Peel Back Quotes

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Love After Love The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
Derek Walcott (Collected Poems, 1948-1984)
Whenever she thought she could not feel more alone, the universe peeled back another layer of darkness.
Janet Fitch (Paint it Black)
I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong. I will love you as a battlefield loves young men and as peppermints love your allergies, and I will love you as the banana peel loves the shoe of a man who was just struck by a shingle falling off a house. I will love you as a volunteer fire department loves rushing into burning buildings and as burning buildings love to chase them back out, and as a parachute loves to leave a blimp and as a blimp operator loves to chase after it. I will love you as a dagger loves a certain person’s back, and as a certain person loves to wear dagger proof tunics, and as a dagger proof tunic loves to go to a certain dry cleaning facility, and how a certain employee of a dry cleaning facility loves to stay up late with a pair of binoculars, watching a dagger factory for hours in the hopes of catching a burglar, and as a burglar loves sneaking up behind people with binoculars, suddenly realizing that she has left her dagger at home. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguised and until every home is rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods, and until every criminal is handcuffed by the laziest of policemen. I will love until M. hates snakes and J. hates grammar, and I will love you until C. realizes S. is not worthy of his love and N. realizes he is not worthy of the V. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple, and until the apple hates a tree and the tree hates a nest, and until a bird hates a tree and an apple hates a nest, although honestly I cannot imagine that last occurrence no matter how hard I try. I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where we once we were so close that we could slip the curved straw, and the long, slender spoon, between our lips and fingers respectively. I will love you until the chances of us running into one another slip from slim to zero, and until your face is fogged by distant memory, and your memory faced by distant fog, and your fog memorized by a distant face, and your distance distanced by the memorized memory of a foggy fog. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, no matter where you avoid and who you don’t see, and no matter who sees you avoiding where you go. I will love you no matter what happens to you, and no matter how I discover what happens to you, and no matter what happens to me as I discover this, and now matter how I am discovered after what happens to me as I am discovering this.
Lemony Snicket
I'm not ill like that,” she groaned. He sat on her bed, peeling back the blanket. A servant entered, frowning at the mess on the floor, and shouted for help. “Then it what way?” “I,uh...” Her face was so hot she thought it would melt onto the floor. Oh you idiot. “My monthly cycles finally came back!” His face suddenly matched hers and he stepped away, dragging his hand through his short hair. “I-if...Then I'll take my leave,” he stammered, and bowed. Celaena raised an eyebrow, and then, despite herself, smiled as he left the room as quick as his feet could go without running, tripping slightly in the doorway as he staggered into the rooms beyond.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Then I imagined a lifetime of having to cry to get him to be kind, and I went back to no again.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
How memories lie to us. How time coats the ordinary with gold. How it breaks the heart to go back and attempt to re-live them. How crushed we are when we discover that the gold was merely gold-plating thinly coated over lead, chalk and peeling paint.
Henry Rollins (Black Coffee Blues)
We clear the harbor and the wind catches her sails and my beautiful ship leans over ever so gracefully, and her elegant bow cuts cleanly into the increasing chop of the waves. I take a deep breath and my chest expands and my heart starts thumping so strongly I fear the others might see it beat through the cloth of my jacket. I face the wind and my lips peel back from my teeth in a grin of pure joy.
L.A. Meyer (Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #3))
Words. Borne on the ever swelling current of hatred, like flowers opening in the current, petals peeling back, then falling apart.
Anne Rice (The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2))
Hi," I whisper. He peels off my hands and turns toward the aisle. "Please don't make this any harder than it already is," he whispers back.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
I dreamed vaguely of killing myself to wipe out at least one of these superfluous lives. But even my death would have been In the way. In the way, my corpse, my blood on these stones, between these plants, at the back of this smiling garden. And the decomposed flesh would have been In the way in the earth which would receive my bones, at last, cleaned, stripped, peeled, proper and clean as teeth, it would have been In the way: I was In the way for eternity.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Memory is like plaster: peel it back and you just might find a completely different picture.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
Self-awareness is like an onion. There are multiple layers to it, and the more you peel them back, the more likely you're going to start crying at an inappropriate time.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Maybe, there's a moment growing up when something peels back... Maybe, maybe, we look for secrets because we can't believe our mind.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
Ocean had given me hope. He’d made me believe in people again. His sincerity had rubbed me raw, had peeled back the stubborn layers of anger I’d lived in for so long. Ocean made me want to give the world a second chance.
Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea)
LADY LAZARUS I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it-- A sort of walking miracle, my skin Bright as a Nazi lampshade, My right foot A paperweight, My face a featureless, fine Jew linen. Peel off the napkin O my enemy. Do I terrify?-- The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth? The sour breath Will vanish in a day. Soon, soon the flesh The grave cave ate will be At home on me And I a smiling woman. I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die. This is Number Three. What a trash To annihilate each decade. What a million filaments. The peanut-crunching crowd Shoves in to see Them unwrap me hand and foot-- The big strip tease. Gentlemen, ladies These are my hands My knees. I may be skin and bone, Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman. The first time it happened I was ten. It was an accident. The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell. They had to call and call And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls. Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call. It's easy enough to do it in a cell. It's easy enough to do it and stay put. It's the theatrical Comeback in broad day To the same place, the same face, the same brute Amused shout: 'A miracle!' That knocks me out. There is a charge For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge For the hearing of my heart-- It really goes. And there is a charge, a very large charge For a word or a touch Or a bit of blood Or a piece of my hair or my clothes. So, so, Herr Doktor. So, Herr Enemy. I am your opus, I am your valuable, The pure gold baby That melts to a shriek. I turn and burn. Do not think I underestimate your great concern. Ash, ash-- You poke and stir. Flesh, bone, there is nothing there-- A cake of soap, A wedding ring, A gold filling. Herr God, Herr Lucifer Beware Beware. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair And I eat men like air. -- written 23-29 October 1962
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
Sometimes I feel like growing up is slowly peeling back these layers of lies.
Randy Ribay (Patron Saints of Nothing)
Nothing is ever as pure as it seems at first glance; there is always something more complicated to be found when you peel back the unmarred surface of pretty things.
Janelle Brown (Pretty Things)
With a deep regret, I wiggled out from under him despite his sleepy protests and grabbed articles of clothing as I tiptoed to his door. What amazing willpower I had. What fantastic self-control. I'd come over for one reason, and everything but that reason seemed to be resolved. When I reached the door, I saw what looked like another note. But this was his door, not mine. I peeled it off, then angled it until I could read it by the light of the fire. Is that all you've got? With a smile spreading slowly across my face, I dropped everything I'd just picked up and went back for more.
Darynda Jones (Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5))
When Klara plucks a coin from inside someone's ear or turns a ball into a lemon, she hopes not to deceive but to impart a different kind of knowledge, an expanded sense of possibility. The point is not to negate reality, but to peel back its scrim, revealing reality's peculiarities and contradictions. The very best magic tricks, the kind Klara wants to perform, do not subtract from reality. They add.
Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists)
For a heartbeat, the silence peeled back long enough for that question to worm its way into her skull, into her skin, into her breath and bones. And in the dark, she remembered.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain Beauty. When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you've spoken or read or written a fine sentence. You can recognise a well-tuned phrase or an elegant style. But when you are applying the rules of grammar skilfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language. When you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, to see it quite naked, in a way.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
He tries to peel the image from the sticky yellow backing, to show her the next time he sees her, but it clings stubbornly, refusing to detach cleanly from the past.
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
Day in, day out, you peel the layers back for me. Smart mouth, funny, sweet, wild in bed. Chattin' with bikers like they were insurance brokers. Holdin' my girl's hand, givin' her strength when her Mom's bein' a bitch. Keepin' your chin up when your people show in the middle of a full blown drama. But so fuckin' vulnerable, you're scared shitless of livin' life." "You don't know me, Tack." His head came up and his eyes pierced mine. "I know you, Tyra." "You don't." "Life's a roller coaster. Best damn ride in the park. You don't close your eyes, hold on and wait for it to be over, babe. You keep your eyes open, lift your hands straight up in the air and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts.
Kristen Ashley (Motorcycle Man (Dream Man, #4))
Guys can smell desperation. It triggers an instinct in them to run far and fast so they aren't around when a woman starts peeling apart her heart. They know she'll ask for help in putting it back together the right way - intact and beating correctly - and they dread the thought of puzzling over layers that they can't understand, let alone rebuild. They'd rather just not get blood on their hands. But sharks are different. They smell the blood of desperation and circle in. They whisper into a girl's ear, "I'll make it better. I'll make you forget all about your pain." Sharks do this by eating your heart, but they never mention this beforehand. That is the thing about sharks.
Janette Rallison (My Fair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #1))
Little did she know then, a stolen moment, a sweatshirt, many bottle caps, and few layers peeled back later, her life would never be the same.
Gail McHugh (Pulse (Collide, #2))
Lost really has two disparate meanings. Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing. There are objects and people that disappear from your sight or knowledge or possession; you lose a bracelet, a friend, the key. You still know where you are. Everything is familiar except that there is one item less, one missing element. Or you get lost, in which case the world has become larger than your knowledge of it. Either way, there is a loss of control. Imagine yourself streaming through time shedding gloves, umbrellas, wrenches, books, friends, homes, names. This is what the view looks like if you take a rear-facing seat on the train. Looking forward you constantly acquire moments of arrival, moments of realization, moments of discovery. The wind blows your hair back and you are greeted by what you have never seen before. The material falls away in onrushing experience. It peels off like skin from a molting snake. Of course to forget the past is to lose the sense of loss that is also memory of an absent richness and a set of clues to navigate the present by; the art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Penny Young is the most perfect girl you know and those kinds of girls, they’re put on this earth to break you. Peel back her skin and you can see her poison. Peel back mine, you can still see traces of where her poison’s been.
Courtney Summers (All the Rage)
Dear Goat, How does one fall in love? Do you trip? Do you stumble, lose your balance and drop to the sidewalk, graze your knee, graze your heart? Do you crash to the stony ground? Is there a precipice, from which you float, over the edge, forever? I know I'm in love when I see you, I know when I long to see you. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking step. When did this happen? I haven't even blinked. I'm on fire. Is that too banal for you? It's not, you know. You'll see. It's what happens. It's what matters. I'm on fire. I no longer eat, I forget to eat. Food looks silly to me, irrelevant. If I even notice it. But I notice nothing. My thoughts are full and raging, a house full of brothers, related by blood, feuding blood feuds: "I'm in love." "Typically stupid choice." "I am, though, I'm racked by love as if love were pain." "Go ahead. Fuck up your life. It's all wrong and you know it. Wake up. Face it." "There's only one face, it's all I see, awake or asleep." I threw the book out the window last night. I tried to forget. You are all wrong for me, I know it, but I no longer care for my thoughts unless they're thoughts of you. When I'm close to you, in your presence, I feel your hair brush my cheek when it does not. I look away from you, sometimes. Then I look back. When I tie my shoes, when I peel an orange, when I drive my car, when I lie down each night without you, I remain, As ever, Ram
Cathleen Schine (The Love Letter)
Lea stood upon a fallen log ahead of us, staring ahead. Mouse walked up to her. Gggrrrr rawf arrrgggrrrrarrrr," I said. Mouse gave me an impatient glance, and somehow--I don't know if it was something in his body language or what--I became aware that he was telling me to sit down and shut up or he'd come over and make me. I sat down. Something in me really didn't like that idea, but when I looked around, I saw that everyone else had done it too, and that made me feel better. Mouse said, again in what sounded like perfectly clear English, "Funny. Now restore them." Lea turned to look at the big dog and said, "Do you dare to give me commands, hound?" Not your hound," Mouse said. I didn't know how he was doing it. His mouth wasn't moving or anything. "Restore them before I rip your ass off. Literally rip it off." The Leanansidhe tilted her head back and let out a low laugh. "You are far from your sources of power here, my dear demon." I live with a wizard. I cheat." He took a step toward her and his lips peeled up from his fangs in unmistakable hostility. "You want to restore them? Or do I kill you and get them back that way?" Lea narrowed her eyes. Then she said, "You're bluffing." One of the big dog's huge, clawed paws dug at the ground, as if bracing him for a leap, and his growl seemed to . . . I looked down and checked. It didn't seem to shake the ground. The ground was actually shaking for several feet in every direction of the dog. Motes of blue light began to fall from his jaws, thickly enough that it looked quite a bit like he was foaming at the mouth. "Try me." The Leanansidhe shook her head slowly. Then she said, "How did Dresden ever win you?" He didn't," Mouse said. "I won him.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
I believe I am becoming pathetic. I'll go further, I believe that I am in love with a flower-growing, wood-carving quarryman/carpenter/pig farmer. In fact, I know I am. Perhaps tomorrow I will become entirely miserable at the thought that he doesn't love me back - may, even, care for Remy- but at this precise moment I am succumbing to euphoria. My head and stomach feel quite odd.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
Percy glanced over. He saw the fallen giant and seemed to understand what was happening. He yelled something that was lost in the wind, probably: Go! Then he slammed Riptide into the ice at his feet. The entire glacier shuddered. Ghosts fell to their knees. Behind Percy, a wave surged up from the bay-a wall of gray water even taller than the glacier. Water shot from the chasms and crevices in the ice. As the wave hit, the back half of the camp crumbled. The entire edge of the glacier peeled away, cascading into the void-carrying buildings, ghosts, and Percy Jackson over the edge.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
I kept trying to explain and he kept shouting until I began to cry from frustration. Then he felt remorseful, which was so unlike him and endearing that I almost changed my mind and said yes. But then I imagined a lifetime of having to cry to get him to be kind, and I went back to no again.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
My own good hated me, fought me, argued with me, but I didn’t care, because I watched her slowly come out of her shell, peeling back one layer at a time, and it was stunning.
Raven Kennedy (Gleam (The Plated Prisoner, #3))
Down on my knees / I peel back the layers of the world.
Leza Lowitz (Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold by)
His world closes in. The sky is endless no longer but pieced into squares of brick and bright cloths hanging down to dry. Underfoot, no longer stone but rubble, earth, the peelings and rotted scraps of the inedible. He smells the smoke of cooking fires, he hears men arguing and babies screaming like seagulls, he sees young women looking shyly down from high windows, exchanging glances. Now, he is no longer the watcher. Watched. Shouts echo in the dark between twisted walls and back alleys. A twisted smile in a doorway. A stranger’s voice. A stranger’s language.
Michael Tobert (Karna's Wheel)
Nothing about you or Wonderland makes sense. And the ‘one abiding truth’ is that life was so much easier when I’d forgotten your massive ego and that other world ever existed.” A tremor shifts through his features, first fragile, then severe. His muscles twitch under his T-shirt, sending a tingling sensation through my knuckles. “You want me nonexistent?" Before I can respond, he steps back and flips the hat from his head. Then he drags off his vest and his T-shirt, dropping them all on the floor at my feet. Once he’s peeled off his necklace and bracelets, he stands there facing me in only jeans and boots. I watch him warily. “W-w-what are you doing?” “I’m clearing the way for my massive ego.
A.G. Howard (Unhinged (Splintered, #2))
Did my mother ever get to see a cicada molting? Did she wish that she could do exact that? Shed her skin and be someone new? There were days when she seemed to transform into something quieter, darker. Her colors deeper but also muted. Both her truer self, and not. Or maybe it wasn't a transformation. Maybe it was a momentary reveal. A peeling back of the protective layers. A sharpening of a pencil, bringing the tip to its most focused point.
Emily X.R. Pan (The Astonishing Color of After)
So, kid, you’ve got to live, and not just that stoic existence you’ve been stomping trough all this time. You’ve got to be kind, you’ve got to fall in love, fall out of love, no matter how much it hurts because my god, it’s worth it. Don’t let the world turn you to stone; you’ve got to feel. And sometimes, your heart will threaten to march right out of your chest because you’re so fucking full of it all- of the people, the places, the endless days, the eternal nights- and kid, that’s fine. Be brave. Courage isn’t measured by the number of people you’ve turned away or by the counts of the nights you’ve spent alone because you refuse to give someone the chance to love you. Being alone is not poetic; you’ve got to let them in. Let them peel back your skin and waltz into your bloodstream and love them, love them, love them. And finally, kid, your life has already begun. Stop waiting. Chaos is already underway.
E.P. .
A photograph is a universe of dots. The grain, the halide, the little silver things clumped in the emulsion. Once you get inside a dot, you gain access to hidden information, you slide into the smallest event. This is what technology does. It peels back the shadows and redeems the dazed and rumbling past. It makes reality come true.
Don DeLillo (Underworld)
It was as if - this something I thought of only later, of course - she was gently peeling back one layer after another that covered a person's heart, a very sensual feeling.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
The supernatural world was like an onion. You peel back the layers, only to find more layers, on and on, hopelessly trying to reach the mysterious core. Then you start crying.
Carrie Vaughn
When white Americans frankly peel back the layers of our commingled pasts, we are all marked by it. Whether a company or an individual, we are marred either by our connections to the specific crimes and injuries of our fathers and their fathers. Or we are tainted by the failures of our fathers to fulfill our national credos when their courage was most needed. We are formed in molds twisted by the gifts we received at the expense of others. It is not our “fault.” But it is undeniably our inheritance.
Douglas A. Blackmon (Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II)
But his kind will always lose in the end. I know this, and now I know why. Whether it's wife or nation they occupy, their mistake is the same: they stand still, and their stake moves underneath them.... Chains rattle, rivers roll, animals startle and bolt, forests inspire and expand, babies stretch open-mouthed from the womb, new seedlings arch their necks and creep forward into the light. Even a language won't stand still. A territory is only possessed for a moment in time. They stake everything on that moment, posing for photographs while planting the flag, casting themselves in bronze.... Even before the flagpole begins to peel and splinter, the ground underneath arches and slides forward into its own new destiny. It may bear the marks of boots on its back, but those marks become the possessions of the land.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Most people who are in the process of excavating the reasons they do what they do are met at some point with resistance. “You’re blaming the past.” “Your past is not an excuse.” This is true. Your past is not an excuse. But it is an explanation—offering insight into the questions so many of us ask ourselves: Why do I behave the way I behave? Why do I feel the way I do? For me, there is no doubt that our strengths, vulnerabilities, and unique responses are an expression of what happened to us. Very often, “what happened” takes years to reveal itself. It takes courage to confront our actions, peel back the layers of trauma in our lives, and expose the raw truth of our past. But this is where healing begins.
Oprah Winfrey (What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
It seems to me that after someone sweeps across your life like a red-hot flame, peeling back the shutters that sat over your heart and your mind and setting free your sweetest dreams or your worst nightmares, after things cool down you've got two choices. You can either slip back into your old self, your old life, tucking those things you were too scared to look at back into hiding, or you can keep those parts of yourself out until you get so used to them that they don't scare you anymore and they just become a part of who you are.
Sandra Kring (The Book of Bright Ideas)
You need to fear me, not hate me." I did. I feared him. But I think I hated him more. No, I knew I hated him more. For what he'd done. For what he was doing. For the betrayal. Most of all, for tarnishing something so beautiful and making it ugly. I trusted him. I gave myself to him, and he took me, peeled back layers of my soul until he saw it all. Then he took me.
Nashoda Rose (Torn from You (Tear Asunder, #1))
You're a Scott," the Dark said, his lips peeled back in displeasure, as if just saying the word was revolting. "And you're Irish. I'm so glad we got that settled.
Donna Grant (Darkest Flame: Part 3 (Dark Kings))
At night, the creature that was the Garden peeled back its synthetic skin to show the skeleton beneath.
Dot Hutchison (The Butterfly Garden (The Collector, #1))
Ours is a love that reimagines—that peels back the sky at high noon searching for the stars, collecting them like shells in a bucket. We bathe in stardust, drink from the Milky Way, and dance on the moon. We pierce the firmament, peer into infinity, and tread on time and space. There is no before. There is no after. Now gives birth to forever. This moment may die, but this love never will. Time is not a line. It’s a circle, and we, August and Iris, we stand at the center.
Kennedy Ryan (Long Shot (Hoops, #1))
Emma rose to her feet, facing the faerie across the fleeing crowd. Gleaming from his weathered, barklike face, his eyes were yellow as a cat's. "Shadowhunter," he hissed. Emma reached back over her shoulder and closed her hand around the hilt of her sword, Cortana. The blade made a golden blur in the air as she drew it and pointed the tip at the fey. "No," she said. "I'm a candygram. This is my costume." The faerie looked puzzled. Emma sighed. "It's so hard to be sassy to the Fair Folk. You people never get jokes." "We are well known for our jests, japes, and ballads," the faerie said, clearly offended. "Some of our ballads last for weeks." "I don't have that kind of time," Emma said. "I'm a Shadowhunter. Quip fast, die young." She wiggled Cortana's tip impatiently. "Now turn out your pockets." "I have done nothing to break the Cold Peace," said the fey. "Technically true, but we do frown on stealing from mundanes," Emma said. "Turn out your pockets or I'll rip off one of your horns and shove it where the sun doesn't shine." The fey looked puzzled. "Where does the sun not shine? Is this a riddle?" Emma gave a martyred sigh and raised Cortana. "Turn them out, or I'll start peeling your bark off. My boyfriend and I just broke up, and I'm not in the best mood." The faerie began slowly to empty his pockets onto the ground, glaring at her all the while. "So you're single," he said. "I never would have guessed.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
My heart beat in time with hers. The three of us, with the exact same rhythm in our chests. When one was scared, the hearts of the others knocked. If you cut us open and peeled back the skin, I was sure you’d find something strange: one organ shared, somehow, between three girls.
Krystal Sutherland (House of Hollow)
When you peeled back the skin, you were dealing with bone and muscle, blood and nerve endings. It was all the same. She liked the beautiful logic of the circulatory system, the elegance of the neurological, and the fierce warrior spirit of the heart. The body had rules and it had quirks.
Libba Bray (Beauty Queens)
My head is so full of memories!" Cinderheart wailed. "I feel as though there are two lives inside me, not one. How can it be my choice to make? Doesn't Cinderpelt have a choice? I can't make her a warrior! She was a medicine cat!" Lionblaze pressed his muzzle closer. "She chose you", he murmured. "She gave you the choice". Cinderheart began to tremble. Lionblaze could sense her mind whirling. "You can only live one life, Cinderheart. It's your choice! This is your destiny, not Cinderpelt's. She lived her own life". Cinderheart gasped. Then her pelt smoothed. She lifted her chin. "Then I choose the life of a warrior". Her blue eyes shone. "And I choose you". A breeze stirred the ferns. Lionblaze glimpsed a pale gray shape appear like a shadow beside Cinderheart. Stepping back in surprise, he saw it peel away from her and drift up like a cobweb carried by the wind. A soft voice whispered, Thank you. Lionblaze's fur stood on end. "Did you see that? Cinderheart was watching the shadow disappear into the trees. "It was Cinderpelt", she breathed. "I've set her free". Lionblaze purred loudly. "Will you fight alongside me?" Cinderheart pressed her muzzle fiercely against his. "Always".
Erin Hunter (The Last Hope (Warriors: Omen of the Stars, #6))
im like a onion. peel back the layers and u'll see that deep down inside im just a smaller, mor afraid onion.
Jomny Sun (Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too)
IS IT POSSIBLE for a huge to peel back skin of time, the toughened and raw bits, the irritated and irritating dry spots, the parts that bleed?
Jason Reynolds (Long Way Down)
Writing is an act of discovery in which you peel back the layers of the story as you write it down.
Matt Forbeck
Courage is your natural setting. You do not need to become courageous, but rather peel back the layers of self-protective, limiting beliefs that keep you small.
Vironika Tugaleva
If you have ever peeled an onion, then you know that the first thin, papery layer reveals another thin, papery layer, and that layer reveals another, and another, and before you know it you have hundreds of layers all over the kitchen table and thousands of tears in your eyes, sorry that you ever started peeling in the first place and wishing that you had left the onion alone to wither away on the shelf of the pantry while you went on with your life, even if that meant never again enjoying the complicated and overwhelming taste of this strange and bitter vegetable. In this way, the story of the Baudelaire orphans is like an onion, and if you insist on reading each and every thin, papery layer in A Series of Unfortunate Events, your only reward will be 170 chapters of misery in your library and countless tears in your eyes. Even if you have read the first twelve volumes of the Baudelaires' story, it is not too late to stop peeling away the layers, and to put this book back on the shelf to wither away while you read something less complicated and overwhelming. The end of this unhappy chronicle is like its bad beginning, as each misfortune only reveals another, and another, and another, and only those with the stomach for this strange and bitter tale should venture any farther into the Baudelaire onion. I'm sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
A true friend will be there to congratulate you when you win an Academy Award and will also be there to hold your hair back when you're puking your guts out in the bathroom stall two minutes later! So keep your eyes peeled for the hair-holding kind.
Jordan Christy (How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace)
I feel The Fear coming on, and the only cure for that is to chew up a fat black wad of blood-opium about the size of a young meatball and then call a cab for a fast run down to that strip of X-film houses on 14th Street… peel back the brain, let the opium take hold, and get locked into serious pornography.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
But memory is like plaster: peel it back and you just might find a completely different picture.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
He loves pieces of her -- the thunder-blue of her eyes, the full moon-glow of her breasts in the dark -- but he never even met most of her. If he peeled back her pretty skin he'd find nothing soft or sweet at all, just busted glass and ashes and the desperate, animal will to stay alive.
Alix E. Harrow (The Once and Future Witches)
2. Goth girls. Streaked purple and black hair, tattoos, a sexy little tramp stamp on the lower back, navel rings, tongue studs… nipple rings… ripped fishnets and high heels, dark clothes and dark moods. Makes me want to peel it all off and find the soft spots underneath, the sweetness at the center… mmmm.
Selena Kitt
I am the woman at the water’s edge, offering you oranges for the peeling, knife glistening in the sun. This is the scent and taste of my skin: citon and sweet. Touch me and your life will unfold before you, easily as this skirt billows then sinks, lapping against my legs, my toes filtering through the rivers silt. Following the current out to sea, I am the kind of woman who will come back to haunt your dreams, move through your humid nights the way honey swirls through a cup of hot tea
Shara McCallum
HONEY: (Apologetically, holding up her brandy bottle) I peel labels. GEORGE: We all peel labels, sweetie; and when you get through the skin, all three layers, through the muscle, slosh aside the organs (An aside to NICK) them which is still sloshable--(Back to HONEY) and get down to bone...you know what you do then? HONEY: (Terribly interested) No! GEORGE: When you get down to bone, you haven't got all the way, yet. There's something inside the bone...the marrow...and that's what you gotta get at. (A strange smile at MARTHA)
Edward Albee (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
And eventually the dark peeled back layer by layer, and with imperceptible gradations the sky feathered to a delicate pale blue.
Ransom Riggs (Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2))
Imagination is a gift waiting to be opened. A writer must peel back the wrapping and share that offering with the world.
Mark Rubinstein
Humanity is a very interesting phenomenon. If you peel back the layers, if you're brave enough, you realize it's something that's not for the faint of heart-" Angel M.B. Chadwick
Angel M.B. Chadwick
The fact that they're shaped like tiny elves!" Keefe said, clapping his hands before he pointed to the label. "Hang on-THEY CALL THEM 'ELF WITCHES'?" "They do, Keefe. They do. And that's not even the best part." "AHHHHHH LOOK AT THEIR LITTLE FACES!" Keefe shouted as he peeled back the plastic cover. "THIS IS THE GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN---EVER!" "Greater than when you discovered Fitz slept with Mr. Snuggles?" Sophie had to ask. "Um. YEAH. They have names, Foster. NAMES!" He held up one of the cookies and pointed to the name tag the little elf was holding. "This one's Ernie! AHHHH AND THIS ONE IS FAST EDDIE!" he said, snatching a different cookie. "And this one is Bickets! And Elwood! I don't know who named these guys, but whoever they are, they're a genius, I tell you--a GENIUS. - Legacy, chapter 37, page 596-97 hardcover.
Shannon Messenger (Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8))
you can’t judge a banana by the outside. The outside of the banana might be all bruised and discolored and look really nasty, but once you open the banana and peel the skin back, there could be a nice, clean, fresh banana inside. I also explained that there are all different kinds of bananas, just as there are all different kinds of people, and that we shouldn’t judge either the people or the bananas in our lives until we have the chance to “peel back the skin” and learn what’s inside.
Brad Cohen (Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had)
Self-awareness is like an onion. There are multiple layers to it, and the more you peel them back, the more likely you’re going to start crying at inappropriate times. Let’s
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
The point is not to negate reality but to peel back its scrim, revealing reality’s peculiarities and contradictions. The very best magic tricks, the kind Klara wants to perform, do not subtract from reality. They add.
Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists)
To write poetry, like sincere poetry, it is like performing heart surgery on yourself without anesthesia…in public…You are peeling back layers. You are dissecting yourself…You do not know what they [the audience] is going to do when you reach into yourself and rip out your organs to be displayed
Amir Sulaiman
With these words I have healed deep wounds and feelings of inadequacy within myself. If you get this far... if you're still reading this: Write your life. No matter how young or old. Even if you feel like you're not interesting enough. Do it. Believe me you are. Your life is in fact twisted and beautiful and you'll find that as you peel back the layers, the unexpected side effect is that it feels wonderful to be know. Even if it's just by you.
Brandi Carlile (Broken Horses)
When you take a moment to peel back the layers of time and space in your current state of perception, you soon begin to realize the true nature of the self and it's reality. Increasing your self-awareness naturally fosters compassion and integrity in all actions and attitudes towards oneself and others
Gary Hopkins
Write your life. No matter how young or old, even if you feel like you're not interesting enough, do it. Believe me, you are. Your life is in fact twisted, and beautiful. And you'll find that as you peel back the layers, the unexpected side effect is that it feels wonderful to beknown, even if it's just by you.
Brandi Carlile (Broken Horses)
…The time machine quietly disintegrated with leprosy of unsaid hurts and accusations that peeled back skin, muscle, and bone, snapping off love’s digits, fingers, arms, and legs in agonizing screams …
Michal Majernik (Mechanical Bull)
People had short memories. They needed to navigate the rubble, peel off the grubby ration coupons, and witness the Hunger Games to keep the war fresh in their minds. Forgetting could lead to complacency, and then they’d all be back at square one.
Suzanne Collins (The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0))
When you are ready, guidance will come. Rely on the people who are in your life now; face your dark energies as honestly as you can; respect your boundaries and those of everyone around you. As you peel back each layer of the onion, the teacher who can lead you on will show up, almost miraculously matching the very moment when guidance is needed.
Deepak Chopra (The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, 100 Days of Healing)
I would not willingly peel back the scar tissue protecting the deepest chambers of my heart and reveal the bruised hollows pooled with the blood of old wounds – the terror comes just thinking about it – but now, facing darkness I am left with no choice. I love you, and because of that am going to try and raise the dead. – Louise Bell Closson, How It Ends
Laura Wiess (How It Ends)
Sometimes we don’t know how heavily we bleed until our skin is peeled back.
Lila Felix (Dethroning Crown)
When I make duck soup, I add an extra pinch of Simply Red’s hit song “Holding Back The Years.” It makes a better emulsifier than peeled carrots.
Jarod Kintz (Music is fluid, and my saxophone overflows when my ducks slosh in the sounds I make in elevators.)
The sky peeled back for a moment, and a weak ray of sunset spilled over the scene like the diseased eye of some forgetful god -- the light bearing with it cold in place of heat.
Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
Sometimes we need a wise guide to peel back the ceiling of our lives to remind us that infinity never places any limits on our skies.
Curtis Tyrone Jones
Gwen smiled and asked hopefully, "Is there coffee again this morning?" Silvan put his book down and glanced absently at Gwen. His gaze dropped to her cleavage, and a single white brow shot up. He blinked several times. "There certainly is," Nell said, circling the table. She stopped behind Gwen and draped a linen cloth over her shoulders, so it tumbled from her neck like a bib. "Peel yer eyes off the lass's breasts," Nell said sweetly to Silvan. Gwen turned twenty shades of red, sneaked a hand beneath the bib, and tugged at her bodice, trying to jiggle them back down a little. Mortified, she devoted her attention to eyeing the medieval dining ware-plates and goblets made of heavy silver, a fat spoon and broad knife, and heavy blue bowls. "She's the one who fluffed them up," Silvan protested indignantly. "I didn't mean to look, but they were ... so ... there. Like trying not to see the sun in the sky." Nell arched a brow and circled round the table again. "I hardly think 'twas ye she fluffed 'em for, was it lass?" Gwen glanced up and gave an embarrassed shake of her head.
Karen Marie Moning (Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4))
There was nothing left for me to do, but go. Though the things of the world were strong with me still. Such as, for example: a gaggle of children trudging through a side-blown December flurry; a friendly match-share beneath some collision-titled streetlight; a frozen clock, a bird visited within its high tower; cold water from a tin jug; towering off one’s clinging shirt post-June rain. Pearls, rags, buttons, rug-tuft, beer-froth. Someone’s kind wishes for you; someone remembering to write; someone noticing that you are not at all at ease. A bloody ross death-red on a platter; a headgetop under-hand as you flee late to some chalk-and-woodfire-smelling schoolhouse. Geese above, clover below, the sound of one’s own breath when winded. The way a moistness in the eye will blur a field of stars; the sore place on the shoulder a resting toboggan makes; writing one’s beloved’s name upon a frosted window with a gloved finger. Tying a shoe; tying a knot on a package; a mouth on yours; a hand on yours; the ending of the day; the beginning of the day; the feeling that there will always be a day ahead. Goodbye, I must now say goodbye to all of it. Loon-call in the dark; calf-cramp in the spring; neck-rub in the parlour; milk-sip at end of day. Some brandy-legged dog proudly back-ploughs the grass to cover its modest shit; a cloud-mass down-valley breaks apart over the course of a brandy-deepened hour; louvered blinds yield dusty beneath your dragging finger, and it is nearly noon and you must decide; you have seen what you have seen, and it has wounded you, and it seems you have only one choice left. Blood-stained porcelain bowl wobbles face down on wood floor; orange peel not at all stirred by disbelieving last breath there among that fine summer dust-layer, fatal knife set down in pass-panic on familiar wobbly banister, later dropped (thrown) by Mother (dear Mother) (heartsick) into the slow-flowing, chocolate-brown Potomac. None of it was real; nothing was real. Everything was real; inconceivably real, infinitely dear. These and all things started as nothing, latent within a vast energy-broth, but then we named them, and loved them, and in this way, brought them forth. And now we must lose them. I send this out to you, dear friends, before I go, in this instantaneous thought-burst, from a place where time slows and then stops and we may live forever in a single instant. Goodbye goodbye good-
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
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)
I want to peel away all the labels I had once given to others and place them upon the fabric of my own identity. They have reflected back to me, everything that I refuse to See in myself.
Meraaqi (Divine Trouble)
One of the most memorably unexpected events I experienced in the course of doing this book came in a dissection room at the University of Nottingham in England when a professor and surgeon named Ben Ollivere (about whom much more in due course) gently incised and peeled back a sliver of skin about a millimeter thick from the arm of a cadaver. It was so thin as to be translucent. “That,” he said, “is where all your skin color is. That’s all that race is—a sliver of epidermis.” I mentioned this to Nina Jablonski when we met in her office in State College, Pennsylvania, soon afterward. She gave a nod of vigorous assent. “It is extraordinary how such a small facet of our composition is given so much importance,” she said. “People act as if skin color is a determinant of character when all it is is a reaction to sunlight. Biologically, there is actually no such thing as race—nothing in terms of skin color, facial features, hair type, bone structure, or anything else that is a defining quality among peoples. And yet look how many people have been enslaved or hated or lynched or deprived of fundamental rights through history because of the color of their skin.
Bill Bryson (The Body: A Guide for Occupants)
Seoul is a city of layers and Jesse peels them back with his penetrating gaze, taking in the glitzy Western bars, the alleys sloping upward into cramped housing developments, the doorways leading to dark hallways that lead to offices and noodle shops the casual observer would never even know existed.
Paula Stokes (Ferocious (Vicarious, #2))
there is a list of questions i want to ask but never will there is a list of questions i go through in my head every time i'm alone and my mind can't stop itself from searching for you there is a list of questions i want to ask so if you're listening somewhere here i am asking them what do you think happens to the love that's left behind when two lovers leave how blue do you think it gets before it passes away does it pass away or does it still exist somewhere waiting for us to come back when we lied to ourselves by calling this unconditional and left which one of us hurt more i shattered into a million little pieces and those pieces shattered into a million more crumbled into dust till there was nothing left of me but the silence tell me how love how did the grieving feel for you how did the mourning hurt how did you peel your eyes open after every blink knowing i'd never be there staring back it must be hard to live with what ifs there must always be this constant dull aching in the pit of your stomach trust me i feel it too how in the world did we get here how did we live through it and how are we still living how many months did it take before you stopped thinking of me or are you still thinking of me cause if you are then maybe i am too thinking of you thinking of me with me in me around me everywhere you and me and us do you still touch yourself to the thoughts of me do you still imagine my naked naked tiny tiny body pressed into yours do you still imagine the curve of my spine and how you wanted to rip it out of me cause the way it dipped into my perfectly rounded bottom drove you crazy baby sugar baby sweet baby ever since we left how many times did you pretend it was my hand stroking you how many times did you search for me in your fantasies and end up crying instead of coming don't you lie to me i can tell when you're lying cause there's always that little bit of arrogance in your response are you angry with me are you okay and would you tell me if you're not and if we ever see each other again do you think you'd reach out and hold me like you said you would the last time we spoke and you talked of the next time we would or do you think we'd just look shake in our skin as we pine to absorb as much as we can of each other cause by this time we've probably got someone else waiting at home we were good together weren't we and is it wrong that i'm asking you these questions tell me love that you have been looking for these answers too
Rupi Kaur (the sun and her flowers)
Rivers course through my dreams, rivers cold and fast, rivers well-known and rivers nameless, rivers that seem like ribbons of blue water twisting through wide valleys, narrow rivers folded in layers of darkening shadow, rivers that have eroded down deep in a mountain's belly, sculpted the land, peeled back the planet's history exposing he texture of time itself.
Harry Middleton (Rivers of Memory (The Pruett Series))
Kids use words in ways that release hidden meanings, revel the history buried in sounds. They haven't forgotten that words can be more than signs, that words have magic, the power to be things, to point to themselves and materialize. With their back-formations, archaisms, their tendency to play the music in words--rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, repetition--children peel the skin from language. Words become incantatory. Open Sesame. Abracadabra. Perhaps a child will remember the word and will bring the walls tumbling down.
John Edgar Wideman
Everyone's for a free Tibet, but no one's for freeing Tibet. So Tibet will stay unfree - as unfree now as it was when the first Free Tibet campaigner slapped the very first "FREE TIBET" sticker on the back of his Edsel. Idealism as inertia is the hallmark of the movement...He's [the guy with the bumper sticket] advertising his moral superiority, not calling for action. If Rumsfeld were to say, "Free Tibet? Jiminy, what a swell idea! The Third Infantry Division goes in on Thursday," the bumper-sticker crowd would be aghast. They'd have to bend down and peel off the "FREE TIBET" stickers and replace them with "WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER.
Mark Steyn (America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It)
There are stories told to him only at this time of year. Fantastic, magical stories, the old Hollier in the woods finding only three red berries, which peel back in the night to reveal gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh, Christmas in hot deserts, dust-blown countries, the necklace of tears, and the story of the robin.
Sarah Hall (Haweswater)
When he heard light, rushing footfalls, he turned his head. Someone was racing along the second-floor balcony. Then laughter drifted down from above. Glorious feminine laughter. He leaned out the archway and glanced at the grand staircase. Bella appeared on the landing above, breathless, smiling, a black satin robe gathered in her hands. As she slowed at the head of the stairs, she looked over her shoulder, her thick dark hair swinging like a mane. The pounding that came next was heavy and distant, growing louder until it was like boulders hitting the ground. Obviously, it was what she was waiting for. She let out a laugh, yanked her robe up even higher, and started down the stairs, bare feet skirting the steps as if she were floating. At the bottom, she hit the mosaic floor of the foyer and wheeled around just as Zsadist appeared in second-story hallway. The Brother spotted her and went straight for the balcony, pegging his hands into the rail, swinging his legs up and pushing himself straight off into thin air. He flew outward, body in a perfect swan dive--except he wasn't over water, he was two floors up over hard stone. John's cry for help came out as a mute, sustained rush of air-- Which was cut off as Zsadist dematerialized at the height of the dive. He took form twenty feet in front of Bella, who watched the show with glowing happiness. Meanwhile, John's heart pounded from shock...then pumped fast for a different reason. Bella smiled up at her mate, her breath still hard, her hands still gripping the robe, her eyes heavy with invitation. And Zsadist came forward to answer her call, seeming to get even bigger as he stalked over to her. The Brother's bonding scent filled the foyer, just as his low, lionlike growl did. The male was all animal at the moment....a very sexual animal. "You like to be chased, nalla, " Z said in a voice so deep it distorted. Bella's smile got even wider as she backed up into a corner. "Maybe." "So run some more, why don't you." The words were dark and even John caught the erotic threat in them. Bella took off, darting around her mate, going for the billiards room. Z tracked her like prey, pivoting around, his eyes leveled on the female's streaming hair and graceful body. As his lips peeled off his fangs, the white canines elongated, protruding from his mouth. And they weren't the only response he had to his shellan. At his hips, pressing into the front of his leathers, was an erection the size of a tree trunk. Z shot John a quick glance and then went back to his hunt, disappearing into the room, the pumping growl getting louder. From out of the open doors, there was a delighted squeal, a scramble, a female's gasp, and then....nothing. He'd caught her. ......When Zsadist came out a moment later, he had Bella in his arms, her dark hair trailing down his shoulder as she lounged in the strength that held her. Her eyes locked on Z's face while he looked where he was going, her hand stroking his chest, her lips curved in a private smile. There was a bite mark on her neck, one that had very definitely not been there before, and Bella's satisfaction as she stared at the hunger in her hellren's face was utterly compelling. John knew instinctively that Zsadist was going to finish two things upstairs: the mating and the feeding. The Brother was going to be at her throat and in between her legs. Probably at the same time. God, John wanted that kind of connection.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, the fucker will jump right back out. It knows it’s wrong, it hurts, it will kill him. But if you put him in a pot and slowly raise it up to boiling, he’ll stay. That’s what abuse is like. You might not even notice it’s happening at first. You’d brush it off as him having a bad day, you pissing him off. But then it starts getting worse in small ways until you’re in so deep and you’re so hot and your skin is peeling and you don’t know if you even remember you can jump anymore. That doesn’t make you weak. You got out of that shit, baby. That makes you stronger, a lot stronger, I think, than you even realize.
Jessica Gadziala (Shane (Mallick Brothers, #1))
On his back, Robert must have had time to see something beautiful, and not just the ugliness of a city street at the end of life. Even with the tremendous pain in his badly gutted belly he would have looked up beyond the fire escapes and the windows with their glittery trees and television glows, to the sky about the rooftops. A sky shimmery with the possibilities of the death; lights exaggerated, the heavens peeled back- a swirling haze of nebulae and comets - in some distant place, intimations of the new beginning into which he would soon journey
Oscar Hijuelos (Mr. Ives' Christmas)
He blinks; he has to swallow back tears. The parlor looks the same as it always has: two cribs beneath two Latin crosses, dust floating in the open mouth of the stove, a dozen layers of paint peeling off the baseboards. A needlepoint of Frau Elena’s snowy Alsatian village above the sink. Yet now there is music. As if, inside Werner’s head, an infinitesimal orchestra has stirred to life.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
The cold never bothers me when I’m filled with the hot soup of bad souls. Nevertheless I make a show of shivering. Chi strips off his leather vest and I hold it as he peels off his hoodie, pulling his shirt up with it. I get an eyeful of carved six-pack abs and bite back a whistle. Demon-hunting must be good for the physique. The looks of an angel and yet all it makes me want to do is sin.
Eliza Crewe (Cracked (Soul Eaters, #1))
[I] threw open the door to find Rob sit­ting on the low stool in front of my book­case, sur­round­ed by card­board box­es. He was seal­ing the last one up with tape and string. There were eight box­es - eight box­es of my books bound up and ready for the base­ment! "He looked up and said, 'Hel­lo, dar­ling. Don't mind the mess, the care­tak­er said he'd help me car­ry these down to the base­ment.' He nod­ded to­wards my book­shelves and said, 'Don't they look won­der­ful?' "Well, there were no words! I was too ap­palled to speak. Sid­ney, ev­ery sin­gle shelf - where my books had stood - was filled with ath­let­ic tro­phies: sil­ver cups, gold cups, blue rosettes, red rib­bons. There were awards for ev­ery game that could pos­si­bly be played with a wood­en ob­ject: crick­et bats, squash rac­quets, ten­nis rac­quets, oars, golf clubs, ping-​pong bats, bows and ar­rows, snook­er cues, lacrosse sticks, hock­ey sticks and po­lo mal­lets. There were stat­ues for ev­ery­thing a man could jump over, ei­ther by him­self or on a horse. Next came the framed cer­tificates - for shoot­ing the most birds on such and such a date, for First Place in run­ning races, for Last Man Stand­ing in some filthy tug of war against Scot­land. "All I could do was scream, 'How dare you! What have you DONE?! Put my books back!' "Well, that's how it start­ed. Even­tu­al­ly, I said some­thing to the ef­fect that I could nev­er mar­ry a man whose idea of bliss was to strike out at lit­tle balls and lit­tle birds. Rob coun­tered with re­marks about damned blue­stock­ings and shrews. And it all de­gen­er­at­ed from there - the on­ly thought we prob­ably had in com­mon was, What the hell have we talked about for the last four months? What, in­deed? He huffed and puffed and snort­ed and left. And I un­packed my books.
Annie Barrows (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
Sometimes life has its way with you. It peels back the layers of your existence like the skin of an onion until the real you glows underneath, raw and painful to the touch.
Addison Moore (3:AM Kisses (3:AM Kisses, #1))
Self-awareness is like an onion. There are multiple layers to it, and the more you peel them back, the more likely you're going to start crying at inappropriate times.
Mark Menson
She was more of a business partner to him than anything else. Some of her appreciated that. But rustling yet within her was another person who wanted to bathe and perfume herself...and be taken, carried away, and peeled back by a force she could sense, but never articulate, even dimly within her mind.
Robert James Waller (The Bridges of Madison County)
Robbins had opened Gabby up. Her charred skin was peeled back, and her ribs were removed. She was pink inside, like steak that had been burned on a high heat but remained raw in the middle.
Chelsea Cain (Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, #5))
You’re covered in all these broken promises from people who said they would never leave. Sometimes afraid of your own skin and the scars that run deep in your veins. Are you ready Are you ready for someone who could turn you inside out? No one dares to peel back all the layers of your skin All this damage, you’re a mess. Are you ready Are you ready Because I want your damaged skin.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts)
The transition between our current Type 0 civilization and a future Type I civilization is perhaps the greatest transition in history. It will determine whether we will continue to thrive and flourish, or perish due to our own folly. This transition is extremely dangerous because we still have all the barbaric savagery that typified our painful rise from the swamp. Peel back the veneer of civilization, and we still see the forces of fundamentalism, sectarianism, racism, intolerance, etc., at work. Human nature has not changed much in the past 100,000 years, except now we have nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to settle old scores.
Michio Kaku (Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100)
Imagine you are Siri Keeton: You wake in an agony of resurrection, gasping after a record-shattering bout of sleep apnea spanning one hundred forty days. You can feel your blood, syrupy with dobutamine and leuenkephalin, forcing its way through arteries shriveled by months on standby. The body inflates in painful increments: blood vessels dilate; flesh peels apart from flesh; ribs crack in your ears with sudden unaccustomed flexion. Your joints have seized up through disuse. You're a stick-man, frozen in some perverse rigor vitae. You'd scream if you had the breath. Vampires did this all the time, you remember. It was normal for them, it was their own unique take on resource conservation. They could have taught your kind a few things about restraint, if that absurd aversion to right-angles hadn't done them in at the dawn of civilization. Maybe they still can. They're back now, after all— raised from the grave with the voodoo of paleogenetics, stitched together from junk genes and fossil marrow steeped in the blood of sociopaths and high-functioning autistics. One of them commands this very mission. A handful of his genes live on in your own body so it too can rise from the dead, here at the edge of interstellar space. Nobody gets past Jupiter without becoming part vampire.
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
In fact he was as lovesick as a high schooler of an especially sensitive sort who wonders if he dare share a poem with his beloved or whether she will laugh at him. He does read her the poem and her feminine capacity for romanticism for a moment approaches his own and they are suffused in a love trance, a state that so ineluctably peels back the senses making them fresh again whatever ages the lovers might be.
Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall)
While I'm quietly ignoring your "Smile, miss's," "Dammmn, girls's," and "Hey, sugar tits, you wanna suck on something sweet's?" I'm also fantasizing about peeling back the skin of your penis with a rusty nail.
Kate Friedman-Siegel (Mother, Can You Not?)
Auriele stepped in front of Henry when he would have gone to her. Her lips peeled back. “Hijo de perra!” she said, her voice alive with anger. Henry flushed, so the insult hit home. Calling someone a son of a dog is a good insult among werewolves. “Hijo de Chihuahua,” said Mary Jo.
Patricia Briggs (Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5))
A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands,” my father would say. And he’d prove it, cupping the buzzer instantly while the host with the swatter stared. In the spring our palms peeled like snakes. True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways. I changed these to fit the occasion. Years before, a girl knocked, wanted to see the Arab. I said we didn’t have one. After that, my father told me who he was, “Shihab”—”shooting star”— a good name, borrowed from the sky. Once I said, “When we die, we give it back?” He said that’s what a true Arab would say.
Naomi Shihab Nye (19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East)
My goodness, I am made from planets and wood, diamonds and orange peels, now and then, here and there; the iron in my blood was once the blade of a Roman plow; peel back my scalp and you will see my cranium covered in the scrimshaw carved by an ancient sailor who never suspected he was whittling at my skull — no, my blood is a Roman plow, my bones are being etched by men with names that mean sea wrestler and ocean rider and the pictures they are making are pictures of northern stars at different seasons, and the man keeping my blood straight as it splits the soil is named Lucian and he will plant wheat, and I cannot concentrate on this apple, this apple, and the only thing common to all of this is that I feel sorrow so deep, it must be love, and they are upset because while they are carving and plowing they are troubled by visions of trying to pick apples from barrels.
Paul Harding
He grasped the knob. It was engraved with a wild rose wound around a revolver, one of those great old guns from his father and now lost forever. Yet it will be yours again, whispered the voice of the Tower and the voice of the roses—these voices were now one. What do you mean ? To this there was no answer, but the knob turned beneath his hand, and perhaps that was an answer. Roland opened the door at the top of the Dark Tower. He saw and understood at once, the knowledge falling upon him in a hammerblow, hot as the sun of the desert that was the apotheosis of all deserts. How many times had he climbed these stairs only to find himself peeled back, curved back, turned back? Not to the beginning (when things might have been changed and time's curse lifted), but to that moment in the Mohaine Desert when he had finally understood that his thoughtless, questionless quest would ultimately succeed? How many times had he traveled a loop like the one in the clip that had once pinched off his navel, his own tet-ka can Gan? How many times would he travel it? "Oh, no!" he screamed. "Please, not again! Have pity! Have mercy!" The hands pulled him forward regardless. The hands of the Tower knew no mercy. They were the hands of Gan, the hands of ka, and they knew no mercy.
Stephen King
The visionary is destined to walk in solitude. If the vision is truly original; If the vision is truly unprecedented; Then by its very nature, only the visionary is privy to its wonders. It is the burden of a single soul. Alone. For even the visionary must peel back, chisel and ax away at the status quo to eventually reveal for all humanity what is yet unseen and unheard of. The visionary is the sculptor releasing the vision from the block of stone that is convention.
A.E. Samaan
Something had been peeled back, a covering or shell that works to protect us. I couldn’t decide whether the covering was something on me or something attached to every thing in the world. It didn’t matter, really; wherever it had been, it wasn’t there anymore.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
But I do, little one. Your kisses last night told me everything, I needed to know. In every way that matters, no man has peeled back the many layers that make up the flower that is you, Laura, and dipped his tongue into the centre of you mouth, as I did last night.
Suzi Love (Scenting Scandal (Scandalous Siblings #2))
Maybe that’s how Samson’s layers are peeled back—by peeling my own layers back first.
Colleen Hoover (Heart Bones)
instantly peeled back the wrapper and bit off half the granola bar,
Andrew Clements (The Losers Club)
Its face crinkled up grotesquely, the eyes narrowing like those of a laughing Buddha, the lips peeling back to expose a sickle of brilliant teeth.
Clive Barker (Books of Blood: Volume 6)
The blades touched my abdomen. A cold shock ran through me, and my head began to spin. If he had pressed just a bit harder, the scissors might have pierced my soft belly. The skin would have peeled back, the fat beneath laid bare. Blood would have dripped on the bedspread.
Yōko Ogawa (Hotel Iris)
At the front door she pushed a jam piece and a peeled carrot into his hand and told him to go and play and not to come back till it was dark. She pointed out into the distance and waved her hand wide across the scheme, meaning he could go anywhere he pleased for all she cared.
Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain)
Humor is a developed sense, stemming basically from cruelty. The more primitive a mind, the less selectivity exists. … A man slips on a banana peel and breaks his back. The adult stops laughing at that point, the child does not. And a civilized ego finds embarrassment as acutely distressing as physical pain. A baby, a child, a moron is incapable of practicing empathy. He cannot identify himself with another individual. He is regrettably autistic; his own rules are arbitrary
Lewis Padgett
There's a foot of space and world of contrast between Cristina and me yet I too know how hard it is to peel back the veneer of your life and to peek at the real. It's like waking up in a room and getting out of bed and realizing the furniture has been completely rearranged. You will eventually find your way out but it will be slow going and you're bound to get some bruises along the way.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
The bookseller handed me the book and winked. "Have a good look at it, little dumpling. I don't want you coming back to me saying I've switched it, eh?" "I trust you," I said. "Stuff and nonsense. The last guy who said that to me (a tourist who was convinced that Hemingway had invented the fabada stew during the San Fermín bull run) bought a copy of Hamlet signed by Shakespeare in ballpoint, imagine that. So keep your eyes peeled. In the book business, you can't even trust the index.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
They came here on Sunday, 30th June, 1940, after bombing us two days before. They said they hadn't meant to bomb us; they mistook our tomato lorries on the pier for army trucks. How they came to think that strains the mind. They bombed us, killing some thirty men, women, and children - one among them was my cousin's boy. He had sheltered underneath his lorry when he first saw the planes dropping bombs, and it exploded and caught fire. They killed men in their lifeboats at sea. They strafed the Red Cross ambulances carrying our wounded. When no one shot back at them, they saw the British had left us undefended. They just flew in peaceably two days later and occupied us for five years.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
The look he gives me makes me wonder if I’m in trouble. “I thought you were going out.” “I wanted to come back and say I’m sorry,” I tell him, and I put my arms around his waist and hug. “You shut the door in a way that made me sad, and I wanted to tell you that I’m going to do better.” “Do better at what? How’d I shut the door?” His other arm wraps around my shoulders. He crosses his feet behind my heels, and now his entire body is hugging me. Warm, soft, hard. I thought my mattress was heaven, but that’s before I laid myself on this person. How am I going to ever peel myself off? I inhale his birthday-candle pheromones. I want to know what his goddamn bones smell like. Let me start down in his DNA structure and work my way back out. I speak into his muscles. “You shut the door like you’ve just accepted that I don’t come back. I’m going to start being like you. Completely, one hundred percent honest.” I hover on the precipice and decide to try. “This is the best hug of my life.
Sally Thorne (99 Percent Mine)
To feel everything in every way; to be able to think with the emotions and feel with the mind; not to desire much except with the imagination; to suffer with haughtiness; to see clearly so as to write accurately; to know oneself through diplomacy and dissimulation; to become naturalized as a different person, with all the necessary documents; in short, to use all sensations but only on the inside, peeling them all down to God and then wrapping everything up again and putting it back in the shop window like the sales assistant I can see from here with the small tins of a new brand of shoe polish.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
See them little scales there, how they're closed up tight like window shutters? Underneath 'em are the seeds - flat little things, flimsy as a baby's figernails - with a point at one end. If a fire comes along, the heat is gonna cause those scales to peel back and drop their seeds, while the ground is still scorching hot. Then that tiny seed is gonna burrow in and take root." I was nine years old the summer Freeda and Winnalee Malone rushed across our lives like red-hot flames, peeling back the shutters that sat over our hearts and our minds, setting free our sweetest dreams and our worst nightmares.
Sandra Kring
Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain Beauty. When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you’ve said or read or written a fine sentence. You can recognize a well-turned phrase or an elegant style. But when you are applying the rules of grammar skillfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language. When you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, see it quite naked, in a way. And that’s where it becomes wonderful, because you say to yourself, 'Look how well made this is, how well constructed it is!' 'How solid and ingenious, rich and subtle!' I get completely carried away just knowing there are words of all different natures, and that you have to know them in order to be able to infer their potential usage and compatibility. I find there is nothing more beautiful, for example, than the very basic components of language, nouns and verbs. When you've grasped this, you've grasped the core of any statement. It's magnificent, don't you think? Nouns, verbs...
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
But you sent off that Flounder fellow," Loki said, and I rolled my eyes. "His name is Finn, and I know you know that," I said as I left the room. Loki grabbed the vacuum and followed me. "You called him by his name this morning." "Fine, I know his name," Loki admitted. We went into the next room, and he set down the vacuum as I started peeling the dusty blankets off the bed. "But you were okay with Finn going off to Oslinna, but not Duncan?" "Finn can handle himself," I said tersely. The bedding got stuck on a corner, and Loki came over to help me free it. Once he had, I smiled thinly at him. "Thank you." "But I know you had a soft spot for Finn," Loki continued. "My feelings for him have no bearing on his ability to do his job." I tossed the dirty blankets at Loki. He caught them easily before setting them down by the door, presumably for Duncan to take to the laundry chute again. "I've never understood exactly what your relationship with him was, anyway," Loki said. I'd started putting new sheets on the bed, and he went around to the other side to help me. "Were you two dating?" "No." I shook my head. "We never dated. We were never anything." I continued to pull on the sheets, but Loki stopped, watching me. "I don't know if that's a lie or not, but I do know that he was never good enough for you." "But I suppose you think you are?" I asked with a sarcastic laugh. "No, of course I'm not good enough for you," Loki said, and I lifted my head to look up at him, surprised by his response. "But I at least try to be good enough." "You think Finn doesn't?" I asked, standing up straight. "Every time I've seen him around you, he's telling you what to do, pushing you around." He shook his head and went back to making the bed. "He wants to love you, I think, but he can't. He won't let himself, or he's incapable. And he never will." The truth of his words stung harder than I'd thought they would, and I swallowed hard. "And obviously, you need someone that loves you," Loki continued. "You love fiercely, with all your being. And you need someone that loves you the same. More than duty or the monarchy or the kingdom. More than himself even." He looked up at me then, his eyes meeting mine, darkly serious. My heart pounded in my chest, the fresh heartache replaced with something new, something warmer that made it hard for me to breathe. "But you're wrong." I shook my head. "I don't deserve that much." "On the contrary, Wendy." Loki smiled honestly, and it stirred something inside me. "You deserve all the love a man has to give." I wanted to laugh or blush or look away, but I couldn't. I was frozen in a moment with Loki, finding myself feeling things for him I didn't think I could ever feel for anyone else. "I don't know how much more laundry we can fit down the chute," Duncan said as he came back in the room, interrupting the moment. I looked away from Loki quickly and grabbed the vacuum cleaner. "Just get as much down there as you can," I told Duncan. "I'll try." He scooped up another load of bedding to send downstairs. Once he'd gone, I glanced back at Loki, but, based on the grin on his face, I'd say his earlier seriousness was gone. "You know, Princess, instead of making that bed, we could close the door and have a roll around in it." Loki wagged his eyebrows. "What do you say?" Rolling my eyes, I turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out the conversation. "I'll take that as a maybe later!" Loki shouted over it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
No one spotted anything wrong with the pilot’s ID?” Mr Brown stepped closer and studied the corpse. “Interesting. Same modus as they used with Ms Hollister?” He stepped back to gain perspective and looked round. “Have forensics examined her?” “Yes, sir. Confirmed the use of a needle dart. They say it is difficult to put a time of death on her because the killer used a body coolant to drop the temperature and preserve it. One other thing, sir. Someone took a skin peel from her hands, and they made a face mould and took hair from her head.” “Professional then.” Mr Brown paused. “Very well, I’ll talk to the head of forensics. Inform next of kin and prepare a media release.” He ran a check. “If whoever killed her piloted the last shuttle to the surface and used her ID and passed the DNA check, that means the murderer is now on Mars.” Turning to go, he ordered, “Hold the next of kin and media release until I say otherwise. I don’t want anyone to know we’ve found her.”  
Patrick G. Cox (First into the Fray (Harry Heron #1.5))
They needed to navigate the rubble, peel off the grubby ration coupons, and witness the Hunger Games to keep the war fresh in their minds. Forgetting could lead to complacency, and then they’d all be back at square one.
Suzanne Collins (The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0))
One woman had married a dog and given birth to puppies, only to peel back the fur to see they were actually babies underneath. Animals were simply nonhuman people, with the same ability to make conscious decisions, and humanity simmered under their skins. You could see it in the way they sat together for meals, or fell in love, or grieved. And this went both ways: Sometimes, in a human, there would turn out to be a hidden bit of a beast.
Jodi Picoult (The Tenth Circle)
Harl whirled round, all his attention ... on Skulker. "What is that on your carapace?""What?" Skulker tried to peer back... A tinny voice issued from somewhere... It took Skulker a moment to recognize it as that of the human male he earlier encountered. "It's CTD gecko mine - yield of about five kilotones." Skulker's shriek terminated in a blast that peeled back four square kilometers of jungle canopy and sunk a crater down to the bedrock.
Neal Asher (Prador Moon (Polity Universe, #1))
As we were about to cross the road, Davin suddenly grabbed my wrist and held me back a moment; a car peeled out of the driveway and roared past us. “Geez,” I gasped, and then, glancing at him curiously, I added, “Thanks.” He didn’t say anything, but slowly released my wrist. Before he completely withdrew, I took his hand and interlaced my fingers through his. He looked at me, his lips parted in surprise, but then he smiled shyly and gave my hand a squeeze as we kept walking. It gave me a feeling of nervous flutters in the best way. As we walked up to the doors, Jill and Laurel came bursting out the exit.
J.M. Richards (Tall, Dark Streak of Lightning (Dark Lightning Trilogy, #1))
One summer afternoon I came home and found all the umbrellas sitting in the kitchen, with straw hats on, telling who they are. ... The umbrella that peels the potatoes with a pencil and makes a pink ink with the peelings stood up and said, "I am the umbrella that peels the potatoes with a pencil and makes a pink ink with the peelings." ... The umbrella that runs to the corner to get corners for the handkerchiefs stood up and said, "I am the umbrella that runs to the corner to get corners for the handkerchiefs." ... "I am the umbrella that holds up the sky. I am the umbrella the rain comes through. I am the umbrella that tells the sky when to begin raining and when to stop raining. "I am the umbrella that goes to pieces when the wind blows and then puts itself back together again when the wind goes down. I am the first umbrella, the last umbrella, the one and only umbrella all other umbrellas are named after, first, last and always." When the stranger finished this speech telling who he was and where he came from, all the other umbrellas sat still for a little while, to be respectful.
Carl Sandburg (Rootabaga Stories)
Confessing my feelings through that song was a risk. But that’s what she does to me. She strips me down, peels back the layers, and leaves me completely dependent. Weakened for that breath of time where I wait for her to let me know she feels the same.
J.B. Salsbury (Fighting to Forgive (Fighting, #2))
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I saw to the south a man walking. He was breaking ground in perfect silence. He wore a harness and pulled a plow. His feet trod his figure's blue shadow, and the plow cut a long blue shadow in the field. He turned back as if to check the furrow, or as if he heard a call. Again I saw another man on the plain to the north. This man walked slowly with a spade, and turned the green ground under. Then before me in the near distance I saw the earth itself walking, the earth walking dark and aerated as it always does in every season, peeling the light back: The earth was plowing the men under, and the space, and the plow. No one sees us go under. No one sees generations churn, or civilizations. The green fields grow up forgetting. Ours is a planet sown in beings. Our generations overlap like shingles. We don't fall in rows like hay, but we fall. Once we get here, we spend forever on the globe, most of it tucked under. While we breathe, we open time like a path in the grass. We open time as a boat's stem slits the crest of the present.
Annie Dillard (For the Time Being: Essays (PEN Literary Award Winner))
I can go barefoot.” He chuckles. “You could. But have you looked under the camera box?” “Under?” I go back to the table and pull out the box. Sure enough, there’s something else there, wrapped in blue tissue paper. I look at him, but his expression gives nothing away. Slowly, I pull out the tissue paper. Whatever’s hidden is flat and firm. I peel back the paper until I reveal a pair of black flip-flops. I look up at Damien and grin. “For walking on the beach,” he says. “Thank you.” “Anything you want. Anything you need.
J. Kenner (Release Me (Stark Trilogy, #1))
She walks back, more slowly, the way she came. How odd it feels, to move along the same streets, the route in reverse, like inking over old words, her feet the quill, going back over work, rewriting, erasing. Partings are strange. It seems so simple: one minute ago, four, five, he was here, at her side; now, he is gone. She was with him; she is alone. She feels exposed, chill, peeled like an onion.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
We're both so into it, neither of us hears the footsteps until a snarl breaks us apart. We turn to find Morpheus standing there with enough rage in his black eyes to send the Devil packing for heaven. Jeb tugs his fingers from the rings in my belt but keeps a hand at my lower back. I touch my lips; they're throbbing and gluttonous, hungry for more. "Wel, now, isn't that cozy?" Morpheus's voice isn't liquid this time. It grates like rusted nails along my eardrums. He peels off his gloves and slaps them against his palm, wings droopy and trailing the floor like a cape. "perhaps you might give Alyssa her lipstick back. We haven't time to find more before dinner."
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
It was as if I finally understood what being present meant. I had heard it so many times in yoga classes but I had never experienced it. It was like a protective film that someone had forgotten to take off was peeled back from my brain, and I could finally see things clearly. How I wasn't truly stuck.
Jennifer Pastiloff (On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard)
And I— soft, weak, obscene, digesting, juggling with dismal thoughts— I, too, was In the way. Fortunately, I didn’t feel it, although I realized it, but I was uncomfortable because I was afraid of feeling it (even now I am afraid— afraid that it might catch me behind my head and lift me up like a wave). I dreamed vaguely of killing myself to wipe out at least one of these superfluous lives. But even my death would have been In the way. In the way, my corpse, my blood on these stones, between these plants, at the back of this smiling garden. And the decomposed flesh would have been In the way in the earth which would receive my bones, at last, cleaned, stripped, peeled, proper and clean as teeth, it would have been In the way: I was In the way for eternity.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
Then the lion said – but I don't know if it spoke – You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it. "The very first tear he made was so deep and I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know – if you've ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
I whispered, "Do you have a rubber?" He laughed, hushed, a laughing whisper, as though his parents were in the next room, and reached one arm past my head to a nightstand there. "A rubber chicken." He shook the dancing chicken in the air. "Will that do?" I laughed back, ran a finger along the bumps of the fake chicken skin. "Ribbed and beaked for her pleasure, even. Want me to leave you two alone?" He threw the chicken on the floor and bit my neck and I giggled and he said, "Never," and he was everywhere then. The couch was a sinking place and I disappeared into the orgy of costumes, the smell of nervous strangers, makeup and smoke, my naked body buried in the perfume of human need. I took the rubber chicken home. Plucky was my mascot, the souvenir of our date. Later, much later, there was the conception of our child. And now the miscarriage, unexpected, though I should've expected it because, why not? -- family slid through my fingers the same as the old silicone banana-peel trick. After the D&C, after the suctioning away of our tiny fetus, I drew the black heart on Plucky's rubber breast in the place where a chicken might have a heart, over the ridges of implied feathers. Indelible ink. Now she'd been nabbed by a kid too young to know what love means, what a chicken might mean. Too young to know that a rubber chicken can carry all of love in one indelible ink heart.
Monica Drake (Clown Girl)
When you’re a kid, they lie and say you did a great job in a game even if you sucked. Then you grow up a bit and your mom and dad lie to you about how strong their relationship is and how much they love each other after they have a big fight. Then you grow up a bit more and they tell you the lie that life is as simple as studying hard, getting into a good college, and finding a decent job. Sometimes I feel like growing up is slowly peeling back these layers of lies.
Randy Ribay (Patron Saints of Nothing)
I throw my arms around him and lift my chin expectantly, waiting for my good-night kiss. He nuzzles his face against mine, and I feel gladness for the fact that he has smooth cheeks and barely even needs to shave. I close my eyes, breathe him in, wait for my kiss. And he plants a chaste peck on my forehead. “Good night, Covey.” My eyes fly open. “That’s all I get?” Smugly he says, “You said earlier that I’m not that good at kissing, remember?” “I was kidding!” He winks at me as he hops in his car. I watch him drive away. Even after a whole year of being together, it can still feel so new. To love a boy, to have him love you back. It feels miraculous. I don’t go inside right away. Just in case he comes back. Hands on my hips, I wait a full twenty seconds before I turn toward the front steps, which is when his car comes peeling back down our street and stops right in front of our house. Peter sticks his head out the window. “All right then,” he calls out. “Let’s practice.” I run back to his car, I pull him toward me by his shirt, and angle my face against his— and then I push him away and run backward, laughing, my hair whipping around my face. “Covey!” he yells. “That’s what you get!” I call back gleefully. “See you on the bus tomorrow!
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Blake and Beckett touched tattoos in greeting. Beckett turned his other arm over to show Blake his bandage. Blake lifted one eyebrow, and Beckett peeled the tape back to reveal his new Sorry tattoo, a perfect replica of his brother’s. “Cole got one too,” Beckett said. Blake looked off in the distance as his eyes filled with emotion. Beckett pulled Blake’s face back to look at him and held it in his hand. “Never alone, bro. You’re never alone as long as I live.” Blake nodded. “Thanks.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
His hands shift to my shoulders, and his fingers brush over the edge of my bandage. He pulls back with a puckered brow. “Are you hurt?” he asks. “No. It’s another tattoo. It’s healed, I just…wanted to keep it covered up.” “Can I see?” I nod, my throat tight. I pull my sleeve down and slip my shoulder out of it. He stares down at my shoulder for a second, and then runs his fingers over it. They rise and fall with my bones, which stick out farther than I’d like. When he touches me, I feel like everywhere his skin meets mine is changed by the connection. It sends a thrill through my stomach. Not just fear. Something else, too. A wanting. He peels the corner of the bandage away. His eyes roam over the symbol of Abnegation, and he smiles. “I have the same one,” he says, laughing. “On my back.” “Really? Can I see it?” He presses the bandage over the tattoo and pulls my shirt back over my shoulder. “Are you asking me to undress, Tris?” A nervous laugh gurgles from my throat. “Only…partially.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
He moved to the trees. Where the bark was peeling from the trunks it lifted in tiny tendrils, almost fluffs. Brian plucked some of them loose, rolled them in his fingers. They seemed flammable, dry and nearly powdery. He pulled and twisted bits off the trees, packing them in one hand while he picked them with the other, picking and gathering until he had a wad close to the size of a baseball. Then he went back into the shelter and arranged the ball of birchbark peelings at the base of the black rock. As an afterthought he threw in the remains of the twenty-dollar bill. He struck and a stream of sparks fell into the bark and quickly died. But this time one spark fell on one small hair of dry bark—almost a thread of bark—and seemed to glow a bit brighter before it died. The material had to be finer. There had to be a soft and incredibly fine nest for the sparks. I must make a home for the sparks, he thought. A perfect home or they won’t stay, they won’t make fire. He started ripping the bark, using his fingernails at first, and when that didn’t work he used the sharp edge of the hatchet, cutting the bark in thin slivers, hairs so fine they were almost not there. It was painstaking work, slow work, and he stayed with it for over two hours. Twice he stopped for a handful of berries and once to go to the lake for a drink. Then back to work, the sun on his back, until at last he had a ball of fluff as big as a grapefruit—dry birchbark fluff.
Gary Paulsen (Hatchet (Hatchet, #1))
Isolation, anchoring, distraction, and sublimation are among the wiles we use to keep ourselves from dispelling every illusion that keeps us up and running. Without this cognitive double-dealing, we would be exposed for what we are. It would be like looking into a mirror and for a moment seeing the skull inside our skin looking back at us with its sardonic smile. And beneath the skull—only blackness, nothing. Someone is there, so we feel, and yet no one is there—the uncanny paradox, all the horror in a glimpse. A little piece of our world has been peeled back, and underneath is creaking desolation—a carnival where all the rides are moving but no patrons occupy the seats. We are missing from the world we have made for ourselves. Maybe if we could resolutely gaze wide-eyed at our lives we would come to know what we really are. But that would stop the showy attraction we are inclined to think will run forever.8
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror)
Stop that." Mortified, she reached out to slam the door shut. "Somebody could come in." "Then stop squirming," he suggested, and gently peeled back the bandage. He nodded in approval. "You did a decent job." Even as she hissed at him, he lowered his head and touched his lips to the cut. "All better," he said with a grin just as the door opened. Peabody gaped, flushed, then stammered out, "Excuse me." "Just leaving," Roarke said, patting the bandage back in place while Eve ground her teeth. "How did you come through this morning's excitement, Peabody?" "Okay, it was... well, actually." She cleared her throat and shot him a hopeful glance. "I got this little nick right here." She rubbed her finger at her jawline, heart fluttering pleasantly when he smiled at her. "So you do." He stepped to her, angled his head, and touched his lips to the tiny cut. "Take care of yourself." "Man, man, oh man," was the best she could manage when he'd left. "He's got such a great mouth. How do you stop yourself from just biting it?" "Wipe the drool off your chin, for Christ's sake. And sit down. We've got a report to write for the commander." "I almost got blown up and got kissed by Roarke all in the same morning. I'm writing it on my calendar." "Settle down." "Yes, sir." She took out her log and got to work. But with a smile on her face.
J.D. Robb (Loyalty in Death (In Death, #9))
So many people considered Rami a traitor, a lackey, a turncoat, but in the end he didn't care: he knew what he was doing, he knew he was getting under their skin, he was peeling it back, exposing the rawness. He was outnumbered, yes, but they would find a tipping point sometime, somewhere, along the way. It was inevitable. He had to keep telling the story. Repeating it again and again and again.
Colum McCann (Apeirogon)
today’s forecast is rain of course but you won’t open the curtains to check there are six mugs half drunk by your bed and a broken vein from your heart to your hip. ‘you are a part of the universe’ your mother says with another cup in her hands- ‘isn’t that worth getting out of bed for?’ the rain begins then and hell the forecast could be an alien invasion and you still wouldn’t peel the blinds back to see.
Beth McColl
Now see the nasturtiums. The leaves are like tiny green parasols blown inside-out and the flowers are terrifically garish. In every village we pass through, see how they are everywhere, how they fill every gap in every wall, every crack in every path. The nasturtiums have it figured out, how survival’s just a matter of filling in the gaps between sun up and sun down. Boiling kettles, peeling potatoes, laundering towels, buying milk, changing light-bulbs, rooting wet mats of pubic hair out of the shower’s plughole. This is the way people survive, by filling one hole at a time for the flightiest of temporary gratifications, over and over and over, until the season’s out and they die off anyway, wither back into the wall or path, into their dark crevasse. This is the way life’s eaten away, expended by the onerous effort of living itself.
Sara Baume (Spill Simmer Falter Wither)
Turn it off,” she said, her voice cracking. “It’s still good music,” Joe told her with an almost apologetic shrug. “It’s crap,” she breathed, still totally taken aback by the music playing again. He shook his head. “No, it’s not crap!” he said patiently and started peeling out of his sweater, trying hard not to get his braced hand caught in the sleeve. He emerged, his hair a bit messy, and tossed the sweater back towards the sofa.
Billy Wood-Smith (An Interrupted Love Story (Can You Mend It? #1))
The guy smiled at me, and I glanced at him again just in time to look directly into his eyes. My mistake. Sight was a common Talent, but my magic went beyond seeing the world with crystal clarity or being able to navigate through the dark like it was daylight. Because I could also see into people. All I had to do was stare into someone’s eyes, and I knew exactly what they were feeling at that moment, whether it was love, hate, anger, or something else. Not only that, but I could actually feel the emotion in my own heart, just like the person who was experiencing it. Soulsight, it was called. A major Talent and one that I could have done without. Most people didn’t have a lot of nice thoughts, feelings, or emotions, not even toward their own so-called friends and family. But this guy . . . he radiated cold sorrow, as though he was carrying around a heavy burden that he could never, ever be free from. Still, there was a rock-hard strength mixed in with his sorrow, along with a flicker of something else buried deep, deep down . . . a hot spark that I couldn’t quite identify. I knew in an instant that he was the sort of guy who was exceedingly loyal to his friends. Who felt responsible for others. Who tried to help people as much as he could even if they didn’t deserve it, and he ended up being the one who got hurt instead. The sort of guy that others saw as a leader and naturally flocked to. The sort of guy who was just so disgustingly fascinating that you couldn’t help wanting to know more about him. The guy kept smiling, although his expression grew thinner and fainter the longer I stared. But I couldn’t help it. For the first time in a long time, I was completely captivated by another person. In that moment, all I wanted to do was peel back the cool exterior of his emotions and see what really lay beneath—and especially see what would happen when that hot spark inside him flared to life and he finally let out his true feelings. But there was also something disturbingly . . . familiar about him. As though I’d met him someplace before, although I couldn’t quite remember where. I kept staring into his green eyes, hoping that my soulsight would kick in a tiny bit more and bring the knowledge, the memory, along with it . . .
Jennifer Estep (Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1))
He could not be absolutely certain she would not get away-again. In the dark of night, haunted by such grim thoughts, Dragon found consolation. He had a fleet of ships at the ready. Before his willing Saxon bride could don boy's garb, run off a cliff, or plunge into a river, he would have her safely aboard and at sea. Damned if he wouldn't. He felt better after that and even dozed a little but was up and dressed before dawn's gray fingers peeled night away.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
Blay leaned in, his upper lip peeling back from his fangs. “Just so we’re clear, your cousin is giving me what I need. All day long. Every day. You and me?” He motioned back and forth between them with the cigarette. “We work together. That’s it. So I want you to do us both a favor before you think I ‘need’ to know something. Ask yourself, ‘If I were flipping burgers at McDonald’s, would I be telling the fucking fry guy this?’ If the answer is no, then shut the hell up.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
Think of body shame like the layers of an onion. For decades in our own lives and for centuries in civilization, we have been taught to judge and shame our bodies and to consequently judge and shame others. Getting to our inherent state of radical self-love means peeling away those ancient, toxic messages about bodies. It is like returning the world’s ugliest shame sweater back to the store where it was purchased and coming out wearing nothing but a birthday suit of radical self-love.
Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love)
He lifted his gaze to hers. "I have a lot of other things I should be doing, but I'm here." He stared into her eyes for several heartbeats before he returned his attention to the big box. "I've tried to stay away. After you threw me out of the house, I thought it was probably for the best. You're a distraction, and I don't need a distraction right now." He handed the screwdriver back to her and ripped the box open with his big hands. "I've got tapes I need to review, and plays I need to go over in my head before today's practice, yet here I am. Putting baby furniture together for you because I can't get you out of my head. I plug in a tape, and all I do is think about you." He peeled back the cardboard and reached for the instruction sheet that had fallen to the floor. "But the thing is, Adele, I'm not really sure whether you want me to be here or not." His polo shirt pulled out of the waistband of his Levi's and slid up the tan muscles of his back. He straightened and looked at her over the top of the instructions. "I don't know what you want.
Rachel Gibson (Not Another Bad Date (Writer Friends, #4))
I walked back to the window to look down at the people who shared this city with me. The people who made every day a series of mediocrities. The unreformed murderers masquerading as businessmen in borrowed suits and debt-laden cars. The voluptuous bimbos floating around in an inexplicable mix of vacuity and despair. The crumbling face of my building looked pretty enough from across the street, but from here I could see how worn it was. I peeled off a satisfying chunk of paint, cement and matter. And I let it fall to the street below.
Nasri Atallah
But Emma's just as naïve as Rachel. They both maintain that the more you know about humans, the more you'll like them. It's at least partly why Rachel's encouraging him to go back to school, even if she hides it behind the other good reason he should attend-to keep some adolescent human male from getting himself killed. Just the thought of Emma walking the halls without him makes him ball his fists. "You're right," he says with finality. "I need to stay in school." He peels off his shirt and tosses it over a chair. "Tell Emma I'm waiting for her.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I love seeing somebody act real earnest and serious, like Jackie Gleason. He makes me laugh because he reflects back to me my own serious-mindedness and how ridiculous it all is. It’s always easier to see somebody else in that position than yourself, and you laugh. It’s like the classic slipping on the banana peel, or someone getting hit by a pie in the face. Why do those things make us laugh? Is it from relief, like: Thank God it wasn’t me? Or is it something else: I’m being very serious now. I’m pontificating earnestly and solemnly about—POW! PIE IN THE FACE! The bust-up of certainty.
Jeff Bridges (The Dude and the Zen Master)
The next minute he realized what had happened to him, but not before she’d caught him staring. For a decade, I was fixated by her beauty. I wrote an entire article on the evolutionary significance of beauty as a rebuke to myself, that I, who understood the concepts so well, nevertheless could not escape the magnetic pull of one particular woman’s beauty. She knew. With surgical precision, she had peeled back his layers of defenses, until his heart lay bare before her, all its shame and yearning exposed. He could have lived with this if only he’d kept his secret whole and buried. But she knew. She knew.
Sherry Thomas (Beguiling the Beauty (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #1))
No one could see her out here, no one could judge her. She looked at herself in the mirror and saw the animal that she was trapped inside, that grew and fed and wanted. She wished above all else to look ordinary so that people’s eyes just slid over her. Because Mum was wrong. It wasn’t about believing this or that, it wasn’t about good and evil and right and wrong, it was about finding the strength to bear the discomfort that came with being in the world. Clouds scrolled high up. She couldn’t get Melissa out of her head. Something magnetic about her, the possibility of a softness inside, the challenge of peeling back those layers.
Mark Haddon (The Red House: A Novel)
Why, there’d be soldiers riding guard in the back of potato lorries going to the army’s mess hall—children would follow them, hoping potatoes would fall off into the street. Soldiers would look straight ahead, grim-like, and then flick potatoes off the pile—on purpose. “They did the same thing with oranges. Same with lumps of coal—my, those were precious when we didn’t have no fuel left. There was many such incidents. Just ask Mrs. Godfray about her boy. He had the pneumonia and she was worried half to death because she couldn’t keep him warm nor give him good food to eat. One day there’s a knock on her door and when she opens up, she sees an orderly from the German hospital on the step. Without a peep, he hands her a vial of that sulfonamide, tips his cap, and walks away. He had stolen it from their dispensary for her. They caught him later, trying to steal some again, and they sent him off to prison in Germany—maybe hung him. We’d not be knowing which.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition): A Novel)
I am going to hate New Orleans," he whispered against her silken hair before she began lowering her head. Her breath warmed the velvet tip of him, sending fire racing through his blood. "Maybe we can think of something interesting to make it more enjoyable for you," she ventured. Her mouth was satin soft, moist and hot. Gregori pressed his hips forward, forcing her back on the bed, his knees on the thick blanket above her. She was so beautiful, her flawless skin like cream, her thick hair spilling around her slender shoulders. Sitting up, she slowly peeled off the cotton shirt, baring her full breasts to his silver gaze. She looked lush and sexy in the dark of the night, a mysterious,erotic gift to him. "You think you might make New Orleans more bearable for me then?" His eyes were saying more than his mouth, touching her here and there, dwelling on every curve of her body. Her hand spanned his flat stomach and lingered there. "I'm sure I can be inventive enough to make you forget your dread of crowds. Take off my jeans." "Your jeans?" he echoed. "You put them on me, and they're definitely in the way. Take them off." Her hand was wandering lower, her fingeres walking lightly over his clenching muscles, a deliberate persuasion. His hands made quick work of unfastening her jeans and tugging them down her legs. She kicked them aside and leaned forward to press a kiss onto his stomach. Her hair slid over his heavy fullness, a silken tangle that nearly drove him out of his mind. "Sometimes your orders are very easy to follow,ma cherie," he murmured, his eyes closing as her mouth wandered lower.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Livia grinned. He peeled his attention from the sizzling meal and put his hands on the counter behind her, trapping her. Livia held her spatula as Blake whispered in her ear. “I see us just like this a hundred years from now, old and deaf. I’ll be the luckiest man.” Emotion caught her—this was all she wanted. Simple, beautiful frittata moments with this man. “Someday, Livia, I’ll be man enough to buy the food,” he continued. “I’ll give you an oven. I’ll try so hard.” Livia leaned up and stopped his proclamations with her lips. After tender kisses, she gave her mouth enough room to promise back. “Blake, I’ll never care if I have an oven. Just you.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
Get down! Get down!" The people in front had already done so, swept down by the wave of bullets. The survivors, instead of getting down, tried to go back to the small square, and the panic became a dragon's tail as one compact wave ran against another which was moving in the opposite direction, towards the other dragon's tail in the street across the way, where the machine guns were firing without cease. They were penned in, swirling about in a gigantic whirlwind that little by little was being reduced to its epicenter as the edges were systematically being cut off all around like an onion being peeled by the insatiable and methodical shears of the machine guns.
Gabriel García Márquez
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights. “Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back. “You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice. “Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…” “I know, I believe you.” At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket. “Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger. Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces. “Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?” I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself. “You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—” I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!” “You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.” “No!” I shrieked. “No!” He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door. I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them. But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room. “—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Well, consider then, boy. Any man saves fingernail clippings is a fool. You ever see a snake bother to keep his peeled skin? That's about all you got here today in this bed is fingernails and snake skin. One good breath would send me up in flakes. Important thing is not the me that's lying here, but the me that's sitting on the edge of the bed looking back at me, and the me that's downstairs cooking supper, or out in the garage under the car, or in the library reading. All the new parts, they count. I'm not really dying today. No person ever died that had a family. I'll be around a long time. A thousand years from now a whole township of my offspring will be biting sour apples in the gumwood shade.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
No,her mother was made for the life. Patient,with a rod of steel beneath the fragile skin. Shelby wouldn't choose it, nor would she let it choose her. She'd love no one who could leave her again so horribly. Letting the conversation flow around her, Shelby tilted back her glass. Her eyes met Alan's. It was there-that quietly brooding patience that promised to last a lifetime.She could almost feel him calmly peeling off layer after layer of whatever bits and pieces made up her personality to get to the tiny core she kept private. You bastard.She nearly said it out loud. Certainly it reflected in her eys for he smiled at her in simple acknowledgement.The siege was definitely under way. She only hoped she had enough provisions to outlast him.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Stir fry!” Rhys proclaimed. “Really?” Finn leaned over his shoulder and peered down at the ingredients in the pan. Rhys moved to the side a little so Finn could reach in and grab something out of it. He sniffed it, then popped it into his mouth. “Well, it’s not terrible.” “Stop my beating heart!” Rhys put his hand over his heart and feigned astonishment. “Has my food passed the test of the hardest food critic in the land?” “No. I just said it wasn’t terrible.” Finn shook his head at Rhys’s dramatics and went to the fridge to get a bottle of water. “And I’m certain that Elora is a much harsher food critic than I’ll ever be.” “That’s probably true, but she’s never let me cook for her,” Rhys admitted, shaking the wok to stir up the vegetables more. “You really shouldn’t let him cook for you,” Finn advised, looking at me for the first time. “He gave me food poisoning once.” “You cannot get food poisoning from an orange!” Rhys protested and looked back at him. “It’s just not possible! And even if you can, I handed you the orange. I didn’t even have a chance to contaminate it!” “I don’t know.” Finn shrugged. A smile was creeping up, and I could tell he was amused by how much Rhys was getting worked up. “You didn’t even eat the part I touched! You peeled it and threw the skin away!” Rhys sounded exasperated. He wasn’t paying attention to the wok as he struggled to convince us of his innocence, and a flame licked up from the food. “Food’s on fire,” Finn nodded to the stove. “Dammit!
Amanda Hocking (Switched (Trylle, #1))
The first warp-spasm seized Cúchulainn, and made him into a monstrous thing, hideous and shapeless, unheard of. His shanks and his joints, every knuckle and angle and organ from head to foot, shook like a tree in the flood or a reed in the stream. His body made a furious twist inside his skin, so that his feet and shins and knees switched to the rear and his heels and calves switched to the front. The balled sinews of his calves switched to the front of his shins, each big knot the size of a warrior’s bunched fist. On his head the temple-sinews stretched to the nape of his neck, each mighty, immense, measureless knob as big as the head of a month-old child. His face and features became a red bowl: he sucked one eye so deep into his head that a wild crane couldn’t probe it onto his cheek out of the depths of his skull; the other eye fell out along his cheek. His mouth weirdly distorted: his cheek peeled back from his jaws until the gullet appeared, his lungs and liver flapped in his mouth and throat, his lower jaw struck the upper a lion-killing blow, and fiery flakes large as a ram’s fleece reached his mouth from his throat.
Thomas Kinsella (The Táin: From the Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge)
You are real," she said to herself. "Aye." His voice was deep and resonant, a caress in her ears. But then it cracked, as if he were in pain. "And you are with young." "I am." He closed his eyes again, but now it was as if he'd been struck by a body blow. "I saw you." "When?" "At the clinic. Nights and nights ago. I thought they had beaten you." "The Brotherhood? Why ever - " "Because of me." His eyes opened, and there was such anguish in them, she wanted to comfort him in some way. "I would never have chosen for you to be in this position. You are not of the war, and my lieutenant should never, ever have brought you into it." His voice grew deeper and deeper. "You are an innocent. Even I, who have no honor, recognized that instantly." If he had no honor, why had he disarmed himself just now, she thought. "Are you mated?" he said roughly. "No." Abruptly, his upper lip peeled back from tremendous fangs. "If you were raped - " "No. No, no - I chose this for myself. For the male." Her hand went to her abdomen. "I wanted a young. My needing came, and all I could think of was how much I wanted to be a mahmen to something that was mine." Those narrowed eyes closed again, and he brought up a callused hand to his face. Hiding his irregular mouth, he said, "I wish that I..." "What?" "...I were worthy to have given you what you desired." Layla again felt an unholy need to reach out and touch him, to ease him in some way. His reaction was so raw and honest, and his suffering seemed rather like her own whenever she thought of him.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
The harder farmers push animals beyond their natural limit, and the more closely animals are confined, often the greater the risk of disease and the heavier the reliance on vets to keep herds alive. Their weapon of choice is antibiotics. According to Dil Peeling, who qualified as a vet in the UK but spent much of his career working in developing countries:   A vet’s worth is now measured by his or her ability to deliver on production and animal health – not welfare. It is difficult to persuade vets who have invested so much of their careers in propping up intensive farming to turn their back on such systems. You’re asking the high priests of the livestock ministry to reject everything they know. As far as they’re concerned, this is how things have always been done.   Now
Philip Lymbery (Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat)
Simon puts the book down. He does not wait for her to say anything. He cannot wait, he is too afraid that she will vanish again and never reappear. He closes the distance between them as quickly as he can and then he kisses her desperately, hungrily, and after a moment she kisses him back in equal measure. Kissing, Eleanor thinks, is not done any justice in books. They peel off each other’s clothes in layers. He curses at the strange clasps and fasteners on her garments while she laughs at the sheer number of buttons on his. He leaves her bunny ears on. It is easier to be in love in a room with closed doors. To have the whole world in one room. In one person. The universe condensed and intensified and burning, bright and alive and electric. But doors cannot stay closed forever.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
FOR THE CAKE: Beat together eight soup spoons butter with one cup sugar until fluffy. Mix in two eggs and three soup spoons juice from an orange. In a small bowl, blend one and two-thirds cups flour, a teaspoon baking powder, and half a teaspoon salt. Add dry to wet mixture along with one cup buttermilk. Blend well. Stir in one cup raisins, half a cup chopped walnuts, and one soup spoon finely grated orange peel. Pour the mixture into a buttered pan and bake forty-five to fifty minutes. Cool before icing.   FOR THE ICING: Stir two soup spoons juice of orange and two cups powdered sugar together until the sugar dissolves completely and the icing is smooth. The icing should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thick, add more liquid; if too thin, add a little sugar.
Jodi Daynard (The Midwife's Revolt (Midwife, #1))
He peeled the towel that imprisoned us away and let it fall. I felt it slide softly off my backside, and I felt, too, his rising excite¬ment, hard, erect, pressing against me. My nipples were erect, straining, aching, pressed against his strong warm damp chest, the tangle and pattern of his hair. He was a beast, an animal. My excitement was rising again, to match his. It was as if my heart were about to burst or to flip flop, breathless, into a dark abyss. “Of course, you are crazy, my darling, but, then, so am I.” He kissed me and his oh-so-clever hands seized my waist, tighten¬ing, and then sneaking up my backside, pulling me, pressing me closer, into him. He kissed me again, and his lips moved down my neck to my shoulder and then to my breasts. “Oh,” I said, “Oh.” He bent over me, kissing my collarbone and then my breasts, carefully, slowly, his hands traveling down my back, and over my backside; suddenly, he was on his knees, kissing the whorl of 101 my belly button; then he was forcing me open, gently, gently, his tongue exploring caressing, devouring … “Oh …” I exhaled a deep, shuddering breath. I tipped on the very edge. He bit me, gently. Oooooh! He pulled in the reins, the bit and bridle, of the frisky frothing filly that I had become; this sudden halt made me wilder, crazier; then, once again, he brought me, trembling, up to the very, very edge of the cliff – of orgasm, of loss of self. Then he pulled me back. I blinked and trembled. Around the two of us, there was a whole world, a whole universe. It seemed too vivid to be real, like the backdrop in an opera. Venus was brighter and lower now. The sky had turned deep indigo. One by one, stars appeared.
Gwendoline Clermont (The Shaming of Gwendoline C)
The Mercy The ship that took my mother to Ellis Island eighty-three years ago was named "The Mercy." She remembers trying to eat a banana without first peeling it and seeing her first orange in the hands of a young Scot, a seaman who gave her a bite and wiped her mouth for her with a red bandana and taught her the word, "orange," saying it patiently over and over. A long autumn voyage, the days darkening with the black waters calming as night came on, then nothing as far as her eyes could see and space without limit rushing off to the corners of creation. She prayed in Russian and Yiddish to find her family in New York, prayers unheard or misunderstood or perhaps ignored by all the powers that swept the waves of darkness before she woke, that kept "The Mercy" afloat while smallpox raged among the passengers and crew until the dead were buried at sea with strange prayers in a tongue she could not fathom. "The Mercy," I read on the yellowing pages of a book I located in a windowless room of the library on 42nd Street, sat thirty-one days offshore in quarantine before the passengers disembarked. There a story ends. Other ships arrived, "Tancred" out of Glasgow, "The Neptune" registered as Danish, "Umberto IV," the list goes on for pages, November gives way to winter, the sea pounds this alien shore. Italian miners from Piemonte dig under towns in western Pennsylvania only to rediscover the same nightmare they left at home. A nine-year-old girl travels all night by train with one suitcase and an orange. She learns that mercy is something you can eat again and again while the juice spills over your chin, you can wipe it away with the back of your hands and you can never get enough.
Philip Levine (The Mercy)
It was astonishing how loudly one laughed at tales of gruesome things, of war’s brutality-I with the rest of them. I think at the bottom of it was a sense of the ironical contrast between the normal ways of civilian life and this hark-back to the caveman code. It made all our old philosophy of life monstrously ridiculous. It played the “hat trick” with the gentility of modern manners. Men who had been brought up to Christian virtues, who had prattled their little prayers at mothers’ knees, who had grown up to a love of poetry, painting, music, the gentle arts, over-sensitized to the subtleties of half-tones, delicate scales of emotion, fastidious in their choice of words, in their sense of beauty, found themselves compelled to live and act like ape-men; and it was abominably funny. They laughed at the most frightful episodes, which revealed this contrast between civilized ethics and the old beast law. The more revolting it was the more, sometimes, they shouted with laughter, especially in reminiscence, when the tale was told in the gilded salon of a French chateau, or at a mess-table. It was, I think, the laughter of mortals at the trick which had been played on them by an ironical fate. They had been taught to believe that the whole object of life was to reach out to beauty and love, and that mankind, in its progress to perfection, had killed the beast instinct, cruelty, blood-lust, the primitive, savage law of survival by tooth and claw and club and ax. All poetry, all art, all religion had preached this gospel and this promise. Now that ideal had broken like a china vase dashed to hard ground. The contrast between That and This was devastating. It was, in an enormous world-shaking way, like a highly dignified man in a silk hat, morning coat, creased trousers, spats, and patent boots suddenly slipping on a piece of orange-peel and sitting, all of a heap, with silk hat flying, in a filthy gutter. The war-time humor of the soul roared with mirth at the sight of all that dignity and elegance despoiled. So we laughed merrily, I remember, when a military chaplain (Eton, Christ Church, and Christian service) described how an English sergeant stood round the traverse of a German trench, in a night raid, and as the Germans came his way, thinking to escape, he cleft one skull after another with a steel-studded bludgeon a weapon which he had made with loving craftsmanship on the model of Blunderbore’s club in the pictures of a fairy-tale. So we laughed at the adventures of a young barrister (a brilliant fellow in the Oxford “Union”) whose pleasure it was to creep out o’ nights into No Man’s Land and lie doggo in a shell-hole close to the enemy’s barbed wire, until presently, after an hour’s waiting or two, a German soldier would crawl out to fetch in a corpse. The English barrister lay with his rifle ready. Where there had been one corpse there were two. Each night he made a notch on his rifle three notches one night to check the number of his victims. Then he came back to breakfast in his dugout with a hearty appetite.
Phillip Gibbs
Somewhere in the distance I hear the bucket clatter to the floor. I plunge the knife into his head, again and again. His arms lash out blindly, getting in the way. Blood mixes with water cascading to the floor. Meathead staggers to his feet, pulling off his shirt, trying to peel away the agony, but his skin comes away with it, leaving a raw, red mess. There’s a shrill alarm and the sound of pounding feet. I hurl the knife through the bars at the window. A blur of dark faces converge in my vision, fists and feet, punching and kicking. Meathead’s mates are yanking me off, trying to hurt me. Screws come rushing and soon they’re everywhere as I’m half-carried, half-dragged along the corridor. ‘Blimey,’ a thought comes from somewhere in all the chaos, ‘I’ve only been out a day and already I’m heading straight back down the chokey!’ The last thing I see, as a screaming Meathead is hurried to the hospital, is my cellmate in the middle of the crowd peering worriedly after me. Course he’s worried! The stinky bastard is wondering where his next bit of scag is coming from!
Harry Shaw
Roasted Tomato Soup Serves 4-6 This soup is perfect for those cold winter nights when you want to relax with a comforting grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. The slow roasting of the tomatoes gives it tons of flavor. If you have a garden full of fresh tomatoes, feel free to use those instead of the canned variety. Stay away from fresh grocery store tomatoes in the winter, as they are usually flavorless and mealy and won’t give you the best results. This creamy soup also makes a luxurious starter for a dinner party or other occasion. 1 28 ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, drained 1/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 1/2 small red onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, rough chopped 1/4 cup chicken broth 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 1/2 cup heavy cream Add the tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, and broth to your slow cooker pot. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, until the vegetables are soft. Use either a blender or immersion blender to puree the soup and transfer back to slow cooker. Add the ricotta and heavy cream and turn the cooker to warm if you can. Serve warm.
John Chatham (The Slow Cooker Cookbook: 87 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Recipes for Slow Cooked Meals)
You’re missing the whole point, by the way.” “What’s the whole point, Peter?” He clears his throat. “That day in McClaren’s basement. You were my first kiss too.” Abruptly I stop laughing. “I was?” “Yeah.” I stare at him. “Why didn’t you ever tell me?” “I don’t know. I guess I forgot. Also it’s embarrassing that I made up a girl. Don’t tell anybody!” I’m filled with a glowy kind of wonder. So I was Peter Kavinsky’s first kiss. How perfectly wonderful! I throw my arms around him and lift my chin expectantly, waiting for my good-night kiss. He nuzzles his face against mine, and I feel gladness for the fact that he has smooth cheeks and barely even needs to shave. I close my eyes, breathe him in, wait for my kiss. And he plants a chaste peck on my forehead. “Good night, Covey.” My eyes fly open. “That’s all I get?” Smugly he says, “You said earlier that I’m not that good at kissing, remember?” “I was kidding!” He winks at me as he hops in his car. I watch him drive away. Even after a whole year of being together, it can still feel so new. To love a boy, to have him love you back. It feels miraculous. I don’t go inside right away. Just in case he comes back. Hands on my hips, I wait a full twenty seconds before I turn toward the front steps, which is when his car comes peeling back down our street and stops right in front of our house. Peter sticks his head out the window. “All right then,” he calls out. “Let’s practice.” I run back to his car, I pull him toward me by his shirt, and angle my face against his--and then I push him away and run backward, laughing, my hair whipping around my face. “Covey!” he yells. “That’s what you get!” I call back gleefully. “See you on the bus tomorrow!
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
It is the pomegranate that gives 'fesenjoon' its healing capabilities. The original apple of sin, the fruit of a long gone Eden, the pomegranate shields itself in a leathery crimson shell, which in Roman times was used as a form of protective hide. Once the pomegranate's bitter skin is peeled back, though, a juicy garnet flesh is revealed to the lucky eater, popping and bursting in the mouth like the final succumber of lovemaking. Long ago, when the earth remained still, content with the fecundity of perpetual spring, and Demeter was the mother of all that was natural and flowering, it was this tempting fruit that finally set the seasons spinning. Having eaten six pomegranate seeds in the underworld, Persephone, the Goddess of Spring's high-spirited daughter, had been forced to spend six months of the year in the eternal halls of death. Without her beautiful daughter by her side, a mournful Demeter retreated to the dark corners of the universe, allowing for the icy gates of winter to finally creak open. A round crimson herald of frost, the pomegranate comes to harvest in October and November, so 'fesenjoon' is best made with its concentrate during other times of the year.
Marsha Mehran (Pomegranate Soup (Babylon Café #1))
sprint, woodwinds fluttering behind. More instruments join in. Flutes? Harps? The song races, seems to loop back over itself. “Werner?” Jutta whispers. He blinks; he has to swallow back tears. The parlor looks the same as it always has: two cribs beneath two Latin crosses, dust floating in the open mouth of the stove, a dozen layers of paint peeling off the baseboards. A needlepoint of Frau Elena’s snowy Alsatian village above the sink. Yet now there is music. As if, inside Werner’s head, an infinitesimal orchestra has stirred to life. The room seems to fall into a slow spin. His sister says his name more urgently, and he presses the earphone to her ear. “Music,” she says. He holds the pin as stock-still as he can. The signal is weak enough that, though the earphone is six inches away, he can’t hear any trace of the song. But he watches his sister’s face, motionless except for her eyelids, and in the kitchen Frau Elena holds her flour-whitened hands in the air and cocks her head, studying Werner, and two older boys rush in and stop, sensing some change in the air, and the little radio with its four terminals and trailing aerial sits motionless on the floor between them all like a miracle.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
It felt good to scrub my skin, as if I was removing everything that felt dead about me. I was the "queen of skin care." Who knew that simply exfoliating my skin until raw (which I knew better than to do but now couldn't resist) would one day be what was left of my skin care regimen? My daily cleansing and moisturizing, weekly hydrating and purifying masks, along with monthly photo facials, glycolic peels, or microdermabrasion, was down to "super-scrub Saturdays." Pampering was a thing of the past. No more sunscreen applications to guard against the "UVAging" rays that were out to get me 365 days a year. No more weekly Epsom salts hot baths to detox my body, or lathering up with my favorite vanilla-scented moisturizing cream. No more applications of extra virgin olive oil to the ends of my hair to prevent splitting. I didn't even treat myself to my bedtime chamomile tea. All that had been replaced by a new nightly ritual of passing out on the bed, face down, which went against my cardinal rule of youth maintenance. Before the deep hollow pain was born inside me, I slept on my back, at the perfect thirty-degree angle to ensure proper circulation and prevention of any unnecessary creasing or wrinkling.
Cari Kamm (Fake Perfect Me)
As she began to peel potatoes, he stood behind her and touched the tendrils of hair that had fallen from their clips and curled at the nape of her neck. Then he reached around her waist and leaned into her. All these years and still he was drawn to the smell of her skin, of sweet soap and fresh air. He whispered against her ear, “Dance with me.” “What?” “I said, let’s dance.” “Dance? Here, in the cabin? I do believe you’re the mad one.” “Please.” “There’s no music.” “We can remember some tune, can’t we?” and he began to hum “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree.” “Here,” he said, and swung her around to face him, an arm still at her waist, her slight hand in his. He hummed louder and began to twirl them around the plank floor. “Hmmm, hmm, with a heart that is true, I’ll be waiting for you…” “… in the shade of the old apple tree.” She kissed him on the cheek, and he swept her back on his arm. “Oh, I’ve thought of one,” she said. “Let me think…” and she began to hum tentatively. Jack didn’t know it at first, but then it came to him and he began to sing along. “When my hair has all turned gray,” a swoop and a twirl beside the kitchen table, “will you kiss me then and say, that you love me in December as you do in May?” And then they were beside the woodstove and Mabel kissed him with her mouth open and soft. Jack pulled her closer, pressed their bodies together and kissed the side of her face and down her bare neck and, as she let her head gently lean away, down to her collarbone. Then he scooped an arm beneath her knees and picked her up. “What in heaven’s—you’ll break your back,” Mabel sputtered between a fit of laughter. “We’re too old for this.” “Are we?” he asked. He rubbed his beard against her cheek. She shrieked and laughed, and he carried her into the bedroom, though they had not yet eaten dinner.
Eowyn Ivey (The Snow Child)
Then he said something about how L.A. is dust and exhaust and the hot, dry wind that sets your nerves on edge and pushes fire up the hillsides in ragged lines like tears in the paper that separates us from hell, and it’s towering clouds of smoke, and it’s sunshine that won’t let up and cool ocean fog that gets unrolled at night over the whole basin like a clean white hospital sheet and peeled back again in the morning. It’s a crescent moon in a sky bruised green after the sunset has beaten the shit out of it. It’s a lazy hammock moon rising over power lines, over the skeletal silhouettes of pylons, over shaggy cypress trees and the spiky black lionfish shapes of palm-tree crowns on too-skinny trunks. It’s the Big One that’s coming to turn the city to rubble and set the rubble on fire but not today, hopefully not today. It’s the obviousness of pointing out that the freeway looks like a ruby bracelet stretched alongside a diamond one, looks like a river of lava flowing counter to a river of champagne bubbles. People talk about the sprawl, and, yeah, the city is a drunk, laughing bitch sprawled across the flats in a spangled dress, legs kicked up the canyons, skirt spread over the hills, and she’s shimmering, vibrating, ticklish with light. Don’t buy a star map. Don’t go driving around gawking because you’re already there, man. You’re in it. It’s all one big map of the stars.
Maggie Shipstead (Great Circle)
No one said a word, and I waited a beat, then pushed forward. Screw Kevin. Screw Maggie. Screw whatever happened to them now. I went after Caden. He didn’t have to push his way through the crowd. It automatically opened for him. Not so much for me. I was at a disadvantage, and when I ran to the parking lot, he was already in the car and peeling past me. “HEY!” I yelled, raising my hands in the air. He braked, a little too close for comfort, right next to me. The passenger window rolled down. “What?” I reached for the door. “Let me in.” His eyebrows pinched together. “Why?” “Let me in.” He unlocked the door. I opened it and climbed in. “Okay. I’m with you.” I had no idea what I was doing. “Excuse me?” “I’m with you.” I clapped the dashboard, pointing ahead. “Whatever you’re going to do, I’m in. You seem to need a friend. You’re in luck. I could use one myself. So I’m in.” “I’m going to get drunk and have sex.” “Oh.” He cocked an eyebrow. “You still in?” He was laughing now. He was still mad, but he was laughing. For whatever reason—maybe I did want to go with him, or maybe I heard my own voice calling me boring and pathetic again—I sat back and folded my hands in my lap. “I’m in.” He shook his head. “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into..” He shifted his Land Rover into drive and started forward. “But that’s your problem, not mine.” He careened out of the parking lot, and I fell against the door. I grabbed the oh shit handle above my head, and I had a feeling that was going to be the theme for the rest of the night: Oh, shit.
Tijan (Anti-Stepbrother)
Then, suddenly, a shadowy flash came to me. Tiffany, taking an order, arguing with a girl. Shockingly, not me. Another flash, of Detective Toscano walking into Yummy’s minutes ago. Tiffany nervously kneading a coaster between her fingers. The coaster I held in my hands right now. Tiffany was scared. Why was she scared of the cop? “Hey! Space shot! You want your Coke or not?” I tried to ignore Tiffany’s screeching and hold on to the vision, but it blurred and disappeared. I grabbed my new glass from her outstretched hand. “I heard you got into an argument last night,” I said. Tiffany paled, which I never thought possible since her skin was so fake-and-bake tan. She nervously twirled a lock of her bleach blond hair around her finger. “Where did you hear that?” “Doesn’t matter where I heard it.” I took a chance and added, “But it was pretty juicy gossip, considering who she was.” Tiffany’s pale face turned to green and I involuntarily took a step back ,half expecting an Exorcist-style stream of vomit to shoot out of her gaping mouth. Instead, she narrowed her eyes and leaned closer. “Get away from me,” she growled. And then it became clear. My flash of her argument. Her fear of the detective. She’d argued with the girl who was murdered last night. And she did not want Detective Toscano to find out about it. I stepped away from the bar, giddy with my new knowledge. I had the upper hand on Tiffany Desposito. I could torture her with this. Drag it out. Hold it over her head for days, even weeks. “It’s too bad you’re not with Justin anymore,” she said to my back. “He’s a cutie. And such a good kisser.” And that was my limit. I spun around and dumped my brand-new Coke over her head. She shrieked and flailed her hands as the liquid streamed over her face and down between her giant boobs. She peeled her sticky hair off her eyes and snarled, “I’ll get you for this.” I merely smiled, then sauntered over to the two Toscanos, who had apparently been watching this whole display with entertained grins on their faces. “You’re the new detective?” I asked the elder Toscano. He nodded. Either his mouth was too full with French fries or he was too scared of me to speak at the moment. “Tiffany Desposito, the wet and sticky waitress over there? She had a fight with the girl who was murdered. Last night, at this restaurant. You should question her right away. I wouldn’t even give her a chance to go home and shower first. I think she’s a flight risk.” I strolled back to my booth, sat down, and tore into my pancakes, happy as a kid on Christmas. Nate and Perry stared at me in silence for a few moments. Then Perry said, “Maybe you should have let me go over.” Nate shook his head. “Nah. She did just fine.
Kim Harrington (Clarity (Clarity, #1))
Fritz.” The butler rushed over from the crudité arrangement he was working on. “Yes, master! I am eager to be of aid.” “Take this.” iAm peeled the cat off himself, prying both of its front claws out of his fleece. “And do whatever it is you do with it.” As he turned away, he felt like glancing back and making sure G*dd*mn was okay. But why the fuck would he do that? He had to get to Sal’s and check on his staff. Usually he hit the restaurant in the early afternoon, but shit had not been “usual,” what with that migraine: Every time his brother had one, they both got a headache. Now, though, with Trez rebounding and no doubt soon to be on the grind with that Chosen, it was time to get back on his own track. If only to keep himself from going psychotic. Jesus Christ, Trez was now going to fuck that female. And God only knew where that was going to land them all. Just as he hit the exit, he called out over his shoulder, “Fritz.” Through the din of First Meal prep, the doggen answered back, “Yes, master?” “I never find any seafood in this place. Why is that?” “The King does not favor any manner of fin.” “Would he allow it in here?” “Oh, yes, master. Just not upon his table, and certainly never upon his plate.” iAm stared at the panels of the door in front of him. “I want you to get some fresh salmon and poach it. Tonight.” “But of course. I will not have it ready afore First Meal for you—” “Not for me. I hate fish. It’s for G*dd*mn Cat. I want him served that regularly.” He pushed the door open. “And get him some fresh veggies. What kind of cat food does he eat?” “Only the best. Hill’s Science Diet.” “Find out what is in his food—and then I want everything hand-prepared. Nothing out of the bag for him from now on.” Approval bloomed in the old doggen’s voice: “I’m sure Master Boo will appreciate your special interest.” “I’m not interested in that bag of fur.” -iAm, Fritz, & Boo
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12))
Wait in the car." He opened the door and started to climb out. "Hold on! How long should I give you? What if you don't come back in a certain number of minutes? Should I call the cops?" "Don't do anything. Don't call anyone. I'll be fine." "But what if you're not?" "Then go home." And with that, he got out and jogged down the street, like if I heard screams or gunshots or whatever I would just drive on home like nothing happened. Well, good for you, I thought, watching him climb a short cement staircase and put a key in the door. You don't need anyone. Fine. I watched the clock. Three minutes went by, four. I thought about knocking on the door, having of course no idea what I would actually do once I got there. Maybe I'd have to break the door down, wrestle Cameron away from the bad men, and then carry him out the way you hear people when they get a huge burst of adrenaline. Except the person I pictured rescuing was little Cameron, in shorts and a striped T-shirt, his arms wrapped around my neck. Then there he was, bursting out of the apartment door and bounding down the steps, a big garbage bag in hand. He ran to the car, fast. I reached over and opened the passenger door and he jumped in. "Go." You can't exactly peel out in a '94 Escort, but I did my best. Cameron breathed hard, clutching the garbage bag to his chest. "What happened?" I drove a good fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit, convinced we were being chased by angry roommates with guns. "Nothing. You can slow down." I didn't. "Nothing? Nothing happened?" "They weren't even there." Then I did slow down. "No one was there? At all?" "Right." His breathing had returned to almost normal. "Then what's the deal with freaking me out like that?" My voice came out high and hysterical and I realized how nervous I'd been, imagining some dangerous scenario from which Cameron had barely escaped, an echo of that day at his house. "I don't know. I started to picture one of them pulling up and finding me there and...I panicked.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
BONNIE BROWNIE COOKIE BARS Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.   4 one-ounce squares semi-sweet chocolate (or 3/4 cup chocolate chips) 3/4 cup butter (one and a half sticks) 1½ cups white (granulated) sugar 3 beaten eggs (just whip them up in a glass with a fork) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) 1/2 cup chopped cashews 1/2 cup chopped butterscotch chips 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)   Prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan by lining it with a piece of foil large enough to flap over the sides. Spray the foil-lined pan with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray.   Microwave the chocolate squares and butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir. (Since chocolate frequently maintains its shape even when melted, you have to stir to make sure.) If it’s not melted, microwave for an additional 20 seconds and stir again. Repeat if necessary.   Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Feel the bowl. If it’s not so hot it’ll cook the eggs, add them now, stirring thoroughly. Mix in the vanilla extract.   Mix in the flour, and stir just until it’s moistened.   Put the cashews, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips in the bowl of a food processor, and chop them together with the steel blade. (If you don’t have a food processor, you don’t have to buy one for this recipe—just chop everything up as well as you can with a sharp knife.)   Mix in the chopped ingredients, give a final stir by hand, and spread the batter out in your prepared pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.   Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.   Cool the Bonnie Brownie Cookie Bars in the pan on a metal rack. When they’re thoroughly cool, grasp the edges of the foil and lift the brownies out of the pan. Place them facedown on a cutting board, peel the foil off the back, and cut them into brownie-sized pieces.   Place the squares on a plate and dust lightly with powdered sugar if you wish.   Hannah’s Note: If you’re a chocoholic, or if you’re making these for Mother, frost them with Neverfail Fudge Frosting before you cut them.
Joanne Fluke (Cream Puff Murder (Hannah Swensen, #11))
Kaz had never been able to dodge the horror of that night in the Ketterdam harbor, the memory of his brother’s corpse clutched tight in his arms as he told himself to kick a little harder, to take one more breath, stay afloat, stay alive. He’d found his way to shore, devoted himself to the vengeance he and his brother were owed. But the nightmare refused to fade. Kaz had been sure it would get easier. He would stop having to think twice before he shook a hand or was forced into close quarters. Instead, things got so bad he could barely brush up against someone on the street without finding himself once more in the harbor. He was on the Reaper’s Barge and death was all around him. He was kicking through the water, clinging to the slippery bloat of Jordie’s flesh, too frightened of drowning to let go. The situation had gotten dangerous. When Gorka once got too drunk to stand at the Blue Paradise, Kaz and Teapot had to carry him home. Six blocks they hauled him, Gorka’s weight shifting back and forth, slumping against Kaz in a sickening press of skin and stink, then flopping onto Teapot, freeing Kaz briefly—though he could still feel the rub of the man’s hairy arm against the back of his neck. Later, Teapot had found Kaz huddled in a lavatory, shaking and covered in sweat. He’d pleaded food poisoning, teeth chattering as he jammed his foot against the door to keep Teapot out. He could not be touched again or he would lose his mind completely. The next day he’d bought his first pair of gloves—cheap black things that bled dye whenever they got wet. Weakness was lethal in the Barrel. People could smell it on you like blood, and if Kaz was going to bring Pekka Rollins to his knees, he couldn’t afford any more nights trembling on a bathroom floor. Kaz never answered questions about the gloves, never responded to taunts. He just wore them, day in and day out, peeling them off only when he was alone. He told himself it was a temporary measure. But that didn’t stop him from remastering every bit of sleight of hand wearing them, learning to shuffle and work a deck even more deftly than he could barehanded. The gloves held back the waters, kept him from drowning when memories of that night threatened to drag him under. When he pulled them on, it felt like he was arming himself, and they were better than a knife or a gun. 
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
He was walking down a narrow street in Beirut, Lebanon, the air thick with the smell of Arabic coffee and grilled chicken. It was midday, and he was sweating badly beneath his flannel shirt. The so-called South Lebanon conflict, the Israeli occupation, which had begun in 1982 and would last until 2000, was in its fifth year. The small white Fiat came screeching around the corner with four masked men inside. His cover was that of an aid worker from Chicago and he wasn’t strapped. But now he wished he had a weapon, if only to have the option of ending it before they took him. He knew what that would mean. The torture first, followed by the years of solitary. Then his corpse would be lifted from the trunk of a car and thrown into a drainage ditch. By the time it was found, the insects would’ve had a feast and his mother would have nightmares, because the authorities would not allow her to see his face when they flew his body home. He didn’t run, because the only place to run was back the way he’d come, and a second vehicle had already stopped halfway through a three-point turn, all but blocking off the street. They exited the Fiat fast. He was fit and trained, but he knew they’d only make it worse for him in the close confines of the car if he fought them. There was a time for that and a time for raising your hands, he’d learned. He took an instep hard in the groin, and a cosh over the back of his head as he doubled over. He blacked out then. The makeshift cell Hezbollah had kept him in in Lebanon was a bare concrete room, three metres square, without windows or artificial light. The door was wooden, reinforced with iron strips. When they first dragged him there, he lay in the filth that other men had made. They left him naked, his wrists and ankles chained. He was gagged with rag and tape. They had broken his nose and split his lips. Each day they fed him on half-rancid scraps like he’d seen people toss to skinny dogs. He drank only tepid water. Occasionally, he heard the muted sound of children laughing, and smelt a faint waft of jasmine. And then he could not say for certain how long he had been there; a month, maybe two. But his muscles had wasted and he ached in every joint. After they had said their morning prayers, they liked to hang him upside down and beat the soles of his feet with sand-filled lengths of rubber hose. His chest was burned with foul-smelling cigarettes. When he was stubborn, they lay him bound in a narrow structure shaped like a grow tunnel in a dusty courtyard. The fierce sun blazed upon the corrugated iron for hours, and he would pass out with the heat. When he woke up, he had blisters on his skin, and was riddled with sand fly and red ant bites. The duo were good at what they did. He guessed the one with the grey beard had honed his skills on Jewish conscripts over many years, the younger one on his own hapless people, perhaps. They looked to him like father and son. They took him to the edge of consciousness before easing off and bringing him back with buckets of fetid water. Then they rubbed jagged salt into the fresh wounds to make him moan with pain. They asked the same question over and over until it sounded like a perverse mantra. “Who is The Mandarin? His name? Who is The Mandarin?” He took to trying to remember what he looked like, the architecture of his own face beneath the scruffy beard that now covered it, and found himself flinching at the slightest sound. They had peeled back his defences with a shrewdness and deliberation that had both surprised and terrified him. By the time they freed him, he was a different man.  
Gary Haynes (State of Honour)
Max’s unflinching gaze never left that house. “What do you think’s going to happen?” Jules asked him quietly, “if you let yourself peel that giant S off your shirt and take a nap? If you let yourself spend an hour, an evening, screw it, a whole weekend doing nothing more than breaking and taking enjoyment from living in the moment? What’s going to happen, Max, if—after this is over—you give yourself permission to actually enjoy Gina’s company? To sit with her arms around you and let yourself be happy. You don’t have to be happy forever—just for that short amount of time.” Max didn’t say anything. So Jules went on. “And then maybe you could let yourself be happy again the next weekend. Not too happy,” he added quickly. “We wouldn’t want that. But just happy in a small way, because this amazing woman is part of your life, because she makes you smile and probably fucks like a dream and yeah—see? You are listening. Don’t kill me, I was just making sure you hadn’t checked out.” Max was giving him that look. “Are you done?” “Oh, sweetie, we have nowhere to go and hours til dawn. I’m just getting started.” Shit, Max said with his body language. But he didn’t stand up and walk away. He just sat there. Across the street, nothing moved. And then it still didn’t move. But once again, Max was back to watching it not move. Jules let the silence go for an entire minute and a half. “Just in case I didn’t make myself clear,” he said, “I believe with all my heart that you deserve—completely—whatever happiness you can grab. I don’t know what damage your father did to you but—” “I don’t know if I can do that,” Max interrupted. “You know, what you said. Just go home from work and . . .” Holy shit, Max was actually talking. About this. Or at least he had been talking. Jules waited for more, but Max just shook his head. “You know what happens when you work your ass off?” Jules finally asked, and then answered the question for him. “There’s no ass there the next time. So then you have to work off some other vital body part. You have to give yourself time to regrow, recharge. When was the last time you took a vacation? Was it nineteen ninety-one or ninety-two?” “You know damn well that I took a really long vacation just—” “No, sir, you did not. Hospitalization and recovery from a near-fatal gunshot wound is not a vacation,” Jules blasted him. “Didn’t you spend any of that time in ICU considering exactly why you made that stupid mistake that resulted in a bullet in your chest? Might it have been severe fatigue caused by asslessness, caused by working said ass off too many 24-7’s in a row?” Max sighed. Then nodded. “I know I fucked up. No doubt about that.” He was silent for a moment. “I’ve been doing that a lot lately.” He glanced over to where Jones was pretending to sleep, arm up and over his eyes. “I’ve been playing God too often, too. I don’t know, maybe I’m starting to believe my own spin, and it’s coming back to bite me.” “Not in the ass,” Jules said.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))