Stick On Wall Quotes

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You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.
Merce Cunningham
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register. Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
If you're just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television's electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
A stick won’t stick to a wall, so why is it called a stick? Likewise, why aren’t love and ghost the same word? Both are dead and invisible.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
If you want someone to be ignored then build a life-size bronze statue of them and stick it in the middle of town. It doesn't matter how great you were, it'll always take an unfunny drunk with climbing skills to make people notice you.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
There was a soft chuckle beside me, and my heart stopped. "So this is Oberon's famous half-blood," Ash mused as I whirled around. His eyes, cold and inhuman, glimmered with amusement. Up close, he was even more beautiful, with high cheekbones and dark tousled hair falling into his eyes. My traitor hands itched, longing to run my fingers through those bangs. Horrified, I clenched them in my lap, trying to concentrate on what Ash was saying. "And to think," the prince continued, smiling, "I lost you that day in the forest and didn't even know what I was chasing." I shrank back, eyeing Oberon and Queen Mab. They were deep in conversation and did not notice me. I didn't want to interrupt them simply because a prince of the Unseelie Court was talking to me. Besides, I was a faery princess now. Even if I didn't quite believe it, Ash certainly did. I took a deep breath, raised my chin, and looked him straight in the eye. "I warn you," I said, pleased that my voice didn't tremble, "that if you try anything, my father will remove your head and stick it to a plaque on his wall." He shrugged one lean shoulder. "There are worse things." At my horrified look, he offered a faint, self-derogatory smile. "Don't worry, princess, I won't break the rules of Elysium. I have no intention of facing Mab's wrath should I embarrass her. That's not why I'm here." "Then what do you want?" He bowed. "A dance." "What!" I stared at him in disbelief. "You tried to kill me!" "Technically, I was trying to kill Puck. You just happened to be there. But yes, if I'd had the shot, I would have taken it." "Then why the hell would you think I'd dance with you?" "That was then." He regarded me blandly. "This is now. And it's tradition in Elysium that a son and daughter of opposite territories dance with each other, to demonstrate the goodwill between the courts." "Well, it's a stupid tradition." I crossed my arms and glared. "And you can forget it. I am not going anywhere with you." He raised an eyebrow. "Would you insult my monarch, Queen Mab, by refusing? She would take it very personally, and blame Oberon for the offense. And Mab can hold a grudge for a very, very long time." Oh, damn. I was stuck.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
It seems to me that you need a lot of courage, or a lot of something, to enter into others, into other people. We all think that everyone else lives in fortresses, in fastnesses: behind moats, behind sheer walls studded with spikes and broken glass. But in fact we inhabit much punier structures. We are, as it turns out, all jerry-built. Or not even. You can just stick your head under the flap of the tent and crawl right in. If you get the okay.
Martin Amis (Time's Arrow)
A man of words and not of deeds Is like a garden full of weeds And when the weeds begin to grow It's like a garden full of snow And when the snow begins to fall It's like a bird upon the wall And when the bird away does fly It's like an eagle in the sky And when the sky begins to roar It's like a lion at the door And when the door begins to crack It's like a stick across your back And when your back begins to smart It's like a penknife in your heart And when your heart begins to bleed You're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.
Percy B. Green
There are pages ripped out and taped all over one wall. (Not taped - stuck to the wall with spells.) (And this is exactly the sort of thing I'm sick of. Like, just use some tape. Why come up with a spell for sticking paper to the wall? Tape. Exists.)
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
And I'm not saying it's a bad song, you know, or anything like that. All I'm saying is that if you get, I don't know, a broom, say, and dip it in some brake fluid, put the other end up my arse, stick me on a trampoline in a moving lift, and I would write a better song on the walls. That's all I'm saying.
Dylan Moran
Giving advice to a child is like flinging sand at an obsidian wall. Nothing sticks. The brutal truth is that we each suffer our own lessons—they can’t be danced round. They can’t be slipped past. You cannot gift a child with your scars—they arrive like webs, constricting, suffocating, and that child will struggle and strain until they break. No matter how noble your intent, the only scars that teach them anything are the ones they earn themselves.
Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
Aidan was nowhere to be seen. She pictured him glowering in the shadows somewhere, breaking sticks or punching walls, or something equally useless.
Jo Treggiari (Ashes, Ashes (Ashes, Ashes, #1))
We're under a streetlamp and I'm trying not to stare but it's hard. I wish the world would stick like a clock so I could look at him for as long as I want. There' something going on in his face right now, something very bright trying to get out - a dam keeping back a wall of light. His soul might the a sun. I've never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Will tossed his apple core into the air, at the same time drawing a knife from his belt and throwing it. The knife and the apple scaled across the room together, somehow managing to stick into the wall just beside Gabriel's head, the knife driven cleanly through the core and into the wood. "Say that again," said Will. "And i'll darken your daylights for you.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
Nowadays I’m really cranky about comics. Because most of them are just really, really poorly written soft-core. And I miss good old storytelling. And you know what else I miss? Super powers. Why is it now that everybody’s like “I can reverse the polarity of your ions!” Like in one big flash everybody’s Doctor Strange. I like the guys that can stick to walls and change into sand and stuff. I don’t understand anything anymore. And all the girls are wearing nothing, and they all look like they have implants. Well, I sound like a very old man, and a cranky one, but it’s true.
Joss Whedon
There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only of the truest things. A Confession was a book like that. In it, Tolstoy related a Russian fable about a man who, being chased by a monster, jumps into a well. As the man is falling down the well, however, he sees there's a dragon at the bottom, waiting to eat him. Right then, the man notices a branch sticking out of the wall, and he grabs on to it, and hangs. This keeps the man from falling into the dragon's jaws, or being eaten by the monster above, but it turns out there's another little problem. Two mice, one black and one white, are scurrying around and around the branch, nibbling it. It's only a matter of time before they will chew through the branch, causing the man to fall. As the man contemplates his inescapable fate, he notices something else: from the end of the branch he's holding, a few drops of honey are dripping. The man sticks out his tongue to lick them. This, Tolstoy says, is our human predicament: we're the man clutching the branch. Death awaits us. There is no escape. And so we distract ourselves by licking whatever drops of honey come within our reach.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
Barrons stood inside the front door, dripping cool old-world elegance. I hadn’t heard him come in over the music. He was leaning, shoulder against the wall, arms folded, watching me. “ ‘One eye is taken for an eye . . .’ ” I trailed off, deflating. I didn’t need a mirror to know how stupid I looked. I regarded him sourly for a moment, then moved for the sound dock to turn it off. When I heard a choked sound behind me I spun, and shot him a hostile glare. He wore his usual expression of arrogance and boredom. I resumed my path for the sound dock, and heard it again. This time when I turned back, the corners of his mouth were twitching. I stared at him until they stopped. I’d reached the sound dock, and just turned it off, when he exploded. I whirled. “I didn’t look that funny,” I snapped. His shoulders shook. “Oh, come on! Stop it!” He cleared his throat and stopped laughing. Then his gaze took a quick dart upward, fixed on my blazing MacHalo, and he lost it again. I don’t know, maybe it was the brackets sticking out from the sides. Or maybe I should have gotten a black bike helmet, not a hot pink one. I unfastened it and yanked it off my head. I stomped over to the door, flipped the interior lights back on, slammed him in the chest with my brilliant invention, and stomped upstairs. “You’d better have stopped laughing by the time I come back down,” I shouted over my shoulder. I wasn’t sure he even heard me, he was laughing so hard.
Karen Marie Moning (Faefever (Fever, #3))
Mom and Dad liked to make a big point about never surrendering to fear or to prejudice or to the narrow-minded conformist sticks-in-the-mud who tried to tell everyone else what was proper.
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
Positive ones go on the wall, negative on the floor over there. He points to this heap of paper. It's important to get those down but they don't need to stick around after you do
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Robot Boy Mr. an Mrs. Smith had a wonderful life. They were a normal, happy husband and wife. One day they got news that made Mr. Smith glad. Mrs. Smith would would be a mom which would make him the dad! But something was wrong with their bundle of joy. It wasn't human at all, it was a robot boy! He wasn't warm and cuddly and he didn't have skin. Instead there was a cold, thin layer of tin. There were wires and tubes sticking out of his head. He just lay there and stared, not living or dead. The only time he seemed alive at all was with a long extension cord plugged into the wall. Mr. Smith yelled at the doctor, "What have you done to my boy? He's not flesh and blood, he's aluminum alloy!" The doctor said gently, "What I'm going to say will sound pretty wild. But you're not the father of this strange looking child. You see, there still is some question about the child's gender, but we think that its father is a microwave blender." The Smith's lives were now filled with misery and strife. Mrs. Smith hated her husband, and he hated his wife. He never forgave her unholy alliance: a sexual encounter with a kitchen appliance. And Robot Boy grew to be a young man. Though he was often mistaken for a garbage can.
Tim Burton
Ah, precocious kids, don’t you just want to throw them up against a wall and see if they stick?
Mark Tufo (A Plague Upon Your Family (Zombie Fallout #2))
You can’t miss your schedule. Every morning, you’re supposed to stick your right arm in this contraption in the wall. It tattoos the smooth inside of your forearm with your schedule for the day in a sickly purple ink. 7:00—Breakfast. 7:30—Kitchen Duties. 8:30—Education Center, Room 17. And so on. The ink is indelible until 22:00—Bathing
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
In this land I have made myself sick with silence In this land I have wandered, lost In this land I hunkered down to see What will become of me. In this land I held myself tight So as not to scream. -But I did scream, so loud That this land howled back at me As hideously As it builds its houses. In this land I have been sown Only my head sticks Defiant, out of the earth But one day it too will be mown Making me, finally Of this land. -Charlie's poem
Anna Funder (Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall)
If life were like a video game, she would have used her power move to whip Jen in the air and knock her against the wall with two strikes of a lacrosse stick. Of course, if life really were like a video game, Val would probably have to do that in a bikini and with giant breasts, each one made of separately animated polygons.
Holly Black (Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales #2))
He looks about the room at the few sticks of furniture, at the dirty bed sheets and the wash basin with the dirty water still in it, and he says: "I am a slave!" Every day he says it, not once, but a dozen times. And then he takes his guitar from the wall and sings.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #2))
Men,you say you want a strong, intelligent, truly independent woman who wants you rather than needs you, who inspires you, who pushes you towards being yourself, who can stick by you through the hardest times, and who can be your rock through life's obstacles. But you need to know that a truly strong, independent woman does not walk through life with her heart wide open. She has had to put up walls to block toxicity to obtain her strength. She is skeptical and always on alert from a lifetime of defense against predators. She is going to be a bit jaded, a little cynical, and a little scary because those qualities come with the struggle of obtaining that strength that gravitates you. She is going to doubt and question your good intentions because it has become her adaptability instincts that have allowed her to thrive. She is not a ball of sunshine. She has flaws. She has a past. She has her demons. She knows better than to just let down her barriers for you simply because you voice a desire to enter. You have to prove your right of entrance. She will assume the worst of you because the worst has happened. If you want her to see otherwise, prove her wrong.
Maggie Georgiana Young
In Memory of M. B. Here is my gift, not roses on your grave, not sticks of burning incense. You lived aloof, maintaining to the end your magnificent disdain. You drank wine, and told the wittiest jokes, and suffocated inside stifling walls. Alone you let the terrible stranger in, and stayed with her alone. Now you’re gone, and nobody says a word about your troubled and exalted life. Only my voice, like a flute, will mourn at your dumb funeral feast. Oh, who would have dared believe that half-crazed I, I, sick with grief for the buried past, I, smoldering on a slow fire, having lost everything and forgotten all, would be fated to commemorate a man so full of strength and will and bright inventions, who only yesterday it seems, chatted with me, hiding the tremor of his mortal pain.
Anna Akhmatova
Most merciful God, accept these two poor sinners into your arms. And keep the doors ajar for the coming of the rest of us, because you are witnessing the end, the absolute, irrevocable, fantastic end. I’ve finally realized what is happening. It is our last fling. We are doomed henceforth. Must screw our courage to the sticking point and face up to our impending fate. We [255] shall be all of us shot at dawn. One hundred cc’s apiece. Miss Ratched shall line us all against the wall, where we,,, face the terrible maw of a muzzle-loading shotgun which she has loaded with Miltowns! Thorazines! Libriums! Stelazines! And with a wave of her sword, blooie! Tranquilize all of us completely out of existence.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
My mind will never be what it used to be. It will be fragmented and broken forever.Before, it only had a sliver of a crack inside of it, brought on by the years of abuse I suffered at Daddy's hand. Now, it's like a stick of dynamite was inserted into my brain at some point and my mind has blown up in front of me.
Lauren Hammond (White Walls (Asylum, #2))
(1) When a situation has become too frustrating, a quandary too persistently insolvable; when dealing with the issue is generating chronic discontent, infringing on freedom, and inhibiting growth, it may be time to quit beating one’s head against the wall, reach for a big fat stick of metaphoric dynamite, light the fuse, and blast the whole unhappy business nine miles past oblivion. (2) After making an extreme effort, after pulling out all the stops, one is still unable to score Tibetan peach pie, take it as a signal to relax, grin, pick up a fork, and go for a slice of the apple.
Tom Robbins (Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life)
These times are hard, but I won't walk away jaded, darker, different. I feel. I cry to heal. If you saw me in those moments, maybe you'd think I was a mess. But I don't call it a mess. I call it strength. Real strength isn't about building walls. Real strength is about staying open, no matter what. It's about taking life—with all the pleasures that fade and all the pain that sticks around for too long—and not shutting down, not closing down, not building up those walls. Resilience isn't hard, impenetrable, iron. Resilience is flexible, soft, warm. Stay strong. The real kind of strong. Don't let your automatic mind reflexes make you jump away from pain and towards pleasure. Make choices. See clearly. And never, ever, stop feeling. Don't go numb. The world, even with all its horror, is too beautiful to miss.
Vironika Tugaleva
Between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, I broke into a total of six offices, one penthouse suite and a small bank, and cursed them all. I cursed the stones they were built on, the bricks in their walls, the paint on their ceilings, the carpets on their floors. I cursed the nylon chairs to give their owners little electric shocks, I cursed the markers to squeak on the whiteboard, the hinges to rust, the glass to run, the windows to stick, the fans to whir, the chairs to break, the computers to crash, the papers to crease, the pens to smear; I cursed the pipes to leak, the coolers to drip, the pictures to sag, the phones to crackle and the wires to spark. And we enjoyed it.
Kate Griffin (A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1))
The biggest spur to my interest in art came when I played van Gogh in the biographical film Lust For Life. The role affected me deeply. I was haunted by this talented genius who took his own life, thinking he was a failure. How terrible to paint pictures and feel that no one wants them. How awful it would be to write music that no one wants to hear. Books that no one wants to read. And how would you like to be an actor with no part to play, and no audience to watch you. Poor Vincent—he wrestled with his soul in the wheat field of Auvers-sur-Oise, stacks of his unsold paintings collecting dust in his brother's house. It was all too much for him, and he pulled the trigger and ended it all. My heart ached for van Gogh the afternoon that I played that scene. As I write this, I look up at a poster of his "Irises"—a poster from the Getty Museum. It's a beautiful piece of art with one white iris sticking up among a field of blue ones. They paid a fortune for it, reportedly $53 million. And poor Vincent, in his lifetime, sold only one painting for 400 francs or $80 dollars today. This is what stimulated my interest in buying works of art from living artists. I want them to know while they are alive that I enjoy their paintings hanging on my walls, or their sculptures decorating my garden
Kirk Douglas (Climbing The Mountain: My Search For Meaning)
Mor stayed overnight, even going so far as to paint some rudimentary stick figures on the wall beside the storeroom door. Three females with absurdly long, flowing hair that all resembled hers; and three winged males, who she somehow managed to make look puffed up on their own sense of importance.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
... opened the door, and stepped into a memaid’s grotto, into a drowned girl’s sanctuary. The walls were tiled in glittering blue and silver, like scales, arching together to form the high, pointed dome of the roof. It was a flower frozen in the moment before it could open; it was a teardrop turned to crystal before it could fall. Little nooks were set into the walls, filled with candles, which cast a dancing light over everything they touched.
Seanan McGuire (Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2))
Edward suggested we stick all the pictures on the walls of the dining room. “And put pin holes in your nice clean walls,” I said. “Don’t be barbaric,” Edward said. “We’ll use sticky putty.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #9))
You know how to check fer thin ice, boy?" he would ask me. "Wall, what you do is stick one foot way out ahead of you and stomp the ice real hard and listen fer it to make a crackin' sound. Thar now, did you hear how the ice cracked whan Ah stomped it? Thet means it's too thin to hold a man's weight. Now pull me up out of hyar and we'll run back to shore and see if we kin built a fahr b'fore Ah freezes to death!
Patrick F. McManus (They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?)
TV came relatively late to the King household, and I’m glad. I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit. This might not be important. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
Commala-come-come There’s a young man with a gun. Young man lost his honey When she took it on the run. Commala-come-one! She took it on the run! Left her baby lonely But he baby ain’t done. Commala-come-coo The wind’ll blow ya through. Ya gotta go where ka’s wind blows ya Cause there’s nothin else to do. Commala-come-two! Nothin else to do! Gotta go where ka’s wind blows ya Cause there’s nothin else to do. Commala-come-key Can you tell me what ya see? Is it ghosts or just the mirror That makes ya wanna flee? Commala-come-three! I beg ya, tell me! Is it ghosts or just your darker self That makes ya wanna flee? Commala-come-ko Whatcha doin at my do’? If ya doan tell me now, my friend I’ll lay ya on de flo’. Commala-come-fo’! I can lay ya low! The things I’ve do to such as you You never wanna know. Commala-gin-jive Ain’t it grand to be alive? To look out on Discordia When the Demon Moon arrives. Commala-come-five! Even when the shadows rise! To see the world and walk the world Makes ya glad to be alive. Commala-mox-nix! You’re in a nasty fix! To take a hand in traitor’s glove Is to grasp a sheaf of sticks! Commala-come-six! Nothing there but thorns and sticks! When your find your hand in traitor’s glove You’re in a nasty fix. Commala-loaf-leaven! They go to hell or up to heaven! The the guns are shot and the fires hot, You got to poke em in the oven. Commala-come-seven! Salt and yow’ for leaven! Heat em up and knock em down And poke em in the oven. Commala-ka-kate You’re in the hands of fate. No matter if it’s real or not, The hour groweth late. Commala-come-eight! The hour groweth late! No matter what shade ya cast You’re in the hands of fate. Commala-me-mine You have to walk the line. When you finally get the thing you need It makes you feel so fine. Commala-come-nine! It makes ya feel fine! But if you’d have the thing you need You have to walk the line. Commala-come-ken It’s the other one again. You may know her name and face But that don’t make her your friend. Commala-come-ten! She is not your friend! If you let her get too close She’ll cut you up again! Commala-come-call We hail the one who made us all, Who made the men and made the maids, Who made the great and small. Commala-come-call! He made us great and small! And yet how great the hand of fate That rules us one and all. Commala-come-ki, There’s a time to live and one to die. With your back against the final wall Ya gotta let the bullets fly. Commala-come-ki! Let the bullets fly! Don’t ‘ee mourn for me, my lads When it comes my day to die. Commala-come-kass! The child has come at last! Sing your song, O sing it well, The child has come to pass. Commala-come-kass, The worst has come to pass. The Tower trembles on its ground; The child has come at last. Commala-come-come, The battle’s now begun! And all the foes of men and rose Rise with the setting sun.
Stephen King (Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6))
A nursery rhyme shapes your bones and nerves, and it shapes your mind. They are powerful, nursery rhymes, and immensely old, and not toys, even though they are for children." "But they make no sense!" Summer protested "Ah, well," said Ben. "Sometimes sense hides behind walls. You must find a window and stick your head right in before you can see it.
Katherine Catmull (Summer and Bird)
First I need to do something.’ He pulled me closer towards him until our lips were almost touching. ‘What might that be?’ I managed to stutter, closing my eyes, anticipating the warmth of his lips against mine. But the kiss didn’t come. I opened my eyes. Alex had jumped to his feet. ‘Swim,’ he said, grinning at me. ‘Come on.’ ‘Swim?’ I pouted, unable to hide my disappointment that he wanted to swim rather than make out with me. Alex pulled his T-shirt off in one swift move. My eyes fell straightaway to his chest – which was tanned, smooth and ripped with muscle, and which, when you studied it as I had done, in detail, you discovered wasn’t a six-pack but actually a twelve-pack. My eyes flitted to the shadowed hollows where his hips disappeared into his shorts, causing a flutter in parts of my body that up until three weeks ago had been flutter-dormant. Alex’s hands dropped to his shorts and he started undoing his belt. I reassessed the swimming option. I could definitely do swimming. He shrugged off his shorts, but before I could catch an eyeful of anything, he was off, jogging towards the water. I paused for a nanosecond, weighing up my embarrassment at stripping naked over my desire to follow him. With a deep breath, I tore off my dress then kicked off my underwear and started running towards the sea, praying Nate wasn’t doing a fly-by. The water was warm and flat as a bath. I could see Alex in the distance, his skin gleaming in the now inky moonlight. When I got close to him, his hand snaked under the water, wrapped round my waist and pulled me towards him. I didn’t resist because I’d forgotten in that instant how to swim. And then he kissed me and I prayed silently and fervently that he took my shudder to be the effect of the water. I tried sticking myself onto him like a barnacle, but eventually Alex managed to pull himself free, holding my wrists in his hand so I couldn’t reattach. His resolve was as solid as a nuclear bunker’s walls. Alex had said there were always chinks. But I couldn’t seem to find the one in his armour. He swam two long strokes away from me. I trod water and stayed where I was, feeling confused, glad that the night was dark enough to hide my expression. ‘I’m just trying to protect your honour,’ he said, guessing it anyway. I groaned and rolled my eyes. When was he going to understand that I was happy for him to protect every other part of me, just not my honour?
Sarah Alderson (Losing Lila (Lila, #2))
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such." "You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness." "Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?” “Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.” “Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
She stood on the end of the dock, pale and goosefleshed and shivering in the fog. In her hand, Needle seemed to whisper to her. Stick them with the pointy end, it said, and, don’t tell Sansa! Mikken’s mark was on the blade. It’s just a sword. If she needed a sword, there were a hundred under the temple. Needle was too small to be a proper sword, it was hardly more than a toy. She’d been a stupid little girl when Jon had it made for her. “It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this time . . . . . . but it wasn’t. Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.
George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4))
There was the bulge and the glitter, and there was the cold grip way down in the stomach as though somebody had laid hold of something in there, in the dark which is you, with a cold hand in a cold rubber glove. It was like the second when you come home late at night and see the yellow envelope of the telegram sticking out from under your door and you lean and pick it up, but don't open it yet, not for a second. While you stand there in the hall, with the envelope in your hand, you feel there's an eye on you, a great big eye looking straight at you from miles and dark and through walls and houses and through your coat and vest and hide and sees you huddled up way inside, in the dark which is you, inside yourself, like a clammy, sad little fetus you carry around inside yourself. The eye knows what's in the envelope, and it is watching you to see you when you open it and know, too. But the clammy, sad little fetus which is you way down in the dark which is you too lifts up its sad little face and its eyes are blind, and it shivers cold inside you for it doesn't want to know what is in that envelope. It wants to lie in the dark and not know, and be warm in its not-knowing.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
She had stepped into the thin strip of earth that they claimed as their own. Bound by the last building on Brewster and a brick wall, they reigned in that unlit alley like dwarfed warrior kings. Born with the appendages of power, circumcised by the guillotine, and baptized with the steam from a million non reflective mirrors, these young men wouldn't be called upon to thrust a bayonet into an Asian farmer, target a torpedo, scatter their iron seed from a B-52 into the wound of the earth, point a finger to move a nation, or stick a pole into the moon--and they knew it. They only had that three-hundred-foot alley to serve them as stateroom, armored tank, and executioner's chamber.
Gloria Naylor (The Women of Brewster Place)
Look everywhere. There are miracles and curiosities to fascinate and intrigue for many lifetimes: the intricacies of nature and everything in the world and universe around us from the miniscule to the infinite; physical, chemical and biological functionality; consciousness, intelligence and the ability to learn; evolution, and the imperative for life; beauty and other abstract interpretations; language and other forms of communication; how we make our way here and develop social patterns of culture and meaningfulness; how we organise ourselves and others; moral imperatives; the practicalities of survival and all the embellishments we pile on top; thought, beliefs, logic, intuition, ideas; inventing, creating, information, knowledge; emotions, sensations, experience, behaviour. We are each unique individuals arising from a combination of genetic, inherited, and learned information, all of which can be extremely fallible. Things taught to us when we are young are quite deeply ingrained. Obviously some of it (like don’t stick your finger in a wall socket) is very useful, but some of it is only opinion – an amalgamation of views from people you just happen to have had contact with. A bit later on we have access to lots of other information via books, media, internet etc, but it is important to remember that most of this is still just opinion, and often biased. Even subjects such as history are presented according to the presenter’s or author’s viewpoint, and science is continually changing. Newspapers and TV tend to cover news in the way that is most useful to them (and their funders/advisors), Research is also subject to the decisions of funders and can be distorted by business interests. Pretty much anyone can say what they want on the internet, so our powers of discernment need to be used to a great degree there too. Not one of us can have a completely objective view as we cannot possibly have access to, and filter, all knowledge available, so we must accept that our views are bound to be subjective. Our understanding and responses are all very personal, and our views extremely varied. We tend to make each new thing fit in with the picture we have already started in our heads, but we often have to go back and adjust the picture if we want to be honest about our view of reality as we continually expand it. We are taking in vast amounts of information from others all the time, so need to ensure we are processing that to develop our own true reflection of who we are.
Jay Woodman
Most of us will. We'll choose knowledge no matter what, we'll maim ourselves in the process, we'll stick our hands into the flames for it if necessary. Curiosity is not our only motive: love or grief or despair or hatred is what drives us on. We'll spy relentlessly on the dead: we'll open their letters, we'll read their journals, we'll go through their trash, hoping for a hint, a final word, an explanation, from those who have deserted us--who've left us holding the bag, which is often a good deal emptier than we'd supposed. But what about those who plant such clues, for us to stumble on? Why do they bother? Egotism? Pity? Revenge? A simple claim to existence, like scribbling your initials on a washroom wall? The combination of presence and anonymity--confession without penance, truth without consequences--it has its attractions. Getting the blood off your hands, one way or another. Those who leave such evidence can scarcely complain if strangers come along afterwards and poke their noses into every single thing that would once have been none of their business. And not only strangers: lovers, friends, relations. We're voyeurs, all of us. Why should we assume that anything in the past is ours for the taking, simply because we've found it? We're all grave robbers, once we open the doors locked by others. But only locked. The rooms and their contents have been left intact. If those leaving them had wanted oblivion, there was always fire.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
It's not appropriate," Tessa said to her husband, Will. "He likes it." "Children like all sorts of things, Will. They like sweets and fire and trying to stick their head up the chimney. Just because he likes the dagger..." "Look how steadily he holds it." Little James Herondale, age two, was in fact holding a dagger quite well. He stabbed it into a sofa cushion, sending out a burst of feathers. "Ducks," he said, pointing at the feathers. Tessa swiftly removed the dagger from his tiny hands and replaced it with a wooden spoon. James had recently become very attached to this wooden spoon and carried it with him everywhere, often refusing to go to sleep without it. "Spoon," James said, tottering off across the parlor. "Where did he find the dagger?" Tessa asked. "It's possible I took him to the weapons room," Will said. "Is it?" "It is, yes. It's possible." "And it's possible he somehow got a dagger from where it is secured on the wall, out of his reach," Tessa said. "We live in a world of possibilities," Will said. Tessa fixed a gray-eyed stare on her husband. "He was never out of my sight," Will said quickly. "If you could manage it," Tessa said, nodding to the sleeping figure of Lucie Herondale in her little basket by the fire, "perhapds you won't give Lucie a broadsword until she's actually able to stand? Or is that asking too much?" "It seems a reasonable request," Will said, with an extravagant bow. "Anything for you, my pearl beyond price. Even withholding weaponry from my only daughter.
Cassandra Clare (The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #3))
I push open the door just as Tobias, who is sitting on the floor with one leg stretched out, hurls a butter knife at the opposite wall. It sticks, handle out, from a large hunk of cheese they positioned on top of the dresser. Caleb, standing beside him, stares in disbelief, first at the cheese and then at me. "Tell me he's some kind of Dauntless prodigy," says Caleb. "Can you do this too?" "With my right hand, maybe," I say. "But yes, Four is some kind of Dauntless prodigy. Tobias's eyes catch mine on the word "Four." Caleb doesn't know that Tobias wears his excellence all the time in his own nickname.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
I could see the two of us in the round mirror on the wall, our long hair down, our blue eyes. Norsewomen. When I saw us like this, I could almost remember fishing in cold deep seas, the smell of cod, the charcoal of our fires, our felt boots and our strange alphabet, runes like sticks, a language like the ploughing of fields.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
Ever had a child, Silchas? I thought not. Giving advice to a child is like flinging sand at an obsidian wall. Nothing sticks. The brutal truth is that we each suffer our own lessons—they can’t be danced round. They can’t be slipped past. You cannot gift a child with your scars—they arrive like webs, constricting, suffocating, and that child will struggle and strain until they break. No matter how noble your intent, the only scars that teach them anything are the ones they earn themselves.
Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
Ebola Zaire attacks every organ and tissue in the human body except skeletal muscle and bone. It is a perfect parasite because it transforms virtually every part of the body into a digested slime of virus particles. The seven mysterious proteins that, assembled together, make up the Ebola-virus particle, work as a relentless machine, a molecular shark, and they consume the body as the virus makes copies of itself. Small blood clots begin to appear in the bloodstream, and the blood thickens and slows, and the clots begin to stick to the walls of blood vessels. This is known as pavementing, because the clots fit together in a mosaic. The mosaic thickens and throws more clots, and the clots drift through the bloodstream into the small capillaries, where they get stuck. This shuts off the blood supply to various parts of the body, causing dead spots to appear in the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, testicles, breast tissue (of men as well as women), and all through the skin.
Richard Preston (The Hot Zone)
Paper: Some inexpensive plain bond paper A pad of Strathmore Drawing Paper, 80 lb., 11" × 14" Pencils: A #2 ordinary yellow writing pencil with an eraser at the top A #4 drawing pencil—Faber-Castell, Prismacolor Turquoise, or other brand Marking pens: Sharpie (or other brand) fine point non-permanent black A second marker, fine point permanent black Graphite stick: #4 General’s is a good brand, or other brand Pencil sharpener: A small handheld sharpener is fine Erasers: A Pink Pearl eraser A Staedtler Mars white plastic eraser A kneaded eraser—Lyra, Design, or other brand Masking tape: 3M Scotch Low Tack Artist Tape Clips: Two 1-inch-wide black clips Drawing board: A firm surface large enough to hold your 11" × 14" drawing paper—about 15" × 18" is a good size. This can be improvised from a kitchen cutting board, a piece of foam board, a piece of Masonite, or thick cardboard. Picture plane: This too can be improvised using an 8" × 10" piece of glass (you will need to tape the edges), or an 8" × 10" piece of clear plastic, about 1⁄16" thick. Viewfinders: You will make these from black paper—“construction” paper is a good thickness, or you could use thin black cardboard. You will find instructions for making the viewfinders here A small mirror: About 5" × 7" that can be taped to a wall, or any available wall mirror.
Betty Edwards (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: The Definitive Edition)
So the women would not forgive. Their passion remained intact, carefully guarded and nurtured by the bitter knowledge of all they had lost, of all that had been stolen from them. For generations they vilified the Yankee race so the thief would have a face, a name, a mysterious country into which he had withdrawn and from which he might venture again. They banded together into a militant freemasonry of remembering, and from that citadel held out against any suggestion that what they had suffered and lost might have been in vain. They created the Lost Cause, and consecrated that proud fiction with the blood of real men. To the Lost Cause they dedicated their own blood, their own lives, and to it they offered books, monographs, songs, acres and acres of bad poetry. They fashioned out of grief and loss an imaginary world in which every Southern church had stabled Yankee horses, every nick in Mama's furniture was made by Yankee spurs, every torn painting was the victim of Yankee sabre - a world in which paint did not stick to plaster walls because of the precious salt once hidden there; in which bloodstains could not be washed away and every other house had been a hospital.
Howard Bahr (The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War)
Thor looked at Maddy. "What d'you mean, Father?" He had loosened his grip on Loki, who was now flattened against the cell wall as far from Jormungand as he could manage while Ellie, incensed at this latest invasion, lashed out at the serpent with her walking stick. "Terrific," said Loki under his breath. "Come to Netherworld. Meet the kids.
Joanne Harris (Runemarks (Runemarks, #1))
It is winter proper; the cold weather, such as it is, has come to stay. I bloom indoors in the winter like a forced forsythia; I come in to come out. At night I read and write, and things I have never understood become clear; I reap the harvest of the rest of the year’s planting. The woods are acres of sticks: I could walk to the Gulf of Mexico in a straight line. When the leaves fall, the striptease is over; things stand mute and revealed. Everywhere skies extend, vistas deepen, walls become windows, doors open.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Taped on the wall was a hand-drawn picture- a stick figure with a bow on the head holding a litterbag.
Suzanne Crowley (The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous)
Writing is throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks.
Kelly E. Lindner (Bloodless (Periphery, #2))
Sam wandered through the dark corridor, keeping a hand on the wall to maintain his balance. The stone floor was uneven, and he caught his toe on a couple of rocks that were sticking up in his path. He was about to give up and turn around when he heard something up ahead. He stopped in his tracks, thinking about Patrick Henry’s ghost. He listened carefully and heard a man’s voice coming from around the bend.
Steven K. Smith (Mystery on Church Hill (The Virginia Mysteries #2))
[High angel] Carter's fucked-up sense of humor in action.' [The angel] Lucinda flushed deep crimson. 'How can you use such language so carelessly? You sound like you're… like you're in a locker room!" I smoothed down my tank top. 'No way. I'd never wear this in a locker room.' 'Yeah, it isn't even in school colors,' said Peter. I couldn't resist toying with the guardian. 'If i were in a locker room, i'd probably have on a short cheerleader skirt. And no underwear.' Peter continued playing off me. 'And you'd do that one cheer, right? The one with your hands splayed against the shower wall and ass sticking out?' 'That's me,' i agreed. 'Always ready to take one for the team.' Even Cody[, the other vampire] flushed at our crassness. Lucinda was practically purple. 'You–you two have no sense of decency! None at all.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
Perhaps one of the walls to such a room would have built into it a sliding panel that could be opened only from the other side. And next to that room would be another room that was unfurnished and seemed never to have been occupied. But leaning against one wall of this other room, directly below the sliding panel, would be some long wooden sticks; and mounted at the ends of these sticks would be horrible little puppets.
Thomas Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer)
Ugh. Crushes are the worst, but in hindsight a crush from afar seems so much easier than this. I should stick to making up stories in my head and watching from a distance like a reasonable creeper. Now I’ve broken the fourth wall and if he’s as friendly as his eyes tell me he is, he may notice me when I drop money in his case the next time, and I will be forced to interact smoothly or run in the opposite direction. I may be middle-of-the-pack when my mouth is closed, but as soon as I start talking to men, Lulu calls me Appalland, for how appallingly unappealing I become. Obviously, she’s not wrong. And now I’m sweating under my pink wool coat, my face is melting, and I’m hit with an almost uncontrollable urge to hike my tights up to my armpits because they have slowly crept down beneath my skirt and are starting to feel like form-fitting harem pants.
Christina Lauren (Roomies)
But it wasn't a Primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the backroom of Casey's Saloon rolled into one, and when the smoke cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic Party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes, and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood.
Robert Penn Warren
Bliss?” I called. “Yeah?” “Check the drawers of the nightstand! She was playing with it in the middle of the night, and I think I remember taking it away and sticking it in there.” “Okay!” Through the open door, I watched her circle around the edge of the bed. I walked in place for a few seconds, letting my feet drop a little heavier than necessary, then opened and closed the door like I’d gone back inside the bathroom. Then I hid in the space between the back of the bedroom door and the wall where I could just see through the crack between the hinges. She pulled open the top drawer, and my heartbeat was like a bass drum. I don’t know when it had started beating so hard, but now it was all that I could hear. It wasn’t like I was asking her to marry me now. I just knew Bliss, and knew she tended to panic. I was giving her a very big, very obvious hint so that she’d have time to adjust before I actually asked her. Then in a few months, when I thought she’d gotten used to the idea, I’d ask her for real. That was the plan anyway. It was supposed to be simple, but this felt… complicated. Suddenly, I thought of all the thousands of ways this could go wrong. What if she freaked out? What if she ran like she did our first night together? If she ran, would she go back to Texas? Or would she go to Cade who lived in North Philly? He’d let her stay until she figured things out, and then what if something developed between them? What if she just flat out told me no? Everything was good right now. Perfect, actually. What if I was ruining it by pulling this stunt? I was so caught up in my doomsday predictions that I didn’t even see the moment that she found the box. I heard her open it though, and I heard her exhale and say, “Oh my God.” Where before my mouth had been dry, now I couldn’t swallow fast enough. My hands were shaking against the door. She was just standing there with her back to me. I couldn’t see her face. All I could see was her tense, straight spine. She swayed slightly. What if she passed out? What if I’d scared her so much that she actually lost consciousness? I started to think of ways to explain it away. I was keeping it for a friend? It was a prop for a show? It was… It was… shit, I didn’t know. I could just apologize. Tell her I knew it was too fast. I waited for her to do something—scream, run, cry, faint. Anything would be better than her stillness. I should have just been honest with her. I wasn’t good at things like this. I said what I was thinking—no plans, no manipulation. Finally, when I thought my body would crumble under the stress alone, she turned. She faced the bed, and I only got her profile, but she was biting her lip. What did that mean? Was she just thinking? Thinking of a way to get out of it? Then, slowly, like the sunrise peeking over the horizon, she smiled. She snapped the box closed. She didn’t scream. She didn’t run. She didn’t faint. There might have been a little crying. But mostly… she danced. She swayed and jumped and smiled the same way she had when the cast list was posted for Phaedra. She lost herself the same way she did after opening night, right before we made love for the first time. Maybe I didn’t have to wait a few months after all. She said she wanted my best line tomorrow after the show, and now I knew what it was going to be.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
Pausing on the threshold, he looked in, conscious not so much of the few familiar sticks of furniture - the trucklebed, the worn strip of Brussels carpet, the chipped blue-banded ewer and basin, the framed illuminated texts on the walls - as of a perfect hive of abhorrent memories. That high cupboard in the corner, from which certain bodiless shapes had been wont to issue and stoop at him cowering out of his dreams; the crab-patterned paper that came alive as you stared; the window cold with menacing stars; the mouseholes, the rusty grate - trumpet of every wind that blows - these objects at once lustily shouted at him in their own original tongues. ("Out Of The Deep")
Walter de la Mare (Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural)
I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit. This might not be important. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
To the Thawing Wind" Come with rain, O loud Southwester! Bring the singer, bring the nester; Give the buried flower a dream; Make the settled snow-bank steam; Find the brown beneath the white; But whate'er you do to-night, Bathe my window, make it flow, Melt it as the ice will go; Melt the glass and leave the sticks Like a hermit's crucifix; Burst into my narrow stall; Swing the picture on the wall; Run the rattling pages o'er; Scatter poems on the floor; Turn the poet out of door.
Robert Frost
Ebola Zaire attacks every organ and tissue in the human body except skeletal muscle and bone. It is a perfect parasite because it transforms virtually every part of the body into a digested slime of virus particles. The seven mysterious proteins that, assembled together, make up the Ebola-virus particle, work as a relentless machine, a molecular shark, and they consume the body as the virus makes copies of itself. Small blood clots begin to appear in the bloodstream, and the blood thickens and slows, and the clots begin to stick to the walls of blood vessels. This is known as pavementing, because the clots fit together in a mosaic. The mosaic thickens and throws more clots, and the clots drift through the bloodstream into the small capillaries, where
Richard Preston (The Hot Zone)
She wasn’t getting it. They never teased her. They never followed her around with their phones, trying to catch her in a compromising position. They never called her a ho-bag or a troll or said she danced like an elephant on crank. They never, not once, dribbled pee in her ballet bag or stuck shaved pubes in her ChapStick. They never told her she wouldn’t ever be good enough to make the New York City Ballet, and that they’d wave to her from the stage, maybe, one day, if they remembered who she was when they were famous.
Nova Ren Suma (The Walls Around Us)
My sweet naughty girl I got your hot letter tonight and have been trying to picture you frigging your cunt in the closet. How do you do it? Do you stand against the wall with your hand tickling up under your clothes or do you squat down on the hole with your skirts up and your hand hard at work in through the slit of your drawers? Does it give you the horn now to shit? I wonder how you can do it. Do you come in the act of shitting or do you frig yourself off first and then shit? It must be a fearfully lecherous thing to see a girl with her clothes up frigging furiously at her cunt, to see her pretty white drawers pulled open behind and her bum sticking out and a fat brown thing stuck half-way out of her hole. You say you will shit your drawers, dear, and let me fuck you then. I would like to hear you shit them, dear, first and then fuck you. Some night when we are somewhere in the dark and talking dirty and you feel your shite ready to fall put your arms round my neck in shame and shit it down softly. The sound will madden me and when I pull up your dress.
James Joyce
Why do you think--?” “--Dumbledore wanted to give me the sword?” said Harry, struggling to keep his temper. “Maybe he thought it would look nice on my wall.” “This is not a joke, Potter!” growled Scimgeour. “Was it because Dumbledore believed that only the sword of Godric Gryffindor could defeat the Heir of Slytherin? Did he wish to give you that sword, Potter, because he believed, as do many, that you are the one destined to destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?” “Interesting theory,” said Harry. “Has anyone ever tried sticking a sword in Voldemort?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
It doesn't talk back,' he said ruefully as I approached, without looking round. I glanced up at the griffin. 'No,' I said. Then something, an impulse of gaiety perhaps, made me add, 'Perhaps you need to stroke it between the ears. Timothy likes that.' Timothy is my cat. Although the Doctor was evidently an eccentric man - who else talks to a statue - I was nonetheless taken aback when he jumped up into the air like a circus performer and, holding on to the iron standard of a lamp, swung himself on to the narrow sill above the carving. There he teetered for a moment, arms extended flat against the wall, his shoes dislodging small pieces of debris which clattered on to the yard. He somehow found a secure foothold, then reached down and petted the stone animal between the ears, or what would have been the ears if it hadn't been a relief carving. 'Hello, Timothy. Would you care for a stick of liquorice?' There was a brief silence, and I was struck by the puzzled, almost grief-stricken expression that crossed the Doctor's face when the carving made no reply. It could have been drollery, but it seemed genuine. Then he looked down at me, and grinned, as if it had been a joke. 'He still doesn't talk! Did you say he was called Timothy?' I decided it was time to inject some sanity into the conversation. 'Timothy.' I said, precisely and quietly, ' is the name of my cat.
Paul Leonard (Doctor Who: The Turing Test)
It’s funny how sometimes you find a friend—in the likely places—and almost immediately, you can talk about anything. But more often than not, after the initial blush, you find you really have nothing in common. With others, you believe you’ll never be more than acquaintances. You’re so different, after all. But then this thing surprises you, sticking longer than you ever predicted, and you begin to rely on it, and that relationship whittles down your walls, little by little, until you realize you know that one person better than almost anyone. You’re really and truly friends.
Julie Kibler (Calling Me Home)
Bagpipe Music' It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw, All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow. Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python, Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison. John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa, Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker, Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey, Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty. It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky, All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi. Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather, Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna. It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture, All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture. The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober, Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over. Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion, Said to the midwife 'Take it away; I'm through with overproduction'. It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh, All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby. Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage, Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage. His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish, Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish. It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible, All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle. It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium, It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums, It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections, Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension. It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet; Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit. The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever, But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.
Louis MacNeice
You’re so different, after all. But then this thing surprises you, sticking longer than you ever predicted, and you begin to rely on it, and that relationship whittles down your walls, little by little, until you realize you know that one person better than almost anyone. You’re really and truly friends.
Julie Kibler (Calling Me Home)
They live beyond the quick ghetto. In hovels. In the shantytown.' He smiled. 'And every night, after the sun's descended, they can crawl safely out from their shacks and shuffle into the town. Stick-figures in rags, leaning against the walls. Exhausted and starving, hands outstretched. Begging.' His voice was soft and vicious. 'Begging for the quick to take pity on them. And every so often one of us will acquiesce, and out of pity and contempt, embarrassed by our soft philanthropy, we'll stand in the eaves of a building and offer up our wrists. And you and your kind will open them, all frantic with hunger and fawning with gratitude, and take a few eager swigs, till we decide you've had enough and take back our hands while you weep and beg for more, and maybe spew because you've gone without a hit so long your stomach can't handle what it craves, and we leave you lying in the dirt, blissed by your little fix.
China Miéville (The Scar (New Crobuzon, #2))
Hope you got your things together.’” I sang, stabbing a pillow with my spear. Feathers exploded into the air. “‘Hope you are quite prepared to die!’” I spun in a dazzling whirl of lights, landed a killer back-kick on a phantom Shade, and simultaneously punched the magazine rack. “‘Looks like we’re in for nasty weather!’” I took a swan dive at a short, imaginary Shade, lunged up at a taller one— —and froze. Barrons stood inside the front door, dripping cool-world elegance. I hadn’t heard him come in over the music. He was leaning, shoulder against the wall, arms folded, watching me. “‘One eye is taken for an eye . . .’” I trailed off, deflating. I didn’t need a mirror to know how stupid I looked. I regarded him sourly for a moment, then moved for the sound dock to turn it off. When I heard a choked sound behind me I spun, and shot him a hostile glare. He wore his usual expression of arrogance and boredom. I resumed my path for the sound dock, and heard it again. This time when I turned back, the corners of his mouth were twitching. I stared at him until they stopped. I’d reached the sound dock, and just turned it off, when he exploded. I whirled. “I didn’t look that funny,” I snapped. His shoulders shook. “Oh, come on! Stop it!” He cleared his throat and stopped laughing. Then his gaze took a quick dart upward, fixed on my blazing MacHalo, and he lost it again. I don’t know, maybe it was the brackets sticking out from the sides. Or maybe I should have gotten a black bike helmet, not a hot pink one. I unfastened it and yanked it off my head. I stomped over to the door, flipped the interior lights back on, slammed him in the chest with my brilliant invention, and stomped upstairs. “You’d better have stopped laughing by the time I come back down,” I shouted over my shoulder. I wasn’t sure he even heard me, he was laughing so hard.
Karen Marie Moning (Faefever (Fever, #3))
No purer artist exists or has ever existed than a child freed to imagine. This scattering of sticks in the dust, that any adult might kick through without a moment’s thought, is in truth the bones of a vast world, clothed, fleshed, a fortress, a forest, a great wall against which terrible hordes surge and are thrown back by a handful of grim heroes. A nest for dragons, and these shiny smooth pebbles are their eggs, each one home to a furious, glorious future. No creation was ever raised as fulfilled, as brimming, as joyously triumphant, and all the machinations and manipulations of adults are the ghostly recollections of childhood and its wonders, the awkward mating to cogent function, reasonable purpose; and each façade has a tale to recount, a legend to behold in stylized propriety. Statues in alcoves fix sombre expressions, indifferent to every passer-by. Regimentation rules these creaking, stiff minds so settled in habit and fear.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
a square, flat-roofed hovel, neatly frescoed, with its wall-tops gallantly bastioned and turreted with dried camel-refuse, gives to a landscape a feature that is exceedingly festive and picturesque, especially if one is careful to remember to stick in a cat wherever, about the premises, there is room for a cat to sit.
Mark Twain (The Innocents Abroad)
A character like that," he said to himself—"a real little passionate force to see at play is the finest thing in nature. It's finer than the finest work of art—than a Greek bas-relief, than a great Titian, than a Gothic cathedral. It's very pleasant to be so well treated where one had least looked for it. I had never been more blue, more bored, than for a week before she came; I had never expected less that anything pleasant would happen. Suddenly I receive a Titian, by the post, to hang on my wall—a Greek bas-relief to stick over my chimney-piece. The key of a beautiful edifice is thrust into my hand, and I'm told to walk in and admire. My poor boy, you've been sadly ungrateful, and now you had better keep very quiet and never grumble again." The sentiment of these reflexions was very just; but it was not exactly true that Ralph Touchett had had a key put into his hand. His cousin was a very brilliant girl, who would take, as he said, a good deal of knowing; but she needed the knowing, and his attitude with regard to her, though it was contemplative and critical, was not judicial. He surveyed the edifice from the outside and admired it greatly; he looked in at the windows and received an impression of proportions equally fair. But he felt that he saw it only by glimpses and that he had not yet stood under the roof. The door was fastened, and though he had keys in his pocket he had a conviction that none of them would fit. She was intelligent and generous; it was a fine free nature; but what was she going to do with herself? This question was irregular, for with most women one had no occasion to ask it. Most women did with themselves nothing at all; they waited, in attitudes more or less gracefully passive, for a man to come that way and furnish them with a destiny. Isabel's originality was that she gave one an impression of having intentions of her own. "Whenever she executes them," said Ralph, "may I be there to see!
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
You know, we still have like, half an hour down here. Seems a shame to waste it.” I poked him in the ribs, and he gave an exaggerated wince. “No way, dude. My days of cellar, mill, and dungeon lovin’ are over. Go castle or go home.” “Fair enough,” he said as we interlaced our fingers and headed for the stairs. “But does it have to be a real castle, or would one of those inflatable bouncy things work?” I laughed. “Oh, inflatable castles are totally out of-“ I skidded to a stop on the first step, causing Archer to bump into me. “What the heck is that?” I asked, pointing to a dark stain in the nearest corner. “Okay, number one question you don’t want to hear in a creepy cellar,” Archer sad, but I ignored him and stepped off the staircase. The stain bled out from underneath the stone wall, covering maybe a foot of the dirt floor. It looked black and vaguely…sticky. I swallowed my disgust as I knelt down and gingerly touched the blob with one finger. Archer crouched down next to me and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a lighter, and after a few tries, a wavering flame sprung up. We studied my fingertip in the dim glow. “So that’s-“ “It’s blood, yeah,” I said, not taking my eyes off my hand. “Scary.” “I was gonna go with vile, but scary works.” Archer fished in his pockets again, and this time he produced a paper napkin. I took it from him and gave Lady Macbeth a run for her money in the hand-scrubbing department. But even as I attempted to remove a layer of skin from my finger, something was bugging me. I mean, something other than the fact that I’d just touched a puddle of blood. “Check the other corners,” I told Archer. He stood up and moved across the room. I stayed where I was, trying to remember that afternoon Dad and I had sat with the Thorne family grimoire. We’d looked at dozens of spells, but there had been one- “There’s blood in every corner,” Archer called from the other side of the cellar. “Or at least that’s what I’m guessing it is. Unlike some people, I don’t have the urge to go sticking my fingers in it.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
This is for my number one hater. You make my life a living cat walk. With your sarcasm words and cheap chat. No wonder why I'm the best talk of the town. Why don't you just take a photo, get an autograph no better yet tear my skin off and stick it on your trophy wall. I mean seriously! Just because I'm better at and in everything doesn't mean you got to hate.
Jessica Fairweather
I came up with the best pastime in the history of man. What you do is find an aerosol tin of spray adhesive, such as you would use to stick posters to a wall. You then lie in wait and when a wasp flies by, you leap out and give it a squirt. Bingo. One minute it’s flying; the next it’s tumbling silently out of the sky with a confused look on its stupid little face.
Jeremy Clarkson (Is It Really Too Much To Ask? (World according to Clarkson, #5))
A calendar helps you plan work, gives you concrete goals, and keeps you on track. The comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a calendar method that helps him stick to his daily joke writing. He suggests that you get a wall calendar that shows you the whole year. Then, you break your work into daily chunks. Each day, when you’re finished with your work, make a big fat X in the day’s box. Every day, instead of just getting work done, your goal is to just fill a box. “After a few days you’ll have a chain,” Seinfeld says. “Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.” Get a calendar. Fill the boxes. Don’t break the chain.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
Boy oh boy, this man is trouble. He was slowly tearing down the wall she’d built around her heart, brick by brick. Could any man be this perfect? He must have some faults. Maybe he is a chauvinist pig…no, doesn’t seem like it. He is kind to animals and children, he is a fireman, he looks like sex on a stick. What could be wrong with him? Maybe he snores. Oh, wouldn’t I like to find out?
Tamara Hoffa
Creosote made Mandy think of the thrill of rushing through a garden sprinkler as a kid, of playing washer toss in the backyard, of spending nights in the neighbors’ huge in-ground swimming pool when she was twelve, throwing glow sticks in the turquoise water during Canada Day block parties. She thought of Jud for a moment, how he’d loved doing all those things when he was a kid, but how, as he got older, it was all about popularity, sports, a life of illusion… and without warning, a totally different kind of memory filled her mind – the dull feeling of her head hitting the concrete walls near the wood shop at her old high school, the sounds of kids laughing, the sharp smell of sawdust, the buzzing of electric sanders nearby, the sound of Jud laughing while he beat her up… without realizing it, she’d started crying noiselessly.
Rebecca McNutt (Super 8: The Sequel to Smog City)
Obedience is freedom. Better to follow the Master’s plan than to do what you weren’t wired to do—master yourself. It is true that the thing that you and I most need to be rescued from is us! The greatest danger that we face is the danger that we are to ourselves. Who we think we are is a delusion and what we all tend to want is a disaster. Put together, they lead to only one place—death. If you’re a parent, you see it in your children. It didn’t take long for you to realize that you are parenting a little self-sovereign, who thinks at the deepest level that he needs no authority in his life but himself. Even if he cannot yet walk or speak, he rejects your wisdom and rebels against your authority. He has no idea what is good or bad to eat, but he fights your every effort to put into his mouth something that he has decided he doesn’t want. As he grows, he has little ability to comprehend the danger of the electric wall outlet, but he tries to stick his fingers in it precisely because you have instructed him not to. He wants to exercise complete control over his sleep, diet, and activities. He believes it is his right to rule his life, so he fights your attempts to bring him under submission to your loving authority. Not only does your little one resist your attempts to bring him under your authority, he tries to exercise authority over you. He is quick to tell you what to do and does not fail to let you know when you have done something that he does not like. He celebrates you when you submit to his desires and finds ways to punish you when you fail to submit to his demands. Now, here’s what you have to understand: when you’re at the end of a very long parenting day, when your children seemed to conspire together to be particularly rebellious, and you’re sitting on your bed exhausted and frustrated, you need to remember that you are more like your children than unlike them. We all want to rule our worlds. Each of us has times when we see authority as something that ends freedom rather than gives it. Each of us wants God to sign the bottom of our personal wish list, and if he does, we celebrate his goodness. But if he doesn’t, we begin to wonder if it’s worth following him at all. Like our children, each of us is on a quest to be and to do what we were not designed by our Creator to be or to do. So grace comes to decimate our delusions of self-sufficiency. Grace works to destroy our dangerous hope for autonomy. Grace helps to make us reach out for what we really need and submit to the wisdom of the Giver. Yes, it’s true, grace rescues us from us.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
You. Man at the machine and man in the workshop. If tomorrow they tell you you are to make no more water-pipes and saucepans but are to make steel helmets and machine-guns, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Woman at the counter and woman in the office. If tomorrow they tell you you are to fill shells and assemble telescopic sights for snipers' rifles, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Research worker in the laboratory. If tomorrow they tell you you are to invent a new death for the old life, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Priest in the pulpit. If tomorrow they tell you you are to bless murder and declare war holy, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Pilot in your aeroplane. If tomorrow they tell you you are to carry bombs over the cities, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Man of the village and man of the town. If tomorrow they come and give you your call-up papers, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Mother in Normandy and mother in the Ukraine, mother in Vancouver and in London, you on the Hwangho and on the Mississippi, you in Naples and Hamburg and Cairo and Oslo - mothers in all parts of the earth, mothers of the world, if tomorrow they tell you you are to bear new soldiers for new battles, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! For if you do not say NO - if YOU do not say no - mothers, then: then! In the bustling hazy harbour towns the big ships will fall silent as corpses against the dead deserted quay walls, their once shimmering bodies overgrown with seaweed and barnacles, smelling of graveyards and rotten fish. The trams will lie like senseless glass-eyed cages beside the twisted steel skeleton of wires and track. The sunny juicy vine will rot on decaying hillsides, rice will dry in the withered earth, potatoes will freeze in the unploughed land and cows will stick their death-still legs into the air like overturned chairs. In the fields beside rusted ploughs the corn will be flattened like a beaten army. Then the last human creature, with mangled entrails and infected lungs, will wander around, unanswered and lonely, under the poisonous glowing sun, among the immense mass graves and devastated cities. The last human creature, withered, mad, cursing, accusing - and the terrible accusation: WHY? will die unheard on the plains, drift through the ruins, seep into the rubble of churches, fall into pools of blood, unheard, unanswered, the last animal scream of the last human animal - All this will happen tomorrow, tomorrow, perhaps, perhaps even tonight, perhaps tonight, if - if - You do not say NO.
Wolfgang Borchert
They’re close. Voices loud and fierce, Slapping faces with words. A scream … A cry … They’re getting closer. Did I lock the door? It’s too late to check. They’re coming. I barely move, barely breathe. Perhaps they’ll go away. But they’re getting closer. The door slams against the wall. My eyes squeeze shut. This curtain is not a shield. They’re here. They’ve come for me. I freeze. Metal rings clank together. My barrier is cast aside. Wearily, I look. Reddened eyes glower at one another … But not at me. I wonder. A moment of silence … Water streams down my face. Steam rolls around my flesh. I glare at the intruders And slide the curtain between us. I wait. He shrieks, “She took my glow stick!” She howls, “No, I didn’t!” I scowl. “Go tell your father about it.” They leave. I inhale the lavender mist. Slather bubbles over my skin. Five more minutes … And, next time, I shall lock the door.
Barbara Brooke
It’s been said that love is all there is; that a lack of love causes people to do evil things. I can buy that. Take it a step further: capitalism, by itself, is not a bad thing; but when taken to an extreme, as it has been in America—when Christmas is but a measuring stick for how well the economy is doing, when Wall Street and the banking industry turn nescient heads to morality in pursuit of the Almighty Dollar, when love of money overshadows love of self and others—what then? In the grand scheme of the universe—whatever that scheme may be—when one considers its immensity, that it has existed for billions of years, some of us realize how insignificant our seventy or eighty years is; while others, for whatever reason (selfishness?) pursue materialism to a vulgar degree. In the end, what does all that matter, really? It’s nice to spoil oneself from time to time; but really, life’s true gift to oneself is doing and giving to others. That’s love.
J. Conrad Guest, novelist
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
The flickering shadows dissolve the outlines of things and break up the surfaces of the cube, the walls and ceiling move to and fro to the rhythm of the jagged flame, which by turns flares up and dies down as though about to go out. The yellow clay at the bottom of the cube rises like the floorboards of a sinking boat, then falls back into the darkness, as though flooded with muddy water. The whole room trembles, expands, contracts, moves a few centimeters to the right or left, up or down, all the while keeping its cubical shape. Horizontals and verticals intersect at several points, all in vague confusion, but governed by some higher law, maintaining an equilibrium that prevents the walls from collapsing and the ceiling from tilting or falling. This equilibrium is due no doubt to the regular movement of the crossbeams, for they, too, seem to glide from right to left, up and down, along with their shadows, without friction or effort, as lightly as over water. The waves of the night dash against the sides of the roomboat. Gusts of wind blow soft flakes and sharp icy crystals by turns against the windowpane. The square, embrasure-like window is stuffed with a disemboweled pillow; bits of cloth stick out and dangle like amorphous plants or creepers. It is hard to say whether they are trembling under the impact of the wind blowing through the cracks, or whether it is only their shadow that sways to the rhythm of the jagged flame.
Danilo Kiš (Hourglass)
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))
men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand—glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register. ***
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Yes,” Kami snapped. “Yes, I matter to him. He wants to keep me to himself, he asked me to go out with him when we’d barely met, and he doesn’t want to touch me.” Holly blinked. “What?” “Him being real and me being real,” Kami said. “It’s been hard for us to get used to. Him having a body, it’s been like being thirteen, when you can’t get over how strange guys are, and you can’t look at them when you sit next to them, and when your hands brush you almost have a heart attack.” “I remember that.” Holly nodded. “Except I was eleven.” Kami and Angela both looked at her with raised eyebrows. Holly shrugged. “It’s been like when Holly was eleven, then,” Kami said. “Except worse. Neither of us has known how to handle it, but I’ve wanted to. And he hasn’t. I don’t know what to do about someone who only wants me for my mind.” Holly slid down the wall to sit on the floor. “I can honestly say it has never happened to me.” “Yeah,” said Angela. “Guys, always trying to kiss me. I have to beat them off with a stick. Seriously, I keep the stick behind the door at home.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
We worked for the four days of that blizzard, loosening the mortar in the lower stones of Castle Munth. The wind and storm did the rest; after the walls fell, we melted snow from uphill with our combined Fire Sticks. The resulting flood was impressive. By the next morning, when the scouts we left behind saw the first of Debegri’s soldiers march up the road, the whole mess had frozen into ice, with our ex-prisoners wandering around poking dismally at the ruins. It would take a great deal of effort to make any use of Munth, and the scouts were still laughing when they came to report.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I laughed it off but I close the bedroom door and I lose it and I stick it all down here and this is where it all stays. And this is where it has to stay because I am not ending up in the nutter ward again with brown walls, jigsaws, and people crying that their husbands left them, and men slamming their heads against walls, and Mum bringing me a mini trifle and a copy of Smash Hits like that would make everything better. It didn’t. It won’t. It can’t. Psychiatric wards when most of my mates were….I can’t tell anyone what is going on…Can’t write…Can’t think about it. Not even here.
Rae Earl (My Mad Fat Diary)
So where is it?” Harry asked suspiciously. “Unfortunately,” said Scrimgeour, “that sword was not Dumbledore’s to give away. The sword of Godric Gryffindor is an important historical artifact, and as such, belongs—” “It belongs to Harry!” said Hermione hotly. “It chose him, he was the one who found it, it came to him out of the Sorting Hat—” “According to reliable historical sources, the sword may present itself to any worthy Gryffindor,” said Scrimgeour. “That does not make it the exclusive property of Mr. Potter, whatever Dumbledore may have decided.” Scrimgeour scratched his badly shaven cheek, scrutinizing Harry. “Why do you think—?” “—Dumbledore wanted to give me the sword?” said Harry, struggling to keep his temper. “Maybe he thought it would look nice on my wall.” “This is not a joke, Potter!” growled Scrimgeour. “Was it because Dumbledore believed that only the sword of Godric Gryffindor could defeat the Heir of Slytherin? Did he wish to give you that sword, Potter, because he believed, as do many, that you are the one destined to destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?” “Interesting theory,” said Harry. “Has anyone ever tried sticking a sword in Voldemort? Maybe the Ministry should put some people onto that, instead of wasting their time stripping down Deluminators or covering up breakouts from Azakaban. So is this what you’ve been doing, Minister, shut up in your office, trying to break open a Snitch? People are dying—I was nearly one of them—Voldemort chased me across three counties, he killed Mad-Eye Moody, but there’s been no word about any of that from the Ministry, has there? And you still expect us to cooperate with you?” “You go too far!” shouted Scrimgeour, standing up; Harry jumped to his feet too. Scrimgeour limped toward Harry and jabbed him hard in the chest with the point of his wand: It singed a hole in Harry’s T-shirt like a lit cigarette. “Oi!” said Ron, jumping up and raising his own wand, but Harry said, “No! D’you want to give him an excuse to arrest us?” “Remembered you’re not at school, have you?” said Scrimgeour, breathing hard into Harry’s face. “Remembered that I am not Dumbledore, who forgave your insolence and insubordination? You may wear that scar like a crown, Potter, but it is not up to a seventeen-year-old boy to tell me how to do my job! It’s time you learned some respect!” “It’s time you earned it,” said Harry.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Far from being empty, space is more like a snooker table. Stars explode or collide and that’s the white ball being smacked with the cue stick. Individual atoms go flying off at close to the speed of light. Regardless of how small they are, anything traveling that fast is dangerous. Even though space is a vacuum, given enough time, atoms will eventually collide with each other and—bang—the cosmic game of snooker just got interesting. Protons, neutrons and electrons scatter again, speeding along until they hit something else. If that something else happens to be alive, that’s bad—destroying cell walls and damaging DNA.
Peter Cawdron (Losing Mars)
When it passes us, the driver tips his cap our way, eying us as if he thinks we're up to no good-the kind of no good he might call the cops on. I wave to him and smile, wondering if I look as guilty as I feel. Better make this the quickest lesson in driving history. It's not like she needs to pass the state exam. If she can keep the car straight for ten seconds in a row, I've upheld my end of the deal. I turn off the ignition and look at her. "So, how are you and Toraf doing?" She cocks her head at me. "What does that have to do with driving?" Aside from delaying it? "Nothing," I say, shrugging. "Just wondering." She pulls down the visor and flips open the mirror. Using her index finger, she unsmudges the mascara Rachel put on her. "Not that it's your business, but we're fine. We were always fine." "He didn't seem to think so." She shoots me a look. "He can be oversensitive sometimes. I explained that to him." Oversensitive? No way. She's not getting off that easy. "He's a good kisser," I tell her, bracing myself. She turns in her seat, eyes narrowed to slits. "You might as well forget about that kiss, Emma. He's mine, and if you put your nasty Half-Breed lips on him again-" "Now who's being oversensitive?" I say, grinning. She does love him. "Switch places with me," she snarls. But I'm too happy for Toraf to return the animosity. Once she's in the driver's seat, her attitude changes. She bounces up and down like she's mattress shopping, getting so much air that she'd puncture the top if I hadn't put it down already. She reaches for the keys in the ignition. I grab her hand. "Nope. Buckle up first." It's almost cliché for her to roll her eyes now, but she does. When she's finished dramatizing the act of buckling her seat belt-complete with tugging on it to make sure it won't unclick-she turns to me in pouty expectation. I nod. She wrenches the key and the engine fires up. The distant look in her eyes makes me nervous. Or maybe it's the guilt swirling around in my stomach. Galen might not like this car, but it still feels like sacrilege to put the fate of a BMW in Rayna's novice hands. As she grips the gear stick so hard her knuckles turn white, I thank God this is an automatic. "D is for drive, right?" she says. "Yes. The right pedal is to go. The left pedal is to stop. You have to step on the left one to change into drive." "I know. I saw you do it." She mashes down on the brake, then throws us into drive. But we don't move. "Okay, now you'll want to step on the right pedal, which is the gas-" The tires start spinning-and so do we. Rayna stares at me wide-eyed and mouth ajar, which isn't a good thing since her hands are on the wheel. It occurs to me that she's screaming, but I can't hear her over my own screeching. The dust wall we've created whirls around us, blocking our view of the trees and the road and life as we knew it. "Take your foot off the right one!" I yell. We stop so hard my teeth feel rattled. "Are you trying to get us killed?" she howls, holding her hand to her cheek as if I've slapped her. Her eyes are wild and glassy; she just might cry. "Are you freaking kidding me? You're the one driving!
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
When we pull back into the castle courtyard, James is waiting. And he does not look happy. Actually he looks like a blond Hulk . . . right before he goes smash. Sarah sees it too. “He’s miffed.” “Yep.” We get out of the car and she turns so fast there’s a breeze. “I should go find Penny. ’Bye.” I call after her. “Chicken!” She just waves her hand over her shoulder. Slowly, I approach him. Like an explorer, deep in the jungles of the Amazon, making first contact with a tribe that has never seen the outside world. And I hold out my peace offering. It’s a Mega Pounder with cheese. “I got you a burger.” James snatches it from my hand angrily. But . . . he doesn’t throw it away. He turns to one of the men behind him. “Mick, bring it here.” Mick—a big, truck-size bloke—brings him a brown paper bag. And James’s cold blue eyes turn back to me. “After speaking with your former security team, I had an audience with Her Majesty the Queen last year when you were named heir. Given your history of slipping your detail, I asked her permission to ensure your safety by any means necessary, including this.” He reaches into the bag and pulls out a children’s leash—the type you see on ankle-biters at amusement parks, with a deranged-looking monkey sticking its head out of a backpack, his mouth wide and gaping, like he’s about to eat whoever’s wearing it. And James smiles. “Queen Lenora said yes.” I suspected Granny didn’t like me anymore; now I’m certain of it. “If I have to,” James warns, “I’ll connect this to you and the other end to old Mick here.” Mick doesn’t look any happier about the fucking prospect than I am. “I don’t want to do that, but . . .” He shrugs, no further explanation needed. “So the next time you feel like ditching? Remember the monkey, Your Grace.” He puts the revolting thing back in its bag. And I wonder if fire would kill it. “Are we good, Prince Henry?” James asks. I respect a man willing to go balls-to-the-wall for his job. I don’t like the monkey . . . but I respect it. I flash him the okay sign with my fingers. “Golden.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
They found Hermione downstairs in the kitchen. She was being served coffee and hot rolls by Kreacher and wearing the slightly manic expression that Harry associated with exam review. “Robes,” she said under her breath, acknowledging their presence with a nervous nod and continuing to poke around in her beaded bag. “Polyjuice Potion…Invisibility Cloak…Decoy Detonators…You should each take a couple just in case…Puking Pastilles, Nosebleed Nougat, Extendable Ears…” They gulped down their breakfast, then set off upstairs, Kreacher bowing them out and promising to have a steak-and-kidney pie ready for them when they returned. “Bless him,” said Ron fondly, “and when you think I used to fantasize about cutting off his head and sticking it on the wall.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Tukum is at times forgetful about his pigs, being readily distracted by other children, dragonflies, puddles of water, and wild foods. Nevertheless, Tukem is a very proud little boy, and since his nami lives Lukigin, where his mother has already gone, he has decided to go away for good. This morning he put on his thin neck the cowrie collar with its brief string of shells which is his sole belonging, he smeared his body with pig grease until it shone, in order to make a fine impression at Lukigin....Then he set off alone on the long journey in the sun across the woods and fields, a small brown figure with a flat head and pot belly. His back was turned on Wuperainma, his pigs and his friends, his childhood, and he clutched a frail stick in his hand.
Peter Matthiessen (Under the Mountain Wall)
By the time she had picked every visible corpse off her property, the heap included ants, beetles and cockroaches, different kinds of spiders, some bees, flies, a wasp, two fetid lizard skins and the brittle remains of their skeletons, six butterflies, a stick insect the length of her forearm, two dragonflies, a handful of crickets and other creatures that in the world of naming remained untitled. The collection measured a full hand deep. She paid no attention to the odour rising out of the bucket. The scent of decay was not offensive to her. It was the aroma of life refusing to end. It was the aroma of transformation. Such odour was proof that nothing truly ended, and she revelled in it as much as she did the cereus blossoms along the back wall of the house.
Shani Mootoo (Cereus Blooms at Night)
During all that time I didn't see Willie. I didn't see him again until he announced in the Democratic primary in 1930. But it wasn't a primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the back room of Casey's saloon rolled into one, and when the dust cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood. In the background of the picture, under a purplish tumbled sky flecked with sinister white like driven foam, flanking Willie, one on each side, were two figures, Sadie Burke and a tallish, stooped, slow-spoken man with a sad, tanned face and what they call the eyes of a dreamer. The man was Hugh Miller, Harvard Law School, Lafayette Escadrille, Croix de Guerre, clean hands, pure heart, and no political past. He was a fellow who had sat still for years, and then somebody (Willie Stark) handed him a baseball bat and he felt his fingers close on the tape. He was a man and was Attorney General. And Sadie Burke was just Sadie Burke. Over the brow of the hill, there were, of course, some other people. There were, for instance, certain gentlemen who had been devoted to Joe Harrison, but who, when they discovered there wasn't going to be any more Joe Harrison politically speaking, had had to hunt up a new friend. The new friend happened to be Willie. He was the only place for them to go. They figured they would sign on with Willie and grow up with the country. Willie signed them on all right, and as a result got quite a few votes not of the wool-hat and cocklebur variety. After a while Willie even signed on Tiny Duffy, who became Highway Commissioner and, later, Lieutenant Governor in Willie's last term. I used to wonder why Willie kept him around. Sometimes I used to ask the Boss, "What do you keep that lunk-head for?" Sometimes he would just laugh and say nothing. Sometimes he would say, "Hell, somebody's got to be Lieutenant Governor, and they all look alike." But once he said: "I keep him because he reminds me of something." "What?" "Something I don't ever want to forget," he said. "What's that?" "That when they come to you sweet talking you better not listen to anything they say. I don't aim to forget that." So that was it. Tiny was the fellow who had come in a big automobile and had talked sweet to Willie back when Willie was a little country lawyer.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
No pain, no death, is more terrible to a wild creature than its fear of man. A red-throated diver, sodden and obscene with oil, able to move only its head, will push itself out from the sea-wall with its bill if you reach down to it as it floats like a log in the tide. A poisoned crow, gaping and helplessly floundering in the grass, bright yellow foam bubbling from its throat, will dash itself up again and again on to the descending wall of air, if you try to catch it. A rabbit, inflated and foul with myxomatosis, just a twitching pulse beating in a bladder of bones and fur, will feel the vibration of your footstep and will look for you with bulging, sightless eyes. Then it will drag itself away into a bush, trembling with fear. We are the killers. We stink of death. We carry it with us. It sticks to us like frost. We cannot tear it away.
J.A. Baker (The Peregrine)
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand—glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Last night I had the dream again. Except it's not a dream I know because when it comes for me, I'm still awake. There's my desk. The map on the wall. The Stuffed animals I don't play with anymore but don't want to hurt Dad's feelings by sticking in the closet I might be in bed. I might be just standing there, looking foe a missing sock. Then i'm gone. it doesn't just show me somthing this time, it takes me from here to THERE> standing on the bank of a river of fire. A thousand wasps in my head. Fighting and dying inside my skull, their bodies piling up against the backs of me eyes. Stinging and stinging. Dad's voice. Somewhere across the river. Calling my name. I've never heard him sound like that before. He's so frightened he can't hide it, even though he tries (he ALWAYS tries). The dead boy floats by. Facedown. So I wait for his head to pop up, show the holes where his eye used to be, say somthing with his blue lips. One of the terrible things it might make him do. But he just passes like a chunk of wood. I've never been here before, but I know it's real. The river is the line between this place and the Other Place. And I'm on the wrong side. There's a dark forest behind me but that's not what it is. I try to get to where Dad is. My toes touch the river and it sings with pain. Then there's arms pulling me back. Dragging me into the trees. They feel like a man's arms but it's not a man that sticks its fingers into my mouth. Nails that scratch the back of my throat. Skin that tastes like dirt. But just before that, before I'm back in my room with my missing sock in my hand, I realize I've been calling out to Dad just like he's been calling out to me. Telling him the same thing the whole time. Not words from my mouth through the air, but from my heart through the earth, so only the two of us could hear it. FIND ME
Andrew Pyper (The Demonologist)
A dingy emblem on the door depicted a little boy peeing into a pot. The rest of the bar was equally drab and tasteless. Dim bulbs behind red-tasseled lamp shades barely illuminated each of a dozen maroon vinyl booths, which marched along one wall toward the murky front windows. Chipped Formica tables anchored the booths in place. Opposite the row of booths was a long, scarred wooden bar with uncomfortable-looking stools. Behind the bar, sitting on glass shelves in front of a cloudy mirror, were endless rows of bottles, each looking as forlorn as the folks for whom they waited. He caught the strong odors of liquor and tobacco smoke, and the weaker scents of cleaning chemicals and vomit. In one of the booths , two heads bobbed with the movement of mug-clenching fists. A scrawny bartender with droopy eyelids picked his teeth with a swizzle stick and chatted quietly with a woman seated at the bar. Otherwise the bar was empty.
Robert Liparulo (Germ)
purer artist exists or has ever existed than a child freed to imagine. This scattering of sticks in the dust, that any adult might kick through without a moment’s thought, is in truth the bones of a vast world, clothed, fleshed, a fortress, a forest, a great wall against which terrible hordes surge and are thrown back by a handful of grim heroes. A nest for dragons, and these shiny smooth pebbles are their eggs, each one home to a furious, glorious future. No creation was ever raised as fulfilled, as brimming, as joyously triumphant, and all the machinations and manipulations of adults are the ghostly recollections of childhood and its wonders, the awkward mating to cogent function, reasonable purpose; and each façade has a tale to recount, a legend to behold in stylized propriety. Statues in alcoves fix sombre expressions, indifferent to every passer-by. Regimentation rules these creaking, stiff minds so settled in habit and fear. To
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
Hate cannot live alone. It must have love as a trigger, a goad, or a stimulant. Joe early developed a gentle protective love for Joe. He comforted and flattered and cherished Joe. He set up walls to save Joe from a hostile world. And gradually Joe became proof against wrong. If Joe got into trouble, it was because the world was in angry conspiracy against him. And if Joe attacked the world, it was revenge and they damn well deserved it—the sons of bitches. Joe lavished every care on his love, and he perfected a lonely set of rules which might have gone like this: 1. Don’t believe nobody. The bastards are after you. 2. Keep your mouth shut. Don’t stick your neck out. 3. Keep your ears open. When they make a slip, grab on to it and wait. 4. Everybody’s a son of a bitch and whatever you do they got it coming. 5. Go at everything roundabout. 6. Don’t never trust no dame about nothing. 7. Put your faith in dough. Everybody wants it. Everybody will sell out for it.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The servant wasn't amused. He still looked stern and suspicious, but Rupert had given his improvised explanation while walking toward the man and was within reach by the last word. He tried a punch first, grabbing the servant's shirtfront as he did so the man wouldn't land out in the hall. If that didn't work,he wasn't sure what would. He certainly didn't want to seriously harm the fellow,just knock him out and dump him out the window for the time being. Half of that plan worked. The man did drop immediately and Rupert's hold on him kept him from falling loudly to the floor. He even got him to the window with ease, but the plan ended there. Priceless. The window frame was nailed shut for the cold months to minimize drafts. Bloody hell,it wasn't that cold yet. There were no large pieces of furniture to stick the man behind either. As a last resort, he dragged him back to the hall wall and just laid him down alongside it, so he'd be less noticeable to anyone passing by the room
Johanna Lindsey (A Rogue of My Own (Reid Family, #3))
Loss of prestige? In what way?” I asked. He sat back, his eyes glinting with amusement. “First there was the matter of a--very--public announcement of a pending execution, following which the intended victim escapes. Then…didn’t you stop to consider that the countryside folk who endured many long days of constant martial interference in the form of searches, curfews, and threats might have a few questions about the justice of said threats--or the efficacy of all these armed and mounted soldiery tramping through their fields and farms unsuccessfully trying to flush a single unarmed, rather unprepossessing individual? Especially when said individual took great care not to endanger anyone beyond the first--anonymous--family to give her succor, to whom she promised there would be no civil war?” I gasped. “I never promised that. How could I? I promised that Bran and I wouldn’t carry our fight into their territory.” Shevraeth’s smile was wry. “But you must know how gossip gets distorted when it burns across the countryside, faster than a summer hayfire. And you had given the word of a countess. You have to remember that a good part of our…influence…is vouchsafed in our status, after the manner of centuries of habit. It is a strength and a weakness, a good and an evil.” I winced, thinking of Ara, who knew more about history than I did. “Though you seem to be completely unaware of it, you have become a heroine to the entire kingdom. What is probably more important to you is that your cause is now on everyone’s lips, even if--so far--it’s only being whispered about. With the best will in the world, Galdran’s spies could only find out what was being said, but not by whom. Imagine, if you can, the effect.” I tried. Too tired to actually think of much beyond when I might lay my head down, and where, I looked across the room at that bed--then away quickly--and said as stoutly as I could, “I hope it skewered him good.” “He’s angry enough to be on his way to face us, but we shall discuss it later. Permit me to suggest that you avail yourself of the room next to your brother’s, which was hastily excavated last night. We’ll be using this place as our command post for the next day or so.” I wavered to my feet, swayed, leaned against the wall. “Yes. Well.” I tried to think of something appropriate to say, but nothing came to mind. So I walked out and found my way to the room, unlatched the door. A tiny corner hearth radiated a friendly heat from a fire. A fire--they used a Fire Stick just for me. Was there a family somewhere doing without? Or did the Hill Folk know--somehow--of the Marquis’s cause, and had they tendered their approval by giving his people extras? I shook my head, beyond comprehending anything. Near the fireplace was a campbed, nicely set up, with a bedroll all stretched out and waiting, and a folded cloak for a pillow. Somehow I got my muddy, soggy clothes off and slid the wallet with Debegri’s letter under the folded-cloak pillow. Then I climbed into that bed, and I don’t remember putting my head down.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
So,I'm curious." Alex dragged me from my pleasant contemplation of cowardice and back in the bathroom. He was leaning against the wall, arms crossed, his feet almost touching mine. "What is it you like so much about this guy? I looked up his stuff. It's good, but nothing out of the ordinary." What a difference a week and a shock to the ideals makes. I felt my defense of Edward sticking a little in my troat. "I like his portraits. He really saw people.It was his great strength, that intensity." Alex tilted his chin toward the picture. "Not to seem crude, but she could be any girl with a nice ass." When I glared at him, he uncrossed his arms quickly and held up his hands in surrender. "Hey,all I mean is that if I were all about really seeing someone, that's not the angle I would choose." He was probably right. No matter how I looked at it, he was probably right. "You're probably right," I told him. He bowed. The small space suddenly got a lot smaller. "Stick with me, Grasshopper. I will never lead you wrong.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
In time of war, under the banner of an enemy recognisable as such, a foreigner from a camp outside the lines, the imperial idea grew strong in confidence and temper. The British democracy rallied to the call of a strong leadership, and it was not just in rhetorical enthusiasm but with considerable personal satisfaction that Churchill hailed the year 1940-1 as the British people's 'finest hour'. He, with other imperialists, was delighted by the fact that, when it came to the sticking-place, it was the old-fashioned loyalty of the reactionary British Empire to all that was symbolised by allegiance to Crown and country that came forward to save European civilisation from utter overthrow by German tyranny...The days of showing the flag—even for only a momentary glimpse, such as wall that inhabitants of Greece and Crete and Dieppe had of it—had returned. The Empire was the Empire once more, and to 10, Downing Street returned that imperial control that two generations of Dominion opinion had combined to condemn as sinister.
A.P. Thornton (The Imperial Idea and its Enemies: A Study on British Power)
Doing time is a real test of friendship. None of my old friends passed that test. Maybe none of them had even noticed that I was missing. To me, that made it even more special that people I had never met before came to visit me and did stick by me. Most of the travellers who had visited me were just passing through La Paz and couldn’t visit more than once or twice. However, many of them stayed in contact by letters and email. I glued the postcards they sent me from all over the world onto my wall. I received mail from the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, England, Israel, Turkey and Japan. Whenever I felt sad, I would read what the tourists had written to me, and I would soon feel better again. Even though I only met many of these people once, I knew that they were real friends. You know how? I had nothing to give them. I couldn’t give them money, I couldn’t give them status, I couldn’t take them to fancy places and buy drinks for them. All I had were my stories and who I was, and that was enough for them to want to stay in contact. For the first time in my life, that was enough.
Thomas McFadden (Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail)
She wasn’t sure when she realized that she wasn’t alone. She’d heard a louder murmur from the crowd outside, but she hadn’t connected it with the door opening. She looked over her shoulder and saw Tate standing against the back wall. He was wearing one of those Armani suits that looked so splendid on his lithe build, and he had his trenchcoat over one arm. He was leaning back, glaring at the ceremony. Something was different about him, but Cecily couldn’t think what. It wasn’t the vivid bruise high up on his cheek where Matt had hit him. But it was something…Then it dawned on her. His hair was cut short, like her own. He glared at her. Cecily wasn’t going to cower in her seat and let him think she was afraid to face him. Mindful of the solemnity of the occasion, she got up and joined Tate by the door. “So you actually came. Bruises and all,” she whispered with a faintly mocking smile, eyeing the very prominent green-and-yellow patch on his jaw that Matt Holden had put there. He looked down at her from turbulent black eyes. He didn’t reply for a minute while he studied her, taking in the differences in her appearance, too. His eyes narrowed on her short hair. She thought his eyelids flinched, but it might have been the light. His eyes went back to the ceremony. He didn’t say another word. He didn’t really need to. He’d cut his hair. In his culture-the one that part of him still belonged to-cutting the hair was a sign of grief. She could feel the way it was hurting him to know that the people he loved most in the world had lied to him. She wanted to tell him that the pain would ease day by day, that it was better to know the truth than go through life living a lie. She wanted to tell him that having a foot in two cultures wasn’t the end of the world. But he stood there like a painted stone statue, his jaw so tense that the muscles in it were noticeable. He refused to acknowledge her presence at all. “Congratulations on your engagement, by the way,” she said without a trace of bitterness in her tone. “I’m very happy for you.” His eyes met hers evenly. “That isn’t what you told the press,” he said in a cold undertone. “I’m amazed that you’d go to such lengths to get back at me.” “What lengths?” she asked. “Planting that story in the tabloids,” he returned. “I could hate you for that.” The teenage sex slave story, she guessed. She glared back at him. “And I could hate you, for believing I would do something so underhanded,” she returned. He scowled down at her. The anger he felt was almost tangible. She’d sold him out in every way possible and now she’d embarrassed him publicly, again, first by confessing to the media that she’d been his teenage lover-a load of bull if ever there was one. Then she’d compounded it by adding that he was marrying Audrey at Christmas. He wondered how she could be so vindictive. Audrey was sticking to him like glue and she’d told everyone about the wedding. Not that many people hadn’t read it already in the papers. He felt sick all over. He wouldn’t have Audrey at any price. Not that he was about to confess that to Cecily now, after she’d sold him out. He started to speak, but he thought better of it, and turned his angry eyes back toward the couple at the altar. After a minute, Cecily turned and went back to her seat. She didn’t look at him again.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
A short while later, they were all covered in flour. "Anna, do you have to use so much flour?" her mother asked, waving a cloud of dust away from her face. "I hate when the cookies stick, Ma, you know that." Anna sifted more flour onto the wooden table that doubled as a workspace. She loved flour and she used it liberally, but it did make cleanup much harder. The bakery wasn't large and it wasn't bright; the windows were high up, just below the ceiling eaves. Anna had to squint to see her measurements. Spoons and pots hung on the walls, and the large wooden table stood in the middle of the room, where Anna and her mom baked bread, cinnamon rolls, and Anna's famous cookies. The majority of the bakery was taken up by the cast-iron stove. It was as beautiful as it was functional, and Anna was constantly tripping over it- or falling into it, hence the small burn marks on her forearms. Those also came from paddling the bread into and out of the oven. Her parents said she was the best at knowing when the temperature of the stove was just right for baking the softest bread. Maybe she was a little messy when she baked, but it didn't bother her.
Jen Calonita (Conceal, Don't Feel)
Steady there,” he whispered, his lips brushing past my ear as he eased up behind me. His hands settled on my hips, fingers toying with the hem of my shirt. “Focus, Duffy. Are you focusing?” He was trying to distract me. And shit, it was working. I jerked away from him, trying to thrust the back of my pool stick into his gut. But of course he dodged, and I succeeded only in knocking the cue ball in the opposite direction of what I’d intended, sending it right into one of the corner pockets. “Scratch,” Wesley announced. “Damn it!” I whirled around to face him. “That shouldn’t count!” “But it does.” He took the white ball out of the hole and placed it carefully at the end of the table. “All’s fair in love and pool.” “War,” I corrected. “Same thing.” He eased the stick back, staring straight ahead, before shooting it forward again. Half a second later, the eight ball sailed into a pocket. The winning shot. “Asshole,” I hissed. “Don’t be a sore loser,” he said, leaning his stick against the wall. “What did you really expect? I’m obviously amazing at everything.” He grinned. “But, hey, you can’t hold it against me, right? We can’t help the way God makes us.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
As the pair of them kept talking, Rhage sucked the white stick clean and found himself sizing up the Shadow. Cutting into the convo, he demanded, “Why don’t you come to Last Meal anymore.” V’s diamond-hard glare swung around. “My brother, focus.” “No, I’m serious.” He propped his hip on the black wall. “What’s up, Trez. I mean, our food not good enough for you?” Cue the throat clearing on the Shadow’s side. “Oh, no, yeah, I’m just … busy, you know. Opening this…” “And when was the last time you fed? You look like shit.” Vishous threw up his hands. “Hollywood, will you get in the game—” “You know, I used Selena tonight and her blood is amazing—” It all happened so fast. One minute V was jawing at him while he was bringing up the very salient point that the Shadow needed to take a vein. The next, Trez’s racket-size palm was locked on his neck, cutting off all his air supply. While the guy bared his teeth and snarled like Rhage was the enemy. In the blink of an eye, and in spite of that nasty shoulder wound, Vishous counter-attacked the Shadow, tackling him in a total body slam as Rhage grabbed at that thick wrist to pull the grip free. Incredibly, it got them nowhere.
J.R. Ward
The rest is just slow diminution and loss. A waning of the full and effulgent moon of my youth. Not that the bright light of my youth was anything to be proud of. I was a terrible person. I did unkind and sometimes illegal things. I treated women abominably. The remembrance of it causes me to flush with shame and to feel a tightening in my groin. It was a radiance without warmth, and I thought of nothing but myself in the brightness of the light. Now I try never to think of myself. I try not to think at all, not to dwell, but, sometimes, late at night, it all comes back to me, and I lose myself in the life that might have been, the wife of twenty years, her comforts and distractions. The fractious children, raucous at the holidays, with their tattoos you asked them not to get and their lacrosse sticks they play with in the house, stringing and restringing them, the trips to Paris to stay at the Lutetia. Photograph albums of a life that never quite came to be. It doesn’t last long when it comes, but it is vivid, and I am there, not here, not here where I belong. When you lose everything, you don’t die. You just continue in ordinary pants with nothing in your pockets.
Robert Goolrick
Old Hubert must have had a premonition of his squalid demise. In October he said to me, ‘Forty-two years I’ve had this place. I’d really like to go back home, but I ain’t got the energy since my old girl died. And I can’t sell it the way it is now. But anyway before I hang my hat up I’d be curious to know what’s in that third cellar of mine.’ The third cellar has been walled up by order of the civil defence authorities after the floods of 1910. A double barrier of cemented bricks prevents the rising waters from invading the upper floors when flooding occurs. In the event of storms or blocked drains, the cellar acts as a regulatory overflow. The weather was fine: no risk of drowning or any sudden emergency. There were five of us: Hubert, Gerard the painter, two regulars and myself. Old Marteau, the local builder, was upstairs with his gear, ready to repair the damage. We made a hole. Our exploration took us sixty metres down a laboriously-faced vaulted corridor (it must have been an old thoroughfare). We were wading through a disgusting sludge. At the far end, an impassable barrier of iron bars. The corridor continued beyond it, plunging downwards. In short, it was a kind of drain-trap. That’s all. Nothing else. Disappointed, we retraced our steps. Old Hubert scanned the walls with his electric torch. Look! An opening. No, an alcove, with some wooden object that looks like a black statuette. I pick the thing up: it’s easily removable. I stick it under my arm. I told Hubert, ‘It’s of no interest. . .’ and kept this treasure for myself. I gazed at it for hours on end, in private. So my deductions, my hunches were not mistaken: the Bièvre-Seine confluence was once the site where sorcerers and satanists must surely have gathered. And this kind of primitive magic, which the blacks of Central Africa practise today, was known here several centuries ago. The statuette had miraculously survived the onslaught of time: the well-known virtues of the waters of the Bièvre, so rich in tannin, had protected the wood from rotting, actually hardened, almost fossilized it. The object answered a purpose that was anything but aesthetic. Crudely carved, probably from heart of oak. The legs were slightly set apart, the arms detached from the body. No indication of gender. Four nails set in a triangle were planted in its chest. Two of them, corroded with rust, broke off at the wood’s surface all on their own. There was a spike sunk in each eye. The skull, like a salt cellar, had twenty-four holes in which little tufts of brown hair had been planted, fixed in place with wax, of which there were still some vestiges. I’ve kept quiet about my find. I’m biding my time.
Jacques Yonnet (Paris Noir: The Secret History of a City)
her room now?” They were led down the hall by Beth. Before she turned away she took a last drag on her smoke and said, “However this comes out, there is no way my baby would have had anything to do with something like this, drawing of this asshole or not. No way. Do you hear me? Both of you?” “Loud and clear,” said Decker. But he thought if Debbie were involved she had already paid the ultimate price anyway. The state couldn’t exactly kill her again. Beth casually flicked the cigarette down the hall, where it sparked and then died out on the faded runner. Then she walked off. They opened the door and went into Debbie’s room. Decker stood in the middle of the tiny space and looked around. Lancaster said, “We’ll have the tech guys go through her online stuff. Photos on her phone, her laptop over there, the cloud, whatever. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Tumblr. Wherever else the kids do their electronic preening. Keeps changing. But our guys will know where to look.” Decker didn’t answer her. He just kept looking around, taking the room in, fitting things in little niches in his memory and then pulling them back out if something didn’t seem right as weighed against something else. “I just see a typical teenage girl’s room. But what do you see?” asked Lancaster finally. He didn’t look at her but said, “Same things you’re seeing. Give me a minute.” Decker walked around the small space, looked under piles of papers, in the young woman’s closet, knelt down to see under her bed, scrutinized the wall art that hung everywhere, including a whole section of People magazine covers. She also had chalkboard squares affixed to one wall. On them was a musical score and short snatches of poetry and personal messages to herself: Deb, Wake up each day with something to prove. “Pretty busy room,” noted Lancaster, who had perched on the edge of the girl’s desk. “We’ll have forensics come and bag it all.” She looked at Decker, obviously waiting for him to react to this, but instead he walked out of the room. “Decker!” “I’ll be back,” he called over his shoulder. She watched him go and then muttered, “Of all the partners I could have had, I got Rain Man, only giant size.” She pulled a stick of gum out of her bag, unwrapped it, and popped it into her mouth. Over the next several minutes she strolled the room and then came to the mirror on the back of the closet door. She appraised her appearance and ended it with the resigned sigh of a person who knows their best days physically are well in the past. She automatically reached for her smokes but then decided against it. Debbie’s room could be part of a criminal investigation. Her ash and smoke could only taint that investigation.
David Baldacci (Memory Man (Amos Decker, #1))
All this subterfuge in order to talk to me could have been prevented if you’d just ridden with me earlier today, when I asked.” “Really?” She smoothed his disordered hair, which was sticking up at all angles. “You wouldn’t have spent the entire trip detailing reasons why I ‘must’ marry you?” He flinched. “I’m sorry, Jane. Apparently, when I find myself with my back to the wall, I bark orders.” “I know.” She straightened his cravat. “And in case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t do well with men who bark orders or make plans for me. It makes me want to shove them off a cliff.” “Or refuse to marry them?” “That, too.” “Then I can see it’s a habit I shall have to break, if I am to keep you happy.” He glanced away. “Sometimes it’s just…I don’t know…easier to bark orders than to ask. Safer. No one has a chance to say no.” It hit her then. That was precisely why he felt more comfortable ordering people about, setting up plans, being in charge. Because when he wasn’t in control, there was a chance he’d be left out in the cold. Left in a house with oblivious servants and a brother who despised him for taking his mother away by the simple fact of being born. Left alone. Her poor, dear love. Jane kept her eyes trained on his cravat. “But if you don’t ever give people a chance to say no, you can never know if they will rise to the occasion or not.” He tipped up her chin until she was staring into his eyes. “I wronged you terribly by not trusting you to rise to the occasion, didn’t I? If I’d married you and carried you off to the garret, I daresay you would have stayed by my side. Loved me. Cherished me.” Tears stung her eyes. “I like to think I would have. I certainly would have tried. It would have been worth it to be with you.” “Leaving you was the biggest mistake I ever made,” he said earnestly. “I once told you I would do it again, given the chance. But I was lying, to myself as well as you. I could never do it again. Certainly not now that I know what it’s like to have you for my own. You have no idea how much I’ve missed you all these years.” It was all she could do not to burst into tears right then and there. But that would only alarm him. So she choked them down enough to say, “No more than I missed you, I expect.” With a groan, he kissed her, long and hot. It was a sweet promise of things to come, a portent of their future together. When he was done, she wiped away tears. “To be fair, if we had married then, who knows what would have become of us? I doubt I would have liked your running about the country as a spy, leaving me alone for weeks at a time. And I daresay you would have had trouble concentrating on your work for worrying about me.” His grateful smile showed that he appreciated her attempt to mitigate his betrayal.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
They put me in jail. Holy shit. They put me in fucking jail. Call my mother and tell her I love her, call my father and tell him I can’t loan him any more money, call my grandmother and tell her she needs to stop day drinking. I am never getting out of this. All right, on the plus side, it’s not like I’m sitting in a city jail. It’s a hotel holding room, which basically means beige-colored carpet with beige walls and a beige futon. In Vegas, if they put you in beige, you are seriously fucked. No sequins or rhinestones anywhere means I must have done something abominable. Okay. I take three deep breaths, trying to achieve my zone neutrality. Or something. I don’t know! Okay, keep calm, Julia. Maybe they can help. Maybe they can help piece together whatever insane stuff you did last night. Or rather, the weird shit that your David Tennant personality did. On second thought, maybe talking about Doctor Who would be a very bad thing right now. The door opens, and Gray Suit— his name’s actually Todd, but I’m sticking with Gray Suit— enters and sits down in a chair opposite me. “Now Ms. Stevens—” “I’m not going to prison,” I blurt out. “I’m too soft. I watched Orange is the New Black. I don’t want to eat tampon sandwiches.” Gray Suit blinks slowly. “Okay. I’ll bear that in mind.” “Look, what the hell am I even doing here?” I snap. Great, Julia. Get snippy with the authorities. This’ll go down swimmingly. “What is happening?” Gray Suit sighs. “It’s about what you did last night, Ms. Stevens.
Lila Monroe (Get Lucky (Lucky in Love, #1))
A few silent moments later, Peter tells me it’s time to go. He barely looks at me, scowls at the back wall instead. I suppose it would have been too much to ask, to see a friendly face this morning. I stand, and together we walk down the hallway. My toes are cold. My feet stick to the tiles. We turn a corner, and I hear muffled shouts. At first I can’t tell what the voice is saying, but as we draw closer, it takes shape. “I want to…her!” Tobias. “I…see her!” I glance at Peter. “I can’t speak to him one last time, can I?” Peter shakes his head. “There’s a window, though. Maybe if he sees you he’ll finally shut up.” He takes me down a dead-end corridor that’s only six feet long. At the end is a door, and Peter is right, there’s a small window near the top, about a foot above my head. “Tris!” Tobias’s voice is even clearer here. “I want to see her!” I reach up and press my palm to the glass. The shouts stop, and his face appears behind the glass. His eyes are red; his face, blotchy. Handsome. He stares down at me for a few seconds and then presses his hand to the glass so it lines up with mine. I pretend I can feel the warmth of it through the window. He leans his forehead against the door and squeezes his eyes shut. I take my hand down and turn away before he can open his eyes. I feel pain in my chest, worse than when I got shot in the shoulder. I clutch the front of my shirt, blink away tears, and rejoin Peter in the main hallway. “Thank you,” I say quietly. I meant to say it louder. “Whatever.” Peter scowls again. “Let’s just go.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
The power of the big fish in general to regroup is hardly restricted to banking. When Standard Oil was broken up in 1911, the immediate effect was to replace a national monopoly with a number of regional monopolies controlled by many of the same Wall Street interests. Ultimately, the regional monopolies regrouped: In 1999 Exxon (formerly Standard Oil Company of New Jersey) and Mobil (formerly Standard Oil Company of New York) reconvened in one of the largest mergers in US history. In 1961 Kyso (formerly Standard Oil of Kentucky) was purchased by Chevron (formerly Standard Oil of California); and in the 1960s and 1970s Sohio (formerly Standard Oil of Ohio) was bought by British Petroleum (BP), which then, in 1998, merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana). The tale of AT&T is similar. As the result of an antitrust settlement with the government, on January 1, 1984, AT&T spun off its local operations so as to create seven so-called Baby Bells. But the Baby Bells quickly began to merge and regroup. By 2006 four of the Baby Bells were reunited with their parent company AT&T, and two others (Bell Atlantic and NYNEX) merged to form Verizon. So the hope that you can make a banking breakup stick (even if it were to be achieved) flies in the face of some pretty daunting experience. Also, note carefully a major political fact: The time when traditional reformers had enough power to make tough banking regulation really work was the time when progressive politics still had the powerful institutional backing of strong labor unions. But as we have seen, that time is long ago and far away.
Gar Alperovitz (What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution)
You are God. You want to make a forest, something to hold the soil, lock up energy, and give off oxygen. Wouldn’t it be simpler just to rough in a slab of chemicals, a green acre of goo? You are a man, a retired railroad worker who makes replicas as a hobby. You decide to make a replica of one tree, the longleaf pine your great-grandfather planted- just a replica- it doesn’t have to work. How are you going to do it? How long do you think you might live, how good is your glue? For one thing, you are going to have to dig a hole and stick your replica trunk halfway to China if you want the thing to stand up. Because you will have to work fairly big; if your replica is too small, you’ll be unable to handle the slender, three-sided needles, affix them in clusters of three in fascicles, and attach those laden fascicles to flexible twigs. The twigs themselves must be covered by “many silvery-white, fringed, long-spreading scales.” Are your pine cones’ scales “thin, flat, rounded at the apex?” When you loose the lashed copper wire trussing the limbs to the trunk, the whole tree collapses like an umbrella. You are a sculptor. You climb a great ladder; you pour grease all over a growing longleaf pine. Next, you build a hollow cylinder around the entire pine…and pour wet plaster over and inside the pine. Now open the walls, split the plaster, saw down the tree, remove it, discard, and your intricate sculpture is ready: this is the shape of part of the air. You are a chloroplast moving in water heaved one hundred feet above ground. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen in a ring around magnesium…you are evolution; you have only begun to make trees. You are god- are you tired? Finished?
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
You, the woman; I, the man; this, the world: And each is the work of all. There is the muffled step in the snow; the stranger; The crippled wren; the nun; the dancer; the Jesus-wing Over the walkers in the village; and there are Many beautiful arms around us and the things we know. See how those stars tramp over the heavens on their sticks Of ancient light: with what simplicity that blue Takes eternity into the quiet cave of God, where Ceasar And Socrates, like primitive paintings on a wall, Look, with idiot eyes, on the world where we two are. You, the sought for; I, the seeker; this, the search: And each is the mission of all. For greatness is only the drayhorse that coaxes The built cart out; and where we go is reason. But genius is an enormous littleness, a trickling Of heart that covers alike the hare and the hunter. How smoothly, like the sleep of a flower, love, The grassy wind moves over night's tense meadow: See how the great wooden eyes of the forrest Stare upon the architecture of our innocence. You, the village; I, the stranger; this, the road: And each is the work of all. Then, not that man do more, or stop pity; but that he be Wider in living; that all his cities fly a clean flag... We have been alone too long, love; it is terribly late For the pierced feet on the water and we must not die now. Have you ever wondered why all the windows in heaven were broken? Have you seen the homeless in the open grave of God's hand? Do you want to aquaint the larks with the fatuous music of war? There is the muffled step in the snow; the stranger; The crippled wren; the nun; the dancer; the Jesus-wing Over the walkers in the village; and there are Many desperate arms about us and the things we know.
Kenneth Patchen
Oh, Lord. I have once again jilted a fiancé, haven’t I? I’m forever going to be known as the woman who jilted two men.” She made a face. “I should have calling cards made--‘Jane the Jilt,’ to go along with ‘Dom the Almighty.’” “I will never carry a card with the appellation ‘Dom the Almighty,’ so just put that right out of your head,” he said irritably. “In any case, since you’re marrying me, I’m no longer jilted.” He paused a moment to shoot her a wary glance. “You are marrying me, aren’t you?” That was even closer to asking. “Say ‘please,’” she teased. Though he eyed her askance, he pulled her close for a long, lingering kiss, then said, “Please, Jane, will you marry me?” She beamed at him. “I do believe I will.” He sobered. “Even if Nancy actually does turn out to be bearing George’s son, and he inherits everything?” “Of course. You’re head of the Duke’s Men. I would be a fool to pass up such a match.” When he scowled at her, she burst into laughter. “Max and Lisette told me all about how your agency got the name. I must say I found it vastly amusing.” “You would,” he grumbled. “And you still haven’t said why your uncle let you go off with them.” After she related her elaborate deception, he shook his head. “All this subterfuge in order to talk to me could have been prevented if you’d just ridden with me earlier today, when I asked.” “Really?” She smoothed his disordered hair, which was sticking up at all angles. “You wouldn’t have spent the entire trip detailing reasons why I ‘must’ marry you?” He flinched. “I’m sorry, Jane. Apparently, when I find myself with my back to the wall, I bark orders.” “I know.” She straightened his cravat. “And in case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t do well with men who bark orders or make plans for me. It makes me want to shove them off a cliff.” “Or refuse to marry them?” “That, too.” “Then I can see it’s a habit I shall have to break, if I am to keep you happy.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
On this bald hill the new year hones its edge. Faceless and pale as china The round sky goes on minding its business. Your absence is inconspicuous; Nobody can tell what I lack. Gulls have threaded the river’s mud bed back To this crest of grass. Inland, they argue, Settling and stirring like blown paper Or the hands of an invalid. The wan Sun manages to strike such tin glints From the linked ponds that my eyes wince And brim; the city melts like sugar. A crocodile of small girls Knotting and stopping, ill-assorted, in blue uniforms, Opens to swallow me. I’m a stone, a stick, One child drops a carrette of pink plastic; None of them seem to notice. Their shrill, gravelly gossip’s funneled off. Now silence after silence offers itself. The wind stops my breath like a bandage. Southward, over Kentish Town, an ashen smudge Swaddles roof and tree. It could be a snowfield or a cloudbank. I suppose it’s pointless to think of you at all. Already your doll grip lets go. The tumulus, even at noon, guargs its black shadow: You know me less constant, Ghost of a leaf, ghost of a bird. I circle the writhen trees. I am too happy. These faithful dark-boughed cypresses Brood, rooted in their heaped losses. Your cry fades like the cry of a gnat. I lose sight of you on your blind journey, While the heath grass glitters and the spindling rivulets Unpool and spend themselves. My mind runs with them, Pooling in heel-prints, fumbling pebble and stem. The day empties its images Like a cup of a room. The moon’s crook whitens, Thin as the skin seaming a scar. Now, on the nursery wall, The blue night plants, the little pale blue hill In your sister’s birthday picture start to glow. The orange pompons, the Egyptian papyrus Light up. Each rabbit-eared Blue shrub behind the glass Exhales an indigo nimbus, A sort of cellophane balloon. The old dregs, the old difficulties take me to wife. Gulls stiffen to their chill vigil in the drafty half-light; I enter the lit house.
Sylvia Plath
Ken Wharfe Before Diana disappeared from sight, I called her on the radio. Her voice was bright and lively, and I knew instinctively that she was happy, and safe. I walked back to the car and drove slowly along the only road that runs adjacent to the bay, with heath land and then the sea to my left and the waters of Poole Harbour running up toward Wareham, a small market town, to my right. Within a matter of minutes, I was turning into the car park of the Bankes Arms, a fine old pub that overlooks the bay. I left the car and strolled down to the beach, where I sat on an old wall in the bright sunshine. The beach huts were locked, and there was no sign of life. To my right I could see the Old Harry Rocks--three tall pinnacles of chalk standing in the sea, all that remains, at the landward end, of a ridge that once ran due east to the Isle of Wight. Like the Princess, I, too, just wanted to carry on walking. Suddenly, my radio crackled into life: “Ken, it’s me--can you hear me?” I fumbled in the large pockets of my old jacket, grabbed the radio, and said, “Yes. How is it going?” “Ken, this is amazing, I can’t believe it,” she said, sounding truly happy. Genuinely pleased for her, I hesitated before replying, but before I could speak she called again, this time with that characteristic mischievous giggle in her voice. “You never told me about the nudist colony!” she yelled, and laughed raucously over the radio. I laughed, too--although what I actually thought was “Uh-oh!” But judging from her remarks, whatever she had seen had made her laugh. At this point, I decided to walk toward her, after a few minutes seeing her distinctive figure walking along the water’s edge toward me. Two dogs had joined her and she was throwing sticks into the sea for them to retrieve; there were no crowd barriers, no servants, no police, apart from me, and no overattentive officials. Not a single person had recognized her. For once, everything for the Princess was “normal.” During the seven years I had worked for her, this was an extraordinary moment, one I shall never forget.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
Jermyn’s breath stilled. He watched intently. So far, she had followed his instructions. Now he waited to see if she would follow his last, insistent direction. In the top drawer of my bedside table, there’s a small box. It contains everything we need to make our night pleasurable . . . leave everything else behind but bring that box. He bent his will on her. Amy, get the wooden box. Get it. If thoughts had power, then his directive would surely be followed. She gathered the clothes, wrapped them in a piece of brown paper and tied them like a package with a string. She thrust the package into a large cloth bag that hung by her belt and started toward the sitting room. In frustration, Jermyn wanted to stick his fist through the wall. Why couldn’t the girl just once do as she was told? At the doorway, she hesitated. Jermyn’s heart lifted. Do it, he mentally urged. Get it. She glanced toward the bedside table, then away. Jermyn could almost see the tug-of-war between her good sense and her yearning. Had he baited the trap with strong enough desire? Had he played the meek, willing male with enough sincerity? With a soft “blast!” she hurried to the bedside table. Opening the drawer, she pulled out the wooden box and stared at it as if it were a striking snake. With a glance around her, she placed it on the table and raised the lid. She lifted the small, gilt-and-blue bottle. Pulling the stopper, she sniffed. Jermyn preferred a combination of bayberry and spice, and he held his breath as he scrutinized her face, waiting for her reaction. If she didn’t savor the scent, he had no doubt she would put it back. But for a mere second, she closed her eyes. Pleasure placed a faint smile on her lips. She liked it. And he hoped she associated the scent with him, with the day she kidnapped him. That would be sweet justice indeed. Briskly she stoppered the bottle, replaced it in the box and slid the box in her pocket. Together the two men watched as she left the bedroom. Jermyn heard a click as the outer door closed. Guardedly he walked out, surveying the sitting room. Empty. Turning to the bewildered Biggers, Jermyn said, “Quickly, man. I need that bath!
Christina Dodd (The Barefoot Princess (Lost Princesses, #2))
You look terrible,” was Ron’s greeting as he entered the room to wake Harry. “Not for long,” said Harry, yawning. They found Hermione downstairs in the kitchen. She was being served coffee and hot rolls by Kreacher and wearing the slightly manic expression that Harry associated with exam review. “Robes,” she said under her breath, acknowledging their presence with a nervous nod and continuing to poke around in her beaded bag, “Polyjuice Potion . . . Invisbility Cloak . . . Decoy Detonators . . . You should each take a couple just in case. . . . Puking Pastilles, Nosebleed Nougat, Extendable Ears . . .” They gulped down their breakfast, then set off upstairs, Kreacher bowing them out and promising to have a steak-and-kidney pie ready for them when they returned. “Bless him,” said Ron fondly, “and when you think I used to fantasize about cutting off his head and sticking it on the wall.” They made their way onto the front step with immense caution: They could see a couple of puffy-eyed Death Eaters watching the house from across the misty square. Hermione Disapparated with Ron first, then came back for Harry. After the usual brief spell of darkness and near suffocation, Harry found himself in the tiny alleyway where the first phase of their plan was scheduled to take place. It was as yet deserted, except for a couple of large bins; the first Ministry workers did not usually appear here until at least eight o’clock. “Right then,” said Hermione, checking her watch. “She ought to be here in about five minutes. When I’ve Stunned her—” “Hermione, we know,” said Ron sternly. “And I thought we were supposed to open the door before she got here?” Hermione squealed. “I nearly forgot! Stand back—” She pointed her wand at the padlocked and heavily graffitied fire door beside them, which burst open with a crash. The dark corridor behind it led, as they knew from their careful scouting trips, into an empty theater. Hermione pulled the door back toward her, to make it look as though it was still closed. “And now,” she said, turning back to face the other two in the alleyway, “we put on the Cloak again—” “—and we wait,” Ron finished, throwing it over Hermione’s head like a blanket over a birdcage and rolling his eyes at Harry.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I still don’t see why we couldn’t sleep in that cave,” Mari said as MacRieve led her out into the night. “Because my cave’s better than their cave.” “You know, that really figures.” After the rain, the din of cicadas and frogs resounded in the underbrush all around them, forcing her to raise her voice. “Is it far?” When he shook his head, she said, “Then why do I have to hold your hand through the jungle? This path looks like a tractor busted through here.” “I went back this way while you ate to make sure everything was clear. Brought your things here, too,” he said as he steered her toward a lit cave entrance. When they crossed the threshold, wings flapped in the shadows, building to a furor before settling. Inside, a fire burned. Beside it, she saw he’d unpacked some of his things, and had made up one pallet. “Well, no one can call you a pessimist, MacRieve.” She yanked her hand from his. “Deluded fits, though.” He merely leaned back against the wall, seeming content to watch her as she explored on her own. She’d read about this part of Guatemala and knew that here limestone caverns spread out underground like a vast web. Above them a cathedral ceiling soared, with stalactites jutting down. “What’s so special about this cave?” “Mine has bats.” She breathed, “If I stick with you, I’ll have nothing but the best.” “Bats mean fewer mosquitoes. And then there’s also the bathtub for you to enjoy.” He waved her attention to an area deeper within. A subterranean stream with a sandy beach meandered through the cavern. Her eyes widened. A small pool sat off to the side, not much larger than an oversize Jacuzzi, and laid out along its edge were her toiletries, her washcloth, and her towel. Her bag—filled with all of her clean clothes—was off just to the side. Mari cried out at the sight, doubling over to yank at her bootlaces. Freed of her boots, she hopped forward on one foot then the other as she snatched off her socks. She didn’t pause until she was about to start on the button fly of her shorts. She glanced up to find him watching her with a gleam of expectation in his eyes. “You will be leaving, of course.” “Or I could help you.” “I’ve had a bit of practice bathing myself and think I can stumble my way through this.” “But you’re tired. Why no’ let me help? Now that I’ve two hands again, I’m eager to use them.” “You give me privacy or I go without.” “Verra well.” He shrugged. “I’ll leave—because your going without is no’ an option. Call me if you need me.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
I tell Jack by accident. We’re talking on the phone about unprotected sex, how it isn’t good for people with our particular temperament, our anxiety like an incorrigible weed. He asks if I’ve had any sex that was “really stressful,” and out the story comes, before I can even consider how to share it. Jack is upset. Angry, though not at me. I’m crying, even though I don’t want to. It’s not cathartic, or helping me prove my point. I still make joke after joke, but my tears are betraying me, making me appear clear about my pain when I’m not. Jack is in Belgium. It’s late there, he’s so tired, and I’d rather not be having this conversation this way. “It isn’t your fault,” he tells me, thinking it’s what I need to hear. “There’s no version of this where it’s your fault.” I feel like there are fifty ways it’s my fault. I fantasized. I took the big pill and the small pill, stuffed myself with substances to make being out in the world with people my own age a little bit easier. To lessen the space between me and everyone else. I was hungry to be seen. But I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way. I never gave him permission to be rough, to stick himself inside me without a barrier between us. I never gave him permission. In my deepest self I know this, and the knowledge of it has kept me from sinking. I curl up against the wall, wishing I hadn’t told him. “I love you so much,” he says. “I’m so sorry that happened.” Then his voice changes, from pity to something sharper. “I have to tell you something, and I hope you’ll understand.” “Yes?” I squeak. “I can’t wait to fuck you. I hope you know why I’m saying that. Because nothing’s changed. I’m planning how I’m going to do it.” “You’re going to do it?” “All different ways.” I cry harder. “You better.” I have to go put on a denim vest for a promotional appearance at Levi’s Haus of Strauss. I tell Jack I have to hang up now, and he moans “No” like I’m a babysitter wrenching him from the arms of his mother who is all dressed up for a party. He’s sleepy now. I can hear it. Emotions are exhausting to have. “I love you so much,” I tell him, tearing up all over again. I hang up and go to the mirror, prepared to see eyeliner dripping down my face, tracks through my blush and foundation. I’m in LA, so bring it on, universe: I can only expect to go down Lohan style. But I’m surprised to find that my face is intact, dewy even. Makeup is all where it ought to be. I look all right. I look like myself.
Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
Robert.” It was a sigh and a call at the same time. She ignored the lump in her throat and called again. In an instant, her view was obscured. “Lydia!” They were eye-to-eye, and neither said anything for a moment or two. Finally, after an audible gulp, Robert spoke in a whisper. “Are you all right?” “I’ve had better days,” she said in seriousness, and then realized the absurdity of her words and chuckled. “I’m covered in dirt, cuts, and bruises and sporting a lovely goose egg above my ear. One of my favorite gowns is nothing but a ruin, but other than that, I am fine. And now that you are here, I am better.” “Thank the Lord. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to hear you say so. I have been imagining all sorts … well, let’s talk about this later.” “Yes, when we don’t have to whisper through a wall.” “Indeed.” “So what is the plan?” “Hmm … well, plans are a little lacking at this moment. I had expected to rush in and simply grab you, but there are three guards by the door. I procured a thick stick, but three to one … well, not good odds. My second idea was to loosen some of these boards and pull you out. I have also acquired a horse. So once out, we can sneak or run, whichever is the most prudent.” “Yes, but the getting-out part seems to be the problem. For, if I am not mistaken, none of the boards on this side of the barn are loose, and the other sides are too close to the villains.” “There does seem to be a decided lack of cooperation on the part of the building. I have, however, noticed something that might offer another possibility. It would require a great deal of trust on your part.” “Oh?” Lydia was almost certain she was not going to like this new possibility. “Yes. There is a hay door above me. Is there a loft inside?” “Are you thinking that I should climb a rickety ladder to the loft and then try to escape through the hay door?” “Just a thought.” “How would I get down?” “That would be the trust part.” “Ahh. I would jump, and you would catch me.” Lydia visualized her descent, skirts every which way, and a very hard landing that might produce a broken body part. “Yes. Not a brilliant plan. Do you have another?” Robert sounded hopeful. “Not really. But might I suggest a variation to yours?” “By all means.” “I will return to my cell and get the rope that the thugs used to tie me up.” “They tied you up?” “Yes. But don’t let it bother you.…” “No?” “No. Because if they hadn’t, then I wouldn’t have a rope to lower myself from the hay door. I can use the one they used on my feet; it’s thick and long.” “I like that so much better than watching you fling yourself from a high perch.” “Me too. It might take a few minutes as I must return to my original cell—I escaped, you know.” “I didn’t. That is quite impressive.” “Thank you. Anyway, I must return to my cell for the rope, climb the ladder, cross the loft to the door … et cetera, et cetera. All in silence, of course.” “Of course.” “It might take as much as twenty minutes.” “I promise to wait. Won’t wander off … pick flowers or party with the thugs.” “Good to know.” “Just warn me before you jump.” “Oh, yes. I will most certainly let you know.” With a deep sigh, Lydia headed back to her cell, slowly and quietly.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
Merry Christmas.” he says quietly, pulling something from his back pocket. I frown in confusion then smile in delight when I see what it is. It’s a shiny, sharp trowel with a holly green handle. It’s stolen from the gardens for sure. It is the single greatest gift I’ve ever received. “It’s so pretty.” I whisper happily, turning it over to test its edge. “I promised you something shiny.” “And you delivered.” I press my finger against the tip then pull it back quickly. “It’s sharp.” “Why else have it, right? Keep it with you when you can. If something goes down while I’m gone I want to know you have it.” I nod my head as I slip it into my back pocket. The handle sticks up but the point is hidden. When I look up at Vin my heart skips. His eyes are sharp, intense. “Come with me.” he commands quietly. “No.” I reply immediately. I was waiting for this. From the moment he woke me up, the second I saw his eyes, I knew. And just as quickly as I recognized it, I knew what my answer would be. He shakes his head in disbelief. “You know I’m not coming back here. Not for you, not for anyone.” “Maybe not, but if I go with you then you definitely won’t.” “It’s not going to work, Joss.” he tells me seriously. “The Hive won’t bite. They don’t want to rock the boat with the Colonies and the pot isn’t sweet enough to convince them to try. They’ll pass and everyone here is going to either stay here forever or die in a revolt.” “Nats included.” I remind him coolly. “She’s a big girl. She knows how it really is. She can yell at me all she wants, but she knows just as well as I do that no one will come here to help.” “Especially if you don’t ask.” “What the hell do you want from me?” he whispers fiercely. “You want me to go out there and rally the troops, bring them back here riding on a tall white horse and save the day? I’m no hero. I never have been. It’s how I’ve stayed alive.” “It’s also a great way to stay alone. And if you do this, if you go and pretend we don’t exist, then I’ll pretend I never knew you. Nats will too, I’m sure. You’ll be nothing to no one and won’t that make life easier for you? So go on and go, you coward, and don’t ever look back because there’s nothing to look back on. You were never even here far as I’m concerned.” I turn to leave him standing there in the cold beside the words I wrote to Ryan, words that have gone unnoticed and feel like nothing in the night. I’m spun around roughly and pinned against Vin’s chest. His breath is coming even and hard, sharp inhales and exhales that burst against my face leaving my skin freezing in their absence. “Don’t turn your back on me.” he growls. I can see the enforcer in him now. The hard ass who lived on the outside by the skin of his teeth and grit under his knuckles. It’s something I understand, something I can respect. Something I can relate to. I lean closer, no longer being pulled but rather pushing against him until our faces almost touch. “No, don’t you turn your back on me. On us.” I whisper harshly, pushing at him aggressively. He lets me go and I stumble back from him. “I’m no hero.” he repeats. “How do you know until you’ve tried?” * * * “You’ll come back for us, Vin.” I whisper in his ear. “I know you will.” I know no such thing, but I want it to be true and I can tell he does too so I tell him that it is. I lie to us both and I hope it makes it real. Vin nods his head beside mine and buries his face in my shoulder. I do the same. We stand huddled together against the cold and the uncertainty of everything tomorrow will bring.
Tracey Ward
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register. America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'If you're so smart, why ain't You rich? ' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child's hand-glued to a lollipop stick and, flying from the cash register. Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue, the monograph went on. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves. Once this is understood the disagreeable behavior of American enlisted men in German prisons ceases to be a mystery. Every other army in history, prosperous or not, has attempted to clothe even its lowliest soldiers so as to make them impressive to themselves and others as stylish experts in drinking and copulation and looting and sudden death. The American Army, however, sends its enlisted men out to fight and die in a modified business suit quite evidently made for another man, a sterilized but unpressed gift from a nose-holding charity which passes out clothing to drunks in the slums. When a dashingly-clad officer addresses such a frumpishly dressed bum, he scolds him, as an officer in an army must. But the officer's contempt is not, as in 'other armies, avuncular theatricality. It is a genuine expression of hatred for the poor, who have no one to blame for their misery but themselves. A prison administrator dealing with captured American enlisted men for the first time should be warned: Expect no brotherly love, even between brothers. There will be no cohesion between the individuals. Each will be a sulky child who often wishes he were dead.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
The whole point of life is to throw shit at the wall and see what sticks.
Vinny Guadaginino
I once had a substitute teacher in my 4th grade class that was wonderful. He said learning was like throwing mud on a wall. Some will stick, and some will fall off. But if you keep throwing the mud on the wall, eventually the whole wall will be covered in mud. I think writing is very much the same. You have to keep at it. Some will stick, and some will fall away, but you keep writing, and eventually, you've impacted thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people with your vision.
Michele E. Gwynn (Exposed: The Education of Sarah Brown)
Mutants, super beings, gods, aliens, a guy who sticks to walls at one extreme, a creature who eats planets at the other; Each one that comes into being, they feel, diminishes the rest of humanity, ordinary homo sapiens, that little bit more.
Jim Lee (X-Men: Mutant Genesis)
Beautiful publishers say beautiful things and then We're sorry, but no... and then more beautiful things. It's a shit sandwich with branston pickle and melted gouda. I read it out loud to the kids. I stick it to the fridge with the others. Some writers do that because it turns their crank to have a Wall of Publishers Who Passed And Will Someday Regret It. I don't. Each one is, really and truly, a gift. We look at them and the boys and I talk about rejection, all kinds of it. Creative, karmic, romantic. Nothing works out until something does.
Kate Inglis
I was the only one left in the tomb then. I sort of liked it, in a way. It was so nice and peaceful. Then, all of a sudden, you’d never guess what I saw on the wall. Another “Fuck you.” It was written with a red crayon or something, right under the glass part of the wall, under the stones. That’s the whole trouble. You can’t ever find a place that’s nice and peaceful, because there isn’t any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write “Fuck you” right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it’ll say “Holden Caulfield” on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it’ll say “Fuck you.” I’m positive, in fact.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Eric looked down at the wand in his hand. Was he really supposed to talk to this thing? That was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard. What kind of idiot talks to a stick? I beg your pardon, young man, but I am not a stick. “It talks,” Eric mumbled in disbelief. Of course, I can talk. What kind of magical wand do you take me for? “Holy shit, this thing talks!” Shrieking like a little girl, Eric tossed the wand, which flew into the wall and landed on the ground. Ow… the wand groaned in complaint.
Brandon Varnell (A Fox's Mission (American Kitsune, #11))
But TV came relatively late to the King household, and I’m glad. I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit. This might not be important. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
India is the Country of the No. That “no” is your test. You have to get past it. It is India’s Great Wall; it keeps out foreign invaders. Pursuing it energetically and vanquishing it is your challenge. In the guru—shishya tradition, the novice is always rebuffed multiple times when he first approaches the guru. Then the guru stops saying no but doesn’t say yes either; he suffers the presence of the student. When he starts acknowledging him, he assigns a series of menial tasks, meant to drive him away. Only if the disciple sticks it out through all these stages of rejection and ill treatment is he considered worthy of the sublime knowledge.
Suketu Mehta (Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found)
As much as Dad liked to tell stories about himself, it was almost impossible to get him to talk about his parents or where he was born. We knew he came from a town called Welch, in West Virginia, where a lot of coal was mined and that his father had worked as a clerk for the railroad, sitting every day in a little station house, writing messages on pieces of paper that he held up on a stick for the passing train engineers. Dad had no interest in a life like that, so he left Welch when he was seventeen to join the air force and become a pilot
Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)
Viewers routinely spend hours surfing galleries of porn videos searching for the right video to finish, keeping dopamine elevated for abnormally long periods. But try to envision a hunter-gatherer routinely spending the same number of hours masturbating to the same stick-figure on a cave wall. Didn't happen.
Gary Wilson (Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction)
Giving advice to a child is like flinging sand at an obsidian wall. Nothing sticks. The brutal truth is that we each suffer our own lessons – they can’t be danced round. They can’t be slipped past. You cannot gift a child with your scars – they arrive like webs, constricting, suffocating, and that child will struggle and strain until they break. No matter how noble your intent, the only scars that teach them anything are the ones they earn themselves.
Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
Most of us will. We’ll choose knowledge no matter what, we’ll maim ourselves in the process, we’ll stick our hands into the flames for it if necessary. Curiosity is not our only motive: love or grief or despair or hatred is what drives us on. We’ll spy relentlessly on the dead: we’ll open their letters, we’ll read their journals, we’ll go through their trash, hoping for a hint, a final word, an explanation, from those who have deserted us—who’ve left us holding the bag, which is often a good deal emptier than we’d supposed. But what about those who plant such clues, for us to stumble on? Why do they bother? Egotism? Pity? Revenge? A simple claim to existence, like scribbling your initials on a washroom wall? The combination of presence and anonymity—confession without penance, truth without consequences—it has its attractions. Getting the blood off your hands, one way or another. Those who leave such evidence can scarcely complain if strangers come along afterwards and poke their noses into every single thing that would once have been none of their business. And not only strangers: lovers, friends, relations. We’re voyeurs, all of us. Why should we assume that anything in the past is ours for the taking, simply because we’ve found it? We’re all grave robbers, once we open the doors locked by others. But only locked. The rooms and their contents have been left intact. If those leaving them had wanted oblivion, there was always fire.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
Because the general prospects of the enterprise carry major weight in the establishment of market prices, it is natural for the security analyst to devote a great deal of attention to the economic position of the industry and of the individual company in its industry. Studies of this kind can go into unlimited detail. They are sometimes productive of valuable insights into important factors that will be operative in the future and are insufficiently appreciated by the current market. Where a conclusion of that kind can be drawn with a fair degree of confidence, it affords a sound basis for investment decisions. Our own observation, however, leads us to minimize somewhat the practical value of most of the industry studies that are made available to investors. The material developed is ordinarily of a kind with which the public is already fairly familiar and that has already exerted considerable influence on market quotations. Rarely does one find a brokerage-house study that points out, with a convincing array of facts, that a popular industry is heading for a fall or that an unpopular one is due to prosper. Wall Street’s view of the longer future is notoriously fallible, and this necessarily applies to that important part of its investigations which is directed toward the forecasting of the course of profits in various industries. We must recognize, however, that the rapid and pervasive growth of technology in recent years is not without major effect on the attitude and the labors of the security analyst. More so than in the past, the progress or retrogression of the typical company in the coming decade may depend on its relation to new products and new processes, which the analyst may have a chance to study and evaluate in advance. Thus there is doubtless a promising area for effective work by the analyst, based on field trips, interviews with research men, and on intensive technological investigation on his own. There are hazards connected with investment conclusions derived chiefly from such glimpses into the future, and not supported by presently demonstrable value. Yet there are perhaps equal hazards in sticking closely to the limits of value set by sober calculations resting on actual results. The investor cannot have it both ways. He can be imaginative and play for the big profits that are the reward for vision proved sound by the event; but then he must run a substantial risk of major or minor miscalculation. Or he can be conservative, and refuse to pay more than a minor premium for possibilities as yet unproved; but in that case he must be prepared for the later contemplation of golden opportunities foregone.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
When you’re throwing legal spaghetti against the wall in the hopes that something sticks, it always helps to have more noodles.
Brad Parks (Interference)
The base of the wall is still there, entrenched. Almost an inch high, it sticks up from the ground in stubborn silence.
Wang Anyi (Lapse of Time)
It’s not a spiderweb, you old fool, it’s the pull for the light.” She reached around him and tugged on the string. The naked hundred-watt bulb came on with a snap, blinding both of them for a moment. Blinking as her eyes adjusted, Taylor stared down the stairs, the light illuminating only the immediate stairwell. Fitz was grumbling behind her. She un-latched the snap on her holster, slipped her Glock out of the creaking leather. Holding it at her side, she started down. There was a landing, and she stopped, cautious, sticking the gun and her head around the corner at the same time, just in case. She saw nothing to alarm her, and returned the weapon to its holster as she went down the remaining steps. There was a light switch at the base of the stairs. Taylor flipped on the overhead fluorescent. It was a standard basement: cement floor, unfinished walls on three sides, one painted, as if the owners had contemplated finishing the room and wanted to see what it would look like. The barest whiff of stale air indicated a minor mold problem; the floor was cluttered with stacks of cardboard boxes, bicycles, sleds. All the material that wouldn’t fit nicely in the garage was placed haphazardly down here. It was just a storage space, probably only four hundred square feet: twenty feet deep and twenty long. Certainly nothing exciting. She returned the weapon to its holster. They did a pass through, looking behind boxes, but Taylor didn’t see anything out of place.
J.T. Ellison (Judas Kiss (A Taylor Jackson Novel))
he talked about shifting strategies like they were the middle part of metamorphosis. Apparently when a caterpillar makes a cocoon, the next thing it does is melt. Completely liquefies. And then all the little bits of what used to be caterpillar come back together as a moth or a butterfly or something. Finds a different way to assemble all the same pieces and make it something else.” “Sounds like the protomolecule.” “Huh. Yeah. Guess it kind of does.” Bobbie took another bite of her eggs, her gaze on the far wall. She was quiet for long enough that Naomi didn’t know if she’d come back. “But he meant something tactical?” Naomi said. “Yes. That pivoting your strategy was like that too. You go into a situation thinking about it a particular way, and then something changes. Then either you stick with the ideas you had before or you look at everything you have to work with and find a new shape. We’re in the find-a-new-shape part.
James S.A. Corey (Babylon's Ashes (Expanse, #6))
citizens live almost exclusively underground. You can go outside for exercise and sunlight but only at very specific times in your schedule. You can’t miss your schedule. Every morning, you’re supposed to stick your right arm in this contraption in the wall. It tattoos the smooth inside of your forearm with your schedule for the day in a sickly purple ink. 7:00 — Breakfast. 7:30 — Kitchen Duties. 8:30 —Education Center, Room 17. And so on. The ink is indelible until 22:00 — Bathing. That’s when whatever keeps it water resistant breaks down and the whole schedule rinses away. The lights-out at 22:30 signals that everyone not on the night shift should be in bed.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
over with mortar. It was impossible to climb. “Clever,” Nikulo said, prodding the wall with a stick. “Anyone have any bright Ideas?” Talis glanced left and right along the wall until he spotted a tree limb rising up and toward the wall, just close enough they might be able to jump and get a grip. “Tree climbing anyone?” Mara smiled and nodded her head as if he were offering her a piece of cake. Nikulo, however, frowned. “You expect me to climb that tree over to the wall, then climb another twenty feet up to the top?” “Fancy torture and a slow, hideous death instead?” Mara said. “We’re a team, but I’m not carrying you.” Rikar shrugged and made his way toward the tree. Mara of course was the first to climb and the first to show them how to jump onto the wall and not fall down in the process. The impish expression on her face as she glanced back at them infuriated Nikulo. He clung to a branch near the main tree trunk. “Okay miss sticky-paws-cat, how am I supposed to do that?” “Luckily, unlike my non-planning, non-thinking companions, I thought that a rope would come in handy.” Rikar unslung the rope and proceeded to tie a lasso. “Catch.” He tossed Mara the rope. She caught it, looped it around her arm and started the climb up. “Are you sure it’s long enough?” Talis said, watching the rope loop out from Rikar’s hands. “Twenty feet?” “Not good enough.” Talis climbed further up the limb toward the wall. “Mara,” he hissed, “we don’t have enough rope. Can you loop it around a rock?” She glanced back and scanned the wall. “Maybe this one.” She climbed over a few feet. “No, then we’ll swing over…it might slip. Try something in line with the branch.” “The rocks are all too flat.” “I have an idea.” Rikar skirted past Talis. “Throw the rope back. I’ll climb higher up… Closer to the wall.
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))
Let the Wall Street investors curse us if they wish, we will stick to this principle…
Think Maverick (Entrepreneur: Jack Ma, Alibaba and the 40 Thieves of Success)
When everyone had been dispatched, he turned to Loretta, one dark eyebrow cocked, his indigo eyes twinkling with laughter. “One wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?” Loretta’s gaze chased off, and her cheeks went scarlet. Clasping her hands behind her, she rocked back on her heels, then forward onto her toes, pursing her lips. “I told you, Hunter, I refuse to play second fiddle.” He smiled--a slow, dangerous smile that made her nerves leap. His heated gaze drifted slowly down the length of her. He grasped her arm and led her toward his lodge. “Now you will show this Comanche how good you play number one fiddle, yes?” “I--” Loretta’s mouth went as dry as dust as she tripped along beside him, her arm vised in his grip. “Surely you don’t mean right now.” Her startled gaze focused on the lodge door. “It’s not even dark yet. People are still awake. You haven’t eaten. There’s no fire built. We can’t just--” He lifted the door flap and drew her into the dark lodge. “Blue Eyes, I have no hunger for food,” he said huskily. “But I will make a fire if you wish for one.” Any delay, no matter how short, appealed to Loretta. “Oh, yes, it’s sort of chilly, don’t you think?” It was a particularly muggy evening, the kind that made clothing stick to the skin, but that hardly seemed important. “Yes, a fire would be lovely.” He left her standing alone in the shadows to haul in some wood, which he quickly arranged in the firepit. Moments later golden flames lit the room, the light dancing and flickering on the tan walls. Remaining crouched by the flames, he tipped his head back and gave her a lazy perusal, his eyes touching on her dress, eyebrows lifting in a silent question. “Do you hunger for food?” he asked her softly.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Surely you don’t mean right now.” Her startled gaze focused on the lodge door. “It’s not even dark yet. People are still awake. You haven’t eaten. There’s no fire built. We can’t just--” He lifted the door flap and drew her into the dark lodge. “Blue Eyes, I have no hunger for food,” he said huskily. “But I will make a fire if you wish for one.” Any delay, no matter how short, appealed to Loretta. “Oh, yes, it’s sort of chilly, don’t you think?” It was a particularly muggy evening, the kind that made clothing stick to the skin, but that hardly seemed important. “Yes, a fire would be lovely.” He left her standing alone in the shadows to haul in some wood, which he quickly arranged in the firepit. Moments later golden flames lit the room, the light dancing and flickering on the tan walls. Remaining crouched by the flames, he tipped his head back and gave her a lazy perusal, his eyes touching on her dress, eyebrows lifting in a silent question. “Do you hunger for food?” he asked her softly. Loretta clamped a hand to her waist. “You know, actually I am hungry. Famished! Aren’t you? What sounds good?” She threw a frantic look at the cooking pots behind him. “I’ll bet stew would strike your fancy, wouldn’t it? After traveling so far and eating nothing but jerked meat. Yes, stew would be just the thing.” Hunter’s mouth quirked. “Blue Eyes, a stew will take a very long time.” All night, if she was lucky. “Oh, not that long. It’s no trouble, really!” She made a wide circle around him toward the pots. “I make a wonderful stew, really I do. I’m sure Maiden has some roots and onions I can borrow. Just you--” Loretta leaped at the touch of his hand on her shoulder. She turned to face him, a large pot wedged between them, her hand white-knuckled on the handle. “Blue Eyes, I do not want stew,” Hunter whispered, his voice laced with tenderness. “If you hunger, we will have nuts and fruit, eh?” Loretta swallowed a lump of air. Fruit and nuts were better than the alternative. Maybe, if she ate one nut at a time…“All right, fruit and nuts.” He spread a buffalo robe beside the fire while she put the pot away and dug up a parfleche of fruit and nuts from his store of preserved edibles. Kneeling beside him, Loretta munched industriously, staring into the leaping flames, aware with every bite she took that Hunter watched her. When she reached for her fourth handful, he clamped his long fingers around her wrist. “Enough,” he said evenly. “You will sicken your gut if you eat more.” Loretta’s gut was already in sorry shape. She swallowed, trying to avoid his gaze and failing miserably. When their eyes met, she felt as if the ground fell away. There was no mistaking that look in his eye. The moment of reckoning had come.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective—doing less—is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest. Of course, before you can separate the wheat from the chaff and eliminate activities in a new environment (whether a new job or an entrepreneurial venture), you will need to try a lot to identify what pulls the most weight. Throw it all up on the wall and see what sticks. That’s part of the process, but it should not take more than a month or two. It’s easy to get caught in a flood of minutiae, and the key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities. Take time to stop and smell the roses, or—in this case—to count the pea pods. The 9–5 Illusion and Parkinson’s Law I saw a bank that said “24-Hour Banking,” but I don’t have that much time.
Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content)
I was the only one left in the tomb then. I sort of liked it, in a way. It was so nice and peaceful. Then, all of a sudden, you'd never guess what I saw on the wall. Another "Fuck you." It was written with a red crayon or something, right under the glass part of the wall, under the stones. That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "Fuck you" right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it'll say "Holden Caulfield" on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it'll say "Fuck you." I'm positive, in fact.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
The walls covered with paintings and tapestries that often concealed the doors didn't help either. There were countless animal heads of all kinds lit by torches in several corridors, and I could have sworn I saw them move, but I was always so late for the lessons that I had no time to pay attention to them. Intense smells of herbs, vapors, and fumes filled this space, as potions and spells were constantly being played throughout the days and nights. Every time we passed Mrs. Fitz's secretary's office, we had to pinch our Nose, because she seemed to burn horrible herbs while she worked, and the smell spread down the hallway to the classrooms. Then there was Miss Melva Flin with her ever-vigilant bat. She controlled every person who came in and out of Philcrocks and roamed the corridors making sure no students broke the rules or tried to stick their noses where they weren't called. She had two spare eyes as her bat squeaked whenever it detected problems. No student liked her and everyone wished they could close that bat in the library where he could eat the bookworms for the rest of his life. Found the practice sites, there were still the lessons. Every Thursday at midnight the clan would gather in the High Ridge stone circle, at which hour it aligned with the moon, and it was possible to make omens from the constellations. On Tuesdays we went to the Philcrocks Woods where we watched the wild animals and any other species that walked around, hunted and fished in the river and even stayed overnight for the next day hoping to see the vampires hunt, which did not happen. I still couldn't believe vampires existed but the next day I turned away from all the sarcophagi I came across in the castle corridors. The most boring of the chairs was the Philcrocks Story, where they talked about the story of magic. Especially because the teacher talked monotonously and always behind the book, which made it impossible to see his face and understand what he was saying. He also made references to maps and wall articles that no one understood, which did not matter to him as long as he remained immersed in its reading aloud. Most interesting so far has been the story of the division of the 3 kingdoms and the emergence of the 3 clans. For many centuries they had lived peacefully until pure races emerged and the thirst for power increased, promoting their perpetuation. The segregation of sleves began there. King Elive's Night Clan was destroyed by King Ashen and the Night Clan disappeared, except for some sorcerers who chose the Shadow Kingdom to live on and continued the clan to which I now belong. Having to memorize endless dates and events was the worst part. It was hard to remember if it was Orlk or Orls who started the battle and whether it was in Cral or Crap, especially since all those names were strange to me.
M.P.
Ah, gancho,' Lopen said. 'No flying or walking on walls? I need to impress the women. I do not think sticking rocks to walls will be enough.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
This is as relevant in the twenty-first century as it was in ancient China. The power of Hocus Pocus is alive and well in our modern industrial world. For many people in 2018, two wooden sticks nailed together are God, a colourful poster on the wall is the Revolution, and a piece of cloth flapping in the wind is the Nation. You cannot see or hear France, because it exists only in your imagination, but you can certainly see the tricolour and hear the ‘Marseillaise’. So by waving a colourful flag and singing an anthem you transform the nation from an abstract story into a tangible reality.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
My favorite idea to come out of the world of cultured meat is the 'pig in the backyard.' I say 'favorite' not because this scenario seems likely to materialize but because it speaks most directly to my own imagination. In a city, a neighborhood contains a yard, and in that yard there is a pig, and that pig is relatively happy. It receives visitors every day, including local children who bring it odds and ends to eat from their family kitchens. These children may have played with the pig when it was small. Each week a small and harmless biopsy of cells is taken from the pig and turned into cultured pork, perhaps hundreds of pounds of it. This becomes the community's meat. The pig lives out a natural porcine span, and I assume it enjoys the company of other pigs from time to time. This fantasy comes to us from Dutch bioethicists, and it is based on a very real project in which Dutch neighbourhoods raised pigs and then debated the question of their eventual slaughter. The fact that the pig lives in a city is important, for the city is the ancient topos of utopian thought. The 'pig in the backyard' might also be described as the recurrence of an image from late medieval Europe that has been recorded in literature and art history. This is the pig in the land of Cockaigne, the 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' of its time, was a fantasy for starving peasants across Europe. It was filled with foods of a magnificence that only the starving can imagine. In some depictions, you reached this land by eating through a wall of porridge, on the other side of which all manner of things to eat and drink came up from the ground and flowed in streams. Pigs walked around with forks sticking out of backs that were already roasted and sliced. Cockaigne is an image of appetites fullfilled, and cultured meat is Cockaigne's cornucopian echo. The great difference is that Cockaigne was an inversion of the experience of the peasants who imagined it: a land where sloth became a virtue rather than a vice, food and sex were easily had, and no one ever had to work. In Cockaigne, delicious birds would fly into our mouths, already cooked. Animals would want to be eaten. By gratifying the body's appetites rather than rewarding the performance of moral virtue, Cockaigne inverted heaven. The 'pig in the backyard' does not fully eliminate pigs, with their cleverness and their shit, from the getting of pork. It combines intimacy, community, and an encounter with two kinds of difference: the familiar but largely forgotten difference carried by the gaze between human animal and nonhuman animal, and the weirder difference of an animal's body extended by tissue culture techniques. Because that is literally what culturing animal cells does, extending the body both in time and space, creating a novel form of relation between an original, still living animal and its flesh that becomes meat. The 'pig in the backyard' tries to please both hippies and techno-utopians at once, and this is part of this vision of rus in urbe. But this doubled encounter with difference also promises (that word again!) to work on the moral imagination. The materials for this work are, first, the intact living body of another being, which appears to have something like a telos of its own beyond providing for our sustenance; and second, a new set of possibilities for what meat can become in the twenty-first century. The 'pig in the backyard' is only a scenario. Its outcomes are uncertain. It is not obvious that the neighbourhood will want to eat flesh, even the extended and 'harmless' flesh, of a being they know well, but the history of slaughter and carnivory on farms suggests that they very well might. The 'pig in the backyard' is an experiment in ethical futures. The pig points her snout at us and asks what kind of persons we might become.
Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft (Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food)
The murals on the walls looked different. They loomed out of the darkness in fragments, most of them unfamiliar, even those that I passed several times each day. And when faced with the White Bull I simply gasped in astonishment. (...) The Bull was swaying forlornly on its slender stick legs, watching us with its human eyes and thinking about something sad. It was the most amazing bull in the whole world. It was drawn in an affectedly primitive, childish manner, and its expressiveness went straight for the heart. “Look at it,” I whispered.
Mariam Petrosyan (Дом, в котором...)
if the chief drivers are the desire to put a human imprint on another world and our innate needs to see over the next hill and stick it to everybody in high school who thought we’d never amount to anything, then maybe we should put lots of cash into nuclear fusion research.
Michael Wall (Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious))
Then I remembered something else from the 2112 liner notes. I pulled them up and scanned over them again. There was my answer, in the text that preceded Part III—“Discovery”: Behind my beloved waterfall, in the little room that was hidden beneath the cave, I found it. I brushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up, holding it reverently in my hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was beautiful. I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and to turn the keys to make them sound differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced my first harmonious sounds, and soon my own music! I found the waterfall near the southern edge of the city, just inside the curved wall of the atmospheric dome. As soon as I found it, I activated my jet boots and flew over the foaming river below the falls, then passed through the waterfall itself. My haptic suit did its best to simulate the sensation of torrents of falling water striking my body, but it felt more like someone pounding on my head, shoulders, and back with a bundle of sticks. Once I’d passed through the falls to the other side, I found the opening of a cave and went inside. The cave narrowed into a long tunnel, which terminated in a small, cavernous room. I searched the room and discovered that one of the stalagmites protruding from the floor was slightly worn around the tip. I grabbed the stalagmite and pulled it toward me, but it didn’t budge. I tried pushing, and it gave, bending as if on some hidden hinge, like a lever. I heard a rumble of grinding stone behind me, and I turned to see a trapdoor opening in the floor. A hole had also opened in the roof of the cave, casting a brilliant shaft of light down through the open trapdoor, into a tiny hidden chamber below. I took an item out of my inventory, a wand that could detect hidden traps, magical or otherwise. I used it to make sure the area was clear, then jumped down through the trapdoor and landed on the dusty floor of the hidden chamber. It was a tiny cube-shaped room with a large rough-hewn stone standing against the north wall. Embedded in the stone, neck first, was an electric guitar. I recognized its design from the 2112 concert footage I’d watched during the trip here. It was a 1974 Gibson Les Paul, the exact guitar used by Alex Lifeson during the 2112 tour.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
To understand what happens when we ingest lectin, let’s consider the example of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a lectin contained within wheat. Like other lectins, WGA is sticky, readily binding to other proteins it comes in contact with. After it enters our digestive tract, WGA sticks to the intestinal villi (fingerlike projections along the walls of the gut that are critical for the absorption of nutrients). The binding of WGA to the villi results in the damage and death of its cells. This destruction of the villi caused by lectins, including WGA, interferes with our ability to absorb nutrients from food. There is also evidence that lectins disrupt the gut’s natural flora. These microorganisms in our gut not only play an important role in digestion, but their disruption can result in the growth and proliferation of unhealthy microorganisms, such as E. coli, which can overrun the normal gut microbial environment and make us ill.
Josh Turknett (The Migraine Miracle: A Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Ancestral Diet to Reduce Inflammation and Relieve Your Headaches for Good)
This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark And cold to an orchard so young in the bark Reminds me of all that can happen to harm An orchard away at the end of the farm All winter, cut off by a hill from the house. I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse, I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse. (If certain it wouldn't be idle to call I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall And warn them away with a stick for a gun.) I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun. (We made it secure against being, I hope, By setting it out on a northerly slope.) No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm; But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm. "How often already you've had to be told, Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold. Dread fifty above more than fifty below." I have to be gone for a season or so. My business awhile is with different trees, Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these, And such as is done to their wood with an axe-- Maples and birches and tamaracks. I wish I could promise to lie in the night And think of an orchard's arboreal plight When slowly (and nobody comes with a light) Its heart sinks lower under the sod. But something has to be left to God.
Robert Frost
It is especially in the faubourgs, we must insist, that the Parisian race appears. This is where the thoroughbred is; this is where the true features of the breed are to be found; this is where the people work and suffer, and this suffering and work are the two faces of the man. The place is teeming with heaps of unknown beings, the strangest specimens from the stevedore of La Rapée to the knacker of Montfaucon. Fex Urbis, cries Cicero; mob, adds Burke, indignant. Riffraff, mob, rabble- those words are easily said. But so be it. What does it matter? What do I care if they go about barefoot? Too bad if they can't read. Are you going to abandon them for that? Are you going to turn their distress into a curse? Can't the light penetrate the teeming masses? Let's get back to that cry: Let there be light! And let's stick to it! Light! Light! Who knows if these opaque walls won't become transparent? Aren't revolutions transfigurations? Off you go, philosophers- teach, enlighten, fire up, think out loud, speak out loud, go on joyful romps in broad daylight, fraternize in public places, bring glad tidings, spray alphabets lavishly all over the place, proclaim rights, since the Marseillaises, sow enthusiasm, rip green branches off the oaks. Whip up ideas into a whirlwind. The hordes can be made sublime. Let's learn how to use this vast blaze of principles and virtues that crackles and flames out and occasionally sputters. These bare feet, these bare arms, these rags, this ignorance, this abjectness, this darkness, can be put to work in the conquest of the ideal. Look through the people and you will see truth. This vile sand that you trample beneath your feet, throw it in the furnace, and if it melts there and boils, it will become sparkling crystal. And it is thanks to this that Galileo and Newton will discover the stars.
Victor Hugo
It takes brutality and force to make a person work for free and live in the type of conditions we live in and not do anything about it,” Ray said. “The only way they made slavery work was to use force. It is no different in the slave empire of prisons. They use brutality to hold it together. And this brutality will not go away until the system goes away.” “They stood me up against the wall [with my hands cuffed behind me],” Pleasant said. “There were about ten officers. They started swinging, punching, and hitting me with sticks. They knocked my legs out from under me. My face hit the floor. They stomped on my face. They sent me to the infirmary to hide what they did, for thirty days. When I looked in the mirror I could not recognize my facial features. This was the fourth time I was beaten like this.
Chris Hedges (America: The Farewell Tour)
If people believe the government is giving them AIDS and blowing up levees, and that white-owned companies are trying to sterilize them, they would be lacking in normal human emotions if they did not—to put it bluntly—hate the people they believed responsible. Indeed, vigorous expressions of hatred go back to at least the time of W.E.B. Du Bois, who once wrote, “It takes extraordinary training, gift and opportunity to make the average white man anything but an overbearing hog, but the most ordinary Negro is an instinctive gentleman.” On another occasion he expressed himself in verse: 'I hate them, Oh! I hate them well, I hate them, Christ! As I hate hell! If I were God, I’d sound their knell This day!' Such sentiments are still common. Amiri Baraka, originally known as LeRoi Jones, is one of America’s most famous and well-regarded black poets, but his work is brimming with anti-white vitriol. These lines are from “Black Dada Nihilismus:” 'Come up, black dada nihilismus. Rape the white girls. Rape their fathers. Cut the mothers’ throats.' Here are more of his lines: 'You cant steal nothin from a white man, he’s already stole it he owes you anything you want, even his life. All the stores will open up if you will say the magic words. The magic words are: Up against the wall motherfucker this is a stick up!' In “Leroy” he wrote: “When I die, the consciousness I carry I will to black people. May they pick me apart and take the useful parts, the sweet meat of my feelings. And leave the bitter bullshit rotten white parts alone.” When he was asked by a white woman what white people could do to help the race problem, he replied, “You can help by dying. You are a cancer. You can help the world’s people with your death.” In July, 2002, Mr. Baraka was appointed poet laureate of New Jersey. The celebrated black author James Baldwin once said: “[T]here is, I should think, no Negro living in America who has not felt, briefly or for long periods, . . . simple, naked and unanswerable hatred; who has not wanted to smash any white face he may encounter in a day, to violate, out of motives of the cruelest vengeance, their women, to break the bodies of all white people and bring them low.” Toni Morrison is a highly-regarded black author who has won the Nobel Prize. “With very few exceptions,” she has written, “I feel that White people will betray me; that in the final analysis they’ll give me up.” Author Randall Robinson concluded after years of activism that “in the autumn of my life, I am left regarding white people, before knowing them individually, with irreducible mistrust and dull dislike.” He wrote that it gave him pleasure when his dying father slapped a white nurse, telling her not “to put her white hands on him.” Leonard Jeffries is the chairman of the African-American studies department of the City College of New York and is famous for his hatred of whites. Once in answer to the question, “What kind of world do you want to leave to your children?” he replied, “A world in which there aren’t any white people.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
By the time Theophilus attacked Serapis the laws were on his side. But many other Christians were so keen to attack the demonic temples that they didn’t wait for legal approval. Decades before the laws of the land permitted them to, zealous Christians began to indulge in acts of violent vandalism against their ‘pagan’ neighbours. The destruction in Syria was particularly savage. Syrian monks – fearless, rootless, fanatical – became infamous both for their intensity and for the violence with which they attacked temples, statues and monuments – and even, it was said, any priests who opposed them. Libanius, the Greek orator from Antioch, was revolted by the destruction that he witnessed. ‘These people,’ he wrote, ‘hasten to attack the temples with sticks and stones and bars of iron, and in some cases, disdaining these, with hands and feet. Then utter desolation follows, with the stripping of roofs, demolition of walls, the tearing down of statues, and the overthrow of altars, and the priests must either keep quiet or die . . . So they sweep across the countryside like rivers in spate.’ Libanius spoke elegiacally of a huge temple on the frontier with Persia, a magnificent building with a beautiful ceiling, in whose cool shadows had stood numerous statues. Now, he said, ‘it is vanished and gone, to the grief of those who had seen it’ – and the grief of those who now never would. This temple had been so striking, he said, that there were even those who argued that it was as great as the temple of Serapis – which, he added with an irony not lost on later historians, ‘I pray may never suffer the same fate.
Catherine Nixey (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World)
An age that needs security guards is, of course, without security. What do we have in the dull old days? Old man janitors in the schools; watchmen in the factories, and the watchman was usually the turbanned bearded Bombay armed only with a stick, drowsing on a stool by a gate. How his strong odor remembered now seems the very smell of safety! In his place now lurks the man in uniform, armed with pistol and club and submachine gun: the "security" that stands for the insecurity of our times, being the human equivalent of the iron bars at the window, the barbed wire on the wall.
Nick Joaquín (Reportage on Crime: Thirteen Horror Happenings That Hit the Headlines)
No, no, no, no, no!” Black cried out, walking backwards and pressing himself to the wall. “I know my rights – you’ve got to use lube!” “No, it’s not like that,” I reassured him, “I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick.” “You’re going to use a stick?” he shrieked.
John Donoghue (Police, Crime & 999 - The True Story of a Front Line Officer)
Sex and the Single Girl Grab my ass Pull me closer Kiss my neck Bite my lip Pull my hair Be gentle Throw me against the wall Pin me down Undress me with your teeth Use your tongue Make me moan Talk dirty to me Don't speak Pressyour weight on me Go deeper Thrust harder Lick my nipples Stick it in my ass Drive me wild Don't stop Stop Don't stop Speed up Slow down Do it sideways Choke me Go down on me Take me in the shower Take me from behind I'm not done with you yet Fuck me again Navigating Sex with your wife Make sure the kids are asleep and tucked in Turn off the lights Take off your socks I think the ceiling needs to be painted I wonder who's on Jimmy Kimmel tonight
Beryl Dov
I’d been proud of the parlor, over which I had spent a great deal of time. The ceiling had inlaid tiles in the same summer-sky blue that comprised the main color of the rugs and cushions and the tapestry on the wall opposite the newly glassed windows. Now I sneaked a look at the Marquis, dreading an expression of amusement or disdain. But his attention seemed to be reserved for the lady as he led her to the scattering of cushions before the fireplace, where she knelt down with a graceful sweeping of her skirts. Bran went over and opened the fire vents. “If I’d known of your arrival, it would have been warm in here.” Bran looked over his shoulder in surprise. “Well, where d’you spend your days? Not still in the kitchens?” “In the kitchens and the library and wherever else I’m needed,” I said; and though I tried to sound cheery, it came out sounding resentful. “I’ll be back after I see about food and drink.” Feeling very much like I was making a cowardly retreat, I ran down the long halls to the kitchen, cursing my bad luck as I went. There I found Julen, Oria, the new cook, and his assistant all standing in a knot talking at once. As soon as I appeared, the conversation stopped. Julen and Oria turned to face me--Oria on the verge of laughter. “The lady can have the new rose room, and the lord the corner suite next to your brother. But they’ve got an army of servants with them, Countess,” Julen said heavily. Whenever she called me Countess, it was a sure sign she was deeply disturbed over something. “Where’ll we house them? There’s no space in our wing, not till we finish the walls.” “And who’s to wait on whom?” Oria asked as she carefully brought my mother’s good silver trays out from the wall-shelves behind the new-woven coverings. “Glad we’ve kept these polished,” she added. “I’d say find out how many of those fancy palace servants are kitchen trained, and draft ‘em. And then see if some of the people from that new inn will come up, for extra wages. Bran can unpocket the extra pay,” I said darkly, “if he’s going to make a habit of disappearing for half a year and reappearing with armies of retainers. As for housing, well, the garrison does have a new roof, so they can all sleep there. We’ve got those new Fire Sticks to warm ‘em up with.” “What about meals for your guests?” Oria said, her eyes wide. I’d told Oria last summer that she could become steward of the house. While I’d been ordering books on trade, and world history, and governments, she had been doing research on how the great houses were currently run; and it was she who had hired Demnan, the new cook. We’d eaten well over the winter, thanks to his genius. I looked at Oria. “This is it. No longer just us, no longer practice, it’s time to dig out all your plans for running a fine house for a noble family. Bran and his two Court guests will need something now after their long journey, and I have no idea what’s proper to offer Court people.” “Well, I do,” Oria said, whirling around, hands on hips, her face flushed with pleasure. “We’ll make you proud, I promise.” I sighed. “Then…I guess I’d better go back.” As I ran to the parlor, pausing only to ditch my blanket in an empty room, I steeled myself to be polite and pleasant no matter how much my exasperating brother inadvertently provoked me--but when I pushed aside the tapestry at the door, they weren’t there. And why should they be? This was Branaric’s home, too.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
You don't set out to build a wall. You don't say: 'I'm going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that's ever been built.' You say, "I'm going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have the greatest wall that's ever been built." - Will Smith
Sam Thomas Davies (Unhooked: How to Break Bad Habits and Form Good Ones That Stick)
But I’m still breathing. Not deeply; not enough to satisfy, but breathing. Peter pushes my eyelids over my eyes. Does he know I’m not dead? Does Jeanine? Can she see me breathing? “Take the body to the lab,” Jeanine says. “The autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon.” “All right,” Peter replies. Peter pushes the table forward. I hear mutters all around me as we pass the group of Erudite bystanders. My hand falls off the edge of the table as we turn a corner, and smacks in the wall. I feel a prickle of pain in my fingertips, but I can’t move my hand, as hard as I try. This time, when we go down the hallway of Dauntless traitors, it is silent. Peter walks slowly at first, then turns another corner and picks up the pace. He almost sprints down the next corridor, and stops abruptly. Where am I? I can’t be in the lab already. Why did he stop? Peter’s arms slide under my knees and shoulders, and he lifts me. My head falls against his shoulder. “For someone so small, you’re heavy, Stiff,” he mutters. He knows I’m awake. He knows. I hear a series of beeps, and a slide--a locked door, opening. “What do--” Tobias’s voice. Tobias! “Oh my God. Oh--” “Spare me your blubbering, okay?” Peter says. “She’s not dead; she’s just paralyzed. It’ll only last for about a minute. Now get ready to run.” I don’t understand. How does Peter know? “Let me carry her,” Tobias says. “No. You’re a better shot than I am. Take my gun. I’ll carry her.” I hear the gun slide out of its holster. Tobias brushes a hand over my forehead. They both start running. At first all I hear is the pounding of their feet, and my head snaps back painfully. I feel tingling in my hands and feet. Peter shouts, “Left!” at Tobias. Then a shout from down the hallway. “Hey, what--!” A bang. And nothing. More running. Peter shouts, “Right!” I hear another bang, and another. “Whoa,” he mumbles. “Wait, stop here!” Tingling down my spine. I open my eyes as Peter opens another door. He charges through it, and just before I smack my head against the door frame, I stick my arm out and stop us. “Careful!” I say, my voice strained. My throat still feels as tight as it did when he first injected me and I found it difficult to breathe. Peter turns sideways to bring me through the door, then nudges it shut with his heel and drops me on the floor. The room is almost empty, except for a row of empty trash cans along one wall and a square metal door large enough for one of the cans to fit through it along the other wall. “Tris,” Tobias says, crouching next to me. His face is pale, almost yellow. There is too much I want to say. The first thing that comes out is, “Beatrice.” He laughs weakly. “Beatrice,” he amends, and touches his lips to mine. I curl my fingers into his shirt. “Unless you want me to throw up all over you guys, you might want to save it for later.” “Where are we?” I ask. “This is the trash incinerator,” says Peter, slapping the square door. “I turned it off. I’ll take us to the alley. And then your aim had better be perfect, Four, if you want to get out of the Erudite sector alive.” “Don’t concern yourself with my aim,” Tobias retorts. He, like me, is barefoot. Peter opens the door to the incinerator. “Tris, you first.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Oh yeah. You totally look like a banjo-strumming softie,” says Christina. “Really?” “No. Not at all, actually. Just…let me fix it, okay?” She rummages in her bag for a few seconds and pulls out a small box. In it are different-sized tubes and containers that I recognize as makeup, but wouldn’t know what to do with. We are in my parents’ house. It was the only place I could think of to go to get ready. Christina has no reservations about poking around--she already discovered two textbooks wedged between the dresser and the wall, evidence of Caleb’s Erudite leanings. “Let me get this straight. So you left the Dauntless compound to get ready for war…and took your makeup bag with you?” “Yep. Figured it would be harder for anyone to shoot me if they saw how devastatingly attractive I was,” she says, arching an eyebrow. “Hold still.” She takes the cap off a black tube about the size of one of my fingers, revealing a red stick. Lipstick, obviously. She touches it to my mouth and dabs it until my lips are covered in color. I can see it when I purse them. “Has anyone ever talked to you about the miracle of eyebrow tweezing?” she says, holding up a pair of tweezers. “Get those away from me.” “Fine.” She sighs. “I would take out the blush, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the right color for you.” “Shocking, considering we’re so similar in skin tone.” “Ha-ha,” she says. By the time we leave, I have red lips and curled eyelashes, and I’m wearing a bright red dress. And there’s a knife strapped to the inside of my knee. This all makes perfect sense.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
2007 Wall Street Journal profile also described how, at one of Schwarzman’s five houses, an “11,000-square-foot home in Palm Beach, Fla., he complained to Jean-Pierre Zeugin, his executive chef and estate manager, that an employee wasn’t wearing the proper black shoes with his uniform…[H]e found the squeak of the rubber soles distracting.” His own mother told the paper that money is “what drives him. Money is the measuring stick.” Schwarzman’s most serious self-inflicted wound, though, was the $3 million sixtieth birthday party he threw for himself in February 2007, at which he paid pop stars Rod Stewart and Patti LaBelle to serenade him. The media sensation stirred by the billionaire bacchanal led directly to congressional calls to close the carried-interest loophole.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
From this story, I want you to take the message: Look at what moves you. And build a life around that. What moves you doesn’t have to be rage—you may be emotionally healthier than me (I hope you are)! But whatever it is, it emerges only when you dig down beneath the shame, the narrow judgments of value, and the debilitating sense of failure and loss, and begin to see the skills you have gained and the contributions you are poised to make. Not everything we throw at the wall sticks in the post-academic realm. But everything is meaningful.
Karen Kelsky (The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. into a Job)
If my husband tells me one more time that he needs to rest because he “worked all day,” I will throw all of his clothes on the front lawn, kick his car into neutral and watch it roll away and I’ll sell all of his precious sports stuff on eBay for a dollar. And then I’ll kill him. He seriously doesn’t get it! Yes, he worked all day, but he worked with English speaking, potty trained, fully capable adults. He didn’t have to change their diapers, give them naps and clean their lunch from the wall. He didn’t have to count to 10 to calm himself, he didn’t have to watch Barney 303,243,243 times, and he didn’t have to pop his boob out 6 times to feed a hungry baby and I KNOW he didn’t have peanut butter and jelly crust for lunch. He DID get TWO 15-minute breaks to “stroll,” an hour break to hit the gym, and a 1 hour train ride home to read or nap. So maybe I don’t get a paycheck, maybe I stay in my sweatpants most of the day, maybe I only shower every 2 or 3 days, maybe I get to “play” with our kids all day … I still work a hell of a lot harder in one hour than he does all day. So take your paycheck, stick it in the bank and let me go get a freakin’ pedicure once a month without hearing you say “Maybe if you got a job … and had your own money.” Ouch.
John Medina (Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five)
ONCE YOU’VE HOOKED readers, your next task is to put your early chapters to work introducing your characters, settings, and stakes. The first 20-25% of the book comprises your setup. At first glance, this can seem like a tremendous chunk of story to devote to introductions. But if you expect readers to stick with you throughout the story, you first have to give them a reason to care. This important stretch is where you accomplish just that. Mere curiosity can only carry readers so far. Once you’ve hooked that sense of curiosity, you then have to deepen the pull by creating an emotional connection between them and your characters. These “introductions” include far more than just the actual moment of introducing the characters and settings or explaining the stakes. In themselves, the presentations of the characters probably won’t take more than a few scenes. After the introduction is when your task of deepening the characters and establishing the stakes really begins. The first quarter of the book is the place to compile all the necessary components of your story. Anton Chekhov’s famous advice that “if in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired” is just as important in reverse: if you’re going to have a character fire a gun later in the book, that gun should be introduced in the First Act. The story you create in the following acts can only be assembled from the parts you’ve shown readers in this First Act. That’s your first duty in this section. Your second duty is to allow readers the opportunity to learn about your characters. Who are these people? What is the essence of their personalities? What are their core beliefs (even more particularly, what are the beliefs that will be challenged or strengthened throughout the book)? If you can introduce a character in a “characteristic moment,” as we talked about earlier, you’ll be able to immediately show readers who this person is. From there, the plot builds as you deepen the stakes and set up the conflict that will eventually explode in the Inciting and Key Events. Authors sometimes feel pressured to dive right into the action of their stories, at the expense of important character development. Because none of us wants to write a boring story, we can overreact by piling on the explosions, fight sequences, and high-speed car chases to the point we’re unable to spend important time developing our characters. Character development is especially important in this first part of the story, since readers need to understand and sympathize with the characters before they’re hit with the major plot revelations at the quarter mark, halfway mark, and three-quarters mark. Summer blockbusters are often guilty of neglecting character development, but one enduring exception worth considering is Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. No one would claim the film is a leisurely character study, but it rises far above the monster movie genre through its expert use of pacing and its loving attention to character, especially in its First Act. It may surprise some viewers to realize the action in this movie doesn’t heat up until a quarter of the way into the film—and even then we have no scream-worthy moments, no adrenaline, and no extended action scenes until halfway through the Second Act. Spielberg used the First Act to build suspense and encourage viewer loyalty to the characters. By the time the main characters arrive at the park, we care about them, and our fear for their safety is beginning to manifest thanks to a magnificent use of foreshadowing. We understand that what is at stake for these characters is their very lives. Spielberg knew if he could hook viewers with his characters, he could take his time building his story to an artful Climax.
K.M. Weiland (Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story)
You want to throw me against a wall and see if I stick?
J.R. Ward (The Rehearsal Dinner (The Wedding From Hell, #1; Firefighters, #0.5))
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
Here were professional athletes, making millions of dollars, and they had no food to eat in the dressing room after killing themselves for 60 minutes on a game night. And once they got on the plane, they got a brick of mac-and-cheese and a cold ham sandwich. They didn’t have enough sticks to go around some days. They didn’t have t-shirts or hats to wear back home, or while talking on camera to reporters. The Chicago Blackhawks weren’t deemed the worst franchise in professional sports by ESPN in 2004 for nothing.
Mark Lazerus (If These Walls Could Talk: Chicago Blackhawks: Stories from the Chicago Blackhawks' Ice, Locker Room, and Press Box)
When I threw the stick at Jamie, I hadn't intended to hit him with it. But the moment it left my hand, I knew that's what was going to happen. I didn't yet know any calculus or geometry, but I was able to plot, with some degree of certainty, the trajectory of that stick. The initial velocity, the acceleration, the impact. The mathematical likelihood of Jamie's bloody cheek. It had good weight and heft, that stick. It felt nice to throw. And it looked damn fine in the overcast sky, too, flying end over end, spinning like a heavy, two-pronged pinwheel and (finally, indifferently, like math) connecting with Jamie's face. Jamie's older sister took me by the arm and she shook me. Why did you do that? What were you thinking? The anger I saw in her eyes. Heard in her voice. The kid I became to her then, who was not the kid I thought I was. The burdensome regret. I knew the word "accident" was wrong, but I used it anyway. If you throw a baseball at a wall and it goes through a window, that is an accident. If you throw a stick directly at your friend and it hits your friend in the face, that is something else. My throw had been something of a lob and there had been a good distance between us. There had been ample time for Jamie to move, but he hadn't moved. There had been time for him to lift a hand and protect his face from the stick, but he hadn't done that either. He just stood impotent and watched it hit him. And it made me angry: That he hadn't tried harder at a defense. That he hadn't made any effort to protect himself from me. What was I thinking? What was he thinking? I am not a kid who throws sticks at his friends. But sometimes, that's who I've been. And when I've been that kid, it's like I'm watching myself act in a movie, reciting somebody else's damaging lines. Like this morning, over breakfast. Your eyes asking mine to forget last night's exchange. You were holding your favorite tea mug. I don't remember what we were fighting about. It doesn't seem to matter any more. The words that came out of my mouth then, deliberate and measured, temporarily satisfying to throw at the bored space between us. The slow, beautiful arc. The spin and the calculated impact. The downward turn of your face. The heavy drop in my chest. The word "accident" was wrong. I used it anyway.
David Olimpio (This Is Not a Confession)
He took memory sticks and an external drive from his desk, and cables from the mess on the floor. Pike loaded his gear into the backpack, and we made our way toward the garage. Pike stopped when we reached the living room. “The fish.” The aquarium stood on its stand, bubbling. I said, “What about them?” Tyson said, “We gotta feed them.” We waited while Pike fed the fish, then followed him into the garage. The walls were lined with gray metal shelving units. The shelves were crowded with different-sized boxes and the clutter that accumulates as time passes, and more boxes were stacked on the floor in front of the shelves. Handwriting identified their contents: Christmas/ornaments, Christmas/lights, Tyson—baby clothes, Mom’s lamp. Pike pointed out a small black box clipped to the outside of the garage door’s track, up high by the ceiling and difficult to see. “Transmitter.
Robert Crais (The Wanted (Elvis Cole, #17; Joe Pike, #6))
Cages of women. Women and girls of all ages. Lining downtown streets behind The Great Barrier Walls. Passersby prodding at them with canes, sticks, and whatever they could find. Spitting on them through the bars, as law and culture required. “Cages of women who had disobeyed their husbands, or sons, their preachers, or some other males in their lives. One or two of them had been foolish and self-destructive enough to have reported a rapist. “A couple of them had befriended someone higher or lower than their stations, or maybe entertained a foreigner from outside the community, or allowed someone of a lesser race into their homes. A few may have done absolutely nothing wrong but for being reported by a neighbor with a grudge. “For the most part they had disobeyed or disrespected males. “Watching from behind tinted and bullet-proof windows at the rear of his immaculate stretch limo, the Lord High Chancellor of PolitiChurch, grinned the sadistic grin of unholy conquest. A dark satisfaction only a deeply tarred soul could enjoy.” … … “Caged women and young girls at major street corners in even the worst weather. Every one of them his to do with, or dispose of, as he would. “In this world – in His world – He was God.” - From “The Soul Hides in Shadows” “It is the year 2037. What is now referred to as ‘The Great Electoral Madness of ’16’ had freed the darkest ignorance, isolationism, misogyny, and racial hatreds in the weakest among us, setting loose the cultural, economic, and moral destruction of America. In the once powerful United States, paranoia, distrust, and hatred now rage at epidemic levels.
Edward Fahey (The Soul Hides in Shadows)
She paused when her gaze lit on a wall of bookshelves filled with computer games. Above it hung a screen nearly four feet wide with a pair of control sticks mounted beneath it. “All right,” she teased, “now I know what you really do all day.” Some of the darkness faded from his features and the muscles across his shoulders relaxed. “Actually, I do spend part of my day playing games. Right now, I’m giving Inner Dimensions some feedback on a game called King Cobra.” Her eyes lit up. “Can we play it?” He shook his head. “No way. Not today. I promised to show you the country and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.” He opened the office door and waited for her to walk out. Charity glanced wistfully over her shoulder at the gigantic game board. “Okay, but I’m not letting you off the hook. It isn’t like there’s all that much to do up here. One of these nights, we’ll have to play.” Call’s expression changed and the blue of his eyes seemed to glow. “Yeah,” he said, “one of these nights we’ll definitely have to play.” Charity’s stomach contracted. She didn’t think he was talking about computer games.
Kat Martin (Midnight Sun (Sinclair Sisters Trilogy, #1))
In those days there were two dark elves who lived in a fortress by the sea. They did magic there, and feats of alchemy. Like all dwarfs, they built things, wonderful, remarkable things, in their workshop and their forge. But there were things they had not yet made, and making those things obsessed them. They were brothers, and were called Fjalar and Galar. When they heard that Kvasir was visiting a town nearby, they set out to meet him. Fjalar and Galar found Kvasir in the great hall, answering questions for the townsfolk, amazing all who listened. He told the people how to purify water and how to make cloth from nettles. He told one woman exactly who had stolen her knife, and why. Once he was done talking and the townsfolk had fed him, the dwarfs approached. “We have a question to ask you that you have never been asked before,” they said. “But it must be asked in private. Will you come with us?” “I will come,” said Kvasir. They walked to the fortress. The seagulls screamed, and the brooding gray clouds were the same shade as the gray of the waves. The dwarfs led Kvasir to their workshop, deep within the walls of their fortress. “What are those?” asked Kvasir. “They are vats. They are called Son and Bodn.” “I see. And what is that over there?” “How can you be so wise when you do not know these things? It is a kettle. We call it Odrerir—ecstasy-giver.” “And I see over here you have buckets of honey you have gathered. It is uncapped, and liquid.” “Indeed we do,” said Fjalar. Galar looked scornful. “If you were as wise as they say you are, you would know what our question to you would be before we asked it. And you would know what these things are for.” Kvasir nodded in a resigned way. “It seems to me,” he said, “that if you were both intelligent and evil, you might have decided to kill your visitor and let his blood flow into the vats Son and Bodn. And then you would heat his blood gently in your kettle, Odrerir. And after that you would blend uncapped honey into the mixture and let it ferment until it became mead—the finest mead, a drink that will intoxicate anyone who drinks it but also give anyone who tastes it the gift of poetry and the gift of scholarship.” “We are intelligent,” admitted Galar. “And perhaps there are those who might think us evil.” And with that he slashed Kvasir’s throat, and they hung Kvasir by his feet above the vats until the last drop of his blood was drained. They warmed the blood and the honey in the kettle called Odrerir, and did other things to it of their own devising. They put berries into it, and stirred it with a stick. It bubbled, and then it ceased bubbling, and both of them sipped it and laughed, and each of the brothers found the verse and the poetry inside himself that he had never let out.
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
Stay Hydrated Check this box if your urine never appeared darker than a pale yellow all day. Note that if you’re eating riboflavin-fortified foods (such as nutritional yeast), then base this instead on getting nine cups of unsweetened beverages a day for women (which would be taken care of by the green tea and water preloading recommendations) or thirteen cups a day for men. If you have heart or kidney issues, don’t increase fluid intake at all without first talking with your physician. Remember, diet soda may be calorie-free, but it’s not consequence-free, as we learned in the Low in Added Sugar section. Deflour Your Diet Check this box every day your whole grain servings are in the form of intact grains. The powdering of even 100 percent whole grains robs our microbiomes of the starch that would otherwise be ferried down to our colons encapsulated in unbroken cell walls. Front-Load Your Calories There are metabolic benefits to distributing more calories to earlier in the day, so make breakfast (ideally) or lunch your largest meal of the day in true king/prince/pauper style. Time-Restrict Your Eating Confine eating to a daily window of time of your choosing under twelve hours in length that you can stick to consistently, seven days a week. Given the circadian benefits of reducing evening food intake, the window should end before 7:00 p.m. Optimize Exercise Timing The Daily Dozen’s recommendation for optimum exercise duration for longevity is ninety minutes of moderately intense activity a day, which is also the optimum exercise duration for weight loss. Anytime is good, and the more the better, but there may be an advantage to exercising in a fasted state, at least six hours after your last meal. Typically, this would mean before breakfast, but if you timed it right, you could exercise midday before a late lunch or, if lunch is eaten early enough, before dinner. This is the timing for nondiabetics. Diabetics and prediabetics should instead start exercising thirty minutes after the start of a meal and ideally go for at least an hour to completely straddle the blood sugar peak. If you had to choose a single meal to exercise after, it would be dinner, due to the circadian rhythm of blood sugar control that wanes throughout the day. Ideally, though, breakfast would be the largest meal of the day, and you’d exercise after that—or, even better, after every meal. Weigh Yourself Twice a Day Regular self-weighing is considered crucial for long-term weight control, but there is insufficient evidence to support a specific frequency of weighing. My recommendation is based on the one study that found that twice daily—upon waking and right before bed—appeared superior to once a day (about six versus two pounds of weight loss over twelve weeks).
Michael Greger (How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss)
This morning I woke dreaming of a man I'd not undressed in fifteen years. We may as well have written letters with goose quills. Th mind's meddling, curious - why him, why now? Still, it's fun to throw spaghetti against the wall. See what falls, what sticks. Isn't this a game we're always losing? The root of diminution.
Michelle Peñaloza (Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire)
Suppose we wanted to transmit this knowledge, everything we had ever learned, to another world. First we would want to make the representation as compact as possible. By squeezing out redundancies we could compress the number so that it would occupy smaller and smaller spaces. In fact, if we are adept enough we can represent the number in a manner that requires almost no space whatsoever. We simply take the long string of digits and put a decimal point in front of it so that it becomes a fraction between 0 and 1, a mere point on a line. Then we choose a smooth stick and declare one end 0 and the other end 1. Measuring carefully, we make a notch in the stick -- a point on the continuum representing the number. All of our history, our philosophy, our music, our art, our science -- everything we know would be implicit in that single mark. To retrieve the world's knowledge, one would measure the distance of the notch from the end of the stick, then convert the number back into the books, the music, the images. The success of the scheme would depend on the fineness of the mark and the exactness of the measurement. The slightest imprecision would cause whole Libraries of Alexandria to burn. [...] Suppose the medicine men of Otowi had discovered this trick. Suppose, contrary to all evidence, that they had developed a written language, a number system, and tools of enough precision to encode a single book of sacred knowledge into the notch of a prayer stick -- the very book, perhaps, that explains what the symbols on the rock walls mean. And suppose a hiker, exploring one day in the caves above Otowi, found the stick. Could the knowledge be recovered? [...] Aliens trying to decode our records might recognize what seemed to be deliberate patterns in the markings of ink on pages or the fluctuating magnetic fields of computer disks (though, again, if the information had been highly compressed, it would be harder and harder to distinguish from randomness). If they persisted, would they find truths to marvel at, signs of kindred minds? Or would they even recognize the books and tapes as things that might be worth analyzing? One can't go around measuring every notch on every stick.
George Johnson (Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order)