it put more simply—‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’” “I think I should understand that better,” Alice said very politely, “if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
There was Brunhilde, a star shining high above the hillside behind her, dark, rippling hair hanging below her waist, standing in full command, spear in hand. Constance could not help thinking the star so large and bright might have shone over Bethlehem. She was momentarily grateful for her veil, not only for the concealment of her identity but also of her amused response to the scene before her. She struggled to contain herself as her eyes moved to the second vignette: here was fair Juliet, standing beneath rather than on her balcony, garbed in simple lines, her head wreathed in flowers, a cross of stars high above her. Ah, those star-crossed lovers, thought Constance. Again, she was glad that she could hide her amusement. How clever these women, she thought. The third was Semiramis, a quarter moon low above the exotic turrets behind her crowned head, a long-handled fan in her hand, like the fan of a servant. How should Constance interpret this? At once she noticed the replication of the shape of Brunhilde’s spear, but it was enlarged. Semiramis, the queen who had served for her son yet had conquered her foes and enlarged her kingdom. And was this moon waxing or waning? Rising or setting? Or perhaps the enigma of a waxing moon rising. Ah, somehow that was comfort. Last, before a rising sun, framed by trees that reached out to touch one another, stood Pocahontas, her costume appearing authentic, a feather in her headdress, the emblematizing dawn of a new age, a new woman in a new world. May it be so, thought Constance.
Diane C. McPhail (The Seamstress of New Orleans)
The girls seemed unconcerned and went about their days, each as lovely in their own way as the flowers they tended. Sorrel's black hair became streaked with premature white, which gave her an exotic air, although the elegance was somewhat ruined by the muddy jeans and shorts she practically lived in. Nettie, on the other hand, had a head of baby-fine blonde hair that she wore short, thinking, wrongly, that it would look less childlike. Nettie wouldn't dream of being caught in dirty jeans and was always crisply turned out in khaki capris or a skirt and a white shirt. She considered her legs to be her finest feature. She was not wrong. Patience was the sole Sparrow redhead, although her hair had deepened from its childhood ginger and was now closer to the color of a chestnut. It was heavy and glossy as a horse's mane, and she paid absolutely no attention to it or to much else about her appearance, nor did she have to. In the summer her wide-legged linen trousers and cut-off shorts were speckled with dirt and greenery, her camisoles tatty and damp. The broad-brimmed hat she wore to pick was most often dangling from a cord down her back. As a result, the freckles that feathered across her shoulders and chest were the color of caramel and resistant to her own buttermilk lotion (Nettie smoothed it on Patience whenever she could make her stand still). When it was terribly hot, Patience wore the sundresses she'd found packed away in the attic. She knew they were her mother's, and she liked to imagine how happy Honor had been in them.
Ellen Herrick (The Sparrow Sisters)
If we ascribe the ejection of the proton to a Compton recoil from a quantum of 52 x 106 electron volts, then the nitrogen recoil atom arising by a similar process should have an energy not greater than about 400,000 volts, should produce not more than about 10,000 ions, and have a range in the air at N.T.P. of about 1-3mm. Actually, some of the recoil atoms in nitrogen produce at least 30,000 ions. In collaboration with Dr. Feather, I have observed the recoil atoms in an expansion chamber, and their range, estimated visually, was sometimes as much as 3mm. at N.T.P. These results, and others I have obtained in the course of the work, are very difficult to explain on the assumption that the radiation from beryllium is a quantum radiation, if energy and momentum are to be conserved in the collisions. The difficulties disappear, however, if it be assumed that the radiation consists of particles of mass 1 and charge 0, or neutrons. The capture of the a-particle by the Be9 nucleus may be supposed to result in the formation of a C12 nucleus and the emission of the neutron. From the energy relations of this process the velocity of the neutron emitted in the forward direction may well be about 3 x 109 cm. per sec. The collisions of this neutron with the atoms through which it passes give rise to the recoil atoms, and the observed energies of the recoil atoms are in fair agreement with this view. Moreover, I have observed that the protons ejected from hydrogen by the radiation emitted in the opposite direction to that of the exciting a-particle appear to have a much smaller range than those ejected by the forward radiation. This again receives a simple explanation on the neutron hypothesis.
James Chadwick
I grabbed my favorite exfoliating facial scrub, the same one I’d used all the way through college. Not quite as abrasive as drugstore-brand apricot scrubs, but grainy enough to get serious and do the trick. It had to be the magic bullet. It had to work. I started by washing my unfortunate face with a mild cleanser, then I squirted a small amount of the scrub on my fingers…and began facilitating the peeling process. I held my breath. It hurt. My face was in a world of pain. I scrubbed and scrubbed, wondering why facials even existed in the first place if they involved such torture. I’m a nice person, I thought. I go to church. Why is my skin staging a revolt? The week of a girl’s wedding was supposed to be a happy time. I should have been leaping gleefully around my parents’ house, using a glitter-infused feather duster to sparkle up my wedding gifts, which adorned every flat surface in the house. I should have been eating melon balls and laughing in the kitchen with my mom and sister about how it’s almost here! Don’t you love this Waterford vase? Oooh, the cake is going to be soooooo pretty. Instead, I was in my bathroom holding my face at gunpoint, forcing it to exfoliate on command. I rinsed my face and looked in the mirror. The results were encouraging. The pruniness appeared to have subsided; my skin was a little rosy from the robust scrubbing, but at least flakes of dead epidermis weren’t falling from my face like tragic confetti. To ward off any drying, I slathered my face with moisturizing cream. It stung--the effect of the isopropyl alcohol in the cream--but after the agony of the day before, I could take it. When it came to my facial nerve endings, I’d been toughened to a whole new level of pain.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
(from Lady of the Lake) The western waves of ebbing day Rolled o’er the glen their level way; Each purple peak, each flinty spire, Was bathed in floods of living fire. But not a setting beam could glow Within the dark ravines below, Where twined the path in shadow hid, Round many a rocky pyramid, Shooting abruptly from the dell Its thunder-splintered pinnacle; Round many an insulated mass, The native bulwarks of the pass, Huge as the tower which builders vain Presumptuous piled on Shinar’s plain. The rocky summits, split and rent, Formed turret, dome, or battlement, Or seemed fantastically set With cupola or minaret, Wild crests as pagod ever decked, Or mosque of Eastern architect. Nor were these earth-born castles bare, Nor lacked they many a banner fair; For, from their shivered brows displayed, Far o’er the unfathomable glade, All twinkling with the dewdrop sheen, The brier-rose fell in streamers green, And creeping shrubs, of thousand dyes, Waved in the west-wind’s summer sighs. Boon nature scattered, free and wild, Each plant or flower, the mountain’s child. Here eglantine embalmed the air, Hawthorn and hazel mingled there; The primrose pale, and violet flower, Found in each cliff a narrow bower; Fox-glove and night-shade, side by side, Emblems of punishment and pride, Grouped their dark hues with every stain The weather-beaten crags retain. With boughs that quaked at every breath, Gray birch and aspen wept beneath; Aloft, the ash and warrior oak Cast anchor in the rifted rock; And, higher yet, the pine-tree hung His shattered trunk, and frequent flung, Where seemed the cliffs to meet on high, His boughs athwart the narrowed sky. Highest of all, where white peaks glanced, Where glist’ning streamers waved and danced, The wanderer’s eye could barely view The summer heaven’s delicious blue; So wondrous wild, the whole might seem The scenery of a fairy dream. Onward, amid the copse ’gan peep A narrow inlet, still and deep, Affording scarce such breadth of brim As served the wild duck’s brood to swim. Lost for a space, through thickets veering, But broader when again appearing, Tall rocks and tufted knolls their face Could on the dark-blue mirror trace; And farther as the hunter strayed, Still broader sweep its channels made. The shaggy mounds no longer stood, Emerging from entangled wood, But, wave-encircled, seemed to float, Like castle girdled with its moat; Yet broader floods extending still Divide them from their parent hill, Till each, retiring, claims to be An islet in an inland sea. And now, to issue from the glen, No pathway meets the wanderer’s ken, Unless he climb, with footing nice A far projecting precipice. The broom’s tough roots his ladder made, The hazel saplings lent their aid; And thus an airy point he won, Where, gleaming with the setting sun, One burnished sheet of living gold, Loch Katrine lay beneath him rolled, In all her length far winding lay, With promontory, creek, and bay, And islands that, empurpled bright, Floated amid the livelier light, And mountains, that like giants stand, To sentinel enchanted land. High on the south, huge Benvenue Down to the lake in masses threw Crags, knolls, and mountains, confusedly hurled, The fragments of an earlier world; A wildering forest feathered o’er His ruined sides and summit hoar, While on the north, through middle air, Ben-an heaved high his forehead bare.
Walter Scott
Did dinosaurs sing? Was there a teeming, singing wilderness with all the species thumping around, tuning up for the next millennia? Of course, dinosaurs sang, I thought. They are the ancestors of the singing birds and cousins to the roaring crocodiles…turns out, no. Turns out the syrinx, the organ that produces birdsong and the larynx, the organ that produces operatic arias, didn’t evolve until after the dinosaur extinction event…Some dinosaurs blew air into their closed mouths and through nasal cavities into resonance chambers, which we see in fossils as bony crests. They made the forest echo with clear, ominous tones, eerily like a cello. I have heard it in recordings scientists made of the sound they produced when they blew air through crests constructed to mimic lambeosaurus’s. Some dinosaurs cooed to their mates like doves…turns out that even if dinosaurs didn’t sing, they danced. There is evidence in vigorous scrape marks found in 100-million year old Colorado sandstone. From the courting behavior of ostriches and grouse, scientists envision the dinosaur males coming together on courting grounds, bobbing and scratching, flaring their brilliant feathers and cooing. Imagine: huge animals, each weighing more than a dozen football teams, shaking the Earth for a chance at love. What the story of the dinosaurs tells me is that if the earth didn’t have music, it would waste no time inventing it. In birds, tantalizing evidence of birdsong is found in 67-million-year old fossils, marking the first know appearance of the syrinx. Now the whole Earth can chime, from deep in the sea to high in the atmosphere with the sounds of snapping shrimp, singing mice, roaring whales, moaning bears, clattering dragonflies, and a fish calling like a foghorn. Who could catalog the astonishing oeuvre of the Earth? And more songs are being created every year.
Kathleen Dean Moore (Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World)
Epilogue "It's a girl!" "A what?" Michael stared in shock at the midwife, who had just left his wife's chambers. "A girl, Your Grace," the woman replied nervously, perhaps worried that he would order Isabella's head cut off for not producing a male heir. A girl, Michael thought in wonder. Not for a moment had he thought his child would be a girl. For the past one hundred years, only males had been born into the Blackmore line, and he hadn't expected his offspring to be any different. "I must see them at once." Michael stood abruptly, causing the small, rotund midwife to jump with nerves. "Yes, Your Grace." She bowed fearfully—and unnecessarily, for he was only a Duke—and gestured for him to follow her into his wife's rooms. In a few long strides, he was inside Isabella's inner sanctum and rushing to the bed, where his wife lay as serene and calm as though she had merely taken a walk . "Isabella?" he croaked, tears in his eyes. "Oh, don't be so dramatic, darling!" Isabella replied with a gentle smile. "I'm perfectly all right, and so is the baby. One of the nurses shall bring her back in a minute; they're just bathing her." As though her words had been a command, the door to the antechamber opened and a second—more cheerful—midwife emerged with an armful of blankets. "Here she is, Your Grace," she said, shoving the bundle of blankets into his arms. "What, where?" the Duke asked in confusion, before looking down at the white blankets, light as a feather, that he held. There, in the midst of all the material and swaddled tight, was the face of the tiniest baby he had ever seen. "She's very small," he said in confusion to Isabella, who merely smiled. "Should she be this small?" "Actually, she's quite big," the midwife interjected, her face a picture of amusement at Michael's helpless expression. "What do you think?" Isabella asked softly, leaning over his shoulder to stare down at the baby. "I-I-I" Michael stuttered, completely overwhelmed. "You love her that much already?" Isabella teased . Unable to respond, Michael merely nodded, knowing that he probably appeared cold to the watching midwife. But his wife knew the truth, and she understood that sometimes a man didn't need words to express how much love was in his heart. And one day, his daughter would understand too.
Claudia Stone (Proposing to a Duke (Regency Black Hearts #1))
Closing the distance between them, he had saved the modest allure of her walk and felt his body respond to the graceful sway of her hips as they approached the pool. He had envisioned her taking off her robe and showing him her slender nakedness, but instead, she had just stood there, as though searching for someone. It skipped through his mind that when he caught up to the girl, he would either apprehend or ravish her. He still wasn't sure which it would be as he stood before her, blocking her escape with a dark, slight smile. As she peered up at him fearfully from the shadowed folds of her hood, he found himself staring into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. He had only encountered that deep, dream-spun shade of cobalt once in his life before, in the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral. His awareness of the crowd them dimmed in the ocean-blue depths of her eyes. 'Who are you?' He did not say a word nor ask her permission. With the smooth self-assurance of a man who has access to every woman in the room, he captured her chin in a firm but gentle grip. She jumped when he touched her, panic flashing in her eyes. His hard stare softened slightly in amusement at that, but then his faint smile faded, for her skin was silken beneath his fingertips. With one hand, he lifted her face toward the dim torchlight, while the other softly brushed back her hood. Then Lucien faltered, faced with a beauty the likes of which he had never seen. His very soul grew hushed with reverence as he gazed at her, holding his breath for fear the vision would dissolve, a figment of his overactive brain. With her bright tresses gleaming the flame-gold of dawn and her large, frightened eyes of that shining, ethereal blue, he was so sure for a moment that she was a lost angel that he half expected to see silvery, feathered wings folded demurely beneath her coarse brown robe. She appeared somewhere between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two- a wholesome, nay, a virginal beauty of trembling purity. He instantly 'knew' that she was utterly untouched, impossible as that seemed in this place. Her face was proud and weary. Her satiny skin glowed in the candlelight, pale and fine, but her soft, luscious lips shot off an effervescent champagne-pop of desire that fizzed more sweetly in his veins than anything he'd felt since his adolescence, which had taken place, if he recalled correctly, some time during the Dark Ages. There was intelligence and valor in her delicate face, courage, and a quivering vulnerability that made him ache with anguish for the doom of all innocent things. 'A noble youth, a questing youth,' he thought, and if she had come to slay dragons, she had already pierced him in his black, fiery heart with the lance of her heaven-blue gaze.
Gaelen Foley (Lord of Fire (Knight Miscellany, #2))
Though it’s best not to be born a chicken at all, it is especially bad luck to be born a cockerel. From the perspective of the poultry farmer, male chickens are useless. They can’t lay eggs, their meat is stringy, and they’re ornery to the hens that do all the hard work of putting food on our tables. Commercial hatcheries tend to treat male chicks like fabric cutoffs or scrap metal: the wasteful but necessary by-product of an industrial process. The sooner they can be disposed of—often they’re ground into animal feed—the better. But a costly problem has vexed egg farmers for millennia: It’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between male and female chickens until they’re four to six weeks old, when they begin to grow distinctive feathers and secondary sex characteristics like the rooster’s comb. Until then, they’re all just indistinguishable fluff balls that have to be housed and fed—at considerable expense. Somehow it took until the 1920s before anyone figured out a solution to this costly dilemma. The momentous discovery was made by a group of Japanese veterinary scientists, who realized that just inside the chick’s rear end there is a constellation of folds, marks, spots, and bumps that to the untrained eye appear arbitrary, but when properly read, can divulge the sex of a day-old bird. When this discovery was unveiled at the 1927 World Poultry Congress in Ottawa, it revolutionized the global hatchery industry and eventually lowered the price of eggs worldwide. The professional chicken sexer, equipped with a skill that took years to master, became one of the most valuable workers in agriculture. The best of the best were graduates of the two-year Zen-Nippon Chick Sexing School, whose standards were so rigorous that only 5 to 10 percent of students received accreditation. But those who did graduate earned as much as five hundred dollars a day and were shuttled around the world from hatchery to hatchery like top-flight business consultants. A diaspora of Japanese chicken sexers spilled across the globe. Chicken sexing is a delicate art, requiring Zen-like concentration and a brain surgeon’s dexterity. The bird is cradled in the left hand and given a gentle squeeze that causes it to evacuate its intestines (too tight and the intestines will turn inside out, killing the bird and rendering its gender irrelevant). With his thumb and forefinger, the sexer flips the bird over and parts a small flap on its hindquarters to expose the cloaca, a tiny vent where both the genitals and anus are situated, and peers deep inside. To do this properly, his fingernails have to be precisely trimmed. In the simple cases—the ones that the sexer can actually explain—he’s looking for a barely perceptible protuberance called the “bead,” about the size of a pinhead. If the bead is convex, the bird is a boy, and gets thrown to the left; concave or flat and it’s a girl, sent down a chute to the right.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK WHAT TO DO FIRST 1. Find the MAP. It will be there. No Tour of Fantasyland is complete without one. It will be found in the front part of your brochure, quite near the page that says For Mom and Dad for having me and for Jeannie (or Jack or Debra or Donnie or …) for putting up with me so supportively and for my nine children for not interrupting me and for my Publisher for not discouraging me and for my Writers’ Circle for listening to me and for Barbie and Greta and Albert Einstein and Aunty May and so on. Ignore this, even if you are wondering if Albert Einstein is Albert Einstein or in fact the dog. This will be followed by a short piece of prose that says When the night of the wolf waxes strong in the morning, the wise man is wary of a false dawn. Ka’a Orto’o, Gnomic Utterances Ignore this too (or, if really puzzled, look up GNOMIC UTTERANCES in the Toughpick section). Find the Map. 2. Examine the Map. It will show most of a continent (and sometimes part of another) with a large number of BAYS, OFFSHORE ISLANDS, an INLAND SEA or so and a sprinkle of TOWNS. There will be scribbly snakes that are probably RIVERS, and names made of CAPITAL LETTERS in curved lines that are not quite upside down. By bending your neck sideways you will be able to see that they say things like “Ca’ea Purt’wydyn” and “Om Ce’falos.” These may be names of COUNTRIES, but since most of the Map is bare it is hard to tell. These empty inland parts will be sporadically peppered with little molehills, invitingly labeled “Megamort Hills,” “Death Mountains, ”Hurt Range” and such, with a whole line of molehills near the top called “Great Northern Barrier.” Above this will be various warnings of danger. The rest of the Map’s space will be sparingly devoted to little tiny feathers called “Wretched Wood” and “Forest of Doom,” except for one space that appears to be growing minute hairs. This will be tersely labeled “Marshes.” This is mostly it. No, wait. If you are lucky, the Map will carry an arrow or compass-heading somewhere in the bit labeled “Outer Ocean” and this will show you which way up to hold it. But you will look in vain for INNS, reststops, or VILLAGES, or even ROADS. No – wait another minute – on closer examination, you will find the empty interior crossed by a few bird tracks. If you peer at these you will see they are (somewhere) labeled “Old Trade Road – Disused” and “Imperial Way – Mostly Long Gone.” Some of these routes appear to lead (or have lead) to small edifices enticingly titled “Ruin,” “Tower of Sorcery,” or “Dark Citadel,” but there is no scale of miles and no way of telling how long you might take on the way to see these places. In short, the Map is useless, but you are advised to keep consulting it, because it is the only one you will get. And, be warned. If you take this Tour, you are going to have to visit every single place on this Map, whether it is marked or not. This is a Rule. 3. Find your STARTING POINT. Let us say it is the town of Gna’ash. You will find it down in one corner on the coast, as far away from anywhere as possible. 4. Having found Gna’ash, you must at once set about finding an INN, Tour COMPANIONS, a meal of STEW, a CHAMBER for the night, and then the necessary TAVERN BRAWL. (If you look all these things up in the Toughpick section, you will know what you are in for.) The following morning, you must locate the MARKET and attempt to acquire CLOTHING (which absolutely must include a CLOAK), a SADDLE ROLL, WAYBREAD, WATERBOTTLES, a DAGGER, a SWORD, a HORSE, and a MERCHANT to take you along in his CARAVAN. You must resign yourself to being cheated over most prices and you are advised to consult a local MAGICIAN about your Sword. 5. You set off. Now you are on your own. You should turn to the Toughpick section of this brochure and select your Tour on a pick-and-mix basis, remembering only that you will have to take in all of it.
Diana Wynne Jones
The gates had appeared at the start of Feathered Serpent, the game that Alex had played in the Pleasure Dome in Hyde Park. Then it had been a computerized image, projected onto a screen— and Alex had been represented by an avatar, a two-dimensional version of himself. But Cray had also built an actual physical version of the game. Alex reached out and touched one of the walls.
Anonymous
OH, THAT YOU WOULD REND THE HEAVENS! THAT YOU WOULD COME DOWN! THE HEAVENS OPEN! The momentum of these meetings continued to build. In desperation, I positioned my heart to encounter God. I continued to see the open heaven swirling in the sanctuary of Living Waters Ministries. I was still seeing feathers and bolts of lightning, and hearing dozens of angels singing along with the worship team. On Saturday evening, the open heaven had grown to about a 25-foot circumference. I was well able to see it with my natural eyes and continued to watch it spin over the church. I was praying and observing everything. I was lying prostrate on the floor unable to move my body. I could see, and I could hear, but was totally unable to move. It was as if I was glued to the floor. However, I kept my eyes focused on the open heaven that was swirling in the church. I found myself in the same position on Sunday morning when a young man named Dean stood up to give his testimony about seeing Jesus in the Saturday evening service. When he began to share, I noticed that there was a flurry of activity around the edge of the open heaven that I was monitoring from my horizontal position on the floor. Dean became totally undone and was unable to speak about his experience. Several angels scurried to the edge and began to excitedly talk among themselves and point down at Dean. At first there were about six angels, and they were very keen to hear and see what was transpiring in the sanctuary. Soon a plethora of angels began to fill the circumference of the portal. There appeared to be angels of all ages, shapes, and sizes. I saw several small angels that appeared to be young children. (Jesus Himself referred to these; see Matthew 18:10.) I also witnessed angels
Kevin Basconi (How to Work with Angels in Your Life: The Reality of Angelic Ministry Today (Angels in the Realms of Heaven, Book 2))
The class of dishonest bees which I have been describing, may be termed the "Jerry Sneaks" of their profession, and after they have followed it for some time, they lose all disposition for honest pursuits, and assume a hang-dog sort of look, which is very peculiar. Constantly employed in creeping into small holes, and daubing themselves with honey, they often lose all the bright feathers and silky plumes which once so beautifully adorned their bodies, and assume a smooth and almost black appearance; just as the hat of the thievish loafer, acquires a "seedy" aspect, and his garments, a shining and threadbare look.
L.L. Langstroth (Langstroth on the Hive and The Honeybee; The Classic Beekeepers Manual (Illustrated))
Line 10: The fact that the inhabitants of the Netherworld are said to be clad in feather garments is perhaps due to the belief that after death, a person's soul turned into a spirit or a ghost, whose nature was wind-like, as well as bird-like. The Mesopotamians believed in the body (*pagru*) and the soul. the latter being referred to by two words: GIDIM = *et.emmu*, meaning "spirit of the dead," "ghost;" and AN.ZAG.GAR(.RA)/LIL2 = *zaqi_qu*/*ziqi_qu*, meaning "soul," "ghost," "phantom." Living beings (humans and animals) also had ZI (*napis\/tu*) "life, vigor, breath," which was associated with the throat or neck. As breath and coming from one's throat, ZI was understood as moving air, i.e., wind-like. ZI (*napis\/tu*) was the animating life force, which could be shortened or prolonged. For instance...Inanna grants "long life (zi-su\-ud-g~a/l) under him (=the king) in the palace. At one's death, when the soul/spirit released itself from the body, both *et.emmu* and *zaqi_qu*/*ziqi_qu* descended to the Netherworld, but when the body ceased to exist, so did the *et.emmu*, leaving only the *zaqi_gu*. Those souls that were denied access to the Netherworld for whatever reason, such as improper buriel or violent or premature death, roamed as harmful ghosts. Those souls who had attained peace were occasionally allowed to visit their families, to offer help or give instructions to their still living relatives. As it was only the *et.emmu* that was able to have influence on the affairs of the living relatives, special care was taken to preserve the remains of the familial dead. According to CAD [The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago] the Sumerian equivalent of *zaqi_qu*/*ziqi_qu* was li/l, which referred to a "phantom," "ghost," "haunting spirit" as in lu/-li/l-la/ [or] *lilu^* or in ki-sikil-li/l - la/ {or] *lili_tu*. the usual translation for the word li/l, however, is "wind," and li/l is equated with the word *s\/a_ru* (wind) in lexical lists. As the lexical lists equate wind (*s\/a_ru* and ghost (*zaqi_qu*) their association with each other cannot be unfounded. Moreover, *zaqi_qu* derives from the same root as the verb *za^qu*, "to blow," and the noun *zi_qu*, "breeze." According to J. Scurlock, *zaqi_qu* is a sexless, wind-like emanation, probably a bird-like phantom, able to fly through small apertures, and as such, became associated with dreaming, as it was able to leave the sleeping body. The wind-like appearance of the soul is also attested in the Gilgamesh Epic XII 83-84, where Enkidu is able to ascend from the Netherworld through a hole in the ground: "[Gilgamesh] opened a hole in the Netherworld, the *utukku* (ghost) of Enkidu came forthfrom the underworld as a *zaqi_qu." The soul's bird-like appearance is referred to in Tablet VII 183-184, where Enkidu visits the Netherworld in a dream. Prior to his descent, he is changed into a dove, and his hands are changed into wings. - State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts Volume VI: The Neo-Assyrian Myth of Istar's Descent and Resurrection {In this quote I haven't been able to copy some words exactly. I've put Assyrian words( normally in italics) between *asterisks*. The names of signs in Sumerian cuneiform (wedge-shaped writing) are normally in CAPITALS with a number slightly below the line after it if there's more than one reading for that sign. Assyriologists use marks above or below individual letters to aid pronunciation- I've put whatever I can do similar after the letter. E.g. *et.emmu" normally has the dot under the "t" to indicate a sibilant or buzzy sound, so it sounds something like "etzzemmoo." *zaqi_qu* normally has the line (macron) over the "i" to indicate a long vowel, so it sounds like "zaqeeqoo." *napis\/tu* normally has a small "v" over the s to make a sh sound, ="napishtu".}
Pirjo Lapinkivi
You're almost ready now." Nicolle takes some soft leather bands and closes them around his wrists, leaving the rings dangling. "Just the wings and then we’ve finished." She opens another suitcase and, one after the other, the angel wings appear. They’re made out of real feathers and some parts are splashed with blood. One is shorter than the other; one is broken so they’re asymmetric. "They’re fantastic," he says, hit by the truth. She grabs one and hooks it on. "Thank you, I’ll let the creator know." They’re not as light as they seem and Andrea has to regain his balance when she attaches the other one. Nicolle stands back in front of him to admire him. "How do you feel?" Andrea finds it a little hard to breathe, the collar pulling on him now that he has the wings. He moves, still feeling imprisoned by an indefinable sensation, halfway between pleasure and discomfort. "I have to get used to it." "Be careful, you might find that you like it." Nicolle lets herself go with a refined laugh, hand over her mouth. "You’re not helping me like that. I'm already nervous," he sighs, starting to feel tense. "But, do you like it? Is it like in your novel?" he asks her, worried.
Key Genius (Heart of flesh)
You hold one feather tightly in your hand, close your eyes and concentrate. The location of the other feather will appear in your mind and the magic will take you there.
Louise Courey Nadeau (Magelica's Voyage)
Look, guys,” said Flamesky, “it’s a band of horses.” The group landed on the dirt path, blocking Star and his friends. Star locked eyes with Brackentail. The brown colt appeared stunned to see him still alive. Star wondered if Brackentail was returning to Feather Lake hoping to find that the four Mountain Herd stallions had killed him.
Jennifer Lynn Alvarez (Starfire (The Guardian Herd #1))
Kiss me again,” he challenged, only half joking. It was so weird to hear him say that, to hear those words out loud. They had kissed. More than once. More than a lot. They had passed the point of being “just friends” by a long shot. She leaned down and gave him a dry, sisterly little peck. And then she leaned back up again and smiled at him innocently. She wished she could a halo appear above her head for effect. Jay made a sound at her that was like a growl, and then he pulled her down . . . hard. He flipped her over so that she was lying on her back and he was poised above her, and taking full advantage of his upper hand, he moved his lips over hers with a feather-light touch, in a way that was anything but innocent. Until she parted her lips and let him kiss her again . . . completely . . . thoroughly. She heard herself moan, and she could feel the throbbing of her own pulse flickering hotly through her veins. He lifted his head and stared down at her, rubbing his thumb across her lower lip. “That’s what I was talking about. A real kiss.” ― Kimberly Derting, The Body Finder
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
In the late Cretaceous Period, a global catastrophe resulted in massive extinctions across the planet. Likely the consequence of a collision with a sizeable meteor, the ensuing devastation rid the world of Dinosauria, most of which had for some time already been losing ground on Earth. Many of the existing bird species died out as well, but a number survived-the relatives of the geese, ducks, loons, and other shorebirds that we know today. Vast open spaces across the globe were left relatively unoccupied, and the evolutionary process hastened to fill available niches. Bird life raced to the task, developing with impressive rapidity; within ten million years every order of birds that we know today, with the exception of small passerines, existed. Since the early Jurassic, when birds first made their appearance, some 150,000 species of birds have inhabited the Earth. Today, nearly two hundred million years later, the number of bird species inhabiting the Earth sits at around 9,672 (Sibley and Monroe 1990).
S. David Scott (Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species)
Secondhand Books Are Just My Type Choose a woman of a certain age as you would a good secondhand book. She should stand out on the shelf, illuminated among the chaos; be slightly worn showing she has history and has been appreciated, but with a quick feather dusting appear as good as new; she must be browseable at your pleasure, before making a commitment; and, of course, be a limited edition whose value will increase over time. Beware of inscriptions written on her by past owners, as well as dog ears, yellow highlights and unsightly wear and tear. Finally, avoid those antiquarian mass market types harboringmummified silverfish and, heaven forbid, faded pressed flowers and love letters tucked within her moldy pages.
Beryl Dov
One woman appeared everywhere. A barefoot, black-haired beauty in robes of white. She wore strange horned crowns—feathers of gold sprouted from her forehead. The walls told her story. She played board games with the animal-headed monsters, bowed to jackal-faced men and danced among winged serpents. Sunrays enveloped her figure. Her beady white eyes stared from all surfaces. No corner of the underground maze was free of her strange spell.
Zita Steele (The Hidden Sphinx: A Tale of World War II Egypt)
Jesse was moaning in her sleep. She was a delicate woman of thirty-five with long curly red hair. She lay deep in a shapeless feather mattress, cradled in a wooden bed which hung from the ceiling on four rusted chains. Somewhere in the big rambling house a clock chimed. She must wake up. Two hours until the Vampire Lestat’s concert. But she could not leave the twins now. This was new to her, this part unfolding so rapidly, and the dream was maddeningly dim as all the dreams of the twins had been. Yet she knew the twins were in the desert kingdom again. The mob surrounding the twins was dangerous. And the twins, how different they looked, how pale. Maybe it was an illusion, this phospherescent luster, but they appeared to glow in the semidarkness, and their movements were languid, almost as if they were caught in the rhythm of a dance. Torches were thrust at them as they embraced one another; but look, something was wrong, very wrong. One of them was now blind. Her eyelids were shut tight, the tender flesh wrinkled and sunken. Yes, they have plucked out her eyes. And the other one, why she make those terrible sounds? “Be still, don’t fight anymore,” said the blind one, in the ancient language which was always understandable in the dreams. And out of the other win came a horrid, gutteral moaning. She couldn’t speak. They’d cut out her tongue! I don’t want to see any more, I want to wake up. But the soldiers were pushing their way through the crowd, something dreadful was to happen, and the twins became suddenly very still. The soldiers took hold of them, dragged them apart. Don’t separate them! Don’t you know what this means to them? Get the torches away. Don’t set them on fire! Don’t burn their red hair. The blind twin reached out for her sister, screaming her name: “Mekare!” And Mekare, the mute one, who could not answer, roared like a wounded beast. The crowd was parting, making way for two immense stone coffins, each carried in a great heavy bier. Crude these sarcophagi, yet the lids had the roughened shape of human faces, limbs. What have the twins done to be put in these coffins? I can’t stand it, the biers being set down, the twins dragged towards the coffins, the crude stone lids being lifted. Don’t do it! The blind one is fighting as if she can see it, yet they are overpowering her, lifting her and putting her inside the stone box. In mute terror, Mekare is watching, though she herself is being dragged to the bier. Don’t lower the lid, or I will scream for Mekare! For both of them- Jesse sat up, her eyes opened. She had screamed. Alone in the house, with no one to hear her, she’d screamed and she could feel the echo still. Then nothing but the quiet settling around her, and the faint creaking of the bed as it moved on its chains. The song of the birds outside in the forest, the deep forest; and her own curious awareness that the clock had struck six.
Anne Rice (The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3))
Kevin Swift… where am I? What are you doing here?” “You’re awake.” Polydora’s lips twisted into a displeased frown. “Of course, I am awake. Now answer my questions.” Kevin sat down. He slowly lowered himself to the ground and crossed his legs. Polydora’s eyes watched him like a hawk. “I’m not exactly sure where to start,” Kevin said after a moment. “The place where you and I are currently staying is called New Genbu, and I’m here because Monstrang and Kuroneko asked me to try and convince Orin, one of the Four Saints, to join forces with them.” “I understand your situation. Yes, that makes sense. However, I still don’t know what I’m doing here. The last thing I remember is…” Polydora trailed off, her eyes widening as she looked at something behind Kevin. “You! You are one of the fiends who was chasing me!” Cien was unruffled by the woman’s anger. “I was. However, I am not anymore. Try not to blow your top off, old hag.” “O-old hag?!” Polydora shrieked. “I’m only twenty-two years old.” “Really?” Cien sounded surprised, but Kevin thought he saw vindictive joy gleaming in the inu’s eyes. “You certainly don’t look that young. I guess that’s what happens to women who don’t know their place.” Kevin winced. He’d noticed it before, but male inu tended to be chauvinistic, and it seemed this particular inu wasn’t going to act in a way that might have suggested otherwise. “My place?” Polydora’s glare could’ve melted steel, but Cien looked unconcerned. “And what place is that?” “In the kitchen, of course.” Oh, boy. Kevin felt sweat gather on his forehead. This isn’t going to turn out well. “In the kitchen?” Polydora was beyond angry. The look on her face, which had taken on the vibrant red hue of rage, made her appear like she was ready to murder someone. “You foul, sexist, heathen! If I hadn’t lost my weapons in our first engagement, I would kill you where you stand—where you lay!” “So, the yama uba needs her weapons to kill, does she?” Cien’s grin was the utter definition of superiority. “I guess that’s what it means to be a race of nothing but women. You need weapons to be strong.” “That does it! I think this despicable mutt needs a lesson in manners!” “Bring it on, hag! I’ll beat you to a pulp!” Before Cien or Polydora could do much more than stand up, Kevin acted. Cien was taken down with a swift kick to the stomach, while Polydora tripped when Kevin kicked the back of her foot. She fell onto her bottom with a harsh “Oof!” “That’s enough out of the both you,” Kevin said calmly. “Polydora, I understand that you’re angry, but I need him to tell me what he knows about the Yamata Alliance, or do you not want to rescue Phoebe?” Polydora, who’d been about to shout at him, snapped her mouth closed. Kevin nodded. “And you.” He pointed at Cien. “Insult one of my friends again, and I will be sure to humiliate you so thoroughly your pride will be in tatters by the time I’m done.” Cien hesitated, but then he jutted out his chin in defiance. “Just try it. There’s nothing you can do to me that you haven’t already done.” Kevin’s creepy smile made Cien lean back. “I wouldn’t be too sure of that. You forget that I’m the mate to a kitsune. Pranking is in their blood, you know? Keep insulting my friend and I’ll drug you, strip you naked, cover you in tar and feathers, attach you to the back of a car, and have it drag you through a heavily populated city. Don’t push me.” Needless to say, Cien shut up.
Brandon Varnell (A Fox's Mission (American Kitsune, #11))
Rain may be pouring on you now, but perhaps by keeping your head down and hiding from it, you lose the ability to notice that blurry colors of rainbow have already started appearing...
Marie Feather (P.E.A.C.E.)
It is believed the pyramid was built around 800 AD. It has ninety-one steps on each of its four sides. There are ninety-one days between each annual solar cycle—winter solstice, spring equinox, summer solstice, and fall equinox. So, if you take the four cycles per year, which is ninety-one times four, that equals three hundred and sixty-four days. Then you add the top step.” “That makes it three-hundred sixty-five. It matches up to our calendar,” Natalie said, and Felipe nodded. “Sí. And what’s also quite amazing is the alignment of the pyramid is such that in the late afternoon of March 21, the low sun casts a shadow resembling a wriggling snake. Thousands of people come during the spring equinox each year to watch the feathered serpent god appear to crawl down the side of the pyramid and illuminate one of the serpent heads at the bottom.
Liz Fenton (Girls' Night Out)
plucks a feather from a wing and proclaims: 'Whenever thou are involved in difficulty or danger, put this feather (or "feathers"22) on the fire, and I will instantly appear to thee to ensure thy safety. Never cease to remember me.
Andrew Collins (From the Ashes of Angels: The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen Race)
At home, the militias helped enforce revolutionary values and standards. Although militiamen hardly struck fear in the hearts of redcoated soldiers, their impact upon local Tories was far more profound: they wielded tar and feathers, an awesome power indeed. They forced reluctant citizens to declare allegiance to the cause, either by signing oaths or through military service. They intimidated merchants who appeared to be profiting from the war. They functioned, in essence, like a paramilitary government.
Ray Raphael (A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence)
Pay attention to your dreams and follow them closely to where they may lead you. No matter how crazy or seemingly impossible they appear — to you or the world. Yet, be open to the possibility that the road, even the destination will likely be different than what you had imagined. Then it matters not what actually happens. For the journey becomes the destination, constantly metamorphosing with each and every step along the way. You see, taking a bold leap into the unknown means trusting that you will either land on a feathered bed or you will come to realise that you can fly, perhaps toward undreamed of heights. This, as I conceive, is what flowing through a full and worthy life entails: Acknowledging the risks of seeking to materialise your dreams, courageously embracing the uncertainty rather than fearing it, and confidently going for the jump anyway. Abandon the comfort. Float away. Adjust the sails according to the Winds of Change.
Omar Cherif
It's for casting out the inner fascist creep. Hopefully you'll never need it. NoPassaran I am alright in the essenceless stream of becoming I apprehend myself actually dancing with amazing terror while driving the shy and alone animal body itself imagining the breathing maze of dreaming mirrors it dreams itself lost in No one could be expected to do this properly your body in its wabi sabi suchness momentarily in paradise dreaming up all this agonic psychic carnivalia all over again "as the words rain down" like the feathers of birds of paradise that heartbreaking in their naked individuality and that incalculably fine, impossibly necessary to some really friendly abyss you never expected when you were that person sentenced to the holographic futures bad moods passing through subjugated you to endless hotel hallways the room numbers in no order realizing you will never find yours again and that you must never stop searching laughing like an infant in a bathtub to enjoy the evanescent cartoon pandemonium of awareness while having kinds of relationships We do fine with our sentience for the most part. Thanks anyway. Void yet appearing overthinking sometimes.
Rich Cronshey
The meanness that first bothered me, though, when I encountered it a decade ago, long before I was married, was in a short story in Pigeon Feathers in which a young husband returns with hamburgers and eats them happily with his family in front of the fire, and thinks lovingly of his wife’s Joyceanly “smackwarm” thighs, and then, in the next paragraph, says as narrator (the “you” directed at the narrator’s wife), “In the morning, to my relief, you are ugly.… The skin between your breasts is a sad yellow.” And a little later, “Seven years have worn this woman.” This hit me as inexcusably brutal when I read it. I couldn’t imagine Updike’s real, nonfictional wife reading that paragraph and not being made very unhappy. You never know, though; the internal mechanics of marriages are shielded from us, and maybe in the months after that story came out the two of them enjoyed a wry private joke whenever they went to a party and she wore a dress with a high neckline and they noticed some interlocutor’s gaze drop to her breasts and they saw together the little knowing look cross his unpleasantly salacious features as he thought to himself, Ho ho: high neckline to cover up all that canary-yellow, eh? Updike knows that people are going to assume that the fictional wife of an Updike-like male character corresponds closely with Updike’s own real-life wife — after all, Updike himself angered Nabokov by suggesting that Ada was Vera. How can Updike have the whatever, the disempathy, I used frequently to ask myself, and ask myself right now, to put in print that his wife appeared ugly to him that morning, especially in so vivid a way? It just oughtn’t to be done! It makes us readers imagine her speculating as she read it: “Which morning was he thinking that? He sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast and thinking I was ugly and worn! And I had no idea.
Nicholson Baker (U and I)
There were several methods by which the Indians obtained eagle feathers. Some tribes dug a pit in the ground in the areas known to have eagles. These pits were large enough to conceal a brave. The trap was baited with a live rabbit or pieces of buffalo meat, and the opening was covered with a buffalo hide or brush. A large enough opening was left so that the Indian crouching in the pit could grab the tail feathers of the bird alighting to take the bait. The bird would lose its feathers, but could escape unharmed to grow new tail feathers by its next moulting period. This method was very dangerous. Often bears, attracted by the bait, would discover and kill the Indian. Sometimes eagles were caught and killed for their feathers. There also were tribes who captured young eagles while they were still in the nest. These birds were tethered by a leather thong around their leg and were kept solely for their feathers; they were plucked regularly. These birds seldom became tame and never lost their desire for freedom. They continually would fly into the air as far as the leather thong would allow, screaming their defiance at their captor. Regardless of where or how an Indian brave accumulated feathers, he was not allowed, according to tribal law, to wear them until he won them by a brave deed. He had to appear before the council and tell or re-enact his exploit. Witnesses were examined and if in the eyes of the council the deed was thought to be worthy, the brave was authorized to wear the feather or feathers in his hair or war bonnet. These honors were called “counting coup” (pronounced “coo”). Deeds of exceptional valor (such as to touch the enemy without killing him and escape) were called “grand coup” and were rated more than one feather. Sometimes a tuft of horsehair or down was added to the tip of a feather to designate additional honor. Some tribes designated special deeds by special marking on “coup” feathers, such as cutting notches or adding paint spots. The coup feathers of the American Indian can be compared to the campaign ribbons and medals awarded to our modern soldier. An Indian would rather part with his horse, his tepee, or even his wife, than to lose his eagle feathers. To do so would be to be dishonored in the eyes of the tribe. Many old Indian chiefs, such as Many Coup of the Crow tribe, had won enough honors to wear a double-tailed bonnet that dragged on the ground and to carry a feathered lance to display the additional feathers.
W. Ben Hunt (Indian Crafts & Lore)
Meera frowns. “Maybe the Little Warrior.” “Who is that?” A spirit, Meera explains, who appears in the form of a child dressed in war gear—eagle feathers and paint. “He comes to those alone in the forest to warn them of danger.” Susanna’s
Martha Conway (Thieving Forest)
Eyebrows and hair singed off, Hector is barely recognizable under a lathering of day-glow orange. He appears to have been tarred-and-feathered with orange tar and oatmeal feathers.
Ray Palla (H: Infidels of Oil)
A businesswoman must always be cognizant of her appearance when dealing with customers. A tidy appearance gives the impression of capability and competence. Your muscles and height might be enough to recommend your abilities to tote and carry heavy crates and supplies, but for money to change hands, customers need to be assured that they are dealing with a professional.” Tori folded her hands in her lap, proud of her little speech until she realized she’d basically insulted her business partner, implying that all he was good for was hauling heavy objects, as if he were no better than the draft horses pulling their wagon. She knew for a fact the man had a keen mind. Why, this entire venture was his idea. Her posture sagged a bit as she turned in the seat to face him. “I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I . . . ” He glanced her way, a cocky half grin making her belly tighten. “Like my muscles, do you?” He waggled his eyebrows. “Too bad we didn’t bring along a few sacks of flour on this run. I can carry two at a time. ’Course, if someone loads me up, I can do twice that many. Two on each shoulder.” Good heavens! That was nearly four-hundred pounds. Not that she doubted his word. All one had to do was look at him. His coat barely contained the width of his . . . He flexed just as her attention drifted to his biceps, stretching the already strained material even tighter around the impressive bulge of muscle. Tori jerked her gaze away, hating that he’d caught her looking. For pity’s sake. She didn’t even like big men. They were too powerful. Dangerous. Yet Mr. Porter looked far from dangerous when he wiggled his eyebrows in that ridiculously overblown fashion and puffed up like a tom turkey showing off his feathers. Well, this hen wasn’t impressed with a bunch of fluff and gobble.
Karen Witemeyer (Worth the Wait (Ladies of Harper’s Station, #1.5))
Here on this grass-plot, in this very place, To come and sport: her peacocks fly amain … THE TEMPEST, 4.1 Peacock, long a symbol of nobility and immortality, was one of the most esteemed feast foods in Shakespeare’s time. Served roasted and placed back in its feathers, it was then dusted with real gold. Metal rods were inserted into the bird’s body so that it remained upright and seemingly alive. The peacock would be made to appear to breathe fire by the cook’s trick of placing a bit of camphor-soaked cotton in its mouth and lighting it just before serving. Despite these elaborate preparations, peacock was not considered tasty. Wrote one 1599 author, “Peacocke, is very hard meate, of bad temperature, and as evil juyce.
Francine Segan (Shakespeare's Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook)
When he demanded gold, the Indians brought him copper, and when he demanded silver, they brought him silvery mica, which they mined in the North Carolina mountains, in sheets up to three feet wide and three feet long. De Soto found little precious metal, but an abundance of pearls, especially in the mortuary temples. In one town alone his expedition found 25,000 pounds of pearls. The mortuary temples of the people of Cutifachiqui astounded the Spaniards, who had already seen the cathedrals of Spain, the mosques and fountains of the Arabs, the palace of Montezuma in Mexico, and the gold ransom of Atahualpa in Peru. Outside the massive doors into the temple that housed the pearls, twelve wooden giants stood guard. The huge figures held over their heads massive clubs covered with strips of copper and studded with what appeared to the Spaniards to be diamonds, but may have been mica chips. The Indians had decorated the roof of one temple with pearls and feathers so that it looked to the Spaniards like a building from a fairy tale. Along the sides of the roof, pearls had been suspended from threads so thin that the pearls seemed to be floating in the air around the temple. Inside the temples the Spaniards saw rows of chests, each filled with pearls of uniform size. The Spaniards could not carry all the pearls, but they selected out the best ones for themselves. Ironically, even though De Soto’s expedition was the first into the area, his men also found in the temple some European trade goods—glass, cheap beads, and a rosary—indicating
Jack Weatherford (Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America)
But that is all in the future. These days, the local newspaper publishes an endless stream of stories about drug arrests, shootings, drunk-driving crashes, the stupidity of local politicians, and the lamentable surplus of “affordable housing.” Like similar places, the town is up to its eyeballs in wrathful bitterness against public workers. As in, Why do they deserve a decent life when the rest of us have no chance at all? It’s every man for himself here in a “competition for crumbs,” as a Fall River friend puts it. For all that, it is an exemplary place in one respect: as a vantage point from which to contemplate the diminishing opportunities of modern American life. This is the project of Fall River Herald News columnist Marc Munroe Dion, one of the last remaining practitioners of the working-class style that used to be such a staple of journalism in this country. Here in Fall River, the sarcastic, hard-boiled sensibility makes a last stand against the indifference of the affluent world. Dion pours his acid derision on the bike paths that Fall River has (of course) built for the yet-to-arrive creative class. He cheers for the bravery of Wal-Mart workers who, it appears, are finally starting to stand up to their bosses. He watches a 2012 Obama-Romney debate and thinks of all the people he knows who would be considered part of Romney’s lazy 47 percent—including his own mother, a factory worker during World War II who was now “draining our country dry through the twin Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicare.”16 “To us, it looks as though the city is dissolving,” Dion wrote in late 2015. As the working-class apocalypse takes hold, he invites readers to remember exactly what it was they once liked about their town. “Fall River used to be a good place to be poor,” he concludes. “You didn’t need much education to work, you didn’t need much money to live and you knew everybody.” As that life has disappeared, so have the politics that actually made some kind of sense; they were an early casualty of what has happened here. Those who still care about the war of Rs and Ds, Dion writes, are practicing “political rituals that haven’t made sense since the 1980s, feathered tribesmen dancing around a god carved out of a tree trunk.”17
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?)
Are you okay?” he says softly, ignoring his brother altogether. I look up at his depthless eyes, eyes that are peering at me with concern, as though he hasn’t deliberately and violently ended my life several times. I nod, more rattled than I thought I was. Now that I’m not about to immediately die, I relax in his arms. Death, too, seems to relax, and I have so many conflicting feelings about that. His gaze moves to Famine, and I can see dark promise in his expression. “You are going to regret this,” Thanatos says, his voice feather light but filled with menace. “Am I now?” the Reaper says, raising his eyebrows. He still appears to be enjoying himself.
Laura Thalassa (Death (The Four Horsemen, #4))
Sylvie flicked her brush over the dragon, leaving a line of glittering pigment on the spiked tail. The edible paint had an oil-slick effect, shimmering from blue to pink to purple to black under the light. "What time do I have to---" Jay began. "Shhh," hissed about fifteen voices at once, as Sylvie picked up the dragon and set it on the lowest tier of the cake. Three layers of rich chocolate cake, covered in mirror glaze icing, marbled blue, purple, and black, with gold paint etched and feathered to replicate the appearance of the sugar dragon's scales. She wound the tail upward, adjusting the long curve to swoop neatly around the top tier, the very tip coming to rest protectively on the sculpted couple who sat on the edge, their legs dangling, tiny sugar ankles entwined. One totally edible princess with long black hair and thick eyeliner. Her endearingly fluffy blond love. And Caractacus, the dragon sentinel from the video game I, Slayer, over which the royal couple had apparently bonded, turning an excruciating first private date into an all-nighter. From curt questions and stammering answers to a beer-drinking, ogre-bashing bonk-fest. Just like all good fairy tales. The Brothers Grimm would be proud.
Lucy Parker (Battle Royal (Palace Insiders, #1))
I first imagined each moment separate, inspired, consecutive. I could have cast the film—myself the female lead, you the star. I wore color—magenta. lavender, lime. You were in white, something textured that moved with your body. The music was sensuous, full orchestra scored for harp, piccolo, twelve double basses, a chime. The premiere, well-attended, prices high. Those who didn't like it find little to like in this world. The critics, through careful eyes, decided our performance was fresh, the location on the cliff above the ocean a splendid choice on someone's part, the humor warm. But time extracts. After the blast, the slow boil, the few grains cupped in the palm. The orchestra was really scored for wind and pelican, the dry flick of lizard. The lily, with petals like white tongues, appeared from nowhere, and the gull remained stone-still. as gulls do not do. The costumes were too simple: sun and salt on skin, and the actors kept changing roles, crawling into one another’s lines, saying the wrong words when they spoke at all, finding it hard to think in vertigo, their love clouded with a retinue of men and women, former actors who wanted the parts. The critics made no sense of the film, double-exposed, sprocket holes on either side and a garbled sound track that wove ‘always’ and ‘never’ into one word. The beginning appeared in the last scene, and the climax was a whorl of color, like looking too long at the sun through closed eyelids. One thing someone found to praise: a clear shot of a shining feather lying on a stone in the path.
Mary Ann Waters