He was going to break my legs,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Do you know how fast you were going?"
Fang looked at the speedometer..."No," he said truthfully.
I tagged you at seventy miles per hour,"she said, pulling out a clipboard.
I let out an impressed whistle. "Excellent! I never thought we'd be that fast." Fang shot me a look and I put my hand over my mouth.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
Your objective is to avoid being on a string.
The first step, I think, is to get over the fear of losing a man by confronting him. Just stop being afraid, already. The most successful people in this world recognize that taking chances to get what they want is much more productive than sitting around being too scared to take a shot. The same philosophy can be applied to dating: if putting your requirements on the table means you risk him walking away, it's a risk you have to take. Because that fear can trip you up every time; all too many of you let the guy get away with disrespecting you, putting in minimal effort and holding on to the commitment to you because you're afraid he's going to walk away and you'll be alone again. And we men? We recognize this and play on it, big time.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
When Liam stepped forward again, Derek's arm shot around me , a growl vibrating up from his stomach.
Liam put his hand out toward me. When Derek tensed he pilled back, then did it again, testing his reaction, laughing when he got one, untill even Ramone started to laugh.
"Check this out," Liam said. "I think the pup's got himself a mate. Isn't that the cutest thing?
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
You scared of your old lady, Ripper?”…
“Fuck you,” he shot back. “I ain’t scared of shit except havin’ nowhere to put my dick when it gets cold and sad and wants a motherfuckin’ hug.
Madeline Sheehan (Unattainable (Undeniable, #3))
I could give you a thiught sheath to put that in,"Isabelle offered. "I got tons."
"CERTAINLY NOT," said Simon.
Clary shot him an irritated look. "Thanks, but I'm not really a thigh sheath kind of girl,"
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
We were five. You had a plaid dress and your hair...it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out while we were waiting to line up. He said, 'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.' And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.' So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She put you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, ever bird outside the windows fell silent. And right when your song ended, I knew -just like your mother- I was a goner.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
He watched as she pressed the berry to her lower lip. He kept looking at her mouth after she'd done it. He knew he should look away, but he couldn't. "Right. Good. If there's no stinging, you'd put it to your tongue."
Perry shot to his feet before he finished the words, nearly tripping over himself. He ran a hand over his head, feeling skitty, like he needed to laugh or run or do something. He picked up a stone and tossed it into the creek, trying to get the image of her tasting the berry out of his mind.
Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1))
I have no desire to sleep with you. I want to fuck you. And there is no such thing as perfectly good sex. If it’s “perfectly good,” I mock in falsetto, “he should be shot in the head and put out of everyone’s misery. Sex either blows your fucking mind, or it’s not good enough. You want me to blow your fucking mind, Ms. Lane? Come on. Do it. Be a big girl.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
I had a weapon of my own and I wasn't afraid to fucking use it. And if I died? Who the fuck cared? I put the gun to my head and demanded to be let through. The fucktards shot me.
C.J. Roberts (Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2))
People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
So, dear reader, we have come to the end of my trials. You have followed me through five volumes of adventures and six months of pain and suffering. By my reckoning, you have read two hundred and ten of my haiku. Like Meg, you surely deserve a reward. What would you accept? I am fresh out of unicorns. However, anytime you take aim and prepare to fire your best shot, anytime you seek to put your emotions into a song or poem, know that I am smiling on you. We are friends now. Call on me. I will be there for you.
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
Pritkin put a heavy hand on my shoulder, which was just as well. It probably wouldn't have looked good to choke the head of the Silver Circle to death right before the coronation. Then again, my reputation was shot to hell anyway....
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
You're a freak. But I really can't accept these-'
Were you raised in a barn? Don't be ruuuuuude, my boy. They're a gift.'
Blay shook his head. 'Take them, John. You're just going to lose this argument, and it will save us from the theatrics.'
Theatrics?' Qhuinn leaped up and assumed a Roman oratory pose. 'Whither thou knowest thy ass from thy elbow, young scribe?'
Blay blushed. 'Come on-'
Qhuinn threw himself at Blay, grasping onto the guy's shoulders and hanging his full weight off him. 'Hold me. Your insult has left me breathless. I'm agasp.'
Blay grunted and scrambled to keep Qhuinn up off the floor. 'That's agape.'
Agasp sounds better.'
Blay was trying not to smile, trying not to be delighted, but his eyes were sparkling like sapphires and his cheeks were getting red. With a silent laugh, John sat on one of the locker room benches, shook out his pair of white socks, and pulled them on under his new old jeans. 'You sure, Qhuinn? 'Cause I have a feeling they're going to fit and you might change your mind.
Qhuinn abruptly lifted himself off Blay and straightened his clothes with a sharp tug. 'And now you offend my honor.' Facing off at John, he flipped into a fencing stance.
Blay laughed. 'That's en garde, you damn fool.'
Qhuinn shot a look over his shoulder. 'ça va, Brutus?'
That would be tutu, I believe, and you can keep the cross-dressing to yourself, ya perv.'
Qhuinn flashed a brilliant smile, all twelve kinds of proud for being such an ass. 'Now, put the fuckers on, John, and let's be done with this. Before we have to put Blay in an iron lung.'
No, thanks, I had a big lunch.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
A pretty girl with butterfly clips in her dreadlocks put her hand on his arm. “You were amazing,” she told him, her voice fluting. “You have the reflexes of a striking snake. You should be a stuntman. Really, with your cheekbones, you should be an actor. A lot of people are looking for someone as pretty as you who’d do his own stunts.”
Alec threw Magnus a terrified and beseeching look. Magnus took pity on him, putting a hand on the small of Alec’s back and leaning against him. His attitude and the glance he shot at the girl clearly communicated my date.
“No offence,” said the girl, rapidly removing her hand so she could dig in her bag. “Let me give you my card. I work in a talent agency. You could be a star.”
“He’s foreign,” Magnus told the girl. “He doesn’t have a social security number. You can’t hire him.”
The girl regarded Alec’s bowed head wistfully. “That’s a shame. He could be huge. Those eyes!”
“I realize he’s a knockout,” Magnus said. “But I am afraid I have to whisk him away. He is wanted by Interpol.”
Alec shot him a strange look. “Interpol?”
“Knockout?” Alec said.
Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. “You had to know I thought so. Why else would I agree to go on a date with you?
Cassandra Clare (The Course of True Love [and First Dates] (The Bane Chronicles, #10))
I couldn’t understand what the Taliban were trying to do. “They are abusing our religion,” I said in interviews. “How will you accept Islam if I put a gun to your head and say Islam is the true religion? If they want every person in the world to be Muslim, why don’t they show themselves to be good Muslims first?
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
I want to put silencers on all guns. That way war will be nothing more than a whisper in the future. And all those who are caught whispering will be shot.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
They were shot with a shotgun and put in garbage bags and thrown under a bridge," Shrake said. "If it wasn't murder, it was a really weird accident.
John Sandford (Storm Prey (Lucas Davenport, #20))
I learned to make things not matter, to put a seal on my hopes and place them on a high shelf, out of reach. And by telling myself that there was nothing inside those hopes anyway, I avoided the wounds of deep disappointment. The pain was no worse than the quick sting of a booster shot. And yet thinking about this makes me ache again. How is it that as a child I knew I should have been loved more? Is everyone born with a bottomless emotional resevoir?
Amy Tan (The Hundred Secret Senses)
Why doesn't it bother her? Seriously, it doesn't. She's not putting on a front. She's in a serious relationship with a guy who has sex with other women for a living, and it doesn't matter to her."
"I married a cop." Roarke smiled at her. "We all have our levels of acceptance. He was an LC when they met, just as she was a doctor, and one who often works in dangerous areas of the city."
She shot him the same easy smile. "So...if I'd been an LC when we met, you wouldn't have any problem with me banging other guys. Professionally."
"None at all, as I'd kick your ass and murder all of them. But that's my level of acceptance.
J.D. Robb (Strangers in Death (In Death, #26))
You were already in a prison. You've been in a prison all your life. Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all. Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. He knew affection and tenderness but only briefly. Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom? It's not an uncommon story, Evey. Many convicts meet with miserable ends. Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one, taken out behind the chemical sheds... and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells, the weight of their chains, the unfairness of their sentences. I didn't put you in a prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.'
'You're wrong! It's just life, that's all! It's just how life is. It's what we've got to put up with. It's all we've got. What gives you the right to decide it's not good enough?'
'You're in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You've been in a prison so long, you no longer believe there's a world outside. That's because you're afraid, Evey. You're afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You're afraid because freedom is terrifying. Don't back away from it, Evey. Part of you understands the truth even as part pretends not to. You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between the death of your principles and the death of your body. You said you'd rather die. You faced the fear of your own death and you were calm and still. The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
Market moralities and mentalities-- fueled by economic imperatives to make a profit at nearly any cost-- yield unprecedented levels of loneliness, isolation, and sadness. And our public life lies in shambles, shot through with icy cynicism and paralyzing pessimism. To put it bluntly, beneath the record-breaking stock markets on Wall Street and bipartisan budget-balancing deals in the White House lurk ominous clouds of despair across this nation.
Cornel West (Restoring Hope: Conversations on the Future of Black America)
Are we going to debate philosophy or should I just kiss and make up with the demon now? Let it get a good shot at your throat so it can rip it out? (Xypher)
Put him down mercifully. (Kat)
Yes, Queenie. I’ll make sure and use a cushioned blade. (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
Echo bent over the table to make her second shot. Her beautiful breasts were right there for me to see, but i wanted to do more than observe, i wanted to...
"You should put your tongue back in your mouth. You 'll get all cotton-mouthed if it dries out."
"I can't help it you 're hot." I loved it when she dished it out.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
It is a hard thing when one has shot sixty-five lions or more, as I have in the course of my life, that the sixty-sixth should chew your leg like a quid of tobacco. It breaks the routine of the thing, and putting other considerations aside, I am an orderly man and don't like that. This is by the way.
H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines (Allan Quatermain, #1))
I’d take that gum out of the keyhole if I were you, Peeves,” he said pleasantly.
Peeves paid no attention to Professor Lupin’s words, except to blow a loud wet raspberry.
Professor Lupin gave a small sigh and took out his wand.
“This is a useful little spell,” he told the class over his shoulder. “Please watch closely.”
He raised the wand to shoulder height, said, “Waddiwasi!” and pointed it at Peeves.
With the force of a bullet, the wad of chewing gum shot out of the keyhole and straight down Peeves’s left nostril; he whirled upright and zoomed away, cursing.
“Cool, sir!” said Dean Thomas in amazement.
“Thank you, Dean,” said Professor Lupin, putting his wand away again. “Shall we proceed?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Anytime you take aim and prepare to fire your best shot, anytime you seek to put your emotions into a song, know that I am smiling on you.
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
My name...my name is Mary. I'm here with a friend.'
Rhage stopped breathing. His heart skipped a beat and then slowed. "Say that again,' he whispered.
'Ah, my name is Mary Luce. I'm a friend of Bella's...We came here with a boy, with John Matthew. We were invited.'
Rhage shivered, a balmy rush blooming out all over his skin. The musical lilt of her voice, the rhythm of her speech, the sound of her words, it all spread through him, calming him, comforting him. Chaining him sweetly.
He closed his eyes. 'Say something else.'
'What?' she asked, baffled.
'Talk. Talk to me. I want to hear your voice.'
She was silent, and he was about to demand that she speak when she said, 'You don't look well. Do you need a doctor?'
He found himself swaying. The words didn't matter. It was her sound: low, soft, a quiet brushing in his ears. He felt as if here being stroked on the inside of his skin.
'More,' he said, twisting his palm around to the front of her neck so he could feel the vibrations in her throat better.
'Could you... could you please let go of me?'
'No.' He brought his other arm up. She was wearing some kind of fleece, and he moved the collar aside, putting his hand on her shoulder so she couldn't get away from him. 'Talk.'
She started to struggle. 'You're crowding me.'
'I know. Talk.'
'Oh for God's sake, what do you want me to say?'
Even exasperated, her voice was beautiful. 'Anything.'
'Fine. Get your hand off my throat and let me go or I'm going to knee you where it counts.'
He laughed. Then sank his lower body into her, trapping her with his thighs and hips. She stiffened against him, but he got an ample feel of her. She was built lean, though there was no doubt she was female. Her breasts hit his chest, her hips cushioned his, her stomach was soft.
'Keep talking,' he said in her ear. God, she smelled good. Clean. Fresh. Like lemon.
When she pushed against him, he leaned his full weight into her. Her breath came out in a rush.
'Please,' he murmured.
Her chest moved against his as if she were inhaling. 'I... er, I have nothing to say. Except get off of me.'
He smiled, careful to keep his mouth closed. There was no sense showing off his fangs, especially if she didn't know what he was. 'So say that.'
'Nothing. Say nothing. Over and over and over again. Do it.'
She bristled, the scent of fear replaced by a sharp spice, like fresh, pungent mint from a garden. She was annoyed now. 'Say it.'
"Fine. Nothing. Nothing.' Abruptly she laughed, and the sound shot right through to his spine, burning him. 'Nothing, nothing. No-thing. No-thing. Noooooothing. There, is that good enought for you? Will you let me go now?
J.R. Ward (Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2))
We like to put sacred texts in flowing waters, so I rolled it up, tied it to a piece of wood, placed a dandelion on top, and floated it in the stream which flows into the Swat River. Surely God would find it there.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will fight one another and hurt one another and maim one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done.
And even if you avoid warfare and violent death, little boy, what else do you think life has in store for you? You have already seen what it is capable of doing. It took your mother from you, drained her of health and beauty, and then cast her aside like the withered, rotten husk of a fruit. It will take others from you too, mark me. Those whom you care about--lovers, children--will fall by the wayside, and your love will not be enough to save them. Your health will fail you. You will become old and sick. Your limbs will ache, your eyesight will fade, and your skin will grow lined and aged. There will be pains deep within that no doctor will be able to cure. Diseases will find a warm, moist place inside you and there they will breed, spreading through your system, corrupting it cell by cell until you pray for the doctors to let you die, to put you out of your misery, but they will not. Instead you will linger on, with no one to hold your hand or soothe your brow, as Death comes and beckons you into his darkness. The life you left behind you is no life at all. Here, you can be king, and I will allow you to age with dignity and without pain, and when the time comes for you to die, I will send you gently to sleep and you will awaken in the paradise of your choosing, for each man dreams his own heaven.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
I could do without your sarcasm. (Kat)
And I could do without your bleeding heart. (Xypher)
Just remember, my bleeding heart is what gained you a shot at freedom. (Kat)
Queenie, it was a bleeding heart that put me in that position to begin with. The person I was trying to protect when I was taken didn’t return the favor. The bitch was only using me. So take my advice: whatever compassion you have, kill it off. You’ll thank me for it later. (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
Maybe it’s not metaphysics. Maybe it’s existential. I’m talking about the individual US citizen’s deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we’ve lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it’s all passing away, and so are we, so am I, and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it’s not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than “die,” “pass away,” the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday—’
‘And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die, and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die, and so on, and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we’re remembered, these’ll last what—a hundred years? two hundred?—and they’ll crumble, and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die, and their offspring, or if I’m cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay, and my urn will decay, and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here, and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire, and we’re all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that’s why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
카카오톡 , 라인 , 텔레그램 모두 서버에서 포렌식 복구가 가능하여 굉장히 위험합니다.
사용하는 딜러들은 보안에 관해 무지하여 적발 가능성이 굉장히 높으니 조심하세요..
Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.
공식홈페이지 / deepwebkorea(.)(com)
❣결제 : [비트코인,모네로]
❣샘플 선드랍 가능
❣딥웹코리아 떨(버드 /떨 액상,쥴 대마 팟,해쉬)
"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!
you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live"
❣딥웹코리아 케미컬 (위커 문의)
❣샘플 선드랍 가능
. I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan
I grabbed my shot of tequila. Then I tossed it back. When I put my empty down to the bar and after I took in a deep breath, I informed her, “I like you. I need a new best friend. I’ve added you to the top of a list that has one name. Yours.
Kristen Ashley (Games of the Heart (The 'Burg, #4))
Gah, some chicks should be shot. Put out of everyone else's reproduction pool.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did it, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics at the time.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe, the entire government gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
The director cleared her throat just a few shots in. “Um, so, is there anything you can do about that, Mr Cavendish? This is not an X-rated publication…”
James, shameless bastard that he was, seemed completely unfazed. “You’ll just need to shoot me waist up. You were the one who wanted my girlfriend in the shot, putting her hands on me. What did you think was going to happen?
R.K. Lilley (Grounded (Up in the Air, #3))
Want to know what else he said?" Rafe put his lips near my ear. "That with the right guy, you'd turn wild"
I shoved him hard. He was laughing before he even hit the ground. I shot to my feet and glared at him. "You're disgusting
Kat Falls (Inhuman (Fetch, #1))
But then again, if you don’t put yourself out there, don’t let your guard down, don’t open yourself up to the chance of love, then you will never have the experience of someone proving to you they are worthy of the gift you’re giving them. You won’t have a shot at happiness, not real happiness, which comes from sharing your life with someone.
Aurora Rose Reynolds (Until June (Until Her/Him, #3))
Her hands shot up. “See that’s exactly what I’m saying. You’re seeing what you want, and what you see you explain away and excuse things like you’re fixing me. I’m not perfect, Ephraim and I really wish you would see that.”
“What?” That caught her off guard.
“When you’re asleep you drool. I’ve woken up more than a few times with a little puddle forming on my chest.” After a thought he added. “And you snore. Not a delicate snore either mind you.”
“I do not!” Her face colored with indignation.
He sighed heavily as if the knowledge pained him. “Oh, but you do. I’ve even heard Jill talk about it. Did you know that’s the main reason she was happy about her room. Actually, she and Joshua thanked your Grandmother for putting you at the other end of the house, something about finally getting a decent night’s sleep. They compared your snore to a chainsaw. I can see why they’d say that.
R.L. Mathewson (Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel, #1))
If my hair was on fire and llamas came to put it out, he'd tell me the shot was great.
Erin Dionne (Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies)
I mean, I was full on ready to be arrested; you know, I’d just put on a little lipstick, mug shot ready.
Leah Remini (Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology)
You'll want all your strength for the wedding night."
I cannot think why I should need strength," she said, ignoring a host of spine-tingling images rising in her mind's eye. "All I have to do is lie there."
"Naked," he said grimly.
"Truly?" She shot him a glance from under her lashes. "Well, if I must, I must, for you have the advantage of experience in these matters. Still, I do wish you'd told me sooner. I should not have put the modiste to so much trouble about the negligee."
"It was ghastly expensive," she said, "but the silk is as fine as gossamer, and the eyelet work about the neckline is exquisite. Aunt Louisa was horrified. She said only Cyprians wear such things, and it leaves nothing to the imagination."
Jessica heard him suck in his breath, felt the muscular thigh tense against hers.
"But if it were left to Aunt Louisa," she went on,"I should be covered from my chin to my toes in thick cotton ruffled with monstrosities with little bows and rosebuds. Which is absurd, when an evening gown reveals far more, not to mention--"
"What color?" he asked. His low voice had roughened.
"Wine red," she said, "With narrow black ribbons threaded through the neckline. Here." She traced a plunging U over her bosom. "And there's the loveliest openwork over my...well, here." She drew her finger over the curve of her breast a bare inch above the nipple. "And openwork on the right side of the skirt. From here" --she pointed to her hip--"down to the hem. And I bought---"
"Jess." Her name was a strangled whisper.
"--slippers to match," she continued." Black mules with--"
"Jess." In one furious flurry of motion he threw down the reins and hauled her into his lap.
Loretta Chase (Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3))
I've been keeping an eye on Henry throughout the fight. I glanced at him just as he stepped onto the mat.
"Alpha," he called. "I chal—"
He never got the whole word out—because I drew my foster father's SIG and shot him in the throat before he could.
For a split second everyone stared at him, as if they couldn't figure out where all that blood had come from.
"Stop the bleeding." I said. Though I made no move to do it myself. The rat could die for all I cared. "That was a lead bullet. He'll be fine." But he wouldn't be talking—or challenging Adam—for a while. "When he's stable put him in the holding cell where he can't do any more harm."
Adam looked at me. "Trust you to bring a gun into a fist fight." He said with every evidence of admiration. Then he looked at his pack. Our pack. "What she said." He told them.
Patricia Briggs (Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5))
You’re not leaving. I told you that.” She worked to keep the calm in her tone to counter his fury.
“I’m going to shoot.”
“It’s time to put your gun down, Noah.”
“His blood will be on you.”
Rook made eye contact with her and mouthed, Shoot. Him.
She had no shot and said so with the smallest head shake.
Richard Castle (Heat Wave (Nikki Heat, #1))
I gotta call Vanni tonight, and tell her. I’ve got her all confused and totally furious…”
“Paul, you can’t tell her on the phone,” Jack said.
“Paul! She’s gonna hang up on you! And then the next time you show your face, she’s going to put a bullet in your head. And Walt will help her line up her shot.
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass (Virgin River, #5))
He dabbed at his tuxedo with a damp rag, and the fungi came away easily. "Hate to do this, Bill," he said of the fungi he was murdering. "Fungi have as much right to life as I do. they know what they want, Bill. Damned if I do anymore."
Then he thought about what Bill himself might want. It was easy to guess. "Bill," he said, "I like you so much, and I am such a big shot in the Universe, that I will make your three biggest wishes come true." He opened the door of the cage, something Bill couldn't have done in a thousand years.
Bill flew over to the windowsill. He put his little shoulder against the glass. there was just one layer of glass between Bill and the great out-of-doors. Although Trough was in the storm window business, he had no storm windows on his own abode.
"Your second wish is about to come true," said Trout, and he again did something which Bill could never have done. he opened the window. But the opening of the window was such an alarming business to the parakeet that he flew back to his cage and hopped inside.
Trout closed the door of the cage and latched it. "That's the most intelligent use of three wishes I ever heard of," he told the bird. "You made sure you'd still have something worth wishing for--to get out of the cage.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Fine.” I poured one more shot for her, then screwed the lid on the bottle. “But that’s it. I’m not putting my life in the hands of a bunch of drunks.
Rachel Vincent (Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6))
The god of love had shot all his arrows, but could never pierce his heart, till at length he put himself into the bow.
Henry Scougal (The Life of God in the Soul of Man)
As I got older, I got craftier and less obvious, but I’ve always put a lot of energy and effort into people liking me. That’s why I’ve never understood the compliment “effortless.” People love to say: “She just walked into the party, charming people with her effortless beauty.” I don’t understand that at all. What’s so wrong with effort, anyway? It means you care. What about the girl who “walked into the party, her determination to please apparent on her eager face”? Sure, she might seem a little crazy, and, yes, maybe everything she says sounds like conversation starters she found on a website, but at least she’s trying. Let’s give her a shot!
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
The fear thou art in, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "prevents thee from seeing or hearing correctly, for one of the effects of fear is to derange the senses and make things appear different from what they are; if thou art in such fear, withdraw to one side and leave me to myself, for alone I suffice to bring victory to that side to which I shall give my aid;" and so saying he gave Rocinante the spur, and putting the lance in rest, shot down the slope like a thunderbolt.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometres away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope. Statement: This definition, I am told, is subject to interpretation. Obviously, 'love' is a matter of odds. Not many meatbags could make such a shot, and strangely enough, not many meatbags would derive love from it. Yet for me, love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticle, and together, achieving a singular purpose... against statistically long odds...
Yet genius of a sort must have existed among women as it must have existed among the working classes. Now and again an Emily Bronte or a Robert Burns blazes out and proves its presence. But certainly it never got itself on paper. When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to.
[…]any woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village, half witch, half wizard, feared and mocked at. For it needs little skill in psychology to be sure that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Sorry, old girl," I said to [my bicycle] Gladys in the gray dishwater light of early morning, "but I have to leave you at home."
I could see that she was disappointed, even though she managed to put on a brave face.
"I need you to stay here as a decoy," I whispered. "When they see you leaning against the greenhouse, they'll think I'm still in bed."
Gladys brightened considerably at the thought of a conspiracy. [...]
At the corner of the garden, I turned, and mouthed the words, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do," and Gladys signaled that she wouldn't.
I was off like a shot.
Alan Bradley (A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3))
Much of the food he put on the table came from hunting—despite the fact that he was uncomfortable killing animals. “My dad cried every time he shot a deer,” Billie says, 'but we had to eat, so he did it.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
You know that ‘no weapons at work’ policy?” I asked the twitching and growing hairy monstrosity standing less than ten feet from me. His yellow eyes bored into me with raw animal hatred. There was nothing recognizably human in that look.
“I never did like that rule,” I said as I bent down and drew my gun from my ankle holster, put the front sight on the target and rapidly fired all five shots from my snub-nosed .357 Smith & Wesson into Mr. Huffman’s body. God bless Texas.
Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International (Monster Hunter International, #1))
One day we heard on the radio that a woman in the suburbs had seen a mountain lion behind her house and had called the police, who shot the animal. Dad got so angry he put his fist through a wall. "That mountain lion had as much right to his life as that sour old biddy does to hers," he said. "You can't kill something just because it's wild.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
What a world this is, he thought. Children put us to shame with their pluck, and are shot in the back for it.
Frances Hardinge (Fly by Night)
Did you have one of those days today, like a nail in the foot? Did the pterodactyl corpse dropped by the ghost of your mother from the spectral Hindenburg forever circling the Earth come smashing through the lid of your glass coffin? Did the New York strip steak you attacked at dinner suddenly show a mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth, and did it snap off the end of your fork, the last solid-gold fork from the set Anastasia pressed into your hands as they took her away to be shot? Is the slab under your apartment building moaning that it cannot stand the weight on its back a moment longer, and is the building stretching and creaking? Did a good friend betray you today, or did that good friend merely keep silent and fail to come to your aid? Are you holding the razor at your throat this very instant? Take heart, comfort is at hand. This is the hour that stretches. Djan karet. We are the cavalry. We're here. Put away the pills. We'll get you through this bloody night. Next time, it'll be your turn to help us.
Uncle Aidan?” Percy began.
“Don’t you think you ought to marry
Aidan jerked his head up, slamming it against the trunk lid. “FUCK!” he shouted as he saw stars before his eyes. A few more expletives escaped his lips as pain raged through his skull.
“Nice mouth you got there,” John chided.
Gritting his teeth, Aidan rubbed his aching head. “You mention that one to your mom, and I’ll tell her about your ball-sack comment.”
John’s eyes widened. “Dude, that is so not cool!”
“Yeah, well, deal with it.” Aidan started to resume gathering up the bags when he noticed Percy staring expectantly at him for an answer. Aidan sighed. “Perce—”
His blonde brows knitted together.
“Don’t you love her?”
“Oh Christ,” Aidan muttered, raking his hand through his hair. He winced as pain once again shot through his head. “Did your mom put you up to this or something?”
“No. When I asked her the same question, she just said that you were a cad.”
Percy shrugged. “I don’t even know what that means.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s a dude who acts like a douchebag to women,” John said.
Aidan glared over at John. “I am not a cad!
Katie Ashley (The Proposal (The Proposition, #2))
Gwen smiled and asked hopefully, "Is there coffee again this morning?"
Silvan put his book down and glanced absently at Gwen. His gaze dropped to her cleavage, and a single white brow shot up. He blinked several times.
"There certainly is," Nell said, circling the table.
She stopped behind Gwen and draped a linen cloth over her shoulders, so it tumbled from her neck like a bib.
"Peel yer eyes off the lass's breasts," Nell said sweetly to Silvan.
Gwen turned twenty shades of red, sneaked a hand beneath the bib, and tugged at her bodice, trying to jiggle them back down a little. Mortified, she devoted her attention to eyeing the medieval dining ware-plates and goblets made of heavy silver, a fat spoon and broad knife, and heavy blue bowls.
"She's the one who fluffed them up," Silvan protested indignantly. "I didn't mean to look, but they were ... so ... there. Like trying not to see the sun in the sky."
Nell arched a brow and circled round the table again.
"I hardly think 'twas ye she fluffed 'em for, was it lass?" Gwen glanced up and gave an embarrassed shake of her head.
Karen Marie Moning (Kiss of the Highlander (Highlander, #4))
Truth for anyone is a very complex thing. For a writer, what you leave out says as much as those things you include. What lies beyond the margin of the text? The photographer frames the shot; writers frame their world. Mrs Winterson objected to what I had put in, but it seemed to me that what I had left out was the story’s silent twin. There are so many things that we can’t say, because they are too painful. We hope that the things we can say will soothe the rest, or appease it in some way. Stories are compensatory. The world is unfair, unjust, unknowable, out of control. When we tell a story we exercise control, but in such a way as to leave a gap, an opening. It is a version, but never the final one. And perhaps we hope that the silences will be heard by someone else, and the story can continue, can be retold. When we write we offer the silence as much as the story. Words are the part of silence that can be spoken. Mrs Winterson would have preferred it if I had been silent.
Do you remember the story of Philomel who is raped and then has her tongue ripped out by the rapist so that she can never tell? I believe in fiction and the power of stories because that way we speak in tongues. We are not silenced. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. The thing is stuck. We get our language back through the language of others. We can turn to the poem. We can open the book. Somebody has been there for us and deep-dived the words. I needed words because unhappy families are conspiracies of silence. The one who breaks the silence is never forgiven. He or she has to learn to forgive him or herself.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
She'd flown bareback across wide-open Texas land. She'd once shot a charging boar and never flinched. She'd put her life at risk for her country without a complaint. She was not a weakling.
Becky Wade (Her One and Only (Porter Family, #4))
Every fop and fool in London has been sniffing after her." Having said that, Jason returned his attention for the report. "Go ahead and read off the names, if you must."
Frowning in surprise at Jason's dismissive attitude, Charles took the seat across the desk from him and put on his spectacles. "First, there is young Lord Crowley, who has already asked my permission to court her."
"No. Too impulsive," Jason decreed flatly.
"What makes you say so?" Charles said with a bewildered look.
"Crowley doesn't know Victoria well enough to want to 'court' her, as you so quaintly phrased it."
"Don't be ridiculous. The first four men on this list have already asked my permission to do the same thing- providing, of course, that your claim on her is not unbreakable.”
“No, to all those four men- for the same reason,” Jason said curtly, leaning back in his chair, absorbed in the report in his hand. Who’s next?”
“Crowley’s friend, Lord Wiltshire.”
“Too young. Who’s next?”
“Too short,” Jason said cryptically. “Next?”
“William Rogers,” Charles shot back in a challenging voice, “and he’s tall, conservative, mature, intelligent, and handsome. He’s also the heir to one of the finest estates in England. I think he would do very well for Victoria.”
“No?” Charles burst out. “Why not?”
“I don’t like the way Roger sits a horse.”
“You don’t like_” Charles bit out in angry disbelief; then he glanced at Jason’s implacable face and sighed. “Very well. The last name on my list is Lord Terrance. He sits horses extremely well, in addition to being and excellent chap. He is also tall, handsome, intelligent, and wealthy. Now,” he finished triumphantly, “what fault can you find with him?”
Jason’s jaw tightened ominously.“I don’t like him.
Judith McNaught (Once and Always (Sequels, #1))
What others?” I asked, as Jonas began examining Pritkin’s little boxes and tins.
“Hm? Oh, the other two gods, of course,” he said absently. “Ah, Nuwara Eliya. Yes, very nice.”
“Nuwara Eliya is a god?” I asked, confused. He regarded me strangely.
“No. It’s a town in Sri Lanka.”
I looked at him.
“Where they grow tea. Very good tea, too.”
Pritkin put a heavy hand on my shoulder, which was just as well. It probably wouldn’t have looked good to choke the head of the Silver Circle to death right before the coronation. Then again, my reputation was shot to hell anyway....
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
So I take it you and Gansey get along, then?” Maura’s expression was annoyingly knowing.
“Orla told me about his muscle car,” Maura continued. Her voice was still angry and artificially bright. The fact that Blue was well aware that she’d earned it made the sting of it even worse. “You aren’t planning on kissing him, are you?”
“Mom, that will never happen,” Blue assured her. “You did meet him, didn’t you?”
“I wasn’t sure if driving an old, loud Camaro was the male equivalent of shredding your T-shirts and gluing cardboard trees to your bedroom walls.”
“Trust me,” Blue said. “Gansey and I are nothing like each other. And they aren’t cardboard. They’re repurposed canvas.”
“The environment breathes a sigh of relief.” Maura attempted another sip of her drink; wrinkling her nose, she shot a glare at Persephone. Persephone looked martyred. After a pause, Maura noted, in a slightly softer voice, “I’m not entirely happy about you’re getting in a car without air bags.”
“Our car doesn’t have air bags,” Blue pointed out.
Maura picked a long strand of Persephone’s hair from the rim of her glass. “Yes, but you always take your bike.”
Blue stood up. She suspected that the green fuzz of the sofa was now adhered to the back of her leggings. “Can I go now? Am I in trouble?”
“You are in trouble. I told you to stay away from him and you didn’t,” Maura said. “I just haven’t decided what to do about it yet. My feelings are hurt. I’ve consulted with several people who tell me that I’m within my rights to feel hurt. Do teenagers still get grounded? Did that only happen in the eighties?”
“I’ll be very angry if you ground me,” Blue said, still wobbly from her mother’s unfamiliar displeasure. “I’ll probably rebel and climb out my window with a bedsheet rope.”
Her mother rubbed a hand over her face. Her anger had completely burned itself out. “You’re well into it, aren’t you? That didn’t take long.”
“If you don’t tell me not to see them, I don’t have to disobey you,” Blue suggested.
“This is what you get, Maura, for using your DNA to make a baby,” Calla said.
Maura sighed. “Blue, I know you’re not an idiot. It’s just, sometimes smart people do dumb things.”
Calla growled, “Don’t be one of them.”
“Persephone?” asked Maura.
In her small voice, Persephone said, “I have nothing left to add.” After a moment of consideration, she added, however, “If you are going to punch someone, don’t put your thumb inside your fist. It would be a shame to break it.”
“Okay,” Blue said hurriedly. “I’m out.”
“You could at least say sorry,” Maura said. “Pretend like I have some power over you.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
I mourned,” Roma said just as softly. “I mourned for months, years outside the gates of the cemetery. Yet I don’t regret choosing you. No matter how cruel you think yourself, your heart beats for your people. That’s why you shot him. That’s why you took the chance. Not because you are merciless. Because you have hope.” Juliette looked up. If Roma turned, even the slightest, they would be nose to nose. “I regret that I was ever put in the position to choose,” Roma continued. His words were faint, whispered into the world while the streets roared with sirens, the building beside them teemed with chaos, and policemen along every street corner screamed for order. But Juliette heard him perfectly. “I hate that the blood feud forced my hand, but I can’t—I did what I had to do and you may think me monstrous for it. The feud keeps taking and hurting and killing and still I couldn’t stop loving you even when I thought I hated you.
Chloe Gong (These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1))
I finally said, "Let's put it this way: I'd rather lose you than stop my shots.""You mean that chemical is more important to you than I am?""No, I am more important to me than you are.
Lou Sullivan (We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan)
Drunk," she said.
"Shrew," he replied.
"Kids!" Michael held up his hands in a T shape. "Time out."
Ava shot Kaleb a dirty look and left the kitchen. Michael followed.
He didn't look back.
"Why don't you tell her how you really feel?" I asked Kaleb when they were gone.
"I have from the beginning." Kaleb put his arms on the table and propped his chin on his fist, gazing at me. "Kind of like I'm about to tell you that I might be in love with you."
"Really?" I laughed. "Because of all of our deep conversations and the quality time we've spent together? Or was it just love at first sight?"
"Something like that," he said, teasing.
Myra McEntire (Hourglass (Hourglass, #1))
Cause my heart said a long time ago,
Buddy tuck your tail and run.
Cause it ain't love,
When you're stuck on the wrong end of the gun
Well, you put your finger on that trigger
And you shot me where I stood.
I found out the hard way.
I loved you more than I should.
He flashed Neil a triumphant grin, oblivious to the way the store clerks were staring at them. "I am a master at persuasion." "Or self-delusion," Neil said. Nicky's eyebrows shot up. "Oh my god, did you try to make a joke? Did it hurt a little? No, really," he said when Neil turned as if to leave him. "What put you in such a good mood?" Turning put Andrew in Neil's line of sight again.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
I let out a huff and forced a smile. “You’re a vampire.”
Dean tilted his chin up and smiled. “I have no fangs.”
He said through his teeth.
I examined the glistening white canines. They were
normal, just like mine. “You retract them when you don’t
need them.” I said.
Dean moved across the table and put his face up to
mine. His mouth was a torturous breath away from my
own. “Then why haven’t I sucked your blood Lina?” He
whispered right before pressing his soft lips against mine.
Then he inched towards my neck and lingered his lips on
my pulse. His soft breathing tickled my skin and triggered
a chill that shot up my spine. My blood jumped to a rush
and began to throb for him. If he were a vampire, I swear
I’d let him suck me. “Why aren’t I biting you right now?”
He whispered. It took everything I had in me not to melt
into the seat and land as a puddle on the ground.
E.M. Jade (Captivated (Affliction, #1))
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover.
His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him
in such a state at
their club, were talking far too loudly.
Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly.
“Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle
their table and
splitting it open with a viciously loud crack.
Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him.
Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted
him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?”
Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?”
Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to
“Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.”
“Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?”
If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise.
“If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut.
“You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had
been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was
displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered.
Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did,
apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—”
“What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled.
“I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.”
“Just so!” Colin exclaimed.
Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.”
“It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere.
“When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you
may presume to
offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.”
Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?”
Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.”
Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.”
“Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.”
Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle
finger. “God above,”
he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?”
“Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Who told you that?" I say. "Davy Prentiss?"
He blinks. "What?"
"What do you mean what?" My voice is harder now. "Your new best friend. The man who shot me, Todd, and who you ride to work with laughing every morning."
He clenches his hands into fists.
"You've been spying on me?" he says. "Three months I don't see you, three months I don't hear nothing from you and you been spying? Is that what yer doing in your spare time when yer not blowing people up?"
"Yeah," I yell, my voice getting louder to match his. "Three months of defending you to people who'd only be too happy to call you enemy, Todd. Three months of wondering why the hell you're working so hard for the Mayor and how he knew to go right for the ocean the day after we spoke." He winces, but I keep going, thrusting out my arm and pulling up on the sleeve. "Three months wondering why you put these on women!"
His face changes in an instant. He actually calls out as if he felt the pain himself. He puts a hand to his mouth to stifle it but his Noise is suddenly washed with blackness. He moves his fingertips of his other hand within reach of the band, hovering over my skin, over the band that'll never be removed unless I lose my arm. The skin is still red, and band 1391 still trobs, despite the healing of three mistresses.
"Oh, no," he says. "Oh, no."
The side door opens and the man who let me in leans out. "Everything all right out there, Lieutenant?"
"Lieutenant?" I say.
"We're fine," Todd chokes a little. "We're fine."
The man waits for a second, then goes back inside.
"Lieutenant?" I say again, lowering my voice.
Todd's leant down, his hands on his knees, staring at the floor. "It wasn't me, was it?" he says, his voice quiet, too. "I didn't-" He gestures again at the band without looking up. "I didn't do it without knowing it was you, did I?
Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
You mean Ronald just stepped down after ten years?' he asked. She had to be putting him on.
'He just stepped down and George Bush became president.'
'And then George Bush shot Ronald Reagan to prevent him from seizing power?'
'No,' she said. 'I think they were friends.'
'Friends?' he asked. 'It makes me wonder how we lost the Cold War.'
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
Practise your confidence tricks on the street and you risk getting shot by trigger-happy security guards; do it in the office and you get put on the board.
James Scudamore (Heliopolis)
Tamlin shrank from her outstretched finger, claws digging into the earth. “Put that finger down, you witch.”
Nesta smiled. “I’m glad you remember what happened to the last person I pointed at.” She lowered her arm. “We’re going now.”
She stepped back to where Cassian was already waiting, arms open. He wrapped them around her waist. Nesta glanced to Eris, who gave her a shallow, approving nod, then vanished.
Nesta said to Tamlin before they shot into the skies, “Tell anyone you saw us, High Lord, and I’ll rip your head from your body, too.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
You have no shot at experiencing real change in life if you’re habitually protecting your image, hyping your spiritual brand, and putting out the vibe that you’re a lot more unfazed by temptation than the reality you know and live would suggest.
Matt Chandler (Recovering Redemption: A Gospel Saturated Perspective on How to Change)
But the modern-day church doesn’t like to wander or wait. The modern-day church likes results. Convinced the gospel is a product we’ve got to sell to an increasingly shrinking market, we like our people to function as walking advertisements: happy, put-together, finished—proof that this Jesus stuff WORKS! At its best, such a culture generates pews of Stepford Wife–style robots with painted smiles and programmed moves. At its worst, it creates environments where abuse and corruption get covered up to protect reputations and preserve image. “The world is watching,” Christians like to say, “so let’s be on our best behavior and quickly hide the mess. Let’s throw up some before-and-after shots and roll that flashy footage of our miracle product blanching out every sign of dirt, hiding every sign of disease.” But if the world is watching, we might as well tell the truth. And the truth is, the church doesn’t offer a cure. It doesn’t offer a quick fix. The church offers death and resurrection. The church offers the messy, inconvenient, gut-wrenching, never-ending work of healing and reconciliation. The church offers grace. Anything else we try to peddle is snake oil. It’s not the real thing.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Problem with the big philosophers is they cared about ideas more than people. Hegel would probably have stepped over a guy trying to slit his wrists outside a bar — to get to all the people he could sit and bullshit with inside. Did you know half of philosophy was first put into words by people shot in the ass?
Carol Plum-Ucci (What Happened to Lani Garver)
Some enterprising rabbit had dug its way under the stakes of my garden again. One voracious rabbit could eat a cabbage down to the roots, and from the looks of things, he'd brought friends. I sighed and squatted to repair the damage, packing rocks and earth back into the hole. The loss of Ian was a constant ache; at such moments as this, I missed his horrible dog as well.
I had brought a large collection of cuttings and seeds from River Run, most of which had survived the journey. It was mid-June, still time--barely--to put in a fresh crop of carrots. The small patch of potato vines was all right, so were the peanut bushes; rabbits wouldn't touch those, and didn't care for the aromatic herbs either, except the fennel, which they gobbled like licorice.
I wanted cabbages, though, to preserve a sauerkraut; come winter, we would want food with some taste to it, as well as some vitamin C. I had enough seed left, and could raise a couple of decent crops before the weather turned cold, if I could keep the bloody rabbits off. I drummed my fingers on the handle of my basket, thinking. The Indians scattered clippings of their hair around the edges of the fields, but that was more protection against deer than rabbits.
Jamie was the best repellent, I decided. Nayawenne had told me that the scent of carnivore urine would keep rabbits away--and a man who ate meat was nearly as good as a mountain lion, to say nothing of being more biddable. Yes, that would do; he'd shot a deer only two days ago; it was still hanging. I should brew a fresh bucket of spruce beer to go with the roast venison, though . . . (Page 844)
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
Women are considered of no value, unless they continually increase their owner's stock. They are put on a par with animals. This same master shot a woman through the head, who had run away and been brought back to him. No one called him to account for it. If a slave resisted being whipped, the bloodhounds were unpacked, and set upon him, to tear his flesh from his bones. The master who did these things was highly educated, and styled a perfect gentleman. He also boasted the name and standing of a Christian, though Satan never had a truer follower. I
Harriet Ann Jacobs (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself)
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
So it goes, and Henry is there, in his head and his lecture notes and his cubicle, every single stupid day, no matter how many shots of espresso he puts in his coffee.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Stars are good, too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair. But I suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far off they are, for they do not look it. When they first showed, last night, I tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach, which astonished me; then I tried clods till I was all tired out, but I never got one. It was because I am left-handed and cannot throw good. Even when I aimed at the one I wasn't after I couldn't hit the other one, though I did make some close shots, for I saw the black blot of the clod sail right into the midst of the golden clusters forty or fifty times, just barely missing them, and if I could have held out a little longer maybe I could have got one.
Mark Twain (The Diaries of Adam and Eve)
Stupid son of a bitch"
His droopy eyes went huge. "What did you say to me?"
"You heard me. You're too tight-assed. To stubborn, too stupid to put your feelings aside. I can't afford to lose a key member at this stage of the investigation. You know that, so don't come in here and tell me I've got cause to boot you."
"You're the one who's going to get a boot, right straight up your ass."
"You couldn't take me ten years ago," she shot back, "you sure as hell can't take me now."
"Want to test that out, kid?
J.D. Robb (Creation in Death (In Death, #25))
Exactly, Artemis,” confirmed the bodyguard. “Or, as we used to say in the Delta: we are running blindfolded into the kill box.” Artemis’s face fell. Kill box? Holly shot Butler a withering glance. Nicely put, big guy. Artemis’s family lives in that kill box.
Eoin Colfer (The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl, #8))
When did atheists become so evangelical? I mean, if you don't believe something to be true, wouldn't you just ignore it? That's certainly what I do. Whether it's leprechauns or a congressional debt reduction plan - if I'm convinced it's fiction, I simply put it out of my mind. Not the atheists. They are obsessed with faith and religious practice. Their identities and their works are one big reaction to that which they hate. No longer content to simply dismiss God and those who follow in Him, the New Atheists have created a cult of unbelief.
Laura Ingraham (Of Thee I Zing: America's Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots)
Some people may feel that I am unrealistic to believe in a world that is free of abuse. But words like unrealistic, naive, and impractical come from voices of superiority who use them as put-downs to get people to stop thinking for themselves. Abuse does affect us all. If you haven’t been involved with an abusive partner yourself, even if no woman that you love has ever suffered chronic mistreatment, the quality of your life is still dragged down, your horizons still circumscribed, by the existence of abuse and the culture that drives it. The voice of abuse takes so many different forms. You can hear it each time a child’s dreams are shot down by an adult who thinks he or she knows it all. It rings in the ears of anyone who has ever been ridiculed for crying. It echoes through the mind of each person who has dared to put a name to his or her own mistreatment, or to the cruelty directed toward someone else, and then has been derided with stinging words such as sissy or mama’s boy or hysterical or thousands of others. If
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Marcus tries to stay calm for the sake of his family.
“I’m not asking. Step out of the damned car!” The officer is becoming unglued.
“I’m getting out, damn you, but, here, let me just show you my—”
“Don’t reach. Stop!”
“I’m getting what you asked for, just going to show you my—”
“Put your hands where I can see them!” The officer snarls.
“Jesus H. Christ, officer. I’m not—”
Thunderous shots ring out, and Marcus slumps away from the dash, back toward the driver’s seat.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #4))
…Sam [Raimi] wanted the climactic sword fight to play out as elegantly as a Fred Astaire movie and he wanted it all in one crane shot.
I must have rehearsed the routine for three weeks, but when it came time to shoot, the rigors of running up and down steps, fighting with both hands, and flipping skeletons over my head was too much to pull off without cuts. After ten takes, I knew Sam was pissed off, because he yanked the bullhorn from John Cameron.
‘Okay, obviously, this is NOT WORKING, and it’s NOT GOING TO WORK, so we’re going to break it up into A THOUSAND LITTLE PIECES.’
When Sam gets upset, he lets you know it, and he’ll torture you for days afterward because he’s one of those guys who never forgets. The first ‘little piece’ of the sequence was a shot of me ducking as a sword glances off the stone wall behind me.
‘So, you think you can do this, Bruce?’ he’d say, loud enough for the entire crew to hear. ‘Or should I break this ONE shot into THREE MORE SHOTS?’
Sam also threatened to put Ash in a chorus line with skeletons.
Bruce Campbell (If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor)
Putting on the shoes of peace can help you make good choices. God says when you allow His peace to rule your life, He will call the shots. When you're worrying about what you're supposed to do, He will calm your heart and your mind by giving you peace.
Tony Evans (A Kid's Guide to the Armor of God)
Frank grabbed a tourist brochure stuck under the napkin dispenser. He began to read it. Piper patted Leo’s arm, like she couldn’t believe he was really here. Nico stood at the edge of the group, eyeing the passing pedestrians as if they might be enemies. Coach Hedge munched on the salt and pepper shakers. Despite the happy reunion, everybody seemed more subdued than usual—like they were picking up on Leo’s mood. Jason had never really considered how important Leo’s sense of humor was to the group. Even when things were super serious, they could always depend on Leo to lighten things up. Now, it felt like the whole team had dropped anchor. “So then Jason harnessed the venti,” Hazel finished. “And here we are.” Leo whistled. “Hot-air horses? Dang, Jason. So basically, you held a bunch of gas together all the way to Malta, and then you let it loose.” Jason frowned. “You know, it doesn’t sound so heroic when you put it that way.” “Yeah, well. I’m an expert on hot air. I’m still wondering, why Malta? I just kind of ended up here on the raft, but was that a random thing, or—” “Maybe because of this.” Frank tapped his brochure. “Says here Malta was where Calypso lived.” A pint of blood drained from Leo’s face. “W-what now?” Frank shrugged. “According to this, her original home was an island called Gozo just north of here. Calypso’s a Greek myth thingie, right?” “Ah, a Greek myth thingie!” Coach Hedge rubbed his hands together. “Maybe we get to fight her! Do we get to fight her? ’Cause I’m ready.” “No,” Leo murmured. “No, we don’t have to fight her, Coach.” Piper frowned. “Leo, what’s wrong? You look—” “Nothing’s wrong!” Leo shot to his feet. “Hey, we should get going. We’ve got work to do!” “But…where did you go?” Hazel asked. “Where did you get those clothes? How—” “Jeez, ladies!” Leo said. “I appreciate the concern, but I don’t need two extra moms!” Piper smiled uncertainly. “Okay, but—” “Ships to fix!” Leo said. “Festus to check! Earth goddesses to punch in the face! What are we waiting for? Leo’s back!” He spread his arms and grinned. He was making a brave attempt, but Jason could see the sadness lingering in his eyes. Something had happened to him…something to do with Calypso.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
An apocryphal story recounts the dilhemma of a man during the Civil War who could not decide whether to join the Confederate or Union forces. Finally he put on a gray coat and blue pants, and both sides shot him.
John Frohnmayer (Leaving Town Alive)
Knock it off, you two.’ Annabeth handed her scroll to Sadie. ‘Carter, let’s trade. I’ll try your khopesh ; you try my Yankees cap.’
She tossed him the hat.
‘I’m usually more of a basketball guy, but …’ Carter put on the cap and disappeared. ‘Wow, okay. I’m invisible, aren’t I?’
Sadie applauded. ‘You’ve never looked better, brother dear.’
‘If you can sneak up on Setne,’ Annabeth suggested, ‘you might be able to take him by surprise, get the crown away from him.’
‘But you told us Setne saw right through your invisibility,’ Carter said.
‘That was me ,’ Annabeth said, ‘a Greek using a Greek magic item. For you, maybe it’ll work better – or differently, at least.’
‘Carter, give it a shot,’ I said. ‘The only thing better than a giant chicken man is a giant invisible chicken man.
Rick Riordan (The Crown of Ptolemy (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #3))
Okay, okay,' I said to my husband as he picked up a food dehydrator off the table and shot me a look. 'Maybe I did get carried away. Maybe the world won't end in a year, maybe it won't end until 2028, when the Aztec calendar stops.'
'The Bugles will be very old by then,' my husband said. 'They will have lost their snappy crunch.'
'They weren't to eat,' I said. 'They were to put on our fingers and poke the eyes out of looters.
Laurie Notaro (We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive)
What I will tell you, son of sons, is this: shortly, if not already, you will begin noticing the blackness inside us all. You will develop black secrets and commit black actions. You will be shocked at the insensitivities and transgressions you are capable of, yet you will be unable to stop them. And by the time you are thirty, your friends will all have black secrets, too, but it will be years before you learn exactly *what* their black secrets are. Life at that point will become like throwing a Frisbee in a graveyard; much of the pleasure of your dealings with your friends will stem from the contrast between your sparkling youth and the ink you now know lies at your feet.
Later, as you get to be my age, you will see your friends begin to die, to lose their memories, to see their skins turn wrinkled and sick. You will see the effects of dark secrets making themslves know - via their minds and bodies and via the stories your friends - yes, Harmony, Gaia, Mei-lin, Davidson, and the rest - will begin telling you at three-thirty in the morning as you put iodine on their bruises, arrange for tetanus shots, dial 911, and listen to them cry. The only payback for all of this - for the conversion of their once-young hearts into tar - will be that you will love your friends more, even though they have made you see the universe as an emptier and scarier place - and they will love you more, too.
Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet)
You’re a survivor. Voron put you on the edge of that cliff again and again until he conditioned you to claw onto life. You’ll do whatever you have to do to survive, and I’m your only chance of getting out. At first you’ll balk, but with every passing hour my offer will look better and better. You’ll convince yourself that dying will accomplish nothing and you should at least go out with a bang. You’ll tell yourself that you’re accepting my offer just so you can stick that broken sword into my chest and feel it cut through my heart. Even if you die afterward, the fact that I’ll stop breathing makes your death mean something. So you’ll call me. And you’ll try to kill me. Except you’ve gone three days without food, and that body . . .” He tilted his head and looked me over slowly. “That body burns through calories like fire goes through gasoline. You’re running out of reserves. I can put you down with one hit.”
“You’re right about the sword. You broke mine. I owe you one.”
He tapped his naked chest over his heart. “This is the spot. Give it a shot, Kate. Let’s see what happens.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
Her eyes heated with the anger and hurt that had been held inside her
for too long. "Your trips to the village have not gone unnoticed."
A look of confusion crossed his too-handsome face. "What does my
going to the village have to do with us?"
"I know there are women--"
He swore and gripped her arm, jerked her up against his chest. "Who
put such nonsense in your head?"
She didn't say anything, her throat hot and tight from the ball of tears
"Finlay," he said flatly. She looked at him in surprise. " 'Tis no secret
that he despises me, but I am surprised that you listened to his venom."
"It's not too difficult to believe. You are a man."
"Aye," he said softly. "But I've not had another woman, Elizabeth."
Her heart faltered. Her eyes shot to his, not daring to believe ... He
cradled her cheek tenderly in his big hand.
"How can I when I want someone else?"
He hasn't been with a woman ... he wants me.
Monica McCarty (Highland Outlaw (Campbell Trilogy, #2))
I read somewhere that it’s called American roulette. It was invented in America, in the goldfields. You put a single shot in the cylinder, give it a twirl, and then—bang! If you’re lucky you break the bank; if not, then it’s good-bye
Boris Akunin (The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #1))
Bob,” she said, “offerings burned in the mortal world appear on this altar, right?” Bob frowned uncomfortably, like he wasn’t ready for a pop quiz. “Yes?” “So what happens if I burn something on the altar here?” “Uh…” “That’s all right,” Annabeth said. “You don’t know. Nobody knows, because it’s never been done.” There was a chance, she thought, just the slimmest chance that an offering burned on this altar might appear at Camp Half-Blood. Doubtful, but if it did work… “Annabeth?” Percy said again. “You’re planning something. You’ve got that I’m-planning-something look.” “I don’t have an I’m-planning-something look.” “Yeah, you totally do. Your eyebrows knit and your lips press together and—” “Do you have a pen?” she asked him. “You’re kidding, right?” He brought out Riptide. “Yes, but can you actually write with it?” “I—I don’t know,” he admitted. “Never tried.” He uncapped the pen. As usual, it sprang into a full-sized sword. Annabeth had watched him do this hundreds of times. Normally when he fought, Percy simply discarded the cap. It always appeared in his pocket later, as needed. When he touched the cap to the point of the sword, it would turn back into a ballpoint pen. “What if you touch the cap to the other end of the sword?” Annabeth said. “Like where you’d put the cap if you were actually going to write with the pen.” “Uh…” Percy looked doubtful, but he touched the cap to the hilt of the sword. Riptide shrank back into a ballpoint pen, but now the writing point was exposed. “May I?” Annabeth plucked it from his hand. She flattened the napkin against the altar and began to write. Riptide’s ink glowed Celestial bronze. “What are you doing?” Percy asked. “Sending a message,” Annabeth said. “I just hope Rachel gets it.” “Rachel?” Percy asked. “You mean our Rachel? Oracle of Delphi Rachel?” “That’s the one.” Annabeth suppressed a smile. Whenever she brought up Rachel’s name, Percy got nervous. At one point, Rachel had been interested in dating Percy. That was ancient history. Rachel and Annabeth were good friends now. But Annabeth didn’t mind making Percy a little uneasy. You had to keep your boyfriend on his toes. Annabeth finished her note and folded the napkin. On the outside, she wrote: Connor, Give this to Rachel. Not a prank. Don’t be a moron. Love, Annabeth She took a deep breath. She was asking Rachel Dare to do something ridiculously dangerous, but it was the only way she could think of to communicate with the Romans—the only way that might avoid bloodshed. “Now I just need to burn it,” she said. “Anybody got a match?” The point of Bob’s spear shot from his broom handle. It sparked against the altar and erupted in silvery fire. “Uh, thanks.” Annabeth lit the napkin and set it on the altar. She watched it crumble to ash and wondered if she was crazy. Could the smoke really make it out of Tartarus? “We should go now,” Bob advised. “Really, really go. Before we are killed.” Annabeth stared at the wall of blackness in front of them. Somewhere in there was a lady who dispensed a Death Mist that might hide them from monsters—a plan recommended by a Titan, one of their bitterest enemies. Another dose of weirdness to explode her brain. “Right,” she said. “I’m ready.” ANNABETH LITERALLY STUMBLED over the second Titan.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
The writing grew suddenly blurred and misty. And she had lost him again--had lost him again! At the sight of the familiar childish nickname all the hopelessness of her bereavement came over her afresh, and she put out her hands in blind desperation, as though the weight of the earth-clods that lay above him were pressing on her heart.
Presently she took up the paper again and went on reading:
"I am to be shot at sunrise to-morrow. So if I am to keep at all my promise to tell you everything, I must keep it now. But, after all, there is not much need of explanations between you and me. We always understood each other without many words, even when we were little things.
"And so, you see, my dear, you had no need to break your heart over that old story of the blow. It was a hard hit, of course; but I have had plenty of others as hard, and yet I have managed to get over them,--even to pay back a few of them,--and here I am still, like the mackerel in our nursery-book (I forget its name), 'Alive and kicking, oh!' This is my last kick, though; and then, tomorrow morning, and--'Finita la Commedia!' You and I will translate that: 'The variety show is over'; and will give thanks to the gods that they have had, at least, so much mercy on us. It is not much, but it is something; and for this and all other blessings may we be truly thankful!
"About that same tomorrow morning, I want both you and Martini to understand clearly that I am quite happy and satisfied, and could ask no better thing of Fate. Tell that to Martini as a message from me; he is a good fellow and a good comrade, and he will understand. You see, dear, I know that the stick-in-the-mud people are doing us a good turn and themselves a bad one by going back to secret trials and executions so soon, and I know that if you who are left stand together steadily and hit hard, you will see great things. As for me, I shall go out into the courtyard with as light a heart as any child starting home for the holidays. I have done my share of the work, and this death-sentence is the proof that I have done it thoroughly. They kill me because they are afraid of me; and what more can any man's heart desire?
"It desires just one thing more, though. A man who is going to die has a right to a personal fancy, and mine is that you should see why I have always been such a sulky brute to you, and so slow to forget old scores. Of course, though, you understand why, and I tell you only for the pleasure of writing the words. I loved you, Gemma, when you were an ugly little girl in a gingham frock, with a scratchy tucker and your hair in a pig-tail down your back; and I love you still. Do you remember that day when I kissed your hand, and when you so piteously begged me 'never to do that again'? It was a scoundrelly trick to play, I know; but you must forgive that; and now I kiss the paper where I have written your name. So I have kissed you twice, and both times without your consent.
"That is all. Good-bye, my dear"
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live
Or if I die
Ethel Lilian Voynich
I guess if you put off dealing with things long enough, they simply came after you when you least wanted them to.
Cindi Madsen (Getting Lucky Number Seven (Taking Shots #1))
Maybe we’re our own makers, no matter who put the parts together.
Daniel José Older (Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel (Star Wars))
Marcus’s appearance the
day before had been discussed, dissected, analyzed, and—by Lady
Sarah Pleinsworth, Honoria’s cousin and one of her closest friends
—rendered into poetry.
“He came in the rain,” Sarah intoned. “The day had been plain.”
Honoria nearly spit out her tea.
“It was muddy, this lane—”
Cecily Royle smiled slyly over her teacup. “Have you
considered free verse?”
“—our heroine, in pain—”
“I was cold,” Honoria put in.
Iris Smythe-Smith, another of Honoria’s cousins, looked up with
her signature dry expression. “I am in pain,” she stated.
“Specifically, my ears.”
Honoria shot Iris a look that said clearly, Be polite. Iris just
“—her distress, she did feign—”
“Not true!” Honoria protested.
“You can’t interfere with genius,” Iris said sweetly.
“—her schemes, not in vain—”
“This poem is devolving rapidly,” Honoria stated.
“I am beginning to enjoy it,” said Cecily.
“—her existence, a bane . . .”
Honoria let out a snort. “Oh, come now!”
“I think she’s doing an admirable job,” Iris said, “given the
limitations of the rhyming structure.” She looked over at Sarah, who
had gone quite suddenly silent. Iris cocked her head to the side; so
did Honoria and Sarah.
Sarah’s lips were parted, and her left hand was still outstretched
with great drama, but she appeared to have run out of words.
“Cane?” Cecily suggested. “Main?”
“Insane?” offered Iris.
“Any moment now,” Honoria said tartly, “if I’m trapped here
much longer with you lot.
Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1))
Oliver, we’ve got something to tell you,” Dad says, dumping a cardboard box full of garden waste into a toad green mangler.
Unlike the doctor, when Dad says we, he means we because Mum is omnipotent.
“Who’s dead?” I ask, shot-putting a bottle of Richebourg.
“No one’s dead.”
“You’re getting a divorce?”
“Oliver! Please, shit up!
Joe Dunthorne (Submarine)
...The CDC has also said that it’s virtually impossible to tell a murder victim killed by a shot to the head or spinal column from an infected individual put down legally in the same fashion. What is your answer to critics of the relaxed gun control laws who hold that gun-related violence has actually increased, but has been masked by the postmortem amplification of the Kellis-Amberlee virus?
Mira Grant (Feed (Newsflesh, #1))
Have you ever tried to use your eyes to tell someone that you want them, that because of them you're going to do the best you can to survive but that you're willing to die if that's the cost of putting yourself between them and anything that means them harm? That you don't care if they're playing you, or if what you have is really love, or if the two of you have a shot at lasting, that the very fact that they exist has made you come back to life in some way that's terrifying and exhilarating? A few seconds isn't long enough, especially when the person you're looking at is staring back as if she wants to pull you inside her and crush the two of you into one being.
Elliott James (Charming (Pax Arcana, #1))
Colored lights shone right across the northern sky, leaping and flaring, spreading in rainbow hues from horizon to zenith: blood red to rose pink, saffron yellow to delicate primrose, pale green, aquamarine to darkest indigo. Great veils of color swathed the heavens, rising and falling as light seen through cascading curtains of water. Streamers shot out in great shifting beams as if God had put his thumb across the sun.
Celia Rees (Witch Child (Witch Child, #1))
How does thought create the experiences of your life? The pineal is the seal of knowing into manifestation. Whatever knowingness you allow yourself to receive will become a reality first in your body, for the pineal is responsible for sending that thought as an electrical current throughout your body, to be registered as emotion. The more unlimited the thought, the greater and faster the frequency that is shot throughout your body; thus the greater the high or rush experienced in your body. That feeling is then recorded and stored in your soul as a given frequency. The feeling of every thought, recorded in your soul, is then put forth into your aura as an expectancy, and that expectancy activates the electromagnetic portion of your light-field to draw to you — much like a magnet — the likeness of whatever your collective-attitude thinking is.
Ramtha (Ramtha - The White Book)
I lie in a bathtub of cold water, still sweating and singing love songs to myself. I put the gun to my head and cock it.
I think of my Grandma and remember that old feeling of being so in love that nothing matters except seeing and being seen by her. I drop the gun to my chest. I'm so sad and I can't really see a way out of what I'm feeling but I'm leaning on memory for help. Faster. Slower. I think I want to hurt myself more than I'm already hurting. I'm not the smartest boy in the world by a long shot, but even in my funk I know that easy remedies like eating your way out of sad, or fucking your way out of sad, or lying your way out of sad, or slanging your way out of sad, or robbing your way out of sad, or gambling your way out of sad, or shooting your way out of sad, are just slower, more acceptable ways for desperate folks, and especially paroled black boys in our country, to kill ourselves and others close to us in America.
Kiese Laymon (How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America)
The other Miller was different. Quieter. Sad, maybe, but at peace. He’d read a poem many years before called “The Death-Self,” and he hadn’t understood the term until now. A knot at the middle of his psyche was untying. All the energy he’d put into holding things together—Ceres, his marriage, his career, himself—was coming free. He’d shot and killed more men in the past day than in his whole career as a cop. He’d started—only started—to realize that he’d actually fallen in love with the object of his search after he knew for certain that he’d lost her. He’d seen unequivocally that the chaos he’d dedicated his life to holding at bay was stronger and wider and more powerful than he would ever be. No compromise he could make would be enough. His death-self was unfolding in him, and the dark blooming took no effort. It was a relief, a relaxation, a long, slow exhale after decades of holding it in.
James S.A. Corey (Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1))
I think I better leave.” “No.” That one word stopped her dead cold. “Come here.” “Why?” “Because.” As if it was enough of an answer. She shook her head. “It’s only going to confuse things. You don’t want anything serious, and I’m not going to be some late night booty call.” He shot off the bed and was in front of her in seconds. “That offends me.” “Sorry.” She tried to put some space between them, but he just continued to close the gap. “I’m just being honest. Am I wrong?” He grasped her head, threading his fingers through her hair. “I’ll let you know after.” “After what?” “After this.” He kissed her
Elayne DiSano (For Her Honor (Mountain Skulls MC, #2))
The words "everyone get along" were the main culprit in and of itself. It was an accursed phrase.
Those words emphasized the problem. They were Geass.
It was an evil law imposed by teachers in a narrow-minded world. For the sake of complying with that law, they forcefully established the tactic known as “turning a blind eye” to the friction that inevitably ensued. It showed in how they handled personality types that didn’t adhere to the mainstream. There were cases when you have to deal with those you hated, too. In those situations, if you spelled out “I hate you” or “I don’t want to put up with you” to them, things could possibly change. There was also a chance things could improve or open up to negotiation. But that became impossible when you stifled your problems and only smoothed over the surface issues.
It was tacit approval of the lazy deceit known as ‘tone policing’. That’s why I shot down Hayama’s words.
Wataru Watari (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。4)
was awakened abruptly just after dawn by a tiny stinging sensation on top of my head. I blinked and put up a hand to investigate. The movement startled a large gray jay who had been pulling hairs out of my head, and he shot up into a nearby pine tree, screeching hysterically. “Serve you right, mate,” I muttered, rubbing the top of my head, but couldn’t help smiling. I had been told often enough that my hair looked like a bird’s nest first thing in the morning; perhaps there was something to it, after all.
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
Should I come in early tomorrow?” I asked. Steven bumped shoulders with Mark.
“You must’ve done something good in a past life to score this one.”
“I think putting up with you in this life qualifies,” Mark said dryly.
“Hey,” Steven protested , “I’m housebroken. I put the toilet seat down.”
Mark shot me an exasperated look that was warm with affection for his partner.
“And that’s helpful how?”
Day, Sylvia (2012-05-24). Bared to You (Crossfire, Book 1) (p. 24). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
It was ugly and awful that I said it. That I could say it. I wish I hadn’t. Oh Jesus, Roarke, I wish I hadn’t said it.”
“We’ve both said things at one time or another we wish we hadn’t. We can put that aside.” He tossed the towel on a bench. “As to the rest…”
“I was wrong.”
His brows shot up. “Either Christmas has come early, or this should be made another national holiday.”
“I know when I’ve been an idiot. When I’ve been stupid enough I wish I could kick my own ass.”
“You can always leave that one to me.
V smiled, his eyes a little shiny as if he too were choked up. "Don't worry, I'm covered. So, I guess you're back, true?"
"And ready to rock and roll."
"For sure. I'm thinking about a future in contracting. Wanted to see how this bathroom was put together. Excellent tile work. You should check it."
"How about I carry you back to bed?"
"I want to look at the sink pipes next."
Respect and affection clearly drove V's cool smirk. "At least let me help you up."
"Nah, I can do it." With a groan, Butch gave the vertical move a shot, but then eased back down onto the tile. Turned out his head was a little overwhelming. But if they left him here long enough-a week, maybe ten days?
"Come on, cop. Cry uncle here and let me help."
Butch was suddenly too tired to front. As he went totally limp, he was aware of Marissa staring at him and thought, man, could he look any weaker? Shit, the only saving grace was there wasn't a cold breeze on his butt.
Which suggested the hospital gown had stayed closed. Thank you, God.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
Until now, Levana has been calling all the shots, but for the first time, I might be a step ahead of her.”
Eyes narrowing, Torin took a step closer. “This isn’t about an alliance at all, is it?”
“Oh, I fully intend to form an alliance with Luna.” Kai glanced at the cyborg foot again. “I just intend to put a different queen on the throne first.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Foreign, for sure. But we all bleed the same color red. No doubt about that. The truth of that statement was plain to see. Reacher put the guy out of misery. A single shot, close range, behind the ear. An unnecessary round expended, but good manners had a price
Lee Child (A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher, #17))
At the same time, we may not as a culture be fond of old-fashioned supernaturalism, but we certainly like spirituality in whatever form we can get it. I suspect that if anyone other than Jesus (Krishna, say, or Buddha) were suddenly put forward as being due for a second coming, millions in our postsecular society would embrace such a thing uncritically, leaving Enlightenment rationalism huffing and puffing in the rear. We are a puzzled and confused generation, embracing any and every kind of nonrationalism that may offer us a spiritual shot in the arm while lapsing back into rationalism (in particular, the old modernist critiques) whenever we want to keep traditional or orthodox Christianity at bay.
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
It was two weeks after the day she turned eighteen
All dressed in white
Going to the church that night
She had his box of letters in the passenger seat
Sixpence in a shoe, something borrowed, something blue
And when the church doors opened up wide
She put her veil down
Trying to hide the tears
Oh she just couldn't believe it
She heard trumpets from the military band
And the flowers fell out of her hand
Baby why'd you leave me
Why'd you have to go?
I was counting on forever, now I'll never know
I can't even breathe
It's like I'm looking from a distance
Standing in the background
Everybody's saying, he's not coming home now
This can't be happening to me
This is just a dream
The preacher man said let us bow our heads and pray
Lord please lift his soul, and heal this hurt
Then the congregation all stood up and sang the saddest song that she ever heard
Then they handed her a folded up flag
And she held on to all she had left of him
Oh, and what could have been
And then the guns rang one last shot
And it felt like a bullet in her heart
Baby why'd you leave me
Why'd you have to go?
I was counting on forever, now I'll never know
I can't even breathe
It's like I'm looking from a distance
Standing in the background
Everybody's saying, he's not coming home now
This can't be happening to me
This is just a dream
Oh, this is just a dream
Just a dream
I'll be right here. Good luck, or break a leg, or something.”
As Jay and Gregory turned and headed into the crowd, my traitorous eyes returned to the corner and found another pair or eyes staring darkly back.
I dropped my gaze for three full seconds, and then lifted my eyes again, hesitant. The drummer was still staring at me, oblivious to the three girls trying to win back his attention. He put up one finger at the girls and said something that looked like, “Excuse me.”
Oh, my goodness. Was he...? Oh, no. Yes, he was walking this way.
My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy-a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something.
He looked straight into my eyes, which threw me off guard, because nobody ever looked me in the eye like that. Maybe Patti and Jay, but they didn't hold my stare like he was doing now. He didn't look away, and I found that I couldn't take my gaze off those blue eyes.
“Who are you?” he asked in a blunt, almost confrontational way.
I blinked. It was the strangest greeting I'd ever received.
“Right. Anna. How very nice.” I tried to focus on his words and not his luxuriously accented voice, which made everything sound lovely. He leaned in closer. “But who are you?”
What did that mean? Did I need to have some sort of title or social standing to enter his presence?
“I just came with my friend Jay?” Oh, I hated when I got nervous and started talking in questions. I pointed in the general direction of the guys, but he didn't take his eyes off me. I began rambling. “They just wrote some songs. Jay and Gregory. That they wanted you to hear. Your band, I mean. They're really...good?”
His eyes roamed all around my body, stopping to evaluate my sad, meager chest. I crossed my arms. When his gaze landed on that stupid freckle above my lip, I was hit by the scent of oranges and limes and something earthy, like the forest floor. It was pleasant in a masculine way.
“Uh-huh.” He was closer to my face now, growling in that deep voice, but looking into my eyes again. “Very cute. And where is your angel?”
My what? Was that some kind of British slang for boyfriend? I didn't know how to answer without continuing to sound pitiful. He lifted his dark eyebrows, waiting.
“If you mean Jay, he's over there talking to some man in a suit. But he's not my boyfriend or my angel or whatever.”
My face flushed with heat and I tightened my arms over my chest. I'd never met anyone with an accent like his, and I was ashamed of the effect it had on me. He was obviously rude, and yet I wanted him to keep talking to me. It didn't make any sense.
His stance softened and he took a step back, seeming confused, although I still couldn't read his emotions. Why didn't he show any colors? He didn't seem drunk or high. And that red thing...what was that? It was hard not to stare at it.
He finally looked over at Jay, who was deep in conversation with the manager-type man.
“Not your boyfriend, eh?” He was smirking at me now. I looked away, refusing to answer.
“Are you certain he doesn't fancy you?” Kaidan asked. I looked at him again. His smirk was now a naughty smile.
“Yes,” I assured him with confidence. “I am.”
“How do you know?”
I couldn't very well tell him that the only time Jay's color had shown mild attraction to me was when I accidentally flashed him one day as I was taking off my sweatshirt, and my undershirt got pulled up too high. And even then it lasted only a few seconds before our embarrassment set in.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I'm twenty-three years old, I'm working graveyard in the fucking mine and I been there since I was sixteen. I'll be thee until it kills me or I'm too fucking old. I ain't got no out. I don't mind that. I got Emma and I got the kids and I got the Moose until I'm too damn old for that too. But someone reached down and put lightning bolts in your legs, Saul. Someone put thunder in your wrist shot and eyes in the back of your fucking head. You were made for this game. So you gotta give this a shot for all of us who're never gonna get out of Manitouwadge.
Richard Wagamese (Indian Horse)
I was acutely aware of him, and the thought that he was walking me back to my room and would most likely try to kiss me again sent shivers down my spine. For self-preservation purposes, I had to get away. Every minute I spent with him just made me want him more. Since merely annoying him wasn’t working, I’d have to up the ante.
Apparently, I needed him not only to fall out-of-like with me, but to hate me as well. I’d frequently been told that I was an all-or-nothing kind of girl. If I were going to push him away, it was going to be so far away that there would be absolutely no change of him ever coming back.
I tried to wrench my elbow out of his grasp, but he just held on more tightly. I grumbled at him, “Stop using your tiger strength on me, Superman.”
“Am I hurting you?”
“No, but I’m not a puppet to be dragged around.”
He trailed his fingers down my arm and took my hand instead. “Then you play nice, and I will too.”
He grinned. “Fine.”
I hissed back. “Fine!”
We walked to the elevator, and he pushed the button to my floor.
“My room is on the same floor,” Ren edxplained.
I scowled and then grinned lopsidedly and just a little bit evilly, “And umm, how exactly is that going to work for you in the morning, Tiger? You really shouldn’t get Mr. Kadam in trouble for having a rather large…pet.”
Ren returned my sarcasm as he walked me to my door. “Are you worried about me, Kells? Well, don’t. I’ll be fine.”
“I guess there’s no point in asking how you knew which door belong to me, huh, Tiger Nose?”
He looked at me in a way that turned my insides to jelly. I spun around but awareness of him shot through my limbs, and I could feel him standing close behind me watching, waiting.
I put my key in the lock, and he moved closer. My hand started shaking, and I couldn’t twist the key the right way. He took my hand and gently turned me around. He then put both hands on the door on either side of my head and leaned in close, pinning me against it. I trembled like a downy rabbit caught in the clutches of a wolf. The wolf came closer. He bent his head and began nuzzling my cheek. The problem was…I wanted the wolf to devour me.
I began to get lost in the thick sultry fog that overtook me every time Ren put his hands on me.
So much for asking for permission…and so much for sticking to my guns, I thought as I felt all my defenses slip away.
He whispered warmly, “I can always tell where you are, Kelsey. You smell like peaches and cream.”
I shivered and put my hands on his chest to push him away, but I ended up grabbing fistfuls of shirt and held on for dear life. He trailed kisses from my ear down my cheek and then pressed soft kisses along the arch of my neck. I pulled him closer and turned my head so he could really kiss me. He smiled and ignored my invitation, moving instead to the other ear. He bit my earlobe lightly, moved from there to my collarbone, and trailed kisses out to my shoulder. Then he lifted his head and brought his lips about one inch from mine and the only thought in my head was…more.
With a devastating smile, he reluctantly pulled away and lightly ran his fingers through the strands of my hair. “By the way, I forgot to mention that you look beautiful tonight.” He smiled again then turned and strolled off down the hall.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
While Brambleclaw paused to taste the air, she crouched down beside one of the puddles and touched the ice with her tongue, grateful for the tingling freshness. “Come on,” the Clan deputy meowed. “This way.” Hollyleaf tried to jump up, only to stop with a strangled cry of dismay. Her tongue had frozen to the ice; a sharp pain shot through it as she tried to wrench herself free. “What’s the matter?” Lionblaze asked. “My tongue . . .” Hollyleaf could hardly get the words out. “It’th thtuck!” Lionblaze snorted as he suppressed a mrrow of laughter. Birchfall stooped down until he was nose to nose with Hollyleaf; irritation swelled inside her when she saw amusement dancing in his eyes. “It’th not funny!” she mumbled as clearly as she could with her tongue plastered to the ice. “Stand back.” Brackenfur’s calm voice came from behind Hollyleaf. “Let me have a look.” He leaned beside Birchfall, gently shouldering the younger cat out of the way. “Well, you’re certainly stuck,” he went on. Hollyleaf could tell that he was struggling not to laugh, too. “I suppose we could break off the ice. Then you’d have to carry it until it melts.” “Hey, you’ve discovered a new way to fetch water for the elders!” Hazeltail put in. Her pelt itching with frustration, Hollyleaf tried again to wrench her tongue free, only getting another stab of pain for her efforts. “It hurt-th! Do thomething!” She pictured herself crouched on the hard ground with her tongue stretched out, and suddenly she felt laughter bubbling up inside her. I guess I do look pretty funny. She couldn’t remember the last time she had found anything to laugh at.
Erin Hunter (Sunrise (Warriors: Power of Three #6))
All I know is, unselfishness is the only moral principle," said Jessica Pratt, "the noblest principle and a sacred duty and much more important than freedom. Unselfishness is the only way to happiness. I would have everybody who refused to be unselfish shot. To put them out of their misery. They can't be happy anyway.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
When they were only a few yards from the stone hull, Inej halted and watched the mists wreathing the branches. “He was going to break by legs,” she said. “Smash them with a mallet so they’d never heal….”
She took a shaky breath. The words came like a string of gunshots, rapid-fire, as if she resented the very act of speaking them. “I didn’t know if you would come.”
Kaz couldn’t blame Van Eck for that. Kaz has built that doubt in her with every cold word and small cruelty.
“We’re your crew, Inej. We don’t leave our own at the mercy of merch scum.” It wasn’t the answer he wanted to give. It wasn’t the answer she wanted.
When she turned to him, her eyes were bright with anger.
“He was going to break my legs,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
The wind rose. The boughs of the willows whispered, a sly, gossiping sound. Kaz held her gaze, saw the moon reflected there, twin scythes of light. She was right to be cautious. Even of him. Especially of him. Cautious was how you survived.
At last she nodded, the smallest dip of her chin.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
The city had grown, implacably, spreading its concrete and alloy fingers wider every day over the dark and feral country. Nothing could stop it. Mountains were stamped flat. Rivers were dammed off or drained or put elsewhere. The marshes were filled. The animals shot from the trees and then the trees cut down. And the big gray machines moved forward, gobbling up the jungle with their iron teeth, chewing it clean of its life and all its living things.
Until it was no more.
Leveled, smoothed as a highway is smoothed, its centuries choked beneath millions and millions of tons of hardened stone.
The birth of a city... It had become the death of a world.
Charles Beaumont (Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories)
The desire to make art begins early. Among the very young this is encouraged (or at least indulged as harmless) but the push toward a 'serious' education soon exacts a heavy toll on dreams and fantasies....Yet for some the desire persists, and sooner or later must be addressed. And with good reason: your desire to make art -- beautiful or meaningful or emotive art -- is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age ninety Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting.
But if making art gives substance to your sense of self, the corresponding fear is that you're not up to the task -- that you can't do it, or can't do it well, or can't do it again; or that you're not a real artist, or not a good artist, or have no talent, or have nothing to say. The line between the artist and his/her work is a fine one at best, and for the artist it feels (quite naturally) like there is no such line. Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all -- and for those who do, trouble isn't long in coming. Doubts, in fact, soon rise in swarms:
"I am not an artist -- I am a phony. I have nothing worth saying. I'm not sure what I'm doing. Other people are better than I am. I'm only a [student/physicist/mother/whatever]. I've never had a real exhibit. No one understands my work. No one likes my work. I'm no good.
Yet viewed objectively, these fears obviously have less to do with art than they do with the artist. And even less to do with the individual artworks. After all, in making art you bring your highest skills to bear upon the materials and ideas you most care about. Art is a high calling -- fears are coincidental. Coincidental, sneaky and disruptive, we might add, disguising themselves variously as laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials or surroundings, distraction over the achievements of others -- indeed anything that keeps you from giving your work your best shot. What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't, quit. Each step in the artmaking process puts that issue to the test.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
A shiver raced down Daphne’s spine, causing her to sway. In just a moment, she would belong to this man forever.
Simon’s head turned slightly, his eyes darting to her face. Are you all right? his eyes asked.
She nodded, a tiny little jog of her chin that only he could see. Something blazed in his eyes— could it be relief?
I now pronounce you—
Gregory sneezed for a fourth time, then a fifth and sixth, completely obliterating the archbishop’s “man and wife.” Daphne felt a horrifying bubble of mirth pushing up her throat. She pressed her lips together, determined to maintain an appropriately serious facade.
Marriage, after all, was a solemn institution, and not one to be treating as a joke.
She shot a glance at Simon, only to find that he was looking at her with a queer expression. His pale eyes were focused on her mouth, and the corners of his lips began to twitch.
Daphne felt that bubble of mirth rising ever higher.
You may kiss the bride.
Simon grabbed her with almost desperate arms, his mouth crashing down on hers with a force that drew a collective gasp from the small assemblage of guests.
And then both sets of lips— bride and groom— burst into laughter, even as they remained entwined.
Violet Bridgerton later said it was the oddest kiss she’d ever been privileged to view.
Gregory Bridgerton— when he finished sneezing— said it was disgusting.
The archbishop, who was getting on in years, looked perplexed.
But Hyacinth Bridgerton, who at ten should have known the least about kisses of anyone, just blinked thoughtfully, and said, “I think it’s nice. If they’re laughing now, they’ll probably be laughing forever.” She turned to her mother. “Isn’t that a good thing?”
Violet took her youngest daughter’s hand and squeezed it. “Laughter is always a good thing, Hyacinth. And thank you for reminding us of that.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
Each candidate was to deliver two stool specimens to the Lovelace laboratory in Dixie cups, and days were going by and Conrad had been unable to egest even one, and the staff kept getting after him about it. Finally he managed to produce a single bolus, a mean hard little ball no more than an inch in diameter and shot through with some kind of seeds, whole seeds, undigested. Then he remembered. The first night in Albuquerque he had gone to a Mexican restaurant and eaten a lot of jalapeño peppers. They were jalapeño seeds. Even in the turd world this was a pretty miserable-looking objet. So Conrad tied a red ribbon around the goddamned thing, with a bow and all, and put it in the Dixie cup and delivered it to the lab.
Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff)
If I have learned anything this year, it is that I won't ever be ready for what life throws at me. I won't have the right words when it counts; I won't know what to choose when fate itself is staring me down. But now I know I don't always need to have the right answer.
I've learned I can go on waiting for something, sustained by hope and nothing more - or I can put it aside and shrug my shoulders. Bravely accept the fact that I can't keep my heart safe any more than I can stop love from taking everything from me.
I have learned to stop saying yes when I don't mean it - to live as authentically as I know how. To allow the tips of my fingers to skirt the darkness, as long as I remember to keep my eyes fixed on the light. And as one door opens and another closes, I will move forward with the knowledge that unlike so many others, I have another year ahead of me - another shot at making it all the way around the sun, and a chance to get it right this time around.
Lang Leav, Sea of Strangers
I distracted Herbert by pretending to trip and break a bone. Ethan darted around to the red golf cart with a cocky smile on his face. He put the key in ignition, and the vehicle roared to life. “Hey,” Herbert shouted, snapping his attention to Ethan.
I sprang up and ran up to Ethan. He pulled me in the cart and stomped on the gas pedal. We shot through the automatic doors with Herbert on our tail.
“Go faster!” I cheered.
My brother smacked the steering wheel. “I can’t; it’s a golf cart.
Erica Sehyun Song (The Pax Valley)
I’d play you at the five. If you were mine, you’d be at the center of my life. August’s words filter through tiny gaps in the barbed-wire fence surrounding my heart. That could be my place. Instinctively, I know August would put me at the center, but one could argue I was Caleb’s center, too. A dark, twisted center with the sides closing in and choking, but the center nonetheless.
Kennedy Ryan (Long Shot (Hoops, #1))
Ren took his time perusing the menu and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. I didn’t even pick my menu up. He shot me meaningful glances while I sat silently, trying to avoid making eye contact. When she came back, she spoke to him briefly and gestured to me.
I smiled, and in a syrupy sweet voice, said, “I’ll have whatever will get me out of here the fastest. Like a salad, maybe.”
Ren smiled benignly back at me and rattled off what sounded like a banquet of choices, which the waitress was more than happy to take her time writing down. She kept touching him and laughing with him too. Which I found very, very annoying.
When she left, he leaned back in his chair and sipped his water.
I broke the silence first and hissed at him quietly, “I don’t know what you’re playing at, but you only have about two minutes left, so I hope you ordered the steak tartar, Tiger.”
He grinned mischievously. “We’ll see, Kells. We’ll see.”
“Fine. No skin off my nose. I can’t wait to see what happens when a white tiger runs through this nice establishment creating mayhem and havoc. Perhaps they will lose one of their stars because they put their patrons in danger. Maybe your new waitress girlfriend will run away screaming.” I smiled at the thought.
Ren affected shock, “Why, Kelsey! Are you jealous?”
I snorted in a very unladylike way. “No! Of course not.”
He grinned. Nervously, I played with my cloth napkin. “I can’t believe you convinced Mr. Kadam to play along with you like this. It’s shocking, really.”
He opened his napkin and winked at the waitress when she came to bring us a basket of rolls.
When she left, I challenged, “Are you winking at her? Unbelievable!”
He laughed quietly and pulled out a steaming roll, buttered it, and put it on my plate. “Eat, Kelsey,” he commanded. Then he sat forward. “Unless you are reconsidering seeing the view from my lap.”
Angrily, I tore apart my roll and swallowed a few pieces before I even noticed how delicious they were-light and flaky with little flecks of orange rind mixed into the dough. I would have eaten another one, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in
which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what
being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's
quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies
designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs,
those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
Grandma smiled brightly. “How lovely! It seems your whore has arrived.”
Jake groaned and covered his face with his hands. There was no way out of it. His grandmother was going to get him shot.
A&E women scorned, here I come.
“Excuse me?” Aileen put her hands on her hips and did a weird head nod at Grandma, and nearly teetered off her high heels. Oh, this wasn’t good. Not good at all.
Grandma reached out and patted Aileen’s arm. “Sweetheart, I’m the one with hearing aids, not you. I called you a whore. Would you like me to spell it for you, too?” She nudged Jake. “What did you do? Find her at a high school career fair?” And then in a horrifyingly loud voice she began spelling. “W-H-O-R-E.
Rachel Van Dyken (The Wager (The Bet, #2))
Chicks appreciate a nice cock shot. Trust me.”
Hollis presses his lips together like he’s trying not to laugh. “Uh-huh. Sure.”
I flick my ash on the grass and take another drag. “Just out of curiosity, what constitutes a ‘nice cock shot’? I mean, is it the lighting? The pose?”
I’m being sarcastic, but Dean responds in a solemn voice. “Well, the trick is, you’ve gotta keep the balls out of it.”
That gets a loud hoot out of Tucker, who chokes mid-sip on his beer.
“Seriously,” Dean insists. “Balls aren’t photogenic. Women don’t want to see them.”
Hollis’s laughter spills over, his breaths coming out in white puffs that float away in the night air. “You’ve put a lot of thought into this, man. It’s kinda sad.”
I laugh too. “Wait, is that what you do when you’re in your room with the door locked? Take photos of your cock?”
“Oh, come on, like I’m the only one who’s ever taken a dick pic.”
“You’re the only one,” Hollis and I say in unison.
“Bullshit. You guys are liars.” Dean suddenly realizes that Tucker hadn’t voiced a denial, and wastes no time pouncing on our teammate’s silence. “Ha. I knew it!
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
He's a frustrating guy. Trust me, I know. He thinks he knows exactly what he wants and what he doesn't, and he thinks he's right all of the time. But at the end of the day, he's always right about people. When he lets someone in, that means something. When he put you in charge, it was so in this exact situation you would be calling the shots. And I trust that. Because I trust him. Even if I want to strangle him sometimes.
James Tynion IV (Batman: Detective Comics, Volume 1: Rise of the Batmen)
Christ Jesus Eve. The girl's shattered like glass, and it'll take a blood miracle to put her together again. And you're standing here talking about fucking games?"
She met fire with ice. "Obviously your heartstrings are playing a tune."
"It might be because I have them," he shot back. "Because I'm not so caught up trying to win some shagging game that I consider a young woman a logical choice. She's still alive, Lieutenant. She's not on your side of the board yet."
"Why don't you go back to the waiting area. You can all join hands. Maybe hold a prayer meeting. You go ahead and do that while the one who put her in the OR is chuckling up his sleeve. I've got better things to do."
She strode away, steeling both her heart and belly against the hurt. It wasn't just the body she thought that could shatter. And it wasn't only fists and pipes and bats that could shatter it.
J.D. Robb (Fantasy in Death (In Death, #30))
He inquired next what Allan had seen in the stranger to take such a fancy to? Allan had seen in him—what he didn't see in people in general. He wasn't like all the other fellows in the neighborhood. All the other fellows were cut out on the same pattern. Every man of them was equally healthy, muscular, loud, hard-hearted, clean-skinned, and rough; every man of them drank the same draughts of beer, smoked the same short pipes all day long, rode the best horse, shot over the best dog, and put the best bottle of wine in England on his table at night; every man of them sponged himself every morning in the same sort of tub of cold water and bragged about it in frosty weather in the same sort of way; every man of them thought getting into debt a capital joke and betting on horse-races one of the most meritorious actions that a human being can perform. They were, no doubt, excellent fellows in their way; but the worst of them was, they were all exactly alike. It was a perfect godsend to meet with a man like Midwinter—a man who was not cut out on the regular local pattern, and whose way in the world had the one great merit (in those parts) of being a way of his own.
Wilkie Collins (Armadale)
I’m not a man, I can’t earn a living, buy new things for my family.
I have acne and a small peter.
I’m not a man. I don’t like football, boxing and cars.
I like to express my feeling. I even like to put an arm
around my friend’s shoulder.
I’m not a man. I won’t play the role assigned to me- the role created
by Madison Avenue, Playboy, Hollywood and Oliver Cromwell,
Television does not dictate my behavior.
I’m not a man. Once when I shot a squirrel I swore that I would
never kill again. I gave up meat. The sight of blood makes me sick.
I like flowers.
I’m not a man. I went to prison resisting the draft. I do not fight
when real men beat me up and call me queer. I dislike violence.
I’m not a man. I have never raped a woman. I don’t hate blacks.
I do not get emotional when the flag is waved. I do not think I should
love America or leave it. I think I should laugh at it.
I’m not a man. I have never had the clap.
I’m not a man. Playboy is not my favorite magazine.
I’m not a man. I cry when I’m unhappy.
I’m not a man. I do not feel superior to women
I’m not a man. I don’t wear a jockstrap.
I’m not a man. I write poetry.
I’m not a man. I meditate on peace and love.
I’m not a man. I don’t want to destroy you
I opened myself up to the kiss and kissed him back with enthusiasm. Putting all my secret emotions and tender feelings into the embrace, I wound my arms around his neck and slid my hands into his hair. Pulling his body that much closer to mine, I embraced him with all the warmth and affection that I wouldn’t allow myself to express verbally.
He paused, shocked for a brief instant, and then quickly adjusted his approach, escalating into a passionate frenzy. I shocked myself by matching his energy. I ran my hands up his powerful arms and shoulders and then down his chest. My senses were in turmoil. I felt wild. Eager. I clutched at his shirt. I couldn’t get close enough to him. He even smelled delicious.
You’d think that several days of being chased by strange creatures and hiking through a mysterious kingdom would make him smell bad. In fact, I wanted him to smell bad. I’m sure I did. I mean, how can you expect a girl to be fresh as a daisy while traipsing through the jungle and getting chased by monkeys. It’s just not possible.
I desperately wanted him to have some fault. Some weakness. Some…imperfection. But Ren smelled amazing-like waterfalls, a warm summer day, and sandalwood trees all wrapped up in a sizzling, hot guy.
How could a girl defend herself from a perfect onslaught delivered by a pefect person? I gave up and let Mr. Wonderful take control of my senses. My blood burned, my heart thundered, my need for him quickened, and I lost all track of time in his arms. All I was aware of was Ren. His lips. His body. His soul. I wanted all of him.
Eventually, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently separated us. I was surprised that he had the strength of will to stop because I was nowhere near being able to. I blinked my eyes open in a daze. We were both breathing hard.
“That was…enlightening,” he breathed. “Thank you, Kelsey.”
I blinked. The passion that had dulled my mind dissipated in an instant, and my mind sharply focused on a new feeling. Irritation.
“Thank you? Thank you! Of all the-“ I slammed up the steps angrily and then spun around to look down at him. “No! Thank you, Ren!” My hands slashed at the air. “Now you got what you wanted, so leave me alone!” I ran up the stairs quickly to put some distance between us.
Enlightening? What was that about? Was he testing me? Giving me a one-to-ten score on my kissing ability? Of all the nerve?
I was glad that I was mad. I could shove all the other emotions into the back of my mind and just focus on the anger, the indignation.
He leapt up the stairs two at a time. “That’s not all I want, Kelsey. That’s for sure.”
“Well, I no longer care about what you want!”
He shot me a knowing look and raised an eyebrow. Then, he lifted his foot out of the opening, placed it on the dirt, and instantly changed back into a tiger.
I laughed mockingly. “Ha!” I tripped over a stone but quickly found my footing. “Serves you right!” I shouted angrily and stumbled blindly along the dim path.
After figuring out where to go, I marched off in a huff. “Come on, Fanindra. Let’s go find Mr. Kadam.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
When she lifted her head to meet his gaze, his eyes were closed, lashes like inky brushstrokes on his cheeks. His palms came up to cup the sides of her neck, and with a shaky sigh, he rested his forehead against hers.
“I’ll let you go, Billie.” His words poured against her lips, husky, raw. “I always keep my end of a deal. In exchange, you’ll come to Avalon as a client. Tomorrow. This week. Walk through those doors and send for me. I’ll be whatever you want. I’ll take you up to my room and turn you inside out. I’ll taste and touch and fuck you until you scream. And if you want control, it’s yours. A favor for a favor.”
She clung to him to keep from collapsing, torn between tears and wild, wayward laughter. The scenario was unreal. And the only argument she could think of was a frail one, easily shot down. “Azure would never allow—”
“It’s as good as done. I’ll put you in the book myself. Maria will call you with the date, and I’ll keep my distance from you until then.” His lips brushed her ear. “Please, Billie. Let’s end this before it kills us both. Say yes.”
The truth wrapped itself around her. You’re hopelessly in love with this man, aren’t you, Billie Cort?
“Yes,” Billie said, squeezing her eyes closed. “God, yes.
Shelby Reed (The Fifth Favor)
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change.
“Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?”
The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—”
I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder.
Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat.
“What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out.
I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.”
Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing.
Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position.
“Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?”
“What is happening?”
We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation.
“Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says.
I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs.
My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.”
He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag.
As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures.
I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.”
“You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.”
Fuck, it totally does.
Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.”
I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.”
“You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.”
“Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.”
“Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
He settled for writing a letter, in a quiet corner, while Temeraire dictated his own:
"Gentlemen, I am very happy to accept your commission, and we should like to be the eighty-first regiment, if that number is not presently taken. We do not need any rifles, and we have got plenty of powder and shot for our cannons,” Laurence wrote with a vivid awareness of the reactions this should produce, “but we are always in need of more cows and picks and sheep, and goats would also do, if a good deal easier to come by. Lloyd and our herdsmen have done very well, and I should to commend them to your attention, but there are a lot of us, and some more herdsmen would be very useful.”
“Pepper, put in pepper,” another dragon said, craning her head over; she was a middle-weight, yellowish striped with gray, some kind of cross-breed. “And canvas, we must have a lot of canvas—“
“Oh, very well, pepper,” Temeraire said, and continuing his list of requests added, “I should very much like Keynes to come here, and also Gong Su, and Emily Roland, who has my talon-sheaths, and the rest of my crew; and also we need some surgeons for the wounded me. Dorset had better come, too, and some of the other dragon-surgeons. You had all better not stay where you are at present—“
“Temeraire, you cannot write so to your superior officers,” Laurence said, breaking off.
Naomi Novik (Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5))
Memory can be dramatically disrupted if you force something that’s implicit into explicit channels. Here’s an example that will finally make reading this book worth your while—how to make neurobiology work to your competitive advantage at sports. You’re playing tennis against someone who is beating the pants off of you. Wait until your adversary has pulled off some amazing backhand, then offer a warm smile and say, “You are a fabulous tennis player. I mean it; you’re terrific. Look at that shot you just made. How did you do that? When you do a backhand like that, do you hold your thumb this way or that, and what about your other fingers? And how about your butt, do you scrunch up the left side of it and put your weight on your right toes, or the other way around?” Do it right, and the next time that shot is called for, your opponent/victim will make the mistake of thinking about it explicitly, and the stroke won’t be anywhere near as effective. As Yogi Berra once said, “You can’t think and hit at the same time.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Pfefferberg still saw Cracow as a genial city, and dogs like that looked foreign, as if they'd been brought in from some other and harsher ghetto. For even in this last hour, among the litter of packages, behind an iron gate, he was grateful for the city and presumed that the ultimate frightfulness was always performed in some other, less gracious place. This last assumption was wiped away in the next half-minute. The worst thing, that is, occurred in Cracow. Through the crack of the gate, he saw the event which revealed that if there was a pole of evil it was not situated in Tarnow, Czestochowa, Lwow or Warsaw as you thought. It was at the north side of Jozefinska Street a hundred and twenty paces away. From 41 came a screaming woman and a child. One dog had the woman by the cloth of her dress, the flesh of her hip. The SS man who was the servant of the dogs took the child and flung it against the wall. The sound of it made Pfefferberg close his eyes, and he heard the shot which put an end to the woman's howling protest.
Thomas Keneally (Schindler's List)
The heartwood," Rob murmured, looking at me. "You wanted to marry me in the heart of Major Oak." I beamed at him grateful that he understood. "And Scar," he whispered. I leaned in close. "Are you wearing knives to our wedding?" Nodding, I laughed, telling him, "I was going to get you here one way or another, Hood."
He laughed, a bright, merry sound. Standing in the heart of the tree, he reached again for my hand, fingers sliding over mine. Touching his hand, a rope of lightening lashed round my fingers, like it seared us together. Now, and for always. His fingers moved on mine, rubbing over my hand before capturing it tight and turning me to the priest.
The priest looked over his shoulder, watching as the sun began to dip. He led us in prayer, he asked me to speak the same words I'd spoken not long past to Gisbourne, but that whole thing felt like a bad dream, like I were waking and it were fading and gone for good. "Lady Scarlet." he asked me with a smile, "known to some as Lady Marian of Huntingdon, will thou have this lord to thy wedded husband, will thou love him and honour him, keep him and obey him, in health and in sickness, as a wife should a husband, forsaking all others on account of him, so long as ye both shall live?"
I looked at Robin, tears burning in my eyes. "I will," I promised. "I will, always."
Rob's face were beaming back at me, his ocean eyes shimmering bright. The priest smiled.
"Robin of Locksley, will thou have this lady to thy wedded wife, will thou love her and honor her, keep her and guard her, in health and in sickness, as a husband should a wife, forsaking all others on account of her, so long as ye both shall live?" the priest asked.
"Yes," Rob said. "I will."
"You have the rings?" the priest asked Rob.
"I do," I told the priest, taking two rings from where Bess had tied them to my dress. I'd sent Godfrey out to buy them at market without Rob knowing. "I knew you weren't planning on this," I told him.
Rob just grinned like a fool at me, taking the ring I handed him to put on my finger. Laughs bubbled up inside of me, and I felt like I were smiling so wide something were stuck in my cheeks and holding me open. More shy and proud than I thought I'd be, I said. "I take you as me wedded husband, Robin. And thereto I plight my troth." I pushed the ring onto his finger.
He took my half hand in one of his, but the other- holding the ring- went into his pocket. "I may not have known I would marry you today Scar," he said. "But I did know I would marry you." He showed me a ring, a large ruby set in delicate gold. "This," he said to me, "was my mother's. It's the last thing I have of hers, and when I met you and loved you and realized your name was the exact colour of the stone- " He swallowed, and cleared his throat, looking at me with the blue eyes that shot right through me. "This was meant to be Scarlet. I was always meant to love you. To marry you."
The priest coughed. "Say the words, my son, and you will marry her."
Rob grinned and I laughed, and Rob stepped closer, cradling my hand. "I take you as my wedded wife, Scarlet. And thereto I plight my troth." He slipped the ring on my finger and it fit. "Receive the Holy Spirit," the priest said, and kissed Robin on the cheek. Rob's happy grin turned a touch wolflike as he turned back to me, hauling me against him and angling his mouth over mine. I wrapped my arms around him and my head spun- I couldn't tell if we were spinning, if I were dizzy, if my feet were on the ground anymore at all, but all I knew, all I cared for, were him, his mouth against mine, and letting the moment we became man and wife spin into eternity.
A.C. Gaughen (Lion Heart (Scarlet, #3))
Aware she’d likely never tasted such a thing before, she took a cautious sip. Nothing came up. “The straw’s defective.” Dev shot her a quick grin. It altered his face, turning him strikingly beautiful. But that wasn’t the odd part. The odd part was that seeing him smile made her heart change its rhythm. She lifted her hand a fraction, compelled to trace the curve of his lips, the crease in his cheek. Would he let her, she thought, this man who moved with the liquid grace of a soldier . . . or a beast of prey?
“Did I say milk shake?” he said, withheld laughter in his voice. “I meant ice cream smoothie—with enough fresh fruit blended into it to turn it solid.” Glancing at her when she didn’t move, he raised an eyebrow. She felt a wave of heat across her face, and the sensation was so strange, it broke through her fascination. Looking down, she took off the lid after removing the straw and stared at the swirls of pink and white that dominated the delicious-smelling concoction. Intrigued, she poked at it with the tip of her straw. “I can see pieces of strawberry, and what’s that?” She looked more closely at the pink-coated black seeds. “Passion fruit?”
“Try it and see.” Handing her his water bottle, he started the car and got them on their way. “How would I know?” She put his water in the holder next to the unopened bottle. “And I need a spoon for this.”
Reaching into a pocket, he pulled out a plastic-wrapped piece of cutlery. “Here.”
“You did that on purpose,” she accused. “Did you want to see how hard I’d try to suck the mixture up?” Another smile, this one a bare shadow. “Would I do that?” It startled her to realize he was teasing her. Devraj Santos, she thought, wasn’t supposed to have a sense of humor. That was something she just knew. And, it was wrong. That meant the shadow-man didn’t know everything, that he wasn’t omnipotent. A cascade of bubbles sparkled through her veins, bright and effervescent. “I think you’re capable of almost anything.” Dipping in the spoon, she brought the decadent mixture to her lips. Oh! The crisp sting of ice, the cream rich and sweet, the fruit a tart burst of sensation. It was impossible not to take a second bite. And a third.
Nalini Singh (Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changeling #7))
The crowd started going crazy. Like even crazier than when Romeo got up from the hit. I was clinging to the railing, wondering if I would like prison, when Ivy sighed. "I swear. You have all the luck."
Confused, I glanced around. Romeo was jogging toward us, helmet in his hands. Quickly, I glanced at the big screen and it was showing a wide shot of me clinging onto the rails and him running toward us.
When he arrived, he slapped the guard on his back and said something in his ear. The guard looked at me and grinned and then walked away.
Romeo stepped up to where I was. At the height I was at one the railing, for once I was taller than him.
"You're killing me, Smalls," he said. "I had to interrupt a championship game to keep you from going to the slammer."
"I was worried. You didn't get up."
"And so you were just going to march out on the field and what?"
God, he looked so… so incredible right then. His uniform stretched out over his wide shoulders and narrow waist. The pads strapped to his body made him look even stronger. He had grass stains on his knees, sweat in his hair, and ornery laughter in his sparkling blue eyes.
I swear I'd never seen anyone equal parts of to-die-for good looks and boy-next-door troublemaker.
"I was going to come out there and kiss it and make it better."
He threw back his head and laughed, and the stadium erupted once more. I was aware that every moment between us was being broadcast like some reality TV show, but for once, I didn't care how many people were staring.
This was our moment.
And I was so damn happy he wasn't hurt.
"So you're okay, then?" I asked.
"Takes a lot more than a shady illegal attack to keep me down."
Behind him, the players were getting back to the game, rushing out onto the field, and the coach was yelling out orders.
"I'll just go back to my seat, then," I said.
He rushed forward and grabbed me off the railing. The crown cheered when he slid me down his body and pressed his lips to mine.
It wasn't a chaste kiss. It was the kind of kiss that made me blush when I watched it on TV.
But I kissed him back anyway. I got lost in him.
When he pulled back, I said, "By the way, You're totally kicking ass out there."
He chuckled and put me back on the railing and kept one hand on my butt as I climbed back over. Back in the stands, I gripped the cold metal and gave him a small wave.
He'd been walking backward toward his team, but then he changed direction and sprinted toward me. In one graceful leap, he was up on the wall and leaning over the railing.
"Love you," he half-growled and pressed a swift kiss to my lips. "Next touchdown's for you.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
As a result of the work done by all these stratifying force in language, there are no "neutral" words and forms - words and forms that can belong to "no one"; language has been completely taken over, shot through with intentions and accents. For any individual consciousness living in it, language is not an abstract system of normative forms, but rather a concrete heteroglot conception of the world. All words have the "taste" of a profession, a genre, a tendency, a party, a particular work, a particular person, a generation, an age group, the day and hour. Each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived it socially charged life; all words and forms are populated by intentions. Contextual overtones (generic, tendentious, individualistic) are inevitable in the word.
As a living, socio-ideological concrete thing, as heteroglot opinion, language, for the individual consciousness, lies on the borderline between oneself and the other. The word in language is half someone else's. It becomes "one's own" only when the speaker populates it with his own intention, his own accent, when he appropriates the word, adapting it to his own semantic and expressive intention. Prior to this moment of appropriation, the word does not exist in a neutral and impersonal language (it is not, after all, out of a dictionary that the speaker gets his words!), but rather it exists in other people's mouths, in other people's contexts, serving other people's intentions: it is from there that one must take the word, and make it one's own. And not all words for just anyone submit equally easy to this appropriation, to this seizure and transformation into private property: many words stubbornly resist, others remain alien, sound foreign in the mouth of the one who appropriated them and who now speaks them; they cannot be assimilated into his context and fall out of it; it is as if they put themselves in quotation marks against the will of the speaker. Language is not a neutral medium that passes freely and easily into the private property of the speaker's intentions; it is populated - overpopulated - with the intentions of others. Expropriating it, forcing it to submit to one's own intentions and accents, is a difficult and complicated process.
It's my opinion he don't want to kill you,' said Perea - 'at least not yet. I've heard deir idea is to scar and worry a man wid deir spells, and narrow misses, and rheumatic pains, and bad dreams, and all dat, until he's sick of life. Of course, it's all talk, you know. You mustn't worry about it. But I wunder what he'll be up to next.'
'I shall have to be up to something first,' said Pollock, staring gloomily at the greasy cards that Perea was putting on the table. 'It don't suit my dignity to be followed about, and shot at, and blighted in this way. I wonder if Porroh hokey-pokey upsets your luck at cards.'
He looked at Perea suspiciously.
'Very likely it does,' said Perea warmly, shuffling. 'Dey are wonderful people.'
("Pollock And The Porrah Man")
H.G. Wells (Great Tales of Horror and the Supernatural)
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out."
You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft.
I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it."
Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact."
They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me."
Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke.
I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened.
Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times.
And Gerry's hand exploded.
And so did mine.
The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair.
Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy.
I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working.
I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand.
My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head.
The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck.
Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice.
Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back.
The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell.
He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil.
Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing.
Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh.
Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire.
Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn.
Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed.
I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar.
His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment.
How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly.
And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice.
And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Je suis comme le roi d'un pays pluvieux,
Riche, mais impuissant, jeune et pourtant très vieux,
Qui, de ses précepteurs méprisant les courbettes,
S'ennuie avec ses chiens comme avec d'autres bêtes.
Rien ne peut l'égayer, ni gibier, ni faucon,
Ni son peuple mourant en face du balcon.
Du bouffon favori la grotesque ballade
Ne distrait plus le front de ce cruel malade;
Son lit fleurdelisé se transforme en tombeau,
Et les dames d'atour, pour qui tout prince est beau,
Ne savent plus trouver d'impudique toilette
Pour tirer un souris de ce jeune squelette.
Le savant qui lui fait de l'or n'a jamais pu
De son être extirper l'élément corrompu,
Et dans ces bains de sang qui des Romains nous viennent,
Et dont sur leurs vieux jours les puissants se souviennent,
II n'a su réchauffer ce cadavre hébété
Où coule au lieu de sang l'eau verte du Léthé
I'm like the king of a rain-country, rich
but sterile, young but with an old wolf's itch,
one who escapes his tutor's monologues,
and kills the day in boredom with his dogs;
nothing cheers him, darts, tennis, falconry,
his people dying by the balcony;
the bawdry of the pet hermaphrodite
no longer gets him through a single night;
his bed of fleur-de-lys becomes a tomb;
even the ladies of the court, for whom
all kings are beautiful, cannot put on
shameful enough dresses for this skeleton;
the scholar who makes his gold cannot invent
washes to cleanse the poisoned element;
even in baths of blood, Rome's legacy,
our tyrants' solace in senility,
he cannot warm up his shot corpse, whose food
is syrup-green Lethean ooze, not blood.
— Robert Lowell, from Marthiel & Jackson Matthews, eds., The Flowers of Evil (NY: New Directions, 1963)
Charles Baudelaire (Les Fleurs du Mal)
The hit-woman opened the door. No dead body on the floor. Thank God.
I heard an unearthly roar and then Jordan charged Liz from where she’d been hiding beside the door. She tackled her to the floor and stabbed her through the wrist with a small switchblade. The hit-woman shrieked and let go of the gun, allowing Jordan precious seconds to bat it across the room. She landed a couple hard punches to the assassin’s nose, bloodying it, before the other woman got the upper hand.
She grabbed a handful of Jordan’s ponytail and slammed her head into the edge of the coffee table. Jordan cried out, but didn’t let go of the knife. She withdrew it and held it against the assassin’s throat, shouting, “Move again and I’ll kill you, puta!”
Liz panted madly, but stayed put. Jordan glanced up at me. “You okay?”
“Alive,” I said through a grimace. “Not okay.”
“Good enough.” She returned her gaze to the woman pinned beneath her and glared.
“The police are on their way. And not the nice, human police. Angels. Get any ideas about trying to kill me again and you won’t even get to deal with them.”
“I’ve been in jail before,” Liz said, attempting to recapture her former arrogance. “I’ll get over it.”
Jordan leaned down a few inches, lowering her voice. “Really? How’d you like to return without your tongue?”
Liz’s eyes went wide, as did mine. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“You shot my best friend. Multiple times. Lex talionis.”
“You can’t kill me. You’re not a policewoman. You’re just a girl.”
“No. I’m a Seer. You and the rest of your friends had better learn the difference between a sheep and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Until then…”
She lifted her fist and punched Liz hard in the temple. The assassin went out like a light.
“Vaya con dios, bitch.
Kyoko M. (The Deadly Seven (The Black Parade, #1.5))
If she’d known what a good shot you are,” he whispered past the unfamiliar tightness in his throat, “she’d never have dared.” His hand lifted to her wet cheek, holding it pressed against his chest. “You could always call her out, you know.” The spasmodic shaking in Elizabeth’s slender shoulders began to subside, and Ian added with forced tightness, “Better yet, Robert should stand in for you. He’s not as fine a shot as you are, but he’s a hell of a lot faster…”
A teary giggle escaped the girl in his arms, and Ian continued, “On the other hand, if you’re holding the pistol, you’ll have some choices to make, and they’re not easy…”
When he didn’t say more, Elizabeth drew a shaky breath. “What choices?” she finally whispered against his chest after a moment.
“What to shoot, for one thing,” he joked, stroking her back. “Robert was wearing Hessians, so I had a tassel for a target. I suppose, though, you could always shoot the bow off Valerie’s gown.”
Elizabeth’s shoulders gave a lurch, and a choked laugh escaped her.
Overwhelmed with relief, Ian kept his left arm around her and gently took her chin between his forefinger and thumb, tipping her face up to his. Her magnificent eyes were still wet with tears, but a smile was trembling on her rosy lips. Teasingly, he continued, “A bow isn’t much of a challenge for an expert marksman like you. I suppose you could insist that she hold up an earring between her fingers so you could shoot that instead.”
The image was so absurd that Elizabeth chuckled.
Without being conscious of what he was doing, Ian moved his thumb from her chin to her lower lip, rubbing lightly against its inviting fullness. He finally realized what he was doing and stopped.
Elizabeth saw his jaw tighten. She drew a shuddering breath, sensing he’d been on the verge of kissing her, and had just decided not to do it. After the last shattering minutes, Elizabeth no longer knew who was friend or foe, she only knew she’d felt safe and secure in his arms, and at that moment his arms were already beginning to loosen, and his expression was turning aloof. Not certain what she was going to say or even what she wanted, she whispered a single, shaky word, filled with confusion and a plea for understanding, her green eyes searching his: “Please-“
Ian realized what she was asking for, but he responded with a questioning lift of his brows.
“I-“ she began, uncomfortably aware of the knowing look in his eyes.
“Yes?” he prompted.
“I don’t know-exactly,” she admitted. All she knew for certain was that, for just a few minutes more, she would have liked to be in his arms.
“Elizabeth, if you want to be kissed, all you have to do is put your lips on mine.”
“You heard me.”
“Of all the arrogant-“
He shook his head in mild rebuke. “Spare me the maidenly protests. If you’re suddenly as curious as I am to find out if it was as good between us as it now seems in retrospect, then say so.” His own suggestion startled Ian, although having made it, he saw no great harm in exchanging a few kisses if that was what she wanted.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
What is wrong with you?” I say in lieu of greeting. “You went to Morris’s dorm and declared your intentions?”
He offers a faint smile. “Of course. It was the noble thing to do. I can’t be chasing after another guy’s girl without his knowledge.”
“I’m not his girl,” I snap. “We went on one date! And now I’m never going to be his girl, because he doesn’t want to go out with me again.”
“What the hell?” Logan looks startled. “I’m disappointed in him. I thought he had more of a competitive spirit than that.”
“Seriously? You’re going to pretend to be surprised? He won’t see me again because your jackass self told him he couldn’t.”
Astonishment fills his eyes. “No, I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did.”
“Is that what he told you?” Logan demands.
“Not in so many words.”
“I see. Well, what words did he actually use?”
I grit my teeth so hard my jaw aches. “He said he’s backing off because he doesn’t want to get in the middle of something so complicated. I pointed out that there’s nothing complicated about it, seeing as you and I are not together.” My aggravation heightens. “And then he insisted that I need to give you a chance, because you’re a—” I angrily air-quote Morris’s words “—‘stand-up guy who deserves another shot.’”
Logan breaks out in a grin.
I stab the air with my finger. “Don’t you dare smile. Obviously you put those words in his mouth. And what the hell was he jabbering about when he told me you and him were ‘family’?” All the disbelief I’d felt during my talk with Morris comes spiraling back, making me pace the bedroom in hurried strides. “What did you say to him, Logan? Did you brainwash him or something? How are you guys family? You don’t even know each other!”
Strangled laughter sounds from Logan’s direction. I spin around and level a dark glower at him.
“He’s talking about the joint family we created in Mob Boss. It’s this role-playing game where you’re the Don of a mob family and you’re fighting a bunch of other mafia bosses for territory and rackets and stuff. We played it when I went over there, and I ended up staying until four in the morning. Seriously, it was intense.” He shrugs. “We’re the Lorris crime syndicate.”
Oh my God.
Lorris? As in Logan and Morris? They fucking Brangelina’d themselves?
“What is happening?” I burst out. “You guys are best friends now?”
“He’s a cool guy. Actually, he’s even cooler in my book now for stepping down like that. I didn’t ask him to, but clearly he grasps what you refuse to see.”
“Yeah, and what’s that?” I mutter.
“That you and I are perfect for each other.”
No words. There are no words to accurately convey what I’m feeling right now. Horror maybe? Absolute insanity? I mean, it’s not like I’m madly in love with Morris or anything, but if I’d known that kissing Logan at the party would lead to…this, I would have strapped on a frickin’ chastity gag.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
But the modern-day church doesn't like to wander or wait. The modern-day church likes results. Convinced the gospel is a product we've got to sell to an increasingly shrinking market, we like our people to function as walking advertisements: happy, put-together, finished—proof that this Jesus stuff WORKS! At its best, such a culture generates pews of Stepford Wife-style robots with painted smiles and programmed moves. At its worst, it creates environments where abuse and corruption get covered up to protect reputations and preserve image. 'The world is watching,' Christians like to say, 'so let's be on our best behavior and quickly hide the mess. Let's throw up some before-and-after shots and roll that flashy footage of our miracle product blanching out every sign of dirt, hiding every sign of disease.'
But if the world is watching, we might as well tell the truth. And the truth is, the church doesn't offer a cure. It doesn't off a quick fix. The church offers death and resurrection. The church offers the messy, inconvenient, gut-wrenching, never-ending work of healing and reconciliation. The church offers grace.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
What do I think was modernism’s subject, then? What was it about? No doubt you can guess my starting point. It was about steam—in both the Malevich and the de Chirico a train still rushes across the landscape. It was about change and power and contingency, in other words, but also control, compression, and captivity—an absurd or oppressive orderliness is haunting the bright new fields and the sunlit squares with their eternally flapping flags. Modernism presents us with a world becoming a realm of appearances—fragments, patchwork quilts of color, dream-tableaux made out of disconnected phantasms. But all of this is still happening in modernism, and still resisted as it is described. The two paintings remain shot through, it seems to me, with the effort to answer back to the flattening and derealizing-the will to put the fragments back into some sort of order. Modernism is agonized, but its agony is not separable from weird levity or whimsy. Pleasure and horror go together in it. Malevich may be desperate, or euphoric. He may be pouring scorn on the idea of collective man, or spelling the idea out with utter childish optimism. We shall never know his real opinions. His picture entertains both.
Modernism was certainly about the pathos of dream and desire in twentieth- century circumstances, but, again, the desires were unstoppable, ineradicable. The upright man will not let go of the future. The infinite still exists at the top of the tower. Even in the Picasso the monster flashing up outside the window is my monster, my phantasm, the figure of my unnegotiable desire. The monster is me—the terrible desiring and fearing subject inside me that eludes all form of conditioning, all the barrage of instructions about what it should want and who it should be. This is Picasso’s vestigial utopianism. You think that modernity is a realm of appetite and immediacy! I’ll show you appetite! I’ll show you immediacy! I shall, as a modernist, make the dreams of modernity come true.
Modernism was testing, as I said before. It was a kind of internal exile, a retreat into the territory of form; but form was ultimately a crucible, an act of aggression, an abyss into which all the comfortable “givens” of the culture were sucked and then spat out.
Eight dragons in one small cave, all thinking at the same time. How was she going to get through this? “Let’s go around and introduce ourselves,” Tsunami said. “I mean, maybe it’s unnecessary, but that’s what Sunny said to do. And then she said I probably wouldn’t listen to her anyway, so I am proving her wrong, so there. I’m Tsunami, if anyone didn’t know. I was going to give myself a title like Commander of Recruitment, but then for some reason everyone voted that I would be terrible at recruiting, whatever that is all about, so they made me Head of School instead. So I’m pretty much the boss. And I’m running your first small group-discussion class, which was Glory’s big idea, so I figure we’ll figure it out together. Any questions?” “Yeah,” said Carnelian. “Are we stuck with this group?” “That’s not quite how I would put it,” said Tsunami. “But yes.” “What if we would prefer to be in a group with other IceWings?” Winter asked. “Such as my sister?” “That’s not how the winglets are set up,” Tsunami said. “But you’ll be in some bigger group classes with her and have plenty of time to make other friends as well.” “I love our winglet,” Kinkajou volunteered. “When do we eat?” Umber asked. “Just kidding. Pretending to be Clay.” He grinned, then shot a look at Qibli. Did he think that was funny? I hope that was funny. Did I sound like an idiot?
Tui T. Sutherland (Moon Rising (Wings of Fire, #6))
I met you here a few years back. Too young too naive to understand the lows and the highs. We talked everyday and soon you were my best friend. It was instant, Shakespeare kind of tale but the only thing which prevented it from blossoming was the restrictions I had and the distance between us. I told you go ahead and find someone else and soon we were distant as ever. Maybe I broke your heart when I put my walls up against the relationship or maybe I was too young to understand what you wanted. I wanted to give my career a shot.
I went away and gave you space ; came back after a few years and found you unrecognizable. You didn't believe a word I said, so distant and oh so cold. But I was happy for you as you had found real love and I accepted that. Then why did you have to blame me for? I never understood and will never do.
Maybe that's why young loves are complicated and have a special place in our hearts
Hearts Can Break and Never Make a Sound
I arrived next to them right as she laughed at something he said. It rang through the air like silver bells, and the tic in my jaw pulsed harder. He didn’t deserve her laugh. “Something funny?” I asked, masking my ire with an expression of cool indifference. Surprise and wariness flared in Ava’s eyes at the sight of me. Good. She should be wary. She should be fucking home, safe and sound, instead of dancing with a manwhore like Colton and letting him put his hands all over her. “I was just telling her a joke.” Colton chuckled but shot me a warning look that said, Why are you cockblocking, man? He was lucky if all I did was cockblock. I was tempted to break every bone in his hand for touching her like that. “You mind? We’re in the middle of a dance.” “Actually, it’s my turn.” I maneuvered myself between them and pulled him off her with a little more force than necessary. Colton flinched. “You have to leave the gala early. Business calls.
Ana Huang (Twisted Love (Twisted, #1))
One of my favorite album covers is On the Beach. Of course that was the name of a movie and I stole it for my record, but that doesn't matter. The idea for that cover came like a bolt from the blue. Gary and I traveled around getting all the pieces to put it together. We went to a junkyard in Santa Ana to get the tail fin and fender from a 1959 Cadillac, complete with taillights, and watched them cut it off a Cadillac for us, then we went to a patio supply place to get the umbrella and table. We picke up the bad polyester yellow jacket and white pants at a sleazy men's shop, where we watched a shoplifter getting caught red-handed and busted. Gary and I were stoned on some dynamite weed and stood there dumbfounded watching the bust unfold. This girl was screaming and kicking! Finally we grabbed a local LA paper to use as a prop. It had this amazing headline: Sen. Buckley Calls For Nixon to Resign. Next we took the palm tree I had taken around the world on the Tonight's the Night tour. We then placed all of these pieces carefully in the sand at Santa Monica beach. Then we shot it. Bob Seidemann was the photographer, the same one who took the famous Blind Faith cover shot of the naked young girl holding the airplane. We used the crazy pattern from the umbrella insides for the inside of the sleeve that held the vinyl recording. That was the creative process at work. We lived for that, Gary and I, and we still do.
Neil Young (Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream)
Obviously, the more kids who are vaccinated, the better our country is protected and the less likely it is that any child will die from a disease. Some parents, however, aren't willing to risk the very rare side effects of vaccines, so they choose to skip the shots. Their children benefit from herd immunity (the protection of all the vaccinated kids around them) without risking the vaccines themselves. Is this selfish? Perhaps. But as parents you have to decide. Are you supposed to make decisions that are good for the country as a whole? Or do you base your decision on what's best for your own child as an individual? Can we fault parents for putting their own child's health ahead of the other kids' around him?
Robert W. Sears (The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child)
Went home briefly to get my halter dress for Hero's party, and Mom was waiting for me at the kitchen table. Either she's psychic, or she totally reads my journal, because I haven't said a word about Ben, but somehow she knows something is up.
She was siting with a tray of peanut butter crackers, milk, and about twenty pamphlets on STDs she got from her friend Connie, a nurse at Kaiser. When she started showing me pictures of genital warts, I put my cracker down and said, 'Mom, is this really necessary?' She said, 'Honey, I just want you to understand the risks.'
'Yeah, thanks. Now I'm so traumatized I won't have sex until I'm a senior citizen.'
She smiled. 'Great. I guess I've done my job then. Do you want a sandwich.
Jody Gehrman (Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty (Triple Shot Bettys, #1))
Dear Mr. Weston,
Hello again. We were beginning to wonder what had happened to you. I guess things have been pretty quiet since the Salvation Army tried to take over the world.
We are sorry, but after much deliberation we have elected not to assign any men to Protect Trillium Air Base. We feel that the Forces can protect themselves, and if they can't, who is going to protect the country?
Also, thank you for sending us that shard of broken glass with the fingerprint on it. It was yours. Our mail clerk required four stitches and a tetanus shot.
Relay our condolences to your Mr. Waghorn. We have no idea what unfortunate circumstance (for him) drew him to your ever-watchful attention, but he has no criminal record and his face is not known to us. Yours Sincerely,
Bruce Hmmm, thought Sidney, Waghorn has no criminal record.
"Let me see one of those," said Tom.
"I'm sorry, Tom, but I can't show you the letters."
Tom muttered something about a lack of trust. He was extremely alarmed at the intensity of Sidney's expression. As Sidney himself would have put it, the investigation was progressing. That meant trouble. There was always trouble when his brother got to the letter-writing stage. Tom would have to stay on his toes.
Sidney opened the last letter. Dear Mr. Weston,
Please stop bothering us. Cordially yours,
The Ontario Provincial Police.
Gordon Korman (Our Man Weston)
Sean: Yeah? You got a lady now?
Will: Yeah, I went on a date last week.
Sean: How'd it go?
Sean: Well, are you going out again?
Will: I don't know.
Sean: Why not?
Will: Haven't called her.
Sean: Jesus Christ, you are an amateur.
Will: I know what I'm doing. She's different from the other girls I met. We have a really good time. She's smart, beautiful, fun...
Sean: So Christ, call her up.
Will: Why? So I can realize she's not so smart. That she's boring. You don't get it. Right now she's perfect, I don't want to ruin that.
Sean: And right now you're perfect too. Maybe you don't want to ruin that. Well, I think that's a great philosophy Will, that way you can go through your entire life without ever having to really know anybody. My wife used to turn the alarm clock off in her sleep. I was late for work all the time because in the middle of the night she'd roll over and turn the damn thing off. Eventually I got a second clock and put it under my side of the bed, but it got to where she was gettin' to that one too. She was afraid of the dark, so the closet light was on all night. Thing kept me up half the night. Eventually I'd fall asleep, out of sheer exhaustion and not wake up when I was supposed to cause she'd have already gotten to my alarms. My wife's been dead two years, Will. And when I think about her, those are the things I think about most. Little idiosyncrasies that only I knew about. Those made her my wife. And she had the goods on me too. Little things I do out of habit. People call these things imperfections Will. It's just who we are. And we get to choose who we're going to let into out weird little worlds. You're not perfect. And let me save you the suspense, this girl you met isn't either. The question is, whether or not you're perfect for each other. You can know everything in the world, but the only way you're findin' that one out is by giving it a shot. You sure won't get the answer from an old fucker like me. And even if I did know, I wouldn't tell you.
Will: Why not? You told me every other fuckin' thing. You talk more than any shrink I ever met.
Sean: I teach this shit, I didn't say I knew how to do it.
Will: You ever think about gettin' remarried?
Sean: My wife's dead.
Will: Hence, the word remarried.
Sean: My wife's dead.
Will: Well I think that's a wonderful philosophy, Sean. That way you can go through the rest of your life without having to really know anyone.
Sean: Time's up.
Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting)
Loeser's favourite book in Blimk's shop, where he spent most of his afternoons, was still Dames! And how to Lay them. He referred to it constantly, like a psalter, with an inexhaustible excitement at the notion that it was possible to seduce a woman just by following a rigorous system of instructions. The problem was, there wasn't much in it that he felt he could put to practical use. 'Want to impress a dame with morning after the night before? Run to the kitchen while she's still snoozing fit to bust, and come back with what I like to call the Egg Majestique. That's one of every type of egg on a tray: a soft-boiled egg, a hard-boiled egg, an egg over easy, an egg sunny side up, a poached egg, a devilled egg, a pickled egg, a coddled egg, a scrambled egg, a one-egg omelette, and a shot of egg nog for the hangover. No dame will be able to believe you know so many ways to cook eggs. Egg protein is good for the manly function, and after you've pulled off the Egg Majestique, you'll probably need it, if you know what I mean.' This sounded pretty authoritative to Loeser but he just wasn't quite sure.
Ned Beauman (The Teleportation Accident)
Can you do it again tonight?"
"The Catamounts were a wretched team," Andrew said. "They brought that ridicule on themselves."
"Can you or can't you?"
"I don't see why I should." Neil heard the click of a lock coming undone and knew the referees were opening the door. Andrew wasn't moving yet, but Neil still put an arm in his path to keep him where he was. He pressed his gloved hand to the wall and leaned in as close to Andrew as he could with all of his bulky gear on.
"I'm asking you to help us," Neil said. "Will you?"
Andrew considered it a moment. "Not for free."
"Anything," Neil promised, and stepped back to take his place in line again. Neil didn't know what he'd gotten himself into, but he honestly didn't care, because Andrew delivered exactly what Neil wanted him to. Andrew closed the goal like his life depended on it and smashed away every shot. The Bearcat strikers took that challenge head-on. They feinted and swerved and threw every trick shot they had at Andrew. More than once Andrew used his glove or body to block a ball he couldn't get his racquet to in time.
That might have been enough, except Andrew didn't stop there. For the first time ever he started talking to the defense line. Neil only understood him in snatches, since there was too much space and movement between them, but what he caught was enough. Andrew was chewing out the backliners for letting the strikers past them so many times and ordering them to pick up the pace. Neil worried for a moment what they'd do with Andrew's rude brand of teamwork at their backs, but the next time he got a good look at Matt, Matt was grinning like this was the most fun he'd had in years.
Maybe I . . . shouldn’t tell him what I thought I’d heard. Not until I knew more. How exactly would I put the revelation anyway? Jack’s alive, but apparently he kept that little detail secret. Ah, but Matthew spilled the beans! Buying myself time, I waved Aric on.
I was scarcely listening as he began talking about Paul, of all people. How the EMT had grown worried when I’d been shut in with my grandmother for so long. How I had lost weight and become listless. The man had pleaded with me to get a checkup, even offering to source contraception after Aric and I had started sleeping together.
Wait. I glanced up. “After?”
Aric nodded. “He said you told him you had no need of contraception.”
The hell? “I went to him and got a shot prior to us getting together. I told you about it.”
“As I told him in turn, but he swears that never happened.”
Real? Unreal? Had I . . . imagined my meeting with Paul? I’d already feared gaps in my memory; Gran had told me things that I’d had no recollection of. Was I now inventing memories?
Had I invented Jack’s return?
In a soothing voice, Aric said, “I’m not angry, love. Just talk to me.” He wasn’t the first person to look at me as if I’d gone insane, like I was trouble with the possibility of rubble.
Won’t be the last.
No. I refused this. I had heard Jack, and I had gotten that shot. “It did happen, which means Paul’s a liar.” But why would he lie? “I’m going to confront him.” In time. Right now, all I wanted was to hear from Matthew again.
Yet I frowned as a thought occurred. “Why would you be talking to Paul about contraception?”
Aric tucked my hair behind my ear. “Sievā,” he said gently, “do you not know you’re pregnant?”
Kresley Cole (Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4))
Come on, she’s gorgeous. Guys in Richmond would be drooling right now.”
Joe’s brows shot up, and he turned as if expecting to see someone new behind him. “Sid?”
“You’d have to be a eunuch not to see that.”
Joe looked insulted by that insinuation.
“You know what I mean. Who is she anyway?”
“She’s my boat mechanic. A pain in the ass, but she can fix anything you put in front of her.”
Beth couldn’t respond. She’d need to lift her jaw off the floor to do that.
“What?” Joe asked, looking perplexed again.
“That is your boat mechanic? You work with a woman Hugh Hefner would pay a million bucks for, yet you claim not to notice she’s the slightest bit attractive?” Beth pulled the tray to her now inferior-feeling chest and wrapped her arms around it. “Is that why you’re so cranky all the time?”
Joe’s mouth clamped shut and his eyes narrowed. “You’re out of your mind. Sid isn’t…” He trailed off as he looked again to the woman in question and got a straight shot of a well-shaped bottom. “You’re nuts,” he said, stomping out of the room. Before Beth could follow behind him, he leaned back in to yell, “And I’m not cranky!
Terri Osburn (Meant to Be (Anchor Island, #1))
As I walked away, I heard the girl ask, “Is she your girlfriend?”
I whirled around, and we both said “No!” at the same time.
Confused, she said, “Well, is she your little sister?” like I wasn’t standing right there. Her perfume was heavy. It felt like it filled all the air around us, like we were breathing her in.
“No, I’m not his little sister.” I hated this girl for being a witness to all this. It was humiliating. And she was pretty, in the same kind of way Taylor was pretty, which somehow made things worse.
Conrad said, “Her mom is best friends with my mom.” So that was all I was to him? His mom’s friend’s daughter?
I took a deep breath, and without even thinking, I said to the girl, “I’ve known Conrad my whole life. So let me be the one to tell you you’re barking up the wrong tree. Conrad will never love anyone as much as he loves himself, if you know what I mean-“ I lifted up my hand and wiggled my fingers.
“Shut up, Belly,” Conrad warned. The tops of his ears were turning bright red. It was a low blow, but I didn’t care. He deserved it.
Red Sox girl frowned. “What is she talking about, Conrad?”
To her I blurted out, “Oh, I’m sorry, do you not know what the idiom ‘barking up the wrong tree’ means?”
Her pretty face twisted. “You little skank,” she hissed.
I could feel myself shrinking. I wished I could take it back. I’d never gotten into a fight with a girl before, or with anyone for that matter.
Thankfully, Conrad broke in then and pointed to the bonfire. “Belly, go back over there, and wait for me to come get you,” he said harshly.
That’s when Jeremiah ambled over. “Hey, hey, what’s going on?” he asked, smiling in his easy, goofy way.
“Your brother is a jerk,” I said. “That’s what’s going on.”
Jeremiah put his arm around me. He smelled like beer. “You guys play nice, you hear?”
I shrugged out of his hold and said, “I am playing nice. Tell your brother to play nice.”
“Wait, are you guys brother and sister too?” the girl asked.
Conrad said, “Don’t even think about leaving with that guy.”
“Con, chill out,” Jeremiah said. “She’s not leaving. Right, Belly?”
He looked at me, and I pursed my lips and nodded. Then I gave Conrad the dirtiest look I could muster, and I shot one at the girl, too, when I was far enough away that she wouldn’t be able to reach out and grab me by the hair.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
night.” “Sometimes, yes,” Meggie had said. “But it only works for children.” Which made Mo tweak her nose. Mo. Meggie had never called her father anything else. That night—when so much began and so many things changed forever—Meggie had one of her favorite books under her pillow, and since the rain wouldn’t let her sleep she sat up, rubbed the drowsiness from her eyes, and took it out. Its pages rustled promisingly when she opened it. Meggie thought this first whisper sounded a little different from one book to another, depending on whether or not she already knew the story it was going to tell her. But she needed light. She had a box of matches hidden in the drawer of her bedside table. Mo had forbidden her to light candles at night. He didn’t like fire. “Fire devours books,” he always said, but she was twelve years old, she surely could be trusted to keep an eye on a couple of candle flames. Meggie loved to read by candlelight. She had five candlesticks on the windowsill, and she was just holding the lighted match to one of the black wicks when she heard footsteps outside. She blew out the match in alarm—oh, how well she remembered it, even many years later—and knelt to look out of the window, which was wet with rain. Then she saw him. The rain cast a kind of pallor on the darkness, and the stranger was little more than a shadow. Only his face gleamed white as he looked up at Meggie. His hair clung to his wet forehead. The rain was falling on him, but he ignored it. He stood there motionless, arms crossed over his chest as if that might at least warm him a little. And he kept on staring at the house. I must go and wake Mo, thought Meggie. But she stayed put, her heart thudding, and went on gazing out into the night as if the stranger’s stillness had infected her. Suddenly, he turned his head, and Meggie felt as if he were looking straight into her eyes. She shot off the bed so fast the open book fell to the floor, and she ran barefoot out into the dark corridor. This was the end of May, but it was chilly in the old house. There was still a light on in Mo’s room. He often stayed up reading late into the night. Meggie had inherited her love of books from her father. When she took refuge from a bad dream with him, nothing could lull her to sleep better than Mo’s calm breathing beside her and the sound of the pages turning. Nothing chased nightmares away faster than
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart / Inkspell / Inkdeath (The Inkheart Trilogy #1-3))
When negative experiences such as having one's house shot at occur in my dad's life he tends to come alive. His confusion lifts. Pieces of life's puzzle fuse into meaning like the continents before that colossal rift. It's entirely logical to him that his house has been shot at and when he's able to spend a minute or two in a world that makes sense he appears almost happy. And when he gets happy he does decisive things like this time he went over to the bulletin board in the kitchen and took down the city bus schedule that we've had up there since Tash left and before the bus depot itself closed down. He put it in the garbage can under the sink. Phew. Done. Goodbye past.
But then I imagined him on a day when shitty things weren't happening and he'd be feeling his usual mystified self and go to the dump and there he would see that little piece of paper with the schedule on it and it would bring him to his knees. Just destroy him for a minute or two and he'd probably pick it up and wipe whatever seagull crap there was on it and straighten it out with the side of his hand and bring it back to the kitchen bulletin board and ARRANGE it on there so you'd know it was the centerpiece of his life.
Miriam Toews (A Complicated Kindness)
Iago’s treatment of Othello conforms to Bacon’s definition of scientific enquiry as putting Nature to the Question. If a member of the audience were to interrupt the play and ask him: "What are you doing? could not Iago answer with a boyish giggle, "Nothing. I’m only trying to find out what Othello is really like"? And we must admit that his experiment is highly successful. By the end of the play he does know the scientific truth about the object to which he has reduced Othello. That is what makes his parting shot, What you know, you know, so terrifying for, by then, Othello has become a thing, incapable of knowing anything.
And why shouldn’t Iago do this? After all, he has certainly acquired knowledge. What makes it impossible for us to condemn him self-righteously is that, in our culture, we have all accepted the notion that the right to know is absolute and unlimited. […] We are quite prepared to admit that, while food and sex are good in themselves, an uncontrolled pursuit of either is not, but it is difficult for us to believe that intellectual curiosity is a desire like any other, and to realize that correct knowledge and truth are not identical. To apply a categorical imperative to knowing, so that, instead of asking, "What can I know?" we ask, "What, at this moment, am I meant to know?" – to entertain the possibility that the only knowledge which can be true for us is the knowledge we can live up to – that seems to all of us crazy and almost immoral. But, in that case, who are we to say to Iago – "No, you mustn’t.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
And then, as I was bouncing the ball up and down on the grass, just about to wind up my body to serve, the umpire cut in. “Time violation: warning, Mr. Nadal.” I had apparently spent too long between points, gone over the legal limit of twenty seconds before I served—a rule that is enforced only rarely. But it’s a dangerous rule. Because once you’ve received that first warning, any subsequent violations lead to the deduction of points. My concentration had been put to the test. I could have made a scene. The crowd, I could tell, shared my indignation. But I knew, without having to give it a second thought, that to let my feelings show would do me no good. I’d risk losing that precious asset, my concentration. Besides, the momentum was with me and I was two points away from winning the second set. I put the umpire’s interruption immediately out of my mind and won the point with a terrific and, for me, very unusual shot.
Rafael Nadal (Rafa)
The disciples finally begin to get a grasp that maybe God can become flesh and dwell among us, maybe God can be a man, and then they come back and not only is God a man, but He's acting like an idiot! He's hanging out with a bunch of kids. He's blessing them, you know. And you think, How do you bless children? Well, the best way I know is that you pick them up and you just throw them as high as you can, and you catch them right before they splatter. You get down on all fours and you run around the room and you let them ride you and you buck them off. … You put your mouth against their bellies and you make funny noises. Here's Jesus probably doing all this business. His disciples were humiliated! And they said, “You should not be making such a fool of Yourself!” And Jesus says, “Here, look, look, fellas. I'll call the shots here. I may be dumb, but I am God. And I'll tell you what else, if you wanna come into My kingdom, you'll come in like one of these or you won't come in at all.
James Bryan Smith (Rich Mullins: A Devotional Biography: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven)
Leslie Marmon Silko whispers the story is long. No, longer. Longer than that even. Longer than anything. With Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath drink at the bar. Laugh the dark laughter in the dark light. Sing a dark drunken song of men. Make a slurry toast. Rock back and forth, and drink the dark, and bask in the wallow of women knowing what women know. Just for a night. When you need to feel the ground of your life and the heart of the world, there will be a bonfire at the edge of a canyon under a night sky where Joy Harjo will sing your bonesong. Go ahead-with Anne Carson - rebuild the wreckage of a life a word at a time, ignoring grammar and the forms that keep culture humming. Make word war and have it out and settle it, scattering old meanings like hacked to pieces paper doll confetti. The lines that are left … they are awake and growling. With Virginia Woolf there will perhaps be a long walk in a garden or along a shore, perhaps a walk that will last all day. She will put her arm in yours and gaze out. At your backs will be history. In front of you, just the ordinary day, which is of course your entire life. Like language. The small backs of words. Stretching out horizonless. I am in a midnight blue room. A writing room. With a blood red desk. A room with rituals and sanctuaries. I made it for myself. It took me years. I reach down below my desk and pull up a bottle of scotch. Balvenie. 30 year. I pour myself an amber shot. I drink. Warm lips, throat. I close my eyes. I am not Virginia Woolf. But there is a line of hers that keeps me well: Arrange whatever pieces come your way. I am not alone. Whatever else there was or is, writing is with me.
Lidia Yuknavitch (The Chronology of Water)
The dog continued to bark at night, sometimes far away, sometimes close to the house. Towards morning, he would howl. It could be quiet for hours, but there were those who lay in bed waiting for the next howl, and they would say, "Did you hear that? It's like having a wolf in the woods. An unhappy woman has an unhappy dog. It ought to be shot."
Katri did not talk about the dog, but she put out food and water in the yard. Sometimes at night Mats would wait by the kitchen window with the light off and the door open. He saw the dog only once, just as it was growing light, and he went very slowly out on the steps and tried to coax it in. But it ran off into the woods, so he gave up.
Tove Jansson (The True Deceiver)
When I came out into the outside room again, I saw her shoe still lying there, where it had come off in the course of our brief wrestle. It looked so pathetic there by itself without an owner, it looked so lonely, it looked so empty. Something made me pick it up arid take it in to her. Like when someone's going away, you help them on with their coat, or their jackboots, or whatever it is they need for going away.
I didn't try to put it back on her, I just set it down there beside her close at hand. You're going to need this, I said to her in my mind. You're starting on a long walk. You're going to keep walking from now on, looking for your home.
I stopped and wondered for a minute if that was what happened to all of us when we crossed over. Just keep walking, keep on walking, with no ahead and no in-back-of; tramps, vagrants in eternity. With our last hope and horizon - death - already taken away.
In the Middle Ages they had lurid colors, a bright red hell, an azure heaven shot with gold stars. They knew where they were, at least. They could tell the difference. We, in the Twentieth, we just have the long walk, the long walk through the wispy backward-stringing mists of eternity, from nowhere to nowhere, never getting there, until you're so tired you almost wish you were alive again. ("Life Is Weird Sometimes" - first chapter of unpublished novel THE LOSER)
Here, my man, just hold it this way, while I look into it a bit," he said one day to Fitz G., putting a wounded arm into the keeping of a sound one, and proceeding to poke about among bits of bone and visible muscles, in a red and black chasm made by some infernal machine of the shot or shell description. Poor Fitz held on like a grim Death, ashamed to show fear before a woman, till it grew more than he could bear in silence; and, after a few smothered groans,he looked at me imploringly, as if he said, "I wouldn't, ma'am, if I could help it," and fainted quietly away.
Dr. P. looked up, gave a compassionate sort of cluck, and poked away more busily than ever, with a nod at me and a brief—"Never mind; be so good as to hold this till I finish."
I obeyed, cherishing the while a strong desire to insinuate a few of his own disagreeable knives and scissors into him, and see how he liked it. A very disrespectful and ridiculous fancy of course; for he was doing all that could be done, and the arm prospered finely in his hands. But the human mind is prone to prejudice; and though a personable man, speaking French like a born "Parley voo," and whipping off legs like an animated guillotine, I must confess to a sense of relief when he was ordered elsewhere; and suspect that several of the men would have faced a rebel battery with less trepidation than they did Dr. P., when he came briskly in on his morning round.
Louisa May Alcott (Hospital Sketches)
Hollywood High School was flipping from the storied institute of legend to the high school of the barrio. Or, as CNN put it in a series of rave reviews for the “predominantly Latino” school: “Hollywood High Now a Diverse High School.” Hollywood High alumni include Cher, Carol Burnett, Lon Chaney, James Garner, Linda Evans, John Huston, Judy Garland, Ricky Nelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Ritter, Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner, and Fay Wray, among many others. By the mid-2000s, Hollywood High was more than 70 percent Hispanic,5 and students were less likely to be getting publicity shots than mug shots. Today the school is mostly famous for its stabbings, shootings, child molestations, thefts, and graffiti.6 Around 1990, a California TV producer trying to enroll a German exchange student in a Los Angeles high school asked the principal at Fairfax High if a foreign exchange student would be better served by Fairfax or Hollywood High. Without looking up, the principal replied, “Well, 90% of my students can speak English, and we haven’t had a shooting here in 5 years.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
9. Your Photo Album Many people have a photo album. In it they keep memories of the happiest of times. There may be a photo of them playing by the beach when they were very young. There may be the picture with their proud parents at their graduation ceremony. There will be many shots of their wedding that captures their love at one of its highest points. And there will be holiday snapshots too. But you will never find in your album any photographs of miserable moments of your life. Absent is the photo of you outside the principal’s office at school. Missing is any photo of you studying hard late into the night for your exams. No one that I know has a picture of their divorce in their album, nor one of them in a hospital bed terribly sick, nor stuck in busy traffic on the way to work on a Monday morning! Such depressing shots never find their way into anyone’s photo album. Yet there is another photo album that we keep in our heads called our memory. In that album, we include so many negative photographs. There you find so many snapshots of insulting arguments, many pictures of the times when you were so badly let down, and several montages of the occasions where you were treated cruelly. There are surprisingly few photos in that album of happy moments. This is crazy! So let’s do a purge of the photo album in our head. Delete the uninspiring memories. Trash them. They do not belong in this album. In their place, put the same sort of memories that you have in a real photo album. Paste in the happiness of when you made up with your partner, when there was that unexpected moment of real kindness, or whenever the clouds parted and the sun shone with extraordinary beauty. Keep those photos in your memory. Then when you have a few spare moments, you will find yourself turning its pages with a smile, or even with laughter.
Ajahn Brahm (Don't Worry, Be Grumpy: Inspiring Stories for Making the Most of Each Moment)
I pulled Slayer from its sheath and pushed the door open with my fingertips. It swung soundlessly on well-greased hinges. Through the hallway, I saw the living room lamp glowing with soothing yellow light. I smelled coffee.
Who breaks into a house, turns on the lights, and makes coffee?
I padded into the living room on soft feet, Slayer ready.
“Loud and clumsy, like a baby rhino,” said a familiar voice.
I stepped into the living room. Curran sat on my couch, reading my favorite paperback. His hair was back to its normal short length. His face was clean shaven. He looked nothing like the dark, demonic figure who shook a would-be god’s head on a field a month ago.
I thought he had forgotten about me. I had been quite happy to stay forgotten.
“The Princess Bride?” he said, flipping the book over.
“What are you doing in my house?” Let himself in, had he? Made himself comfortable, as if he owned the place.
“Did everything go well with Julie?”
“Yes. She didn’t want to stay, but she’ll make friends quickly, and the staff seems sensible.”
I watched him, not quite sure where we stood.
“I meant to tell you but haven’t gotten a chance. Sorry about Bran. I didn’t like him, but he died well.”
“Yes, he did. I’m sorry about your people. Many losses?”
A shadow darkened his face. “A third.”
He had taken a hundred with him. At least thirty people had never come back. The weight of their deaths pressed on both of us.
Curran turned the book over in his hands. “You own words of power.”
He knew what a word of power was. Lovely. I shrugged. “Picked up a couple here and there. What happened in the Gap was a one shot deal. I won’t be that powerful again.” At least not until the next flare.
“You’re an interesting woman,” he said.
“Your interest has been duly noted.” I pointed to the door.
He put the book down. “As you wish.” He rose and walked past me. I lowered my sword, expecting him to pass, but suddenly he stepped in dangerously close. “Welcome home. I’m glad you made it. There is coffee in the kitchen for you.”
My mouth gaped open.
He inhaled my scent, bent close, about to kiss me . . .
I just stood there like an idiot.
Curran smirked and whispered in my ear instead. “Psych.”
And just like that, he was out the door and gone.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
September 10, 1965 Dear Francesca, Enclosed are two photographs. One is the shot I took of you in the pasture at sunrise. I hope you like it as much as I do. The other is of Roseman Bridge before I removed your note tacked to it. I sit here trolling the gray areas of my mind for every detail, every moment, of our time together. I ask myself over and over, “What happened to me in Madison County, Iowa?” And I struggle to bring it together. That’s why I wrote the little piece, “Falling from Dimension Z,” I have enclosed, as a way of trying to sift through my confusion. I look down the barrel of a lens, and you’re at the end of it. I begin work on an article, and I’m writing about you. I’m not even sure how I got back here from Iowa. Somehow the old truck brought me home, yet I barely remember the miles going by. A few weeks ago, I felt self-contained, reasonably content. Maybe not profoundly happy, maybe a little lonely, but at least content. All of that has changed. It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning, all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another. The road is a strange place. Shuffling along, I looked up and you were there walking across the grass toward my truck on an August day. In retrospect, it seems inevitable—it could not have been any other way—a case of what I call the high probability of the improbable. So here I am walking around with another person inside of me. Though I think I put it better the day we parted when I said there is a third person we have created from the two of us. And I am stalked now by that other entity. Somehow, we must see each other again. Any place, anytime. Call me if you ever need anything or simply want to see me. I’ll be there, pronto. Let me know if you can come out here sometime—anytime. I can arrange plane fare, if that’s a problem. I’m off to southeast India next week, but I’ll be back in late October. I Love You, Robert P. S., The photo project in Madison County turned out fine. Look for it in NG next year. Or tell me if you want me to send a copy of the issue when it’s published. Francesca Johnson set her brandy glass on the wide oak windowsill and stared at an eight-by-ten black-and-white photograph of herself.
Robert James Waller (The Bridges Of Madison County)
I looked sadly at my final note on the page: July. Five whole months. An eternity.
But what did it matter? Holmes and I would go ahead as we were - as we had been before I stood on a London pier and, seeing him resurrected from a fiery death, literally embraced an unexpected future. Patience, Russelll.
And yet, I was afraid. That real life would intervene. That doubts would chew at our feet, causing one or both of us to edge away from the brink. That neither of us had really meant it, and the memory of those dockside sensations would turn to threat. That my gift to him was nothing but selfish impulse of an uncertain young girl.
I felt his gaze on me, and put on a look of good cheer before raising my face. "Of course. July will do nicely-and will give us plenty of time to arrange a distraction to get your cousin and his shot-guns away from the house."
He did not reply. Under his gaze, my smile faltered a bit. "It's fine, Holmes. You have commitments in Europe next month. I have much to do in Oxford. I will be here when you get back."
Abruptly, he jumped to his feet and swept across the room to the door. I watched him thrust his long arms into the sleeves of his overcoat. "Thursday, Russell," he said, clapping his hat onto his head. "Be ready on Thursday."
"For what?" I asked, but he was gone.
For anything, knowing him.
Laurie R. King (The Marriage of Mary Russell (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #2.5))
April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him. first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter when he sank, then you saw a lifeboat full of children with a helicopter hovering over it, there was a middleaged woman might have been a jewess sitting up in the bow with a little boy about three years old in her arms, little boy screaming with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting her arms round him and comforting him although she was blue with fright herself, all the time covering him up as much as possible as if she thought her arms could keep the bullets off him, then the helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among them terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood, then there was a wonderful shot of a child’s arm going up up up right up into the air a helicopter with a camera in its nose must have followed it up and there was a lot of applause from the party seats but a woman down in the prole part of the house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and shouting they didnt oughter of showed it not in front of kids they didnt it aint right not in front of kids it aint until the police turned her turned her out i dont suppose anything happened to her nobody cares what the proles say typical prole reaction they never— Winston stopped writing, partly because he was suffering from cramp. He
George Orwell (1984)
...Now let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace—and you can have it in the next second—surrender.
Admittedly, there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand—the ultimatum. And what then—when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we're retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he's heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he'd rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us.
You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." And this—this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits—not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.
We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness...
Ronald Reagan (Speaking My Mind: Selected Speeches)
we stared at each other, and I knew we were both thinking about the same exact thing: the night before. Not the long talk we’d had about our families—and that raw honesty we’d given each other—but about what happened after that.
The movie. The damn movie.
I didn’t know what the hell I’d been thinking, fully fucking aware I was already mopey, when I asked if he wanted to watch my favorite movie as a kid. I’d watched it hundreds of times. Hundreds of times. It felt like love and hope.
And I was an idiot.
And Aiden, being a nice person who apparently let me get away with most of the things I wanted, said, “Sure. I might fall asleep during it.”
He hadn’t fallen asleep.
If there was one thing I learned that night was that no one was impervious to Little Foot losing his mom. Nobody. He’d only slightly rolled his eyes when the cartoon started, but when I glanced over at him, he’d been watching faithfully.
When that awful, terrible, why-would-you-do-that-to-children-and-to-humanity-in-general part came on The Land Before Time, my heart still hadn’t learned how to cope and I was feeling so low, the hiccups coming out were worse than usual. My vision got cloudy. I got choked up. Tears were coming out of my eyes like the powerful Mississippi. Time and dozens of viewings hadn’t toughened me up at all.
And as I’d wiped at my face and tried to remind myself it was just a movie and a young dinosaur hadn’t lost his beloved mom, I heard a sniffle. A sniffle that wasn’t my own. I turned not-so-discreetly and saw him.
I saw the starry eyes and the way his throat bobbed with a gulp. Then I saw the sideways look he shot me as I sat there dealing with my own emotions, and we stared at each other. In silence.
The big guy wasn’t handling it, and if there were ever a time in any universe, watching any movie, this would be the cause of it.
All I could do was nod at him, get up to my knees, and lean over so I could wrap my arms around his neck and tell him in as soothing of a voice as I could get together, “I know, big guy. I know,” even as another round of tears came out of my eyes and possibly some snot out of my nose.
The miraculous part was that he let me. Aiden sat there and let me hug him, let me put my cheek over the top of his head and let him know it was okay. Maybe it happened because we’d just been talking about the faulty relationships we had with our families or maybe it was because a child losing its mother was just about the saddest thing in the world, especially when it was an innocent animal, I don’t know. But it was sad as shit.
He sniffed—on any other person smaller than him it would have been considered a sniffle—and I squeezed my arms around him a little tighter before going back to my side of the bed where we finished watching the movie
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
We have no obligation to endure or enable certain types of certain toxic relationships. The Christian ethic muddies these waters because we attach the concept of long-suffering to these damaging connections. We prioritize proximity over health, neglecting good boundaries and adopting a Savior role for which we are ill-equipped.
Who else we'll deal with her?, we say. Meanwhile, neither of you moves towards spiritual growth. She continues toxic patterns and you spiral in frustration, resentment and fatigue.
Come near, dear one, and listen. You are not responsible for the spiritual health of everyone around you. Nor must you weather the recalcitrant behavior of others. It is neither kind nor gracious to enable. We do no favors for an unhealthy friend by silently enduring forever. Watching someone create chaos without accountability is not noble. You won't answer for the destructive habits of an unsafe person. You have a limited amount of time and energy and must steward it well. There is a time to stay the course and a time to walk away.
There's a tipping point when the effort becomes useless, exhausting beyond measure. You can't pour antidote into poison forever and expect it to transform into something safe, something healthy. In some cases, poison is poison and the only sane response is to quit drinking it.
This requires honest self evaluation, wise counselors, the close leadership of the Holy Spirit, and a sober assessment of reality. Ask, is the juice worth the squeeze here. And, sometimes, it is. You might discover signs of possibility through the efforts, or there may be necessary work left and it's too soon to assess. But when an endless amount of blood, sweat and tears leaves a relationship unhealthy, when there is virtually no redemption, when red flags are frantically waved for too long, sometimes the healthiest response is to walk away.
When we are locked in a toxic relationship, spiritual pollution can murder everything tender and Christ-like in us. And a watching world doesn't always witness those private kill shots. Unhealthy relationships can destroy our hope, optimism, gentleness. We can lose our heart and lose our way while pouring endless energy into an abyss that has no bottom. There is a time to put redemption in the hands of God and walk away before destroying your spirit with futile diligence.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
Honest to God, I hadn’t meant to start a bar fight.
“So. You’re the famous Jordan Amador.” The demon sitting in front of me looked like someone filled a pig bladder with rotten cottage cheese. He overflowed the bar stool with his gelatinous stomach, just barely contained by a white dress shirt and an oversized leather jacket. Acid-washed jeans clung to his stumpy legs and his boots were at least twice the size of mine. His beady black eyes started at my ankles and dragged upward, past my dark jeans, across my black turtleneck sweater, and over the grey duster around me that was two sizes too big.
He finally met my gaze and snorted before continuing. “I was expecting something different. Certainly not a black girl. What’s with the name, girlie?”
I shrugged. “My mother was a religious woman.”
“Clearly,” the demon said, tucking a fat cigar in one corner of his mouth. He stood up and walked over to the pool table beside him where he and five of his lackeys had gathered. Each of them was over six feet tall and were all muscle where he was all fat.
“I could start to examine the literary significance of your name, or I could ask what the hell you’re doing in my bar,” he said after knocking one of the balls into the left corner pocket.
“Just here to ask a question, that’s all. I don’t want trouble.”
Again, he snorted, but this time smoke shot from his nostrils, which made him look like an albino dragon. “My ass you don’t. This place is for fallen angels only, sweetheart. And we know your reputation.”
I held up my hands in supplication. “Honest Abe. Just one question and I’m out of your hair forever.”
My gaze lifted to the bald spot at the top of his head surrounded by peroxide blonde locks. “What’s left of it, anyway.”
He glared at me. I smiled, batting my eyelashes. He tapped his fingers against the pool cue and then shrugged one shoulder.
“Fine. What’s your question?”
“Know anybody by the name of Matthias Gruber?”
He didn’t even blink. “No.”
“Ah. I see. Sorry to have wasted your time.”
I turned around, walking back through the bar. I kept a quick, confident stride as I went, ignoring the whispers of the fallen angels in my wake. A couple called out to me, asking if I’d let them have a taste, but I didn’t spare them a glance. Instead, I headed to the ladies’ room. Thankfully, it was empty, so I whipped out my phone and dialed the first number in my Recent Call list.
“Hey. He’s here. Yeah, I’m sure it’s him. They’re lousy liars when they’re drunk. Uh-huh. Okay, see you in five.”
I hung up and let out a slow breath. Only a couple things left to do.
I gathered my shoulder-length black hair into a high ponytail. I looped the loose curls around into a messy bun and made sure they wouldn’t tumble free if I shook my head too hard. I took the leather gloves in the pocket of my duster out and pulled them on. Then, I walked out of the bathroom and back to the front entrance.
The coat-check girl gave me a second unfriendly look as I returned with my ticket stub to retrieve my things—three vials of holy water, a black rosary with the beads made of onyx and the cross made of wood, a Smith & Wesson .9mm Glock complete with a full magazine of blessed bullets and a silencer, and a worn out page of the Bible.
I held out my hands for the items and she dropped them on the counter with an unapologetic, “Oops.”
“Thanks,” I said with a roll of my eyes. I put the Glock back in the hip holster at my side and tucked the rest of the items in the pockets of my duster.
The brunette demon crossed her arms under her hilariously oversized fake breasts and sent me a vicious sneer. “The door is that way, Seer. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.”
I smiled back. “God bless you.”
She let out an ugly hiss between her pearly white teeth. I blew her a kiss and walked out the door. The parking lot was packed outside now that it was half-past midnight. Demons thrived in darkness, so I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I’d been counting on it.
Kyoko M. (The Holy Dark (The Black Parade, #3))
Oh no,” she breathed. “Not the Highwoods.” She called after the coach as it rumbled off into the distance. “Mrs. Highwood, wait! Come back. I can explain everything. Don’t leave!”
“They seem to have already left.”
She turned on Bram, flashing him an angry blue glare. The force of it pushed against his sternum. Not nearly sufficient to move him, but enough to leave an impression.
“I do hope you’re happy, sir. If tormenting innocent sheep and blowing ruts in our road weren’t enough mischief for you today, you’ve ruined a young woman’s future.”
“Ruined?” Bram wasn’t in the habit of ruining young ladies-that was his cousin’s specialty-but if he ever decided to take up the sport, he’d employ a different technique. He edged closer, lowering his voice. “Really, it was just a little kiss. Or is this about your frock?”
His gaze dipped. Her frock had caught the worst of their encounter. Grass and dirt streaked the yards of shell-pink muslin. A torn flounce drooped to the ground, limp as a forgotten handkerchief. Her neckline had likewise strayed. He wondered if she knew her left breast was one exhortation away from popping free of her bodice altogether. He wondered if he should stop staring at it.
No, he decided. He would do her a favor by staring at it, calling her attention to what needed to be repaired. Indeed. Staring at her half-exposed, emotion-flushed breast was his solemn duty, and Bram was never one to shirk responsibility.
“Ahem.” She crossed her arms over her chest, abruptly aborting his mission.
“It’s not about me,” she said, “or my frock. The woman in that carriage was vulnerable and in need of help, and…” She blew out a breath, lifting the stray wisps of hair from her brow. “And now she’s gone. They’re all gone.” She looked him up and down. “So what is it you require? A wheelwright? Supplies? Directions to the main thoroughfare? Just tell me what you need to be on your way, and I will happily supply it.”
“We won’t put you to any such trouble. So long as this is the road to Summerfield, we’ll-“
“Summerfield? You didn’t say Summerfield.”
Vaguely, he understood that she was vexed with him, and that he probably deserved it. But damned if he could bring himself to feel sorry. Her fluster was fiercely attractive. The way her freckles bunched as she frowned at him. The elongation of her pale, slender neck as she stood straight in challenge.
She was tall for a woman. He liked his women tall.
“I did say Summerfield,” he replied. “That is the residence of Sir Lewis Finch, is it not?”
Her brow creased. “What business do you have with Sir Lewis Finch?”
“Men’s business, love. The specifics needn’t concern you.”
“Summerfield is my home,” she said. “And Sir Lewis Finch is my father. So yes, Lieutenant Colonel Victor Bramwell”-she fired each word as a separate shot-“you concern me.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
You choose this moment to act like the Abnegation?” His voice fills the room and makes fear prickle in my chest. His anger seems too sudden. Too strange. “All that time you spent insisting that you were too selfish for them, and now, when your life is on the line, you’ve got to be a hero? What’s wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with you? People died. They walked right off the edge of a building! And I can stop it from happening again!”
“You’re too important to just…die.” He shakes his head. He won’t even look at me--his eyes keep shifting across my face, to the wall behind me or the ceiling above me, to everything but me. I am too stunned to be angry.
“I’m not important. Everyone will do just fine without me,” I say.
“Who cares about everyone? What about me?”
He lowers his head into his hand, covering his eyes. His fingers are trembling.
Then he crosses the room in two long strides and touches his lips to mine. Their gentle pressure erases the past few months, and I am the girl who sat on the rocks next to the chasm, with river spray on her ankles, and kissed him for the first time. I am the girl who grabbed his hand in the hallway just because I wanted to.
I pull back, my hand on his chest to keep him away. The problem is, I am also the girl who shot Will and lied about it, and chose between Hector and Marlene, and now a thousand other things besides. And I can’t erase those things.
“You would be fine.” I don’t look at him. I stare at his T-shirt between my fingers and the black ink curling around his neck, but I don’t look at his face. “Not at first. But you would move on, and do what you have to.”
He wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me against him. “That’s a lie,” he says, before he kisses me again.
This is wrong. It’s wrong to forget who I have become, and to let him kiss me when I know what I’m about to do.
But I want to. Oh, I want to.
I stand on my tiptoes and wrap my arms around him. I press one hand between his shoulder blades and curl the other one around the back of his neck. I can feel his breaths against my palm, his body expanding and contracting, and I know he’s strong, steady, unstoppable. All things I need to be, but I am not, I am not.
He walks backward, pulling me with him so I stumble. I stumble right out of my shoes. He sits on the edge of the bed and I stand in front of him, and we’re finally eye to eye.
He touches my face, covering my cheeks with his hands, sliding his fingertips down my neck, fitting his fingers to the slight curve of my hips.
I can’t stop.
I fit my mouth to his, and he tastes like water and smells like fresh air. I drag my hand from his neck to the small of his back, and put it under his shirt. He kisses me harder.
I knew he was strong; I didn’t know how strong until I felt it myself, the muscles in his back tightening beneath my fingers.
Stop, I tell myself.
Suddenly it’s as if we’re in a hurry, his fingertips brushing my side under my shirt, my hands clutching at him, struggling closer but there is no closer. I have never longed for someone this way, or this much.
He pulls back just enough to look into my eyes, his eyelids lowered.
“Promise me,” he whispers, “that you won’t go. For me. Do this one thing for me.”
Could I do that? Could I stay here, fix things with him, let someone else die in my place? Looking up at him, I believe for a moment that I could. And then I see Will. The crease between his eyebrows. The empty, simulation-bound eyes. The slumped body.
Do this one thing for me. Tobias’s dark eyes plead with me.
But if I don’t go to Erudite, who will? Tobias? It’s the kind of thing he would do.
I feel a stab of pain in my chest as I lie to him. “Okay.”
“Promise,” he says, frowning.
The pain becomes an ache, spreads everywhere--all mixed together, guilt and terror and longing. “I promise.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
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)
Has he invited you to dinner, dear? Gifts, flowers, the usual?”
I had to put my cup down, because my hand was shaking too much. When I stopped laughing, I said, “Curran? He isn’t exactly Mr. Smooth. He handed me a bowl of soup, that’s as far as we got.”
“He fed you?” Raphael stopped rubbing Andrea.
“How did this happen?” Aunt B stared at me. “Be very specific, this is important.”
“He didn’t actually feed me. I was injured and he handed me a bowl of chicken soup. Actually I think he handed me two or three. And he called me an idiot.”
“Did you accept?” Aunt B asked.
“Yes, I was starving. Why are the three of you looking at me like that?”
“For crying out loud.” Andrea set her cup down, spilling some tea. “The Beast Lord’s feeding you soup. Think about that for a second.”
Raphael coughed. Aunt B leaned forward. “Was there anybody else in the room?”
“No. He chased everyone out.”
Raphael nodded. “At least he hasn’t gone public yet.”
“He might never,” Andrea said. “It would jeopardize her position with the Order.”
Aunt B’s face was grave. “It doesn’t go past this room. You hear me, Raphael? No gossip, no pillow talk, not a word. We don’t want any trouble with Curran.”
“If you don’t explain it all to me, I will strangle somebody.” Of course, Raphael might like that . . .
“Food has a special significance,” Aunt D said.
I nodded. “Food indicates hierarchy. Nobody eats before the alpha, unless permission is given, and no alpha eats in Curran’s presence until Curran takes a bite.”
“There is more,” Aunt B said. “Animals express love through food. When a cat loves you, he’ll leave dead mice on your porch, because you’re a lousy hunter and he wants to take care of you. When a shapeshifter boy likes a girl, he’ll bring her food and if she likes him back, she might make him lunch. When Curran wants to show interest in a woman, he buys her dinner.”
“In public,” Raphael added, “the shapeshifter fathers always put the first bite on the plates of their wives and children. It signals that if someone wants to challenge the wife or the child, they would have to challenge the male first.”
“If you put all of Curran’s girls together, you could have a parade,” Aunt B said. “But I’ve never seen him physically put food into a woman’s hands. He’s a very private man, so he might have done it in an intimate moment, but I would’ve found out eventually. Something like that doesn’t stay hidden in the Keep. Do you understand now? That’s a sign of a very serious interest, dear.”
“But I didn’t know what it meant!”
Aunt B frowned. “Doesn’t matter. You need to be very careful right now. When Curran wants something, he doesn’t become distracted. He goes after it and he doesn’t stop until he obtains his goal no matter what it takes. That tenacity is what makes him an alpha.”
“You’re scaring me.”
“Scared might be too strong a word, but in your place, I would definitely be concerned.”
I wished I were back home, where I could get to my bottle of sangria. This clearly counted as a dire emergency.
As if reading my thoughts, Aunt B rose, took a small bottle from a cabinet, and poured me a shot. I took it, and drained it in one gulp, letting tequila slide down my throat like liquid fire.
“It helped.” Curran had driven me to drinking. At least I wasn’t contemplating suicide.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
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.
“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.”
“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))
Since we’ve ruled out another man as the explanation for all this, I can only assume something has gone wrong at Havenhurst. Is that it?”
Elizabeth seized on that excuse as if it were manna from heaven. “Yes,” she whispered, nodding vigorously.
Leaning down, he pressed a kiss on her forehead and said teasingly, “Let me guess-you discovered the mill overcharged you?” Elizabeth thought she would die of the sweet torment when he continued tenderly teasing her about being thrifty. “Not the mill? Then it was the baker, and he refused to give you a better price for buying two loaves instead of one.”
Tears swelled behind her eyes, treacherously close to the surface, and Ian saw them. “That bad?” he joked, looking at the suspicious sheen in her eyes. “Then it must be that you’ve overspent your allowance.” When she didn’t respond to his light probing, Ian smiled reassuringly and said, “Whatever it is, we’ll work it out together tomorrow.”
It sounded as though he planned to stay, and that shook Elizabeth out of her mute misery enough to say chokingly, “No-it’s the-the masons. They’re costing much more than I-I expected. I’ve spent part of my personal allowance on them besides the loan you made me for Havenhurst.”
“Oh, so it’s the masons,” he grinned, chuckling. “You have to keep your eye on them, to be sure. They’ll put you in the poorhouse if you don’t keep an eye on the mortar they charge you for. I’ll have to talk with them in the morning.”
“No!” she burst out, fabricating wildly. “That’s just what has me so upset. I didn’t want you to have to intercede. I wanted to do it all myself. I have it all settled now, but it’s been exhausting. And so I went to the doctor to see why I felt so tired. He-he said there’s nothing in the world wrong with me. I’ll come home to Montmayne the day after tomorrow. Don’t wait here for me. I know how busy you are right now. Please,” she implored desperately, “let me do this, I beg you!”
Ian straightened and shook his head in baffled disbelief, “I’d give you my life for the price of your smile, Elizabeth. You don’t have to beg me for anything. I do not want you spending your personal allowance on this place, however. If you do,” he lied teasingly, “I may be forced to cut it off.” Then, more seriously, he said, “If you need more money for Havenhurst, just tell me, but your allowance is to be spent exclusively on yourself. Finish your brandy,” he ordered gently, and when she had, he pressed another kiss on her forehead. “Stay here as long as you must. I have business in Devon that I’ve been putting off because I didn’t want to leave you. I’ll go there and return to London on Tuesday. Would you like to join me there instead of at Montmayne?”
“There’s just one thing more,” he finished, studying her pale face and strained features. “Will you give me your word the doctor didn’t find anything at all to be alarmed about?”
“Yes,” Elizabeth said. “I give you my word.”
She watched him walk back into his own bed chamber. The moment his door clicked into its latch Elizabeth turned over and buried her face in the pillows. She wept until she thought there couldn’t possibly be any more tears left in her, and then she wept harder.
Across the room the door leading out into the hall was opened a crack, and Berta peeked in, then quickly closed it. Turning to Bentner-who’d sought her counsel when Ian slammed the door in his face and ripped into Elizabeth-Berta said miserably, “She’s crying like her heart will break, but he’s not in there anymore.”
“He ought to be shot!” Bentner said with blazing contempt.
Berta nodded timidly and clutched her dressing robe closer about her. “He’s a frightening man, to be sure, Mr. Bentner.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
KNEE SURGERY I’D FIRST HURT MY KNEES IN FALLUJAH WHEN THE WALL FELL on me. Cortisone shots helped for a while, but the pain kept coming back and getting worse. The docs told me I needed to have my legs operated on, but doing that would have meant I would have to take time off and miss the war. So I kept putting it off. I settled into a routine where I’d go to the doc, get a shot, go back to work. The time between shots became shorter and shorter. It got down to every two months, then every month. I made it through Ramadi, but just barely. My knees started locking and it was difficult to get down the stairs. I no longer had a choice, so, soon after I got home in 2007, I went under the knife. The surgeons cut my tendons to relieve pressure so my kneecaps would slide back over. They had to shave down my kneecaps because I had worn grooves in them. They injected synthetic cartilage material and shaved the meniscus. Somewhere along the way they also repaired an ACL. I was like a racing car, being repaired from the ground up. When they were done, they sent me to see Jason, a physical therapist who specializes in working with SEALs. He’d been a trainer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After 9/11, he decided to devote himself to helping the country. He chose to do that by working with the military. He took a massive pay cut to help put us back together. I DIDN’T KNOW ALL THAT THE FIRST DAY WE MET. ALL I WANTED to hear was how long it was going to take to rehab. He gave me a pensive look. “This surgery—civilians need a year to get back,” he said finally. “Football players, they’re out eight months. SEALs—it’s hard to say. You hate being out of action and will punish yourselves to get back.” He finally predicted six months. I think we did it in five. But I thought I would surely die along the way. JASON PUT ME INTO A MACHINE THAT WOULD STRETCH MY knee. Every day I had to see how much further I could adjust it. I would sweat up a storm as it bent my knee. I finally got it to ninety degrees. “That’s outstanding,” he told me. “Now get more.” “More?” “More!” He also had a machine that sent a shock to my muscle through electrodes. Depending on the muscle, I would have to stretch and point my toes up and down. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is clearly a form of torture that should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention, even for use on SEALs. Naturally, Jason kept upping the voltage. But the worst of all was the simplest: the exercise. I had to do more, more, more. I remember calling Taya many times and telling her I was sure I was going to puke if not die before the day was out. She seemed sympathetic but, come to think of it in retrospect, she and Jason may have been in on it together. There was a stretch where Jason had me doing crazy amounts of ab exercises and other things to my core muscles. “Do you understand it’s my knees that were operated on?” I asked him one day when I thought I’d reached my limit. He just laughed. He had a scientific explanation about how everything in the body depends on strong core muscles, but I think he just liked kicking my ass around the gym. I swear I heard a bullwhip crack over my head any time I started to slack. I always thought the best shape I was ever in was straight out of BUD/S. But I was in far better shape after spending five months with him. Not only were my knees okay, the rest of me was in top condition. When I came back to my platoon, they all asked if I had been taking steroids.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)