Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I’m never wearing them," Ron was saying stubbornly. "Never."
"Fine," snapped Mrs. Weasley. "Go naked. And, Harry, make sure you get a picture of him. Goodness knows I could do with a laugh.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
She tipped her head back and started laughing, and I started picturing people twerking—everyone in the limo. Quiet Luxen Dude. Rolland. Sadi. All of them bent over, butts in the air, looking like damn fools.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
I'd watch your mouth", he said, tilting his head as he looked at my ID."The last lunker who laughed at her picture spent the night in the emergency room with a drink umbrella jammed up his nose".
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your
and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
He burst into one of his rare fits of laughter as he turned away from the picture. I have not heard him laugh often, and it has always boded ill to somebody.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5))
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.
Tell me why you loved them,
then tell me why they loved you.
Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.
Tell me what the word home means to you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name
just by the way you describe your bedroom
when you were eight.
See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate,
and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.
Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain
or bounce in the bellies of snow?
And if you were to build a snowman,
would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms
or would leave your snowman armless
for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would,
would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you
every time you kiss him on the cheek?
Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?
Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad
even if it makes your lover mad?
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion
or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?
See, I wanna know what you think of your first name,
and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy
when she spoke it for the very first time.
I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind.
Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.
Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old
beating up little boys at school.
If you were walking by a chemical plant
where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds
would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud
or would you whisper
“That cloud looks like a fish,
and that cloud looks like a fairy!”
Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin?
Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me —
how would you explain the miracle of my life to me?
See, I wanna know if you believe in any god
or if you believe in many gods
or better yet
what gods believe in you.
And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,
have the prayers you asked come true?
And if they didn’t, did you feel denied?
And if you felt denied,
denied by who?
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling good.
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling bad.
I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty
could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.
If you ever reach enlightenment
will you remember how to laugh?
Have you ever been a song?
Would you think less of me
if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key?
And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry
I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me
who have learned the wisdom of silence.
Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence?
And if you do —
I want you to tell me of a meadow
where my skateboard will soar.
See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living.
I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving,
and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes.
I wanna know if you bleed sometimes
from other people’s wounds,
and if you dream sometimes
that this life is just a balloon —
that if you wanted to, you could pop,
but you never would
‘cause you’d never want it to stop.
If a tree fell in the forest
and you were the only one there to hear —
if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound,
would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist,
or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?
And lastly, let me ask you this:
If you and I went for a walk
and the entire walk, we didn’t talk —
do you think eventually, we’d… kiss?
That’s asking too much —
this is only our first date.
You have a roommate."
"Yeah." He sounds confused.
"The, um, picture on your door surprised me."
"NO. No. I prefer my women with...fewer carnivorous beasts and less weaponry." He pauses and smiles. "Naked is okay. What she needs are a golden retriever and a telescope. Maybe then it would do it for me."
"A squirrel and a laboratory beaker?"
"A bunny rabbit and a flip chart," I say.
"Only if the flip chart has mathematical equations on it."
I fake swoon onto his bed. "Too much, too much!
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
Close your eyes and picture it. Can you see it?"
I nod, eyes closed.
"Imagine it right there before you. See its texture, shape, and color—got it?"
I smile, holding the image in my head.
"Good. Now reach out and touch it. Feel its contours with the tips of your fingers, cradle its weight in the palms of your hands, then combine all of your senses—sight, touch, smell, taste—can you taste it?"
I bite my lip and suppress a giggle.
"Perfect. Now combine that with feeling. Believe it exists right before you. Feel it, see it, touch it, taste it, accept it, manifest it!" he says.
So I do. I do all of those things. And when he groans, I open my eyes to see for myself.
"Ever." He shakes his head. "You were supposed to think of an orange. This isn't even close."
"Nope, nothing fruity about him." I laugh, smiling ateach of my Damens—the replica I manifested before me, and the flesh and blood version beside me. Both of them equally tall, dark, and so devastatingly handsome they hardly seem real.
Alyson Noel (Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2))
Unwrapping the paper carefully so it doesn’t tear, I find a beautiful red leather
box. Cartier. It’s familiar, thanks to my second-chance earrings and my watch.
Cautiously, I open the box to discover a delicate charm bracelet of silver, or platinum
or white gold—I don’t know, but it’s absolutely enchanting. Attached to it
are several charms: the Eiffel Tower, a London black cab, a helicopter—Charlie
Tango, a glider—the soaring, a catamaran—The Grace, a bed, and an ice cream
cone? I look up at him, bemused.
“Vanilla?” He shrugs apologetically, and I can’t help but laugh. Of course.
“Christian, this is beautiful. Thank you. It’s yar.” He grins.
My favorite is the heart. It’s a locket.
“You can put a picture or whatever in that.”
“A picture of you.” I glance at him through my lashes. “Always in my heart.”
He smiles his lovely, heartbreakingly shy smile.
I fondle the last two charms: a letter C—oh yes, I was his first girlfriend to
use his first name. I smile at the thought. And finally, there’s a key.
“To my heart and soul,” he whispers.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
And if the Pack Council produces any kittens, we’ll give them to Jim to raise. He needs to mellow out anyway.” I looked at him. He took his hands off the wheel and held them apart about six inches. “Cute fluffy kittens. Just sitting on Jim’s lap.” I pictured Jim with his badass-chief-of-security expression covered in small fluffy kittens. It was too much. The numbness inside me broke, like a dam. I giggled and laughed. Curran laughed, too.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
Do not resent your place in the story. Do not imagine yourself elsewhere. Do not close your eyes and picture a world without thorns, without shadows, without hawks. Change this world. Use your body like a tool meant to be used up, discarded, and replaced. Better every life you touch. We will reach the final chapter. When we have eyes that can stare into the sun, eyes that only squint for the Shenikah, then we will see laughing children pulling cobras by their tails, and hawks and rabbits playing tag.
N.D. Wilson (Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World)
You fell in love with someone because of the tilt of his smile, or because he could make you laugh, or in this case, because he made you believe that you were the only one who could save him.
Jodi Picoult (Picture Perfect)
Do you think she knows how much I love her?"
"You gave her flowers and said you were sorry."
"You kissed her."
I could only nod.
"You painted her pictures and hugged her when she cried."
"Yeah," I whispered.
"You laughed with her too."
I nodded again.
"Those are all the ways to say I love you.
Amy Harmon (The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses, #1))
Now I can do the bolts," she slurred. "I've been trying to focus enough magic all week."
The magic shifted and swirled, finally etching a picture in the air. It was a rough picture of Foaly, and he was laughing.
I hate you, centaur!" screamed Opal, lunging toward, and then through, the insubstantial image. Her eyes rolled back into her head, and then she collapsed, snoring, on the floor.
Artemis straightened his tie.
Freud, he was certain, would have a field day with that.
I often laughed, and you often gave me a dissatisfied look, till you pressed me to unfold my past before you as if it were a roll of pictures. It was then I felt respect for you. Because you unreservedly showed me your resolution to catch something alive in my being, and to sip the warm blood running in my body, by cutting my heart. At that time, I was still living, and did not want to die. So I rejected your request, promising to satisfy you some day. Now I am going to destroy my heart myself, and pour my blood into your veins. I shall be happy if a new life can enter into your bosom, when my heart has stopped beating.
Natsume Sōseki (Kokoro)
I am not laughing, Dorian; at least I am not laughing at you. But you should not say the greatest romance of your life. You should say the first romance of your life. You will always be loved, and you will always be in love with love. A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do. That is the one use of the idle classes of a country. Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
You are not showing her my baby pictures!” He sounded horrified, which made me laugh.
“Come on, Evan,” I teased with a laughing smile, “you were adorable.
Rebecca Donovan (Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1))
The signs of excessive indulgence in this destructive pastime are easily detectable. They are these: A disposition to eat, to drink, to smoke, to meet together convivially, to laugh, to joke, and tell indelicate stories— and mainly, a yearning to paint pictures.
Mark Twain (On Masturbation)
Rose pictured him standing at the boundary of the Ogletree house in that enormous fur cape, with a giant sword sticking over his shoulder, roaring at the top of his lungs and then being upset that nobody came out, and laughed.
Ilona Andrews (On the Edge (The Edge, #1))
Is it? Because that picture of me was taken by my old school's yearbook club, and they put it in the section titled 'STUDENT FAILSAUCES! XD.
What's an XD?
A sideways laughing face of horrendous proportions. Don't change the subject.
Sara Wolf (Lovely Vicious (Lovely Vicious, #1))
I think the way I feel when I look at Evan comes from her. In pictures taken the day she married my dad, she was reckless, laughing, spinning around in circles. She looked like her whole world was him. She looked a kind of happy I can't even imagine.
I don't want that. I don't want to be like that. I don' want to feel the way she did because I know what happens when you do. You love with your whole heart, with everything, and you wake up one morning and kiss someone good-bye the way you always do except you mean it as good-bye forever.
Elizabeth Scott (Bloom)
Are you always so forthright over coffee dates?”
“I don’t know. You’re the only one I ever had a crush on.” Oh, boy. “And that was stupid.” Flustered again, he raked his fingers through his hair. “Now I’ve scared you. That sounds scary and obsessive. Like I have an alter somewhere with your pictures over it, where I light candles and chant your name. Jesus! That’s even scarier. Run now. I won’t hold it against you.”
She burst out laughing. Had to set her coffee back down before she slouched it over the rim.
“I’ll stay if you swear you don’t have the alter.”
“I don’t.” He swiped his finger in an X over his heart.
Nora Roberts (Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1))
I couldn't think of anything helpful to say, so I resorted to humor, my shield of last resort. 'Just please tell me they don't have a dog and a picket fence.'
He smiled. 'No fence, but a dog, two dogs.'
'What kind of dogs?' I asked.
He smiled and glanced at me, wanting to see my reaction. 'Maltese. Their names are Peeka and Boo.'
'Oh, shit, Edward, you're joking me.'
'Donna wants the dogs included in the engagement pictures.'
I stared at him, and the look on my face seemed to amuse him. He laughed. 'I'm glad you're here, Anita, because I don't know a single other person who I'd have admitted this to.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9))
No matter what else you came up against, if you could smile and laugh while a monkey did you with chestnuts in a dank concrete basement while somebody took pictures, well, any other situation would be a piece of cake
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
I laugh with him. I imagine mixing poison into his tea, then watching his face turn purple and anguished; I picture myself leaning over him, looking on patiently, with my chin resting in my hands, admiring his dying, writhing body as I count out the minutes.
Marie Lu (The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1))
I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. With the laugh comes the tears and in developing motion pictures or television shows, you must combine all the facts of life — drama, pathos and humor.
Walt Disney Company
As we grow up we realize that even the person who was supposed to never let you down probably will. You will probably have your heart broken more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when your's was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh to much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Elodin pointed down the street. "What color is that boy's shirt?"
"What do you mean by blue? Describe it."
I struggled for a moment, failed. "So blue is a name?"
"It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself."
My head was swimming by this point. "I still don't understand."
He laid a hand on my shoulder. "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating." He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. "But there are other ways to understanding!" he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. "Look!" he shouted tilting his head back. "Blue! Blue! Blue!
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
when I was four years old
they tried to test my I.Q.
they showed me a picture
of 3 oranges and a pear
which one is different?
it does not belong
they taught me different is wrong
but when I was 13 years old
I woke up one morning
thighs covered in blood
like a war
like a warning
that I live in a breakable takeable body
an ever-increasingly valuable body
that a woman had come in the night to replace me
my body is borrowed
yeah, I got it on loan
for the time in between my mom and some maggots
I don't need anyone to hold me
I can hold my own
I got highways for stretchmarks
see where I've grown
I sing sometimes
like my life is at stake
'cause you're only as loud
as the noises you make
I'm learning to laugh as hard
as I can listen
in women and poor people
if more people were screaming then I could relax
but a good brain ain't diddley
if you don't have the facts
we live in a breakable takeable world
an ever available possible world
and we can make music
like we can make do
genius is in a back beat
backseat to nothing if you're dancing
especially something stupid
for every lie I unlearn
I learn something new
I sing sometimes for the war that I fight
'cause every tool is a weapon -
if you hold it right.
Romantic people are not supposed to laugh, I know that much from looking at the pictures.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
She pushed him onto the couch and straddled him...
Min swallowed "the thing is, im going to spread. Hips, thighs-"
"Not till nine-thirty," Cal said trying not to picture her.
"-waist," Min said then stopped. "What? nine-thirty? Not till my forties, probably, i think i can fight it off that long, but then-"
"What?" Cal said.
"Im going to get fat," Min said, and he blinked. "Er. Im going to get fatter." she frowned at him. "what did you think i meant?"
"for future reference," he said starting to laugh. "if you're sitting half naked on my lap and you tell me you're going to spread-"
"No! I would never say that!" she said.
Jennifer Crusie (Bet Me)
You dance really well.”
“I took ballet lessons.”
She tilted her head back to search his face, certain he was joking. “You did not.”
“I did. Several of us on the team did. Good for coordination.”
Resisting the laugh that bubbled up in her throat, she said, “Somehow I can’t picture you in tights and a tutu.”
But he did laugh. “We made sure no one with a camera got within miles of the studio.
Jaci Burton (The Perfect Play (Play by Play, #1))
Have you wondered what our babies would have looked like?" Jen asked absently as she frowned inwardly trying to picture the future she might have had with her wolf.
"Baby this isn't really the time to discuss our babies. Let's focus on who is carrying you so that I can get you back so that we can make babies."
Jen groaned and felt the arms around her tighten which brought a gasp from her. Decebel must have sensed her pain as she felt his worry.
"I'm okay, just hurts." Jen actually felt a smile spread across her face, "So you want to make babies with me?"
This time when Decebel laughed she swore she could feel his hands run down her sides to her waist.
"Only you would want to discuss making babies at a time like this."
"Well you have to admit that it's a better topic than my nearly being killed and now being kidnapped. Seriously Dec, I'd much rather think about us making babies.
When you got captured, I didn't know..." He trailed off, had to chug whiskey before he could continue. "If it'd be like..."
"Like it was with Clotile."
"Oh, Jackson, no. I was okay. I'm unharmed."
"Didn't know if I'd get there too late," he said with a shudder. Then he crossed over to me, until we stood toe-to-toe. "Evie, if you ever get taken from me again, you better know that I'll be coming for you." He cupped my face with a bloodstained hand. "So you stay the hell alive! You don't do like Clotile, you doan take that way out. You and me can get through anything, just give me a chance."--his voice broke lower "just give me a chance to get to you." He buried his face in my hair, inhaling deeply. "There is nothing that can happen to you that we can't get past."
"When you say we...?"
He pulled back, gazing down at me, his eyes blazing. "I'm goan to lay it all out there for you. Laugh in my face--I don't care. But I'm goan to get this off my chest."
"I won't laugh. I'm listening."
"Evie, I've wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you." He raked his fingers through his hair. "I got it bad, me."
My heart felt like it'd stopped--so that I could hear him better.
"For as long as you've been looking down your nose at me, I've been craving you, an envie like I've never known."
"I don't look down at you! I'm too busy looking up to you."
"The corners of his lips curled for an instant before he grew serious again. "You asked me if I had that phone with your pictures, if I'd looked at it. Damn right, I did! I saw you playing with a dog at the beach, and doing a crazy-ass flip off a high dive, and making faces for the camera. I learned about you"- his voice grew hoarse -"and I wanted more of you. To see you every day." With a humourless laugh, he admitted, "After the Flash, I was constantly sourcing ways to charge a goddamned phone--that would never make a call."
I murmured, "I didn't know...I couldn't be sure."
"It's you for me, peekon.
Kresley Cole (Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1))
It’s when you hold eye contact for that second too long or maybe the way you laugh. It sets off a flash and our memories take a picture of who we are at that point when we first know “This is love.” And we clutch that picture to our hearts because we expect each other to always be the people in that picture. But people change. People aren’t pictures. And you can either take a new picture or throw the old one away.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You)
The paintings that laughed at him merrily from the walls were like nothing he had ever seen or dreamed of. Gone were the flat, thin surfaces. Gone was the sentimental sobriety. Gone was the brown gravy in which Europe had been bathing its pictures for centuries. Here were pictures riotously mad with the sun. With light and air and throbbing vivacity. Paintings of ballet girls backstage, done in primitive reds, greens, and blues thrown next to each other irreverantly. He looked at the signature. Degas.
Irving Stone (Lust for Life)
He laughed. “What’s to say? Great paintings—people flock to see them, they draw crowds, they’re reproduced endlessly on coffee mugs and mouse pads and anything-you-like. And, I count myself in the following, you can have a lifetime of perfectly sincere museum-going where you traipse around enjoying everything and then go out and have some lunch. But—” crossing back to the table to sit again “—if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you.” Fingertip gliding over the faded-out photo—the conservator’s touch, a touch-without-touching, a communion wafer’s space between the surface and his forefinger.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
When I asked my parents how the baby got inside Ma, they both laughed, and then Daddy told me they had made it with their bodies. I pictured them fully clothed, rubbing furiously against each other, like two sticks making fire.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
As we grow up we learn that even the person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it gets harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love, so take many pictures, laugh too much and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is one minute of happiness you'll never get back.
This time Clary concentrated, trying to focus her mind on Simon-The Simon-ness of him, the shape of the way he thought, the feeling of hearing his voice, the sence of him close. His whispers, his secrets, the way he made her laugh.
'So', she thought conversationally, 'now that I'm in your mind, wnat to see some naked mental pictures of Jace?'
Simon jumped. "I heard that! And, no.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
My everlasting Summer fills heart with laughter like a blooming flower... Her diverse sounds is nature's symphony, sprinkle delight, with comfort of ocean breeze which needs no attest.. The unique every moment of soul's revival and its sun to shine...
Here you sit on your high-backed chair
Wonder how the view is from there
I wouldn't know 'cause I like to sit
Upon the floor, yeah upon the floor
If you like we could play a game
Let's pretend that we are the same
But you will have to look much closer
Than you do, closer than you do
And I'm far too tired to stay here anymore
And I don't care what you think anyway
'Cause I think you were wrong about me
Yeah what if you were, what if you were
And what if I'm a snowstorm burning
What if I'm a world unturning
What if I'm an ocean, far too shallow, much too deep
What if I'm the kindest demon
Something you may not believe in
What if I'm a siren singing gentlemen to sleep
I know you've got it figured out
Tell me what I am all about
And I just might learn a thing or two
Hundred about you, maybe about you
I'm the end of your telescope
I don't change just to suit your vision
'Cause I am bound by a fraying rope
Around my hands, tied around my hands
And you close your eyes when I say I'm breaking free
And put your hands over both your ears
Because you cannot stand to believe I'm not
The perfect girl you thought
Well what have I got to lose
And what if I'm a weeping willow
Laughing tears upon my pillow
What if I'm a socialite who wants to be alone
What if I'm a toothless leopard
What if I'm a sheepless shepherd
What if I'm an angel without wings to take me home
You don't know me
Never will, never will
I'm outside your picture frame
And the glass is breaking now
You can't see me
Never will, never will
If you're never gonna see
What if I'm a crowded desert
Too much pain with little pleasure
What if I'm the nicest place you never want to go
What if I don't know who I am
Will that keep us both from trying
To find out and when you have
Be sure to let me know
What if I'm a snowstorm burning
What if I'm a world unturning
What if I'm an ocean, far too shallow, much too deep
What if I'm the kindest demon
Something you may not believe in
What if I'm a siren singing gentlemen to sleep
When you call me nugget.
When you take pictures of me.
When you dance.
When you complement me.
When you laugh.
When your eyes squint as you smile.
When we make love when we're sick.
I fall more in love with you.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading)
I spent a lot of time looking at that picture. Wondering what I’d think of that girl, if I was someone else, seeing how easily she sits in her boyfriend’s lap, laughing, with his arms around her. I would have thought her life was perfect, the way I once thought Cass’s was. It was too easy, I was learning, to just assume things.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
Enjoy the movie. I hear the guy gets the girl” I said, my tone bold and flirtatious.
“Which guy?” She laughed, playing along. I could hear her smile through the phone. It felt good to make her smile. Really good.
I paused before answering, “The one who deserves her.
Melissa Brown (Picturing Perfect (Love of My Life, #3))
we went to a church that had missionaries who'd come back once a year from Fiji & give talks. I remember one of them saying it was very hard work telling people they were going to lose their everlasting souls if they didn't shape up. I pictured people sitting on the beach listening to this sweaty man all dressed in black telling them they were going to burn in hell & them thinking this was good fun, these scary stories this guy was telling them & afterwards, they'd all go home & eat mango & fish & they'd play Monopoly & laugh & laugh & they'd go to bed & wake up the next day & do it all again.
What a laugh she had!--just like a thrush singing. And how pretty she had been in her cotton dresses and her large hats! She knew nothing, but she had everything that he had lost.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
She starts spinning slowly in a circle, laughing. And then it’s there - the smile. The same look she had on her face in that picture. It’s joy. And I just gave it to her.
My god, do I want to give it to her again.
Ginger Scott (This is Falling (Falling, #1))
I cannot picture what the life of the spirit would have been without him. He found me when my mind and soul were hungry and thirsty, and he fed them till our last hour together. It is such comradeships, made of seeing and dreaming, and thinking and laughing together, that make one feel that for those who have shared them there can be no parting.
Edith Wharton (A Backward Glance)
Or perhaps a widow found him and took him in: brought him an easy chair, changed his sweater every morning, shaved his face until the hair stopped growing, took him faithfully to bed with her every night, whispered sweet nothings into what was left of his ear, laughed with him over black coffee, cried with him over yellowing pictures, talked greenly about having kids of her own, began to miss him before she became sick, left him everything in her will, thought of only him as she died, always knew he was fiction but believed in him anyway.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
Didn’t I talk about us like we were a thing from our first date? I fell in love with you that first time we went out for burgers and dancing. I love our weird dates and your belly laugh and how you see beauty in everything. Except yourself. And I love being the one to help you get there. I love the way you daydream I love the way you hold my hand. I can’t stop thinking about the way you taste.
Alessandra Thomas (Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect, #1))
There is power in words.
There are words that bid us laugh and make us weep. Words to begin with and words to end by. Words that seize the hearts in our chests and squeeze them tight, that set the skin on our bones to tingling. Words so beautiful they shape us, forever change us, live inside us for as long as we have breath to speak them. There are forgotten words. Killing words. Great and frightening and terrible words. There are True words.
And then there are pictures.
Jay Kristoff (Kinslayer (The Lotus Wars, #2))
The girl laughed again. The joy of a caged bird was in her voice. Her eyes caught the melody and echoed it in radiance, then closed for a moment, as though to hide their secret. When they opened, the mist of a dream had passed across them.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit.
It? I ast.
Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It.
But what do it look like? I ast.
Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It.
Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate
at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh.
Shug! I say.
Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like.
God don't think it dirty? I ast.
Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration.
You saying God vain? I ast.
Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
What it do when it pissed off? I ast.
Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Yeah? I say.
Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect.
You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say.
Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?
Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall.
Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere.
Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock.
But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
by Sugar Mae Cole
Home isn’t always a place you picture in your mind
With furniture and cookies and music playing and people laughing.
Home is something you can carry around like a dream
And let it grow in your heart until you’re ready for it.
Losing things helps you appreciate when you find them again
And finding things gives you hope that when you lose things
It might not be forever.
Once, long ago, a girl lost her home, but she didn’t lose her dream.
She hung on to it as the wind kept trying to blow it away,
But that just made it stronger.
So now she has keys and walls of many colors
And people around her who think she’s something.
Joan Bauer (Almost Home)
,Grown-ups love figures. When you describe a new friend to them, they never ask you about the important things. They never say 'What's his voice like? What are his favourite games? Does he collect butterflies?' Instead they demand 'How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much does his father earn?' Only then do they feel they know him. If you say to the grown-ups: 'I've seen a lovely house made of pink brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the rood', they are unable to picture such a house. You must say: I saw a house that come a hundred thousand francs.' Then they cry out: 'How pretty!'
Again, you might say to them: 'The proof that the little prince existed is that he was enchanting, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. When someone wants a sheep, it is proof that they exist.' The grown-ups will merely shrug their shoulders, and treat you like a child. But if you tell them: 'The planet he came from is Asteroid B 612', then they will be convinced, and will spare you all their question. That is how they are. You must not hold it against them. Children have to be very indulgent towards grown-ups.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Still have your passport?"
I feel my coat once more. "Got it."
"Good." And then his hand is inside my pocket.My heart spazzes,but he doesn't notice.He pulls out my passport and flicks it open.
WAIT.WHY DOES HE HAVE MY PASSPORT?
His eyebrows shoot up.I try to snatch it back,but he holds it out of my reach. "Why are your eyes crossed?" He laughs. "Have you had some kind of ocular surgery I don't know about?"
"Give it back?" Another grab and miss, and I change tactics and lunge for his coat instead. I snag his passport.
I open it up,and it's...baby St. Clair. "Dude.How old is this picture?"
He slings my passport at me and snatches his back. "I was in middle school.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
You’re so cute when you’re jealous,” I say. She looks at me, her resolve melting with my words. I take her face in my hands and gently press my lips to hers. She sighs a quiet, defeated sigh into my mouth and relents, parting her lips for me. I run my hands down her arms and to her waist, then pull her out of the chair and on top of me as I lean back onto the bed.
I place one hand on the small of her back, pressing her into me, and my other hand I run through her hair, grabbing the back of her head. I kiss her hard as I roll her onto her back, proving to her that she has absolutely nothing to be jealous of. As soon as I’m on top of her, she places her hands on my cheeks and forces my face apart from hers.
“So your lips touched someone else’s lips? After our first kiss?”
I fall back onto the bed beside her. “Lake, stop it. Stop thinking about it,” I say.
“I can’t, Will.” She turns to me and makes that damn pouty face she knows I can’t refuse. “I need to know. In my head all I can picture is you taking some girl out on this perfect date and making her grilled cheese sandwiches and playing “would you rather” with her and sharing seriously intense moments with her, then kissing the hell out of her at the end of the night.”
Her description of our first date causes me to laugh. I lean over and press my lips to her ear and whisper, “Is that what I did to you? I kissed the hell out of you?”
She pulls her neck away and shoots me a glare, letting me know she isn’t backing down until she gets her way. “Fine,” I say, pulling back. “If I tell you all about it will you promise to let me kiss the hell out of you again?”
“Promise,” she says.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
All right, silent dark bear with angry frown, tell me more about your land.”
He settled back down, picturing it. “I would tend to our land from the moment the sun rose to when it set and then you ...she would tend to me.”
He laughed at her expression again. The world of exile camps and the Valley felt very far away, and he wanted to lie there forever.
“Let me tell you about your bride,” she said, propping herself up on her elbows.
“Both of you would cultivate the land. You would hold the plow, and she would walk alongside you with the ox, coaxing and singing it forward. A stick in her hand, of course, for she would need to keep both the ox and you in line.”
“What would we...that is, my bride and I, grow?”
“Wheat and barley.”
Her nose crinkled questioningly.
“I would pick them when they bloomed,” he said. “And when she called me home for supper, I’d place them in her hair and the contrast would take my breath away.”
“How would she call you? From your cottage? Would she bellow, ‘Finnikin!’?”
“I’d teach her the whistle. One for day and one for night.”
“Ah, the whistle, of course. I’d forgotten the whistle.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
ROTHKO: (Explodes) 'Pretty.' 'Beautiful.' 'Nice.' 'Fine.' That's our life now! Everything's 'fine'. We put on the funny nose and glasses and slip on the banana peel and the TV makes everything happy and everyone's laughing all the time, it's all so goddamn funny, it's our constitutional right to be amused all the time, isn't it? We're a smirking nation, living under the tyranny of 'fine.' How are you? Fine.. How was your day? Fine. How are you feeling? Fine. How did you like the painting? Fine. What some dinner? Fine... Well, let me tell you, everything is not fine!!
HOW ARE YOU?!... HOW WAS YOUR DAY?!... HOW ARE YOU FEELING? Conflicted. Nuanced. Troubled. Diseased. Doomed. I am not fine. We are not fine. We are anything but fine... Look at these pictures. Look at them! You see the dark rectangle, like a doorway, an aperture, yes but it’s also a gaping mouth letting out a silent howl of something feral and foul and primal and REAL. Not nice. Not fine. Real. A moan of rapture. Something divine or damned. Something immortal, not comic books or soup cans, something beyond me and beyond now. And whatever it is, it’s not pretty and it’s not fine...I AM HERE TO STOP YOUR HEART
John Logan (Red)
You are a total nerd.”
Not what he’s expecting, the darkness wiped away by a startled laugh. “What?”
“Why else would you possibly know that?” I say it like I’m piecing together a puzzle – and I’m appalled by the picture it’s making. “You’re a nerd. A complete nerd. You nerdified sex. That just happened.
Eliza Crewe (Crushed (Soul Eaters, #2))
So when we looked at de picture and everybody got pointed out there wasn’t nobody left except a real dark little girl with long hair standing by Eleanor. Dat’s where Ah wuz’s s’posed to be, but Ah couldn’t recognize dat dark chile as me. So ah ast, ‘where is me? Ah don’t see me.’
… ‘Aw, aw! Ah’m colored!’
Den dey all laughed real hard. But before Ah seen de picture Ah thought Ah wuz just like the rest.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
If the caveman had known how to laugh, history would have been different.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I know you will laugh at me," he replied, "but I really can't exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
If you pay attention to those aspects of God that demonstrate love, truth, beauty, intelligence, order, and spiritual evolution, those aspects will begin to expand in your life. Bit by bit, like a mosaic, disparate fragments of grace will merge to form a complete picture. Eventually this picture will replace the ore threatening one you have carried around inside you since infancy.
Deepak Chopra (Why Is God Laughing?: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism)
I was making scrambled eggs smothered in Tabasco, his favorite, when he told me about Stephanie. The way she made him laugh. The way she understood him. The way they connected. I pictured the image of two Lego pieces fusing together, and I shuddered. It’s funny; when I think back to that morning, I can actually smell burned eggs and Tabasco. Had I known that this is what the end of my marriage would smell like, I would have made pancakes.
Sarah Jio (The Violets of March)
I got the idea from our family’s plant book. The place where we recorded things you cannot trust to memory. The page begin’s with the person’s picture. A photo if we can find it. If not, a sketch or a painting by Peeta. Then, in my most careful handwriting, come all the details it would be a crime to forget. Lady licking Prim’s cheek. My father’s laugh. Peeta’s father with the cookies. The colour of Finnick’s eyes. What Cinna would do with a length of silk. Boggs reprogramming the Holo. Rue poised on her toes, arms slightly extended, like bird about to take flight. On and on. We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their deaths count. Haymitch finally joins us, contributing twenty-three years of tributes he was forced to mentor. Additions become smaller. An old memory that surfaces. A late promise preserved between the pages. Strange bits of happiness, like the photo of Finnick and Annie’s newborn son.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I am what became of your child. I found an old baby picture of me. And it was somebody else, not me. It was somebody pink and fat who never heard of sick or lonely, somebody who cried and got fed,, and reached up and got held and kicked but didn't hurt anybody, and slept whenever she wanted to, just by closing her eyes. Somebody who mainly just laid there and laughed at the colors waving around over her head and chewed on a polka-dot whale and woke up knowing some new trick nearly every day and rolled over and drooled on the sheet and felt your hand pulling my quilt back up over me. That's who I started out and this is who is left. That's what this is about. It's somebody I lost, all right, it's my own self. Who I never was. Or who I tried to be and never got there. Somebody I waited for who never came. And never will. So, see, it doesn't much matter what else happens in the world or in this house, even. I'm what was worth waiting for and I didn't make it. Me...who might have made a difference to me...I'm not going to show up, so there's no reason to stay, except to keep you company, and that's...not reason enough because I'm not...very good company. Am I.
Marsha Norman ('night, Mother)
You're in trouble. Do you expect me to just walk away?"
"I wouldn't hold it against you if you did."
"In know you wouldn't. That's only one of the reasons I'm crazy about you. I've got a million more."
"Just a million?"
"Okay, a million plus one—your cat."
She giggled. "You're bonding with Saladin?"
"Somebody has to protect that cat from your cousin Ian. And I feed him. The cat. Not Ian. He's on his own. Anyway, if that doesn't get me Perfect Boyfriend status, I don't know what will."
"Emptying the litter box?"
"Hey. I have my limits."
Amy laughed. She had the phone pressed to her ear so tightly it burned. She closed her eyes, picturing his face...
Ian's crisp voice broke in. "All right, lovebirds, let's move on. No offense, but I believe Amy and Dan might need a short course in style and class."
"Is this the nonoffensive part?" Dan asked. "I can't wait until you really insult us."
"Let's deal with reality, shall we? You don't just walk into an auction house in your jeans and backpacks. You have to blend in. And that's going to be hard." Ian sniffed. "Considering that you're Americans."
"What are you talking about, dude?" Dan asked. "This is my best SpongeBob T-shirt.
Jude Watson (A King's Ransom (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #2))
Your mere presence makes me wish for a fifty-story window to jump out of and a cement sidewalk below. Or a moat. A moat with a dozen hungry alligators in it.”
He smirked. “You always paint such lovely pictures with your words, little bird.”
“I’m going to paint lovely pictures with your intestines,” I shot back.
I hated him.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Torn (A Wicked Trilogy, #2))
We laughed and something inside me clicked into place. It was as if the mix of colors on the canvas was finally perfect for the picture I wanted so desperately to create.
Mia Sheridan (Finding Eden)
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, History would have been different.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The girl laughed again. The joy of a caged bird was in her voice.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, history would have been different.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
A brief hush fell over the table when the guy from the bar approached. After he finished depositing their drinks in the center of the table, Lynn jumped on the opportunity to flirt, winking and smiling prettily at him. “Thanks, cowboy.”
“Cowboy?” Reaching for her appletini, Piper laughed.
Lynn shrugged. “When I picture him in my bed, I see a Stetson and a saddle.”
Something well-known among their group, ever since she watched John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, she was on a mission to secure herself her very own cowboy.
“I bet you see a branding iron too,” Jules snickered.
Lynn’s thoughtful gaze trailed after him as the bartender returned to making drinks.
J.C. Valentine (That First Kiss (Night Calls #2))
mentally try to add up all the things I’ve done in my life, but no clear picture emerges, nothing that will tell me what kind of person I am—just a lot of haziness and blurred edges, indistinct memories of laughing and driving around. I feel like I’m trying to take a picture into the sun: all of the people in my memories are coming back featureless and interchangeable.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
If you don’t get out of my way right this minute, I’m going to . . .” She pictured bringing up her knee hard and watching him writhe in pain on the floor. The image in her mind was as vivid as his shark image had been. Aidan leapt away from her, laughing as he did so. “You have a nasty little temper, Alexandria.
Christine Feehan (Dark Gold (Dark, #3))
We're authors, too," Donegan said, "and we've been trying to get into the picture-book market. We have this idea for a Where's Wally type thing, except in ours, you'd have to find the one living person hiding in among all the dismembered corpses while the chainsaw-wielding killer hunts him down. You know, for kids."
"We're going to call is Save the Survivor," Gracious said.
Derek Landy (Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8))
She said to me, over the phone
She wanted to see other people
I thought, Well then, look around. They're everywhere
Said that she was confused...
I thought, Darling, join the club
24 years old, Mid-life crisis
Nowadays hits you when you're young
I hung up, She called back, I hung up again
The process had already started
At least it happened quick
I swear, I died inside that night
My friend, he called
I didn't mention a thing
The last thing he said was, Be sound
I contemplated an awful thing, I hate to admit
I just thought those would be such appropriate last words
But I'm still here
So small.. How could this struggle seem so big?
While the palms in the breeze still blow green
And the waves in the sea still absolute blue
But the horror
Every single thing I see is a reminder of her
Never thought I'd curse the day I met her
And since she's gone and wouldn't hear
Who would care? What good would that do?
But I'm still here
So I imagine in a month...or 12
I'll be somewhere having a drink
Laughing at a stupid joke
Or just another stupid thing
And I can see myself stopping short
Drifting out of the present
Sucked by the undertow and pulled out deep
And there I am, standing
Wet grass and white headstones all in rows
And in the distance there's one, off on its own
So I stop, kneel
My new home...
And I picture a sober awakening, a re-entry into this little bar scene
Sip my drink til the ice hits my lip
Order another round
And that's it for now
Never been too good at happy endings...
isn’t all about tooth whiteners, hard abs, and hundred-dollar lipstick. Beauty is
about growing old together, remembering when together, laughing together. If my
picture disgusts you, fine. Go look at the faces of women who named a price you
can buy them for. I’m not the kind of woman who will ever be for sale, and shame
on you for not expecting more from a woman, or from yourself.
Virginia Nelson (Sugar On Top)
A few years ago, long after it had been closed, Eli said he saw a girl swimming in it, coming out of the water in a bikini, laughing at her frigthtened boyfriend, seaweed snaking around her. He said she looked like a mermaid.
Deenie always pictured it like in one of those books of mythology she used to love, a girl rising from the foam gritted with pearls, mussels, the glitter of the sea.
"It looks beautiful", her mother had said once when they were driving by at night, its waters opaline. “It is beautiful. But it makes people sick.”
To Deenie, it was one of many interesting things that adults said would kill you: Easter lilles, jellyfish, copperhead snakes with their diamond heads, tails bright as sulfur. Don't touch, don't taste, don't get too close.
And then, last week.
Megan Abbott (The Fever)
Well, eighteen, then. And I saw you with him the other night at the opera." She laughed nervously as she spoke, and watched him with her vague forget-me-not eyes. She was a curious woman, whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest. She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her passion was never returned, she had kept all her illusions. She tried to look picturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy. Her name was Victoria, and she had a perfect mania for going to church.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The Fae book was definitely filled with the same stories as hers, but this one was filled with picture after picture of Jared. She couldn’t help but flip backward a few pages and see magical images come to life: of Jared defending her in an alley. Sitting in art class with Mina, spinning on the pottery wheel. There was another one of Jared by the lake, teaching her to fight. Jared and her in the storage room, laughing, before their tickling fight. She flipped forward and saw the last page filled with a motion-captured image of Jared and her sharing a kiss.
Chanda Hahn (Fable (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #3))
As she watched, he examined the can intently, read the ingredients, then returned it to the shelf and chose another, repeating his thorough study of it.
The contrast between his rough, tough-guy appearance and the domestic act he was performing did funny things to her head.
She had a sudden, breathtaking vision of a dark-haired little boy sitting in the seat of the cart, laughing up at Cian, grabbing at his swinging braids with chubby little fists, while his daddy inspected the ingredients on a jar of baby food. Her mind’s eye
picture of sexy, strong man with beautiful, helpless child made something soft and warm blossom behind her chest.
Karen Marie Moning (Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7))
God, all those months of seeing Kelsey’s pictures and hearing about her travels, and I had been raging with jealousy. And now it was my turn.
I wanted to mind the gap at the tube station and eat fish and chips and try to make the Queen’s guards laugh. I wanted to see Big Ben and the Globe and the London Bridge and Dame Judi Dench. Or Maggie Smith. Or Alan Rickman. Or Sir Ian McKellen. Or anybody famous and British, really.
Holy crap. This was really happening.
And I wasn’t just a tourist. I was visiting with someone who’d grown up in the city. With my fiancé.
Take that, world.
Cora Carmack (Keeping Her (Losing It, #1.5))
He laid a hand on my shoulder. “Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating.” He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. “But there are other ways to understanding!” he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still laughing. “Look!” he shouted tilting his head back. “Blue! Blue! Blue!
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Must you say things like that in public, for God's sake?"
"What do you mean?"
He lowered his voice to a hiss. "Remember yesterday at the inn? My 'pistol' is making an appearance, thanks to you."
She glanced down at his trousers, which only made them bulge more obviously. Then she lifted a mischievous gaze to his face. "Whatever will you do, now that you're in this...state?"
"Conjugate Latin," he said tersely. "Think of England. Think of anything but you and me doing--Bloody hell, there it goes again, and we're nearly to Rotten Row." He stopped short and stepped behind a bench with a high back that sat near the river.
She stood next to him, pretty as the proverbial picture, her eyes dropping to his trousers with virginal curiosity.
"Would you stop looking at me there? he growled. "You're not helping."
She laughed. "You're the one who started it by trying to seduce me with words. Serves you right if you have to suffer for it."
-Giles and Minerva
Sabrina Jeffries (How to Woo a Reluctant Lady (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #3))
She's talking about when Dimitri was very young, how he used to always beg her and her friends to let him play with them. He was about six and they were eight and didn't want him around." Viktoria paused again to take in the next part of the story. "Finally, Karolina told him he could if he agreed to be married off to their dolls. So Karolina and her friends dressed him and the dolls up over and over and kept having weddings. Dimitri was married at least ten times."
I couldn't help but laugh as I tried to picture tough, sexy Dimitri letting his big sister dress him up. He probably would have treated his wedding ceremony with a doll as seriously and stoically as he did his guardian duties.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
we are the sum of all we’ve seen and all we’ve appreciated and understood. You were the sum of sunshine on marble floors filled with pictures of divine beings who laughed and loved and drank the fruit of the vine as surely as you were the sum of the poets and historians and philosophers you’d read. You were the sum and the fount of what you’d cherished and chosen to abide and all you had loved.
Anne Rice (Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11))
This whole time, I was calm. I was the picture of calm. I never, never panicked. I saw my blood and snot and teeth splashed all over the dashboard the moment after the accident, but hysteria is impossible without an audience. Panicking by yourself is the same as laughing alone in an empty room. You feel really silly.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
We should take pictures!" Elise said.
"Anyone got a camera?" Celeste asked. "I;m a pro at this."
"Mason does!" Kross shouted. "Come here for a minute," she said to a maid, waving her over encouragingly.
"Hold on," I said, grabbing some paper. "Okay, okay. 'Your Highest of Highnesses, the ladies of the Elite require, immediately, the least fancy of your cameras for. . .'"
Kriss giggled, and Celeste shook her head.
"Oh! A study in feminine diplomacy," Elise added.
"Is that a real thing?" Kross asked.
Celeste tossed her hair. "Who cares?"
Maybe twenty minutes later, Maxon knocked on the door and pushed it open an inch. "Can I come in?"
Kross ran over. "No. We just want the camera." And she snatched it from his hand and closed the door in his face.
Celeste fell on the floor, laughing.
"What are you doing in there?" he called. But we were all too busy doubling over to answer.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
All these people who say they want a life free from sexual compulsion, I mean forget it. I mean, what could ever be better than sex?
For sure, even the worst blow job is better than, say, sniffing the best rose . . . watching the greatest sunset. Hearing children laugh.
I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a hot-gushing, butt-cramping, gut-hosing orgasm.
Painting a picture, composing an opera, that's just something you do until you find the next willing piece of ass.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
I thought of relationships as a mosaic, and I put more stock in the overall picture, not the individual tiles. Life was too damned short to make every moment poignant, and too damned long to make every moment perfect. You fought, you made up, you cried, you laughed, and hopefully, when you stepped back, the picture was still beautiful.
S.E. Harmon (Spooky Business (The Spectral Files, #3))
In our yearbook, there is a picture of me and Miah - sitting in Central Park - Miah has his lips poked out and is about to kiss me on my cheek. And I'm looking straight into the camera laughing. Two and half years have passed, and still, this is how I remember us. This is how I will always remember us. And I know when I look at that picture, when I think back to those few months with Miah, that I did not miss the moment.
Jacqueline Woodson (If You Come Softly)
Nick snatches the picture from the man's hand and laughs. "This is funny to you, asshole?"
Nick tosses the picture back behind him. "No. No, it's not. What is funny is that you believe your whore of a wife."
"Stand up your spineless punk!" The man yells in sheer rage.
Jennifer Loren (The Devil's Eyes (The Devil's Eyes, #1))
If you want one last picture of authority and vulnerability together, laughter will do the trick. To laugh, to really laugh out loud, is to be vulnerable, taken beyond ourselves, overcome by surprise and gratitude. And to really laugh may be the last, best kind of authority—the capacity to see the meaning of the whole story and discover that our final act, our only enduring responsibility in that story, is simply celebration, delight and worship.
Andy Crouch (Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing)
Wait, aren't they notoriously lusty?"
There was a pause at the other end of the line.
"Oh,you are not going to that lab again."
Lend laughed and I closed my eyes, picturing how he would look in front of me. "Trust me, there's only one paranormal I'd like to be notoriously lusty for me."
I sighed. "Okay, but I don't think I can find a hag on such short notice.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
So: ‘Why did you laugh?’ demanded Philippa, and shook Jerott’s hand off her arm.
‘Oh, that?’ said Lymond. ‘But, my dear child, the picture was irresistible. Daddy, afflicted but purposeful, ransacking the souks of the Levant for one of his bastards, with an unchaperoned North Country schoolgirl aged—what? twelve? thirteen?—to help change its napkins when the happy meeting takes place.… A gallant thought, Philippa,’ said Lymond kindly, sitting down at the table. ‘And a touching faith in mankind. But truly, all the grown-up ladies and gentlemen would laugh themselves into bloody fluxes over the spectacle. Have some whatever-it-is.
Dorothy Dunnett (Pawn in Frankincense (The Lymond Chronicles, #4))
The thinking man often rebuked his girlfriend because of her extravagance. Once he discovered four pairs of shoes in her room. “I also have four different kinds of feet,” she excused herself.
The thinking man laughed and asked: “So what do you do, when one pair is worn out?” At that, she realized he was not yet quite in the picture and said, “I made a mistake, I have five different kinds of feet.” With that the thinking man was finally in the picture.
Bertolt Brecht (Stories of Mr. Keuner)
Think of friends or family members who loved Jesus and are with him now. Picture them with you, walking together in this place. All of you have powerful bodies, stronger than those of an Olympic decathlete. You are laughing, playing, talking, and reminiscing. You reach up to a tree to pick an apple or orange. You take a bite. It’s so sweet that it’s startling. You’ve never tasted anything so good. Now you see someone coming toward you. It’s Jesus, with a big smile on his face. You fall to your knees in worship. He pulls you up and embraces you.
Randy Alcorn (Heaven)
It's that thing when you're with someone, and you love them and they know it, and they love you and you know it... but it's a party... and you're both talking to other people, and you're laughing and shining... and you look across the room and catch each other's eyes... but - but not because you're possessive, or it's precisely sexual... but because... that is your person in this life. And it's funny and sad, but only because this life will end, and it's this secret world that exists right there in public, unnoticed, that no one else knows about. It's sort of like how they say that other dimensions exist all around us, but we don't have the ability to perceive them. That's - That's what I want out of a relationship. Or just life, I guess.
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha: A Noah Baumbach Picture)
As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You'll have your heart broken and you'll break others' hearts. You'll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you've never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.
I took a deep breath. “I don’t want to
marry Henri. I want to marry Eikko.”
“Erik. His translator. I’m in love with him,
and I want to marry him. And even though
he hates having his picture taken, I want to
take a thousand so I can put him on my wall
and wake up to us laughing every day, just
like you do with Mom. And I want him to
make me doughnuts, just like his mom does
for his dad. Even if I have to let out all my
dresses. And I want us to find our own thing
or maybe find out that our own thing is
everything, because I feel like if I have him, even the stupid stuff would matter.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
that we are the sum of all we’ve seen and all we’ve appreciated and understood. You were the sum of sunshine on marble floors filled with pictures of divine beings who laughed and loved and drank the fruit of the vine as surely as you were the sum of the poets and historians and philosophers you’d read.
Anne Rice (Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11))
So why’d you flake out on the party?”
“I wasn’t in the mood. I kept picturing you crying here alone and pity won out.”
“I’m not crying, jackass.” I point to the boring-ass milk documentary that’s flashing on the TV screen. “I’m learning about pasteurization.”
She stares at me. “You guys pay money to subscribe to a gazillion channels and this is what you choose to watch?”
“Well, I flipped by it and saw a bunch of cow udders, and, well, you know, it turned me on, so—”
I burst out laughing. “Kidding, babe. If you must know, the batteries in the remote died and I was too lazy to get up and change the channel. I was watching this wicked-awesome miniseries about the Civil War before cow udders came on.
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
Somewhere among the commotion I grew rather depressed. The depression stayed with me for over a year; it was like an animal, a well-defined, spatially localizable thing. I would wake up, open my eyes, listen-is it here or isn’t it? No sign of it. Perhaps it’s asleep. Perhaps it will leave me alone today. Carefully, very carefully, I get out of bed. All is quiet. I go to the kitchen, start breakfast. Not a sound. TV-Good Morning America, David what’s-his-name, a guy I can’t stand. I eat and watch the guests. Slowly the food fills my stomach and gives me strength. Now a quick excursion to the bathroom, and out for my morning walk-and here she is, my faithful depression: “Did you think you could leave without me?" I had often warned my students not to identify with their work. I told them, “if you want to achieve something, if you want to write a book, paint a picture, be sure that the center of your existence if somewhere else and that it’s solidly grounded; only then will you be able to keep your cool and laugh at the attacks that are bound to come." I myself had followed this advice in the past, but now I was alone, sick with some unknown affliction; my private life was in a mess, and I was without a defense. I often wished I had never written that fucking book.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend)
See" Kayla links her arm through mine, leaving Blake to jostle and race the other guys. "I tell them I can handle my own stuff, but it's like a mark of pride or something. I'm surprised Blake doesn't just hoist me over his shoulder and try to carry me, too!"
I laugh, starting to relax. "Is it bad I can actually picture that?
Abby McDonald (Getting Over Garrett Delaney)
I was standing on the deck looking down at a gang of stevedores working on the dock thirty feet below. One of them recognized me, nudged his neighbor, and pointed. All at once the whole gang stopped working to yell, 'Booster! Booster Keaton!' They waved in wild excitement, and I waved back, marveling, because it was fifteen years of more since they could have seen my last M-G-M picture.
And if there is sweeter music this side of heaven I haven't heard it. Dr. Avedon said I could live to be a hundred years old. I intend to do it. For who would not wish to live a hundred years in a world where there are so many people who remember with gratitude and affection a little man with a frozen face who made them laugh a bit long years ago when they and I were both young?
Buster Keaton (My Wonderful World of Slapstick)
Exactly, my dear sir, as the radio for ten minutes together projects the most lovely music without regard into the most impossible places, into respectable drawing rooms and attics and into the midst of chattering, guzzling, yawning and sleeping listeners, and exactly as it strips this music of its sensuous beauty, spoils and scratches and slimes it and yet cannot altogether destroy its spirit, just so does life, the so-called reality, deal with the sublime picture-play of the world and make a hurley-burley of it. It makes its unappetizing tone-slime of the most magic orchestral music. Everywhere it obtrudes its mechanism, its activity, its dreary exigencies and vanity between the ideal and the real, between orchestra and ear. All life is so, my child, and we must let it be so: and, if we are not asses, laugh at it. It little becomes people like you to be critics of radio or of life either. Better learn to listen first! Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.
Linda hadn't exaggerated her fear of the golden orb weaver spider. Up north at her cabin in Morley, I had once teased her by asking "Have we ever seen this kind of vireo before?" And then, instead of showing her a photo of a bird, I thrust a picture of the black-and-yellow spider at her. She shrieked. I laughed. Oh, the fun we had.
Bob Tarte (Fowl Weather)
Trust me, no one wants a perfect friend who can’t offer a minute of transparency. We can get that on Pinterest. Our souls ache for real people in real homes with real kids and real lives. We may carefully curate online identities with well-chosen pictures and selective information, but doing so leaves us starving for something true. I seek only friends who bleed and sweat and laugh and cry. Don’t fear your humanity; it is your best offering.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
The pageant of the river bank had marched steadily along, unfolding itself in scene-pictures that succeeded itself in stately procession.
Purple loosestrife arrived early, shaking luxuriant locks along the edge of the mirror whence its own face laughed back at it. Willow-herb, tender and wistful, like a pink sunset-cloud was not slow to follow. Comfrey, the purple hand-in-hand with the white, crept forth to take its place in the line; and at last one morning the diffident and delaying dog-rose stepped delicately on the stage, and one knew, as if string music has announced it in stately chords that strayed into a gavotte, that June at last was here.
One member of the company was still awaited; the shepherd-boy for the nymphs to woo, the knight for whom the ladies waited at the window, the prince that was to kiss the sleeping summer back to life and love. But when meadow-sweet, debonair and odorous in amber jerkin, moved graciously to his place in the group, then the play was ready to begin.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
Some people won't dog-ear the pages. Others won't place the book facedown, pages splayed. Some won't dare make a mark in the margin. Get over it. Books exist to impart their worlds to you, not to be beautiful objects to save for some other day. We implore you to fold, crack, and scribble on your books whenever the desire takes you. Underline the good bits, exclaim "YES!" and "NO!" in the margins. Invite others to inscribe and date the frontispiece. Draw pictures, jot down phone numbers and Web addresses, make journal entries, draft letters to friends or world leaders. Scribble down ideas for a novel of your own, sketch bridges you want to build, dresses you want to design. Stick postcards and pressed flowers between the pages.
When next you open the book, you'll be able to find the bits that made you think, laugh, and cry the first time around. And you'll remember that you picked up that coffee stain in the cafe where you also picked up that handsome waiter. Favorite books should be naked, faded, torn, their pages spilling out. Love them like a friend, or at least a favorite toy. Let them wrinkle and age along with you.
Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin
Fumbling in the dark, Josie reached underneath the frame of her bed for the plastic bag she’d
stashed-her supply of sleeping pills. She was no better than any of the other stupid people in this
world who thought if they pretended hard enough, they could make it so. She’d thought that death
could be an answer, because she was too immature to realize it was the biggest question of all.
Yesterday, she hadn’t known what patterns blood could make when it sprayed on a whitewashed
wall. She hadn’t understood that life left a person’s lungs first, and their eyes last. She had pictured
suicide as a final statement, a fuck you to the people who hadn’t understood how hard it was for her
to be the Josie they wanted her to be. She’d somehow thought that if she killed herself, she’d be
able to watch everyone else’s reaction; that she’d get the last laugh. Until yesterday, she hadn’t
really understood. Dead was dead. When you died, you did not get to come back and see what you
were missing. You didn’t get to apologize. You didn’t get a second chance.
Death wasn’t something you could control. In fact, it would always have the upper hand.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
Your brother?" St. Clair points above my bed to the only picture I've hung up. Seany is grinning at the camera and pointing at one of my mother's research turtles,which is lifting its neck and threatening to take away his finger. Mom is doing a study on the lifetime reproductive habits of snapping turtles and visits her brood in the Chattahoochie River several times a month. My brother loves to go with her, while I prefer the safety of our home. Snapping turtles are mean.
"That's a little Irish for a family with tartan bedspreads."
I smile. "It's kind of a sore spot. My mom loved the name,but Granddad-my father's father-practically died when he heard it.He was rooting for Malcolm or Ewan or Dougal instead."
St. Clair laughs. "How old is he?"
"Seven.He's in the second grade."
"That's a big age difference."
"Well,he was either an accident or a last-ditch effort to save a failing marriage.I've never had the nerve to ask which.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Hey,508! Your room is right above mine. You never said."
St. Clair smiles. "Maybe I didn't want you blaming me for keeping you up at night with my noisy stomping boots."
"Dude.You do stomp."
"I know.I'm sorry." He laughs and holds the door open for me.His room is neater than I expected. I always picture the guys with disgusting bedrooms-mountains of soiled boxer shorts and sweat-stained undershirts,unmade beds with sheets that haven't been changed in weeks, posters of beer bottles and women in neon bikinis,empty soda cans and chip bags,and random bits of model airplanes and discarded video games.s
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
They looked at each other in open hostility—she, leaning on her elbow in a flurry of frills and lace; he, sitting side-saddle on the edge of the bed. He was thinking ‘Who’s she to talk of any wrinkles I may have one day?’ and she ‘Why is he so ugly when he laughs?—he who’s the very picture of beauty!’ She thought for a moment, then finished aloud: “It’s because you look so ill-natured when you’re joking. You never laugh except unkindly—ᴀᴛ people, and that makes you ugly. You’re often ugly.
My dad said to me a few years ago: "There's no harm in thinking." We were talking about Crazy Uncle Albert and whether it was right to use your brain to build weapons.
He said, "You can't expect people not to think. Not to know things just because they COULD be bad."
I said, "Yeah, but then they built it and a hundred thousand people died."
My dad laughed and said there were a lot of steps between the thinking and the doing.
Which I know, duh. All I was saying is that when you think of doing something, you don't always know the consequences. For a while people THOUGHT about building the bomb, but nothing happened. In the end it was a lot of different people doing a lot of different things, most of which had nothing to do with the bomb, that did make it happen.
I think about that sometimes. Who was the person who had the first thought, the one that started it all?
And after they had the thought, what was the first thing they did?
I know my uncle never thought, Hey, all this great science- one day I'll use it to kill a whole bunch of people. You just look at his picture; he's not that kind of person.
And yet, I guess in a way he sort of is.
Mariah Fredericks (Head Games)
We live stitch by stitch, when we’re lucky. If you fixate on the big picture, the whole shebang, the overview, you miss the stitching. And maybe the stitching is crude, or it is unraveling, but if it were precise, we’d pretend that life was just fine and running like a Swiss watch. This is not helpful if on the inside our understanding is that life is more often a cuckoo clock with rusty gears. In the aftermath of loss, we do what we’ve always done, although we are changed, maybe more afraid. We do what we can, as well as we can. My pastor, Veronica, one Sunday told the story of a sparrow lying in the street with its legs straight up in the air, sweating a little under its feathery arms. A warhorse walks up to the bird and asks, “What on earth are you doing?” The sparrow replies, “I heard the sky was falling, and I wanted to help.” The horse laughs a big, loud, sneering horse laugh, and says, “Do you really think you’re going to hold back the sky, with those scrawny little legs?” And the sparrow says, “One does what one can.
Anne Lamott (Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair)
Now imagine what a relationship with “The One” might feel like. Don’t try to picture what your partner looks like or who they are in the world. Instead, try to imagine what it might feel like to actually have this relationship. Imagine this person sitting in front of you, breathing in unison with your breath, his heart beating in unison with your heartbeat. Imagine laughing freely, crying freely, and telling him a secret about yourself, knowing that you will not be judged but only valued and loved. Imagine what it is like to know that you are this safe, this appreciated, and this cherished. This is what you are looking for. This is what you are opening yourself to.
Katherine Woodward Thomas (Calling In "The One": 7 Weeks To Attract The Love Of Your Life)
Really good films don't diminish anything, they don't close things off. On the contrary, they open up new insights, they make new thoughts thinkable. They crowd us, they deflate our slovenly lifestyle, our thoughtless way of chattering and pissing away our time and energy and passion. Believe me, films can teach us a huge amount. And they give us a true picture of the way life is."
Mari laughed. "Of our slovenly lifestyle, you mean? You mean, maybe they teach us to piss our lives away with a little more intelligence, a little more elegance?
Tove Jansson (Fair Play)
Angel, I have no idea how you can stand this stench,” he said. “Derrel’s been doing this for long enough that I think he doesn’t have any smell receptors left, but you . . . ?” He grimaced as he snapped pictures of the skull and the injury while I held the body in position for him. “You are one tough chick.” Then his eyes crinkled, and even though he had the mask on, I could tell he was grinning at me. “Or maybe you’re seriously sick and twisted, in which case you are so in the right line of work.”
I laughed. “Gotta be the second one,” I said. “I’m not tough!
Diana Rowland (My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1))
You go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall and go, "Her. I'll try and be her. I'll try and be her - but here." You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them - you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, "More input! More input for Johnny 5! as you rifle through books and watch films and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things that you are watching - Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Dorothy Parker gunning people down; Grace Jones singing "Slave to the Rhythm" - you will need when you get out there. What will be useful. What will be, eventually, you?
And you will be quite on your own when you do all this. There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager slowly urging you toward the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone.
And some versions of you will end in dismal failure - many prototypes won't even get out the front door, as you suddenly realize that no, you can't style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success - hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water.
But one day you'll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly, staying up all night to hone and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked.
Until - slowly, slowly - you make a viable version of you, one you can hum every day. You'll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you're busy doing other things. What your nature began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you'll be entirely - as you're too busy doing, now. And ten years will pass without you even noticing.
And later, over a glass of wine - because you drink wine now, because you are grown - you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
Take the glamour out of war! I mean, how the bloody hell can you do _that_? Go and take the glamour out of a Huey, go take the glamour out of a Sheridan...Can _you_ take the glamour out of a Cobra, or getting stoned at China Beach? It's like taking the glamour out of an M-79, taking the glamour out of Flynn." He pointed to a picture he'd taken, Flynn laughing maniacally ("We're winning," he'd said), triumphantly. "Nothing the matter with _that_ boy, is there? Would you let your daughter marry that man? Ohhhh, war is _good_ for you, you can't take the glamour out of that. It's like trying to take the glamour out of sex, trying to take the glamour out of the Rolling Stones." He was really speechless, working his hands up and down to emphasize the sheer insanity of it.
"I mean, you _know_ that it just _can't be done!_" We both shrugged and laughed, and Page looked very thoughtful for a moment. "The very _idea!_" he said. "Ohhh, what a laugh! Take the bloody _glamour_ out of bloody _war!
Michael Herr (Dispatches)
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head.
“Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.”
Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.”
“This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes.
Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen.
His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me.
“And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away.
“She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“
“Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.”
Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for?
“Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.”
My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was.
Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop.
“You’re sure?” he says again.
“More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of.
But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something.
No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
This sense of being out of time has driven thousands of people from their homes into moving-picture theaters where new universes appear before them, with emphasis on man and his major problem: a thing called, conveniently, love. The Sunday midnight shows do a thriving business, and the people go back to their homes, sick with the sickness of frustration; it is this that makes the city so interesting at night: the people emerging from the theaters, smoking cigarettes and looking desperate, wanting much, the precision, the glory, all the loveliness of life: wanting what is finest and getting nothing. It is saddening to see them, but there is mockery in the heart: one walks among them, laughing at oneself and at them, their midnight staring.
William Saroyan (The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories)
I am not laughing, Dorian; at least I am not laughing at you. But you should not say the greatest romance of your life. You should say the first romance of your life. You will always be loved, and you will always be in love with love. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I had never fully understood till that moment,” said Teskhamen, “that we are the sum of all we’ve seen and all we’ve appreciated and understood. You were the sum of sunshine on marble floors filled with pictures of divine beings who laughed and loved and drank the fruit of the vine as surely as you were the sum of the poets and historians and philosophers you’d read. You were the sum and the fount of what you’d cherished and chosen to abide and all you had loved.
Anne Rice (Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11))
I am no longer a divine biped. I am no longer the freest German after Goethe, as Ruge named me in healthier days. I am no longer the great hero No. 2, who was compared with the grape-crowned Dionysius, whilst my colleague No. 1 enjoyed the title of a Grand Ducal Weimarian Jupiter. I am no longer a joyous, somewhat corpulent Hellenist, laughing cheerfully down upon the melancholy Nazarenes. I am now a poor fatally-ill Jew, an emaciated picture of woe, an unhappy man.
Wait—what?” He’d said the last statement so casually, I almost didn’t grasp its significance. “There are merrow who want to destroy the human race?” I pictured a hundred thousand Sebastians, capable of punching through picnic tables and moving faster than we could even see them. It would be a slaughter. A mermaid apocalypse. I almost laughed at the thought, but the impulse died in my throat. I felt sick. I couldn’t believe I’d wanted to kiss him just a few moments ago.
He offers a sheepish grin. “Remember that girl I was dating last year? Sheena? Well, she texted me a picture of her tits. Said I had to return the favor.”
Dean’s jaw falls open. “Dick for tits? Dude, you got played. No way are those even remotely comparable.”
“What’s the equivalent of tits then?” Hollis asks curiously.
“Balls,” Dean declares, before taking a deep pull of the joint. He blows out a ring of smoke as everyone laughs at his remark.
“You just said women don’t want to see balls,” Hollis points out.
“They don’t. But any idiot knows that a dick pic requires a full frontal shot in return.” He rolls his eyes. “It’s common sense.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
The only hero she had known was a Viking whose story she had read as a child; a Viking whose eyes never looked farther than the point of his sword, but there was no boundary for the point of his sword; a Viking who walked through life, breaking barriers and reaping victories, who walked through ruins while the sun made a crown over his head, but he walked, light and straight, without noticing its weight; a Viking who laughed at kings, who laughed at priests, who looked at heaven only when he bent for a drink over a mountain brook and there, over-shadowing the sky, he saw his own picture; a Viking who lived but for the joy and the wonder and the glory of the god that was himself.
Ayn Rand (We the Living)
As I prepare to leave she walks with me, half deaf and blind, under several ladders in her living room that balance paint and workmen, into the garden where there is a wild horse, a 1930 car splayed flat on its axles and hundreds of flowering bushes so that her eyes swim out into the dark green and unfocussed purple. There is very little now that separates the house from the garden. Rain and vines and chickens move into the building. Before I leave, she points to a group photograph of a fancy dress party that shows herself and my grandmother Lalla among the crowd. She has looked at it for years and has in this way memorized everyone's place in the picture. She reels off names and laughs at the facial expressions she can no longer see. It has moved, tangible, palpable, into her brain, the way memory invades the present in those who are old, the way gardens invade houses here, the way her tiny body steps into mine as intimate as anything I have witnessed and I have to force myself to be gentle with this frailty in the midst of my embrace.
Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family)
Sydney's the kind of port that leaves a mark on a sailor," the old man mused.
"Really?" Haakon said, wondering what the man meant.
"It did on me," he said, opening up his shirt to display his chest. It was covered with tattoos! At the top, SYDNEY was printed in elaborate red and blue letters. Beneath that was an enticing selection of names and dates.
"Mary, 1838...Adella, 1840..." The old sailor began laughing. "Beatrice, 1843...Helen, 1846." And then finally, "Mother." There was no date after "Mother."
"Mothers you love forever," he said. Everybody laughed then, including Haakon, though the thought brought some sadness to his heart. He did love his mother forever, and he missed her as well.
Bonnie Bryant Hiller (Walt Disney Pictures Presents Shipwrecked)
Akasha, for two thousand years I have watched,' he said. 'Call me the Roman in the Arena if you will and tell me tales of the ages that went before. When I knelt at your feet I begged you for your knowledge. But what I have witnessed in this short span has filled me with awe and love for all things mortal; I have seen revolutions in thought and philosophy which I believed impossible. Is not the human race moving towards the very age of peace you describe?'
Her face was a picture of disdain.
'Marius,' she said, 'this will go down as one of the bloodiest centuries in the history of the human race. What revolutions do you speak of, when millions have been exterminated by one small European nation on the whim of a madman, when entire cities were melted into oblivion by bombs? When children in desert countries of the East war on other children in the name of an ancient and despotic God? Marius, women the world over wash the fruits of their wombs down public drains. The screams of the hungry are deafening, yet unheard by the rich who cavort in technological citadels; disease runs rampant among the starving of whole continents while the sick in palatial hospitals spend the wealth of the world on cosmetics refinements and the promise of eternal life through pills and vials." She laughed softly. 'Did ever the cries of the dying ring so thickly in the ears of those of us who can hear them? Has ever more blood been shed?
Anne Rice (The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3))
Her laughter sounded like music. “What, you don’t hang out with missionaries in your downtime? When the rest of us go home and slip into sweatpants and T-shirts, you kick back in a polo shirt and khakis.”
No one but Isaiah and Beth teased me. People ran from me. Yet this little nymph thoroughly enjoyed this game. “Keep it up, Echo. I’m all about foreplay.”
She laughed so loudly, she slapped a hand over her mouth, yet the giggles escaped. “You are so full of yourself. You think because girls swoon over you and let you into their pants on the first try that I’ll follow suit. Think again. Besides, I have your number now. Every time you try to look all dark and dangerous, I’ll picture you wearing a pink striped polo, collar up, and a pair of pleated chinos.”
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
You’re not gonna believe what just happened to me,” Jase says the minute I flip my cell open, taking advantage of break at the B&T. I turn away from the picture window just in case Mr. Lennox, disregarding the break sign, will come dashing out to slap me with my first-ever demerit.
His voice lowers. “You know how I put that lock on the door of my room? Well, Dad noticed it. Apparently. So today, I’m stocking the lawn section and he comes up and asks why it’s there.”
“Uh-oh.” I catch the attention of a kid sneaking into the hot tub (there’s a strict no-one-under-sixteen policy) and shake my head sternly. He slinks away. Must be my impressive uniform.
“So I say I need privacy sometimes and sometimes you and I are hanging out and we don’t want to be interrupted ten million times.”
“Right. I think this is going to be the end of it. But then he tells me he needs me in the back room to have a ‘talk.’”
Jase starts to laugh. “I follow him back and he sits me down and asks if I’m being responsible. Um. With you.”
Moving back into the shade of the bushes, I turn even further away from the possible gaze of Mr. Lennox. “Oh God.”
“I say yeah, we’ve got it handled, it’s fine. But, seriously? I can’t believe he’s asking me this. I mean, Samantha. Jesus. My parents? Hard not to know the facts of life and all in this house. So I tell him that we’re moving slowly and—”
“You told him that?” God, Jase! How am I ever going to look Mr. Garret in the eye again? Help.
“He’s my dad, Samantha. Yeah. Not that I didn’t want to exit the conversation right away, but still . . .”
“So what happened then?”
“Well, I reminded him they’d covered that really thoroughly in school, not to mention at home, and we weren’t irresponsible people.”
I close my eyes, trying to imagine having this conversation with my mother. Inconceivable. No pun intended.
“So then . . . he goes on about”—Jase’s voice drops even lower—“um . . . being considerate and um . . . mutual pleasure.”
“Oh my god! I would’ve died. What did you say?” I ask, wanting to know even while I’m completely distracted by the thought. Mutual pleasure, huh? What do I know about giving that? What if Shoplifting Lindy had tricks up her sleeve I know nothing about? It’s not like I can ask Mom. “State senator suffers heart attack during conversation with daughter.”
“I said ‘Yes sir’ a lot. And he went on and on and on and all I could think was that any minute Tim was gonna come in and hear my dad saying things like, ‘Your mom and I find that . . . blah blah blah.’”
I can’t stop laughing. “He didn’t. He did not mention your mother.”
“I know!” Jase is laughing too. “I mean . . . you know how close I am to my parents, but . . . Jesus.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
While Brambleclaw paused to taste the air, she crouched down beside one of the puddles and touched the ice with her tongue, grateful for the tingling freshness. “Come on,” the Clan deputy meowed. “This way.” Hollyleaf tried to jump up, only to stop with a strangled cry of dismay. Her tongue had frozen to the ice; a sharp pain shot through it as she tried to wrench herself free. “What’s the matter?” Lionblaze asked. “My tongue . . .” Hollyleaf could hardly get the words out. “It’th thtuck!” Lionblaze snorted as he suppressed a mrrow of laughter. Birchfall stooped down until he was nose to nose with Hollyleaf; irritation swelled inside her when she saw amusement dancing in his eyes. “It’th not funny!” she mumbled as clearly as she could with her tongue plastered to the ice. “Stand back.” Brackenfur’s calm voice came from behind Hollyleaf. “Let me have a look.” He leaned beside Birchfall, gently shouldering the younger cat out of the way. “Well, you’re certainly stuck,” he went on. Hollyleaf could tell that he was struggling not to laugh, too. “I suppose we could break off the ice. Then you’d have to carry it until it melts.” “Hey, you’ve discovered a new way to fetch water for the elders!” Hazeltail put in. Her pelt itching with frustration, Hollyleaf tried again to wrench her tongue free, only getting another stab of pain for her efforts. “It hurt-th! Do thomething!” She pictured herself crouched on the hard ground with her tongue stretched out, and suddenly she felt laughter bubbling up inside her. I guess I do look pretty funny. She couldn’t remember the last time she had found anything to laugh at.
Erin Hunter (Sunrise (Warriors: Power of Three #6))
I stared down at the white bikini in horror. My cleavage was out in full form, while the bikini bottoms hugged my hips, tinier than anything I’d ever dare buy for myself. What the hell was Gavin Fletcher thinking putting me in something like this? And he wanted me to go outside in it, much less get my picture taken?
Yeah, right! That was absolutely not happening.
“We haven’t got all day, Lani,” Martin barked from on deck.
I put my head in my hands, sighing deeply before brushing my hair back from my eyes. What the hell had I gotten myself into?
There was a gentle rapping on the bedroom door, and I opened it, wishing I had a towel to cover up with. Gavin’s gold-flecked eyes met mine, and I stepped back to let him in. He sucked in a breath, looking me over in that brash way of his, his lips curling into a grin.
“Now that’s what I’ve been hoping for,” he said.
I laughed nervously and crossed my arms in front of my body. “I don’t know if I can do this. You heard Martin out there.”
Gavin reached forward and put a hand on my arm, smoothing his large palm over my skin. I shivered beneath his touch, feeling the heat from a connection I wondered if he felt, too. Judging by the heat in his gaze, he did, but how was that even possible? I couldn’t be reading him right.
“You look stunning, Aolani,” he said, that dangerous, bad-boy smile of his making my toes curl. “You’re exactly what I’ve been waiting for. Exactly what this campaign needs. Please say you’ll try? For me?
Delilah Fawkes (Lush Curves (Lush Curves , #1))
The reward is in the risk.
I wanted so badly to believe, but the fear felt as great and overwhelming as the desire.
I abruptly stood up from my chair so I could return to my room and feel terribly sorry for myself and eat away too much chocolate in private
“Can we try to be wise with each other for a very long time??”
-“You mean, can we share our fuckups and see if we can get any wisdom out of them?”
“Yeah, that would be nice”
They think that fate is playing with them. That we’re all just participants in this romantic reality show that God gets a kick our of watching. But the universe doesn’t decide what’s right or not right. You do
Dullness is the spice of live. Which is why we must always use other spices
I don’t know what I’m doing. Please don’t laugh at me. If I’m a disaster, please be kind and let me down gently
Was it possible my heart was shaking as hard as my hands?
I thought about the bigger picture of my life, and about the people I would encounter during my lifetime. How would I ever know when that moment was right, when expectation met anticipation and formed…connection?
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
What do you talk about?”...
“Nothing. Just . . . stuff.”
“Oh my god, Jules. You are blushing!”
This is appalling. She’s right. I can feel it. “I am not!”
She leans in and teases me. “Do you need a mirror? You’re bright red.”
“Stop it. It’s not like that. We talk about . . . heavy things.” I don’t want to say “death.” Even that much feels like breaking a confidence. “We’re not flirting.”
“So he hasn’t sent you a picture of his manhood yet?”
I burst out laughing. “Has Brandon sent you a picture of his?”
“No!” Now she’s blushing.
“Knowing him, it would be artfully framed, with perfect lighting and specifically placed shadows—”
“Shut up!” But she’s giggling.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
If I tell you that Mrs. Robbins had bad teeth and looked like a horse, you will laugh at me as a cliché-monger; yet it is the truth. I can do nothing with the teeth; but let me tell you that she looked like a French horse, a dark, Mediterranean, market-type horse that has all its life begrudged to the poor the adhesive-tape on a torn five-franc note - that has tiptoed (to save its shoes) for centuries along that razor-edge where Greed and Caution meet.
Randall Jarrell (Pictures from an Institution)
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow.
Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
Reader, I did the stupid thing. I looked her up on Facebook. It didn't take more than forty minutes to filter this Katie Ingram from the other hundred or so. Her profile was unlocked, and contained the logo for the NHS. Her job description said: "Paramedic: Love My Job!!!" She had hair that could have been red or strawberry blond, it was hard to tell from the photographs, and she was possibly in her late twenties, pretty, with a snub nose. In the first thirty photographs she had posted she was laughing with friends, frozen in the middle of Good Times. She looked annoyingly good in a bikini (Skiathos 2014!! What a laugh!!!!!), she had a small, hairy dog, a penchant for vertiginously high heels, and a best friend with long, dark hair who was fond of kissing her cheek in pictures (I briefly entertained the hope that she was gay but she belonged to a Facebook group called: Hands up if you're secretly delighted that Brad Pitt is single again!!).
Jojo Moyes (Still Me)
The Trickster, of course," Gabriel finally answered himself, "Weesageechak for sure. The clown who bridges humanity and God - a God who laughs, a God who's here, not for guilt, not for suffering, but for a good time. Except this time, the Trickster representing God as a woman, a goddess in fur. Like in this picture. I've always thought that, ever since we were little kids. I mean, if Native languages have no gender, then why should we? And why, for that matter, should God?
Tomson Highway (Kiss of the Fur Queen)
I find people confusing.
This is for two main reasons.
The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words. Siobhan says that if you raise one eyebrow it can mean lots of different things. It can mean "I want to do sex with you" and it can also mean "I think that what you just said was very stupid."
Siobhan also says that if you close your mouth and breathe out loudly through your nose, it can mean that you are relaxed, or that you are bored, or that you are angry, and it all depends on how much air comes out of your nose and how fast and what shape your mouth is when you do it and how you are sitting and what you said just before and hundreds of other things which are too complicated to work out in a few seconds.
The second main reason is that people often talk using metaphors. These are examples of metaphors
I laughed my socks off.
He was the apple of her eye.
They had a skeleton in the cupboard.
We had a real pig of a day.
The dog was stone dead.
The word metaphor means carrying something from one place to another, and it comes from the Greek words meta (which means from one place to another) and ferein (which means to carry), and it is when you describe something by using a word for something that it isn't. This means that the word metaphor is a metaphor.
I think it should be called a lie because a pig is not like a day and people do not have skeletons in their cupboards. And when I try and make a picture of the phrase in my head it just confuses me because imagining an apple in someone's eye doesn't have anything to do with liking someone a lot and it makes you forget what the person was talking about.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
He started to draw. He drew from memory. He had a good memory, something which, all things considered, was far from a blessing.
The pencils moved quickly across the paper, scratching back and forth in deepening shades of grey. He leaned low over the paper, concentrating all his energy on his work.
The candles flickered and dripped wax, having nothing better to do.
Eventually he lifted his head and looked at his creation. The face of a young woman stared back at him from the paper, a slight smile playing on her lips. She looked as if she was about to say something, and that once she had you would laugh. She looked happy.
Seven stared at the picture, his strange eyes unreadable – eyes that, now he made no effort to mask them, were from edge to edge only the deep blue of the dead ocean.
He swallowed hard, as if he was trying to imbibe something foul tasting but necessary, like a child sipping medicine, and pulled another sheet of paper from his desk.
F.D. Lee (The Fairy's Tale (The Pathways Tree, #1))
You have some lovely books," she said. "I like the one with the pictures of polar bears."
"The books with words too tricky?"
She released a strangled laugh.
"Would you care to explain the system?" Turner stared at the shelves.
Matty moved in front of him and pointed. "They're sorted by color."
"Ah." Dear God.
"And by size."
"Mmm." Turner felt his mouth start to twitch. "It didn't occur to you to shelve them alphabetically by author name or even title?"
"Well, yes, but no."
"The thing is, you have so many. I organized one boxful only to find the next box wrecked what I'd done so I thought they'd look nicer if all the same color spines sat together. I tried to follow the colors of the spectrum. Look, the books go up and down in waves."
He'd noticed. It made him feel seasick.
Barbara Elsborg (The Small Print)
Well, they’re okay!” said Ron angrily, looking at Harry’s robes. “Why couldn’t I have some like that?” “Because … well, I had to get yours secondhand, and there wasn’t a lot of choice!” said Mrs. Weasley, flushing. Harry looked away. He would willingly have split all the money in his Gringotts vault with the Weasleys, but he knew they would never take it. “I’m never wearing them,” Ron was saying stubbornly. “Never.” “Fine,” snapped Mrs. Weasley. “Go naked. And, Harry, make sure you get a picture of him. Goodness knows I could do with a laugh.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
I've always been his favorite."
"Is that so?" Lazily Shelby folded her arms behind her head. She could picture him as a boy,seeing beyond what other boys saw and storing it. "Why?"
"If I weren't modest,I'd confess that I was always a well-mannered, even-tempered child who never gave my parents a moment's trouble."
"Liar," she said easily. "How'd you get the broken nose?"
The grin became rueful. "Rena punched me."
"Your sister broke your nose?" Shelby burst out with delighted and unsympathetic laughter. "The blackjack dealer, right? Oh,I love it!"
Alan caught Shelby's nose between two fingers and gave it a quick twist. "It was rather painful at the time."
"I imagine." She kept right on laughing as he shifted to her side. "Did she make a habit of beating you up?"
"She didn't beat me up," he corrected with some dignity. "She was trying to beat Caine up because he'd teased her about making calf's eyes at one of his friends."
"Typical brotherly intimidation."
"In any event," Alan put in mildly, "I went to drag her off him,she took another swing,missed him, and hit me. A full-power roundhouse,as I remember. That's when," he continued as Shelby gave another peal of laughter, "I decided against being a diplomat. It's always the neutral party that gets punched in the face."
"I'm sure..." Shelby dropped her head on his shoulder. "I'm sure she was sorry."
"Initially.But as I recall, after I'd stopped bleeding and threatening to kill both her and Caine, her reaction as a great deal like yours."
"Insensitive." Shelby ran apologetic kisses over his face. "Poor baby. Tell you what, I'll do penance and see about fixing you breakfast.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
When I was a child and heard about angels, I was both frightened and fascinated by the thought of these enormous, invisible presences in our midst. I conceived of them not as white-robed androgynes with yellow locks and thick gold wings, which was how my friend Matty Wilson had described them to me--Matty was the predecessor of all sorts of arcane knowledge--but as big, dark, blundering men, massive in their weightlessness, given to pranks and ponderous play, who might knock you over, or break you in half, without meaning to. When a child from Miss Molyneaux's infant school in Carrickdrum fell under the hoofs of a dray-horse one day and was trampled to death, I, a watchful six year old, knew who was to blame; I pictured his guardian angel standing over the child's crushed form with his big hands helplessly extended, not sure whether to be contrite or to laugh.
John Banville (The Untouchable)
I mean to tell you, the Law's notion of justice is more cold-blooded than any outlaw I ever knew. And I mean 'outlaw,' not criminal. 'Criminal' doesn't distinguish between guys like men and the guys who own the banks and insurance companies and stock markets, who own the factories and coal mines and oil fields, who own the goddamn Law. I once said to John that being an outlaw was about the only way left for a man to hold on to his self-respect, and he said Ain't that the sad truth. The girls laughed along with us because they knew it wasn't a joke.... John got the publicity because he loved it ... he carried on like the whole thing was an adventure movie and he was Douglas Fairbanks. He wanted to to be a 'star.' That's how he was. Not me. I never even liked having my picture taken. All I ever wanted was to show the bastards who own the law that it didn't mean they owned me.
James Carlos Blake (Handsome Harry)
Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed. "Yes, I knew you would; but it is quite true, all the same." "Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you were so vain; and I really can't see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves. Why, my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you— well, of course you have an intellectual expression and all that. But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful. Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel quite sure of that. He is some brainless beautiful creature who should be always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. Don't flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Baby girl, this is your mother. I know I’ve given you explicit instructions to trace this into your yearbook, but they’re my words. That means this is from me, my heart, and my love for you. There’s so many things I want to say to you, things I want you to hear, to know, but let’s start with the reason I’m having you put these words in your senior yearbook. First of all, this book is everything. It may be pictures, some names of people you won’t remember in five years, ten years, or longer, but this book is more important than you can imagine. It’s the first book that’s the culmination of your first chapter in life. You will have many. So many! But this book is the physical manifestation of your first part in life. Keep it. Treasure it. Whether you enjoyed school or not, it’s done. It’s in your past. These were the times you were a part of society from a child to who you are now, a young adult woman. When you leave for college, you’re continuing your education, but you’re moving onto your next chapter in life. The beginning of adulthood. This yearbook is your bridge. Keep this as a memento forever. It sums up who you grew up with. It houses images of the buildings where your mind first began to learn things, where you first began to dream, to set goals, to yearn for the road ahead. It’s so bittersweet, but those memories were your foundation to set you up for who you will become in the future. Whether they brought pain or happiness, it’s important not to forget. From here, you will go on and you will learn the growing pains of becoming an adult. You will refine your dreams. You will set new limits. Change your mind. You will hurt. You will laugh. You will cry, but the most important is that you will grow. Always, always grow, honey. Challenge yourself. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations (BUT BE SAFE!) and push yourself not to think about yourself, your friends, your family, but to think about the world. Think about others. Understand others, and if you can’t understand, then learn more about them. It’s so very important. Once you have the key to understanding why someone else hurts or dreams or survives, then you have ultimate knowledge. You have empathy. Oh, honey. As I’m writing this, I can see you on the couch reading a book. You are so very beautiful, but you are so very humble. You don’t see your beauty, and I want you to see your beauty. Not just physical, but your inner kindness and soul. It’s blinding to me. That’s how truly stunning you are. Never let anyone dim your light. Here are some words I want you to know as you go through the rest of your life: Live. Learn. Love. Laugh. And, honey, know. Just know that I am with you always.
Because it wouldn’t have been fair to you,’ I say. ‘And then, selfishly, I knew that if I slept with you, then for the whole of the next year on post I would never have been able to get you out of my mind. I’d have just relived it over and over every second of every day. Which is what I’m going to be doing now anyway.’ I laugh ruefully at how much I’m going to replay this night. ‘But I would have been picturing some other lucky guy getting to have you, getting to come back to you every night. I didn’t want that. It would have been torture. To know you, to make love to you, and then lose you. I couldn’t do it.
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
Disco bowling? Seriously? Is there such a thing?"
He laughed. "I've never been,but you mentioned bowling a few weeks ago,and I figured tonight of all nights I could go ahead and impress you with my mad lack of bowling skills.Besides which, you look way too hot to waste on trick-or-treaters.They have a costume competition-you're a shoo-in."
I laughed,giddy,and grabbed his hand to kiss his knuckles.I knew he'd rather stay at home,but he planned tonight around making me happy. And he wanted to show me off,which appealed to my vanity more than I cared to admit. Best. Boyfriend. Ever.
"Pictures,please?And if we're going disco bowling,you have to dress up."
He pretended to sigh,but his glamour hair grew out into a massive 'fro and I squealed with delight. Then it shifted into shorter hair with a yellow-blond side part. "I figure with an ascot and blue pants I can do a mean Fred to your Daphne,right?"
Tonight was perfect.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
But it was not merely her choice to be a witness of the dirty work on Tier 1A. It was her role. As a woman she was not expected to wrestle prisoners into stress positions or otherwise overpower them, but rather just by her presence, to amplify their sense of powerlessness. She was there as an instrument of humiliation...The MPs knew very little about their prisoners or the culture they came from, and they understood less. But at Fort Lee, before they deployed, they were given a session of “cultural awareness training,” from which they’d taken away the understanding—constantly reinforced by MI handlers—that Arab men were sexual prudes, with a particular hang-up about being seen naked in public, especially by women. What better way to break an Arab, then, than to strip him, tie him up, and have a "female bystander," as Graner describer Harman, laugh at him? American women were used on the MI block in the same way that Major David DiNenna spoke of dogs—as "force multipliers." Harman understood. She didn’t like being naked in public herself. To the prisoners, being photographed may have seemed an added dash of mortification, but to Harman, taking pictures was a way of deflecting her own humiliation in the transaction—by taking ownership of her position as spectator.
Philip Gourevitch (Standard Operating Procedure)
I’ve never quite mastered the art of holding my liquor,” she replied. He watched her root around in her purse a moment, before pulling out a tube of lip balm.
As Jonas watched her apply it, he nearly got distracted from her answer. Leaning forward, Jonas murmured, “Can’t hold your liquor, huh?”
She replaced the cap and dropped it back into her purse. “Not so much. I tend to get a bit too happy.”
His eyebrows shot up and his cock came to full-alert status. Happy--he liked the sound of that. “And that’s a bad thing?”
To his utter shock, Deanna blushed. “In my case it is.”
Curiosity got the better of him. “Care to explain?”
The waiter returned with the check, forcing Jonas to drop the conversation while he fished out his credit card. Once they were alone again, Jonas waited, hoping Deanna would go into more detail. She didn’t disappoint him. “All my inhibitions disappear. It’s not a comfortable feeling for me.”
She was killing him. An immediate picture of a carefree Deanna sprang to mind. He liked it a hell of a lot. “Most people enjoy letting it all hang out every once in a while. Taking life too seriously leads to an early grave.”
“Maybe, but if I suddenly develop the urge, I’d rather be coherent.”
“You don’t like to give up control,” he surmised.
She cocked her head to the side, as if unsure how to respond at first. “It’s not that,” she said. “I guess if I’m in the mood to go romping naked through a forest, for example, then I don’t want alcohol to blur the memorable event for me.” She laughed. “I mean, I’d want to remember a crazy moment like that. Wouldn’t you?”
No doubt about it, Jonas liked the way the lady’s mind worked. “You had me at ‘running naked’.”
Deanna snorted. “You need serious help.
Anne Rainey (Pleasure Bound (Hard to Get, #2))
It was at a conference in Cyprus in 1976, where the theme was the rights of small nations, that I first met Edward Said. It was impossible not to be captivated by him: of his many immediately seductive qualities I will start by mentioning a very important one. When he laughed, it was as if he was surrendering unconditionally to some guilty pleasure. At first the very picture of professorial rectitude, with faultless tweeds, cravats, and other accoutrements (the pipe also being to the fore), he would react to a risqué remark, or a disclosure of something vaguely scandalous, as if a whole Trojan horse of mirth had been smuggled into his interior and suddenly disgorged its contents. The build-up, in other words, was worth one's effort.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
This is one of mommy's friends, buddy," I told Gavin. (...)
"You're Mommy's fwiend?" he questioned.
Carter just nodded with his mouth open and no sound coming out. I’m pretty sure he didn’t even hear Gavin. Someone could have asked him if he liked to watch gay porn while painting pictures of kittens and he would have nodded his head. Before anyone could react, Gavin pulled back one of his little fists of fury and slammed it right into Carters manhood. He immediately bent over at the waist, clutching his hands between his legs and gasping for breath.
"Oh my God! Gavin!" I yelled, as I scrambled over to him, bent down and turned him around to face me while my dad and Liz laughed like hyenas behind me.
"What is wrong with you? We don't hit people. EVER," I scolded.
While Carter tried to breathe again, my dad managed to stop laughing long enough to apologize.
"Sorry, Claire, that's probably my fault. I let Gavin watch "Fight Club" with me last night."
"Your fwiends got you sick the other night. You said he was your fwiend," Gavin explained, like it made all the sense in the world.
This just made my dad laugh even louder.
"Not helping, Dad," I growled through clenched teeth.
"You don't make my mommy sick, dicky-punk!"
Gavin yelled at Carter, putting his two little fingers up by his eyes, and then pointing them right at Carter just like Liz had done to him earlier.
"Jesus Christ," Carter wheezed. "Did he just threaten me?"
"Jesus Cwist!" Gavin repeated back.
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
This book is destined to make waves no matter which ocean you throw it into. This is the first book Jarod's put together, mainly because he had such a hard time figuring out how to glue the pages to the spine. You'll laugh as you explore the mind of a madman as he emails seemingly random companies and institutions about bizarre things, and strange suggestions. With his surreal thoughts and ideas, Jarod paints a picture so vividly in the reader's mind that they'd think he was actually using their gray matter as a canvas. But don't worry, you can read this knowing that he will not spill paint on your favorite shirt. If laughing were a buffet, you'll eat so much with this book that you'll throw up. I recommend you read this book over a toilet.
Jarod Kintz (E-mails from a Madman: namdam a morf sliame)
It take it Priss has you tied up in knots?”
There wasn’t much point in denying it. And maybe admitting things to Dare would help him get them under control. “I want her.”
“No shit. Tell me something I don’t know.”
Trace had trusted Dare forever, as a good friend, a partner in business and as an honorable man. He knew Dare had uncanny instincts and deadly skills.
But he thought he had covered his reaction to Priss.
“Damn.” Trace ran a hand through his hair. “Do you think Molly and Chris picked up on it, too?”
After a short sound that might have been a stifled laugh, Dare said, “They’re neither blind, deaf, or stupid. So . . . yeah. I’m betting they noticed.”
With a shake of his head, Dare dismissed his concern. “It’s not a big deal, Trace. Don’t sweat it.”
The mild, even amused reaction to his predicament surprised Trace. “She’s off-limits.”
“You think so?” Dare looked down at the dappling of sunshine through tree limbs, then back at Trace. “Why’s that?”
“What do you mean, why’s that? Hell, Dare, I barely know the woman.”
“You knew her well enough to take her picture.”
If Dare smiled, he was going to flatten him. Period.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
Look, guys, I know you mean well and you’re doing your job, but it’d be better for everyone if you all got back in your cars and drove away. Pretend like this never happened. I promise I’m not going to blow anything up and the most un-American thing I’ve ever done is root for South Korea in speed skating during the Olympics. This whole thing falls so far out of your jurisdiction it’s not even funny.” I pictured the officers cuffing Reth and reading him his rights, then trying to detain Cresseda. “Okay, it’s a little funny. But seriously. As far as you’re all concerned, I’m just a teen girl who is really far behind on planning for the dance decorating committee. And also dating an invisible boy.”
“Orders are orders,” the mustachioed man said gruffly, elbowing the men around him and startling them out of their paranormal-induced stupor. “We’re taking you in.” He walked down the steps.
I sighed. “Don’t make me call the dragon.”
He laughed, and so did most of the others, but a few looked back at Lend and the blood drained from their faces.
“Look, kid, I’m with you. I think this is all a mistake, maybe even a clerical error. We’ll figure it out at the station.”
Arianna swore, stamping her foot. “That’s it! She put her fingers to her lips and let out a shrill, earsplitting whistle. A rush of wind engulfed us as the dragon in all its serpentine glory snaked out of the trees, settling onto the ground and rearing up to stare down at all of us.
I thought I’d learn a few new words, but the men were too shocked to even swear this time.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
Her mood deflated as if she'd been pricked with a pin. "Alan."
She struggled not to be moved by the quiet,serious tone that should never have moved her.She liked men with a laugh in their voice. "Alan, this has to stop."
"Does it? It hasn't even started."
"Alan-" She tried to remember her decision to be firm. "I mean it. You have to stop sending me things. You're only wasting your time."
"I have a bit to spare," he said mildly. "How was your week?"
"I missed you."
The simple statement threw the rest of her lecture into oblivion. "Alan, don't -"
"Everyday," he continued. "Every night. Have you been to Boston, Shelby?"
"Uh...yes," she managed, busy fighting off the weakness creeping into her. Helplessly she stared up at the balloons. How could she fight something so insubstantial it floated?
"I'd like to take you there in the fall, when it smells of damp leaves and smoke."
Shelby told herself her heart was not fluttering. "Alan, I didn't call to talk about Boston.Now,to put it in very simple terms,I want you to stop calling me, I want you to stop dropping by, and -" Her voice began to rise in frustration as she pictured him listening with that patient, serious smile and calm eyes. "I want you to stop sending me balloons and pigs and everything! Is that clear?"
"Perfectly.Spend the day with me."
Did the man ever stop being patient? She couldn't abide patient men. "For God's sake, Alan!"
"We'll call it an experimental outing," he suggested in the same even tone. "Not a date."
"No!" she said, barely choking back a laugh. Couldn't abide it, she tried to remember.She preferred the flashy, the freewheeling. "No,no,no!"
"Not bureaucratic enough." His voice was so calm,so...so senatorial, she decided, she wanted to scream. But the scream bubbled perilously close to another laugh. "All right, let me think-a standard daytime expedition for furthering amiable relations between opposing clans."
"You're trying to be charming again," Shelby muttered.
"Am I succeeding?
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Étienne sighed. “You may as well drop the formality. One, I’ve heard your thoughts and know your concern for her extends beyond that of a work colleague. And two, I’ve seen your thoughts and keep coming across her naked.”
Richart tried without success to choke back a laugh. “Nothing to say?”
A muscle in Bastien’s cheek jumped. “I’m debating over whether or not I should kick Étienne’s ass for seeing Melanie naked.”
Richart burst into laughter.
“It wasn’t real! It was fantasy!” his brother protested.
“I don’t care. She was naked.”
Melanie felt heat bloom in her cheeks and didn’t know why the hell she should feel embarrassed. It wasn’t as if she really were naked. As Étienne had said, they were talking about fantasies he had seen in Bastien’s head.
How hot was it that Bastien was picturing her naked?
I was naked in his thoughts? she asked, unsure if Étienne was still tuning in.
And we were doing . . . ?
Things that would make you blush even more than you are now.
I don’t suppose you could show me, could you?
It doesn’t work that way.
His lips twitched.
Bastien tugged her hand. “I can’t hear what he’s saying to you. Should I kick his ass?”
“As if you could,” Étienne murmured.
Dianne Duvall (Phantom Shadows (Immortal Guardians, #3))
It was astonishing how loudly one laughed at tales of gruesome things, of war’s brutality-I with the rest of them. I think at the bottom of it was a sense of the ironical contrast between the normal ways of civilian life and this hark-back to the caveman code. It made all our old philosophy of life monstrously ridiculous. It played the “hat trick” with the gentility of modern manners. Men who had been brought up to Christian virtues, who had prattled their little prayers at mothers’ knees, who had grown up to a love of poetry, painting, music, the gentle arts, over-sensitized to the subtleties of half-tones, delicate scales of emotion, fastidious in their choice of words, in their sense of beauty, found themselves compelled to live and act like ape-men; and it was abominably funny. They laughed at the most frightful episodes, which revealed this contrast between civilized ethics and the old beast law. The more revolting it was the more, sometimes, they shouted with laughter, especially in reminiscence, when the tale was told in the gilded salon of a French chateau, or at a mess-table.
It was, I think, the laughter of mortals at the trick which had been played on them by an ironical fate. They had been taught to believe that the whole object of life was to reach out to beauty and love, and that mankind, in its progress to perfection, had killed the beast instinct, cruelty, blood-lust, the primitive, savage law of survival by tooth and claw and club and ax. All poetry, all art, all religion had preached this gospel and this promise.
Now that ideal had broken like a china vase dashed to hard ground. The contrast between That and This was devastating. It was, in an enormous world-shaking way, like a highly dignified man in a silk hat, morning coat, creased trousers, spats, and patent boots suddenly slipping on a piece of orange-peel and sitting, all of a heap, with silk hat flying, in a filthy gutter. The war-time humor of the soul roared with mirth at the sight of all that dignity and elegance despoiled.
So we laughed merrily, I remember, when a military chaplain (Eton, Christ Church, and Christian service) described how an English sergeant stood round the traverse of a German trench, in a night raid, and as the Germans came his way, thinking to escape, he cleft one skull after another with a steel-studded bludgeon a weapon which he had made with loving craftsmanship on the model of Blunderbore’s club in the pictures of a fairy-tale.
So we laughed at the adventures of a young barrister (a brilliant fellow in the Oxford “Union”) whose pleasure it was to creep out o’ nights into No Man’s Land and lie doggo in a shell-hole close to the enemy’s barbed wire, until presently, after an hour’s waiting or two, a German soldier would crawl out to fetch in a corpse. The English barrister lay with his rifle ready. Where there had been one corpse there were two. Each night he made a notch on his rifle three notches one night to check the number of his victims. Then he came back to breakfast in his dugout with a hearty appetite.
This was why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals sails appeared charmed. They blazed red in the day and silver at night, like a magician’s cloak, hinting at mysteries concealed beneath, which Tella planned to uncover that night.
Drunken laughter floated above her as Tella delved deeper into the ship’s underbelly in search of Nigel the Fortune-teller. Her first evening on the vessel she’d made the mistake of sleeping, not realizing until the following day that Legend’s performers had switched their waking hours to prepare for the next Caraval. They slumbered in the day and woke after sunset.
All Tella had learned her first day aboard La Esmeralda was that Nigel was on the ship, but she had yet to actually see him. The creaking halls beneath decks were like the bridges of Caraval, leading different places at different hours and making it difficult to know who stayed in which room. Tella wondered if Legend had designed it that way, or if it was just the unpredictable nature of magic.
She imagined Legend in his top hat, laughing at the question and at the idea that magic had more control than he did. For many, Legend was the definition of magic.
When she had first arrived on Isla de los Sueños, Tella suspected everyone could be Legend. Julian had so many secrets that she’d questioned if Legend’s identity was one of them, up until he’d briefly died. Caspar, with his sparkling eyes and rich laugh, had played the role of Legend in the last game, and at times he’d been so convincing Tella wondered if he was actually acting. At first sight, Dante, who was almost too beautiful to be real, looked like the Legend she’d always imagined. Tella could picture Dante’s wide shoulders filling out a black tailcoat while a velvet top hat shadowed his head. But the more Tella thought about Legend, the more she wondered if he even ever wore a top hat. If maybe the symbol was another thing to throw people off. Perhaps Legend was more magic than man and Tella had never met him in the flesh at all.
The boat rocked and an actual laugh pierced the quiet.
The laughter ceased but the air in the thin corridor shifted. What had smelled of salt and wood and damp turned thick and velvet-sweet. The scent of roses.
Tella’s skin prickled; gooseflesh rose on her bare arms.
At her feet a puddle of petals formed a seductive trail of red.
Tella might not have known Legend’s true name, but she knew he favored red and roses and games.
Was this his way of toying with her? Did he know what she was up to?
The bumps on her arms crawled up to her neck and into her scalp as her newest pair of slippers crushed the tender petals. If Legend knew what she was after, Tella couldn’t imagine he would guide her in the correct direction, and yet the trail of petals was too tempting to avoid. They led to a door that glowed copper around the edges.
She turned the knob.
And her world transformed into a garden, a paradise made of blossoming flowers and bewitching romance. The walls were formed of moonlight. The ceiling was made of roses that dripped down toward the table in the center of the room, covered with plates of cakes and candlelight and sparkling honey wine.
But none of it was for Tella.
It was all for Scarlett. Tella had stumbled into her sister’s love story and it was so romantic it was painful to watch.
Scarlett stood across the chamber. Her full ruby gown bloomed brighter than any flowers, and her glowing skin rivaled the moon as she gazed up at Julian.
They touched nothing except each other. While Scarlett pressed her lips to Julian’s, his arms wrapped around her as if he’d found the one thing he never wanted to let go of.
This was why love was so dangerous. Love turned the world into a garden, so beguiling it was easy to forget that rose petals were as ephemeral as feelings, eventually they would wilt and die, leaving nothing but the thorns.
Stephanie Garber (Legendary (Caraval, #2))
I have something to show you."
He sank down next to me and handed me a sketchbook. I opened it.
And saw the mermaid. She was drawn in colored ink, exquisitely detailed; each scale had a little picture in it: a pyramid, a rocket, a peacock, a lamp. Her torso was patterened red, like a tattoo, like coral. She had a thin strand of seaweed around her neck, with a starfish holding on to the center. Her hair was a tumble of loose black curls. She had my face.
I turned the page.And another and another. There she was fighting a creature that was half human, half octopus. Exploring a cave. Riding a shark. Laughing and petting a stingray that rested on her lap.
"I'm calling her Cora Lia for the moment," Alex told me. "I thought about Corella, but it sounded like cheap dishware."
"She's fierce. Fighting the Evil Sea-Dragon King and his minions."
I traced the red tattoo on her chest. "This is beautiful."
Alex reached into my sweater, pulled the loose neck of the T-shirt away from my shoulder. I didn't stop him. "It looks like coral to me."
He touched me, then,the pad of his thumb tracing the outline of the scar. It felt strange, partly because of the difference in the tissue, but more because in the last few years, the only hands that had touched me there were mine.
I set the book aside carefully. "Guess I don't see what you do."
"That's too bad, because I see you perfectly."
I curved myself into him. "Maybe you're exactly what I need."
"Like there's any doubt?" He buried his face in my neck.I didn't stop him. "So."
"We'll kill a few hours, watch the sunrise, have pancakes, and you'll drive home."
I felt him smile against my skin. "I got you swimming with sharks. Next on the Conquer Your Fears list is driving a stick shift.Right?"
"One thing at a time," I said. Then, "Oh. Do that again."
In another story, the intrepid heroine would have gone running out and splashed in the surf, hypothermia be damned. She would have driven the Mustang home, booked a haircut, taken up stand-up comedy, and danced on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.
But this was me, and I was moving at my own pace.
Truth: My story started a hundred years ago. There's time.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
So blue is a name?'
'It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As humans have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words tat will break a strong man's will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is te fire itself.'
My head was swimming at this point. 'I still don't understand.'
He laid a hand on my shoulder. 'Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating.' He lifted his hands high above his head as if stretching for the sky. 'But there are other ways of understanding!' he shouted, laughing like a child. He threw both arms to the cloudless arch of sky above us, still lauging. 'Look!' he shouted tilting his head back. 'Blue! Blue! Blue!
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Victor Noir. He was a journalist shot by Pierre Bonaparte," St. Clair says, as if that explains anything. He pulls The Hat up off his eyes. "The statue on his grave is supposed to help...fertility."
"His wang us rubbed shiny," Josh elaborates. "For luck."
"Why are we talking about parts again?" Mer asks. "Can't we ever talk about anything else?"
"Really?" I ask. "Shiny wang?"
"Very," St. Clair says.
"Now that's something I've gotta see." I gulp my coffee dregs, wipe the bread crumbs from my mouth, and hop up. "Where's Victor?"
"Allow me." St. Clair springs up to his feet and takes off. I chase after him. He cuts through a stand of bare trees, and I crash through the twigs behind him. We're both laughing when we hit the pathway and run smack into a guard. He frowns at us from underneath his military-style cap. St. Clair gives an angelic smile and a small shrug. The guard shakes his head but allows us to pass.
St. Clair gets away with everything.
We stroll with exaggerated calm, and he points out an area occupied with people snapping pictures.We hang back and wait our turn. A scrawny black cat darts out from behind an altar strewn with roses and wine bottles,and rushes into the bushes.
"Well.That was sufficiently creepy. Happy Halloween."
"Did you know this place is home to three thousand cats?" St. Clair asks.
"Sure.It's filed away in my brain under 'Felines,Paris.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
New Rule: Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poorer one...just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin, has a population of one hundred thousand. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets--who next year need to just shut the hell up and play.
Now, me personally, I haven't watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson's nipple popped out during halftime. and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned by eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it--who doesn't love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires giving one another brain damage on a giant flatscreen TV with a picture so real it feels like Ben Roethlisberger is in your living room, grabbing your sister?
It's no surprise that some one hundred million Americans will watch the Super Bowl--that's forty million more than go to church on Christmas--suck on that, Jesus! It's also eighty-five million more than watched the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America. Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich almost always win and the poor usually have no chance. The World Series is like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You have to be a rich bitch just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in.
Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don't want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they'd like it if some kids didn't have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood while others get to go to a great school and their dad gets them into Harvard. Because when that happens, "achieving the American dream" is easy for some and just a fantasy for others.
That's why the NFL literally shares the wealth--TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it thirty-two ways. Because they don't want anyone to fall too far behind. That's why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call "punishing success."
Baseball, on the other hand, is exactly like the Republicans, and I don't just mean it's incredibly boring. I mean their economic theory is every man for himself. The small-market Pittsburgh Steelers go to the Super Bowl more than anybody--but the Pittsburgh Pirates? Levi Johnston has sperm that will not grow and live long enough to see the Pirates in a World Series. Their payroll is $40 million; the Yankees' is $206 million. The Pirates have about as much chance as getting in the playoffs as a poor black teenager from Newark has of becoming the CEO of Halliburton.
So you kind of have to laugh--the same angry white males who hate Obama because he's "redistributing wealth" just love football, a sport that succeeds economically because it does just that. To them, the NFL is as American as hot dogs, Chevrolet, apple pie, and a second, giant helping of apple pie.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Nick grinned, swooping in for another kiss and then leaning back and scruffing his hair up. “Harriet Manners, I’m about to give you six stamps. Then I’m going to write something on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope with your address on it.”
“OK …” “Then I’m going to put the envelope on the floor and spin us as fast as I can. As soon as either of us manage to stick a stamp on it, I’m going to race to the postbox and post it unless you can catch me first. If you win, you can read it.”
Nick was obviously faster than me, but he didn’t know where the nearest postbox was. “Deal,” I agreed, yawning and rubbing my eyes.
“But why six stamps?”
“Just wait and see.”
A few seconds later, I understood.
As we spun in circles with our hands stretched out, one of my stamps got stuck to the ground at least a metre away from the envelope. Another ended up on a daisy. A third somehow got stuck to the roundabout.
One of Nick’s ended up on his nose.
And every time we both missed, we laughed harder and harder and our kisses got dizzier and dizzier until the whole world was a giggling, kissing, spinning blur.
Finally, when we both had one stamp left, I stopped giggling. I had to win this.
So I swallowed, wiped my eyes and took a few deep breaths.
Then I reached out my hand.
“Too late!” Nick yelled as I opened my eyes again. “Got it, Manners!” And he jumped off the still-spinning roundabout with the envelope held high over his head.
So I promptly leapt off too.
Straight into a bush. Thanks to a destabilised vestibular system – which is the upper portion of the inner ear – the ground wasn’t where it was supposed to be.
Nick, in the meantime, had ended up flat on his back on the grass next to me.
With a small shout I leant down and kissed him hard on the lips. “HA!” I shouted, grabbing the envelope off him and trying to rip it open.
“I don’t think so,” he grinned, jumping up and wrapping one arm round my waist while he retrieved it again. Then he started running in a zigzag towards the postbox.
A few seconds later, I wobbled after him.
And we stumbled wonkily down the road, giggling and pulling at each other’s T-shirts and hanging on to tree trunks and kissing as we each fought for the prize.
Finally, he picked me up and, without any effort, popped me on top of a high wall.
Like Humpty Dumpty.
Or some kind of really unathletic cat.
“Hey!” I shouted as he whipped the envelope out of my hands and started sprinting towards the postbox at the bottom of the road. “That’s not fair!”
“Course it is,” he shouted back. “All’s fair in love and war.”
And Nick kissed the envelope then put it in the postbox with a flourish.
I had to wait three days.
Three days of lingering by the front door. Three days of lifting up the doormat, just in case it had accidentally slipped under there.
Finally, the letter arrived: crumpled and stained with grass.
Ha. Told you I was faster.
Holly Smale (Picture Perfect (Geek Girl, #3))
Why do people keep doing stuff?" he said, talking to himself it seemed.
"Wiping counters down and taking pictures. Cheating. Defending things."
Swin couldn't see Kyle's face. It appeared he was about to say more, then thought better of it. It seemed he was going to laugh or cry; of course he was going to do neither. It was a moment of defeat, nothing more. Kyle looked back toward the woods where he'd thrown the gun. Swin felt he had to speak.
"It's involved," he said. "Many schools of thought. In layman's terms, being the most sophisticated monkey makes you the most confused monkey. Taking action, any at all, is a way to alleviate that confusion. You, you're one of the least sophisticated of us sophisticated monkeys, and therefore suffer less confusion, and have less use for the empty actions that alleviate confusion. I don't mean that as a put-down."
Though Kyle didn't move, Swin knew he was listening, knew the explanation was somehow helping.
John Brandon (Arkansas)
Why do we bury our dead?” His nose was dented in at the bridge like a sphinx; the cause of which I could only imagine had been a freak archaeological accident.
I thought about my parents. They had requested in their will that they be buried side by side in a tiny cemetery a few miles from our house. “Because it’s respectful?”
He shook his head. “That’s true, but that’s not the reason we do it.”
But that was the reason we buried people, wasn’t it? After gazing at him in confusion, I raised my hand, determined to get the right answer. “Because leaving people out in the open is unsanitary.”
Mr. B. shook his head and scratched the stubble on his neck.
I glared at him, annoyed at his ignorance and certain that my responses were correct. “Because it’s the best way to dispose of a body?”
Mr. B. laughed. “Oh, but that’s not true. Think of all the creative ways mass murderers have dealt with body disposal. Surely eating someone would be more practical than the coffin, the ceremony, the tombstone.”
Eleanor grimaced at the morbid image, and the mention of mass murderers seemed to wake the rest of the class up. Still, no one had an answer. I’d heard Mr. B. was a quack, but this was just insulting. How dare he presume that I didn’t know what burials meant? I’d watched them bury my parents, hadn’t I? “Because that’s just what we do,” I blurted out. “We bury people when they die. Why does there have to be a reason for everything?”
“Exactly!” Mr. B. grabbed the pencil from behind his ear and began gesticulating with it. “We’ve forgotten why we bury people.
“Imagine you’re living in ancient times. Your father dies. Would you randomly decide to put him inside a six-sided wooden box, nail it shut, then bury it six feet below the earth? These decisions aren’t arbitrary, people. Why a six-sided box? And why six feet below the earth? And why a box in the first place? And why did every society throughout history create a specific, ritualistic way of disposing of their dead?”
No one answered.
But just as Mr. B. was about to continue, there was a knock on the door. Everyone turned to see Mrs. Lynch poke her head in. “Professor Bliss, the headmistress would like to see Brett Steyers in her office. As a matter of urgency.”
Professor Bliss nodded, and Brett grabbed his bag and stood up, his chair scraping against the floor as he left.
After the door closed, Mr. B. drew a terrible picture of a mummy on the board, which looked more like a hairy stick figure. “The Egyptians used to remove the brains of their dead before mummification. Now, why on earth would they do that?”
There was a vacant silence.
“Think, people! There must be a reason. Why the brain? What were they trying to preserve?”
When no one answered, he answered his own question.
“The mind!” he said, exasperated. “The soul!”
As much as I had planned on paying attention and participating in class, I spent the majority of the period passing notes with Eleanor. For all of his enthusiasm, Professor Bliss was repetitive and obsessed with death and immortality. When he faced the board to draw the hieroglyphic symbol for Ra, I read the note Eleanor had written me.
Who is cuter?
A. Professor Bliss
B. Brett Steyers
C. Dante Berlin
D. The mummy
I laughed. My hand wavered between B and C for the briefest moment. I wasn’t sure if you could really call Dante cute. Devastatingly handsome and mysterious would be the more appropriate description. Instead I circled option D. Next to it I wrote Obviously! and tossed it onto her desk when no one was looking.
Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1))
If you're still hungry, I have some apples for dessert." She held one out that was a mix of reds and greens with a hint of gold. "These are Red Fire apples."
Henri took a bite. "That's heaven. What did you call it? A Red Fire? I've never had anything like it."
"They're only grown in our kingdom. My mother was the one who created the hybrid," Snow said proudly.
She used to beg her parents to tell her the story of their courtship over and over. She could picture her mother laughing. Snow, there must be something else you want to talk about!
"It's what you get when you cross red apple seeds with some pears and green apple seeds," Snow told Henri now. "She came up with it at the apple orchard she helped tend when she was my age. My father loved them and had them planted all over the countryside." Snow picked up one and stared at it. "It was the Red Fire apple that endeared my mother to my father, actually. He adored her apples."
Henri smirked. "So it was love at first bite?"
She laughed. "I suppose so!
Jen Calonita (Mirror, Mirror (A Twisted Tale: Snow White))
Is it true it takes thirteen months for a female to carry and give birth?”
“Minimum.” He said it with such casual dismissal that Bella laughed.
“That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to lug the kid around inside of you all that time. You, just like your human counterparts, have the fun part over with like that.” She snapped her fingers in front of his face.
His dark eyes narrowed and he reached to enclose her hand in his, pulling her wrist up to the slow, purposeful brush of his lips even as he maintained a sensual eye contact that was far too full of promises. Isabella caught her breath as an insidious sensation of heated pins and needles stitched its way up her arm.
“I promise you, Bella, a male Demon’s part in a mating is never over like this.” He mimicked her snap, making her jump in time to her kick-starting heartbeat.
“Well”—she cleared her throat—“I guess I’ll have to take your word on that.” Jacob did not respond in agreement, and that unnerved her even further. Instinctively, she changed tack. “So, what brings you down into the dusty atmosphere of the great Demon library?” she asked, knowing she sounded like a brightly animated cartoon.
Oh, how that singular word was pregnant with meaning, intent, and devastatingly blatant honesty. Isabella was forced to remind herself of the whole Demon-human mating taboo as the forbidden response of heat continued to writhe around beneath her skin, growing exponentially in intensity every moment he hovered close. She tried to picture all kinds of scary things that could happen if she did not quit egging him on like she was. How she was, she didn’t know, but she was always certain she was egging him on.
“Why did you want to see me?” she asked, breaking away from him and bending to retrieve the book she had dropped. It was huge and heavy and she grunted softly under the weight of it. It landed with a slam and another puff of dust on the table she had made into her own private study station.
“Because I cannot seem to help myself, lovely little Bella.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
If it was him in those pictures with the monkey, he could look at them every day and think: ‘If I could do this, I could do anything’. No matter what else you came up against, if you could smile and laugh while a monkey did you with chestnuts in a dank concrete basement and somebody took pictures, well, any other situation would be a piece of cake.
More and more, for the stupid little kid, that was the idea…
That if someday you were caught, exposed, and revealed enough, then you’d never be able to hide again. There’d be no difference between your public and your private lives.
That if you could acquire enough, accomplish enough, you’d never want to own or do another thing.
That if you could eat or sleep enough, you’d never need more.
That if enough people loved you, you’d stop needing love.
That you could ever be smart enough.
That you could someday get enough sex.
These all became the little boy’s new goals. The illusions he’d have for the rest of his life. These were all the promises he saw in the fat man’s smile.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
He turned over the application, and Lauren watched him scanning it, his gaze nearing the bottom where she had listed her job preferences. She knew the exact instant he spotted what she had written. "What the...!" he said, astonished, and then he burst out laughing. "Weatherby and I are going to have to be careful. Which of our jobs do you want most?"
"Neither," Lauren said shortly. "I did that because on my way to the interview at Sinco,I decided I didn't want to work there after all."
"So you purposely flunked your tests,is that it?"
"Lauren..." he began in a soft seductive voice that instantly put her on guard.
"I've had the dubious pleasure of reading through your file," she clarified, at his stunned look. "I know all about Bebe Leonardos and the French movie star.I even saw the picture of you that was taken with Ericka Moran the day after you sent me away because a "business aquaintance' was coming to see you."
"And," he concluded evenly, "you were hurt."
"I was disgusted," Lauren shot back, refusing to admit to any of the anguish she'd felt.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Is this kind of . . . boring for you?” I asked him, feeling self-conscious.
“What?” His hand that was resting on my hip tensed. He almost looked offended.
I brushed imaginary lint from his shoulder. “I mean, you know, just kissing.”
“This is better than anything I’ve ever done.” His voice was soft and sincere. He pushed the long bangs from my eyes. “Besides, have you ever snogged yourself, luv? It’s brilliant.”
I laughed, hiding my face in his neck, and he chuckled, too.
“Why?” he asked, playing with my hair. “Are you bored? Seeing as how you’ve kissed so many lads now and all?”
I whipped my head up. “Ew, I don’t even want to talk about that. Those were gross and sloppy and—”
“No details please.”
“All right. How about this . . . I could kiss you all night, Kaidan Rowe.”
“That’s my plan,” he said.
We leaned in and stopped an inch away, interrupted by a persistent beeping coming from down the hall. My heart jumped before I placed the sound.
“Brownies in bed?” I asked. He actually stiffened and looked pained. “What’s wrong? Do you have a no-food-in-bed policy?”
“No. You’re just . . . turning me on with the whole Betty Crocker bit.” His eyes blurred as he seemed to be imagining something. I couldn’t picture anything sexy about me cooking.
I hit him with a pillow and he held up his palms in surrender.
“Maybe I’ll bring a glass of ice water in case I need to douse you,” I said, standing to go.
“Hurry back,” he called. “I’ll just be here . . . dreaming of you in an apron and oven mitt.”
I giggled at the absurdity of it. “You’re so easy,” I muttered.
His laughter followed me down the hall, and I basked in it.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
A cell phone rang from the end table to my right and Kristen bolted up straight. She put her beer on the coffee table and dove across my lap for her phone, sprawling over me.
My eyes flew wide. I’d never been that close to her before. I’d only ever touched her hand.
If I pushed her down across my knees, I could spank her ass.
She grabbed her phone and whirled off my lap. “It’s Sloan. I’ve been waiting for this call all day.” She put a finger to her lips for me to be quiet, hit the Talk button, and put her on speaker. “Hey, Sloan, what’s up?”
“Did you send me a potato?”
Kristen covered her mouth with her hand and I had to stifle a snort. “Why? Did you get an anonymous potato in the mail?”
“Something is seriously wrong with you,” Sloan said. “Congratulations, he put a ring on it. PotatoParcel.com.” She seemed to be reading a message. “You found a company that mails potatoes with messages on them? Where do you find this stuff?”
Kristen’s eyes danced. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you have the other thing though?”
“Yeeeess. The note says to call you before I open it. Why am I afraid?”
Kristen giggled. “Open it now. Is Brandon with you?”
“Yes, he’s with me. He’s shaking his head.”
I could picture his face, that easy smile on his lips.
“Okay, I’m opening it. It looks like a paper towel tube. There’s tape on the—AHHHHHH! Are you kidding me, Kristen?! What the hell!”
Kristen rolled forward, putting her forehead to my shoulder in laughter.
“I’m covered in glitter! You sent me a glitter bomb? Brandon has it all over him! It’s all over the sofa!”
Now I was dying. I covered my mouth, trying to keep quiet, and I leaned into Kristen, who was howling, our bodies shaking with laughter. I must not have been quiet enough though.
“Wait, who’s with you?” Sloan asked.
Kristen wiped at her eyes. “Josh is here.”
“Didn’t he have a date tonight? Brandon told me he had a date.”
“He did, but he came back over after.”
“He came back over?” Her voice changed instantly. “And what are you two doing? Remember what we talked about, Kristen…” Her tone was taunting.
Kristen glanced at me. Sloan didn’t seem to realize she was on speaker. Kristen hit the Talk button and pressed the phone to her ear. “I’ll call you tomorrow. I love you!” She hung up on her and set her phone down on the coffee table, still tittering.
“And what did you two talk about?” I asked, arching an eyebrow.
I liked that she’d talked about me. Liked it a lot.
“Just sexually objectifying you. The usual,” she said, shrugging. “Nothing a hot fireman like you can’t handle.”
A hot fireman like you.I did my best to hide my smirk.
“So do you do this to Sloan a lot?” I asked.
“All the time. I love messing with her. She’s so easily worked up.” She reached for her beer.
I chuckled. “How do you sleep at night knowing she’ll be finding glitter in her couch for the next month?”
She took a swig of her beer. “With the fan on medium.”
My laugh came so hard Stuntman Mike looked up and cocked his head at me.
She changed the channel and stopped on HBO. Some show. There was a scene with rose petals down a hallway into a bedroom full of candles. She shook her head at the TV. “See, I just don’t get why that’s romantic. You want flower petals stuck to your ass? And who’s gonna clean all that shit up? Me? Like, thanks for the flower sex, let’s spend the next half an hour sweeping?”
“Those candles are a huge fire hazard.” I tipped my beer toward the screen.
“Right? And try getting wax out of the carpet. Good luck with that.”
I looked at the side of her face. “So what do you think is romantic?”
“Common sense,” she answered without thinking about it. “My wedding wouldn’t be romantic. It would be entertaining. You know what I want at my wedding?” she said, looking at me. “I want the priest from The Princess Bride. The mawage guy.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
Do you believe in love at first sight?”
He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?”
Her breath caught in her throat like a sore hiccup.
And then it was too much to keep trying not to kiss her.
She came readily into his arms. Lincoln leaned against the coffee machine and pulled her onto him completely. There it was again, that impossible to describe kiss. This is how 2011 should have ended, he thought. This is infinity.
The first time Beth pulled away, he pulled her back.
The second time, he bit her lip.
Then her neck.
Then the collar of her shirt.
“I don’t know…,” she said, sitting up in his lap, laying her check on the top of his head. “I don’t know what you meant by love before love at first sight.”
Lincoln pushed his face into her shoulder and tried to think of a good way to answer.
“Just that… I knew how I felt about you before I ever saw you,” he said, “when I still thought I might never see you…”
She held his head in her hands and titled it back, so she could see his face.
“That’s ridiculous,” she said. Which made him laugh.
“Absolutely,” he said.
“No, I mean it,” Beth said. “Men fall in love with their eyes.” He closed his. “That’s practically science,” she said.
“Maybe,” Lincoln said. Her fingers felt so good in his hair. “But I couldn’t see you, so…”
“So, what did you see?”
“Just…the sort of girl who would write the sort of things that you wrote.”
Lincoln opened his eyes. Beth was studying his face. She looked skeptical-maybe about more than just the last thing he said. This was important, he realized.
“Everything,” he said, sitting straighter, keeping hold of her waist. “Everything you wrote about your work, about your boyfriend…The way you comforted Jennifer and made her laugh, through the baby and after. I pictured a girl who could be kind, and that kind of funny. I pictured a girl who was that alive…”
She looked guarded. Lincoln couldn’t tell from her eyes whether he was pushing her away or winning her over.
“A girl who never got tired of her favourite movies,” he said softly. “Who saved dresses like ticket stubs. Who could get high on the weather..
“I pictured a girl who made every moment, everything she touched, and everyone around her feel lighter and sweeter. I pictured you,” he said. “I just didn’t know what you looked like. And then, when I did know what you looked like, you looked like the girl who was all those things. You looked like the girl I loved.”
Beth’s fingers trembled in his hair, and her forehead dropped against his. A heavy, wet tear fell onto Lincoln’s lips, and he licked it. He pulled her close, as close as he could. Like he didn’t care for the moment whether she could breath. Like there were two of them and only one parachute.
“Beth,” he barely said, pressing his face against hers until their lashes brushed, pressing his hand into the small of her back. “I don’t think I can explain it. I don’t think I can make any more sense. But I’ll keep trying. If you want me to.”
She almost shook her head. “No,” she said, “no more explaining. Or apologizing. I don’t think it matters how we ended up here. I just…I want to stay…I want..
He kissed her then.
In the middle of the sentence.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
OBEDIENCE IS NOT ENOUGH. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy--everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always--do not forget this, Winston--always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever.
George Orwell (1984)
What the hell is all this I read in the papers?"
"Narrow it down for me," Alan suggested.
"I suppose it might have been a misprint," Daniel considered, frowning at the tip of his cigar before he tapped it in the ashtray he kept secreted in the bottom drawer of his desk. "I think I know my own flesh and blood well enough."
"Narrow it just a bit further," Alan requested, though he'd already gotten the drift.It was simply too good to end it too soon.
"When I read that my own son-my heir, as things are-is spending time fraternizing with a Campbell, I know it's a simple matter of misspelling. What's the girl's name?"
Along with a surge of affection, Alan felt a tug of pure and simple mischief. "Which girl is that?"
"Dammit,boy! The girl you're seeing who looks like a pixie.Fetching young thing from the picture I saw.Good bones; holds herself well."
"Shelby," Alan said, then waited a beat. "Shelby Campbell."
Dead silence.Leaning back in his chair, Alan wondered how long it would be before his father remembered to take a breath. It was a pity, he mused, a real pity that he couldn't see the old pirate's face.
"Campbell!" The word erupted. "A thieving, murdering Campbell!"
"Yes,she's fond of MacGregor's as well."
"No son of mine gives the time of day to one of the clan Campbell!" Daniel bellowed. "I'll take a strap to you, Alan Duncan MacGregor!" The threat was as empty now as it had been when Alan had been eight, but delivered in the same full-pitched roar. "I'll wear the hide off you."
"You'll have the chance to try this weekend when you meet Shelby."
"A Campbell in my house! Hah!"
"A Campbell in your house," Alan repeated mildly. "And a Campbell in your family before the end of the year if I have my way."
"You-" Emotions warred in him. A Campbell versus his firmest aspiration: to see each of his children married and settled, and himself laden with grandchildren. "You're thinking of marriage to a Campbell?"
"I've already asked her.She won't have me...yet," he added.
"Won't have you!" Paternal pride dominated all else. "What kind of a nitwit is she? Typical Campbell," he muttered. "Mindless pagans." Daniel suspected they'd had some sorcerers sprinkled among them. "Probably bewitched the boy," he mumbled, scowling into space. "Always had good sense before this.Aye, you bring your Campbell to me," he ordered roundly. "I'll get to the bottom of it."
Alan smothered a laugh, forgetting the poor mood that had plagued him only minutes earlier. "I'll ask her."
"Ask? Hah! You bring the girl, that daughter of a Campbell, here."
Picturing Shelby, Alan decided he wouldn't iss the meeting for two-thirds the popular vote. "I'll see you Friday, Dad.Give Mom my love."
"Friday," Daniel muttered, puffing avidly on his cigar. "Aye,aye, Friday."
As he hung up Alan could all but see his father rubbing his huge hands togther in anticipation. It should be an interesting weekened.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock….His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.”
“I looked at them,” Tolstoy recalled, “and saw their faces all aglow, while their eyes were burning. I saw that those rude barbarians were really interested in a man whose name and deeds had already become a legend.” He told them everything he knew about Lincoln’s “home life and youth…his habits, his influence upon the people and his physical strength.” When he finished, they were so grateful for the story that they presented him with “a wonderful Arabian horse.” The next morning, as Tolstoy prepared to leave, they asked if he could possibly acquire for them a picture of Lincoln. Thinking that he might find one at a friend’s house in the neighboring town, Tolstoy asked one of the riders to accompany him. “I was successful in getting a large photograph from my friend,” recalled Tolstoy. As he handed it to the rider, he noted that the man’s hand trembled as he took it. “He gazed for several minutes silently, like one in a reverent prayer, his eyes filled with tears.”
Tolstoy went on to observe, “This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skilful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character.
“Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together.
“We are still too near to his greatness,” Tolstoy concluded, “but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals:The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
Cletus Byron Winston, you are being rude.” I might have my own less than glowing thoughts about my father, but he was my father.
He opened his mouth to respond, then snapped it shut and did a double take, his eyes narrowing on me. “First of all, how do you know my middle name?”
“Your momma used to use it when you were naughty, when you boys would help her shelve books in the library. ‘Cletus Byron! Stop stuffing Astrophysics Monthly down your pants!’”
Cletus grinned. Then he chuckled. His eyes lost some of their zealous focus as he pushed away from the tree and strolled closer. “Oh yeah. She did, didn’t she?”
“I felt sorry for Billy, though.” I scooched to one side as he sat down. “His name always confused everyone, like your momma was trying to talk to Shakespeare’s ghost. ‘William Shakespeare, would you please stop Beauford from pulling down his pants in front of the girls?’”
Cletus laughed harder, leaning backward and holding his stomach. “I remember that. How old was Beau?”
“He was ten. He was trying to show us his new Tarzan underwear. I don’t think he meant any harm.”
“He sure did love that underwear.” Cletus nodded and he scratched his beard. “I’m going to have to find him some Tarzanunderwear in adult size.”
“So you can torture him about it?”
He pretended to be shocked by my accusation. “Certainly not. I don’t torture my siblings.”
“Yeah, right.” I gave him my side-eye. “You forget, I’m a people watcher. I know you sell embarrassing pictures of them onstock photo sites. Jethro was griping about it after church over the summer. If it’s not torture, what do you call it then?”
He lifted his chin proudly. “I offer invaluable character building opportunities. I help them reach their true potential through suffering.”
Penny Reid (Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3))
Epistle to Miss Blount, On Her Leaving the Town, After the Coronation"
As some fond virgin, whom her mother’s care
Drags from the town to wholesome country air,
Just when she learns to roll a melting eye,
And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh;
From the dear man unwillingly she must sever,
Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever:
Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew,
Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew;
Not that their pleasures caused her discontent,
She sighed not that They stayed, but that She went.
She went, to plain-work, and to purling brooks,
Old-fashioned halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks,
She went from Opera, park, assembly, play,
To morning walks, and prayers three hours a day;
To pass her time ‘twixt reading and Bohea,
To muse, and spill her solitary tea,
Or o’er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,
Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon;
Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,
Hum half a tune, tell stories to the squire;
Up to her godly garret after seven,
There starve and pray, for that’s the way to heaven.
Some Squire, perhaps, you take a delight to rack;
Whose game is Whisk, whose treat a toast in sack,
Who visits with a gun, presents you birds,
Then gives a smacking buss, and cries – No words!
Or with his hound comes hollowing from the stable,
Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table;
Whose laughs are hearty, tho’ his jests are coarse,
And loves you best of all things – but his horse.
In some fair evening, on your elbow laid,
Your dream of triumphs in the rural shade;
In pensive thought recall the fancied scene,
See Coronations rise on every green;
Before you pass th’ imaginary sights
Of Lords, and Earls, and Dukes, and gartered Knights;
While the spread fan o’ershades your closing eyes;
Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.
Thus vanish scepters, coronets, and balls,
And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls.
So when your slave, at some dear, idle time,
(Not plagued with headaches, or the want of rhyme)
Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew,
And while he seems to study, thinks of you:
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes,
Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,
Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite;
Streets, chairs, and coxcombs rush upon my sight;
Vexed to be still in town, I knit my brow,
Look sour, and hum a tune – as you may now.
Pizza Palace?” David asks. It’s just a few doors down. I picture my friends all huddled in a booth in the back. No need to combine David with my real life.
“I figured you wouldn’t want to go there. Pizza Pizza Pizza is so much better and has that great two-for-one deal. I just didn’t want to suggest it,” David says.
“The name. It’s not like they have three times more pizza than other places. Ridiculous.”
“How about we not get pizza at all?”
“I thought you might say that too, since you had such a hearty, well-balanced lunch.” He pauses. Clears his throat. Stares at the single car making its way down Main Street. “That’s going to be one of those things I said out loud and then will regret later, isn’t it?”
I laugh and it feels good. He looks sweet when he realizes he’s said the wrong thing. His eyes go big and wide. To rescue him, I link my arm with his and start us walking down the street.
“Just so you know, if asked, I would have no idea how to describe your frequency,” I say.
“Honestly, sometimes I think only dogs can hear me,” he says.
“For what it’s worth, I can hear you just fine.”
“It’s worth a lot,” David says, and I blush, and I’m pretty sure he does too
Julie Buxbaum (What to Say Next)
But there’s never been anyone? Really?”
Sarah shrugs. “Penny and I were tutored at home when we were young . . . but in year ten, there was this one boy.”
I rub my hands together. “Here we go—tell me everything. I want all the sick, lurid details. Was he a footballer? Big and strong, captain of the team, the most popular boy in school?”
I could see it. Sarah’s delicate, long and lithe, but dainty, beautiful—any young man would’ve been desperate to have her on his arm. In his lap. In his bed, on the hood of his car, riding his face . . . all of the above.
“He was captain of the chess team.”
I cover my eyes with my hand.
“His name was Davey. He wore these adorable tweed jackets and bow ties, he had blond hair, and was a bit pale because of the asthma. He had the same glasses as I and he had a different pair of argyle socks for every day of the year.”
“You’re messing with me, right?”
She shakes her head.
“Argyle socks, Sarah? I am so disappointed in you right now.”
“He was nice,” she chides. “You leave my Davey alone.”
Then she laughs again—delighted and free. My cock reacts hard and fast, emphasis on hard. It’s like sodding granite.
“So what happened to old Davey boy?”
“I was alone in the library one day and he came up and started to ask me to the spring social. And I was so excited and nervous I could barely breathe.”
I picture how she must’ve looked then. But in my mind’s eyes she’s really not any different than she is right now. Innocent, sweet, and so real she couldn’t deceive someone if her life depended on it.
“And then before he could finish the question, I . . .”
I don’t realize I’m leaning toward her until she stops talking and I almost fall over.
“You . . . what?”
Sarah hides behind her hands.
“I threw up on him.”
And I try not to laugh. I swear I try . . . but I’m only human. So I end up laughing so hard the car shakes and I can’t speak for several minutes.
“And I’d had fish and chips for lunch.” Sarah’s laughing too. “It was awful.”
“Oh you poor thing.” I shake my head, still chuckling. “And poor Davey.”
“Yes.” She wipes under her eyes with her finger. “Poor Davey. He never came near me again after that.”
“Coward—he didn’t deserve you. I would’ve swam through a whole lake of puke to take a girl like you to the social.”
She smiles so brightly at me, her cheeks maroon and round like two shiny apples.
“I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
I wiggle my eyebrows. “I’m all about the compliments.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
I do love Oregon." My gaze wanders over the quiet, natural beauty surrounding us, which isn't limited to just this garden. "Being near the river, and the ocean, and the rocky mountains, and all this nature ... the weather."
He chuckles. "I've never met anyone who actually loves rain. It's kind of weird. But cool, too," he adds quickly, as if afraid to offend me. "I just don't get it."
I shrug. "It's not so much that I love rain. I just have a healthy respect for what if does. People hate it, but the world needs rain. It washes away dirt, dilutes the toxins in the air, feeds drought. It keeps everything around us alive."
"Well, I have a healthy respect for what the sun does," he counters with a smile."
"I'd rather have the sun after a good, hard rainfall."
He just shakes his head at me but he's smiling. "The good with the bad?"
"Isn't that life?"
He frowns. "Why do I sense a metaphor behind that?"
"Maybe there is a metaphor behind that." One I can't very well explain to him without describing the kinds of things I see every day in my life. The underbelly of society - where twisted morals reign and predators lurk, preying on the lost, the broken, the weak, the innocent. Where a thirteen-year-old sells her body rather than live under the same roof as her abusive parents, where punks gang-rape a drunk girl and then post pictures of it all over the internet so the world can relive it with her. Where a junkie mom's drug addiction is readily fed while her children sit back and watch.
Where a father is murdered bacause he made the mistake of wanting a van for his family.
In that world, it seems like it's raining all the time. A cold, hard rain that seeps into clothes, chills bones, and makes people feel utterly wretched.
Many times, I see people on the worst day of their lives, when they feel like they're drowing. I don't enjoy seeing people suffer. I just know that if they make good choices, and accept the right help, they'll come out of it all the stronger for it.
What I do enjoy comes after. Three months later, when I see that thirteen-year-old former prostitute pushing a mower across the front lawn of her foster home, a quiet smile on her face. Eight months later, when I see the girl who was raped walking home from school with a guy who wants nothing from her but to make her laugh. Two years later, when I see the junkie mom clean and sober and loading a shopping cart for the kids that the State finally gave back to her.
Those people have seen the sun again after the harshest rain, and they appreciate it so much more.
K.A. Tucker (Becoming Rain (Burying Water, #2))
ROTHKO: All those bugs – ach! I know, those plein air painters, they sing to you endless paeans about the majesty of natural sunlight. Get out there and muck around in the grass, they tell you, like a cow. When I was young I didn’t know any better so I would haul my supplies out there and the wind would blow the paper and the easel would fall over and the ants would get in the paint. Oy… But then I go to Rome for the first time. I go to the Santa Maria del Popolo to see Caravaggio’s ‘Conversion of Saul,’ which turns out is tucked away in a dark corner of this dark church with no natural light. It’s like a cave. But the painting glowed! With a sort of rapture it glowed. Consider: Caravaggio was commissioned to paint the picture for this specific place, he had no choice. He stands there and he looks around. It’s like under the ocean it’s so goddamn dark. How’s he going to paint here? He turns to his creator: ‘God, help me, unworthy sinner that I am. Tell me, O Lord on High, what the fuck do I do now?!’ KEN laughs. ROTHKO: Then it comes to him: the divine spark. He illuminates the picture from within! He gives it inner luminosity. It lives… Like one of those bioluminescent fish from the bottom of the ocean, radiating its own effulgence. You understand? Caravaggio was –
John Logan (Red)
If she captured Tamlin’s power once, who’s to say she can’t do it again?” It was the question I hadn’t yet dared voice.
“He won’t be tricked again so easily,” he said, staring up at the ceiling. “Her biggest weapon is that she keeps our powers contained. But she can’t access them, not wholly—though she can control us through them. It’s why I’ve never been able to shatter her mind—why she’s not dead already. The moment you break Amarantha’s curse, Tamlin’s wrath will be so great that no force in the world will keep him from splattering her on the walls.”
A chill went through me.
“Why do you think I’m doing this?” He waved a hand to me.
“Because you’re a monster.”
He laughed. “True, but I’m also a pragmatist. Working Tamlin into a senseless fury is the best weapon we have against her. Seeing you enter into a fool’s bargain with Amarantha was one thing, but when Tamlin saw my tattoo on your arm … Oh, you should have been born with my abilities, if only to have felt the rage that seeped from him.”
I didn’t want to think much about his abilities. “Who’s to say he won’t splatter you as well?”
“Perhaps he’ll try—but I have a feeling he’ll kill Amarantha first. That’s what it all boils down to, anyway: even your servitude to me can be blamed on her. So he’ll kill her tomorrow, and I’ll be free before he can start a fight with me that will reduce our once-sacred mountain to rubble.” He picked at his nails. “And I have a few other cards to play.”
I lifted my brows in silent question.
“Feyre, for Cauldron’s sake. I drug you, but you don’t wonder why I never touch you beyond your waist or arms?”
Until tonight—until that damned kiss. I gritted my teeth, but even as my anger rose, a picture cleared.
“It’s the only claim I have to innocence,” he said, “the only thing that will make Tamlin think twice before entering into a battle with me that would cause a catastrophic loss of innocent life. It’s the only way I can convince him I was on your side. Believe me, I would have liked nothing more than to enjoy you—but there are bigger things at stake than taking a human woman to my bed.”
I knew, but I still asked, “Like what?”
“Like my territory,” he said, and his eyes held a far-off look that I hadn’t yet seen. “Like my remaining people, enslaved to a tyrant queen who can end their lives with a single word. Surely Tamlin expressed similar sentiments to you.” He hadn’t—not entirely. He hadn’t been able to, thanks to the curse.
“Why did Amarantha target you?” I dared ask. “Why make you her whore?”
“Beyond the obvious?” He gestured to his perfect face. When I didn’t smile, he loosed a breath. “My father killed Tamlin’s father—and his brothers.”
I started. Tamlin had never said—never told me the Night Court was responsible for that.
“It’s a long story, and I don’t feel like getting into it, but let’s just say that when she stole our lands out from under us, Amarantha decided that she especially wanted to punish the son of her friend’s murderer—decided that she hated me enough for my father’s deeds that I was to suffer.”
I might have reached a hand toward him, might have offered my apologies—but every thought had dried up in my head. What Amarantha had done to him …
“So,” he said wearily, “here we are, with the fate of our immortal world in the hands of an illiterate human.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Okay.First things first. Three things you don't want me to know about you."
"What?" I gaped at him.
"You're the one who says we don't know each other.So let's cut to the chase."
Oh,but this was too easy:
1. I am wearing my oldest, ugliest underwear.
2.I think your girlfriend is evil and should be destroyed.
3.I am a lying, larcenous creature who talks to dead people and thinks she should be your girlfriend once the aforementioned one is out of the picture.
I figured that was just about everything. "I don't think so-"
"Doesn't have to be embarrassing or major," Alex interrupted me, "but it has to be something that costs a little to share." When I opened my mouth to object again, he pointed a long finger at the center of my chest. "You opened the box,Pandora.So sit."
There was a funny-shaped velour chair near my knees. I sat. The chair promptly molded itself to my butt. I assumed that meant it was expensive, and not dangerous. Alex flopped onto the bed,settling on his side with his elbow bent and his head propped on his hand.
"Can't you go first?" I asked.
"You opened the box..."
"Okay,okay. I'm thinking."
He gave me about thirty seconds. Then, "Time."
I took a breath. "I'm on full scholarship to Willing." One thing Truth or Dare has taught me is that you can't be too proud and still expect to get anything valuable out of the process.
"I'm terrified of a lot things, including lightning, driving a stick shift, and swimming in the ocean."
His expression didn't change at all. He just took in my answers. "Last one."
"I am not telling you about my underwear," I muttered.
He laughed. "I am sorry to hear that. Not even the color?"
I wanted to scowl. I couldn't. "No.But I will tell you that I like anchovies on my pizza."
"That's supposed to be consolation for withholding lingeries info?"
"Not my concern.But you tell me-is it something you would broadcast around the lunchroom?"
"Probably not," he agreed.
"Didn't think so." I settled back more deeply into my chair. It didn't escape my notice that, yet again, I was feeling very relaxed around this boy. Yet again, it didn't make me especially happy. "Your turn."
I thought about my promise to Frankie. I quietly hoped Alex would tell me something to make me like him even a little less.
He was ready. "I cried so much during my first time at camp that my parents had to come get me four days early."
I never went to camp. It always seemed a little bit idyllic to me. "How old were you?"
"Why?" I imagined a very small Alex in a Spider-Man shirt, cuddling the threadbare bunny now sitting on the shelf over his computer. I sighed. "Oh,no reason. Next."
"I hated Titanic, The Notebook, and Twilight."
"What did you think of Ten Things I Hate About You?"
"Hey," he snapped. "I didn't ask questions during your turn."
"No,you didn't," I agreed pleasantly. "Anser,please."
"Fine.I liked Ten Things. Satisfied?"
No,actually. "Alex," I said sadly, "either you are mind-bogglingly clueless about what I wouldn't want to know, or your next revelation is going to be that you have an unpleasant reaction to kryptonite."
He was looking at me like I'd spoken Swahili. "What are you talking about?"
Just call me Lois. I shook my head. "Never mind. Carry on."
"I have been known to dance in front of the mirror-" he cringed a little- "to 'Thriller.'"
And there it was. Alex now knew that I was a penniless coward with a penchant for stinky fish.I knew he was officially adorable.
He pushed himself up off his elbow and swung his legs around until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. "And on that humiliating note, I will now make you translate bathroom words into French." He picked up a sheaf of papers from the floor. "I have these worksheets. They're great for the irregular verbs...
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
During all that time I didn't see Willie. I didn't see him again until he announced in the Democratic primary in 1930. But it wasn't a primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the back room of Casey's saloon rolled into one, and when the dust cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood. In the background of the picture, under a purplish tumbled sky flecked with sinister white like driven foam, flanking Willie, one on each side, were two figures, Sadie Burke and a tallish, stooped, slow-spoken man with a sad, tanned face and what they call the eyes of a dreamer. The man was Hugh Miller, Harvard Law School, Lafayette Escadrille, Croix de Guerre, clean hands, pure heart, and no political past. He was a fellow who had sat still for years, and then somebody (Willie Stark) handed him a baseball bat and he felt his fingers close on the tape. He was a man and was Attorney General. And Sadie Burke was just Sadie Burke.
Over the brow of the hill, there were, of course, some other people. There were, for instance, certain gentlemen who had been devoted to Joe Harrison, but who, when they discovered there wasn't going to be any more Joe Harrison politically speaking, had had to hunt up a new friend. The new friend happened to be Willie. He was the only place for them to go. They figured they would sign on with Willie and grow up with the country. Willie signed them on all right, and as a result got quite a few votes not of the wool-hat and cocklebur variety. After a while Willie even signed on Tiny Duffy, who became Highway Commissioner and, later, Lieutenant Governor in Willie's last term. I used to wonder why Willie kept him around. Sometimes I used to ask the Boss, "What do you keep that lunk-head for?" Sometimes he would just laugh and say nothing. Sometimes he would say, "Hell, somebody's got to be Lieutenant Governor, and they all look alike." But once he said: "I keep him because he reminds me of something."
"Something I don't ever want to forget," he said.
"That when they come to you sweet talking you better not listen to anything they say. I don't aim to forget that."
So that was it. Tiny was the fellow who had come in a big automobile and had talked sweet to Willie back when Willie was a little country lawyer.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
Five actors playing allotted parts on a set stage; and now he, for whom no part had been written, had walked onto the stage unexpectedly, because one of the players had turned rebel, as she had once before. He threw everything out of focus, and them into a fever. The heat and intensity of these flying questions was enough to make a man with even partially trained clairvoyant faculties feel as if he sat in a room filled with flashing fireflies.
He took warning and withdrew himself to a cold inner isolation, as he knew how to do, even while laughing and talking with surface ease. It would not do to let his mind become clouded with emotion; or open any door of his imagination. But the impressions that came across that safer inner distance did not make his companions seem less dramatic, more normal: they were still out of focus. Something about the picture was distorted, even to a clear vision. The sense of evil was as strong as ever although the lurking Presence seemed to have retreated into a far background.
He saw presently what the distortion was.
Their modern figures were somehow incongruous in the old house, not at home. Like actors who had somehow got onto the wrong stage, onto sets with which their voices and costumes clashed. Interlopers. Or else-actors of an old school dressed up in an unbecoming masquerade.
Witch House was an old house. Not old as other houses are old, that remain beds of the continuous stream of life, of marriages and births and deaths, of children crying and children laughing, where the past is only part of the pattern, root of the present and the future. Joseph de Quincy, dead nearly a quarter of a thousand years, was still its master: he had been strong, so strong that no later personality could dim or efface him here where he had set his seal.
"He left his evil here when he could no longer stay himself," Carew thought. "As a man with diphtheria leaves germs on the things he has handled, the bed he has lain in. Thoughts are tangible things; on their own plane they breed like germs and, unlike germs, they do not die. He may have forgotten; he may even walk the earth in other flesh, but what he has left here lives."
As probably it had been meant to do. For the man whose malignance, swollen with the contributions of the centuries, still ensouled these walls would not have cared to build a house or found a family except as a means to an end. Witch House was set like a mold, steeped in ritual atmosphere as a temple.
Dangerous business, for who could say that such a temple would not find a god? There are low, non-human beings that coalesce with and feed on such leftover forces: lair in them.
Evangeline Walton (Witch House)
Why can't we sit together? What's the point of seat reservations,anyway? The bored woman calls my section next,and I think terrible thoughts about her as she slides my ticket through her machine. At least I have a window seat. The middle and aisle are occupied with more businessmen. I'm reaching for my book again-it's going to be a long flight-when a polite English accent speaks to the man beside me.
"Pardon me,but I wonder if you wouldn't mind switching seats.You see,that's my girlfriend there,and she's pregnant. And since she gets a bit ill on airplanes,I thought she might need someone to hold back her hair when...well..." St. Clair holds up the courtesy barf bag and shakes it around. The paper crinkles dramatically.
The man sprints off the seat as my face flames. His pregnant girlfriend?
"Thank you.I was in forty-five G." He slides into the vacated chair and waits for the man to disappear before speaking again. The guy onhis other side stares at us in horror,but St. Clair doesn't care. "They had me next to some horrible couple in matching Hawaiian shirts. There's no reason to suffer this flight alone when we can suffer it together."
"That's flattering,thanks." But I laugh,and he looks pleased-until takeoff, when he claws the armrest and turns a color disturbingy similar to key lime pie. I distract him with a story about the time I broke my arm playing Peter Pan. It turned out there was more to flying than thinking happy thoughts and jumping out a window. St. Clair relaxes once we're above the clouds.
Time passes quickly for an eight-hour flight.
We don't talk about what waits on the other side of the ocean. Not his mother. Not Toph.Instead,we browse Skymall. We play the if-you-had-to-buy-one-thing-off-each-page game. He laughs when I choose the hot-dog toaster, and I tease him about the fogless shower mirror and the world's largest crossword puzzle.
"At least they're practical," he says.
"What are you gonna do with a giant crossword poster? 'Oh,I'm sorry Anna. I can't go to the movies tonight. I'm working on two thousand across, Norwegian Birdcall."
"At least I'm not buying a Large Plastic Rock for hiding "unsightly utility posts.' You realize you have no lawn?"
"I could hide other stuff.Like...failed French tests.Or illegal moonshining equipment." He doubles over with that wonderful boyish laughter, and I grin. "But what will you do with a motorized swimming-pool snack float?"
"Use it in the bathtub." He wipes a tear from his cheek. "Ooo,look! A Mount Rushmore garden statue. Just what you need,Anna.And only forty dollars! A bargain!"
We get stumped on the page of golfing accessories, so we switch to drawing rude pictures of the other people on the plane,followed by rude pictures of Euro Disney Guy. St. Clair's eyes glint as he sketches the man falling down the Pantheon's spiral staircase.
There's a lot of blood. And Mickey Mouse ears.
After a few hours,he grows sleepy.His head sinks against my shoulder. I don't dare move.The sun is coming up,and the sky is pink and orange and makes me think of sherbet.I siff his hair. Not out of weirdness.It's just...there.
He must have woken earlier than I thought,because it smells shower-fresh. Clean. Healthy.Mmm.I doze in and out of a peaceful dream,and the next thing I know,the captain's voice is crackling over the airplane.We're here.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
When I was a kid,'' she said. ``These sort of stories always start like this, don't they, `When I was a kid ...' Anyway. This is the bit where the girl suddenly says, `When I was a kid' and starts to unburden herself. We have got to that bit. When I was a kid I had this picture hanging over the foot of my bed ... What do you think of it so far?''
``I like it. I think it's moving well. You're getting the bedroom interest in nice and early. We could probably do with some development with the picture.''
``It was one of those pictures that children are supposed to like,'' she said, ``but don't. Full of endearing little animals doing endearing things, you know?''
``I know. I was plagued with them too. Rabbits in waistcoats.''
``Exactly. These rabbits were in fact on a raft, as were assorted rats and owls. There may even have been a reindeer.''
``On the raft.''
``On the raft. And a boy was sitting on the raft.''
``Among the rabbits in waistcoats and the owls and the reindeer.''
``Precisely there. A boy of the cheery gypsy ragamuffin variety.''
``The picture worried me, I must say. There was an otter swimming in front of the raft, and I used to lie awake at night worrying about this otter having to pull the raft, with all these wretched animals on it who shouldn't even be on a raft, and the otter had such a thin tail to pull it with I thought it must hurt pulling it all the time. Worried me. Not badly, but just vaguely, all the time.
``Then one day --- and remember I'd been looking at this picture every night for years --- I suddenly noticed that the raft had a sail. Never seen it before. The otter was fine, he was just swimming along.''
``Good story?'' she said.
``Ends weakly,'' said Arthur, ``leaves the audience crying `Yes, but what of it?' Fine up till there, but needs a final sting before the credits.''
Fenchurch laughed and hugged her legs.
``It was just such a sudden revelation, years of almost unnoticed worry just dropping away, like taking off heavy weights, like black and white becoming colour, like a dry stick suddenly being watered. The sudden shift of perspective that says `Put away your worries, the world is a good and perfect place. It is in fact very easy.
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
Maybe that’s his game, though,” I said. “The hunt for one soul, again and again.”
“Then why are you still here?”
“The other women lived with him for a long time too. Maybe he wants to wait until my defenses are down, and then-“
“Wow, Clea, you are so jaded. You found your soulmate. People wait their whole lives for this. It’s the most amazing thing in the world, and it’s happened to you. Can’t you just accept it and be happy?”
What she said made sense, but…
I flopped back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Without looking at Rayna, I said, “He doesn’t act like he’s my soulmate. Sometimes I think maybe he liked the other women more. I think maybe he wishes I was one of them.”
Rayna was silent. This was something I’d never heard. “This is seriously, deep,” she finally said. “You’re feeling insecure because you’re jealous…of yourself.”
“I didn’t say I was jealous…”
“You’d rather think he’s a serial killer than risk being with him and finding out he doesn’t like you as much as he liked…you?” She scrunched her brow and thought, then tried again. “Yous? Anyway, you know what I mean-the other yous.”
“Forget the jealousy thing, okay? There are other reasons to doubt him too. Ben doesn’t trust him at all. He thinks Sage is some kind of demon. He said there’s a spirit called an incubus that comes to women in their sleep, and-“
“Of course Ben said that.” Rayna shrugged. “He’s jealous.”
“Ben’s crazy in love with you, Clea. I’ve been saying that forever!”
“And I’ve been ignoring you forever, because it’s not true. You just want it to be true because it’s romantic.”
“Did you not see the pictures of you from Rio?”
I narrowed my eyes. “What are you talking about?”
Rayna pulled out her phone. “Honestly, I don’t know how you survive without Google Alerts on yourself. The paparazzi were out in full force for Carnival.”
She played with the phone for a minute, then handed it to me. It showed a close-up of Ben and me at the Sambadrome that could only have been taken with a serious zoom. I felt violated.
“I hate this,” I muttered.
“Why? You look cute!”
“I hate that people are sneaking around taking pictures of me!”
“I know you do. Ignore that for the moment. Just scroll through.”
There were five pictures of Ben and me. Four of them were moments I vividly remembered, pictures of the two of us facing each other, laughing as we did our best to imitate the dancers shimmying and strutting down the parade route.
The fifth one I didn’t remember. I wouldn’t have; in it I had my camera up to my face and was concentrating on lining up the perfect shot. Ben stood behind me, but he wasn’t wearing the goofy smile he’d had in the other pictures. He was staring right at me with those big puppydog eyes, and his smile wasn’t goofy at all, but…
“Uh-huh,” Rayna said triumphantly. She had climbed into my bed was looking at the picture over my shoulder. “Knew that one would stop you. There is only one word for the look on that boy’s face, Clea: love-struck. Which is probably why a bunch of websites are reporting he’s about to propose.”
“Messenger. Don’t kill the messenger.”
I looked back at the picture. Ben did look love-struck. Very love-struck.
“It could just be the picture,” I said. “They caught him at a weird moment.”
“Yeah, a weird moment when he thought no one was looking so he showed how he really felt.”
I gave Rayna back the phone and shook my head. “Ben and I are like brother and sister. That’s gross.”
“Hey, I read Flowers in the Attic. It was kind of hot.”
“Shut up!” I laughed.
“I’m just saying, think about it. Really think about it. Is it that hard to believe that Ben’s in love with you?
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
5236 rue St. Urbain
The baby girl was a quick learner, having synthesized a full range of traits of both of her parents, the charming and the devious. Of all the toddlers in the neighbourhood, she was the first to learn to read and also the first to tear out the pages. Within months she mastered the grilling of the steaks and soon thereafter presented reasons to not grill the steaks. She was the first to promote a new visceral style of physical comedy as a means of reinvigorate the social potential of satire, and the first to declare the movement over. She appreciated the qualities of movement and speed, but also understood the necessity of slowness and leisure. She quickly learned the importance of ladders. She invented games with numerous chess-boards, matches and glasses of unfinished wine.
Her parents, being both responsible and duplicitous people, came up with a plan to protect themselves, their apartment and belongings, while also providing an environment to encourage the open development of their daughter's obvious talents. They scheduled time off work, put on their pajamas and let the routines of the apartment go. They put their most cherished books right at her eye-level and gave her a chrome lighter. They blended the contents of the fridge and poured it into bowls they left on the floor. They took to napping in the living room, waking only to wipe their noses on the picture books and look blankly at the costumed characters on the TV shows. They made a fuss for their daughter's attention and cried when she wandered off; they bit or punched each other when she out of the room, and accused the other when she came in, looking frustrated. They made a mess of their pants when she drank too much, and let her figure out the fire extinguisher when their cigarettes set the blankets smoldering. They made her laugh with cute songs and then put clothes pins on the cat's tail.
Eventually things found their rhythm. More than once the three of them found their faces waxened with tears, unable to decide if they had been crying, laughing, or if it had all been a reflex, like drooling. They took turns in the bath. Parents and children--it is odd when you trigger instinctive behaviour in either of them--like survival, like nurture. It's alright to test their capabilities, but they can hurt themselves if they go too far. It can be helpful to imagine them all gorging on their favourite food until their bellies ache. Fall came and the family went to school together.
Lance Blomgren (Walkups)
So what did you and Landon do this afternoon?” Minka asked, her soft voice dragging him back to the present.
Angelo looked up to see that Minka had already polished off two fajitas. Damn, the girl could eat. “Landon gave me a tour of the DCO complex. I did some target shooting and blew up a few things. He even let me play with the expensive surveillance toys. I swear, it felt more like a recruiting pitch to get me to work there than anything.”
Minka’s eyes flashed green, her full lips curving slightly. Damn, why the hell had he said it like that? Now she probably thought he was going to come work for the DCO. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t, not after just reenlisting for another five years. The army wasn’t the kind of job where you could walk into the boss’s office and say, “I quit.”
Thinking it would be a good idea to steer the conversation back to safer ground, he reached for another fajita and asked Minka a question instead. “What do you think you’ll work on next with Ivy and Tanner? You going to practice with the claws for a while or move on to something else?”
Angelo felt a little crappy about changing the subject, but if Minka noticed, she didn’t seem to mind. And it wasn’t like he had to fake interest in what she was saying. Anything that involved Minka was important to him. Besides, he didn’t know much about shifters or hybrids, so the whole thing was pretty damn fascinating.
“What do you visualize when you see the beast in your mind?” he asked.
“Before today, I thought of it as a giant, blurry monster.
But after learning that the beast is a cat, that’s how I picture it now.” She smiled. “Not a little house cat, of course. They aren’t scary enough. More like a big cat that roams the mountains.”
“Makes sense,” he said.
Minka set the other half of her fourth fajita on her plate and gave him a curious look. “Would you mind if I ask you a personal question?”
His mouth twitched as he prepared another fajita. He wasn’t used to Minka being so reserved. She usually said whatever was on her mind, regardless of whether it was personal or not.
“Go ahead,” he said.
“The first time we met, I had claws, fangs, glowing red eyes, and I tried to kill you. Since then, I’ve spent most of the time telling you about an imaginary creature that lives inside my head and makes me act like a monster. How are you so calm about that? Most people would have run away already.”
Angelo chuckled. Not exactly the personal question he’d expected, but then again Minka rarely did the expected.
“Well, my mom was full-blooded Cherokee, and I grew up around all kinds of Indian folktales and legends.
My dad was in the army, and whenever he was deployed, Mom would take my sisters and me back to the reservation where she grew up in Oklahoma. I’d stay up half the night listening to the old men tell stories about shape-shifters, animal spirits, skin-walkers, and trickster spirits.” He grinned. “I’m not saying I necessarily believed in all that stuff back then, but after meeting Ivy, Tanner, and the other shifters at the DCO, it just didn’t faze me that much.”
Minka looked at him with wide eyes. “You’re a real American Indian? Like in the movies? With horses and everything?”
He laughed again. The expression of wonder on her face was adorable. “First, I’m only half-Indian. My dad is Mexican, so there’s that. And second, Native Americans are almost nothing like you see in the movies. We don’t all live in tepees and ride horses. In fact, I don’t even own a horse.”
Minka was a little disappointed about the no-horse thing, but she was fascinated with what it was like growing up on an Indian reservation and being surrounded by all those legends. She immediately asked him to tell her some Indian stories. It had been a long time since he’d thought about them, but to make her happy, he dug through his head and tried to remember every tale he’d heard as a kid.
Paige Tyler (Her Fierce Warrior (X-Ops, #4))