Glasses Short Quotes

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What in hell is that?” She kept going toward the bathroom, refusing to apologize or look down at the pink, delicate, very short lace nightgown. When she emerged, face washed and clean, Rowan was sitting up, arms crossed over his bare chest. “You forgot the bottom part.” She merely blew out the candles in the room one by one. His eyes tracked her the entire time. “There is no bottom part,” she said, flinging back the covers on her side. “It’s starting to get so hot, and I hate sweating when I sleep. Plus, you’re practically a furnace. So it’s either this or I sleep naked. You can sleep in the bathtub if you have a problem with it.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
I'm not ill like that,” she groaned. He sat on her bed, peeling back the blanket. A servant entered, frowning at the mess on the floor, and shouted for help. “Then it what way?” “I,uh...” Her face was so hot she thought it would melt onto the floor. Oh you idiot. “My monthly cycles finally came back!” His face suddenly matched hers and he stepped away, dragging his hand through his short hair. “I-if...Then I'll take my leave,” he stammered, and bowed. Celaena raised an eyebrow, and then, despite herself, smiled as he left the room as quick as his feet could go without running, tripping slightly in the doorway as he staggered into the rooms beyond.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Life's too short to care about what other people think. Besides, they should accept us for who we are
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
Windows ­were shuttered as they passed, probably because of Rowan, who looked like nothing short of death incarnate. But he was surprisingly calm with the villagers they approached. He didn’t raise his voice, didn’t snarl, didn’t threaten. He didn’t smile, but for Rowan, he was downright cheerful.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
Raymond Chandler (Red Wind: A Collection of Short Stories)
Clary," Jace said again. "You know: short, redheaded, bad temper.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Don't expect me to tell you apart," Reagan said when this became a routine. "I have short hair," Wren said. "and she wears glasses." "Stop," Reagan groaned, "don't make me look at you. It's like The Shining in here.
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.
Jonathan Swift (The Battle of the Books and Other Short Pieces)
Look, I asked you here for a reason. Much as I hate to admit it, vampire, we have something in common. " "Totally awesome hair?" Simon suggested, but his heart wasn't really in it either. Something about the look on Jace's face was making him increasingly uneasy. Simon was caught off guard. "Clary?" "Clary, " Jace said again. "You know: short, redheaded, bad temper.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
But the person who stepped out of the front door was tall and thin, with short, spiky dark hair. he was wearing a gold mesh vest and a pair of silk pajama pants. He regarded Clary with mild interest, puffing gently on a fantastically large pipe as he did so. Though he looked nothing at all like a Viking, he was instantly and totally familiar. Magnus Bane
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
If I could, I'd press my fingers through this screen; hold my favorite parts of you. Force lips through glass to steal a kiss.
Amanda Oaks (Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems (Volume 1))
Nothing lasts forever,' I said, flicking cigarette ash into a cut-glass tray. 'We all have a short time, to shine or just survive.
Tara Hanks (The Mmm Girl: Marilyn Monroe, by Herself)
Three mouthfuls. That's all Fenrys took before he laid his head back on the moss and closed his eyes. Rowan couldn't move. None of them moved. Aelin mouthed a short, curt word. Fenrys did not respond. She spoke again, that queen's unfaltering. Live.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
Rowan just asked, “Did you have a favorite form?” Lysandra's grin was nothing short of wicked. “I liked anything with claws and big, big fangs.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Must a name mean something?" Alice asked doubtfully. Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh; "my name means the shape I am - and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.
Lewis Carroll
I was free with every road as my home. No limitations and no commitments. But then summer passed and winter came and I fell short for safety. I fell for its spell, slowly humming me to sleep, because I was tired and small, too weak to take or handle those opinions and views, attacking me from every angle. Against my art, against my self, against my very way of living. I collected my thoughts, my few possessions and built isolated walls around my values and character. I protected my own definition of beauty and success like a treasure at the bottom of the sea, for no one saw what I saw, or felt the same as I did, and so I wanted to keep to myself. You hide to protect yourself.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
You’re still here. No beer. I’m not corrupting a minor.” “But you’re a minor,” she pointed out. “At least for beer.” “Yeah, and by the way, how much does it suck that I’m an adult if I kill somebody, but not if I want a beer?” Shane jumped in. “They’re all dicks.” “Man, seriously, you are one cheap drunk. Three beers? My junior high girlfriend could hold her liquor better.” “Your junior high girlfriend–” Shane brought himself up short without finishing that sentence, and flushed bright red. Must have been good, whatever it was. “Claire, get the hell out of here. You’re making me nervous.
Rachel Caine (Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1))
Now lend me your ears. Here is Creative Writing 101: 1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. 2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. 3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. 4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action. 5. Start as close to the end as possible. 6. Be a sadist. No matter sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of. 7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia. 8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages. The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
During the Age of Glass, everyone believed some part of him or her to be extremely fragile. For some it was a hand, for others a femur, yet others believed it was their noses that were made of glass. The Age of Glass followed the Stone Age as an evolutionary corrective, introducing into human relations a new sense of fragility that fostered compassion. This period lasted a relatively short time in the history of love-about a century-until a doctor named Ignacio da Silva hit on the treatment of inviting people to recline on a couch and giving them a bracing smack on the body part in question, proving to them the truth. The anatomical illusion that had seemed so real slowly disappeared and-like so much we no longer need but can't give up-became vestigial. But from time to time, for reasons that can't always be understood, it surfaces again, suggesting that the Age of Glass, like the Age of Silence, never entirely ended.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
For you she learned to wear a short black slip and red lipstick, how to order a glass of red wine and finish it. She learned to reach out as if to touch your arm and then not touch it, changing the subject. Didn't you think, she'd begin, or Weren't you sorry. . . . To call your best friends by their schoolboy names and give them kisses good-bye, to look away when they say Your wife! So your confidence grows. She doesn't ask what you want because she knows. Isn't that what you think? When actually she was only waiting to be told Take off your dress--- to be stunned, and then do this, never rehearsed, but perfectly obvious: in one motion up, over, and gone, the X of her arms crossing and uncrossing, her face flashing away from you in the fabric so that you couldn't say if she was appearing or disappearing.
Deborah Garrison (A Working Girl Can't Win)
She was a sweet girl but not really pretty, a rough sketch of a woman with a little of everything in her, one of those silhouettes which artists draw in three strokes on the tablecloth in a café after dinner, between a glass of brandy and a cigarette. Nature sometimes turns out creatures like that.
Guy de Maupassant (Selected Short Stories)
He let out a short laugh. "You sound like Sherlock Holmes. You gonna pull out a magnifying glass? A pipe, maybe?
James Dashner (The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine, #1))
So Mo began filling the silence with words. He lured them out of the pages as if they had only been waiting for his voice, words long and short, words sharp and soft, cooing, purring words. They danced through the room, painting stained glass pictures, tickling the skin. Even when Meggie nodded off she could still hear them, although Mo had closed the book long ago. Words that explained the world to her, its dark side and its light side, words that built a wall to keep out bad dreams. And not a single bad dream came over that wall for the rest of the night.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
We stopped to browse in the cases, and now that William - with his new glasses on his nose - could linger and read the books, at every title he discovered he let out exclamations of happiness, either because he knew the work, or because he had been seeking it for a long time, or finally because he had never heard it mentioned and was highly excited and titillated. In short, for him every book was like a fabulous animal that he was meeting in a strange land.
Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose)
I'm starting to boil inside. I know I seem dreamy, but inside-well, I'm boiling! Whenever I pick up a shoe, I shudder a little thinking how short life is and what I am doing!
Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)
There are people like Senhor José everywhere, who fill their time, or what they believe to be their spare time, by collecting stamps, coins, medals, vases, postcards, matchboxes, books, clocks, sport shirts, autographs, stones, clay figurines, empty beverage cans, little angels, cacti, opera programmes, lighters, pens, owls, music boxes, bottles, bonsai trees, paintings, mugs, pipes, glass obelisks, ceramic ducks, old toys, carnival masks, and they probably do so out of something that we might call metaphysical angst, perhaps because they cannot bear the idea of chaos being the one ruler of the universe, which is why, using their limited powers and with no divine help, they attempt to impose some order on the world, and for a short while they manage it, but only as long as they are there to defend their collection, because when the day comes when it must be dispersed, and that day always comes, either with their death or when the collector grows weary, everything goes back to its beginnings, everything returns to chaos.
José Saramago (All the Names)
Weapons weren't in the class description. It's about basic self-defense and hand-to-hand." "Why bother then?" Adrian strolled over to a glass case displaying several types of brass knuckles. "That's the kind of stuff Castile does all day. He could have showed us." "I wanted someone a little more approachable," I explained. "What, like Captain McTropicalShorts back there? Where on earth did you find him anyway?" "Just did an Internet search." Feeling a need to defend my research, I added, "He comes highly recommended." "By who? Long John Silver?
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
I should have liked to have had him beside me in a glass coffin, so that I could watch him all the time and he would not have been able to get away from me.
Angela Carter (Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories)
I listened to the men's voices outside, muted by my car walls. "...went at it with a flamethrower in the online video. Didn't even pucker the paint." "Of course not. You could roll a tank over this baby. Not much of a market for one over here. Designed for Middle East Diplomats, arm dealers, and drug lords mostly." "Think she's something?" the short one asked in a softer voice. I ducked my head, cheeks flaming. "Huh," the tall one said. "Maybe. Can't imagine what you'd need missile-proof glass and four thousand pounds of body armor for around here. Must be headed somewhere more hazardous." Body armor. Four thousand pounds of body armor. And missle-proof glass? Nice. What had happened to good old-fashioned bulletproof?
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
The Bible was the only book he read. He didn't read it often but when he did he wore his mother's glasses. They tired his eyes so that after a short time he was always obliged to stop.
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
A rap at the back door made her jump, and she peered through the window for a long time before she eased open the door a crack. She left the security chain on. 'What do you want, Richard?' Richard Morrell's police cruiser was parked in the drive. He hadn't flashed any lights or howled any sirens, so she supposed it wasn't an emergency, exactly. But she knew him well enough to know he didn't pay social visits, at least not to the Glass House. 'Good question,' Richard said. 'I guess I want a nice girl who can cook, likes action movies, and looks good in short skirts. But I'll settle for you taking the chain off the door and letting me in.
Rachel Caine (Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4))
You have grudged the very fire in your house because the wood cost overmuch!" he cried. "You have grudged life. To live cost overmuch, and you have refused to pay the price. Your life has been like a cabin where the fire is out and there are no blankets on the floor." He signaled to a slave to fill his glass, which he held aloft. "But I have lived. And I have been warm with life as you have never been warm. It is true, you shall live long. But the longest nights are the cold nights when a man shivers and lies awake. My nights have been short, but I have slept warm
Jack London (To Build a Fire and Other Stories)
You don't know me at all. You don't know the first thing about me. You don't know where I'm writing this from. You don't know what I look like. You have no power over me. What do you think I look like? Skinny? Freckles? Wire-rimmed glasses over brown eyes? No, I don't think so. Better look again. Deeper. It's like a kaleidoscope, isn't it? One minute I'm short, the next minute tall, one minute I'm geeky, one minute studly, my shape constantly changes, and the only thing that stays constant is my brown eyes. Watching you.
David Klass
People should not leave looking-glasses hanging in their rooms any more then they should leave open cheque books or letters confessing some hideous crime.
Virginia Woolf (A Haunted House And Other Short Stories)
The entire partying lifestyle was superficial in my experience, and most of my friendships were as deep as a shot glass and as short-lived as a pack of cigarettes.
Kate Madison (Spilled Perfume: A Memoir (Spilled Perfume #1))
Life's too short to worry about what other people think... Anyway, they should accept us for who we are.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
she should have told me that times slides away on a hillside of lose shale and takes everything in its path-dreams, opportunities, hopes. And youth. It takes that fastest of all.
Kristin Hannah (The Glass Case)
He’s waiting on a bricked street with a rickety staircase that leads to the museum. His hair mussed, his posture slightly hunched. Why did I ever tease him about those freckles? I love them. I love every single one of them. I love his freckles and and his red hair and the too-short legs of his suit pants and the too-long sleeves, the way he laughs, the way he pushes up his glasses to rub his eyes.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Today Tonight Tomorrow (Rowan & Neil, #1))
He felt the journal in his pocket. It was like a pair of glasses that he had worn for a time, enabling him to see a world he didn't even know existed.
Rebecca Rash (A Handful of Flowers: a short story collection)
If last night proved anything, it's that life is a strong drink served up in an extremely short - and fragile - shot glass.
Samantha Sotto Yambao (Before Ever After)
Glittering tinsel, lights, glass balls, and candy canes dangle from pine trees.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a Few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
Unfortunately, mortal life is very fragile, and very short. Yours could be shorter than usual.
Rachel Caine (Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1))
Life's too short to worry about what other people think,'' Mom said.''Anyway, they should accept us for who we are.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
It surprises me, though it shouldn't, how short the memories of these politicians are. They forget the brutal lengths women have gone to in order to terminate pregnancies when abortion was illegal or when abortion is unaffordable. Women have thrown themselves down stairs and otherwise tried to physically harm themselves to force a miscarriage. Dr. Waldo Fielding noted in the New York Times, "Almost any implement you can imagine had been and was used to start an abortion—darning needles, crochet hooks, cut-glass salt shakers, soda bottles, sometimes intact, sometimes with the top broken off." Women have tried to use soap and bleach, catheters, natural remedies. Women have historically resorted to any means necessary. Women will do this again if we are backed into that terrible corner. This is the responsibility our society has forced on women for hundreds of years.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)
The weather had freshened almost to coldness, for the wind was coming more easterly, from the chilly currents between Tristan and the Cape; the sloth was amazed by the change; it shunned the deck and spent its time below. Jack was in his cabin, pricking the chart with less satisfaction than he could have wished: progress, slow, serious trouble with the mainmast-- unaccountable headwinds by night-- and sipping a glass of grog; Stephen was in the mizentop, teaching Bonden to write and scanning the sea for his first albatross. The sloth sneezed, and looking up, Jack caught its gaze fixed upon him; its inverted face had an expression of anxiety and concern. 'Try a piece of this, old cock,' he said, dipping his cake in the grog and proffering the sop. 'It might put a little heart into you.' The sloth sighed, closed its eyes, but gently absorbed the piece, and sighed again. Some minutes later he felt a touch upon his knee: the sloth had silently climbed down and it was standing there, its beady eyes looking up into his face, bright with expectation. More cake, more grog: growing confidence and esteem. After this, as soon as the drum had beat the retreat, the sloth would meet him, hurrying toward the door on its uneven legs: it was given its own bowl, and it would grip it with its claws, lowering its round face into it and pursing its lips to drink (its tongue was too short to lap). Sometimes it went to sleep in this position, bowed over the emptiness. 'In this bucket,' said Stephen, walking into the cabin, 'in this small half-bucket, now, I have the population of Dublin, London, and Paris combined: these animalculae-- what is the matter with the sloth?' It was curled on Jack's knee, breathing heavily: its bowl and Jack's glass stood empty on the table. Stephen picked it up, peered into its affable bleary face, shook it, and hung it upon its rope. It seized hold with one fore and one hind foot, letting the others dangle limp, and went to sleep. Stephen looked sharply round, saw the decanter, smelt to the sloth, and cried, 'Jack, you have debauched my sloth.
Patrick O'Brian (H.M.S. Surprise (Aubrey & Maturin #3))
He sipped again, more deeply. “Is this an interrogation, Lieutenant?” It was the smile in his voice that rubbed her wrong. “It can be,” she said shortly. “As you like.” He rose, set his glass aside, and began to unbutton his shirt. “What are you doing?” “Getting into the swim, so to speak.” He tossed the shirt aside, unhooked his trousers. “If I’m going to be questioned by a naked cop, in my own tub, the least I can do is join her.” “Damn it, Roarke, this is murder.” He winced as the hot water all but scalded him. “You’re telling me.” He faced her across the sea of froth. “What is it in me that is so perverse it thrives on ruffling you? And,” he continued before she could give him her short, pithy opinion, “what is it about you that pulls at me, even when you’re sitting there with an invisible badge pinned to your lovely breast?
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
Life is a strong drink served up in an extremely short, and fragile shot glass. We shouldn't waste a single drop.
Samantha Sotto Yambao
Life is too short to worry about what other people think,
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
Deven tilted his head again, set down his glass, and said, "Any fight between us, my Lady, will be short and unpleasant." "Just like you." Miranda bit back. Silence. Then Deven laughed. Miranda didn't, but she felt the tension in the air dispel and sat back with her wineglass. "I like her," Deven told David. "She's bright and fearless, just like they say. Give her fifty years and she'll be a force of nature.
Dianne Sylvan (Shadowflame (Shadow World, #2))
He didn't object as she took up a place at the head of the tub and dumped some of the tonic into his short hair. The sweet, night-filled scent of jasmine floated up, caressing and kissing her. Even Rowan breathed it in as she scrubbed the tonic into his scalp. "I could still probably braid this," she mused. "Very teensy-tiny braids, so - " He growled, but leaned back against the tub, his eyes closed. "You're no better than a house cat," she said, massaging his head. He let out a low noise in his throat that might have very well have been a purr. Washing his hair was intimate-a privilege she doubted he'd ever allowed many people; something she'd never done for anyone else. But lines had always been blurred for them, and neither of them had particularly cared. He'd seen every inch of her several times, and she'd seen most of him. They'd shared a bed for months. On top of that, they were carranam. He'd let her inside his power, past his inner barriers, to where half a thought from her could have shattered his mind. So washing his hair, touching him... it was an intimacy, but it was essential, too.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Dan was shorter than me, especially as I was wearing sky blue silk stilettos. He appeared to be my age or a few years older,stocky, and thick necked with swirling tattoos just visible beneath the blue collar of his uniform.Dan gave me a plain once over as he walked me to an elevator and placed his palm against a glass screen. The screen retracted to reveal keypad. Dan then punched in a series of numbers and he said- “You’re very big.”I gave him a cursory smile, “Yes. I ate all my vegetables as a child.
Penny Reid (Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1))
He who thinks we are to pitch our tent here, and have attained the utmost prospect of reformation that the mortal glass wherein we contemplate can show us, till we come to beatific vision, that man by this very opinion declares that he is yet far short of truth.
John Milton
There's your problem," Leo announced. Jason scratched his head. "Uh.... what are we looking at?" Leo thought it was pretty obvious, but Piper looked confused too. "Okay," Leo sighed, " you want the full explanation or the short explanation?" "Short," Piper and Jason said in unison. Leo gestured to the empty core. "The syncopator goes here. It's a multi-access gyro-valve to regulate flow. The doxen glass tubes on the outside? Those are filled with powerful,dangerous stuff. That glowing red one is Lemnos fire from my dad's forges. This murky stuff here? That's water from the River Styx. The stuff in the tubes is going to power the ship, right? Like radioactive rods in a nuclear reactor. But the mix ratio has to be controlled, and the timer is already operational.... That means without the syncopator, this stuff is all going to vent into the chamber at the same time, in sixty-five minutes. At that point, we'll get a very nasty reaction." Jason and Piper stared at him. Leo wondered if he'd been speaking English. Sometimes when he was agitated he slipped into Spanish, like his mom used to do in her workshop. But he was pretty sure he'd used English. "Um..." Piper cleared her throat." Could you make the short explanation shorter?" Leo palm-smacked his forehead. "Fine. One hour. Fluids mix. Bunker goes ka-boom. One square mile of forest tuns into a smoking crater." "Oh," Piper said in a small voice. "Can't you just..... turn it off?" "Gee, I didn't think of that!" Leo said. "Let me just hit this switch and - No, Piper. I can't turn it off.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus))
But I do not want to paint our circumstantial portraits so that we both emerge with enough well-rounded, spuriously detailed actuality that you are forced to believe in us. I do not want to practise such sleight of hand. You must be content only with glimpses of our outlines, as if you had caught sight of our reflections in the looking-glass of somebody else’s house as you passed by the window.
Angela Carter (Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories)
I am late,' she said, 'I know that I am late. So many little things have to be done when you are alone, and I am not yet accustomed to being alone,' she added with a pretty little sob which reminded me of a cut-glass Victorian tear-bottle. She took off thick winter gloves with a wringing gesture which made me think of handkerchiefs wet with grief, and her hands looked suddenly small and useless and vulnerable.
Graham Greene (Collected Short Stories)
Winkfield.
Agatha Christie (The Shadow on the Glass: A Short Story (Harley Quin))
It may merely be apocryphal that when the Wizard saw the glass bottle he gasped, and clutched his heart. The story is told in so many ways, depending on who is doing the telling, and what needs to be heard at the time. It is a matter of history, however, that shortly thereafter, the Wizard absconded from the Palace. He left in the way he had first arrived-- a hot-air balloon-- just a few hours before seditious ministers were to lead a Palace revolt and to hold an execution without trial.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
Next, the stalled cars had their windows opaqued with a cheap commercial compound used for etching glass, and slogans were painted on their doors. Some were long: THIS VEHICLE IS A DANGER TO LIFE AND LIMB. Many were short: IT STINKS! But the commonest of all was the universally known catchphrase: STOP, YOU'RE KILLING ME!
John Brunner (The Sheep Look Up)
Reluctantly, he put his hand up to the cold glass. That odd tingling sensation raced through his body again. His ears began to hum and his head felt strange and heavy. Beneath his touch, the glass seemed to soften and his fingers made small indentions in the surface. ~ "The Mirror
Cassie McCown (Christmas Lites)
A slender man who looked like a carbon copy of his students, save for maybe a ten-year age difference, strode into the room and took his station behind the short metal desk up front. He was cool and sharp-looking with a stunningly well-tailored white button down, hipster glasses and a faux-military haircut that was shaved close on the sides but left long and slicked back on top. He looked like he was more prepared to model men's watches than to teach Interpersonal Psychology II.
Joel Abernathy (Pendulum (Kingdom of Night, #1))
In between bites of banana, Mr. Remora would tell stories, and the children would write the stories down in notebooks, and every so often there would be a test. The stories were very short, and there were a whole lot of them on every conceivable subject. "One day I went to the store to purchase a carton of milk," Mr. Remora would say, chewing on a banana. "When I got home, I poured the milk into a glass and drank it. Then I watched television. The end." Or: "One afternoon a man named Edward got into a green truck and drove to a farm. The farm had geese and cows. The end." Mr. Ramora would tell story after story, and eat banana after banana, and it would get more and more difficult for Violet to pay attention.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
I was ten years old, and I was still playing conkers and knocking off sweet shops while she was sitting on the linoleum floor of her cell sawing at her wrists with a bit of broken glass she'd got from heaven-knows-were. Cut her fingers up, too, but she did it all right. They found her in the morning, sticky, red, and cold.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Rational thought had died in that stairwell. The moment I’d lost sight of her out the door, I knew I’d follow her. The second I’d seen Johnson standing there, I had known I’d fight for her. And the moment she’d smiled up at me, I had known I’d run a mile though broken glass to keep it aimed at me. Long story short: I was fucked.
Aly Martinez (Singe (Guardian Protection, #1))
Look at this one.” I picked up a small painting of a man with dark hair and a short, dark beard. He wore a loose shirt, cobalt blue, unbuttoned at the top, showing a prominent, knobby collarbone. He looked…complicated and hungry. She’d captured him focused intensely on a book, his face pressed against a wall like he was resting. Or waiting.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Perfect Glass)
They turned on themselves, like a feverish wheel, all tumbling spokes. Margot stood alone. She was a very frail girl who looked as if she had been lost in the rain for years and the rain had washed out the blue from her eyes and the red from her mouth and the yellow from her hair. She was an old photograph dusted from an album, whitened away, and if she spoke at all her voice would be a ghost. Now she stood, separate, staring at the rain and the loud wet world beyond the huge glass.
Ray Bradbury
You go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall and go, "Her. I'll try and be her. I'll try and be her - but here." You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them - you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, "More input! More input for Johnny 5! as you rifle through books and watch films and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things that you are watching - Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Dorothy Parker gunning people down; Grace Jones singing "Slave to the Rhythm" - you will need when you get out there. What will be useful. What will be, eventually, you? And you will be quite on your own when you do all this. There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager slowly urging you toward the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone. And some versions of you will end in dismal failure - many prototypes won't even get out the front door, as you suddenly realize that no, you can't style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success - hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water. But one day you'll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly, staying up all night to hone and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked. Until - slowly, slowly - you make a viable version of you, one you can hum every day. You'll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you're busy doing other things. What your nature began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you'll be entirely - as you're too busy doing, now. And ten years will pass without you even noticing. And later, over a glass of wine - because you drink wine now, because you are grown - you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It's never been anything but your religion. Never. I'm a little over-excited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won't be asked. You won't be asked if you were working on a wonderful moving piece of writing when you died. You won't be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won't be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won't even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished--I think only poor Soren K. will get asked that. I'm so sure you'll get asked only two questions.' Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you'd remember before ever you sit down to write that you've been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart's choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won't even underline that. It's too important to be underlined. Oh, dare to do it, Buddy ! Trust your heart. You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
It's this or a short hospital stay," she said, greeting Scarlett with a raised glass of a deep red liquid with a celery stalk sticking out of the top. "Bloody Marys are one of the truly medicinal cocktails. The only way I can beat this jet lag is by staying up all day, and this is going to keep me alive. And who is this?" This was directed at Marlene, who was stalking along behind Scarlett like a wet cat.
Maureen Johnson (Suite Scarlett (Scarlett, #1))
Gate C22 At gate C22 in the Portland airport a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed a woman arriving from Orange County. They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking, the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island, like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing. Neither of them was young. His beard was gray. She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish kisses like the ocean in the early morning, the way it gathers and swells, sucking each rock under, swallowing it again and again. We were all watching– passengers waiting for the delayed flight to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots, the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could taste the kisses crushed in our mouths. But the best part was his face. When he drew back and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost as though he were a mother still open from giving birth, as your mother must have looked at you, no matter what happened after–if she beat you or left you or you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth. The whole wing of the airport hushed, all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body, her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses, little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.
Ellen Bass (The Human Line)
To My Children, I'm dedicating my little story to you; doubtless you will be among the very few who will ever read it. It seems war stories aren't very well received at this point. I'm told they're out-dated, untimely and as might be expected - make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don't like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their "forgetting" quite admirably. But you, my children, I don't want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and "88's" and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complimentary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism. I have no idea what your generation will be like. In mine we were to enjoy "Peace in our time". A very well meaning gentleman waved his umbrella and shouted those very words...less than a year before the whole world went to war. But this gentleman was suffering the worldly disease of insufferable optimism. He and his fellow humans kept polishing the rose colored glasses when actually they should have taken them off. They were sacrificing reason and reality for a brief and temporal peace of mind, the same peace of mind that many of my contemporaries derive by steadfastly refraining from remembering the War that came before. [excerpt from a dedication to an unpublished short story, "First Squad, First Platoon"; from Serling to his as yet unborn children]
Rod Serling
She was perhaps seventeen when it happened. She was in Central Park, in New York. It was too warm for such an early spring day, and the hammered brown slopes had a dusting of green of precisely the consistency of that morning's hoarfrost on the rocks. But the frost was gone and the grass was brave and tempted some hundreds of pairs of feet from the asphalt and concrete to tread on it. Hers were among them. The sprouting soil was a surprise to her feet, as the air was to her lungs. Her feet ceased to be shoes as she walked, her body was consciously more than clothes. It was the only kind of day which in itself can make a city-bred person raise his eyes. She did. For a moment she felt separated from the life she lived, in which there was no fragrance, no silence, in which nothing ever quite fit nor was quite filled. In that moment the ordered disapproval of the buildings around the pallid park could not reach her; for two, three clean breaths it no longer mattered that the whole wide world really belongs to images projected on a screen; to gently groomed goddesses in these steel-and-glass towers; that it belonged, in short, always, always to someone else.
Theodore Sturgeon (E Pluribus Unicorn)
North. To Terrasen. To fight, not run. To Aelin and Ren and Aedion—grown and strong and alive. She did not know how long it would take or how far she would have to walk, but she would make it. She would not look back. Walking under the trees, the forest buzzing around her, Elide pressed a hand against the pocket inside her leather jacket, feeling the hard little lump tucked there. She whispered a short prayer to Anneith for wisdom, for guidance—and could have sworn a warm hand brushed her brow as if in answer. It straightened her spine, lifted her chin. Limping, Elide began the long journey home.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Having shaved, washed, and dexterously arranged several artificial teeth, standing in front of the mirror, he moistened his silver-mounted brushes and plastered the remains of his thick pearly hair on his swarthy yellow skull. He drew on to his strong old body, with its abdomen protuberant from excessive good living, his cream-colored silk underwear, put black silk socks and patent-leather slippers on his flat-footed feet. He put sleeve-links in the shining cuffs of his snow-white shirt, and bending forward so that his shirt front bulged out, he arranged his trousers that were pulled up high by his silk braces, and began to torture himself, putting his collar-stud through the stiff collar. The floor was still rocking beneath him, the tips of his fingers hurt, the stud at moments pinched the flabby skin in the recess under his Adam's apple, but he persisted, and at last, with eyes all strained and face dove-blue from the over-tight collar that enclosed his throat, he finished the business and sat down exhausted in front of the pier glass, which reflected the whole of him, and repeated him in all the other mirrors. " It is awful ! " he muttered, dropping his strong, bald head, but without trying to understand or to know what was awful. Then, with habitual careful attention examining his gouty-jointed short fingers and large, convex, almond-shaped finger-nails, he repeated : " It is awful. . . .
Ivan Bunin (The Gentleman from San Francisco and Other Stories)
Again I waited - oh, but for a brief interval: I presently distinguished an extraordinary shuffling and stamping of feet on the staircase, on the floors, on the carpets; a sound not only of boots and' human shoes, but tapping of crutches, of crutches of wood, and knocking of iron crutches which clanged like cymbals. And behold, I perceived, all at once, on the door sill, an armchair, my large reading chair, which came waddling out. Right into the garden it went, followed by others, the chairs of my drawing room, then the comfortable settee, crawling like crocodiles on their short legs; next, all my chairs bounding like goats,and the small footstools which followed like rabbits. Oh, what a hideous surprise! I stepped back behind the shrubs, where I stayed, crouched and watching this procession of my furniture; for out they all came, one behind the other, quickly or slowly according to their form and weight. My piano - my large grand piano - passed at a canter like a horse, with a faint murmur of music from within; the smallest objects crawled on the gravel like ants - brushes, glasses and cups glistening in the rays of the moon with phosphorescence like glowworms. The curtains, tablecloths and, draperies wriggled along, with their feelers in the puddles like the cuttle-fish in the sea. Suddenly I beheld my pet bureau, a rare specimen of the last century, and which contained all my correspondence, all my love letters, the whole history of my heart, an old history of how much I have suffered! And within, besides, were, above all, certain photographs! ("Who Knows?")
Guy de Maupassant (Ghostly By Gaslight)
Her reflection's hair was short, but she wore a simple violet robe tied at the waist with a blue sash. At her hip was her father's sword, and tucked in her hair- a blossom from their family's cherry tree. Mulan knelt and lowered her fingers to the glass. It rippled at her touch. "This one. This is me." A beat. Are you sure? asked the girl in the mirror. "Yes," said Mulan firmly. "It doesn't matter whether I'm a girl dressed like a bride, or a girl dressed like a soldier. I know my heart." Mulan flattened her hand against the glass, facing her reflection. Together, they said, "I am Fa Mulan, a girl who would sacrifice her life for her family and for China. I am a girl who journeyed into the Underworld to save her friend from dying. I am a girl who has fought battle after battle to finally recognize herself in the mirror. And now I do.
Elizabeth Lim (Reflection)
I’ve noticed a paradox in great scientists and superforecasters: the reason they’re so comfortable being wrong is that they’re terrified of being wrong. What sets them apart is the time horizon. They’re determined to reach the correct answer in the long run, and they know that means they have to be open to stumbling, backtracking, and rerouting in the short run. They shun rose-colored glasses in favor of a sturdy mirror. The fear of missing the mark next year is a powerful motivator to get a crystal-clear view of last year’s mistakes. “People who are right a lot listen a lot, and they change their mind a lot,” Jeff Bezos says. “If you don’t change your mind frequently, you’re going to be wrong a lot.
Adam M. Grant (Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know)
The magnitude of these shattering changes can perhaps be grasped by imagining that the invasion had been in the reverse direction and that the Aztecs or Incas had arrived suddenly in Europe, imposed their culture and calendar, outlawed Christianity, set up sacrificial altars for thousands of victims in Madrid and Amsterdam, unwittingly spread disease on a scale that virtually matched the Black Death, melted down the golden images of Christ and the saints, threw stones at the stained-glass windows and converted the cathedral aisles into arms or food warehouses, toppled unfamiliar Greek statues and Roman columns, and carried home to the Mexican and Peruvian highlands their loot in precious metals along with slaves, indentured servants and other human trophies.
Geoffrey Blainey (A Short History of the World)
There is something strange about agony; the memory of it can be terribly short-lived when the contrast of revival and a pretty spring afternoon have dispelled the regrets. One drink of vodka in a cheerful glass, in the company of good poetry and the scent of blossoms and earth might entice the most well intended to forgo promise of atonement until a worse time. I have at times been just less than amazed how one drink merges with the second, where at some unknown point a mental transformation sets in. I have never been able to ascertain at what point that is--not precisely--and I have been conscious of trying to catch that moment, to try and understand it, to try and prevent it from happening, or at least have a fair chance to decide wheather or not to cross over into that other realm. Such an elusive thing, this is.
Ronald Everett Capps (Off Magazine Street)
The third mercenary—standing between Yrene and the mist—drew his short sword. Yrene didn’t have time to cry out in surprise or warning as a dark figure slipped from the mist and grabbed him. Not in front, but from the side, as if they’d just appeared out of thin air. The mercenary threw Yrene to the ground and drew the sword from across his back, a broad, wicked-looking blade. But his companion didn’t even shout. More silence. “Come out, you bleedin’ coward,” the ringleader growled. “Face us like a proper man.” A low, soft laugh. Yrene’s blood went cold. Silba, protect her. She knew that laugh—knew the cool, cultured voice that went with it. “Just like how you proper men surrounded a defenseless girl in an alley?” With that, the stranger stepped from the mist. She had two long daggers in her hands. And both blades were dark with dripping blood.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
Some days I would take the train into Manhattan. There was so much money everywhere, money flowing out of bistros and cafes, money pushing the people, at incredible speeds, up the wide avenues, money drawing intergalactic traffic through Times Square, money in the limestones and brownstones, money out on West Broadway where white people spilled out of wine bars with sloshing glasses and without police. I would see these people at the club, drunken, laughing, challenging breakdancers to battles. They would be destroyed and humiliated in these battles. But afterward they would give dap, laugh, order more beers. They were utterly fearless. I did not understand it until I looked out on the street. That was where I saw white parents pushing double-wide strollers down gentrifying Harlem boulevards in T-shirts and jogging shorts. Or I saw them lost in conversation with each other, mother and father, while their sons commanded entire sidewalks with their tricycles. The galaxy belonged to them, and as terror was communicated to our children, I saw mastery communicated to theirs.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
I mean to say, millions of people, no doubt, are so constituted that they scream with joy and excitement at the spectacle of a stuffed porcupine-fish or a glass jar of seeds from Western Australia - but not Bertram. No; if you will take the word of one who would not deceive you, not Bertram. By the time we had tottered out of the Gold Coast village and were working towards the Palace of Machinery, everything pointed to my shortly executing a quiet sneak in the direction of that rather jolly Planters' Bar in the West Indian section. ... There are certain moments in life when words are not needed. I looked at Biffy, Biffy looked at me. A perfect understanding linked our two souls. "?" "!" Three minutes later we had joined the Planters. I have never been in the West Indies, but I am in a position to state that in certain of the fundamentals of life they are streets ahead of our European civilisation. The man behind the counter, as kindly a bloke as I ever wish to meet, seemed to guess our requirements the moment we hove in view. Scarcely had our elbows touched the wood before he was leaping to and fro, bringing down a new bottle with each leap. A planter, apparently, does not consider he has had a drink unless it contains at least seven ingredients, and I'm not saying, mind you, that he isn't right. The man behind the bar told us the things were called Green Swizzles; and, if ever I marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down on the register, in memory of the day his father's life was saved at Wembley.
P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3))
Wild Peaches" When the world turns completely upside down You say we’ll emigrate to the Eastern Shore Aboard a river-boat from Baltimore; We’ll live among wild peach trees, miles from town, You’ll wear a coonskin cap, and I a gown Homespun, dyed butternut’s dark gold color. Lost, like your lotus-eating ancestor, We’ll swim in milk and honey till we drown. The winter will be short, the summer long, The autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all. The squirrels in their silver fur will fall Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot. 2 The autumn frosts will lie upon the grass Like bloom on grapes of purple-brown and gold. The misted early mornings will be cold; The little puddles will be roofed with glass. The sun, which burns from copper into brass, Melts these at noon, and makes the boys unfold Their knitted mufflers; full as they can hold Fat pockets dribble chestnuts as they pass. Peaches grow wild, and pigs can live in clover; A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year; The spring begins before the winter’s over. By February you may find the skins Of garter snakes and water moccasins Dwindled and harsh, dead-white and cloudy-clear. 3 When April pours the colors of a shell Upon the hills, when every little creek Is shot with silver from the Chesapeake In shoals new-minted by the ocean swell, When strawberries go begging, and the sleek Blue plums lie open to the blackbird’s beak, We shall live well — we shall live very well. The months between the cherries and the peaches Are brimming cornucopias which spill Fruits red and purple, sombre-bloomed and black; Then, down rich fields and frosty river beaches We’ll trample bright persimmons, while you kill Bronze partridge, speckled quail, and canvasback. 4 Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones There’s something in this richness that I hate. I love the look, austere, immaculate, Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones. There’s something in my very blood that owns Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate, A thread of water, churned to milky spate Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones. I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray, Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves; That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath, Summer, so much too beautiful to stay, Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves, And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
Elinor Wylie
Fireworks made of glass. An explosion of dew. Crescendo. Diminuendo. Silence. There are drugs that work the same, and while I am not suggesting that our founder purchased the glassworks to get more drops, it is clear that she had the seed planted, not once, but twice, and knew already the lovely contradictory nature of glass and she did not have to be told, on the day she saw the works at Darling Harbour, that glass is a thing in disguise, an actor, is not solid at all, but a liquid, that an old sheet of glass will not only take on a royal and purplish tinge but will reveal its true liquid nature by having grown fatter at the bottom and thinner at the top, and that even while it is as frail as the ice on a Parramatta puddle, it is stronger under compression than Sydney sandstone, that it is invisible, solid, in short, a joyous and paradoxical thing, as good a material as any to build a life from.
Peter Carey
I was saddened to find it in such a state- no, no more than saddened, I was shamed. This was where I came from, this was my provenance, and it smacked of lowliness. But as I reacclimatized and my surroundings once again became familiar, it occurred to me that the house had not changed in my absence. I had changed. I was looking about me with the eyes of a foreigner, but that particular type of entitled and unsympathetic American who so annoyed me when I encountered him in the classrooms and workplaces of your country's elite. This realization angered me; staring at my reflection in the speckled glass of bathroom mirror I resolved to exorcise the unwelcome sensibility by which I had become possessed. It was only after so doing that I saw my house properly again, appreciating its enduring grandeur, its unmistakable personality and idiosyncratic charm. Mughal miniatures and ancient carpets graced its reception rooms; an excellent library abutted its veranda. It was far from impoverished; indeed, it was rich with history. I wondered how I could ever have been so ungenerous- and so blind- to have thought otherwise, and I was disturbed by what this implied about myself: that I was a man lacking in substance and hence easily influenced by even a short sojourn in the company of others.
Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
Oh, she had been some kind of fine-looking, all right, with that dynamite body and that gorgeous fall of red wavy hair. But she was weak . . . weak somehow. It was as if she was sending out radio signals which only he could receive. You could point to certain things—how much she smoked (but he had almost cured her of that), the restless way her eyes moved, never quite meeting the eyes of whoever was talking to her, only touching them from time to time and then leaping nimbly away; her habit of lightly rubbing her elbows when she was nervous; the look of her fingernails, which were kept neat but brutally short. Tom noticed this latter the first time he met her. She picked up her glass of white wine, he saw her nails, and thought: She keeps them short like that because she bites them. Lions may not think, at least not the way people think . . . but they see. And when antelopes start away from a waterhole, alerted by that dusty-rug scent of approaching death, the cats can observe which one falls to the rear of the pack, maybe because it has a lame leg, maybe because it is just naturally slower . . . or maybe because its sense of danger is less developed. And it might even be possible that
Stephen King (It)
It was in December. I stood in the back of the tram, all the way in the back. It drove through the country and stopped and started again, it took hours, the countryside was endless. And the sky got bluer and bluer and the sun shone until it seemed like flowers would have to start sprouting out of the country bumpkins. And the red roofs in the villages and the black trees and the fields, most of them covered with straw, had it nice and warm, and the dunes sat bareheaded in the sun. And the road lay there, white and smarting, it couldn't bear the sunlight, and the glass panes of the village streetlamp flashed, they had trouble withstanding the glare too. But I got colder and colder. And the tram ran as long as the sun shone. It's a long ride from Hillegom to Leiden and the days are short in December. By the end, a block of ice was standing there on the tram staring into the big stupid cold sun that was flaming red as though the revolution was finally starting, as though offices were being blown up all over Amsterdam, but still it couldn't bring a spark of life back to my cold feet and stiff legs. And it kept getting bigger and colder, the sun, and I got colder and stayed the same size, and the blue sky looked down very disapprovingly: What are you doing on that tram?
Nescio (Amsterdam Stories)
Oh I could be out, rollicking in the ripeness of my flesh and others’, could be drinking things and eating things and rubbing mine against theirs, speculating about this person or that, waving, indicating hello with a sudden upward jutting of my chin, sitting in the backseat of someone else’s car, bumping up and down the San Francisco hills, south of Market, seeing people attacking their instruments, afterward stopping at a bodega, parking, carrying the bottles in a paper bag, the glass clinking, all our faces bright, glowing under streetlamps, down the sidewalk to this or that apartment party, hi, hi, putting the bottles in the fridge, removing one for now, hating the apartment, checking the view, sitting on the arm of a couch and being told not to, and then waiting for the bathroom, staring idly at that ubiquitous Ansel Adams print, Yosemite, talking to a short-haired girl while waiting in the hallway, talking about teeth, no reason really, the train of thought unclear, asking to see her fillings, no, really, I’ll show you mine first, ha ha, then no, you go ahead, I’ll go after you, then, after using the bathroom she is still there, still in the hallway, she was waiting not just for the bathroom but for me, and so eventually we’ll go home together, her apartment, where she lives alone, in a wide, immaculate railroad type place, newly painted, decorated with her mother, then sleeping in her oversized, oversoft white bed, eating breakfast in her light-filled nook, then maybe to the beach for a few hours with the Sunday paper, then wandering home whenever, never- Fuck. We don't even have a baby-sitter.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
There are people like Senhor José everywhere, who fill their time, or what they believe to be their spare time, by collecting stamps, coins, medals, vases, postcards, matchboxes, books, clocks, sport shirts, autographs, stones, clay figurines, empty beverage cans, little angels, cacti, opera programmes, lighters, pens, owls, music boxes, bottles, bonsai trees, paintings, mugs, pipes, glass obelisks, ceramic ducks, old toys, carnival masks, and they probably do so out of something that we might call metaphysical angst, perhaps because they cannot bear the idea of chaos being the one ruler of the universe, which is why, using their limited powers [...], they attempt to impose some order on the world, and for a short while they manage it, but only as long as they are there to defend their collection, because when the day comes when it must be dispersed, and that day always comes, either with their death or when the collector grows weary, everything goes back to its beginnings, everything returns to chaos.
José Saramago (All the Names)
Is anyone else coming?” I asked him when he didn’t say anything after setting his glass back down on the table. I’d overheard a couple of the guys talking about Rip’s half-hearted invitation when I had taken a bathroom break, but I hadn’t heard more than that. His gaze hadn’t left mine from the moment he had spotted me, and it didn’t go anywhere as he shrugged and said, “Doubt it.” I must have made a face because he added, casually, “I’m not exactly anybody’s favorite, Luna.” The smile fell right off my mouth, and I couldn’t help but frown at him. At the harshness of his words. At the… fact-like nature of them. That wasn’t very nice for him to assume. That wasn’t very nice to assume at all, and it bothered me… even if it was true that Mr. Cooper was my favorite person at the shop. And I was his. And Miguel’s— Crap. “I’m sure—“ I started before getting cut off. “I’m not,” he told me, tapping his short fingernails against the glass. Rip tipped his chin up a millimeter, giving me a slightly better view of the shading tucked up against his jawline. He swallowed, everything about his body language saying that he was telling me these words in this way because it wasn’t a big deal to him. He didn’t care. Why should he? His body said. His next words confirmed it. “I’m not around to be anybody’s friend.” All righty then. I wanted to tell him something that would make it seem that it wasn’t like anyone hated him or disliked him. Most of the guys were just… wary. Even I was wary, and he didn’t scare or intimidate me… unless I screwed up. But I didn’t know what to say to that comment. I hated liars as much as I hated aggressive drunk people and cooked carrots. So I did the only thing I could think of: I smiled at him and shrugged. He didn’t look even a little put out or hurt by what he’d been saying. Who was I to make it a big deal if he claimed he didn’t care? “Did you like your cake?
Mariana Zapata (Luna and the Lie)
Nobody tells people who are beginners. I really wish someone had told this to me. Is that [if you are watching this video, you are somebody who wants o make videos right?] all of us who do creative work, we get into it. we get into it because we have good taste. you know what I mean? like you want to make TV, because you love TV. there is stuff you just like, love. ok so you got really good taste. you get into this thing … that i don’t even know how to describe it, but there is a gap. for the first couple of years you are making stuff, what you are making isn’t so good... ok, its not that great. it's really not that great. its trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but not quite that good. but your taste, the thing get you into the game, your taste is still killer. your taste is good enough that you can tell what you are making is a kind of disappointment to you, you know what i mean? you can tell it is still sort of crappy. a lot of people never get past that phase. a lot of people at that point, they quit. the thing i would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know, who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste, they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. they knew it felt short. [some of us can admit that to ourselves, some of us less able to admit that to ourselves] we knew like, it didn’t have that special thing that we wanted it to have. [...] everybody goes through that. for you to go through it, if you are going through right now, just getting out of that phase, if you are just starting out and entering into that phase, you gotta know it is totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work. do a huge volume of work. put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re gonna finish one story. you know what i mean? whatever its gonna be. you create the deadline. it is best if have somebody who is waiting work from you, expecting work from you. even if not somebody who pays you, but that you are in a situation where you have to turn out the work. because it is only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap and the work you are making will be as good as your ambitions.
Ira Glass
Later, when the other Beatles arrived, the crowd in the street had swelled to an estimated twenty-thousand, some of whom were whipped up in a terrific heat. Others, many of them young girls who had been waiting since dawn, suffered from hunger and exhaustion. The police force, which had been monitoring the situation nervously, called in the army and navy to help maintain order, but it was short-lived. By late afternoon, with chants of "We want the Beatles!" ringing through the square, the shaken troops, now four-hundred strong, felt control slipping from their grasp. They didn't know where to look first: at the barricades being crushed, the girls fainting out of sight, the hooligans stomping on the roofs of cars or pushing through their lines. A fourteen-year-old "screamed so hard she burst a blood-vessel in her throat." It was "frightening, chaotic, and rather inhuman," according to a trooper on horseback. There most pressing concern was the hotels plate-glass windows bowing perilously against the violent crush of bodies. They threatened to explode in a cluster of razor-sharp shards at any moment. Ambulances screamed in the distance, preparing for the worst; a detachment of mounted infantry swung into position.
Bob Spitz (The Beatles: The Biography)
I was still walking behind Mrs. Haze through the dining room when, beyond it, there came a sudden burst of greenery – “the piazza," sang out my leader, and then, without the least warning, a blue sea-wave swelled under my heart and, from a mat in a pool of sun, half-naked, kneeling, turning about on her knees, there was my Riviera love peering at me over dark glasses. It was the same child-the same frail, honey-hued shoulders, the same silky supple bare back, the same chestnut head of hair. A polka-dotted black kerchief tied around her chest hid from my aging ape eyes, but not from the gaze of young memory, the juvenile breasts I had fondled one immortal day. And, as if I were the fairy-tale nurse of some little princess (lost, kidnapped, discovered in gypsy rags through which her nakedness smiled at the king and his hounds), I recognized the tiny dark-brown mole on her side. With awe and delight (the king crying for joy, the trumpets blaring, the nurse drunk) I saw again her lovely indrawn abdomen where my southbound mouth had briefly paused; and those puerile hips on which I had kissed the crenulated imprint left by the band of her shorts – that last mad immortal day behind the "Roches Roses." The twenty-five years I had lived since then, tapered to a palpitating point, and vanished.
Vladimir Nabokov
Scott stared at her mouth, just stared like he was hypnotized, paralyzed, like that crimson O was the answer to all of life’s problems, or maybe just his prayers. I kicked his shin to break the spell, which worked; he blinked, then ate the bite himself as if he’d never even offered it to anyone at all. I looked frankly at Carmel; her expression was innocently amused. There are women whose whole selves are engaged in being a public commodity, and Carmel was one of these. Every gesture she made, every syllable she uttered, the tinkle of her laughter, the way her dress’s fabric draped over her breasts, all of it was self-conscious and deliberate, designed to elicit admiration in women, desire in men. This isn’t to say I held any of that against her. Not a bit. I liked her, in fact. The way I saw it, she was a kind of living work of art, and funny and thoughtful besides. Was it her fault if she, as had happened to me, sometimes provoked the basest feelings in a man? Scott and Fred made short work of that second bottle of brandy while Carmel’s and my glasses still held our initial pour. I’d found that drinking very much of any kind of alcohol still did bad things to my stomach. Carmel might have found that it did bad things to her self-preservation; I know that if I looked like her, I’d never let down my guard.
Therese Anne Fowler (Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald)
Lucinda might sneak from her own house at midnight to place a wager somewhere else, but she dared not touch the pack that lay in her own sideboard. She knew how passionate he had become about his 'weakness.' She dared not even ask him how it was he had reversed his opinions on the matter. But, oh, how she yearned to discuss it with him, how much she wished to deal a hand on a grey wool blanket. There would be no headaches then, only this sweet consummation of their comradeship. But she said not a word. And although she might have her 'dainty' shoes tossed to the floor, have her bare toes quite visible through her stockings, have a draught of sherry in her hand, in short appear quite radical, she was too timid, she thought, too much a mouse, to reveal her gambler's heart to him. She did not like this mouselike quality. As usual, she found herself too careful, too held in. Once she said: 'I wish I had ten sisters and a big kitchen to laugh in.' Her lodger frowned and dusted his knees. She thought: He is as near to a sister as I am likely to get, but he does not understand. She would have had a woman friend so they could brush each other's hair, and just, please God, put aside this great clanking suit of ugly armor. She kept her glass dreams from him, even whilst she appeared to talk about them. He was an admiring listener, but she only showed him the opaque skin of her dreams--window glass, the price of transporting it, the difficulties with builders who would not pay their bills inside six months. He imagined this was her business, and of course it was, but all the things she spoke of were a fog across its landscape which was filled with such soaring mountains she would be embarrassed to lay claim to them. Her true ambition, the one she would not confess to him, was to build something Extraordinary and Fine from glass and cast iron. A conservatory, but not a conservatory. Glass laced with steel, spun like a spider web--the idea danced around the periphery of her vision, never long enough to be clear. When she attempted to make a sketch, it became diminished, wooden, inelegant. Sometimes, in her dreams, she felt she had discovered its form, but if she had, it was like an improperly fixed photograph which fades when exposed to daylight. She was wise enough, or foolish enough, to believe this did not matter, that the form would present itself to her in the end.
Peter Carey (Oscar and Lucinda)
The sound of the trumpets died away and Orlando stood stark naked. No human being since the world began, has ever looked more ravishing. His form combined in one the strength of a man and a woman’s grace. As he stood there, silver trumpets prolonged their note, as if reluctant to leave the lovely sight which their blast had called forth; and Chastity, Purity, and Modesty, inspired, no doubt, by Curiosity, peeped in at the door and threw a garment like a towel at the naked form which, unfortunately, fell short by several inches. Orlando looked at himself up and down in a long looking-glass, without showing any signs of discompose, and went presumably, to his bath. We many take advantage of this pause in the narrative to make certain statements. Orlando had become a woman - there is no denying it. But in every other respect, Orlando remained precisely as he had been. The change in sex, though it altered their future, did nothing whatever to alter their identity. Their faces remained, as their portraits prove, practically the same. His memory - but in the future we must, for convention’s sake, say ‘her’ for ‘his’, and ‘she’ for ‘he’ - her memory then, went back through all the events of her past life without encountering any obstacle. Some slight haziness there may have been, as if a few dark spots had fallen into the clear pool of memory; certain things had become a little dimmed; but that was all. The change seemed to have been accomplished painlessly and completely and in such a way that Orlando herself showed no surprise at it. Many people, taking this into account, and holding that such a change in sex is against nature, have been at great pains to prove (1) that Orlando has always been a woman, (2) that Orlando is at this moment a man. Let biologists and psychologists determine. It is enough for us to state the simple fact; Orlando was a man till the age of thirty; when he became a woman and has remained so ever since.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
Mr Wonka Goes Too Far The last time we saw Charlie, he was riding high above his home town in the Great Glass Lift. Only a short while before, Mr Wonka had told him that the whole gigantic fabulous Chocolate Factory was his, and now our small friend was returning in triumph with his entire family to take over. The passengers in the Lift (just to remind you) were: Charlie Bucket, our hero. Mr Willy Wonka, chocolate-maker extraordinary. Mr and Mrs Bucket, Charlie’s father and mother. Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine, Mr Bucket’s father and mother. Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina, Mrs Bucket’s father and mother. Grandma Josephine, Grandma Georgina and Grandpa George were still in bed, the bed having been pushed on board just before take-off. Grandpa Joe, as you remember, had got out of bed to go around the Chocolate Factory with Charlie. The Great Glass Lift was a thousand feet up and cruising nicely. The sky was brilliant blue. Everybody on board was wildly excited at the thought of going to live in the famous Chocolate Factory. Grandpa Joe was singing. Charlie was jumping up and down. Mr and Mrs Bucket were smiling for the first time in years, and the three old ones in the bed were grinning at one another with pink toothless gums. ‘What in the world keeps this crazy thing up in the air?’ croaked Grandma Josephine. ‘Madam,’ said Mr Wonka, ‘it is not a lift any longer. Lifts only go up and down inside buildings. But now that it has taken us up into the sky, it has become an ELEVATOR. It is THE GREAT GLASS ELEVATOR.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Charlie Bucket, #2))
continued. “The solution to almost every problem imaginable can be found in the outcome of a fairy tale. Fairy tales are life lessons disguised with colorful characters and situations. “‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf ’ teaches us the value of a good reputation and the power of honesty. ‘Cinderella’ shows us the rewards of having a good heart. ‘The Ugly Duckling’ teaches us the meaning of inner beauty.” Alex’s eyes were wide, and she nodded in agreement. She was a pretty girl with bright blue eyes and short strawberry-blonde hair that was always kept neatly out of her face with a headband. The way the other students stared at their teacher, as if the lesson being taught were in another language, was something Mrs. Peters had never grown accustomed to. So, Mrs. Peters would often direct entire lessons to the front row, where Alex sat. Mrs. Peters was a tall, thin woman who always wore dresses that resembled old, patterned sofas. Her hair was dark and curly and sat perfectly on the top of her head like a hat (and her students often thought it was). Through a pair of thick glasses, her eyes were permanently squinted from all the judgmental looks she had given her classes over the years. “Sadly, these timeless tales are no longer relevant in our society,” Mrs. Peters said. “We have traded their brilliant teachings for small-minded entertainment like television and video games. Parents now let obnoxious cartoons and violent movies influence their children. “The only exposure to the tales some children acquire are versions bastardized by film companies. Fairy
Chris Colfer (The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1))
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?" Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions. Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen. But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen." It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.
Frédéric Bastiat (That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen: The Unintended Consequences of Government Spending)
You must know something.” “And why is Archer Cross here?” That was from Jenna. His voice had apparently changed over the summer, since he actually said the words instead of squeaking them. “He’s an Eye.” “Didn’t he try to kill you?” Nausicaa had drifted up, and she narrowed her eyes at me. “And if so, why exactly were you holding his hand earlier?” Conversations like this usually ended in pitchforks and torches, so I held my hands out in what I hoped was an “everyone just calm the heck down” gesture. But then Jenna spoke up. “Sophie doesn’t know anything,” she said, nudging my behind her. That might’ve been more effective if Jenna weren’t so short. “And whatever reason we’re here, the Council had nothing to do with it.” Jenna didn’t add that that was because the entire Council, with the exception of Lara Casnoff and my dad, was dead. “She’s just freaked out as the rest of us, so back. Off.” From the expressions on the other kids’ faces, I guessed Jenna had bared her fangs, and maybe even given a flash of red eyes. “What’s going on here?” a familiar voice brayed. Great. Like this night didn’t suck out loud enough already. The Vandy-who had been a cross between school matron and prison guard at Hex Hall-shoved her way through the crowd, breathing hard. Her purple tattoos, marks of the Removal, were nearly black against her red face. “Downstairs, now!” As the group began moving again, she glared at Jenna and me. “Show your fangs again, Miss Talbot, and I’ll wear them as earrings. Is that understood?” Jenna may have muttered, “Yes, ma’am,” but her tone said something totally different. We jogged down the stairs to join the rest of the students lining up to go into the ballroom. “At least one thing at Hex Hall hasn’t changed,” Jenna said. “Yeah, apparently the Vandy’s powers of bitchery are a constant. I find that comforting.” Less comforting was the creeptasticness of the school at night. During the day, it had just been depressing. Now that it was dark, it was full-on sinister. The old-fashioned gas lamps on the walls had once burned with a cozy, golden light. Now, a noxious green glow sputtered inside the milky glass, throwing crazy shadows all over the place.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
Have you ever been in a place where history becomes tangible? Where you stand motionless, feeling time and importance press around you, press into you? That was how I felt the first time I stood in the astronaut garden at OCA PNW. Is it still there? Do you know it? Every OCA campus had – has, please let it be has – one: a circular enclave, walled by smooth white stone that towered up and up until it abruptly cut off, definitive as the end of an atmosphere, making room for the sky above. Stretching up from the ground, standing in neat rows and with an equally neat carpet of microclover in between, were trees, one for every person who’d taken a trip off Earth on an OCA rocket. It didn’t matter where you from, where you trained, where your spacecraft launched. When someone went up, every OCA campus planted a sapling. The trees are an awesome sight, but bear in mind: the forest above is not the garden’s entry point. You enter from underground. I remember walking through a short tunnel and into a low-lit domed chamber that possessed nothing but a spiral staircase leading upward. The walls were made of thick glass, and behind it was the dense network you find below every forest. Roots interlocking like fingers, with gossamer fungus sprawled symbiotically between, allowing for the peaceful exchange of carbon and nutrients. Worms traversed roads of their own making. Pockets of water and pebbles decorated the scene. This is what a forest is, after all. Don’t believe the lie of individual trees, each a monument to its own self-made success. A forest is an interdependent community. Resources are shared, and life in isolation is a death sentence. As I stood contemplating the roots, a hidden timer triggered, and the lights faded out. My breath went with it. The glass was etched with some kind of luminescent colourant, invisible when the lights were on, but glowing boldly in the dark. I moved closer, and I saw names – thousands upon thousands of names, printed as small as possible. I understood what I was seeing without being told. The idea behind Open Cluster Astronautics was simple: citizen-funded spaceflight. Exploration for exploration’s sake. Apolitical, international, non-profit. Donations accepted from anyone, with no kickbacks or concessions or promises of anything beyond a fervent attempt to bring astronauts back from extinction. It began in a post thread kicked off in 2052, a literal moonshot by a collective of frustrated friends from all corners – former thinkers for big names gone bankrupt, starry-eyed academics who wanted to do more than teach the past, government bureau members whose governments no longer existed. If you want to do good science with clean money and clean hands, they argued, if you want to keep the fire burning even as flags and logos came down, if you understand that space exploration is best when it’s done in the name of the people, then the people are the ones who have to make it happen.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)