Silently Walking Away Quotes

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There are metaphors more real than the people who walk in the street. There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women. There are phrases from literary works that have a positively human personality. There are passages from my own writing that chill me with fright, so distinctly do I feel them as people, so sharply outlined do they appear against the walls of my room, at night, in shadows... I've written sentences whose sound, read out loud or silently (impossible to hide their sound), can only be of something that acquired absolute exteriority and a full-fledged soul.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
A person never reads an outstanding book twice and walks away with the same beliefs. An outstanding book always surprises you and awakens you to new ideas, new ways of looking at the world, no matter how many times the words have been read.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Silent Waters (Elements, #3))
What is meant by “reality”? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech—and then there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Piccadilly. Sometimes, too, it seems to dwell in shapes too far away for us to discern what their nature is. But whatever it touches, it fixes and makes permanent. That is what remains over when the skin of the day has been cast into the hedge; that is what is left of past time and of our loves and hates.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
The man walked past me and stopped, observing the blood running down my neck. "Your injury. Let us tend to it." He looked out through the open doorway and silently gestured to someone out there. "Our world," he said, "is far more advanced than yours. For reasons you'll understand shortly." A thin, bony, naked woman entered the room, carrying two small, white kittens. She sat one of the fluffy cats in my lap and stuffed the other down my shirt. She turned and left. "There," said the large man. "The kittens will make your sad go away.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
I waited for him to say something more, but he was quiet. "Was there something you wanted?" I asked. He didn't answer right away, but I could feel him struggling, so I waited. "If I asked you something, would you tell me the truth?" It was my turn to hesitate. "I don't know everything," I hedged. "You would know this. When we were walking... me and Jeb... he was telling me some things. Things he thought, but I don't know if he's right." Melanie was suddenly very in my head. Jamie's whisper was hard to hear, quieter than my breathing. "Uncle Jeb thinks that Melanie might still be alive. Inside there with you, I mean." Melanie sighed. I said nothing to either of them. "I didn't know that could happen. Does that happen?" His voice broke and I could hear that he was fighting tears. He was not a boy to cry, and here I'd grieved him this deeply twice in one day. A pain pierced through the general region of my chest. "Does it, Wanda?" "Why won't you answer me?" Jamie was really crying now but trying to muffle the sound. I crawled off the bed, squeezing into the hard space between the mattress and the mat, and threw my arm over his shaking chest. I leaned my head against his hair and felt his tears, warm on my neck. "Is Melanie still alive, Wanda? Please?" He was probably a tool. The old man could have sent him just for this, Jeb was smart enough to see how easily Jamie broke through my defenses. Jamie's body shook beside me. Melanie cried. She battered ineffectually at my control. But I couldn't blame this on Melanie if it turned out to be a huge mistake. I knew who was speaking now. "She promised she would come back, didn't she?" I murmured. "Would Melanie break a promise to you?" Jamie slid his arms around my waist and clung to me for a long time. After a few minutes, he whispered. "Love you, Mel." "She loves you, too. She's so happy that you're here and safe." He was silent long enough for the tears on my skin to dry, leaving a fine, salty dust behind.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
And your will shall decide your destiny," he said: "I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions." You play a farce, which I merely laugh at." I ask you to pass through life at my side--to be my second self, and best earthly companion." For that fate you have already made your choice, and must abide by it." Jane, be still a few moments: you are over-excited: I will be still too." A waft of wind came sweeping down the laurel-walk, and trembled through the boughs of the chestnut: it wandered away--away--to an indefinite distance--it died. The nightingale's song was then the only voice of the hour: in listening to it, I again wept. Mr. Rochester sat quiet, looking at me gently and seriously. Some time passed before he spoke; he at last said - Come to my side, Jane, and let us explain and understand one another." I will never again come to your side: I am torn away now, and cannot return." But, Jane, I summon you as my wife: it is you only I intend to marry." I was silent: I thought he mocked me. Come, Jane--come hither." Your bride stands between us." He rose, and with a stride reached me. My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my equal is here, and my likeness. Jane, will you marry me?
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The leaves were long, the grass was green, The hemlock-umbels tall and fair, And in the glade a light was seen Of stars in shadow shimmering. Tinuviel was dancing there To music of a pipe unseen, And light of stars was in her hair, And in her raiment glimmering. There Beren came from mountains cold, And lost he wandered under leaves, And where the Elven-river rolled. He walked along and sorrowing. He peered between the hemlock-leaves And saw in wonder flowers of gold Upon her mantle and her sleeves, And her hair like shadow following. Enchantment healed his weary feet That over hills were doomed to roam; And forth he hastened, strong and fleet, And grasped at moonbeams glistening. Through woven woods in Elvenhome She lightly fled on dancing feet, And left him lonely still to roam In the silent forest listening. He heard there oft the flying sound Of feet as light as linden-leaves, Or music welling underground, In hidden hollows quavering. Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves, And one by one with sighing sound Whispering fell the beechen leaves In the wintry woodland wavering. He sought her ever, wandering far Where leaves of years were thickly strewn, By light of moon and ray of star In frosty heavens shivering. Her mantle glinted in the moon, As on a hill-top high and far She danced, and at her feet was strewn A mist of silver quivering. When winter passed, she came again, And her song released the sudden spring, Like rising lark, and falling rain, And melting water bubbling. He saw the elven-flowers spring About her feet, and healed again He longed by her to dance and sing Upon the grass untroubling. Again she fled, but swift he came. Tinuviel! Tinuviel! He called her by her elvish name; And there she halted listening. One moment stood she, and a spell His voice laid on her: Beren came, And doom fell on Tinuviel That in his arms lay glistening. As Beren looked into her eyes Within the shadows of her hair, The trembling starlight of the skies He saw there mirrored shimmering. Tinuviel the elven-fair, Immortal maiden elven-wise, About him cast her shadowy hair And arms like silver glimmering. Long was the way that fate them bore, O'er stony mountains cold and grey, Through halls of iron and darkling door, And woods of nightshade morrowless. The Sundering Seas between them lay, And yet at last they met once more, And long ago they passed away In the forest singing sorrowless.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Boast of Quietness Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors. The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside. Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them. Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air. Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack. They speak of humanity. My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of that same poverty. They speak of homeland. My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword, the willow grove's visible prayer as evening falls. Time is living me. More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude. They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow. My name is someone and anyone. I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn't expect to arrive.
Jorge Luis Borges
There was once an invisible man, the monster continued, though Conor kept his eyes firmly on Harry, who had grown tired of being unseen. Conor set himself into a walk. A walk after Harry. It was not that he was actually invisible, the monster said, following Conor, the room volume dropping as they passed. It was that the people had become used to not seeing him. "Hey!" Conor called. Harry didn't turn around. Neither did Sully nor Anton, though thet were still sniggering as Conor picked up his pace. And if no one sees you, the monster said, picking up its pace, too, are you really there at all? "HEY!" Conor called loudly. The dining hall had fallen silent now, as Conor and the monster moved faster after Harry. Harry who had still not turned around. Conor reached him and grabbed him by the shoulder, twisting him round. Harry pretended to question what had happened, looking hard at Sully, acting like he was the one who'd done it. "Quit messing about," Harry said and turned away again. Turned away from Conor. And then one day the invisible man decided, the monster said, its voice ringing in Conor's ears, I will make them see me. "How?" Conor asked, breathing heavily again, not turning back to see the monster standing there, not looking at the reaction of the room to the huge monster now in the midst, though he was aware of nervous murmurs and a strange anticipation in the air. "How did the man do it?" Conor could feel the monster close behind him, knew that it was kneeling, knew that it was putting its face up to his ear to whisper into in, to tell him the rest of the story. He called, it said for a monster.
Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls)
To say that Richard Mayhew was not very good at heights would be perfectly accurate, but would fail to give the full picture; it would be like describing the planet Jupiter as bigger than a duck. Richard hated clifftops, and high buildings; somewhere not far inside of him was the fear – the start, utter, silently screaming terror – that if he got too close to the edge, then something would take over, and he would find himself walking to the edge of a clifftop and then he would just step off into space. It was as if he could not entirely trust himsels, and that scared Richard more than the simple fear of falling ever could. So he called it vertigo, and hated it and himself, and kept away from high places.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
He turned and walked across the floor and out. I watched the door close. I listened to his steps going away down the imitation marble corridor. After a while they got faint, then they got silent. I kept on listening anyway.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
Jenk shook his head as he headed for the rental car counter. He felt his shoulders tightening as he walked away, certain that Izzy wasn't quite ready to be silent or invisible yet. He was halfway there when Izzy shouted, "Jenkins! I wish I could quit yew!" Of course. The obligatory Brokeback Mountain reference. Jenk flipped Zanella a double bird without bothering to look back.
Suzanne Brockmann (Into the Storm (Troubleshooters, #10))
The moment you feel like you need to prove yourself, is the moment you need to be silent and walk away.
Rachel Wolchin
I took the dog out for a walk tonight, and together we wandered across the meadow next door. It was a warm summer's night, dark, and moonless. There were a handful of fireflies flickering intermittently, some so close to me I could see they were burning green as they flew, and some further away, who seemed to be flashing white. And in the sky above them a continual roil of distant summer lightning (the storm distant enough that it was silent) burned and flashed and illuminated the clouds. It seemed as if the lightning bugs were talking to the lightning, in a perfect call and response of flash and counterflash. I watched the sky and the meadow flash and flash while the dog walked ahead of me, and realised that I was perfectly happy...
Neil Gaiman
Can't you feel this ? Don't walk away...", she wills him silently. "Please don't walk away from me...
Jojo Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind)
God told us to love everyone. However, when you don’t like someone then you need to walk away and focus not on him or her, but the hatred you’re harboring. Otherwise, you will allow your piety to take over. Before you know it, you’re using the gospel as a sword to slice other religious people apart, which have offended you. From your point of helplessness, it will be is easy to recruit people that will mistake your kindness as righteousness, when in reality it is a hidden agenda to humiliate through the words of Christ. This game is so often used by women in the Christian faith, that it is the number one reason why many people become inactive. It is a silent, unspoken hypocrisy that is inconsistent with the teachings of the gospel. If you choose not to like someone, then avoid them. If you wish to love them, the only way to overcome your frustrations is through empathy, prayer, forgiveness and allowing yourself time to heal through distance. Try focusing on what you share as sisters in the gospel, rather than the negative aspects you dislike about that person.
Shannon L. Alder
All right, silent dark bear with angry frown, tell me more about your land.” He settled back down, picturing it. “I would tend to our land from the moment the sun rose to when it set and then you ...she would tend to me.” He laughed at her expression again. The world of exile camps and the Valley felt very far away, and he wanted to lie there forever. “Let me tell you about your bride,” she said, propping herself up on her elbows. “Both of you would cultivate the land. You would hold the plow, and she would walk alongside you with the ox, coaxing and singing it forward. A stick in her hand, of course, for she would need to keep both the ox and you in line.” “What would we...that is, my bride and I, grow?” “Wheat and barley.” “And marigolds.” Her nose crinkled questioningly. “I would pick them when they bloomed,” he said. “And when she called me home for supper, I’d place them in her hair and the contrast would take my breath away.” “How would she call you? From your cottage? Would she bellow, ‘Finnikin!’?” “I’d teach her the whistle. One for day and one for night.” “Ah, the whistle, of course. I’d forgotten the whistle.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
We were in the middle of a game of cards when I noticed a figure out of the corner of my eye. It was Maxon, standing at the open door, looking amused. As our eyes met, I could see that his expression was clearly asking what in the world I was doing. I stood, smiling, and walked over to him. "Oh, sweet Lord," Anne muttered as she realized the prince was at the door. She immediately swept the cards into a sewing basket and stood, Mary and Lucy following suit. "Ladies," Maxon said. "Your Majesty," she said with a curtsy. "Such an honor, sir." "For me as well," he answered with a smile. The maids looked back and forth to one another, flattered. We were all silent for a moment, not quite sure what to do. Mary suddenly piped up. "We were just leaving." "Yes! That's right," Lucy added. "We were-uh-just..." She looked to Anne for help. "Going to finish Lady America's dress for Friday," Anna concluded. "That's right," Mary said. "Only two days left. They slowly circled us to get out of the room, huge smiles plastered on their faces. "Wouldn't want to keep you from your work," Maxon said, following them with his eyes, completely fascinated with their behavior. Once in the hall, they gave awkwardly mistimed curtsies and walked away at a feverish pace. Immediately after they rounded the corner, Lucy's giggles echoed down the corridor, followed by Anne's intense hushing. "Quite a group you have," Maxon said, walking into my room, surveying the space. "They keep me on my toes," I answered with a smile. "It's clear they have affection for you. That's hard to find." He stopped looking at my room and faced me. "This isn't what I imagined your room would look like." I raised an arm and let it fall. "It's not really my room, is it? It belongs to you, and I just happen to be borrowing it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Um…you’re four blocks away. Why can’t you walk?” “I’m naked.” Sometimes the truth was like a band-aid in need of removal; one had to get it over with as quickly as possible. “And I’m sitting in a bougainvillea bush.” Jason was silent. Even his silence sounded angry. Praline knew he should have sent a text.
Marshall Thornton (The Perils of Praline)
If two deer meet in a jungle, they silently eat the grass or play. I am this... You did this... How dare you say that... All these arguments take place only when one of them is not a deer. And these arguments will reach no conclusion. They should either silently accept each other or silently walk away. Silence is the most natural thing in both the cases.
And she knew this silent dance between them would be decided tonight, one way or the other. Either she tore down every one of her defenses and accepted his claim to the soul, or she walked away. Except she didn’t think the latter was an option.
Nalini Singh (Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling, #11))
While others might feel manipulative, I feel powerless. Sometimes I just hurt so bad from the mean things that people do to me, real or perceived, or I’m so desperately feeling abandoned, that I withdraw and pout and go silent. At some point people get pissed off and fed up with that crap and they go away and then I’m left with nothing all over again.
Paul T. Mason (Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder)
She thought, He's afraid I'll make a mess of it. She was sure she had been careful to think that on the safe, private side of the silent border, but Ebon turned on her and said, Don't ever think that. About anything. You're my heart's sister, even if you are a funny shape and walk on your hind legs all the time and rattle away out loud like a donkey or a bird. I'm frightened because you're frightened, and because it's hard-it can be hard-the first time going into the Caves, and you're old for it-you can't do ssshuuwuushuu and the ssshasssha will be like...being thrown in a cold dark lake when you can't swim and you've never seen water before.
Robin McKinley (Pegasus (Pegasus, #1))
I miss the snow. I miss looking at it, walking in it, tasting it. I used to love those days when it was so cold everyone else would be tucked away inside trying to stay warm. I would be the only one out walking, so I could look across the fields and see miles of snow without a single footprint in it. It would be completely silent -- no cars, no birds singing, no doors slamming. Just silence and snow. God, I miss snow. The stars, the moon, the wind, and blankets of pure, pristine snow.
Damien Echols (Life After Death)
I assumed he’d kill me, not my people. (Stryker) The man’s name is War. Did that not clue you in about his personality? This would be tantamount to meeting Peone and expecting the goddess of retaliation to forgive you and blithely walk away to let you live a happy life. (Zephyra)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
Dauntless traitors crowded the hallway; the Erudite crowd the execution room, but there, they have made a path for me already. Silently they study me as I walk to the metal table in the center of the room. Jeanine stands a few steps away. The scratches on her face show through hastily applied makeup. She doesn’t look at me. Four cameras dangle from the ceiling, one at each corner of the table. I sit down first, wipe my hands off on my pants, and then lie down. The table is cold. Frigid, seeping into my skin, into my bones. Appropriate, perhaps, because that is what will happen to my body when all the life leaves it; it will become cold and heavy, heavier than I have ever been. As for the rest of me, I am not sure. Some people believe that I will go nowhere, and maybe they’re right, but maybe they’re not. Such speculations are no longer useful to me anyway. Peter slips an electrode beneath the collar of my shirt and presses it to my chest, right over my heart. He then attaches a wire to the electrode and switches on the heart monitor. I hear my heartbeat, fast and strong. Soon, where that steady rhythm was, there will be nothing. And then rising from within me is a single thought: I don’t want to die. All those times Tobias scolded me for risking my life, I never took him seriously. I believed that I wanted to be with my parents and for all of this to be over. I was sure I wanted to emulate their self-sacrifice. But no. No, no. Burning and boiling inside me is the desire to live. I don’t want to die I don’t want to die I don’t want to! Jeanine steps forward with a syringe full of purple serum. Her glasses reflect the fluorescent light above us, so I can barely see her eyes. Every part of my body chants it in unison. Live, live, live. I thought that in order to give my life in exchange for Will’s, in exchange for my parents’, that I needed to die, but I was wrong; I need to live my life in the light of their deaths. I need to live. Jeanine holds my head steady with one hand and inserts the needle into my neck with the other. I’m not done! I shout in my head, and not at Jeanine. I am not done here! She presses the plunger down. Peter leans forward and looks into my eyes. “The serum will go into effect in one minute,” he says. “Be brave, Tris.” The words startle me, because that is exactly what Tobias said when he put me under my first simulation. My heart begins to race. Why would Peter tell me to be brave? Why would he offer any kind words at all? All the muscles in my body relax at once. A heavy, liquid feeling fills my limbs. If this is death, it isn’t so bad. My eyes stay open, but my head drops to the side. I try to close my eyes, but I can’t—I can’t move. Then the heart monitor stops beeping.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
We must be willing to place all that we have--not just our possessions (they may be the easiest things of all to give up), but also our ambition and pride and stubbornness and vanity--we must place it all on the altar of God, kneel there in silent submission, and willingly walk away.
Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
The king was silent. "Ents!" he said at length. "Out of the shadows of legend I begin a little to understand the marvel of the trees, I think. I have lived to see strange days. Long we have tended our beasts and our fields, built our houses, wrought our tools, or ridden away to help in the wars of Minas Tirith. And that we called the life of Men, the way of the world. We cared little for what lay beyond the borders of our land. Songs we have that tell of these things, but we are forgetting them, teaching them only to children, as a careless custom. And now the songs have come down among us out of the strange places, and walk visible under the Sun." "You should be glad," Théoden King," said Gandalf. "For not only the little life of Men is now endangered, but the life also of those thing which you have deemed the matter of legend. You are not without allies, even if you know them not." "Yet also I should be sad," said Théoden. "For however the fortune of war shall go, may it not so end that much that was fair and wonderful shall pass for ever out of Middle-earth?
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
A person never reads an outstanding book twice and walks away with the same beliefs.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Silent Waters (Elements, #3))
something got dug up, and whoever’s responsible put the shovel in our hands and walked away laughing.
Samuel Sattin (The Silent End)
And so I would like to thank you. You taught me, again and again again and again and again, not to dream of you. And I listened. I am silent. These words are not words of love, but of the silence that will remain when I walk away when this letter is done. I have listened and I do not continue to imagine our love, for it was not love. You were too busy walking a flowered path, and it was my misstep that I thought we had something more than an hour’s fun for you. Thank you, for clarifying for me what love is not. Love is no thing, and nothing is a gift, space is a playground, and time and distance are merely peaks and valleys in the topography of real love. And I would remind you: I am not one of your fans. For I know what I deserve, and it is one who is not afraid of fear. Love does not require this map: it makes its way across the miles. Love does not heed the time; it is not rooted in the months of one or two moons. Love is not bothered by obstacles—they form the high sides to the left and right of this rocky path. This path does not depend upon external signs: love will find its own way.
Waylon H. Lewis (Things I Would Like To Do With You)
A kind of walking trance I have frequently had, quite up from boyhood, when I have been all alone. This has often come upon me through repeating my own name to myself silently till, all at once, as it were, out of the intensity of the consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being; and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, the weirdest of the weirdest, utterly beyond words, where death was an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming no extinction, but the only true life....
Alfred Tennyson
Holding up an oil-paper umbrella, I loiter aimlessly in the long, long And lonely rainy alley, I hope to encounter A lilac-like girl Nursing her resentment A lilac-like color she has A lilac-like fragrance, A lilac-like sadness, Melancholy in the rain, Sorrowful and uncertain; She loiters aimlessly in this lonely rainy alley Holding up an oil-paper umbrella Just like me And just like me Walks silently, Apathetic, sad and disconsolate Silently she moves closer Moves closer and casts A sigh-like glance She glides by Like a dream Hazy and confused like a dream As in a dream she glides past Like a lilac spray, This girl glides past beside me; She silently moves away, moves away Up to the broken-down bamboo fence, To the end of the rainy alley. In the rains sad song, Her color vanishes Her fragrance diffuses, Even her Sigh-like glance, Lilac-like discontent Vanish. Holding up an oil-paper umbrella, alone Aimlessly walking in the long, long And lonely rainy alley, I wish for A lilac-like girl Nursing her resentment glide by.
Dai Wangshu
Good girl. Now walk away. Turn on your heel—good. Walk toward the door. Keep your chin high. Let the crowd part. One step after another. I listened to him, let him keep me tethered to sanity as I was escorted back to my cell by the guards—who still kept their distance. Rhysand’s words echoed through my mind, holding me together. But when my cell door closed, he went silent, and I dropped to the floor and wept.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Stephanie wasn’t one for getting chatty after sex, or before, for that matter. Silent, disposable partners were kind of her sweet spot. But she’d often found the male of the species did not get the value of quiet time. They were all - that was amazing. You are amazing. That thing you did with your leg? above your head? amazing. When can I see you again? Let me give you my digits. Hey, why are you just walking away?
Jane Cousins (What's Up, Buttercup? (Vexatious Valkyries, #1))
Before your breaths pick up pace and our bodies are aching because everything we're feeling is just making us want more and more and more of each other...until I'm afraid I'll beg you not to ask me to slow down. So instead, I regrettably tear my mouth from yours and force myself away from your bed and you life up unto your elbows and look at me, disappointed, because you kind of wished I would have kept going, but at the same time you're relieved I didn't, because you know you would have given in. So instead of giving in, we just stare. We watch each other silently as my heart rate begins to slow down and your breaths are easier to catch and the insatiable need is still there, but our minds are clearer now that I'm not pressed against you anymore. I turn around and walk to your window and leave without even saying goodbye, because we both know if either of us'll be the collective demise of our willpower and we'll cave. We'll cave so hard.
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
1. I told you that I was a roadway of potholes, not safe to cross. You said nothing, showed up in my driveway wearing roller-skates. 2. The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, “You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.” 3. Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay. 4. The last eight times I told you I loved you, they sounded like apologies. 5. You recorded me a CD of you repeating, “You are beautiful.” I listened to it until I no longer thought in my own voice. 6. Into the half-empty phone line, I whispered, “We will wake up believing the worst in each other. We will spit shrapnel at each other’s hearts. The bruises will lodge somewhere we don’t know how to look for and I will still pretend I don’t know its coming.” 7. You photographed my eyebrow shapes and turned them into flashcards: mood on one side, correct response on the other. You studied them until you knew when to stay silent. 8. I bought you an entire bakery so that we could eat nothing but breakfast for a week. Breakfast, untainted by the day ahead, was when we still smiled at each other as if we meant it. 9. I whispered, “I will latch on like a deadbolt to a door and tell you it is only because I want to protect you. Really, I’m afraid that without you I mean nothing.” 10. I gave you a bouquet of plane tickets so I could practice the feeling of watching you leave. 11. I picked you up from the airport limping. In your absence, I’d forgotten how to walk. When I collapsed at your feet, you refused to look at me until I learned to stand up without your help. 12. Too scared to move, I stared while you set fire to your apartment – its walls decaying beyond repair, roaches invading the corpse of your bedroom. You tossed all the faulty appliances through the smoke out your window, screaming that you couldn’t handle choking on one more thing that wouldn’t just fix himself. 13. I whispered, “We will each weed through the last year and try to spot the moment we began breaking. We will repel sprint away from each other. Your voice will take months to drain out from my ears. You will throw away your notebook of tally marks from each time you wondered if I was worth the work. The invisible bruises will finally surface and I will still pretend that I didn’t know it was coming.” 14. The entire time, I was only pretending that I knew it was coming.
Miles Walser
You can’t walk away from your demons,’ Theresa said, her eyes glazing over. ‘They’ll catch up with you in the end.
Caroline Mitchell (Silent Victim)
It was the blue-tinged taste of a regret so deep you could never plumb its depths. It was the victory at Rajal that never came, it was his brother walking away down the long dark wood corridor, it was a life he might have had in Yhelteth if disgust and fury had not sent him away in disgrace instead. It was the slaves he could not free, the screaming women and children of Ennishmin he could not save, the piled-up, silent dead and the smashed-in, ruined homes. It was every wrong decision he'd ever made, every path he'd failed to walk, fanned out and held up for him to understand, and it hurt.
Richard K. Morgan (The Steel Remains (A Land Fit for Heroes, #1))
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
FRIEND Only when you have walked with me through the valley of hardship... When you have fought beside me against an evil foe... When you have cried with me through a painful heartache... When you have laughed with me at life joyous moments... When you have held my hand in silent sorrow at my loss... When you have trusted me in spite of your doubts,,, When you have believed in me when I lacked confidence to believe in my self... When you have defended my honor against lying tongues... When you have prayed for me when I was temped to go wrong... When you have stood with me as others walked away... Then and only then can you call me friend. For then you truly know ME. Then you will have paid the price of sisterhood/brotherhood. Then you will have forged a bond that will transcend time and live beyond life. Then you will truly be called a FRIEND who sticks closer than a brother... © 2013 From the book Meditations From my Garden by Stella Payton
Stella Payton
And as I walked by the shallow crystal stream I saw unwonted ripples tipped with yellow light, as if those placid waters were drawn on in resistless currents to strange oceans that are not in the world. Silent and sparkling, bright and baleful, those moon-cursed waters hurried I knew not whither; whilst from the embowered banks white lotos-blossoms fluttered one by one in the opiate night-wind and dropped despairingly into the stream, swirling away horribly under the arched, carven bridge, and staring back with the sinister resignation of calm, dead faces.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Definitive H.P. Lovecraft)
Noel ducked to the lower cabinets – a percussion of pots and pans clanged into each other. “Are you intentionally trying not to listen to me?” His head popped above the counter. “I resent that. I’m a great listener. Just ask the TV.” Emily rolled her eyes. “Alright. I had…” Noel heard her swallow and he suddenly wanted to knock himself out with the frying pan. “…relations…with a mortal, Tommy.” He ducked again, this time from embarrassment. He groaned silently, wishing she’d turn and walk away before she said what he knew was coming. “It wasn’t quite the same as it was when I was human. It didn’t—” “Please you, yeah I got it,” he blurted. “Please, for the love of God, stop.
Devon Ashley (Metamorphosis (The Immortal Archives, #2))
And then we heard a branch break. It might have been a deer, but the Colonel busted out anyway. A voice directly behind us said, "Don't run, Chipper," and the Colonel stopped, turned around, and returned to us sheepishly. The Eagle walked toward us slowly, his lips pursed in disgust. He wore a white shirt and a black tie, like always. He gave each of us in turn the Look of Doom. "Y'all smell like a North Carolina tobacco field in a wildfire," he said. We stood silent. I felt disproportionately terrible, like I had just been caught fleeing the scene of a murder. Would he call my parents? "I'll see you in Jury tomorrow at five," he announced, and then walked away. Alaska crouched down, picked up the cigarette she had thrown away, and started smoking again. The Eagle wheeled around, his sixth sense detecting Insubordination To Authority Figures. Alaska dropped the cigarette and stepped on it. The Eagle shook his head, and even though he must have been crazy mad, I swear to God he smiled. "He loves me," Alaska told me as we walked back to the dorm circle. "He loves all y'all, too. He just loves the school more. That's the thing. He thinks busting us is good for the school and good for us. It's the eternal struggle, Pudge. The Good versus the Naughty." "You're awfully philosophical for a girl that just got busted," I told her. "Sometimes you lose a battle. But mischief always wins the war.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I smiled as realisation dawned. The method I used the most was the silent treatment. It is fantastic. It requires minimal effort (always a good thing) and can be used immediately. What I like most about it is the fact that the recipient will have no idea whatsoever why I am doing it. This really messes with their mind. They cannot understand why I will not communicate with them, as they cannot work out what they have done to receive this treatment. If they had any understanding of me, they would just walk away and let me get on with it. That would annoy me, as they would no longer be giving me any attention so I would halt the silent treatment, as it was no longer working. Instead, they HAVE to know and understand why I have gone silent. It burrows into their minds and twists away as they ask question after question.
H.G. Tudor (Confessions of a Narcissist)
Oh, how can I put into words the joys of a walk over country such as this; the scenes that delight the eyes, the blessed peace of mind, the sheer exuberance which fills your soul as you tread the firm turf? This is something to be lived, not read about. On these breezy heights, a transformation is wondrously wrought within you. Your thoughts are simple, in tune with your surroundings; the complicated problems you brought with you from the town are smoothed away. Up here, you are near to your Creator; you are conscious of the infinite; you gain new perspectives; thoughts run in new strange channels; there are stirrings in your soul which are quite beyond the power of my pen to describe. Something happens to you in the silent places which never could in the towns, and it is a good thing to sit awhile in a quiet spot and meditate. The hills have a power to soothe and heal which is their very own. No man ever sat alone on the top of a hill and planned a murder or a robbery, and no man ever came down from the hills without feeling in some way refreshed, and the better for his experience.
Alfred Wainwright
Darkness. The door into the neighboring room is not quite shut. A strip of light stretches through the crack in the door across the ceiling. People are walking about by lamplight. Something has happened. The strip moves faster and faster and the dark walls move further and further apart, into infinity. This room is London and there are thousands of doors. The lamps dart about and the strips dart across the ceiling. And perhaps it is all delirium... Something had happened. The black sky above London burst into fragments: white triangles, squares and lines - the silent geometric delirium of searchlights. The blinded elephant buses rushed somewhere headlong with their lights extinguished. The distinct patter along the asphalt of belated couples, like a feverish pulse, died away. Everywhere doors slammed and lights were put out. And the city lay deserted, hollow, geometric, swept clean by a sudden plague: silent domes, pyramids, circles, arches, towers, battlements.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (Islanders and The Fisher of Men)
Because the truth was, and we both knew it, he'd gone long, long ago. I'd just made him stick around when he really wanted to be somewhere else. In his own weird way, he was another victim of the shooting, One of the ones who couldn't get away. "Are you mad?" he asked, which I thought was a really strange question. "Yes," I said. And I was. It's just that I wasn't so sure I was mad at him. But I don't think he needed to hear that part. I don't think he wanted to hear that part. I think it was important to him to hear that I cared enough to be angry. "Will you ever forgive me?" he asked. "Will you ever forgive me?" I shot back, leveling my gaze directly into his eyes. He stared into them for a few moments then got up silently and headed for the door. He didn't turn around when he reached it. Just grabbed the doorknob and held it. "No," he said without facing me. "Maybe that makes me a bad parent, but I don't know if I can. No matter what the police found, you were involved in that shooting, Valerie. You wrote those names on that list. You wrote my name on that list. You had a good life here. You might not have pulled the trigger, but you helped cause the tragedy." He opened the door."I'm sorry. I really am." He stepped out into the hallway. "I'll leave my new address and phone number with your mother," he said before walking slowly out of my sight.
Jennifer Brown (Hate List)
Yes, he could walk forever. He could so easily continue to walk and all thoughts of death would fall away, absorbed by the silent snow. [...] And then he heard it, very faintly at first, but distinct just the same. He heard the snow falling gently through the air, each flake sounded distinctly different, yet just as each fell unhindered by another, so their sound did not clash or interfere with each other, but blended into a snow song that he knew very few had ever heard. And that song became louder, though always gentle, as he continued to be absorbed by the light, to become one with the light... and now there weren’t any feet to leave prints, or a body or eyes to glow, but just light and sound and pure joy, pure eternal joy. No past, no future, no, not even a present, just ever new joy where there wasn’t even a memory of pain or struggle or sorrow... just ever new joy...
Hubert Selby Jr. (Song of the Silent Snow)
The energies that make us act out of anger,fear,insecurity and doubt are extremely familiar. They are like an old,dark house we return to whenever things get too hard to handle.It feels risky to leave this house and see what's outside,yet we have to leave if we expect to be loved. So we take the risk.We walk out into the light and offer ourselves to the beloved.This feels wonderful;it's like nothing we have imagined in our old,dark house.But when things get tough,we run back inside,we choose familiarity to fear and lovelessness over the vulnerability of love, until finally we feel safe enough to go back and try love again. This is essentially the rhythm of every intimate relationship-risk and retreat. Over and over we repeat this rhythm,accepting love and pushing it away until finally something miraculous happiness. The old,dark house isn't necessary anymore.We look around, and we have a new house, a house of light. Where did it come from?How did we build it? It was built from the love of the heart.It has silently been weaving our higher and lower natures,blending fear,anger,survival and protection into the energies of devotion,trust,compassion and acceptance.
Deepak Chopra (The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing)
Listen up, pal, the moon is way up in the sky. Aren’t you scared? The helplessness that comes from nature. That moonlight, think about it, that moonlight, paler than a corpse’s face, so silent and far away, that moonlight witnessed the cries of the first monsters to walk the earth, surveyed the peaceful waters after the deluges and the floods, illuminated centuries of nights and went out at dawns throughout centuries . . . Think about it, my friend, that moonlight will be the same tranquil ghost when the last traces of your great-grandsons’ grandsons no longer exist. Prostrate yourself before it. You’ve shown up for an instant and it is forever. Don’t you suffer, pal? I . . . I myself can’t stand it. It hits me right here, in the center of my heart, having to die one day and, thousands of centuries later, undistinguished in humus, eyeless for all eternity, I, I!, for all eternity . . . and the indifferent, triumphant moon, its pale hands outstretched over new men, new things, different beings. And I Dead! Think about it, my friend. It’s shining over the cemetery right now. The cemetery, where all lie sleeping who once were and never more shall be. There, where the slightest whisper makes the living shudder in terror and where the tranquility of the stars muffles our cries and brings terror to our eyes. There, where there are neither tears nor thoughts to express the profound misery of coming to an end.
Clarice Lispector (The Complete Stories)
First Love I ne’er was struck before that hour With love so sudden and so sweet, Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower And stole my heart away complete. My face turned pale as deadly pale, My legs refused to walk away, And when she looked, what could I ail? My life and all seemed turned to clay. And then my blood rushed to my face And took my eyesight quite away, The trees and bushes round the place Seemed midnight at noonday. I could not see a single thing, Words from my eyes did start— They spoke as chords do from the string, And blood burnt round my heart. Are flowers the winter’s choice? Is love’s bed always snow? She seemed to hear my silent voice, Not love's appeals to know. I never saw so sweet a face As that I stood before. My heart has left its dwelling-place And can return no more.
John Clare (Poems Chiefly from Manuscript)
Emily nodded. “We’re considering putting you on the cover.” “Why does he need to be half naked?” Drew asked. “Muscle cars, muscles on men… It sells magazines,” the makeup girl mused, still dabbing that sponge around my eye. Drew appeared silently at my side, crossing his arms over his chest. “He’s with me.” The girl straightened, and her surprised expression bounced between us. “You’re together?” “Yeah, so forget about it,” he quipped. I burst out laughing. “Go get some coffee, Forrester. You’re cranky.” “I’m not bringing you any,” he said as he walked away. “Thanks!” I called after him. “I can still admire your muscles,” the girl told me. “I heard that!” Drew yelled.
Cambria Hebert (#Rev (GearShark, #2))
At the first light of the dawn the loner knight asked: "Do you happen to know- the abode of The Beloved?" The skies went silent, save their mournful clouds, save their falling stars. The pilgrim gave up his glowing twig- to the gloom of the sands- and replied: “Don’t you see that poplar tree? Well, right before the tree, There is a lane that you’ll reckon, I deem. For it is greener than a heavenly dream, For it is generously shaded- with the deep blue’s of love. Well, if you See! So walk down that lane, You’ll arrive to the garden of sense; Turn to the direction of the loner lake; Listen to the genial hymn of leaves; Watch the eternal fountain- that flows from the spring of ancient myths- till you fade away- In a plain fear. When a rigid noise- Clatters into the fluid intimacy of the space, you'll find a child- on the top of a tree- next to the nest of owls- in hope of a golden egg. Well, if you See. You may be sure: The Child will show you the way. Well, If you just ask about- The Abode of The Beloved.
Sohrab Sepehri
On silver soles I climbed down the thorny stairs, and I walked into the white-washed room. A light burned there silently, and without speaking I wrapped my head in purple linen; and the earth threw out a childlike body, a creature of the moon, that slowly stepped out of the darkness of my shadow, with broken arms, stony waterfalls sank away, fluffy snow
Georg Trakl
The silly when received exclaim loudly; the fool complains; the honest man walks away and is silent.
François de la Noue
Darkness makes the brain giddy. Man needs light. Whoever plunges into the opposite of day feels his heart chilled. When the eye sees blackness, the mind sees trouble. In an eclipse, in night, in the sooty darkness, there is an anxiety even to the strongest. Nobody walks alone at night in the forest without trembling. Darkness and trees, two formidable depths - a reality of chimeras appears in the indistinct distance. The Inconceivable outlines itself a few steps from you with a spectral clearness. You see floating in space or in your brain something strangely vague and unseizable as the dreams of sleeping flowers. There are fierce phantoms in the horizon. You breathe in the odours of the great black void. You are afraid, and tempted to look behind you. The hollowness of night, the haggardness of all things, the silent profiles that fade away as you advance, the obscure dishevelments, angry clumps, livid pools, the gloomy reflected in the funeral, the sepulchral immensity of silence, the possible unknown beings, the swaying of mysterious branches, the frightful twistings of the trees, long spires of shivering grass - against all this you have no defence. There is no bravery which does not shudder and feel the nearness of anguish. You feel something hideous as if the soul were amalgamating with the shadow. This penetration of the darkness is inexperessibly dismal for a child. Forests are apocalypses; and the beating of the wings of a little soul makes an agonising sound under their monstrous vault.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
My Dearest, I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together. I can almost feel you beside me as I write this letter, and I can smell the scent of wildflowers that always reminds me of you. But at this moment, these things give me no pleasure. Your visits have been coming less often, and I feel sometimes as if the greatest part of who I am is slowly slipping away. I am trying, though. At night when I am alone, I call for you, and whenever my ache seems to be the greatest, you still seem to find a way to return to me. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier near Wrightsville Beach. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. I am struck as I see you leaning against the rail. You are beautiful, I think as I see you, a vision that I can never find in anyone else. I slowly begin to walk toward you, and when you finally turn to me, I notice that others have been watching you as well. “Do you know her?” they ask me in jealous whispers, and as you smile at me, I simply answer with the truth. “Better than my own heart.” I stop when I reach you and take you in my arms. I long for this moment more than any other. It is what I live for, and when you return my embrace, I give myself over to this moment, at peace once again. I raise my hand and gently touch your cheek and you tilt your head and close your eyes. My hands are hard and your skin is soft, and I wonder for a moment if you’ll pull back, but of course you don’t. You never have, and it is at times like this that I know what my purpose is in life. I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, to protect you. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return. I am here because there is no other place to be. But then, as always, the mist starts to form as we stand close to one another. It is a distant fog that rises from the horizon, and I find that I grow fearful as it approaches. It slowly creeps in, enveloping the world around us, fencing us in as if to prevent escape. Like a rolling cloud, it blankets everything, closing, until there is nothing left but the two of us. I feel my throat begin to close and my eyes well up with tears because I know it is time for you to go. The look you give me at that moment haunts me. I feel your sadness and my own loneliness, and the ache in my heart that had been silent for only a short time grows stronger as you release me. And then you spread your arms and step back into the fog because it is your place and not mine. I long to go with you, but your only response is to shake your head because we both know that is impossible. And I watch with breaking heart as you slowly fade away. I find myself straining to remember everything about this moment, everything about you. But soon, always too soon, your image vanishes and the fog rolls back to its faraway place and I am alone on the pier and I do not care what others think as I bow my head and cry and cry and cry.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
The marriage ceremony is sexist beyond parody. The bride appears in a fussy white dress that symbolizes her virtue and virginity, and everyone keeps on remarking on how thin and beautiful she looks. Her father walks her down the aisle to ‘give her away’, and she passes, like property, from one man to another. The minister, who is traditionally a man, gives the man permission to kiss the woman, as if that is in the minister’s authority and the woman has none. The man kisses, the woman is kissed. At the reception, only men are given to speak, while the bride remains seated and silent. Henceforth, the woman will adopt the man’s name, as will their eventual offspring. Despite all this, the wedding day is said to belong to the woman. This, would you believe, is ‘her day’.
Neel Burton (For Better For Worse: Should I Get Married?)
Three blind hummingbirds hang in the air like jewels of iridescent scarlet and cobalt; then, one by one, they fade, all color leeched from them, and fall lifeless into the mists, to be eaten by rats. Despair feels uncomfortable. In her world there are so many windows. Each opening shows her an existence that's fallen to her - some only for moments, others for lifetimes. Able at this moment neither to savor them, nor to understand her own disquiet, she stares away from all the windows as she walks. Silent rats run unmindfully over her feet, invisible in the mist. She misses him. It is over three hundred years since last she and her brother were alone together. Like a flood, the memories come, and she is drowning in them. Against her will her chest heaves, and she begins to weep: deep, helpless, racking sobs... No. Despair places the cold metal barb of her hook onto the surface of her eye. And then she pushes, piercing cornea and lens, and ripping free the aqueous humor and vitreous humor to run like tears down her cheek, into her hand... The pain distracts her, a little. But still, she remembers...
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman Vol. 7: Brief Lives)
Home was five blocks away. She would not wait for the sobbing Peter to harness the buggy, would not wait for Dr. Meade to drive her home. She could not endure the tears of the one, the silent condemnation of the other. She went swiftly down the dark front steps without her coat or bonnet and into the misty night. She rounded the corner and started up the long hill toward Peachtree Street, walking in a still wet world, and even her footsteps were as noiseless as a dream.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Through this image he had a glimpse of a strange dark cavern of speculation but at once turned away from it, feeling that it was not yet the hour to enter it. But the nightshade of his friend's listlessness seemed to be diffusing in the air around him a tenuous and deadly exhalation and he found himself glancing from one casual word to another on his right or left in stolid wonder that they had been so silently emptied of instantaneous sense until every mean shop legend bound his mind like the words of a spell and his soul shrivelled up, sighing with age as he walked on in a lane among heaps of dead language. His own consciousness of language was ebbing from his brain and trickling into the very words themselves which set to band and disband themselves in wayward rhythms: The ivy whines upon the wall And whines and twines upon the wall The ivy whines upon the wall The yellow ivy on the wall Ivy, ivy up the wall. Did any one ever hear such drivel?
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
 It’s weird being alone in the museum. It’s dark and eerily quiet: Only the after-hours lights are on—just enough to illuminate the hallways and stop you from tripping over your own feet—and the background music that normally plays all the time is shut off. I quickly organize the flashlights and check their batteries, and when I don’t hear Porter walking around, I stare at the phone sitting at the information desk. How many chances come along like this? I pick up the receiver, press the little red button next to the word ALL, and speak into the phone in a low voice. “Paging Porter Roth to the information desk,” I say formally, my voice crackling through the entire lobby and echoing down the corridors. Then I press the button again and add, “While you’re at it, check your shoes to make sure they’re a match, you bastard. By the way, I still haven’t quite forgiven you for humiliating me. It’s going to take a lot more than a kiss and a cookie to make me forget both that and the time you provoked me in the Hotbox.” I’m only teasing, which I hope he knows. I feel a little drunk on all my megaphone power, so I page one more thing: “PS—You look totally hot in those tight-fitting security guard pants tonight, and I plan to get very handsy with you at the movies, so we better sit in the back row.” I hang up the phone and cover my mouth, silently laughing at myself. Two seconds later, Porter’s footfalls pound down Jay’s corridor—Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! He sounds like a T. rex running from Godzilla. He races into the lobby and slides in front of the information desk, grabbing onto the edge to stop himself, wild curls flying everywhere. His grin is enormous. “Whadidya say ’bout where you want to be puttin’ your hands on me?” he asks breathlessly. “I think you have me confused with someone else,” I tease. His head sags against the desk. I push his hair away from one of his eyes. He looks up at me and asks, “You really still haven’t forgiven me?” “Maybe if you put your hands onme, I might.” “Don’t go getting my hopes up like that.” “Oh, your hopes should be up. Way up.” “Dear God, woman,” he murmurs. “And here I was, thinking you were a classy dame.” “Pfft. You don’t know me at all.” “I aim to find out. What are we still doing here? Let’s blow this place and get to the theater, fast.
Jenn Bennett (Alex, Approximately)
Almondine To her, the scent and the memory of him were one. Where it lay strongest, the distant past came to her as if that morning: Taking a dead sparrow from her jaws, before she knew to hide such things. Guiding her to the floor, bending her knee until the arthritis made it stick, his palm hotsided on her ribs to measure her breaths and know where the pain began. And to comfort her. That had been the week before he went away. He was gone, she knew this, but something of him clung to the baseboards. At times the floor quivered under his footstep. She stood then and nosed into the kitchen and the bathroom and the bedroom-especially the closet-her intention to press her ruff against his hand, run it along his thigh, feel the heat of his body through the fabric. Places, times, weather-all these drew him up inside her. Rain, especially, falling past the double doors of the kennel, where he’d waited through so many storms, each drop throwing a dozen replicas into the air as it struck the waterlogged earth. And where the rising and falling water met, something like an expectation formed, a place where he might appear and pass in long strides, silent and gestureless. For she was not without her own selfish desires: to hold things motionless, to measure herself against them and find herself present, to know that she was alive precisely because he needn’t acknowledge her in casual passing; that utter constancy might prevail if she attended the world so carefully. And if not constancy, then only those changes she desired, not those that sapped her, undefined her. And so she searched. She’d watched his casket lowered into the ground, a box, man-made, no more like him than the trees that swayed under the winter wind. To assign him an identity outside the world was not in her thinking. The fence line where he walked and the bed where he slept-that was where he lived, and they remembered him. Yet he was gone. She knew it most keenly in the diminishment of her own self. In her life, she’d been nourished and sustained by certain things, him being one of them, Trudy another, and Edgar, the third and most important, but it was really the three of them together, intersecting in her, for each of them powered her heart a different way. Each of them bore different responsibilities to her and with her and required different things from her, and her day was the fulfillment of those responsibilities. She could not imagine that portion of her would never return. With her it was not hope, or wistful thoughts-it was her sense of being alive that thinned by the proportion of her spirit devoted to him. "ory of Edgar Sawtelle" As spring came on, his scent about the place began to fade. She stopped looking for him. Whole days she slept beside his chair, as the sunlight drifted from eastern-slant to western-slant, moving only to ease the weight of her bones against the floor. And Trudy and Edgar, encapsulated in mourning, somehow forgot to care for one another, let alone her. Or if they knew, their grief and heartache overwhelmed them. Anyway, there was so little they might have done, save to bring out a shirt of his to lie on, perhaps walk with her along the fence line, where fragments of time had snagged and hung. But if they noticed her grief, they hardly knew to do those things. And she without the language to ask.
David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
Louie dug out the Bible that had been issued to him by the air corps and mailed home to his mother when he was believed dead. He walked to Barnsdall Park, where he and Cynthia had gone in better days, and where Cynthia had gone, alone, when he’d been on his benders. He found a spot under a tree, sat down, and began reading. Resting in the shade and the stillness, Louie felt profound peace. When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him. He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make of him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation. Softly, he wept.
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption)
The sun descending in the west, The evening star does shine; The birds are silent in their nest, And I must seek for mine. The moon, like a flower, In heaven's high bower, With silent delight Sits and smiles on the night. Farewell, green fields and happy groves, Where flocks have took delight. Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves The feet of angels bright; Unseen they pour blessing, And joy without ceasing, On each bud and blossom, And each sleeping bosom. They look in every thoughtless nest, Where birds are covered warm; They visit caves of every beast, To keep them all from harm. If they see any weeping That should have been sleeping, They pour sleep on their head, And sit down by their bed. When wolves and tigers howl for prey, They pitying stand and weep; Seeking to drive their thirst away, And keep them from the sheep. But if they rush dreadful, The angels, most heedful, Receive each mild spirit, New worlds to inherit. And there the lion's ruddy eyes Shall flow with tears of gold, And pitying the tender cries, And walking round the fold, Saying, 'Wrath, by His meekness, And, by His health, sickness Is driven away From our immortal day. 'And now beside thee, bleating lamb, I can lie down and sleep; Or think on Him who bore thy name, Graze after thee and weep. For, washed in life's river, My bright mane for ever Shall shine like the gold As I guard o'er the fold. - "Night
William Blake (The Complete Poems)
Society teaches you to find joy in the benefit of the self, as a result everyone grows up to be miserable, for the more you seek joy for yourself the more joy runs away from you, but the moment you forget the self and walk down the path of service to benefit others, joy comes running after you.
Abhijit Naskar (Boldly Comes Justice: Sentient Not Silent)
Are you sometimes scared, or happy, just like that, out of the blue, apropos of nothing? You hurry out on some stupid errand, and suddenly you feel a thrill of improbablem intense, boundless joy? Or it happens that everything seems to be in its rightful placem your beloved is sleeping sweetly next to you, you're young and full of as much energy as a puppy - and suddenly you feel you're suspended in emptiness, and a leaden sorrow clamps down on your heart, as though you were dead. Not only that, but as though you had never been alive. And sometimes you look at yourself in the mirror, and you can't remember who that chap is, or why he's there at all. Then your own reflection turns around and walks away, and you watch silently as it retreats. [..] It happens because something ineffable is reaching for us - we never know where and when it will show up and start tugging on our sleave.
Max Frei (The Stranger (The Labyrinths of Echo, #1))
But it was not what I wanted to do! I wanted to star in a silent movie and vamp the sheik, take a trip to the South Seas … walk naked in the sand and surf … write a novel about it. Be the Empress of the Galaxy, be discovered by a hero that would ravish me, and take me away on high adventure! Take a interminable motor home trip across the US and find out how the past had become the present. Journey to Europe, speak flawless French, and become the courtesan in the country chalet where all the real people came to party.” She laughed again. “Mostly I did not want be confined to routine … endless routine.
William C. Samples (Fe Fi FOE Comes)
I flip up my collar and turn my back to him as I pick my way back up toward the cliff base. I don’t think I can watch him disappear into the water. It will break my heart. Puck’s scrubbing her eyes busily as if she has something in them. George Holly bites his lip. The cliffs tower above me and I try to console myself, I will find another capall uisce, I will ride again, I will move to my father’s home and be free. But there’s no comfort in my thoughts. Behind me, the ocean says shhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhh. There’s a thin, long wail. I keep walking, my bare feet slow on the uneven stones. The wail comes again, low and keening. Puck and Holly are looking past me, so I turn around. Still at the shoreline, Corr has noticed my going, and he stands where I left him, looking back at me. He lifts his head again and keens to me. The irresistible ocean sucks around his hooves. But still he looks over his withers at me and he wails, again and again. The hair on my arms stands with his call. I know he wants me to go to him, but I can’t go with him where he needs to go. Corr falls silent when I do not come to him. He looks back out to the endless horizon. I see him lift a hoof and put it back down. He tests his weight again. Then Corr turns, stepping out of the ocean. His head jerks up when his injured leg touches the ground, but he takes another labored step before keening to me again. Corr takes another step away from the November sea. And another. He is slow, and the sea sings to us both, but he returns to me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
Tania, why don’t you take off your shoes? You’ll be more comfortable.” “I’m fine,” she said. How did he know her feet were killing her? Was it that obvious? “Go on,” he prodded gently. “It will be easier for you to walk on the grass.” He was right. Breathing a sigh of relief, she bent, unstrapped the sandals, and slipped them off. Straightening up and raising her eyes to him, she said, “That is a little better.” Alexander was silent. “Now you’re really tiny,” he said at last. “I’m not tiny,” she returned. “You’re just outsized.” Blushing, she lowered her gaze. “How old are you, Tania?” “Older than you think,” Tatiana said, wanting to sound old and mature. The warm Leningrad breeze blew her blonde hair over her face. Holding her shoes with one hand, she attempted to sort out her hair with the other. She wished she had a rubber band for her ponytail. Standing in front of her, Alexander reached out and brushed the hair away. His eyes traveled from her hair to her eyes to her mouth where they stopped. Did she have ice cream all around her lips? Yes, that must be it. How awkward. She licked her lips, trying to clean the corners. “What?” she said. “Do I have ice cream—” “How do you know how old I think you are?” he asked. “Tell me, how old are you?” “I’m going to be seventeen soon,” she said. “When?” “Tomorrow.” “You’re not even seventeen,” Alexander echoed. “Seventeen tomorrow!” she repeated indignantly. “Seventeen, right. Very grown up.” His eyes were dancing. “How old are you?” “Twenty-two,” he said. “Twenty-two, just.” “Oh,” she said, and couldn’t hide the disappointment in her voice. “What? Is that very old?” Alexander asked, failing to keep the smile off his face. “Ancient,” Tatiana replied, failing to keep the smile off her face. Slowly they walked across the Field of Mars, Tatiana barefoot and carrying the red sandals in her slightly swinging hands.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. It stays on through October and, in rare years, on into November. Day after day the skies are a clear, hard blue, and the clouds that float across them, always west to east, are calm white ships with gray keels. The wind begins to blow by the day, and it is never still. It hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die – migrate or die. Even in your house, behind square walls, the wind beats against the wood and the glass and sends its fleshless pucker against the eaves and sooner or later you have to put down what you were doing and go out and see. And you can stand on your stoop or in your dooryard at mid-afternoon and watch the cloud shadows rush across Griffen’s pasture and up Schoolyard Hill, light and dark, light and dark, like the shutters of the gods being opened and closed. You can see the goldenrod, that most tenacious and pernicious and beauteous of all New England flora, bowing away from the wind like a great and silent congregation. And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one’s Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites.
Stephen King ('Salem's Lot)
She smiled and shook her head before turning to walk off. As she strutted away from me, my eyes dropped down to her pert little derriere. A little groan escaped my lips. The back view was just as good as the front. She grabbed her purse from the side, and I silently congratulated God for creating something so f**king breathtaking. I’d never longed for anything more in my life. She was beautiful.
Kirsty Moseley (Enjoying the Chase (Guarded Hearts, #3))
looked for the TV remote but couldn’t see it. Then I located it, peeking out from behind Kathy’s open laptop on the coffee table. I reached for it, but was so stoned I knocked over the laptop. I propped the laptop up again—and the screen came to life. It was logged into her email account. For some reason, I kept staring at it. I was transfixed—her in-box stared at me like a gaping hole. I couldn’t look away. All kinds of things jumped out before I knew what I was reading: words such as “sexy” and “fuck” in the email headings—and repeated emails from BADBOY22. If only I’d stopped there. If only I’d got up and walked away—but I didn’t. I clicked on the most recent email and opened it: Subject: Re: little miss fuck From: Katerama_1 To: BADBOY22 I’m on the bus. So horny for you. I can smell you on me. I feel like a slut! Kxx
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
Walking under Dusk, Moonlit leaf shadows were cast on my skin from the trees above, every step I took was taking a step deeper into magic. Silent whispers of mystical mouthes pulling me in deeper. Then the lights from inside the house turned on. A few seconds later, the fence lights went on. Just like that, the leafy ghosts on my skin ran away and the faery voices ran home. It seems like the creations of man kill magic in so many ways— even the light bulb does this! Oh to be a race of people designing magical things, if someone could capture pieces of Moonlight and place it in a jar; or other things like that, then we could stop killing the magic and be filled with it instead. Or maybe we are already always filled with it. It's the bringing out that we have trouble with. Stop being a doorknob, darling! Be magical, instead!
C. JoyBell C.
Move,” I hear Tony say.  “I want to see her.” “No,” Charlotte bites, the whole exchange getting louder.  I groan into Maddie’s pillow and pull her princess blanket over my head.  I hear a scuffle and I’m not surprised when the door bursts open.  When I peek, Tony’s standing there with my sisters, Gabby and Leigh looking in from behind.  He takes another step in and shuts them out as I hear Sophia let out a little, “Hey!” He doesn’t pay her any mind as I watch him walk to me and sit on the side of the bed.  He doesn’t say a thing, but leans his elbows down to his knees and looks at me. “Please go away,” I say, my voice small. He stays silent, but shakes his head. I roll my eyes.  Of course he won’t go. “He didn’t do anything to me.  There’s no reason to go all Rambo Big Brother on him,” I explain. “Doesn’t look like he didn’t do anything to you,” he says. “He
Brynne Asher (Athica Lane (Carpino, #3))
Harry?” she murmured in confusion as he turned her to face away from him. He held her from behind, his arms crossed around her front. “Say something to distract me,” he said, only half joking. He took a deep breath. “I’m a hairsbreadth away from ravishing you right here.” Poppy was silent for a moment. Either she was struck mute with horror, or she was considering the possibility. Evidently it was the latter, because she asked, “It can be done outside?” Despite his fierce arousal, Harry couldn’t help smiling against her neck. “Love, there’s hardly any place it can’t be done. Against trees or walls, in chairs or bathtubs, on staircases or tables . . . balconies, carriages—” He let out a quiet groan. “Damn it, I’ve got to stop this, or I won’t be able to walk back.” “None of those ways sound very comfortable,” Poppy said. “You’d like chairs. Chairs I can vouch for.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
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)
Todd wrapped his arm around her. They stood together in silent awe, watching the sunset. All Christy could think of was how this was what she had always wanted, to be held in Todd's arms as well as in his heart. Just as the last golden drop of sun melted into the ocean, Christy closed her eyes and drew in a deep draught of the sea air. "Did you know," Todd said softly, "that the setting sun looks so huge from the island of Papua New Guinea that it almost looks like you're on another planet? I've seen pictures." Then, as had happened with her reflection in her cup of tea and in her disturbing dream, Christy heard those two piercing words, "Let go." She knew what she had to do. Turning to face Todd, she said, "Pictures aren't enough for you, Todd. You have to go." "I will. Someday. Lord willing," he said casually. "Don't you see, Todd? The Lord is willing. This is your 'someday.' Your opportunity to go on the mission field is now. You have to go." Their eyes locked in silent communion. "God has been telling me something, Todd. He's been telling me to let you go. I don't want to, but I need to obey Him." Todd paused. "Maybe I should tell them I can only go for the summer. That way I'll only be gone a few months. A few weeks, really. We'll be back together in the fall." Christy shook her head. "It can't be like that, Todd. You have to go for as long as God tells you to go. And as long as I've known you, God has been telling you to go. His mark is on your life, Todd. It's obvious. You need to obey Him." "Kilikina," Todd said, grasping Christy by the shoulders, "do you realize what you're saying? If I go, I may never come back." "I know." Christy's reply was barely a whisper. She reached for the bracelet on her right wrist and released the lock. Then taking Todd's hand, she placed the "Forever" bracelet in his palm and closed his fingers around it. "Todd," she whispered, forcing the words out, "the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace. And may you always love Jesus more than anything else. Even more than me." Todd crumbled to the sand like a man who had been run through with a sword. Burying his face in his hands, he wept. Christy stood on wobbly legs. What have I done? Oh, Father God, why do I have to let him go? Slowly lowering her quivering body to the sand beside Todd, Christy cried until all she could taste was the salty tears on her lips. They drove the rest of the way home in silence. A thick mantle hung over them, entwining them even in their separation. To Christy it seemed like a bad dream. Someone else had let go of Todd. Not her! He wasn't really going to go. They pulled into Christy's driveway, and Todd turned off the motor. Without saying anything, he got out of Gus and came around to Christy's side to open the door for her. She stepped down and waited while he grabbed her luggage from the backseat. They walked to the front door. Todd stopped her under the trellis of wildly fragrant white jasmine. With tears in his eyes, he said in a hoarse voice, "I'm keeping this." He lifted his hand to reveal the "Forever" bracelet looped between his fingers. "If God ever brings us together again in this world, I'm putting this back on your wrist, and that time, my Kilikina, it will stay on forever." He stared at her through blurry eyes for a long minute, and then without a hug, a kiss, or even a good-bye, Todd turned to go. He walked away and never looked back.
Robin Jones Gunn (Sweet Dreams (Christy Miller, #11))
I was getting into bed, pulling back the covers, when Kathy walked into the bedroom, brushing her teeth. “I forgot to tell you. Nicole is back in London next week.” “Nicole?” “You remember Nicole. We went to her going-away party.” “Oh, yeah. I thought she moved to New York.” “She did. And now she’s back.” A pause. “She wants me to meet her on Thursday … Thursday night after rehearsal.” I don’t know what aroused my suspicion. Was it the way Kathy was looking in my direction but not making eye contact? I sensed she was lying. I didn’t say anything. Neither did she. She disappeared from the door. I could hear her in the bathroom, spitting out the toothpaste and rinsing her mouth. Perhaps there was nothing to it. Perhaps it was entirely innocent and Kathy really was going to meet Nicole on Thursday. Perhaps. Only one way to find out. CHAPTER NINETEEN THERE WERE NO QUEUES OUTSIDE Alicia’s gallery this time, as there had been that day, six years ago, when I had gone to see the Alcestis.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
men would not follow us, for they never enter the Uncharted Forest. We had nothing to fear from them. The forest disposes of its own victims. This gave us no fear either. Only we wished to be away, away from the City and from the air that touches upon the air of the City. So we walked on, our box in our arms, our heart empty. We are doomed. Whatever days are left to us, we shall spend them alone. And we have heard of the corruption to be found in solitude. We have torn ourselves from the truth which is our brother men, and there is no road back for us, and no redemption. We know these things, but we do not care. We care for nothing on earth. We are tired. Only the glass box in our arms is like a living heart that gives us strength. We have lied to ourselves. We have not built this box for the good of our brothers. We built it for its own sake. It is above all our brothers to us, and its truth above their truth. Why wonder about this? We have not many days to live. We are walking to the fangs awaiting us somewhere among the great, silent trees. There is not a thing behind us to regret. Then a
Ayn Rand (Anthem)
She pulls up to the drive way Parks the car, Gets Out, Walks up to the door, And embraces me with an iron hold She is a friend and hugs me the same way she used to, Her hands sliding into their old creases along my body I let her into the house, knowing I could never refuse As she walks through my doors, she reminds me why she stands in my living room She tells me that she has returned because of my actions I didn’t learn from the last time Its my fault I should have been better, she berates me I should have let people in, she tells me I should not have gotten mad, she shares with me I should not have locked myself away, she lets me know I silently bear all the responsibility for her return As we start to get deep into conversation, I realize she has brought her bags Suitcase after suitcase lets me know she is here to stay She tells me she will run my life from now on She will make my schedule She will direct how I act She has come to my doors, breached my walls, destroyed my defenses, and announced her ownership. Crownless in my own kingdom I am defeated. This old friend is called Loneliness
As I walked toward the front door, a little motion to the left caught my eye. Jenny Sells stood in the hallway, a silent wraith. She regarded me with luminous green eyes, like her mother’s, like the dead aunt whose namesake she was. I stopped and faced her. I’m not sure why. “You’re the wizard,” she said, quietly. “You’re Harry Dresden. I saw your picture in the newspaper, once. The Arcane.” I nodded. She studied my face for a long minute. “Are you going to help my mom?” It was a simple question. But how do you tell a child that things just aren’t that simple, that some questions don’t have simple answers—or any answer at all? I looked back into her too-knowing eyes, and then quickly away. I didn’t want her to see what sort of person I was, the things I had done. She didn’t need that. “I’m going to do everything I can to help your mom.” She nodded. “Do you promise?” I promised her. She thought that over for a moment, studying me. Then she nodded. “My daddy used to be one of the good guys, Mr. Dresden. But I don’t think that he is anymore.” Her face looked sad. It was a sweet, unaffected expression. “Are you going to kill him?” Another simple question. “I don’t want to,” I told her. “But he’s trying to kill me. I might not have any choice.” She swallowed and lifted her chin. “I loved my Aunt Jenny,” she said. Her eyes brightened with tears. “Momma won’t say, and Billy’s too little to figure it out, but I know what happened.” She turned, with more grace and dignity than I could have managed, and started to leave. Then said, quietly, “I hope you’re one of the good guys, Mr. Dresden. We really need a good guy. I hope you’ll be all right.” Then she vanished down the hall on bare, silent feet.
Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
I have no fucking clue how to handle this situation. And now I’m the one who’s scared. This right here should be the line in the sand for me, I thnk. I can leave. Walk away. This is way more baggage than I need or want. I’ve already been in a high-drama relationship, and I don’t need this in my life. These thoughts run through my brain quickly, like one of those silent movie reels, and as quickly as the enter, they leave. Because instead of running as far away from this woman as possible, I slide in behind her, pushing her forward slightly so that I can wedge myself between her and the wall. I wrap myself around her. “Pulling you close and holding you tightly,” I whisper.
Sidney Halston (Pull Me Close (Panic, #1))
To say that Richard Mayhew was not very good at heights would be perfectly accurate, but would fail to give the full picture; it would be like describing the planet Jupiter as bigger than a duck. Richard hated cliff tops, and high buildings: somewhere not far inside him was the fear—the stark, utter, silently screaming terror—that if he got too close to the edge, then something would take over, and he would find himself walking to the edge of a cliff top and then he would just step off into space. It was as if he could not entirely trust himself, and that scared Richard more than the simple fear of falling ever could. So he called it vertigo, and hated it and himself, and kept away from high places.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
Wilson dug into his pockets, feeling in every one. Then he tried his car doors. I could have told him they were all locked, but I wisely remained silent. I suppose that would be twelve things: I can be wise. “Bollocks!” He pressed his face up against the car window, hands shielding his eyes on either side. “Blast!” “You have a filthy mouth, Mr. Wilson,” I chided, trying not to laugh. “Isn't saying blast like saying the F word in England?” “What? No! Bugger, blast and bloody are fairly tame . . . like damn.” “And bollocks? That sounds downright profane.” It really didn't, but I found I was enjoying myself. “Soon you'll be saying fiddlesticks! I don't think Principal Beckstead would approve.” “My keys are in the ignition,” Wilson groaned, ignoring me. He straightened and looked down at me soberly. “We're walking, Blue, unless you're willing to admit you have certain skills . . . breaking and entering, perhaps?” “I don't need skills to break and enter. I just need tools – and I don't have any of them on me,” I retorted flatly. “We could shove your big violin through your car window, though.” “Always a smartarse,” Wilson turned and began walking toward the road. “I live about four miles away in that direction,” I offered, hobbling along after him. “Oh, good. I live six. That means for at least two miles, I will not have to listen to you snipe at me,” Wilson grumbled. I burst out laughing. He really was cranky
Amy Harmon (A Different Blue)
Let the center be your home: To be centered is considered desirable; when they feel distracted or scattered, people often say, “I lost my center.” But if there is no person inside your head, if the ego’s sense of I, me, mine is illusory, where’s the center? Paradoxically, the center is everywhere. It is the open space that has no boundaries. Instead of thinking of your center as a defined spot—the way people point to their hearts as the seat of the soul—be at the center of experience. Experience isn’t a place; it’s a focus of attention. You can live there, at the still point around which everything revolves. To be off center is to lose focus, to look away from experience or block it out. To be centered is like saying “I want to find my home in creation.” You relax into the rhythm of your own life, which sets the stage for meeting yourself at a deeper level. You can’t summon the silent witness, but you can place yourself close to it by refusing to get lost in your own creation. When I find myself being overshadowed by anything, I can fall back on a few simple steps: • I say to myself, “This situation may be shaking me, but I am more than any situation.” • I take a deep breath and focus my attention on whatever my body is feeling. • I step back and see myself as another person would see me (preferably the person whom I am resisting or reacting to). • I realize that my emotions are not reliable guides to what is permanent and real. They are momentary reactions, and most likely they are born of habit. • If I am about to burst out with uncontrollable reactions, I walk away. As you can see, I don’t try to feel better, to be more positive, to come from love, or to change the state I’m in. We are all framed by personalities and driven by egos. Ego personalities are trained by habit and by the past; they run along like self-propelled engines. If you can observe the mechanism at work without getting wrapped up in it, you will find that you possess a second perspective, one that is always calm, alert, detached, tuned in but not overshadowed. That second place is your center. It isn’t a place at all but a close encounter with the silent witness.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
A few silent moments later, Peter tells me it’s time to go. He barely looks at me, scowls at the back wall instead. I suppose it would have been too much to ask, to see a friendly face this morning. I stand, and together we walk down the hallway. My toes are cold. My feet stick to the tiles. We turn a corner, and I hear muffled shouts. At first I can’t tell what the voice is saying, but as we draw closer, it takes shape. “I want to…her!” Tobias. “I…see her!” I glance at Peter. “I can’t speak to him one last time, can I?” Peter shakes his head. “There’s a window, though. Maybe if he sees you he’ll finally shut up.” He takes me down a dead-end corridor that’s only six feet long. At the end is a door, and Peter is right, there’s a small window near the top, about a foot above my head. “Tris!” Tobias’s voice is even clearer here. “I want to see her!” I reach up and press my palm to the glass. The shouts stop, and his face appears behind the glass. His eyes are red; his face, blotchy. Handsome. He stares down at me for a few seconds and then presses his hand to the glass so it lines up with mine. I pretend I can feel the warmth of it through the window. He leans his forehead against the door and squeezes his eyes shut. I take my hand down and turn away before he can open his eyes. I feel pain in my chest, worse than when I got shot in the shoulder. I clutch the front of my shirt, blink away tears, and rejoin Peter in the main hallway. “Thank you,” I say quietly. I meant to say it louder. “Whatever.” Peter scowls again. “Let’s just go.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Because there’s a silent, shrugging, stoical acceptance of all the things in the world we can never be part of: shorts, swimming pools, strappy dresses, country walks, roller-skating, ra-ra skirts, vest tops, high heels, rope climbing, sitting on a high stool, walking past building sites, flirting, being kissed, feeling confident. And ever losing weight, ever. The idea of suggesting we don’t have to be fat –that things could change –is the most distant and alien prospect of all. We’re fat now and we’ll be fat forever and we must never, ever mention it, and that is the end of it. It’s like Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat. We were pulled from the hat marked ‘Fat’ and that is what we must now remain, until we die. Fat is our race. Our species. Our mode. As a result, there is very little of the outside world –and very little of the year –we can enjoy. Summer is sweaty under self-conscious layers. On stormy days, wind flattens skirts against thighs, and alarms both us and, we think, onlookers and passers-by. Winter is the only time we feel truly comfortable: covered head to toe in jumpers, coats, boots and hat. I develop a crush on Father Christmas. If I married him, not only would I be expected to stay fat, but I’d look thin standing next to him, in comparison. Perspective would be my friend. We all dream of moving to Norway, or Alaska, where we could wear massive padded coats all the time, and never reveal an inch of flesh. When it rains, we’re happiest of all. Then we can just stay in, away from everyone, in our pyjamas, and not worry about anything. The brains in jars can stay inside, nice and dry.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
a good story, I’ll give you that. So, how many times have you done this sort of thing?  Send the inbred trash out ahead on the road to spook up unsuspecting travelers and you all hang back, jerking each other off, waiting to ambush anyone that makes it past them?” The wounded man looked away, ignoring Shane’s comments. “Don’t worry kid, I won’t kill ya today. But if I catch you in a lie, or if I find more of your inbred cousins at this camp, I will make the last moments of your life very painful,” Shane said in a calm voice. “Why are you doing this?” Shane feigned laughter and ignored the question. “What’s your name kid?” “Kyle,” he answered. “Kyle, everything I do, I do for her.” “You kill for her?” “No, I protect her and I destroy anything that tries to harm her—” “It’s right up here, follow the white fence,” Kyle interrupted using his neck to point out a quickly approaching high fence skinned in white sheet metal. The fence was tall and set back off the road. Mounds of stacked cars and other junk could be seen piled high at points. Shane slowed the car and carefully eased over to the shoulder of the road. He put the car in park and killed the engine. Shane sat silently for a minute, hushing Kyle when he tried to speak. He opened the door and slowly walked to the front of the car while listening for sounds. He climbed onto the hood and moved to the roof of the sedan. He could just barely see inside the compound. As it appeared from the outside, it was definitely a scrap yard. Piles of sorted metal were scattered around a central building while rows of smashed and stacked cars made up the far sides of the lot. From
W.J. Lundy (Something To Fight For (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, #5))
THE SUN, still shy and submissive to winter, peeped in now and then between days of mean wind and bitter rain. Then one afternoon, just like that, spring elbowed her way in for good. The day warmed, and the sky shone as if polished. Kya spoke quietly, as she and Tate walked along the grassy bank of a deep creek, overhung with tall sweetgum trees. Suddenly he grabbed her hand, shushing her. Her eyes followed his to the water’s edge, where a bullfrog, six inches wide, hunkered under foliage. A common enough sight, except this frog was completely and brilliantly white. Tate and Kya grinned at each other and watched until he disappeared in one silent, big-legged leap. Still, they were quiet as they backed away into the brush another five yards. Kya put her hands over her mouth and giggled. Bounced away from him in a girlish jig in a body not quite so girlish.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Where are we going?” Arin stared out the carriage window at the trees of the Garden District, their bare branches slim and violet in the dusk. Kestrel fidgeted with her skirts. “Arin. You know that we are going to Irex’s party.” “Yes,” he said shortly, but didn’t tear his gaze away from the passing trees. Better he look at them than at her. The velvet dress was a deep red, the skirts deliberately crushed in a pattern highlighted by golden embroidered leaves that twined up toward the bodice, where they interlaced and would catch the light. Conspicuous. The dress made her conspicuous. Kestrel sank into her corner of the carriage, feeling her dagger dig into her side. This evening at Irex’s wouldn’t be easy. Arin seemed to think the same. He held himself so rigidly on the carriage seat across from her that he looked wooden. Tension seeped into the air between them. When torches lit the darkness outside the windows and the driver lined up behind other carriage waiting to access the pathway to Irex’s villa, Kestrel said, “Perhaps we should return home.” “No,” said Arin. “I want to see the house.” He opened the door. They were silent as they walked up the path to the villa. Though not as large as Kestrel’s, it was also a former Herrani home: elegant, prettily designed. Arin fell behind Kestrel, as was expected of slaves, but this made her uneasy. It was unsettling to feel him close and not see his face. They entered the house with the other guests and made their way into the receiving room, which was lined with Valorian weapons. “They don’t belong there,” she heard Arin say. She turned to see him staring in shock at the walls. “Irex is an exceptional fighter,” said Kestrel. “And not very modest.” Arin said nothing, so neither did Kestrel.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
What’s the, like, symbol, for five years? Paper?” “Paper is first year,” I said. At the end of Year One’s unexpectedly wrenching treasure hunt, Amy presented me with a set of posh stationery, my initials embossed at the top, the paper so creamy I expected my fingers to come away moist. In return, I’d presented my wife with a bright red dime-store paper kite, picturing the park, picnics, warm summer gusts. Neither of us liked our presents; we’d each have preferred the other’s. It was a reverse O. Henry. “Silver?” guessed Go. “Bronze? Scrimshaw? Help me out.” “Wood,” I said. “There’s no romantic present for wood.” At the other end of the bar, Sue neatly folded her newspaper and left it on the bartop with her empty mug and a five-dollar bill. We all exchanged silent smiles as she walked out. “I got it,” Go said. “Go home, fuck her brains out, then smack her with your penis and scream, ‘There’s some wood for you, bitch!’ 
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I will say tell me. Tell me how much we’ll have to live by after the emperor’s tithe. You’ll say you don’t know. You have no intention of knowing.” Kestrel had risen from her seat. “Then I will be silent,” Arin said, “and you will stir your tea. You will drink and I will drink. There. Is that how it will be?” Kestrel was light-headed. “Go away,” she whispered, though she was the one standing. Arin didn’t move from the table. He stared up at her, jawline tight, and she didn’t understand how it could still be there in his face: that hard expectation, that angry faith. Don’t fail me, his eyes said. Don’t fail yourself. She quit the table. “You’re better than this,” he called after her. A librarian stepped from the stacks to shush him. Kestrel walked away. He said, “How can the inconsequence of your life not shame you?” He said, “How do you not feel empty?” I do, she thought as she pushed through the library doors and let them thud behind her. I do.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
She sat and watched the dockhand when it was sunny and she sat and watched him when it rained. Or when it was foggy, which is what it was nearly every morning at eight o’clock. This morning was none of the above. This morning was cold. The pier smelled of fresh water and of fish. The seagulls screeched overhead, a man’s voice shouted. Where is my brother to help me, my sister, my mother? Pasha, help me, hide in the woods where I know I can find you. Dasha, look what’s happened. Do you even see? Mama, Mama. I want my mother. Where is my family to ask things of me, to weigh on me, to intrude on me, to never let me be silent or alone, where are they to help me through this? Deda, what do I do? I don’t know what to do. This morning the dockhand did not go over to see his friend at the next pier for a smoke and a coffee. Instead, he walked across the road and sat next to her on the bench. This surprised her. But she said nothing, she just wrapped her white nurse’s coat tighter around herself, and fixed the kerchief covering her hair. In Swedish he said to her, “My name is Sven. What’s your name?” After a longish pause, she replied. “Tatiana. I don’t speak Swedish.” In English he said to her, “Do you want a cigarette?” “No,” she replied, also in English. She thought of telling him she spoke little English. She was sure he didn’t speak Russian. He asked her if he could get her a coffee, or something warm to throw over her shoulders. No and no. She did not look at him. Sven was silent a moment. “You want to get on my barge, don’t you?” he asked. “Come. I will take you.” He took her by her arm. Tatiana didn’t move. “I can see you have left something behind,” he said, pulling on her gently. “Go and retrieve it.” Tatiana did not move. “Take my cigarette, take my coffee, or get on my barge. I won’t even turn away. You don’t have to sneak past me. I would have let you on the first time you came. All you had to do was ask. You want to go to Helsinki? Fine. I know you’re not Finnish.” Sven paused. “But you are very pregnant. Two months ago it would have been easier for you. But you need to go back or go forward. How long do you plan to sit here and watch my back?” Tatiana stared into the Baltic Sea. “If I knew, would I be sitting here?” “Don’t sit here anymore. Come,” said the longshoreman. She shook her head. “Where is your husband? Where is the father of your baby?” “Dead in the Soviet Union,” Tatiana breathed out. “Ah, you’re from the Soviet Union.” He nodded. “You’ve escaped somehow? Well, you’re here, so stay. Stay in Sweden. Go to the consulate, get yourself refugee protection. We have hundreds of people getting through from Denmark. Go to the consulate.” Tatiana shook her head. “You’re going to have that baby soon,” Sven said. “Go back, or move forward.” Tatiana’s hands went around her belly. Her eyes glazed over. The dockhand patted her gently and stood up. “What will it be? You want to go back to the Soviet Union? Why?” Tatiana did not reply. How to tell him her soul had been left there? “If you go back, what happens to you?” “I die most likely,” she barely whispered. “If you go forward, what happens to you?” “I live most likely.” He clapped his hands. “What kind of a choice is that? You must go forward.” “Yes,” said Tatiana, “but how do I live like this? Look at me. You think, if I could, I wouldn’t?” “So you’re here in the Stockholm purgatory, watching me move my paper day in and day out, watching me smoke, watching me. What are you going to do? Sit with your baby on the bench? Is that what you want?” Tatiana was silent. The first time she laid eyes on him she was sitting on a bench, eating ice cream. “Go forward.” “I don’t have it in me.” He nodded. “You have it. It’s just covered up. For you it’s winter.” He smiled. “Don’t worry. Summer’s here. The ice will melt.” Tatiana struggled up from the bench. Walking away, she said in Russian, “It’s not the ice anymore, my seagoing philosopher. It’s the pyre.
Paullina Simons (Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2))
He paused and eyed her as if she were an agate discovered in gravel. "But what a very sharp tongue you have for a housekeeper." Bridget's heart sank- she knew better than to speak so frankly. It was never good for a servant to be noticed by a master- particularly this master. "Come." He beckoned her closer with his forefinger and she saw the flash of a jeweled gold ring on his left thumb. She swallowed and opened her right hand, silently dropping the miniature to the lush carpet. As she walked toward him she nudged the little painting under the enormous bed with the side of her foot. She stopped a pace away from him. His lips curved, sly and sensual. "Closer." She stepped nearer until her plain, practical black linsey-woolsey skirts were crushed against his purple velvet knees. Her heart beat hard and swift, but she was confident her expression didn't show her fear. Still smiling, he held out his hands, palms upward. His hands were long-fingered and elegant. The hands of a musician- or a swordsman. She stared down at them a moment, confused. He quirked an eyebrow and nodded. Bridget placed her hands on top of his. Palm to palm. She expected searing heat or deathly cold and was a little surprised to instead feel human warmth. She'd been hired little more than a fortnight before the duke had supposedly been banished. In that time he had never struck her as human- or humane. "Ah," His Grace murmured, cocking his head with interest. "What feminine hands you have, despite your station in life." His blue eyes flashed at her from under dark eyelashes, a secretive smile playing about his mouth. She met his gaze stonily. His lips quirked and he looked down again. "Small, plump, with neat, round nails." He turned her hands over so that they now rested palms-up in his. "I once knew a Greek girl who swore she could read a man's life story from the lines on his hands." He dropped her left hand to trace the lines on her right palm with a forefinger. His touch sent a frisson along her nerves and Bridget couldn't hold back a shudder.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10))
History is storytelling,’” Yaw repeated. He walked down the aisles between the rows of seats, making sure to look each boy in the eye. Once he finished walking and stood in the back of the room, where the boys would have to crane their necks in order to see him, he asked, “Who would like to tell the story of how I got my scar?” The students began to squirm, their limbs growing limp and wobbly. They looked at each other, coughed, looked away. “Don’t be shy,” Yaw said, smiling now, nodding encouragingly. “Peter?” he asked. The boy who only seconds before had been so happy to speak began to plead with his eyes. The first day with a new class was always Yaw’s favorite. “Mr. Agyekum, sah?” Peter said. “What story have you heard? About my scar?” Yaw asked, smiling still, hoping, now to ease some of the child’s growing fear. Peter cleared his throat and looked at the ground. “They say you were born of fire,” he started. “That this is why you are so smart. Because you were lit by fire.” “Anyone else?” Timidly, a boy named Edem raised his hand. “They say your mother was fighting evil spirits from Asamando.” Then William: “I heard your father was so sad by the Asante loss that he cursed the gods, and the gods took vengeance.” Another, named Thomas: “I heard you did it to yourself, so that you would have something to talk about on the first day of class.” All the boys laughed, and Yaw had to stifle his own amusement. Word of his lesson had gotten around, he knew. The older boys told some of the younger ones what to expect from him. Still, he continued, making his way back to the front of the room to look at his students, the bright boys from the uncertain Gold Coast, learning the white book from a scarred man. “Whose story is correct?” Yaw asked them. They looked around at the boys who had spoken, as though trying to establish their allegiance by holding a gaze, casting a vote by sending a glance. Finally, once the murmuring subsided, Peter raised his hand. “Mr. Agyekum, we cannot know which story is correct.” He looked at the rest of the class, slowly understanding. “We cannot know which story is correct because we were not there.” Yaw nodded. He sat in his chair at the front of the room and looked at all the young men. “This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others. Those who were there in the olden days, they told stories to the children so that the children would know, so that the children could tell stories to their children. And so on, and so on. But now we come upon the problem of conflicting stories. Kojo Nyarko says that when the warriors came to his village their coats were red, but Kwame Adu says that they were blue. Whose story do we believe, then?” The boys were silent. They stared at him, waiting. “We believe the one who has the power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must always ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there, you begin to get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
I told her about my revenge on Topper the attempted rapist and the guy at the transient's hotel in  Brooklyn, and, finally, I told her about stealing the money. "You did what?" She sat straight up in her chair, her eyes wide, her mouth open. "Shhh." Other diners were staring at us, frozen in silent tableau, some with forks or spoons halfway  to mouth. Millie was blinking her eyes rapidly. Much quieter, she said, "You robbed a bank?" "Shhh." My ears were burning. "Don't make a scene." "Don't shush me! I didn't rob a bank." Fortunately she whispered it. The waiter walked up then and took our drink order. Millie ordered a vodka martini. I asked  for a glass of white wine. I didn't know if it would help, but I figured it couldn't hurt. "A million dollars?" she said, after the waiter left. "Well, almost." "How much of it is left?" "Why?" She blushed. "Curiosity. I must look like a proper little gold digger." "About eight hundred thousand." "Dollars!" The man at the next table spilled his water. "Christ, Millie. You want me to leave you here? You're fifteen hundred miles away from  home you know.
Steven Gould
You’re like a nuclear missile, you’re dropped somewhere and cause devastation all around. You’ve always been that way. And I figured you’d come here and just fucking destroy everything that stood against me, like you do all the time. I wanted to tell you, I really did, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t risk you saying no, to the whole plan going out the window.” I got off Galahad, who adjusted his suit, but didn’t bother getting back to his feet. “Do you even know what Simon was here for?” “No, although we will. A few years in a dungeon will loosen his tongue a little.” “I never thought you’d be on the receiving end of my anger,” I said softly. “I always thought you’d be honest with me. That you knew how I felt after leaving Merlin, leaving behind the lies and manipulations. But I was wrong. You’re just shittier at it than he was.” “I have more important things to do than lament whatever has broken in our friendship,” he said, anger leaking from every syllable. “I think you should leave this city and this state.” “You’re having me kicked out?” Galahad shook his head. “I’ll be putting Bill Moon in charge of the investigation into what happened here. We’ll make things more palatable for the humans living here, and then we’ll be taking Simon back to Shadow Falls.” “And Rean?” “He has refused my aid and vanished with his remaining colony into the woods. Nine out of twenty-two died today, I doubt he wishes to involve himself with the affairs of anyone other than his colony.” “You lost two allies in space of a day and damaged your reputation as a ruler who takes care of his own. Congrats. You must be very proud.” “I think we’re done here,” he said and got back to his feet once more. I took a step toward him and I noticed something in his expression. Fear. But not fear of me, Galahad would never have been scared of me, but maybe the fear of what had been lost between us, and my anger evaporated, replaced with sadness. “Galahad, you should know something,” I said, gaining his attention as he walked off toward the house. He stopped at the open door and glanced back at me. “What is it?” “I’m not a nuclear bomb, I’m a scalpel. I cut away the tumors and diseased flesh that threatens to consume everything. So, you need to be very careful that during your reign, you don’t become something that requires my utmost attention.” And with that, I turned and walked away.
Steve McHugh (With Silent Screams (Hellequin Chronicles, #3))
Separated from everyone, in the fifteenth dungeon, was a small man with fiery brown eyes and wet towels wrapped around his head. For several days his legs had been black, and his gums were bleeding. Fifty-nine years old and exhausted beyond measure, he paced silently up and down, always the same five steps, back and forth. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . an interminable shuffle between the wall and door of his cell. He had no work, no books, nothing to write on. And so he walked. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . His dungeon was next door to La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan, less than two hundred feet away. The governor had been his friend and had even voted for him for the Puerto Rican legislature in 1932. This didn’t help much now. The governor had ordered his arrest. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Life had turned him into a pendulum; it had all been mathematically worked out. This shuttle back and forth in his cell comprised his entire universe. He had no other choice. His transformation into a living corpse suited his captors perfectly. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Fourteen hours of walking: to master this art of endless movement, he’d learned to keep his head down, hands behind his back, stepping neither too fast nor too slow, every stride the same length. He’d also learned to chew tobacco and smear the nicotined saliva on his face and neck to keep the mosquitoes away. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The heat was so stifling, he needed to take off his clothes, but he couldn’t. He wrapped even more towels around his head and looked up as the guard’s shadow hit the wall. He felt like an animal in a pit, watched by the hunter who had just ensnared him. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Far away, he could hear the ocean breaking on the rocks of San Juan’s harbor and the screams of demented inmates as they cried and howled in the quarantine gallery. A tropical rain splashed the iron roof nearly every day. The dungeons dripped with a stifling humidity that saturated everything, and mosquitoes invaded during every rainfall. Green mold crept along the cracks of his cell, and scarab beetles marched single file, along the mold lines, and into his bathroom bucket. The murderer started screaming. The lunatic in dungeon seven had flung his own feces over the ceiling rail. It landed in dungeon five and frightened the Puerto Rico Upland gecko. The murderer, of course, was threatening to kill the lunatic. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The man started walking again. It was his only world. The grass had grown thick over the grave of his youth. He was no longer a human being, no longer a man. Prison had entered him, and he had become the prison. He fought this feeling every day. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He was a lawyer, journalist, chemical engineer, and president of the Nationalist Party. He was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and spoke six languages. He had served as a first lieutenant in World War I and led a company of two hundred men. He had served as president of the Cosmopolitan Club at Harvard and helped Éamon de Valera draft the constitution of the Free State of Ireland.5 One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He would spend twenty-five years in prison—many of them in this dungeon, in the belly of La Princesa. He walked back and forth for decades, with wet towels wrapped around his head. The guards all laughed, declared him insane, and called him El Rey de las Toallas. The King of the Towels. His name was Pedro Albizu Campos.
Nelson A. Denis (War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony)
There is no silence upon the earth or under the earth like the silence under the sea; No cries announcing birth, No sounds declaring death. There is silence when the milt is laid on the spawn in the weeds and fungus of the rock-clefts; And silence in the growth and struggle for life. The bonitoes pounce upon the mackerel, And are themselves caught by the barracudas, The sharks kill the barracudas And the great molluscs rend the sharks, And all noiselessly-- Though swift be the action and final the conflict, The drama is silent. There is no fury upon the earth like the fury under the sea. For growl and cough and snarl are the tokens of spendthrifts who know not the ultimate economy of rage. Moreover, the pace of the blood is too fast. But under the waves the blood is sluggard and has the same temperature as that of the sea. There is something pre-reptilian about a silent kill. Two men may end their hostilities just with their battle-cries, 'The devil take you,' says one. 'I'll see you in hell,' says the other. And these introductory salutes followed by a hail of gutturals and sibilants are often the beginning of friendship, for who would not prefer to be lustily damned than to be half-heartedly blessed? No one need fear oaths that are properly enunciated, for they belong to the inheritance of just men made perfect, and, for all we know, of such may be the Kingdom of Heaven. But let silent hate be put away for it feeds upon the heart of the hater. Today I watched two pairs of eyes. One pair was black and the other grey. And while the owners thereof, for the space of five seconds, walked past each other, the grey snapped at the black and the black riddled the grey. One looked to say--'The cat,' And the other--'The cur.' But no words were spoken; Not so much as a hiss or a murmur came through the perfect enamel of the teeth; not so much as a gesture of enmity. If the right upper lip curled over the canine, it went unnoticed. The lashes veiled the eyes not for an instant in the passing. And as between the two in respect to candour of intention or eternity of wish, there was no choice, for the stare was mutual and absolute. A word would have dulled the exquisite edge of the feeling. An oath would have flawed the crystallization of the hate. For only such culture could grow in a climate of silence-- Away back before emergence of fur or feather, back to the unvocal sea and down deep where the darkness spills its wash on the threshold of light, where the lids never close upon the eyes, where the inhabitants slay in silence and are as silently slain.
E.J. Pratt
THE SPANISH JEW'S TALE. THE LEGEND OF RABBI BEN LEVI. Rabbi Ben Levi, on the Sabbath, read A volume of the Law, in which it said, "No man shall look upon my face and live." And as he read, he prayed that God would give His faithful servant grace with mortal eye To look upon His face and yet not die. Then fell a sudden shadow on the page And, lifting up his eyes, grown dim with age, He saw the Angel of Death before him stand, Holding a naked sword in his right hand. Rabbi Ben Levi was a righteous man, Yet through his veins a chill of terror ran. With trembling voice he said, "What wilt thou here?" The angel answered, "Lo! the time draws near When thou must die; yet first, by God's decree, Whate'er thou askest shall be granted thee." Replied the Rabbi, "Let these living eyes First look upon my place in Paradise." Then said the Angel, "Come with me and look." Rabbi Ben Levi closed the sacred book, And rising, and uplifting his gray head, "Give me thy sword," he to the Angel said, "Lest thou shouldst fall upon me by the way." The Angel smiled and hastened to obey, Then led him forth to the Celestial Town, And set him on the wall, whence, gazing down, Rabbi Ben Levi, with his living eyes, Might look upon his place in Paradise. Then straight into the city of the Lord The Rabbi leaped with the Death-Angel's sword, And through the streets there swept a sudden breath Of something there unknown, which men call death. Meanwhile the Angel stayed without, and cried, "Come back!" To which the Rabbi's voice replied, "No! in the name of God, whom I adore, I swear that hence I will depart no more!" Then all the Angels cried, "O Holy One, See what the son of Levi here has done! The kingdom of Heaven he takes by violence, And in Thy name refuses to go hence!" The Lord replied, "My Angels, be not wroth; Did e'er the son of Levi break his oath? Let him remain; for he with mortal eye Shall look upon my face and yet not die." Beyond the outer wall the Angel of Death Heard the great voice, and said, with panting breath, "Give back the sword, and let me go my way." Whereat the Rabbi paused, and answered, "Nay! Anguish enough already has it caused Among the sons of men." And while he paused He heard the awful mandate of the Lord Resounding through the air, "Give back the sword!" The Rabbi bowed his head in silent prayer; Then said he to the dreadful Angel, "Swear, No human eye shall look on it again; But when thou takest away the souls of men, Thyself unseen, and with an unseen sword, Thou wilt perform the bidding of the Lord." The Angel took the sword again, and swore, And walks on earth unseen forevermore.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Tales of a Wayside Inn)
Max’s unflinching gaze never left that house. “What do you think’s going to happen?” Jules asked him quietly, “if you let yourself peel that giant S off your shirt and take a nap? If you let yourself spend an hour, an evening, screw it, a whole weekend doing nothing more than breaking and taking enjoyment from living in the moment? What’s going to happen, Max, if—after this is over—you give yourself permission to actually enjoy Gina’s company? To sit with her arms around you and let yourself be happy. You don’t have to be happy forever—just for that short amount of time.” Max didn’t say anything. So Jules went on. “And then maybe you could let yourself be happy again the next weekend. Not too happy,” he added quickly. “We wouldn’t want that. But just happy in a small way, because this amazing woman is part of your life, because she makes you smile and probably fucks like a dream and yeah—see? You are listening. Don’t kill me, I was just making sure you hadn’t checked out.” Max was giving him that look. “Are you done?” “Oh, sweetie, we have nowhere to go and hours til dawn. I’m just getting started.” Shit, Max said with his body language. But he didn’t stand up and walk away. He just sat there. Across the street, nothing moved. And then it still didn’t move. But once again, Max was back to watching it not move. Jules let the silence go for an entire minute and a half. “Just in case I didn’t make myself clear,” he said, “I believe with all my heart that you deserve—completely—whatever happiness you can grab. I don’t know what damage your father did to you but—” “I don’t know if I can do that,” Max interrupted. “You know, what you said. Just go home from work and . . .” Holy shit, Max was actually talking. About this. Or at least he had been talking. Jules waited for more, but Max just shook his head. “You know what happens when you work your ass off?” Jules finally asked, and then answered the question for him. “There’s no ass there the next time. So then you have to work off some other vital body part. You have to give yourself time to regrow, recharge. When was the last time you took a vacation? Was it nineteen ninety-one or ninety-two?” “You know damn well that I took a really long vacation just—” “No, sir, you did not. Hospitalization and recovery from a near-fatal gunshot wound is not a vacation,” Jules blasted him. “Didn’t you spend any of that time in ICU considering exactly why you made that stupid mistake that resulted in a bullet in your chest? Might it have been severe fatigue caused by asslessness, caused by working said ass off too many 24-7’s in a row?” Max sighed. Then nodded. “I know I fucked up. No doubt about that.” He was silent for a moment. “I’ve been doing that a lot lately.” He glanced over to where Jones was pretending to sleep, arm up and over his eyes. “I’ve been playing God too often, too. I don’t know, maybe I’m starting to believe my own spin, and it’s coming back to bite me.” “Not in the ass,” Jules said.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
William sees it all happen again. The pain is not in the event. The subjection to it and his powerless state each time is where his anguish lies. He is unable to influence the situation, despite his desire. He sees the nest outside his house. He sees the baby bird that fell. The mother bird cries frantically for her lost chick. William knows as he approaches the chick that if he touches it his scent will linger, and the mother will reject it. Circling around the fallen creature William hopes it will flee from him, back toward the tree from which it had fallen. His presence only intensifies the creature’s fear. It speeds to his left, heading for the street. Again William tries to flank the bird, but it is too frightened to return to the nest. The chick’s mother wails vainly. William walks into the street trying to herd the bird to safety. The stop light a block away has just turned green. The driver accelerates. William moves from the car’s path and it runs over the bird. The momentum from its wake lifts the bird to the underside of the car, breaking its neck, but not killing it. William watches the bird roll helplessly. It is silent for a second, before it begins to whimper. Its contorted head dangles limply from its body. The noise is tragic. The bird’s mother hears the chick’s pain, but nothing can be done. She laments. A second speeder crushes the chick, leaving only a wet feathered spot in the street. As the cars continue to pass, only one bird is heard. A mother’s grief falls deafly on an unconcerned world.
M.R. Gott (Where The Dead Fear to Tread)
I’m going to sleep now,” she said in a strangled voice. “Alone,” she added, and his face whitened as if she had slapped him. During his entire adult life Ian had relied almost as much on his intuition as on his intellect, and at that moment he didn’t want to believe in the explanation they were both offering. His wife did not want him in her bed; she recoiled from his touch; she had been away for two consecutive nights; and-more alarming than any of that-guilt and fear were written all over her pale face. “Do you know what a man thinks,” he said in a calm voice that belied the pain streaking through him, “when his wife stays away at night and doesn’t want him in her bed when she does return?” Elizabeth shook her head. “He thinks,” Ian said dispassionately, “that perhaps someone else has been taking his place in it.” Fury sent bright flags of color to her pale cheeks. “You’re blushing, my dear,” Ian said in an awful voice. “I am furious!” she countered, momentarily forgetting that she was confronting a madman. His stunned look was replaced almost instantly by an expression of relief and then bafflement. “I apologize, Elizabeth.” “Would you p-lease get out of here!” Elizabeth burst out in a final explosion of strength. “Just go away and let me rest. I told you I was tired. And I don’t see what right you have to be so upset! We had a bargain before we married-I was to be allowed to live my life without interference, and quizzing me like this is interference!” Her voice broke, and after another narrowed look he strode out of the room. Numb with relief and pain, Elizabeth crawled back into bed and pulled the covers up under her chin, but not even their luxurious warmth could still the alternating chills and fever that quaked through her. Several minutes later a shadow crossed her bed, and she almost screamed with terror before she realized it was Ian, who had entered silently though the connecting door of their suite. Since she’d gasped aloud when she saw him, it was useless to pretend she was sleeping. In silent dread she watched him walking toward her bed. Wordlessly he sat down beside her, and she realized there was a glass in his hand. He put it on the bedside table, then he reached behind her to prop up her pillows, leaving Elizabeth no choice but to sit up and lean back against them. “Drink this,” he instructed in a calm tone. “What is it?” she asked suspiciously. “It’s brandy. It will help you sleep.” He watched while she sipped it, and when he spoke again there was a tender smile in his voice. “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.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Chapter Eleven She did not spend long in the supermarket at Riverwalk, confining her purchases to supplies she would need for the next few days. There was beef for stew, a large pumpkin, a packet of beans, a dozen eggs, and two loaves of bread. The pumpkin looked delicious—almost perfectly round and deep yellow in colour, it sat on the passenger seat beside her so comfortably as she drove out of the car park, so pleased to be what it was, that she imagined conducting a conversation with it, telling it about the Orphan Farm and Mma Potokwane and her concerns over Mma Makutsi. And the pumpkin would remain silent, of course, but would somehow indicate that it knew what she was talking about, that there were similar issues in the world of pumpkins. She smiled. There was no harm, she thought, in allowing your imagination to run away with you, as a child’s will do, because the thoughts that came in that way could be a comfort, a relief in a world that could be both sad and serious. Why not imagine a talk with a pumpkin? Why not imagine going off for a drive with a friendly pumpkin, a companion who would not, after all, answer back; who would agree with everything you said, and would at the end of the day appear on your plate as a final gesture of friendship? Why not allow yourself a few minutes of imaginative silliness so that you could remember what it was like when you believed such things, when you were a child at the feet of your grandmother, listening to the old Setswana tales of talking trees and clever baboons and all the things that made up that world that lay just on the other side of the world we knew, the world of the real Botswana. Mma Ramotswe
Alexander McCall Smith (The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #16))
Toward an Organic Philosophy SPRING, COAST RANGE The glow of my campfire is dark red and flameless, The circle of white ash widens around it. I get up and walk off in the moonlight and each time I look back the red is deeper and the light smaller. Scorpio rises late with Mars caught in his claw; The moon has come before them, the light Like a choir of children in the young laurel trees. It is April; the shad, the hot headed fish, Climbs the rivers; there is trillium in the damp canyons; The foetid adder’s tongue lolls by the waterfall. There was a farm at this campsite once, it is almost gone now. There were sheep here after the farm, and fire Long ago burned the redwoods out of the gulch, The Douglas fir off the ridge; today the soil Is stony and incoherent, the small stones lie flat And plate the surface like scales. Twenty years ago the spreading gully Toppled the big oak over onto the house. Now there is nothing left but the foundations Hidden in poison oak, and above on the ridge, Six lonely, ominous fenceposts; The redwood beams of the barn make a footbridge Over the deep waterless creek bed; The hills are covered with wild oats Dry and white by midsummer. I walk in the random survivals of the orchard. In a patch of moonlight a mole Shakes his tunnel like an angry vein; Orion walks waist deep in the fog coming in from the ocean; Leo crouches under the zenith. There are tiny hard fruits already on the plum trees. The purity of the apple blossoms is incredible. As the wind dies down their fragrance Clusters around them like thick smoke. All the day they roared with bees, in the moonlight They are silent and immaculate. SPRING, SIERRA NEVADA Once more golden Scorpio glows over the col Above Deadman Canyon, orderly and brilliant, Like an inspiration in the brain of Archimedes. I have seen its light over the warm sea, Over the coconut beaches, phosphorescent and pulsing; And the living light in the water Shivering away from the swimming hand, Creeping against the lips, filling the floating hair. Here where the glaciers have been and the snow stays late, The stone is clean as light, the light steady as stone. The relationship of stone, ice and stars is systematic and enduring: Novelty emerges after centuries, a rock spalls from the cliffs, The glacier contracts and turns grayer, The stream cuts new sinuosities in the meadow, The sun moves through space and the earth with it, The stars change places. The snow has lasted longer this year, Than anyone can remember. The lowest meadow is a lake, The next two are snowfields, the pass is covered with snow, Only the steepest rocks are bare. Between the pass And the last meadow the snowfield gapes for a hundred feet, In a narrow blue chasm through which a waterfall drops, Spangled with sunset at the top, black and muscular Where it disappears again in the snow. The world is filled with hidden running water That pounds in the ears like ether; The granite needles rise from the snow, pale as steel; Above the copper mine the cliff is blood red, The white snow breaks at the edge of it; The sky comes close to my eyes like the blue eyes Of someone kissed in sleep. I descend to camp, To the young, sticky, wrinkled aspen leaves, To the first violets and wild cyclamen, And cook supper in the blue twilight. All night deer pass over the snow on sharp hooves, In the darkness their cold muzzles find the new grass At the edge of the snow.
Kenneth Rexroth (The Collected Shorter Poems of Kenneth Rexroth)
There were stars here and there, dotting the sky among thin clouds, but no moon. Annemarie shivered, standing at the foot of the steps. “Come,” Mama murmured, and she moved away from the house. One by one the Rosens turned and hugged Annemarie silently. Ellen came to her last; the two girls held each other. “I’ll come back someday,” Ellen whispered fiercely. “I promise.” “I know you will,” Annemarie whispered back, holding her friend tightly. Then they were gone, Mama and the Rosens. Annemarie was alone. She went into the house, crying suddenly, and closed the door against the night. The lid of the casket was closed again. Now the room was empty; there was no sign of the people who had sat there for those hours. Annemarie wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. She opened the dark curtains and the windows; she curled once more in the rocker, trying to relax; she traced their route in her mind. She knew the old path, too—not as well as her mother, who had followed it almost every day of her childhood with her dog scampering behind. But Annemarie had often walked to town and back that way, and she remembered the turns, the twisted trees whose gnarled roots pushed the earth now and then into knotted clumps, and the thick bushes that often flowered in early summer. She walked with them in her mind, feeling the way through the darkness. It would take them, she thought, half an hour to reach the place where Uncle Henrik was waiting with his boat. Mama would leave them there—pausing a minute, no more, for a final hug—and then she would turn and come home. It would be faster for Mama alone, with no need to wait as the Rosens, unfamiliar with the path, slowly felt their way along. Mama would hurry, sure-footed now, back to her children.
Lois Lowry (Number the Stars)
The Book of Thel II "O little Cloud," the virgin said, "I charge thee tell to me, Why thou complainest not when in one hour thou fade away: Then we shall seek thee but not find; ah, Thel is like to Thee. I pass away, yet I complain, and no one hears my voice." The Cloud then shew'd his golden head & his bright form emerg'd, Hovering and glittering on the air before the face of Thel. "O virgin, know'st thou not our steeds drink of the golden springs Where Luvah doth renew his horses? Look'st thou on my youth, And fearest thou because I vanish and am seen no more, Nothing remains? O maid, I tell thee, when I pass away, It is to tenfold life, to love, to peace, and raptures holy: Unseen descending, weigh my light wings upon balmy flowers, And court the fair eyed dew, to take me to her shining tent: The weeping virgin trembling kneels before the risen sun, Till we arise link'd in a golden band, and never part, But walk united, bearing food to all our tender flowers." "Dost thou O little Cloud? I fear that I am not like thee; For I walk through the vales of Har and smell the sweetest flowers, But I feed not the little flowers; I hear the warbling birds, But I feed not the warbling birds; they fly and seek their food; But Thel delights in these no more, because I fade away, And all shall say, 'Without a use this shining woman liv'd, Or did she only live to be at death the food of worms?'" The Cloud reclind upon his airy throne and answer'd thus: "Then if thou art the food of worms, O virgin of the skies, How great thy use, how great thy blessing! Every thing that lives Lives not alone, nor for itself; fear not, and I will call The weak worm from its lowly bed, and thou shalt hear its voice. Come forth, worm of the silent valley, to thy pensive queen.
William Blake
Why did you come here-that is, why did you agree to reconsider my proposal?” The question alarmed and startled her. Now that she’d seen him she had only the dimmest, possibly even erroneous recollection of having spoken to him at a ball. Moreover, she couldn’t tell him she was in danger of being cut off by her uncle, for that whole explanation was to humiliating to bear mentioning. “Did I do or say something during our brief meetings the year before last to mislead you, perhaps, into believing I might yearn for the city life?” “It’s hard to say,” Elizabeth said with absolute honesty. “Lady Cameron, do you even remember our meeting?” “Oh, yes, of course. Certainly,” Elizabeth replied, belatedly recalling a man who looked very like him being presented to her at Lady Markham’s. That was it! “We met at Lady Markham’s ball.” His gaze never left her face. “We met in the park.” “In the park?” Elizabeth repeated in sublime embarrassment. “You had stopped to admire the flowers, and the young gentleman who was your escort that day introduced us.” “I see,” Elizabeth replied, her gaze skating away from his. “Would you care to know what we discussed that day and the next day when I escorted you back to the park?” Curiosity and embarrassment warred, and curiosity won out. “Yes, I would.” “Fishing.” “F-fishing?” Elizabeth gasped. He nodded. “Within minutes after we were introduced I mentioned that I had not come to London for the Season, as you supposed, but that I was on my way to Scotland to do some fishing and was leaving London the very next day.” An awful feeling of foreboding crept over Elizabeth as something stirred in her memory. “We had a charming chat,” he continued. “You spoke enthusiastically of a particularly challenging trout you were once able to land.” Elizabeth’s face felt as hot as red coals as he continued, “We quite forgot the time and your poor escort as we shared fishing stories.” He was quiet, waiting, and when Elizabeth couldn’t endure the damning silence anymore she said uneasily, “Was there…more?” “Very little. I did not leave for Scotland the next day but stayed instead to call upon you. You abandoned the half-dozen young bucks who’d come to escort you to some sort of fancy soiree and chose instead to go for another impromptu walk in the park with me.” Elizabeth swallowed audibly, unable to meet his eyes. “Would you like to know what we talked about that day?” “No, I don’t think so.” He chucked but ignored her reply, “You professed to be somewhat weary of the social whirl and confessed to a longing to be in the country that day-which is why we went to the park. We had a charming time, I thought.” When he fell silent, Elizabeth forced herself to meet his gaze and say with resignation, “And we talked of fishing?” “No,” he said. “Of boar hunting.” Elizabeth closed her eyes in sublime shame. “You related an exciting tale of a wild board your father had shot long ago, and of how you watched the hunt-without permission-from the very tree below which the boar as ultimately felled. As I recall,” he finished kindly, “you told me that it was your impulsive cheer that revealed your hiding place to the hunters-and that caused you to be seriously reprimanded by your father.” Elizabeth saw the twinkle lighting his eyes, and suddenly they both laughed. “I remember your laugh, too,” he said, still smiling, “I thought it was the loveliest sound imaginable. So much so that between it and our delightful conversation I felt very much at ease in your company.” Realizing he’d just flattered her, he flushed, tugged at his neckcloth, and self-consciously looked away.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
He’s close enough now that I can hear his footfall on the pavement, and I know my chances of outrunning him are slim. I’m practically in a full sprint, and my pounding heart is begging me to take it down a notch. I try to will my feet to keep pace with its beat; but I think it’s humanly impossible to run that fast. And then it dawns on me that my footsteps are the only ones I hear. Somewhere along the way, Tristan’s must have come to a stop. And I can’t quite explain why I’m running this fast in the first place. I slow to a jog, intending to just pick up with my original pace; but I can’t seem to suck in breaths fast enough to propel my feet any further. My molten shoes stutter to a stop, as my hands come to rest on my knees. I’m still wheezily sucking in breath after breath of thick, humid air, when I warily turn to look over my shoulder. Tristan’s standing about fifty feet back, hands on his hips and a completely flummoxed twist in his forehead, his chest rising and falling with equally winded gasps. Evidently I was running faster than I gave myself credit for. As he silently watches me, regaining his breath as I do mine, the confusion on his face turns to undeniable hurt (and not the physical kind). I’ve wounded him, and I can’t even explain why. Man, I really am an ass. I start the slow walk of shame back to where he stands, one hand upon my hip as I pull in a few more calming deep breaths. I’m debating whether to concoct some excuse for my behavior…Maybe I left my contacts out today, and didn’t recognize his face? Who would blame me for running for my life, if a stranger seemed to be following me? But as I amble closer—his wrinkled forehead already fading in the wake of a welcoming smile—I decide not to dig myself a deeper hole. I’m already a straight-up jerk. I’d rather not add lying to my repertoire.
M.A. George (Aqua)
Ella.” The sound was so quiet, I barely heard it through the blood-rush in my ears. I turned to look down the hallway. A man was coming toward me, his lean form clad in a pair of baggy scrub pants and a loose T-shirt. His arm was bandaged with silver-gray burn wrap. I knew the set of those shoulders, the way he moved. Jack. My eyes blurred, and I felt my pulse escalate to a painful throbbing. I began to shake from the effects of trying to encompass too much feeling, too fast. “Is it you?” I choked. “Yes. Yes. God, Ella . . .” I was breaking down, every breath shattering. I gripped my elbows with my hands, crying harder as Jack drew closer. I couldn’t move. I was terrified that I was hallucinating, conjuring an image of what I wanted most, that if I reached out I would find nothing but empty space. But Jack was there, solid and real, reaching around me with hard, strong arms. The contact with him was electrifying. I flattened against him, unable to get close enough. He murmured as I sobbed against his chest. “Ella . . . sweetheart, it’s all right. Don’t cry. Don’t . . .” But the relief of touching him, being close to him, had caused me to unravel. Not too late. The thought spurred a rush of euphoria. Jack was alive, and whole, and I would take nothing for granted ever again. I fumbled beneath the hem of his T-shirt and found the warm skin of his back. My fingertips encountered the edge of another bandage. He kept his arms firmly around me as if he understood that I needed the confining pressure, the feel of him surrounding me as our bodies relayed silent messages. Don’t let go. I’m right here. Tremors kept running along my entire frame. My teeth chattered, making it hard to talk. “I th-thought you might not come back.” Jack’s mouth, usually so soft, was rough and chapped against my cheek, his jaw scratchy with bristle. “I’ll always come back to you.” His voice was hoarse. I hid my face against his neck, breathing him in. His familiar scent had been obliterated by the antiseptic pungency of antiseptic burn dressings, and heavy saltwater brine. “Where are you hurt?” Sniffling, I reached farther over his back, investigating the extent of the bandage. His fingers tangled in the smooth, soft locks of my hair. “Just a few burns and scrapes. Nothing to worry about.” I felt his cheek tauten with a smile. “All your favorite parts are still there.” We were both quiet for a moment. I realized he was trembling, too. “I love you, Jack,” I said, and that started a whole new rush of tears, because I was so unholy glad to be able to say it to him. “I thought it was too late . . . I thought you’d never know, because I was a coward, and I’m so—” “I knew.” Jack sounded shaken. He drew back to look down at me with glittering bloodshot eyes. “You did?” I sniffled. He nodded. “I figured I couldn’t love you as much as I do, without you feeling something for me, too.” He kissed me roughly, the contact between our mouths too hard for pleasure. I put my fingers to Jack’s bristled jaw and eased his face away to look at him. He was battered and scraped and sun-scorched. I couldn’t begin to imagine how dehydrated he was. I pointed an unsteady finger at the waiting room. “Your family’s in there. Why are you in the hallway?” My bewildered gaze swept down his body to his bare feet. “They’re . . . they’re letting you walk around like this?” Jack shook his head. “They parked me in a room around the corner to wait for a couple more tests. I asked if anyone had told you I was okay, and nobody knew for sure. So I came to find you.” “You just left when you’re supposed to be having more tests?” “I had to find you.” His voice was quiet but unyielding.
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
My morning schedule saw me first in Cannan’s office, conferring with my advisor, but our meeting was interrupted within minutes by Narian, who entered without knocking and whose eyes were colder than I had seen them in a long time. “I thought you intended to control them,” he stated, walking toward the captain’s desk and standing directly beside the chair in which I sat.” He slammed a lengthy piece of parchment down on the wood surface, an unusual amount of tension in his movements. I glanced toward the open door and caught sight of Rava. She stood with one hand resting against the frame, her calculating eyes evaluating the scene while she awaited orders. Cannan’s gaze went to the parchment, but he did not reach for it, scanning its contents from a distance. Then he looked at Narian, unruffled. “I can think of a dozen or more men capable of this.” “But you know who is responsible.” Cannan sat back, assessing his opposition. “I don’t know with certainty any more than you do. In the absence of definitive proof of guilt on behalf of my son and his friends, I suggest you and your fellows develop a sense of humor.” Then the captain’s tone changed, becoming more forbidding. “I can prevent an uprising, Narian. This, you’ll have to get used to.” Not wanting to be in the dark, I snatched up the parchment in question. My mouth opened in shock and dismay as I silently read its contents, the men waiting for me to finish. On this Thirtieth Day of May in the First Year of Cokyrian dominance over the Province of Hytanica, the following regulations shall be put into practice in order to assist our gracious Grand Provost in her effort to welcome Cokyri into our lands--and to help ensure the enemy does not bungle the first victory it has managed in over a century. Regulation One. All Hytanican citizens must be willing to provide aid to aimlessly wandering Cokyrian soldiers who cannot on their honor grasp that the road leading back to the city is the very same road that led them away. Regulation Two. It is strongly recommended that farmers hide their livestock, lest the men of our host empire become confused and attempt to mate with them. Regulation Three. As per negotiated arrangements, crops grown on Hytanican soil will be divided with fifty percent belonging to Cokyri, and seventy-five percent remaining with the citizens of the province; Hytanicans will be bound by law to wait patiently while the Cokyrians attempt to sort the baffling deficiency in their calculations. Regulation Four. The Cokyrian envoys assigned to manage the planting and farming effort will also require Hytanican patience while they slowly but surely learn what is a crop and what is a weed, as well as left from right. Regulation Five. Though the Province Wall is a Cokyrian endeavor, it would be polite and understanding of Hytanicans to remind the enemy of the correct side on which to be standing when the final stone is laid, so no unfortunates may find themselves trapped outside with no way in. Regulation Six. When at long last foreign trade is allowed to resume, Hytanicans should strive to empathize with the reluctance of neighboring kingdoms to enter our lands, for Cokyri’s stench is sure to deter even the migrating birds. Regulation Seven. For what little trade and business we do manage in spite of the odor, the imposed ten percent tax may be paid in coins, sweets or shiny objects. Regulation Eight. It is regrettably prohibited for Hytanicans to throw jeers at Cokyrian soldiers, for fear that any man harried may cry, and the women may spit. Regulation Nine. In case of an encounter with Cokyrian dignitaries, the boy-invader and the honorable High Priestess included, let it be known that the proper way in which to greet them is with an ass-backward bow.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
The Unknown Soldier A tale to tell in bloody rhyme, A story to last ’til the dawn of end’s time. Of a loving boy who left dear home, To bear his countries burdens; her honor to sow. –A common boy, I say, who left kith and kin, To battle der Kaiser and all that was therein. The Arsenal of Democracy was his kind, –To make the world safe–was their call and chime. Trained he thus in the far army camps, Drilled he often in the march and stamp. Laughed he did with new found friends, Lived they together for the noble end. Greyish mottled images clipp’ed and hack´ed– Black and white broke drum Ʀ…ɧ..λ..t…ʮ..m..ȿ —marching armies off to ’ttack. Images scratched, chopped, theatrical exaggerate, Confetti parades, shouts of high praise To where hell would sup and partake with all bon hope as the transport do them take Faded icons board the ship– To steel them away collaged together –joined in spirit and hip. Timeworn humanity of once what was To broker peace in eagles and doves. Mortal clay in the earth but to grapple and smite As warbirds ironed soar in heaven’s light. All called all forward to divinities’ kept date, Heroes all–all aces and fates. Paris–Used to sing and play at some cards, A common Joe everybody knew from own heart. He could have been called ‘the kid’ by the ‘old man,’ But a common private now taking orders to stand. Receiving letters from his shy sweet one, Read them over and over until they faded to none. Trained like hell with his Commander-in-Arms, –To avoid the dangers of a most bloody harm. Aye, this boy was mortal, true enough said, He could be one of thousands alive but now surely dead. How he sang and cried and ate the gruel of rations, And grumbled as soldiers do at war’s great contagions. Out–out to the battle this young did go, To become a man; the world to show. (An ocean away his mother cried so– To return her boy safe as far as the heavens go). Lay he down in trenched hole, With balls bursting overhead upon the knoll. Listened hardnfast to the “Sarge” bearing the news, —“We’re going over soon—” was all he knew. The whistle blew; up and over they went, Charging the Hun, his life to be spent (“Avoid the gas boys that’ll blister yer arse!!”). Running through wires razored and deadened trees, Fell he into a gouge to find in shelter of need (They say he bayoneted one just as he–, face to face in War’s Dance of trialed humanity). A nameless sonnuvabitch shell then did untimely RiiiiiiiP the field asunder in burrrstzʑ–and he tripped. And on the field of battle’s blood did he die, Faceless in a puddle as blurrs of ghosting men shrieked as they were fleeing by–. Perished he alone in the no man’s land, Surrounded by an army of his brother’s teeming bands . . . And a world away a mother sighed, Listened to the rain and lay down and cried. . . . Today lays the grave somber and white, Guarded decades long in both the dark and the light. Silent sentinels watch o’er and with him do walk, Speak they neither; their duty talks. Lone, stark sentries perform the unsmiling task, –Guarding this one dead–at the nation’s bequest. Cared over day and night in both rain or sun, Present changing of the guard and their duty is done (The changing of the guard ’tis poetry motioned A Nation defining itself–telling of rifles twirl-clicking under the intensest of devotions). This poem–of The Unknown, taken thus, Is rend eternal by Divinity’s Iron Trust. How he, a common soldier, gained the estate Of bearing his countries glory unto his unknown fate. Here rests in honored glory a warrior known but to God, Now rests he in peace from the conflict path he trod. He is our friend, our family, brother, our mother’s son –belongs he to us all, For he has stood in our place–heeding God’s final call.
Douglas M. Laurent
There was a man in the garden with the little girl. He was turning over the soil in a garden bed. He had obviously heard the car, because he raised his hand in greeting, but then he had gone back to his work. He had actually turned his back on the car. Tina thought she knew what that meant. The man had not wanted to see Pete the policeman. Maybe he thought Pete was bringing bad news. Tina smiled. Here was good news. Finally, here was good news for this family. The man dug the garden fork into the soil with a little bit of effort. He was deliberately not looking at Pete. The little girl walked down the driveway towards them. Pete said quietly, ‘No real way to prepare them. You go ahead, Lockie.’ Lockie squeezed Tina’s hand. ‘Go on, Lockie, it’s your dad. He’s been looking for you for a long time. Go on.’ She pulled her hand slowly out of Lockie’s grip. She wanted to save him from his fear, but she had saved him once. Lockie would have to do this by himself. The little girl who was surely Sammy looked back at her father, but he was still concentrating on his work. She smiled in Pete’s direction and then she focused on Lockie. She stared at him, as if trying to work out exactly who he was. Lockie pushed his hood back, exposing his short blond hair. He stood, and Tina could sense him holding his breath, waiting for his sister to see him. To really see him. Sammy stared hard at Lockie now, frowning. And then Tina saw recognition light up her face. She looked at her father who had still not looked up. She looked back at Lockie. She started jumping up and down. ‘Lockie!’ she screamed. ‘Lockie, Lockie, Lockie!’ Lockie smiled.The man jerked upright and dropped the garden fork. ‘Stop that, Samantha,’ he whispered angrily. ‘Jesus, stop that! Be quiet. Stop that.’ ‘Lockie, Lockie, Lockie!’ The little girl flew down the driveway and launched herself at her brother, who went, ‘Oof,’ but he steadied himself and wrapped his arms around her. ‘Lockie, Lockie, Lockie,’ she repeated, as if to make the moment real for herself. The man stood and stared at his children, still without realising that he was indeed looking at both his children. He started walking down the driveway. He began with an angry quick stride but the closer he got the more unsure his steps became. He was a big man in charge of a big farm but his steps became small and faltering. Tina could see the disbelief spreading across his face. Sammy let go of Lockie and took his hand. She started pulling him up the driveway. ‘It’s Lockie, Dad. Look, it’s Lockie, come look, Dad, Lockie’s home. He’s home, Dad. I knew he home. He’s home, Dad. I knew he would come home. I told you, Dad. Look its Lockie. Lockie, Lockie, Lockie’s home. Lockie’s home.’ The man stopped a few feet away from Lockie. His mouth was open. He moved it once or twice, but no words came out, and then came a sound that Tina had never heard before. It was a moaning, keening sound, but rough with the depth of his voice. It was four months of agony and the ecstasy of this moment all rolled into one. It was his heart right out there in the open for everyone to see. He opened his arms and dropped to his knees. Lockie let go of Sammy’s hand and continued alone up the driveway towards his father. He was twisting his hands and pulling at his jumper. He walked into his father’s arms and was completely surrounded by the large man. ‘I’m sorry, Dad,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry, Dad, I’m sorry.’ At the bottom of the driveway Tina watched Lockie and his father. Lockie’s voice was muffled by his father’s arms, but Tina could still hear him repeating, ‘I’m sorry.’ Say it, Tina begged the man silently. Please, please, just say it. ‘Oh, Lockie,’ said the man through his tears, his large shoulders heaving. ‘It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t your fault. I’m sorry, Lockie. I’m sorry. I’ve been looking for you, Lockie. Where did you go, mate? Where did you go?
Nicole Trope (The Boy Under the Table)
Try as she might, Annabelle could think of no subtle way to ask him. After grappling silently with a variety of phrases, she finally settled for a blunt question. “Were you responsible for the boots?” His expression gave nothing away. “Boots? I’m afraid I don’t take your meaning, Miss Peyton. Are you speaking in metaphor, or are we talking about actual footwear?” “Ankle boots,” Annabelle said, staring at him with open suspicion. “A new pair that was left inside the door of my room yesterday.” “Delighted as I am to discuss any part of your wardrobe, Miss Peyton, I’m afraid I know nothing about a pair of boots. However, I am relieved that you have managed to acquire some. Unless, of course, you wished to continue acting as a strolling buffet to the wildlife of Hampshire.” Annabelle regarded him for a long moment. Despite his denial, there was something lurking behind his neutral facade…some playful spark in his eyes…“Then you deny having given the boots to me?” “Most emphatically I deny it.” “But I wonder…if some one wished to have a pair of boots made up for a lady without her knowledge…how would he be able to learn the precise size of her feet?” “That would be a relatively simple task…” he mused. “I imagine that some enterprising person would simply ask a housemaid to trace the soles of the lady’s discarded slippers. Then he could take the pattern to the local cobbler. And make it worth the cobbler’s while to delay his other work in favor of crafting the new shoes immediately.” “That is quite a lot of trouble for someone to go through,” Annabelle murmured. Hunt’s gaze was lit with sudden mischief. “Rather less trouble than having to haul an injured woman up three flights of stairs every time she goes out walking in her slippers.” Annabelle realized that he would never admit to giving her the boots—which would allow her to keep them, but would also ensure that she would never be able to thank him. And she knew he had—she could see it in his face.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
In a slow, pleasant voice, Prince Alaerec asked mild questions--weather, travel, Bran’s day and how he’d filled it. I stayed silent as the three of them worked away at this limping conversation. The Renselaeus father and son were skilled enough at nothing-talk, but poor Bran stumbled over half his words, sending frequent glances at me. In the past I’d often spoken for both of us, for truth was he felt awkward with his tongue and was somewhat shy with new people, but I did not feel like speaking until I’d sorted my emotions out--and there was no time for that. To bridge his own feelings, my brother gulped at the very fine wine they offered. Soon a servant came in and announced that dinner was ready, and the old Prince rose slowly, leaning heavily on a cane. His back was straight, though, as he led the way to a dining room. Bran and I fell in behind, I treading cautiously, with my skirts bunched in either hand. Bran snickered. I looked up, saw him watching me, his face flushed. “Life, Mel, are you supposed to walk like that?” He snickered again, swallowed the rest of his third glass of wine, then added, “Looks like you got eggs in those shoes.” “I don’t know how I’m supposed to walk,” I mumbled, acutely aware of that bland-faced, elegantly dressed Marquis right behind us, and elbowed Bran in the side. “Stop laughing! If I drop these skirts, I’ll trip over them.” “Why didn’t you just ask for riding gear?” “And a coach-and-six while I was at it? This is what they gave me.” “Well, it looks right enough,” he admitted, squinting down at me. “It’s just--seeing you in one of those fancy gowns reminds me of--” I didn’t want to hear what it reminded him of. “You’re drunk as four skunks, you idiot,” I muttered, and not especially softly, either. “You’d best lay it aside until you get some food into you.” He sighed. “Right enough. I confess, I didn’t think you’d really get here--thought that there’d be another bad hit.” “Well, I don’t see we’re all that safe yet,” I said under my breath.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Just walking,” he said quickly. “I know it looks odd, but we didn’t come to the Lower City for trouble.” “We came here for love,” Romeo said earnestly. “Love,” the subcaptain echoed, sounding faintly amused. It was like the time when Paris was a child, and he’d accidentally knocked over a pile of expensive dishes waiting for the servants to clean them. The pile had tottered for several moments, but Paris hadn’t been able to grab and steady them, or even flee before the crash gave him away. He’d been too entranced by the oncoming disaster. It was like that now. Paris knew this was going to end badly, but he couldn’t seem to get his mouth working, and meanwhile Romeo was rambling enthusiastically. “Yes!” he said. “It’s my friend here—he fell in love with a girl who worked in his family’s kitchen, and she loved him in return, but when his father found out he was furious and had her cast out into the Lower City, and then he lied and forged letters and tried to make him believe she had renounced him. But my friend loved her too dearly and trusted her too deeply, and he discovered the truth, and so we’ve come to find her!” Paris found that his panic was turning into a peculiar sort of calm. They were doomed. If he was lucky, he would be executed along with Romeo. If not, he would be handed back to Lord Catresou. “And you, a Mahyanai, are helping him?” asked the subcaptain. “Because I love her as well,” Romeo said earnestly, “and I will see her happy though it breaks my heart in two. Lovely, kind Maretta with eyes like the summer sky at twilight. Have you seen her?” “No,” said the subcaptain, “but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone so bad at lying, either.” Romeo looked uncommonly like a bird fluffing itself up for a mating display. “My love is as true as the stars are bright,” he said with terrifying intensity. “So is his.” The subcaptain’s mouth quirked. “Tiny and flickering and easily clouded over?” She doesn’t believe you, said Paris silently, so can you stop humiliating us? There is no shame in love! It shouldn’t have been possible to shout silently, but Romeo managed it.
Rosamund Hodge (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1))
And all I can think about is that it's not over and I'm tired and I'm ready to go but I'm still here. And I have to do it again and again and again." He leaned back in his chair. "You think about that before you tell me I've got it easy." I stayed silent a while before speaking. "So why don't you end it?" "Suicide?" "If your life is such a hell," I asked, "why bother? Why go through it again and again and all those times?" "Because of..." He stopped and looked at the ceiling. After a moment he shrugged. "Because of children," he said, "because of smiles and sunshine and ice cream." "You've got to be kidding." "You don't like ice cream?" Elijah shook his head, "It's the best. Imagine how excited I was when someone finally invented it. " "Sunshine and smiles don't make all that other stuff go away." I said, "This isn't a fairy land." "No," he said. "It's the real world. And the real world is the most amazing thing any of us will ever experience. Have you ever climbed a mountain? Walked through a garden? Played with a child? This isn't exactly a revelation John. People have been praising the simple pleasures since even before I was born, and that's a very long time." "You don't do any of those things." "But I have my memories," Said Elijah. "And I have even simpler things. Music. Food. Everybody likes bacon." "I'm a vegetarian." "Asparagus then," said Elijah, "roasted in pan. A little olive oil and a little salt - you the get the most incredible flavor - almost like a nut. But deep and rich and the textures just perfect..." "I've tried it." "The world is more than sadness," said Elijah, "i have a hundred thousand memories in my head. I can't remember all of them, or maybe even most of them, but they are so much happier than sad. For every dead mother or brother or child there are a hundred breezes, a hundred sunsets, a hundred memories of falling in love. Have you ever kissed anyone, John?" "I don't see how that's any of your business." "A first kiss is important. Most people only get one. But I can remember a hundred thousand of them. How could I give that up?" he shook his dead, smiling for the first time. "The world never gets old, John.
Dan Wells (The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver, #4))
That afternoon eight men met at the counter inside the Mother’s Rest dry goods store. The store owner was already there, with his two shirts and his unkempt hair, and the first to join him was the spare-parts guy from the irrigation store, who was followed by the Cadillac driver, and the one-eyed clerk from the motel, and the hog farmer, and the counterman from the diner, and the Moynahan who had gotten kicked in the balls and had his gun taken. The eighth man at the meeting came in five minutes later. He was a solid guy, red in the face, fresh from a shower, wearing ironed blue jeans and a dress shirt. He was older than Moynahan and the spare-parts guy and the Cadillac driver, and younger than the motel clerk and the store owner, and about the same age as the hog farmer and the counterman. He had blow-dried hair like a news anchor on TV. The other seven guys stiffened and straightened as he walked in, and fell silent, and waited for him to speak first. He got straight to the point. He said, “Are they coming back?” No one answered. Seven blank looks. The eighth guy said, “Give me both sides of the argument.” There was some silence and squirming and shuffling, and then the spare-parts guy said, “They won’t come back because we did our jobs. They got nothing here. No evidence, no witnesses. Why would they come back to a dry hole?” The Cadillac driver said, “They will come back because this was Keever’s last known location. They’ll come back as many times as it takes. Where else can they start over, when they’re getting nowhere?” The eighth guy said, “Are we sure they got nothing here?” The counterman said, “No one talked to them. Not a word.” The store owner said, “They only used the pay phone once. They tried three numbers, and got no reply from any of them, and then they went away again. That’s not what people do, with red-hot information.” “So the consensus is they learned nothing?” “The what?” “What you all think.” The Cadillac driver said, “What we all think is they learned less than nothing. They finished up in my store, chasing some non-existent guy named Maloney. They were nowhere. But they’ll still come back. They know Keever was here.” “So they did learn something.” The store went quiet.
Lee Child (Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20))
Hey Princess.” Good God I missed hearing his voice. “Chase,” I had to clear my throat to continue, “I didn’t think you were going to be here.” “I asked if you were coming to the house.” He replied hesitantly. “Right, I just figured you meant your house.” The room was thick with the tension that always followed us around. My heart started racing from his nearness and I silently cursed myself. I really didn’t want any kind of feelings for this guy, and here I was wishing he would try to kiss me again. We sat there watching each other for who knows how long before he walked over and sank down on the floor next to me, handing me a small wrapped box. “Merry Christmas Harper.” I picked it up and just stared at it, all I could say was “Why?” “Because you’re my favorite, remember?” he huffed and his lips tilted up a little, “When I saw it, there was no way I couldn’t get it for you. Please open it.” So slowly I probably drove him crazy, I took off the wrapping and opened the little leather box. I gasped when I saw the ring inside there. It was a silver band that wrapped into the trinity symbol on top. I’d always wanted that symbol as a tattoo. I looked up at Chase and shook my head in wonder. “How did you know?” “You doodle it on everything put in front of you.” He was right of course, if I had a pen and paper or napkin, it always ended up on there at some point. I just hadn’t realized anyone other than Brandon noticed that, especially him. “Chase …” I couldn’t hold them back any longer, tears started falling down my cheeks and I quickly dropped my head hoping he wouldn’t notice. He did. “Don’t cry Harper. If you don’t like it, or you don’t like that it’s from me I’ll take it back.” My laugh sounded more like a sob than anything else. “I love it, please don’t take it.” “Then what’s wrong?” He tilted my head up and brushed away a few tears with his thumbs. I had to force myself to not lean into his hands, it was the first time we’d had any type of physical contact in over a month. He was a whole new kind of Chase on Sundays, but I’d never seen him like this. So gentle and kind. It made my entire being crave him. “I’ve never had this before. Not just the presents … the love that your family has for me. I’ve never had it until now, and it’s so overwhelming. I don’t know what I did to deserve it and I don’t know if I show them that too.” “You do. Trust me.” He searched my face for a long time and wiped the remaining tears from my cheeks. “You’re special Harper, it’s not hard to love you.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
I was sicker than I’d ever been in a short but healthy life, so sick I couldn’t sleep but lay watching imaginary bugs crawl up the walls. And of course it had to be while I was like this--just about the lowest I’d sunk yet--that the Marquis of Shevraeth chose to reappear in my life. It was not long after the single bell toll that means midnight and first-white-candle. Very suddenly the door opened, and a tall, glittering figure walked in, handing something to the silent guard at the door, who then went out. I heard footsteps receding as I stared, without at first comprehending, at the torch-bearing aristocrat before me. I blinked at the resplendent black and crimson velvet embroidered over with gold and set with rubies, and at the rubies glittering on fingers and in pale braided hair. My gaze rose to the rakish hat set low over the familiar gray eyes. He must have been waiting for me to recognize him. “The King will summon you at first-green tomorrow,” the Marquis said quickly, all trace of the drawl gone. “It appears that your brother has been making a fool of Debegri, leading him all over your mountains and stealing our horses and supplies. The King has changed his mind: Either you surrender, speaking for your brother and your people, or he’s going to make an example of you in a public execution tomorrow. Not a noble’s death, but a criminal’s.” “Criminal’s?” I repeated stupidly, my voice nearly gone. “It will last all day,” he said with a grimace of distaste. It was the first real expression I’d ever seen from him, but by then I was in no mood to appreciate it. Sheer terror overwhelmed me then. All my courage, my firm resolves, had worn away during the time-measures of illness, and I could not prevent my eyes from stinging with tears of fear--and shame. “Why are you telling me this?” I said, hiding my face in my hands. “Will you consider it? It might…buy you time.” This made no sense to me. “What time can I buy with dishonor?” All I could imagine was the messengers flying westward, and the looks on Bran’s and Khesot’s faces--and on Julen’s and Calaub’s and Devan’s, people who had risked their lives twice trying to rescue me--when they found out. “I know why you’re here.” I snuffled into my palms. “Want to gloat? See me turn coward? Well, gloat away…” But I couldn’t say anything more, and after about as excruciating a pause as I’d ever endured, I heard his heels on the stone. The door shut, the footsteps withdrew, and I was left in silence. It was then that I hit the low point of my life.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Kestrel.” She discarded a tile and drew another. She didn’t look at him. He’d noticed--of course he had--how she avoided looking at him now. And no wonder. Arin’s face stung. The stitches itched. He was tempted to rip them out. “Look at me,” he said. She did, and Arin suddenly wished she hadn’t. He cleared his throat. He said, “I won’t try anymore to convince you not to marry him.” She slowly added the new tile to her hand. She stared at it, and said nothing. “I don’t understand your choice,” Arin said. “Or maybe I do. It doesn’t matter. You want it. That’s clear. You’ve always done exactly what you wanted.” “Have I.” Her voice was flat and dull. He plunged ahead. “I was wondering…” Arin had an idea. He’d had it for some time now. He didn’t like it. The words lay bitter on his tongue, but he had thought about it, and thought about it, and if he said nothing… Arin made himself study his tiles again. He tried to think which Sting tile would profit Kestrel least. He discarded a bee. The instant he set the tile down, he regretted it. He pulled a high Bite tile. This should have encouraged him, yet Arin had the sense of flying toward the inevitable moment when Kestrel won and he asked her what she wanted. “I thought…” “Arin?” She looked concerned. That decided him. Arin took a deep breath. His stomach changed to iron. His body was girding itself in a way he knew well. Arin was tightening the muscles needed before a plunge into deep water. A punch to the gut. The lift of the hardest, lowest, highest notes he could possibly sing. His stomach knew what he’d have to sustain. “Marry him,” Arin said, “but be mine in secret.” Her hand lifted from the tiles as if scorched. She sat back in her chair. She rubbed at her inner elbow. She drank the dregs of her wine and was silent. Finally, she said, “I can’t do that.” “Why?” Arin was hot with humiliation, hating himself for having asked. The cut burned in his cheek. “It’s not so different than what you would have chosen before. When you kissed me in your carriage on Firstwinter, you thought to keep me your secret. If you thought of anything. I would have been one of those special slaves, the ones called for at night when the rest of the house is sleeping. Well? Isn’t that how it was?” “No.” She spoke low. “It wasn’t.” “Then tell me.” Arin was damning himself with every word. “Tell me how it was.” Slowly, Kestrel said, “Things have changed.” Arin jerked his head to the side, chin up, stitched left cheek tilted to catch the light. “Because of this?” She replied as if the answer was obvious. “Yes.” He shoved back from the table. “I think I’ll have that drink.” Arin began to walk away, then glanced back over his shoulder. He made sure his words were an insult. “Don’t touch the tiles.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2))
They went back into the great hall. The mood among the giants was more relaxed now, more jovial. 'Ah,' said Utgardaloki. 'Well, the failure of these two is perhaps understandable. But now, now we shall see something to impress us. Now is the turn of Thor, god of thunder, mightiest of heroes. Thor, whose deeds are sung across the worlds. Gods and mortals tell stories of your feats. Will you show us what you can do?' Thor stared at him. 'For a start, I can drink,' said Thor. 'There is no drink I cannot drain.' Utgardaloki considered this. 'Of course,' he said. 'Where is my cup-bearer?' The cup-bearer stepped forward. 'Bring me my special drinking horn.' The cup-bearer nodded and walked away, returning in moments with a long horn. It was longer than any drinking horn that Thor had ever seen, but he was not concerned. He was Thor, after all, and there was not drinking horn he could not drain. Runes and patterns were engraved on the side of the horn, and there was silver about the mouthpiece. 'It is the drinking horn of this castle,' said Utgardaloki. 'We have all emptied it here, in our time. The strongest and mightiest of us drain it all in one go; some of us, I admit it, take two attempts to drain it. I am proud to tell you that there is nobody here so weak, so disappointing, that it has taken them three drafts to finish it.' It was a long horn, but Thor was Thor, and he raised the brimming horn to his lips and began to drink. The mead of the giants was cold and salty, but he draink it down, draining the horn, drinking until his breath gave out and he could drink no longer. He expected to see the horn emptied, but it was as full as when he had begun to drink, or nearly as full. 'I had been led to believe that you were a better drinker than that,' said Utgardaloki drily. 'Still, I know you can finish it at a second draft, as we all do.' Thor took a deep breath, and he put his lips to the horn, and he drank deeply and drank well. He knew that he had to have emptied the horn this time, and yet when he lowered the horn from his lips, it had gone down by only the length of his thumb. The giants looked at Thor and they began to jeer, but he glared at them, and they were silent. 'Ah,' said Utgardaloki. 'So the tales of the mighty Thor are only tales. Well, even so, we will allow you to drink the horn dry on your third attempt. There cannot be much left in there, after all.' Thor raised the horn to his lips and he drank, and he drank like a good drinks, drank so long and so deeply that Loki and Thialfi simply stared at him in astonishment. But when he lowered the horn, the mead had gone down by only another knuckle's worth. 'I am done with this,' said Thor. 'And I am not convinced that it is only a little mead.
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
Feeling each move carefully, Len climbed, hilt of the sword held in one hand blade hanging point down. A wet and dripping Rose King hovered above him. Being dripped on wasn't nearly as distracting as the constant sight of his watch on his left wrist. He wanted to look and see how much of the allotted hour he had left. He resisted the urge. He didn't want to risk having this knowledge affect his judgment. They had no time for speed born mistakes. The shaft they climbed down amplified the slightest sound sending it reverberating up and down its length. The slight clank of the sword against the iron rungs of the ladder became enormous. The click of Rose King's chattering teeth reverberated like castanets. Len stepped on a rung. The next second he found himself grappling for security as the rung moved then broke loose. The racket as the metal bar fell rang up and down the narrow oblong space like a pair of dropped cymbals. He looked down. They were approximately ten feet up from the bottom of the well. If he had fallen he would not have been hurt badly if at all. Discovery, however, had a danger all its own. Frozen in place, both he and Rose listened. Something large was down there. It was something large that dragged as it walked. As if investigating the source of the clatter, this something stopped by the grate at the bottom, blocking off the light. Twice there was a rushing of sound as if some huge bellows was blowing air into the grate then pulling it out. The thing seemed to move away from the grate. When he was sure it was well away from the opening Len began again to climb down. The nearer the grate the more he and Rose began to hear something beyond the ominous sounds of large animal. Len thought he knew what it was, but kept silent. He was about to jump the last three feet when a pain wracked cry echoed through the space on the other side of this new grate and up the stone well. Len jumped to the ground. A second later Rose was behind him. Wishing desperately they had more than one weapon between them, Len pushed hard at the grate, rushing through the space as fast as the cramped size of the opening would allow. They were in a large round open torch lit space with a high domed brick ceiling. To their left was an exit to a dark hallway blocked by a barred door; to their right, a curved cave like opening with what looked like a barred gate that could be raised or lowered. On the other side of the room was a barred wall with a door closing off the cell where Tyrone lay. Between them and their goal was a large, reptilian creature. "What the hell is that?" Rose gasped softly. Len swallowed hard and licked his dry lips. It was mad and at the same time made complete sense. "It’s just what it looks like, Major," he whispered. "It's a dragon.
Tabitha Baumander (Castle Doom)
Holy gallnipper, how long till we hit the magic trail? It’s gloomier than my own funeral I here.” Camille adjusted the bag’s rope and looked at Ira. “Don’t even joke about that.” Since the moment they’d entered the forest, she’d felt like something was listening. Like they’d woken some sleeping creature, and now it followed them with silent cunning. The deafening chants had not returned to pierce her eardrums, but danger still felt close. A few paces ahead of her, Oscar peeled away another cobweb, the octagonal spinning so massive Camille didn’t even want to imagine the size of the spider that had created it. “Mate, you got a stomach made of iron,” Ira said. A flash of orange and black swept in front of Camille’s eyes and she felt an odd tug on her dress. She looked down and froze. A spider with a body the size of her first flexed its hairy legs on her skirt. It started to scuttle up. Her scream echoed through the forest as she swiped the spider off. It hit the marshy ground and scampered under a log. Oscar grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him. “Did it bite you?” She shook her head, arms and legs stiff with fear. “I’ve never seen one so bloody big,” Ira said, running past the log as though the spider would leap out at him. Oscar started walking again, his hand on the small of her back. She exhaled with more than one kind of relief. He was at least still concerned for her. As they started to pick up their pace, another black critter swung down from a nearby tree. Camille say it flying toward them, but her warning shout was too slow. The spider landed on Oscar’s shoulder, fat and furry and swift as its legs darted up his neck. Oscar shouted an obscenity as he whacked the giant from his skin. Camille heard it thud against the leafy forest floor. Unfazed, the spider quickly sprang to its finger-length legs and darted toward her boot. Her shrieks echoed again as it leaped onto her hem. With his foot, Ira knocked the spider back to the ground, and before it could bounce back up, Oscar smashed it with a stick. The squashed giant oozed yellow-and-green blood onto the marshy ground. Camille gagged and tasted her breakfast oats in the back of her mouth. “What in all wrath are those monsters?” Ira panted as he twisted around, looking for more. Camille looked up to the trees to try and spot any others that might be descending from glossy webbing. Terror paralyzed her as her eyes landed on a colony of glistening webs in the treetops. An endless number of black dots massed above their heads, dangling from tree limbs. Oscar and Ira followed her horrified stare. “Run,” Oscar whispered. Camille sprinted forward, her skin and scalp tingling with imaginary spider legs. The bag of provisions slammed against her back, tugging at her neck, but she didn’t care. They didn’t slow down until the gigantic spiderwebs grew sparse and the squawk of birds took over.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
I stopped struggling, going limp in his arms. He reached around us and shoved the door closed, spinning around and facing us toward the kitchen. “I was trying to make you breakfast.” It took a moment for his words and their meaning to sink in. I stared dumbfounded across the room and past the island. There was smoke billowing up from the stove and the window above the sink was wide open. Bowls and spoons littered the island and there was a carton of eggs sitting out. He was trying to cook. He was really bad at it. I started to laugh. The kind of laugh that shook my shoulders and bubbled up hysterically. My heart rate was still out of control, and I took in a few breaths between laughs to try and calm it down. He said something, but I couldn’t hear him because the fire alarm was still going off. I had no doubt half the neighborhood was now awake from the sound. He didn’t bother to put me down, instead hauling me along with him, where he finally set me down, dragged a chair over near the alarm, and climbed up to remove the battery. The noise cut off and the kitchen fell silent. “Well, shit,” he said, staring at the battery in his hand. A giggle escaped me. “Does this always happen when you cook?” He shrugged. “The only time I ever cook is when it’s my turn at the station.” His forehead creased and a thoughtful look came over his face. “The guys are never around when it’s my night to cook. Now I know why.” He snagged a towel off the counter and began waving away the rest of the lingering smoke. I clicked on the vent fan above the stove. There was a pan with half a melted spatula, something that may or may not have once been eggs, and a muffin tin with half-burned, half-raw muffins (how was that even possible?). “Well, this looks…” My words faltered, trying to come up with something positive to say. “Completely inedible?” he finished. I grinned. “You did all this for me?” “I figured after a week of hospital food, you might like something good. Apparently you aren’t going to find that here.” I had the urge to hug him. I kept my feet planted where they were. “Thank you. No one’s ever ruined a pan for me before.” He grinned. “I have cereal. Even I can’t mess that up.” I watched as he pulled down a bowl and poured me some, adding milk. He looked so cute when he handed me the bowl that I lifted the spoon and took a bite. “Best cereal I ever had.” “Damn straight.” I carried it over to the counter and sat down. “After we eat, would you mind taking me to my car? I hope it’s still drivable.” “What about the keys?” “I have a security deposit box at the bank. I keep my spare there in case I ever need them.” “Pretty smart.” “I have a few good ideas now and then.” “Contrary to the way it looks, I do too.” “Thank you for trying to make me breakfast. And for the cereal.” He walked over to the stove and picked up the ruined pan. “You died with honor,” he said, giving it a mock salute. And then he threw the entire thing into the trashcan. I laughed. “You could have washed it, you know.” He made a face. “No. Then I might be tempted to use it again.
Cambria Hebert (Torch (Take It Off, #1))
And for the four remaining days - the ninety-six remaining hours - we mapped out a future away from everything we knew. When the walls of the map were breached, we gave one another courage to build them again. And we imagined our home an old stone barn filled with junk and wine and paintings, surrounded by fields of wildflowers and bees. I remember our final day in the villa. We were supposed to be going that evening, taking the sleeper back to England. I was on edge, a mix of nerves and excitement, looking out to see if he made the slightest move toward leaving, but he didn’t. Toiletries remained on the bathroom shelves, clothes stayed scattered across the floor. We went to the beach as usual, lay side by side in our usual spot. The heat was intense and we said little, certainly nothing of our plans to move up to Provence, to the lavender and light. To the fields of sunflowers. I looked at my watch. We were almost there. It was happening. I kept saying to myself, he’s going to do it. I left him on the bed dozing, and went out to the shop to get water and peaches. I walked the streets as if they were my new home. Bonjour to everyone, me walking barefoot, oh so confident, free. And I imagined how we’d go out later to eat, and we’d celebrate at our bar. And I’d phone Mabel and Mabel would say, I understand. I raced back to the villa, ran up the stairs and died. Our rucksacks were open on the bed, our shoes already packed away inside. I watched him from the door. He was silent, his eyes red. He folded his clothes meticulously, dirty washing in separate bags. I wanted to howl. I wanted to put my arms around him, hold him there until the train had left the station. I’ve got peaches and water for the journey, I said. Thank you, he said. You think of everything. Because I love you, I said. He didn’t look at me. The change was happening too quickly. Is there a taxi coming? My voice was weak, breaking. Madame Cournier’s taking us. I went to open the window, the scent of tuberose strong. I lit a cigarette and looked at the sky. An airplane cast out a vivid orange wake that ripped across the violet wash. And I remember thinking, how cruel it was that our plans were out there somewhere. Another version of our future, out there somewhere, in perpetual orbit. The bottle of pastis? he said. I smiled at him. You take it, I said. We lay in our bunks as the sleeper rattled north and retraced the journey of ten days before. The cabin was dark, an occasional light from the corridor bled under the door. The room was hot and airless, smelled of sweat. In the darkness, he dropped his hand down to me and waited. I couldn’t help myself, I reached up and held it. Noticed my fingertips were numb. We’ll be OK, I remember thinking. Whatever we are, we’ll be OK. We didn’t see each other for a while back in Oxford. We both suffered, I know we did, but differently. And sometimes, when the day loomed gray, I’d sit at my desk and remember the heat of that summer. I’d remember the smells of tuberose that were carried by the wind, and the smell of octopus cooking on the stinking griddles. I’d remember the sound of our laughter and the sound of a doughnut seller, and I’d remember the red canvas shoes I lost in the sea, and the taste of pastis and the taste of his skin, and a sky so blue it would defy anything else to be blue again. And I’d remember my love for a man that almost made everything possible./
Sarah Winman (Tin Man)
Edgerton/Assassins of Dreamsongs 169 The thick, frosty rain had long since subsided. A thin, fur clad figure peered through the thick, rain soaked foliage, just outside the army's encampment. The old Wizard's raspy whisper suddenly broke the silence. He shivered against the cold and swore to himself, as no eyes peered back at him from the forest. "Damnable rabbits!" He shook both stiff, old legs from the bitter cold of the forest night and from the puddle he had been standing in. The half-asleep guard paid no attention or tribute to the thin, fur clad bearer of wood, as he trudged through the camp's outer perimeter with a load of firewood in his arms. Slumber played a barbaric tune to the rhythms of the wind through the trees, while the army slept. Arkin readjusted the stack of wood held precariously in his arms, as he walked through the center of camp. His steady, silent pace took him around large mud puddles and before a roaring fire built beneath a rocky shelf. The large bonfire spit colorful sparks into the blackness and the cold of the night. His thin arms let fall the wood he had gathered, while he surveyed the camp. A long, walking stick suddenly appeared in his hand, as if by magic, while his senses took in all around him. The small, white haired Wizard leaned lazily on his heavy staff for a thoughtful moment, while his calculating eye took in the figures huddled on the ground around the small campfires. Edgerton/Assassins of Dreamsongs 170 In the forest, two sets of eyes suddenly blinked their timidity at Arkin and then disappeared. "Dull witted rabbits to save a future King," he grumbled. "Will wonders never cease." From an ancient leather pouch, old weathered hands drew a sparkling dust that seemed to be alive in its’ every glimmer. The old man watched its’ mesmerizing glow for a moment. Then, as if youth possessed his body once again, Arkin began dancing like a misguided wood nymph through the camp, sprinkling the powder on the slumbering figures. The old Wizard's ritualistic dance took him the complete circumference of the camp. An old Wizard smiled broadly, as he danced by the giant, blond Nobleman chained helplessly to a tree. Their eyes met in an exchanged mischievous greeting. Garish beamed his roguish smile at him, hope renewed once more. The blond, captive Nobleman had to fight back the mounting laughter in his throat, from the comforting sight of his mentor and the queer fairy dance he was performing. His gaze followed the little man's every step with pure delight. The little Grand Master Wizard slowed his mischievous fairy dance only long enough to retrieve the glimmering Sword of Damen from the pile of weapons in the center of the camp. Edgerton/Assassins of Dreamsongs 171 The Old Man carefully concealed the sword under his cloak and continued his fairy dance, while sprinkling the sparkling powder over the sleeping figures. Stooping low, he picked up a shield and flung it over his shoulder. Once again the old, fur clad Wizard’s movements brought him to where he had first entered the camp, through the forest. The half-asleep guard awakened faintly, to watch the little man in his queer dance, as he moved towards him. He made no effort to detain the Old One but merely stared in disbelief, as Arkin vanished into the forest once again. The guard stood dazed in disbelief at the sight and then rubbed away the sleep from his eyes, uncertain if he had been daydreaming.
THE INSTRUCTION OF PTAHHOTEP Part III Report your commission without faltering, Give your advice in your master’s council. If he is fluent in his speech, It will not be hard for the envoy to report, Nor will he be answered, "Who is he to know it ?” As to the master, his affairs will fail If he plans to punish him for it. He should be silent upon (hearing): "I have told.” If you are a man who leads. Whose authority reaches wide, You should do outstanding things, Remember the day that comes after. No strife will occur in the midst of honors, But where the crocodile enters hatred arises. If you are a man who leads. Listen calmly to the speech of one who pleads; Don’t stop him from purging his body Of that which he planned to tell. A man in distress wants to pour out his heart More than that his case be won. About him who stops a plea One says: “Why does he reject it ?” Not all one pleads for can be granted, But a good hearing soothes the heart. If you want friendship to endure In the house you enter As master, brother, or friend, In whatever place you enter, Beware of approaching the women! Unhappy is the place where it is done. Unwelcome is he who intrudes on them. A thousand men are turned away from their good: A short moment like a dream, Then death comes for having known them. Poor advice is “shoot the opponent,” When one goes to do it the heart rejects it. He who fails through lust of them, No affair of his can prosper. If you want a perfect conduct, To be free from every evil, Guard against the vice of greed: A grievous sickness without cure, There is no treatment for it. It embroils fathers, mothers, And the brothers of the mother, It parts wife from husband; It is a compound of all evils, A bundle of all hateful things. That man endures whose rule is rightness, Who walks a straight line; He will make a will by it, The greedy has no tomb. Do not be greedy in the division. Do not covet more than your share; Do not be greedy toward your kin. The mild has a greater claim than the harsh. Poor is he who shuns his kin, He is deprived of 'interchange' Even a little of what is craved Turns a quarreler into an amiable man. When you prosper and found your house, And love your wife with ardor, Fill her belly, clothe her back, Ointment soothes her body. Gladden her heart as long as you live, She is a fertile held for her lord. Do not contend with her in court, Keep her from power, restrain her — Her eye is her storm when she gazes — Thus will you make her stay in your house. Sustain your friends with what you have, You have it by the grace of god; Of him who fails to sustain his friends One says, “a selfish ka". One plans the morrow but knows not what will be, The ( right) ka is the ka by which one is sustained. If praiseworthy deeds are done, Friends will say, “welcome!” One does not bring supplies to town, One brings friends when there is need. Do not repeat calumny. Nor should you listen to it, It is the spouting of the hot-bellied. Report a thing observed, not heard, If it is negligible, don’t say anything. He who is before you recognizes worth. lf a seizure is ordered and carried out, Hatred will arise against him who seizes; Calumny is like a dream against which one covers the face. If you are a man of worth, Who sits in his master’s council. Concentrate on excellence, Your silence is better than chatter. Speak when you know you have a solution, It is the skilled who should speak in council; Speaking is harder than all other work. He who understands it makes it serve.
Miriam Lichtheim (Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms)
that everything that had ever happened to me had been a loving step in that process of my progression. every person, every circumstance, and every incident was custom created for me. It was as if the entire universe existed for my higher good and development. I felt so loved, so cherished, and so honored. I realized that not only was I being embraced by deity, but also that I myself was divine, and that we all are. I knew that there are no accidents in this life. That everything happens for a reason. yet we always get to choose how we will experience what happens to us here. I could exercise my will in everything, even in how I felt about the wreck and the death of my family members. God didn't want me to hurt and feel put upon as if my son and wife had been taken from me. He was simply there assisting me to decide how I was going to experience it. He was providing me with the opportunity, in perfect love, to exercise my personal agency in this entire situation. I knew my wife and son were gone. They had died months earlier, but time didn't exist where I was at that moment. rather than having them ripped away from me, I was being given the opportunity to actually hand them over to God. To let them go in peace, love, and gratitude. Everything suddenly made sense. Everything had divine order. I could give my son to God and not have him taken away from me. I felt my power as a creator and cocreator with God to literally let go of all that had happened to me. I held my baby son as God himself held me. I experienced the oneness of all of it. Time did not matter. Only love and order existed. Tamara and Griffin had come into my life as perfect teachers. And in leaving me in such a way, they continued as perfect teachers to bring me to that point of remembering who I was. remembering that I was created in God's image and actually came from Him. I was aware now that I could actually walk with God, empowered by what I was learning in my life. I felt the divine energy of the being behind me inviting me to let it all go and give Griffin to Him. In all that peace and knowledge, I hugged my little boy tightly one last time, kissed him on the cheek, and gently laid him back down in the crib. I willingly gave him up. No one would ever take him away from me again. He was mine. We were one, and I was one with God. As soon as I breathed in all that peace, I awoke, back into the pain and darkness of my hospital bed, but with greater perspective. I marveled at what I had just experienced. It was not just a dream. It felt too real. It was real to me, far more real than the pain, the grief, and my hospital bed. Griffin was alive in a place more real than anything here. And Tamara was there with him. I knew it. As the years have passed, I've often wondered how I could have put my son back in the crib the way I did. Maybe I should have held on and never let go. But in that place, it all made sense. I realized that no one ever really dies. We always live on. I had experienced a God as real and tangible as we are. He knows our every heartache, yet allows us to experience and endure them for our growth. His is the highest form of love; He allows us to become what we will. He watches as we create who we are. He allows us to experience life in a way that makes us more like Him, divine creators of our own destiny. My experience showed me purpose and order. I knew there was a master plan far greater than my limited earthly vision. I also learned that my choices were mine alone to make. I got to decide how I felt, and that made all the difference in the universe. even in this tragedy, I got to determine the outcome. I could choose to be a victim of what had happened or create something far greater.
Jeff Olsen (I Knew Their Hearts: The Amazing True Story of Jeff Olsen's Journey Beyond the Veil to Learn the Silent Language of the Heart)
PROLOGUE Some years ago in the Planet Orfheus ... It was dark when Lucius reached the rendezvous which had been chosen to be the new hideout. The latter had been used for several months and they were concerned that they were being followed and were close to being discovered. "I thought you were not coming. I've been waiting for you for almost an hour. I was getting anxious," Sofia said, relieved. "Sorry, love. It is becoming increasingly difficult. I almost didn't make it today. The troops were ambushed in the last invasion. Igor and many warriors returned seriously injured," Lucius replied. He looked worried. Why this sudden encounter? They had agreed that the next would be the following week. Lucius gave her a big hug, pulled her close to him, and remained silent for a few moments. His longing and desire consumed him. She meant the world to him. Without Sofia, his life would never make sense. He would never forget those eyes, serene and sincere, with a blue so bright and clear that were able to see the soul of the tormented warrior that was he. With her golden hair, Sofia looked like an angel. "Is there a problem? You're so quiet and deep in thought," she asked, puzzled. He answered, "I'm thinking about us. How long are we keeping it secret?" He walked away from her, sighing. "We can't keep lying and pretending that all is well. You have no idea how much I have to endure when you are away from me, or when I see you with him." "Love, not now. We have already discussed this subject several times. You know that our only alternative would be to flee and pray they will never find us," she replied. Sofia knew very well that the laws of the kingdom could not be disregarded. Love, respect, and loyalty were key factors that were part of the hierarchy of Orfheus. Although she had always been in love with Lucius who had never shown any interest in her, Sofia was bound to his brother Alex as a result of a pact. Over the centuries, Lucius began to change and express loving feelings for her. She never ceased to love him and both succumbed to the temptation and passion of it. Inevitably, a love affair developed between the two. Interrupting her thoughts, Lucius grabbed her by the hand and led her into the hut. This hut was located inside a vast and beautiful forest. He pulled her by the waist, gave her a passionate kiss, stroked her hair, and said softly, "Love, I missed you so much." "I also felt homesick but the real reason I came here today is to tell you something very important. I need you to listen carefully and keep calm," she said as she ran her hands through her hair which contrasted with her pale skin. Sofia did not want to scare him. However, she imagined that he would be upset and angry with the news. Unfortunately, the revelation was inevitable and sooner or later, everything would come out. "I'm pregnant," she said unceremoniously. For a brief moment, Lucius said nothing. He just stared at her without any reaction. He seemed to be in a silent battle with his own thoughts. "But how?" he babbled, not believing what he had just heard. It was surely a bombshell revelation. That would be the end for them. Sofia said, "Stay calm, love. I know this changes everything. What we were planning for months is no longer possible." She sat on a makeshift stool and continued with tears in her eyes. "With the baby coming, I cannot simply go through the portal. The baby and I would die during the crossing." Lucius replied, "Could we ask for help from Aunt Wilda? She is very powerful. Probably she would be able to break through the magic of the portals." Sofia had already thought of that. She was well aware that it was the only choice left. Aunt Wilda had always been like a mother to her. The sorceress adopted her when she was a girl, soon after her family had died in combat.
Gisele de Assis
Afterlife It takes both hands to unfix the spike he drove into the fence post, worrying dirt loose from around its base. A spider spins the ache in my throat. If he were here, what would he be doing? I torch a phonebook, watching the names and numbers burn. I feel the fallen phone line, the horned lark crushed in the mailbox's rusty throat. Weevils become the dream work of fields, the old shack set back in the tree line. I'm tired of the corn, their fibrous heads. I'm tired of the white cocoon in the old jam jar, the fruit bat brimming with darkness. Barbed wire, concrete slab, slag in the rusty water. I walk the yard of Holsteins, dewlaps quivering, nerves pulsing in the udders. Two miles away the Wal-Mart is going in, barns giving way to Pizza Hut, Penguin Point. I look across the silent field. The plow is hard. My heart is hard. Dirt. Distance. It does not end.
Bruce Snider (Paradise, Indiana)
into creating an environment where we were always well fed and entertained, likely with the hope we’d never want to move away from it. He even got me a dog, an affable, cinnamon-colored shepherd mutt we called Rex. Per my mother’s orders, Rex wasn’t allowed to live at our house, but I’d visit him all the time at Southside’s, lying on the floor with my face buried in his soft fur, listening to his tail thwap appreciatively anytime Southside walked past. Southside spoiled the dog the same way he spoiled me, with food and love and tolerance, all of it a silent, earnest plea never to leave him. My father’s family, meanwhile, sprawled across
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Europe, so vociferous in her support during the Maidan protests, has subsequently fallen silent and walked away, preferring to profit from trade with Russia. Money matters more than democracy.
Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine Diaries)
these days I’m thinking of giving you a son. Hua’s going to be big soon, and she can help me. Don’t you want a son?” For a moment he remained silent. Then he said, “No, I don’t need a son. Hua’s good enough for me. My brother has three sons. Let them carry on the family line. It’s a feudal idea anyway.” “Don’t you think of our old age? When we’re old and can’t move about and work the fields, we’ll need a son to help us. You’re always away, this home needs a man.” “We are not old yet. Besides, Hua will help us when she grows up. Don’t worry.” “A girl isn’t a reliable thing. She belongs to someone else after she’s married.” He said no more, amazed by a sudden realization that if she were Manna, he might embrace and kiss her, calling her “Little Treasure” or “Sugar Ball,” but he did not know what to do with Shuyu, whom he had kissed only in the darkness a long time ago. Now any intimacy with her would be unnatural. She stood up and walked away, her shoulders drooping more.
Ha Jin (Waiting)
[Love Wasn’t as They Said] Love wasn’t as they said… It didn’t last forever as they claimed… It is fleeting moments only recognized By those with sight and insight… And perhaps only captured By those patiently waiting as if to see a lightning in the sky… And, like lightning perhaps, we never know Where love goes after it strikes… And perhaps the only love that lasts Is one that know when to stay and when to walk away… ** Love wasn’t synonymous with honor As they defined honor... It is often the awareness that falls upon us After betraying or letting down the loved ones… Love wasn’t holding hands forever, It is boring afternoons spent together With no words And no activities… It wasn’t lifetime sexual attraction As many claimed… It is the companionship that remains After the hormonal fires are put out, When the noises of immaturity go silent, And after the childish quarrels and squabbles stop… It is the home that remains erected Long after getting erectile dysfunction… It that appetite for life after the last egg from the last period… It is that strange feeling of elation That may come after what is mistakenly called a “midlife crisis”, To fill that frightening gap between hope and reality… ** Love a widow brushing her hair, On a bus or in a public place, Unbothered by onlookers or passersby, As she opens her shabby handbag And takes out an apple to bite on With the teeth she has left… Love is an eye surrounded with wrinkles But is finally able to see the world Sensitively, insightfully, and more realistically, Without exaggerated embellishment or distortion… ** Love is shreds of joy Interspersed with long intervals Of boredom, exhaustion, reproach, and disappointment… It’s not measured with red flowers, bears, and expensive gifts in shiny wraps, It is who remains when the glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are high… It’s those who stay after the heart catheterization and knee replacement surgeries… Love gets stronger after getting osteoporosis And may move mountains despite the rheumatism… ** Love is the few seconds when our eyes cross with strangers Who awaken in us feelings we hadn’t experienced with those living with us in years… Or perhaps it’s rubbing arms and shoulders with a passenger On a bus, in a train, or on a plane… It is that fleeting look from a passerby in the street Convey to us that they, too, have understood the game, But there’s not much they can do about it… ** Love wasn’t as they said It wasn’t as they said… It is not 1+1=2… It is sometimes three or more… At other times, it grows at point zero or lower, In solitude, in loneliness, and in seclusion… Isn’t it time, I wonder, to demolish everything falsely, unfairly, and misleadingly attributed to love? Or is it that love burns and dies Precisely when we try to capture it in our hands? [Original poem published in Arabic on October 27, 2022 at]
Louis Yako
[Love Wasn’t as They Said] Love wasn’t as they said… It didn’t last forever as they claimed… It is fleeting moments only recognized By those with sight and insight… And perhaps only captured By those patiently waiting as if to see a lightning in the sky… And, like lightning perhaps, we never know Where love goes after it strikes… And perhaps the only love that lasts Is one that know when to stay and when to walk away… ** Love wasn’t synonymous with honor As they defined honor... It is often the awareness that falls upon us After betraying or letting down the loved ones… Love wasn’t holding hands forever, It is boring afternoons spent together With no words And no activities… It wasn’t lifetime sexual attraction As many claimed… It is the companionship that remains After the hormonal fires are put out, When the noises of immaturity go silent, And after the childish quarrels and squabbles stop… It is the home that remains erected Long after getting erectile dysfunction… It that appetite for life after the last egg from the last period… It is that strange feeling of elation That may come after what is mistakenly called a “midlife crisis”, To fill that frightening gap between hope and reality… ** Love is a widow brushing her hair, On a bus or in a public place, Unbothered by onlookers or passersby, As she opens her shabby handbag And takes out an apple to bite on With the teeth she has left… Love is an eye surrounded with wrinkles But is finally able to see the world Sensitively, insightfully, and more realistically, Without exaggerated embellishment or distortion… ** Love is shreds of joy Interspersed with long intervals Of boredom, exhaustion, reproach, and disappointment… It’s not measured with red flowers, bears, and expensive gifts in shiny wraps, It is who remains when the glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are high… It’s those who stay after the heart catheterization and knee replacement surgeries… Love gets stronger after getting osteoporosis And may move mountains despite the rheumatism… ** Love is the few seconds when our eyes cross with strangers Who awaken in us feelings we hadn’t experienced with those living with us in years… Or perhaps it’s rubbing arms and shoulders with a passenger On a bus, in a train, or on a plane… It is that fleeting look from a passerby in the street Convey to us that they, too, have understood the game, But there’s not much they can do about it… ** Love wasn’t as they said It wasn’t as they said… It is not 1+1=2… It is sometimes three or more… At other times, it grows at point zero or lower, In solitude, in loneliness, and in seclusion… Isn’t it time, I wonder, to demolish everything falsely, unfairly, and misleadingly attributed to love? Or is it that love burns and dies Precisely when we try to capture it in our hands? [Original poem published in Arabic on October 27, 2022 at]
Louis Yako
[Silent Messages] I’ve lost track of all the times I have passed by married couples or lovers Dinning at fancy upscale restaurants in foreign cities When the woman sitting across the table from her lover Gives me that quick look Conveying in a painful silence That she no longer loves him, That she wishes she were elsewhere… And each time, I respond with an equally silent look: Why are you there? Why don’t you turn this dinner table of triviality on him, And on everything that happened and is happening And just walk away? [Original poem published in Arabic on November 8, 2022 at]
Louis Yako
Smedley would fall victim to the same fate. Louise looked away as her mind played tricks on her – the memory of Victoria’s broken body on the rocks, replaced by a vision of Emily in the same situation. She hurried down the stone pathway as if she could outrun the image. She was breathless by the time she reached the bottom. Getting her breath back, she ordered a take-away coffee from the small café. Paul called as she walked across the gravel car park. She let her phone ring until she reached the car, answering it as she leant against the driver’s door. ‘Paul.’ ‘Was it your idea to let Mum and Dad take Emily?’ he said, by way of greeting. Louise considered hanging up. There was no talking to him when he was like this but she was so agitated at the moment that she welcomed the ensuing argument. ‘We could have let her sleep on the streets if that would have made you happier?’ ‘Don’t be ridiculous. They had no right to take her.’ ‘Can you even hear yourself, Paul? You were too drunk to collect your daughter from school. Too drunk. Dad couldn’t even rouse you when he went to see you. Can’t you understand that?’ The line went silent and she was about to hang up when Paul said, ‘I made a mistake.
Matt Brolly (The Descent (Detective Louise Blackwell #2))
We soon arrive at the sandy trail that leads to the caretaker’s cabin, and the red wolf intern directs people to the parking area. People file out of their cars silently and gather around Kim. She waits till everyone is there and then explains that she is going to walk about a quarter of a mile down the trail to Sandy Ridge, where she’ll howl at the wolves inside. She tells us that sometimes it takes a few howls to get them interested, but we should hold tight and hope that they’ll howl back. Last week, she says, people heard one of the pups howl back. She sets off down the dark path with her flashlight aimed at the ground so as not to spook the wolves. We stand in a pool of weak, wobbly light cast from people’s flashlights and head lamps. The forest darkness encircles us. A few minutes later, we hear Kim’s call pierce the night air. The buzz and drone of insects create a background of uneven noise that I strain to filter out. I hear Kim howl again, and everyone around me seems to be holding their breath and trying not to move. We listen and wait for an answer. Nothing. Kim tries again. No response. I wonder what the people in the crowd are thinking. Is this all just a sham? Just another tourist attraction? Kim makes a fourth howl, and then it starts. A lone howl rises, forlorn and low. It meanders through a few octaves and claws higher and higher. It trails into a thin high-pitched note, and then a second and a third howl pick up at lower pitches. People in the crowd gasp, some lean forward straining to hear. Within thirty seconds, a parade of howls sings loudly from the dark woods. It is hard to believe the wolves are a few hundred yards away. They sound much closer, perhaps less than a hundred feet. Kim walks back to the crowd, flashlight downturned on the ground. Howls waft from somewhere behind her, persistent but not aggressive. The wolves sing. They sing to each other as much as they sing to us. One pitch stands out from the others, higher, thinner, and much lighter. It must be the pup. I imagine him standing next to his parents, watching them throw their heads back and open their jaws wide, letting loose with a call that says, “Here we are! Where are you? Here we are!” And the pup joins in, calling, “I’m here too! I’m here too!” I don’t know exactly what these wolves are saying, of course, but it is difficult to imagine the howling being anything other than a communication to locate other packs or individuals, a way to call out to the night and exclaim: I am here, and I know how to take care of myself so well that I’m going to let you know that I’m here! And my mate is here, and my kids are here. We are all here together in this place that is ours.
T. DeLene Beeland (The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf)
She believed the relationship would work He wanted her to do all the work for the relationship She believed adjustments needed to be made He wanted her to improve for the sake of it She was in pain, she was suffering because of the hardships He told her the hardships were because of her. She tolerated all the abuse silently, verbal and psychological; He abused her every single time that he could She grew tired of it, finally - Started to ignore his tantrums He intensified the tantrums; She told him she was depressed He told her he was depressed It was a battle of emotions To see who wins in the end. It was not a relationship anymore, It was a game, to prove who is suffering more. She lost her calm, made it clear that she cannot take it anymore He walked away, like he always did - He made sure people knew he suffered ‘thanks’ to her She did not know what to do, What step next to take He knew exactly what he had to do - He knew the ways He pulled out his sword of manipulation Scared the other family members so much That she was scared as well - And decided to give it another chance. She’d done enough to bring herself out of the loop And finally she walked into another one willingly Because for her, the relationship mattered - She failed to see the manipulation; For her it seemed like his love for her. Promises were made - He said he’d change, She believed. Because she still wants the relationship to work - And he knows it well. Amidst all this drama between the couple In some corner, an alone child suffers - And - learns that tantrums give favourable results. In some corner, a child grows up - Trying to understand the complexities of a relationship The dynamics of it and its worthiness In some tender-mind corner, a doubt grows - Is it all worth in the end? Meanwhile - The calm after the storm continues No one bothers to see what the storm has damaged Fresh efforts are put in - She believes the relationship can work He knows he still has the control. Things might continue the same - For how long, no one knows - Why? No one knows. But it does - While others stand spectators - Trying to understand the dynamics of the relationship.
Arti Honrao
For the next two hours, he would toy with her, giving her a chance to repent. Whether she did or not made no difference. He fingered the knife in his pocket. The blade was sharp and tonight she would feel it. Her time would run out an hour before sunrise. As with the others, he would weigh down her body with a cement block. Barely alive, she would struggle against death as they all had. The water would fill her lungs. The last thing she would see on this earth would be his eyes, the eyes of her murderer. How long would it take before her family, her friends reported her missing? A day, possibly two? Surely no longer. Then the search would begin. He would watch the news reports, recording them all on his DVR. In a week or two, some tourist or jogger would spot a floater in the Potomac. All evidence washed away, she would be just another woman executed by the D.C. Killer. He would add her disc to his collection. He whiled away the time thinking about his first kill. She had lounged in her bath, thinking she was alone. When he entered the bathroom, she smiled. The expression on his face made her smile falter. He came at her, grasping her by the shoulders. He pushed her down, holding her struggling body under. Her eyes wide with terror, she tried to plead with her murderer, to ask her husband “Why?” He sank her body in the Potomac, the first victim of the D.C. Killer. The door opened. Shannon Miller stood in the breach, surveying the parking lot. Nervous, she started to go back inside, then changed her mind. She peered toward him, her eyes straining to penetrate the mist and gloom. He was a shadow, invisible to her. Seeing no threat, she stepped out, locked the door and hurried across the deserted lot to her car, a red Toyota with more rust than red. The tap-tap of her high heels pulsated on the cracked asphalt. The beat of her shoes matched the throb of his heart. He could hear her heavy, fearful breathing. He smiled. The moon scurried behind the clouds as if hiding its face in horror. He was an avenger, a messenger of God. His mission was to rid the nation's capital of immoral women. Fearing him, prostitutes now walked the streets in pairs. Even in their terror, they still pursued their wicked trade. At times he saw them huddled in groups of three or four. They reminded him of children in a thunderstorm. Like a spirit, he crept in her direction. The only light was cast by the Miller Lite sign and a distant street lamp. The light in the parking lot had burned out weeks ago, throwing it into darkness. He stalked her as a lion does its prey. He moved slowly, silently, low to the ground, keeping the car between them. His dark running suit blended with the night. He was the Dark Angel, the Angel of Death. In another life, he had passed over Egypt, killing the firstborn of those condemned by God. Her eyes darted in every direction, still she didn't see him. He was invisible. Her hands shook as she tried to get the key in the door. The 11 o'clock news reported that another one had been found. If he stuck with his pattern, the D.C. Killer would strike again tonight. By morning a woman would be dead. She prayed it wouldn’t be her. She fumbled, dropping the key ring. She stooped to pick it up, her head turning in every direction, her ears alert to every sound. Now, without seeing him, she sensed him. She lowered her eyes, trying again, successfully this time. She turned the key. There was a click. She sighed, unaware that she had been holding her breath. The dome light flashed as she opened the door. He was on her in an instant. Their bodies slammed against the door. The light blinked out. He held her in an iron grip with one hand over her mouth and the blade poking into her
Darrell Case
I want to silently look in the eyes of all those caught up in situations, places, and unfulfilling lives from which they still have no courage to walk away.
Louis Yako
The Cats in the City Location: an Arab city. Time: the age of defeat. The twenty-first century. General atmosphere: “fancy” neighborhoods. Expensive houses painted in tombstone colors. Beautiful and well-maintained gardens. Flowers that no one dares to smell. Imported cars. Imported devices. Imported clothes. Imported foods. Endless consumer shops for anything and everything. Between every other restaurant, there are shops selling cosmetics and souvenirs. Between every other consumer market, There is a worship place. All consumer shops are built skillfully On the scab of the same old wound; A wound that can flood the city with blood and death With the slightest fingernail scratch. As I walk farther from the city, The consumer shops vanish. The lights are suddenly dimmed. The cheering and the hustle and bustle of the consumers go silent. I see myself in total darkness. I am alone hearing nothing but the sounds of my footsteps, And the meows of hungry stray street cats, Covered with the ashes of daily existence. A thin and hungry cat approaches me, She meows in despair and starvation, Begging me for her bite of the day (or the week?) I throw her a small piece of my sandwich. She picks it up and runs away To celebrate her temporary gains! She leaves me alone wondering in darkness: What reflects the reality of this city more The 'fancy' neighborhoods I saw earlier, Or the starving cats in the darkness? June 8, 2014
Louis Yako (أنا زهرة برية [I am a Wildflower])
She walked into the center of the stage, and stopped, and caught her breath at the shock. She could feel the auditorium in front of her, the huge empty space making the sound that velvet would make if it could snore. It wasn’t silence. A stage is never silent. It was the noise produced by a million other sounds that have never quite died away—the thunder of applause, the overtures, the arias. They poured down . . . fragments of tunes, lost chords, snatches of song.
Terry Pratchett (Maskerade (Discworld, #18))
Only as a young man playing pool all night for money had he been able to find what he wanted in life, and then only briefly. People thought pool hustling was corrupt and sleazy, worse than boxing. But to win at pool, to be a professional at it, you had to deliver. In a business you could pretend that skill and determination had brought you along, when it had only been luck and muddle. A pool hustler did not have the freedom to believe that. There were well-paid incompetents everywhere living rich lives. They arrogated to themselves the plush hotel suites and Lear Jets that America provided for the guileful and lucky far more than it did for the wise. You could fake and bluff and luck your way into all of it. Hotel suites overlooking Caribbean private beaches. Bl*wj*bs from women of stunning beauty. Restaurant meals that it took four tuxedoed waiters to serve, with the sauces just right. The lamb or duck in tureen sliced with precise and elegant thinness, sitting just so on the plate, the plate facing you just so on the heavy white linen, the silver fork heavy gleaming in your manicured hand below the broad cloth cuff and mother of pearl buttons. You could get that from luck and deceit even while causing the business or the army or the government that supported you to do poorly at what it did. The world and all its enterprises could slide downhill through stupidity and bad faith. But the long gray limousines would still hum through the streets of New York, of Paris, of Moscow, of Tokyo. Though the men who sat against the soft leather in back with their glasses of 12-year-old scotch might be incapable of anything more than looking important, of wearing the clothes and the hair cuts and the gestures that the world, whether it liked to or not, paid for, and always had paid for. Eddie would lie in bed sometimes at night and think these things in anger, knowing that beneath the anger envy lay like a swamp. A pool hustler had to do what he claimed to be able to do. The risks he took were not underwritten. His skill on the arena of green cloth, cloth that was itself the color of money, could never be only pretense. Pool players were often cheats and liars, petty men whose lives were filled with pretensions, who ran out on their women and walked away from their debts. But on the table with the lights overhead beneath the cigarette smoke and the silent crowd around them in whatever dive of a billiard parlor at four in the morning, they had to find the wherewithal inside themselves to do more than promise excellence. Under whatever lies might fill the life, the excellence had to be there, it had to be delivered. It could not be faked. But Eddie did not make his living that way anymore.
Walter Tevis (The Color of Money (Eddie Felson, #2))
A few minutes later, the old woman had led the fated eight from the cave and across a small meadow of purple grass and orange flowers. When they walked around a large boulder, her house came into view: it was a gigantic baked potato with a door and windows. Carl gasped and rushed toward the house. He fell to his knees and raised his arms to heaven in silent praise. Then, he leaned forward and began to eat the wall of the house. “You actually do live inside of a baked potato!” said Porkins. “How fun!” “Stop eating my house,” shouted the old lady, giving Carl a quick swat with her wooden stick. Carl backed away from the house. “When we get back to our world, I’m making myself a baked potato house no matter what.” “You’d be homeless in a week or less, old bean,” said Porkins. “You’d give new meaning to the expression to eat yourself out of house and home.
Dr. Block (Dave the Villager and Surfer Villager: Crossover Crisis, Book One: An Unofficial Minecraft Adventure (Dave Villager and Dr. Block Crossover, #1))
The two men sat silently, glowering across the table at one another, neither one having a clue what they were volunteering for. I held up my finger. “As you may recall, this whole mess started because a patient asked for my help. It’s my fault that both of you are involved.” Con turned his eyes on me, his face clouding over. “Your point being?” “My point being that both of you could, and should, walk away right now,” I said. “Bollocks!” Con thundered. “I’ve been in love with you since the day we met. If anything happens to you, I’ll lose my will to live. So no, I can’t walk away.
Anise Eden
And now, for the first time, the Lion was quite silent. He was going to and fro among the animals. And every now and then he would go up to two of them (always two at a time) and touch their noses with his. He would touch two beavers among all the beavers, two leopards among all the leopards, one stag and one deer among all the deer, and leave the rest. Some sorts of animal he passed over altogether. But the pairs which he had touched instantly left their own kinds and followed him. At last he stood still and all the creatures whom he had touched came and stood in a wide circle around him. The others whom he had not touched began to wander away. Their noises faded gradually into the distance. The chosen beasts who remained were now utterly silent, all with their eyes fixed intently upon the Lion. The cat-like ones gave an occasional twitch of the tail but otherwise all were still. For the first time that day there was complete silence, except for the noise of running water. Digory’s heart beat wildly; he knew something very solemn was going to be done. He had not forgotten about his Mother, but he knew jolly well that, even for her, he couldn’t interrupt a thing like this. The Lion, whose eyes never blinked, stared at the animals as hard as if he was going to burn them up with his mere stare. And gradually a change came over them. The smaller ones—the rabbits, moles, and such-like—grew a good deal larger. The very big ones—you noticed it most with the elephants—grew a little smaller. Many animals sat up on their hind legs. Most put their heads on one side as if they were trying very hard to understand. The Lion opened his mouth, but no sound came from it; he was breathing out, a long, warm breath; it seemed to sway all the beasts as the wind sways a line of trees. Far overhead from beyond the veil of blue sky which hid them the stars sang again; a pure, cold, difficult music. Then there came a swift flash like fire (but it burnt nobody) either from the sky or from the Lion itself, and every drop of blood tingled in the children’s bodies, and the deepest, wildest voice they had ever heard was saying: “Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.
C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection: All 7 Books Plus Bonus Book: Boxen)
The best reaction to anger is to just be silent and walk away
James Hilton
It was something in the tone of the madmen and their type of formation. They were a scratch company of barbarians and slaves and poor and unimportant people; but their formation was military; they moved together and were very absolute about who and what was really a part of their little system; and about what they said. However mildly, there was a ring like iron. Men used to many mythologies and moralities could make no analysis of the mystery, except the curious conjecture that they meant what they said. All attempts to make them see reason in the perfectly simple matter of the Emperor’s statue seemed to be spoken to deaf men. It was as if a new meteoric metal had fallen on the earth; it was a difference of substance to the touch. Those who touched their foundation fancied they had struck a rock. With a strange rapidity, like the changes of a dream, the proportions of things seemed to change in their presence. Before most men knew what had happened, these few men were palpably present. They were important enough to be ignored. People became suddenly silent about them and walked stiffly past them. We see a new scene, in which the world has drawn its skirts away from these men and women and they stand in the centre of a great space like lepers. The scene changes again and the great space where they stand is overhung on every side with a cloud of witnesses, interminable terraces full of faces looking down towards them intently; for strange things are happening to them. New tortures have been invented for the madmen who have brought good news. That sad and weary society seems almost to find a new energy in establishing its first religious persecution. Nobody yet knows very clearly why that level world has thus lost its balance about the people in its midst; but they stand unnaturally still while the arena and the world seem to revolve round them. And there shone on them in that dark hour a light that has never been darkened; a white fire clinging to that group like an unearthly phosphorescence, blazing its track through the twilights of history and confounding every effort to confound it with the mists of mythology and theory; that shaft of light or lightning by which the world itself has struck and isolated and crowned it; by which its own enemies have made it more illustrious and its own critics have made it more inexplicable; the halo of hatred around the Church of God.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors. The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside. Sure of my life and my death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them. Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air. Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack. They speak of humanity. My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty. They speak of homeland. My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old        sword, the willow grove’s visible prayer as evening falls. Time is living me. More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude. They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow. My name is someone and anyone. I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive. —Jorge Luis Borges
Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss)
grief, that most dreaded of teachers, does not come empty-handed. Though she may violently be sweeping away much of what you’ve known and loved, she also comes bearing precious gifts. As she offers to carve greater depths of kindness, compassion, wisdom, and courage into the core of who you are, it’s sometimes best to just surrender yourself to her agenda. You might even invite her to stay for a while and at least try to become friends, recognizing that something beautiful is seeking to wake up in your life as a result of her presence. When you are walking through the blackest of nights, and journeying through the thick of the woods, all there is to do, really, is to learn to love the silent softness of the moonlight, as Life miraculously finds a way to light your way home one step at a time.
Katherine Woodward Thomas (Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After)
I narrow my eyes at him, taking a small step backwards to put some distance between us, because his nearness is muddling me almost as much as his words. ‘He might not say or do any of those things, Kit, but he does keep his promises. He wouldn’t walk away and not come back.’ ‘I did come back,’ Kit says under his breath. I shrug. For a few moments we stand there watching each other. My fingers hurt from gripping my sides so much. I’m trying not to cry, but with each breath it feels as if the sob is going to come tearing out of me. ‘It’s too late,’ I finally say. ‘OK,’ Kit says after a beat. I watch him struggle to compose his face. ‘I’d better be going then,’ he says. ‘I’m sorry.’ And after all those words, with me watching him half in disbelief and half in horror, words rising mute up my throat and bursting silent on my tongue, I watch him walk away. Does he not see? I want to scream and call him back. I was just testing him. I don’t want him to leave. I want him to stay – to fight for me, to prove to me that he really means it, that he isn’t ever going to walk away again. But he’s failed the test. ‘That’s right,’ I whisper as he walks towards his bike. ‘Walk away. That’s what you’re good at.
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
She walked to the doorway of Alexander’s room and said, “Rise, my brother.” “Go away.” Alexander rolled over, moaning. “I’m busy. Digesting.” Gemma silently walked to her brother’s bedside and flashed a great light in his face, saying, “Alexander! The time has come for us to leave this land!” “All right! All right! I’m coming! Ahhhh!” Alexander leapt out of bed and ran down the halls. He looked terrified. Gemma ran after him and laid a hand on his shoulder, saying, “Alex, calm down. Please.” “Oh, wait. You aren’t going to kill me?” “Are you kidding me?” Gemma grimaced, but them they both doubled over with laughter.
Isabella Auer (Daughter of Kings)
Go away! All of you! Just get the hell away from me!” I turned on my heel, the sodden folds of my nightgown clinging to my legs like wet spider webs. “Regina! Don’t be an idiot!” Konner growled, his boots and cane raggedly thumping behind me. I walked faster, lengthening my stride no matter how much my thighs screamed in protest, until a hand latched on my shoulder. “No! You don’t get to say anything!” Using my finger like a sword, I jabbed my finger in the center of his chest. Freya’s jaws snapping closed with a loud pop, barely missing my fingertip by seconds as her long neck stretched out towards my hand. “You could have avoided all this by seeing it! You have that magic, if you wouldn’t be so stupid and use it!” The seeping rain slowed, turning into a fine shower of mist straight from the heavens above, and it dripped off the tightly carved lines of his face pulled sharp with tension. He was silent, still as stone, with nothing but the slight heave of his shoulders even proof that he was alive. His eyes dropped from my face, the uneven shadow of blonde hair hiding them from my sight. Part of his neck bobbed with the effort of a heavy swallow, like he had something stuck, and the tentative flicker of something else across face made me take a step back. A flash of anger, chilled by fear, a few tiny cracks started to appear in his stoic mask. Ones that I’m not sure why, but they made a strange ache start to stab deep in my heart. “Do you love him?” So soft that it was nearly lost in the rolling thunder, I would have missed it if I hadn’t seen his lips move. “Yes. No! I don’t know!” I shook my head in disbelief. I didn’t love Ivo, not like that. But I couldn’t lose him either. “He’s my friend! My best friend! Why does it matter?” “I see. It matters more than you know.” Konner drawled slowly, the thick muscles of his shoulders rolling in a shrug that sent rivers of rainwater coursing down his chest. Mixing with the streaks of bloody red and ash grey in a ghoulish highlight to his muscles, the water slowly pooled in the ruined fabric of his shirt, further pulling it down his shoulders. He led out a heavy sigh, then suddenly straightened to the full length of his imposing height. Shoulders back and spine stiff. Then he straightened, drawing himself up to his full imposing height, and clasped his right arm across his chest. With his clenched fist resting right over his heart, he slowly lowered himself down to one knee at my feet, bowing his head over until it nearly touched my thighs. “Then I’ll get him back for you. I swear it on my life!
Clair Gardenwell (Foxgloves Are For Deception (Stand With Me #1))
Men stumbled away toward illusions in the brutal light. Men thought they were home, walking into their front doors, hugging their wives, making love. Still they walked. Men were swimming. Men were killing Mendez. Men were on the beach, collecting shells and watching their children splash. Their women stood naked before them, soft bellies, hands on ribs, breasts. Men hid their faces from a furious God. And they walked. A voice was heard in the light-shatter, saying “He’s going to die. Lay him down here and let him die. Keep walking.” The desert, out of focus and suddenly terribly sharp, burst white and yellow in their eyes. It tilted. Elongated. It was at an impossible angle! It tipped up towards the sun, and if they didn’t crawl, they would slide right off it and fall forever. It made noise: there were engines beneath the desert. It made evil grinding noises, mechanical humming. No, it was insectile, the screech of hunger and derision. The devils were under the rocks, spitting insults. The black head laughed. I believe in God the father, creator of heaven and earth. No, it did not fucking laugh—- it was silent as a graveyard out there. Just the crunch and slide, crunch and slide, of endless hopeless footsteps. Hundreds of footsteps.
Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
Since the summer’s end, I’ve reconnected with my first love again: time alone in the quiet stillness of nature to think, walk, write, and dream. It’s in those times apart, away from normal life, where my spirit is refreshed and renewed. It’s in the quiet, solitary, and often silent times that I feel the most connected to life, the most alive, the most at peace, and the closest to the divine. I feel like my spirit has been renewed, and I’ve been completely reborn.
Leo Solstrom (Northern Lights)
She covered his mouth with her hand. Then she kissed him. For a long silent moment no words were necessary. She pushed away, a dangerous half-smile on her face. Shaking her head in the negative, she spoke softly. “No. Say nothing more. I’ll not have you fog my mind again with honeyed words.” She slowly walked to the door and opened it. “Guards!” she called and in an instant a pair appeared. Pointing at an astonished Laurie, she said, “Don’t let him move! If he tries to leave, sit on him!” Carline vanished from sight down the hall, and the guards turned amused expressions on Laurie. He sighed and sat down quietly upon his bed. A few minutes later the Princess was back, an irritated Father Tully in tow. The old prelate had his night robe hastily gathered about him, as he had been almost ready for sleep. Lyam, looking equally inconvenienced, followed his sister. Laurie fell backward onto the bed with an audible groan as Carline marched into the room and pointed at him. “He told me he wants to marry me!” Laurie sat up. Lyam regarded his sister with an astonished expression. “Should I congratulate him or have him hung? From your tone it’s difficult to tell.
Raymond E. Feist (Silverthorn (The Riftwar Saga, #3))
Then, as she turned to walk away, Fred dropped the guillotine. “So we’re making Ev CEO,” he said, his fork clenched in his hand. “You’re going to get a passive chairman role and a silent board seat. We have some paperwork for you and a recommendation for a lawyer.” Jack felt like he had just been hit in the face with a baseball bat. “Say that again,” he stuttered to Fred, thinking he had heard incorrectly. Fred repeated himself almost verbatim: We’re making Ev CEO. You’re getting a passive chairman role. You will have a silent board seat. Here’s the paperwork. Call a lawyer.
Nick Bilton (Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal)
Eventually, in an attempt to avoid his nightmares, he began to read, late at night, which was when his motionless body felt most restless, his mind agile and clear. Yet he refused to read the Russians his grandfather had brought to his bedside, or any novels, for that matter. Those books, set in countries he had never seen, reminded him only of his confinement. Instead he read his engineering books, trying his best to keep up with his courses, solving equations by flashlight. In those silent hours, he thought often of Ghosh. “Pack a pillow and a blanket,” he heard Ghosh say. He remembered the address Ghosh had written on a page of his diary, somewhere behind the tram depot in Tollygunge. Now it was the home of a widow, a fatherless son. Each day, to bolster his spirits, his family reminded him of the future, the day he would stand unassisted, walk across the room. It was for this, each day, that his father and mother prayed. For this that his mother gave up meat on Wednesdays. But as the months passed, Ashoke began to envision another sort of future. He imagined not only walking, but walking away, as far as he could from the place in which he was born and in which he had nearly died. The following year, with the aid of a cane, he returned to college and graduated, and without telling his parents he applied to continue his engineering studies abroad.
If she insists on keeping that animal, the least she can do is behave respectfully and stop shacking up with this limping has-been.” A.J. gasped and watched as Devlin, who had been silent, closed the distance between himself and Peter. Her step-brother’s response was priceless. He looked like someone who’d stepped into the path of an avalanche. “I’m going to do you a favor,” Devlin growled, “and forget you ever said that.” Turning to A.J. and her father, he continued with a disarming softness. “I think this argument is best left between family members. However astounding it is to witness the collective wisdom of the Sutherlands, I’d rather do something more constructive. Like watch paint dry.” He turned and began walking away. A.J. immediately went after him, reaching out and taking his arm. “I’m sorry he’s such a—” Devlin carefully removed her hand. “I think you better settle this with your family first. Then we can deal with what’s going on between you and me.” After he’d dissolved into the crowd, A.J. wheeled on her stepbrother. “If I didn’t think he’d give you a shiner that would clash with your Day-Glo tie, I’d demand you go and apologize.
J.R. Ward (Leaping Hearts)
She walked over to a car that was covered with a drape, pulling it away to reveal a dark-red Mustang Boss 429. “Holy crap, I haven’t seen one of those in years,” I said with more than a little bit of excitement. “I think it’ll make enough of an entrance to turn heads. Might even help get us in.” She grabbed a pair of keys from a well-organized key rack and threw them over to me. A few seconds later the car’s engine was roaring with joy as a smile broke my face. Caitlin took a garage door opener from her tiny purse and clicked it open as she got into the car next to me. “Do you feel all manly?” she asked. “I’m so goddamn manly, you better make sure you don’t get pregnant just by being in my proximity.
Steve McHugh (With Silent Screams (Hellequin Chronicles, #3))
Seven Days In Sunny June" The pebbles you've arranged In the sand, they're strange They speak to me like constellations As we lie here There's a magic I can hold Your smile of honey gold And that you never seem to be in short supply of [Chorus:] Oooh, so baby let's get it on Drinking wine and killing time Sitting in the summer sun You know I've wanted you so long Why do you have to Drop that bomb on me? Lazy days, crazy dolls You said we've been friends too long Seven days in sunny June Were long enough to bloom The flowers on the summer dress you wore in spring The way we laughed as one And then you dropped the bomb That I've known you too long For us to have a thing [Chorus x2] Could it be this? The stories in your eyes The silent wings You'll fly away on Seven days in sunny June Were long enough to bloom The flowers on the sunbeam dress you wore in spring Yeah, yeah, the way we laughed as one Why did you drop the bomb on me? [Chorus] Could it be this? The honeysuckle blessings you seem to show me Could it be this? For seven days in June I wasn't lonely Could it be this? You never gave me time to say I love you Could it be this? I know you don't believe me but it's so true Don't walk away from me, girl I read the sories in your eyes Don't you walk away from me, girl I read the sories in your eyes Don't you walk away from me, girl I read the sories in your eyes Don't you walk away I read the sories in your eyes And you've been telling me We've been friends for too long Why do you want to drop the bomb? Telling me We've been friends for too long Why do you want to drop the bomb? You tell me we've been friends for too long, yeah I think I love you I think I love you Why do you want to drop that bomb?
Trent had always known that nothing good would come of having niggers in the army, especially not nigger officers. Henry Roberts was walking proof. He threw down the cigar and moved silently away.
Vanessa Lafaye (Under a Dark Summer Sky)
He watched the old man pick up his naked, violated daughter from where she lay in the dirt. He held her in his arms, her limbs lolling, his head bent to hers as if in silent prayer. He was going to bury her, bury his daughter, perhaps in a peaceful place, and he would say a prayer to his gods over her grave. He would visit his daughter’s grave in the months afterwards, until he too succumbed to disease, overwork or torture. People said slaves did not have souls and were a step removed from people. Zachary watched the old black man in ragged clothes walk away with his dead daughter. In that instant, the differences between Bonnie Valley and Paradise became excuses, mere matters of degree, the difference between twenty-nine strokes of the cowskin lash and thirty strokes, the difference between a bed and a filthy floor after torture, between rape and rape, death now and death tomorrow. There was no difference.
Diana McCaulay (Huracan)
He’s right.” Mara glanced about. “Make sure all the powder’s put away before he embarks on this next round of idiocy he’s set himself to.” Devyl smirked at her recitation of his idea, but didn’t bother to correct her words. Mostly because she wasn’t wrong. It was just irritating to have her undermine him out loud before their crew. Belle paused beside Devyl to stare up at him with a knowing grimace that melted into a smile. “Feeling better now, Captain?” He bit back a groan at her silent insinuation. “Don’t be getting cheeky with me, Miss Morte. Me humor’s still not restored fully.” Her gaze slid to Mara. “I’d wager otherwise.” “You know, I ate the last crewman who annoyed me.” She laughed at that. “I’m not worth the indigestion, Captain.” And with that, she flounced off to clap Mara on the shoulder and kiss her cheek.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Deadmen Walking (Deadman's Cross #1))
Blake didn’t say a word to me as I slid into the passenger seat of his car, and he continued to stay silent as we drove to one of the Starbucks near campus. The only acknowledgment he made of my presence was to put his hand high up on my thigh again and hold tight. Too tight. And not much changed once we were finally in the shop. Conversation didn’t happen, his hand was back on my thigh, and we had four different stare-downs. I only won one of those. At least he let me order my own coffee. That was honestly the only good part of this morning. I was barely able to hold in my sigh of relief when my phone chimed. “Who is that?” Blake’s eyebrows were pulled down, and he seemed more than a little annoyed. Only checking the text preview on the lock screen, I shrugged. “Oh, it’s just a friend, he wants to get a study group together tonight.” I started to put my phone back in my purse when his hand shot out and grabbed on to my arm, effectively keeping it suspended above my purse. “Well, it’s rude to keep him waiting. Aren’t you going to answer him?” He looked like he was struggling to keep himself in check. I tried to pull my arm back and he finally released it. Sheesh, what was his problem? It was just a text. “Sure, I guess.” “Just let him know you can’t go.” “Excuse me?” He leaned forward and his eyes narrowed. “I’d prefer that you study with Candice.” Now I was getting mad. He didn’t own me, he definitely wasn’t my boyfriend, and this was Aaron. The same gay guy that Blake didn’t like “looking at me.” “And since when do you get to decide who I hang out with? Look, maybe I’ve been giving you the wrong impression over the last few days, but we aren’t together. You have no say in what I do.” Like a switch had been flipped, his face went back to its usual smooth, sexy expression. “You’re right. Actually I think it’s a good idea for you to study with some other people besides Candice; I’m sure you wouldn’t get anywhere with her.” Wait. What? The sudden change in his mood made me almost feel dizzy. It was like I had my own personal Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sitting next to me. When I could finally get my mouth to stop opening and shutting like a fish, I shook my head and exhaled roughly. “Speaking of, I really need to get back to campus.” I stood to leave without giving him the chance to say no. Without another word, Blake followed me out to the car. We didn’t say anything on the drive back but he put his hand on my thigh again. Was I imagining how tight he was holding it? When we arrived at the dorm, he parked in one of the spaces rather than letting me out in front. I grabbed the handle to open the door and he pushed down on my thigh, gripping it tighter. I turned to look at him and was surprised to see he still looked light and easygoing. “I’ll get the door for you. Wait here for just a second.” Crap, I hope he isn’t going to walk me to my room. I bet Candice still has Eric in there with the door locked. As soon as he released me, my thigh throbbed from the relief of the pressure he’d put on it and I almost wished I was wearing shorts so I could look at the damage I was making myself believe he’d done. The passenger door opened and I stepped out without looking up at him. We walked without saying anything and I made sure to put some distance between us. I was relieved when he began to slow down as we reached the main entrance of the dorm. “Well, thanks for the coff—” He caught me around the waist, pushed me up against the wall, and kissed me roughly, interrupting my good-bye. Before I had time to realize what was happening and push him away, his body left mine and he started backing up toward his car. “I’ll see you later.” He winked, then turned away from me. I have no idea what my face looked like; I couldn’t even pin down an emotion. I was disgusted, annoyed, confused, and pissed.
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
the spectral summer of narcotic flowers and humid seas of foliage that bring wild and many-coloured dreams. And as I walked by the shallow crystal stream I saw unwonted ripples tipped with yellow light, as if those placid waters were drawn on in resistless currents to strange oceans that are not in the world. Silent and sparkling, bright and baleful, those moon-cursed waters hurried I knew not whither; whilst from the embowered banks white lotos-blossoms fluttered one by one in the opiate night-wind and dropped despairingly into the stream, swirling away horribly
H.P. Lovecraft (Complete Collection Of H.P.Lovecraft - 150 eBooks With 100+ Audio Book Links(Complete Collection Of Lovecraft's Fiction,Juvenilia,Poems,Essays And Collaborations))
So they went out for a walk. They went through narrow, lightless lanes, where houses that were silent but gave out smells of fish and boiled rice stood on either side of the road. There was not a single tree in sight; no breeze and no sound but the vaguely musical humming of mosquitoes. Once, an ancient taxi wheezed past, taking a short-cut through the lane into the main road, like a comic vintage car passing through a film-set showing the Twenties into the film-set of the present, passing from black and white into colour. But why did these houses – for instance, that one with the tall, ornate iron gates and a watchman dozing on a stool, which gave the impression that the family had valuables locked away inside, or that other one with the small porch and the painted door, which gave the impression that whenever there was a feast or a wedding all the relatives would be invited, and there would be so many relatives that some of them, probably the young men and women, would be sitting bunched together on the cramped porch because there would be no more space inside, talking eloquently about something that didn’t really require eloquence, laughing uproariously at a joke that wasn’t really very funny, or this next house with an old man relaxing in his easy-chair on the verandah, fanning himself with a local Sunday newspaper, or this small, shabby house with the girl Sandeep glimpsed through a window, sitting in a bare, ill-furnished room, memorising a text by candlelight, repeating suffixes and prefixes from a Bengali grammar over and over to herself – why did these houses seem to suggest that an infinitely interesting story might be woven around them? And yet the story would never be a satisfying one, because the writer, like Sandeep, would be too caught up in jotting down the irrelevances and digressions that make up lives, and the life of a city, rather than a good story – till the reader would shout "Come to the point!" – and there would be no point, except the girl memorising the rules of grammar, the old man in the easy-chair fanning himself, and the house with the small, empty porch which was crowded, paradoxically, with many memories and possibilities. The "real" story, with its beginning, middle and conclusion, would never be told, because it did not exist.
Amit Chaudhuri (A Strange and Sublime Address)
It is eerie and uncanny how Luca has the ability to read my mind. “Will you go back now to London, Violetta?” he asks, his black brows lifting, his expression concerned. “Italia has not been good to you. Maybe you think you should go home, where these bad things do not happen.” “Do you want me to go?” I ask, feeling very insecure. I couldn’t blame him, I realize with huge sadness. We’re in a real mess. Perhaps the best thing would be for me to go away and never come back. Luca’s lips tighten into a hard line. Slowly, he shakes his head. “It’s hard to know what’s best,” he says. “But I do not want you to go.” “I don’t want to go either,” I say in a whisper. He takes in a deep breath and lets it out again. We stand there silent, because we don’t know what more to say. I realize that shadows are stretching across the terrace. The air is milder, an evening breeze blowing softly. There’s a rustling sound from the cypress trees in the garden below, and we look over to see the first few bats emerging from the branches, circling slowly in the darkening sky. I think we’re both grateful to have something else to concentrate on. We walk across the terrace and lean on the stone balustrade, elbows almost but not quite touching. And we watch the black shapes rise and fall, the red streaks of sunset fading from the sky, and a clear white curve of moon rising slowly behind the dark silhouettes of the trees.
Lauren Henderson (Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1))
Taking a deep breath, Sailor decided to lay himself at her feet. "I was imagining the future and thinking of how if everything went according to plan, I'd have a very successful business with a high turnover." He made sure his hands were locked behind Ísa's back--just in case she decided to leave him in her dust a fourth time. "And since I'd be rich, I'd be able to buy houses and other nice things for my family." Ísa frowned. "I don't think your family expects that." "They don't exactly need my largess either," Sailor muttered. "But in my future fantasy, I'm buying everyone fancy cars and houses. Go with it." Ísa's lips twitched. "Okay, big spender. What else is fantasy Sailor doing?" "He's building a ginormous mansion. Swimming pool, tennis court, the works." "Is he hiring a buff personal masseuse named Sven?" "Hell no." He glared at her. "The masseuse is a fifty-year-old forner bodybuilder named Helga. Now, can I carry on?" Pretending to zip up her lips and throw away the key, Ísa made a "go on" motion. "Future Sailor is also creating a huge walk-in closet for you and filling it with designer shoes and clothes. He's giving you everything your heart desires." A flicker of darkness in Ísa's gaze, but she didn't interrupt... though her hands went still on his shoulders. "And there's a tricked-out nursery too," he added. "Plus a private playground for our rug rats." Throat moving, Ísa said, "How many?" It was a husky question. "Seven, I think." "Very funny, mister." "I'm not done." Sailor was the one who swallowed this time. "And in this fantasy house, future Sailor walks in late for dinner again because of a board meeting, and he has a gorgeous, sexy, brilliant wife and adorable children. But his redhead doesn't look at him the same anymore. And it doesn't matter how many shoes he buys her or how many necklaces he gives her, she's never again going to look at him the way she did before he stomped on her heart. Ísa's lower lip began to quiver, but she didn't speak. "I'm so sorry, baby." Sailor cupped her face, made sure she saw the sheer terror he felt at the thought of losing her. "I've been so tied to this idea of becoming a grand success that I forgot what it was all about in the first place--being there for the people I love. Sticking through the good and the bad. Never abandoning them." Silent tears rolled own Ísa's face. "But that great plan of mine?" he said, determined not to give himself any easy outs. "It'd have mean abandoning everyone. How can I be there for anyone when all I do is work? When I shove aside all other commitments? When the people I love hesitate to ask for my time because I'm too tired and too busy?" Using his thumbs, he rubbed away her tears. More splashed onto the backs of his hands, her hurt as hot as acid. "Spitfire, please," he begged, breaking. "I'll let you punch me as many times as you want if you stop crying. With a big red glove. And you can post photos online." Ísa pressed her lips together, blinked rapidly several times. And pretended to punch him with one fist, the touch a butterfly kiss. Catching her hand, he pressed his lips to it. "That's more like my Ísa." He wrapped his arms around her again. And then he told her the most important thing. "I realized that I could become a multimillionaire, but it would mean nothing if my redhead didn't look at me the way she does now, if she expected to have to take care of everything alone like she's always done--because her man was a selfish bastard who was never there." Ísa rubbed her nose against his. "You're being very hard on future Sailor," she whispered, her voice gone throaty. "That dumbass deserves it," Sailor growled. "He was going to put his desire to be a big man above his amazing, smart, loving redhead.
Nalini Singh (Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1))
Blue Eyes, you will drink?” Loretta waved him away. A long silence settled over them. Then Hunter grasped her chin and forced her to look at him. “Habbe we-ich-ket, seeking death, it is not wisdom.” He wedged the canteen between his knees and caught her hand, placing it on his muscular upper arm. “Ein mah-heepicut, it is yours. No harm will come to you walking in my footsteps. You will trust this Comanche, eh? It is a promise I make for you.” Loretta stared into his indigo eyes, aware of the leashed power beneath her fingertips. For an instant she believed he truly meant it, that he would protect her, always. Then her gaze shifted to the scar on his cheek, to his heathen medallion, to the images carved into the leather of his wristband. Half-breed or no, she couldn’t trust this man. He sighed and released her hand to take a long, slow drink, calculated, she was sure, to make her yearn for one herself. He wiped his mouth and said, “We will see, eh? It is a hard path to walk, going thirsty in the sun. You will yield.” With that, he corked the gourd and set it beside her in the shade so she could help herself if her willpower wavered. Rocking back on his heels, he ran a finger along her cheekbone. “I must protect you from the sun, eh? So you do not burn.” Scooping a handful of dirt, he mixed it with a little water from the canteen to make a mud paste. It felt wonderfully cool when he smoothed it on her face. After he finished he sat back and studied her again, his dark eyes gleaming with that silent laughter that irritated her so. She must look like a blue-eyed bugaboo with her face streaked brown and her hair flying every which way. Well, he was no prize, either.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Westley watched it all. He stood silently at the edge of the Fire Swamp. It was darker now, but the flame spurts behind him outlined his face. He was glazed with fatigue. He had been bitten, cut, gone without rest, had assaulted the Cliffs of Insanity, had saved and taken lives. He had risked his world, and now it was walking away from him, hand in hand with a ruffian prince. Then Buttercup was gone, out of sight. Westley took a breath. He was aware of the score of soldiers starting to surround him, and probably he could have made a few of them perspire for their victory. But for what point? Westley sagged. "Come, sir." Count Rugen approached. "We must get you safely to your ship." "We are both men of action," Westley replied. "Lies do not become us." "Well spoken," said the Count, and with one sudden swing, he clubbed Westley into insensitivity. Westley fell like a beaten stone, his last conscious thought being of the Count's right hand; it was six-fingered, and Westley could never quite remember having encountered that deformity before. . . .
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
We spent twenty days and endured three thousand miles of jolting, pounding, off-road bush driving. But we had a hard-won sense of accomplishment when we pulled up on the stunning cliff-side view of the Great Australian Bight, a huge open bay carved out of the southern coastline. We had made it. Below us, three hundred feet down a sheer rock face, was the Southern Ocean. A pod of southern right whales passed by, their calves following along with them. Steve and I and the crew watched the family dramas of the whales play out below us. A calf felt naughty and went darting away from his mother’s side. Come back, the mother called, come back, come back, you naughty little whale. When she was under the water, we couldn’t hear anything, but as she surfaced we could actually hear the whale song from our perch three hundred feet in the air. Mama scolded the calf, and we saw the young whale come dutifully shooting back over to follow his mother for a while. Sometimes the calf would approach his mama for a drink of milk and nurse for a few minutes. Then he would escape once more, and the whole scenario played itself out all over again. We watched the whales for hours. That night around the campfire, we discussed whaling, how sad and cruel and horrible it was. “If we killed cows the way we killed whales, people wouldn’t stand for it,” Steve said. “Imagine if you drove a truck with a torpedo gun off the back. When you saw a cow you fired at it, and then you either electrocuted it over the course of half an hour or the head of the torpedo blew up inside of it, rendering it unable to walk or move until it finally bled to death.” “We’ve got to get that message out,” I said to Steve. But his idea was to bring the beauty and joy of the whales to people, so that they would naturally fall in love with them and not want to hurt them. He didn’t want to dwell on images that would make people sad and upset. Steve remained thoughtful and silent as the fire died. The ocean sounded against the cliffs below. The games of the whale families played over and over in our minds. In spite of our extensive searching, we never saw a live dingo down the whole line of our journey. It was time to try a different approach. The next morning the helicopter pilot arrived early. Going up with him, Steve actually finally spotted some dingoes from the air. The beautiful, ginger-colored dogs played along the fence, jumping over it or skirting under it with effortless ease.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
In real, adult relationships however, the “silent treatment” can be a vicious weapon when used with an undertone of intimidation or as a way to exert control, deliver insult, or imply the lack of worth of the other person. The message is, “Why should I even waste my breath on you?” To be clear, I’m not talking about learning to drop a subject and stop clashing over it, or walking away from an obviously damaging argument. I’m referring to the purposeful ignoring of or refusal to talk to your partner as a form of punishment.
Aubrey Cole (Bodies in the Basement: A Serial Story for Survivors of Abuse)
Mindfulness & Alertness "And how is a monk possessed of mindfulness and alertness? When going forward and returning, he acts with alertness. When looking toward and looking away... when bending and extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe, and his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting... when urinating and defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and remaining silent, he acts with alertness. This is how a monk is possessed of mindfulness and alertness.
Tushar Gundev (Common Questions, Great Answers: In Buddha's Words)
Juliet?" Charles whispered, his stunned brain trying to absorb what he was seeing and sort it out into something he could understand . . . trying to reason why she was still pregnant when she should've delivered the baby months and months ago . . . trying to put together the pieces of this puzzle that made absolutely no sense.  "Juliet, will you not come and greet me?" As though for approval, she glanced toward Gareth, who had also risen and now stood almost protectively beside her.  And as Charles's confused and uncomprehending gaze went from Gareth's hand, which now supported Juliet's elbow, to his fiancée's swollen belly and finally, to the high chair drawn up beside her which contained a toddler whose curling hair was as bright a gold as Charles's own, he began to understand. It felt as though God had slammed a fist into his stomach. "No," he murmured, shaking his head in denial and stepping backward, his gaze still fixed on Juliet's gently rounded abdomen.  Involuntarily, his fists clenched and he was suddenly afraid that he was going to call out Gareth, his own brother, right here in front of everyone, for what he had done to her.  "No, I . . . this cannot be —" And then Lucien was there, his hand like a vise on Charles's arm as he firmly turned him around and began dragging him out of the room.  Charles resisted, trying to twist his head around, unable to take his disbelieving stare from Juliet's belly, from her face, from her eyes, which met and held his in a silent plea for forgiveness, but Lucien only tightened his grip and pulled him away from the table.  Away from the others. Out the door, which he shut behind him. "Now you know why I did not want you to charge unannounced into this house," he said quietly, as Charles walked a little distance away and leaned his brow against his forearm, and his forearm against the cold stone wall.  There he remained, head bent, totally undone by the confusion and despair of his discovery.  "I am not angry with you, and there is nothing to forgive.  But since you were unaware of the situation, and Juliet is obviously in a delicate condition, you can be sure that I would do everything in my power to protect you both from shock and upset.  I am sorry that you had to learn of things this way." When Charles made no move to acknowledge him, he turned to Amy.  "Who are you?" Amy had stepped up beside Charles, who stood with head bent, shoulders quaking.  "My name's Amy Leighton," she answered.  "I'm a friend of your brother's." "How close a friend are you?" "Well, that's hard to say, really, because —" "She's the only person in this bloody world who hasn't betrayed me!
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
Have a little faith in me, for heaven's sake." "I'm trying to, but ... it's just that ... oh, this has turned out to be the worst day of my entire life, and I don't see it getting any better."  Tears gathered in her eyes and she shoved the heel of her hand against her temple, her bottom lip quivering. He was there, immediately. "Ah, Juliet ..." "Leave me alone." "I cannot stand to see you suffering so." "Then go away. Please." He shrugged out of his frock, tossed it over the chair back, and tried to gather her close. "Is it so bad?" "Yes." "Worse than the day you left Boston to come here?" She waved him off, turning away to hide her sudden, angry tears. "Worse than the day you got held up by the highwaymen?" She took a steadying breath and bit savagely down into her tremulous bottom lip. "Worse," he murmured, gently, "than the day Charles died?" She choked back a sob and pushed her fist against her mouth, trying to shove the tears back, to keep the great, gulping sobs at bay. "Nothing could be worse than when Charles died," she whispered, meeting his sympathetic blue gaze. She turned her back on him and walked a little distance away. "Nothing." He came silently up behind her, too near, too close, and she felt the tender brush of his hand against her cheek as he caught the stray tendril of hair and tucked it back behind her ear. "Then I guess this isn't quite the worst day of your life, is it?" he asked, softly. Tremors
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
Brandon walked back over to me and gently placed Liam back in my arms. He kept one hand on him, the other on me. “You were amazing. I love you so much Harper.” “I love you too. So much.” Liam let out a soft cry, and we both looked quickly back to him. “Look at him Brandon. He’s perfect.” “He is.” Brandon agreed, “He’s finally here.” “I know, this is so surreal.” Liam started crying harder, sounding so precious, and so sad. But with his little arms waving and finally hearing him, I still couldn’t stop smiling. Brandon put one of his fingers near his shaking hand, and as soon as Liam touched it, he grasped it again and fell silent. “Daddy make everything better little Liam?” Brandon looked at me, his expression full of pride, love and so much joy I started tearing up again. “I’m a dad.” His voice was thick as he tried to speak around the lump in his throat. He pressed his lips to mine and pulled away slightly, “Thank you sweetheart, you have no idea how happy this makes me. How happy you make me.” With the hand that wasn’t holding Liam, I ran my fingers down his jaw before cupping his cheek. “I think I have an idea. You are my world Brandon, I couldn’t do any of this without you, nor would I want to.” Mom
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
Shane, I asked you to stay away.” Mitch turned cool eyes on her. “You didn’t tell me you’d talked to your family.” Guilt knifed through her. “Um . . .” “And you didn’t tell me you were screwing a perfect stranger,” Shane said flatly. “Um . . .” She gulped. “Shit, all your talk about independence.” Shane’s expression turned thunderous. “Fucking the first random guy you happen across so he’ll give you a place to stay doesn’t count, Maddie.” Even as anger flared bright inside her, she winced at the words. She opened her mouth to give him hell, but before she could, Mitch turned on her brother, moving faster than she’d ever seen him. Before she could blink, Shane was up against the wall with Mitch’s hand around his throat. “Don’t. Ever. Talk to her like that.” His tone shook with rage and barely contained violence. “Mitch, please.” Maddie ran over to him, gripping his arm to pull him off. It was like trying to move granite. He didn’t even budge. James walked up behind her, sliding his arm around her waist and pulling her back as Sam grabbed Mitch’s shoulder. “Let him go, Mitch.” Sam’s voice was calm and controlled. “This isn’t the way to handle the situation.” “Fuck. Off.” Mitch’s tone was like ice. Sam’s fingers tightened. “Trust me on this.” Shane’s face reddened, and Mitch’s hand tightened. Shane gripped the wrist that had him pinned to the wall, but he didn’t attempt to free himself. This struck Maddie as strange. Her oldest brother was a known ass-kicker. Half of Chicago was scared of him. “If you ever talk to her like that again,” Mitch said, in a deadly tone, “I will rip your fucking throat out.” The air shifted, swirling with tension and far too much male testosterone. Maddie’s heart thumped hard against her chest. Shane sputtered. “Mitch, this isn’t going to solve anything,” Sam said. Mitch increased the pressure around Shane’s throat, turning his complexion another shade darker. “Do you understand me?” Shane tugged at Mitch’s wrist, his gaze flashing with what Maddie could only suspect was fury. There was going to be bloodshed soon. James ran his hand up her arm, giving her a squeeze. She pulled away and touched Mitch’s forearm. The muscles were taut under her touch. Inflexible. She said softly, “Mitch, please let him go.” Mitch turned his head to her, unnamed emotion flickering in his eyes. She pleaded silently, and finally, he gave a slight nod. A second later, he released her brother. Shane coughed, bringing his hand up to rub at his neck. Cool as ever, James shook his head as though dealing with a bunch of unruly toddlers.
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
Hal—come sit!” Rachel is looking back. She motions toward a sliver of space between Jonah and Madison. “There’s room.” “No. There’s not.” Luke says it without even turning around. “How do you and Hallie know each other, anyway?” “We met in the bathroom. Earlier tonight. She seems cool.” Rachel smiles at Hallelujah. Hallelujah can’t bring herself to smile back. “Sure, if you like the strong, silent type. I don’t. No offense.” Luke laughs, and Brad laughs, and the girls from Knoxville take that as their cue to laugh too. Like it was actually funny. Rachel doesn’t laugh. She’s still smiling, but now it’s like she’s not sure whether she should be. “Come on, Hal,” she says. “We’ll make room.” But Luke’s shaking his head. “Sorry. Guess I’m not being clear. There might be room for someone. But there’s not room for Hallie. Hal. Whatever you wanna call her. Besides. She has to get back. Curfew.” Rachel looks from Luke to Hallelujah, confused. “We’re all breaking curfew.” “Yeah, but it’s Hallie’s fault we have early curfew in the first place. And it’s her fault we have so many chaperones to deal with.” Luke’s counting on his fingers, holding them in the air. “Plus, they’ll probably be checking up on her. So she can’t stay.” “How is all of that her fault?” Rachel asks. “What’d she do?” “Yeah, Luke. What’d she do?” It’s Jonah. Hallelujah is kind of shocked to hear his voice. It’s low, with a dark undercurrent that’s unfamiliar to her. Then again, it’s been months since they talked. And a lot has changed. “If I remember it right,” Jonah goes on, still staring into the fire, “she wasn’t the only one.” Luke looks over at him. “What’s that supposed to mean?” “Nothing,” Jonah says. “Just making an observation.” “An observation,” Luke repeats. “Yeah.” There’s a moment of silence. It’s uncomfortable. Hallelujah feels like the night sounds get louder to compensate. The wind rustling tree branches. The hum of cicadas. Birdcalls. They’re suffocating her. Then Luke shakes his head and laughs. “Whatever. Hallie still has to go.” He swings around to look at her directly. “What are you waiting for?” Hallelujah blinks, wishing that small movement could make her vanish. Everyone in the circle is staring. Waiting for her to leave. Their eyes cut into her. She takes two steps backward, tears clouding her vision. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. She turns and starts walking away. Walking, not running. She doesn’t want to give Luke that satisfaction.
Kathryn Holmes
In the early hours of the morning she turned her swollen face toward Mike and opened her eyes—or tried to. One was partially shut because of the swelling. He scooted closer. “Brie,” he whispered. “It’s me, Brie. I’m here.” She put her hands over her face and cried out. “No! No!” He took gentle hold of her wrists. “Brie! It’s me. It’s Mike. It’s okay.” But he couldn’t pull her hands away from her face. “Please,” she whimpered pitifully. “I don’t want you to see this….” “Honey, I saw you already,” he said. “I’ve been sitting here for hours. Let it go,” he said. “It’s okay.” She let him slowly pull her hands away from her battered face. “Why? Why are you here? You shouldn’t be here!” “Jack wanted me to help him understand what was happening with the investigation. But I wanted to be here. Brie, I wanted to be here for you.” He brushed her brow gently. “You’re going to be okay.” “He… He got my gun….” “The police know, honey. You didn’t do anything wrong.” “He’s so dangerous. I tried to get him—that’s why he did this. I was going to put him away for life.” Mike’s jaw pulsed, but he kept his voice soft. “It’s okay, Brie. It’s over now.” “Did they find him?” she asked. “Did they pick him up?” Oh, how he wished she wouldn’t ask that. “Not yet.” “Do you know why he didn’t kill me?” she asked, a tear running out of her swollen eye and down over the bridge of her purple nose. He tenderly wiped it away. “He said he didn’t want me to die. He wanted me to try to get him again, and watch him walk again. He wore a condom.” “Aw, honey…” “I’m going to get him, Mike.” “Please… Don’t think about that now. I’ll get the nurse. Get you another sedative.” He put the light on and the nurse came immediately. “Brie needs something to help her go back to sleep.” “Sure,” the nurse said. “I’m just going to wake up again,” she said. “And I’m just going to think the same things.” “Try to rest,” he said, leaning over to kiss her brow. “I’ll be right here. And there’s an officer outside your door. You’re completely safe.” “Mike,” she whispered. She held his hand for a long moment. “Did Jack ask you to come?” “No,” he said, gently touching her brow. “But when I found out what happened, I had to come,” he whispered. “I had to.” After having a sedative administered into the IV, she gently closed her eyes again. Her hand slipped out of his and he sat back in his chair. Then, his elbows on his knees and his face buried in his hands, he silently wept. *
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
I went from this great depression to waking up next too the love of my life; the same man who silently gave me something to hold onto for nearly four years. That isn't even comprehendible but it is so beautiful and I am so proud to be his woman, fortress of strength and care. I couldn't walk away from that even if you paid me.
Keysha Jade (Intoxicated stained tears)
I watched him play every perfect chord as if it were an entire song, every song as if it were a grand sonata. The old man was lost in the captivating music and I was lost too—in his commanding presence, in his seamless movement, in his unmatched talent. His fingers floated effortlessly over the worn strings of the acoustic guitar, each one crossing over the other with calming ease. I found it hard to distinguish where one part ended and another began, inspiring and stirring my soul like a miracle. Elsie watched him with great intent, with great wonder, as did I. Then she got up from her leather armchair in the corner, walked over to the parlor grand piano, and joined in just as the song began to swell to its airy peak. They played together flawlessly, a man and a woman, for what could have been the thousandth time. Yet as I watched them, as the music filled me like the warmth of coming home, I could see it was new to them too, though ancestral and old. I was swept away, amazed at how each part was so distinct, so solitary in and of itself, and how yet it could only capture its full potential, its full beauty, as a part of something greater. I thought of how we are all pieces of music, of how one person would cease to swell without the other, of how the part that moves us the most freely in ourselves might not exist at all. I watched Johnny as he continued to strum, then Elsie as her fingers darted from place to place on the keys of the piano. The music swept over me like a memory of summertime, and I closed my eyes, letting it take me where it would, to a place so strikingly beautiful that everything else was silently perfect, letting the melody lead the moment. The hopeful sound filled my expectant ears and my emotions felt new again, as if I were a child, the moment peacefully pure, like rocking a newborn back to sleep. Wet streams of tears escaped my soft, emotional eyes as I let the notes take their full effect. To Johnny and Elsie, music was a language that didn't require words. In fact, it exceeded them. For what was flowing from the withered hands of the couple before me now was in itself perfection. Words could only ruin a moment this pure. As I watched them, I realized I wanted to care about anything as much as they did about music. A tear ran down my cheek as the last note hung softly, like a butterfly might hang on air. I decided right then that some things in life were much too beautiful not to cry about. This, I now knew, was one of them.
Emily Nelson
It was worse than she’d expected. “None?” she asked. “No fresh boot prints anywhere around the perimeter of the house,” Sheriff Coughlin confirmed. “It was windy last night. Maybe the drifting snow filled in the prints?” Even before she finished speaking, the sheriff was shaking his head. “With the warm temperatures we’ve been having, the snow is either frozen or wet and heavy. If someone had walked through that yard last night, there would’ve been prints.” Daisy hid her wince at his words, even though they hit as hard as an elbow to the gut, and struggled to keep her voice firm. “There was someone walking around the outside of that house last night, Sheriff. I don’t know why there aren’t any boot prints, but I definitely saw someone.” He was giving her that look again, but it was worse, because she saw a thread of pity mixed in with the condescension. “Have you given more thought to starting therapy again?” The question surprised her. “Not really. What does that have to do…?” As comprehension dawned, a surge of rage shoved out her bewilderment. “I didn’t imagine that I saw someone last night. There really was a person there, looking in the side window.” All her protest did was increase the pity in his expression. “It must get lonely here by yourself.” “I’m not making things up to get attention!” Her voice had gotten shrill, so she took a deep breath. “I even said there was no need for you to get involved. I only suggested one of the on-duty deputies drive past to scare away the kid.” “Ms. Little.” His tone made it clear that impatience had drowned out any feelings of sympathy. “Physical evidence doesn’t lie. No one was in that yard last night.” “I know what I saw.” The sheriff took a step closer. Daisy hated how she had to crane her neck back to look at him. It made her feel so small and vulnerable. “Do you really?” he asked. “Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable. Even people without your issues misinterpret what they see all the time. The brain is a tricky thing.” Daisy set her jaw as she stared back at the sheriff, fighting the urge to step back, to retreat from the man looming over her. There had been someone there, footprints or no footprints. She couldn’t start doubting what she’d witnessed the night before. If she did, then that meant she’d gone from mildly, can’t-leave-the-house crazy, to the kind of crazy that involved hallucinations, medications, and institutionalization. There had to be some other explanation, because she wasn’t going to accept that. Not when her life was getting so much better. She could tell by looking at his expression that she wasn’t going to convince Coughlin of anything. “Thank you for checking on it, Sheriff. I promise not to bother you again.” Although he kept his face impassive, his eyes narrowed slightly. “If you…see anything else, Ms. Little, please call me.” That wasn’t going to happen, especially when he put that meaningful pause in front of “see” that just screamed “delusional.” Trying to mask her true feelings, she plastered on a smile and turned her body toward the door in a not-so-subtle hint for him to leave. “Of course.” Apparently, she needed some lessons in deception, since the sheriff frowned, unconvinced. Daisy met his eyes with as much calmness as she could muster, dropping the fake smile because she could feel it shifting into manic territory. She’d lost enough credibility with the sheriff as it was. The silence stretched until Daisy wanted to run away and hide in a closet, but she managed to continue holding his gaze. The memory of Chris telling her about the sheriff using his “going to confession” stare-down on suspects helped her to stay quiet. Finally, Coughlin turned toward the door. Daisy barely managed to keep her sigh of relief silent. “Ms. Little,” he said with a short nod, which she returned. “Sheriff.” Only when he was through the doorway with the door locked behind him did Daisy’s knees start to shake.
Katie Ruggle (In Safe Hands (Search and Rescue, #4))
Would you grant me the honor of your first dance, Lady Rose?” Can you manage it? he seemed to be asking. She looked around the ballroom once more, trying to decide what was best. She supposed she could either dance with Lord Ashton and show everyone that she was no longer an invalid . . . or she could remain in a chair beside the wall. “Only if you dance with Miss Sinclair next,” she countered with a smile of her own. It was a reasonable enough request. “If Miss Sinclair is willing, I should be very glad of her company.” He sent her a charming smile, which made Evangeline’s fan flutter faster. “Of course, I would be happy to dance with you, Lord Ashton,” the young woman agreed. Her expression turned worried, and she continued, “But as for Lady Rose, I fear that—” She stopped abruptly, and looked perplexed, as if to remind them both, She cannot walk. But the moment Iain extended his hand, Rose took it and stood slowly. He gave her a moment to steady her balance, and then she leaned against him when she took her first step. Her eyes fixed upon his with a silent plea, Keep it slow. At least then she could hide her heavy limp. She heard Evangeline give a soft gasp, and there were murmurs all around them. It took all her concentration to walk, but Rose leaned against Iain, determined to keep her balance. “There’s a lass.” He smiled at her, allowing her to set the pace. Her heart hammered faster, and she felt the eyes of every guest staring at her. Never in her life had she felt so self-conscious. Though she had longed to take her first steps with Lord Burkham at her side, now she was beginning to reconsider. Iain was the man who had helped her to walk again, and of anyone here, she trusted him not to let her stumble. He knew the limits of her endurance, and she could confess when she needed to stop and rest. “You look grand this night.” He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as they moved closer to the dancing. “Thank you.” She had worn a sky-blue gown with a full skirt and a lace shawl to cover her bare shoulders. It wasn’t the most fashionable gown, but her grandmother had deemed it quite appropriate for the evening. Because she expected me to remain in a chair, Rose thought. No one expected me to dance. “Do you think you can manage this?” Iain asked. His expression revealed the sincerity of a man who didn’t want her to be embarrassed. “Only if it’s a waltz.” A quick-paced dance would be quite beyond her balance. But right now, this was about proving herself to others. She wanted everyone to see that she had overcome her illness and could walk again. She took one step that was too heavy, and stumbled forward. Iain caught her immediately and halted, waiting for her to regain her balance. Her cheeks burned, and she blurted out, “I am sorry.” “Don’t be.” He brought her to the edge of the dancers, nearest to the wall. They would be away from the others, and yet, she could join in. The music shifted into a lilting waltz, and he rested his hand against her waist. “If you begin to tire, step on my feet. Your skirts will hide it, and no one will notice,” he advised. He’d
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
The door burst open and we jolted away from each other as much as our positions allowed as Mason ran into the apartment, a loud war cry following him into my room, where it abruptly cut off. Kash’s chest moved roughly as we both came back to reality, and after a heavy silence he turned his head and called out, “Mase?” I blew out the breath I’d been holding and refused to look back up at Kash as I silently berated myself for my actions over the last few minutes. That wasn’t supposed to have happened, and it couldn’t happen again. We both knew that. My inner scolding stopped abruptly when Mason slowly walked over to the kitchen with a Nerf gun in hand. In a black wife-beater and cargo pants, with a bandanna around his forehead . . . he almost looked like Rambo. “What the hell are you wearing?” Kash asked as he cautiously lifted himself off me. Mase looked down at himself, then back up. “I saw you coming in here on my way back from my run with your gun. I thought we were gonna have a Nerf fight.” Oh. Dear. God. Even with the tension coming from Kash and me, I couldn’t help it. I burst into laughter until I was crying and snorting uncontrollably.   I
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
Wh-what? What did you say?” “Hearing that, hearing you admit you love him, hurts just as much now as it did the first time.” “What do you mean?” I nearly yelled in a mixture of shock, anger, and confusion. “You knew? You remember?” He took a step toward me and held his hands up as if he was going to reach for me, but I stumbled away from him as Jentry hurried into the kitchen. Declan didn’t spare a glance for him, just moved one of his hands in Jentry’s direction as if silently asking him not to speak, then admitted hesitantly, “Yes, I remember that. I remembered when I woke up because it felt like just seconds after.” Jentry looked at me questioningly. “Declan already knew about us,” I choked out. “He knew when he woke up.” Jentry tensed and slowly looked over at him. “Dec, how could—do you . . . do you have any idea how much she has agonized over telling you again? And this whole time you’ve just been—Christ, you’ve just been pretending not to remember? And for what?” Declan’s head dropped and shook slowly as he spoke, but he still wouldn’t face Jentry. “Man, you’ve already taken her from me,” he growled in a low tone. “The least you could do is give me some fucking time alone with her.” “The least you could do is give me some time to come to terms with the fact that you used your coma to your advantage and have let me believe that you thought we were engaged,” I seethed. “Do you know how sick that is, Declan?” Without waiting for his response, I turned and walked from the house. The
Molly McAdams (I See You)
schedule. “I need to get back to work. You settling up today? I’ll get tomorrow?” he suggested. “Sure, buddy. Have a good one.” “Until tomorrow,” he said as he put on his hat then walked away toward the door. “Same bat-time. Same bat-channel,” he added as he made his exit behind my back. I shook my head, smiled, and chuckled at his foolishness. I then swiveled my position to look around the restaurant once again. At one table, I noticed a man and a woman that I assumed had entered while we were facing the brick wall behind the bar. I watched them sign to one another with such vigor and beauty. It was something that amazed me every time I witnessed it, always wishing that I had taken that American Sign Language class in college. They sat there, completely silent, but communicating with their hands more effectively than most hearing people could with their voices. No sound passed from one to the next, no sound passed between anyone in the restaurant. It was very quiet. My mind moved toward the metaphorical silence is deafening. I guiltily chuckled to myself when I realized how completely inappropriate that unintentional pun would have been had it been said aloud, or signed. My thoughts then brought me to the words of Mark Twain. “Kindness is
Courtland O.K. Smith (The One Behind the Psychologist)
I used to have these fantasies of going away for long periods, being still, learning from within. But here’s what I learned: the insights that we receive when away, they are useless unless we live them. And that happens in the world, with our relationships, our self-expression, our dreams, this crazy beautiful planet we get to walk briefly. The insights we receive when going silent, it’s our gift to ourselves. Returning and living them, sharing them, that is our gift to the world.
Kamal Ravikant (Live Your Truth)
And he walks away down the nave (or what passes for such) wondering how all this has come about, and what it might lead to. He tries to remember the name of that chap she used to bring home when she was an undergraduate – dark, garrulous young man. Why didn't she marry him? Anne is a talker, and not just a talker of nothings, and a thinker, he suspects, too – a lot more so than her brother, in fact – and old Don is as silent as the grave. You can always talk to yourself, of course. But it is better not to. It is a great deal better not to. Oh, Anne, he thinks, I could tell you a thing or two. But I can't. There isn't, unfortunately, much to be done at all.
Penelope Lively (The Road to Lichfield)
When Elsie walked away from the girls, she noticed her shoes left prints on the floor, like a person walking in sand. Machinery whirred and splints sprayed into the trough, casting forth a nimbus of dust. The freckled girl from Fayford coughed. Gradually, the dust cleared. And just like that, Elsie’s footsteps were gone. Curious to think of all the hidden steps, all the moments the factory floor had known, buried then swept aside with a broom.
Laura Purcell (The Silent Companions)
Dear Goodreads diary, Thanks for receiving me all this time with hands wide open… Thanks for being patient to listen to all my gibberish. Still, I gotta go now. I’ll be absent for some time… But I want to tell you one last story… 2 years ago, a little boy came to me and asked for my help. He was desperate and tired of his life. He asked for my friendship and I was reluctant to accept his offer. I’ve always denied his emails or text messages. I know that boys are BASTARDS, though he looked like a little bird, lost and without wings…The way he talks in missing and dreams, oh GOD I wanna forget about all… it disgusts me each time to remember that he didn’t respect that I’m a conservative girl and tried his ways on me even though I’ve always asked him to stop it…. I mean, I’m 5 years older than him…. His father got sick. They reaaaaaaaally needed help. Though I’ve always known he was a “bastard” like everybody else, I couldn’t possibly leave his mom’s calls unanswered when she always asked for my help. I’ve been through all they’ve been through. I couldn’t give up on them while I knew how much it means to stand for someone who’s been tested for his father. I’m an orphan. How could I possibly walk away? + Our dear Prophet (PBUH) would never treat a misdeed with a misdeed…I’m a girl who loves GOD…I wouldn’t be as mean as him… Still, each time he was acting like bastards act. That meanness I can read in his text messages. That DISRESPECT…. I knew he used every possible memory for his ulterior motives. I kept silent for two years…I knew he was making a show… I mean even if he wasn’t making it because he saw something in me (that everybody saw, not only him), he would be making a show for his friends … Still, I’m not the one who would leave a friend in the middle of the dark…at one point in time, I called him brother…. hhh…. Thought maybe if he knows that I’m his older sister, he’ll think that the way he talked or the things he asked are things you only ask from a girlfriend and not me… he persisted…. I tested him once and he like a fool fell into the trap… I knew I should walk away even if I’d hear that his father would die… I spent whole night throwing in my disbelief…. How could people be so tricky…I’m 5 years older…. Eventually, he made his show… Thank GOD, a colleague… a mouthy colleague… started talking about everyone at school including me and him…that was heaven’s door wide open for me. Though 14 years ago, my friends started talking about me and another boy, I wouldn’t leave him for the world because I knew he was a decent boy… This time, I dived in… One month later, he came into my class not caring what my colleagues would talk…That made me sure that he wants to carry his show over… You know diary, what kills a person the most is not death. Hurt can kill…deception can kill…not apologizing can kill… Bad memories can kill…and I didn’t want to leave him with bad memories…I sent my last text message, told him to fulfill all his dreams and said goodbye…. Still I’ve never felt relieved… I texted him again, faced him with the facts, he thought he fooled me again….I said sorry and goodbye… forever…I waited for some time and then I quit my job so they don’t understand a thing about my motives… I spent two amazing months home; that I would always remember because they’ve changed me a lot…They brought me back to life again…But when I came back, all the bad memories came back again… Dear diary, I know you’ve got tired of my complaints, but I have nobody else to talk to the way I talk to you… I need to forget all the bad memories he left me with… I know I CAN, but I need some time away from you…Even though he’s like a “tafcha” in my life now… still, I have to forgive him… I’m not someone who would spend her time hating people…People like me talk in books and ideas in their social networks… Wait for me diary…I’ll be back…
Goodbye Bro
We must protect the girls," Mrs. Kroehne said. "You understand." I do understand. I am a contaminant and must be kept silent. It has been three months since my baby was born, three months since I walked away from my baby with milk dripping from my breasts. I will not say this to any of these young people during my time among them. I will construct careful lies and memorize them to explain myself, my dark inward life, my hunger for love, my tough resistance to trust.
Meredith Hall (Without a Map: A Memoir)
He sat down beside the boy, saying nothing for a moment, but then he saw Briarley's lip quiver and lifted his arm, resting it gently on the boy's shoulder. He said, at length, 'Was he a professional, Briarley?' and when Briarley nodded, 'We couldn't have held out this long without them, lad. They taught us everything we knew in the early days,' and then, when the boy made no reply, 'Do you care to tell me about him? I've served in the Lys sector twice. Maybe we met, spoke to one another.' He could not be sure whether his presence brought any real comfort but it must have eased Briarley's inner tensions to some extent for presently he said, 'I didn't see a great deal of him, sir. When I was a kid he was mostly in India or Ireland. He came here once, on leave. Last autumn, it was. We… we sat here for a bit, waiting for the school boneshaker to take him to the station.' 'Did he talk about the war, Briarley?' 'No, sir, not really. He only…' 'Well?' 'He said if anything did happen, and he was crocked and laid up for a time, I was to be sure and do all I could to look after the mater while he was away.' 'Are you an only child, Briarley?' 'No, sir. I'm the only boy. I've got three sisters, one older, the others just kids.' 'Well, then, you've got a job ahead of you. Your mother is going to need you badly. That's something to keep in mind, isn't it?' 'Yes, sir. I suppose so, but…' He began to cry silently and with a curious dignity, so that David automatically tightened his grip on the slight shoulders. There was no point in saying anything more. They sat there for what seemed to David a long time and then, with a gulp or two, Briarley got up. 'I'd better start packing, sir. Algy… I mean the headmaster said I was to go home today, ahead of the others. Matron's getting my trunk down from the covered playground…' And then, in what David thought of as an oddly impersonal tone, 'The telegram said “Killed in action", sir. What exactly – well, does that always mean what it says?' 'If it hadn't been that way it would have said “Died of wounds", and there's a difference.' 'Thank you, sir.' He was a plucky kid and had himself in hand again. He nodded briefly and walked back towards the head's house. David would have liked to have followed him, letting himself be caught up in the swirl of end-of-term junketings, but he could not trust himself to move. His hands were shaking again and his head was tormented by the persistent buzzing that always seemed to assail him these days in moments of stress. He said, explosively, 'God damn everybody! Where's the sense in it…? Where's the bloody sense, for Christ's sake?' And then, like Briarley, he was granted the relief of tears.
R.F. Delderfield
When I say you're mine. A butterfly flies so soft, Wings silent but tender, The Roses dance gentle in the wind, Flows love into the fields, My face hits the sweet air in a feeling I cannot describe, Only touch with my heart, Only feel in my spirit, Only hear in a silent smile. When I say you're mine, Longing in a world, Tenderness gone away as dried dust in the winds, Feet walked on sands of despair, Sore from love gone, Legs tired from walking on ever ending roads, Roads to longing for a hand, Longing for a touch, Longing vote a voice in this cold world, To say, 'I love you'. When I say you're mine. Once the passing of many moons, So long ago, so far ago, Making the world not a home, Making the so life so barren, Dry, loveless, careless, The moon no longer had her beauty of sliver, No longer had magic in the shine, Now dull, now dark, now lonely, When I say you're mine, Sun and earth together, One needs the other, The sun needs earth, The earth needs the sun, Life, love..balance out, Love grows, love flows, Perfect, perfect as you, Orbit, love, life, From heaven, from destiny, For eternity. When I call you mine. You, are my world, You, are my moon, You, are my sun, You, are my earth, Back, perfect, back.. When I say you're mine, It is because my dear, I am all yours.....
Ravinder Singh (Like It Happened Yesterday)
Wiggling my breasts against his back, I waited for the groan. Cooper glanced back at me and frowned. “I need to start wearing sweatpants or else you’ll kill me.” “I don’t understand,” I said, batting my eyes innocently. “Are you talking about this?” Wiggling my breasts against him again, I jumped when his hands went to my bare thighs. Stroking from my hips to knees, Cooper gave me a grin. “I’m getting you naked this weekend. Even if I have to lie, cheat, and steal, I’m hitting a homerun with you, baby.” “Sure, whatever. Can we leave now?” “Temptress.” “Dickhead.” “Beauty.” “Stud.” “A stud that needs sweatpants.” “If it’s such a hassle, maybe we shouldn’t fool around at my place?” Cooper just laughed while pulling away from school. He was laughing again when he parked at the curb next to my apartment building. “What’s so funny?” “Nothing. When I don’t get enough oxygen to my brain, it gives me the giggles.” Now, I was laughing as we walked to the front door. “My mom might be home.” “I’ll be sure to feel you up silently then.” Grinning, I unlocked the door and pushed it open to find the air conditioner running high. “My mom sometimes gets overheated.” “Lady issues. Check. No more info is necessary or desired.” Shutting the door, I turned down the air conditioner before finding two sodas in the refrigerator. “I need a shower.” Cooper stared at me with a pained expression. “Sweatpants.” Laughing, I left him to my crappy cable. After a quick shower, I changed into a loose tank top and shorts. Feeling daring, I chose to wear panties, but no bra. Returning to the living room, I found Cooper stretched out with his legs over the coffee table and his arms spread out along the back of the couch. He looked large and menacing then he glanced at me and grinned. “Would now be a bad time to mention I’m horny?” he asked as I opened my soda and joined him on the couch. “If I never again heard a single thing about you being horny, I’d still be well informed.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Beast (Damaged, #1))
The door to the captain’s office was open, the room vacant but for the memories it held, and I staggered forward to sink into a chair. I closed my eyes, filled with a dreadful, yearning sorrow. Cannan had been such a powerful presence in the palace--in our lives--for so many years that it felt as though the heart of our kingdom had been taken from us. He had been Captain of the Guard for thirty years, and had not failed once in his duties; he had saved more lives than he had ever taken in war; and he had raised Steldor to be the man he was today--a bold, brave, sacrificing man. The son was his father in many, many ways. I was startled out of my thoughts by a knock, and turned to see Steldor standing in the doorway. He glanced around the office, his expression composed, and yet it held a deep and immutable sorrow. “I was told I would find you here,” he said. “How are you?” I asked, nervously twining my hands. “As good as can be expected, I suppose.” “And Galen?” “He has Tiersia.” I nodded, averting my gaze. I knew his answer had been an honest one, and had not been meant to hurt me, but sadness filled me. I wanted him to have someone--he deserved to have someone. Only that someone could not be me. “Let’s go to my drawing room,” I suggested, for Cannan’s office was not a place that would allow us to talk about the future, and that was what we needed to do. Steldor stepped aside, allowing me to exit first. He spent one last moment absorbing the look and feel of his father’s office, then respectfully closed the door. When we reached the Queen’s Drawing Room at the front of the palace, we walked over to the bay window that granted a view of the Eastern Courtyard to talk, much as we had when he had told me of his plan to annul our marriage. But this time, I was the one who needed to speak. I slipped my hand into his, and he glanced at me in mild surprise. “I’m sorry about your father’s passing. I know how close you were to him. His strength and guidance will be missed by all. Despite our kingdom’s glory, Hytanica is less without him.” Steldor did not respond, but gazed stoically out the window. Then he nodded twice and took a deep breath, reining in his emotions. Even now, with me, he was proud, not knowing that I wanted to hold him and let him cry, and that if he did, I would not, even for an instant, find him weak. He ran a hand through his dark hair and turned to face me, silently begging me to change the subject, and I obliged. “”And how is the rest of your family?” “Amid our losses, there is also some good news. Shaselle has a suitor.” “Do you approve of her choice? After all, you are the man of the family now.” “There’s no accounting for taste.” He smirked, seeming thankful for my attempt at normalcy. “Actually, Lord Grayden is a good man--a man who met my father’s approval and, I believe, would have met Baelic’s. When the time is right, I expect a betrothal.” Again a smile played across his features. “Now I just have to worry about the other three girls in the family.” I laughed, lacing my fingers through his when I felt he might pull away. I did not know how he would react to my coming proposal--and whether he would admit it or not, he needed some comfort now. “Steldor,” I said, my tone and demeanor once more serious, “when I see Galen, I will reinstate him as Sergeant at Arms.” “An excellent decision.” I nodded, then continued. “But our military needs to be reformed. It needs a strong and passionate leader, someone who will do Cannan and all of his work justice. I cannot think of anyone more suited to taking over the position of Captain of the Guard than you.” He did not immediately reply, but his eyes went to our hands, and he raised mine to his lips as he had so often done before.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))