Late Replies Quotes

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Instead of replying, Alec reached down and took Magnus's hands. Magnus let Alec pull him to his feet, a questioning look in his eyes. Before he could say anything, Alec drew him closer and kissed him. Magnus made a soft, pleased sound, and gripped the back of Alec's shirt, rucking it up, his fingers cool on Alec's spine. Alec leaned into him, pinning Magnus between the table and his own body. Not that Magnus seemed to mind. 'Come on,' Alec said against Magnus's ear. 'It's late. Let's go to bed.
Cassandra Clare
Shut up!" Henry says, "You're going to wake up Jerry Rice." "Jerry Rice?" Carter says, covering his mouth with a hand. I don't think I've ever seen Carter laugh so hard. "Carter, would you like to be the godfather?" Henry asks. "You know, in case anything happens to me and Woods this week?" "Charming," Carter says. "I''d be honored. Does JJ get to be godmother?" "Obviously," I say. "Can I hold Jerry Rice?" JJ asks. "He''s so cute." "No way, man," I reply. "I don't want to wake that thing up before practice. We'll be late if we have to feed it." "What does it eat?" Carter asks. "I have to breast-feed, cause I'm the mom," Henry says, continuing to push the stroller toward the locker room. "Actually," I say, "It eats a metal rod, made out of, like, lead. So basically, we're learning how to poison babies." "Radical," JJ says as we approach the gym,
Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan)
One moment," she said, stealing toward the door. Carefully, she tested the doorknob. It was unlocked. She wrenched it open in a sudden rush of courage, only to promptly slam it shut again in Nathaniel's face. She had recalled, too late, that she was wearing only her shift. "I'm not decent," she explained, hugging her arms to her chest. "That's all right," he replied. "I hardly ever am, myself.
Margaret Rogerson (Sorcery of Thorns (Sorcery of Thorns, #1))
In the ill-judged execution of the well-judged plan of things the call seldom produces the comer, the man to love rarely coincides with the hour for loving. Nature does not often say 'See!' to her poor creature at a time when seeing can lead to happy doing; or reply 'Here!' to a body's cry of 'Where?' till the hide-and-seek has become an irksome, outworn game. We may wonder whether at the acme and summit of the human progress these anachronisms will be corrected by a finer intuition, a close interaction of the social machinery than that which now jolts us round and along; but such completeness is not to be prophesied, or even conceived as possible. Enough that in the present case, as in millions, it was not the two halves of a perfect whole that confronted each other at the perfect moment; part and counterpart wandered independently about the earth in the stupidest manner for a while, till the late time came. Out of which maladroit delay sprang anxieties, disappointments, shocks, catastrophes -- what was called a strange destiny.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
Do you know that an Irishman always respond to a question with another?" And the Irish guy replies "Who told you that?
Cathy Kelly (Never Too Late)
Long Time. The famous seventeenth-century Ming painter Chou Yung relates a story that altered his behavior forever. Late one winter afternoon he set out to visit a town that lay across the river from his own town. He was bringing some important books and papers with him and had commissioned a young boy to help him carry them. As the ferry neared the other side of the river, Chou Yung asked the boatman if they would have time to get to the town before its gates closed, since it was a mile away and night was approaching. The boatman glanced at the boy, and at the bundle of loosely tied papers and books—“Yes,” he replied, “if you do not walk too fast.” As they started out, however, the sun was setting. Afraid of being locked out of the town at night, prey to local bandits, Chou and the boy walked faster and faster, finally breaking into a run. Suddenly the string around the papers broke and the documents scattered on the ground. It took them many minutes to put the packet together again, and by the time they had reached the city gates, it was too late. When you force the pace out of fear and impatience, you create a nest of problems that require fixing, and you end up taking much longer than if you had taken your time.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Do you want to know why you don't meet my standards?" he asked. She shook her head in mortification. "Too late," he replied. "Here's my most important rule: Never have intercourse when one of the parties is in love with the other. It won't end well." She gasped. "You arrogant cad! I'm not in love with you." "I know." He didn't look away from her. "Isn't that what I said? Only one of us is in love, and it isn't you." Violet stared at him. Her ears appeared to be working; her brain seemed to function. Tentatively, she added two and three and verified that they still made five.
Courtney Milan (The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3))
His low voice breaks the stillness. “You didn’t say what you were doing out this late.” “I couldn’t sleep either,” I reply. Not a lie. His mouth curves. “So we’re perfect for each other. A pair of insomniacs.” Perfect for each other. I grin a mad, stupid smile.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
I’ve gotten my Phosphor to work at last.” Henry proudly brandished the object. “It functions on the principle of witchlight but is five times more powerful. Merely press a button, and you will see a blaze of light the like of which you have never imagined.” There was a silence. “So,” said Will finally, “it’s a very, very bright witchlight, then?” “Exactly,” Henry said. “Is that useful, precisely?” Jem inquired. “After all, witchlight is just for illumination. It’s not as if it’s dangerous… .” “Wait till you see it!” Henry replied. He held up the object. “Watch.” Will moved to object, but it was too late; Henry had already pressed the button. There was a blinding flare of light and a whooshing sound, and the room was plunged into blackness. Tessa gave a yelp of surprise, and Jem laughed softly. “Am I blind?” Will’s voice floated out of the darkness, tinged with annoyance. “I’m not going to be at all pleased if you’ve blinded me, Henry.” “No.” Henry sounded worried. “No, the Phosphor seems to— Well, it seems to have turned all the lights in the room off.” “It’s not supposed to do that?” Jem sounded mild, as always. “Er,” said Henry, “no.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
I couldn't make any judgment on the Summa, except to say this: I read it for about twenty minutes every night before I go to bed. If my mother were to come in during this process and say, 'Turn off that light. It's late,' I with a lifted finger and broad bland beatific expression, would reply, 'On the contrary, I answer that the light, being eternal and limitless, cannot be turned off. Shut your eyes,' or some such thing.
Flannery O'Connor (The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor)
In a low voice, Blue asked meaningfully, “Seen enough?” “Of — oh, Orla?” “Yeah.” The question annoyed him. It judged him, and in this case, he didn’t feel he’d done anything to deserve it. He was not Blue’s business, not in that way. “What care is it of yours,” he asked, “what I think of Orla?” This felt dangerous, for some reason. He possibly shouldn’t have asked it. In retrospect, it wasn’t the question itself at fault. It was the way that he’d asked it. His thoughts had been far away, and he hadn’t been minding how he looked on the outside, and now, too late, he heard the dip of his own words. How the inflection seemed to contain a dare. Come on, Gansey, he thought. Don’t ruin things. Blue held his gaze, unflinching. Crisp, she replied, “None at all.” And it was a lie.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Hello, James,” Deven replied mildly. “Had any consensual sex lately?
Dianne Sylvan (Shadow's Fall (Shadow World, #3))
Some say we’re already damned,” Nathanial replied coolly, sitting back in his chair. “So you’re too late to send him to Hell.” -- BLOOD KNOT
Tracy Cooper-Posey
The youthful stationmaster wore a Blue Spot on his uniform and remonstrated with the driver that the train was a minute late, and that he would have to file a report. The driver retorted that since there could be no material differene between a train that arrived at a station and a station that arrived at a train, it was equally the staionmaster's fault. The stationmaster replied that he could not be blamed, because he had no control over the speed of the station; to which the engine driver replied that the stationmaster could control its placement, and that if it were only a thousand yards closer to Vermillion, the problem would be solved. To this the stationmaster replied that if the driver didn't accept the lateness as his fault, he would move the station a thousand yards farther from Vermillion and make him not just late, but demeritably overdue.
Jasper Fforde (Shades of Grey (Shades of Grey, #1))
I should have written you a letter, it was too late to make the deaths of my brothers an excuse. Since they died, I wrote a book; why not a letter? A mysterious but truthful answer is that while I can gear myself up to do a novel, letters, real-life communications, are too much for me. I used to rattle them off easily enough; why is the challenge of writing to friends and acquaintances too much for me now? Because I have become such a solitary, and not in the Aristotelian sense: not a beast, not a god. Rather, a loner troubled by longings, incapable of finding a suitable language and despairing at the impossibility of composing messages in a playable key--as if I no longer understood the codes used by the estimable people who wanted to hear from me and would have so much to reply if only the impediments were taken away.
Saul Bellow
So this is Canada,” I said, looking outside my car door. “For the last time, it’s not Canada,” Sydney replied, rolling her eyes. “It’s northern Michigan.” I glanced around, seeing nothing but enormous trees in every direction. Despite it being a late August afternoon, the temperature could’ve easily passed for something in autumn. Craning my head, I just barely caught a glimpse of gray waters beyond the trees to my right: Lake Superior, according to the map I’d seen. “Maybe it’s not Canada,” I conceded. “But it’s exactly how I always imagined Canada would look. Except I thought there’d be more hockey.
Richelle Mead (The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6))
You don't need the makeup." Sabrina felt like her face is on fire. He knew about her late-night beauty sessions. And, if she had heard him correctly, he was also admitting that he thought she was pretty. She looks over at him and found he was looking at her. "I kind of wish I hadn't said that," he said. "Me, too," she replied. "Would it help if I said you were stinky, muck-covered toad-face?" Sabrina nodded and edged as far away as she could on the trampoline. Puck did the same.
Michael Buckley (Tales From the Hood (The Sisters Grimm #6))
were having a big argument at breakfast. He shouted at her, "You aren't so good in bed either!" then stormed off to work. By mid-morning, he decided he'd better make amends and called home. "What took you so long to answer?" he asked. "I was in bed," she replied. "What were you doing in bed this late?" "Getting a second
Various (101 Dirty Jokes - sexual and adult's jokes)
And which blight on society would that be?" I asked. “Donald Thumpkin,” Fonthill replied. “The property developer. He and his folks have been skulking around here lately.
Annabel Chase (Outclassed (Warden of the West #2; Spellslingers Academy of Magic #2))
With a curse, Zaynab followed. "If I've not said it lately, I think I hate you." "You know, for a magical being, you have a terrible sense of adventure," Nahri replied, touching one of the eddies of paint, a blue swell that looked like a wave.
S.A. Chakraborty (The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy, #2))
I have only one memory of getting here, and even that is just a single image: black ink curling around the side of a neck, the corner of a tattoo, and the gentle sway that could only mean he was carrying me. He turns off the bathroom light and gets an ice pack from the refrigerator in the corner of the room. As he walks toward me, I consider closing my eyes and pretending to be asleep,but then our eyes meet and it's too late. "Your hands," I croak. "My hands are none of your concern," he replies. He rests his knee on the mattress and leans over me,slipping the ice pack under my head. Before he pulls away,I reach out to touch the cut on the side of his lip but stop when I realize what I am about to do, my hand hovering. What do you have to lose? I ask myself. I touch my fingertips lightly to his mouth. "Tris," he says, speaking against my fingers. "I'm all right." "Why were you there?" I ask, letting my hand drop. "I was coming back from the control room. I heard a scream." "What did you do to them?" I say. "I deposited Drew at the infirmary a half hour ago," he says. "Peter and Al ran. Drew claimed they were just trying to scare you.At least,I think that's what he was trying to say." "He's in bad shape?" "He'll live," he replies. He adds bitterly, "In what condition, I can't say." It isn't right to wish pain on other people just because they hurt me first. But white-hot triumph races through me at the thought of Drew at the infirmary, and I squeeze Four's arm. "Good," I say.My voice sounds tight and fierce.Anger builds inside me, replacing my blood with bitter water and filling me, consuming me.I wantt o break something,or hit something, but I am afraid to move,so I start crying instead. Four crouches by the side of the bed, and watches me. I see no sympathy in his eyes.I would have been disappointed if I had. He pulls his wrist free and, to my surprise, rests his hand on the side of my face, his thumb skimming my cheekbone.His fingers are careful. "I could report this," he says. "No," I reply. "I don't want them to think I'm scared." He nods.He moves his thumb absently over my cheekbone, back and forth. "I figured you would say that." "You think it would be a bad idea if I sat up?" "I'll help you." Four grips my shoulder with one hand and holds my head steady with the other as I push myself up.Pain rushes through my body in sharp bursts,but I try to ignore it,stifling a groan. He hands me the ice pack. "You can let yourself be in pain," he says. "It's just me here.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I appreciate the scientific rigor with which you’ve approached this project, Anna,” said Christopher, who had gotten jam on his sleeve. “Though I don’t think I could manage to collect that many names and also pursue science. Much too time-consuming.” Anna laughed. “How many names would you want to collect, then?” Christopher tilted his head, a brief frown of concentration crossing his face, and did not reply. “I would only want one,” said Thomas. Cordelia thought of the delicate tracery of the compass rose on Thomas’s arm, and wondered if he had any special person in mind. “Too late for me to only have one,” declared Matthew airily. “At least I can hope for several names in a carefully but enthusiastically selected list.” “Nobody’s ever tried to seduce me at all,” Lucie announced in a brooding fashion. “There’s no need to look at me like that, James. I wouldn’t say yes, but I could immortalize the experience in my novel.” “It would be a very short novel, before we got hold of the blackguard and killed him,” said James. There was a chorus of laughter and argument. The afternoon sun was sinking in the sky, its rays catching the jeweled hilts of the knives in Anna’s mantelpiece. They cast shimmering rainbow patterns on the gold-and-green walls. The light illuminated Anna’s shabby-bright flat, making something in Cordelia’s heart ache. It was such a homey place, in a way that her big cold house in Kensington was not. “What about you, Cordelia?” said Lucie. “One,” said Cordelia. “That’s everyone’s dream, isn’t it, really? Instead of many who give you little pieces of themselves—one who gives you everything.” Anna laughed. “Searching for the one is what leads to all the misery in this world,” she said. “Searching for many is what leads to all the fun.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
Procrastinators will weigh you down. Action is the prescription for moving forward. Action will eliminate boredom. Procrastinators are waiting, and they often create more excuses to continue waiting: It isn’t the right time; I’m going to wait until it’s sunny outside; I got up late; I called them and they didn’t pick up the phone; they didn’t reply to my email. Procrastinators are going nowhere. Do not let them impede your journey to success.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life's Riches)
I cleared my throat. “What are you doing here?” “I was going to ask you the same thing,” he replied. “That’s not an answer.” “It wasn’t meant to be one.” “Okay…Are you stalking me? That’s what this feels like.” “No. When I saw that your car was still here, I knew you’d be working late, and I brought dinner on the off chance you’d still be here.” “Wouldn’t you have felt silly if I wasn’t?” “Thanks for saving me from an awkward moment with myself.” He grinned.
Sajni Patel (The Trouble with Hating You (The Trouble with Hating You, #1))
These are the real puzzles that will face humanity. There is, he claims, a single theory that will explain not only why the queue you choose at a supermarket is always the slowest but why trains always leave on time when you are late and leave late when you are on time.” “There isn’t an answer to those,” murmured Madeleine doubtfully. “It just happens.” “That’s what they used to say about lightning,” replied Pandora, “and rainbows.
Jasper Fforde (The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, #1))
Thurman asked, “Are you born again?” Reacher said, “Once was enough for me.” “I’m serious.” “So am I.” “You should think about it.” “My father used to say, ‘Why be born again when you can just grow up?’” “Is he no longer with us?” “He died a long time ago.” “He’s in the other place then, with an attitude like that.” “He’s in a hole in the ground in Arlington Cemetery.” “Another veteran?” “Marine.” “Thank you for his service.” “Don’t thank me, I had nothing to do with it.” Thurman said, “You should think about getting your life in order, you know, before it’s too late. Something might happen. The Book of Revelations says ‘The time is at hand.’” “As it has every day since it was written nearly 2000 years ago. Why would it be true now, when it wasn’t before?” “There are signs,” Thurman said, “And the possibility of precipitating events.” He said it primly and smugly, and with a degree of certainty, as if he had regular access to privilieged, insider information. Reacher said nothing in reply. They drove on past a small group of tired men, wrestling with a mountain of tangled steel. Their backs were bent and their shoulders were slumped. Not yet 8 o’clock in the morning, Reacher thought. More than 10 hours still to go. “God watches over them.” “You sure?” “He tells me so.” “Does he watch over you, too?” “He knows what I do.” “Does he approve?” “He tells me so.” “Then why is there a lightning rod on your church?
Lee Child (Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher, #12))
We meet again, Spider-Man she said. And I replied How many people have you saved today, Girl M. She pretended to count on her fingers. Nine hundred and thirty-seven she shrugged. It's been a quiet day. We started to giggle. How about you, Spider-Man. I scratched my head. Eight hundred and thirteen I said. But I started late and finished early. We exploded into laughter. We do the same joke every single day and it never ever gets boring.
Annabel Pitcher (My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece)
When she says margarita she means daiquiri. When she says quixotic she means mercurial. And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window." He's supposed to know that. When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm. When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks. When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water rushing over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe. Ripe apples fall about them. What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era," "that's very original of you," she replies, dry as the martini he is sipping. They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead. A sign is held up saying "Laughter." It's a silent picture. "I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent. One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times. When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep. When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator. When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake. She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end. When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved. A thousand fireflies wink at him. The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up. The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
David Lehman (When a Woman Loves a Man: Poems)
That's what she gets, if she gets anything at all," Stevie said. "All of this starts in late May and goes on through June. What dose this suggest?" "Morning sickness," Nate said, his eyes widening. "Morning sickness," Stevie replied, smiling. "You terrify me," Nate said quietly.
Maureen Johnson (The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3))
Mr F.'s Aunt, who had eaten her pie with great solemnity, and who had been elaborating some grievous scheme of injury in her mind since her first assumption of that public position on the Marshal's steps, took the present opportunity of addressing the following Sibyllic apostrophe to the relict of her late nephew. 'Bring him for'ard, and I'll chuck him out o' winder!' Flora tried in vain to soothe the excellent woman by explaining that they were going home to dinner. Mr F.'s Aunt persisted in replying, 'Bring him for'ard and I'll chuck him out o' winder!' Having reiterated this demand an immense number of times, with a sustained glare of defiance at Little Dorrit, Mr F.'s Aunt folded her arms, and sat down in the corner of the pie-shop parlour; steadfastly refusing to budge until such time as 'he' should have been 'brought for'ard,' and the chucking portion of his destiny accomplished.
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
The king sent word, at odd intervals, inquiring as to Meralda's progress. She would scrawl hasty replies in return, often suppressing the impulse to add notes such as "Abandoning spellwork to continue this fascinating correspondence," or "Slept late, long breakfast, taking the day off for a stroll in the park.
Frank Tuttle (All the Paths of Shadow (Paths of Shadow, #1))
Hey,Nik." I turned around to see Cole, dressed head to toe in black. Black suit, black shirt,black tie hanging loose around his neck. He looked me up and down. His gaze paused briefly on my legs, and his mouth opened slightly. I folded my arms. "Um...you...look beautiful," he said. "You look black," I replied. "Thank you.That's the look I was going for." He held a hand out. "C'mon. Let's dance." I didn't move. "What were you going to show me?" "Dance with me first." I shook my head. "Look,Nik, I know you don't like public scrutiny lately. If you stand off to the side,all mopey and such, without a date,you'll stick out like a nun at a strip club." He leaned in. "Trust me, I've seen one. A nun at a strip club, that is.Everyone was staring at her.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
That maybe I’m the answer,’ I blurted. ‘To healing your heart. I could … you know, be your boyfriend. As Lester. If you wanted. You and me. You know, like … yeah.’ I was absolutely certain that up on Mount Olympus, the other Olympians all had their phones out and were filming me to post on Euterpe-Tube. Reyna stared at me long enough for the marching band in my circulatory system to play a complete stanza of ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag’. Her eyes were dark and dangerous. Her expression was unreadable, like the outer surface of an explosive device. She was going to murder me. No. She would order her dogs to murder me. By the time Meg rushed to my aid, it would be too late. Or worse – Meg would help Reyna bury my remains, and no one would be the wiser. When they returned to camp, the Romans would ask, What happened to Apollo? Who? Reyna would say. Oh, that guy? Dunno, we lost him. Oh, well! the Romans would reply, and that would be that. Reyna’s mouth tightened into a grimace. She bent over, gripping her knees. Her body began to shake. Oh, gods, what had I done? Perhaps I should comfort her, hold her in my arms. Perhaps I should run for my life. Why was I so bad at romance? Reyna made a squeaking sound, then a sort of sustained whimper. I really had hurt her! Then she straightened, tears streaming down her face, and burst into laughter. The sound reminded me of water rushing over a riverbed that had been dry for ages. Once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. She doubled over, stood upright again, leaned against a tree and looked at her dogs as if to share the joke. ‘Oh … my … gods,’ she wheezed. She managed to restrain her mirth long enough to blink at me through the tears, as if to make sure I was really there and she’d heard me correctly. ‘You. Me? HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant's Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
If I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject—which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Halt glared at his friend as the whistling continued. 'I had hoped that your new sense of responsibly would put an end to that painful shrieking noise you make between your lips' he said. Crowley smiled. It was a beautiful day and he was feeling at peace with the world. And that meant he was more than ready to tease Halt 'It's a jaunty song' 'What's jaunty about it?' Halt asked, grim faced. Crowley made an uncertain gesture as he sought for an answer to that question. 'I suppose it's the subject matter' he said eventually. 'It's a very cheerful song. Would you like me to sing it for you?' 'N-' Halt began but he was too late, as Crowley began to sing. He had a pleasant tenor voice, in fact, and his rendering of the song was quite good. But to Halt it was as attractive as a rusty barn door squeaking. 'A blacksmith from Palladio, he met a lovely lady-o' 'Whoa! Whoa!' Halt said 'He met a lovely lady-o?' Halt repeated sarcastically 'What in the name of all that's holy is a lady-o?' 'It's a lady' Crowley told him patiently. 'Then why not sing 'he met a lovely lady'?' Halt wanted to know. Crowley frowned as if the answer was blatantly obvious. "Because he's from Palladio, as the song says. It's a city on the continent, in the southern part of Toscana.' 'And people there have lady-o's, instead of ladies?' Asked Halt 'No. They have ladies, like everyone else. But 'lady' doesn't rhyme with Palladio, does it? I could hardly sing, 'A blacksmith from Palladio, he met his lovely lady', could I?' 'It would make more sense if you did' Halt insisted 'But it wouldn't rhyme' Crowley told him. 'Would that be so bad?' 'Yes! A song has to rhyme or it isn't a proper song. It has to be lady-o. It's called poetic license.' 'It's poetic license to make up a word that doesn't exist and which, by the way, sound extremely silly?' Halt asked. Crowley shook his head 'No. It's poetic license to make sure that the two lines rhyme with each other' Halt thought for a few seconds, his eyes knitted close together. Then inspiration struck him. 'Well then couldn't you sing 'A blacksmith from Palladio, he met a lovely lady, so...'?' 'So what?' Crowley challenged Halt made and uncertain gesture with his hands as he sought more inspiration. Then he replied. 'He met a lovely lady, so...he asked her for her hand and gave her a leg of lamb.' 'A leg of lamb? Why would she want a leg of lamb?' Crowley demanded Halt shrugged 'Maybe she was hungry
John Flanagan (The Tournament at Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years, #1))
I already knew what I’d research. I wrote the words ‘Courtly love’ on my notepad in swirly script, then caught Hayden peering at it. ‘Courtly love? Sorry, Aurora, but I think I’ve already got that one in the bag.’ ‘I think you’d better think again, because I’ve already claimed it,’ I replied. ‘You just said you’re not the Mills & Boon type and, technically, courtly love could be considered historical romance.’ He grinned. ‘As you don’t want to pollute your mind with any clichéd topics, you should probably leave that one to me.’ ‘You, discussing romance? Ha!’ Hayden put on a hurt face. ‘I think I might be alright at it. After all, I’ve been doing a lot of observing lately.’ He gave me a significant look. ‘Observing?’ I repeated, curiosity getting the better of me. ‘Well, you keep accusing me of spying on your dates,’ he said, and shrugged. ‘So, technically, I guess I’m learning about romance firsthand. It seems kind of brutal, judging from the goodnight ritual I saw last night.’ My blood wasn’t boiling, but it was pretty warm. Despite that, I was not going to lose my temper. I was determined that this year Hayden Paris wasn’t going to destroy my composure.
Tara Eglington
As you can see,” Daisy said, “one glass is filled with soap water, one with clear, and one with blue laundry water. The other, of course, is empty. The glasses will predict what kind of man you will marry.” They watched as Evie felt carefully for one of the glasses. Dipping her finger into the soap water, Evie waited for her blindfold to be drawn off, and viewed the results with chagrin, while the other girls erupted with giggles. “Choosing the soap water means she will marry a poor man,” Daisy explained. Wiping off her fingers, Evie exclaimed good-naturedly, “I s-suppose the fact that I’m going to be m-married at all is a good thing.” The next girl in line waited with an expectant smile as she was blindfolded, and the glasses were repositioned. She felt for the vessels, nearly overturning one, and dipped her fingers into the blue water. Upon viewing her choice, she seemed quite pleased. “The blue water means she’s going to marry a noted author,” Daisy told Lillian. “You try next!” Lillian gaveher a speaking glance. “You don’t really believe in this, do you?” “Oh, don’t be cynical—have some fun!” Daisy took the blindfold and rose on her toes to tie it firmly around Lillian’s head. Bereft of sight, Lillian allowed herself to be guided to the table. She grinned at the encouraging cries of the young women around her. There was the sound of the glasses being moved in front of her, and she waited with her hands half raised in the air. “What happens if I pick the empty glass?” she asked. Evie’s voice came near her ear. “You die a sp-spinster!” she said, and everyone laughed. “No lifting the glasses to test their weight,” someone warned with a giggle. “You can’t avoid the empty glass, if it’s your fate!” “At the moment I want the empty glass,” Lillian replied, causing another round of laughter. Finding the smooth surface of a glass, she slid her fingers up the side and dipped them into the cool liquid. A general round of applause and cheering, and she asked, “Am I marrying an author, too?” “No, you chose the clear water,” Daisy said. “A rich, handsome husband is coming for you, dear!” “Oh, what a relief,” Lillian said flippantly, lowering the blindfold to peek over the edge. “Is it your turn now?” Her younger sister shook her head. “I was the first to try. I knocked over a glass twice in a row, and made a dreadful mess.” “What does that mean? That you won’t marry at all?” “It means that I’m clumsy,” Daisy replied cheerfully. “Other than that, who knows? Perhaps my fate has yet to be decided. The good news is that your husband seems to be on the way.” “If so, the bastard is late,” Lillian retorted, causing Daisy and Evie to laugh.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Long after the celebrations were over, as she was fixing him a late-night snack in her lodge—their lodge, she asked without looking at him, “Are you sure you’re okay with being a member of both packs? I mean, you don’t feel like you’ve betrayed Trey?” It would be stupid, but she could understand it. From his seat at the kitchen table, he replied, “Hmm.” He had no idea what she’d asked. Come on, did she really expect him to understand a word she said when she was strolling around in nothing but a tank top and a pair of boy shorts? It was one of the hottest things ever and gave him little peaks of that ass he loved. It didn’t matter that he’d been inside her only twenty minutes ago. He could never get enough of her. Confused by his response, she looked over her shoulder . . . and rolled her eyes. “Could you stop ogling my ass for just one second?” “Hmm.
Suzanne Wright (Dark Instincts (The Phoenix Pack, #4))
There's a wonderful, perhaps apocryphal story that people tell about Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the brilliant, prickly, and iconoclastic late senator from New York. Apparently, Moynihan was in a heated argument with one of his colleagues over an issue, and the other senator, sensing he was on the losing side of the argument, blurted out: 'Well, you may disagree with me, Pat, I'm entitled to my own opinion." To which Moynihan frostily replied, "You are entitled to you own opinion, but you are not entitled to you own facts.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
Have you been writing any personal experience articles lately?" the woman asked the writer. "No," replied the writer. "I've been busy having them.
Ruth Peterman
I’m not going to tell you it’s never too late,” I reply. “But, in my experience, it’s always the not doing that I regret more.
Marie Lu (Wildcard (Warcross #2))
Royce eyed Hadrian with a skeptical expression. “He’ll never manage the climb.” “Climb?” Hadrian asked. “The treasure room is at the top of the Crown Tower,” Arcadius explained. Even Hadrian had heard of that. Even farmers in Hintindar knew of the Crown Tower. Supposedly it was the leftover corner of some ancient but legendary castle. “I’m in good shape. A few stairs aren’t going to kill me.” “The tower is heavily guarded in every way, except against a person climbing up the outside,” Royce replied, his eyes fixed on the long fang he continued to twirl. “Isn’t that because … well, I’ve heard it’s sort of tall.” “The tallest surviving structure built by man,” Arcadius said. “Should I bring a lunch?” “Considering we’ll begin after dusk and climb all night, I’d suggest a late dinner,” Royce replied. “I was joking.” “I wasn’t. But I only ask one thing.” “What’s that?” “When you fall to your death, do so quietly.
Michael J. Sullivan (The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1))
I don't trick." he replied, his voice huffy. "I wheedle and cajole. Occasionally I manipulate, but I'm always very sneaky about i, so you wouldn't know it was happening until it was far too late.
Cameron Dokey
Rosie and Mary had taken only a 10 percentage of this privilege - they were three minutes late leaving their room and took the second bus that went past rather than the first just so they could feel themselves standing at a bus stop in Manhattan, New York, surrounded by people who were short, dark and voluble rather than tall, blond and silent. The fatal part was the bus they got on. They, of course stood, because they had been taught to do so, out of respect to everyone else in the whole world - they were from the Midwest and deference was their habit and their training. ......."Did you see that?" "What?" replied Mary "That woman." "God, she was rude," said Mary. And from that statement Rosalind knew that Mary would live the rest of her life in the Midwest, which she did.
Jane Smiley
Mitterrand was a bold man,” Langdon replied, splitting the difference. The late French president who had commissioned the pyramid was said to have suffered from a “Pharaoh complex.” Singlehandedly responsible for filling Paris with Egyptian obelisks, art, and artifacts, François Mitterrand had an affinity for Egyptian culture that was so all-consuming that the French still referred to him as the Sphinx.
Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2))
Imagine yourself taking a stroll through Manhattan, somewhere north of 68th street, deep inside Central Park, late at night. It would be nice to meet someone friendly, but you know that the park is dangerous at night. That's when the monsters come out. There's always a strong undercurrent of drug dealings, muggings, and occasional homicides. It is not easy to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. They dress alike, and the weapons are concealed. The only difference is intent, and you can't read minds. Stay in the dark long enough and you may hear an occasional distance shriek or blunder across a body. How do you survive the night? The last thing you want to do is shout, "I'm here!" The next to last thing you want to do is reply to someone who shouts, "I'm a friend!" What you would like to do is find a policeman, or get out of the park. But you don't want to make noise or move towards a light where you might be spotted, and it is difficult to find either a policeman or your way out without making yourself known. Your safest option is to hunker down and wait for daylight, then safely walk out. There are, of course, a few obvious differences between Central Park and the universe. There is no policeman. There is no way out. And the night never ends.
Charles Pellegrino (The Killing Star)
When Handel was asked why his music was so cheerful, he replied, “I can’t make any other. I write as I feel. When I think on God my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap from my pen.” —George Frideric Handel
Robert J. Morgan (Mastering Life Before It's Too Late: 10 Biblical Strategies for a Lifetime of Purpose)
We must not eat dripping any more,’ warned Mma Makutsi from behind a healthy living magazine. ‘We must give up such things, Mma.’ This advice had been accompanied by a stern look in Mma Ramotswe’s direction. Mma Ramotswe had not taken that lying down. ‘Soon they will be telling us not to eat anything,’ she countered. ‘They will say that only air is good for you. Air and water.’ Mma Makutsi had not approved. ‘You cannot fight science, Mma. Science is telling us that many of the things we like to eat in this country are not good for us. They say that these things are making us too large.’ ‘I am not fighting science, Mma,’ replied Mma Ramotswe. ‘I am just saying that we have to have some things that we like, otherwise we shall be very unhappy. And if you are very unhappy you can die – we all know that.’ She allowed that to sink in before she continued. ‘There are many people who have been thinking a lot about science who are now late. It would have been better for them to spend more time being happy while they had the chance. That is well known, Mma – it is very well known.’ Mma Makutsi had become silent.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #16))
Cam placed his hand on her shoulder. "It's not too late." A thick lump swelled in her throat. "I acted like an idiot." "That's not a problem," he replied in a comforting tone. "He's been acting like an idiot for weeks now.
Stacey O'Neale (Under His Skin (Alien Encounters, #1))
And yet there are other days, when I’m downtrodden or morose, when I find myself at my desk late at night, unable to sleep, flipping through (of all things) Oscar’s dog-eared copy of Watchmen. One of the few things that he took with him on the Final Voyage that we recovered. The original trade. I flip through the book, one of his top three, without question, to the last horrifying chapter: “A Stronger Loving World.” To the only panel he’s circled. Oscar—who never defaced a book in his life—circled one panel three times in the same emphatic pen he used to write his last letters home. The panel where Adrian Veidt and Dr. Manhattan are having their last convo. After the mutant brain has destroyed New York City; after Dr. Manhattan has murdered Rorschach; after Veidt’s plan has succeded in “saving the world.” Veidt says: “I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.” And Manhattan, before fading from our Universe, replies: “In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
But we have no time!” Molly pleaded. Schmendrick nudged her, but she rushed on, stepping close to the skull and appealing directly to its uninhabited eyes. “We have no time. We may be too late now.” “I have time,” the skull replied reflectively. “It’s really not so good to have time. Rush, scramble, desperation, this missed, that left behind, those others too big to fit into such a small space—that’s the way life was meant to be. You’re supposed to be too late for some things. Don’t worry about it.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
I told him: “I have been inside for two years and seven months. I have had a job to do here. Lately I have had no instructions. Now the Germans have shipped out our best people with whom I’ve been working. I would have to start from scratch. I can see no further point in staying here. Therefore, I’m going to leave.” Captain 159 [Stanisław Machowski] looked at me in some surprise and said: “Yes. I can see that, but can one pick and choose when one wants to come to Auschwitz and when one wants to leave?” I replied: “One can.
Witold Pilecki (The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery)
This was more than I had hitherto endured, even from her, but the swift lash of his reply was unexpected. “Not since Ethelred,” he said, “the one who was called Unready. In fact, it was while staying with my family that the name was given him. He was invariably late for dinner.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
We’ve made a beautiful mess of things lately, haven’t we?” He flashed that sexycrooked smile at me, which made my heart flutter.I nodded, agreeing with him.“But it’s our crazy story,” he stated. “It’s been ours, only ours. There’s been a lot of romance, sometimes way too much drama…” He raised his eyebrows and smirked. “Verymemorable comedy, a few pulse-racing action scenes...”He shrugged and sighed.“We’ve also had our fair share of suspense and raw terror, and unfortunately gut-wrenching heartache too.“I think we’ve covered it all, everything except for being captured by aliens!”I couldn’t help but chuckle.“But through it all you’ve loved me, unconditionally, and I know how fortunate I amto have your love.“I don’t want to live without you, not for one more minute, not for one more second.I want to spend the rest of my days living my story with you… only you.”He walked to the edge and jumped off the table, landing in front of me.“It is here that I fell in love with you,” Ryan whispered, taking my hands in his.He dropped down on one knee.“And as fate would have it, it is here that I humbly kneel before you and ask you to be my wife.“Taryn Lynn Mitchell, will you marry me?” His glistening eyes, so blue, so full of emotion, gazed up at me… waiting patiently for my reply.Only one word rang through my heart.“Yes!” I nodded emphatically. My salted tears dripped across my lips. I said yes over and over again.
Tina Reber (Love Unscripted (Love, #1))
There is a story that while Sokrates was in prison, awaiting his death, he heard a man sing skillfully a song by the lyric poet Stesichoros, and begged him to teach it to him before it was too late, and when the musician asked why, Sokrates replied, 'I want to die knowing one thing more.
Ammianus Marcellinus
The moon seemed to veil herself before the bold looks of Satan. The night was cold. All the doors were closed, all the windows darkened. and the streets deserted. From their appearance, one would have imagined that, for a long time past no foot had traversed those silent streets. Everything around us bore a death-like aspect. It seemed as if, when day came, no one would open their doors; that no head, of woman or of child, would look out of those dark, dull windows; that no step would break the silence which fell, like a pall, upon all around. I seemed to be walking in a city which had been buried some ages. In truth, the town seemed to have been depopulated, and the cemetery to have grown full. Still we went forward, without hearing a murmur, or meeting even with a shadow. The street stretched for a long way across this fearful city of silence and repose. At last we reached my house. 'You remember it?' said the fiend. 'Yes,' replied I, sullenly, 'let us enter.' 'First,' said he, 'we must open the door. It is I, by the way, who invented the science of opening doors without breaking them in. In fact, I have a second key to all doors and gates - with one exception - that of Paradise!
James Hain Friswell
At the end of the presentation someone asked whether he thought they should do some market research to see what customers wanted. “No,” he replied, “because customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.” Then he pulled out a device that was about the size of a desk diary. “Do you want to see something neat?” When he flipped it open, it turned out to be a mock-up of a computer that could fit on your lap, with a keyboard and screen hinged together like a notebook. “This is my dream of what we will be making in the mid-to late eighties,” he said. They were building a company that would invent the future.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Several seconds later, my mother squeezed her way through to us. Great. He called; she came. They were awfully chummy lately. I hoped Lissa remained the only one with a surprise sibling. "Who are these people?" my mother asked. "Guess," replied Abe flatly. "Who would be foolish enough to break into Court after escaping it?" My mom's eyes widened. "How—" "No time," Abe said. The sharp look he got in return said she didn't like being interrupted . Maybe no siblings after all. Mead, Richelle (2010-12-07). Last Sacrifice: A Vampire Academy Novel (Kindle Locations 6646-6650). Penguin Young Readers Group. Kindle Edition.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
As one sat in the aeroplane amidst all the noise, smoking and loud talking, most unexpectedly, the sense of immensity and that extraordinary benediction which was felt at il L., that imminent feeling of sacredness, began to take place. The body was nervously tense because of the crowd, noise, etc. but in spite of all this, it was there. The pressure and the strain were intense and there was acute pain at the back of the head. There was only this state and there was no observer. The whole body was wholly in it and the feeling of sacredness was so intense that a groan escaped from the body and passengers were sitting in the next seats. It went on for several hours, late into the night. It was as though one was looking, not with eyes only but with a thousand centuries; it was altogether a strange occurrence. The brain was completely empty, all reaction had stopped; during all those hours, one was not aware of this emptiness but only in writing it is the thing known, but this knowledge is only descriptive and not real. That the brain could empty itself is an odd phenomenon. As the eyes were closed, the body, the brain seemed to plunge into unfathomable depths, into states of incredible sensitivity and beauty. The passenger in the next seat began to ask something and having replied, this intensity was there; there was no continuity but only being. And dawn was coming leisurely and the clear sky was filling with light - As this is being written late in the day, with sleepless fatigue, that sacredness is there. The pressure and the strain too.
J. Krishnamurti (Krishnamurtis Notebook)
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my best poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it. Drips from the roof are plopping into the water-butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem. It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing - though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty-one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but I have a neatish face. I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic - two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it. The house itself was built in the time of Charles II, but it was grafted on to a fourteenth-century castle that had been damaged by Cromwell. The whole of our east wall was part of the castle; there are two round towers in it. The gatehouse is intact and a stretch of the old walls at their full height joins it to the house. And Belmotte Tower, all that remains of an even older castle, still stands on its mound close by. But I won't attempt to describe our peculiar home fully until I can see more time ahead of me than I do now. I am writing this journal partly to practise my newly acquired speed-writing and partly to teach myself how to write a novel - I intend to capture all our characters and put in conversations. It ought to be good for my style to dash along without much thought, as up to now my stories have been very stiff and self-conscious. The only time father obliged me by reading one of them, he said I combined stateliness with a desperate effort to be funny. He told me to relax and let the words flow out of me.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
¨Hear my judgment,¨ Cardan says, authority ringing in his voice. ¨I exile Jude Duarte to the mortal world. Until and unless she is pardoned by the crown, let her not step one foot in Faerie or forfeit her life.¨ I gasp. ¨But you cant do that!¨ He looks at me for a long moment, but his gaze is mild, as though hes expecting me to be fine with exile. As though I am nothing more than one of his petitioners. As though i am nothing at all. ¨Of course I can,¨ he replies. ¨But im the Queen of Faerie,¨ I shout, and for a moment, there is silence. Then everyone around me begins to laugh. I can feel my cheeks heat. Tears of frustration and fury prick my eyes as, a beat too late, Cardan laughs with them. At that moment, knights clap their hands on my wrists, Sir Rannoch pulls me down from the horse. For a mad moment i consider fighting him as though two dozen knights arent around us. ¨Deny it, then,¨ I yell. ¨Deny me!¨ He cannot, of course, so he does not. Page 316-317
Holly Black (The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2))
In the winter you could see them sitting on the benches by the war memorial. The cold couldn't touch them in those days. They drank mulled wine from thermos flasks and smoked their cigarettes hastily, as if they might warm them up. Tamara doesn't know when the cold took hold of them. They feel it much more quickly now, the whine more, and if anyone asks them why, they reply that the world is getting colder and colder. They could also answer that they'd got older, but that would be too honest, you don't say that until you're forty and you can look back. In your late twenties you go through your very private climate disaster and hope for better times.
Zoran Drvenkar (Sorry)
It is precisely to prevent us from thinking too much that society pressurizes us all to get out of bed. In 1993, I went to interview the late radical philosopher and drugs researcher Terence McKenna. I asked him why society doesn’t allow us to be more idle. He replied: I think the reason we don’t organise society in that way can be summed up in the aphorism, “idle hands are the devil’s tool.” In other words, institutions fear idle populations because an Idler is a thinker and thinkers are not a welcome addition to most social situations. Thinkers become malcontents, that’s almost a substitute word for idle, “malcontent.” Essentially, we are all kept very busy . . . under no circumstances are you to quietly inspect the contents of your own mind. Freud called introspection “morbid”—unhealthy, introverted, anti-social, possibly neurotic, potentially pathological. Introspection could lead to that terrible thing: a vision of the truth, a clear image of the horror of our fractured, dissonant world. The
Tom Hodgkinson (How to Be Idle: A Loafer's Manifesto)
April 22.—I have of late frequently noticed Carrie rubbing her nails a good deal with an instrument, and on asking her what she was doing, she replied: “Oh, I’m going in for manicuring.  It’s all the fashion now.”  I said: “I suppose Mrs. James introduced that into your head.”  Carrie laughingly replied: “Yes; but everyone does it now.
George Grossmith (The Diary of a Nobody)
Tristan: I had to leave early to help a friend move this morning and I didn't want to wake you. I was almost late, though. I couldn't stop staring at you. Who knew you’re so cute when you’re not yelling at me. A huge smile breaks across my face. He didn't run from me. He wanted to stay with me. Remy: Might want to figure that out before Jax gets home today. He might not appreciate you ogling his sister. His reply comes almost immediately, which sends another burst of happiness through my chest. Tristan: No promises. When you’re yelling, all I can think about is how much I want to bend you over and hear you make that breathy little sound right before you come all over my cock.
Nikki Castle (5 Rounds (The Fight Game, #1))
If he doesn’t get here soon, I’m going to fall asleep, Susan grumbled. He loved hearing her voice in his head even when she was cranky. The thought made him smile. I’ve been keeping you up too late. Not really, she replied. I’ve always been a night owl. I just haven’t been sleeping late the way I usually do. And had had one scare after another whilst awake. Did I mention I’m still sore from digging your handsome ass up? He laughed. It was totally worth it, of course, she went on.But if we find out you’re single, I might hit you up for a nice long massage. He cursed when his body immediately responded to the image of her naked and laid out before him, waiting for him to run his hands all over her body. Now who’s flirting? Ooh, she purred. That’s so cool. Even in your thoughts, your voice deepens and gets all growly when you’re turned on. Before he could respond, she made a sound of impatience.Damn it. Now I’m turned on. He laughed, delighted that she inspired him to do so even in such grim circumstances.
Dianne Duvall (Awaken the Darkness (Immortal Guardians #8))
When Musk came into the meeting room where I’d been waiting, I noted how impressive it was for so many people to turn up on a Saturday. Musk saw the situation in a different light, complaining that fewer and fewer people had been working weekends of late. “We’ve grown fucking soft,” Musk replied. “I was just going to send out an e-mail. We’re fucking soft.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive—and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding—this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy—a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
He bowed. "You hear correctly." His gaze didn't ;leave her, the examination making her skin crawl. He shook his head. "Astonishing. I never imagined I'd meet a real Nahid." With a curse, Zaynab followed. "If I've not said it lately, I think I hate you." "You know, for a magical being, you have a terrible sense of adventure," Nahri replied, touching one of the eddies of paint, a blue swell that looked like a wave.
S.A. Chakraborty (The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy, #2))
The journey consumed two days. With the road crowded, progress was slow and dusty. At New Brunswick the inn was so full, Adams and Franklin had to share the same bed in a tiny room with only one small window. Before turning in, when Adams moved to close the window against the night air, Franklin objected, declaring they would suffocate. Contrary to convention, Franklin believed in the benefits of fresh air at night and had published his theories on the question. “People often catch cold from one another when shut up together in small close rooms,” he had written, stressing “it is the frowzy corrupt air from animal substances, and the perspired matter from our bodies, which, being long confined in beds not lately used, and clothes not lately worn . . . obtains that kind of putridity which infects us, and occasions the colds observed upon sleeping in, wearing, or turning over, such beds [and] clothes.” He wished to have the window remain open, Franklin informed Adams. “I answered that I was afraid of the evening air,” Adams would write, recounting the memorable scene. “Dr. Franklin replied, ‘The air within this chamber will soon be, and indeed is now worse than that without doors. Come, open the window and come to bed, and I will convince you. I believe you are not acquainted with my theory of colds.’ ” Adams assured Franklin he had read his theories; they did not match his own experience, Adams said, but he would be glad to hear them again. So the two eminent bedfellows lay side-by-side in the dark, the window open, Franklin expounding, as Adams remembered, “upon air and cold and respiration and perspiration, with which I was so much amused that I soon fell asleep.
David McCullough (John Adams)
I think you and I need to talk about,” she said. She didn’t finish the sentence, but her eyes were on Gansey. He wondered if she knew how transparent her gaze was. Had she ever looked that hungry when she’d looked at him? “Yes,” Adam replied. Too late, he realized she probably meant to discuss the search for Glendower’s favor, not to confess her secret relationship with Gansey. Well, they needed to talk about that, too.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
But a further question arises: Is passion different from reason also, or only a kind of reason; in which latter case, instead of three principles in the soul, there will only be two, the rational and the concupiscent; or rather, as the State was composed of three classes, traders, auxiliaries, counsellors, so may there not be in the individual soul a third element which is passion or spirit, and when not corrupted by bad education is the natural auxiliary of reason? Yes, he said, there must be a third. Yes, I replied, if passion, which has already been shown to be different from desire, turn out also to be different from reason. But that is easily proved:—We may observe even in young children that they are full of spirit almost as soon as they are born, whereas some of them never seem to attain to the use of reason, and most of them late enough. Excellent,
Plato (The Republic)
The alternative to soul-acceptance is soul-fatigue. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the body. When we stay up too late and rise too early; when we try to fuel ourselves for the day with coffee and a donut in the morning and Red Bull in the afternoon; when we refuse to take the time to exercise and we eat foods that clog our brains and arteries; when we constantly try to guess which line at the grocery store will move faster and which car in which lane at the stoplight will move faster and which parking space is closest to the mall, our bodies grow weary. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the mind. When we are bombarded by information all day at work . . . When multiple screens are always clamoring for our attention . . . When we carry around mental lists of errands not yet done and bills not yet paid and emails not yet replied to . . . When we try to push unpleasant emotions under the surface like holding beach balls under the water at a swimming pool . . . our minds grow weary. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the will. We have so many decisions to make. When we are trying to decide what clothes will create the best possible impression, which foods will bring us the most pleasure, which tasks at work will bring us the most success, which entertainment options will make us the most happy, which people we dare to disappoint, which events we must attend, even what vacation destination will be most enjoyable, the need to make decisions overwhelms us. The sheer length of the menu at Cheesecake Factory oppresses us. Sometimes college students choose double majors, not because they want to study two fields, but simply because they cannot make the decision to say “no” to either one. Our wills grow weary with so many choices.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
Glancing around the entrance hall, she realized the crate was no longer in the corner. The twins must have raced downstairs the moment it had been mentioned. Clutching it on either side, they lugged it furtively toward the receiving room. "Girls," Kathleen said sharply, "bring that back here at once!" But it was too late. The receiving room's double doors closed, accompanied by the click of a key turning in the lock. Kathleen stopped short, her jaw slackening. West and Helen staggered together, overcome with hilarity. "I'll have you know," Mrs. Church said in amazement, "it took our two stoutest footmen to bring that crate into the house. How did two young ladies manage to carry it away so quickly?" "Sh-sheer determination," Helen wheezed. "All I want in this life," West told Kathleen, "is to see you try to pry that crate away from those two." "I wouldn't dare," she replied, giving up. "They would do me bodily harm.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
My dear girl, would you care to explain how all of this came about?” King Garron asked, with a concerned tone. “The usual way Father. Is that not what you said to me when I asked how you and Lady Ellos came to be involved? I am happy for you Father, I wish you to be happy for me as well. Goodnight, I am glad to be home,” Laurel said in a quiet but resolute voice, as she kissed her father and Phineas goodnight and walked up the stairs. “I honestly do not know what to say Phineas,” King Garron spoke in a defeated tone, as he watched Laurel walk out of sight. “There is nothing to say Sire. Your daughter has grown up, and captured the heart of her Prince,” Phineas replied with a warm smile, putting his hand on King Garron’s shoulder. “She will hold the Heart of Heathwin. I will be damned, Milna was right,” King Garron said in a whisper, his eyes filling with tears, at remembering something his beloved late wife had told him.
MT Magee
Fantasy, or Phantasy,” Auntie replies, clearing her throat, “is from the Greek phantasia, lit. ‘a making visible.’” And she shows me how “fantasy” in the late Middle Ages meant “the mental apprehension of an object of perception,” the mind’s act of linking itself to the external world, but later came to mean just the reverse: an hallucination, a false perception, or the habit of deluding oneself. And she tells me that the word fantasy also came to mean the imagination itself, “the process,
Ursula K. Le Guin (Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, with a Journal of a Writer’s Week)
The telephone to Shadow's apartment was silent and dead. He thought about getting it connected, but could think of no one he wanted to call. Late one night he picked it up and listened, and was convinced he could hear a wind blowing and a distant conversation between a group of people talking in voiced too low to properly make out. He said, "hello?" and "who's there?" but there was no reply, only a sudden silence and then the faraway sound of laughter, so faint he was not certain he was not imagining it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
The one thought Conan had on the spot about the half hour at 11:35 was that it would likely exacerbate the problem he already had with Leno. 'So at least now, Jay does his show, but there's the break of the news, and that's kind of the reset button,' Conan said to Gaspin and Graboff. 'At 11:35 Jay's going to come out and do twenty jokes. And then what's he going to do?' When they replied that it seemed likely he would have only one guest, Conan said, 'OK. And then I come out and do what?' The NBC guys didn't really have an answer for that other than what Conan had already been doing: his own monologue. That this now seemed like a late-night pileup - three shows with monologues lined up end to end - was the implication no one had really addressed. Finally Conan did have something he really wanted to say, something that had almost burned a hole in his chest. 'What does Jay have on you?' Conan asked, his voice still low, his tone still even. 'What does this guy have on you people? What the hell is it about Jay?
Bill Carter (The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy)
As children, we look to adults to be perfect and say the right thing. Mama Taaq, face streaked grey from dust and tears, should have replied to her shivering, shuddering child: “You did everything right, my darling. You did everything you could and none of this is your fault. Later she would say those words, but later was too late, because that night all she did was cry and turn away from her still-living daughter to try and find her dead one. These things are entirely natural and understandable – just not to a child.
Claire North (Notes from the Burning Age)
two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other’s chests; then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction. “News?” asked the taller of the two. “The best,” replied Severus Snape. The lane was bordered on the left by wild, low-growing brambles, on the right by a high, neatly manicured hedge. The men’s long cloaks flapped around their ankles as they marched. “Thought I might be late,” said Yaxley, his blunt features sliding in and out of sight as the branches of overhanging trees broke the moonlight. “It was a little trickier than I expected. But I hope he will be satisfied. You sound confident that your reception will be good?” Snape nodded, but did not elaborate. They turned right, into a wide driveway that led off the lane. The high hedge curved with them, running off into the distance beyond the pair of impressive wrought-iron gates barring the men’s way. Neither
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Lost,” the captain repeated. “I am surely that.” “Yet you and I, Lull, we are lost late in our lives. Look upon the children, and despair.” “How to answer this? I must know, Duiker, else I go mad.” “Sleight of hand,” the historian said. “What?” “Think of the sorcery we’ve seen in our lives, the vast, unbridled, deadly power we’ve witnessed unleashed. Driven to awe and horror. Then think of a trickster—those you saw as a child—the games of illusion and artifice they could play out with their hands, and so bring wonder to your eyes.” The captain was silent, motionless. Then he rose. “And there’s my answer?” “It’s the only one I can think of, friend. Sorry if it’s not enough.” “No, old man, it’s enough. It has to be, doesn’t it?” “Aye, that it does.” “Sleight of hand.” The historian nodded. “Ask for nothing more, for the world—this world—won’t give it.” “But where will we find such a thing?” “Unexpected places,” Duiker replied, also rising. Somewhere ahead, shouts rose and the convoy resumed its climb once more. “If you fight both tears and a smile, you’ll have found one.
Steven Erikson (Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2))
Colby’s resourceful, I’ll give him that.” “You used to be good friends.” “We were, until he started hanging around Cecily,” came the short reply. “I’m not as angry at him as I was. But it seems that he has to have a woman to prop him up.” “Not necessarily,” Matt replied. “Sometimes a good woman can save a bad man. It’s an old saying, but fairly true from time to time. Colby was headed straight to hell until Cecily put him on the right track. It’s gratitude, but I don’t think he can see that just yet. He’s in between mourning his ex-wife and finding someone to replace her.” He leaned back again. “I feel sorry for him. He’s basically a one-woman man, but he lost the woman.” Tate packed back to the wing chair and sat down on the edge. “He’s not getting Cecily. She’s mine, even if she doesn’t want to admit it.” Matt stared at him. “Don’t you know anything about women in love?” “Not a lot,” the younger man confessed. “I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding them.” “Especially Cecily,” Matt agreed. “She’s been like a shadow. You didn’t miss her until you couldn’t see her behind you anymore.” “She’s grown away from me,” Tate said. “I don’t know how to close the gap. I know she still feels something for me, but she wouldn’t stay and fight for me.” He lifted his gaze to Matt’s hard face. “She’s carrying my child. I want both of them, regardless of the adjustments I have to make. Cecily’s the only woman I’ve ever truly wanted.” Matt spread his hands helplessly. “This is one mess I can’t help you sort out,” he said at last. “If Cecily loves you, she’ll give in sooner or later. If it were me, I’d go find her and tell her how I really felt. I imagine she’ll listen.” Tate stared at his shoes. He couldn’t find the right words to express what he felt. “Tate,” his father said gently, “you’ve had a lot to get used to lately. Give it time. Don’t rush things. I’ve found that life sorts itself out, given the opportunity.” Tate’s dark eyes lifted. “Maybe it does.” He searched the other man’s quiet gaze. “It’s not as bad as I thought it was, having a foot in two worlds. I’m getting used to it.” “You still have a unique heritage,” Matt pointed out. “Not many men can claim Berber revolutionaries and Lakota warriors as relatives.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Hoagland," Kingston said in a voice like expensive liquor on ice, "it's good to see you. Your son is better, I trust?" "You're very kind to ask, Your Grace. Yes, he's recovered fully from his tumble. The poor lad's grown so fast, he hasn't yet learned to manage those long arms and legs. A rackabones, my wife calls him." "My boy Ivo is the same. He's shot up like a weed of late." "Will he grow as tall as your other two sons, do you expect?" "By force of will, if necessary," the duke replied dryly. "Ivo has informed me he has no intention of being the youngest and the shortest.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))
How long have you known that you also fancy men?” Merrick’s breath hitched as he dropped his head, panting heavily as the sponge stroked across his nape. He attempted to get his jumbled thoughts in order. Was this Cassius’s attempt to understand him? To form an amicable connection with him? “Not also,” he replied. “Only. I only fancy men.” For of that he was certain, and saying it out loud made it ring even clearer in his head. “I’ve known for as long as I can remember. When Marjorie played with her dolls, I felt an uncomfortable tightness in my chest as she pretended the male was courting the female. I would change the script in my head and…and have the gentleman court another gentleman.” The silence was nearly deafening in the room, the only sounds their harsh breaths and the water dripping off the sponge. “And you?” Merrick asked, clearing his throat. “It’s taken me a bit longer to know…to understand. I thought something was wrong with me, or that perhaps I was a late bloomer. My life has always been about my family…not about friends, nor anyone I ever fancied. When I finally took time to look inside myself, to allow myself pleasure, women had never figured into the equation
Riley Hart (Ever After)
I could only reply that I think---I theorise--that something--something else--happens to the memory over time. For years you survive with the same loops, the same facts and the same emotions...The events reconfirm the emotions--resentment, a sense of injustice, relief--and vice versa. There seems no way of accessing anything else; the case is closed. But what if, even at a late stage, your emotions relating to those long-ago events and people change? That ugly letter of mine provoked remorse in me...I felt a new sympathy for them--and her. Then, not long afterwards, I began remembering forgotten things.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Frank,” I said when I reached him late that afternoon, “do you remember in 1978 when you told me that Bill Walsh was the most impressive young coach you’d ever met?” “Did I?” he replied modestly. “And then you told me how impressed you were with that young attorney general in Arkansas, a guy named Bill Clinton?” “Well, I remember thinking highly of him,” he responded, still trying to play it down. “Yes, you did,” I reminded him. “So Frank, now that Walsh is headed to the Hall of Fame, and Clinton is headed to the White House, I’m calling you for only one reason. “Who do you like in the fifth tomorrow at Santa Anita?
Al Michaels (You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television)
This late afternoon, they stood shoulder to shoulder at the masthead, watching the dockhands tie up the boat. Though she was four years younger and a girl, they were nearly the same height, Gina and Salvo. Gina was actually taller. No one could figure out where she got the height; her parents and brothers were not tall. Look, the villagers would say. Two “piccolo” brothers and a “di altezza” sister. Oh, that’s because we have different fathers, Gina would reply dryly. Salvo would smack her upside the head when he heard her say this. Think what you’re saying about our mother, he would scold, crossing himself and her at her impudence.
Paullina Simons (Children of Liberty (The Bronze Horseman, #0))
I used to think one day we'd tell the story of us ; How we met, and the sparks flew instantly. People would say have said they're the lucky ones. I used to know my place was a spot next to you and then it went to me searching the room for an empty seat 'Cause lately I don't even know what page you're on Oh, a simple complication, Miscommunications lead to fall out. So many things that I wish you knew oh and So many walls up, I can't break through Now I'm back again on this website after five years And I'm dying to know does it still hurt you like it hurts me? I don't know what to say since a twist of fate, when it all broke down and the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now How'd we end up this way? With both of us deleting our accounts and going our separate ways So, today I'm telling the story of us of how I was losing my mind when I saw you had deleted the account and gone away without a goodbye and no I miss yous leaving me with just your quotes on Goodreads How you held your pride like you should've held me Why did we pretend this is nothing? I'd tell you I miss you, but I don't know how I never heard silence quite this loud Now I'm standing alone in a crowded room in a UK library reminiscing about the days when I was 15 and you were a 16 California boy; how we fell for each and how we fought both too immature to realize what we were setting up in flames How I still recall your replies and my singing heart and shining eyes. Didn't tell you back then and now I'm saying I liked it better when you were on my side So many things that you wish I knew ; So many that I wish I had told you But the story of us has broken, burned and ended Now I'm standing alone in a crowded room And we're not speaking : And I'm dying to know Is it killing you like it's killing me? But I don't know what to say Since a twist of fate, when it all broke down And the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now.
Hearts Can Break and Never Make a Sound
A week later Mrs. Blythe, coming up from the village late in the afternoon, paused at the gate of Ingleside in an amazement which temporarily bereft her of the power of motion. An extraordinary sight met her eyes. Round the end of the kitchen burst Mr. Pryor, running as stout, pompous Mr. Pryor had not run in years, with terror imprinted on every lineament—a terror quite justifiable, for behind him, like an avenging fate, came Susan, with a huge, smoking iron pot grasped in her hands, and an expression in her eye that boded ill to the object of her indignation, if she should overtake him. Pursuer and pursued tore across the lawn. Mr. Pryor reached the gate a few feet ahead of Susan, wrenched it open, and fled down the road, without a glance at the transfixed lady of Ingleside. "Susan," gasped Anne. Susan halted in her mad career, set down her pot, and shook her fist after Mr. Pryor, who had not ceased to run, evidently believing that Susan was still full cry after him. "Susan, what does this mean?" demanded Anne, a little severely. "You may well ask that, Mrs. Dr. dear," Susan replied wrathfully. "I have not been so upset in years. That—that—that pacifist has actually had the audacity to come up here and, in my own kitchen, to ask me to marry him. HIM!" Anne choked back a laugh. "But—Susan!
L.M. Montgomery (Rilla of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables series Book 8))
Your son was accused of a crime he did not commit, was tried for it, condemned—and died in prison. Justice has come too late for him. But such justice as can be done, almost certainly will be done, and will be seen to be done. The Home Secretary will probably advise the Queen that a free pardon should be granted.” Hester laughed. “A free pardon—for something he didn’t do?” “I know. The terminology always seems unrealistic. But I understand that the custom is for a question to be asked in the House, the reply to which will make it clear that Jack Argyle did not commit the crime for which he was sentenced, and the newspapers will report that fact freely.” He
Agatha Christie (Ordeal by Innocence)
I haven’t been late,” she replied, flatly. Derrick looked at the report. “You can read this, right?” “I can read the report,” she said. “But it’s wrong.” Of course it was. “How do you figure?” Lorraine paused, searching for the right words. “Well, when I’m at home getting ready in the morning, I’m thinking about work. So, in a way, I’m actually working, except I haven’t clocked in. Therefore, technically I’m not late, because my mind is on the job.” Derrick waited for her to laugh, and say she that was kidding. He wanted her to say that she’d make it to work on time, from now on. No such luck. She was dead serious, and farther out in left field than he had ever imagined.
David Lucero (Who's Minding the Store)
Even today, every night of the year, the Queen’s Keys are carried in great ceremony to lock up the gates of the Tower. The Chief Yeoman Warder at 9:53 meets his escort warders and they walk to the gates. They arrive at 10:00 p.m. exactly and are challenged by a sentry with a bayonet who cries loudly, “Who comes here?” The reply by the Chief is, “The Keys.” “Whose keys?” “Queen Elizabeth’s keys.” “Pass, Queen Elizabeth’s keys, and all is well.” The party passes through the Bloody Tower Archway into the fortress and halts at the Broadway Steps. At the top of the stairs, the Tower Guard presents arms and the Chief Warder raises his hat and proclaims, “God preserve Queen Elizabeth.” The sentry replies, “Amen!” Afterward, the keys are taken to the Queen’s House for safekeeping and the Last Post is sounded. This ancient ceremony was interrupted only once since the 14th century. During World War II there was an air raid on London. Bombs fell on the Victorian guardroom just as the party was coming through the Bloody Tower Archway. The noise knocked down the Chief Yeoman and one of the Warder escorts. In the Tower is a letter from the Officer of the Guard in which he apologizes to King George VI for the ceremony finishing late, as well as a reply from the King which states that the officer is not to be punished since the delay was due to enemy action.
Debra Brown (Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors)
To gather up enthusiasm for my work, I reminded myself how our recent sages, of blessed memory, devoted themselves to the Torah. For instance, there was the story of the author of the Face of Joshua, whose disciples once arrived late. "Why are you late?" he asked them when they came. "We were afraid to go out because of the cold," they replied. He raised his face from the book—and his beard was frozen hard to the table. "True," he said. "It is cold today." Or like the story of Rabbi Jacob Emden, who hired a servant to announce to him every hour, "Woe, another hour has gone," so that the illustrious scholar should give himself an account of what he had put right during that hour.
S.Y. Agnon (A Book that Was Lost: and Other Stories)
Finally, in late May or early June our breathlessly anticipated gilt-edged invitation to the July 29 wedding arrived. Soon after, we received a silver-edged card inviting us to a private formal ball at Buckingham Palace two nights before the wedding. We had been expecting the first invitation but were totally surprised by the second one. For both invitations, we had to reply to the Lord Chamberlain, Saint James’s Palace, London, SW1. For the wedding, dress was specified as: Uniform, Morning Dress or Lounge Suit. For the ball, dress was: Uniform or Evening Dress. Tiaras Optional. We had no idea what a “lounge suit” was, nor did I have a tiara handy—fortunately tiaras were optional. Help!
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
It’s dark as a tomb in here,” she said, unable to see more than shadows. “Will you light the candles, please,” she asked, “assuming there are candles in here?” “Aye, milady, right there, next to the bed.” His shadow crossed before her, and Elizabeth focused on a large, oddly shaped object that she supposed could be a bed, given its size. “Will you light them, please?” she urged. “I-I can’t see a thing in here.” “His lordship don’t like more’n one candle lit in the bedchambers,” the footman said. “He says it’s a waste of beeswax.” Elizabeth blinked in the darkness, torn somewhere between laughter and tears at her plight. “Oh,” she said, nonplussed. The footman lit a small candle at the far end of the room and left, closing the door behind him. “Milady?” Berta whispered, peering through the dark, impenetrable gloom. “Where are you?” “I’m over here,” Elizabeth replied, walking cautiously forward, her arms outstretched, her hands groping about for possible obstructions in her path as she headed for what she hoped was the outside wall of the bedchamber, where there was bound to be a window with draperies hiding its light. “Where?” Berta asked in a frightened whisper, and Elizabeth could hear the maid’s teeth chattering halfway across the room. “Here-on your left.” Berta followed the sound of her mistress’s voice and let out a terrified gasp at the sight of the ghostlike figure moving eerily through the darkness, arms outstretched. “Raise your arm,” she said urgently, “so I’ll know ‘tis you.” Elizabeth, knowing Berta’s timid nature, complied immediately. She raised her arm, which, while calming poor Berta, unfortunately caused Elizabeth to walk straight into a slender, fluted pillar with a marble bust upon it, and they both began to topple. “Good God!” Elizabeth burst out, wrapping her arms protectively around the pillar and the marble object upon it. “Berta!” she said urgently. “This is no time to be afraid of the dark. Help me, please. I’ve bumped into something-a bust and its stand, I think-and I daren’t let go of them until I can see how to set them upright. There are draperies over here, right in front of me. All you have to do is follow my voice and open them. Once we do, ‘twill be bright as day in here.” “I’m coming, milady,” Berta said bravely, and Elizabeth breathed a sigh of relief. “I’ve found them!” Berta cried softly a few minutes later. “They’re heavy-velvet they are, with another panel behind them.” Berta pulled one heavy panel back across the wall, and then, with renewed urgency and vigor, she yanked back the other and turned around to survey the room. “Light as last!” Elizabeth said with relief. Dazzling late-afternoon sunlight poured into the windows directly in front of her, blinding her momentarily. “That’s much better,” she said, blinking. Satisfied that the pillar was quite sturdy enough to stand without her aid, Elizabeth was about to place the bust back upon it, but Berta’s cry stopped her. “Saints preserve us!” With the fragile bust clutched protectively to her chest Elizabeth swung sharply around. There, spread out before her, furnished entirely in red and gold, was the most shocking room Elizabeth had ever beheld: Six enormous gold cupids seemed to hover in thin air above a gigantic bed clutching crimson velvet bed draperies in one pudgy fist and holding bows and arrows in the other; more cupids adorned the headboard. Elizabeth’s eyes widened, first in disbelief, and a moment later in mirth. “Berta,” she breathed on a smothered giggle, “will you look at this place!
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Once upon a time, a greedy prince fell in love with a wicked girl. The prince had far more than he needed, but it was never enough. When he grew ill, he visited the Kingdom of the Great Ocean, where the Underworld meets the living world, to bargain with Moritas, the goddess of Death, for more life. When she refused, he stole her immortal gold and fled to the surface. In revenge, Moritas sent her daughter Caldora, the angel of Fury, to retrieve him. Caldora materialized out of the sea foam on a warm, stormy night, clad in nothing but silver silk, an achingly beautiful phantom in the mist. The prince ran to the shore to greet her. She smiled at him and touched his cheek. “What will you give me in return for my affection?” she asked. “Are you willing to part with your kingdom, your army, and your jewels?” The prince, blinded by her beauty and eager to boast, nodded. “Anything you want,” he replied. “I am the greatest man in the world. Even the gods are no match for me.” So he gave her his kingdom, his army, and his jewels. She accepted his offerings with a smile, only to reveal her true angel form—skeletal, finned, monstrous. Then she burned his kingdom to the ground and pulled him below the sea into the Underworld, where her mother, Moritas, was patiently waiting. The prince tried once again to bargain with the goddess, but it was too late. In exchange for the gold he’d stolen, Moritas devoured his soul.
Marie Lu (The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2))
Risking a glance at the dignified young man beside her- what was his name?- Mr. Arthurson, Arterton?- Pandora decided to try her hand at some small talk. "It was very fine weather today, wasn't it?" she said. He set down his flatware and dabbed at both corners of his mouth with his napkin before replying. "Yes, quite fine." Encouraged, Pandora asked, "What kind of clouds do you like better- cumulus or stratocumulus?" He regarded her with a slight frown. After a long pause, he asked, "What is the difference?" "Well, cumulus are the fluffier, rounder clouds, like this heap of potatoes on my plate." Using her fork, Pandora spread, swirled, and dabbed the potatoes. "Stratocumulus are flatter and can form lines or waves- like this- and can either form a large mass or break into smaller pieces." He was expressionless as he watched her. "I prefer flat clouds that look like a blanket." "Altostratus?" Pandora asked in surprise, setting down her fork. "But those are the boring clouds. Why do you like them?" "They usually mean it's going to rain. I like rain." This showed promise of actually turning into a conversation. "I like to walk in the rain, too," Pandora exclaimed. "No, I don't like to walk in it. I like to stay in the house." After casting a disapproving glance at her plate, the man returned his attention to eating. Chastened, Pandora let out a noiseless sigh. Picking up her fork, she tried to inconspicuously push her potatoes into a proper heap again. Fact #64 Never sculpt your food to illustrate a point during small talk. Men don't like it. As Pandora looked up, she discovered Phoebe's gaze on her. She braced inwardly for a sarcastic remark. But Phoebe's voice was gentle as she spoke. "Henry and I once saw a cloud over the English Channel that was shaped in a perfect cylinder. It went on as far as the eye could see. Like someone had rolled up a great white carpet and set it in the sky." It was the first time Pandora had ever heard Phoebe mention her late husband's name. Tentatively, she asked, "Did you and he ever try to find shapes in the clouds?" "Oh, all the time. Henry was very clever- he could find dolphins, ships, elephants, and roosters. I could never see a shape until he pointed it out. But then it would appear as if by magic." Phoebe's gray eyes turned crystalline with infinite variations of tenderness and wistfulness. Although Pandora had experienced grief before, having lost both parents and a brother, she understood that this was a different kind of loss, a heavier weight of pain. Filled with compassion and sympathy, she dared to say, "He... he sounds like a lovely man." Phoebe smiled faintly, their gazes meeting in a moment of warm connection. "He was," she said. "Someday I'll tell you about him." And finally Pandora understood where a little small talk about the weather might lead.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
But gifts can be victories, can’t they. It’s what you said. The garden could have been your gift, a dowry of talent, skill, and vision. I know it’s too late now, but I just wanted to say, it would have been a victory most worthy of our House. Yours to command, Miles Vorkosigan. Ekaterin rested her forehead in her hand and closed her eyes. She regained control of her breathing again in a few gulps. She sat up again, and reread the letter in the fading light. Twice. It neither demanded nor requested nor seemed to anticipate reply. Good, because she doubted she could string two coherent clauses together just now. What did he expect her to make of this? Every sentence that didn’t start with I seemed to begin with But. It wasn’t just honest, it was naked. With
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
My phone rang, startling me smooth out of my internal feminist diatribe. It was late. Marlboro Man had dropped me off half an hour earlier; he was probably halfway home. I loved his phone calls. His late-at-night, I’m-just-thinking-about-you, I-just-wanted-to-say-good-night phone calls. I picked up the phone. “Hello?” “Hey,” he said. “Hey,” I replied. You sizzling specimen you. “What’re you doing?” he asked, casually. I glanced down at the pile of tank tops I’d just neatly folded. “Oh, just reading a book,” I replied. Liar. He continued, “Feel like talking?” “Sure,” I said. “I’m not doing anything.” I crawled onto the comfortable chair in my room and nestled in. “Well…come outside,” he said. “I’m parked in your driveway.” My stomach lurched. He wasn’t joking.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
You were just in South Dakota a couple of weeks ago,” he pointed out. “Why didn’t you get it then?” “It wasn’t available then.” She brushed back a tiny strand of loose hair. “Don’t cross-examine me, okay? It’s been a long day.” He ran a hand around the back of his neck, under his braid of hair, and stared at her own hair in the tight bun at her nape as she replaced the errant strand. “I thought you took it down at night.” “At bedtime,” she corrected. His eyes narrowed. “Lucky Colby,” he said deliberately. She wasn’t going to give him any rope to hang her with. She just smiled. He glared at her. “He won’t change,” he said flatly. “I don’t care,” she said. “I appreciate all you’ve done for me, Tate, but my private life is my own business, not yours.” “That’s a hell of a way to talk to me.” “That works both ways,” she replied, eyes narrowing. “What gives you the right to ask questions about the men I date?” Her words made him mad. His lips compressed until they made a straight line. He looked like his father when he was angry. He finished his coffee in a tense silence and got to his feet. He glanced at his watch. “I’ve got to go. I just wanted to see how you were.” “You just wanted to see if Colby was here,” she corrected and smiled mirthlessly when he blinked. “You know I don’t approve of Colby,” he told her. “Like I care?” she said. He took a step toward her. His black eyes glittered with conflicting emotions. She aroused him more lately than any woman he’d ever known. Just looking at her sent him over the edge. On some level she recognized the tension in him, the need that he was denying. He was upset about Matt Holden pulling him out of the security work, not because of the money, but rather because it seemed nothing more than spite. Actually Holden was saving them both from a political upheaval because he could have been accused of nepotism. But deeper than that was a frustration because he wanted a woman he couldn’t have. Cecily knew that at some level. He was trying to start a fight. She couldn’t let him. “Colby is a sweet man,” she said gently. “He’s good company and he doesn’t drink around me, ever.” “He’s an alcoholic,” he said quietly, trying to control the anger. “I told you before, he’s in therapy,” she said. “He’s trying, Tate.” “So you expect me not to worry about you? After what my own father put me and my mother through?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Once there was and once there was not a devout, God-fearing man who lived his entire life according to stoic principles. He died on his fortieth birthday and woke up floating in nothing. Now, mind you, floating in nothing was comforting, light-less, airless, like a mother’s womb. This man was grateful. But then he decided he would love to have sturdy ground beneath his feet, so he would feel more solid himself. Lo and behold, he was standing on earth. He knew it to be earth, for he knew the feel of it. Yet he wanted to see. I desire light, he thought, and light appeared. I want sunlight, not any light, and at night it shall be moonlight. His desires were granted. Let there be grass. I love the feel of grass beneath my feet. And so it was. I no longer wish to be naked. Only robes of the finest silk must touch my skin. And shelter, I need a grand palace whose entrance has double-sided stairs, and the floors must be marble and the carpets Persian. And food, the finest of food. His breakfast was English; his midmorning snack French. His lunch was Chinese. His afternoon tea was Indian. His supper was Italian, and his late-night snack was Lebanese. Libation? He had the best of wines, of course, and champagne. And company, the finest of company. He demanded poets and writers, thinkers and philosophers, hakawatis and musicians, fools and clowns. And then he desired sex. He asked for light-skinned women and dark-skinned, blondes and brunettes, Chinese, South Asian, African, Scandinavian. He asked for them singly and two at a time, and in the evenings he had orgies. He asked for younger girls, after which he asked for older women, just to try. The he tried men, muscular men, skinny men. Then boys. Then boys and girls together. Then he got bored. He tried sex with food. Boys with Chinese, girls with Indian. Redheads with ice cream. Then he tried sex with company. He fucked the poet. Everybody fucked the poet. But again he got bored. The days were endless. Coming up with new ideas became tiring and tiresome. Every desire he could ever think of was satisfied. He had had enough. He walked out of his house, looked up at the glorious sky, and said, “Dear God. I thank You for Your abundance, but I cannot stand it here anymore. I would rather be anywhere else. I would rather be in hell.” And the booming voice from above replied, “And where do you think you are?
Rabih Alameddine
You’re around an awful lot lately. Are you stalking me?” “Stalking you? This is my Starbucks. I live around the corner,” I tell her. “There’s at least two Starbuckses closer to your apartment than this one. I think you picked this Starbucks so you’d run into me.” I can’t imagine that’s true, but I wouldn’t mind it if it was. She’s been on my mind since I first laid eyes on her almost a week ago. “Uh, no,” she replies sarcastically. It seems to be her go-to when she’s nervous. “I never meet first dates anywhere within a three-block radius of my apartment.” A three-block radius? She kills me. She cannot be getting laid much, which pleases me in some ridiculously caveman way. “Well, that sounds very… safe of you.” She nods in a way that tells me she’s a little bit smug about her safety rules. She’s so fucking cute.
Jana Aston (Trust (Cafe, #3))
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’ Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’ I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Temperance Dews stood with quiet confidence, a respectable women who lived in the sewer that was St. Giles. Her eyes had widened at the sight of Lazarus, but she made no move to flee. Indeed, finding a strange man in her pathetic sitting room seemed not to frighten her at all. Interesting. “I am Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire,” he said. “I know. What are you doing here?” He tilted his head, studying her. She knew him, yet did not recoil in horror? Yes, she’d do quite well. “I’ve come to make a proposition to you, Mrs. Dews.” Still no sign of fear, though she eyed the doorway. “You’ve chosen the wrong woman, my lord. The night is late. Please leave my house.” No fear and no deference to his rank. An interesting woman indeed. “My proposition is not, er, illicit in nature,” he drawled. “In fact, it’s quite respectable. Or nearly so.” She sighed, looked down at her tray, and then back up at him. “Would you like a cup of tea?” He almost smiled. Tea? When had he last been offered something so very prosaic by a woman? He couldn’t remember. But he replied gravely enough. “Thank you, no.” She nodded. “Then if you don’t mind?” He waved a hand to indicate permission. She set the tea tray on the wretched little table and sat on the padded footstool to pour herself a cup. He watched her. She was a monochromatic study. Her dress, bodice, hose, and shoes were all flat black. A fichu tucked in at her severe neckline, an apron, and cap—no lace or ruffles—were all white. No color marred her aspect, making the lush red of her full lips all the more startling. She wore the clothes of a nun, yet had the mouth of a sybarite. The contrast was fascinating—and arousing. “You’re a Puritan?” he asked. Her beautiful mouth compressed. “No.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1))
You’re as beautiful as you were the night we made our son,” she whispered, bending to kiss him tenderly. His fingers traced her dark eyebrows, her cheeks, her mouth. “I wish we could have another baby,” he said heavily. “So do I. But I’m too old,” she said sadly. She lay her cheek against his broad, damp chest and stroked the silver-tipped hair that covered it. “We’ll have to hope for grandchildren, if he ever forgives us.” He held her tightly, as if by holding her he could keep her safe. What he felt for her was ferociously protective. She misunderstood the tightening of his arms. She smiled and sighed. “We can’t, again. Cecily will think we’ve deserted her.” His hand smoothed her long hair. “She probably knows exactly what we’re doing,” he said on a chuckle. “She loves you.” “She likes you. Maybe we could adopt her.” “Better if our son marries her.” She grinned. “We can hope.” She sat up and stretched, liking the way he watched her still-firm breasts. “The last time I felt like this was thirty-six years ago,” she confided. “The same is true for me,” he replied. She searched his eyes, already facing her departure. She would have to go back to the reservation, home. He could still read her better than she knew. He drew her hand to his mouth. “It’s too late, but I want to marry you. This week. As soon as possible.” She was surprised. She didn’t know what to say. “I love you,” he said. “I never stopped. Forgive me and say yes.” She considered the enormity of what she would be agreeing to do. Be his hostess. Meet his friends. Go to fund-raising events. Wear fancy clothes. Act sophisticated. “Your life is so different from mine,” she began. “Don’t you start,” he murmured. “I’ve seen what it did to Cecily when Tate used that same argument with her about all the differences. It won’t work with me. We love each other too much to worry about trivial things. Say yes. We’ll work out all the details later.” “There will be parties, benefits…” He pulled her down into his arms and kissed her tenderly. “I don’t know much about etiquette,” she tried again. He rolled her over, pinning her gently. One long leg inserted itself between both of hers as he kissed her. “Oh, what the hell,” she murmured, and wrapped her legs around his, groaning as the joints protested. “Arthritis?” he asked. “Osteoarthritis.” “Me, too.” He shifted, groaning a little himself as he eased down. “We’ll work on new positions one day. But it’s…too late…now. Leta…!” he gasped. She didn’t have enough breath to answer him. He didn’t seem to notice that she hadn’t. Bad joints notwithstanding, they managed to do quite a few things that weren’t recommended for people their ages. And some that weren’t in the book at all.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Hastings sat down and braced his arm along the back of the chaise, quite effectively letting it be known he did not want anyone else to join them. “You look frustrated, Miss Fitzhugh.” He lowered his voice. “Has your bed been empty of late?” He knew very well she’d been watched more closely than prices on the stock exchange. She couldn’t smuggle a hamster into her bed, let alone a man. “You look anemic, Hastings,” she said. “Have you been leaving the belles of England breathlessly unsatisfied again?” He grinned. “Ah, so you know what it is like to be breathlessly unsatisfied. I expected as little from Andrew Martin.” Her tone was pointed. “As little as you expect from yourself, no doubt.” He sighed exaggeratedly. “Miss Fitzhugh, you disparage me so, when I’ve only ever sung your praises.” “Well, we all do what we must,” she said with sweet venom. He didn’t reply—not in words, at least.
Sherry Thomas (Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2))
One late afternoon, we crossed a creek and came upon a thicket of trees in the middle of a pasture quite a ways from Marlboro Man’s homestead. As I looked more closely, I saw that the trees were shrouding a small white house. A white picket fence surrounded the lot, and as we drove closer to the property, I noticed movement in the yard. It was a large, middle-aged woman, with long, gray hair cascading down her shoulders. She was pushing a lawn mower around her yard, and two wagtail dogs yipped and followed her every step. Most notably, she was wearing only underwear and what appeared to be a late model Playtex bra. And as we passed by her house, she glanced up at us for a moment…then kept on mowing. Trying to appear nonchalant, I asked Marlboro Man, “So…who was that?” Maybe this could be the start of another story. He looked at me and replied, “I have absolutely no idea.” We never spoke of her again.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
But then jJax said, "Yet don't we always go looking for danger?" "And we have a Metal to save," Robb added. Talle shook her head. "Who is now a brainwashed murdering robot who wants to KILL us." "But he didn't," Ana argued, painfully aware of the wound in her stomach. If he had wanted to kill her, he could have. He knew how. She didn't tell them what Di had whispered before he plunged the blade into her, wishing to have let her burn. That was not Di. So, she kept it to herself, a secret between her and her new scars. And that means the HIVE didn't take everything. The HIVE WON'T take everything. The Iron Kingdom isn't mine--it's ours. We're the outcasts, the rebels, the refugees--" "And the royalty," said Jax. "And the royalty," she agreed. "We're part of the Iron Kingdom. We're the parts no one remembers, so they'll never see us coming. Who's with me?" Jax and Robb raised their hands without hesitation, and then Lenda, and Talle. The captain pursed her lips, blinking the stray tears out of her eyes, and then she nodded because Ana knew she just wanted to keep her safe--but now it was Ana's turn to save people. "To the ends of the universe, darling," Siege finally replied. Ana's heart swelled. She held tightly to Di's memory core, a lifeline glowing with hope in the dark. Once, she had not known who she could be without Di, and once she couldn't have fathomed the thought. But now she knew she carried Di with her, and Barger, and Wick, and Riggs--and Siege, and Talle, and Lenda and Robb and Jax, and Machivalle and Wynn, and Viera, and her late parents and lost brothers, tucked within the steady thrum of her heart. They were the sum of her parts that made her whole. She was Ananke Armorov. She was the heir to the Iron Kingdom. She was a girl born in fire and raised in the stars, and she would burn against the darkness--and drive it away.
Ashley Poston (Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron, #1))
Lester.” Reyna sighed. “What in Tartarus are you saying? I’m not in the mood for riddles.” “That maybe I’m the answer,” I blurted. “To healing your heart. I could…you know, be your boyfriend. As Lester. If you wanted. You and me. You know, like…yeah.” I was absolutely certain that up on Mount Olympus, the other Olympians all had their phones out and were filming me to post on Euterpe-Tube. Reyna stared at me long enough for the marching band in my circulatory system to play a complete stanza of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Her eyes were dark and dangerous. Her expression was unreadable, like the outer surface of an explosive device. She was going to murder me. No. She would order her dogs to murder me. By the time Meg rushed to my aid, it would be too late. Or worse—Meg would help Reyna bury my remains, and no one would be the wiser. When they returned to camp, the Romans would ask What happened to Apollo? Who? Reyna would say. Oh, that guy? Dunno, we lost him. Oh, well! the Romans would reply, and that would be that. Reyna’s mouth tightened into a grimace. She bent over, gripping her knees. Her body began to shake. Oh, gods, what had I done? Perhaps I should comfort her, hold her in my arms. Perhaps I should run for my life. Why was I so bad at romance? Reyna made a squeaking sound, then a sort of sustained whimper. I really had hurt her! Then she straightened, tears streaming down her face, and burst into laughter. The sound reminded me of water rushing over a creek bed that had been dry for ages. Once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. She doubled over, stood upright again, leaned against a tree, and looked at her dogs as if to share the joke. “Oh…my…gods,” she wheezed. She managed to restrain her mirth long enough to blink at me through the tears, as if to make sure I was really there and she’d heard me correctly. “You. Me? HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant's Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
For a woman who has chosen family as well as work, there’s never time, and yet somehow time is given to us as time is given to the man who must sail a ship or chart the stars. For most writers it takes many manuscripts before enough royalties are coming in to pay for a roof over the head and bread on the table. Other jobs must often be found to take care of bread and butter. A certain amount of stubbornness—pig-headedness—is essential. — I’m often asked how my children feel about my work, and I have to reply, “Ambivalent.” Our firstborn observed to me many years ago, when she was a grade-school child, “Nobody else’s mother writes books.” But she also said, around the same time, “Mother, you’ve been very cross and edgy with us lately, and we’ve noticed that you haven’t been writing, and we wish you’d get back to the typewriter.” A wonderfully freeing remark. I had to learn that I was a better mother and wife when I was working than when I was not.
Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art)
I don't require any more sleep than you do, sir. If you stay up late, I am capable of doing the same. I also have work to do." His brows lowered in a forbidding scowl. "Go to bed, Miss Sydney." Sophia did not flinch. "Not until you do." "My bedtime has nothing to do with yours," he said curtly, "unless you are suggesting that we go to bed together." Clearly, the remark was meant to intimidate her into silence. A reckless reply came to mind, one so bold that she bit her tongue to keep from speaking. And then she thought, Why not? It was time to declare her sexual interest in him... time to advance her plan of seduction one more step. "All right," she said quickly. "If that is what it takes to make you get the rest you require- so be it." His dark face went blank. The lengthy silence that ensued was evidence of how greatly she had surprised him. My God, she thought in a flutter of panic. Now I've done it. She could not predict how Sir Ross would respond. Being a gentleman- a notoriously celibate one- he might refuse her proposition. However, there was something in his expression- a flicker in his gray eyes- that made her wonder if he might not accept the impulsive invitation. And if he did, she would have to carry it out and sleep with him. The thought jarred her very soul. This was what she had planned, what she had wanted to achieve, but she was suddenly terrified. Terrified by the realization of how much she wanted him. Slowly Sir Ross approached, following as she backed away one step, then another, until her spine was flattened against the door. His alert gaze did not move from her flushed face as he braced his hands on the door, placing them on either side of her head. "My bedroom or yours?" he asked softly. Perhaps he expected her to back down, stammer, run away. Her hands curled into balls of tension. "Which would you prefer?" she parried. His head tilted as he studied her, his eyes oddly caressing. "My bed is bigger.
Lisa Kleypas (Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2))
Why is my mother texting me about how hot you are?" "Weird. Think it has anything to do with the fact I just went to the bookstore in nothing but a patent leather trench coat?" Charlie replies with a screenshot of some texts between him and his mom. "Cottage guest is very pretty", Sally writes, then separately, "No ring." Charlie replied: "Oh? Thinking of leaving Dad?" She ignored his comment and instead said, "Tall. You always liked tall girls." "What are you talking about" Charlie wrote back, no question mark. "Remember your homecoming date? Lilac Walter-Hixton? She was practically a giant" "That was the eighth-grade formal" he said "it was before my growth spurt." "Well this girl's very pretty and tall but not too tall." "Tall but not TOO tall," I tell Charlie, "can also be added to my headstone. He says "I'll make a note." I say, "She told me you would bring wood over to the cottage for me." He says "Please swear to me you didn't make a 'too late for that' joke.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
I have no idea where it is. I just hop a ride when you do your disappearing thing.” “You can trail our siphons?” Jude asks, interested. “You call it a siphon? Then yeah; I can trail that. I just have to be close enough when you do it.” He moves toward me. “Then hold on. We can just ask someone who might know what’s going on.” My fingers go to his body without hesitation, and Kai snaps at him not to do it just as we disappear. The wind whirs in my ears much louder than before, and we appear in the back of an alleyway. “We’re seeing your pawn shop friend, aren’t we?” I ask him. He doesn’t even bother asking me how I know that. “Yes,” is his only reply as the other three join us. Kai stalks forward. “Until we figure out what’s going on, we can’t risk our very important friends by exposing them to a possible threat.” Jude ignores him, leading the way, and Ezekiel trails me as we walk out of the alley. I move through the wall of the pawn shop, causing Ezekiel to curse. “She’s going to draw attention. It’s not late enough for this,
Kristy Cunning (Four Psychos (The Dark Side, #1))
What are you doing?” “Coming to pick you up in a little bit,” he said. I loved it when he took charge. It made my heart skip a beat, made me feel flushed and excited and thrilled. After four years with J, I was sick and tired of the surfer mentality. Laid-back, I’d discovered, was no longer something I wanted in a man. And when it came to his affection for me, Marlboro Man was anything but that. “I’ll be there at five.” Yes, sir. Anything you say, sir. I’ll be ready. With bells on. I started getting ready at three. I showered, shaved, powdered, perfumed, brushed, curled, and primped for two whole hours--throwing on a light pink shirt and my favorite jeans--all in an effort to appear as if I’d simply thrown myself together at the last minute. It worked. “Man,” Marlboro Man said when I opened the door. “You look great.” I couldn’t focus very long on his compliment, though--I was way too distracted by the way he looked. God, he was gorgeous. At a time of year when most people are still milky white, his long days of working cattle had afforded him a beautiful, golden, late-spring tan. And his typical denim button-down shirts had been replaced by a more fitted dark gray polo, the kind of shirt that perfectly emphasizes biceps born not from working out in a gym, but from tough, gritty, hands-on labor. And his prematurely gray hair, very short, was just the icing on the cake. I could eat this man with a spoon. “You do, too,” I replied, trying to will away my spiking hormones. He opened the door to his white diesel pickup, and I climbed right in. I didn’t even ask him where we were going; I didn’t even care. But when we turned west on the highway and headed out of town, I knew exactly where he was taking me: to his ranch…to his turf…to his home on the range. Though I didn’t expect or require a ride from him, I secretly loved that he drove over an hour to fetch me. It was a throwback to a different time, a burst of chivalry and courtship in this very modern world. As we drove we talked and talked--about our friends, about our families, about movies and books and horses and cattle.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
His expression was perturbed, as if he’d been reminded of something he had wanted to forget. But as his gaze slid over her bewildered face, his mouth curved a little, and he settled into the cradle of her body with an insolent familiarity that temporarily robbed her of breath. “Mr. Rohan … how … why … what are you doing here?” He replied without moving, as if he were planning to lie there and converse all day. His infinitely polite tone was an unsettling contrast to the intimacy of their position. “Miss Hathaway. What a pleasant surprise. As it happens, I’m visiting friends. And you?” “I live here.” “I don’t think so. This is Lord Westcliff’s estate.” Her heart thundered in her breast as her body absorbed the details of him. “I didn’t mean precisely here, I meant over there, on the other side of the woods. The Ramsay estate. We’ve just taken up residence.” She couldn’t seem to stop herself from chattering in the aftermath of nerves and fright. “What was that noise? What were you doing? Why do you have that tattoo on your arm? It’s a pooka—an Irish creature—isn’t it?” That last question earned her an arrested stare. Before Rohan could reply, the other two men approached. From her prone position, Amelia had an upside-down view of them. Like Rohan, they were in their shirtsleeves, with waistcoats left unbuttoned. One of them was a portly old gentleman with a shock of silver hair. He held a small wood-and-metal sextant, which had been strung around his neck on a lanyard. The other, black-haired man looked to be in his late thirties. He wasn’t as tall as Rohan, but he had an air of authority tempered with aristocratic arrogance. Amelia made a helpless movement, and Rohan lifted away from her with fluid ease. He helped her stand, his arm steadying her. “How far did it go?” he asked the men. “Devil take the rocket,” came a gravelly reply. “What is the woman’s condition?” “Unharmed.” The silver-haired gentleman remarked, “Impressive, Rohan. You covered a distance of fifty yards in no more than five or six seconds.” “I would hardly miss a chance to leap on a beautiful woman,” Rohan said, causing the older man to chuckle.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
You look nice,” he commented, before thanking her for the wine and making his way outside to the porch. Grateful he had turned away and so couldn’t see her blush, she fussed about in the kitchen for a while, preparing a dressing for the side salad, adding a few chopped herbs as an afterthought. Happy that all was well, she joined him, looking forward to another evening of lighthearted chat. “I thought we’d eat out here tonight, if that’s okay. It’s a lovely evening. We should make the most of it,” she said as she drew up a chair opposite him. “Definitely,” he replied, staring out toward Gull Rock. “Beautiful,” she sighed, realizing too late she was still looking at him as she spoke. Averting her eyes, she added, “The view, I mean.” “Oh, so not me?” he joked, one eyebrow raised in challenge. Recovering quickly, she grinned back. “You’re okay, I guess. Not my type, but I’m sure there’s plenty out there who’ll appreciate you.” “Thanks very much.” He appeared somewhat crestfallen. “I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.” “A bit of both, I think.” She winked, before heading back to the kitchen to bring dinner out.
Shani Struthers
How is my English?” Tatiana asked Alexander in English. “It’s good,” Alexander replied in English. It was late morning. They were walking through the dense deciduous riverbank woods a few kilometers from home, with two buckets for blueberries, and they were supposed to be talking only in English, but Tatiana backtracked and said in Russian, “I’m reading much better than I’m talking, I think. John Stuart Mill is simply unreadable now instead of unintelligible.” Alexander smiled. “That’s a fine distinction.” He yanked up a couple of mushrooms. “Tania, can we eat these?” Taking them out of his hands and throwing them back on the ground, Tatiana said, “Yes. But we will only be able to eat them once.” Alexander laughed. She said, “I have to teach you how to pick mushrooms, Shura. You can’t just rip them out of the ground like that.” “I have to teach you how to speak English, Tania,” said Alexander. In English, Tatiana continued, “This is my new husband, Alexander Barrington.” And in English, Alexander replied with a smile of pleasure on his face, “And this is my young wife, Tatiana Metanova.” He kissed the top of her braided head and in Russian said, “Tatiana, now say the other words I taught you.” She turned the color of a tomato. “No,” she stated firmly, in English. “I am not saying them.” “Please.” “No. Look for blueberries.” Still in English. She saw that Alexander couldn’t have been less interested in blueberries. “What about later? Will you say them later?” he asked. “Not now, not later,” Tatiana replied bravely. But she was not looking at him. Alexander drew her to him. “Later,” he continued in English, “I will insist that you please me by using your English-speaking tongue in bed with me.” Struggling slightly against him, Tatiana said in English, “It is good I am not understand what you say to me.” “I will show you what I mean,” said Alexander, putting down his bucket. “Later, later,” she acquiesced. “Now, pick up your backet. Collect blueberries.” “All right,” he said in English, not letting go of her. “And it’s bucket. Come on, Tania. Say the other words.” He held her. “Your shyness is an aphrodisiac to me. Say them.” Tatiana, breathless inside and out, said, “All right,” in English. “Pick up your bucket. Let us go house. I will practice love with you.” Alexander laughed. “Make love to you, Tania. Make love to you.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
I brushed my teeth like a crazed lunatic as I examined myself in the mirror. Why couldn’t I look the women in commercials who wake up in a bed with ironed sheets and a dewy complexion with their hair perfectly tousled? I wasn’t fit for human eyes, let alone the piercing eyes of the sexy, magnetic Marlboro Man, who by now was walking up the stairs to my bedroom. I could hear the clomping of his boots. The boots were in my bedroom by now, and so was the gravelly voice attached to them. “Hey,” I heard him say. I patted an ice-cold washcloth on my face and said ten Hail Marys, incredulous that I would yet again find myself trapped in the prison of a bathroom with Marlboro Man, my cowboy love, on the other side of the door. What in the world was he doing there? Didn’t he have some cows to wrangle? Some fence to fix? It was broad daylight; didn’t he have a ranch to run? I needed to speak to him about his work ethic. “Oh, hello,” I responded through the door, ransacking the hamper in my bathroom for something, anything better than the sacrilege that adorned my body. Didn’t I have any respect for myself? I heard Marlboro Man laugh quietly. “What’re you doing in there?” I found my favorite pair of faded, soft jeans. “Hiding,” I replied, stepping into them and buttoning the waist. “Well, c’mere,” he said softly. My jeans were damp from sitting in the hamper next to a wet washcloth for two days, and the best top I could find was a cardinal and gold FIGHT ON! T-shirt from my ‘SC days. It wasn’t dingy, and it didn’t smell. That was the best I could do at the time. Oh, how far I’d fallen from the black heels and glitz of Los Angeles. Accepting defeat, I shrugged and swung open the door. He was standing there, smiling. His impish grin jumped out and grabbed me, as it always did. “Well, good morning!” he said, wrapping his arms around my waist. His lips settled on my neck. I was glad I’d spritzed myself with Giorgio. “Good morning,” I whispered back, a slight edge to my voice. Equal parts embarrassed at my puffy eyes and at the fact that I’d slept so late that day, I kept hugging him tightly, hoping against hope he’d never let go and never back up enough to get a good, long look at me. Maybe if we just stood there for fifty years or so, wrinkles would eventually shield my puffiness. “So,” Marlboro Man said. “What have you been doing all day?” I hesitated for a moment, then launched into a full-scale monologue. “Well, of course I had my usual twenty-mile run, then I went on a hike and then I read The Iliad. Twice. You don’t even want to know the rest. It’ll make you tired just hearing about it.” “Uh-huh,” he said, his blue-green eyes fixed on mine. I melted in his arms once again. It happened any time, every time, he held me. He kissed me, despite my gold FIGHT ON! T-shirt. My eyes were closed, and I was in a black hole, a vortex of romance, existing in something other than a human body. I floated on vapors. Marlboro Man whispered in my ear, “So…,” and his grip around my waist tightened. And then, in an instant, I plunged back to earth, back to my bedroom, and landed with a loud thud on the floor. “R-R-R-R-Ree?” A thundering voice entered the room. It was my brother Mike. And he was barreling toward Marlboro Man and me, his arms outstretched. “Hey!” Mike yelled. “W-w-w-what are you guys doin’?” And before either of us knew it, Mike’s arms were around us both, holding us in a great big bear hug. “Well, hi, Mike,” Marlboro Man said, clearly trying to reconcile the fact that my adult brother had his arms around him. It wasn’t awkward for me; it was just annoying. Mike had interrupted our moment. He was always doing that.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
At such a time [at dawn] I would dream of being a baker who delivers bread, a fitter from the electric company, or an insurance man collecting the weekly installments. Or at least a chimney sweep. In the morning, at dawn, I would enter some half-opened gateway, still lighted by the watchman's lantern. I would put two fingers to my hat, crack a joke, and enter the labyrinth to leave late in the evening, at the other end of the city. I would spend all day going from apartment to apartment, conducting one never-ending conversation from one end of the city to the other, divided into parts among the householders; I would ask something in one apartment and receive a reply in another, make a joke in one place and collect the fruits of laughter in the third or fourth. Among the banging of doors I would squeeze through narrow passages, through bedrooms full of furniture, I would upset chamberpots, walk into squeaking perambulators in which babies cry, pick up rattles dropped by infants. I would stop for longer than necessary in kitchens and hallways, where servant girls were tidying up. The girls, busy, would stretch their young legs, tauten their high insteps, play with their cheap shining shoes, or clack around in loose slippers.
Bruno Schulz (Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass)
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive—and if you had to buy them you would be more careful!
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
There are a few other things. Weesee, when she used that word, Loup-garou, was right, at least in a sense. The word means werewolf.' Whitaker protested with a gasp of astonishment. 'They don't exist,' he said sharply, jolted by a memory of old movies. The doctor replied quickly: 'No, of course not. Not that way, not like some monster, a vampire or some such' 'What's the matter with him?' The doctor spoke softly, unwilling to stop until he had talked out the whole scope of the problem. 'It is a type of encephalitis. Uncommon, but there, as solidly classified in medical literature as measles. Late effects of acute infectious encephalitis, lycanthropy, to be exact. Once it was called a form of monomania. Morbus lupinus is another name.' 'You will have to hunt him down. Then he will have to be kept in a cell, for a long time, under strong drugs, probably until he dies.' De Glew touched his throat, cleared it slightly. 'The alternative is that you hunt him down and kill him. He will kill, Aaron.' 'Won't it pass?' asked Whitaker incredulously. 'I don't think so, not permanently. And pass for how long? Suppose he is only mad one day out of four.' The doctor paused. 'Or when the moon is full. Or when he sees it full in his mind's eye.
Leslie H. Whitten Jr. (Moon of the Wolf)
Unfortunately, the Hospital Fund Raising Committee, to which Elizabeth was assigned, spent most of its time mired down in petty trivialities and rarely made a decision on anything. In a fit of bored frustration, Elizabeth finally asked Ian to step into their drawing room one day, while the committee was meeting there, and to give them the benefit of his expertise. “And,” she laughingly warned him in the privacy of his study when he agreed to join them, “no matter how they prose on about every tiny, meaningless expenditure-which they will-promise me you won’t point out to them that you could build six hospitals with less effort and time.” “Could I do that?” he asked, grinning. “Absolutely!” She sighed. “Between them, they must have half the money in Europe, yet they debate about every shilling to be spent as if it were coming out of their own reticules and likely to send them to debtors’ gaol.” “If they offend your thrifty sensibilities, they must be a rare group,” Ian teased. Elizabeth gave him a distracted smile, but when they neared the drawing room, where the committee was drinking tea in Ian’s priceless Sevres china cups, she turned to him and added hastily, “Oh, and don’t comment on Lady Wiltshire’s blue hat.” “Why not?” “Because it’s her hair.” “I wouldn’t do such a thing,” he protested, grinning at her. “Yes, you would!” she whispered, trying to frown and chuckling instead. “The dowager duchess told me that, last night, you complimented the furry dog Lady Shirley had draped over her arm.” “Madam, I was following your specific instructions to be nice to the eccentric old harridan. Why shouldn’t I have complimented her dog?” “Because it was a new fur muff of a rare sort, of which she was extravagantly proud.” “There is no fur on earth that mangy, Elizabeth,” he replied with an impenitent grin. “She’s hoaxing the lot of you,” he added seriously. Elizabeth swallowed a startled laugh and said with an imploring look, “Promise me you’ll be very nice, and very patient with the committee.” “I promise,” he said gravely, but when she reached for the door handle and opened the door-when it was too late to step back and yank it closed-he leaned close to her ear and whispered, “Did you know a camel is the only animal invented by a committee, which is why it turned out the way it has?” If the committee was surprised to see the formerly curt and irascible Marquess of Kensington stroll into their midst wearing a beatific smile worth of a choir boy, they were doubtlessly shocked to see his wife’s hands clamped over her face and her eyes tearing with mirth.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
The traditional Roman wedding was a splendid affair designed to dramatize the bride’s transfer from the protection of her father’s household gods to those of her husband. Originally, this literally meant that she passed from the authority of her father to her husband, but at the end of the Republic women achieved a greater degree of independence, and the bride remained formally in the care of a guardian from her blood family. In the event of financial and other disagreements, this meant that her interests were more easily protected. Divorce was easy, frequent and often consensual, although husbands were obliged to repay their wives’ dowries. The bride was dressed at home in a white tunic, gathered by a special belt which her husband would later have to untie. Over this she wore a flame-colored veil. Her hair was carefully dressed with pads of artificial hair into six tufts and held together by ribbons. The groom went to her father’s house and, taking her right hand in his, confirmed his vow of fidelity. An animal (usually a ewe or a pig) was sacrificed in the atrium or a nearby shrine and an Augur was appointed to examine the entrails and declare the auspices favorable. The couple exchanged vows after this and the marriage was complete. A wedding banquet, attended by the two families, concluded with a ritual attempt to drag the bride from her mother’s arms in a pretended abduction. A procession was then formed which led the bride to her husband’s house, holding the symbols of housewifely duty, a spindle and distaff. She took the hand of a child whose parents were living, while another child, waving a hawthorn torch, walked in front to clear the way. All those in the procession laughed and made obscene jokes at the happy couple’s expense. When the bride arrived at her new home, she smeared the front door with oil and lard and decorated it with strands of wool. Her husband, who had already arrived, was waiting inside and asked for her praenomen or first name. Because Roman women did not have one and were called only by their family name, she replied in a set phrase: “Wherever you are Caius, I will be Caia.” She was then lifted over the threshold. The husband undid the girdle of his wife’s tunic, at which point the guests discreetly withdrew. On the following morning she dressed in the traditional costume of married women and made a sacrifice to her new household gods. By the late Republic this complicated ritual had lost its appeal for sophisticated Romans and could be replaced by a much simpler ceremony, much as today many people marry in a registry office. The man asked the woman if she wished to become the mistress of a household (materfamilias), to which she answered yes. In turn, she asked him if he wished to become paterfamilias, and on his saying he did the couple became husband and wife.
Anthony Everitt (Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician)
Marlboro Man’s call woke me up the next morning. It was almost eleven. “Hey,” he said. “What’s up?” I hopped out of bed, blinking and stumbling around my room. “Who me? Oh, nothing.” I felt like I’d been drugged. “Were you asleep?” he said. “Who, me?” I said again, trying to snap out of my stupor. I was stalling, trying my darnedest to get my bearings. “Yes. You,” he said, chuckling. “I can’t believe you were asleep!” “I wasn’t asleep! I was…I just…” I was a loser. A pathetic, late-sleeping loser. “You’re a real go-getter in the mornings, aren’t you?” I loved it when he played along with me. I rubbed my eyes and pinched my own cheek, trying to wake up. “Yep. Kinda,” I answered. Then, changing the subject: “So…what are you up to today?” “Oh, I had to run to the city early this morning,” he said. “Really?” I interrupted. The city was over two hours from his house. “You got an early start!” I would never understand these early mornings. When does anyone ever sleep out there? Marlboro Man continued, undaunted. “Oh, and by the way…I’m pulling into your driveway right now.” Huh? I ran to my bathroom mirror and looked at myself. I shuddered at the sight: puffy eyes, matted hair, pillow mark on my left cheek. Loose, faded pajamas. Bag lady material. Sleeping till eleven had not been good for my appearance. “No. No you’re not,” I begged. “Yep. I am,” he answered. “No you’re not,” I repeated. “Yes. I am,” he said. I slammed my bathroom door and hit the lock. Please, Lord, please, I prayed, grabbing my toothbrush. Please let him be joking. I brushed my teeth like a crazed lunatic as I examined myself in the mirror. Why couldn’t I look the women in commercials who wake up in a bed with ironed sheets and a dewy complexion with their hair perfectly tousled? I wasn’t fit for human eyes, let alone the piercing eyes of the sexy, magnetic Marlboro Man, who by now was walking up the stairs to my bedroom. I could hear the clomping of his boots. The boots were in my bedroom by now, and so was the gravelly voice attached to them. “Hey,” I heard him say. I patted an ice-cold washcloth on my face and said ten Hail Marys, incredulous that I would yet again find myself trapped in the prison of a bathroom with Marlboro Man, my cowboy love, on the other side of the door. What in the world was he doing there? Didn’t he have some cows to wrangle? Some fence to fix? It was broad daylight; didn’t he have a ranch to run? I needed to speak to him about his work ethic. “Oh, hello,” I responded through the door, ransacking the hamper in my bathroom for something, anything better than the sacrilege that adorned my body. Didn’t I have any respect for myself? I heard Marlboro Man laugh quietly. “What’re you doing in there?” I found my favorite pair of faded, soft jeans. “Hiding,” I replied, stepping into them and buttoning the waist. “Well, c’mere,” he said softly.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Really, was everyone aboard this ship slightly mad? Much of Arsenic's initial conversation with the decklings was beginning to make sense. All the crew seemed, in a word, eccentric. Mr. Tarabotti smiled. "Too late, little cousin. I stay here. You done almost? You maybe do not wish late, no? Your father, he will throw a fop." Miss Tunstell said, "Throw a fit, I think you mean, Rodrigo." "Si?" "Yes. He is a fop, but he throws a fit." The captain interrupted, "Yes yes. Soon. But this is more important." "Si?" Mr Tarabotti shrugged and left. He said something in Italian to someone waiting in the hallway as he closed the door. Arsenic turned to look curiously at the cheerful captain. "He tried to kill you?" "Obviously he wasn't successful." Arsenic nodded. Obviously. "My mother would say that shows a lack of follow-through." The captain grinned. "Your mother sounds logical." Miss Tunstell added, although not critically, "And a little bloodthirsty." It was a fair assessment. "You've no idea," replied Arsenic, because it seemed they really didn't. The captain wrinkled her nose. "Old cousin Roddy there is not so bad. He's been reformed through excessive reading. Percy was in charge of extensive literary recuperation efforts." Arsenic smiled at Professor Tunstell, not quite sure what to make of this explanation, but knowing that books could be good medicine. The man dipped his head and blushed. The two ladies looked at him as if he'd done the most unusual thing ever.
Gail Carriger (Reticence (The Custard Protocol, #4))
About my father..... My father was a very simple person. When I was small I never understood why he is so simple actually I disliked it. He use to go to office and return late and have dinner with us. I use to think he never stood for me on anything. But he was the person who uses to take me to the market for Diwali shopping. He uses to give me 20 Rs to eat at school when he had only 30. He tried to fulfill all my wishes in his range. He uses to take me on his bicycle after school tuition and walk while making me sit on bicycle. He uses to scare away lizards for me. He uses to play with me. He was the one who told me to work hard when I failed. He never scolded me for studies but only when I killed an insect intentionally. He was the one who taught me physics and mathematics. Once he found a wounded parrot on the road and he bought him home. He brought medicine for him and applied it on his wounds. Later on a cat took that parrot and he ran after her but the parrot died. He did not had proper food for three four days. He spent each and every penny of his earning for our happiness and never forgot to return any pending amount. He use to talk to us but very less and joke sometimes. His style was very different, we use to tell him to use dye or color on his hairs but he always refused. And when he smiled and laughed he doesn’t stop. For every question he had one answer:-“TRUST GOD HE WILL DO EVERYTHING,HE IS THE ONE WHO DOES EVERYTHING”. He uses to discuss with us lot on Bhagwat Gita. Once he told me:- “ Bade prem se milna jag mae sabse aye insaan na jane kis vesh mae tujse mil jayen bhagwaan(meet each person with full love as you never know in which form god will come in front of you)”.To that I replied:-“ But according to Bhagwat gita this is kalyug and all will deceive you if you do that”. He never drunk alcohol or had non-veg. His habits were like –“If he don’t want to do something he will not do it”. But later on he started consulting me (A foolish person like me). I use to shout at him each time I was leaving home as he use to put my wallet at some secret safe place. And when he had not kept it even I use to say “you must have kept it”. He just kept quiet. But later I came to know about the place and it was always the same and I myself realized that why am I shouting at him. Once he said to me “ bache apne aap he sekhtae hain(Children learn by themselves)”. I daily use to woke up walk up to him and say something and then lie down beside him and sleep again. I had lot of fights with him and he was never angry on me. He was just realizing that I am becoming responsible son and we had lot of dreams together and we use to plan a lot. His smile, his eyes, his habits, his innocence, his politeness , his sense of responsibility , his teachings , his knowledge ,his humble nature, his moral values, his love for humans and animals, being non arrogant , no anger, he was never hungry for money , his voice :-“ hello Sonu beta , theak ho ( My Son – Sonu , are you fine)” , his watch, his mobile case, his phone, his shoes, his specs , his laugh, his jokes and all the qualities that were infinite.
Amit Dixit
The panel delivery truck drew up before the front of the “Amsterdam Apartments” on 126th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues. Words on its sides, barely discernible in the dim street light, read: LUNATIC LYNDON … I DELIVER AND INSTALL TELEVISION SETS ANY TIME OF DAY OR NIGHT ANY PLACE. Two uniformed delivery men alighted and stood on the sidewalk to examine an address book in the light of a torch. Dark faces were highlighted for a moment like masks on display and went out with the light. They looked up and down the street. No one was in sight. Houses were vague geometrical patterns of black against the lighter blackness of the sky. Crosstown streets were always dark. Above them, in the black squares of windows, crescent-shaped whites of eyes and quarter moons of yellow teeth bloomed like Halloween pumpkins. Suddenly voices bubbled in the night. “Lookin’ for somebody?” The driver looked up. “Amsterdam Apartments.” “These is they.” Without replying, the driver and his helper began unloading a wooden box. Stenciled on its side were the words: Acme Television “Satellite” A.406. “What that number?” someone asked. “Fo-o-six,” Sharp-eyes replied. “I’m gonna play it in the night house if I ain’t too late.” “What ya’ll got there, baby?” “Television set,” the driver replied shortly. “Who dat getting a television this time of night?” The delivery man didn’t reply. A man’s voice ventured, “Maybe it’s that bird liver on the third storey got all them mens.” A woman said scornfully, “Bird liver! If she bird liver I’se fish and eggs and I got a daughter old enough to has mens.” “… or not!” a male voice boomed. “What she got ’ill get television sets when you jealous old hags is fighting over mops and pails.” “Listen to the loverboy! When yo’ love come down last?” “Bet loverboy ain’t got none, bird liver or what.” “Ain’t gonna get none either. She don’t burn no coal.” “Not in dis life, next life maybe.” “You people make me sick,” a woman said from a group on the sidewalk that had just arrived. “We looking for the dead man and you talking ’bout tricks.” The two delivery men were silently struggling with the big television box but the new arrivals got in their way. “Will you ladies kindly move your asses and look for dead men sommers else,” the driver said. His voice sounded mean. “ ’Scuse me,” the lady said. “You ain’t got him, is you?” “Does I look like I’m carrying a dead man ’round in my pocket?” “Dead man! What dead man? What you folks playing?” a man called down interestedly. “Skin?” “Georgia skin? Where?” “Ain’t nobody playing no skin,” the lady said with disgust. “He’s one of us.” “Who?” “The dead man, that’s who.” “One of usses? Where he at?” “Where he at? He dead, that’s where he at.” “Let me get some green down on dead man’s row.” “Ain’t you the mother’s gonna play fo-o-six?” “Thass all you niggers thinks about,” the disgusted lady said. “Womens and hits!” “What else is they?” “Where yo’ pride? The white cops done killed one of usses and thass all you can think about.” “Killed ’im where?” “We don’t know where. Why you think we’s looking?” “You sho’ is a one-tracked woman. I help you look, just don’t call me nigger is all.
Chester Himes (Blind Man with a Pistol (Harlem Cycle, #8))
Minutes later, we were back at the sliding glass door that led inside the house--me, leaning against the glass, Marlboro Man anchoring me there with his strong, convincing lips. I was a goner. My right leg hooked slowly around his calf. And then, the sound--the loud ringing of the rotary phone inside. Marlboro Man ignored it through three rings, but it was late, and curiosity took over. “I’d better get that,” he said, each word dripping with heat. He ran inside to answer the phone, leaving me alone in a sultry, smoky cloud. Saved by the bell, I thought. Damn. I was dizzy, unable to steady myself. Was it the wine? Wait…I hadn’t had any wine that night. I was drunk on his muscles. Wasted on his masculinity. Within seconds, Marlboro Man was running back out the door. “There’s a fire,” he said hurriedly. “A big one--I’ve got to go.” Without pausing, he ran toward the pickup. I stood there, still dazed and fizzy, still unable to feel my knees. And then, just as I was beginning to reflect on the utter irony that a prairie fire may have just saved my eternal soul from burning in hell for carnal sin, Marlboro Man’s pickup flew into reverse and screeched abruptly to a halt at the edge of The Porch--our porch. Rolling down his window, he leaned out and yelled, “You comin’?” “Oh…um…sure!” I replied, running toward the pickup and hopping inside. A prairie fire. A real, live prairie fire, I thought as Marlboro Man’s diesel pickup peeled out of his gravel driveway. Cool! This’ll be so neat! Moments later, as the pickup reached the top of the hill by his house, I could see an ominous orange glow in the distance. I shuddered as I felt a chill go through me.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’ Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’ I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Mindy runs to the DVD player and delicately places the disk in the holder and presses play. “Will you sit in this chair, please, Princess Mindy?” I ask, bowing deeply at the waist. Mindy giggles as she replies, ”I guess so.” After Mindy sits down, I take a wide-tooth comb and start gently combing out her tangles. Mindy starts vibrating with excitement as she blurts, “Mr. Jeff, you’re gonna fix my hair fancy, ain’t you?” “We’ll see if a certain Princess can hold still long enough for me to finish,” I tease. Immediately, Mindy becomes as still as a stone statue. After a couple of minutes, I have to say, “Mindy, sweetheart, it’s okay to breathe. I just can’t have you bouncing, because I’m afraid it will cause me to pull your hair.” Mindy slumps down in her chair just slightly. “Okay Mr. Jeff, I was ascared you was gonna stop,” she whispers, her chin quivering. I adopt a very fake, very over-the-top French accent and say, “Oh no, Monsieur Jeff must complete Princess Mindy’s look to make the Kingdom happy. Mindy erupts with the first belly laugh I’ve heard all day as she responds, “Okay, I’ll try to be still, but it’s hard ‘cause I have the wiggles real bad.” I pat her on the shoulder and chuckle as I say, “Just try your best, sweetheart. That’s all anyone can ask.” Kiera comes screeching around the corner in a blur, plunks her purse on the table, and says breathlessly, “Geez-O-Pete, I can’t believe I’m late for the makeover. I love makeovers.” Kiera digs through her purse and produces two bottles of nail polish and nail kit. “It’s time for your mani/pedi ma’am. Would you prefer Pink Pearl or Frosted Creamsicle? Mindy raises her hand like a schoolchild and Kiera calls on her like a pupil, “I want Frosted Cream toes please,” Mindy answers. “Your wish is my command, my dear,” Kiera responds with a grin. For the next few minutes, Mindy gets the spa treatment of her life as I carefully French braid her hair into pigtails. As a special treat, I purchased some ribbons from the gift shop and I’m weaving them into her hair. I tuck a yellow rose behind her ear. I don my French accent as I declare, “Monsieur Jeffery pronounces Princess Mindy finished and fit to rule the kingdom.” Kiera hands Mindy a new tube of grape ChapStick from her purse, “Hold on, a true princess never reigns with chapped lips,” she says. Mindy giggles as she responds, “You’re silly, Miss Kiera. Nobody in my kingdom is going to care if my lips are shiny.” Kiera’s laugh sounds like wind chimes as she covers her face with her hands as she confesses, “Okay, you busted me. I just like to use it because it tastes yummy.” “Okay, I want some, please,” Mindy decides. Kiera is putting the last minute touches on her as Mindy is scrambling to stand on Kiera’s thighs so she can get a better look in the mirror. When I reach out to steady her, she grabs my hand in a death grip. I glance down at her. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is opening and closing like a fish. I shoot Kiera a worried glance, but she merely shrugs. “Holy Sh — !” Mindy stops short when she sees Kiera’s expression. “Mr. Jeff is an angel for reals because he turned me into one. Look at my hair Miss Kiera, there are magic ribbons in it! I’m perfect. I can be anything I want to be.” Spontaneously, we all join together in a group hug. I kiss the top of her head as I agree, “Yes, Mindy, you are amazing and the sky is the limit for you.
Mary Crawford (Until the Stars Fall from the Sky (Hidden Beauty #1))
Noah had grown tired of being a prophet of doom, forever announcing a catastrophe that never came and that no one took seriously. One day, he clothed himself in sackcloth and covered his head with ashes. Only a man who was mourning [the death of] a beloved child or his wife was allowed to do this. Clothed in the garb of truth, bearer of sorrow, he went back to the city, resolved to turn the curiosity, spitefulness, and superstition of its inhabitants to his advantage. Soon a small crowd of curious people had gathered around him. They asked him questions. They asked if someone had died, and who the dead person was. Noah replied to them that many had died, and then, to the great amusement of his listeners, said that they themselves were the dead of whom he spoke. When he was asked when this catastrophe had taken place, he replied to them: “Tomorrow.” Profiting from their attention and confusion, Noah drew himself up to his full height and said these words: “The day after tomorrow, the flood will be something that will have been. And when the flood will have been, everything that is will never have existed. When the flood will have carried off everything that is, everything that will have been, it will be too late to remember, for there will no longer be anyone alive. And so there will no longer be any difference between the dead and those who mourn them. If I have come before you, it is in order to reverse time, to mourn tomorrow’s dead today. The day after tomorrow it will be too late.” With this he went back whence he had come, took off the sackcloth [that he wore], cleaned his face of the ashes that covered it, and went to his workshop. That evening a carpenter knocked on his door and said to him: “Let me help you build the ark, so that it may become false.” Later a roofer joined them, saying: “It is raining over the mountains, let me help you, so that it may become false.”14
Jean-Pierre Dupuy (The Mark of the Sacred)
A Woman’s Only Flaw Author Unknown “When God created Woman, he was working late on the sixth day. An Angel came by and asked, ‘Why spend so much time on her?’ The Lord answered, ‘Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?’”  “‘She must function in all kinds of situations.  She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart.  She must do all this with only two hands. She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day.’”   “The Angel was impressed. ‘Just two hands? Impossible!  And this is the standard model?’  The Angel came closer and touched the woman.  ‘But you have made her so soft, Lord.’ ‘She is soft,’ said the Lord, ‘but I have made her strong.  You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome.’” “‘Can she think?’ the Angel asked. The Lord answered, ‘Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate.’  The Angel touched her cheeks.  ‘Lord, it seems this creation is leaking!  You have put too many burdens on her.’  ‘She is not leaking.  It is a tear,’ the Lord corrected the Angel.  ‘What’s it for?’ asked the Angel. The Lord said, ‘Tears are her way of expressing her grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering, and her pride.’” “This made a big impression on the Angel.  ‘Lord, you are a genius.  You thought of everything.  A woman is indeed marvelous.’  The Lord said, ‘Indeed she is.  She has strength that amazes a man.  She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.  She holds happiness, love, and opinions.  ‘She smiles when she feels like screaming.  She sings when she feels like crying, cries when happy and laughs when afraid.  She fights for what she believes in. ‘Her love is unconditional.  Her heart is broken when a next-of-kin or a friend dies, but she finds strength to get on with life.  “The Angel asked, ‘So she is a perfect being?’ The Lord replied, ‘No. She has just one drawback.’ ‘She often forgets what she is worth.
Leslie Braswell (Bitch Up! Expect More, Get More: A Woman’s Guide to Maintaining Her Power and Sanity After a Breakup)
For our part, we thought we would be following her path from a distance in the press. Our friends called to tell us when the photo of Diana pushing Patrick in his stroller appeared in Newsweek, or when our name was mentioned in a news magazine or paper. We were generally mislabeled as the Robinsons. Everyone asked if we would be going to the wedding, and we would reply, “Us? No, of course not.” We truly never expected to hear from Diana again, so her January letter became especially precious to us. We were stunned when a letter from Diana on Buckingham Palace stationary arrived in late March. She was clearly happy, writing, “I am on a cloud.” She missed Patrick “dreadfully.” She hoped that we were all “settled down by now, including your cat too--.” Diana had never even seen our cat. We’d left him with my brother because England requires a six-month quarantine for cats and dogs. How did she ever remember we had one? Then, “I will be sending you an invitation to the wedding, naturally. . . .” The wedding . . . naturally . . . God bless her. Maybe we weren’t going to lose her after all. She even asked me to send a picture of Patrick to show to “her intended(!), since I’m always talking about him.” As for her engagement, she could never even have imagined it the year before. She closed with her typical and appealing modesty: “I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you but just had to let you know what was going on.” Mind? I was thrilled and touched and amazed by her fondness and thoughtfulness, as I have been every single time she has written to us and seen us. This was always to be the Diana we knew and loved—kind, affectionate, unpretentious. I wrote back write away and sent her the two photographs I’d taken of her holding Patrick in our living room the previous fall. After Diana received the photographs, she wrote back on March 31 to thank me and sent us their official engagement picture. She said I should throw the photograph away if it was of no use. She added, “You said some lovely things which I don’t feel I deserve . . . .” Surely, she knew from the previous year that we would be her devoted friends forever.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
After I returned from that morning, our telephone rang incessantly with requests for interviews and photos. By midafternoon I was exhausted. At four o’clock I was reaching to disconnect the telephone when I answered one last call. Thank heavens I did! I heard, “Mrs. Robertson? This is Ian Hamilton from the Lord Chamberlain’s office.” I held my breath and prayed, “Please let this be the palace.” He continued: “We would like to invite you, your husband, and your son to attend the funeral of the Princess of Wales on Saturday in London.” I was speechless. I could feel my heart thumping. I never thought to ask him how our name had been selected. Later, in London, I learned that the Spencer family had given instructions to review Diana’s personal records, including her Christmas-card list, with the help of her closest aides. “Yes, of course, we absolutely want to attend,” I answered without hesitating. “Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’ll have to make travel plans on very short notice, so may I call you back to confirm? How late can I reach you?” He replied, “Anytime. We’re working twenty-four hours a day. But I need your reply within an hour.” I jotted down his telephone and fax numbers and set about making travel arrangements. My husband had just walked in the door, so we were able to discuss who would travel and how. Both children’s passports had expired and could not be renewed in less than a day from the suburbs where we live. Caroline, our daughter, was starting at a new school the very next day. Pat felt he needed to stay home with her. “Besides,” he said, “I cried at the wedding. I’d never make it through the funeral.” Though I dreaded the prospect of coping with the heartbreak of the funeral on my own, I felt I had to be there at the end, no matter what. We had been with Diana at the very beginning of the courtship. We had attended her wedding with tremendous joy. We had kept in touch ever since. I had to say good-bye to her in person. I said to Pat, “We were there for the ‘wedding of the century.’ This will be ‘the funeral of the century.’ Yes, I have to go.” Then we just looked at each other. We couldn’t find any words to express the sorrow we both felt.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
I want to move my hands, but they’re fused to his rib cage. I feel his lung span, his heartbeat, his very life force wrapped in these flimsy bars of bone. So fragile yet so solid. Like a brick wall with wet mortar. A juxtaposition of hard and soft. He inhales again. “Jayme,” he says my name with a mix of sigh and inquiry. I open my eyes and peer into his flushed face. Roses have bloomed on his ruddy cheeks and he looks as though he’s raced the wind. “Mm?” I reply. My mind is full of babble, I’m so high. “Jayme,” he’s insistent, almost pleading. “What are you?” Instantaneous is the cold alarm that douses the flames still dancing in my heart. I feel the nervousness that whispers through me like a cool breeze in the leaves. “What do you mean?” I ask, the disquiet wringing the strength from my voice. “It doesn’t hurt anymore,” he explains, inhaling deeply. I feel the line of a frown between my brows. Gingerly, I lift the hem of his shirt. And as sure as I am that the world is round and that the sky is, indeed, blue the bruises and welts on his torso have faded to nothingness, the golden tan of his skin is sun-kissed perfection. Panic has me frozen as I stare. “I don’t understand,” I whisper. He looks down at his exposed abdomen. “I think you healed me.” He says it so simply, but my mind takes his words and scatters them like ashes. I feel like I’m waking from a coma and I have amnesia and everyone speaks Chinese. I can’t speak. If I had the strength to, I wouldn’t have the words. I feel the panic flood into me and fear spiked adrenaline courses through me, I shove him. Hard. Eyes wide with shock, he stumbles back a few steps. A few steps is all I need. Fight or flight instinct taking root, I fight to flee. The space between us gives me enough room to slide out from between him and the car. He shouts my name. It’s too late. I’m running a fast as my lithe legs will carry me. My Converse pound the sidewalk and I hear the roar of his engine. It’s still too late. I grew up here and I’m ten blocks from home. No newbie could track me in my own neighborhood. In my town. Not with my determination to put as much distance as I can between me and the boy who scares the shit out of me. Not when I’ve scared the shit out of myself. I run. I run and I don’t stop.
Elden Dare (Born Wicked (The Wicked Sorcer Series #1))
It is raining.  The clock ticks.  I am leaning on my elbow.  The wind blows through the cracks.  The door rattles in its frame.  My arm is tired of staying in one position.  There is a pressure on the wrist.  My temple burns on one side.  I wonder what will happen next.  Someone laughs.  If he had heard the rain, the clock, and the door, he would have kept silent.  Had I been laughing, I would not have heard these things. Gaze into a cat's eye or a gorilla's.  You will notice a peculiar thing that will make you shudder.  sometimes cats claw at human eyes.  Some- times gorillas enrage. Telepathy and death are wound inextricably together.  To see why this is so, you must understand consciousness.  When, late at night in your bed, you hear a distant automobile, you and the driver are parts of yourself.  When you speak, you are alone and the listener is both you and himself.  Two men, one on the mountain and the other in the village, cannot communicate.  Each is looking into a mirror.  Wave, and *he* waves - shout, and *he* replies.  All of us see the same moon and feel the same heartbeat, but we can never admit it.  One says the moon is a pale disc, another that it is a satellite of the Earth, a third that it is a silver world.  My heart thumps, yours clatters, and his booms.  Consciousness is distortion. But much telepathy passes unnoticed.  Dogs in the night, a dream of Mabel, Dr. Rhines' dice games - these are self-conscious tricks that mean nothing.  What of the more obvious examples?  You know when another is lying.  You know who is going down the stair.  You know emotion without seeing it.  You know the intelligence of others.  Some sign gives them away.  It is coincidence?  Guessing games again?   Then think of what you could not possibly know, what no one could tell you.  Is there any doubt you do not know that fellow on the gibbet or the thought of that girl on the stake?  Watch someone die and you may read his mind at ease. You need not got so far.  We human beings understand one another better than we think.  Argue, deny, shout, denounce, destroy.  Nothing alters truth.  You, reader, see my flaws and concentrate on them.  You wonder why I choose this word and not that. My arguments are weak and you can drum up stronger ones against them.  But we are eye to eye for all of that.
E.E. Rehmus
An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish. “How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked. “Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English. “Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked. “I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket. “But… What do you do with the rest of your time?” The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor.” The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.” He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City, where you could run your expanded enterprise with proper management. The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, señor, how long will all this take?” To which the American replied, “15-20 years, 25 tops.” “But what then, señor?” The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.” “Millions señor? Then what?" “Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll in to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.
Tim FERRIS
Tell me,” Zachary said softly, “what kind of man would ask his best friend to marry his wife after he died? And what kind of man would inspire two seemingly sensible people to agree to such a damned stupid plan?” The man's gray eyes surveyed him in a measuring stare. “A better man than you or I will ever be.” Zachary couldn't stop himself from sneering. “It seems that Lady Holland's paragon of a husband wants to control her from the grave.” “He was trying to protect her,” Ravenhill said without apparent heat, “from men like you.” The bastard's calmness infuriated Zachary. Ravenhill was so damned confident, as if he had already won a competition that Zachary hadn't even known about until it was over. “You think she'll go through with it, don't you?” Zachary muttered resentfully. “You think she'll sacrifice the rest of her life simply because George Taylor asked it of her.” “Yes, that's what I think,” came Ravenhill's cool reply. “And if you knew her better, you'd have no doubt of it.” Why? Zachary wanted to ask, but he couldn't bring himself to voice the painful question. Why was it a foregone conclusion that she would go through with her promise? Had she loved George Taylor so much that he could influence her even in death? Or was it simply a matter of honor? Could her sense of duty and moral obligation really impel her to marry a man she didn't love? “I warn you,” Ravenhill said softly, “if you hurt or distress Lady Holland in any way, you'll answer to me.” “All this concern for her welfare is touching. A few years late in coming, isn't it?” The comment seemed to rattle Ravenhill's composure. Zachary felt a stab of triumph as he saw the man flush slightly. “I've made mistakes,” Ravenhill acknowledged curtly. “I have as many faults as the next man, and I found the prospect of filling George Taylor's shoes damned intimidating. Anyone would.” “Then what made you come back?” Zachary muttered, wishing there were some way to forcibly transport the man back across the Channel. “The thought that Lady Holland and her daughter might need me in some way.” “They don't. They have me.” The lines had been drawn. They might as well have been generals of opposing armies, facing each other across a battlefield. Ravenhill's thin, aristocratic mouth curved in a contemptuous smile. “You're that last thing they need,” he said. “I suspect even you know that.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
It is said that, as he wandered the streets of the City, an ancient jackbird cycled three times above him, then came to rest upon Sam's shoulder, saying: "Are you not Maitreya, Lord of Light, for whom the world has waited, lo, these many years–he whose coming I prophesyed long ago in a poem?" "No, my name is Sam," he replied, "and I am about to depart the world, not enter into it Who are you?" "I am a bird who was once a poet. All morning have I flown, since the yawp of Garuda opened the day. I was flying about the ways of Heaven looking for Lord Rudra, hoping to befoul him with my droppings, when I felt the power of a weird come over the land. I have flown far, and I have seen many things, Lord of Light." "What things have you seen, bird who was a poet?" "I have seen an unlit pyre set at the end of the world, with fogs stirring all about it. I have seen the gods who come late hurrying across the snows and rushing through the upper airs, circling outside the dome. I have seen the players upon the ranga and the nepathya, rehearsing the Masque of Blood, for the wedding of Death and Destruction. I have seen the Lord Vayu raise up his hand and stop the winds that circle through Heaven. I have seen all-colored Mara atop the spire of the highest tower, and I have felt the power of the weird he lays–for I have seen the phantom cats troubled within the wood, then hurrying in this direction. I have seen the tears of a man and of a woman. I have heard the laughter of a goddess. I have seen a bright spear uplifted against the morning, and I have heard an oath spoken. I have seen the Lord of Light at last, of whom I wrote, long ago: Always dying, never dead; Ever ending, never ended; Loathed in darkness, Clothed in light, He comes, to end a world, As morning ends the night. These lines were writ By Morgan, free, Who shall, the day he dies, See this prophecy." The bird ruffled his feathers then and was still. "I am pleased, bird, that you have had a chance to see many things," said Sam, "and that within the fiction of your metaphor you have achieved a certain satisfaction. Unfortunately, poetic truth differs considerably from that which surrounds most of the business of life." "Hail, Lord of Light!" said the bird, and sprang into the air. As he rose, he was pierced through by an arrow shot from a nearby window by one who hated jackbirds. Sam hurried on.
Roger Zelazny (Lord of Light)
I’d met Madison, as I’ve already mentioned, two months earlier, in Budapest. I’d been at a conference. She’d been there with some girlfriends. We’d got talking in the hotel bar. An anthropologist, she’d said; that’s … exotic. Not at all, I’d replied; I work for an incorporated business, in a basement. Yes, she said, but … But what? I asked. Dances, and masks, and feathers, she eventually responded: that’s the essence of your work, isn’t it? I mean, even if you’re writing a report on workplace etiquette, or how to motivate employees or whatever, you’re seeing it all through a lens of rituals, and rites, and stuff. It must make the everyday all primitive and strange—no? I saw what she was getting at; but she was wrong. For anthropologists, even the exotic’s not exotic, let alone the everyday. In his key volume Tristes Tropiques, Claude Lévi-Strauss, the twentieth century’s most brilliant ethnographer, describes pacing the streets, all draped with new electric cable, of Lahore’s Old Town sometime in the nineteen-fifties, trying to piece together, long after the event, a vanished purity—of local colour, texture, custom, life in general—from nothing but leftovers and debris. He goes on to describe being struck by the same impression when he lived among the Amazonian Nambikwara tribe: the sense of having come “too late”—although he knows, from having read a previous account of life among the Nambikwara, that the anthropologist (that account’s author) who came here fifty years earlier, before the rubber-traders and the telegraph, was struck by that impression also; and knows as well that the anthropologist who, inspired by the account that Lévi-Strauss will himself write of this trip, shall come back in fifty more will be struck by it too, and wish—if only!—that he could have been here fifty years ago (that is, now, or, rather, then) to see what he, Lévi-Strauss, saw, or failed to see. This leads him to identify a “double-bind” to which all anthropologists, and anthropology itself, are, by their very nature, prey: the “purity” they crave is no more than a state in which all frames of comprehension, of interpretation and analysis, are lacking; once these are brought to bear, the mystery that drew the anthropologist towards his subject in the first place vanishes. I explained this to her; and she seemed, despite the fact that she was drunk, to understand what I was saying. Wow, she murmured; that’s kind of fucked. 2.8 When I arrived at Madison’s, we had sex. Afterwards,
Tom McCarthy (Satin Island)
He called the next morning at seven. I was sound asleep, still dreaming about the kiss that had rocked my existence the night before. Marlboro Man, on the other hand, had been up since five and, he would explain, had waited two hours before calling me, since he reckoned I probably wasn’t the get-up-early type. And I wasn’t. I’d never seen any practical reason for any normal person to get out of bed before 8:00 A.M., and besides that, the kiss had been pretty darn earth shattering. I needed to sleep that thing off. “Good morning,” he said. I gasped. That voice. There it was again. “Oh, hi!” I replied, shooting out of bed and trying to act like I’d been up for hours doing step aerobics and trimming my mom’s azalea bushes. And hiking. “You asleep?” he asked. “Nope, nope, not at all!” I replied. “Not one bit.” My voice was thick and scratchy. “You were asleep, weren’t you?” I guess he knew a late sleeper than he heard one. “No, I wasn’t--I get up really early,” I said. “I’m a real morning person.” I concealed a deep, total-body yawn. “That’s strange--your voice sounds like you were still asleep,” Marlboro Man persisted. He wasn’t letting me off the hook. “Oh…well…it’s just that I haven’t talked to anyone yet today, plus I’ve kind of been fighting a little sinus trouble,” I said. That was attractive. “But I’ve been up for quite a while.” “Yeah? What have you been doing?” he asked. He was enjoying this. “Oh, you know. Stuff.” Stuff. Good one, Ree. “Really? Like, what kind of stuff?” he asked. I heard him chuckle softly, the same way he’d chuckled when he’d caught me the night before. That chuckle could quiet stormy waters. Bring about world peace. “Oh, just stuff. Early morning stuff. Stuff I do when I get up really early in the morning…” I tried again to sound convincing. “Well,” he said, “I don’t want to keep you from your ‘early morning stuff.’ I just wanted to tell you…I wanted to tell you I had a really good time last night.” “You did?” I replied, picking sleepy sand from the corner of my right eye. “I did,” he said. I smiled, closing my eyes. What was happening to me? This cowboy--this sexy cowboy who’d suddenly galloped into my life, who’d instantly plunged me into some kind of vintage romance novel--had called me within hours of kissing me on my doorstep, just to tell me he’d had a good time. “Me, too,” was all I could say. Boy, was I on a roll. You know, stuff, and Me, too, all in the same conversation. This guy was sure to be floored by my eloquence. I was so smitten, I couldn’t even formulate coherent words. I was in trouble.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Every Monday and Friday night, leaving us with awful suppers to reheat, our mum didn’t work late shifts at the printworks. She went to an office in Shoreditch. And from there, by radio, by note, by telephone and letters, she exchanged messages with Miss Carter and Mrs. Henderson and Queenie and others like them on what she called ‘humanitarian war work’. She’d never met any of them in person. ‘I can’t tell you any more details. It’s secret work. How you know even this much is really quite beyond me,’ she admitted. ‘I worked most of it out myself,’ I told her. She might’ve hidden it from me all this time, but I wasn’t stupid. ‘Sounds like Sukie did too.’ ‘Your sister spied on me,’ Mum replied bitterly. ‘She stole paperwork, listened in to private conversations. She was very foolish to get caught up in something she knew nothing about.’ ‘She did know about it, though. What Hitler’s doing really got to her. She was desperate to do something about it. All that post from Devon? It wasn’t from Queenie. Those were letters from the lighthouse, written by Ephraim, who feels the same about the Jewish people as Sukie does.’ ‘It was stupid, impulsive behaviour,’ Mum argued, ‘of the sort your sister’s very good at.’ Yet to me she had missed a vital point. ‘You know Sukie wanted to help you, don’t you? She saw how ill you’d got over Dad. By standing in for you on this job, she was making sure you’d get some rest, like the doctor said you should.’ ‘I might’ve known you’d stick up for your sister,’ Mum remarked. ‘But it didn’t help me – it worried me sick!’ ‘It did help thirty-two refugees, though,’ I reminded her. ‘She was lucky she didn’t get arrested straight away.’ Mum went on as if she hadn’t heard me. ‘When I found out that night what she’d done, I was all for going after her, hauling her back and locking her in her bedroom, till this frightful war was over if I had to. But it was too late by then. She was already halfway to France.’ ‘You knew the night she disappeared?’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ ‘And admit that I do undercover work and Sukie was doing it too?’ Mum cried. ‘Good grief, Olive, it’s secret business. It was too dangerous to tell you. There’s a war on, remember!’ ‘People always use that excuse,’ I muttered. It stunned me that Mum had known all this time. But then, hadn’t there been signs? The looks in our kitchen between her and Gloria, the refusal to talk about Sukie, the bundling us off out of the way – to here, the very place Sukie might, with any luck, show up. It was a clever way of making sure we knew the moment she set foot on British soil again.
Emma Carroll (Letters from the Lighthouse: ‘THE QUEEN OF HISTORICAL FICTION’ Guardian)
Then, just as we were to leave on a whirlwind honeymoon in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, a call came from Australia. Steve’s friend John Stainton had word that a big croc had been frequenting areas too close to civilization, and someone had been taking potshots at him. “It’s a big one, Stevo, maybe fourteen or fifteen feet,” John said over the phone. “I hate to catch you right at this moment, but they’re going to kill him unless he gets relocated.” John was one of Australia’s award-winning documentary filmmakers. He and Steve had met in the late 1980s, when Steve would help John shoot commercials that required a zoo animal like a lizard or a turtle. But their friendship did not really take off until 1990, when an Australian beer company hired John to film a tricky shot involving a crocodile. He called Steve. “They want a bloke to toss a coldie to another bloke, but a croc comes out of the water and snatches at it. The guy grabs the beer right in front of the croc’s jaws. You think that’s doable?” “Sure, mate, no problem at all,” Steve said with his usual confidence. “Only one thing, it has to be my hand in front of the croc.” John agreed. He journeyed up to the zoo to film the commercial. It was the first time he had seen Steve on his own turf, and he was impressed. He was even more impressed when the croc shoot went off flawlessly. Monty, the saltwater crocodile, lay partially submerged in his pool. An actor fetched a coldie from the esky and tossed it toward Steve. As Steve’s hand went above Monty’s head, the crocodile lunged upward in a food response. On film it looked like the croc was about to snatch the can--which Steve caught right in front of his jaws. John was extremely impressed. As he left the zoo after completing the commercial shoot, Steve gave him a collection of VHS tapes. Steve had shot the videotapes himself. The raw footage came from Steve simply propping his camera in a tree, or jamming it into the mud, and filming himself single-handedly catching crocs. John watched the tapes when he got home to Brisbane. He told me later that what he saw was unbelievable. “It was three hours of captivating film and I watched it straight through, twice,” John recalled to me. “It was Steve. The camera loved him.” He rang up his contacts in television and explained that he had a hot property. The programmers couldn’t use Steve’s original VHS footage, but one of them had a better idea. He gave John the green light to shoot his own documentary of Steve. That led to John Stainton’s call to Oregon on the eve of our honeymoon. “I know it’s not the best timing, mate,” John said, “but we could take a crew and film a documentary of you rescuing this crocodile.” Steve turned to me. Honeymoon or crocodile? For him, it wasn’t much of a quandary. But what about me?” “Let’s go,” I replied.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
How lonely am I ? I am 21 year old. I wake up get ready for college. I go to the Car stop where I have a bunch of accquaintances whom I go to college with. If I'm unfortunately late to the stop, I miss the Car . But the accquaintances rarely halt the car for me. I have to phone and ask them to halt the car. In the car I don't sit beside anyone because the people I like don't like me and vice versa. I get down at college. Attend all the boring classes. I want to skip a class and enjoy with friends but I rarely do so because I don't have friends and the ones I have don't hang out with me. I often look at people around and wonder how everyone has friends and are cared for. And also wonder why I am never cared for and why I am not a priority to anyone. I reach home and rest for few minutes before my mom knocks on my door. I expect her to ask about my day. But she never does. Sometimes I blurt it out because I want to talk to people. I have a different relationship with my dad. He thinks I don't respect him and that I am an arrogant and self centered brat. I am tired of explaining him that I'm not. I am just opinionated. I gave up. Neither my parents nor my sis or bro ask me about my life and rarely share theirs. I do have a best friend who always messages and phones when she has something to say. That would mostly be about his girlfriend . But at times even though I try not to message him of my life. I do. I message him about how lonely I am. I always wanted a guy or a girl best friend. But he or she rarely talk to me. The girl who talk are extremely repulsive or very creepy. And I have a girl who made me believe that I was special for her.She was the only person who made me feel that way. I knew and still know that she is just toying with me. Yet I hope that's not true. I want to be happy and experience things like every normal person. But it seems impossible. And I am tired of being lonely. I once messaged a popular quoran. I complimented him answers and he replied. When I asked him if I can message him and asked him to be my friend he saw the message and chose not to reply. A reply, even a rejection is better than getting ignored. A humble request to people on Quora. For those who advertise to message them regarding any issue should stop doing that if they can't even reply. And for those who follow them. Don't blindly believe people on Quora or IRL Everyone has a mask. I feel very depressed at times and I want to consult a doctor. But I am not financially independent. My family doesn't take me seriously when I tell them I want to visit a doctor. And this is my lonely life. I just wish I had some body who cared for me and to stand by me. I don't know if that is possible. I stared to hate myself. If this continues on maybe I'll be drowning in the river of self hate and depreciation. Still I have hope. Hope is the only thing I have. I want my life to change. If you read the complete answer then, THANKS for your patience. People don't have that these days.
Ahmed Abdelazeem
In a physician's office in Kearny Street three men sat about a table, drinking punch and smoking. It was late in the evening, almost midnight, indeed, and there had been no lack of punch. The gravest of the three, Dr. Helberson, was the host—it was in his rooms they sat. He was about thirty years of age; the others were even younger; all were physicians. "The superstitious awe with which the living regard the dead," said Dr. Helberson, "is hereditary and incurable. One needs no more be ashamed of it than of the fact that he inherits, for example, an incapacity for mathematics, or a tendency to lie." The others laughed. "Oughtn't a man to be ashamed to lie?" asked the youngest of the three, who was in fact a medical student not yet graduated. "My dear Harper, I said nothing about that. The tendency to lie is one thing; lying is another." "But do you think," said the third man, "that this superstitious feeling, this fear of the dead, reasonless as we know it to be, is universal? I am myself not conscious of it." "Oh, but it is 'in your system' for all that," replied Helberson; "it needs only the right conditions—what Shakespeare calls the 'confederate season'—to manifest itself in some very disagreeable way that will open your eyes. Physicians and soldiers are of course more nearly free from it than others." "Physicians and soldiers!—why don't you add hangmen and headsmen? Let us have in all the assassin classes." "No, my dear Mancher; the juries will not let the public executioners acquire sufficient familiarity with death to be altogether unmoved by it." Young Harper, who had been helping himself to a fresh cigar at the sideboard, resumed his seat. "What would you consider conditions under which any man of woman born would become insupportably conscious of his share of our common weakness in this regard?" he asked, rather verbosely. "Well, I should say that if a man were locked up all night with a corpse—alone—in a dark room—of a vacant house—with no bed covers to pull over his head—and lived through it without going altogether mad, he might justly boast himself not of woman born, nor yet, like Macduff, a product of Cæsarean section." "I thought you never would finish piling up conditions," said Harper, "but I know a man who is neither a physician nor a soldier who will accept them all, for any stake you like to name." "Who is he?" "His name is Jarette—a stranger here; comes from my town in New York. I have no money to back him, but he will back himself with loads of it." "How do you know that?" "He would rather bet than eat. As for fear—I dare say he thinks it some cutaneous disorder, or possibly a particular kind of religious heresy." "What does he look like?" Helberson was evidently becoming interested. "Like Mancher, here—might be his twin brother." "I accept the challenge," said Helberson, promptly. "Awfully obliged to you for the compliment, I'm sure," drawled Mancher, who was growing sleepy. "Can't I get into this?" "Not against me," Helberson said. "I don't want your money." "All right," said Mancher; "I'll be the corpse." The others laughed. The outcome of this crazy conversation we have seen.
Ambrose Bierce (The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce Volume 2: In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians)
Father Forgets W. Livingston Learned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast, I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive—and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding—this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. 1 will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy—a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead
Dale Carnegie (How to win friends & influence people)
I’d known him just ten days, and it had just left his mouth in an unexpected whisper. It had been purely instinctive, it seemed--something entirely unplanned. He clearly hadn’t planned to say those words to me that night; that wasn’t the way he operated. He was a man who had a thought and acted on it immediately, as evidenced by his sweet, whispery phone calls right after our dates. He spent no time at all calculating moves; he had better things to do with his time. When we held each other on that chilly spring night and his feelings had come rushing to the surface, he’d felt no need to slap a filter over his mouth. It had come out in a breath: I love you. It was as if he had to say it, in the same way air has to escape a person’s longs. It was involuntary. Necessary. Natural. But as beautiful and warm a moment as it was, I froze on the spot. Once I realized it had been real--that he’d actually said the words--it seemed too late to respond; the window had closed, the shutters had clapped shut. I responded in the only way my cowardice would allow: by holding him tighter, burying my face deeper into his neck, feeling equal parts stupid and awkward. What is your problem? I asked myself. I was in the midst of what was possibly the most romantic, emotionally charged moment of my life, in the embrace of a man who embodied not only everything I’d ever understood about the textbook definition of lust, but everything I’d ever dreamed about in a man. He was a specimen--tall, strong, masculine, quiet. But it was much more than that. He was honest. Real. And affectionate and accessible, quite unlike J and most of the men I’d casually dated since I’d returned home from Los Angeles months earlier. I was in a foreign land. I didn’t know what to do. I love you. He’d said it. And I knew his words had been sincere. I knew, because I felt it, too, even though I couldn’t say it. Marlboro Man continued to hold me tightly on that patio chair, undeterred by my silence, likely resting easily in the knowledge that at least he’d been able to say what he felt. “I’d better go home,” I whispered, suddenly feeling pulled away by some imaginary force. Marlboro Man nodded, helping me to my feet. Holding hands, we walked around his house to my car, where we stopped for a final hug and a kiss or two. Or eight. “Thanks for having me over,” I managed. Man, I was smooth. “Any time,” he replied, locking his arms around my waist during the final kiss. This was the stuff that dreams were made of. I was glad my eyes were closed, because they were rolled all the way into the back of my head. It wouldn’t have been an attractive sight. He opened the door to my car, and I climbed inside. As I backed out of his driveway, he walked toward his front door and turned around, giving me his characteristic wave in his characteristic Wranglers. Driving away, I felt strange, flushed, tingly. Burdened. Confused. Tortured. Thirty minutes into my drive home, he called. I’d almost grown to need it. “Hey,” he said. His voice. Help me. “Oh, hi,” I replied, pretending to be surprised. Even though I wasn’t. “Hey, I…,” Marlboro Man began. “I really don’t want you to go.” I giggled. How cute. “Well…I’m already halfway home!” I replied, a playful lilt to my voice. A long pause followed. Then, his voice serious, he continued, “That’s not what I’m talking about.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive—and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding—this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bed-side in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy—a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.” As Dr. Johnson said: “God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days. ” Why should you and I?
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
So long as you are in Russia, you had much better let yourself be quietly robbed than use any violence against the robber. It is less trouble, and it is cheaper in the long run. If you do not, you may unexpectedly find yourself some fine morning in prison! You must know that many of the young justices belong to the new school of morals." "What is that? I have not heard of any new discoveries lately in the sphere of speculative ethics." "Well, to tell you the truth, I am not one of the initiated, and I can only tell you what I hear. So far as I have noticed, the representatives of the new doctrine talk chiefly about Gumannost' and Tchelovetcheskoe dostoinstvo. You know what these words mean?" "Humanity, or rather humanitarianism and human dignity," I replied, not sorry to give a proof that I was advancing in my studies. "There, again, you allow your dictionary and your priest to mislead you. These terms, when used by a Russian, cover much more than we understand by them, and those who use them most frequently have generally a special tenderness for all kinds of malefactors. In the old times, malefactors were popularly believed to be bad, dangerous people; but it has been lately discovered that this is a delusion.
Donald Mackenzie Wallace (Russia)
So long as you are in Russia, you had much better let yourself be quietly robbed than use any violence against the robber. It is less trouble, and it is cheaper in the long run. If you do not, you may unexpectedly find yourself some fine morning in prison! You must know that many of the young justices belong to the new school of morals." "What is that? I have not heard of any new discoveries lately in the sphere of speculative ethics." "Well, to tell you the truth, I am not one of the initiated, and I can only tell you what I hear. So far as I have noticed, the representatives of the new doctrine talk chiefly about Gumannost' and Tchelovetcheskoe dostoinstvo. You know what these words mean?" "Humanity, or rather humanitarianism and human dignity," I replied, not sorry to give a proof that I was advancing in my studies. "There, again, you allow your dictionary and your priest to mislead you. These terms, when used by a Russian, cover much more than we understand by them, and those who use them most frequently have generally a special tenderness for all kinds of malefactors. In the old times, malefactors were popularly believed to be bad, dangerous people; but it has been lately discovered that this is a delusion. A young proprietor who lives not far off assures me that they are the true Protestants, and the most powerful social reformers! They protest practically against those imperfections of social organisation of which they are the involuntary victims. The feeble, characterless man quietly submits to his chains; the bold, generous, strong man breaks his fetters, and helps others to do the same. A very ingenious defence of all kinds of rascality, isn't it?
Donald Mackenzie Wallace (Russia)
only grace I’d been given was that the window I’d climbed out of wasn’t the one facing the street but rather the one blocked by Wisher’s Grove. Only the hawks could see me…or witness my fall. The sound of ice clinking against glass caused me to swallow a groan. He’d already been in the room for at least thirty minutes, and I was betting that he was on his second glass of whiskey. I had no idea what he was doing. With the Rite kicking off in just hours, I imagined he was busy meeting with the new Ladies and Lords in Wait, and the parents who would be giving their third sons and daughters to the Temples. But no, he was here, drinking whiskey by himse— A knock on the door sounded. I closed my eyes, lightly banging the back of my head against the wall. Company? He was going to have visitors? Maybe the gods had been watching me this whole time, and this was yet another punishment. “Come in,” he called out, and I heard the door clicking shut a few moments later. “You’re late.” Oh, dear. I recognized that cold, flat tone. The Duke was not pleased. “My apologies, Your Grace. I came as soon as I could,” came the response. It was a male voice, one I didn’t immediately recognize, which meant it could be any number of people. Ascended Lords. Stewards. Merchants. Guards. “Not soon enough,” the Duke replied, and I cringed for whoever was surely on the receiving end of
Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1))
. . . the most perfect apologia I ever heard for the cloistered contemplative life. It is contained in two brief sentences. They come from the life of my late Abbott, Dom Mary Frederic Dunne. He would as any antagonist of the contemplative life two short questions. They admitted of only one very brief answer. He would look kindly at the objectioner and ask softly: "You believe in the efficiency of prayer, don't you?" When the person made the only possible reply - an affirmative one - Dom Frederic would smile and even more quietly ask: "Then what is wrong with a whole life of prayer?
M. Raymond (The Silent Spire Speaks)
I have four pets,’ Bjørnar Nicolaisen tells me at 69.31°N, ‘two cats and two sea eagles. I feed them all together on the shore, there by the throne, with the best fish in the world!’ He gives a huge laugh, and points east through the window of his living room: snow-filled fields sloping away to a rocky beach that borders a fjord several miles in width. Steel-blue water in the fjord, choppy where the currents are running. Far across the fjord, ranks of smooth-snowed peaks gleam in the late sunlight. They are shaped more wildly than any mountains I have ever seen before. Witches’ hats and shark fins and jabbing fingers, all polished white as porcelain. I cannot see a throne on the shore, though. ‘Here, try these.’ He hands me a pair of binoculars. Black leather-clad barrels, weathered in places to brown. Polished eye-pieces – and a Nazi eagle engraved into the left-hand barrel-back. ‘Wehrmacht-issue,’ says Bjørnar. ‘Beautiful lenses. An officer’s. When my father was dying, he asked me what I wanted from his possessions. “One thing only,” I told him, “the binoculars you took from the Germans.”‘ I lift the binoculars and the shoreline leaps to my eyes, close enough to touch. Calibrated cross-hairs float in my vision. I pan right along the beach. Nothing. I switch back left. Yes, there, a chair of some kind – but six or seven feet tall, built from driftwood lashed and nailed together. It looks like something the ironborn of Westeros might have made. ‘I take the eagles a cod or a saithe whenever I come back from a good day’s fishing. I feed them by my chair, there.’ ‘Bjørnar, you are the only person I know who counts sea eagles among his pets.’ ‘I am more of a cat person,’ Bjørnar replies. ‘Than a dog person or than an eagle person?’ ‘Than a people person!’ Bjørnar laughs and laughs – a deep, explosive laugh coming from far inside his chest.
Robert Macfarlane (Underland: A Deep Time Journey)
When Shahar begins his reply, he is at first mild. He does not agree with Abu Zuluf, he says. The Jews have not been inflexible and negative. Concessions are continually offered. They are rejected. The original U.N. partition plan of 1947 was turned down because the Arabs could not tolerate any Jewish state, not even a minuscule one. If a state was what they wanted, they might have had it years ago. They rejected it. And they invaded the country from all sides, hoping to drive the Jews out and take the wealth they had created. This country had been a desert, a land of wandering populations and small stony farms and villages. The Zionists under the Mandate made such economic progress that they attracted Arabs from other areas. This was why the Arab population grew so large. In Jerusalem, Jews had outnumbered Arabs and Christians for a very long time. Before they were driven out of the Old City in the late forties they were a majority. But this was how the world settled Middle Eastern business:
Saul Bellow (To Jerusalem and Back)
A young woman asked me: “Shall we go and dine together at a restaurant?” and when I replied: “With pleasure, if you don’t mind dining alone with a young man,” I heard the people round me giggle and I added hastily, “or rather with an old one.” I realised that the words which caused the laughter were of the kind my mother might have used in speaking of me; for my mother I always remained a child and I perceived that I was looking at myself from her point of view. Had I registered, as she did, changes since my childhood, they would have been very old ones for I had stopped at the point where people once used to say, almost before it was true, “Now he really is almost a young man.” That was what I was now thinking but tremendously late. I had not perceived how much I had changed but how did the people who laughed at me know? I had not a grey hair, my moustache was black. I should have liked to ask them how this awful fact revealed itself.
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
near the doorway that led to the courtyard, suddenly reminding me of when he and I departed down that eastern road so many days ago... I turned and smiled. “Goodbye for now,” I said to the Minecraftians. “Bye, Skeleton Steve,” Xenocide99 said. “You want some more arrows?” “Sure,” I said, and I took what he gave me and stuffed the ammo into my pack. “Goodbye, Skeleton Steve!” LuckyMist said with a smile and wet eyes. She rushed me and gave me a fierce hug! My bones clunked. “We’ll visit soon, okay??” “You’ll be on a huge, weird mountain north of a zombie-infested village to the east, huh?” WolfBroJake asked, clapping me on the shoulder with an armored hand. “Yeah, basically,” I replied. “There’s also a really big, blue lake. And the tower is on the smaller of the two huge peaks.” “Take care, bro,” the warrior said. “See you soon.” “Bye, Slinger!!” LuckyMist exclaimed. “Take care of Skeleton Steve!” Slinger clicked his fangs together and smiled. “I will. Goodbye for now, Minecraftians!” The female Minecraftian then ran up to Elias and gave the Enderman a huge hug as well. “Goodbye again, Elias! Visit us soon, okay??” “I will, LuckyMist...” the Enderman ninja replied, returning the hug and cupping her cheek with a large, black hand. “Goodbye, my friends; Xenocide99, WolfBroJake...” “Bye, Elias,” the warrior replied. “Goodbye for now,” I said again to all of them. With that, I hopped onto Slinger’s back in the courtyard colored by the late afternoon sun, and we—along with Elias, Eridar, and Eirzon—departed to the east...
Skeleton Steve (Minecraft Diary of Skeleton Steve the Noob Years - FULL Season Two (2): Unofficial Minecraft Books for Kids, Teens, & Nerds - Adventure Fan Fiction Diary ... Mobs Series Diaries - Bundle Box Sets 9))
I was once on a Tube train late at night when a young man sitting opposite pointed to his crotch and demanded, ‘What do you think of that?’ Thinking he might be showing me some interesting point in a book, I replied, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t see anything small without my specs.’ He fled at the next station and it was only when he got up that I realised he hadn’t been carrying a book at all.
Sandi Toksvig (The Chain Of Curiosity)
A child psychologist was once asked by a father, "My son is eight years old. When should I start teaching him the values of life?" The reply was, "Start right now! You are already eight years late!
Radhakrishnan Pillai (Corporate Chanakya)
through any structure without detection by his prey. He was a flawless assassin. It was just before five local time when Steven settled into the plush leather seating of the first-class compartment. The Deutsche Bahn Intercity Express, or ICE, was a high-speed train connecting major cities across Germany with other major European destinations. The trip to Frankfurt would take about four hours, giving him time to spend some rare personal time with his team. Slash was the first to find him. The men shook hands and sat down. Typically, these two longtime friends would chest bump in a hearty bro-mance sort of way, but it would be out of place for Europe. “Hey, buddy,” said Steven. “Switzerland is our new home away from home.” “It appears so, although the terrain isn’t that different from our place in Tennessee,” said Slash. “I see lots of fishin’ and huntin’ opportunities out there.” Slash grew up on his parents’ farm atop the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville. His parents were retired and spent their days farming while raising ducks, rabbits and some livestock. While other kids spent their free time on PlayStation, Slash grew up in the woods, learning survival skills. During his time with the SEAL Teams, he earned a reputation as an expert in close-quarters combat, especially using a variety of knives—hence the nickname Slash. “Beats the heck out of the desert, doesn’t it?” asked Steven. After his service ended, Slash tried a few different security outfits like Blackwater, protecting the Saudi royal family or standing guard outside some safe house in Oman. “I’m not saying the desert won’t call us back someday, but I’ll take the Swiss cheese and German chocolate over shawarma and falafel every friggin’ day!” “Hell yeah,” said Slash. “When are you comin’ down for some ham and beans, along with some butter-soaked cornbread? My folks really wanna meet you.” “I need to, buddy,” replied Steven. “This summer will be nuts for me. Hey, when does deer hunting season open?” “Late September for crossbow and around Thanksgiving otherwise,” replied Slash. Before the guys could set a date, their partners Paul Hittle and Raymond Bower approached their seats. Hittle, code name Bugs, was a former medic with Army Special Forces who left the Green Berets for a well-paying job with DynCorp. DynCorp was a private
Bobby Akart (Cyber Attack (The Boston Brahmin #2))
I could only reply that I think—I theorise—that something—something else—happens to the memory over time. For years you survive with the same loops, the same facts and the same emotions. I press a button marked Adrian or Veronica, the tape runs, the usual stuff spools out. The events reconfirm the emotions—resentment, a sense of injustice, relief—and vice versa. There seems no way of accessing anything else; the case is closed. Which is why you seek corroboration, even if it turns out to be contradiction. But what if, even at a late stage, your emotions relating to those long-ago events and people change? That ugly letter of mine provoked remorse in me. Veronica’s account of her parents’ deaths—yes, even her father’s—had touched me more than I would have thought possible. I felt a new sympathy for them—and her. Then, not long afterwards, I began remembering forgotten things. I don’t know if there’s a scientific explanation for this—to do with new affective states reopening blocked-off neural pathways. All I can say is that it happened, and that it astonished me. So,
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
I am now going to tell you a great piece of news, on which we have concentrated a good deal of our attention lately - it is that next winter, toward February probably, we hope to have a baby, a pretty little boy - whom we are going to call Vincent, if you will consent to be his godfather. Of course I know we must not count on it too much, and that it may well be a little girl, but Theo and I cannot help imagining that the baby will be a boy. When I told them at Amsterdam and Breda, they all replied, “Aren't you pleased, what happiness, etc., etc.” - and yet, to tell the honest truth, I was not pleased at all when I found out about it; on the contrary, I was very unhappy, and Theo had a lot of trouble consoling me. It's not that I don't like babies - take my little brother, who is now twelve years old; I held him in my arms when he was hardly two hours old, and I think that there is nothing prettier in the world than a baby - but this is something of a selfish pleasure. When I think how neither Theo nor I are in very good health, I am greatly afraid that we are going to have a weak child, and to my way of thinking the greatest treasure that parents can give to their child is a strong constitution. But in this respect the doctor has reassured me a good deal, and then taking good food and taking good care of oneself may do a lot; the baby will have nothing to complain of in this respect. Do you remember the portrait of the Roulin baby you sent to Theo? Everybody admires it greatly and people have already asked me many times, “Why have you put this portrait into such an out-of-the-way corner?” The reason is that from my place at the table I can just see the big blue eyes and the pretty little hands and the round cheeks of the baby, and I like to imagine that ours will be equally strong, and equally healthy, and equally beautiful - and that his uncle will come one day to paint his portrait!
Johanna van Gogh-Bonger
Husband sent a text to wife at night, “Hi I will get late, plz try and wash all my dirty clothes And make sure you prepare my favorite dish before I return.” He sent another text, “I forgot to tell u that I got an increase in My salary at the end of month I’m getting u a new car” She text back, “Omg really?” Husband Replied: “No I just wanted to make sure u got my 1st msg.” # Joke .. 5 A woman told her husband that she saw him with another woman in her dream. To which the man replied, ‘it’s only a dream’. The woman said; ‘and this is what
Robert Allans (FUNNY ENGLISH: A NEW & RELIABLE METHOD OF ENGLISH MASTERY WITH THE AID OF JOKES)
I am having a hard time, I think desperately a thousand times a day, and when I try to probe for more information—A hard time with what?—the voice replies, Everything. I feel insufficient as an adult. I look around at the office and see everyone typing, taking calls, making bookings, editing documents, and I know they’re all dealing with at least as much as I am, which only makes me feel worse about how hard everything feels to me. Living, being responsible for myself, seems like an insurmountable challenge lately. Sometimes I scrape myself off my sofa, stuff a frozen meal in the microwave, and as I wait for the timer to go off, I just think, I will have to do this again tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Every day for the rest of my life, I’m going to have to figure out what to eat, and make it for myself, no matter how bad I feel or tired I am, or how horrible the pounding in my head is. Even if I have a one-hundred-and-two-degree fever, I will have to pull myself up and make a very mediocre meal to go on living.
Emily Henry (People We Meet on Vacation)
then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican replied that he had enough to meet his family’s needs. The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your day?” The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, I fish a little, I play with my children, I take a siesta with my wife, I stroll into the village each evening where I sip some wine and play guitar with my amigos—so I have a full and busy life, Señor.
Mike Bechtle (People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them the Keys)
Spring forward, fall back," Eunice chants. "Daylight saving" -- what an amazing idea. (If only you could, but where would you keep it? With the time that's found? Or the time that's kept? A treasure chest, or a hole in the ground?) "You're late," Eunice says. "Better than never," I reply irritably.
Kate Atkinson (Human Croquet)
Howard looked down from his bench at the defendant, who was charged with domestic assault. She couldn’t have weighed 125 pounds, despite her obvious pregnancy. “You’ve indicated you understand your rights as well as the elements of the charge against you and the maximum possible penalty that could be imposed were you to plead guilty or to be found guilty after a trial. Are you prepared to plead?” “I am, Judge.” “To the allegation that on or about May 12, in Custer County, Wyoming, you violated Wyoming Statute 6-2-511, commonly known as ‘domestic battery,’ how do you plead?” “I’m guilty, Your Honor.” “Are you under the influence of drugs or alcohol?” “No, I’m not.” “Do you understand that by pleading guilty here today that you are giving up most of the rights I advised you of earlier, to include the right to an attorney?” “Yes,” she replied, wiping a tear from her cheek with her chained hands. “Do you understand that if you plead guilty and if I accept your plea there won’t be any trial in this matter, that you won’t have the opportunity to confront any witnesses against you, and you won’t be able to complain about law enforcement’s investigation?” “Yes, Your Honor.” “Do you understand the only matter remaining would be sentencing?” “Yes, Judge.” “Has anyone threatened you with anything, or promised you anything in return for your plea here today?” “No.” “Okay, what happened?” “Well, I went to my OB/GYN appointment last week, Your Honor. My husband was supposed to meet me there.” “Have the two of you been having problems?” “I didn’t think so.” “Okay, did he meet you?” “Well, kinda.” “Kinda?” “Well, yeah.” “What happened?” “Well, I was in the waiting room, and he came out of the back with another woman—she was pregnant, too.” “So—” “He knocked this bitch up—excuse my language, Judge—and set the OB/GYN appointments within an hour of each other so he didn’t have to miss much work,” she said. “But the doctor got behind, so his appointment ran late with the other woman and I caught them.” “Okay, so what about the battery?” Judge Howard asked. “Well, he came up to me and tried to explain, but I kicked him in the balls,” she said. “I’m sorry, Judge. For my language, I mean.” Howard suppressed a smile and looked at the audience with a stern expression until the laughter died down. “Who called law enforcement?” “I’m not sure. The nurses took me in the back until they got there. All I remember is the women in the waiting room gave me a standing ovation, and the doctor said the visit was at no cost,” she said, and then put both hands on her stomach. “Oh! Oh, my God!” “What? What is it?” Howard asked. “I think my water just broke, sir!” Sitting at the prosecutor’s table, Assistant County and Prosecuting Attorney Ann Fulks asked herself for the thousandth time why in the world she had suffered through four years of college and three years of law school if all
James Chandler (Misjudged: A Legal Thriller (Sam Johnstone, #1))
Amy was on the point of crying, but Laurie slyly pulled the parrot's tail, which caused Polly to utter an astonished croak and call out, "Bless my boots!" in such a funny way, that she laughed instead. "What do you hear from your mother?" asked the old lady gruffly. "Father is much better," replied Jo, trying to keep sober. "Oh, is he? Well, that won't last long, I fancy. March never had any stamina," was the cheerful reply. "Ha, ha! Never say die, take a pinch of snuff, goodbye, goodbye!" squalled Polly, dancing on her perch, and clawing at the old lady's cap as Laurie tweaked him in the rear. "Hold your tongue, you disrespectful old bird! And, Jo, you'd better go at once. It isn't proper to be gadding about so late with a rattlepated boy like . . ." "Hold your tongue, you disrespectful old bird!" cried Polly, tumbling off the chair with a bounce, and running to peck the `rattlepated' boy, who was shaking with laughter at the last speech.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Great Illustrated Classics))
A couple of coworkers and I went to see the movie Collateral one evening. When we came back to the office around 11:00 (to go back to work), we ran into Chris Metzen sitting in the hallway. Upper management was making an effort to stay late with the team to show solidarity, and tonight was Chris’s night. He was playing the new beta and preparing for the final boss fight in Gnomeregan. Dungeon crawls were far more intense than anything he was used to, and he told the people standing behind his desk that he actually felt nervous before the fight. “Dude, my heart is pumping so hard right now, I’m gonna have a fucking heart attack. Just look at my hands, they’re shaking. I’ve never been so nervous about a game before this!” As his party prepared to fight the Gnomeregan end boss monster, Mekgineer Thermaplugg, Chris typed, “Remember guys, he’s just a gnome!” After a heated battle, Chris died screaming, seconds before the boss collapsed. This was before players received postmortem credit for kills, so Chris couldn’t complete his dungeon quest. He was so disappointed, he immediately went home. When I told Jeff what had happened the next morning, he laughed and replied, “Ouch. That really sucks. We should give kill-credit to everyone in the party, dead or alive.
John Staats (The World of Warcraft Diary: A Journal of Computer Game Development)
Bob came back just in time to see us getting ready to leave. “O-oh, h-hey, I’m back from the restroom. D-did you find a volunteer already? Oh, okay, darn, I-I’m too late...Good luck out there…” said Bob nervously. “Oh, Bob…” I replied. Cindy and I exited the mayor’s house and headed towards the nearby trench. From there we dug tunnels towards the giant cube. “Hey, Cindy!” I yelled through the dirt wall tunnel. “Yeah?” she answered. “If you need anything just yell, ‘kay? I’m only a few feet away.” She laughed. “Oh, you’re worried about me, Steve?” “Of course! I care about you.” “Y-you do…?” I blushed. “A-ahem…I meant I care about your well-being.” “A-ah…right,” she said shyly. We proceeded to dig and placed the items until nearly sunrise with no incident. Then suddenly I heard a sharp scream coming through the dirt. AHHHHH!!!! I smashed through the dirt wall to find Cindy cornered by a brain-hungry zombie. “No worries, Cindy! I got you.” I pulled out my stone sword and drove it into the zombie. Raggggghhhhhh! I whacked it a few more times until it dropped some rotten flesh. “Whew! Thanks for saving me, Steve. I’ve never seen a zombie so up close before. They are actually quite stinky.” I laughed. “No problem. I’m here for you, Cindy.” She smiled. “The sun will be up soon, we should probably head back,” I said. She nodded. I stayed in her tunnel and led the way back. On the way back, we encountered a baby zombie. That thing was lightning quick. The tunnel was narrow, so I couldn’t really maneuver anywhere. No circle strafing technique for me. Suddenly, I heard Cindy scream from behind me. I turned around to see another zombie behind her. It must have fallen through the holes we made topside. Oh, no! We’re trapped with nowhere to go! This isn’t good, I thought to myself.
Steve the Noob (Diary of Steve the Noob 4 (An Unofficial Minecraft Book))
I’m turning fifty in five months. I mention to the healer how it feels a little late in my life to begin this kind of journey. As healers sometimes do, she tells me an interesting story about her parents… It seems her father was thinking of starting college at the ripe old age of 24. He was working, so he’d have to go at night. After figuring out the timing, he told his wife (her mom), “If I do this, I’ll be 29 years old before I graduate!” His wife replied, “How old will you be if you don’t do it?” He enrolled. Smart parents. Smart healer.
Howard Scott Warshaw (Once Upon Atari: How I made history by killing an industry)
Gertie C. had had a half-controlled hallucinosis for decades before she started on L-dopa - bucolic hallucinations of lying in a sunlit meadow or floating in a creek near her childhood home. This changed when she was given L-dopa, and her hallucinations assumed a social and sometimes sexual character. When she told me about this, she added, anxiously - You surely wouldn’t forbid a friendly hallucination to a frustrated old lady like me! I replied that if her hallucinations had a pleasant and controllable character, they seemed rather a good idea under the circumstances. After this, the paranoid quality dropped away, and her hallucinatory encounters became purely amicable and amorous. She developed a humor and tact and control, never allowing herself a hallucination before eight in the evening and keeping its duration to thirty to forty minutes at most. If her relatives stayed too late, she would explain firmly but pleasantly that she was expecting a gentleman visitor from out of town in a few minutes’ time, and she felt he might take it amiss if he was kept waiting outside. She now receives love, attention, and invisible presents from a hallucinatory gentleman who visits faithfully each evening.
Oliver Sacks (Hallucinations)
Hardly,” Erica replied, before Zoe or I could. “This place is a dump.” Alexander’s good cheer faltered. When he smiled again, he looked far more apologetic. “Ah, yes. Well, there’s been quite a bit of belt-tightening at the Agency lately. We have to keep an eye on the budget for missions now. Not like the good old days. Once, when I was on a mission in Gstaad, I rented the executive suite of the Hotel Beauxville for six weeks. . . .” “And he wonders why the CIA doesn’t have any money anymore,” Erica muttered. “But this place isn’t so bad,” Alexander said spiritedly. “Sure, it’s a little cramped. And it’s cold. And it’s unlikely that the sheets have been washed in the last few weeks. And there’s barely any water pressure in the showers. And . . .” Alexander frowned. “What was my point again?” “This place isn’t so bad,” I reminded him.
Stuart Gibbs (Spy Ski School (Spy School))
Helen wriggled in protest as his hand stole to the back of her skirts. She was wearing a ready-made traveling dress, which fit nicely after a few minor alterations made by one of Mrs. Allenby’s assistants. It was a simple design of light blue silk and cashmere, with a smart little waist-jacket. There was no bustle, and the skirts had been drawn back snugly to reveal the shape of her body. The skirts descended in a pretty fall of folds and pleats, with a large decorative bow placed high on her posterior. To her vexation, Rhys wouldn’t leave the bow alone. He was positively mesmerized by it. Every time she turned her back to him, she could feel him playing with it. “Rhys, don’t!” “I can’t help it. It calls to me.” “You’ve seen bows on dresses before.” “But not there. And not on you.” Reluctantly Rhys let go of her and pulled out his pocket watch. “The train should have departed by now. We’re five minutes late.” “What are you in a rush for?” she asked. “Bed,” came his succinct reply. Helen smiled. She stood on her toes and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek. “We have a lifetime of nights together.” “Aye, and we’ve already missed too many of them.” Helen turned and bent to pick up her small valise, which had been set on the floor. At the same time, she heard the sound of fabric ripping. Before Helen had straightened and twisted to look at the back of her skirts, she already knew what had happened. The bow hung limply, at least half of its stitches torn. Meeting her indignant glance, Rhys looked as sheepish as a schoolboy caught with a stolen apple. “I didn’t know you were going to bend over.” “What am I going to say to the lady’s maid when she sees this?” He considered that for a moment. “Alas?” he suggested. Helen’s lips quivered with unwilling amusement.
Lisa Kleypas (Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2))
No rules?” he asked gruffly. “No rules.” Harry threw the first punch, and Cam dodged easily. Adjusting, calculating, Harry retreated as Cam threw a right. A pivot, and then Harry connected with a left cross. Cam had reacted a fraction too late, deflecting some of the blow’s force, but not all. A quiet curse, a rueful grin, and Cam renewed his guard. “Hard and fast,” he said approvingly. “Where did you learn to fight?” “New York.” Cam lunged forward and flipped him to the ground. “West London,” he returned. Tucking into a roll, Harry gained his footing instantly. As he came up, he used his elbow in a backward jab into Cam’s midriff. Cam grunted. Grabbing Harry’s arm, he hooked a foot around his ankle and took him down again. They rolled once, twice, until Harry sprang away and retreated a few steps. Breathing hard, he watched as Cam leapt to his feet. “You could have put a forearm to my throat,” Cam pointed out, shaking a swath of hair from his forehead. “I didn’t want to crush your windpipe,” Harry said acidly, “before I made you tell me where my wife is.” Cam grinned. Before he could reply, however, there was a commotion as all the Hathaways poured from the conservatory. Leo, Amelia, Win, Beatrix, Merripen, and Catherine Marks. Everyone except Poppy, Harry noted bleakly. Where the hell was she? “Is this the after-dinner entertainment?” Leo asked sardonically, emerging from the group. “Someone might have asked me—I would have preferred cards.” “You’re next, Ramsay,” Harry said with a scowl. “After I finish with Rohan, I’m going to flatten you for taking my wife away from London.” “No,” Merripen said with deadly calm, stepping forward, “I’m next. And I’m going to flatten you for taking advantage of my kinswoman.” Leo glanced from Merripen’s grim face to Harry’s, and rolled his eyes. “Forget it, then,” he said, going back into the conservatory. “After Merripen’s done, there won’t be anything left of him.” Pausing beside his sisters, he spoke quietly to Win out of the side of his mouth. “You’d better do something.” “Why?” “Because Cam only wants to knock a bit of sense into him. But Merripen actually intends to kill him, which I don’t think Poppy would appreciate.” “Why don’t you do something to stop him, Leo?” Amelia suggested acidly. “Because I’m a peer. We aristocrats always try to get someone else to do something before we have to do it ourselves.” He gave her a superior look. “It’s called noblesse oblige.” Miss Marks’s brows lowered. “That’s not the definition of noblesse oblige.” “It’s my definition,” Leo said, seeming to enjoy her annoyance. “Kev,” Win said calmly, stepping forward, “I would like to talk to you about something.” Merripen, attentive as always to his wife, gave her a frowning glance. “Now?” “Yes, now.” “Can’t it wait?” “No,” Win said equably. At his continued hesitation, she said, “I’m expecting.” Merripen blinked. “Expecting what?” “A baby.” They all watched as Merripen’s face turned ashen. “But how . . .” he asked dazedly, nearly staggering as he headed to Win. “How?” Leo repeated. “Merripen, don’t you remember that special talk we had before your wedding night?” He grinned as Merripen gave him a warning glance. Bending to Win’s ear, Leo murmured, “Well done. But what are you going to tell him when he discovers it was only a ploy?” “It’s not a ploy,” Win said cheerfully. Leo’s smile vanished, and he clapped a hand to his forehead. “Christ,” he muttered. “Where’s my brandy?” And he disappeared into the house. “I’m sure he meant to say ‘congratulations,’ ” Beatrix remarked brightly, following the group as they all went inside. Cam and Harry were left alone. “I should probably explain,
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
It seemed that every time he closed his eyes of late to conjure her image, another would appear in its place. Instead of hair like golden silk, hair the blue-black of a raven’s wing entered his mind’s eye. Instead of eyes like limpid pools of violet, eyes of the deepest forest green would materialize. “Radin?” A soft voice spoke behind him. If he closed his eyes, he could almost imagine it was she. He had recognized some time ago, that Keilah bore an uncanny resemblance to his dead wife, but now for the first time, he realized they even sounded alike. He turned and ran his gaze over the woman before him. “Why are you staring at me like that? As if you have never truly seen me.” “Perhaps I haven’t,” he replied solemnly, continuing his perusal, peering deep into the green of her eyes. Perhaps if he looked long and hard enough, he would find something in those emerald depths. Something which would give him a clue as to why she attracted him so, even as he knew she despised him.
Julie A. D'Arcy
Change should be slow,” Emlyn replied, glancing at him. “It should allow those who live through it to change alongside. That is the natural way of things. Trees change by the seasons, adapting to the weather, to the rain, sun and snow. Plants bloom, flower, and the bees come to carry pollen from one to another. A sudden, late frost will kill the plants and the bees lose their source of food, dying days later. On and on the ripples of that are felt throughout the land and forest. The Empire was, and still is, that frost.
G.R. Matthews (Seven Deaths of an Empire)
Bosconero’s homes were hundreds of years old. Nothing like this has happened here before, nothing so powerful as to wipe out the place. You know, there are laws, in Italy, on how houses should be built or strengthened in highly seismic areas. They’re often ignored. As you can see.’ ‘It can’t be!’ ‘This is Italy, Luce. Things are never straightforward, here. And it’s the common people who pay the price, as always. There will be an investigation on why the tower fell, for example, after having been refurbished according to the law. Too late for those who were under it.’ I had no answer to that. I proceeded to translate the whole thing to Ethan, who was as shocked as me. ‘Also, if there were tremors just before… why was there no alarm given?’ Ethan asked. ‘Maybe it was all too quick,’ I replied in English, but I also translated the question for Massimo. ‘Another Italian mystery,’ Massimo replied cryptically.
Daniela Sacerdoti (The Lost Village)
You may recall that we raised the question, Whose idea was it that it would not rain: God’s or Elijah’s? The answer? The buck stops with God. Further evidence of this is the verse we study in this chapter. Elijah did not go to Ahab to say it would rain; he waited to hear from God. He waited a long time—three and a half years. Then one day the word of the Lord came to Elijah to present himself to Ahab. And from that moment things started happening. You and I cannot make things happen. Elijah could not make things happen. We are fools if we try to make things happen in our own strength. I once asked the late Carl F. H. Henry, called “the dean of American theologians,” what he would do differently if he had his life to live over. After a moment he replied, “I would remember that only God can turn the water into wine.” The greatest folly
R.T. Kendall (These Are the Days of Elijah: How God Uses Ordinary People to Do Extraordinary Things)
Just doing my job,” he replied, and grinned again. Why should Tank suddenly think of a play, with one of the characters complaining that another character “smiled too much”? Curious, he watched the man climb into a nice, late-model car and drive off. Why wasn’t he in a company truck, like most technicians drove?
Diana Palmer (Wyoming Bold (Wyoming Men, #3))
I should say that it was only for me that Marxism seemed over. Surely, I would tell G. at least once a week, it had to count for something that every single self-described Marxist state had turned into an economically backward dictatorship. Irrelevant, he would reply. The real Marxists weren’t the Leninists and Stalinists and Maoists—or the Trotskyists either, those bloodthirsty romantics—but libertarian anarchist-socialists, people like Anton Pannekoek, Herman Gorter, Karl Korsch, scholarly believers in true workers’ control who had labored in obscurity for most of the twentieth century, enjoyed a late-afternoon moment in the sun after 1968 when they were discovered by the New Left, and had now once again fallen back into the shadows of history, existing mostly as tiny stars in the vast night sky of the Internet, archived on blogs with names like Diary of a Council Communist and Break Their Haughty Power. They were all men. The group itself was mostly men. This was, as Marxists used to say, no accident. There was something about Marxist theory that just did not appeal to women. G. and I spent a lot of time discussing the possible reasons for this. Was it that women don’t allow themselves to engage in abstract speculation, as he thought? That Marxism is incompatible with feminism, as I sometimes suspected? Or perhaps the problem was not Marxism but Marxists: in its heyday men had kept a lock on it as they did on everything they considered important; now, in its decline, Marxism had become one of those obsessive lonely-guy hobbies, like collecting stamps or 78s. Maybe, like collecting, it was related, through subterranean psychological pathways, to sexual perversions, most of which seemed to be male as well. You never hear about a female foot fetishist, or a woman like the high-school history teacher of a friend of mine who kept dated bottles of his own urine on a closet shelf. Perhaps women’s need for speculation is satisfied by the intense curiosity they bring to daily life, the way their collecting masquerades as fashion and domesticity—instead of old records, shoes and ceramic mixing bowls—and their perversity can be satisfied simply by enacting the highly artificial role of Woman, by becoming, as it were, fetishizers of their own feet.
Katha Pollitt (Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories)
When the late Dr. Chafer (founder of Dallas Theological Seminary) was once asked why God loosed Satan after he once had him bound, he replied, “If you will tell me why God let him loose in the first place, I will tell you why God lets him loose the second time.” Apparently Satan is released at the end of the Millennium to reveal that the ideal conditions of the kingdom under the personal reign of Christ do not change the human heart. This reveals the enormity of the enmity of man against God. Scripture is accurate when it describes the heart as “desperately wicked” and incurably so. Man is totally depraved. The loosing of Satan at the end of the 1,000 years proves it.1
Mark Hitchcock (101 Answers to Questions About Satan, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare)
A slightly tipsy mathematician got home at 3 a.m. His wife was upset and yelled, “You’re late! You said you’d be home by 11:45.” The mathematician replied, “No, I am precisely on time. I said I’d be home by a quarter of twelve.
Scott McNeely (Ultimate Book of Jokes: The Essential Collection of More Than 1,500 Jokes)
Never too late to have another crack at it,” whispered Douglas. “I’m not sure about that,” replied Evelyn. “One does get a lot more reading done.” Startled, he asked: “Think that’s a good swap?” “No.
Anonymous
The Spirit of Christmas The Boys finished their cider and handed the vendor the cups, smacking their lips and wiping their mouths on their sleeves. The towering Vendor smiled down on them. “And a Very Merry Christmas to you two young Gents.” Jonas scowled up at him, “Christmas is a bunch of bunk, just meant for the rich. Come on Jamey.” Little James Nicholas tipped his hat to the Vendor and his eyes shined angelically when he replied, “And a Merry Christmas to you too Sir!” Jonas led the way as they raced the snowy sidewalks of New York. In his heart Jonas knew that they were late but the cider warmed him inside and he didn’t mind the risk. Mr. Angel watched them run, knowing his work was cut out for him. “Christmas a bunk, hm-mmm! I’ve some work to do with these lads and not much time to do it in.” He glanced up at the heavens calculating the time before Christmas. He then tipped his hat to the vendor as he munched the delicious cheese. The Cheese Vendor watched the kindly man depart, knowing there was indeed goodness abound in the world tonight. “Thank ye kind Sir!” The tall Toymaker waved back at him over his shoulder, while keeping the two young dashing lads in sight. “And may the Spirit of Christmas haunt your home with joy.” The Cheese Vendor chuckled to himself. “A joyful haunting? Be there such a thing?” Mr. Angel followed along after the boys. He passed a poor couple and thrust the bag of cheese into their hands. The Poor Man’s face shined with pleasure, “Thank you and bless you sir.” He nodded back at them with a smile. Ahead of him, Jonas and James rushed towards the corner. They raced past a fruit vendor and each of them snatched a piece of fruit from the boxes on display. The Fruit Vendor screamed after them, “Hey, you! Stop thieves!” A New York Policeman witnessing the theft and blew his whistle. Then he shouted after them. “Stop thieves!” He immediately took up the chase, through the down pouring snow. Mr. Angel could be seen in the background keeping pace behind the policeman. The two young boys raced along the sidewalk, twisting their way between passers-by, their eyes frantically glancing behind them at the large pursuing policeman. Suddenly Mr. Thorn, a large, burley man dressed in black blocked their way and took them both by the collars. “So there you are!” He snatched the apple quickly from James’ hand. “What have we here?” He was about to take a bite of it, when he saw the officer racing towards them. “It’s all right officer. I have the young scoundrels and I’ll make full restitutions for their thievery.” He quickly fished coins from his pocket and with a conning smile, put them in the hand of the frowning Policeman. “And a little extra for your trouble, my good man. It’s such a small crime and the criminals so . . . minor.” The burly policeman rocked back and forth considering and then grunted, after all it was Christmas. “Very well sir. I’ll give these to the Vendor but I catch either of you snatching again, it’s behind bars with you and a good strong workhouse. You got me!” Jonas glanced down at his worn out boots, his face red with shame. “Oh yes sir.” James followed suit and then glanced up into the gruff face of the law. “Sorry, we were just hungry!
John Edgerton (The Spirit of Christmas)
The twin dislocations of the Soviet invasion and CIA patronage of the mujahedeen irrevocably reconfigured Afghan society, leading directly to the horrors of the civil war, then to the Taliban, and ultimately to the shape of Afghan politics after 2001. Still, when Zbigniew Brzezinski, who as national security adviser to President Carter helped to initiate Washington’s anti-Soviet mujahedeen policies, was asked in the late 1990s whether he had any regrets, he replied: “What is more important in the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?
Anand Gopal (No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes)
It’s the Queen’s English now,’ observed Peter mildly. ‘Is there a difference?’ asked Oundle rhetorically. ‘I fervently hope not.’ ‘There will be in time,’ said Peter. ‘That will be deplorable,’ replied Oudle. ‘I shall not myself deviate by a syllable from correct usage.’ ‘My language is foul, and yours is Fowler?’ said Peter, and added one of his sudden quirky smiles, ‘or know your Onions.’ This quip crossed the barrier of the table, because the man sitting nearly opposite Peter laughed. ‘Onions?’ said Oudle. ‘C.T. Onions, I imagine,’ said the man opposite. ‘Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.’ ‘Oh, I see,’ said Oudle. ‘Very droll.
Jill Paton Walsh (The Late Scholar (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #4))
a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.” He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.” The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, señor, how long will all this take?” To which the American replied, “15–20 years. 25 tops.” “But what then, señor?” The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.” “Millions, señor? Then what?” “Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos …
Timothy Ferriss (The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich)
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’ Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’ I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
News?” asked the taller of the two. “The best,” replied Severus Snape. The lane was bordered on the left by wild, low-growing brambles, on the right by a high, neatly manicured hedge. The men’s long cloaks flapped around their ankles as they marched. “Thought I might be late,” said Yaxley, his blunt features
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
The first intimation of a new romance for a woman of the court was the arrival at her door of a messenger bearing a five-line poem in an unfamiliar hand. If the woman found the poem sufficiently intriguing, the paper it was written on suitable for its contents and mood, and the calligraphy acceptably graceful, her encouraging reply—itself in the form of a poem—would set in motion a clandestine, late-night visit from her suitor. The first night together was, according to established etiquette, sleepless; lovemaking and talk were expected to continue without pause until the man, protesting the night’s brevity, departed in the first light of the predawn. Even then he was not free to turn his thoughts to the day’s official duties: a morning-after poem had to be written and sent off by means of an ever-present messenger page, who would return with the woman’s reply. Only after this exchange had been completed could the night’s success be fully judged by whether the poems were equally ardent and accomplished, referring in image and nuance to the themes of the night just passed. Subsequent visits were made on the same clandestine basis and under the same circumstances, until the relationship was either made official by a private ceremony of marriage or ended. Once she had given her heart, a woman was left to await her lover’s letters and appearances at her door at nightfall. Should he fail to arrive, there might be many explanations—the darkness of the night, inclement weather, inauspicious omens preventing travel, or other interests. Many sleepless nights were spent in hope and speculation, and, as evidenced by the poems in this book, in poetic activity. Throughout the course of a relationship, the exchange of poems served to reassure, remind, rekindle or cool interest, and, in general, to keep the other person aware of a lover’s state of mind. At the same time, poetry was a means of expressing solely for oneself the uncertainties, hopes, and doubts which inevitably accompanied such a system of courtship, as well as a way of exploring other personal concerns.
Jane Hirshfield (The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan)
You’ve made yourself quite at home, I see.” “You’ve a nice one here, Kerry,” he said quite sincerely, his smile still sparkling with equal sincerity. “Good people, nice little town. I find I’m liking it a great deal. Your ocean is everything you described and more. I’d like to see more of it, through your eyes. When you have the time.” She debated the wisdom of trying to put him off as long as possible, but hell, he’d talked to half the town already and even had Fergus playing wingman for him. “Apparently I have time today,” she said dryly. “I don’t know how long this meeting will go, and I have errands to run. I still have to buy tonight’s special--unless you’re about to tell me that’s already been handled, too.” “Not that I’m aware of,” he replied easily. “But then, I just got into town late yesterday, so I’m not fully up to speed yet.” Oh, he was speedy all right. “It scares me to think what you’ll know after a full twenty-four hours. If you want to go with me to Blue’s to look at the early morning catch, I can meet you down in Half Moon around two.” He grinned. “We have a date, then.” “We have a meeting. Blue’s is--” “I’ll find it.” “I’m sure you will.” She went to climb in the cab of her truck, then paused. “I don’t guess it will do me any good to ask you to stop talking to people about me, will it?” “I don’t guess it would, no.” His accent, the way it wrapped around the os, making them sound like two delicious syllables in one, shouldn’t affect her like it always had. Like it still did. To be fair, given her protracted stay Down Under, she’d grown accustomed to the accent in general. It was the deep, smooth timbre of his voice, speaking in that vowel-curling way of his, that rolled right through her like ocean waves relentlessly lapping at the shore. Lapping at her. “Well, be warned,” she told him, trying to ignore the delicious little shiver that was snaking its way down her spine, and all she was doing was looking at him. “Folks here can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about me, my family, and the entire history of Blueberry Cove, but just know that they’ll also be telling everyone in the Cove every last detail they learn about you, too.” “Not much different from life in the Downs, then.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
I still have to buy tonight’s special--unless you’re about to tell me that’s already been handled, too.” “Not that I’m aware of,” he replied easily. “But then, I just got into town late yesterday, so I’m not fully up to speed yet.” Oh, he was speedy all right. “It scares me to think what you’ll know after a full twenty-four hours.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
We agree that it is too late to think of visiting Cousin Ellen today – in fact if we do not hurry home we shall be late for dinner (an eventuality which cannot be contemplated with equanimity). As we near home and the hour advances, I beseech Tim to hurry. He replies indignantly that he will do nothing of the kind; why should we race home, jeopardising our very lives, for the sake of a cantankerous old woman (only he does not say ‘woman’)? Do I realise – he says bitterly – that I am becoming absolutely under the creature’s thumb? Reply that I do realise it. He then says why on earth don’t I get rid of the brute? Reply that I am too frightened of her. Tim says the thing is absolutely preposterous, Cook must go. Fortunately, we arrive just in time for dinner, and it is such an excellent meal that Tim’s heart is softened, and he says we had better give her another chance, but I must take a strong line with her and stand no nonsense. Make no reply to this command as I feel in my bones I shall not be able to comply with it.
D.E. Stevenson (Mrs Tim of the Regiment)
Good night, Mr. Bronson.” She rose to her feet, and Bronson followed immediately. “There's no need to leave,” he coaxed. “I'll behave from now on. I promise.” “It's late,” Holly said firmly, retreating to the door. “Again, sir, good night—” Somehow he reached the threshold before she did, without any appearance of haste. His large hand pressed lightly on the door, closing it with a quiet click. “Stay,” he murmured, “and I'll open a bottle of that Rhenish wine you liked so much the other evening.” Frowning, Holly turned to face him. She was prepared to point out that a gentleman did not argue with a lady when she wished to leave, nor would it be proper for them to remain in the room with the door closed. But as she stared into his dark, teasing eyes, she found herself relenting. “If I stay, we'll find some proper subject to discuss,” she said warily. “Anything you like,” came his prompt reply. “Taxes. Social concerns. The weather.” She wanted to smile as she saw his deliberately bland expression. He looked like a wolf trying to pretend he was a sheep. “All right, then,” she said, and returned to the settee.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
I knew before today that I would have to leave,” she said, keeping her back to Zachary. “Now, after this, I certainly can't live beneath the same roof with you.” “I don't want you to leave.” “My feelings for you don't change what I must do. I've already explained why.” He was silent for a full minute, grasping the full significance of her words. “You're still planning to marry Ravenhill,” he said tonelessly. “Even now.” “No, it's not that.” Holly felt very cold, all the pulsing warmth of their encounter finally draining away. She tried to examine her choices, but all of them left her feeling empty and strangely fearful. It was all too natural to retreat back into the habits of a lifetime, to follow the paths that had been chosen for her long ago, first by her father and then by George. “I don't know what will happen with Ravenill. I don't even know if he'll still have me.” “Oh, he'll have you.” Zachary spun her around to face him. He was huge and dark, staring at her with a sort of resigned fury. “I've had to fight for everything I've ever gotten. But I won't fight for you. You'll come to me because you want me. I'll be damned if I'll bully or beg you to have me. I suppose in the ton's view, a Ravenhill is worth about a hundred Bronsons. No one will blame you for marrying him, especially when it comes out that George wanted the match. And you might even be happy for a while. But someday you'll realize it was a mistake, when it's too late for either of us to do a damned thing about it.” Holly turned white, but managed to reply calmly. “Our agreement… I'll return the money…” “Keep the money for Rose. There's no reason for her trust to be cut in half simply because her mother is a coward.” She lowered her watery gaze to the level of his third shirt button. “You're being cruel now,” she whispered. “I think I could be a gentleman about almost anything, except for losing you. Don't expect me to take it with good grace, Holly.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Taking her hands in his, he sank down to kneel before her. “I know we already are engaged, but I never went about it properly. Lydia Price, would you do me the great honor of becoming my wife?” Gasps permeated the room as Vincent reached into his pocket with his other hand and pulled out a small jewel case. He flicked the box open to reveal a golden ring filigreed with Celtic knots and adorned with a large diamond surrounded by a rainbow of other jewels. Lydia’s heart lodged in her throat even as unmitigated happiness warmed her body. “When?” The word escaped aloud before she was aware. “Now.” From another pocket in his waistcoat, Vincent withdrew a small sheaf of papers. “I have with me a marriage contract and a special license. I’ve also managed to procure a parson at this late hour.” Everyone’s gazes flew to the stranger, whose identity was now revealed. The parson yawned as if in emphasis of the inconvenience. All eyes shifted to Lydia, awaiting her reply. Her knees quaked beneath her gown, threatening to give out and topple her. “Please, Lydia,” he said achingly. “I cannot bear another night of you not being mine.” “Yes.
Brooklyn Ann (One Bite Per Night (Scandals with Bite, #2))
Taking her hands in his, he sank down to kneel before her. “I know we already are engaged, but I never went about it properly. Lydia Price, would you do me the great honor of becoming my wife?” Gasps permeated the room as Vincent reached into his pocket with his other hand and pulled out a small jewel case. He flicked the box open to reveal a golden ring filigreed with Celtic knots and adorned with a large diamond surrounded by a rainbow of other jewels. Lydia’s heart lodged in her throat even as unmitigated happiness warmed her body. “When?” The word escaped aloud before she was aware. “Now.” From another pocket in his waistcoat, Vincent withdrew a small sheaf of papers. “I have with me a marriage contract and a special license. I’ve also managed to procure a parson at this late hour.” Everyone’s gazes flew to the stranger, whose identity was now revealed. The parson yawned as if in emphasis of the inconvenience. All eyes shifted to Lydia, awaiting her reply. Her knees quaked beneath her gown, threatening to give out and topple her. “Please, Lydia,” he said achingly. “I cannot bear another night of you not being mine.” “Yes.” The word escaped her lips past the joy swelling within. As if afraid she’d change her mind, Vincent quickly slipped the elaborate ring on her third finger and rose to his feet, retaining his grip on her hand. “You’ve made me the happiest of men,” he replied.
Brooklyn Ann (One Bite Per Night (Scandals with Bite, #2))
Oh pshaw, Freddy,” said the cow, “you know perfectly well that you can’t shadow anybody unless you hide from them, and an animal as big as I am can’t hide behind one or two little spears of grass the way a cat or a dog can. And besides, you said yourself that an animal couldn’t be a good defective without a lot of practice. What else could I do?” “Why, you’ll just have to give up being a detective, that’s all,” replied the pig. “At least that kind of detective. Because there’s lots to detective work besides shadowing. You have to hunt for clues, too, and then think about them until you can figure out what they mean.” Mrs. Wiggins sighed heavily. “Oh dear!” she said. “You know thinking isn’t my strong point, Freddy. I mean, I’ve got good brains, but they aren’t the kind that think easily. They’re the kind of brains that if you let ’em go their own way, they are as good as anybody’s, but if you try to make them do anything, like a puzzle, they just won’t work at all.” “Well,” said Freddy, “detective work is a good deal like a puzzle. But I do think you ought not to try to do this shadowing. Mr. Bean certainly won’t like having the corn spoiled this way, and he’s been pretty touchy lately anyway. Not that I blame him, now that all the animals have started to play detective all over the farm. I heard him tell Mrs. Bean that he was getting sick and tired of having about fifteen animals sneaking along behind him every time he leaves the house. And whenever he looks up from his work, he says, no matter where he is, there are eyes peering at him—dozens and dozens of eyes watching him from hiding-places.
Walter Rollin Brooks (Freddy the Detective (Freddy the Pig))
Only a very careless father would be inclined to tell you what I'm going to tell you. I suppose I'm about to act like the disreputable uncle who everyone fears to leave the boys with because he encourages them to drink distilled spirits, stay up late, and do more than merely kiss girls." "Uh... what?" Mags replied, utterly bewildered now. "I am going," Jakyr said, leaning toward Mags, his eyes dancing with laughter, "to tell you how to please a woman." Max thought for a moment his face that caught fire, because surely it couldn't burn like that without some outside help.
Mercedes Lackey (Bastion (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #5))