Long Weird Quotes

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It's weird to feel like you miss someone you're not even sure you know.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Melanie thinks: when your dreams come true, your true has moved. You've already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago.
M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl with All the Gifts, #1))
Get this. So he comes up to me at lunch, right? And he starts asking me all these questions about you. Like, how long have I known you, where are you from, did I ever meet your mom before she skipped town...' 'My mom? That's weird,' Helen interrupted. 'And I start answering him with my usual flair for clever repartee,' Claire said, a bit too innocently. 'Translation: you insulted him.
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1))
I had a weird, empty feeling inside me. Not a bad sort of empty. It was a sort of lack of sensation, like being in pain for a long time and then suddenly realizing that you're not anymore. It was the feeling of having risked everything to be here with a boy and then realizing that he was exactly what I wanted. Being a picture and then finding I was really a puzzle piece, once I found the piece that was supposed to fit beside me.
Maggie Stiefvater (Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2))
He loved her. Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood was in love with her. He didn't say it but she knew that it was true. And the part that really freaked her out, the part that caught her completely off guard, is that he wasn't alone. Because even though she'd been denying it for a long, long time, it had always been there... waiting beneath the surface of their friendship. And now that it was out there was no going back. And it was so weird to even be thinking it but...... she was in love with him too.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
I have never seen much point in getting heavy with stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I... And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers, #1))
The long flight from Georgia to England had been pretty uneventful. Exceept that Cal had sat next to me. Which was fine. Really. It wasn't like I'd been hyperaware of his presence and jumped the three times his knee bumped mine. And adter that third time, he definitely hadn't shot me a kind of disgusted look and said, "Chill out, will you?" And when Jenna gave us both a quizzical look, we hadn't snapped, in unison, "Nothing!" Because all of that would have been weird, and Cal and I weren't weird. We were cool.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Isn't it weird," I said, "the way you remember things, when someone's gone?" What do you mean?" I ate another piece of waffle. "When my dad first died, all I could think about was that day. It's taken me so long to be able to think back to before that, to everything else." Wes was nodding before I even finished. "It's even worse when someone's sick for a long time," he said. "You forget they were ever healthy, ever okay. It's like there was never a time when you weren't waiting for something awful to happen." But there was," I said. "I mean, it's only been in the last few months that I've started remembering all this good stuff, funny stuff about my dad. I can't believe I ever forgot it in the first place." You didn't forget," Wes said, taking a sip of his water. "You just couldn't remember right then. But now you're ready to, so you can." I thought about this as I finished off my waffle.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Beth wrapped her arms around Wrath's waist and leaned into her hellren's body. Their black hair mixed together, his straight, hers wavy. God, Wrath's was so damn long now. But word was that Beth liked the stuff so he'd grown it out for her. V wiped his mouth again. Weird, how males do shit like that.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
AND YOU KNOW it's weird to know a person you don't know and at the same time not know a person you know, you know?
Jason Reynolds (Long Way Down)
Isn’t it so weird how the number of dead people is increasing even though the earth stays the same size, so that one day there isn’t going to be room to bury anyone anymore? For my ninth birthday last year, Grandma gave me a subscription to National Geographic, which she calls “the National Geographic.” She also gave me a white blazer, because I only wear white clothes, and it’s too big to wear so it will last me a long time. She also gave me Grandpa’s camera, which I loved for two reasons. I asked why he didn’t take it with him when he left her. She said, “Maybe he wanted you to have it.” I said, “But I was negative-thirty years old.” She said, “Still.” Anyway, the fascinating thing was that I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn’t, because there aren’t enough skulls!
Jonathan Safran Foer
It's so weird how life is so full of moving around--people coming and going, people passing by each other all day long. You never know which person's going to steal your heart. You never know which is going to settle your soul. All you can do is look. And hope. And believe.
Natalie Lloyd (A Snicker of Magic)
As we duel, as we chat, there's an understanding that "your black is not my black" and "your weird is not my weird" and "your beautiful is not my beautiful," and that's okay. It' brings tears to my eyes if I think about it too long.
Brittney Morris (Slay)
CHILD: Mummy, who was Hitler? MOTHER: Hitler? CHILD: Yeah. Who was he? MOTHER: Erm, he was a very bad man from a long time ago. CHILD: Oh. How bad? MOTHER: He was like ... he was like Voldemort. CHILD: Oh! That’s really, really bad. Mother: Yes. CHILD: (Pause) So, did Harry Potter kill Hitler, too?
Jen Campbell (More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
Long ago she had thought bravery equaled wandering, the power was in the journey. Now she knew that, for her, it took no courage to leave; strength came from returning. Strength lay in staying.
Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
But mostly, I remembered what I’ve always believed. What my mom taught me. That while some things are just plain awful, most things in life can be seen either tragic or comic. And it’s your choice. Is life a big, long, tiresome slog from sadness to regret to guilt to resentment to self-pity? Or is life weird, outrageous, bizarre, ironic, and just stupid? Gotta go with stupid. It’s not the easy way out. Self-pity is the easiest thing in the world. Finding the humor, the irony, the slight justification for a skewed, skeptical optimism, that’s tough.
Katherine Applegate (The Proposal (Animorphs, #35))
I think back to my dream of the boy, because in it I find solace. I like that word. I'm going to make it my word of the year. There is just something about that boy that makes me feel like I belong. Belong. Long to be. Weird word, but semantics aside, it is up there with solace.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
I have long ago accepted that I am a little crazy and a little weird. It wasn't that exciting a revelation though. Turns out everyone is.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing)
I cling to him, wishing I could ease his pain. I wish I could take his burdens and make them mine. "It's weird, isn't it?" he says. "What is?" "If we were naked right now, I'd be dead." "Shut up," I say, laughing against his chest. We're both wearing long sleeves, long pants. As long as my face and hands don't touch his skin, he's perfectly safe. "Well, it's true." "In what alternate universe would I ever be naked with you?" "I am just saying," he says. "Shit happens. You never know." "I think you need a girlfriend." "Nah," he says. "I just need a hug from my friend." I lean back to look at him. Try to read his eyes. "You're my best friend, Kenji. You know that, right?" "Yeah, kid." He grins at me. "I do. And I can't believe I got stuck with your skinny ass.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Writers. For some reason, a lot of you reject what you hear and see in your heads. If you go too long ignoring it, it builds up and then you do all sorts of weird things. Mumble to yourself. Nightmares. Day-dreams. Total anarchy and chaos. Before you know it, the writer is either sitting in corner feverishly humming to his- or herself or on Prozac. You’re not on Prozac, are you? (Esther)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (In Other Worlds (The League: Nemesis Rising, #3.5; Were-Hunter, #0.5; The League: Nemesis Legacy, #2))
We all have periods of our life where we’re trapped, doing something we hate, and we develop habits that have nothing to do with our long-term goals to fill the downtime.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
It's not a light matter to me. I've fought for so long to hold on to what I believe in. People call me weird or disgusting...but this is who I am! This is how I feel most like myself!
Hiro Fujiwara
The Doors The End This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend The end of our elaborate plans The end of ev'rything that stands The end No safety or surprise The end I'll never look into your eyes again Can you picture what will be So limitless and free Desperately in need of some strangers hand In a desperate land Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain And all the children are insane All the children are insane Waiting for the summer rain There's danger on the edge of town Ride the king's highway Weird scenes inside the goldmine Ride the highway West baby Ride the snake Ride the snake To the lake To the lake The ancient lake baby The snake is long Seven miles Ride the snake He's old And his skin is cold The west is the best The west is the best Get here and we'll do the rest The blue bus is calling us The blue bus is calling us Driver, where you taking us? The killer awoke before dawn He put his boots on He took a face from the ancient gallery And he walked on down the hall He went into the room where his sister lived And then he paid a visit to his brother And then he walked on down the hall And he came to a door And he looked inside Father? Yes son I want to kill you Mother, I want to............. Come on, baby, take a chance with us Come on, baby, take a chance with us Come on, baby, take a chance with us And meet me at the back of the blue bus This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend The end It hurts to set you free But you'll never follow me The end of laughter and soft lies The end of nights we tried to die This is the end
Jim Morrison (The Doors: The Complete Lyrics)
This is a cardboard universe, and if you lean too long or too heavily against it, you fall through.
Philip K. Dick (The Dark-Haired Girl)
I was obsessed. I couldn't stop myself. It was not healthy, but I couldn't stop. I didn't feel like there was anything else in my life to stop for. We all have periods of our life when we're trapped doing something we hate and we develop habits that have nothing to do with our long-term goals to fill the downtime, right? I hope you identify with that idea. It's the only way I can explain becoming so emotionally invested in a video game that I would get in my car and drive around town sobbing if my internet went out.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas. Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world. One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveller of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth. "You are perfectly welcome," it tells him, "during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don't blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don't cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.
Christopher Isherwood (Exhumations)
The women were new friends but I loved them in a massive way. The love was like a large trove of devotion that could only be amassed over time, but it had arrived all at once. The way I loved them felt like it was from long ago.
Jenny Slate (Little Weirds)
Was there to be any end to the gradual improvement in the techniques and artifices used by the replicators to ensure their own continuation in the world? There would be plenty of time for improvement. What weird engines of self-preservation would the millennia bring forth? Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators? They did not die out, for they are past masters of the survival arts. But do not look for them floating loose in the sea; they gave up that cavalier freedom long ago. Now they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control. They are in you and in me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators. Now they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines.
Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)
Mira shrugged. If Rachel thought long-distance romance was weird, she'd think the truth - a fake long-distance romance, complete with eight months' worth of love letters that Mira had written to cover her tracks - was a whole lot weirder.
Sarah Cross (Kill Me Softly (Beau Rivage, #1))
When your dreams come true, your true has moved. You’ve already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago.
M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl with All the Gifts, #1))
she wondered how she could have spent all that money and have nothing but clothes and accessories and a long list of men she never wanted to see again to show for it
Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
I’d gone from being simply awkward to being completely weird. Like I’d traveled a long way, only to feel like I was stuck in the same place.
C.L. Stone (Drop of Doubt (The Ghost Bird, #5))
Weird talking to my dad like he was a stranger even though we hugged like family.
Jason Reynolds (Long Way Down)
I followed Jared outside and eyes the slick, black beauty parked on the curb. “What is that?” Jared sighed. “It’s a Vulcan.” “Weird. I thought it was a motorcycle.” I smiled, but Jared didn’t find the humor in my words. I put up my hand and separated my fingers into a ‘V’. “Live long and…no?” I shook my head, seeing that Jared was in no mood for jokes.
Jamie McGuire (Providence (Providence, #1))
How many more nights and weird mornings can this terrible shit go on? How long can the body and the brain tolerate this doom-struck craziness? This grinding of teeth, this pouring of sweat, this pounding of blood in the temples… small blue veins gone amok in front of the ears, sixty and seventy hours with no sleep.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
I love crafting. Knitting, decoupage, scrapbooking, any "lady-ish" art form, I'm a fan. For about six months each. Then I shove all the supplies in a closet, alongside the skeletons of long dead New Year's resolutions, like saber fencing, playing the ukulele, and Japanese brush painting.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
For as long I can remember I have wanted to die. So that started around age 6. I think. My earliest clear memories start at age 140.
John Kennebrew (Restless nights and Zombies)
What’s the one thing you want more than any other, prince?”“My wife.”Dionysus rolled his eyes. “Okay, what’s the second thing you want?”“My son.”This time the god expelled a long exasperated breath. “Third? And if you name another family member, I will leave you here with Apollo, so help me, Zeus.”Sadly, Styxx had no other family to name and only one other thing he craved. “To die.”“Ah, you can be taught. Yah! And yeah, death. You kill Acheron and you die. I get to rule the world of man and everyone’s happy.” Hands on hips, Dionysus arched a brow. “So what do you say?”“I say get me the fuck out of here.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22))
While I pressed the tissue to my face, Beck said, “Can I tell you something? There are a lot of empty boxes in your head, Sam.” I looked at him, quizzical. Again, it was a strange enough concept to hold my attention. “There are a lot of empty boxes in there, and you can put things in them.” Beck handed me another tissue for the other side of my face. My trust of Beck at that point was not yet complete; I remember thinking that he was making a very bad joke that I wasn’t getting. My voice sounded wary, even to me. “What kinds of things?” “Sad things,” Beck said. “Do you have a lot of sad things in your head?” “No,” I said. Beck sucked in his lower lip and released it slowly. “Well, I do.” This was shocking. I didn’t ask a question, but I tilted toward him. “And these things would make me cry,” Beck continued. “They used to make me cry all day long.” I remembered thinking this was probably a lie. I could not imagine Beck crying. He was a rock. Even then, his fingers braced against the floor, he looked poised, sure, immutable. “You don’t believe me? Ask Ulrik. He had to deal with it,” Beck said. “And so you know what I did with those sad things? I put them in boxes. I put the sad things in the boxes in my head, and I closed them up and I put tape on them and I stacked them up in the corner and threw a blanket over them.” “Brain tape?” I suggested, with a little smirk. I was eight, after all. Beck smiled, a weird private smile that, at the time, I didn’t understand. Now I knew it was relief at eliciting a joke from me, no matter how pitiful the joke was. “Yes, brain tape. And a brain blanket over the top. Now I don’t have to look at those sad things anymore. I could open those boxes sometime, I guess, if I wanted to, but mostly I just leave them sealed up.” “How did you use the brain tape?” “You have to imagine it. Imagine putting those sad things in the boxes and imagine taping it up with the brain tape. And imagine pushing them into the side of your brain, where you won’t trip over them when you’re thinking normally, and then toss a blanket over the top. Do you have sad things, Sam?” I could see the dusty corner of my brain where the boxes sat. They were all wardrobe boxes, because those were the most interesting sort of boxes — tall enough to make houses with — and there were rolls and rolls of brain tape stacked on top. There were razors lying beside them, waiting to cut the boxes and me back open. “Mom,” I whispered. I wasn’t looking at Beck, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw him swallow. “What else?” he asked, barely loud enough for me to hear. “The water,” I said. I closed my eyes. I could see it, right there, and I had to force out the next word. “My …” My fingers were on my scars. Beck reached out a hand toward my shoulder, hesitant. When I didn’t move away, he put an arm around my back and I leaned against his chest, feeling small and eight and broken. “Me,” I said.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
I waved my hand in front of my face, obi-wan style. "I am not here." Niall's mucas glands kicked into overdrive. "Eoin's dead! And his ghost is standing right there on the grass!" Donal let out a long suffering sigh. "Eoin is being a writer." Niall calmed down, becuase everyone knows writers are weird and are always doing stupid thingss.
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Begins)
Tony then explained how 'fucking stupid' most people are and believe anything as long as you liberally apply the words 'I Love You'. He then said, "The best ones are the ones who didn't get any love as kids; parents were a bit cold and so on. People from these families will do anything if you tell them you love them. They are like addicts or something. they never had, you know, parental affection and love as kids. It's a bit weird, alright, but you can spot these a mile away.
Thomas Sheridan (Defeated Demons: Freedom from Consciousness Parasites in Psychopathic Society)
I wouldn’t,” said the Luidaeg. “Love is love. It’s rarer in Faerie than it used to be—rarer than it should be, if you ask me. If you can find it, you should cling to it, and never let anything interfere. Besides, he has a nice ass.” Her lips quirked in a weirdly mischievous smile. “I mean, damn. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to wear leather pants. He’s one of them. He’s a clear and present danger when he puts those things on. Or takes them off.
Seanan McGuire (The Winter Long (October Daye, #8))
I actually grew fond of her in a nastily superior kind of way. For she was so completely artless and optimistic and clueless, she didn't care that she smelled bad or was fat or wore clothes unlike everyone else's, she had some weird disconnect with life that kept her constantly bubbling, and you knew she would go blithely through her long horribly boring life thinking every thing was just swell (the opposite of me).
Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)
The weird thing is that the more efficient, on task, on goal you are with your time, the more energy you have. Working with no traction, or for that matter simply wasting a day, does not relax you, it drains you.// Strange as it may seem, when you work a daily plan in pursuit of your written goals that flow from your mission statement born of your vision for living your dreams, you are energized after a tough long day.
Dave Ramsey (EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches)
Exactly how long can you stand on a street corner showing two drug dealers your scar-tissue-induced radical penis curvature? The answer is twelve seconds. After that it feels weird.
Jeremy Robert Johnson (Skullcrack City)
I’ll wear you down,” he proclaimed. “No, you won’t,” I denied. “You won’t let me in, I’ll break in, sneak in, blast in,” he promised. “You won’t get in,” I contradicted. He shut up again and stared at me. After long moments, I watched as suddenly, weirdly and, most of all, scarily, he saw something in me that made his face clear. I didn’t think that was good. I would find out I was right. “Let you in on a secret, babe, and you think on this,” he told me. I was not going to think on anything. “Hop… get… off… me,” I snapped. His body pressed into mine so he could lift his hands up and frame my face. “I’m already in. Just gotta wait for you to realize it.
Kristen Ashley (Fire Inside (Chaos, #2))
I remember the first story he ever wrote me,” she said with a big smile. “‘Once upon a time, there was a boy.’” She let out a long chuckle. “I remember too,” I said. As weird as this feels to say, I was really happy the memory had survived the crash. “I told him it could use a little development, so the next day he brought me another story,” she said. “‘Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted to fly.’
Chris Colfer (Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal)
If/when I die, do not want Pam lonely. Want her to remarry, have full life. As long as new husband is nice guy. Gentle guy. Religious guy. Very caring + good to kids. But kids not fooled. Kids prefer dead dad (i.e., me) to religious guy. Pale, boring, religious guy, with no oomph, who wears weird sweaters and is always a little sad, due to, cannot get boner, due to physical ailment. Ha ha. Death very much on my mind tonight, future reader. Can it be true? That I will die? That Pam, kids will die? Is awful. Why were we put here, so inclined to love, when end of our story = death? That harsh. That cruel. Do not like. Note to self: try harder, in all things, to be better person.
George Saunders (Tenth of December)
The same uneven application of values applies in the weird worlds of academia and the think tanks. Like the media, they choose to close off their minds the moment that the question of Islam comes along. Most bizarre is that you can get away with saying anything, absolutely anything, so long as it is flattering of Islam. It doesn’t matter how soppy, how sentimental, how completely unacademic it is: so long as it’s about Islam, different standards apply.
Douglas Murray (Islamophilia)
And you know it's weird to know a person you don't know and at the same time not know a person you know, you know?" -Will
Jason Reynolds (Long Way Down)
On the thought a blessed silence came, an empty clarity. He took it a first for utter desolation, but desolation was a type of free fall, perpetual and without ground below. This was stillness: balanced, solid, weirdly serene. No momentum to it at all, forward or backwards or sideways. He lay drained of tension, not moving, and content to be so. The oddly stretched moment was like a bite of eternity, eaten on the run. Was this quiet place inside something new-grown, or had he just never stumbled upon it before? How could so vast a thing lay undiscovered for so long? His breathing slowed and deepened.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10))
I thought there was something weird with all of you, I just couldn't figure out what it was. But now I know. It all makes sense." Her dark, tear-filled eyes sparkled as her accusatory gaze traveled from one of us to the other. "I can tell you battle on the side of good, and I want to join you." She turned to Frank, brushed her curly hair away from her throat, and closed her eyes. "Go ahead. Do it." There was a long silence as everyone stared at Kayla's shapely neck. Then Frank looked helplessly at John. .... "Kayla," I said walking over to her and giving her shoulders a shake. "No one's going to bite you.
Meg Cabot
If you talk to little kids about drugs, they tell you that drugs make you feel weird and act crazy and hang around with strange people. Getting sober and running long distances has been deeply bizarre, weirder than any drug or combination of drugs I’ve tried. I do things now that my friends find crazier than doing drugs I’ve found on the floor or sleeping in the street.
Mishka Shubaly (The Long Run)
You’re serious? You want me to go to school?” “Why not?” he challenged. “So long as you take care of shit around here, I’m fine with it. Might want to move on that whole divorce thing too while you’re at it. Club’s got a lawyer, I’ll set up an appointment for you. I can pretty much guarantee your ex won’t put up a fight.” He smiled when he said it—not a nice smile. “Okay, I’ll go check it out,” I said slowly. “This is weird, you get that? You kidnapping me, holding me hostage and then sending me to school? This isn’t how things like this usually work.” Horse grinned at me, eyes lazy and satisfied. “Just roll with it,” he whispered. “And keep doing whatever exercises you do to make your cunt squeeze like that. They got a college degree for that?
Joanna Wylde (Reaper's Property (Reapers MC, #1))
You okay?" he says, touching my cheek. His hand cradles the side of my head, his long fingers slipping through my hair. He smiles and holds my head in place as he kisses me. Heat spreads through me slowly.And fear, buzzing like an alarm in my chest. His lips still on mine,he pushes the jacket from my shoulders.I flinch when I hear it drop,and push him back,my eyes burning. I don't know why I feel this way. I didn't feel like this when he kissed me on the train.I press my palms to my face,covering my eyes. "What? What's wrong?" I shake my head. "Don't tell me it's nothing." His voice is cold.He grabs my arm. "Hey. Look at me." I take my hands from my face and lift my eyes to his.The hurt in his eyes and the anger in his clenched jaw surprise me. "Sometimes I wonder," I say,as calmly as I can, "what's in it for you. This...whatever it is." "What's in it for me," he repeats. He steps back,shaking his head. "You're an idiot,Tris." "I am not an idiot," I say. "Which is why I know that it's a little weird that,of all the girls you could have chosen,you chose me.So if you're just looking for...um,you know...that..." "What? Sex?" He scowls at me. "You know, if that was all I wanted, you probably wouldn't be the first person I would go to." I feel like he just punched me in the stomach. Of course I'm not the first person he would go to-not the first, not the prettiest,not desirable. I press my hands to my abdomen and look away, fighting off tears. I am not the crying type.Nor am I the yelling type. I blink a few times, lower my hands, and stare up at him. "I'm going to leave now," I say quietly. And I turn toward the door. "No,Tris." He grabs my wrist and wrenches me back. I push him away,hard, but he grabs my other wrist, holding our crossed arms between us. "I'm sorry I said that," he says. "What I meant was that you aren't like that. Which I knew when I met you." "You were an obstacle in my fear landscape." My lower lip wobbles. "Did you know that?" "What?" He releases my wrists, and the hurt look is back. "You're afraid of me?" "Not you," I say. I bite my lip to keep it still. "Being with you...with anyone. I've never been involved with someone before,and...you're older, and I don't know what your expectations are,and..." "Tris," he says sternly, "I don't know what delusion you're operating under,but this is all new to me, too." "Delusion?" I repeat. "You mean you haven't..." I raise my eyebrows. "Oh. Oh.I just assumed..." That because I am so absorbed by him, everyone else must be too. "Um. You know." "Well,you assumed wrong." He looks away. His cheeks are bright,like he's embarrassed. "You can tell me anything, you know," he says. He takes my face in his hands,his fingertips cold and his palms warm. "I am kinder than I seemed in training. I promise." I believe him.But this has nothing to do with his kindness. He kisses me between the eyebrows, and on the tip of my nose,and then carefully fits his mouth to mine. I am on edge.I have electricity coursing through my veins instead of blood. I want him to kiss me,I want him to; I am afraid of where it might go.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Simon opened the door and was not surprised to find Jace standing outside of it. “Here,” Simon said, handing him the letter. “Took you long enough,” Jace said. “Now we’re even,” said Simon. “Go party in the Herondale house with your weird family.” “I plan to,” said Jace, and smiled a sudden, strangely endearing smile. He had a chipped tooth. The smile made him seem like he was Simon’s age, and maybe they were friends after all. “Good night, Wiggles.” “Wiggles?” “Yes, Wiggles. Your nickname? It’s what you always made us call you. I almost forgot your name was Simon, I’m so used to calling you Wiggles.” “Wiggles? What does that . . . even mean?” “You would never explain,” Jace said with a shrug. “It was the big mystery about you. As I said, good night, Wiggles. I’ll take care of this.” He held up the letter and used it to make a salute. Simon shut the door. He knew most people on the hall had probably done everything they could to make sure they heard that exchange. He knew that in the morning he would be called Wiggles and there was nothing he would ever be able to do about it. But it was a small price to pay to get a letter to Isabelle.
Cassandra Clare (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy)
I wandered out like a haggard ghost, and there she was, Frisco - long, bleak streets with trolley wires all shrouded in fog and whiteness. I stumbled around a few blocks. Weird bums (Mission and Third) asked me for dimes in the dawn.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
Where are you from? New York?" "Weird you picked up on that," she said, "I've been gone from there for so long." Like a couple of decades could dilute that accent.
Cathie Beck (Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship)
Keep your virginity for as long as you can, until it starts to feel weird to you. Then just get it over with.
Amy Poehler
No matter who you are, not everybody is going to like what you do, so as long as you’re armed with that knowledge, you’ll be okay.
Mara Altman (Weird Al Yankovic: The Kindle Singles Interview (Kindle Single))
You know, when I was little, my dad told me that if I misbehaved, he'd send me to live with a witch who ate children.' 'Really?' She nods. 'I was so afraid of the witch. Feelings are magnified when you're young, I think, and the fear can stay with you for a long time. I eventually grew out of the fear but even now when I read something with a witch, my mind always traces back to that story. Isn't that weird?' 'How'd you grow out of it?' I ask. 'The fear?' She takes a long moment to answer. 'I read lots and lots of books about witches.
Stephanie Oakes (The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly)
I cling to him, wishing I could ease his pain. I wish I could take his burdens and make them mine. "It's weird, isn't it?" he says. "What is?" "If we were naked right now, I'd be dead." "Shut up," I say, laughing against his chest. We're both wearing long sleeves, long pants. As long as my face and hand don't touch his skin, he's perfectly safe. "Well, it's true." "In what alternate universe would I ever be naked with you?" "I am just
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Crying's okay while it lasts, but you can only do it for so long. And it's weird to do it when you apparently can't make tears anymore (did this mean I wouldn't pee or sweat, either?). Anyway, eventually you're done, and you have to figure out what to do next.
MaryJanice Davidson (Undead and Unwed (Undead, #1))
Don’t be afraid to do weird stuff, so long as you do it cheaply and cover everyone’s bets. Be bold. Be stupid, if you have to: so long as you don’t hurt anybody, what’s it matter how dopey your dream is? If I hadn’t made TUSK? If I’d let it die as a podcast? I wouldn’t have three other movies I’m now making within the span of a year. Some folks will try to shame you for trying something outside the norm; the only shame is in not trying to accomplish your dreams.
Kevin Smith
Being the reader of a dark fairy tale is much like being the hero of one. Our lives are filled with pain, boredom, and fear. We want to venture into the dark wood, to see the oddities and the beauties it holds, and to test ourselves against them. So we pick up a book of fairy tales. The real ones. THe weird ones. The dark ones. We see oddities and beauties galore. We test our courage and our understanding. Finally, we put the book down and return to our lives. And hopefully, just like the hero of the fairy tale, we return stronger, richer, and wiser. In difficult times - of recession and violence and political bitterness - we long for a dark forest to which we can escape; and from which we can return, better than we were before.
Adam Gidwitz (The Grimm Conclusion (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #3))
A long time ago, Trinity and I made a list of types of guys you should never date. We add to it every now and then. It includes things like never date a guy whose computer costs more than his car (you'll never get him to pay attention to you except over instant messages), never date a guy who has a pet lizard (he's probably into weird stuff in bed) and never under any circumstances go on a second date with a guy who says the word "married" on the first date (he'll turn out to be a mama's boy or a religious type)
Adam Selzer (I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It)
It's a weird thing society puts on us women. They tell us we can have careers (well, after they told us we could vote-they sort of said it would be ok if we wanted to have a career, as long as we agree to get paid less than a man for the same job), and then they tell us that we aren't real women if we have careers but no babies, and if we dare pick a career over a baby...we better at least talk about that career like its a baby in order to blend in and not call attention to the fact that we're selfish women who are not carrying on the human race.
Jen Kirkman (I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids)
I try to go out of my way to connect with each person as much as I possibly can despite the long lines an stifling crowds and people in cosplay with fakes weapons who accidentally poke people in the eyes with rubber broadswords. Because that single moment you get with someone you admire is so important, I never want anyone to walk away feeling mortified like I generally do when meeting someone I fan over.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
William: What are you looking for in a woman? Reyes: I’ve found my angel, Danika. She’s all I need. William: Really? That’s, like, weird to me. Men should need many girls. No one girl should be so important. Reyes: How sad for you. William: I’m not sad. You’re sad! Reyes: Why are you so defensive about this? William: Let’s move on. Favorite outfit? Reyes: First, you said girls rather than women. Why is that, I wonder? Because you care about one girl in particular? Anyway, clothes are clothes. I don’t have any favorites. William: Go to hell. I care about no one and I’m proud to admit that! Favorite moment in the series so far? Reyes: The first time Danika looked at me with trust and acceptance in her eyes. I’m still reeling. William: And just so you know, girl was a slip of the tongue. Now. Least favorite moment in the series? Reyes: Every time I had to kill Maddox. William: Really? That would have been my favorite. Anyway, hobbies? Reyes: Do you really have to ask? Yes? Fine. Cutting myself. I’ve started to draw shapes. Like hearts. William: You actually admitted that aloud. [snicker] [..] Reyes: Happy for the first time in what seems an eternity. William: Not that you deserve it. Really, I didn’t say girl for any particular reason. So what do you think of the fact that your home has been invaded by women? Reyes: As long as I have Danika, I don’t care who lives with us. William: Who do you think is the smartest Lord? Reyes: Me. Look who I picked to spend eternity with. William: I think you’re the dumbest! Seriously, girl was meant to encompass everyone old enough to be bedded by me. Now, if you knew you only had twenty-four hours before the Hunters found Pandora’s box and killed you, what would you do in the time you had left to live? Reyes: Not even death can keep me away from my angel. I would find a way to change such a fate. Again. William: What kind of underwear are you wearing? Note from William: Bastard flipped me off and left. Final thoughts from William: Reyes’s thoughts about me and my slip of the tongue were ridiculous and unfounded!
Gena Showalter (Into the Dark (Lords of the Underworld, #0.5,3.5; Atlantis #4.5))
Be nice to her,” she said, low and fast. “My mom keeps a lot of stuff inside, but her thoughts are really loud. I know she’s been scared and lonely. She has a disability, but you probably know that. It’s a barometric-pressure thing. When it rains or snows or gets really hot or really cold too fast, she hurts. But alcohol, stress, loud noises, and weird smells do it, too. You have to learn her triggers. And please, just be patient with her. Sometimes she has to lie down for a long time. You might feel bored or lonely or even rejected, but she can’t help being sick.” Audre rested her hand on Shane’s shoulder. “Mom feels guilty about who she is. Make her feel happy about herself.
Tia Williams (Seven Days in June)
Everyone can be weird if you watch them long enough.
Dan Poblocki (The Ghost of Graylock)
My point is that things become weird and pointless if you examine them for too long.
Liane Moriarty (What Alice Forgot)
it smelled the way a garage would smell if you left a bear inside it for too long.
Adam Rex (Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story)
I am pinned to my seat with pity and horror and a weird, twisted affection laced with longing and traces of lust.
Michelle Knudsen (Evil Librarian)
Anger is not always bad, as long as it's directed at things that need changed and used in short doses so it doesn't consume your thoughts. - The Malwatch
Scaylen Renvac
when we integrate the WORK of creativity into our lives, we are choosing to fill our time with something that yields infinite long-term satisfaction and rewards.
Felicia Day (Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity)
Tis a miserable thing to turn a soul into something it is not. Perhaps it is one of life’s greatest misfortunes.
Ella Rose Carlos (A Long Lost Fantasy)
How many more nights and weird mornings can this terrible shit go on? How long can the body and the brain tolerate this doom-struck craziness?
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Harper Perennial Modern Classics))
What’s your favorite word?” Startled, I looked up at him, unsure I’d heard him right. “My favorite word?” He nodded, slipping his glasses up his nose with a quick, practiced scrunch of his face that made him look angry and then surprised within a single second. “You have seven boxes of books up here. A wild guess tells me you like words.” I suppose I had never thought about having a favorite word, but now that he asked, I kind of liked the idea. I let my eyes lose focus as I thought. “Ranunculus,” I said after a moment. “What?” “Ranunculus. It’s a kind of flower. It’s such a weird word but the flowers are so pretty, I like how unexpected that is.” They were my Mom’s favorite, I didn’t say. “That’s a pretty girly answer.” “Well, I am a girl.” He kept his eyes on his feet but I knew I wasn’t imagining the gleam of interest I’d seen when I said ranunculus. I bet he had expected me to say unicorn or daisy or vampire. “What about you? What’s your favorite word? I bet it’s tungsten. Or, like, amphibian.” He quirked a smile, answering, “Regurgitate.” Scrunching my nose, I stared at him. “That is a gross word.” This made him smile even wider. “I like the hard consonant sounds in it. It kinda sounds like exactly what it means.” “An onomatopoeia?” I half expected trumpets to blast revelatory music from an invisible speaker in the wall from the way Elliot stared at me, lips parted and glasses slowly sliding down his nose. “Yeah,” he said. “I’m not a complete idiot, you know. You don’t have to look so surprised that I know some big words.” “I never thought you were an idiot,” he said quietly, looking toward the box and pulling out another book to hand to me. For a long time after we returned to our slow, inefficient method of unpacking the books, I could feel him looking up and watching me, tiny flashes of stolen glances. I pretended I didn’t notice.
Christina Lauren (Love and Other Words)
It doesn't matter. As long as the government pretends it's a secret, the pretense, no matter how thin, gives it certain advantages. Or it thinks it does. Politics is weird that way.
John Ringo (Sister Time (Legacy of the Aldenata Book 9))
For me as a musician, there is this weird transition thing. I mean, I love to make music and everyday that goes by I think get a little dumber, to be honest. You know when you are 21, you are like 'this is what it's all about; this is the meaning of life' and then you know you're 40 and you're like 'okay, as long as I can pee in public I am okay at this point'.
Devin Townsend
So, what have I learned over my long and weird life? Well, first, that there are two kinds of people, and I don’t much care for either of them. Second, when faced with a difficult choice, either way is often best. Third, always leave a party when people begin to play the bongos.
Eric Idle (Always Look on the Bright Side of Life)
There were two problems with this idea. First, it led to crappy “virtual reality” movies like Virtuosity and The Lawnmower Man. And second, in the long run, it turned out to be totally wrong.
Ken Jennings (Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks)
I have blogged previously about the dangerous and deadly effects of science denialism, from the innocent babies unnecessarily exposed to deadly diseases by other kids whose parents are anti-vaxxers, to the frequent examples of how acceptance of evolution helps us stop diseases and pests (and in the case of Baby Fae, rejection of evolution was fatal), to the long-term effects of climate denial to the future of the planet we all depend upon. But one of the strangest forms of denialism is the weird coalition of people who refuse to accept the medical fact that the HIV virus causes AIDS. What the heck? Didn’t we resolve this issue in the 1980s when the AIDS condition first became epidemic and the HIV virus was discovered and linked to AIDS? Yes, we did—but for people who want to deny scientific reality, it doesn’t matter how many studies have been done, or how strong the scientific consensus is. There are a significant number of people out there (especially among countries and communities with high rates of AIDS infections) that refuse to accept medical reality. I described all of these at greater length in my new book Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten our Future.
Donald R. Prothero
Knight and Vaughn are the closest to each other, practically brothers, which is weird because they are also like fire and ice. Vaughn is a crazy artist with psychotic tendencies, and Knight is the definition of a popular jock. One is Edward Scissorhands; the other is Zac Efron's prettier long-lost brother.
L.J. Shen (Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, #1))
I didn’t want to answer any weird questions about Ren. I knew he’d probably tell his side of the story when he became a man again, but I didn’t care. I kept my version of the trip factual, unemotional, and, more importantly, Renless. Mr. Kadam said we’d be stopping at a hotel soon, but he wanted to find a good place to leave Ren first. I demurred, “Of course,” and smiled a sickly sweet smile back at the attentive tiger. Mr. Kadam worried, “I hope our hotel won’t be too far away for him.” I patted Mr. Kadam’s arm and reassured him, “Oh, don’t worry about him. He’s very good at getting what he wants. I mean…taking care of his needs. I’m sure he’ll find his long night alone in the jungle extremely enlightening.” Mr. Kadam shot me a puzzled glance, but he eventually nodded and pulled over near a forested area. Ren got out of the Jeep, came around to my side of the car, and stared at me with icy blue eyes. I just turned my body away so I wouldn’t have to look at him. When Mr. Kadam got back in the Jeep, I peeked out my window again, but Ren was gone. I reminded myself that he deserved it an sat back against the seat with my arms folded over my chest and an intense expression on my face. Mr. Kadam spoke softly, “Kelsey, are you alright? You seem very…tense, since I last saw you.” I muttered under my breath, “You have no idea.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Should I leave you two alone?" he asked, changing the subject. "He's taken," I said, accepting the fact that forgiving himself was something Reyes didn't do. "Osh. By someone very special." "And who might that be?" This might be a little hard for him to swallow. Tact was definitely in order. Or I could just blurt it out and watch his expression go from content to disbelief to horror to a bristly, murderous kind of fury. I chose door number two. "He's destined to be with our daughter." Reyes's expression slowly changed from content to disbelief to horror to a bristly, murderous kind of fury. "Oh, hell, no." He shot to his feet. "A Daeva? Are you fucking kidding me?" Just like a dad. "Yes, a Daeva. But I wouldn't dismiss him so offhandedly." He whirled around and scowled. Not really at me. Just in general. "What do you mean?" I pressed one corner of my mouth together in thought. "Okay, you know how I was the grim reaper all of my life, then suddenly I'm also this god from another dimension? And how you're the son of Satan all your life, then suddenly you're a god from this dimension? Who does that? Our lives are so weird. I think that maybe Osh is something else, too." I traced one of the dark lines on his face. "I think there's more than meets the eye. I see greatness in him, Reyes. I see a power beyond our imaginings. I see him giving his life for our daughter." "Oh." He sat back down, satisfied. "As long as he dies in the end.
Darynda Jones (The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10))
I read my copy of On the Road and dug the scenery whizzing past. On the Road is a semi-autobiographical novel about Jack Kerouac, a druggy, hard-drinking writer who goes hitchhiking around America, working crummy jobs, howling through the streets at night, meeting people and parting ways. Hipsters, sad-faced hobos, con-men, muggers, scumbags and angels. There's not really a plot -- Kerouac supposedly wrote it in three weeks on a long roll of paper, stoned out of his mind -- only a bunch of amazing things, one thing happening after another. He makes friends with self-destructing people like Dean Moriarty, who get him involved in weird schemes that never really work out, but still it works out, if you know what I mean. There was a rhythm to the words, it was luscious, I could hear it being read aloud in my head. It made me want to lie down in the bed of a pickup truck and wake up in a dusty little town somewhere in the central valley on the way to LA, one of those places with a gas station and a diner, and just walk out into the fields and meet people and see stuff and do stuff.
Cory Doctorow (Little Brother (Little Brother, #1))
No one should feel lonely or embarrassed about liking something. Except for illegal sex picture stuff. And murder and dogfighting . . . I’ll make a list. It’ll be pretty long, now that I think about it. But you get the gist.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
When Martha first met me, I was anxious and jumpy. I was always tapping my foot, rocking, or exhibiting some other behavioral aberration. Of course, now we know that’s just normal Aspergian behavior, but back then other people thought it was weird, so of course I did, too. One day, for some reason, she decided to try petting my arm, and I immediately stopped rocking and fidgeting. The result was so dramatic, she never stopped. It didn’t take long for me to realize the calming effect, too. I like being petted and scratched. “Can you pet me?” I say when I sit next to her.
John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's)
It's weird how it's easier to trust Arthur than it is to trust people I've known way longer. Like Dylan and Hudson and Harriett. My parents. It's not even that it's kind of low-risk because I'm not sure Arthur will even be in my life--it's more that I'm counting on knowing him for a long time and I want him to know the real me as soon as possible.
Becky Albertalli (What If It's Us (What If It's Us, #1))
A boy was staring at me. I was quite sure I'd never seen him befroe. Long and leanly muscular, he dwarfed and the molded plastic elementary school chair he was sitting in. Mahogany hair, straight and short. He looked my age, maybe a year older, and he sat with his tailbone against the edge of the chair, his posture aggresively poor, one hand half in a pocket of dark jeans. I looked away, suddenly conscious of my myriad insufficiencies. I was wearing old jeans, which had once been tight but now sagged in weird places, and a yellow T-shirt advertising a band I didn't even like anymore. Also my hair: I had this pageboy haircut, and I hadn't even bothered to, like, brush it. Furthermore, I had ridiculously fat chipmunked cheeks, a side effect of treatment. I looked like a normally proportioned person with a balloon for a head. This was not even to mention the canckle situation. And yet-I cut a glance to him, and his eyes were still on me.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The Headmaster told Professor Flitwick that this was, indeed, a secret and delicate matter of which he had already been informed, and that he did not think pressing it at this time would help me or anyone. Professor Flitwick started to say something about the Headmaster's usual plotting going much too far, and I had to interrupt at that point and explain that it had been my own idea and not anything the Headmaster forced me into, so Professor Flitwick spun around and started lecturing me, and the Headmaster interrupted him and said that as the Boy-Who-Lived I was doomed to have weird and dangerous adventures so I was safer if I got into them on purpose instead of waiting for them to happen by accident, and that was when Professor Flitwick threw up his little hands and started shrieking in a high-pitched voice at both of us about how he didn't care what we were cooking up together, but this wasn't ever to happen again for as long as I was in Ravenclaw House or he would have me thrown out and I could go to Gryffindor which was where all this Dumbledoring belonged -
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Because the truth was, and we both knew it, he'd gone long, long ago. I'd just made him stick around when he really wanted to be somewhere else. In his own weird way, he was another victim of the shooting, One of the ones who couldn't get away. "Are you mad?" he asked, which I thought was a really strange question. "Yes," I said. And I was. It's just that I wasn't so sure I was mad at him. But I don't think he needed to hear that part. I don't think he wanted to hear that part. I think it was important to him to hear that I cared enough to be angry. "Will you ever forgive me?" he asked. "Will you ever forgive me?" I shot back, leveling my gaze directly into his eyes. He stared into them for a few moments then got up silently and headed for the door. He didn't turn around when he reached it. Just grabbed the doorknob and held it. "No," he said without facing me. "Maybe that makes me a bad parent, but I don't know if I can. No matter what the police found, you were involved in that shooting, Valerie. You wrote those names on that list. You wrote my name on that list. You had a good life here. You might not have pulled the trigger, but you helped cause the tragedy." He opened the door."I'm sorry. I really am." He stepped out into the hallway. "I'll leave my new address and phone number with your mother," he said before walking slowly out of my sight.
Jennifer Brown (Hate List)
The afternoon breeze would incite to a weird and flabby activity all that crowded mass of clothing, with its vague suggestions of drowned, mutilated and flattened humanity. Trunks without heads waved at you arms without hands; legs without feet kicked fantastically with collapsible flourishes; and there were long white garments, that taking the wind fairly through their neck openings edged with lace, became for a moment violently distended as by the passage of obese and invisible bodies. On these days you could make out that ship at a great distance by the multi-coloured grotesque riot going on abaft her mizzen-mast.
Joseph Conrad (Falk)
Steve didn’t like the stairs. It bothered him that they hung in midair, unsupported. Steve said this “weirded him out." This wasn’t surprising. The list of things that Steve found objectionable was long and growing. It included the Library itself (“How can the furniture hang on the ceiling like that? It’s creepy.”); the jade floor (“Jade isn’t supposed to glow.”); the apothecary (“What the hell is that thing? I’m out of here.”); the armory (David’s trophies made him throw up); the Pelapi language (“It sounds like cats fighting”); her robes (“Did you borrow those from Death?” She hadn’t.); and, of course, Carolyn herself.
Scott Hawkins (The Library at Mount Char)
Kiss me again,” he challenged, only half joking. It was so weird to hear him say that, to hear those words out loud. They had kissed. More than once. More than a lot. They had passed the point of being “just friends” by a long shot. She leaned down and gave him a dry, sisterly little peck. And then she leaned back up again and smiled at him innocently. She wished she could a halo appear above her head for effect. Jay made a sound at her that was like a growl, and then he pulled her down . . . hard. He flipped her over so that she was lying on her back and he was poised above her, and taking full advantage of his upper hand, he moved his lips over hers with a feather-light touch, in a way that was anything but innocent. Until she parted her lips and let him kiss her again . . . completely . . . thoroughly. She heard herself moan, and she could feel the throbbing of her own pulse flickering hotly through her veins. He lifted his head and stared down at her, rubbing his thumb across her lower lip. “That’s what I was talking about. A real kiss.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Are you sad?" Nicola asked. Richard turned in the chair. The scissors became motionless. "Yes. I am sad. I'm sad most of the time." "Does it bother you?" "It never used to. But now it does. Very much." "It's because the world disappoints you," Nicola said. She set down hers scissors. "It continually fails to surprise you. It fails to be as wonderful as you long for it to be. This is where your sadness comes from.
Andrew Kaufman (Born Weird)
So long as Colin shut himself up in his room and thought only of his fears and weakness and his detestation of people who looked at him and reflected hourly on humps and early death, he was a hysterical half-crazy little hypochondriac who knew nothing of the sunshine and the spring and also did not know that he could get well and could stand upon his feet if he tried to do it. When new beautiful thoughts began to push out the old hideous ones, life began to come back to him, his blood ran healthily through his veins and strength poured into him like a flood. His scientific experiment was quite practical and simple and there was nothing weird about it at all. Much more surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. "Where, you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
Alec pulled Magnus to the ground and dove out of the shower, sliding along the wet floor and slamming into the wooden closet doors on the other side of the wall. Awkwardly, he grabbed at the bottom of one of the doors and wrenched it open. Magnus had no idea until he saw Alec rise to his feet, seraph blade in hand. "Muriel." Before the Drevak could attack again, Alec launched himself toward the ceiling and executed a long forward slice. The two pieces of teh demon dropped to the floor behind him and vanished. "It's so weird that there's an angel Muriel," Magnus commented. "Muriel sounds like a disapproving piano teacher." He held up an imaginary seraph blade and intoned at it. "My great-aunt Muriel.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
She has become so well versed in good-byes, the spoken and unspoken, the planned and unplanned, the teary ones and happy ones. Don’t be angry she begs, she surrendered and gave up long ago on anyone reading her, her life, her fears, her accomplishments, her gifts, her tears, her happy, her weird, her crazy, and all of her story. She screams I’m not the chapter titles or the end paragraph, don’t you see, I’m all the words written between.
D.C. Allen
Calvin clears his throat. “Do you have anything to drink?” Booze. Right. This is the perfect situation for some booze. I jump up, and he laughs, awkwardly. “I should have thought to get champagne or something.” “You bought the dinner,” I remind him. “Obviously the champagne was on my list and I dropped the ball.” Pulling a bottle of vodka from the freezer, I set it on the counter and then realize I have nothing to mix it with. And I finished the last beer the other night. “I have vodka.” He smiles valiantly. “Straight-up vodka it is.” “It’s Stoli.” “Straight-up mediocre vodka it is,” he amends with a cheeky wink. His phone buzzes, and it sets off a weird, giddy reaction in my chest. We both have full lives beyond this apartment, which remain complete mysteries to each other. One difference between us is that Calvin likely doesn’t care about my life outside of this. Yet I care intensely about his. Having him here feels like finding the key to unlock a mysterious chest that’s been sitting in the corner of my bedroom for a year. Buzz. Buzz. Looking up, I meet his eyes. They’re wide, almost as if he’s not sure whether to answer. “You can get it,” I assure him. “It’s okay.” His face darkens with a flush. “I . . . don’t think I should.” “It’s your phone! Of course it’s okay to answer it.” “It’s not . . .” Buzz. Buzz. Unless, maybe, it’s some Mafia drug lord and if he answers his ruse is up and I’ll kick him out. Or—gasp—maybe it’s a girlfriend calling? Why had this not occurred to me? Buzz. Buzz. “Oh my God. Do you have a girlfriend?” He looks horrified. “What? Of course not.” Buzz. Buzz. Holy shit, how long until his voicemail puts us out of our misery? “. . . Boyfriend?” “I don’t—” he starts, smiling through a wince. “It’s not.” “ ‘Not’?” “My phone isn’t ringing.” I stare at him, bewildered. His blush deepens. “It’s not a phone.” When he says this, I know he’s right. It doesn’t have the right rhythm to be a phone. I lift the vodka to my lips and chug straight from the bottle. The buzzing has the exact rhythm of my vibrator . . . the one I tucked beneath that cushion on the couch days ago. I’m going to need to be pretty drunk to deal with this.
Christina Lauren (Roomies)
Ruby and Aaron are both crazy patient; they’re good parents.” “I could be a good dad,” Ivan whispered, still feeding Jess. I could have told him he’d be good at anything he wanted to be good at, but nah. “Do you want to have kids?” he asked me out of the blue. I handed Benny another block. “A long time from now, maybe.” “A long time… like how long?” That had me glancing at Ivan over my shoulder. He had his entire attention on Jessie, and I was pretty sure he was smiling down at her. Huh. “My early thirties, maybe? I don’t know. I might be okay with not having any either. I haven’t really thought about it much, except for knowing I don’t want to have them any time soon, you know what I mean?” “Because of figure skating?” “Why else? I barely have enough time now. I couldn’t imagine trying to train and have kids. My baby daddy would have to be a rich, stay-at-home dad for that to work.” Ivan wrinkled his nose at my niece. “There are at least ten skaters I know with kids.” I rolled my eyes and poked Benny in the side when he held out his little hand for another block. That got me a toothy grin. “I’m not saying it’s impossible. I just wouldn’t want to do it any time soon. I don’t want to half-ass or regret it. If they ever exist, I’d want them to be my priority. I wouldn’t want them to think they were second best.” Because I knew what that felt like. And I’d already screwed up enough with making grown adults I loved think they weren’t important. If I was going to do something, I wanted to do my best and give it everything. All he said was, “Hmm.” A thought came into my head and made my stomach churn. “Why? Are you planning on having kids any time soon?” “I wasn’t,” he answered immediately. “I like this baby though, and that one. Maybe I need to think about it.” I frowned, the feeling in my stomach getting more intense. He kept blabbing. “I could start training my kids really young…. I could coach them. Hmm.” It was my turn to wrinkle my nose. “Three hours with two kids and now you want them?” Ivan glanced down at me with a smirk. “With the right person. I’m not going to have them with just anybody and dilute my blood.” I rolled my eyes at this idiot, still ignoring that weird feeling in my belly that I wasn’t going to acknowledge now or ever. “God forbid, you have kids with someone that’s not perfect. Dumbass.” “Right?” He snorted, looking down at the baby before glancing back at me with a smile I wasn’t a fan of. “They might come out short, with mean, squinty, little eyes, a big mouth, heavy bones, and a bad attitude.” I blinked. “I hope you get abducted by aliens.” Ivan laughed, and the sound of it made me smile. “You would miss me.” All I said, while shrugging was, “Meh. I know I’d get to see you again someday—” He smiled. “—in hell.” That wiped the look right off his face. “I’m a good person. People like me.” “Because they don’t know you. If they did, somebody would have kicked your ass already.” “They’d try,” he countered, and I couldn’t help but laugh. There was something wrong with us. And I didn’t hate it. Not even a little bit.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
We take it for granted that life moves forward. You build memories; you build momentum.You move as a rower moves: facing backwards. You can see where you've been, but not where you’re going. And your boat is steered by a younger version of you. It's hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way. Avenoir. You'd see your memories approaching for years, and watch as they slowly become real. You’d know which friendships will last, which days are important, and prepare for upcoming mistakes. You'd go to school, and learn to forget. One by one you'd patch things up with old friends, enjoying one last conversation before you meet and go your separate ways. And then your life would expand into epic drama. The colors would get sharper, the world would feel bigger. You'd become nothing other than yourself, reveling in your own weirdness. You'd fall out of old habits until you could picture yourself becoming almost anything. Your family would drift slowly together, finding each other again. You wouldn't have to wonder how much time you had left with people, or how their lives would turn out. You'd know from the start which week was the happiest you’ll ever be, so you could relive it again and again. You'd remember what home feels like, and decide to move there for good. You'd grow smaller as the years pass, as if trying to give away everything you had before leaving. You'd try everything one last time, until it all felt new again. And then the world would finally earn your trust, until you’d think nothing of jumping freely into things, into the arms of other people. You'd start to notice that each summer feels longer than the last. Until you reach the long coasting retirement of childhood. You'd become generous, and give everything back. Pretty soon you’d run out of things to give, things to say, things to see. By then you'll have found someone perfect; and she'll become your world. And you will have left this world just as you found it. Nothing left to remember, nothing left to regret, with your whole life laid out in front of you, and your whole life left behind.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
People aren’t really needed for anything else in the Griftopia, but since Americans require the illusion of self-government, we have elections. To make sure those elections are effectively meaningless as far as Wall Street is concerned, two things end up being true. One is that voters on both sides of the aisle are gradually weaned off that habit of having real expectations for their politicians, consuming the voting process entirely as culture-war entertainment. The other is that millions of tenuously middle-class voters are conned into pushing Wall Street’s own twisted greed ethos as though it were their own. The Tea Party, with its weirdly binary view of society as being split up cleanly into competing groups of producers and parasites—that’s just a cultural echo of the insane greed-is-good belief system on Wall Street that’s provided the foundation/excuse for a generation of brilliantly complex thievery. Those beliefs have trickled down to the ex-middle-class suckers struggling to stay on top of their mortgages and their credit card bills, and the real joke is that these voters listen to CNBC and Fox and they genuinely believe they’re the producers in this binary narrative. They don’t get that somewhere way up above, there’s a group of people who’ve been living the Atlas dream for real—and building a self-dealing financial bureaucracy in their own insane image.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
In the beginning, the earth was without form, and void and the darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And god said, 'Let there be light.' and there was light. Only, it wasn't good light. Bob created fireworks, sparklers and neon tubes that circled the globe like weird tangled rainbows. He dabbled with bugs that blinked and abstract creatures whose heads lit up and cast long overlapping shadows. There were mile-high candles and mountains of fairy lights. For an hour or so, earth was lit by enormous crystal chandeliers. Bob thought his creations were cool. They were cool, but they didn't work
Meg Rosoff (There Is No Dog)
We often demand of people what only God can give us — encouragement, affirmation, strength, motivation — and we end up wringing others dry. It's okay to expect some things from people, so long as you know they're just human beings who thirst like you. They need an Infinite Well as much as you do. If you drink deeply of Him first, you'll be less controlled (and controlling) by your expectations, and you'll actually seek others not to squeeze from them but to encourage them by your overflow.
J.S. Park (The Christianese Dating Culture: On Courtship, Purity Rings, Prayer-Sex, and Other Weird Things We Do In Church)
As long as I was alive, I was something. That was just how it was. But somewhere along the line it all changed. Living turned me into nothing. Weird... People are born in order to live, right? But the longer I've lived, the more I've lost what's inside me --- and ended up empty. And I bet the longer I live, the emptier, the more worthless I'll become. Something's wrong with this picture. Life isn't supposed to turn out like this! Isn't it possible to shift direction, to change where I'm headed?
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
[The method of infallible prediction] is foolproof only after the movements have seized power. Then all debate about the truth or falsity of a totalitarian dictator’s prediction is as weird as arguing with a potential murderer about whether his future victim is dead or alive – since by killing the person in question the murderer can promptly provide proof of the correctness of his statement. The only valid argument under such conditions is promptly to rescue the person whose death is predicted. Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it. The assertion that the Moscow subway is the only one in the world is a lie only so long as the Bolsheviks have not the power to destroy all the others. In other words, the method of infallible prediction, more than any other totalitarian propaganda device, betrays its ultimate goal of world conquest, since only in a world completely under his control could the totalitarian ruler possibly realize all his lies and make true all his prophecies.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Take that old sales pitch from Apple computers. 'Think different.' It's a nice sentiment for children, but what happens in real life? You come back proudly holding up what you found, but then people cover their eyes and scream, 'No, no! We didn't really mean for you to think different!' The truth is, if you just want to be weird on the surface, that's fine. They'll pay you handsomely as long as you go with the flow. But don't call the plan into question, otherwise they have to rewrite everything.
Philip Wyeth (Reparations Core (Reparations, #3))
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
I'm sure there was some bloated-ego thing happening that I wasn't able to recognize, but I didn't feel like it would last for long. The weird thing is that long before we ever had success on a commercial level, I had already developed a sense of entitlement. I had an unnecessary, unwarranted, unfounded, self-centered sense of entitlement from childhood. In elementary school, I always felt like I should be the president of the school and that I was somehow above the law of the school and I could break the rules. When I moved in with my father, he was arrogant and full of himself, and that carried on to me, so I always had this sense of entitlement and a semi-false sense of self. I would steal because I had that sense, whether it was houses or cars or furniture or cactuses, whatever I understand how people can be cold and ruthless criminals, because I remember at that point in my life, I did not think of the consequences for anybody else involved except me. And the consequences for me were that I got what I wanted.
Anthony Kiedis (Scar Tissue)
It took me a long while to figure it out, why I didn’t feel the way everyone else seemed to feel about sex. It doesn’t do a whole lot for me, to be honest. I thought maybe it was women, so I switched to men, but it wasn’t all that much better. It’s… it was mechanical , almost. I was going through the motions but it wasn’t really doing anything for me. I could get off but I didn’t care about it. I thought maybe there was something wrong with me until I figured it out and then it was like a big, fat asexual ray of sunshine fell over me and it was glorious . But it felt better when I figured out that I wasn’t weird and that it was okay to not want sex like everyone else. But I like touching and I like kissing most of the time and I can be there for a partner should the situation… arise. Sometimes, I’ll even jerk off, and I’m told I give really awesome hugs.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
the things that most white people imagine that they can salvage from the storm of life is really, in sum, their innocence. It was this commodity precisely which I had to get rid of at once, literally, on pain of death. I am afraid that most of the white people I have ever known impressed me as being in the grip of a weird nostalgia, dreaming of a vanished state of security and order, against which dream, unfailingly and unconsciously, they tested and very often lost their lives. It is a terrible thing to say, but I am afraid that for a very long time the troubles of white people failed to impress me as being real trouble. They put me in mind of children crying because the breast has been taken away. Time and love have modified my tough-boy lack of charity, but the attitude sketched above was my first attitude and I am sure that there is a great deal of it left.
James Baldwin (Nobody Knows My Name)
The long flight from Georgia to England had been pretty uneventful. Except that Cal had sat next to me. Which was fine.Really. It wasn't like I'd been hyperware of his presence and jumped the three times his knee bumped mine. And after that third time, he definitely hadn't shot me a kind of disgusted look and said, "Chill out, will you?" And when Jenna gave us both a quizzical look,we hadn't snapped, in unison, "Nothing!" Because all of that would have been weird, and Cal and I weren't weird. We were cool. "You'll feel better soon," Dad said. For the first time since I'd met him, his eyes were bright and he actually looked relaxed. I guess being back in the motherland will do that to a guy.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Are these affairs an attempt to figure out who you are?" "Maybe..." "And you think that everyone else knows this? That they know who they are?" "I do." "You see there, that's your mistake," Nicola said. She cut away Lucy's bangs. She cut several long lengths from the back. "As far as I can tell, you remain a mystery to yourself until the day you die.
Andrew Kaufman (Born Weird)
The first sixth-grade assembly.” I look up at him. “Huh?” “That’s the first time I saw you. You were sitting in the row in the front of me. I thought you were cute.” I laugh. “Nice try.” It’s so endearingly Peter to make up stuff to try and sound romantic. He keeps going. “Your hair was really long and you had a headband with a bow. I always liked your hair, even back then.” “Okay, Peter,” I say, reaching up and patting him on his cheek. He ignores me. “Your backpack had your name written on it in glitter letters. I’d never heard of the name Lara Jean before.” My mouth falls open. I hot-glued those glitter letters to my backpack myself! It took me forever trying to get them straight enough. I’d forgotten all about that backpack. It was my prized possession. “The principal started picking random people to come on stage and play a game for prizes. Everybody was raising their hands, but your hair got caught in your chair and you were trying to untangle it, so you didn’t get picked. I remember thinking maybe I should help you, but then I thought that would be weird.” “How do you remember all that?” I ask in amazement. Smiling, he shrugs. “I don’t know. I just do.” Kitty’s always saying how origin stories are important. At college, when people ask us how we met, how will we answer them? The shorty story is, we grew up together. But that’s more Josh’s and my story. High school sweethearts? That’s Peter and Gen’s story. So what’s ours, then? I suppose I’ll say it all started with a love letter.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
The way she always stared at Leo was kind of disturbing. She twirled a lock of her wavy hair around a finger and batted her long, curly eyelashes at him. Once, in Chem class, Leo’s Chap Stick dropped out of his pocket and rolled across the floor without him noticing. Carrie picked it up. Later, I saw her pop the lid off, sniff it, and then rub it over her lips. She had this weird look on her face, a bit like when Buffalo Bill tossed the bottle of Jergens down to his victim in Silence of the Lambs. I half expected her to moan, “It rubs the Chap Stick on its lips.
Leah Marie Brown (Faking It (It Girls, #1))
Sometimes I hate this language with its false words like sunset. The sun does not set. It doesn't rise either. It just stays there in one place, yet we get all romantic, huddling on beaches to watch its so-called departure, when it is we who turn away from it, which is a good thing-if the sun could turn, it would never come back, it'd just keep going, look for some better planet to nourish. Moonlight is another lie. It's a luminescent echo. The moon is a politician whose speeches are written by the sun. I long for a world where witnesses in court must place their hands on a dictionary when they swear. A world where an archer must ask an arrow's permission before loading it into a crossbow. A world with inverted flashlights that shoot out beams of darkness, so you can go to the beach and sabotage sunbathers, rob them of their shine. A world where people eat animals they wish to emulate. But who the hell am I? I'm just the spark from two people who rubbed their genitals together like sticks in a forest one October night because they were cold. I'm just burning the firecracker at both ends. Every morning I get up and swallow my weirdness pills. I know the glass is half full, but it's a shot glass, and there are four of us, and we're all very thirsty. I know it's easy not to cry over spilled milk when you've got another carton in the fridge.
Jeffrey McDaniel (The Endarkenment)
There’s might too in the incomplete. In feeling fractional. A failure to carry out is perhaps no failure at all, but rather a minced metric of splendor. The ongoing. The outlawed. The no-patrol. The act of making loose. Of not doing as you’ve been told. Of betting on miscalculations and cul-de-sacs. Why force conciliation when, from time to time, long-held deep breaths follow what we consider defeat? Why not want a little mania? The shrill of chance, of what’s weird. Of purple hats and hiccups. Endurance is a talent that seldom worries about looking good, and abiding has its virtues even when the tongue dries. The intention shouldn’t only be to polish what we start but to acknowledge that beginning again and again can possess the acquisitive thrill of a countdown that never reaches zero. Groping
Durga Chew-Bose (Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays)
I guess the trick of the treat is that I left it there for you because I had too much of the troublesome ingredient with me for so long and I needed to make it into something else and give it away. It is too much for one person, isn’t it? And if you eat it, maybe you will know how full of it I felt, but also how much sweetness I have been holding for you, inside of myself, in so many colors and forms.
Jenny Slate (Little Weirds)
To use an example frequently offered by Masters, imagine if someone continually showed up at car dealerships and asked to buy $500,000 worth of cars. This mystery person doesn’t care how many cars, mind you, he just wants a half million bucks’ worth. Eventually, someone is going to sell that guy one car for $500,000. Put enough of those people out there visiting car dealerships, your car market is going to get very weird very quickly. Soon enough, the people who are coming into the dealership looking to buy cars they actually plan on driving are going to find that they’ve been priced out of the market.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
The thing about me is – essentially, I’m a coward. I am. I can’t stand weird stuff, anything that’s not normal. […] I’m a coward, and I’ve faced it, and I’ve learn to accept it. And I’m okay with that, as long as nothing happens so I have to start feeling ashamed about it, or guilty. I don’t think my parents know this about me. […] But the other thing is, I just hate it when people are disappointed in me.
Kristen D. Randle (The Only Alien on the Planet)
A vision of the Shining One swirling into our world, a monstrous, glorious flaming pillar of incarnate, eternal Evil--of people passing through its radiant embrace into that hideous, unearthly life-in-death which I had seen enfold the sacrifices--of armies trembling into dancing atoms of diamond dust beneath the green ray's rhythmic death--of cities rushing out into space upon the wings of that other demoniac force which Olaf had watched at work--of a haunted world through which the assassins of the Dweller's court stole invisible, carrying with them every passion of hell--of the rallying to the Thing of every sinister soul and of the weak and the unbalanced, mystics and carnivores of humanity alike; for well I knew that, once loosed, not any nation could hold the devil-god for long and that swiftly its blight would spread!
A. Merritt (The Moon Pool)
We found out yesterday that Robert has won the Drama Desk Award for Possessed, a huge Broadway honor. Jeff—who is over the moon about it—is planning a fiftieth birthday party/award celebration. Of course I have to be there . . . and of course Calvin will be, too. No way am I going solo. I need major reinforcements, and nobody makes me laugh harder than Davis. “I know where this is going,” he says once I’ve explained the situation. He lets out a long sigh. “Does this mean I need to get a plane ticket and rent a tux?” “Well yeah, because I want my date to look hot.” “That is some Flowers in the Attic stuff, Holls. Don’t be weird.
Christina Lauren (Roomies)
I thrust Sophie into a corner, blocking her with my body. She panted and snagged her lower lip in her teeth. “This is not my life,” she insisted. I looked at her solemnly. “I’m afraid it is. But it doesn’t have to be for long. Let’s just get through this. Then things go back to normal for you.” “Like they keep going back to normal for you?” Sophie hissed. “Ghost of your mother, psycho ex-best friend, company agent dating your dad, psychic vampire ex-boyfriend, werewolf current boyfriend—by the way, I can’t blame you for that one,” she confessed, eyes round as she mouthed the word whoa before continuing with her list, “Trip to the asylum, attempts against your life, vigilante father…” “Hey, the last ones are brand new. And the vigilante father thing? He’ll revert.” “Anyhow, I’m not so keen on your concept of normal.” I caught her staring at me.
Shannon Delany (Bargains and Betrayals (13 to Life, #3))
Why did you call me your wife in there?” My voice sounded all weird. That heavy-lidded, smart-ass gaze was as cool as a damn cucumber. “Why wouldn’t I?” “I thought we were going to keep this under wraps for as long as possible.” And he could have at least warned me he was going to do it so I could have mentally prepared. The Wall of Winnipeg didn’t look remotely apologetic. “You are my wife, and I don’t have patience for flirts,
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
It's the what if? The what then? And we know that if we go for it, if we risk it, we immediately stand to lose it. But weirdly, some part of us believes the feeling is two-way, because it must be; it's too special not to be. We believe that something's been shared, even if the evidence we have is ... what? A look that lasted a breath longer then we're used to? A second glance, when the glance could easily have been to check whether there are any cabs coming, or whether the jacket we're wearing that's caught their eyes would look good on their boyfriend, or why it is we seem to be staring at them. I saw you. You don't use overhead handles on the train. Hoped it would jolt and you would fall to me. But no. I smiled. These small moments, never said out loud, as formed and perfect as sweet little haikus, romance and longing carved out in the dust of a grubby city.
Danny Wallace (Charlotte Street)
I knew Derek didn't lack empathy—he couldn't forget what he'd done to that kid who attacked Simon. But it was like what he held some weird list of checks and balances, and if you got on the wrong side, like Tori had, he had no problem 'kicking you on the curb,' to face whatever fate waited. "No," I said. "It isn't up for negotiation. She's not coming." "Okay." I stood and brushed off my jeans. "Come on, Tori." When Simon rose, I thought he was going to stop me. Instead, he followed me to the door. Tori caught up, and we made it into the next room before Derek jogged out, catching my arm with a wrench that yanked me off my feet. I winced and peeled off his fingers. "Wrong one." He dropped my arm quickly, realizing he'd grabbed my injured one. A long minute of silence, then, "Fine." He turned to Tori. "Three conditions. One, whatever your problem is with Chloe, get over it. Go after her again, you're gone." "Understood," Tori said. "Two, get over Simon. He's not interested." She flushed and snapped, "I think I've figured that out. And number three?" "Get over yourself."
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
Society gives the image of sexual violators as weird, ugly, anti-social, alcoholics. Society gives the impression that violators kidnap children are out of their homes and take them to some wooded area and abandon them after the violation. Society gives the impression that everyone hates people who violate children. If all of these myths were true, healing would not be as challenging as it is. Half of our healing is about the actual abuse. The other half is about how survivors fit into society in the face of the myths that people hold in order to make themselves feel safe. The truth is that 80% of childhood sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members. Yet we rarely hear the word “incest”. The word is too ugly and the truth is too scary. Think about what would happen if we ran a campaign to end incest instead of childhood sexual abuse. The number one place that children should know they are safe is in their homes. As it stands, as long as violators keep sexual abuse within the family, the chances of repercussion by anyone is pretty low. Wives won’t leave violating husbands, mothers won’t kick their violating children out of the home, and violating grandparents still get invited to holiday dinners. It is time to start cleaning house. If we stop incest first, then we will strengthen our cause against all sexual abuse.
Rosenna Bakari
For the liquor of Miss Amelia has a special quality of its own. It is clean and sharp on the tongue, but once down a man it glows inside him for a long time afterward. And that is not all. It is known that if a message is written with lemon juice on a clean sheet of paper there will be no sign of it. But if the paper is held for a moment to the fire then the letters turn brown and the meaning becomes clear. Imagine that the whisky is the fire and that the message is that which is known only in the soul of a man – then the worth of Miss Amelia's liquor can be understood. Things that have gone unnoticed, thoughts that have been harbored far back in the dark mind, are suddenly recognized and comprehended. A spinner who has thought only of the loom, the dinner pail, the bed, and then the loom again – this spinner might drink some on a Sunday and come across a marsh lily. And in his palm he might hold this flower, examining the golden dainty cup, and in him suddenly might come a sweetness keen as pain. A weaver might look up suddenly and see for the first time the cold, weird radiance of midnight January sky, and a deep fright at his own smallness stop his heart. Such things as these, then, happen when a man has drunk Miss Amelia's liquor. He may suffer, or he may be spent with joy – but the experience has shown the truth; he has warmed his soul and seen the message hidden there.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
He pulls just an inch away, releasing with a sweet suction my bottom lip. “Your mouth is hot and tastes like honey.” I show him the tea that I’ve been holding out of the way. “I see,” he twinkles at me and takes the travel mug, helping himself to a long sip. He leans back in, and I guess what he’s doing just in time. His feeding me the hot sip of honeyed tea should be weird, but as usual, he’s so committed to the moment that I just enjoy the sweetness, the intimacy.
Mary Ann Rivers (The Story Guy)
The doors burst open, startling me awake. I nearly jumped out of bed. Tove groaned next to me, since I did this weird mind-slap thing whenever I woke up scared, and it always hit him the worst. I'd forgotten about it because it had been a few months since the last time it happened. "Good morning, good morning, good morning," Loki chirped, wheeling in a table covered with silver domes. "What are you doing?" I asked, squinting at him. He'd pulled up the shades. I was tired as hell, and I was not happy. "I thought you two lovebirds would like breakfast," Loki said. "So I had the chef whip you up something fantastic." As he set up the table in the sitting area, he looked over at us. "Although you two are sleeping awfully far apart for newlyweds." "Oh, my god." I groaned and pulled the covers over my head. "You know, I think you're being a dick," Tove told him as he got out of bed. "But I'm starving. So I'm willing to overlook it. This time." "A dick?" Loki pretended to be offended. "I'm merely worried about your health. If your bodies aren't used to strenuous activities, like a long night of lovemaking, you could waste away if you don't get plenty of protein and rehydrate. I'm concerned for you." "Yes, we both believe that's why you're here," Tove said sarcastically and took a glass of orange juice that Loki had poured for him. "What about you, Princess?" Loki's gaze cut to me as he filled another glass. "I'm not hungry." I sighed and sat up. "Oh, really?" Loki arched an eyebrow. "Does that mean that last night-" "It means that last night is none of your business," I snapped. I got up and hobbled over to Elora's satin robe, which had been left on a nearby chair. My feet and ankles ached from all the dancing I'd done the night before. "Don't cover up on my account," Loki said as I put on the robe. "You don't have anything I haven't seen." "Oh, I have plenty you haven't seen," I said and pulled the robe around me. "You should get married more often," Loki teased. "It makes you feisty." I rolled my eyes and went over to the table. Loki had set it all up, complete with a flower in a vase in the center, and he'd pulled off the domed lids to reveal a plentiful breakfast. I took a seat across from Tove, only to realize that Loki had pulled up a third chair for himself. "What are you doing?" I asked. "Well, I went to all the trouble of having someone prepare it, so I might as well eat it." Loki sat down and handed me a flute filled with orange liquid. "I made mimosas." "Thanks," I said, and I exchanged a look with Tove to see if it was okay if Loki stayed. "He's a dick," Tove said over a mouthful of food, and shrugged. "But I don't care." In all honesty, I think we both preferred having Loki there. He was a buffer between the two of us so we didn't have to deal with any awkward morning-after conversations. And though I'd never admit it aloud, Loki made me laugh, and right now I needed a little levity in my life. "So, how did everyone sleep last night?" Loki asked. There was a quick knock at the bedroom doors, but they opened before I could answer. Finn strode inside, and my stomach dropped. He was the last person I'd expected to see. I didn't even think he would be here anymore. After the other night I assumed he'd left, especially when I didn't see him at the wedding. "Princess, I'm sorry-" Finn started to say as he hurried in, but then he saw Loki and stopped abruptly. "Finn?" I asked, stunned. Finn looked appalled and pointed at Loki. "What are you doing here?" "I'm drinking a mimosa." Loki leaned back in his chair. "What are you doing here?" "What is he doing here?" Finn asked, turning his attention to me. "Never mind him." I waved it off. "What's going on?" "See, Finn, you should've told me when I asked," Loki said between sips of his drink.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
And he thought, I shall go on blindly and secretly jumbling all these things together and making no sense of them as long as I live. Maybe every human creature carries some such inescapable burden. That is being human. A very weird affair.
Iris Murdoch (The Green Knight)
Churces crack me up. They're like money, a conspiracy of faith. Like everyone agreed to believe not only is there a God, but he comes down and checks on folks, so long as they hang in certain places, put up altars, burn lots of candles and incense, and perform sit-stand-kneel and other wacky rituals that'd make a coven of witches look not OCD. Then to further complicate it, some folks perform rituals, subset A, and others folks perform rituals, subset B, C,or D, and so on into an infinity of denominations, and call themselves different things then deny everyone's elses right to heaven if they're not performing the same rituals. Dude. Weird. I figure if there is a God, he or she isn't paying attention to what we build or if follow some elaborate rules, but copping a ride on our shoulders, watching what we do every day.Seing if we took this great big adventure called life and did anything interesting with it. I figure that the folks that are the most interesting get to go to heaven. I mean, if I was God, that's who I would want there with me. I also figure being eternally happy would be eternally boring so I try not to be too interesting, even though it's hard for me. I would rather be a superhero in hell, kicking all kinds of demon ass, than an angel in heaven, waiting around with a beatific smile on my face, playing a pansy harp all day.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
If ideas flow out of you easily like a chocolate fountain, bless you, and skip to the next chapter. But if you’re someone like me, who longs to create but finds the process agonizing, here’s my advice: –Find a group to support you, to encourage you, to guilt you into DOING. If you can’t find one, start one yourself. Random people enjoy having pancakes. –Make a goal. Then strike down things that are distracting you from that goal, especially video games. (Unless it’s this book; finish reading it and THEN start.) –Put the fear of God into yourself. Okay, I’m not religious. Whatever spiritual ideas float your boat. Read some obituaries, watch the first fifteen minutes of Up, I don’t care. Just scare yourself good. You have a finite number of toothpaste tubes you will ever consume while on this planet. Make the most of that clean tooth time. For yourself. The creative process isn’t easy, even for chocolate-fountain people. It’s more like a wobbly, drunken journey down a very steep and scary hill, not knowing if there’s a sheer cliff at the end of it all. But it’s worth the journey, I promise.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
Do you know why the lotus is one of my favorite flowers?" I cocked my head to one side so I could see his expression. He shook his head. "This beautiful flower lives in the most vile, muddy water of swamps and bogs," I said and rubbed the smooth metal of the pendant between my fingers. He frowned. "No, seriously... the grosser the environment, the better," I said. "So let me get this straight. You like a flower that lives in disgusting places?" One of his eyebrows rose. "That ain't right." "No, I love this flower," I corrected. He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye, "Seriously?" "What?" You don't believe me?" "Sure, I believe you. It's just weird." "I'll tell you why, but only if you promise not to laugh," I said. He nodded. Taking a cleansing breath, I rested my head against the seat, closed my eyes, and took that scary first step. "This flower stays in the mud and muck all night long." I peeked at him without moving my head. His face had become set in the smooth lines of one who listens intently. "Then, at sunrise, it climbs toward the light and opens into a pristine bloom. After the sun goes down, the bloom sinks into the mire. Even though it spends the whole night underwater, the flower emerges every morning as beautiful as the day before." Smiling, I swiveled in my seat to face him. "I love this flower because it reminds me that we get second chances every day, no matter what muck life drags us through.
K.D. Wood (Unwilling (Unwilling #1))
What You Should Know to be a Poet" all you can know about animals as persons. the names of trees and flowers and weeds. the names of stars and the movements of planets and the moon. your own six senses, with a watchful elegant mind. at least one kind of traditional magic: divination, astrology, the book of changes, the tarot; dreams. the illusory demons and the illusory shining gods. kiss the ass of the devil and eat sh*t; fuck his horny barbed cock, fuck the hag, and all the celestial angels and maidens perfum’d and golden- & then love the human: wives husbands and friends children’s games, comic books, bubble-gum, the weirdness of television and advertising. work long, dry hours of dull work swallowed and accepted and lived with and finally lovd. exhaustion, hunger, rest. the wild freedom of the dance, extasy silent solitary illumination, entasy real danger. gambles and the edge of death.
Gary Snyder
Hanna started to laugh uncontrollably. "Now," Bobby told her, "say, 'I'm a dying cockroach.'" Again Hanna stopped and rolled over. "Do what?" she asked. "You were doing good, Girl. Don't stop. Please don't stop. Quick, get back on your back." It was his patience with her that finally convinced her to go on with the foolishness. "That's it. Wiggle. Wiggle. Now, say, 'I'm a dying Cockroach.'" "I cant." "Yes you can. Say it. Say it." Hanna started laughing so hard she could not stop. "I'm a dying cockroach." she managed to say. "I'm a dying cockroach, " Bobby repeated. "Say it again. Say it over and over. I'm a dying cockroach, I'm a dying cockroach. Say it." "I'm a dying cockroach," Hanna began. "Keep wiggling. Wiggle. Wiggle. I'm a dying cockroach." "I'm a dying cockroach. I'm a dying fucking cockroach!" Bobby spent nearly half an hour putting Hanna through the exercise he had experienced in the Marine Corps. He was satisfied when finally she began to scream uncontrollably as she flailed about the floor hysterically in absolute absurdity. Tears were pouring over her face. It was then that Bobby fell over her and began to hug and hold her and kiss her cheeks. "You did it!" Girl, you did it. See?" After she came back to her senses and calmed down, Bobby explained why he put her through the ordeal. "How do you feel?" he asked her. Hanna smiled and said. "Weird. I made a fucking fool of myself." "Great," said Bobby. "That was the point. See, you got outside yourself. You lost your ego." Hanna was starting to understand. "I did, didn't I? I let go. I honestly let go of everything. I didn't care. I didn't give a shit for nothing. It felt great. Shiiiitttt!" she screamed into her hands. "I'm a fucking dying cockroach. And I don't give a shit about nothing." "Anything," Byron said from the kitchen.
Ronald Everett Capps (Off Magazine Street)
I lay my fantasy in the backseat of Isa's car and slide in next to her. She snuggles up, using me as her personal pillow, her blond curls sprawled over my crotch. I close my eyes for a second, trying to get the image out of my head. And I don't know what to do with my hands. My right one is on the door armrest. My left one hovers over Brittany. I hesitate. Who am I kidding? I'm not a virgin. I'm an eighteen-year-old guy who can deal with having a hot, passed-out girl next to me. Why am I afraid of putting my arm where it's comfortable, right over her midsection? I hold my breath as I settle my arm on her. She cuddles closer and I'm feeling weird and light-headed. Either it's the aftereffects from the joint or . . . I don't want to think about the "or." Her long hair is wrapped around my thigh. Without thinking, I weave my hands in her hair and watch as the silky strands slowly fall through the V's between my fingers.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Caiden walked back over and placed his hands on her shoulders, concern on his face. "Are you okay? Did he do anything weird to you?" Amelia thought about it for a second. "He put his thing in me." All four men froze. The air around Caiden began to spark and crackle. "He did what?" he asked, his voice sounding odd and strained. "He put his light in my heart, that way, he can find me later," she explained. She looked around confused when the men seemed to slump forward in relief. "What?" she asked. "Nothing, baby." Caiden scooped her up and sat down with her on his lap. "I can't do this. She can never mate." He let out a long breath and cuddled her close. Kyran and Tristan sat back down in their chairs and rested their heads on the table. Kendrick's smile was wicked as he stood. "Makes me eternally grateful I have a brother." Behind her, she felt Caiden laugh. "As if you're any less protective of Keelan than we are of Amelia?
Alanea Alder (My Savior (Bewitched and Bewildered, #4))
Shelton pushed Ben lightly. “Remember when you couldn’t flare without losing your temper? So Hi kicked you from behind to get you mad, and you threw him in the ocean?” Ben snorted. “He deserved it.” “I was providing a service,” Hi protested. “I recall Tory once trying to eat a mouse.” I pinched my nose. “Ugh, don’t remind me.” Ella giggled. “One time Cole lost his flare while carrying a boulder. It pinned his leg for an hour.” Then everyone had a story. Our funeral became a wake. The mood lifted as we swapped flare stories. It was cathartic. A way to say good-bye. I caught Ben smiling at me. “I remember when Tory sniffed that mound of bird crap in the old lighthouse. I thought she’d vomit on the spot.” Chance laughed. “I knew she was too clever. Always with a trick up her sleeve.” The boys glanced at each other. Their smiles faded. Something passed between them. Abruptly, both looked at me. I could see a question in their eyes. A resolve to see something through. They talked. Oh God, they talked about me. They’re going to make me choose. In a flash of dread, I realized I could delay this no longer. With another jolt, I realized I didn’t need to. There was no point putting it off. There was also no decision to make. My eyes met a dark, intense pair staring back earnestly. Longingly. Fearfully. I smiled. Even as my heart pounded. Before anyone spoke, I stepped forward, legs shaking so badly I worried I might fall. But my second foot successfully followed the first. I walked over to Ben’s side. Slipped my hand inside his. Squeezed for dear life. Ben’s eyes widened. He gasped quietly, his chest rising and falling. I met his startled gaze. Smiled through my blushes. A goofy smile split Ben’s face, one I’d never seen before. His fingers crushed mine. No decision to make. Tearing my eyes from Ben, I looked at Chance, found him watching me with a glum expression. Then he sighed, a wry smile twisting his lips. Chance nodded slightly. Not one word spoken. Volumes exchanged. The silence stretched, like a living breathing force. Finally, Hi cleared his throat. “Um.” My face burned scarlet as I remembered our audience. Ella was gaping at me, a delighted grin on her face. Shelton looked like he might turn and run. Hi was rubbing the back of his neck, his face twisted in an uncomfortable grimace. Still no one said a word. This was the most painful moment of my life. “So . . .” Hi drummed his thighs, eyes fixed to the pavement. “Right. A lot just happened there. Weirdly without anyone talking, but, um, yeah.
Kathy Reichs (Terminal (Virals, #5))
Zulu!” I raced up to his side and stopped him. “I can explain my weird behavior.” “So you’re not just crazy?” His blond eyebrows rose as he grinned. “Well, that’s the point. I am crazy.” I raked my fingers through my hair and blew out a long breath. “I set my ex-boyfriend and the two women he was cheating with on fire. They were all in the hospital for several months.” He didn’t say anything and just continued to stare. Feel like running away yet? “So,” I said. “I’m not the sanest person you could spend your time trying to be with.” He flashed me a huge smile. “If someone touched you now, they would be lucky to have only one month in the hospital.” Oh, my goodness. “Okay. I don’t think you understand me.” I held my hands out to my sides. “What I am trying to say is I’m insanely jealous and act on it in violent ways that are frankly detrimental—” “You have a few more weeks.” He tapped his watch. “And then I’m coming for you.” Coming for me?
Kenya Wright (Caged View (Santeria Habitat, #0.5))
Instead of confronting what we have done to bring us to such a moment, we forget, or as Baldwin put it, retreat into a “weird nostalgia,” a longing for a time that never was. What was needed, he believed, was an unflinching confrontation with the ruins. That included confronting the ongoing terror and brutality of white supremacy.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own)
You have to be able to see the world as a whole to bear it—to see the Queerness that moves in every bit of Fairyland, how it threads through every heart and field, how we are all bound together up in the Weird Well of the World. Can’t get too upset about folk being wicked. The Queer old world does so love to turn itself on its head on the regular. Anyway, Fairyland has a kind of weight to it. It tends to settle back into its own ways. Oh, we’ll have a wicked Thorn-King for a century or nine, but in the end, where there’s a Thorn-King, there’s a Rose-Maid to throttle him silly. It might take her a while to get here, but like I said, you have to take a long view.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
I still get plenty anxious. The weird thing, and the unpleasant surprise for me, of proceeding well into the middle, perhaps even post-prime of my career is that writing books has not got any easier. And that doesn't seem fair. I mean, I've been doing it so surely I should be getting better at it, at least a little bit blasé... And it seems to be working absolutely the opposite. This book [Big Brother] I had no confidence in the entirety of its composition, and I only decided I liked it when I finished the very final draft. This means I'm in a state of semi-misery for a long time. And I can't blithely seem either that's some little game I'm playing with myself because, you know, you can easily come along and you don't like what's you're writing for good reason. Right? So, yeah, it's very anxious making, I don't think it's so much the becoming a little more successful, I think it's becoming slightly more aware of how much has already been written, and just becoming less self-impressed as the years go by. More impressed with some people who are better than I am, but... It doesn't wow me that I can write a sentence any more. It has to be a really good sentence. And... I think that's what potentially leads to paralysis in late career, is a kind of killing humility. Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, on June 11, 2013
Lionel Shriver
So it was that the Red Tower put into production its new, more terrible and perplexing, line of unique novelty items. Among the objects and constructions now manufactured were several of an almost innocent nature. These included tiny, delicate cameos that were heavier than their size would suggest, far heavier, and lockets whose shiny outer surface flipped open to reveal a black reverberant abyss inside, a deep blackness roaring with echoes. Along the same lines was a series of lifelike replicas of internal organs and physiological structures, many of them evidencing an advanced stages of disease and all of them displeasingly warm and soft to the touch. There was a fake disembodied hand on which fingernails would grow several inches overnight and insistently grew back should one attempt to clip them. Numerous natural objects, mostly bulbous gourds, were designed to produce a long, deafening scream whenever they were picked up or otherwise disturbed in their vegetable stillness. Less scrutable were such things as hardened globs of lava into whose rough, igneous forms were sent a pair of rheumy eyes that perpetually shifted their gaze from side to side like a relentless pendulum. And there was also a humble piece of cement, a fragment broken away from any street or sidewalk, that left a most intractable stain, greasy and green, on whatever surface it was placed. But such fairly simple items were eventually followed, and ultimately replaced, by more articulated objects and constructions. One example of this complex type of novelty item was an ornate music box that, when opened, emitted a brief gurgling or sucking sound in emulation of a dying individual's death rattle. Another product manufactured in great quantity at the Red Tower was a pocket watch in a gold casing which opened to reveal a curious timepiece whose numerals were represented by tiny quivering insects while the circling 'hands' were reptilian tongues, slender and pink. But these examples hardly begin to hint at the range of goods that came from the factory during its novelty phase of production. I should at least mention the exotic carpets woven with intricate abstract patterns that, when focused upon for a certain length of time, composed themselves into fleeting phantasmagoric scenes of a kind which might pass through a fever-stricken or even permanently damaged brain.
Thomas Ligotti (Teatro Grottesco)
And why can't I have an ignore button like my phone? As I hit it, his calls disappear from the screen and the ringing stops. But the tingles are still at my fingertips, as if he sent them through the phone to grab me. Shoving it in my purse-the pockets on skinny jeans must just be for show 'cause nothing else is fitting in there-I smile at Mark. Ah, Mark. The blue-eyed, blond-haired, all-American quarterback. Who knew he had a crush on me all these years? Not Emma McIntosh, that's for dang sure. And not Chloe. Which is weird, because Chloe was a collector of this kind of information. Maybe it's not true. Maybe Mark's only interested in me because Galen was-who wouldn't want to date the girl who dated the hottest guy in school? But that's just fine with me. Mark is...well, Mark isn't as fantabulous as I always imagined he would be. Still, he's good-looking, a star quarterback, and he's not trying to hook me up with his brother. So why am I not excited? The question must be all over my face because Mark's got his eyebrow raised. Not in a judgmental arch, more like an arch of expectation. If he's waiting for an explanation, his puny human lungs can't hold their breath long enough for an answer. Aside from not being his business, I can't exactly explain the details of my relationship with Galen-fake or otherwise. The truth is, I don't know where we can go from here. He ripped holes in my pride like buckshot. And did I mention he broke my heart? He's not just a crush. Not just a physical attraction, someone who can make me forget my own name by pretending to kiss me. Not just a teacher or a snobby fish with Royal blood. Sure, he's all of those things. But he's more than that. He's who I want. Possibly forever.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Laden with all these new possessions, I go and sit at a table. And don't ask me what the table was like because this was some time ago and I can't remember. It was probably round." [...] "So let me give you the layout. Me sitting at the table, on my left, the newspaper, on my right, the cup of coffee, in the middle of the table, the packet of biscuits." "I see it perfectly." "What you don't see," said Arthur, "because I haven't mentioned him yet, is the guy sitting at the table already. He is sitting there opposite me." "What's he like?" "Perfectly ordinary. Briefcase. Business suit. He didn't look," said Arthur, "as if he was about to do anything weird." "Ah. I know the type. What did he do?" "He did this. He leaned across the table, picked up the packet of biscuits, tore it open, took one out, and . . ." "What?" "Ate it." "What?" "He ate it." Fenchurch looked at him in astonishment. "What on earth did you do?" "Well, in the circumstances I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do. I was compelled," said Arthur, "to ignore it." "What? Why?" "Well, it's not the sort of thing you're trained for, is it? I searched my soul, and discovered that there was nothing anywhere in my upbringing, experience, or even primal instincts to tell me how to react to someone who has quite simply, calmly, sitting right there in front of me, stolen one of my biscuits." "Well, you could. . ." Fenchurch thought about it. "I must say I'm not sure what I would have done either. So what happened?" "I stared furiously at the crossword," said Arthur, "couldn't do a single clue, took a sip of coffee, it was too hot to drink, so there was nothing for it. I braced myself. I took a biscuit, trying very hard not to notice," he added, "that the packet was already mysteriously open. . ." "But you're fighting back, taking a tough line." "After my fashion, yes. I ate the biscuit. I ate it very deliberately and visibly, so that he would have no doubt as to what it was I was doing. When I eat a biscuit," said Arthur, "it stays eaten." "So what did he do?" "Took another one. Honestly," insisted Arthur, "this is exactly what happened. He took another biscuit, he ate it. Clear as daylight. Certain as we are sitting on the ground." Fenchurch stirred uncomfortably. "And the problem was," said Arthur, "that having not said anything the first time, it was somehow even more difficult to broach the subject the second time around. What do you say? 'Excuse me... I couldn't help noticing, er . . .' Doesn't work. No, I ignored it with, if anything, even more vigor than previously." "My man..." "Stared at the crossword again, still couldn't budge a bit of it, so showing some of the spirit that Henry V did on St. Crispin's Day . ." "What?" "I went into the breach again. I took," said Arthur, "another biscuit. And for an instant our eyes met." "Like this?" "Yes, well, no, not quite like that. But they met. Just for an instant. And we both looked away. But I am here to tell you," said Arthur, "that there was a little electricity in the air. There was a little tension building up over the table. At about this time." "I can imagine."” "We went through the whole packet like this. Him, me, him, me . . ." "The whole packet?" "Well, it was only eight biscuits, but it seemed like a lifetime of biscuits we were getting through at this point. Gladiators could hardly have had a tougher time." "Gladiators," said Fenchurch, "would have had to do it in the sun. More physically gruelling." "There is that. So. When the empty packet was lying dead between us the man at last got up, having done his worst, and left. I heaved a sigh of relief, of course. "As it happened, my train was announced a moment or two later, so I finished my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper . . ." "Yes?" "Were my biscuits." "What?" said Fenchurch. "What?" "True." "No!
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
All yesterday it poured, and all night long I could not sleep; the rain unceasing beat Upon the shingled roof like a weird song, Upon the grass like running children’s feet. And down the mountains by the dark cloud kissed, Like a strange shape in filmy veiling dressed, Slid slowly, silently, the wraith-like mist, And nestled soft against the earth’s wet breast. But lo, there was a miracle at dawn! The still air stirred at touch of the faint breeze, The sun a sheet of gold bequeathed the lawn, The songsters twittered in the rustling trees. And all things were transfigured in the day, But me whom radiant beauty could not move; For you, more wonderful, were far away, And I was blind with hunger for your love
Claude McKay
It was a long head. It was a wedge, a sliver, a grotesque slice in which it seemed the features had been forced to stake their claims, and it appeared that they had done so in a great hurry and with no attempt to form any kind of symmetrical pattern for their mutual advantage. The nose had evidently been first upon the scene and had spread itself down the entire length of the wedge, beginning among the grey stubble of the hair and ending among the grey stubble of the beard, and spreading on both sides with a ruthless disregard for the eyes and mouth which found precarious purchase. The mouth was forced by the lie of the terrain left to it, to slant at an angle which gave to its right-hand side an expression of grim amusement and to its left, which dipped downwards across the chin, a remorseless twist. It was forced by not only the unfriendly monopoly of the nose, but also by the tapering character of the head to be a short mouth; but it obvious by its very nature that, under normal conditions, it would have covered twice the area. The eyes in whose expression might be read the unending grudge they bore against the nose were as small as marbles and peered out between the grey grass of the hair. This head, set at a long incline upon a neck as wry as a turtle's cut across the narrow vertical black strip of the window. Steerpike watched it turn upon the neck slowly. It would not have surprised him if it had dropped off, so toylike was its angle. As he watched, fascinated, the mouth opened and a voice as strange and deep as the echo of a lugubrious ocean stole out into the morning. Never was a face so belied by its voice. The accent was of so weird a lilt that at first Steerpike could not recognize more than one sentence in three, but he had quickly attuned himself to the original cadence and as the words fell into place Steerpike realised he was staring at a poet.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
And I guess that was right, but it also seemed to me like people who said Ben was special and had no worries were as wrong as the people long ago, but in a different way. Because that’s crappy. What if this life was all Ben got? People said he was sweet and special—and he was—but he was also sad and angry. More than most people. He cried. His own body seemed to feel weird to him sometimes—he would jump and move like he wanted to be free of his skin. I could see him looking at us like Get me out of here and we were never sure where to take him. You can’t take someone away from their own body. And that seemed unfair. Would God really do that to someone so other people could feel like they were learning important lessons in the few minutes they spent with him?
Ally Condie (Summerlost)
And the weird thing is, when people talk about grief, they talk about it like it’s an illness, as if you have the flu, as if one day you’ll just feel better if you wait long enough. What I’ve realised is I’m never going to feel better. This is just an emptiness I’ll live with for the rest of my life. And I’ve come to accept that. It’s a shadow that’s always with me and always will be.
Suzanne Kelman (When We Were Brave)
I would be unfair to myself if I said I did not try. I did, even if desultorily. But desire is a curious thing. If it does not exist it does not exist and there is nothing you can do to conjure it up. Worse still, as I discovered, when desire begins to sink, like a capsizing ship it takes down a lot with it.   In our case it took down the conversation, the laughter, the sharing, the concern, the dreams and nearly - the most important thing, the most important thing - and nearly the affection too. Soon my sinking desire had taken everything else down with it to the floor of the sea, and only affection remained like the bobbing hand of a drowning man, poised perilously between life and death.   More than once she tried to seize the moment and open up the issue. She did it with a hard face and a soft face; she did it when I was idling on the terrace and when I was in the thick of my works; first thing in the morning and last thing at night.   We need to talk. Yes. Do you want to talk? Sure. What's happening? I don't know. Is there someone else? No. Is it something I did? Oh no. Then what the hell's happening? I don't know. Is there anything you want to talk to me about? I don't know. What do you mean you don't know? I don't know. What do you mean you don't know? I don't know. That's what I mean - I don't know. Toc toc toc.   All the while I tried to save that bobbing hand - of affection - from vanishing. I felt somehow that if it drowned there would not be a single pointer on the wide stormy surface to show me where our great love had once stood. That bobbing hand of affection was a marker, a buoy, holding out the hope that one day we could salvage the sunken ship. If it drowned, our coordinates would be completely lost and we would not know where to even begin looking.   Even in my weird state, it was an image of such desolation that it made my heart lurch wildly.   ***   For a long time, with her immense pride in herself - in us - she did not turn to anyone for help. Not friends, not family. For simply too long she imagined this was a passing phase, but then, as the weeks rolled by, through slow accretion the awful truth began to settle on her. By then she had run through all the plays of a relationship: withdrawal, sulking, anger, seduction, inquisition, affection, threat.   Logic, love, lust. Now the epitaph was beginning to creep up on her. Acceptance. 
Tarun J. Tejpal
If these weren't the worst odds he had ever faced,they came damn close.Still, he sensed the wings of panic moving through the riders and thought he might have a decent enough chance. Thought but was destined never to know, for just then a great fluttering shattered the forest stillness,a sound somewhere between the howl of wind and the throb of drums.A terrible beating that grew louder and louder as the air thickened,becoming almost solid,and the men began to scream. Ravens filled the sky.They swarmed from the surrounding trees,darting at the riders,going for their eyes. Even as they did,out into the clearing before the lodge ran a band of stout little men, weirdly dressed,sporting long beards, and looking as though they had just crawled from beneath a bridge. They seized the bridles of the horses and whispered to the animals, causing them to rear so violently that the riders were tumbled from their saddles and fell one after another to the ground. The birds swooped lower, still attacking,as the men huddled,arms wrapped around their heads,thrashing frantically.Before Dragon's startled gaze,the little men loosed the horses and turned to go.One,who looked somehow familiar, gave him a cocky grin and waved. Friends in high places...and low.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Traces of historical associations can long outlast actual contact. In the dense, subtropical forests from India across to the South China Sea, venomous snakes are common, and there is always an advantage in pretending to be something dangerous. The slow loris, a weird, nocturnal primate, has a number of unusual features that, taken together, seem to be mimicking spectacled cobras. They move in a sinuous, serpentine way through the branches, always smooth and slow. When threatened, they raise their arms up behind their head, shiver and hiss, their wide, round eyes closely resembling the markings on the inside of the spectacled cobra’s hood. Even more remarkably, when in this position, the loris has access to glands in its armpit which, when combined with saliva, can produce a venom capable of causing anaphylactic shock in humans. In behaviour, colour and even bite, the primate has come to resemble the snake, a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Today, the ranges of the loris and cobras do not overlap, but climate reconstructions reaching back tens of thousands of years suggest that once they would have been similar. It is possible that the loris is an outdated imitation artist, stuck in an evolutionary rut, compelled by instinct to act out an impression of something neither it nor its audience has ever seen.
Thomas Halliday (Otherlands: Journeys in Earth's Extinct Ecosystems)
Where did Grizel go?” Sandor asked as they turned to leave. “She’s supposed to stay by your side.” “I’m right here,” a husky female voice said as a lithe gray goblin in a fitted black jumpsuit seemed to melt out of the shadows. Fitz’s bodyguard was just as tall as Sandor, but far leaner—and what she lacked in bulk she made up for in stealth and grace. “I swear,” she said, tapping Sandor on the nose. “It’s almost too easy to evade you.” “Anyone can hide in this chaos,” Sandor huffed. “And now is not the time for games!” “There’s always time for games.” Grizel tossed her long ponytail in a way that almost seemed . . . Was it flirty? Sandor must’ve noticed too, because his gray skin tinted pink. He cleared his throat and turned to Sophie. “Weren’t we heading to the cafeteria?” She nodded and followed Fitz into the mazelike halls, where the colorful crystal walls shimmered in the afternoon sunlight. The cafeteria was on the second floor of the campus’s five-story glass pyramid, which sat in the center of the courtyard framed by the U-shaped main building. Sophie spent most of the walk wondering how long it would take Dex to notice her new accessories. The answer was three seconds—and another after that to notice the matching rings on Fitz’s thumbs. His periwinkle eyes narrowed, but he kept his voice cheerful as he said, “I guess we’re all giving rings this year.” Biana held out her hand to show Sophie a ring that looked familiar—probably because Sophie had a less sparkly, slightly more crooked, definitely less pink version on her own finger. “I also made one for you,” Dex told Fitz. “It’s in your thinking cap. And I have some for Tam and Linh, whenever we see them again. That way we’ll all have panic switches—and I added stronger trackers, so I can home in on the signal even if you don’t press your stone. Just in case anything weird happens.” “Your Technopath tricks aren’t necessary,” Sandor told him, pointing to their group of bodyguards—four goblins in all. “But it’s still good to have a backup plan, right?” Biana asked, admiring her ring from another angle. The pink stone matched the glittery shadow she’d brushed around her teal eyes, as well as the gloss on her
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
The truth a fairly important thing to hold on to when you’ve been pulled out of the sea after wanting to drown in it. I could’ve let the sea take me. I could easily be dead now, which is funny when you think of it. When I say funny, what I actually mean is weird and kind of disturbing. When there’s the loud sound of a siren screaming in your head it doesn’t take too long before a feeling of not caring what happens washed over you and you become recklessly self- destructive. I used to be full of energy and happiness but I could barely remember those kinds of feelings. The cheerful, childish things I used to think had been replaced. A whole load of new realisations had begun to grow inside me like tangled weeds, and they were starting to kill me. That’s why I’d make the decision that involved heading ogg to the pier on my pike in the middle of the night and cycling off it.
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (The Apple Tart of Hope)
My friend John Maxwell says a budget (for your money) is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. Managing time is the same; you will either tell your day what to do or you will wonder where it went. The weird thing is that the more efficient, on task, on goal you are with your time, the more energy you have. Working with no traction, or for that matter simply wasting away a day, does not relax you, it drains you. Have you ever taken a day off, slept late, wandered around with no plan or thought for the day, watched some stupid rerun of a bad movie as you surfed the TV, and at the end of your great day off found yourself absolutely exhausted? Strange as it may seem, when you work a daily plan in pursuit of your written goals that flow from your mission statement born of your vision for living your dreams, you are energized after a tough long day.
Dave Ramsey (EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches)
So you’re going to be the Big Boss Lady?” I opened my mouth to make some quippy comment, but nothing came. So I just said, “Yeah. I am.” She gave a little nod. “You’ll be good at it. But if you ever tell anyone I said that, I’ll kill you.” I chuckled. “Fair enough.” For a long moment, I watched her watching the house. And then, very quietly, I said, “If you’re ready for me to…I don’t know, set you free or whatever, I can now. At least I think I can.” Elodie turned to me, her feet hovering just off the ground. “Where would I go?” “I don’t know.” “Would you…” She trailed off, and if I hadn’t known Elodie better, I would’ve sworn nervousness crossed her face. Then her lips moved so quickly that I couldn’t make out any of the words. “Whoa, slow down. My lip-reading skills aren’t that great.” She drifted closer. “I said, if you’re staying at Hex Hall, then…I want to stay, too.” I blinked. “For real? You want to stay tethered to me for all eternity? Because if you think for one second I’m letting you in my body again, you’ve got another think coming.” “I don’t want to be in your body anymore,” she said, before screwing her face up. “That sounded gross. Anyway, I just want to stay here. For now.” “Why?” She threw up her hands. “Because you’re my friend, okay? Because helping you and your loser crew these past few weeks has been…I don’t know, fun. And way more fun than I thought I could have dead.” I was weirdly touched.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
Everly rolls her eyes. "I'm stuck here until tomorrow because Finn is waiting until the last minute to go home. He thinks if he waits long enough I'll take the train and he won't have to drive me." She shrugs. "Sometimes I'm not sure why I put up with him." "What exactly are you putting up with? You're the one stalking him." She sticks a cup under the syrups and pumps out several. Experimenting with drink concoctions is a Everly specialty. They're mostly awful. "It's not stalking when we are meant to be together. I can't help it that I imprinted on him when I was six." I spit my drink out. "Everly, did you just use a Twilight reference to explain your obsession with Professor Camden?" "I did." She pauses from her drink-making. "Is that weird?" "Um, let's see, Twilight wasn't written yet when you were six," I start. Everly scoffs and turns back to the syrups. "That doesn't mean it didn't happen." "And you're not a werewolf," I add before she can object. "Whatever.
Jana Aston (Wrong (Cafe, #1))
Compassion for human hurt, a humble sense of our impermanence, an absolute valuation of justice—all of our so-called virtues only trouble us and serve to bolster, not assuage, horror. In addition, these qualities are our least vital, the least in line with life. More often than not, they stand in the way of one’s rise in the welter of this world, which found its pace long ago and has not deviated from it since. The putative affirmations of life—each of them based on the propaganda of Tomorrow: reproduction, revolution in its widest sense, piety in any form you can name—are only affirmations of our desires. And, in fact, these affirmations affirm nothing but our penchant for self-torment, our mania to preserve a demented innocence in the face of gruesome facts. By means of supernatural horror we may evade, if momentarily, the horrific reprisals of affirmation. Every one of us, having been stolen from nonexistence, opens his eyes on the world and looks down the road at a few convulsions and a final obliteration. What a weird scenario. So why affirm anything, why make a pathetic virtue of a terrible necessity? We are destined to a fool’s fate that deserves to be mocked. And since there is no one else around to do the mocking, we will take on the job. So let us indulge in cruel pleasures against ourselves and our pretensions, let us delight in the Cosmic Macabre. At least we may send up a few bitter laughs into the cobwebbed corners of this crusty old universe.
Thomas Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer)
But I also like myself, my personality, my weirdness, my sense of humor, my wild and deep romantic streak, how I love, how I write, my kindness and my mean streak. It is only now, in my forties, that I am able to admit that I like myself, even though I am nagged by this suspicion that I shouldn’t. For so long, I gave in to my self-loathing. I refused to allow myself the simple pleasure of accepting who I am and how I live and love and think and see the world. But then, I got older and I cared less about what other people think. I got older and realized I was exhausted by all my self-loathing and that I was hating myself, in part, because I assumed that’s what other people expected from me, as if my self-hatred was the price I needed to pay for living in an overweight body. It was much, much easier to just try and shut out all of that noise, and to try and forgive myself for the mistakes I made in high school and college and throughout my twenties, to have some empathy for why I made those mistakes.
Roxane Gay (Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body)
That seemed to relax him a little, that simple nothing of a reassurance, as though there was ever a doubt that she wasn't exactly where she wanted to be at this very moment. As if there was even the slightest chance that she would rather be with Grady than Jay. He squeezed her hand, still holding it, and pulled her down so that she was leaning over his chest. "Kiss me again," he challenged, only half joking. It was so weird to hear him say that, to hear those words out loud. They had kissed. More than once. More than a lot. They had passed the point of being "just friends" by a long shot. She leaned down and gave him a dry, sisterly little peck. And then she leaned back up again and smiled at him innocently. She wished she could make a halo appear above her head for effort. Jay made a sound at her that was like a growl, and then he pulled her down...hard. He flipped her over so that she was lying on her back and he was poised above her, and taking full advantage of his upper hand, he moved his lips over hers with a feather-light touch, in a way that was anything but innocent. Until she parted his lips and let him kiss her again...completely...thoroughly. She heard herself moan, and she could feel the throbbing of her own pulse flickering hotly through her veins. He lifted his head and started down at her, rubbing his thumb across her lower lip. "That's what I was talking about. A real kiss." She thought that he was probably trying to gloat, but she was more than a little pleased with herself that he sounded as shaky as she felt after the kiss.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Thomas paused. “You’re hiding something,” he finally replied, finishing off his last bite and taking a long swig of water. The frustration at getting no answers from anyone was starting to grind his nerves. It only made it worse to think that even if he did get answers, he wouldn’t know if he’d be getting the truth. “Why are you guys so secretive?” “That’s just the way it is. Things are really weird around here, and most of us don’t know everything. Half of everything.” It bothered Thomas that Chuck didn’t seem to care about what he’d just said. That he seemed indifferent to having his life taken away from him. What was wrong with these people? Thomas got to his feet and started walking toward the eastern opening. “Well, no one said I couldn’t look around.” He needed to learn something or he was going to lose his mind. “Whoa, wait!” Chuck cried, running to catch up. “Be careful, those puppies are about to close.” He already sounded out of breath. “Close?” Thomas repeated. “What are you talking about?” “The Doors, you shank.” “Doors? I don’t see any doors.
James Dashner (The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1))
He reached out and took her hand, wrapping it tightly in both of his. “Look, Vi, I don’t know exactly how to say this, but I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I don’t think I could handle it if something, or someone, hurt you.” The tone of his voice was still immovable and stubborn, despite the sweet sentiment lurking behind it. He squeezed her hand, though . . . firmly, as if emphasizing his point. “I know it’s selfish, and I don’t really care if it is, but I’m not gonna stand by and let you put yourself in danger, even if it is to catch a killer.” He eased up on her throbbing fingers, and his voice got all husky and rough again. “I can’t lose you,” he explained, shrugging as if those weren’t the most wonderful words she’d ever heard before. “Not now that I finally have you.” She felt years pricking in her eyes, and she blinked hard to try to stop them from coming. She was completely overwhelmed by what she’d just figured out . . . she’d realized it even before he finished talked. She knew what it was that he wasn’t saying while he lectured her about safety. He loved her. Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood, was in love with her. He didn’t say it, but she knew that it was true. And the part that really freaked her out, the part of it that caught her completely off guard, was that he wasn’t in it alone. Because even though she’d been denying it for a long, long time, it had always been there . . . waiting just beneath the surface of their friendship. And now that it was out, there was no going back. And it was so weird to even be thinking it, but . . . . . . she was in love with him too.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Does this popcorn taste burnt to you?" Miles asked, chewing loudly. "Don't eat that," Roland said, plucking the popcorn from Miles's palm. "Arriane got it out of the trash after Luce set the dorm room kitchen on fire." Miles began spitting frantically, leaning over the edge of Roland's wings. "It was my way of connecting with Luce." Arriane shrugged. "But here, if you must, have some Milk Duds." "Is it weird that we're watching the two of them like a movie?" Shelby asked. "We should imagine them like a novel, or a poem, or a song. Sometimes I feel oppressed by how reductive the filmic medium is." "Hey. Roland didn't have to fly you out here, Nephilim. So don't act smart, just watch. Look." Arriane clapped. "He's totally staring at her hair. I bet he goes home and sketches it tonight. How cuuute!" "Arriane, you got way too good at being a teenager," Roland said. "How long are we going to watch for? I mean, don't you think they've earned a little privacy?" "He's right," Arriane said. "We have other things on our celestial plates. Like..." Her smirk faded when she couldn't seem to think of anything.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
A reflection on Robert Lowell Robert Lowell knew I was not one of his devotees. I attended his famous “office hours” salon only a few times. Life Studies was not a book of central importance for me, though I respected it. I admired his writing, but not the way many of my Boston friends did. Among poets in his generation, poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Alan Dugan, and Allen Ginsberg meant more to me than Lowell’s. I think he probably sensed some of that. To his credit, Lowell nevertheless was generous to me (as he was to many other young poets) just the same. In that generosity, and a kind of open, omnivorous curiosity, he was different from my dear teacher at Stanford, Yvor Winters. Like Lowell, Winters attracted followers—but Lowell seemed almost dismayed or a little bewildered by imitators; Winters seemed to want disciples: “Wintersians,” they were called. A few years before I met Lowell, when I was still in California, I read his review of Winters’s Selected Poems. Lowell wrote that, for him, Winters’s poetry passed A. E. Housman’s test: he felt that if he recited it while he was shaving, he would cut himself. One thing Lowell and Winters shared, that I still revere in both of them, was a fiery devotion to the vocal essence of poetry: the work and interplay of sentences and lines, rhythm and pitch. The poetry in the sounds of the poetry, in a reader’s voice: neither page nor stage. Winters criticizing the violence of Lowell’s enjambments, or Lowell admiring a poem in pentameter for its “drill-sergeant quality”: they shared that way of thinking, not matters of opinion but the matter itself, passionately engaged in the art and its vocal—call it “technical”—materials. Lowell loved to talk about poetry and poems. His appetite for that kind of conversation seemed inexhaustible. It tended to be about historical poetry, mixed in with his contemporaries. When he asked you, what was Pope’s best work, it was as though he was talking about a living colleague . . . which in a way he was. He could be amusing about that same sort of thing. He described Julius Caesar’s entourage waiting in the street outside Cicero’s house while Caesar chatted up Cicero about writers. “They talked about poetry,” said Lowell in his peculiar drawl. “Caesar asked Cicero what he thought of Jim Dickey.” His considerable comic gift had to do with a humor of self and incongruity, rather than wit. More surreal than donnish. He had a memorable conversation with my daughter Caroline when she was six years old. A tall, bespectacled man with a fringe of long gray hair came into her living room, with a certain air. “You look like somebody famous,” she said to him, “but I can’t remember who.” “Do I?” “Yes . . . now I remember!— Benjamin Franklin.” “He was a terrible man, just awful.” “Or no, I don’t mean Benjamin Franklin. I mean you look like a Christmas ornament my friend Heather made out of Play-Doh, that looked like Benjamin Franklin.” That left Robert Lowell with nothing to do but repeat himself: “Well, he was a terrible man.” That silly conversation suggests the kind of social static or weirdness the man generated. It also happens to exemplify his peculiar largeness of mind . . . even, in a way, his engagement with the past. When he died, I realized that a large vacuum had appeared at the center of the world I knew.
Robert Pinsky
Scavenger Hunt Day. We pair up in teams pulled out of a hat and disperse around Park City to collect photo evidence of a long list of random things Ricky and Lisa dream up for us—a silver ornament, a giant candy cane, a dog wearing a sweater, things like that. Occasionally video evidence is needed, like last year when we had to get video of a group of people doing the cancan. Permission is required, and asking strangers to do weird things can be mortifying, but mostly it’s a blast. The hunt also gives us the chance to do any last-minute Christmas shopping we might need
Christina Lauren (In a Holidaze)
The hymen is a profound example of the way humans metaphorize anatomy. Here is an organ that has no biological function, and yet Western culture made up a powerful story about the hymen a long time ago. This story has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with controlling women. Culture saw a "barrier" at the mouth of the vagina and decided it was a marker of "virginity" (itself a biologically meaningless idea). Such a weird idea could have been invented only in a society where women were literally property, their vaginas their most valuable real estate - a gated community.
Emily Nagoski (Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life)
And while [we] do have possibilities that are vast and magnificent and almost infinite in scope, it's important to remember that our choice-rich lives have the potential to breed their own brand of trouble. We are susceptible to emotional uncertainties and neuroses that are probably not very common among the Hmong, but that run rampant these days among my contemporaries in, say, Baltimore. The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice...Equally disquieting are the times when we do make a choice, only to later feel as though we have murdered some other aspect of our being by settling on one single concrete decision. By choosing Door Number Three, we fear we have killed off a different -- but equally critical piece of our soul that could only have been made manifest by walking through Door Number One or Door Number Two. ...Two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life's journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time. Or we become compulsive comparers - always measuring our lives against some other person's life, secretly wondering if we should have taken her path instead. Compulsive comparing, of course, only leads to debilitating causes of "life envy": the certainty that somebody else is much luckier than you, and that if only you had her body, her husband, her children, her job, everything would be easy and wonderful and happy. All these choices and all this longing can create a weird kind of haunting in our lives - as though the ghosts of all our other, unchosen, possibilities linger forever in a shadow world around us, continuously asking, "Are you certain this is what you really wanted?" And nowhere does that question risk haunting us more than in our marriages, precisely because the emotional stakes of that most intensely personal choice have become so huge.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Are you bothered because he says he could see us together? Or is there something else?” Sam's voice had grown quieter with that last question. Devin looked up from the board to see something he'd never thought he'd see from Sam. An expression that, on anyone else, would've been more than curious. It was open, vulnerable. A naked longing that disappeared as soon as Devin was sure he knew what it was, to be replaced by Sam pressing his lips together and looking down at the board again. Wow. Okay. That made this conversation a hell of a lot more interesting. Maybe Sam had spent so much time analyzing Devin because he wanted to know if he had a chance. Devin wasn't sure how he felt about that. “I'm not in love with the idea that you guys have talked about me,” Devin said. “It's strange.” “I'm sorry our conversation made you feel that way,” Sam said. “I honestly wouldn't have said anything if you didn't want to know.” “I know, I asked for it,” Devin responded. “About...us.” Dev looked up in time to see Sam's expression change before the mask slid back into place. “You don't think it's weird?” Sam's lips trembled as he fought down a smile. “I think,” he began, reaching across the table, “life is full of possibilities.” He touched the back of Devin's hand with the tips of his fingers, gently stroking the skin. “If this isn't one you want to take advantage of, then you shouldn't feel pressured to do so.” It wasn't Devin's imagination that the temperature in the room had risen. It was one thing when Sam was getting into his head on a purely academic level. It was another thing when Sam looked at him from beneath thick lashes as if he could unravel Devin from the inside out if given half the chance. And he so wanted that chance. Holy hell. The little nerd was trying to seduce him.
Sara Winters (See Right Through (Savannah, #1))
She was suddenly self-conscious of the fact that she and Jay were on the bed together, even though they'd been there, together like that, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of times before. And it had never bothered her then, when they were still just friends; but somehow with her father just a few feet away, especially right after they'd been making out, she felt like they were doing something wrong. "We're fine, Dad!" she called back, trying to sound cool and composed. And then she glared at Jay for his part in making her shout to begin with. They listened to the sound of her father walking away, and Violet noticed that even his footsteps were soft and unobtrusive. There was a long silence once they were alone again. Words that needed to be said, and maybe some that didn't, were like invisible fireworks exploding in the empty space between them. Jay was the first to give in. He reached out and took her hand, wrapping it tightly in both of his. "Look, Vi, I don't know exactly how to say this, but I don't want anything bad to happen to you. I don't think I could handle it if something, or someone, hurt you." The tone of his voice was still immovable and stubborn, despite the sweet sentiment lurking behind it. He squeezed her hand, though...firmly, as if emphasizing his point. "I know it's selfish, and I don't really care if it is, but I'm not gonna stand by and let you put yourself in danger, even if it is to catch a killer." He eased up on her throbbing fingers, and his voice got all husky and rough again. "I can't lose you," he explained, shrugging as if those weren't the most wonderful words she'd ever heard before. "Not now that I finally have you." She felt tears prickling in her eyes, and she blinked hard to try to stop them from coming. She was completely overwhelmed by what she'd just figured out...she'd realized it even before he'd finished talking. She knew what it was that he wasn't saying while he lectured her about safety. He loved her. Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood, was in love with her. He didn't say it, but she knew that it was true. And the part that really freaked her out, the part of it that caught her completely off guard, was that he wasn't in it alone. Because even though she'd been denying it for a long long time, it had always been there...waiting just beneath the surface of their friendship. And now that it was out, there was no going back. And it was so weird to even be thinking it, but... ...she was in love with him too.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Christy dug her hand deeper into her shoulder bag. Scanning the papers she finally located there, she found no phone numbers or addresses listed. All the plans had been made in such haste. All she knew was that someone was supposed to meet her here. She was here, and he or she wasn't. Never in her life had she felt so completely alone. Stranded with nowhere to turn. A prayer came quickly to her lips. "Father God, I'm at Your mercy here. I know You're in control. Please show me what to do." Suddenly she heard a voice calling to her. "Kilikina!" Christy's heart stopped. Only one person in the entire world had ever called her by her Hawaiian name. She spun around. "Kilikina," called out the tall, blond surfer who was running toward her. Christy looked up into the screaming silver-blue eyes that could only belong to one person. "Todd?" she whispered, convinced she was hallucinating. "Kilikina," Todd wrapped his arms around her so tightly that for an instant she couldn't breathe. He held her a long time. Crying. She could feel his warm tears on her neck. She knew this had to be real. But how could it be? "Todd?" she whispered again. "How? I mean, what...? I don't..." Todd pulled away, and for the first time she noticed the big gouquet of white carnations in his hand. They were now a bit squashed. "For you," he said, his eyes clearing and his rich voice sounding calm and steady. Then, seeing her shocked expression, he asked, "You really didn't know I was here, did you?" Christy shook her head, unable to find any words. "Didn't Dr. Benson tell you?" She shook her head again. "You mean you came all this way by yourself, and you didn't even know I was here?" Now it was Todd's turn to look surprised. "No, I thought you were in Papua New Guinea or something. I had no idea you were here!" "They needed me here more," Todd said with a chin-up gesture toward the beach. "It's the perfect place for me." With a wide smile spreading above his square jaw, he said, "Ever since I received the fax yesterday saying they were sending you, I've been out of my mind with joy! Kilikina, you can't imagine how I've been feeling." Christy had never heard him talk like this before. Todd took the bouquet from her and placed it on top of her luggage. Then, grasping both her quivering hands in his and looking into her eyes, he said, "Don't you see? There is no way you or I could ever have planned this. It's from God." The shocked tears finally caught up to Christy's eyes, and she blinked to keep Todd in focus. "It is," she agreed. "God brought us back together, didn't He?" A giggle of joy and delight danced from her lips. "Do you remember what I said when you gave me back your bracelet?" Todd asked. "I said that if God ever brought us back together, I would put that bracelet back on your wrist, and that time, it would stay on forever." Christy nodded. She had replayed the memory of that day a thousand times in her mind. It had seemed impossible that God would bring them back together. Christy's heart pounded as she realized that God, in His weird way, had done the impossible. Todd reached into his pocket and pulled out the "Forever" ID bracelet. He tenderly held Christy's wrist, and circling it with the gold chain, he secured the clasp. Above their heads a fresh ocean wind blew through the palm trees. It almost sounded as if the trees were applauding. Christy looked up from her wrist and met Todd's expectant gaze. Deep inside, Christy knew that with the blessing of the Lord, Todd had just stepped into the garden of her heart. In the holiness of that moment, his silver-blue eyes embraced hers and he whispered, "I promise, Kilikina. Forever." "Forever," Christy whispered back. Then gently, reverently, Todd and Christy sealed their forever promise with a kiss.
Robin Jones Gunn (A Promise Is Forever (Christy Miller, #12))
Popular authors do not and apparently cannot appreciate the fact that true art is obtainable only by rejecting normality and conventionality in toto, and approaching a theme purged utterly of any usual or preconceived point of view. Wild and “different” as they may consider their quasi-weird products, it remains a fact that the bizarrerie is on the surface alone; and that basically they reiterate the same old conventional values and motives and perspectives. Good and evil, teleological illusion, sugary sentiment, anthropocentric psychology—the usual superficial stock in trade, and all shot through with the eternal and inescapable commonplace…. Who ever wrote a story from the point of view that man is a blemish on the cosmos, who ought to be eradicated? As an example—a young man I know lately told me that he means to write a story about a scientist who wishes to dominate the earth, and who to accomplish his ends trains and overdevelops germs … and leads armies of them in the manner of the Egyptian plagues. I told him that although this theme has promise, it is made utterly commonplace by assigning the scientist a normal motive. There is nothing outré about wanting to conquer the earth; Alexander, Napoleon, and Wilhelm II wanted to do that. Instead, I told my friend, he should conceive a man with a morbid, frantic, shuddering hatred of the life-principle itself, who wishes to extirpate from the planet every trace of biological organism, animal and vegetable alike, including himself. That would be tolerably original. But after all, originality lies with the author. One can’t write a weird story of real power without perfect psychological detachment from the human scene, and a magic prism of imagination which suffuses theme and style alike with that grotesquerie and disquieting distortion characteristic of morbid vision. Only a cynic can create horror—for behind every masterpiece of the sort must reside a driving demonic force that despises the human race and its illusions, and longs to pull them to pieces and mock them.
H.P. Lovecraft
When I came out into the outside room again, I saw her shoe still lying there, where it had come off in the course of our brief wrestle. It looked so pathetic there by itself without an owner, it looked so lonely, it looked so empty. Something made me pick it up arid take it in to her. Like when someone's going away, you help them on with their coat, or their jackboots, or whatever it is they need for going away. I didn't try to put it back on her, I just set it down there beside her close at hand. You're going to need this, I said to her in my mind. You're starting on a long walk. You're going to keep walking from now on, looking for your home. I stopped and wondered for a minute if that was what happened to all of us when we crossed over. Just keep walking, keep on walking, with no ahead and no in-back-of; tramps, vagrants in eternity. With our last hope and horizon - death - already taken away. In the Middle Ages they had lurid colors, a bright red hell, an azure heaven shot with gold stars. They knew where they were, at least. They could tell the difference. We, in the Twentieth, we just have the long walk, the long walk through the wispy backward-stringing mists of eternity, from nowhere to nowhere, never getting there, until you're so tired you almost wish you were alive again. ("Life Is Weird Sometimes" - first chapter of unpublished novel THE LOSER)
Cornell Woolrich
Who’s Josie?” Alex asked, confused. “Uh . . .” I looked over at Deacon. “You want to do the honors? I know how much you love awkward conversations.” A wide smile broke out across his face. “Of course, especially when I’m not the center of the awkwardness.” Luke snorted. “So!” Deacon clapped his hands together as he faced Alex and Aiden. “Did you guys happen to notice a certain girl out on the quad when you did your magic doorway thing?” Aiden glanced at Alex. She raised a shoulder. “There were a lot of people out there that I hadn’t seen before.” She paused. “I noticed Boobs, though.” I slowly shook my head. “Um, that’s not who I’m talking about. Anyway,” Deacon said, his gray eyes light. “She’s pretty tall. Well, taller than you and everyone is practically taller than you, Alex. Has long blondish-brown hair. Kind of weird hair.” “Awesome hair,” Luke added. Alexander frowned silently. “She does. It’s like an array of colors. One moment it looks completely blonde. The next it’s long brown and then it changes again. It’s very cool,” Deacon continued, and I had to agree with him on that. “And when you see her, you’re going to think, wow, this girl looks familiar. You won’t be able to put a finger on it at first, but it’s going to nag at you and then, when it hits you, you’ll—” “Deacon,” Aiden warned. “Who is Josie?” His brother pouted for a second and then sighed. “Fine. She’s a demigod. Like, a born demigod. Powers unlocked and all, and she’s super-cool and really nice.” His gaze slid over to where I stood and his expression turned sly. “Isn’t that right, Seth?” I eyed him. “Right.” “You’re forgetting the best part.” Solos walked past the couch, sending me a long look. “Which god she came from.” Aiden seemed to get what wasn’t being said first. His eyes closed as he rubbed his fingers along his brow. “Gods.” “What?” Alex looked at him and then at me. “Whose kid is she?” “Apollo’s,” Deacon answered, his smile going up a notch when Alex’s gaze flew to him. “Yep. Josie is Apollo’s daughter.” Her mouth dropped open. “And that kind of makes you and her cousins? I guess?” Luke frowned. “I don’t know what exactly, but it does make you two related. Somehow. I don’t know how, but she does have some of your mannerisms. It gets really weird sometimes.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Power (Titan, #2))
-Now the paperwork – -What if I don’t want to do the Ultimate, right away? Maybe I want to ease into this thing gently. -No you don’t. -I might. I might just want to ease into the activity, the idea of it. -it’ll be fine, said Rebecca. -you will be fine, and no regrets, honestly. Jillian took me over to the desk. -No possible regrets, said Rebecca, just sign this, she handed me a sheaf of forms. -Jesus I don’t want to buy the place, I scanned the pages – 45 pages. -just fill in page 25 through28 and sign. -Pages 25 through 28, what is this? Rebecca took the pages of forms from my hand – look its simple stuff, here we’ll read it through. Jillian looked over her shoulder at the pages -weight? -what? - Say 110, Jillian said. -Height? -5’ 8’’, Jillian again. -Hair length? -What? Why? -Long, Jillian again. -Cup size? - O come on. - say C -how about say nothing, I was getting angry -Shaved or bikini or natural? -Fuck off Rebecca ticked a box anyway – well she was at the waxing too. Why ask in fact? -Last menstrual cycle? - enough, enough, give me those papers -Yes ignore that, said Rebecca taking the pages away from my grasping hand -Tested? she said this to Jillian -Tested? What tested? What do you mean tested? -Yes, said Jillian, I forwarded a blood sample from the main island -You what! -You were sleeping. -Great now sign here, Rebecca handed me a page and a pen -Who has blood samples for a theme park? -Everyone -especially the staff, can’t have mi’lady getting STDs I took a breath -This is getting a bit weird guys are you sure? I mean, well this is a bit, weird. -We’re 100 and a million per cent sure, said Jillian - 100 million per cent, said Rebecca
Germaine Gibson (Theme Park Erotica)
And then I see it. Azure Helicopter Tours. I drag Toraf to the landing pad. “What is that?” he asks suspiciously. “Um. It’s a helicopter.” “What does it do? Triton’s trident, it doesn’t fly does it? Emma? Emma wait!” He catches up to me and burps right in my ear. “Stop being a jerkface,” I tell him. “Whatever that is. You don’t care about me at all, do you?” “You came to me, remember? This is me helping you. Now be quiet while I buy tickets.” It’s a private ride, no other passengers to worry about. Plus, we’re not stealing anything. The helicopter can return to land with its pilot as soon as we’re done with our part of the mission. “Why do we need to fly? The water is right there.” He points to it longingly. I almost feel bad for him. Almost. But I don’t have time for pity. “Because I think these helicopters can still cover more distance faster than you can haul me. I’m trying to make up for all the time we spent at security in LAX.” “Humans are so weird,” he mutters again as I walk away. “You do everything backward.” Since this is a sightseeing flight, the pilot, Dan, a thick Hawaiian man with an even thicker accent, takes his time pointing out all the usual tourist stuff, like the fishing industry, the history of the coast, and other things I have no interest in at the moment. The view of the blue water and visible reefs, the chain of islands, and the rich culture would be breathtaking if I weren’t preoccupied with crashing a Syrena get-together. I can imagine spending time with Galen here. Exploring the reefs like no human could, playing with the tropical fish, and making Galen wear a lei. But I need to stay focused if I ever want a chance to do it.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Thank you, teen Ember, for picking a man who doesn’t run away. “I know it sounds weird, but it’s like the more I start to like you, the more jealous I feel, even though it’s totally irrational.” His mouth curves into the sexy grin that always makes my heart unexpectedly jump. “You like me?” Warmth floods to my cheeks, and I look down at our hands with embarrassment before peeking back up at him. “I’m starting to. A lot more than I was expecting to.” He leans closer and rests his forehead against mine. We close our eyes and breathe softly together, and I finally feel grounded. I open my eyes to find him staring back. “I like you too.” His deep voice resonates through every cell of my body. “This you. This beautiful, shy girl right here. No one else. Ever.” I smile. “How long does ever last?” His eyes fall closed, and he inhales a deep breath. “For eternity.
Carian Cole (Asher (Ashes & Embers, #6))
The Coach’s head was oblong with tiny slits that served as eyes, which drifted in tides slowly inward, as though the face itself were the sea or, in fact, a soup of macromolecules through which objects might drift, leaving in their wake, ripples of nothingness. The eyes—they floated adrift like land masses before locking in symmetrically at seemingly prescribed positions off-center, while managing to be so closely drawn into the very middle of the face section that it might have seemed unnecessary for there to have been two eyes when, quite likely, one would easily have sufficed. These aimless, floating eyes were not the Coach’s only distinctive feature—for, in fact, connected to the interior of each eyelid by a web-like layer of rubbery pink tissue was a kind of snout which, unlike the eyes, remained fixed in its position among the tides of the face, arcing narrowly inward at the edges of its sharp extremities into a serrated beak-like projection that hooked downward at its tip, in a fashion similar to that of a falcon’s beak. This snout—or beak, rather—was, in fact, so long and came to such a fine point that as the eyes swirled through the soup of macromolecules that comprised the man’s face, it almost appeared—due to the seeming thinness of the pink tissue—that the eyes functioned as kinds of optical tether balls that moved synchronously across the face like mirror images of one another. 'I wore my lizard mask as I entered the tram, last evening, and people found me fearless,' the Coach remarked, enunciating each word carefully through the hollow clack-clacking sound of his beak, as its edges clapped together. 'I might have exchanged it for that of an ox and then thought better. A lizard goes best with scales, don’t you think?' Bunnu nodded as he quietly wondered how the Coach could manage to fit that phallic monstrosity of a beak into any kind of mask, unless, in fact, this disguise of which he spoke, had been specially designed for his face and divided into sections in such a way that they could be readily attached to different areas—as though one were assembling a new face—in overlapping layers, so as to veil, or perhaps even amplify certain distinguishable features. All the same, in doing so, one could only imagine this lizard mask to be enormous to the extent that it would be disproportionate with the rest of the Coach’s body. But then, there were ways to mask space, as well—to bend light, perhaps, to create the illusion that something was perceptibly larger or smaller, wider or narrower, rounder or more linear than it was in actuality. That is to say, any form of prosthesis designed for the purposes of affecting remedial space might, for example, have had the capability of creating the appearance of a gap of void in occupied space. An ornament hangs from the chin, let’s say, as an accessory meant to contour smoothly inward what might otherwise appear to be hanging jowls. This surely wouldn’t be the exact use that the Coach would have for such a device—as he had no jowls to speak of—though he could certainly see the benefit of the accessory’s ingenuity. This being said, the lizard mask might have appeared natural rather than disproportionate given the right set of circumstances. Whatever the case, there was no way of even knowing if the Coach wasn’t, in fact, already wearing a mask, at this very moment, rendering Bunnu’s initial appraisal of his character—as determined by a rudimentary physiognomic analysis of his features—a matter now subject to doubt. And thus, any conjecture that could be made with respect to the dimensions or components of a lizard mask—not to speak of the motives of its wearer—seemed not only impractical, but also irrelevant at this point in time.
Ashim Shanker (Don't Forget to Breathe (Migrations, Volume I))
I never wanted it to end. I wondered if it felt like this the first time. Seeing him. Really seeing him. He wiped his eyes. “You really want to know, don’t you.” “Yeah.” “Why?” I gave in. I couldn’t not. I reached over and put my hand on his knee. He tensed briefly but settled when I curled my fingers over his leg, just letting my hand rest there. I couldn’t look at him. I thought my face was on fire. He said, “That’s….” His voice broke. He cleared his throat. “After the hunters came, something shifted. Between us. I don’t know how or why exactly. You stopped being weird around me.” “Seems like I’ve picked that right up again.” He chuckled. “A little. It’s okay, though. It’s like… a beginning. You came to me one day. You were sweating. I remember thinking something bad had happened because you kept wringing your hands until I thought you were going to break your bones. I asked you what was wrong. And you know what you said? “Probably something stupid.” “You said that you didn’t think you could ever give up on me. That no matter how long it took, you would be there until I told you otherwise. That you weren’t going to push me for anything but you thought I should know that you had… intentions.” “Oh dear god,” I said in horror. “And that worked?” Kelly snorted, and I felt his hand on the back of mine. “Not quite. But what you said next did.” I looked over at him. “What did I say?” He was watching me with human eyes, and I thought I could love him. I saw how easy it could be. I didn’t, not yet, but oh, I wanted to. “You said you thought the world of me. That we’d been through so much and you couldn’t stand another day if I didn’t know that. You told me that you were a good wolf, a strong wolf, and if I’d only give you a chance, you’d make sure I’d never regret it.” I had to know. “Have you?” “No,” he whispered. “Not once. Not ever.” He looked away. “It was good between us. We took it slow. You smiled all the time. You brought me flowers once. Mom was pissed because you ripped them up from her flower bed and there were still roots and dirt hanging from the bottom, but you were so damn proud of yourself. You said it was romantic. And I believed you.” He plucked a blade of grass and held it in the palm of his hand. “There was something… I don’t know. Endless. About you and me.” He took my hand off his knee and turned it over. He set the blade of grass in my palm and closed his hand over mine. He looked toward the sky and the stars through the canopy of leaves. “We came here sometimes. Just the two of us. And you would pretend to know all the stars. You would make up stories that absolutely weren’t true, and I remember looking at you, thinking how wonderful it was to be by your side. And if we were lucky, there’d be—ah. Look. Again.” His voice was wet and soft, and it cracked me right down the middle. Fireflies rose around us, pulsing slowly. At first there were only two or three, but then more began to hang heavy in the air. They were yellow-green, and I wondered how this could be real. Here. Now. This moment. How I ever could have forgotten this. Forgotten him. It had to have been the strongest magic the world had ever known. That was the only way I’d have ever left his side. He reached out with his other hand, quick and light, and snatched a firefly out of the air. He was careful not to crush it. He leaned his head toward mine like he was about to tell me a great secret. Instead he opened his hand between us. The firefly lay near the bottom of his ring finger. Its shell was black with a stripe down the middle. It barely moved. “Just wait,” Kelly whispered. I did. It only took a moment. The firefly pulsed in his hand. “There it is,” he said. He pulled away and lifted his hand. The firefly took to its wings, lifting off and flying away. He stared after it. I only had eyes for him.
T.J. Klune (Heartsong (Green Creek, #3))
I have no idea how long Quisser was gone from the table. My attention became fully absorbed by the other faces in the club and the deep anxiety they betrayed to me, an anxiety that was not of the natural, existential sort but one that was caused by peculiar concerns of an uncanny nature. What a season is upon us, these faces seemed to say. And no doubt their voices would have spoken directly of certain peculiar concerns had they not been intimidated into weird equivocations and double entendres by the fear of falling victim to the same kind of unnatural affliction that had made so much trouble in the mind of the art critic Stuart Quisser. Who would be next? What could a person say these days, or even think, without feeling the dread of repercussion from powerfully connected groups and individuals? I could almost hear their voices asking, "Why here, why now?" But of course they could have just as easily been asking, "Why not here, why not now?" It would not occur to this crowd that there were no special rules involved; it would not occur to them, even though they were a crowd of imaginative artists, that the whole thing was simply a matter of random, purposeless terror that converged upon a particular place at a particular time for no particular reason. On the other hand, it would also not have occurred to them that they might have wished it all upon themselves, that they might have had a hand in bringing certain powerful forces and connections into our district simply by wishing them to come. They might have wished and wished for an unnatural evil to fall upon them but, for a while at least, nothing happened. Then the wishing stopped, the old wishes were forgotten yet at the same time gathered in strength, distilling themselves into a potent formula (who can say!), until one day the terrible season began. Because had they really told the truth, this artistic crowd might also have expressed what a sense of meaning (although of a negative sort), not to mention the vigorous thrill (although of an excruciating type), this season of unnatural evil had brought to their lives. ("Gas Station Carnivals")
Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory)
Mrs. Alingsby was tall and weird and intense, dressed rather like a bird-of-paradise that had been out in a high gale, but very well connected. She had long straight hair which fell over her forehead, and sometimes got in her eyes, and she wore on her head a scarlet jockey-cap with an immense cameo in front of it. She hated all art that was earlier than 1923, and a considerable lot of what was later. In music, on the other hand, she was primitive, and thought Bach decadent: in literature her taste was for stories without a story, and poems without metre or meaning. But she had collected round her a group of interesting outlaws, of whom the men looked like women, and the women like nothing at all, and though nobody ever knew what they were talking about, they themselves were talked about. Lucia had been to a party of hers, where they all sat in a room with black walls, and listened to early Italian music on a spinet while a charcoal brazier on a blue hearth was fed with incense… Lucia’s general opinion of her was that she might be useful up to a point, for she certainly excited interest.
E.F. Benson (Complete Mapp and Lucia (The Mapp & Lucia Novels, #1-6))
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. I'm home.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
FUCK IT, I’M BORED.” “Here he comes.” Theo didn’t even look up when Miles rounded the corner and tossed his notebook onto the counter. “I don’t think cursing is going to help,” she told him. “Maybe it fucking will.” Miles seethed. “I hate everyone in that gym. Pick someone.” “No, I don’t want to play.” “It won’t take that long.” “That’s why I don’t want to play.” “Can I do one?” I raised my hand. “It might actually take you more than five questions, too.” Miles quirked his eyebrow. “Oh, you think so?” “If you get this in five, I’ll be thoroughly impressed.” He leaned over the counter, looking eager. Weirdly, weirdly eager. Not like he wanted to rub my face into the floor. Not like he knew he was going to beat me. Just . . . excited. “Okay,” he said. “Are you fictional?” Broad question. He didn’t know me as well as he knew Theo, so it was to be expected. “No,” I said. “Are you still alive?” “No.” “Are you a leader?” “Yes.” “Was your civilization conquered by a European nation?” “Yes.” “Are you . . . a leader of the Olmec?” “How’d you get there?” Theo blurted out, but Miles ignored her. “No,” I said, trying not to let him see how close he’d come. “And the Olmec weren’t conquered by the Europeans. They died out.” Miles frowned. “Mayan?” “No.” “Incan.” “No.” “Aztec.” “Yes.” The corners of his lips twisted up, but he said, “Shouldn’t have taken so many guesses for that one.” Then he said, “Did you found the Tlatocan?” “No.” “Did you reign after 1500?” “No.” Theo watched the conversation like a tennis match. “Are you Ahuitzotl?” “No.” I smiled. This kid knew his history. “Tizoc?” “No.” “Axayacatl?” “No.” “Moctezuma I?” “Nope.” “Itzcoatl?” “No.” “Chimalpopoca?” “No.” “Huitzilihuitl?” “What the hell are you saying?” Theo cried. He’d cut off a chunk of the Aztec emperors and whittled them down until there was only one remaining. But now he had three questions left—two he didn’t need. Why hadn’t he cut it down again? Surely he could have shortened his options and not guessed his way through all the emperors. Was this some kind of test? Or was . . . was he showing off? “You’re Acamapichtli.” There was a fanatical gleam in his eye, another smile playing on his lips. Both were gone as soon as I said, “Almost twenty. Not quite, but I almost had you.” “I’m never playing this game again,” said Theo, sighing and returning to her homework.
Francesca Zappia (Made You Up)
Miss Wooding turned the nervous shade of pink that Rosaline found people often turned when her sexuality went from an idea they could support to a reality they had to confront. “I appreciate this is a sensitive topic and one that different people have different beliefs about. Which is why I have to be guided by the policies of our academy trust, and they make it quite clear that learners shouldn’t be taught about LGBTQ until year six.” “Oh do they?” asked Rosaline, doing her best to remember that Miss Wooding was probably a very nice person and not just a fuzzy cardigan draped over some regressive social values. “Because Amelie’s in year four and she manages to cope with my existence nearly every day.” Having concluded this was going to be one of those long grown-up conversations, Amelie had taken her Panda pencil case out of her bag and was diligently rearranging the contents. “I do,” she said. “I’m very good.” Miss Wooding actually wrung her hands. “Yes, but the other children—” “Are allowed to talk about their families as much as they like.” “Yes, but—” “Which,” Rosaline went on mercilessly, “when you think about it, is the definition of discrimination.” Amelie looked up again. “Discrimination is bad. We learned that in year three.” The d-word made Miss Wooding visibly flinch. “Now Mrs. Palmer—” “Ms. Palmer.” “I’m sure this is a misunderstanding.” “I’m sure it is.” Taking advantage of the fact that Miss Wooding had been temporarily pacified by the spectre of the Equality Act, Rosaline tried to strike a balance between defending her identity and catching her train. “I get that you have a weird professional duty to respect the wishes of people who want their kids to stay homophobic for as long as possible. But hopefully you get why that isn’t my problem. And if you ever try to make it Amelie’s problem again, I will lodge a formal complaint with the governors.” Miss Wooding de-flinched slightly. “As long as she doesn’t—” “No ‘as long as she doesn’t.’ You’re not teaching my daughter to be ashamed of me.” There was a long pause. Then Miss Wooding sighed. “Perhaps it’s best that we draw a line under this and say no more about it.” In Rosaline’s experience this was what victory over institutional prejudice looked like: nobody actually apologising or admitting they’d done anything wrong, but the institution in question generously offering to pretend that nothing had happened. So—win?
Alexis Hall (Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake (Winner Bakes All, #1))
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.” “Of what?” “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.” “What?” “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))
Little Brother, an aspiring painter, saved up all his money and went to France, to surround himself with beauty and inspiration. He lived on the cheap, painted every day, visited museums, traveled to picturesque locations, bravely spoke to everyone he met, and showed his work to anyone who would look at it. One afternoon, Little Brother struck up a conversation in a café with a group of charming young people, who turned out to be some species of fancy aristocrats. The charming young aristocrats took a liking to Little Brother and invited him to a party that weekend in a castle in the Loire Valley. They promised Little Brother that this was going to be the most fabulous party of the year. It would be attended by the rich, by the famous, and by several crowned heads of Europe. Best of all, it was to be a masquerade ball, where nobody skimped on the costumes. It was not to be missed. Dress up, they said, and join us! Excited, Little Brother worked all week on a costume that he was certain would be a showstopper. He scoured Paris for materials and held back neither on the details nor the audacity of his creation. Then he rented a car and drove to the castle, three hours from Paris. He changed into his costume in the car and ascended the castle steps. He gave his name to the butler, who found him on the guest list and politely welcomed him in. Little Brother entered the ballroom, head held high. Upon which he immediately realized his mistake. This was indeed a costume party—his new friends had not misled him there—but he had missed one detail in translation: This was a themed costume party. The theme was “a medieval court.” And Little Brother was dressed as a lobster. All around him, the wealthiest and most beautiful people of Europe were attired in gilded finery and elaborate period gowns, draped in heirloom jewels, sparkling with elegance as they waltzed to a fine orchestra. Little Brother, on the other hand, was wearing a red leotard, red tights, red ballet slippers, and giant red foam claws. Also, his face was painted red. This is the part of the story where I must tell you that Little Brother was over six feet tall and quite skinny—but with the long waving antennae on his head, he appeared even taller. He was also, of course, the only American in the room. He stood at the top of the steps for one long, ghastly moment. He almost ran away in shame. Running away in shame seemed like the most dignified response to the situation. But he didn’t run. Somehow, he found his resolve. He’d come this far, after all. He’d worked tremendously hard to make this costume, and he was proud of it. He took a deep breath and walked onto the dance floor. He reported later that it was only his experience as an aspiring artist that gave him the courage and the license to be so vulnerable and absurd. Something in life had already taught him to just put it out there, whatever “it” is. That costume was what he had made, after all, so that’s what he was bringing to the party. It was the best he had. It was all he had. So he decided to trust in himself, to trust in his costume, to trust in the circumstances. As he moved into the crowd of aristocrats, a silence fell. The dancing stopped. The orchestra stuttered to a stop. The other guests gathered around Little Brother. Finally, someone asked him what on earth he was. Little Brother bowed deeply and announced, “I am the court lobster.” Then: laughter. Not ridicule—just joy. They loved him. They loved his sweetness, his weirdness, his giant red claws, his skinny ass in his bright spandex tights. He was the trickster among them, and so he made the party. Little Brother even ended up dancing that night with the Queen of Belgium. This is how you must do it, people.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Harry!” he panted, massaging his immense chest beneath his emerald-green silk pajamas. “My dear boy…what a surprise…Minerva, do please explain…Severus…what…?” “Our headmaster is taking a short break,” said Professor McGonagall, pointing at the Snape-shaped hole in the window. “Professor!” Harry shouted, his hands at his forehead. He could see the Inferi-filled lake sliding beneath him, and he felt the ghostly green boat bump into the underground shore, and Voldemort leapt from it with murder in his heart-- “Professor, we’ve got to barricade the school, he’s coming now!” “Very well. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is coming,” she told the other teachers. Sprout and Flitwick gasped; Slughorn let out a low groan. “Potter has work to do in the castle on Dumbledore’s orders. We need to put in place every protection of which we are capable while Potter does what he needs to do.” “You realize, of course, that nothing we do will be able to keep out You-Know-Who indefinitely?” squeaked Flitwick. “But we can hold him up,” said Professor Sprout. “Thank you, Pomona,” said Professor McGonagall, and between the two witches there passed a look of grim understanding. “I suggest we establish basic protection around the place, then gather our students and meet in the Great Hall. Most must be evacuated, though if any of those who are over age wish to stay and fight, I think they ought to be given the chance.” “Agreed,” said Professor Sprout, already hurrying toward the door. “I shall meet you in the Great Hall in twenty minutes with my House.” And as she jogged out of sight, they could hear her muttering, “Tentacula. Devil’s Snare. And Snargaluff pods…yes, I’d like to see the Death Eaters fighting those.” “I can act from here,” said Flitwick, and although he could barely see out of it, he pointed his wand through the smashed window and started muttering incantations of great complexity. Harry heard a weird rushing noise, as though Flitwick had unleashed the power of the wind into the grounds. “Professor,” Harry said, approaching the little Charms master, “Professor, I’m sorry to interrupt, but this is important. Have you got any idea where the diadem of Ravenclaw is?” “--Protego Horribilis--the diadem of Ravenclaw?” squeaked Flitwick. “A little extra wisdom never goes amiss, Potter, but I hardly think it would be much use in this situation!” “I only meant--do you know where it is? Have you ever seen it?” “Seen it? Nobody has seen it in living memory! Long since lost, boy!” Harry felt a mixture of desperate disappointment and panic. What, then, was the Horcrux?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
What do woman say to little boys? " Stop fighting. Stop being so rough. Stop rough housing." They're boys you know, that's kinda what they're sapossed to do. So, men are sapossed to overcome all these biological drives and I'm just really interested in helping women overcome theirs caus' I think the spotlight of " Outgrow your bestial nature." has been pointed just a little bit too long at men and I think it's time to swivel that motherfucker around and point it at woman and say stop making yourself look like fucking sex clowns to milk money out of men's dicks. Stop lying about who you are and what you're about. Stop being flirty, manipulative, and trying to be sexy. Just stop doing it. It's time for women to outgrow biology just as men have been instructed to for about the last 20,000 years to outgrow their biology. "Stop slamming doors. Stop yelling. Stop climbing trees. Stop being rude. Stop farting. Stop enjoying fart jokes. Just stop being men." Ok, Well; women stop being women. Be people. Be people who have sex, absolutely but, don't be caricatures. Don't aim to be like a woman who looks like the outline of some playboy mudflap on a trucker's rig. Just be people. Be sexual. Enjoy your sexuality and bodies but, stop trying to bury us in tits so that we pass out and you can rifle through our bank accounts. Just stop doing that shit. I won't enable it anymore. Why does your face have to look like some half rained on Picasso water color? I don't need rainbows on the face of a woman. I don't need these weird butterfly wing goth eyebrows and shit like that. Male sexuality is demonized and female sexuality is elevated. That's bullshit. Then women wonder why men prefer porn to them. It's caus' porn doesn't nag you for wanting stuff that's defined as "kinky" or "weird". Male sexuality is demonized and held in low esteem. Woman's sexuality is always beautiful. Woman's sexuality is unremitting shallow. I'm not saying men's isn't but, we know that about men, right? What turns women on? Women say confidence. Do you know what that means? Money. Do women say " He is really confident about his sidewalk art. He is really confident about his subway busking. That's such a turn on!" Why do men like looking at naked women and women get turned on looking at clothed men? Because if a man's clothes aren't on you don't know how expensive his wardrobe is. This is what Mohammad Ali said. I'm going to throw on some old jeans and a old t-shirt and I'm just gonna walk down into some little town and find some woman who doesn't know who the hell I am and then when she's fallen in love with me and we get married, I'm going to take her to my million dollar mansion and my yacht. This is the reality. Once you start having money, once you start having power, then the true nature of massive swaths of female sexuality becomes clear.
Stefan Molyneux
We like to think of the old-fashioned American classics as children's books. Just childishness, on our part. The old American art-speech contains an alien quality, which belongs to the American continent and to nowhere else. But, of course, so long as we insist on reading the books as children's tales, we miss all that. One wonders what the proper high-brow Romans of the third and fourth or later centuries read into the strange utterances of Lucretius or Apuleius or Tertullian, Augustine or Athanasius. The uncanny voice of Iberian Spain, the weirdness of old Carthage, the passion of Libya and North Africa; you may bet the proper old Romans never heard these at all. They read old Latin inference over the top of it, as we read old European inference over the top of Poe or Hawthorne. It is hard to hear a new voice, as hard as it is to listen to an unknown language. We just don't listen. There is a new voice in the old American classics. The world has declined to hear it, and has blabbed about children's stories. Why?—Out of fear. The world fears a new experience more than it fears anything. Because a new experience displaces so many old experiences. And it is like trying to use muscles that have perhaps never been used, or that have been going stiff for ages. It hurts horribly. The world doesn't fear a new idea. It can pigeon-hole any idea. But it can't pigeon-hole a real new experience. It can only dodge. The world is a great dodger, and the Americans the greatest. Because they dodge their own very selves.
D.H. Lawrence (Studies in Classic American Literature)
Cribbage!” I declared, pulling out the board, a deck of cards, and pen and paper, “Ben and I are going to teach you. Then we can all play.” “What makes you think I don’t know how to play cribbage?” Sage asked. “You do?” Ben sounded surprised. “I happen to be an excellent cribbage player,” Sage said. “Really…because I’m what one might call a cribbage master,” Ben said. “I bet I’ve been playing longer than you,” Sage said, and I cast my eyes his way. Was he trying to tell u something? “I highly doubt that,” Ben said, “but I believe we’ll see the proof when I double-skunk you.” “Clearly you’re both forgetting it’s a three-person game, and I’m ready to destroy you both,” I said. “Deal ‘em,” Ben said. Being a horse person, my mother was absolutely convinced she could achieve world peace if she just got the right parties together on a long enough ride. I didn’t know about that, but apparently cribbage might do the trick. I didn’t know about that, but apparently cribbage might do the trick. The three of us were pretty evenly matched, and Ben was impressed enough to ask sage how he learned to play. Turned out Sage’s parents were historians, he said, so they first taught him the precursor to cribbage, a game called noddy. “Really?” Ben asked, his professional curiosity piqued. “Your parents were historians? Did they teach?” “European history. In Europe,” Sage said. “Small college. They taught me a lot.” Yep, there was the metaphorical gauntlet. I saw the gleam in Ben’s eye as he picked it up. “Interesting,” he said. “So you’d say you know a lot about European history?” “I would say that. In fact, I believe I just did.” Ben grinned, and immediately set out to expose Sage as an intellectual fraud. He’d ask questions to trip Sage up and test his story, things I had no idea were tests until I heard Sage’s reactions. “So which of Shakespeare’s plays do you think was better served by the Globe Theatre: Henry VIII or Troilus and Cressida?” Ben asked, cracking his knuckles. “Troilus and Cressida was never performed at the Globe,” Sage replied. “As for Henry VIII, the original Globe caught fire during the show and burned to the ground, so I’d say that’s the show that really brought down the house…wouldn’t you?” “Nice…very nice.” Ben nodded. “Well done.” It was the cerebral version of bamboo under the fingernails, and while they both tried to seem casual about their conversation, they were soon leaning forward with sweat beading on their brows. It was fascinating…and weird. After several hours of this, Ben had to admit that he’d found a historical peer, and he gleefully involved Sage in all kinds of debates about the minutiae of eras I knew nothing about…except that I had the nagging sense I might have been there for some of them. For his part, Sage seemed to relish talking about the past with someone who could truly appreciate the detailed anecdotes and stories he’d discovered in his “research.” By the time we started our descent to Miami, the two were leaning over my seat to chat and laugh together. On the very full flight from Miami to New York, Ben and Sage took the two seats next to each other and gabbed and giggled like middle-school girls. I sat across from them stuck next to an older woman wearing far too much perfume.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
But then they hand you your beautiful baby, and the baby gazes up at you and says hello, and your heart just melts.” “It talks?” Sophie asked, then remembered Alden telling her months earlier that elvin babies spoke from birth. It sounded even stranger now that she could picture it. “Your speaking caused quite the uproar,” Mr. Forkle told her. “Though luckily no one could understand the Enlightened Language, so they thought you were babbling. I spent the majority of your infancy inventing excuses for the elvin things you did.” “Okay,” Sophie said, wishing he’d stop with the weird-info overload. “But what I mean is . . . I’ve been counting my age from my birthday.” Mr. Forkle didn’t look surprised. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked. “How could I? Humans built everything around their birthdays. As long as you were living with them I had to let you do the same. And since you’ve been in the Lost Cities, we’ve had so little contact. I assumed someone would notice, since your proper ID is on your Foxfire record—and in the registry. But I don’t think anyone realized you were counting differently.” “Alden wouldn’t have thought to check,” Della agreed. “Neither of us knew humans didn’t count inception.” “So wait,” Biana jumped in, “does that mean that by our rules Sophie is—” “Thirty-nine weeks older than she’s been saying,” Mr. Forkle finished for her. Fitz cocked his head as he stared at Sophie, like everything had turned sideways. “So then you’re not thirteen . . .” “Not according to the way we count,” Mr. Forkle agreed. “Going by Sophie’s ID, she’s fourteen and a little more than five months old.” Keefe laughed. “Only Foster would find a way to age nine months in a day. Also, welcome to the cool fourteen-year-olds club!” He held out his hand for a high five.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
My interest in comics was scribbled over with a revived, energized passion for clothes, records, and music. I'd wandered in late to the punk party in 1978, when it was already over and the Sex Pistols were history. I'd kept my distance during the first flush of the new paradigm, when the walls of the sixth-form common room shed their suburban-surreal Roger Dean Yes album covers and grew a fresh new skin of Sex Pistols pictures, Blondie pinups, Buzzcocks collages, Clash radical chic. As a committed outsider, I refused to jump on the bandwagon of this new musical fad, which I'd written off as some kind of Nazi thing after seeing a photograph of Sid Vicious sporting a swastika armband. I hated the boys who'd cut their long hair and binned their crappy prog albums in an attempt to join in. I hated pretty much everybody without discrimination, in one way or another, and punk rockers were just something else to add to the shit list. But as we all know, it's zealots who make the best converts. One Thursday night, I was sprawled on the settee with Top of the Pops on the telly when Poly Styrene and her band X-Ray Spex turned up to play their latest single: an exhilarating sherbet storm of raw punk psychedelia entitled "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" By the time the last incandescent chorus played out, I was a punk. I had always been a punk. I would always be a punk. Punk brought it all together in one place for me: Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius novels were punk. Peter Barnes's The Ruling Class, Dennis Potter, and The Prisoner were punk too. A Clockwork Orange was punk. Lindsay Anderson's If ... was punk. Monty Python was punk. Photographer Bob Carlos Clarke's fetish girls were punk. Comics were punk. Even Richmal Crompton's William books were punk. In fact, as it turned out, pretty much everything I liked was punk. The world started to make sense for the first time since Mosspark Primary. New and glorious constellations aligned in my inner firmament. I felt born again. The do-your-own-thing ethos had returned with a spit and a sneer in all those amateurish records I bought and treasured-even though I had no record player. Singles by bands who could often barely play or sing but still wrote beautiful, furious songs and poured all their young hearts, experiences, and inspirations onto records they paid for with their dole money. If these glorious fuckups could do it, so could a fuckup like me. When Jilted John, the alter ego of actor and comedian Graham Fellows, made an appearance on Top of the Pops singing about bus stops, failed romance, and sexual identity crisis, I was enthralled by his shameless amateurism, his reduction of pop music's great themes to playground name calling, his deconstruction of the macho rock voice into the effeminate whimper of a softie from Sheffield. This music reflected my experience of teenage life as a series of brutal setbacks and disappointments that could in the end be redeemed into art and music with humor, intelligence, and a modicum of talent. This, for me, was the real punk, the genuine anticool, and I felt empowered. The losers, the rejected, and the formerly voiceless were being offered an opportunity to show what they could do to enliven a stagnant culture. History was on our side, and I had nothing to lose. I was eighteen and still hadn't kissed a girl, but perhaps I had potential. I knew I had a lot to say, and punk threw me the lifeline of a creed and a vocabulary-a soundtrack to my mission as a comic artist, a rough validation. Ugly kids, shy kids, weird kids: It was okay to be different. In fact, it was mandatory.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
In case you haven't noticed,rodeos are a serious business.Careless cowboys tend to break bones,or even their skulls,as hard as that may be to believe." She stared down at the hand holding her wrist. Despite his smile,she could feel the strength in his grip. If he wanted to,he could no doubt break her bone with a single snap. But she wasn't concerned with his strength,only with the heat his touch was generating. She felt the tingle of warmth all the way up her arm.It alarmed her more than she cared to admit. "My job is to minimize damage to anyone who is actually hurt." "I'm grateful." He sat up so his laughing blue eyes were even with hers. If possible,his were even bluer than the perfect Montana sky above them. "What do you think? Any damage from that fall?" Her instinct was to move back,but his fingers were still around her wrist,holding her close. "I'm beginning to wonder if you were actually tossed from that bull or deliberately fell." "I'd have to be a little bit crazy to deliberately fell." "I'd have to be a little bit crazy to deliberately jump from the back of a raging bull just to get your attention, wouldn't I?" "Yeah." She felt the pull of that magnetic smile that had so many of the local females lusting after Wyatt McCord. Now she knew why he'd gained such a reputation in such a short time. "I'm beginning to think maybe you are. In fact,more than a little.A whole lot crazy." "I figured it was the best possible way to get you to actually talk to me. You couldn't ignore me as long as there was even the slightest chance that I might be hurt." There was enough romance in her nature to feel flattered that he'd go to so much trouble to arrange to meet her. At least,she thought,it was original. And just dangerous enough to appeal to a certain wild-and-free spirit that dominated her own life. Then her practical side kicked in, and she felt an irrational sense of annoyance that he'd wasted so much of her time and energy on his weird idea of a joke. "Oh,brother." She scrambled to her feet and dusted off her backside. "Want me to do that for you?" She paused and shot him a look guaranteed to freeze most men. He merely kept that charming smile in place. "Mind if we start over?" He held out his hand. "Wyatt McCord." "I know who you are." "Okay.I'll handle both introductions. Nice to meet you,Marilee Trainor. Now that we have that out of the way,when do you get off work?" "Not until the last bull rider has finished." "Want to grab a bite to eat? When the last rider is done,of course." "Sorry.I'll be heading home." "Why,thanks for the invitation.I'd be happy to join you.We could take along some pizza from one of the vendors." She looked him up and down. "I go home alone." "Sorry to hear that." There was that grin again,doing strange things to her heart. "You're missing out on a really fun evening." "You have a high opinion of yourself, McCord." He chuckled.Without warning he touched a finger to her lips. "Trust me.I'd do my best to turn that pretty little frown into an even prettier smile." Marilee couldn't believe the feelings that collided along her spine. Splinters of fire and ice had her fighting to keep from shivering despite the broiling sun. Because she didn't trust her voice, she merely turned on her heel and walked away from him. It was harder to do than she'd expected. And though she kept her spine rigid and her head high, she swore she could feel the heat of that gaze burning right through her flesh. It sent one more furnace blast rushing through her system. A system already overheated by her encounter with the bold, brash,irritatingly charming Wyatt McCord.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Violet’s not getting out of our sight,” Arion adds. There’s a moment of just staring…like everyone is trying to silently argue. “No one naked in my car,” Mom states when I just stand in my spot, waiting on them to hurry through the push and pull. You really can tell how thick the air is when too many alphas are in the room at one time, but weirdly it never feels this way when it’s just the four of them. Unless punches are thrown. Then it gets a little heavier than normal. Arion pulls on his clothes, and threads whir in the air as I quickly fashion Emit a lopsided toga that lands on his body. Everyone’s gaze swings to him like it’s weird for him and normal for me to be in a toga. Awesome. Damien muffles a sound, Emit arches an eyebrow at me, and Arion remains rigid, staying close to me but never touching me. All of us squeezing into a car together while most of them hate each other…should be fun. The storm finally stops before we board the elevator, and it’s one of those super awkward elevator moments where no one is looking at anyone or saying anything, and everyone is trying to stay in-the-moment serious. We stop on the floor just under us, after the longest thirty-five seconds ever. The doors open, and two men glance around at Emit and I in our matching togas, even though his is the fitted sheet and riding up in some funny places. He looks like a caveman who accidentally bleached and shrank his wardrobe. I palm my face, embarrassed for him. The next couple of floors are super awkward with the addition of the two new, notably uncomfortable men. Worst seventy-nine seconds ever. Math doesn’t add up? Yeah. I’m upset about those extra nine seconds as well. Poor Emit has to duck out of the unusually small elevator, and the bottom of his ass cheek plays peek-a-boo on one side. Damien finally snorts, and even Mom struggles to keep a straight face. That really pisses her off. “You’re seeing him on an off day,” I tell the two guys, who stare at my red boots for a second. I feel the need to defend Emit a little, especially since I now know he overheard all that gibberish Tiara was saying… I can’t remember all I said, and it’s worrying me now that my mind has gone off on this stupid tangent. I trip over the hem of my toga, and Arion snags me before I hit the floor, righting me and showing his hands to my mother with a quick grin. “Can’t just let her fall,” he says unapologetically. “You’re going to have to learn to deal with that,” she bites out. She has a very good point. I don’t trip very often, but things and people usually knock me around a good bit of my life. The two guys look like they want to run, so I hurry to fix this. “Really, it’s a long story, but I swear Emit—the tallest one in the fitted-sheet-toga—generally wears pants…er…I guess you guys call them trousers over here. Anyway, we had some plane problems,” I carry on, and then realize I have to account for the fact we’re both missing clothing. “Then there was a fire that miraculously only burned our clothes, because Emit put all my flames out by smothering me with his body,” I state like that’s exactly what happened. Why do they look so scared? I’m not telling a scary lie. At this point, I’ve just made it worse, and fortunately Damien takes mercy, clamping his hand over my mouth as he starts steering me toward the door before I can make it…whatever comes after worse but before the worst. “Thank you,” sounds more like “Mmdi ooooo,” against his hand, but he gets the gist, as he grins. Mom makes a frustrated sound. “Another minute, and she’d be bragging about his penis size in quest to save his dignity. Did you really want to hear that?” Damien asks her, forcing me to groan against his hand.
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters, #4))
The same song was playing the second I met my ex–best friend and the moment I realized I’d lost her. I met my best friend at a neighborhood cookout the year we would both turn twelve. It was one of those hot Brooklyn afternoons that always made me feel like I'd stepped out of my life and onto a movie set because the hydrants were open, splashing water all over the hot asphalt. There wasn't a cloud in the flawless blue sky. And pretty black and brown people were everywhere. I was crying. ‘What a Wonderful World’ was playing through a speaker someone had brought with them to the park, and it reminded me too much of my Granny Georgina. I was cupping the last snow globe she’d ever given me in my small, sweaty hands and despite the heat, I couldn’t help imagining myself inside the tiny, perfect, snow-filled world. I was telling myself a story about what it might be like to live in London, a place that was unimaginably far and sitting in the palm of my hands all at once. But it wasn't working. When Gigi had told me stories, they'd felt like miracles. But she was gone and I didn't know if I'd ever be okay again. I heard a small voice behind me, asking if I was okay. I had noticed a girl watching me, but it took her a long time to come over, and even longer to say anything. She asked the question quietly. I had never met anyone who…spoke the way that she did, and I thought that her speech might have been why she waited so long to speak to me. While I expected her to say ‘What’s wrong?’—a question I didn’t want to have to answer—she asked ‘What are you doing?’ instead, and I was glad. “I was kind of a weird kid, so when I answered, I said ‘Spinning stories,’ calling it what Gigi had always called it when I got lost in my own head, but my voice cracked on the phrase and another tear slipped down my cheek. To this day I don’t know why I picked that moment to be so honest. Usually when kids I didn't know came up to me, I clamped my mouth shut like the heavy cover of an old book falling closed. Because time and taught me that kids weren't kind to girls like me: Girls who were dreamy and moony-eyed and a little too nice. Girls who wore rose-tonted glasses. And actual, really thick glasses. Girls who thought the world was beautiful, and who read too many books, and who never saw cruelty coming. But something about this girl felt safe. Something about the way she was smiling as she stuttered out the question helped me know I needn't bother with being shy, because she was being so brave. I thought that maybe kids weren't nice to girls like her either. The cookout was crowded, and none of the other kids were talking to me because, like I said, I was the neighborhood weirdo. I carried around snow globesbecause I was in love with every place I’d never been. I often recited Shakespeare from memory because of my dad, who is a librarian. I lost myself in books because they were friends who never letme down, and I didn’t hide enough of myself the way everyone else did, so people didn’t ‘get’ me. I was lonely a lot. Unless I was with my Gigi. The girl, she asked me if it was making me feel better, spinning the stories. And I shook my head. Before I could say what I was thinking—a line from Hamlet about sorrow coming in battalions that would have surely killed any potential I had of making friends with her. The girl tossed her wavy black hair over her shoulder and grinned. She closed her eyes and said 'Music helps me. And I love this song.' When she started singing, her voice was so unexpected—so bright and clear—that I stopped crying and stared at her. She told me her name and hooked her arm through mine like we’d known each other forever, and when the next song started, she pulled me up and we spun in a slow circle together until we were both dizzy and giggling.
Ashley Woodfolk (When You Were Everything)
She canted her wings and soared toward the top of it, where she could see a never-ending line of trees tossing violently in the wind. The hurricane made one more effort to throw her back into the sea, but she fought with her last reserves until she felt earth beneath her talons. She collapsed forward, clutching the wet soil for a moment, grateful to be alive. Keep going. They’re not safe yet. Clearsight pushed herself up and faced the trees. They were coming. The first two dragons she would meet in this strange new world. What would it be like to face unfamiliar tribes, completely different from the ones she knew? There wouldn’t be any NightWings like her here. No sand dragons, no sea dragons, no ice dragons. She’d glimpsed what these new dragons would look like, but she didn’t know anything yet about their tribes . . . or whether they would trust her. They stepped out of the trees, eyeing her with wary curiosity. Oh, they’re beautiful, she thought. One was dark forest green, the color of the trees all around them. His wings curved gracefully like long leaves on either side of him, and mahogany-brown underscales glinted from his chest. But it was the other who took Clearsight’s breath away. His scales were iridescent gold layered over metallic rose and blue, shimmering through the rain. He outshone even the RainWings she’d occasionally seen in the marketplace, and those were the most beautiful dragons in Pyrrhia. Not only that, but his wings were startlingly weird. There were four of them instead of two; a second pair at the back overlapped the front ones, tilting and dipping at slightly different angles from the first pair to give the dragon extra agility in the air. Like dragonflies, she realized, remembering the delicate insects darting across the ponds in the mountain meadows. Or butterflies, or beetles. She sat up and spread her front talons to show that she was harmless. “Hello,” she said in her very least threatening voice. The green one circled her slowly. The iridescent one sat down and gave her a small smile. She smiled back, although her heart was pounding. She knew she had to wait for them to make the first move. “Leefromichou?” said the green dragon finally, in a deep, calm voice. “Wayroot?” Take a breath. You knew it would be like this at first. “My name is Clearsight,” she said, touching her forehead. “I am from far over the sea.” She pointed at the churning ocean stretching way off to the east behind her. “Anyone speak Dragon?
Tui T. Sutherland (Darkstalker (Wings of Fire: Legends, #1))
For a moment, the fog remained unmoved. It sat around, swirling in place, very clearly listening but showing no sign of offering answers. Then, just as Nausicaä began to contemplate conjuring a few more fireballs, the fog began to thin. Little by little it drained from the air until, finally, all that was left was a vaguely damp, translucent haze. She could only stare at what was revealed. “Huh,” she breathed when speech at last overcame her surprise. “This is…new.” It wasn’t just the changelings that had gathered. They were present, of course—one mere step away. Nausicaä briefly took in the unmistakable pale green tint of his fawn-brown skin and the snaking twists of ivy that grew from the sharp flares of his little shoulders. But there were others. There were so many others. In all of Nausicaä’s very long life, she had never encountered so many of magic’s children in one place. The crowd of them stretched far in almost every direction, faces of all shapes and sizes peeking out of the foliage and trees. There were centaurs, goblins, brownies, imps and sprites. There were redcaps, with their crimson-stained hats and vicious scythes, which glinted in the moonlight. There were kelpies dripping sodden weeds, lilies strangled in their manes. Littered throughout the branches above were crows that weren’t really crows at all, but sluagh—wandering souls of the violent dead who preyed on those soon to die. There were larger things too. Unnameable things. Things that had undoubtedly been calling this forest their home long before Nausicaä had ever been born. She narrowed her eyes at the distance—something massive as a mobile hill stood still as silence too far away for mortal eyes to see. Their form was not unlike an overlarge, poisonous tree frog, all vibrant blues and yellows and greens, a crown of velvet antlers on their head and hundreds of glittering black eyes on their face. A freaking Forest Guardian, she would hazard a guess, not that she’d ever seen one to say for sure. “Uh…okay, well, weird time to have a company meeting, but you do you, I guess. I’m going to…go. Gar, maybe it’s best you stick with these guys until I square things up with my Reaper. Thanks for lifting the fog, forest brats! Good luck with…whatever this is. May the force be with you.” She turned back around. There weren’t any faeries in front of her, either—just trees and misty gloom and a darkness unnatural even for this time of night. And, of course, the glass-chime tinkling of magic, which now sounded to her a bit distressed.
Ashley Shuttleworth (A Dark and Hollow Star (The Hollow Star Saga, #1))