Small Nose Quotes

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The universe contains any amount of horrible ways to be woken up, such as the noise of the mob breaking down the front door, the scream of fire engines, or the realization that today is the Monday which on Friday night was a comfortably long way off. A dog's wet nose is not strictly speaking the worst of the bunch, but it has its own peculiar dreadfulness which connoisseurs of the ghastly and dog owners everywhere have come to know and dread. It's like having a small piece of defrosting liver pressed lovingly against you.
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1))
If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.” But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it. I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. “Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.” Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
Sarah Kay
But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die," she said. Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement. "I have two responses to that," He said at last. "First, everyone is going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reason I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?" "Yes," she whispered. He stroked Small's nose. "I love you," he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Step Away from the Mean Girls… …and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks. Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others. This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you're too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.
Oprah Winfrey
Jack couldn't help but watch Nonie as she left. She looked to be twenty-nine, thirty at the most, stood maybe five foot-four and was slender. She had shoulder-length, curly, walnut-colored hair and the largest most beautiful blue eyes he'd ever seem Her nose and ears were small in comparison to her full lips, which he'd give anything to kiss.
Deborah Leblanc (Toe to Toe)
I also stole a small yellow doughnut from the box of Duncan's doughnuts in the rec room and fed it to the attack poodle in my office. He made a great production of it. First, he growled at the doughnut, just to show it who was boss. Then he nudged it with his nose. Then he licked it, until finally he snagged it into his mouth and chomped it with great pleasure, dropping crumbs all over the carpet.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
I don’t know if you have ever seem a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island; for the Neverland is always more or less and island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Since when?” she challenged. “Since when has my heart been with you?” She nodded. He stepped closer and framed her face in his large hands. “Quite possibly from the first time I heard you snort.” He placed a kiss on the tip of her nose. “Very probably when you flirted with our waiter.” A warm kiss on the freckle by her eye. “Almost certainly the first time you fell asleep in my arms.” A small kiss on the opposite cheek. “And most definitely the night we made love.” Finally, a tender kiss on the lips.
Gina L. Maxwell (Seducing Cinderella (Fighting for Love, #1))
As in 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff'?" The skull howled with laughter. "You just got your ass handed to you by a nursery tale?" "I wouldn't say they handed me my ass," I said. Bob was nearly strangling on his laughter, and given that he had no lungs it seemed gratuitous somehow. "That's because you can't see yourself," he choked out. "Your nose is all swollen up and you've got two black eyes. You look like a raccoon. Holding a dislocated ass.
Jim Butcher (Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10))
It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die," she said. Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement. "I have two responses to that," he said finally. "First, everyone's going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reasons I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?" "Yes," she whispered. He stroked Small's nose. "I love you," he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do." She made a connection then. Surprised she sat back from him and studied his face, soft with shadows and light. She saw a part of him she hadn't seen before. "You came to me for lessons to guard your mind," she said, "and you stopped asking me to marry you, both at the same time. You did those things out of love for your brother." "Well" he said, looking a bit sheepishly at the floor. "I also took a few swings at him, but that's neither here nor there." "You're good at love," she said simply, because it seemed to her that it was true. "I'm not so good at love. I'm like a barbed creature. I push everyone I love away." He shrugged. "I don't mind you pushing me away if it means you love me, little sister.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
After she returned and the Gray Man had been encouraged to sit down on the worn couch, Maura said, “I’ll warn you that if you try anything, Calla has Mace.” By way of demonstration, Calla handed him his drink and then removed a small black container of pepper spray from her small red purse. Maura gestured toward the third member of their group. “And Persephone is Russian.” “Estonian,” Persephone correctly softly. “And”—Maura made an extremely convincing fist—“I know how to punch a man’s nose into his brain.” “What a coincidence,” the Gray Man said genially. “So do I.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Living in a small town [in India] was like living in a glass house!
Mallika Nawal (I'm a Woman & I'm on SALE (I'm a Woman, #1))
Minutes passed by. A little blue butterfly landed on my nose. I blinked at it and it fluttered to my ear. A big yellow butterfly gently floated over and landed on my paw. Soon a whole swarm of them floated up and down around me, like a swirl of multicolored petals. It happened in my backyard, too, if the magic was strong enough. Butterflies were small and light, and very magic sensitive. For some reason I made them feel safe and they gravitated to me like iron shavings to a magnet. They ruined my ferocious badass image, but you’d have to be a complete beast to swat butterflies. If a baby deer frolicked out from between the buildings trying to cuddle up, I would roar. I wouldn’t bite it, but I would roar. I had my limits.
Ilona Andrews (Hexed (World of Kate Daniels, #4.5; Otherworld, #9.5; Stormwalker, #2.5; Anna Strong Chronicles, #6.5))
Please touch me. I need you to touch me." I didn't have to ask twice. His arms came around me, pulling me onto his lap and cradling me against his chest. "His blood? From his nose?" I nodded, disgusted. "Good girl." His arms slid around me again. "God, you 're so fucking amazing." "I want it off. I want it off." "Yes. Soon." His fingers moved gently over my face. "I'm so sorry, Jacqueline. Jesus Christ, i can't believe i sent you out the door like that. Please forgive me." As he caressed me, i turned my head under his chin, folding into him as small as i could get. "I'm sorry for looking her up. I didn't know-" "Shh, baby...not now. Just let me hold you." He pulled me tighter still after grabbing his jacket from the grass nearby and draping it over me, and we stopped speaking.
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
God or somebody keeps creating women and tossing them out on the streets, and this one’s ass is too big and that one’s tits are too small, and this one is mad and that one is crazy and that one is a religionist and that one reads tea leaves and this one can’t control her farts, and that one has this big nose, and that one has boney legs … But now and then, a woman walks up, full blossom, a woman just bursting out of her dress … a sex creature, a curse, the end of it all.
Charles Bukowski (Post Office)
The first time she carved something into her skin, she used the sharp tip of an X-Acto knife. She lifted up her shirt to show me after the cuts had scabbed over. She had scrawled F*** YOU on her stomach. I stood quiet for a moment, feeling the breath get knocked out of me. I should have grabbed her arm and taken her straight to the nurse's office, into that small room with two cots covered in paper sheets and the sweet, stale medicinal smell. I should have lifted Ingrid's shirt to show the cuts. Look, I would've said to the nurse at her little desk, eyeglasses perched on her pointed nose. Help her. Instead, I reached my hand out and traced the words. The cuts were shallow, so the scabs only stood out a little bit. They were rough and brown. I knew that a lot of girls at our school cut themselves. They wore their long sleeves pulled down past their wrists and made slits for their thumbs so that the scars on their arms wouldn't show. I wanted to ask Ingrid if it hurt to do that to herself, but I felt stupid, like I must have been missing something, so what I said was, F*** you too, b****. Ingrid giggled, and I tried to ignore the feeling that something good between us was changing.
Nina LaCour (Hold Still)
Newsflash she already has body image issues.  It's an intrinsic part of being a woman. Every woman in the world has some part of herself that she absolutely hates.  Her hands are too small, her feet are too big, her hair is too straight, too curly, her ears stick out, her bums too flat, her nose is too big and, you know, nothing you can say will change how we feel.  What men don't understand is, the right clothes, the right shoes, the right makeup it just... It, it hides the flaws we think we have.  They make us look beautiful to ourselves.  That's what makes us look beautiful to others. Used to be all she needed to feel beautiful was a pink tutu and a plastic tiara. And we spend our whole lives trying to feel that way again.
Richard Castle
Man cuts out for himself a manageable world: he throws himself into action uncritically, unthinkingly. He accepts the cultural programming that turns his nose where he is supposed to look; he doesn’t bite the world off in one piece as a giant would, but in small manageable pieces, as a beaver does. He uses all kinds of techniques, which we call the “character defenses”: he learns not to expose himself, not to stand out; he learns to embed himself in other-power, both of concrete persons and of things and cultural commands; the result is that he comes to exist in the imagined infallibility of the world around him. He doesn’t have to have fears when his feet are solidly mired and his life mapped out in a ready-made maze. All he has to do is to plunge ahead in a compulsive style of drivenness in the “ways of the world.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
There were two sisters, they went playing,         To see their father’s ships come sailing …         And when they came unto the sea-brim         The elder did push the younger in Sometimes she sank, and sometimes she swam,         ’Til her corpse came to the miller’s dam         “But what did he do with her breastbone?         He made him a viol to play on.         What’d he do with her fingers so small?         He made pegs to his viol withall And what did he do with her nose-ridge?         Unto his viol he made a bridge.         What did he do with her veins so blue?         He made strings to his viol thereto What did he do with her eyes so bright?         On his viol he set at first light.         What did he do with her tongue so rough?         ’Twas the new till and it spoke enough         “Then bespake the treble string,         ‘O yonder is my father the king.’ Then bespake the second string,         ‘O yonder sits my mother the queen.’  Then bespake the strings all three,         ‘Yonder is my sister that drowned me.’ 
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
With small nose, gross thighs, and those back-bent smoke-dyed fingers, he obliged me with this explanation, and he thought to have more effect on me than he really ever could have. When I didn't argue he was satisfied that he had persuaded me, and was not the first to make that mistake.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
Life is attention to both the large and the small, little brother. Pay heed to the sun, but watch your feet, or you'll fall ingloriously on your nose.
Mercedes Lackey (Storm Breaking (Mage Storms, #3))
Bream Mortimer was tall and thin. He had small bright eyes and a sharply curving nose. He looked much more like a parrot than most parrots do. It gave strangers a momentary shock of surprise when they saw Bream Mortimer in restaurants, eating roast beef. They had the feeling that he would have preferred sunflower seeds.
P.G. Wodehouse (The Girl on the Boat)
I don’t know whether you have ever seen a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads on the island, for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with sex elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all, but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needle-work, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate-pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine threepence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on, and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still. Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John’s, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingos flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends, Michael had friends at night, Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents...
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Why books?” Her brows rose. “I beg your pardon?” “Why are they your vice?” She set her plate down and wiped her hand on her skirts before reaching for the top volume on a stack of small, leather bound books nearby and extending it to him. “Go on.” He took it. “Now what?” “Smell it.” He tilted his head. She couldn’t help but smile. “Do it.” He lifted it to his nose. Inhaled. “Not like that,” she said. “Really give it a smell.” He raised one brow but did as he was told. “What do you smell?” Sophie asked. “Leather and ink?” She shook her head. “Happiness. That’s what books smells like. Happiness. That’s why I always wanted to have a book shop. What better life than to trade in happiness?
Sarah MacLean (The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1))
The trees they passed repeated on and on into the woods. None was remarkable when compared to the next, but each was individual in some small regard: the number of limbs, the girth of trunk, the circumference of shed leaves encircling the base. No more than minor peculiarities, but minor particularities were what transformed two eyes, a nose, and a mouth into a face.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
Noah was no longer at my side when I turned. He had Kent from algebra pinned against the car. "I should injure you considerably," he said in a low voice "Dude, chill." Kent was completely calm. "Noah," I heard myself say. "Its not worth it." Noah's eyes narrowed, but apon hearing my voice, he released Kent who straightened his shirt and brushed the front of his khakis. "Get fucked, Kent," Noah said as he turned away. The idiot laughed, "Oh, I will." Noah whirled around and I heard the unmistakable impact of knuckles meeting face. Kent was on the concrete, his hands clutching his nose. When he started to get up, Noah said, "I wouldn't. I'm barely above kicking the shit out of you on the ground. Barely." "You broke my nose!" Blood streamed down Kents shirt and a crowd formed a small circle around the three of us. A teacher parted the throng and called out, "Principals office NOW, Shaw." Noah ignored him and walked over to me, inordinately calm. He placed his good hand on the small of my back and my legs threatened to dissolve. The bell rang and I looked at Noah as he leaned in and brushed his lips against my ear. He whispered into my hair, "It was worth it." - The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin
Welcome to life in a small town,' Jack said dryly. 'Where everybody makes it their business to put their noses in yours.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Wizard Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #2))
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
All money is imaginary," answered the Calcatrix simply. "Money is magic everyone agrees to pretend is not magic. Observe! You treat it like magic, wield it like magic, fear it like magic! Why should a body with more small circles of copper or silver or gold than anyone else have an easy life full of treats every day and sleeping in and other people bowing down? The little circles can't get up and fight a battle or make a supper so splendid you get full just by looking at it or build a house of a thousand gables. They can do those things because everyone agrees to give them power. If everyone agreed to stop giving power to pretty metals and started giving it to thumbnails or mushroom caps or roof shingles or first kisses or tears or hours or puffin feathers, those little circles would just lay there tarnishing in the rain and not making anyone bow their noses down to the ground or stick them up in the air.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3))
He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.
Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Look- here's a table covered with red cloth. On it is a cage the size of a small fish aquarium. In the cage is a white rabbit with a pink nose and pink-rimmed eyes. [...] On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8. [...] The most interesting thing here isn't even the carrot-munching rabbit in the cage, but the number on its back. Not a six, not a four, not nineteen-point-five. It's an eight. This is what we're looking at, and we all see it. I didn't tell you. You didn't ask me. I never opened my mouth and you never opened yours. We're not even in the same year together, let alone the same room... except we are together. We are close. We're having a meeting of the minds. [...] We've engaged in an act of telepathy. No mythy-mountain shit; real telepathy.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
We cannot repeat too often the great lesson of freudian psychology: that repression is normal self-protection and creative self-restriction-in a real sense, man's natural substitute for instinct. Rank has a perfect, key term for this natural human talent: he calls it "partialization" and very rightly sees that life is impossible without it. What we call the well-adjusted man has just this capacity to partialize the world for comfortable action. I have used the term "fetishization," which is exactly the same idea: the "normal" man bites off what he can chew and digest of life, and no more. In other words, men aren't built to be gods, to take in the whole world; they are built like other creatures, to take in the piece of ground in front of their noses. Gods can take in the whole of creation because they alone can make sense of it, know what it is all about and for. But as soon as a man lifts his nose from the ground and starts sniffing at eternal problems like life and death, the meaning of a rose or a star cluster-then he is in trouble. Most men spare themselves this trouble by keeping their minds on the small problems of their lives just as their society maps these problems out for them. These are what Kierkegaard called the "immediate" men and the "Philistines." They "tranquilize themselves with the trivial"- and so they can lead normal lives.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
When I was small and would leaf through the Old Testament retold for children and illustrated in engravings by Gustave Dore, I saw the Lord God standing on a cloud. He was an old man with eyes, nose, and a long beard, and I would say to myself that if He had a mouth, He had to eat. And if He ate, He had intestines. But that always gave me a fright, because even though I come from a family that was not particularly religious, I felt the idea of a divine intestine to be sacrilegious. Spontaneously, without any theological training, I, a child, grasped the incompatibility of God and shit... Either/or: either man was created in God's image-- and God has intestines!-- or God lacks intestines and man is not like him... Shit is a more onerous theological problem than is evil. Since God gave man freedom, we can, if need be, accept the idea that He is not responsible for man's crimes. The responsibility for shit, however, rests entirely with Him, the Creator of man.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
You own me,” he said, water sputtering against his lips as his head bobbed at the surface. “You have lock and key, deed to the house, the welcome mat, all that shit. It’s all yours, baby.” “I’ll have to take good care of my property, then.” “And I’ll have to behave on and off the premises. I may be a little rowdy, but...I’ll use my manners.” I sent him a small splash. “No swearing, invading personal space, or forgetting your pleases and thank-yous.” A glimmer twinkled in his irises, and for a moment, it looked as if he was the one about to drown. “Damn straight,” he pulled me against him abruptly, nose to nose. “Now please get over here and fucking kiss me.
Rachael Wade (Love and Relativity (Preservation))
I ever wished to look as well as I could, and to please as much as my want of beauty would permit. I sometimes regretted that I was not handsomer; I sometimes wished to have rosy cheeks, a straight nose, and small cherry mouth; I desired to be tall, stately, and finely developed in figure; I felt it a misfortune that I was so little, so pale, and had features so irregular and so marked.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I see,' agreed Rule. 'You are going to be the Sacrifice.' She looked up at him rather shyly. 'It c-can't signify to you, can it? Except that I know I'm not a Beauty, like L-Lizzie. But I have got the Nose, sir.' Rule surveyed the Nose. 'Undoubtedly, you have the Nose,' he said. Horatia seemed determined to make a clean breast of her blemishes. 'And p-perhaps you could become used to my eyebrows?' The smile lurked at the back of Rule's eyes. 'I think, quite easily.' She said sadly: 'They won't arch, you know. And I ought to't-tell you that we have quite given up hope of my g-growing any taller.' 'It would certainly be a pity if you did,' said his lordship. 'D-do you think so?' Horatia was surprised. 'It is a great trial to me, I can assure you.' She took a breath, and added, with difficulty: 'You m-may have n-noticed that I have a - a stammer.' 'Yes, I had noticed,' the Earl answered gently. 'If you f-feel you c-can't bear it, sir, I shall quite understand,' Horatia said in a small, anxious voice. 'I like it,'said the Earl.
Georgette Heyer (The Convenient Marriage)
The hemulen woke up slowly and recognised himself and wished he had been someone he didn't know. He felt even tireder than when he went to bed, and here it was -- another day which would go on until evening and then there would be another one and another one which would be the same as all days are when they are lived by a hemulen. He crept under the bedcover and buried his nose in the pillow, then he shifted his stomach to the edge of the bed where the sheets were cool. He took possession of the whole bed with outstretched arms and legs he was waiting for a nice dream that wouldn't come. He curled up and made himself small but it didn't help a bit. He tried being the hemulen that everybody like, he tried being the hemulen that no one liked. But however hard he tried he remained a hemulen doing his best without anything really coming off. In the end he got up and pulled on his trousers. The Hemulen didn't like getting dressed and undressed, it gave him a feeling that the days passed without anything of importance happening. Even so, he spent the whole day arranging, organising and directing things from morning till night! All around him there were people living slipshod and aimless lives, wherever he looked there was something to be put to rights and he worked his fingers to the bone trying to get them to see how they ought to live. It's as though they don't want to live well, the Hemulen thought sadly as he brushed his teeth. He looked at the photograph of himself with his boat which was been taken when the boat was launched. It was a beautiful picture but it made him feel even sadder. I ought to learn how to sail, the Hemulen thought. But I've never got enough time... Moominvalley in November Chapter 5, THE HEMULEN
Tove Jansson (Moominvalley in November (The Moomins, #9))
Perhaps I just feel safer with the history that’s been more or less agreed upon. Or perhaps it’s that same paradox again: the history that happens underneath our noses ought to be the clearest, and yet it’s the most deliquescent. We live in time, it bounds us and defines us, and time is supposed to measure history, isn’t it? But if we can’t understand time, can’t grasp its mysteries of pace and progress, what chance do we have with history - even our own small, personal, largely undocumented piece of it? And it ought to be obvious to us that time doesn’t act as a fixative, rather as a solvent. But it’s not convenient - it’s not useful - to believe this; it doesn’t help us get on with our lives; so we ignore it.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
So I take it you and Gansey get along, then?” Maura’s expression was annoyingly knowing. “Mom.” “Orla told me about his muscle car,” Maura continued. Her voice was still angry and artificially bright. The fact that Blue was well aware that she’d earned it made the sting of it even worse. “You aren’t planning on kissing him, are you?” “Mom, that will never happen,” Blue assured her. “You did meet him, didn’t you?” “I wasn’t sure if driving an old, loud Camaro was the male equivalent of shredding your T-shirts and gluing cardboard trees to your bedroom walls.” “Trust me,” Blue said. “Gansey and I are nothing like each other. And they aren’t cardboard. They’re repurposed canvas.” “The environment breathes a sigh of relief.” Maura attempted another sip of her drink; wrinkling her nose, she shot a glare at Persephone. Persephone looked martyred. After a pause, Maura noted, in a slightly softer voice, “I’m not entirely happy about you’re getting in a car without air bags.” “Our car doesn’t have air bags,” Blue pointed out. Maura picked a long strand of Persephone’s hair from the rim of her glass. “Yes, but you always take your bike.” Blue stood up. She suspected that the green fuzz of the sofa was now adhered to the back of her leggings. “Can I go now? Am I in trouble?” “You are in trouble. I told you to stay away from him and you didn’t,” Maura said. “I just haven’t decided what to do about it yet. My feelings are hurt. I’ve consulted with several people who tell me that I’m within my rights to feel hurt. Do teenagers still get grounded? Did that only happen in the eighties?” “I’ll be very angry if you ground me,” Blue said, still wobbly from her mother’s unfamiliar displeasure. “I’ll probably rebel and climb out my window with a bedsheet rope.” Her mother rubbed a hand over her face. Her anger had completely burned itself out. “You’re well into it, aren’t you? That didn’t take long.” “If you don’t tell me not to see them, I don’t have to disobey you,” Blue suggested. “This is what you get, Maura, for using your DNA to make a baby,” Calla said. Maura sighed. “Blue, I know you’re not an idiot. It’s just, sometimes smart people do dumb things.” Calla growled, “Don’t be one of them.” “Persephone?” asked Maura. In her small voice, Persephone said, “I have nothing left to add.” After a moment of consideration, she added, however, “If you are going to punch someone, don’t put your thumb inside your fist. It would be a shame to break it.” “Okay,” Blue said hurriedly. “I’m out.” “You could at least say sorry,” Maura said. “Pretend like I have some power over you.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
This is your baby sister, Christian. Her name is Mia.” Mommy lets me hold her. She is very small. With black, black hair. She smiles. She has no teeth. I stick out my tongue. She has a bubbly laugh. Mommy lets me hold the baby again. Her name is Mia. I make her laugh. I hold her and hold her. She is safe when I hold her. Elliot is not interested in Mia. She dribbles and cries. And he wrinkles his nose when she does a poop. When Mia is crying Elliot ignores her. I hold her and hold her and she stops. She falls asleep in my arms. “Mee a,” I whisper. “What did you say?! Mommy asks, and her face is white like a chalk. “Mee a.” “Yes. Yes. Darling boy. Mia. Her name is Mia.” And Mommy starts to cry with happy, happy tears.
E.L. James (Grey (Fifty Shades as Told by Christian, #1))
Reading for me, was like breathing. It was probably akin to masturbation for my brain. Getting off on the fantasy within the pages of a good novel felt necessary to my survival. If I wasn't asleep, knitting, or working, I was reading. This was for several reasons, all of them focused around the infititely superior and enviable lives of fictional heroines to real-life people. Take romans for instance. Fictional women in romance novels never get their period. They never have morning breath. They orgasm seventeen times a day. And they never seem to have jobs with bosses. These clean, well-satisfied, perm-minty-breathed women have fulfilling careers as florists, bakery owners, hair stylists or some other kind of adorable small business where they decorate all day. If they do have a boss, he's a cool guy (or gal) who's invested in the woman's love life. Or, he's a super hot billionaire trying to get in her pants. My boss cares about two things: Am I on time ? Are all my patients alive and well at the end of my shift? And the mend in the romance novels are too good to be true; but I love it, and I love them. Enter stage right the independently wealthy venture capitalist suffering from the ennui of perfection until a plucky interior decorator enters stage left and shakes up his life and his heart with perky catch phrases and a cute nose that wrinkles when she sneezes. I suck at decorating. The walls of my apartment are bare. I am allergic to most store-bought flowers. If I owned a bakery, I'd be broke and weigh seven hundred pounds, because I love cake.
Penny Reid (Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0))
Before anything," he said as he brought her around to face him, "I want to give you this." Fumbling in his suitcoat, he produced a small package wrapped in brown paper and string, and gave it to Azalea. Curious, she tugged at the strings of the light package until they unkonotted. The paper fell away. It was a silver handkerchief. Supple and soft, just as Mother's had been. In the corner were the ambroidered initials A.K.W. Azalea laughed and cried at once. She threw her arms around Mr. Bradford's neck, wanting to embrace him so deeply she could feel his soul. "Yes," she cried, "Yes! Yes, yes, yes!" "Well-I-never even said anything," he said. Even so, he pulled her closer, wrapping his arms around her. Azalea pressed her cheek into his collar, rumpling it, and breathing into his cravat. It smelled of fresh linen. She felt Mr. Bradford's cheek pressing the top of her head. His lips touched her hair. A muffled voice startled them both. "When are you going to kiss her?" They pulled away.In the ballroom windows, noses and hands pressed against te glass, were the girls. They stood among the prickly rosebushes, beaming wicked little grins. Delphinium and Eve whispered and giggled to each other;Bramble wore a magnificent grin on her face and a spark of light in her yellow-green eyes. Another figure stood among them.This one had his arms folded across his chest, stiff and firm and formal... ...Yet he did not look displeased. "Those rotten little spies!" said Azalea.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
Humph.” She peered down suspiciously as he parted the leaves to reveal the choke. “That doesn’t look very tasty.” “That’s because it isn’t,” he said. “Pay heed: the artichoke is a shy vegetable. She covers herself in spine-tipped leaves that must be carefully peeled away, and underneath shields her treasure with a barricade o’ soft needles. They must be tenderly, but firmly, scraped aside. Ye must be bold, for if yer not, she’ll never reveal her soft heart.” He finished cutting away the thistles and placed the small, tender heart on the center of her plate. She wrinkled her nose. “That’s it? But it’s so small.” “Ah, and d’ye judge a thing solely upon size alone?” She made a choking sound.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3))
And tomorrow, next month, next year? It will take a long time. Years from now, they will still be arranging the pieces they know, puzzling over her features, redrawing her outlines in their minds. Sure that they've got her right this time, positive in this moment that they understand her completely, at last. They will think of her often: when Marilyn opens the curtains in Lydia's room, opens the closet, and begins to take the clothing from the shelves. When their father, one day, enters a party for the first time does not glance, quickly, at all the blond heads in the room. When Hannah begins to stand a little straighter, when she begins to speak a bit clearer, when one day she flicks her hair behind her ear in a familiar gesture and wonders, for a moment, where she got it. And Nath. When at school people ask if he has siblings: two sisters, but one died; when one day, he looks at the small bump that will always mar the bridge of Jack's nose and wants to trace it, gently, with his finger. When a long, long time later, he stares down at the silent blue marble of the earth and thinks of his sister, as he will at every important moment of his life. He doesn't know this yet, but he senses it deep down in his core. So much will happen, he thinks, that I would want to tell you.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
We felt very nice and snug, the more so since it was so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed-clothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel delightfully and unmistakably warm. For this reason a sleeping apartment should never be furnished with a fire, which is one of the luxurious discomforts of the rich. For the height of this sort of deliciousness is to have nothing but the blanket between you and your snugness and the cold of the outer air. Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
memories were tricky things…they weren’t stable. they changed with perception over time. …they shifted, and [she] understood how the passage of time affected them. the hard working striver might recall his childhood as one filled with misery and hardship marred by the cat calls and mae calling of playground bullies, but later, have a much more forgiving understanding of past injustices. the handmade clothes he had been forced to wear, became a testament to his mother’s love. each patch and stitch a sign of her diligence, instead of a brand of poverty. he would remember father staying up late to help him with his homework – the old old man’s patience and dedication, instead of the sharpness of his temper when he returned home – late- from the factory. it went the other way as well. [she] had scanned thousands of memories of spurned women, whose handsome lovers turned ugly and rude. roman noses, perhaps too pointed. eyes growing small and mean. while the oridnary looking boys who had become their husbands, grew in attractiveness as the years passed, so that when asked if it was love at first site, the women cheerfully answered yes. memories were moving pictures in which meaning was constantly in flux. they were stories people told themselves.
Melissa de la Cruz (The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4))
I nuzzle up against him, eyes closed, my nose at his throat, drinking in his sexy Christian-and-spiced-musky bodywash fragrance, my head on his shoulder. I let my mind drift, and I allow myself to fantasize that he loves me. Oh, and it's so real, tanglible almost, and a small part of my nasty harpy subconscious acts completely out of character and dares to hope.
E.L. James
It is strange, is it not, how an accident of a millimeter here, a millimeter there, makes one face so important. Think about it Elliot, She has two eyes, a nose, a mouth, just like everyone else. It,s all in tiny degrees of placement, such small area of magic to make such a big difference. For me, Elliot, I must tell you it is a hard thing to understand- why these things, these millimeters, are so crucial to you, you of all men.
Judith Krantz (Scruples)
Leticia believed in Snotism. Every morning she began the day with a prayer to the Great God, Gundar. Today was no different. While most of the heroes still slept, she recited the prayer, then took out a small vial and spilled a few grains of crushed pepper into her hand. Holding her palm under her nose, she snorted the pepper. A second later, she let go with an explosive sneeze.
Hank Quense (The King Who Disappeared)
I looked down at my bloody shirt and jeans. “My face hurts all over,” I said to Ranger. “Where’s all the blood coming from?” “You’re getting a bruise on your cheek. You have a small cut on your lower lip. You were bleeding from your nose, but that seems to have stopped. You have a puncture wound on your neck.” “I’m a mess!” Ranger wrapped his arms around me and held me close. “You’re beautiful. You evacuated the hotel and you delivered Vlatko.
Janet Evanovich (Top Secret Twenty-one (Stephanie Plum, #21))
Or perhaps it’s that same paradox again: the history that happens underneath our noses ought to be the clearest, and yet it’s the most deliquescent. We live in time, it bounds us and defines us, and time is supposed to measure history, isn’t it? But if we can’t understand time, can’t grasp its mysteries of pace and progress, what chance do we have with history—even our own small, personal, largely undocumented piece of it?
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
In the pragmatist, streetwise climate of advanced postmodern capitalism, with its scepticism of big pictures and grand narratives, its hard-nosed disenchantment with the metaphysical, 'life' is one among a whole series of discredited totalities. We are invited to think small rather than big – ironically, at just the point when some of those out to destroy Western civilization are doing exactly the opposite. In the conflict between Western capitalism and radical Islam, a paucity of belief squares up to an excess of it. The West finds itself faced with a full-blooded metaphysical onslaught at just the historical point that it has, so to speak, philosophically disarmed. As far as belief goes, postmodernism prefers to travel light: it has beliefs, to be sure, but it does not have faith.
Terry Eagleton (The Meaning of Life)
I shrugged. “Actually, I didn’t tell her much of anything. She must’ve put two and two together all on her own and come up with you being a jerk face.” His gaze slid back to me and he grinned. “Ouch, shortie.” “Yeah, like that really bothered you.” I glanced back through the small window in the door that led to bio. Mr. Tucker was already at his desk—was Mrs. Cleo ever coming back?—and we only had a minute, tops, before the tardy bell rang. “What did you want?” Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a thin slip of yellow paper, waving it in my face. “Guess what I found?” “Obviously not a better personality,” I remarked. “Ha. Funny.” He brushed the edge of the paper across my nose and smiled when I smacked it away.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2))
But you know, there's one simple thing I see absolutely clearly, now that I am so very old. I looked at her. The Albert Einstein hairstyle, and the bright black eyes and the sharp nose. That pallor on her face. She put her small hand on mine. The world is wonderful, she said. All its little things. It is wonderful.
Nuala O'Faolain (My Dream of You)
The woman had gone down on her knees and was shuffling slowly across the cruel ground towards the group of crosses: the dead baby rocked on her back. When she reached the tallest cross she unhooked the child and held the face against the wood and afterwards the loins: then she crossed herself, not as ordinary Catholics do, but in a curious and complicated pattern which included the nose and ears. Did she expect a miracle? And if she did, why should it not be granted her? the priest wondered. Faith, one was told, could move mountains, and here was faith--faith in the spittle that healed the blind man and the voice that raised the dead. The evening star was out: it hung low down over the edge of the plateau: it looked as if it was within reach: and a small hot wind stirred. The priest found himself watching the child for some movement. When none came, it was as if God had missed an opportunity. The woman sat down, and taking a lump of sugar from her bundle, began to eat, and the child lay quiet at the foot of the cross. Why, after all, should we expect God to punish the innocent with more life?
Graham Greene (The Power and the Glory)
Hank was walking barefoot up the dock, carrying his sweatshirt over a freckled shoulder and his boots clamped between thumb and finger of that maimed hand. Lee marveled at the scamper of small muscles across the narrow white back, at the swing of the arms and the lift of the neck. Did it take that much muscle just to walk, or was Hank showing off his manly development? Every moment constituted open aggression against the very air through which Hank passed. He doesn't just breathe, Lee decided, listening to Hank's broken-nosed puffing, he gobbles the oxygen. He doesn't just walk; he consumes distance step by carnivorous step. Open aggression is what it is all right, he concluded. Yet couldn't help but notice the way those shoulders seemed to savor the swing of the arms, or the way those feel relished the feel of the dock. These people...am I one of these people?
Ken Kesey (Sometimes a Great Notion)
You are still beautiful,” Fern said softly, her face turned to his. He was quiet for a moment, but he didn't pull away or groan or deny what she'd said. “I think that statement is more a reflection of your beauty than mine,” Ambrose said eventually, turning his head so he could look down at her. Fern's face was touched with moonglow, the color of her eyes and the red of her hair undecipherable in the wash of pale light. But her features were clear–the dark pools of expressive eyes, the small nose and soft mouth, the earnest slant of her brow that indicated she didn't understand his response. “You know that thing people always say, about beauty being in the eye of the beholder?” “Yes?” “I always thought it meant we all have different tastes, different preferences . . . you know? Some guys focus on the legs, some guys prefer blondes, some men like girls with long hair, that kind of thing. I never thought about it really, not before this moment. But maybe you see beauty in me because you are beautiful, not because I am.” “Beautiful on the inside?” “Yes.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
He was an inspector. I could tell because he wasn’t wearing a uniform. He also had a very hairy nose. It looked as if there were two very small mice hiding in his nostrils.*2
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
also had a very hairy nose. It looked as if there were two very small mice hiding in his nostrils.1
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
I think about Kit, who smells nice and whose nose is perfect. Not too big and not too small, just right. She's a Goldilocks of a person.
Julie Buxbaum (What to Say Next)
In small towns people scent the wind with noses of uncommon keenness.
Stephen King (The Stand)
Her head fell forward, her small nose hid itself in the collar of her dressing gown and at last she fell asleep.
Simon Mason (Moon Pie)
The Lachrymose Leeches,' Aunt Josephine said, 'are quite different from regular leeches. They each have six rows of very sharp teeth ad one very sharp nose - they can smell even the smallest bit of food from far far away. The Lachrymose Leeches are usually quite harmless, preying only on small fish. But if they smell food on a human they will swarm around him
Lemony Snicket (The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3))
I don’t have any chocolate bars right now.” She pressed her lips together as she placed two small fingers at the bridge of her nose and shook her head as though she had lost all hope for him. Finally, she sighed as though more than put out. Her eyes were twinkling, though, the shadows of fear easing. “I’ll take you on your word then,” she sighed. “But you really should stock up on chocolate bars. It’s more precious than gold when dealing with kids, ya know.
Lora Leigh (Elizabeth's Wolf (Breeds, #3; Wolf Breeds, #1))
Prince Humperdinck: First things first, to the death. Westley: No. To the pain. Prince Humperdinck: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase. Westley: I'll explain and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon. Prince Humperdinck: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me. Westley: It won't be the last. To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose. Prince Humperdinck: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don't mean to duplicate tonight. Westley: I wasn't finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right. Prince Humperdinck: And then my ears, I understand let's get on with it. Westley: WRONG. Your ears you keep and I'll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, "Dear God! What is that thing," will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever. Prince Humperdinck: I think you're bluffing. Westley: It's possible, Pig, I might be bluffing. It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again... perhaps I have the strength after all. [slowly rises and points sword directly at the prince] Westley: DROP... YOUR... SWORD!
-Princess Bride
We shall not attempt to give the reader an idea of that tetrahedron nose-that horse-shoe mouth-that small left eye over-shadowed by a red bushy brow, while the right eye disappeared entirely under an enormous wart-of those straggling teeth with breaches here and there like the battlements of a fortress-of that horny lip, over which one of those teeth projected like the tusk of an elephant-of that forked chin-and, above all, of the expression diffused over the whole-that mixture of malice, astonishment, and melancholy. Let the reader, if he can, figure to himself this combination.
Victor Hugo
Do you live here?" Sophie asked dryly. "No," he said, plopping down into the chair next to her, "although my mother is constantly telling me to make myself right at home." She could think of no witty rejoinder, so she merely "hmmphed" and stuck her nose back in her book. He plunked his feet on the small table in front. "And what are we reading today?" "That question," she said, snapping the book shut but leaving her finger in to mark her place, "implies that I am actually reading, which I assure you I am unable to do while you are sitting here." "My presence is that compelling, eh?" "It's that disturbing.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
The universe contains any amount of horrible ways to be woken up, such as the noise of the mob breaking down the front door, the scream of fire engines, or the realization that today is the Monday which on Friday night was a comfortably long way off. A dog’s wet nose is not strictly speaking the worst of the bunch, but it has its own peculiar dreadfulness which connoisseurs of the ghastly and dog owners everywhere have come to know and dread. It’s like having a small piece of defrosting liver pressed lovingly against you.
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10))
was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
A small white rabbit with floppy ears and a twitching pink nose bounded out from the thick forest brush. Fingers twitching at his side, James stepped toward the small animal, a nervous giddiness creeping up inside of him.
Brandi Salazar (Buried Secrets)
weren't we all the same as children?" eiko asked. "all of us, destined to become beautiful brides in fluffy white dresses!" she giggled to herself. "where did we go wrong?" isn't that what keeps life interesting?" i replied. "and who knows? next year you could be somebody's wife. no one knows what will happen." sometimes i think it would be wonderful just to stay the way i am forever, just kick back and space out during the afternoon thinking about all the exciting things that the night will bring, all the naughty things i might take part in." she snickered again. well," i said, "aren't you the happy one." she squinted her tiny nose and laughed. dawn was breaking as we said good-bye. i saw her off by watching her small body disappear into the background, her high heels clapping along, echoing in the early morning city. my drunkenness, the sunrise, the bright sky, and a friend who was leaving. if i had died in my fall i would have missed that morning - that splendid sunrise over tokyo.
Banana Yoshimoto
If the multiverse turns out to be the best explanation of the fundamental physical constants, it would not be the first time we have been flabbergasted by worlds beyond our noses. Our ancestors had to swallow the discovery of the Western Hemisphere, eight other planets, a hundred billion stars in our galaxy (many with planets), and a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. If reason contradicts intuition once again, so much the worse for intuition. Another advocate of the multiverse, Brian Greene, reminds us: “From a quaint, small, earth-centered universe to one filled with billions of galaxies, the journey has been both thrilling and humbling. We’ve been compelled to relinquish sacred belief in our own centrality, but with such cosmic demotion we’ve demonstrated the capacity of the human intellect to reach far beyond the confines of ordinary experience to reveal extraordinary truth.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
As she stood there, in her long sealskin coat, her hands thrust in a small round muff, her veil drawn down like a transparent mask to the tip of her nose, and the bunch of violets he had brought her stirring with her quickly-taken breath, it seemed incredible that this pure harmony of line and colour should ever suffer the stupid law of change.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
She was eighteen years old, a hippie Madonna with dark hair parted evenly on either side of her face, a nose shaped like a J, and a small, enigmatic mouth that men would probably describe as a rosebud but Beatriz would describe as “my mouth.
Maggie Stiefvater (All the Crooked Saints)
The full tigers watched him silently. All females. Thankfully. He would be less than happy if he had to take on some territorial male. Well, this little adventure was only going to last through today. As soon as night came, he would get his furry ass out of here. Even if he had to scare some poor security guard to death. Then he would be heading to California. He had some dog butt to kick. Sighing, Nik looked up to find a small child staring at him. A small child busy picking his nose. Could this get any worse? The females stirred restlessly near him and he caught the scent they had. Oh no. Please. Not that. They stood in front of him, completely unaware of his presence and arguing like two ten-year-olds. Nik didn't bother searching for a way out. There was no way out. Those two evil witches trapped him. Trapped him in hell. Throwing up his hands in anger, Alek turned away from Ban, facing the tiger display. Alek's gold eyes stared at Nik for a moment, a frown of confusion pulling his brows down. Then he smiled. And then he just became plain hysterical. Bastard! This wasn't and never would be funny! Ban stared at Alek for several confused moments before catching sight of Nik. As his brothers literally rolled on the ground laughing hysterically--and freaking out all the zoo visitors--Nik seethed
Shelly Laurenston (Here Kitty, Kitty! (Magnus Pack, #3))
Yes, sir," Hicks said. He was a small young man, very officious, who would never contradict a superior. If Morris claimed the clouds were made of cheese Hicks would just stand to attention, twitch his nose, and swear blind he could smell Cheddar.
Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe's Tiger (Sharpe, #1))
Viewed from above, on the mainmast shroud, they seemed suddenly so small, this little circle, making music, clustered on a floating stage, with the ocean darkening all around and the land behind dissolving into memory. Most of the faces of the people below were in shadow, individual features fading, chins and hair and noses lit by the red glimmer like heads around a hearth.
Harvey Oxenhorn (Tuning the Rig: A Journey to the Arctic)
Then Wang Lung turned to the woman and looked at her for the first time. She had a square, honest face, a short, broad nose with large black nostrils, and her mouth was wide as a gash in her face. Her eyes were small and of a dull black in color, and were filled with some sadness that was not clearly expressed. It was a face that seemed habitually silent and unspeaking, as though it could not speak if it would. She bore patiently Wang Lung’s look, without embarrassment or response, simply waiting until he had seen her. He saw that it was true there was not beauty of any kind in her face—a brown, common, patient face. But there were no pock-marks on her dark skin, nor was her lip split. In her ears he saw his rings hanging, the gold-washed rings he had bought, and on her hands were the rings he had given her. He turned away with secret exultation. Well, he had his woman!
Pearl S. Buck (The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1))
The human race is one of the few creatures whom can cry tears. If you look at us we are running around like small insects—all submerged in our own important errands. Everyone blind of whats going on underneath their own noses. We can be compassionate as well as evil. We can love and we can destroy. I will always wonder how the same creature can do both. Oxymoron.” Everything Changes, Always.
Adrian Sandvaer (Bright Moments - A Journey In The Human Mind)
When I woke, I was nestled on top of Ren’s chest. His arms were wrapped around me, and my legs were entwined with his. I was surprised I could breathe all night since my nose was smashed against his muscular torso. It had gotten cold, but my quilt covered both of us and his body, which maintained a warmer-than-average temperature, had kept me toasty all night. Ren was still asleep, so I took the rare opportunity to study him. His powerful frame was relaxed and his face was softened by sleep. His lips were full, smooth, and utterly kissable, and for the first time, I noticed how long his sooty lashes were. His glossy dark hair fell softly over his brow and was mussed in a way that made him look even more irresistible. So this is the real Ren. He doesn’t seem real. He looked like an archangel who fell to the earth. I’d been with Ren night and day for the past four weeks, but the time he was a man was such a small fraction of each day that he seemed almost like a dream guy, a real life Prince Charming. I traced a black eyebrow, following its arch with my finger, and lightly brushed the silky dark hair away from his face. Hoping not to disturb him, I sighed, shifted slowly, and tried to move away, but his arms tensed, restraining me. He sleepily mumbled, “Don’t even think about moving” and pulled me back to snuggle me close again. I rested my cheek against his chest, felt his heartbeat, and contented myself with listening to its rhythm. After a few minutes, he stretched and rolled to his side, pulling me with him. He kissed my forehead, blinked open his eyes, and smiled at me. It was like watching the sun come up. The handsome, sleeping man was potent enough, but when he turned his dazzling white smile on me and blinked open his cobalt blue eyes, I was dumbstruck. I bit my lip. Alarm bells started going off in my head. Ren’s eyes fluttered open, and he tucked some loose hair behind my ear. “Good morning, rajkumari. Sleep well?” I stammered, “I…you…I…slept just fine, thank you.” I closed my eyes, rolled away from him, and stood up. I could deal with him a lot better if I didn’t think about him much, or look at him, or talk to him, or hear him. He wrapped his arms around me from behind, and I felt his smile as he pressed his lips to the soft spot behind my ear. “Best night of sleep I’ve had in about three hundred and fifty years.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I've nothing against eye make-up and lipstick. But the fact is we're actually living on a planet in space. For me that's an extraordinary thought. It's mind-boggling just to think about the existence of space at all. But there are girls who can't see the universe for eye-liner. And there are probably boys whose eyes are never raised above the horizon because of football. There can be quite a chasm between a small make-up mirror and a proper mirror telescope! I think it's what they call a 'matter of perspective'. Perhaps it could also be called an 'eye-opener' as well. It's never too late to experience an eye-opener. But many people live their entire lives without realizing that they're floating through empty space. There's too much going on down here. It's hard enough thinking about your looks. We belong on this earth. I'm not trying to dispute it. We're part of nature's life on this planet. Monkeys and reptiles have shown us how we breed, and I have no quarrel with that. In different natural surroundings everything might have been very different, but here we are. And I repeat: I'm not denying it. I just don't think that prevent us from trying to see a little beyond the ends of our noses.
Jostein Gaarder (The Orange Girl)
The discussion was escalating into an argument when the Demeter head counselor offered one last suggestion. "What about this?" He held out a small red object. "Miniature explosive!" the Ares boy bellowed. "Duck!" "It's not an explosive or a duck," the Demeter boy said. "It's a berry native to this land. Grows all over the place here." The Aphrodite girl wrinkled her nose. "Excuse me, but ew! There are seeds all over the outside! So unattractive. And red? That colour is so overdone, fruit-wise." "Yes, but it's tasty," the Demeter counselor said. "I call it a strawberry. "Why?" the Athena girl wanted to know. "Because blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, and cranberry were taken.
Rick Riordan (Camp Half-Blood Confidential (The Trials of Apollo, #2.5))
The Peacemaker Colt has now been in production, without change in design, for a century. Buy one to-day and it would be indistinguishable from the one Wyatt Earp wore when he was the Marshal of Dodge City. It is the oldest hand-gun in the world, without question the most famous and, if efficiency in its designated task of maiming and killing be taken as criterion of its worth, then it is also probably the best hand-gun ever made. It is no light thing, it is true, to be wounded by some of the Peacemaker’s more highly esteemed competitors, such as the Luger or Mauser: but the high-velocity, narrow-calibre, steel-cased shell from either of those just goes straight through you, leaving a small neat hole in its wake and spending the bulk of its energy on the distant landscape whereas the large and unjacketed soft-nosed lead bullet from the Colt mushrooms on impact, tearing and smashing bone and muscle and tissue as it goes and expending all its energy on you. In short when a Peacemaker’s bullet hits you in, say, the leg, you don’t curse, step into shelter, roll and light a cigarette one-handed then smartly shoot your assailant between the eyes. When a Peacemaker bullet hits your leg you fall to the ground unconscious, and if it hits the thigh-bone and you are lucky enough to survive the torn arteries and shock, then you will never walk again without crutches because a totally disintegrated femur leaves the surgeon with no option but to cut your leg off. And so I stood absolutely motionless, not breathing, for the Peacemaker Colt that had prompted this unpleasant train of thought was pointed directly at my right thigh. Another thing about the Peacemaker: because of the very heavy and varying trigger pressure required to operate the semi-automatic mechanism, it can be wildly inaccurate unless held in a strong and steady hand. There was no such hope here. The hand that held the Colt, the hand that lay so lightly yet purposefully on the radio-operator’s table, was the steadiest hand I’ve ever seen. It was literally motionless. I could see the hand very clearly. The light in the radio cabin was very dim, the rheostat of the angled table lamp had been turned down until only a faint pool of yellow fell on the scratched metal of the table, cutting the arm off at the cuff, but the hand was very clear. Rock-steady, the gun could have lain no quieter in the marbled hand of a statue. Beyond the pool of light I could half sense, half see the dark outline of a figure leaning back against the bulkhead, head slightly tilted to one side, the white gleam of unwinking eyes under the peak of a hat. My eyes went back to the hand. The angle of the Colt hadn’t varied by a fraction of a degree. Unconsciously, almost, I braced my right leg to meet the impending shock. Defensively, this was a very good move, about as useful as holding up a sheet of newspaper in front of me. I wished to God that Colonel Sam Colt had gone in for inventing something else, something useful, like safety-pins.
Alistair MacLean (When Eight Bells Toll)
This commissary was a man of very repulsive mien, with a pointed nose, with yellow and salient cheek bones, with eyes small but keen and penetrating, and an expression of countenance resembling at one the polecat and the fox. His head, supported by a long and flexible neck, issued from his large black robe, balancing itself with a motion very much like that of the tortoise thrusting his head out of his shell.
Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1))
Marlys was a sturdy woman in her fifties, white curls clinging to her scalp like vanilla frosting. She wore rimless glasses, a homemade red-checked gingham dress, and low-topped Nikes. Short-nosed and pale, she had a small pink mouth that habitually pursed in thought, or disapproval.
John Sandford (Extreme Prey (Lucas Davenport, #26))
We were interrupted by a girl with a strawberry birthmark on her nose; she had some papers in her hand and asked if we had signed the petition for the imprisoned Argentinean comrades. Belbo signed without reading it. "They're even worse of than I am," he said to Diotallevi, who was regarding him with a bemused expression. "He can't sign," Belbo said to the girl. "He belongs to a small Indian sect that forbids its members to write their own names. Many of them are in jail because of government persecution." The girl looked sympathetically at Diotallevi and passed the petition to me. "And who are they?" I asked. "What do you mean, who are they? Argentinean comrades." "But what group do they belong to?" "The Tacuarus, I think." "The Tacuarus are fascists," I said. As if I knew one group from the other. "Fascist pig," the girl hissed at me. She left.
Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
I remember the awe and terror I felt as my awareness started to transition from the magical world of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy to one of the Big Bang, supernovas, and the apparent finality of death. • Why is it that to function in society with strength and efficiency, we need to ignore the incomprehensible miracles that surround us constantly? Why is it that to function in the world, we must take on an oblivious self-confidence by placing ourselves in a tiny world, a small and limited subset of reality? Why is it that we abandon awe and limit ourselves to the prison that is right in front of our noses, guided primarily by our animal instincts while ignoring our full perception of the world? We have the capability to project our conscious thought backward or forward billions of years yet act as if all that matters is the past and/or immediate future. 
Ron Garan (Floating in Darkness - A Journey of Evolution)
If you would like to imagine the birth of the mighty National Security Agency, please visualize two men in a small room, one with a pug nose, pecking at a typewriter, the other a dandy in a suit and bow tie, smoking a pipe, wondering what his wife was up to at home, and if she was missing him.
Jason Fagone (The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies)
There are zigzag lines on it...and these are probably roads in the island, for Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in an offering, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Ding! Princess Alpacca, pronounced like the animal, first in line to the throne of Alieya Island, a small nation below the south of France. The Queen invited her to Wessco after an attempted coup forced her family into exile last year. She doesn’t speak English and I don’t know a word of Aliesh. This is going to be a challenge. Guermo, her translator, glares at me like I’m the bubonic plague in human form—with a mixture of hatred, disgust, and just a touch of fear. She speaks in Aliesh, looking at me. And Guermo translates. “She says she thinks you are very ugly.” Princess Alpacca nods vigorously. She’s pretty in a cute kind of way. Wild curly hair, round hazel eyes, a tiny bulbous nose, and full cheeks. “She says she doesn’t like you or your stupid country,” Guermo informs me. Another nod and a blank but eager smile. “She says she would rather throw herself off the rocks to her death in the waves and be devoured by the fish than be your queen.” I look him in the face. “She barely said anything.” He shrugs. “She says it with her eyes. I know these things. If you weren’t so stupid you would know too.” More nodding. “Fantastic.” She says something to Guermo in Aliesh, then he says something back—harshly and disapproving. And now, they’re arguing. But they can stay. Guermo is obviously in love with Alpacca and she clearly has no idea. My presence will force him to admit his feelings . . . but does she return his infatuation? It’ll be like living in a Latin soap opera—dramatic, passionate, and over the top. I have to see how it ends. Ding!
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
She gave him a smile that crinkled her nose and tip-tilted her eyes. It made him a wee bit dizzy, that smile. It fed sunshine into his veins. He was dazzled by her, thinking she could have been some mythical creature. A fairy or even a goddess. Not some coldly aloof and perfect goddess... but a small and merry one.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))
When I came into his presence, he was seated, and in his lap was a fat yellow cat. He told me that one of the captains had brought the beast to him, from an island beyond the sunrise. 'Have you ever seen her like?' he asked of me. And to him I said, 'Each night in the alleys of Braavos I see a thousand like him,' and the Sealord laughed, and that day I was named the first sword." Arya screwed up her face. "I don't understand." Syrio clicked his teeth together. "The cat was an ordinary cat, no more. The others expected a fabulous beast, so that is what they saw. How large it was, they said. It was no larger than any other cat, only fat from indolence, for the Sealord fed it from his own table. What curious small ears, they said. Its ears had been chewed away in kitten fights. And it was plainly a tomcat, yet the Sealord said 'her', and that is what the others saw. Are you hearing?" Arya thought about it. "You saw what was there." "Just so. Opening your eyes is all that is needing. the heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth." "Just so," said Arya, grinning.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
So, you’re telling me that this entire time you’ve actually been pretending to be small?” “Not exactly pretending,” he replied thoughtfully. “Being small is the same as being large.” I widened my eyes. “That makes no sense.” “I warned you, Ivy. I even asked you if you knew what you had living in your house.” Ren kindly took that exact moment to remind me of this. I turned devil eyes on him. “Did you know he was actually six-and-a-half-feet tall and anatomically correct?” Ren’s nose wrinkled. “Well, no.” “Then shut the hell up!” Ren threw his hands up. “Alrighty then.” “Why would you think I wasn’t anatomically correct in the first place?” Tink asked, sounding offended.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Torn (A Wicked Trilogy, #2))
She opened a small silver compact and looked at her face in its mirror. I am still guiltless, she thought, I have not done it yet. But I will look the same when I have done it; nobody will know the difference by looking at me. She touched the little puff twice to her nose and once to her chin. She closed the compact and put it away. ("Mind Over Murder")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
With a heavy blink Agnes drew her eyes over the officious woman. The end of her nose was pitted like a small strawberry.
Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain)
In her fantastic mood she stretched her soft, clasped hands upward toward the moon. 'Sweet moon,' she said in a kind of mock prayer, 'make your white light come down in music into my dancing-room here, and I will dance most deliciously for you to see". She flung her head backward and let her hands fall; her eyes were half closed, and her mouth was a kissing mouth. 'Ah! sweet moon,' she whispered, 'do this for me, and I will be your slave; I will be what you will.' Quite suddenly the air was filled with the sound of a grand invisible orchestra. Viola did not stop to wonder. To the music of a slow saraband she swayed and postured. In the music there was the regular beat of small drums and a perpetual drone. The air seemed to be filled with the perfume of some bitter spice. Viola could fancy almost that she saw a smoldering campfire and heard far off the roar of some desolate wild beast. She let her long hair fall, raising the heavy strands of it in either hand as she moved slowly to the laden music. Slowly her body swayed with drowsy grace, slowly her satin shoes slid over the silver sand. The music ceased with a clash of cymbals. Viola rubbed her eyes. She fastened her hair up carefully again. Suddenly she looked up, almost imperiously. "Music! more music!" she cried. Once more the music came. This time it was a dance of caprice, pelting along over the violin-strings, leaping, laughing, wanton. Again an illusion seemed to cross her eyes. An old king was watching her, a king with the sordid history of the exhaustion of pleasure written on his flaccid face. A hook-nosed courtier by his side settled the ruffles at his wrists and mumbled, 'Ravissant! Quel malheur que la vieillesse!' It was a strange illusion. Faster and faster she sped to the music, stepping, spinning, pirouetting; the dance was light as thistle-down, fierce as fire, smooth as a rapid stream. The moment that the music ceased Viola became horribly afraid. She turned and fled away from the moonlit space, through the trees, down the dark alleys of the maze, not heeding in the least which turn she took, and yet she found herself soon at the outside iron gate. ("The Moon Slave")
Barry Pain (Ghostly By Gaslight)
Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.
J.M. Barrie (The Complete Adventures of Peter Pan)
There were a few spots on every child that only a mother knows or cares about. One is the small indentation at the base of their neck where you press your nose when they're babies and you want to wrap yourself in their smell. Another is the tiny crease behind their ear, where you plant whispers like "I love you" or "Sleep tight" as they drift off at night, bum in the air and arms akimbo. These are the spots a mother is immediately drawn to whenever her child is sick, after she presses her face against his to feel for a fever, silently praying it's just a cold.
Holly Kennedy (The Penny Tree)
Good sociologists have always had an insatiable curiosity about about even the trivialities of human behaviour, and if this curiosity leads a sociologist to devote many years to the painstaking exploration of some small corner of the social world that may appear quite trivial to others, so be it: Why do more teenagers pick their noses in rural Minnesota than in rural Iowa? What are the patterns of church socials over a twenty-year period in small-town Saskatchewan? What is the correlation between religious affiliation and accident-proneness among elderly Hungarians?
Peter L. Berger
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
You struggle because you’re locating all of the magic in your life outside of yourself. When you are loved, then you are lovable. When you are left behind, you are unlovable. When you “arrive” at some point of success and fame as a writer, you will be worthy. Until then, you are worthless. As long as you imagine that the outside world will one day deliver to you the external rewards you need to feel happy, you will always perceive your survival as exhausting and perceive your life as a long slog to nowhere. Instead, you have to savor the tiny struggles of the day: The cold glass of water after a long run. The hot bath after hours of digging through the dirt. The satisfaction of writing a good sentence, a good paragraph. You MUST feel these things, because these aren’t small rewards on the path to some big reward; these tiny things are everything. Savoring these things requires tuning in to your feelings, and it requires loving yourself instead of shoving your nose into your own question marks hour after hour, day after day. You are not lost. You are here. Stop abandoning yourself. Stop repeating this myth about love and success that will land in your lap or evade you forever. Build a humble, flawed life from the rubble, and cherish that. There is nothing more glorious on the face of the earth than someone who refuses to give up, who refuses to give in to their most self-hating, discouraged, disillusioned self, and instead learns, slowly and painfully, how to relish the feeling of building a hut in the middle of the suffocating dust. If you can learn to be where you are, without fear, then sooner than you know it, your life will quite naturally be filled with more love and more wonder than you can possibly handle. When that happens, you’ll look back and see that this was the most romantic time of your whole life. These are those terrible days, those gorgeous days, when you first learned to breathe and stand alone without fear, to believe not in finish lines but in the race itself. Your legs are aching and your heart is pounding and the world is electric. You will have 30 years or 50 years, or maybe you’ll be gone tomorrow. All that matters is this moment, right now. This is the moment you learn to be here, to feel your limbs, to feel your full heart, to realize, for the first time, just how lucky you are.
Heather Havrilesky
It seems to me that your face needs reshaping. Your mouth is too big, your ears too small. And your nose is so long it is no wonder you stick it into other people's affairs. So I will help you. Shall I shorten your nose? Or perhaps the problem is your eyes? Or does your throat bother you?' He rests the knife edge against a hammering vein in the man's scrawny neck. 'It bothers me, too noisy.
Caroline Lea (The Glass Woman)
Suddenly the whole body writhed spasmodically and rolled over. His face... He has no face... The man's nose had completely burned away leaving only two holes in his head. The mouth had melted together, the lips sealed with the exception of a small opening in one corner. One eye had melted down over what had been his cheek, but the other... the other was wide open. Where the rest of the face should have been there were only pieces of cartilage and bone sticking out between irregular shreds of flesh and slivers of fabric. The naked, glistening muscles contracted and relaxed, contorting as if the head had been replaced by a mass of freshly killed and butchered eels... The skin over the collarbone on one side was gone and a piece of the bone stuck out, glowing white like a piece of chalk in a meat stew.
John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In)
What had spoken to her in that scoured-out cavity of the granite? What dwelt in the first of the caves? Something very old and very small. Before time, it was before space also. Something snub-nosed, incapable of generosity -- the undying worm itself. Since hearing its voice, she had not entertained one large thought, she was actually envious of Adela. All this fuss over a frightened girl! Nothing had happened, 'and if it had,' she found herself thinking with the cynicism of a withered priestess, 'if it had there are worse evils than love.' The unspeakable attempt presented itself to her as love: in a cave, in a church -- Boum, it amounts to the same. Visions are supposed to entail profundity, but -- Wait till you get one, dear reader! The abyss also may be petty, the serpent of eternity made of maggots; her constant thought was: 'Less attention should be paid to my future daughter-in-law and more to me, there is no sorrow like my sorrow,' although when the attention was paid she rejected it irritably.
E.M. Forster (A Passage to India)
There was a small stone in her palm, a deep blue opal. I leaned a little closer, eyeing it. It was set on a silver stud—an earring. “It should suffice to contain the parasite for what time remains,” Mab said. “Put it on.” “My ears aren’t pierced,” I objected. Mab arched an eyebrow. “Are you the Winter Knight or some sort of puling child?” I scowled at her. “Come over here and say that.” At that, Mab calmly stepped onto the shore of Demonreach, until her toes were almost touching mine. She was several inches over six feet tall, and barely had to reach up to take my earlobe in her fingers. “Wait,” I said. “Wait.” She paused. “The left one.” Mab tilted her head. “Why?” “It’s . . . Look, it’s a mortal thing. Just do the left one, okay?” She exhaled briefly through her nose. Then she shook her head and changed ears.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
Joffrey called out, “Dog!” Sandor Clegane seemed to take form out of the night, so quickly did he appear. He had exchanged his armor for a red woolen tunic with a leather dog’s head sewn on the front. The light of the torches made his burned face shine a dull red. “Yes, Your Grace?” he said. “Take my betrothed back to the castle, and see that no harm befalls her,” the prince told him brusquely. And without even a word of farewell, Joffrey strode off, leaving her there. Sansa could feel the Hound watching her. “Did you think Joff was going to take you himself?” He laughed. He had a laugh like the snarling of dogs in a pit. “Small chance of that.” He pulled her unresisting to her feet. “Come, you’re not the only one needs sleep. I’ve drunk too much, and I may need to kill my brother tomorrow.” He laughed again. He was mocking her, she realized. “No one could withstand him,” she managed at last, proud of herself. It was no lie. Sandor Clegane stopped suddenly in the middle of a dark and empty field. She had no choice but to stop beside him. “Some septa trained you well. You’re like one of those birds from the Summer Isles, aren’t you? A pretty little talking -bird, repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite.” “ Take your look.” His fingers held her jaw as hard as an iron trap. His eyes watched hers. Drunken eyes, sullen with anger. She had to look. The right side of his face was gaunt, with sharp cheekbones and a grey eye beneath a heavy brow. His nose was large and hooked, his hair thin, dark. He wore it long and brushed it sideways, because no hair grew on the other side of that face. The left side of his face was a ruin. His ear had been burned away; there was nothing left but a hole. His eye was still good, but all around it was a twisted mass of scar, slick black flesh hard as leather, pocked with craters and fissured by deep cracks.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
What about Legos?” Okay, Legos were good. He rounded the corner to the next aisle and found there were a billion choices here too. Star Wars. Harry Potter. Princess. “I don’t know. That’s a lot of small pieces.” “She’s five? Should be old enough not to eat plastic if you keep her fed,” Stephen said. JT reached for a large box with a house on the front. “Now putting them up her nose might be another thing.” Shit. He put it back.
Claudia Connor (Worth It All (The McKinney Brothers, #3))
Somebody needs to explain to me why it is that the one thing your body can suddenly do well when you get old is grow hair in your nose and ears. It’s like God is playing a terrible, cruel joke on you, as if he is saying, “Well, Bill, the bad news is that from now on you are going to be barely continent, lose your faculties one by one, and have sex about once every lunar eclipse, but the good news is that you can braid your nostrils.
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island)
And across the water, you would swear you could sniff it all; the cinnamon and the cloves, the frankincense and the honey and the licorice, the nutmeg and citrons, the myrrh and the rosewater from Persia in keg upon keg. You would think you could glimpse, heaped and glimmering, the sapphires and the emeralds and the gauzes woven with gold, the ostrich feathers and the elephant tusks, the gums and the ginger and the coral buttons mynheer Goswin the clerk of the Hanse might be wearing on his jacket next week. . . . The Flanders galleys put into harbor every night in their highly paid voyage from Venice, fanned down the Adriatic by the thick summer airs, drifting into Corfu and Otranto, nosing into and out of Sicily and round the heel of Italy as far as Naples; blowing handsomely across the western gulf to Majorca, and then to the north African coast, and up and round Spain and Portugal, dropping off the small, lucrative loads which were not needed for Bruges; taking on board a little olive oil, some candied orange peel, some scented leather, a trifle of plate and a parrot, some sugar loaves.
Dorothy Dunnett (Niccolò Rising (The House of Niccolò, #1))
The small Japanese immortal sat cross-legged, his two swords resting flat on the ground before him. He folded his hands in his lap, closed his eyes and breathing through his nose, forcing the chill night air deep into his chest. He held it for a count of five, then shaped his lips into an O and blew it out again, puncturing a tiny hole in the swirling fog before his face. Even though he would never admit it to anyone, Niten loved this moment. He had no affection for what was to come, but this brief time, when all preparations for battle were made and there was nothing left to do but wait, when the world felt still, as if it was holding its breath, was special. This moment, when he was facing death, was when he felt completely, fully alive. He’d still been called Miyamoto Musashi and had been a teenager when he’d first discovered the genuine beauty of the quiet moment before a fight. Every breath suddenly tasted like the finest food, every sound was distinct and divine, and even on the foulest battlefields, his eyes would be drawn to something simple and elegant: a flower, the shape of a branch, the curl of a cloud. A hundred years ago, Aoife had given him a book as a birthday present. He hadn’t had the heart to tell her that she’d missed his birthday by a month, but he had treasured the book, the first edition of The Professor by Charlotte Bronte. It included a line he had never forgotten: In the midst of life we are in death. Years later, he’d heard Ghandi take the same words and shift them around to create something that resonated deeply within him: In the midst of death life persists.
Michael Scott (The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6))
They do not know that the dream is a constant in life. They do not know that the dream is wine, it’s fizz, it’s yeast. It’s an eager and vivacious small animal with a pointy nose that pries through everything in a perpetual motion. They do not know that the dream is canvas and color and brush. They do not know nor even dream that dream commands life. When a man or a woman dreams, the world leaps and moves forward like a colorful ball in the hands of a child.
António Gedeão
Reader, I did the stupid thing. I looked her up on Facebook. It didn't take more than forty minutes to filter this Katie Ingram from the other hundred or so. Her profile was unlocked, and contained the logo for the NHS. Her job description said: "Paramedic: Love My Job!!!" She had hair that could have been red or strawberry blond, it was hard to tell from the photographs, and she was possibly in her late twenties, pretty, with a snub nose. In the first thirty photographs she had posted she was laughing with friends, frozen in the middle of Good Times. She looked annoyingly good in a bikini (Skiathos 2014!! What a laugh!!!!!), she had a small, hairy dog, a penchant for vertiginously high heels, and a best friend with long, dark hair who was fond of kissing her cheek in pictures (I briefly entertained the hope that she was gay but she belonged to a Facebook group called: Hands up if you're secretly delighted that Brad Pitt is single again!!).
Jojo Moyes (Still Me)
He did atrocious things, but it was him I wanted. Always, only him. Troy stopped when we were nose to nose. Toe to toe. I loved watching those eyes from up-close. They were so ocean blue, no wonder they made my head swim. “I love you, Red. I love you determined, tough, innocent, resilient…” His brows furrowed as he drank me in, stroking the curve of my face with his calloused fingertips. “I love you broken, insecure, scared, furious and pissed off…” He let a small smile loose. I actually felt it, even though it was on his lips. “I love every part of you, the good and the bad, the hopeless and the assertive. We don’t just love. We heal each other with every touch and complete each other with ever kiss. And fuck, I know it’s corny as hell, but that’s what I need. You’re what I need.” My eyes fluttered shut, a lone tear hanging from the tip of my eyelash. “We don’t have ordinary words between us. You always set my fucking brain on fire when you talk to me. We don’t even have ordinary moments of silence. I always feel like I’m playing with you or being played by you when you’re around. And I refuse to let you walk out on this, on us.” He cupped my cheeks and I locked his palms in place, tightening my grip. I never wanted him to let go. He dipped his head down, tilting his forehead against mine. I knew he was right. Knew that I’d already forgiven him. Probably before I even knew what he did, when we were still living together. Hell, probably on that dance floor, when I was nine. My capturer. My monster. My savior. “I’m an asshole, was an asshole, and have every intention of staying an asshole. It’s the makeup of my fucking DNA. But I want to be your asshole. To you, I can be good. Maybe even great. For you, I’ll stop the rain from falling and the thunder from cracking and the wind from fucking blowing. And yes, I sure as hell knew you’d come back. You came straight back into my arms, flew back to your nest, lovebird. Now why would you do that if you didn’t love the shit out of me?” My eyes roamed his face. His hands felt delicious on my skin. It was like he was pumping life into me with his fingertips. Like he made me whole before I even knew parts of me were missing.
L.J. Shen (Sparrow)
My first sight of the fabled warrior was a surprise. He was not a mighty-thewed giant, like Ajax. His body was not broad and powerful, as Odysseos'. He seemed small, almost boyish, his bare arms and legs slim and virtually hairless. His chin was shaved clean, and the ringlets of his long black hair were tied up in a silver chain. He wore a splendid white silk tunic, bordered with a purple key design, cinched at the waist with a belt of interlocking gold crescents... His face was the greatest shock. Ugly, almost to the point of being grotesque. Narrow beady eyes, lips curled in a perpetual snarl, a sharp hook of a nose, skin pocked and cratered... A small ugly boy born to be a king... A young man possessed with fire to silence the laughter, to stifle the taunting. His slim arms and legs were iron-hard, knotted with muscle. His dark eyes were absolutely humourless. There was no doubt in my mind that he could outfight Odysseos or even powerful Ajax on sheer willpower alone.
Ben Bova
Peter Sellers offered me a small part opposite him in a rather good scene where Sir Guy Grand purchases a ‘School of Rembrandt’ portrait and then cuts out the nose of it with a knife, explaining to my character (a snotty young art dealer) that he only collects noses. I, of course, have to react with horror, and I exclaim ‘Shit!’ This was quite a naughty word in 1968 – so naughty, in fact, that when, some months later, my scene was shown on television to promote the movie I became, as far as I know, the first person ever to say ‘shit’ on British television. (This, incidentally, is one of my three claims to fame: the others are that I have a species of lemur named after me, and that I was once French-kissed – on camera – by Tim Curry.)
John Cleese (So, Anyway...: The Autobiography)
I Knew a Woman" I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them; Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one: The shapes a bright container can contain! Of her choice virtues only gods should speak, Or English poets who grew up on Greek (I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek). How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin, She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand; She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin; I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand; She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake, Coming behind her for her pretty sake (But what prodigious mowing we did make). Love likes a gander, and adores a goose: Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize; She played it quick, she played it light and loose; My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees; Her several parts could keep a pure repose, Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose (She moved in circles, and those circles moved). Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay: I’m martyr to a motion not my own; What’s freedom for? To know eternity. I swear she cast a shadow white as stone. But who would count eternity in days? These old bones live to learn her wanton ways: (I measure time by how a body sways).
Theodore Roethke (The Collected Poems)
[A portion of the audience members are getting really curious about the taste of ‘Murim dumplings’.] I sensed Yu Jung-Hyeok [999] flinch ever so slightly on my shoulder. In the meantime, I handed the dumplings over to Shin Yu-Seung and Yu Jung-Hyeok as well. The latter frowned and shook his head. “I don’t eat food made by other people.” “Other people didn’t make this.” He seemed deeply puzzled by that. Most likely, he had no idea what I was talking about. He then glared at the [Murim dumpling] resting before his eyes with some suspicion, but eventually made up his mind and cautiously reached out to it. And very slowly, so very slowly, as if he was studying his new enemy, brought the dumpling near his nose. “….This aroma??” That’s right, eat that damn dumpling, you bastard. Yu Jung-Hyeok continued his pained deliberation over and over again, and in the end, brought the dumpling towards his lips very slowly. As if he was tearing into the neck of the enemy commander, he took a small bite out of it.
Singshong (싱숑)
My wife and I had called on Miss Stein, and she and the friend who lived with her had been very cordial and friendly and we had loved the big studio with the great paintings. I t was like one of the best rooms in the finest museum except there was a big fireplace and it was warm and comfortable and they gave you good things to eat and tea and natural distilled liqueurs made from purple plums, yellow plums or wild raspberries. Miss Stein was very big but not tall and was heavily built like a peasant woman. She had beautiful eyes and a strong German-Jewish face that also could have been Friulano and she reminded me of a northern I talian peasant woman with her clothes, her mobile face and her lovely, thick, alive immigrant hair which she wore put up in the same way she had probably worn it in college. She talked all the time and at first it was about people and places. Her companion had a very pleasant voice, was small, very dark, with her hair cut like Joan of Arc in the Boutet de Monvel illustrations and had a very hooked nose. She was working on a piece of needlepoint when we first met them and she worked on this and saw to the food and drink and talked to my wife. She made one conversation and listened to two and often interrupted the one she was not making. Afterwards she explained to me that she always talked to the wives. The wives, my wife and I felt, were tolerated. But we liked Miss Stein and her friend, although the friend was frightening. The paintings and the cakes and the eau-de-vie were truly wonderful. They seemed to like us too and treated us as though we were very good, well-mannered and promising children and I felt that they forgave us for being in love and being married - time would fix that - and when my wife invited them to tea, they accepted.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition)
Not a dandelion in sight here, the lawns are picked clean. I long for one, just one, rubbishy and insolently random and hard to get rid of and perennially yellow as the sun. Cheerful and plebeian, shining for all alike. Rings, we would make from them, and crowns and necklaces, stains from the bitter milk on our fingers. Or I'd hold one under her chin: Do you like butter? Smelling them, she'd get pollen on her nose. Or was that buttercups? Or gone to seed: I can see her, running across the lawn, that lawn there just in front of me, at two, three years old, waving one like a sparkler, a small wand of white fire, the air filling with tiny parachutes. Blow, and you tell the time. All that time, blowing away in the summer breeze. It was daisies for love though, and we did that too. ***
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
He called me Jess because that is the name of the hood which restrains the falcon. I was his falcon. I hung on his arm and fed at his hand. He said my nose was sharp and cruel and that my eyes had madness in them. He said I would tear him to pieces if he dealt softly with me. At night, if he was away, he had me chained to our bed. It was a long chain, long enough for me to use the chamber pot or to stand at the window and wait for the late owls. I love to hear the owls. I love to see the sudden glide of wings spread out for prey, and then the dip and the noise like a lover in pain. He used the chain when we went riding together. I had a horse as strong as his, and he’d whip the horse from behind and send it charging through the trees, and he’d follow, half a head behind, pulling on the chain and asking me how I liked my ride. His game was to have me sit astride him when we made love and hold me tight in the small of my back. He said he had to have me above him, in case I picked his eyes out in the faltering candlelight. I was none of these things, but I became them. At night, in June I think, I flew off his wrist and tore his liver from his body, and bit my chain in pieces and left him on the bed with his eyes open. He looked surprised, I don’t know why. As your lover describes you, so you are.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
Charlemagne opened his mouth to protest, but immediately snapped it shut and slapped a hand over his nose, a look of disgust on his face. Primplepuss had struck again. Scrambling to his feet, Charlemagne hurried for the door and wrenched it open before glancing back at Maggie. The old man was struggling to escape from beneath the enormous cat's weight. "We can discuss this later, Maggie," he said. "Perhaps tonight, on the battlements, where our thoughts might be clearer." And he hurried off, ignoring Maggie's pleas for help to get the cat off him. "Sharley, wait! Give ma a hand! This cat's so heavy --oh, my God! No! How can you smell like that and live? Sharley, help!" An already distance voice floated back into his room. "Sorry, can't stop. I value my nostrils." "Prince Charlemagne, for the love of all that's decent! My God, cat, if we could harness your arse we could repel any invasion! How do you do it?" A small questioning meow was the only reply Maggie received as he flapped a handkerchief under his nose and tried to breath through his mouth without retching.
Stuart Hill (Blade of Fire)
The two women sat by the fire, tilting their glasses and drinking in small peaceful sips. The lamplight shone upon the tidy room and the polished table, lighting topaz in the dandelion wine, spilling pools of crimson through the flanks of the bottle of plum gin. It shone on the contented drinkers, and threw their large, close-at-hand shadows upon the wall. When Mrs Leak smoothed her apron the shadow solemnified the gesture as though she were moulding an universe. Laura's nose and chin were defined as sharply as the peaks peaks on a holly leaf.
Sylvia Townsend Warner (Lolly Willowes)
Bloom of adulthood. Try a whiff of that. On your back in the dark you remember. Ah you remember. Cloudless May day. She joins you in the little summerhouse. Entirely of logs. Both larch and fir. Six feet across. Eight from floor to vertex. Area twenty-four square feet to the furthest decimal. Two small multicoloured lights vis-a-vis. Small stained diamond panes. Under each a ledge. There on summer Sundays after his midday meal your father loved to retreat with Punch and a cushion. The waist of his trousers unbuttoned he sat on the one ledge and turned the pages. You on the other your feet dangling. When he chuckled you tried to chuckle too. When his chuckle died yours too. That you should try to imitate his chuckle pleased and amused him greatly and sometimes he would chuckle for no other reason than to hear you try to chuckle too. Sometimes you turn your head and look out through a rose-red pane. You press your little nose against the pane and all without is rosy. The years have flown and there at the same place as then you sit in the bloom of adulthood bathed in rainbow light gazing before you. She is late.
Samuel Beckett (As the Story Was Told (Beckett Short))
They say that February is the shortest month, but you know they could be wrong. Compared, calendar page against calendar page, it looks to be the shortest, all right. Spread between January and March like lard on bread, it fails to reach the crust on either slice. In its galoshes it's a full head shorter than December, although in leap years, when it has growth spurts, it comes up to April's nose. However more abbreviated than it's cousins it may look, February feels longer than any of them. It is the meanest moon of winter, all the more cruel because it will masquerade as spring, occasionally for hours at a time, only to rip off its mask with a sadistic laugh and spit icicles into every gullible face, behavior that grows quickly old. February is pitiless, and it's boring. That parade of red numerals on its page adds up to zero: birthdays of politicians, a holiday reserved for rodents, what kind of celebrations are those? The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine's Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine's day on February's shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed. Except to the extent that it "tints the buds and swells the leaves within" February is as useless as the extra r in its name. It behaves like an obstacle, a wedge of slush and mud and ennui holding both progress and contentment at bay. If February is the color of lard on rye, its aroma is that of wet wool trousers. As for sound, it is an abstract melody played on a squeaky violin, the petty whine of a shrew with cabin fever. O February, you may be little but you're small! Where you twice your tiresome length, few of us would survive to greet the merry month of May.
Tom Robbins
I see," agreed Rule. "You are going to be the Sacrifice." She looked up at him rather shyly. "It c-can't signify to you, can it? Except that I know I'm not a Beauty, like L-Lizzie. But I have got the Nose, sir." Rule surveyed the Nose. "Undoubtedly, you have the Nose," he said. Horatia seemed determined to make a clean breast of her blemishes. "And p-perhaps you could become used to my eyebrows?" The smile lurked at the back of Rule's eyes. "I think, quite easily." She said sadly: "They won't arch, you know. And I ought to t-tell you that we have quite given up hope of my g-growing any taller." "It would certainly be a pity if you did," said his lordship. "D-do you think so?" Horatia was surprised. "It is a great trial to me, I can assure you." She took a breath, and added, with difficulty: "You m-may have n-noticed that I have a—a stammer." "Yes, I had noticed," the Earl said gently. "If you f-feel you c-can't bear it, sir, I shall quite understand," Horatia said in a small, anxious voice. "I like it," said the Earl. "It is very odd of you," marvelled Horatia. "But p-perhaps you said that to p-put me at my ease?" "No," said the Earl. "I said it because it was true.
Georgette Heyer (The Convenient Marriage)
Who" The month of flowering’s finished. The fruit’s in, Eaten or rotten. I am all mouth. October’s the month for storage. The shed’s fusty as a mummy’s stomach: Old tools, handles and rusty tusks. I am at home here among the dead heads. Let me sit in a flowerpot, The spiders won’t notice. My heart is a stopped geranium. If only the wind would leave my lungs alone. Dogsbody noses the petals. They bloom upside down. They rattle like hydrangea bushes. Mouldering heads console me, Nailed to the rafters yesterday: Inmates who don’t hibernate. Cabbageheads: wormy purple, silver-glaze, A dressing of mule ears, mothy pelts, but green-hearted, Their veins white as porkfat. O the beauty of usage! The orange pumpkins have no eyes. These halls are full of women who think they are birds. This is a dull school. I am a root, a stone, an owl pellet, Without dreams of any sort. Mother, you are the one mouth I would be a tongue to. Mother of otherness Eat me. Wastebasket gaper, shadow of doorways. I said: I must remember this, being small. There were such enormous flowers, Purple and red mouths, utterly lovely. The hoops of blackberry stems made me cry. Now they light me up like an electric bulb. For weeks I can remember nothing at all.
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
It used to be bigger,” Anemone said with a shrug. “Earthquakes, avalanches, tidal waves, something something blah blah blah. Darkstalker was a little melodramatic about it, to be honest, like Roar where did my kingdom goooooooo, but like, what did he expect? I mean, he’s been gone for thousands of years. Of course it’s different. Anyway, the tribe is small enough to live there just fine for now, and he was already muttering about pulling rocks out of the sea and rebuilding the whole place with his magic.” She made a grumpy huffing sound with her nose. “I was supposed to help him, but I’m CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO NOW.” Qibli
Tui T. Sutherland (Darkness of Dragons (Wings of Fire, Book 10))
I realize belatedly that sending sharks to the aid of humans is a stupid idea. When one of the men tries to kick a tiger shark in the eye-and how could I blame him?-I tell the sharks to retreat. They’ve done all they can do, and I won’t let them be abused for their efforts. After a few more minutes, I see a small, chubby pair of legs struggling nearby. The owner of the legs can’t be older than a toddler. I scoop him up and keep him at the surface. He’s adorable really, with rounded cheeks and a snotty nose and brown eyes with lashes that would make a supermodel jealous. Close to us, a woman who I assume is his mother is crying frantically and calling out to the empty waves around her. I swim him over to her and deliver the little guy into her arms. “He swallowed a good part of the ocean, but otherwise he’ll be fine,” I tell her, knowing that she doesn’t understand. She clutches him to her and trembles. I swim two life jackets over to her and help her strap them on to her and the baby boy. She nods, and despite the language barrier, I can tell that she’s thanking me. Which makes me feel like zoo dirt, since I helped put her and her child in this predicament. If she knew that, she would probably be trying to choke the life from me. And I would probably let her.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
There was a sharp ‘phut’, no louder than a bubble of air escaping from a tube of toothpaste. No other noise at all, and suddenly Le Chiffre had grown another eye, a third eye on a level with the other two, right where the thick nose started to jut out below the forehead. It was a small black eye, without eyelashes or eyebrows.
Ian Fleming (Casino Royale (James Bond, #1))
You don't need to be 100 percent better to see a 100 percent improvement. You just need to be a little better. There's a concept in play here called the winning edge. It means that a small change in the right place makes a huge difference in the end result. In golf, a 1-mm difference in the angle of the club head means the difference between “middle of the fairway” and “you can't find your ball.” In a horse race, the winning horse often wins “by a nose,” but that split second is usually a fourfold increase in prize money. In sales, the tiniest perceived difference between competitors can mean the difference between receiving all of the business or none.
Roger Seip (Train Your Brain For Success: Read Smarter, Remember More, and Break Your Own Records)
She had short, thick forearms, fingers like cocktail sausages, and a broad fleshy nose with flared nostrils. Deep folds of skin connected her nose to either side of her chin, and separated that section of her face from the rest of it, like a snout. Her head was too large for her body. She looked like a bottled fetus that had escaped from its jar of formaldehyde in a Biology lab an unshriveled and thickened with age. She kept damp cash in her bodice, which she tied tightly around her chest to flatten her unchristian breasts, Her kunukku earrings were thick and gold. Her earlobes had been distended into weighted loops that swung around her neck, her earrings sitting in them like gleeful children in a merry-go-(not all the way)-round. Her right lobe had split open once and was sewn together by Dr. Verghese Verghese. Kochu Maria couldn't stop wearing her kunukku because if she did, how would people know that despite her lowly cook's job (seventy-five rupees a month) she was a Syrian Christian, Mar Thomite? Not a Pelaya, or a Pulaya, or a Paravan. But a Touchable, upper-caste Christian (into whom Christianity had seeped like tea from a teabag). Split lobes stitched back were a better option by far. Kochu Maria hadn't yet made her acquaintance with the television addict waiting inside her. The Hulk Hogan addict. She hadn't yet seen a television set...
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
In less than an hour, Sophia had efficiently arranged and copied the notes in a neat hand that would delight the printer to no end. She was so quiet and economical in her movements that Ross would have forgotten she was there, except that her scent filtered through the air. It was a tantalizing distraction that he could not dismiss. Breathing deeply, he tried to identify the fragrance. He detected tea and vanilla, blended with the elixir of warm female skin. Stealing glances at her delicate profile, he was fascinated by the way the light moved over her hair. She had small ears, a sharply defined chin, a soft snippet of a nose, and eyelashes that cast spiky shadows on her cheeks.
Lisa Kleypas (Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2))
Your scent does not precede you. It also doesn’t define you. Any scent you wear is a discovery.” This made no sense to me so I asked, “A discovery?” She smiled a small, very cool smile and said softly, “Yes, Kia, a discovery. The kind of discovery your partner, if he is very fortunate, makes when his nose encounters the flesh the scent adorns.
Kristen Ashley (Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell, #1))
To look at Montmorency you would imagine that he was an angel sent upon the earth, for some reason withheld from mankind, in the shape of a small fox-terrier. There is a sort of Oh-what-a-wicked-world-this-is-and-how-I-wish-I-could-do-something-to-make-it-better-and-nobler expression about Montmorency that has been known to bring the tears into the eyes of pious old ladies and gentlemen. When first he came to live at my expense, I never thought I should be able to get him to stop long. I used to sit down and look at him, as he sat on the rug and looked up at me, and think: “Oh, that dog will never live. He will be snatched up to the bright skies in a chariot, that is what will happen to him.” But, when I had paid for about a dozen chickens that he had killed; and had dragged him, growling and kicking, by the scruff of his neck, out of a hundred and fourteen street fights; and had had a dead cat brought round for my inspection by an irate female, who called me a murderer; and had been summoned by the man next door but one for having a ferocious dog at large, that had kept him pinned up in his own tool-shed, afraid to venture his nose outside the door for over two hours on a cold night; and had learned that the gardener, unknown to myself, had won thirty shillings by backing him to kill rats against time, then I began to think that maybe they’d let him remain on earth for a bit longer, after all. To hang about a stable, and collect a gang of the most disreputable dogs to be found in the town, and lead them out to march round the slums to fight other disreputable dogs, is Montmorency’s idea of “life;” and so, as I before observed, he gave to the suggestion of inns, and pubs., and hotels his most emphatic approbation.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog)
…my baby’s small face is screwed up and it’s her who screams. She opens her little mouth and she lets out this big scream, and it’s like she has claws, and with that scream her claws take hold and she pulls me towards her. And I want her, I’ve never wanted anything more. I want to hold her and press my nose to her and learn every little bit of her.
Katie Hale (My Name is Monster)
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the base Only sentries were stirring--they guarded the place. At the foot of each bunk sat a helmet and boot For the Santa of Soldiers to fill up with loot. The soldiers were sleeping and snoring away As they dreamed of “back home” on good Christmas Day. One snoozed with his rifle--he seemed so content. I slept with the letters my family had sent. When outside the tent there arose such a clatter. I sprang from my rack to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash. Poked out my head, and yelled, “What was that crash?” When what to my thrill and relief should appear, But one of our Blackhawks to give the all clear. More rattles and rumbles! I heard a deep whine! Then up drove eight Humvees, a jeep close behind… Each vehicle painted a bright Christmas green. With more lights and gold tinsel than I’d ever seen. The convoy commander leaped down and he paused. I knew then and there it was Sergeant McClaus! More rapid than rockets, his drivers they came When he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Cohen! Mendoza! Woslowski! McCord! Now, Li! Watts! Donetti! And Specialist Ford!” “Go fill up my sea bags with gifts large and small! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, all!” In the blink of an eye, to their trucks the troops darted. As I drew in my head and was turning around, Through the tent flap the sergeant came in with a bound. He was dressed all in camo and looked quite a sight With a Santa had added for this special night. His eyes--sharp as lasers! He stood six feet six. His nose was quite crooked, his jaw hard as bricks! A stub of cigar he held clamped in his teeth. And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. A young driver walked in with a seabag in tow. McClaus took the bag, told the driver to go. Then the sarge went to work. And his mission today? Bring Christmas from home to the troops far away! Tasty gifts from old friends in the helmets he laid. There were candies, and cookies, and cakes, all homemade. Many parents sent phone cards so soldiers could hear Treasured voices and laughter of those they held dear. Loving husbands and wives had mailed photos galore Of weddings and birthdays and first steps and more. And for each soldier’s boot, like a warm, happy hug, There was art from the children at home sweet and snug. As he finished the job--did I see a twinkle? Was that a small smile or instead just a wrinkle? To the top of his brow he raised up his hand And gave a salute that made me feel grand. I gasped in surprise when, his face all aglow, He gave a huge grin and a big HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! from the barracks and then from the base. HO! HO! HO! as the convoy sped up into space. As the camp radar lost him, I heard this faint call: “HAPPY CHRISTMAS, BRAVE SOLDIERS! MAY PEACE COME TO ALL!
Trish Holland (The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas)
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights. “Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back. “You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice. “Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…” “I know, I believe you.” At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket. “Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger. Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces. “Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?” I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself. “You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—” I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!” “You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.” “No!” I shrieked. “No!” He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door. I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them. But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room. “—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Alessandro watched as Luke burrowed his nose in the snow and then shook his small body. “Well, that depends on whether you want a male or a female horse.” “Mmm. I tink I want a boy horsie. Girl horsies have babies and dat’s too much trouble.” Alessandro bit back a laugh. “Male horse it is then. Let’s see. My favourite horse’s name is Abbott.” “A But?” Will asked laughing. “Abbott,” Alessandro corrected. “Chimney,” Will suddenly decided, stopping. Alessandro blinked in confusion. “I’m sorry, did you say ‘Chimney’?” “It make sense,” Will assured him. “Santa come down da chimney and he is my pesent, right? So his name be Chimney.” “I agree. Quite logical,” Alessandro nodded. “Well, dat one ting on my list. Der be more.” “Duly noted,” he said.
E. Jamie (The Betrayal (Blood Vows, #2))
What do you think you’re doing?” She snapped, watching Alessandro pull back the covers and pull his legs in under the blankets. “I’m going to sleep, darling. I don’t think any amorous advances would be welcome tonight seeing as you’re in a bit of a snit, so ’night, darling.” “Get out of this bed, right now or so help me, I will do something to you that will severely compromise your ability to father any more children.” “Ah, so you admit that there will be more children for us?” He gave her a small smile. Bree came up on her elbows and narrowed her eyes. “Alessandro, go back to your coffee table.” “No.” “What do you mean, no? I’m furious with you. I don’t want to sleep with you, now get out,” “Let me put it another way, Sunshine,” he reached over and tapped her nose playfully. “Not bloody hardly. I am paying for this room and that includes this bed.” “Fine. Then I’ll go somewhere else,” Bree said, kicking the blanket off of her. Alessandro reached out a long leg and hooked it around one of hers, trapping her. “If you don’t want me to tie you to this bed, you’ll stay where you are. And you know how much I’d enjoy that.
E. Jamie (The Betrayal (Blood Vows, #2))
It was a long head. It was a wedge, a sliver, a grotesque slice in which it seemed the features had been forced to stake their claims, and it appeared that they had done so in a great hurry and with no attempt to form any kind of symmetrical pattern for their mutual advantage. The nose had evidently been first upon the scene and had spread itself down the entire length of the wedge, beginning among the grey stubble of the hair and ending among the grey stubble of the beard, and spreading on both sides with a ruthless disregard for the eyes and mouth which found precarious purchase. The mouth was forced by the lie of the terrain left to it, to slant at an angle which gave to its right-hand side an expression of grim amusement and to its left, which dipped downwards across the chin, a remorseless twist. It was forced by not only the unfriendly monopoly of the nose, but also by the tapering character of the head to be a short mouth; but it obvious by its very nature that, under normal conditions, it would have covered twice the area. The eyes in whose expression might be read the unending grudge they bore against the nose were as small as marbles and peered out between the grey grass of the hair. This head, set at a long incline upon a neck as wry as a turtle's cut across the narrow vertical black strip of the window. Steerpike watched it turn upon the neck slowly. It would not have surprised him if it had dropped off, so toylike was its angle. As he watched, fascinated, the mouth opened and a voice as strange and deep as the echo of a lugubrious ocean stole out into the morning. Never was a face so belied by its voice. The accent was of so weird a lilt that at first Steerpike could not recognize more than one sentence in three, but he had quickly attuned himself to the original cadence and as the words fell into place Steerpike realised he was staring at a poet.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
It should be illegal for a woman to look as good as you do.” “Really?” She peered down at herself again, but saw nothing all that spectacular. “I’m glad you like it.” “I love it. I love you.” He dug in his pocket. “When I left today, it was for this.” Speechless, Priss watched as he opened a now-wet jeweler’s box. Inside, securely nestled in velvet, was a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Her heart nearly stopped. “I wanted it to be a surprise.” There were no words. Her eyes suddenly burned and her throat went tight. Trace took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. The fit was perfect, but then, anything Trace did, he did right. “Priss?” Using the edge of his fist, he lifted her chin. “We’ve been to movies and plays, to small diners and fancy restaurants. I’ve taken you dancing and hiking, to the amusement park and the zoo.” Sounding like a choked frog, Priss said, “All the things I never got to do growing up.” “But there’s so much more, honey.” He moved wet tendrils of hair away from her face and over her shoulder. “I was trying to give you time to enjoy it all.” “No!” Priss did not want him second-guessing his intent. “I don’t need any more time. Really I don’t.” Both still very attentive, Matt and Chris snickered. Trace just smiled at her. Closing her hand into a fist, she held the ring tight. “All I need, all I want, is you.” “Glad to hear it, because I’m not an overly patient guy. Hell, I think I knew you were the one the day you showed up in Murray’s office.” He kissed the tip of her nose, her lips, her chin. “You were so damned outrageous, and so pushy, that you scared me half to death.” “You felt me up,” Priss reminded him. “But that was a first for me, too.” “I remember it well.” He treated her to a deeper kiss, and ended it with a groan. “Every day since then, I’ve wanted you more. Even when you worried me, or lied to me, or made me insane, I admired you for it.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
I The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful pea-green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, "O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!" II Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl! How charmingly sweet you sing! O let us be married! too long we have tarried: But what shall we do for a ring?" They sailed away, for a year and a day, To the land where the Bong-Tree grows And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood With a ring at the end of his nose, His nose, His nose, With a ring at the end of his nose. III "Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will." So they took it away, and were married next day By the Turkey who lives on the hill. They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon; And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon, The moon, The moon, They danced by the light of the moon.
Edward Lear
Look- here's a table covered with red cloth. On it is a cage the size of a small fish aquarium. In the cage is a white rabbit with a pink nose and pink-rimmed eyes. [...] On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8. [...] The most interesting thing here isn't even the carrot-munching rabbit in the cage, but the number on its back. Not a six, not a four, not nineteen-point-five. It's an eight. This is what we're looking at, and we all see it. I didn't tell you. You didn't ask me. I never opened my mouth and you never opened yours. We're not even in the same year together, let alone the same room... except we are together. We are close. We're having a meeting of the minds. [...] We've engaged in an act of telepathy. No mythy-mountain shit; real telepathy.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
For the first time in his life, Midhat wished he were more religious. Of course he prayed, but though that was a private mechanism it sometimes felt like a public act, and the lessons of the Quran were lessons by rote, one was steeped in them, hearing them so often. They were the texture of his world, and yet they did not occupy that central, vital part of his mind, the part that was vibrating at this moment, on this train, rattling forward while he struggled to hold all these pieces. As a child he had felt some of the same curiosity he held for the mysteries of other creeds—for Christianity with its holy fire, the Samaritans with their alphabets—but that feeling had dulled while he was still young, when traditional religion began to seem a worldly thing, a realm of morals and laws and the same old stories and holidays. They were acts, not thoughts. He faced the water now along the coast, steadying his gaze on the slow distance, beyond the blur of trees pushing past the tracks, on the desolate fishing boats hobbling over the waves. He sensed himself tracing the lip of something very large, something black and well-like, a vessel which was at the same time an emptiness, and he thought, without thinking precisely, only feeling with the tender edges of his mind, what the Revelation might have been for in its origin. Why it was so important that they could argue to the sword what it meant if God had hands, and whether He had made the universe. Underneath it all was a living urgency, that original issue of magnitude; the way several hundred miles on foot could be nothing to the mind, Nablus to Cairo, one thought of a day’s journey by train, but placed vertically that same distance in depth exposed the body’s smallness and suddenly one thought of dying. Did one need to face the earth, nose to soil, to feel that distance towering above? There was something of his own mortality in this. Oh then but why, in a moment of someone else’s death, must he think of his own disappearance?
Isabella Hammad (The Parisian)
There is always an unthinking group that permits itself to be blown to and fro by all kinds of doctrinal winds, as a feather is blown about by air currents. This group always falls all over itself adopting innovations, as though the most modern were always the best. There are also the ever-changing weather vanes and the limber-necks [Wendehaelse], pedagogues and preachers who with delicate noses smell the direction of the wind, who are adept at twisting and turning with every change, and who, under the pretense of offering newly discovered and original truths, yet preach only that for which the ears of the people itch. There are also the religious politicians, great and small, who never ask, “What is true?” or “What does Scripture say?” but only ask, “What is up to date?” “What will bring results?
Matthew C. Harrison (At Home in the House of My Fathers: Presidential Sermons, Essays, Letters, and Addresses from the Missouri Synod's Great Era of Unity and Growth)
This commissary was a man of very repulsive mien, with a pointed nose, with yellow and salient cheek bones, with eyes small but keen and penetrating, and an expression of countenance resembling at once the polecat and the fox. His head, supported by a long and flexible neck, issued from his large black robe, balancing itself with a motion very much like that of the tortoise thrusting his head out of his shell.
Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1))
Look—here’s a table covered with a red cloth. On it is a cage the size of a small fish aquarium. In the cage is a white rabbit with a pink nose and pink-rimmed eyes. In its front paws is a carrot-stub upon which it is contentedly munching. On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8. Do we see the same thing? We’d have to get together and compare notes to make absolutely sure, but I think we do. There will be necessary variations, of course: some receivers will see a cloth which is turkey red, some will see one that’s scarlet, while others may see still other shades. (To color-blind receivers, the red tablecloth is the dark gray of cigar ashes.) Some may see scalloped edges, some may see straight ones. Decorative souls may add a little lace, and welcome—my tablecloth is your tablecloth, knock yourself out.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
Get it off,” she said, jerking their bound wrists up and holding them up under his nose. “I thought perhaps we might at least introduce ourselves,” he said lightly. “Get it off!” “What shall I call you?” he asked as he pulled her to the table and removed the silver dome on the platter. Mutton stew, by the smell of it. Not a single knife to be had. “Lover?” “Rest assured you’ll never need to call me anything at all!” she said with admirable conviction. “You may reduce your rancor and save it for when you might need it,” he said calmly. “I am as enchanted by this arrangement as you are. May I remove your brooch?” “Pardon?” “Your brooch,” he said, looking at the small gold ring-shaped brooch that held her shawl on her shoulder. Her eyes narrowed. Jack knew that look and gestured to their wrists. “Rein in your thoughts, lass. I need something to get it off.
Julia London (Highland Scandal (The Scandalous Series, #2))
The hit-woman opened the door. No dead body on the floor. Thank God. I heard an unearthly roar and then Jordan charged Liz from where she’d been hiding beside the door. She tackled her to the floor and stabbed her through the wrist with a small switchblade. The hit-woman shrieked and let go of the gun, allowing Jordan precious seconds to bat it across the room. She landed a couple hard punches to the assassin’s nose, bloodying it, before the other woman got the upper hand. She grabbed a handful of Jordan’s ponytail and slammed her head into the edge of the coffee table. Jordan cried out, but didn’t let go of the knife. She withdrew it and held it against the assassin’s throat, shouting, “Move again and I’ll kill you, puta!” Liz panted madly, but stayed put. Jordan glanced up at me. “You okay?” “Alive,” I said through a grimace. “Not okay.” “Good enough.” She returned her gaze to the woman pinned beneath her and glared. “The police are on their way. And not the nice, human police. Angels. Get any ideas about trying to kill me again and you won’t even get to deal with them.” “I’ve been in jail before,” Liz said, attempting to recapture her former arrogance. “I’ll get over it.” Jordan leaned down a few inches, lowering her voice. “Really? How’d you like to return without your tongue?” Liz’s eyes went wide, as did mine. “You wouldn’t dare.” “You shot my best friend. Multiple times. Lex talionis.” “You can’t kill me. You’re not a policewoman. You’re just a girl.” “No. I’m a Seer. You and the rest of your friends had better learn the difference between a sheep and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Until then…” She lifted her fist and punched Liz hard in the temple. The assassin went out like a light. “Vaya con dios, bitch.
Kyoko M. (The Deadly Seven (The Black Parade, #1.5))
She was very ugly - the ugliest person you ever saw in your life! Her hair was scraped into a bun, sticking straight out at the back of her head like a teapot handle; and her face was round and wrinkly, and she had eyes like two little black boot-buttons. And her nose! - she had a nose like two potatoes. She wore a rusty black dress right up to the top of her neck and right down to her button boots, and a rusty black jacket and a rusty black bonnet, all trimmed with trembly black jet, with her teapot-handled of a bun sticky out at the back. And she carried a small brown case and a large black stick, and she had a very fierce expression indeed on her wrinkly, round, brown face. But what you noticed most of all was that she had one huge front Tooth, sticking right out like a tombstone over her lower lip. You never, in the whole of your life, ever saw such a Tooth!
Christianna Brand (Nurse Matilda)
At first Alexander could not believe it was his Tania. He blinked and tried to refocus his eyes. She was walking around the table, gesturing, showing, leaning forward, bending over. At one point she straightened out and wiped her forehead. She was wearing a short-sleeved yellow peasant dress. She was barefoot, and her slender legs were exposed above her knee. Her bare arms were lightly tanned. Her blonde hair looked bleached by the sun and was parted into two shoulder-length braids tucked behind her ears. Even from a distance he could see the summer freckles on her nose. She was achingly beautiful. And alive. Alexander closed his eyes, then opened them again. She was still there, bending over the boy’s work. She said something, everyone laughed loudly, and Alexander watched as the boy’s arm touched Tatiana’s back. Tatiana smiled. Her white teeth sparkled like the rest of her. Alexander didn’t know what to do. She was alive, that was obvious. Then why hadn’t she written him? And where was Dasha? Alexander couldn’t very well continue to stand under a lilac tree. He went back out onto the main road, took a deep breath, stubbed out his cigarette, and walked toward the square, never taking his eyes off her braids. His heart was thundering in his chest, as if he were going into battle. Tatiana looked up, saw him, and covered her face with her hands. Alexander watched everyone get up and rush to her, the old ladies showing unexpected agility and speed. She pushed them all away, pushed the table away, pushed the bench away, and ran to him. Alexander was paralyzed by his emotion. He wanted to smile, but he thought any second he was going to fall to his knees and cry. He dropped all his gear, including his rifle. God, he thought, in a second I’m going to feel her. And that’s when he smiled. Tatiana sprang into his open arms, and Alexander, lifting her off her feet with the force of his embrace, couldn’t hug her tight enough, couldn’t breathe in enough of her. She flung her arms around his neck, burying her face in his bearded cheek. Dry sobs racked her entire body. She was heavier than the last time he felt her in all her clothes as he lifted her into the Lake Ladoga truck. She, with her boots, her clothes, coats, and coverings, had not weighed what she weighed now. She smelled incredible. She smelled of soap and sunshine and caramelized sugar. She felt incredible. Holding her to him, Alexander rubbed his face into her braids, murmuring a few pointless words. “Shh, shh…come on, now, shh, Tatia. Please…” His voice broke. “Oh, Alexander,” Tatiana said softly into his neck. She was clutching the back of his head. “You’re alive. Thank God.” “Oh, Tatiana,” Alexander said, hugging her tighter, if that were possible, his arms swaddling her summer body. “You’re alive. Thank God.” His hands ran up to her neck and down to the small of her back. Her dress was made of very thin cotton. He could almost feel her skin through it. She felt very soft. Finally he let her feet touch the ground. Tatiana looked up at him. His hands remained around her little waist. He wasn’t letting go of her. Was she always this tiny, standing barefoot in front of him? “I like your beard,” Tatiana said, smiling shyly and touching his face. “I love your hair,” Alexander said, pulling on a braid and smiling back. “You’re messy…” He looked her over. “And you’re stunning.” He could not take his eyes off her glorious, eager, vivid lips. They were the color of July tomatoes— He bent to her—
Paullina Simons
We passed the Irish club, and the florist’s with its small stiff pink-and-white carnations in a bucket, and the drapers called ‘Elvina’s’, which displayed in its window Bear Brand stockings and knife-pleated skirts like cloth concertinas and pasty-shaped hats on false heads. We passed the confectioner’s – or failed to pass it; the window attracted Karina. She balled her hands into her pockets, and leant back, her feet apart; she looked rooted, immovable. The cakes were stacked on decks of sloping shelves, set out on pink doilies whitened by falls of icing sugar. There were vanilla slices, their airy tiers of pastry glued together with confectioners’ custard, fat and lolling like a yellow tongue. There were bubbling jam puffs and ballooning Eccles cakes, slashed to show their plump currant insides. There were jam tarts the size of traffic lights; there were whinberry pies oozing juice like black blood. ‘Look at them buns,’ Karina would say. ‘Look.’ I would turn sideways and see her intent face. Sometimes the tip of her tongue would appear, and slide slowly upwards towards her flat nose. There were sponge buns shaped like fat mushrooms, topped with pink icing and half a glace cherry. There were coconut pyramids, and low square house-shaped chocolate buns, finished with a big roll of chocolate-wrapped marzipan which was solid as the barrel of a cannon.
Hilary Mantel (An Experiment in Love)
She has seen neighbouring women do it, has heard their cries rise into screams, smelt the rusty coin scent of new birth. She has seen the pig, the cow, the ewes birth their young; she has been the one called on by her father, by Bartholomew, when lambs were stuck. Her female fingers, slender, tapered, were required to enter that narrow, heated, slick canal, and hook out the soft hoofs, the gluey nose, the plastered-back ears. And she knows, in the way she always does, that she will reach the other side of birth, that she and this baby will live. Nothing, however, could have prepared her for the relentlessness of it. It is like trying to stand in a gale, like trying to swim against the current of a flooded river, like trying to lift a fallen tree. Never has she been more sensible of her weakness, of her inadequacy. She has always felt herself to be a strong person: she can push a cow into milking position, she can douse and stir a load of laundry, she can lift and carry her small siblings, a bale of skins, a bucket of water, an armful of firewood. Her body is one of resilience, of power: she is all muscle beneath smooth skin. But this is something else. Something other. It laughs at her attempts to master it, to subdue it, to rise above it. It will, Agnes fears, overtake her. It will seize her by the scruff of her neck and plunge her down, under the surface of the water.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
And now, dear Emma, I'll show you just what you have to be wary of," he said, and his head moved down, blotting out the light. This was no slow, sensuous caress of mouth and lip. This was no chaste salute, nor was it the wet awkwardness of an untried boy or a randy old man. He opened his mouth over hers and kissed her, using his tongue, his teeth, and all the clever weapons he had in his arsenal. She told herself she was being kissed by a practiced rake. She told herself it meant nothing, it was a trick, an act, a small skill that anyone could acquire. She told herself that as her body trembled and melted beneath him, as her mouth opened to his skillful insistence. She told herself it meant absolutely nothing as his tongue pushed into her mouth, and the moan that came from deep inside her had to be one of displeasure, didn't it? It wasn't one kiss, it was twenty, it was a long series of unending kisses, leading one into another, so that she barely had time to begin to regain her sanity when he stripped it away once more. He kissed her eyelids, the side of her mouth, the beating pulse at the base of her neck. He kissed her nose and her chin, he bit her earlobe, and then he covered her mouth once more, kissing her with a devastating thoroughness that had her damp and trembling in his arms. His hands were on her petticoats, slowly drawing them up her long legs, and her hips cradled him. He was hard against her, she belatedly recognized that fact, and the knowledge panicked her.e wanted her, his body wanted to claim hers, and there was no way she could stop him. No way, God help her, that she wanted to stop him. He broke the kiss, rising up over her as she lay on the bed, staring down at her with a hooded expression in his eyes. His mouth was wet from hers, and his breathing was slightly labored. It would have been the only sign of his arousal, had it not been for the heat pressing against her hips. "Do you want me, Emma?" he murmured, his voice low and insistent. "You don't have to say a word. Just put your mouth against mine." Oh, God, she did want him, as terrifying as that notion was. She wanted to touch him, to feel his skin against hers, and she felt a dark burning deep inside her that she knew only he could assuage. She wanted his mouth, she wanted his heart, she wanted his soul.
Anne Stuart (To Love a Dark Lord)
No, little one, George's ghost won't come back. Human beings don't have souls. No soul, no ghost. Simple." "How can you say that?" protested Mopple. "We don't know whether humans have souls or not." "Every lamb knows that your soul is in your sense of smell. And human beings don't have very good noses." Maude herself had an excellent sense of smell, and often thought about the problem of souls and noses. "So you'd only see a very small ghost. Nothing to be afraid of.
Leonie Swann (Three Bags Full)
So your luck still holds with women, too.” Ryne’s laugh had an edge. Perhaps he fancied her himself. “The Light knows, they can’t find you handsome; you get uglier every year. Maybe I ought to try some of that coy modesty, let women lead me by the nose.” Lan opened his mouth, then took a drink instead of speaking. He should not have to explain, but it was too late for explanation with Ryne in any case. His father had taken him to Arafel the year Lan turned ten. The man wore a single blade on his hip instead of two on his back, yet he was Arafellin to his toenails. He actually started conversations with women who had not spoken to him first. Lan, raised by Bukama and his friends in Shienar, had been surrounded by a small community who held to Malkieri ways. If Lira did share his bed tonight, as seemed certain, she would discover there was nothing shy or retiring about him once they were abed, yet the woman chose when to enter that bed and when to leave.
Robert Jordan (New Spring (The Wheel of Time, #0))
Consider the testimony of a well-educated but not politically minded German who experienced the rise of the Third Reich: To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me. . . . Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what . . . all these “little measures” that no “patriotic German” could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . . And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying “Jew swine,” collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
Nick grinned, swooping in for another kiss and then leaning back and scruffing his hair up. “Harriet Manners, I’m about to give you six stamps. Then I’m going to write something on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope with your address on it.” “OK …” “Then I’m going to put the envelope on the floor and spin us as fast as I can. As soon as either of us manage to stick a stamp on it, I’m going to race to the postbox and post it unless you can catch me first. If you win, you can read it.” Nick was obviously faster than me, but he didn’t know where the nearest postbox was. “Deal,” I agreed, yawning and rubbing my eyes. “But why six stamps?” “Just wait and see.” A few seconds later, I understood. As we spun in circles with our hands stretched out, one of my stamps got stuck to the ground at least a metre away from the envelope. Another ended up on a daisy. A third somehow got stuck to the roundabout. One of Nick’s ended up on his nose. And every time we both missed, we laughed harder and harder and our kisses got dizzier and dizzier until the whole world was a giggling, kissing, spinning blur. Finally, when we both had one stamp left, I stopped giggling. I had to win this. So I swallowed, wiped my eyes and took a few deep breaths. Then I reached out my hand. “Too late!” Nick yelled as I opened my eyes again. “Got it, Manners!” And he jumped off the still-spinning roundabout with the envelope held high over his head. So I promptly leapt off too. Straight into a bush. Thanks to a destabilised vestibular system – which is the upper portion of the inner ear – the ground wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Nick, in the meantime, had ended up flat on his back on the grass next to me. With a small shout I leant down and kissed him hard on the lips. “HA!” I shouted, grabbing the envelope off him and trying to rip it open. “I don’t think so,” he grinned, jumping up and wrapping one arm round my waist while he retrieved it again. Then he started running in a zigzag towards the postbox. A few seconds later, I wobbled after him. And we stumbled wonkily down the road, giggling and pulling at each other’s T-shirts and hanging on to tree trunks and kissing as we each fought for the prize. Finally, he picked me up and, without any effort, popped me on top of a high wall. Like Humpty Dumpty. Or some kind of really unathletic cat. “Hey!” I shouted as he whipped the envelope out of my hands and started sprinting towards the postbox at the bottom of the road. “That’s not fair!” “Course it is,” he shouted back. “All’s fair in love and war.” And Nick kissed the envelope then put it in the postbox with a flourish. I had to wait three days. Three days of lingering by the front door. Three days of lifting up the doormat, just in case it had accidentally slipped under there. Finally, the letter arrived: crumpled and stained with grass. Ha. Told you I was faster. LBxx
Holly Smale (Picture Perfect (Geek Girl, #3))
She sometimes takes her little brother for a walk round this way," explained Bingo. "I thought we would meet her and bow, and you could see her, you know, and then we would walk on." "Of course," I said, "that's enough excitement for anyone, and undoubtedly a corking reward for tramping three miles out of one's way over ploughed fields with tight boots, but don't we do anything else? Don't we tack on to the girl and buzz along with her?" "Good Lord!" said Bingo, honestly amazed. "You don't suppose I've got nerve enough for that, do you? I just look at her from afar off and all that sort of thing. Quick! Here she comes! No, I'm wrong!" It was like that song of Harry Lauder's where he's waiting for the girl and says, "This is her-r-r. No, it's a rabbut." Young Bingo made me stand there in the teeth of a nor'-east half-gale for ten minutes, keeping me on my toes with a series of false alarms, and I was just thinking of suggesting that we should lay off and give the rest of the proceedings a miss, when round the corner there came a fox-terrier, and Bingo quivered like an aspen. Then there hove in sight a small boy, and he shook like a jelly. Finally, like a star whose entrance has been worked up by the personnel of the ensemble, a girl appeared, and his emotion was painful to witness. His face got so red that, what with his white collar and the fact that the wind had turned his nose blue, he looked more like a French flag than anything else. He sagged from the waist upwards, as if he had been filleted. He was just raising his fingers limply to his cap when he suddenly saw that the girl wasn't alone. A chappie in clerical costume was also among those present, and the sight of him didn't seem to do Bingo a bit of good. His face got redder and his nose bluer, and it wasn't till they had nearly passed that he managed to get hold of his cap. The girl bowed, the curate said, "Ah, Little. Rough weather," the dog barked, and then they toddled on and the entertainment was over.
P.G. Wodehouse
...He said defensively, "But from now on, Japan is sure to develop." "Japan's headed for a fall," the man said coolly. Say a thing like that in Kumamoto and you'd get a punch in the nose, or be called a traitor. The atmosphere Sanshiro grew up in left no room in his head for such an idea. Just because he was young, was the man having some fun at his expense? The man kept on grinning. Yet his way of talking was perfectly composed. Not knowing what to think, Sanshiro held his tongue. His companion went on, "Tokyo is bigger than Kumamoto. Japan is bigger than Tokyo. And what's bigger than Japan is..." He paused and looked at Sanshiro, who was listening intently. "...the inside of your head. That's bigger than Japan. Don't let yourself get bogged down. You may believe your way of thinking is for the good of the nation, but you could actually be bringing it down." When he heard this, Sanshiro felt he had indeed left Kumamoto. And he realized, too, what a small person his Kumamoto self had been.
Natsume Sōseki (Sanshirō)
Cat wrinkled her nose. "No, thank you." "Take," the rais told her. "Is good." He picked one up and held it out, and when she hesitated, thrust it at her with greater insistence. "With my people, hosbitality important. To refuse is insult." She took a small bite. Sweetness flooded her mouth so that she gasped. It was not in the least what she had expected, for it tasted remarkably like the preserved medlars the cook bottled each autumn from Kenegie's orchard. "Oh..." She took the rest whole, saliva breaking from the corner of her mouth. Al-Andalusi looked on, eyebrow cocked sardonically. "Is fig," he said. "In some tradition it was the friut Eve gave to Adam from the Tree of Knowledge." "In the Bible that was an apple!" "In our tradition, according to the Qu'ran, it was apple also. And when Adam swallowed mouthful od fruit, it stuk in throat and made lump all men have." "The Adam's apple!" Cat cried, astonished. "We call it that as well." "We are, perhaps, not such strangers to each other as you think.
Jane Johnson (The Tenth Gift)
A kiss with Lenore is a scenario in which Iskate with buttered soles over the moist rink of lower lip, sheltered from weathers by the wet warm overhang of upper, finally to crawl between lip and gum and pull the lip to me like a child’s blanket and stare over it with beady, unfriendly eyes out at the world external to Lenore, of which I no longer wish to be part. That I must in the final analysis remain part of the world that is external to and other from Lenore Beadsman is to me a source of profound grief. That others may dwell deep, deep within the ones they love, drink from the soft cup at the creamy lake at the center of the Object of Passion, while I am fated forever only to intuit the presence of deep recesses while I poke my nose, as it were, merely into the foyer of the Great House of Love, agitate briefly, and make a small mess onthe doormat, pisses me off to no small degree. But that Lenore finds such tiny frenzies, such conversations just inside the Screen Door of Union, to be not only pleasant and briefly diverting but somehow apparently right, fulfilling, significant, in some sense wonderful, quite simply and not at all surprisingly makes me feel the same way, enlarges my sense of it and me, sends me hurrying up the walk to that Screen Door in my best sportjacket and flower in lapel as excited as any schoolboy, time after time, brings me charging to the cave entrance in leopardskin shirt, avec club, bellowing for admittance and promising general kickings of ass if I am impeded in any way.
David Foster Wallace (The Broom of the System)
The Marquess screamed. All this time, she had been small and cowering, nothing like herself, a shadow of a shadow. But when Nod sunk his squarish teeth into her dark skin, she screamed and hissed—and then suddenly stood. She stared at the creature clamping down on her wrist. He shook his muzzle to get a better grip on her. Her spine straightened, and September saw her face settle into its old self, a face used to power, to getting her way, and never balking at any single thing. “How dare you,” the Marquess snarled. “How dare you put your teeth on me?” She clamped her hand down on his snout and tore him free of her flesh. Shadow-blood welled up and fell. The tip of his elephant-like nose stretched far longer than September would have thought possible. It sought and found her wound as she held him fast. She threw him aside like a doll; his weight shattered a crate stamped with Pluto’s Fancy Mushrooms. Dark soil spilled out. The Marquess reached down and opened the shadow of the box, her eyes blazing. She opened it as herself, as the Marquess in all her fury and beauty and terror.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
Grazer and Cohn - two outsiders with learning disabilities-played a trick. They bluffed their way into professions that would have been closed to them. The man in the cab assumed that no one would be so audacious as to say he knew how to trade options if he didn't. And it never occurred to the people Brian Grazer called that when he said he was Brian Grazer from Warner Brothers, what he meant was that he was Brian Grazer who pushed the mail cart around at Warner Brothers. What they did is not "right," just as it is not "right" to send children against police dogs. But we need to remember that our definition of what right is, often as not, simply the way that people in positions of privilege close the door on those on the outside. David has nothing to lose, and because he has nothing to lose, he has the freedom to thumb his nose at the rules set by others. That's how people with brains a little bit different from the rest of ours get jobs as options traders and Hollywood producers-and a small band of protesters armed with nothing but their wits have a chance against the likes of Bull Connor
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)
At his leisure, the lieutenant allowed the unforgettable spectacle to engrave itself upon his mind. With one hand he fondled the hair, with the other he softly stroked the magnificent face, implanting kisses here and there where his eyes lingered. The quiet coldness of the high, tapering forehead, the closed eyes with their long lashes beneath faintly etched brows, the set of the finely shaped nose, the gleam of teeth glimpsed between full, regular lips, the soft cheeks and the small, wise chin… Wherever the lieutenant's eyes moved his lips faithfully followed. The high, swelling breasts, surmounted by nipples like the buds of a wild cherry, hardened as the lieutenant's lips closed about them. The arms flowed smoothly downward from each side of the breast, tapering toward the wrists, yet losing nothing of their roundness or symmetry…The natural hollow curving between the bosom and the stomach carried in its lines a suggestion not only of softness but of resilient strength, and while it gave forewarning to the rich curves spreading outward from here to the hips it had, in itself, an appearance only of restraint and proper discipline. The whiteness and richness of the stomach and hips was like milk brimming in a great bowl, and the sharply shadowed dip of the navel could have been the fresh impress of a raindrop, fallen there that very moment. Where the shadows gathered more thickly, hair clustered, gentle and sensitive, and as the agitation mounted in the now no longer passive body there hung over this region a scent like the smoldering of fragrant blossoms, growing steadily more pervasive… Passionately they held their faces close, rubbing cheek against cheek…Their breasts, moist with sweat, were tightly joined, and every inch of the young and beautiful bodies had become so much one with the other that it seemed impossible there should ever again be a separation…From the heights they plunged into the abyss, and from the abyss they took wing and soared once more to dizzying heights…As one cycle ended, almost immediately a new wave of passion would be generated, and together -with no trace of fatigue- they would climb again in a single breathless movement to the very summit.
Yukio Mishima (Patriotism)
Her eyebrows were plucked into thin arched lines, which gave her a permanent look of surprise, or outrage, or inquisitiveness, such as you might see on a startled child, but below them her eyelids were tired-looking. Not so her eyes, which were the flat hostile blue of a midsummer sky in bright sunlight, a blue that shuts you out. Her nose must once have been what was called cute but now was too small for her face. Her face was not fat but it was large. Two lines led downward from the corners of her mouth; between them was her chin, clenched like a fist.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
One of them was a young fellow of about twenty-seven, not tall, with black curling hair, and small, grey, fiery eyes. His nose was broad and flat, and he had high cheek bones; his thin lips were constantly compressed into an impudent, ironical—it might almost be called a malicious—smile; but his forehead was high and well formed, and atoned for a good deal of the ugliness of the lower part of his face. A special feature of this physiognomy was its death-like pallor, which gave to the whole man an indescribably emaciated appearance in spite of his hard look, and at the same time a sort of passionate and suffering expression which did not harmonize with his impudent, sarcastic smile and keen, self-satisfied bearing. He wore a large fur—or rather astrachan—overcoat, which had kept him warm all night, while his neighbour had been obliged to bear the full severity of a Russian November night entirely unprepared. His wide sleeveless mantle with a large cape to it—the sort of cloak one sees upon travellers during the winter months in Switzerland or North Italy—was by no means adapted to the long cold journey through Russia, from Eydkuhnen to St. Petersburg.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
Granny Weatherwax personally disliked young Pewsey. She disliked all small children, which is why she got on with them so well. In Pewsey's case, she felt that no one should be allowed to wander around in just a vest even if they were four years old. And the child had a permanently runny nose and ought to be provided with a handkerchief or, failing that, a cork. Nanny Ogg, on the other hand, was instant putty in the hands of any grandchild, even one as sticky as Pewsey "Want sweetie," growled Pewsey, in that curiously deep voice some young children have. "Just in a moment, my duck, I'm talking to the lady," Nanny Ogg fluted. "Want sweetie now." "Bugger off, my precious, Nana's busy right this minute." Pewsey pulled hard on Nanny Ogg's skirts. "Now sweetie now!" Granny Weatherwax leaned down until her impressive nose was about level with Pewsey's gushing one. "If you don't go away," she said gravely, "I will personally rip your head off and fill it with snakes." "There!" said Nanny Ogg. "There's lots of poor children in Klatch that'd be grateful for a curse like that." Pewsey's little face, after a second or two of uncertainty, split into a pumpkin grin. "Funny lady," he said.
Terry Pratchett (Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14; Witches, #4))
Soon, droves of children start to show up, keeping us rather busy. We start tallying up the number of Trolls, Batmans, Lego men, and princesses we see. The most popular costume? Batman and Superwoman with the fabrics and accessories varying from child to child. But my favorite so far is the girl who dressed as Little Debbie, but then again, I may be biased. “I think she might be my new favorite,” Emma says as a little girl dressed as a nurse walks away. “That’s because you’re a nurse, but you can’t play favorites,” I say, reminding Emma of the rules. She levels with me. “This coming from the guy whose favorite child was dressed as Little Debbie.” “Come on.” I lean back in my chair and motion to my head. “She had the rim of blue on her hat. That’s attention to detail.” “And good fucking parenting,” Tucker chimes in, and we clink our beer bottles together. Amelia chuckles next to me as Emma shakes her head. “Ridiculous. What about you, Amelia? What costume has been your favorite so far?” “Hmm, it’s been a tough competition. There has been some real winning costumes and some absolute piss-poor ones.” She shakes her head. “Just because you put a scarf around your neck and call yourself Jack Frost doesn’t mean you dressed up.” “Ugh, that costume was dumb.” “It shouldn’t be referred to as a costume, but that’s beside the point.” I like how much Amelia is getting into this little pretend competition. She’s a far cry from the girl who first came home earlier. I love that having Tucker and Emma over has given me more time with Amelia, getting to know the woman she is today, but also managed to put that beautiful smile back on her face. “So who takes the cake for you?” I ask, nudging her leg with mine. Smiling up at me, she says, “Hands down it’s the little boy who dressed as Dwight Schrute from The Office. I think I giggled for five minutes straight after he left. That costume was spot on.” “Oh shit, you’re right,” I reply as Emma and Tucker agree with me. “He even had the watch calculator.” “And the small nose Dwight always complains about.” Emma chuckles. “Yeah, he has to be the winner.” “Now, now, now, let’s not get too hasty. Little Debbie is still in the running,” Tucker points out. Amelia leans forward, seeming incredibly comfortable, and says, “There is no way Little Debbie beats Dwight. Sorry, dude.” The shocked look on Tucker’s face is comical. He’s just been put in his place and the old Amelia has returned. I fucking love it.
Meghan Quinn (The Other Brother (Binghamton, #4))
He watched her small hand hike up her skirt, saw her reach under to cup her sex. Once her fingers were covered in slick, she met his eyes, smearing her hand down his neck, directly over the spot where he stank of his beloved. Gathering more of her wetness, Claire soaked the patch of his shirt until she could only smell herself. It was not good enough. Unable to comprehend anything beyond black rage, Claire clawed the fabric and ripped Shepherd’s shirt to threads. Her nose went back to his exposed chest and she let out the most threatening growl an Omega could make. If he was hushing her, or reprimanding, touching, or in shock, Claire was absolutely oblivious. Every fiber of her being demanded she stake claim, that she scratch her marks all over his body, that she leave a sign all other females would see. She left him bloody. Breathing hard, she reared up until eye level with the man. “Now you will fuck me, hard, in every way that pleases me. And when it is done, you will get me food, because I’m fucking hungry!” He was on her with such force the breath was knocked from her body. Shepherd did exactly as his mate demanded, pounding into her with a fury that set her howling amidst their shredded clothing. In Shepherd’s experience, there had never been a coupling like it.
Addison Cain (Reborn (Alpha's Claim, #3))
She fell silent, remembering the jolt of envy and longing she’d felt when she’d framed the Browns in her viewfinder. Now, weeks and miles later, it was another jolt for Bryan to realize she hadn’t brushed off the peculiar feeling. She has managed to put it aside, somewhere to the back of her mind, but it popped out again now as she thought of the couple in the bleachers of a small-town park. Family, cohesion. Bonding. Did some people just keep promises better than others? she wondered. Or where some people simply unable to blend their lives with someone’s else, make those adjustments, the compromises? When she looked back, she believed both she and Rob had tried, but in their own ways. There’d been no meeting of the minds, but two separate thought patterns making decisions that never melded with each other. Did that mean that a successful marriage depended on the mating of two people who thought along the same lines? With a sigh, she turned onto the highway that would lead them into Tennessee. If it was true, she decided, she was much better off single. Though she’d met a great many people she liked and could have fun with, she’d never met anyone who thought the way she did. Especially the man seated next to her with his nose already buried in the newspaper. There alone they were radically different.” For more quotes visit my blog: frommybooks.wordpress.com
Nora Roberts (Summer Pleasures (Celebrity Magazine #1 & 2))
When I consider the brief span of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and behind it, the small space that I fill, or even see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces which I know not, and which know not me, I am afraid.' 'I should think so' I said. 'I am afraid, sir, and wonder to see myself here rather than there. For there is no reason why I should be here rather than then' 'Did you come to any conclusion?' The Stanton cleared its throat, then got out a folded linen handkerchief and carefully blew its nose. 'It seems to me that time must move in strange jumps, passing over intervening epochs. But why it would do that, or even how, I do not know. At a certain point the mind cannot fathom anything further.
Philip K. Dick (We Can Build You)
A kiss with Lenore is a scenario in which I skate with buttered soles over the moist rink of lower lip, sheltered from weathers by the wet warm overhang of upper, finally to crawl between lip and gum and pull the lip to me like a child’s blanket and stare over it with beady, unfriendly eyes out at the world external to Lenore, of which I no longer wish to be part. That I must in the final analysis remain part of the world that is external to and other from Lenore Beadsman is to me a source of profound grief. That others may dwell deep, deep within the ones they love, drink from the soft cup at the creamy lake at the center of the Object of Passion, while I am fated forever only to intuit the presence of deep recesses while I poke my nose, as it were, merely into the foyer of the Great House of Love, agitate briefly, and make a small mess on the doormat, pisses me off to no small degree. But that Lenore finds such tiny frenzies, such conversations just inside the Screen Door of Union, to be not only pleasant and briefly diverting but somehow apparently right, fulfilling, significant, in some sense wonderful, quite simply and not at all surprisingly makes me feel the same way, enlarges my sense of it and me, sends me hurrying up the walk to that Screen Door in my best sportjacket and flower in lapel as excited as any schoolboy, time after time, brings me charging to the cave entrance in leopardskin shirt, avec club, bellowing for admittance and promising general kickings of ass if I am impeded in any way.
David Foster Wallace (The Broom of the System)
Have you ever been too old, too young, too big, too small, too smart, too dumb? Have you ever been too fat, too thin, too shy, too loud, too slow to win? Have you ever been too scared to try, too small to play, too young to die? Have you ever been too weak to fight, too little yet, or not quite right? Have you ever been too dark, too light, too black, too brown, too red, too white? Have you ever been put off ’til last, the odd man out, the jerk they sassed? Have you ever been the one black sheep, the naughty child, the nerdy geek? Have you ever been the butt of jokes, the timid soul, the oddest folk? Have you ever been left out of fun, forgotten when the day is done? Have you ever been afraid to lose? Afraid to try? Afraid to choose? Have you ever been too rich, too poor, too venturesome, or just a bore? Have you ever had no clue at all? Nowhere to go? No one to call? Have you ever been without a friend? Have you ever wished the day would end? Have you ever had the biggest nose, the longest arms, the funny toes? Have you ever had the flattest chest? Have you ever had the biggest breasts? Have you ever prayed your luck would change? Have you ever felt your life was strange? Have you ever wished for something more, or something less than what you were? If you have ever felt this way, you're one of us I’m here to say. We've all been there a time or two because we're human, me and you. We've all felt different in some way because we are, and that’s okay. We've all been hurt; we've all been scarred. That's life. And frankly, life is hard.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year)
What are ye doing, lass?” His voice was so soft and close in the darkness, it made her shiver. She forgot all about the hard floor. “I always imagined that once I got married, I’d finally know what it was like to spend the night in a man’s arms. Will you hold me, so I can feel what that’s like? I won’t ask for more than that. Just hold me.” He rolled to face her and touched her cheek. “Ah, lass,” he sighed. “How can I deny you when you ask so sweetly? If ’tis holding ye want, holding you shall get. But the floor is no place for you and your bairn. Up in the bed with you.” “It’s no place for a married man, either,” she said, smiling at her small victory. He sighed again, a sound heavy with sentiment she could only guess at. She climbed under the blankets and held them up for him, but he was taking his sweet time. “Are you coming?” “Aye, lass. Just donning my plaid.” She bit back a huff of frustration. She determined to enjoy what little affection he would give her and didn’t want to push her luck by asking for more. Her hormones would have to learn patience; this was going to be a painfully slow seduction. When Darcy slipped into bed, bare-chested, but wrapped in layers of wool from the waist down, she cuddled into his open arms. All her frustration drained away as he gathered her in and the heat of his chest turned her into a melty puddle of contentment. She nestled her nose into the tuft of hair between his mounded pectorals and inhaled his scent of saddle leather and faint, masculine musk. Beneath her closed eyelids, her eyes rolled back in her head with bliss.
Jessi Gage (Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes Book 1))
Are you a relative of her late husband?” the woman asked. His eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” “It must be so hard for her, pregnant and just widowed,” the middle-aged woman continued. “We’ve all done what we could to make her happy here. Mr. Johnson, the curator, is a widower himself. He’s already sweet on her. But you’re probably anxious to see Mrs. Peterson. Shall I ring her and let her know you’re coming?” Tate’s eyes were blazing. “No,” he said with forced politeness. “I want to surprise her!” He stalked out, leaving the rented vehicle where it was as he trudged through the small layer of snow and glared contemptuously at the cars sliding around in the street as they passed. This little bit of snow was nothing compared to the six-foot snowdrifts on the reservation. Southerners, he considered, must not get much winter precipitation if this little bit of white dust paralyzed traffic! As for Cecily’s mythical dead husband, he considered, going up the walkway to the small brick structure where she lived, he was about to make a startling, resurrected appearance! He knocked on the door and waited. There was an irritated murmur beyond the closed door and the sound of a lock being unfastened. The door opened and a wan Cecily looked straight into his eyes. He managed to get inside the screen door and catch her before she passed out. She came to on the sofa with Tate sitting beside her, smoothing back her disheveled hair. The nausea climbed into her throat and, fortunately, stayed there. She looked at him with helpless delight, wishing she could hide what the sight of him was doing to her after so many empty, lonely weeks. He didn’t speak. He touched her hair, her forehead, her eyes, her nose, her mouth, with fingers that seemed bent on memorizing her. Then his hands went to the robe carelessly fastened over her cotton nightdress and pushed it aside. He touched her belly, his face radiant as he registered the very visible and tangible signs of her condition. “When did we make him?” he asked without preamble. She felt her world dissolve. He knew about the baby. Of course. That was why he was here. He met her eyes, found hostility and bitter disillusionment in them. His hand pressed down over her belly. “I would have come even if I hadn’t known about the baby,” he said at once. “The baby is mine.” “And mine.” “Audrey is not getting her avaricious little hands on my child…!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Then, she stepped hard on something soft. “Ouch!” exclaimed an urgent, musical voice behind her followed by another blast of that scent. That voice rang out in the night like a small bell. Damn, thought Carmen. These late-night stragglers always show up just as I am closing! “We’re closed,” she commented impatiently, not even bothering to turn around. “I can’t get you anything, my cash register is empty. And, I definitely can’t get you any gasoline. The pumps are shut down.” “You’re on my foot!” said the small, feminine voice again, protesting more loudly. “Get off!” The girl laughed. The street lights came on, as if the pressure of stepping on this person’s foot had turned them on. Carmen laughed at the synchronicity. She felt a small hand on her waist as she moved her foot off the soft place it had landed. It had been years since she had felt a woman’s touch. The feminine voice said quietly, “That hurt.” Carmen whirled around to face the girl she had stepped on, and almost lost her balance. Her eyes met the huge violet eyes of the most beautiful country girl she had ever seen standing directly behind her. Obviously, she had stepped on her. She apologized until she was speechless. Then, she coughed and indicated her truck. The girl had straight, healthy blue hair, delicately shaved over one ear and well-done light makeup with a few rhinestone studs in her ears and nose. Carmen had sucked her breath in audibly at the girl’s appearance. This diminutive girl was stunning. She was a real beauty, set in the dark country night like a diamond against the warm obsidian of the sky. And that fragrance!
Cassandra Barnes (Secret Love (Carmen & Rose: A Love to Remember #1))
I don’t like stories. I like moments. I like night better than day, moon better than sun, and here-and-now better than any sometime-later. I also like birds, mushrooms, the blues, peacock feathers, black cats, blue-eyed people, heraldry, astrology, criminal stories with lots of blood, and ancient epic poems where human heads can hold conversations with former friends and generally have a great time for years after they’ve been cut off. I like good food and good drink, sitting in a hot bath and lounging in a snowbank, wearing everything I own at once, and having everything I need close at hand. I like speed and that special ache in the pit of the stomach when you accelerate to the point of no return. I like to frighten and to be frightened, to amuse and to confound. I like writing on the walls so that no one can guess who did it, and drawing so that no one can guess what it is. I like doing my writing using a ladder or not using it, with a spray can or squeezing the paint from a tube. I like painting with a brush, with a sponge, and with my fingers. I like drawing the outline first and then filling it in completely, so that there’s no empty space left. I like letters as big as myself, but I like very small ones as well. I like directing those who read them here and there by means of arrows, to other places where I also wrote something, but I also like to leave false trails and false signs. I like to tell fortunes with runes, bones, beans, lentils, and I Ching. Hot climates I like in the books and movies; in real life, rain and wind. Generally rain is what I like most of all. Spring rain, summer rain, autumn rain. Any rain, anytime. I like rereading things I’ve read a hundred times over. I like the sound of the harmonica, provided I’m the one playing it. I like lots of pockets, and clothes so worn that they become a kind of second skin instead of something that can be taken off. I like guardian amulets, but specific ones, so that each is responsible for something separate, not the all-inclusive kind. I like drying nettles and garlic and then adding them to anything and everything. I like covering my fingers with rubber cement and then peeling it off in front of everybody. I like sunglasses. Masks, umbrellas, old carved furniture, copper basins, checkered tablecloths, walnut shells, walnuts themselves, wicker chairs, yellowed postcards, gramophones, beads, the faces on triceratopses, yellow dandelions that are orange in the middle, melting snowmen whose carrot noses have fallen off, secret passages, fire-evacuation-route placards; I like fretting when in line at the doctor’s office, and screaming all of a sudden so that everyone around feels bad, and putting my arm or leg on someone when asleep, and scratching mosquito bites, and predicting the weather, keeping small objects behind my ears, receiving letters, playing solitaire, smoking someone else’s cigarettes, and rummaging in old papers and photographs. I like finding something lost so long ago that I’ve forgotten why I needed it in the first place. I like being really loved and being everyone’s last hope, I like my own hands—they are beautiful, I like driving somewhere in the dark using a flashlight, and turning something into something completely different, gluing and attaching things to each other and then being amazed that it actually worked. I like preparing things both edible and not, mixing drinks, tastes, and scents, curing friends of the hiccups by scaring them. There’s an awful lot of stuff I like.
Mariam Petrosyan (Дом, в котором...)
Letter 4 As I lay dreaming, Montezuma introduced himself and put his hand on my shoulder. The palm of the Aztec king felt like ancient papyrus. When I looked up at him, I saw that his nose was chipped like that of a sphinx. His arms were like long ivory ropes that frayed into hands. He led me down to the river, where we sat together and shared the river’s silence. Then he spoke: „Allow me to tell you my story. It may help you understand your own. At dusk, in the year of one thousand rivers, the Spanish explorer Cortés arrived at the gates of my city. I welcomed him with open arms. I showed Cortés hundreds of aviaries that had built in the city, and finally I took him to the most aviary of sighs. These birds carried only love letters. Cortes laughed and said that all the bird songs made him feel like a virgin bride who is drunk with faith as she walks down the aisle of the church. On her wedding night, she undresses for her husband and he takes her in his arms. She believes everything is possible. When Cortés stared straight into my eyes and said 'It is a night that is always colored in blood'." He paused for a long time before he spoke. Then he said, „Cortés returned with a small army of soldiers on horseback. When they ransacked the city, I was Cortes's own hand that lit the torch that set fire to the aviary of sighs. The fires raged. The birds painted the blue sky black with the ashes of their wings. The gardens were reddened with the blood of our children. The sun rose behind a sky filled with plumes of dark smoke. But during night, three birds of phoenix had risen from the burning aviaries. They closed their eyes and soared straight up into the dark clouds. When they opened their eyes they could see the stars clearly, though they could not see the ground below.
Gregory Colbert (Ashes and Snow: A Novel in Letters)
I go straight toward the last place where I felt safe: Tobias’s small apartment. The second I reach the door, I feel calmer. The door is not completely closed. I nudge it open with my foot. He isn’t there, but I don’t leave. I sit on his bed and gather the quilt in my arms, burying my face in the fabric and taking deep breaths of it through my nose. The smell it used to have is almost gone, it’s been so long since he slept on it. The door opens and Tobias slips in. My arms go limp, and the quilt falls into my lap. How will I explain my presence here? I’m supposed to be angry with him. He doesn’t scowl, but his mouth is so tense that I know he’s angry with me. “Don’t be an idiot,” he says. “An idiot?” “You were lying. You said you wouldn’t go to Erudite, and you were lying, and going to Erudite would make you an idiot. So don’t.” I set the blanket down and get up. “Don’t try to make this simple,” I say. “It’s not. You know as well as I do that this is the right thing to do.” “You choose this moment to act like the Abnegation?” His voice fills the room and makes fear prickle in my chest. His anger seems too sudden. Too strange. “All that time you spent insisting that you were too selfish for them, and now, when your life is on the line, you’ve got to be a hero? What’s wrong with you?” “What’s wrong with you? People died. They walked right off the edge of a building! And I can stop it from happening again!” “You’re too important to just…die.” He shakes his head. He won’t even look at me--his eyes keep shifting across my face, to the wall behind me or the ceiling above me, to everything but me. I am too stunned to be angry. “I’m not important. Everyone will do just fine without me,” I say. “Who cares about everyone? What about me?” He lowers his head into his hand, covering his eyes. His fingers are trembling. Then he crosses the room in two long strides and touches his lips to mine. Their gentle pressure erases the past few months, and I am the girl who sat on the rocks next to the chasm, with river spray on her ankles, and kissed him for the first time. I am the girl who grabbed his hand in the hallway just because I wanted to.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
He carefully poured the juice into a bowl and rinsed the scallops to remove any sand caught between the tender white meat and the firmer coral-colored roe, wrapped around it like a socialite's fur stole. Mayur is the kind of cook (my kind), who thinks the chef should always have a drink in hand. He was making the scallops with champagne custard, so naturally the rest of the bottle would have to disappear before dinner. He poured a cup of champagne into a small pot and set it to reduce on the stove. Then he put a sugar cube in the bottom of a wide champagne coupe (Lalique, service for sixteen, direct from the attic on my mother's last visit). After a bit of a search, he found the crème de violette in one of his shopping bags and poured in just a dash. He topped it up with champagne and gave it a swift stir. "To dinner in Paris," he said, glass aloft. 'To the chef," I answered, dodging swiftly out of the way as he poured the reduced champagne over some egg yolks and began whisking like his life depended on it. "Do you have fish stock?" "Nope." "Chicken?" "Just cubes. Are you sure that will work?" "Sure. This is the Mr. Potato Head School of Cooking," he said. "Interchangeable parts. If you don't have something, think of what that ingredient does, and attach another one." I counted, in addition to the champagne, three other bottles of alcohol open in the kitchen. The boar, rubbed lovingly with a paste of cider vinegar, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, was marinating in olive oil and red wine. It was then to be seared, deglazed with hard cider, roasted with whole apples, and finished with Calvados and a bit of cream. Mayur had his nose in a small glass of the apple liqueur, inhaling like a fugitive breathing the air of the open road. As soon as we were all assembled at the table, Mayur put the raw scallops back in their shells, spooned over some custard, and put them ever so briefly under the broiler- no more than a minute or two. The custard formed a very thin skin with one or two peaks of caramel. It was, quite simply, heaven. The pork was presented neatly sliced, restaurant style, surrounded with the whole apples, baked to juicy, sagging perfection.
Elizabeth Bard (Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes)
The pony's head rose above the open roof as her mane whipped in the wind. I knew she must be thinking of running free through tallgrass fields, wild daisies slapping her shins, no one to hold her down. I slid my hand up her leg, feeling raised ridges of whip scars. The tips of her ears had been cut. There were smaller scars across her nose. A knife had been used there, perhaps only to remind her who she belonged to. She had lived by the orders and commands of men. Her entire existence on earth and she had never once been allowed to be free. She had been imprisoned and owned, as if all of her value was wrapped up in how large a load she could carry on her back. She had lived her life to the point of being given away, her legs too weak to run, her eyes no longer able to see a world beyond the coal cave she was forced to spend her life in. And yet, now she could feel the wind in her mane. She was not too dead for this small kindness that delivered her from a past of hell to a moment she could believe she was free enough to gallop as she wished. Is this love? she must have been asking herself. Am I finally loved?
Tiffany McDaniel (Betty)
I say, it sounds like some dangerous psychotic killer wrote this, and this buttoned-down schizophrenic could probably go over the edge at any moment in the working day and stalk from office to office with an Armalite AR-180 carbine gas-operated semiautomatic. My boss just looks at me. The guy, I say, is probably at home every night with a little rattail file, filing a cross into the tip of every one of his rounds. This way, when he shows up to work one morning and pumps a round into his nagging, ineffectual, petty, whining, butt-sucking, candy-ass boss, that one round will split along the filed grooves and spread open the way a dumdum bullet flowers inside you to blow a bushel load of your stinking guts out through your spine. Picture your gut chakra opening in a slow-motion explosion of sausage-casing small intestine. My boss takes the paper out from under my nose. Go ahead, I say, read some more. No really, I say, it sounds fascinating. The work of a totally diseased mind. And I smile. The little butthole-looking edges of the hole in my cheek are the same blue-black as a dog’s gums. The skin stretched tight across the swelling around my eyes feels varnished. My boss just looks at me. Let me help you, I say. I say, the fourth rule of fight club is one fight at a time. My boss looks at the rules and then looks at me. I say, the fifth rule is no shoes, no shirts in the fight. My boss looks at the rules and looks at me. Maybe, I say, this totally diseased fuck would use an Eagle Apache carbine because an Apache takes a thirty-shot mag and only weighs nine pounds. The Armalite only takes a five-round magazine. With thirty shots, our totally fucked hero could go the length of mahogany row and take out every vice-president with a cartridge left over for each director. Tyler’s words coming out of my mouth. I used to be such a nice person. I just look at my boss. My boss has blue, blue, pale cornflower blue eyes. The J and R 68 semiautomatic carbine also takes a thirty-shot mag, and it only weighs seven pounds. My boss just looks at me. It’s scary, I say. This is probably somebody he’s known for years. Probably this guy knows all about him, where he lives, and where his wife works and his kids go to school. This is exhausting, and all of a sudden very, very boring. And why does Tyler need ten copies of the fight club rules? What I don’t have to say is I know about the leather interiors that cause birth defects. I know about the counterfeit brake linings that looked good enough to pass the purchasing agent, but fail after two thousand miles. I know about the air-conditioning rheostat that gets so hot it sets fire to the maps in your glove compartment. I know how many people burn alive because of fuel-injector flashback. I’ve seen people’s legs cut off at the knee when turbochargers start exploding and send their vanes through the firewall and into the passenger compartment. I’ve been out in the field and seen the burned-up cars and seen the reports where CAUSE OF FAILURE is recorded as "unknown.” No, I say, the paper’s not mine. I take the paper between two fingers and jerk it out of his hand. The edge must slice his thumb because his hand flies to his mouth, and he’s sucking hard, eyes wide open. I crumble the paper into a ball and toss it into the trash can next to my desk. Maybe, I say, you shouldn’t be bringing me every little piece of trash you pick up.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
per hour. Handbrake knew that he could keep up with the best of them. Ambassadors might look old-fashioned and slow, but the latest models had Japanese engines. But he soon learned to keep it under seventy. Time and again, as his competitors raced up behind him and made their impatience known by the use of their horns and flashing high beams, he grudgingly gave way, pulling into the slow lane among the trucks, tractors and bullock carts. Soon, the lush mustard and sugarcane fields of Haryana gave way to the scrub and desert of Rajasthan. Four hours later, they reached the rocky hills surrounding the Pink City, passing in the shadow of the Amber Fort with its soaring ramparts and towering gatehouse. The road led past the Jal Mahal palace, beached on a sandy lake bed, into Jaipur’s ancient quarter. It was almost noon and the bazaars along the city’s crenellated walls were stirring into life. Beneath faded, dusty awnings, cobblers crouched, sewing sequins and gold thread onto leather slippers with curled-up toes. Spice merchants sat surrounded by heaps of lal mirch, haldi and ground jeera, their colours as clean and sharp as new watercolor paints. Sweets sellers lit the gas under blackened woks of oil and prepared sticky jalebis. Lassi vendors chipped away at great blocks of ice delivered by camel cart. In front of a few of the shops, small boys, who by law should have been at school, swept the pavements, sprinkling them with water to keep down the dust. One dragged a doormat into the road where the wheels of passing vehicles ran over it, doing the job of carpet beaters. Handbrake honked his way through the light traffic as they neared the Ajmeri Gate, watching the faces that passed by his window: skinny bicycle rickshaw drivers, straining against the weight of fat aunties; wild-eyed Rajasthani men with long handlebar moustaches and sun-baked faces almost as bright as their turbans; sinewy peasant women wearing gold nose rings and red glass bangles on their arms; a couple of pink-faced goras straining under their backpacks; a naked sadhu, his body half covered in ash like a caveman. Handbrake turned into the old British Civil Lines, where the roads were wide and straight and the houses and gardens were set well apart. Ajay Kasliwal’s residence was number
Tarquin Hall (The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri, #1))
He was walking down a narrow street in Beirut, Lebanon, the air thick with the smell of Arabic coffee and grilled chicken. It was midday, and he was sweating badly beneath his flannel shirt. The so-called South Lebanon conflict, the Israeli occupation, which had begun in 1982 and would last until 2000, was in its fifth year. The small white Fiat came screeching around the corner with four masked men inside. His cover was that of an aid worker from Chicago and he wasn’t strapped. But now he wished he had a weapon, if only to have the option of ending it before they took him. He knew what that would mean. The torture first, followed by the years of solitary. Then his corpse would be lifted from the trunk of a car and thrown into a drainage ditch. By the time it was found, the insects would’ve had a feast and his mother would have nightmares, because the authorities would not allow her to see his face when they flew his body home. He didn’t run, because the only place to run was back the way he’d come, and a second vehicle had already stopped halfway through a three-point turn, all but blocking off the street. They exited the Fiat fast. He was fit and trained, but he knew they’d only make it worse for him in the close confines of the car if he fought them. There was a time for that and a time for raising your hands, he’d learned. He took an instep hard in the groin, and a cosh over the back of his head as he doubled over. He blacked out then. The makeshift cell Hezbollah had kept him in in Lebanon was a bare concrete room, three metres square, without windows or artificial light. The door was wooden, reinforced with iron strips. When they first dragged him there, he lay in the filth that other men had made. They left him naked, his wrists and ankles chained. He was gagged with rag and tape. They had broken his nose and split his lips. Each day they fed him on half-rancid scraps like he’d seen people toss to skinny dogs. He drank only tepid water. Occasionally, he heard the muted sound of children laughing, and smelt a faint waft of jasmine. And then he could not say for certain how long he had been there; a month, maybe two. But his muscles had wasted and he ached in every joint. After they had said their morning prayers, they liked to hang him upside down and beat the soles of his feet with sand-filled lengths of rubber hose. His chest was burned with foul-smelling cigarettes. When he was stubborn, they lay him bound in a narrow structure shaped like a grow tunnel in a dusty courtyard. The fierce sun blazed upon the corrugated iron for hours, and he would pass out with the heat. When he woke up, he had blisters on his skin, and was riddled with sand fly and red ant bites. The duo were good at what they did. He guessed the one with the grey beard had honed his skills on Jewish conscripts over many years, the younger one on his own hapless people, perhaps. They looked to him like father and son. They took him to the edge of consciousness before easing off and bringing him back with buckets of fetid water. Then they rubbed jagged salt into the fresh wounds to make him moan with pain. They asked the same question over and over until it sounded like a perverse mantra. “Who is The Mandarin? His name? Who is The Mandarin?” He took to trying to remember what he looked like, the architecture of his own face beneath the scruffy beard that now covered it, and found himself flinching at the slightest sound. They had peeled back his defences with a shrewdness and deliberation that had both surprised and terrified him. By the time they freed him, he was a different man.  
Gary Haynes (State of Honour)
It was the first time the chief of police, a kindly family man whose name was Hook, had ever been required to visit a girls' camp; his daughters had not gone in much for that sort of thing, and Mrs. Hook distrusted night air; it was also the first time that Chief Hook had ever been required to determine facts. He had been allowed to continue in office this long because his family was popular in town and the young men at the local bar liked him, and because his record for twenty years, of drunks locked up and petty thieves apprehended upon confession, had been immaculate. In a small town such as the one lying close to the Phillips Education Camp for Girls Twelve to Sixteen, crime is apt to take its form from the characters of the inhabitants, and a stolen dog or broken nose is about the maximum to be achieved ordinarily in the sensational line. No one doubted Chief Hook's complete inability to cope with the disappearance of a girl from the camp. 'You say she was going somewhere?' he asked Betsy, having put out his cigar in deference to the camp nurse, and visibly afraid that his questions would sound foolish to Old Jane; since Chief Hook was accustomed to speaking around his cigar, his voice without it was malformed, almost quavering. ("The Missing Girl")
Shirley Jackson (Just an Ordinary Day: The Uncollected Stories)
I can’t help thinking,” she confided when he finished answering her questions about women in India who covered their faces and hair in public, “that it is grossly unfair that I was born a female and so must never know such adventures, or see but a few of those places. Even if I were to journey there, I’d only be allowed to go where everything was as civilized as-as London!” “There does seem to be a case of extreme disparity between the privileges accorded the sexes,” Ian agreed. “Still, we each have our duty to perform,” she informed him with sham solemnity. “And there’s said to be great satisfaction in that.” “How do you view your-er-duty?” he countered, responding to her teasing tone with a lazy white smile. “That’s easy. It is a female’s duty to be a wife who is an asset to her husband in every way. It is a male’s duty to do whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes, so long as he is prepared to defend his country should the occasion demand it in his lifetime-which it very likely won’t. Men,” she informed him, “gain honor by sacrificing themselves on the field of battle while we sacrifice ourselves on the altar of matrimony.” He laughed aloud then, and Elizabeth smiled back at him, enjoying herself hugely. “Which, when one considers it, only proves that our sacrifice is by far the greater and more noble.” “How is that?” he asked, still chuckling. “It’s perfectly obvious-battles last mere days or weeks, months at the very most. While matrimony lasts a lifetime! Which brings to mind something else I’ve often wondered about,” she continued gaily, giving full rein to her innermost thoughts. “And that is?” he prompted, grinning, watching her as if he never wanted to stop. “Why do you suppose, after all that, they call us the weaker sex?” Their laughing gazes held, and then Elizabeth realized how outrageous he must be finding some of her remarks. “I don’t usually go off on such tangents,” she said ruefully. “You must think I’m dreadfully ill-bred.” “I think,” he softly said, “that you are magnificent.” The husky sincerity in his deep voice snatched her breath away. She opened her mouth, thinking frantically for some light reply that could restore the easy camaraderie of a minute before, but instead of speaking she could only draw a long, shaky breath. “And,” he continued quietly, “I think you know it.” This was not, not the sort of foolish, flirtatious repartee she was accustomed to from her London beaux, and it terrified her as much as the sensual look in those golden eyes. Pressing imperceptibly back against the arm of the sofa, she told herself she was only overacting to what was nothing more than empty flattery. “I think,” she managed with a light laugh that stuck in her throat, “that you must find whatever female you’re with ‘magnificent.’” “Why would you say a thing like that?” Elizabeth shrugged. “Last night at supper, for one thing.” When he frowned at her as if she were speaking in a foreign language, she prodded, “You remember Lady Charise Dumont, our hostess, the same lovely brunette on whose every word you were hanging at supper last night?” His frown became a grin. “Jealous?” Elizabeth lifted her elegant little chin and shook her head. “No more than you were of Lord Howard.” She felt a small bit of satisfaction as his amusement vanished. “The fellow who couldn’t seem to talk to you without touching your arm?” he inquired in a silky-soft voice. “That Lord Howard? As a matter of fact, my love, I spent most of my meal trying to decide whether I wanted to shove his nose under his right ear or his left.” Startled, musical laughter erupted from her before she could stop it. “You did nothing of the sort,” she chuckled. “Besides, if you wouldn’t duel with Lord Everly when he called you a cheat, you certainly wouldn’t harm poor Lord Howard merely for touching my arm.” “Wouldn’t I?” he asked softly. “Those are two very different issues.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Knocking on a massive carved door minutes later, the sigils on it shouting to those literate enough to ‘Stay away or else!’ he received a nice surprise when the door swung open. Well, hello there. Reaching only his shoulder, with a wild mop of black hair, bright brown eyes and a rounded body made for worship – by his tongue – Remy wondered if he could convince the servant girl to come around the corner with him for a quickie before he met with this Ysabel person. Then she opened her luscious mouth. “If you’re done gawking, you might want to step back before I smash your nose with the door when I shut it.” Someone got up without sex today. He could fix that. “Hello beautiful, I actually have business with the occupant of this suite. I’m here to meet with Ysabel, the witch.” “Really.” Her tone said what she thought of his claim and her brown gaze looked him up and down, then dismissed him. “I don’t think so.” The door slammed shut in his face. What. The. Fuck. Remy pounded on the door. It immediately opened. The ebony haired vixen, her arms crossed under her bountiful tits, smirked. “Back already. What’s wrong? Did I hurt your feelings?” “Listen woman, I don’t know what crawled up your ass and turned you into an uptight bitch, but I’m here to see Ysabel, so get the fuck out of my way before I put you over my knee and –” “And what? Spank me?” Her eyes actually sparked with challenge, the minx. “I’d like to see you try. But, before you do, just so you know, my name is Ysabel. The witch.” Aaaaah, shit. Never one to admit defeat, he let a slow simmering smile spread across his face. It worked on demonesses, damned souls, human women, and even gay men, but apparently, it had no effect on scowling witches. Too bad. “It’s your lucky day. Lucifer has informed me that you’re my next assignment.” “Not by choice. And what are you supposed to do exactly? I need a tracker, not a gigolo. What happened? Did your gig as a pole dancer not work out? Equipment too small?” She dropped her gaze to his groin and sneered. A sudden, irrational urge possessed him to drop his pants, flip her over and show her there was nothing wrong with the size of his cock. He abstained, but couldn’t prevent himself from taunting her, eyeing her up and down in the same dismissive manner. “Anytime you want to measure my dick, you let me know. Naked.” “Pig.” “No, demon. Really, get your terminology straight, would you? After Lucifer’s warning, I expected someone older and badder.” To his credit he didn’t drop to the ground, but the pain in his balls did require he bend over to cup them gently which in turn meant he got the door in the face. Again. -Ysabel & Remy
Eve Langlais (A Demon and His Witch (Welcome to Hell, #1))
Camille heard the rustle of grass. She opened one eye and saw Oscar settling down beside her. “We can spare a few minutes,” he said. She sat up and cradled her knees in her arms. He plucked a blade of grass and commenced peeling it down the center. They heard the Australian snoring from his spot a few yards away, completely hidden in a blanket of green. “I guess we can spare more than a few minutes.” Oscar smiled and met her gaze, holding it a moment. She suddenly realized how horrible she must look-her hair, her clothes, her skin. “Do you miss him?” he asked, not seeming to notice any of those things. Camille uprooted a purple flower and a white daisy near it. “Of course I do. But I’m hoping with the stone I won’t have to very long.” “Not your father, Camille. Randall.” She took a deep breath, shocked she hadn’t thought of her fiancé for so long. How many days had it been? A full week, maybe more. “Oh. Well…I suppose I do.” Oscar raised an eyebrow and laughed at her clear lack of conviction. Camille shrugged. “What? A lot has happened and right now getting back to San Francisco isn’t something I’m concerned about.” Oscar nodded and chewed on the tip of his blade of grass. “It’s not that Randall isn’t a perfectly good man,” she said, fiddling with the flowers in her hands. The roots crumbled dirt onto her lap. “He’s kind and caring and handsome and an excellent businessman.” Oscar continued to nod. “And he’ll make a fine husband, I’m sure,” she added, knowing he really was all those things. If only all of them combined could make up for what she didn’t feel while with him. “I’m sure,” Oscar repeated. Had he been mocking her? She thought she had caught a trace of sarcasm. All this talk about Randall had her itching. “Why do you ask?” “Just wondered if you missed home,” Oscar answered and threw the mangled blade of grass behind him. “Do you?” she asked, ashamed to her Oscar know how little she desired to return. He thought for a moment, tugging up another switch of grass and rolling it between his fingers. “No,” he answered with stark certainty. “I have everything I’d miss right here.” Every inch of Camille’s body smoldered under Oscar’s gentle, and so very forward, gaze. He’d miss her. She looked into his gray-blue eyes, rimmed by thick, honey-colored lashes-had they always been so full? The bridge of his nose crooked to the left slightly, perhaps broken in a fight after he’d moved from her father’s carriage house to a small apartment along the San Francisco harbor front. She’d never noticed the charming imperfection before. She watched as his eyes traveled over her own features, touching on the wound by her temple and settling on the heart-shaped fullness of her lips. Oscar held his piercing stare. “We probably won’t arrive home in time for your wedding.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
Dog Talk … I have seen Ben place his nose meticulously into the shallow dampness of a deer’s hoofprint and shut his eyes as if listening. But it is smell he is listening to. The wild, high music of smell, that we know so little about. Tonight Ben charges up the yard; Bear follows. They run into the field and are gone. A soft wind, like a belt of silk, wraps the house. I follow them to the end of the field where I hear the long-eared owl, at wood’s edge, in one of the tall pines. All night the owl will sit there inventing his catty racket, except when he opens pale wings and drifts moth-like over the grass. I have seen both dogs look up as the bird floats by, and I suppose the field mouse hears it too, in the pebble of his tiny heart. Though I hear nothing. Bear is small and white with a curly tail. He was meant to be idle and pretty but learned instead to love the world, and to romp roughly with the big dogs. The brotherliness of the two, Ben and Bear, increases with each year. They have their separate habits, their own favorite sleeping places, for example, yet each worries without letup if the other is missing. They both bark rapturously and in support of each other. They both sneeze to express plea- sure, and yawn in humorous admittance of embarrassment. In the car, when we are getting close to home and the smell of the ocean begins to surround them, they both sit bolt upright and hum. With what vigor and intention to please himself the little white dog flings himself into every puddle on the muddy road. Somethings are unchangeably wild, others are stolid tame. The tiger is wild, the coyote, and the owl. I am tame, you are tame. The wild things that have been altered, but only into a semblance of tameness, it is no real change. But the dog lives in both worlds. Ben is devoted, he hates the door between us, is afraid of separation. But he had, for a number of years, a dog friend to whom he was also loyal. Every day they and a few others gathered into a noisy gang, and some of their games were bloody. Dog is docile, and then forgets. Dog promises then forgets. Voices call him. Wolf faces appear in dreams. He finds himself running over incredible lush or barren stretches of land, nothing any of us has ever seen. Deep in the dream, his paws twitch, his lip lifts. The dreaming dog leaps through the underbrush, enters the earth through a narrow tunnel, and is home. The dog wakes and the disturbance in his eyes when you say his name is a recognizable cloud. How glad he is to see you, and he sneezes a little to tell you so. But ah! the falling-back, fading dream where he was almost there again, in the pure, rocky weather-ruled beginning. Where he was almost wild again, and knew nothing else but that life, no other possibility. A world of trees and dogs and the white moon, the nest, the breast, the heart-warming milk! The thick-mantled ferocity at the end of the tunnel, known as father, a warrior he himself would grow to be. …
Mary Oliver (Dog Songs)
I did not come here to tell you about Sphinx. Yes, I am looking for a way to your heart, I freely admit that. I am looking for it day and night, here and yon… Can I kiss you? Just as I thought. No one is ever allowed to do what they want most in the world. In heaven, maybe. Or is it that in heaven you stop wanting for anything? “I am not a maniac. I simply love you. I want to be with you, always and forever, I want to feel you next to me when I sleep, I want to kiss your mouth and your forehead and your fingers, and the patches on your jeans, and that silly print on your shirt. I want to always carry you in my arms and make love to you everywhere I could, I want a dozen kids with you, all of them gingers, wild and free, with scraped knees and snubbed noses, with the souls that no one would ever be allowed to drive spikes through. Except none of this will happen, so why are you so mad at me for saying it? “Did you know that your ears are almost transparently red when you stand in front of a window? No, I told you, I am serious, I’ve never been more serious in my life. What do you mean, ugly? You’re ugly? You’ve got to be kidding. You have the blackest eyes in the world, your eyelashes could burn, your hair shines like a small sun. You are a flaming flower on a slender stalk, you… “Sorry. Sorry. I’m not shouting, I’m whispering, I’m barely audible. And I’m not leaning, I am simply drawn forward. It is unbearably hot in here. It’s not? Well, it definitely is warm. I’m fine, I’m not ill, it’s just this place is hot. Or warm, whatever. And the sweater is scratchy. Does this mean I can’t come anymore? Yes, I’ve ruined everything myself, I understand. I’m sorry. So when can I come again?
Mariam Petrosyan (Дом, в котором...)
At the moment Ormsley looked on the verge of tears as his damp, faded blue eyes roved almost lovingly over Ian’s face. “Good afternoon, my lord,” he intoned formally, but the ecstatic expression on his face gaze Ian the impression the servant was restraining himself from wrapping his arms around him. “And-and may I say-“ The elderly man stopped, his voice hoarse with emotion, and cleared his throat. “And may I say how very-how very very good it is to have you here at-“ His voice choked, he flushed, and Ian’s ire at his grandfather was momentarily forgotten. “Good afternoon, Ormsley,” Ian said, grinning at the look of sublime pleasure that crossed Ormsley’s lined face when Ian knew his name. Sensing the butler was about to bow again, Ian put out his hand instead, forcing the loyal retainer to shake hands with him. “I trust,” Ian joked gently, “that you’ve conquered your habit of overindulging in French brandy?” The faded old eyes brightened like diamonds at this added proof that Ian’s father had spoken of him to Ian. “Welcome home. Welcome home at last, my lord,” Ormsley said hoarsely, returning Ian’s handshake. “I’m only staying a few hours,” Ian told him calmly, and the butler’s hand went a little limp with disappointment. He recovered himself, however, and escorted Ian down a wide, oak-paneled hall. A small army of footmen and housemaids seemed to be lurking about, ostensibly dusting mirrors, paneling, and floors. As Ian passed, several of them stole long, lingering looks at him, then turned to exchange swift gratified smiles. His mind on the looming meeting with his grandfather, Ian was oblivious to the searching scrutiny and startled glances he was receiving, but he was dimly aware that a few of the servants were hastily dabbing at their eyes and noses with handkerchiefs.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Do you like what you doth see . . . ?” said the voluptuous elf-maiden as she provocatively parted the folds of her robe to reveal the rounded, shadowy glories within. Frito’s throat was dry, though his head reeled with desire and ale. She slipped off the flimsy garment and strode toward the fascinated boggie unashamed of her nakedness. She ran a perfect hand along his hairy toes, and he helplessly watched them curl with the fierce insistent wanting of her. “Let me make thee more comfortable,” she whispered hoarsely, fiddling with the clasps of his jerkin, loosening his sword belt with a laugh. “Touch me, oh touch me,” she crooned. Frito’s hand, as though of its own will, reached out and traced the delicate swelling of her elf-breast, while the other slowly crept around her tiny, flawless waist, crushing her to his barrel chest. “Toes, I love hairy toes,” she moaned, forcing him down on the silvered carpet. Her tiny, pink toes caressed the luxuriant fur of his instep while Frito’s nose sought out the warmth of her precious elf-navel. “But I’m so small and hairy, and . . . and you’re so beautiful,” Frito whimpered, slipping clumsily out of his crossed garters. The elf-maiden said nothing, but only sighed deep in her throat and held him more firmly to her faunlike body. “There is one thing you must do for me first,” she whispered into one tufted ear. “Anything,” sobbed Frito, growing frantic with his need. “Anything!” She closed her eyes and then opened them to the ceiling. “The Ring,” she said. “I must have your Ring.” Frito’s whole body tensed. “Oh no,” he cried, “not that! Anything but . . . that.” “I must have it,” she said both tenderly and fiercely. “I must have the Ring!” Frito’s eyes blurred with tears and confusion. “I can’t,” he said. “I mustn’t!” But he knew resolve was no longer strong in him. Slowly, the elf-maiden’s hand inched toward the chain in his vest pocket, closer and closer it came to the Ring Frito had guarded so faithfully . .
The Harvard Lampoon (Bored of the Rings: A Parody)
Mostly Gaylord deals with insurance scamming. He takes a car off a lot and the insurance company pays.” “That’s still stealing.” “I guess, but it’s an insurance company, and everyone hates those people.” “I don’t hate them.” “Well, you’re weird,” Lula said. “Do you like the car?” “I love the car.” “There you go. And by the way, you might want to put a dab of concealer on your nose.” Kranski’s Bar was on the corner of Mayberry Street and Ash. This was a neighborhood very similar to the Burg, but the houses were a little larger, the cars were newer, the kitchen appliances were probably stainless. I parked in the small lot beside the tavern, and Lula and I sashayed into the dim interior. Bertie was working behind the bar that stretched across the back of the room. A bunch of high-top tables were scattered around the front of the room. Two women sat at one of the tables, eating nachos and drinking martinis. At one end of the bar four men were drinking beer and watching the overhead television. I spotted Kenny Morris at the other end. He was alone, nursing what looked like whiskey. Bertie caught my eye, tilted his head toward Kenny, and I nodded back. “I guess that’s the guy you’re looking for,” Lula said. “You want to tag-team him?” “No. I just want to talk to him. I’ll go it alone.” Lula hoisted herself onto a barstool by the four men, and I approached Kenny. “Anyone sitting here?” I asked him. “No,” he said. “No one ever sits there.” “Why not?” “The television is at the other end.” “But you’re here.” “Yeah, I’m not into the team television thing.” He looked a lot like his yearbook photograph. His hair was a little longer. He was slim. Medium height. Pleasant looking. Wearing jeans and a blue dress shirt with the top button open and the sleeves rolled. He was staring at my nose with an intensity usually displayed by dermatologists during a skin cancer exam. I couldn’t blame him. I’d smeared some makeup on it, but even in the dark bar it was emitting a red glow. “It’s a condition,” I said. “It comes and goes. It’s not contagious or anything. Do you come in here often?” “Couple times a week.
Janet Evanovich (Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum, #23))
My bisnonno is such a man...Fine, you laugh again. Not so handsome,I think,but just as proud. He struts through the square with his new shoes. He buys a carriage. But he gives to the poor,too, to the Church.He is kind to his siters; he is a friend to many.He is raffinato, a gentleman. And the girl he chooses? Hmm? Hmm?" "I don't know, Nonna. Elizabeth Benedetto?" "Hah!" Nonna slapped her hand hard against her knee. It bounced soundlessly off the leopard plush. "Elisabetta. Elisabetta, daughter of a man who works on another's boat. Elisabetta who has many sisters and who is intended for the Church if she does not marry. I don't remember her family name, if I ever knew. Maybe Benedetto.Why not? It does not matter.What matters is that no one understands why Michelangelo Costa chooses this girl. No one can...oh,the word...to say a picture of: descrivere." "Describe?" "Si. Describe.No one can describe her.Small,they think. Brown, maybe. Maybe not so pretty, not so ugly. Just a girl. She sits by the seawall mending nets her family does not own. She is odd,too,her neighbors think.They think it is she who leaves little bit of shell and rock when she is done with the nets, little mosaico on the wall. So why? the piu bella girls ask, the ones with long,long necks, and long black hair, and noses that turn up at the end. Why this odd, nobody girl in her ugly dresses, with her dirty feet? "Michelangelo sends his cousins to her with gifts. A cameo, silk handkerchiefs, a fine pair of gloves. Again,the laugh.Then, you would not have laughed at a gift of gloves, piccola. Oh,you girls now. You want what? E-mails and ePods?" "That's iPods,Nonna." "Whatever. See,that word I know. Now, Elisabetta sends back the little girst. So my bisnonno sends bigger: pearls, meters of silk cloth, a horse. These,too,she will not take. And the people begin to look,and ask: Who is she, this nobody girl,to refuse him? No money,no beauty,no family name.You are a fool,they tell her. Accept. Accept! "And my proud bisnonno does not understand. He can have any girl in the town.So again,he gathers the gifts, he carries them himself, leads the horse. But Elisabetta is not to be found. She is not at her papa's house or in the square or at the seawall. Michelangelo fears she has gone to the convent. But no. As he stands at the seawall, a seabird,a gull, lands on his shoulder and says-" "Nonna-" "Shh! The girl tells him to follow the delfino....delfin? Dolphin! So he looks, and there, a dolphin with its head above the water says, 'Follow!' So he follows,the sack with gifts for Elisabetta on his back,like a peddler, the horse trailing behind.The dolphin leads him around the bay to a beach, and there is Elisabetta, old dress covered in sand,feet bare, just drawing circles in the sand. She starts to run, but Michelangelo calls to her. 'Why,' he asks her. 'Why do you hide? Why will you not take my gifts?' And she says..." I'd been fighting a losing battle with yawning for a while. I was failing fast. "I have no idea. 'I'm in love with someone else.'?
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Later in the day, Holly frowned at her reflection in the mirror. “This can’t be right!” Holly muttered to herself. She looked like a cross between a panda bear and a raccoon. She had tried to apply a more advanced version of makeup than she was used to, and it was not going well. “Smokey eye, my foot! I look like I have two black eyes.” She had not done the proper shading with her eye shadow, and now her large green eyes were encased with a deep black color that spanned her entire eyelid. “Maybe I should try a different one,” Holly mused aloud. She sat in William’s bedroom at his dresser. She already had on her pretty crushed velvet black dress and a small heart-shaped diamond pendant. It had been William’s birthday gift to her last year. “Let me re-read this article again to see if I can make sense of these instructions.” Holly read her magazine article out loud. “Which Greek Goddess are you? Athena, Venus, or Aphrodite? Check out our makeup tips below to turn heads at your next event!” “Hmmmm, that sounds soooooo good, if only I was better at applying makeup.” She had decided to try their Aphrodite look and had been trying to apply the eyeliner to give her a smoky eye effect. Holly had to wash her face four times already and start over because each time was worse than the last. “Concentrate, Holly, or you’ll be late for the gala. This is your last chance; it’s do or die time!” she warned her reflection in the mirror. “So, it says to put the light grey eyeshadow on the inner one-third of my eyelids. Hmmm, maybe that’s the problem. I don’t know where the inner third is.” She got an idea and went to William’s desk. Looking around, she found a ruler. “Ah-ha! Eureka, I got it!” She went back to her position at his dresser and closed her eyes for a quick, small prayer, then held the ruler up to measure her eye. “Ah-ha! Twenty-one millimeters. So, that means the inner one-third of my eye must be from my nose out seven millimeters . . . right about HERE!” Holly expertly applied the light grey eye shadow to the inner third of her eyelids. “What a big improvement already! Wow! I’m not a panda bear anymore! Ok, one-third down, two-thirds to go . . . I can do this!” Reading further, she said, “Ok, now apply the dark grey eye shadow to the next third of your eye, finishing with the dark brown eye shadow on the outer third of your eyelid.” Holly expertly followed the instructions and sat back in her chair, stunned. She looked beautiful! She had achieved the desired effect, and now her green eyes were enhanced to perfection. “Wow, wow, wow!” Holly felt encouraged to keep going. She read the next instructions. “‘Now, apply blush to your face with an emphasis on contouring your cheekbones.’” “‘Contouring my cheekbones? Who do they think I am, Rembrandt?” Holly said with a groan. Holly gingerly picked up her blush container as if it were about to bite her. She decided another quick prayer wouldn’t go amiss. With a deep breath she muttered, “Ok, I’m going in!” She glanced nervously at the picture in the magazine and tried her hardest to follow it along her cheekbones. “That turned out pretty good!” Holly turned her face this way and that, examining it. It may not have been exactly as in the picture, but the blush now accentuated her beautiful high cheekbones. “Whew! Only the lip left, thank goodness! You got this, Holly!” She encouraged her reflection in the mirror.
Kira Seamon (Dead Cereus)
A stranger. Young, well-dressed, pale and visibly sweaty, as if he’d endured some great shock and needed a drink. West would have been tempted to pour him one, if not for the fact that he’d just pulled a small revolver from his pocket and was pointing it in his direction. The nose of the short barrel was shaking. Commotion erupted all around them as patrons became aware of the drawn pistol. Tables and chairs were vacated, and shouts could be heard among the growing uproar. “You self-serving bastard,” the stranger said unsteadily. “That could be either of us,” Severin remarked with a slight frown, setting down his drink. “Which one of us do you want to shoot?” The man didn’t seem to hear the question, his attention focused only on West. “You turned her against me, you lying, manipulative snake.” “It’s you, apparently,” Severin said to West. “Who is he? Did you sleep with his wife?” “I don’t know,” West said sullenly, knowing he should be frightened of an unhinged man aiming a pistol at him. But it took too much energy to care. “You forgot to cock the hammer,” he told the man, who immediately pulled it back. “Don’t encourage him, Ravenel,” Severin said. “We don’t know how good a shot he is. He might hit me by mistake.” He left his chair and began to approach the man, who stood a few feet away. “Who are you?” he asked. When there was no reply, he persisted, “Pardon? Your name, please?” “Edward Larson,” the young man snapped. “Stay back. If I’m to be hanged for shooting one of you, I’ll have nothing to lose by shooting both of you.” West stared at him intently. The devil knew how Larson had found him there, but clearly he was in a state. Probably in worse condition than anyone in the club except for West. He was clean-cut, boyishly handsome, and looked like he was probably very nice when he wasn’t half-crazed. There could be no doubt as to what had made him so wretched—he knew his wrongdoings had been exposed, and that he’d lost any hope of a future with Phoebe. Poor bastard. Picking up his glass, West muttered, “Go on and shoot.” Severin continued speaking to the distraught man. “My good fellow, no one could blame you for wanting to shoot Ravenel. Even I, his best friend, have been tempted to put an end to him on a multitude of occasions.” “You’re not my best friend,” West said, after taking a swallow of brandy. “You’re not even my third best friend.” “However,” Severin continued, his gaze trained on Larson’s gleaming face, “the momentary satisfaction of killing a Ravenel—although considerable—wouldn’t be worth prison and public hanging. It’s far better to let him live and watch him suffer. Look how miserable he is right now. Doesn’t that make you feel better about your own circumstances? I know it does me.” “Stop talking,” Larson snapped. As Severin had intended, Larson was distracted long enough for another man to come up behind him unnoticed. In a deft and well-practiced move, the man smoothly hooked an arm around Larson’s neck, grasped his wrist, and pushed the hand with the gun toward the floor. Even before West had a good look at the newcomer’s face, he recognized the smooth, dry voice with its cut-crystal tones, so elegantly commanding it could have belonged to the devil himself. “Finger off the trigger, Larson. Now.” It was Sebastian, the Duke of Kingston . . . Phoebe’s father. West lowered his forehead to the table and rested it there, while his inner demons all hastened to inform him they really would have preferred the bullet.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))