Stone Roses Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Stone Roses. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Clary screamed out loud as he fell like a stone- And landed lightly on his feet just in front of her. Clary stared with her mouth open as he rose up out of a shallow crouch and grinned at her. "If I made a joke about just dropping in," he said, "would you write me off as a cliché?
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
He took something out of his jacket and handed it to her. It was a long thin dagger in a leather sheath. The hilt of the dagger was set with a single red stone carved in the shape of a rose. She shook her head. "I wouldn't even know how to use that--" He pressed it into her hand, curling her fingers around it. "You'd learn." He dropped his voice. "It's in your blood." She drew her hand back slowly. "All right." "I could give you a thigh sheath to put that in," Isabelle offered. "I've got tons." "CERTAINLY NOT," said Simon.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
A song she heard Of cold that gathers Like winter's tongue Among the shadows It rose like blackness In the sky That on volcano's Vomit rise A Stone of ruin From burn to chill Like black moonrise Her voice fell still...
Robert Fanney
That is not the way of it. Your future is not set in stone, my dearest star. A coin turns on itself a number of times before it lands.
Renée Ahdieh (The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2))
Take bread away from me, if you wish, take air away, but do not take from me your laughter. Do not take away the rose, the lance flower that you pluck, the water that suddenly bursts forth in joy, the sudden wave of silver born in you. My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life. My love, in the darkest hour your laughter opens, and if suddenly you see my blood staining the stones of the street, laugh, because your laughter will be for my hands like a fresh sword. Next to the sea in the autumn, your laughter must raise its foamy cascade, and in the spring, love, I want your laughter like the flower I was waiting for, the blue flower, the rose of my echoing country. Laugh at the night, at the day, at the moon, laugh at the twisted streets of the island, laugh at this clumsy fool who loves you, but when I open my eyes and close them, when my steps go, when my steps return, deny me bread, air, light, spring, but never your laughter.
Pablo Neruda
The seed must grow regardless Of the fact that it’s planted in stone
Tupac Shakur (The Rose That Grew from Concrete)
She plucked a rose and held it to her face. She hated the way roses smelled, their sweetness too fragile. She wanted a garden of evergreens. A garden of stones. A garden of swords.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
...she wasn't reading Deathly Hallows at all. Her book wasn't orange but rose and water and sand, and featured a kid on a broomstick and white unicorn. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. She didn't notice me staring at her. 'Oh, I envy you,' I thought, but was smiling for her. She had just begun.
Melissa Anelli (Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon)
I thought the earth remembered me, she took me back so tenderly, arranging her dark skirts, her pockets full of lichens and seeds. I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed, nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees. All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better.
Mary Oliver
And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours, Claire? I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you." The wind stirred the leaves of the chestnut trees nearby, and the scents of late summer rose up rich around us; pine and grass and strawberries, sun-warmed stone and cool water, and the sharp, musky smell of his body next to mine. "Nothing is lost, Sassenach; only changed." "That's the first law of thermodynamics," I said, wiping my nose. "No," he said. "That's faith.
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
He swapped the fistful of my shirt for one in my hair, and ground his mouth against mine. I exploded. I shoved at him, and clawed him closer. He shoved me back, and yanked me tighter to his body. I pulled his hair. He pulled mine. He didn‘t fight fair. Actually, he fought exactly fair. He didn‘t extend courtesies, not a single one. I bit his lip. He tripped me and pushed me down to the stone floor of the cavern. I punched him. He straddled me. I ripped his shirt down the front, left it hanging in tatters from his shoulders. "I liked that shirt", he snarled. He rose over me, a dark demon, glistening in the torchlight, dripping sweat and blood, his torso covered with tattoos that disappeared beneath his waistband. He grabbed the hem of my shirt, tore it straight up to my neck, and inhaled sharply.
Karen Marie Moning (Bloodfever (Fever, #2))
Because she deserved more than me. She deserved someone who could give her the whole universe.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
Rhys only winked as he gracefully escorted me right into that throne, the movement as easy and smooth as a dance. The crowd murmured as I sat, the black stone bitingly cold against my bare thighs. They outright gasped as Rhys simply perched on the arm of the throne, smirked at me, and said to the Court of Nightmares, “Bow.” For they had not. And with me seated on that throne … Their faces were still a mixture of shock and disdain as they all dropped to their knees. I
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
He fell to the seat, she by his side. There were no more words. The stars were beginning to shine. How was it that the birds sing, that the snow melts, that the rose opens, that May blooms, that the dawns whitens behind the black trees on the shivering summit of the hills? One kiss, and that was all. Both trembled, and they looked at each other in the darkness with brilliant eyes. They felt neither the cool night, nor the cold stone, nor the damp ground, nor the wet grass; they looked at each other, and their hearts were full of thought. They had clasped hands, without knowing it. She did not ask him; did not even think where and how he had managed to get into the garden. It seemed so natural to her that he should be there. From time to time Marius’ knee touched Cosette’s. A touch that thrilled. At times, Cosette faltered out a word. Her soul trembled on her lips like a drop of dew on a flower. Gradually, they began to talk. Overflow succeeded to silence, which is fullness. The night was serene and glorious above their heads. These two beings, pure as spirits, told each other everything, their dreams, their frenzies, their ecstasies, their chimeras, their despondencies, how they had adored each other from afar, how they had longed for each other, their despair when they had ceased to see each other. They had confided to each other in an intimacy of the ideal, which already, nothing could have increased, all that was most hidden and most mysterious in themselves. They told each other, with a candid faith in their illusions, all that love, youth and the remnant of childhood that was theirs, brought to mind. These two hearts poured themselves out to each other, so that at the end of an hour, it was the young man who had the young girl’s soul and the young girl who had the soul of the young man. They interpenetrated, they enchanted, they dazzled each other. When they had finished, when they had told each other everything, she laid her head on his shoulder, and asked him: "What is your name?" My name is Marius," he said. "And yours?" My name is Cosette.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Had he but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear--a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love and as soon as her light footstep had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade, where her tiny hand had rested last.
Emmuska Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
They sat on the outcropping of stone and at bread and fruit. Kasta watched the long grass moving around them. The wind pushed it, attacked it, struck it in one place than another. It rose and fell again. It flowed, like water. "Is this what the sea is like?" Kasta asked, and they both turned to her, surprised. "Does the sea move the way this grass moves?" “It's like the sea,” she said. Giddon’s eyes on her were incredulous. “What? Is it such a strange thing to say?” “It’s a strange thing for you to say.” He shook his head. He gathered their bread and fruit, then rose. “The Lienid fighter is filling your mind with romantic notions.
Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
For someone with a heart of stone, yours is certainly soft these days.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Her magic sent him sprawling, and it then hurled into Rhysand again - so hard that his head cracked against the stones and the knife dropped from his splayed fingers. No one made a move to help him, and she struck him once more with her power. The red marble splintered where he hit it, spiderwebbing toward me. With wave after wave she hit him. Rhys groaned. "Stop," I breathed, blood filling my mouth as I strained a hand to reach her feet. "Please." Rhys's arms buckled as he fought to rise, and blood dripped from his nose, splattering on the marble. His eyes met mine. The bond between us went taut. I flashed between my body and his, seeing myself through his eyes, bleeding and broken and sobbing. I snapped back into my own mind as Amarantha turned to me again. "Stop? Stop? Don't pretend you care, human," she crooned, and curled her finger. I arched my back, my spine straining to the point of cracking, and Rhysand bellowed my name as I lost my grip on the room.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
She hated the way roses smelled, their sweetness too fragile. She wanted a garden of evergreens. A garden of stones. A garden of swords.
Keirsten White
Water and stone Flesh and bone Night and morn Rose and thorn Tree and wind Heart and mind
Juliet Marillier (Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, #2))
A cruel queen does not mean an unsuccessful one. Under her guidance, Kenettra changed from a glittering gem into a clouded stone, and her empire became one to rule all others, a darkness that stretched from sun, to sea, to sky. - The Empire of the Wolf, translation by Tarsa Mehani
Marie Lu (The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2))
Rose wasn't 'ordinary'. What was I supposed to do? Wrap her in cotton wool? Tell her 'Here, I could give you the universe, but I'm not going to in case you get hurt? There's all this stuff out there, all these planets, all these wonders, but I want you to stay at home and work in a shop?
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
Recreate your life, always, always. Remove the stones, plant rose bushes and make sweets." Begin again.
Cora Coralina
Dancing? You, Poppy?" Marianne shook her head slowly. I never thought..." Rose looked concerned. She even felt Poppy's head for fever, but Poppy shook her off. "I don't know about you, Rose, but I'm done letting creatures like Under Stone and the Corley dictate my life. I enjoy dancing, and I will blasted well dance at my wedding!" "Poppy! Language!" Poppy didn't answer; she just threw her arms around Christian and kissed him soundly.
Jessica Day George (Princess of Glass (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, #2))
What do you care?" I barked, and his grip tightened enough on my wrists that I knew my bones would snap with a little more pressure. "What do I care?" he breathed, wrath twisting his features. Wings - those membranous, glorious wings - flared from his back, crafted from the shadows behind him. "What do I care?" But before he could go on, his head snapped to the door, then back to my face. The wings vanished as quickly as they had appeared, and then his lips were crushing into mine. His tongue pried my mouth open, forcing himself into me, into the space where I could still taste Tamlin. I pushed and trashed, but he held firm, his tongue sweeping over the roof of my mouth, against my teeth, claiming me - The door was flung wide, and Amarantha's curved figure filled its space. Tamlin - Tamlin was beside her, his eyes slightly wide, shoulders tight as Rhys's lips still crushed mine. Amarantha laughed, and a mask of stone slammed down on Tamlin's face. void of feeling, void of anything vaguely like the Tamlin I'd been tangled up with moments before.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Sleeping In The Forest I thought the earth remembered me, she took me back so tenderly, arranging her dark skirts, her pockets full of lichens and seeds. I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed, nothing between me and the white fire of the stars but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths among the branches of the perfect trees. All night I heard the small kingdoms breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness. All night I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling with a luminous doom. By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times into something better.
Mary Oliver (Twelve Moons)
He woke before dawn and watched the gray day break. Slow and half opaque. He rose while the boy slept and pulled on his shoes and wrapped in his blanket he walked out through the trees. He descended into a gryke in the stone and there he crouched coughing and he coughed for a long time. Then he just knelt in the ashes. He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
The History Teacher Trying to protect his students' innocence he told them the Ice Age was really just the Chilly Age, a period of a million years when everyone had to wear sweaters. And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age, named after the long driveways of the time. The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more than an outbreak of questions such as "How far is it from here to Madrid?" "What do you call the matador's hat?" The War of the Roses took place in a garden, and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on Japan. The children would leave his classroom for the playground to torment the weak and the smart, mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses, while he gathered up his notes and walked home past flower beds and white picket fences, wondering if they would believe that soldiers in the Boer War told long, rambling stories designed to make the enemy nod off.
Billy Collins (Questions About Angels)
Ursus stepped forward. 'Watch your tongue when you speak to the goddess!' he snarled. The Doctor frowned. 'I think that would make speaking rather difficult,' he said.He stuck his tongue out and crossed his eyes to look down on it. 'Therterly inghockigal.' he said.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
Three stones for the faces of the mother, four bones ... for whatever reason the charlatans came up with that I can't be bothered to remember.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
He is probably the most savagely beautiful human being I have ever seen. It's not his looks that freeze my limbs to stone though. It's the way he looks at me, like for this split second I am the sole focus of his entire world.
Callie Hart (Deviant (Blood & Roses, #1))
Could two live that way? Could two live under the wild rose, and explore by the pond, so that the smooth mind of each is as everywhere present to the other, and as received and as unchallenged, as falling snow?
Annie Dillard (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)
Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs, you look like a world, lying in surrender. My rough peasant's body digs in you and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth. I was lone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me, and nigh swamped me with its crushing invasion. To survive myself I forged you like a weapon, like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling. But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you. Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk. Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence! Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad! Body of my woman, I will persist in your grace. My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road! Dark river-beds where the eternal thirst flows and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.
Pablo Neruda (Selected Poems)
On the warm stone walls, climbing roses were just coming into bloom and great twisted branches of honeysuckle and clematis wrestled each other as they tumbled up and over the top of the wall. Against another wall were white apple blossoms on branches cut into sharp crucifixes and forced to lie flat against the stone. Below, the huge frilled lips of giant tulips in shades of white and cream nodded in their beds. They were almost finished now, spread open too far, splayed, exposing obscene black centers. I've never had my own garden but I suddenly recognized something in the tangle of this one that wasn't beauty. Passion, maybe. And something else. Rage.
Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now)
You’re a legend now, girl, and legends are like rolling stones: Once they get going, it’s best to stay out of their way.
Nicholas Eames (Bloody Rose (The Band, #2))
And so the Wolf of the West rose from the stone! And so he will rise again if ever the folk of the Six Duchies call to him in need.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3))
For some time she observed a great yellow butterfly, which was opening and closing its wings very slowly on a little flat stone. "What is it to be in love?" she demanded, after a long silence; each word as it came into being seemed to shove itself out into an unknown sea. Hypnotized by the wings of the butterfly, and awed by the discovery of a terrible possibility in life, she sat for some time longer. When the butterfly flew away, she rose, and within, her two books beneath her arm returned again, much as a soldier prepares for battle.
Virginia Woolf (The Voyage Out)
Say I Am You I am dust particles in sunlight. I am the round sun. To the bits of dust I say, Stay. To the sun, Keep moving. I am morning mist, and the breathing of evening. I am wind in the top of a grove, and surf on the cliff. Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel, I am also the coral reef they founder on. I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches. Silence, thought, and voice. The musical air coming through a flute, a spark of a stone, a flickering in metal. Both candle and the moth crazy around it. Rose, and the nightingale lost in the fragrance. I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy, the evolutionary intelligence, the lift, and the falling away. What is, and what isn't. You who know Jelaluddin, You the one in all, say who I am. Say I am You.
Rumi
Here and there one sees the blush of wild rose haws or the warmth of orange fruit on the bittersweet, and back in the woods is the occasional twinkle of partridgeberries. But they are the gem stones, the rare decorations which make the grays, the browns and the greens seem even more quiet, more completely at rest.
Hal Borland (Seasons)
Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen And waste its sweetness on the desert air" A good many flowers bloom and fade away in deserted places, seen by no one. In its context in Thomas Gray's "Elegy" it is actually a metaphor for common folk who do heroic things that are never reported in the news or recorded in history. Like a precious stone unmined at the bottom of the ocean or a beautiful flower blooming in the deep woods, their work may not be seen or known, but it is nevertheless heroic. Rubies and roses are beautiful, Gray would say, whether anyone ever sees them or not.
Thomas Gray
Idris had been green and gold and russet in the autumn, when Clary had first been there. It had a stark grandeur in the winter: the mountains rose in the distance, capped white with snow, and the trees along the side of the road that led back to Alicante from the lake were stripped bare, their leafless branches making lace-like patterns against the bright sky. Sometimes Jace would slow the horse to point out the manor houses of the richer Shadowhunter families, hidden from the road when the trees were full but revealed now. She felt his shoulders tense as they passed one that nearly melded with the forest around it: it had clearly been burned and rebuilt. Some of the stones still bore the black marks of smoke and fire. “The Blackthorn manor,” he said. “Which means that around this bend in the road is …” He paused as Wayfarer summited a small hill, and reined him in so they could look down to where the road split in two. One direction led back toward Alicante — Clary could see the demon towers in the distance — while the other curled down toward a large building of mellow golden stone, surrounded by a low wall. “ … the Herondale manor,” Jace finished. The wind picked up; icy, it ruffled Jace’s hair. Clary had her hood up, but he was bare-headed and bare-handed, having said he hated wearing gloves when horseback riding. He liked to feel the reins in his hands. “Did you want to go and look at it?” she asked. His breath came out in a white cloud. “I’m not sure.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
L'union libre [Freedom of Love]" My wife with the hair of a wood fire With the thoughts of heat lightning With the waist of an hourglass With the waist of an otter in the teeth of a tiger My wife with the lips of a cockade and of a bunch of stars of the last magnitude With the teeth of tracks of white mice on the white earth With the tongue of rubbed amber and glass My wife with the tongue of a stabbed host With the tongue of a doll that opens and closes its eyes With the tongue of an unbelievable stone My wife with the eyelashes of strokes of a child's writing With brows of the edge of a swallow's nest My wife with the brow of slates of a hothouse roof And of steam on the panes My wife with shoulders of champagne And of a fountain with dolphin-heads beneath the ice My wife with wrists of matches My wife with fingers of luck and ace of hearts With fingers of mown hay My wife with armpits of marten and of beechnut And of Midsummer Night Of privet and of an angelfish nest With arms of seafoam and of riverlocks And of a mingling of the wheat and the mill My wife with legs of flares With the movements of clockwork and despair My wife with calves of eldertree pith My wife with feet of initials With feet of rings of keys and Java sparrows drinking My wife with a neck of unpearled barley My wife with a throat of the valley of gold Of a tryst in the very bed of the torrent With breasts of night My wife with breasts of a marine molehill My wife with breasts of the ruby's crucible With breasts of the rose's spectre beneath the dew My wife with the belly of an unfolding of the fan of days With the belly of a gigantic claw My wife with the back of a bird fleeing vertically With a back of quicksilver With a back of light With a nape of rolled stone and wet chalk And of the drop of a glass where one has just been drinking My wife with hips of a skiff With hips of a chandelier and of arrow-feathers And of shafts of white peacock plumes Of an insensible pendulum My wife with buttocks of sandstone and asbestos My wife with buttocks of swans' backs My wife with buttocks of spring With the sex of an iris My wife with the sex of a mining-placer and of a platypus My wife with a sex of seaweed and ancient sweetmeat My wife with a sex of mirror My wife with eyes full of tears With eyes of purple panoply and of a magnetic needle My wife with savanna eyes My wife with eyes of water to he drunk in prison My wife with eyes of wood always under the axe My wife with eyes of water-level of level of air earth and fire
André Breton (Poems of André Breton: A Bilingual Anthology)
Aside from being terrifying, it was totally humiliating. Rose Tyler, Barbie doll.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
The Doctor gave a modest shrug. "Well, I must admit that I made heads turn wherever I go. It's a burden that I just have to live with.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Now, anyone with two thoughts in their mind can see that no future is set in stone. An infinite number of futures bud at the end of every moment, and each one of them can be changed by a falling rose petal.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3))
This is the goddess Fortuna. She brought luck - or took it away. But you'd put up with whatever she did. Because when she decided to favour you, it made everything worthwhile
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
There's something about the flower that grows through the rocks, the pavement; through logs and stone or brick walls... all roses are beautiful; but the rose that emerges unexpectedly through the asphalt has a beauty of soul. The flower that reaches through the brokenness of the wall has a beauty of spirit. You stop to look and not only to look but to cherish! Somewhere along its journey, it decided that it would reach for what was unseen, keep going in the direction of something that wasn't felt, it decided that it would be. That it would become. And it did. And there is something irreplaceable about that.
C. JoyBell C.
He took her by the hand and led her out of the control room and into a little side room. There, amid a lot of sculpting paraphernalia, was her statue. The statue from the museum. The statue of Fortuna. New and gleaming. Rose gaped. 'But I never posed for this.' 'No need,' said the Doctor, patting it on the arm -- an arm which still had a hand attached. 'What d'you mean?' 'I mean,' he explained, 'that you won't have to pose for it. As Mickey said -' the Doctor smiled to himself - 'it was sculpted by someone who knew you pretty well.' He ran a hand through his hair and looked as though he was expecting applause. Rose walked round the statue. 'Is my bum really that--' 'Yes,' the Doctor interrupted testily. 'This statue is accurate in every detail. Bum. Arms. Legs. Nose. Broken fingernail on your right hand.' * * * Rose stood looking at the statue for a bit longer. 'It is perfect,' she said at last. 'I was inspired.' They smiled at each other. All was right with the world again.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
The house was burning, the yellow-red sky was like the sunset...Nothing would be left, the golden ferns and the silver ferns, the orchids, the ginger lilies and the roses...When they had finished, there would be nothing left but blackened walls and the mounting stone. That was always left. That could not be stolen or burned.
Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea)
There was movement along the fringe of Chauncey's vision, and he snapped his head to the left. At first glance what appeared to be a large angel topping a nearby monument rose to full height. Neither stone nor marble, the boy had arms and legs. His torso was naked, his feet were bare, and peasant trousers hung low on his waist. He hopped down from the monument, the ends of his hair dripping rain. It slid down his face, which was dark as a Spaniard's.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
Nature is unselfish," she says. "It only wishes to survive. Humanity inflicts harm on it, digs up the earth, poisons the waters, harnesses rock and metal and stone for its own purposes. We are the protectors. We are the connection between humanity and nature. Nature is always searching for balance.
Amy Ewing (The White Rose (The Lone City, #2))
I want to kiss you so very badly, Rose. But I can't. And its killing me" -Mr. Stone
Kate Bloomfield (Alpha Girl (Wolfling, #1))
Seven Cities was an ancient civilization, steeped in the power of antiquity, where Ascendants once walked on every trader track, every footpath, every lost road between forgotten places. It was said the sands hoarded power within their sussurating currents, that every stone had soaked up sorcery like blood, and that beneath every city lay the ruins of countless other cities, older cities, cities that went back to the First Empire itself. It was said each city rose on the backs of ghosts, the substance of spirits thick like layers of crushed bone; that each city forever wept beneath the streets, forever laughed, shouted, hawked wares and bartered and prayed and drew first breaths that brought life and the last breaths that announced death. Beneath the streets there were dreams, wisdom, foolishness, fears, rage, grief, lust and love and bitter hatred.
Steven Erikson (Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #2))
His laugh rumbled against me. Eyes closed, the wind roaring like a wild animal, I adjusted my position, gripping him tighter. My knuckles brushed one of his wings- smooth and cool like silk, but hard as stone with it stretched taut. Fascinating. I blindly reached again... and dared to run a fingertip along some inner edge. Rhysand shuddered, a soft groan slipping past my ear. "That," he said tightly, "is very sensitive". I snatched my finger back, pulling away far enough to see his face. With the wind, I had to squint, and my braided hair ripped this way and that, but- he was entirely focused on the montains around us. "Does it tickle?" He flicked his gaze to me, then on the snow and pine that went on forever. "It feels like this," he said, and learned in so close that his lips brushed the shell of my ear as he sent a gentle breath into it. My back arched on instinct, my chin tipping up at the carees of that breath. "Oh", I managed to say. I felt him smile against my ear and pull away.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Recreate your life, always, always. Remove the stones, plant rose bushes and make sweets. Begin again.
Cora Coralina
Elves, pixies, gnomes- the Moomins, Chorlton and the Wheelies, SpongeBob SquarePants- they all tried to invade you at some point.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
Perhaps not to be is to be without your being, without your going, that cuts noon light like a blue flower, without your passing later through fog and stones, without the torch you lift in your hand that others may not see as golden, that perhaps no one believed blossomed the glowing origin of the rose, without, in the end, your being, your coming suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life, blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze: and it follows that I am, because you are: it follows from ‘you are’, that I am, and we: and, because of love, you will, I will, We will, come to be.
Pablo Neruda
made to jump off the stone, but he gripped my chin, the movement too fast to detect. His words were a lethal caress as he said, “Did you enjoy the sight of me kneeling before you?” I knew he could hear my heart as it ratcheted into a thunderous beat. I gave him a hateful little smirk, anyway, yanking my chin out of his touch and leaping off the stone. I might have aimed for his feet. And he might have shifted out of the way just enough to avoid it. “Isn’t that all you males are good for, anyway?” But the words were tight, near-breathless.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Soft sun shone down on a misty cathedral at the opposite end of a football-field length courtyard. The cathedral had a long pointed tower with beautiful rose and ivory stained glass windows. Pink-petal flowers and deep green ivy climbed the stones from the ground to it’s roof. A large fountain stood in the middle of the courtyard with water falling from several lion’s heads. Between the misty air and rolling slope of the earth, the grounds reminded me of a long lost fairy tale.
Priya Ardis (My Boyfriend Merlin (My Merlin, #1))
I seem to be on a road, walking, greeting the hedgerows, the rose-hips, the apples and thorn. I seem to be on a road, walking, familiar with neighbors, high-handed with cattle, smelling the sea, and alone. Already, I know the names of things. I can kick a stone.
Annie Dillard (Holy the Firm)
It was her favorite story, that she remembers, but she would be hard-pressed to retell it now, faithfully, as it had been told to her. All she could recall were frayed, sleep-watered images of a forgotten castle in the middle of a wild forest, stone statues, crimson roses, and a dark, animal presence never seen, but which stained her memory of the tale, even past its edges to the daylight after.
Ava Zavora (Belle Noir: Tales of Love and Magic)
He saw the statue - she shrank back as he hurried forward. And then he realized it wasn't her. Rose was taken aback. She hadn't known - how could she know - what her disappearence had done to him. This Doctor had a look of such despair in his eyes that her heart almost stopped in pity. She wanted more than anything else to go to him, tell him that everything was going to be alright. But... what with possibly ripping time and space apart, that was probably a bad idea.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
Live or die, but don't poison everything... Well, death's been here for a long time -- it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle. The chief ingredient is mutilation. And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn bitch! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk. This became perjury of the soul. It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed. It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish. But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll. Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up. And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer. Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer. What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize -- and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer. God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles. If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows. And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes. Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons. But no. I'm an empress. I wear an apron. My typewriter writes. It didn't break the way it warned. Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar. Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed. O dearest three, I make a soft reply. The witch comes on and you paint her pink. I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms. So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny tits. Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree. I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann. The poison just didn't take. So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it. I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep. They could see how love might control you, from your head to your toes, not to mention every single part of you in between. A woman could want a man so much she might vomit in the kitchen sink or cry so fiercly blood would form in the corners of her eyes. She put her hand to her throat as though someone were strangling her, but really she was choking on all that love she thought she’d needed so badly. What had she thought, that love was a toy, something easy and sweet, just to play with? Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn’t let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for it’s sake. She refused to believe in superstition, she wouldn’t; yet it was claiming her. Some fates are guaranteed, no matter who tries to intervene. After all I’ve done for you is lodged somewhere in her brain, and far worse, it’s in her heart as well. She was bad luck, ill-fated and unfortunate as the plague. She is not worth his devotion. She wishes he would evaporate into thin air. Maybe then she wouldn’t have this feeling deep inside, a feeling she can deny all she wants, but that won’t stop it from being desire. Love is worth the sum of itself and nothing more. But that’s what happens when you’re a liar, especially when you’re telling the worst of these lies to yourself. He has stumbled into love, and now he’s stuck there. He’s fairly used to not getting what he wants, and he’s dealt with it, yet he can’t help but wonder if that’s only because he didn’t want anything so badly. It’s music, it’s a sound that is absurdly beautiful in his mouth, but she won’t pay attention. She knows from the time she spent on the back stairs of the aunts’ house that most things men say are lies. Don’t listen, she tells herself. None if it’s true and none of it matters, because he’s whispering that he’s been looking for her forever. She can’t believe it. She can’t listen to anything he tells her and she certainly can’t think, because if she did she might just think she’d better stop. What good would it do her to get involved with someone like him? She’d have to feel so much, and she’s not that kind. The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself. She preferred cats to human beings and turned down every offer from the men who fell in love with her. They told her how sticks and stones could break bones, but taunting and name-calling were only for fools. — & now here she is, all used up. Although she’d never believe it, those lines in *’s face are the most beautiful part about her. They reveal what she’s gone through and what she’s survived and who exactly she is, deep inside. She’s gotten back some of what she’s lost. Attraction, she now understands, is a state of mind. If there’s one thing * is now certain of, it’s house you can amaze yourself by the things you’re willing to do. You really don’t know? That heart-attack thing you’ve been having? It’s love, that’s what it feels like. She knows now that when you don’t lose yourself in the bargain, you find you have double the love you started with, and that’s one recipe that can’t be tampered with. Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
Do you know what it's like," he said, "to feel that you're in the wrong body?" "Well actually..." the Doctor began, wiggling his own fingers in front of his face.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
If an evil spirit had to hide from God, it would hide in a diamond. If an angel had to hide from the Devil, it would hide in rose quartz.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
No Temple made by mortal human hands can ever compare to the Temple made by the gods themselves. That building of wood and stone that houses us and that many believe conceals the great Secret Temple from prying eyes, somewhere in its heart of hearts, is but a decoy for the masses who need this simple concrete limited thing in their lives. The real Temple is the whole world, and there is nothing as divinely blessed as a blooming growing garden.
Vera Nazarian (Dreams of the Compass Rose)
The river itself portrays humanity precisely, with its tortuous windings, its accumulation of driftwood, its unsuspected depths, and its crystalline shallows, singing in the Summer sun. Barriers may be built across its path, but they bring only power, as the conquering of an obstacle is always sure to do. Sometimes when the rocks and stone-clad hills loom large ahead, and eternity itself would be needed to carve a passage, there is an easy way around. The discovery of it makes the river sing with gladness and turns the murmurous deeps to living water, bright with ripples and foam.
Myrtle Reed (Old Rose and Silver)
Oh Earth, Wait for Me Return me, oh sun, to my wild destiny, rain of the ancient wood, bring me back the aroma and the swords that fall from the sky, the solitary peace of pasture and rock, the damp at the river-margins, the smell of the larch tree, the wind alive like a heart beating in the crowded restlessness of the towering araucaria. Earth, give me back your pure gifts, the towers of silence which rose from the solemnity of their roots. I want to go back to being what I have not been, and learn to go back from such deeps that among all natural things I could live or not live; it does not matter to be one stone more, the dark stone, the pure stone which the river bears away.
Pablo Neruda
You’re thinking, maybe it would be easier to let it slip let it go say ”I give up” one last time and give him a sad smile. You’re thinking it shouldn’t be this hard, shouldn’t be this dark, thinking love could flow easily with no holding back and you’ve seen others find their match and build something great together, of each other, like two halves fitting perfectly and now they achieve great things one by one, always together, and it seems grand. But you love him. Love him like a black stone in your chest you couldn’t live without because it fits in there. Makes you who you are and the thought of him gone—no more—makes your chest tighten up and maybe this is your fairytale. Maybe this is your castle. You could get it all on a shiny piece of glass with wooden stools and a neverending blooming garden but that’s not yours. This is yours. The cracks and the faults, the ugly words in the winter walking home alone and angry but falling asleep thinking you love him. This is your fairy tale. The quiet in the hallway, wishing for him to turn around, tell you to stay, tell you to please don’t go I need you like you need me and maybe it’s not a Jane Austen novel but this is your novel and your castle and you can run from it your whole life but this is here in front of you. Maybe nurture it? Sweet girl, maybe close the world off and look at him for an hour or two. This is your fairy. It ain’t perfect and it ain’t honey sweet with roses on the bed. It’s real and raw and ugly at times. But this is your love. Don’t throw it away searching for someone else’s love. Don’t be greedy. Instead, shelter it. Protect it. Capture every second of easy, pull through every storm of hardship. And when you can, look at him, lying next to you, trusting you not to harm him. Trusting you not to go. Be someone’s someone for someone. Be that someone for him. That’s your fairy tale. This is your castle. Now move in. Build a home. Build a house. Build a safety around things you love. It’s yours if you make it so. Welcome home, sweet girl, it will be all be fine.
Charlotte Eriksson
Sudden distrust slicked down Arin's spine. Roshar raised his hand to quiet the roaring crowd, and Arin was reminded of Cheat relishing his role as an auctioneer. A stone rose in his throat. Kestrel's hand tightened on his, but Arin no longer felt wholly there.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
Hannah leaned forward and reached for the dial. The radio hissed, shrieked and blasted a few bars of Mozart before finally settling on Radiohead’s Exit Music (for a Film). Hannah, delighted with her discovery, smiled and slumped back in her seat. She listened to Thom Yorke’s nasally vocals in silence for a couple of verses before joining in. Singing heartily and drumming away on her knees, she was like a ball of energy, and already I felt this energy permeating my own body. I felt as fresh and as happy as I’d been in months. Radiohead ended and became The Stone Roses, who in turn became The Killers. Finally, when they became the hourly news, Hannah rolled her eyes and turned off the radio.
Andy Marr (Hunger for Life)
Art creates a certain familiarity with loneliness. And possibly with pain. Physical, mental, it doesn’t really matter. It’s all a catalyst. I don’t like to admit that because it’s depressing, but in truth pain is the stone that art sharpens itself on time after time.
Heather Rose (The Museum of Modern Love)
There is no such thing as cool--follow your enthusiasms honestly. The few records you ever bought to impress stay in their sleeves... Except for the Stone Roses' first one Ooooh lovely.
Joseph Galliano (Dear Me: A Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self)
better the crime, the suicides of lovers, the incest committed by brother and sister like two mirrors in love with their likeness, better to eat the poisoned bread, adultery on a bed of ashes, ferocious love, the poisonous vines of delirium, the sodomite who wears a gob of spit for a rose in his lapel, better to be stoned in the plaza than to turn the mill that squeezes out the juice of life, that turns eternity into empty hours, minutes into prisons, and time into copper coins and abstract shit
Octavio Paz (Sunstone/Piedra De Sol)
Do not focus your thoughts among the confused wheels of secondary causes, as -'O if this had been, this had not followed!' Look up to the master motion of the first wheel. In building, we see hewn stones and timbers under hammers and axes, yet the house in this beauty we do not see at the present, but it is in the mind of this builder. We also see unbroken clods, furrows, and stones, but we do not see the summer lilies, roses, and the beauty of a garden. Even so we do not presently see the outcome of God's decrees with his blessed purpose. It is hard to believe when his purpose is hidden and under the ground. Providence has a thousand keys to deliver his own even when all hope is gone. Let us be faithful and care for our own part, which is to do and suffer for him, and lay Christ's part on himself and leave it there; duties are ours, events are the Lord's.
Samuel Rutherford
I drag the body out into the snowdrifts, as far away from our shack as I can muster. I put her in a thicket of trees, where the green seems to still have a voice in the branches, and try not to think about the beasts that’ll soon be gathering. There’s no way of burying her; the ground is a solid rock of ice beneath us. I kneel beside her and want desperately to weep. My throat tightens and my head aches. Everything hurts inside. But I have no way of releasing it. I’m locked up and hard as stone. “I’m sorry, Mamma,” I whisper to the shell in front of me. I take her hand. It could belong to a glass doll. There’s no life there anymore. So I gather rocks, one by one, and set them over her, trying my best to protect her from the birds, the beasts, keep her safe as much as I can now. I pile the dark stones gently on her stomach, her arms, and over her face, until she becomes one with the mountain. I stand and study my work, feeling like the rocks are on me instead, then I leave the body for the forest and ice.
Rachel A. Marks (Winter Rose)
A door opened at the far end of the hall, followed by rushing, light steps. He rose a heartbeat before a joyous “Aedion!” sang over the stones. Evangeline was beaming, clad head to toe in green woolen clothes bordered with white fur, her red-gold hair hanging in two plaits. Like the mountain girls of Terrasen. Her scars stretched wide as she grinned, and Aedion threw open his arms just before she launched herself on him. “They said you arrived late last night, but you left before first light, and I was worried I’d miss you again—” Aedion pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “You look like you’ve grown a full foot since I last saw you.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
Kaz rapped his cane on the stone floor. He was standing in the doorway to the tomb. “If everyone is done cuddling, we have a job to do.” “Hold up,” said Jesper, arm still slung around Inej. “We’re not talking about the job until we figure out what those things were on the Stave.” “What things?” asked Inej. “Did you miss half the Stave blowing up?” “We saw the bomb at the White Rose go off,” said Inej, “and then we heard another explosion.” “At the Anvil,” said Nina. “After that,” Inej said, “we ran.” Jesper nodded sagely. “That was your big mistake. If you’d stuck around, you could have nearly been killed by a Shu guy with wings.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
When you dance, sister, you feel in your heart the blessing of the Goddess, her peace, her kindness. But when you are with him, then the power of the Goddess is in your heart, crashing through you. The Goddess is no thing of stone. The Goddess is breath, desire, despair. She is the green of the brushing leaf, the baby's cry, the lovers bite, the fragrance of the rose. You feel the Goddess moving through you.
John Speed (The Temple Dancer (Novels of India #1))
Regret isn’t like grief; it never lessens, just stays the same. A little hard ball in the pit of your stomach.
M.J. Rose (The Secret Language of Stones (Daughters of La Lune #2))
when you’re sitting in a corner with your hair stuck in strings to your sweaty cheeks and it feels as if you’ve swallowed a hot stone—
Stephen King (Rose Madder)
There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember. The wild roses flower in the woods. Your hand is torn on the bushes gathering the mulberries and strawberries you refresh yourself with. You run to catch the young hares you flay with stones from the rocks to cut them up and eat all hot and bleeding. You know how to avoid meeting a bear on the track. You know the winter fear when you hear the wolves gathering. But you can remain seated for hours in the treetops to await morning. You say there are no words to describe this time, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.
Monique Wittig (Les Guérillères)
You’re saying it wrong,’ Harry heard Hermione snap. ‘It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the “gar” nice and long.’ ‘You do it, then, if you’re so clever,’ Ron snarled. Hermione rolled up the sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand and said, ‘Wingardium Leviosa!’ Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Nesta was sprawled upon the stones. I knew that she was different. From however Elain had been Made… Nesta was different. Even before she took her first breath, I felt it. As if the Cauldron in making her … had been forced to give more than it wanted. As if Nesta had fought even after she went under, and had decided that if she was to be dragged into hell, she was taking that Cauldron with her.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Not a breath, not a sound—except at intervals the muffled crackling of stones that the cold was reducing to sand—disturbed the solitude and silence surrounding Janine. After a moment, however, it seemed to her that the sky above her was moving in a sort of slow gyration. In the vast reaches of the dry, cold night, thousands of stars were constantly appearing, and their sparkling icicles, loosened at once, began to slip gradually towards the horizon. Janine could not tear herself away from contemplating those drifting flares. She was turning with them, and the apparently stationary progress little by little identified her with the core of her being, where cold and desire were now vying with each other. Before her the stars were falling one by one and being snuffed out among the stones of the desert, and each time Janine opened a little more to the night. Breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the dead weight of others, the craziness or stuffiness of life, the long anguish of living and dying. After so many years of mad, aimless fleeing from fear, she had come to a stop at last. At the same time, she seemed to recover her roots and the sap again rose in her body, which had ceased trembling. Her whole belly pressed against the parapet as she strained towards the moving sky; she was merely waiting for her fluttering heart to calm down and establish silence within her. The last stars of the constellations dropped their clusters a little lower on the desert horizon and became still. Then, with unbearable gentleness, the water of night began to fill Janine, drowned the cold, rose gradually from the hidden core of her being and overflowed in wave after wave, rising up even to her mouth full of moans. The next moment, the whole sky stretched out over her, fallen on her back on the cold earth.
Albert Camus (Exile and the Kingdom)
And to Rhaego son of Drogo, the stallion who will mount the world, to him I also pledge a gift. To him I will give this iron chair his mother's father sat in. I will give him Seven Kingdoms. I, Drogo, khal, will do this thing.'' His voice rose, and he lifted his fist in the sky. ''I will take my khalasar west to where the world ends, and ride the wooden horses across the black salt water as no khal has done before. I will kill the men in the iron suits and tear down their stone houses. I will rape their women, take their children as slaves, and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak to bow down beneath the Mother of Mountains. This I vow, I, Drogo son of Bharbo. This I swear before the Mother of Mountains, as the stars look down in witness.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them. The shadows of the smallest stones lay like pencil lines across the sand and the shapes of the men and their mounts advanced elongate before them like strands of the night from which they’d ridden, like tentacles to bind them to the darkness yet to come.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
The gardens were brilliant with summer magic, with plump cushions of forget-me-nots, lemon balm, and vibrant yellow daylilies, surrounding plots of roses shot through with garnet clematis. Long rows of silvery lamb's-ear stretched between large stone urns filled with rainbow Oriental poppies.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
The estate grounds, like the surrounding farmland, were beautifully maintained, with deep mature hedges and old stone walls covered with climbing roses and soft, fluttery bursts pf purple wisteria. Jasmine and honeysuckle perfumed the air where the carriages came to a slow halt in front of the portico.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
I don't know why, but I didn't want her to call me Dick anymore. It was feeling kind of fake. 'Maybe we should use our real names outside of class. Yours is Rosetta, right?' 'Yes. Rosetta Vaughn.' 'All right,' I said. 'Well, mine is - ' 'Seth McCoy. I know.' She kind of wrapped her arms around herself like she was getting cold. 'I've known since February fourteenth, actually.' She's memorized the date she found out my name? What the hell? She laughed. 'Don't freak out! I only remember because it was Valentine's Day.' As if that explained it. 'And why do you remember learning my name on Valentine's Day?' 'Kendall Eckman was running after you in the hall screaming, "Seth McCoy, if you don't buy a rose from me, I'll kill you!" She was doing that Valentine's drama club fundraiser. Remember?' 'Actually, yes.' What I remembered was getting stoned with Isaac before school, and Kendall harshing my mellow the minute we walked in the door. Rosetta was looking like there was more to this story. 'And after she kept asking, you bought a red one?' 'Right. And I passed it off to -' I'd been about to say 'some chick,' but with how intently she was watching me, I was getting a different idea. '-you, right?' She extended her arm to pass me an imaginary rose in the same way I must have handed her a real one. Then she imitated the corny voice I must have used. 'Here, beautiful. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day.' Oh, Christ. The stupid shit I said sometimes.
Mindi Scott (Freefall)
I’m a lawyer. I meet people every day who are on the surface considerably worse than you are. You, Janx, Alban, you’re really all so…normal. You can do stuff I can’t, but so can Michael Jordan.” Dismay hit her palpably enough to make her want to step back, though she held her ground even as she groaned. “Please don’t tell me he’s one of you.” Daisani’s shoulders rose and fell, a single admission of silent laughter. “I believe Mr. Jordan is as human as you are, Miss Knight.
C.E. Murphy (Heart of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #1))
And what is sin?' said Cotgrave. 'I think I must reply to your question by another. What would your feelings be, seriously, if your cat or your dog began to talk to you, and to dispute with you in human accents? You would be overwhelmed with horror. I am sure of it. And if the roses in your garden sang a weird song, you would go mad. And suppose the stones in the road began to swell and grow before your eyes, and if the pebble that you noticed at night had shot out stony blossoms in the morning? 'Well, these examples may give you some notion of what sin really is.
Arthur Machen
The ascendancy over men's minds of the ruins of the stupendous past, the past of history, legend and myth, at once factual and fantastic, stretching back and back into ages that can but be surmised, is half-mystical in basis. The intoxication, at once so heady and so devout, is not the romantic melancholy engendered by broken towers and mouldered stones; it is the soaring of the imagination into the high empyrean where huge episodes are tangled with myths and dreams; it is the stunning impact of world history on its amazed heirs.
Rose Macaulay (The Pleasure of Ruins)
The world is packed with mistery. We tend to forget this, but itțs still packed tight with it, like water in stone.
Rose Tremain (Sacred Country)
They called it the Great War, but that implied worthiness and grandeur, not violence and helplessness and the utter waste and devastation our country, our city, our people endured.
M.J. Rose (The Secret Language of Stones (Daughters of La Lune #2))
Rain filtered in scattered drops from the leaves; everywhere, an extraordinary moss ruled supreme over its private kingdom; thick and moving, poised on root and stone, it seemed to glitter.
Muriel Barbery (Une rose seule)
You missed him," she said. Somehow it didn't seem possible. He was so sure of himself, almost invincible in his manner. "I hit what I was aiming at," he answered quietly. "We have to keep moving. I'm hoping I slowed them down, but we can't count on it." He forced the oars through the water with his powerful arms and the boat shot through the channel toward open water. "I didn't feel anything." His gaze brushed her face, an odd little caress she felt all the way through her body, just as if he'd touched her with his fingers. "I wasn't aiming at you." She caught the fleeting glint of his white teeth in what could have been a brief smile. One dark eyebrow rose in response. "Has anyone ever told you your sense of humor needs a little work?" "No one's ever accused me of having a sense of humor before. You keep insulting me. First you accuse me of missing, and then you try to tell me I have a sense of humor." His face was made of stone, his tone devoid of all expression. His eyes were flat and ice cold, but Dahlia felt him laughing. Nothing big, but it was there in the boat between then, and the terrible pressure in her chest lifted a bit. "And it needs work," she pointed out. "Get it right." She even managed a brief smile of her own to match his.
Christine Feehan (Mind Game (GhostWalkers, #2))
There was, for many of us, a great escape in reading about the fantastic and supernatural during wartime. Terrors more terrible than those we were living through gave us an outlet for our anxiety.
M.J. Rose (The Secret Language of Stones (Daughters of La Lune #2))
Pink, the color of rose quartz, is a color with a harmonizing, loving vibration. The color and the physical makeup of this kind of quartz combine to make it a powerful force for drawing love into your life. Likewise, the color green has a vibrational resonance with abundance. Therefore, some green stones, such as bloodstone, are particularly good for spellwork involving matters of prosperity.
Lisa Chamberlain (Wicca Crystal Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Practicing Wiccan Crystal Magic, with Simple Crystal Spells (Wicca Books Book 4))
All down the stone steps on either side were periwinkles in full flower, and she could now see what it was that had caught at her the night before and brushed, wet and scented, across her face. It was wistaria. Wistaria and sunshine . . . she remembered the advertisement. Here indeed were both in profusion. The wistaria was tumbling over itself in its excess of life, its prodigality of flowering; and where the pergola ended the sun blazed on scarlet geraniums, bushes of them, and nasturtiums in great heaps, and marigolds so brilliant that they seemed to be burning, and red and pink snapdragons, all outdoing each other in bright, fierce colour. The ground behind these flaming things dropped away in terraces to the sea, each terrace a little orchard, where among the olives grew vines on trellises, and fig-trees, and peach-trees, and cherry-trees. The cherry-trees and peach-trees were in blossom--lovely showers of white and deep rose-colour among the trembling delicacy of the olives; the fig-leaves were just big enough to smell of figs, the vine-buds were only beginning to show. And beneath these trees were groups of blue and purple irises, and bushes of lavender, and grey, sharp cactuses, and the grass was thick with dandelions and daisies, and right down at the bottom was the sea. Colour seemed flung down anyhow, anywhere; every sort of colour piled up in heaps, pouring along in rivers....
Elizabeth von Arnim (The Enchanted April)
The vampire moved as a unit, talons extended, fangs sprung free of their houses of flesh. They came to where the delectable smell of fresh blood was released. A quality without compare. It was as if a thousand year old bottle of wine lay breathing. On a cold stone floor, but paces away from consumption.
Tamara Rose Blodgett (Blood Singers (Blood, #1))
Once, in Thessaly, there was a poet called Simonides. He was commissioned to appear at a banquet, given by a man called Scopas, and recite a lyric in praise of his host. Poets have strange vagaries, and in his lyric Simonides incorporated verses in praise of Castor and Pollux, the Heavenly Twins. Scopas was sulky, and said he would pay only half the fee: ‘As for the rest, get it from the Twins.’ A little later, a servant came into the hall. He whispered to Simonides; there were two young men outside, asking for him by name. He rose and left the banqueting hall. He looked around for the two young men, but he could see no one. As he turned back, to go and finish his dinner, he heard a terrible noise, of stone splitting and crumbling. He heard the cries of the dying, as the roof of the hall collapsed. Of all the diners, he was the only one left alive. The bodies were so broken and disfigured that the relatives of the dead could not identify them. But Simonides was a remarkable man. Whatever he saw was imprinted on his mind. He led each of the relatives through the ruins; and pointing to the crushed remains, he said, there is your man. In linking the dead to their names, he worked from the seating plan in his head. It is Cicero who tells us this story. He tells us how, on that day, Simonides invented the art of memory. He remembered the names, the faces, some sour and bloated, some blithe, some bored. He remembered exactly where everyone was sitting, at the moment the roof fell in.
Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1))
Nathan smoothly touched the bottom with a palm. His shirt and shoes were off. When his head and chest rose out of the water, I was in awe of the muscles that were defined in his body. Unlike Silas whose bulk of muscle was smooth, Nathan was a precision machine. The ripples of muscles along his abdomen fit together like a living puzzle. A smile broke on his lips as those penetrating blue eyes fixed on my face. “Did you find out?
C.L. Stone (Introductions (The Ghost Bird #1))
I stepped out to the lawn. I remember the air that night, and how it was so brisk that it could revive the dead. The fragrance of eucalyptus stoking a home fire, the smell of wet grass, of dung fuel, of tobacco, of swamp air, and the perfume of hundreds of roses--this was the scent of Missing. No, it was the scent of a continent.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
Some instinct made her lift her hand and cup his cheek with her fingers. The room was too dark for her to see him, but she could feel the stickiness of the blood, and a wetness that was not blood. "Little bird," he said once more, his voice raw and harsh as steel on stone. Then he rose from the bed. Sansa heard cloth ripping, followed by the softer sound of retreating footsteps. When she crawled out of bed, long moments later, she was alone. She found his cloak on the floor, twisted up tight, the white wool stained by blood and fire. The sky outside was darker by then, with only a few pale green ghosts dancing against the stars. A chill wind was blowing, banging the shutters. Sansa was cold. She shook out the torn cloak and huddled beneath it on the floor, shivering.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
I wouldn’t think it happens easily or often, never for some people. I imagine a love like that is like a fire starting with a spark and growing into a blaze becoming an engulfing passion too hot for most people to withstand.
M.J. Rose (The Secret Language of Stones (Daughters of La Lune #2))
BALLROOMS OF MARS" "You gonna look fine Be primed for dancing You're gonna trip and glide All on the trembling plane Your diamond hands Will be stacked with roses And wind and cars And people of the past I'll call you thing Just when the moon sings And place your face in stone Upon the hill of stars And gripped in the arms Of the changeless madman We'll dance our lives away In the Ballrooms of Mars You talk about day I'm talking 'bout night time When the monsters call out The names of men Bob Dylan knows And I bet Alan Freed did There are things in night That are better not to behold You dance With your lizard leather boots on And pull the strings That change the faces of men You diamond browed hag You're a gutter-gaunt gangster John Lennon knows your name And I've seen his
Marc Bolan (The Slider Song Album)
Stone houses, terrace walls, city walls, streets. Plant any rose and you hit four or five big ones. All the Etruscan sarcophagi with likenesses of the dead carved on top in realistic, living poses must have come out of the most natural transference into death they could imagine. After lifetimes of dealing with stone, why not, in death, turn into it?
Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun)
Where there are no bees there is no honey. Where there are no flowers there is no perfume. Where there are no clouds there is no rain. Where there are no stars there is no light. Where there are no roses there are no thorns. Where there are no skies there are no stars. Where there are no storms there are no rainbows. Where there are no animals there are no forests. Where there are no plants there are no jungles. Where there are no seeds there are no harvests. Where there are no spiders there are no webs. Where there are no ants there are no colonies. Where there are no worms there are no fish. Where there are no mice there are no serpents. Where there are no carcasses there are no vultures. Where there are no stones there are no pebbles. Where there are no rocks there are no mountains. Where there are no deserts there are no oases. Where there are no stars there are no galaxies. Where there are no worlds there are no universes.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Now you," Grandma barks at him. "Yes, you, the invisible truck driver," she added, giving me a wicked grin. "Go stand next to Rose over there by the stone bench and smile like you mean it." "Yes, ma'am," Will said. "I am not to be called ma'am. My name is Maggie," she crabbed. "Well, I also have a name. It's Will," he shot back. Everyone stopped. We held our breath, waiting to see what Grandma would say next, but she just smiled at him. "I like this one, Rose. He's got spunk.
Donna Freitas (The Survival Kit)
Then someone else appeared from the crowd, and Annabeth's vision tunneled. Percy smiled at her-that sarcastic, troublemaker's smile that had annoyed her for years but eventually had become endearing. His sea-green eyes were as gorgeous as she remembered. His dark hair was swept to one side, like he'd just come from a walk on the beach. He looked even better than he had six months ago-tanner and taller, leaner and more muscular. Annabeth was to stunned to move. She felt that if she got any closer to him, all the molecules in her body might combust. She'd secretly had a crush on him sonar they were twelve years old. Last summer, she'd fallen for him hard. They'd been a happy couple together for four months-and then he'd disappeared. During their separation, something had happened to Annabeth's feelings. They'd grown painfully intense-like she'd been forced to withdraw from a life-saving medication. Now she wasn't sure which was more excruciating-living with that horrible absence, or being with him again... Annabeth didn't mean to, but she surged forward. Percy rushed toward her at the same time. The crowds tensed. Some reach d for swords that weren't there. Percy threw his arms around her. They kissed, and for a moment nothing else mattered. An asteroid could have hit the planet and wiped out all life, Annabeth wouldn't have cared. Percy smelled of ocean air. His lips were salty. Seaweed Brain, she thought giddily. Percy pulled away and studied her face. "Gods, I never thought-" Annabeth grabbed his wrist and flipped him over her shoulder. He slammed into the stone pavement. Romans cried out. Some surged forward, but Reyna shouted, "Hold! Stand down!" Annabeth put her knee on Percy's chest. She pushed her forearm against his throat. She didn't care what the Romans thought. A white-hot lump of anger expanded in her chest-a tumor of worry and bitterness that she'd been carrying around since last autumn. "Of you ever leave me again," she said, her eyes stinging, "I swear to all the gods-" Percy had the nerve to laugh. Suddenly the lump of heated emotions melted inside Annabeth. "Consider me warned," Percy said. "I missed you, too." Annabeth rose and helped him to his feet. She wanted to kiss him again SO badly, but she managed to restrain herself. Jason cleared his throat. "So, yeah…It's good to be back…" "And this is Annabeth," Jason said. "Uh, normally she doesn't judo-flip people.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
His hand lifted, and caught my chin. He tilted my face until I was looking over my shoulder at him. The swell of a storm rose behind his gaze. “I’ll end it. Right here, if you want me to.” I didn’t know how to respond, but his answer put me in a panic. Would he tell the guys about what was happening? Would he call them off? Demand his team leave me alone? Would that even work? Did I want that? It wasn’t until his eyes lowered to my mouth that I realized that wasn’t what he meant at all
C.L. Stone (Liar (The Scarab Beetle, #2))
... WHEN ONE LOOKS INTO THE DARKNESS THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE... Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose, Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre, Or in the wine-vat, dwell beyond the stir And tumult of defeated dreams; and deep Among pale eyelids, heavy with the sleep Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold Of the crowned Magi; and the king whose eyes Saw the pierced Hands and Rood of elder rise In Druid vapour and make the torches dim; Till vain frenzy awoke and he died; and him Who met Fand walking among flaming dew By a grey shore where the wind never blew, And lost the world and Emer for a kiss; And him who drove the gods out of their liss, And till a hundred morns had flowered red Feasted, and wept the barrows of his dead; And the proud dreaming king who flung the crown And sorrow away, and calling bard and clown Dwelt among wine-stained wanderers in deep woods: And him who sold tillage, and house, and goods, And sought through lands and islands numberless years, Until he found, with laughter and with tears, A woman of so shining loveliness That men threshed corn at midnight by a tress, A little stolen tress. I, too, await The hour of thy great wind of love and hate. When shall the stars be blown about the sky, Like the sparks blown out of a smithy, and die? Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows, Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose? Out of sight is out of mind: Long have man and woman-kind, Heavy of will and light of mood, Taken away our wheaten food, Taken away our Altar stone; Hail and rain and thunder alone, And red hearts we turn to grey, Are true till time gutter away. ... the common people are always ready to blame the beautiful.
W.B. Yeats (The Secret Rose and Rosa Alchemica by W.B.Yeats, Fiction, Literary, Classics)
Moving forward quietly to Jerott’s side, Adam Blacklock had heard. ‘Don’t you understand? The authorities are afraid of them both,’ he said gently. ‘Why do you supose this cordon is here, which only an unarmed girl was allowed to pass through? Lymond, loyal to Scotland, might be a threat to French power greater than even Gabriel, one of these days—Philippa!’ And a wordless shout, like a cry at a cockfight, rose among the stone pillars and sank muffled into the old, dusty banners above the choir roof. For Philippa Somerville, who believed in action when words were not enough, had leaned over and snatched the knife from Lymond’s left hand.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Disorderly Knights (The Lymond Chronicles, #3))
We see what we want to see when we look at someone. Like a diamond before it has been cut. We can guess at its brilliance but can't see the faults until the stone has been cut and polished. Only then can we glimpse inside and see the occlusions and the clarity. 
M.J. Rose (The Secret Language of Stones (Daughters of La Lune #2))
At Swindon we turned off the main road and, as the sun mounted high, we were among dry-stone walls and ashlar houses. It was about eleven when Sebastian, without warning, turned the car into a cart track and stopped. It was hot enough now to make us seek the shade. On a sheep-cropped knoll under a clump of elms we ate the strawberries and drank the wine--as Sebastian promised, they were delicious together--and we lit fat, Turkish cigarettes and lay on our backs, Sebastian's eyes on the leaves above him, mine on his profile, while the blue-grey smoke rose, untroubled by any wind, to the blue-green shadows of foliage, and the sweet scent of the tobacco merged with the sweet summer scents around us and the fumes of the sweet, golden wine seemed to lift us a finger's breadth above the turf and hold us suspended. "Just the place to bury a crock of gold," said Sebastian. "I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I was old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
She’d always heard that Paris was elegant but had struggled to imagine how. She’d assumed it would be rigid; the demanding intolerance of perfection. But, being here, she was struck by the easy naturalness of everything. From the tall, slender trees, their leaves rustling high above her, to the chalky gravel that crunched beneath her feet or the classically proportioned buildings that rose, uniformly constructed from the same blonde stone, it was all orchestrated to hold the light. The entire city was enveloped in a halo of glowing softness.
Kathleen Tessaro (The Perfume Collector)
Once upon a time, we were Africans involved in a unique lexicon of beliefs, lore, stories, and customs that were designed to help integrate us into an environment filled with plants, animals, elements, and a complex array of spirits. With the advent of slavery, the physical bond with the motherland was broken, but like seeds lifted from a ripe plant by wind, we found fertile ground in distant lands elsewhere.
Stephanie Rose Bird (Sticks, Stones, Roots & Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo & Conjuring with Herbs)
Art frees us from our prejudices and gives us the chance to become our best selves, individuals who dare to dream. And even if those dreams aren’t always as pretty as we’d like, or don’t conform, or frighten us, it is our duty to encourage art to flourish. All art. Every kind.
M.J. Rose (The Secret Language of Stones (Daughters of La Lune #2))
I am a runaway, lost at sea. I am a broken bird, yearning to fly free. I am a sinner, unworthy and unholy. I am a rose, wilting slowly. I am a raindrop, touching your cheek. I am a child who plays hide and seek. I am nothing, and yet I am everything. I am contradictions and complexities. I am a face with a hundred entities. I am love and I am hate. I am the voice that cannot communicate. I am a melody, haunting and sad. I am a soul that has slowly gone mad. I am death in a living body. I am a dangerous opium poppy. I am rage, running through my veins. I am pain, bound in chains. I am isolation, imprisoned in my mind. I am abandoned and left behind. I am tenderness, soft and kind. I am trust, naïve and blind. I am remorse, shattered and frozen. I am the path I have not chosen. I am sadness, drowning in an ocean. I am faith, yearning for devotion. I am madness, rebellious and wild. I am sanity, safely filed. I am wisdom, cursed and blessed. I am a name that will burn in your chest. I am a journey, destination unknown. I am a heart turned to stone. I am forever alone.
Mina Alexia
My mind, a Venn diagram. You, the overlap and the intersect; a pulsating glimmer—omnipresent, a lighthouse with its glowing breath. You are the stone that skirts the river, that skips along its crystal plane; a surface skimmed by concentric shimmer, and trembles with the touch of rain. You are worlds that spin in orbit, a star who rose and fell; infinity summoned for audit— a penny toss in the wishing well.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Is the soul solid, like iron? Or is it tender and breakable, like the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl? Who has it, and who doesn’t? I keep looking around me. The face of the moose is as sad as the face of Jesus. The swan opens her white wings slowly. In the fall, the black bear carries leaves into the darkness. One question leads to another. Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg? Like the eye of a hummingbird? Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop? Why should I have it, and not the anteater who loves her children? Why should I have it, and not the camel? Come to think of it, what about the maple trees? What about the blue iris? What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the moonlight? What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves? What about the grass? —Mary Oliver, “Some Questions You Might Ask
Stephen Harrod Buhner (The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines to Life on Earth)
It became his habit to creep out of bed even before his mother was awake, to slip into his clothes and to go quietly down to the barn to see Gabilan. In the grey quiet mornings when the land and the brush and the houses and the trees were silver-grey and black like a photograph negative, he stole toward the barn, past the sleeping stones and the sleeping cypress tree. The turkeys, roosting in the tree out of coyotes' reach, clicked drowsily. The fields glowed with a grey frost-like light and in the dew the tracks of rabbits and of field mice stood out sharply. The good dogs came stiffly out of their little houses, hackles up and deep growls in their throats. Then they caught Jody's scent, and their stiff tails rose up and waved a greeting Doubletree Mutt with the big thick tail, and Smasher, the incipient shepherd-then went lazily back to their warm beds. It was a strange time and a mysterious journey, to Jody -an extension of a dream. When he first had the pony he liked to torture himself during the trip by thinking Gabilan would not be in his stall, and worse, would never have been there. And he had other delicious little self-induced pains.
John Steinbeck (The Red Pony)
The wind rises. It rushes through the square, midnight-cool and mischievous, fluttering the pages of Miss Cady Stone’s notes. It smells wild and sweet, half-familiar, like Mama Mags’s house on the solstice. Like earth and char and old magic. Like the small, feral roses that bloomed in the deep woods.
Alix E. Harrow (The Once and Future Witches)
Paths of the mirror" I And above all else, to look with innocence. As if nothing was happening, which is true. II But you, I want to look at you until your face escapes from my fear like a bird from the sharp edge of the night. III Like a girl made of pink chalk on a very old wall that is suddenly washed away by the rain. IV Like when a flower blooms and reveals the heart that isn’t there. V Every gesture of my body and my voice to make myself into the offering, the bouquet that is abandoned by the wind on the porch. VI Cover the memory of your face with the mask of who you will be and scare the girl you once were. VII The night of us both scattered with the fog. It’s the season of cold foods. VIII And the thirst, my memory is of the thirst, me underneath, at the bottom, in the hole, I drank, I remember. IX To fall like a wounded animal in a place that was meant to be for revelations. X As if it meant nothing. No thing. Mouth zipped. Eyelids sewn. I forgot. Inside, the wind. Everything closed and the wind inside. XI Under the black sun of the silence the words burned slowly. XII But the silence is true. That’s why I write. I’m alone and I write. No, I’m not alone. There’s somebody here shivering. XIII Even if I say sun and moon and star I’m talking about things that happen to me. And what did I wish for? I wished for a perfect silence. That’s why I speak. XIV The night is shaped like a wolf’s scream. XV Delight of losing one-self in the presaged image. I rose from my corpse, I went looking for who I am. Migrant of myself, I’ve gone towards the one who sleeps in a country of wind. XVI My endless falling into my endless falling where nobody waited for me –because when I saw who was waiting for me I saw no one but myself. XVII Something was falling in the silence. My last word was “I” but I was talking about the luminiscent dawn. XVIII Yellow flowers constellate a circle of blue earth. The water trembles full of wind. XIX The blinding of day, yellow birds in the morning. A hand untangles the darkness, a hand drags the hair of a drowned woman that never stops going through the mirror. To return to the memory of the body, I have to return to my mourning bones, I have to understand what my voice is saying.
Alejandra Pizarnik (Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962 - 1972)
She rose and washed and dressed herself and braided her hair freshly, and having made her room neat for the day she went into the peach-tree garden. It lay in the silence of the spring morning. Under the early sun the dew still hung in a bright mist on the grass, and the pool in the center of the garden was brimming its stone walls. The water was clear and the fish were flashing their golden sides near the surface. The great low-built house that surrounded the garden was still in sleep. Birds twittered in the eaves undisturbed and a small Pekingese dog slept on the threshold like a small lioness.
Pearl S. Buck (Peony: A Novel of China)
The moon rose up that evening and shot her silver arrows at the house under the artu tree. The house was empty. Then the moon came across the sea and across the reef. She lit the lagoon to it's dark, dim heart. She lit the coral brains and sand spaces, and the fish casting their shadows on the sand and the coral. The keeper of the lagoon rose to greet her, and the fin of him broke her reflection on the mirror-like surface into a thousand glittering ripples. She saw the white staring ribs of the form on the reef. Then, peeping over the trees, she looked down into the valley, where the great stone idol had kept it's solitary vigil for five thousand years, perhaps, and more. At this base, in his shadow, looking as if under his protection, lay two human beings, naked, clasped in each other's arms and fast asleep. One could scarcely pity his vigil, had it been marked sometimes through the years by such an incident as this. The thing had been conducted just as the birds conduct their love affairs. An affair absolutely natural, absolutely blameless and without sin. A marriage according to Nature, without feasts or guests, consummated with accidental cynicism under the shadow of a religion a thousand years dead.
Henry de Vere Stacpoole (The Blue Lagoon)
My well-beloved was stripped. Knowing my whim, She wore her tinkling gems, but naught besides: And showed such pride as, while her luck betides, A sultan's favoured slave may show to him. When it lets off its lively, crackling sound, This blazing blend of metal crossed with stone, Gives me an ecstasy I've only known Where league of sound and luster can be found. She let herself be loved: then, drowsy-eyed, Smiled down from her high couch in languid ease. My love was deep and gentle as the seas And rose to her as to a cliff the tide. My own approval of each dreamy pose, Like a tamed tiger, cunningly she sighted: And candour, with lubricity united, Gave piquancy to every one she chose. Her limbs and hips, burnished with changing lustres, Before my eyes clairvoyant and serene, Swanned themselves, undulating in their sheen; Her breasts and belly, of my vine and clusters, Like evil angels rose, my fancy twitting, To kill the peace which over me she'd thrown, And to disturb her from the crystal throne Where, calm and solitary, she was sitting. So swerved her pelvis that, in one design, Antiope's white rump it seemed to graft To a boy's torso, merging fore and aft. The talc on her brown tan seemed half-divine. The lamp resigned its dying flame. Within, The hearth alone lit up the darkened air, And every time it sighed a crimson flare It drowned in blood that amber-coloured skin
Charles Baudelaire
It was very quiet. No one else would have seen if not for the desert. But when the desert heard Pete Wyatt singing a love song, it took notice. The desert loved him, after all, and wanted him happy. So when it heard Pete singing, it rose a wind around them until the breeze sang gently like strings, and when it heard Pete singing, it provoked the air to heat and cool around every stone and plant so that each of these things sounded in harmony with his voice, and when it heard Pete singing, it roused Colorado's grasshoppers to action and they rubbed their legs together like a soft horn section, and when it heard Pete singing, it shifted the very ground beneath Bicho Raro so that the sand and the dirt pounded a beat that matched the sound of the incomplete heart that lived in Pete Wyatt.
Maggie Stiefvater (All the Crooked Saints)
When people began to throw stones at him, Shibli—so the legend has it—threw a rose, and Hallaj sighed. Asked the reason for his sigh, he answered: "They do not know what they do, but he should have known it." And the saying that "the rose, thrown by the friend, hurts more than any stone" has become a Turkish proverb.
Annemarie Schimmel (Mystical Dimensions of Islam)
Is that all?" asked Flambeau after a long pause. "Have we got to the dull truth at last?" "Oh, no," said Father Brown. As the wind died in the most distant pine woods with a long hoot as of mockery Father Brown, with an utterly impassive face, went on: "I only suggested that because you said one could not plausibly connect snuff with clockwork or candles with bright stones. Ten false philosophies will fit the universe; ten false theories will fit Glengyle Castle. But we want the real explanation of the castle and the universe. But are there no other exhibits?" Craven laughed, and Flambeau rose smiling to his feet and strolled down the long table. [Ch.6]
G.K. Chesterton (The Innocence of Father Brown (Father Brown, #1))
It showed a tiny baby girl floating in a clear glass vessel. The baby held a silver rose in one hand, a golden rose in the other. On its feet were tiny wings, and drops of red liquid showered down on the baby’s long black hair. Underneath the image was a label written in thick black ink indicating that it was a depiction of the philosophical child—an allegorical representation of a crucial step in creating the philosopher’s stone, the chemical substance that promised to make its owner healthy, wealthy, and wise. The colors were luminous and strikingly well preserved. Artists had once mixed crushed stone and gems into their paints to produce such powerful colors. And the image itself had been drawn by someone with real artistic skill. I had to sit on my hands to keep them from trying to learn more from a touch here and there.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
Time is, to put it in its most impressive and some might say poncy-sounding form, my domain. I can see things that once happened, even if they haven't happened any more. Well, if I concentrate. The new reality-the real reality- keeps asserting itself, even with me. But the other time line leaves echoes, ripples, if you look hard enough.
Jacqueline Rayner (Doctor Who: The Stone Rose)
Perhaps there was a secret door down low in the wall, a door only large enough for a child. If I stepped through that door, I would be in another world, in fairyland perhaps. It would be warm and bright there, and I would have a magical wand to protect myself. I'd ride on the back of a dragonfly, swooping through the forest. I'd battle dragons and talk to birds and have all kinds of grand adventures. Later, I found that small door into fairyland could be conjured any time I needed it. The world beyond the door was different every time. Sometimes, I found a little stone house in the woods where I could live with just Nanette and my sister, Marie, and a tabby cat who purred by the fire. Sometimes, I lived in a castle in the air with a handsome prince who loved me. Other times, I was the prince myself, with a golden sword and a white charger.
Kate Forsyth (Bitter Greens)
They had heroes for companions, beautiful youths to dream of, rose-marble-fingered Women shed light down the great lines; But you have invoked the slime in the skull, The lymph in the vessels. They have shown men Gods like racial dreams, the woman's desire, The man's fear, the hawk-faced prophet's; but nothing Human seems happy at the feet of yours. Therefore though not forgotten, not loved, in the gray old years in the evening leaning Over the gray stones of the tower-top, You shall be called heartless and blind.
Robinson Jeffers (The Selected Poetry)
I dreamed I stood upon a little hill, And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed Like a waste garden, flowering at its will With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed Black and unruffled; there were white lilies A few, and crocuses, and violets Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun. And there were curious flowers, before unknown, Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades Of Nature's willful moods; and here a one That had drunk in the transitory tone Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades Of grass that in an hundred springs had been Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars, And watered with the scented dew long cupped In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen Only God's glory, for never a sunrise mars The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt, A grey stone wall. o'ergrown with velvet moss Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair. And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across The garden came a youth; one hand he raised To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes Were clear as crystal, naked all was he, White as the snow on pathless mountains frore, Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes A marble floor, his brow chalcedony. And he came near me, with his lips uncurled And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth, And gave me grapes to eat, and said, 'Sweet friend, Come I will show thee shadows of the world And images of life. See from the South Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.' And lo! within the garden of my dream I saw two walking on a shining plain Of golden light. The one did joyous seem And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids And joyous love of comely girl and boy, His eyes were bright, and 'mid the dancing blades Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy; And in his hand he held an ivory lute With strings of gold that were as maidens' hair, And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute, And round his neck three chains of roses were. But he that was his comrade walked aside; He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight, And yet again unclenched, and his head Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death. A purple robe he wore, o'erwrought in gold With the device of a great snake, whose breath Was fiery flame: which when I did behold I fell a-weeping, and I cried, 'Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?' He said, 'My name is Love.' Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, 'He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.' Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.
Alfred Bruce Douglas
But then, in Piazza di Carbonara, from stones she moved on to weapons, and it became the place where men fought to the last drop of blood. Beggars and gentlemen and princes hurried to see people killing each other in revenge. When some handsome youth fell, pierced by a blade beaten on the anvil of death, immediately beggars, bourgeois citizens, kings and queens offered applause that rose to the stars.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of the Lost Child)
He paused a moment, gazing in awe at the huge mass of buildings composing the castle. It stood close to the river, on either side and to the rear stretched the extensive park and gardens, filled with splendid trees, fountains and beds of brilliant flowers in shades of pink, crimson, and scarlet. The castle itself was built of pink granite, and enclosed completely a smaller, older building which the present Duke's father had considered too insignificant for his town residence. The new castle had taken forty years to build; three architects and hundreds of men had worked day and night, and the old Duke had personally selected every block of sunset-colored stone that went to its construction. 'I want it to look like a great half-open rose,' he declared to the architects, who were fired with enthusiasm by this romantic fancy. It was begun as a wedding present to the Duke's wife, whose name was Rosamond, but unfortunately she died some nine years before it was completed. 'never mind, it will do for her memorial instead,' said the grief-stricken but practical widower. The work went on. At last the final block was laid in place. The Duke, by now very old, went out in his barouche and drove slowly along the opposite riverbank to consider the effect. He paused midway for a long time, then gave his opinion. 'It looks like a cod cutlet covered in shrimp sauce,' he said, drove home, took to his bed, and died.
Joan Aiken (Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2))
Agnes shut her eyes, clenched her fists, opened her mouth and screamed. It started low. Plaster dust drifted down from the ceiling. The prisms on the chandelier chimed gently as they shook. It rose, passing quickly through the mysterious pitch at fourteen cycles per second where the human spirit begins to feel distinctly uncomfortable about the universe and the place in it of the bowels. Small items around the Opera House vibrated off shelves and smashed on the floor. The note climbed, rang like a bell, climbed again. In the Pit, all the violin strings snapped, one by one. As the tone rose, the crystal prisms shook in the chandelier. In the bar, champagne corks fired a salvo. Ice jingled and shattered in its bucket. A line of wine-glasses joined in the chorus, blurred around the rims, and then exploded like hazardous thistledown with attitude. There were harmonics and echoes that caused strange effects. In the dressing-rooms the No. 3 greasepaint melted. Mirrors cracked, filling the ballet school with a million fractured images. Dust rose, insects fell. In the stones of the Opera House tiny particles of quartz danced briefly... Then there was silence, broken by the occasional thud and tinkle. Nanny grinned. 'Ah,' she said, 'now the opera's over.
Terry Pratchett (Maskerade (Discworld, #18; Witches, #5))
When they were only a few yards from the stone hull, Inej halted and watched the mists wreathing the branches. “He was going to break by legs,” she said. “Smash them with a mallet so they’d never heal….” She took a shaky breath. The words came like a string of gunshots, rapid-fire, as if she resented the very act of speaking them. “I didn’t know if you would come.” Kaz couldn’t blame Van Eck for that. Kaz has built that doubt in her with every cold word and small cruelty. “We’re your crew, Inej. We don’t leave our own at the mercy of merch scum.” It wasn’t the answer he wanted to give. It wasn’t the answer she wanted. When she turned to him, her eyes were bright with anger. “He was going to break my legs,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?” Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on. “I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.” The wind rose. The boughs of the willows whispered, a sly, gossiping sound. Kaz held her gaze, saw the moon reflected there, twin scythes of light. She was right to be cautious. Even of him. Especially of him. Cautious was how you survived. At last she nodded, the smallest dip of her chin.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
What we call the beginning is often the end And to make and end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. And every phrase And sentence that is right (where every word is at home, Taking its place to support the others, The word neither diffident nor ostentatious, An easy commerce of the old and the new, The common word exact without vulgarity, The formal word precise but not pedantic, The complete consort dancing together) Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, Every poem an epitaph. And any action Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start. We die with the dying: See, they depart, and we go with them. We are born with the dead: See, they return, and bring us with them. The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree Are of equal duration. A people without history Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel History is now and England.
T.S. Eliot (Little Gidding)
Tears shone in Lucien’s remaining eye as he raised his hands and removed the fox mask. The brutally scarred face beneath was still handsome—his features sharp and elegant. But my host was looking at Tamlin now, who slowly faced my dead body. Tamlin’s still-masked face twisted into something truly lupine as he raised his eyes to the queen and snarled. Fangs lengthened. Amarantha backed away—away from my corpse. She only whispered “Please” before golden light exploded. The queen was blasted back, thrown against the far wall, and Tamlin let out a roar that shook the mountain as he launched himself at her. He shifted into his beast form faster than I could see—fur and claws and pound upon pound of lethal muscle. She had no sooner hit the wall than he gripped her by the neck, and the stones cracked as he shoved her against it with a clawed paw. She thrashed but could do nothing against the brutal onslaught of Tamlin’s beast. Blood ran down his furred arm from where she scratched. The Attor and the guards rushed for the queen, but several faeries and High Fae, their masks clattering to the ground, jumped into their path, tackling them. Amarantha screeched, kicking at Tamlin, lashing at him with her dark magic, but a wall of gold encompassed his fur like a second skin. She couldn’t touch him. “Tam!” Lucien cried over the chaos. A sword hurtled through the air, a shooting star of steel. Tamlin caught it in a massive paw. Amarantha’s scream was cut short as he drove the sword through her head and into the stone beneath. And then closed his powerful jaws around her throat—and ripped it out.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
As for describing the smell of a spaniel mixed with the smell of torches, laurels, incense, banners, wax candles and a garland of rose leaves crushed by a satin heel that has been laid up in camphor, perhaps Shakespeare, had he paused in the middle of writing Antony and Cleopatra — But Shakespeare did not pause. Confessing our inadequacy, then, we can but note that to Flush Italy, in these the fullest, the freest, the happiest years of his life, meant mainly a succession of smells. Love, it must be supposed, was gradually losing its appeal. Smell remained. Now that they were established in Casa Guidi again, all had their avocations. Mr. Browning wrote regularly in one room; Mrs. Browning wrote regularly in another. The baby played in the nursery. But Flush wandered off into the streets of Florence to enjoy the rapture of smell. He threaded his path through main streets and back streets, through squares and alleys, by smell. He nosed his way from smell to smell; the rough, the smooth, the dark, the golden. He went in and out, up and down, where they beat brass, where they bake bread, where the women sit combing their hair, where the bird-cages are piled high on the causeway, where the wine spills itself in dark red stains on the pavement, where leather smells and harness and garlic, where cloth is beaten, where vine leaves tremble, where men sit and drink and spit and dice — he ran in and out, always with his nose to the ground, drinking in the essence; or with his nose in the air vibrating with the aroma. He slept in this hot patch of sun — how sun made the stone reek! he sought that tunnel of shade — how acid shade made the stone smell! He devoured whole bunches of ripe grapes largely because of their purple smell; he chewed and spat out whatever tough relic of goat or macaroni the Italian housewife had thrown from the balcony — goat and macaroni were raucous smells, crimson smells. He followed the swooning sweetness of incense into the violet intricacies of dark cathedrals; and, sniffing, tried to lap the gold on the window- stained tomb. Nor was his sense of touch much less acute. He knew Florence in its marmoreal smoothness and in its gritty and cobbled roughness. Hoary folds of drapery, smooth fingers and feet of stone received the lick of his tongue, the quiver of his shivering snout. Upon the infinitely sensitive pads of his feet he took the clear stamp of proud Latin inscriptions. In short, he knew Florence as no human being has ever known it; as Ruskin never knew it or George Eliot either.
Virginia Woolf (Flush)
In the courtyard there was an angel of black stone, and its angel head rose above giant elephant leaves; the stark glass angel eyes, bright as the bleached blue of sailor eyes, stared upward. One observed the angel from an intricate green balcony — mine, this balcony, for I lived beyond in three old white rooms, rooms with elaborate wedding-cake ceilings, wide sliding doors, tall French windows. On warm evenings, with these windows open, conversation was pleasant there, tuneful, for wind rustled the interior like fan-breeze made by ancient ladies. And on such warm evenings this town is quiet. Only voices: family talk weaving on an ivy-curtained porch; a barefoot woman humming as she rocks a sidewalk chair, lulling to sleep a baby she nurses quite publicly; the complaining foreign tongue of an irritated lady who, sitting on her balcony, plucks a fryer, the loosened feathers floating from her hands, slipping into air, sliding lazily downward.
Truman Capote
Trying to draw Matthew into our conversation, I said, “Look, here’s Matthew’s.” I pointed out his card; on it, a smiling young man with an oblivious expression walked a desolate land, carrying a rucksack and a single white rose. A yapping dog nipped at his heels. Matthew tilted his head at the likeness. “In a place where nothing grows, I carry a flower. The memory of you.” I smiled at him. “That is so sweet.” He frowned. “That literally happened.” “Oh.” Finn said, “That’s just like the image I saw the first time we met. It flashed over him.” I nodded. “We all have those. They’re called tableaux.” Finn held the card up next to Matthew’s face, comparing the likeness. “You look stoned, Matto.” Matthew sighed with contentment. “Thank you.
Kresley Cole (Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2))
From the olive-strewn forum, one could see the village down below. Not a sound came from it; wisps of smoke rose in the limpid air. The sea also lay silent, as if breathless beneath the unending shower of cold, glittering light. From the Chenoua, a distant cock crow alone sang the fragile glory of the day. Across the ruins, as far as one could see, there were nothing but pitted stones and absinthe plants, trees and perfect columns in the transparence of the crystal air. It was as if the morning stood still, as if the sun had stopped for an immeasurable moment. In this light and silence, years of night and fury melted slowly away. I listened to an almost forgotten sound within myself, as if my heart had long been stopped and was now gently beginning to beat again.
Albert Camus (Lyrical and Critical Essays)
At the edge of the wolfswood, Bran turned in his basket for one last glimpse of the castle that had been his life. Wisps of smoke still rose into the grey sky, but no more than might have risen from Winterfell’s chimneys on a cold autumn afternoon. Soot stains marked some of the arrow loops, and here and there a crack or a missing merlon could be seen in the curtain wall, but it seemed little enough from this distance. Beyond, the tops of the keeps and towers still stood as they had for hundreds of years, and it was hard to tell that the castle had been sacked and burned at all. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I’m not dead either.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Are you still afraid of me?" He touched her fallen hair with a butterfly's delicacy. She might not have noticed that touch, except that she noticed everything he did. She closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them and met his gaze steadily. "Aristophanes said that boys throw stones at frogs in jest, but the frogs, they die in earnest. You're going to break my life into splinters, then move on without a second thought. Yes, my lord, you terrify me." He became very still. "Only things that are rigid can break. Perhaps your life needs to be splintered.
Mary Jo Putney (Thunder and Roses (Fallen Angels, #1))
The Last Leaf I saw him once before, As he passed by the door, And again The pavement stones resound, As he totters o'er the ground With his cane. They say that in his prime, Ere the pruning-knife of Time Cut him down, Not a better man was found By the Crier on his round Through the town. But now he walks the streets, And looks at all he meets Sad and wan, And he shakes his feeble head, That it seems as if he said, "They are gone." The mossy marbles rest On the lips that he has prest In their bloom, And the names he loved to hear Have been carved for many a year On the tomb. My grandmamma has said Poor old lady, she is dead Long ago That he had a Roman nose, And his cheek was like a rose In the snow; But now his nose is thin, And it rests upon his chin Like a staff, And a crook is in his back, And a melancholy crack In his laugh. I know it is a sin For me to sit and grin At him here; But the old three-cornered hat, And the breeches, and all that, Are so queer! And if I should live to be The last leaf upon the tree In the spring, Let them smile, as I do now, At the old forsaken bough Where I cling.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Higher and higher he climbed. His strength came from somewhere deep inside himself and also seemed to come from the outside as well. After focusing on Big Thumb for so long, it was as if the rock had absorbed his energy and now acted like a kind of giant magnet pulling him toward it. After a while he became aware of a foul odor. At first he thought it came from Zero, but it seemed to be in the air, hanging heavy all around him. He also noticed that the ground wasn’t as steep anymore. As the ground flattened, a huge stone precipice rose up ahead of him, just barely visible in the
Louis Sachar (Holes)
The teaching practice is a success, largely because Mr. Sturridge seems to like me, so much so as to offer me a permanent job there in the autumn term. He tells me that the kids like me too. I’m very flattered and I thank him for the compliment, but ask for some time to consider the offer. That evening I climb up to the top of Clough Head. On the crest of the high ridge I turn back and I can see my life spread out like the valley below me: growing old like Mr. Sturridge, a village teacher, gray-headed and stooped, with worn leather patches on the elbows of my jacket, going home each night to a stone cottage on the hillside with an older Megan standing in the garden, roses in a trellis around the front door, a wood fire in the hearth, my books and my music, idealized, peaceful, devoid of complexity or worry or the vanity of ambition. Whatever is comforting about this image of a possible future, however different it is from the harsh industrial landscape of my childhood, it holds me for no more than a moment and then it is gone. I know the answer I shall give the headmaster, and as the evening draws in I make my way at a brisker pace down the mountain to my digs in the village.
Sting (Broken Music)
She wandered to the window, staring out at a path of stone arches that led through the east garden. The arches had overgrown with roses, clematis, and honeysuckle, forming a fragrant tunnel that led to a stone-walled summerhouse with a wood-latticed ceiling. Memories of McKenna were everywhere in the garden... his hands moving carefully among the roses, pruning the dead blossoms... his tanned face dappled with the sunlight that broke through the leaves and lattices... the hair on the back of his neck glittering with sweat as he shoveled gravel onto the path, or weeded the raised flower beds.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
There was a legend on the road that the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City was a veritable storehouse of gold, silver, and precious stones and it was this that lured Smiler back to that city. At that time a high adobe wall surrounded the block on which stood the Tabernacle and the then unfinished Mormon Temple. We looked it over for several days and nights but could get nothing tangible to work on. Sunday we attended services and the plate was to be seen, silver and gold; more than we could carry away if we got it. At last we decided to go over the wall and give the place a good reconnaissance. If it looked feasible we could get a couple of other idle burglars and give it a thorough looting. On top of the wall we pulled up our light ladder and placed it inside. Smiler went down first. I barely had my feet off the ladder when a dozen men rose up out of the shrubbery armed with shotguns, and surrounded us. We stood still by the wall. One of them spoke, sternly, evenly: “Go back over that wall.” Little we knew the Mormons. We went up the ladder, pulled it up, and went down and away. When Smiler’s good humor returned he held up his hand. “Kid, I’ll never try to rob another Mormon. I’ll go to work first.
Jack Black (You Can't Win)
No institution of learning of Ingersoll's day had courage enough to confer upon him an honorary degree; not only for his own intellectual accomplishments, but also for his influence upon the minds of the learned men and women of his time and generation. Robert G. Ingersoll never received a prize for literature. The same prejudice and bigotry which prevented his getting an honorary college degree, militated against his being recognized as 'the greatest writer of the English language on the face of the earth,' as Henry Ward Beecher characterized him. Aye, in all the history of literature, Robert G. Ingersoll has never been excelled -- except by only one man, and that man was -- William Shakespeare. And yet there are times when Ingersoll even surpassed the immortal Bard. Yes, there are times when Ingersoll excelled even Shakespeare, in expressing human emotions, and in the use of language to express a thought, or to paint a picture. I say this fully conscious of my own admiration for that 'intellectual ocean, whose waves touched all the shores of thought.' Ingersoll was perfection himself. Every word was properly used. Every sentence was perfectly formed. Every noun, every verb and every object was in its proper place. Every punctuation mark, every comma, every semicolon, and every period was expertly placed to separate and balance each sentence. To read Ingersoll, it seems that every idea came properly clothed from his brain. Something rare indeed in the history of man's use of language in the expression of his thoughts. Every thought came from his brain with all the beauty and perfection of the full blown rose, with the velvety petals delicately touching each other. Thoughts of diamonds and pearls, rubies and sapphires rolled off his tongue as if from an inexhaustible mine of precious stones. Just as the cut of the diamond reveals the splendor of its brilliance, so the words and construction of the sentences gave a charm and beauty and eloquence to Ingersoll's thoughts. Ingersoll had everything: The song of the skylark; the tenderness of the dove; the hiss of the snake; the bite of the tiger; the strength of the lion; and perhaps more significant was the fact that he used each of these qualities and attributes, in their proper place, and at their proper time. He knew when to embrace with the tenderness of affection, and to resist and denounce wickedness and tyranny with that power of denunciation which he, and he alone, knew how to express.
Joseph Lewis (Ingersoll the Magnificent)
Winter tightened its grip on Alaska. The vastness of the landscape dwindled down to the confines of their cabin. The sun rose at quarter past ten in the morning and set only fifteen minutes after the end of the school day. Less than six hours of light a day. Snow fell endlessly, blanketed everything. It piled up in drifts and spun its lace across windowpanes, leaving them nothing to see except themselves. In the few daylight hours, the sky stretched gray overhead; some days there was merely the memory of light rather than any real glow. Wind scoured the landscape, cried out as if in pain. The fireweed froze, turned into intricate ice sculptures that stuck up from the snow. In the freezing cold, everything stuck -- car doors froze, windows cracked, engines refused to start. The ham radio filled with warnings of bad weather and listed the deaths that were as common in Alaska in the winter as frozen eyelashes. People died for the smallest mistake -- car keys dropped in a river, a gas tank gone dry, a snow machine breaking down, a turn taken too fast. Leni couldn't go anywhere or do anything without a warning. Already the winter seemed to have gone on forever. Shore ice seized the coastline, glazed the shells and stones until the beach looked like a silver-sequined collar. Wind roared across the homestead, as it had all winter, transforming the white landscape with every breath. Trees cowered in the face of it, animals built dens and burrowed in holes and went into hiding. Not so different from the humans, who hunkered down in this cold, took special care.
Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)
He chuckled, the sound bouncing off the gray stones strewn across the forest floor like scattered marbles. “Cassian tried to convince me last night not to take you. I thought he might even punch me.” “Why?” I barely knew him. “Who knows? With Cassian, he’s probably more interested in fucking you than protecting you.” “You’re a pig.” “You could, you know,” Rhys said, holding up the branch of a scrawny beech for me to slip under. “If you needed to move on in a physical sense, I’m sure Cassian would be more than happy to oblige.” It felt like a test in itself. And it pissed me off enough that I crooned, “Then tell him to come to my room tonight.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Remarkable, if for nothing else, because of this, that all of those men and women who stayed for any reason left behind them some monument, some structure of marble and brick and stone that still stands; so that even when the gas lamps went out and the planes came in and the office buildings crowded the blocks of Canal Street, something irreducible of beauty and romance remained; not in every street perhaps, but in so many that the landscape is for me the landscape of those times always, and walking now in the starlit streets of the Quarter or the Garden District I am in those times again. I suppose that is the nature of the monument. Be it a small house or a mansion of Corinthian columns and wrought-iron lace. The monument does not say that this or that man walked here. No, that what he felt in one time in one spot continues. The moon that rose over New Orleans then still rises. As long as the monuments stand, it still rises. The feeling, at least here...and there...it remains the same.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
One day, soon after her disappearance, an attack of abominable nausea forced me to pull up on the ghost of an old mountain road that now accompanied, now traversed a brand new highway, with its population of asters bathing in the detached warmth of a pale-blue afternoon in late summer. After coughing myself inside out I rested a while on a boulder and then thinking the sweet air might do me good, walked a little way toward a low stone parapet on the precipice side of the highway. Small grasshoppers spurted out of the withered roadside weeds. A very light cloud was opening its arms and moving toward a slightly more substantial one belonging to another, more sluggish, heavenlogged system. As I approached the friendly abyss, I grew aware of a melodious unity of sounds rising like vapor from a small mining town that lay at my feet, in a fold of the valley. One could make out the geometry of the streets between blocks of red and gray roofs, and green puffs of trees, and a serpentine stream, and the rich, ore-like glitter of the city dump, and beyond the town, roads crisscrossing the crazy quilt of dark and pale fields, and behind it all, great timbered mountains. But even brighter than those quietly rejoicing colors - for there are colors and shades that seem to enjoy themselves in good company - both brighter and dreamier to the ear than they were to the eye, was that vapory vibration of accumulated sounds that never ceased for a moment, as it rose to the lip of granite where I stood wiping my foul mouth. And soon I realized that all these sounds were of one nature, that no other sounds but these came from the streets of the transparent town, with the women at home and the men away. Reader! What I heard was but the melody of children at play, nothing but that, and so limpid was the air that within this vapor of blended voices, majestic and minute, remote and magically near, frank and divinely enigmatic - one could hear now and then, as if released, an almost articulate spurt of vivid laughter, or the crack of a bat, or the clatter of a toy wagon, but it was all really too far for the eye to distinguish any movement in the lightly etched streets. I stood listening to that musical vibration from my lofty slope, to those flashes of separate cries with a kind of demure murmur for background, and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
The guards at the gate nodded and smiled at them. “I hate that,” Royce muttered as they passed. “What?” “They didn’t even think to stop us, and they actually smiled. They know us by sight now—by sight. Alric used to have the decency to send word discreetly and receive us unannounced. Now uniformed soldiers knock on the door in daylight, waving and saying, ‘Hello, we have a job for you.’” “He didn’t wave.” “Give it time, he will be—waving and grinning. One day Jeremy will be buying drinks for his soldier buddies at The Rose and Thorn. They’ll all be there, the entire sentry squad, laughing, smiling, throwing their arms over our shoulders and asking us to sing ‘Calide Portmore’ with them—‘Once more, with gusto!’ And at some point one particularly sweaty ox will give me a hug and say how honored he is to be in our company.” “Jeremy?” “What? That’s his name.” “You know the name of the soldier at the gate?” Royce scowled. “You see my point? Yes, I know his name and they know ours. We might as well wear uniforms and move into Arista’s old room.” They climbed the stone steps to the main entrance, where a soldier quickly opened a door for them and gave a slight bow. “Master Melborn, Master Blackwater.” “Hey, Digby.” Hadrian waved as he passed. When he caught Royce scowling, he added, “Sorry.” “It’s a good thing we’re both retired. You know, there’s a reason there are no famous living thieves
Michael J. Sullivan (Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4))
What would you like for your own life, Kate, if you could choose?” “Anything?” “Of course anything.” “That’s really easy, Aunty Ivy.” “Go on then.” “A straw hat...with a bright scarlet ribbon tied around the top and a bow at the back. A tea-dress like girls used to wear, with big red poppies all over the fabric. A pair of flat, white pumps, comfortable but really pretty. A bicycle with a basket on the front. In the basket is a loaf of fresh bread, cheese, fruit oh...and a bottle of sparkly wine, you know, like posh people drink. “I’m cycling down a lane. There are no lorries or cars or bicycles. No people – just me. The sun is shining through the trees, making patterns on the ground. At the end of the lane is a gate, sort of hidden between the bushes and trees. I stop at the gate, get off the bike and wheel it into the garden. “In the garden there are flowers of all kinds, especially roses. They’re my favourite. I walk down the little path to a cottage. It’s not big, just big enough. The front door needs painting and has a little stained glass window at the top. I take the food out of the basket and go through the door. “Inside, everything is clean, pretty and bright. There are vases of flowers on every surface and it smells sweet, like lemon cake. At the end of the room are French windows. They need painting too, but it doesn’t matter. I go through the French windows into a beautiful garden. Even more flowers there...and a veranda. On the veranda is an old rocking chair with patchwork cushions and next to it a little table that has an oriental tablecloth with gold tassels. I put the food on the table and pour the wine into a glass. I’d sit in the rocking chair and close my eyes and think to myself... this is my place.” From A DISH OF STONES
Valentina Hepburn (A Dish of Stones)
Julius explained that the palace rooms where they stood were called Wunderkammers, or wonder rooms. Souvenirs of nature, of travels across continents and seas; jewels and skulls. A show of wealth, intellect, power. The first room had rose-colored glass walls, with rubies and garnets and bloodred drapes of damask. Bowls of blush quartz; semiprecious stone roses running the spectrum of red down to pink, a hard, glittering garden. The vaulted ceiling, a feature of all the ten rooms Julius and Cymbeline visited, was a trompe l'oeil of a rosy sky at down, golden light edging the morning clouds. The next room was of sapphire and sea and sky; lapis lazuli, turquoise and gold and silver. A silver mermaid lounged on the edge of a lapis lazuli bowl fashioned in the shape of an ocean. Venus stood aloft on the waves draped in pearls. There were gold fish and diamond fish and faceted sterling silver starfish. Silvered mirrors edged in silvered mirror. There were opals and aquamarines and tanzanite and amethyst. Seaweed bloomed in shades of blue-green marble. The ceiling was a dome of endless, pale blue. A jungle room of mica and marble followed, with its rain forest of cats made from tiger's-eye, yellow topaz birds, tortoiseshell giraffes with stubby horns of spun gold. Carved clouds of smoky quartz hovered over a herd of obsidian and ivory zebras. Javelinas of spotted pony hide charged tiny, life-sized dik-diks with velvet hides, and dazzling diamond antlers mingled with miniature stuffed sable minks. Agate columns painted a medley of dark greens were strung with faceted ropes of green gold. A room of ivory: bone, teeth, skulls, and velvet. A room crowded with columns all sheathed in mirrors, reflecting world maps and globes and atlases inlaid with silver, platinum, and white gold; the rubies and diamonds that were sometimes set to mark the location of a city or a town of conquest resembled blood and tears. A room dominated by a fireplace large enough to hold several people, upholstered in velvets and silks the colors of flame. Snakes of gold with orange sapphire and yellow topaz eyes coiled around the room's columns. Statues of smiling black men in turbans offering trays of every gem imaginable-emerald, sapphire, ruby, topaz, diamond-stood at the entrance to a room upholstered in pistachio velvet, accented with malachite, called the Green Vault. Peridot wood nymphs attended to a Diana carved from a single pure crystal of quartz studded with tiny tourmalines. Jade tables, and jade lanterns. The royal jewels, blinding in their sparkling excess: crowns, tiaras, coronets, diadems, heavy ceremonial necklaces, rings, and bracelets that could span a forearm, surrounding the world's largest and most perfect green diamond. Above it all was a night sky of painted stars, with inlaid cut crystal set in a serious of constellations.
Whitney Otto (Eight Girls Taking Pictures)
I found a small velvet-and-nailhead Victorian sofa at a rummage sale on my way to a demonstration in the Castro District; the gay men selling it for $10 kindly hauled it over and up the stairs after the protest was over. It left droppings of ancient horsehair stuffing on the floor like an incontinent old pet. I accumulated small souvenirs, treasures, and artifacts that made the place gradually come to resemble an eccentric natural history museum, with curious lichen-covered twigs and branches, birds’ nests and shards of eggs, antlers, stones, bones, dead roses, a small jar of yellow sulfur butterflies from a mass migration in eastern Nevada, and, from my younger brother, a stag’s antlered skull that still presides over my home.
Rebecca Solnit (Recollections of My Nonexistence)
Poem in October" It was my thirtieth year to heaven Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood And the mussel pooled and the heron Priested shore The morning beckon With water praying and call of seagull and rook And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall Myself to set foot That second In the still sleeping town and set forth. My birthday began with the water- Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name Above the farms and the white horses And I rose In rainy autumn And walked abroad in a shower of all my days. High tide and the heron dived when I took the road Over the border And the gates Of the town closed as the town awoke. A springful of larks in a rolling Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling Blackbirds and the sun of October Summery On the hill's shoulder, Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly Come in the morning where I wandered and listened To the rain wringing Wind blow cold In the wood faraway under me. Pale rain over the dwindling harbour And over the sea wet church the size of a snail With its horns through mist and the castle Brown as owls But all the gardens Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud. There could I marvel My birthday Away but the weather turned around. It turned away from the blithe country And down the other air and the blue altered sky Streamed again a wonder of summer With apples Pears and red currants And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother Through the parables Of sun light And the legends of the green chapels And the twice told fields of infancy That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine. These were the woods the river and sea Where a boy In the listening Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide. And the mystery Sang alive Still in the water and singingbirds. And there could I marvel my birthday Away but the weather turned around. And the true Joy of the long dead child sang burning In the sun. It was my thirtieth Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon Though the town below lay leaved with October blood. O may my heart's truth Still be sung On this high hill in a year's turning.
Dylan Thomas (Collected Poems)
You wanted a demonstration,” Celaena said quietly. Sweat trickled down her back, but she gripped the magic with everything she had. “One thought from me, and your city will burn.” “It is stone,” Maeve snapped. Celaena smiled. “Your people aren’t.” Maeve’s nostrils flared delicately. “Would you murder innocents, Aelin? Perhaps. You did it for years, didn’t you?” Celaena’s smile didn’t falter. “Try me. Just try to push me, Aunt, and see what comes of it. This was what you wanted, wasn’t it? Not for me to master my magic, but for you to learn just how powerful I am. Not how much of your sister’s blood flows in my veins—no, you’ve known from the start that I have very little of Mab’s power. You wanted to know how much I got from Brannon.” The flames rose higher, and the shouts—of fright, not pain—rose with them. The flames would not hurt anyone unless she willed it. She could sense other magics fighting against her own, tearing holes into her power, but the conflagration surrounding the veranda burned strong. “You never gave the keys to Brannon. And you didn’t journey with Brannon and Athril to retrieve the keys from the Valg,” Celaena went on, a crown of fire wreathing her head. “You went to steal them for yourself. You wanted to keep them. Once Brannon and Athril realized that, they fought you. And Athril…” Celaena drew Goldryn, its hilt glowing bloodred. “Your beloved Athril, dearest friend of Brannon … when Athril fought you, you killed him. You, not the Valg. And in your grief and shame, you were weakened enough that Brannon took the keys from you. It wasn’t some enemy force who sacked the Sun Goddess’s temple. It was Brannon. He burned any last trace of himself, any clue of where he was going so you would not find him. He left only Athril’s sword to honor his friend—in the cave where Athril had first carved out the eye of that poor lake creature—and never told you. After Brannon left these shores, you did not dare follow him, not when he had the keys, not when his magic—my magic—was so strong.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
With bare feet in the dirt, fulmia, ten times with conviction, will shake the earth to its roots, if you have the strength, Jaga’s book had told me, and the Dragon had believed it enough not to let me try it anywhere near the tower. I had felt doubtful, anyway, about conviction: I hadn’t believed I had any business shaking the earth to its roots. But now I fell to the ground and dug away the snow and the fallen leaves and rot and moss until I came to the hard-frozen dirt. I pried up a large stone and began to smash at the earth, again and again, breaking up the dirt and breathing on it to make it softer, pounding in the snow that melted around my hands, pounding in the hot tears that dripped from my eyes as I worked. Kasia was above me with her head flung up, her mouth open in its soundless cry like a statue in a church. “Fulmia,” I said, my fingers deep in the dirt, crushing the solid clods between my fingers. “Fulmia, fulmia,” I chanted over and over, bleeding from broken nails, and I felt the earth hear me, uneasily. Even the earth was tainted here, poisoned, but I spat on the dirt and screamed, “Fulmia,” and imagined my magic running into the ground like water, finding cracks and weaknesses, spreading out beneath my hands, beneath my cold wet knees: and the earth shuddered and turned over. A low trembling began where my hands drove into the ground, and it followed me as I started prying at the roots of the tree. The frozen dirt began to break up into small chunks all around them, the tremors going on and on like waves. The branches above me were waving wildly as if in alarm, the whispering of the leaves becoming a muted roaring. I straightened up on my knees. “Let her out!” I screamed at the tree: I beat on its trunk with my muddy fists. “Let her out, or I’ll bring you down! Fulmia!” I cried out in rage, and threw myself back down at the ground, and where my fists hit, the ground rose and swelled like a river rising with the rain. Magic was pouring out of me, a torrent: every warning the Dragon had ever given me forgotten and ignored. I would have spent every drop of myself and died there, just to bring that horrible tree down: I couldn’t imagine a world where I lived, where I left this behind me, Kasia’s life and heart feeding this corrupt monstrous thing. I would rather have died, crushed in my own earthquake, and brought it down with me. I tore at the ground ready to break open a pit to swallow us all.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
He walked back to St George's-in-the-East, which in his mind he had now reduced to a number of surfaces against which the murderer might have leaned in sorrow, desperation or even, perhaps, joy. For this reason it was worth examining the blackened stones in detail, although he realised that the marks upon them had been deposited by many generations of men and women. It was now a matter of received knowledge in the police force that no human being could rest or move in any area without leaving some trace of his or her identity; but if the walls of the Wapping church were to be analysed by emission spectroscopy, how many partial or residual spectra might be detected? And he had an image of a mob screaming to be set free as he guided his steps towards the tower which rose above the houses cluttered around Red Maiden Lane, Crab Court and Rope Walk.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
To fill the days up of his dateless year Flame from Queen Helen to Queen Guenevere? For first of all the sphery signs whereby Love severs light from darkness, and most high, In the white front of January there glows The rose-red sign of Helen like a rose: And gold-eyed as the shore-flower shelterless Whereon the sharp-breathed sea blows bitterness, A storm-star that the seafarers of love Strain their wind-wearied eyes for glimpses of, Shoots keen through February's grey frost and damp The lamplike star of Hero for a lamp; The star that Marlowe sang into our skies With mouth of gold, and morning in his eyes; And in clear March across the rough blue sea The signal sapphire of Alcyone Makes bright the blown bross of the wind-foot year; And shining like a sunbeam-smitten tear Full ere it fall, the fair next sign in sight Burns opal-wise with April-coloured light When air is quick with song and rain and flame, My birth-month star that in love's heaven hath name Iseult, a light of blossom and beam and shower, My singing sign that makes the song-tree flower; Next like a pale and burning pearl beyond The rose-white sphere of flower-named Rosamond Signs the sweet head of Maytime; and for June Flares like an angered and storm-reddening moon Her signal sphere, whose Carthaginian pyre Shadowed her traitor's flying sail with fire; Next, glittering as the wine-bright jacinth-stone, A star south-risen that first to music shone, The keen girl-star of golden Juliet bears Light northward to the month whose forehead wears Her name for flower upon it, and his trees Mix their deep English song with Veronese; And like an awful sovereign chrysolite Burning, the supreme fire that blinds the night, The hot gold head of Venus kissed by Mars, A sun-flower among small sphered flowers of stars, The light of Cleopatra fills and burns The hollow of heaven whence ardent August yearns; And fixed and shining as the sister-shed Sweet tears for Phaethon disorbed and dead, The pale bright autumn's amber-coloured sphere, That through September sees the saddening year As love sees change through sorrow, hath to name Francesca's; and the star that watches flame The embers of the harvest overgone Is Thisbe's, slain of love in Babylon, Set in the golden girdle of sweet signs A blood-bright ruby; last save one light shines An eastern wonder of sphery chrysopras, The star that made men mad, Angelica's; And latest named and lordliest, with a sound Of swords and harps in heaven that ring it round, Last love-light and last love-song of the year's, Gleams like a glorious emerald Guenevere's.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Tristram of Lyonesse: And Other Poems)
Up rose the scent of green-apple shampoo. Of river stones once the flood has gone. The taste of winter sky laced with sulfur fumes. A kiss beneath a white-hearted tree. A hot still day holding its breath. We removed the contents one by one. There were two blue plastic hair combs. A tough girl's black rubber-band bracelet. A newspaper advertisement for a secretarial school folded in half. A blond braid wrapped in gladwrap. A silver necklace with a half-a-broken-heart pendant. An address, written in a leftward-slanting hand, on a scrap of paper. Ballet shoes wrapped in laces. From the box came the sound of bicycle tires humming on hot pavement. Of bare feet running through crackling grass. Of frantic fingers unstitching an embroidered flower. Of paper wings rising on a sudden wind. Of the lake breathing against the shore. I didn't say anything. I kept very still.
Karen Foxlee (The Anatomy of Wings)
Often, half in a bay of the mountains and half on a headland, a small and nearly amphibian Schloss mouldered in the failing light among the geese and the elder-bushes and the apple trees. Dank walls rose between towers that were topped with cones of moulting shingle. Weeds throve in every cranny. Moss mottled the walls. Fissures branched like forked lightning across damp masonry which the rusting iron clamps tried to hold together, and buttresses of brick shored up the perilously leaning walls. The mountains, delaying sunrise and hastening dusk, must have halved again the short winter days. Those buildings looked too forlorn for habitation. But, in tiny, creeper-smothered windows, a faint light would show at dusk. Who lived in those stone-flagged rooms where the sun never came? Immured in those six-foot-thick walls, overgrown outside with the conquering ivy and within by genealogical trees all moulting with mildew? My thoughts flew at once to solitary figures…a windowed descendant of a lady-in-waiting at the court of Charlemagne, alone with the Sacred Heart and her beads, or a family of wax-pale barons, recklessly inbred; bachelors with walrus moustaches, bent double with rheumatism, shuddering from room to room and coughing among their lurchers, while their cleft palates called to each other down corridors that were all but pitch dark.
Patrick Leigh Fermor (A Time of Gifts (Trilogy, #1))
The police think maybe it was the gas. Maybe the pilot light on the stove went out or a burner was left on, leaking gas, and the gas rose to the ceiling, and the gas filled the condo from ceiling to floor in every room. The condo was seventeen hundred square feet with high ceilings and for days and days, the gas must’ve leaked until every room was full. When the rooms were filled to the floor, the compressor at the base of the refrigerator clicked on. Detonation. The floor-to-ceiling windows in their aluminum frames went out and the sofas and the lamps and dishes and sheet sets in flames, and the high school annuals and the diplomas and telephone. Everything blasting out from the fifteenth floor in a sort of solar flare. Oh, not my refrigerator. I’d collected shelves full of different mustards, some stone-ground, some English pub style. There were fourteen different flavors of fat-free salad dressing, and seven kinds of capers. I know, I know, a house full of condiments and no real food.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Her dream began with winter darkness. Out of this darkness came a great hand, fisted. It was a man's hand, powerful and hollowed by shadows in the wells between the bones and tendons. The fist opened and in the long plain of the palm lay three small pieces of coal. Slowly the hand closed, causing within the fist a tremendous pressure. The pressure began to generate a white heat and still it increased. There was a sense of weighing, crushing time. She seemed to feel the suffering of the coal with her own body, almost beyond the point of being borne. At last she cried out to the hand, Stop it! Will you never end it! Even a stone cannot bear this limit...even a stone...! After what seemed like too long a time for anything molecular to endure, the torments in the fist relaxed. The fist turned slowly and very slowly opened. Diamonds, three of them. Three clear and brilliant diamonds, shot with light, lay in the good palm. A deep voice called to her, Deborah! and then gently, Deborah this will be you.
Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)
Warriors all rose uneagerly shuffled under Earnanaes lagging with sorrow to look upon death. They found on the sand their soulless gift-lord still and wordless there who served and ruled them for fifty winters—the final life-day had come for the good one—the Geats’ hall-master dear warrior-king died a wonder-death. There they discovered that cooling fire-snake stretched upon the earth, seething no more 3040 with foul flame-death flying no longer with burning bellows, blackened with death. Fifty long feet was his full length-measure stretched on the fire-field. He flew in hate-joy seared through the nights then soared at daybreak to his grayrock den—now death stilled him ended his slumber in that stony barrow. By him were heaped bracelets and gem-cups jeweled gold-dishes great treasure-swords darkened with rust from their deep earth-home 3050 a thousand winters walled against light. Those ancient heirlooms earned much curse-power old gold-treasure gripped in a spell— no one might touch them those nameless stone-riches no good or bad man unless God himself the great Glory-King might give to someone to open that hoard that heap of treasures, a certain warrior as seemed meet to him. They found no happiness who first buried there wealth in the ground—again it was hidden 3060 by an only survivor till an angered serpent singed for a cup till swords cooled him sent him deathwards. Strange are the ways how the king of a country will come to the end of his loaned life-span when at last he vanishes gone from the meadhall his gold and his kin. So it was with Beowulf when he bore his shield to that roaring night-flyer.
Unknown (Beowulf: An Updated Verse Translation)
From east to west, in fact, her gaze swept slowly, without encountering a single obstacle, along a perfect curve. Beneath her, the blue-and-white terraces of the Arab town overlapped one another, splattered with the dark-red spots of the peppers drying in the sun. Not a soul could be seen, but from the inner courts, together with the aroma of roasting coffee, there rose laughing voices or incomprehensible stamping of feet. Father off, the palm grove, divided into uneven squares by clay walls, rustled its upper foliage in a wind that could not be felt up on the terace. Still farther off and all the way to the horizon extended the ocher-and-gray realm of stones, in which no life was visible. At some distance from the oasis, however, near the wadi that bordered the palm grove on the west could be seen broad black tents. All around them a flock of motionless dromedaries, tiny at the distance, formed against the gray ground the black signs of a strange handwriting, the meaning of which had to be deciphered. Above the desert, the silence was as vast as the space. Janine, leaning her whole body against the parapet, was speechless, unable to tear herself away from the void opening before her. Beside her, Marcel was getting restless. He was cold; he wanted to go back down. What was there to see here, after all? But she could not take her gaze from the horizon. Over yonder, still farther south, at that point where sky and earth met in a pure line - over yonder it suddenly seemed there was awaiting her something of which, though it had always been lacking, she had never been aware until now. In the advancing afternoon the light relaxed and softened; it was passing from the crystalline to the liquid. Simultaneously, in the heart of a woman brought there by pure chance a knot tightened by the years, habit, and boredom was slowly loosening. She was looking at the nomads' encampment. She had not even seen the men living in it' nothing was stirring among the black tents, and yet she could think only of them whose existence she had barely known until this day. Homeless, cut off from the world, they were a handful wandering over the vast territory she could see, which however was but a paltry part of an even greater expanse whose dizzying course stopped only thousands of miles farther south, where the first river finally waters the forest. Since the beginning of time, on the dry earth of this limitless land scraped to bone, a few men had been ceaselessly trudging, possessing nothing but serving no one, poverty-stricken but free lords of a strange kingdom. Janine did not know why this thought filled her with such a sweet, vast melancholy that it closed her eyes. She knew that this kingdom had been eternally promised her and yet that it would never be hers, never again, except in this fleeting moment perhaps when she opened her eyes again on the suddenly motionless sky and on its waves of steady light, while the voices rising from the Arab town suddenly fell silent. It seemed to her that the world's course had just stopped and that, from that moment on, no one would ever age any more or die. Everywhere, henceforth, life was suspended - except in her heart, where, at the same moment, someone was weeping with affliction and wonder.
Albert Camus
I palmed my cell and looked down at the screen, triple-checking the address that Boogie had texted me, just in case. Yep, it was still correct. I opened my text messaging app before I forgot and shot my sister a new message. She still hadn’t replied to me about needing a date to the quinceañera. Me: I’m going into a house I’ve never been in before. If I don’t text you back in an hour, call the cops. The address is 555 Rose Hill Lane. I stopped, thought about it, and sent her another message. Me: Don’t invite anyone I don’t like to my funeral. Then I sent her another one. Me: And don’t forget to drop my laptop in a swamp if something happens. I thought about it for another second. Me: And don’t forget you’re the only one I want to clean out my nightstand. Wear gloves and don’t judge me. I slipped my phone back into my purse as I stopped in front of what had to be at least an eight-thousand-square-foot home and eyed the combination of brick and stone walls, telling myself that I had to do this. Boogie had asked. And the sooner I did this, the sooner I could go home.
Mariana Zapata (Hands Down)
He then said something in Arabic to Ali, who made a sign of obedience and withdrew, but not to any distance. As to Franz a strange transformation had taken place in him. All the bodily fatigue of the day, all the preoccupation of mind which the events of the evening had brought on, disappeared as they do at the first approach of sleep, when we are still sufficiently conscious to be aware of the coming of slumber. His body seemed to acquire an airy lightness, his perception brightened in a remarkable manner, his senses seemed to redouble their power, the horizon continued to expand; but it was not the gloomy horizon of vague alarms, and which he had seen before he slept, but a blue, transparent, unbounded horizon, with all the blue of the ocean, all the spangles of the sun, all the perfumes of the summer breeze; then, in the midst of the songs of his sailors, -- songs so clear and sonorous, that they would have made a divine harmony had their notes been taken down, -- he saw the Island of Monte Cristo, no longer as a threatening rock in the midst of the waves, but as an oasis in the desert; then, as his boat drew nearer, the songs became louder, for an enchanting and mysterious harmony rose to heaven, as if some Loreley had decreed to attract a soul thither, or Amphion, the enchanter, intended there to build a city. At length the boat touched the shore, but without effort, without shock, as lips touch lips; and he entered the grotto amidst continued strains of most delicious melody. He descended, or rather seemed to descend, several steps, inhaling the fresh and balmy air, like that which may be supposed to reign around the grotto of Circe, formed from such perfumes as set the mind a dreaming, and such fires as burn the very senses; and he saw again all he had seen before his sleep, from Sinbad, his singular host, to Ali, the mute attendant; then all seemed to fade away and become confused before his eyes, like the last shadows of the magic lantern before it is extinguished, and he was again in the chamber of statues, lighted only by one of those pale and antique lamps which watch in the dead of the night over the sleep of pleasure. They were the same statues, rich in form, in attraction, and poesy, with eyes of fascination, smiles of love, and bright and flowing hair. They were Phryne, Cleopatra, Messalina, those three celebrated courtesans. Then among them glided like a pure ray, like a Christian angel in the midst of Olympus, one of those chaste figures, those calm shadows, those soft visions, which seemed to veil its virgin brow before these marble wantons. Then the three statues advanced towards him with looks of love, and approached the couch on which he was reposing, their feet hidden in their long white tunics, their throats bare, hair flowing like waves, and assuming attitudes which the gods could not resist, but which saints withstood, and looks inflexible and ardent like those with which the serpent charms the bird; and then he gave way before looks that held him in a torturing grasp and delighted his senses as with a voluptuous kiss. It seemed to Franz that he closed his eyes, and in a last look about him saw the vision of modesty completely veiled; and then followed a dream of passion like that promised by the Prophet to the elect. Lips of stone turned to flame, breasts of ice became like heated lava, so that to Franz, yielding for the first time to the sway of the drug, love was a sorrow and voluptuousness a torture, as burning mouths were pressed to his thirsty lips, and he was held in cool serpent-like embraces. The more he strove against this unhallowed passion the more his senses yielded to its thrall, and at length, weary of a struggle that taxed his very soul, he gave way and sank back breathless and exhausted beneath the kisses of these marble goddesses, and the enchantment of his marvellous dream.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Old Time heaved a moldy sigh from tomb and arch and vault; and gloomy shadows began to deepen in corners; and damps began to rise from green patches of stone; and jewels, cast upon the pavement of the nave from stained glass by the declining sun, began to perish. Within the grill-gate of the chancel, up the steps surmounted loomingly by the fast darkening organ, white robes could be dimly seen, and one feeble voice, rising and falling in a cracked monotonous mutter, could at intervals be faintly heard. In the free outer air, the river, the green pastures, and the brown arable lands, the teeming hills and dales, were reddened by the sunset: while the distant little windows in windmills and farm homesteads, shone, patches of bright beaten gold. In the Cathedral, all became gee, murky, and sepulchral, and the cracked monotonous mutter went on like a dying voice, until the organ and the choir burst forth, and drowned it in a sea of music. Then, the sea fell, and the dying voice made another feeble effort, and then the sea rose high, and beat its life out, and lashed the roof, and surged among the arches, and pierced the heights of the great tower; and then the sea was dry, and all was still.
Charles Dickens (The Mystery of Edwin Drood)
But the Congress also played an insidious role in creating the circumstances that led to the demolition of the mosque. Though Rahul Gandhi once grandly claimed that the mosque would never have been brought down had a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family been at the helm of government, it was his father, Rajiv Gandhi, who on the request of the VHP first ordered the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi–Babri Masjid complex to be opened in 1985. And in 1989, with one eye on the elections, it was Rajiv who sent his home minister, Buta Singh, to participate in the ‘shilanyas’, or the symbolic temple foundation laying ceremony, at a site near the Babri Masjid but outside of what he understood to be the disputed site. After his assassination in 1991 it became the responsibility of Narasimha Rao to safeguard the mosque from demolition. The Liberhan Report said Prime Minister Rao and his government were ‘day-dreaming’; his own party colleagues and those who met him in the days leading up to 6 December say his inaction was deliberate. Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar even went so far as to suggest in his memoirs that Rao ‘sat at a puja when the kar sevaks began pulling down the mosque and rose only when the last stone had been removed’.
Barkha Dutt (This Unquiet Land: Stories from India's Fault Lines)
We almost began a perfect conversation, F. said as he turned on the six o'clock news. He turned the radio very loud and began to shout wildly against the voice of the commentator, who was reciting a list of disasters. Sail on, sail on, O Ship of State, auto accidents, births, Berlin, cures for cancer! Listen, my friend, listen to the present, the right now, it's all around us, painted like a target, red, white, and blue. Sail into the target like a dart, a fluke bull's eye in a dirty pub. Empty your memory and listen to the fire around you. Don't forget your memory, let it exist somewhere precious in all the colors that it needs but somewhere else, hoist your memory on the Ship of State like a pirate's sail, and aim yourself at the tinkly present. Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to see the akropolis like the Indians did who never even had one? Fuck a saint, that's how, find a little saint and fuck her over and over in some pleasant part of heaven, get right into her plastic altar, dwell in her silver medal, fuck her until she tinkles like a souvenir music box, until the memorial lights go on for free, find a little saintly faker like Teresa or Catherine Tekakwitha or Lesbia, whom prick never knew but who lay around all day in a chocolate poem, find one of these quaint impossible cunts and fuck her for your life, coming all over the sky, fuck her on the moon with a steel hourglass up your hole, get tangled in her airy robes, suck her nothing juices, lap, lap, lap, a dog in the ether, then climb down to this fat earth and slouch around the fat earth in your stone shoes, get clobbered by a runaway target, take the senseless blows again and again, a right to the mind, piledriver on the heart, kick in the scrotum, help! help! it's my time, my second, my splinter of the shit glory tree, police, fire men! look at the traffic of happiness and crime, it's burning in crayon like the akropolis rose! And so on.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
Fifteen brooms rose up, high, high into the air. They were off. “And the Quaffle is taken immediately by Angelina Johnson of Gryffindor — what an excellent Chaser that girl is, and rather attractive, too —” “JORDAN!” “Sorry, Professor.” The Weasley twins’ friend, Lee Jordan, was doing the commentary for the match, closely watched by Professor McGonagall. “And she’s really belting along up there, a neat pass to Alicia Spinnet, a good find of Oliver Wood’s, last year only a reserve — back to Johnson and — no, the Slytherins have taken the Quaffle, Slytherin Captain Marcus Flint gains the Quaffle and off he goes — Flint flying like an eagle up there — he’s going to sc– no, stopped by an excellent move by Gryffindor Keeper Wood and the Gryffindors take the Quaffle — that’s Chaser Katie Bell of Gryffindor there, nice dive around Flint, off up the field and — OUCH — that must have hurt, hit in the back of the head by a Bludger — Quaffle taken by the Slytherins — that’s Adrian Pucey speeding off toward the goalposts, but he’s blocked by a second Bludger — sent his way by Fred or George Weasley, can’t tell which — nice play by the Gryffindor Beater, anyway, and Johnson back in possession of the Quaffle, a clear field ahead and off she goes — she’s really flying — dodges a speeding Bludger — the goalposts are ahead — come on, now, Angelina — Keeper Bletchley dives — misses — GRYFFINDOR SCORE!” Gryffindor
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1))
When Franz returned to himself, he seemed still to be in a dream. He thought himself in a sepulchre, into which a ray of sunlight in pity scarcely penetrated. He stretched forth his hand, and touched stone; he rose to his seat, and found himself lying on his bournous in a bed of dry heather, very soft and odoriferous. The vision had fled; and as if the statues had been but shadows from the tomb, they had vanished at his waking. He advanced several paces towards the point whence the light came, and to all the excitement of his dream succeeded the calmness of reality. He found that he was in a grotto, went towards the opening, and through a kind of fanlight saw a blue sea and an azure sky. The air and water were shining in the beams of the morning sun; on the shore the sailors were sitting, chatting and laughing; and at ten yards from them the boat was at anchor, undulating gracefully on the water. There for some time he enjoyed the fresh breeze which played on his brow, and listened to the dash of the waves on the beach, that left against the rocks a lace of foam as white as silver. He was for some time without reflection or thought for the divine charm which is in the things of nature, specially after a fantastic dream; then gradually this view of the outer world, so calm, so pure, so grand, reminded him of the illusiveness of his vision, and once more awakened memory. He recalled his arrival on the island, his presentation to a smuggler chief, a subterranean palace full of splendor, an excellent supper, and a spoonful of hashish. It seemed, however, even in the very face of open day, that at least a year had elapsed since all these things had passed, so deep was the impression made in his mind by the dream, and so strong a hold had it taken of his imagination. Thus every now and then he saw in fancy amid the sailors, seated on a rock, or undulating in the vessel, one of the shadows which had shared his dream with looks and kisses. Otherwise, his head was perfectly clear, and his body refreshed; he was free from the slightest headache; on the contrary, he felt a certain degree of lightness, a faculty for absorbing the pure air, and enjoying the bright sunshine more vividly than ever.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
It has now been many months, at the present writing, since I have had a nourishing meal, but I shall soon have one—a modest, private affair, all to myself. I have selected a few dishes, and made out a little bill of fare, which will go home in the steamer that precedes me, and be hot when I arrive—as follows: Radishes. Baked apples, with cream Fried oysters; stewed oysters. Frogs. American coffee, with real cream. American butter. Fried chicken, Southern style. Porter-house steak. Saratoga potatoes. Broiled chicken, American style. Hot biscuits, Southern style. Hot wheat-bread, Southern style. Hot buckwheat cakes. American toast. Clear maple syrup. Virginia bacon, broiled. Blue points, on the half shell. Cherry-stone clams. San Francisco mussels, steamed. Oyster soup. Clam Soup. Philadelphia Terapin soup. Oysters roasted in shell-Northern style. Soft-shell crabs. Connecticut shad. Baltimore perch. Brook trout, from Sierra Nevadas. Lake trout, from Tahoe. Sheep-head and croakers, from New Orleans. Black bass from the Mississippi. American roast beef. Roast turkey, Thanksgiving style. Cranberry sauce. Celery. Roast wild turkey. Woodcock. Canvas-back-duck, from Baltimore. Prairie liens, from Illinois. Missouri partridges, broiled. 'Possum. Coon. Boston bacon and beans. Bacon and greens, Southern style. Hominy. Boiled onions. Turnips. Pumpkin. Squash. Asparagus. Butter beans. Sweet potatoes. Lettuce. Succotash. String beans. Mashed potatoes. Catsup. Boiled potatoes, in their skins. New potatoes, minus the skins. Early rose potatoes, roasted in the ashes, Southern style, served hot. Sliced tomatoes, with sugar or vinegar. Stewed tomatoes. Green corn, cut from the ear and served with butter and pepper. Green corn, on the ear. Hot corn-pone, with chitlings, Southern style. Hot hoe-cake, Southern style. Hot egg-bread, Southern style. Hot light-bread, Southern style. Buttermilk. Iced sweet milk. Apple dumplings, with real cream. Apple pie. Apple fritters. Apple puffs, Southern style. Peach cobbler, Southern style Peach pie. American mince pie. Pumpkin pie. Squash pie. All sorts of American pastry. Fresh American fruits of all sorts, including strawberries which are not to be doled out as if they were jewelry, but in a more liberal way. Ice-water—not prepared in the ineffectual goblet, but in the sincere and capable refrigerator.
Mark Twain
We’ll meet again in the evening,” said Gupta. “Anything else I should know before you leave?” Gupta grinned. “Amar is terrible at flattery.” I smiled, but I couldn’t help but wonder who had been the last person he had attempted to flatter. The thought bothered me. “I was never wooed by courtly speech anyway.” As Gupta closed the door behind him I heard a soft laugh by my side. “Is that so?” Amar. I turned to face him, my gaze tracing the emerald robes that matched my sari perfectly. Like yesterday, he wore a hood that left only the lower half of his face in view. I looked at him, and even if it was only a moment, he eclipsed the staggering pull of the tapestry. “I’m not swayed by flattery,” I said. “I think a woman could feel insulted by a compliment. But I suppose that depends on the delivery.” “I think it depends on the sincerity. If you tell a woman she sings beautifully when she knows the sound of her voice might as well drop a slab of stone on the person next to her, then a compliment would be insulting.” I crossed my arms. “She could think you’re blinded by love.” “Or deafened.” “You seem quite learned in the art of giving compliments,” I countered. “Do you give them often?” “No. Gupta was telling the truth. I’ve forgotten how to pay courtly compliments,” said Amar. “For instance, etiquette demands I tell you that you look lovely and compliment your demure. But that wouldn’t be the truth.” Heat rose to my cheeks and I narrowed my eyes. “What, then, would be the truth?” “The truth,” said Amar, taking a step closer to me, “is that you look neither lovely nor demure. You look like edges and thunderstorms. And I would not have you any other way.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
Mathias remembered that once when he was a boy, he'd gone up to a pile of red apples that lay in the market cart, in the market near Stolberg where his father often took him. He'd always loved apples, and he couldn't resist the temptation of grabbing one out of the pile. He chose the closest, a splendid red piece of fruit that he would never forget because of his overwhelming desire to take it and hide it in the folds of his clothing. A moment after Mathias reached out and snatched it, the pile slid and applies tumbled down all around him. The farmer, who knew his father, would have been satisfied with an apology. But his father, a successful craftsman who was well-known and respected in the town, had insisted on purchasing an entire basketful of apples, because of the trouble Mathias had caused. Mathias got the worst scolding his father had ever given him. Not because of the money, but for the small act of petty thievery, which an upright man like his father would never tolerate. He shouldered his punishment, and in the end was only allowed to eat as single apple from the basket. He spent the night thinking about the pile. He had to remove only one and the whole thing had come down. He wondered if the same thing might happen with any tower, no matter how majestic and imposing it might seem, were someone to remove the right stone from the base. The thought stayed with him throughout his life. Venice now seemed a lot like that pile of apples. If three murders truly represented an irresistible opportunity, then which nobleman would have seized it, knowing that such a thing would cause La Serenissima and everything it represented to come crashing down?
Riccardo Bruni (The Lion and the Rose)
Grey was here.” He hadn’t known, that was obvious from the way his eyes widened. “You lie.” Rose chuckled. “I saw him. I spoke to him. He said he came to see me. And then he ran out of here as though the hounds of hell were nipping at his heels.” Archer shook his head, an expression of disbelief on his face. “They tend to do that when Hades freezes over.” Then he offered her a grin. “He braved being seen in public just to come here and see you?” “He was watching from a balcony. I wouldn’t have known he was here if the fortune teller hadn’t told me.” His brows shot up. “And there’s a story for another time. Look, Lady Rose, I know he’s frustrating as all get-out, but you cannot expect Grey to change years of behavior in a week. You have to be patient-like waves lapping at a stone.” That was so very easily said. He wasn’t the one being pressured to find a husband. He wasn’t the one who felt as though everything she wanted was just out of reach. “You know, I suddenly find myself very interested in Lady Monteforte’s literary tastes. Shall I make the introductions?” “I will hang your puppy if you do not.” Rose grinned. He truly was the most charming of rascals. “How very fortunate for me then, that I do not own a puppy.” “For shame. Every young lady should have a puppy.” Rose made the introductions, and Archer wasted no time in asking Lady Monteforte if she cared to dance. For a moment it seemed the lady might decline, but then Rose offered to stay with Jacqueline and Archer offered the widow his arm. She hesitated before taking it. Interesting. Rose had never seen a woman react so coolly to Archer’s charm before. The Kane men were obviously losing their touch.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
My eye keeps escaping towards the big blue lacquered door that I've had painted in a trompe-l'oeil on the back wall. I would like to call Mrs. Cohen back and tell her there's no problem for her son's bar mitzvah, everything's ready: I would like to go through that door and disappear into the garden my mind's eye has painted behind it. The grass there is soft and sweet, there are bulrushes bowing along the banks of a river. I put lime trees in it, hornbeams, weeping elms, blossoming cherries and liquidambars. I plant it with ancient roses, daffodils, dahlias with their melancholy heavy heads, and flowerbeds of forget-me-nots. Pimpernels, armed with all the courage peculiar to such tiny entities, follow the twists and turns between the stones of a rockery. Triumphant artichokes raise their astonished arrows towards the sky. Apple trees and lilacs blossom at the same time as hellebores and winter magnolias. My garden knows no seasons. It is both hot and cool. Frost goes hand in hand with a shimmering heat haze. The leaves fall and grow again. row and fall again. Wisteria climbs voraciously over tumbledown walls and ancient porches leading to a boxwood alley with a poignant fragrance. The heady smell of fruit hangs in the air. Huge peaches, chubby-cheeked apricots, jewel-like cherries, redcurrants, raspberries, spanking red tomatoes and bristly cardoons feast on sunlight and water, because between the sunbeams it rains in rainbow-colored droplets. At the very end, beyond a painted wooden fence, is a woodland path strewn with brown leaves, protected from the heat of the skies by a wide parasol of foliage fluttering in the breeze. You can't see the end of it, just keep walking, and breathe.
Agnès Desarthe (Chez Moi)
Seems safe enough,” Cal said, and Aislinn shrugged. “Well, there you go,” she said. Without so much as a “Hey, try not to get killed,” she turned back for the stone hut. I wouldn’t let my eyes follow Aislinn. If I looked back, I was afraid I’d go running after her. Instead I walked out to stand next to Cal. Underfoot, the surface gave slightly. Gingerly, we made our way down the watery road. “Brannicks and magic and hell, oh my,” I joked, and Cal gave a snort of what might have been laughter. I hit a particularly slipper spot and wobbled for a second before Cal grabbed my elbow. I didn’t want it to be awkward, and I really didn’t want my entire face to go red, but that’s exactly what happened. I glanced up. Our eyes met, and Cal jerked his hand back so fast that he overbalanced. As he started to fall, I went to grab him, and the next thing I knew, we both went down. I hit the wall of water to my right, just as Cal slid to the left. I fell into the water, completely immersed, only to have it spit me back out onto the path. I sat there, arms and legs akimbo, hair dripping water into my eyes. Cal sat opposite me, every bit as drenched, looking totally bewildered. Once again, we locked eyes. And this time, we both burst out laughing. “Oh God,” I spluttered. “Your face!” “My face?” he said, his laughter dwindling to a chuckle. “You should see your hair.” He rose to his feet, leaning down to offer me a hand. I took it gratefully. Once I was upright again, I ran my hand in front of my body, magic fluttering out of my fingertips to dry my hair and clothes. Cal did the same to himself, and then we studied each other. “All right, now that the weirdness between us has caused actual physical damage, I think it’s time we talked it out, don’t you?
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
Wiping his streaming eyes on his jacket sleeve, Hagrid swung himself onto the motorcycle and kicked the engine into life; with a roar it rose into the air and off into the night. “I shall see you soon, I expect, Professor McGonagall,” said Dumbledore, nodding to her. Professor McGonagall blew her nose in reply. Dumbledore turned and walked back down the street. On the corner he stopped and took out the silver Put-Outer. He clicked it once, and twelve balls of light sped back to their street lamps so that Privet Drive glowed suddenly orange and he could make out a tabby cat slinking around the corner at the other end of the street. He could just see the bundle of blankets on the step of number four. “Good luck, Harry,” he murmured. He turned on his heel and with a swish of his cloak, he was gone. A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky,
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
It is so rare to have a new tent appear that Celia considers canceling her performances entirely in order to spend the evening investigating it. Instead she waits, executing her standard number of shows, finishing the last a few hours before dawn. Only then does she navigate her way through nearly empty pathways to find the latest edition to the circus. The sign proclaims something called the Ice Garden. and Celia smiles at the addendum below which contains an apology for any thermal inconvenience. Despite the name, she is not prepared for what awaits her inside the tent. It is exactly what the sign described. But it is so much more than that. There are no stripes visible on the walls, everything is sparkling and white. She cannot tell how far it stretches, the size of the tent obscured by cascading willows and twisting vines. The air itself is magical. Crisp and sweet in her lungs as she breathes, sending a shiver down to her toes that is caused by more than the forewarned drop in temperature. There are no patrons in the tent as she explores, circling alone around trellises covered in pale roses and a softly bubbling, elaborately carved fountain. And everything, save for occasional lengths of whet silk ribbon strung like garlands, is made of ice. Curious, Celia picks a frosted peony from its branch, the stem breaking easily. But the layered petals shatter, falling from her fingers to the ground, disappearing in the blades of ivory grass below. When she looks back at the branch, an identical bloom has already appeared. Celia cannot imagine how much power and skill it would take not only to construct such a thing but to maintain it as well. And she longs to know how her opponent came up with the idea. Aware that each perfectly structured topiary, every detail down to the stones that line the paths like pearls, must have been planned.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
The Dying Man" in memoriam W.B. Yeats 1. His words I heard a dying man Say to his gathered kin, “My soul’s hung out to dry, Like a fresh salted skin; I doubt I’ll use it again. “What’s done is yet to come; The flesh deserts the bone, But a kiss widens the rose I know, as the dying know Eternity is Now. “A man sees, as he dies, Death’s possibilities; My heart sways with the world. I am that final thing, A man learning to sing. 2. What Now? Caught in the dying light, I thought myself reborn. My hand turn into hooves. I wear the leaden weight Of what I did not do. Places great with their dead, The mire, the sodden wood, Remind me to stay alive. I am the clumsy man The instant ages on. I burned the flesh away, In love, in lively May. I turn my look upon Another shape than hers Now, as the casement blurs. In the worst night of my will, I dared to question all, And would the same again. What’s beating at the gate? Who’s come can wait. 3. The Wall A ghost comes out of the unconscious mind To grope my sill: It moans to be reborn! The figure at my back is not my friend; The hand upon my shoulder turns to horn. I found my father when I did my work, Only to lose myself in this small dark. Though it reject dry borders of the seen, What sensual eye can keep and image pure, Leaning across a sill to greet the dawn? A slow growth is a hard thing to endure. When figures our of obscure shadow rave, All sensual love’s but dancing on a grave. The wall has entered: I must love the wall, A madman staring at perpetual night, A spirit raging at the visible. I breathe alone until my dark is bright. Dawn’s where the white is. Who would know the dawn When there’s a dazzling dark behind the sun. 4. The Exulting Once I delighted in a single tree; The loose air sent me running like a child– I love the world; I want more than the world, Or after image of the inner eye. Flesh cries to flesh, and bone cries out to bone; I die into this life, alone yet not alone. Was it a god his suffering renewed?– I saw my father shrinking in his skin; He turned his face: there was another man, Walking the edge, loquacious, unafraid. He quivered like a bird in birdless air, Yet dared to fix his vision anywhere. Fish feed on fish, according to their need: My enemies renew me, and my blood Beats slower in my careless solitude. I bare a wound, and dare myself to bleed. I think a bird, and it begins to fly. By dying daily, I have come to be. All exultation is a dangerous thing. I see you, love, I see you in a dream; I hear a noise of bees, a trellis hum, And that slow humming rises into song. A breath is but a breath: I have the earth; I shall undo all dying with my death. 5. They Sing, They Sing All women loved dance in a dying light– The moon’s my mother: how I love the moon! Out of her place she comes, a dolphin one, Then settles back to shade and the long night. A beast cries out as if its flesh were torn, And that cry takes me back where I was born. Who thought love but a motion in the mind? Am I but nothing, leaning towards a thing? I scare myself with sighing, or I’ll sing; Descend O gentlest light, descend, descend. I sweet field far ahead, I hear your birds, They sing, they sing, but still in minor thirds. I’ve the lark’s word for it, who sings alone: What’s seen recededs; Forever’s what we know!– Eternity defined, and strewn with straw, The fury of the slug beneath the stone. The vision moves, and yet remains the same. In heaven’s praise, I dread the thing I am. The edges of the summit still appall When we brood on the dead or the beloved; Nor can imagination do it all In this last place of light: he dares to live Who stops being a bird, yet beats his wings Against the immense immeasurable emptiness of things.
Theodore Roethke (The Collected Poems)
Tate was sprawled across the bed in his robe early the next morning when the sound of the front door opening penetrated his mind. There was an unholy commotion out there and his head was still throbbing, despite a bath, several cups of coffee and a handful of aspirin that had been forced on him the day before by two men he’d thought were his friends. He didn’t want to sober up. He only wanted to forget that Cecily didn’t want him anymore. He dragged himself off the bed and went into the living room, just in time to hear the door close. Cecily and her suitcase were standing with mutual rigidity just inside the front door. She was wearing a dress and boots and a coat and hat, red-faced and muttering words Tate had never heard her use before. He scowled. “How did you get here?” he asked. “Your boss brought me!” she raged. “He and that turncoat Colby Lane and two bodyguards, one of whom was the female counterpart of Ivan the Terrible! They forcibly dressed me and packed me and flew me up here on Mr. Hutton’s Learjet! When I refused to get out of the car, the male bodyguard swept me up and carried me here! I am going to kill people as soon as I get my breath and my wits back, and I am starting with you!” He leaned against the wall, still bleary-eyed and only half awake. She was beautiful with her body gently swollen and her lips pouting and her green eye sin their big-lensed frames glittering at him. She registered after a minute that he wasn’t himself. “What’s the matter with you?” she asked abruptly. He didn’t answer. He put a hand to his head. “You’re drunk!” she exclaimed in shock. “I have been,” he replied in a subdued tone. “For about a week, I think. Pierce and Colby got my landlord to let them in yesterday.” She smiled dimly. “I’d made some threats about what I’d do if he ever let anybody else into my apartment, after he let Audrey in the last time. I guess he believed them, because Colby had to flash his company ID to get in.” He chuckled weakly. “Nothing intimidates the masses like a CIA badge, even if it isn’t current.” “You’ve been drunk?” She moved a little closer into the apartment. “But, Tate, you don’t…you don’t drink,” she said. “I do now. The mother of my child won’t marry me,” he said simply. “I said you could have access…” His black eyes slid over her body like caressing hands. He’d missed her unbearably. Just the sight of her was calming now. “So you did.” Why did the feel guilty, for God’s sake, she wondered. She tried to recapture her former outrage. “I’ve been kidnapped!” “Apparently. Don’t look at me. Until today, I was too stoned to lift my head.” He looked around. “I guess they threw out the beer cans and the pizza boxes,” he murmured. “Pity. I think there was a slice of pizza left.” He sighed. “I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten since yesterday.” “Yesterday!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
We almost began a perfect conversation, F. said as he turned on the six o'clock news. He turned the radio very loud and began to shout wildly against the voice of the commentator, who was reciting a list of disasters. Sail on, sail on, O Ship of State, auto accidents, births, Berlin, cures for cancer! Listen, my friend, listen to the present, the right now, it's all around us, painted like a target, red, white, and blue. Sail into the target like a dart, a fluke bull's eye in a dirty pub. Empty your memory and listen to the fire around you. Don't forget your memory, let it exist somewhere precious in all the colors that it needs but somewhere else, hoist your memory on the Ship of State like a pirate's sail, and aim yourself at the tinkly present. Do you know how to do this? Do you know how to see the akropolis like the Indians did who never even had one? Fuck a saint, that's how, find a little saint and fuck her over and over in some pleasant part of heaven, get right into her plastic altar, dwell in her silver medal, fuck her until she tinkles like a souvenir music box, until the memorial lights go on for free, find a little saintly faker like Teresa or Catherine Tekakwitha or Lesbia, whom prick never knew but who lay around all day in a chocolate poem, find one of these quaint impossible cunts and fuck her for your life, coming all over the sky, fuck her on the moon with a steel hourglass up your hole, get tangled in her airy robes, suck her nothing juices, lap, lap, lap, a dog in the ether, then climb down to this fat earth and slouch around the fat earth in your stone shoes, get clobbered by a runaway target, take the senseless blows again and again, a right to the mind, piledriver on the heart, kick in the scrotum, help! help! it's my time, my second, my splinter of the shit glory tree, police, fire men! look at the traffic of happiness and crime, it's burning in crayon like the akropolis rose! And so on.
Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers)
All at once, something wonderful happened, although at first, it seemed perfectly ordinary. A female goldfinch suddenly hove into view. She lighted weightlessly on the head of a bankside purple thistle and began emptying the seedcase, sowing the air with down. The lighted frame of my window filled. The down rose and spread in all directions, wafting over the dam’s waterfall and wavering between the tulip trunks and into the meadow. It vaulted towards the orchard in a puff; it hovered over the ripening pawpaw fruit and staggered up the steep faced terrace. It jerked, floated, rolled, veered, swayed. The thistle down faltered down toward the cottage and gusted clear to the woods; it rose and entered the shaggy arms of pecans. At last it strayed like snow, blind and sweet, into the pool of the creek upstream, and into the race of the creek over rocks down. It shuddered onto the tips of growing grasses, where it poised, light, still wracked by errant quivers. I was holding my breath. Is this where we live, I thought, in this place in this moment, with the air so light and wild? The same fixity that collapses stars and drives the mantis to devour her mate eased these creatures together before my eyes: the thick adept bill of the goldfinch, and the feathery coded down. How could anything be amiss? If I myself were lighter and frayed, I could ride these small winds, too, taking my chances, for the pleasure of being so purely played. The thistle is part of Adam’s curse. “Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” A terrible curse: But does the goldfinch eat thorny sorrow with the thistle or do I? If this furling air is fallen, then the fall was happy indeed. If this creekside garden is sorrow, then I seek martyrdom. I was weightless; my bones were taut skins blown with buoyant gas; it seemed that if I inhaled too deeply, my shoulders and head would waft off. Alleluia.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Bread plays favorites. From the earliest times, it acts as a social marker, sifting the poor from the wealthy, the cereal from the chaff. The exceptional from the mediocre. Wheat becomes more acceptable than rye; farmers talk of losing their 'rye teeth' as their economic status improves. Barley is for the most destitute, the coarse grain grinding down molars until the nerves are exposed. Breads with the added richness of eggs and milk and butter become the luxuries of princes. Only paupers eat dark bread adulterated with peas and left to sour, or purchase horse-bread instead of man-bread, often baked with the floor sweepings, because it costs a third less than the cheapest whole-meal loaves. When brown bread makes it to the tables of the prosperous, it is as trenchers- plates- stacked high with fish and meat and vegetables and soaked with gravy. The trenchers are then thrown outside, where the dogs and beggars fight over them. Crusts are chipped off the rolls of the rich, both to make it easier to chew and to aid in digestion. Peasants must work all the more to eat, even in the act of eating itself, jaws exhausted from biting through thick crusts and heavy crumb. There is no lightness for them. No whiteness at all. And it is the whiteness every man wants. Pure, white flour. Only white bread blooms when baked, opening to the heat like a rose. Only a king should be allowed such beauty, because he has been blessed by his God. So wouldn't he be surprised- no, filled with horror- to find white bread the food of all men today, and even more so the food of the common people. It is the least expensive on the shelf at the supermarket, ninety-nine cents a loaf for the storebrand. It is smeared with sweetened fruit and devoured by schoolchildren, used for tea sandwiches by the affluent, donated to soup kitchens for the needy, and shunned by the artisan. Yes, the irony of all ironies, the hearty, dark bread once considered fit only for thieves and livestock is now some of the most prized of all.
Christa Parrish (Stones for Bread)
Jack took two steps towards the couch and then heard his daughter’s distressed wails, wincing. “Oh, right. The munchkin.” He instead turned and headed for the stairs, yawning and scratching his messy brown hair, calling out, “Hang on, chubby monkey, Daddy’s coming.” Jack reached the top of the stairs. And stopped dead. There was a dragon standing in the darkened hallway. At first, Jack swore he was still asleep. He had to be. He couldn’t possibly be seeing correctly. And yet the icy fear slipping down his spine said differently. The dragon stood at roughly five feet tall once its head rose upon sighting Jack at the other end of the hallway. It was lean and had dirty brown scales with an off-white belly. Its black, hooked claws kneaded the carpet as its yellow eyes stared out at Jack, its pupils dilating to drink him in from head to toe. Its wings rustled along its back on either side of the sharp spines protruding down its body to the thin, whip-like tail. A single horn glinted sharp and deadly under the small, motion-activated hallway light. The only thing more noticeable than that were the many long, jagged scars scored across the creature’s stomach, limbs, and neck. It had been hunted recently. Judging from the depth and extent of the scars, it had certainly killed a hunter or two to have survived with so many marks. “Okay,” Jack whispered hoarsely. “Five bucks says you’re not the Easter Bunny.” The dragon’s nostrils flared. It adjusted its body, feet apart, lips sliding away from sharp, gleaming white teeth in a warning hiss. Mercifully, Naila had quieted and no longer drew the creature’s attention. Jack swallowed hard and held out one hand, bending slightly so his six-foot-two-inch frame was less threatening. “Look at me, buddy. Just keep looking at me. It’s alright. I’m not going to hurt you. Why don’t you just come this way, huh?” He took a single step down and the creature crept forward towards him, hissing louder. “That’s right. This way. Come on.” Jack eased backwards one stair at a time. The dragon let out a warning bark and followed him, its saliva leaving damp patches on the cream-colored carpet. Along the way, Jack had slipped his phone out of his pocket and dialed 9-1-1, hoping he had just enough seconds left in the reptile’s waning patience. “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” “Listen to me carefully,” Jack said, not letting his eyes stray from the dragon as he fumbled behind him for the handle to the sliding glass door. He then quickly gave her his address before continuing. “There is an Appalachian forest dragon in my house. Get someone over here as fast as you can.” “We’re contacting a retrieval team now, sir. Please stay calm and try not to make any loud noises or sudden movements–“ Jack had one barefoot on the cool stone of his patio when his daughter Naila cried for him again. The dragon’s head turned towards the direction of upstairs. Jack dropped his cell phone, grabbed a patio chair, and slammed it down on top of the dragon’s head as hard as he could.
Kyoko M. (Of Fury and Fangs)
The street sprinkler went past and, as its rasping rotary broom spread water over the tarmac, half the pavement looked as if it had been painted with a dark stain. A big yellow dog had mounted a tiny white bitch who stood quite still. In the fashion of colonials the old gentleman wore a light jacket, almost white, and a straw hat. Everything held its position in space as if prepared for an apotheosis. In the sky the towers of Notre-Dame gathered about themselves a nimbus of heat, and the sparrows – minor actors almost invisible from the street – made themselves at home high up among the gargoyles. A string of barges drawn by a tug with a white and red pennant had crossed the breadth of Paris and the tug lowered its funnel, either in salute or to pass under the Pont Saint-Louis. Sunlight poured down rich and luxuriant, fluid and gilded as oil, picking out highlights on the Seine, on the pavement dampened by the sprinkler, on a dormer window, and on a tile roof on the Île Saint-Louis. A mute, overbrimming life flowed from each inanimate thing, shadows were violet as in impressionist canvases, taxis redder on the white bridge, buses greener. A faint breeze set the leaves of a chestnut tree trembling, and all down the length of the quai there rose a palpitation which drew voluptuously nearer and nearer to become a refreshing breath fluttering the engravings pinned to the booksellers’ stalls. People had come from far away, from the four corners of the earth, to live that one moment. Sightseeing cars were lined up on the parvis of Notre-Dame, and an agitated little man was talking through a megaphone. Nearer to the old gentleman, to the bookseller dressed in black, an American student contemplated the universe through the view-finder of his Leica. Paris was immense and calm, almost silent, with her sheaves of light, her expanses of shadow in just the right places, her sounds which penetrated the silence at just the right moment. The old gentleman with the light-coloured jacket had opened a portfolio filled with coloured prints and, the better to look at them, propped up the portfolio on the stone parapet. The American student wore a red checked shirt and was coatless. The bookseller on her folding chair moved her lips without looking at her customer, to whom she was speaking in a tireless stream. That was all doubtless part of the symphony. She was knitting. Red wool slipped through her fingers. The white bitch’s spine sagged beneath the weight of the big male, whose tongue was hanging out. And then when everything was in its place, when the perfection of that particular morning reached an almost frightening point, the old gentleman died without saying a word, without a cry, without a contortion while he was looking at his coloured prints, listening to the voice of the bookseller as it ran on and on, to the cheeping of the sparrows, the occasional horns of taxis. He must have died standing up, one elbow on the stone ledge, a total lack of astonishment in his blue eyes. He swayed and fell to the pavement, dragging along with him the portfolio with all its prints scattered about him. The male dog wasn’t at all frightened, never stopped. The woman let her ball of wool fall from her lap and stood up suddenly, crying out: ‘Monsieur Bouvet!
Georges Simenon
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))
From the bonny bells of heather, They brewed a drink long syne, Was sweeter far than honey, Was stronger far than wine. They brewed it and they drank it, And lay in blessed swound, For days and days together, In their dwellings underground. There rose a King in Scotland, A fell man to his foes, He smote the Picts in battle, He hunted them like roes. Over miles of the red mountain He hunted as they fled, And strewed the dwarfish bodies Of the dying and the dead. Summer came in the country, Red was the heather bell, But the manner of the brewing, Was none alive to tell. In graves that were like children’s On many a mountain’s head, The Brewsters of the Heather Lay numbered with the dead. The king in the red moorland Rode on a summer’s day; And the bees hummed and the curlews Cried beside the way. The King rode and was angry, Black was his brow and pale, To rule in a land of heather, And lack the Heather Ale. It fortuned that his vassals, Riding free upon the heath, Came on a stone that was fallen And vermin hid beneath. Roughly plucked from their hiding, Never a word they spoke: A son and his aged father – Last of the dwarfish folk. The king sat high on his charger, He looked down on the little men; And the dwarfish and swarthy couple Looked at the king again. Down by the shore he had them: And there on the giddy brink – “I will give thee life ye vermin, For the secret of the drink.” There stood the son and father And they looked high and low; The heather was red around them, The sea rumbled below. And up spoke the father, Shrill was his voice to hear: “I have a word in private, A word for the royal ear. “Life is dear to the aged, And honour a little thing; I would gladly sell the secret”, Quoth the Pict to the King. His voice was small as a sparrow’s, And shrill and wonderful clear: “I would gladly sell my secret, Only my son I fear. “For life is a little matter, And death is nought to the young; And I dare not sell my honour, Under the eye of my son. Take him, O king, and bind him, And cast him far in the deep; And it’s I will tell the secret That I have sworn to keep.” They took the son and bound him, Neck and heels in a thong, And a lad took him and swung him, And flung him far and strong And the sea swallowed his body, Like that of a child of ten; And there on the cliff stood the father, Last of the dwarfish men. “True was the word I told you: Only my son I feared; For I doubt the sapling courage, That goes without the beard. But now in vain is the torture, Fire shall not avail: Here dies in my bosom The secret of the Heather Ale.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Mindy runs to the DVD player and delicately places the disk in the holder and presses play. “Will you sit in this chair, please, Princess Mindy?” I ask, bowing deeply at the waist. Mindy giggles as she replies, ”I guess so.” After Mindy sits down, I take a wide-tooth comb and start gently combing out her tangles. Mindy starts vibrating with excitement as she blurts, “Mr. Jeff, you’re gonna fix my hair fancy, ain’t you?” “We’ll see if a certain Princess can hold still long enough for me to finish,” I tease. Immediately, Mindy becomes as still as a stone statue. After a couple of minutes, I have to say, “Mindy, sweetheart, it’s okay to breathe. I just can’t have you bouncing, because I’m afraid it will cause me to pull your hair.” Mindy slumps down in her chair just slightly. “Okay Mr. Jeff, I was ascared you was gonna stop,” she whispers, her chin quivering. I adopt a very fake, very over-the-top French accent and say, “Oh no, Monsieur Jeff must complete Princess Mindy’s look to make the Kingdom happy. Mindy erupts with the first belly laugh I’ve heard all day as she responds, “Okay, I’ll try to be still, but it’s hard ‘cause I have the wiggles real bad.” I pat her on the shoulder and chuckle as I say, “Just try your best, sweetheart. That’s all anyone can ask.” Kiera comes screeching around the corner in a blur, plunks her purse on the table, and says breathlessly, “Geez-O-Pete, I can’t believe I’m late for the makeover. I love makeovers.” Kiera digs through her purse and produces two bottles of nail polish and nail kit. “It’s time for your mani/pedi ma’am. Would you prefer Pink Pearl or Frosted Creamsicle? Mindy raises her hand like a schoolchild and Kiera calls on her like a pupil, “I want Frosted Cream toes please,” Mindy answers. “Your wish is my command, my dear,” Kiera responds with a grin. For the next few minutes, Mindy gets the spa treatment of her life as I carefully French braid her hair into pigtails. As a special treat, I purchased some ribbons from the gift shop and I’m weaving them into her hair. I tuck a yellow rose behind her ear. I don my French accent as I declare, “Monsieur Jeffery pronounces Princess Mindy finished and fit to rule the kingdom.” Kiera hands Mindy a new tube of grape ChapStick from her purse, “Hold on, a true princess never reigns with chapped lips,” she says. Mindy giggles as she responds, “You’re silly, Miss Kiera. Nobody in my kingdom is going to care if my lips are shiny.” Kiera’s laugh sounds like wind chimes as she covers her face with her hands as she confesses, “Okay, you busted me. I just like to use it because it tastes yummy.” “Okay, I want some, please,” Mindy decides. Kiera is putting the last minute touches on her as Mindy is scrambling to stand on Kiera’s thighs so she can get a better look in the mirror. When I reach out to steady her, she grabs my hand in a death grip. I glance down at her. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is opening and closing like a fish. I shoot Kiera a worried glance, but she merely shrugs. “Holy Sh — !” Mindy stops short when she sees Kiera’s expression. “Mr. Jeff is an angel for reals because he turned me into one. Look at my hair Miss Kiera, there are magic ribbons in it! I’m perfect. I can be anything I want to be.” Spontaneously, we all join together in a group hug. I kiss the top of her head as I agree, “Yes, Mindy, you are amazing and the sky is the limit for you.
Mary Crawford (Until the Stars Fall from the Sky (Hidden Beauty #1))