Knife Blade Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Knife Blade. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.
Rabindranath Tagore
He was another knife I could feel it. A different sort, but a knife still. I did not care. I thought: give me the blade. Some things are worth spilling blood for.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Raphael snapped, "This isn't funny." "That's why no one's laughing." Jace stood, hauling Raphael upright, jamming the tip of his knife between Raphael's shoulder blades.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
The mage pulled my knife out of his side and looked at it. “Nice knife.” The voice was deep but female. I threw my second knife. The blade bit into the mage’s chest. Shit. Missed the neck. “Here, have another one.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style.
Steven Brust
I spent the rest of my day in someone else’s story. The rare moments that I put the book down, my own pain returned in burning stabs. I felt like a circus knife thrower’s target. If I held my mind immobile, I might avoid being hit by the blades whizzing by my head.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
I heard you scream,” he said as he examined the blade in my hands. I’d never held one so finely crafted, so perfectly balanced. “And I hesitated. Not long, but I hesitated before I came running. Even though Tam got there in time, I still broke my word in those seconds I waited.” He jerked his chin at the knife. “It’s yours. Don’t bury it in my back, please.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
A dispassionate white sun shone at the summit of the sky. I wanted to hone myself on it till I grew saintly and thin and essential as the blade of a knife.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
And bring me back that knife,” she added. “It’s my favorite one.” Kell shook his head, and freed the blade from where it had lodged in the wood. “They’re all your favorite.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
So here's the truth - I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you're not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You're as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what's best in themselves. You've changed my life. You've given me the words I need to become whatever I want. I love how you talk to lytlings. You don't talk down to them. You respect them, and anybody can tell you're actually interested in what they have to say. I love the way you ride a horse – how you stick there like an upland thistle, whooping like a Demonai. I love the way you throw back your head and stomp your feet when you dance. I love how you go after what you want – whether it's kisses or a queendom. I love your skin, like copper dusted over with gold. And your eyes – they're the color of a forest lake shaded by evergreens. One of the secret places that only the Demonai know about. I love the scent of you – when you've been out in the fresh air, and that perfume you put behind your ears sometimes. Believe it or not, I even love your road smell – of sweat and horses and leather and wool. I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4))
At the last minute, she bobbed left so that he stabbed the wall she'd hit, trapping the blade in the Sheetrock. As he went to try to get the thing free, she whirled around and nailed him in the gut with her backup blade, springing a hole in his lower intestines. Meeting his shocked stare, she said, "What, like you didn't think I'd have a second knife? Fucking idiot.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
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))
A knife is neither true nor false, but anyone impaled on its blade is in error.
René Daumal (Mount Analogue)
When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to catch whole for they will break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will onto a knife blade and lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book-to open the page and let the stories crawl in by themselves.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1))
So you want a knife, a nice sharp knife. You hone that blade to its limits. It even cuts through stone when you want it to. It saves your life. And then you're outraged when it cuts you accidentally. You see, knives don't switch off. And neither do people, not when you hone them to a fine edge.
Karen Traviss
Kaz had taught her to crack a safe, pick a pocket, wield a knife. He'd gifted her with her first blade, the one she called Sankt Petyr - not as pretty as wild geraniums, but more practical, she supposed.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Then your tail will divide and shrink until it becomes what the people on earth call a pair of shapely legs. But it will hurt; it will feel as if a sharp sword slashed through you. Everyone who sees you will say that you are the most graceful human being they have ever laid eyes on, for you will keep your gliding movement and no dancer will be able to tread as lightly as you. But every step you take will feel as if you were treading upon knife blades so sharp that blood must flow. I am willing to help you, but are you willing to suffer all this?" "Yes," the little mermaid said in a trembling voice, as she thought of the Prince and of gaining a human soul.
Hans Christian Andersen (The Little Mermaid)
Look down, your grace," said Skimmer. "Mhm, mhm." Vimes realized he could feel the faintest prick of a knife blade on his stomach. "Look down further," he said. Inigo looked down. He swallowed. Vimes had a knife, too. "You really are no gentleman, then," he said. "Make a sudden move and neither are you," said Vimes.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
Along the blade of a knife lies the path of paradox—the single most worthy path of the fearless mind . . . .
Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
all his prayers of the past had been simple concrete requests: God, give me a bicycle, a knife with seven blades, a box of oil paints. Only how, how, could you say something so indefinite, so meaningless as this: God, let me be loved.
Truman Capote
Holding the knife with the blade against my palm, it became so clear how my life would only contain shadows now. Shadows of things gone; not just the people themselves but everything connected to them. Was this my future? Every moment, every tiny thing I saw and did and touched, weighted by loss. Every space in this house and my town and the world in general, empty in a way that could never be filled.
Jennifer Castle (The Beginning of After)
A knife struck the docks between Kell's feet, and he jumped. "Lila!" he shouted. "Leaving!" she called from the deck. "And bring me back that knife," she added. "It's my favorite one." Kell shook his head, and freed the blade from where it had lodged in the wood. "They're all you favorite.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
I wanted to die. Die right there. I wanted to run to the knife drawer, grab the biggest blade I could find, and plunge it into my heart. To be exposed as never even being kissed ... it was almost worse than being a vampire princess. The vampire thing was a ridiculous fantasy, but my total lack of experience . . . that was real. "Mom! That is so embarrassing! Did you have to tell him that?" Well, Jessica, it's true. I don't want Lucius thinking you're some sort of experienced young woman, ready for marriage.
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1))
He drew in a shaky breath. "How can you ask me to let you die?" he choked, still keeping the blade at the prince's throat. A thread of blood formed under the knife, and ran down to Ash's collar. "I'd do anything for you, Meghan. Just...not that. Not that." Gently, I reached up and closed my fingers around the knife hilt, easing it down and away from Ash's neck. Puck resisted for a moment, then stepped back with a sob. The dagger fell from his grip and clanged to the floor.
Julie Kagawa
The knife is the most durable, immortal, the most genius thing that man created. The knife was the guillotine; the knife is the universal means of solving all knots; and along the blade of a knife lies the path of paradox - the single most worthy path of the fearless mind.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
...all his prayers of the past had been simple concrete requests: God, give me a bicycle, a knife with seven blades, a box of oil-paints. Only how, how, could you say something so indefinite, so meaningless as this: God, let me be loved.
Truman Capote (Other Voices, Other Rooms)
Peeta smiles and douses Haymitch's knife in white liquor from a bottle on the floor. He wipes the blade clean on his shirt tail and slices the bread. Peeta keeps all of us in fresh baked goods. I hunt. He bakes. Haymitch drinks. We have our own ways to stay busy, to keep thought of our time as contestants in the Hunger Games at bay.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
A girl comes of age against the knife. She must learn to bear its blade. To be cut. To bleed.
Tiffany McDaniel (Betty)
I spent the rest of my day in someone else's story. The rare moments that I put the book down, my own pain returned in burning stabs. I felt like a circus knife thrower's target. If I held my mind immobile, I might avoid being hit by the blades whizzing by my head. From time to time I fell asleep, but was immediately awakened by the dark, tortured dreams that, once I awoke, dissolved without a trace.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
Lay the knife at the tips of your fingers," Rob commanded. "So close you can feel the blade against your skin. Then cut the shadow away." Jared had been silent in her head. Now Kami turned her mind to his and let his thoughts and feelings flow through her. Kami, please, please wait just another moment, Jared begged, I'll save you, and later I'll be better, I'll do anything you want, be anything you want me to be. Please don't do it.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
How can the poem and the stink and the grating noise - the quality of light, the tone, the habit and the dream - be set down alive? When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will onto a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book - to open the page and let the stories crawl in by themselves.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1))
Karṇa walks, his back is straight, he is lit up by his divine earings; yet his feet drag. He turns into an alley. His head droops and falls to his chest. He stops. Mist swirls around him, becomes motionless, parts. From between his ribs steps a young woman. Her eyes and face and tongue are brown like old blood and she is decked in old things and she wears upon her wrists two burnt black bracelets. She places the point of a knife under Karṇa’s chest plate and cuts, a gentle sawing motion, the blade moving beneath the skin, a slicing of the quick: nerves, blood vessels, sinews. I feel his pain; not a stab; it is insistent, enduring, but sharp nonetheless, as with any loss.
Michael Tobert (Karna's Wheel)
Where d'you get the knife?" He wished he had one. "He gave it to me." There was a crumpled shape in the shadows by the wall, the matting all around soaked with dark blood. "This way.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
There was a sort of innocence to him, I thought. I do not mean this as the poets mean it: a virtue to be broken by the story's end, or else upheld at great cost. Nor do I mean that he was foolish or guileless. I mean that he was made only of himself, without the dregs that clog the rest of us. He thought and felt and acted, and all these things made a straight line. No wonder his father had been so baffled by him. He would have always been looking for the hidden meaning, the knife in the dark. But Telemachus carried his blade in the open.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
The big rules of knife fighting are (a) do not try it at home, and (b) the whole point is never, ever use the blade. It is there to distract your opponent. While he stares at the gleaming steel, you kick his balls to kingdom come--he's all yours. Just a tip!
Keith Richards (Life)
All the general fear I've been feeling condenses into an immediate fear of this girl, this predator who might kill me in seconds. Adrenaline shoots through me and I sling the pack over one shoulder and run full-speed for the woods. I can hear the blade whistling toward me and reflexively hike the pack up to protect my head. The blade lodges in the pack. Both straps on my shoulders now, I make for the trees. Somehow I knew the girl will not pursue me. That she'll be drawn back into the Cornucopia before all the good stuff is gone. A grin crosses my face. Thanks for the knife, I think.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
What we end up calling history is a kind of knife, slicing down through time. A few people are hard enough to bend its edge. But most won't even stand close to the blade. I'm one of those. We don't bend anything.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna)
Lighting gleamed on the blade, a flicker of quicksilver. For Wesley. For Sam. For Aelin. And for herself. For the child she'd been, for the seventeen-year-old on her Bidding night, for the woman she'd become, her heart in shreds, her invisible wound still bleeding. It was so very easy to sit up and slice the knife across Arobynn's throat.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
The cold cut like a many bladed knife
Israel Zangwill (The Big Bow Mystery)
The moon was a crescent, thin and sharp as the blade of a knife.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
I brought a knife to the gunfight. I am the knife. I am all blade.
Clementine von Radics
Eve held his eyes and confidently licked the length of the razor-sharp blade with the tip of her tongue. Red blood beaded up on her tongue, and she licked her lips, giving them a fresh coat of color. Eve used the knife to blow a kiss in Beckett’s direction and disappeared into the crowd. Beckett forgot to keep dancing. He stood stock still with Kyle still twirling around him. Eve had just f*cked his mind so hard, he wanted to smoke a cigarette and cuddle like some soap-watching woman.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
His gaze was heat across her cheeks, her lips. It was touch. His eyes were hypnotic, his brows black and velvet. He was copper and shadow, honey and menace, the severity of knife-blade cheekbones and a widow's peak like the point of a dagger.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Here's an example: someone says, "Master, please hand me the knife," and he hands them the knife, blade first. "Please give me the other end," he says. And the master replies, "What would you do with the other end?" This is answering an everyday matter in terms of the metaphysical. When the question is, "Master, what is the fundamental principle of Buddhism?" Then he replies, "There is enough breeze in this fan to keep me cool." That is answering the metaphysical in terms of the everyday, and that is, more or less, the principle zen works on. The mundane and the sacred are one and the same.
Alan W. Watts (What Is Zen?)
But we disposable women have to be realistic in this life, you know. Else we get itchy and discontented and start contemplating the kitchen knife and wondering whether it wouldn't look nicer between someone's shoulder-blades.
Jude Morgan (The Taste of Sorrow)
Raphael's pleasure, his kiss, sent her over a second time....and it wasn't until they both stirred again that Raphael reached down and undid the strap of her knife sheath, putting it and the knife on the bedside table. "Beautiful as this sheath is," he said, touching the leather, "I much prefer the one which holds my blade.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6))
Kaz took a handkerchief from his coat pocket and carefully wiped his face clean. He thought of Inej lying still on the table, her slight weight in his arms. "Hold him," he told Jesper and the Fjerdan. Kaz flicked his coat sleeve, and an oyster shucking knife appeared in his hand. At any given time he had at least two knives stashed somewhere in his clothes. He didn't even count this one, really -- a tidy, wicked little blade.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
It's a little scary, what you do." As I tried to figure out how to respond, and with words as sharp and cold as the blade of a knife, Criminy said, "If you're scared of her talent, then you don't truly know what fear is.
Delilah S. Dawson (Wicked as They Come (Blud, #1))
Tell you what." I closed the blade with a satisfying snick. "Remember that time you tried to kill me because I wouldn't open a gate to hell?" "The memory's a bit fuzzy..." I opened the knife again. "Yes, now that you mention it, I do recall something like that happening, although my motivation was certainly never to kill you. Can't you view it as me inspiring you to figure out how to use the Paths? I didn't actually want you to die.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
The price we paid for the resentment, the lust and the greed of arrogant men was our pain, shining and bright like the blade of a newly honed knife.
Jennifer Saint (Ariadne)
She poured the water, arranged some bread near enough the embers to scorch but not catch fire, and looked up at Little John. She was so accustomed to his step, to his bulk, that it took a moment to notice his face; and when she did . . . It was, she thought, rather like the moment it took to realize one had cut one's finger as one stared dumbly at the first drop of blood on the knife-blade. You know it is going to hurt quite a lot in a minute.
Robin McKinley (The Outlaws of Sherwood)
Mary dashed the rain from her eyes with a frozen hand. Was that a knife buried in the man’s chest with the blood seeping up around it? Doesn’t that mean he’s alive? Although with the blade at that angle, it can’t be for long. Colors swam in the water coating Mary’s vision. She rubbed her face, and with every shuttering breath, even before she could see his features, she knew her son, George, the son she had never met, was dead.
Susan Rowland (Murder On Family Grounds: A Mary Wandwalker Mystery)
the poem begins not where the knife enters but where the blade twists.
Hanif Abdurraqib (A Fortune for Your Disaster)
The tension has worn us out. It is a deadly tension that feels as if a jagged knife blade is being scraped along the spine. Our legs won't function, our hands are trembling and our bodies are like thin membranes stretched over barely repressed madness, holding in what would otherwise be an unrestrained outburst of endless scream.s. We have no flesh, no muscle now
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
The tavern keeper, a wiry man with a sharp-nosed face, round, prominent ears and a receding hairline that combined to give him a rodentlike look, glanced at him, absentmindedly wiping a tankard with a grubby cloth. Will raised an eyebrow as he looked at it. He'd be willing to bet the cloth was transferring more dirt to the tankard then it was removing. "Drink?" the tavern keeper asked. He set the tankard down on the bar, as if in preparation for filling it with whatever the stranger might order. "Not out of that," Will said evenly, jerking a thumb at the tankard. Ratface shrugged, shoved it aside and produced another from a rack above the bar. "Suit yourself. Ale or ouisgeah?" Ousigeah, Will knew, was the strong malt spirit they distilled and drank in Hibernia. In a tavern like this, it might be more suitable for stripping runt than drinking. "I'd like coffee," he said, noticing the battered pot by the fire at one end of the bar. "I've got ale or ouisgeah. Take your pick." Ratface was becoming more peremptory. Will gestured toward the coffeepot. The tavern keeper shook his head. "None made," he said. "I'm not making a new pot just for you." "But he's drinking coffee," Will said, nodding to one side. Inevitably the tavern keeper glanced that way, to see who he was talking about. The moment his eyes left Will, an iron grip seized the front of his shirt collar, twisting it into a knot that choked him and at the same time dragged him forward, off balance, over the bar,. The stranger's eyes were suddenly very close. He no longer looked boyish. The eyes were dark brown, almost black in this dim light, and the tavern keeper read danger there. A lot of danger. He heard a soft whisper of steel, and glancing down past the fist that held him so tightly, he glimpsed the heavy, gleaming blade of the saxe knife as the stranger laid it on the bar between them. He looked around for possible help. But there was nobody else at the bar, and none of the customers at the tables had noticed what was going on. "Aach...mach co'hee," he choked. The tension on his collar eased and the stranger said softly, "What was that?" "I'll...make...coffee," he repeated, gasping for breath. The stranger smiled. It was a pleasant smile, but the tavern keep noticed that it never reached those dark eyes. "That's wonderful. I'll wait here.
John Flanagan (Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice, #9))
Loss is a knife, constantly cutting, but over time the blade dulls, and the cuts aren't as sharp. It's always there in the drawer, but you realize it doesn't cut as deeply anymore.
Shane Barr (Reset (The Reset Trilogy, #1))
You have to see fate as a design, a pattern, and the will as the knife, the blade, the thing slicing through the fabric...
Denis Johnson (Already Dead: A California Gothic)
A streak of green fire blasted out of the back of the shed, passed a foot over the heads of the mob, and burned a charred rosette in the woodwork over the door. Then came a voice that was a honeyed purr of sheer deadly menance. "This is Lord Mountjoy Quickfang Winterforth IV, the hottest dragon in the city. It could burn your head clean off." Captain Vimes limped forward from the shadows. A small and extremely frightened golden dragon was clamped firmly under one arm. His other hand held it by the tail. The rioters watched it, hypnotized. "Now I know what you're thinking," Vimes went on, softly. "You're wondering, after all this excitement, has it got enough flame left? And, y'know, I ain't so sure myself..." He leaned forward, sighting between the dragon's ears, and his voice buzzed like a knife blade: "What you've got to ask yourself is: Am I feeling lucky?
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately.
Neil Gaiman
I walked past Malison, up Lower Main to Main and across the road. I didn’t need to look to know he was behind me. I entered Royal Wood, went a short way along a path and waited. It was cool and dim beneath the trees. When Malison entered the Wood, I continued eastward.  I wanted to place his body in hallowed ground. He was born a Mearan. The least I could do was send him to Loric. The distance between us closed until he was on my heels. He chose to come, I told myself, as if that lessened the crime I planned. He chose what I have to offer. We were almost to the cemetery before he asked where we were going. I answered with another question. “Do you like living in the High Lord’s kitchens?” He, of course, replied, “No.” “Well, we’re going to a better place.” When we reached the edge of the Wood, I pushed aside a branch to see the Temple of Loric and Calec’s cottage. No smoke was coming from the chimney, and I assumed the old man was yet abed. His pony was grazing in the field of graves. The sun hid behind a bank of clouds. Malison moved beside me. “It’s a graveyard.” “Are you afraid of ghosts?” I asked. “My father’s a ghost,” he whispered. I asked if he wanted to learn how to throw a knife. He said, “Yes,” as I knew he would.  He untucked his shirt, withdrew the knife he had stolen and gave it to me. It was a thick-bladed, single-edged knife, better suited for dicing celery than slitting a young throat. But it would serve my purpose. That I also knew. I’d spent all night projecting how the morning would unfold and, except for indulging in the tea, it had happened as I had imagined.  Damut kissed her son farewell. Malison followed me of his own free will. Without fear, he placed the instrument of his death into my hand. We were at the appointed place, at the appointed time. The stolen knife was warm from the heat of his body. I had only to use it. Yet I hesitated, and again prayed for Sythene to show me a different path. “Aren’t you going to show me?” Malison prompted, as if to echo my prayer.
K. Ritz (Sheever's Journal, Diary of a Poison Master)
Her voice was trained, supple as leather, precise as a knife thrower's blade. Singing or talking, it had the same graceful quality, and an accent I thought at first was English, but then realized was the old-fashioned American of a thirties movie, a person who could get away with saying 'grand.' Too classic, they told her when she went out on auditions. It didn't mean old. It meant too beautiful for the times, when anything that lasted longer than six months was considered passe. I loved to listen to her sing, or tell me stories about her childhood in suburban Connecticut, it sounded like heaven.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
She raised the long glass and peered back down at the harbor, at the passengers disembarking, but the image was blurry. Reluctantly, she released his hand. It felt like a promise, and she didn’t want to let go. She adjusted the lens, and her gaze caught on two figures moving down the gangplank. Their steps were graceful, their posture straight as knife blades. They moved like Suli acrobats. She drew in a sharp breath. Everything in her focused like the lens of the long glass. Her mind refused the image before her. This could not be real. It was an illusion, a false reflection, a lie made in rainbow-hued glass. She would breathe again and it would shatter. She reached for Kaz’s sleeve. She was going to fall. He had his arm around her, holding her up. Her mind split. Half of her was aware of his bare fingers on her sleeve, his dilated pupils, the brace of his body around hers. The other half was still trying to understand what she was seeing. His dark brows knitted together. “I wasn’t sure. Should I not have—” She could barely hear him over the clamor in her heart. “How?” she said, her voice raw and strange with unshed tears. “How did you find them?” “A favor, from Sturmhond. He sent out scouts. As part of our deal. If it was a mistake—” “No,” she said as the tears spilled over at last. “It was not a mistake.” “Of course, if something had gone wrong during the job, they’d be coming to retrieve your corpse.” Inej choked out a laugh. “Just let me have this.” She righted herself, her balance returning. Had she really thought the world didn’t change? She was a fool. The world was made of miracles, unexpected earthquakes, storms that came from nowhere and might reshape a continent. The boy beside her. The future before her. Anything was possible. Now Inej was shaking, her hands pressed to her mouth, watching them move up the dock toward the quay. She started forward, then turned back to Kaz. “Come with me,” she said. “Come meet them.” Kaz nodded as if steeling himself, flexed his fingers once more. “Wait,” he said. The burn of his voice was rougher than usual. “Is my tie straight?” Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair. “That’s the laugh,” he murmured, but she was already setting off down the quay, her feet barely touching the ground. “Mama!” she called out. “Papa!” Inej saw them turn, saw her mother grip her father’s arm. They were running toward her. Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
There is a moment of surface tension when a knife blade presents its demand and the flesh honors it. An instant of pressure before the puncture, the rip before the slide, a small eternity easy to miss but impossible to ignore if you’ve felt it before. I lived in that moment a great while for the small sliver of time it was there.
John Scalzi (The Sagan Diary (Old Man's War, #2.5))
See this Swiss army knife, Lawless! It's gotta magnifying glass and a million blades but I only need one, so step right the fuck back!
Jonathan Dunne (The Nobody Show)
For the philosopher is right who says that nothing is thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
A long-dead angel who thought to own me,” was his enigmatic answer, the silver in his eyes almost liquid. “I tore out his throat. After that, I ate his liver and his heart. The remaining internal organs weren’t as tasty so I gave them to his other creatures.” Elena’s hand tightened on the handle of the knife, conscious Naasir carried gleaming blades of his own in the sheaths strapped to his arms. “I wouldn’t think a vampire who killed an angel would be permitted to live.” A slow, feral smile. “I didn’t say I killed him.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6))
First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on the body-armor of black rubber the absurd flippers the grave and awkward mask. I am having to do this not like Cousteau with his assiduous team aboard the sun-flooded schooner but here alone. There is a ladder. The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is for, we who have used it. Otherwise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment. I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atoms of our human air. I go down. My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin. First the air is blue and then it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power the sea is another story the sea is not a question of power I have to learn alone to turn my body without force in the deep element. And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here swaying their crenellated fans between the reefs and besides you breathe differently down here. I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps. I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail. I stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank of something more permanent than fish or weed the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always staring toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters. This is the place. And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body. We circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold. I am she: I am he whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes whose breasts still bear the stress whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies obscurely inside barrels half-wedged and left to rot we are the half-destroyed instruments that once held to a course the water-eaten log the fouled compass We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
[[diving into the wreck]] First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade [...] And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here... [...] the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always staring toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and away into this threadbare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters. [...] We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
What do you have in this car?" he asked. "What do you mean, like weapons?" "That would be a good start." "Well, I 've got a mini Swiss Army Knife on my key chain." "A two-inch stainless steel blade and a nail file. They might as well surrender to us now....
Richard Castle (Storm Front (Derrick Storm, #4))
What does nostalgia mean to a child? An abstraction. A standing stone waiting for them in the mist. Walk a path across some decades, any path you like, and the word will gather weight. It will come to you trailing maybes and might-have-beens. Nostalgia is a drug, a knife. Against young skin it carries a dull edge, but time will teach you that nostalgia cuts - and that it's a blade that we cannot keep from applying to our own flesh.
Mark Lawrence (The Book That Wouldn’t Burn (The Library Trilogy, #1))
I surveyed the weapon inquisitively. A hideous notion struck me: how powerful I should be possessing such an instrument! I took it from his hand, and touched the blade. He looked astonished at the expression my face assumed during a brief second: it was not horror, it was covetousness. He snatched the pistol back, jealously; shut the knife, and returned it to its concealment.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
Besides," said Suriyawong. "This was not a rescue operation." "What was it, target practice? Chinese skeet?" "An offer of transportation to an invited guest of the Hegemon," said Suriyawong. "And the loan of a knife." Achilles held up the bloody thing, dangling it from the point. "Yours?" he asked. "Unless you want to clean it," said Suriyawong. Achillese handed it to him. Suriyawong took out his cleaning kit and wiped down the blade, then began to polish it. "You wanted me to die," said Achilles quietly. "I expected you to solve your own problems," said Suriyawong.
Orson Scott Card (Shadow Puppets (The Shadow Series, #3))
Quick as a flash, Sawney Rath's eyes hardened. "Then I'm ordering you to skin Felch alive!" He took the otter's paw, closing it over the knife handle. "Obey me!" The crowded clearing became as silent as a tomb. All eyes were upon the Taggerung, awaiting his reaction to the order. Tagg turned his back on Sawney and strode to the side of the fox strung up to the beech bough. He raised the blade. Felch shut his eyes tight, his head shaking back and forth as his nerves quivered uncontrollably. With a sudden slash Tagg severed the thongs that bound him. Felch slumped to the ground in a shaking heap. Tagg's voice was flat and hard as he turned to face Sawney. "I'm sorry to disobey your order. The fox is a sorry thief, but I will not take the life of a helpless beast.
Brian Jacques (Taggerung (Redwall, #14))
Magic,” he said. Black magic. Strong magic. Dead magic. “Bad magic.” Finally, Lila slipped. For the briefest moment, her eyes flicked to a chest along the wall. Kell didn’t hesitate. He lunged for the top drawer, but before his fingers met the wood, a knife found his throat. It had come out of nowhere. A pocket. A sleeve. A thin blade resting just below his chin. Lila’s smile was as sharp as its metal edge. “Sit down before you fall down, magic boy.” Lila
V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1))
But there was no prayer in Joel’s mind; rather, nothing a net of words could capture, for, with one exception, all his prayers of the past had been simple concrete requests: God, give me a bicycle, a knife with seven blades, a box of oil-paints. Only how, how, could you say something so indefinite, so meaningless as this: God, let me be loved.
Truman Capote (Other Voices, Other Rooms)
Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger’s hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. “Ghost,” he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
For so long, talking about Samira, acknowledging her as someone who no longer lived in him, had felt dangerous as running his fingers along a sharp edge. It had been Miel eating a slick of honey off a knife. It was an heirloom blade his mother would not leave out, fearing Sam was still a child who might cut himself. But now he was Samir, and Samira was the friend he almost thought he imagined. And she would be a little more imaginary once he and his mother finished changing his name. He wanted to neither forget she existed nor live inside her. She was someone he could not be.
Anna-Marie McLemore (When the Moon Was Ours)
Impulsively, she shoved him, but he didn’t budge, and the knife in her hand sliced into his shirt. And his skin. Horrified, she was about to apologize when he spun her around and held her with one arm pressed against her throat and a switchblade aimed at her stomach. “I win this point, Jordan. If I was a lost soul, you’d now have a blade in your belly. Do you know why?” “Because you’re a mean son of a bitch?
Trinity Faegen (The Mephisto Kiss (The Mephisto Covenant #2))
[He] was alone, which surprised me. But not as much as the wicked looking knife he pulled off the passenger's seat and brought out with him. It was the kind of blade that a steak knife dreamed of becoming someday. It was bigger than a cleaver, not quite broadsword size. Drew whistled. "How many box tops did he have to turn in for that?
Scott Tracey (Demon Eyes (Witch Eyes, #2))
But Maddie walked to the side of the bridge, and then he saw a huge knife buried in the post, waiting. "Stefan took your knife," he blurted like an idiot. Maddie looked like she'd never been more insulted in her life. "I never leave the house with just one knife. Seriously. Do I look like a one-knife kind of girl?" She pulled it from the post and Logan could see the fire glistening off a long blade that could have easily sliced through those old ropes.
Ally Carter (Not If I Save You First)
He looks in my eyes in a pitying sort of way. “It’s such a shame,” he says, “that we couldn’t have met under different circumstances. You deserve to be worshipped. I would have adored you, Lilly, if you were anyone else.” He slides the knife against my skin, back and forth over my cheek like a shaving blade. “But, alas. You know how it is. Sometimes, life gets in the way.
Scarlett Edwards (Resistance (Uncovering You #3))
It was such a hard thing, this virtue, it seemed to me. Keeping it was like having to grip the knife by the blade and defend yourself with the hilt. Ever since I’d been old enough to know about virtue in a woman, it had seemed like a bull’s-eye painted on my head in rouge. I was sure, as I was led away, I would be better off without it. It was better to be done with it and be gone.
Alexander Chee (The Queen of the Night)
You imagine that you worship truth. Yet by yourself you cannot be truthful even for an hour. You move within me, like a fish in the sea, and still you can't discover me...Look in the blade of your knife. In the whole of time, I've blinked but once. I am those eyes that gaze at you without ceasing, even if I am not before you. I read what is within you -- know you better than your closest friend. Before my gaze your heart lies open; from me no thought is hidden. You wonder what I see. Like a child, you imagined you could hide. I bring you to the light. I cause you to stand alone.
Terrence Malick
Eli snorted, her eyes narrowed. — Because I am like you. — What do you mean like me? I.. Eli thrust her hand through the air as if she was holding a knife, said: — What are you looking at, idiot? Want to die, or something? — Stabbed the air with empty hand. — That what happens if you look at me. Oskar rubbed his lips together, dampening them. — What are you saying? — It's not me that's saying it. It's you. That was the first thing I heard you say. Down on the playground. Oskar remembered. The tree. The knife. How he had held up the blade of the knife like a mirror, seen Eli for the first time.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In)
His three boats stove around him, and oars and men both whirling in the eddies; one captain, seizing the line-knife from his broken prow, had dashed at the whale, as an Arkansas duellist at his foe, blindly seeking with a six inch blade to reach the fathom-deep life of the whale. That captain was Ahab. And then it was, that suddenly sweeping his sickle-shaped lower jaw benieath him, Moby Dick had reaped away Ahab's leg.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
There is a story they tell, about a girl dared by her peers to venture to a local graveyard after dark. This was her folly: when they told her that standing on someone’s grave at night would cause the inhabitant to reach up and pull her under, she scoffed. Scoffing is the first mistake a woman can make. I will show you, she said. Pride is the second mistake. They gave her a knife to stick into the frosty earth, as a way of proving her presence and her theory. She went to that graveyard. Some storytellers say that she picked the grave at random. I believe she selected a very old one, her choice tinged by self-doubt and the latent belief that if she were wrong, the intact muscle and flesh of a newly dead corpse would be more dangerous than one centuries gone. She knelt on the grave and plunged the blade deep. As she stood to run she found she couldn’t escape. Something was clutching at her clothes. She cried out and fell down. When morning came, her friends arrived at the cemetery. They found her dead on the grave, the blade pinning the sturdy wool of her skirt to the ground. Dead of fright or exposure, would it matter when the parents arrived? She was not wrong, but it didn’t matter any more. Afterwards, everyone believed that she had wished to die, even though she had died proving that she could live. As it turns out, being right was the third, and worst, mistake.
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties: Stories)
The first cut wasn't the deepest. No, not at all. It was like all the others, a subtle rend of anxious skin, a gentle pulse of crimson, just enough to hush the demons shrieking inside my brain. But this time they wouldn't shut up. Just kept on howling, like Mama, when she was in a bad way. Worst thing was, the older I got, the more I began to see how much I resembled Mama, falling in and out of blue, then lifting up into the white. That day I actually thought about howling. So I gave myself to the knife, asked it to bite a little harder, chew a little deeper. The hot, scarlet rush felt so delicious I couldn't stop there. The blade might have reached bone, but my little brother, Bryan, barged into the bathroom, found me leaning against Grandma's new porcelain tub, turning its unstained white pink. You should have heard him scream.
Ellen Hopkins
In twenty years you could say and do a lot you wish you hadn't. In twenty years you could store up a lot of regrets. And then, when it was too late, when there was no one left to say "I'm sorry" to, "I didn't mean it" to, you could stop sleeping for regret, stop eating, talking, working, for regret. You could stop wanting to live. You could want to die for regret. It was only remembering the good times that kept you from taking the knife from the kitchen drawer and, holding it so, tightly in your fist, on the bed, naked to no purpose except that that was how you came into the world and how your best moments in the world had been spent--holding it so, roll onto the blade, slowly so that it slid like love between your ribs and into that stupidly pumping muscle in your chest that kept you regretting.
Joseph Hansen (Fadeout (Dave Brandstetter, #1))
Markos,” he cried. “Markos, from the Cauldron! Markos! The gods are kind! Surely you remember me?” Markos turned to regard the traveler who stood before him; he stared for a few seconds. Then, without warning, he drew a long-bladed fisherman’s knife from his belt and buried it, up to the hilt, in Gervain’s stomach. As Gervain stared downward in shock, Markos gave him a shove sideways, and the former handball Justice fell into the water of Camorr Bay, never to surface again. “Not across the line, my ass,” Markos spat. Verrari, Karthani, and Lashani nod knowingly when they hear this story. They assume it to be apocryphal, but it confirms something they claim to know in their hearts—that Camorri are all gods-damned crazy. Camorri, on the other hand, regard it as a valuable reminder against procrastinating in matters of revenge—or, if one cannot take satisfaction immediately, on the virtue of having a long memory.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me. But in the main, I feel like a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall In company with other bags, white, red and yellow. Pour out the contents, and there is discovered a jumble of small, things priceless and worthless. A first water diamond, an empty spool bits of broken glass, lengths of string, a key to a door long since crumbled away, a rusty knife-blade, old shoes saved for a road that never was and never will be, a nail bent under the weight of things too heavy for any nail, a dried flower or two still a little fragrant. in your hand is the brown bag. On the ground before you is the jumble it held so much like the jumble in the bags could they be emptied that all might be dumped in a single heap and the bags refilled without altering the content of any greatly. A bit of colored glass more or less would not matter. Perhaps that is how the Great Stuffer of Bags filled them in the first place, who knows?
Zora Neale Hurston (How it Feels to be Colored Me (American Roots))
I came to feel a tenderness for them all. This was something new to me. It gave me a curious pleasure to touch them, to help them in and out of the chair, to shave their weather-toughened old faces. They had known hard use, nearly all of them. You could tell it by the way they held themselves and moved. Most of all you could tell it by their hands, which were shaped by wear and often by the twists and swellings of arthritis. They had used their hands forgetfully, as hooks and pliers and hammers, and in every kind of weather. The backs of their hands showed a network of little scars where they had been cut, nicked, thornstuck, pinched, punctured, scraped, and burned. Their faces told that they had suffered things they did not talk about.Every one of them had a good knife in his pocket, sharp, the blades whetted narrow and concave, the horn of the handle worn smooth.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
And in an essential way, this was what he was most ashamed of: not his poor understanding of sex, not his traitorous racial tendencies, not his inability to separate himself from his parents or make his own money or behave like an autonomous creature. It was that, when he and his colleagues sat there at night, the group of them burrowed deep into their own ambitious dream-structures, all of them drawing and planning their improbable buildings, he was doing nothing. He had lost the ability to imagine anything. And so every evening, while the others created, he copied: he drew buildings he had seen on his travels, buildings other people had dreamed and constructed, buildings he had lived in or passed through. Again and again, he made what had already been made, not bothering to improve them, just mimicking them. He was twenty-eight; his imagination had deserted him; he was a copyist. It frightened him. JB had his series. Jude had his work, Willem had his. But what if Malcolm never again created anything? He longed for the years when it was enough to simply be in his room with his hand moving over a piece of graph paper, before the years of decisions and identities, when his parents made his choices for him, and the only thing he had to concentrate on was the clean blade stroke of a line, the ruler's perfect knife edge.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It's disgusting, and I can't stop.' I am shocked in to silence. 'Maybe you should shoot me after all,' he says, covering his face with one long-fingered hand. ... He doesn't look up as I walk around the desk to him. I place the tip of the blade against the bottom of his chin, as I did the day before in the hall, and I tilt his face toward mine. He shifts his gaze with obvious reluctance. The horror and shame on his face look entirely too real. Suddenly, I am not so sure what to believe. I lean toward him, close enough for a kiss. His eyes widen. The look in his face is some commingling of panic and desire. It is a heady feeling, having power over someone. Over Cardan, who I never thought had any feelings at all. 'You really do want me,' I say, close enough to feel the warmth of his breath as it hitches. 'And you hate it.' I change the angle of the knife, turning it so it's against his neck. He doesn't look nearly as alarmed by that as I might expect. Not nearly as alarmed as when I bring my mouth to his.
Holly Black (The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1))
Peter lifted his head. Hook's hair was tangled around his face like a lion's mane and his eyes were painfully clear, all teasing and mirth gone from his mouth. He took Peter's chin in his hand, his fingers calloused but gentle, and kissed him. Everything in the world grew quiet and Peter's body grew loud. The caress of Hook's fingertips under his chin made his pulse catch, his throat flushing, shoulders tightening. He could only seem to breathe in, breathe Hook in deeper. Hook's lips were dry, and he tasted like salt and sweet wine. He smelled like gunpowder and the sea and he was everywhere, shifting closer across the leaves, his other arm snaking around Peter's waist, the iron claw pressed flat between his shoulder blades. Peter dug his fingers into fistfuls of earth, trying to ground himself as Hook pulled them together, tipping Peter's head back with the gentle thrust of his kiss, a momentum that threatened to tilt them both to the ground. Peter was impossibly hot, hot to his fingertips and toes and his skin was crawling with the need to be touched, the shock of that need. Sweat caught at the back of his shirt. His skin was stark canvas begging for ink, and Hook's touch was going to stain him forever. It was too much, too sudden. Peter recoiled, yanking a knife from his boot and holding it between them. He didn't mean it as a threat, just a way to make distance where none had been.
Austin Chant (Peter Darling)
Lilichka! (Instead of a letter)" Tobacco smoke eats the air away. The room,-- a chapter from Kruchenykh's Inferno. Recall,-- by the window, that day, I caressed you ecstatically, with fervor. Here you sit now, with your heart in iron armor. In a day, you'll scold me perhaps and tell me to leave. Frenzied, the trembling arm in the gloomy parlor will hardly be able to fit the sleeve. I'll rush out and hurl my body into the street,-- distraught, lashed by despair and sadness. There's no need for this, my darling, my sweet. Let's part tonight and end this madness. Either way, my love is an arduous weight, hanging on you wherever you flee. Let me bellow out in the final complaint all of my heartbroken misery. A laboring bull, if he had enough, will leave and find cool water to lie in. But for me, there's no sea except for your love,-- from which even tears won't earn me some quiet. If an elephant wants to relax, he'll lie, pompous, outside in the sun-baked dune, Except for your love, there's no sun in the sky and I don't even know where you are and with whom. If you thus tormented another poet, he would trade in his love for money and fame. But nothing sounds as precious to me as the ringing sound of your darling name. I won't drink poison, or jump to demise, or pull the trigger to take my own life. Except for your eyes, no blade can control me, no sharpened knife. Tomorrow you'll forget that it was I who crowned you, who burned out the blossoming soul with love and the days will form a whirling carnival that will ruffle my manuscripts and lift them above... Will the dry autumn leaves of my sentences cause you to pause, breathing hard? Let me pave a path with the final tenderness for your footsteps as you depart. (1916)
Vladimir Mayakovsky (Backbone Flute: Selected Poetry)
Gator, go wake that woman of yours. I need some answers. We need her to run the computers for us.” “Tonight, Boss?” Gator complained. “I had other ideas.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. “We all did. Hop to it.” “What about Sam?” Tucker asked. “His woman is the one who got us into this.” “I’m wounded.” Sam clutched his abdomen dramatically and staggered with quick, long strides so that he made it to the doorway in three quick steps. Jonas coughed, sounding suspiciously like he’d muttered “bullshit” under his breath. Kyle threw a peanut at him and Jeff surfed across the table in his bare socks to try to catch him before he bolted. “He’s in love, boys, let him go. He’ll probably just get laughed at,” Tucker said. “Do you really think Azami’s brothers are going to allow her to hook up with Sam? She’s fine and he’s . . . well . . . klutzy.” “That hurt,” Sam said, turning back. “Did you get a good look at those boys? I thought Japanese men were supposed to be on the short side, but Daiki was tall and all muscle. His brother moves like a fucking fighter,” Tucker added. “They might just decide to give you a good beating for having the audacity to even think you could date their sister, let alone marry her.” “Fat help you are,” Sam accused. “I could use a little confidence here.” Kyle snorted. “You don’t have a chance, buddy.” “Goin’ to meet your maker,” Gator added solemnly. Jeff crossed himself as he hung five toes off the edge of the table. “Sorry, old son, you don’t have a prayer. You’re about to meet up with a couple of hungry sharks.” “Have you ever actually used a sword before?” Kadan asked, all innocent. Jonas drew his knife and began to sharpen it. “Funny thing about blade men, they always like to go for the throat.” He grinned up at Sam. “Just a little tip. Keep your chin down.” “You’re all a big help,” Sam said and stepped out into the hall. This was the biggest moment of his life. If they turned him down, he was lost.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
I ask him if he tried to rape Nyla. “Laws are silent in times of war,” Tactus drawls. “Don’t quote Cicero to me,” I say. “You are held to a higher standard than a marauding centurion.” “In that, you’re hitting the mark at least. I am a superior creature descended from proud stock and glorious heritage. Might makes right, Darrow. If I can take, I may take. If I do take, I deserve to have. This is what Peerless believe.” “The measure of a man is what he does when he has power,” I say loudly. “Just come off it, Reaper,” Tactus drawls, confident in himself as all like him are. “She’s a spoil of war. My power took her. And before the strong, bend the weak.” “I’m stronger than you, Tactus,” I say. “So I can do with you as I wish. No?” He’s silent, realizing he’s fallen into a trap. “You are from a superior family to mine, Tactus. My parents are dead. I am the sole member of my family. But I am a superior creature to you.” He smirks at that. “Do you disagree?” I toss a knife at his feet and pull my own out. “I beg you to voice your concerns.” He does not pick his blade up. “So, by right of power, I can do with you as I like.” I announce that rape will never be permitted, and then I ask Nyla the punishment she would give. As she told me before, she says she wants no punishment. I make sure they know this, so there are no recriminations against her. Tactus and his armed supporters stare at her in surprise. They don’t understand why she would not take vengeance, but that doesn’t stop them from smiling wolfishly at one another, thinking their chief has dodged punishment. Then I speak. “But I say you get twenty lashes from a leather switch, Tactus. You tried to take something beyond the bounds of the game. You gave in to your pathetic animal instincts. Here that is less forgivable than murder; I hope you feel shame when you look back at this moment fifty years from now and realize your weakness. I hope you fear your sons and daughters knowing what you did to a fellow Gold. Until then, twenty lashes will serve.” Some of the Diana soldiers step forward in anger, but Pax hefts his axe on his shoulder and they shrink back, glaring at me. They gave me a fortress and I’m going to whip their favorite warrior. I see my army dying as Mustang pulls off Tactus’s shirt. He stares at me like a snake. I know what evil thoughts he’s thinking. I thought them of my floggers too. I whip him twenty brutal times, holding nothing back. Blood runs down his back. Pax nearly has to hack down one of the Diana soldiers to keep them from charging to stop the punishment. Tactus barely manages to stagger to his feet, wrath burning in his eyes. “A mistake,” he whispers to me. “Such a mistake.” Then I surprise him. I shove the switch into his hand and bring him close by cupping my hand around the back of his head. “You deserve to have your balls off, you selfish bastard,” I whisper to him. “This is my army,” I say more loudly. “This is my army. Its evils are mine as much as yours, as much as they are Tactus’s. Every time any of you commit a crime like this, something gratuitous and perverse, you will own it and I will own it with you, because when you do something wicked, it hurts all of us.” Tactus stands there like a fool. He’s confused. I shove him hard in the chest. He stumbles back. I follow him, shoving. “What were you going to do?” I push his hand holding the leather switch back toward his chest. “I don’t know what you mean …” he murmurs as I shove him. “Come on, man! You were going to shove your prick inside someone in my army. Why not whip me while you’re at it? Why not hurt me too? It’ll be easier. Milia won’t even try to stab you. I promise.” I shove him again. He looks around. No one speaks. I strip off my shirt and go to my knees. The air is cold. Knees on stone and snow. My eyes lock with Mustang’s. She winks at me and I feel like I can do anything.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky-tonks, restaurants and whore-houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flop-houses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peep-hole he might have said: "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same thing. In the morning when the sardine fleet has made a catch, the purse-seiners waddle heavily into the bay blowing their whistles. The deep-laden boats pull in against the coast where the canneries dip their tails into the bay. The figure is advisedly chosen, for if the canneries dipped their mouths into the bay the canned sardines which emerge from the other end would be metaphorically, at least, even more horrifying. Then cannery whistles scream and all over the town men and women scramble into their clothes and come running down to the Row to go to work. Then shining cars bring the upper classes down: superintendents, accountants, owners who disappear into offices. Then from the town pour Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women in trousers and rubber coats and oilcloth aprons. They come running to clean and cut and pack and cook and can the fish. The whole street rumbles and groans and screams and rattles while the silver rivers of fish pour in out of the boats and the boats rise higher and higher in the water until they are empty. The canneries rumble and rattle and squeak until the last fish is cleaned and cut and cooked and canned and then the whistles scream again and the dripping, smelly, tired Wops and Chinamen and Polaks, men and women, straggle out and droop their ways up the hill into the town and Cannery Row becomes itself again-quiet and magical. Its normal life returns. The bums who retired in disgust under the black cypress-tree come out to sit on the rusty pipes in the vacant lot. The girls from Dora's emerge for a bit of sun if there is any. Doc strolls from the Western Biological Laboratory and crosses the street to Lee Chong's grocery for two quarts of beer. Henri the painter noses like an Airedale through the junk in the grass-grown lot for some pan or piece of wood or metal he needs for the boat he is building. Then the darkness edges in and the street light comes on in front of Dora's-- the lamp which makes perpetual moonlight in Cannery Row. Callers arrive at Western Biological to see Doc, and he crosses the street to Lee Chong's for five quarts of beer. How can the poem and the stink and the grating noise-- the quality of light, the tone, the habit and the dream-- be set down alive? When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will on to a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book-- to open the page and to let the stories crawl in by themselves.
John Steinbeck
Suddenly with a single bound he leaped into the room. Winning a way past us before any of us could raise a hand to stay him. There was something so pantherlike in the movement, something so unhuman, that it seemed to sober us all from the shock of his coming. The first to act was Harker, who with a quick movement, threw himself before the door leading into the room in the front of the house. As the Count saw us, a horrible sort of snarl passed over his face, showing the eyeteeth long and pointed. But the evil smile as quickly passed into a cold stare of lion-like disdain. His expression again changed as, with a single impulse, we all advanced upon him. It was a pity that we had not some better organized plan of attack, for even at the moment I wondered what we were to do. I did not myself know whether our lethal weapons would avail us anything. Harker evidently meant to try the matter, for he had ready his great Kukri knife and made a fierce and sudden cut at him. The blow was a powerful one; only the diabolical quickness of the Count's leap back saved him. A second less and the trenchant blade had shorn through his heart. As it was, the point just cut the cloth of his coat, making a wide gap whence a bundle of bank notes and a stream of gold fell out. The expression of the Count's face was so hellish, that for a moment I feared for Harker, though I saw him throw the terrible knife aloft again for another stroke. Instinctively I moved forward with a protective impulse, holding the Crucifix and Wafer in my left hand. I felt a mighty power fly along my arm, and it was without surprise that I saw the monster cower back before a similar movement made spontaneously by each one of us. It would be impossible to describe the expression of hate and baffled malignity, of anger and hellish rage, which came over the Count's face. His waxen hue became greenish-yellow by the contrast of his burning eyes, and the red scar on the forehead showed on the pallid skin like a palpitating wound. The next instant, with a sinuous dive he swept under Harker's arm, ere his blow could fall, and grasping a handful of the money from the floor, dashed across the room, threw himself at the window. Amid the crash and glitter of the falling glass, he tumbled into the flagged area below. Through the sound of the shivering glass I could hear the "ting" of the gold, as some of the sovereigns fell on the flagging. We ran over and saw him spring unhurt from the ground. He, rushing up the steps, crossed the flagged yard, and pushed open the stable door. There he turned and spoke to us. "You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!" With a contemptuous sneer, he passed quickly through the door, and we heard the rusty bolt creak as he fastened it behind him. A door beyond opened and shut. The first of us to speak was the Professor. Realizing the difficulty of following him through the stable, we moved toward the hall. "We have learnt something… much! Notwithstanding his brave words, he fears us. He fears time, he fears want! For if not, why he hurry so? His very tone betray him, or my ears deceive. Why take that money? You follow quick. You are hunters of the wild beast, and understand it so. For me, I make sure that nothing here may be of use to him, if so that he returns.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)