Feeling Shocked Quotes

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And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
i like my body when it is with your body. It is so quite new a thing. Muscles better and nerves more. i like your body. i like what it does, i like its hows. i like to feel the spine of your body and its bones, and the trembling -firm-smooth ness and which i will again and again and again kiss, i like kissing this and that of you, i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes over parting flesh ... And eyes big love-crumbs, and possibly i like the thrill of under me you so quite new.
E.E. Cummings
He’s not feeling well,” Clary said, catching at Simon’s wrist. “We’re going.” “No,” Simon said. “No, I — I need to talk to him. To the Inquisitor." Robert reached into his jacket and drew out a crucifix. Clary stared in shock as he held it up between himself and Simon. “I speak to the Night’s Children Council representative, or to the head of the New York clan,” he said. “Not to any vampire who comes to knock at my door —“ Simon reached out and plucked the cross out of Robert’s hand. “Wrong religion,” he said.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Shock is a merciful condition. It allows you to get through disaster with a necessary distance between you and your feelings.
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
Had our hearts really become so numb that we needed dead bodies in order to feel the beat of compassion in our chests? Who am I if I need to be shocked back into my best self?
Jason Reynolds (All American Boys)
Fuck," he murmured against my lips. The feel, the word, sent a hot little shock through my spine. It skittered through my veins, danced through every nerve.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Kumiko and I felt something for each other from the beginning. It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go. As our meetings grew more frequent, I felt not so much that I had met someone new as that I had chanced upon a dear old friend.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Yes,” I whisper. The red blinking light on one of the cameras catches my eye. I know I’m being recorded. “Yes,” I say more forcefully. Everyone is drawing away from me—Gale, Cressida, the insects—giving me the stage. But I stay focused on the red light. “I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I’m right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women, and children. There will be no survivors.” The shock I’ve been feeling begins to give way to fury. “I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there’s a cease-fire, you’re deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do.” My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. “This is what they do! And we must fight back!” I’m moving in toward the camera now, carried forward by my rage. “President Snow says he’s sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?” One of the cameras follows as I point to the planes burning on the roof of the warehouse across from us. The Capitol seal on a wing glows clearly through the flames. “Fire is catching!” I am shouting now, determined that he will not miss a word. “And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I think there must be probably different types of suicides. I'm not one of the self-hating ones. The type of like "I'm shit and the world'd be better off without poor me" type that says that but also imagines what everybody'll say at their funeral. I've met types like that on wards. Poor-me-I-hate-me-punish-me-come-to-my-funeral. Then they show you a 20 X 25 glossy of their dead cat. It's all self-pity bullshit. It's bullshit. I didn't have any special grudges. I didn't fail an exam or get dumped by anybody. All these types. Hurt themselves. I didn't want to especially hurt myself. Or like punish. I don't hate myself. I just wanted out. I didn't want to play anymore is all. I wanted to just stop being conscious. I'm a whole different type. I wanted to stop feeling this way. If I could have just put myself in a really long coma I would have done that. Or given myself shock I would have done that. Instead.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feel like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.
Andy Stanley (It Came from Within!: The Shocking Truth of What Lurks in the Heart)
I saw the sky and sea and sand and the flickering flames of the bonfire through my tears. All at once, it rushed into my head with tremendous speed, and made me feel dizzy. It was beautiful. Everything that happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy.
Banana Yoshimoto (N.P)
Is that how tall you are without those ridiculous shoes?' he said derisively. I think I was born bigger than that.' 'I bet you were. Five feet of fat head and two inches of a**,' Claire muttered, standing up. 'Claire!' Helen blurted out, shocked. Lucas's shoulders were shaking with laughter. Jason pretended to take the joke OK, but Helen suspected his feelings were hurt.
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1))
... A hot shower is going to feel heavenly." He raised an eyebrow. "Would you like to go first." "No, you go ahead." His eyes twinkled as he regarded me, "It would be more heavenly if you told me you wanted to conserve water." My mouth opened in shock. "Kishan!" He winked at me. "I didn't think so. Can't blame a guy for trying.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
Only a psychopath would ever think of doing these things, only a psychopath would dream of abusing other people in such a way, only a psychopath would treat people as less than human just for money. The shocking truth is, even though they now have most if not all of the money, they want still more, they want all of the money that you have left in your pockets, they want it all because they have no empathy with other people, with other creatures, they have no feeling for the world which they exploit, they have no love or sense of being or belonging for their souls are dead, dead to all things but greed and a desire to rule over others.
Arun D. Ellis (Corpalism)
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes. So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn’t make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I’m the one dating me. As I go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. I go on dates with men who are nice and good-looking and smart – perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like I’m in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. Because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn’t that the simple magic phrase? So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man – the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognise each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
The letter had been crumpled up and tossed onto the grate. It had burned all around the edges, so the names at the top and bottom had gone up in smoke. But there was enough of the bold black scrawl to reveal that it had indeed been a love letter. And as Hannah read the singed and half-destroyed parchment, she was forced to turn away to hide the trembling of her hand. —should warn you that this letter will not be eloquent. However, it will be sincere, especially in light of the fact that you will never read it. I have felt these words like a weight in my chest, until I find myself amazed that a heart can go on beating under such a burden. I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking. My love, you don't belong with a man like me. In the past I've done things you wouldn't approve of, and I've done them ten times over. I have led a life of immoderate sin. As it turns out, I'm just as immoderate in love. Worse, in fact. I want to kiss every soft place of you, make you blush and faint, pleasure you until you weep, and dry every tear with my lips. If you only knew how I crave the taste of you. I want to take you in my hands and mouth and feast on you. I want to drink wine and honey from you. I want you under me. On your back. I'm sorry. You deserve more respect than that. But I can't stop thinking of it. Your arms and legs around me. Your mouth, open for my kisses. I need too much of you. A lifetime of nights spent between your thighs wouldn't be enough. I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me. If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you. You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast. If only you— And there it stopped.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
It was with a shock that he felt the touch of Laurent's fingers against the back of his wrist. [...] Laurent was shifting the fabric of his sleeve, sliding it back slightly to reveal the gold underneath, until the wrist cuff he had asked the blacksmith to leave on was exposed between them. 'Sentiment?' said Laurent. 'Something like that.' Their eyes met and he could feel each beat of his heart. A few seconds of silence, a space that lengthened, until Laurent spoke. 'You should give me the other.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
I feel there is an angel in me' she'd say 'whom I am constantly shocking
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Here’s a word. Bereavement. Or, Bereaved. Bereft. It’s from the Old English bereafian, meaning ‘to deprive of, take away, seize, rob’. Robbed. Seized. It happens to everyone. But you feel it alone. Shocking loss isn’t to be shared, no matter how hard you try.
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
You saved me, Eve." He watched her blink in absolute shock. "What you are, what I feel for you, what we are together saved me." He kept his eyes on hers as he kissed her.
J.D. Robb (Interlude in Death (In Death, #12.5))
The love a parent feels for a child is strange. There is a starting point to our love for everyone else, but not this person. This one we have always loved, we loved them before they even existed. No matter how well prepared they are, all moms and dads experience a moment of total shock, when the tidal wave of feelings first washed through them, knocking them off their feet. It's incomprehensible because there's nothing to compare it to. It's like trying to describe sand between your toes or snowflakes on your tongue to someone who's lived their whole life in a dark room. It sends the soul flying.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
I love you in–in every kind of way.’ ‘I feel like that too . . .’ His voice is shocked and raw. ‘It’s – it’s a feeling so big I sometimes think it’s going to swalow me. It’s so strong I feel it could kil me. It keeps growing and I can’t – I don’t know what to do to stop it. But – but we’re not supposed to do this – to love each other like this!
Tabitha Suzuma (Forbidden)
We're taking you to the hospital,' it said, 'you're going into shock. Can you tell us how you feel?' 'I feel ...' What do I feel? I guess that's good enough. I feel.
Dan Wells (I Don't Want to Kill You (John Cleaver, #3))
Once you love, you cannot take it back, cannot undo it; what you felt may have changed, shifted slightly, yet still remains love. You still feel-though very small-the not-altogether unpleasant shock of soul recognition for that person.
Whitney Otto (How to Make an American Quilt)
Kelly held up a finger. “No half-assed middle school kissing, either.” “Okay.” “I want the whole deal.” “This is starting to feel like I’m leasing a car or something.” “I’m serious, I want the Irish special.” Nick rolled his eyes and looked up at the ceiling. “Fine. Jesus.
Abigail Roux (Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1))
You know,” she said dreamily, passing over his question, “you’re not nearly as handsome as Lord St.Vincent.” “There’s a surprise,” he said dryly. “But for some reason,” she continued, “I never want to kiss him the way I do you.” It was a good thing that she had closed her eyes, for if she had seen his expression, she might not have continued. “There is something about you that makes me feel terribly wicked. You make me want to do shocking things. Maybe it’s because you’re so proper. Your necktie is never crooked, and your shoes are always shiny. And your shirts are so starchy. Sometimes when I look at you, I want to tear off all your buttons. Or set your trousers on fire.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
I'm here, I said, and it felt shockingly comforting, those words. When I'm panicked, I say them aloud to myself. I'm here. I don't usually feel that I am. I feel like a warm gust of wind could exhale my way and I'd be disappeared forever, not even a sliver of fingernail left behind. On some days, I find this thought calming; on others it chills me.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
Tell me somethin’ you do that would shock me.” She sits back on the couch. “Shock you?” “Yeah. Shock me to the core.” She sits up on her knees and leans toward me. “I’ve thought about you, Carlos,” she whispers in my ear. “At night, in bed. I think about kissing you, our tongues sliding against each other’s, while your hands are buried in my hair. When I think about feeling those ripples in your naked chest I touch my—” “Here’s more popcorn!” Westford says, barging into the room with two big bowls filled to the rim with freshly popped popcorn. “Kiara, what are you doing?
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2))
It’s like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and there you’ve got ricing pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can’t tell what’s going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni gratin in the darkness when nobody’s looking and only then turns back into rice pudding. We think it’s only natural to get rice pudding after we put rice pudding mix in the microwave and the bell rings, but to me, that is just a presumption. I would be kind of relieved if, every once in a while, after you put rice pudding mix in the microwave and it rang and you opened the top, you got macaroni gratin. I suppose I’d be shocked, of course, but I don’t know, I think I’d be kind of relieved too. Or at least I think I wouldn’t be so upset, because that would feel, in some ways, a whole lot more real.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Music [is] the third rail of life. You grabbed it to shock yourself out of the dull drag of hours. To feel something. To burn with all the emotions you didn't get to experience in the ordinary run of school, TV, and loading the dishwasher after dinner.
Joe Hill (Horns)
Slowly, her slim hand smoothed over the swell of his buttock, lingering there. A shocked laugh choked his throat, the sound muddled by a stifled groan that her intrigued touch elicited. The saucy little sneak thief was copping a feel. He felt inclined to turn around and let her get a handful.
Kristen Callihan (Firelight (Darkest London, #1))
Your light is seen, your heart is known, your soul is cherished by more people than you might imagine. If you knew how many others have been touched in wonderful ways by you, you would be astonished. If you knew how many people feel so much for you, you would be shocked. You are far more wonderful than you think you are. Rest with that. Rest easy with that. Breathe again. You are doing fine. More than fine. Better than fine. You’re doin’ great. So relax. And love yourself today.
Neale Donald Walsch
Mr Freeman: "Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag." He sticks his finger down his throat. "The next time you work on your trees, don't think about trees. Think about love, or hate, or joy, or pain- whatever makes you feel something, makes your palms sweat, or your toes curl. Focus on that feeling. When people don't express themselves, they die on piece at a time. You'd be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside- walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a mack truck to come along and finish the job. It's the saddest thing I know.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
At times a person will make eye contact with Marianne, a bus conductor or someone looking for change, and she’ll be shocked briefly into the realisation that this is in fact her life, that she is actually visible to other people. This feeling opens her to certain longings: hunger and thirst, a desire to speak Swedish, a physical desire to swim or dance.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
I guess I´m too used to sitting in a small room and making words do a few things. I see enough of humanity at the racetracks, the supermarkets, gas stations, freeways, cafes, etc. This can´t be helped. But I feel like kicking myself in the ass when I go to gatherings, even if the drinks are free. It never works for me. I´ve got enough clay to play with. People empty me. I have to get away to refill. I´m what´s best for me, sitting here slouched, smoking a beedie and watching this creen flash the words. Seldom do you meet a rare or interesting person. It´s more than galling, it´s a fucking constant shock. It´s making a god-damned grouch out of me. Anybody can be a god-damned grouch and most are. Help!
Charles Bukowski (The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship)
The want for that kiss had shocked him more than the interruption, and he fell back into the chair, cool and nonchalant as Quen came in with his questions and demands. He wasn't sure if he believed he'd really helped, but one thing was very clear. He wanted that again, that feeling of standing with her against all odds and succeeding. He wanted it so bad, he was going to risk destroying everything he and his father had worked for. He should walk away. Right now. But as she was ushered out the door under David's arm, all he wanted to do was follow her. What the hell was he doing, falling in love with a demon?
Kim Harrison (A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, #10))
Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be "healing." A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to "get through it," rise to the occasion, exhibit the "strength" that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves the for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief was we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
I trudged back to my bedroom and pushed the door open, intending to wash my face or brush my teeth or make some stab at smoothing my hair, because I thought it might make me feel a little less trampled. Eric was sitting on my bed, his face buried in his hands. He looked up at me as I entered, and he looked shocked. Well, no wonder, what with the very thorough takeover and traumatic changing of the guard. Sitting here on your bed, smelling your scent,” he said in a voice so low I had to strain to hear it. Sookie . . . I remember everything.” Oh, hell,” I said, and went in the bathroom and shut the door. I brushed my hair and my teeth and scrubbed my face, but I had to come out. I was being as cowardly as Quinn if I didn’t face the vampire. Eric started talking the minute I emerged. “I can’t believe I—” Yeah, yeah, I know, loved a mere human, made all those promises, was as sweet as pie and wanted to stay with me forever,” I muttered. Surely there was a shortcut we could take through this scene. I can’t believe I felt something so strongly and was so happy for the first time in hundreds of years,” Eric said with some dignity. “Give me some credit for that, too.
Charlaine Harris (From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse, #8))
It was a face which darkness could kill in an instant a face as easily hurt by laughter or light 'We think differently at night' she told me once lying back languidly And she would quote Cocteau 'I feel there is an angel in me' she'd say 'whom I am constantly shocking' Then she would smile and look away light a cigarette for me sigh and rise and stretch her sweet anatomy let fall a stocking
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Pictures of the Gone World)
I followed him up the stairs. I was a fornicator, of unnatural appetite, in thrall to an Atheist. I repeated the words in my head and tried to feel the shock of them, but they remained strange and cruel, far removed from Ferris and me. It was simpler to say I was in love.
Maria McCann (As Meat Loves Salt)
So, explain this," Avery said, "You just, what, hang around the Academy all day? Are you trying to redo your high school experience?" "Nothing to redo," said Adrian loftily. "I totally ruled my high school. I was worshiped and adored—not that that should come as a shock." Beside him, Christian nearly choked on his food. "So. . .You're trying to relive your glory days. It's all gone downhill since then, huh?" "No way," said Adrian. "I'm like a fine wine. I get better with age. The best is yet to come." "Seems like it'd get old after a while," said Avery, "I'm certainly bored, and I even spend part of the day helping my dad." "Adrian sleeps most of the day," noted Lissa, "So he doesn't actually have to worry about finding things to do." "Hey, I spend a good portion of my time helping you unravel the mysteries of spirit," Adrian reminded her. "And," he added, "I can visit people in their dreams." Christian held up a hand. "Stop. I can feel there's a comment coming on about how women already dream about you. I just ate, you know." "I wasn't going to go there," said Adrian. But he kind of looked like he wished he'd thought of the joke first.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
The majority of people have successfully alienated themselves from change; they tediously arrange their lives into a familiar pattern, they give themselves to normalcy, they are proud if they are able to follow in auspicious footsteps set before them, they take pride in always coloring inside the lines and they feel secure if they belong to a batch of others who are like them. Now, if familiar patterns bore you, if normalcy passes before you unnoticed, if you want to create your own footsteps in the earth and leave your own handprints on the skies, if you are the one who doesn't mind the lines in the coloring book as much as others do, and perchance you do not cling to a flock for you to identify with, then you must be ready for adversity. If you are something extraordinary, you are going to always shock others and while they go about existing in their mundaneness which they call success, you're going to be flying around crazy in their skies and that scares them. People are afraid of change, afraid of being different, afraid of doing things and thinking things that aren't a part of their checkerboard game of a life. They only know the pieces and the moves in their games, and that's it. You're always going to find them in the place that you think you're going to find them in, and every time they think about you, you're going to give them a heart attack.
C. JoyBell C.
It happens to everyone. But you feel it alone. Shocking loss isn’t to be shared, no matter how hard you try.
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
Books are, let's face it, better than everything else. If we played cultural Fantasy Boxing League, and made books go 15 rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time. Go on, try it. “The Magic Flute” v. Middlemarch? Middlemarch in six. “The Last Supper” v. Crime and Punishment? Fyodor on points. See? I mean, I don’t know how scientific this is, but it feels like the novels are walking it. You might get the occasional exception -– “Blonde on Blonde” might mash up The Old Curiosity Shop, say, and I wouldn’t give much for Pale Fire’s chance against Citizen Kane. And every now and again you'd get a shock, because that happens in sport, so Back to the Future III might land a lucky punch on Rabbit, Run; but I'm still backing literature 29 times out of 30.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
There is no living being on earth at this moment except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn mockingly at me from every side. God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of 'parties' with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter — they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship — but the loneliness of the soul in it's appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
You've never heard of the Trickster King?" Puck asked, shocked. The girls shook their heads. "The Prince of Fairies? Robin Goodfellow? The Imp?" "Do you work for Santa?" Daphne asked. "I'm a fairy, not an elf!" Puck roared. "You really don't know who I am! Doesn't anyone read the classics anymore? Dozens of writers have warned about me. I'm in the most famous of all of William Shakespeare's plays." "I don't remember any Puck in Romeo and Juliet," Sabrina muttered, feeling a little amused at how the boy was reacting to his non-celebrity. "Besides Romeo and Juliet!" Puck shouted. "I'm the star of a Midsummer Night's Dream!" "Congratulation," Sabrina said flatly. "Never read it.
Michael Buckley (The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm #1))
If you wear black, then kindly, irritating strangers will touch your arm consolingly and inform you that the world keeps on turning. They're right. It does. However much you beg it to stop. It turns and lets grenadine spill over the horizon, sends hard bars of gold through my window and I wake up and feel happy for three seconds and then I remember. It turns and tips people out of their beds and into their cars, their offices, an avalanche of tiny men and women tumbling through life... All trying not to think about what's waiting at the bottom. Sometimes it turns and sends us reeling into each other's arms. We cling tight, excited and laughing, strangers thrown together on a moving funhouse floor. Intoxicated by the motion we forget all the risks. And then the world turns... And somebody falls off... And oh God it's such a long way down. Numb with shock, we can only stand and watch as they fall away from us, gradually getting smaller... Receding in our memories until they're no longer visible. We gather in cemeteries, tense and silent as if for listening for the impact; the splash of a pebble dropped into a dark well, trying to measure its depth. Trying to measure how far we have to fall. No impact comes; no splash. The moment passes. The world turns and we turn away, getting on with our lives... Wrapping ourselves in comforting banalities to keep us warm against the cold. "Time's a great healer." "At least it was quick." "The world keeps turning." Oh Alec— Alec's dead.
Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Vol. 5: Earth to Earth)
When Luke had descended into the River Styx, he would've had to focus on something important that would hold him to his mortal life. Otherwise he would've dissolved. I had seen Annabeth, and I had a feeling he had too. He had pictured that scene Hestia showed me—of himself in the good old days with Thalia and Annabeth, when he promised they would be a family. Hurting Annabeth in battle had shocked him into remembering that promise. It had allowed his mortal conscience to take over again, and defeat Kronos. His weak spot—his Achilles heel—had saved us all
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
The basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling, and then to close the gap between you and everything that is not you, and in this way pass from feeling to meaning. It's not something that committees can do. It's not a task achieved by groups or by movements. It's done by individuals, each person mediating in some way between a sense of history and an experience of the world.
Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New)
The rage is growing inside me, overtaking the shock and grief. I can feel it blossoming up behind my ribs. It’s almost a relief, how it obliterates every other feeling in its path.
Lucy Foley (The Guest List)
I don’t feel panic or shock. There’s just a sense of defeat. This is it.
Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends)
She fitted in my arms, she always had, and the shock of holding her caused me to feel that my arms had been empty since she had been away.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
Okay.” “I want the whole deal.” “This is starting to feel like I’m leasing a car or something.” “I’m serious, I want the Irish special.” Nick rolled his eyes and looked up at the ceiling. “Fine. Jesus.
Abigail Roux (Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1))
When he kisses me, I cry. I explain it's not because I wish he were someone else, it's because it's such a shock to the system to be desired after feeling so completely abandoned.
Emma Forrest (Your Voice in My Head)
When the initial pain of shock wore off, I thought it strange I should feel the pain of his slap in my chest, but I did, and it hurt more than I ever thought possible.
C.J. Roberts (Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2))
There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you're supposed to do, but in fact you're not there at all.
Frederick Barthelme (Elroy Nights)
Kelsier exhaled in exasperation. “Elend Venture? You risked your life—risked the plan, and our lives—for that fool of a boy?” Vin looked up, glaring at him. “Yes.” “What is wrong with you, girl?” Kelsier asked. “Elend Venture isn’t worth this.” She stood angrily, Sazed backing away, the cloak falling the floor. “He’s a good man!” “He’s a nobleman!” “So are you!” Vin snapped. She waved a frustrated arm toward the kitchen and the crew. “What do you think this is, Kelsier? The life of a skaa? What do any of you know about skaa? Aristocratic suits, stalking your enemies in the night, full meals and nightcaps around the table with your friends? That’s not the life of a skaa!” She took a step forward, glaring at Kelsier. He blinked in surprise at the outburst. “What do you know about them, Kelsier?” she asked. “When’s the last time you slept in an alley, shivering in the cold rain, listening to the beggar next to you cough with a sickness you knew would kill him? When’s the last time you had to lay awake at night, terrified that one of the men in your crew would try to rape you? Have you ever knelt, starving, wishing you had the courage to knife the crewmember beside you just so you could take his crust of bread? Have you ever cowered before your brother as he beat you, all the time feeling thankful because at least you had someone who paid attention to you?” She fell silent, puffing slightly, the crewmembers staring at her. “Don’t talk to me about noblemen,” Vin said. “And don’t say things about people you don’t know. You’re no skaa— you’re just noblemen without titles.” She turned, stalking from the room. Kelsier watched her go, shocked, hearing her footsteps on the stairs. He stood, dumbfounded, feeling a surprising flush of ashamed guilt. And, for once, found himself without anything to say.
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
No one feels like you do, so every brush of your skin is a cruel reminder of what I’ve lost. I can barely stand the sight of you because you’re more beautiful than I’ve allowed myself to remember, and when I cut that wire off Maximus and smelled you all over him, I wanted to kill him more than I’ve wanted to kill anyone in my life, yet I couldn’t because of my promise to you.” Slow tears continued to trickle down my cheeks, but for a different reason this time. “You care.” The words were whispered with a despairing sort of wonder. He wasn’t willing to rescind his loveless vow, clearly, but I was wrong about the apathy I’d thought he felt. That he admitted all the above was surprising enough; the fact he’d done it within earshot of his pilots was no less than shocking. Vlad grunted. “Don’t worry. I intend to kill them as soon as we land.
Jeaniene Frost (Twice Tempted (Night Prince, #2))
He's not feeling well," Clary said, catching at Simon's wrist. "We're going." "No," Simon said. "No, I — I need to talk to him. To the Inquisitor." Robert reached into his jacket and drew out a crucifix. Clary stared in shock as he held it up between himself and Simon. "I speak to the Night’s Children Council representative, or to the head of the New York clan," he said. "Not to any vampire who comes to knock at my door—" Simon reached out and plucked the cross out of Robert's hand. "Wrong religion," he said.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
You must be blind." "Why?" he asked, coming over to her. "Well, I feel like such an ass for saying this." She smoothed the front of her off-the-rack-and-then-some slacks. "But I wish I had better clothes. Then I'd be beautiful." Rehvenge paused. And then he shocked the crap out of her by kneeling before her. As he looked up, he had a slight smile on his lips. "Don't you get it Ehlena." With gentle hands, he stroked down her calf and brought her foot forward, balancing it on his thigh. As he undid the laces of her cheapo Keds sneaker, he whispered, "No matter what you wear... to me, you will always have diamonds on the soles of your shoes.
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
There’s something insupportable about being pissed with the one person on this planet that sends your adrenaline flowing to remind you that you’re alive. It’s almost like we’re mad because we’ve been shocked out of our usual comatose state of being by feeling something for someone, for ourselves, for just a moment.
Ana Castillo (Loverboys: Stories)
if we meet each other in the street, glance away and look back, we might look the same, feel the same, think the same, but the subatomic particles, the smallest parts of us that make every other part, will have rushed away, been replaced at impossible speed. We will be completely different people. Everything changes all the time.
Nathan Filer (The Shock of the Fall)
If it suddenly became impossible for us to cover up all the junk we normally hide from the rest of humanity, I have a feeling we would all get real motivated to deal with the source of what ails us.
Andy Stanley (It Came from Within!: The Shocking Truth of What Lurks in the Heart)
I'm only a housewife, I'm afraid." How often do we hear this shocking admission. I'm afraid when I hear it I feel very angry indeed. Only a housewife: only a practitioner of one of the two most noble professions (the other one is that of a farmer); only the mistress of a huge battery of high and varied skills and custodian of civilization itself. Only a typist, perhaps! Only a company director, or a nuclear physicist; only a barrister; only the President! When a woman says she is a housewife she should say it with the utmost pride, for there is nothing higher on this planet to which she could aspire.
John Seymour (Forgotten Household Crafts)
Nick leaned in and our lips met. It really was an out-of-body experience. I had never felt that shocking feeling that starts in your lips, travels throughout your entire body and rests in your heart.
John H. Ames (Surviving Elite High)
I just got a rather nasty shock. In looking for something or other I came across the fact that one of my cats is about to be nine years old, and that another of them will shortly thereafter be eight; I have been labouring under the delusion they were about five and six. And yesterday I happened to notice in the mirror that while I have long since grown used to my beard being very grey indeed, I was not prepared to discover that my eyebrows are becoming noticeably shaggy. I feel the tomb is just around the corner. And there are all these books I haven't read yet, even if I am simultaneously reading at least twenty...
Edward Gorey (Floating Worlds: The Letters of Edward Gorey & Peter F. Neumeyer)
There you are, diligently swimming a straight line, minding the form of your strokes, when you look up and see, always a shock, the currents you can't even feel have pulled you off course.
Julia Glass (I See You Everywhere)
After a great blow, or crisis, after the first shock and then after the nerves have stopped screaming and twitching, you settle down to the new condition of things and feel that all possibility of change has been used up. You adjust yourself, and are sure that the new equilibrium is for eternity. . . But if anything is certain it is that no story is ever over, for the story which we think is over is only a chapter in a story which will not be over, and it isn't the game that is over, it is just an inning, and that game has a lot more than nine innings. When the game stops it will be called on account of darkness. But it is a long day.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
Yet, in reality, Ted loved things more than he loved people. He could find life in an abandoned bicycle or an old car, and feel a kind of compassion for these inanimate objects, more compassion than he could ever feel for another human being.
Ann Rule (The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story)
There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid contours, and are home. Some find it in the place of their birth; others may leave a seaside town, parched, and find themselves refreshed in the desert. There are those born in rolling countryside who are really only at ease in the intense and busy loneliness of the city. For some, the search is for the imprint of another; a child or a mother, a grandfather or a brother, a lover, a husband, a wife, or a foe. We may go through our lives happy or unhappy, successful or unfulfilled, loved or unloved, without ever standing cold with the shock of recognition, without ever feeling the agony as the twisted iron in our soul unlocks itself and we slip at last into place.
Josephine Hart
Beatrix,” Amelia said over her shoulder as they proceeded through the hallway. “Perhaps you should reconsider your attire. Poor Captain Phelan may find it somewhat shocking.” “But he’s already seen me like this,” came Beatrix’s voice from behind Christopher, “and I’ve already shocked him. What is the point in changing clothes? Captain, would you feel more comfortable if I took my breeches off?” “No,” he said hastily. “Good, I’ll keep them on. Really, I don’t see why women shouldn’t dress like this all the time. One can walk freely and even leap. How is one to chase after a goat in skirts?
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
I want to tell the rebels that I am alive. That I'm right here in District Eight, where the Capitol has just bombed a hospital full of unarmed men, women and children. There will be no survivors." The shock I've been feeling begins to give way to fury. "I want to tell people that if you think for one second the Capitol will treat us fairly if there's a cease-fire, you're deluding yourself. Because you know who they are and what they do." My hands go out automatically, as if to indicate the whole horror around me. "This is what they do and we must fight back!" "President Snow says he's sending a message. Well I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that?" One of the cameras follows where I point to the planes burning on the roof of a warehouse across from us. "Fire is catching!" I am shouting now, determined he will not miss a word of it, "And if we burn, you burn with us!
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
If a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see and think and feel, you don't think, 'oh I love this painting because it's universal' 'I love this painting because it speaks to mankind'. That's not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It's a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes, you. An individual heart shock. . . .A really great painting is fluid enought to work its way into the mind and heart through all different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
He put the box in Kahlan's lap. As she picked it up, she gave him the biggest smile he had ever seen. Before he even knew what he had done, he had leaned over and given Kahlan a quick kiss. Her eyes went wide, and she didn't kiss him back, but the feel of her lips shocked him into realizing what he had done. Oh. Sorry," he said. She laughed. "Forgiven.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
..think back through your own life, to when you were eight or nine years old. See if the memories you have are the ones you might expect. or if they are fragments, dislocated moments, a smell here, a feeling there. The unlikeliest conversations and places. We don't choose what we keep - not at that age. Not ever, really.
Nathan Filer (The Shock of the Fall)
I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things you must risk it. And here is the shock- when you risk it, when you do the right thing, when you arrive at the borders of common sense and cross into unknown territory, leaving behind you all the familiar smells and lights; then you do not experience great joy and huge energy. You are unhappy. Things get worse. It is a time of mourning. Loss. Fear. We battle ourselves through with questions. And then we feel shot and wounded. And then all the cowards come out and say, 'See I told you so.' In fact, they have told you nothing.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
What a luxury a cat is, the moments of shocking and startling pleasure in a day, the feel of the beast, the soft sleekness under your palm, the warmth when you wake on a cold night, the grace and charm even in a quite ordinary workaday puss. Cat walks across your room, and in that lonely stalk you see leopard or even panther, or it turns its head to acknowledge you and the yellow blaze of those eyes tells you what an exotic visitor you have here, in this household friend, the cat who purrs as you stroke, or rub his chin, or scratch his head.
Doris Lessing (Old Age of El Magnifico)
He refused categorically all ideas of fidelity or serious commitments. He explained that they were arbitrary and sterile. From anyone else such views would have shocked me, but I knew that in his case they did not exclude tenderness and devotion - feelings which came all the more easily to him since he was determined that they should be transient.
Françoise Sagan (Bonjour Tristesse)
There is something about you that makes me feel terribly wicked. You make me want to do shocking things. Maybe it's because you're so proper. Your necktie is never crooked, and your shoes are always shiny. And your shirts are so starchy. Sometimes when I look at you, I want to tear off all your buttons. Or set your trousers on fire. I've so often wondered-are you ticklish, my lord?
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
I pushed passed him. He grabbed my hand and swung me back towards him. Then he pushed me against the wall and... he kissed me. He ran his thumb along my jawline and down my throat, hips pinning me to the wall. He kissed me slowly and with intensity, and once I got over the mind-numbing shock and comprehended what was actually happening, it was incredible. I had never been kissed like that before. We melted together. Every movement of mine was somehow perfectly mirrored by his. My heart was pounding so hard I knew he must be able to feel it and I was sure my legs were giving way, but he held me up, pushed me harder against the wall. I grabbed a handful of his hair, remembering all the times I'd dreamed of doing it. I let my hand drift down his back and pulled him even closer to me. It all happened so quickly. I heard him make a low kind of growl and lean into me. His hand slid down my leg behind my knee, drawing it to him. I moaned and felt him tense.
Jessica Shirvington (Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1))
Lan XiChen was shocked, "Young Master Wei, could it be that even after you spent such a long time together with WangJi, you still do not know of his feelings?
墨香铜臭 (魔道祖师 [Mó Dào Zǔ Shī])
And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter.
Sylvia Plath
Juliette," he says. He touches my hand so gently it startles me. "Did you notice? it seems I am immune to your gift." He studies my eyes. "Isn't that incredible? Did you notice"? he asks again. "When you tried to escape? did you feel it...? Warner who misses absolutely nothing. Warner who absorbs every single detail. Of course he knows. But I'm shocked by the tenderness in his voice. The sincerity with which he wants to know. He's like a feral dog, crazed and wild, thirsty for chaos, simultaneously aching for recognition and acceptance. Love.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
I’ll take you home whenever you want,” he says. “But if you want to stay, and you wake up screaming, it’s okay. I’ll make sure you’re okay. And if you want to stay, and then change your mind, I don’t mind driving you back at four a.m.” I read once that not everyone thinks in words. I was shocked, imagining these other people who don’t use language to make sense of everyone and everything, who don’t automatically organize the world into chapters, pages, sentences. Looking into Charlie’s face, I understand it. The way a crush of feeling and feathery impressions can move through your body, bypassing your mind. How a person can know there’s something worth saying but have no concept of what exactly that is. I’m not thinking in words.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
Young people, Lord. Do they still call it infatuation? That magic ax that chops away the world in one blow, leaving only the couple standing there trembling? Whatever they call it, it leaps over anything, takes the biggest chair, the largest slice, rules the ground wherever it walks, from a mansion to a swamp, and its selfishness is its beauty. Before I was reduced to singsong, I saw all kinds of mating. Most are two-night stands trying to last a season. Some, the riptide ones, claim exclusive right to the real name, even though everybody drowns in its wake. People with no imagination feed it with sex—the clown of love. They don’t know the real kinds, the better kinds, where losses are cut and everybody benefits. It takes a certain intelligence to love like that—softly, without props. But the world is such a showpiece, maybe that’s why folks try to outdo it, put everything they feel onstage just to prove they can think up things too: handsome scary things like fights to the death, adultery, setting sheets afire. They fail, of course. The world outdoes them every time. While they are busy showing off, digging other people’s graves, hanging themselves on a cross, running wild in the streets, cherries are quietly turning from greed to red, oysters are suffering pearls, and children are catching rain in their mouths expecting the drops to be cold but they’re not; they are warm and smell like pineapple before they get heavier and heavier, so heavy and fast they can’t be caught one at a time. Poor swimmers head for shore while strong ones wait for lightning’s silver veins. Bottle-green clouds sweep in, pushing the rain inland where palm trees pretend to be shocked by the wind. Women scatter shielding their hair and men bend low holding the women’s shoulders against their chests. I run too, finally. I say finally because I do like a good storm. I would be one of those people in the weather channel leaning into the wind while lawmen shout in megaphones: ‘Get moving!
Toni Morrison (Love)
I want to know what it feels like to kiss a guy. And you've had a lot of practice, so I know you're a good kisser. Are you simultaneously complimenting me and calling me a whore?
Abigail Roux (Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1))
Your opening needs to be a kind of pleasant shock therapy. It should grab people. And in grabbing them, it should both awe the guests and honor them. It must plant in them the paradoxical feeling of being totally welcomed and deeply grateful to be there.
Priya Parker (The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters)
She turned suddenly, and before I could react, framed my face with her hands and pressed her lips to mine. I froze, mostly in shock, but after a moment my body uncoiled and I closed my eyes, relaxing into her. I remembered this; the feel of her lips on mine, cool and soft, the touch of her fingers on my skin. I remembered her scent, those long nights when we would lie under the cold, frozen stars, dreaming in each other’s arms. For a second, my body reacted instinctively. I started to pull us closer, to wrap my arms around her and return the kiss with equal passion…but, then I stopped. I remembered this perfectly; every shining moment with Ariella was forever etched into my mind. What we’d had, what we’d shared, everything. I’d built a shrine to her in my memories, carefully tended with grief and anger and regret. I knew every inch of our relationship, the passion, the feeling of emptiness when we weren’t together, the longing and, yes, the love. I had been in love with Ariella. I remembered what she’d meant to me once, what I’d felt for her then… …and what I didn’t feel for her now.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
Oh Love, whenever I hear your name, I hear the heartbeat of every lifetime all at once. I feel the heartbeat of the universe the way I get extreme earthquake shocks but completely safe
Nicola An (The Universe at Heartbeat)
We can really be together," he says to me, undeterred by my silence. He pulls me close, too close. I'm frozen in five hundred layers of fear. Stunned in grief, in disbelief. His hands reach for my face, his lips for mine. My brain is on fire, ready to explode from the impossibility of this moment. I feel like I'm watching it happen, detached from my own body, incapable of intervening. More than anything else, I'm shocked by his gentle hands, his earnest eyes. "I want you to choose me," he says. "I want you to choose to be with me. I want you to want this.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
What happens when someone breaks your heart? When someone breaks your heart, first you are shocked. Someone will say you are heartbroken and you examine the words break and heart and heartbroken and you immediately decide that it's inaccurate. You feel pain in the region of your heart and you think it's your heart breaking but one's heart doesn't really break, something else does - faith. You stop believing.
M.D. Balangue (Mr. Write)
Maybe I feel like I need to witness a good dose of human nature at its worst before I enter the real world. It'll be less of a shock.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Logan thought about it for a moment and then asked, “How about Whipped?” Tate’s eyes opened and he looked slightly shocked. “I know I’ve been up for a lot lately, and yeah, I’ll try most things—” “Tate?” Logan laughed. “Yeah?” “It’s a nightclub. But please feel free to finish that thought. You say you’ll try most things?
Ella Frank (Take (Temptation, #2))
Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Strong wind, earthquake-shock, and fire may pass by: but I shall follow the guiding of that still small voice which interprets the dictates of conscience.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
(after asking Christ into his heart) I waited. And then, true to His promise, He came into my heart and my life. The moment was more than remarkable; it was the most realistic experience I'd ever had. I'm not sure what I expected; perhaps my life or my sins or a great white light would flash before my eyes; perhaps I'd feel a shock like being hit by a bolt of lightning. Instead, I felt no tremendous sensation, just a weightlessness and an enveloping calm that let me know that Christ had come into my heart.
Louis Zamperini (Devil at My Heels)
I’ve tried to imagine how she’d feel knowing that her cells went up in the first space missions to see what would happen to human cells in zero gravity, or that they helped with some of the most important advances in medicine: the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization. I’m pretty sure that she—like most of us—would be shocked to hear that there are trillions more of her cells growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
It still would be years before I understood the seriousness of my change of view. Much later, I recognized it in "Revolution," the essay of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who describes the moment when a man on the edge of a crowd looks back defiantly at a policeman — and when that policeman senses a sudden refusal to accept his defining gaze — as the imperceptible moment in which rebellion is born. "All books about all revolutions begin with a chapter that describes the decay of tottering authority or the misery and sufferings of the people," Kapuscinski writes. "They should begin with a psychological chapter — one that shows how a harassed, terrified man suddenly breaks his terror, stops being afraid. This unusual process — sometimes accomplished in an instant, like a shock — demands to be illustrated. Man gets rid of fear and feel free. Without that, there would be no revolution.
Gloria Steinem (Revolution from Within)
James dropped Cordelia’s hands. They were no longer dancing. James turned away from Cordelia without a word and strode across the room toward the newcomers. She stood, frozen in confusion, as James bent to kiss the hand of the stunningly beautiful girl who had just walked into the room. Titters rose on the dance floor. Lucie had stepped back from Matthew, her eyes wide. Alastair and Thomas both turned to look at Cordelia with expressions of surprise. At any moment, Cordelia knew, her mother would notice that she was drifting in the middle of the dance floor like an abandoned tugboat and charge toward her, and then Cordelia would die. She would die of the humiliation. Cordelia was scanning the room for the nearest exit, ready to flee, when a hand grasped her arm. She was spun around and into an expert grip: a moment later she was dancing again, her feet automatically following her partner’s. “That’s right.” It was Matthew Fairchild. Fair hair, spicy cologne, a blur of a smile. His hands were gentle as he swept her back into the waltz. “Just—try to smile, and no one will notice anything happened. James and I are practically interchangeable in the public consciousness anyway.” “James—left,” Cordelia said, in shock. “I know,” said Matthew. “Very bad form. One should not leave a lady on the dance floor unless something is actually on fire. I’ll have a word.” “A word,” Cordelia echoed. She was beginning to feel less stunned and more angry. “A word?” “Several words, if it will make you feel better?
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
Do I, then, belong to the heavens? Why, if not so, should the heavens Fix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare, Luring me on, and my mind, higher Ever higher, up into the sky, Drawing me ceaselessly up To heights far, far above the human? Why, when balance has been strictly studied And flight calculated with the best of reason Till no aberrant element should, by rights, remain- Why, still, should the lust for ascension Seem, in itself, so close to madness? Nothing is that can satify me; Earthly novelty is too soon dulled; I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable, Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence. Why do these rays of reason destroy me? Villages below and meandering streams Grow tolerable as our distance grows. Why do they plead, approve, lure me With promise that I may love the human If only it is seen, thus, from afar- Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever have Belonged to the heavens? I have not envied the bird its freedom Nor have I longed for the ease of Nature, Driven by naught save this strange yearning For the higher, and the closer, to plunge myself Into the deep sky's blue, so contrary To all organic joys, so far From pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher, Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescence Of waxen wings. Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth? Why, if not so, should the earth Show such swiftness to encompass my fall? Granting no space to think or feel, Why did the soft, indolent earth thus Greet me with the shock of steel plate? Did the soft earth thus turn to steel Only to show me my own softness? That Nature might bring home to me That to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things, More natural by far than that improbable passion? Is the blue of the sky then a dream? Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged, On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxication Achieved for a moment by waxen wings? And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me? To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much; Too earger to know where lay my allegiance Or vainly assuming that already I knew all; For wanting to fly off To the unknown Or the known: Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?
Yukio Mishima (Sun & Steel)
Perhaps you, too, have children, in which case you'll know that you're frightened the whole time, frightened of not knowing everything and of not having the energy to do everything and of not coping with everything. In the end we actually get so used to the feeling of failure that every time we *don't* disappoint our children it leaves us feeling secretly shocked. It's possible that some children realize this. So every so often they do tiny, tiny things at the most peculiar times, to buoy us up a little. Just enough to stop us from drowning.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
I thought you guys could detect witches." Jonathan muttered as soon as he got over his shock at seeing two people materialise in front of him. The wiccan sat on the floor, his shoulder being strapped with a makeshift bandage, by the ever-practical Ian. "We detect magic, not witches." Hunter clarified. "We can't feel anything out of the ordinary, unless they start casting." "Oh fantastic!" Jonathan groaned. "I'll remember that excuse later.
K.S. Marsden (The Shadow Reigns (Witch-Hunter, #2))
I should write about why he left. But there are different versions of truth. If we meet each other in the street, glance away and look back, we might look the same, feel the same, think the same, but the subatomic particles, the smallest parts of us that make every other part, will have rushed away, been replaced at impossible speeds. We will be completely different people. Everything changes all the time. Truth changes. Here are three truths.
Nathan Filer (The Shock of the Fall)
And, like all the others, I have been manipulated to suit Ted’s needs. I don’t feel particularly embarrassed or resentful about that. I was one of many, all of us intelligent, compassionate people who had no real comprehension of what possessed him, what drove him obsessively.
Ann Rule (The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story)
A good thing about talking to someone who is standing behind you is that you can pretend you don't know they're crying, and not trouble yourself too much with working out why. You can simply concentrate on helping them feel better.
Nathan Filer (The Shock of the Fall)
It was strange how in that moment of tragedy, it had seemed so unreal, like an old-fashioned movie reel playing on a screen for my eyes only. The pain and broken heart were blocked off for a little while, leaving me numb with disbelief. Shock is what Dad called it. But after a while, the cruel reality started to seep into my tissues, and my body became a sponge, just sucking it all up until, finally, there was so much grief inside, I couldn't help feeling it. That's how it happened for me. First, the numbness right after she died, next the agonising pain and then the place I was at now—the land of perpetual depression.
Karen Ann Hopkins (Temptation (Temptation, #1))
Rochester talking to Jane: I see no enemy to a fortunate issue but in the brow; and that brow professes to say,--'I can live alone, if self-respect and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure, born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld; or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.' The forehead declares, 'Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Strong wind, earthquake-shock, and fire may pass by: but I shall follow the guiding of that still small voice which interprets the dictates of conscience'"
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Nan was shocked. "What a jerk! Mina, you must feel awful. He didn't try to take advantage of you, did he? I'm so mad- I want to go searching for him and give him a piece of my mind, and a kick in the rear. And Brody, why did you bring such a loser for Mina to date?
Chanda Hahn (Fable (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #3))
See confusion as confusion. Acknowledge suffering as suffering. Feel pain and sorrow and divisiveness. Experience anger or fear or shock for what they are. But you don't have to think of them as evil - as intrinsically bad, as needing to be destroyed or driven from our midst. On the contrary, they need to be absorbed, healed, made whole. (15)
Steve Hagen (Buddhism Is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs)
Blame is a Defense Against Powerlessness Betrayal trauma changes you. You have endured a life-altering shock, and are likely living with PTSD symptoms— hypervigilance, flashbacks and bewilderment—with broken trust, with the inability to cope with many situations, and with the complete shut down of parts of your mind, including your ability to focus and regulate your emotions. Nevertheless, if you are unable to recognize the higher purpose in your pain, to forgive and forget and move on, you clearly have chosen to be addicted to your pain and must enjoy playing the victim. And the worst is, we are only too ready to agree with this assessment! Trauma victims commonly blame themselves. Blaming oneself for the shame of being a victim is recognized by trauma specialists as a defense against the extreme powerlessness we feel in the wake of a traumatic event. Self-blame continues the illusion of control shock destroys, but prevents us from the necessary working through of the traumatic feelings and memories to heal and recover.
Sandra Lee Dennis
Wylan’s grin broadened. His brow lifted. If that wasn’t an invitation … “Well, hell,” Jesper muttered. He closed the distance between them and took Wylan’s face in his hands. He moved slowly, deliberately, kept the kiss quiet, the barest brush of his lips, giving Wylan the chance to pull away if he wanted to. But he didn’t. He drew closer. (...) He pulled back, dropped his hands, feeling unspeakably awkward. What did you say after a terrible kiss? He’d never had cause to wonder. That was when he saw Kuwei standing in the doorway, mouth open, eyes wide and shocked. “What?” Jesper asked. “Do the Shu not kiss before noon?” “I wouldn’t know,” Kuwei said sourly. Not Kuwei. “Oh, Saints,” Jesper groaned. That wasn’t Kuwei in the doorway. It was Wylan Van Eck, budding demolitions expert and wayward rich kid. And that meant he’d just kissed … The real Kuwei plunked that same listless note on the piano, grinning shamelessly up at him through thick black lashes.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
I felt my hand curl into a fist. Felt my elbow draw back. Felt my arm dart forward, my knuckles crack into Cole's jaw. I couldn't stop myself. His head whipped to the side, and blood leaked from a cut in his lip. Behind me, gasps of shock abounded. "I'm recovered," I said. "Believe me now?" Those violet eyes slitted when they found me. "Assault and battery is illegal." "So have me arrested." He closed what little distance there was between us. Suddenly I could feel his warmth of his breath caressing my skin. "How about I put you over my lap and spank you instead?" "How about I knee your balls into your throat?" "If you're going to play with that particular area, I'd rather you use your hands." "My hands aren't going near that area ever again." A pause. Then, "I bet I could change your mind," he whispered huskily. "I bet I could bash yours." I drew back another fist, but he was ready and caught me midswing. His pupils dilated, a sign of arousal. Another sign: he began to pant. He was acting like I'd tried to unbuckle his jeans rather than smack fire out of him. "Hit me again," he said, still using the same whispered tone, "and I'll take it as an invitation." I was just as bad. I trembled with longing I couldn't control and struggled to catch my breath. "An invitation to do what?" His grip loosened, his fingers rubbing my skin. A caress, not a warning. "I guess we'll find out together.
Gena Showalter (Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2))
Tarquin turned from the table, just as the tent flaps parted for a pair of broad shoulders— Varian. He didn’t so much as look at his High Lord, his focus going right to where Amren sat at the head of the table. As if he’d sensed she was here—or someone had reported. And he’d come running. Amren’s eyes flicked up from the Book as Varian halted. A coy smile curved her red lips. There was still blood and dirt splattered on Varian’s brown skin, coating his silver armor and close-cropped white hair. He didn’t seem to notice or care as he strode for Amren. And none of us dared to speak as Varian dropped to his knees before Amren’s chair, took her shocked face in his broad hands, and kissed her soundly. ... None of us lasted long after dinner. Amren and Varian didn’t even bother to join us. No, she’d just wrapped her legs around his waist, right there in front of us, and he’d stood, lifting her in one swift movement. I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp. Rhys had let out a low laugh as we all gawked in their wake. “I suppose that’s how Varian decided he’d tell Amren he was feeling rather grateful she ordered us to go to Adriata.” Tarquin cringed. “We’ll alternate who has to deal with them on holidays.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Fat shaming is real, constant, and rather pointed. There are a shocking number of people who believe they can simply torment fat people into weight loss and disciplining their bodies or disappearing their bodies from the public sphere. They believe they are medical experts, listing a litany of health problems associated with fatness as personal affronts. These tormentors bind themselves in righteousness when they point out the obvious—that our bodies are unruly, defiant, fat. It’s a strange civic-minded cruelty. When people try to shame me for being fat, I feel rage. I get stubborn. I want to make myself fatter to spite the shamers, even though the only person I would really be spiting is myself.
Roxane Gay (Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body)
Bream Mortimer was tall and thin. He had small bright eyes and a sharply curving nose. He looked much more like a parrot than most parrots do. It gave strangers a momentary shock of surprise when they saw Bream Mortimer in restaurants, eating roast beef. They had the feeling that he would have preferred sunflower seeds.
P.G. Wodehouse (The Girl on the Boat)
It feels good,” Kelly finally whispered, sounding surprised. “Will it hurt?” “I’m not going to fuck you, Kels.” “Why not?” “Because you’re hurt and I get rough.” Kelly swallowed hard, his breath quickening. “How rough?” Nick cocked his head and smiled slowly. “That’s kind of hot.
Abigail Roux (Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1))
I only wanted to . . . I mean, just now, when Mr. George interrupted us, there was something very important I wanted to say to you.” “It is about what I told you in the church yesterday? I mean, I can understand that you may think me crazy because I see these beings, but a psychiatrist wouldn’t make any difference.” Gideon frowned. “Just keep quiet for a moment, would you? I have to pluck up all my courage to make you a declaration of love . . . I’ve had absolutely no practice in this kind of thing.” “What?” “Gwyneth,” he said, perfectly seriously, “I’ve fallen in love with you.” My stomach muscles contracted as if I’d had a shock. But it was joy. “Really?” “Yes, really!” In the light of the torch I saw Gideon smile. “I do realize we’ve known each other for less than a week, and at first I thought you were rather . . . childish, and I probably behaved badly to you. But you’re terribly complicated, I never know what you’ll do next, and in some ways you really are terrifyingly . . . er. . . naïve. Sometimes I just want to shake you.” “Okay, I can see you were right about having no practice in making declarations of love,” I agreed. “But then you’re so amusing, and clever, and amazingly sweet,” Gideon went on, as if he hadn’t heard me. “And the worst of it is, you only have to be in the same room and I need to touch you and kiss you . . .” “Yes, that’s really too bad,” I whispered, and my heart turned over as Gideon took the hatpin out of my hair, tossed the feathered monstrosity into the air to fall on the floor, draw me close, and kissed me. About three minutes later, I was leaning against the wall, totally breathless, making an effort to stay upright. “Hey, Gwyneth, try breathing in and out in the normal way,” said Gideon, amused. I gave him a little push. “Stop that! I can’t believe how conceited you are!” “Sorry. It’s just such a . . . a heady feeling to think you’d forget to breathe on my account.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
No matter how many movies you watch, songs you listen to, and friends you talk to, you will never understand heartbreak. You want to disappear, crying feels like bleeding, the world is spinning. You watch a movie you have seen ten times, a song you’ve listened to a hundred times and a friend you’ve been talking to for a thousand days and suddenly it’s like your hearing everything for the first time. For the first time you’ve opened your heart and your mind, you want to listen, you want to heal others. For the first time you feel destroyed. The word pain cannot do what you are feeling justice. It is beyond pain, beyond fury, beyond sadness. You feel everything but nothing at once. Shocked. Numb. Empty. But I had also felt compassion that day, empathy for a heart that I had once broke. Love for all of those who had not broken my heart. Appreciation for all of those who had mended hearts. Happiness for all who had secured their hearts. The day that I first met heartbreak, the day that I got my heart snatched away from me, happens to be the day that I first found my heart as well.
Everance Caiser
But Maven isn't finished. He takes a step, not forward but to the side. In my direction. The full force of his gaze almost knocks me out of my seat. "And I want to die the way my mother did," he says plainly, as if asking for an extra blanket. Again I feel too stunned to think. All I can do is keep my jaw locked in place so my mouth won't gape open in shock. "Ripped apart by your fury," he pushes on, his eyes horrible, unforgettable, searing into me. The brand on my collarboen seems to burn. "And your hatred.
Victoria Aveyard (War Storm (Red Queen, #4))
…I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking… …I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me. If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you. You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast….
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
I cannot think of a single word to describe what we feel. I think we all feel it, to varying degrees. Perhaps in some other language there is a word for 'the world is terribly wrong.' That feeling of stun and unbelief and abandonment and shock and horror and distress.
David Levithan (Love Is the Higher Law)
He was shockingly easy to follow. The pressure of his hand, the step of his foot, the angle of his frame... it was like reading his mind. When he leaned right, they turned in perfect unison. He swept her across the gallery in a quick three, a dizzying pace. Gilded frames and glass cases and the window blurred in her vision, and Azalea spun out, her skirts pulling and poofing around her, before he caught her and brought her back into dance position. She could almost hear music playing, swelling inside of her. Mother had once told her about this perfect twining into one. She called it interweave, and said it was hard to do, for it took the perfect matching of the partners’ strengths to overshadow each other’s weaknesses, meshing into one glorious dance. Azalea felt the giddiness of being locked in not a pairing, but a dance. So starkly different than dancing with Keeper. Never that horrid feeling that she owed him something; no holding her breath, wishing for the dance to end. Now, spinning from Mr. Bradford’s hand, her eyes closed, spinning back and feeling him catch her, she felt the thrill of the dance, of being matched, flow through her. ”Heavens, you’re good!” said Azalea, breathless. ”You’re stupendous,” said Mr. Bradford, just as breathless. “It’s like dancing with a top!
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
That odd capacity for destitution, as if by nature we ought to have so much more than nature gives us. As if we are shockingly unclothed when we lack the complacencies of ordinary life. In destitution, even of feeling or purpose, a human being is more hauntingly human and vulnerable to kindnesses because there is the sense that things should be otherwise, and then the thought of what is wanting and what alleviation would be, and how the soul could be put at ease, restored. At home. But the soul finds its own home if it ever has a home at all.
Marilynne Robinson (Home)
There are some silences that are so huge, and fraught, and haunted, and weighed, and shocked, that they just are; there's nothing you can say about them that makes any sense. All you can do is witness them, and feel some deep ache that such things arrive, and must be endured, with wordless aching all around.
Brian Doyle (The Plover)
Graham Chapman, co-author of the "Parrot Sketch", is no more. He has ceased to be. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. He's kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky. And I guess that we're all thinking how sad it is that a man of such talent, of such capability for kindness, of such unusual intelligence, should now so suddenly be spirited away at the age of only forty-eight, before he'd achieved many of the things of which he was capable, and before he'd had enough fun. Well, I feel that I should say: nonsense. Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries. And the reason I feel I should say this is he would never forgive me if I didn't, if I threw away this glorious opportunity to shock you all on his behalf. Anything for him but mindless good taste. (He paused, then claimed that Chapman had whipered in his ear while he was writing the speech): All right, Cleese. You say you're very proud of being the very first person ever to say 'shit' on British television. If this service is really for me, just for starters, I want you to become the first person ever at a British memorial service to say 'fuck'.
John Cleese
Tired of feeling tired? Take Liftoff, the new energy pill. Liftoff is made entirely from chemicals, with no naturally occurring ingredients. Designed to shock the nervous system into involuntary spasms, Liftoff can energize your day. Or, it can kill you. Sometimes, death comes slowly and painfully. Other times, it comes rapidly and painfully. Side effects include, but are not limited to, swelling of the throat, gagging, asphyxiation, abnormal bleeding, normal bleeding, uncontrollable laughter, uncontrollable sobbing, the desire to poke someone with a foreign object, the desire to poke oneself with a foreign object, and bed-wetting.
Steve Bates (Back To You)
The grass whispered under his body. He put his arm down, feeling the sheath of fuzz on it, and, far away, below, his toes creaking in his shoes. The wind sighed over his shelled ears. The world slipped bright over the glassy round of his eyeballs like images sparked in a crystal sphere. Flowers were sun and fiery spots of sky strewn through the woodland. Birds flickered like skipped stones across the vast inverted pond of heaven. His breath raked over his teeth, going in ice, coming out fire. Insects shocked the air with electric clearness. Ten thousand individual hairs grew a millionth of an inch on his head. He heard the twin hearts beating in each ear, the third heart beating in his throat, the two hearts throbbing his wrists, the real heart pounding his chest. The million pores on his body opened. I'm really alive! he thought. I never knew it before, or if I did I don't remember!
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
While I pressed the tissue to my face, Beck said, “Can I tell you something? There are a lot of empty boxes in your head, Sam.” I looked at him, quizzical. Again, it was a strange enough concept to hold my attention. “There are a lot of empty boxes in there, and you can put things in them.” Beck handed me another tissue for the other side of my face. My trust of Beck at that point was not yet complete; I remember thinking that he was making a very bad joke that I wasn’t getting. My voice sounded wary, even to me. “What kinds of things?” “Sad things,” Beck said. “Do you have a lot of sad things in your head?” “No,” I said. Beck sucked in his lower lip and released it slowly. “Well, I do.” This was shocking. I didn’t ask a question, but I tilted toward him. “And these things would make me cry,” Beck continued. “They used to make me cry all day long.” I remembered thinking this was probably a lie. I could not imagine Beck crying. He was a rock. Even then, his fingers braced against the floor, he looked poised, sure, immutable. “You don’t believe me? Ask Ulrik. He had to deal with it,” Beck said. “And so you know what I did with those sad things? I put them in boxes. I put the sad things in the boxes in my head, and I closed them up and I put tape on them and I stacked them up in the corner and threw a blanket over them.” “Brain tape?” I suggested, with a little smirk. I was eight, after all. Beck smiled, a weird private smile that, at the time, I didn’t understand. Now I knew it was relief at eliciting a joke from me, no matter how pitiful the joke was. “Yes, brain tape. And a brain blanket over the top. Now I don’t have to look at those sad things anymore. I could open those boxes sometime, I guess, if I wanted to, but mostly I just leave them sealed up.” “How did you use the brain tape?” “You have to imagine it. Imagine putting those sad things in the boxes and imagine taping it up with the brain tape. And imagine pushing them into the side of your brain, where you won’t trip over them when you’re thinking normally, and then toss a blanket over the top. Do you have sad things, Sam?” I could see the dusty corner of my brain where the boxes sat. They were all wardrobe boxes, because those were the most interesting sort of boxes — tall enough to make houses with — and there were rolls and rolls of brain tape stacked on top. There were razors lying beside them, waiting to cut the boxes and me back open. “Mom,” I whispered. I wasn’t looking at Beck, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw him swallow. “What else?” he asked, barely loud enough for me to hear. “The water,” I said. I closed my eyes. I could see it, right there, and I had to force out the next word. “My …” My fingers were on my scars. Beck reached out a hand toward my shoulder, hesitant. When I didn’t move away, he put an arm around my back and I leaned against his chest, feeling small and eight and broken. “Me,” I said.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
If you haven't been this close to superhumans, you don't understand what it's like to fight them. Even when you've got powers yourself, the predominent impression is one of shock. The forces moving around you are out of human scale, and your nervous system doesn't know how to deal with it. It's like being in a car accident, over and over again. You never feel the pain until later.
Austin Grossman (Soon I Will Be Invincible)
The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only… and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
They were talking more distantly than if they were strangers who had just met, for if they had been he would have been interested in her just because of that, and curious, but their common past was a wall of indifference between them. Kitty knew too well that she had done nothing to beget her father's affection, he had never counted in the house and had been taken for granted, the bread-winner who was a little despised because he could provide no more luxuriously for his family; but she had taken for granted that he loved her just because he was her father, and it was a shock to discover that his heart was empty of feeling for her. She had known that they were all bored by him, but it had never occurred to her that he was equally bored by them. He was as ever kind and subdued, but the sad perspicacity which she had learnt in suffering suggested to her that, though he probably never acknowledged it to himself and never would, in his heart he disliked her.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
The car was on the FDR drive now and, turning her head, she glanced out at the bleak brown buildings of the projects that stretched for blocks along the drive. Something inside her sank at the sight of all that sameness, and she suddenly felt defeated. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. In the past year, she'd started experiencing these moments of desperate emptiness, as if nothing really mattered, nothing was ever going to change, there was nothing new; and she could see her life stretching before her--one endless long day after the next, in which every day was essentially the same. Meanwhile, time was marching on, and all that was happening to her was that she was getting older and smaller, and one day she would be no bigger than a dot, and then she would simply disappear. Poof! Like a small leaf burned up under a magnifying glass in the sun. These feelings were shocking to her, because she'd never experienced world-weariness before. She'd never had time. All her life, she'd been striving and striving to become this thing that was herself--the entity that was Nico O'Neilly. And then, one morning, time had caught up with her and she had woken up and realized that she was there. She had arrived at her destination, and she had everything she'd worked so hard for: a stunning career, a loving (well, sort of) husband, whom she respected, and a beautiful eleven-year-old daughter whom she adored. She should have been thrilled. But instead, she felt tired. Like all those things belonged to someone else.
Candace Bushnell (Lipstick Jungle)
Her constant orders for beheading are shocking to those modern critics of children's literature who feel that juvenile fiction should be free of all violence and especially violence with Freudian undertones. Even the Oz books of L. Frank Baum, so singularly free of the horrors to be found in Grimm and Andersen, contain many scenes of decapitation. As far as I know, there have been no empirical studies of how children react to such scenes and what harm if any is done to their psyche. My guess is that the normal child finds it all very amusing and is not damaged in the least, but that books like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz should not be allowed to circulate indiscriminately among adults who are undergoing analysis.
Martin Gardner (The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition)
I had a dream about you. It's been a while since I could remember any of my dreams, and still, this one has left me with such strong impression. Even now, when I am fully awake, your face flashes before my eyes. It's a face I can totally relate to, as if it wasn't any more yours than it is mine. Terrifying thing, you know? I can't say I've felt that sort of intimacy with anyone. For a moment you knew all my secrets, without me even having to tell them. For a moment I even knew them myself… While I was looking into your eyes, I suddenly started to realize things about myself that were unspoken for years, like fragments of my inner life that were deeply repressed. It’s hard to distinguish if they were buried inside because dealing with them was such a dirty work, or if leaving them unnamed meant that it was not possible to define them precisely enough, so they would keep their true meaning. Perhaps, all this life that I've known so far was in fact no more but a dream about living. The only thing that has kept me in touch with reality was you… I know it comes as a surprise, and you may be wondering why it took me so long to come clean. You also may be wondering how come you've never noticed before. I've tricked you on purpose, yes, and you must realize it really has nothing to do with you. It’s always been me. This is why, seeing you in my dream like that, came out as a shock. You also must forgive me. You must forgive me because I know how it looks like, that everything we ever shared was a lie, and it wasn't… I am more of an illusionist that a deceiver, but it all comes from being in fact, a very private person. Even if it was true that you knew me better than anyone, I’d never admit it. I’d rather dig my own heart out, with a rotten spoon, than admitting it. I may let people in my own little world occasionally, but I would never let them be aware of it. I don’t throw my intimacy in front of others, especially when I care. The more I care, the less I give away, and this is something for you to understand, and grant me your forgiveness. I didn't play my tricks on you in order to deceive you, but rather to save myself, and maybe even deceive myself as well. I’ve had hidden my feelings for you so deeply that I've learned to live with them, as if any other casualty. I have done wrong to myself as much as I did to you, and I don’t know if I can forgive myself. So now I wonder, could you forgive me without feeling sorry for me? I certainly don’t deserve your pity. Especially not now that I am awake.
Aleksandra Ninković (Dreaming is for lovers)
Arthur reaches over to take them. As he does, his thumb brushes my thumb, and it’s so cold, this sudden shock of cold. The flowers get dropped. They make a slight, swishy sound as they hit the floor. “Shit,” I say, my voice sounding really loud in my ears. And then he kisses me. It’s— I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know. It’s my brain turning off, it’s nothing. It’s a feeling. It’s a mouth on mine, and fuck it. Fuck my whole goddamn life, man. Just fuck it. I don’t move away like I should, but neither does he. He puts one of his hands on my face. Then the bells on the front door ring. We break apart and I open my eyes. And there’s Arthur looking back at me.
Hannah Johnson (Know Not Why (Know Not Why, #1))
Annabelle, what happened to you?” Lillian asked the next morning. “You look dreadful. Why aren’t you wearing your riding habit? I thought you were going to try out the jumping course this morning. And why did you disappear so suddenly last night? It’s not like you to simply vanish without saying—” “I didn’t have a choice in the matter,” Annabelle said testily, folding her fingers around the delicate bowl of a porcelain teacup. Looking pale and exhausted, her blue eyes ringed with dark shadows, she swallowed a mouthful of heavily sweetened tea before continuing. “It was that blasted perfume of yours—as soon as he caught one whiff of it, he went berserk.” Shocked, Lillian tried to take in the information, her stomach plummeting. “It… it had an effect on Westcliff, then?” she managed to ask. “Good Lord, not Lord Westcliff.” Annabelle rubbed her weary eyes. “He couldn’t have cared less what I smelled like. It was my husband who went completely mad. After he caught the scent of that stuff, he dragged me up to our room and…well, suffice it to say, Mr. Hunt kept me awake all night. All night ,” she repeated in sullen emphasis, and drank deeply of the tea. “Doing what?” Daisy asked blankly. Lillian, who was feeling a rush of relief that Lord Westcliff had not been attracted to Annabelle while she was wearing the perfume, gave her younger sister a derisive glance. “What do you think they were doing? Playing a few hands of Find-the-Lady?
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Almost invariably people expected that if you were a good person you shouldn't meet a bad end, that only the deserving are killed and certainly only the deserving are murdered. However well hidden and subtle, there was a sense that a murdered person had somehow asked for it. That's why the shock when someone they knew to be kind and good was a victim. There was a feeling that surely there had been a mistake.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
Finally, I laugh. Genuine and normal sounding. And then my date says the best thing that he could possibly say: “It’s okay. I haven’t been on one of these [dates] in a while either.” My smile triples in size. Josh grins. “Just give me your hand.” “W–what?” “Your hand,” he repeats. “Give it to me.” I extend my shaking right hand. And – in a moment that is a hundred dreams come true – Joshua Wasserstein laces his fingers through mine. A staggering shock of energy shoots straight into my veins. Straight into my heart. “There,” he says. “I’ve been waiting a long time to do that.
Stephanie Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3))
I’d think about you and how I didn’t want us to end. It’s complicated…’ Max still held her, his thumbs stroking the spot on her wrists where her pulse was thundering away. ‘Uncomplicate it then. Did you miss me?’ ‘Of course I did! I’ve missed you so much, I hurt from it.’ Then, and only then, did Max release her but it was only so Neve could wind her arms around his neck because they were kissing. She couldn’t say who leaned in first, but all of a sudden there was the familiar but shocking touch of lips on lips.
Sarra Manning (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
No. Grief and anger doesn’t shock me.” Catherine paused. “Rachel, do you remember that day at the convent when we saw the old biplane? Remember what I said?” Rachel laughed without amusement. “I don’t even remember what I said.” “’Who can doubt the presence of God in the sight of men whom He has given wings.’ I recall that so precisely because I’ve had time to consider my error.” She smiled. “God didn’t give man wings; He gave him the brain and the spirit to give himself wings. Just as He gave us the capacity to laugh when we hurt, or to struggle on when we feel like giving up. I’ve come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death…is the true measure of the Divine within us. Some, like Crossen, choose to do harm to themselves and others. Others, like Kenji, bear up under their pain and help others to bear it. I used to wonder, why did God give children leprosy? Now I believe: God doesn’t give anyone leprosy. He gives us, if we choose to use it, the spirit to live with leprosy, and with the imminence of death. Because it is in our own mortality that we are most Divine.
Alan Brennert (Moloka'i (Moloka'i, #1))
Then we talked a lot about our parents and how we didn't want to become them, but we had no other role models--or "maps," Alex kept saying. "My father is a terrible map, mostly because he doesn't ever lead me anywhere." And I thought about my parents being maps that led to places I didn't want to go-- and it made a shocking amount of sense, using the word maps to describe parents. If almost made you feel like you could fold Mom and Dad up and lock them away in the glove compartment of your car and just joyride for the rest of your life maybe.
Matthew Quick (Every Exquisite Thing)
I'm trained as an architect; writing is like architecture. In buildings, there are design motifs that occur again and again, that repeat -- patterns, curves. These motifs help us feel comfortable in a physical space. And the same works in writing, I've found. For me, the way words, punctuation and paragraphs fall on the page is important as well -- the graphic design of the language. That was why the words and thoughts of Estha and Rahel, the twins, were so playful on the page ... I was being creative with their design. Words were broken apart, and then sometimes fused together. "Later" became "Lay. Ter." "An owl" became "A Nowl." "Sour metal smell" became "sourmetal smell." Repetition I love, and used because it made me feel safe. Repeated words and phrases have a rocking feeling, like a lullaby. They help take away the shock of the plot -- death, lives destroyed or the horror of the settings -- a crazy, chaotic, emotional house, the sinister movie theater.
Arundhati Roy
I have noticed that doing the sensible thing is only a good idea when the decision is quite small. For the life-changing things, you must risk it. And here is the shock - when you risk it, when you do the right thing, when you arrive at the borders of common sense and cross into unknown territory, leaving behind you all the familiar smells and lights, then you do not experience great joy and huge energy. You are unhappy. Things get worse. It is a time of mourning. Loss. Fear. We bullet ourselves through with questions. And then we feel shot and wounded. And then all the cowards come out and say, 'See, I told you so.' In fact, they told you nothing.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
For a torture to be effective, the pain has to be spread out; it has to come at regular intervals, with no end in sight. The water falls , drop after drop after drop, like the second hand of a watch, carving up time. The shock of each individual drop is insignificant, but the sensation is impossible to ignore. At first, one might manage to think about other things, but after five hours, after ten hours, it becomes unendurable. The repeated stimulation excites the nerves to a point where they literally explode, and every sensation in the body is absorbed into that one spot on the forehead---indeed, you come to feel that you are nothing but a forehead, into which a fine needle is being forced millimeter by millimeter. You can’t sleep or even speak, hypnotized by a suffering that is greater than any mere pain. In general, the victim goes mad before a day has passed.
Yōko Ogawa (Revenge)
Okay,” I mumble, completely bemused, bewildered, and shell-shocked. He leans over my desk. What now? I am caught in his hypnotic gaze. “Love doing business with you, Mrs. Grey.” He leans in closer as I sit paralyzed, and he plants a soft tender kiss on my lips. “Laters baby,” he murmurs. He stands abruptly, winks at me, and leaves. I lay my head on my desk, feeling like I’ve been run over by a freight train – the freight train that is my beloved husband. He has to be the most frustrating, annoying, contrary man on the planet. I sit up and frantically rub my eyes. What have I just agreed to?
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
Maybe I was just flattering myself, thinking I'd be worth some sort of risk. Not that I'd wish that on anyone!" he clarified. "I don't mean that. It just...I don't know. Don't you all see everything I'm risking?" "Umm, no. You're here with your family to give you advice, and we all live around your schedule. Everything about your life stays the same, and ours changed overnight. What in the world could you possibly be risking?" Maxon looked shocked. "America, I might have my family, but imagine how embarrassing it is to have your parents watch as you attempt to date for the first time. And not just your parents-the whole country! Worse than that, it's not even a normal style of dating. "And living around my schedule? When I'm not with you all, I'm organizing troops, making laws, perfecting budgets...and all on my own these days, while my father watches me stumble in my own stupidity because I have none of his experience. And then, when I inevitably do things in a way he wouldn't, he goes and corrects my mistakes. And while I'm trying to do all this work, you-the girls, I mean-are all I can think about. I'm excited and terrified by the lot of you!" He was using his hands more than I'd ever seen, whipping them in the air and running them through his hair. "And you think my life isn't changing? What do you think my chances might be of finding a soul mate in the group of you? I'll be lucky if I can just find someone who'll be able to stand me for the rest of our lives. What if I've already sent her home because I was relying on some sort of spark I didn't feel? What if she's waiting to leave me at the first sign of adversity? What if I don't find anyone at all? What do I do then, America?" His speech had started out angered and impassioned, but by the end his questions weren't rhetorical anymore. He really wanted to know: What was he going to do if no one here was even close to being someone he could love? Though that didn't even seem to be his main concern; he was more worried that no one would love him. "Actually, Maxon, I think you will find your soul mate here. Honestly." "Really?" His voice charged with hope at my prediction. "Absolutely." I put a hand on his shoulder. He seemed to be comforted by that touch alone. I wondered how often people simply touched him. "If your life is as upside down as you say it is, then she has to be here somewhere. In my experience, true love is usually the most inconvenient kind.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
You look ill,” Matthew observed. “Is it my dancing? Is it me personally?” “Perhaps I’m nervous,” she said. “Lucie did say you didn’t like many people.” Matthew gave a sharp, startled laugh, before schooling his face back into a look of lazy amusement. “Did she? Lucie’s a chatterbox.” “But not a liar,” she said. “Well, fear not. I do not dislike you. I hardly know you,” said Matthew. “I do know your brother. He made my life miserable at school, and Christopher’s, and James’s.” “Alastair and I are very different,” Cordelia said. She didn’t want to say more than that. It felt disloyal to Alastair. “I like Oscar Wilde, for instance, and he does not.” The corner of Matthew’s mouth curled up. “I see you go directly for the soft underbelly, Cordelia Carstairs. Have you really read Oscar’s work?” “Just Dorian Gray,” Cordelia confessed. “It gave me nightmares.” “I should like to have a portrait in the attic,” Matthew mused, “that would show all my sins, while I stayed young and beautiful. And not only for sinning purposes—imagine being able to try out new fashions on it. I could paint the portrait’s hair blue and see how it looks.” “You don’t need a portrait. You are young and beautiful,” Cordelia pointed out. “Men are not beautiful. Men are handsome,” objected Matthew. “Thomas is handsome. You are beautiful,” said Cordelia, feeling the imp of the perverse stealing over her. Matthew was looking stubborn. “James is beautiful too,” she added. “He was a very unprepossessing child,” said Matthew. “Scowly, and he hadn’t grown into his nose.” “He’s grown into everything now,” Cordelia said. Matthew laughed, again as if he was surprised to be doing it. “That was a very shocking observation, Cordelia Carstairs. I am shocked.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
Having grown up here, I always wonder what it would be like to see this city as a tourist. Is it ever a disappointment? I have to believe that New York always lives up to its reputation. The buildings really are that tall. The lights really are that bright. There's truly a story on every corner. But it still might be a shock. To realize you are just one story walking among millions. To not feel the bright lights even as they fill the air. To see the tall buildings and only feel a deep longing for the stars.
David Levithan (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I liked hurting girls. Mentally, not physically, I never hit a girl in my life. Well, once. But that was a mistake. I’ll tell you about it later. The thing is, I got off on it. I really enjoyed it. It’s like when you hear serial killers say they feel no regret, no remorse for all the people they killed. I was like that. Loved it. I didn’t care how long it took either, because I was in no hurry. I’d wait until they were totally in love with me. Till the big saucer eyes were looking at me. I loved the shock on their faces. Then the glaze as they tried to hide how much I was hurting them. And it was legal. I think I killed a few of them. Their souls, I mean. It was their souls I was after.
Anonymous (Diary of an Oxygen Thief)
I feel like I’m waiting here. Waiting for something that hasn’t happened yet. Something that isn’t yet. But that’s all I feel and nothing else. I don’t know if I even exist. And then someone flips a switch and the light is gone, the room is gone, the weightlessness is gone. I want to ask to wait, because I wasn’t finished yet, but I don’t have a chance. There is no gentle pulling. No coaxing. No choice. I’m wrenched out. Yanked, as if my head is being snapped back. I’m in the dark and everything is pain. There are too many sensations at once. Every nerve ending is on fire. Like the shock of being born. And then, there are flashes of everything. Color, voices, machines, harsh words. The pain doesn’t flash. The pain is constant, steady, never-ending. It’s the only thing I know. I don’t want to be awake anymore.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
Abandonment is at the core of addictions. Abandonment causes deep shame. Abandonment by betrayal is worse than mindless neglect. Betrayal is purposeful and self-serving. If severe enough, it is traumatic. What moves betrayal into the realm of trauma is fear and terror. If the wound is deep enough, and the terror big enough, your bodily systems shift to an alarm state. You never feel safe. You’re always on full-alert, just waiting for the hurt to begin again. In that state of readiness, you’re unaware that part of you has died. You are grieving. Like everyone who has loss, you have shock and disbelief, fear, loneliness and sadness. Yet you are unaware of these feelings because your guard is up. In your readiness, you abandon yourself. Yes, another abandonment.
Patrick J. Carnes (The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened. One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street. “This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.” “And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.” They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle. As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily? And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?” “Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.” And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully. One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank. They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love. Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty. One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew: She is the 100% perfect girl for me. He is the 100% perfect boy for me. But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever. A sad story, don’t you think?
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
I can see what a shock and how lonely it must have been when she went to the United States—from being surrounded by all these people who look like you, talk like you, accept your existence inherently, to living permanently in a place where all the opposites are true. When she first got here, a dentist took one look at her teeth and said she had "the mouth of a caveman." I used to think it was funny, like you might when you read that, but the truth is that American society, while being so rife with opportunity and so incredible in so many ways, also generally made her feel primitive.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
You're going to be okay," Winter said reassuringly. You don't understand," Leven snapped. What don't I understand?" Winters voice was stern. "Sorry you feel bad, but its not like you just met a person so beautiful that now you feel completely worthless." What?" Leven said. "What are you talking about?" Isaw the way you fell over yourselves to stare at her." That was Geth." Don't argue, you two," Geth said. Were not arguing." Leven felt light-headed. No," Winter confirmed. "We're just...." Winter looked at Leven. Leven looked right back at her. Winters cheeks burned red and her green eyes outshone Leven's. The two of them stared at one other. Leven closed his eyes. What are you doing?" Geth asked, concerned. Winter closed her eyes too and leaned closer. Both of them looked panicked and out of control, but it didn't stop them from moving closer and kissing each other. Clovers jaw dropped and he pulled something out of his void just so he could let go of it in shock. Even Geth looked caught off guard, as if he'd been given news that he never thought he'd hear in his lifetime. Leven stumbled back and looked at Winter. His face was almost as red as hers. He looked at Geth and Clover and then back to Winter. Well that was interesting," Clover said happily. I don't know what....." Leven tried to say. No, I......" Winter said. "Its not you.... it's just that my... I think I left something down below.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra (Leven Thumps, #4))
Victims”, by definition, are those that have just experienced a trauma of some sort. They are going through an entire array of emotions and circumstances that are happening to them internally and/or externally. They are trying to wrap their mind around what just happened to them. They are trying to regain some sort of balance in their mind. They feel violated, cheated, confused, scared, insecure, ashamed, guilty, impotent and at a loss for words/actions/thoughts. Many times, they even feel numb and in shock. Their mind is in a state of crisis and chaos. They are in the “victim stage”. They are truly a “victim” by definition.
Melisa Mel (Victims and Survivors)
What would she be saying if she did? That she did want to marry him? For ten years, at least, since she was twelve or thirteen, Rosa had been declaring roundly to anyone who asked that she had no intention of getting married, ever, and that if she ever did, it would be when she was old and tired of life. When this declaration in its various forms had ceased to shock people sufficiently, she had taken to adding that the man she finally married would be no older than twenty-five. But lately she had been starting to experience strong, inarticulate feelings of longing, of a desire to be with Joe all the time, to inhabit his life and allow him to inhabit hers, to engage with him in some kind of joint enterprise, in a collaboration that would be their lives. She didn't suppose they needed to get married to do that, and she knew that she certainly ought to not want to. But did she?
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
This is not a psychotic episode. This is a cleansing moment of clarity. I'm imbued, Max. I'm imbued with some special spirit. It's not a religious feeling at all. It's a shocking eruption of great electrical energy. I feel vivid and flashing, as if suddenly I'd been plugged into some great electromagnetic field. I feel connected to all living things. To flowers, birds, all the animals of the world. And even to some great, unseen, living force. What I think the Hindus call prana. But it's not a breakdown. I've never felt more orderly in my life. It is a shattering and beautiful sensation. It is the exalted flow of the space-time continuum, save that it is spaceless and timeless and... of such loveliness. I feel on the verge of some great, ultimate truth.
Howard Beale
To travel is to be born and to die at every instant; perhaps, in the vaguest region of his mind, he did make comparisons between the shifting horizon and our human existence: all the things of life are perpetually fleeing before us; the dark and bright intervals are intermingled; after a dazzling moment, an eclipse; we look, we hasten, we stretch out our hands to grasp what is passing; each event is a turn in the road, and, all at once, we are old; we feel a shock; all is black; we distinguish an obscure door; the gloomy horse of life, which has been drawing us halts, and we see a veiled and unknown person unharnessing amid the shadows.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Relaxing the shoulders is vital for relaxation in general. However, owing to the effects of gravity, relaxation is problematic unless we let the shoulders remain in their natural place. Let the shoulders drop, or settle in harmony with gravity, into their most comfortable position. It isn’t too difficult to do this for a moment, but to sustain this condition unconsciously in our lives is another matter. We raise our shoulders unnaturally when we lean on a desk or hold the telephone between our shoulders and ears, when we are shocked by a loud noise, and who knows how many other times throughout the day. And the unsettling of the shoulders doesn’t have to be large to produce anxiety, stiff necks, and headaches. Just slightly raising them will create tension, and this tension throws the nervous system out of balance. When do we raise the shoulders in daily life? What are we feeling at that moment and leading up to that moment? Remembering that the body reflects the mind, and that the raising of the shoulders not only creates tension but also is a physical manifestation of psychological tension itself, what are the roots of this tension? Bringing the mind into the moment, let’s observe ourselves in a state free of preconceived ideas or beliefs. Don’t guess at these questions. Observe yourself in relationship to others and the universe
H.E. Davey (Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation)
Ronan,” said Declan. The word was loaded with additional meaning: I see you’ve only just come out of school and already your uniform looks like hell; nothing is shocking here. He gestured to the Volvo. “Join me in my office.” Ronan did not want to join him in his office. Ronan wanted to stop feeling like he had drunk battery acid. “What do you need with Ronan?” Gansey asked. His “Ronan” was loaded with additional meaning, too: Was this prearranged and tell me what is happening and do you need me to intervene? “Just a little family chat,” Declan said. Ronan looked at Gansey entreatingly. “Is it a family chat that could happen on the way to Fox Way?” Gansey asked, all polite power. “Because he and I were just headed over there.” Ordinarily, Declan would have stepped off at the slightest pressure from Gansey, but he said, “Oh, I can drop him off there after we’re done. Just a few minutes.” “Ronan!” Matthew reached his hand out the window towards Ronan. His ebullient “Ronan” was another version of please. Trapped. “Miseria fortes viros, Ronan,” Adam said. When he said “Ronan,” it meant: Ronan.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
I am sorry that I cannot make it okay. I am sorry that I cannot save you -- but not that sorry. Part of me thinks that your very vulnerability brings you closer to the meaning of life, just as for others, the quest to believe oneself white divides them from it. The fact is that despite their dreams, their lives are also not inviolable. When their own vulnerability becomes real -- when the police decide that tactics for the ghetto should enjoy wider usage, when their armed society shoots down their children, when nature sends hurricanes against their cities -- they are shocked in a way that those of us who were born and bred to understand cause and effect can never be. And I would not have you like them. You have been cast into a race in which the wind is always at your face and the hounds are always at your heels. And to varying degrees this is true of all life. The difference is that you do not have the privilege of living in ignorance of this essential fact. I am speaking to you as I always have -- as the sober and serious man I have always wanted you to be, who does not apologize for his human feelings, who does not make excuses for his height, his long arms, his beautiful smile. You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable. None of that can change the math anyway. I never wanted you to be twice as good as them, so much as I have always wanted you to attack every day of your brief bright life in struggle. The people who must believe they are white can never be your measuring stick. I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I can't help but recall, at this point, a horribly elitist but very droll remark by one of my favorite writers, the American "critic of the seven arts", James Huneker, in his scintillating biography of Frédéric Chopin, on the subject of Chopin's étude Op. 25, No. 11 in A minor, which for me, and for Huneker, is one of the most stirring and most sublime pieces of music ever written: “Small-souled men, no matter how agile their fingers, should avoid it.” "Small-souled men"?! Whew! Does that phrase ever run against the grain of American democracy! And yet, leaving aside its offensive, archaic sexism (a crime I, too, commit in GEB, to my great regret), I would suggest that it is only because we all tacitly do believe in something like Hueneker's' shocking distinction that most of us are willing to eat animals of one sort or another, to smash flies, swat mosquitos, fight bacteria with antibiotics, and so forth. We generally concur that "men" such as a cow, a turkey, a frog, and a fish all possess some spark of consciousness, some kind of primitive "soul" but by God, it's a good deal smaller than ours is — and that, no more and no less, is why we "men" feel that we have the perfect right to extinguish the dim lights in the heads of these fractionally-souled beasts and to gobble down their once warm and wiggling, now chilled and stilled protoplasm with limitless gusto, and not feel a trace of guilt while doing so.
Douglas R. Hofstadter (Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid)
He reaches over, takes my face in his hands and pulls me to him. In my idle moments, imagining such a scene, I have always assumed that it would be the other way round, that I would reach for him and he would pull away, denouncing me as a degenerate and a false friend. But now I am neither shocked nor surprised by his initiative, nor do I feel any of the great urgency that I thought I would, should this moment ever come to pass. Instead, it feels perfectly natural, everything he does to me, everything that he allows to happen between us. And for the first time since that dreadful afternoon when my father beat me to within an inch of my life, I feel that I have come home.
John Boyne (The Absolutist)
You listen to me, and listen good!" she shouted, shocking me. "I am not evil because I have a thousand years of demon smut on my soul!" she exclaimed, the tips of her hair trembling and her face flushed. "Every time you disturb reality, nature has to balance it out. The black on your soul isn't evil, it's a promise to make up for what you have done. It's a mark, not a death sentence. And you can get rid of it given time." "Ceri, I'm sorry," I fumbled, but she wasn't listening. "You're an ignorant, foolish, stupid witch," she berated, and I cringed, my grip tightening on the copper spell pot and feeling the anger from her like a whip. "Are you saying because I carry the stink of demon magic, that I'm a bad person?" "No..." I wedged in. "That God will show no pity?" she said, green eyes flashing. "That because I made one mistake in fear that led to a thousand more that I will burn in hell?" "No. Ceri -" I took a step forward. "My soul is black," she said, her fear showing in her suddenly pale cheeks. "I'll never be rid of it all before I die, but it won't be because I'm a bad person but because I was a frightened one.
Kim Harrison (A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows, #4))
Her face screws up in disgust and she steps forward. "You're a fool, Miller Hart. He'll never let you walk away." He explodes. "I love her!" he roars, knocking every person back in the room. "I fucking love her!" Tears burst from my eyes and I fall into his side. He immediately grabs me and pulls me close. "I love her. I love everything she stands for and I love how much she loves me. It's more than you love me. It's more than any of you claim to love me! It's pure and light. It's made me feel. It's made me want more. If any fucker tries to take her away from me, I'll fucking kill them." Pulling up for a second, he gathers a long breath. "Slowly," he adds, shaking beside me, clinging to me tightly, like he's afraid someone will try right now. "I don't care what he says. I don't care what he thinks he can do to me. It'll be him sleeping with one eye open, Sophia, not me. So tell him. Fucking run to him and confirm what he already knows. I don't want to fuck for living anymore. Tell him I don't want to line his pockets anymore. You're not holding me to ransom. Miller Hart is out of the game. The Special One has quit!" He withdraws and takes a few moments to suck in another calming gulp of air, while everyone looks at him, shocked. Including me. "I love her. Go to him. Tell him I love her. Tell him I'm Olivia's now. And tell him if he even thinks about touching a hair on her precious head, it'll be the last thing he ever does.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Unveiled (One Night, #3))
There is no "tropical island paradise" I know of which remotely matches up to the fantasy ideal that such a phrase is meant to conjure up, or even to what we find described in holiday brochures. It's natural to put this down to the discrepancy we are all used to finding between what advertisers promise and what the real world delivers. It doesn't surprise us much any more. So it can come as a shock to realise that the world we hear described by travellers of previous centuries (or even previous decades) and biologists of today really did exist. The state it's in now is only the result of what we've done to it, and the mildness of the disappointment we feel when we arrive somewhere and find that it's a bit tatty is only a measure of how far our own expectations have been degraded and how little we understand what we've lost. The people who do understand what we've lost are the ones who are rushing around in a frenzy trying to save the bits that are left.
Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
I wanted a settled life and a shocking one. Think of Van Gogh, cypress trees and church spires under a sky of writhing snakes. I was my father's daughter. I wanted to be loved by someone like my tough judicious mother and I wanted to run screaming through the headlights with a bottle in my hand. That was the family curse. We tended to nurse flocks of undisciplined wishes that collided and canceled each other out. The curse implied that if we didn't learn to train our desires in one direction or another we were likely to end up with nothing. Look at my father and mother today. I married in my early twenties. When that went to pieces I loved a woman. At both of those times and at other times, too, I believed I had focused my impulses and embarked on a long victory over my own confusion. Now, in my late thirties, I knew less than ever about what I wanted. In place of youth's belief in change I had begun to feel a nervous embarrassment that ticked inside me like a clock. I'd never meant to get this far in such an unfastened condition. (p.142)
Michael Cunningham (A Home at the End of the World)
Another tidbit you might be interested in is when it comes to chicks and open mouths, guys -" Decebel leaned over and covered Jen's mouth with his hand and warned her with a glare to swallow her words. "Thanks, Dec. That's usually my job," Sally told him. "But I was in such shock that I couldn't get my limbs to move." Decebel inclined his head. "Is that why you always seem to stand so close to her?" "It's of utmost importance that whoever is within her reach be ready at any and all moments to intercept what might come from that wicked tongue." en was frantically trying to talk around Decebel's hand at Sally's comment. Decebel was quickly learning how Jennifer's brain worked, and could only imagine what she wanted to voice in regards to Sally's wicked tongue comment. He leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "I'm going to uncover your mouth. It would be wise of you to just let the wicked tongue comment slide." Jen glared at him from the corner of her eye, and after a tense moment finally nodded once in submission. Decebel slowly uncovered her mouth, ready if need be to slap it right back over her lips. The room began to get quiet and they all directed their attention to the front of the room. As Vasile welcomed everyone for coming and began to explain about the meeting he had with the other Alphas, Jen leaned over to Decebel. "You owe me. Sally walked right into it with that whole wicked tongue thing." Decebel chuckled and whispered back, "For some reason, ţinere de meu inimă (one who holds my heart), I have a feeling there will be plenty of opportunities for you to embarrass your friends for questionable comments they innocently walk into." Jen shrugged. "True enough, but you still owe me. And what are you calling me when you speak Romanian? You've said the same phrase to me twice now." Decebel patted her leg, causing all sorts of tingling sensations. "Dar tu romaneste, Micul meu lup. (but you speak Romanian, my little wolf)" "I know what lup is and I am not a wolf. Whatever else you said I'm sure is a load of crap as well.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul: we search for its outlines all over our lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over stone, onto its fluid contours, and are home. Some find it in a place of their birth; others may leave a seaside town, parched, and find themselves refreshed in the desert. there are those born in rolling countryside who are really only at ease in the intense and busy loneliness of the city. For some, the search is for the imprint of another; a child or a mother, a grandfather or a brother, a lover, a husband, a wife, or a foe. We may go through our lives happy or unhappy, successful or unfulfilled, loved, or unloved, without ever standing cold with the shock or recognition, without ever feeling the agony as the twisted iron in our soul unlocks itself and we slip at last into place.
Josephine Hart
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The moment I formulated this thought, everything aroud me seemed to droop heavily toward the earth. Outside in the garden, the eaves of the roof dripped rain like beads of weighted glass. Even the mats themselves seemed to press down upon the floor. I remember thinking that I was dacing to express not the pain of a young woman who has lost her supernatural lover, but the pain I myself would feel when my life was finally robbed of the one thing I cared most deeply about. I found myself thinking,too,of satsu; I danced the bitterness of our eternal separation.By the end I felt almost overcome with grief; but I certainly wasn't prepared for what I saw when I turned to look at the Chairman.He was sitting at the near corner of the table so that, as it happened, no one but me could see him. I thought he wore an expression of astonishment at first, because his eyes were so wide. But just as his mouth sometimes twitched when he tried not to smile, now I could see it twitching under the strain of a different emotion. I couldn't be sure, but I had to impression his eyes were heavy with tears. He looked toward the door, pretending to scratch the side of his nose so he cold wipe a finger in the corner of his eye; and he smoothed his eyebrows as if the were the source of his trouble. I was so shocked to see the Chairman in pain I felt almost disoriented for a moment.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
The trousers were miles too long, even when Peter cuffed the legs. The socks bagged in the ankles, and the shirt and sweater were equally large. But when Peter finally managed to get the collars to lie right and glanced at the reflection he'd carved out of the dust on James's mirror, a shock went through him. This was the face which had haunted him all his life, the one he had looked in the eye on the day he left the Darling house for the last time. The hair, messy and short, enthusiastically curling without the weight of his old braid to drag it down. The stubborn chin. The clear, sharp, sullen eyes full of everything he had never been allowed to be. Peter ran his hands over himself slowly, breathing tentatively, feeling the weight of his chest under his shirt. He had given this body up. He had thought it belonged to Wendy, to the girl he wasn't. He had let his family make him believe that the only way he would ever be a boy was to be born again in a different shape, leaving everything of his body and history behind. He breathed out and settled in the feeling of being himself, of being something whole.
Austin Chant (Peter Darling)
In one hallway, the floor gleaming parquet and the ceiling festooned with golden cherubs, there was a boy in a grumpy cat mask and biker boots, not involved in any sexual activity, legs crossed and leaning against the wall. As a bevy of faeries passed the boy, giggling and groping, the boy scooted away. Alec remembered being younger, and how overwhelming large groups of people had seemed. He came over and leaned against the wall beside the boy. He saw the boy texting, PARTIES WERE INVENTED TO ANNOY ME. THEY FEATURE MY LEAST FAVORITE THING: PEOPLE, ALL INTENT ON MY LEAST FAVORITE ACTIVITY: SOCIAL INTERACTION. “I don’t really like parties either,” Alec said sympathetically. “No hablo italiano,” the boy mumbled without looking up. “Er,” said Alec. “This conversation is happening in English.” “No hablo ingles,” he said without missing a beat. “Oh, come on. Really?” “Worth a shot,” said the boy. Alec considered going away. The boy wrote another text to a contact he had saved as RF. Alec could not help but notice that the conversation was entirely one-sided, the boy sending text after text with no response. The last text read VENICE SMELLS LIKE A TOILET. AS A NEW YORKER, I DO NOT SAY THIS LIGHTLY. The weird coincidence emboldened Alec to try again. “I get shy when there are strangers too,” Alec told the kid. “I’m not shy,” the boy sneered. “I just hate everyone around me and everything that is happening.” “Well.” Alec shrugged. “Those feel like similar things sometimes.” The boy lifted his curly head, pushing the grumpy cat mask off his face, and froze. Alec froze too, at the twin shock of fangs and familiarity. This was a vampire, and Alec knew him. “Raphael?” he asked. “Raphael Santiago?” He wondered what the second-in-command of the New York clan was doing here. Downworlders might be flooding in from all over the world, but Raphael had never struck Alec as a party animal. Of course, he was not exactly coming off as a party animal now. “Oh no, it’s you,” said Raphael. “The twelve-year-old idiot.” Alec was not keen on vampires. They were, after all, people who had died. Alec had seen too much death to want reminders of it. He understood that they were immortal, but there was no need to show off about it. “We just fought a war together. I was with you in the graveyard when Simon came back as a vampire. You’ve seen me multiple times since I was twelve.” “The thought of you at twelve haunts me,” Raphael said darkly. “Okay,” Alec said, humoring him. “So have you seen a guy called Mori Shu anywhere around here?” “I am trying not to make eye contact with anyone here,” said Raphael. “And I’m not a snitch for Shadowhunters. Or a fan of talking to people, of any kind, in any place.” Alec rolled his eyes.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Does God exist? Unlike many people, this had not been the great inner debate of her life. Under the old Communist regime, the official line in schools had been that life ended with death, and she had gotten used to the idea. On the other hand, her parents’ generation and her grandparents’ generation still went to church, said prayers, and went on pilgrimages, and were utterly convinced that God listened to what they said. At twenty-four, having experienced everything she could experience—and that was no small achievement—Veronika was almost certain that everything ended with death. That is why she had chosen suicide: freedom at last. Eternal oblivion. In her heart of hearts, though, there was still a doubt: What if God did exist? Thousands of years of civilization had made of suicide a taboo, an affront to all religious codes: Man struggles to survive, not to succumb. The human race must procreate. Society needs workers. A couple has to have a reason to stay together, even when love has ceased to exist, and a country needs soldiers, politicians and artists. If God exists, and I truly don’t believe he does, he will know that there are limits to human understanding. He was the one who created this confusion in which there is poverty, injustice, greed, and loneliness. He doubtless had the best of intentions, but the results have proved disastrous; if God exists, he will be generous with those creatures who chose to leave this Earth early, and he might even apologize for having made us spend time here. To hell with taboos and superstitions. Her devout mother would say: “God knows the past, the present, and the future.” In that case, he had placed her in this world in the full knowledge that she would end up killing herself, and he would not be shocked by her actions. Veronika began to feel a slight nausea, which became rapidly more intense.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
Persons under the shock of genuine affliction are not only upset mentally but are all unbalanced physically. No matter how calm and controlled they seemingly may be, no one can under such circumstances be normal. Their disturbed circulation makes them cold, their distress makes them unstrung, sleepless. Persons they normally like, they often turn from. No one should ever be forced upon those in grief, and all over-emotional people, no matter how near or dear, should be barred absolutely. Although the knowledge that their friends love them and sorrow for them is a great solace, the nearest afflicted must be protected from any one or anything which is likely to overstrain nerves already at the threatening point, and none have the right to feel hurt if they are told they can neither be of use or be received. At such a time, to some people companionship is a comfort, others shrink from their dearest friends.
Emily Post (Etiquette)
Do you know what Aunt Marmoset told me once? She compared you to a spice drop. Overpowering and hard at first, but all sweetness at the center. I’ll admit, I’ve been desperate to try an experiment.” She gave him a teasing look. “How many times do you suppose I could lick you before you crack?” His every muscle tightened. Smiling, she tucked her face into the curve of his neck and ran her tongue seductively over his skin. “There’s one.” “Katie.” The word was a low, throaty warning. It made her toes curl. She nuzzled at the notch of his open shirt, pushing the fabric aside. The familiar musk of his skin stirred her in deep places. With a teasing swirl of her tongue, she tasted the notch at the base of his throat. “Two . . .” “Finn,” he called in a booming voice, lifting his head. “Send for the vicar.” She pulled back, shocked. “Two? That’s all, truly? Two? I’m not sure whether to feel proud or disappointed.
Tessa Dare (A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3))
I'm sorry I was less than you deserve, Tex, but I'm afraid I can't let you walk away from this. You see, it's too good, too rare to give up. I said in the cafeteria you weren't my girlfriend, and you weren't." I paused, watching her face twist with shock again. "You were my everything. Still are, baby. You wanted me to make you feel beautiful, but there's no one half as pretty as you are in the whole goddamn world. Please ..." My voice broke, and I bent the knee, like I'd always planned to. "Don't break my heart so soon after putting it back together." The air was thick in the auditorium as everyone held their breath. I was pretty sure for every second that ticked without her reaction, I lost an entire year of my life. Silver lining: a full minute of that, and I'd drop dead and wouldn't have to witness my own, very open disgrace. Finally, Grace found her voice. "On your feet, St. Claire," she whispered under her breath. "A king doesn't bow to others." I got up and scooped her up, giving people something to look at and talk about for years in this godforsaken town, pressing a dirty kiss to her lips and almost breaking her jaw in the process. "He does for his queen.
L.J. Shen (Playing with Fire)
Yes?” Came the thin and reedy voice. I winced as I pushed the door open. Beth sounded terrible. And when I got an eyeful of her, she looked just as bad. Sitting up against the headboard with a mountain of blankets piled around her, she had dark circles under her eyes. Her pale, waiflike features were sharp, and her hair was an unwashed, tangled mess. I tried not to breathe too deeply, because the room smelled of vomit and sweat. I halted at the bed, shocked to my core. “Are you sick?” Her unfocused gaze drifted away from me, landing on the door to the adjoined bathroom, it didn’t make sense. Hybrids—we couldn’t get sick. Not the common cold or the most dangerous cancer. Like the Luxen, we were immune to everything out there in terms of disease, but Beth? Yeah, she wasn’t looking too good. A great sense of unease blossomed in my belly, stiffening my muscles. “Beth?” Her watery stare finally drifted to me. “Is Dawson back yet?” My heart turned over heavily, almost painfully. The two of them have been through so much, more than Daemon and I had, and this . . . God, this wasn’t fair. “No, he’s not back yet, but you? You look sick.” She raised a slim, pale hand to her throat. “I'm not feeling very well.” I didn’t know how bad this was, and I was almost afraid to find out. “What’s wrong?” One shoulder rose, and it looked like it had taken great effort. “You shouldn’t be worried,” she said, her voice low as she picked at the hem of a blanket. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll be okay once Dawson comes back.” Her gaze floated off again, and as she dropped the edge of the blanket, she reached down, put her hand over her blanket-covered belly, and said, “We’ll be okay once Dawson comes back.” “We’ll be . . . ?” I trailed off as my eyes widened. My jaw came unhinged and dropped as I gaped at her. I stared at where her hand was and watched in dawned horror as she rubbed her belly in slow, steady circles. Oh no. oh, hell to the no to the tenth power. I started forward and then stopped. “Beth, are you . . . are you pregnant?
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
But were the coming narrative to reveal in any instance, the complete abasement of poor Starbuck's fortitude, scarce might I have the heart to write it; for it is a thing most sorrowful, nay shocking, to expose the fall of valour in the soul. Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meagre faces; but man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes. That immaculate manliness we feel within ourselves, so far within us, that it remains intact though all the outer character seem gone; bleeds with keenest anguish at the undraped spectacle of a valor-ruined man. Nor can piety itself, at such a shameful sight, completely stifle her upbraidings against the permitting stars. But this august dignity I treat of, is not the dignity of kings and robes, but that abounding dignity which has no robed investiture. Thou shalt see it shining in the arm that wields a pick or drives a spike; that democratic dignity which, on all hands, radiates without end from God; Himself! The great God absolute! The centre and circumference of all democracy! His omnipresence, our divine equality!
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
By listening to the “unspoken voice” of my body and allowing it to do what it needed to do; by not stopping the shaking, by “tracking” my inner sensations, while also allowing the completion of the defensive and orienting responses; and by feeling the “survival emotions” of rage and terror without becoming overwhelmed, I came through mercifully unscathed, both physically and emotionally. I was not only thankful; I was humbled and grateful to find that I could use my method for my own salvation. While some people are able to recover from such trauma on their own, many individuals do not. Tens of thousands of soldiers are experiencing the extreme stress and horror of war. Then too, there are the devastating occurrences of rape, sexual abuse and assault. Many of us, however, have been overwhelmed by much more “ordinary” events such as surgeries or invasive medical procedures. Orthopedic patients in a recent study, for example, showed a 52% occurrence of being diagnosed with full-on PTSD following surgery. Other traumas include falls, serious illnesses, abandonment, receiving shocking or tragic news, witnessing violence and getting into an auto accident; all can lead to PTSD. These and many other fairly common experiences are all potentially traumatizing. The inability to rebound from such events, or to be helped adequately to recover by professionals, can subject us to PTSD—along with a myriad of physical and emotional symptoms.
Peter A. Levine
Faking depends on a measure of complicity between the perpetrator and the victim, who together conspire to believe what they don’t believe and to feel what they are incapable of feeling. There are fake beliefs, fake opinions, fake kinds of expertise. There is also fake emotion, which comes about when people debase the forms and the language in which true feeling can take root, so that they are no longer fully aware of the difference between the true and the false. Kitsch is one very important example of this. The kitsch work of art is not a response to the real world, but a fabrication designed to replace it. Yet both producer and consumer conspire to persuade each other that what they feel in and through the kitsch work of art is something deep, important and real. Anyone can lie. One need only have the requisite intention — in other words, to say something with the intention to deceive. Faking, by contrast, is an achievement. To fake things you have to take people in, yourself included. In an important sense, therefore, faking is not something that can be intended, even though it comes about through intentional actions. The liar can pretend to be shocked when his lies are exposed, but his pretence is merely a continuation of his lying strategy. The fake really is shocked when he is exposed, since he had created around himself a community of trust, of which he himself was a member. Understanding this phenomenon is, it seems to me, integral to understanding how a high culture works, and how it can become corrupted.
Roger Scruton
It's moments like this, when you need someone the most, that your world seems smallest. I'm told there's no going back. So I’m choosing forward The exhaustion of living was just too much for me to talk any longer It still might be a shock. To realize you are just one story walking among millions Why is it so much easier to talk to a stranger? Why do we feel we need that disconnect in order to connect? I had done it. I had embraced danger. The experience might have been an epic disaster, but it was still…an experience We are reading the story of our lives/ as though we were in it, /as though we had written it Like dogs and lions, small children can sense fear. The slightest flinch, the slightest disinclination, and they will jump atop you and devour you I might have liked to share a dance with you. If I may be so bold to say In a field, I am the absence of field. In a crowd, I am the absence of crowd. In a dream, I am the absence of dream. But I don’t want to live as an absence. I move to keep things whole. Because sometimes I feel drunk on positivity. Sometimes I feel amazement at the tangle of words and lives, and I want to be a part of that tangle…It’s only a game if there is an absence of meaning. And we’ve already gone too far for that You restore my faith in humanity Do you want to go get coffee or something tomorrow and discuss and analyze the situation at length? Let’s just wander and see what happens It was rather awkward, insofar as we were both teetering between the possibility of something and the possibility of nothing. Fate has a strange way of making plans I love a man who doesn’t let go of the leash, even when it leads him to ruin
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
He was now suddenly hot, as hot as if he’d been in a kitchen baking cinnamon rolls in August. I already knew vampires could sweat, under certain conditions, like being chained to a wall of a house with sunlight coming in through the windows. He was sweating again now. Some of his sweat fell on me. I’ve always rather liked sweat. On other occasions when I’ve had a naked, sweating male body up against mine, I’ve tended to feel that it meant he was getting into what was going on. This usually produces a similar enthusiasm in me. Not that there was anything going on…exactly. Yet. Remember how fast and suddenly this was all happening. And if he was in shock so was I. Maybe my brain hadn’t fully come with me in that zap through the void, like my clothes manifestly hadn’t. With a truly masterful erection now pressed against me I turned my head again and licked his sweating shoulder. What happened next probably lasted about ten seconds. Maybe less. I don’t think I heard the sound he made; I think I only felt it. He moved his hands again, to tip my face toward him, and kissed me. I can’t say I noticed any fangs. I had the lingering vestige of sense not to try anything clever with my teeth, which with a human lover I would have. But I was nonetheless busy with tongue and hands. I wriggled a little under him. I kissed him back as he tangled his fingers in my hair. I arched up off the floor a trifle to press myself more thoroughly against him. I was undoubtedly making some noises of my own…
Robin McKinley (Sunshine)
Thanks for putting me in bed last night,” I said, watching the swift line of his throat as he yawned again. He grumbled, “Uh–huh,” as he rolled his shoulders before slipping his arms beneath the covers again. “And for giving me a massage.” I had already tried moving my legs, and sure they were sore, but I knew how much worse they could be. I’d done everything I was supposed to do to help prevent the stiffness, but there was only so much a body that wasn’t 100 percent to begin with could handle. “There wasn’t much to massage.” Uh. “What’s the supposed to mean?” “I have more muscles in my glutes than you have in your thighs.” Anyone who had seen Aiden’s ass would know that was a fact, so I wasn’t going to take it personally. Maybe because I was still so sleepy, I raised my eyebrows at him and said, “Have you seen your butt? That’s not an insult. It has more muscles in it than most people have all over their bodies.” His own thick eyebrows rose about a millimeter, just slightly but enough for me to notice. “I didn’t know you paid that much attention to it.” “Why do you think you have so many female fans?” Aiden let out another low groan, but he didn’t tell me to stop. “You could raise a small fortune if you ever auctioned off the chance for a person to take a—” “Vanessa!” Mr. Proper reached over to throw a hand over my mouth, like he was shocked. That big hand literally covered me from ear to ear, and I burst out laughing though it was muffled. “You make me feel cheap,” he said as he slowly pulled his hand away, but the shine in his eyes said he didn’t really mind it that much. I stretched my own limbs with a yawn. “I’m just telling you what anyone else would.” “No, no one else would ever say that to me.” So he had a point. “Well, I’ll tell you the truth then.” He made this noise that had me rolling to face him again. “You always have
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Rachel left," he says, sighing. "Says she's never coming back." Galen nods. "She always says that. It's probably for the better tonight, though." They both wince as Rayna plants the ball of her foot in Emma's back, splaying her across the sea of shards. "I taught her that," Toraf says. "It's a good move." Neither of the combatants seem to care about the rain, lightning, or the whereabouts of their hostess. The storm billows in, drenching the furniture, the TV, the strange art on the wall. No wonder Rachel didn't want to see this. She fussed over this stuff for days. "So, it kind of threw me when she said she didn't like fish," Toraf says. "I noticed. Surprised me, too, but everything else is there." "Bad temper." "The eyes." "That white hair is shocking though, isn't it?" "Yeah, I like it. Shut up." Galen throws a sideways glare at his friend, whose grin makes him ball his fists. "Hard bones and thick skin, obviously. There's no sign of blood. And she took some pretty hard hits from Rayna," Toraf continues neutrally. Galen nods, relaxes his fists. "Plus, you feel the pull-" Toraf is greeted with a forceful shove that sends him skidding on one foot across the slippery marble floor. Laughing, he comes back to stand beside Galen again. "Jackass," Galen mutters. "Jackass? What's a jackass?" "Not sure. Emma called me that today when she was irritated with me." "You're insulting me in human-talk now? I'm disappointed in you, minnow." Toraf nods toward the girls. "Shouldn't we break this up soon?" "I don't think so. I think they need to work this out on their own." "What about Emma's head?" Galen shrugs. "Seems fine right now. Or she wouldn't have bashed the window into pieces with her forehead.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
--How I Was Visited By Messengers-- Something clicked in the clock on the wall, and I was visited by messengers. at first, I did not realize that I was visited by messengers. instead, I thought that something was wrong with the clock. but then I saw that the clock worked just fine, and probably told the correct time. then I noticed that there was a draft in the room. and then it shocked me: what kind of thing could, at the same time, cause a clock to click and a draft to start in the room? I sat down on a chair next to the divan and looked at the clock, thinking about that. the big hand was on the number nine, and the little one on the four, therefore, it was a quarter till four. there was a calendar on the wall below the clock, and its leafs were flipping, as if there was a strong wind in my room. my heart was beating very fast and I was so scared it almost made me collapse. "i should have some water," I said. on the table next to me was a pitcher with water. I reached out and took the pitcher. "water should help," I said and looked at the water. it was then that I realized that I had been visited by messengers, and that I could not tell them apart from the water. I was scared to drink the water, because I could, by accident, drink a messenger. what does that mean? nothing. one can only drink liquids. could the messengers be liquid? no. then, I can drink the water, there is nothing to be afraid of. but I couldn't find the water. I walked around the room and looked for the water. I tried putting a belt in my mouth, but it was not the water. I put the calendar in my mouth -- that also was not the water. I gave up looking for the water and started to look for the messengers. but how could I find them? what do they look like? I remembered that I could not distinguish them from the water, therefore, they must look like water. but what does water look like? I was standing and thinking. I do not know for how long I stood and thought, but suddenly I came to. "there is the water," I thought. but that wasn't the water and instead I got an itch in my ear. I looked under the cupboard and under the bed, hoping that there I might find the water or the messengers. but under the cupboard, in a pile of dust, I found a little ball, half eaten by a dog, and under the bed I found some pieces of glass. under the chair I found a half-eaten steak, I ate it and it made me feel better. it wasn't drafty anymore, the clock was ticking steadily, telling the time: a quarter till four. "well, this means the messengers are gone," I said quietly and started to get dressed, since I had a visit to make. -August 22, 1937
Daniil Kharms
Great paintings—people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they’re reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like. And, I count myself in the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then go out and have some lunch. But if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you. An individual heart-shock. Your dream, Welty’s dream, Vermeer’s dream. You see one painting, I see another, the art book puts it at another remove still, the lady buying the greeting card at the museum gift shop sees something else entire, and that’s not even to mention the people separated from us by time—four hundred years before us, four hundred years after we’re gone—it’ll never strike anybody the same way and the great majority of people it’ll never strike in any deep way at all but—a really great painting is fluid enough to work its way into the mind and heart through all kinds of different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular. Yours, yours. I was painted for you. And—oh, I don’t know, stop me if I’m rambling… but Welty himself used to talk about fateful objects. Every dealer and antiquaire recognizes them. The pieces that occur and recur. Maybe for someone else, not a dealer, it wouldn’t be an object. It’d be a city, a color, a time of day. The nail where your fate is liable to catch and snag.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
By the middle of the afternoon it had rained so much that the drains were overflowing, clogged up with leaves and newspapers. The water built up until it was sliding across the road in great sheets, rippled by the wind and parted like a football crowd by passing cars. I was shocked by the sheer volume of water that came pouring out of the darkness of the sky. Watching the weight of it crashing into the ground made me feel like a very young child, unable to understand what was really happening. Like trying to understand radio waves, or imagining computers communicating along glass cables. I leant my face against the window as the rain piled upon it, streaming down in waves, blurring my vision, making the shops opposite waver and disappear. There was a time when I might have found this exhilarating, even miraculous, but not that day. That day it made me nervous and tense, unable to concentrate on anything while the noise of it clattered against the windows and the roof. I kept opening the door to look for clear skies, and slamming it shut again. And then around teatime, from nowhere, I smashed all the dirty plates and mugs into the washing-up bowl. Something swept through me, swept out of and over me, something unstoppable, like water surging from a broken tap and flooding across the kitchen floor. I don't quite understand why I felt that way, why I reacted like that. I wanted to be saying it's just something that happens. But I was there, that day, slamming the kitchen door over and over again until the handle came loose. Smacking my hand against the worktop, kicking the cupboard doors, throwing the plates into the sink. Going fuckfuckfuck through my clenched teeth. I wanted someone to see me, I wanted someone to come rushing in, to take hold of me and say hey hey what are you doing, hey come on, what's wrong. But there was no one there, and no one came.
Jon McGregor (If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things)
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Tsunami spotted Snail and Herring among the guards. Their eyes darted anxiously from side to side, as if they were wondering how they were still alive. Because Mother wants to make a spectacle of them, Tsunami guessed. Coral was probably waiting for the right moment to punish them in public, the way she’d punished Tortoise. Well, two can play the spectacle game, Your Majesty. “MOTHER!” Tsunami declared dramatically as the waitstaff set bowls of soup in front of each dragon. Beside her, Whirlpool jumped and nearly tipped his bowl onto himself. Even Queen Coral looked startled. “I have something DREADFULLY SHOCKING to tell you!” Tsunami announced. She wanted this to be loud, so every dragon could witness it. “Oh?” said Coral. “Could we discuss it after breakfast? In a civilized fashion?” “NO,” Tsunami said, louder than before. “This is TOO SHOCKING.” Even SeaWings not invited to the feast were starting to peer out of their caves and poke their heads out of the lake to hear what was going on. “Well, perhaps —” Coral started. “WOULD YOU BELIEVE,” Tsunami said, “that my friends — the DRAGONETS OF DESTINY, remember — were CHAINED UP? And STARVED? In YOUR CAVES? By YOUR DRAGONS?” “What?” Coral said, flapping her wings. She looked thoroughly alarmed, but Tsunami couldn’t tell whether that was because the news actually surprised her or because she was being confronted openly with what she’d done. “I KNOW!” Tsunami practically bellowed. “It’s UNBELIEVABLE. I’m sure you didn’t know anything about it, of course.” “Of course,” Coral said in a hurry. “I would never treat any dragonets that way! Especially my dearest daughter’s dearest friends. Who are part of the prophecy and everything.” “And I’m sure you’ll want to punish the dragons who disobeyed you by treating my friends so terribly,” Tsunami said. “Right? Like, for instance, the one who lied to you about keeping them well fed?” She shot a glare at Lagoon, who froze with a sea snail halfway to her mouth, suddenly realizing what was going on. “Absolutely,” said the queen. “Guards! Throw Lagoon in one of the underwater dungeons!” “But —” Lagoon said. “But I was only —” “Next time you’ll obey my orders,” said the queen. A stripe quickly flashed under her wings, but Tsunami spotted it, and it was one Riptide had taught her. Silence. Oh, Mother, Tsunami thought sadly. “Can’t I even —” Lagoon said, reaching wistfully for her cauldron of soup as the guards pulled her away. “No breakfast for you,” the queen ordered. “Think about how that feels as you sit in my dungeon.” Tsunami was fairly sure Lagoon wouldn’t actually suffer very much. Queen Coral would have her back at Council meetings before long. But Tsunami wasn’t done. “And
Tui T. Sutherland (The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire, #2))
There’s something else I’m curious about, Kelsey.” I smiled at him. “Sure, what else do you want to know?” “What exactly is going on between you and Ren?” A vise clamped down on my chest, but I tried to play it cool. “What do you mean?” “I mean, are you two more than just traveling companions? Are you together?” I clipped off a fast, “No. Definitely not.” He grinned. “Good!” He grabbed my hand and kissed it. “Then that means you’re free to go out with me. No girl in her right mind would want to be with Ren, anyway. He’s very…stuffy. Cold, as far as relationships go.” My mouth hung open for a minute, shocked, and then I felt anger shove the shock aside and take over. “First of all, I am not going to be with either one of you. Second, a girl would have to be crazy not to want Ren. You’re wrong about him. He’s not stuffy or cold. In fact, he’s considerate, warm, drop-dead gorgeous, dependable, loyal, sweet, and charming.” He raised an eyebrow and measure me thoughtfuly for a minute. I squirmed under his gaze, knowing that I had spoken too quickly and said way too much. He ventured carefully. “I see. You may be right. The Dhiren I know has surely changed in the past couple of hundred years. However, despite that and your insistent claim that you will not be with either one of us, I would like to propose that we go out and celebrate tonight, if not as my..what is the correct word?” “The word is date.” “Date. If not as my date…then, as my friend.” I grimaced. Kishan continued, pressing his point, “Surely, you won’t leave me to fend for myself on my first night back in the real world?” He smiled at me, encouraging my acceptance. I did want to be his friend, but I wasn’t sure what to say to his request. And for just a moment, I wondered how Ren would feel about it and what the consequences might be. I questioned, “Where exactly do you want to go to celebrate?” “Mr. Kadam said there’s a nightclub in town nearby with dinner and dancing. I thought we could celebrate there, maybe get something to eat, and you can teach me how to dance.” I laughed nervously. “This is my first time in India, and I don’t know a thing about dancing or the music here.” Kisham seemed even more delighted by that news. “Fantastic! Then we will learn together. I won’t take no for an answer.” He jumped up to rush off. I yelled, “Wait, Kishan! I don’t even know what to wear!” He shouted back over his shoulder, “Ask Kadam. He knows everything!
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
— If love wants you; if you’ve been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills, with warm blood and cold. With feathers and scales. Under the hot gloom of the forest canopy you’ll want to breathe with the spiral calls of birds, while your lashing tail still gropes for the waes. You’ll try to haul your weight from simple sea to gravity of land. Caught by the tide, in the snail-slip of your own path, for moments suffocating in both water and air. If love wants you, suddently your past is obsolete science. Old maps, disproved theories, a diorama. The moment our bodies are set to spring open. The immanence that reassembles matter passes through us then disperses into time and place: the spasm of fur stroked upright; shocked electrons. The mother who hears her child crying upstairs and suddenly feels her dress wet with milk. Among black branches, oyster-coloured fog tongues every corner of loneliness we never knew before we were loved there, the places left fallow when we’re born, waiting for experience to find its way into us. The night crossing, on deck in the dark car. On the beach wehre night reshaped your face. In the lava fields, carbon turned to carpet, moss like velvet spread over splintered forms. The instant spray freezes in air above the falls, a gasp of ice. We rise, hearing our names called home through salmon-blue dusk, the royal moon an escutcheon on the shield of sky. The current that passes through us, radio waves, electric lick. The billions of photons that pass through film emulsion every second, the single submicroscopic crystal struck that becomes the phograph. We look and suddenly the world looks back. A jagged tube of ions pins us to the sky. — But if, like starlings, we continue to navigate by the rear-view mirror of the moon; if we continue to reach both for salt and for the sweet white nibs of grass growing closest to earth; if, in the autumn bog red with sedge we’re also driving through the canyon at night, all around us the hidden glow of limestone erased by darkness; if still we sish we’d waited for morning, we will know ourselves nowhere. Not in the mirrors of waves or in the corrading stream, not in the wavering glass of an apartment building, not in the looming light of night lobbies or on the rainy deck. Not in the autumn kitchen or in the motel where we watched meteors from our bed while your slow film, the shutter open, turned stars to rain. We will become indigestible. Afraid of choking on fur and armour, animals will refuse the divided longings in our foreing blue flesh. — In your hands, all you’ve lost, all you’ve touched. In the angle of your head, every vow and broken vow. In your skin, every time you were disregarded, every time you were received. Sundered, drowsed. A seeded field, mossy cleft, tidal pool, milky stem. The branch that’s released when the bird lifts or lands. In a summer kitchen. On a white winter morning, sunlight across the bed.
Anne Michaels
He knew he needed to release her, but once he allowed his physical connection to drop away, he was uncertain if he’d ever have a chance to reconnect. Instinctively, he knew Azami was elusive, like water flowing through fingers, or the wind shifting in the trees. He needed a way to seal her to him. “How does one court a woman in Japan? Do I need your brothers’ permission?” She blinked again. Shocked. A hint of uncertainty crept into her eyes. She frowned, and he bent his head to swallow her protest before she could utter it. Her mouth trembled beneath his, and then she opened to him, like a flower, luring him deeper. Her arms slid around his neck, her body pressing tightly against his. He tightened his fingers in her hair. He was burning, through and through, from the inside out, a hot melting of bone and tissue. He hadn’t known he was lonely or even looking for something. He’d been complete. He loved his wife. He was a man with teammates he trusted implicitly. He lived in wild places of beauty he enjoyed. He hadn’t considered there would be a woman who could ever fit with him, who would ever turn his insides soft and his body hard. Feel the same way, Azami. He didn’t lift his mouth, kissing her again and again because one he’d made the mistake, he was addicted and what was the use fighting it? Not when it felt so damn right. Somewhere along the line, his kiss went from sheer aggression and command, to absolute tenderness. The emotion for her rose like a volcano, encompassing him entirely, drawn from some part of him he’d never known even existed. His mouth was gentle, his hands on her, possessive, yet just as gentle. Another claiming, this coming from that deep unknown well. Feel the same way, Azami, he whispered into her mind. An enticement. A need. He waited, something in him going still, waiting for her answer. Tell me how you’re feeling? She hadn’t pulled away. If anything, her arms had tightened around his neck. He shared every single breath she took, feeling the slight movement of her rib cage and breasts against him, the warm air they exchanged. Like I’m burning alive. Drowning. Like I never want this moment to end. He wasn’t a man to say flowery things to a woman, nor did he even think them, but he shared the honest truth with her. Like we belong. Once he let her go, the world would slip back into kilter. He wanted her to stay with him, to give him a chance with her. She didn’t hesitate, and he loved that about her as well. She gave herself in truth in the same way he did. I feel the same, but one of us has to be sane. She initiated the kiss when he pulled back slightly, chasing after him with her soft mouth, fingers digging tightly into the heavy muscle at his neck, sighing when his lips settled once more over hers. He took his time, kissing her thoroughly, again and again, all the while slipping deeper into her spell and hoping she was falling under his. Is this your idea of sanity? He’d make it his reality. He was falling further down the rabbit hole and he’d make her his sanity if she’d fall with him. Her soft laughter slipped inside his heart, winding there until there was no shaking her loose. Not really, but you have to be the strong one. He kissed her again. And again. Why is that? You started this.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
I opened myself up to the kiss and kissed him back with enthusiasm. Putting all my secret emotions and tender feelings into the embrace, I wound my arms around his neck and slid my hands into his hair. Pulling his body that much closer to mine, I embraced him with all the warmth and affection that I wouldn’t allow myself to express verbally. He paused, shocked for a brief instant, and then quickly adjusted his approach, escalating into a passionate frenzy. I shocked myself by matching his energy. I ran my hands up his powerful arms and shoulders and then down his chest. My senses were in turmoil. I felt wild. Eager. I clutched at his shirt. I couldn’t get close enough to him. He even smelled delicious. You’d think that several days of being chased by strange creatures and hiking through a mysterious kingdom would make him smell bad. In fact, I wanted him to smell bad. I’m sure I did. I mean, how can you expect a girl to be fresh as a daisy while traipsing through the jungle and getting chased by monkeys. It’s just not possible. I desperately wanted him to have some fault. Some weakness. Some…imperfection. But Ren smelled amazing-like waterfalls, a warm summer day, and sandalwood trees all wrapped up in a sizzling, hot guy. How could a girl defend herself from a perfect onslaught delivered by a pefect person? I gave up and let Mr. Wonderful take control of my senses. My blood burned, my heart thundered, my need for him quickened, and I lost all track of time in his arms. All I was aware of was Ren. His lips. His body. His soul. I wanted all of him. Eventually, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently separated us. I was surprised that he had the strength of will to stop because I was nowhere near being able to. I blinked my eyes open in a daze. We were both breathing hard. “That was…enlightening,” he breathed. “Thank you, Kelsey.” I blinked. The passion that had dulled my mind dissipated in an instant, and my mind sharply focused on a new feeling. Irritation. “Thank you? Thank you! Of all the-“ I slammed up the steps angrily and then spun around to look down at him. “No! Thank you, Ren!” My hands slashed at the air. “Now you got what you wanted, so leave me alone!” I ran up the stairs quickly to put some distance between us. Enlightening? What was that about? Was he testing me? Giving me a one-to-ten score on my kissing ability? Of all the nerve? I was glad that I was mad. I could shove all the other emotions into the back of my mind and just focus on the anger, the indignation. He leapt up the stairs two at a time. “That’s not all I want, Kelsey. That’s for sure.” “Well, I no longer care about what you want!” He shot me a knowing look and raised an eyebrow. Then, he lifted his foot out of the opening, placed it on the dirt, and instantly changed back into a tiger. I laughed mockingly. “Ha!” I tripped over a stone but quickly found my footing. “Serves you right!” I shouted angrily and stumbled blindly along the dim path. After figuring out where to go, I marched off in a huff. “Come on, Fanindra. Let’s go find Mr. Kadam.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Depression goes through stages, but if left unchecked and not treated, this elevator ride will eventually go all the way to the bottom floor. And finally you find yourself bereft of choices, unable to figure out a way up or out, and pretty soon one overarching impulse begins winning the battle for your mind: “Kill yourself.” And once you get over the shock of those words in your head, the horror of it, it begins to start sounding appealing, even possessing a strange resolve, logic. In fact, it’s the only thing you have left that is logical. It becomes the only road to relief. As if just the planning of it provides the first solace you’ve felt that you can remember. And you become comfortable with it. You begin to plan it and contemplate the details of how best to do it, as if you were planning travel arrangements for a vacation. You just have to get out. O-U-T. You see the white space behind the letter O? You just want to crawl through that O and be out of this inescapable hurt that is this thing they call clinical depression. “How am I going to do this?” becomes the only tape playing. And if you are really, really, really depressed and you’re really there, you’re gonna find a way. I found a way. I had a way. And I did it. I made sure Opal was out of the house and on a business trip. My planning took a few weeks. I knew exactly how I was going to do it: I didn’t want to make too much of a mess. There was gonna be no blood, no drama. There was just going to be, “Now you see me, now you don’t.” That’s what it was going to be. So I did it. And it was over. Or so I thought. About twenty-four hours later I woke up. I was groggy; zoned out to the point at which I couldn’t put a sentence together for the next couple of days. But I was semifunctional, and as these drugs and shit that I took began to wear off slowly but surely, I realized, “Okay, I fucked up. I didn’t make it.” I thought I did all the right stuff, left no room for error, but something happened. And this perfect, flawless plan was thwarted. As if some force rebuked me and said, “Not yet. You’re not going anywhere.” The only reason I could have made it, after the amount of pills and alcohol and shit I took, was that somebody or something decided it wasn’t my time. It certainly wasn’t me making that call. It was something external. And when you’re infused with the presence of this positive external force, which is so much greater than all of your efforts to the contrary, that’s about as empowering a moment as you can have in your life. These days we have a plethora of drugs one can take to ameliorate the intensity of this lack of hope, lack of direction, lack of choice. So fuck it and don’t be embarrassed or feel like you can handle it yourself, because lemme tell ya something: you can’t. Get fuckin’ help. The negative demon is strong, and you may not be as fortunate as I was. My brother wasn’t. For me, despair eventually gave way to resolve, and resolve gave way to hope, and hope gave way to “Holy shit. I feel better than I’ve ever felt right now.” Having actually gone right up to the white light, looked right at it, and some force in the universe turned me around, I found, with apologies to Mr. Dylan, my direction home. I felt more alive than I’ve ever felt. I’m not exaggerating when I say for the next six months I felt like Superman. Like I’m gonna fucking go through walls. That’s how strong I felt. I had this positive force in me. I was saved. I was protected. I was like the only guy who survived and walked away from a major plane crash. I was here to do something big. What started as the darkest moment in my life became this surge of focus, direction, energy, and empowerment.
Ron Perlman (Easy Street: The Hard Way)
Close your eyes and stare into the dark. My father's advice when I couldn't sleep as a little girl. He wouldn't want me to do that now but I've set my mind to the task regardless. I'm staring beyond my closed eyelids. Though I lie still on the ground, I feel perched at the highest point I could possibly be; clutching at a star in the night sky with my legs dangling above cold black nothingness. I take one last look at my fingers wrapped around the light and let go. Down I go, falling, then floating, and, falling again, I wait for the land of my life. I know now, as I knew as that little girl fighting sleep, that behind her gauzed screen of shut-eye, lies colour. It taunts me, dares me to open my eyes and lose sleep. Flashes of red and amber, yellow and white speckle my darkness. I refuse to open them. I rebel and I squeeze my eyelids together tighter to block out the grains of light, mere distractions that keep us awake but a sign that there's life beyond. But there's no life in me. None that I can feel, from where I lie at the bottom of the staircase. My heart beats quicker now, the lone fighter left standing in the ring, a red boxing glove pumping victoriously into the air, refusing to give up. It's the only part of me that cares, the only part that ever cared. It fights to pump the blood around to heal, to replace what I'm losing. But it's all leaving my body as quickly as it's sent; forming a deep black ocean of its own around me where I've fallen. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Never have enough time here, always trying to make our way there. Need to have left here five minutes ago, need to be there now. The phone rings again and I acknowledge the irony. I could have taken my time and answered it now. Now, not then. I could have taken all the time in the world on each of those steps. But we're always rushing. All, but my heart. That slows now. I don't mind so much. I place my hand on my belly. If my child is gone, and I suspect this is so, I'll join it there. There.....where? Wherever. It; a heartless word. He or she so young; who it was to become, still a question. But there, I will mother it. There, not here. I'll tell it; I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm sorry I ruined your chances - our chances of a life together.But close your eyes and stare into the darkness now, like Mummy is doing, and we'll find our way together. There's a noise in the room and I feel a presence. 'Oh God, Joyce, oh God. Can you hear me, love? Oh God. Oh God, please no, Hold on love, I'm here. Dad is here.' I don't want to hold on and I feel like telling him so. I hear myself groan, an animal-like whimper and it shocks me, scares me. I have a plan, I want to tell him. I want to go, only then can I be with my baby. Then, not now. He's stopped me from falling but I haven't landed yet. Instead he helps me balance on nothing, hover while I'm forced to make the decision. I want to keep falling but he's calling the ambulance and he's gripping my hand with such ferocity it's as though I'm all he has. He's brushing the hair from my forehead and weeping loudly. I've never heard him weep. Not even when Mum died. He clings to my hand with all of his strength I never knew his old body had and I remember that I am all he has and that he, once again just like before, is my whole world. The blood continues to rush through me. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Maybe I'm rushing again. Maybe it's not my time to go. I feel the rough skin of old hands squeezing mine, and their intensity and their familiarity force me to open my eyes. Lights fills them and I glimpse his face, a look I never want to see again. He clings to his baby. I know I lost mind; I can't let him lose his. In making my decision I already begin to grieve. I've landed now, the land of my life. And still my heart pumps on. Even when broken it still works.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)