Gray Hair Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Gray Hair. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Annabeth's face, her blond hair and gray eyes, the way she laughed, threw her arms around him, and gave him a kiss whenever he did something stupid. She must have kissed me a lot, Percy thought.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
You speak of sacrifice, but it is not my sacrifice I offer. It is yours I ask of you," he went on. "I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain. But I love you enough to hope that you wil not care that I am being selfish in trying to make the rest of my life - whatever length - happy, by spending it with you. I want to be married to you, Tessa. I want it more than I have ever wanted anything else in my life." He looked up at her through the veil of silvery hair that fell over his eyes. "That is," he said shyly, "if you love me, too.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
gray hair is gods graffiti
Bill Cosby
Does your ma know you're this silly?" she demanded tartly. He nodded, comically sad. "The few gray hairs she has on her head are my doing. But" — with an exaggerated change of mood — "I send her plenty of money, so she can pay to have them dyed!" "I hope she beat you as a child," Onua grumbled.
Tamora Pierce (Wild Magic (Immortals, #1))
Say something in Mandarin,” said Tessa, with a smile. Jem said something that sounded like a lot of breathy vowels and consonants run together, his voice rising and falling melodically: “Ni hen piao liang.” “What did you say?” Tessa was curious. “I said your hair is coming undone — here,” he said, and reached out and tucked an escaping curl back behind her ear. Tessa felt the blood spill hot up into her face, and was glad for the dimness of the carriage. “You have to be careful with it,” he said, taking his hand back, slowly, his fingers lingering against her cheek.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Hey!” I said, indignation filling me. “I’m immortal! Doesn’t that mean I won’t get saggy boobs and gray hair? Because if it doesn’t mean that, I want a refund—
Katie MacAlister (Holy Smokes (Aisling Grey, #4))
She smiled. Her skin looked whiter than he recalled, and dark spidery veins were beginning to show beneath its surface. Her hair was still the color of spun silver and her eyes were still green as a cat’s. She was still beautiful. Looking at her, he was in London again. He saw the gaslight and smelled the smoke and dirt and horses, the metallic tang of fog, the flowers in Kew Gardens. He saw a boy with black hair and blue eyes like Alec’s, heard violin music like the sound of silver water. He saw a girl with long brown hair and a serious face. In a world where everything went away from him eventually, she was one of the few remaining constants. And then there was Camille.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
First Pallas and now you,” the gray-haired man said, shaking his head at Nick. “It’s like I’m running a goddamn dating service around here.
Julie James (A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2))
She studied me with concern. She touched the new streak of gray in my hair that matched hers exactly—our painful souvenir from holding Atlas's burden. There was a lot I'd wanted to say to Annabeth, but Athena had taken the confidence out of me. I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I do not approve of your friendship with my daughter. "So," Annabeth said. "What did you want to tell me earlier?" The music was playing. People were dancing in the streets. I said, "I, uh, was thinking we got interrupted at Westover Hall. And… I think I owe you a dance." She smiled slowly. "All right, Seaweed Brain." So I took her hand, and I don't know what everybody else heard, but to me it sounded like a slow dance: a little sad, but maybe a little hopeful, too.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the Earth!
Gloria Steinem
Will,” she whispered against his mouth. She wanted him closer to her so badly, it was like an ache, a painful hot ache that spread from her stomach to speed her heart and knot her hands in his hair and set her skin burning. “Will, you need not be so careful. I will not break.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Tessa was laying on her side, her brown hair spread over the pillow, watching Will, whose face was bent over the pages, with a look of tenderness in her eyes, a tenderness mirrored in the softness of Will's voice as he read.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
They're still looking at him," she said to Magnus under her breath. "At Will, I mean." "Of course they are," said Magnus. His eyes reflected light like a cat's as they surveyed the room. "Look at him. The face of a bad angel and eyes like the night sky in Hell. He's very pretty, and vampires like that. I can't say I mind either." Magnus grinned. "Black hair and blue eyes are my favorite combination." Tessa reached up to pat Camille's pale blond curls. Magnus shrugged. "Nobody's perfect.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
His eyes are somewhere between gray and blue, and his hair is somewhere between brown and blond, and I am somewhere between hostile and attracted.
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)
Tears stung her eyes. She sank her knees next to the sleeping bench and gently raked strands of golden hair from him forehead. "Don't you die. don't you dare. I forbid it." As if Han Alister had ever listened to anything she said.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms, #3))
Quintus…” Geryon mused. “Short gray hair, muscular, swordsman?” “Yeah.” “Never heard of him,
Rick Riordan
Will." Her hands pulled at his shirt, and it came away, the buttons tearing, his head shaking free of the fabric, all wild dark hair, Heathcliff on the moors. His hands were less sure on her dress, but it came away as well, off over her head, and was cast aside, leaving Tessa in her chemise and corset. She went motionless, shocked at being so undressed in front of anyone but Sophie, and Will took a wild look at her corset that was only part desire. “How—," he said. “Does it come off?" Tessa couldn't help herself; despite everything, she giggled. “It laces," she whispered. “In the back.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Hair is gray and the firers are burning. So many dreams on the shelf. You say I wanted you to be proud of me. I always wanted that myself.
Tori Amos
And only now, when he was gray-haired, had he fallen in love properly, thoroughly, for the first time in his life.
Anton Chekhov (The Lady With the Little Dog and Other Stories, 1896-1904)
Will!” He turned at the familiar voice and saw Tessa. There was a small path cut along the side of the hill, lined with unfamiliar white flowers, and she was walking up it, toward him. Her long brown hair blew in the wind — she had taken off her straw bonnet, and held it in one hand, waving it at him and smiling as if she were glad to see him. His own heart leaped up at the sight of her. “Tess,” he called. But she was still such a distance away — she seemed both very near and very far suddenly and at the same time. He could see every detail of her pretty, upturned face, but could not touch her, and so he stood, waiting and desiring, and his heart beat like the wings of seagulls in his chest. At last she was there, close enough that he could see where the grass and flowers bent beneath the tread of her shoes. He reached out for her —
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
November is usually such a disagreeable month...as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully...just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We've had lovely days and delicious twilights.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2))
These wrinkles are nothing These gray hairs are nothing, This stomach which sags with old food, these bruised and swollen ankles, my darkening brain, they are nothing. I am the same boy my mother used to kiss.
Mark Strand
I envisaged a perfect detective’s assistant. She’d have long, wavy blonde hair, a short skirt, and curves in all the right places. She’d have a genius IQ, know how to hack and code, and be available at all hours. Now, make her into a robot. Sadly, I mentally removed her body, leaving a phone app.
Grahame Shannon (Tiger and the Robot (Chandler Gray #1))
I will go,” he said. “I will go to Troy.” The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered green of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or graying; all crisp. He was spring, golden and bright. Envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again. He was watching me, his eyes as deep as earth. “Will you come with me?” he asked. The never-ending ache of love and sorrow. Perhaps in some other life I could have refused, could have torn my hair and screamed, and made him face his choice alone. But not in this one. He would sail to Troy and I would follow, even into death. “Yes,” I whipsered. “Yes.” Relief broke in his face, and he reached for me. I let him hold me, let him press us length to length so close that nothing might fit between us. Tears came, and fell. Above us, the constellations spun and the moon paced her weary course. We lay stricken and sleepless as the hours passed.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
I once asked a young dissertation writer whether her suddenly grayed hair was due to ill health or personal tragedy; she answered: “It was the footnotes”.
Joanna Russ (How to Suppress Women's Writing)
I recall certain moments, let us call them icebergs in paradise, when after having had my fill of her –after fabulous, insane exertions that left me limp and azure-barred–I would gather her in my arms with, at last, a mute moan of human tenderness (her skin glistening in the neon light coming from the paved court through the slits in the blind, her soot-black lashes matted, her grave gray eyes more vacant than ever–for all the world a little patient still in the confusion of a drug after a major operation)–and the tenderness would deepen to shame and despair, and I would lull and rock my lone light Lolita in my marble arms, and moan in her warm hair, and caress her at random and mutely ask her blessing, and at the peak of this human agonized selfless tenderness (with my soul actually hanging around her naked body and ready to repent), all at once, ironically, horribly, lust would swell again–and 'oh, no,' Lolita would say with a sigh to heaven, and the next moment the tenderness and the azure–all would be shattered.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
There's a reason why forty, fifty, and sixty don't look the way they used to, and it's not because of feminism, or better living through exercise. It's because of hair dye. In the 1950's only 7 percent of American women dyed their hair; today there are parts of Manhattan and Los Angeles where there are no gray-haired women at all.
Nora Ephron
When she moves, I realize her hair is different too. The gray ends are gone, replaced by a beautiful, familiar purple. I love it.
Victoria Aveyard (War Storm (Red Queen, #4))
The moment the door closed behind him, Tessa was in Will's arms, her hands locked about his neck. "Oh, by the Angel," she said. "That was mortifying." Will slid his hands into her hair and was kissing her, kissing her eyelids and her cheeks and then her mouth, quickly but with fervor and concentration, as if nothing could be more important. "Listen to you," he said. "You said 'by the angel.' Like a Shadowhunter." He kissed the side of her mouth. "I love you. God, I love you. I waited so long to say it.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
How could anybody confuse truth with beauty, I thought as I looked at him. Truth came with sunken eyes, bony or scarred, decayed. Its teeth were bad, its hair gray and unkempt. While beauty was empty as a gourd, vain as a parakeet. But it had power. It smelled of musk and oranges and made you close your eyes in a prayer.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
They play in the Meadow. The dancing girl with the dark hair and blue eyes. The boy with blond curls and gray eyes, struggling to keep up with her on his chubby toddler legs. It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree. But Peeta wanted them so badly. When I first felt her stirring inside of me, I was consumed with a terror that felt as old as life itself. Only the joy of holding her in my arms could tame it.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Every day: Wear sunblock. Cover your gray. Do not go insane. Eat less fats and sugars. Do more sit-ups. Don’t start forgetting stuff. Trim the hair in your ears. Take calcium. Moisturize. Every day. Freeze in time to stay in one place forever. Do not get frigging old.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Why," he panted into Danny's neck, "why's it so goddamn good?" He was surprised at how full his voice sounded, so close to overflowing its steady banks. Danny stroked his hair, his lips warm against Miller's cheek. "Because it's us, Miller," he whispered. "Because it's us.
Brooke McKinley (Shades of Gray)
Loki," I said. "Hey, Princess." He smiled dazedly as he looked up at me. "What's wrong?" "Nothing." I smiled and shook my head. "Not anymore." "What's this?" He took my hair and held it out so i could see. A curl near the front had gone completely silver. "I take a nap, and you go gray?" "You didn't take a nap." I laughed. "Don't you remember what happened?" He furrowed his brow, trying to remember, and understanding flashed in his eyes. "I remember..." Loki touched my face. "I remember that I love you." I bent down, kissing him full on the mouth, and he held me to him.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle #3))
The barman sidled toward them out of a back room. He was a grump-looking old man with a great deal of a long gray hair and a beard. He was tall and thin and looked vaguely familiar to Harry.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
She tilted her head back, breathing deeply. It was a stone gray day, the sea a bleak slate broken up by whitecaps, the sky pleated with thick ripples of cloud. A hard wind filled the sails, carrying the little boat over the waves. 'It feels good to be this kind of cold,' she murmured. 'This kind?' 'Wind in your hair, sea spray on your skin. The cold of the living.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Although initially only few in numbers, it seems my gray hairs have launched an effective peer-pressure campaign intended to convert the others.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Toxic relationships are dangerous to your health; they will literally kill you. Stress shortens your lifespan. Even a broken heart can kill you. There is an undeniable mind-body connection. Your arguments and hateful talk can land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. You were not meant to live in a fever of anxiety; screaming yourself hoarse in a frenzy of dreadful, panicked fight-or-flight that leaves you exhausted and numb with grief. You were not meant to live like animals tearing one another to shreds. Don't turn your hair gray. Don't carve a roadmap of pain into the sweet wrinkles on your face. Don't lay in the quiet with your heart pounding like a trapped, frightened creature. For your own precious and beautiful life, and for those around you — seek help or get out before it is too late. This is your wake-up call!
Bryant McGill
What are you doing following me around the back streets of London, you little idiot?” Will demanded, giving her arm a light shake. Cecily’s eyes narrowed. “This morning it was cariad (note: Welsh endearment, like ‘darling’ or ‘love’), now it’s idiot.” “Oh, you’re using a Glamour rune. There’s one thing to declare, you are not afraid of anything when you live in the country. But this is London.” “I’m not afraid of London,” Cecily said defiantly. Will leaned closer, almost hissing in her ear *and said something very complicated in Welsh* She laughed. “No, it wouldn’t do you any good to tell me to go home. You are my brother, and I want to go with you.” Will blinked at her words. You are my brother, and I want to go with you. It was the sort of thing he was used to hearing Jem say. Although Cecily was unlike Jem in every other conceivable possible way, she did share one quality with him. Stubbornness. When Cecily said she wanted something, it did not express an idle desire, but an iron determination. “Do you even care where I’m going?” he said. “What if I were going to hell?” “I’ve always wanted to see hell,” Cecily said. “Doesn’t everyone?” “Most of us spend our time trying to stay out of it, Cecily. I’m going to an ifrit den, if you must know, to purchase drugs from vile, dissolute criminals. They may clap eyes on you, and decide to sell you.” “Wouldn’t you stop them?” “I suppose it would depend on whether they cut me a part of the profit.” She shook her head. “Jem is your parabatai,” she said. “He is your brother, given to you by the Clave, but I am your sister by blood. Why would you do anything for him, but you only want me to go home?” “How do you know the drugs are for Jem?” Will said. “I’m not an idiot, Will.” “No, more’s the pity. Jem- Jem is like the better part of me. I would not expect you to understand. I owe him. I owe him this.” “So what am I?” Cecily said. Will exhaled, too desperate to check himself. “You are my weakness.” “And Tessa is your heart,” she said, not angrily, but thoughtfully. “I am not fooled. As I told you, I’m not an idiot. And more’s the pity for you, although I suppose we all want things we can’t have.” “Oh,” said Will, “and what do you want?” “I want you to come home.” A strand of black hair was stuck to her cheek by the dampness, and Will fought the urge to pull her cloak closer about her, to make her safe as he had when she was a child. “The Institute is my home,” Will sighed, and leaned his head against the stone wall. “I can’t stand out her arguing with you all evening, Cecily. If you’re determined to follow me into hell, I can’t stop you.” “Finally,” she said provingly. “You’ve seen sense. I knew you would, you’re related to me.” Will fought the urge to shake her. “Are you ready?” She nodded, and he raised his hand to knock on the door.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Jace pulled two razor-edged spinning disks out from under the bed. They were covered in gray cat hair. He blew on them scattering fur. “Chakhrams. Cool. Especially if I meet any demons with serious dander allergies.” Isabelle thwacked him with the bra. ~pg. 331~
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
one day, you turn around, and your baby is a man. One day, you look in the mirror, and see gray hair. One day, you realize there is less of your life left than what you’ve already lived.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
She never managed to find herself in these books no matter how hard she tried, exhuming traits from between the pages and donning them for an hour, a day, a week. We think in some ways, we have all done this our whole lives, searching for the book that will give us the keys to ourselves, let us into a wholly formed personality as though it were a furnished room to let. As though we could walk in and look around and say to the gray-haired landlady behind us, "We'll take it.
Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
I'm gettin' old babe. Got grown ass kids and gray fuckin' hair. Spent too much time married to a bitch I couldn't stand, too much time beatin' myself up for wishin' I was balls deep in a bitch eighteen years younger than me. Add that shit together and that equals me being fuckin' miserable for a long fuckin' time. So yeah, I can't do this anymore. Can't fuckin' live without you. Want you on my bike and in my bed. Want my kids inside you. Want you by my side babe for as long as I got left - Deuce West
Madeline Sheehan (Undeniable (Undeniable, #1))
Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze. Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet. Age: five thousand three hundred days. Profession: none, or "starlet" Where are you hiding, Dolores Haze? Why are you hiding, darling? (I Talk in a daze, I walk in a maze I cannot get out, said the starling). Where are you riding, Dolores Haze? What make is the magic carpet? Is a Cream Cougar the present craze? And where are you parked, my car pet? Who is your hero, Dolores Haze? Still one of those blue-capped star-men? Oh the balmy days and the palmy bays, And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen! Oh Dolores, that juke-box hurts! Are you still dancin', darlin'? (Both in worn levis, both in torn T-shirts, And I, in my corner, snarlin'). Happy, happy is gnarled McFate Touring the States with a child wife, Plowing his Molly in every State Among the protected wild life. My Dolly, my folly! Her eyes were vair, And never closed when I kissed her. Know an old perfume called Soliel Vert? Are you from Paris, mister? L'autre soir un air froid d'opera m'alita; Son fele -- bien fol est qui s'y fie! Il neige, le decor s'ecroule, Lolita! Lolita, qu'ai-je fait de ta vie? Dying, dying, Lolita Haze, Of hate and remorse, I'm dying. And again my hairy fist I raise, And again I hear you crying. Officer, officer, there they go-- In the rain, where that lighted store is! And her socks are white, and I love her so, And her name is Haze, Dolores. Officer, officer, there they are-- Dolores Haze and her lover! Whip out your gun and follow that car. Now tumble out and take cover. Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze. Her dream-gray gaze never flinches. Ninety pounds is all she weighs With a height of sixty inches. My car is limping, Dolores Haze, And the last long lap is the hardest, And I shall be dumped where the weed decays, And the rest is rust and stardust.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Sometimes it's the harder relationships, the complicated ones you have to fight and claw for that have staying power. May give you gray hair and bruises,but,you know.
Sharla Lovelace (Don't Let Go)
Can't you just see it? Can't you see us with gray hair, sitting at those late night football games. I'll be the dad with one eye on my football playing sons, and the other on our daughter, who if she looks anything like you, I will need to carry a gun to fight off all of those horny teenage boys.
Jennifer Foor (Risking Fate (Mitchell Family, #4))
..., It'd taken her several seconds to react to the sight of them together. She'd been almost hypnotized by the scene as Lothaire drank. Chase's masculine face had been tense, his gray eyes focused on the ground. Lothaire's face had been starkly beautiful, his pale blond hair brushing Chase's shoulder. Light and dark. One terrible, one tragic. And Lothaire had been... hard. "Oh, gods!" She cried as she ran back along the trail. Hot poker for my eyes! Hot poker!
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
He left Molie’s at ten past midnight, twelve hundred New Dollars lighter. The pawnbroker had also sold him a limited but fairly effective disguise: gray hair, spectacles, mouth wadding, plastic buck-teeth which subtly transfigured his lip line. “Give yourself a little limp, too,” Molie advised. “Not a big attention-getter. Just a little one. Remember, you have the power to cloud men’s minds, if you use it. Don’t remember that line, do ya?” Richards didn’t.
Richard Bachman (The Running Man)
There’s no grandfatherly fondness in me, There are no gray hairs in my soul! Shaking the world with my voice and grinning, I pass you by, - handsome, Twentytwoyearold.
Vladimir Mayakovsky
And so a pattern develops: wake, work cry. sleep. I can't even escape him in my dreams. Gray burning eyes, his lost look, his hair burnished and bright and bright all haunt me. And the music... so much music-I cannot bear to hear any music. I am careful to avoid it at all costs. Even the jingles in commercials make me shudder.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
Color fills her cheeks, and I think it again: that Johanna Reyes might still be beautiful. Except now I think that she isn't just beautiful in spite of the scar, she's somehow beautiful with it, like Lynn with her buzzed hair, like Tobias with the memories of his father's cruelty that he wears like armor, like my mother in her plain gray clothing.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
posterity, n. I try not to think about us growing old together, mostly because I try not to think about growing old at all. Both things - the years passing, the years together - are too enormous to contemplate. But one morning, I gave in. You were asleep, and I imagined you older and older. Your hair graying, your skin folded and creased, your breath catching. And I found myself thinking: If this continues, if this goes on, then when I die, your memories of me will be my greatest accomplishment. Your memories will be my most lasting impression.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
She was probably my age, maybe a couple of inches taller, and a whole lot more athletic looking. With her deep tan and her curly blond hair, she was almost exactly what I thought a stereotypical California girl would look like, except her eyes ruined the image. They were startling gray,like storm clouds; pretty, but intimidating, too, as if she were analyzing the best way to take me down in a fight. She glanced at the minotaur horn in my hand, then back at me. I imagined she was going to say, You killed a Minotaur! or Wow you're so awesome! or something like that. Instead she said, "you drool when you sleep." Then she sprinted off down the lawn, her blond hair flying behind her.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
She didn't feel thirty. But then again again, what was being thirty supposed to feel like? When she was younger, thirty seemed so far away, she thought that a woman of that age would be so wise and knowledgeable, so settled in her life with a husband and children and a career. She had none of those things. She still felt as clueless as she had felt when she was twenty, only with a few more gray hairs and crow's feet around her eyes.
Cecelia Ahern
I loved you when you were a snot-nosed kid, into so much mischief it's a wonder my hair didn't turn prematurely gray. I loved you when you were a teenager with long, skinny legs and eyes that broke my heart every time I looked at you. I love you now that you're a woman who makes my brain go soft, my legs go weak, and my dick get hard. When you walk into a room, my heart damn near jumps out of my chest. When you smile, I feel as if I've won a Nobel Prize. And your eyes still break my heart.
Linda Howard (Shades of Twilight)
You know, I found a gray hair the other day. I almost broke the sound barrier rushing to the pharmacy to get some dye. Beth snorted. Oh please! You're a blonde-no one can see gray hair up there. Now, you get one down under, and then you can panic.
Jenn McKinlay (Books Can Be Deceiving (Library Lover's Mystery, #1))
Fine," Strider said tightly. "You can. But you wont. Because you know that if you take the woman out of this home, I'll go gray from worry. And you like my hair the way it is." "Stridey-man. Are you hitting on my? Trying to get me to run my fingers through those mangy locks?" Gideon chuckled. "Sweetie pie." Striders lips even twitched into a grin. "You know I hate when you get mushy like that." Boy loved it. No question.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld, #6))
Sophie did this?" He said, not for the first time. They were standing at the foot of Jessamine's bed. She lay flung upon it, her chest rising and falling slowly like the famous Sleeping Beauty waxwork or Madame du Barry. Her fair hair was scattered on the pillow, and a large, bloody welt ran across her forehead. Each of her wrists was tied to a post of the bed. "Our Sophie?" Tessa glanced over at Sophie, who was sitting in a chair by the door. Her head was down, and she was staring at her hands. She studiously avoided looking at Tessa or Will. "Yes,"Tessa said, "and do stop repeating it." " I think i may be in love with you, Sophie," said Will. "Marriage could be on the cards." Sophie whimpered.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
One day you will blink and the haze will dissipate. You'�ll discover that what once defined you has wilted into graying hair and wrinkled skin. Frantic, you�ll glance around yourself, in hopes of finding those you swore adored you, but all you will find is empty picture frames.
Fisher Amelie (Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1))
I do wonder why people hate their grey hair so much! I think grey hair is a gift from the moon! When the moon laughs, her eyes produce tears of joy that fall to the earth and onto the tops of people's heads!
C. JoyBell C.
Seeing him on his knees in front of me, feeling his mouth on me, it's so unexpected and hot. My hands stay in his hair, pulling gently as I try to quiet my too loud breathing. He gazes up at me through impossibly long lashes, his eyes scorching smoky gray.
E.L. James
You could say I am flawed. Marked. A malfetto. While my sister emerged from the fever unscathed, I now have only a scar where my left eye used to be. While my sister’s hair remained a glossy black, the strands of my hair and lashes turned a strange, ever-shifting silver, so that in the sunlight they look close to white, like a winter moon, and in the dark they change to a deep gray, shimmering silk spun from metal.
Marie Lu (The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1))
History is the business of identifying momentous events from the comfort of a high-back chair. With the benefit of time, the historian looks back and points to a date in the manner of a gray-haired field marshal pointing to a bend in a river on a map: There it was, he says. The turning point. The decisive factor. The fateful day that fundamentally altered all that was to follow. There
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Mary bring out your umbrella - The sun shines down on this fine, fine day But the ashes raining down forever Are going to turn your hair to gray. Mary keep your oars a-steady Sail away on the rising flood Keep your candle at the ready Red tides can't be told from blood. - "Miss Mary" (a common child's clapping game, dating from the time of the blitz), from Pattycake and Beyond: A History of Play
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Tessa reached to brush the damp hair from his forehead. He leaned into her touch, his eyes closing. “Jem—have you ever—” She hesitated. “Have you ever thought of ways to prolong your life that are not a cure for the drug?”   At that his eyelids flew open. “What do you mean?”   She thought of Will, on the floor of the attic, choking on holy water. “Becoming a vampire. You would live forever—”   He scrambled upright against the pillows of the bed. “Tessa, no. Don’t—you can’t think that way.”    “Is the thought of becoming a Downworlder truly so horrible to you?”   “Tessa …” He exhaled slowly. “I am a Shadowhunter. Nephilim. Like my parents before me. It is the heritage I claim, just as I claim my mother’s heritage as part of myself. It does not mean I hate my father. But I honor the gift they gave me, the blood of the Angel, the trust placed in me, the vows I have taken. Nor, I think, would I make a very good vampire. [redacted for spoilers] I would no longer be Will’s parabatai, no longer be welcome in the Institute. No, Tessa. I would rather die and be reborn and see the sun again, than live to the end of the world without daylight.”   “A Silent Brother, then,” she said.    His eyes softened slightly. “The path of Silent Brotherhood is not open to me.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
An elderly black man with gray hair said, "Every bottle should come with a warning: 'This bottle may cause you to lose your job. This bottle may cause you to get a divorce. This bottle may cause you to become homeless.
Akhil Sharma (Family Life)
Did you know that when a guy comes, he comes 200 million sperm? And you're trying to tell me that your child is special because one out of 200 million -- that load! we're talking one load! -- connected. Gee, what are the fucking odds? 200 million; you know what that means? I have wiped civilizations off my chest with a gray gym sock. That is special. Entire nations have flaked and crusted in the hair around my navel! That is special. And I want you to remember that, you two egg-carrying beings out there, with that holier-than-thou "we have the gift of life" attitude. I've tossed universes...in my underpants...while napping! Boom! A milky way shoots into my jockey shorts, "Aaaah, what's for fucking breakfast?
Bill Hicks
Time, which grays hair and wrinkles faces, also withers violent affections, and much more quickly.
Fernando Pessoa (The Selected Prose of Fernando Pessoa)
Andrius turned. His eyes found mine. "I'll see you," he said. My face didn't wrinkle. I didn't utter a sound. But for the first time in months, I cried. Tears popped from their dry sockets and sailed down my cheeks in one quick stream. I looked away. The NKVD called the bald man's name. "Look at me," whispered Andrius, moving close. "I'll see you," he said. "Just think about that. Just think about me bringing you your drawings. Picture it, because I'll be there." I nodded. "Vilkas," the NKVD called. We walked toward the truck and climbed inside. I looked down at Andrius. He raked through his hair with his fingers. The engine turned and roared. I raised my hand in a wave good-bye. His lips formed the words "I'll see you." He nodded in confirmation. I nodded back. The back gate slammed and I sat down. The truck lurched forward. Wind began to blow against my face. I pulled my coat closed and put my hands in my pockets. That's when I felt it. The stone. Andrius had slipped it into my pocket. I stood up to let him know I had found it. He was gone.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
My hair would continue to gray, and then one day, it would fall out entirely, and then, on a day meaninglessly close to the present one, meaninglessly like the present one, I would disappear from the earth. And all these emotions, all these yearnings, all these data, if that helps to clinch the enormity of what I'm talking about, would be gone. And that's what immortality means. It means selfishness. My generations belief that each one of us matters more than you or anyone else would think.
Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story)
Don't do that!" she exclaimed, shivering at the realization that it had been his fingers touching her. He gave her his lazy, slightly twisted smile and brushed a few pieces of unruly black hair out of his face. "Are you asking me or ordering me?” "Shut up." She glanced around, both to avoid his eyes and make sure no one saw them together. "What's the matter? Worried about what your slaves'll think if they see you talking to me?” "They're my friends," she retorted. "Oh.Right. Of course they are. I mean, from what I saw, Camille would probably do anything for you, right? Friends till the end." He crossed his arms over his chest, and in spite of her anger, she couldn't help but notice how the silvery gray of his shirt set off his black hair and blue eyes. (Lissa&Christian)
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Above all, one hideous figure grew as familiar as if it had been before the general gaze from the foundations of the world - the figure of the sharp female called La Guillotine. It was the popular theme for jests; it was the best cure for headache, it infallibly prevented hair from turning gray, it imparted a peculiar delicacy to the complexion, it was the National Razor which shaved close: who kissed La Guillotine looked through the little window and sneezed into the sack.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
The other aspect of those weekday-evening trips he loved was the light itself, how it filled the train like something living as the cars rattled across the bridge, how it washed the weariness from his seatmates' faces and revealed them as they were when they first came to the country, when they were young and America seemed conquerable. He'd watch that kind light suffuse the car like syrup, watch it smudge furrows from foreheads, slick gray hairs into gold, gentle the aggressive shine from cheap fabrics into something lustrous and fine. And then the sun would drift, the car rattling uncaringly away from it, and the world would return to its normal sad shapes and colors, the people to their normal sad state, a shift as cruel and abrupt as if it had been made by a sorcerer's wand.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Finally," Magnus said, grabbing a ten-dollar bill from a table near the door, and he buzzed the delivery man in. "I need some beef and broccoli before I face any more Mr. Darcy. It's a truth universally acknowledged that if you watch too much television on an empty stomach, your head falls off." "If your head fell off," Tessa said, "the hairdressing industry would go into an economic meltdown.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Yes, red-to give warmth to that milk-white skin and those shining gray-green eyes of yours. Golden hair wouldn't suit you at all Queen Anne-My Queen Anne-queen of my heart and life and home.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5))
We named the bar The Bar. "People will think we're ironic instead of creatively bankrupt," my sister reasoned. Yes, we thought we were being clever New Yorkers - that the name was a joke no one else would really get, like we did. Not meta-get ... But our first customer, a gray-haired woman in bifocals and a pink jogging suit, said, "I like the name. Like in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Audrey Hepburn's cat was named Cat.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Having gray hair doesn't matter but having gray matter matters.
James Tate
If a sweet dumpling took human form, it would look just like Aunt Tildy, right down to the flour-dusting of her gray hair.
Rae Carson (Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1))
Twenty-seven was ideal age to make the Drop, they'd decided together, after years of mercilessly judging the various immortals who marked their lives by centuries and millennia. Read before any prominent lines or wrinkles are Gray hairs. They merely said to anyone who inquired, What's the point of being a mortal basses if we have sagging tits?
Sarah J. Maas (House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1))
You could see the signs of female aging as diseased, especially if you had a vested interest in making women too see them your way. Or you could see that a woman is healthy if she lives to grow old; as she thrives, she reacts and speaks and shows emotion, and grows into her face. Lines trace her thought and radiate from the corners of her eyes as she smiles. You could call the lines a network of 'serious lesions' or you could see that in a precise calligraphy, thought has etched marks of concentration between her brows, and drawn across her forehead the horizontal creases of surprise, delight, compassion and good talk. A lifetime of kissing, of speaking and weeping, shows expressively around a mouth scored like a leaf in motion. The skin loosens on her face and throat, giving her features a setting of sensual dignity; her features grow stronger as she does. She has looked around in her life and it shows. When gray and white reflect in her hair, you could call it a dirty secret or you could call it silver or moonlight. Her body fills into itself, taking on gravity like a bather breasting water, growing generous with the rest of her. The darkening under her eyes, the weight of her lids, their minute cross-hatching, reveal that what she has been part of has left in her its complexity and richness. She is darker, stronger, looser, tougher, sexier. The maturing of a woman who has continued to grow is a beautiful thing to behold.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Why do our parents have the ability to make us feel like children even when our hair is graying and we have a mortgage that feels like a Third World debt? (135)
Michael Robotham (Suspect (Joseph O'Loughlin, #1))
It was agreeable to her, the smell of tobacco. It was part of her knowledge of his body. It was the aura of the man, a residue of smoke and unbroken habit, a dimension in the night, and she lapped it off the curled gray hairs on his chest and tasted it in his mouth. It was who he was in the dark, cigarettes and mumbled sleep and a hundred other things nameable and not.
Don DeLillo (The Body Artist)
I am born as the sun, But then turn into the moon, As my blonde hairs turn Grayish-white and fall to The ground, Only to be buried again, Then to be born again, Into a thousand suns And a thousand moons. HYMN OF THE DIVINE DANDELION by Suzy Kassem Copyright 1993-1994 - A SPRING FOR WISDOM
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you. Isaiah 46:4, NCV
Beth Moore (So Long, Insecurity: You've Been A Bad Friend To Us)
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me. He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me. It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left. As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it. Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on. He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me. Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time. Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution. I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart. 'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face. He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic. But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love. 'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.' He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero. 'Then why should I be a heroine?' He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket. I considered my choices. I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated. I could leave and be unhappy and dignified. I could Beg him to touch me again. I could live in hope and die of bitterness. I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too. I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
It occurs to me," said Hodge, "that the dilemmas of power are always the same." Clary glanced at him sideways. "What do you mean?" She sat on the window seat in the library, Hodge in his chair with Hugo on the armrest. The remains of breakfast—sticky jam, toast crumbs, and smears of butter—clung to a stack of plates on the low table that no one had seemed inclined to clear away. After breakfast they had scattered to prepare themselves, and Clary had been the first one back. This was hardly surprising, considering that all she had to do was pull on jeans and a shirt and run a brush through her hair, while everyone else had to arm themselves heavily. Having lost Jace's dagger in the hotel, the only remotely supernatural object she had on her was the witchlight stone in her pocket. "I was thinking of your Simon," Hodge said, "and of Alec and Jace, among others." She glanced out the window. It was raining, thick fat drops spattering against the panes. The sky was an impenetrable gray. "What do they have to do with each other?" "Where there is feeling that is not requited," said Hodge, "there is an imbalance of power. It is an imbalance that is easy to exploit, but it is not a wise course. Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side." "Simon doesn't hate me." "He might grow to, over time, if he felt you were using him.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Beside the watch was a pearl bracelet she always wore. She never took it off. Will had given it to her when they had been married thirty years, smiling as fastened it on. He had had gray in his hair them, she knew, though she had never really seen it. As if her love had given him his own shape-shifting ability, no matter how much time had passed, when she looked at him, she always saw the wild, black-haired boy she had fallen in love with. It still seemed incredible to her sometimes that they had managed to grow old together, herself and Will Herondale, whom Gabriel Lightwood had once said would not live to be older than nineteen. They had been good friends with the Lightwoods too, through all those years. Of course Will could hardly not be friends with the man who was married to his sister. Both Cecily and Gabriel had seen Will on the day he dies, as had Sophie, though Gideon had himself passed away several years before.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
She [Anita] turns back to Raffe, her face melting into a radiant smile. She puts her hand on his arm as he’s about to take off his pants. And that’s all the excuse I need. I grab the sudsy shirt out of the gray water and throw it at her. It makes a plop noise when it lands on her face, wrapping around her hair. Her perfect hair clumps into a stringy mass, and her mascara smears as the cloth slides wetly down her blouse. She emits a high-pitched squeal that turns every head within earshot. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I say in a sugary voice. “Did you not like that? I thought that’s what you wanted. I mean, why else would you be putting your paws on my man?
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
We should go back inside," she said, in a half whisper. She did not want to go back inside. She wanted to stay here, with Will achingly close, almost leaning into her. She could feel the heat that radiated from his body. His dark hair fell around the mask, into his eyes, tangling with his long eyelashes. "We have only a little time-" She took a step forward-and stumbled into Will, who caught her. She froze-and then her arms crept around him, her fingers lacing themselves behind his neck. Her face was pressed against his throat, his soft hair under her fingers. She closed her eyes, shutting out the dizzying world, the light beyond the French windows, the glow of the sky. She wanted to be here with Will, cocooned in this moment, inhaling the clean sharp scent of him., feeling the beat of his heart against hers, as steady and strong as the pulse of the ocean. She felt him inhale. "Tess," he said. "Tess, look at me." She raised her eyes to his, slow and unwilling, braced for anger or coldness-but his gaze was fixed on hers, his dark blue eyes somber beneath their thick black lashes, and they were stripped of all their usual cool, aloof distance. They were as clear as glass and full of desire. And more than desire-a tenderness she had never seen in them before, had never even associated with Will Herondale. That, more than anything else, stopped her protest as he raised his hands and methodically began to take the pins from her hair, one by one. This is madness, she thought, as the first pin rattled to the ground. They should be running, fleeing this place. Instead she stood, wordless, as Will cast Jessamine's pearl clasps aside as if they were so much paste jewelry. Her own long, curling dark hair fell down around her shoulders, and Will slid his hands into it. She heard him exhale as he did so, as if he had been holding his breath for months and had only just let it out. She stood as if mesmerized as he gathered her hair in his hands, draping it over one of her shoulders, winding her curls between his fingers. "My Tessa," he said, and this time she did not tell him that she was not his. "Will," she whispered as he reached up and unlocked her hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and Jessie's pins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his damp black hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down. "No," he said. "Let me touch you first. I have wanted...
Cassandra Clare
I wanted a good place to settle: Cold Mountain would be safe. Light wind in a hidden pine - Listen close - the sound gets better. Under it a gray haired man Mumbles along reading Huang and Lao. For ten years I havn't gone back home I've even forgotten the way by which I came.
Gary Snyder (Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems)
When a woman's face is wrinkled And her hairs are sprinkled, With gray, Lackaday! Aside she's cast, No one respect will pay; Remember, Lasses, remember. And while the sun shines make hay: You must not expect in December, The flowers you gathered in May.
Ann Rinaldi (Or Give Me Death: A Novel of Patrick Henry's Family)
Leaves will fall, cold will creep in A circle of life that ends where it begins It may take a thousand years and a thousand poems penned But my hair will someday gray and my back will bend— Then my shadow will join my body in the earth once again. I know not the way, or even the when Or who chooses that day we’re called away to ascend But you bathed me in your bravery and forgave me my sins You made a home in your heart for mine to live in— And in return, my friend, this poem is my oath that a river of love will run through it until the very end.
Ryan Winfield (State of Nature (Park Service Trilogy, #3))
The buzzer rang. Magnus pressed the button to let him enter, speechless for a moment because he had wanted Alec there, so badly, and here he was. It felt more like magic than anything he could do. Then Alec was there, standing in the open doorway. “I wanted to see you,” said Alec with devastating simplicity. “Is this okay? I can go away if you’re busy or anything.” It must have been raining a little outside. There were sparkling drops of water in Alec’s messy black hair. He was wearing a hoodie that Magnus thought he might have found in a Dumpster, and sloppy jeans, and his whole face was lit up just because he was looking at Magnus. “I think,” said Magnus, pulling Alec in by the strings on his awful gray hoodie, “that I could be persuaded to clear my schedule.
Cassandra Clare (What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (The Bane Chronicles, #8))
I also say "Boy" a lot. Partly because I have a lousy vocabulary and partly because I act quite young for my age sometimes. I was sixteen then, and I'm seventeen now, and some times I act like I'm about thirteen. It's really ironical, because I'm six foot two and a half and I have gray hair.
J.D. Salinger
He looked at her curiously. He did something that surprised her then, and took her hand, turning it over. She looked down at it, at her bitten fingernails, the still-healing scratches along the backs of her fingers. He kissed the back of it, just a light touch of his mouth, and his hair-as soft and light as silk-brushed her wrist as he lowered his head. She felt a shock go through her, strong enough to startle her, and she stood speechless as he straightened, his mouth curving into a smile. "Mizpah," he said. She blinked at him, a little dazed. "What?" "A sort or goodbye without saying goodbye," he said.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
I'm against solutions that are worse than the problem. Like old women who want their hair dyed the color of shoe polish to hide the gray.
Neal Shusterman (UnSouled (Unwind, #3))
It's clear that the largest things are contained in the smallest. There can be no doubt about it. At this very moment, as I write, there's a planetary configuration on the table, the entire Cosmos if you like: a thermometer, a coin, an aluminum spoon and a porcelain cup. A key, a cell phone, a piece of paper and a pen. And one of my gray hairs, whose atoms preserve the memory of the origins of life, of the cosmic Catastrophe that gave the world its beginning.
Olga Tokarczuk (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead)
They play in the Meadow. The dancing girl with the dark hair and blue eyes. The boy with blond curls and gray eyes, struggling to keep up with her on his chubby toddler legs. It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree. But Peeta wanted them so badly. When I first felt her stiring inside of me, I was consumed with a terror that felt as old as life itself. Only the joy of holding her in my arms could tame it. Carrying him was easier, but not much. The questions are just beginning. The arenas have been completely destroyed, the memorials have been built, there are no more Hunger Games. But they still teach about them at school, and the girl knows we played a role in them. The boy will know in a few years. how can I tell them about that world without frightning them to death? My children, who take the words of the song for granted: Deep in the meadow, under the willow A bed of grass, a soft green pillow Lay down your head, and close your eyes And when again they open, the sun will rise Here it's safe, here it's warm Here the daisies guard you from every harm Here your dreams are sweet snd tomorrow brings them true Here is the place where I love you.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Ma was heavy, but not fat; thick with child-bearing and work. She wore a loose Mother Hubbard of gray cloth in which there had once been colored flowers, but the color was washed out now, so that the small flowered pattern was only a little lighter gray than the background. The dress came down to her ankles, and he strong, broad, bare feet moved quickly and deftly over the floor. Her thin, steel-gray hair was gathered in a sparse wispy knot at the back of her head. Strong, freckled arms were bare to the elbow, and her hands were chubby and delicate, like those of a plump little girl. She looked out into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
Forty is a most beautiful age for both men and women. Did you know that in mystic thought forty symbolizes the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening? When we mourn we mourn for forty days. When a baby is born it takes forty days for him to get ready to start life on earth. And when we are in love we need to wait for forty days to be sure of our feelings. The Flood of Noah lasted forty days, and while the waters destroyed life, they also washed all impurity away and enabled human beings to make a new, fresh start. In Islamic mysticism there are forty degrees between man and God. Likewise, there are four basic stages of consciousness and ten degrees in each, making forty levels in total. Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights. Muhammad was forty years old when he received the call to become a prophet. Buddha meditated under a linden tree for forty days. Not to mention the forty rules of Shams. You receive a new mission at forty, a new lease on life! You have reached a most auspicious number. Congratulations! And don’t worry about getting old. There are no wrinkles or gray hair strong enough to defy the power of forty!
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
My breathing slowed. I shaded her thick chestnut hair resting in a smooth curve against her face, a large bruise blazing across her cheek. I paused, looking over my shoulder to make certain I was alone. I drew her eye makeup, smudged by tears. In her watery eyes I drew the reflection of the commander, standing in front of her, his fist clenched. I continued to sketch, exhaled, and shook out my hands.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
She complains all the time about her hair turning gray and her butt sagging and her skin wrinkling, but I'm supposed to be grateful for a face full of zits, hair in embarrassing places, and feet that grow an inch a night. Utter crap.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Twisted)
They slow dance when it rains. I have no idea why, but every time the sky turns gray, you’ll find them together.” I smiled. “I remember once Dad barged into the Women’s Room, which is completely improper. You’re supposed to be invited in. But it was raining, and he wasn’t going to wait to sweep her away. And one time he dipped her in the hallway, and she just laughed and laughed. She was still wearing her hair down then, and I’ll never forget how it looked like a waterfall of red. It’s like no matter what happens, they can find themselves again there.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
He was pushing fifty, with a face life had chewed on, and long wisps of graying hair parted low on one side and combed over his balding pate.
Patricia Cornwell (Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1))
She had always known that Jared was attractive. His dark hair, strong jaw, and gray eyes made him irresistible,
Chanda Hahn (Fairest (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #2))
With regard to things such as independence, mental capabilities, and sexuality, a very old man is nothing but a gigantic infant with white hair and wrinkles.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
They were in love! Carla wore her hair up and Andrew saw everything as a sign. They spent an entire afternoon sitting side by side in a coffee shop, taking more meaning than necessary from the world around them. A man wearing boxing gloves walked down the sidewalk in front of them and they took that to mean they would be together forever.
Amelia Gray (AM/PM)
We were just a hair's breadth from electing America's first female president to succeed America's first black president. We weren't done, but we were doing it. And then, true to form-like the Balrog's whip catching Gandalf by his little gray bootie, like the husband in a Lifetime movie hissing, 'If I can't have you, no one can'-white American voters shoved an incompetent, racist con man into the White House.
Lindy West (The Witches Are Coming)
I strolled into a downtown parking garage, wearing a black pantsuit and matching heels. I’d pulled my dark, chocolate-brown hair up into a high, sleek ponytail, while black glasses with clear lenses covered my cold gray eyes. I looked like just another corporate office drone, right down to the enormous black handbag I carried.
Jennifer Estep (Widow's Web (Elemental Assassin, #7))
Dolor I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils, Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight, All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage, Desolation in immaculate public places, Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard, The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher, Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma, Endless duplicaton of lives and objects. And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions, Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica, Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium, Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows, Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate gray standard faces.
Theodore Roethke (The Lost Son & Other Poems)
Not at all. It's why people come. They say it's about looking smart, or beautiful, or professional, but it's not. Gray-haired ladies try to recapture their former brunette. Brunettes want to go blond. Other women go for colors that don't arise in nature. Each group thinks it's completely different than the others, but I don't see it that way. I've watched them looking at themselves in the mirror, and they're not interested in conforming or rebelling, they just want to walk out of here feeling like themselves again.
Antony John (Five Flavors of Dumb)
No visible scars. Hair dark brown, some gray. Eyes brown. Height six feet, one half inch. Weight about one ninety. Name Philip Marlowe. Occupation private detective.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
When I wake up earlier than you and you are turned to face me, face on the pillow and hair spread around, I take a chance and stare at you, amazed in love and afraid that you might open your eyes and have the daylights scared out of you. But maybe with the daylights gone you’d see how much my chest and head implode for you, their voices trapped inside like unborn children fearing they will never see the light of day. The opening in the wall now dimly glows its rainy blue and gray. I tie my shoes and go downstairs to put the coffee on.
Ron Padgett
Cars they sound like waves that are breaking On some distant shore I gazed so hard into the great aching sky It seemed that I, I wasn’t here no more That my rushing blood was a river My eyes two stars My blowing hair all a quiver A whispering field of grass That murmurs as you pass Oh my darlin’ Kathleen That whispers out your name
David Gray
First Pallas and now you,” the gray-haired man said, shaking his head at Nick. “It’s like I’m running a goddamn dating service around here.” He spun around. “Wilkins! Huxley!” he barked. “Next case that involves a single woman—you’re up.” Standing at the sidewalk, Agent Wilkins pumped his fist excitedly. “Yes.” Huxley adjusted his glasses with a grin, looking decidedly pleased. “That was supposed to be sarcastic. I’m getting too old for this shit,
Julie James (A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2))
McIntyre hesitated, and for a moment the tall, gray-haired man looked almost boyish. "After all this time...don't you think you could call me William?" Amy and Dan exchanged glances. As fond as they were of him, they couldn't imagine calling their lawyer by his first name. He saw the hesitation on their faces. "Will?" Amy cleared her throat. Dan fiddled with the new GPS. "How about 'Mac'?" "Mac," Dan said, trying out the name. Mr. McIntyre looked wistful. "I always wanted to be a Mac.
Jude Watson (A King's Ransom (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #2))
He’d been thinking about a lot of things lately, things that would never happen, things it was best not to think about. Things like waking up with Delaney every morning for the rest of his life and watching her hair turn gray.
Rachel Gibson (Truly Madly Yours (Truly, Idaho, #1))
A driver had been sent to meet us. He was gray-haired, short, and nimble and introduced himself. "I am Patrick and so is every fourth man in Ireland, and the ones in between are named Sean or Mick or Finn, and I'll be driving you.
Sharon Creech (The Great Unexpected)
We think, in some ways, we have all done this our whole lives, searching for the book that will give us the keys to ourselves, let us into a wholly formed personality as though it were a furnished room to let. As though we could walk in and look around and say to the gray-haired landlady behind us, "We'll take it.
Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
Moments later, Hawfield walked in. He wasn't alone. “You've got to be kidding!” Hi blurted. Carmine Corcoran's scowl was as deep as ever. He'd lost a few pounds, but was still a large man, with muttonchop sideburns and a bristly black mustache. His hair was graying at the temples, making him appear more distinguished than his forty-five years merited. Ruth popped the back of her son's head. “Mind your manners, Hiram.” “Why does everyone do the?” Hi muttered. “And child abuse. In front of the police, I might add.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
He’s tall, taller than Kyol, but not as thickly muscled, and his silver eyes, while intense, have a lighter, livelier hue to them. He’s wearing a poorly made, dark jaedric cuirass over a once-white tunic, loose gray pants, and scuffed black boots. His golden-blond hair looks like it’s been chopped off with a knife or, perhaps, the sword in his hand. Despite his haphazard appearance, he’s confident, he’s alert, and he’s completely focused on me, his prey.
Sandy Williams (The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader, #1))
He was studying me. ¨You know, you look an awful lot like Sodapop, the way you've got your hair and everything. I mean, except your eyes are green.¨ ¨They ain't green, they're gray,¨ I said, reddening. ¨And I look about as much like Soda as you do.¨ I got to my feet. ¨He's good-looking.¨ ¨Shoot,¨ Johnny said with a grin, ¨you are, too.¨
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
Nineteen eighty is almost here, thank God. the hippies are getting old, they blew their brains on acid and now they're begging on street corners all over San Francisco. Their hair is tangled and their bare feet are thick and gray as shoes. We're sick of them.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
Well," he said, "I think we've found our way in. We just wait until they're duking it out, but trust me, these Humans First types don't have a lot of staying power or they'd have been at the gym with me before. I doubt Grandma Kent there is going to do a lot of damage." He pointed at a gray-haired, hunched lady in a shawl, carrying what looked liked a gardening tool. "It's like Plants Versus Zombies, and I'm not rooting for the zombies, weirdly enough.
Rachel Caine (Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires, #11))
A sea of people in red crowded around it. I looked at Mallory’s black hoodie and my gray sweater and realized we’d forgotten to wear the school colors. Oh, well. There was always my hair.
Kim Harrington (Perception (Clarity, #2))
...in the eyes of her oldest friends and colleagues and extended family, she wasn't a painfully thin seventy-five-year-old gray haired woman dying of cancer- she was a grade school class president, the young friend you gossiped with, a date or double date, someone to share a tent with in Darfur, a fellow election monitor in Bosnia, a mentor, a teacher you'd laughed within a classroom or a faculty lounge, or the board member you'd groaned with after a contentious meeting
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
This is the one thing I hope: that she never stopped. I hope when her body couldn’t run any farther she left it behind like everything else that tried to hold her down, she floored the pedal and she went like wildfire, streamed down night freeways with both hands off the wheel and her head back screaming to the sky like a lynx, white lines and green lights whipping away into the dark, her tires inches off the ground and freedom crashing up her spine. I hope every second she could have had came flooding through that cottage like speed wind: ribbons and sea spray, a wedding ring and Chad’s mother crying, sun-wrinkles and gallops through wild red brush, a baby’s first tooth and its shoulder blades like tiny wings in Amsterdam Toronto Dubai; hawthorn flowers spinning through summer air, Daniel’s hair turning gray under high ceilings and candle flames and the sweet cadences of Abby’s singing. Time works so hard for us, Daniel told me once. I hope those last few minutes worked like hell for her. I hope in that half hour she lived all her million lives.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
The television was on Florida Cable News. A gray-haired man behind the anchor desk reported near tragedy at a state motor vehicle office, where a man who had failed the eye exam pulled a gun and fired fifteen shots at the staff, hitting nobody.
Tim Dorsey (Florida Roadkill (Serge Storms, #1))
You have been spying all along," Conrad said, unconvinced. "The manhunt for you was a ruse." "Check with the emperor," Ferrin replied coolly. ... "That will not take long," said a man in the corner, studiously picking at a fingernail with a small knife. He raised his head, wavy gray hair framing his pallid face. He wore a long coat of brown leather. "Torvic!" Ferrin called, the exuberance hollow. "I hadn't seen you over there. Still in touch directly with Felrook? You know, to come clean, I haven't brought Maldor in on my plan yet, so it might be of little use to bother him at this juncture.
Brandon Mull
She drew herself up and took in a breath, concentrating on her inflection so that she could indulge him in his game. Then she leaned forward and, in her best, most sincerely love-struck voice, breathed, "I love thee." Sonny's face was just inches from hers. His storm-gray eyes flashed, and the dark silk of his hair drifted across his cheek as he leaned in his head. "Perfect." So was the kiss. Perfect. "I love thee," Sonny murmured, all pretense gone.
Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1))
Should i even bother scanning the crowd for my parents? I could turn around and go back to the dormitory. Then I see her. My mother stands alone near the railing with her hands clasped in front of her. she has never looked more out of place, with her gray slacks and gray jacket buttoned at the throat, her hair in its simple twist and her face placid. I start toward her, tears jumping into my eyes. She came. She came for me. I walk faster. She sees me, and for a second her expression is blank, like she doesn't know who I am. Then her eyes light up, and she opens her arms. She smells like soap and laundry detergent.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
When You Return Fallen leaves will climb back into trees. Shards of the shattered vase will rise and reassemble on the table. Plastic raincoats will refold into their flat envelopes. The egg, bald yolk and its transparent halo, slide back in the thin, calcium shell. Curses will pour back into mouths, letters un-write themselves, words siphoned up into the pen. My gray hair will darken and become the feathers of a black swan. Bullets will snap back into their chambers, the powder tamped tight in brass casings. Borders will disappear from maps. Rust revert to oxygen and time. The fire return to the log, the log to the tree, the white root curled up in the un-split seed. Birdsong will fly into the lark’s lungs, answers become questions again. When you return, sweaters will unravel and wool grow on the sheep. Rock will go home to mountain, gold to vein. Wine crushed into the grape, oil pressed into the olive. Silk reeled in to the spider’s belly. Night moths tucked close into cocoons, ink drained from the indigo tattoo. Diamonds will be returned to coal, coal to rotting ferns, rain to clouds, light to stars sucked back and back into one timeless point, the way it was before the world was born, that fresh, that whole, nothing broken, nothing torn apart.
Ellen Bass (Like a Beggar)
He watched the sun rise beyond the grape arbor. In the thin golden light the young leaves and tendrils of the Scuppernong were like Twink Weatherby's hair. He decided that sunrise and sunset both gave him a pleasantly sad feeling. The sunrise brought a wild, free sadness; the sunset, a lonely yet a comforting one. He indulged his agreeable melancholy until the earth under him turned from gray to lavender and then to the color dried corn husks.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (The Yearling)
An old man, going a lone highway, Came, at the evening, cold and gray, To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide, Through which was flowing a sullen tide. The old man crossed in the twilight dim; The sullen stream had no fear for him; But he turned, when safe on the other side, And built a bridge to span the tide. "Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near, "You are wasting strength with building here; Your journey will end with the ending day; You never again will pass this way; You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide- Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?" The builder lifted his old gray head: "Good friend, in the path I have come," he said, "There followeth after me today, A youth, whose feet must pass this way. This chasm, that has been naught to me, To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be. He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.
Will Allen Dromgoole
A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish-gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, which looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)
He studied me with his predator's gaze, assessing me from head to toe. I studied him back. He didn't just occupy space; he saturated it. The room had been full of books before, now it was full of him. About thirty, six foot two or three, he had dark hair, golden skin, and dark eyes. His features were strong, chiseled. I couldn't pinpoint his nationality any more than I could his accent; some kind of European crossed with Old World Mediterranean or maybe an ancestor with dark Gypsy blood. He wore an elegant, dark gray Italian suit, a crisp white shirt, and a muted patterned tie. He wasn't handsome. That was too calm a word. He was intensely masculine. He was sexual. He attracted. There was an omnipresent carnality about him, in his dark eyes, in his full mouth, in the way he stood. He was the kind of man I wouldn't flirt with in a million years.
Karen Marie Moning (Darkfever (Fever, #1))
...did fear drive her? Fear of the gray, not just in the strands of her hair and her wilting cheeks, but the gray that ran deeper, to the bone, so that she thought she might turn into a fine dust and simply sift away in the wind.....She cooked and cleaned, and cooked and cleaned, and found herself further consumed by the gray, until even her vision was muted and the world around her drained of color.
Eowyn Ivey (The Snow Child)
Vanity's a debilitating affliction. You're so in absorbed in yourself it's impossible to love anyone other than oneself, leaving you weak without realization of it. It's quite sad. You've no idea what you're missing either. You will never know real love and your life will pass you by. But you will see. One day you will blink and the haze will dissipate. You'll discover that what once defined you has wilted into graying hair and wrinkled skin. Frantic, you'll glance around yourself, in hopes of finding those you swore adored you, but all you will find is empty picture frames.
Fisher Amelie (Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1))
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course. I didn’t feel it happen, the slip. Even if I had, I was so wrapped up in him that I couldn’t imagine pulling back or letting go of his warm skin or that moment. His touch was feather-light, stroking my skin with a kind of reverence, but the instant his lips found mine again, a single thought was enough to rocket me out of the honey-sweet haze. The memory of Clancy’s face as he had leaned in to do exactly what Liam was doing now suddenly flooded my mind, twisting its way through me until I couldn’t ignore it. Until I was seeing it play out glossy and burning like it was someone else’s memory and not mine. And then I realized—I wasn’t the only one seeing it. Liam was seeing it, too. How, how, how? That wasn’t possible, was it? Memories flowed to me, not from me. But I felt him grow still, then pull back. And I knew, I knew by the look on his face, that he had seen it. Air filled my chest. “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t want—he—” Liam caught one of my wrists and pulled me back to him, his hands cupping my cheeks. I wondered which one of us was breathing harder as he brushed my hair from my face. I tried to squirm away, ashamed of what he’d seen, and afraid of what he’d think of me. When Liam spoke, it was in a measured, would-be-calm voice. “What did he do?” “Nothing—” “Don’t lie,” he begged. “Please don’t lie to me. I felt it…my whole body. God, it was like being turned to stone. You were scared—I felt it, you were scared!” His fingers came up and wove through my hair, bringing my face close to his again. “He…” I started. “He asked to see a memory, and I let him, but when I tried to move away…I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t move, and then I blacked out. I don’t know what he did, but it hurt—it hurt so much.” Liam pulled back and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt the muscles in his arms strain, shake. “Go to the cabin.” He didn’t let me protest. “Start packing.” “Lee—” “I’m going to find Chubs,” he said. “And the three of us are getting the hell out of here. Tonight.” “We can’t,” I said. “You know we can’t.” But he was already crashing back through the dark path. “Lee!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Trent was positively smug. Showing me his back, he rifled through a rack of earth charms and watched his hair shift color. “And whereas I might otherwise object—” “Bairn did the investigation on your parents’ deaths,” I interrupted, thoughts scrambling. “And my dad’s.” Bairn is supposed to be dead. Why is he across the road pretending to be a kind old man named Keasley? And how did Trent know who he was? His hair now an authoritative gray, Trent frowned. “And whereas I might otherwise object,” he tried again, “Quen assures me that between Bairn and two pixies—” “Two!” I blurted. “Jih took a husband?” “Damn it, Rachel, will you shut up!
Kim Harrison (The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, #6))
Drenched in British purples, I have offered up my tones: pigeon breast, hind belly, balky mule lung, monkey bottom pink, lapis lazuli and malachite, excited nymph thigh, panther pee-pee, high-smelling hen hair, hedgehog in aspic, barrel-maker's brothel, revered rose, monkeybush, turkey-like white, sly violet, page's slipper, immaculate nun spring, unspeakable red, Ensor azure, affected yellow, mummy skull, rock-hard gray, brunt celadon, shop soiled smoke ring.
James Ensor (James Ensor)
I see a huge monster, and his name is Religion, and I am finally brave enough to be angry with him, because he has stolen God away from me, making Him into a tame little puny judge with graying hair who raps his wooden mallet and squeaks out, "You're forever guilty.
Mandy Steward (Thrashing About with God: Finding Faith on the Other Side of Everything)
Same tall build, same golden hair, same dark-brown eyes. But this man isn’t old enough to have gray in his hair; he’s only a few years older than me, and his skin is smooth, sporting just a patch of stubble on his chin. He’s much more handsome than Noam too, not quite as harsh, like he’s more apt to sing a ballad than lead a kingdom.
Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1))
I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough,no matter how hard I tried to be." "That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend,who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl,that's not you?" He's figured out more about me than I have. And even though it seems impossible that he could feel something for me,given all that I'm not...maybe it isn't.I frown at him. "You've been paying close attention,haven't you?" "I like to observe people." "Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar." He puts his hand on the rock next to him, his fingers lining up with mine. I look down at our hands. He has long, narrow fingers. Hands made for mine, deft movements.Not Dauntless hands, which should be thick and tough and ready to break things. "Fine." He leans his face closer to mine, his eyes focusing on my chin, and my lips,and my nose. "I watched you because I like you." He says it plainly, boldly, and his eyes flick up to mine. "And don't call me 'Four," okay? It's nice to hear my name again." Just like that,he has finally declared himself, and I don't know how to respond. My cheeks warm,and all I can think to say is, "But you're older than I am...Tobias." He smiles at me. "Yes,that whopping two-year gap really is insurmountable, isn't it?" "I'm not trying to be self-deprecating," I say, "I just don't get it. I'm younger. I'm not pretty.I-" He laughs,a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple. "Don't pretend," I say breathily. "You know I'm not. I'm not ugly,but I am certainly not pretty." "Fine.You're not pretty.So?" He kisses my cheek. "I like how you look. You're deadly smart.You're brave. And even though you found out about Marcus..." His voice softens. "You aren't giving me that look.Like I'm a kicked puppy or something." "Well," I say. "You're not." For a second his dark eyes are on mine, and he's quiet. Then he touches my face and leans in close, brushing my lips with his.The river roars and I feel its spray on my ankles.He grins and presses his mouth to mine. I tense up at first,unsure of myself, so when he pulls away,I'm sure I did something wrong,or badly.But he takes my face in his hands,his figners strong against my skin,and kisses me again, firmer this time, more certain. I wrap an arm around him,sliding my hand up his nack and into his short hair. For a few minutes we kiss,deep in the chasm,with the roar of water all around us. And when we rise,hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently,we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
You were born on a day when the clouds were big and swollen with rain,” my nanny would say as she stroked my hair. “We were ready for a storm, but the sun filtered through the sky. Your mother held you by the window and noticed the gold flecks in your little gray eyes. Your eyes were the color of the heavens that day. That is why she named you Skye, amorcito.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
So it went. Bob was increasingly cynical, leery, uneasy; Jesse was increasingly cavalier, merry, moody, fey, unpredictable. If his gross anatomy suggested a strong smith in his twenties, his actual physical constitution was that of a man who was incrementally dying. He was sick with rheums and aches and lung congestions, he tilted against chairs and counters and walls, in cold weather he limped with a cane. He coughed incessantly when lying down, his clever mind was often in conflict, insomnia stained his eye sockets like soot, he seemed in a state of mourning. He counteracted the smell of neglected teeth with licorice and candies, he browned his graying hair with dye, he camouflaged his depressions and derangements with masquerades of extreme cordiality, courtesy, and good will toward others.
Ron Hansen (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
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))
If a person leads an ‘active’ life, as Wiggs had, if a person has goals, ideals, a cause to fight for, then that person is distracted, temporarily, from paying a whole lot of attention to the heavy scimitar that hangs by a mouse hair just about his or her head. We, each of us, have a ticket to ride, and if the trip be interesting (if it’s dull, we have only ourselves to blame), then we relish the landscape (how quickly it whizzes by!), interact with our fellow travelers, pay frequent visits to the washrooms and concession stands, and hardly ever hold up the ticket to the light where we can read its plainly stated destination: The Abyss. Yet, ignore it though we might in our daily toss and tussle, the fact of our impending death is always there, just behind the draperies, or, more accurately, inside our sock, like a burr that we can never quite extract. If one has a religious life, one can rationalize one’s slide into the abyss; if one has a sense of humor (and a sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised), one can minimalize it through irony and wit. Ah, but the specter is there, night and day, day in and day out, coloring with its chalk of gray almost everything we do. And a lot of what we do is done, subconsciously, indirectly, to avoid the thought of death, or to make ourselves so unexpendable through our accomplishments that death will hesitate to take us, or, when the scimitar finally falls, to insure that we ‘live on’ in the memory of the lucky ones still kicking.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
Arthur Less is the first homosexual ever to grow old. That is, at least, how he feels at times like these. Here, in this tub, he should be twenty-five or thirty, a beautiful young man naked in a bathtub. Enjoying the pleasures of life. How dreadful if someone came upon naked Less today: pink to his middle, gray to his scalp, like those old double erasers for pencil and ink. He has never seen another gay man age past fifty, none except Robert. He met them all at forty or so but never saw them make it much beyond; they died of AIDS, that generation. Less’s generation often feels like the first to explore the land beyond fifty. How are they meant to do it? Do you stay a boy forever, and dye your hair and diet to stay lean and wear tight shirts and jeans and go out dancing until you drop dead at eighty? Or do you do the opposite—do you forswear all that, and let your hair go gray, and wear elegant sweaters that cover your belly, and smile on past pleasures that will never come again? Do you marry and adopt a child? In a couple, do you each take a lover, like matching nightstands by the bed, so that sex will not vanish entirely? Or do you let sex vanish entirely, as heterosexuals do? Do you experience the relief of letting go of all that vanity, anxiety, desire, and pain?
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
Summer sticks to her skirt sumptuously, in the shiny gray fabric hanging loosely from her curves. Her chestnut eyes, apparently hidden from strangers; her simple but graceful face, unpainted by Madison Avenue; and her straight black hair, parted down the middle without ego, all suggest a minimalist - almost pastoral - beauty that is oddly discordant with her fashionable attire, comfortable indifference to the crowds, and quasi-attentive perusal of the Time magazine unfolded over her hand.
Zack Love (City Solipsism)
We talk and tease and bargain with the main dish. Maniacal laughter echoes in the marble halls, sweet to my ears. There’s movement at the banquet hall’s entrance. A child with my eyes tumbles in—all wings and blue hair and giggling innocence. Holding his hand is Morpheus, wearing a ruby crown. The Red King. My king. The bubble bursts and takes the vision with it, leaving nothing but the sound of my gasp and wisps of gray smoke behind. “You see,” Ivory says, “once Morpheus knew that one day you would belong to him and he to you, that you would share a child, he was no longer willing to die to save Wonderland. But he’s insecure about your feelings for him. He feared you would refuse to help. So he made a new plan, however flawed it was.
A.G. Howard (Unhinged (Splintered, #2))
What's this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way," thought he, and fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle of the Frenchmen with the gunners ended, whether the red-haired gunner had been killed or not and whether the cannon had been captured or saved. But he saw nothing. Above him there was now nothing but the sky- the lofty sky, not clear yet still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds gliding slowly across it. "How quiet, peaceful, and solemn; not at all as I ran," thought Prince Andrew- "not as we ran, shouting and fighting, not at all as the gunner and the Frenchman with frightened and angry faces struggled for the mop: how differently do those clouds glide across that lofty infinite sky! How was it I did not see that lofty sky before? And how happy I am to have found it at last! Yes! All is vanity, all falsehood, except that infinite sky. There is nothing, nothing, but that. But even it does not exist, there is nothing but quiet and peace. Thank God!...
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Her eyes bothered him most.  Unlike the Kai, hers were layers of opaque white, blue ringed in gray and black pinpoint centers that expanded or contracted with the light.  The first time he’d witnessed that reaction in a human, all the hairs on his nape stood straight up.  That, and the way the contrasting colors made it easy to see the eyes move in their sockets gave the impression they weren’t body parts but entities unto themselves living as parasites inside their hosts’ skulls. He was used to seeing the frantic eye-rolling in a frightened horse but not a person.  If the parasite impression didn’t repulse him so much, he’d think humans lived in a constant state of hysterical terror.
Grace Draven (Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1))
He squinted up at the straining muscular backs of the stone men supporing the dome. "You'll have to take me to some museums," he said. He was being the young man on the road, following the sun because gray weather made him suicidal, writing his poetry in his mind in diners and gas station men's rooms across the country. "But I did see a show of Hopper once. And I like his light. It was kind of lonely or something. Or, "The world's a mess, it's in my kiss,' like John and Exene say," he mumbled. We were in a leather store on Market Street being punks on acid with skunk-striped hair and steel-toed boots.
Francesca Lia Block (Echo)
What frightens you? What makes the hair on your arms rise, your palms sweat, the breath catch in your chest like a wild thing caged? Is it the dark? A fleeting memory of a bedtime story, ghosts and goblins and witches hiding in the shadows? Is it the way the wind picks up just before a storm, the hint of wet in the air that makes you want to scurry home to the safety of your fire? Or is it something deeper, something much more frightening, a monster deep inside that you've glimpsed only in pieces, the vast unknown of your own soul where secrets gather with a terrible power, the dark inside? If you will listen I will tell you a story-one whose ghost cannot be banished by the comfort of a roaring fire, I will tell you the story of how we found ourselves in a realm where dreams are formed, destiny is chosen, and magic is as real as your handprint in the snow. I will tell you how we unlocked the Pandora's box of ourselves, tasted freedom, stained our souls with blood and choice, and unleashed a horror on the world that destroyed its dearest Order. These pages are a confession of all that has led to this cold, gray dawn. What will be now, I cannot say. Is your heart beating faster? Do the clouds seem to be gathering on the horizons? Does the skin on your neck feel stretched tight, waiting for a kiss you both fear and need? Will you be scared? Will you know the truth? Mary Dowd, April 7, 1871
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
For much longer, he could have stayed with Kamaswami, made money, wasted money, filled his stomach, and let his soul die of thirst; for much longer he could have lived in this soft, well upholstered hell, if this had not happened: the moment of complete hopelessness and despair, that most extreme moment, when he hang over the rushing waters and was ready to destroy himself. That he had felt this despair, this deep disgust, and that he had not succumbed to it, that the bird, the joyful source and voice in him was still alive after all, this was why he felt joy, this was why he laughed, this was why his face was smiling brightly under his hair which had turned gray.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
When I was in sixth grade, my mom bought me all these books about puberty and adolescence, so I would appreciate what a ‘beautiful’ and ‘natural’ and ‘miraculous’ transformation I was going through. Crap. That’s what it is. She complains all the time about her hair turning gray and her butt sagging and her skin winkling, but I’m supposed to be grateful for a face full of zits, hair in embarrassing places, and feet that grow an inch a night. Utter crap.
Laurie Halse Anderson
People change and their bodies change and their hair grows gray and falls out and their bodies decay and die… but there is something that doesn’t change about love and about the feelings we have for people. Marianne, the woman of So Long, Marianne, when I hear her voice on the telephone, I know something is completely intact even though our lives have separated and we’ve gone our very different paths. I feel that love never dies, and that when there is an emotion strong enough to gather a song around it, that there is something about that emotion that is indestructible…
Leonard Cohen
You are not really dying,” he said, the oddest tone to his voice, “are you?”Jem nodded. “So they tell me.”“I am sorry,” Will said.“No,” Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist.“Don’t be ordinary like that. Don’t say you’re sorry. Say you’ll train with me.” He held out the knife to Will, hilt rst. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She feltas if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have saidwhat.Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem’s face. His fingers brushedthe other boy’s as he took the weapon from him. It was the rst time, Charlotte thought,that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly.“I’ll train with you,” he said. Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the littlesisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but rmly, he put Willabove everything else in the world.Well, nearly everything. She had been most struck by Jem when she rst came to theInstitute—he had an unearthly, unusual beauty, with his silvery hair and eyes and delicate features. He looked like a prince in a fairy-tale book, and she might have considered developing an attachment to him, were it not so absolutely clear that he was entirely inlove with Tessa Gray. His eyes followed her where she went, and his voice changed when hespoke to her. Cecily had once heard her mother say in amusement that one of theirneighbors’ boys looked at a girl as if she were “the only star in the sky” and that was theway Jem looked at Tessa.Cecily didn’t resent it: Tessa was pleasant and kind to her, if a little shy, and with herface always stuck in a book, like Will. If that was the sort of girl Jem wanted, she and henever would have suited—and the longer she remained at the Institute, the more sherealized how awkward it would have made things with Will. He was ferociously protectiveof Jem, and he would have watched her constantly in case she ever distressed or hurt him inany way. No—she was far better out of the whole thing.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Don’t look down on death, but welcome it. It too is one of the things required by nature. Like youth and old age. Like growth and maturity. Like a new set of teeth, a beard, the first gray hair. Like sex and pregnancy and childbirth. Like all the other physical changes at each stage of life, our dissolution is no different. So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happen to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment. Or perhaps you need some tidy aphorism to tuck away in the back of your mind. Well, consider two things that should reconcile you to death: the nature of the things you’ll leave behind you, and the kind of people you’ll no longer be mixed up with. There’s no need to feel resentment toward them—in fact, you should look out for their well-being, and be gentle with them—but keep in mind that everything you believe is meaningless to those you leave behind. Because that’s all that could restrain us (if anything could)—the only thing that could make us want to stay here: the chance to live with those who share our vision. But now? Look how tiring it is—this cacophony we live in. Enough to make you say to death, “Come quickly. Before I start to forget myself, like them.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Hey,” Fitz said, leaning closer. “You trust me, don’t you?” Sophie’s traitorous heart still fluttered, despite her current annoyance. She did trust Fitz. Probably more than anyone. But having him keep secrets from her was seriously annoying. She was tempted to use her telepathy to steal the information straight from his head. But she’d broken that rule enough times to know the consequences definitely weren’t worth it. “What is with these clothes?” Biana interrupted, appearing out of thin air next to Keefe. Biana was a Vanisher, like her mother, though she was still getting used to the ability. Only one of her legs reappeared, and she had to hop up and down to get the other to show up. She wore a sweatshirt three sizes too big and faded, baggy jeans. “At least I get to wear my shoes,” she said, hitching up her pants to reveal purple flats with diamond-studded toes. “But why do we only have boy stuff?” “Because I’m a boy,” Fitz reminded her. “Besides, this isn’t a fashion contest.” “And if it was, I’d totally win. Right, Foster?” Keefe asked. Sophie actually would’ve given the prize to Fitz—his blue scarf worked perfectly with his dark hair and teal eyes. And his fitted gray coat made him look taller, with broader shoulders and— “Oh please.” Keefe shoved his way between them. “Fitz’s human clothes are a huge snoozefest. Check out what Dex and I found in Alvar’s closet!” They both unzipped their hoodies, revealing T-shirts with logos underneath. “I have no idea what this means, but it’s crazy awesome, right?” Keefe asked, pointing to the black and yellow oval on his shirt. “It’s from Batman,” Sophie said—then regretted the words. Of course Keefe demanded she explain the awesomeness of the Dark Knight. “I’m wearing this shirt forever, guys,” he decided. “Also, I want a Batmobile! Dex, can you make that happen?” Sophie wouldn’t have been surprised if Dex actually could build one. As a Technopath, he worked miracles with technology. He’d made all kinds of cool gadgets for Sophie, including the lopsided ring she wore—a special panic switch that had saved her life during her fight with one of her kidnappers. “What’s my shirt from?” Dex asked, pointing to the logo with interlocking yellow W’s. Sophie didn’t have the heart to tell him it was the symbol for Wonder Woman.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
The light was crude. It made Artaud's eyes shrink into darkness, as they are deep-set. This brought into relief the intensity of his gestures. He looked tormented. His hair, rather long, fell at times over his forehead. He has the actor's nimbleness and quickness of gestures. His face is lean, as if ravaged by fevers. His eyes do not seem to see the people. They are the eyes of a visionary. His hands are long, long-fingered. Beside him Allendy looks earthy, heavy, gray. He sits at the desk, massive, brooding. Artaud steps out on the platform, and begins to talk about " The Theatre and the Plague." He asked me to sit in the front row. It seems to me that all he is asking for is intensity, a more heightened form of feeling and living. Is he trying to remind us that it was during the Plague that so many marvelous works of art and theater came to be, because, whipped by the fear of death, man seeks immortality, or to escape, or to surpass himself? But then, imperceptibly almost, he let go of the thread we were following and began to act out dying by plague. No one quite knew when it began. To illustrate his conference, he was acting out an agony. "La Peste" in French is so much more terrible than "The Plague" in English. But no word could describe what Artaud acted out on the platform of the Sorbonne. He forgot about his conference, the theatre, his ideas, Dr. Allendy sitting there, the public, the young students, his wife, professors, and directors. His face was contorted with anguish, one could see the perspiration dampening his hair. His eyes dilated, his muscles became cramped, his fingers struggled to retain their flexibility. He made one feel the parched and burning throat, the pains, the fever, the fire in the guts. He was in agony. He was screaming. He was delirious. He was enacting his own death, his own crucifixion. At first people gasped. And then they began to laugh. Everyone was laughing! They hissed. Then, one by one, they began to leave, noisily, talking, protesting. They banged the door as they left. The only ones who did not move were Allendy, his wife, the Lalous, Marguerite. More protestations. More jeering. But Artaud went on, until the last gasp. And stayed on the floor. Then when the hall had emptied of all but his small group of friends, he walked straight up to me and kissed my hand. He asked me to go to the cafe with him.
Anaïs Nin
You say that about everything,” I complained, trailing after him. “Everything is a long story, too long to tell me. I suppose after two hundred years, or whatever, things get a little convoluted, but can’t you paraphrase? How do you know the Rectors?” When we rounded the corner, it became apparent there wouldn’t be time for any stories at all, paraphrased or not. Not because the gray clouds that were hanging so threateningly overhead had burst open, the way I was half expecting them to, but because the family we’d seen earlier, along with Mr. Smith and the people holding the clipboards, were climbing into their various vehicles in the parking lot right in front of us. It shouldn’t have been a big deal. We were just an ordinary young couple, taking a late afternoon stroll through the cemetery. I’d forgotten that, due to the “vandalism” that had occurred there earlier in the week, the cemetery gates (which John had kicked apart in a fit of temper) had been ordered locked twenty-four hours a day by the chief of police. So it kind of was a big deal. Still, that didn’t explain why one of the women-the grandmother, if her gray hair was any indication-took one look at my face, made the sign of the cross, cried, “Dios mio!” then passed out cold right in front of us.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
For years afterward, I had dreams in which my mother appeared in strange forms, her features sewn onto other beings in combinations that seemed both grotesque and profound: as a slippery white fish at the end of my hook, with a trout’s gaping, sorrowful mouth and her dark, shuttered eyes; as the elm tree at the edge of our property, its ragged clumps of tarnished gold leaves replaced by knotted skeins of her black hair; as the lame gray dog that lived on the Mueller’s property, whose mouth, her mouth, opened and closed in yearning and who never made a sound. As I grew older, I came to realize that death had been easy for my mother; to fear death, you must first have something to tether you to life. But she had not. It was as if she had been preparing for her death the entire time I knew her. One day she was alive; the next, not. And as Sybil said, she was lucky. For what more could we presume to ask from death — but kindness?
Hanya Yanagihara (The People in the Trees)
They do the twenty-one-gun salute for the good guys, right? So I brought this.” Beckett pointed the gun in the sky. “For Mouse.” One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen shots exploded from Beckett’s gun. “Who am I fucking kidding? What the hell does a gun shot by me mean? Nothing special, that’s for damn sure. Fuck it.” “For Mouse, who watched over my sister and saved Blake and me from more than we could’ve handled in the woods that night.” Livia nodded at Beckett, and he squeezed the trigger. When the sound had cleared, she counted out loud. “Seventeen.” Kyle stepped forward and replaced Livia at Beckett’s arm. “For Mouse. I didn’t know you well, but I wish I had.” The air snapped with the shot. “Eighteen.” Cole rubbed Kyle’s shoulder as he approached. He took the gun from Beckett’s hand. “For Mouse, who protected Beckett from himself for years.” The gun popped again. “Nineteen.” Blake thought for a moment with the gun pointed at the ground, then aimed it at the sky. “For Mouse, who saved Livia’s life when I couldn’t. Thank you is not enough.” The gun took his gratitude to the heavens. “Twenty.” Eve took the gun from Blake, the hand that had been shaking steadied. “Mouse, I wish you were still here. This place was better when you were part of it.” The last shot was the most jarring, juxtaposed with the perfect silence of its wake. As if the bullet was a key in a lock, the gray skies opened and a quiet, lovely snow shower filtered down. The flakes decorated the hair of the six mourners like glistening knit caps. Eve turned her face to be bathed in the fresh flakes. “Twenty-one,” she said softly, replacing her earpiece.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar. A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln’s, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate, too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. “Oh my,” she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, “it’s fruitcake weather!
Truman Capote (A Christmas Memory)
The Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing tells the story of the gangster leaders who carried out anti-communist purges in Indonesia in 1965 to usher in the regime of Suharto. The film’s hook, which makes it compelling and accessible, is that the filmmakers get Anwar —one of the death-squad leaders, who murdered around a thousand communists using a wire rope—and his acolytes to reenact the killings and events around them on film in a variety of genres of their choosing. In the film’s most memorable sequence, Anwar—who is old now and actually really likable, a bit like Nelson Mandela, all soft and wrinkly with nice, fuzzy gray hair—for the purposes of a scene plays the role of a victim in one of the murders that he in real life carried out. A little way into it, he gets a bit tearful and distressed and, when discussing it with the filmmaker on camera in the next scene, reveals that he found the scene upsetting. The offcamera director asks the poignant question, “What do you think your victims must’ve felt like?” and Anwar initially almost fails to see the connection. Eventually, when the bloody obvious correlation hits him, he thinks it unlikely that his victims were as upset as he was, because he was “really” upset. The director, pressing the film’s point home, says, “Yeah but it must’ve been worse for them, because we were just pretending; for them it was real.” Evidently at this point the reality of the cruelty he has inflicted hits Anwar, because when they return to the concrete garden where the executions had taken place years before, he, on camera, begins to violently gag. This makes incredible viewing, as this literally visceral ejection of his self and sickness at his previous actions is a vivid catharsis. He gagged at what he’d done. After watching the film, I thought—as did probably everyone who saw it—how can people carry out violent murders by the thousand without it ever occurring to them that it is causing suffering? Surely someone with piano wire round their neck, being asphyxiated, must give off some recognizable signs? Like going “ouch” or “stop” or having blood come out of their throats while twitching and spluttering into perpetual slumber? What it must be is that in order to carry out that kind of brutal murder, you have to disengage with the empathetic aspect of your nature and cultivate an idea of the victim as different, inferior, and subhuman. The only way to understand how such inhumane behavior could be unthinkingly conducted is to look for comparable examples from our own lives. Our attitude to homelessness is apposite here. It isn’t difficult to envisage a species like us, only slightly more evolved, being universally appalled by our acceptance of homelessness. “What? You had sufficient housing, it cost less money to house them, and you just ignored the problem?” They’d be as astonished by our indifference as we are by the disconnected cruelty of Anwar.
Russell Brand
I found my father asleep in his dining-room armchair, with a blanket over his legs and his favorite book open in his hands--a copy of Voltaire's Candide, which he reread a couple of times a year, the only times I heard him laugh heartily. I observed him: his hair was gray, thinning, and the skin on his face had begun to sag around his cheekbones. I looked at that man whom I had once imagined almost invincible; he now seemed fragile, defeated without knowing it. Perhaps we were both defeated. I leaned over to cover him with the blanket he had been promising to give away to charity for years, and I kissed his forehead, as if by doing so I could protect him from the invisible threads that kept him away from me, from that tiny apartment, and from my memories, as if I believed that with that kiss I could deceive time and convince it to pass us by, to return some other day, some other life.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
I restrained the urge to slam my door. On the right stood a teenage guy with thick chestnut hair, chocolatey brown eyes, and the kind of perfectly square jaw I thought only existed on models. He wore khaki pants and a white shirt - classic preppy gear, though on him it looked incredibly hot. The man on the left had black hair with wings of pure white at the temples, and unbelievable blue eyes the color of the Caribbean. Not that I've ever seen the Caribbean, but I swear you could have cut and pasted his eyes right into an ad for the Bahamas. Meanwhile, I looked like I didn't know how to operate a washing machine. My shorts had a glob of strawberry jelly on them from breakfast, my wrinkled gray T-shirt looked like it had been slept in (which it had), and my Seattle Mariners baseball hat had a dark ring around the brim. Grandma practically winced as her gaze traveled up and down my outfit. Her taste runs toward matching velour tracksuits, so I don't usually worry about her opinion much. Still, this time I think she was right.
Inara Scott (The Candidates (Delcroix Academy, #1))
Women did such things and went on doing them while the sun died because in all of women's lives there were so many moments that would kill the mind if one thought about them, which would suck the heart and the life out of one, and engrave lines in the face and put gray in the hair if ever one let one's mind work; but there was in the rhythm and the fascination of the stitches a loss of thought, a void, a blank, that was only numbers and not even that, because the mind did not need to count, the fingers did, the length of a thread against the finger measured evenly as a ruler could divide it, the slight difference in tension sensed finely as a machine could sense, the exact number of stitches keeping pattern without really the need to count, but something inward and regular as the beat of a heart, as the slow passing of time which could be frozen in such acts, or speeded past.
C.J. Cherryh (The Collected Short Fiction of C.J. Cherryh)
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall
Stop fussing,” Legna admonished her, tapping her finger against Isabella’s absently energetic hand. “I’m getting married in a few minutes, Legna, I think I’ve a right to fuss.” Isabella felt her heart turn over as she spoke aloud, listening to herself talk about her impending marriage. “Well, brides are supposed to be blushing, as I understand it. At the moment you are no less than five shades of gray.” Legna continued with her interrupted weaving of more ribbons in Isabella’s hair. “And as much as it matches the silver of your dress, I think you would look better with a little natural color.” Legna reached to smooth down a portion of the shimmering silver fabric that draped off of the bride’s shoulders in a Grecian fashion. “You know,” she pressed, “there are only two nights in a year when Demons perform a joining ceremony. Samhain and Beltane. If you pass out tonight, you will have to wait until next spring.” “Thanks for the bulletin. You’re too kind,” Isabella retorted dryly. “Actually, purely out of kindness, I will tell you that your future husband is just shy of tossing his cookies himself, so you can take comfort in knowing he is just as nervous as you are.” “Legna!” Bella laughed. “You’re a wretch!” She turned to look at the female Demon, briefly admiring how pretty she looked in her soft white chiffon gown. “And how would you know? You’re standing too close to me to be able to sense his emotions.” “Because when I went to fetch the ribbons, he was seated next to Noah with his head between his knees.” Legna giggled. “I have never seen anything rattle Jacob before. I cannot help but find it amusing.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
Before she knew it the afternoon was done, and the trainees were taking their new mounts to the stables for grooming. Daine, Onua, Buri, and Sarge helped then too, though Daine couldn't see how she could ever be comfortable telling a twenty-year-old man he was missing spots on the pony he was grooming. She did try it: "Excuse me, trainee what did you say your name was?" Blue gray eyes twinkled at her over his cream-colored mare's back. "I didn't. It's Farant. " His blond hair curled thickly over his head, almost matching the pony's in color. "Thank you. Trainee Farant, you're missing spots. " "Not at all, sweetheart. I'm just combing too fast for you to see. " "Trainee Farant, you're missing spots!" Sarge boomed just behind Daine. She thought later she actually might have levitated at that moment certainly Farant had. Next time the assistant horsemistress tells you something, don't flirt correct it!" He moved on, and Daine pressed her hands against her burning cheeks. Farant leaned on his mare and sighed. "Yes, Assistant Horsemistress. Right away. " He winked at her and went back to work. Daine went to Sarge as the trainees were finishing up. "Sarge, I-" He shook his head. Daine thought if he leaned against the stable wall any harder, it would collapse. How did a human, without bear blood in him, get to be so large? "Not your fault. These city boys see you, you're young, sweet-lookin'",he winked at her,"they're gonna try to take advantage. If they can't keep their minds on the job after I've had them two weeks already in my patty-paws, then I ain't been doing my job right. " His grin was wolfish. "But that can be fixed. " Seeing her open mouthed stare, he asked, "Something the matter, my lamb?" She closed her jaw. "No, sir. I just never met nobody like you. " "And if you're lucky, you won't again, " muttered Buri, passing by.
Tamora Pierce (Wild Magic (Immortals, #1))
A few hours later, Françoise was able for the last time, and without causing pain, to comb that beautiful hair, which was only slightly graying and had thus far seemed much younger than my grandmother herself. But this was now reversed: the hair was the only feature to set the crown of age on a face grown young again, free of the wrinkles, the shrinkage, the puffiness, the tensions, the sagging flesh which pain had brought to it for so long. As in the distant days when her parents had chosen a husband for her, her features were delicately traced by purity and submission, her cheeks glowed with a chaste expectation, a dream of happiness, an innocent gaiety even, which the years had gradually destroyed. As it ebbed from her, life had borne away its disillusions. A smile seemed to hover on my grandmother’s lips. On that funeral couch, death, like a sculptor of the Middle Ages, had laid her to rest with the face of a young girl.
Marcel Proust
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
I looked at him, into his warm gray eyes, and suddenly understood what he was trying to tell me. The message hidden beneath the words. You’re not alone. Because he understood. He understood how it felt to be abandoned. He understood the insults. Understood me. I pushed myself onto my tiptoes and kissed him-really kissed him. It was more than just a precursor to sex. There was no war between our mouths. My hips rested lightly beneath his, not pressed tightly. Our lips moved in soft, perfect harmony with each other. This time it meant something. What that something was, I didn’t know at the time, but I knew that there was a real connection between us. His hands stroked gently through my hair, his thumb grazing my cheek-still damp from crying earlier. And it didn’t feel sick or twisted or unnatural. Actually, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. I slid off his shirt, and he pulled mine over my head. Then he laid me down on the bed. No rush. This time things were slow and earnest. This time I wasn’t looking for an escape. This time it was about him. About me. About honesty and compassion and everything I’d never expected to find in Wesley Rush. This time, when our bodies connected, it didn’t feel dirty or wrong. It felt horrifyingly right.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
Well, I guess that answers my question." The deep velvet voice startles me. I jump, grab my pillow like I'm going to use it as a weapon. Will stands in the doorway, sipping from a metallic travel mug. His gray T-shirt stretches across his shoulders and chest in a way that makes my throat close up. "What question?" I ask, breathless. "Whether you're as beautiful in the morning as you are during the rest of the day." "Oh," I say dumbly, pushing the tangle of hair back off my shoulders, certain I don't look good right now, just rolling out of bed. Not that I take pains with my appearance on the average day, but still...who looks their best fresh out of bed? "You're here again," I murmur. "Apparently." "Can't stay away?" "Apparently not." I'm okay with that. Great, in fact. "I made you breakfast," he adds. "You can cook?" I'm impressed. He grins. "I live in a bachelor household, remember? My mom died when I was a kid. I hardly remember her. I kind of had to learn to cook." "Oh," I murmur, then sit up straighter. "Wait a minute. How'd you get in here?" "Opened the front door." He takes another sip from his mug and looks at me like I'm in trouble. "Your mom really should lock the door when she leaves." I arch a brow. "Would that have kept you out?" He smiles a little. "You know me well.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Excellent,” says Gray, rubbing his hands together, a gleam in his eye. “The last person to sing gets to buy the drinks.” Ivy grins wide. “You’re on, Cupcake. I’m going to sing the house down.” We all pause, our gazes darting back and forth as a certain sense of terror falls over the table. Ivy sees us and slaps her palm onto the table. “Oh, for fuck’s sake. I know what you twats are thinking! If I suck at dancing, I’ll suck at singing? Well, I don’t. I’m awesome.” Awkward silence ensues, and she snorts. “What? You think I don’t know I suck at dancing? I just don’t give a shit.” She glares at Gray, though there really isn’t any anger in the look. “So you can stop dancing like an ass now.” A strangled sound leaves him. “You knew?” “Of course.” She tosses a lock of her hair over her shoulder. “You’re too coordinated on the field, and you kind of forget to suck when you do those victory dances.” He gapes at her for a long second, then gives a bark of laughter. “I fucking love you, Special Sauce.” With that, he hauls Ivy into his lap and kisses her. Fi, however, finally snaps out of the trance she’s been in since Ivy confessed. “You sneaky shithead,” she shouts over the music. “All these years I’ve been covering for your craptacular dancing, and you knew!” She shakes a fist. “I swear to God, Ivy Weed…” “Oh, please,” Ivy counters. “You pretend you suck at baking so you don’t have to cook for family holidays.” Fi sniffs, looking guilty as hell. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Ivy leans in, her eyes narrowed. “Midnight cookie baking ring a bell, Tink?” Fi’s cheeks flush, and she studies her nails with undue interest while muttering something about traitor sisters under her breath. “Those are for PMS cravings and nothing more. I was baking under duress.
Kristen Callihan (The Game Plan (Game On, #3))
He stood looking down at me with a white towel wrapped around his waist. I always imagined what he might look like after seven years, but even my wildest dreams couldn’t have conjured up what I was actually met with. His messy black hair had now been replaced by longish sexy waves that curled around his ears. He was wearing glasses. He looked even sexier in glasses. Even from here, I could see the piercing gray of his eyes through them. His inked body was bigger, even more built than before. He lifted a cigarette to his mouth and even amidst the shock of seeing him, disappointment set in that he was smoking again. Elec blew out the smoke as his eyes stayed fixed on mine. He wasn’t smiling. He just looked at me intently. His powerful stare alone had put all of my senses on high alert, throwing my body out of whack. My head was pounding, my eyes were teary, my ears were beating, my mouth was watering, my nipples were hard, my hands were trembling, my knees were shaking and my heart…I couldn’t describe what was going on inside my chest. Before I could process any of this, a woman with blonde hair came up from behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist.
Penelope Ward (Stepbrother Dearest)
He took the sacramental chalice, and stretching forth his bare arm, cried in a loud voice, 'Come ye viewless ministers of this dread hour! come from the fenny lake, the hanging rock, and the midnight cave! The moon is red - the stars are out - the sky is burning - and all nature stands aghast at what we do!' Then replacing the sacred vessel on the altar, he drew, one by one, from different parts of his body, from his knotted hair, from his bosom, from beneath his nails, the unholy things which he cast into it. 'This,' said he, 'I plucked from the beak of a raven feeding on a murderer's brains! This is the mad dog's foam! These the spurgings of a dead man's eyes, gathered since the rising of the evening star! This is a screech-owl's egg! This a single drop of black blood, squeezed from the heart of a sweltered toad! This, an adder's tongue! And here, ten grains of the gray moss that grew upon a skull which had lain in the charnel-house three hundred years! What! Not yet?' And his eyes seemed like balls of fire as he cast them upwards. 'Not yet? I call ye once! I call ye twice! Dare ye deny me! Nay, then, as I call ye thrice, I'll wound mine arm, and as it drops, I'll breathe a spell shall cleave the ground and drag you here!' ("The Forsaken Of God")
William Mudford (Reign of Terror)
These things matter to me, Daniel, says the man with six days to live. They are sitting on the porch in the last light. These things matter to me, son. The way the hawks huddle their shoulders angrily against hissing snow. Wrens whirring in the bare bones of bushes in winter. The way swallows and swifts veer and whirl and swim and slice and carve and curve and swerve. The way that frozen dew outlines every blade of grass. Salmonberries thimbleberries cloudberries snowberries elderberries salalberries gooseberries. My children learning to read. My wife's voice velvet in my ear at night in the dark under the covers. Her hair in my nose as we slept curled like spoons. The sinuous pace of rivers and minks and cats. Fresh bread with too much butter. My children's hands when they cup my face in their hands. Toys. Exuberance. Mowing the lawn. Tiny wrenches and screwdrivers. Tears of sorrow, which are the salt sea of the heart. Sleep in every form from doze to bone-weary. Pay stubs. Trains. The shivering ache of a saxophone and the yearning of a soprano. Folding laundry hot from the dryer. A spotless kitchen floor. The sound of bagpipes. The way horses smell in spring. Red wines. Furnaces. Stone walls. Sweat. Postcards on which the sender has written so much that he or she can barely squeeze in the signature. Opera on the radio. Bathrobes, back rubs. Potatoes. Mink oil on boots. The bands at wedding receptions. Box-elder bugs. The postman's grin. Linen table napkins. Tent flaps. The green sifting powdery snow of cedar pollen on my porch every year. Raccoons. The way a heron labors through the sky with such a vast elderly dignity. The cheerful ears of dogs. Smoked fish and the smokehouses where fish are smoked. The way barbers sweep up circles of hair after a haircut. Handkerchiefs. Poems read aloud by poets. Cigar-scissors. Book marginalia written with the lightest possible pencil as if the reader is whispering to the writer. People who keep dead languages alive. Fresh-mown lawns. First-basemen's mitts. Dish-racks. My wife's breasts. Lumber. Newspapers folded under arms. Hats. The way my children smelled after their baths when they were little. Sneakers. The way my father's face shone right after he shaved. Pants that fit. Soap half gone. Weeds forcing their way through sidewalks. Worms. The sound of ice shaken in drinks. Nutcrackers. Boxing matches. Diapers. Rain in every form from mist to sluice. The sound of my daughters typing their papers for school. My wife's eyes, as blue and green and gray as the sea. The sea, as blue and green and gray as her eyes. Her eyes. Her.
Brian Doyle (Mink River)
Subtlety #1: Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different. Let’s be clear. There’s absolutely nothing admirable or confident about indifference. People who are indifferent are lame and scared. They’re couch potatoes and Internet trolls. In fact, indifferent people often attempt to be indifferent because in reality they give way too many fucks. They give a fuck about what everyone thinks of their hair, so they never bother washing or combing it. They give a fuck about what everyone thinks of their ideas, so they hide behind sarcasm and self-righteous snark. They’re afraid to let anyone get close to them, so they imagine themselves as some special, unique snowflake who has problems that nobody else would ever understand. Indifferent people are afraid of the world and the repercussions of their own choices. That’s why they don’t make any meaningful choices. They hide in a gray, emotionless pit of their own making, self-absorbed and self-pitying, perpetually distracting themselves from this unfortunate thing demanding their time and energy called life. Because here’s a sneaky truth about life. There’s no such thing as not giving a fuck. You must give a fuck about something. It’s part of our biology to always care about something and therefore to always give a fuck.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Ruby?” His hair was pale silver in this light, curled and tangled in its usual way. I couldn’t hide from him. I had never been able to. “Mike came and got me,” he said, taking a careful step toward me. His hands were out in front of him, as if trying to coax a wild animal into letting him approach. “What are you doing out here? What’s going on?” “Please just go,” I begged. “I need to be alone.” He kept coming straight at me. “Please,” I shouted, “go away!” “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on!” Liam said. He got a better look at me and swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “Where were you this morning? Did something happen? Chubs told me you’ve been gone all day, and now you’re out here like…this…did he do something to you?” I looked away. “Nothing I didn’t ask for.” Liam’s only response was to move back a few paces back. Giving me space. “I don’t believe you for a second,” he said, calmly. “Not one damn second. If you want to get rid of me, you’re going to have to try harder than that.” “I don’t want you here.” He shook his head. “Doesn’t mean I’m leaving you here alone. You can take all the time you want, as long as you need, but you and me? We’re having this out tonight. Right now.” Liam pulled his black sweater over his head and threw it toward me. “Put it on, or you’ll catch a cold.” I caught it with one hand and pressed it to my chest. It was still warm. He began to pace, his hands on his hips. “Is it me? Is it that you can’t talk to me about it? Do you want me to get Chubs?” I couldn’t bring myself to answer. “Ruby, you’re scaring the hell out of me.” “Good.” I balled up his sweater and threw it into the darkness as hard as I could. He blew out a shaky sigh, bracing a hand against the nearest tree. “Good? What’s good about it?” I hadn’t really understood what Clancy had been trying to tell me that night, not until right then, when Liam looked up and his eyes met mine. The trickle of blood in my ears turned into a roar. I squeezed my eyes shut, digging the heels of my palms against my forehead. “I can’t do this anymore,” I cried. “Why won’t you just leave me alone?” “Because you would never leave me.” His feet shuffled through the underbrush as he took a few steps closer. The air around me heated, taking on a charge I recognized. I gritted my teeth, furious with him for coming so close when he knew I couldn’t handle it. When he knew I could hurt him. His hands came up to pull mine away from my face, but I wasn’t about to let him be gentle. I shoved him back, throwing my full weight into it. Liam stumbled. “Ruby—” I pushed him again and again, harder each time, because it was the only way I could tell him what I was desperate to say. I saw bursts of his glossy memories. I saw all of his brilliant dreams. It wasn’t until I knocked his back into a tree that I realized I was crying. Up this close, I saw a new cut under his left eye and the bruise forming around it. Liam’s lips parted. His hands were no longer out in front of him, but hovering over my hips. “Ruby…” I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed. "Yes, I knew you would; but it is quite true, all the same." "Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you were so vain; and I really can't see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves. Why, my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you— well, of course you have an intellectual expression and all that. But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful. Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel quite sure of that. He is some brainless beautiful creature who should be always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. Don't flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
We finally made our way to the front of the line, where a young bouncer snapped an underage wristband on me and gave me an appraising look, eyes scanning my waist-length hair before raising the velvet rope. I rushed under it with Jay on my heels. “For real, Anna, don't let me stand in the way of all these dudes tonight.” Jay laughed behind me, raising his voice as we entered the already packed room, music thumping. I knew I should have put my hair up before we came, but Jay's sister, Jana had insisted on my keeping it down. I pulled my hair over my shoulder and wound it into a rope with my finger, looking around at the tightly packed crowd and wincing slightly at the noise and blasts of emotion. “They only think they like me because they don't know me,” I said. Jay shook his head. "I hate when you say things like that.” “Like what? That I'm especially special?” I was trying to make a joke, using the term us Southerners fondly called people who "weren't right" but anger burst gray from Jay's chest, surprising me, then fizzled away. “Don't talk about yourself that way. You're just...shy.” I was weird and we both knew it. But I didn't like to upset him, and it felt ridiculous having a serious conversation at the top of our lungs. Jay pulled his phone from his pocket and looked at the screen as it vibrated in his hand. He grinned and handed it to me. Patti. “Hello?” I stuck a finger in my other ear so I could hear. “I'm just checking to see if you made it safely, honey. Wow, it's really loud there!” “Yeah, it is!” I had to shout. “Everything is fine. I'll be home by eleven.” It as my first time going to something like this. Ever. Jay had begged Patti for permission himself, and by some miracle got her to agree. But she was not happy about it. All day she'd been as nervous as a cat the vet.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Magnus, his silver mask pushed back into his hair, intercepted the New York vampires before they could fully depart. Alec heard Magnus pitch his voice low. Alec felt guilty for listening in, but he couldn’t just turn off his Shadowhunter instincts. “How are you, Raphael?” asked Magnus. “Annoyed,” said Raphael. “As usual.” “I’m familiar with the emotion,” said Magnus. “I experience it whenever we speak. What I meant was, I know that you and Ragnor were often in contact.” There was a beat, in which Magnus studied Raphael with an expression of concern, and Raphael regarded Magnus with obvious scorn. “Oh, you’re asking if I am prostrate with grief over the warlock that the Shadowhunters killed?” Alec opened his mouth to point out the evil Shadowhunter Sebastian Morgenstern had killed the warlock Ragnor Fell in the recent war, as he had killed Alec’s own brother. Then he remembered Raphael sitting alone and texting a number saved as RF, and never getting any texts back. Ragnor Fell. Alec felt a sudden and unexpected pang of sympathy for Raphael, recognizing his loneliness. He was at a party surrounded by hundreds of people, and there he sat texting a dead man over and over, knowing he’d never get a message back. There must have been very few people in Raphael’s life he’d ever counted as friends. “I do not like it,” said Raphael, “when Shadowhunters murder my colleagues, but it’s not as if that hasn’t happened before. It happens all the time. It’s their hobby. Thank you for asking. Of course one wishes to break down on a heart-shaped sofa and weep into one’s lace handkerchief, but I am somehow managing to hold it together. After all, I still have a warlock contact.” Magnus inclined his head with a slight smile. “Tessa Gray,” said Raphael. “Very dignified lady. Very well-read. I think you know her?” Magnus made a face at him. “It’s not being a sass-monkey that I object to. That I like. It’s the joyless attitude. One of the chief pleasures of life is mocking others, so occasionally show some glee about doing it. Have some joie de vivre.” “I’m undead,” said Raphael. “What about joie de unvivre?” Raphael eyed him coldly. Magnus gestured his own question aside, his rings and trails of leftover magic leaving a sweep of sparks in the night air, and sighed. “Tessa,” Magnus said with a long exhale. “She is a harbinger of ill news and I will be annoyed with her for dumping this problem in my lap for weeks. At least.” “What problem? Are you in trouble?” asked Raphael. “Nothing I can’t handle,” said Magnus. “Pity,” said Raphael. “I was planning to point and laugh. Well, time to go. I’d say good luck with your dead-body bad-news thing, but . . . I don’t care.” “Take care of yourself, Raphael,” said Magnus. Raphael waved a dismissive hand over his shoulder. “I always do.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Ed Lim’s daughter, Monique, was a junior now, but as she’d grown up, he and his wife had noted with dismay that there were no dolls that looked like her. At ten, Monique had begun poring over a mail-order doll catalog as if it were a book–expensive dolls, with n ames and stories and historical outfits, absurdly detailed and even more absurdly expensive. ‘Jenny Cohen has this one,’ she’d told them, her finger tracing the outline of a blond doll that did indeed resemble Jenny Cohen: sweet faced with heavy bangs, slightly stocky. 'And they just made a new one with red hair. Her mom’s getting it for her sister Sarah for Hannukkah.’ Sarah Cohen had flaming red hair, the color of a penny in the summer sun. But there was no doll with black hair, let alone a face that looked anything like Monique’s. Ed Lim had gone to four different toy stores searching for a Chinese doll; he would have bought it for his daughter, whatever the price, but no such thing existed. He’d gone so far as to write to Mattel, asking them if there was a Chinese Barbie doll, and they’d replied that yes, they offered 'Oriental Barbie’ and sent him a pamphlet. He had looked at that pamphlet for a long time, at the Barbie’s strange mishmash of a costume, all red and gold satin and like nothing he’d ever seen on a Chinese or Japanese or Korean woman, at her waist-length black hair and slanted eyes. I am from Hong Kong, the pamphlet ran. It is in the Orient, or Far East. Throughout the Orient, people shop at outdoor marketplaces where goods such as fish, vegetables, silk, and spices are openly displayed. The year before, he and his wife and Monique had gone on a trip to Hong Kong, which struck him, mostly, as a pincushion of gleaming skyscrapers. In a giant, glassed-in shopping mall, he’d bought a dove-gray cashmere sweater that he wore under his suit jacket on chilly days. Come visit the Orient. I know you will find it exotic and interesting. In the end he’d thrown the pamphlet away. He’d heard, from friends with younger children, that the expensive doll line now had one Asian doll for sale – and a few black ones, too – but he’d never seen it. Monique was seventeen now, and had long outgrown dolls.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
The more south we were, the more deep a sky it seemed, till, in the Valley of Mexico, I thought it held back an element too strong for life, and that the flamy brilliance of blue stood off this menace and sometimes, like a sheath or silk membrane, shoed the weight it held in sags. So when later he would fly high over the old craters on the plain, coaly bubbles of the underworld, dangerous red everywhere from the sun, and then coats of snow on the peak of the cones—gliding like a Satan—well, it was here the old priests, before the Spaniards, waited for Aldebaran to come into the middle of heaven to tell them whether or not life would go on for another cycle, and when they received their astronomical sign built their new fire inside the split and emptied chest of a human sacrifice. And also, hereabouts, worshipers disguised as gods and as gods in the disguise of birds, jumped from platforms fixed on long poles, and glided as they spun by the ropes—feathered serpents, and eagles too, the voladores, or fliers. There still are such plummeters, in market places, as there seem to be remnants or conversions or equivalents of all the old things. Instead of racks or pyramids of skulls still in their hair and raining down scraps of flesh there are corpses of dogs, rats, horses, asses, by the roads; the bones dug out of the rented graves are thrown on a pile when the lease is up; and there are the coffins looking like such a rough joke on the female form, sold in the open shops, black, white, gray, and in all sizes, with their heavy death fringes daubed in Sapolio silver on the black. Beggars in dog voices on the church steps enact the last feebleness for you with ancient Church Spanish, and show their old flails of stump and their sores. The burden carriers with the long lines, hemp lines they wind over their foreheads to hold the loads on their backs, lie in the garbage at siesta and give themselves the same exhibited neglect the dead are shown. Which is all to emphasize how openly death is received everywhere, in the beauty of the place, and how it is acknowledged that anyone may be roughly handled—the proudest—pinched, slapped, and set down, thrown down; for death throws even worse in men’s faces and makes it horrible and absurd that one never touched should be roughly dumped under, dumped upon.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
A reflection on Robert Lowell Robert Lowell knew I was not one of his devotees. I attended his famous “office hours” salon only a few times. Life Studies was not a book of central importance for me, though I respected it. I admired his writing, but not the way many of my Boston friends did. Among poets in his generation, poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Alan Dugan, and Allen Ginsberg meant more to me than Lowell’s. I think he probably sensed some of that. To his credit, Lowell nevertheless was generous to me (as he was to many other young poets) just the same. In that generosity, and a kind of open, omnivorous curiosity, he was different from my dear teacher at Stanford, Yvor Winters. Like Lowell, Winters attracted followers—but Lowell seemed almost dismayed or a little bewildered by imitators; Winters seemed to want disciples: “Wintersians,” they were called. A few years before I met Lowell, when I was still in California, I read his review of Winters’s Selected Poems. Lowell wrote that, for him, Winters’s poetry passed A. E. Housman’s test: he felt that if he recited it while he was shaving, he would cut himself. One thing Lowell and Winters shared, that I still revere in both of them, was a fiery devotion to the vocal essence of poetry: the work and interplay of sentences and lines, rhythm and pitch. The poetry in the sounds of the poetry, in a reader’s voice: neither page nor stage. Winters criticizing the violence of Lowell’s enjambments, or Lowell admiring a poem in pentameter for its “drill-sergeant quality”: they shared that way of thinking, not matters of opinion but the matter itself, passionately engaged in the art and its vocal—call it “technical”—materials. Lowell loved to talk about poetry and poems. His appetite for that kind of conversation seemed inexhaustible. It tended to be about historical poetry, mixed in with his contemporaries. When he asked you, what was Pope’s best work, it was as though he was talking about a living colleague . . . which in a way he was. He could be amusing about that same sort of thing. He described Julius Caesar’s entourage waiting in the street outside Cicero’s house while Caesar chatted up Cicero about writers. “They talked about poetry,” said Lowell in his peculiar drawl. “Caesar asked Cicero what he thought of Jim Dickey.” His considerable comic gift had to do with a humor of self and incongruity, rather than wit. More surreal than donnish. He had a memorable conversation with my daughter Caroline when she was six years old. A tall, bespectacled man with a fringe of long gray hair came into her living room, with a certain air. “You look like somebody famous,” she said to him, “but I can’t remember who.” “Do I?” “Yes . . . now I remember!— Benjamin Franklin.” “He was a terrible man, just awful.” “Or no, I don’t mean Benjamin Franklin. I mean you look like a Christmas ornament my friend Heather made out of Play-Doh, that looked like Benjamin Franklin.” That left Robert Lowell with nothing to do but repeat himself: “Well, he was a terrible man.” That silly conversation suggests the kind of social static or weirdness the man generated. It also happens to exemplify his peculiar largeness of mind . . . even, in a way, his engagement with the past. When he died, I realized that a large vacuum had appeared at the center of the world I knew.
Robert Pinsky
Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn. And for him, living in a certain society—owing to the need, ordinarily developed at years of discretion, for some degree of mental activity—to have views was just as indispensable as to have a hat. If there was a reason for his preferring liberal to conservative views, which were held also by many of his circle, it arose not from his considering liberalism more rational, but from its being in closer accordance with his manner of life. The liberal party said that in Russia everything is wrong, and certainly Stepan Arkadyevitch had many debts and was decidedly short of money. The liberal party said that marriage is an institution quite out of date, and that it needs reconstruction; and family life certainly afforded Stepan Arkadyevitch little gratification, and forced him into lying and hypocrisy, which was so repulsive to his nature. The liberal party said, or rather allowed it to be understood, that religion is only a curb to keep in check the barbarous classes of the people; and Stepan Arkadyevitch could not get through even a short service without his legs aching from standing up, and could never make out what was the object of all the terrible and high-flown language about another world when life might be so very amusing in this world. And with all this, Stepan Arkadyevitch, who liked a joke, was fond of puzzling a plain man by saying that if he prided himself on his origin, he ought not to stop at Rurik and disown the first founder of his family—the monkey. And so Liberalism had become a habit of Stepan Arkadyevitch's, and he liked his newspaper, as he did his cigar after dinner, for the slight fog it diffused in his brain. He read the leading article, in which it was maintained that it was quite senseless in our day to raise an outcry that radicalism was threatening to swallow up all conservative elements, and that the government ought to take measures to crush the revolutionary hydra; that, on the contrary, "in our opinion the danger lies not in that fantastic revolutionary hydra, but in the obstinacy of traditionalism clogging progress," etc., etc. He read another article, too, a financial one, which alluded to Bentham and Mill, and dropped some innuendoes reflecting on the ministry. With his characteristic quickwittedness he caught the drift of each innuendo, divined whence it came, at whom and on what ground it was aimed, and that afforded him, as it always did, a certain satisfaction. But today that satisfaction was embittered by Matrona Philimonovna's advice and the unsatisfactory state of the household. He read, too, that Count Beist was rumored to have left for Wiesbaden, and that one need have no more gray hair, and of the sale of a light carriage, and of a young person seeking a situation; but these items of information did not give him, as usual, a quiet, ironical gratification. Having finished the paper, a second cup of coffee and a roll and butter, he got up, shaking the crumbs of the roll off his waistcoat; and, squaring his broad chest, he smiled joyously: not because there was anything particularly agreeable in his mind—the joyous smile was evoked by a good digestion.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
a stunning glimpse of Buddy, at a later date by innumerable years, quite bereft of my dubious, loving company, writing about this very party on a very large, jet-black, very moving, gorgeous typewriter. He is smoking a cigarette, occasionally clasping his hands and placing them on the top of his head in a thoughtful, exhausted manner. His hair is gray; he is older than you are now, Les! The veins in his hands are slightly prominent in the glimpse, so I have not mentioned the matter to him at all, partially considering his youthful prejudice against veins showing in poor adults’ hands. So it goes. You would think this particular glimpse would pierce the casual witness’s heart to the quick, disabling him utterly, so that he could not bring himself to discuss the glimpse in the least with his beloved, broadminded family. This is not exactly the case; it mostly makes me take an exceedingly deep breath as a simple, brisk measure against getting dizzy. It is his room that pierces me more than anything else. It is all his youthful dreams realized to the full! It has one of those beautiful windows in the ceiling that he has always, to my absolute knowledge, fervently admired from a splendid reader’s distance! All round about him, in addition, are exquisite shelves to hold his books, equipment, tablets, sharp pencils, ebony, costly typewriter, and other stirring, personal effects. Oh, my God, he will be overjoyed when he sees that room, mark my words! It is one of the most smiling, comforting glimpses of my entire life and quite possibly with the least strings attached. In a reckless manner of speaking, I would far from object if that were practically the last glimpse of my life.
J.D. Salinger (Hapworth 16, 1924)
In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is asleep. The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins. The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream, and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the street corner the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the stars. Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is asleep. In a graveyard far off there is a corpse who has moaned for three years because of a dry countryside on his knee; and that boy they buried this morning cried so much it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet. Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful! We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead dahlias. But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist; flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths in a thicket of new veins, and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders. One day the horses will live in the saloons and the enraged ants will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cows. Another day we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue. Careful! Be careful! Be careful! The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm, and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention of the bridge, or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe, we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes are waiting, where the bear’s teeth are waiting, where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting, and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder. Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is sleeping. If someone does close his eyes, a whip, boys, a whip! Let there be a landscape of open eyes and bitter wounds on fire. No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one. I have said it before. No one is sleeping. But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night, open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters - City That Does Not Sleep
Federico García Lorca
I'm jittery.It's like the animatronic band from Chuck E. Cheese is throwing a jamboree in my stomach. I've always hated Chuck E. Cheese. Why am I thinking about Chuck E. Cheese? I don't know why I'm nervous.I'm just seeing my mom again. And Seany.And Bridge! Bridge said she'd come. St. Clair's connecting flight to San Francisco doesn't leave for another three hours,so we board the train that runs between terminals,and he walks me to the arrivals area.We've been quiet since we got off the plane. I guess we're tired. We reach the security checkpoint,and he can't go any farther. Stupid TSA regulations.I wish I could introduce him to my family.The Chuck E. Cheese band kicks it up a notch,which is weird, because I'm not nervous about leaving him. I'll see him again in two weeks. "All right,Banana.Suppose this is goodbye." He grips the straps of his backpack,and I do the same. This is the moment we're supposed to hug. For some reason,I can't do it. "Tell your mom hi for me. I mean, I know I don't know her. She just sounds really nice. And I hope she's okay." He smiles softly. "Thanks.I'll tell her." "Call me?" "Yeah,whatever. You'll be so busy with Bridge and what's-his-name that you'll forget all about your English mate, St. Clair." "Ha! So you are English!" I poke him in the stomach. He grabs my hand and we wrestle, laughing. "I claim....no...nationality." I break free. "Whatever,I totally caught you. Ow!" A gray-haired man in sunglasses bumps his red plaid suitcase into my legs. "Hey,you! Apologize!" St. Clair says,but the guy is already too far away to hear. I rub my shins. "It's okay, we're in the way. I should go." Time to hug again. Why can't we do it? Finally, I step forward and put my arms around him. He's stiff,and it's awkward, especially with our backpacks in the way.I smell his hair again. Oh heavens. We pull apart. "Have fun at the show tonight" he says. "I will.Have a good flight." "Thanks." He bites his thumbnail,and then I'm through security and riding down the escalator. I look back one last time. St. Clair jumps up and down, waving at me.I burst into laughter, and his face lights up.The escalator slides down. He's lost from view. I swallow hard and turn around.And then-there they are.Mom has a gigantic smile, and Seany is jumping and waving, just like St. Clair.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I smile at my friends, but Mer and Rashmi and Josh are distracted, arguing about something that happened over dinner. St. Clair sees me and smiles back. "Good?" I nod.He looks pleased and ducks into the row after me. I always sit four rows up from the center, and we have perfectseats tonight.The chairs are classic red. The movie begins,and the title screen flashes up. "Ugh,we have to sit through the credits?" Rashmi asks. They roll first,like in all old films. I read them happily. I love credits. I love everything about movies. The theater is dark except for the flicker of blacks and whites and grays on-screen. Clark Gable pretends to sleep and places his hand in the center of an empty bus seat. After a moment of irritation,Claudette Colbert gingerly plucks it aside and sits down. Gable smiles to himself,and St. Clair laughs. It's odd,but I keep finding myself distracted. By the white of his teeth through the darkness.By a wavy bit of his hair that sticks straight out to the side. By the soft aroma of his laundry detergent. He nudges me to silently offer the armrest,but I decline and he takes it.His arm is close to mine,slightly elevated. I glance at his hands.Mine are tiny compared to his large,knuckly boy hands. And,suddenly,I want to touch him. Not a push,or a shove,or even a friendly hug. I want to feel the creases in his skin,connect his freckles with invisible lines,brush my fingers across the inside of his wrist. He shifts. I have the strangest feeling that he's as aware of me as I am of him. I can't concentrate. The characters on the screen are squabbling, but for the life of me, I don't know what about. How long have I not been paying attention? St. Clair coughs and shifts again. His leg brushes against mine.It stays there. I'm paralyzed. I should move it; it feels too unnatural.How can he not notice his leg is touching my leg? From the corner of my eye,I see the profile of his chin and nose,and-oh,dear God-the curve of his lips. There.He glanced at me. I know he did. I bore my eyes into the screen, trying my best to prove that I am Really Interested in this movie.St. Clair stiffens but doesn't move his leg.Is he holding his breath? I think he is.I'm holding mine. I exhale and cringe-it's so loud and unnatural. Again.Another glance. This time I turn, automatically,just as he's turning away. It's a dance,and now there's a feeling in the air like one of us should say something.Focus,Anna. Focus. "Do you like it?" I whisper. He pauses. "The film?" I'm thankful the shadows hide my blush. "I like it very much," he says. I risk a glance,and St. Clair stares back. Deeply.He has not looked at me like this before.I turn away first, then feel him turn a few beats later. I know he is smiling,and my heart races.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Meg slashed through the last of Tarquin’s minions. That was a good thing, I thought distantly. I didn’t want her to die, too. Hazel stabbed Tarquin in the chest. The Roman king fell, howling in pain, ripping the sword hilt from Hazel’s grip. He collapsed against the information desk, clutching the blade with his skeletal hands. Hazel stepped back, waiting for the zombie king to dissolve. Instead, Tarquin struggled to his feet, purple gas flickering weakly in his eye sockets. “I have lived for millennia,” he snarled. “You could not kill me with a thousand tons of stone, Hazel Levesque. You will not kill me with a sword.” I thought Hazel might fly at him and rip his skull off with her bare hands. Her rage was so palpable I could smell it like an approaching storm. Wait…I did smell an approaching storm, along with other forest scents: pine needles, morning dew on wildflowers, the breath of hunting dogs. A large silver wolf licked my face. Lupa? A hallucination? No…a whole pack of the beasts had trotted into the store and were now sniffing the bookshelves and the piles of zombie dust. Behind them, in the doorway, stood a girl who looked about twelve, her eyes silver-yellow, her auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was dressed for the hunt in a shimmering gray frock and leggings, a white bow in her hand. Her face was beautiful, serene, and as cold as the winter moon. She nocked a silver arrow and met Hazel’s eyes, asking permission to finish her kill. Hazel nodded and stepped aside. The young girl aimed at Tarquin. “Foul undead thing,” she said, her voice hard and bright with power. “When a good woman puts you down, you had best stay down.” Her arrow lodged in the center of Tarquin’s forehead, splitting his frontal bone. The king stiffened. The tendrils of purple gas sputtered and dissipated. From the arrow’s point of entry, a ripple of fire the color of Christmas tinsel spread across Tarquin’s skull and down his body, disintegrating him utterly. His gold crown, the silver arrow, and Hazel’s sword all dropped to the floor. I grinned at the newcomer. “Hey, Sis.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
He got into the tub and ran a little cold water. Then he lowered his thin, hairy body into the just-right warmth and stared at the interstices between the tiles. Sadness--he had experienced that emotion ten thousand times. As exhalation is to inhalation, he thought of it as the return from each thrust of happiness. Lazily soaping himself, he gave examples. When he was five and Irwin eight, their father had breezed into town with a snowstorm and come to see them where they lived with their grandparents in the small Connecticut city. Their father had been a vagabond salesman and was considered a bum by people who should know. But he had come into the closed, heated house with all the gimcrack and untouchable junk behind glass and he had smelled of cold air and had had snow in his curly black hair. He had raved about the world he lived in, while the old people, his father and mother, had clucked sadly in the shadows. And then he had wakened the boys in the night and forced them out into the yard to worship the swirling wet flakes, to dance around with their hands joined, shrieking at the snow-laden branches. Later, they had gone in to sleep with hearts slowly returning to bearable beatings. Great flowering things had opened and closed in Norman's head, and the resonance of the wild man's voice had squeezed a sweet, tart juice through his heart. But then he had wakened to a gray day with his father gone and the world walking gingerly over the somber crust of dead-looking snow. It had taken him some time to get back to his usual equanimity. He slid down in the warm, foamy water until just his face and his knobby white knees were exposed. Once he had read Wuthering Heights over a weekend and gone to school susceptible to any heroine, only to have the girl who sat in front of him, whom he had admired for some months, emit a loud fart which had murdered him in a small way and kept him from speaking a word to anyone the whole week following. He had laughed at a very funny joke about a Negro when Irwin told it at a party, and then the following day had seen some white men lightly kicking a Negro man in the pants, and temporarily he had questioned laughter altogether. He had gone to several universities with the vague exaltation of Old Man Axelrod and had found only curves and credits. He had become drunk on the idea of God and found only theology. He had risen several times on the subtle and powerful wings of lust, expectant of magnificence, achieving only discharge. A few times he had extended friendship with palpitating hope, only to find that no one quite knew what he had in mind. His solitude now was the result of his metabolism, that constant breathing in of joy and exhalation of sadness. He had come to take shallower breaths, and the two had become mercifully mixed into melancholy contentment. He wondered how pain would breach that low-level strength. "I'm a small man of definite limitations," he declared to himself, and relaxed in the admission.
Edward Lewis Wallant (The Tenants of Moonbloom)
His breath fell in a warm, even rhythm on the curve of her cheek. “Some people think of the bee as a sacred insect,” he said. “It’s a symbol of reincarnation.” “I don’t believe in reincarnation,” she muttered. There was a smile in his voice. “What a surprise. At the very least, the bees’ presence in your home is a sign of good things to come.” Her voice was buried in the fine wool of his coat. “Wh-what does it mean if there are thousands of bees in one’s home?” He shifted her higher in his arms, his lips curving gently against the cold rim of her ear. “Probably that we’ll have plenty of honey for teatime. We’re going through the doorway now. In a moment I’m going to set you on your feet.” Amelia kept her face against him, her fingertips digging into the layers of his clothes. “Are they following?” “No. They want to stay near the hive. Their main concern is to protect the queen from predators.” “She has nothing to fear from me!” Laughter rustled in his throat. With extreme care, he lowered Amelia’s feet to the floor. Keeping one arm around her, he reached with the other to close the door. “There. We’re out of the room. You’re safe.” His hand passed over her hair. “You can open your eyes now.” Clutching the lapels of his coat, Amelia stood and waited for a feeling of relief that didn’t come. Her heart was racing too hard, too fast. Her chest ached from the strain of her breathing. Her lashes lifted, but all she could see was a shower of sparks. “Amelia … easy. You’re all right.” His hands chased the shivers that ran up and down her back. “Slow down, sweetheart.” She couldn’t. Her lungs were about to burst. No matter how hard she worked, she couldn’t get enough air. Bees … the sound of buzzing was still in her ears. She heard his voice as if from a great distance, and she felt his arms go around her again as she sank into layers of gray softness. After what could have been a minute or an hour, pleasant sensations filtered through the haze. A tender pressure moved over her forehead. The gentle brushes touched her eyelids, slid to her cheeks. Strong arms held her against a comfortingly hard surface, while a clean, salt-edged scent filled her nostrils. Her lashes fluttered, and she turned into the warmth with confused pleasure. “There you are,” came a low murmur. Opening her eyes, Amelia saw Cam Rohan’s face above her. They were on the hallway floor—he was holding her in his lap. As if the situation weren’t mortifying enough, the front of her bodice was gaping, and her corset was unhooked. Only her crumpled chemise was left to cover her chest. Amelia stiffened. Until that moment she had never known there was a feeling beyond embarrassment, that made one wish one could crumble into a pile of ashes. “My … my dress…” “You weren’t breathing well. I thought it best to loosen your corset.” “I’ve never fainted before,” she said groggily, struggling to sit up. “You were frightened.” His hand came to the center of her chest, gently pressing her back down. “Rest another minute.” His gaze moved over her wan features. “I think we can conclude you’re not fond of bees.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel as I looked around the empty lot. I wavered on getting out when a giant lightning bolt painted a jagged streak across the rainy lavender-gray sky. Minutes passed and still he didn’t come out of the Three Hundreds’ building. Damn it. Before I could talk myself out of it, I jumped out of the car, cursing at myself for not carrying an umbrella for about the billionth time and for not having waterproof shoes, and ran through the parking lot, straight through the double doors. As I stomped my feet on the mat, I looked around the lobby for the big guy. A woman behind the front desk raised her eyebrows at me curiously. “Can I help you with something?” she asked. “Have you seen Aiden?” “Aiden?” Were there really that many Aidens? “Graves.” “Can I ask what you need him for?” I bit the inside of my cheek and smiled at the woman who didn’t know me and, therefore, didn’t have an idea that I knew Aiden. “I’m here to pick him up.” It was obvious she didn’t know what to make of me. I didn’t exactly look like pro-football player girlfriend material in that moment, much less anything else. I’d opted not to put on any makeup since I hadn’t planned on leaving the house. Or real pants. Or even a shirt with the sleeves intact. I had cut-off shorts and a baggy T-shirt with sleeves that I’d taken scissors to. Plus the rain outside hadn’t done my hair any justice. It looked like a cloud of teal. Then there was the whole we-don’t-look-anything-alike thing going on, so there was no way we could pass as siblings. Just as I opened my mouth, the doors that connected the front area with the rest of the training facility swung open. The man I was looking for came out with his bag over his shoulder, imposing, massive, and sweaty. Definitely surly too, which really only meant he looked the way he always did. I couldn’t help but crack a little smile at his grumpiness. “Ready?” He did his form of a nod, a tip of his chin. I could feel the receptionist’s eyes on us as he approached, but I was too busy taking in Grumpy Pants to bother looking at anyone else. Those brown eyes shifted to me for a second, and that time, I smirked uncontrollably. He glared down at me. “What are you smiling at?” I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, trying to give him an innocent look. “Oh, nothing, sunshine.” He mouthed ‘sunshine’ as his gaze strayed to the ceiling. We ran out of the building side by side toward my car. Throwing the doors open, I pretty much jumped inside and shivered, turning the car and the heater on. Aiden slid in a lot more gracefully than I had, wet but not nearly as soaked. He eyed me as he buckled in, and I slanted him a look. “What?” With a shake of his head, he unzipped his duffel, which was sitting on his lap, and pulled out that infamous off-black hoodie he always wore. Then he held it out. All I could do was stare at it for a second. His beloved, no-name brand, extra-extra-large hoodie. He was offering it to me. When I first started working for Aiden, I remembered him specifically giving me instructions on how he wanted it washed and dried. On gentle and hung to dry. He loved that thing. He could own a thousand just like it, but he didn’t. He had one black hoodie that he wore all the time and a blue one he occasionally donned. “For me?” I asked like an idiot. He shook it, rolling his eyes. “Yes for you. Put it on before you get sick. I would rather not have to take care of you if you get pneumonia.” Yeah, I was going to ignore his put-out tone and focus on the ‘rather not’ as I took it from him and slipped it on without another word. His hoodie was like holding a gold medal in my hands. Like being given something cherished, a family relic. Aiden’s precious.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)