But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drink, the very air I breathe, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
When someone's been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it's like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you're just clutching air and grit.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
All right, Miss Cryptic. What's the new plan, then?"
Glancing around the room, Cinder tipped up her chin. "It starts with kidnapping the groom."
Iko's hand shot into the air.
"That is the best idea ever. Count me in.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.” Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
So that's it?" Kenji says. "You just like him for his personality, huh?"
"All of this," Kenji says, waving a hand in the air, "has nothing to do with him being all sexy and shit and him being able to touch you all the time?"
"You think Warner is sexy?"
"That is not what I said.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
You never called me back," he said. "I called you so many times and you never called me back."
Magnus looked at Alec as if he'd lost his mind. "Your city is under attack," he said. "The wards have been broken, and the streets are full of demons. And you want to know why I haven't called you?"
Alec set his jaw in a stubborn line. "I want to know why you haven't called me back."
Magnus threw his hands up in the air in a gesture of utter exasperation. Alec noted with interest that when he did it, a few sparks escaped from his fingertips, like fireflies escaping from a jar. "You're an idiot."
"Is that why you haven't called me? Because I'm an idiot?"
"No." Magnus strode toward him. "I didn't call you because I'm tired of you only wanting me around when you need something. I'm tired of watching you be in love with someone else - someone, incidentally, who will never love you back. Not the way I do."
"You love me?"
"You stupid Nephilim," Magnus said patiently. "Why else am I here? Why else would I have spent the past few weeks patching up all your moronic friends every time they got hurt? And getting you out of every ridiculous situation you found yourself in? Not to mention helping you win a battle against Valentine. And all completely free of charge!
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
Not responding is a response--we are equally responsible for what we don't do. In the case of animal slaughter, to throw your hands in the air is to wrap your fingers around a knife handle.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds' eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas-abstract, invisible, gone once they've been spoken-and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small, simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent...and right when your song ended, I knew - just like your mother - I was a goner.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Oh, he's on top of it. It was volunteer only, but he pretended not to notice me waving my hand in the air," says Haymitch. "See? He's already demonstrated good judgment.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
It's a long shot, it's suicide maybe, but I do the only thing I can think of. I lean in and kiss Peeta full on the mouth. His whole body starts shuddering, but I keep my lips pressed to his until I have to come up for air. My hands slide up his wrists to clasp his. "Don't let him take you from me."
Peeta's panting hard as he fights the nightmares raging his head. "No. I don't want to. . ."
I clench his hands to the point of pain. "Stay with me."
His pupils contract to pinpoints, dilate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. "Always," he murmurs.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I’m going to ruin you. I’ll be your first, and I’ll fuck you so thoroughly that I’ll be your last too. You won’t want any other man after I’ve gotten my hands on you.
R.K. Lilley (In Flight (Up in the Air, #1))
He floated into the air high above the sleeping forest, his green hat spinning a few feet above his head. In his hand was the open suitcase and out of it spilled a whole sky of stars.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love...I believe in sunshine, fresh air, friendship, calm sleep, beautiful thoughts.
When someone's been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it's like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you're just clutching air and grit. That's why you can't save it all up like that.
Because by the time you finally see each other, you're catching up only on the big things, because it's too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
Life’s a roller coaster. Best damn ride in the park. You don’t close your eyes, hold on and wait for it to be over, babe. You keep your eyes open, lift your hands straight up in the air and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.
But I have seen the best of you and the worst of you, and I choose both. I want to share every single one of your sunshines and save them for later. I will tuck them into my pockets so I can give them back to you when the rain falls hard. Friend, I want to be the mirror that reminds you to love yourself. I want to be the air in your lungs that reminds you to breath. When the walls come down, when the thunder rumbles, when nobody else is home, hold my hand, and I promise I won’t let go.
It’s not all black and white, good and bad. Peoples actions...their motives...there are” - he circled his hands in the air - “gray areas.
Marissa Meyer (Archenemies (Renegades, #2))
If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”
She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.
And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.”
But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.
I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.
You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.
And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.
“Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”
Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.
Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
I stand and hold out my hand. She gives me a skeptical look, but takes it and lets me pull her to her feet. I put my other hand in the air. 'Bronwyn Rojas, I solemnly swear not to murder you today or at any point in the future. Deal?'
'You're ridiculous,' she mutters, going even redder.
'It concerns me you're avoiding a promise not to murder me.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
When you're in love, the world is brighter. Sunnier. The air smells flowerier, and your hair is silkier, and suddenly you find yourself smiling at babies and strangers and old couples walking down the beach holding hands.
Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me)
Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.
Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.
My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.
My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.
Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.
Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
fool who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
but never your laughter.
Not everyone is okay with living like an open wound. But the thing about open wounds is that, well, you aren’t ignoring it. You’re healing; the fresh air can get to it. It’s honest. You aren’t hiding who you are. You aren’t rotting. People can give you advice on how to heal without scarring badly. But on the other hand there are some people who’ll feel uncomfortable around you. Some will even point and laugh. But we all have wounds.
Hermione had taken his hand again and was gripping it tightly. He could not look at her, but returned the pressure, now taking deep, sharp gulps of the night air, trying to steady himself, trying to regain control. He should have brought something to give them, and he had not thought of it, and every plant in the graveyard was leafless and frozen. But Hermione raised her wand, moved it in a circle through the air, and a wreath of Christmas roses blossomed before them. Harry caught it and laid it on his parent's grave.
As soon as he stood up he wanted to leave: He did not think he could stand another moment there. He put his arm around Hermione's shoulders, and she put hers around his waist, and they turned in silence and walked away through the snow, past Dumbledore's mother and sister, back toward the dark church and the out-of-sight kissing gate.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, Those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
If I breathe you in and you breathe me out, I swear we can breathe forever. I swear I’ll find summer in your winter and spring in your autumn and always, hands at the ends of your fingers, arms at the ends of your shoulders and I swear, when we run out of forever, when we run out of air, your name will be the last word that my lungs make air for.
Iain S. Thomas
His eyes are open, watching my flushed face, my ragged breathing. I try to stop myself from making embarrassing noises. It’s more intimate than the way he’s touching me, to be looked at like that. I hate that he knows what he’s doing and I don’t. I hate being vulnerable. I hate that I throw my head back, baring my throat. I hate the way I cling to him, the nails of one hand digging into his back, my thoughts splintering, and the single last thing in my head: that I like him better than I’ve ever liked anyone and that of all the things he’s ever done to me, making me like him so much is by far the worst.
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what? Maybe just growing up.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
For a moment, I pretended. Not that we weren't two different species, because I didn't see him that way, but that we actually liked each other.
And then he shifted and rolled. I was on my back, and he was still on the move. His face burrowed into the space between my neck and shoulder, nuzzling. Sweet baby Jesus...Warm breath danced over my skin, sending shivers down my body. His arm was heavy against my stomach, his leg between mine, pushing up and up. Scorched air fled my lungs.
Daemon murmured in a language I couldn't understand. Whatever it was, it sounded beautiful and soft. Magical. Unearthly.
I could've woken him up but for some reason I didn't. The thrill of him touching me was far stronger than anything else.
His hand was on the edge of the borrowed shirt, his long fingers on the strip of exposed flesh between the hem on the shirt and the band of the worn pajama bottoms. And his hand inched up under the shirt, across my stomach, where it dipped slightly. My pulse went into cardiac territory. The tips of his fingers brushed my ribs. His body moved, his knee pressed against me.
Daemon stilled. No one moved. The clock on the wall ticked.
And I cringed.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
Raise your hand if you had no idea you’d see so much nudity in one week of jury duty.”
Twelve hands flew straight into the air.
And unbelievably, Payton laughed.
Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect)
What do you want, MacGuffin, a duel?”
“No.” Julian held out both hands, one palm flat, the other held over it in a fist. “Rock, paper, scissors. Two out of three.”
Ty rolled his eyes and held out his fist, apparently willing to play. Julian hit his palm three times, and Ty kept time with his fist in the air. But when Julian threw a paper, Ty reached into his jacket with his other hand and pulled his gun, aiming it at Julian.
“Ty!” Zane said in exasperation from the front seat.
“Glock, paper, scissors. I win.”
“You are an ass,” Julian muttered.
Abigail Roux (Armed & Dangerous (Cut & Run, #5))
I feel it in here," she said, placing her hand against her chest and then against her stomach, "and here. It’s like there’s not enough air or room inside me. That I may… burst out of my skin or drown in it, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I always have… and will." She tipped her chin up and her entire face was a rosy color. "It’s you. I… I love you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Elixir (Covenant, #3.5))
Lucky man,"Jules said to me, leaning over to kiss my cheeks. "What I wouldn't give to be in your head." Instead of the usual quick air-kisses, he took his time kissing both of my cheeks tenderly. "Jules!" I gasped, feeling myself blush. He stood, looking up in space, and raised both arms as if in surrender. "Okay, okay, man. Hands off, I get it! But it's not often we get a young pretty human in the house. in fact, it's never.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre-
To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.
T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
It is also then that I wish I believed in some sort of life after life, that in another universe, maybe on a small red planet where we have not legs but tails, where we paddle through the atmosphere like seals, where the air itself is sustenance, composed of trillions of molecules of protein and sugar and all one has to do is open one's mouth and inhale in order to remain alive and healthy, maybe you two are there together, floating through the climate. Or maybe he is closer still: maybe he is that gray cat that has begun to sit outside our neighbor's house, purring when I reach out my hand to it; maybe he is that new puppy I see tugging at the end of my other neighbor's leash; maybe he is that toddler I saw running through the square a few months ago, shrieking with joy, his parents huffing after him; maybe he is that flower that suddenly bloomed on the rhododendron bush I thought had died long ago; maybe he is that cloud, that wave, that rain, that mist. It isn't only that he died, or how he died; it is what he died believing. And so I try to be kind to everything I see, and in everything I see, I see him.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
...she took her hand and raised her brush. For a moment it stayed trembling in a painful but exciting ecstacy in the air. Where to begin?--that was the question at what point to make the first mark? One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions. All that in idea seemed simple became in practice immediately complex; as the waves shape themselves symmetrically from the cliff top, but to the swimmer among them are divided by steep gulfs, and foaming crests. Still the risk must run; the mark made.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
On his first hand he wore rings of stone,
Iron, Amber, Wood and Bone.
There were rings unseen on his second hand,
One blood in a flowing band,
One was air all whisper thin,
And the ring of ice had a flaw within.
Full faintly shone the ring of flame,
And the final ring was without name.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
In your hands winter
is a book with cloud pages
that snow pearls of love.
Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don't slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.
Eat it," I ordered, holding it with two hands now, making it dance in the air. "It's begging you. 'Eat me'."
He arched a brow.
"Perv," I muttered.
Aiden pressed his lips together, but when he glanced at me and my dancing bun, he burst into laughter. "All right, give me the bun.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles)
You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like."
"I've never even been to England," she said, but she shut her eyelids. She could feel the dank heaviness of her clothes, cold and itchy against her skin, and the cloying sweet air of the cave, colder yet, and the weight of Jace's hands on her shoulders, the only things that were warm. And then he kissed her.
She felt the brush of his lips, light at first, and her own opened automatically beneath the pressure. Almost against her will she felt herself go fluid and pliant, stretching upward to twine her arms around his neck the way that a sunflower twists toward light. His arms slid around her, his hands knotting in her hair, and the kiss stopped being gentle and became fierce, all in a single moment like tinder flaring into a blaze.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Geric," she called.
He turned back around.
"What kind of flowers were they?"
"I don't rightly know," he said. He made faltering gestures with his hands, forming their size and shape from the air. "They were yellow, and smallish, and had lots of petals."
"Thank you," she said. "They were beautiful.
Shannon Hale (The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1))
Clap her in chains," says Randalin.
Never have I so wished there was a way for me to show I was telling the truth. But there isn't. No oath of mine carries any weight.
I feel a guard's hand close on my arm. Then Cardan's voice comes.
"Do not touch her."
A terrible silence follows. I wait for him to pronounce judgement on me. Whatever he commands will be done. His power is absolute. I don't even have the strength to fight back.
"Whatever can you mean?" Randalin says. "She's-"
"She is my wife," Cardan says, his voice carrying over the crowd.
"The rightful High Queen of Elfhame. And most definitely not in exile.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
you said Is
there anything which
is dead or alive more beautiful
than my body,to have in your fingers
(trembling ever so little)?
your eyes Nothing,i said,except the
air of spring smelling of never and forever.
....and through the lattice which moved as
if a hand is touched by a
moved as though
fingers touch a girl's
Do you believe in always,the wind
said to the rain
I am too busy with
my flowers to believe,the rain answered
Julian," she said. "I was angry at you. I missed you. But I didn't stop loving you." She brushed the back of her hand lightly against his cheek. "As long as you exist and I exist, I will love you.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
You can take a thing when no one’s looking. But defending it, even with all the advantage on your side, is no easy task,” Madoc told her with a laugh. She looked up to find him offering her a hand. “Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence,and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth.
Rachel Hartman (Seraphina (Seraphina, #1))
There was no time for kissing but she wanted him to know that in the future there would be. A kiss in so much loneliness was like a hand pulling you up out of the water, scooping you up from a place of drowning and into the reckless abundance of air. A kiss, another kiss.
Ann Patchett (Bel Canto)
Night flight to San Francisco; chase the moon across America. God, it’s been years since I was on a plane. When we hit 35,000 feet we’ll have reached the tropopause, the great belt of calm air, as close as I’ll ever get to the ozone. I dreamed we were there. The plane leapt the tropopause, the safe air, and attained the outer rim, the ozone, which was ragged and torn, patches of it threadbare as old cheesecloth, and that was frightening. But I saw something that only I could see because of my astonishing ability to see such things: Souls were rising, from the earth far below, souls of the dead, of people who had perished, from famine, from war, from the plague, and they floated up, like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles, and formed a web, a great net of souls, and the souls were three-atom oxygen molecules of the stuff of ozone, and the outer rim absorbed them and was repaired. Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so.
Tony Kushner (Perestroika (Angels in America #2))
You look at me, you look at me closely, each time closer and then we play cyclops, we look at each other closer each time and our eyes grow, they grow closer, they overlap and the cyclops look at each other, breathing confusion, their mouths find each other and fight warmly, biting with their lips, resting their tongues lightly on their teeth, playing in their caverns where the heavy air comes and goes with the scent of an old perfume and silence. Then my hands want to hide in your hair, slowly stroke the depth of your hair while we kiss with mouths full of flowers or fish, of living movements, of dark fragrance. And if we bite each other, the pain is sweet, and if we drown in a short and terrible surge of breath, that instant death is beauty. And there is a single saliva and a single flavour of ripe fruit, and I can feel you shiver against me like a moon on the water.
Maggots are freaky hideous,’ I say, getting up. I try to salvage some dignity, but I can’t help but shiver and shake my hands in the air. It’s an instinctive impulse, one I’m not up for resisting right now.
‘You’ve fought off a gang of men twice your size, killed an angel warrior, stood up to an archangel, and wielded an angel sword.’ Raffe cocks his head. ‘But you scream like a little girl when you see a maggot?’
‘It’s not just a maggot,’ I say. ‘A hand burst out of the ground and grabbed my ankle. And maggots crawled out of it and tried to burrow into me. You would scream like a little girl too if that happened to you.’
‘They didn’t try to burrow into you. They were just crawling. It’s what maggots do. They crawl.’
‘You don’t know anything.
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
the world is a rollercoaster, and i am not strapped i, maybe i should hold with care but my hands are busy in the air
In a lightning-fast move, he placed both of his hands on the brick wall, caging me with his body. He leaned toward me and my heart shifted into a gear I didn't know existed. His warm breath caressed my neck, melting my frozen skin. I tilted my head, waiting for the solid warmth of his body on mine. I could see his eyes again and those dark orbs screamed hunger .
"I heard a rumor."
"What's that?" I struggled to get out.
"It's your birthday."
Terrified speaking would break the spell, I licked my suddenly dry lips and nodded.
"Happy birthday." Noah drew his lips closer to mine; that sweet musky smell overwhelmed my senses. I could almost taste his lips when he unexpectedly took a step back, inhaling deeply. The cold air slapped me into the land of sober.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
We were five. You had a plaid dress and your hair...it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out while we were waiting to line up. He said, 'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.' And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.' So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She put you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, ever bird outside the windows fell silent. And right when your song ended, I knew -just like your mother- I was a goner.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
The world to-day is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot. In my world of beach and dunes these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year.
Henry Beston (The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod)
It feels like the ground is breathing and the air has hands, like everything is moving except me, like I am the only thing solid, like it is the rest of the world that is dizzy.
Amy Reed (Beautiful)
A melancholy air can never be the right thing; what you want is a bored air. If you are melancholy, it must be because you want something, there is something in which you have not succeeded.
It is shewing your inferiority. If you are bored, on the other hand, it is the person who has tried in vain to please you who is inferior.
Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
My main goal is to stay alive. To keep fooling myself into hanging around. To keep getting up every day. Right now I live without inspiration. I go day to day and do the work because it's all I know. I know that if I keep moving I stand a chance. I must keep myself going until I find a reason to live. I need one so bad. On the other hand maybe I don't. Maybe it's all bullshit. Nothing I knew from my old life can help me here. Most of the things that I believed turned out to be useless. Appendages from someone else's life.
Everything I have I would give to not know what I know. To not feel emptiness as my constant companion. To not look into this room and be reminded why I'm in it. I'm not getting enough air. The room feels so small all of a sudden. It's pathetic to be this lonely and know it. To keep breathing. To be silent and alone. And to know.
Henry Rollins (Roomanitarian)
I'm messed up.
I go through phases where I think everything's going to be okay and the sky is blue and stuff and I can feel the sun and the air going in and out of my lungs and I think, life is good. But then every time, I also know deep down that the darkness is coming. And it's going to keep coming. And when I'm in the darkness I'm going to screw up everything.
Cynthia Hand (The Last Time We Say Goodbye)
I've failed you several times. But there was one moment I failed you beyond measure. It was the day we met. The moment I took your hand and you looked at me, with the glory of hate in your eyes. I should have sent you home to your family. But I didn't. There was honesty in your hatred. Fearlessness in your pain. In your honesty, I saw a reflection of myself. Or rather, of the man I longed to be. So I failed you. I didn't stay away. Then later, I thought if I had answers, it would be enough. I would no longer care. You would not matter. So I continued failing you. Continued wanting more. And now I can't find the words to say what must be said. To convey to you the least of what I owe. When I think of you, I can't find the air to breathe. And now, though you are gone, there is no pain or fear. All I am left with is gratitude.
When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that your story isn't over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told. Make it a story worthy of you.
I failed you in one last thing. Here is my chance to rectify it. It was never because I didn't feel it. It was because I swore I would never say it, and a man is nothing if he can't keep his promises.
So I write it in the sky-
I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it.
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
The moment the door opened, Jace seized up a yellow pencil lying on the desk and threw it. It sailed through the air and struck the wall just next to Luke's head, where it stuck, vibrating. Luke's eyes widened.
Jace smiled faintly. "Sorry, I didn't realize it was you."
Luke indicated Simon and Clary with a wave of his hand. "I brought some people to see you."
Jace's eyes moved to them. They were as black as if they had been painted on. "Unfortunately," he said, "I only had the one pencil."
-Jace & Luke, pg.43-
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Where lies the strangling fruit that came from the hand of the sinner I shall bring forth the seeds of the dead to share with the worms that gather in the darkness and surround the world with the power of their lives while from the dimlit halls of other places forms that never were and never could be writhe for the impatience of the few who never saw what could have been. In the black water with the sun shining at midnight, those fruit shall come ripe and in the darkness of that which is golden shall split open to reveal the revelation of the fatal softness in the earth. The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit—and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive. And there shall be in the planting in the shadows a grace and a mercy from which shall blossom dark flowers, and their teeth shall devour and sustain and herald the passing of an age. That which dies shall still know life in death for all that decays is not forgotten and reanimated it shall walk the world in the bliss of not-knowing. And then there shall be a fire that knows the naming of you, and in the presence of the strangling fruit, its dark flame shall acquire every part of you that remains.
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation)
Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?”
“Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says.
“Your father? Why?” I ask.
“He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says.
“What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim.
“No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’”
“That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father.
“So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says.
“Oh, please,” I say, laughing.
“No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.”
“Without success,” I add.
“Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death.
It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true?
“You have a... remarkable memory,” I say haltingly. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.”
“I am now,” I say.
“Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!”
I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
What’s in here can’t hurt you anymore.” Shade’s finger tapped the side of her head. “The world around you,” his hand circled the air around her body, “I’ve got that.” His hands went back to her hands, holding them in his. “No one will ever hurt you again.
Jamie Begley (Shade's Fall (The Last Riders, #4))
Jem drew the bow back and let the arrow fly; it struck the creature in the side. The massive demon worm writhed in agony, undulating as it swept its great, blind head from side to side, uprooting shrubbery with its thrashings. Leaves filled the air and the boys choked on dust, Gideon backing up with his seraph blade in his hand, trying to see by its light.
“It’s coming toward us,” he said in a low voice.
And indeed it was, the arrow still protruding from its wet, grayish skin, humping its body along with incredible speed. A flick of its tail caught the edge of a statue, sending it flying into the dry ornamental pool, where it shattered into dust.
“By the Angel, it just crushed Sophocles,” noted Will. “Has no one respect for the classics these days?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
And here, finally here in this place, in these circumstances, I will really have to kill him. And Snow will win. Hot, bitter hatred courses through me. Snow has won too much already today. It's a long shot, it's suicide maybe, but I do the only thing I can think of. I lean in and kiss Peeta full on the mouth. His whole body starts shuddering, but I keep my lips pressed to his until I have to come up for air. My hands slide up his wrists to clasp his. "Don't let him take you from me." Peeta's panting hard as he fights the nightmares raging in his head. "No. I don't want to..." I clench his hands to the point of pain. "Stay with me." His pupils contract to pinpoints, dilate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. "Always," he murmurs.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Blood trickled from the corner of her (Annabeth) mouth. She croaked, "Family, Luke. You promised."
Luke stared at the knife in Annabeth's hand, the blood on her face. "Promise." Then he gasped like he couldn't get air. "Annabeth . . ." But it wasn't the Titan's voice. It was Luke's. He stumbled forward like he couldn't control his own body. "You're bleeding. . . ." He gasped again."He's changing. Help. He's . . . he's almost ready. He won't need my body anymore. Please—"
"The knife, Percy," Annabeth muttered. Her breath was shallow. "Hero . . . cursed blade . . ."
Luke turned and collapsed, clutching his ruined hands."Please, Percy . . ."
Luke seemed to know what I was thinking. He moistened his lips. "You can't . . . can't do it yourself. He'll break my control. He'll defend himself. Only my hand. I know where. I can . . . can keep him controlled."
I raised the knife to strike. Then I looked at Annabeth, at Grover. And I finally understood what she'd been trying to tell me. You are not the hero, Rachel had said. It will affect what you do. The line from the great prophecy echoed in my head: A hero's soul, cursed blade shall reap. My whole world tipped upside down,and I gave the knife to Luke.I watched as Luke grasped the hilt he stabbed himself
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Death comes for all of us. For us, for our patients: it is our fate as living, breathing, metabolizing organisms. Most lives are lived with passivity toward death -- it's something that happens to you and those around you. But Jeff and I had trained for years to actively engage with death, to grapple with it, like Jacob with the angel, and, in so doing, to confront the meaning of a life. We had assumed an onerous yoke, that of mortal responsibility. Our patients' lives and identities may be in our hands, yet death always wins. Even if you are perfect, the world isn't. The secret is to know that the deck is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgment will slip, and yet still struggle to win for your patients. You can't ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
What a fortunate surprise, Miss Wadsworth." He took my hand in his, pretending to kiss it, and pulled an ink-blue rose from the air. "A rose for the lovely Audrey Rose."
"Oh, wonderful." Thomas said. "Satan has decided to claw his way out of Hell and join us. I had no idea he did subpar tricks, though.
Kerri Maniscalco (Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3))
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it--
A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot
My face a featureless, fine
Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--
The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.
Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me
And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.
What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see
Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
These are my hands
I may be skin and bone,
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.
The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut
As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.
It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical
Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
That knocks me out.
There is a charge
For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.
And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood
Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.
I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby
That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--
A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
In the end, that was the problem with romance. It was so easy to romanticise romance because it was everywhere. It was in music and on TV and in filtered Instagram photos. It was in the air, crisp and alive with fresh possibility. It was in falling leaves, crumbling wooden doorways, scuffed cobblestones and fields of dandelions. It was in the touch of hands, scrawled letters, crumpled sheets and the golden hour. A soft yawn, early morning laugher, shoes lined up together dy the door. Eyes across a dance floor. I could see it all, all the time, all around, but when I got closer, I found nothing was there.
Alice Oseman (Loveless)
I am real. This”–he put his other hand over the first-“is real. You see me interacting with other people all day long, don’t you? I talk to people; I affect things in the world. I cause things to happen. I am real.”
“But-but what if this whole place”-I had to suck in air again-“what if everything is inside my head? East Shoal and Scarlet and this bridge and you-what if you’re not real because nothing is real?”
“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter?” he said. “You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?
Francesca Zappia (Made You Up)
He remembered something about darkness, about pressure and weighted blankets and silence. Though he had no idea how he was going to get hold of any of those things up on top of a building.
"Tell me," Kit said. Tell me what you need.
"Put your arms around me," said Ty. His hands were pale blue blurs in the air, as if Kit were looking at a time-lapsed photo. "Hold on to me."
He was still rocking. After a moment, Kit put his arms around Ty, not knowing what else to do.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
She hesitate. When he still didn't move, Scarlet leaned forward and kissed him. Softly. Just once.
Barely able to breathe around her hammering heart, Scarlet drew back enough for warm air to slip between them, and Wolf dissolved before her, a resigned sigh brushing against her mouth.
The he was pulling her toward him and bundling her up in his arms. Scarlet gasped as Wolf buried on hand into her mess of curls and kissed her back.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
I love you. I love the way you rub the scar on the back of your hand when you're nervous. I love the way you make a sword into a living part of your body. I love the way you burn your eyes into me, as if you're seeing me fresh every time. I love the black streak in you that wants to kill the world, and the soft streak that is sorry afterward. I love the way you laugh, as if you're surprised that you can laugh at all. I love the way you kiss my breath away. I love the way you breathe and speak and smile. I love the way you take the air out of my lungs when you hold me. I love the way you make a dance out of death. I love the confusion I see in your eyes when you realize you are happy. I love every muscle and bone in your body, every twist and bend in your soul.
Kate Quinn (Mistress of Rome (The Empress of Rome, #1))
He snatched out his hand desperately as if to snatch only a wisp of air, to save a fragment of the spot that she had made lovely for him. But it was all going by too fast now for his burred eyes and he knew that he had lost that part of it, the freshest and the best, forever.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
I want to have some reaction. I want to tremble or feel nauseated. I want to be the person who begins to weep. I want to be anyone but the person I am, who looks around to be sure no one saw, who wipes off my knife in the dirt, wipes off my hand on his clothes, and gets out of there before the guards come.
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Except fang. I glared at him. "Go on, try to stop me, I dare you." It was like the old days when we used to wrestle, each trying to get the better of the other. I was ready to take him down, my hands curled into fist. "I was just going to say be careful," Fang told me. He stepped closer and brushed some hair out of my eyes. "And I've got your back." He motioned with his head toward the torpedo chamber. Oh my God. It hit me like a tsunami then, how perfect he was for me, how no one else would ever, could ever, be so perfect for me, how he was everything I could possibly hope for, as a friend, boyfriend, maybe even more. He was it for me. There would be no more looking. I really, really loved him, with a whole new kind of love I'd never felt before, something that made every other kind of love I'd ever felt feel washed out and wimpy in comparison. I loved him with every cell in my body, every thought in my head, every feather in my wings, every breathe in my lungs. and air sacs. Too bad I was going out to face almost certain death. Right there in front of everyone, I threw my arms around his neck and smashed my mouth against his. He was startled for a second, then his strong arms wrapped around me so tightly I could hardly breathe. "ZOMG," I heard Nudge whisper, but still fang and I kissed slanting our heads this way and that to get closer. I could have stood there and kissed him happily for the next millennium, but Angel, or what was left of her was still out there in the could dark ocean. Reluctantly, I ended the kiss, took a step back. Fang's obsidian eyes were glittering brightly and his stoic face had a look of wonder on it."Gotta go," I said quietly. A half smile quirked his mouth. "Yeah. Hurry back." I nodded and he stepped out of the air lock chamber, keeping his eyes fixed on me, memorizing me as he hit the switch that sealed the chamber. The doors hissed shut with a kind of finality, and I realized that my heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to start snapping ribs. I was scared. I was crazily, deeply, incredibly, joyously, terrifyingly in love. I was on a death mission. Before my head simply exploded from so much emotion, I hit the large button that pressurized the air lock enough for the doors to open to the ocean outside. I really, really hoped that I would prove somewhat uncrushable, like Angel did. The door cracked open below me and I saw the first dark glint of frigid water.
James Patterson (Maximum Ride Five-Book Set)
Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air
That crossed me from sweet things,
The flow of--was it musk
From hidden grapevine springs
Downhill at dusk?
I had the swirl and ache
From sprays of honeysuckle
That when they're gathered shake
Dew on the knuckle.
I craved strong sweets, but those
Seemed strong when I was young;
The petal of the rose
It was that stung.
Now no joy but lacks salt,
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain
Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove.
When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,
The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length.
I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you."
How beautiful she looked in the moonlight!
Shy and strange was the look with which she quickly hid her face in my neck and hair, with tumultuous sighs, that seemed almost to sob, and pressed in mine a hand that trembled.
Her soft cheek was glowing against mine. "Darling, darling," she murmured, "I live in you; and you would die for me, I love you so."
I started from her.
She was gazing on me with eyes from which all fire, all meaning had flown, and a face colorless and apathetic.
"Is there a chill in the air, dear?" she said drowsily. "I almost shiver; have I been dreaming? Let us come in. Come; come; come in.
J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
I won't leave you! Do you know how unbearable it's been without you? You're not like the rest of them." His hand swipes through air almost savagely. I stare at him, my eyes wide and aching. "You're not some well-trained puppy content to go along with what you're told. You have fire." He laughs brokenly. "I don't mean literally, although there is that. There's something in you, Jacinda. You're the only thing real for me there, the only thing remotely interesting.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
thinks they love
from the ripple
of a thousand butterflies
is packing their
to see the world
is reaching through
feet of space
to hold the
rise and fall
ink like blood
to say the truth
to a sunrise
they have never
is pulling out
the heads up penny
the only clover
with only 4 leaves
seeds into the
off their thumbs
finding the first
and waiting for
to spend their
is sharing their first
or their last
or no longer their
if how they feel
is how the other
feels about them
and if both theys
could ever become
is the decoder ring
to all of
the great mysteries
is the treasure map.
thinks they love
Tyler Knott Gregson
Marry, don't marry,' Auntie Aya says as we unfold layers of dough to make an apple strudel.
Just don't have your babies unless it's absolutely necessary.'
How do I know if it's necessary?'
She stops and stares ahead, her hands gloved in flour. 'Ask yourself, Do I want a baby or do I want to make a cake? The answer will come to you like bells ringing.' She flickers her fingers in the air by her ear. 'For me, almost always, the answer was cake.
Diana Abu-Jaber (The Language of Baklava: A Memoir)
You don't understand!' Foaly objected.
Trouble cut him off with a chop of his hand through the air. 'I never understand. That's why we pay you and your dork posse."
Foaly objected again. 'They are not dorks!'
Trouble found space for yet another holster. 'Really? That guy brings a Beanie Baby to work every day. And your nephew, Mayne, speaks fluent Unicorn.'
'They're not all dorks,' said Foaly, correcting himself.
Eoin Colfer (The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8))
Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next. I worked at concentrating my attention on the real and useful. I would go to the pool almost every day for a long swim, take walks, make myself three meals.
But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drank, the very air I breathed, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
I am thinking that I don't want this to happen. I don't want to die. I don't want my friends to die. And to be honest, as the time slows down and my hands are in the air, I am afforded the chance to think one more thought, and I think about her. I blame her for this ridiculous, fatal chase--for putting us at risk, for making me into the kind of jackass who would stay up all night and drive too fast. I would not be dying were it not for her. I would have stayed home, as I have always stayed home, and I would've been safe, and I would have done the one thing I have always wanted to do, which is to grow up.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:
1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable ... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...)
2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...)
3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts.
4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...)
5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted ... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...)
6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar ... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' -- the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] -- as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight ... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...)
7) If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...)
8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility ... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano.
And so on. That's what civilized people are like ... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.
[From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
Anton Chekhov (A Life in Letters)
I wake sometimes in the dark terrified by my life's precariousness, its thready breath. Beside me, my husband's pulse beats at his throat; in their beds, my children's skin shows every faintest scratch. A breeze would blow them over, and the world is filled with more than breezes: diseases and disasters, monsters and pain in a thousand variations. I do not forget either my father and his kind hanging over us, bright and sharp as swords, aimed at our tearing flesh. If they do not fall on us in spite and malice, then they will fall by accident or whim. My breath fights in my throat. How can I live on beneath such a burden of doom? I rise then and go to my herbs. I create something, I transform something. My witchcraft is as strong as ever, stronger. This too is good fortune. How many have such power and leisure and defense as I do? Telemachus comes from our bed to find me. He sits with me in the greensmelling darkness, holding my hand. Our faces are both lined now, marked with our years. Circe, he says, it will be all right. It is not the saying of an oracle or a prophet. They are words you might speak to a child. I have heard him say them to our daughters, when he rocked them back to sleep from a nightmare, when he dressed their small cuts, soothed whatever stung. His skin is familiar as my own beneath my fingers. I listen to his breath, warm upon the night air, and somehow I am comforted. He does not mean it does not hurt. He does not mean we are not frightened. Only that: we are here. This is what it means to swim in the tide, to walk the earth and feel it touch your feet. This is what it means to be alive.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Fairy tales are full of girls who wait, who endure, who suffer. Good girls. Obedient girls. Girls who crush nettles until their hands bleed. Girls who haul water for witches. Girls who wander through deserts or sleep in ashes or make homes for transformed brothers in the woods. Girls without hands, without eyes, without the power of speech, without any power at all. But then a prince rides up and sees the girl and finds her beautiful. Beautiful, not despite her suffering, but because of it.
Holly Black (The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air, #1.5))
The cord pulled taut and she rebounded, flying back up before falling again. As her velocity slowed, she opened her eyes and found herself dangling at the end of the cord, about five feet above Jace. He was grinning.
"Nice," he said. "As graceful as a falling snowflake."
"Was I screaming?" She asked, genuinely curious. "You know, on the way down."
He nodded. "Thankfully no one's home, or they would have assumed I was murdering you."
"Ha. You can't even reach me." She kicked out a leg and spun lazily in midair.
Jace's eyes glinted. "Want to bet?"
Clary knew that expression. "No," she said quickly. "Whatever you're going to do-"
But he'd already done it. When Jace moved fast, his individual movements were almost invisible. She saw his hand go to his belt, and then something flashed in the air. She heard the sound of parting fabric as the cord above her head was sheared through. Released, she fell freely, too surprised to scream- directly into Jace's arms. The force knocked him backward, and they sprawled together onto one of the padded floor mats, Clary on top of him. He grinned up at her.
"Now," he said, "that was much better. You didn't scream at all."
"I didn't get the chance." She was breathless, and not just from the impact of the fall. Being sprawled on top of Jace, feeling his body against hers, made her hands shake and her heart beat faster.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee Jr.
You're my lifeline," he whispers and kisses my knuckles before pressing my palm against his. With his eyes wide and full of fear, he gently tugs my hand and places it on his chest over his heart- in the forbidden zone. His breathing quickens, his heart is beating a frantic pounding tattoo beneath my fingers. He doesn't take his eyes off mine; his jaw tense, his teeth clenched.
I gasp. Oh my Fifty! He's letting me touch him. And it's like all the air in my lungs has vaporized- gone.
It slowly began to dawn on me that I had been staring at her for an impossible amount of time. Lost in my thoughts, lost in the sight of her. But her face didn't look offended or amused. It almost looked as if she were studying the lines of my face, almost as if she were waiting.
I wanted to take her hand. I wanted to brush her cheek with my fingertips. I wanted to tell her that she was the first beautiful thing that I had seen in three years. The sight of her yawning to the back of her hand was enough to drive the breath from me. How I sometimes lost the sense of her words in the sweet fluting of her voice. I wanted to say that if she were with me then somehow nothing could ever be wrong for me again.
In that breathless second I almost asked her. I felt the question boiling up from my chest. I remember drawing a breath then hesitating--what could I say? Come away with me? Stay with me? Come to the University? No. Sudden certainty tightened in my chest like a cold fist. What could I ask her? What could I offer? Nothing. Anything I said would sound foolish, a child's fantasy.
I closed my mouth and looked across the water. Inches away, Denna did the same. I could feel the heat of her. She smelled like road dust, and honey, and the smell the air holds seconds before a heavy summer rain.
Neither of us spoke. I closed my eyes. The closeness of her was the sweetest, sharpest thing I had ever known.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Can I tell you a boring science fact?" she whispered. "I bet you didn't learn it in Shadowhunter history class."
"If you're trying to distract me from talking about my feelings, you're not being very subtle about it." He touched her face. "You know I make speeches. It's okay. You don't have to make them back. Just tell me you love me,"
"I'm not trying to distract you." She held up her hand and wiggles the fingers. "There are a hundred trillion cells in the human body," she said. "And every single one of the cells of my body loves you. We shed cells, and grow new ones, and my new cells love you more than the old ones, which is why I love you more every day than I did before. It's science. And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes air of sees the flowers that grow out of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much," She smiled. "How was that for a speech?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Why, if there is anything in supply and demand, life is the cheapest thing in the world. There is only so much water, so much earth, so much air; but the life that is demanding to be born is limitless. Nature is a spendthrift. Look at the fish and their millions of eggs. For that matter, look at you and me. In our loins are the possibilities of millions of lives. Could we but find time and opportunity and utilize the last bit and every bit of the unborn life that is in us, we could become the fathers of nations and populate continents. Life? Bah! It has no value. Of cheap things it is the cheapest. Everywhere it goes begging. Nature spills it out with a lavish hand. Where there is room for one life, she sows a thousand lives, and it's life eats life till the strongest and most piggish life is left.
Jack London (The Sea Wolf)
You are aware of only one unrest;
Oh, never learn to know the other!
Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast,
And one is striving to forsake its brother.
Unto the world in grossly loving zest,
With clinging tendrils, one adheres;
The other rises forcibly in quest
Of rarefied ancestral spheres.
If there be spirits in the air
That hold their sway between the earth and sky,
Descend out of the golden vapors there
And sweep me into iridescent life.
Oh, came a magic cloak into my hands
To carry me to distant lands,
I should not trade it for the choicest gown,
Nor for the cloak and garments of the crown.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
I stretched out my hand, adrenaline and pain giving me plenty of fuel for the magic, and called, 'Ventas servitas!' Wind leapt out in a sudden spurt, seizing the Unraveling and tearing it from Aurora's fingers, sending it spinning through the air toward me. I caught it, stuck my tongue out at Aurora, yelled, 'Meep, meep!' and ran like hell.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
Yet the paradox is that scientific methodology is the product of human hands and thus cannot reach some permanent truth. We build scientific theories to organize and manipulate the world, to reduce phenomena into manageable units. Science is based on reproducibility and manufactured objectivity. As strong as that makes its ability to generate claims about matter and energy, it also makes scientific knowledge inapplicable to the existential, visceral nature of human life, which is unique and subjective and unpredictable. Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
Day in, day out, you peel the layers back for me. Smart mouth, funny, sweet, wild in bed. Chattin' with bikers like they were insurance brokers. Holdin' my girl's hand, givin' her strength when her Mom's bein' a bitch. Keepin' your chin up when your people show in the middle of a full blown drama. But so fuckin' vulnerable, you're scared shitless of livin' life."
"You don't know me, Tack."
His head came up and his eyes pierced mine. "I know you, Tyra."
"Life's a roller coaster. Best damn ride in the park. You don't close your eyes, hold on and wait for it to be over, babe. You keep your eyes open, lift your hands straight up in the air and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.
Kristen Ashley (Motorcycle Man (Dream Man, #4))
Julian's skin was cold, as if he'd been leaning out the window into the night air. She turned his hand and drew with her finger on his bare forearm. It was something they’d done since they were small children and didn't want to get caught talking during lessons. Over the years they'd gotten so good at it that they could map out detailed messages on each other's hands, arms, even their shoulders through their T-shirts.
D-I-D Y-O-U E-A-T? she spelled out.
Julian shook his head, still staring at Livvy and Ty. His curls were sticking up in tufts as if he’d been raking his hands through his hair. She felt his fingers, light on her upper arm. N-O-T H-U-N-G-R-Y.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Like so many plain cups on the shelves. You can reach for them, use them without thinking. Most of them don't matter. Sometimes you lose your grip on one of them and it falls and smashes to piece, and you shrug and say to yourself, what a pity. Then you reach for the cup that you use every day, one that you love and use so often that as you stretch out your hand it is already making the shape that fits its curve. You are certain that yesterday it was in its proper place, but now there is nothing. Just air. You have lost something that was so familiar, so much a part of your life that you were not even looking for it. Just expecting it to be there, as always.
Rosie Thomas (Iris & Ruby)
He ran a hand over his face and shook his head. "Lass, I have never lied to you. I adore you and there have never been any other women from the future here. And these"- he flung a tampon in the air- "cleaning swabs, I cannot fathom why they upset you so greatly, but I assure you I have never let the maids use them."
Lisa's brow furrowed. No man could be so stupid. "Cleaning Swabs?"
He snatched up a gun and jerked the barrel in her direction, and an unwrapped tampon shot out. It was coated with black from the slow corrosion of the steel. She eyed it for a moment, bent, and plucked it from the floor. "You clean your guns with these?"
He lowered the gun. "Is that not the purpose for which they were designed? I vow I could not conceive of another."
Didn't you read the box?"
There were too many words I didn't understand!
Karen Marie Moning (The Highlander's Touch (Highlander, #3))
The painting showed a hairless, oppressed creature with a head like an inverted pear, its hands clapped in horror to its ears, its mouth open in a vast, soundless scream. Twisted ripples of the creature's torment, echoes of its cry, flooded out into the air surrounding it; the man or woman, whichever it was, had become contained by its own howl. It had covered its ears against its own sound. The creature stood on a bridge and no one else was present; the creature screamed in isolation. Cut off by - or despite - its outcry.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
Astonishingly, at some point, a sputtering torch was thrust into her hands. Alma did not see who gave it to her. She had never before been entrusted with fire. The torch spit sparks and sent chunks of flaming tar spinning into the air behind her as she bolted across the cosmos-the only body in the heavens who was not held to a strict elliptical path.
Nobody stopped her.
She was a comet.
She did not know that she was not flying.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
And we will be ready, at the end of every day will be ready, will not say no to anything, will try to stay awake while everyone is sleeping, will not sleep, will make the shoes with the elves, will breathe deeply all the time, breathe in all the air full of glass and nails and blood, will breathe it and drink it, so rich, so when it comes we will not be angry, will be content, tired enough to go, gratefully, will shake hands with everyone, bye, bye, and then pack a bag, some snacks, and go to the volcano.
Without looking at Jacob, I said slowly, 'Well, it seeps into you. It doesn't make you forget yourself, but totally the opposite.' I chance a glance at him. He was watching me intently. No glaze in his eyes. So I continued more bravely: 'It connect you with everything and fills you with awe that you share the same space with something that glorious. Like a sunrise on a clear blue day of the most extraordinary piece of glass. And then suddenly'--my hands escaped their tight grip in my lap, and now my fingers splayed wide like fireworks in the air--'you have this epiphany that there's more to the world than just you and what you want or even who you are.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
Variation on the Word Sleep
I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head.
and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear
I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
Margaret Atwood (Selected Poems II: 1976 - 1986)
If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.
Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.
Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.
I could hardly glance at you
never touch you
-- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...
When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said
this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.
Michael Ondaatje (The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems)
All my life I have overheard, all my life I have listened to what people will let slip when they think you are part of their we. A we is so powerful. It is the most corrupt and formidable institution on earth. Its hands are full of the crispest and most persuasive currency. Its mouth is full of received, repeating language. The we closes its ranks to protect the space inside it, where the air is different. It does not protect people. It protects its own shape.
Patricia Lockwood (Priestdaddy)
The fate of peoples is made like this, two men in small rooms. Forget the coronations, the conclaves of cardinals, the pomp and processions. This is how the world changes: a counter pushed across a table, a pen stroke that alters the force of a phrase, a woman's sigh as she passes and leaves on the air a trail of orange flower or rose water; her hand pulling close the bed curtain, the discreet sigh of flesh against flesh.
Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1))
I envy the music lovers hear. I see them walking hand in hand, standing close to each other in a queue at a theater or subway station, heads touching while they sit on a park bench, and I ache to hear the song that plays between them: The stirring chords of romance's first bloom, the stately airs that whisper between a couple long in love. You can see it in the way they look at each other... you can almost hear it. Almost, but not quite, because the music belongs to them and all you can have of it is a vague echo that rises up from the bittersweet murmur and shuffle of your own memories.
Charles de Lint (Moonlight and Vines (Newford, #6))
I sprang toward him with the stake, hoping to catch him by surprise. But Dimitri was hard to catch by surprise. And he was fast. Oh, so fast. It was like he knew what I was going to do before I did it. He halted my attack with a glancing blow to the side of my head. I knew it would hurt later, but my adrenaline was running too strong for me to pay attention to it now.
Distantly, I realized some other people had come to watch us. Dimitri and I were celebrities in different ways around here, and our mentoring relationship added to the drama. This was prime-time entertainment.
My eyes were only on Dimitri, though. As we tested each other, attacking and blocking, I tried to remember everything he'd taught me. I also tried to remember everything I knew about him. I'd practiced with him for months. I knew him, knew his moves, just as he knew mine. I could anticipate him the same way. Once I started using that knowledge, the fight grew tricky. We were too well matched, both of us too fast. My heart thumped in my chest, and sweat coated my skin.
Then Dimitri finally got through. He moved in for an attack, coming at me with the full force of his body. I blocked the worst of it, but he was so strong that I was the one who stumbled from the impact. He didn't waste the opportunity and dragged me to the ground, trying to pin me. Being trapped like that by a Strigoi would likely result in the neck being bitten or broken. I couldn't let that happen.
So, although he held most of me to the ground, I managed to shove my elbow up and nail him in the face. He flinched and that was all I needed. I rolled him over and held him down. He fought to push me off, and I pushed right back while also trying to maneuver my stake. He was so strong, though. I was certain I wouldn't be able to hold him. Then, just as I thought I'd lose my hold, I got a good grip on the stake. And like that, the stake came down over his heart. It was done.
Behind me, people were clapping but all I noticed was Dimitri. Our gazes were locked. I was still straddling him, my hands pressed against his chest. Both of us were sweaty and breathing heavily. His eyes looked at me with pride—and hell of a lot more. He was so close and my body yearned for him, again thinking he was a piece of me I needed in order to be complete. The air between us seemed warm and heady, and I would have given anything in that moment to lie down with him and have his arms wrap around me. His expression showed that he was thinking the same thing. The fight was finished, but remnants of the adrenaline and animal intensity remained.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
Time to cash in your chips
put your ideas and beliefs on the table.
See who has the bigger hand
you or the Mystery that pervades you.
Time to scrape the mind's shit
off your shoes
undo the laces
that hold your prison together
and dangle your toes into emptiness.
Once you've put everything
on the table
once all of your currency is gone
and your pockets are full of air
all you've got left to gamble with
Go ahead, climb up onto the velvet top
of the highest stakes table.
Place yourself as the bet.
Look God in the eyes
for once in your life
Well, yes, ma'am, I do... I mean, I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.
I...I'm sorry," Kylie mumbled.
"Don't you even try to talk your way out of me being pissed!" Burnett growled. "Not a word!"
"That's two words and I said not one!" he snapped, and he swiped his hand through the air for emphasis.
Kylie bit down on her lip, and wouldn't you know it that's when the tears started flowing. Big, fat, and fast tears. She sniffled and wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand. Her breath caught in her chest. But damn it. Why couldn't this have happened when she was alone?
"Those tears do not affect me, young lady!" He pointed a finger at her. While she couldn't hear his heart beat to the rhythm of a lie, she heard it in his voice.
"Did I say you could talk?" he asked. He did three more pacing laps, as if working off steam, before he looked at her again. "Where were you going, Kylie?"
When she just looked at him, he bit out, "Answer me."
"You said I couldn't talk.
C.C. Hunter (Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls, #5))
The Kissing Game goes like this, Shortcake. Press, retreat, tilt, breathe, repeat. Use your hands to angle just right. Loosen up until it’s a slow, wet slide. Hear the drum of blood in your own ears? Survive on tiny puffs of air. Do not stop. Don’t even think about it. Shudder a sigh, pull back, let your opponent catch you with lips or teeth and ease you back into something even deeper. Wetter. Feel your nerve endings crackle to life with each touch of tongue. Feel a new heaviness between your legs. The aim of the game is to do this for the rest of your life. Screw human civilization and all it entails. This elevator is home now. This is what we do now. Do not fucking stop. He
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
Warmth slid through my veins as my body tensed in a welcomed, delicious way.
My eyes fluttered shut as his lips brushed mine once and then twice, as if he was getting reacquainted with the feel of them. The slight, barely there touch was nerve racking.
Cam shifted his weight onto his left arm and with his other hand, he spread his fingers along my cheek. He placed a kiss to the corner of my lips and the other side before sliding his hand back around the nape of my neck. His lips moved along my jaw, trailing a fiery path to my ear. A shiver danced along my skin, eliciting a deep, husky chuckle from him. His lips pressed against the sensitive spot under my ear, and a moan crawled up my throat.
And then he kissed me—kissed me like he’d had right before he’d left the night of our date. Kissed me like he was a man starving for oxygen and I was the only air he needed to breathe. The hand around my neck held me there, raised up on my elbows as his mouth devoured mine. And that was the only word I could use to accurately explained how he kissed me.
Cam devoured me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait for You (Wait for You, #1))
Maybe I owe you something too, human," she said, drawing her pistol. Butler almost reacted, but decided to give Holly the benefit of the doubt.
Captain Short plucked a gold coin from her belt, flicking it fifty feet into the moonlit sky. With one fluid movement, she brought her weapon up and loosed a single blast. The coin rose another fifty feet, then spun earthward. Artemis somehow managed to snatch it from the air. The first cool movement of his young life.
"Nice shot," he said. The previously solid disk now had a tiny hole in the center.
Holly held out her hand, revealing the still raw scar on her finger. "If it wasn't for you, I would have missed altogether. No mech-digit can replicate that kind of accuracy. So, thank you too, I suppose."
Artemis held out the coin.
"No," said Holly. "You keep it, to remind you."
"To remind me?"
Holly stared at him frankly. "To remind you that deep beneath the layers of deviousness, you have a spark of decency. Perhaps you could blow on that spark occasionally."
Artemis closed his fingers around the coin. It was warm against his palm.
Eoin Colfer (The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, #2))
I slammed the back door shut and gave Caspian a look.
He put both hands up in the air, "What? I didn't do anything."
"No. But you wanted to. And besides, we don't really know yet what can you do."
"Well, I know I can't make people disappear," he muttered darkly "or else he would have been gone a half an hour ago"
I was shocked at how serious he sounded, and then I looked into his eyes, "You're jealous!"
"He wanted to kiss you!"
Now I was dumbfounded, "How do you know that?"
"Because," he said, running a hand through his hair and pushing it back "It's what I'd want to do
Jessica Verday (The Haunted (The Hollow, #2))
His hand sliced through the air in a silencing motion, and he stalked to the window. "Have you seen any rats?"
Her mind spun at the sudden shift of subject. "Rats?"
"Rodents that resemble large mice."
"I know what rats are," she gritted out. "Why?"
"They're spies." He peered through the curtain into the darkness. Thick fog diffused the yellow lamplight, creating an eerie glow on the street below. "Have you seen any?"
Rodent spies? The man might be hot as hell, but he was a loon. As inconspicuously as possible, Cara inched toward the door. "I didn't see any furry little James Bonds.
Larissa Ione (Eternal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #1; Demonica, #6))
Panic. You open your mouth. Open it so wide your jaws creak. You order your lungs to draw air, NOW, you need air, need it NOW. But your airways ignore you. They collapse, tighten, squeeze, and suddenly you're breaithing through a drinking straw. Your mouth closes and your lips purse and all you can manage is a croak. Your hands wriggle and shake. Somewhere a dam has cracked open and a flood of cold sweat spills, drenches your body. You want to scream. You would if you could. Cut you have to breathe to scream. Panic.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
You scared the shit out of me last night, so forgive me if I don't want to hear fine as an answer."
I rubbed my eyes, hoping it would keep the burning tears away. The warm water of the shower had finally calmed the tears, but the thought of Noah walking away brought them back.
"What do you want to hear? That I'm exhausted? Terrified? Confused? That all I want to do is rest my head on your chest and sleep for hours, but that's not going to happen because you're leaving me?"
"Yes," he said quickly, then just as quick said, "No. Everything but the last part." He paused. "Echo, how could you think I would leave you? How can you doubt how I feel?"
"Because," I said as I felt the familiar twisting in my stomach.
"You saw me lose it. You saw me almost go insane."
The muscles in his shoulders visibly tensed.
"I watched you battle against the worst memory of your life and I watched you win. Make no mistake, Echo. I battled right beside you. You need to find some trust in me ... in us."
Noah inhaled and slowly let the air out. His stance softened and so did his voice.
"If you're scared, tell me. If you need to cry and scream, then do it. And you sure as hell don't walk away from us because you think it would be better for me. Here's the reality, Echo: I want to be by your side. If you want to go to the mall stark naked so you can show the world your scars, then let me hold your hand. If you want to see your mom, then tell me that, too. I may not always understand, but damn, baby, I'll try.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time.
The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is.
There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside.
Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
Sam tapped her hand on the steering wheel. Patrick held his hand outside the car and made air waves. I just sat between them. After the song finished, I said something.
'I feel infinite.'
And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever heard. Because the song was that great and because we all really paid attention to it. Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way. I have since bought the record, and I would tell you what it was, but truthfully, it's not the same unless you're driving to your first real party, and you're sitting in the middle seat of a pickup with two nice people when it starts to rain.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Well, if you like honesty," Ro said, following him over to Keefe, "it stinks here, too. Everything smells like . . . "
"Fresh air?" Sophie guessed.
"Awww, my girl keeps getting snarkier and snarkier," Keefe said proudly.
"I'm not your girl," Sophie snapped back. "And don't think I'm done being mad at you!"
"Ohhh, a lovers' quarrel!" Ro clapped her hands. "Those are my favorite. Anyone have snacks? I feel like we should have snacks for this."
"That's not what this is," Sophie told her. "We're not . . .
Ro grinned, flashing pointed teeth. "If you say so."
"Foster's not ready to face her feelings," Keefe stage-whispered.
"I'm ready to strangle you," Sophie countered.
Shannon Messenger (Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #6))
I keep my kindness in my eyes
Gently folded around my iris
Like a velvety, brown blanket
That warms my vision
I keep my shyness in my hair
Tucked away into a ponytail
Looking for a chance to escape
On a few loose strands in the air
I keep my anger on my lips
Just waiting to unleash into the world
But trust me; it’s never in my heart
It evaporates into words
I keep my dignity upon my chin
Like a torch held up high
For those who have betrayed me
Radiating a silent, strong message
I keep my gratitude in my smile
A glistening waterfall in the sun
Gently splashing at that person
Who made me happy for some reason
I keep my sensitivity in my hands
Reaching out for your wet cheek
Holding you, with all the love
The love I want to share, and feel
I keep my passion in my writing
My words breathing like fire
Screeching against an endless road
As I continue to be inspired
I keep my simplicity in my soul
Spread over me like a clear sky
Reflecting all that I am
And all that’s ever passed me by
And I hope you will look
Beyond my ordinary face
My simple, tied hair
My ordinary tastes
And I hope you will see me
As I keep my beauty
in my heart.
A KISS! A KISS!" the crowd chanted.
"I dont know," Cleo began, sickened by the thought of it. How far was she willing to go to appear agreeable? "Quite honestly, it seems like a bad--"
Magnus took a tight hold of her arm and turned her around. Before she could say another word, he put his hand behind her neck, drew her closer to him, and kissed her.
Every muscle in her body stiffened. It was the sensation of being a bird caught in a hinter's trap. Her wings screamed out for her to fly away as fast and as far as possible. But he held her firmly in place, his mouth against hers, soft but demanding a response.
She gripped the front of his shirt. It was all too much--she wasn't sure if she was pushing him away or pulling him closer. Much like diving into deep water, she had no idea which way would find her air to breathe or which way would drag her down deeper into the depths where she would surely drown.
And for a moment, just a moment, she found it didn't seem to matter.
The warmth of his body against hers on such a cold day, his now-familiar scent of sandalwood, the heat of his mouth against hers...it all made her head spin, and logic fell away.
Morgan Rhodes (Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms, #2))
Mark nearly fell forward, and threw his arms around Julian. Julian barely managed to catch himself before almost falling over. Mark was whipcord thin, but strong, his hands fisting in Julian's shirt. Julian could feel Mark's heart hammering, feel the sharp bones under his skin. He smelled like earth and mildew and grass and nighttime air. "Julian," Mark said, muffled, his body shaking. "Julian, my brother, my brother." Julian sighed. He wanted to relax into his older brother, let Mark hold him up the way he once had. But Mark was slighter than he was, fragile under his hands. He would be holding Mark up from now on. It was not what he had imagined, dreamed of, but it was the reality. It was his brother. He tightened his hands on Mark and adjusted his heart to bear the new burden.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
It turned out that Cardan didn't have a heart of stone after all. As he removed his shirt and sank to his knees, as he fisted his hands and tried not to cry out when the strap fell, he burned with hatred. Hatred for Dain; for his father; for all his siblings who didn't take him on and the one who did; for his mother, who spat at his feet as she was led away; for stupid, disgusting mortals; for all of Elfhame and everyone in it. Hate that was so bright and hot that it was the first thing that truly warmed him. Hate that felt so good that he welcomed being consumed by it. Not a heart of stone, but a heart of fire.
Holly Black (How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air, #3.5))
Not cry. Fly.
“I can’t fly,” Bran said. “I can’t, I can’t…”
How do you know? Have you ever tried?
The voice was high and thin. Bran looked around to see where it was coming from. A crow was spiraling down with him, just out of touch, following him as he fell. “Help me,” he said.
I’m trying, the crow replied…
The crow took to the air and flapped around Bran’s hand.
“You have wings,” Bran pointed out.
Maybe you do too.
Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers.
There are different kinds of wings, the crow said…
Bran was falling faster than ever. The grey mists howled around him as he plunged toward the earth below. “What are you doing to me?” he asked the crow, tearful.
Teaching you how to fly.
“I can’t fly!”
You’re flying right now.
Every flight begins with a fall, the crow said. Look down.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
hear him breathing behind me, loud and fast. "Are you all right, Four?"
"Are you human, Tris? Being up this high..." He gulps for air. "It doesn't scare you at all?"
I look over my shoulder at the ground. If I fall now, I will die. But I don't think I will fall. A gust of air presses against my left side, throwing my body weight to the right. I gasp and cling to the rungs, my balance shifting. Four's cold hand clamps around one of my hips, one of his fingers finding a strip of bare skin just under the hem of my T-shirt. He squeezes, steading me and pushing me gently to the left, restoring my balance. Now I can't breathe. I pause, staring at my hands, my mouth dry. I feel the ghost of where his hand was, his fingers long and narrow.
"You okay?" he asks quietly.
"Yes," I say, my voice strained.
I am a book.
Sheaves pressed from the pulp of oaks and pines
a natural sawdust made dingy from purses, dusty
Steamy and anxious, abused and misused,
kissed and cried over,
smeared, yellowed, and torn,
loved, hated, scorned.
I am a book.
I am a book that remembers,
days when I stood proud in good company
When the children came, I leapt into their arms,
when the women came, they cradled me against their soft breasts,
when the men came, they held me like a lover,
and I smelled the sweet smell of cigars and brandy as we sat together in leather chairs,
next to pool tables, on porch swings, in rocking chairs,
my words hanging in the air like bright gems, dangling,
then forgotten, I crumbled,
dust to dust.
I am a tale of woe and secrets,
a book brand-new, sprung from the loins of ancient fathers clothed in tweed,
born of mothers in lands of heather and coal soot.
A family too close to see the blood on its hands,
too dear to suffering, to poison, to cold steel and revenge,
deaf to the screams of mortal wounding,
amused at decay and torment,
a family bred in the dankest swamp of human desires.
I am a tale of woe and secrets,
I am a mystery.
I am intrigue, anxiety, fear,
I tangle in the night with madmen, spend my days cloaked in black,
hiding from myself, from dark angels,
from the evil that lurks within
and the evil we cannot lurk without.
I am words of adventure,
of faraway places where no one knows my tongue,
of curious cultures in small, back alleys, mean streets,
the crumbling house in each of us.
I am primordial fear, the great unknown,
I am life everlasting.
I touch you and you shiver, I blow in your ear and you follow me,
down foggy lanes, into places you've never seen,
to see things no one should see,
to be someone you could only hope to be.
I ride the winds of imagination on a black-and-white horse,
to find the truth inside of me, to cure the ills inside of you,
to take one passenger at a time over that tall mountain,
across that lonely plain to a place you've never been
where the world stops for just one minute
and everything is right.
I am a mystery.
-Rides a Black and White Horse
Why don't you like girls?"
Nicky looked startled by the interruption, but he rallied quickly and made a face. "They're so soft."
Neil thought about Renee's bruised knuckles, Dan's fierce spirit, and Allison holding her ground on the court a week after Seth's death. He thought about his mother standing unflinching in the face of his father's violent anger and her ruthlessly leaving bodies in their wake. He felt compelled to say, "Some of the strongest people I've known are women."
"What? Oh, no," Nicky hurried to say. "I mean literally soft. Too many curves, see? I feel like my hands would slide right off. It's totally not my thing. I like…" He drew a box with his fingers as he searched for words. "Erik. Erik's perfect. He's a total outdoors junkie, rock climbing and hiking and mountain biking, all that awful bug-infested fresh-air stuff. But oh my god, you should see what it does to his body. He's like this, all hard edges." He drew another box. "He's stronger than I am, and I like that. I feel like I could lean on him all day and he wouldn't break a sweat.
Nora Sakavic (The Raven King (All for the Game, #2))
He had green eyes, so I wanted to sleep with him. Green eyes flecked with yellow, dried leaves on the surface of a pool. You could drown in those eyes, I said. The fact of his pulse, the way he pulled his body in, out of shyness or shame or a desire, not to disturb the air around him. Everyone could see the way his muscles worked, the way we look like animals, his skin barely keeping him inside. I wanted to take him home, and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his like a crash test car. I wanted to be wanted, and he was very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving. You could drown in those eyes, I said, so it's summer, so it's suicide, so we're helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.
Wolf took Scarlet’s hands into his, as tenderly as he would pick up an injured butterfly, and slid the band onto her finger. His voice was rough and wavering as he recited—“I, Ze’ev Kesley, do hereby claim you, Scarlet Benoit, as my wife and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything.” He smiled down at her, his eyes swimming with emotion. Scarlet returned the look, and though Wolf’s expression teetered between proud and bashful, Scarlet’s face contained nothing but joy. “You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one.
Scarlet took the second ring—a significantly larger version of the same unadorned band—and pressed it onto Wolf’s finger. “I, Scarlet Benoit, do hereby claim you, Ze’ev Kesley, as my husband and my Alpha. Forevermore, you will be my mate, my star, my beginning of everything. You are the one. You have always been, and you will always be, the only one.”
Wolf folded his hands around hers. From where she sat, Cinder could see that he was shaking.
Kai grinned. “By the power given to me by the people of Earth, under the laws of the Earthen Union and as witnessed by those gathered here today, I do now pronounce you husband and wife.” He spread his hands in invitation. “You may kiss your—”
Wolf wrapped his arms around Scarlet’s waist, lifting her off the floor, and kissed her before Kai could finish. Or maybe she kissed him. It seemed mutual, as her hands wound through his disheveled hair.
The room exploded with cheers, everyone launching to their feet to congratulate the still-kissing couple. Scarlet had lost one of her red shoes.
“I’ll get the champagne,” said Thorne, heading toward the kitchen. “Those two are going to be thirsty when they finally come up for air.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
Mel? Mel, I love you. Mel, come back . Mel, Mel, Mel."
It's Jared's voice, trying to call me back the way Wanda called back the Healer's host, the way she taught Kyle to call to Jodi.
I can answer him. I can speak now. I can feel my tongue in my mouth, ready to move into whatever shape I ask it to. I can feel the air in my lungs, ready to push out the words. If I want this.
"Mel, I love you, I love you."
This is Wanda's gift to me, paid for with her silver blood. Jared and I, put back together again as if she'd never lived. As if she hadn't saved us both.
If I accept this gift, I profit from her death. I kill her again. I take her sacrifice and make it murder.
"Mel, please? Open your eyes."
I feel his hand on my face, cradling my cheek. I feel his lips burn against my forehead, but I don't want them, not at this price.
Or do I?
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
For Someone Awakening To The Trauma of His or Her Past:
For everything under the sun there is a time.
This is the season of your awkward harvesting,
When the pain takes you where you would rather not go,
Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place
You had forgotten you knew from the inside out;
And a time when that bitter tree was planted
That has grown always invisibly beside you
And whose branches your awakened hands
Now long to disentangle from your heart.
You are coming to see how your looking often darkened
When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love,
How deep down your eyes were always owned by something
That faced them through a dark fester of thorns
Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong;
You could only see what touched you as already torn.
Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning.
And your memory is ready to show you everything,
Having waited all these years for you to return and know.
Only you know where the casket of pain is interred.
You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering
And according to your readiness, everything will open.
May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide
Who can accompany you through the fear and grief
Until your heart has wept its way to your true self.
As your tears fall over that wounded place,
May they wash away your hurt and free your heart.
May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound
So that for the first time you can walk away from that place,
Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed,
And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
God spreads the heavens above us like great wings
And gives a little round of deeds and days,
And then come the wrecked angels and set snares,
And bait them with light hopes and heavy dreams,
Until the heart is puffed with pride and goes
Half shuddering and half joyous from God's peace;
And it was some wrecked angel, blind with tears,
Who flattered Edane's heart with merry words.
Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house!
Let me have all the freedom I have lost;
Work when I will and idle when I will!
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
I would take the world
And break it into pieces in my hands
To see you smile watching it crumble away.
Once a fly dancing in a beam of the sun,
Or the light wind blowing out of the dawn,
Could fill your heart with dreams none other knew,
But now the indissoluble sacrament
Has mixed your heart that was most proud and cold
With my warm heart for ever; the sun and moon
Must fade and heaven be rolled up like a scroll
But your white spirit still walk by my spirit.
When winter sleep is abroad my hair grows thin,
My feet unsteady. When the leaves awaken
My mother carries me in her golden arms;
I'll soon put on my womanhood and marry
The spirits of wood and water, but who can tell
When I was born for the first time?
The wind blows out of the gates of the day,
The wind blows over the lonely of heart,
And the lonely of heart is withered away;
While the faeries dance in a place apart,
Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,
Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;
For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing
Of a land where even the old are fair,
And even the wise are merry of tongue;
But I heard a reed of Coolaney say--
When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,
The lonely of heart is withered away.
W.B. Yeats (The Land of Heart's Desire)
Nothing has changed.
The body is susceptible to pain,
It must eat and breath air and sleep,
It has thin skin and blood right underneath,
An adequate stock of teeth and nails,
Its bones are breakable, its joints are stretchable.
In tortures all this is taken into account.
Nothing has changed.
The body shudders as it is shuddered
Before the founding of Rome and after,
In the twentieth century before and after Christ.
Tortures are as they were, it’s just the earth that’s grown smaller,
And whatever happens seems on the other side of the wall.
Nothing has changed.
It’s just that there are more people,
Besides the old offenses, new ones have appeared,
Real, imaginary, temporary, and none,
But the howl with which the body responds to them,
Was, and is, and ever will be a howl of innocence
According to the time-honored scale and tonality.
Nothing has changed.
Maybe just the manners, ceremonies, dances,
Yet the movement of the hands in protecting the head is the same.
The body writhes, jerks, and tries to pull away
Its legs give out, it falls, the knees fly up,
It turns blue, swells, salivates, and bleeds.
Nothing has changed.
Except of course for the course of boundaries,
The lines of forests, coasts, deserts, and glaciers.
Amid these landscapes traipses the soul,
Disappears, comes back, draws nearer, moves away,
Alien to itself, elusive
At times certain, at others uncertain of its own existence,
While the body is and is and is
And has no place of its own.
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room.
Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure.
If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it....
It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me.
I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun.
We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took.
And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things.
They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums.
Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me.
If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe.
Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort.
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
They say that people who live next to waterfalls don't hear the water. It was terrible at first. We couldn't stand to be in the house for more than a few hours at a time. The first two weeks were filled with nights of intermittent sleep and quarreling for the sake of being heard over the water. We fought so much just to remind ourselves that we were in love, and not in hate. But the next weeks were a little better. It was possible to sleep a few good hours each night and eat in only mild discomfort. [We] still cursed the water, but less frequently, and with less fury. Her attacks on me also quieted. It's your fault, she would say. You wanted to live here. Life continued, as life continues, and time passed, as time passes, and after a little more than two months: Do you hear that? I asked her one of the rare mornings we sat at the table together. Hear it? I put down my coffee and rose from my chair. You hear that thing? What thing? she asked. Exactly! I said, running outside to pump my fist at the waterfall. Exactly! We danced, throwing handfuls of water in the air, hearing nothing at all. We alternated hugs of forgiveness and shouts of human triumph at the water. Who wins the day? Who wins the day, waterfall? We do! We do! And this is what living next to a waterfall is like. Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren's will be. But we learn to live in that love.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
You ain’t know nothing,” a man scoffed. “How I’m supposed to trust some junkie Churchwitch-”
The words sliced through her like razor-sharp fangs. Her face flooded with shame, so hot she imagined it steamed in the icy air. At least it wasn’t difficult to identify the speaker. All she had to do was look for the man with Terrible’s fist locked around his neck.
“Ain’t think I hear you right,” Terrible said in a calm, quiet voice. “Wanna louden up?” The man shook his head His eyes bulged. He looked like a bug, with his hands clenching into tiny useless fists. “You sure? You got else to say, you best say it now, instead of later. Now we got us watchers. Later might not be true, dig?” The man dug.
Stacia Kane (Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2))
then things got even stranger.
Mr. Brunner, who'd been out in front of the museum a minute before, wheeled his chair into the doorway of the gallery, holding a pen in his hand.
"What ho, Percy!" he shouted, and tossed the pen through the air.
Mrs. Dodds lunged at me.
With a yelp, I dodged and felt talons slash the air next to my ear. I snatched the ballpoint pen out of the air, but when it hit my hand, it wasn't a pen anymore. It was a sword-Mr. Brunner's bronze sword, which he always used on tourement day.
Mrs. Dodds spun toward me with a murderous look in her eyes.
My knees were jelly. My hands were shaking so bad I almost dropped the sword.
She snarled, "Die, honey!"
And she flew straight at me.
Absolute terror ran through my body. I did the only thing that came naturally:I swung the sword.
The metal blade hit her shoulder and passed through her body as if she were made made of water. Hisss!
Mrs. Dodds was a sand castle in a power fan. She exploded into yellow powder, vaporized on the spot, leaving nothing but the smell of sulfur and a dying screech and a chill of evil in the air, as if those two glowing red eyes were still watching me.
God what an outfield,' he says. 'What a left field.' He looks up at me, and I look down at him. 'This must be heaven,' he says.
No. It's Iowa,' I reply automatically. But then I feel the night rubbing softly against my face like cherry blossoms; look at the sleeping girl-child in my arms, her small hand curled around one of my fingers; think of the fierce warmth of the woman waiting for me in the house; inhale the fresh-cut grass small that seems locked in the air like permanent incense; and listen to the drone of the crowd, as below me Shoelss Joe Jackson tenses, watching the angle of the distant bat for a clue as to where the ball will be hit.
I think you're right, Joe,' I say, but softly enough not to disturb his concentration.
W.P. Kinsella (Shoeless Joe)
If you flinch," Four says, slowly, carefully. "Al takes your place. Understand?" I nod. Four's eyes are still on mine when he lifts his hand, pulls his elbow back, and throws the knife. It is just a flash in the air, and then I hear a thud. The knife is buried in the board, half a foot away from the my cheek. I close my eyes. Thank God. "You about done Stiff?" asks Four. I remember Al's wide eyes and his quiet sobs at night and shake my head. "No." "Eyes open, then." He taps the spot between his eyebrows...
"Come on, Stiff," he says. "Let someone else stand there and take it." Why is he trying to goad me into giving up? Does he want me to fail? "Shut up, Four!"
My body goes rigid. This time, when it hits the board, my ear stings, and blood tickles my skin. I touch my ear. He nicked it. And judging by the look he gives me, he did it on purpose.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
It’s getting closer,” Tristan said.
“So let’s track it.”
“No,” Ayden snapped. “She’s our priority.”
“I know, but it’s following her, so,” Tristan held one hand up, “find the demon,” he held up the other, “find Aurora. It could work.”
The itching intensified. Invisible claws grazed up the back of my neck, wrenching every nerve to painful attention. Another hungry screech sent spikes piercing my brain. Lights shattered my vision. I couldn’t breathe. I burst out of the suffocating space just as the engine roared to life and gunned the car forward.
With a violent curse, Ayden slammed on the brakes but not before the Maserati rammed my hip. I hurtled into the air and rolled a fast spin onto the hood.
“Or you could just hit her with the car,” Tristan said.
A. Kirk (Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles, #1))
Try to tell me what I shouldn't do
You should know by now,
I won't listen to you
Walk around with my hands up in the air
Cause I don't care
Cause I'm alright, I'm fine
Just freak out, let it go
I'm gonna live my life
I can't ever run and hide
I won't compromise
Cause I'll never know
I'm gonna close my eyes
I can't watch the time go by
I won't keep it inside
Freak out, let it go
Just freak out, let it go
You don't always have to do everything right
Stand up for yourself
And put up a fight
walk around with your hands up in the air
Like you don't care
Cause I'm alright, I'm fine
Just freak out, let it go
I'm gonna live my life
I can't ever run and hide
I won't compromise
Cause I'll never know
I'm gonna close my eyes
I can't watch the time go by
I won't keep it inside
Freak out, let it go
On my own
Let it go
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Just let me live my life
I can't ever run and hide
I won't compromise
Cause I'll never know
I'm gonna close my eyes
I can't watch the time go by
I won't keep it inside
Freak out, let it go
Gonna freak out, let it go
Gonna freak out, let it go
Avril Lavigne (Avril LaVigne - Under My Skin)
Emma rose to her feet, facing the faerie across the fleeing crowd. Gleaming from his weathered, barklike face, his eyes were yellow as a cat's. "Shadowhunter," he hissed.
Emma reached back over her shoulder and closed her hand around the hilt of her sword, Cortana. The blade made a golden blur in the air as she drew it and pointed the tip at the fey. "No," she said. "I'm a candygram. This is my costume."
The faerie looked puzzled.
Emma sighed. "It's so hard to be sassy to the Fair Folk. You people never get jokes."
"We are well known for our jests, japes, and ballads," the faerie said, clearly offended. "Some of our ballads last for weeks."
"I don't have that kind of time," Emma said. "I'm a Shadowhunter. Quip fast, die young." She wiggled Cortana's tip impatiently. "Now turn out your pockets."
"I have done nothing to break the Cold Peace," said the fey.
"Technically true, but we do frown on stealing from mundanes," Emma said. "Turn out your pockets or I'll rip off one of your horns and shove it where the sun doesn't shine."
The fey looked puzzled. "Where does the sun not shine? Is this a riddle?"
Emma gave a martyred sigh and raised Cortana. "Turn them out, or I'll start peeling your bark off. My boyfriend and I just broke up, and I'm not in the best mood."
The faerie began slowly to empty his pockets onto the ground, glaring at her all the while. "So you're single," he said. "I never would have guessed.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
She kept her stare locked on his as she let go of his face and slowly, making sure he understood every step of the way,tilted her head back until her throat was arched and bared before him.
"Aelin," he breathed. Not in reprimand or warning, but... a plea. It sounded like a plea. He lowered his head to her exposed neck and hovered a hair's breath away.
She arched her neck farther, a silent invitation.
Rowan let out a soft groan and grazed his teeth against her skin.
One bite, one movement, was all it would take for him to rip out her throat.
His elongated canines slid along her flesh-gently, precisely. She clenched the sheets to keep from running her fingers down on his bare back and drawing him closer.
He braced one hand beside her head, his fingers twining in her hair.
"No one else," she whispered. "I would never allow anyone else at my throat." Showing him was the only way he'd understand that trust, in a manner that only the predatory, Fae side of him would comprehend. "No one else," she said again.
He let out another low groan, answer and confirmation and request, and the rumble echoed inside her. Carefully, he closed his teeth over the spot where her lifeblood thrummed and pounded, his breath hot on her skin.
She shut her eyes, every sense narrowing on that sensation, on the teeth and mouth at her throat, on the powerful body trembling with restraint above hers. His tongue flicked against her skin.
She made a small noise that might have been a moan, or a word, or his name. He shuddered and pulled back, the cool air kissing her neck. Wildness-pure wildness sparked in those eyes.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Kiss me!” I pleaded. “Please, Pigeon! I told him no!”
Abby shoved me away. “Leave me alone, Travis!”
She shouldered passed me, but I grabbed her wrist. She kept her arm straight, outstretched behind her, but she didn’t turn around.
“I am begging you.” I fell to my knees, her hand still in mine. My breath puffed out in white steam as I spoke, reminding me of the cold. “I’m begging you, Abby. Don’t do this.”
Abby glanced back, and then her eyes drifted down her arm to mine, seeing the tattoo on my wrist. The tattoo that bared her name.
She looked away, toward the cafeteria. “Let me go, Travis.”
The air knocked out of me, and with all hope obliterated, I relaxed my hand, and let her slip out of my fingers.
Abby didn’t look back as she walked away from me, and my palms fell flat on the sidewalk. She wasn’t coming back. She didn’t want me anymore, and there was nothing I could do or say to change it.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Mother,” Alec’s voice as he interrupted his mother was firm, implacable, and not unkind. “Father. There’s something I have to tell you.” he smiled at them. “I‘m seeing someone.”
Robert Lightwood looked at his son with some exasperation. “Alec,” he said. “This is hardly the time.”
“Yes, it is. This is important. You see, I‘m not just seeing anyone.” Words seemed to be pouring out of Alec in a torrent, while his parents looked on in confusion. Isabelle and Magnus were staring at him with expressions of nearly identical astonishment. “I‘m seeing a Downworlder. In fact, I‘m seeing a war-”
Magnus‘s fingers moved, quick as a flash of light, in Alec‘s direction. There was a faint shimmer in the air around Alec-his eyes rolled up-and he dropped to the floor, felled like a tree.
“Alec!” Maryse clapped her hand to her mouth. Isabelle, who had been closest to her brother, dropped down beside him. But Alec had already begun to stir, his eyelids fluttering open. “Wha-what-why am I on the floor?”
“That‘s a good question.” Isabelle glowered down at her brother. “What was that?”
“What was what?” Alec sat up, holding his head. A look of alarm crossed his face. “Wait-did I say anything? Before I passed out, I mean.”
Jace snorted. “You know how we were wondering if that thing Clary did would work or not?” he asked. “It works all right.”
Alec looked supremely horrified. “What did I say?”
“You said you were seeing someone,” his father told him. “Though you weren’t clear as to why that was important.”
“Its not,” Alec said. “I mean, I‘m not seeing anyone. And its not important. Or it wouldn’t be if I was seeing someone, which I‘m not.”
Magnus looked at him as if he were an idiot. “Alec‘s been delirious,” he said. “Side effect of some demon toxins. Most unfortunate, but he‘ll be fine soon.”
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Just So You Know
You fall in love with every book you touch. You never break the spine or tear the pages. That would be cruel. You have secret favorites but, when asked, you say that you could never choose. But did you know that books fall in love with you, too?
They watch you from the shelf while you sleep. Are you dreaming of them, they wonder, in that wistful mood books are prone to at night when they’re bored and there’s nothing else to do but tease the cat.
Remember that pale yellow book you read when you were sixteen? It changed your world, that book. It changed your dreams. You carried it around until it was old and thin and sparkles no longer rose from the pages and filled the air when you opened it, like it did when it was new. You should know that it still thinks of you. It would like to get together sometime, maybe over coffee next month, so you can see how much you’ve both changed.
And the book about the donkey your father read to you every night when you were three, it’s still around – older, a little worse for wear. But it still remembers the way your laughter made its pages tremble with joy.
Then there was that book, just last week, in the bookstore. It caught your eye. You looked away quickly, but it was too late. You felt the rush. You picked it up and stroked your hand over its glassy cover. It knew you were The One. But, for whatever reason, you put it back and walked away. Maybe you were trying to be practical. Maybe you thought there wasn’t room enough, time enough, energy enough.
But you’re thinking about it now, aren’t you?
You fall in love so easily.
But just so you know, they do, too.
Sarah Addison Allen
They're all gone, my tribe is gone. Those blankets they gave us, infected with smallpox, have killed us. I'm the last, the very last, and I'm sick, too. So very sick. Hot. My fever burning so hot.
I have to take off my clothes, feel the cold air, splash water across my bare skin. And dance. I'll dance a Ghost Dance. I'll bring them back. Can you hear the drums? I can hear them, and it's my grandfather and grandmother singing. Can you hear them?
I dance one step and my sister rises from the ash. I dance another and a buffalo crashes down from the sky onto a log cabin in Nebraska. With every step, an Indian rises. With every other step, a buffalo falls.
I'm growing, too. My blisters heal, my muscles stretch, expand. My tribe dances behind me. At first they are no bigger than children. Then they begin to grow, larger than me, larger than the trees around us. The buffalo come to join us and their hooves shake the earth, knock all the white people from their beds, send their plates crashing to the floor.
We dance in circles growing larger and larger until we are standing on the shore, watching all the ships returning to Europe. All the white hands are waving good-bye and we continue to dance, dance until the ships fall off the horizon, dance until we are so tall and strong that the sun is nearly jealous. We dance that way.
Sherman Alexie (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)
The eye turned to the fire gave back no light and he closed it with his thumb and sat by her and put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes that he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight where the grass was wet and the sun's coming as yet had not undone the rich matrix of creatures passed in the night before her. Deer and hare and dove and groundvole all richly empaneled on the air for her delight, all nations of the possible world ordained by God of which she was one among and not separate from. Where she ran the cries of the coyotes clapped shut as if a door had closed upon them and all was fear and marvel. He took up her stiff head out of the leaves and held it or he reached to hold what cannot be held, what already ran among the mountains at once terrible and of great beauty, like flowers that feed on flesh. What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any altar nor by any wound of war. What we may well believe has power to cut and shape and hollow out the dark form of the world surely if wind can, if rain can. But which cannot be held never be held and is no flower but is swift and a huntress and the wind itself is in terror of it and the world cannot lose it.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam rises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.
I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls
The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make
Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed
A glorious washing-day!
Along the path of a useful life
Will heart's-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think
Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away
As we busily wield a broom.
I am glad a task to me is given
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope,
And I cheerfully learn to say-
"Head, you may think; Heart, you may feel;
But Hand, you shall work always!
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
We look back through countless millions of years and see the great will to live struggling out of the intertidal slime, struggling from shape to shape and from power to power, crawling and then walking confidently upon the land, struggling generation after generation to master the air, creeping down the darkness of the deep; we see it turn upon itself in rage and hunger and reshape itself anew, we watch it draw nearer and more akin to us, expanding, elaborating itself, pursuing its relentless inconceivable purpose, until at last it reaches us and its being beats through our brains and arteries...It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all that the human mind has accomplished is but the dream before the awakening; out of our lineage, minds will spring that will reach back to us in our littleness to know us better than we know ourselves. A day will come, one day in the unending succession of days, when beings, beings who are now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins, shall stand upon this earth as one stands upon a footstool, and shall laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars.
He dropped to his knees, and the air between them rippled with Karou’s crippling magic and with memory. The day of her death, this is what she had seen, this: Akiva on his knees, sick with the weight of this same magic coursing off Thiago’s soldiers, and he had struggled to hold his head up and look at her—just like this—with horror and despair and love—and she had wanted more than she had ever wanted anything to go to him and hold him, whisper to him that she loved him and was going to save him, but she couldn’t, not then, and she couldn’t now, not because of shackles or pinions or the executioner’s ax but because he was the enemy. He had proven it beyond any horror she would ever have believed, beyond any betrayal she could ever have dreamed, and he could never be forgiven, not ever.
But… then… her hands fell to her sides.
Laini Taylor (Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2))
The sign outside this tent is accompanied by a small box full of smooth black stones. The text instructs you to take one with you as you enter. Inside, the tent is dark, the ceiling covered with open black umbrellas, the curving handles hanging down like icicles. In the center of the room there is a pool. A pond enclosed within a black stone wall that is surrounded by white gravel. The air carries the salty tinge of the ocean. You walk over to the edge to look inside. The gravel crunches beneath your feet. It is shallow, but it is glowing. A shimmering, shifting light cascades up through the surface of the water. A soft radiance, enough to illuminate the pool and the stones that sit at the bottom. Hundreds of stones, each identical to the one you hold in your hand. The light beneath filters through the spaces between the stones. Reflections ripple around the room, making it appear as though the entire tent is underwater. You sit on the wall, turning your black stone over and over in your fingers. The stillness of the tent becomes a quiet melancholy. Memories begin to creep forward from hidden corners of your mind. Passing disappointments. Lost chances and lost causes. Heartbreaks and pain and desolate, horrible loneliness. Sorrows you thought long forgotten mingle with still-fresh wounds. The stone feels heavier in your hand. When you drop it in the pool to join the rest of the stones, you feel lighter. As though you have released something more than a smooth polished piece of rock.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
ROSE of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
The tall thought-woven sails, that flap unfurled
Above the tide of hours, trouble the air,
And God’s bell buoyed to be the water’s care;
While hushed from fear, or loud with hope, a band
With blown, spray-dabbled hair gather at hand.
Turn if you may from battles never done,
I call, as they go by me one by one,
Danger no refuge holds, and war no peace,
For him who hears love sing and never cease,
Beside her clean-swept hearth, her quiet shade:
But gather all for whom no love hath made
A woven silence, or but came to cast
A song into the air, and singing past
To smile on the pale dawn; and gather you
Who have sought more than is in rain or dew
Or in the sun and moon, or on the earth,
Or sighs amid the wandering starry mirth,
Or comes in laughter from the sea’s sad lips;
And wage God’s battles in the long grey ships.
The sad, the lonely, the insatiable,
To these Old Night shall all her mystery tell;
God’s bell has claimed them by the little cry
Of their sad hearts, that may not live nor die.
Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!
You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.
Beauty grown sad with its eternity
Made you of us, and of the dim grey sea.
Our long ships loose thought-woven sails and wait,
For God has bid them share an equal fate;
And when at last defeated in His wars,
They have gone down under the same white stars,
We shall no longer hear the little cry
Of our sad hearts, that may not live nor die.
The Sweet Far Thing
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
Lilies, I rule, heads, you do," he [the King] said, and threw the coin into the air.
"Lilies, you rule, heads, you throw again," said Attolia.
The coin dropped. Eugenides looked at it and then showed it to her. "No need," he said. The coin sat in his palm, obverse, showing the lilies of Attolia. He flipped it again and again and again. Each time it landed showing the lilies.
He wanted to dismiss the coin toss as slight of hand. Any circus performer could control the drop of a coin, but he'd been puzzled. The queen had been undismayed; she had seemed almost vindicated in her manner. It had been the King who was more disturbed with each toss of the coin. He'd looked almost sick, Relius thought, by the time he put the coin away.
Walking away along the arcade that lay perpendicular to the one where Relius lurked, the king pulled the coin from his pocket. He looked at the gold stater in sudden disgust and pitched it hard between the columns of the arcade into the shrubbery.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
The Frays had never been a religiously observant family, but Clary loved Fifth Avenue at Christmas time. The air smelled like sweet roasted chestnuts, and the window displays sparkled with silver and blue, green and red. This year there were fat round crystal snowflakes attached to each lamppost, sending back the winter sunlight in shafts of gold. Not to mention the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. It threw its shadow across them as she and Simon draped themselves over the gate at the side of the skating rink, watching tourists fall down as they tried to navigate the ice.
Clary had a hot chocolate wrapped in her hands, the warmth spreading through her body. She felt almost normal—this, coming to Fifth to see the window displays and the tree, had been a winter tradition for her and Simon for as long as she could remember.
“Feels like old times, doesn’t it?” he said, echoing her thoughts as he propped his chin on his folded arms.
She chanced a sideways look at him. He was wearing a black topcoat and scarf that emphasized the winter pallor of his skin. His eyes were shadowed, indicating that he hadn’t fed on blood recently. He looked like what he was—a hungry, tired vampire.
Well, she thought. Almost like old times. “More people to buy presents for,” she said. “Plus, the always traumatic what-to-buy-someone-for-the-first-Christmas-after-you’ve-started-dating question.”
“What to get the Shadowhunter who has everything,” Simon said with a grin.
“Jace mostly likes weapons,” Clary sighed. “He likes books, but they have a huge library at the Institute. He likes classical music …” She brightened. Simon was a musician; even though his band was terrible, and was always changing their name—currently they were Lethal Soufflé—he did have training. “What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?”
“A really huge metronome that could also double as a weapon?”
Clary sighed, exasperated.
“Sheet music. Rachmaninoff is tough stuff, but he likes a challenge.”
“Now you’re talking. I’m going to see if there’s a music store around here.” Clary, done with her hot chocolate, tossed the cup into a nearby trash can and pulled her phone out. “What about you? What are you giving Isabelle?”
“I have absolutely no idea,” Simon said. They had started heading toward the avenue, where a steady stream of pedestrians gawking at the windows clogged the streets.
“Oh, come on. Isabelle’s easy.”
“That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about.” Simon’s brows drew together. “I think. I’m not sure. We haven’t discussed it. The relationship, I mean.”
“You really have to DTR, Simon.”
“Define the relationship. What it is, where it’s going. Are you boyfriend and girlfriend, just having fun, ‘it’s complicated,’ or what? When’s she going to tell her parents? Are you allowed to see other people?”
Simon blanched. “What? Seriously?”
“Seriously. In the meantime—perfume!” Clary grabbed Simon by the back of his coat and hauled him into a cosmetics store that had once been a bank. It was massive on the inside, with rows of gleaming bottles everywhere. “And something unusual,” she said, heading for the fragrance area. “Isabelle isn’t going to want to smell like everyone else. She’s going to want to smell like figs, or vetiver, or—”
“Figs? Figs have a smell?” Simon looked horrified; Clary was about to laugh at him when her phone buzzed. It was her mother.
where are you? It’s an emergency.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Miss Bridgerton,” he said, “the devil himself couldn’t scare you.”
She forced her eyes to meet his. “That’s not a compliment, is it?”
He lifted her hand to his lips, brushing a feather-light kiss across her knuckles. “You’ll have to figure that out for yourself,” he murmured.
To all who observed, he was the soul of propriety, but Hyacinth caught the daring gleam in his eye, and she felt the breath leave her body as tingles of electricity rushed across her skin. Her lips parted, but she had nothing to say, not a single word. There was nothing but air, and even that seemed in short supply.
And then he straightened as if nothing had happened and said, “Do let me know what you decide.”
She just stared at him.
“About the compliment,” he added. “I am sure you will wish to let me know how I feel about you.”
Her mouth fell open.
He smiled. Broadly. “Speechless, even. I’m to be commended.”
“No. No,” he said, lifting one hand in the air and pointing toward her as if what he really wanted to do was place his finger on her lips and shush her. “Don’t ruin it. The moment is too rare.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
Why love the boy in a March field with his kite braving the sky? Because our fingers burn with the hot string singeing our hands. Why love some girl viewed from a train bent to a country well? The tongue remembers iron water cool on some long lost noon. Why weep at strangers dead by the road? They resemble friends unseen in forty years. Why laugh when clowns are hot by pies? We taste custard we taste life. Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience. Billions of prickling textures. Cut one sense away, cut part of life away. Cut two senses; life halves itself on the instant. We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
The Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
W.B. Yeats (The Wind Among the Reeds)
Life, authentic life, is supposed to be all struggle, unflagging action and affirmation, the will butting its blunt head against the world's wall, suchlike, but when I look back I see that the greater part of my energies was always given over to the simple search for shelter, for comfort, for, yes, I admit it, for cosiness. This is a surprising, not to say shocking, realisation. Before, I saw myself as something of a buccaneer, facing all-comers with a cutlass in my teeth, but now I am compelled to acknowledge that this was a delusion. To be concealed, protected, guarded, that is all I have ever truly ever wanted, to burrow down into a place of womby warmth and cower there, hidden from the sky's indifferent gaze and the air's harsh damagings. That is why the past is just such a retreat for me, I go there eagerly, rubbing my hands and shaking off the cold present and the colder future. And yet, what existence, really, does it have, the past? After all, it is only what the present was, once, the present that is gone, no more than that. And yet.
John Banville (The Sea)
Here sighs and cries and shrieks of lamentation
echoed throughout the starless air of Hell;
at first these sounds resounding made me weep:
tongues confused, a language strained in anguish
with cadences of anger, shrill outcries
and raucous groans that joined with sounds of hands,
raising a whirling storm that turns itself
forever through that air of endless black,
like grains of sand swirling when a whirlwind blows.
And I, in the midst of all this circling horror,
began, "Teacher, what are these sounds I hear?
What souls are these so overwhelmed by grief?"
And he to me: "This wretched state of being
is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life
but lived it with no blame and with no praise.
They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels
neither faithful nor unfaithful to their God,
who undecided stood but for themselves.
Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out,
but even Hell itself would not receive them,
for fear the damned might glory over them."
And I. "Master, what torments do they suffer
that force them to lament so bitterly?"
He answered: "I will tell you in few words:
these wretches have no hope of truly dying,
and this blind life they lead is so abject
it makes them envy every other fate.
The world will not record their having been there;
Heaven's mercy and its justice turn from them.
Let's not discuss them; look and pass them by...
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.”
The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.”
She echoed, “Take care of it?”
“Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.”
For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.”
The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.”
“That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.”
To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.”
“I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said.
In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince.
“Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.”
“Sorry,” she recommended.
“I said that already.”
Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’”
He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
But I suppose if you're friends of Magnus's ..." He went completely still. His runes faded. Then he leaped out of my hand and flew towards Annabeth, his blade twitching as if he was stiffing the air. "Where is she? Where are you hiding the babe?"
Annabeth backed towards the rail. "Whoa, there, sword. Personal space?"
"Jack, behave," Alex said. "What are you doing?"
"She's around here somewhere," Jack insisted. He flew to Percy. "Aha! What's in your pocket, sea boy?"
"Excuse me?" Percy looked a bit nervous about the magical sword hovering at his waistline.
Alex lowered his Ray-Bans. "Okay, now I'm curious. What do you have in your pocket, Percy? Enquiring swords want to know."
Percy pulled a plain-looking ballpoint pen from his jeans. "You mean this?"
"BAM!" Jack said. "Who is this vision of loveliness?"
"Jack," I said. "It's a pen."
"No, it's not! Show me! Show me!"
"Uh ... sure." Percy uncapped the pen.
Immediately it transformed into a three-foot-long sword with a leaf-shaped blade of glowing bronze.. Compared to Jack, the weapon looked delicate, almost petite, but from the way Percy wielded it I had no doubt he'd be able to hold his own on the battlefields of Valhalla with that thing.
Jack turned his point towards me, his runes flashing burgundy. "See Magnus? I told you it wasn't stupid to carry a sword disguised as a pen!"
"Jack, I never said that!" I protested. "You did.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
Ellie, my darling, please explain to me why the office has been flooded with calls about, and I quote"--she crooked her fingers in the air--"a vicious vampire on the loose, a crazy knife-wielding maniac, and oh, this one's my favorite--an assassin carrying a gun!"
"I can explain."
Sara folded her arms and tapped one fashionably clad foot. "Explain why you flashed not only a knife but a gun? I hope to God you didn't actually use either of them without authoriation because if the VPA gets ahold of it, we're screwed."
Elena rubbed the back of her neck. "Exigent circumstances. He was trying to make me his bed buddy. I declined. He gave chase."
Ranson chocked back what sounded suspiciously like a laugh. "Why did you say no? It's been a dry spell of what, forever?"
She threw him a dirty look before returning her gaze to Sara. "You know I'd never have considered using the gun otherwise."
Sara heldup a hand. "How, exactly, did you 'decline' his offer?"
"By slitting his throat.
Nalini Singh (Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1))
-You know how to call me
although such a noise now
would only confuse the air
Neither of us can forget
the steps we danced
the words you stretched
to call me out of dust
Yes I long for you
not just as a leaf for weather
or vase for hands
but with a narrow human longing
that makes a man refuse
any fields but his own
I wait for you at an
unexpected place in your journey
like the rusted key
or the feather you do not pick up.-
-I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES
FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.-
For Anyone Dressed in Marble
The miracle we all are waiting for
is waiting till the Parthenon falls down
and House of Birthdays is a house no more
and fathers are unpoisoned by renown.
The medals and the records of abuse
can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust,
but like whips certain perverts never use,
compel our flesh in paralysing trust.
I see an orphan, lawless and serene,
standing in a corner of the sky,
body something like bodies that have been,
but not the scar of naming in his eye.
Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside.
Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride.
I Had It for a Moment
I had it for a moment
I knew why I must thank you
I saw powerful governing men in black suits
I saw them undressed
in the arms of young mistresses
the men more naked than the naked women
the men crying quietly
No that is not it
I'm losing why I must thank you
which means I'm left with pure longing
How old are you
Do you like your thighs
I had it for a moment
I had a reason for letting the picture
of your mouth destroy my conversation
Something on the radio
the end of a Mexican song
I saw the musicians getting paid
they are not even surprised
they knew it was only a job
Now I've lost it completely
A lot of people think you are beautiful
How do I feel about that
I have no feeling about that
I had a wonderful reason for not merely
It was tied up with the newspapers
I saw secret arrangements in high offices
I saw men who loved their worldliness
even though they had looked through
big electric telescopes
they still thought their worldliness was serious
not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation
they thought the cosmos listened
I was suddenly fearful
one of their obscure regulations
could separate us
I was ready to beg for mercy
Now I'm getting into humiliation
I've lost why I began this
I wanted to talk about your eyes
I know nothing about your eyes
and you've noticed how little I know
I want you somewhere safe
far from high offices
I'll study you later
So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
At nearly three in the morning sleepiness weighted my body as we lay there together so still. I heard his breathing even out as we both hovered in that place between wake and sleep. And then his hand wandered lazily down my back and over my hip until he was cupping the full curve of my behind, part of me that he’d actively avoided touching all night.
Scratch that sleepy thing.
His firm hands clutched me closer and I breathed a heady gust of air at his throat. I’d been careful all night not to be too vocal about how good his touches felt. I knew each noise would act as fuel, making it even harder for him. He rolled to his back, pulling me on top of him with both hands fully on my backside now.
“Kaidan,” I whispered.
Looking half-asleep, he shushed me with a hot kiss, pulling my hips to crush us together. I whimpered into his mouth.
“God, those little sounds,” he said against my lips. “I want to hear how you sound when I make you—”
“Kai!” I practically leaped off him, and he sat up, eyes blazing, licking his lips. I was breathing hard. He had to be as tired as me after our long day, and it was starting to weaken us big-time. Oh, how I’d love to indulge that weakness.
I scooted farther away.
“Maybe we should try to get some sleep,” I suggested, though I was feeling wide-awake now.
He stared at me with roaring passion. “I think a third shower might be necessary,” he said.
A silly laugh wanted to escape me, but there was no humor in his eyes. Only want.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
Hear me, Daenerys Targaryen. The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal."
"Reznak? Why should I fear him?" Dany rose from the pool. Water trickled down her legs, and gooseflesh covered her arms in the cool night air. "If you have some warning for me, speak plainly. What do you want of me, Quaithe?"
Moonlight shown in the woman's eyes. "To show you the way."
"I remember the way. I go north to go south, east to go west, back to go forward. And to touch the light I have to pass beneath the shadow." She squeezed the water from her silvery hair. "I am half-sick of riddling. In Qarth I was a beggar, but here I am a queen. I command you-"
"Daenerys. Remember the Undying. Remember who you are."
"The blood of the dragon." But my dragons are roaring in the darkness. "I remember the Undying. Child of three, they called me. Three mounts they promised me, three fires, and three treasons. One for blood and one for gold and one for . . ."
"Your Grace?" Missandei stood in the door of the queen's bedchamber, a lantern in her hand. "Who are you talking to?"
Dany glanced back toward the persimmon tree. There was no woman there. No hooded robe, no lacquer mask, no Quaithe.
A shadow. A Memory. No one.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.
Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.
We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?
Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.
It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.
It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Maya Angelou (Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)
A Kite is a Victim
A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.
A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won't give up,
or the wind die down.
A kite is the last poem you've written
so you give it to the wind,
but you don't let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.
A kite is a contract of glory
that must be made with the sun,
so you make friends with the field
the river and the wind,
then you pray the whole cold night before,
under the travelling cordless moon,
to make you worthy and lyric and pure.
You tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
I brought you silence
(for I know silence)
you would say
This is not silence
this is another poem
and you would hand it back to me
There are some men
There are some men
who should have mountains
to bear their names through time
Grave markers are not high enough
and sons go far away to lose the fist
their father’s hand will always seem
I had a friend he lived and died
in mighty silence and with dignity
left no book son or lover to mourn.
Nor is this a mourning song
but only a naming of this mountain
on which I walk
fragrant, dark and softly white
under the pale of mist
I name this mountain after him.
-Believe nothing of me
Except that I felt your beauty
more closely than my own.
I did not see any cities burn,
I heard no promises of endless night,
I felt your beauty
more closely than my own.
Promise me that I will return.-
-When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want to summon
the eyes and hidden mouths
of stone and light and water
to testify against you.-
I almost went to bed
the four white violets
I put in the button-hole
of your green sweater
and how i kissed you then
and you kissed me
shy as though I'd
never been your lover
-Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart.
Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist and
fragrance of dying.-
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
What must it be, then, to bear the manifold tortures of hell forever? Forever! For all eternity! Not for a year or an age but forever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness, and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of air. And imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all. Yet at the end of that immense stretch time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of all those billions and trillions of years eternity would have scarcely begun. And if that mountain rose again after it had been carried all away again grain by grain, and if it so rose and sank as many times as there are stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales upon fish, hairs upon animals – at the end of all those innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasurably vast mountain not even one single instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time, the mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would have scarcely begun.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
The temperature jumped another ninety degrees. Why couldn't anyone see in my life how awesome Noah was? I shoved up my sleeves, welcoming the cold air on my skin.
"Echo, stop!" Ashley propelled her self out of the gliter.
I froze and then remembered Ashley was damaged. I was going on a date, not to Vegas to elope.
Noah's strong hand slipped over my wrist before he entwined his fingers with mine. The sensation of warm flesh against an area I allowed no one to see, much less touch, caused me to shiver. My eyes widened, realizing my mistake. This is what had freaked Ashley out. What had come over me? I never pulled up my sleeves. I spent all my time pulling them down. When had I become...comfortable?
He rubbed his thumb over my hand. "I planned on taking her to my house to meet some of my friends."
Noah could have told them he was getting me to the ghetto to buy us crack and they wouldn't have heard him. Ashley stood in place, staring at my exposed scars as my father stared at our combined hands. I reached over to pull down my sleeve, but Noah casually placed his hand over my forearm, preventing me fron doing it. My lungs squeezed out all the oxygen in my body. Noah Hutchins, in fact, a human being, was overtly, on purpose, touching my scars.
I'd stopped breathing moments ago, as had Ashley. Noah continued as nothing earth-shattering had happened. "What time does Echo need to be home?"
Blinking my self back to life, i answered for them, "My curfew is eleven."
"Twelve." My father stood and extended his hand. "I didn't have a chance to properly introduce myself earlier. I'm Owen Emerson.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
It felt like being shot with an arrow, and Will jerked back. His wineglass crashed to the floor and shattered. He lurched to his feet, leaning both hands on the table. He was vaguely aware of stares, and the landlords anxious voice in his ear, but the pain was too great to think through, almost too great to breathe through. The tightness in his chest, the one he had thought of as one end of a cord tying him to Jem, had pulled so taut that it was strangling his heart. He stumbled away from his table, pushing through a knot of customers near the bar, and passed to the front door of the inn. All he could think of was air, getting air into his lungs to breathe. He pushed the doors open and half-tumbled out into the night. For a moment the pain in his chest eased, and he fell back against the wall of the inn. Rain was sheeting down, soaking his hair and clothes. He gasped, his heart stuttering with a misture of terror and desperation. Was this just the distance from Jem affecting him? He had never felt anything like this, even when Jem was at his worst, even when he'd been injured and Will had ached with sympathetic pain.
The cord snapped.
For a moment everything went white, the courtyard bleeching through as if with acid. Will jackknifed to his knees, vomiting up his supper into the mud. When the spasms had passed , he staggard to his feet and blindly away from the inn, as if trying to outpace his own pain. He fetched up against the wall of the stables, beside the horse trough. He dropped to his knees to plunge his hands into the icy water-and saw his own reflection. There was his face, as white as death, and his shirt, and a spreading stain of red across the front. With wet hands he siezed at his lapels and jerked the shirt open. In the dim light that spilled from the inn, he could see that his parabati rune, just over his heart, was bleeding. His hands were covered in blood, blood mixed with rain, the same ran that was washing the blood away from his chest, showing the rune as it began to fade from black to silver, changing all that had been sense in Will's life into nonsense.
Jem was dead.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I heard the bathroom door close and I kept my eyes screwed shut, but my heart skyrocketed into uncharted territories. I folded my arms around me and held my breath.
There was the slightest movement behind me. Skin brushed against mine. A fine shiver rolled up my spine. An infinite spark transferred between us, something that couldn’t be replicated or forced. How could I’ve forgotten that when connected with Seth? My heart turned over heavily.
Aiden brushed the mass of thick hair over one shoulder and his lips met the space between my neck and shoulder. His hands slid down the slick skin of my arms, cupping over my elbows and then to my wrists. Gently, slowly, he eased my arms to my sides.
I bit down on my lip and my legs started trembling. But he was there. Like always, holding me up when I couldn’t stand on and letting me go when he knew I needed him to. He was more than just a shelter. AIden was my other half, my equal. And he needed no weird Apollyon connection.
Aiden waited, still as a statue, patient as ever, until my muscles unlocked, one by one. Then his hands dropped to my waist and he turned me toward him. A heartbeat passed and he placed his fingers on my chin, tipping my head back.
I opened my eyes, blinking the wetness off my lashes, and the air hitched in my throat. Faint, purplish bruises shadowed his jaw. There was a cut over the bridge of his nose. No doubt injuries I had given him.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles.
This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear.
But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God.
...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
No more boys taking you on trips, you hear?” His voice was gravelly. “You can take your own self from now on. Last thing you need is some boy distracting you and making this whole situation even more complicated. Promise me you'll stay away from that son of Pharzuph.”
I opened my mouth but the words stuck in my dry throat. How sweat beaded up on my forehead.
“I tried that once, John,” Patti warned him. “It didn't work out so well for me.”
“Have you seen the way he looks at her?” He focused on Patti, but pointed at me.
“Yes, and I've seen the way she looks at him. Truthfully, I think they need each other.”
“Those two need each other like a bullet needs a target. Trust me. I've seen Nephilim kids killed for falling in love and letting it get in the way of their work.”
“Well, you don't have to worry, because we're not in love,” I chimed in. “He doesn't like me like that.”
Dad puffed out a breath of air. “Well, he must feel something, 'cause he sure doesn't want that other kid near you.”
“Is there someone else you're interested in?” Patti asked.
I rolled my colors back up, tucked them inside, and yanked the barrier back into place. Then I entertained the image of Kopano's sweet dimple for a brief second before pushing it away.
“I'm not ready to think about that,” I answered.
My father tilted his head up to the ceiling and pressed his giant hands to his face, muffling his speech. “I'm way too old for this.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.
They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between.
A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes.
She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly.
What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake.
She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her.
Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene.
After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well.
She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague.
She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire.
Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more.
But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself.
He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly.
It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop.
What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind.
The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself.
She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her.
They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools.
— & now here she is, all used up.
Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside.
She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind.
If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do.
You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like.
She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with.
Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Does this mean I get to be part of the team?” She clapped her hands again.
“Yes,” Nate said.
“No,” Gabriel said at the same time.
“Duuuude,” Nate said to Gabriel between his teeth. “I really want to talk to this Mr. Brooks guy.”
“Fine.” Gabriel sighed. “Let her help. I don’t care. But if you die,” Gabriel pointed at Heather, “or get cursed or something, that’s your fault.”
Heather nodded merrily, still clapping. “Yay, I’m part of the team.”
“We’re not a team,” Gabriel said through gritted teeth.
Heather ignored him and looked at Nate. “I think we need a team name.”
“Ooh! Good idea.” Nate pointed a finger into the air. “How about Team Awesome?”
Heather wrinkled her nose. “Too vague. Team Super Secret Fountain Seekers?”
“Too specific.” Nate shook his head. “Team Ash Guy Hunters?”
“Ashman.” Heather shook her head. “Too hard to say.”
Nate scoffed. “And ‘Super Secret Fountain Seekers’ is easy to say?”
Gabriel huffed and started walking toward the door. “You guys can stay here and pick a name and a Team Captain or whatever, but I’m going to find Mr. Brooks.” He opened the door to leave, night falling on the forest around them.
Heather said, “Mr. Brooks doesn’t open his door when it’s dark outside.” She shrugged. “So we’re going to have to wait until tomorrow after school.”
Frustrated, Gabriel closed the cabin door on the setting sun. “Tomorrow then.”
“Perfect.” Nate nodded, shifting his eyes from Scarlet, to Gabriel, and then to Heather.
A moment passed.
“I call dibs on Team Captain,” Nate said.
Gabriel rolled his eyes.
Chelsea Fine (Awry (The Archers of Avalon, #2))
Immediately when you arrive in Sahara, for the first or the tenth time, you notice the stillness. An incredible, absolute silence prevails outside the towns; and within, even in busy places like the markets, there is a hushed quality in the air, as if the quiet were a conscious force which, resenting the intrusion of sound, minimizes and disperses sound straightaway. Then there is the sky, compared to which all other skies seem fainthearted efforts. Solid and luminous, it is always the focal point of the landscape. At sunset, the precise, curved shadow of the earth rises into it swiftly from the horizon, cutting into light section and dark section. When all daylight is gone, and the space is thick with stars, it is still of an intense and burning blue, darkest directly overhead and paling toward the earth, so that the night never really goes dark.
You leave the gate of the fort or town behind, pass the camels lying outside, go up into the dunes, or out onto the hard, stony plain and stand awhile alone. Presently, you will either shiver and hurry back inside the walls, or you will go on standing there and let something very peculiar happen to you, something that everyone who lives there has undergone and which the French call 'le bapteme de solitude.' It is a unique sensation, and it has nothing to do with loneliness, for loneliness presupposes memory. Here in this wholly mineral landscape lighted by stars like flares, even memory disappears...A strange, and by no means pleasant, process of reintergration begins inside you, and you have the choice of fighting against it, and insisting on remaining the person you have always been, or letting it take its course. For no one who has stayed in the Sahara for a while is quite the same as when he came.
...Perhaps the logical question to ask at this point is: Why go? The answer is that when a man has been there and undergone the baptism of solitude he can't help himself. Once he has been under the spell of the vast luminous, silent country, no other place is quite strong enough for him, no other surroundings can provide the supremely satisfying sensation of existing in the midst of something that is absolute. He will go back, whatever the cost in time or money, for the absolute has no price.
Paul Bowles (Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World)
Maybe I was just flattering myself, thinking I'd be worth some sort of risk. Not that I'd wish that on anyone!" he clarified. "I don't mean that. It just...I don't know. Don't you all see everything I'm risking?"
"Umm, no. You're here with your family to give you advice, and we all live around your schedule. Everything about your life stays the same, and ours changed overnight. What in the world could you possibly be risking?"
Maxon looked shocked.
"America, I might have my family, but imagine how embarrassing it is to have your parents watch as you attempt to date for the first time. And not just your parents-the whole country! Worse than that, it's not even a normal style of dating.
"And living around my schedule? When I'm not with you all, I'm organizing troops, making laws, perfecting budgets...and all on my own these days, while my father watches me stumble in my own stupidity because I have none of his experience. And then, when I inevitably do things in a way he wouldn't, he goes and corrects my mistakes. And while I'm trying to do all this work, you-the girls, I mean-are all I can think about. I'm excited and terrified by the lot of you!"
He was using his hands more than I'd ever seen, whipping them in the air and running them through his hair.
"And you think my life isn't changing? What do you think my chances might be of finding a soul mate in the group of you? I'll be lucky if I can just find someone who'll be able to stand me for the rest of our lives. What if I've already sent her home because I was relying on some sort of spark I didn't feel? What if she's waiting to leave me at the first sign of adversity? What if I don't find anyone at all? What do I do then, America?"
His speech had started out angered and impassioned, but by the end his questions weren't rhetorical anymore. He really wanted to know: What was he going to do if no one here was even close to being someone he could love? Though that didn't even seem to be his main concern; he was more worried that no one would love him.
"Actually, Maxon, I think you will find your soul mate here. Honestly."
"Really?" His voice charged with hope at my prediction.
"Absolutely." I put a hand on his shoulder. He seemed to be comforted by that touch alone. I wondered how often people simply touched him. "If your life is as upside down as you say it is, then she has to be here somewhere. In my experience, true love is usually the most inconvenient kind.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
The night following the reading, Gansey woke up to a completely unfamiliar sound and fumbled for his glasses. It sounded a little like one of his roommates was being killed by a possum, or possibly the final moments of a fatal cat fight. He wasn’t certain of the specifics, but he was sure death was involved.
Noah stood in the doorway to his room, his face pathetic and long-suffering. “Make it stop,” he said.
Ronan’s room was sacred, and yet here Gansey was, twice in the same weak, pushing the door open. He found the lamp on and Ronan hunched on the bed, wearing only boxers. Six months before, Ronan had gotten the intricate black tattoo that covered most of his back and snaked up his neck, and now the monochromatic lines of it were stark in the claustrophobic lamplight, more real than anything else in the room. It was a peculiar tattoo, both vicious and lovely, and every time Gansey saw it, he saw something different in the pattern. Tonight, nestled in an inked glen of wicked, beautiful flowers, was a beak where before he’d seen a scythe.
The ragged sound cut through the apartment again.
“What fresh hell is this?” Gansey asked pleasantly. Ronan was wearing headphones as usual, so Gansey stretched forward far enough to tug them down around his neck. Music wailed faintly into the air.
Ronan lifted his head. As he did, the wicked flowers on his back shifted and hid behind his sharp shoulder blades. In his lap was the half-formed raven, its head tilted back, beak agape.
“I thought we were clear on what a closed door meant,” Ronan said. He held a pair of tweezers in one hand.
“I thought we were clear that night was for sleeping.”
Ronan shrugged. “Perhaps for you.”
“Not tonight. Your pterodactyl woke me. Why is it making that sound?”
In response, Ronan dipped the tweezers into a plastic baggy on the blanket in front of him. Gansey wasn’t certain he wanted to know what the gray substance was in the tweezers’ grasp. As soon as the raven heard the rustle of the bag, it made the ghastly sound again—a rasping squeal that became a gurgle as it slurped down the offering. At once, it inspired both Gansey’s compassion and his gag reflex.
“Well, this is not going to do,” he said. “You’re going to have to make it stop.”
“She has to be fed,” Ronan replied. The ravel gargled down another bite. This time it sounded a lot like vacuuming potato salad. “It’s only every two hours for the first six weeks.”
“Can’t you keep her downstairs?”
In reply, Ronan half-lifted the little bird toward him. “You tell me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
*Then with alcoholic talkativeness
You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason!
*He grins wryly.
It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death!
*Stares at him -- impressed.
Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right.
*Then protesting uneasily.
But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death.
The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
So I take it you and Gansey get along, then?” Maura’s expression was annoyingly knowing.
“Orla told me about his muscle car,” Maura continued. Her voice was still angry and artificially bright. The fact that Blue was well aware that she’d earned it made the sting of it even worse. “You aren’t planning on kissing him, are you?”
“Mom, that will never happen,” Blue assured her. “You did meet him, didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t sure if driving an old, loud Camaro was the male equivalent of shredding your T-shirts and gluing cardboard trees to your bedroom walls.”
“Trust me,” Blue said. “Gansey and I are nothing like each other. And they aren’t cardboard. They’re repurposed canvas.”
“The environment breathes a sigh of relief.” Maura attempted another sip of her drink; wrinkling her nose, she shot a glare at Persephone. Persephone looked martyred. After a pause, Maura noted, in a slightly softer voice, “I’m not entirely happy about you’re getting in a car without air bags.”
“Our car doesn’t have air bags,” Blue pointed out.
Maura picked a long strand of Persephone’s hair from the rim of her glass. “Yes, but you always take your bike.”
Blue stood up. She suspected that the green fuzz of the sofa was now adhered to the back of her leggings. “Can I go now? Am I in trouble?”
“You are in trouble. I told you to stay away from him and you didn’t,” Maura said. “I just haven’t decided what to do about it yet. My feelings are hurt. I’ve consulted with several people who tell me that I’m within my rights to feel hurt. Do teenagers still get grounded? Did that only happen in the eighties?”
“I’ll be very angry if you ground me,” Blue said, still wobbly from her mother’s unfamiliar displeasure. “I’ll probably rebel and climb out my window with a bedsheet rope.”
Her mother rubbed a hand over her face. Her anger had completely burned itself out. “You’re well into it, aren’t you? That didn’t take long.”
“If you don’t tell me not to see them, I don’t have to disobey you,” Blue suggested.
“This is what you get, Maura, for using your DNA to make a baby,” Calla said.
Maura sighed. “Blue, I know you’re not an idiot. It’s just, sometimes smart people do dumb things.”
Calla growled, “Don’t be one of them.”
“Persephone?” asked Maura.
In her small voice, Persephone said, “I have nothing left to add.” After a moment of consideration, she added, however, “If you are going to punch someone, don’t put your thumb inside your fist. It would be a shame to break it.”
“Okay,” Blue said hurriedly. “I’m out.”
“You could at least say sorry,” Maura said. “Pretend like I have some power over you.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter.
He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase.
Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane.
The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway.
The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone.
John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air--
Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness.
Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason.
Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal.
"You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted.
Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe."
"So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them.
Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan.
At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk.
Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing.
He'd caught her.
......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile.
There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time.
God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer.
I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course.
I didn’t feel it happen, the slip. Even if I had, I was so wrapped up in him that I couldn’t imagine pulling back or letting go of his warm skin or that moment. His touch was feather-light, stroking my skin with a kind of reverence, but the instant his lips found mine again, a single thought was enough to rocket me out of the honey-sweet haze.
The memory of Clancy’s face as he had leaned in to do exactly what Liam was doing now suddenly flooded my mind, twisting its way through me until I couldn’t ignore it. Until I was seeing it play out glossy and burning like it was someone else’s memory and not mine.
And then I realized—I wasn’t the only one seeing it. Liam was seeing it, too.
How, how, how? That wasn’t possible, was it? Memories flowed to me, not from me.
But I felt him grow still, then pull back. And I knew, I knew by the look on his face, that he had seen it.
Air filled my chest. “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t want—he—”
Liam caught one of my wrists and pulled me back to him, his hands cupping my cheeks. I wondered which one of us was breathing harder as he brushed my hair from my face. I tried to squirm away, ashamed of what he’d seen, and afraid of what he’d think of me.
When Liam spoke, it was in a measured, would-be-calm voice. “What did he do?”
“Don’t lie,” he begged. “Please don’t lie to me. I felt it…my whole body. God, it was like being turned to stone. You were scared—I felt it, you were scared!”
His fingers came up and wove through my hair, bringing my face close to his again. “He…” I started. “He asked to see a memory, and I let him, but when I tried to move away…I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t move, and then I blacked out. I don’t know what he did, but it hurt—it hurt so much.”
Liam pulled back and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt the muscles in his arms strain, shake. “Go to the cabin.” He didn’t let me protest. “Start packing.”
“I’m going to find Chubs,” he said. “And the three of us are getting the hell out of here. Tonight.”
“We can’t,” I said. “You know we can’t.” But he was already crashing back through the dark path. “Lee!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
it’s a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can’t function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don’t care as you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway, and it doesn’t matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don’t seem to matter anymore and things you didn’t think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don’t want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It’s a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven.
even your body goes out of control, you can’t eat, you don’t sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything’s just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don’t seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it’s uncomfortable but compulsory.
and then, once you think you’ve got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn’t bite there nails? perhaps he doesn’t feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he’s just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can’t we? perhaps he’s just being polite.
of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don’t want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he’s away doing Real Life it’s agony, your mind won’t leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you’ve been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn’t want him to see me.
Annabel Giles (Birthday Girls)
Are you all right?" A crease appears between his eyebrows, and he touches my cheek gently.I bat his hand away.
"Well," I say, "first I got reamed out in front of everyone,and then I had to chat with the woman who's trying to destroy my old faction,and then Eric almost tossed my friends out of Dauntless,so yeah,it's shaping up to be a pretty great day,Four."
He shakes his head and looks at the dilapidated building to his right, which is made of brick and barely resembles the sleek glass spire behind me. It must be ancient.No one builds with brick anymore.
"Why do you care,anyway?" I say. "You can be either cruel instructor or concerned boyfriend." I tense up at the word "boyfriend." I didn't mean to use it so flippantly,but it's too late now. "You can't play both parts at the same time."
"I am not cruel." He scowls at me. "I was protecting you this morning. How do you think Peter and his idiot friends would have reacted if they discovered that you and I were..." He sighs. "You would never win. They would always call your ranking a result of my favoritism rather than your skill."
I open my mouth to object,but I can't. A few smart remarks come to mind, but I dismiss them. He's right. My cheeks warm, and I cool them with my hands.
"You didn't have to insult me to prove something to them," I say finally.
"And you didn't have to run off to your brother just because I hurt you," he says. He rubs at the back of his neck. "Besides-it worked,didn't it?"
"At my expense."
"I didn't think it would affect you this way." Then he looks down and shrugs. "Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you.That you are capable of being hurt."
I slide my hands into my pockets and rock back on my heels.A strange feeling goes through me-a sweet,aching weakness. He did what he did because he believed in my strength.
At home it was Caleb who was strong,because he could forget himself,because all the characteristics my parents valued came naturally to him. No one has ever been so convinced of my strength.
I stand on my tiptoes, lift my head, and kiss him.Only our lips touch.
"You're brilliant,you know that?" I shake my head. "You always know exactly what to do."
"Only because I've been thinking about this for a long time," he says, kissing my briefly. "How I would handle it, if you and I..." He pulls back and smiles. "Did I hear you call me your boyfriend,Tris?"
"Not exactly." I shrug. "Why? Do you want me to?"
He slips his hands over my neck and presses his thumbs under my chin, tilting my head back so his forehead meets mine. For a moment he stands there, his eyes closed, breathing my air. I feel the pulse in his fingertips. I feel the quickness of his breath. He seems nervous.
"Yes," he finally says. Then his smile fades. "You think we convinced him you're just a silly girl?"
"I hope so," I say.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I have many names, and none of them matter. Names are not important. To speak is to name names, but to speak is not important. A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so the question him saying, 'What is it like, this thing you have seen?' So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world. He tells them, 'It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.' Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes. They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times. More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these apart or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it. They call it 'fire.'
If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. Therefore, 'fire' does not matter, 'earth' and 'air' and 'water' do not matter. 'I' do not matter. No word matter. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming. The thing that has never happened before is still happening. It is still a miracle. The great burning blossom squats, flowing, upon the limb of the world, excreting the ash of the world, and being none of these things I have named and at the same time all of them, and this is reality-the Nameless.
Roger Zelazny (Lord of Light)
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled.
The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.”
“Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?”
A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy.
“Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.”
It took a minute before the model let go.
“That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.”
Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.”
The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly.
“Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?"
“Don’t have one.”
“Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.”
Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.”
“So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?”
“Was hoping to piss you off.”
“Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked.
“If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight.
Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.”
Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone.
“You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled.
Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously.
Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray.
“Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.”
“Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray.
The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this?
“Might I ask a favor?” the butler said.
Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.”
Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so.
The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?”
“No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))