Press Up Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Press Up. Here they are! All 162 of them:

Four flips the gun in this hand, presses the barrel to Peter's forehead, and clicks a bullet into place. Peter freezes with his lips parted, the yawn dead in his mouth. "Wake. Up," Four snaps. "You are holding a loaded gun, you idiot. Act like it.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
A mermaid found a swimming lad, Picked him up for her own, Pressed her body to his body, Laughed; and plunging down Forgot in cruel happiness That even lovers drown.
W.B. Yeats
You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you're small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you're wrong." He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he's transmitting electricity through his skin. "My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press." he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe. His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, "But I resist it." "Why..." I swallow hard. "Why is that your first instinct?" "Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating." He releases me but doesn't pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. "Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Will’s voice dropped. “Everyone makes mistakes, Jem.” “Yes,” said Jem. “You just make more of them than most people.” “I —” “You hurt everyone,” said Jem. “Everyone whose life you touch.” “Not you,” Will whispered. “I hurt everyone but you. I never meant to hurt you.” Jem put his hands up, pressing his palms against his eyes. “Will —” “You can’t never forgive me,” Will said in disbelief, hearing the panic tinging his own voice. “I’d be —” “Alone?” Jem lowered his hand, but he was smiling now, crookedly. “And whose fault is that?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
But please, when you see an opportunity…” He presses his hand to my cheek, cold and strong, and tilts my head up so I have to look at him. His eyes glint. They almost look predatory. “Ruin them.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I am worthless and I am nothing, Nesta nearly said. She wasn’t sure why the words bubbled up, pressing on her lips to voice them. I hate everything that I am. And I am so, so tired. I am tired of wanting to be anywhere but in my own head.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
Kenji has a hand pressed to his mouth, desperately trying to suppress a smile. He’s shaking his head, holding up a hand in apology. And then he breaks, laughing out loud, snorting as he tries to muffle the sound. “I’m sorry,” he says, pressing his lips together, shaking his head again. “This is not a funny moment. It’s not. I’m not laughing
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle. This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you. And I will not be afraid of your scars. I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics
The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits—a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Jace set what he was holding down on the windowsill and reached out to her. She came to lean against him, and his hand slid up under her t-shirt and rested caressingly, possessively, on the small of her back. He bent to kiss her, gently at first, but the gentleness went quickly and soon she was pressed up against the glass of the window, his hands at the hem of her shirt — his shirt — “Jace.” She moved a little bit away. “I’m pretty sure people down there in the street can see us.” “We could …” He gestured toward the bed. “Move…over there.” She grinned. “You said that like it took you a while to come up with the idea.” When he spoke, his voice was muffled against her neck. “What can I say, you make my thought processes slow down. Now I know what it’s like to be a normal person.” “How … is it?” The things he was doing with his hands under the t-shirt were distracting. “Terrible. I’m already way behind on my quota of witty comments for the day.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
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
He reached out and pulled me to him, one hand on my waist and the other behind my neck. He tipped my head up and lowered his lips to mine. I closed my eyes and melted as my whole body was consumed in that kiss. I was nothing. I was everything. Chills, ran over my skin, and fire burned inside me. His body pressed closer to mine, and I wrapped my arms around his neck. His lips were warmer and softer than anything I could have ever imagined, yet fierce and powerful at the same time. Mine responded hungrily, and I tightened my hold on him. His fingers slid down the back of my neck, tracing its shape, and every place they touched was electric.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
Now, let's never talk about you being related to her again. Because I'm technically still engaged to her, and that's really weird." Cinder couldn't help laughing, even exhaustedly, even just to cover up the screaming inside, as he bound her up in his arms again. Her headache began to fade, replaced with the strength of his heartbeat and the way she felt almost delicate when she was pressed up against him like this. Almost fragile. Almost safe. Almost like a princess.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
She was a very pretty woman. She had dark red hair and her eyes -- her eyes are just like mine, Harry thought, edging a little closer to the glass. Bright green -- exactly the same shape, but then he noticed that she was crying; smiling, but crying at the same time. The tall, thin, black-haired man standing next to her put his arm around her. He wore glasses, and his hair was very untidy. It stuck up at the back, just like Harry's did. Harry was so close to the mirror now that his nose was nearly touching that of his reflection. "Mum?" he whispered. "Dad?" They just looked at him, smiling. And slowly, Harry looked into the faces of the other people in the mirror and saw other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry's knobbly knees -- Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life. The Potters smiled and waved at Harry and he stared hungrily back at them, his hands pressed flat against the glass as though he was hoping to fall right through it and reach them. He had a powerful kind of ache inside of him, half joy, half terrible sadness.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Some catastrophic moments invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Stitches and casts and bandages and antiseptic solve and salve the wounds. But depression is not a sudden disaster. It is more like a cancer: At first its tumorous mass is not even noticeable to the careful eye, and then one day -- wham! -- there is a huge, deadly seven-pound lump lodged in your brain or your stomach or your shoulder blade, and this thing that your own body has produced is actually trying to kill you. Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live. In my case, I was not frightened in the least bit at the thought that I might live because I was certain, quite certain, that I was already dead. The actual dying part, the withering away of my physical body, was a mere formality. My spirit, my emotional being, whatever you want to call all that inner turmoil that has nothing to do with physical existence, were long gone, dead and gone, and only a mass of the most fucking god-awful excruciating pain like a pair of boiling hot tongs clamped tight around my spine and pressing on all my nerves was left in its wake. That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal -- unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead. And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Life is a million different dots making one gigantic picture. And maybe the big picture is nice, maybe it's amazing, but if you're standing with your face pressed up against a bunch of black dots, it's really hard to tell.
Rebecca Stead (Liar & Spy)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
The daily press is the evil principle of the modern world, and time will only serve to disclose this fact with greater and greater clearness. The capacity of the newspaper for degeneration is sophistically without limit, since it can always sink lower and lower in its choice of readers. At last it will stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control.
Søren Kierkegaard
Aware of every breath, every movement, I sat in his lap. His hands gently braced my hips as I studied his face. “And now I want you to know, Rhysand, that I love you. I want you to know … ” His lips trembled, and I brushed away the tear that escaped down his cheek. “I want you to know,” I whispered, “that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you. And I am honored—honored to be your mate.” His arms wrapped around me and he pressed his forehead to my shoulder, his body shaking. I stroked a hand through his silken hair. “I love you,” I said again. I hadn’t dared say the words in my head. “And I’d endure every second of it over again so I could find you. And if war comes, we’ll face it. Together. I won’t let them take me from you. And I won’t let them take you from me, either.” Rhys looked up, his face gleaming with tears. He went still as I leaned in, kissing away one tear. Then the other. As he had once kissed away mine. When my lips were wet and salty with them, I pulled back far enough to see his eyes. “You’re mine,” I breathed.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
the loss pressed down on her chest and came up into her throat. it was a fine cry -- loud and long -- but it had no bottom and no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.
Toni Morrison (Sula)
Remember?" he asks. "This is where you kissed me." So the heavy dose of morphling administered after the whipping wasn't enough to erase that from his consciousness. "I didn't think you'd remember that," I say. "Have to be dead to forget. Maybe even not then," he tells me. "Maybe I'll be like that man in 'The Hanging Tree'. Still waiting for an answer." Gale, who I have never seen cry, has tears in his eyes. To keep them from spilling over, I reach forward and press my lips against his. We taste of heat, ashes, and misery. It's a surprising flavour for such a gentle kiss. He pulls away first and gives me a wry smile. "I knew you'd kiss me." "How?" I say. Because I didn't know myself. "Because I'm in pain," he says. "That's the only way I get your attention." He picks up the box. "Don't worry, Katniss. It'll pass." He leaves me before I can answer.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them. He creates the universe, already foreseeing - or should we say "seeing"? there are no tenses in God - the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath's sake, hitched up. If I may dare the biological image, God is a "host" who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and "take advantage of" Him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
And here, finally here in this place, in these circumstances, I will really have to kill him. And Snow will win. Hot, bitter hatred courses through me. Snow has won too much already today. It's a long shot, it's suicide maybe, but I do the only thing I can think of. I lean in and kiss Peeta full on the mouth. His whole body starts shuddering, but I keep my lips pressed to his until I have to come up for air. My hands slide up his wrists to clasp his. "Don't let him take you from me." Peeta's panting hard as he fights the nightmares raging in his head. "No. I don't want to..." I clench his hands to the point of pain. "Stay with me." His pupils contract to pinpoints, dilate again rapidly, and then return to something resembling normalcy. "Always," he murmurs.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I press my hands against my chest, wishing I could somehow be even closer to him. I hate skin; I hate bones and bodies. I want to curl up inside of him and be carried there forever.
Poppy Z. Brite (Exquisite Corpse)
Let me just tell you this, Watanabe," said Midori, pressing her cheek against my neck. "I'm a real, live girl, with real, live blood gushing through my veins. You're holding me in your arms and I'm telling you that I love you. I'm ready to do anything you tell me to do. I may be a little bit mad, but I'm a good girl, and honest, and I work hard, I'm kind of cute, I have nice boobs, I'm a good cook, and my father left me a trust fund. I mean, I'm a real bargain, don't you think? If you don't take me, I'll end up going somewhere else.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Parents, she thought, learned to survive touching their children less and less. As a baby Pearl had clung to her; she’d worn Pearl in a sling because whenever she’d set her down, Pearl would cry. There’d scarcely been a moment in the day when they had not been pressed together. As she got older, Pearl would still cling to her mother’s leg, then her waist, then her hand, as if there was something in her mother she needed to absorb through the skin. Even when she had her own bed, she would often crawl into Mia’s in the middle of the night and burrow under the old patchwork quilt, and in the morning they would wake up tangled, Mia’s arm pinned beneath Pearl’s head, or Pearl’s legs thrown across Mia’s belly. Now, as a teenager, Pearl’s caresses had become rare—a peck on the cheek, a one-armed, half-hearted hug—and all the more precious because of that. It was the way of things, Mia thought to herself, but how hard it was. The occasional embrace, a head leaned for just a moment on your shoulder, when what you really wanted more than anything was to press them to you and hold them so tight you fused together and could never be taken apart. It was like training yourself to live on the smell of an apple alone, when what you really wanted was to devour it, to sink your teeth into it and consume it, seeds, core, and all.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
We love being mentally strong, but we hate situations that allow us to put our mental strength to good use.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
It's true. somewhere inside us we are all the ages we have ever been. We're the 3 year old who got bit by the dog. We're the 6 year old our mother lost track of at the mall. We're the 10 year old who get tickled till we wet our pants. We're the 13 year old shy kid with zits. We're the 16 year old no one asked to the prom, and so on. We walk around in the bodies of adults until someone presses the right button and summons up one of those kids.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.” Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?” … “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.” “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon) ...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.” “That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count. He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said. Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough. His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud... His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up. ...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?” The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
I place my hands on his chest. He presses me into the curve of his body. Tilts my chin up to meet his eyes. "I'll be good to you," he whispers. "I'll be so good to you, Juliette. I promise." And he kisses me. Hungrily. Desperately. Eager to break me open and taste me.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
She curled up and pressed her cheek against his chest. Her ear was right above his heart. She was listening to his thoughts. "I need to know this," Aomame said. "That we're in the same world, seeing the same things.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
Never assume. Never make plans. Keep doing the press-ups and deep knee bends: you'll need all your strength and flexibility when your life suddenly implodes. Maybe it won't — some people do lead enchanted lives — but odds are that it will. Some time.
Robin McKinley
Walk with me, hand in hand through the neon and styrofoam. Walk the razor blades and the broken hearts. Walk the fortune and the fortune hunted. Walk the chop suey bars and the tract of stars. I know I am a fool, hoping dirt and glory are both a kind of luminous paint; the humiliations and exaltations that light us up. I see like a bug, everything too large, the pressure of infinity hammering at my head. But how else to live, vertical that I am, pressed down and pressing up simultaneously? I cannot assume you will understand me. It is just as likely that as I invent what I want to say, you will invent what you want to hear. Some story we must have. Stray words on crumpled paper. A weak signal into the outer space of each other. The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love.
Jeanette Winterson (Gut Symmetries)
Derek and I went out for our walk after dinner. Alone. There was an open field behind the motel and we headed there. Finally, when we were far enough from the motel, Derek led me into a little patch of woods. He hesitated then, unsure, still just holding my hand. When I stepped in front of him, though, his free hand went around my waist. "So," I said. "Seems you're going to be stuck with me for a while." He smiled. A real smile that lit up his whole face. "Good," he said. He pulled me against him. Then he bent down, breath warming my lips. My pulse was racing so fast I could barely breathe. I was sure he'd stop again and I tensed, waiting for that hesitation, stomach twisting. His lips touched mine, and still I kept waiting for him to pull back. His lips pressed against mine, then parted. And he kissed me. Really kissed me- arms tightening around me, mouth moving against mine, firm, like he'd made up his mind that this was what he wanted and he wasn't backing down again. I slid my arms around his neck. His tightened around me and he scooped me up, lifting me off his feet, kissing me like he was never going to stop, and I kissed him back the same way, like I didn't want him to ever stop. It was a perfect moment, one where nothing else mattered. All I could feel was him. All I could taste was his kiss. All I could hear was the pounding of his heart. All I could think about was him, and how much I wanted this, and how incredibly lucky I was to get it, and how tight I was going to hold onto it. This was what I wanted. This guy. This life. This me. I was never getting my old life back, and I didn't care. I was happy. I was safe. I was right where I wanted to be.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn't matter that you've got people who love you and the sun is shining and there's a movie coming out this weekend that you've been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below - what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you're going to make them see? And the moment's over. You think about how sad it would've been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would've taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over its strange terrain, is exactly the same.... The day was hers to choose, and perhaps in that treetop moment when she looked down and saw the yard, the world, her life, spread out below her, perhaps she chose to plunge toward it headlong. Perhaps she saw before her a lifetime of walking on the ruined earth and chose instead a single moment in the air
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
I did not run to him, but I did wrap my arms around him, press my ear to his chest, hold on to him as if he were the last solid thing in the world. He stroked my hair and murmured to me in French. I understood enough to know he was glad to see me and that he thought I looked beautiful. But beyond that it was just pretty noise. It wasn't until I felt Zerbrowski behind me that I pulled away, but when Jean-Claude's hand found mine, I welcomed it. Zerbrowski was looking at me as if he'd never seen me before. "What?" It came out hostile. "I've never seen you be that ... soft with anyone before." It startled me. "You've seen me kiss Richard before." He nodded. "That was lust. This is ..." He shook his head, glancing up at Jean-Claude, then back to me. "He makes you feel safe.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #10))
What?" he whispered. "What are you smiling about?" My fingers brushed against his hair, trying to smooth it down. I realized what I was doing a full minute after Liam had closed his eyes and leaned into my touch. Embarrassment flared up my chest, but he grabbed my hand before I could pull back and tucked it under his chin. "Nope," he whispered, when I tried to tug it away. "Mine now." Dangerous. This is dangerous. The warning was fleeting, banished to the back corners of my mind, where it wouldn't interrupt how good it felt to touch him - how right. "I'm going to need it back eventually," I said, letting him run it along the stubble on his chin. "Too bad." "...crackers..." a voice breathed out behind us, "yessss..." Both of us turned, watching as Chubs twisted around in his seat and settled back down, still fast asleep. I pressed a hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. Liam rolled his eyes, smiling. "He dreams about food," he said. "A lot." "At least they're good dreams." "Yeah," Liam agreed. "I guess he's lucky.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
What’s three?” I asked, hoping to move away from this uncomfortable topic. The smile pulled at his lips again. “Three.” One of his hands cupped my face and the other slid around my back. He pulled my body against his and my heart began to pound. I took advantage of my free hand and pushed at his chest. “I don’t think so, Lily,” he said. “If you want to get rid of me, you’ll need to do better than that.” I drew a sharp breath and tried to wiggle away, but he held me firmly in place, watching me struggle. He grinned as he lifted me up onto the sink. “What are you doing?” I started to panic. “Someone could come in!” “If they see us, they’ll just turn around and get out of here,” he murmured, lips touching my ear. “No one crosses me.” His hips pressed against my knees, opening them, pushing my skirt up my legs. I gripped his shirt, clinging to him so I wouldn’t fall into the sink. His hand pushed into my lower back. I gasped as his body fitted against mine. Heat flooded my chest, my pelvis. I thought I would drown in it. “We can’t—” His lips stopped my words. The kiss just made me dizzier. I dug my fingers into his shoulders. “You said you didn’t want to be left alone.” His tongue flicked over my cheekbone. “This is me pestering you.” “Aren’t you breaking the rules?” I could barely get the words out. “What about the union?” “I’d rather have you on my own terms.” His hand slipped between my thighs. All strength fled my limbs. “I can’t breathe.” “That means you like it.” He kissed me again.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
Alec took a deep breath and let it out. Well, he’d come this far; he might as well go on. The bare lightbulb hanging overhead cast sweeping shadows as he reached forward and pressed the buzzer. A moment later a voice echoed through the stairwell. “WHO CALLS UPON THE HIGH WARLOCK?” “Er,” Alec said. “It’s me. I mean, Alec. Alec Lightwood.” There was a sort of silence, as if even the hallway itself were surprised. Then a ping, and the second door opened, letting him out onto the stairwell. He headed up the rickety stairs into the darkness, which smelled like pizza and dust. The second floor landing was bright, the door at the far end open. Magnus Bane was leaning in the entryway.
Cassandra Clare
Being a successful couple was learning what you were willing to compromise on, and what you weren't; learning when to stand your ground, and when to give it up; what was truly important enough to fight over, and what was just you being pissy. You learned each other's hot buttons, the places that hurt, or angered, when you pressed them. Love makes you learn where all the pitfalls are, and how to avoid them, or how to set them off.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #21))
Peeta and I sit on the damp sand, facing away from each other, my right shoulder and hip pressed against his. ... After a while I rest my head against his shoulder. Feel his hand caress my hair. "Katniss... If you die, and I live, there's no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You're my whole life", he says. "I would never be happy again." I start to object but he puts a finger to my lips. "It's different for you. I'm not sayin it wouldn't be hard. But there are other people who'd make your life worth living." ... "Your family needs you, Katniss", Peeta says. My family. My mother. My sister. And my pretend cousin Gale. But Peeta's intension is clear. That Gale really is my family, or will be one day, if I live. That I'll marry him. So Peeta's giving me his life and Gale at the same time. To let me know I shouldn't ever have doubts about it. Everithing. That's what Peeta wants me to take from him. ... "No one really needs me", he says, and there's no self-pity in his voice. It's true his family doesen't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me. "I do", I say. "I need you." He looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that's no good, no good at all, because he'll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I'll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss. I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those Games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more. But my head wound started bleeding and he made me lie down. This time, there is nothing but us to interrupt us. And after a few attempts, Peeta gives up on talking. The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
You forget.” I pressed my fingers against her nape, forcing her to look up at me. “You’re my fiancée. Not Kai’s. Not anyone else’s. I don’t give a fuck how handsome they are or what type of accent they have. You’re mine, and no one…” I dipped my head, my lips brushing hers with each word. “Touches what’s mine.
Ana Huang (King of Wrath (Kings of Sin, #1))
Cole,” I said, “do you think I’m lovable?” “As in ‘cuddly and’?” “As in ‘able to be loved,’” I said. Cole’s gaze was unwavering. Just for a moment, I had the strange idea that I could see exactly what he had looked like when he was younger, and exactly what he’d look like when he was older. It was piercing, a secret glimpse of his future. “Maybe,” he said. “But you won’t let anybody try.” I closed my eyes and swallowed. “I can’t tell the diference between not fighting,” I said,“and giving up.” Despite my eyelids being tightly shut, a single, hot tear ran out of my left eye. I was so angry that it had escaped. I was so angry. Beneath me, the bed tipped as Cole edged closer. I felt him lean over me. His breath, warm and measured, hit my cheek. Two breaths. Three. Four. I didn’t know what I wanted. Then I heard him stop breathing, and a second later, I felt his lips on my mouth. It wasn’t the sort of kiss I’d had with him before, hungry, wanting, desperate. It wasn’t the sort of kiss I’d had with anyone before. This kiss was so soft that it was like a memory of a kiss, so careful on my lips that it waslike a memory of a kiss, so careful on my lips that it was like someone running his fingers along them. My mouth parted and stilled; it was so quiet, a whisper, not a shout. Cole’s hand touched my neck, thumb pressed into the skin next to my jaw. It wasn’t a touch that said “I need more”. It was a touch that said “I want this.” It was all completely soundless. I didn’t think either of us was breathing. Cole sat back up, slowly, and I opened my eyes. His expression, as ever, was blank, the face he wore when something mattered. He said, “That’s how I would kiss you, if I loved you.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
By the end of the four-year term, Americans hold a bifurcated view of Mrs. Trump. Many Republicans, especially women, revere her as elegant, graceful, beautiful and wronged by the press. A pastor in Missouri held up Melania as a wifely model to which other women should aspire — or risk losing their men. At the same time some southern preachers referred to then-Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris as Jezebel, the Bible’s most nefarious woman and archetype of female cunning. There could be no surer sign that the life stories of prominent women affect the lives of private women than when pastors hold them up as positive or negative role models.
Anne Michaud (Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Eight Political Wives)
Prove it!" she hissed. "Prove you are who you are!" "We don't have time for this! You really want me to prove who I am?" he asked. "Yes!" she challenged. In answer, he took her in his arms, lifting her up and against the wall. He pressed his lips against hers, and with each kiss she could see into his mind, into his soul. She saw a year of hate...saw him alone, alienated, hurt. She had lied to him and had left him. With every kiss he made her see, made her feel...every emotion, every dream he had of her...every ounce of his wanting and his need...and his love...his all-consuming, life-affirming love for her. In the darkness they found each other again...and she kissed him back, so greedily and hungrily, she never wanted to stop kissing him...to feel his heart against hers, the two of them intertwined together, his hands in her hair, then down the small of her back. She wanted to cry from the overwhelming emotion that engulfed the two of them.... "Now do you belive me?" Jack asked huskily, pulling away from a moment so they could look into each other's eyes. Schuyler nodded, breathless. Jack. Every fiber of her being tingled with love and desire and remorse and forgiveness. Oh Jack...the love of her life, her sweet, her soul...
Melissa de la Cruz (The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4))
... As Lorcan stared down at Lysandra, his blood-splattered face impassive. "Out of the way, shifter." Lysandra had held up a slender hand- and Lorcan paused. The shape-shifter pressed her other hand against her stomach, her face blanching. But then she smiled and said, "You forgot to say 'please.' " Lorcan's dark brows flattened. "I don't have time for this." He made to step around her, shove her aside. Lysandra vomited black blood all over him. Rowan didn't know whether to laught or cringe as Lysandra, panting, gaped at Lorcan, and at the blood on his neck and chest. Slowly, too slowly, Lorcan looked down at himself. She pressed a hand over her mouth. "I am-so sorry-" Lorcan didn't even step out of the way as Lysandra vomited on him again, black blood and bits of gore now on the warrior and on the marble floor.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
hear him breathing behind me, loud and fast. "Are you all right, Four?" "Are you human, Tris? Being up this high..." He gulps for air. "It doesn't scare you at all?" I look over my shoulder at the ground. If I fall now, I will die. But I don't think I will fall. A gust of air presses against my left side, throwing my body weight to the right. I gasp and cling to the rungs, my balance shifting. Four's cold hand clamps around one of my hips, one of his fingers finding a strip of bare skin just under the hem of my T-shirt. He squeezes, steading me and pushing me gently to the left, restoring my balance. Now I can't breathe. I pause, staring at my hands, my mouth dry. I feel the ghost of where his hand was, his fingers long and narrow. "You okay?" he asks quietly. "Yes," I say, my voice strained.
Veronica Roth
Gram made me go to the doctor to see if there was something wrong with my heart. After a bunch of tests, the doctor said: Lennie, you lucked out. I wanted to punch him in the face, but instead I started to cry in a drowning kind of way. I couldn't believe I had a lucky heart when what I wanted was the same kind of heart as Bailey. I didn't hear Gram come in, or come up behind me, just felt her arms slip around my shaking frame, then the press of both her hands hard against my chest, holding it all in, holding me together. Thank God she whispered, before the doctor or I could utter a word. How could she possibly have known that I'd gotten good news?
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
Brendan cleared his throat hard. “What does ‘follow’ mean?” “Don’t,” Deke rushed to say. “Don’t press it.” His thumb was already on the way back up. “Too late.” All three of his crew members surged to their feet. “No. Brendan, don’t tell me you just tapped the blue button,” Sanders groaned, hands on his mop of red hair. “She’s going to see you followed her. She’s going to know you internet stalked her.” “Can’t I just unfollow now?” Brendan started to tap again. Fox lunged forward. “No! No, that’s even worse. If she already noticed you followed her, she’s just going to think you’re playing games.” “Jesus. I’m deleting the whole thing,” Brendan said, throwing the offending device onto the dashboard.
Tessa Bailey (It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters, #1))
Keefe closed the distance between them. And then... everything was new. The soft press of his lips against hers. The way their breath seemed to fall perfectly into sync as her heart and brain screamed FINALLY! Some tiny part of her had always wondered if kissing could really be as great as everyone claimed. But kissing Keefe was So. Much. Better. He was the one to finally pull away, leaning back to study her in the shimmering light. "You're okay, right? No regrets?" She grinned. "Absolutely none." His relieved smile was the sweetest thing she'd ever seen- but it faded a little as he leaned his forehead against hers. "I don't want to mess this up," he whispered. "Please don't let me mess this up." "I won't," she promised, tilting her chin up to steal another quick kiss.
Shannon Messenger (Stellarlune (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #9))
The only woman's body I had studied, with ever-increasing apprehension, was the lame body of my mother, and I had felt pressed, threatened by that image, and still feared that it would suddenly impose itself on mine. That day, instead, I saw clearly the mothers of the old neighborhood. They were nervous, they were acquiescent. They were silent, with tight lips and stooping shoulders, or they yelled terrible insults at the children who harassed them. Extremely thin, with hollow eyes and cheeks, they lugged shopping bags and small children who clung to their skirts and wanted to be picked up. And, good God, they were ten, at most twenty years older than me. Yet they appeared to have lost those feminine qualities that were so important to us girls and that we accentuated with clothes, with makeup. They had been consumed by the bodies of husbands, fathers, brothers, whom they ultimately came to resemble, because of their labors or the arrival of old age, of illness. When did that transformation begin? With housework? With pregnancies? With beatings?
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
One act presses upon another, on a path we have no choice but to follow, and each time there are reasons. We do what we must, we do what we are told, we do what is easiest. What else can we do but solve one sordid problem at a time? Then we look up and find... this.
Joe Abercrombie (Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3))
We watch movies while Uncle Reyes makes cockporn.” Everyone in the immediate area stilled while Reyes and I pressed our mouths together, trying not to crack up. This was a serious situation, and cracking up now would just be wrong. “Popcorn, honey,” Amador said. Then he looked at Bianca. “Hon, she really needs to learn how to say that word.
Darynda Jones (Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8))
The workers went along with the Nazis, the Church stood by and watched, the middle classes were too cowardly to do anything, and so were the leading intellectuals. We allowed the unions to be abolished, the various religious denominations to be suppressed, there was no freedom of speech in the press or on the radio. Finally we let ourselves be driven into war. We were content for Germany to do without democratic representation and put up with pseudo-representation by people with no real say in anything. Ideals can’t be betrayed with impunity, and now we must all take the consequences.
Władysław Szpilman (The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45)
We’re only together because of a deal you made with my father. What’s it to you if my ex shows back up in my life? … Why do you care?” “I don’t know!” The force of his reply stunned me into silence. Dante’s granite mask cracked, revealing the torment underneath. “I don’t know why I care. I just know I do, and I hate it.” Self-loathing coated his voice. “I hate the idea of you touching anyone else, or anyone else touching you. I hate that other people can make you laugh in a way I can’t. I hate how I feel around you, like you’re the only person that can make me lose control when I. Don’t. Lose Control.” Every word, every step brought him closer until my back pressed against the wall and the heat of his body enveloped mine. “But I do.” His voice dropped, turning ragged. “With you.
Ana Huang (King of Wrath (Kings of Sin, #1))
I think computers ought to have a key called I'M DRUNK, and when you push it, it prevents you from sending email for twelve hours. I've got another one: a key called FUCK OFF. You press it every time your computer does something annoying -- in turn this would somehow force your computer to experience pain. And if you pushed SHIFT/FUCK OFF, you'd end up with FUCK OFF AND DIE, the computer equivalent of a razor being raked across your nipples.
Douglas Coupland (JPod)
My dick is not moving from where it's lodged, pressed up against the zipper of my jeans. I think her holier-than-thou attitude might have even made it harder. Clearly, my dick has poor taste in women.
Sabrina Paige (Prick (A Step Brother Romance, #1))
After this, I sat on the floor of the kitchen and thought about Leah, about the shape of her feet and the way she spoke about her father, the special voice she used to talk to cats, her kind frown, her intonation, her fingernails. ... I thought about the day it first occurred to me that, should she die, there would be no one in the world I truly loved. ... Are you just now realising that people die, Leah had said to me when I voiced this thought, tucked up beside her on the sofa with my knees pressed tight into the backs of hers. Not people, I had said, just you.
Julia Armfield (Our Wives Under the Sea)
Mouthful of Forevers I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be part of its miracle.   This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar on your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.   And I will not be afraid of your scars.   I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: Whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap, your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
What about me?’ said Grantaire. ‘I’m here.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me.’ ‘You? Rally Republicans! You? In defence of principles, fire up hearts that have grown cold!’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Are you capable of being good for something?’ ‘I have the vague ambition to be,’ said Grantaire. ‘You don’t believe in anything.’ ‘I believe in you.’ ‘Grantaire, will you do me a favour?’ ‘Anything. Polish your boots.’ ‘Well, don’t meddle in our affairs. Go and sleep off the effects of your absinthe.’ ‘You’re heartless, Enjolras.’ ‘As if you’d be the man to send to the Maine gate! As if you were capable of it!’ ‘I’m capable of going down Rue des Grès, crossing Place St-Michel, heading off along Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, taking Rue de Vaugirard, passing the Carmelite convent, turning into Rue d’Assas, proceeding to Rue du Cherche-Midi, leaving the Military Court behind me, wending my way along Rue des Vieilles-Tuileries, striding across the boulevard, following Chaussée du Maine, walking through the toll-gate and going into Richefeu’s. I’m capable of that. My shoes are capable of that.’ ‘Do you know them at all, those comrades who meet at Richefeu’s?' ‘Not very well. But we’re on friendly terms.’ ‘What will you say to them?’ ‘I’ll talk to them about Robespierre, of course! And about Danton. About principles.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me. But I’m not being given the credit I deserve. When I put my mind to it, I’m terrific. I’ve read Prudhomme, I’m familiar with the Social Contract, I know by heart my constitution of the year II. “The liberty of the citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.” Do you take me for a brute beast? I have in my drawer an old promissory note from the time of the Revolution. The rights of man, the sovereignty of the people, for God’s sake! I’m even a bit of an Hébertist. I can keep coming out with some wonderful things, watch in hand, for a whole six hours by the clock.’ ‘Be serious,’ said Enjolras. ‘I mean it,’ replied Grantaire. Enjolras thought for a few moments, and with the gesture of a man who had come to a decision, ‘Grantaire,’ he said gravely, ‘I agree to try you out. You’ll go to the Maine toll-gate.’ Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very close to Café Musain. He went out, and came back five minutes later. He had gone home to put on a Robespierre-style waistcoat. ‘Red,’ he said as he came in, gazing intently at Enjolras. Then, with an energetic pat of his hand, he pressed the two scarlet lapels of the waistcoat to his chest. And stepping close to Enjolras he said in his ear, ‘Don’t worry.’ He resolutely jammed on his hat, and off he went.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
At least, I thought in those early days, once I cast a spell, I would not have to learn it again. But even that was not true. However often I had used an herb before, each cutting had its own character. One rose would give up its secrets if it were ground, another must be pressed, a third steeped. Each spell was a montain to be climbed anew. All I could carry with me from last time was the knowedge that it could be done.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Your ability to shoulder everything, to give 200% of yourself all the time, to be perfect at everything you attempt…these are not the attributes that make you a valuable human being.” I pause. “And they are not why I fell in love with you.” His black eyes shoot up to me. I smile. The weight of these heavy secrets falls off of me, and I feel relieved to continue. “I fell in love with you because you’re goofy. You’re fun. Your heart is so big I don’t know how it fits in here,” I say, pressing my hand to his chest. “You’re a terrible singer. You make me soup when I’m sick. You bought me tampons that time I was laid out on the couch with cramps and couldn’t move. You didn’t even send someone else for them. You went yourself!
Sarah Adams (The Cheat Sheet)
Promise you will tell me all of your dreams, my love.” She didn’t pull out of his embrace. “My dreams?” “I intend to make them come true.” He kissed her forehead. “Every”—he shifted and kissed her cheek—“single”—he pressed a quick kiss to her lips—“dream.” “And if I told you that you already have?” He smiled. “Then you shall simply have to dream up more.
Sarah M. Eden (As You Are (The Jonquil Brothers #3))
Grief produces an abundant energy that must find a way to burn itself up. And that is the fundamental problem, one that can take a lifetime to exhaust.
Bill Carter (Fools Rush In: A True Story of War and Redemption)
I just feel …” I press the heels of my hands into my thighs. “I can’t lose the thing I’ve held on to for so long. You know?” My face twists up from the pain of pushing it out. “I just really need it to be a love story. You know? I really, really need it to be that.” “I know,” she says. “Because if it isn’t a love story, then what is it?” I look to her glassy eyes, her face of wide-open empathy. “It’s my life,” I say. “This has been my whole life.
Kate Elizabeth Russell (My Dark Vanessa)
The fire had burned to coals and he lay looking up at the stars in their places and the hot belt of matter that ran the chord of the dark vault overhead and he put his hands on the ground at either side of him and pressed them against the earth and in that coldly burning canopy of black he slowly turned dead center to the world, all of it taut and trembling and moving enormous and alive under his hands. What's her name? said Rawlins in the darkness. Alejandra. Her name is Alejandra.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1))
The ceremony was fast so we wouldn't be caught. When it was over, the men all whispered 'Mazel tov' and climbed back onto their shelves. I went up to the boy and pressed the wooden horse into his hands, the only present I could give him. The boy looked at me with big, round eyes. Had I ever been so young? 'We are alive,' I told him. 'We are alive, and that is all that matters. We cannot let them tear us from the pages of the world.' I said it as much for me as for him. I said it in memory of Uncle Moshe, and my mother and father, and my aunts and other uncles and cousins. The Nazis had put me in a gas chamber. I had thought I was dead, but I was alive. I was a new man that day, just like the bar mitzvah boy. I was a new man, and I was going to survive.
Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087)
His teeth grazed her pulse. 'Jacks-' It was suddenly impossible to form words. His mouth was against her throat and his teeth were on her skin. HIs teeth! Evangeline finally pressed against his chest. But it was as useless as trying to battle a block of marble. Hot, sculpted marble. She wanted to tell him not to bite her, but saying the word bite didn't seem like the wisest idea just then. 'You won't want this later.' 'Not really thinking about later.' He licked her, one languorous stroke up the column of her neck. She gasped. 'You don't even like me.' 'I like you right now. I like you a lot.' He gently sucked her skin. 'In fact, I can't think of anything I like more.
Stephanie Garber (Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #1))
Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems - but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems more and more incredible. Suppose yourself in a large cinema, sitting at first in the back row, and gradually moving up, row by row, until your nose is almost pressed against the screen. Gradually the stars' faces dissolve into dancing grain; tiny details assume grotesque proportions; the illusion dissolves - or rather, it becomes clear that the illusion itself is reality.
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
Negativity always leads you to a dead end; you can crawl into the darkest, dankest corner, and though it is lonely and miserable, you know where the wall is, your back firmly pressed against it, and there is something wonderfully safe about that. When you choose positivity, on the other hand, you choose limitless potential, and whatever you look at with positivity grows and spreads and unfurls in a thousand different directions.
Evanna Lynch (The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting: The Tragedy and The Glory of Growing Up (A Memoir))
Here’s another. Kill man’s sense of values. Kill his capacity to recognise greatness or to achieve it. Great men can’t be ruled. We don’t want any great men. Don’t deny conception of greatness. Destroy it from within. The great is the rare, the difficult, the exceptional. Set up standards of achievement open to all, to the least, to the most inept – and you stop the impetus to effort in men, great or small. You stop all incentive to improvement, to excellence, to perfection. Laugh at Roark and hold Peter Keating as a great architect. You’ve destroyed architecture. Build Lois Cook and you’ve destroyed literature. Hail Ike and you’ve destroyed the theatre. Glorify Lancelot Clankey and you’ve destroyed the press. Don’t set out to raze all shrines – you’ll frighten men, Enshrine mediocrity - and the shrines are razed. Then there’s another way. Kill by laughter. Laughter is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction. Turn it into a sneer. It’s simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. Tell them that a sense of humour is an unlimited virtue. Don't let anything remain sacred in a man’s soul – and his soul won’t be sacred to him. Kill reverence and you’ve killed the hero in man. One doesn’t reverence with a giggle. He’ll obey and he’ll set no limits to obedience – anything goes – nothing is too serious.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
With time to think, the full reality of what had happened hit Thomas like a falling boulder. Ever since Thomas had entered the Maze, Newt had been there for him. Thomas hadn’t realized just how much of a friend he’d become until now. His heart hurt. He tried to remind himself that Newt wasn’t dead. But in some ways this was worse. In most ways. He’d fallen down the slope of insanity, and he was surrounded by bloodthirsty Cranks. And the prospect of never seeing him again was almost unbearable. [...] He pulled the envelope out of his pocket and ripped it open, then took out the slip of paper. The soft lights that ringed the mirror lit up the message in a warm glow. It was two short sentences: Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me. Thomas read it over and over, wishing the words would change. To think that his friend had been so scared that he’d had the foresight to write those words made him sick to his stomach. And he remembered how angry Newt had been at Thomas specifically when they’d found him in the bowling alley. He’d just wanted to avoid the inevitable fate of becoming a Crank. And Thomas had failed him. [...] “Newt suddenly twisted around and grabbed Thomas by the hand holding the gun. He yanked it toward himself, forcing it up until the end of the pistol was pressed against his own forehead. “Now make amends! Kill me before I become one of those cannibal monsters! Kill me! I trusted you with the note! No one else. Now do it!” Thomas tried to pull his hand away, but Newt was too strong. “I can’t, Newt, I can’t.” “Make amends! Repent for what you did!” The words tore out of him, his whole body trembling. Then his voice dropped to an urgent, harsh whisper. “Kill me, you shuck coward. Prove you can do the right thing. Put me out of my misery.” The words horrified Thomas. “Newt, maybe we can—” “Shut up! Just shut up! I trusted you! Now do it!” “I can’t.” “Do it!” “I can’t!” How could Newt ask him to do something like this? How could he possibly kill one of his best friends? “Kill me or I’ll kill you. Kill me! Do it!” “Newt …” “Do it before I become one of them!” “I …” “KILL ME!” And then Newt’s eyes cleared, as if he’d gained one last trembling gasp of sanity, and his voice softened. “Please, Tommy. Please.” With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
Wow,' said Zaphod Beeblebrox to the Heart of Gold. There wasn't much else he could say. He said it again because he knew it would annoy the press. 'Wow.' The crowd turned their faces back toward him expectantly. He winked at Trillian, who raised her eyebrows and widened her eyes at him. She knew what he was about to say and thought him a terrible show-off. 'That is really amazing.' he said. 'That really is truly amazing. That is so amazingly amazing I think I'd like to steal it.' A marvelous presidential quote, absolutely true to form. The crowd laughed appreciativley, the newsman gleefully punched buttons on their Sub-Etha News-Matics and the President grinned. As he grinned his heart screamed unbearably and he fingered the small Paralyso-Matic bomb that nestled quietly in his pocket. Finally he could bear it no more. He lifted his heads up to the sky, let out a wild whoop in major thirds, threw the bomb to the ground and ran forward through the sea of suddenly frozen beaming smiles.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover. His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him in such a state at their club, were talking far too loudly. Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly. “Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle their table and splitting it open with a viciously loud crack. Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him. Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?” Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?” Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to smash them.” “Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.” “Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?” If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise. “If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut. “You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered. Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did, apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—” “What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled. “I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.” “Just so!” Colin exclaimed. Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.” “It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere. “When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you may presume to offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.” Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?” Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.” Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.” “Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.” Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle finger. “God above,” he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?” “Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
He stands in the street with his arms out to me and a huge grin on his face-Baby! - and I run and I jump up into his arms he presses a stubbly cheek against mine.
Gillian Flynn
She shifted her grip on him so her arms linked around his neck. “I love you.” And kissed him, soft, slow, deep. “I love you. I love you. I’m just going to keep saying it,” she told him as she pressed her body to his. “Racking them up, so I have a supply built up for when I forget to say it. I love who you are, what you are, how you talk, how you look at me.” Her lips roamed over his face, down his throat, along his jaw, coming back to his with soft, sumptuous seduction. “I love your body, how you make me feel. I love your face, your mouth, your hands. Put your hands on me, Roarke. Put your hands on me.
J.D. Robb (Promises in Death (In Death, #28))
And what have I invested in interpreting disfocus for chaos? This threat: the only lesson is to wait. I crouch in the smoggy terminus. The streets lose edges, the rims of thought flake. What have I set myself to fix in this dirty notebook that is not mine? Does the revelation that, though it cannot be done with words, it might be accomplished in some lingual gap, give me the right, in injury, walking with a woman and her dog in pain? Rather the long doubts: that this labor tears up the mind's moorings; that, though life may be important in the scheme, awareness is an imperfect tool with which to face it. To reflect is to fight away the sheets of silver, the carbonated distractions, the feeling that, somehow, a thumb is pressed on the right eye. This exhaustion melts what binds, releases what flows.
Samuel R. Delany (Dhalgren)
When his mouth was on hers, when he could feel her about to shatter yet again, he plunged into her, knocking her over the edge with that first rough stroke. And still he thought: More. Even as she shuddered, he shoved her knees up and went deeper inside her. His vision blurred, but through the red haze of lust he could see her eyes. Deep, dark, glazed like glass to throw his own reflection back at him. "I'm inside you." He panted it out as he pushed them both to madness. "Everything I am. Body, heart, mind." She struggled through layers of pleasure to say the one thing he needed. Her hands wrapped around his wrists to hold the beat of his blood. "Let go. I'll stay with you." He pressed his face to her hair, let both heart and mind go, and let body rule them both.
J.D. Robb (Betrayal in Death (In Death, #12))
She raised the long glass and peered back down at the harbor, at the passengers disembarking, but the image was blurry. Reluctantly, she released his hand. It felt like a promise, and she didn’t want to let go. She adjusted the lens, and her gaze caught on two figures moving down the gangplank. Their steps were graceful, their posture straight as knife blades. They moved like Suli acrobats. She drew in a sharp breath. Everything in her focused like the lens of the long glass. Her mind refused the image before her. This could not be real. It was an illusion, a false reflection, a lie made in rainbow-hued glass. She would breathe again and it would shatter. She reached for Kaz’s sleeve. She was going to fall. He had his arm around her, holding her up. Her mind split. Half of her was aware of his bare fingers on her sleeve, his dilated pupils, the brace of his body around hers. The other half was still trying to understand what she was seeing. His dark brows knitted together. “I wasn’t sure. Should I not have—” She could barely hear him over the clamor in her heart. “How?” she said, her voice raw and strange with unshed tears. “How did you find them?” “A favor, from Sturmhond. He sent out scouts. As part of our deal. If it was a mistake—” “No,” she said as the tears spilled over at last. “It was not a mistake.” “Of course, if something had gone wrong during the job, they’d be coming to retrieve your corpse.” Inej choked out a laugh. “Just let me have this.” She righted herself, her balance returning. Had she really thought the world didn’t change? She was a fool. The world was made of miracles, unexpected earthquakes, storms that came from nowhere and might reshape a continent. The boy beside her. The future before her. Anything was possible. Now Inej was shaking, her hands pressed to her mouth, watching them move up the dock toward the quay. She started forward, then turned back to Kaz. “Come with me,” she said. “Come meet them.” Kaz nodded as if steeling himself, flexed his fingers once more. “Wait,” he said. The burn of his voice was rougher than usual. “Is my tie straight?” Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair. “That’s the laugh,” he murmured, but she was already setting off down the quay, her feet barely touching the ground. “Mama!” she called out. “Papa!” Inej saw them turn, saw her mother grip her father’s arm. They were running toward her. Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Are you glad I came?" "Delighted, dear Carmilla," I answered. "And you asked for the picture you think like me, to hang in your room," she murmured with a sigh, as she drew her arm closer about my waist, and let her pretty head sink upon my shoulder. "How romantic you are, Carmilla," I said. "Whenever you tell me your story, it will be made up chiefly of some one great romance." She kissed me silently. "I am sure, Carmilla, you have been in love; that there is, at this moment, an affair of the heart going on." "I have been in love with no one, and never shall," she whispered, "unless it should be with you." How beautiful she looked in the moonlight! Shy and strange was the look with which she quickly hid her face in my neck and hair, with tumultuous sighs, that seemed almost to sob, and pressed in mine a hand that trembled. Her
J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla)
And then Roarke came to my door, and that gave me what I needed after all those years. I thank God for that, and him. But I’m telling you, and hope you already know, what you do, beyond the law of it, is needed.” “Sinead.” Roarke stepped up, pressed a handkerchief in her hand. “Ah well.” Sighing now, she dabbed at tears. “The world can be so dark. It’s foolish to deny it, and the Irish know the dark better than some in any case. It reminds us to hold on to the light, every minute we can, and to prize it. You’re a light to me.” She kissed Roarke’s cheeks. “Don’t ever forget it.
J.D. Robb (Thankless in Death (In Death, #37))
She handed it to him. His hand closed over hers. He drew her wrist to his mouth and pressed his lips against it. A squeak came from her. She had made that noise. His lips felt hot. He spoke against her skin. “Your hair,” he said, “is a glory. Promise me you will never pin it up again.” The brush of his mouth sent static sparks along her skin. She felt flushed, shivering, light-headed. “I don’t . . . It would be a scandal.” He turned her wrist ever so slightly, finding her pulse with his tongue. Her breath caught. She heard him breathe in deeply. “Then unpin it just for me,” he whispered.
Meredith Duran (A Lady's Code of Misconduct (Rules for the Reckless, #5))
You came for me,” she whispered up against his mouth. His fingertips grazed her temple, smoothing away hair that had fallen in her face, and he pressed another kiss to her lips. “You called. How could I not?
A.K. Caggiano (Summoned to the Wilds (Villains & Virtues, #2))
My workout routine includes eyebrow lifts (for maximum quirking potential), leaping over plot holes, high-jumping to conclusions, bench-pressing my emotions to make them easier to suppress, and climbing up cliffs I’ve been left hanging on.
Carrie Ann DiRisio (Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me)
In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.
Oscar Wilde
began to let his mind wander, trailing his fingers along the edge of an incomprehensible computer bank. He reached out and pressed an invitingly large red button on a nearby panel. The panel lit up with the words Please do not press this button again.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
I have one memory that catches in me like a nasty clump of blood. Marian was dead about two years, and my mother had a cluster of friends over for afternoon drinks. One of them brought a baby. For hours, the child was cooed over, smothered with red-lipstick kisses, tidied up with tissues, then lipstick smacked again. I was supposed to be reading in my room, but I sat at the top of the stairs watching. My mother finally was handed the baby, and she cuddled it ferociously. Oh, how wonderful it is to hold a baby again! Adora jiggled it on her knee, walked it around the rooms, whispered to it, and I looked down from above like a spiteful little god, the back of my hand placed against my face, imagining how it felt to be cheek to cheek with my mother. When the ladies went into the kitchen to help tidy up the dishes, something changed. I remember my mother, alone in the living room, staring at the baby almost lasciviously. She pressed her lips hard against the baby's apple slice of a cheek. Then she opened her mouth just slightly, took a tiny bit of flesh between her teeth, and gave it a little bite. The baby wailed. The blotch faded as Adora snuggled the child, and told the other women it was just being fussy. I ran to Marian's room and got under the covers.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
I know a little bit about trying to do the right thing and fucking up completely." I added. "You talking about mom?" Ben said "I was talking about me." "You could have been talking about all of us. Ben pressed his hand against the glass and my brother and I matched palms.
Gillian Flynn
She started out, then pressed a hand on the door to brace herself. “You think I don’t know, that I don’t understand what that cost you. But you’re wrong.” She couldn’t keep her voice steady, gave up trying. “You’re wrong, Roarke. I do know. There’s no one else in the world who would want, who would need to kill for me. No one else in the world who would step back from it because I asked it. Because I needed it.” She turned, and the first tear spilled over. “No one but you.” “Don’t. You’ll do me in if you cry.” “I never in my life expected anyone would love me, all of me. How would I deserve that? What would I do with it? But you do. Everything we’ve managed to have together, to be to each other, this is more. I’ll never be able to find the words to tell you what you just gave me.” “You undo me, Eve. Who else would make me feel like a hero for doing nothing.” “You did everything. Everything. Are everything.” Mira was right, again. Love, that strange and terrifying entity, was the answer after all. “Whatever there is, whatever happened to me, or how it comes back on me, you have to know, you need to know that what you did here gave me more peace than I ever thought I’d find. You have to know that I can face anything knowing you love me.” “Eve.” He stepped away from the slot, away from what was gone. And toward her, toward what mattered. “I can’t do anything but love you.
J.D. Robb (Divided in Death (In Death, #18))
To me, it seems unspeakably shabby to make a fuss over charity. You're walking along the street one day, the weather is so and so and you see such and such people, all of which builds up a certain mood in you. Suddenly you catch sight of a face, a child's face, a beggar's face----let's say a beggar's face---which makes you tremble. A strange sensation vibrates through your soul, and you stamp your foot and come to a halt. This face has struck an exceptionally sensitive chord in you, and you lure the beggar into an entranceway and press a ten-krone bill into his hand. If you give me away by as much as a world, I'll kill you! you whisper, and you fairly grind your teeth and shed tears of anger saying it. That's how important it is to you to remain undiscovered. And this can happen repeatedly, day after day, so that often you end up in the worst kind of scrape yourself, without a penny in your pocket...
Knut Hamsun (Mysteries)
As she turns her head and focuses on me, I lift her palm to my mouth, press a kiss in its center. "You are so brave," I tell her, and then I smile. "When I grow up, I want to be just like you." To my surprise, Kate shakes her head hard. Her voice is a feather, a thread. "No Mommy," she says. "You'd be sick.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its very uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious; common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find, as we saw in our opening chapters, that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. . . . --From The Problems of Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1912).
Bertrand Russell
I don't like animals. It's a strange thing, I don't like men and I don't like animals. As for God, he is beginning to disgust me. Crouching down I would stroke his ears, through the railings, and utter wheedling words. He did not realize he disgusted me. He reared up on his hind legs and pressed his chest against the bars. Then I could see his little black penis ending in a thin wisp of wetted hair. He felt insecure, his hams trembled, his little paws fumbled for purchase, one after the other. I too wobbled, squatting my heels. With my free hand I held on to the railings. Perhaps I disgusted him too. I found it hard to tear myself away from these vain thoughts.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy)
Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.” “Snap ending.” Mildred nodded. “Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumor of a title to you, Mrs. Montag), whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors. Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” Mildred arose and began to move around the room, picking things up and putting them down. Beatty ignored her and continued: “Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” Mildred smoothed the bedclothes. Montag felt his heart jump and jump again as she patted his pillow. Right now she was pulling at his shoulder to try to get him to move so she could take the pillow out and fix it nicely and put it back. And perhaps cry out and stare or simply reach down her hand and say, “What’s this?” and hold up the hidden book with touching innocence. “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
At its most elemental level the human organism, like crawling life, has a mouth, digestive tract, and anus, a skin to keep it intact, and appendages with which to acquire food. Existence, for all organismic life, is a constant struggle to feed-a struggle to incorporate whatever other organisms they can fit into their mouths and press down their gullets without choking. Seen in these stark terms, life on this planet is a gory spectacle, a science-fiction nightmare in which digestive tracts fitted with teeth at one end are tearing away at whatever flesh they can reach, and at the other end are piling up the fuming waste excrement as they move along in search of more flesh. I think this is why the epoch of the dinosaurs exerts such a strange fascination on us: it is an epic food orgy with king-size actors who convey unmistakably what organisms are dedicated to. Sensitive souls have reacted with shock to the elemental drama of life on this planet, and one of the reasons that Darwin so shocked his time-and still bothers ours-is that he showed this bone crushing, blood-drinking drama in all its elementality and necessity: Life cannot go on without the mutual devouring of organisms. If at the end of each person’s life he were to be presented with the living spectacle of all that he had organismically incorporated in order to stay alive, he might well feel horrified by the living energy he had ingested. The horizon of a gourmet, or even the average person, would be taken up with hundreds of chickens, flocks of lambs and sheep, a small herd of steers, sties full of pigs, and rivers of fish. The din alone would be deafening. To paraphrase Elias Canetti, each organism raises its head over a field of corpses, smiles into the sun, and declares life good.
Ernest Becker (Escape from Evil)
The back of my neck breaks out in a sweat, and I’m getting nervous. Why is he just standing there, staring at me? “What do you want?” I press, my tone curt. He opens his mouth but then closes it swallowing. “Pike, Jesus—” “The day you left,” he blurts out, and I stop. I wait, listening as a look of fear crosses his eyes. “The house was so empty,” he continues. “Like a quiet that was never there before. I couldn’t hear your footsteps upstairs or your hairdryer or anticipate you walking into a room. You were gone. Everything was…” he drops his eyes, “gone.” A ball lodges in my throat, and I feel tears threaten, but I tense my jaw, refusing to let it out. “But I could still feel you,” he whispers. “You were still everywhere. The container of cookies in the fridge, the backsplash you picked out, the way you put all my pictures back in the wrong spot after you dusted my bookshelves.” He smiles to himself. “But I couldn’t rearrange them, because you were the last to touch them, and I wanted everything the way you had it.” My chin trembles, and I fold my arms over my chest, hiding my balled fists under my arms. He pauses and then goes on. “Nothing would ever go back to the way it was before you came into my house. I didn’t want it to.” He shakes his head. “I went to work, and I came home, and I stayed there every night and all weekend, every weekend, because that’s where we were together. That’s where I could still feel you.” He steps closer, dropping his voice. “That’s where I could wrap myself up in you and hang on to every last thread in that house that proved you were mine for just a little while.” His tone grows thick, and I see his eyes water. “I really thought I was doing what was best,” he says, knitting his brow. “I thought I was taking advantage of you, because you’re young and beautiful and so happy and hopeful despite everything you’d been through. You made me feel like the world was a big place again.” My breathing shakes, and I don’t know what to do. I hate that he’s here. I hate that I love that he’s here. I hate him. “I couldn’t steal your life from you and keep you to myself, you know?” he explains. “But then I realized that you’re not happy or hopeful or making me feel good because you’re young. You are those things and you’re capable of those things, because you’re a good person. It’s who you are.” A tear spills over, gliding down my cheek. “Baby,” he whispers, his hands shaking. “I hope you love me, because I love you like crazy, and I’m going to want you the rest of my life. I tried to stay away, because I thought it was the right thing, but I fucking can’t. I need you, and I love you. This doesn’t happen twice, and I’m not going to be stupid again. I promise.” My chin trembles, and something lodges in my throat, and I try to hold it in, but I can’t. My face cracks, and I break down, turning away from him. The tears come like a goddamn waterfall, and I hate him. I fucking hate him. His arms are around me in a second, and he hugs me from behind, burying his face in my neck. “I’m sorry I took so long,” he whispers in my ear.
Penelope Douglas (Birthday Girl)
I am worthless and I am nothing, Nesta nearly said. She wasn't sure why the words bubbled up, pressing on her lips to voice them. I hate everything that I am. And I am so, so tired. I am tired of wanting to be anywhere but in my own head.
Sarah J. Maas (A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
Then he says, “I once read a story about three brothers who washed up on an island in Hawaii. A myth. An old one. I read it when I was a kid, so I probably don’t have the story exactly right, but it goes something like this. Three brothers went out fishing and got caught in a storm. They drifted on the ocean for a long time until they washed up on the shore of an uninhabited island. It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing there and tons of fruit on the trees, and a big, high mountain in the middle. The night they got there, a god appeared in their dreams and said, ‘A little farther down the shore, you will find three big, round boulders. I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he likes. The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live. The higher you go, the more of the world you will be able to see from your home. It’s entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.’” The young man takes a drink of water and pauses for a moment. Mari looks bored, but she is clearly listening. “Okay so far?” he asks. Mari nods. “Want to hear the rest? If you’re not interested, I can stop.” “If it’s not too long.” “No, it’s not too long. It’s a pretty simple story.” He takes another sip of water and continues with his story. “So the three brothers found three boulders on the shore just as the god had said they would. And they started pushing them along as the god told them to. Now these were huge, heavy boulders, so rolling them was hard, and pushing them up an incline took an enormous effort. The youngest brother quit first. He said, ‘Brothers, this place is good enough for me. It’s close to the shore, and I can catch fish. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ His two elder brothers pressed on, but when they were midway up the mountain, the second brother quit. He said, ‘Brother, this place is good enough for me. There is plenty of fruit here. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ The eldest brother continued walking up the mountain. The trail grew increasingly narrow and steep, but he did not quit. He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as he possibly could, so he kept rolling the boulder with all his might. He went on for months, hardly eating or drinking, until he had rolled the boulder to the very peak of the high mountain. There he stopped and surveyed the world. Now he could see more of the world than anyone. This was the place he would live—where no grass grew, where no birds flew. For water, he could only lick the ice and frost. For food, he could only gnaw on moss. Be he had no regrets, because now he could look out over the whole world. And so, even today, his great, round boulder is perched on the peak of that mountain on an island in Hawaii. That’s how the story goes.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
Live a life of constant anticipation. Is it possible your big idea will blow up? You bet. Do it anyway. Trusting Jesus is like watching a lit fuse; it’s only a matter of time before He’s going to do awesome things in your life. Quit playing it safe. Press the button.
Bob Goff (Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey)
It’s still raining when I wake up, the kind of slow, lazy rain that threatens to pull you back to sleep. I lie in the dark, feeling the warmth of Daniel beside me, his bare skin pressed against mine. His breath rhythmic and slow. I listen to the drizzle outside, to the low rumbles of thunder.
Stacy Willingham (A Flicker in the Dark)
She has that voraciousness about children. She swoops in on them. Even I, in public was a beloved child. She'd parade me into town, smiling and teasing me, tickling me as she spoke with people on the sidewalks. When we got home, she'd trail off to her room like an unfinished sentence, and I would sit outside with my face pressed against her door, and replay the day in my head, searching for clues to what I had done to displease her. I have one memory that catches in me like a nasty clump of blood. Marian was dead about two years, and my mother had a cluster of friends come over for afternoon drinks. For hours, the child was cooed over, smothered with red lipstick kisses, tidied up with tissues, then lipstick smacked again. I was suppose to be reading in my room, but I sat at the top of the stairs watching. My mother finally was handed the baby, and she cuddled it ferociously. Oh, how, wonderful it is to hold a baby again! Adora jiggled it on her knee, walked it around the rooms, whispered to it, and I looked down from above like a spiteful little god, the back of my hand placed against my face, imagining how it felt to be cheek to cheek with my mother.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
Haida got quite talkative when it came to music [...] but Tsukuru barely listened. Instead, a picture of Shiro performing the piece, a mental image, vivid and three-dimensional, welled up in his mind. As if those beautiful moments were steadily swimming back, through a waterway, against the legitimate press of time.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
I looked at her without a word. She held an edge of the beach towel in each hand, pressing the edges against her cheeks. White smoke was rising from the cigarette between her fingers. With no wind to disturb it, the smoke rose straight up, like a miniature smoke signal. She was apparently having trouble deciding whether to cry or to laugh. At least she looked that way to me. She wavered atop the narrow line that divided one possibility from the other, but in the end she fell to neither side. May Kasahara pulled her expression together, put the towel on the ground, and took a drag on her cigarette. The time was nearly five o’clock, but the heat showed no sign of abating.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
A look passed between Recevo and Karras. They could hear the rest of them crowded outside the door. Karras cradled the Thompson gun, pressed the butt tight against his ribs. "Well," he whispered. "Come on if you're gonna come." They charged into the room. Karras saw white fire as he heard the reports, heard Joey's gun explode, saw one man fall, heard Joey scream, watched Joey's fedora tumble by as if it had been blown by a strong wind. Karras squeezed the trigger, saw men diving through the gunsmoke, the doorframe disintegrating in spark and dust. He fell back to the floor from a blunt shock that felt like a hammer blow to his chest. Karras winced, got himself up onto the balls of his feet. He leaned his face against the table, rested it there, caught his breath. He listened to the others move about the room. Swim, you Greek bastard. And he was over the table, landing on his feet as softly as if he had landed in water. And they were there, the Welshman and the others, moving toward him, emptying their guns at once, the sound deafening now and riding over their caterwauling screams and the bottomless scream coming from his own mouth. Karras went forward, humming as his finger locked down on the trigger, the Tommy gun dancing crazily in his arms, the gunmen falling before him through the smoke and ejecting shells and the white gulls gliding against the perfect blue sky. Red flowers bloomed on the chests of the men who had come to take Peter Karras to the place where he was always meant to be.
George P. Pelecanos
The nurse rolled up the patient’s sleeve. Flicked the inside of his forearm. There was something about the way the nurse spoke, something Anton couldn’t quite put his finger on. He shivered again as the syringe slid into the skin, and in the total silence he thought he could hear a rasp, the friction of the needle against flesh. The flow of the liquid being squeezed through the syringe as the plunger was pressed.
Jo Nesbø (Police (Harry Hole, #10))
Because grief is like a monster under your bed. It can stay hidden for a long time. You know it’s there. You think you have it at bay. But then, one day, you wake up and hear the noise, because it decides to come out. No matter how strong you think you’ve become, you panic when it crawls out, stands straight, and looms over you with its monstrous form. It suffocates you, presses down on you, and makes everything else disappear but the blackness. Deep. Scary. Drowning.
Lexi Ray (Outcast (Ruthless Paradise, #1))
I know I seem naive,” Evangeline pressed on. “I know my faith in love might appear foolish. I also know it might not be enough. But I’m not doing this because I believe I’ll win. I’m actually a little afraid I’m going to lose. I no longer think love is a guarantee of victory or of happily ever after. But I think it’s a reason to fight for those things. I know my attempt to save Jacks could end in a fiery explosion, but I’d rather go up in flames with him than watch while he burns
Stephanie Garber (A Curse for True Love (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #3))
The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill. The thing about being on a hill, as opposed to standing back from it, is that you can almost never see exactly what’s to come. Between the curtain of trees at every side, the ever-receding contour of rising slope before you, and your own plodding weariness, you gradually lose track of how far you have come. Each time you haul yourself up to what you think must surely be the crest, you find that there is in fact more hill beyond, sloped at an angle that kept it from view before, and that beyond that slope there is another, and beyond that another and another, and beyond each of those more still, until it seems impossible that any hill could run on this long. Eventually you reach a height where you can see the tops of the topmost trees, with nothing but clear sky beyond, and your faltering spirit stirs—nearly there now!—but this is a pitiless deception. The elusive summit continually retreats by whatever distance you press forward, so that each time the canopy parts enough to give a view you are dismayed to see that the topmost trees are as remote, as unattainable, as before. Still you stagger on. What else can you do? When, after ages and ages, you finally reach the telltale world of truly high ground, where the chilled air smells of pine sap and the vegetation is gnarled and tough and wind bent, and push through to the mountain’s open pinnacle, you are, alas, past caring. You sprawl face down on a sloping pavement of gneiss, pressed to the rock by the weight of your pack, and lie there for some minutes, reflecting in a distant, out-of-body way that you have never before looked this closely at lichen, not in fact looked this closely at anything in the natural world since you were four years old and had your first magnifying glass. Finally, with a weary puff, you roll over, unhook yourself from your pack, struggle to your feet, and realize—again in a remote, light-headed, curiously not-there way—that the view is sensational: a boundless vista of wooded mountains, unmarked by human hand, marching off in every direction. This really could be heaven.
Bill Bryson
One pressing question woke him up every morning, as regularly as the screech of the whistle of the train that chugged by his cabin, on tracks built just up the hill from Walden Pond, where he’d hoped to still his soul. Were all these vast designs and rapid strides worth it? Thoreau thought not. He came to this truth: “They are but improved means to an unimproved end.”112 And still the trains chugged along, and the factories hummed, and the banks opened and closed, and the presses printed newspapers, and the telegraph wires reached across the nation, in one great and unending thrum.
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
Girls are supposed to be a little more elegant when they put out their cigarettes. You did that like a lumberjack. You shouldn't just cram it down in the ashtray but press it lightly around the edges of the ash. Then it doesn't get all bent up. And girls are never supposed to blow smoke through their noses. And most girls wouldn't talk about how they wore the same bra for three months when they're eating alone with a man." "I am a lumberjack," Midori said, scratching next to her nose. "I can never manage to be chic. I try it as a joke sometimes, but it never sticks. Any more critiques for me?
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I reach for her. 'I'm so sorry I had to keep...' My words die on my tongue as she steps back, avoiding me. 'Not happening.' A world of hurt flashes in those hazel eyes, and I fucking wither. 'Just because I believe you and am willing to fight with you doesn't mean I'll trust you with my heart again. and I can't be with someone I don't trust.' Something in my chest crumples. 'I've never lied to you, Violet. Not once. I never will.' She walks over to the window and looks down, then slowly turns back to me. 'It's not even that you kept this from me. I get it. It's the ease with which you did it. The ease with which I let you into my hear and didn't get the same in return.' She shakes her head, and I see it there, the love, but it's masked behind defences I foolishly forced her to build. I love her. Of course I love her. But if I tell her now, she'll think I'm doing it for all the wrong reasons, and honestly, she'd be right. I'm not going to lose the only woman I've ever fallen for without a fight. 'You're right. I kept secrets,' I admit, pressing forward again, taking step after step until I'm less than a foot from her. I palm the glass on both sides of her head, loosely caging her in, but we both know she could walk away if she wanted. But she doesn't move. 'It took me a long time to trust you, a long time to realise I fell for you.' Someone knocks, I ignore it. 'Don't say that.' She lifts her chin, but I don't miss the way she glances at my mouth. 'I fell for you.' I lower my head and look straight into her gorgeous eyes. She might be rightfully pissed, but she sure as Malek isn't fickle. 'And you know what? You might not trust me anymore, but you still love me.' Her lips part, but she doesn't deny it. 'I gave you my trust for free once, and once is all you get.' She masks the hurt with a quick blink. Never again. Those eyes will never reflect hurt I've inflicted ever again. 'I fucked up by not telling you sooner, and I won't even try to justify my reasons. But now I'm trusting you with my life- with everyone's lives.' I've risked it all by just bringing her here instead of taking her body back to Basgiath. 'I'll tell you anything you want to know and everything you don't. I'll spend every single day of my life earning back your trust.' I'd forgotten what it felt like to be loved, really, truly, loved- it'd been so many years since Dad died. And mom... Not going there. But then Violet gave me those words, gave me her trust, her heart, and I remembered. I'll be damned if I don't fight to keep them. 'And if it's not possible?' 'You still love me. It's possible.' Gods, do I ache to kiss her, to remind her exactly what we are together, but I won't, not until she asks. 'I'm not afraid of hard work, especially not when I know just how sweet the rewards are.. I would rather lose this entire war than live without you, and if that means I have to prove myself, over and over, then I'll do it. You gave me your heart, and I'm keeping it.' She already owns mine, even if she doesn't realise it.
Rebecca Yarros (Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, #1))
...Here, let me see. Stop rubbing it so I can -" He wicks his hand away from his eye just as I lean, and his elbow collides with the side of my face, hard enough that I'm knocked sideways. I try to grab the bedpost, but my hands are so slippery that Islide right off, and crash to the floor, my head connecting painfully with the corner of the drawer I left open. The bottle of oil falls off the edge and shatters into a soupy, amber pool. "What happened! Are you alright?" Percy's got one eye open but blinking frantically, hand extended blindly to me. "I'm fine!" I touch the back of my head, and it comes back damp and red. "No, wait, I'm bleeding." "You're bleeding!?" He yelps. "It's fine! " "It's clearly not if you're bleeding." I can feel a trickle down the back of my neck, and I clap a hand against it, like I can force the blood to stay inside me if I just press tightly enough. "It's fine!" My wrist is wet, and I look just as a drizzle of blood courses down my arm into the crook of my elbow. "God, this is really bleeding!" My vision swims, and when I reach to steady myself I put my hand straight into the oily puddle of lineament, and I crash backward onto the floor. Percy tries to come to my aid, but with one eye closed, he misjudges were he places his foot and steps on me. I screech and he slips and he slips, one leg tangled up in the sheets, and then suddenly the bedroom door bangs opens and there's Scipio. I scream and Percy screams and Scipio lets loud a horrified gurgle, and then Felicity appears behind him in the doorway, claps her hands over her eyes, tries to run with her hands still covered, and slips in one of the dripping puddles we left on the stairs. Her feet go out from under her, and she lands flat on her back at the top of the stairs, hands still valiantly clapped over her eyes, which rather ruins it all.
Mackenzi Lee (The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Montague Siblings, #1.5))
He wasn't normally conscious of it, but there was one part of his body that was extremely sensitive, somewhere along his back. This soft, subtle spot he couldn't reach was usually covered by something, so that it was invisible to the naked eye. But when, for whatever reason, that spot became exposed and someone's finger pressed down on it, something inside him would stir. A special substance would be secreted, swiftly carried by his bloodstream to every corner of his body. That special stimulus was both a physical sensation and a mental one, creating vivid images in his mind. The first time he met Sara, he felt an anonymous finger reach out and push down forcefully on that trigger on his back. The day they met they talked for a long time, though he couldn't recall much of what they said. What he did recall was the special feeling on his back, and the indefinably thrilling sensation it brought to his mind and body. One part of him relaxed, one part tightened up. That sort of feeling. But what did it mean? Tsukuru thought about it for days, but he was not, by nature, adept at abstract thinking. So Tsukuru emailed Sara and invited her to dinner. He was determined to find out the meaning of that feeling, of that sensation.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Too often when a publisher entertains an author at the midday meal a rather sombre note tinges the table talk. The host is apt to sigh a good deal and to choose as the theme of his remarks the hardness of the times, the stagnant condition of the book trade and the growing price of pulp paper. And when his guest tries to cheer him up by suggesting that these disadvantages may be offset by a spirited policy of publicity, he sighs again and says that eulogies of an author’s work displayed in the press at the publisher’s expense are of little or no value, the only advertising that counts being—how shall he put it—well, what he might perhaps describe as word-of-mouth advertising.
P.G. Wodehouse (Uncle Dynamite)
Can’t we find some way out of this, Mr. Fancy Prince?” “Marc’s on it,” Dec said, holding up his phone. “He thinks you two might be able to use your royal sway to either commandeer them on behalf of the royal household or get the Astronomer to accept payment for them rather than press charges.” “Payment?” Bryce blurted. “Relax,” Flynn said, smirking. “We got the money, Princess.” “Yeah, I’ve seen your daddy’s fancy house,” Bryce quipped, earning a scowl from Flynn and an ooooooh from the sprites. Bryce suppressed her smile and lifted a brow to Ruhn. She’d fucked up one friendship thanks to pulling princess rank, but this…For Lehabah she’d do it. “You in, Chosen One?” Ruhn’s mouth quirked to the side. “Hel yeah, Starborn.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City, #2))
Your capacity to be offended, isn’t something that I or anyone else needs to respect. Your capacity to be offended isn’t something you should respect, in fact, it’s something you should be on your guard for, perhaps more than any other property of your mind. This feeling can mislead you. If you care about justice (and you absolutely should) you should care about facts and the ability to discuss them openly. Justice requires contact with reality. It simply isn’t the case, it cannot be the case, that the most pressing claims on our sense of justice need come from those who claim to be most offended by conversation itself. So I’m going to speak in the language of facts now, insofar as we know them, all the while knowing that these facts run very much counter to most peoples’ assumptions. (ep #207 Waking Up podcast)
Sam Harris
But I am a paladin,” Cordelia cried. “It’s awful, I loathe it— don’t imagine that I feel anything other than hated for this thing that binds me to Lilith. But they fear me because of it. They dare not touch me—” “Oh?” snarled James. “They dare not touch you? That’s not what it bloody looked like.” “The demon at Chiswick House—it was about to tell me something about Belial, before you shot it.” “Listen to yourself, Cordelia!” James shouted. “You are without Cortana! You cannot even lift a weapon! Do you know what it means to me, that you cannot protect yourself? Do you understand that I am terrified, every moment of every day and night, for your safety?” Cordelia stood speechless. She had no idea what to say. She blinked, and felt something hot against her cheek. She put her hand up quickly—surely she was not crying?— and it came away scarlet. “You’re bleeding,” James said. He closed the distance between them in two strides. He caught her chin and lifted it, his thumb stroking across her cheekbone. “Just a scratch,” he breathed. “Are you hurt anywhere else? Daisy, tell me—” “No. I’m fine. I promise you,” she said, her voice wavering as his intent golden eyes spilled over her, searching for signs of injury. “It’s nothing.” “It’s the furthest thing from nothing,” James rasped. “By the Angel, when I realized you’d gone out, at night, weaponless—” “What were you even doing at the house? I thought you were staying at the Institute.” “I came to get something for Jesse,” James said. “I took him shopping, with Anna—he needed clothes, but we forgot cuff links—” “He did need clothes,” Cordelia agreed. “Nothing he had fit.” “Oh, no,” said James. “We are not chatting. When I came in, I saw your dress in the hall, and Effie told me she’d caught a glimpse of you leaving. Not getting in a carriage, just wandering off toward Shepherd Market—” “So you Tracked me?” “I had no choice. And then I saw you—you had gone to where your father died,” he said after a moment. “I thought—I was afraid—” “That I wanted to die too?” Cordelia whispered. It had not occurred to her that he might think that. “James. I may be foolish, but I am not self-destructive.” “And I thought, had I made you as miserable as that? I have made so many mistakes, but none were calculated to hurt you. And then I saw what you were doing, and I thought, yes, she does want to die. She wants to die and this is how she’s chosen to do it.” He was breathing hard, almost gasping, and she realized how much of his fury was despair. “James,” she said. “It was a foolish thing to do, but at no moment did I want to die—” He caught at her shoulders. “You cannot hurt yourself, Daisy. You must not. Hate me, hit me, do anything you want to me. Cut up my suits and set fire to my books. Tear my heart into pieces, scatter them across England. But do not harm yourself—” He pulled her toward him, suddenly, pressing his lips to her hair, her cheek. She caught him by the arms, her fingers digging into his sleeves, holding him to her. “I swear to the Angel,” he said, in a muffled voice, “if you die, I will die, and I will haunt you. I will give you no peace—” He kissed her mouth. Perhaps it had been meant to be a quick kiss, but she could not help herself: she kissed back. And it was like breathing air after being trapped underground for weeks, like coming into sunlight after darkness.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Thorns (The Last Hours, #3))
As you are all aware, in the course of life we experience many kinds of pain. Pains of the body and pains of the heart. I know I have experienced pain in many different forms, and I'm sure you have too. In most cases, though, I'm sure you've found it very difficult to convey the truth of that pain to another person: to explain it in words. People say that only they themselves can understand the pain they are feeling. But is it true? I for one do not believe that it is. If, before our eyes, we see someone who is truly suffering, we do sometimes feel his suffering and pain as our own. This is the power of empathy. Am I making myself clear?'' He broke off and looked around the room once again. ''The reason that people sing songs for other people is because they want to have the power to arouse empathy, to break free of the narrow shell of the self and share their pain and joy with others. This is not an easy thing to do, of course. And so tonight, as kind of experiment, I want you to experience a simpler, more physical kind of empathy. Lights please.'' Everyone in the place was hushed now, all eyes fixed on stage. Amid the silence, the man stared off into space, as if to insert a pause or to reach a state of mental concentration. Then, without a word, he held his hand over the lighted candle. Little by little, he brought the palm closer and closer to the flame. Someone in the audience made a sound like a sigh or a moan. You could see the tip of the flame burning the man's palm. You could almost hear the sizzle of the flesh. A woman let out a hard little scream. Everyone else just watched in frozen horror. The man endured the pain, his face distorted in agony. What the hell was this? Why did he have to do such a stupid, senseless thing? I felt my mouth going dry. After five or six seconds of this, he slowly removed his hand from the flame and set the dish with the candle in it on the floor. Then he clasped his hands together, the right and left palms pressed against each other. ''As you have seen tonight, ladies and gentleman, pain can actually burn a person's flesh,'' said the man. His voice sounded exactly as it had earlier: quiet, steady, cool. No trace of suffering remained on his face. Indeed, it had been replaced by a faint smile. ''And the pain that must have been there, you have been able to feel as if it were your own. That is the power of empathy.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Violet,' Xaden groans against my mouth. The plea in his tone floods my veins with a whole different form of power. Knowing he's just as affected by our attraction as I am is a rush. 'This isn't what you want.' 'It's exactly what I want,' I counter. I want to replace the anger with lust, the death of the day with the pulse-pounding assurance of my own life, and I know he's capable of delivering all that and more. 'You said to do whatever I need.' I arch my back, pressing the tips of my breasts against his chest. His breathing changes, and there's a war in his eyes that I'm determined to win. It's time to stop dancing around this unbearable tension and break it. He leans down, his mouth only inches from mine. 'And I'm telling you that I'm the last thing you need.' The barely leashed growl of his voice rumbles up through his chest, and every nerve ending in my body flares to life. 'Are you suggesting someone else?' My heart races as I chance calling his bluff. 'Fuck no.' The unmistakable flare of jealousy narrows his eyes for a heartbeat before his hips pin mine to the door, and my instant relief at his answer is replaced by a jolt of pure lust. I can see that infamous control of his hovering on the edge, balancing precariously on the point of a knife. All he needs is one. Little. Push. And I'm about to shamelessly shove. 'Good.' I tilt my head up to his and draw his bottom lip between mine, sucking before gently nipping him with my teeth. 'Because I only want you, Xaden.' The words breach something within him, and he gives. Finally. One mouths collide, and the kiss is hot and hard and completely out of our control.
Rebecca Yarros (Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, #1))
Don’t I need to practice firing?” “Well, it’s not as if you’re going to shoot somebody with this. You’re just going to shoot yourself, right?” Aomame nodded. “In that case, you don’t have to practice firing. You just have to learn to load it, release the safety, and get the feel of the trigger. And anyway, where were you planning to practice firing it?” Aomame shook her head. She had no idea. “Also, how were you planning to shoot yourself? Here, give it a try.” Tamaru inserted the loaded magazine, checked to make sure the safety was on, and handed the gun to Aomame. “The safety is on,” he said. Aomame pressed the muzzle against her temple. She felt the chill of the steel. Looking at her, Tamaru slowly shook his head several times. “Trust me, you don’t want to aim at your temple. It’s a lot harder than you think to shoot yourself in the brain that way. People’s hands usually shake, and it throws their aim off. You end up grazing your skull, but not killing yourself. You certainly don’t want that to happen.” Aomame silently shook her head. “Look what happened to General Tojo after the war. When the American military came to arrest him, he tried to shoot himself in the heart by pressing the muzzle against his chest and pulling the trigger, but the bullet missed and hit his stomach without killing him. Here you had the top professional soldier in Japan, and to think he didn’t know how to kill himself with a gun! They took him straight to the hospital, he got the best care the American medical team could give him, recovered, then was tried and hanged. It’s a terrible way to die. A person’s last moments are an important thing. You can’t choose how you’re born, but you can choose how you die.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (Vintage International))
For my part, I could easily do without the post-office. I think that there are very few important communications made through it. To speak critically, I never received more than one or two letters in my life—I wrote this some years ago—that were worth the postage. The penny-post is, commonly, an institution through which you seriously offer a man that penny for his thoughts which is so often safely offered in jest. And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter,—we never need read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications? To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Sometimes you don’t just want to risk making mistakes; you actually want to make them—if only to give you something clear and detailed to fix. Making mistakes is the key to making progress. Of course there are times when it is really important not to make any mistakes—ask any surgeon or airline pilot. But it is less widely appreciated that there are also times when making mistakes is the only way to go. Many of the students who arrive at very competitive universities pride themselves in not making mistakes—after all, that’s how they’ve come so much farther than their classmates, or so they have been led to believe. I often find that I have to encourage them to cultivate the habit of making mistakes, the best learning opportunities of all. They get “writer’s block” and waste hours forlornly wandering back and forth on the starting line. “Blurt it out!” I urge them. Then they have something on the page to work with. We philosophers are mistake specialists. (I know, it sounds like a bad joke, but hear me out.) While other disciplines specialize in getting the right answers to their defining questions, we philosophers specialize in all the ways there are of getting things so mixed up, so deeply wrong, that nobody is even sure what the right questions are, let alone the answers. Asking the wrongs questions risks setting any inquiry off on the wrong foot. Whenever that happens, this is a job for philosophers! Philosophy—in every field of inquiry—is what you have to do until you figure out what questions you should have been asking in the first place. Some people hate it when that happens. They would rather take their questions off the rack, all nicely tailored and pressed and cleaned and ready to answer. Those who feel that way can do physics or mathematics or history or biology. There’s plenty of work for everybody. We philosophers have a taste for working on the questions that need to be straightened out before they can be answered. It’s not for everyone. But try it, you might like it. In
Daniel C. Dennett (Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking)
As you are all aware, in the course of life we experience many kinds of pain. Pains of the body and pains of the heart. I know I have experienced pain in many different forms, and I'm sure you have too. In most cases, though, I'm sure you've found it very difficult to convey the truth of that pain to another person: to explain it in words. People say that only they themselves can understand the pain they are feeling. But is it true? I for one do not believe that it is. If, before our eyes, we see someone who is truly suffering, we do sometimes feel his suffering and pain as our own. This is the power of empathy. Am I making myself clear?'' He broke off and looked around the room once again. ''The reason that people sing songs for other people is because they want to have the power to arouse empathy, to break free of the narrow shell of the self and share their pain and joy with others. This is not an easy thing to do, of course. And so tonight, as a kind of experiment, I want you to experience a simpler, more physical kind of empathy. Lights please.'' Everyone in the place was hushed now, all eyes fixed on stage. Amid the silence, the man stared off into space, as if to insert a pause or to reach a state of mental concentration. Then, without a word, he held his hand over the lighted candle. Little by little, he brought the palm closer and closer to the flame. Someone in the audience made a sound like a sigh or a moan. You could see the tip of the flame burning the man's palm. You could almost hear the sizzle of the flesh. A woman let out a hard little scream. Everyone else just watched in frozen horror. The man endured the pain, his face distorted in agony. What the hell was this? Why did he have to do such a stupid, senseless thing? I felt my mouth going dry. After five or six seconds of this, he slowly removed his hand from the flame and set the dish with the candle in it on the floor. Then he clasped his hands together, the right and left palms pressed against each other. ''As you have seen tonight, ladies and gentleman, pain can actually burn a person's flesh,'' said the man. His voice sounded exactly as it had earlier: quiet, steady, cool. No trace of suffering remained on his face. Indeed, it had been replaced by a faint smile. ''And the pain that must have been there, you have been able to feel as if it were your own. That is the power of empathy.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
… Where are the ways through black wastes? God, do not abandon us! What are you summoning, God? Raise your hand up to the darkness above you, pray, despair, wring your hands, kneel, press your forehead into the dust, cry out, but do not name Him, do not look at Him. Leave Him without name and form. What should form the formless? Name the nameless? Step onto the great way and grasp what is nearest. Do not look out, do not want, but lift up your hands. The gifts of darkness are full of riddles. The way is open to whomever can continue in spite of riddles. Submit to the riddles and the thoroughly incomprehensible. There are dizzying bridges over the eternally deep abyss. But follow the riddles. Endure them, the terrible ones. It is still dark, and the terrible goes on growing. Lost and swallowed by the streams of procreating life, we approach the overpowering, inhuman forces that are busily creating what is to come. How much future the depths carry! Are not the threads spun down there over millennia? Protect the riddles, bear them in your heart, warm them, be pregnant with them. Thus you carry the future. The tension of the future is unbearable in us. It must break through the narrow cracks, it must force new ways. You want to cast off the burden, you want to escape the inescapable. Running away is deception and detour. Shut your eyes so that you do not see the manifold, the outwardly plural, the tearing away and the tempting. There is only way and that is your way; there is only one salvation and that is your salvation. Why are you looking around for help? Do you believe that help will come from outside? What is to come will be created in you and from you. Hence look into yourself. Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfil the way that is in you. Oh, that all men and all their ways become strange to you! Thus might you find them again within yourself and recognize their ways. But what weakness! What doubt! What fear! You will not bear going your way. You always want to have at least one foot on paths not your own to avoid the great solitude! So that maternal comfort is always with you! So that someone acknowledges you, recognizes you, bestows trust in you, comforts you, encourages you. So that someone pulls you over onto their path, where you stray from yourself, and where it is easier for you to set yourself aside. As if you were not yourself! Who should accomplish your deeds? Who should carry your virtues and your vices? You do not come to an end with your life, and the dead will besiege you terribly to live your unlived life. Everything must be fulfilled. Time is of the essence, so why do you want to pile up the lived and let the unlived rot?
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
Claire… It is not what you think. Won’t you please allow me to explain? Please. Allow me to speak with you.” It was more tempting than she liked. “There is nothing to say. We both know what I saw.” She paused. “Now go away.” Her tone was as aloof as she could manage between tears that would not stop. She saw the handle turn. “Don’t you dare!” She took a pre-emptive step back. But he did dare. The door opened slowly. “Are you…dressed?” “Of course, I am dressed!” she said furiously. “I am packing. Kindly have a carriage ordered.” It was a lie but he would not know that. Her case was still open on the window seat. He pushed the door open wider. He did not look like a man who had come from the arms of another woman. His face was not flushed with desire. It looked rather drawn in fact. But what did she know of such things? Perhaps that woman had merely exhausted him. “I did not invite her here, Claire. I did not even know she was coming.” He pushed locks of dark hair from his eyes. Claire bit her lip, thinking of how she had looked forward to touching those waves, brushing it possessively off his face herself. “Serafina does what she pleases. As you can see, she has no sense of propriety or discretion. She believes she owns Isabel and I even still. Even though, after her unforgiveable actions, she quite thoroughly relinquished rights to us both some time ago. I do not believe Isabel has pardoned her yet. I certainly will not.” He looked at her, eyes wide and beseeching. Not a hint of pride or arrogance. “She does not want me to be happy without her, Claire,” he said softly. “She must have found out I was to be married and she came with all haste. This is exactly what she was hoping for—or nearly so. When you walked in…” “Oh? Nearly so?” Fury twisted inside her. “I apologize for intruding so unexpectedly, for interrupting your passionate liaison. I suppose if Isabel and I had not walked in, you would still be there even now. On the floor together perhaps.” Thomas looked taken aback, then angry. “Of course not! Do you really think me so…? Is that what you believe, Claire? You did exactly what Serafina hoped you would do. Reacted with anger and jealousy, blamed me, and stormed out.” “Jealousy!” Claire exclaimed, drawing herself up. “I assure you—I am not jealous in the least. If she wants you, she is welcome to have you. I did not want you in the first place, as you will recall.” He flinched. If she did not know better, she might almost have believed him to be hurt. She swallowed hard. “What have I to be jealous of? The fact that you prefer your mistress to…” Oh, no. Her voice was catching in her throat. “…to… me…” She hiccupped embarrassingly, tears flowing over. All of a sudden Thomas’s arms were around her, holding her firmly to his chest. “Claire… No, no…” he whispered. Her cheek was pressed up rather roughly against his tailcoat. He smelled so good. She closed her eyes, her body relaxing against him. There was another smell there. An overpoweringly sweet scent of lilacs. She pushed herself away, hands against his chest. “You smell of her.” He looked horrified. Horrified that he did? Or horrified that she had noticed? Did he smell of her from head to toe? Claire felt nauseous.
Fenna Edgewood (Mistakes Not to Make When Avoiding a Rake (The Gardner Girls, #1))
He presses his lips to mine and pulls back. “Then what else do we need?” “Nothing.” His smile cracks along with the sky, and it starts to pour, sheets of rain beat down on the windshield when I pull up to the main road and click my signal. I turn to Tobias as he eyes the water pounding on the hood and looks back to me. We share an ironic smile. We most definitely aren’t riding off into the sunset. He shrugs. “First of many. Merde, c’est nous.” Fuck it, it’s us. “It’s not a storm, Tobias,” I say, looking up at the sky. “It’s a blessing.
Kate Stewart (Exodus (The Ravenhood Duet, #2))
What on earth could you possibly see?” “The woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.” Rick put his hand on her stomach. “This belly you’re always complaining about? This is where Dee spent the first nine months of her life.” He pressed his palm to her chest. “This heart is the kindest, gentlest heart I’ve ever known.” He let his fingers trace up toward her neck. “And this is where your beautiful voice is made.” He lightened the pressure as he touched her lips. “These are the softest lips I’ve ever kissed.” He touched her eyelids. “These eyes see straight through my bullshit.” He stroked back her hair. “This head is full of thoughts that surprise me and enlighten me and make me laugh.
Karin Slaughter (Pretty Girls)
the study of socio-political denial is the study of how appearances are kept up, the moral order is sustained, and necessary changes are pressed up into the service of existing interests. this can be seen at the family and community level, and in the way that national and international politics is managed.
Alex de Waal (AIDS and Power: Why There Is No Political Crisis – Yet (African Arguments))
Casteel let go of my hands and stretched up, cupping my cheeks. He leaned in, pressing his forehead to mine, and I swore I felt his hands tremble. 'Always,' he whispered in the breath we shared. 'You heart was always safe with me. It always will be. There is nothing I will protect more fiercely or with more devotion, Poppy. Trust in that- in what you feel from me. In me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash, #2))
He knew that the specific reason behind the Plan was Orren Boyle; he knew that the working of an intricate mechanism, operated by pull, threat, pressure, blackmail—a mechanism like an irrational adding machine run amuck and throwing up any chance sum at the whim of any moment—had happened to add up to Boyle’s pressure upon these men to extort for him this last piece of plunder. He knew also that Boyle was not the cause of it or the essential to consider, that Boyle was only a chance rider, not the builder, of the infernal machine that had destroyed the world, that it was not Boyle who had made it possible, nor any of the men in this room. They, too, were only riders on a machine without a driver, they were trembling hitchhikers who knew that their vehicle was about to crash into its final abyss—and it was not love or fear of Boyle that made them cling to their course and press on toward their end, it was something else, it was some one nameless element which they knew and evaded knowing, something which was neither thought nor hope, something he identified only as a certain look in their faces, a furtive look saying: I can get away with it. Why?—he thought. Why do they think they can?
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
A relationship is like the law. It needs balance. If it’s out of balance, if one person sees themselves as less valuable, if another sees themselves as more valuable, the balance isn’t there.” His dark eyes are boring into mine with his words, and any words I could say are stuck in my chest. “You are not less than me. I am not less than you. We are humans who do what we can to help people.” Silence. I don’t respond. I don’t . . . This man was supposed to be an ass. At best, a nice guy who was a little stuck-up and into himself. I could handle that. I could handle a man who has a bit of a superiority complex, especially if he could fuck me into tomorrow and help me get my revenge. A no brainer, really. But this? A man who is kind and caring and understanding and can fuck me into tomorrow? I don’t know what to do with it. So I just say, “Oh.” Like an idiot. And for some reason, Damien doesn’t find my loss of words annoying or stupid. Instead, he just smiles at me and shakes his head like he finds me sweet. “Yeah, oh.” He leans forward again, pressing his lips against mine. “I want you to stay the night. Here, with me.” “Damien, that’s sweet, but I really am a crazy sleeper.” “Are you saying that because you don’t want to spend the night here or with me? Or are you saying that because you’re worried about my sleep quality?” He says it with a smile. I scrunch my nose but don’t answer. His eyebrow raises, and the smile spreads. We’re in a standoff. “Your funeral,” I say in a mumble. “If I kick you in the balls in my sleep and you can’t walk straight tomorrow, not my fault.” Damien just smiles, pressing his lips to mine again, but not in that soft, sweet way. “Yeah, well, let’s see if I can tire you out. Help you sleep well. Maybe we can make it so you’re the one who can’t walk straight tomorrow,” he says, then his lips move to my neck, licking and sucking a path down. And you know what? I sleep soundly all night in Damien’s bed, his leg hitched up over my hip, keeping me pinned in place the entire time. TWELVE November 7 -Abbie- “He took you there?!” Cam says, her voice going up at least three octaves with the words. It’s the day after my date with Damien. This morning my internal clock woke me up at seven, and I attempted to roll out of his fancy ass bed and dress in my clothes from the night before quietly, needing to be at the store by 10 and knowing I needed to get home, change, and be ready for work in three hours. His arm, still weighed down with the nicest Rolex I’ve seen, was
Morgan Elizabeth (Tis the Season for Revenge (Seasons of Revenge, #1))
With a choked, frustrated sob, I press the trigger again, and nothing. “Safety’s on,” Jayk calls lazily. “Swipe the lever. It’s over the—” “Shut up, Jayk,” Dom snaps, striding toward me.
Rebecca Quinn (Entangled (Brutes of Bristlebrook, #2))
Don’t you dare.” I press up against him, and when he pulls back, I yank at his shirt to pull him back down. It doesn’t move him, but the fabric strains. “There is no choice, Jayk. I need you.
Rebecca Quinn (Entangled (Brutes of Bristlebrook, #2))
And you can blame your boyfriend for the rest. He throws you over his shoulder every time I get close.” There’s more than a thread of irritation in his voice, and I examine him closer. “Is that why you sent him ahead to Bristlebrook this morning?” “That would be an abuse of my authority,” Dom says mildly. “And you wouldn’t do that, of course.” “Send a soldier on ahead so I could spend time with his girl?” I press a hand to my stomach and nod faintly. “I wouldn’t do all that just for a friend,” he says, and his brow kicks up as he gives me a long look.
Rebecca Quinn (Entangled (Brutes of Bristlebrook, #2))
You love me?” I whisper. “Obsessively.” He tilts my chin up further, and his grip tightens as if he can press the words into my skin. “Incomprehensibly.
Rebecca Quinn (Entangled (Brutes of Bristlebrook, #2))
The deeper minds of all ages have at all times felt sympathy for the animals because they suffer from life and yet do not possess the power to turn the thorn of suffering against itself and to understand their existence metaphysically; one is, indeed, profoundly indignant at the sight of senseless suffering. That is why there has arisen in more than one part of the earth the supposition that the bodies of animals contain the guilt-laden souls of men, so that this suffering which at first sight arouses indignation on account of its senselessness acquires meaning and significance as punishment and atonement before the seat of eternal justice. And it is, truly, a harsh punishment thus to live as an animal, beset by hunger and desire yet incapable of any kind of reflection on the nature of this life; and no harder fate can be thought of than that of the beast of prey pursued through the wilderness by the most gnawing torment rarely satisfied and even then in such a way that satisfaction is purchased only with the pain of lascerating combat with other animals or through inordinate greed and nauseating satiety. To hang on to life madly and blindly, with no higher aim than to hang on to it; not to know that or why one is being so heavily punished but, with the stupidity of a fearful desire, to thirst after precisely this punishment as though after happiness - that is what it means to be an animal; and if all nature presses towards man, it thereby intimates that man is necessary for the redemption of nature from the curse of the life of the animal, and that in him existence at last holds up before itself a mirror in which life appears no longer senseless but in its metaphysical significance. But we should consider where the beast ends and the man begins—the man, the one concern of Nature. As long as any one desires life as a pleasure in itself, he has not raised his eyes above the horizon of the beast; he only desires more consciously what the beast seeks by a blind impulse. It is so with us all, for the greater part of our lives. We do not shake off the beast, but are beasts ourselves, suffering we know not what.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Kettlebell deadlift. The kettlebell deadlift primarily targets the posterior chain (lower back, glutes, and hamstrings). It is an excellent companion to the kettlebell box squat and additionally helps teach proper hip-creasing mechanics, creating an important foundation for the classical kettlebell exercises (e.g., swing, clean, snatch). With the kettlebell on the ground, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell just in front of you (see figure 7.9a). Keep your chest lifted as you sit back with your hips until your hands can reach the handle (see figure 7.9b). Grab the handle with both hands and stand up by pressing your feet into the ground until your body is fully upright (see figure 7.9c). Repeat by sitting back to lightly touch the kettlebell to the ground. Do 10 controlled repetitions with a light weight and then repeat with a more challenging weight (e.g., women start with 8 kg [18 lb] for 10 repetitions and then use 12 kg [26 lb] for 10 repetitions; men start with 16 kg [35 lb] for 10 repetitions and then use 24 kg [53 lb] for 10 repetitions). This basic exercise teaches you to keep your center of gravity aligned vertically over your base of support. It is important to have control over your center of mass because kettlebell training involves such dynamic movements. A strong and stable base will keep you safe when swinging the kettlebell. KEY PRINCIPLES Crease at the hips instead of bending at the waist. Maintain a neutral spine and slightly arched lower back. Legs can be bent or straight depending on the desired training effect. Straight legs will recruit the hamstrings more and bent legs will recruit the quadriceps more.
Steve Cotter (Kettlebell Training)
Single press. The single press is a total upper-body movement that is the beginning progression for more advanced overhead exercises. It teaches proper alignment in the overhead position while simultaneously conditioning the arms, shoulders, and back, and it is the foundational lift for vertical pushing or pressing movements. To perform this exercise, clean a single kettlebell to your chest into the rack position (see figure 7.19a). This is the start position for the press. Before pressing up, compress your rib cage on the side of the pressing arm. As you recoil to the downward compression, press the kettlebell directly up until your elbow is completely extended in the lockout position (see figure 7.19b). In this overhead position, the optimal position of the hand and shoulder is such that your thumb is pointing directly back. A slight rotation of the palm is acceptable, but avoid overrotating so that you have the most efficient path, which is a straight line. Any additional rotation or deviation from the straight line is wasted effort and nonoptimal alignment. To lower the kettlebell, move your body back slightly so that the kettlebell can fall directly down the centerline and all the way to the hip (see figure 7.19c) and back to the rack position to complete the lift (see figure 7.19d). The drop from the overhead lockout position back to rack position should be a smooth, relaxed movement. Imagine you are being supported from a string and a puppeteer is lifting your arm and kettlebell. When the string is cut, the kettlebell just free-falls back to the rack position. With practice you will be able to absorb the force from the drop so that the kettlebell smoothly slides into place. When performing this exercise, use anatomical breathing with four breathing cycles. Starting from the rack position, inhale deeply before the initial compression, and then exhale as you drop or flex your thoracic spine. Inhale as you bump with the rib cage, and exhale as you lock out. Take one full breath cycle while in lockout and add more recovery breaths if needed. Inhale as you begin to drop the kettlebell, and exhale as it lands back in the rack position.
Steve Cotter (Kettlebell Training)
Snatch. The kettlebell snatch is a total-body exercise with special emphasis on the entire posterior chain. It simultaneously develops strength, explosiveness, structural integrity, cardiorespiratory capacity, and virtually every attribute on the athletic continuum. There are six stages to the snatch: Inertia swing Acceleration pull with hip and trapezius Hand insertion deep into the handle Overhead lockout Direction change into the drop Grip change into the backswing To perform this exercise, with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you, load your hips and grip the kettlebell with your fingers as you would for the swing (see figure 7.21a). Swing the kettlebell back between your legs as you begin to stand, further loading the hips (see figure 7.21b). As with the swing and clean, various thumb positions can be used in the downswing and upswing portion of the snatch. The most common is to rotate the thumb back at the end of the downswing and transition to a 45-degree angle (thumb up) at the beginning of the acceleration pull. Keep your arm connected to your body and extend your knees and hips, allowing the inertia of the kettlebell to pull your arm forward (figure 7.21c). Just as the arm begins to separate from the body, accelerate the kettlebell vertically as fast as you can by rapidly pulling with the hip, followed by a shrug of the trapezius. If you are snatching with your right hand, push forcefully with your left leg, pull back your right hip, and shrug with your right trapezius (see figure 7.21d). As the kettlebell is accelerating upward, release your fingers and insert your palm deeply into the handle (see figure 7.21e). Allow the momentum to carry the kettlebell all the way to the top and lock out your arm in the fully extended elbow position (see figure 7.21f). This overhead lockout position is identical to the overhead position in the push or push press (thumb facing back, no or minimal rotation). To drop the kettlebell back down, first shift your weight to the opposite foot (if snatching with the right hand, shift to the left foot) and lean your upper body back (see figure 7.21g). Keep your hips and torso extended maximally and let your triceps connect to your torso. Finish the downswing by changing grips and pulling your hand back to catch the handle with your fingers (see figure 7.21h), and tighten the fingers as you follow the kettlebell between your legs into the backswing (see figure 7.21i). Use the rhythmic motion to continue the snatch for the desired repetitions.
Steve Cotter (Kettlebell Training)
Push press. The push press is identical to the press but includes a leg drive. The lift initiates from the legs and is completed through the arm and hand. This allows more diversified conditioning in addition to significantly increasing the ability to work at higher volume and intensity. Once you find the max load you can use in the press, the use of your legs will allow you to do more than you can in a strict press. The use of the legs also allows greater endurance because you are distributing effort over more of your body. To perform this exercise, clean the kettlebell to your chest (see figure 7.20a). Load the stance by sinking your knees downward as you compress your rib cage (see figure 7.20b). Immediately follow the slight downward knee bend with fast and explosive lifting, pressing your feet vigorously into the ground (see figure 7.20c). From the extension of the legs, the kettlebell will already be more than halfway to the top. Complete the lift by pressing through the triceps into the overhead lockout position, identical to the top position of the press (see figure 7.20d). To drop the kettlebell back to your chest, rise up slightly on your toes as you move your body back in order to allow the kettlebell to fall straight down the chimney (see figure 7.20e). Your feet are planted again as the kettlebell reaches your chest and your elbow slides on top of your hip (see figure 7.20f). When performing this exercise, use anatomical breathing with four breathing cycles. Starting from the rack position, inhale deeply before the initial compression, and then exhale as you drop into a half squat. Inhale as you extend the legs and bump with the rib cage, and exhale as you lock out. Take one full breath cycle while in lockout and add more recovery breaths if needed. Inhale as you deflect the trunk backward to drop the kettlebell, and exhale as the kettlebell lands back in the rack position.
Steve Cotter (Kettlebell Training)
That’s where the trust comes in,” she said. “Close your eyes.” “Why?” She put her hands on her hips, tapping one foot until he obeyed. “Fine, my eyes are closed now, happy?” “Terrified” was a better description. But one final look at the crush cuffs had Sophie taking a slow step forward. Then another. She could do this. She just had to think of it as… an experiment. And maybe she was a little curious. “What are you doing?” Dex asked as she closed the last of the distance between them. “Just testing something.” She found herself marveling again at how much taller he was than the boy she’d first met, and took one deep breath for courage—then another to steady her nerves. When she couldn’t stall any longer, she tilted up on her toes and leaned in, lingering a hairsbreadth away, so he’d have the option of pushing her back if he wanted. He didn’t. So she closed her eyes and pressed her lips against his.
Shannon Messenger (Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #6))
Baseball was Expos' play-by-play man Dave Van Horne's livelihood, and he had to press on. He got back to work when play resumed, though he did stage a kind of silent protest. Van Horne carefully wrote the names of the entire 25-man roster on a little index card, then placed that card in his wallet, where it would sit through the harsh winter that followed the '94 disaster, into 1995 and onward. Ask him about it today and Van Horne will pull out that card, read through the names, and flash a sad smile. Twenty years after baseball sabotaged the best team in Expos history, he remembers what might have been. That card-that incredible roll call-will sit in his pocket for as long as he lives, a reminder of a dream destroyed.
Jonah Keri (Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos)
In my youth . . . my sacred youth . . . in eaves sole sparowe sat not more alone than I . . . in my youth, my saucer-deep youth, when I possessed a mirror and both a morning and an evening comb . . . in my youth, my pimpled, shame-faced, sugared youth, when I dreamed myself a fornicator and a poet; when life seemed to be ahead somewhere like a land o’ lakes vacation cottage, and I was pure tumescence, all seed, afloat like fuzz among the butterflies and bees; when I was the bursting pod of a fall weed; when I was the hum of sperm in the autumn air, the blue of it like watered silk, vellum to which I came in a soft cloud; O minstrel galleons of Carib fire, I sang then, knowing naught, clinging to the tall slim wheatweed which lay in a purple haze along the highway like a cotton star . . . in my fumbling, lubricious, my uticated youth, when a full bosom and a fine round line of Keats, Hart Crane, or Yeats produced in me the same effect—a moan throughout my molecules—in my limeade time, my uncorked innocence, my jellybelly days, when I repeated Olio de Oliva like a tenor; then I would touch the page in wonder as though it were a woman, as though I were blind in my bed, in the black backseat, behind the dark barn, the dim weekend tent, last dance, date's door, reaching the knee by the second feature, possibly the thigh, my finger an urgent emissary from my penis, alas as far away as Peking or Bangkok, so I took my heart in my hand, O my love, O my love, I sighed, O Christina, Italian rose; my inflated flesh yearning to press against that flesh becoming Word—a word—words which were wet and warm and responsive as a roaming tongue; and her hair was red, long, in ringlets, kiss me, love me up, she said in my anxious oral ear; I read: Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour; for I had oodles of needs, if England didn't; I was nothing but skin, pulp, and pit, in my grapevine time, during the hard-on priesthood of the poet; because then—in my unclean, foreskinned, and prurient youth—I devoutly believed in Later Life, in Passion, in Poetry, the way I thought only fools felt about God, prayer, heaven, foreknowledge, sin; for what was a poem if not a divine petition, a holy plea, a prophecy: [...] a stranger among strangers, myself the strangest because I could never bring myself to enter adolescence, but kept it about like a bit of lunch you think you may eat later, and later come upon at the bottom of a bag, dry as dust, at the back of the refrigerator, bearded with mold, or caked like sperm in the sock you've fucked, so that gingerly, then, you throw the mess out, averting your eyes, just as Rainer complained he never had a childhood—what luck!—never to have suffered birthpang, nightfear, cradlecap, lake in your lung; never to have practiced scales or sat numb before the dentist's hum or picked your mother up from the floor she's bled and wept and puked on; never to have been invaded by a tick, sucked by a leech, bitten by a spider, stung by a bee, slimed on by a slug, seared by a hot pan, or by paper or acquaintance cut, by father cuffed; never to have been lost in a crowd or store or parking lot or left by a lover without a word or arrogantly lied to or outrageously betrayed—really what luck!—never to have had a nickel roll with slow deliberation down a grate, a balloon burst, toy break; never to have skinned a knee, bruised a friendship, broken trust; never to have had to conjugate, keep quiet, tidy, bathe; to have lost the chance to be hollered at, bullied, beat up (being nothing, indeed, to have no death), and not to have had an earache, life's lessons to learn, or sums to add reluctantly right up to their bitter miscalculated end—what sublime good fortune, the Greek poet suggested—because Nature is not accustomed to life yet; it is too new, too incidental, this shiver in the stone, never altogether, and would just as soon (as Culp prefers to say) cancer it; erase, strike, stamp it out— [...]
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
Rea­sons Why I Loved Be­ing With Jen I love what a good friend you are. You’re re­ally en­gaged with the lives of the peo­ple you love. You or­ga­nize lovely ex­pe­ri­ences for them. You make an ef­fort with them, you’re pa­tient with them, even when they’re side­tracked by their chil­dren and can’t pri­or­i­tize you in the way you pri­or­i­tize them. You’ve got a gen­er­ous heart and it ex­tends to peo­ple you’ve never even met, whereas I think that ev­ery­one is out to get me. I used to say you were naive, but re­ally I was jeal­ous that you al­ways thought the best of peo­ple. You are a bit too anx­ious about be­ing seen to be a good per­son and you def­i­nitely go a bit over­board with your left-wing pol­i­tics to prove a point to ev­ery­one. But I know you re­ally do care. I know you’d sign pe­ti­tions and help peo­ple in need and vol­un­teer at the home­less shel­ter at Christ­mas even if no one knew about it. And that’s more than can be said for a lot of us. I love how quickly you read books and how ab­sorbed you get in a good story. I love watch­ing you lie on the sofa read­ing one from cover-to-cover. It’s like I’m in the room with you but you’re in a whole other gal­axy. I love that you’re al­ways try­ing to im­prove your­self. Whether it’s running marathons or set­ting your­self chal­lenges on an app to learn French or the fact you go to ther­apy ev­ery week. You work hard to be­come a bet­ter ver­sion of your­self. I think I prob­a­bly didn’t make my ad­mi­ra­tion for this known and in­stead it came off as ir­ri­ta­tion, which I don’t re­ally feel at all. I love how ded­i­cated you are to your fam­ily, even when they’re an­noy­ing you. Your loy­alty to them wound me up some­times, but it’s only be­cause I wish I came from a big fam­ily. I love that you al­ways know what to say in con­ver­sa­tion. You ask the right ques­tions and you know ex­actly when to talk and when to lis­ten. Ev­ery­one loves talk­ing to you be­cause you make ev­ery­one feel im­por­tant. I love your style. I know you think I prob­a­bly never no­ticed what you were wear­ing or how you did your hair, but I loved see­ing how you get ready, sit­ting in front of the full-length mir­ror in our bed­room while you did your make-up, even though there was a mir­ror on the dress­ing ta­ble. I love that you’re mad enough to swim in the English sea in No­vem­ber and that you’d pick up spi­ders in the bath with your bare hands. You’re brave in a way that I’m not. I love how free you are. You’re a very free per­son, and I never gave you the sat­is­fac­tion of say­ing it, which I should have done. No one knows it about you be­cause of your bor­ing, high-pres­sure job and your stuffy up­bring­ing, but I know what an ad­ven­turer you are un­der­neath all that. I love that you got drunk at Jack­son’s chris­ten­ing and you al­ways wanted to have one more drink at the pub and you never com­plained about get­ting up early to go to work with a hang­over. Other than Avi, you are the per­son I’ve had the most fun with in my life. And even though I gave you a hard time for al­ways try­ing to for al­ways try­ing to im­press your dad, I ac­tu­ally found it very adorable be­cause it made me see the child in you and the teenager in you, and if I could time-travel to any­where in his­tory, I swear, Jen, the only place I’d want to go is to the house where you grew up and hug you and tell you how beau­ti­ful and clever and funny you are. That you are spec­tac­u­lar even with­out all your sports trophies and mu­sic cer­tifi­cates and in­cred­i­ble grades and Ox­ford ac­cep­tance. I’m sorry that I loved you so much more than I liked my­self, that must have been a lot to carry. I’m sorry I didn’t take care of you the way you took care of me. And I’m sorry I didn’t take care of my­self, ei­ther. I need to work on it. I’m pleased that our break-up taught me that. I’m sorry I went so mental. I love you. I always will. I'm glad we met.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
It is only within comparatively recent years that the homely stories in the mouths of the country-people have been constituted a branch of learning, and have had applied to them, as such, the methods and the terminology of science. No doubt a very noteworthy gain to knowledge has resulted from this treatment, — a curious department of research has been opened up, and light has been cast upon various outside things of greater importance than the subject of study itself. But, side by side with this gain to knowledge, is there not, involved in the method of treatment indicated, a loss to the stories themselves ? Classified, tabulated, scientifically named, they are no longer the wild free product of Nature that we knew and loved: — they are become, so to speak, a collection of butterflies in a case, an album of pressed wild flowers. No doubt they are still very interesting, and highly instructive ; but their poetry, their brightness, the fragrance which clung about them in their native air, their native soil, is in large measure gone!
Sir George Douglas (Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales)
that if he asked a riddle which Bilbo could not guess, then he would kill him and eat him; but if Bilbo defeated him, then he would do as Bilbo wished: he would lead him to a way out of the tunnels. Since he was lost in the dark without hope, and could neither go on nor back, Bilbo accepted the challenge; and they asked one another many riddles. In the end Bilbo won the game, more by luck (as it seemed) than by wits; for he was stumped at last for a riddle to ask, and cried out, as his hand came upon the ring he had picked up and forgotten: What have I got in my pocket? This Gollum failed to answer, though he demanded three guesses. The Authorities, it is true, differ whether this last question was a mere ‘question’ and not a ‘riddle’ according to the strict rules of the Game; but all agree that, after accepting it and trying to guess the answer, Gollum was bound by his promise. And Bilbo pressed him to keep his word; for the thought came to him that this slimy creature might prove false, even though such promises were held sacred, and
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
At some point the road of life turned unexpectedly rugged and the ascent steepened sharply. And at this juncture where darkness descended and wonder died, I sensed that the child-side of myself would certainly perish should it be forced to press on. Therefore, I left it at some ill-defined place as I assumed its temperament ill-suited to what lay ahead and therefore its role concluded. But after a distance of some decades I suddenly realized that the child-side of myself lent perspective to the journey so that the ruggedness of the road and sharpness of the ascent seemed far less of both. And therefore, I walked back up the road to find the child within me so that I could better walk the road in front of me.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Cupping the back of her head to cradle it, I don’t break our kiss as I part her thighs and ready her, swallowing her noises and soaking every bit of her in as I slowly press into her. Palming her thigh up with one hand, cradling her head with the other, I fuck her nice and slow, to the point I’m barely moving inside her. Even without friction, we’re deeply fed by connection. What was meant to be a thank you turns into something else entirely as she washes away all remnants of what haunted me. Rain ticks against the window as I tip over, losing myself in rapture for the last time. It’s only when I’m forced to come up for air that I lift to hover. Keeping my hand beneath her head, her thigh firmly at my waist, she stares back at me, caressing my bicep. Wordlessly, I roll my hips, chest detonating with tiny explosions as she gasps my name. It’s the first time I’ve ever wanted to rip my condom off and fuck a woman bare. Even though I keep it on, I know I’m as close as I’m ever going to get.
Kate Stewart (One Last Rainy Day: The Legacy of a Prince (Ravenhood Legacy Book 1))
Oliver holds it up to his ear and waits, but it keeps ringing. “You’re such a goof. You have to press Accept.” I’m still giggling when I swipe the phone back, noting that the caller is Gabe.
Jennifer Hartmann (Lotus)
Okay, okay.” She presses a kiss to my jaw. “It’s hard being with you. It’s just hard sometimes.” The burn that statement causes has me losing my grip briefly as I let her in on the most important truth, a truth she made fact. “You are in.” She looks back up at me, and I see it so clearly. She loves me.
Kate Stewart (One Last Rainy Day: The Legacy of a Prince (Ravenhood Legacy Book 1))
Happy Birthday, Dom,” she whispers softly, running her fingers over my chest before drifting off. Somewhere between the drift of sleep and consciousness, I claim the only gift I want, palming her thigh and drawing it up to bring her snugger to me. Pressing and keeping my lips to her forehead, I inhale her scent and let myself fall into the idea of us and linger there—knowing that eventually, I’ll be jerked away by the hard, unforgivable reality waiting for me when I hit the ground.
Kate Stewart (One Last Rainy Day: The Legacy of a Prince (Ravenhood Legacy Book 1))
But somehow they felt like too much and not enough all at the same time. So she tilted up on her toes and leaned forward, meeting his eyes as she lined her lips up with his—careful to leave a tiny wisp of space. A chance for him to change his mind. Keefe closed the distance between them. And then… everything was new. The soft press of his lips against hers. The way their breath seemed to fall perfectly into sync while her heart and her brain screamed, FINALLY!
Shannon Messenger (Stellarlune (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #9))
I duck behind a giant flowerpot, pressing my hand over my mouth to stop myself from laughing at my cleverness. I poke my head out from one side of it and shriek as I’m grabbed from the other side and pulled into the air. “Aeterna?” Raegel says. “Did you think you could hide from me?” “Yes,” I laugh as he spins me around and pulls me against him. “Whatever are you to do with me?” His eyebrow flicks up as he carries me back towards the castle. “I have a few ideas but unfortunately you are too drunk for me to put any of them into practice.
C.J. Holmes (Fortune's Hostage (London Fae Court #2))
This is… too good, Kyran.” My eyes fall shut when he presses his wet chest to mine, fingers running up my sides. Too good to be true… “Is there such a thing as too good?” he breathes. Yes… I think there is such a thing as too good. Because no matter how high your soul soars, the fear of heartache always waits for you back down on the ground.
Nyla K. (For the Fans)
Juicy Lucy’s still on your list of late-night spots?” I asked, eager to get her home. “Top two.” I grunted in slight amusement. “Oh yeah? What’s the other?” She stepped around me with a heading of confidence. “Your face.” I grabbed her by the waist, pressing my arousal on her back. “Let that be exactly where you end up.
Aubreé Pynn (The Trenches: Loyalty Over Everything (Ganton Hills Book 13))
Journalists fill very different social roles than those of scientists, and the press serves different roles than those of scientific institutions. Scientists and research institutions have motivations for communicating with the public that only partly overlap with those of journalists. From a scientist’s perspective, the function of media ought to be to disseminate scientific results accurately and in proportion to the strength of the evidence they have produced… Journalists, on the other hand, work to avoid the appearance of working for a “special interest.” The news media aim to entertain; warn of dangers and failures; and report, explain, or comment on events. Preventing disease is not one of these goals… Although desiring to only present factual information, a journalist with a deadline to deliver a story before the publication of a newspaper or the airing of television program may simply not have enough time to “get it right” because they interviewed the wrong people, missed important features, or were not able to follow up on sources. Long-form investigative journalism, such as Deer’s investigation of Wakefield’s conflicts of interest, can slowly fill these gaps.
Jonathan M. Berman (Anti-Vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement)
Hot nights filled with summer thunder. Heat lightning far and thin and the midnight sky becrazed and mended back again. Suttree moved down to the gravelbar on the river and spread his blanket there under the gauzy starwash and lay naked with his back pressed to the wheeling earth. The river chattered and sucked past at his elbow. He'd lie awake long after the last dull shapes in the coals of the cookfire died and he'd go naked into the cool and velvet waters and submerge like an otter and come up and blow, the stones smooth as marbles under his cupped toes and the dark water reeling past his eyes. He'd lie on his back in the shallows and on these nights he'd see stars come adrift and rifle hot and dying across the face of the firmament. The enormity of the universe filled him with a strange sweet woe.
Cormac McCarthy (Suttree)
I’m so tired, Violet.” Her eyes flick between mine. “So lay beside me and sleep. I’ll watch over you. I promise I won’t let anything happen.” She leans forward and presses the gentlest of kisses against my lips and I snap my hand up to tangle in her hair to hold her mouth to mine. Her words. So fucking simple. But so damn beautiful.
Debra St James
When you want to be a woman, follow my advice. Speak in a thin, pretty voice. It has to be high-pitched. Try pushing it up into your nose. Cover your mouth when you laugh. Press down firmly and neatly when writing. Grow your hair to your shoulders. Curls are discouraged. Flap your wrists often. Show enthusiasm about grocery shopping and cooking. Beef up your cooking skills. Be unfailingly kind to others—especially men. Use your charm to get out of danger. Fall in love with a man. Eat very little. Even if you really want to finish it, leave some on your plate. Make sure you attain a slim figure and maintain it for your whole life. Play dumb, with no regard for your actual intelligence. Disparage your driving. Be chatty. Try your best to sincerely enjoy cleaning and doing laundry. Think of weakness as a virtue, and let your strength rot away. Wear makeup even in your dreams. Wear bright clothing. Conceal your sexual appetite, and take it to your grave. Become shyness incarnate. . . . There’s a fuckton more where that all comes from. I just couldn’t write it all down. To act the part of a woman, you’ve got to memorize a hefty script.
Dolki Min (Walking Practice)
Now, as far as I was concerned there are two ways of living, and because we’re on a ball in space these were more or less exactly poles apart. The first, accept the world as it is. The world is concrete and considerable, with beauties and flaws both, and both immense, profound and perplexing, and if you can take it as it is and for what it is you’ll all but guarantee an easier path, because it’s a given that acceptance is one of the keys to any kind of contentment. The second, that acceptance is surrender, that there’s a place for it but that place is somewhere just before your last breath where you say All right then, I have tried and accept that you have lived and loved as best you could, have pushed against every wall, stood up after every disappointment, and, until that last moment, you shouldn’t accept anything, you should make things better. This was more or less the philosophy of Tess Grogan, who, well into her nineties, kept the finest garden in Faha. We lost a garden, she’d say, speaking of the time of Adam like it wasn’t so long ago, pressing gently the swollen joints of her arthritic fingers and smiling the sagacious smile of the nonagenarian, ‘We lost a garden, our whole lives we have to remake it.
Niall Williams (This Is Happiness)
Twenty-seven years later It wasn’t until 2006 that Norman had the courage to look up the National Transportation Safety Board’s Accident Report for the crash and read the transcription of the pilot’s radio conversation with air traffic control. They had been doomed almost from takeoff. The pilot was using an underpowered plane with insufficient instruments on a rough day. He didn’t get a weather briefing or file a flight plan. He shouldn’t have taken off let alone headed into the storm. Thirty seconds into the flight he seemed lost and he was warned three times by air traffic control not to continue flying as he was. Big Bear airport was at an altitude of 2,100 m (7,000 ft) and was unmanned. Even with the right instruments and a modern plane it would have been all but impossible to land that day. Norman also went back up to the mountain to where Sandra had fallen. He paid his respects and continued up to the site of the crash. He was surprised, but even from that high vantage point he couldn’t see the meadow where he had been rescued. The big ridge blocked it out. So how had he known where to head for that day? Had he sensed the most likely place to find another human being? Was he lucky? Or maybe, just maybe, someone was looking out for him. This story is a brief retelling of the events in Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad, published by HarperPress. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd © 2009 Norman Ollestad.
Collins Maps (Extreme Survivors: 60 of the World’s Most Extreme Survival Stories)
They’re luck charms,” the magpie said, waving a feathery hand over the trays of gems. “White is for joy; green for wealth; red for love and fertility; blue for wisdom … Take your pick.” Hunt asked, “What’s the black for?” The magpie’s onyx-colored mouth curved upward. “For the opposite of luck.” She tapped one of the black opals, kept contained within a glass dome. “Slip it under the pillow of your enemy and see what happens to them.” Bryce cleared her throat. “Interesting as that may be—” Hunt held out a silver mark. “For the white.” Bryce’s brows rose, but the magpie swept up the mark, and plunked the white opal into Hunt’s awaiting palm. They left, ignoring her gratitude for their business. “I didn’t peg you for superstitious,” Bryce said. But Hunt paused at the end of the row of stalls and took her hand. He pressed the opal into it, the stone warm from his touch. The size of a crow’s egg, it shimmered in the firstlights high above. “You could use some joy,” Hunt said quietly. Something bright sparked in her chest. “So could you,” she said, attempting to press the opal back into his palm. But Hunt stepped away. “It’s a gift.” Bryce’s face warmed again, and she looked anywhere but at him as she smiled. Even though she could feel his gaze lingering on her face while she slid the opal into the pocket of her jacket.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1))