Shirt Signing Quotes

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Roza..." The voice caressed my skin, cold and deadly. Still scrutinizing his surroundings, Dimitri took one step forward. Then another. And then another. I think it occurred to him to look up the instant I jumped. My body slammed into his, knocking him to the ground back first. He immediately tried to throw me off, just as I tried to drive the stake through his heart. Signs of fatigue and fighting were all over him. Defeating the other Strigoi had taken its toll, though I doubted I was in much better shape. We grappled, and once, I managed to rake the stake over his cheek. He snarled in pain but kept his chest well protected. Over it, I could see where I'd ripped his shirt the first time I'd staked him. The wound had already healed. "You. Are. Amazing," he said, his words full of both pride and battle fury.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I opened a writing app and began typing what I knew about Pierce. Vain. Terminal fear of T-shirts or any other garment that would cover his pectorals. Deadly. Doesn't hesitate to kill. Holding him at gunpoint would result in me being barbecued. Whee. Likes burning things. Now here's an understatement. Good information to have, but not useful for finding him. Antigovernment. Neither here nor there. Hmm. So far my best plan would be to build a mountain of gasoline cans and explosives, stick a Property of US Government sign on it, and throw a T-shirt over Pierce's head when he showed up to explode it. Yes, this would totally work.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
Okay, I'll wear the Bite Me shirt,[...]It'll be my standard response to any­one who tries to hit on me." I giggle. "Someone can come up and be like 'Hey babe, what's your sign?' and I'll just point to my shirt." Rayne laughs appreciatively and tosses me the tank top. "Of course they might think you're pointing to your boobs in a 'have at 'em, big boy' kind of way.
Mari Mancusi (Boys that Bite (Blood Coven Vampire, #1))
Adam snorted as he pulled on a faded green t-shirt that said "I Heart Coyotes." Yet another sign that folding my clean clothes wasn't too big a price to pay to make him happy. He didn't have any "I Heart Christy " shirts or I would have burned them already.
Patricia Briggs (Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8))
I don’t want you going there without me, ever…do you understand what I am saying?” he asks me, searching my face, probably looking for any sign of dissention. “Let me get this straight, what if I got a craving for…I don’t know…Twinkies in the wee hours of the morning and all that was open was the Seven-Eleven. You’re saying I should wake you up, even if you’re crashed out, just so that you can go with me on a treat run?” I ask skeptically, trying to gauge his level of commitment to this course of action. “Genevieve, Twinkies are really bad for you, but if you had to have one, then yes, that’s what I’m saying,” he smiles at my scenario. “Do you really like those things?” “I’m not going to tell you if you’re going to tease me, but I will say that it’s suspiciously inhuman not to enjoy a Hostess snack from time to time,” I reply coyly. “I’ll buy you one. You’ll love it, I promise.” And I’ll be doing the world a favor at the same time, I think, remembering him without his shirt on.
Amy A. Bartol (Inescapable (The Premonition, #1))
It is a traveler’s fallacy that one should shop for clothing while abroad. Those white linen tunics, so elegant in Greece, emerge from the suitcase as mere hippie rags; the beautiful striped shirts of Rome are confined to the closet; and the delicate hand batiks of Bali are first cruise wear, then curtains, then signs of impending madness.
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
What the hell," I said, pushing off the wall, ready to take off the head of whatever stupid salesperson had decided to get cozy with me. My elbow was still buzzing, and I could feel a hot flush creeping up my neck: bad signs. I knew my temper. I turned my head and saw it wasn't a salesman at all. It was a guy with black curly hair, around my age, wearing a bright orange T-shirt. And for some reason he was smiling. "Hey there," he said cheerfully. "How's it going?" "What is your problem?" I snapped, rubbing my elbow. "Problem?" "You just slammed me into the wall, asshole." He blinked. "Goodness," he said finally. "Such language." I just looked at him. Wrong day, buddy, I thought. You caught me on the wrong day. "The thing is," he said, as if we'd been discussing the weather or world politics, "I saw you out in the showroom. I was over by the tire display?" I was sure I was glaring at him. But he kept talking. "I just thought to myself, all of a sudden, that we had something in common. A natural chemistry, if you will. And I had a feeling that something big was going to happen. To both of us. That we were, in fact, meant to be together." "You got all this," I said, clarifying, "at the tire display?" "You didn't feel it?" he asked. "No. I did, however, feel you slamming me into the wall," I said evenly. "That," he said, lowering his voice and leaning closer to me, "was an accident. An oversight. Just an unfortunate result of the enthusiasm I felt knowing I was about to talk to you.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
I've learned that you have to choose courage each day like you choose what shirt to wear. It is not automatic.
Karen Harrington (Sure Signs of Crazy)
I was lucky to live in New York when it was dangerous and edgy and cheap enough to play host to young, penniless artists. That was the era of "coffee shops" as they were defined in New York—cheap restaurants open round the clock where you could eat for less than it would cost to cook at home. That was the era of ripped jeans and dirty T-shirts, when the kind of people who are impressed by material signs of success were not the people you wanted to know.
Edmund White (City Boy: My Life in New York in the 1960s and 70s)
From Jess: FANG. I've commented your blog with my questions for THREE YEARS. You answer other people's STUPID questions but not MINE. YOU REALLY ASKED FOR IT, BUDDY. I'm just gonna comment with this until you answer at least one of my questions. DO YOU HAVE A JAMAICAN ACCENT? No, Mon DO YOU MOLT? Gross. WHAT'S YOUR STAR SIGN? Dont know. "Angel what's my star sign?" She says Scorpio. HAVE YOU TOLD JEB I LOVE HIM YET? No. DOES NOT HAVING A POWER MAKE YOU ANGRY? Well, that's not really true... DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THE SOULJA BOY? Can you see me doing the Soulja Boy? DOES IGGY KNOW HOW TO DO THE SOULJA BOY? Gazzy does. DO YOU USE HAIR PRODUCTS? No. Again,no. DO YOU USE PRODUCTS ON YOUR FEATHERS? I don't know that they make bird kid feather products yet. WHAT'S YOU FAVORITE MOVIE? There are a bunch WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG? I don't have favorites. They're too polarizing. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SMELL? Max, when she showers. DO THESE QUESTIONS MAKE YOU ANGRY? Not really. IF I CAME UP TO YOU IN A STREET AND HUGGED YOU, WOULD YOU KILL ME? You might get kicked. But I'm used to people wanting me dead, so. DO YOU SECRETLY WANT TO BE HUGGED? Doesn't everybody? ARE YOU GOING EMO 'CAUSE ANGEL IS STEALING EVERYONE'S POWERS (INCLUDING YOURS)? Not the emo thing again. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Anything hot and delicious and brought to me by Iggy. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST THIS MORNING? Three eggs, over easy. Bacon. More Bacon. Toast. DID YOU EVEN HAVE BREAKFAST THIS MORNING? See above. DID YOU DIE INSIDE WHEN MAX CHOSE ARI OVER YOU? Dudes don't die inside. DO YOU LIKE MAX? Duh. DO YOU LIKE ME? I think you're funny. DOES IGGY LIKE ME? Sure DO YOU WRITE DEPRESSING POETRY? No. IS IT ABOUT MAX? Ahh. No. IS IT ABOUT ARI? Why do you assume I write depressing poetry? IS IT ABOUT JEB? Ahh. ARE YOU GOING TO BLOCK THIS COMMENT? Clearly, no. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? A Dirty Projectors T-shirt. Jeans. DO YOU WEAR BOXERS OR BRIEFS? No freaking comment. DO YOU FIND THIS COMMENT PERSONAL? Could I not find that comment personal? DO YOU WEAR SUNGLASSES? Yes, cheap ones. DO YOU WEAR YOUR SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT? That would make it hard to see. DO YOU SMOKE APPLES, LIKE US? Huh? DO YOU PREFER BLONDES OR BRUNETTES? Whatever. DO YOU LIKE VAMPIRES OR WEREWOLVES? Fanged creatures rock. ARE YOU GAY AND JUST PRETENDING TO BE STRAIGHT BY KISSING LISSA? Uhh... WERE YOU EXPERIMENING WITH YOUR SEXUALITY? Uhh... WOULD YOU TELL US IF YOU WERE GAY? Yes. DO YOU SECRETLY LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE CALL YOU EMO? No. ARE YOU EMO? Whatever. DO YOU LIKE EGGS? Yes. I had them for breakfast. DO YOU LIKE EATING THINGS? I love eating. I list it as a hobby. DO YOU SECRETLY THINK YOU'RE THE SEXIEST PERSON IN THE WHOLE WORLD? Do you secretly think I'm the sexiest person in the whole world? DO YOU EVER HAVE DIRTY THOUGHTS ABOUT MAX? Eeek! HAS ENGEL EVER READ YOUR MIND WHEN YOU WERE HAVING DIRTY THOUGHT ABOUT MAX AND GONE "OMG" AND YOU WERE LIKE "D:"? hahahahahahahahahahah DO YOU LIKE SPONGEBOB? He's okay, I guess. DO YOU EVER HAVE DIRTY THOUGHT ABOUT SPONGEBOB? Definitely CAN YOU COOK? Iggy cooks. DO YOU LIKE TO COOK? I like to eat. ARE YOU, LIKE, A HOUSEWIFE? How on earth could I be like a housewife? DO YOU SECRETLY HAVE INNER TURMOIL? Isn't it obvious? DO YOU WANT TO BE UNDA DA SEA? I'm unda da stars. DO YOU THINK IT'S NOT TOO LATE, IT'S NEVER TOO LATE? Sure. WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO PLAY POKER? TV. DO YOU HAVE A GOOD POKER FACE? Totally. OF COURSE YOU HAVE A GOOD POKER FACE. DOES IGGY HAVE A GOOD POKER FACE? Yes. CAN HE EVEN PLAY POKER? Iggy beats me sometimes. DO YOU LIKE POKING PEOPLE HARD? Not really. ARE YOU FANGALICIOUS? I could never be as fangalicious as you'd want me to be. Fly on, Fang
James Patterson (Fang (Maximum Ride, #6))
But where corpses were buried secretly, there the grass grows thick; such signs (and there are ever so many others!) may be read by those to whom truth is more important than beauty.
William T. Vollmann (The Ice-Shirt (Seven Dreams #1))
He tries again, swallowing hard to ease away the painful lump in his throat. "It's just important. I love you. I'm yours. I need people to know." "Alright," Lindsay says suddenly. He leans down to grab at Pip's bag, throwing stuff out onto the carpet, his iPod and phone and wallet and gloves and Attitude magazine until he finds what he's looking for, a green marker pen, and holds it between his teeth while he starts tugging at the hem of Pip's t-shirt. Pip's too surprised to do anything but submit, he lets Lindsay peel off his t-shirt and throw that on top of all the things from his bag then just watches as Lindsay pulls the pen out of the cap in his mouth and signs his name in big green letters on the side of Pip's stomach. He holds his breath, trying not to suck in the belly fat everybody else keeps telling him is imaginary. "There, you're mine, are you fucking happy now?" Lindsay snaps, and throws the recapped pen across the room to get lost in the bookcase somewhere.
Richard Rider (No Beginning, No End (Stockholm Syndrome, #3))
We were at a swap meet in Cochituate last year, and there was this Boy Scout troop with a sign that read, 'Help Boy Scouts, Blind Kids.' Toby saw it, and he grabbed my shirt collar and pulled me away. I asked what was wrong, and with this scared expression on his face, he said, "That's not right. They need to be stopped.' I cracked up. 'Oh, no,' I said. 'When I asked him why helping blind kids and Boy Scouts was bad, Toby's whole face went white. He said, 'Forget it. Let's go.' But I had to know what the hell he was talking about, so I made him walk back over with me. We looked at the sign together, and finally he mumbled, 'I didn't see the comma.
Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight (Openly Straight, #1))
Jamie gawked at the JLM T-shirt peeking out of Theo's leather jacket and his face glowed. "Yes I-L-Y?
Anyta Sunday (Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love, #1))
… You were summer and freedom and everything I hadn’t had in so long. Everything I hadn’t allowed myself. I’m going to allow myself tonight.” He tossed his shirt aside and she glimpsed his broad chest in the flickering light from the portable woodstove she’d noticed out of the corner of her eye. “You’re going to be my ocean and I’m going to drown myself in you.
Cari Quinn (Heart Signs)
Brody’s problem is that he has zero respect for the opposite sex. “Does he really refuse to take selfies with a girl, or was he making that up to toy with me?” Sabrina asks. “No, that’s a real thing for him. He thinks that any pictures of him with a girl pressed up to his side would drive other potential hookups away. Selfies are a sign of commitment.” He’d expounded on this topic at some length after instructing me to keep my Tinder account active and to not tell anyone I was having a kid. “Ugh. He’s so gross.” “I signed up for a fake Instagram account so I can troll him. When he posts something, I’ll wait a day or so and then pop on to comment about how cool it is that he and my grandpa are rocking the same shirt. I’ve done that twice now and each time, I’ve seen him shoving the shirt down the apartment’s trash compactor.” Sabrina throws back her head and cackles. “You do not.” “Hey, we all have to get our jollies somewhere, right? For me, it’s negging Brody on Instagram and choking my baby mama in breathing classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Watching him walk over, Alex mused that Eli Cooper was the sort of man who knew how to use his physicality. Beneath his handmade shirts and tailored suits, a street fighter hummed through every loose-limbed motion. But that impression did not extend to his face, which was structurally perfect. Skyscraper-high cheekbones. Superhero jaw. A mouth that should have a government warning. There were no signs of past trouble with a jealous husband or an abandoned girlfriend. No one had ever broken his nose. No one had busted his lip. Strange, because her first instinct on seeing him was to roundhouse kick him into the next millennium.
Kate Meader (Playing with Fire (Hot in Chicago, #2))
The carnivals gave me my names, Edward. Sometimes I was the Blue Man of the North Pole, or the Blue Man of Algeria, or the Blue Man of New Zealand. I had never been to any of these places, of course, but it was pleasant to be considered exotic, if only on a painted sign. The 'show' was simple. I would sit on the stage, half undressed, as people walked past and the barker told them how pathetic I was. For this, I was able to put a few coins in my pocket. The manager once called me the 'best freak' in his stable, and, sad as it sounds, I took pride in that. When you are an outcast, even a tossed stone can be cherished. One winter, I came to this pier. Ruby Pier. They were starting a sideshow called the Curious Citizens. I liked the idea of being in one place, escaping the bumpy horse carts of carnival life. This became my home. I lived in a room above a sausage shop. I played cards at night with the other sideshow walkers, with the tinsmiths, sometimes even with your father. In the early mornings, if I wore long shirts and draped my head in a towel, I could walk along the beach without scaring people. It may not sound like much, but for me, it was a freedom I had rarely know.' He stopped. He looked at Eddie. Do you understand? Why we're here? This is not your heaven. It's mine.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
Everyone had learned to despise waste. It was creeping back into fashion, though. A sign of prosperity, like a decent shirt.
Suzanne Collins (The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0))
We ambled on to the gift store where I found a t-shirt that tickled my fancy. I also fell in love with a pen holder that looked like a family of spotted Nessies. I asked the clerk to first wrap the pen holder in some tissue paper and then in the t-shirt. My heart would be broken if it didn’t survive the trip back home. There were some things a woman cannot live without.
Reyna Favis (Soul Sign: A Zackie Story of Supernatural Suspense)
Even as I wrote my note to Fern, for instance, expressing sentiments and regrets that were real, a part of me was noticing what a fine and sincere note it was, and anticipating the effect on Fern of this or that heartfelt phrase, while yet another part was observing the whole scene of a man in a dress shirt and no tie sitting at his breakfast nook writing a heartfelt note on his last afternoon alive, the blondwood table's surface trembling with sunlight and the man's hand steady and face both haunted by regret and ennobled by resolve, this part of me sort of hovering above and just to the left of myself, evaluating the scene, and thinking what a fine and genuine-seeming performance in a drama it would make if only we all had not already been subject to countless scenes just like it in dramas ever since we first saw a movie or read a book, which somehow entailed that real scenes like the one of my suicide note were now compelling and genuine only to their participants, and to anyone else would come off as banal and even somewhat cheesy or maudlin, which is somewhat paradoxical when you consider – as I did, setting there at the breakfast nook – that the reason scenes like this will seem stale or manipulative to an audience is that we’ve already seen so many of them in dramas, and yet the reason we’ve seen so many of them in dramas is that the scenes really are dramatic and compelling and let people communicate very deep, complicated emotional realities that are almost impossible to articulate in any other way, and at the same time still another facet or part of me realizing that from this perspective my own basic problem was that at an early age I’d somehow chosen to cast my lot with my life’s drama’s supposed audience instead of with the drama itself, and that I even now was watching and gauging my supposed performance’s quality and probable effects, and thus was in the final analysis the very same manipulative fraud writing the note to Fern that I had been throughout the life that had brought me to this climactic scene of writing and signing it and addressing the envelope and affixing postage and putting the envelope in my shirt pocket (totally conscious of the resonance of its resting there, next to my heart, in the scene), planning to drop it in a mailbox on the way out to Lily Cache Rd. and the bridge abutment into which I planned to drive my car at speeds sufficient to displace the whole front end and impale me on the steering wheel and instantly kill me. Self-loathing is not the same thing as being into pain or a lingering death, if I was going to do it I wanted it instant’ (175-176)
David Foster Wallace (Oblivion: Stories)
It was a beautiful, clear Southern California kind of Christmas Eve, the kind where Santa shows up in khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt and shades, flashing a peace sign with one hand and sipping a Corona with the other.
Z.A. Maxfield
So far my best plan would be to build a mountain of gasoline cans and explosives, stick a Property of US Government sign on it, and throw a T-shirt over Pierce’s head when he showed up to explode it. Yes, this would totally work.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
Once you have an image of what the inside of your drawers will look like, you can begin folding. The goal is to fold each piece of clothing into a simple, smooth rectangle. First, fold each lengthwise side of the garment toward the center (such as the left-hand, then right-hand, sides of a shirt) and tuck the sleeves in to make a long rectangular shape. It doesn’t matter how you fold the sleeves. Next, pick up one short end of the rectangle and fold it toward the other short end. Then fold again, in the same manner, in halves or in thirds. The number of folds should be adjusted so that the folded clothing when standing on edge fits the height of the drawer. This is the basic principle that will ultimately allow your clothes to be stacked on edge, side by side, so that when you pull open your drawer you can see the edge of every item inside. If you find that the end result is the right shape but too loose and floppy to stand up, it’s a sign that your way of folding doesn’t match the type of clothing.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
We teachers break our bodies to give you a shirt that you will wear in the future, to conferences, to presidential speeches, to autograph signings. That is up to you and if you can do that for at least in a little thank to us. Then thank you, thank you all.
Pedro A. Pérez Raymond
My old man 16 years old during the depression I’d come home drunk and all my clothing– shorts, shirts, stockings– suitcase, and pages of short stories would be thrown out on the front lawn and about the street. my mother would be waiting behind a tree: “Henry, Henry, don’t go in . . .he’ll kill you, he’s read your stories . . .” “I can whip his ass . . .” “Henry, please take this . . .and find yourself a room.” but it worried him that I might not finish high school so I’d be back again. one evening he walked in with the pages of one of my short stories (which I had never submitted to him) and he said, “this is a great short story.” I said, “o.k.,” and he handed it to me and I read it. it was a story about a rich man who had a fight with his wife and had gone out into the night for a cup of coffee and had observed the waitress and the spoons and forks and the salt and pepper shakers and the neon sign in the window and then had gone back to his stable to see and touch his favorite horse who then kicked him in the head and killed him. somehow the story held meaning for him though when I had written it I had no idea of what I was writing about. so I told him, “o.k., old man, you can have it.” and he took it and walked out and closed the door. I guess that’s as close as we ever got.
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
I trace the box’s lid where a gold ribbon binds it. With one tug, the bow poofs into a golden, glittering fall of letters that form a message in midair— Things I once hoped to give you: 1. A magical wedding . . . Choking back tears, I take out the ring and loop it onto the string alongside the diary’s key at my neck, tucking it under my shirt to keep it safe. A picnic basket sits at my feet beneath the bench. There’s another ribbon, and when I untie it, more letters form a glimmering parade through the air: 2. Picnics at the lake with your mom and dad . . . I sniffle and make my way to the middle of the room, where reproductions of my mosaics float next to Sold signs. I tug a ribbon loose and free another message: 3. A lifetime of shared successes and laughter . . .
A.G. Howard (Ensnared (Splintered, #3))
It rarely snows because Antarctica is a desert. An iceberg means it’s tens of millions of years old and has calved from a glacier. (This is why you must love life: one day you’re offering up your social security number to the Russia Mafia; two weeks later you’re using the word calve as a verb.) I saw hundreds of them, cathedrals of ice, rubbed like salt licks; shipwrecks, polished from wear like marble steps at the Vatican; Lincoln Centers capsized and pockmarked; airplane hangars carved by Louise Nevelson; thirty-story buildings, impossibly arched like out of a world’s fair; white, yes, but blue, too, every blue on the color wheel, deep like a navy blazer, incandescent like a neon sign, royal like a Frenchman’s shirt, powder like Peter Rabbit’s cloth coat, these icy monsters roaming the forbidding black.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
I skipped between the dancers, twirling my skirts. The seated, masked musicians didn’t look up at me as I leaped before them, dancing in place. No chains, no boundaries—just me and the music, dancing and dancing. I wasn’t faerie, but I was a part of this earth, and the earth was a part of me, and I would be content to dance upon it for the rest of my life. One of the musicians looked up from his fiddling, and I halted. Sweat gleamed on the strong column of his neck as he rested his chin upon the dark wood of the fiddle. He’d rolled up the sleeves of his shirt, revealing the cords of muscle along his forearms. He had once mentioned that he would have liked to be a traveling minstrel if not a warrior or a High Lord—now, hearing him play, I knew he could have made a fortune from it. “I’m sorry, Tam,” Lucien panted, appearing from nowhere. “I left her alone for a little at one of the food tables, and when I caught up to her, she was drinking the wine, and—” Tamlin didn’t pause in his playing. His golden hair damp with sweat, he looked marvelously handsome—even though I couldn’t see most of his face. He gave me a feral smile as I began to dance in place before him. “I’ll look after her,” Tamlin murmured above the music, and I glowed, my dancing becoming faster. “Go enjoy yourself.” Lucien fled. I shouted over the music, “I don’t need a keeper!” I wanted to spin and spin and spin. “No, you don’t,” Tamlin said, never once stumbling over his playing. How his bow did dance upon the strings, his fingers sturdy and strong, no signs of those claws that I had come to stop fearing … “Dance, Feyre,” he whispered. So I did. I was loosened, a top whirling around and around, and I didn’t know who I danced with or what they looked like, only that I had become the music and the fire and the night, and there was nothing that could slow me down. Through it all, Tamlin and his musicians played such joyous music that I didn’t think the world could contain it all. I sashayed over to him, my faerie lord, my protector and warrior, my friend, and danced before him. He grinned at me, and I didn’t break my dancing as he rose from his seat and knelt before me in the grass, offering up a solo on his fiddle to me.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Gustavo Tiberius speaking." “It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.” “It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.” “Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?” Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.” “Really.” “Yes.” “Gus.” “Casey.” “I miss you.” “I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely. “Yeah? How much?” Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.” “I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.” Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.” “Completely. You have no idea.” “They’re going to get you packed up this week?” “Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.” “Casey.” “Yes, Gustavo.” “You’re being cagey.” “I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.” Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?” There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up. Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen. Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.” “Hi,” Gus croaked. “Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?” Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal. Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile. He said, “Hi.” Gus said, “Hi.” “So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?” “I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close. The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.” Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.” “Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.” “What did?” Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?” “Yeah?” “I’m going to ask you a question, okay?” Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.” “What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?” Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to— And then he could barely breathe. Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?” Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could. And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.” Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
Right after Matt died, I was afraid to do basically everything. I couldn’t even bite my nails or sniff my shirt to see if I needed deodorant without feeling like he was watching me. I willed and prayed and begged him to give me a sign that he was watching, that he was with me, so I would know. But he never did. Time moved on. And I stopped being afraid. Until right now, vulnerable and insecure and a little bit drunk. Lying in the sand and falling in crazy love with someone I just met. Matt is watching me. Observing. Possibly judging. And the worst part of it is, I don’t want to wake up under his landslide of sad rocks anymore. I don’t want to taste the marzipan frosting and the clove cigarettes. I don’t want to think about the blue glass necklace or the books he read to me on his bed or the piles of college stuff or some random boy in the grocery store wearing his donated clothes. I don’t want to be the dead boy’s best-friend-turned-something-else. Or the really supportive neighbor friend. Or the lifelong keeper of broken-hearted secrets.
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
It is a traveler’s fallacy that one should shop for clothing while abroad. Those white linen tunics, so elegant in Greece, emerge from the suitcase as mere hippie rags; the beautiful striped shirts of Rome are confined to the closet; and the delicate hand batiks of Bali are first cruise wear, then curtains, then signs of impending madness. And then there is Paris.
Andrew Sean Greer (Less (Arthur Less, #1))
I turn to Rue’s family. “But I feel as if I did know Rue, and she’ll always be with me. Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the mockingjays that sing in the trees. But most of all, I see her in my sister, Prim.” My voice is undependable, but I am almost finished. “Thank you for your children.” I raise my chin to address the crowd. “And thank you all for the bread.” I stand there, feeling broken and small, thousands of eyes trained on me. There’s a long pause. Then, from somewhere in the crowd, someone whistles Rue’s four-note mockingjay tune. The one that signaled the end of the workday in the orchards. The one that meant safety in the arena. By the end of the tune, I have found the whistler, a wizened old man in a faded red shirt and overalls. His eyes meet mine. What happens next is not an accident. It is too well executed to be spontaneous, because it happens in complete unison. Every person in the crowd presses the three middle fingers of their left hand against their lips and extends them to me. It’s our sign from District 12, the last good-bye I gave Rue in the arena.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
That bitch should not be in a club like this. As if her language is not enough indication, there is also the matter of her Hot Topic mallrat outfit: short black leather skirt with buckles up the side, mass-produced “vintage” Ramones T-shirt, and piss-yellow leggings with some horrible pair of pink patent-leather shoes. She looks like a neon sign bumblebee by way of early Debbie Harry rip-off.
Rachel Cohn (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
Inej kept her eyes averted, shuffling a stack of papers into a pile on the desk as Kaz stripped out of his vest and shirt. She wasn’t sure if she was flattered or insulted that he didn’t seem to give a second thought to her presence. “How long will we be gone?” she asked, darting a glance at him through the open doorway. He was corded muscle, scars, but only two tattoos—the Dregs’ crow and cup on his forearm and, above it, a black R on his bicep. She’d never asked him what it meant. It was his hands that drew her attention as he shucked off his leather gloves and dipped a cloth in the washbasin. He only ever removed them in these chambers, and as far as she knew, only in front of her. Whatever affliction he might be hiding, she could see no sign of it, only slender lockpick’s fingers, and a shiny rope of scar tissue from some long ago street fight. “A few weeks, maybe a month,” he said as he ran the wet cloth under his arms and the hard planes of his chest, water trickling down his torso. For Saints’ sake, Inej thought as her cheeks heated. She’d lost most of her modesty during her time with the Menagerie, but really, there were limits. What would Kaz say if she suddenly stripped down and started washing herself in front of him? He’d probably tell me not to drip on the desk, she thought with a scowl.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I pause by the door,schedule in hand, taking a moment to confirm I'm in the right place,since I really don't need to make that particular mistake yet again. Independent study.Right.Last class of the day-praise be,hallelujah, and more. I make my way inside and introduce myself to the man at the podium bearing a squinty mean gaze, a cruel slash of a mouth, a size-too-small T-shirt forced to stretch over a belly that will always arrive well before the rest of him,and a crew cut so tight it's mostly just scalp.Pausing when he places a red checkmark next to my name and tells me to grab any seat. If I've learned anything today,it's that it can't be that easy.It may not be obvious at first sight,but somewhere in this deceptively innocuous classroom, territory has been staked, boundaries drawn,and an invisible wall erected,bearing an equally invisible sign that states clueless new girls like me are not welcome here. "Any seat," he barks, shooting me a look that's already pegged me as just another moron in a succession of many.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
Yes, I do think the ruling class in America would like to grab everything for themselves, because they were brought up that way, and early American Puritans somehow had it wired into their religion that poverty is a sign that God doesn't like you, that you're not "saved," that money, on the other hand, is a sign of God's approval. They say the middle class in this country is shrinking, but I don't really know who the "they" is in that sentence. I tend to think there's a natural process of balances -- that when the very rich press their luck too far, there's a danger of a backlash, and the rich know it. There's often a time when the bully on the playground does one bad thing too many and all the little weaklings gang up on him, and that's the end of that particular pattern. I look at that stuff as a novelist, and as a human being, but I try not to get too worked up about it. I think of myself as wearing the invisible tee shirt with "You can kill me but you can't impress me" printed on it. Every second I spend laughing is a second I don't have to think about Vice President Cheney, for instance.
Carolyn See
It may seem that there are many followers of Jesus, but if they were honestly to define the relationship they have with him I am not sure it would be accurate to describe them as followers. It seems to me that there is a more suitable word to describe them. They are not followers of Jesus. They are fans of Jesus. Here is the most basic definition of fan in the dictionary: “An enthusiastic admirer” It’s the guy who goes to the football game with no shirt and a painted chest. He sits in the stands and cheers for his team. He’s got a signed jersey hanging on his wall at home and multiple bumper stickers on the back of his car. But he’s never in the game. He never breaks a sweat or takes a hard hit in the open field. He knows all about the players and can rattle off their latest stats, but he doesn’t know the players. He yells and cheers, but nothing is really required of him. There is no sacrifice he has to make. And the truth is, as excited as he seems, if the team he’s cheering for starts to let him down and has a few off seasons, his passion will wane pretty quickly. After several losing seasons you can expect him to jump off the fan wagon and begin cheering for some other team. He is an enthusiastic admirer.
Kyle Idleman (Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus)
During all that time I didn't see Willie. I didn't see him again until he announced in the Democratic primary in 1930. But it wasn't a primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the back room of Casey's saloon rolled into one, and when the dust cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood. In the background of the picture, under a purplish tumbled sky flecked with sinister white like driven foam, flanking Willie, one on each side, were two figures, Sadie Burke and a tallish, stooped, slow-spoken man with a sad, tanned face and what they call the eyes of a dreamer. The man was Hugh Miller, Harvard Law School, Lafayette Escadrille, Croix de Guerre, clean hands, pure heart, and no political past. He was a fellow who had sat still for years, and then somebody (Willie Stark) handed him a baseball bat and he felt his fingers close on the tape. He was a man and was Attorney General. And Sadie Burke was just Sadie Burke. Over the brow of the hill, there were, of course, some other people. There were, for instance, certain gentlemen who had been devoted to Joe Harrison, but who, when they discovered there wasn't going to be any more Joe Harrison politically speaking, had had to hunt up a new friend. The new friend happened to be Willie. He was the only place for them to go. They figured they would sign on with Willie and grow up with the country. Willie signed them on all right, and as a result got quite a few votes not of the wool-hat and cocklebur variety. After a while Willie even signed on Tiny Duffy, who became Highway Commissioner and, later, Lieutenant Governor in Willie's last term. I used to wonder why Willie kept him around. Sometimes I used to ask the Boss, "What do you keep that lunk-head for?" Sometimes he would just laugh and say nothing. Sometimes he would say, "Hell, somebody's got to be Lieutenant Governor, and they all look alike." But once he said: "I keep him because he reminds me of something." "What?" "Something I don't ever want to forget," he said. "What's that?" "That when they come to you sweet talking you better not listen to anything they say. I don't aim to forget that." So that was it. Tiny was the fellow who had come in a big automobile and had talked sweet to Willie back when Willie was a little country lawyer.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
He watched her small hand hike up her skirt, saw her reach under to cup her sex. Once her fingers were covered in slick, she met his eyes, smearing her hand down his neck, directly over the spot where he stank of his beloved. Gathering more of her wetness, Claire soaked the patch of his shirt until she could only smell herself. It was not good enough. Unable to comprehend anything beyond black rage, Claire clawed the fabric and ripped Shepherd’s shirt to threads. Her nose went back to his exposed chest and she let out the most threatening growl an Omega could make. If he was hushing her, or reprimanding, touching, or in shock, Claire was absolutely oblivious. Every fiber of her being demanded she stake claim, that she scratch her marks all over his body, that she leave a sign all other females would see. She left him bloody. Breathing hard, she reared up until eye level with the man. “Now you will fuck me, hard, in every way that pleases me. And when it is done, you will get me food, because I’m fucking hungry!” He was on her with such force the breath was knocked from her body. Shepherd did exactly as his mate demanded, pounding into her with a fury that set her howling amidst their shredded clothing. In Shepherd’s experience, there had never been a coupling like it.
Addison Cain (Reborn (Alpha's Claim, #3))
There was someone sitting in his room, over on that chair— “Are you kidding me?” He exhaled a curse and rubbed the back of his brain. “Really? Are you fucking kidding me?” Across the way, like some fucked-up scarecrow, a pair of blue jeans, that Nirvana concert T-shirt of the angel’s, the flannel bullshit, and a set of Nikes had been stuffed with God only knew what. The head of the “Lassiter” was made out of a nylon bag that had had potatoes in it, and the black and yellow hair was a collection of knee-high business socks—probably Butch’s—and Swiffer cleaning rags that had been safety pinned in place. Around its neck? A handwritten sign that read: the boss was here.
J.R. Ward (The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15))
When I say my wound became political in the years that followed, I don't mean that my involvement in the anti-war movement was somehow insincere or that I have any regrets about my activism. As a champion of the downtrodden, the disenfranchised, the poor, and the oppressed, I found a new outlet for the somewhat irrational but nevertheless strong sense I had of being an outsider in a group - uncomfortable, awkward, and quick to feel a slight. Political feeling can't exist without identification, and mine inevitably went to people without power, In contrast, right-wing ideologies often appeal to those who want to link themselves to authority, people for whom the sight of military parades or soldiers marching off to war is aggrandizing, not painful. Inevitably, there is sublimation in politics, too. It becomes an avenue for suppressed aggression and anger, and I was no exception. And so it was that armed with passion and gorged on political history, I became a firebrand at fourteen. For three years, I read and argued and demonstrated. I marched against the Vietnam War, helped print strike T-shirts at Carleton College after the deaths of four students at Kent State, attended rallies, raised money for war-torn Mozambique, signed petitions, licked envelopes for the American Indian Movement, and turned into a feminist. But even then, I didn't believe all the rhetoric.
Siri Hustvedt (A Plea for Eros: Essays)
He trotted over with a big grin on his face. He wore a faded Hawaiian shirt and nothing for pants except thick brown goat fur. His massive Afro jiggled. His eyes were hidden behind little round rainbow-tinted glasses. He held a cardboard sign that read: WILL WORK SING TALK GO AWAY FOR DENARII. “Hi, Don,” Hazel said. “Sorry, we don’t have time—” “Oh, that’s cool! That’s cool!” Don trotted along with them. “Hey, this guy’s new!” He grinned at Percy. “Do you have three denarii for the bus? Because I left my wallet at home, and I’ve got to get to work, and—” “Don,” Hazel chided. “Fauns don’t have wallets. Or jobs. Or homes. And we don’t have buses.” “Right,” he said cheerfully, “but do you have denarii?
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
One day there came from the South a stranger who was unlike any man that Shasta had seen before. He rode upon a strong dappled horse with flowing mane and tail, and his stirrups and bridle were inlaid with silver. The spike of a helmet projected from the middle of his silken turban and he wore a shirt of chain mail. By his side hung a curving scimitar; a round shield studded with bosses of brass hung at his back, and his right hand grasped a lance. His face was dark, but this did not surprise Shasta because all the people of Calormen are like that; what did surprise him was the man’s beard which was dyed crimson, and curled and gleaming with scented oil. But Arsheesh knew by the gold on the stranger’s bare arm that he was a Tarkaan or great lord, and he bowed kneeling before him till his beard touched the earth, and made signs to Shasta to kneel also. The stranger demanded hospitality for the night which of course the fisherman dared not refuse. All the best they had was set before the Tarkaan for supper (and he didn’t think much of it) and Shasta, as always happened when the fisherman had company, was given a hunk of bread and turned out of the cottage. On these occasions he usually slept with the donkey in its little thatched stable. But it was much too early to go to sleep yet, and Shasta, who had never learned that it is wrong to listen behind doors, sat down with his ear to a crack in the wooden wall of the cottage to hear what the grown-ups were talking about.
C.S. Lewis (The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
He jumped up, pulled out the suitcase he stored under his bed, and began to pack everything he would need for the journey ahead. Two sweaters, two pairs of pants, a couple of T-shirts, and some underwear. As many pairs of socks as he owned. A pair of dress shoes, a dress jacket, and two ties. Then he put on his usual shoes, tied up the laces, put on a black sweater and a winter coat, and sat on the bed, waiting for his father—or better yet, his uncle—to knock on the door and say it was time to leave. Ten minutes went by. Then fifteen. Then twenty. Unable to stand it any longer, Jacob got up, quietly went over to his door, unlocked it, and tried to open it without any creaking. He held his breath and listened for yelling, for voices, for any sign of life and movement. He heard nothing.
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Auschwitz Escape)
Best workout ever." Darius sat next to her and rested his back against the soft mat. She laughed and fumbled to put on her bra. He lifted the weight of her hair from her back and helped her pull down her silk shirt. For a moment, he held the length of her hair in his hand as he had the swing rope. He tugged gently to turn her face to his, and then released it. His face was open and relaxed, his pale blue eyes warm and content. His knees fell open to rest against hers. The feel of skin on skin, bone to bone, was easy, the most natural thing in the world. "Next time we should try the pommel horse." Mei laughed. "You still got pommeling on your mind?" "Oh yeah." He signed and tilted his chin to the ciling, exposing the length of his throat. "Some pommeling and tumbling would be good. We've got time to make up for.
Susannah Scott (Dragon Her Back (Las Vegas Dragons, #3))
You are young and energetic,” she said. “It is a healthy thing for you to do. Why would I be offended? Do I suddenly own your sex, that I should be worried about you giving it away?” Vashet stopped as if something had just occurred to her. She turned to look at me. “Are you offended that I have been having sex with others all this while?” She watched my face intently. “I see you are startled by it.” “I am startled,” I admitted. Then I did a mental inventory and was surprised to discover I wasn’t sure how I felt. “I feel I ought to be offended,” I said at last. “But I don’t think I am.” Vashet nodded approvingly. “That is a good sign. It shows you are becoming civilized. The other feeling is what you were brought up to think. It is like an old shirt that no longer fits you. And now, when you look at it closely, you can see it was ugly to begin with.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
The pressure is on. They've teased me all week, because I've avoided anything that requires ordering. I've made excuses (I'm allergic to beef," "Nothing tastes better than bread," Ravioli is overrated"), but I can't avoid it forever.Monsieur Boutin is working the counter again. I grab a tray and take a deep breath. "Bonjour, uh...soup? Sopa? S'il vous plait?" "Hello" and "please." I've learned the polite words first, in hopes that the French will forgive me for butchering the remainder of their beautiful language. I point to the vat of orangey-red soup. Butternut squash, I think. The smell is extraordinary, like sage and autumn. It's early September, and the weather is still warm. When does fall come to Paris? "Ah! soupe.I mean,oui. Oui!" My cheeks burn. "And,um, the uh-chicken-salad-green-bean thingy?" Monsieur Boutin laughs. It's a jolly, bowl-full-of-jelly, Santa Claus laugh. "Chicken and haricots verts, oui. You know,you may speek Ingleesh to me. I understand eet vairy well." My blush deepends. Of course he'd speak English in an American school. And I've been living on stupid pears and baquettes for five days. He hands me a bowl of soup and a small plate of chicken salad, and my stomach rumbles at the sight of hot food. "Merci," I say. "De rien.You're welcome. And I 'ope you don't skeep meals to avoid me anymore!" He places his hand on his chest, as if brokenhearted. I smile and shake my head no. I can do this. I can do this. I can- "NOW THAT WASN'T SO TERRIBLE, WAS IT, ANNA?" St. Clair hollers from the other side of the cafeteria. I spin around and give him the finger down low, hoping Monsieur Boutin can't see. St. Clair responds by grinning and giving me the British version, the V-sign with his first two fingers. Monsieur Boutin tuts behind me with good nature. I pay for my meal and take the seat next to St. Clair. "Thanks. I forgot how to flip off the English. I'll use the correct hand gesture next time." "My pleasure. Always happy to educate." He's wearing the same clothing as yesterday, jeans and a ratty T-shirt with Napolean's silhouette on it.When I asked him about it,he said Napolean was his hero. "Not because he was a decent bloke, mind you.He was an arse. But he was a short arse,like meself." I wonder if he slept at Ellie's. That's probably why he hasn't changed his clothes. He rides the metro to her college every night, and they hang out there. Rashmi and Mer have been worked up, like maybe Ellie thinks she's too good for them now. "You know,Anna," Rashmi says, "most Parisians understand English. You don't have to be so shy." Yeah.Thanks for pointing that out now.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
The weight room is empty except for Peter. He’s at the bench press, lifting weights. When he sees me, he smiles. “Are you here to spot me?” He sits up and wipes sweat off his face with the collar of his T-shirt. My heart squeezes painfully. “I’m here to break up. To fake break up, I mean.” Peter does a double take. “Wait. What?” “There’s no need to keep it going. You got what you wanted, right? You saved face, and so did I. I talked to Josh, and everything’s back to normal with us again. And my sister will be home soon. So…mission accomplished.” Slowly he nods. “Yeah, I guess.” My heart is breaking even as I smile. “So okay, then.” With a flourish I whip our contract out of my bag. “Null and void. Both parties have hereby fulfilled their obligations to each other in perpetuity.” I’m just rattling off lawyer words. “You carry that around with you?” “Of course! Kitty’s such a snoop. She’d find it in two seconds.” I hold up the piece of paper, poised to rip it in half, but Peter grabs it from me. “Wait! What about the ski trip?” “What about it?” “You’re still coming, right?” I hadn’t thought of that. The only reason I was going to go was for Peter. I can’t go now. I can’t be a witness to Peter and Genevieve’s reunion, I just can’t. I want them to come back from the trip magically together again, and it will be like this whole thing was just something I dreamed up. “I’m not going to go.” His eyes widen. “Come on, Covey! Don’t bail on me now. We already signed up and gave the deposits and everything. Let’s just go, and have that be our final hurrah.” When I start to protest, Peter shakes his head. “You’re going, so take this contract back.” Peter refolds it and carefully puts it back in my bag. Why is it so hard to say no to him? Is this what it’s like to be in love with somebody?
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
On the rare occasions when a reporter asks if a criminal is an immigrant, government officials summarily dismiss the question as if it would be racist to discuss the defendant’s nation of birth. Ricardo DeLeon Flores killed a teenaged girl in Kansas after speeding through a stop sign and crashing into two cars. “When asked whether Flores was a U.S. citizen,” the local Kansas newspaper reported, “Deborah Owens of the Leavenworth County Attorney’s Office said she had no knowledge of his citizenship status.”33 Was the Spanish translator a hint? The ICE officials showing up in court? His Oakland Raiders T-shirt? Two families’ lives were forever changed by the reckless behavior of someone who should not have been in this country, but the prosecutor refused to tell a reporter that Flores was an illegal immigrant. Owens must have felt a warm rush of self-righteousness, thinking how much better she is than all those blood-and-soil types who want to know when foreigners kill Americans.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
The way you see the change in a person you've been away from for a long time, where somebody who sees him every day, day in, day out, wouldn't notice because the change is gradual. All up the coast I could see the signs of what the Combine had accomplished since I was last through this country, things like, for example a train stopping at a station and laying a string of full-grown men in mirrored suits and machined hats, laying them like a hatch of identical insects, half-life things coming pht-pht-pht out of the last car, then hooting its electric whistle and moving on down the spoiled land to deposit another hatch. Or things like five thousand houses punched out identical by a machine and strung across the hills outside of town, so fresh from the factory theyre still linked together like sausages, a sign saying NEST IN THE WEST HOMES NO DWN. PAYMENT FOR VETS, a playground down the hill from the houses, behind a checker-wire fence and another sign that read ST. LUKE'S SCHOOL FOR BOYS there were five thousand kids in green corduroy pants and white shirts under green pullover sweaters playing crack-the-whip across an acre of crushed gravel. The line popped and twisted and jerked like a snake, and every crack popped a little kid off the end, sent him rolling up against the fence like a tumbleweed. Every crack. And it was always the same little kid, over and over. All that five thousand kids lived in those five thousand houses, owned by those guys that got off the train. The houses looked so much alike that, time and time again, the kids went home by mistake to different houses and different families. Nobody ever noticed. They ate and went to bed. The only one they noticed was the little kid at the end of the whip. He'd always be so scuffed and bruised that he'd show up out of place wherever he went. He wasn't able to open up and laugh either. It's a hard thing to laugh if you can feel the pressure of those beams coming from every new car that passes, or every new house you pass.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
How long does it last?" Said the other customer, a man wearing a tan shirt with little straps that buttoned on top of the shoulders. He looked as if he were comparing all the pros and cons before shelling out $.99. You could see he thought he was pretty shrewd. "It lasts for as long as you live," the manager said slowly. There was a second of silence while we all thought about that. The man in the tan shirt drew his head back, tucking his chin into his neck. His mind was working like a house on fire "What about other people?" He asked. "The wife? The kids?" "They can use your membership as long as you're alive," the manager said, making the distinction clear. "Then what?" The man asked, louder. He was the type who said things like "you get what you pay for" and "there's one born every minute" and was considering every angle. He didn't want to get taken for a ride by his own death. "That's all," the manager said, waving his hands, palms down, like a football referee ruling an extra point no good. "Then they'd have to join for themselves or forfeit the privileges." "Well then, it makes sense," the man said, on top of the situation now, "for the youngest one to join. The one that's likely to live the longest." "I can't argue with that," said the manager. The man chewed his lip while he mentally reviewed his family. Who would go first. Who would survive the longest. He cast his eyes around to all the cassettes as if he'd see one that would answer his question. The woman had not gone away. She had brought along her signed agreement, the one that she paid $25 for. "What is this accident waiver clause?" She asked the manager. "Look," he said, now exhibiting his hands to show they were empty, nothing up his sleeve, "I live in the real world. I'm a small businessman, right? I have to protect my investment, don't I? What would happen if, and I'm not suggesting you'd do this, all right, but some people might, what would happen if you decided to watch one of my movies in the bathtub and a VCR you rented from me fell into the water?" The woman retreated a step. This thought had clearly not occurred to her before.
Michael Dorris (A Yellow Raft in Blue Water)
I here behold a Commander in Chief who looks idle and is always busy; who has no other desk than his knees, no other comb than his fingers; constantly reclined on his couch, yet sleeping neither in night nor in daytime. A cannon shot, to which he himself is not exposed, disturbs him with the idea that it costs the life of some of his soldiers. Trembling for others, brave himself, alarmed at the approach of danger, frolicsome when it surrounds him, dull in the midst of pleasure, surfeited with everything, easily disgusted, morose, inconstant, a profound philosopher, an able minister, a sublime politician, not revengeful, asking pardon for a pain he has inflicted, quickly repairing an injustice, thinking he loves God when he fears the Devil; waving one hand to the females that please him, and with the other making the sign of the cross; receiving numberless presents from his sovereign and distributing them immediately to others; preferring prodigality in giving, to regularity in paying; prodigiously rich and not worth a farthing; easily prejudiced in favor of or against anything; talking divinity to his generals and tactics to his bishops; never reading, but pumping everyone with whom he converses; uncommonly affable or extremely savage, the most attractive or most repulsive of manners; concealing under the appearance of harshness, the greatest benevolence of heart, like a child, wanting to have everything, or, like a great man, knowing how to do without; gnawing his fingers, or apples, or turnips; scolding or laughing; engaged in wantonness or in prayers, summoning twenty aides de camp and saying nothing to any of them, not caring for cold, though he appears unable to exist without furs; always in his shirt without pants, or in rich regimentals; barefoot or in slippers; almost bent double when he is at home, and tall, erect, proud, handsome, noble, majestic when he shows himself to his army like Agamemnon in the midst of the monarchs of Greece. What then is his magic? Genius, natural abilities, an excellent memory, artifice without craft, the art of conquering every heart; much generosity, graciousness, and justice in his rewards; and a consummate knowledge of mankind. There
Robert K. Massie (Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman)
Ryder’s in jeans and his shirt from last night, and he’s staring at the fridge. When I pad closer, I see he’s not just staring at the door. I’ve hung my various ultrasound pictures to the silvery surface, and he’s studying them. His index finger is poised over my recent twenty-week one, and he’s tracing the outline of the baby’s legs. “Hi,” I say, clearing my throat. He straightens and then smiles. It’s a sheepish look, as if he’s been caught. “Just checking out Papaya.” I love that the name Papaya has stuck. That must be a sign he feels the same. I gesture to the thirteen-week picture, when I first heard the heartbeat. “I think Papaya was a fig in that one. Funny thing—when I was so sick, Papaya was only a kidney bean.” “Kidney beans are known to be troublemakers.” He steps closer, drops a strangely chaste kiss to my forehead, and sets his hands on my belly. “And I think Papaya is almost a mango now, right?” I nod. “How did you know?” “I might have googled pregnancy-to-fruit comparisons. Papaya will be an eggplant in a little while.” I blink. Holy shit. He really knows his pregnancy fruits. Better than I do.
Lauren Blakely (The Knocked up Plan (One Love, #3))
The windblast sent people to the ground. A thunderhead of smoke and ash came moving toward them. The light drained dead away, bright day gone. They ran and fell and tried to get up, men with toweled heads, a woman blinded by debris, a woman calling someone’s name. The only light was vestigial now, the light of what comes after, carried in the residue of smashed matter, in the ash ruins of what was various and human, hovering in the air above. He took one step and then the next, smoke blowing over him. He felt rubble underfoot and there was motion everywhere, people running, things flying past. He walked by the Easy Park sign, the Breakfast Special and Three Suits Cheap, and they went running past, losing shoes and money. He saw a woman with her hand in the air, like running to catch a bus. He went past a line of fire trucks and they stood empty now, headlights flashing. He could not find himself in the things he saw and heard. Two men ran by with a stretcher, someone facedown, smoke seeping out of his hair and clothes. He watched them move into the stunned distance. That’s where everything was, all around him, falling away, street signs, people, things he could not name. Then he saw a shirt come down out of the sky. He walked and saw it fall, arms waving like nothing in this life.
Don DeLillo (Falling Man)
Get off your horse, Jack." "Why don't you just ride outta here, missy, and I'll forget this ever happened." Willow's voice trembled with fury. "Get off your horse," she repeated. "Slow and easy." Still grinning his contempt, he did as he asked. "That's good. Now, real slow like, take your gunbelt off and toss it my way." "Like hell!" A shot rang out and nicked a chunk of leather from his boot. Cursing, he unbuckled his gun and tossed it at her mare's feet. "Now,strip them britches off, underwear, too," she ordered. "You little shi-" Bang! Jack's hat whizzed off his head. He dropped his pants in a puddle over his boots, trying his best to shelter his privates from her view. "My,my,Jack." Willow laughed humorlessly. "Is that puny thing you're trying to hide the same thing you were threatening me with?" If looks could kill, Willow would have been dead and buried ten times over, then and there. "Take them confounded boots off so's you can get your pants clear off," she ordered in mock exasperation. He wheeled around, gaining a modicum of privacy while he complied. "You're puny all over, Jack. You got the boniest bee-hind I ever did see. You sure you ain't picked up a worm somewheres?" "You're gonna pay for this,you little slut!" "Shut your filthy mouth and pick them pants off the ground and toss 'em over here at my horse's feet. Then you can put your boots back on." He gave the pants a toss, put his boots on, and turned around to face her, cuping his privates in his hands. "Okay,Jack, finish the job. You've been real generous but I'm a greedy cuss. Give me the shirt off your back, too." Cursing, he again turned around and obeyed. "Oh,ah,Jack, you better reach behind you there,and get your hat. I'll let you keep it. We wouldn't want your bald spot to get sunburned." Scofield now stood in nothing but his boots, using his hat to shield his lower half. Humiliated, the gunslinger's eyes burned with bloody intent. Willow suddenly regretted her damnable quick temper and realized the folly of her reckless retaliation. No doubt,the heinous man would seek revenge. But the damage was done and the man was so mad that backing off now would be the same as signing her death warrant. "Step away from your horse and start walking toward the ranch, Scofield." "You're out of your mind!" "Maybe,but I bet you'll think twice before threatening to poke that puny thing at another lady." "You? A lady? Ha!" Willow's temper flared anew. "Walk, Jack. Real fast. Cuz if you don't, I'm gonna use your puny thing for target practice." Her bullet kicked up the dust at his feet and started him on his way.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
Farragut's first visitor was his wife. He was raking leaves in yard Y when the PA said that 734-508-32 had a visitor. He jogged up the road past the firehouse and into the tunnel. It was four flights up to cellblock F. "Visitor," he said to Walton, who let him into his cell. He kept his white shirt prepared for visits. It was dusty. He washed his face and combed his hair with water. "Don't take nuttin but a handkerchief," said the guard. "I know, I know, I know...." Down he went to the door of the visitor's room, where he was frisked. Through the glass he saw that his visitor was Marcia. There were no bars in the visitor's room, but the glass windows were chicken-wired and open only at the top. A skinny cat couldn't get in or out, but the sounds of the prison moved in freely on the breeze. She would, he knew, have passed three sets of bars - clang, clang, clang - and waited in an anteroom where there were pews or benches, soft-drink engines and a display of the convict's art with prices stuck in the frames. None of the cons could paint, but you could always count on some wet-brain to buy a vase of roses or a marine sunset if he had been told that the artist was a lifer. There were no pictures on the walls of the visitor's room but there were four signs that said: NO SMOKING, NO WRITING, NO EXCHANGE OF OBJECTS, VISITORS ARE ALLOWED ONE KISS.
John Cheever (Falconer)
I hurt my hip, too.” “Let me see.” She made a face and yelped when her cheek protested even that slight movement. “You don’t need to see my hip. It’s fine.” “If the skin’s broken, it’ll need cleaning, too,” he said, unbuckling her belt. “Stop that.” “Think of me as your doctor,” he said, as he unsnapped and then unzipped her jeans. “My doctor doesn’t usually undress me,” she snapped. “And my patients already come undressed.” He laughed. “Life your hips,” he said. “Up!” he ordered, when she hesitated. She put her one good hand on his shoulder to brace herself and lifted her hips as he pulled her torn jeans down. To her surprise, her bikini underwear was shredded, and the skin underneath was bloody. “Uh-oh.” She was still staring at the injury on her hip when she felt him pulling off her boots. She started to protest, saw the warning look in his eyes, and shut her mouth. He pulled her jeans off, leaving her legs bare above her white boot socks. “Was that really necessary?” “You’re decent,” he said, straightening the tails of her Western shirt over her shredded bikini underwear. “I can put your boots back on if you like.” Bay shook her head and laughed. “Just get the first-aid kit, and let me take care of myself.” He grimaced. “If I’m not mistaken, you packed the first-aid kit in your saddlebags.” Bay winced. “You’re right.” She stared down the canyon as far as she could see. There was no sign of her horse. “How long do you think it’ll take him to stop running?” “He won’t have gone far. But I need to set up camp before it gets dark. And I’m not hunting for your horse in the dark, for the same reason I’m not hunting for your brother in the dark.” “Where am I supposed to sleep? My bedroll and tent are with my horse.” “You should have thought of that before you started that little striptease of yours.” “You’re the one who shouted and scared me half to death. I was only trying to cool off.” “And heating me up in the process!” “I can’t help it if you have a vivid imagination.” “It didn’t take much to imagine to see your breasts,” he shot back. “You opened your blouse right up and bent over and flapped your shirt like you were waving a red flag at a bull” “I was getting some air!” “You slid your butt around that saddle like you were sitting right on my lap.” “That’s ridiculous!” “Then you lifted your arms to hold your hair up and those perfect little breasts of yours—” “That’s enough,” she interrupted. “You’re crazy if you think—” “You mean you weren’t inviting me to kiss my way around those wispy curls at your nape?” “I most certainly was not!” “Could’ve fooled me.” She searched for the worst insult she could think of to sling at him. “You—you—Bullying Blackthorne!” “Damned contentious Creed!
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
He glanced sidelong at me, then looked down a bit sheepishly. “Well, it’s—ah, it’s only that I didna want to take my shirt off before Alec.” “Modest, are you?” I asked dryly, making him raise his arm to test the extension of the joint. He winced slightly at the movement, but smiled at the remark. “If I were, I should hardly be sittin’ half-naked in your chamber, should I? No, it’s the marks on my back.” Seeing my raised eyebrows, he went on to explain. “Alec knows who I am—I mean, he’s heard I was flogged, but he’s not seen it. And to know something like that is no the same as seein’ it wi’ your own eyes.” He felt the sore shoulder tentatively, eyes turned away. He frowned at the floor. “It’s—maybe you’ll not know what I mean. But when you know a man’s suffered some harm, it’s only one of the things you know about him, and it doesna make much difference to how ye see him. Alec knows I’ve been flogged, like he knows I’ve red hair, and it doesna matter to how he treats me.” He looked up then, searching for some sign of understanding from me. “But when you see it yourself, it’s like”—he hesitated, looking for words—“it’s a bit … personal, maybe, is what I mean. I think … if he were to see the scars, he couldna see me anymore without thinking of my back. And I’d be able to see him thinking of it, and that would make me remember it, and—” He broke off, shrugging.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Muriah approached him with a new pair of khakis and a couple of T-shirts. “I guessed at the size so you might want to go try these on first.” He took the clothes and slid his arm around her waist, maneuvering her toward the fitting room. “Hey, I didn’t sign on to be your dresser.” She grumbled, but didn’t struggle. He pulled the door closed and turned to meet her eyes. “It’s light in here and full of people. Apep will not be able to surprise us, and his serpents cannot spy. We need to talk.” *** He stripped off the wet shirt, exposing his chiseled torso. She did her best not to choke on her tongue. His tanned skin and taut muscles tempted her, luring her to touch him. Turning around to give him privacy seemed like the right thing to do, but there wasn’t a hint of modesty in this Mayan god, and if he could handle getting this personal, then she could, too. When he unzipped the wet pants, she held her breath. Would an ancient guy wear underwear? She was about to find out. He bent over to lower the wet slacks. When he straightened up, she realized he’d been talking, but she didn’t have a clue what he had said. Instead, all her attention was focused on a fine trail of dark hair leading from just below his navel and disappearing under the low-slung elastic band of his boxer briefs. “Muriah?” Her gaze snapped up to meet his. Thank the universe he couldn’t read her thoughts. “Yeah?” “Did you hear my question?” He stood two feet from her in only his underwear, and he thought she was listening? He was either completely unaware of his sex appeal, or he was way too accustomed to being obeyed. Probably both. She cleared her throat. “I must’ve missed it.” A spark lit his eyes that told her he might have more than a clue to his sex appeal. He picked up the T-shirt and pulled it on. “I asked if you knew of another hotel closer to the airport so we can get out of New York as soon as the sun sets tomorrow.” “I’m sure I can find one.” She pulled out her phone, grateful to have something to pretend to focus on besides him tucking his package into the new khakis she pulled off the rack for him. “I probably should’ve grabbed some dry underwear, too.” “They are nearly dry now. I will be fine.” He popped the tags off, and she glanced up from her hotel search. “They’re not going to like you taking the tags off before you pay.” The corner of his mouth curved up. “They will be honored to take my money.” She groaned and rolled her eyes. “Do you ever not get your way?” He stepped closer to her, his chest an inch from hers until her back pressed against the modular wall of the fitting room. “Rarely.” His dark gaze held hers, and the deep rumble of his voice sent heat through her body. “But some things are worth the extra effort.
Lisa Kessler (Night Child (Night, #3))
Thai prostitution was a haven for the men and a nuisance for the women. The streets of Phuket were outlined with bars ready to nourish thirsty sailors with euphoric intoxication to smother their pinched nerves from their personal lives deteriorating in their six-month absence. Thailand truly lived up to its port reputation. Hundreds of bikini-clad prostitutes littered the strip. Slim and petite, their narrow hips and flat chests appeared to be the appropriate age for the pink plaid schoolgirl skirts, dress shirts, ties, and pigtails intended to entice pedophilic eroticism. They wore heavy coats of pastel liquid shadow that clashed against their yellow tinted tans. They awkwardly wiggled to a nauseating blend of techno and Reggaeton as cotton-haired granddaddies lustfully gawked at them. Any Caucasian male cannot trek a block without the treatment of a pop culture heartthrob with a trail of Thai teens at his heels. “Wan hunnet baaht!” they taunt in a nasal screech. “Wan hunnet baht and I suck yo cock!” The oriental beauties cup their fists and hold them to their mouths as they wiggle their tongues against their cheeks to provide a clear visual for their performance skills. It’s easy to dismiss the humanity in Thai prostitutes. Their splotchy, heavily accented English allows the language barrier to muffle signs of intellect. They’re overtly sexual in their crotch bearing ensembles, loud and vulgar invitations, and provocative dancing that makes even corner butcher shops feel like Vegas strip clubs. Swarms of them linger in front of bars holding cardboard signs scribbled with magic marker that offer a blow job with the first beer purchased. Their eyes burn into passing tourists, with acute radar for creamy, sun-flushed complexions and potbellies - signals of the deep pockets of white male privilege.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
Can fascism still exist? Clearly Stage One movements can still be found in all major democracies. More crucially, can they reach Stage Two again by becoming rooted and influential? We need not look for exact replicas, in which fascist veterans dust off their swastikas. Collectors of Nazi paraphernalia and hard-core neo-Nazi sects are capable of provoking destructive violence and polarization. As long as they remain excluded from the alliances with the establishment necessary to join the political mainstream or share power, however, they remain more a law and order problem than a political threat. Much more likely to exert an influence are extreme Right movements that have learned to moderate their language, abandon classical fascist symbolism, and appear “normal.” It is by understanding how past fascisms worked, and not by checking the color of shirts, or seeking echoes of the rhetoric of the national-syndicalist dissidents of the opening of the twentieth century, that we may be able to recognize it. The well-known warning signals—extreme nationalist propaganda and hate crimes—are important but insufficient. Knowing what we do about the fascist cycle, we can find more ominous warning signals in situations of political deadlock in the face of crisis, threatened conservatives looking for tougher allies, ready to give up due process and the rule of law, seeking mass support by nationalist and racialist demagoguery. Fascists are close to power when conservatives begin to borrow their techniques, appeal to their “mobilizing passions,” and try to co-opt the fascist following. Armed by historical knowledge, we may be able to distinguish today’s ugly but isolated imitations, with their shaved heads and swastika tattoos, from authentic functional equivalents in the form of a mature fascist conservative alliance. Forewarned, we may be able to detect the real thing when it comes along.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
To the man standing on the corner holding the sign that said “God hates gays.” I’ve never seen, exactly who it is that you paperclip your knees, meld your hands together and pray to But I think I know what he looks like: I bet your God is about 5’10”. I bet he weighs 185. Probably stands the way a high school diploma does when it’s next to a GED. I bet your god has a mullet. I bet he wears flannel shirts with no sleeves, a fanny pack and says words like “getrdun.” I bet your god—I bet your god—I bet your god watches FOX news, Dog the Bounty Hunter, voted for John McCain, and loves Bill O’Reilly. I bet your god lives in Arizona. I bet his high school served racism in the cafeteria and offered “hate speech” as a second language. I bet he has a swastika inside of his throat, and racial slurs tattooed to his tongue just to make intolerance more comfortable in his mouth. I bet he has a burning cross as a middle finger and Jim Crow underneath his nails. Your god is a confederate flags wet dream conceived on a day when the sky decided to slice her own wrists, I bet your god has a drinking problem. I bet he sees the bottom of the shot glass more often than his own children. I bet he pours whiskey on his dreams until they taste like good ideas, Probably cusses like an electric guitar with Tourette’s plugged into an ocean. I bet he yells like a schizophrenic nail gun, damaging all things that care about him enough to get close. I bet there are angels in Heaven with black eyes and broken halos who claimed they fell down the stairs. I bet your god would’ve made Eve without a mouth and taught her how to spread her legs like a magazine that she will never ever ever be pretty enough to be in. Sooner or later you will realize that you are praying to your own shadow, that you are standing in front of mirrors and are worshipping your own reflection. Your God stole my god’s identity and I bet he’s buying pieces of heaven on eBay. So next time you bend your knees, next time you bow your head I want you to tell your god— that my god is looking for him.
Rudy Francisco (Helium)
On my next weekend without the kids I went to Nashville to visit her. We had a great weekend. On Monday morning she kissed me goodbye and left for work. I would drive home while she was at work. Only I didn’t go straight home. I went and paid her recruiting officer a little visit. I walked in wearing shorts and a T-shirt so my injuries were fully visible. The two recruiters couldn’t hide the surprise on their faces. I clearly looked like an injured veteran. Not their typical visitor. “I’m here about Jamie Boyd,” I said. One of the recruiters stood up and said, “Yes, I’m working with Jamie Boyd. How can I help you?” I walked to the center of the room between him and the female recruiter who was still seated at her desk and said, “Jamie Boyd is not going to be active duty. She is not going to be a truck driver. She wants to change her MOS and you’re not going to treat her like some high school student. She has a degree. She is a young professional and you will treat her as such.” “Yes, sir, yes, sir. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. We’ll do better. I’m sorry,” he stammered. “You convinced her she can’t change anything. That’s a lie. It’s paperwork. Make it happen.” “Yes, sir, yes, sir.” That afternoon Jamie had an appointment at the recruitment center anyway for more paperwork. Afterward, she called me, and as soon as I answered, without even a hello, she said, “What have you done?” “How were they acting?” I asked, sounding really pleased with myself. “Like I can have whatever I want,” she answered. “You’re welcome. Find a better job.” She wasn’t mad about it. She just laughed and said, “You’re crazy.” “I will always protect you. You were getting screwed over. And I’m sorry you didn’t know about it, but you wouldn’t have let me go if I had told you ahead of time.” “You’re right, but I’m glad you did.” Jamie ended up choosing MP, military police, as her MOS because they offered her a huge signing bonus. We made our reunion official and she quit her job in Nashville to move back to Birmingham. She had a while before basic training, so she moved back in with me. We were both very happy, and as it turned out, some very big changes were about to happen beyond basic training.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
You wonder what had happened, when a feller like that, in a place like that, talked of a childhood that might have as easily belonged to a millionaire, a lawyer, a schoolteacher, you. You had to think he was defective somehow, or had fucked up not once, not twice, but again and again, a peculiar resolve to his life. That was the thing, that resolve. We didn’t credit it. You looked at him and your brain said he was on the losing end of one of the two bargains that America made with you. There was the romantic one, that of the rambler, the man out seeking his destiny, living by his wits, all that horseshit. Then there was the classical American dare, that you could risk all, take an internal grudge and make of it a billion dollars and get a monumental tomb in the bargain. But the truth was neither. America was a grindstone. She used those notions as twin abrasives to wear you down into a dutiful drudge walking the straight and narrow. But there was something in the hearts of the some men, some of whom became Fritz, that wouldn’t accept that. These men in crummy bars, some of them, most of them, they were main-chance fellers. You could take ten of these wrecks and offer them a salesman’s job, a dozen white shirts and ties, forty Gs a year and perks, a neat house on a quiet street, a yard, a car, a dog, a wife, an expense account, a Chinese laundryman, membership in a church, grandkids who’d bounce on their knees, and you’d be lucky if one or two took you up on it. And those two would be the most defeated, the most broken and worn down. Take the same ten and offer them eight dollars a day to be litter bearers on a great adventure, a hike after a lost civilization, a one in hundred shot at survival, a one in thousand shot at a fabulous fortune of jewels and gold, and if you provided rum along the way, nine of the ten would sign up. I guarantee it. I guarantee too that the one or two who took the salesman’s job—within a year or two or three, he’d be fucking up again and again, no matter how many chances you gave him. He’s a main-chance feller, and even if he didn’t have the brains or the luck to make it work, he still couldn’t abide the line others toed, even if he couldn’t think of anything else to do with his life but the miserable American two step—toe the line, fuck up, toe the line, fuck up....
T.D. Badyna (Flick)
Suddenly I realized I was standing on the hot wood of the dock, still touching elbows with Adam, staring at the skull-and-crossbones pendant. And when I looked up into his light blue eyes, I saw that he was staring at my neck. No. Down lower. “What’cha staring at?” I asked. He cleared his throat. “Tank top or what?” This was his seal of approval, as in, Last day of school or what? or, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or what? Hooray! He wasn’t Sean, but he was built of the same material. This was a good sign. I pumped him for more info, to make sure. “What about my tank top?” “You’re wearing it.” He looked out across the lake, showing me his profile. His cheek had turned bright red under his tan. I had embarrassed the wrong boy. Damn, it was back to the football T-shirt for me. No it wasn’t, either. I couldn’t abandon my plan. I had a fish to catch. “Look,” I told Adam, as if he hadn’t already looked. “Sean’s leaving at the end of the summer. Yeah, yeah, he’ll be back next summer, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to compete once he’s had a taste of college life and sorority girls. It’s now or never, and desperate times call for desperate tank tops.” Adam opened his mouth to say something. I shut him up by raising my hand. Imitating his deep boy-voice, I said, “I don’t know why you want to hook up with that jerk.” We’d had this conversation whenever we saw each other lately. I said in my normal voice, “I just do, okay? Let me do it, and don’t get in my way. Stay out of my net, little dolphin.” I bumped his hip with my hip. Or tried to, but he was a lot taller than me. I actually hit somewhere around his mid-thigh. He folded his arms, stared me down, and pressed his lips together. He tried to look grim. I could tell he was struggling not to laugh. “Don’t call me that.” “Why not?” “Dolphins don’t live in the lake,” he said matter-of-factly, as if this were the real reason. The real reason was that the man-child within him did not want to be called “little” anything. Boys were like that. I shrugged. “Fine, little brim. Little bass.” He walked toward the stairs. “Little striper.” He turned. “What if Sean actually asked you out?” I didn’t want to be teased about this. It could happen! “You act like it’s the most remote poss-“ “He has to ride around with the sunroof open just so he can fit his big head in the truck. Where would you sit?” “In his lap?” A look of disgust flashed across Adam’s face before he jogged up the stairs, his weight making the weathered planks creaked with every step.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
Then he was striding toward me. His mesmerizing gaze pinned me in place as he cupped my face. When his lips covered mine, I gasped. He took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, groaning into the contact. His hands tightened on my face. His sexy groans made my toes curl, muddling my thoughts. Block that out! I was Aric’s wife. I’d wronged him in the past, had consigned him to misery for hundreds—no, thousands—of years. I needed to make this right. Like penance. There was something vaguely threatening about his words. Misgivings about this arose. Too fast. “If you have feelings for him, fight them,” Aric commanded me. “By going to him, you’d be stoking them once more. Don’t you understand? He can find another woman—I cannot. If you choose him, you’ll be consigning me to a hellish fate. As you’ve done again and again. No, this will be even worse, because I’ve had a greater glimpse of what I’ll be missing.” “I just want to talk to him. I’m leaving this weekend,” I said in an unwavering voice. “No, you will not.” His arrogant demeanor back in place, he said, “Understand me, I’m not surrendering the one woman who was born for me alone. Not to a human, not to anyone.” “You can’t keep me here against my will any longer. What are you going to do? Put that cuff back on me?” I held up my hand to stop him. “I understand why you did it. But I won’t be a prisoner anymore.” He snatched up his shirt, threading his arms into the sleeves. “You say you keep your promises now? You made a vow before gods to be my wife. In this life, you will keep your promises to me—before you ever honor one to him!” “You can’t stop me from leaving. I have my powers back. I earned my powers back.” With a cruel curve of his lips, he said, “You promised never to harm me, Empress. Know that you’ll have to kill me before I would ever let you go.” As he strode out the door, I said, “And know that you’ll have to put that cilice on me to keep me prisoner again.” He whirled around, fury in his expression. “You refused—twice—to beg me for your own life, but you’d beg for his?” I whispered, “Yes.” With a calculating gleam in his eyes, he said, “This isn’t an impossible task you ask of me. I could call in ancient favors, contact old allies. They could be here in mere hours. We’d ride out as one.” “T-truly?” “On one condition: you’ll become my wife in truth, mine in every way. Beginning tonight. Comply, and I’ll take on an army for you.” My lips parted with shock. “How can you do this to me?” “Deveaux is lost to you in one way or another. He’ll either be slaughtered by the Lovers—or saved by my female, by her sacrifice.” He offered his hand. “Come with me, and begin this.” “Don’t, Aric! Don’t destroy what I do feel for you.” “I’ll take”—he seized my hand, yanking me close—“what I can get.” Despite myself, I shivered from the contact, from his husky voice. His hold on me was firm, proprietary. Because he believed I was about to become his. The red witch in me whispered, Death thinks he has you at his mercy. But the Empress doesn’t get collared or caged—or controlled. Take his head and pay the Tower. Shut up! “Please, Aric. I’ll grow to hate you for this. I don’t want to feel that way about you. Never again. Don’t force me to do this.” “Force?” Unmoved, he led me toward his bedroom. “I’m not forcing you to do anything. Just as you can’t force me to save your lover’s life. We each make sacrifices to get what we want.” With my heart pounding, I crossed the threshold into his dark world. Black walls, black ceiling, black night beyond his windows. Yet outside I thought I saw . . . a single fluttering snowflake. Like a sign.
Kresley Cole (Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4))
No memorial has been built on Rebero. Nothing to commemorate the fallen but boulders and white and rust-red stones. I look for signs from the hill, I dig at the ground. The sun is straight overhead. This is the hour of mirages. I push away the little rocks, I scratch at the ground. I find a shred of tattered cloth half-buried in the dirt. I try to convince myself that it comes from Antoine’s shirt. I hesitate, then leave that false relic where it lies. I pick up a stone with a sharp edge. In remembrance.
Scholastique Mukasonga (Cockroaches)
Not yet.” Jess leaned forward, taking his hands and pulling them into her lap. “Do you remember that time Nana bought us all gardening gloves and didn’t realize the ‘floral print’ was actually marijuana?” “The way she kept insisting it was a Japanese maple.” His shoulders shook with quiet laughter. “And Junebug still pointing out ‘Nana’s favorite plant’ whenever she sees one on a T-shirt or a sign.
Christina Lauren (The Soulmate Equation)
So, I did some illustrations." Turning the laptop around again, I explain each drawing as I click through them. I've drawn a couple of the most recent dishes and also ones from the most popular episodes of Lily's, Katherine's, and Nia's series---baba ghanoush and samosas from World on a Plate, Easy Peasy Split Pea Soup and Julia Child's Play Boeuf Bourguignon from Fuss-Free Foodie, and a baked Alaska and cannoli cheesecake from Piece of Cake. I've also done some minimalist illustrations of each of the Friends, highlighting their respective settings and personal style with mostly solid colors and basic shapes. Since Rajesh's show takes him to a lot of different restaurants around the country, I've drawn him with wavy black hair and brown skin, standing under a generic restaurant sign and wearing a graphic T-shirt and the green backpack he always carries on his travels. Seb and Aiden are side by side in the FoF studio, in their white and red aprons, respectively, and looking like the little culinary angel and devil on your shoulder. And I've depicted Katherine standing in one of the prep kitchens with her hands on her hips and her wild auburn hair piled in a bun atop her head. She's surrounded by plates of miscellaneous food and the yellow notepad she jots her recipes down on, using the most basic steps and terms, and then displays on camera at the end of each episode.
Kaitlyn Hill (Love from Scratch)
was back in my preferred chinos and a shirt I got from a guy who used to work in a turnpike tollbooth. It was covered with signs for all the tollways in the Sunshine State.
A.J. Stewart (Past the Post)
Xavier looked at Shane's outfit of pants, pistol, and no shirt, and then glanced up at the porch. "You sleep outside?" Shane turned and looked through the screen door. There was no sign of Agnes or the sheets that had been tumbled there. A woman who could wake up fast and then remove evidence slightly. His kind of girl. "Yep. I like fresh air." Xavier nodded, his exasperation evaporating into amusement. "Right. Miss Agnes up yet?" "I wouldn't know." "Right." Xavier gave a lazy grin and walked around Shane. "Quite a woman, that Miss Agnes." "Yep," Shane said, following him up the walk. "Bit sharp-tempered, though." "I'd call her fiery." Xavier turned his head toward Shane and nodded amiably. "Fiery. That's good." They walked up the path, Rhett ambling with them. Xavier trooped up the steps to the porch and spared a glance at the air mattress and Shane's T-shirt, crumpled in a ball. "Restless night, son?" "Slept like a baby." "I bet you did," Xavier said, and went into the kitchen.
Jennifer Crusie (Agnes and the Hitman (The Organization #0))
good ideas. Junior was there, saying hi to people and getting petted like crazy. We also had homemade dog biscuits from Grandma Dotty to give away. And I drew the T-shirt designs myself. “Step right up! Check it out!” Flip kept saying. Georgia was signing up customers. And I helped Magic Murray
James Patterson (Middle School: Dog's Best Friend (Middle School Book 8))
It was 1992, and the Knicks were hosting their first annual summer camp for youngsters. Like many camps with professional teams, the club wanted to have one of its players make an appearance for a day. Not someone like Ewing, a star who had too many demands on his time already. But not someone from the end of the bench, either. So they asked Mason—basically still new to the NBA—if he’d appear for $1,500. The forward said yes, and the team provided him with a limousine to the camp that day. Mason had his window rolled down as the vehicle arrived, and the kids hovered around it like paparazzi, wanting to catch a glimpse of him up close. Yet Mason stayed in the car. First for two minutes. Then five. Then almost fifteen. Finally Ed Tapscott, then the club’s administrative director, came outside. He’d been responsible for Mason’s appearance at the camp that day, and couldn’t figure out why Mason wasn’t making his way inside the gym. “I’m not getting out of the car for anything less than $2,000, bro. And I want cash,” Mason told him. Tapscott figured he was joking at first. But Mason was completely serious. Sure, he’d agreed to the $1,500 figure before, but now—with an army of young, excited kids waiting inside—he had the leverage to play hardball. Tapscott said he wasn’t even sure he could realistically get access to that much cash that soon. “I had to give one of our staffers my ATM card,” he recalls. “What choice did I really have in a situation like that?” With assurance of the pay increase, Mason hopped out. He played in a couple of scrimmages with the children. But, in classic Mason fashion, he couldn’t turn off his competitiveness. While playing, Mason inadvertently elbowed a kid, knocking the child out cold and breaking his nose, which gushed with blood. When the boy regained consciousness, he woke to find a worried Mason hovering over him. The child smiled and asked the Knick to sign his bloody T-shirt. Meanwhile, Tapscott said he and others running the camp were merely happy to escape the situation without the threat of a lawsuit.
Chris Herring (Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks)
Right after we signed {George} Gervin, I took him to one of our games and he sat in the stands next to me. After it was over, we walked down to the court. George was wearing a T-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. He said, 'Why don't they use the 3-point shot more?' I said, 'Coach [Al] Bianchi doesn't think it's a good percentage shot unless we're behind at the end of the game.' George said, 'Suppose you could make 15-of-20.' I said, 'George, that's a really long shot.' He said, 'But say you could make 15-of-20.' I said, 'Then Al would probably change his mind.' The game had been over for a while and the lights were dimmed. It wasn't dark, but it wasn't easy to see the rim, either. George wanted a ball and someone threw him one. He went behind the 3-point line and starting shooting. He took shot after shot and swish after swish. Then he said 'That's 18 out of 20.' I said, 'Hey George, let's go make sure that the ink is dry on your contract.' -Johnny Kerr
Terry Pluto (Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association)
Miles didn’t move. This wasn’t part of the plan. “What is it?” said Barkin. “The plans to your next big prank?” Miles tried to look calm. “No,” said Miles. “Principal Barkin,” said Niles, “it’s just a party invitation!” “A party invitation?” Principal Barkin’s nostrils flared. Niles put his hand over his mouth and directed a loud whisper toward Miles. “It’s fine. Show it to him.” Miles had no choice now. He gave up the invitation. Principal Barkin slowly put on a pair of reading glasses and peered at the paper. “Interesting. Very interesting. Cody Burr-Tyler, eh?” He snapped his gaze back to Miles. “Well, well, well,” he said. “Well, well, well.” Barkin folded the invitation and put it in his shirt pocket. “Well.” “Well?” said Miles. Principal Barkin stared at Miles for four whole seconds. Then he pointed to a sign on the wall. Miles exhaled. He turned, feeling flustered, and walked down the hallway in the wrong direction. Niles called after him. “No, it’s this way, Miles! We need to go this way!” Miles turned around and followed Niles toward Room 22. “Miles!” Principal Barkin shouted after him. “Remember: I’m on to you.” Barkin pointed at another sign on the wall. This sign hadn’t been there
Mac Barnett (The Terrible Two)
I want you, Isla," he told her, showing no signs of restraint. "I want to take you right now against this car." She was about to agree, but he straightened her shirt and placed her on her feet. Yanking open the door, he practically shoved her onto the seat. "But too many people here are coming and going, and I don't want them seeing parts of you, that only belong to me.
H.S. Howe (The Billionaire's Willed Wife)
He/She Gets Angry When Questioned Where you were until now just riles him/her up like the Hulk. He/she hates being questioned about their whereabouts. Their stories won’t match, their tone and pitch will change paces and they will try to avoid talking about it altogether. He/She Stays Up Late A sudden shift in their bedtime routine indicates an affair. Cheating partners consider a partner’s sleeping time as the safest to text or message their new love interest. His/Her Stories Seem Inconsistent Sometimes they won’t say a word about where they were and sometimes they would give away too much. When asked if a friend was there with them too, they will not only confirm their presence but also tell you about all the other people who were there, including someone’s pets. Too much information is another sign that there is something fishy going on or else they won’t be this particular about it. There Is No Intimacy Not just physically, but you also find them emotionally distant from you. Even when they are with you, their mind doesn’t seem to be. They have also lost interest in sex and always make excuses like being tired, not in the mood, had chili beef in the office and feeling bloated, etc. They Never Put Their Phone Down If they seem to be stuck with their phone all the time and even taking it with them when taking the trash or going for a bath, it is a sure tell sign that there is something in that phone they don’t want you to know about. He/She Pays Attention to Himself/Herself It’s always appraisable that your spouse dresses up for you, but if they are suddenly worried about how they look naked or whether they should get a bikini wax or not, it’s probably an effort to look good for someone other than you. You Only Get One-Word Answers from Them You sense a barrier in your communications because they have resorted to a yes, no, or hmm at most. When partners lose interest in their spouses or are having an affair, they fear to communicate too much. They want to play it carefully and not say or do something that would get them caught. They Are Spending Too Much If all of a sudden you notice too many credit card bills and receipts in their pockets and yet you don’t receive any supposed gifts, then someone else is on the receiving end of them. When asked, they will always have an explanation over how they had to lend some money to a friend, how they had to pitch in the last minute for an office party for a guy’s farewell or how they had to pay a medical bill of some relative. He/He’s Doing Things They Hated Before Remember the time you asked them to go golfing with you and they flat out refused and joked about how it’s an old man’s sport? Look who is all polo shirts and hats now! If their interests have changed all of a sudden and they are doing stuff they hated, know something is up.
Rachael Chapman (Healthy Relationships: Overcome Anxiety, Couple Conflicts, Insecurity and Depression without therapy. Stop Jealousy and Negative Thinking. Learn how to have a Happy Relationship with anyone.)
He had brought his case to the people, like an evangelical preacher, holding massive rallies in all the major cities coast-to-coast, concentrated on the poor rural areas, and people flocked to them wearing his campaign hats and T-shirts and waving American flags and signs bearing his name. His message was simple – America was broken, only he could fix it, and return the US to the fairytale days of the postwar 50s, where everyone had a job, car, house, two kids, and everything they wanted was within their reach. Life would be good again.
Kenneth Eade (An Evil Trade (Paladine Political Thriller))
There are signs, however, that a good time was had all last night. Jo might have found herself caught in the middle of a love triangle, but she clearly didn't mind staying around when she thought that one of the angles had been dispensed with. The remains of dinner still grace the table---dirty dishes, rumpled napkins, a champagne flute bearing a lipstick mark. There's even one of the Chocolate Heaven goodies left in the box---which is absolute sacrilege in my book, so I pop it in my mouth and enjoy the brief lift it gives me. I huff unhappily to myself. If they left chocolate uneaten, that must be because they couldn't wait to get down to it. Two of the red cushions from the sofa are on the floor, which shows a certain carelessness that Marcus doesn't normally exhibit. They're scattered on the white, fluffy sheepskin rug, which should immediately make me suspicious---and it does. I walk through to the bedroom and, of course, it isn't looking quite as pristine as it did yesterday. Both sides of the bed are disheveled and I think that tells me just one thing. But, if I needed confirmation, there's a bottle of champagne and two more flutes by the side of the bed. It seems that Marcus didn't sleep alone. Heavy of heart and footstep, I trail back through to the kitchen. More devastation faces me. Marcus had made no attempt to clear up. The dishes haven't been put into the dishwasher and the congealed remnants of last night's Moroccan chicken with olives and saffron-scented mash still stand in their respective saucepans on the cooker. Tipping the contents of one pan into the other, I then pick up a serving spoon and carry them both through the bedroom. I slide open the wardrobe doors and the sight of Marcus's neatly organized rows of shirts and shoes greet me. Balancing the pan rather precariously on my hip, I dip the serving spoon into the chicken and mashed potatoes and scoop up as much as I can. Opening the pocket of Marcus's favorite Hugo Boss suit, I deposit the cold mash into it. To give the man credit where credit is due, his mash is very light and fluffy. I move along the row, garnishing each of his suits with some of his gourmet dish, and when I've done all of them, find that I still have some food remaining. Seems as if the lovers didn't have much of an appetite, after all. I move onto Marcus's shoes---rows and rows of lovely designer footwear---casual at one end, smart at the other. He has a shoe collection that far surpasses mine. Ted Baker, Paul Smith, Prada, Miu Miu, Tod's... I slot a full spoon delicately into each one, pressing it down into the toe area for maximum impact. I take the saucepan back into the kitchen and return it to the hob. With the way I'm feeling, Marcus is very lucky that I don't just burn his flat down. Instead, I open the freezer. My boyfriend---ex-boyfriend---has a love of seafood. (And other women, of course.) I take out a bag of frozen tiger prawns and rip it open. In the living room, I remove the cushions from the sofa and gently but firmly push a couple of handfuls of the prawns down the back. Through to the bedroom and I lift the mattress on Marcus's lovely leather bed and slip the remaining prawns beneath it, pressing them as flat as I can. In a couple of days, they should smell quite interesting. As my pièce de résistance, I go back to the kitchen and take the half-finished bottle of red wine---the one that I didn't even get a sniff at---and pour it all over Marcus's white, fluffy rug. I place my key in the middle of the spreading stain. Then I take out my lipstick, a nice red one called Bitter Scarlet---which is quite appropriate, if you ask me---and I write on his white leather sofa, in my best possible script: MARCUS CANNING, YOU ARE A CHEATING BASTARD.
Carole Matthews (The Chocolate Lovers' Club)
Johnny nodded, that goofy-pleased smile still on his mouth. “All right, I’ll wander over there in a minute.” He paused. “You really work here?” “No, I just steal Clara’s shirt and come hang out with her when I have free time.” He grinned. “That was a stupid question, wasn’t it?” I shrugged. “I feel like stupid is a very strong word.” He laughed, and it made me smile. “You just don’t… I can’t see you working here. That’s rude. I’m sorry.” “It’s all right. I’m learning as I go.” I shrugged again. “If you need more help, let me know. I’ll be standing around.” He nodded, and I took that as my sign to walk away. I headed back toward Clara who was looking at her phone, but I was pretty sure it was just a façade and she was really eyeballing the shit out of us. I wasn’t mistaken. “What did he say? Does he want to bear your children?” The loudest fucking laugh burst out of me, and I had to lean forward and press my forehead against the counter between us so that I wouldn’t fall to the ground. “Hold on. Men don’t bear children.” “Not that I know,” I cracked up, still facing the floor. We both started laughing our asses off. The next time I managed to peek up, she had disappeared behind the counter. She might have been lying on the ground because I could hear her laughing but couldn’t see her. I wiggled my eyebrows at her. “I need to bring some of my romance books over to teach you some things.” “I know things.” “At your age, you should know more.” “We’re the same age!” “Exactly.
Mariana Zapata (All Rhodes Lead Here)
Cruising down Compton Boulevard in the Catalina, Mickey sensed the charged atmosphere of the place, an energy that said anything could happen. Young men loitered in groups on the sidewalks in baggy T-shirts and bandannas while young women strolled up and down, smirking at the men hollering after them and whistling. When traffic lights turned red, blank-faced children appeared out of the darkness under overpasses like wraiths to sell drugs to drivers. Prostitutes wobbled along the streets on high heels, many of them with the vacant gaze of the addicted, while men with hard hearts and a lust for blood watched their every move. All the while well-intentioned families who called Compton home got ground up in the giant machine of this nation, slipping further toward poverty and the tragic moment when pressing need overtakes good intentions. Even still, Compton was no longer what it once was. Ten years ago, Mickey might not have driven through it, and certainly wouldn’t have stopped and wandered around. But the homicide rate had decreased steadily since ’94, down to forty-eight murders in ’98 from a peak of eighty-seven in ’91, and small businesses were slowly but surely returning to the city. It bothered Mickey deeply that the state of California, with an economy greater than that of most countries, wouldn’t help these people, or that the federal government of the United States, the richest country in the history of the world, wouldn’t help them either, instead spending hundreds of billions of dollars per year on warfare and destruction. The people of Compton could be lifted from poverty with the signing of a bill, and it was no wonder, when you got right down to it, why so many had resorted to crime.
Philip Elliott (Porno Valley)
Cliff looked around for the woman he’d seen helping the others and saw no sign of her. Swearing, he tore through the wreckage in search of her. An explosion took out more of the ceiling. Rubble rained down on the other side of the pile he dug through. “Come on,” he whispered. “Where are you?” A moan reached his ears, followed by a cough. Leaping toward it, he grabbed slabs of concrete and flooring and tossed them aside, reducing the pile until he found her. Dust coated her like ash, powdering her braid and turning her skin a grayish white. She blinked up at him. Her forehead glistened with blood that oozed from a gash on one side. “It’s okay,” he told her. “I’m here to help. Don’t be afraid.” Her chin dipped in a brief nod. Another explosion hit what was left of the ground floor. Cliff swiftly leaned over to shield her as flaming bits rained down around them. As soon as it stopped, he knelt beside her. “Y-Your eyes are glowing.” “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid. I just want to help. Are you injured?” He swept his hands over her in a quick, impersonal search for injuries, concerned by the splotches of blood that marred her clothing. “Th-there’s a woman,” she said. “Sadie. Sh-she’s old. She can’t make it down the stairs.” “I already got her to safety. Are you Emma?” Surprise lit her dark brown eyes as she nodded. “I think your arm is broken, Emma. I need to bind it.” Tearing a strip of cloth from his T-shirt, he wrapped it around a deep gash on her arm. Then he tore another and—preternaturally fast—fashioned a sling. She moaned. “Sorry,” he said, knowing every movement caused her pain. Nodding, she gritted her teeth. Her lips pressed tightly together as he lifted her into his arms, spawning even more pain. “I’m sorry,” he said again as he dashed over to the elevator shaft. She looped her free arm around his neck and looked over his shoulder. Her hold tightened. “Mercenaries,” she whispered in his ear, her warm breath sending a shiver through him. “It’s okay,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. I’ll keep you safe.
Dianne Duvall (Cliff's Descent (Immortal Guardians, #11))
I have never really liked this city. It was forced on me against my will by ambitious parents in search of greater opportunities and better lives. That’s why everyone comes here, to this seductive monument to self-advancement or at the very least, self-preservation. It’s a city that doesn’t take risks. Men wear boxy suit jackets over golf shirts tucked into khakis. Women wear sensible skirts, pantsuits and pumps. They all pull roller backpacks behind them because of subway ads enumerating the signs and evils of scoliosis as they walk to big-box buildings made of similarly colored sandstone. You can’t get lost here because there’s nothing to lose yourself in. These avenues, at least downtown, are not built for wanderers, and these monuments are constructed to inspire awe not contemplation. But things have changed if only to protect the desire to remain the same. The streets have more barricades because the streets have more impromptu protesters, a dismal lot with their posterboard signs and hoarse-voiced chants against the monster in power and his minions. There are more armored vehicles now and more police officers in tactical gear and body armor wielding large black guns. It’s a brave new world wrapped around the old one to make it great again.
Uzodinma Iweala (Speak No Evil)
SIGNALS THAT BABY IS OVERSTIMULATED As we watched babies playing with their parents, we witnessed how babies say to their parents, “Give me a break for a minute or two!” Here are the signals they give when they need to self-soothe. • LOOKING AWAY. This signal can be very clear, with the baby turning her head away, or it can be simply looking from our face to our less-stimulating shirt. • SHIELDING FACE WITH HANDS. Babies will put their hands in front of their face and look like they are trying to shield themselves. • PUSHING AWAY. When the baby is more coordinated, he may push a toy or other object away to show that he doesn’t want to play with it. • CLEARLY WRINKLED FOREHEAD. When the medial (middle, above the nose) portion of a baby’s forehead is bunched up (that is as much wrinkling as is possible with all the baby fat in the face), it means she is getting upset, often because she is overstimulated. The forehead makes the baby look like she is sad, or angry. However, when the baby’s forehead gets only slightly wrinkled, as though there is a butterfly on her forehead, this is usually not a negative sign and means she is concentrating. • ARCHING THE BACK. One sign that a baby is upset is that she arches her back and tenses her body. • FUSSING. The baby’s voice starts what seems like the beginning of crying and protesting. • SHOWING A MIXTURE OF EMOTION, such as the baby’s expression going back and forth between joy and fear. • CRYING. There are levels of upset in the crying of babies. The baby may eventually build up to a cry in which there is about a second of “winding up” intake of breath. Then the baby really hauls off and lets out a cry that is loud, shrill, and painful to hear. This is called a Valsalva cry. In a Valsalva cry, the lungs are working against a resistance, like when we blow up a stiff balloon, or lift a heavy weight. It is very stressful for the baby. For example, the baby’s blood pressure will increase, and the number of white blood cells in the baby’s blood will increase. WHAT
John M. Gottman (And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives)
Retired missionaries taught us Arts & Crafts each July at Bible Camp: how to glue the kidney, navy, and pinto bean into mosaics, and how to tool the stenciled butterfly on copper sheets they'd cut for us. At night, after hymns, they'd cut the lights and show us slides: wide-spread trees, studded with corsage; saved women tucking T-shirts into wrap-around batiks; a thatched church whitewashed in the equator's light. Above the hum of the projector I could hear the insects flick their heads against the wind screens, aiming for the brightness of that Africa. If Jesus knocks on your heart, be ready to say, "Send me, O Lord, send me," a teacher told us confidentially, doling out her baggies of dried corn. I bent my head, concentrating hard on my tweezers as I glued each colored kernel into a rooster for Mother's kitchen wall. But Jesus noticed me and started to knock. Already saved, I looked for signs to show me what else He would require. At rest hour, I closed my eyes and flipped my Bible open, slid my finger, ouija-like, down the page, and there was His command: Go and do ye likewise— Let the earth and all it contains hear— Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire—. Thursday night, at revival service, I held out through Trust and Obey, Standing on the Promises, Nothing But the Blood, but crumpled on Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling, promising God, cross my heart, I'd witness to Rhodesia. Down the makeshift aisle I walked with the other weeping girls and stood before the little bit of congregation left singing in their metal chairs. The bathhouse that night was silent, young Baptists moving from shower to sink with the stricken look of nuns. Inside a stall, I stripped, slipped my clothes outside the curtain, and turned for the faucet— but there, splayed on the shower's wall, was a luna moth, the eye of its wings fixed on me. It shimmered against the cement block: sherbet-green, plumed, a flamboyant verse lodged in a page of drab ink. I waved my hands to scare it out, but, blinkless, it stayed latched on. It let me move so close my breath stroked the fur on its animal back. One by one the showers cranked dry. The bathhouse door slammed a final time. I pulled my clothes back over my sweat, drew the curtain shut, and walked into a dark pricked by the lightening bugs' inscrutable morse.
Lynn Powell (Old and New Testaments)
On the other hand, if what you really want to get out of the trip is a nice, slow, meandering crawl through an endless column of bumper-to-bumper traffic that winds through a garish wonderland of T-shirt stores and fast-food joints, and you like to stop in the middle of the road now and then so you can gape at some roadside sign and memorize the words to tell all your friends back in Ohio, while everyone in all the cars behind you swelters in the July sun that no air-conditioning can ever overcome, and all the drivers of those other cars stare anxiously at the needle on the temperature gauge of their car as it climbs steadily into the red and they snarl at you through the blinding glare of the windshield and wish you would simply burst into flames and disappear from the face of the earth even though there are a thousand cars filled with people just like you on the road ahead waiting to take your place and start the whole hideously slow crawl all over again—if that is your idea of a dream vacation in the Promised Land, come to the Keys! Paradise awaits!
Jeff Lindsay (Double Dexter (Dexter #6))
Gogol flips through the book. A single picture at the front, on smoother paper than the rest of the pages, shows a pencil drawing of the author, sporting a velvet jacket, a billowy white shirt and cravat. The face is foxlike, with small, dark eyes, a thin, neat mustache, an extremely large pointy nose. Dark hair slants steeply across his forehead and is plastered to either side of his head, and there is a disturbing, vaguely supercilious smile set into long, narrow lips. Gogol Ganguli is relieved to see no resemblance. True, his nose is long but not so long, his hair dark but surely not so dark, his skin pale but certainly not so pale. The style of his own hair is altogether different—thick Beatle-like bangs that conceal his brows. Gogol Ganguli wears a Harvard sweatshirt and gray Levi’s corduroys. He has worn a tie once in his life, to attend a friend’s bar mitzvah. No, he concludes confidently, there is no resemblance at all. For by now, he’s come to hate questions pertaining to his name, hates having constantly to explain. He hates having to tell people that it doesn’t mean anything “in Indian.” He hates having to wear a nametag on his sweater at Model United Nations Day at school. He even hates signing his name at the bottom of his drawings in art class. He hates that his name is both absurd and obscure, that it has nothing to do with who he is, that it is neither Indian nor American but of all things Russian. He hates having to live with it, with a pet name turned good name, day after day, second after second. He hates seeing it on the brown paper sleeve of the National Geographic subscription his parents got him for his birthday the year before and perpetually listed in the honor roll printed in the town’s newspaper. At times his name, an entity shapeless and
the shower, he thought of the children. What about their birth months? Signs of the Zodiac. The Zodiac? He patted Old Spice on his face after shaving, pulled a fresh pair of pants over his Fruit of the Looms. He chose the shirt with the fewest wrinkles, a blue Arrow
Rick Mofina (If Angels Fall (Tom Reed and Walt Sydowski, #1))
The sign over supermarket express checkout lanes, TEN ITEMS OR LESS, is a grammatical error, they say, and as a result of their carping whole-food and other upscale supermarkets have replaced the signs with TEN ITEMS OR FEWER. The director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has apologized for his organization’s popular T-shirt that reads ONE LESS CAR, conceding that it should read ONE FEWER CAR. By this logic, liquor stores should refuse to sell beer to customers who are fewer than twenty-one years old, law-abiding motorists should drive at fewer than seventy miles an hour, and the poverty line should be defined by those who make fewer than eleven thousand five hundred dollars a year. And once you master this distinction, well, that’s one fewer thing for you to worry about.45
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Best workout ever." Darius sat next to her and rested his back against the soft mat. She laughed and fumbled to put on her bra. He lifted the weight of her hair from her back and helped her pull down her silk shirt. For a moment, he held the length of her hair in his hand as he had the swing rope. He tugged gently to turn her face to his, and then released it. His face was open and relaxed, his pale blue eyes warm and content. His knees fell open to rest against hers. The feel of skin on skin, bone to bone, was easy, the most natural thing in the world. "Next time we should try the pommel horse." Mei laughed. "You still got pommeling on your mind?" "Oh yeah." He signed and tilted his chin to the ceiling, exposing the length of his throat. "Some pommeling and tumbling would be good. We've got time to make up for.
Susannah Scott (Dragon Her Back (Las Vegas Dragons, #3))
I should like to understand more about the signs on the shirt you wore earlier. What was it: Eat the tail and suck the head?
Suzanne Johnson (Pirate's Alley (Sentinels of New Orleans, #4))
When he positioned himself in front of the sign, wearing sunglasses, his sweaty shirt molded to his amazing chest, his athletic shorts showcasing his strong, muscular legs, she took a moment to feel the possession that this man was hers.
Lorelei James (Unraveled (Mastered, #3))
For men like Billy and Blaise (hahaha), it comes down to how fervently they thrust their crotches at the audience. AT THE AUDIENCE. AT! THE! AUDIENCE! For men like Colt and Tristan, it’s your basic hot guy dancing. No rhythm, but looka this bicep and looka this six-pack and whaddaya think of this, though . . . aaaand thrust. Jake and Lantz actually look like they’re having a good time, dancing and playing to the audience. I do love a man who can dance. And then there’s Josh, who just looks kind of embarrassed, fumbling with his clothes and oh, did taking off my shirt reveal an incredible body? Sigh . . . This ole thing? And that’s why he’s the favorite. He’s Lewis Carroll’s snark. He’s the elusive unicorn. He’s the guy who’s model-hot but doesn’t know it. Although he did sign up for the pageant in the first place. So . . .
Liza Palmer (Girl Before a Mirror)
Advertising your business is imperative in the present age because of cutting edge competition and you cannot expect rapid business growth unless and until a workable advertising strategy is employed. You can choose from a number of available options to market your services to people. Internet marketing is a modern as well as an efficient method to promote your services and products but, the effectiveness of poster printing cannot be denied. With the introduction of new and improved methods of poster printing, the quality of the prints has become considerably better. Today Poster printing, along with other print mediums like: Mug printing, T-Shirt printing, Sign printing & calendar printing, companies offer services to not only print, but also design posters for advertising campaigns. Here are 5 key advantages of Poster Priting: Advantages of Poster Printing 1. Low Costs The creative process of a poster printing involves a copywriter, a graphic designer as well as a printer. You can also hire a poster distributor or simply hang the posters by yourself. It is a simple process that won’t cost too much. However, you need to be mindful of local laws that may prevent posters from being displayed in certain areas. 2. Active Response printing People who view posters actively get engaged with their surroundings. Whether they are standing at a bus stop or lining up at the local nightclub, people are likely to notice posters out of sheer boredom. A clever poster printing must have a call-to-action phrase that propels the viewer to take action as soon as possible. This could be in the form of making a phone call, visiting a shop or navigating to a website. 3. Visibility Poster printing helps you hang multiple posters in one location in order to increase brand visibility. It’s quite normal to see entire rows of the same poster lining the side of a street or subway. When people get bombarded with the poster message, it is ensured that the message is going to sit on their hands long after they have viewed the poster. 4. Strategic location of a street or subway You can hang multiple posters in one location to increase brand visibility. It’s quite normal to see entire rows of the same poster lining the side of a street or subway. The biggest advantage of using poster printing is that, they can be put just about anywhere & seen by almost anyone.
The others climbed into the back of the truck with the pitchforks and the pinestraw, leaving Stacy all alone in the front with the man. She sat as close to the door as she could and held the handle tight in case she had to jump out or something. Suspiciously, she looked at the big paper bag on the seat between them. The man, still frowning, put the truck into gear. With a jolt, they started off. Before they had gone very far he slammed on the brakes, throwing them all forward. He doesn’t even have seatbelts, Stacy thought. But how can you think of dumb things like that when you’re about to die? “Sorry,” he said gruffly. “I forgot. I’ve got to make one stop before we go to the dairy barns.” Throwing the truck into reverse, he backed up a few yards to a narrow road that led into the woods. A small sign that read “Private! Closed to the Public” was posted by the side of the road. Oh dear, Stacy thought, we’re doomed now. How many times did Mom ever tell me never to get into a car with a stranger? And now I’ve gone and done that and here we are heading down an off-limits road into the woods. She had a cold chill, and this time it wasn’t from her wet clothes. They bounced down the rutted road. In the mirror outside her window, she could see the kids hanging on to the side of the truck for dear life. The arms of the low pines brushed the roof of the truck with a skeletal scraping down. At least they came to an opening. Before her Stacy could see rows and rows of vines. “Vineyards,” she whispered to herself. Suddenly, the man slammed on his brakes. The truck jarred to a stop. Without a word he threw open the door and climbed out. Now we’re in for it, thought Stacy. I just know he’s coming around this side to get me. She squeezed her eyes shut tight. Over the idling hum of the motor she could hear him walking. Then there was a squeal from the kids in the back of the truck. Oh, my goodness, she thought, squinching her eyes tighter and tighter until they hurt. What is he doing to them? In a moment he slung the door of the truck open. In spite of herself she turned and looked at him. He had a big grin on his face. And his shirt was covered with a big purple stain. Blood! “Your shirt,” she stuttered, pointing a quivery finger toward him. He laughed. “Juice,” he said. “Juice from the grapes.” Stacy sniffed. Sure enough it did smell like grape juice. She got up the nerve to look in the rearview mirror. The kid’s heads bobbed in the back. Slowly she ungripped her hand from the door handle. The man waved an arm towards the vineyards. “We grow grapes for wine here. It’s just another way to use the land like Mr. Vanderbilt thought you should.” Stacy just stared at his shirt again and said, “Oh.
Carole Marsh (The Mystery of the Biltmore House)
The only thing to see is the obligatory third-world Coke billboard, ironic in exact proportion to the distance from its proper American context. This one says COKE—MAKE IT REAL. Just after the Coke sign there is a contrary sign, an indication that irony is not a currency in Liberia. It is worn by a girl who leans against the exit in a T-shirt that says THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD.
Zadie Smith (Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays)
At first she felt overwhelmed by the house, its airy symmetry its silence. Now she was accustomed to the place, but she caught herself wondering, Is this still Berkeley? George's neighborhood felt as far from Telegraph as the hanging gardens of Babylon. You could get a good kebab in Jess's neighborhood, and a Cal T-shirt, and a reproduction NO HIPPIES ALLOWED sign. Where George lived, you could not get anything unless you drove down from the hills. Then you could buy art glass, and temple bells, and burled-wood jewelry boxes, and dresses of hand-painted silk, and you could eat at Chez Panisse, or sip coffee at the authentically grubby French Hotel where your barista took a bent paper clip and drew cats or four-leaf clovers or nudes in your espresso foam. You returned home with organic, free-range groceries, and bouquets of ivory roses and pale green hydrangeas, and you held dinner parties where some guests got lost and arrived late, and others gave up searching for you in the fog. That was George's Berkeley, and even in these environs, his home stood apart, hidden, grand, and rambling; windows set like jewels in their carved frames, gables twined with wisteria of periwinkle and ghostly white.
Allegra Goodman (The Cookbook Collector)
against the walls of the machine. After being slid in, I began to feel the first tremors of panic. In an instant, my world had gotten a lot smaller and darker and weirder. It seemed inevitable that in moments I’d be squealing for someone to get me the hell out of there and flailing my limbs (though to little effect, because one can only move so much in an MRI scanner only fifty-five centimeters wide). But just as quickly as the panic came, it vanished upon being lulled into boredom by the groan of the scanner. After two hours, the technologist pulled me out pink-faced and squinty-eyed. I sat on the scanner bed for a moment, trying to reorient myself to real life. That was awful. I told myself that I’d never do another MRI session, but after she handed me $50, I found myself asking how to sign up for more. I also interviewed to become a tutor at an inner-city elementary school for a work-study program called America Reads. I showed up in my least-wrinkled dress shirt and a pair of slacks that I’d worn
Ken Ilgunas (Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom)
2011: A boy wearing a San Francisco Giants shirt asked Bill Murray for an autograph. Inspecting the shirt, Bill asked the kid, “Are you willing to at least look at some Chicago Cubs literature?” “I have an uncle who lives near Chicago,” the boy volunteered. “Wouldn’t you rather spend time with him than your mother?” Bill asked. “Sure,” the boy said. Bill signed an autograph for him. “See?” Bill said. “Was that so hard?” Pro golfer D.A. Points, who
Gavin Edwards (The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing)
Someone must have knocked on the door. She rushes to it, looks through the peephole, and steps back, muttering to herself. I can’t quite read her lips. Emily opens the door, and a man brushes past her. He’s wearing a button-down shirt, a tie, and kicks that cost more than my monthly rent. He puts down his suitcase, shakes hands with Mr. Madison, and turns to Emily. He starts toward her, his arms outstretched. I step forward to get between them, but Mrs. Madison grabs my arm. “Don’t,” she warns. “This will work itself out.” Emily lets him pull her into an embrace, but she doesn’t hug him back. She cringes instead. This warms my heart. She looks over at me, and I see something I don’t quite understand in her gaze. Is it pity? For me? Is she afraid I can’t compete with this man? Who the hell is he, anyway? I draw a circle around my lips, asking her who he is without anyone seeing me. She crooks her index finger into the sign for the letter x. That’s her ex? Seriously? Emily’s past has just walked in the door. And if the look on his face is any indication, he no longer wants to be in the past. He wants more. I look at her father, who’s smirking at me with his arms folded in front of his chest. He doesn’t want the asshat to be in the past either. Fine. I’ll knock his ass into the middle of next week. That’s the only way he’ll ever be a part of her future. I take a step forward flexing my fingers as I go. He’s as big as I am, but I’d be willing to bet his jaw is made of candy, just like his ass.
Tammy Falkner (Smart, Sexy and Secretive (The Reed Brothers, #2))
Your bath is ready, sodbuster.” Lily stood. “I’m not going to bathe in the open,” she said. “All right, then,” Caleb answered, pulling his shirt from his trousers, “I will. No sense letting all this nice hot water go to waste.” Lily might have loved Caleb Halliday, but she begrudged him that clean, steaming bath water in the worst way. “Don’t you dare step into that tub,” she said, marching over to where he stood. “It’s mine.” Caleb smiled and folded his arms. “Fine,” he said. He didn’t show any sign of moving, and the fire around the tub was getting low. Soon the chilly evening air would cool the water. “You could at least give me some privacy.” He smiled and sat down on the nearby stump of a long-gone maple tree. “I could,” he said. It was perfectly clear that he didn’t intend to, however. Lily looked with longing at the water, then turned her back on Caleb and pretended he wasn’t there. Quickly, before her courage could desert her, she removed her clothes and stepped into the tub. The feel of the hot water closing around her tired, achy flesh was so delicious that she made a little crooning sound as she settled in. She was caught completely by surprise when Caleb joined her, naked as the day he’d left heaven, and sank into the water. Some of it splashed over the edges of the oblong tub and sizzled as it met the fire. “I suppose it would be a waste of breath to ask you to get out of this tub,” Lily said. “Absolutely,” Caleb replied.
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
After I paid my admission fee, I saw that the reptile enclosures were kept perfectly clean--the snakes glistened. I kept rescued animals myself at home. I knew zoos, and I knew the variety of nightmares they can fall into. But I saw not a sign of external parasites on these animals, no old food rotting in the cages, no feces or shed skin left unattended. So I enjoyed myself. I toured around, learned about the snakes, and fed the kangaroos. It was a brilliant, sunlit day. “There will be a show at the crocodile enclosures in five minutes,” a voice announced on the PA system. “Five minutes.” That sounded good to me. I noticed the crocodiles before I noticed the man. There was a whole line of crocodilians: alligators, freshwater crocodiles, and one big saltie. Amazing, modern-day dinosaurs. I didn’t know much about them, but I knew that they had existed unchanged for millions of years. They were a message from our past, from the dawn of time, among the most ancient creatures on the planet. Then I saw the man. A tall, solid twentysomething (he appeared younger than he was, and had actually turned twenty-nine that February), dressed in a khaki shirt and shorts, barefoot, with blond flyaway hair underneath a big Akubra hat and a black-banded wristwatch on his left wrist. Even though he was big and muscular, there was something kind and approachable about him too. I stood among the fifteen or twenty other park visitors and listened to him talk. “They can live as long as or even longer than us,” he said, walking casually past the big saltwater croc’s pond. “They can hold their breath underwater for hours.” He approached the water’s edge with a piece of meat. The crocodile lunged out of the water and snapped the meat from his hand. “This male croc is territorial,” he explained, “and females become really aggressive when they lay eggs in a nest.” He knelt beside the croc that had just tried to nail him. “Crocodiles are such good mothers.” Every inch of this man, every movement and word exuded his passion for the crocodilians he passed among. I couldn’t help but notice that he never tried to big-note himself. He was there to make sure his audience admired the crocs, not himself. I recognized his passion, because I felt some of it myself. I spoke the same way about cougars as this Australian zookeeper spoke about crocs. When I heard there would be a special guided tour of the Crocodile Environmental Park, I was first in line for a ticket. I had to hear more. This man was on fire with enthusiasm, and I felt I really connected with him, like I was meeting a kindred spirit. What was the young zookeeper’s name? Irwin. Steve Irwin.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
We had to convince these guys to perform, but they were easy to win over.” She points to the curtain, and it opens slowly. “I give you the Reeds, performing to Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong with Me.’” The curtain opens, and Paul, Matt, Logan, Sam, and Pete are all standing in a line. They’re all dressed in jeans and sleeveless T-shirts, and you can see all their tattoos and they’re so fucking handsome that I can’t even believe they’re mine. I see Hayley, Joey, and Mellie standing on the side of the stage, all waiting anxiously to watch their daddies and uncles. Seth starts the music, and he’s underlaid some kind of hip-hop track beneath the beat, but you can still pick out the music. It’s a song about unrequited love and realizing that what you wanted was right there in front of you the whole time, but you were being too stupid to see it. It’s told from a girl’s point of view, so some of the words don’t exactly fit the boys, but it makes it all the funnier. The Reeds have moves. Serious moves. I think everyone woman in the auditorium sits forward in her seat so she doesn’t miss seeing the shaking hips and flexing muscles. Paul even picks Matt up and spins him around one time, and Sam does the same to Pete. I can’t stop laughing. Even Logan dances, and I can imagine the kind of work it took for him to learn this routine when he can’t even hear the music the same way everyone else can. He can appreciate music, just in a different way. As the song starts to close, Matt, Pete, Logan, and Paul all point out at the audience when the words, “You belong with me,” play. Matt points to Sky. Pete points to Reagan, and Logan points to Emily, who is holding the baby in her lap. And Paul points in my direction. Those four men jump off the stage and come toward us. They sing and dance all the way down the aisle. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Kelly get up to intercept Paul, but he doesn’t even notice her. He points past her, and sings out the last line, “You belong with me,” in my ear. He picks me up and spins me around, and I have never felt more happiness in my whole life. The music stops, and everyone looks to the stage. Sam has sat down on the side of it, and he looks pretty dejected. He’s holding a sign above his head that says, Available. After this, he won’t be available for long, because every woman there now has a crush on all the Reeds, and he’s the only one who isn’t taken. I love that they can be so silly, and so loving, and so…them. They don’t hide it. They don’t make a game of it. They just love. They love hard. “I love you so hard,” I say to Paul. His eyes jerk to meet mine, and he almost looks surprised. “You do?” he asks. I nod. “I do.” “Will you come home tonight?” he asks quietly. I nod. “Good. That’s where you belong.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
This Blue Coat’s woman?” he demanded, gesturing toward Lily. Caleb shook his head. “She’s her own woman. Just ask her.” Lily’s heart was jammed into her throat. She had an urge to go for the rifle again, but this time it was Caleb she wanted to shoot. “He lies,” she said quickly, trying to make sign language. “I am too his woman!” The Indian looked back at his followers, and they all laughed. Lily thought she saw a hint of a grin curve Caleb’s lips as well but decided she must have imagined it. “You trade woman for two horses?” Caleb lifted one hand to his chin, considering. “Maybe. I’ve got to be honest with you. She’s a lot of trouble, this woman.” Lily’s terror was exceeded only by her wrath. “Caleb!” The Indian squinted at Lily and then made an abrupt, peevish gesture with the fingers of one hand. “He wants you to get down from the buggy so he can have a good look at you,” Caleb said quietly. “I don’t care what he wants,” Lily replied, folding her trembling hands in her lap and squaring her shoulders. The Indian shouted something. “He’s losing his patience,” Caleb warned, quite unnecessarily. Lily scrambled down from the buggy and stood a few feet from it while the Indian rode around her several times on his pony, making thoughtful grunting noises. Annoyance was beginning to overrule Lily’s better judgment. “This is my land,” she blurted out all of a sudden, “and I’m inviting you and your friends to get off it! Right now!” The Indian reined in his pony, staring at Lily in amazement. “You heard me!” she said, advancing on him, her hands poised on her hips. At that, Caleb came up behind her, and his arms closed around her like the sides of a giant manacle. His breath rushed past her ear. “Shut up!” Lily subsided, watching rage gather in the Indians’ faces like clouds in a stormy sky. “Caleb,” she said, “you’ve got to save me.” “Save you? If they raise their offer to three horses, you’ll be braiding your hair and wearing buckskin by nightfall.” The Indians were consulting with one another, casting occasional measuring glances in Lily’s direction. She was feeling desperate again. “All right, then, but remember, if I go, your child goes with me.” “You said you were bleeding.” Lily’s face colored. “You needn’t be so explicit. And I lied.” “Two horses,” Caleb bid in a cheerful, ringing voice. The Indians looked interested. “I’ll marry you!” Lily added breathlessly. “Promise?” “I promise.” “When?” “At Christmas.” “Not good enough.” “Next month, then.” “Today.” Lily assessed the Indians again, imagined herself carrying firewood for miles, doing wash in a stream, battling fleas in a tepee, being dragged to a pallet by a brave. “Today,” Lily conceded. The man in the best calico shirt rode forward again. “No trade,” he said angrily. “Blue Coat right—woman much trouble!” Caleb laughed. “Much, much trouble,” he agreed. “This Indian land,” the savage further insisted. With that, he gave a blood-curdling shriek, and he and his friends bolted off toward the hillside again. Lily turned to face Caleb. “I lied,” she said bluntly. “I have no intention of marrying you.” He brought his nose within an inch of hers. “You’re going back on your word?” “Yes,” Lily answered, turning away to climb back into the buggy. “I was trying to save myself. I would have said anything.” Caleb caught her by the arm and wrenched her around to face him. “And there’s no baby?” Lily lowered her eyes. “There’s no baby.” “I should have taken the two horses when they were offered to me,” Caleb grumbled, practically hurling her into the buggy. Lily
Linda Lael Miller (Lily and the Major (Orphan Train, #1))
When Diana was unable to visit, she telephoned the apartment to check on her friend’s condition. On her 30th birthday she wore a gold bracelet which Adrian had given to her as a sign of their affection and solidarity. Nevertheless, Diana’s quiet and longstanding commitment to be with Adrian when he died almost foundered. In August his condition worsened and doctors advised that he should be transferred to a private room at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington where he could be treated more effectively. However Diana had to go on a holiday cruise in the Mediterranean with her family on board a yacht owned by the Greek millionaire John Latsis. Provisional plans were made to fly her from the boat by helicopter to a private plane so that she could be with her friend at the end. Before she left, Diana visited Adrian in his home. “I’ll hang on for you,” he told her. With those words emblazoned on her heart, she flew to Italy, ticking off the hours until she could return. As soon as she disembarked from the royal flight jet she drove straight to St Mary’s Hospital. Angela recalls: “Suddenly there was a knock on the door. It was Diana. I flung my arms around her and took her into the room to see Adrian. She was still dressed in a T-shirt and sporting a sun tan. It was wonderful for Adrian to see her like that.” She eventually went home to Kensington Palace but returned the following day with all kinds of goodies. Her chef Mervyn Wycherley had packed a large picnic hamper for Angela while Prince William walked into the room almost dwarfed by his present of a large jasmine plant from the Highgrove greenhouses. Diana’s decision to bring William was carefully calculated. By then Adrian was off all medication and very much at peace with himself. “Diana would not have brought her son if Adrian’s appearance had been upsetting,” says Angela. On his way home, William asked his mother: “If Adrian starts to die when I’m at school will you tell me so that I can be there.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
I’m surprised you’re here.” Her mouth curved upward. “I warned you I’d be joining you.” He ignored the heat that spread inside him at the sight of her smile. “That’s just it.” Her smile grew wider. “A politician who keeps his word—what a remarkable aberration in the species.” “How could I have forgotten that keen wit of yours?” he marveled. “Yeah, I’m full of surprises. Might want to remember that.” Then, throwing caution to the wind, he let his eyes roam slowly over her, lingering. She’d have to be blind not to see the hunger in them. Which she clearly wasn’t. She retreated a step. He followed, his longer legs closing the distance, until his body almost brushed hers. That cool composer of Lily’s was unraveling, no matter how hard she struggled to pretend otherwise. The signs were there, in the fine trembling of her limbs, in the flush that stole over her porcelain smooth cheeks. Fierce satisfaction filled Sean at her involuntary reaction. He dipped his head until his lips hovered, a soft whisper away. “Lily?” “Yes?” There was a husky catch to her voice. Sean’s fingers reached up and traced the rosy bloom on her cheek. Was it the sweet flush of desire that made her skin so soft? he wondered, his eyes and fingers memorizing every detail, every sensation. God, he’d die for a taste of her. But Sean denied himself the pleasure. He raised his head, putting distance between himself and his greatest temptation, and forced himself to lower his hand. At the loss of contact, Lily’s head jerked, as if coming out of a trance. Sean stepped back before she could flay him alive. “You’re looking a little pink, Lily. I’ve got some zinc oxide in my bag. I’d be happy to put some on you. Especially on those hard to reach places.” He gave her a casual smile and pulled his sunglasses from the breast pocket of his T-shirt, ignoring the violent thudding of his heart against the cotton fabric. His hands shook, too, racked with tremors of need. Somehow, he managed to settle his shades across the slightly crooked bridge of his nose, before shoving them deep into his pocket, out of sight. Damn Sean and his effect on me, Lily swore silently. He had only to bestow the paltriest of caresses and she nearly swooned. Even more galling was the fact that she was equally helpless before Sean’s verbal taunts. The thought of Sean’s hands, slick with lotion, gliding over her body in long, sweeping caresses had her pulse racing. Lily’s voice was filled with contempt—never mind that it was self-directed—as she spoke. “You know, you and John Granger should get to know each other. You could compare notes on really great pickup lines. By the way, Sean, your nose? Does it trouble you still? I hope so.
Laura Moore (Night Swimming)
Hello.” Barkley was wearing a silk short-sleeved shirt that showed his belt bulge. The frowning man was tieless in an expensive charcoal sport coat. Pike was wearing a sleeveless grey sweatshirt, jeans, and New Balance running shoes. The frowning man took folded papers and a pen from his coat. “Mr. Pike, I’m Gordon Kline, Mr. Barkley’s attorney and an officer in his corporation. This is a confidentiality agreement, specifying that you may not repeat, relate, or in any way disclose anything about the Barkleys said today or while you are in the Barkleys’ employ. You’ll have to sign this.
Robert Crais (The Watchman (Elvis Cole, #11; Joe Pike, #1))
Kit scolds me with a glance from across the room. I rue the day I taught her to speak sign language. I can’t keep anything a secret anymore. I shrug at her and she grins. You would be getting some too if you’d quit being such a prude, she signs to me. Did you really just call me a prude? I ask as I stalk toward her. She sets Hayley to the side and jumps over the back of the couch. By now, she knows I’m coming for her. She darts around the sofa and dodges back and forth, trying to avoid my hands. But I catch the tail of her shirt and jerk her to me. Linking my arm around her waist, I pick her up and take her to our room, slamming the door behind us. I toss her onto the bed, and she bounces, laughing at me. “Did you really just call me a prude?” I ask again, this time using my voice. “No, definitely not.” She laughs as I tickle her, and she squirms in my arms. “I think you did.” I keep tickling her because I know it drives her crazy. “Prove it,” she says. She’s signing the whole time she’s talking. So, I don’t miss anything with her anymore. She grabs my hands to keep me from tickling her. I growl as I press my lips to her throat. “Don’t tempt me,” I warn.
Tammy Falkner (Tall, Tatted and Tempting (The Reed Brothers, #1))
Geraldine, Louis, Junior, and the cat lived next to the playground of Washington Irving School. Junior considered the playground his own, and the schoolchildren coveted his freedom to sleep late, go home for lunch, and dominate the playground after school. He hated to see the swings, slides, monkey bars, and seesaws empty and tried to get kids to stick around as long as possible. White kids; his mother did not like him to play with niggers. She had explained to him the difference between colored people and niggers. They were easily identifiable. Colored people were neat and quiet; niggers were dirty and loud. He belonged to the former group: he wore white shirts and blue trousers; his hair was cut as close to his scalp as possible to avoid any suggestion of wool, the part was etched into his hair by the barber. In winter his mother put Jergens Lotion on his face to keep the skin from becoming ashen. Even though he was light-skinned, it was possible to ash. The line between colored and nigger was not always clear; subtle and telltale signs threatened to erode it, and the watch had to be constant.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
Bud Light?” she asks in a distasteful tone. “Did you think you would be getting a microbrew? It’s a college house.” “Still”—she takes a sip and cringes—“I thought you’d have a little more class.” “You’re giving me too much credit.” I nod my head toward the corner of the loft where there are less people. When she doesn’t initially follow me, I turn back around, grab her hand like I had to in class, and pull her across the loft until we’re settled in the corner. I lean against the wall and prop one leg behind me. She eyes me, giving me a full once-over. I do the same. She’s damn hot, and I’m regretting my actions last Saturday, passing out mid grope. Finally she says, “You seem to have lost your shirt.” She motions with her finger over my bare chest. I look down at her legs and reply, “Must be where the other half of your skirt is.” “Think they’re making out in a laundromat somewhere?” She takes a sip of her beer and cringes again. A few more sips and she’ll get used to it; always happens for me. “If they are, I hope they use the gentle cycle.” Her brow pulls together. “Not sure if that makes sense.” “Oh, because half of a skirt and a shirt making out in a laundromat does?” “In children’s books, sure.” “What kind of perverted children’s books did you read growing up?” I counter. “You know, the classics,” she answers causally. “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and Skirt and Shirt, Lovers for Life.” “Ah, yes, I forgot about that passionate yet eye-opening youth literature that took the New York Times by storm.” “I have five signed first-edition copies in a box in my parents’ attic. Banking on them to clear out my student loans.” She sips her beer, flips her hair behind her shoulder, glances at my chest again. “Five?” I answer sarcastically. “Damn, forget college loans, you’re set for life.” “You think?” She glances around. “What the hell am I doing here then?” “To see me of course,” I answer with a smile. She rolls her eyes. “More like dragged to this party because my roommate has a crush on one of your freshmen.” “Yeah, which one?” I look over her head, eyeing all the partygoers. “No idea, but apparently he has amazing blue eyes.” “Amazing, huh? Has to be Gunner. I was even stunned by his eyes when he was recruited.” No joke, the dude won the lottery for irises. I’m even jealous with how . . . aqua they are. “Not ashamed to admit that?” she asks, shifting on her heels. “Not even a little.
Meghan Quinn (The Locker Room (The Brentwood Boys, #1))
So far my best plan would be to build a mountain of gasoline cans and explosives, stick a Property of US Government sign on it, and throw a T-shirt over Pierce’s head when he showed up to explode it. Yes, this would totally work. If only.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
As it had turned out, assembling a crowd of sign-waving supporters for a Donald Trump campaign rally in Manhattan was a tricky task. A few days before the event, the billionaire’s team was reduced to putting out a casting call through a New York–based agency offering fifty bucks to background actors who were willing to wear Trump shirts, carry Trump posters, and cheer Trump on during his big announcement. (“We
McKay Coppins (The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House)
Once you have an image of what the inside of your drawers will look like, you can begin folding. The goal is to fold each piece of clothing into a simple, smooth rectangle. First, fold each lengthwise side of the garment toward the center (such as the left-hand, then right-hand, sides of a shirt) and tuck the sleeves in to make a long rectangular shape. It doesn’t matter how you fold the sleeves. Next, pick up one short end of the rectangle and fold it toward the other short end. Then fold again, in the same manner, in halves or in thirds. The number of folds should be adjusted so that the folded clothing when standing on edge fits the height of the drawer. This is the basic principle that will ultimately allow your clothes to be stacked on edge, side by side, so that when you pull open your drawer you can see the edge of every item inside. If you find that the end result is the right shape but too loose and floppy to stand up, it’s a sign that your way of folding doesn’t match the type of clothing. Every piece of clothing has its own “sweet spot” where it feels just right—a folded state that best suits that item. This will differ depending on the type of material and size of the clothing, and therefore you will need to adjust your method until you find what works. This isn’t difficult. By adjusting the height when folded so that it stands properly, you’ll reach the sweet spot surprisingly easily.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
I must have fallen asleep on a rock. It’s digging into my shoulder blade. I scrunch up and start to roll over, but then freeze. It’s not just a single rock. It’s a giant one. Like concrete. I go numb as I realize what this means. It can’t be…I ease open my eye, and then in an instant I’m sitting upright and looking around. And all I see are cars. And people in blue jeans. And street signs. And I smell smog and I hear radios crackling in the passing cabs. I close my eyes for at least ten seconds and then open them again, but it’s all still there. The twenty-first century. I can’t stop my face from falling. I’m back. Just when I’d realized I don’t want this at all, I’m back. My shopping bags are strewn around me. I’m wearing jeans. A T-shirt. My heels. I glance back to realize the Prada shop is still a few yards behind me, just where I’d left it. I’m sitting in the exact spot I’d fallen down. I never left at all. I stay put for a few moments as a pounding headache fades. Alex. Emily. Even Victoria. They were all make-believe. Some figment of my banged-up brain. That means the kiss…God, I made it all up! Every single thing! I want to lie back down, close my eyes, and go back. I want horrible soup and stiff corsets and lump mattresses. I’ll trade it all to see Alex again. To go to Emily’s wedding. A man trips on my foot and then has the nerve to glare at me, even though he basically kicked me in the shin. Yes, I’m definitely in the twenty-first century. I scramble to my feet and wipe the dirt off my jeans and lean over to pick up my bags. And then I notice them. My heels. My beautiful, damaged heels. I glance over my shoulder. Yes, the Prada shop is definitely still behind me. I’ve gone maybe four steps from the door. Nowhere near enough to ruin the heels like this. They’re scuffed, dented, and scratched. I gather up the rest of my bags, my grin in full-force. It wasn’t fake. It wasn’t make-believe or a dream or anything. It happened. As sure as the mud on the heels, it happened. There’s even a dent where the front door of Harksbury bounced off the toe. I don’t know how or why or anything, but somehow, I was there. I danced with Alex and helped Emily. I played a piano for a duke and a countess, and I ate more exotic animals than I ever wanted to. But it happened. I don’t understand it; I only know that the last month was real, and it was the best of my life. I sling the bags over my shoulder and practically skip down the block. No matter what happens next, no matter what happens for the rest of my life, I have something no one else will ever have. An adventure to rival Indiana Jones. A crazy month that can never be replicated.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
Looks like we found it." John said. "Where are we?" As far as Link could tell, there was nothing to find. John pointed up at the white signs at the intersection that read 61 and 49, and Liv checked her selonometer as if they weren't standing in the middle of nowhere. "Are those numbers supposed to mean something to us?" Floyd asked. "We're at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi," John said. Sampson shook his head. " I feel like an idiot. Any guitar player worth his strings knows about this place. It's where Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil." Floyd's eyes widened. "Seriously? We're at the crossroads?" John nodded. "The one and only." Liv glanced at John. "I'm assuming this is an American thing?" He put his arm around her. "Yeah, sorry. It's an old rock and roll myth- at least as far as mortals are concerned. In the 1930s, a blues musician named Robert Johnson disappeared for a couple of weeks. According to the story, he brought his guitar right here to this crossroads-" Link jumped in. "Then he traded his soul to become the most famous blues guitarist in history." Sampson tugged on his leather pants, which weren't the best choice in the Mississippi heat. "Totally a fair trade, as far as I'm concerned." "Thought the same thing myself," a man's voice called out from behind them. Link wheeled around. A young man wearing a wrinkled white shirt, a black jacket, and a Panama hat stood on the side of the road with a three-legged black Labrador. There was a weariness in the man's eyes of someone much older. A battered guitar hung from a strap slung around his back.
Kami Garcia; Margaret Stohl
She sat on the wall, opened her book, and paid him no mind. After a few minutes the sounds of clipping stopped, and she felt his gaze on her. She turned a page. “Jane,” he said with a touch of exasperation. “Shh, I’m reading,” she said. “Jane, listen, someone warned me that another fellow heard my telly playing and told Mrs. Wattlesbrook, and I had to toss it out this morning. If they spot me hanging around you..” “You’re not hanging around me, I’m reading.” “Bugger, Jane…” “Martin, please, I’m sorry about your TV but you can’t cast me away now. I’ll go raving mad if I have to sit in that house again all afternoon. I haven’t sewn a thing since junior high Home Ec when I made a pair of gray shorts that ripped at the butt seam the first time I sat down, and I haven’t played pianoforte since I quit from boredom at age twelve, and I haven’t read a book in the middle of the day since college, so you see what a mess I’m in.” “So,” Martin said, digging in his spade. “You’ve come to find me again when there is no one else to flirt with.” Huh! thought Jane. He snapped a dead branch off the trunk. Huh! she thought again. She stood and started to walk away. “Wait.” Martin hopped after her, grabbing her elbow. “I saw you with those actors, parading around the grounds this morning. I hadn’t seen you with them before. In the context. And it bothered me. I mean, you don’t really go in for this stuff, do you?” Jane shrugged. “You do?” “More than I want to, though you’ve been making it seem unnecessary lately.” Martin squinted up at a cloud. “I’ve never understood the women who come here, and you’re one of them. I can’t make sense of it.” “I don’t think I could explain it to a man. If you were a woman, all I’d have to say is ‘Colin Firth in a wet shirt’ and you’d say, ‘Ah.’” “Ah. I mean, aha! is what I mean.” Crap. She’d hoped he would laugh at the Colin Firth thing. And he didn’t. And now the silence made her feel as though she were standing on a seesaw, waiting for the weight to drop on the other side. Then she smelled it. The musty, acrid, sour, curdled, metallic, decaying odor of ending. This wasn’t just a first fight. She’d been in this position too many times not to recognize the signs. “Are you breaking up with me?” she asked. “Were we ever together enough to require breaking up?” Oh. Ouch. She took a step back on that one. Perhaps it was her dress that allowed her to compose herself more quickly than normal. She curtsied. “Pardon the interruption, I mistook you for someone I knew.” She turned and left, wishing for a Victorian-type gown so she could have whipped the full skirts for a satisfying little cracking sound. She had to satisfy herself with emphatically tightening her bonnet ribbon as she marched. You stupid, stupid girl, she thought. You were fantasizing again. Stop it! It had all been going so well. She’d let herself have fun, unwind, not plague a new romance with constant questions such as, What if? And after? And will he love me forever? “Are you breaking up with me…?” she muttered to herself. He must think she was a lunatic. And really, he’d be right. Here she was in Pembrook Park, a place where women hand over scads of dough to hook up with men paid to adore them, but she finds the one man on campus who’s in a position to reject her and then leads him into it. Typical Jane.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
She stepped up to the door and knocked. The television voice cut off, replaced by the sound of pattering activity. “Just a moment,” said a male voice. The door opened. It was Martin, aka Theodore the gardener, in pajama pants and no top, a towel hanging around his neck. Unclothed, he had the kind of build that made her want to say, “Yow.” She was glad she was wearing her favorite dress. “Trick or treat?” she said. “What?” “Sorry to interrupt.” She indicated the towel. “You’re working out?” “Miss, uh, Erstwhile, right? Yes, hello. No, I just couldn’t find my shirt. Are you lost?” “No, I was walking and I…I don’t suppose you could give me the Knicks-Pacers score?” Martin stared blankly for a moment, then looking around as if trying to spy out eavesdroppers, pulled her inside and shut the door behind her. “You could hear that?” “The TV? Yes, a little, and I saw the light through your window.” “Blasted paper-thin curtains.” He grimaced and ran his fingers through his hair. “You are going to catch me at everything bad, aren’t you? Let’s hope you’re not her spy. She’ll have my balls for stew.” “Who, Mrs. Wattlesbrook?” “Yes, in whose presence I signed a dozen nondisclosure and proper-behavior and first-child and I don’t know what other kinds of promises, in one of which I swore to keep any modern thingies out of sight of the guests.” “Tell me that Wattlesbrook isn’t her real name.” “It is, actually.” “Oh, no,” she said with a laugh in her voice. “Oh, yes.” He sat on the edge of his bed. “I take it, then, you’re not spying for her? Good. Yes, dear Mrs. Wattlesbrook, descended from the noble water buffalo. It’s a decent job, though. Best pay for being a gardener I’ve ever had.” He met her eyes. “I’d hate to lose it, Miss Erstwhile.” “I’m not going to tattletale,” she said in tired big-sister tones. “And you can’t call me Miss Erstwhile when you have a towel around your neck. To real people I’m Jane.” “I’m still Martin.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
He sauntered up to the counter and asked for two Beretta Px4 Storm Compact pistols, holsters, spare magazines, and a couple boxes of ammo. “Good choice,” said the weapons attendant as he piled the boxes on the cabinet. “Great little concealed carry weapon.” He lifted his shirt to show them his own pistol. “I carry mine everywhere I go.” Mitch caught Bishop's eye and his eyebrows rose. He managed to hide his smile and signed for the weapons with a Virginia ID. While he filled out the form the attendant verified the ID on his computer. “All good! None of that waiting period nonsense here, brothers,” continued the man. “Just get out in them there hills and start shooting.
Jack Silkstone (PRIMAL Nemesis (PRIMAL #6))
I know it's a guy who will talk to me, he wears his cockiness like an ironic T-shirt, but it fits him better. He is the kind of guy who carries himself like he gets laid a lot, a guy who likes women, a guy who would actually fuck me properly. I would like to be fucked properly! My dating life seems to rotate around three types of me: preppy Ivy Leaguers who believe they're characters in a Fitzgerald novel; slick Wall Streeters with money signs in their yes, their ears, their mouths; and sensitive smart-boys who are so self-aware that everything feels like a joke.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
All along, I had thought that the attachment, or midlife crisis, or dark night of the soul, or whatever my experience had been, was a terrible stumbling block, a sign of shameful weakness, evidence of some core, incurable insanity: in short, The Problem. Now I knew that, in some very difficult, mysterious way, it had actually been The Solution. My struggle went way beyond any relationship with, or way of seeing, a mere human being. All along, I had thought my error lay in failing to find the formula to love correctly, unselfishly, when the very idea of trying to be perfect myself, with respect to human relationships-or any other way- was the real problem. Forget trying to achieve your own holiness, Therese seemed to be saying: you are infinitely too feeble, weak, and misguided to accomplish anything on your own. You're like a bleating lamb, wandering blindly around with your divided, wayward heart... Sit down on the floor, like a baby, and Christ will bend down and lift you up.
Heather King (Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux)
In the first big meadow beyond Freemon’s, I see Camp Papoose has been established, and it is filled with beautiful, dirty, exhausted women and men. I read this morning that by tonight there will be 895 firefighters in town, which is more people than live in this county. And here are a whole mess of them, our literal heroes, sitting in folding chairs outside of tents, eating cans of whatever with plastic forks, half-melted boots still on, suspenders loosened, charcoal-scarred arms coming out of filthy T-shirts, deep fatigue visible through the ash-exaggerated lines on their faces. I thought the sight of the burnt forest would make me cry, but in fact it’s the sight of these off-duty saviors that bring tears. I’ll go home, I think, and make the biggest sign imaginable and hang it on the front gate. THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS! WE  YOU! There’s nothing that undoes me like the possibility of rescue.
Pam Houston (Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country)
Maya can help,” Nicole said when the pilot tried sending me back to my seat. “She knows first aid. She runs a hospital.” “For animals,” Hayley said. Corey told her to shut up, but she had a point. My dad was the local park ranger, and I had a rehabilitation shed for nursing injured animals back to health. I did know first aid, though, and the basics of dealing with a heart attack victim. Step one: call a doctor. Kind of tough, under the circumstances. Step two: give the victim an aspirin. That wouldn’t work while he was unconscious. But why was he unconscious? I remembered fainting as one of the signs, but not sustained lack of consciousness. We had to get him to a doctor and, until then, I could only presume it was heart failure and perform CPR if he stopped breathing. I unbuttoned the mayor’s shirt. When Nicole inched forward, the pilot snapped at her, and Corey told him to go to hell, which really didn’t help matters.
Kelley Armstrong (The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2))
She had one arm crossed over her face, like a slash on a sign that meant “No Touching.” So I looked instead. Over the pillow her hair was spread out. Her lips were parted. Something glinted inside her ear, grains of sand from the beach maybe. Beyond, the atomizers glowed on the dresser. The ceiling was up above somewhere. I could feel the spiders working in the corners. The sheets were cool. The fat duvet rolled up at our feet was leaking feathers. I’d grown up around the smell of new carpeting, of polyester shirts hot from the dryer. Here the Egyptian sheets smelled like hedges, the pillows like water fowl. Thirteen inches away, the Object was part of all this. Her colors seemed to agree with the American landscape, her pumpkin hair, her apple cider skin. She made a sound and went still again. Gently, I pulled the covers off her. In the dimness her outline appeared, the rise of her breasts beneath the T-shirt, the soft hill of her belly, and then the brightness of her underpants, converging in their V shape. She didn’t stir at all. Her chest rose and fell with her breath. Slowly, trying not to make a sound, I moved closer to her. Tiny muscles in my flank, muscles I hadn’t known I possessed, suddenly made themselves available. They propelled me millimeter by millimeter across the sheets. The old bedsprings gave me trouble. As I tried nonchalantly to advance, they called out ribald encouragement. They cheered, they sang. I kept stopping and starting. It was hard work. I breathed through my mouth, quieter that way. Over the course of ten minutes I slid nearer and nearer to her. Finally I felt the heat of her body along my entire length. We were still not touching, only radiating against each other. She was breathing deeply. So was I. We breathed together. Finally, gathering courage, I flung my arm across her waist. Then nothing more for a long while. Having achieved this much, I was scared to go further. So I remained frozen, half hugging her. My arm grew stiff. It began to throb and finally went numb. The Object might have been drugged or comatose. Still, I sensed an alertness in her skin, in her muscles. After another long while I plunged ahead. I took hold of her T-shirt and lifted it up. I gazed at her naked belly for a long while and, finally, with a kind of woefulness, bowed my head. I bowed my head to the god of desperate longing. I kissed the Object’s belly and then slowly, gathering confidence, worked my way up. Do you remember my frog heart? In Clementine Stark’s bedroom it had kicked off from a muddy bank, moving between two elements. Now it did something even more amazing—it crept up onto land. Squeezing millennia into thirty seconds, it developed consciousness. While kissing the Object’s belly, I wasn’t just reacting to pleasurable stimuli, as I had been with Clementine. I didn’t vacate my body, as I had with Jerome. Now I was aware of what was happening. I was thinking about it. I reached down and touched her hips. I hooked my fingers in the waistband of her underpants. I began to slip them off. Just then, the Object lifted her hips, very slightly, to make it easier for me. This was her only contribution. I was thinking that this was what I’d always wanted. I was realizing that I wasn’t the only faker around. I was wondering what would happen if someone discovered what we were doing. I was thinking that it was all very complicated and would only get more so. I reached down and touched her hips. I hooked my fingers in the waistband of her underpants. I began to slip them off. Just then, the Object lifted her hips, very slightly, to make it easier for me. This was her only contribution.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
club before. It had seemed like Becky was being so nice to her. “That should have been your first clue,” Evan told Jessie later. Becky made extra buttons for Jessie and even helped tape them all over her shirt. And she made a special membership card for her and even a WHJ sign that she helped Jessie glue onto her Writers’ Workshop folder.
Jacqueline Davies (The Lemonade War)
What about their family? How many boys you know here got family? Or got family that cares about them? Not everyone is you, Elwood. Turner got jealous when Elwood's grandmother visited and brought him snacks, and it slipped out from time to time. Like now. The blinders Elwood wore, walking around. The law was one thing-- you can march and wave signs around and change a law if you convinced enough white people. In Tampa, Turner saw the college kids with their nice shirts and ties sit in at Woolworths. He had to work, but they were out protesting. And it happened-- they opened the counter. Turner didn't have the money to eat there either way. You can change the law but you can't change people and the way they treat each other. Nickel was racist as h***--half the people who worked here probably dressed up like the Klan on the weekends--but the way Turner saw it, wickedness went deeper than skin color. It was Spencer. It was Spencer and it was Griff and it was all the parents who let their children wind up here. It was people. Which is why Turner brought Elwood out to the two trees. To show him something that wasn't in books.
Colson Whitehead (The Nickel Boys)
Who?” “Bill Judd Jr.” “Oh, noooo.” Round, Swedish oooo’s. “Miz Sweet, when we were going through Judd Sr.’s office, we found some invoices on your computer, for chemicals that were apparently used in an ethanol plant out in South Dakota…” “I heard about it on TV. That was the same one? The one where they were making drugs?” “Yes, it was,” Virgil said. “Oh, nooo.” The sound was driving him crazy; she sounded like a bad comedian. “Who in town knew about the ethanol plant?” She turned her face to one side and put a hand to her lips. “Well, the Judds, of course.” “Both of them?” Virgil asked. “Well…Junior set it up, but Senior knew about it.” He pressed. “Are you sure about that?” “Well, yes. He signed the checks.” “Did you see him signing the checks?” Virgil asked. “No, but I saw the checks. It was his signature…” “Do you remember the bank?” She shook her head. “No, no, I don’t.” She frowned. “I’m not even sure that the bank name was on the checks.” “Did you ever talk to Junior about that?” “No. It wasn’t my business,” she said. “They wanted to keep it quiet, because, you know, when ethanol started, it sounded a little like the Jerusalem artichoke thing. The Judds were involved in that, of course.” “So how quiet did they keep it?” Virgil asked. “Who else knew? Did you tell anybody?” He saw it coming, the noooo. “Oh, noooo…Junior told me, don’t talk about this, because of my father. So, I didn’t.” “Not to anybody?” Her eyes drifted. She was thinking, which meant that she had. “It’s possible…my sister, I might have told. I think there might have been some word around town.” “It’s really important that you remember…” She put her hand to her temple, as though she were going to move a paper clip with telekinesis, and said, “I might have mentioned it at bridge. At our bridge club. That a plant was being built, and some local people were involved.” “All right,” Virgil said. “So who was at the bridge club?” “Well, let me see, there would have been nine or ten of us…” She listed them; he only recognized one of the names. WHEN HE WAS DONE with Sweet, he strolled up the hill to the newspaper office. He pushed in, and found Williamson behind the business counter, talking to a woman customer. Williamson looked past the woman and snapped, “What do you want?” “I have a question, when you’re free.” “Wait.” Williamson was wearing a T-shirt and had sweat stains under his arms, as though he’d been lifting rocks. “Take just a minute.” The customer was trying to dump her Beanie Baby collection locally—ten years too late, in Virgil’s opinion—and wanted the cheapest possible advertisement. She got twenty words for six dollars, looking back and forth between Virgil and Williamson, and after writing a check for the amount, said to Virgil, “I’d love to hear your question.” Virgil looked at her over his sunglasses and grinned: “I’d love to have you, but I’m afraid it’s gotta be private, for the moment.” “Shoot.” She looked at Williamson, who shrugged, and she said, “Oh, well.” WHEN SHE’D GONE out the door, Williamson said, “I’m working. You can ask me out back.” “You still pissed about the search?
John Sandford (Dark Of The Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1))
Well, I learnt from the nuns in the convent,’ said my mother. ‘Sister Ursula hated the Jewish girls, but after we’d all made signs of the cross on our foreheads and hearts, we would rub them away and quickly draw a Magen David when her back was turned.’ I was aware that, in spite of my mother’s feverish attempts to erase the sign of the cross from her forehead and breastbone, the nuns had succeeded in infiltrating the very fabric of her ethos, and there remained with her a niggling and persistent conviction, stubborn as the ink stains on the breast pockets of my father’s shirts, which no amount of scrubbing or soak after lengthy soak in bleach could eliminate, that bad children go to hell. Whenever I stepped out of line, she had wasted no time in tallying up my current score in the underworld. ‘That’s ten black marks in your book in hell,’ she’d say. And, if I had really incurred her wrath, she’d add, ‘dripping with pus and blood’. Sister Ursula would have been proud. My Hebrew teachers had never threatened me with an eternity at the pleasure of Beelzebub – detention was generally deemed sufficient. Excerpt from The Trouble With My Aunt by Hedi Lampert
Hedi lampert
A road sign up ahead. He veered off, crossing the Port-Jérôme industrial zone with his windows shut and the AC going full blast. Even so, the air smelled viscous, heavy with metal shavings and acid. Here, embedded in nature, the big names parceled out the empire of fossil fuels and oils. Total, Exxon Mobil, Air Liquide. The inspector drove nearly two miles in this magma of smokestacks, finally crossing past it into a quieter area, a full-on industrial wasteland. Frozen bulldozers shredded the landscape. He parked just short of the construction site, got out, and loosened his shirt collar. To hell with his jacket—he abandoned it on the passenger seat, along with the sports bag that contained his effects for the hotel. He stretched his legs, which cracked when he bent them. “Jesus…
Franck Thilliez (Syndrome E)
Warning signs went unheeded as the ferocious kisses continued, kicking Trevor’s need into high gear. But the unfamiliar prickle of Edgard’s beard on his cheek began to rouse him from that dark desire. Coupled with the low-pitched masculine moans—not Chassie’s feminine sighs—and Trevor broke away, knocking Edgard’s hands free. “Stop. No.” “Yes,” Edgard grabbed Trevor’s shirt. “This is why I’m here. Because it’s still there, Trevor. This need didn’t go away just because I did.” “It don’t matter.” “It should. God. Please let it matter.” “Ed—” “Don’t. Just…don’t.” Edgard gently rested his forehead against Trevor’s and retreated into silence. The heat of their bodies, the cold air, the confusion, the passion, the anger, the guilt, all swirled in Trevor’s head until he didn’t know which way was up. Unable to squirm either closer or away, damn near unable to breathe, Trevor squeezed his eyes shut and gave in, leaning against Edgard, just for a moment. Finally he dredged up a semblance of sanity. “I love her, Ed. I’m not with her because she was my second choice.” “I know. Why do you think it hurts me so bad, meu amore?” My love. That single, familiar endearment could prove to be his undoing. Another pause lingered before Trevor said, “I can’t do this. I swear to f**king God I cannot do this again.” “We’ll figure something out this time.” “No.” “Look at me.” Trevor shook his head. “Goddammit. Look. At. Me.” Heart thumping crazily, Trevor pulled back and caught the golden gaze that’d haunted his dreams since the day they’d gone from friends to something more. Edgard curled one hand around Trevor’s face, keeping the other fisted in his shirt. “Tell me how to fix this.” “We can’t and talkin’ about it ain’t gonna change nothin’.” “We were always better at f**king away our problems rather than talking them out, eh?” No hint of a smile graced either of their faces.
Lorelei James (Rough, Raw and Ready (Rough Riders, #5))
The café was the last in the street, if not in all Paris, to lack both a juke-box and neon lighting – and to remain open in August – though there were bagatelle tables that bumped and flashed from dawn till night. For the rest, there was the usual mid-morning hubbub, of grand politics, and horses, and whatever else Parisians talked; there was the usual trio of prostitutes murmuring among themselves, and a sullen young waiter in a soiled shirt who led them to a table in a corner that was reserved with a grimy Campari sign. A moment of ludicrous banality followed. The stranger ordered two coffees, but the waiter protested that at midday one does not reserve the best table in the house merely in order to drink coffee; the patron had to pay the rent, monsieur! Since
John le Carré (Smiley's People)
Those clever hands began to smooth up and down my spine, one of his habitual gestures. He traced the indentations of my vertebrae with his fingertips through the thin cotton of my shirt, like he was reading the signs of my body by Braille.
Zoë Sharp (Another Round of Charlie Fox)
[Dylan's friend] Zack's girlfriend, Devon, made a book for us.... There was Dylan--grinning while pushing Zack's dad into the pool; sporting a Hawaiian shirt and a bunch of leis at a costume party Devon had thrown; clowning around with Zack and making a hokey thumbs-up sign for the camera. I spent hours poring over these artifacts, desperate for confirmation that the sensitive, fun-loving kid Tom and I remembered had been real
Sue Klebold
I’m having a hard time concentrating at work. Why in the world did I give the task force members offices on my floor? It seemed like a good idea at the time . . . to evict the old guard and move in the staff that represented the company’s one hope for the future. I regret it now, though, because I can’t go an hour without seeing Kathleen Burke. I can’t remember when I’ve felt this frustrated, and that’s saying a lot because I have two preschoolers at home. I noticed Kathleen’s attractiveness the day we met. I noticed it the same way that I might notice that a woman’s hair is gray. It was just a fact. It didn’t matter to me or affect me. A month and a half has passed since then. A month and a half of me sitting in the board room during task force meetings, watching Kathleen give presentations on newfound information she feels passionately about. She always feels passionately about the information she presents. A month and a half of looking up from my desk and seeing her slender body pass by my office in tailored skirts and silky shirts. A month and a half of disagreeing with her over new computer software. When she thinks I’m being pig-headed, her nose scrunches and her brown eyes blaze. My mom told me that her family is Irish. It’s obviously true. Kathleen has the fiery will and the red glint in her hair to prove it. She can’t seem to understand that I’m not being pig-headed about new computer software. I’m just being right. A month and a half of running into her in the break room. She tilts her head when she refills her coffee mug, which causes her long hair to slide over her shoulder and upper arm. A month and a half of hearing her laughter from a distance. A month and a half of receiving correspondence from her signed “Respectfully, Kathleen E. Burke.” Why the E? There are no Kathleen R. or B. or K. Burkes who work at Bradford Shipping. The E is pretentious. A month and a half of looking back every evening when I leave and seeing her office light on. Kathleen’s attractiveness is more than a fact to me now. She’s annoyingly pretty, she’s persistent, and she’s impossible to ignore. For more than two years, I’ve been loyal to Robin’s memory. That’s how I want things to continue. That’s how I like it. Willow and Nora are my life. I spend every hour outside of work with them, and I’m exhausted at the end of each day. There’s no room in my schedule or in my emotions for a relationship. I’m even more certain that I’m not meant to be a boyfriend or a husband now than I was when Robin died. So the distraction of Kathleen makes me feel like I’m betraying a commitment I made to myself. Which, in turn, makes me angry. I’ve been asking God to take away this stupid pull I feel toward Kathleen. Or better yet, to give her a new job in another city or state. My
Becky Wade (Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #0.5))
As I load my shirt into the washer for the night, I daydream about making a sign and hanging it around my neck. I could wear it to school tomorrow. It could read, I MISS CHARLIE KHAN.
A.S. King (Please Ignore Vera Dietz)
As I load my shirt into the washer for the night, I daydream about making a sign and hanging it around my neck. It could read, I MISS CHARLIE KHAN. As I drive home, I picture other signs- one for everyone who has a secret. Bill Coro's would say, I CAN'T READ, BUT I CAN THROW A FOOTBALL. Me. Shunk's would read, I WISH I COULD TOSS YOU ALL ON AN ISLAND BY YOURSELVES. Dad's would read, I HATE MYSELF FOR NO GOOD REASON.
A.S. King (Please Ignore Vera Dietz)
JACKSON’S DARK BROWN HAIR curled up on his shirt collar. Black lashes and heavy brows framed his blue eyes. A few crow’s-feet around his eyes were the only sign that he’d just passed his fortieth birthday and they were minimized in the dim restaurant lights. His jeans were creased and stacked up over his highly polished black boots just the right way. Waitresses stopped what they were doing and gazed at him over their shoulders as he passed. Their
Carolyn Brown (Long, Hot Texas Summer (The Canyon #1))
Bundled up in my gloves, woolen thirteen-button bell-bottomed uniform pants, navy blue shirt and pea coat, with the flaps up, I negotiated the slippery steep incline of High Street. I knew that I was in Maine, known for adverse weather, but this was unreal. It was all I could do to hang onto this precious cargo with my cold fingers in my wet gloves, and put one foot in front of the other. Little by little, I made progress against the elements but, the longer it took to walk the distance, the more I looked like a snowman. Now the white stuff was getting heavier, and started to pile up. It stuck to my uniform, turning the dark blue to white. By the time I got as far as Congress Street, my feet and fingers were totally numb again, and my ears frozen. The box was getting heavier by the moment and I couldn’t even cover my ears with my hands. Finally I just put the box down into the snow, crouched down against a building, and pulled my pea coat over my head. Breathing into it, I managed to generate a little heat. I pressed the flaps of the coat against my ears until I could feel them again. Aside from my frozen feet, I warmed up enough this way to be able to continue. Picking up the box, I got up and once again faced the harsh elements. There was little sign of life, and with this cold wind, I could easily have gotten frostbite. Most people who lived in Maine had better sense than to be out under these arctic conditions. The plows had not cleared the streets yet, and behind me I could see a lone car spinning its wheels, trying in vain to make the steep grade. Once again I had to put down the box. I took off my gloves and tried to warm my hands by blowing onto them, as I did a little dance stomping my feet, but nothing helped anymore; my hands and feet were numb. When I picked the box up again, the bottom was caked with snow, making matters even worse! With only a short distance left I thought about Ann and the aroma from baking brownies, so I continued trudging on. I could now see the statue of Longfellow, slouched in his massive chair. “Hi, Henry. What do you think of this glorious weather?” Not getting an answer, was answer enough. I was convinced that his bronze butt was frozen to the chair, but in spite of the weather, he still looked comfortable!
Hank Bracker
I figured that it wouldn’t take me all that long to walk the steep incline from the docks, past the warehouses, up to Congress Street and then down to State Street. I was on my way, snow or no snow! Bundled up in my gloves, woolen thirteen-button bell-bottomed uniform pants, navy blue shirt and pea coat, with the flaps up, I negotiated the slippery steep incline of High Street. I knew that I was in Maine, known for adverse weather, but this was unreal. It was all I could do to hang onto this precious cargo with my cold fingers in my wet gloves, and put one foot in front of the other. Little by little, I made progress against the elements but, the longer it took to walk the distance, the more I looked like a snowman. Now the white stuff was getting heavier, and started to pile up. It stuck to my uniform, turning the dark blue to white. By the time I got as far as Congress Street, my feet and fingers were totally numb again, and my ears frozen. The box was getting heavier by the moment and I couldn’t even cover my ears with my hands. Finally I just put the box down into the snow, crouched down against a building, and pulled my pea coat over my head. Breathing into it, I managed to generate a little heat. I pressed the flaps of the coat against my ears until I could feel them again. Aside from my frozen feet, I warmed up enough this way to be able to continue. Picking up the box, I got up and once again faced the harsh elements. There was little sign of life, and with this cold wind, I could easily have gotten frostbite. Most people who lived in Maine had better sense than to be out under these arctic conditions. The plows had not cleared the streets yet, and behind me I could see a lone car spinning its wheels, trying in vain to make the steep grade. Once again I had to put down the box. I took off my gloves and tried to warm my hands by blowing onto them, as I did a little dance stomping my feet, but nothing helped anymore; my hands and feet were numb. When I picked the box up again, the bottom was caked with snow, making matters even worse! With only a short distance left I thought about Ann and so I continued trudging on.
Hank Bracker
Gibbs’ coat fell open to reveal a blue frilled shirt, tight leather pants, blue suede shoes and a large ‘Peace’ sign medallion. Everyone went quiet. Moran frowned. ‘So you really think that sort of outfit is suitable for a senior detective, DI Gibbs?’ ‘Sorry, guv. I did a gig in Camden town with my band last night then stayed at the girlfriend Tamara’s pad. Thankfully I’d added her phone number to my out of hours contact list at the old station. I didn’t want to waste time by going home to change when I got the call out, so after a quick dash of Adidas aftershave, I came straight to the scene by cab.
Lynda La Plante (Good Friday (Tennison, #3))
into his jeans and button-down shirt. He dropped off the RAF overalls in the trunk of the car, and then looked around him. The car park was empty. He walked to the side of the parking lot. The fence was low there and he vaulted across it to the low ground that led to the pebble beach. He cut straight across, heading to the port, walking quickly across the shrub and grassland. A line of low trees near the port fence gave him cover. He studied the wire fence. It was about ten feet tall, with regularly spaced posts, and he couldn’t see any signs of electricity. There wasn’t any barbed wire at the top, which made his life a lot easier. He grabbed the wire mesh and shook it. It was firm and would take his weight. He wrapped his legs around a post and pulled himself up with both hands, using it like a fast rope. He crouched over the top and jumped down. The brick wall of a building lay in front of him. He could hear an engine wheezing and what sounded like train railway
Mick Bose (Hidden Agenda (Dan Roy #1))
First, fold each lengthwise side of the garment toward the center (such as the left-hand, then right-hand, sides of a shirt) and tuck the sleeves in to make a long rectangular shape. It doesn’t matter how you fold the sleeves. Next, pick up one short end of the rectangle and fold it toward the other short end. Then fold again, in the same manner, in halves or in thirds. The number of folds should be adjusted so that the folded clothing when standing on edge fits the height of the drawer. This is the basic principle that will ultimately allow your clothes to be stacked on edge, side by side, so that when you pull open your drawer you can see the edge of every item inside. If you find that the end result is the right shape but too loose and floppy to stand up, it’s a sign that your way of folding doesn’t match the type of clothing. Every piece of clothing has its own “sweet spot” where it feels just right—a
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind fits right in among St. Augustine’s stately bearded oaks and rock coral walls, looking more like a college campus than anything else. It’s the largest facility of its kind in the world. Because stomping on cement hurts, deaf students cup one hand against the wall and bark a short hoh to get each other’s attention from a distance. The sound echoes up and down the halls and kids stop to see if it’s them being hailed. Deaf couples stretch the boy’s T-shirt forward, dip their faces into the neck, and sign inside for privacy. Their faces almost touch. Fabric ripples with hidden movements. Watching them, my inner adolescent feels a twinge of jealousy.
Aaron Curtis (World Book Night 2014 ebook: An Original Collection of Stories and Essays by Booksellers, Librarians, and Authors)
You will never use spare buttons. In most cases, when a button falls off, it’s a sign that the particular shirt or blouse has been well worn and loved and has now reached the end of its life. For coats and jackets that you want to keep for a long time, I recommend sewing spare buttons to the lining when you first buy them.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
Gibbons came trotting out of the dressing room with Nash’s best evening clothes draped over his arm, whistling a merry tune—always a bad sign. “What are you doing with those?” Nash asked suspiciously. “Checking for moths,” replied the valet testily. “We go to Brierwood next week, you will recall.” “Not in that rig.” “But there is to be a ball,” sniffed Gibbons. “I had it from Mr. Hayden-Worth. Honestly, if I waited for you to tell me anything—” “Next week,” Nash interjected. “That, Gibbons, is the operative word.” “And if there are moths?” challenged the valet. “Have you any idea how long it would take to get a new suit of evening clothes made up?” Nash shrugged. “I must have a dozen more in there somewhere,” he said, picking up his coffee. “Just drag out a set of old ones.” “They mightn’t fit,” said Gibbons with another sniff. “None of us, I fear, are quite the men we once were.” Nash put his coffee down, and turned sharply in his chair. “What the devil is that supposed to mean?” Gibbons smiled faintly. “You are almost five-and-thirty, sir,” he said. “Things begin to shift—or spread—perhaps even sag.” “I’ll be damned,” said Nash, leaping from his chair. He loosened the dressing gown and jerked it off. “Really, my lord!” Gibbons rolled his eyes. “The tape measure!” Nash growled, stripping off his shirt and hurling it to the floor. “Get me the goddamned tape measure!” Gibbons sighed, went into the dressing room, and returned with the tape, curled like a little snake in the palm of his hand. Nash loosened the fall of his trousers, and held up his arms. “All right,” he said. “Measure it.” “Sir, this really is not nec—” “No, by God, I said measure it.” Gibbons wrinkled his nose and wrapped the heavy ribbon around Nash’s waist. “Ah-ha!” said Nash. “Thirty-two inches, is it not?” “Tsk, tsk,” said Gibbons. “What?” Nash demanded. “They do say a man’s eyesight is the second thing to go,” said Gibbons mournfully. “This tape plainly says thirty-three.” Nash gasped in horror. “You must be lying.” He squinted down. Yes, Gibbons was lying. The tape very plainly said thirty-four. “Oh, God!” said Nash. “Not to worry, sir,” said Gibbons placatingly. “Before your sucking gasp of horror, it was an even three-and-thirty.
Liz Carlyle (Never Lie to a Lady (Neville Family #1))
People, says Tarantoga, believe what they want to believe. Take astrology for instance. Astronomers, who after all should know more than anyone about the stars, tell us that they are giant balls of incandescent gas spinning since the world began and that their influence on our fate is considerably less than the influence of a banana peel, on which you can slip and break your leg. But there is no interest in banana peels, whereas serious periodicals include horoscopes and there are even pocket computers you can consult before you invest in the stock market to find out if the stars are favorable. Anyone who says that the skin of a fruit can have more effect on a person’s future than all the planets and stars combined won’t be listened to. An individual comes into the world because his father, say, didn’t withdraw in time, thereby becoming a father. The mother-to-be, seeing what happened, took quinine and jumped from the top of the dresser to the floor but that didn’t help. So the individual is born and he finishes school and works in a store selling suspenders, or in a post office. Then suddenly he learns that that’s not the way it was at all. The planets came into conjunction, the signs of the zodiac arranged themselves carefully into a special pattern, half the sky cooperated with the other half so that he could come into being and stand behind this counter or sit behind this desk. It lifts his spirits. The whole universe revolves around him, and even if things aren’t going well, even if the stars are lined up in such a way that the suspenders manufacturer loses his shirt and the individual consequently loses his job, it’s still more comforting than to know that the stars don’t really give a damn. Knock astrology out of his head, and the belief too that the cactus on his windowsill cares about him, and what is left? Barefoot, naked despair. So says Professor Tarantoga, but I see I am digressing.
Stanisław Lem (Peace on Earth)
She stepped back into the house. “I want to show you something.” Trying to get his legs back, his head wobbly, and his internal referee still giving him the eight count, Myron followed her silently up the stairway. She led him down a darkened corridor lined with modern lithographs. She stopped, opened a door, and flipped on the lights. The room was teenage-cluttered, as if someone had put all the belongings in the center of the room and dropped a hand grenade on them. The posters on the walls—Michael Jordan, Keith Van Horn, Greg Downing, Austin Powers, the words YEAH, BABY! across his middle in pink tie-dye lettering—had been hung askew, all tattered corners and missing pushpins. There was a Nerf basketball hoop on the closet door. There was a computer on the desk and a baseball cap dangling from a desk lamp. The corkboard had a mix of family snapshots and construction-paper crayons signed by Jeremy’s sister, all held up by oversized pushpins. There were footballs and autographed baseballs and cheap trophies and a couple of blue ribbons and three basketballs, one with no air in it. There were stacks of computer-game CD-ROMs and a Game Boy on the unmade bed and a surprising amount of books, several opened and facedown. Clothes littered the floor like war wounded; the drawers were half open, shirts and underwear hanging out like they’d been shot mid-escape. The room had the slight, oddly comforting smell of kids’ socks.
Harlan Coben (Darkest Fear (Myron Bolitar, #7))
Behind the parking lot was a larger, two-story corrugated-steel building. The front building blocked most of what lay behind it from view, but Pike could see that the grounds were crowded with stacked auto chassis, rusting pipes, and other types of scrap metal. Two new sedans were parked out front on the street, and two more sedans and a large truck were in the parking lot, but the gravel drive was chained off, and a sign in the front office window read CLOSED. As Pike watched, a man in a blue shirt came out of the front office building, and crunched across the parking lot to the corrugated building. As he reached the door, he spoke to someone Pike didn’t see, and then that man stepped out from behind the parked truck. He was a big man with a big gut, and thick legs to carry it. The two men laughed about something, then the man in the blue shirt went into the building. The big man studied the passing traffic, then slowly returned to his place behind the truck. Everything
Robert Crais (The First Rule (Elvis Cole, #13; Joe Pike, #2))
Have you ever noticed that the things people LOVE says a lot about them? Even random stuff like your favourite band, movie or lip gloss colour can be a reflection of YOU. The same thing can be said for your friends and other important people in your life. What “other important people” you ask? Hmmm . . . like maybe . . . your CRUSH!!! YEP! That super cute guy who gives you a severe case of RCS! So, just for fun, I’ve made a little guide about what YOUR choice in boys says about you. Enjoy!!! IF YOU LIKE EMO GUYS (Think Edward from Twilight) You like to talk about things . . . A LOT! You crush on emo boys because they’re all sensitive and stuff. Just beware; sometimes dark and brooding guys can be kind of a downer! IF YOU LIKE TROUBLE MAKERS (the boy who’s on a first name basis with the principal’s receptionist) You don’t like following the rules and you crush on boys who make their own. Let’s face it: there’s something kind of exciting about them. But a word of caution my rebel loving friends: sometimes the bad boy is BAD BAD news!! IF YOU LIKE PREPPY GUYS (think shirts, polos and a general feel of being ironed from head to toe) You’re totally organized. You probably have colour-coordinated folders for every subject, and maybe, just MAYBE, you aspire to fold sweaters at the Gap. A preppy boy makes you weak in the khaki knees!! IF YOU LIKE MUSICIAN TYPES (OK, so this one is fairly obvious, but in case you’ve just arrived on Earth, I’m talking about future Justin Biebers) You’re totally into music, and you’re probably also super creative. And (let’s be honest) you also like the attention of walking around with band boy. Everyone’s always like, “Nice set for the talent show!” or “Saw you on YouTube!” or “Would you sign my forehead?!?
Rachel Renée Russell (TV Star (Dork Diaries #7))
There were, on a window ledge, photos of Emenike squinting in front of the Sistine Chapel, making a peace sign at the Acropolis, standing at the Colosseum, his shirt the same nutmeg color as the wall of the ruin. Obinze imagined him, dutiful and determined, visiting the places he was supposed to visit, thinking, as he did so, not of the things he was seeing but of the photos he would take of them and of the people who would see those photos.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Too disparately settled and demoralized to fight back physically, the Native Americans found a kind of inner resistance through the Ghost Dance movement. In 1889, Wovoka, a Paiute shaman, had a vision. It was an essentially peaceful one: The tribes should cooperate with each other and the white man. A ritual was to be followed, which would bring back dead Indians and make the white man head back east of his own accord. The buffalo would return to the plains. Wovoka taught the ritual, a five-day dance, to members of various tribes (including a representative of the Mormons), who interpreted it in light of their own culture and experience. The warlike Lakota added the idea of the Ghost Shirt, a ceremonial garment that made the wearer immune to bullets. Lakota began to perform the dance. The authorities took this as a sign that they were planning an uprising; in 1890, the army was dispatched to arrest tribal leaders, including Sitting Bull.
Chris West (A History of America in Thirty-six Postage Stamps)
Cowboy to Spykid." And Harry Bolt said, "I wish you wouldn't call me that. I need a better call sign. And I don't want Junior G-Man, Wonder Boy, Bambi, Scrappy-Do, Happy Meal, Fresh Meat, Zombie Bait, Boy Wonder, Shirley Temple, Red Shirt, Bear Cub, Son of a Gun, or any of the other stupid names you suggested." "Really?" I said. "Now's the time for this?" "I want to be called Jester." "Jester? You think this shit's funny?" "No," he said. "Because I don't think it's funny. The name's ironic." "You're an idiot." "I still want to be called Jester. It sounds cool.
Jonathan Maberry (Kill Switch (Joe Ledger, #8))