Murdered Friend Quotes

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He was my mum and dad's best friend. He's a convicted murderer, but he's broken out of wizard prison and he's on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though...keep up with my news...check if I'm happy...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Don't blame us," said my mother. "We didn't blow up half of Court, steal a dozen cars, call out a murderer in the middle of a crowd, or get our teenage friend crowned queen." "Actually," said Abe, "I did blow up half of Court.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Unreal friendship may turn to real But real friendship, once ended, cannot be mended
T.S. Eliot (Murder in the Cathedral)
What's that?" he snarled, staring at the envelope Harry was still clutching in his hand. "If it's another form for me to sign, you've got another -" "It's not," said Harry cheerfully. "It's a letter from my godfather." "Godfather?" sputtered Uncle Vernon. "You haven't got a godfather!" "Yes, I have," said Harry brightly. "He was my mum and dad's best friend. He's a convicted murderer, but he's broken out of wizard prison and he's on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though...keep up with my news...check if I'm happy....
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend.
Agatha Christie (The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1))
I wanted to make sure you were fine...and that he was okay, too. You didn't, like, stab the boy, did you? I mean, I totally disapprove of murdering hotties, but if you need help burying the body, you know I'll bring the shovel.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
What is more important, that Caesar is assassinated or that he is assassinated by his intimate friends? … That,’ Frederick said, 'is where the tragedy is.
M.L. Rio (If We Were Villains)
No, my friend, I am not drunk. I have just been to the dentist, and need not return for another six months! Is it not the most beautiful thought? --Poirot
Agatha Christie (One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (Hercule Poirot, #23))
But I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.
Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10))
I guess we're almost friends now, or as friendly as you can get when you're not one hundred percent sure the other person isn't framing you for murder.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
She understood now why her friend Elizabeth, with her near-genius, analytical mind gave wide berth to murder mysteries, psychological thrillers, and horror stories, and read only romance novels. Because, by God, when a woman picked up one of those steamy books, she had a firm guarantee that there would be a Happily-Ever-After. That though the world outside those covers could bring such sorrow and disappointment and loneliness, between those covers, the world was a splendid place to be.
Karen Marie Moning (Darkfever (Fever, #1))
morning night and noon the traffic moves through and the murder and treachery of friends and lovers and all the people move through you. pain is the joy of knowing the unkindest truth that arrives without warning. life is being alone death is being alone. even the fools weep morning night and noon.
Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
Jane's stories are too sensible. Then Diana puts too much murders into hers. She says most of the time she doesn't know what to do with the people so she kills them off to get rid of them." -Anne Shirley
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
Children of the Nephilim," Magnus said. "Well, well. I don't recall inviting you." Isabelle took out her invitation and waved it like a white flag. "I have an invitation. These"--she indicated the rest of the group with a grand wave of her arm--"are my friends." Magnus plucked the invitation out of her hand and looked at it with fastidious distaste. "I must have been drunk," he said. He threw the door open. "Come in. And try not to murder any of my guests." Jace looked at him, "Even if one of them spills something on my new shoes?" "Even then." - 219
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
What should I say? ‘Well, the murder was a little upsetting, and the fire did worry me a bit. I was nearly date-raped and my ex best friend is crazy. But, hey, at least I’m making an A in History’?
C.J. Daugherty (Night School (Night School, #1))
What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle.
Stephen King (Cell)
The man had a smooth voice, like velvet. “I’m Detective Inspector Me. Unusual name, I know. My family were incredibly narcissistic. I’m lucky I escaped with any degree of humility at all, to be honest, but then I’ve always managed to exceed expectations. You are Kenny Dunne, are you not?” “I am.” “Just a few questions for you, Mr Dunne. Or Kenny. Can I call you Kenny? I feel we’ve become friends these past few seconds. Can I call you Kenny?” “Sure,” Kenny said, slightly baffled. “Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s important you feel comfortable around me, Kenny. It’s important we build up a level of trust. That way I’ll catch you completely unprepared when I suddenly accuse you of murder.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
Facing this stuff, in real life is not like school, in school, if you make a mistake you can just try again tomorrow, but out there...when your a second away from being murdered or watching a friend die right before your eyes...you don't know what that's like.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
At bottom, you see, we are not Homo sapiens as all. Our core is madness. The prime directive is murder. What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle. And that is what the Pulse exposed five days ago.
Stephen King (Cell)
Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me.” The fat man’s fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. “My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with his friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter…but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
Always Wear Flats and Have Your Friends Sleep Over: A Step-by-Step How-To Guide for Avoiding Getting Murdered
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
I close my eyes and I let my body shut itself down and I let my mind wander. It wanders to a familiar place. A place I don’t talk about or acknowledge exists. A place where there is only me. A place that I hate. I am alone. Alone here and alone in the world. Alone in my heart and alone in my mind. Alone everywhere, all the time, for as long as I can remember. Alone with my Family, alone with my friends, alone in a Room full of People. Alone when I wake, alone through each awful day, alone when I finally meet the blackness. I am alone in my horror. Alone in my horror. I don’t want to be alone. I have never wanted to be alone. I fucking hate it. I hate that I have no one to talk to, I hate that I have no one to call, I hate that I have no one to hold my hand, hug me, tell me everything is going to be all right. I hate that I have no one to share my hopes and dreams with, I hate that I no longer have any hopes or dreams, I hate that I have no one to tell me to hold on, that I can find them again. I hate that when I scream, and I scream bloody murder, that I am screaming into emptiness. I hate that there is no one to hear my scream and that there is no one to help me learn how to stop screaming. . . More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to be close to someone. More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to feel as if I wasn’t alone.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. [...] Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
When they killed him, Mother wouldn't hold her peace, so they slit her throat. I was stupid then, being only nine, and I fought to save them both. But the thorns held me tight. I've learned to appreciate thorns since. The thorns taught me the game. They let me understand what all those grim and serious men who've fought the Hundred War have yet to learn. You can only win the game when you understand that it IS a game. Let a man play chess, and tell him that every pawn is his friend. Let him think both bishops holy. Let him remember happy days in the shadows of his castles. Let him love his queen. Watch him loose them all.
Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1))
One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim.
George Carlin
I sometimes think that 'friend' is just a word I use for all the people I haven't murdered yet.
Scott Lynch (Rogues)
As you go through life's rich tapestry, you realize that most people you meet aren't fit to shine your shoes. It's a sad fact, but it's true. A good friend is someone who'd hide you if you were on the run for murder. How many of them do you know?
Lemmy Kilmister
It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer.
H.P. Lovecraft
Isabelle took out her invitation and waved it like a white flag. "I have an invitation. These"—she indicated the rest of the group with a grand wave of her arm—"are my friends." Magnus plucked the invitation out of her hand and looked at it with fastidious distaste. "I must have been drunk," he said. He threw the door open. "Come in. And try not to murder any of my guests." Jace edged into the doorway, sizing up Magnus with his eyes. "Even if one of them spills a drink on my new shoes?" "Even then." Magnus's hand shot out, so fast it was barely a blur. He plucked the stele out of Jace's hand—Clary hadn't even realized he was holding it—and held it up. Jace looked faintly abashed. "As for this," Magnus said, sliding it into Jace's jeans pocket, "keep it in your pants, Shadowhunter.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Blood is thicker than water," The young man said As he knifed his friend For a drooling old bitch And a house full of lies.
Ernest Hemingway (88 Poems)
And is it the way, in these kingdoms you fell from, for a woman to join forces with an unnatural child who's murdered her friend? Or is that expectation unique to you, and your infinitesimal heart?
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
They want us to be afraid. They want us to be afraid of leaving our homes. They want us to barricade our doors and hide our children. Their aim is to make us fear life itself! They want us to hate. They want us to hate 'the other'. They want us to practice aggression and perfect antagonism. Their aim is to divide us all! They want us to be inhuman. They want us to throw out our kindness. They want us to bury our love and burn our hope. Their aim is to take all our light! They think their bricked walls will separate us. They think their damned bombs will defeat us. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that my soul and your soul are old friends. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that when they cut you I bleed. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that we will never be afraid, we will never hate and we will never be silent for life is ours!
Kamand Kojouri
People often speak of hell, not wanting to go there, avoiding it..etc. I never had that problem because hell is a state of mind. Look around you; rape, murder, wars, hatred, envy...my friend; you're already there!!
Sandra Chami Kassis
Liam cleared his throat again and turned to fully face me. “So, it’s the summer and you’re in Salem, suffering through another boring, hot July, and working part-time at an ice cream parlor. Naturally, you’re completely oblivious to the fact that all of the boys from your high school who visit daily are more interested in you than the thirty-one flavors. You’re focused on school and all your dozens of clubs, because you want to go to a good college and save the world. And just when you think you’re going to die if you have to take another practice SAT, your dad asks if you want to go visit your grandmother in Virginia Beach.” “Yeah?” I leaned my forehead against his chest. “What about you?” “Me?” Liam said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “I’m in Wilmington, suffering through another boring, hot summer, working one last time in Harry’s repair shop before going off to some fancy university—where, I might add, my roommate will be a stuck-up-know-it-all-with-a-heart-of-gold named Charles Carrington Meriwether IV—but he’s not part of this story, not yet.” His fingers curled around my hip, and I could feel him trembling, even as his voice was steady. “To celebrate, Mom decides to take us up to Virginia Beach for a week. We’re only there for a day when I start catching glimpses of this girl with dark hair walking around town, her nose stuck in a book, earbuds in and blasting music. But no matter how hard I try, I never get to talk to her. “Then, as our friend Fate would have it, on our very last day at the beach I spot her. You. I’m in the middle of playing a volleyball game with Harry, but it feels like everyone else disappears. You’re walking toward me, big sunglasses on, wearing this light green dress, and I somehow know that it matches your eyes. And then, because, let’s face it, I’m basically an Olympic god when it comes to sports, I manage to volley the ball right into your face.” “Ouch,” I said with a light laugh. “Sounds painful.” “Well, you can probably guess how I’d react to that situation. I offer to carry you to the lifeguard station, but you look like you want to murder me at just the suggestion. Eventually, thanks to my sparkling charm and wit—and because I’m so pathetic you take pity on me—you let me buy you ice cream. And then you start telling me how you work in an ice cream shop in Salem, and how frustrated you feel that you still have two years before college. And somehow, somehow, I get your e-mail or screen name or maybe, if I’m really lucky, your phone number. Then we talk. I go to college and you go back to Salem, but we talk all the time, about everything, and sometimes we do that stupid thing where we run out of things to say and just stop talking and listen to one another breathing until one of us falls asleep—” “—and Chubs makes fun of you for it,” I added. “Oh, ruthlessly,” he agreed. “And your dad hates me because he thinks I’m corrupting his beautiful, sweet daughter, but still lets me visit from time to time. That’s when you tell me about tutoring a girl named Suzume, who lives a few cities away—” “—but who’s the coolest little girl on the planet,” I manage to squeeze out.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Do not fear your enemies. The worst they can do is kill you. Do not fear friends. At worst, they may betray you. Fear those who do not care; they neither kill nor betray, but betrayal and murder exist because of their silent consent.
Bruno Jasieński
She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy? The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer. When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A murderer was a worthy companion. She felt as safe with him as she'd done with Iorek Byrnison the armoured bear.
Philip Pullman (The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2))
Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises out standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.
Aldous Huxley (Ape and Essence)
Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There's genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ's sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know crap about life. And why the FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don't have any use for it. I don't have any bloody use for it.
Charlie Kaufman
The late hour is such a friend; it has been for so many years. There is not a soul around as I carry Riley downstairs and dump him in my trunk. It is good, for I am not in the mood to kill again, and murder, for me, is very much tied to my mood, like making love. Even when it is necessary.
Christopher Pike (The Last Vampire (The Last Vampire, #1))
She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy? The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer. When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once.
Philip Pullman (The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2))
Hey, Kami. I was wondering if I could get a dance with the best-looking girl in the room." "Sure," Kami said. "Go ask Angela. Take your life in your hands. I'll miss you and all, but I'm going to give her an alibi for the murder, because that's what best friends do.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3))
At an age when most children are playing hopscotch or with their dolls,you, poor child, who had no friends or toys, you toyed with dreams of murder, because that is a game to play alone.
Jean-Paul Sartre (No Exit and Three Other Plays)
Friendship leads to human connection, which feeds your soul. More than kale or spinning or fifteen-minute naps under your desk, conscious communication with your clutch friends is the best form of self-care.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
He leaned in. I felt his breath against my neck, then the press of his mouth against my skin just above the collar, almost a sigh. “Don’t,” I said. I drew back, but he held me tighter. His hand went to the nape of my neck, long fingers twining in my hair, easing my head back. I closed my eyes. “Let me,” he murmured against my throat. His heel hooked around my leg, bringing me closer. I felt the heat of his tongue, the flex of hard muscle beneath bare skin as he guided my hands around his waist. “It isn’t real,” he said. “Let me.” I felt that rush of hunger, the steady, longing beat of desire that neither of us wanted, but that gripped us anyway. We were alone in the world, unique. We were bound together and always would be. And it didn’t matter. I couldn’t forget what he’d done, and I wouldn’t forgive what he was: a murderer. A monster. A man who had tortured my friends and slaughtered the people I’d tried to protect. I shoved away from him. “It’s real enough.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
Hey, Draco, you know what I bet is even better for becoming friends than exchanging secrets? Committing murder.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
YOU CAN'T DEPEND ON PEOPLE BECAUSE... ...they go away. ...strangers die. ...people you know fairly well die. ...friends die. ...people murder people, like in books. ...your own folks can die. So...
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
Sometimes you dream strange dreams, impossible and unnatural; you wake up and remember them clearly, and are surprised at a strange fact: you remember first of all that reason did not abandon you during the whole course of your dream; you even remember that you acted extremely cleverly and logically for that whole long, long time when you were surrounded by murderers, when they were being clever with you, concealed their intentions, treated you in a friendly way, though they already had their weapons ready and were only waiting for some sort of sign; you remember how cleverly you finally deceived them, hid from them; then you realize that they know your whole deception by heart and merely do not show you that they know where you are hiding; but you are clever and deceive them again—all that you remember clearly. But why at the same time could your reason be reconciled with such obvious absurdities and impossibilities, with which, among other things, your dream was filled? Before your eyes, one of your murderers turned into a woman, and from a woman into a clever, nasty little dwarf—and all that you allowed at once, as an accomplished fact, almost without the least perplexity, and precisely at the moment when, on the other hand, your reason was strained to the utmost, displaying extraordinary force, cleverness, keenness, logic? Why, also, on awakening from your dream and entering fully into reality, do you feel almost every time, and occasionally with an extraordinary force of impressions, that along with the dream you are leaving behind something you have failed to fathom? You smile at the absurdity of your dream and feel at the same time that the tissue of those absurdities contains some thought, but a thought that is real, something that belongs to your true life, something that exists and has always existed in your heart; it is as if your dream has told you something new, prophetic, awaited; your impression is strong, it is joyful or tormenting, but what it is and what has been told you—all that you can neither comprehend nor recall.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)
I believe, Messieurs, in loyalty---to one's friends and one's family and one's caste.
Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10))
My friend, in working upon a case, one does not take into account only the things that are "mentioned". There is no reason to mention many things which may be important. Equally, there is often an excellent reason for not mentioning them.
Agatha Christie (The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2))
And yet," said Poirot, "suppose an accident-" "Ah, no, my friend-" "From your point of view it would be regrettable, I agree. But nevertheless let us just for one moment suppose it. Then, perhaps, all these here are linked together - by death.
Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10))
Well, all my friends are gone,' Seth said. 'But they did all gang up and murder me. True friends don't really do that.
J.L. Bryan (Tommy Nightmare (The Paranormals, #2))
I need to make sure Chris isn’t an axe murderer who lures women with the whole “I can fix the camera your friend’s cat peed on” line, so I Google him.
Lauren Blakely (Trophy Husband (Caught Up in Love, #3))
...nobody really wants to be a trans woman, i.e. nobody wakes up and goes whoa, maybe my life would be better if I transitioned, alienating most of my friends and my family, I wonder what'll happen at work, I'd love to spend all my money on hormones and surgeries, buying a new wardrobe that I don't even understand right now, probably become unlovable and then ending my short life in a bloody murder.
Imogen Binnie (Nevada)
Your weak side, my diabolic friend, is that you have always been a gull: you take Man at his own valuation. Nothing would flatter him more than your opinion of him. He loves to think of himself as bold and bad. He is neither one nor the other: he is only a coward. Call him tyrant, murderer, pirate, bully; and he will adore you, and swagger about with the consciousness of having the blood of the old sea kings in his veins. Call him liar and thief; and he will only take an action against you for libel. But call him coward; and he will go mad with rage: he will face death to outface that stinging truth. Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one: and that one is his cowardice. Yet all his civilization is founded on his cowardice, on his abject tameness, which he calls his respectability. There are limits to what a mule or an ass will stand; but Man will suffer himself to be degraded until his vileness becomes so loathsome to his oppressors that they themselves are forced to reform it.
George Bernard Shaw
Death, mademoiselle, unfortunately creates a prejudice. A prejudice in favour of the deceased. I heard what you said just now to my friend Hastings. ‘A nice bright girl with no men friends.’ You said that in mockery of the newspapers. And it is very true—when a young girl is dead, that is the kind of thing that is said. She was bright. She was happy. She was sweet-tempered. She had not a care in the world. She had no undesirable acquaintances. There is a great charity always to the dead. Do you know what I should like this minute? I should like to find someone who knew Elizabeth Barnard and who does not know she is dead! Then, perhaps, I should hear what is useful to me—the truth.
Agatha Christie (The A.B.C. Murders (Hercule Poirot, #13))
No one needs a relationship. What you need is the basic cop-on to figure that out, in the face of all the media bullshit screaming that you're nothing on your own and you're a dangerous freak if you disagree. The truth is, if you don't exist without someone else, you don't exist at all. And that doesn't just go for romance. I love my ma, I love my friends, I love the bones of them. If any of them wanted me to donate a kidney or crack a few heads, I'd do it, no questions asked. And if they all waved good-bye and walked out of my life tomorrow, I'd still be the same person I am today.
Tana French (The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6))
War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my young friend, nor delude yourself that mercy and compassion are virtues superior to andreia, to manly valor.
Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire)
There! Now we're friends!" declared the minx. "Say you're sorry about my sister -" "I am desolated!" "That's a good boy!
Agatha Christie (The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2))
The little grey cells, my friend, the little grey cells! They told me.
Agatha Christie (The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2))
Men are wretched, my dear. I've sworn off them entirely. I'll keep them as friends, but they remain forever unwelcome in my heart.
Renée Ahdieh (The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1))
If I had to get there without friends, I could do it. Had been doing it. I'd never met anyone who brought me somewhere I wanted to stay, looked at me and saw someone I wanted to be for good; anyone who was worth giving up the more I wanted down the line.
Tana French (The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5))
Look my friend, I've got to commit a murder tonight. Not you. Me. So be a good chap and stuff it, would you?
Ian Fleming (Octopussy & the Living Daylights (James Bond, #14))
Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend,” observed Poirot philosophically. “You cannot mix up sentiment and reason.
Agatha Christie (The Mysterious Affair at Styles)
It was like murdering two of your children. I try to make the readers feel they’ve lived the events of the book. Just as you grieve if a friend is killed, you should grieve if a fictional character is killed. You should care. If somebody dies and you just go get more popcorn, it’s a superficial experience isn’t it?
George R.R. Martin
Being a homicide detective can be the loneliest job in the world. The friends of the victim are upset and in despair, but sooner or later - after weeks or months - they go back to their everyday lives. For the closest family it takes longer, but for the most part, to some degree, they too get over the grieving and despair. Life has to go on; it does go on. But the unsolved murders keep gnawing away and in the end there's only one person left who thinks night and day about the victim: it's the office who is left with the investigation.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
The people look forbidding, solemn, marked by that impossible ideal, Communism, which, like Christianity, seemed to demand too much of humanity and, falling into the wrong hands, led too easily to horrible brutality.
John Mortimer (Murderers and Other Friends: Another Part of Life)
I think,” Grace said, and they sat up straighter, “that it shows a remarkable lack of planning on Betty’s part. If you’re going to murder your best friend with an axe, you should make sure you know what you’re doing.
Grady Hendrix (The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires)
Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to blame for them. [...] If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
She’d been kidnapped right after—and then her abilities had broken, and Alden’s sanity collapsed, and Silveny was attacked, and Kenric was murdered, and the Council turned against her, and she was banished along with all of her friends, and the gnomish plague was unleashed, and Keefe ran off, and Lumenaria fell, and so many other devastating and distracting things had happened that Sophie had never stopped to wonder . . .
Shannon Messenger (Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities #6))
I wanted to tell him a story, but I didn't. It's a story about a Jew riding in a streetcar, in Germany during the Third Reich, reading Goebbels' paper, the Volkische Beobachter. A non-Jewish acquaintance sits down next to him and says, "Why do you read the Beobachter?" "Look," says the Jew, "I work in a factory all day. When I get home, my wife nags me, the children are sick, and there's no money for food. What should I do on my way home, read the Jewish newspaper? Pogrom in Romania' 'Jews Murdered in Poland.' 'New Laws against Jews.' No, sir, a half-hour a day, on the streetcar, I read the Beobachter. 'Jews the World Capitalists,' 'Jews Control Russia,' 'Jews Rule in England.' That's me they're talking about. A half-hour a day I'm somebody. Leave me alone, friend.
Milton Sanford Mayer
I think when you’re kids, you’re less . . . defined? Then you get older and you start deciding what kind of person you want to be, and it doesn’t always match up with what your friends are turning into.
Tana French (Broken Harbour (Dublin Murder Squad, #4))
Can you stand on your legs?” Sydelle Pulaski asked. “Can you walk at all?” People never asked Chris those questions; they whispered them to his parents behind his back. “N-n-no. Why?” “What better disguise for a thief or a murderer than a wheelchair, the perfect alibi.” Chris enjoyed being taken for the criminal type. Now they really were friends.
Ellen Raskin (The Westing Game)
I held out the packet and suddenly we were friends. That's one of the only good things about being a smoker these days. You're part of a persecuted minority. You bond easily.
Anthony Horowitz (Magpie Murders (Susan Ryeland, #1))
You can tell a lot about a man by his friends, or lack of them. Do they bring out the best in each other, or are they always gossiping, tearing others down? Keeping wounds alive?
Louise Penny (A Rule Against Murder (Armand Gamache, #4))
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
I think I was born 'in to deep,' and bad things happen every day. Sometimes I have to stab hellions. Sometimes I have to frame friends for murder, and stab evil math teachers, and watch my best friend die. Again. We deal with it, then we move on.
Rachel Vincent (With All My Soul (Soul Screamers, #7))
Don’t get into a fight with one more friend over the umbrella they borrowed and never gave back or the time they didn’t save you a seat at the group dinner or whatever the fuck. Stop finding fault and making a fuss and crying in weird apartment building hallways expecting people to come out and wrap you up in a warm blanket of giving a shit. They’re not going to. Yes, it would be really nice, but it’s unrealistic to the point of self-abuse. Everyone has their own problems. Some of them are awful and tragic, and if you knew what they were, you’d be grateful for the ones you have.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
I don’t know whether you have ever seen a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads on the island, for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with sex elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all, but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needle-work, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate-pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine threepence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on, and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still. Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John’s, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingos flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends, Michael had friends at night, Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents...
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Rage. Sing, O Muse, of the rage of Achilles, of Peleus’ son, murderous, man-killer, fated to die, sing of the rage that cost the Achaeans so many good men and sent so many vital, hearty souls down to the dreary House of Death. And while you’re at it, Muse, sing of the rage of the gods themselves, so petulant and so powerful here on their new Olympos, and of the rage of the post-humans, dead and gone though they might be, and of the rage of those few true humans left, self-absorbed and useless though they have become. While you are singing, O Muse, sing also of the rage of those thoughtful, sentient, serious but not-so-close-to-human beings out there dreaming under the ice of Europa, dying in the sulfur ash of Io, and being born in the cold folds of Ganymede. Oh, and sing of me, O Muse, poor born-against-his-will Hockenberry, dead Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., Hockenbush to his friends, to friends long since turned to dust on a world long since left behind. Sing of my rage, yes, of my rage, O Muse, small and insignificant though that rage might be when measured against the anger of the immortal gods, or when compared to the wrath of the god-killer Achilles. On second though, O Muse, sing nothing of me. I know you. I have been bound and servant to you, O Muse, you incomparable bitch. And I do not trust you, O Muse. Not one little bit.
Dan Simmons (Ilium (Ilium, #1))
I turn to Melanie. It's on her now. She narrows her green eyes at Willem. 'If you rape or murder my friend, I will kill you.' Willem tsk-tsks. 'You Americans are so violent. I'm Dutch. The worst I will do is run her over with a bicycle.' 'While stoned!' Melanie adds. 'Okay, maybe there's that,' Willem admits.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
Piracy is robbery with violence, often segueing into murder, rape and kidnapping. It is one of the most frightening crimes in the world. Using the same term to describe a twelve-year-old swapping music with friends, even thousands of songs, is evidence of a loss of perspective so astounding that it invites and deserves the derision it receives.
Nick Harkaway (The Blind Giant)
It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
How can I ever make you understand Cassie and me? I would have to take you there, walk you down every path of our secret shared geography. The truism says it’s against all odds for a straight man and woman to be real friends, platonic friends; we rolled thirteen, threw down five aces and ran away giggling. She was the summertime cousin out of storybooks, the one you taught to swim at some midge-humming lake and pestered with tadpoles down her swimsuit, with whom you practiced first kisses on a heather hillside and laughed about it years later over a clandestine joint in your granny’s cluttered attic. She painted my fingernails gold and dared me to leave them that way for work…We climbed out her window and down the fire escape and lay on the roof of the extension below, drinking improvised cocktails and singing Tom Waits and watching the stars spin dizzily around us. No.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
Surgeons are a singular brotherhood, Adam. To us, people aren't sacred beings crafted in the Almighty's image, no, people are joints of meat; diseased, leathery meat, yes, but meat ready for the skewer & the spit." He mimicked my usual voice, very well. "'But why *me*, Henry, are we not friends?' Well, Adam, even friends are made out of meat.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
I don’t make to-do lists, but if I did, today’s would have gone something like this: 1. get drunk, 2. get laid, 3. go surfing (not necessarily in that order.) Noticeably absent from the list: get arrested. And yet here I am, spending my eighteenth birthday with my back against the wall of the Colonel’s hunting cabin, two FBI agents prowling the dark with their guns drawn, both trying to get me to confess to the murder of my friend Preston DeWitt.
Paula Stokes (Liars, Inc.)
Come to the beach with me And watch the pelicans die, Hear their feeble screams Calling to an empty sky Where once they played And scouted for food, Not scavenging like the gulls But plummeting unafraid Into friendly waters. Come to the beach with me And watch the pelicans die, Listen to their feeble screams Calling to an empty sky. Maybe Christ will walk by And save them in their final toil Or work a miracle from the shore, A courtesy of Union Oil. Come to the beach with me And watch the pelicans die. My God! They'll never fly again. It's worse than Normandy somehow, For there we only murdered men.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
Dream murderers are people who refuse to learn and optimize their own dreams. They discourage others from going ahead to make it happen. Why? Because they don't want go higher and they want everyone to be like them!
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
But then I’m not easily shocked. I’ve had several friends who drowned or got murdered or died in weird accidents. In Alaska you get used to strange stuff happening.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
They had lied. Time was not a friend that healed all wounds ;it was the enemy that ravaged and murdered youth.
Sidney Sheldon (A Stranger in the Mirror)
But the important thing here is to remember to practice self-care in times of stress. Take a walk, paint a picture, murder someone, burn the body, and clean up the crime scene.
Jill Shalvis (Rainy Day Friends (Wildstone, #2))
In all honesty (and I know I’m complaining excessively now), I was still getting over Stalin, in Russia. The so-called second revolution—the murder of his own people. Then came Hitler. They say that war is death’s best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing, incessantly: “Get it done, get it done.” So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
No matter where; of comfort no man speak: Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs; Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth, Let's choose executors and talk of wills: And yet not so, for what can we bequeath Save our deposed bodies to the ground? Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke's, And nothing can we call our own but death And that small model of the barren earth Which serves as paste and cover to our bones. For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; Some poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd; All murder'd: for within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp, Allowing him a breath, a little scene, To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit, As if this flesh which walls about our life, Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus Comes at the last and with a little pin Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king! Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood With solemn reverence: throw away respect, Tradition, form and ceremonious duty, For you have but mistook me all this while: I live with bread like you, feel want, Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus, How can you say to me, I am a king?
William Shakespeare (Richard II)
He didn't know how to be someone's friend. That had been proven by the brilliant idea of murdering someone as a present. He definitely didn't know how to approach someone as a lover. That had been more than proven by what had happened at the hotel in France.
Santino Hassell (Evenfall (In the Company of Shadows, #1))
Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors—the living—could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs—those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact—had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not wholesome. The better and more realistic test would therefore seem to be: In what cause, or on what principle, would you risk your life?
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Ozorne, please don't let him try to make me into a battle mage. I wish you'd told me that's what you wanted." Arram stopped and grabbed his friend by the arms. "I won't do it. I'm not a killer. I'll never be a killer.
Tamora Pierce (Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles, #1; Tortall, #8))
To be sure, you would like to live in a world where people in white hats bring people in black hats to justice, but you don't. Don't let this discourage you, though. You can accept that life is unfair and still relish it. You aren't in total control of your life, but there is a nice big chunk of your life over which you have complete authority--beat that part to a pulp. Just remember the unfair nature of the world, the randomness of birthright, means people often suffer adversity and enjoy opulence through no effort of their own. If you think the world is just and fair, people who need help may never get it. Realize that even though we are all responsible for our actions, the blame for evil acts rests on the perpetrator and never the victim. No one deserves to be raped or bullied, robbed or murdered. To make the world more just and fair, you have to make it harder for evil to thrive, and you can't do this just by reducing the number of its potential targets.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
She put a hit on her boyfriend, so it's not like she hasn't murdered someone." "And you know that how?" Sam asks. I'm trying really hard to be honest, but telling the whole thing to Sam seems beyond me. Still, the fragments sound ridiculous on their own. "She said so. In the park." He rolls his eyes. "Because the two of you were so friendly." "I guess she mistook me for someone else." I sound so much like Philip that it scares me. I can hear the menace in my tone. "Who?" Sam asks, not flinching. I force my voice back to normal. "Uh, the person who killed him.
Holly Black (Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2))
HMPH. Why are all the hot guys either jerks or part of a sinster plot to murder your friends?
James Asmus
Who who whose smell in the air of her room, whose fingerprints all over her friends’ secret places.
Tana French (The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5))
No one should have to confess to murder alone. Haven't you heard? That's what best friends are for.
Katharine McGee (The Towering Sky (The Thousandth Floor, #3))
Why is it deemed justifiable and appropriate for cops/police officers to kill other cops (friendly–fire) and citizens? Why do cops kill? Are they not taught to maim or slow down someone running or reaching for a weapon? If not, why not? Why do cops kill first and ask questions last? Why are police officers being military trained? What can we as citizens, taxpayers, and voters do to stop these killings and beatings of unarmed people? Why do we let this continue? How many more must die or get beat up before we realize something is wrong and needs to be changed? Will you, a friend, or a family member have to be killed or beaten by a cop before we realize that things have to change? Who's here to protect us from the cops when they decide to use excessive force, shoot multiple shells, and/or murder us?
Obiora Embry (Expanding Horizons Through Creative Expressions)
From all these friends, I could not escape learning some of the statistics that I preferred not to know. Forty-one people at the mall had been wounded. Nineteen had died. Everyone said it was a miracle that only nineteen perished. What has gone wrong with our world when nineteen dead can seem like any kind of miracle?
Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1))
Open to them your hand to the shore, watch them walk into the sea. Press upon them all they need, see them yearn for all they want. Gift to them the calm pool of words, watch them draw the sword. Bless upon them the satiation of peace, see them starve for war. Grant them darkness and they will lust for light. Deliver to them death and hear them beg for life. Beget life and they will murder your kin. Be as they are and they see you different. Show wisdom and you are a fool. The shore gives way to the sea. And the sea, my friends, Does not dream of you.
Steven Erikson (Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7))
Despite everything, I felt my lips twitch. If he weren’t a homicidal god-wannabe, and I didn’t have a murderous red witch inside me, we might’ve been friends. When his laughter died down, he said, “Back in the day, we would’ve made a great reality TV show. The Sol and Empress Show.” “The
Kresley Cole (Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4))
It was-this always seems to shock people all over again- a happy childhood. For the first few months I spent a lot of time at the bottom of the garden, crying till I threw up and yelling rude words at the neighborhood kids who tried to make friends. But children are pragmatic, they come alive and kicking out of a whole lot worse than orphanhood, and I could only hold out so long against the fact that nothing would bring my parents back and against the thousand vivid things around me, Emma-next-door hanging over the wall and my new bike glinting red in the sunshine and the half-wild kittens in the garden shed, all fidgeting insistently while they waited for me to wake up again and come out to play. I found out early that you can throw yourself away, missing what you've lost.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
Everyone knows a wife and kids tie you down. What people miss sometimes is that mates, the proper kind, they do the same just as hard. Mates mean you've settled, made your bargain: this, wherever you are together, this is as far as you're going, ever. This is your stop; this is where you get off.
Tana French (The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5))
Ionie extended her hand and offered a warm smile. Katie wasn’t in the mood to make friends. A mind reader, a lie detector, a guy who used sound as a weapon, and a murderer. Nope. No future BFFs here.
Tricia Skinner (Angel Kin (Angel Assassins, #2))
Cousin Jimmy thinks I did perfectly right. Cousin Jimmy would think I had done perfectly right if I had murdered Andrew and buried him in the Land of Uprightness. It's very nice to have one friend like that, though too many wouldn't be good for you.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily Climbs (Emily, #2))
And what is your current complaint?" I don't like Barrayar, I want to go home, my father-in-law wants to murder my baby, half my friends are running for their lives, and I can't get ten minutes alone with my husband, whom you people are consuming before my eyes, my feet hurt, my head hurts, my soul hurts... It was all too complicated. The poor man just wanted something to put in his blank, not an essay. "Fatigue," Cordelia managed at last.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7))
Now The Head Lines How do you like your truth? Gently spoken on breakfast TV By a man and a woman who sit comfortably Saying riots, and murder, when will it end? As they struggle to act as if they are good friends. How do you like your truth? Bite-sized in sound bites cut easy to chew, With a talking head saying the victim's like you And when you've digested the horrors you've seen You find good, you find evil, and no in-between. How do you like your truth? Fantastic, sensational, printed in bold, Today it's exclusive, tomorrow it's old, All on the surface with nothin too deep With a story about animals to help you to sleep How do you like your youth? From perfect families with parents thet care, Or in perfect families but still in despair, Ten out of ten parents say they'd not choose To have bad kids like those in the news.
Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher's Dead: Nelson Thornes Page Turners)
As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face. More faeries wailed now-her kinsmen and friends. The dagger was a weight in my hand-my hand, shining and coated with the blood of the first faerie. It would be more honorable to refuse-to die, rather than murder innocents. But... but... "Let me enter eternity," she repeated, lifting her chin. "Fear no evil," she whispered-just for me. "Feel no pain." I gripped her delicate, bony shoulder and drove the dagger into her heart. She gasped, and blood spilled onto the ground like a splattering of rain. Her eyes were closed when I looked at her face again. She slumped to the floor and didn't move. I went somewhere far, far away from myself.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Is that what God does? He helps? Tell me, why didn't God help my innocent friend who died for no reason while the guilty ran free? Okay. Fine. Forget the one offs. How about the countless wars declared in his name? Okay. Fine. Let's skip the random, meaningless murder for a second, shall we? How about the racist, sexist, phobia soup we've all been drowning in because of him? And I'm not just talking about Jesus. I'm talking about all organized religion. Exclusive groups created to manage control. A dealer getting people hooked on the drug of hope. His followers, nothing but addicts who want their hit of bullshit to keep their dopamine of ignorance. Addicts. Afraid to believe the truth. That there's no order. There's no power. That all religions are just metastasizing mind worms, meant to divide us so it's easier to rule us by the charlatans that wanna run us. All we are to them are paying fanboys of their poorly-written sci-fi franchise. If I don't listen to my imaginary friend, why the fuck should I listen to yours? People think their worship's some key to happiness. That's just how he owns you. Even I'm not crazy enough to believe that distortion of reality. So fuck God. He's not a good enough scapegoat for me.
Elliot Alderson
Although neither the Freudians nor the Jungians come right out and say it, they strongly suggest that we may have a core, a single basic carrier wave, or-to use language with which Jordan is comfortable-a single line of written code which cannot be stripped.' 'The PD,' Jordan said. 'The prime directive'. 'Yes,' the Head agreed. 'At bottom, you see, we are not Homo sapiens at all. Our core is madness. The prime directive is murder. What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle.
Stephen King (Cell)
As a mental exercise I like to plan the murder of friends and colleges.
Sherlock
books are the arms which murder isolation, drive away loneliness, fulfill a friend's company.
Self-Realization Fellowship
A bind is when you're quadriplegic, suicidal about that and unable to persuade your best friend to murder you.
Brian Spellman
KAUFMAN Sir, what if a writer is attempting to create a story where nothing much happens, where people don't change, they don't have any epiphanies. They struggle and are frustrated and nothing is resolved. More a reflection of the real world — MCKEE The real world? KAUFMAN Yes, sir. MCKEE The real fucking world? First of all, you write a screenplay without Conflict or Crisis, you'll bore your audience to tears. Secondly: nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day! There's genocide, war, corruption! Every fucking day somewhere in the world somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else! Every fucking day someone somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else! People find love! People lose it! For Christ's sake! A child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church! Someone goes hungry! Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman! If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know CRAP about life! And WHY THE FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don't have any use for it! I don't have any bloody use for it! KAUFMAN Okay, thanks.
Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation.: The Shooting Script)
If he sees you in this apartment he will seriously murder you and then break up with me.  And I really, really don’t want him to break up with me, Linc.” “But murdering me, that’s all good?
Trevion Burns (Tingle)
Take a bunch of teenage boys from the whitest, safest suburb in America and plunk them down in a place where their friends are murdered and they are constantly attacked and threatened, "writes Leovy in Ghettoside. "Signal that no one cares, and fail to solve murders. Limit their options for escape. Then see what happens.
Gary Younge (Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives)
My God." He pushed away from the bedpost. "Friends! And do you fall into bed with any man who's 'dear' to you? How am I to take that?" "Of course I don't." She stood up, letting the knotted scarf slip away. "I can't seem to help myself. With you. About that. It's extremely vexing." "You're quite right on that count," he said sullenly. "I'm damned vexed. I'd like to vex you right here on the floor, in fact. And the idea of Sturgeon vexing you is enough to dispose me to murder. Is that clear? Do you comprehend me?" He took a reckless stride toward her and caught her chin between his fingers. "I'm not your friend, my lady. I'm your lover.
Laura Kinsale (Lessons in French)
Tallyho, friends of Asher!” Asher had impeccable timing. He waltzed into the room and hopped up on the computer table, his legs dangling down, like he didn’t have a care in the world. Like the tension in the room wasn’t thick enough that you could have cut it with a knife. “Am I interrupting something?” he asked blithely. Just Henry telling me he thinks my sister might be working to cover up his grandfather’s murder. Henry must have read something in my expression, because a hint of remorse flashed across his features.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Fixer (The Fixer, #1))
POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM The only other girl at the party is ranting about feminism. The audience: a sea of rape jokes and snapbacks and styrofoam cups and me. They gawk at her mouth like it is a drain clogged with too many opinions. I shoot her an empathetic glance and say nothing. This house is for wallpaper women. What good is wallpaper that speaks? I want to stand up, but if I do, whose coffee table silence will these boys rest their feet on? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if someone takes my spot? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if everyone notices I’ve been sitting this whole time? I am guilty of keeping my feminism in my pocket until it is convenient not to, like at poetry slams or my women’s studies class. There are days I want people to like me more than I want to change the world. There are days I forget we had to invent nail polish to change color in drugged drinks and apps to virtually walk us home at night and mace disguised as lipstick. Once, I told a boy I was powerful and he told me to mind my own business. Once, a boy accused me of practicing misandry. You think you can take over the world? And I said No, I just want to see it. I just need to know it is there for someone. Once, my dad informed me sexism is dead and reminded me to always carry pepper spray in the same breath. We accept this state of constant fear as just another part of being a girl. We text each other when we get home safe and it does not occur to us that our guy friends do not have to do the same. You could saw a woman in half and it would be called a magic trick. That’s why you invited us here, isn’t it? Because there is no show without a beautiful assistant? We are surrounded by boys who hang up our naked posters and fantasize about choking us and watch movies we get murdered in. We are the daughters of men who warned us about the news and the missing girls on the milk carton and the sharp edge of the world. They begged us to be careful. To be safe. Then told our brothers to go out and play.
Blythe Baird
I had chosen to play the detective—and if there is one thing that unites all the detectives I've ever read about, it's their inherent loneliness. The suspects know each other. They may well be family or friends. But the detective is always the outsider. He asks the necessary questions but he doesn't actually form a relationship with anyone. He doesn't trust them, and they in turn are afraid of him. It's a relationship based entirely on deception and it's one that, ultimately, goes nowhere. Once the killer has been identified, the detective leaves and is never seen again. In fact, everyone is glad to see the back of him.
Anthony Horowitz (Magpie Murders (Susan Ryeland, #1))
My memories of them had rubbed thin with overuse, worn to frail color transparencies flickering on the walls of my mind: Jamie scrambling intent and surefooted up to a high branch, Peter's laugh arcing out of the trompe-l'oeil dazzle of green ahead. Through some slow sea change they had become children out of a haunting storybook, bright myths from a lost civilization; it was hard to believe they had once been real and my friends.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
No books is more fascinating than the Bible. And no books are less fascinating than most of our commentaries on the Bible. Nothing is more formidable and unconquerable than the Church Militant. But nothing is more sleepy and sheepish than the Church Mumbling. Christ's words roused His enemies to murder and His friends to martyrdom. Our words reassure both sides and send them to sleep. He put the world in a daze. We put it in a doze.
Peter Kreeft (Jesus-Shock)
The dead man's face was pale and bloodless. The fierce white lights in the morgue showed up every detail mercilessly and every last pore and pock-mark was revealed, the history of a life, now reduced to a mere handful of scars. 'Always nice to see you Mark, but what brings you in so late on Friday afternoon?' Lambert said nothing, staring at Petrie's corpse, before turning to the coroner. John Humby was older and getting close to retirement and the two had been friends for a very long time. Humby resembled a large blood-hound, the more so the older he got and he was smiling over at Lambert, who was still thinking about the murder.
Stevie O'Connor (Under The Stones)
Open to them your hand to the shore, watch them walk into the sea. Press upon them all they need, see them yearn for all they want. Gift to them the calm pool of words, watch them draw the sword. Bless upon them the satiation of peace, see them starve for war. Grant them darkness and they will lust for light. Deliver to them death and hear them beg for life. Beget life and they will murder your kin. Be as they are and they will see you different. Show wisdom and you are a fool. The shore gives way to the sea. And the sea, my friends, Does not dream of you.
Steven Erikson (Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7))
Lawson, also known by his call sign of Hiker, had been my best friend since our navy days. He now had the distinction of being the sheriff of Santa Rosaria. “Where the hell are you? It sounds like you’re far away.” “I’m on the top deck of a cruise ship in the Panama Canal.” “Swamp, I’m busy. I don’t have time for your jokes.” “Then why the hell did you call me?” “I’m calling because some hot shot lawyer called my office for a character reference on you.” “Why?” “I’ll ask you the same question. Why? Are you in some kind of trouble?” “Of course I’m not in any kind of trouble! What did you say to him?” “I told him you’re some kind of character.
Behcet Kaya (Appellate Judge: A Jack Ludefance Novel (Jack Ludefance PI Series))
from the Basement tapes Eric outdid Dylan with the apologies. To the untrained eye, he seemed sincere. The psychologists on the case found Eric less convincing. They saw a psychopath. Classic. He even pulled the stunt of self-diagnosing to dismiss it. "I wish I was a fucking sociopath so I didn't have any remorse," Eric said. "But I do." Watching that made Dr. Fuselier angry. Remorse meant a deep desire to correct a mistake. Eric hadn't done it yet. He excused his actions several times on the tapes. Fuselier was tough to rattle, but that got to him. "Those are the most worthless apologies I've ever heard in my life," he said. It got more ludicrous later, when Eric willed some of his stuff to two buddies, "if you guys live." "If you live?" Fuselier repeated. "They are going to go in there and quite possibly kill their friends. If they were the least bit sorry they would not do it!
Dave Cullen (Columbine)
Your friend Mikey knew what my touch could do, but he didn’t tell me. He turned me into a murderer. Worse than a murderer.” “I think,” said Nick, “they call that manslaughter or wrongful death, don’t they? I mean, when it’s an accident or out of ignorance, or something.” Clarence turned to Nick, studying him with his Everlost eye. “You’re a lot smarter than you were back in the cage,” Clarence said. “You look better too. Back then you were a thing, now you’re almost a person.” “Thanks . . . but ‘almost’ is still ‘almost.’” “Yeah, well, we’re all almost something.
Neal Shusterman (Everfound (Skinjacker, #3))
Before Charlotte could utter a syllable, Tristan picked up her gloved hand and kissed her lightly on the knuckles. “Good day, Charlotte,” he said. “Good day,” she answered. She turned to bid farewell to Lady Rosalind, but she seemed to have disappeared. Numbly, she descended the front steps toward a waiting Rothbury, who only had eyes for the Devines’ front door, looking quite like he wanted to murder someone. “Perfection, dear brother,” Rosalind proclaimed, while peeking out the little window next to the door. “Utter perfection.” Slipping a finger inside his cravat to loosen it a bit, Tristan craned his neck from side to side, easing the building tension. “If he kills me, I’ll see to it that you get hanged for murder as well.
Olivia Parker (To Wed a Wicked Earl (Devine & Friends, #2))
Let's form a secret society....A League. The League of Secret Storytellers. We shall tell all the stories that are never told. Stories about bad husbands and murderous wives and mad gods and mothers and heroes and darkness and friends and sisters and lovers... Yes! And above all...stories about brave women who don't take shit from anyone.
Isabel Greenberg (The One Hundred Nights of Hero)
The people had come to witness a sensational case, to see celebrities, to get material for conversation, to be seen, to kill time. They would return to unwanted jobs, unloved families, unchosen friends, to drawing rooms, evening clothes, cocktail glasses and movies, to unadmitted pain, murdered hope, desire left unreached, left hanging silently over a path on which no step was taken, to days of effort not to think, not to say, to forget and give in and give up. But each of them had known some unforgotten moment-a morning when nothing had happened, a piece of music heard suddenly and never heard in the same way again, a stranger's face seen in a bus-a moment when each had known a different sense of living. And each remembered other moments, on a sleepless night, on an afternoon of steady rain, in a church, in an empty street at sunset, when each had wondered why there was so much suffering and ugliness in the world. They had not tried to find the answer and they had gone on living as if no answer was necessary. But each had known a moment when, in lonely, naked honesty, he had felt the need of an answer.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Several months ago there was a somewhat, in some people's eyes, relatively normal Cal--or by and large normal--the best he was able to be as half Auphe. Occasionally he did lose his shit, attacked and ate deer while on road trips through the woods, created massive holes in between dimensions to shove through malevolently murderous pucks, and once in a while ripped out an Auphe's throat with his teeth. He also opened a gate or two to save his friends, blew up an antihealer from the inside out to save the world, cleaned his guns while watching porn, and generally was a smart-ass to everyone. Normal.
Rob Thurman (Doubletake (Cal Leandros, #7))
It should make you shake and sweat, nightmare you, strand you in the desert of irrevocable desolation, the consequences seared into the vein, no matter what adrenaline feeds the muscle its courage, no matter what god shines down on you, no matter what crackling pain and anger you carry in your fists, my friend, it should break your heart to kill.
Brian Turner
Somewhere off to my left, a little voice chirped: The redhead is smart. We can help. In a nearby tree sat a murder of crows. (That's what you call a group of them. You learn useless facts like that in Valhalla.) "Uh, guys," I told my friends, "those crows claim they can help." Claim? squawked another crow. You don't trust us? Send your two friends back to the ship with the mead. We'll give you a hand here. All we ask for in return is something shiny. Anything will do. I related this to my friends. I looked at the crows. "Okay, guys, what's the plan?" Plan? cawed the nearest crow. We just said we'd help. We don't have a plan, per se. Stupid misleading crows. Also, what kind of bird uses the term per se? Since I didn't have time to murder the entire murder, I contemplated my limited options.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
We have reason. It is the entire meaning and purpose of Shangri-La. It came to me in a vision long, long ago. I foresaw a time when man exalting in the technique of murder, would rage so hotly over the world, that every book, every treasure would be doomed to destruction. This vision was so vivid and so moving that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and culture that I could and preserve them here against the doom toward which the world is rushing. Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing headlong against each other. The time must come, my friend, when brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here.
James Hilton (Lost Horizon)
I was now well prepared to be a career criminal. I had the proper training and a natural feel for the business. I had a respect for the old-liners like Angelo and Don Frederico. I had been a witness to both murder and betrayal and had my appetite whetted for acts of revenge. I just didn't have the stomach for any of it. I didn't want my life to be a lonely and sinister on, where even the closest of friends could overnight turn into an enemy who needed to be eliminated. If I went the way Angelo had paved, I would earn millions, but would never be allowed to taste the happiness and enjoyment such wealth often brings. I would rule over a dark world, a place where treachery and deceit would be at my side and never know the simple pleasures of an ordinary life. p368.
Lorenzo Carcaterra (Gangster)
I know, 0 Caesar, that thou art awaiting my arrival with impatience, that thy true heart of a friend is yearning day and night for me. I know that thou art ready to cover me with gifts, make me prefect of the pretorian guards, and command Tigellinus to be that which the gods made him, a mule-driver in those lands which thou didst inherit after poisoning Domitius. Pardon me, however, for I swear to thee by Hades, and by the shades of thy mother, thy wife, thy brother, and Seneca, that I cannot go to thee. Life is a great treasure. I have taken the most precious jewels from that treasure, but in life there are many things which I cannot endure any longer. Do not suppose, I pray, that I am offended because thou didst kill thy mother, thy wife, and thy brother; that thou didst burn Eome and send to Erebus all the honest men in thy dominions. No, grandson of Chronos. Death is the inheritance of man; from thee other deeds could not have been expected. But to destroy one's ear for whole years with thy poetry, to see thy belly of a Domitius on slim legs whirled about in a Pyrrhic dance; to hear thy music, thy declamation, thy doggerel verses, wretched poet of the suburbs, — is a thing surpassing my power, and it has roused in me the wish to die. Eome stuffs its ears when it hears thee; the world reviles thee. I can blush for thee no longer, and I have no wish to do so. The howls of Cerberus, though resembling thy music, will be less offensive to me, for I have never been the friend of Cerberus, and I need not be ashamed of his howling. Farewell, but make no music; commit murder, but write no verses; poison people, but dance not; be an incendiary, but play not on a cithara. This is the wish and the last friendly counsel sent thee by the — Arbiter Elegantiae.
Henryk Sienkiewicz (Quo Vadis)
Just as a vampire has no choice but to drink human blood, I have no choice but to kill people. My fate was already decided the moment I was born. I wasn’t abused by my parents and scarred mentally. I have no ancestors that were murderers. I was raised in a very ordinary household. But whereas ordinary children play alone with imaginary friends and pets, I spent my time staring at imaginary corpse.
Otsuichi (Goth)
The pretense that the "abolition of slavery" was either a motive or justification for the war, is a fraud of the same character with that of "maintaining the national honor." Who, but such usurpers, robbers, and murderers as they, ever established slavery? Or what government, except one resting upon the sword, like the one we now have, was ever capable of maintaining slavery? And why did these men abolish slavery? Not from any love of liberty in general—not as an act of justice to the black man himself, but only "as a war measure," and because they wanted his assistance, and that of his friends, in carrying on the war they had undertaken for maintaining and intensifying that political, commercial, and industrial slavery, to which they have subjected the great body of the people, both black and white.
Lysander Spooner (No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority (Complete Series))
I enjoyed perfect health of body, and tranquillity of mind; I did not feel the treachery or inconstancy of a friend, nor the injuries of a secret or open enemy.  I had no occasion of bribing, flattering, or pimping, to procure the favour of any great man, or of his minion; I wanted no fence against fraud or oppression: here was neither physician to destroy my body, nor lawyer to ruin my fortune; no informer to watch my words and actions, or forge accusations against me for hire: here were no gibers, censurers, backbiters, pickpockets, highwaymen, housebreakers, attorneys, bawds, buffoons, gamesters, politicians, wits, splenetics, tedious talkers, controvertists, ravishers, murderers, robbers, virtuosos; no leaders, or followers, of party and faction; no encouragers to vice, by seducement or examples; no dungeon, axes, gibbets, whipping-posts, or pillories; no cheating shopkeepers or mechanics; no pride, vanity, or affectation; no fops, bullies, drunkards, strolling whores, or poxes; no ranting, lewd, expensive wives; no stupid, proud pedants; no importunate, overbearing, quarrelsome, noisy, roaring, empty, conceited, swearing companions; no scoundrels raised from the dust upon the merit of their vices, or nobility thrown into it on account of their virtues; no lords, fiddlers, judges, or dancing-masters.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels)
Down to the closest friend every man is a potential murderer. Often it wasn't necessary to bring out the gun or the lasso or the branding iron-- they had found subtler and more devilish ways of torturing and killing their own. For me the most excruciating agony was to have the word annihilated before it even left my mouth. I learned, by bitter experience, to hold my tongue; I learned to sit in silence, and even smile, when actually I was foaming at the mouth. I learned to shake hands and say how do you do to all this innocent-looking fiends who were only waiting for me to sit down in order to suck my blood.
Henry Miller (Henry Miller on Writing)
"Turn my back on the world..." the historian repeated softly and slowly, his head moving to face the mage. "Turn my back on the world!" Emotion rarely marred the surface of Astinus's cold voice, but now anger struck the placid calm of his soul like a rock hurled into still water. "I? Turn my back on the world?" Astinus's voice rolled around the library as the thunder had rolled previously. "I am the world, as you well know, old friend! Countless times I have been born! Countless deaths I have died! Every tear shed - mine have flowed! Every drop of blood spilled - mine has drained! Every agony, every joy ever felt has been mine to share! "I sit with my hand on the Sphere of Time, the sphere you made for me, old friend, and I travel the length and breadth of this world chronicling its history. I have committed the blackest deeds! I have made the noblest sacrifices. I am human, elf, and ogre. I am male and female. I have borne children. I have murdered children. I saw you as you were. I see you as you are. If I seem cold and unfeeling, it is because that is how I survive without losing my sanity! My passion goes into my words.
Margaret Weis
What's that?' he snarled, staring at the envelope Harry was still clutching in his hand. 'If it's another form for me to sign, you've got another-' 'It's not,' said Harry cheerfully. 'It's a letter from my godfather.' 'Godfather?' spluttered Uncle Vernon. 'You haven't got a godfather!' 'Yes, I have,' said Harry brightly. 'He was my mum and dad's best friend. He's a convicted murderer, but he's broken out of wizard prison and he's on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though...keep up with my news...check I'm happy...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
A ridiculous fear pursued me, in fact: one could not die without having confessed all one's lies. Not to God or to one of his representatives; I was above that, as you well imagine. No, it was a matter of confessing to men, to a friend, to a beloved woman, for example. Otherwise, were there but one lie hidden in life, death made it definitive. No one, ever again, would know the truth at this point, since the only one to know it was precisely the dead man sleeping on his secret. The absolute murder of truth used to make me dizzy.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
Tell me: How do you know that you won't be killed by a falling meteor? How do you know that you shut off the toaster oven this morning? That one of the seething millions of bacteria on your hands will not kill you? That your friends don't all secretly hate you? Do you have a religion? Do you have right religion? Are you sure? Are you a pedophile, a necrophiliac, a rapist? A murderer? How can you know that these tendencies do not dwell latent inside you, waiting for the right moment to evince themselves in the most horrific manner possible? How do you know that you are not a monster? How do you know that it isn't the end of the world?
Fletcher Wortmann (Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
Oxford was as drenched in Dixie as we were, just about as Southern a town as you would ever hope to find, which generally was a good thing, because that meant that the weather was nice, except when it was hot enough to fry pork chops on the pavement, and the food was delicious, though it would thicken the walls of your arteries and kill you deader than Stonewall Jackson, and the people were big hearted and friendly, though it was not the hardest place in the world to get murdered for having bad manners. Even our main crop could kill you.
Timothy B. Tyson (Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story)
Cauldron save me," she began whispering, her voice lovely and even-like music. "Mother hold me," she went on, reciting a prayer similar to one I'd heard once before, when Tamlin eased the passing of that lesser faerie who'd died in the foyer. Another of Amarantha's victims. "Guide me to you." I was unable to raise my dagger, unable to take the step that would close the distance between us. "Let me pass through the gates; let me smell that immortal land of milk and honey." Silent tears slide down my face and neck, where they dampened the filthy collar of my tunic. As she spoke, I knew I would be forever barred from that immortal land. I knew that whatever Mother she meant would never embrace me. In saving Tamlin, I was to damn myself. I couldn't do this-couldn't lift that dagger again. "Let me fear no evil," she breathed, staring at me-into me, into the soul that was cleaving itself apart."Let me feel no pain." A sob broke from my lips. "I'm sorry," I moaned. "Let me enter eternity," She breathed. I wept as I understood. Kill me now, she was saying. Do it fast. Don't make it hurt. Kill me now. Her bronze eyes were steady, if not sorrowful. Infinitely, infinitely worse than the pleading of the dead faerie beside her. I couldn't do it. But she held my gaze-held my gaze and nodded. As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face.” As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face. More faeries wailed now-her kinsmen and friends. The dagger was a weight in my hand-my hand, shining and coated with the blood of the first faerie. It would be more honorable to refuse-to die, rather than murder innocents. But... but... "Let me enter eternity," she repeated, lifting her chin. "Fear no evil," she whispered-just for me. "Feel no pain." I gripped her delicate, bony shoulder and drove the dagger into her heart. She gasped, and blood spilled onto the ground like a splattering of rain. Her eyes were closed when I looked at her face again. She slumped to the floor and didn't move. I went somewhere far, far away from myself.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Poor William!" said he, "dear lovely child, he now sleeps with his angel mother! Who that had seen him bright and joyous in his young beauty, but must weep over his untimely loss! To die so miserably; to feel the murderer's grasp! How much more a murderer, that could destroy such radiant innocence! Poor little fellow! one only consolation have we; his friends mourn and weep, but he is at rest. The pang is over, his sufferings are at an end for ever. A sod covers his gentle form, and he knows no pain. He can no longer be a subject for pity; we must reserve that for his miserable survivors.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
Brother, these last two months I've found in myself a new man. A new man has risen up in me. He was hidden in me, but would never have come to the surface, if it hadn't been for this blow from heaven. I am afraid! And what do I care if I spend twenty years in the mines, breaking ore with a hammer? I am not a bit afraid of that- it's something else I am afraid of now: that that new man may leave me. Even there, in the mines, underground, I may find a human heart in another convict and murderer by my side, and I may make friends with him, for even there one may live and love and suffer. One may thaw and revive a frozen heart in that convict, one may wait upon him for years, and at last bring up from the dark depths a lofty soul, a feeling, suffering creature; one may bring forth an angel, create a hero! There are so many of them, hundreds of them, and we are all to blame for them.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
My friend Emma, who likes things to add up neatly, claims that this is because my parents died when I was too young to take it in: they were there one day and gone the next, crashing through that fence so hard and fast they left it splintered for good. When I was Lexie Madison for eight months she turned into a real person to me, a sister I lost or left behind on the way; a shadow somewhere inside me, like the shadows of vanishing twins that show up on people's X-rays once in a blue moon. Even before she came back to find me I knew I owed her something, for being the one who lived.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
All murder'd-for within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp; Allowing him a breath, a little scene, To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks; Infusing him with self and vain conceit, As if this flesh which walls about our life Were brass impregnable; and, humour'd thus, Comes at the last, and with a little pin Bores through his castle wall, and farewell, king! Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood With solemn reverence; throw away respect, Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty; For you have but mistook me all this while. I live with bread like you, feel want, Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus, How can you say to me I am a king?
William Shakespeare (Richard II)
Amy Martin (ladysky) and Daniel Baciagalupo had a month to spend on Charlotte Turner's island in Georgian Bay; it was their wilderness way of getting to know each other before their life together in Toronto began. We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly--as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth--the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives. Little Joe was gone, but not a day passed in Daniel Baciagalupo's life when Joe wasn't loved or remembered. The cook had been murdered in his bed, but Dominic Baciagalupo had had the last laugh on the cowboy. Ketchum's left hand would lvie forever in Twisted River, and Six-Pack had known what to do with the rest of her old friend
John Irving (Last Night in Twisted River)
What’s the kindest thing you almost did? Is your fear of insomnia stronger than your fear of what awoke you? Are bonsai cruel? Do you love what you love, or just the feeling? Your earliest memories: do you look through your young eyes, or look at your young self? Which feels worse: to know that there are people who do more with less talent, or that there are people with more talent? Do you walk on moving walkways? Should it make any difference that you knew it was wrong �as you were doing it? Would you trade actual intelligence for the perception of being smarter? Why does it bother you when someone at the next table is having a conversation on a cell phone? How many years of your life would you trade for the greatest month of your life? What would you tell your father, if it were possible? Which is changing faster, your body, or your mind? Is it cruel to tell an old person his prognosis? Are you in any way angry at your phone? When you pass �a storefront, do you look at what’s inside, look at your reflection, or neither? Is there anything you would die for if no one could ever know you died for it? If you could be assured that money wouldn’t make �you any small bit happier, would you still want more money? What has �been irrevocably spoiled for you? If your deepest secret became public, �would you be forgiven? Is your best friend your kindest friend? Is it in any way cruel to give a dog a name? Is there anything you feel a need to confess? You know it’s a “murder of crows” and a “wake of buzzards” but it’s a what of ravens, again? What is it about death that you’re �afraid of? How does it make you feel to know that it’s an “unkindness �of ravens”?
Jonathan Safran Foer
I listened to the static echoing in my ear and thought of those herds of horses you get in the vast wild spaces of America and Australia, the ones running free, fighting off bobcats or dingoes and living lean on what they find, gold and tangled in the fierce sun. My friend Alan from when I was a kid, he worked on a ranch in Wyoming one summer, on a J1 visa. He watched guys breaking those horses. He told me that every now and then there was one that couldn't be broken, one wild to the bone. Those horses fought the bridle and the fence till they were ripped up and streaming blood, till they smashed their legs or their necks to splinters, till they died of fighting to run.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
What do think about abortion?” “I could feel the tension growing in the plane. I dropped my head, acknowledging that we had very different value systems for our lives. Then I thought of a way to respond to his question. “You’re Jewish, right?” I asked. “Yes,” he said defensively. “I told you I was!” “Do you know how Hitler persuaded the German people to destroy more than six million of your Jewish ancestors?” The man looked at me expectantly, so I continued. ”He convinced them that Jews were not human and then exterminated your people like rats.” I could see that I had his attention, so I went on. “Do you understand how Americans enslaved, tortured, and killed millions of Africans? We dehumanized them so our constitution didn’t apply to them, and then we treated them worse than animals.” “How about the Native Americans?” I pressed. “Do you have any idea how we managed to hunt Indians like wild animals, drive them out of their own land, burn their villages, rape their women, and slaughter their children? Do you have any clue how everyday people turned into cruel murderers?” My Jewish friend was silent, and his eyes were filling with tears as I made my point. “We made people believe that the Native Americans were wild savages, not real human beings, and then we brutalized them without any conviction of wrongdoing! Now do you understand how we have persuaded mothers to kill their own babies? We took the word fetus, which is the Latin word for ‘offspring,’ and redefined it to dehumanize the unborn. We told mothers, ‘That is not really a baby you are carrying in your belly; it is a fetus, tissue that suddenly forms into a human being just seconds before it exits the womb.’ In doing so, we were able to assert that, in the issue of abortion, there is only one person’s human rights to consider, and then we convinced mothers that disposing of fetal tissue (terminating the life of their babies) was a woman’s right. Our constitution no longer protects the unborn because they are not real people. They are just lifeless blobs of tissue.” By now, tears were flowing down his cheeks. I looked right into his eyes and said, “Your people, the Native Americans, and the African Americans should be the greatest defenders of the unborn on the planet. After all, you know what it’s like for society to redefine you so that they can destroy your races. But ironically, your races have the highest abortion rates in this country! Somebody is still trying to exterminate your people, and you don’t even realize it. The names have changed, but the plot remains the same!” Finally he couldn’t handle it anymore. He blurted out, “I have never heard anything like this before. I am hanging out with the wrong people. I have been deceived!
Kris Vallotton
At the Theatre: To the Lady Behind Me Dear Madam, you have seen this play; I never saw it till today. You know the details of the plot, But, let me tell you, I do not. The author seeks to keep from me The murderer's identity, And you are not a friend of his If you keep shouting who it is. The actors in their funny way Have several funny things to say, But they do not amuse me more If you have said them just before; The merit of the drama lies, I understand, in some surprise; But the surprise must now be small Since you have just foretold it all. The lady you have brought with you Is, I infer, a half-wit too, But I can understand the piece Without assistance from your niece. In short, foul woman, it would suit Me just as well if you were mute; In fact, to make my meaning plain, I trust you will not speak again. And—may I add one human touch?— Don't breathe upon my neck so much.
A.P. Herbert
He was perfectly astonished with the historical account gave him of our affairs during the last century; protesting “it was only a heap of conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, revolutions, banishments, the very worst effects that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidiousness, cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice, and ambition, could produce.” His majesty, in another audience, was at the pains to recapitulate the sum of all I had spoken; compared the questions he made with the answers I had given; then taking me into his hands, and stroking me gently, delivered himself in these words, which I shall never forget, nor the manner he spoke them in: “My little friend Grildrig, you have made a most admirable panegyric upon your country; you have clearly proved, that ignorance, idleness, and vice, are the proper ingredients for qualifying a legislator; that laws are best explained, interpreted, and applied, by those whose interest and abilities lie in perverting, confounding, and eluding them. I observe among you some lines of an institution, which, in its original, might have been tolerable, but these half erased, and the rest wholly blurred and blotted by corruptions. It does not appear, from all you have said, how any one perfection is required toward the procurement of any one station among you; much less, that men are ennobled on account of their virtue; that priests are advanced for their piety or learning; soldiers, for their conduct or valour; judges, for their integrity; senators, for the love of their country; or counsellors for their wisdom. As for yourself,” continued the king, “who have spent the greatest part of your life in travelling, I am well disposed to hope you may hitherto have escaped many vices of your country. But by what I have gathered from your own relation, and the answers I have with much pains wrung and extorted from you, I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels)
On 11 September 2012 crowds of friendly locals in Kabul, Afghanistan, were chanting the usual ‘Death to America’ slogans. At the same time American flags were torched from London to Sydney. And in Benghazi, Libya, a group of ‘spontaneous protesters’ arrived at the US consulate with rocket-propelled grenades and savagely murdered the US ambassador. In Washington, members of the Obama administration were, as we have already seen, showing that they weren’t taking any of this personally. It wasn’t about them and it certainly wasn’t about their ambassador, who had in fact been murdered by terrorists in a pre-planned attack. The administration was still claiming all this was caused by an excerpt from an amateur film which had been up on YouTube for weeks.
Douglas Murray (Islamophilia)
To most people today, the name Snow White evokes visions of dwarfs whistling as they work, and a wide–eyed, fluttery princess singing, "Some day my prince will come." (A friend of mine claims this song is responsible for the problems of a whole generation of American women.) Yet the Snow White theme is one of the darkest and strangest to be found in the fairy tale canon — a chilling tale of murderous rivalry, adolescent sexual ripening, poisoned gifts, blood on snow, witchcraft, and ritual cannibalism. . .in short, not a tale originally intended for children's tender ears. Disney's well–known film version of the story, released in 1937, was ostensibly based on the German tale popularized by the Brothers Grimm. Originally titled "Snow–drop" and published in Kinder–und Hausmarchen in 1812, the Grimms' "Snow White" is a darker, chillier story than the musical Disney cartoon, yet it too had been cleaned up for publication, edited to emphasize the good Protestant values held by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. (...) Variants of Snow White were popular around the world long before the Grimms claimed it for Germany, but their version of the story (along with Walt Disney's) is the one that most people know today. Elements from the story can be traced back to the oldest oral tales of antiquity, but the earliest known written version was published in Italy in 1634.
Terri Windling (White as Snow)
Cutting class,” I muttered. “That idiot.” Ben did a double-take when he spotted me, then slowly shook his head. As I drew near, he whispered something under his breath. His moron buddies exploded in laughter. I’ll kill him. Then murder him afterward. “What the hell are you doing?” Not the most diplomatic of greetings, but my temper was long gone. “Is your first class Parking Lot Maintenance?” Ben waved a hand at me. “You see what I mean?” Wallet Chain chuckled as he toked a cigarette. “That’s not very nice, sweetheart.” “You’ll never land a man like that,” added Ski Cap. “This ain’t Beantown.” “Ben?” Seething. “May I speak to you privately?” Ben rolled his eyes. “Give me a sec, guys. I’ve been naughty.” I waited until the stoners were out of earshot. “Great crew you’ve assembled.” Dripping with sarcasm. “Leave them out of this,” Ben warned. “What, I can’t even have friends, now that I’ve been kicked from the Ivory Tower?” “Maybe go to class. You might find a better peer group in there.” Ben snorted. “I’m pretty sure you have class right now, too.” Touche.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
Your friend is most original,' Dan Needham said, with the greatest respect. 'Don't you see, Johnny? If he could, he would cut off his hands for you - that's how it makes him feel, to have touched that baseball bat, to have swung that bat with those results. It's how we all feel - you and me and Owen. We've lost a part of ourselves.' And Dan picked up the wrecked armadillo and began to experiment with it on my night table, trying - as I had tried - to find a position that allowed the beast to stand, or even to lie down, with any semblance of comfort or dignity; it was quite impossible. The thing had been crippled; it was rendered an invalid. And how had Owen arranged the claws? I wondered. What sort of terrible altarpiece had he constructed? Were the claws gripping the murderous baseball? And so Dan and I became quite emotional, while we struggled to find a way to make the armadillo's appearance acceptable - but that was the point, Dan concluded: there was no way that any or all of this was acceptable. What had happened was unacceptable! Yet we still had to live with it.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
There are certain prejudices attached to the human mind which it requires all our wisdom to keep from interfering with our happiness; certain set notions, acquired in infancy, and cherished involuntarily by age, which grow up and assume a gloss so plausible, that few minds, in what is called a civilized country, can afterwards overcome them. Truth is often perverted by education. While the refined Europeans boast a standard of honour, and a sublimity of virtue, which often leads them from pleasure to misery, and from nature to error, the simple, uninformed American follows the impulse of his heart, and obeys the inspiration of wisdom. Nature, uncontaminated by false refinement, every where acts alike in the great occurrences of life. The Indian discovers his friend to be perfidious, and he kills him; the wild Asiatic does the same; the Turk, when ambition fires, or revenge provokes, gratifies his passion at the expence of life, and does not call it murder. Even the polished Italian, distracted by jealousy, or tempted by a strong circumstance of advantage, draws his stiletto, and accomplishes his purpose. It is the first proof of a superior mind to liberate itself from the prejudices of country, or of education… Self-preservation is the great law of nature; when a reptile hurts us, or an animal of prey threatens us, we think no farther, but endeavour to annihilate it. When my life, or what may be essential to my life, requires the sacrifice of another, or even if some passion, wholly unconquerable, requires it, I should be a madman to hesitate.
Ann Radcliffe (The Romance of the Forest)
We read a good novel not in order to know more people, but in order to know fewer. Instead of the humming swarm of human beings, relatives, customers, servants, postmen, afternoon callers, tradesmen, strangers who tell us the time, strangers who remark on the weather, beggars, waiters, and telegraph-boys--instead of this bewildering human swarm which passes us every day, fiction asks us to follow one figure (say the postman) consistently through his ecstasies and agonies. That is what makes one impatient with that type of pessimistic rebel who is always complaining of the narrowness of his life and demanding a larger sphere. Life is too large for us as it is: we have all too many things to attend to. All true romance is an attempt to simplify it, to cut it down to plainer and more pictorial proportions. What dullness there is in our life arises mostly from its rapidity; people pass us too quickly to show us their interesting side. By the end of the week we have talked to a hundred bores; whereas, if we had stuck to one of them, we might have found ourselves talking to a new friend, or a humorist, or a murderer, or a man who had seen a ghost.
G.K. Chesterton (The Glass Walking Stick)
Magnus, his silver mask pushed back into his hair, intercepted the New York vampires before they could fully depart. Alec heard Magnus pitch his voice low. Alec felt guilty for listening in, but he couldn’t just turn off his Shadowhunter instincts. “How are you, Raphael?” asked Magnus. “Annoyed,” said Raphael. “As usual.” “I’m familiar with the emotion,” said Magnus. “I experience it whenever we speak. What I meant was, I know that you and Ragnor were often in contact.” There was a beat, in which Magnus studied Raphael with an expression of concern, and Raphael regarded Magnus with obvious scorn. “Oh, you’re asking if I am prostrate with grief over the warlock that the Shadowhunters killed?” Alec opened his mouth to point out the evil Shadowhunter Sebastian Morgenstern had killed the warlock Ragnor Fell in the recent war, as he had killed Alec’s own brother. Then he remembered Raphael sitting alone and texting a number saved as RF, and never getting any texts back. Ragnor Fell. Alec felt a sudden and unexpected pang of sympathy for Raphael, recognizing his loneliness. He was at a party surrounded by hundreds of people, and there he sat texting a dead man over and over, knowing he’d never get a message back. There must have been very few people in Raphael’s life he’d ever counted as friends. “I do not like it,” said Raphael, “when Shadowhunters murder my colleagues, but it’s not as if that hasn’t happened before. It happens all the time. It’s their hobby. Thank you for asking. Of course one wishes to break down on a heart-shaped sofa and weep into one’s lace handkerchief, but I am somehow managing to hold it together. After all, I still have a warlock contact.” Magnus inclined his head with a slight smile. “Tessa Gray,” said Raphael. “Very dignified lady. Very well-read. I think you know her?” Magnus made a face at him. “It’s not being a sass-monkey that I object to. That I like. It’s the joyless attitude. One of the chief pleasures of life is mocking others, so occasionally show some glee about doing it. Have some joie de vivre.” “I’m undead,” said Raphael. “What about joie de unvivre?” Raphael eyed him coldly. Magnus gestured his own question aside, his rings and trails of leftover magic leaving a sweep of sparks in the night air, and sighed. “Tessa,” Magnus said with a long exhale. “She is a harbinger of ill news and I will be annoyed with her for dumping this problem in my lap for weeks. At least.” “What problem? Are you in trouble?” asked Raphael. “Nothing I can’t handle,” said Magnus. “Pity,” said Raphael. “I was planning to point and laugh. Well, time to go. I’d say good luck with your dead-body bad-news thing, but . . . I don’t care.” “Take care of yourself, Raphael,” said Magnus. Raphael waved a dismissive hand over his shoulder. “I always do.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
He thought dawdling, protective thoughts, sitting under the lamp, but he knew that pretty soon his name would be called and he would have to go up before the bench with himself as judge and his own crimes as jurors. And his name was called, shrilly in his ears. His mind walked in to face the accusers: Vanity, which charged him with being ill dressed and dirty and vulgar; and Lust, slipping him the money for his whoring; Dishonesty, to make him pretend to talent and thought he did not have; Laziness and Gluttony arm in arm. Tom felt comforted by these because they screened the great Gray One in the back seat, waiting—the gray and dreadful crime. He dredged up lesser things, used small sins almost like virtues to save himself. There were Covetousness of Will’s money, Treason toward his mother’s God, Theft of time and hope, sick Rejection of love. Samuel spoke softly but his voice filled the room. “Be good, be pure, be great, be Tom Hamilton.” Tom ignored his father. He said, “I’m busy greeting my friends,” and he nodded to Discourtesy and Ugliness and Unfilial Conduct and Unkempt Fingernails. Then he started with Vanity again. The Gray One shouldered up in front. It was too late to stall with baby sins. This Gray One was Murder.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Putin isn’t a full-blown Fascist because he hasn’t felt the need. Instead, as prime minister and president, he has flipped through Stalin’s copy of the totalitarian playbook and underlined passages of interest to call on when convenient. Throughout his time in office, he has stockpiled power at the expense of provincial governors, the legislature, the courts, the private sector, and the press. A suspicious number of those who have found fault with him have later been jailed on dubious charges or murdered in circumstances never explained. Authority within Putin’s “vertical state”—including directorship of the national oil and gas companies—is concentrated among KGB alumni and other former security and intelligence officials. A network of state-run corporations and banks, many with shady connections offshore, furnish financial lubricants for pet projects and privileged friends. Rather than diversify as China has done, the state has more than doubled its share of the national economy since 2005.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
You’re supposed to be the big boss.” Sam said nothing. The crowd hushed, ready to watch this one-on-one confrontation. “You’re the big boss of the freaks,” Zil yelled. “But you can’t do anything. You can shoot laser beams out of your hands, but you can’t get enough food, and you can’t keep the power on, and you won’t do anything about that murderer Hunter, who killed my best friend.” He paused to fill his lungs for a final, furious cry. “You shouldn’t be in charge.” “You want to be in charge, Zil? Last night you were running around trying to get a lynch mob together. And let’s not even pretend that wasn’t you responsible for graffiti I saw driving into town just now.” “So what?” Zil demanded. “So what? So I said what everyone who isn’t a freak is thinking.” He spit the word “freak,” making it an insult, making it an accusation. “You really think what we need right now is to divide up between freaks and normals?” Sam asked. “You figure that will get the lights turned back on? That will put food on people’s tables?
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
I stood in the doorway, taking that image in: a Brannick, cooking breakfast for two demons. Who could have imagined that? Nick saw me and grinned. Well, tried to. Like me-heck, like all of us-he still had that haunted look in his eyes that made friendly expressions seem sad. “’Morning, Sophia. I saved you a slice of bacon. You too, Jenna,” he said, glancing over my shoulder. His eyes flicked to my other side. “Sorry, cuz, you’re out of luck.” Archer gave a little snort of amusement, but there was still something wary in the set of his shoulders as he moved into the kitchen. He also took the chair farthest away from Nick when he sat down. I wasn’t sure Archer and Nick could ever have anything approaching a normal relationship, but that was probably to be expected. After all, Nick’s parents had murdered Archer’s, and Nick had tried to kill Archer not once, but twice. That would definitely make for awkward family reunions in the future. It also didn’t help that the people who Archer considered family were now determined to kill him, too.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
It's my belief that Dahmer didn't have to wind up a monster, that all those people didn't have to die horribly, if only the adults in his life hadn't been so inexplicably, unforgivably, incomprehensibly clueless and/or indifferent. Once Dahmer kills, however - and I can't stress this enough - my sympathy for him ends. He could have turned himself in after that first murder. He could have put a gun to his head. Instead he, and he alone, chose to become a serial killer and spread misery to countless people. There are a surprising number out there who view Jeffery Dahmer as some kind of anti-hero, a bullied kid who lashed back at the society that rejected him, This is nonsense. Dahmer was a twisted wretch whose depravity was almost beyond comprehension. Pity him, but don't empathize with him.
Derf Backderf (My Friend Dahmer)
Guts,” never much of a word outside the hunting season, was a favorite noun in literary prose. People were said to have or to lack them, to perceive beauty and make moral distinctions in no other place. “Gut-busting” and “gut-wrenching” were accolades. “Nerve-shattering,” “eye-popping,” “bone-crunching”—the responsive critic was a crushed, impaled, electrocuted man. “Searing” was lukewarm. Anything merely spraining or tooth-extracting would have been only a minor masterpiece. “Literally,” in every single case, meant figuratively; that is, not literally. This film will literally grab you by the throat. This book will literally knock you out of your chair… Sometimes the assault mode took the form of peremptory orders. See it. Read it. Go at once…Many sentences carried with them their own congratulations, Suffice it to say…or, The only word for it is…Whether it really sufficed to say, or whether there was, in fact, another word, the sentence, bowing and applauding to itself, ignored…There existed also an economical device, the inverted-comma sneer—the “plot,” or his “work,” or even “brave.” A word in quotation marks carried a somehow unarguable derision, like “so-called” or “alleged…” “He has suffered enough” meant if we investigate this matter any further, it will turn out our friends are in it, too… Murders, generally, were called brutal and senseless slayings, to distinguish them from all other murders; nouns thus became glued to adjectives, in series, which gave an appearance of shoring them up… Intelligent people, caught at anything, denied it. Faced with evidence of having denied it falsely, people said they had not done it and had not lied about it, and didn’t remember it, but if they had done it or lied about it, they would have done it and misspoken themselves about it in an interest so much higher as to alter the nature of doing and lying altogether. It was in the interest of absolutely nobody to get to the bottom of anything whatever. People were no longer “caught” in the old sense on which most people could agree. Induction, detection, the very thrillers everyone was reading were obsolete. The jig was never up. In every city, at the same time, therapists earned their living by saying, “You’re being too hard on yourself.
Renata Adler (Speedboat)
He no longer saw the face of his friend Siddhartha, instead he saw other faces, many, a long sequence, a flowing river of faces, of hundreds, of thousands, which all came and disappeared, and yet all seemed to be there simultaneously, which all constantly changed and renewed themselves, and which were still all Siddhartha. He saw the face of a fish, a carp, with an infinitely painfully opened mouth, the face of a dying fish, with fading eyes—he saw the face of a new-born child, red and full of wrinkles, distorted from crying—he saw the face of a murderer, he saw him plunging a knife into the body of another person—he saw, in the same second, this criminal in bondage, kneeling and his head being chopped off by the executioner with one blow of his sword—he saw the bodies of men and women, naked in positions and cramps of frenzied love—he saw corpses stretched out, motionless, cold, void— he saw the heads of animals, of boars, of crocodiles, of elephants, of bulls, of birds—he saw gods, saw Krishna, saw Agni—he saw all of these figures and faces in a thousand relationships with one another, each one helping the other, loving it, hating it, destroying it, giving re-birth to it, each one was a will to die, a passionately painful confession of transitoriness, and yet none of them died, each one only transformed, was always re-born, received evermore a new face, without any time having passed between the one and the other face—and all of these figures and faces rested, flowed, generated themselves, floated along and merged with each other, and they were all constantly covered by something thin, without individuality of its own, but yet existing, like a thin glass or ice, like a transparent skin, a shell or mold or mask of water, and this mask was smiling, and this mask was Siddhartha's smiling face, which he, Govinda, in this very same moment touched with his lips. And, Govinda saw it like this, this smile of the mask, this smile of oneness above the flowing forms, this smile of simultaneousness above the thousand births and deaths, this smile of Siddhartha was precisely the same, was precisely of the same kind as the quiet, delicate, impenetrable, perhaps benevolent, perhaps mocking, wise, thousand-fold smile of Gotama, the Buddha, as he had seen it himself with great respect a hundred times. Like this, Govinda knew, the perfected ones are smiling.
Hermann Hesse
There was, of course, a whole complex range of people in the ghettoside world. Some men liked hurting people. Some didn't. Some men started out not liking it but became brutalized and sadistic. Maybe the mix would differ in other groups of Americans. Maybe some other racial or ethnic cohort would contain a higher ratio of regular guys, or a lower ratio of men susceptible to becoming violent. Maybe the gnawing fear of getting murdered-- estimated as high as one in thirty-five by a Justice Department report in the 1990s-- would influence another group of men differently. But this was hairsplitting. Take a bunch of teenage boys from the whitest, safest suburb in America and plunk them down in a place where their friends are murdered and they are constantly attacked and threatened. Signal that no one cares, and fail to solve murders. Limit their options for escape. Then see what happens.
Jill Leovy (Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America)
See, boys?” Moundshroud’s face flickered with the fire. “The days of the Long Cold are done. Because of this one brave, new-thinking man, summer lives in the winter cave.” “But?” said Tom. “What’s that got to do with Halloween?” “Do? Why, blast my bones, everything. When you and your friends die every day, there’s no time to think of Death, is there? Only time to run. But when you stop running at long last—” He touched the walls. The apemen froze in mid-flight. “—now you have time to think of where you came from, where you’re going. And fire lights the way, boys. Fire and lightning. Morning stars to gaze at. Fire in your own cave to protect you. Only by night fires was the caveman, beastman, able at last to turn his thoughts on a spit and baste them with wonder. The sun died in the sky. Winter came on like a great white beast shaking its fur, burying him. Would spring ever come back to the world? Would the sun be reborn next year or stay murdered? Egyptians asked it. Cavemen asked it a million years before. Will the sun rise tomorrow morning?” “And that’s how Halloween began?” “With such long thoughts at night, boys. And always at the center of it, fire. The sun. The sun dying down the cold sky forever. How that must have scared early man, eh? That was the Big Death. If the sun went away forever, then what?
Ray Bradbury (The Halloween Tree)
As Wilson mourned his wife, German forces in Belgium entered quiet towns and villages, took civilian hostages, and executed them to discourage resistances. In the town of Dinant, German soldiers shot 612 men, women, and children. The American press called such atrocities acts of "frightfulness," the word then used to describe what later generations would call terrorism. On August 25, German forces bean an assault on the Belgian city of Louvain, the "Oxford of Belgium," a university town that was home to an important library. Three days of shelling and murder left 209 civilians dead, 1,100 buildings incinerated, and the library destroyed, along with its 230,000 books, priceless manuscripts, and artifacts. The assault was deemed an affront to just to Belgium but to the world. Wilson, a past president of Princeton University, "felt deeply the destruction of Louvain," according to his friend, Colonel House; the president feared "the war would throw the world back three or four centuries.
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)
They were the cars at the fair that were whirling around her; no, they were the planets, while the sun stood, burning and spinning and guttering in the centre; here they came again, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto; but they were not planets, for it was not the merry-go-round at all, but the Ferris wheel, they were constellations, in the hub of which, like a great cold eye, burned Polaris, and round and round it here they went: Cassiopeia, Cepheus, the Lynx, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, and the Dragon; yet they were not constellations, but, somehow, myriads of beautiful butterflies, she was sailing into Acapulco harbour through a hurricane of beautiful butterflies, zigzagging overhead and endlessly vanishing astern over the sea, the sea, rough and pure, the long dawn rollers advancing, rising, and crashing down to glide in colourless ellipses over the sand, sinking, sinking, someone was calling her name far away and she remembered, they were in a dark wood, she heard the wind and the rain rushing through the forest and saw the tremours of lightning shuddering through the heavens and the horse—great God, the horse—and would this scene repeat itself endlessly and forever?—the horse, rearing, poised over her, petrified in midair, a statue, somebody was sitting on the statue, it was Yvonne Griffaton, no, it was the statue of Huerta, the drunkard, the murderer, it was the Consul, or it was a mechanical horse on the merry-go-round, the carrousel, but the carrousel had stopped and she was in a ravine down which a million horses were thundering towards her, and she must escape, through the friendly forest to their house, their little home by the sea.
Malcolm Lowry (Under the Volcano)
I need to ask, are you afraid of spiders?" Nicholas blinked, suddenly caught off guard, "Yes, I'm afraid of spiders." "Were you always?" "What are you, a psychiatrist?" Pritam took a breath. He could feel Laine's eyes on him, appraising his line of questioning. "Is it possible that the trauma of losing your best friend as a child and the trauma of losing your wife as an adult and the trauma of seeing Laine's husband take his life in front of you just recently..." Pritam shrugged and raised his palms, "You see where I'm going?" Nicholas looked at Laine. She watched back. Her gray eyes missed nothing. "Sure," agreed Nicholas, standing. "And my sister's nuts, too, and we both like imagining that little white dogs are big nasty spiders because our daddy died and we never got enough cuddles." "Your father died?" asked Laine. "When?" "Who cares?" Pritam sighed. "You must see this from our point of - " "I'd love to!" snapped Nicholas. "I'd love to see it from your point of view, because mine is not that much fun! It's insane! It's insane that I see dead people, Pritam! It's insane that this," he flicked out the sardonyx necklace,"stopped me from kidnapping a little girl!" "That's what you believe," Pritam said carefully. "That's what I fucking believe!" Nicholas stabbed his finger through the air at the dead bird talisman lying slack on the coffee table.
Stephen M. Irwin (The Dead Path)
All cultures seem to find a slightly alien local population to carry the Hermes projection. For the Vietnamese it is the Chinese, and for the Chinese it is the Japanese. For the Hindu it is the Moslem; for the North Pacific tribes it was the Chinook; in Latin America and in the American South it is the Yankee. In Uganda it is the East Indians and Pakistanis. In French Quebec it is the English. In Spain the Catalans are "the Jews of Spain". On Crete it is the Turks, and in Turkey it is the Armenians. Lawrence Durrell says that when he lived in Crete he was friends with the Greeks, but that when he wanted to buy some land they sent him to a Turk, saying that a Turk was what you needed for a trade, though of course he couldn't be trusted. This figure who is good with money but a little tricky is always treated as a foreigner even if his family has been around for centuries. Often he actually is a foreigner, of course. He is invited in when the nation needs trade and he is driven out - or murdered - when nationalism begins to flourish: the Chinese out of Vietnam in 1978, the Japanese out of China in 1949, the Jankees out of South America and Iran, the East Indians out of Uganda under Idi Amin, and the Armenians out of Turkey in 1915-16. The outsider is always used as a catalyst to arouse nationalism, and when times are hard he will always be its victim as well.
Lewis Hyde (The Gift)
No one needs a relationship. What you need is the basic cop-on to figure that out, in the face of all the media bullshit screaming that you're nothing on your own and you're a dangerous freak if you disagree. The truth is, if you don't exist without someone else, you don't exist at all. And that doesn't just go for romance. I love my ma, I love my friends, I love the bones of them. If any of them wanted me to donate a kidney or crack a few heads, I'd do it, no questions asked. And if they all waved goodbye and walked out of my life tomorrow, I'd still be the same person I am today. I live inside my own skin. Anything that happens outside it doesn't change who I am. This isn't something I'm proud of; as far as I'm concerned, it's a bare minimum baseline requirement for calling yourself an adult human being, somewhere around the level of knowing how to do your own washing or change a toilet roll. All those idiots on the websites, begging for other people to pull their sagging puppet-strings, turn them real: they make me want to spit.
Tana French (The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6))
We are gathered here, friends,” he said, “to honor lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya, children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya died, my own son died. “My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child. “I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays. “But they are murdered children all the same. “And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind. “Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns. “I do not mean to be ungrateful for the fine, martial show we are about to see—and a thrilling show it really will be . . .” He looked each of us in the eye, and then he commented very softly, throwing it away, “And hooray say I for thrilling shows.” We had to strain our ears to hear what Minton said next. “But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war,” he said, “is today a day for a thrilling show? “The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
As all this suggests our relationship with evidence is seldom purely a cognitive one. Vilifying menstruating women bolstering anti-Muslim stereotypes murdering innocent citizens of Salem plainly evidence is almost always invariably a political social and moral issue as well. To take a particularly stark example consider the case of Albert Speer minister of armaments and war production during the Third Reich close friend to Adolf Hitler and highest-ranking Nazi official to ever express remorse for his actions. In his memoir Inside the Third Reich Speer candidly addressed his failure to look for evidence of what was happening around him. "I did not query a friend who told him not to visit Auschwitz I did not query Himmler I did not query Hitler " he wrote. "I did not speak with personal friends. I did not investigate for I did not want to know what was happening there... for fear of discovering something which might have made me turn away from my course. I had closed my eyes." Judge William Stoughton of Salem Massachusetts became complicit in injustice and murder by accepting evidence that he should have ignored. Albert Speer became complicit by ignoring evidence he should have accepted. Together they show us some of the gravest possible consequences of mismanaging the data around us and the vital importance of learning to manage it better. It is possible to do this: like in the U.S. legal system we as individuals can develop a fairer and more consistent relationship to evidence over time. By indirection Speer himself shows us how to begin. I did not query he wrote. I did not speak. I did not investigate. I closed my eyes. This are sins of omission sins of passivity and they suggest correctly that if we want to improve our relationship with evidence we must take a more active role in how we think must in a sense take the reins of our own minds. To do this we must query and speak and investigate and open our eyes. Specifically and crucially we must learn to actively combat our inductive biases: to deliberately seek out evidence that challenges our beliefs and to take seriously such evidence when we come across it.
Kathryn Schulz (Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error)
I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in a blurring, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as the starfish loves a coral reef and as kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fetuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. I will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of the people who talk too much. I will love you as a taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock. I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong.
Lemony Snicket (The Beatrice Letters (A Series of Unfortunate Events))
You wanted a demonstration,” Celaena said quietly. Sweat trickled down her back, but she gripped the magic with everything she had. “One thought from me, and your city will burn.” “It is stone,” Maeve snapped. Celaena smiled. “Your people aren’t.” Maeve’s nostrils flared delicately. “Would you murder innocents, Aelin? Perhaps. You did it for years, didn’t you?” Celaena’s smile didn’t falter. “Try me. Just try to push me, Aunt, and see what comes of it. This was what you wanted, wasn’t it? Not for me to master my magic, but for you to learn just how powerful I am. Not how much of your sister’s blood flows in my veins—no, you’ve known from the start that I have very little of Mab’s power. You wanted to know how much I got from Brannon.” The flames rose higher, and the shouts—of fright, not pain—rose with them. The flames would not hurt anyone unless she willed it. She could sense other magics fighting against her own, tearing holes into her power, but the conflagration surrounding the veranda burned strong. “You never gave the keys to Brannon. And you didn’t journey with Brannon and Athril to retrieve the keys from the Valg,” Celaena went on, a crown of fire wreathing her head. “You went to steal them for yourself. You wanted to keep them. Once Brannon and Athril realized that, they fought you. And Athril…” Celaena drew Goldryn, its hilt glowing bloodred. “Your beloved Athril, dearest friend of Brannon … when Athril fought you, you killed him. You, not the Valg. And in your grief and shame, you were weakened enough that Brannon took the keys from you. It wasn’t some enemy force who sacked the Sun Goddess’s temple. It was Brannon. He burned any last trace of himself, any clue of where he was going so you would not find him. He left only Athril’s sword to honor his friend—in the cave where Athril had first carved out the eye of that poor lake creature—and never told you. After Brannon left these shores, you did not dare follow him, not when he had the keys, not when his magic—my magic—was so strong.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3))
Let us have it plain: my society is comprised of metal-worshipers. They pray to metal, are owned by metal, and metal uses them; it shoots them, it stabs them. I witness its sycophants, grave zombies, moved about humorlessly as its agents. My minions are spiritually rapt as the ages climaxes in gunpowder. One notes that, upon first being handed a rifle -- by Burton or Speke? -- a chieftain blithely shot one of his own lackeys, expressing radiant joy as the man tumbled dead. Do not stop there, happy Klansman, but watch with me early in the morning as I come in from work: across the street here in the clean "burbs" your white policeman goes reverently to his car with a deer rifle coddled in his right arm like a precocious, beautiful child. This man lives with a pistol on his hip all week, but that is not enough, no, he is devout and it is the Christmas season. His own cowardice, affirmed by the use of guns, would not occur to him any more than the cowardice of God. The gun lobby, oh my peaceful friends, you may hate, but first you had better understand that it is a religion, only secondarily connected to the Bill of Rights. The thick-headed, sometimes even close to tearful, gaze you get when chatting with one of its partisans emanates from the view that they're holding a piece of God. There is no persuading them otherwise, even by a genus, because a life without guns implies the end of the known world to them. Any connection they make to our " pioneer past" is also a fraud, a wistful apology. Folks love a gun for what it can do. A murderer always thinks it was an accident, he says, as if a religious episode had passed over him.
Barry Hannah (Bats Out of Hell)
During the 1980s, in California, a large number of Cambodian women went to their doctors with the same complaint: they could not see. The women were all war refugees. Before fleeing their homeland, they had witnessed the atrocities for which the Khmer Rouge, which had been in power from 1975 to 1979, was well known. Many of the women had been raped or tortured or otherwise brutalized. Most had seen family members murdered in front of them. One woman, who never again saw her husband and three children after soldiers came and took them away, said that she had lost her sight after having cried every day for four years. She was not the only one who appeared to have cried herself blind. Others suffered from blurred or partial vision, their eyes troubled by shadows and pains. The doctors examined the women - about a hundred and fifty in all - found that their eyes were normal. Further tests showed that their brains were normal as well. If the women were telling the truth - and there were some who doubted this, who thought the women might be malingering because they wanted attention or were hoping to collect disability - the only explanation was psychosomatic blindness. In other words, the women's minds, forced to take in so much horror and unable to take more, had managed to turn out the lights.
Sigrid Nunez (The Friend)
In the court of Nero, a person of learning, of unquestioned merit, and of unsuspected loyalty, was put to death for no other reason, than that he had a pedantic countenance which displeased the emperor. This very monster of mankind appeared in the beginning of his reign to be a person of virtue. Many of the greatest tyrants on the records of history have begun their reigns in the fairest manner. But the truth is, this unnatural power corrupts both the heart and the understanding. And to prevent the least hope of amendment, a king is ever surrounded by a crowd of infamous flatterers, who find their account in keeping him from the least light of reason, till all ideas of rectitude and justice are utterly erased from his mind. When Alexander had in his fury inhumanly butchered one of his best friends and bravest captains; on the return of reason he began to conceive an horror suitable to the guilt of such a murder. In this juncture his council came to his assistance. But what did his council? They found him out a philosopher who gave him comfort. And in what manner did this philosopher comfort him for the loss of such a man, and heal his conscience, flagrant with the smart of such a crime? You have the matter at length in Plutarch. He told him, "that let a sovereign do what he wilt, all his actions are just and lawful, because they are his.
Edmund Burke (The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 01 (Of 12))
A friend of mine commented yesterday that she has experienced similar insights that I talked about that all enlightened Masters and founders of religion are actually talking about the same ocean, the same invisible life source, the same God. She also said that she worked in a Christan environment at the time that she received these insights, and when she tried to share these insights with the Christians she was accused of being "impure" and of being associated with the "Devil". Christians hold on to the idea that Jesus was the only son of God, without realizing that we are all son's and daughter's of God. By holding on to the idea that Jesus is the only son of God, they do not either to realize that all enlightened Masters are talking about the same God. Jesus did not talk about faith, he talked about trust. He talked about discovering a trust in yourself and in relationship to God. Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within you. In Christianity, the church has become the intermediate between man and God, and people who claim that they have found a direct relationship to God are accused of blasphemy. The Christan church has become a barrier between man and God, and anyone who has declared that he has found a direct relationship to God are immediately banned by the church, for example Master Eckhart and Franciskus of Assisi. I have always had a deep love for Jesus, but it is not the picture of Jesus that the Christian church presents. I was a disciple of Jesus in a former life, and was thrown to the lions in Colosseum in Rome as one of the early Christians. Jesus had many more disciples than the twelve disciples mentioned in The Bible. In this life, I resigned my automatic membership in the church as soon as I could think for myself when I was 15 years old. I was also disgusted with an organization that said that they preached love and which has murdered more people than Hitler. My experience with these rare and precious insights are that they expand our consciousness of reality. They are gradual initiations into reality. They may fade away, but we will never be the same again after receiving them. They will also come more and more, the more committment we have to our spiritual growth.
Swami Dhyan Giten
When I learned my mom was going to die of cancer at the age of forty-five, I felt the same way. I didn’t even believe in God, but I still felt that he owed me something. I had the gall to think How dare he? I couldn’t help myself. I’m a selfish brute. I wanted what I wanted and I expected it to be given to me by a God in whom I had no faith. Because mercy had always more or less been granted me, I assumed it always would be. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t granted to my friend whose eighteen-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver either. Nor was it granted to my other friend who learned her baby is going to die of a genetic disorder in the not-distant future. Nor was it granted to my former student whose mother was murdered by her father before he killed himself. It was not granted to all those people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they came up against the wrong virus or military operation or famine or carcinogenic or genetic mutation or natural disaster or maniac. Countless people have been devastated for reasons that cannot be explained or justified in spiritual terms. To do as you are doing in asking If there were a God, why would he let my little girl have to have possibly life-threatening surgery?— understandable as that question is—creates a false hierarchy of the blessed and the damned. To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason. It fails to acknowledge that the other half of rising—the very half that makes rising necessary— is having first been nailed to the cross. That
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who's Been There)
We have no obligation to endure or enable certain types of certain toxic relationships. The Christian ethic muddies these waters because we attach the concept of long-suffering to these damaging connections. We prioritize proximity over health, neglecting good boundaries and adopting a Savior role for which we are ill-equipped. Who else we'll deal with her?, we say. Meanwhile, neither of you moves towards spiritual growth. She continues toxic patterns and you spiral in frustration, resentment and fatigue. Come near, dear one, and listen. You are not responsible for the spiritual health of everyone around you. Nor must you weather the recalcitrant behavior of others. It is neither kind nor gracious to enable. We do no favors for an unhealthy friend by silently enduring forever. Watching someone create chaos without accountability is not noble. You won't answer for the destructive habits of an unsafe person. You have a limited amount of time and energy and must steward it well. There is a time to stay the course and a time to walk away. There's a tipping point when the effort becomes useless, exhausting beyond measure. You can't pour antidote into poison forever and expect it to transform into something safe, something healthy. In some cases, poison is poison and the only sane response is to quit drinking it. This requires honest self evaluation, wise counselors, the close leadership of the Holy Spirit, and a sober assessment of reality. Ask, is the juice worth the squeeze here. And, sometimes, it is. You might discover signs of possibility through the efforts, or there may be necessary work left and it's too soon to assess. But when an endless amount of blood, sweat and tears leaves a relationship unhealthy, when there is virtually no redemption, when red flags are frantically waved for too long, sometimes the healthiest response is to walk away. When we are locked in a toxic relationship, spiritual pollution can murder everything tender and Christ-like in us. And a watching world doesn't always witness those private kill shots. Unhealthy relationships can destroy our hope, optimism, gentleness. We can lose our heart and lose our way while pouring endless energy into an abyss that has no bottom. There is a time to put redemption in the hands of God and walk away before destroying your spirit with futile diligence.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
If she captured Tamlin’s power once, who’s to say she can’t do it again?” It was the question I hadn’t yet dared voice. “He won’t be tricked again so easily,” he said, staring up at the ceiling. “Her biggest weapon is that she keeps our powers contained. But she can’t access them, not wholly—though she can control us through them. It’s why I’ve never been able to shatter her mind—why she’s not dead already. The moment you break Amarantha’s curse, Tamlin’s wrath will be so great that no force in the world will keep him from splattering her on the walls.” A chill went through me. “Why do you think I’m doing this?” He waved a hand to me. “Because you’re a monster.” He laughed. “True, but I’m also a pragmatist. Working Tamlin into a senseless fury is the best weapon we have against her. Seeing you enter into a fool’s bargain with Amarantha was one thing, but when Tamlin saw my tattoo on your arm … Oh, you should have been born with my abilities, if only to have felt the rage that seeped from him.” I didn’t want to think much about his abilities. “Who’s to say he won’t splatter you as well?” “Perhaps he’ll try—but I have a feeling he’ll kill Amarantha first. That’s what it all boils down to, anyway: even your servitude to me can be blamed on her. So he’ll kill her tomorrow, and I’ll be free before he can start a fight with me that will reduce our once-sacred mountain to rubble.” He picked at his nails. “And I have a few other cards to play.” I lifted my brows in silent question. “Feyre, for Cauldron’s sake. I drug you, but you don’t wonder why I never touch you beyond your waist or arms?” Until tonight—until that damned kiss. I gritted my teeth, but even as my anger rose, a picture cleared. “It’s the only claim I have to innocence,” he said, “the only thing that will make Tamlin think twice before entering into a battle with me that would cause a catastrophic loss of innocent life. It’s the only way I can convince him I was on your side. Believe me, I would have liked nothing more than to enjoy you—but there are bigger things at stake than taking a human woman to my bed.” I knew, but I still asked, “Like what?” “Like my territory,” he said, and his eyes held a far-off look that I hadn’t yet seen. “Like my remaining people, enslaved to a tyrant queen who can end their lives with a single word. Surely Tamlin expressed similar sentiments to you.” He hadn’t—not entirely. He hadn’t been able to, thanks to the curse. “Why did Amarantha target you?” I dared ask. “Why make you her whore?” “Beyond the obvious?” He gestured to his perfect face. When I didn’t smile, he loosed a breath. “My father killed Tamlin’s father—and his brothers.” I started. Tamlin had never said—never told me the Night Court was responsible for that. “It’s a long story, and I don’t feel like getting into it, but let’s just say that when she stole our lands out from under us, Amarantha decided that she especially wanted to punish the son of her friend’s murderer—decided that she hated me enough for my father’s deeds that I was to suffer.” I might have reached a hand toward him, might have offered my apologies—but every thought had dried up in my head. What Amarantha had done to him … “So,” he said wearily, “here we are, with the fate of our immortal world in the hands of an illiterate human.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
They came late to the empty land and looked with bitterness upon the six wolves watching them from the horizon's rim. With them was a herd of goats and a dozen black sheep. They took no account of the wolves' possession of this place, for in their minds ownership was the human crown that none other had the right to wear. The beasts were content to share in survival's struggle, in hunt and quarry, and the braying goats and bawling sheep had soft throats and carelessness was a common enough flaw among herds; and they had not yet learned the manner of these two-legged intruders. Herds were fed upon by many creatures. Often the wolves shared their meals with the crows and coyotes, and had occasion to argue with lumbering bears over a delectable prize. When I came upon the herders and their longhouse on a flat above the valley, I found six wolf skulls spiked above the main door. In my travels as a minstrel I knew enough that I had no need to ask - this was a tale woven into our kind, after all. No words, either, for the bear skins on the walls, the antelope hides and elk racks. Not a brow lifted for the mound of bhederin bones in the refuse pit, or the vultures killed by the poison-baited meat left for the coyotes. That night I sang and spun tales for my keep. Songs of heroes and great deeds and they were pleased enough and the beer was passing and the shank stew palatable. Poets are sembling creatures, capable of shrugging into the skin of man, woman, child and beast. There are some among them secretly marked, sworn to the cults of the wilderness. And that night I shared out my poison and in the morning I left a lifeless house where not a dog remained to cry, and I sat upon a hill with my pipe, summoning once more the wild beasts. I defend their ownership when they cannot, and make no defence against the charge of murder; but temper your horror, friends: there is no universal law that places a greater value upon human life over that of a wild beast. Why would you ever imagine otherwise?
Steven Erikson
About his madmen Mr. Lecky was no more certain. He knew less than the little to be learned of the causes or even of the results of madness. Yet for practical purposes one can imagine all that is necessary. As long as maniacs walk like men, you must come close to them to penetrate so excellent a disguise. Once close, you have joined the true werewolf. Pick for your companion a manic-depressive, afflicted by any of the various degrees of mania - chronic, acute, delirious. Usually more man than wolf, he will be instructive. His disorder lies in the very process of his thinking, rather than in the content of his thought. He cannot wait a minute for the satisfaction of his fleeting desires or the fulfillment of his innumerable schemes. Nor can he, for two minutes, be certain of his intention or constant in any plan or agreement. Presently you may hear his failing made manifest in the crazy concatenation of his thinking aloud, which psychiatrists call "flight of ideas." Exhausted suddenly by this riotous expense of speech and spirit, he may subside in an apathy dangerous and morose, which you will be well advised not to disturb. Let the man you meet be, instead, a paretic. He has taken a secret departure from your world. He dwells amidst choicest, most dispendious superlatives. In his arm he has the strength to lift ten elephants. He is already two hundred years old. He is more than nine feet high; his chest is of iron, his right leg is silver, his incomparable head is one whole ruby. Husband of a thousand wives, he has begotten on them ten thousand children. Nothing is mean about him; his urine is white wine; his faeces are always soft gold. However, despite his splendor and his extraordinary attainments, he cannot successfully pronounce the words: electricity, Methodist Episcopal, organization, third cavalry brigade. Avoid them. Infuriated by your demonstration of any accomplishment not his, he may suddenly kill you. Now choose for your friend a paranoiac, and beware of the wolf! His back is to the wall, his implacable enemies are crowding on him. He gets no rest. He finds no starting hole to hide him. Ten times oftener than the Apostle, he has been, through the violence of the unswerving malice which pursues him, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Now that, face to face with him, you simulate innocence and come within his reach, what pity can you expect? You showed him none; he will certainly not show you any. Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, 0 Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen. Mr. Lecky's maniacs lay in wait to slash a man's head half off, to perform some erotic atrocity of disembowelment on a woman. Here, they fed thoughtlessly on human flesh; there, wishing to play with him, they plucked the mangled Tybalt from his shroud. The beastly cunning of their approach, the fantastic capriciousness of their intention could not be very well met or provided for. In his makeshift fort everywhere encircled by darkness, Mr. Lecky did not care to meditate further on the subject.
James Gould Cozzens (Castaway)
Where is everybody?” “Hiding,” she said. “Except for Doolittle. He was excused from the chewing-out due to having been kidnapped. He’s napping now like he doesn’t have a care in the world. I got to hear all sorts of interesting stuff through the door.” “Give.” She shot me a sly smile. “First, I got to listen to Jim’s ‘it’s all my fault; I did it all by myself’ speech. Then I got to listen to Derek’s ‘it’s all my fault and I did it all by myself’ speech. Then Curran promised that the next person who wanted to be a martyr would get to be one. Then Raphael made a very growling speech about how he was here for a blood debt. It was his right to have restitution for the injury caused to the friend of the boudas; it was in the damn clan charter on such and such page. And if Curran wanted to have an issue with it, they could take it outside. It was terribly dramatic and ridiculous. I loved it.” I could actually picture Curran sitting there, his hand on his forehead above his closed eyes, growling quietly in his throat. “Then Dali told him that she was sick and tired of being treated like she was made out of glass and she wanted blood and to kick ass.” That would do him in. “So what did he say?” “He didn’t say anything for about a minute and then he chewed them out. He told Derek that he’d been irresponsible with Livie’s life, and that if he was going to rescue somebody, the least he could do is to have a workable plan, instead of a poorly thought-out mess that backfired and broke just about every Pack law and got his face smashed in. He told Dali that if she wanted to be taken seriously, she had to accept responsibility for her own actions instead of pretending to be weak and helpless every time she got in trouble and that this was definitely not the venue to prove one’s toughness. Apparently he didn’t think her behavior was cute when she was fifteen and he’s not inclined to tolerate it now that she’s twenty-eight.” I was cracking up. “He told Raphael that the blood debt overrode Pack law only in cases of murder or life-threatening injury and quoted the page of the clan charter and the section number where that could be found. He said that frivolous challenges to the alpha also violated Pack law and were punishable by isolation. It was an awesome smackdown. They had no asses left when he was done.” Andrea began snapping the gun parts together. “Then he sentenced the three of them and himself to eight weeks of hard labor, building the north wing addition to the Keep, and dismissed them. They ran out of there like their hair was on fire.” “He sentenced himself?” “He’s broken Pack law by participating in our silliness, apparently.” That’s Beast Lord for you. “And Jim?” “Oh, he got a special chewing-out after everybody else was dismissed. It was a very quiet and angry conversation, and I didn’t hear most of it. I heard the end, though—he got three months of Keep building. Also, when he opened the door to leave, Curran told him very casually that if Jim wanted to pick fights with his future mate, he was welcome to do so, but he should keep in mind that Curran wouldn’t come and rescue him when you beat his ass. You should’ve seen Jim’s face.” “His what?” “His mate. M-A-T-E.” I cursed. Andrea grinned. “I thought that would make your day. And now you’re stuck with him in here for three days and you get to fight together in the Arena. It’s so romantic. Like a honeymoon.” Once again my mental conditioning came in handy. I didn’t strangle her on the spot.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
(Inevitably, someone raises the question about World War II: What if Christians had refused to fight against Hitler? My answer is a counterquestion: What if the Christians in Germany had emphatically refused to fight for Hitler, refused to carry out the murders in concentration camps?) The long history of Christian “just wars” has wrought suffering past all telling, and there is no end in sight. As Yoder has suggested, Niebuhr’s own insight about the “irony of history” ought to lead us to recognize the inadequacy of our reason to shape a world that tends toward justice through violence. Might it be that reason and sad experience could disabuse us of the hope that we can approximate God’s justice through killing? According to the guideline I have proposed, reason must be healed and taught by Scripture, and our experience must be transformed by the renewing of our minds in conformity with the mind of Christ. Only thus can our warring madness be overcome. This would mean, practically speaking, that Christians would have to relinquish positions of power and influence insofar as the exercise of such positions becomes incompatible with the teaching and example of Jesus. This might well mean, as Hauerwas has perceived, that the church would assume a peripheral status in our culture, which is deeply committed to the necessity and glory of violence. The task of the church then would be to tell an alternative story, to train disciples in the disciplines necessary to resist the seductions of violence, to offer an alternative home for those who will not worship the Beast. If the church is to be a Scripture-shaped community, it will find itself reshaped continually into a closer resemblance to the socially marginal status of Matthew’s nonviolent countercultural community. To articulate such a theological vision for the church at the end of the twentieth century may be indeed to take most seriously what experience is telling us: the secular polis has no tolerance for explicitly Christian witness and norms. It is increasingly the case in Western culture that Christians can participate in public governance only insofar as they suppress their explicitly Christian motivations. Paradoxically, the Christian community might have more impact upon the world if it were less concerned about appearing reasonable in the eyes of the world and more concerned about faithfully embodying the New Testament’s teaching against violence. Let it be said clearly, however, that the reasons for choosing Jesus’ way of peacemaking are not prudential. In calculable terms, this way is sheer folly. Why do we choose the way of nonviolent love of enemies? If our reasons for that choice are shaped by the New Testament, we are motivated not by the sheer horror of war, not by the desire for saving our own skins and the skins of our children (if we are trying to save our skins, pacifism is a very poor strategy), not by some general feeling of reverence for human life, not by the naive hope that all people are really nice and will be friendly if we are friendly first. No, if our reasons for choosing nonviolence are shaped by the New Testament witness, we act in simple obedience to the God who willed that his own Son should give himself up to death on a cross. We make this choice in the hope and anticipation that God’s love will finally prevail through the way of the cross, despite our inability to see how this is possible. That is the life of discipleship to which the New Testament repeatedly calls us. When the church as a community is faithful to that calling, it prefigures the peaceable kingdom of God in a world wracked by violence.
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New CreationA Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethic)
Well, she would marry a man who didn't need or want her fortune. Mr. Pinter didn't fall into that category. And given how blank his expression became as his gaze met hers, she'd been right to be skeptical. he would never be interested in her in that way. He confirmed it by saying, with his usual formality, "I doubt any man would consider your ladyship unacceptable as a wife." Oh, when he turned all hoity-toity, she could just murder him. "Then we agree that the gentlemen in question would find me satisfactory," she said, matching his cold tone. "So I don't see why you assume they'd be unfaithful." "Some men are unfaithful no matter how beautiful their wives are," Mr. Pinter growled. He thought her beautiful? There she went again, reading too much into his words. He was only making a point. "But you have no reason to believe that these gentleman would be. Unless there's some dark secret you already know about them that I do not?" Glancing away, he muttered a curse under his breath. "No." "Then here's your chance to find out the truth about their characters. Because I prefer facts to opinions. And I was under the impression that you do, too." Take that, Mr. Pinter! Hoist by your own petard. The man always insisted on sticking to the facts. And he was well aware that she'd caught him out, for he scowled, then crossed his arms over his chest. His rather impressive chest, from what she could tell beneath his black coat and plain buff waistcoat. "I can't believe I'm the only person who would object to these gentlemen," he said. "What about your grandmother? Have you consulted her?" She lifted her eyes heavenward. He was being surprisingly resistant to her plans. "I don't need to. Every time one of them asks to dance with me, she beams. She's forever urging me to smile at them or attempt flirtation. And if they so much as press my hand or take my for a stroll, she quizzes me with great glee on what was said and done." "She's been letting you go out on private strolls with these scoundrels?" Mr. Pinter said in sheer outrage. "They aren't scoundrels." "I swear to God, you're a lamb among the wolves," he muttered. That image of her, so unlike how she saw herself, made her laugh. "I've spent half my life in the company of my brothers. Every time Gabe went to shoot, I went with him. At every house party that involved his friends, I was urged to show off my abilities with a rifle. I think I know how to handle a man, Mr. Pinter." His glittering gaze bored into her. "There's a vast difference between gamboling about in your brother's company with a group of his friends and letting a rakehell like Devonmont or a devilish foreigner like Basto stroll alone with you down some dark garden path." A blush heated her cheeks. "I didn't mean strolls of that sort, sir. I meant daytime walks about our gardens and such, with servants in plain view. All perfectly innocent." He snorted. "I doubt it will stay that way." "Oh, for heaven's sake, why are you being so stubborn? You know I must marry. Why do you even care whom I choose?" "I don't care," he protested. "I'm merely thinking of how much of my time will be wasted investigating suitors I already know are unacceptable." She let out an exasperated breath. Of course. With him, it was always about money. Heaven forbid he should waste his time helping her.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
WHEN I DESCRIBED THE TUMOR IN MY ESOPHAGUS as a “blind, emotionless alien,” I suppose that even I couldn’t help awarding it some of the qualities of a living thing. This at least I know to be a mistake: an instance of the pathetic fallacy (angry cloud, proud mountain, presumptuous little Beaujolais) by which we ascribe animate qualities to inanimate phenomena. To exist, a cancer needs a living organism, but it cannot ever become a living organism. Its whole malice—there I go again—lies in the fact that the “best” it can do is to die with its host. Either that or its host will find the measures with which to extirpate and outlive it. But, as I knew before I became ill, there are some people for whom this explanation is unsatisfying. To them, a rodent carcinoma really is a dedicated, conscious agent—a slow–acting suicide–murderer—on a consecrated mission from heaven. You haven’t lived, if I can put it like this, until you have read contributions such as this on the websites of the faithful: Who else feels Christopher Hitchens getting terminal throat cancer [sic] was God’s revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him? Atheists like to ignore FACTS. They like to act like everything is a “coincidence.” Really? It’s just a “coincidence” [that] out of any part of his body, Christopher Hitchens got cancer in the one part of his body he used for blasphemy? Yeah, keep believing that, Atheists. He’s going to writhe in agony and pain and wither away to nothing and then die a horrible agonizing death, and THEN comes the real fun, when he’s sent to HELLFIRE forever to be tortured and set afire. There are numerous passages in holy scripture and religious tradition that for centuries made this kind of gloating into a mainstream belief. Long before it concerned me particularly I had understood the obvious objections. First, which mere primate is so damn sure that he can know the mind of god? Second, would this anonymous author want his views to be read by my unoffending children, who are also being given a hard time in their way, and by the same god? Third, why not a thunderbolt for yours truly, or something similarly awe–inspiring? The vengeful deity has a sadly depleted arsenal if all he can think of is exactly the cancer that my age and former “lifestyle” would suggest that I got. Fourth, why cancer at all? Almost all men get cancer of the prostate if they live long enough: It’s an undignified thing but quite evenly distributed among saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers. If you maintain that god awards the appropriate cancers, you must also account for the numbers of infants who contract leukemia. Devout persons have died young and in pain. Betrand Russell and Voltaire, by contrast, remained spry until the end, as many psychopathic criminals and tyrants have also done. These visitations, then, seem awfully random. My so far uncancerous throat, let me rush to assure my Christian correspondent above, is not at all the only organ with which I have blasphemed. And even if my voice goes before I do, I shall continue to write polemics against religious delusions, at least until it’s hello darkness my old friend. In which case, why not cancer of the brain? As a terrified, half–aware imbecile, I might even scream for a priest at the close of business, though I hereby state while I am still lucid that the entity thus humiliating itself would not in fact be “me.” (Bear this in mind, in case of any later rumors or fabrications.)
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
In the Middle Ages, marriage was considered a sacrament ordained by God, and God also authorised the father to marry his children according to his wishes and interests. An extramarital affair was accordingly a brazen rebellion against both divine and parental authority. It was a mortal sin, no matter what the lovers felt and thought about it. Today people marry for love, and it is their inner feelings that give value to this bond. Hence, if the very same feelings that once drove you into the arms of one man now drive you into the arms of another, what’s wrong with that? If an extramarital affair provides an outlet for emotional and sexual desires that are not satisfied by your spouse of twenty years, and if your new lover is kind, passionate and sensitive to your needs – why not enjoy it? But wait a minute, you might say. We cannot ignore the feelings of the other concerned parties. The woman and her lover might feel wonderful in each other’s arms, but if their respective spouses find out, everybody will probably feel awful for quite some time. And if it leads to divorce, their children might carry the emotional scars for decades. Even if the affair is never discovered, hiding it involves a lot of tension, and may lead to growing feelings of alienation and resentment. The most interesting discussions in humanist ethics concern situations like extramarital affairs, when human feelings collide. What happens when the same action causes one person to feel good, and another to feel bad? How do we weigh the feelings against each other? Do the good feelings of the two lovers outweigh the bad feelings of their spouses and children? It doesn’t matter what you think about this particular question. It is far more important to understand the kind of arguments both sides deploy. Modern people have differing ideas about extramarital affairs, but no matter what their position is, they tend to justify it in the name of human feelings rather than in the name of holy scriptures and divine commandments. Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad. Murder is wrong not because some god once said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Rather, murder is wrong because it causes terrible suffering to the victim, to his family members, and to his friends and acquaintances. Theft is wrong not because some ancient text says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Rather, theft is wrong because when you lose your property, you feel bad about it. And if an action does not cause anyone to feel bad, there can be nothing wrong about it. If the same ancient text says that God commanded us not to make any images of either humans or animals (Exodus 20:4), but I enjoy sculpting such figures, and I don’t harm anyone in the process – then what could possibly be wrong with it? The same logic dominates current debates on homosexuality. If two adult men enjoy having sex with one another, and they don’t harm anyone while doing so, why should it be wrong, and why should we outlaw it? It is a private matter between these two men, and they are free to decide about it according to their inner feelings. In the Middle Ages, if two men confessed to a priest that they were in love with one another, and that they never felt so happy, their good feelings would not have changed the priest’s damning judgement – indeed, their happiness would only have worsened the situation. Today, in contrast, if two men love one another, they are told: ‘If it feels good – do it! Don’t let any priest mess with your mind. Just follow your heart. You know best what’s good for you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)