Grew Quiet Quotes

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It was a long story, and sometimes she grew quiet and cried - and during those times he leaned over to wipe away her tears.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, protray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired-but it does to them.
Robert A. Heinlein
Once upon a time,” she said to him, to the world, to herself, “in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom . . . very much.” And then she told him of the princess whose heart had burned with wildfire, of the mighty kingdom in the north, of its downfall and of the sacrifice of Lady Marion. It was a long story, and sometimes she grew quiet and cried—-and during those times he leaned over to wipe away her tears.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Have you kissed many boys before?" he asked quietly. His question brought my mind back into focus. I raised an eyebrow. "Boys? That's an assumption." Noah laughed, the sound low and husky. "Girls, then?" "No." "Not many girls? Or not many boys?" "Neither," I said. Let him make of that what he would. "How many?" "Why—" "I am taking away that word. You are no longer allowed to use it. How many?" My cheeks flushed, but my voice was steady as I answered. "One." At this, Noah leaned in impossibly closer, the slender muscles in his forearm flexing as he bent his elbow to bring himself nearer to me, almost touching. I was heady with the proximity of him and grew legitimately concerned that my heart might explode. Maybe Noah wasn't asking. Maybe I didn't mind. I closed my eyes and felt Noah's five o' clock graze my jaw, and the faintest whisper of his lips at my ear. "He was doing it wrong.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
After a while, though the grief did not go away from us, it grew quiet. What had seemed a storm wailing through the entire darkness seemed to come in at last and lie down.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
The boy is destined for greatness, but with you, he is in danger. You are linked, the two of you. You must leave him. This is what I have seen.” I grew frustrated. “Is he in danger because of me?” “He will die before his time with you by his side, unless you let him go. Fate or chance? Coincidence or destiny? I cannot say.” Her voice had turned soft. Soft and sad. A fist closed around my heart. I tried to let him go once before. It didn’t work. “I can’t,” was all I said to her, and quietly. “Then you will love him to ruins,” she said, and let my hands go.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
I loved you, so I drew these tides of Men into my hands And wrote my will across the Sky and stars To earn you freedom, the seven Pillared worthy house, That your eyes might be Shining for me When we came Death seemed my servant on the Road, 'til we were near And saw you waiting: When you smiled and in sorrowful Envy he outran me And took you apart: Into his quietness Love, the way-weary, groped to your body, Our brief wage Ours for the moment Before Earth's soft hand explored your shape And the blind Worms grew fat upon Your substance Men prayed me that I set our work, The inviolate house, As a memory of you But for fit monument I shattered it, Unfinished: and now The little things creep out to patch Themselves hovels In the marred shadow Of your gift.
T.E. Lawrence (The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
As of this afternoon, you are a Defense Agent for the THIRDS.” The man grew quiet and Dex couldn’t help but wait for him to throw his arms out and shout “Ta-da!” with a show of jazz hands.
Charlie Cochet (Hell & High Water (THIRDS, #1))
There you'll find the place I love most in the world. The place where I grew thin from dreaming. My village, rising from the plain. Shaded with trees and leaves like a piggy bank filled with memories. You'll see why a person would want to live there forever. Dawn, morning, mid-day, night: all the same, except for the changes in the air. The air changes the color of things there. And life whirs by as quiet as a murmur...the pure murmuring of life.
Juan Rulfo (Pedro Páramo)
Finally, she grew quiet. After that, coherent thought. With this, stalked through her a cold, bloody rage; Hours of this; a period of introspection; a space of retrospection; then a mixture of both. Out of this, an awful calm.
Zora Neale Hurston (Sweat)
Hannah, as if she understood her place in the cosmos, grew from quiet infant to watchful child: a child fond of nooks and corners, who curled up in closets, behind sofas, under dangling tablecloths, staying out of sight as well as out of mind, to ensure the terrain of the family did not change.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
Just yesterday I was twenty and meeting some of these people⏤people that I'd spend my life with, that'd become my home. Just yesterday I was twenty⏤still deeply and desperately in love with my best friend. I grew older. We all grow older. In a blink of an eye, our children will grow old too. And I'll think: just yesterday they were twenty. Headed for college. Falling in love. Memories will flood behind us, the lake house no longer filled to the brim. As quiet as the moment we first walked in⏤and we'll sit on this hill. Feeling the stillness that exists. And then we end⏤we end where we started. Just us. All six of us.
Krista Ritchie
The world I grew up in is gone, too," I said quietly. "But that doesn't mean I'm going to give up on it. Because if you give up—then what is there left to live for?
Danielle Paige (Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die, #3))
Once the quietness arrived, it stayed and spread in Estha. It reached out of his head and enfolded him in its swampy arms. It rocked him to the rhythm of an ancient, fetal heartbeat. It sent its stealthy, suckered tentacles inching along the insides of his skull, hoovering the knolls and dells of his memory; dislodging old sentences, whisking them off the tip of his tongue. It stripped his thoughts of the words that described them and left them pared and naked. Unspeakable. Numb. And to an observer therefore, perhaps barely there. Slowly, over the years, Estha withdrew from the world. He grew accustomed to the uneasy octopus that lived inside him and squirted its inky tranquilizer on his past. Gradually the reason for his silence was hidden away, entombed somewhere deep in the soothing folds of the fact of it.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
The moon went slowly down in loveliness; she departed into the depth of the horizon, and long veil-like shadows crept up the sky through which the stars appeared. Soon, however, they too began to pale before a splendour in the east, and the advent of the dawn declared itself in the newborn blue of heaven. Quieter and yet more quiet grew the sea, quiet as the soft mist that brooded on her bosom, and covered up her troubling, as in our tempestuous life the transitory wreaths of sleep brook upon a pain-racked soul, causing it to forget its sorrow. From the east to the west sped those angels of the Dawn, from sea to sea, from mountain-top to mountain-top, scattering light from breast and wing. On they sped out of the darkness, perfect, glorious; on, over the quiet sea, over the low coast-line, and the swamps beyond, and the mountains above them; over those who slept in peace and those who woke in sorrow; over the evil and the good; over the living and the dead; over the wide world and all that breathes or as breathed thereon.
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
I thought love was — big and loud and sudden, like a thunderbolt. I didn't know it was deep and quiet and grew upon a woman slowly, until one day she realizes it's the very breath and smiles and tears of her life.
Dianne K. Salerni (The Caged Graves)
Monelle grew quiet and looked at me: I came from the night, she said, and I shall return to the night. For I too am a young prostitute.
Marcel Schwob (The Book of Monelle)
No, this, she felt, was real life and if she wasn’t as curious or passionate as she had once been, that was only to be expected. It would be inappropriate, undignified, at thirty-eight, to conduct friendships or love affairs with the ardour and intensity of a twenty-two-year-old. Falling in love like that? Writing poetry, crying at pop songs? Dragging people into photo-booths, taking a whole day to make a compilation tape, asking people if they wanted to share your bed, just for company? If you quoted Bob Dylan or T.S. Eliot or, God forbid, Brecht at someone these days they would smile politely and step quietly backwards, and who would blame them? Ridiculous, at thirty-eight, to expect a song or book or film to change your life. No, everything had evened out and settled down and life was lived against a general background hum of comfort, satisfaction and familiarity. There would be no more of these nerve-jangling highs and lows. The friends they had now would be the friends they had in five, ten, twenty years’ time. They expected to get neither dramatically richer or poorer; they expected to stay healthy for a little while yet. Caught in the middle; middle class, middle-aged; happy in that they were not overly happy. Finally, she loved someone and felt fairly confident that she was loved in return. If someone asked Emma, as they sometimes did at parties, how she and her husband had met, she told them: ‘We grew up together.
David Nicholls (One Day)
From New Year's Eve through the third of January, the streets of Tokyo grew quiet, as if all the people had disappeared.
Shogo Oketani (J-Boys: Kazuo's World, Tokyo, 1965)
And men will not understand us—for the generation that grew up before us, though it has passed these years with us already had a home and a calling; now it will return to its old occupations, and the war will be forgotten—and the generation that has grown up after us will be strange to us and push us aside. We will be superfluous even to ourselves, we will grow older, a few will adapt themselves, some others will merely submit, and most will be bewildered;—the years will pass by and in the end we shall fall into ruin.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Trying to remember old dreams. A voice. Who came in. And meanwhile the rain, all day, all evening, quiet steady sound. Before it grew too dark watched the blue iris leaning under the rain, the flame of the poppies guttered and went out. A voice. Almost recalled. There have been times the gods entered. Entered a room, a cave? A long enclosure where I was, the fourth wall of it too distant or too dark to see. The birds are silent, no moths at the lit windows. Only a swaying rosebush pierces the table’s reflection, raindrops gazing from it. There have been hands laid on my shoulders. What has been said to me, how has my life replied? The rain, the rain...
Denise Levertov (Poems, 1968-1972)
They said she killed herself.Everyone was saying It. What started out as a rumor, quietly whispered among small gatherings of polite people, quickly grew into something that was openly discussed in a large gatherings of impolite people. I was so sick of hearing them talk about It. They questioned me. Over and over again, trying to find out If i knew what happened. But my answers didn't change. Yet It never failed-someone else would ask, as if one day my reply would suddenly be different. I didn't know, but i should have...and I've been haunted ever since.
Jessica Verday (The Hollow (The Hollow, #1))
She grew into a quiet, beautiful young woman. The beauty was a nuisance, like smog and poverty.
John Varley (Wizard (Gaea, #2))
Finally Lucinda grew used to her silence, and began not only to accept it, but treasure it. She too grew quiet. For the first time she heard the music of her heart.
John Speed (The Temple Dancer (Novels of India, #1))
She felt her in her heart all the time now, yearning for her lost love and lamenting for past mistakes. The Lady’s grief was overwhelming sometimes, making Sofia sad for no reason at all, especially at night when the world around her grew quiet and there were no distractions.
Effrosyni Moschoudi (The Flow (The Lady of the Pier #2))
TO HIS HEART, BIIDING IT HAVE NO FEAR Be you still, be you still, trembling heart; Remember the wisdom out of the old days: Him who trembles before the flame and the flood, And the winds that blow through the starry ways, Let the starry winds and the flame and the flood Cover over and hide, for he has no part With the lonely, majestical multitude. THE CAP AND THE BELLS The jester walked in the garden: The garden had fallen still; He bade his soul rise upward And stand on her window-sill. It rose in a straight blue garment, When owls began to call: It had grown wise-tongued by thinking Of a quiet and light footfall; But the young queen would not listen; She rose in her pale night-gown; She drew in the heavy casement And pushed the latches down. He bade his heart go to her, When the owls called out no more; In a red and quivering garment It sang to her through the door. It had grown sweet-tongued by dreaming Of a flutter of flower-like hair; But she took up her fan from the table And waved it off on the air. 'I have cap and bells,' he pondered, 'I will send them to her and die'; And when the morning whitened He left them where she went by. She laid them upon her bosom, Under a cloud of her hair, And her red lips sang them a love-song Till stars grew out of the air. She opened her door and her window, And the heart and the soul came through, To her right hand came the red one, To her left hand came the blue. They set up a noise like crickets, A chattering wise and sweet, And her hair was a folded flower And the quiet of love in her feet.
W.B. Yeats (The Wind Among the Reeds)
I can't resist you," he said quietly. "You know that, don't you? And I'm tired of pretending I can." His expression grew more troubled. "But I don't love you, Daisy, and you can't begin to know how sorry I am about that because if I could choose anyone in this world to love it'd be you.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Kiss an Angel)
In the country, I stopped being a person who, in the words of Sylvia Boorstein, startles easily. I grew calmer, but beneath that calm was a deep well of loneliness I hadn't known was there. ... Anxiety was my fuel. When I stopped, it was all waiting for me: fear, anger, grief, despair, and that terrible, terrible loneliness. What was it about? I was hardly alone. I loved my husband and son. I had great friends, colleagues, students. In the quiet, in the extra hours, I was forced to ask the question, and to listen carefully to the answer: I was lonely for myself. [p. 123]
Dani Shapiro (Devotion: a memoir)
we developed a firm, practical feeling of solidarity, which grew, on the battlefield, into the best thing that the war produced - comradeship in arms.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Of the seminal moments in my life, Careers Day in the autumn of Year 5 is my favorite. Everyone had to dress as whatever they wanted to be once they grew up. I had gone in a tweed jacket and a bow tie, and when Miss Weston asked me what I wanted to be, I told her that I wanted to be the Doctor. 'Shouldn't you be wearing a lab coat and stethoscope like Paul?' She pointed to Paul Black, who was trying to strangle everyone with the stethoscope in question. Before I could answer, a boy I didn't know from the other class spoke up. 'Paul's *a* doctor,' he explained, giving me a look of approval. 'He wants to be *the* Doctor.' 'Who?' 'Exactly,' we said at the same time, relieved that she understood. She didn't. We were sent to the quiet table to reflect on why cheeking teachers was wrong.
Non Pratt (Trouble)
I especially loved the Old Testament. Even as a kid I had a sense of it being slightly illicit. As though someone had slipped an R-rated action movie into a pile of Disney DVDs. For starters Adam and Eve were naked on the first page. I was fascinated by Eve's ability to always stand in the Garden of Eden so that a tree branch or leaf was covering her private areas like some kind of organic bakini. But it was the Bible's murder and mayhem that really got my attention. When I started reading the real Bible I spent most of my time in Genesis Exodus 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings. Talk about violent. Cain killed Abel. The Egyptians fed babies to alligators. Moses killed an Egyptian. God killed thousands of Egyptians in the Red Sea. David killed Goliath and won a girl by bringing a bag of two hundred Philistine foreskins to his future father-in-law. I couldn't believe that Mom was so happy about my spending time each morning reading about gruesome battles prostitutes fratricide murder and adultery. What a way to have a "quiet time." While I grew up with a fairly solid grasp of Bible stories I didn't have a clear idea of how the Bible fit together or what it was all about. I certainly didn't understand how the exciting stories of the Old Testament connected to the rather less-exciting New Testament and the story of Jesus. This concept of the Bible as a bunch of disconnected stories sprinkled with wise advice and capped off with the inspirational life of Jesus seems fairly common among Christians. That is so unfortunate because to see the Bible as one book with one author and all about one main character is to see it in its breathtaking beauty.
Joshua Harris (Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters)
Oh, shut the fuck up," Sean snapped. "I love you, man, OK? I missed you. Is that so hard to take? Does that scare you so damn bad?" Kev looked away. "No," he said quietly. "It doesn't scare me. I missed you, too. All of you. It was a really long eighteen year." Bruno looked at all four men in turn. Seconds passed. Nothing. His disbelief grew. That was it? That was all? Oh, for the love of Christ. These guys were emotional retards, every last one of them.
Shannon McKenna (Blood and Fire (McClouds & Friends #8))
Beth lay a minute thinking, and then said in her quiet way, 'I don't know how to express myself, and shouldn't try to anyone but you, because I can't speak out except to my Jo. I only meant to say that I have a feeling that it never was intended I should live long. I'm not like the rest of you. I never made any plans about what I'd do when I grew up. I never thought of being married, as you all did. I couldn't seem to imagine myself anything but stupid little Beth, trotting about at home, of no use anywhere but there. I never wanted to go away, and the hard part now is the leaving you all. I'm not afraid, but it seems as if I should be homesick for you even in heaven.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
I have found that there are three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects. First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for a nonprofit women’s leadership organization. I also sat on several law firm committees dedicated to mentoring, training, and personal development for young lawyers in the firm. Now, as you can probably tell from this book, I am not the committee type. But the goals of those committees lit me up, so that’s what I did. Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I had that hole in me, that empty space. I could have lived my life with it, content enough. I wasn’t an unhappy man.” He kept his eyes on hers as his thumb brushed lightly over the back of her hand. “Then, one day I felt something—a prickle at the back of my neck, a heat at the base of my spine. And standing at a memorial for the dead, I turned, and there you were.” He turned her hand over, interlocking fingers. “There you were, and it all shifted under my feet. You were everything I shouldn’t have, shouldn’t want or need. A cop for Jesus’ sake, with eyes that looked right into me.” He reached out, just a whisper of fingers on her face. And the quiet touch was somehow wildly passionate, desperately intimate. “A cop wearing a bad gray suit and a coat that didn’t even fit. From that moment, the hole inside me began to fill. I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop what rooted there, or what grew. The tears came now. He watched them drip down her cheeks, wondered if she were even aware they leaked out of her. “She was part of my life. You are my life. If I have a regret, it’s that even for an instant you could think otherwise. Or that I allowed you to.
J.D. Robb (Innocent in Death (In Death, #24))
When once more alone, I reviewed the information I had got; looked into my heart, examined its thoughts and feelings, and endeavoured to bring back with a strict hand such as had been straying through imagination's boundless and trackless waste, into the safe fold of common sense. Arraigned to my own bar, Memory having given her evidence of the hopes, wishes, sentiments I had been cherishing since last night--of the general state of mind in which I had indulged for nearly a fortnight past; Reason having come forward and told, in her quiet way a plain, unvarnished tale, showing how I had rejected the real, and rapidly devoured the ideal--I pronounced judgement to this effect-- That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never breathed the breath of life; that a more fantastic idiot had never surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed poison as if it were nectar. "You," I said, "a favourite with Mr. Rochester? You're gifted with the power of pleasing him? You're of importance to him in any way? Go!--your folly sickens me. And you have derived pleasure from occasional tokens of preference--equivocal tokens shown by a gentleman of family and a man of the world to dependent and novice. How dared you? Poor stupid dupe! Could not even self-interest make you wiser? You repeated to yourself this morning the brief scene of last night? Cover your face and be ashamed! He said something in praise of your eyes, did he? Blind puppy! Open their bleared lids and look on your own accursed senselessness! It does no good to no woman to be flattered by her superior, who cannot possibly intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and if discovered and responded to, must lead into miry wilds whence there is no extrication. "Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: tomorrow, place the glass before you, and draw in chalk your own pictures, faithfully, without softening on defect; omit no harsh line, smooth away no displeasing irregularity; write under it, 'Portrait of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain.' "Afterwards, take a piece of smooth ivory--you have one prepared in your drawing-box: take your palette, mix your freshest, finest, clearest tints; choose your most delicate camel-hair pencils; delineate carefully the loveliest face you can imageine; paint it in your softest shades and sweetest lines, according to the description given by Mrs. Fairfax of Blanche Ingram; remember the raven ringlets, the oriental eye--What! you revert to Mr. Rochester as a model! Order! No snivel!--no sentiment!--no regret! I will endure only sense and resolution... "Whenever, in the future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two pictures and compare them--say, "Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady's love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indignent and insignifican plebian?" "I'll do it," I resolved; and having framed this determination, I grew calm, and fell asleep.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Quiet. My body melted heavily into the chair; I heard a cart go up the street. The room grew suddenly big with meaning. Something was about to happen, was happening: each object in the room seemed perfect of its kind, its kind being just its one self. The moment split into Eternity and I went with it: I had neither skin nor bones, but flowed into the world, sacred along with everything else, and was lost.
Maria McCann (As Meat Loves Salt)
The Mischievous Dog A DOG used to run up quietly to the heels of everyone he met, and to bite them without notice. His master suspended a bell about his neck so that the Dog might give notice of his presence wherever he went. Thinking it a mark of distinction, the Dog grew proud of his bell and went tinkling it all over the marketplace. One day an old hound said to him: Why do you make such an exhibition of yourself? That bell that you carry is not, believe me, any order of merit, but on the contrary a mark of disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill mannered dog." Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.
Aesop (Aesop's Fables)
She was, quite simply, a nice lady who'd raised a family and now lived quietly with her cats and grew vegetables. This was both nothing and everything.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
In quiet we had learn'd to dwell- Myvery chains and I grew friends, So much a long communion tends- To make us what we are:-even I Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.
Lord Byron (Byron's Poetry and Prose)
you had so many chances. So many.” He grew quiet as the waves of emotion softened. “And I never let go of you. How could I?
Lisa McMann (Island of Shipwrecks (The Unwanteds, #5))
They have everything.” Her face grew quiet. “Yes,” she said. “I want to take it from them.
Marie Rutkoski (The Midnight Lie (Forgotten Gods, #1))
All over again I understood how important, how irreplaceable, Sumire was to me. In her own special way she’d kept me tethered to the world. As I talked to her and read her stories, my mind quietly expanded, and I could see things I’d never seen before. Without even trying, we grew close. Like a pair of young lovers undressing in front of each other, Sumire and I had exposed our hearts to one another, an experience I’d never have with anyone else, anywhere. We cherished what we had together, though we never put into words how very precious it was. Of course it hurt that we could never love each other in a physical way. We would have been far happier if we had. But that was like the tides, the change of seasons—something immutable, an immovable destiny we could never alter. No matter how cleverly we might shelter it, our delicate friendship wasn’t going to last for ever. We were bound to reach a dead end. That was painfully clear. I loved Sumire more than anyone else and wanted her more than anything in the world. And I couldn’t just shelve those feelings, for there was nothing to take their place. I dreamed that someday there’d be a sudden, major transformation. Even if the chances of it coming true were slim, I could dream about it, couldn’t I? But I knew it would never come true.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
It was late in Ruana and Ray's visit when Samuel started talking about the gothic revival house that Lindsey and he had found along an overgrown section of Route 30. As he told Abigail about it in detail, describing how he had realized he wanted to propose to Lindsey and live there with her, Ray found himself asking, "Does it have a big hole in the ceiling of the back room and cool windows above the front door?" "Yes," Samuel said, as my father grew alarmed. "But it can be fixed, Mr. Salmon. I'm sure of it." "Ruth's dad owns that," Ray said. Everyone was quiet for a moment and then Ray continued. "He took out a loan on his business to buy up old places that aren't already slated for destruction. He wants to restore them," Ray said. "My God," Samuel said. And I was gone. (Susie finnally giving up on earth and moving on)
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
If that child dreaming by the wireless had been asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, what I had become was more or less what he would have described, in however halting a fashion, I am sure of it. This is remarkable, I think, even allowing for my present sorrows. Are not the majority of men disappointed with their lot, languishing in quiet desperation in their chains?
John Banville (The Sea)
Somewhere among the commotion I grew rather depressed. The depression stayed with me for over a year; it was like an animal, a well-defined, spatially localizable thing. I would wake up, open my eyes, listen-is it here or isn’t it? No sign of it. Perhaps it’s asleep. Perhaps it will leave me alone today. Carefully, very carefully, I get out of bed. All is quiet. I go to the kitchen, start breakfast. Not a sound. TV-Good Morning America, David what’s-his-name, a guy I can’t stand. I eat and watch the guests. Slowly the food fills my stomach and gives me strength. Now a quick excursion to the bathroom, and out for my morning walk-and here she is, my faithful depression: “Did you think you could leave without me?" I had often warned my students not to identify with their work. I told them, “if you want to achieve something, if you want to write a book, paint a picture, be sure that the center of your existence if somewhere else and that it’s solidly grounded; only then will you be able to keep your cool and laugh at the attacks that are bound to come." I myself had followed this advice in the past, but now I was alone, sick with some unknown affliction; my private life was in a mess, and I was without a defense. I often wished I had never written that fucking book.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend)
The Hum is gone. You remember the Hum. Unless you grew up on top of a mountain or lived in a cave your whole life, the Hum was always around you. That’s what life was. It was the sea we swam in. The constant sound of all the things we built to make life easy and a little less boring. The mechanical song. The electronic symphony. The Hum of all our things and all of us. Gone. This is the sound of the Earth before we conquered it. Sometimes in my tent, late at night, I think I can hear the stars scraping against the sky. That’s how quiet it is. After a while it’s almost more than I can stand.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
Within that quiet little girl with no apparent needs lived a person with a great imagination. In that shell I lived and grew and planned, until there emerged a way to pull all the loose threads of my life together.
A.R. Cecil (Journeys to Mother Love : Nine Women Tell their Stories of Forgiveness & Healing)
The woman had gasped beneath his heavy body. He rubbed against her, lubricated by the warm, sticky liquid, but as her body gradually grew cold, he felt as though they'd been glued together. She seemed to be see-sawing between agony and ecstasy, but finally Satake pressed his lips over hers to quiet the groans-of pain or pleasure-that were leaking from her mouth. He found the hole that he had made in her side and worked his finger deep into the opening. Blood was pumping from the wound, staining their sex a gruesome crimson. He wanted to get further inside, to melt into her. As he was about to come, he pulled his lips from her and she whispered in his ear: "I'm finished . . . finished." "I know," he'd said, and he could still hear the exact sound of his own voice.
Natsuo Kirino (Out)
Indeed, nobility is not always found in the flash of battle claws or flying through the embered wakes of firestorms, or even in making strong the weak, mending the broken, vanquishing the proud, or making powerless those who abuse the frail.” Soren’s gizzard grew quiet as Boron spoke. “It is also found in the resolute heart, the gizzard that can withstand the temptations of false dreams, the mind that has the imagination to comprehend another’s pain,
Kathryn Lasky (The Journey (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #2))
His knees grew weak, and he sat on Saphira’s right paw. She lowered her head and nuzzled his shoulder, and he leaned his head against her. We did it, she said in a quiet tone. We did it, he said, hardly able to believe the words.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
They’d sat under the starlight and shared quiet conversation and had both read together during the day, happy amidst all of nature’s splendor. On the days the urge to run away grew too strong to bear, she remembered for dear life.
Katherine McIntyre (A Reflection of Ice)
First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
If everyone could spend some time self analysing, spend some quiet time with nothing to do and nowhere to go, then without a doubt the world would be an infinitely better place to live and play. It would probably be the cause of the end of bullying, teen suicide, anxiety, depression, stress, and fear and the start of a more genuine and authentic world. I have found that my tranquillity and peacefulness grew significantly stronger as I began to live comfortably with my desires and cravings.
Evan Sutter (Solitude: How Doing Nothing Can Change the World)
The Mischievous Dog A DOG used to run up quietly to the heels of everyone he met, and to bite them without notice. His master suspended a bell about his neck so that the Dog might give notice of his presence wherever he went. Thinking it a mark of distinction, the Dog grew proud of his bell and went tinkling it all over the marketplace. One day an old hound said to him: "Why do you make such an exhibition of yourself? That bell that you carry is not, believe me, any order of merit, but on the contrary a mark of disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill mannered dog." Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.
Aesop (Aesop's Fables (Illustrated))
Tsukuru’s mind grew still and tranquil. A quiet feeling, like a frozen tree on a windless winter night. But there was little pain mixed in. Over the years Tsukuru had grown used to this mental image, so much so that it no longer brought him any particular pain.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
The Queen smiled with the tiniest twitch of a single corner of her mouth. "Why should I do that?" "Because I'm coming," Octavian's image said, very quietly, "for you." The Queen stood as unmoving as stone. "When I'm finished," Octavian promised, "nothing will be left of your kind but stories. I will burn your homes. I will bury your warriors." His voice grew even softer. "I will blacken your sky with crows.
Jim Butcher
Their pursuers suddenly stopped their efforts, grew quiet. “They gave up!” Mark said, embarrassed at the kidlike excitement in his voice. “Which means they’re up to something,” Alec replied. “We need to get inside this beast and get her ready to fly. And get that landing pad open.
James Dashner (The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #4))
The line of the horizon was clear and hard against the sky,and in one particular quarter it showed black against a silvery climbing phosphorescence that grew and grew. At last, over the rim of the waiting earth the moon lifted with slow majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings; and once more they began to see surfaces - meadows widespread, and quiet gardens; and the river itself from bank to bank, all softy disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
There in the moonlit silence, Will found himself wanting. Lacking, yes. He always found himself lacking. But tonight he also found himself wanting something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. A wishing he felt in his chest and as the silence grew more quiet, the wanting grew more noisy.
Will Willingham (Adjustments)
Hey,” he said, half-asleep, “what were you before me?” “I think I was drowning.” A pause. “And what are you now?” he whispered, sinking. I thought for a second. “Water”. “Fuck off.” He punched me on the arm. “And go to sleep, Little Dog.” Then he grew quiet. Then his eyelashes. You could hear them think.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
As she grew older and ventured outside her family's orbit, she continued to notice things about herself that seemed different from the norm. She could drive alone for hours and never turn on the radio. She had trouble finding the sacred in the everyday; it seemed to be there only when she withdrew from the world.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is . . . and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be . . . more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart . . . no matter what the merciless hours have done.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
What you said before…” He stopped and seemed to consider his words. “When you said love isn't about control…what did you mean?” The insecurity in his voice charmed her down to her toes. “Well. I just think that love is supposed to empower, not subdue. To love someone unconditionally, is to give them the freedom to be who they are. There's no room for control. If you're telling someone who they should or shouldn't be…well, that's not unconditional, is it? And there's no such thing as conditional love.” She waited for his response, but he stayed quiet, so she continued. “My dad always said love is like a stallion. You can try to tame it but you'll miss out on its most beautiful form.” She snuggled closer to his warmth. “When it's wild and free, with no restricting fences, it can go on forever.” He didn't say anything for a moment and her lids grew heavy. His deep voice shook her awake again. “But, if you love someone, you do what's best for them.” Though he phrased it as a statement, she heard the question in his voice. “No. If you love someone, you support them in figuring out what's best for themselves.
Leia Shaw (Destined for Harmony (Shadows of Destiny, #3.5))
Brystal shook her head and stared at her teacher in disbelief. "I don't get it," she said. "After everything you've been through, how do you manage to stay so optimistic? Why aren't you angry all the time?" Madame Weatherberry went quiet as she thought about Brystal's question, and then a confident smile grew on her face. "Because we're the lucky ones," she said. "To fight for love and acceptance is to know love and acceptance. And anyone who actively tries to steal these qualities from others is admitting they've never known love at all. The people who want to hate and hurt us are so deprived of compassion they believe the only way to fill the voids in their hearts is to create voids in the hearts of others. So I render them powerless by refusing to accept their voids." Brystal let out a deep sigh and looked hopelessly to the floor. "It's a nice philosophy," she said. "It just seems easier said than done." Madame Weatherberry reached across her desk and squeezed Brystals hand. "We must pity the people who choose to hate, Brystal," she said. "Their lives will never be as meaningful as the lives filled with love.
Chris Colfer (A Tale of Magic... (A Tale of Magic, #1))
This perfect quiet had settled into their house after the death of their father. That event had troubled the very medium of their lives. Time and air and sunlight bore wave and wave of shock, until all the shock was spent, and time and space and light grew still again and nothing seemed to tremble, and nothing seemed to lean.
Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping)
Nevertheless, before she grew sick, he would often step quietly into the room in which his mother was reading, acknowledging her with a smile (always returned) before taking a seat close by and immersing himself in his own book so that, although both were lost in their own individual worlds, they shared the same space and time.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
But life changes people. It smothers that kind of larger-than-life woman. Time quiets them down. That firecracker girl you knew in high school—where is she now? It didn’t happen to men as much. Those boys often grew up to be masters of the universe. The super successful girls? They seemed to die of slow societal suffocation. So
Harlan Coben (Fool Me Once)
But how can you miss Felix when you don't know him?" "I carried you both inside me, him just as much as you. And do not tell me you don't miss your father because you've never known him." Lee grew quiet at the thought. Of course his mother was right: He missed his father with an inextinguishable love, even though he'd never seen his face.
K.E. Ormsbee (The House in Poplar Wood)
Peter lifted his head. Hook's hair was tangled around his face like a lion's mane and his eyes were painfully clear, all teasing and mirth gone from his mouth. He took Peter's chin in his hand, his fingers calloused but gentle, and kissed him. Everything in the world grew quiet and Peter's body grew loud. The caress of Hook's fingertips under his chin made his pulse catch, his throat flushing, shoulders tightening. He could only seem to breathe in, breathe Hook in deeper. Hook's lips were dry, and he tasted like salt and sweet wine. He smelled like gunpowder and the sea and he was everywhere, shifting closer across the leaves, his other arm snaking around Peter's waist, the iron claw pressed flat between his shoulder blades. Peter dug his fingers into fistfuls of earth, trying to ground himself as Hook pulled them together, tipping Peter's head back with the gentle thrust of his kiss, a momentum that threatened to tilt them both to the ground. Peter was impossibly hot, hot to his fingertips and toes and his skin was crawling with the need to be touched, the shock of that need. Sweat caught at the back of his shirt. His skin was stark canvas begging for ink, and Hook's touch was going to stain him forever. It was too much, too sudden. Peter recoiled, yanking a knife from his boot and holding it between them. He didn't mean it as a threat, just a way to make distance where none had been.
Austin Chant (Peter Darling)
Alice imagined a library must be a quiet garden of books, where stories grew like flowers.
Holly Ringland (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart: Now an Amazon series starring Sigourney Weaver)
I grew to understand her expressions first, the thoughtful quiet of her eyes,
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
You grew up on me, Aly,” he murmured, the words rough, almost in awe.
A.L. Jackson (Come to Me Quietly (Closer to You, #1))
the room grew unnaturally quiet. Kote stood with his back to the room, a stillness in his body and a terrible silence clenched between his teeth.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
She was, quite simply, a nice lady who'd raised a family and now lived quietly with her cats and grew vegetables. This was nothing and everything.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
She grew more nervous every minute, filling like a cup set on the floor to catch a leak. Quiet as she was, I could feel her tensing up.
Mieko Kawakami (Breasts and Eggs)
When these children grew older and applied to college and later for their first jobs, they faced the same standards of gregariousness. University
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart . . . no matter what the merciless hours have done.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
What happened was that sometimes I was, from a young age, put in the theater to watch movies because they kept me quiet and they kept me entertained, and they got me out from under the feet of my parents. So from a very early age, I went to the movies and I soon grew to prefer the life of the movies to my own life. The reality that the movies offered was preferable to the reality that I was experiencing. I became a child movie addict. I would go in with great pleasure and I'd never look at what was playing -- what was playing was unimportant. The fact was that I was entering a new world, an environment where not only was it much more attractive than my life was ordinarily, but also I could manipulate it to an extent by coming and going, and by looking at scenes or not, which I could not in my own life. I was subjected to my own domestic life. But I discovered a kind of power at the movies.
Donald Richie (The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan)
You grew up in Dublin in the seventies and eighties. It was as white as white could be. Sure, we’ve diversified now, but back then, if it snowed we couldn’t feckin’ find each other.
Caimh McDonnell (The Quiet Man (McGarry Stateside, #3))
No!” She headed back to her tent. “Leave me, dragon. I never want to see you, or your family, again. Ever!” Danelin glanced at Brastias. “Family?” “Don’t ask.” The dragon silently watched Annwyl’s retreating form. He began chanting and flame surrounded him. That’s when Brastias wondered if he would die this day. The flames grew, enveloping the beast, but eventually the flames died away, leaving a very large, very naked man. With a growl, he followed after Annwyl, disappearing into the tent after her. “So they can shape-shift then?” Danelin asked quietly. “Seems so.” “Should we go after him?” Brastias looked at Danelin. It took him awhile, but he’d finally figured out what he’d just witnessed. A lover’s quarrel. Leave it to Annwyl.
G.A. Aiken (Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1))
A night of exhilaration, of boredom and terror, in which the merest of sounds took on other forms - grew large in the expanse of darkness. After several hours the sheep gradually stopped calling to each other from accross the river banks, and a brittle quiet descended. I desperately wanted to walk down to the water's edge. To see the black river in the moonlight. But a mixture of reason and fear kept me locked along the safe paths high above.
Richard Skelton
Think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Finding a taxi, she felt like a child pressing her nose to the window of a candy store as she watched the changing vista pass by while the twilight descended and the capital became bathed in a translucent misty lavender glow. Entering the city from that airport was truly unique. Charles de Gaulle, built nineteen miles north of the bustling metropolis, ensured that the final point of destination was veiled from the eyes of the traveller as they descended. No doubt, the officials scrupulously planned the airport’s location to prevent the incessant air traffic and roaring engines from visibly or audibly polluting the ambience of their beloved capital, and apparently, they succeeded. If one flew over during the summer months, the visitor would be visibly presented with beautifully managed quilt-like fields of alternating gold and green appearing as though they were tilled and clipped with the mathematical precision of a slide rule. The countryside was dotted with quaint villages and towns that were obviously under meticulous planning control. When the aircraft began to descend, this prevailing sense of exactitude and order made the visitor long for an aerial view of the capital city and its famous wonders, hoping they could see as many landmarks as they could before they touched ground, as was the usual case with other major international airports, but from this point of entry, one was denied a glimpse of the city below. Green fields, villages, more fields, the ground grew closer and closer, a runway appeared, a slight bump or two was felt as the craft landed, and they were surrounded by the steel and glass buildings of the airport. Slightly disappointed with this mysterious game of hide-and-seek, the voyager must continue on and collect their baggage, consoled by the reflection that they will see the metropolis as they make their way into town. For those travelling by road, the concrete motorway with its blue road signs, the underpasses and the typical traffic-logged hubbub of industrial areas were the first landmarks to greet the eye, without a doubt, it was a disheartening first impression. Then, the real introduction began. Quietly, and almost imperceptibly, the modern confusion of steel and asphalt was effaced little by little as the exquisite timelessness of Parisian heritage architecture was gradually unveiled. Popping up like mushrooms were cream sandstone edifices filigreed with curled, swirling carvings, gently sloping mansard roofs, elegant ironwork lanterns and wood doors that charmed the eye, until finally, the traveller was completely submerged in the glory of the Second Empire ala Baron Haussmann’s master plan of city design, the iconic grand mansions, tree-lined boulevards and avenues, the quaint gardens, the majestic churches with their towers and spires, the shops and cafés with their colourful awnings, all crowded and nestled together like jewels encrusted on a gold setting.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
I turned to look at my quiet, bookish mother, a woman I had honestly never seen swat a fly. “I’m sorry, but there is no way you grew up here. It’s not even possible.” There was a whirring sound, and I felt something pass by my face. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mom’s hand go up, and suddenly she was holding the hilt of a knife-a knife that had apparently just been hurled at her head. The whole thing had happened in less than a second. I swallowed. “Never mind.” Mom didn’t say anything, but kept her gaze focused on Aislinn, who, I noticed, still had one hand slightly raised. She was smiling. “Grace was always the quickest of all of us,” she said, and I realized she was talking to me. Smiling at me. “Okay,” I finally said. “Well, I didn’t get that from her, in case you’re wondering. I can’t even catch a football.” Aislinn chuckled, even as Finley’s scowl deepened. “So you’re the demon spawn,” Finley spit out. “Finn!” Aislinn snapped. Huh. So at least one of the Brannicks hated me. Weirdly, that made me feel better. That was normal. And if there was one thing I knew how to deal with, it was Mean Girls. “I actually go by Sophie.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
were.” Over time, though, Edgar stopped bringing index cards to dinner parties. He still considers himself an introvert, but he grew so deeply into his extroverted role that telling anecdotes started to come naturally to him. Indeed,
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
The army doctor who had patched up his hands and examined him after the rescue at Kayişdaği told him a story about the Mevlana, the great saint whose order built this tekke. The Mevlana had a friend, Şams of Tabriz, a spiritual friend, the other half of his soul, one spirit in two bodies. Together they explored the depth of God in ceaseless conversation. The dervishes grew jealous of the one-in-twoness and quietly killed Şams of Tabriz. When the Mevlana was unable to find his friend, the only possible conclusion was that they had merged and Şams was now part of him. Why should I seek? I am the same as he. His essence speaks through me. I have been looking for myself. Necdet knows how long Hızır will be with him.
Ian McDonald (The Dervish House)
Many of you no longer have mothers. You have lost your fathers. But you have education. Here, if you are smart enough to accept it, you will be educated. Education will be your mother. Education will be your father. While your older brothers fight this war with guns, when the bullets stop, you will fight the next war with your pens. Do you see what I’m telling you? He was hoarse by now and he grew quiet. —I want you to succeed, boys. If we are ever to have a new Sudan, you must succeed.
Dave Eggers (What is the What)
It was a wonderful thing to think for how many thousands of years the dead orb above and the dead city below had gazed thus upon each other, and in the utter solitude of space poured forth each to each the tale of their lost life and long-departed glory. The white light fell, and minute by minute the quiet shadows crept across the grass-grown courts like the spirits of old priests haunting the habitations of their worship--the white light fell, and the long shadows grew till the beauty and grandeur of each scene and the untamed majesty of its present Death seemed to sink into our very souls, and speak more loudly than the shouts of armies concerning the pomp and splendour that the grave had swallowed, and even memory had forgotten.
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
If you were asked to spell the name Antoninus, would you rap out each letter at the top of voice, and then, if your hearers grew angry, grow angry yourself in turn? Rather, would you not proceed to enumerate the several letters quietly one by one? Well then; remember that here in life every piece of duty is likewise made up of its separate items. Pay careful attention to each of these, without fuss and without returning temper for temper, and so ensure the methodical completion of your task.
Marcus Aurelius (The Meditations)
. . . men will not understand us - for the generation that grew up before us, though it has passed these years with us already had a home and a calling; now it will return to its old occupations, and the war will be forgotten - and the generation that that has grown up after us will be strange to us and push us aside. We will be superfluous even to ourselves, we will grow older, a few will adapt themselves, some others will merely submit, and most will be bewildered; - the years will pass by and in the end we shall fall into ruin.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
The flake of snow grew larger and larger; and at last it was like a young lady, dressed in the finest white gauze, made of a million little flakes like stars. She was so beautiful and delicate, but she was of ice, of dazzling, sparkling ice; yet she lived; her eyes gazed fixedly, like two stars; but there was neither quiet nor repose in them. She nodded towards the window, and beckoned with her hand. The little boy was frightened, and jumped down from the chair; it seemed to him as if, at the same moment, a large bird flew past the window.
Hans Christian Andersen (Classic Children's Books: 7 books)
Do you truly want my judgement?” I asked. That caught his attention. His eyes grew clearer, sharper. I wondered if he realized he was awake, but his eyes held a fevered intensity that I doubted he would let me witness if he thought this was real instead of a dream. “Yes,” he answered, very quietly, so quiet I could barely hear. “You aren’t a good person, but I think that you could be if you tried. So perhaps you should try.” For a long time, he didn’t respond. It wasn’t until I stood up to leave the room that he spoke. “Thank you,” he said softly and seemed to mean it.
Margaret Rogerson (Vespertine)
Soon after being appointed CEO, Smith made a dramatic decision to sell the mills that produced the company’s core business of coated paper and invest instead in the consumer-paper-products industry, which he believed had better economics and a brighter future. Everyone said this was a huge mistake, and Wall Street downgraded Kimberly-Clark’s stock. But Smith, unmoved by the crowd, did what he thought was right. As a result, the company grew stronger and soon outpaced its rivals. Asked later about his strategy, Smith replied that he never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Suddenly, I was stopped by a quiet song . . Somebody stood, swaying slowly on the road, In the darkest shadow by a puddle, And low above it a small tree grew . . It might’ve been a wild cherry tree . . He kept singing, watching the puddle fill . . I dragged the pine through the water, And with my other hand steadied my sack, Where a bottle of red vino dangled . . He didn’t move, but kept on singing . . Should I have stopped there And joined his singing? . . Had he found The one happy tree? . . No one knows where it grows— Or what it looks like . . And who is allowed to recognize it? . . I never stood under it, Even to wait for rain to pass Or watch between the drops The silent froth appear . . Swaying, he kept on singing . . Otherwise, he would have fallen And the rain stopped . . He danced his own rain Under that tree . . I can’t do such things . . Perhaps it was a wolf? . .
Oleh Lysheha (The Selected Poems)
Hannah, as if she understood her place in the cosmos, grew from quiet infant to watchful child: a child fond of nooks and corners, who curled up in closets, behind sofas, under dangling tablecloths, staying out of sight as well as out of mind, to ensure the terrain of the family did not change.)
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
But he was still human; even if the flames wrapped him in their warmth and kept him awake, he weakened as any other mortal weakened when kept from sleep. And, eventually, he grew weak enough that the darkness grew closer and closer, and the quiet of the city stole into his blood and silenced it entirely.  
Varsha Ravi (The Heartless Divine (The Heartless Divine, #1))
Why do they do that?” I asked, watching the shiny body flip through the air before landing with a splash. “I get why they do it when they’re hooked—I’d put up a fight, too. But this seems counterproductive. Like, you’re a fish and people are trying to find you. Hide!” Josh laughed and rested his elbows on the edge of the boat. [..] “I don’t know if anyone has asked the sturgeons directly, but I think it’s to clear their gills? Or maybe avoid predators.” I squinted off into the distance. “Maybe it’s just fun.” Josh grew quiet and I looked over to see him watching me. “I never thought of it that way before.
Christina Lauren (Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating)
One day, soon after her disappearance, an attack of abominable nausea forced me to pull up on the ghost of an old mountain road that now accompanied, now traversed a brand new highway, with its population of asters bathing in the detached warmth of a pale-blue afternoon in late summer. After coughing myself inside out I rested a while on a boulder and then thinking the sweet air might do me good, walked a little way toward a low stone parapet on the precipice side of the highway. Small grasshoppers spurted out of the withered roadside weeds. A very light cloud was opening its arms and moving toward a slightly more substantial one belonging to another, more sluggish, heavenlogged system. As I approached the friendly abyss, I grew aware of a melodious unity of sounds rising like vapor from a small mining town that lay at my feet, in a fold of the valley. One could make out the geometry of the streets between blocks of red and gray roofs, and green puffs of trees, and a serpentine stream, and the rich, ore-like glitter of the city dump, and beyond the town, roads crisscrossing the crazy quilt of dark and pale fields, and behind it all, great timbered mountains. But even brighter than those quietly rejoicing colors - for there are colors and shades that seem to enjoy themselves in good company - both brighter and dreamier to the ear than they were to the eye, was that vapory vibration of accumulated sounds that never ceased for a moment, as it rose to the lip of granite where I stood wiping my foul mouth. And soon I realized that all these sounds were of one nature, that no other sounds but these came from the streets of the transparent town, with the women at home and the men away. Reader! What I heard was but the melody of children at play, nothing but that, and so limpid was the air that within this vapor of blended voices, majestic and minute, remote and magically near, frank and divinely enigmatic - one could hear now and then, as if released, an almost articulate spurt of vivid laughter, or the crack of a bat, or the clatter of a toy wagon, but it was all really too far for the eye to distinguish any movement in the lightly etched streets. I stood listening to that musical vibration from my lofty slope, to those flashes of separate cries with a kind of demure murmur for background, and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Michael grew silent, his gaze softening as he looked from me to Will, and a dim light of hope flickered in my heart. “You would mourn for him.” “Yes, I said. “I would mourn him forever with a broken heart. This human soul has given me so many blessings and curses. I’m the only one of our kind who has ever felt the most perfect happiness and the truest sorrow - because of this soul. My love for my Guardian is one of those blessings. It’s not a curse.” “You can,” I promised. “Please trust me. I need all the help I can get, and that includes yours. If you kill my Guardian, then I will never forgive you. I can’t be at war with you too. Please, please, Michael, my brother. Don’t kill him. … A tear caught on the edge of my lips. “Do you love me as your sister?” His mouth opened to reply, but nothing came out. “It’s okay,” I whispered. “You’re worried about me, because you love me. Don’t be afraid of feeling anything. our Father made us this way. He wouldn’t make a mistake.” “I…,” Michael said, and emotion spilled over his face. His brow furrowed with exhaustion and he seemed overwhelmed by what he felt. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again. “You are my sister, Gabriel.” “Then don’t do this.” I begged him. He was quiet again for several agonising moments, returning to his emotionless state. “Keep him. I have faith in you, Sister. Will and I breathed sighs of relief, but it was a few seconds before Michael withdrew his sword. His expression remained unchanging as he lifted Will’s death warrant.
Courtney Allison Moulton (Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire, #3))
Everyone said this was a huge mistake, and Wall Street downgraded Kimberly-Clark’s stock. But Smith, unmoved by the crowd, did what he thought was right. As a result, the company grew stronger and soon outpaced its rivals. Asked later about his strategy, Smith replied that he never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
You’d better marry her before she reaches eighteen and the spell wears off,” I said. “Spell?” “Yes. The one that’s hiding her fangs and pincers from plain sight.” “I don’t find them especially hidden,” he said mildly. “Then perhaps you’re a pair.” His brows lifted. “Now, that’s the cruelest thing you’ve said so far.” Mrs. Fredericks cleared off, and Chloe took her place before the piano. A beam of sunlight was just beginning its slide into the chamber, capturing her in light. She was a glowing girl with a glowing face, and Joplin at her fingertips. “Give me time,” I muttered, dropping my gaze to my plate. “I’ll come up with something worse.” “No doubt.” Armand pulled a flask from his jacket and shook it in front of my nose. “Whiskey. Conveniently the same color as tea. Are you game, waif?” I glanced around, but no one was looking. I lifted my cup, drained it to the dregs, and set it before him. He was right. It did look like tea. But it tasted like vile burning fire, all the way down my throat. “Sip it,” he hissed, as I began to cough. His voice lifted over my sputtering. “Dear me, Miss Jones, I do beg your pardon. The tea’s rather hot; I should have mentioned it.” “Quite all right,” I gasped, as the whiskey swirled an evil amber in my teacup. Chloe’s song grew bouncier, with lyrics about a girl with strawberries in a wagon. Several of the men had begun to cluster near, drawn to her soprano or perchance her bosom. Two were vying to turn the pages of her music. She had to crane her head to keep Armand in view. He sent her another smile from his chair, lifting his cup in salute. “I’m going to kiss you, Eleanore,” he said quietly, still looking at her. “Not now. Later.” His eyes cut back to mine. “I thought it fair to tell you first.” I stilled. “If you think you can do so without me biting your lip, feel free to try.” His gaze shone wicked blue. “I don’t mind if you bite.” “Biting your lip off, I should have said.” “Ah. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Whatcha got there?” I asked, looking at the crumpled piece of paper in his hands. As we walked through the quiet halls, he folded it into a small square and tucked it into his back pocket. He turned to look at me, and then his grin grew wider. “It’s an article.” “About what?” “Nothing special. Just a Mandy Parker original.” “It’s
Tracie Puckett (Breaking Walls (Breaking, #2))
Then, like a telegram received on the way, or like greetings from Meliuzeevo, a fragrance floated through the window, familiar, as if addressed to Yuri Andreevich. It manifested itself with quiet superiority somewhere to one side and came from a height unusual for wild or garden flowers. The doctor could not get to the window owing to the crush. But even without looking, he could see those trees in his imagination. They probably grew quite nearby, calmly reaching towards the roofs of the cars with their spreading branches, the foliage dusty from railroad commotion and thick as night, finely sprinkled with the waxy little stars of glimmering flower clusters.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago (Vintage International))
James was exactly the same height as Harry. He was wearing the clothes in which he had died, and his hair was untidy and ruffled, and his glasses were a little lopsided, like Mr. Weasley’s. Sirius was tall and handsome, and younger by far than Harry had seen him in life. He loped with an easy grace, his hands in his pockets and a grin on his face. Lupin was younger too, and much less shabby, and his hair was thicker and darker. He looked happy to be back in this familiar place, scene of so many adolescent wanderings. Lily’s smile was widest of all. She pushed her long hair back as she drew close to him, and her green eyes, so like his, searched his face hungrily, as though she would never be able to look at him enough. “You’ve been so brave.” He could not speak. His eyes feasted on her, and he thought that he would like to stand and look at her forever, and that would be enough. “You are nearly there,” said James. “Very close. We are…so proud of you.” “Does it hurt?” The childish question had fallen from Harry’s lips before he could stop it. “Dying? Not at all,” said Sirius. “Quicker and easier than falling asleep.” “And he will want it to be quick. He wants it over,” said Lupin. “I didn’t want you to die,” Harry said. These words came without his volition. “Any of you. I’m sorry--” He addressed Lupin more than any of them, beseeching him. “--right after you’d had your son…Remus, I’m sorry--” “I am sorry too,” said Lupin. “Sorry I will never know him…but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.” A chilly breeze that seemed to emanate from the heart of the forest lifted the hair at Harry’s brow. He knew that they would not tell him to go, that it would have to be his decision. “You’ll stay with me?” “Until the very end,” said James. “They won’t be able to see you?” asked Harry. “We are part of you,” said Sirius. “Invisible to anyone else.” Harry looked at his mother. “Stay close to me,” he said quietly. And he set off. The dementors’ chill did not overcome him; he passed through it with his companions, and they acted like Patronuses to him, and together they marched through the old trees that grew closely together, their branches tangled, their roots gnarled and twisted underfoot. Harry clutched the Cloak tightly around him in the darkness, traveling deeper and deeper into the forest, with no idea where exactly Voldemort was, but sure that he would find him. Beside him, making scarcely a sound, walked James, Sirius, Lupin, and Lily, and their presence was his courage, and the reason he was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
December 25, 4:30 p.m. Dear America, It’s been seven hours since you left. Twice now I’ve started to go to your room to ask how you liked your presents and then remembered you weren’t here. I’ve gotten so used to you, it’s strange that you aren’t around, drifting down the halls. I’ve nearly called a few times, but I don’t want to seem possessive. I don’t want you to feel like I’m a cage to you. I remember how you said the palace was just that the first night you came here. I think, over time, you’ve felt freer, and I’d hate to ruin that freedom, I’m going to have to distract myself until you come back. I decided to sit and write to you, hoping maybe it would feel like I was talking to you. It sort of does, I can imagine you sitting here, smiling at my idea, maybe shaking your head at me as if to say I’m being silly. You do that sometimes, did you know? I like that expression on you. You’re the only person who wears it in a way that doesn’t come across like you think I’m completely hopeless. You smile at my idiosyncrasies, accept that they exist, and continue to be my friend. And, in seven short hours, I’ve started to miss that. I’ve wonder what you’ve done in that time. I’m betting by now you’ve flown across the country, made it to your home, and are safe. I hope you are safe. I can’t imagine what a comfort you must be to your family right now. The lovely daughter has finally returned! I keep trying to picture you home. I remember you telling me it was small, that you had a tree house, and that your garage was where you father and sister did all their work. Beyond that I’ve had to resort to my imagination. I imagine you curled up in a hug with you sister or kicking around a ball with your little brother. I remember that, you know? That you said he liked to play ball. I tried to imagine walking into your house with you. I would have liked that, to see you where you grew up. I would love to see you brother run around or be embraced by your mother. I think it would be comforting to sense the presence of people near you, floorboards creaking and doors shutting. I would have liked to sit in one part of the house and still probably be able to smell the kitchen. I’ve always imagined that real homes are full of the aromas of whatever’s being cooked. I wouldn’t do a scrap of work. Nothing having to do with armies or budgets or negotiations. I’d sit with you, maybe try to work on my photography while you played the piano. We’d be Fives together, like you said. I could join your family for dinner, talking over one another in a collection of conversations instead of whispering and waiting our turns. And maybe I’d sleep in a spare bed or on the couch. I’d sleep on the floor beside you if you’d let me. I think about that sometimes. Falling asleep next to you, I mean, like we did in the safe room. It was nice to hear your breaths as they came and went, something quiet and close keeping me from feeling so alone. This letter has gotten foolish, and I think you know how I detest looking like a fool. But still I do. For you. Maxon
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Our dynamic worked: She was quietly assertive but unargumentative, happy to let me lead the way in our relationship—the opposite of my parents’ relationship: dominated by my mother despite being financed by my father. My wife and I complemented each other perfectly, grew to understand what the other needed, and provided it willingly, without request.
Ore Agbaje-Williams (The Three of Us)
Rora played along, saying the right words, smiling the right smile, and nodding, but her mind wasn't in it. Not really. She was outside herself. Her heart grew calm and steady and quiet-- the kind of quiet that came before the Rage season. As if the whole land was bracing itself for the battle to come. All the nerves and the confusing emotions melted away, and she was nothing more than a series of actions cobbled together by instinct alone. That was what happened to an animal when it was cornered. When the danger was high and adrenaline took over. Reason disappeared then, and the only thing left was an instinct older than blood and bones. And her instinct? It told her two things. To lie. And to run.
Cora Carmack (Roar (Stormheart, #1))
I am not Menda, though that is what my mother called me. I am Tehlu, lord above all. I have come to free you from demons and the wickedness of your own hearts. I am Tehlu, son of myself. Let the wicked hear my voice and tremble.” And they did tremble. But some of them refused to believe. They called him a demon and threatened him. They spoke hard, frightened words. Some threw stones and cursed him, and spat toward him and his mother. Then Tehlu grew angry, and he might have slain them all, but Perial leaped forward and laid a restraining hand on his shoulder. “What more can you expect?” she asked him quietly. “From men who live with demons for their neighbors? Even the best dog will bite that has been kicked enough.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Each year I kept it quiet was another year where the shame and guilt grew. It was another year where I became more scared of someone finding out. It was another year where I got better at acting as someone else, wearing masks to protect the face underneath. I became so good at masking my emotions that no one would have ever guessed what was going on internally.
Perry Power (Breaking The Silence: Stories From Survivors Of Sexual Abuse)
The golem is for Franz Kafka big headache.." The ache, he confided, grew in Kafka's head, spreading throughout his bones, his joints swelling until there was no longer room in the writer's skin for both himself and the golem; then his skin split at the seams, and the creature burst forth like the Incredible Hulk, thereby expelling Kafka from his own body. What do you have in common with Jews?" Svatopluk was whispering in my ear. "This, Kafka us asked at a crucial point in his life, and replies, 'I have nothing in common with myself, and should sit quietly in corner content that I can breathe.'" Highly suggestible, I saw the monster born from Kafka's brain not as a magical or supernatural creation but a behaimeh member of the community that trafficked in the impossible. I saw the creature lumbering gumby-like behind his plodding master just as I had followed Svat, or poor dead Billy or Aunt Keni Shendeldecker, the only woman I'd ever loved; I saw the citizens of the rabbi's courtyard gossiping, making lame jokes about the golem's marriageability and his alleged prowess in bed.
Steve Stern (The Angel of Forgetfulness)
There must be no concealment," she said. "Alas! We have had too much already. And besides there is nothing in all the world that can give me more pain than I have already endured, than I suffer now! Whatever may happen, it must be of new hope or of new courage to me!" Van Helsing was looking at her fixedly as she spoke, and said, suddenly but quietly, "But dear Madam Mina, are you not afraid. Not for yourself, but for others from yourself, after what has happened?" Her face grew set in its lines, but her eyes shone with the devotion of a martyr as she answered, "Ah no! For my mind is made up!" "To what?" he asked gently, whilst we were all very still, for each in our own way we had a sort of vague idea of what she meant. Her answer came with direct simplicity, as though she was simply stating a fact, "Because if I find in myself, and I shall watch keenly for it, a sign of harm to any that I love, I shall die!" "You would not kill yourself?" he asked, hoarsely. "I would. If there were no friend who loved me, who would save me such a pain, and so desperate an effort!" She looked at him meaningly as she spoke.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
The endars were peaceful creatures. The green fur wasn’t fur at all; it was moss that grew from their skin. They lived underneath old oaks, rooted to the big trees in a state of quiet hibernation, absorbing their nutrients and making rare excursions to the surface to lick the bark and feed on lichens. They stirred from their rest so rarely that pagan Slavs thought they fed on air.
Ilona Andrews (Small Magics (World of Kate Daniels, #0.5 & #5.5))
But the young Count insisted on the Beauty selecting a flower for him. He was waiting impatiently for her second present, the promised kiss — her first kiss. The Beauty looked at the flowers. Once again her face was darkened by a delicate shade of sadness. Suddenly, as if prompted by some strange will, she quickly stretched out a hand, so exquisite in its naked whiteness, and plucked a many-petaled flower. Her hand hesitated, and she bowed her head, and finally with an expression of shy indecision she approached the Count and placed the flower in a buttonhole of his cloak. The powerful and pungent scent wafted into the young Count's face, which grew pale as his head reeled in languid impotence. Indifference and tedium overcame him. He was scarcely aware of himself, he hardly noticed that the Beauty took him by the arm and led him into the house, away from the fragrances of the wondrous Garden. In one of the rooms of the house where all was bright, white and rosy, the Count came to himself. A youthful vitality returned to his face, his black eyes were aflame with passion once again, and he felt the joy of life and the surge of desire anew. But already the inescapable lay in wait for him. A white hand, bare, slender, lay on his neck; and the fragrant kiss of the Beauty was tender, sweet, long. The two blue lightnings of her eyes flashed close to his eyes and were masked with the subtle mystery of her long eyelashes. The sinister fires of some sweet pain swirled like a whirlwind about the heart of the young Count. He raised his arms to embrace the Beauty — but with a soft cry she stepped away and softly, quietly, ran away, leaving him alone. ("The Poison Garden")
Valery Bryusov (Silver Age of Russian Culture (An Anthology))
It was often like this with her: never stepping out of her quiet comfort zone except for someone else’s perceived need; changing the subject whenever her circle of human friends grew too cruel to one another; thanking a teacher for their lesson if that teacher seemed down; giving up her locker for a more inconvenient location so two best friends could be neighbors; smiling a certain smile that never surfaced for her contented friends, only revealing itself to someone who was hurting. Little things that none of her acquaintances or admirers ever seemed to see. Through all these little things, I was able to add the most important quality to my list, the most revealing of them all, as simple as it was rare. Bella was good. All the other things added up to that whole: Kind and self-effacing and unselfish and brave—she was good through and through.
Stephenie Meyer (Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5))
But when vague rumours got abroad, that in this Protestant association a secret power was mustering against the government for undefined and mighty purposes; when the air was filled with whispers of a confederacy among the Popish powers to degrade and enslave England, establish an inquisition in London, and turn the pens of Smithfield market* into stakes and cauldrons; when terrors and alarms which no man understood were perpetually broached, both in and out of Parliament, by one enthusiast who did not understand himself, and by-gone bugbears which had lain quietly in their graves for centuries, were raised again to haunt the ignorant and credulous; when all this was done, as it were, in the dark, and secret invitations to join the Great Protestant Association in defence of religion, life, and liberty, were dropped in the public ways, thrust under the house-doors, tossed in at windows, and pressed into the hands of those who trod the streets by night; when they glared from every wall, and shone on every post and pillar, so that stocks and stones appeared infected with the common fear, urging all men to join together blindfold in resistance of they knew not what, they knew not why;—then the mania spread indeed, and the body, still increasing every day, grew forty thousand strong.
Charles Dickens (Barnaby Rudge)
I wonder what Lena is doing now. I always wonder what Lena is doing. Rachel, too: both my girls, my beautiful, big-eyed girls. But I worry about Rachel less. Rachel was always harder than Lena, somehow. More defiant, more stubborn, less feeling . Even as a girl, she frightened me—fierce and fiery-eyed, with a temper like my father’s once was. But Lena . . . little darling Lena, with her tangle of dark hair and her flushed, chubby cheeks. She used to rescue spiders from the pavement to keep them from getting squashed; quiet, thoughtful Lena, with the sweetest lisp to break your heart. To break my heart: my wild, uncured, erratic, incomprehensible heart. I wonder whether her front teeth still overlap; whether she still confuses the words pretzel and pencil occasionally; whether the wispy brown hair grew straight and long, or began to curl. I wonder whether she believes the lies they told her.
Lauren Oliver (Annabel (Delirium, #0.5))
pure-hearted old man, and were both rebuked and saved; gifted men found a companion in him; ambitious men caught glimpses of nobler ambitions than their own; and even worldlings confessed that his beliefs were beautiful and true, although ‘they wouldn’t pay’. To outsiders, the five energetic women seemed to rule the house, and so they did in many things; but the quiet scholar, sitting among his books, was still the head of the family, the household conscience, anchor, and comforter; for to him the busy, anxious women always turned in troublous times, finding him, in the truest sense of those sacred words, husband and father. The girls gave their hearts into their mother’s keeping, their souls into their father’s; and to both parents, who lived and laboured so faithfully for them, they gave a love that grew with their growth, and bound them tenderly together by the sweetest tie which blesses life
Louisa May Alcott (Good Wives (Little Women, #1.5))
A slope of buttercups flashed suddenly when the wind struck it and wild morning glory spotted a stretch of daisies with purple and dainty lavender. To be sure, the blossoms never grew thickly enough to make strong dashes of color, but they tinted and stained the hillsides. He began to cross noisy little watercourses, empty most of the year, but now the melting snow fed them. From eddies and quiet pools the bright watercress streamed out into the currents,
Max Brand (The Seventh Man)
When I grew up, and even as an adult learning photography, pursuing learning was seen as a sign of weakness and vulnerability. Needing to learn something meant admitting you didn’t already know it. There was shame there. You tried to keep it quiet. “Hey, if you’re a photographer, why do you need to take that Photoshop class? Don’t you know your job?” Since then, willingness to learn has gone from a weakness to a strength. But the number of options can be overwhelming.
Chase Jarvis (Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life)
Asking a writer why they like to write {in the theoretical sense of the question} is like asking a person why they breathe. For me, writing is a natural reflex to the beauty, the events, and the people I see around me. As Anais Nin put it, "We write to taste life twice." I live and then I write. The one transfers to the other, for me, in a gentle, necessary way. As prosaic as it sounds, I believe I process by writing. Part of the way I deal with stressful situations, catty people, or great joy or great trials in my own life is by conjuring it onto paper in some way; a journal entry, a blog post, my writing notebook, or my latest story. While I am a fair conversationalist, my real forte is expressing myself in words on paper. If I leave it all chasing round my head like rabbits in a warren, I'm apt to become a bug-bear to live with and my family would not thank me. Some people need counselors. Some people need long, drawn-out phone-calls with a trusted friend. Some people need to go out for a run. I need to get away to a quiet, lonesome corner--preferably on the front steps at gloaming with the North Star trembling against the darkening blue. I need to set my pen fiercely against the page {for at such moments I must be writing--not typing.} and I need to convert the stress or excitement or happiness into something to be shared with another person. The beauty of the relationship between reading and writing is its give-and-take dynamic. For years I gathered and read every book in the near vicinity and absorbed tale upon tale, story upon story, adventures and sagas and dramas and classics. I fed my fancy, my tastes, and my ideas upon good books and thus those aspects of myself grew up to be none too shabby. When I began to employ my fancy, tastes, and ideas in writing my own books, the dawning of a strange and wonderful idea tinged the horizon of thought with blush-rose colors: If I persisted and worked hard and poured myself into the craft, I could create one of those books. One of the heart-books that foster a love of reading and even writing in another person somewhere. I could have a hand in forming another person's mind. A great responsibility and a great privilege that, and one I would love to be a party to. Books can change a person. I am a firm believer in that. I cannot tell you how many sentiments or noble ideas or parts of my own personality are woven from threads of things I've read over the years. I hoard quotations and shadows of quotations and general impressions of books like a tzar of Russia hoards his icy treasures. They make up a large part of who I am. I think it's worth saying again: books can change a person. For better or for worse. As a writer it's my two-edged gift to be able to slay or heal where I will. It's my responsibility to wield that weapon aright and do only good with my words. Or only purposeful cutting. I am not set against the surgeon's method of butchery--the nicking of a person's spirit, the rubbing in of a salty, stinging salve, and the ultimate healing-over of that wound that makes for a healthier person in the end. It's the bitter herbs that heal the best, so now and again you might be called upon to write something with more cayenne than honey about it. But the end must be good. We cannot let the Light fade from our words.
Rachel Heffington
The judge, his counselors, and his therapist, says Knight, speak to him as though he’s a child. Every time he admitted he was struggling, they fed him platitudes. Knight rattles them off: “Oh, it’ll get better. Look on the bright side. The sun will come up tomorrow.” He grew tired of hearing them, so now he keeps quiet. He doesn’t blame anyone—“everyone’s doing their best,” he says in a way that can be construed as arrogant—but following their rules causes him to feel worse.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
I love you Henry" whispered Queen Susan She turned to the awed and frozen battle field. "I love this man! I've always loved him! Help me before it's too late!" "I'm sorry my pride got in the way of us. I should have told you the moment I saw you that I loved you" he said quietly. "Henry? Do you remember who I am?" His face grew silent and after the longest moment, he nodded and Queen Susan leaned in and gave him a kiss. She started to cry and then everything went black.
bellatuscana (Susan in Wonderland (Zaffaria, #2))
On Huaihai Road, Wen was asking her to be his wife. Swirl remembered the quiet of the bed when she had woken suddenly. She had picked up her son’s perfect hand, and a grey sadness seemed to move from his chest into hers, and in that moment, when she knew her child was dead, she lost her parents, her brothers and her husband all over again. Unable to stop crying, she had refused to let go of the child’s body. But he grew rigid and cold in death. Only Big Mother had finally managed to lift the body from her arms.
Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing)
It struck me that, in the nicest possible way, she didn’t really have a personality; she was a mother, a kind, loving woman, about whom no one would ever say, “She was crazy, that Betty!” or, “You’ll never guess what Betty’s done now!” or, “After reviewing psychiatric reports, Betty was refused bail on grounds that she posed an extreme risk to the general public.” She was, quite simply, a nice lady who’d raised a family and now lived quietly with her cats and grew vegetables. This was both nothing and everything.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
We needed coffee but we'd got ourselves convinced that the later we left it the better it would taste, and, as the country grew flatter and the roads became quiet and dusk began to colour the sky, you could guess from the way we retuned the radio and unfolded the map or commented on the view that the tang of determination had overtaken our thoughts, and when, fidgety and untalkative but almost home, we drew up outside the all-night restaurant, it felt like we might just stay in the car, listening to the engine and the gentle sound of the wind
Matthew Welton ('We Needed Coffee But . . .' (Poetry Book Society Recommendation))
Every day she would spread her wings and tell herself today was the day she would fly—but every day a quiet, hateful old witch told her if she tried even once, she would fall. Told her little girls weren’t meant to fly. Little girls were meant to stay at home and be pretty, and as long as she did that all the good things in the world would come to her.” The words tasted foul. “And the little girl, who used to be fearless, learned fear. Just a little more each day, until her wings grew too heavy to lift her and her fear weighed her down to earth.
Cole McCade (The Lost (Crow City, #1))
You have to stop letting me do this,” he bit off, half-angrily. “If you’ll stop leaning on me so that I can get my hands on a blunt object, I’ll be happy to…!” He kissed the words into oblivion. “It isn’t a joke,” he murmured into her mouth. His hips moved in a gentle, sensuous sweep against her hips. He felt her shiver. “That’s…new,” she said with a strained attempt at humor. “It isn’t,” he corrected. “I’ve just never let you feel it before.” He kissed her slowly, savoring the submission of her soft, warm lips. His hands swept under the blouse and up under her breasts in their lacy covering. He was going over the edge. If he did, he was going to take her with him, and it would damage both of them. He had to stop it, now, while he could. “Is this what Colby gets when he comes to see you?” he whispered with deliberate sarcasm. It worked. She stepped on his foot as hard as she could with her bare instep. It surprised him more than it hurt him, but while he recoiled, she pushed him and tore out of his arms. Her eyes were lividly green through her glasses, her hair in disarray. She glared at him like a female panther. “What Colby gets is none of your business! You get out of my apartment!” she raged at him. She was magnificent, he thought, watching her with helpless delight. There wasn’t a man alive who could cow her, or bend her to his will. Even her drunken, brutal stepfather hadn’t been able to force her to do something she didn’t want to do. “Oh, I hate that damned smug grin,” she threw at him, swallowing her fury. “Man, the conqueror!” “That isn’t what I was thinking at all.” He sobered little by little. “My mother was a meek little thing when she was younger,” he recalled. “But she was forever throwing herself in front of me to keep my father from killing me. It was a long time until I grew big enough to protect her.” She stared at him curiously, still shaken. “I don’t understand.” “You have a fierce spirit,” he said quietly. “I admire it, even when it exasperates me. But it wouldn’t be enough to save you from a man bent on hurting you.” He sighed heavily. “You’ve been…my responsibility…for a long time,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “No matter how old you grow, I’ll still feel protective about you. It’s the way I’m made.” He meant to comfort, but the words hurt. She smiled anyway. “I can take care of myself.” “Can you?” he said softly. He searched her eyes. “In a weak moment…” “I don’t have too many of those. Mostly, you’re responsible for them,” she said with black humor. “Will you go away? I’m supposed to try to seduce you, not the reverse. You’re breaking the rules.” His eyebrow lifted. Her sense of humor seemed to mend what was wrong between them. “You stopped trying to seduce me.” “You kept turning me down,” she pointed out. “A woman’s ego can only take so much rejection.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
The Allied governments, for example, with the British as executors, maintained in place the food blockade of Germany that had been in effect since 1917. A British authority would note that “in the last two years of the war, nearly 800,000 noncombatants died in Germany from starvation or diseases attributed to undernourishment. The biggest mortality was among children between the ages of 5 and 1 5, where the death rate increased by 55 percent. . . a whole generation [the one which had been born and lived during Hitler’s rise to power] grew up in an epoch of undernourishment and misery such as we [British] have never in this country experienced.”3 A distinguished American authority on United States foreign policy in the first half of the twentieth century, Stanford University professor Thomas A. Bailey, noted that “the Allied slow starvation of Germany’s civilian population was quiet, unspectacular, and censored.”4 The Englishman Gilbert Murray, writing in 1933, noted that future historians would probably regard the establishment and continuation of the blockade as one of those many acts of almost incredible inhumanity which made World War I conspicuous in history. -- Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, p. 122
Russel H.S. Stolfi
The fears of militarization Holbrooke had expressed in his final, desperate memos, had come to pass on a scale he could have never anticipated. President Trump had concentrated ever more power in the Pentagon, granting it nearly unilateral authority in areas of policy once orchestrated across multiple agencies, including the State Department. In Iraq and Syria, the White House quietly delegated more decisions on troop deployments to the military. In Yemen and Somalia, field commanders were given authority to launch raids without White House approval. In Afghanistan, Trump granted the secretary of defense, General James Mattis, sweeping authority to set troop levels. In public statements, the White House downplayed the move, saying the Pentagon still had to adhere to the broad strokes of policies set by the White House. But in practice, the fate of thousands of troops in a diplomatic tinderbox of a conflict had, for the first time in recent history, been placed solely in military hands. Diplomats were no longer losing the argument on Afghanistan: they weren’t in it. In early 2018, the military began publicly rolling out a new surge: in the following months, up to a thousand new troops would join the fourteen thousand already in place. Back home, the White House itself was crowded with military voices. A few months into the Trump administration, at least ten of twenty-five senior leadership positions on the president’s National Security Council were held by current or retired military officials. As the churn of firings and hirings continued, that number grew to include the White House chief of staff, a position given to former general John Kelly. At the same time, the White House ended the practice of “detailing” State Department officers to the National Security Council. There would now be fewer diplomatic voices in the policy process, by design.
Ronan Farrow (War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence)
First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I went up the stairs of the little hotel, that time in Bystřice by Benešov, and at the turn of the stairs there was a bricklayer at work, in white clothes; he was chiselling channels in the wall to cement in two hooks, on which in a little while he was going to hang a Minimax fire-extinguisher; and this bricklayer was already and old man, but he had such an enormous back that he had to turn round to let me pass by, and then I heard him whistling the waltz from The Count of Luxembourg as I went into my little room. It was afternoon. I took out two razors, and one of them I scored blade-up into the top of the bathroom stool, and the other I laid beside it, and I, too, began to whistle the waltz from The Count of Luxembourg while I undressed and turned on the hot-water tap, and then I reflected, and very quietly I opened the door a crack. And the bricklayer was standing there in the corridor on the other side of the door, and it was as if he also had opened the door a crack to have a look at me and see what I was doing, just as I had wanted to have a look at him. And I slammed the door shut and crept into the bath, I had to let myself down into it gradually, the water was so hot; I gasped with the sting of it as carefully and painfully I sat down. And then I stretched out my wrist, and with my right hand I slashed my left wrist ... and then with all my strength I brought down the wrist of my right hand on the upturned blade I'd grooved into the stool for that purpose. And I plunged both hands into the hot water, and watched the blood flow slowly ouf of me, and the water grew rosy, and yet al the time the pattern of the red blood flowing remained so clearly perceptible, as though someone was drawing out from my wrists a long, feathery red bandage, a film, dancing veil ... and presently I thickened there in the bath, as that red paint thickened when we were painting the fence all round the state workshops, until we had to thin it with turpentine - and my head sagged, and into my mouth flowed pink raspberryade, except that it tasted slightly salty .. and then those concentric circles in blue and violet, trailing feathery fronds like coloured spirals in motion ... and then there was a shadow stooping over me, and my face was brushed lightly by a chin overgrown with stubble. It was that bricklayer in the white clothes. He hoisted me out and landed me like a red fish with delicate red fins sprouting from its wrists. I laid my head on his smock, and I heard the hissing of lime as my wet face slaked it, and that smell was the last thing of which I was conscious.
Bohumil Hrabal (Closely Observed Trains)
After two hours, he grew quiet, so I got off the bed and started to leave. “Wait,” he said, as he waved to me to sit back down. It took a minute or two for him to regain enough energy to talk. “I had a lot of trepidation about this project,” he finally said, referring to his decision to cooperate with this book. “I was really worried.” “Why did you do it?” I asked. “I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did. Also, when I got sick, I realized other people would write about me if I died, and they wouldn’t know anything. They’d get it all wrong. So I wanted to make sure someone heard what I had to say.” He had never, in two years, asked anything about what I was putting in the book or what conclusions I had drawn. But now he looked at me and said, “I know there will be a lot in your book I won’t like.” It was more a question than a statement, and when he stared at me for a response, I nodded, smiled, and said I was sure that would be true. “That’s good,” he said. “Then it won’t seem like an in-house book. I won’t read it for a while, because I don’t want to get mad. Maybe I will read it in a year—if I’m still around.” By then, his eyes were closed and his energy gone, so I quietly took my leave.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
He held me much closer than Carl had. His grip was firm and possessive. It left no doubt in anyone’s mind who I belonged to and that alone sent a thrill through me that I knew was wrong. He imprisoned me in the unwavering chains of his gaze, leaving me powerless to break away while he scrutinized my soul. I wondered what he was looking for. “You came.” The hand on my waist slid over the swell in my spine where it connected to the rise of my backside. His palm flattened against the spot and I was drawn even closer, eliminating what modicum of space there had been between us. My soft frame was cradled seamlessly into the unyielding length of his in all the places that counted, thighs, pelvis, stomach … breasts. I couldn’t even breathe without feeling the skim of my hardened nipples against his chest. I couldn’t move without feeling his cock reaching for me through miles of fabric to prod into my midsection. He was long and hard and I grew wet from that knowledge alone. “Gabriel…” “I couldn’t leave without having this dance with you.” My fingers tightened around his shoulder. “Why?” His quiet exhalation whispered over the curve of my cheeks, smelling of mint and despair. “Because the further away I got from you, the more it felt like if I kept driving, I would lose you for good and that scared me like nothing else.
Airicka Phoenix (The Voyeur Next Door)
Beth lay a minute thinking, and then said in her quiet way, “I don’t know how to express myself, and shouldn’t try to anyone but you, because I can’t speak out except to my Jo. I only mean to say that I have a feeling that it never was intended I should live long. I’m not like the rest of you; I never made any plans about what I’d do when I grew up; I never thought of being married, as you all did. I couldn’t seem to imagine myself anything but stupid little Beth, trotting about at home, of no use anywhere but there. I never wanted to go away, and the hard part now is the leaving you all. I’m not afraid, but it seems as if I should be homesick for you even in heaven.
Louisa May Alcott
Thus spoke the Beauty and her voice had a cheerful ring, and her face was aflame with a great rejoicing. She finished her story and began to laugh quietly, but not cheerfully. The Youth bowed down before her and silently kissed her hands, inhaling the languid fragrance of myrrh, aloe and musk which wafted from her body and her fine robes. The Beauty began to speak again. 'There came to me streams of oppressors, because my evil, poisonous beauty bewitches them. I smile at them, they who are doomed to death, and I feel pity for each of them, and some I almost loved, but I gave myself to no one. Each one I gave but one single kiss — and my kisses were innocent as the kisses of a tender sister. And whomsoever I kissed, died.' The soul of the troubled Youth was caught in agony, between two quite irresolvable passions, the terror of death and an inexpressible ecstasy. But love, conquering all, overcoming even the anguish of death's grief, was triumphant once again today. Solemnly stretching out his trembling hands to the tender and terrifying Beauty, the Youth exclaimed, 'If death is in your kiss, o beloved, let me revel in the infinity of death. Cling to me, kiss me, love me, envelop me with the sweet fragrance of your poisonous breath, death after death pour into my body and into my soul before you destroy everything that once was me!' 'You want to! You are not afraid!' exclaimed the Beauty. The face of the Beauty was pale in the rays of the lifeless moon, like a guttering candle, and the lightning in her sad and joyful eyes was trembling and blue. With a trusting movement, tender and passionate, she clung to the Youth and her naked, slender arms were entwined about his neck. 'We shall die together!' she whispered. 'We shall die together. All the poison of my heart is afire and flaming streams are rushing through my veins, and I am all enveloped in some great holocaust.' 'I am aflame!' whispered the Youth, 'I am being consumed in your embraces and you and I are two flaming fires, burning with the immense ecstasy of a poisonous love.' The sad and lifeless moon grew dim and fell in the sky — and the black night came and stood watch. It concealed the secret of love and kisses, fragrant and poisonous, with gloom and solitude. And it listened to the harmonious beating of two hearts growing quieter, and in the frail silence it watched over the final delicate sighs. And so, in the poisonous Garden, having breathed the fragrances which the Beauty breathed, and having drunk the sweetness of her love so tenderly and fatally compassionate, the beautiful Youth died. And on his breast the Beauty died, having delivered her poisonous but fragrant soul up to sweet ecstasies. ("The Poison Garden")
Valery Bryusov (Silver Age of Russian Culture (An Anthology))
Here, my man, just hold it this way, while I look into it a bit," he said one day to Fitz G., putting a wounded arm into the keeping of a sound one, and proceeding to poke about among bits of bone and visible muscles, in a red and black chasm made by some infernal machine of the shot or shell description. Poor Fitz held on like a grim Death, ashamed to show fear before a woman, till it grew more than he could bear in silence; and, after a few smothered groans,he looked at me imploringly, as if he said, "I wouldn't, ma'am, if I could help it," and fainted quietly away. Dr. P. looked up, gave a compassionate sort of cluck, and poked away more busily than ever, with a nod at me and a brief—"Never mind; be so good as to hold this till I finish." I obeyed, cherishing the while a strong desire to insinuate a few of his own disagreeable knives and scissors into him, and see how he liked it. A very disrespectful and ridiculous fancy of course; for he was doing all that could be done, and the arm prospered finely in his hands. But the human mind is prone to prejudice; and though a personable man, speaking French like a born "Parley voo," and whipping off legs like an animated guillotine, I must confess to a sense of relief when he was ordered elsewhere; and suspect that several of the men would have faced a rebel battery with less trepidation than they did Dr. P., when he came briskly in on his morning round.
Louisa May Alcott (Hospital Sketches)
They had sat in the green soft light without saying a word for a moment and then Montag talked about the weather and then the old man responded with a pale voice. It was a strange quiet meeting. The old man admitted to being a retired English professor who had been thrown out upon the world forty years ago when the last liberal arts college shut for lack of students and patronage. His name was Faber, and when he finally lost his fear of Montag, he talked in a cadenced voice, looking at the sky and the trees and the green park, and when an hour had passed he said something to Montag and Montag sensed it was a rhymeless poem. Then the old man grew even more courageous and said something else and that was a poem, too.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
All my life I thought my soul was in those cigarettes, and I never even thought about the box. I never paid any attention to that paper shell of quiet, that enclosed bit of emptiness. An empty box is a home for lost spiders you want to carry outside. It holds loose change, buttons that have fallen off, needles and thread. It works tolerably well for lipstick, eye pencil, and a bit of blush. It is open to whatever you’d like to put in it. And that is how I feel: open, careless, adaptable. Yes, life is now truly just an experiment. What can I do next? Anything. But to get here, I first had to smoke my cigarettes. What happened to me was a state change. When my soul turned from a box of cigarettes to a box, I grew up. I
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
Sloane inhaled sharply, and he relinquished control to his Therian side without any further thought. His claws came out, and his painful cry drowned out Dex’s as the tips of Sloane’s claws pierced his lover’s skin. Dex clutched at Sloane, his finger’s digging into his bicep and his jaw clenched as he tried desperately to keep himself quiet. His eyes grew glassy and red, but Sloane could see Dex fighting to keep himself from screaming. Darkness encroached Sloane’s vision, his senses sharpening. Slowly and deliberately he sliced at Dex’s arm, making sure to go deep enough to leave his mark permanently but not enough where Dex would need stitches. Sloane’s heart pounded, the scent of Dex’s blood filling his nostrils. He ground his hips against Dex as he finished leaving his mark around Dex’s forearm. As soon as he was finished, he pulled off his T-shirt and wrapped it around his partner’s bleeding arm, tying it firmly in place. His eyes landed on Dex, and he was taken aback by the heat in those amazing eyes. They clawed at each other’s clothes the best they could with Dex’s arm and Sloane’s leg. Desire and love turned into desperation, sending them both into a frenzy of need and lust. Sloane spit into his hand, making it good and wet, then wrapped it around his cock, stroking himself before he pushed a finger against Dex’s entrance. “Yes,” Dex hissed, his fingers slipping into Sloane’s hair and grabbing fistfuls of it. “Please, fuck me.” Sloane
Charlie Cochet (Rise & Fall (THIRDS, #4))
reading books over my shoulder and turning pages that I did not want turned, and having finished all of her e-mail correspondence, Carmen settles onto my shoulder, into the crook of my arm, or on my lap against my belly; she rounds her soft breast over her feet, fluffs and then unfluffs her feathers, and becomes perfectly still. Sometimes she will close her eyes; other times she will simply rest, entirely at peace. She might make a contented little sound, one I never hear from her aviary. It is a sigh-chirp, reserved for these moments of quiet snuggling. If I am still, I can feel her swift heartbeat. I will never tire of such moments. Comfort, rest, and unexpected consolation, shared so easily between two beings who grew from such seemingly different limbs of the taxonomic tree.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Mozart's Starling)
The door to Jane’s room opened quietly, and Death smiled at the sight of David entering. His smile grew as Lucifer moved away when David came to her side and lifted her out of the bed, cradling her unconscious form as he kissed her forehead and carried her out of the room. “I may have reminded him that,” Hypnos said, smiling, “sometimes, when a girl says she wants to be alone, that means: don’t let me go.” Death chuckled as they watched Lucifer vanish with a snarl. “Come,” Hypnos said again. “He will not touch her tonight.” “Thank you,” Death said quietly. Hypnos nodded, and without waiting, disappeared in a flash of white light. For a few seconds, Death could only stare at the empty doorway before he whispered, “Don’t let her go, David.” Then he, too, vanished into the darkness.
Janie Marie (The Fallen Queen (Gods & Monsters, #2))
I know I’m supposed to stand up here and say a bunch of nice things.” Mason’s voice grew serious; there was no forced lightness now. The room grew quiet. “But I can’t do that. I can say a bunch of things about what I hope for their future. I hope they continue to be happy. I hope they’ll remain faithful to each other. I hope Analise won’t start drinking because even though that’s not what her problem was, I know it might’ve helped. I hope she won’t do anything to tear this family apart. I hope one day Logan and I will enjoy coming to the house again, the place we grew up. I hope our father will one day apologize to our mother for the endless stream of mistresses. I hope Logan will have a relationship with his father, because he didn’t growing up. I hope Samantha won’t fear her mother one day. I hope you both will be welcomed at my wedding one day.” He looked at me then. “I hope you’ll both be doting grandparents to my future children, and I hope I’ll let you see them, and maybe even have unsupervised sleepovers. I hope for a lot of things.” [...] “I know this wasn’t the nicest speech, but I’m not one to be fake. My dad knows that, so he must’ve been expecting something like this. I can say a few good things. I can say that I used to hate my dad, and I don’t any longer.” He tore his eyes away to look at his father. “I don’t have as much anger at you as I did, so maybe you wanted to hear that?” Then he looked at my mother. “And Analise…” I heard a woman suck in her breath at the nearest table. “I can thank you for giving Sam space, but I want you to let her go.
Tijan (Fallen Crest Home (Fallen Crest High, #6))
In two days they began to come upon bones and cast-off apparel. They saw halfburied skeletons of mules with the bones so white and polished they seemed incandescent even in that blazing heat and they saw panniers and packsaddles and the bones of men and they saw a mule entire, the dried and blackened carcass hard as iron. They rode on. The white noon saw them through the waste like a ghost army, so pale they were with dust, like shades of figures erased upon a board. The wolves loped paler yet and grouped and skittered and lifted their lean snouts on the air. At night the horses were fed by hand from sacks of meal and watered from buckets. There was no more sickness. The survivors lay quietly in that cratered void and watched the whitehot stars go rifling down the dark. Or slept with their alien hearts beating in the sand like pilgrims exhausted upon the face of the planet Anareta, clutched to a namelessness wheeling in the night. They moved on and the iron of the wagontires grew polished bright as chrome in the pumice. To the south the blue cordilleras stood footed in their paler image on the sand like reflections in a lake and there were no wolves now. They took to riding by night, silent jornadas save for the trundling of the wagons and the wheeze of the animals. Under the moonlight a strange party of elders with the white dust thick on their moustaches and their eyebrows. They moved on and the stars jostled and arced across the firmament and died beyond the inkblack mountains. They came to know the nightskies well. Western eyes that read more geometric constructions than those names given by the ancients. Tethered to the polestar they rode the Dipper round while Orion rose in the southwest like a great electric kite. The sand lay blue in the moonlight and the iron tires of the wagons rolled among the shapes of the riders in gleaming hoops that veered and wheeled woundedly and vaguely navigational like slender astrolabes and the polished shoes of the horses kept hasping up like a myriad of eyes winking across the desert floor. They watched storms out there so distant they could not be heard, the silent lightning flaring sheetwise and the thin black spine of the mountain chain fluttering and sucked away again in the dark. They saw wild horses racing on the plain, pounding their shadows down the night and leaving in the moonlight a vaporous dust like the palest stain of their passing.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West)
...He bade his heart go to her, When the owls called out no more; In a red and quivering garment It sang to her through the door. It had grown sweet-tongued by dreaming Of a flutter of flower-like hair; But she took up her fan from the table And waved it off on the air. 'I have cap and bells,' he pondered, 'I will send them to her and die'; And when the morning whitened He left them where she went by. She laid them upon her bosom, Under a cloud of her hair, And her red lips sang them a love-song Till stars grew out of the air. She opened her door and her window, And the heart and the soul came through, To her right hand came the red one, To her left hand came the blue. They set up a noise like crickets, A chattering wise and sweet, And her hair was a folded flower And the quiet of love in her feet...
W.B. Yeats
Dog-tired" If she would come to me here Now the sunken swaths Are glittering paths To the sun, and the swallows cut clear Into the setting sun! if she came to me here! If she would come to me now, Before the last-mown harebells are dead; While that vetch-clump still burns red! Before all the bats have dropped from the bough To cool in the night; if she came to me now! The horses are untackled, the chattering machine Is still at last. If she would come We could gather up the dry hay from The hill-brow, and lie quite still, till the green Sky ceased to quiver, and lost its active sheen. I should like to drop On the hay, with my head on her knee, And lie dead still, while she Breathed quiet above me; and the crop Of stars grew silently. I should like to lie still As if I was dead; but feeling Her hand go stealing Over my face and my head, until This ache was shed.
D.H. Lawrence (Love Poems and Others)
Slow me down, Lord. Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations—of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to smile at a child, to read a few lines from a good book. Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values, that I may grow toward my greater destiny. Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upward to the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.
Chip Ingram (Overcoming Emotions that Destroy: Practical Help for Those Angry Feelings That Ruin Relationships)
Another traveling companion remembered the Rockefellers sitting at a private dining room in a Roman hotel as the paterfamilias dissected the weekly bill, trying to ascertain whether they had really consumed two whole chickens, as these slippery foreigners alleged: Mr. Rockefeller listened for a while to the discussion, and then said quietly: “I can settle that very easily. John, did you have a chicken leg?” “Yes.” “Alta, did you have a chicken leg?” “Yes.” “Well, Mother, I think I remember that you had one. Is that right?” “Yes,” said the mother. “I know that I had one, and no chicken has 3 legs. The bill is correct.” I can still see the faces of that family group and hear the tone of Mr. Rockefeller’s voice as he so quietly and so uniquely settled that dispute.59 As he grew older, Junior was deputized to handle tips and bills, which he later cited as excellent business training.
Ron Chernow (Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.)
The milk is long since out of date, the bread all has mold and I think you could start a bacterial plague with what’s in the crisper here…” “Order a pizza,” he suggested. “There’s a place down on the corner that still owes me ten pizzas, paid for in advance.” “You can’t eat pizza for breakfast!” “Why can’t I? I’ve been doing it for a week.” “You can cook,” she said accusingly. “When I’m sober,” he agreed. She glowered at him and went back to her chore. “Well, the eggs are still edible, barely, and there’s an unopened pound of bacon. I’ll make an omelet.” He collapsed into the chair at the kitchen table while she made a fresh pot of coffee and set about breaking eggs. “You look very domesticated like that,” he pointed out with a faint smile. “After we have breakfast, why don’t you come to bed with me?” She gave him a shocked glance. “I’m pregnant,” she reminded him. He nodded and laughed softly. “Yes, I know. It’s an incredible turn-on.” Her hand stopped, poised in midair with a spoon in it. “Wh…What?” “The eggs are burning,” he said pleasantly. She stirred them quickly and turned the bacon, which was frying in another pan. He thought her condition was sexy? She couldn’t believe he was serious. But apparently he was, because he watched her so intently over breakfast that she doubted if he knew what he was eating. “Mr. Hutton told the curator of the museum in Tennessee that I wasn’t coming back, and he paid off the rent on my house there,” she said. “I don’t even have a home to go to…” “Yes, you do,” he said quietly. “I’m your home. I always have been.” She averted her eyes to her plate and hated the quick tears that her condition prompted. Her fists clenched. “And here we are again,” she said huskily. “Where?” he asked. She drew in a harsh breath. “You’re taking responsibility for me, out of duty.” He leaned back in his chair. The robe came away from his broad, bronzed chest as he stared at her. “Not this time,” he replied with a voice so tender that it made ripples right through her heart. “This time, it’s out of love, Cecily.” Cecily doubted her own ears. She couldn’t have heard Tate saying that he wanted to take care of her because he loved her. He wasn’t teasing. His face was almost grim. “I know,” he said. “You don’t believe it. But it’s true, just the same.” He searched her soft, shocked green eyes. “I loved you when you were seventeen, Cecily, but I thought I had nothing to offer you except an affair.” He sighed heavily. “It was never completely for the reasons I told you, that I didn’t want to get married. It was my mother’s marriage. It warped me. It’s taken this whole scandal to make me realize that a good marriage is nothing like the one I grew up watching. I had to see my mother and Matt together before I understood what marriage could be.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
When we experienced anger, we had to stuff it, camouflage it or deny it. In essence, we held on to it. That anger grew with us into habits, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and decisions. Anger makes us anxious and impatient. Angry people are, “See, I told you so!” people. They can also be, “I knew this would happen!” people. They are always looking for reasons to be angry and ways to express the anger they have been holding. If you feel left out, unnoticed, unappreciated or you feel the need to prove yourself, chances are you have some unexpressed childhood anger. If you love to compete and hate to lose, if you are a yeller, a hitter and perhaps a drinker, it may be time for you to deal with your anger Until today, you may not have realized you were angry or understood why you are angry. Just for today, set an intention to heal any unexpressed anger that may be present in your life. Go to a quiet place with pen and paper.
Iyanla Vanzant (Until Today!: Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind (New York))
Hullo,” he said sleepily, rubbing a hand along his jaw. He’s here in my room, right in the middle of the afternoon. Great God, there’s a boy in my bed in my room- I came to life. “Get out!” He yawned, a lazy yawn, a yawn that clearly indicated he had no intention of leaving. In the moody gray light his body seemed a mere suggestion against the covers, his hair a shaded smudge against the paler lines of his collar and face. “But I’ve been waiting for you for over an hour up here, and bloody boring it’s been, too. I’ve never known a girl who didn’t keep even mildly wicked reading material hidden somewhere in her bedchamber. I’ve had to pass the time watching the spiders crawl across your ceiling.” Voices floated up from downstairs, a maids’ conversation about rags and soapy water sounding horribly loud, and horribly close. I shut the door as gently as I could and pressed my back against it, my mind racing. No lock, no bolt, no key, no way to keep them out if they decided to come up… Armand shifted a bit, rearranging the pillows behind his shoulders. I wet my lips. “If this is about the kiss-“ “No.” He gave a slight shrug. “I mean, it wasn’t meant to be. But if you’d like-“ “You can’t be in here!” “And yet, Eleanor, here I am. You know, I remember this room from when I used to live in the castle as a boy. It was a storage chamber, I believe. All the shabby, cast-off things tossed up here where no one had to look at them.” He stretched out long and lazy again, arms overhead, his shirt pulling tight across his chest. “This mattress really isn’t very comfortable, is it? Hark as a rock. No wonder you’re so ill-tempered.” Dark power. Compel him to leave. I was desperate enough to try. “You must go,” I said. Miraculously, I felt it working. I willed it and it happened, the magic threading through my tone as sly as silk, deceptively subtle. “Now. If anyone sees you, were never here. You never saw me. Go downstairs, and do not mention my name.” Armand sat up, his gaze abruptly intent. One of the pillows plopped on the floor. “That was interesting, how your voice just changed. Got all smooth and eerie. I think I have goose bumps. Was that some sort of technique they taught you at the orphanage? Is it useful for begging?” Blast. I tipped my head back against the wood of the door and clenched my teeth. “Do you have any idea the trouble I’ll be in if they should find you here? What people will think?” “Oh, yes. It rather gives me the advantage, doesn’t it?” “Mrs. Westcliffe will expel me!” “Nonsense.” He smiled. “All right, probably she will.” “Just tell me that you want, then!” His lashes dropped; his smile grew more dry. He ran a hand slowly along a crease of quilt by his thigh. “All I want,” he said quietly, “is to talk. “Then pay a call on me later this afternoon,” I hissed. “No.” “What, you don’t have the time to tear yourself away from your precious Chloe?” I hadn’t meant to say that, and, believe me, as soon as the words left my lips I regretted them. They made me sound petty and jealous, and I was certain I was neither. Reasonably certain.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
The one tree in Francie’s yard was neither a pine nor a hemlock. It had pointed leaves which grew along green switches which radiated from the bough and made a tree which looked like a lot of opened green umbrellas. Some people called it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the tenements districts. You took a walk on a Sunday afternoon and came to a nice neighborhood, very refined. You saw a small one of these trees through the iron gate leading to someone’s yard and you knew that soon that section of Brooklyn would get to be a tenement district. The tree knew. It came there first. Afterwards, poor foreigners seeped in and the quiet old brownstone houses were hacked up into flats, feather beds were pushed out on the window sills to air and the Tree of Heaven flourished. That was the kind of tree it was. It liked poor people. That
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
It may not have been directly related to my fears for Chris when he was gone, but I grew more apprehensive about being alone with the children in the house. We lived in a relatively quiet suburb, and yet-what would I do if there was an intruder? Before we had kids, the answer was simple: I’d hide or run away. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, even a thief. But now that I had children my attitude changed: Take one step inside my house and I will put a bullet through your skull. One day after he’d returned home from the Ramadi deployment, Chris and I went down to a gun range. As he showed me some of the basics, I started asking questions. And more questions. And more after that. Why this, and why that. “Really?” he said finally. “Are you challenging what I said?” “No, no,” I tried to explain. “I just want to know everything about it.” Maybe husbands shouldn’t teach wives about certain things, and vice versa. I did eventually get pretty good with a gun-but that was after enlisting a friend of Chris’s to help teach me. Somehow those sessions were a little easier.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
When these children grew older and applied to college and later for their first jobs, they faced the same standards of gregariousness. University admissions officers looked not for the most exceptional candidates, but for the most extroverted. Harvard’s provost Paul Buck declared in the late 1940s that Harvard should reject the “sensitive, neurotic” type and the “intellectually over-stimulated” in favor of boys of the “healthy extrovert kind.” In 1950, Yale’s president, Alfred Whitney Griswold, declared that the ideal Yalie was not a “beetle-browed, highly specialized intellectual, but a well-rounded man.” Another dean told Whyte that “in screening applications from secondary schools he felt it was only common sense to take into account not only what the college wanted, but what, four years later, corporations’ recruiters would want. ‘They like a pretty gregarious, active type,’ he said. ‘So we find that the best man is the one who’s had an 80 or 85 average in school and plenty of extracurricular activity. We see little use for the “brilliant” introvert.’ 
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Hoover’s greatest challenge was one of the least visible: the humble screw thread. Screws, nuts, and bolts are universal fasteners. They function in industrial societies, as one writer put it, like salt and pepper “sprinkled on practically every conceivable kind of apparatus.” Yet every such society encounters, early on, the vexing problem of incompatible screw threads. Different screws have different measurements, including the thread angles. If those don’t line up between the males and the females, you are, so to speak, screwed. .... Screw thread incompatibilities grew even more worrisome with the advent of cars and planes—complex vibrating objects whose failure could mean death. The problem had hobbled the armed forces in the First World War, which led Congress to appoint a National Screw Thread Commission. Still, it took years, until 1924, before the first national screw thread standard was finally published. It wasn’t a big-splash innovation like the Model T or the airplane, but that hard-won screw thread standard quietly accelerated the economy nonetheless.
Daniel Immerwahr (How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States)
In front of the mound: a mile of naked strangers. In groups of twenty, like smokes, they are directed to the other side by a man with a truncheon and a whip. It will not help to ink in his face. Several men with barrows collect clothes. There are young women still with attractive breasts. There are family groups, many small children crying quietly, tears oozing from their eyes like sweat. In whispers people comfort one another. Soon, they say. Soon. No one wails and no one begs. Arms mingle with other arms like fallen limbs, lie like shawls across bony shoulders. A loose gray calm descends. It will be soon . . . soon. A grandmother coos at the infant she cuddles, her gray hair hiding all but the feet. The baby giggles when it’s chucked. A father speaks earnestly to his son and points at the heavens where surely there is an explanation; it is doubtless their true destination. The color of the sky cannot be colored in. So the son is lied to right up to the last. Father does not cup his boy’s wet cheeks in his hands and say, You shall die, my son, and never be remembered. The little salamander you were frightened of at first, and grew to love and buried in the garden, the long walk to school your legs learned, what shape our daily life, our short love, gave you, the meaning of your noisy harmless games, every small sensation that went to make your eager and persistent gazing will be gone; not simply the butterflies you fancied, or the bodies you yearned to see uncovered—look, there they are: the inner thighs, the nipples, pubes—or what we all might have finally gained from the toys you treasured, the dreams you peopled, but especially your scarcely budded eyes, and that rich and gentle quality of consciousness which I hoped one day would have been uniquely yours like the most subtle of flavors—the skin, the juice, the sweet pulp of a fine fruit—well, son, your possibilities, as unrealized as the erections of your penis—in a moment—soon—will be ground out like a burnt wet butt beneath a callous boot and disappear in the dirt. Only our numbers will be remembered—not that you or I died, but that there were so many of us. And that we were.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
A late arrival had the impression of lots of loud people unnecessarily grouped within a smoke-blue space between two mirrors gorged with reflections. Because, I suppose, Cynthia wished to be the youngest in the room, the women she used to invite, married or single, were, at the best, in their precarious forties; some of them would bring from their homes, in dark taxis, intact vestiges of good looks, which, however, they lost as the party progressed. It has always amazed me - the capacity sociable weekend revelers have of finding almost at once, by a purely empiric but very precise method, a common denominator of drunkenness, to which everybody loyally sticks before descending, all together, to the next level. The rich friendliness of the matrons was marked by tomboyish overtones, while the fixed inward look of amiably tight men was like a sacrilegious parody of pregnancy. Although some of the guests were connected in one way or another with the arts, there was no inspired talk, no wreathed, elbow-propped heads, and of course no flute girls. From some vantage point where she had been sitting in a stranded mermaid pose on the pale carpet with one or two younger fellows, Cynthia, her face varnished with a film of beaming sweat, would creep up on her knees, a proffered plate of nuts in one hand, and crisply tap with the other the athletic leg of Cochran or Corcoran, an art dealer, ensconced, on a pearl-grey sofa, between two flushed, happily disintegrating ladies. At a further stage there would come spurts of more riotous gaiety. Corcoran or Coransky would grab Cynthia or some other wandering woman by the shoulder and lead her into a corner to confront her with a grinning imbroglio of private jokes and rumors, whereupon, with a laugh and a toss of her head, he would break away. And still later there would be flurries of intersexual chumminess, jocular reconciliations, a bare fleshy arm flung around another woman's husband (he standing very upright in the midst of a swaying room), or a sudden rush of flirtatious anger, of clumsy pursuit-and the quiet half smile of Bob Wheeler picking up glasses that grew like mushrooms in the shade of chairs. ("The Vane Sisters")
Vladimir Nabokov (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
You haven’t said what happened with you and Kavinsky that night after I left.” “Oh. We broke up.” “You broke up,” he repeats, his face blank. That’s when I notice Kitty lurking in the doorway like a little spy. “What do you want, Kitty?” “Um…is there any red pepper hummus left?” she asks. “I don’t know--go check.” John is wide-eyed. “This is your little sister?” To Kitty he says, “The last time I saw you, you were still a little kid.” “Yeah, I grew up,” she says, not even a little bit nicely. I throw her a look. “Be polite to our guest.” Kitty turns on her heels and runs upstairs. “Sorry about my sister. She’s really close with Peter and she gets crazy ideas…” “Crazy ideas?” John repeats. I could slap myself. “Yeah, I mean, she thinks that something’s going on with us. But obviously there isn’t, and you don’t, like, like me like that, so, yeah, it’s crazy.” Like, why do I speak? Why did God give me a mouth if I’m just going to say dumb stuff with it? It’s so quiet I open my mouth to say more dumb stuff, but then he says, “Well…it’s not that crazy.” “Right! I mean, I didn’t mean crazy--” My mouth snaps shut, and I stare straight ahead.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Given our present physical reality and limited awareness, it is difficult to see how God is an integral and intimate portion of our being and how we are a portion of God’s being. God is with us, and this naturally showers us with God’s grace. Ezekiel revealed this when he searched for God, after he had gotten himself in trouble with the authorities and began to feel that he was alone in his quest, and grew weary of his mission. At first, Ezekiel searched for God in the things of power in the earth—thunder, lightning, fire, and earthquake—but not finding God in these, he became quiet and wrapped himself in his cloak, and there, within himself, he heard a “still, small voice.” At last, there was God’s presence. God had been with him the whole time. In Psalm 46 God instructed the psalmist to “be still, and know that I am God.” In Luke 17:11, Jesus taught, “the kingdom of God is within you.” In Exodus 3:14, when Moses asked God for His name, God replied, “I am that I am,” indicating that the great I AM is in that portion of us that has a sense of “I am.” The great I AM and the little I am are one. Our little consciousness is a portion of the vast Universal Consciousness that is God’s mind.
John Van Auken (From Karma to Grace: The Power of the Fruits of the Spirit)
There's history books you haven't read," Harry said quietly. "There's books you haven't read yet, Hermione, and they might give you a sense of perspective. A few centuries earlier - I think it was definitely still around in the seventeenth century - it was a popular village entertainment to take a wicker basket, or a bundle, with a dozen live cats in it, and -" "Stop," she said. "- roast it over a bonfire. Just a regular celebration. Good clean fun. And I'll give them this, it was cleaner fun than burning women they thought were witches. Because the way people are built, Hermione, the way people are built to feel inside -" Harry put a hand over his own heart, in the anatomically correct position, then paused and moved his hand up to point toward his head at around the ear level, "- is that they hurt when they see their friends hurting. Someone inside their circle of concern, a member of their own tribe. That feeling has an off-switch, an off-switch labeled 'enemy' or 'foreigner' or sometimes just 'stranger'. That's how people are, if they don't learn otherwise. So, no, it does not indicate that Draco Malfoy was inhuman or even unusually evil, if he grew up believing that it was fun to hurt his enemies -
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Theseus Within the Labyrinth pt.2 But nobody like Theseus likes a smart girl, always telling him to dress warmly and eat plenty of fiber. She was one of those people who are never in doubt. Had he sharpened his sword, tied his sandals? Without her, of course, he would have never escaped the labyrinth. Why hadn’t he thought of that trick with the ball of yarn? But as he looked down at her sleeping form, this woman who was already carrying his child, maybe he thought of their future together, how she would correctly foretell the mystery or banality behind each locked door. So probably he shook his head and said, Give me a dumb girl any day, and crept back to his ship and sailed away. Of course Ariadne was revenged. She would have told him to change the sails, to take down the black ones, put up the white. She would have reminded him that his father, the king of Athens, was waiting on a high cliff scanning the Aegean for Theseus’s returning ship, white for victory, black for defeat. She would have said how his father would see the black sails, how the grief for the supposed death of his one son would destroy him. But Theseus and his men had brought out the wine and were cruising a calm sea in a small boat filled to the brim with ex-virgins. Who could have blamed him? Until he heard the distant scream and his head shot up to see the black sails and he knew. The girls disappeared, the ship grew quiet except for the lap-lap of the water. Staring toward the spot where his father had tumbled headfirst into the Aegean, Theseus understood he would always be a stupid man with a thick stick, scratching his forehead long after the big event. But think, does he change his mind, turn back the ship, hunt up Ariadne and beg her pardon? Far better to be stupid by himself than smart because she’d been tugging on his arm; better to live in the eternal present with a boatload of ex-virgins than in that dark land of consequences promised by Ariadne, better to live like any one of us, thinking to outwit the darkness, but knowing it will catch us, that we will be surprised like the Minotaur on his couch when the door slams back and the hired gun of our personal destruction bursts upon us, upsetting the good times and scaring the girls. Better to be ignorant, to go into the future as into a long tunnel, without ball of yarn or clear direction, to tiptoe forward like any fool or saint or hero, jumpy, full of second thoughts, and bravely unprepared.
Stephen Dobyns (Velocities: New and Selected Poems, 1966-1992)
The words seemed, as I spoke, to be my own thoughts that I owed to no one, only to some memory in my soul; but when I looked beyond the Stadium, to where they were kindling the lights on the High City in the falling dark, I saw the lamps of Samos shine through a doorway, and the wine-cup standing on the table of scoured wood. Then the pain of loss leaped out on me, like a knife in the night when one has been on one’s guard all day. The world grew hollow, a place of shadows; yet none would hold out the cup of Lethe to let me drink. “No,” I thought, “I would not drink it. For here he lives in the thing we made: the boys down there, dancing for Zeus; people watching in freedom, their thoughts upon their faces; this silly old man speaking his mind, such as it is, with none to threaten him; and Sokrates saying among his friends, ‘We shall either find what we are seeking, or free ourselves from the persuasion that we know what we do not know.’” I looked down the benches, and saw him in conversation with the wine-seller, from whom Chairophon was buying a round. The flambeaux had been kindled ready for the race, showing me his old Silenos mask, and Plato and Phaedo laughing. I touched the ring on my finger, saying within me, “Sleep quietly, Lysis. All is well.
Mary Renault (The Last of the Wine)
Jack renovated the cabin without being asked, while I stayed at Doc’s house,” Mel said. “About the time I was going to make a break for it, he showed it to me. I said I’d give it a few more days. Then my first delivery occurred and I realized I should give the place a chance. There’s something about a successful delivery in a place like Virgin River where there’s no backup, no anesthesia… Just me and Mom… It’s indescribable.” “Then there’s Jack,” Brie said. “Jack,” Mel repeated. “I don’t know when I’ve met a kinder, stronger, more generous man. Your brother is wonderful, Brie. He’s amazing. Everyone in Virgin River loves him.” “My brother is in love with you,” Brie said. Mel shouldn’t have been shocked. Although he hadn’t said the words, she already knew it. Felt it. At first she thought he was just a remarkable lover, but soon she realized that he couldn’t touch her that way without an emotional investment, as well as a physical one. He gave her everything he had—and not just in the bedroom. It was in her mind to tell Brie—I’m a recent widow! I need time to digest this! I don’t feel free yet—free to accept another man’s love! Her cheeks grew warm and she said nothing. “I realize I’m biased, but when a man like Jack loves a woman, it’s a great honor.” “I agree,” Mel said quietly. *
Robyn Carr (Virgin River (Virgin River, #1))
Finny is running too fast to stop; he trips and flips head over heels. Next to me, my mother gasps. I realize it looks like he landed on his neck. My heart stops. I am ten years old again, and I cannot imagine life without him. “I’m okay,” I hear Finny shout, but from this far away, his voice is quiet; if it were not a voice that I knew so well, then I wouldn’t have heard it. The coaches and refs run across the field and crowd around him. I can’t see him anymore, but I can imagine the race of his breathing and I can guess at the pounding of his heart under his ribs. I know the scars on his knees and the cowlick on the back of his head. I’ve tried to pretend I don’t, but I can’t pretend anymore. I know what I am feeling. I know that it is real, and in this moment, there is nothing else in me but this knowledge. I’m in love with Finny. The crowd moves away, and I see Finny stand cautiously. He looks up at the bleachers, and I know when he finds my mother and me, because he raises his hand in a wave, letting us know that he is okay. I’ve loved him my whole life, and somewhere along the way, that love didn’t change but grew. It grew to fill the parts of me that I did not have when I was a child. It grew with every new longing in my body and desire in my heart until there was not a piece of me that did not love him. And when I look at him, there is no other feeling in me.
Laura Nowlin (If He Had Been with Me)
His phone dinged again. “This crazy-ass voicemail. It’s all jacked—Wait, when did you call me?” “Please don’t listen to that,” I blurted. He grinned. “Okay, now I have to hear it. Was this last night? Were you drunk? Did you drunk-dial me?” he teased. But it was too late, he’d already lifted the phone. Bile rose in my throat and the room became a thousand degrees hotter. “Please. Don’t.” “Why? What’s wrong?” He grew quiet and listened. “I don’t hear anything. Wait. You didn’t mean to call, did you? Is that another guy?” I put my face in my hands. Cade was quiet as he listened. And I prayed for a giant black hole to open and swallow me. His phone made a soft thump as he tossed it onto the coffee table. The couch moved with him as he settled back. “You can uncover your face now.” His tone didn’t sound angry but I still couldn’t face him. His hands slid around my wrists and gently tugged, forcing me to lower them. I swallowed the lump in my throat, annoyed that I didn’t even have my own car to leave. “Was that your roommate?” he asked. I nodded, my face still tucked down. “And…her boyfriend?” “No, her best friend.” “So you told your roommate about me?” I could hear the smile in his voice and looked up. “I mean, I assume you don’t know a bunch of ‘therapy dog’ guys named Cade, but I could be wrong.” “You aren’t pissed about what you heard?” “All I heard were some friends teasing you…about me. They think you want me. Bad.” He grinned. “And what I said?” “Were you serious? Because to me you sounded annoyed, maybe even defensive. And considering you stayed home last night and are with me tonight, I don’t think you really planned a, how did you put it? ‘Weekend fuckfest.’ ” He bit back a smile. “You were never supposed to hear that.” I crossed my arms. “And I expected you to be upset, not tease me about it.” He grabbed my hand. “C’mon, I’m sorry. Did you want to have a weekend fuckfest? I don’t want to interfere with your plans.” He tugged my hand, urging me to look up. “Look, we can have one. I’m game. Don’t stop on account of me.” “Shut up.” His hand made its way to my arm and he slid me along the leather couch, and tucked me into him. “Quit being all grumpy. I’m RSVPing to your fuckfest. I mean, I’ve never had one, but it seems pretty self-explanatory.” “You’re an asshole.” And by that I really meant the most perfect fucking guy ever. Who hears something like that and plays it totally cool? “So, am I also supposed to bend you over a table or something? Because I think your roommate might have mentioned that as well.” I shoved him back while trying hard not to smile. “I hate you.” He laughed and scooped me into his lap. “If it makes you feel any better, my roommate knows I have the hots for you too.” I rolled my eyes
Renita Pizzitola (Just a Little Flirt (Crush, #2))
These pastries are gorgeous colors," she said. "I didn't even know I liked green, but I do. It reminds me of her. I keep thinking of her grandparents' house in India. My mother and aunt grew up in the city, but their grandparents grew coffee on a plantation a few hours away. Have you ever heard of Coorg? It's this region in the south of India where people grow tea and coffee, and they have the most beautiful forests, and we used to go there every year when I was little. My mother would take me out to show me the coffee blossoms and the tigers in the forests. It was always so green there, and the air always felt like rain. And now it's raining here and it's all just wet and cold and I'm scared that-" She broke off. "I don't know. Sorry. I'm probably not making much sense." Lila was quiet for a moment, and then she said, "What are you scared of?" Anna shook her head. She couldn't shape the words, and she wasn't sure she could say them to someone she had only just met anyway. To distract herself, she took a bite of one of the pan dulce Lila had given her. It almost melted in her mouth, moist and sweet and perfectly crumbly. "This is amazing," she said. Lila beamed. "I'm glad you like it." Another bite, another taste. Lila continued to swing gently, back and forth, in an oddly soothing rhythm. The taste of the pan dulce on Anna's tongue felt soft, comforting, like a friend holding her hand.
Sangu Mandanna (Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love)
Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment. "You are right, Heidi; it is a beautiful tale," he replied, but he looked so grave as he said it that Heidi grew silent herself and sat looking quietly at her pictures. Presently she pushed her book gently in front of him and said, "See how happy he is there," and she pointed with her finger to the figure of the returned prodigal, who was standing by his father clad in fresh raiment as one of his own sons again. A few hours later, as Heidi lay fast asleep in her bed, the grandfather went up the ladder and put his lamp down near her bed so that the light fell on the sleeping child. Her hands were still folded as if she had fallen asleep saying her prayers, an expression of peace and trust lay on the little face, and something in it seemed to appeal to the grandfather, for he stood a long time gazing down at her without speaking. At last he too folded his hands, and with bowed head said in a low voice, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am not worthy to be called thy son." And two large tears rolled down the old man's cheeks. Early the next morning he stood in front of his hut and gazed quietly around him. The fresh bright morning sun lay on mountain and valley. The sound of a few early bells rang up from the valley, and the birds were singing their morning song in the fir trees. He stepped back into the hut and called up, "Come along, Heidi! the sun is up! Put on your best frock, for we are going to church together!" Heidi was not long getting ready; it was such an unusual summons from her grandfather that she must make haste. She put on her smart Frankfurt dress and soon went down, but when she saw her grandfather she stood still, gazing at him in astonishment. "Why, grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I never saw you look like that before! and the coat with the silver buttons! Oh, you do look nice in your Sunday coat!" The old man smiled and replied, "And you too; now come along!" He took Heidi's hand in his and together they walked down the mountain side. The bells were ringing in every direction now, sounding louder and fuller as they neared the valley, and Heidi listened to them with delight. "Hark at them, grandfather! it's like a great festival!" The congregation had already assembled and the singing had begun when Heidi and her grandfather entered the church at Dorfli and sat down at the back. But before the hymn was over every one was nudging his neighbor and whispering, "Do you see? Alm-Uncle is in church!" Soon everybody in the church knew of Alm-Uncle's presence, and the women kept on turning round to look and quite lost their place in the singing. But everybody became more attentive when the sermon began, for the preacher spoke with such warmth and thankfulness that those present felt the effect of his words, as if some great joy had come to them all.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi)
It was a gorgeous evening, with a breeze shimmering through the trees, people strolling hand in hand through the quaint streets and the plaza. The shops, bistros and restaurants were abuzz with patrons. She showed him where the farmer's market took place every Saturday, and pointed out her favorite spots- the town library, a tasting room co-op run by the area vintners, the Brew Ha-Ha and the Rose, a vintage community theater. On a night like this, she took a special pride in Archangel, with its cheerful spirit and colorful sights. She refused to let the Calvin sighting drag her down. He had ruined many things for her, but he was not going to ruin the way she felt about her hometown. After some deliberation, she chose Andaluz, her favorite spot for Spanish-style wines and tapas. The bar spilled out onto the sidewalk, brightened by twinkling lights strung under the big canvas umbrellas. The tables were small, encouraging quiet intimacy and insuring that their knees would bump as they scooted their chairs close. She ordered a carafe of local Mataro, a deep, strong red from some of the oldest vines in the county, and a plancha of tapas- deviled dates, warm, marinated olives, a spicy seared tuna with smoked paprika. Across the way in the plaza garden, the musician strummed a few chords on his guitar. The food was delicious, the wine even better, as elemental and earthy as the wild hills where the grapes grew. They finished with sips of chocolate-infused port and cinnamon churros. The guitar player was singing "The Keeper," his gentle voice seeming to float with the breeze.
Susan Wiggs (The Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2))
I have had so many Dwellings, Nat, that I know these Streets as well as a strowling Beggar: I was born in this Nest of Death and Contagion and now, as they say, I have learned to feather it. When first I was with Sir Chris. I found lodgings in Phenix Street off Hogg Lane, close by St Giles and Tottenham Fields, and then in later times I was lodged at the corner of Queen Street and Thames Street, next to the Blew Posts in Cheapside. (It is still there, said Nat stirring up from his Seat, I have passed it!) In the time before the Fire, Nat, most of the buildings in London were made of timber and plaister, and stones were so cheap that a man might have a cart-load of them for six-pence or seven-pence; but now, like the Aegyptians, we are all for Stone. (And Nat broke in, I am for Stone!) The common sort of People gawp at the prodigious Rate of Building and exclaim to each other London is now another City or that House was not there Yesterday or the Situacion of the Streets is quite Changd (I contemn them when they say such things! Nat adds). But this Capital City of the World of Affliction is still the Capitol of Darknesse, or the Dungeon of Man's Desires: still in the Centre are no proper Streets nor Houses but a Wilderness of dirty rotten Sheds, allways tumbling or takeing Fire, with winding crooked passages, lakes of Mire and rills of stinking Mud, as befits the smokey grove of Moloch. (I have heard of that Gentleman, says Nat all a quiver). It is true that in what we call the Out-parts there are numberless ranges of new Buildings: in my old Black-Eagle Street, Nat, tenements have been rais'd and where my Mother and Father stared without understanding at their Destroyer (Death! he cryed) new-built Chambers swarm with life. But what a Chaos and Confusion is there: meer fields of Grass give way to crooked Passages and quiet Lanes to smoking Factors, and these new Houses, commonly built by the London workmen, are often burning and frequently tumbling down (I saw one, says he, I saw one tumbling!). Thus London grows more Monstrous, Straggling and out of all Shape: in this Hive of Noise and Ignorance, Nat, we are tyed to the World as to a sensible Carcasse and as we cross the stinking Body we call out What News? or What's a clock? And thus do I pass my Days a stranger to mankind. I'll not be a Stander-by, but you will not see me pass among them in the World. (You will disquiet your self, Master, says Nat coming towards me). And what a World is it, of Tricking and Bartering, Buying and Selling, Borrowing and Lending, Paying and Receiving; when I walk among the Piss and Sir-reverence of the Streets I hear, Money makes the old Wife trot, Money makes the Mare to go (and Nat adds, What Words won't do, Gold will). What is their God but shineing Dirt and to sing its Devotions come the Westminster-Hall-whores, the Charing-cross whores, the Whitehall whores, the Channel-row whores, the Strand whores, the Fleet Street whores, the Temple-bar whores; and they are followed in the same Catch by the Riband weavers, the Silver-lace makers, the Upholsterers, the Cabinet-makers, Watermen, Carmen, Porters, Plaisterers, Lightemen, Footmen, Shopkeepers, Journey-men... and my Voice grew faint through the Curtain of my Pain.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
Besides, I know you loved my Lucy . . ." Here he turned away and covered his face with his hands. I could hear the tears in his voice. Mr. Morris, with instinctive delicacy, just laid a hand for a moment on his shoulder, and then walked quietly out of the room. I suppose there is something in a woman's nature that makes a man free to break down before her and express his feelings on the tender or emotional side without feeling it derogatory to his manhood. For when Lord Godalming found himself alone with me he sat down on the sofa and gave way utterly and openly. I sat down beside him and took his hand. I hope he didn't think it forward of me, and that if her ever thinks of it afterwards he never will have such a thought. There I wrong him. I know he never will. He is too true a gentleman.I said to him, for I could see that his heart was breaking, "I loved dear Lucy, and I know what she was to you, and what you were to her. She and I were like sisters, and now she is gone, will you not let me be like a sister to you in your trouble? I know what sorrows you have had, though I cannot measure the depth of them. If sympathy and pity can help in your affliction, won't you let me be of some little service, for Lucy's sake?" In an instant the poor dear fellow was overwhelmed with grief. It seemed to me that all that he had of late been suffering in silence found a vent at once. He grew quite hysterical,and raising his open hands, beat his palms together in a perfect agony of grief. He stood up and then sat down again, and the tears rained down his cheeks. I felt an infinite pity for him, and opened my arms unthinkingly. With a sob he laid his head on my shoulder and cried like a wearied child, whilst he shook with emotion. We women have something of the mother in us that makes us rise above smaller matters when the mother spirit is invoked. I felt this big sorrowing man's head resting on me, as though it were that of a baby that some day may lie on my bosom, and I stroked his hair as though he were my own child. I never thought at the time how strange it all was. After a little bit his sobs ceased, and he raised himself with an apology, though he made no disguise of his emotion. He told me that for days and nights past, weary days and sleepless nights, he had been unable to speak with any one, as a man must speak in his time of sorrow. There was no woman whose sympathy could be given to him, or with whom, owing to the terrible circumstance with which his sorrow was surrounded, he could speak freely. "I know now how I suffered," he said, as he dried his eyes, "but I do not know even yet, and none other can ever know, how much your sweet sympathy has been to me today. I shall know better in time, and believe me that, though I am not ungrateful now, my gratitude will grow with my understanding. You will let me be like a brother, will you not, for all our lives, for dear Lucy's sake?" "For dear Lucy's sake," I said as we clasped hands."Ay, and for your own sake," he added, "for if a man's esteem and gratitude are ever worth the winning, you have won mine today. If ever the future should bring to you a time when you need a man's help,believe me, you will not call in vain. God grant that no such time may ever come to you to break the sunshine of your life, but if it should ever come, promise me that you will let me know." He was so earnest, and his sorrow was so fresh, that I felt it would comfort him, so I said, "I promise.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
The cuisine of Northern Iran, overlooked and underrated, is unlike most Persian food in that it's unfussy and lighthearted as the people from that region. The fertile seaside villages of Mazandaran and Rasht, where Soli grew up before moving to the congested capital, were lush with orchards and rice fields. His father had cultivated citrus trees and the family was raised on the fruits and grains they harvested. Alone in the kitchen, without Zod's supervision, he found himself turning to the wholesome food of his childhood, not only for the comfort the simple compositions offered, but because it was what he knew so well as he set about preparing a homecoming feast for Zod's only son. He pulled two kilos of fava beans from the freezer. Gathered last May, shucked and peeled on a quiet afternoon, they defrosted in a colander for a layered frittata his mother used to make with fistfuls of dill and sprinkled with sea salt. One flat of pale green figs and a bushel of new harvest walnuts were tied to the back of his scooter, along with two crates of pomegranates- half to squeeze for fresh morning juice and the other to split and seed for rice-and-meatball soup. Three fat chickens pecked in the yard, unaware of their destiny as he sharpened his cleaver. Tomorrow they would braise in a rich, tangy stew with sour red plums, their hearts and livers skewered and grilled, then wrapped in sheets of lavash with bouquets of tarragon and mint. Basmati rice soaked in salted water to be steamed with green garlic and mounds of finely chopped parsley and cilantro, then served with a whole roasted, eight kilo white fish stuffed with barberries, pistachios, and lime. On the farthest burner, whole bitter oranges bobbed in blossom syrup, to accompany rice pudding, next to a simmering pot of figs studded with cardamom pods for preserves.
Donia Bijan (The Last Days of Café Leila)
Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world, when day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry asea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast. We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. In the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always justice. And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one. And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man. And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true. That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried that will forever be tied together victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division. Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid. If we’re to live up to her own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made. That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare. It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a forest that would shatter our nation rather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. This effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith we trust for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption. We feared it at its inception. We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves so while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe? Now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us? We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be a country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright. So let us leave behind a country better than one we were left with. Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West. We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the Lake Rim cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile and recover in every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful. When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough.
Amanda Gorman
Mattis and Gary Cohn had several quiet conversations about The Big Problem: The president did not understand the importance of allies overseas, the value of diplomacy or the relationship between the military, the economy and intelligence partnerships with foreign governments. They met for lunch at the Pentagon to develop an action plan. One cause of the problem was the president’s fervent belief that annual trade deficits of about $500 billion harmed the American economy. He was on a crusade to impose tariffs and quotas despite Cohn’s best efforts to educate him about the benefits of free trade. How could they convince and, in their frank view, educate the president? Cohn and Mattis realized they were nowhere close to persuading him. The Groundhog Day–like meetings on trade continued and the acrimony only grew. “Let’s get him over here to the Tank,” Mattis proposed. The Tank is the Pentagon’s secure meeting room for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It might focus him. “Great idea,” Cohn said. “Let’s get him out of the White House.” No press; no TVs; no Madeleine Westerhout, Trump’s personal secretary, who worked within shouting distance of the Oval Office. There wouldn’t even be any looking out the window, because there were no windows in the Tank. Getting Trump out of his natural environment could do the trick. The idea was straight from the corporate playbook—a retreat or off-site meeting. They would get Trump to the Tank with his key national security and economic team to discuss worldwide strategic relations. Mattis and Cohn agreed. Together they would fight Trump on this. Trade wars or disruptions in the global markets could savage and undermine the precarious stability in the world. The threat could spill over to the military and intelligence community. Mattis couldn’t understand why the U.S. would want to pick a fight with allies, whether it was NATO, or friends in the Middle East, or Japan—or particularly with South Korea.
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
It was a roadblock, manned by an officer and several other soldiers. Sivaram and the trishaw driver were ordered out of the vehicle, and I was told to stay where I was. The soldiers held their rifl es aimed and ready as the offi cer interrogated the trishaw driver, a Muslim man, who fumbled out his documents. He was soon allowed to get back in his trishaw. When it was Sivaram’s turn, he just stood there, completely quiet. After several questions, the offi cer started screaming at him. Then he ordered his soldiers to take him, and gestured for the trishaw driver to go on. Without thinking, I jumped out of the trishaw. I was a visiting professor at Colombo University and he was one of my students, I lied, approaching them. I threatened to call the American Embassy if they arrested my ‘student.’ The offi cer yelled, in English, for me to come no closer, to get back in the trishaw. Then he barked an order, and one of the soldiers lifted his rifl e and aimed it directly at my head. I kept babbling on about the embassy, but even I did not hear myself. All I could see was that hole at the end of the rifl e and, above it, the sweaty face and very frightened eyes of the soldier. He looked very young, maybe 18. I thought, I’m going to die right now. And then we grew very quiet. The offi cer barked another order, the soldier lowered his gun, and the other soldiers pushed Sivaram back toward the trishaw. We got in and took off. I do not believe we said anything on the way back to my rented room. I remember giving the trishaw driver a big tip. Once inside, I sat down in one of the two big rattan chairs in my room and tried to light a cigarette. But I had the shakes and kept missing the end. Sivaram lit it for me, and then sat staring at me in the other chair. ‘My God,’ I said, ‘that was horrible. He could have killed us.’ ‘He wanted to kill us both.’ ‘My God.’ ‘But, one good thing maccaan, at last you begin to understand politics now
Mark P. Whitaker (Learning Politics From Sivaram: The Life and Death of a Revolutionary Tamil Journalist in Sri Lanka (Anthropology, Culture and Society))
When he reached the doorman, he stopped. “Did you see Miss Christian come in a few minutes ago?” The doorman nodded. “Yes, sir. She got here just before you arrived.” Relief staggered him. He bolted for the elevator. A few moments later, he strode into the apartment. “Kelly? Kelly, honey, where are you?” Not waiting for an answer, he hurried into the bedroom to see her sitting on the edge of the bed, her face pale and drawn in pain. When she heard him, she looked up and he winced at the dullness in her eyes. She’d been crying. “I thought I could do it,” she said in a raw voice, before he could beg her forgiveness. “I thought I could just go on and forget and that I could accept others thinking the worst of me as long as you and I were okay again. I did myself a huge disservice.” “Kelly…” Something in her look silenced him and he stood several feet away, a feeling of helplessness gripping him as he watched her try to compose herself. “I sat there tonight while your friends and your mother looked at me in disgust, while they looked at you with a mixture of pity and disbelief in their eyes. All because you took me back. The tramp who betrayed you in the worst possible manner. And I thought to myself I don’t deserve this. I’ve never deserved it. I deserve better.” She raised her eyes to his and he flinched at the horrible pain he saw reflected there. Then she laughed. A raw, terrible sound that grated across his ears. “And earlier tonight you forgave me. You stood there and told me it no longer mattered what happened in the past because you forgave me and you wanted to move forward.” She curled her fingers into tight balls and rage flared in her eyes. She stood and stared him down even as tears ran in endless streams down her cheeks. “Well, I don’t forgive you. Nor can I forget that you betrayed me in the worst way a man can betray the woman he’s supposed to love and be sworn to protect.” He took a step back, reeling from the fury in her voice. His eyes narrowed. “You don’t forgive me?” “I told you the truth that day,” she said hoarsely, her voice cracking under the weight of her tears. “I begged you to believe me. I got down on my knees and begged you. And what did you do? You wrote me a damn check and told me to get out.” He took another step back, his hand going to his hair. Something was wrong, terribly wrong. So much of that day was a blur. He remembered her on her knees, her tear-stained face, how she put her hand on his leg and whispered, “Please don’t do this.” It made him sick. He never wanted to go back to the way he felt that day, but somehow this was worse because there was something terribly wrong in her eyes and in her voice. “Your brother assaulted me. He forced himself on me. I didn’t invite his attentions. I wore the bruises from his attack for two weeks. Two weeks. I was so stunned by what he’d done that all I could think about was getting to you. I knew you’d fix it. You’d protect me. You’d take care of me. I knew you’d make it right. All I could think about was running to you. And, oh God, I did and you looked right through me.” The sick knot in his stomach grew and his chest tightened so much he couldn’t breathe. “You wouldn’t listen,” she said tearfully. “You wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say. You’d already made your mind up.” He swallowed and closed the distance between them, worried that she’d fall if he didn’t make her sit. But she shook him off and turned her back, her shoulders heaving as her quiet sobs fell over the room. “I’m listening now, Kelly,” he forced out. “Tell me what happened. I’ll believe you. I swear.” But he knew. He already knew. So much of that day was replaying over and over in his head and suddenly he was able to see so clearly what he’d refused to see before. And it was killing him. His brother had lied to him after all. Not just lied but he’d carefully orchestrated the truth and twisted it so cleverly that Ryan had been completely deceived.
Maya Banks (Wanted by Her Lost Love (Pregnancy & Passion, #2))
Odysseus smiled in return, teeth white against his dark beard. “Excellent. One tent’s enough, I hope? I’ve heard that you prefer to share. Rooms and bedrolls both, they say.” Heat and shock rushed through my face. Beside me, I heard Achilles’ breath stop. “Come now, there’s no need for shame—it’s a common enough thing among boys.” He scratched his jaw, contemplated. “Though you’re not really boys any longer. How old are you?” “It’s not true,” I said. The blood in my face fired my voice. It rang loudly down the beach. Odysseus raised an eyebrow. “True is what men believe, and they believe this of you. But perhaps they are mistaken. If the rumor concerns you, then leave it behind when you sail to war.” Achilles’ voice was tight and angry. “It is no business of yours, Prince of Ithaca.” Odysseus held up his hands. “My apologies if I have offended. I merely came to wish you both good night and ensure that all was satisfactory. Prince Achilles. Patroclus.” He inclined his head and turned back to his own tent. Inside the tent there was quietness between us. I had wondered when this would come. As Odysseus said, many boys took each other for lovers. But such things were given up as they grew older, unless it was with slaves or hired boys. Our men liked conquest; they did not trust a man who was conquered himself. “Perhaps he is right,” I said. Achilles’ head came up, frowning. “You do not think that.” “I do not mean—” I twisted my fingers. “I would still be with you. But I could sleep outside, so it would not be so obvious. I do not need to attend your councils. I—” “No. The Phthians will not care. And the others can talk all they like. I will still be Aristos Achaion.” Best of the Greeks. “Your honor could be darkened by it.” “Then it is darkened.” His jaw shot forward, stubborn. “They are fools if they let my glory rise or fall on this.” “But Odysseus—” His eyes, green as spring leaves, met mine. “Patroclus. I have given enough to them. I will not give them this.” After that, there was nothing more to say
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
Footsteps behind her in the dark startled her out of her misery. She automtically reached for her knife, but a familiar voice broke the stillness. "The stars say it is not safe for women to be out alone." He did not sit down beside her, but waited for her to get up. Jesse straightened her back, wiped away tears,and stayed seated. "I needed to be alone....away from...I needed to pray." "Then I will leave you to your prayers." Something was gone from the well-known voice. Gentle concern had always been there for her.Where was it,now, when she needed it so much? He had already turned to go.She knew he would not go far.He would wait out of sight, watching to see that she was safe.But she did not want him out of sight. "No,I am finished.I..." her voice wavered. "There is no answer to my prayers." "There is always an answer.But the answer is not always what we want to hear." The truth of the simple reply cut deep.The answer to her plea for children was no. She couldn't understand it.She didn't want to accept it.But for years, now,the answer had been there.She knew it,but she couldn't bear it.Tears welled fresh in her eyes.He couldn't see them.The dark offered protection and enabled Rides the WInd to speak his fears. "I have had prayers too. I have prayed that you would learn to be happy among the Lakota.But you tell me of the white man's count of years.You talk of all the time that you have been here.I have not wanted to hear the answer to my prayers.The answer is no. I have prayed to know how to make the smile return to your face." The voice grew so quiet that she could barely hear the words, "Now I see that I cannot.You must tell me what you wish.Two Mothers is grown,now.You have done well among the people.You do not need to fear telling me that it is time for you to go.I am not like the others...I will not make you stay." He cleared his throat and forced the words out calmly. "The line of your people crossing the prairie never stops. We are a small band.We have tried to stay away from them.Now, I will take you to them.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
In groups of twenty, like smokes, they are directed to the other side by a man with a truncheon and a whip. It will not help to ink in his face. Several men with barrows collect clothes. There are young women still with attractive breasts. There are family groups, many small children crying quietly, tears oozing from their eyes like sweat. In whispers people comfort one another. Soon, they say. Soon. No one wails and no one begs. Arms mingle with other arms like fallen limbs, lie like shawls across bony shoulders. A loose gray calm descends. It will be soon… soon. A grandmother coos at the infant she cuddles, her gray hair hiding all but the feet. The baby giggles when it’s chucked. A father speaks earnestly to his son and points at the heavens where surely there is an explanation; it is doubtless their true destination. The color of the sky cannot be colored in. So the son is lied to right up to the last. Father does not cup his boy’s wet cheeks in his hands and say, You shall die, my son, and never be remembered. The little salamander you were frightened of at first, and grew to love and buried in the garden, the long walk to school your legs learned, what shape our daily life, our short love, gave you, the meaning of your noisy harmless games, every small sensation that went to make your eager and persistent gazing will be gone; not simply the butterflies you fancied, or the bodies you yearned to see uncovered - look, there they are: the inner thighs, the nipples, pubes - or what we all might have finally gained from the toys you treasured, the dreams you peopled, but especially your scarcely budded eyes, and that rich and gentle quality of consciousness which I hoped one day would have been uniquely yours like the most subtle of flavors - the skin, the juice, the sweet pulp of a fine fruit - well, son, your possibilities, as unrealised as the erections of your penis - in a moment - soon - will be ground out like a burnt wet butt beneath a callous boot and disappear in the dirt. Only our numbers will be remembered - not that you or I died, but that there were so many of us.
William H. Gass
Blissfully unaware of all that, Elizabeth continued to love him without reservation or guile, and as she grew more certain of his love, she became more confident and more enchanting to Ian. On those occasions when she saw his expression become inexplicably grim, she teased him or kissed him, and, if those ploys failed, she presented him with little gifts-a flower arrangement from Havenhurst’s gardens, a single rose that she stuck behind his ear, or left upon his pillow. “Shall I have to resort to buying you a jewel to make you smile, my lord?” she joked one day three months after they were married. “I understand that is how it is done when a lover begins to act distracted.” To Elizabeth’s surprise, her remark made him snatch her into his arms in a suffocating embrace. “I am not losing interest in you, if that’s what you’re suggesting,” he told her. Elizabeth leaned back in his arms, surprised by the unwarranted force of his declaration, and continued to tease. “You’re quite certain?” “Positive.” “You wouldn’t lie to me, would you?” she asked in a voice of mock severity. “I would never lie to you,” Ian said gravely, but then he realized that by withholding the truth from her, he was, in effect, deceiving her, which in turn, amounted to little less than lying outright. Elizabeth knew something was bothering him, and that as time passed, it was bothering him with increasing frequency, but she never dreamed she was even remotely the cause of his silences or preoccupation. She thought of Robert often, but not since the day of her marriage had she permitted herself to think of Mr. Wordsworth’s accusations, not even for an instant. In the first place, she couldn’t bear it; in the second, she no longer believed there was the slightest possibility he was right. “I have to go to Havenhurst tomorrow,” she said reluctantly when Ian finally let her go. “The masons have started on the house and bridge, and the irrigation work has begun. If I spend the night, though, I shouldn’t have to go back for at least a fornight.” “I’ll miss you,” he said quietly, but there was no trace of resentment in his voice, nor did he attempt to persuade her to postpone the trip. He was keeping to his bargain with the integrity that Elizabeth particularly admired in him. “Not,” she whispered, kissing the side of his mouth, “as much as I’ll miss you.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I took up the pestle as she left, and pounded and ground automatically, paying little heed to the results. The shut window blocked the sound both of the rain and the crowd below; the two blended in a soft, pattering susurrus of menace. Like any schoolchild, I had read Dickens. And earlier authors, as well, with their descriptions of the pitiless justice of these times, meted out to all illdoers, regardless of age or circumstance. But to read, from a cozy distance of one or two hundred years, accounts of child hangings and judicial mutilation, was a far different thing than to sit quietly pounding herbs a few feet above such an occurrence. Could I bring myself to interfere directly, if the sentence went against the boy? I moved to the window, carrying the mortar with me, and peered out. The crowd had increased, as merchants and housewives, attracted by the gathering, wandered down the High Street to investigate. Newcomers leaned close as the standees excitedly relayed the details, then merged into the body of the crowd, more faces turned expectantly to the door of the house. Looking down on the assembly, standing patiently in the drizzle awaiting a verdict, I suddenly had a vivid understanding of something. Like so many, I had heard, appalled, the reports that trickled out of postwar Germany; the stories of deportations and mass murder, of concentration camps and burnings. And like so many others had done, and would do, for years to come, I had asked myself, “How could the people have let it happen? They must have known, must have seen the trucks, the coming and going, the fences and smoke. How could they stand by and do nothing?” Well, now I knew. The stakes were not even life or death in this case. And Colum’s patronage would likely prevent any physical attack on me. But my hands grew clammy around the porcelain bowl as I thought of myself stepping out, alone and powerless, to confront that mob of solid and virtuous citizens, avid for the excitement of punishment and blood to alleviate the tedium of existence. People are gregarious by necessity. Since the days of the first cave dwellers, humans—hairless, weak, and helpless save for cunning—have survived by joining together in groups; knowing, as so many other edible creatures have found, that there is protection in numbers. And that knowledge, bred in the bone, is what lies behind mob rule. Because to step outside the group, let alone to stand against it, was for uncounted thousands of years death to the creature who dared it. To stand against a crowd would take something more than ordinary courage; something that went beyond human instinct. And I feared I did not have it, and fearing, was ashamed.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
I have some questions for you.” Serious, indeed. He brushed her hair back from her forehead with his thumb. “I will answer to the best of my ability.” “You know about changing nappies.” “I do.” “You know about feeding babies.” “Generally, yes.” “You know about bathing them.” “It isn’t complicated.” She fell silent, and Vim’s curiosity grew when Sophie rolled to her back to regard him almost solemnly. “I asked Papa to procure us a special license.” He’d wondered why the banns hadn’t been cried but hadn’t questioned Sophie’s decision. “I assumed that was to allow your brothers to attend the ceremony.” “Them? Yes, I suppose.” She was in a quiet, Sophie-style taking over something, so he slid his arm around her shoulders and kissed her temple. “Tell me, my love. If I can explain my youthful blunders to you over a glass of eggnog, then you can confide to me whatever is bothering you.” She ducked her face against his shoulder. “Do you know the signs a woman is carrying?” He tried to view it as a mere question, a factual inquiry. “Her menses likely cease, for one thing.” Sophie took Vim’s hand and settled it over the wonderful fullness of her breast then shifted, arching into his touch. “What else?” He thought back to his stepmother’s confinements, to what he’d learned on his travels. “From the outset, she might be tired at odd times,” he said slowly. “Her breasts might be tender, and she might have a need to visit the necessary more often than usual.” She tucked her face against his chest and hooked her leg over his hips. “You are a very observant man, Mr. Charpentier.” With a jolt of something like alarm—but not simply alarm—Vim thought back to Sophie’s dozing in church, her marvelously sensitive breasts, her abrupt departure from the room when they’d first gathered for dinner. “And,” he said slowly, “some women are a bit queasy in the early weeks.” She moved his hand, bringing it to her mouth to kiss his knuckles, then settling it low on her abdomen, over her womb. “A New Year’s wedding will serve quite nicely if we schedule it for the middle of the day. I’m told the queasiness passes in a few weeks, beloved.” To Vim’s ears, there was a peculiar, awed quality to that single, soft endearment. The feeling that came over him then was indescribable. Profound peace, profound awe, and profound gratitude coalesced into something so transcendent as to make “love”—even mad, passionate love—an inadequate description. “If you are happy about this, Sophie, one tenth as happy about it as I am, then this will have been the best Christmas season anybody ever had, anywhere, at any time. I vow this to you as the father of your children, your affianced husband, and the man who loves you with his whole heart.” She
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
When we finished we sat quietly and watched the endless view. I was slowly realizing that this was one of the Seer’s qualities that I appreciated the most. To be present without words, without expectations and without any judgement. These were the times when I felt that he could communicate his thoughts and visions through his presence alone. Looking out became looking in. It was an undramatic kind of transmission, which would move you almost imperceptibly and silently. At these moments I felt my body relax completely. Each fibre, each muscle and every single cell found its correct place. An empathetic vigilance grew from this relaxed condition, a vigilance, which saw people and things as they were on their own merit. This was not about acceptance any more, since there was nothing to accept. Everything was as it was. It was a long-forgotten language. He showed me how almost all communication between people, the spoken and the written word, is nothing but our desperate attempts to cling to illusory personalities and identities tainted by prejudices, fear and vanity. A language which did not allow any room for listening, which focused on itself, which was excluding and only lived due to its attack and defence system was, according to him, a poor and inhumane one. Although the users of this language were usually very good at repartee and were able to write infinitely, they were really only good at maintaining and communicating limitations without end. It was this maintenance of limitations which was one of the main reasons that the great paradigm change, which all were waiting for, did not happen. He did not judge. He simply looked at and worked for the release of limitations wherever he met them. Not until the dissolution of all mental noise would it be possible to practise the transmission of stillness as a transforming kind of communication between people. It was not possible to enter this condition with a limited attention. The road to the transpersonal and the related level might seem difficult, because it demanded an obligation which included the complete human being. It was not enough to be just a little bit pregnant. You either were or you were not. And the paradoxical difference between the one and the other was the simple fact that the sleeping person decided to open his eyes, to wake up and become conscious of his wakeful condition. The fact that such a seemingly simple decision could appear so difficult lay in the fact that it entailed the release of more or less everything that you have ever learned and gained, and which you erroneously have interpreted as a true realization. He presented all these considerations to me on the mountain. In one single thought, without words, without judgement.
Lars Muhl (The O Manuscript: The Scandinavian Bestseller)
Evie shook her head in confusion, staring from her husband’s wrathful countenance to Gully’s carefully blank one. “I don’t understand—” “Call it a rite of passage,” Sebastian snapped, and left her with long strides that quickly broke into a run. Picking up her skirts, Evie hurried after him. Rite of passage? What did he mean? And why wasn’t Cam willing to do something about the brawl? Unable to match Sebastian’s reckless pace, she trailed behind, taking care not to trip over her skirts as she descended the flight of stairs. The noise grew louder as she approached a small crowd that had congregated around the coffee room, shouts and exclamations renting the air. She saw Sebastian strip off his coat and thrust it at someone, and then he was shouldering his way into the melee. In a small clearing, three milling figures swung their fists and clumsily attempted to push and shove one another while the onlookers roared with excitement. Sebastian strategically attacked the man who seemed the most unsteady on his feet, spinning him around, jabbing and hooking with a few deft blows until the dazed fellow tottered forward and collapsed to the carpeted floor. The remaining pair turned in tandem and rushed at Sebastian, one of them attempting to pin his arms while the other came at him with churning fists. Evie let out a cry of alarm, which somehow reached Sebastian’s ears through the thunder of the crowd. Distracted, he glanced in her direction, and he was instantly seized in a mauling clinch, with his neck caught in the vise of his opponent’s arm while his head was battered with heavy blows. “No,” Evie gasped, and started forward, only to be hauled back by a steely arm that clamped around her waist. “Wait,” came a familiar voice in her ear. “Give him a chance.” “Cam!” She twisted around wildly, her panicked gaze finding his exotic but familiar face with its elevated cheekbones and thick-lashed golden eyes. “They’ll hurt him,” she said, clutching at the lapels of his coat. “Go help him— Cam, you have to—” “He’s already broken free,” Cam observed mildly, turning her around with inexorable hands. “Watch— he’s not doing badly.” One of Sebastian’s opponents let loose with a mighty swing of his arm. Sebastian ducked and came back with a swift jab. “Cam, why the d-devil aren’t you doing anything to help him?” “I can’t.” “Yes, you can! You’re used to fighting, far more than he—” “He has to,” Cam said, his voice quiet and firm in her ear. “He’ll have no authority here otherwise. The men who work at the club have a notion of leadership that requires action as well as words. St. Vincent can’t ask them to do anything that he wouldn’t be willing to do himself. And he knows that. Otherwise he wouldn’t be doing this right now.” Evie covered her eyes as one opponent endeavored to close in on her husband from behind while the other engaged him with a flurry of blows. “They’ll be loyal to him only if he is w-willing to use his fists in a pointless display of brute force?” “Basically, yes.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Chris smiled at me, showing two ridiculously cute dimples and a few feet away a waitress dropped an empty cup she had cleared from a table. Blushing, she muttered an apology and hurried inside. I scowled at him, refusing to be swayed by his charm. “I see,” he murmured, nodding slightly as if he had just solved a puzzle. “See what?” Ignoring my question, he pulled out a cell phone, hit a number and held the phone out to me. I hesitated for a few seconds then took the phone and put it to my ear. “What’s up, Chris?” said a familiar deep voice on the other end. “Good question,” I responded tersely. “I told Chris you’d recognize him if he got too close.” Was that amusement in his tone? “Great. You won the bet. Buy him a beer or whatever.” I glanced at Chris, saw that he looked amused now, too and I grew even more agitated. “I thought we had an understanding when you left here last week.” “And what understanding would that be?” I gritted my teeth. “The one where you go your way and I go mine and we all live happily ever after.” “I don’t recall that particular arrangement,” he replied in his infuriatingly easy manner. “I believe I told you I’d be seeing you again.” I opened my mouth but words would not come out. People say ‘I’ll be seeing you’ all the time when they say good bye. It doesn’t mean anything. It certainly doesn’t mean they will send their friends to stalk you. “Sara?” “What do you want from me, Nikolas? I told you I just want to be left alone.” There was a brief silence then a quiet sigh on the other end. “We got word of increased activity in Portland and we have reason to believe the vampire might be searching for you.” It felt like an icy breath touched the back of my neck. Eli’s face flashed through my mind and my knees wobbled. Roland stepped close to me. “What’s wrong, Sara? What is he saying to you?” I smiled weakly at Roland and put up a hand to let him know I’d fill him in when I got off the phone. “I don’t know anyone in Portland so there is no way he can trace me here, right?” “There is more than one way to track someone.” Nikolas’s voice hardened. “Don’t worry, we will keep you safe. Chris will stay close by until we handle this situation.” Great, I was the ‘situation’ again. “I don’t need a babysitter. I’m not a child.” “No you’re not,” he replied gruffly and warmth unfurled in my stomach. “But you are not a warrior either. It is our duty to protect you even if you don’t want it.” I felt like stomping my feet like a two year old. Didn’t I get any choice in this? My eyes fell on Chris as I spoke. “How close is he planning to stay? He’s kind of conspicuous and I can’t have my uncle or anyone else asking questions.” Chris peered in confusion down at his form-fitting blue jeans and black sweater as Nikolas said, “Conspicuous?” I looked heavenward. “If you guys wanted to blend in you shouldn’t have sent Dimples here. The way some of the women are staring at him, I might end up having to protect him instead.” There was a cough on the other end and Nikolas sounded like he was grinning when he said, “Ah, I’m sure Chris can take care of himself. He will be in town in case we suspect any trouble is coming that way.
Karen Lynch
You are my friend, Prairie Flower. If I tell you what is in my heart, will you promise never to tell?" Prairie Flower laid a hand on Jesse's shoulder, pulling it away quickly when her friend flinched in pain. "I will not betray my friend." Taking a deep breath, Jesse lifted her head. "When Rides the Wing comes near to me, my heart sings.But I do not believe that he cares for me.I am clumsy in all of the things a Lakota woman must know.I cannot speak his language without many childish mistakes. And..." Jesse reached up to lay her hand on her short hair, "I am nothing to look at.I am not..." Prairie Flower grew angry. "I have told you he cares for you.Can you not see it?" Jesse shook her head. Prairie Flower spoke the unspeakable. "Then,if you cannot see that he cares for you in what he does,you must see it in what he has not done. You have been in his tepee. Dancing Waters has been gone many moons." "Stop!" Jesse demanded. "Stop it! I..just don't say any more!" She leaped up and ran out of the tepee-and into Rides the Wind, who was returning from the river where he had gone to draw water. Jesse knocked the water skins from both of his hands. Water spilled out and she fumbled an apology then bent stiffly to pick up the skins, wincing with the effort. "I will do it, Walks the Fire." His voice was tender as he bent and took the skins from her. Jesse protested, "It is the wife's job." She blushed, realizing that she had used a wrong word-the word for wife, instead of the word for woman. Rides the Wind interrupted before she could correct herself. "Walks the Fire is not the wife of Rides the Wind." Jesse blushed and remained quiet. A hand reached for hers and Rides the Wind said, "Come, sit." He helped her sit down just outside the door of the tepee. The village women took note as he went inside and brought out a buffalo robe. Sitting by Jesse,he placed the robe on the ground and began to talk. "I will tell you how it is with the Lakota. When a man wishes to take a wife..." he described Lakota courtship. As he talked, Jesse realiced that all that Prairie Flower had said seemed to be true.He had,indeed, done nearly everything involved in the courtship ritual. Still, she told herself, there is a perfectly good explanation for everything he has done. Rides the Wind continued describing the wedding feast. Jesse continued to reason with herself as he spoke. Then she realized the voice had stopped and he had repeated a question. "How is it among the whites?How does a man gain a wife?" Embarrassed,Jesse described the sparsest of courtships, the simplest wedding.Rides the Wind listened attentively. When she had finished, he said, "There is one thing the Lakota brave who wishes a wife does that I have not described." Pulling Jesse to her feet, he continued, "One evening, as he walks with his woman..." He reached out to pick up the buffalo robe.He was aware that the village women were watching carefully. "He spreads out his arms..." Rides the Wind spread his arms,opening the buffalo robe to its full length, "and wraps it about his woman," Rides the Wind turned toward Jesse and reached around her, "so that they are both inside the buffalo robe." He looked down at Jesse, trying to read her expression.When he saw nothing in the gray eyes, he abruptly dropped his arms. "But it is hot today and your wounds have not healed.I have said enough.You see how it is with the Lakota." When Jesse still said nothing, he continued, "You spoke of a celebration with a min-is-ter.It is a word I do not know.What is this min-is-ter?" "A man who belives in the Bible and teaches his people about God from the Bible." "What if there is no minister and a man and a woman wish to be married?" Jesse grew more uncomfortable. "I suppose they would wait until a minister came.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
It’s not always so easy, it turns out, to identify your core personal projects. And it can be especially tough for introverts, who have spent so much of their lives conforming to extroverted norms that by the time they choose a career, or a calling, it feels perfectly normal to ignore their own preferences. They may be uncomfortable in law school or nursing school or in the marketing department, but no more so than they were back in middle school or summer camp. I, too, was once in this position. I enjoyed practicing corporate law, and for a while I convinced myself that I was an attorney at heart. I badly wanted to believe it, since I had already invested years in law school and on-the-job training, and much about Wall Street law was alluring. My colleagues were intellectual, kind, and considerate (mostly). I made a good living. I had an office on the forty-second floor of a skyscraper with views of the Statue of Liberty. I enjoyed the idea that I could flourish in such a high-powered environment. And I was pretty good at asking the “but” and “what if” questions that are central to the thought processes of most lawyers. It took me almost a decade to understand that the law was never my personal project, not even close. Today I can tell you unhesitatingly what is: my husband and sons; writing; promoting the values of this book. Once I realized this, I had to make a change. I look back on my years as a Wall Street lawyer as time spent in a foreign country. It was absorbing, it was exciting, and I got to meet a lot of interesting people whom I never would have known otherwise. But I was always an expatriate. Having spent so much time navigating my own career transition and counseling others through theirs, I have found that there are three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects. First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for a nonprofit women’s leadership organization. I also sat on several law firm committees dedicated to mentoring, training, and personal development for young lawyers in the firm. Now, as you can probably tell from this book, I am not the committee type. But the goals of those committees lit me up, so that’s what I did. Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire. I met my own envy after some of my former law school classmates got together and compared notes on alumni career tracks. They spoke with admiration and, yes, jealousy, of a classmate who argued regularly before the Supreme Court. At first I felt critical. More power to that classmate! I thought, congratulating myself on my magnanimity. Then I realized that my largesse came cheap, because I didn’t aspire to argue a case before the Supreme Court, or to any of the other accolades of lawyering. When I asked myself whom I did envy, the answer came back instantly. My college classmates who’d grown up to be writers or psychologists. Today I’m pursuing my own version of both those roles.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Not liking to think of him so, and wondering if they had guessed at dinner why he suddenly became irritable when they talked about fame and books lasting, wondering if the children were laughing at that, she twitched the stockings out, and all the fine gravings came drawn with steel instruments about her lips and forehead, and she grew still like a tree which has been tossing and quivering and now, when the breeze falls, settles, leaf by leaf, into quiet. It didn't matter, any of it, she thought. A great man, a great book, fame—who could tell? She knew nothing about it. But it was his way with him, his truthfulness—for instance at dinner she had been thinking quite instinctively, If only he would speak! She had complete trust in him. And dismissing all this, as one passes in diving now a weed, now a straw, now a bubble, she felt again, sinking deeper, as she had felt in the hall when the others were talking, There is something I want—something I have come to get, and she fell deeper and deeper without knowing quite what it was, with her eyes closed. And she waited a little, knitting, wondering, and slowly rose those words they had said at dinner, "the China rose is all abloom and buzzing with the honey bee," began washing from side to side of her mind rhythmically, and as they washed, words, like little shaded lights, one red, one blue, one yellow, lit up in the dark of her mind, and seemed leaving their perches up there to fly across and across, or to cry out and to be echoed; so she turned and felt on the table beside her for a book. And all the lives we ever lived And all the lives to be, Are full of trees and changing leaves, she murmured, sticking her needles into the stocking. And she opened the book and began reading here and there at random, and as she did so, she felt that she was climbing backwards, upwards, shoving her way up under petals that curved over her, so that she only knew this is white, or this is red. She did not know at first what the words meant at all. Steer, hither steer your winged pines, all beaten Mariners she read and turned the page, swinging herself, zigzagging this way and that, from one line to another as from one branch to another, from one red and white flower to another, until a little sound roused her—her husband slapping his thighs. Their eyes met for a second; but they did not want to speak to each other. They had nothing to say, but something seemed, nevertheless, to go from him to her. It was the life, it was the power of it, it was the tremendous humour, she knew, that made him slap his thighs. Don't interrupt me, he seemed to be saying, don't say anything; just sit there. And he went on reading. His lips twitched. It filled him. It fortified him. He clean forgot all the little rubs and digs of the evening, and how it bored him unutterably to sit still while people ate and drank interminably, and his being so irritable with his wife and so touchy and minding when they passed his books over as if they didn't exist at all. But now, he felt, it didn't matter a damn who reached Z (if thought ran like an alphabet from A to Z). Somebody would reach it—if not he, then another. This man's strength and sanity, his feeling for straight forward simple things, these fishermen, the poor old crazed creature in Mucklebackit's cottage made him feel so vigorous, so relieved of something that he felt roused and triumphant and could not choke back his tears. Raising the book a little to hide his face, he let them fall and shook his head from side to side and forgot himself completely (but not one or two reflections about morality and French novels and English novels and Scott's hands being tied but his view perhaps being as true as the other view), forgot his own bothers and failures completely in poor Steenie's drowning and Mucklebackit's sorrow (that was Scott at his best) and the astonishing delight and feeling of vigour that it gave him.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
As he sat up, he heard soft dripping sounds from the bathroom, little plips like water slipping over the edges of the tub and into the floor. The hairs on the back of his neck rose as he realized where he‟d last heard that sound. His muscles tight with strain from his earlier exertions, he stood and walked warily toward the half open bathroom door and the tub beyond it. Slipping quietly past the door, he saw that the curtain was drawn, and again the shadowed figure lay behind it. One long, slim, leg dangled from the end of the tub, beads of water gliding down its length and off the polished toes. At the other end he saw a mass of auburn curls, matted deep red near the porcelain of the tub. It was the dream and the vision again, more real now, too strong to deny. Shaking, he moved toward the curtain, gagging on the sickly smell of rust and roses, feeling the thin nylon glide between thumb and palm as he pulled it back to reveal his darkest nightmare and deepest regret. He could see the crimson water now, blood bubbles gliding over its surface and clinging to the legs dangling over the tub‟s edge. When he‟d pulled the curtain completely away from the tub and around to its opposite side, he saw her face. Her eyes were closed and he saw that her lids were bruised and purple against the translucent paleness of her face, drained completely dead white under the makeup she‟d brushed on before she‟d died. Staggering by the sight of her, he knelt by the tub and extended one shaking hand to touch her cheek. It all seemed as if he‟d walked into a horror film and once again he needed to prove to his mind that this wasn‟t real. His hand shook as he lifted it nearer to her flesh, waiting for the corpse, the supposedly dead and buried to move. He touched his quivering fingers to her face, feeling its claylike reality. The sensation caused an immediate shudder of revulsion and he fought not to vomit. Even as the moment came, the sight of her moving in the water startled him and he jumped away from the tub. It wasn‟t an obvious movement at first, only soft breaths moving in and out of her nostrils, but then her chest rose and fell with it and he quaked, feeling unstable where he knelt on the floor. Her eyes opened next and he felt the blood fall out of his face, wanting to scream but too afraid he would cause her to take some action, to reach out and touch him, proving well and forever that he was indeed insane. Scream and you might as well slit your own throat. He swallowed the scream like a rock and stared as her eyes moved slowly in their sockets, locking on him. Slowly, as if she‟d lost control of her muscles, she rose from the tub and looked down at him, smiling. Blood water slid down her bare body, over her neck, down her back and the smooth ridges of her breasts, to slip slowly down her thighs and down over her calves. A puddle spread on the floor, and as it extended toward him he struggled to his feet, skittering away from it. As he watched it spread, he shivered, weak as he started to cry frantic, horrified tears. Breaking down, he looked back up at her face and slipped to the floor once more, his knees incapable of sustaining his own weight. The smile grew wider as she strode to his shivering form, thrown on his side and struggling to rise. The blood water seeped into his clothes, making him sick, a drop of it trickling along the lobe of his ear and into it. And then she leaned down, holding those dim, stained curls of auburn out of her face and tucking them behind her ear. Her lips parted, blue beneath the strong crimson red of her lipstick, and she spoke into his ear with the chill breath of the dead. His eyes grew wide and horrified as she spoke, the hair on his neck rising, sending a maddening shiver of fear through him. “I‟ve returned, Raven.” She whispered “And I want what is mine.” The last thing he saw before his mind, finally, thankfully, shut down was her face in front of his. They were pursed for a kiss.
Amanda M. Lyons
You grew up in Dublin in the seventies and eighties. It was as white as white could be. Sure, we’ve diversified now, but back then, if it snowed we couldn’t feckin’ find each other. There would have been more racially diverse KKK rallies. So what? Black people stole your opportunities, did they?
Caimh McDonnell (The Quiet Man (McGarry Stateside, #3))
My own life and consciousness straddles the trans communities and the lesbian, gay, and bi communities. I can feel the muscle we could flex if we could fight back together against all forms of discrimination, bigotry, and bashing. And I wanted each person in this room - cross-dresser and partner alike - to feel the potential strength of that coalition. And so as I began to speak, unity was the most important issue on my mind. The room grew quiet. Food service workers slipped out of the kitchen to listen. No ice clinked in glasses; no forks clanked on plates. As I talked about the connections between our lives, virtually the only sound was of soft sobs as some partners cried quietly into their napkins or on each other's shoulders.
Leslie Feinberg (Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue)
Beneath the surface, the progressive sixties hid all manner of unpleasantness: sexism, reaction, racism and factionalism. It wasn't surprising, really. The idea that drugs, sex and music could transform the world was always a pretty naive dream. As the counter-culture's effect on the mainstream grew, it's own values and aesthetics decayed. The political setbacks of the coming years grabbed the headlines while the dilution of ideals happened more quietly, but nonetheless vividly for those who noticed.
Joe Boyd (White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s)
We always hugged when it was time to leave and he always sealed it with a forehead kiss. One day, I jokingly said, “When we finally kiss, I want it to be fireworks”. We giggled about it and let it pass. Some weeks later, he suddenly grew distant and seemed restricted from holding my hands; there were more days of uncomfortable laughter as I tried to figure out what the issue was but he seemed more evasive. Until one day, he quietly said to me “Fireworks only happen at Christmas, it is just difficult to wait till then”. Then I smiled and said,” I want to feel fireworks anytime, I don’t necessarily have to see it
muki osaka
Don't go by my wrinkles. They grew in years I did not.
Deepak Kripal (Sense of a Quiet)
My wrinkles do not show my age. They grew in years I did not!
Deepak Kripal (Sense of a Quiet)
Grace’s eyes got huge even as her voice lowered to a whisper. “Are you guys having sex?” “Not yet.” “Not yet?” Grace’s smile grew until it curved her mouth up wickedly. “So why are you blushing? Have you kissed?” “Yes.” Her face got even hotter, but she couldn’t stop grinning. “Is Otto a good kisser?” “Really, really good.” Her smile matched Grace’s. “Amazing. The best. I don’t think there are words good enough to explain just how incredible he is.” Grace gave a laughing squeal and caught Sarah in a hug. “Yay! Kisses! Good kisses!” Laughing, Sarah hugged her back. Having a friend felt almost as nice as Otto’s kisses. They turned in a circle, squeezing each other and laughing, until they finally quieted enough to talk again.
Katie Ruggle (Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit, #3))
Quiet. My body melted heavily into the chair; I heard a cart go up the street. The room grew suddenly big with meaning. Something was about to happen, was happening: each object in the room seemed perfect of its kind, its kind being just its one self.
Maria McCann (As Meat Loves Salt)
Jay was now past the breakers, but he was having trouble handling the full weight of the board. It was hard to turn, hard to control. And then he couldn’t get his legs around it quite right. The deck was wider than his straddle. Nina grew more and more anxious with every second. He could fall off, he could lose the board, he could break his leg or his hand or go under. Nina quietly calculated how she would save him, or what she would say if the owner showed up, how she could handle all of this if it went south.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Malibu Rising)
The sun had set long since. Bright stars shone out here and there in the sky. A red glow as of a conflagration spread above the horizon from the rising full moon, and that vast red ball swayed strangely in the gray haze. It grew light. The evening was ending, but the night had not yet come. Pierre got up and left his new companions, crossing between the campfires to the other side of the road where he had been told the common soldier prisoners were stationed. He wanted to talk to them. On the road he was stopped by a French sentinel who ordered him back. Pierre turned back, not to his companions by the campfire, but to an unharnessed cart where there was nobody. Tucking his legs under him and dropping his head he sat down on the cold ground by the wheel of the cart and remained motionless a long while sunk in thought. Suddenly he burst out into a fit of his broad, good-natured laughter, so loud that men from various sides turned with surprise to see what this strange and evidently solitary laughter could mean. "Ha-ha-ha!" laughed Pierre. And he said aloud to himself: "The soldier did not let me pass. They took me and shut me up. They hold me captive. What, me? Me? My immortal soul? Ha-ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha!..." and he laughed till tears started to his eyes. A man got up and came to see what this queer big fellow was laughing at all by himself. Pierre stopped laughing, got up, went farther away from the inquisitive man, and looked around him. The huge, endless bivouac that had previously resounded with the crackling of campfires and the voices of many men had grown quiet, the red campfires were growing paler and dying down. High up in the light sky hung the full moon. Forests and fields beyond the camp, unseen before, were now visible in the distance. And farther still, beyond those forests and fields, the bright, oscillating, limitless distance lured one to itself. Pierre glanced up at the sky and the twinkling stars in its faraway depths. "And all that is me, all that is within me, and it is all I!" thought Pierre. "And they caught all that and put it into a shed boarded up with planks!" He smiled, and went and lay down to sleep beside his companions.
Lev Tolstoi (War and Peace)
It took but a moment to find the princess. She had, of course, stopped by the kitchen to pester Cook for treats. “Princess, I am sorry for bothering you. The king your father would like to reward the man who rescued you.” The steward stood at attention while the princess sat at an onyx table eating vanilla custard, a dish imported from the overworld and much favored by the princess. “It was a girl, not a man. And I don't think you should reward her.  She wouldn't bow to me once. She spoke without my permission...and...she's a commoner.” The princess whispered in a loud voice, which the commoner cooks and maids couldn't help but overhear as the princess didn't really want to whisper, but only pretend to speak quietly. “Where is she now?” The steward asked, eyeing another custard dish on a tray on the counter. “Somewhere roaming the halls. She couldn't see a thing in the dark. I doubt she made it far.” The princess scraped the bottom of the custard dish and then licked the spoon. “And you left her alone?”  “Of course. Why would I follow her into the darkness? “Thank you, Princess.” The steward nodded to the princess once and clicked his heels together. “I must notify the king at once.” The head cook waved with a spoon to the custard dishes, “Must you?  I have a custard specially made. You can have it if you'd like.” The steward licked his lips and swallowed, “Surely the girl will be okay another five minutes.” “She will.” The princess said. The steward delicately picked up one of the custards and a spoon and found an out-of-the-way spot by the door to eat.  It really did only take five minutes. The steward handed the custard bowl to the kitchen maid washing dishes. “Duty calls. Thank you, my dears.” The cook giggled and the maids curtsied, for the steward was a handsome gentleman, newly appointed to his duties.  The steward smiled as he left the kitchen. The king had left the throne room for the gardens. A variety of lichen and moss grew
Nan Sweet (Fierce Winds and Fiery Dragons (Dusky Hollows, #1))
He knew that attachments were for the living, and so he did the honorable thing. He let her go. He leaned close so she would hear him say it was all right for her to leave him. They knew it was now; they could feel something shift the way it always did. Even Argus, who’d been whimpering, grew quiet. It was not a dream, but something more. She breathed out, and inside that one breath was every word that had been spoken, every step she had taken, everyone she had ever loved.
Alice Hoffman (The Probable Future)