Over Speed Kills Quotes

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Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
All the general fear I've been feeling condenses into an immediate fear of this girl, this predator who might kill me in seconds. Adrenaline shoots through me and I sling the pack over one shoulder and run full-speed for the woods. I can hear the blade whistling toward me and reflexively hike the pack up to protect my head. The blade lodges in the pack. Both straps on my shoulders now, I make for the trees. Somehow I knew the girl will not pursue me. That she'll be drawn back into the Cornucopia before all the good stuff is gone. A grin crosses my face. Thanks for the knife, I think.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Lydia screamed. The car began to swerve all over the street. "YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH! I'LL KILL YOU!" She crossed the double yellow line at high speed, directly into oncoming traffic. Horns sounded and cars scattered. We drove on against the flow of traffic, cars approaching us peeling off to the left and right. Then just as abruptly Lydia swerved back across the double line into the lane we had just vacated. Where are the police? I thought. Why is it that when Lydia does something the police become nonexistent?
Charles Bukowski (Women)
In the cage is the lion. She paces with her memories. Her body is a record of her past. As she moves back and forth, one may see it all: the lean frame, the muscular legs, the paw enclosing long sharp claws, the astonishing speed of her response. She was born in this garden. She has never in her life stretched those legs. Never darted farther than twenty yards at a time. Only once did she use her claws. Only once did she feel them sink into flesh. And it was her keeper's flesh. Her keeper whom she loves, who feeds her, who would never dream of harming her, who protects her. Who in his mercy forgave her mad attack, saying this was in her nature, to be cruel at a whim, to try to kill what she loves. He had come into her cage as he usually did early in the morning to change her water, always at the same time of day, in the same manner, speaking softly to her, careful to make no sudden movement, keeping his distance, when suddenly she sank down, deep down into herself, the way wild animals do before they spring, and then she had risen on all her strong legs, and swiped him in one long, powerful, graceful movement across the arm. How lucky for her he survived the blow. The keeper and his friends shot her with a gun to make her sleep. Through her half-open lids she knew they made movements around her. They fed her with tubes. They observed her. They wrote comments in notebooks. And finally they rendered a judgment. She was normal. She was a normal wild beast, whose power is dangerous, whose anger can kill, they had said. Be more careful of her, they advised. Allow her less excitement. Perhaps let her exercise more. She understood none of this. She understood only the look of fear in her keeper's eyes. And now she paces. Paces as if she were angry, as if she were on the edge of frenzy. The spectators imagine she is going through the movements of the hunt, or that she is readying her body for survival. But she knows no life outside the garden. She has no notion of anger over what she could have been, or might be. No idea of rebellion. It is only her body that knows of these things, moving her, daily, hourly, back and forth, back and forth, before the bars of her cage.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed--run over, maimed, destroyed--but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each. Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error,a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime. There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled;it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because any one of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself,I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful. If there was any "sin," it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene deceased To Ray deceased To Francy permanent psychosis To Kathy permanent brain damage To Jim deceased To Val massive permanent brain damage To Nancy permanent psychosis To Joanne permanent brain damage To Maren deceased To Nick deceased To Terry deceased To Dennis deceased To Phil permanent pancreatic damage To Sue permanent vascular damage To Jerri permanent psychosis and vascular damage . . . and so forth. In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
For an instant it was very peaceful … and then it was like being shot off the road by a bazooka, but with no noise. Neither a deer on a hillside nor a man on a battlefield ever hears the shot that kills him, and a man going over the high side on a motorcycle hears the same kind of high-speed silence.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
DEE DEE RAMONE: Sid Vicious followed me all over the place...the worst time was one night when we had a big party...They were serving beer and wine, and everybody was bombed. The whole bathroom was filled with puke -- in the sink, in the toilets, on the floor. It was really disgusting...All of a sudden I had a huge amount of speed in my hand. I started sniffing it like crazy. I was so high. And then I saw Sid and he said, 'Do you have anything to get high?' I said, 'Yeah, I got some speed'. So Sid pulled out a set of works and put a whole bunch of speed in the syringe and then stuck the needle in the toilet with all the puke and piss in there and loaded it. He didn't cook it up. He just shook it, stuck it in his arm, and got off. I just looked at him. I'd seen it all by then. He just looked at me kind of dazed and said, 'Man, where did you get this stuff?'.
Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk)
Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of an entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that has seams tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears, and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies. But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks. The drinks, people. That was me on the staircase to Chicago-Over-Chicago. Yes, I was standing on nothing but congealed starlight. Yes, I was walking up through a savage storm, the wind threatening to tear me off and throw me into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan far below. Yes, I was using a legendary and enchanted means of travel to transcend the border between one dimension and the next, and on my way to an epic struggle between ancient and elemental forces. But all I could think to say, between panting breaths, was, 'Yeah. Sure. They couldn’t possibly have made this an escalator.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
Really, we're fighting because she raised me to never forget I was born on parole, which means no black hoodies in wrong neighborhoods, no jogging at night, hands in plain sight at all times in public, no intimate relationships with white women, never driving over the speed limit or doing those rolling stops at stop signs, always speaking the King's English in the presence of white folks, never being outperformed in school or in public by white students, and, most importantly, always remembering that no matter what, the worst of white folks will do anything to get you.
Kiese Laymon (How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America)
Speed Bump Q. How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? —Myrlin Barber A. Surprisingly fast. First, a disclaimer. After reading this answer, don’t try to drive over speed bumps at high speeds. Here are some reasons: You could hit and kill someone. It can destroy your tires, suspension, and potentially your entire car. Have you read any of the other answers in this book?
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
Once I loved life ad the sun was a golden joy. But joy is sometimes short lived, priest. And when it dies, a man will seek inside himself and ask: Why? Why hate is so much stronger than love? Why the wicked reap such rich rewards? Why do strenght and speed count for more than morality and kindness? And then the man realizes...there are no answers. None. And for the sake of his sanity the man must change perceptions. Once I was a lamb, playing in a green field. Then the wolves came. Now I am a eagle, and I fly in a different universe.' 'And now you kill the lambs', whispered Dardalion. Waylander chuckled and turned over. 'No, priest. No one pays for lambs
David Gemmell (Waylander (The Drenai Saga #3))
An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the Earth’s atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn’t get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and the temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvin, or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor’s path—people, houses, factories, cars—would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame. One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the Earth’s surface, where the people of Manson had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn’t been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it. For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light—the brightest ever seen by human eyes—followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a roiling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone in a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look in the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion. Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had once been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities—the whole of the Midwest, in short—nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish. But that’s just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the globe would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that at least a billion and a half people would be dead by the end of the first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean “selecting a slow death over a quick one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since Earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
There was something else amusing about the house: the irony that the most important battle of the American Revolution--the shoot-out at the Old North Bridge--had taken place just outside the residence of the pacifist Ralph Waldo Emerson. True, Emerson was born after the battle in 1803, but his grandfather had been living in the house at the time of the Revolution, and the juxtaposition of such pacifism against such violence struck Paul as a symbol of an eternal truth about American history: Nixon, that goofy Vietnam War mortician, was right: the silent majority ruled (not the rebellious, pacifist fringe); the majority killed for their property; and there was nothing really revolutionary about the minutemen , who won a war and took over the entire country to ultimately build fast-food restaurants and Disneyland while abolitionists, pacifists, hippies, and environmentalists were left to make well-intended flatulent noises--to write poems such as Ginsberg's "Howl"--in books for other defeated noisemakers.
Josh Barkan (Blind Speed: A Novel)
He twisted back to the slaver, who was clearly at a loss for who posed more of a threat: Aeduan or the mountain bat. To Aeduan, the answer was obvious. “You should run now,” he warned the man. “Or I will kill you.” The man’s lips curled back. “Seven of us and only one of you.” He grabbed Aeduan’s shirt. “Exactly,” Aeduan said. “Which is why you should be running.” Then, with a speed that no man could match, he clutched the man’s hand to his chest, and punched up. His fist connected just above the elbow, breaking the joint and snapping the humerus in two. Bone tore through flesh; the man screamed. This was only the beginning. With the man’s arm angled in a way it was never meant to be, Aeduan thrust the limp elbow toward the man’s neck. The jagged tip of bone that had erupted outward now pierced soft throat. The man’s beard was instantly red, and with a soft flick of his wrists, Aeduan pushed the body over. After that, everything was a blur of shaking earth and screams and blood. Of terror that expanded in men’s pupils when they realized that they were going to die.
Susan Dennard (Windwitch (The Witchlands, #2))
Since it morphed from “battle fatigue” or “shell shock” into a formal psychiatric illness, combat PTSD has been framed as a result of the sheer terror of being under attack, of someone trying to kill you and those around you. As we’ve seen, it is an illness where fear conditioning is overgeneralized and pathological, an amygdala grown large, hyperreactive, and convinced that you are never safe. But consider drone pilots—soldiers who sit in control rooms in the United States, directing drones on the other side of the planet. They are not in danger. Yet their rates of PTSD are just as high as those of soldiers actually “in” war. Why? Drone pilots do something horrifying and fascinating, a type of close-range, intimate killing like nothing in history, using imaging technology of extraordinary quality. A target is identified, and a drone might be positioned invisibly high in the sky over the person’s house for weeks, the drone operators always watching, waiting, say, for a gathering of targets in the house. You watch the target coming and going, eating dinner, taking a nap on his deck, playing with his kids. And then comes the command to fire, to release your Hellfire missile at supersonic speed.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Now don’t go too fast, John,” Mama said. “And be careful of the curve at the bottom of the hill. Sometimes Mr. Pettengill’s cattle get out and block the road.” “Yes, ma’am.” John cranked up the engine. The car shook and trembled and made a series of loud popping noises before it began to roll down the driveway, picking up speed as it went. “Hooray!” shouted Theo. “Hooray!” “Heavens to Betsy,” Mama cried, “slow down, John. Do you want to kill us?” Leaning over the seat, I estimated we were going all of ten or fifteen miles per hour. “It’s a good thing there aren’t more motorcars on the road,” Mama said. “If everyone drove like you, we’d never make it to town in one piece.” Hannah gave her mother an agonized look. “Mama,” she whispered, “John knows how to drive.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
There is an inherent, humbling cruelty to learning how to run white water. In most other so-called "adrenaline" sports—skiing, surfing and rock climbing come to mind—one attains mastery, or the illusion of it, only after long apprenticeship, after enduring falls and tumbles, the fatigue of training previously unused muscles, the discipline of developing a new and initially awkward set of skills. Running white water is fundamentally different. With a little luck one is immediately able to travel long distances, often at great speeds, with only a rudimentary command of the sport's essential skills and about as much physical stamina as it takes to ride a bicycle downhill. At the beginning, at least, white-water adrenaline comes cheap. It's the river doing the work, of course, but like a teenager with a hot car, one forgets what the true power source is. Arrogance reigns. The river seems all smoke and mirrors, lots of bark (you hear it chortling away beneath you, crunching boulders), but not much bite. You think: Let's get on with it! Let's run this damn river! And then maybe the raft hits a drop in the river— say, a short, hidden waterfall. Or maybe a wave reaches up and flicks the boat on its side as easily as a horse swatting flies with its tail. Maybe you're thrown suddenly into the center of the raft, and the floor bounces back and punts you overboard. Maybe you just fall right off the side of the raft so fast you don't realize what's happening. It doesn't matter. The results are the same. The world goes dark. The river— the word hardly does justice to the churning mess enveloping you— the river tumbles you like so much laundry. It punches the air from your lungs. You're helpless. Swimming is a joke. You know for a fact that you are drowning. For the first time you understand the strength of the insouciant monster that has swallowed you. Maybe you travel a hundred feet before you surface (the current is moving that fast). And another hundred feet—just short of a truly fearsome plunge, one that will surely kill you— before you see the rescue lines. You're hauled to shore wearing a sheepish grin and a look in your eye that is equal parts confusion, respect, and raw fear. That is River Lesson Number One. Everyone suffers it. And every time you get the least bit cocky, every time you think you have finally figured out what the river is all about, you suffer it all over again.
Joe Kane (Running the Amazon)
Hard to imagine, but Dakotah herself was 99.98 percent wolf, including, you might suppose, the part of her that loved pursuing and catching things over and over at breakneck speed and delivering them back to her pack, in a faint echo of the chase. I’ve wondered if some dogs may feel a higher level of drive for such games, since it’s their only outlet for genetically programmed catch-and-kill hunting behavior. A wolf in the same situation seems more relaxed, more purely at play—certainly the case with the black wolf just then, and with other wild wolves I’ve seen. After all, wolves hunt to live, on a daily basis; fooling around with a toy is more of a break, quite separate from the serious business of living—having fun for the sheer sake of it. To high-drive Labs and border collies, fetch is often more than just a game; it’s their job, a dead serious business.
Nick Jans (A Wolf Called Romeo)
Your pupils are dilated." "It's a design flaw. It happens when sexy men get too close." A smile tugged at his lips. "You think I'm sexy?" "You are when you talk in that soft, deep voice and sit so close I can feel the heat of your body, and wear that craze-inducing cologne, and cradle my face like I'm a delicate flower." She licked her lips and his gaze fell to her soft, lush mouth. It was an invitation he couldn't ignore. "You forgot the part where I tried to kill you by crashing into a deer at high speed," he offered, just in case he was misreading the signs. "I'm trying not to remember it because you busted out some pretty slick moves to keep us from going over the cliff. Nothing sexier than a man who can stay calm in a crisis and save a girl so she can live to get fired another day. You, Sam Mehta, are a hero." She thought he was worthy. It was a balm to his soul.
Sara Desai (The Marriage Game)
Although Daisy was the mildest-tempered of all the Bowmans, she was by no means a coward. And she would not accept defeat without a fight. “You’re forcing me to take desperate measures,” she said. His reply was very soft. “There’s nothing you can do.” He had left her no choice. Daisy turned the key in the lock and carefully withdrew it. The decisive click was abnormally loud in the silence of the room. Calmly Daisy tugged the top edge of her bodice away from her chest. She held the key above the narrow gap. Matthew’s eyes widened as he understood what she intended. “You wouldn’t.” As he started around the dresser, Daisy dropped the key into her bodice, making certain it slipped beneath her corset. She sucked in her stomach and midriff until she felt the cold metal slide to her navel. “Damn it!” Matthew reached her with startling speed. He reached out to touch her, then jerked his hands back as if he had just encountered open flame. “Take it out,” he commanded, his face dark with outrage. “I can’t.” “I mean it, Daisy!” “It’s fallen too far down. I’ll have to take my dress off.” It was obvious he wanted to kill her. But she could also feel the force of his longing. His lungs were working like bellows, and scorching heat radiated from his body. His whisper contained the ferocity of a roar. “Don’t do this to me.” Daisy waited patiently. The next move was his. He turned his back to her, the seams of his coat straining over bunched muscles. His fists clenched as he struggled to master himself. He took a shuddering breath, and another, and when he spoke his voice sounded thick, as if he had just awakened from a heavy sleep. “Take off your gown.” Trying not to antagonize him any more than was necessary, Daisy replied in an apologetic tone. “I can’t do it by myself. It buttons up the back.” Matthew said something in a muffled voice that sounded very foul. After an eternity of silence he turned to face her. His jaw could have been cast in iron. “I’m not going to fall apart that easily. I can resist you, Daisy. I’ve had years of practice. Turn around.” Daisy obeyed. As she bent her head forward, she could actually feel his gaze travel over the endless row of pearl buttons. “How do you ever get undressed?” he muttered. “I’ve never seen so many blasted buttons on one garment.” “It’s fashionable.” “It’s ridiculous.” “You can send a letter of protest to Godey’s Lady’s Book,” she suggested. Giving a scornful snort, Matthew began on the top button. He tried to unfasten it while avoiding contact with her body. “It helps if you slide your fingers beneath the placket,” Daisy said. “And then you can pop the button through the—” “Quiet,” he snapped. She closed her mouth.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
Grabbing my hair and pulling it to the point my skull throbs, I rock back and forth while insanity threatens to destroy my mind completely. Father finally did what Lachlan started. Destroyed my spirit. The angel is gone. The monster has come and killed her. Lachlan Sipping his whiskey, Shon gazes with a bored expression at the one-way mirror as Arson lights the match, grazing the skin of his victim with it as the man convulses in fear. “Show off,” he mutters, and on instinct, I slap the back of his head. He rubs it, spilling the drink. “The fuck? We are wasting time, Lachlan. Tell him to speed up. You know if you let him, he can play for hours.” All in good time, we don’t need just a name. He is saving him for a different kind of information that we write down as Sociopath types furiously on his computer, searching for the location and everything else using FBI databases. “Bingo!” Sociopath mutters, picking up the laptop and showing the screen to me. “It’s seven hours away from New York, in a deserted location in the woods. The land belongs to some guy who is presumed dead and the man accrued the right to build shelters for abused women. They actually live there as a place of new hope or something.” Indeed, the center is advertised as such and has a bunch of stupid reviews about it. Even the approval of a social worker, but then it doesn’t surprise me. Pastor knows how to be convincing. “Kids,” I mutter, fisting my hands. “Most of them probably have kids. He continues to do his fucked-up shit.” And all these years, he has been under my radar. I throw the chair and it bounces off the wall, but no one says anything as they feel the same. “Shon, order a plane. Jaxon—” “Yeah, my brothers will be there with us. But listen, the FBI—” he starts, and I nod. He takes a beat and quickly sends a message to someone on his phone while I bark into the microphone. “Arson, enough with the bullshit. Kill him already.” He is of no use to us anyway. Arson looks at the wall and shrugs. Then pours gas on his victim and lights up the match simultaneously, stepping aside as the man screams and thrashes on the chair, and the smell of burning flesh can be sensed even here. Arson jogs to a hose, splashing water over him. The room is designed security wise for this kind of torture, since fire is one of the first things I taught. After all, I’d learned the hard way how to fight with it. “On the plane, we can adjust the plan. Let’s get moving.” They spring into action as I go to my room to get a specific folder to give to Levi before I go, when Sociopath’s hand stops me, bumping my shoulder. “Is this a suicide mission for you?” he asks, and I smile, although it lacks any humor. My friend knows everything. Instead of answering his question, I grip his shoulder tight, and confide, “Valencia is entrusted to you.” We both know that if I want to destroy Pastor, I have to die with him. This revenge has been twenty-three years in the making, and I never envisioned a different future. This path always leads to death one way or another, and the only reason I valued my life was because I had to kill him. Valencia will be forever free from the evils that destroyed her life. I’ll make sure of it. Once upon a time, there was an angel. Who made the monster’s heart bleed.
V.F. Mason (Lachlan's Protégé: A Billionaire Romance (Dark Protégés Book 1))
Once there was a boy. When the boy was 6 years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors - killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. The falcon didn't like the boy, and he didn't like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with his beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn't know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to train. But the boy tried, because his father had told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was ment to be easier to tame. He leard the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was ment to keep the bird blind, but he couldn't bring himself to do it - instead he tryed to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. He fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that the beak cut his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if it had to consume his blood to make that happen. He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like light. When it learned to circle and land on his wrist, he nearly shouted with delight. Sometimes the bird would hop to his sholder and but its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain that it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands, and broke its neck. 'I told you to make him obedient,' his father said, and dropped the falcon's lifeless body to the ground. "Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not ment to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.' Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he'd learned: That to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Jace City of Bones
William sees it all happen again. The pain is not in the event. The subjection to it and his powerless state each time is where his anguish lies. He is unable to influence the situation, despite his desire. He sees the nest outside his house. He sees the baby bird that fell. The mother bird cries frantically for her lost chick. William knows as he approaches the chick that if he touches it his scent will linger, and the mother will reject it. Circling around the fallen creature William hopes it will flee from him, back toward the tree from which it had fallen. His presence only intensifies the creature’s fear. It speeds to his left, heading for the street. Again William tries to flank the bird, but it is too frightened to return to the nest. The chick’s mother wails vainly. William walks into the street trying to herd the bird to safety. The stop light a block away has just turned green. The driver accelerates. William moves from the car’s path and it runs over the bird. The momentum from its wake lifts the bird to the underside of the car, breaking its neck, but not killing it. William watches the bird roll helplessly. It is silent for a second, before it begins to whimper. Its contorted head dangles limply from its body. The noise is tragic. The bird’s mother hears the chick’s pain, but nothing can be done. She laments. A second speeder crushes the chick, leaving only a wet feathered spot in the street. As the cars continue to pass, only one bird is heard. A mother’s grief falls deafly on an unconcerned world.
M.R. Gott (Where The Dead Fear to Tread)
Only the History of William Marshal described this encounter in close terms, though the broad details of its account were confirmed in other contemporary sources. One thing seems certain. This was to be no fair fight. So intent had Richard been upon hunting down his father, that he had begun his chase wearing only a doublet and light helm. This added speed to his pursuit, but left him dreadfully exposed to attack. Worse still, the Lionheart was armed with only a sword. Marshal, by contrast, had a shield and lance. The biographer described how: [William] spurred straight on to meet the advancing [Duke] Richard. When the [duke] saw him coming he shouted at the top of his voice: ‘God’s legs, Marshal! Don’t kill me. That would be a wicked thing to do, since you find me here completely unarmed.’ In that instant, Marshal could have slain Richard, skewering his body with the same lethal force that dispatched Patrick of Salisbury in 1168. Had there been more than a split second to ponder the choice, William might perhaps have reacted differently. As it was, instinct took over. Marshal simply could not bring himself to kill an un-armoured opponent, let alone the heir-apparent to the Angevin realm, King Henry II’s eldest surviving son. Instead, he was said to have shouted in reply: ‘Indeed I won’t. Let the Devil kill you! I shall not be the one to do it’, and at the last moment, lowering his lance fractionally, he drove it into Richard’s mount. With that ‘the horse died instantly; it never took another step forward’ and, as it fell, the Lionheart was thrown to the ground and his pursuit of the king brought to an end.
Thomas Asbridge (The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones)
Fifty miles out of Prague, the halved carcass of a freshly killed hog hangs, still steaming in the cold, from what looks like a child’s swing set. It’s a wet, drizzling morning and your feet are sopping and you’ve been warming yourself against the chill by huddling around the small fire over which a pot of pig parts boils. The butcher’s family and friends are drinking slivovitz and beer, and though noon is still a few hours off, you’ve had quite a few of both. Someone calls you inside to the tiled workspace, where the butcher has mixed the pig’s blood with cooked onions and spices and crumbs of country bread, and he’s ready to fill the casings. Usually, they slip the casing over a metal tube, turn on the grinding machine, cram in the forcemeat or filling, and the sausages fill like magic. This guy does it differently. He chops everything by hand. A wet mesa of black filling covers his cutting board, barely retaining its shape—yet he grabs the casing in one hand, puts two fingers in one open end, makes the “V” sign, stretching it disturbingly, and reaches with the other—then buries both his hands in the mix. A whirlwind of movement as he squeezes with his right hand, using his palm like a funnel, somehow squirting the bloody, barely containable stuff straight into the opening. He does this again and again with breathtaking speed, mowing his way across the wooden table, like a thresher cutting a row through a cornfield, a long, plump, rapidly growing, glistening, fully filled length of sausage engorging to his left as he moves. It’s a dark, purplish color through the translucent membrane. An assistant pinches off links, pins them with broken bits of wooden skewer. In moments, they are done.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
Leave . . . town? Really, Mr. Skukman, that might be taking matters a bit far. Why, the social season has just begun, and ticket sales have been quite brisk. Besides that, everyone knows that Mr. Grimstone, that oh-so-mysterious playwright of The Lady in the Tower, specifically requested that I play the part of the lead heroine. He’s certainly not going to be pleased if I abandon the role before the season gets into full swing. Why, he, as well as the theater, could suffer extensive losses.” “Losses or not, Mr. Grimstone will have no say in this, Miss Plum. Quite honestly, given his obvious esteem for you and your acting abilities, I have to imagine he’d prefer to find out you’ve gone missing over finding out you’ve stopped breathing.” “Silas doesn’t want to kill me, Mr. Skukman. He wants to acquire me.” “You and I both know you’d never allow him to acquire you, and from what I just saw down in the lobby, the man seems to be on the verge of losing his sanity. There’s a look in his eyes I don’t care for at all, which is why we’re going to get you into a hansom cab and on your way to Mrs. Hart’s brownstone. Once you’re there, I need you to pack as quickly as possible. I’ll be around to fetch you just as soon as I’m able.” “You want me to hire a cab instead of traveling to Abigail’s in my own carriage?” “Indeed. It’s not a complete secret that you now live with Mrs. Hart, which means it won’t be too difficult for Silas to discover your direction after he learns you no longer reside in the Lower East Side. I’m going to try and feed him a false trail that will hopefully allow us precious time to get away.” Before Lucetta had an opportunity to voice another protest, she found herself sitting in a musty smelling hansom cab, barreling down Broadway at a high rate of speed, the speed brought about from the extra money she’d seen Mr. Skukman hand the driver. Feeling
Jen Turano (Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own, #3))
Our team’s vision for the facility was a cross between a shooting range and a country club for special forces personnel. Clients would be able to schedule all manner of training courses in advance, and the gear and support personnel would be waiting when they arrived. There’d be seven shooting ranges with high gravel berms to cut down noise and absorb bullets, and we’d carve a grass airstrip, and have a special driving track to practice high-speed chases and real “defensive driving”—the stuff that happens when your convoy is ambushed. There would be a bunkhouse to sleep seventy. And nearby, the main headquarters would have the feel of a hunting lodge, with timber framing and high stone walls, with a large central fireplace where people could gather after a day on the ranges. This was the community I enjoyed; we never intended to send anyone oversees. This chunk of the Tar Heel State was my “Field of Dreams.” I bought thirty-one hundred acres—roughly five square miles of land, plenty of territory to catch even the most wayward bullets—for $900,000. We broke ground in June 1997, and immediately began learning about do-it-yourself entrepreneurship. That land was ugly: Logging the previous year had left a moonscape of tree stumps and tangled roots lorded over by mosquitoes and poisonous creatures. I killed a snake the first twelve times I went to the property. The heat was miserable. While a local construction company carved the shooting ranges and the lake, our small team installed the culverts and forged new roads and planted the Southern pine utility poles to support the electrical wiring. The basic site work was done in about ninety days—and then we had to figure out what to call the place. The leading contender, “Hampton Roads Tactical Shooting Center,” was professional, but pretty uptight. “Tidewater Institute for Tactical Shooting” had legs, but the acronym wouldn’t have helped us much. But then, as we slogged across the property and excavated ditches, an incessant charcoal mud covered our boots and machinery, and we watched as each new hole was swallowed by that relentless peat-stained black water. Blackwater, we agreed, was a name. Meanwhile, within days of being installed, the Southern pine poles had been slashed by massive black bears marking their territory, as the animals had done there since long before the Europeans settled the New World. We were part of this land now, and from that heritage we took our original logo: a bear paw surrounded by the stylized crosshairs of a rifle scope.
Anonymous
She spoke so passionately that some of the Historians believed her, even the ones like Dr. Karuna who had been passed over for promotion when Crome put Valentine in charge of their Guild. As for Bevis Pod, he watched her with shining eyes, filled with a feeling that he couldn’t even name; something that they had never taught him about in the Learning Labs. It made him shiver all over. Pomeroy was the first to speak. “I hope you’re right, Miss Valentine,” he said. “Because he is the only man who can hope to challenge the Lord Mayor. We must wait for his return.” “But …” “In the meantime, we have agreed to keep Mr. Pod safe, here at the Museum. He can sleep up in the old Transport Gallery, and help Dr. Nancarrow catalogue the art collection, and if the Engineers come hunting for him we’ll find a hiding place. It isn’t much of a blow against Crome, I know. But please understand, Katherine: We are old, and frightened, and there really is nothing more that we can do.” The world was changing. That was nothing new, of course; the first thing an Apprentice Historian learned was that the world was always changing, but now it was changing so fast that you could actually see it happening. Looking down from the flight deck of the Jenny Haniver, Tom saw the wide plains of the eastern Hunting Ground speckled with speeding towns, spurred into flight by whatever it was that had bruised the northern sky, heading away from it as fast as their tracks or wheels could carry them, too preoccupied to try and catch one another. “MEDUSA,” he heard Miss Fang whisper to herself, staring toward the far-off, flame-flecked smoke. “What is a MEDUSA?” asked Hester. “You know something, don’t you? About what my mum and dad were killed for?” “I’m afraid not,” the aviatrix replied. “I wish I did. But I heard the name once. Six years ago another League agent managed to get into London, posing as a crewman on a licensed airship. He had heard something that must have intrigued him, but we never learned what it was. The League had only one message from him, just two words: Beware MEDUSA. The Engineers caught him and killed him.” “How do you know?” asked Tom. “Because they sent us back his head,” said Miss Fang. “Cash on Delivery.” That evening she set the Jenny Haniver down on one of the fleeing towns, a respectable four-decker called Peripatetiapolis that was steering south to lair in the mountains beyond the Sea of Khazak. At the air-harbor there they heard more news of what had happened to Panzerstadt-Bayreuth. “I saw it!” said an aviator. “I was a hundred miles away, but I still saw it. A tongue of fire, reaching out from London’s Top Tier and bringing death to everything
Philip Reeve (Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1))
The Robot With Human Hair Pt2" Said it's the coming of man And I forget when you went away Like a kick to the face Not winning the race (Lion, I've seen you from afar) I've seen her in the car Knowing that you deserve such more Deserved to know you're free Leave, I'm the director Agree to the role of the pilot inspector Breathe, pilot inspector Feed off the role of the radar detector Leave, I'm the director Agree to the role of the pilot inspector Breathe, pilot inspector Feed off the role of the radar detector Well, then, you said you could do this on your own I'm sorry baby, I can't aid you (And then you say, hands down, right now, I'll let this go) You... Well, now it's up to god to save you Save you from all of those bruised, bruised and battered wounds (Wave right with a gun in his hand wave right) Can you taste this blood Dripping sweeter than...? And over your eyes And I, and I fall to both knees Not to beg for your forgiveness But to hate the word And you speak Take a right off these cliffs The ground is staring at your wounded weapons Wounded weapons (And I can't believe that you're right) You can bank the night on this its round And glaring at your well I get hyphy Tell 'em I get hyphy And this is where it ends Well, then, you said you could do this on your own I'm sorry baby, I can't aid you (And then you say, hands down, right now, I'll let this go) You... Well, now it's up to god to save you Save you, save you Save you, save you I can't believe these long words Come from many national absurd This is a line cut across Hope, defeat, the line, the loss I can never be this lone wolf You can never see me across this earth This will be a light that I run from You thought you were so strong You pleaded to never be wrong (Brace yourself, fasten belts) Well, now that you go (Close the hatch, flip the latch) I sit here and wonder (They're not dead, speed ahead) Times have changed It's like we've been trashing silos (Well, now that you go) In the time bomb aisle (I sit here and wonder) Maybe they'll dodge the spill Oil kills, sure it will And I can't breathe the air (Hide your daughter 'cause I'm coming over) To reach for this light (You know I'm not lying about) (Trashing silos in the time bomb aisle) And you can't breathe the air (About trashing silos in the time bomb aisle) Not leaving her to reach The line, the work, the rope, the love And I have seen such worse for you It's a no, I'm not coming back It's a no, I'm not coming back It's a no, I'm not coming back And now you see the sky has turned black Why do think everyone has turned back? It's cause he's gone And now you see the sky has turned black Why do think everyone has turned back? It's cause he's gone And now you see the sky has turned black Why do think everyone has turned back? It's cause he's gone
Dance Gavin Dance
flicker?" He points to the screen and pauses the vid. "That's when they switched the footage." I stare at the screen. "How do I know you're not the ones lying?" "You saw it yourself on the street," Meyer says. I glance up from the pad and lock eyes with Meyer. "What else are they lying about?" Jayson chuckles. "Well… that's going to take longer than we have." "Here's one," Meyer says. "Remember that last viral outbreak that killed a bunch of Level Ones?" "3005B?" My heart races. That's the virus that ultimately killed Ben thirteen years ago. "That's it. The one they use in all the broadcasts to remind citizens how important it is to get your MedVac updates? It wasn't an accident." We were always told a virus swept through Level One because they hadn't gotten their updated VacTech yet. Hundreds of people died in the day it took to get everyone up to date. "My brother died because of that." Everything I've found out over the last week suddenly grips me with fear. This can't be real. My breath shortens, and suddenly my head starts slowly spinning. Everything goes blurry. Then black. ~~~ "It's all right, kid," a distant voice, which must be Jayson's, echoes in the back of my mind. The room swirls around me. Their faces blur in and out of focus. "Meyer, get her." Blinking a couple of times, I try to sit up. I guess I fell. Meyer's warm hands rest on the back of my neck, my head in his lap. "Don't stand. You could pass out again," he says. He helps me sit up. "Are you okay?" "No, I'm not okay," I mumble. "This is too much." I feel like I should be crying, but I'm not. The reality is that the anger I feel is so much greater than any sadness. Neither Meyer nor Jayson speak, and let me mull over what I've just heard. "Why did they do that?" I eventually ask. "Two reasons, kid," Jayson says. "To cull the Level Ones, and to scare Elore into taking the VacTech. If viral outbreaks are still a threat, no one questions it, and continues believing inside the perimeter is the safest place for them." "I'm sorry about your brother," Meyer says as he stands, offering me his hand. His words are genuine, filled with the emotions of someone who has also experienced loss. "I hate to end this," Jayson interrupts, "but it's time to go." Meyer eyes Jayson, and then me. "I understand if you're not ready, but you need to choose soon. Within the next few days." I take his hand and pull myself to my feet. Words catch somewhere between my heart and throat. The old me wants to tell them to get lost and to never bother me again. It's so risky. Then again, I can't stand by while Manning and Direction kill people to keep us in the dark. Joining is the right thing to do. Feelings I've never experienced before well inside my chest, and I long to shout, When do we start? Instead, I stuff them down and stare at the ground. Subtle pressure squeezes my hand, bringing me back to the present. I never let go of Meyer's hand. How long have we been like that? He releases my hand as he mutters and steps back. The heat from his touch still flickers on my skin. You didn't have to go. I clear my throat and turn toward Meyer. Our eyes lock. "I've already decided," I tell him. "I'll do it. For Ben. Direction caused his death, and there's no way I'm standing by and letting them do this to more people." I barely recognize my own voice as I ask, "What do I do?" A slap hits my back and I choke. Jayson. "Atta girl. Meyer and I knew you had it in you." "Jayson, you have to give Avlyn some time." Meyer steps toward me and holds his handheld in the air toward Jayson. "I'll bring her up to speed." "Sure thing." Jayson throws his hands in the air and walks to the other side of the room. "Sorry," Meyer murmurs. "Jayson is pretty… overwhelming. At least until you know him. Even then…" "Oh, it's fine." A white lie. "He's a nice guy. Now, why don't you tell me the instructions
Jenetta Penner (Configured (Configured, #1))
We have increased our population to the level of 7 billion and beyond. We are well on our way toward 9 billion before our growth trend is likely to flatten. We live at high densities in many cities. We have penetrated, and we continue to penetrate, the last great forests and other wild ecosystems of the planet, disrupting the physical structures and the ecological communities of such places. We cut our way through the Congo. We cut our way through the Amazon. We cut our way through Borneo. We cut our way through Madagascar. We cut our way through New Guinea and northeastern Australia. We shake the trees, figuratively and literally, and things fall out. We kill and butcher and eat many of the wild animals found there. We settle in those places, creating villages, work camps, towns, extractive industries, new cities. We bring in our domesticated animals, replacing the wild herbivores with livestock. We multiply our livestock as we've multiplied ourselves, operating huge factory-scale operations involving thousands of cattle, pigs, chickens, ducks, sheep, and goats, not to mention hundreds of bamboo rats and palm civets, all confined en masse within pens and corrals, under conditions that allow those domestics and semidomestics to acquire infectious pathogens from external sources (such as bats roosting over the pig pens), to share those infections with one another, and to provide abundant opportunities for the pathogens to evolve new forms, some of which are capable of infecting a human as well as a cow or a duck. We treat many of those stock animals with prophylactic doses of antibiotics and other drugs, intended not to cure them but to foster their weight gain and maintain their health just sufficiently for profitable sale and slaughter, and in doing that we encourage the evolution of resistant bacteria. We export and import livestock across great distances and at high speeds. We export and import other live animals, especially primates, for medical research. We export and import wild animals as exotic pets. We export and import animal skins, contraband bushmeat, and plants, some of which carry secret microbial passengers. We travel, moving between cities and continents even more quickly than our transported livestock. We stay in hotels where strangers sneeze and vomit. We eat in restaurants where the cook may have butchered a porcupine before working on our scallops. We visit monkey temples in Asia, live markets in India, picturesque villages in South America, dusty archeological sites in New Mexico, dairy towns in the Netherlands, bat caves in East Africa, racetracks in Australia – breathing the air, feeding the animals, touching things, shaking hands with the friendly locals – and then we jump on our planes and fly home. We get bitten by mosquitoes and ticks. We alter the global climate with our carbon emissions, which may in turn alter the latitudinal ranges within which those mosquitoes and ticks live. We provide an irresistible opportunity for enterprising microbes by the ubiquity and abundance of our human bodies. Everything I’ve just mentioned is encompassed within this rubric: the ecology and evolutionary biology of zoonotic diseases. Ecological circumstance provides opportunity for spillover. Evolution seizes opportunity, explores possibilities, and helps convert spillovers to pandemics.
David Quammen (Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic)
When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors—killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father had told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it—instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. He fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like light. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he nearly shouted with delight. Sometimes the bird would hop to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
That hunting by fire was still practiced by the natives on a large scale, and it had been his lot to stumble on six baby elephants, victims of a fire from which only fully grown animals had managed to escape thanks to their size and speed? That whole herds of elephants sometimes escaped from the blazing savanna with bums up to their bellies, and that they suffered for weeks? Many a night he had lain awake in the bush listening to their cries of agony. That the contraband traffic in ivory was still practiced on a large scale by Arab and Asiatic merchants, who drove the tribes to poaching? Thirty thousand elephants a year— was it possible to think for a moment of what that meant, without shame? Did she know that a man like Haas, who was the favorite supplier of the big zc^s, saw half the young elephants he captured die under his eyes? The natives, at least, had an excuse: they needed proteins. For them, elephants were only meat. To stop them, they only had to raise the standard of living in Africa: this was the first step in any serious campaign for the protection of nature. But the whites? The so-called “civilized” people? They had no excuse. They hunted for what they called “trophies,” for the excitement of it, for pleasure, in fact. The flame that attracted him so irresistibly burned him in the end. He was the first to recognize the enemy and to cry tally-ho, and he had gone on the attack with all the passion of a man who feels himself challenged by everything that makes too-noble demands upon human nature, as if humanity began somewhere around. thirty thousand feet above the surface of the earth, thirty thousand feet above Orsini. He was determined to defend his own height, his own scale, his own smallness. "Listen to me,” he said. "All right, you're a priest A missionary. As such, you've always had your nose right in it I mean, you have all the sores, all the ugliness before your eyes all day long. All right. All sorts of open wounds— naked human wretchedness. And then, when you’ve well and truly wiped the bottom of mankind, don’t you long to climb a hill and take a good look at something different, and big, and strong, and free?”“When I feel like taking a good look at something different and big and strong and free,” roared Father Fargue, giving the table a tremendous bang with his fist, “it isn't elephants I turn to, it's God I” The man smiled. He licked his cigarette and stuck it in his mouth. “Well, it isn't a pact with the Devil I'm asking you to sign. It's only a petition to stop people from killing elephants. Thirty thousand of them are killed each year. Thirty thousand, and that's a .small e.stimate. You can’t deny it . . . And remember—'* there was a spark of gaiety in his eyes— “and remember. Father, remember: they haven’t sinned.” He was stabbing me in the back, aiming straight at my faith. Original sin, and the whole thing— you know all that better than I do. You know me. I’m a man of action: give me a good case of galloping syphilis and I'm all right. But theory . . . this is between ourselves. Faith, God— I've got all that in my heart, in my guts, but not in my brain. I’m not one of the brainy ones. So I tried offering him a drink, but he refused.” The Jesuit’s face lit up for a moment, and its wrinkles seemed to disappear in the youthfulness of a smile. Fargue suddenly remembered that he was rather frowned upon in his Order; he had several times been forbidden to publish his scientific papers; it was even whispered that his stay in Africa was not entirely voluntary He had heard tell that Father Tassin, in his writings, represented salvation as a mere biological mutation, and humanity, in the form in which we still know it, as an archaic species doomed to join other vanished species in the obscurity of a prehistoric past. His face clouded over: that smacked of heresy.
Gary Romain
…After seventeen minutes of panicky crowds destroying everything in their path, Eric could distinguish, despite all the chaos and hellish noise, the slight buzz of a second plane. He started counting to himself, watching the blazing inferno at the North Tower: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven… The second Boeing glided into the South Tower, WTC-2, and it seemed to Eric that this plane was flying slowly, that its impact was a soft one… Due to the pandemonium all around, the impact itself seemed not to be as loud as the first hit. Still, in a moment the second twin was also blazing. Both skyscrapers were on fire now. Novack looked up again at what had happened a minute before: the terror attack of the century. Then he started walking fast down Church Street, away from the huge buildings that were now on fire. He knew that in about an hour, the South Tower was to collapse completely, and half an hour after that, the same was to happen to the North Tower, which was also weakened by the impact. He knew there were tons of powerful Thermate in both buildings. Over the course of the previous two months, some fake repairmen had brought loads of it into the towers and put them in designated places around the trusswork. It was meant to make buildings collapse like card towers, which would only happen when the flames reached a certain point. The planes had started an unstoppable countdown as soon as they hit the buildings: these were the last minutes of their existence. Next in line was the third building: 7 WTC, which stood north of the Twin Towers. It counted forty-seven floors, and it too was stuffed with Thermate. Novack started getting concerned, however, that the third plane seemed to be late. Where’s the third plane? Why is it late? It’s already fifty minutes after the first impact, and they were supposed to hit the three targets with a time lag of about twenty minutes. Where are you, birdie number three? You are no less important than the first two, and you were also promised to my clients… People were still running in all directions, shouting and bumping into each other. Sirens wailed loudly, heartrendingly; ambulances were rushing around, giving way only to firefighters and emergency rescue teams. Suddenly hundreds of policemen appeared on the streets, but it seemed that they didn’t really know what they were supposed to do. They mostly ran around, yelling into their walkie-talkies. At Thomas Street, Eric walked into a parking lot: the gate arm was up and the security guy must have left, for the door of his booth stood wide open… …Two shots rang out simultaneously during the fifth and the longest second. They were executed synchronously, creating a single, stinging, deadly sound. The bullet from the sixth floor of the book depository went straight up into the sky, as planned. The second bullet shot out of a sniper rifle, held confidently in the arms of a woman behind the hedge, on the grassy knoll. It was her bullet that struck the head of the 35th US president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The woman walked quickly down the grassy knoll. Stepping only about five meters away, she put her rifle into a baby pram waiting there, with a real six-month-old baby boy whimpering inside it. She put on thick glasses and started walking away, exhibiting no haste. Only thirty seconds after the second shot, the woman was gone, nowhere to be seen… After the second or, rather, the third shot, the one from the knoll, President Kennedy’s head was tossed back. Jackie somehow managed to crawl onto the back hood of the car. A security agent from the escort car had already reached them. The motorcade picked up speed and disappeared under the overpass. Zapruder’s camera kept whirring for some seconds. He must have filmed the whole operation – that is, the assassination of an acting US president. But now he simply stood there without saying a word, completely dumbfounded...
Oleg Lurye
To see why temporarily high returns don’t prove anything, imagine that two places are 130 miles apart. If I observed the 65 mph speed limit, I can drive that distance in two hours. But if I drive 130 mph, I can get there in one hour. If I try this and survive, am I “right”? Should you be tempted to try it, too, because you hear me bragging that it “worked?” Flashy gimmicks for beating the market are much the same: in short streaks, so as long as your luck holds out, they work. Over time, they will get you killed.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
But before she could press her nose to the button, Rodney Burringo came flying out of his apartment on his fastest broomstick. ‘Kill!’ he yelled, and pointed an evil finger at the lift. The kill spell, which all witches have at their disposal, left his dirty fingernail and travelled down the corridor at high speed. It passed the broken and smouldering apartment door as Minnie pushed the >|< button with her nose. It passed the little old lady as the elevator doors began to close. It reached the elevator doors just after they had closed. Then it bounced off the reflection of the elevator doors and started on its journey back along the corridor just as the little old lady said, ‘Oh hello, Mr Burringo. Did you—’ But that was as far as she got because that is as far as the kill spell got. It hit the little old lady square in the back, and before Rodney Burringo could cover his eyes and mouth, the little old lady exploded all over the corridor. Splat. Gulp. ‘What was that ‘orrible noise?’ said Minnie. ‘No idea,’ said Major.
Ged Gillmore (Cats On The Run: a side-splitting magical adventure (Tuck & Ginger Book 1))
He thought for a while before beginning. “I think it was October of 1990. I was walking on Wisconsin Avenue when I met him. I struck up a conversation and asked if he wanted to come home to my apartment for some cocktails. I also mentioned that I would pay him a hundred dollars if he let me take some nude pictures of him. He agreed, and we walked to my apartment, where we engaged in some light sex and I gave him the drink. Soon he was out, and I made love to him for about an hour or so. I decided that I would kill him, and used my hands to strangle him until he stopped breathing.” Murphy interrupted by placing the Polaroid picture found on the table in the apartment. It depicted the victim straddled on his back over the side of a bathtub. There was an incision made from the bottom of his chin to the top of his genitals. The viscera was pulled out of the body and lying, as if on display, on top of the torso. The colored Polaroid was shocking. The moist, red entrails glistened, revealing the intestines and internal organs. “What’s this all about?” Murphy said, pointing to the ghastly sight. Dahmer picked it up and shrugged. “I wanted a picture of his insides, so I placed him in the bathroom and cut him open. I pulled the viscera from his body with my hands. The look and feel of it gave me unbelievable pleasure, and I masturbated and made love to him by placing my penis in it, like having intercourse.” He took a long, slow drag from his cigarette without looking up as the rest of us sat in silence. We had identified our sixth victim: David Thomas. Murphy, serious as ever, finally broke the silence. “How did you dispose of this one? Did you keep any of his parts?” Dahmer answered that he became leery of placing the bones and flesh in the trash for fear of discovery. This is when he began to use the muriatic acid. He tried to save the skull by boiling it; however, he wanted to speed up the drying process and used a higher oven temperature. The increased heat popped the skull into smaller sections. Because it was ruined, he threw it into the acid. There were no remaining parts of this victim.
Patrick Kennedy (GRILLING DAHMER: The Interrogation Of "The Milwaukee Cannibal")
She stared at the water until the sun’s reflection became too much, and then reached for her single bag of belongings. Digging around, she found the clay turtle. It was made of earth. It was tiny. She could use it for practice. Small, she thought as she cradled it with both hands. Precise. Silent. Small. She curled her lips in concentration. It was like crooking the tip of her pinky while wiggling her opposite ear. She needed a whole-body effort to keep her focus sufficiently narrow. There was another reason why she didn’t want to seek instruction from a famous bending master with a sterling reputation and wisdom to spare. Such a teacher would never let her kill Jianzhu in cold blood. Her hunger to learn all four elements had nothing to do with becoming a fully realized Avatar. Fire, Air, and Water were simply more weapons she could bring to bear on a single target. And she had to bring her earthbending up to speed too. Small. Precise. The turtle floated upward, trembling in the air. It wasn’t steady the way bent earth should be, more of a wobbling top on its last few spins. But she was bending it. The smallest piece of earth she’d ever managed to control. A minor victory. This was only the beginning of her path. She would need much more practice to see Jianzhu broken in pieces before her feet, to steal his world away from him the way he had stolen hers, to make him suffer as much as possible before she ended his miserable worthless life— There was a sharp crack. The turtle fractured along innumerable fault lines. The smallest parts, the blunt little tail and squat legs, crumbled first. The head fell off and bounced over the edge of the saddle. She tried to close her grip around the rest of it and caught only dust. The powdered clay slipped between her fingers and was taken by the breeze. Her only keepsake of Kelsang flew away on the wind.
F.C. Yee (Avatar: The Rise of Kyoshi (The Kyoshi Novels, #1))
Dammit, woman,” Kye cursed, rushing after me. “Slow down!” I whirled around then, slipping but catching myself. Please, let’s pile on the humiliation with busting my ass outside the lodge. “They think I don’t know I’m a mess?” I shouted, my voice shrill and filled with emotion I didn’t want to feel. “Well news flash: I know! I have to live with myself, it’s hard to miss!” And now snot was leaking out of my nose. Perfect! I swiped it with the back of my hand, grossed out and embarrassed. God, why couldn’t I get anything right? “Don’t look at me,” I cried when Kye was only a few steps away. “Why can’t I just be normal?” Kye’s eyes were crinkled at the edges and I saw pity there. It nearly killed me all over again. “Please don’t look at me that way.” I couldn’t deal with pity. “Holly?” Kye gently chucked his knuckles under my chin, lifting my gaze to his. “Fuck those people.” His poignant sentiment caught me off guard and I regrettably snorted, which was disgusting in my current state. “I mean it.” His fingers gave my chin a squeeze. And then he did the most startling, yet comforting, thing. He cupped my face, carefully brushing the cold tears off my cheeks with his thumbs while I stared up at him. I’d been mistaken. It wasn’t pity in his eyes. It was only kindness. Maybe even a little buried rage if his grimace was any clue. “They don’t deserve your time. They don’t even deserve the pleasure of your company.” I shook my head, sarcastically mumbling, “Because I’m such a gift.” “You’re damn right.” He smirked before his expression turned sincere. “You’re amazing Holly. This flawed, quirky, amazing woman.” Why did my heart speed up? His words replayed in my head. Again. And again. Flawed, quirky, amazing. He said those words with such earnestness, they burned into me. They stamped all over my heart what I already knew about Kye. What I forced myself to deny, to avoid at all costs, to pretend wasn’t real... I loved him. Against my better judgment and beyond all reason. I love you. I love you, my silent voice screamed inside my head. I was in love with Kye and I was doomed because I couldn’t free him. Didn’t know how and didn’t know if it was even possible. This relationship—real or fake—was on a ticking timer to its imminent demise and there was no emergency exit off this road to misery.
Poppy Rhys (While You Were Creeping (Women of Dor Nye))
I had a fast thought of I am just going to be posted here spread eagle for some poor person to find me. Surely, after, I am roadkill; yes, I felt as if I was going to be his canvas for his twisted artwork! I was running for my life barefoot. I could feel the stones cut me up as I was trying to outrun his car over and over, he was teasing me by speeding up and slowing down for miles, it was a sick game to him! Just flat-out terrifying to me! I even tried running into a wheat field, and he chased me with his car until I was trapped, and I got pinned up against a barbwire fence and he then floored it, and the wires ripped into my back and my butt, and legs. Oh, how it was a wonder I was not cut completely in half, or decapitated! I do not know why he stopped, he could have killed me then and there, no he wanted me to feel more pain. Oh, what he called his love! I ran! I dashed! I jogged! I sprinted until I could not run anymore and he was behind the wheel laughing his head off at me falling tripping to the concrete, and gravel, and then I had to get back up and run some more. He would run that reddish-orange Dodge Challenger with the black racing stripes; bumper right up on me until it touched my nude petite butt, as I was running, and I know there was nowhere to run but forwards down the road, all day until late evening and the nightfall. Besides, after I collapsed from exhaustion, he would scoop me up and throw me back into the car, and get his way once more, and I would be too tired to fight him off me.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Struggle with Affections)
It is a maxim among carnivore biologists that the main reason big predators now die is because people kill them. People run them over with speeding cars, they shoot them, trap them, gas them, poison them, and torture them. Laws notwithstanding, they kill them out of sheer spite, then bury the evidence—a practice so routine it has become a barstool commandment in certain rural cultures: Shoot, shovel, and shut up.
William Stolzenburg (Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators)
America today is not the same nation as when you were born. Depending on your age, if you were born in America, your home nation was a significantly different land than it is today:   ·                    America didn’t allow aborting babies in the womb; ·                     Same sex marriage was not only illegal, no one ever talked about it, or even seriously considered the possibility; (“The speed and breadth of change (in the gay movement) has just been breathtaking.”, New York Times, June 21, 2009) ·                    Mass media was clean and non-offensive. Think of The I Love Lucy Show or The Walton Family, compared with what is aired today; ·                    The United States government did not take $500 million dollars every year from the taxpayers and give it to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. ·                    Videogames that glorify violence, cop killing and allow gamesters who have bought millions of copies, to have virtual sex with women before killing them, did not exist. ·                    Americans’ tax dollars did not fund Title X grants to Planned Parenthood who fund a website which features videos that show a “creepy guidance counselor who gives advice to teens on how to have (safe) sex and depict teens engaged in sex.” ·                    Americans didn’t owe $483,000 per household for unfunded retirement and health care obligations (Peter G. Peterson Foundation). ·                    The phrase “sound as a dollar” meant something. ·                    The Federal government’s debt was manageable.            American Christian missionaries who have been abroad for relatively short times say they find it hard to believe how far this nation has declined morally since they were last in the country. In just a two week period, not long ago, these events all occurred: the Iowa Supreme Court declared that same sex marriage was legal in the State; the President on a foreign tour declared that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation…” and a day later bowed before the King of the nation that supplied most of the 9/11 terrorists; Vermont became the first State to authorize same sex marriage by legislative action, as opposed to judicial dictate; the CEO of General Motors was fired by the federal government; an American ship was boarded and its crew captured by pirates for the first time in over 200 years; and a major Christian leader/author apologized on Larry King Live for supporting California’s Proposition 8 in defense of traditional marriage, reversing his earlier position. The pace of societal change is rapidly accelerating.
John Price (The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America)
By the time they passed Malindi in the early-afternoon hours, Munroe could feel the syntax, the grammar, the resonance of patterns of the country's lingua franca beginning to form, could feel the tension relaxing now that the key to the aural lock had been handed over, and soon enough, over time and of its own accord, her ability to speak would grow and she would rapidly become more and more fluent. This same poisonous gift - this savant like ability to visualize the way the words configured into shapes - had defined her life and turned her into what she was now. Without language, there would have been no gunrunning, without gunrunning no nights in the jungle fighting off the worst of human predators, without the nights, no instinct of self-preservation and the speed and the need to kill that had marked her every moment, waking and sleeping, since.
Taylor Stevens (The Catch (Vanessa Michael Munroe #4))
But she was barely listening. “There’s this newish thing from Amazon? Called an AMI—an Amazon Machine Image. Basically it runs a snapshot of an operating system. There are hundreds of them, loaded up and ready to run.” Evan said, “Um.” “Virtual machines,” she explained, with a not-insubstantial trace of irritation. “Okay.” “But the good thing with virtual machines? You hit a button and you have two of them. Or ten thousand. In data centers all over the world. Here—look—I’m replicating them now, requesting that they’re geographically dispersed with guaranteed availability.” He looked but could not keep up with the speed at which things were happening on the screen. Despite his well-above-average hacking skills, he felt like a beginning skier atop a black-diamond run. She was still talking. “We upload all the encrypted data from the laptop to the cloud first, right? Like you were explaining poorly and condescendingly to me back at the motel.” “In hindsight—” “And we spread the job out among all of them. Get Hashkiller whaling away, throwing all these password combinations at it. Then who cares if we get locked out after three wrong password attempts? We just go to the next virtual machine. And the one after that.” “How do you have the hardware to handle all that?” She finally paused, blowing a glossy curl out of her eyes. “That’s what I’m telling you, X. You don’t buy hardware anymore. You rent cycles in the cloud. And the second we’re done, we kill the virtual machines and there’s not a single trace of what we did.” She lifted her hands like a low-rent spiritual guru. “It’s all around and nowhere at the same time.” A sly grin. “Like you.
Gregg Andrew Hurwitz (Hellbent (Orphan X, #3))
So it was always at night, like a werewolf, that I would take the thing out for an honest run down the coast. I would start in Golden Gate Park, thinking only to run a few long curves to clear my head. . . but in a matter of minutes I'd be out at the beach with the sound of the engine in my ears, the surf booming up on the sea wall and a fine empty road stretching all the way down to Santa Cruz. . . not even a gas station in the whole seventy miles; the only public light along the way is an all-​night diner down around Rockaway Beach. There was no helmet on those nights, no speed limit, and no cooling it down on the curves. The momentary freedom of the park was like the one unlucky drink that shoves a wavering alcoholic off the wagon. I would come out of the park near the soccer field and pause for a moment at the stop sign, wondering if I knew anyone parked out there on the midnight humping strip. Then into first gear, forgetting the cars and letting the beast wind out. . . thirty-​five, forty-​five. . . then into second and wailing through the light at Lincoln Way, not worried about green or red signals, but only some other werewolf loony who might be pulling out, too slowly, to start his own run. Not many of these. . . and with three lanes on a wide curve, a bike coming hard has plenty of room to get around almost anything. . . then into third, the boomer gear, pushing seventy-​five and the beginning of a windscream in the ears, a pressure on the eyeballs like diving into water off a high board. Bent forward, far back on the seat, and a rigid grip on the handlebars as the bike starts jumping and wavering in the wind. Taillights far up ahead coming closer, faster, and suddenly -- zaaapppp -- going past and leaning down for a curve near the zoo, where the road swings out to sea. The dunes are flatter here, and on windy days sand blows across the highway, piling up in thick drifts as deadly as any oil-​slick. . . instant loss of control, a crashing, cartwheeling slide and maybe one of those two-​inch notices in the paper the next day: “An unidentified motorcyclist was killed last night when he failed to negotiate a turn on Highway I.” Indeed. . . but no sand this time, so the lever goes up into fourth, and now there's no sound except wind. Screw it all the way over, reach through the handlebars to raise the headlight beam, the needle leans down on a hundred, and wind-​burned eyeballs strain to see down the centerline, trying to provide a margin for the reflexes. But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right. . . and that's when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can barely see at a hundred; the tears blow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it. . . howling through a turn to the right, then to the left and down the long hill to Pacifica. . . letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge. . . The Edge. . . There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others -- the living -- are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it's In. The association of motorcycles with LSD is no accident of publicity. They are both a means to an end, to the place of definitions.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
Then you repeat. The thing that goes badly wrong means that the someone we like has to take another step to get around the bad wrongness and back toward the something he wants VERY BADLY. He takes the next step, and everything goes even more badly wrong. Then he loses his map. Then his flashlight falls into a storm drain and he has an asthma attack and his seeing eye dog dies. Then the cop who pulls him over for speeding while driving drunk in the nude turns out to be the short-tempered father of the bride he is marrying tomorrow. Then it goes more badly wrong for the someone we like, much more badly. Then the party is attacked and scattered by a band of goblins, and then the Gollum is on his trail, and the lure of the Ring is slowly destroying his mind. Then he finds the blasted corpses of his foster parents killed by Imperial Storm Troopers, and his house burnt to the ground. Then Lex Luthor chains a lump of Kryptonite around his neck and pushes him into a swimming pool and fires twin stealth atomic rockets at the San Andreas Fault in California and at Hackensack, New Jersey. And the spunky but beautiful girl reporter falls into a crack in the earth and dies. Then he is stung by Shelob and dies. Then he is maimed by Darth Vader and discovers his arch foe is his very own father, and he loses his grip and falls. Then he steps out unarmed to confront Lord Voldemort and dies. Then Judas Iscariot kisses him, Peter denounces him, he is humiliated, spat upon, whipped, betrayed by the crowd, tortured, sees his weeping mother, and dies a painful, horrible death and dies. Then he is thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale and dies. Then he gets help, gets better, arises from his swoon, is raised from the dead, the stone rolls back, the lucky shot hits the thermal exhaust port, and the Death Star blows up, the Dark Tower falls, the spunky but beautiful girl reporter is alive again due to a time paradox, and he is given all power under heaven and earth and either rides off into the sunset, or goes back to the bat-cave, or ascends into heaven, and we roll the credits.
John C. Wright
Q. How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? —Myrlin Barber A. Surprisingly fast. First, a disclaimer. After reading this answer, don’t try to drive over speed bumps at high speeds. Here are some reasons: You could hit and kill someone. It can destroy your tires, suspension, and potentially your entire car. Have you read any of the other answers in this book?
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
Cade struggled helplessly for words to convey his feelings, but Lily was already straining against another pain. "Why does it not come?" he demanded sharply of Dove Woman, who was merely sitting cross-legged on the floor, humming to herself. "Because it is not time," she repeated. "But it is killing her! Look how she suffers. We must do something." Cade paced, throwing anxious looks at Lily as she took a deep breath and released the bed once more. "You had better go out with the others, Cade. There is nothing you can do to speed the child's coming." Not understanding the actual words between Cade and Dove Woman, Lily understood their content. "I will fetch Travis. He will give you something for the pain." Before Cade could start for the door, Lily gave a groan of pure agony, and Dove Woman unhurriedly rose from the floor. "She is in pain! Santa Maria, do something!" Cade dropped to his knees beside the bed and tried to lift Lily into his arms, but she reached for the bed rails. "Send him out," Dove Woman enunciated in clear Spanish when Lily rested once more. "It will save pain for both." Lily looked up at Cade's anguished expression, startled by the immense emotion displayed for the first time on his usually implacable features, and her heart took two leaps and a jump before settling more calmly in her chest. "Leave, Cade. There is nothing more you can do here," she said softly. "How can I leave?" he cried. "I have done this to you. I would take the pain away." As Lily's eyes closed with the onset of the next contraction, Cade panicked. "Lily, I can't lose you! Lily, please..." Dove Woman went to the door and murmured to the two boys waiting outside. The eldest looked rebellious at her words, but he disappeared into the opposite cabin. Moments later, he returned with Travis. Travis pounded on the closed bedroom door and shouted, "Cade, get your royal ass out here before I have to come in and get you!" Lily's eyes blinked open, and she half smiled at this command. "Go, Cade. You can't bring the child any faster." "I can't leave you here to suffer alone." Cade touched her brow, unwilling to form even in his mind the words for the fear he felt. He had just watched a man die, but it was Lily’s pain that was ripping him apart, tearing down the walls of his heart and soul. "I wish there was music," Lily whispered, surrendering to the pain once again. Cade caught the wish even as Travis slammed into the room, gun in hand to order him out. "Cade, damn you, the women want you out!" Travis shouted. Seeing only an obstruction between himself and the means to satisfy Lily's wish, Cade coolly knocked Travis's gun aside, floored him with a single punch, and stepping over his friend's fallen body, walked out the door. In
Patricia Rice (Texas Lily (Too Hard to Handle, #1))
person that understood what she was going through. Being able to open up and be completely honest with Alex had cleansed her of the crippling self-doubt she harboured for her feelings. The story Doctor Thorne had told her of the American woman, Andrea something, was playing over in her mind. She was running out of time. … As they grew older she would not be able to keep them safe. Danger was everywhere. The traffic lights at which she now waited could easily malfunction, meaning the cars hurtling down the hill could crash into the side of her Citroen. It had happened in Gornal two years ago and a little girl had been trapped in the wreckage for over an hour. A car horn sounded behind her. The lights were green. Jessica turned and headed past the garden centre on her left. Two little girls were laughing and running around the car park. They could easily run into the road and be killed. Only last month this stretch of road had claimed a teenage cyclist. She passed the national speed limit sign but kept
Angela Marsons (Evil Games (DI Kim Stone, #2))
A brief survey of Mere Christianity supplies the following list: becoming a Christian (passing over from life to death) is like joining a campaign of sabotage, like falling at someone’s feet or putting yourself in someone’s hands, like taking on board fuel or food, like laying down your rebel arms and surrendering, saying sorry, laying yourself open, turning full speed astern; it is like killing part of yourself, like learning to walk or to write, like buying God a present with his own money; it is like a drowning man clutching at a rescuer’s hand, like a tin soldier or a statue coming alive, like waking after a long sleep, like getting close to someone or becoming infected, like dressing up or pretending or playing; it is like emerging from the womb or hatching from an egg; it is like a compass needle swinging to north, or a cottage being made into a palace, or a field being plowed and resown, or a horse turning into a Pegasus, or a greenhouse roof becoming bright in the sunlight; it is like coming around from anesthetic, like coming in out of the wind, like going home.
Holly Ordway (Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith (Living Faith Series))
Within our own species we have great variation between these two reactions. One man may beat his life away in furious assault on the barrier, where another simply waits for the tide to pick him up. Such variation is also observable among the higher vertebrates, particularly among domestic animals. It would be strange if it were not also true of the lower vertebrates, among the individualistic ones anyway. A fish, like the tuna or the sardine, which lives in a school, would be less likely to vary than this lonely horned shark, for the school would impose a discipline of speed and uniformity, and those individuals which would not or could not meet the school’s requirements would be killed or lost or left behind. The overfast would be eliminated by the school as readily as the over-slow, until a standard somewhere between the fast and slow had been attained. Not intending a pun, we might note that our schools have to some extent the same tendency. A Harvard man, a Yale man, a Stanford man—that is, the ideal—is as easily recognized as a tuna, and he has, by a process of elimination, survived the tests against idiocy and brilliance. Even in physical matters the standard is maintained until it is impossible, from speech, clothing, haircuts, posture, or state of mind, to tell one of these units of his school from another. In this connection it would be interesting to know whether the general collectivization of human society might not have the same effect. Factory mass production, for example, requires that every man conform to the tempo of the whole. The slow must be speeded up or eliminated, the fast slowed down. In a thoroughly collectivized state, mediocre efficiency might be very great, but only through the complete elimination of the swift, the clever, and the intelligent, as well as the incompetent. Truly collective man might in fact abandon his versatility. Among school animals there is little defense technique except headlong flight. Such species depend for survival chiefly on tremendous reproduction. The great loss of eggs and young to predators is the safety of the school, for it depends for its existence on the law of probability that out of a great many which start some will finish. It is interesting and probably not at all important to note that when a human state is attempting collectivization, one of the first steps is a frantic call by the leaders for an increased birth rate—replacement parts in a shoddy and mediocre machine.
John Steinbeck (The Log from the Sea of Cortez)
suddenly Arthur had a fairly clear idea of what infinity looked like. It wasn’t infinity in fact. Infinity itself looks flat and uninteresting. Looking up into the night sky is looking into infinity— distance is incomprehensible and therefore meaningless. The chamber into which the aircar emerged was anything but infinite, it was just very very very big, so big that it gave the impression of infinity far better than infinity itself. Arthur’s senses bobbed and spun as, traveling at the immense speed he knew the aircar attained, they climbed slowly through the open air, leaving the gateway through which they had passed an invisible pinprick in the shimmering wall behind them. The wall. The wall defied the imagination—seduced it and defeated it. The wall was so paralyzingly vast and sheer that its top, bottom and sides passed away beyond the reach of sight. The mere shock of vertigo could kill a man. The wall appeared perfectly flat. It would take the finest laser-measuring equipment to detect that as it climbed, apparently to infinity, as it dropped dizzily away, as it planed out to either side, it also curved. It met itself again thirteen light seconds away. In other words the wall formed the inside of a hollow sphere, a sphere over three million miles across and flooded with unimaginable light.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
He stood over his fallen enemy, fighting to control the beast in himself, the wild surge of triumph, the addicting rush of power that shook his body. He felt none of his earlier wounds, only sheer joy in the night, in his victory. The wildness in him grew dangerously, spread like molten fire. The wind whipped up and carried a scent. Raven. Mikhail’s blood surged hotly; his fangs ached, and hunger grew. He scented the humans, the one that had touched his lifemate. Bloodlust shook him, and the Carpathians stepped farther back as the power seemed to radiate from Mikhail’s body, as the need to kill nearly overwhelmed him. The wind swirled around him in a constant eddy, and Raven’s scent remained elusive and faint. Raven. His body clenched, burned. Raven. The wind whispered her name, and the turbulent storm raging in him began to ease. Mikhail’s mind reached for the light, the path back from the world of violence. “Destroy every evidence of this thing,” he snapped tersely, to no one in particular. He moved with blinding speed back inside the ruins of the vampire’s lair, materialized out of thin air, and loomed over Monique, who was holding Raven’s lifeless body in her arms, rocking her.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
We armed ourselves with pistols, shotguns, and assault rifles. We knew that the government had us impossibly outgunned but nevertheless felt obliged to not only prepare ourselves for the upcoming collapse of society as we had known it, but also to do whatever it took to speed the day when that collapse occurred. The government was illegitimate; a puppet regime manipulated by a shadowy and sinister force that was hellbent on our destruction. The supposed democracy that seated traitorous politicians had been tainted by mass media that poisoned the minds and souls of our people to not only blind them against what was happening, but also to con them into complicity in their own downfall. Our guns served many purposes. In addition to the simple purpose they were designed for-to kill people-our firearms endowed with us a sense of destiny befitting an epic struggle against fearsome odds. The deadly seriousness of the situation was underlined, italicized, and emboldened by the smell of gun oil and the clack of magazines sliding into position as we recruited new soldiers into our movement. According to the founding Fathers, it was not only our right, but our duty to bear arms against the tyrants who had usurped our beloved nation. I spent 7 years immersed in that world. A reality where I was constantly looking over my shoulder to reveal the handiwork of the enemy. Every aspect of our culture faced a relentless assault. Everything that was good about America-Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit of Happiness-had been denigrated and disparaged by those that sought to impose Marxist equality. I hated them for that. I hated them with the passion of a patriot. That hate was fueled by what I truly believed was a love for my race. Oops! Did I say "race?" I meant a love for my country, Or was it a love of Christ? Or Allah? It could have been any of a number of allegiances-any number of ways to identify myself-that I built walls around and bristled at those outside, and it was all in the name of love. Roads to a lot of really bad places are paved with that kind of bizarro love. A vampiric, soul-depleting love-substitute that beckons to those who never know the real thing. I was very lucky to realize the true love of a little girl-my daughter-otherwise I'd likely be dead or in prison like so many of my former comrades. Simply by playing with other children, she taught me that the walls and guns and hate that had seemed to give me purpose were in fact unnecessary constructs that threatened to separate us. The children she shared toys, laughs, and smiles with also shared the same need for love and compassion that we all do-regardless of the color of our skin, our family's choice of spirituality, or the part of the world we come from. I made a decision to cast aside the fear that masqueraded as love, and to live my life in wonderful affection for diversity instead of scorn for it.
Arno Michaelis (My Life After Hate)
Maybe tangled will be a spectacular rump. maybe i will adore it: it could happen. But one thing is for sure: tangled will not be rapunzel. And thats too bad , because rapunzel is an specially layered and relevant fairytale, less about the love between a man and a woman than the misguided attempts of a mother trying to protect her daughter from (what she perceives ) as the worlds evils. The tale, you may recall, begins with a mother-to-bes yearning for the taste of rapunzel, a salad green she spies growing in the garden of the sorceress who happens to live next door. The womans craving becomes so intense , she tells her husband that if he doesn't fetch her some, she and their unborn baby will die. So he steals into the baby's yard, wraps his hands around a plant, and, just as he pulls... she appears in a fury. The two eventually strike a bargain: the mans wife can have as much of the plant as she wants- if she turns over her baby to the witch upon its birth. `i will take care for it like a mother,` the sorceress croons (as if that makes it all right). Then again , who would you rather have as a mom: the woman who would do anything for you or the one who would swap you in a New York minute for a bowl of lettuce? Rapunzel grows up, her hair grows down, and when she is twelve-note that age-Old Mother Gothel , as she calls the witch. leads her into the woods, locking her in a high tower which offers no escape and no entry except by scaling the girls flowing tresses. One day, a prince passes by and , on overhearing Rapunzel singing, falls immediately in love (that makes Rapunzel the inverse of Ariel- she is loved sight unseen because of her voice) . He shinnies up her hair to say hello and , depending on the version you read, they have a chaste little chat or get busy conceiving twins. Either way, when their tryst is discovered, Old Mother Gothel cries, `you wicked child! i thought i had separated you from the world, and yet you deceived me!` There you have it : the Grimm`s warning to parents , centuries before psychologists would come along with their studies and measurements, against undue restriction . Interestingly the prince cant save Rapuzel from her foster mothers wrath. When he sees the witch at the top of the now-severed braids, he jumps back in surprise and is blinded by the bramble that breaks his fall. He wanders the countryside for an unspecified time, living on roots and berries, until he accidentally stumbles upon his love. She weeps into his sightless eyes, restoring his vision , and - voila!- they rescue each other . `Rapunzel` then, wins the prize for the most egalitarian romance, but that its not its only distinction: it is the only well-known tale in which the villain is neither maimed nor killed. No red-hot shoes are welded to the witch`s feet . Her eyes are not pecked out. Her limbs are not lashed to four horses who speed off in different directions. She is not burned at the stake. Why such leniency? perhaps because she is not, in the end, really evil- she simply loves too much. What mother has not, from time to time, felt the urge to protect her daughter by locking her in a tower? Who among us doesn't have a tiny bit of trouble letting our children go? if the hazel branch is the mother i aspire to be, then Old Mother Gothel is my cautionary tale: she reminds us that our role is not to keep the world at bay but to prepare our daughters so they can thrive within it. That involves staying close but not crowding them, standing firm in one`s values while remaining flexible. The path to womanhood is strewn with enchantment , but it also rifle with thickets and thorns and a big bad culture that threatens to consume them even as they consume it. The good news is the choices we make for our toodles can influence how they navigate it as teens. I`m not saying that we can, or will, do everything `right,` only that there is power-magic-in awareness.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Wrath bared his fangs. “John, as God is my fucking witness, I will cut you if you don’t—” “Easy, there, big guy,” V gritted out. “I’m going to translate. You want to hit the library where we can—” “No, I want to fucking know where my shellan is!” Wrath boomed. John started signing, and whereas most of the time people translated half sentences sequentially, V waited until he’d finished the whole report. A couple of the Brothers muttered in the background as they shook their heads. “In the library,” V ordered the King in a way John never could have. “You’re gonna wanna do this in the library.” Wrong thing to say. Wrath wheeled on the Brother and went for him with such speed and accuracy no one was prepared: One minute V was standing next to the King; the next he was defending himself against an attack that was as unprovoked as it was . . . well, vicious. And then things went shit-wild. Like Wrath knew he was on the thin edge of a bad ledge, he broke off from V, and went total wrecking ball on the billiards room. The first thing he ran into was the pool table Butch was chilling next to—and there was barely any time for the cop to get that ashtray up off the side rails: Wrath grabbed the gunnels and flipped the thing like it was nothing but a card table, the mahogany and slate-topped behemoth flying up so high, it wiped out the hanging light fixture above, its weight so great it splintered the marble floor beneath on landing. Without missing a breath, the King EF5’d into his next victim . . . the heavy leather sofa that Rhage had just leaped up off. Talk about your couch-icopters. The entire thing came at John at about five feet off the floor, the pair of ends trading places as it spun around and around, cushions flying in all directions. He didn’t take it personally—especially as its mate do-si-doed with the bar, smashing the top-shelf bottles, liquor splashing all over the walls, the floor, the fire that was crackling in the hearth. Wrath wasn’t finished. The King picked up a side table, hauled it overhead, and pitched it in the direction of the TV. It missed the plasma screen, but managed to shatter an old-fashioned mirror—although the Sony didn’t last. The coffee table that had been in between the two sofas did that deed, killing the muted image of the two Boston guys and the old man from Southie with the baseball bat shilling for DirectTV. The Brothers just let Wrath go. It wasn’t that they were afraid of getting hurt. Hell, Rhage stepped in and caught the first couch before it tore a hunk off of the archway’s molding. They just weren’t stupid. Wrath - Beth x Overnight = Psycho-hose Beast
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12))
Things were becoming desperate. Putting the body of Dr. Livingstone and all their goods and chattels in one hut, they charged out of the town, and fired on the assailants, killing two and wounding several others. Fearing that they would only gather together in the other remaining villages and renew the attack at night, the men carried these quickly one by one and subsequently burnt six others which were built on the same side of the river, then crossing over, they fired on the canoes which were speeding towards the deep water of Bangweolo, through the channel of the Lopupussi, with disastrous results to the fugitive people. Returning to the town, all was made safe for the night. By the fortunes of war, sheep, goats, fowls, and an immense quantity of food fell into their hands; and they remained for a week to recruit. Once
David Livingstone (The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death: 1869-1873)
Construction of the SS Morro Castle was begun by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in January of 1929 for the New York and Cuba Mail Steam Ship Company, better known as the Ward Line. The ship was launched in March of 1930, followed in May by the construction of her sister ship the SS Oriente. Both ships were 508 feet long and had a breath of almost 80 feet and weighed in at 11,520 gross tons (GRT). The ships were driven by General Electric turbo generators, which supplied the necessary electrical current to two propulsion motors. Having twin screws both ships could maintain a cruising speed of 20 knots. State of the art, each ship was elegantly fitted out to accommodate 489 passengers and had a complement of 240 officers and crew. It is estimated that the ships cost approximately $5 million each, of which 75% was given to the company as a low cost government loan to be repaid over twenty years. The SS Morro Castle was named for the fortress that guards the entrance to Havana Bay. On the evening of September 5, 1934 Captain Robert Willmott had his dinner delivered to his quarters. Shortly thereafter, he complained of stomach trouble and shortly after that, died of an apparent heart attack. With this twist of fate the command of the ship went to the Chief Mate, William Warms. During the overnight hours, with winds increasing to over 30 miles per hour, the ship continued along the Atlantic coast towards New York harbor. Early on September 8, 1934 the ship had what started as a minor fire in a storage locker. With the increasing winds, the fire quickly intensified causing the ship to burn down to the waterline, killing a total of 137 passengers and crew members. Many passengers died when they jumped into the water with the cork life preservers breaking their necks and killing them instantly on impact. Only half of the ships 12 lifeboats were launched and then losing power the ship drifted, with heavy onshore winds and a raging sea the hapless ship ground ashore near Asbury Park. Hard aground she remained there for several months as a morbid tourist attraction. On March 14, 1935 the ship was towed to Gravesend Bay, New York and then to Baltimore, MD, where she was scrapped. The Chief Mate Robert Warms and Chief Engineer Eban Abbott as well as the Ward Line vice-president Henry Cabaud were eventually indicted on various charges, including willful negligence. All three were convicted and sent to jail, however later an appeals court later overturned the ship’s officers convictions and instead placed much of the blame on the dead Captain Willmott. Go figure….
Hank Bracker
Just take me home,” Furi mumbled and moved to the passenger side of the truck. The drive home was deathly quiet. Syn wasn’t sure if Furi was going to forgive him or not, he was certainly hoping he would. Syn really did like Furi. He was the type of man he’d want to spend hours talking to because the deep sexiness of his voice did funny things to Syn’s groin, listening to him laugh was like the sweetest music to his ears. He wanted to see Furi's gorgeous face when he came home from working a shitty case, knowing he would make it better. He wanted to get into bed with him after a hot shower and bury his face in Furi’s soft hair and just lose himself in the erotic scent that lingered in those gorgeous locks. Syn fought the urge to apologize again; he’d done it at least five times now. He looked over at Furi, wishing he would turn and look at him. “Are you going to say anything?” Furi did look at him then, but what he said wasn’t exactly what Syn wanted to hear, “Your truck needs a tune-up.” Then he turned his head back toward the window. Syn pulled up to the curb opposite Furi’s apartment and shut off the engine. Furi didn’t say anything; he just opened the door, got out of the truck and walked across the street. Syn jumped out calling to him, “Furi, please wait.” Furi stopped in the middle of the street and turned to face him, looking completely exasperated. “What?” Syn was just making his way around the truck when he heard tires screeching and bright headlights headed directly at Furi. “Furious!” Syn yelled, but he saw there was no time. He ran at full speed, leaping and slamming his body into Furi's, the car’s front end just missing them. Syn rolled with Furi, a messy tangle of long limbs, hitting the curb hard. Syn kept one arm around Furi while craning his neck to try to see where the car was. All he could see was the make of the dark vehicle and two letters of the license plate. Syn pulled his S&W from behind his back just in case they circled back around. Syn jumped up and pulled Furi up with him. “Inside, now.” Furi moved quickly, Syn right behind him. As soon as they got inside the apartment, Syn turned Furi to face him. He looked him over and determined that he was okay for the most part. Furi looked like he was in shock, and rightfully so, someone had just tried to kill him. Syn put both his hands on Furi’s flushed cheeks. “Furious look at me.” Syn waited for those now haunted eyes to look at his. When Furi finally focused on his face, he had to slip into cop mode and ask his questions while the details were fresh in his mind.
A.E. Via
With no other choice, Tory approached Ash slowly. Warily. Could he even tell if it was her? By the way he was acting, she didn't think so. "Baby?" He looked up at her with blood red eyes that held no semblance of understanding. They were feral and cold. The eyes of a predator. With a speed she couldn't even see with her naked eye, Ash was off the floor. He grabbed her by the throat, threw her down on the ground and sank his fangs deep into her neck. Ash's head buzzed and his shoulder ached as he finally slaked some of the hunger that had been tearing at him for days. The blood was so good. So warm and satisfying. He licked and sucked, drinking it in until he was normal again. But as he returned to himself, his anger mounted that she'd let him go so long without nourishment. Even though he hadn't been able to speak, he remembered her watching him through the door. You'll eat when you please me..." She knew what those words did to him and he was tired of her abuse. "Artemis, you..." His words trailed off as he pulled away from her throat and realized it wasn't Artemis he was holding. It was Tory and she was extremely pale from the blood loss. Horror filled him. Her neck was savagely torn from his teeth, her brown eyes half-hooded as she struggled to breathe. No! His soul screamed out. How could he have hurt her? How could he be so far gone that he hadn't even realized it was Tory he tasted? Because Artemis had kept him without food for too long. And then she'd thrown a human in with him, knowing a human couldn't survive his feeding. "Oh gods," he breathed, choking. "Stay with me, baby. I'll get you help." She coughed as she reached up to touch his lips that were covered in her blood from his feeding. He saw the fear in her eyes and the pain that he'd caused her. The guilt was more than he could bear. "Soteria?" he whispered her name like a prayer. "Akribos?" She expelled one last breath before her eyes glazed over and her hand fell limply to the ground where it landed palm up. Unimaginable grief tore through him as he realized he'd just killed her. Throwing his head back, Ash bellowed from the weight of guilt and pain that assaulted him. He would never have hurt her. Never!
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
fifteen miles over the speed limit, for his current tastes. “Sacrificing yourself isn’t the only answer to every problem you come across. It would be nice for the rest of us if you realized that someday. I don’t want to have to bury you.
Seanan McGuire (A Killing Frost (October Daye, #14))
Hailey doubted Poseidon appreciated the conversion of his palace into a school, but he wasn’t in a position to complain considering he, and every other god, was dead. And had been for sixteen centuries now—compliments to humans killing them in the Great Battle. Although Hailey supposed you could say they had lived on—at least in a small way—because when they’d died, their powers had showered from the sky to the human race, turning everyone into demigods. And since then, the gods’ powers have passed down through each generation, so every human in the world has a power. The cold touch of a raindrop sliding down Hailey’s cheek had her gazing up at a grey cloud encroaching on the sun. She flicked her hand at it, watching the cloud speed away out of sight, leaving the sky azure blue. Hailey was a Zeus. The only Zeus in over a century, to be exact, which meant her powers came with certain expectations. Her mind flashed back to the last Powers class she’d had before the summer holidays... Hailey stood in a grassy field, the sweet and earthy scent of rain hanging in the air. Her teacher, Mrs Pritchet, loomed behind her with the rest of her class. But Hailey was too busy focusing her powers to remember they were there. Warmth flowed through her fingertips towards the black sky, and a rope-shaped tornado whirled to life fifty yards ahead of her.
Sarah A. Vogler (Poseidon's Academy (Book 1))