You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
Dr. Seuss (Oh, The Places You’ll Go!)
A man could be a lover and defender of the wilderness without ever in his lifetime leaving the boundaries of asphalt, powerlines, and right-angled surfaces. We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to set foot in it. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope; without it the life of the cities would drive all men into crime or drugs or psychoanalysis.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
He ignored me, thank God, saying to Kat, "Let go of Frosty's leash. You're choking the life out of him."
Kat's eyes narrowed to tiny slits, a sure sign of her aggression. "He deserves to choke. He didn't keep little frosty in his pants this summer." the words snapped like a whip.
"He did." Cole snapped back with unwavering confidence.
"Not, not, not!" she shouted with a stomp of her foot.
"What are we five?" Cole said.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
Wait--we have one left," the runner said, bringing out what was surely the most expensive bouquet of all: a three-foot tall arrangement of two hundred white roses, in the palest ivory color. All the girls swooned. Almost no boys bought white roses ever. It was a big sign of commitment. But this one practically trumpeted a captured heart.
The runner set the bouquet in front of Schuyler.
Mimi raised an eyebrow. She had always won the roses lottery. What was this all about?
For me?" Schuyler asked, awestruck by the size of the thing.
She took the card from the tallest stem.
For Schuyler, who doesn't like love stories." It was not signed.
Melissa de la Cruz (Masquerade (Blue Bloods, #2))
What are you gonna say?" Emma asked. " 'I'm not sure I want you back, but I'm sure I don't want your ex-con ex-girlfriend to have you, either'? Yeah. That'll start this little triangle off on the right foot.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers, #4))
Was this a betrayal, or was it an act of courage? Perhaps both. Neither one involves forethought: such things take place in an instant, in an eyeblink. This can only be because they have been rehearsed by us already, over and over, in silence and darkness; in such silence, such darkness, that we are ignorant of them ourselves. Blind but sure-footed, we step forward as if into a remembered dance.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
Real-life may not always be a symphony of buoyant instants or ecstatic exploits. Downbeat emotional externalities can emerge unpredictably throughout our life journey. If we wish to turn life into an undying dance prom, let’s keep one foot in reality for sure. ("Blind date")
Say “no” only when it really matters. Wear a bright red shirt with bright orange shorts? Sure. Put water in the toy tea set? Okay. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed? Fine. Samuel Johnson said, “All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.
What, you didn’t pack your lunch?” Ty asked sarcastically as he
shifted around in the seat and wedged himself against the door. He kicked a
foot up and propped it on the console between the two front seats.
“Sure, in my SpongeBob SquarePants lunch box. I have the thermos,
too,” Morrison shot right back.
Zane kept his mouth shut, eyes moving between the two men, and
occasionally back to the driver, who was casually paying attention.
Ty stared at the kid and narrowed his eyes further. “Spongewhat?” he
Zane didn’t even try to hold back the chuckle when Morrison looked
at Ty like he’d lost his mind.
“Spongewha … you’re yanking my chain, aren’t you?” Morrison
said. “Henny, he’s yanking my chain.”
“Yeah, well, that’s what you getting for waving it in his face,” the
driver answered reasonably.
“What the hell is a SpongeBob?” Ty asked Zane quietly in the
Madeleine Urban (Cut & Run (Cut & Run, #1))
An unspoken rivalry threaded their relationship, in which Tiger Lily thought that if she could keep up with him, she could hold tighter to him. It didn't occur to her there was anything in which Peter would want her to fail. But sometimes, I could see that, even for him, she was too fast, too sure-footed, and didn't seem to need him quite enough.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
How’s your father?”
“How do you think he is? You stabbed him in the foot.”
“I would have aimed for his heart, but I wasn’t sure he actually had one. Do any of you have one?
G.A. Aiken (Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1))
One foot in front of the other, wasn't that the grownup way of solving problems? Surely he ought to be a grownup at his age.
Lois McMaster Bujold (CryoBurn (Vorkosigan Saga, #14))
Wherever you are in your journey, I hope you, too, will keep encountering challenges. It is a blessing to be able to survive them, to be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other—to be in a position to make the climb up life’s mountain, knowing that the summit still lies ahead. And every experience is a valuable teacher.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure)
I woke up faster this time, because I knew what I was hearing I sat up in bed, glaring behind me. The bed was still pulled safely away from the wall, so I felt no movement. But there sure as hell something moving over there.
Then I heard ……hissing?
I looked down at Clive, whose tail was at full puff. He arched his back and paced back and forth at the foot of the bed.
“Hey, mister. It’s cool. We just got a noisy neighbor, that’s all,” I soothed, stretching my hand out to him. That’s when I heard it. “Meow”
I cocked my head sideways, listening more intently. I studied Clive, who looked back at me as if to say “T’weren’t me”.
“Meow! Oh, God. Me -Yow!”
The girl next door was meowing. What in the world was my neighbor packing to make that happen?
Clive, at this point, went utterly bonkers and launched himself at the wall. He was literally climbing it, trying to get where the noise was coming from, and adding his own meows to the chorus.
“Oooh yes, just like that, Simon…Mmmm….Meow, meow, Meow!”
Sweet Lord, there were out-of-control pussies on both sides of this wall tonight.
Alice Clayton (Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1))
Imagine that you were on the threshold of this fairytale, sometime billions of years ago when everything was created. And you were able to choose whether you wanted to be born to a life on this planet at some point. You wouldn’t know when you were going to be born, nor how long you’d live for, but at any event it wouldn’t be more than a few years. All you’d know was that, if you chose to come into the world at some point, you’d also have to leave it again one day and go away from everything. This might cause you a good deal of grief, as lots of people think that life in the great fairytale is so wonderful that the mere thought of it ending can bring tears to their eyes. Things can be so nice here that it’s terribly painful to think that at some point the days will run out. What would you have chosen, if there had been some higher power that had gave you the choice? Perhaps we can imagine some sort of cosmic fairy in this great, strange fairytale. What you have chosen to live a life on earth at some point, whether short or long, in a hundred thousand or a hundred million years? Or would you have refused to join in the game because you didn’t like the rules? (...) I asked myself the same question maybe times during the past few weeks. Would I have elected to live a life on earth in the firm knowledge that I’d suddenly be torn away from it, and perhaps in the middle of intoxicating happiness? (...) Well, I wasn’t sure what I would have chosen. (...) If I’d chosen never to the foot inside the great fairytale, I’d never have known what I’ve lost. Do you see what I’m getting at? Sometimes it’s worse for us human beings to lose something dear to us than never to have had it at all.
Jostein Gaarder (The Orange Girl)
When traveling on foot through the Sahara Desert, be sure to pack several gallons of ice cream, and keep them close to your heart, because nothing, not even my love, can make that thing melt.
Jarod Kintz (Write like no one is reading 3)
Every morning the maple leaves.
Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party
and seduced you
and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.
You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?
A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.
Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.
What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.
Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly
I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either.
Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.
I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,
I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow
glass, but that comes later.
Let me do it right for once,
for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes,
you know the story, simply heaven.
Inside your head you hear a phone ringing
and when you open your eyes
only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer.
Inside your head the sound of glass,
a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion.
Hello darling, sorry about that.
Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we
lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell
and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud.
Especially that, but I should have known.
Inside your head you hear
a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up
in a stranger’s bathroom,
standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away
from the dirtiest thing you know.
All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly
suddenly only darkness.
In the living room, in the broken yard,
in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport
bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of
my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away.
I arrived in the city and you met me at the station,
smiling in a way
that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade,
up the stairs of the building
to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things,
I looked out the window and said
This doesn’t look that much different from home,
because it didn’t,
but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights.
We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too,
smiling and crying in a way that made me
even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I
just couldn’t say it out loud.
Actually, you said Love, for you,
is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
terrifying. No one
will ever want to sleep with you.
Okay, if you’re so great, you do it—
here’s the pencil, make it work …
If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window
is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing
Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
we have had our difficulties and there are many things
I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
years later, in the chlorinated pool.
I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
“’Cause I always love a challenge.”
He’d caught her with that when she was halfway in the cab. With one foot in and the other still braced against the curb, she stared at him. “What challenge?”
“You’re challenging me to get you back into my life.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Your exact words were ‘I challenge you, Bobby Ray Smith, to get me back into your life.’”
“I never said that.”
“That’s what I heard.” The beauty of wolf hearing. You heard only what you wanted to, made up what was never said but should have been, and the rest meant little or nothing.
Shelly Laurenston (The Beast in Him (Pride, #2))
We must always be careful of the actions we take, for there are always unintended consequences. Sometimes they are serendipitous, other times they are appalling, but those consequences are always there. We must tread lightly in this world...until we are sure of foot.
Neal Shusterman (UnDivided (Unwind, #4))
“Fuck! ” I shouted and everyone at the espresso counter looked over at us. “Half a million dollars?” Lee dropped his foot and turned to me. “Roxie, calm down.”
“Half a million dollars and he bought me cheese puffs and took me to that sleaze bag motel? I’m gonna fucking kill that motherfucker!” I yelled.
I slammed my fists on my knees. “The least he could have done was bind my wrists with VELVET ROPE. He sure could have afforded it. Stupid jerk.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Redemption (Rock Chick, #3))
what love looks like
what does love look like the therapist asks
one week after the breakup
and i’m not sure how to answer her question
except for the fact that i thought love
looked so much like you
that’s when it hit me
and i realized how naive i had been
to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person
as if anybody on this entire earth
could encompass all love represented
as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for
would look like a five foot eleven
medium-sized brown-skinned guy
who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast
what does love look like the therapist asks again
this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence
and at this point i’m about to get up
and walk right out the door
except i paid too much money for this hour
so instead i take a piercing look at her
the way you look at someone
when you’re about to hand it to them
lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation
eyes digging deeply into theirs
searching for all the weak spots
they have hidden somewhere
hair being tucked behind the ears
as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation
on the philosophies or rather disappointments
of what love looks like
well i tell her
i don’t think love is him anymore
if love was him
he would be here wouldn’t he
if he was the one for me
wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me
if love was him it would have been simple
i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat
i think love never was
i think i just wanted something
was ready to give myself to something
i believed was bigger than myself
and when i saw someone
who probably fit the part
i made it very much my intention
to make him my counterpart
and i lost myself to him
he took and he took
wrapped me in the word special
until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me
hands only to feel me
a body only to be with me
oh how he emptied me
how does that make you feel
interrupts the therapist
well i said
it kind of makes me feel like shit
maybe we’re looking at it wrong
we think it’s something to search for out there
something meant to crash into us
on our way out of an elevator
or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere
appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore
looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual
but i think love starts here
everything else is just desire and projection
of all our wants needs and fantasies
but those externalities could never work out
if we didn’t turn inward and learn
how to love ourselves in order to love other people
love does not look like a person
love is our actions
love is giving all we can
even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake
love is understanding
we have the power to hurt one another
but we are going to do everything in our power
to make sure we don’t
love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve
and when someone shows up
saying they will provide it as you do
but their actions seem to break you
rather than build you
love is knowing who to choose
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
It's me," a deep voice rumbled.
The hands released me and I turned. There stood Derek, all six foot of him. Maybe it was just the thrill of seeing him, but he looked better than I remembered. His black hair was still lank, and his face was still dotted with acne. But he looked...better.
Tori waited until Derek was gone, then shuddered. "Okay, Derek always weired me out, but the wolf man stuff is seriously creepy. Suits him, I suppose. A creepy power for a creepy guy."
"I thought he looked better."
She stared at me.
"What? He does. Probably because he's starting his wolf changes and he's not stressed out about being in Lyle House. That must help."
"You know what will really help? Shampoo. Deodorant - "
I raised my hand to cut her off. "He smelled fine, so don't start that. I'm sure his wearing deodorant and - for once-it's working. As for showers, they're a little hard to come by on the street, and we won't look much better soon."
"I'm just saying."
"Do you think he doesn't know you're saying? News flash-he's not stupid.
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
I find that hard to believe. Nothing comes free in this world. Ever. (Sin)
Then get up and get dressed. There’s the door. I’m sure you know how to use it. It’s a really simple process. You put one foot in front of the other, turn the knob, and keep going. (Kat)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
It is good to express a matter in two ways simultaneously so as to give it both a right foot and a left. Truth can stand on one leg, to be sure; but with two it can walk and get about.
Class never runs scared.
It is sure-footed and confident.
It can handle anything that comes along.
Class has a sense of humor.
It knows a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations.
Class never makes excuses.
It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes.
Class knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small, inconsequential sacrifices.
Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money.
Some wealthy “blue bloods” have no class, while individuals who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it.
Class is real.
It can’t be faked.
Class never tried to build itself by tearing others down.
Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.
Class can “walk with kings and keep it’s virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.” Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because that person is comfortable with himself.
If you have class, you’ve got it made.
If you don’t have class, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make any difference.
I nodded toward Cade’s wrist. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fun. I get a man bracelet.”
I smiled. “I don’t think you get to keep it. She’s just using you as her model.”
“It’s a fact, not a compliment.”
“Because if you gave me a compliment you might have a stroke.”
I laughed. “Probably not a stroke, but my brain would definitely revolt in some way.”
He didn’t laugh along with me, just looked at the cording on his wrist.
“Oh, stop, you don’t need me to tell you that you’re hot to know that it’s true.”
“Are you okay? Did that hurt your head?” Cade asked.
I kicked his foot with mine and he laughed.
“So you think I’m hot?” Cade’s eyes sparkled.
“Doesn’t every girl?”
It surprised me when his cheeks turned a light shade of pink. I wasn’t sure why that embarrassed him in any way. I was positive he already knew it. He ran one hand through his hair. Then he said, almost too quiet for me to hear, “You’re not every girl.
Kasie West (P.S. I Like You)
I forget myself sometimes, but then I look up, as I am looking up now, and I see in my mind's eye a sheild, strangely changed by a rich encrusting of jewel-like barnacles and cold-water coral, with an eight foot tooth sticking right out of the middle of it. I reach out and the edge of that tooth is still so bitingly sharp after all these years that just a gentle brush with the fingers might send a rain of blood down on these pages. And I bend my head, not too close, and I am sure I can hear, very faintly:
Once I set the sea alight
With a single fiery breath....
Once I was so mighty that I thought
My name was Death....
Sing out loud until you're eaten,
Song of melancholy blisss,
For the mighty and the middling
All shall come to THIS....
The Supper is still singing.
Where am I?" Magnus croaked.
"Oh, so we went on a little trip."
"You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot."
"Ah," said Magnus.
"You were shouting some things."
"I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts."
"Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked.
"You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy."
"Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim."
"'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus."
"I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - "
"Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua."
"What did I do in Moquegua?"
"You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky."
"We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk."
"I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued.
"Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate."
"I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!"
"Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke."
"So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - "
Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Queen Alyss, my guards have discovered something you should see."
Her face had relaxed at the sight of him, but her brow at once contracted, her lips thinned with tension.
We've found evidence of suspicious activity in the palace," he said.
What sort of activity?"
You might want to step this way and see for youself. I apologize in advance for you having to set foot in a gaurdsman's quaters."
He led her into his rooms. The boyish portrait of Sir Justice, the fire crystals in the hearth, the elegantly arrayed table: Alyss blinked in puzzlement.
What is all this?"
My best guess, You Majesty, is that it's breakfast, but I can't be sure until we taste it.
Frank Beddor (Seeing Redd)
Then I celebrated my Wall of Books. I counted the volumes on my twenty-foot-long modernist bookshelf to make sure none had been misplaced or used as kindling by my subtenant. “You’re my sacred ones,” I told the books. “No one but me still cares about you. But I’m going to keep you with me forever. And one day I’ll make you important again.” I thought about that terrible calumny of the new generation: that books smell.
Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story)
Everybody sees the ants?"
He looks at me and says, "Well, how many people do you think live perfect lives, son? Aren't we all victims of something at some time or another?"
"I don't follow."
"Left hand red!" he says. Two ants fall on this turn, and the ant laughter gets louder. "Well, think about it. How many bad things can be done to a person? You got murder and assault, rape and robbery for starters. Just with those you're looking at some big numbers of how many people see the ants." He calls, "Left foot blue!"
I say, "Huh," because I'm not sure how many people he means.
"There's battery, conspiracy, extortion, slander, defamation and harassment, child abuse, stalking-the list is long, isn't it? Don't forget that every crime has hundreds of victims-everyone who knew and loved the victim and the criminal. That shit can trickle down."
"All those people see the ants?"
"Yep. Right hand green!"
"Yeah," he says. "If there are people who don't see 'em, I'd say we outnumber them a million to one.
A.S. King (Everybody Sees the Ants)
But I suppose if you're friends of Magnus's ..." He went completely still. His runes faded. Then he leaped out of my hand and flew towards Annabeth, his blade twitching as if he was stiffing the air. "Where is she? Where are you hiding the babe?"
Annabeth backed towards the rail. "Whoa, there, sword. Personal space?"
"Jack, behave," Alex said. "What are you doing?"
"She's around here somewhere," Jack insisted. He flew to Percy. "Aha! What's in your pocket, sea boy?"
"Excuse me?" Percy looked a bit nervous about the magical sword hovering at his waistline.
Alex lowered his Ray-Bans. "Okay, now I'm curious. What do you have in your pocket, Percy? Enquiring swords want to know."
Percy pulled a plain-looking ballpoint pen from his jeans. "You mean this?"
"BAM!" Jack said. "Who is this vision of loveliness?"
"Jack," I said. "It's a pen."
"No, it's not! Show me! Show me!"
"Uh ... sure." Percy uncapped the pen.
Immediately it transformed into a three-foot-long sword with a leaf-shaped blade of glowing bronze.. Compared to Jack, the weapon looked delicate, almost petite, but from the way Percy wielded it I had no doubt he'd be able to hold his own on the battlefields of Valhalla with that thing.
Jack turned his point towards me, his runes flashing burgundy. "See Magnus? I told you it wasn't stupid to carry a sword disguised as a pen!"
"Jack, I never said that!" I protested. "You did.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
I didn't really want to talk. I'd wanted him there, but I asn't sure why. Maybe just to have someone to drink with. Actually, that sounded pretty good at the moment. I sat on the seat of the chaise and he sat on the foot, and we just drank at each other for a while.
After a few minutes, he leaned back against the railing, like maybe he wanted a backrest, and I shifted my feet over to make room. But I guess I didn't shift far enough, because a large, warm hand covered my right foot, adjusting it slightly. And then it just stayed there, like he'd forgotten to remove it.
I looked at it. Pritkin's hands were oddly refined compared to the rest of him: strong but long fingered, with elegant bones and short-clipped nails. They always looked like they'd wandered off from some fine gentleman, one they'd probably like to get back to, because God knew they weren't getting a manicure while attached to him.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
I'm a librarian in town,' she began.
'You sure about that?'
The words popped out before he could stop them.
Annabelle raised her eyebrows. 'Fairly. It's my job and so far no one has told me to go away when I show up for work.'
smooth, Stryker, he thought, very smooth.
'I was expecting someone wearing glasses. You know. Because librarians read a lot.'
The raised eyebrows turned into a frown. 'You need to get out of the barn more.
Susan Mallery (Summer Nights (Fool's Gold, #8))
You want to fight or fuck, Mac?"
I bounced from foot to foot, wired with fury and sexual energy. I may never understand why I always feel them together around him but I sure as hell can enjoy it. "Both."
"Think you can take me?"
"Going to damn well try."
"Think you'll survive it?"
I stabbed a finger in his chest and smiled up at him. "I think I'm gonna own it. Jericho."
He growled low in his chest. "Bring it the fuck on, Mac."
I brought it.
Karen Marie Moning (Feverborn (Fever, #8))
What a shame," signed the Dodecahedron. "They're so very useful. Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with a tail a foot and a half long can build a dam twelve feet high and six feet wide in two days, all you would need to build Boulder Dam is a beaver sixty-eight feet long with a fifty-one-foot tail?"
"Where would you find a beaver that big?" grumbled the Humbug as his pencil point snapped.
"I'm sure I don't know," he replied, "but if you did, you'd certainly know what to do with him."
"That's absurd," objected Milo, whose head was spinning from all the numbers and questions.
"That may be true," he acknowledged, "but it's completely accurate, and as long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong? If you want sense, you'll have to make it yourself.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
Luce," he said at last, his voice soft. "what do you want me to do?" He paused, waiting for my response, but I wasn't sure what he was asking, so no response came.
"Please, just tell me," he continued. "Tell me what you want me to say, and do, when it comes to Adriana or any other girl that looks my way, and I'll do it. You want me to fire a spit wad between their eyes? So be it. You want me to flip them off any time any one of them looks my way? You got it. You want me to poke my eyes out so I can't see another one of their suggestive smiles again?" he trailed on, half of his face squishing together. "Well, that would suck, but I'd do it. For you." Cradling my face in his hands again, he leaned forward so his eyes were staring into mine from half a foot away. "Just tell me, baby. What do you want me to do?
Nicole Williams (Clash (Crash, #2))
I'm find," her voice squeaked out. Remembering the maggots-and not one hundred percent sure the ghost had taken them with her-Kylie leapt up, yanked the covers off the bed, and tossed them on the floor, she backed away from the pile of bedding.
"Yeah. You look just fine," Della said sarcastically.
Kylie jumped from foot to foot and brushed off imaginary maggots that she felt crawling on her skin.
Della stood there in Mickey Mouse pajamas, staring at her as if she didn't' know whether to laugh or run.
Kylie stopped dancing and tried to breathe normally. "If I die, promise me I'll be cremated."
Della frowned. "Die?"
"Not that I'm planning to die anytime soon." She gave her arm one more swipe. "But still."
Della shook her head. "I don't know why you pretend you're okay.
If Luke and John were simply constructing narratives to combat Doceticism, they surely shot themselves in the foot with both barrels when they spoke of Jesus appearing through locked doors, disappearing again, sometimes being recognized, sometimes not, and finally ascending into heaven
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
When you climb a mountain, look to the top and not to the rocks that surround you. Make sure of where you step as you climb, and do not leap, in case you loose your footing.
محمد عبدالرحمن العريفي (Enjoy Your Life)
She look me over from head to foot. Then she cackle. Sound like a death rattle. You sure is ugly, she say, like she ain't believed it.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
placed solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
in space and time:
Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way.
These poems, people,
lost ponies with
Dragging saddles --
and rocky sure-foot trails.
The worlds like an endless
Game of Go.
ants and pebbles
In the thin loam, each rock a word
a creek-washed stone
with torment of fire and weight
Crystal and sediment linked hot
all change, in thoughts,
As well as things.
Why there isn't any drama in my life
So I'll crawl on the cottonfield with a fife
Why to have a dream in vain my life begs
Am a house gecko, I eat flies and lay eggs
My death surely doesn't yield a headline and all
I'll break law by pissing on a castle's wall
For my death there wouldn't be a weeping meni
From the name of Lady Canning there's ledikeni
One foot on heaven and one foot on hell, hanging
One cannon and two cannonballs dangling.
Children were the foot wedged in the closing door, the glimmer of hope that in reincarnation there would be some house to go to, even if one came back as a dog, or a mouse, or flea that lived on the bodies of men. If...there was a raising of the dead, then a child would be sure to see that its parents were awakened.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with a tail a foot and a half long can build a dam twelve feet high and six feet wide in two days, all you would need to build Boulder Dam is a beaver sixty-eight feet long with a fifty-one-foot tail?"
"Where would you find a beaver that big?" grumbled the Humbug as his pencil point snapped.
"I'm sure I don't know," he replied, "but if you did, you'd certainly know what to do with him.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
He stared at Avery's socks and felt an odd sense of wonder. Socks were so normal. So mundane. How could someone who pulled on socks in the morning be a serial killer? Socks were not hard or dangerous. Socks were funny; foot mittens, that's what socks were. They made a knobbly hinge of your toes and became comical sock-puppets. Surely anyone who wore socks could not truly be a threat to him or anyone else?
Belinda Bauer (Blacklands (Exmoor Trilogy #1))
Knew you the second you set foot on my property, kid. Even as young as you were, how could I not? Folks want to blame someone for gals like us. “Her daddy was unkind” or “some fella broke her heart” … Hogwash. You and me’ve always been like this. Always a little removed. Always… dreaming.
Of higher, further, faster… more. Always more. We came into this world spittin’ mad, runnin’ full bore… To or from what, I ain’t never been able to tell. Over the years, I’ve come to think of these particular traits as the shared attributes of a chosen people… the Lord put us here to punch holes in the sky.
And when the soul is born with that kind of purpose… It’ll damn sure find a way. We’re gonna get where we’re going, you and me. Death and indignity be damned… we’ll get there…
…And we will be the stars we were always meant to be.
Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Volume 1: In Pursuit of Flight)
I read a page of Plato's great work. I can no longer understand anything, because behind the words on the page, which have their own heavenly brightness, to be sure, there shines an even brighter, an enormous, dazzling -why- that blots out everything, cancels out, destroys all meaning. All individual intelligence. When one has understood, one stops, satisfied with what one has understood. I do not understand. Understanding is far too little. To have understood is to be fixed, immobilized. It is as though one wanted to stop on one step in the middle of a staircase, or with one foot in the void and the other on the endless stair. But a mere why, a new why can set one off again, can unpetrify what was petrified and everything starts flowing afresh. How can one understand? One cannot.
Eugène Ionesco (Fragments of a Journal)
We make our journey in the company of others; the deer, the rabbit, the bison, and the quail walk before us, and the lion, the eagle, the wolf, the vulture, and the hyena walk behind us. All our paths lie together in the hand of god and none is wider than any other or favored above any other. The worm that creeps beneath your foot is making its journey across the hand of god as surely as you are.
God help me, I’m gonna make sure we get out of this alive and I’m going to kill that son of a bitch...I’m gonna make him wish he never stepped foot in this town” -Emerson Shaw
Justin Bienvenue (A Bloody Bloody Mess In the Wild Wild West)
We’ve taken everything from her, brother,” Maven murmurs, drawing close. “Surely we can give her this?”
And then slowly, reluctantly, Cal nods and waves me into his room. Dizzy with excitement, I hurry inside, almost hopping from foot to foot.
I’m going home.
Maven lingers at the door, his smile fading a little when I leave his side. “You’re not coming.” It isn’t a question.
He shakes his head. “You’ll have enough to worry about without me tagging along.”
I don’t have to be a genius to see the truth in his words. But just because he isn’t coming doesn’t mean I will forget what he’s done for me already. Without thinking, I throw my arms around Maven. He doesn’t respond for a second, but slowly lets an arm drop around my shoulders. When I pull back, a silver blush paints his cheeks. I can feel my own blood run hot beneath my skin, pounding in my ears.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
Nat is already laughing. We go through this every morning. She tells Nik I own a clown car.
I glower at her while I put my foot up onto Nik’s lap and kick the passenger door while turning the ignition.
Works every time.
Nik looks like he’s not sure whether to laugh or get the hell out of the car.
We’re on our way to work and Nat says, “Nik, turn on the radio.”
He shakes his head and replies cynically, “I would but I’m scared the roof might fly off.”
Nat and I burst into laughter. We laugh so much we both sob and laugh at the same time.
Belle Aurora (Friend-Zoned (Friend-Zoned, #1))
Reth had the nerve to laugh, the silver bell sound disappearing into the voice around us. “Fortunately for me you have never excelled at observation.”
“Yeah? Observe this.” I snaked my foot out in front of his and caught it around his ankle. He stumbled and nearly fell, and I cackled with laughter. Sure, it was immature, but when trying to get revenge on faeries you couldn’t kill, the little things made all the difference.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
These three children own the summer. They know the wood as surely as they know the microlandscapes of their own grazed knees;put them down blindfolded in any dell or clearing and they could find their way out without putting a foot wrong.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
V grabbed him by the lapels and yanked him up against his body. The brother was trembling from head to foot, his eyes glowing like crystals in the night. "You are not my enemy."
Instantly pissed off, Butch gripped V's shoulders, bunching up the leather jacket in his fists. "How do we know for sure."
V bared his fangs and hissed, his black eyebrows cranking down hard. Butch gave the aggression right back, hoping, praying, ready for them to start clocking each other. He was jonesing to hit and get hit back; he wanted blood all over the both of them.
For long moments, they stayed locked together, muscles straining, sweat blooming, right on the edge.
Then Vishous's voice came out into space between their faces, the cracked tone riding a panting, desperate breath and getting bucked off. "You are my only friend. Never my enemy."
No telling who embraced who first, but the urge to beat the living shit out of the other guy bled from their bodies, leaving only the bond between them. They wound up tight together and stood for a time in the cold wind. When they stepped back, it was awkwardly and with embarrassment.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
Usually, I set one foot in a library and I feel my own internal volume lower. A library is a physical equivalent of a sigh. It’s the silence, sure, but it’s also the certainty of all those books, the way they stand side by side with their still, calm conviction. It’s the reassurance of knowledge in the face of confusion.
Deb Caletti (The Last Forever)
When it came to God, I could not give a straight answer. I had not been able to give a straight answer since the day Nana died. God failed me then, so utterly and completely that it had shaken my capacity to believe in him. And yet. How to explain every quiver? How to explain that once sure-footed knowledge of his presence in my heart?
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
She is not what I envied in high school, the popular girl. She is something I'm not even sure existed then, the sure-footed girl. She gives the impression of being completely herself, and only a part of that impression is false.
Anna Quindlen (Every Last One)
The connection we feel to other people isn’t bound by geography or space,” Wells began. Although Clarke could see him trembling, his voice was strong and clear. “Sasha and I grew up in two different worlds, each of us wondering and dreaming about what was out there. I watched from above, never knowing for sure whether humans had survived here on Earth. I didn’t know if we’d ever set foot on this planet again or if it would happen in my lifetime. And she looked up”—he pointed at the fading stars, still faintly visible in the dark blue sky—“and wondered if there was anyone up there. Had anyone survived the voyage into space? Had people managed to stay alive up there all these hundreds of years? For both of us, getting answers to our questions seemed so unlikely. But a million tiny forces moved us toward each other, and we got our answers. We found each other, even if it was just for a moment.” Wells took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Sasha was my answer.
Kass Morgan (Homecoming (The 100, #3))
Freedom in Christ is not freedom to do whatever you want; it is for sure-footed self-reflection and for avoiding the cultural bondage of sin. My freedom in Christ gives me eyes to see that not all things are helpful for me, helpful for others, or acceptable for my witness in the world.
Tony Reinke (12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You)
Let’s say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don’t worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you’re the one who shot him.
He had been a big, twitchy guy with veiny skin stretched over swollen biceps, a tattoo of a swastika on his tongue. Teeth filed into razor-sharp fangs-you know the type. And you’re chopping off his head because, even with eight bullet holes in him, you’re pretty sure he’s about to spring back to his feet and eat the look of terror right off your face.
On the follow-through of the last swing, though, the handle of the ax snaps in a spray of splinters. You now have a broken ax. So, after a long night of looking for a place to dump the man and his head, you take a trip into town with your ax. You go to the hardware store, explaining away the dark reddish stains on the broken handle as barbecue sauce. You walk out with a brand-new handle for your ax.
The repaired ax sits undisturbed in your garage until the spring when, on one rainy morning, you find in your kitchen a creature that appears to be a foot-long slug with a bulging egg sac on its tail. Its jaws bite one of your forks in half with what seems like very little effort. You grab your trusty ax and chop the thing into several pieces. On the last blow, however, the ax strikes a metal leg of the overturned kitchen table and chips out a notch right in the middle of the blade.
Of course, a chipped head means yet another trip to the hardware store. They sell you a brand-new head for your ax. As soon as you get home, you meet the reanimated body of the guy you beheaded earlier. He’s also got a new head, stitched on with what looks like plastic weed-trimmer line, and it’s wearing that unique expression of “you’re the man who killed me last winter” resentment that one so rarely encounters in everyday life.
You brandish your ax. The guy takes a long look at the weapon with his squishy, rotting eyes and in a gargly voice he screams, “That’s the same ax that beheaded me!”
IS HE RIGHT?
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
After having put my shoes on and let my thoughts wander, I am sure of one thing – to put one foot in front of the other is one of the most important things we do.
I'm a Skeptic. And I'm a Journalist. I look up things in the library—a lot! I believe in the motto of Missouri, the 'Show-me, don't just blow me' state. I need evidence. I need demonstrations. I need show-and-tell. Even though I pray to God every once in a while, especially when I'm in trouble—which for most guys my age is every 28 days—I still think deeply about the issues and don't automatically jump to a religious or mystical answer to questions. I am, by nature, doubtful about the existence of God, and even whether He is a He or a Her. I don't believe in New Age stuff. For me, 'Past Life Regression' means not calling a girl after she gives me her phone number. Sure I own a lucky rabbit's foot, a lucky penny, a lucky 4-leaf clover and a lucky horeshoe [sic], and a pair of lucky underwear and several pairs of lucky socks that I only wash every seven days. But under it all I am a died–in-the-wool skeptic.
Earl Lee (Raptured: The Final Daze of the Late, Great Planet Earth)
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go...
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on...
You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
Keep your eye fixed on the way to the top, but don't forget to look right in front of you. The last step depends on the first. Don't think you're there just because you see the summit. Watch your footing, be sure of the next step, but don't let that distract you from the highest goal. The first step depends on the last.
René Daumal (Mount Analogue)
What height is this table?' he said suddenly, just as I was about to go to the bread bin for a slice to wipe my plate with. I turned round and looked at him, wondering why he was bothering with such an easy question.
'Thirty inches,' I told him, and took a crust from the bin.
'Wrong,' he said with an eager grin. 'Two foot six.'
I shook my head at him, scowling, and wiped the brown rim of soup from the inside of my plate. There was a time when I was genuinely afraid of these idiotic questions, but now, apart from the fact that I must know the height, length, breadth, area and volume of just about every part of the house and everything in it, I can see my father's obsession for what it is. It gets embarrassing at times when there are guests in the house, even if they are family and ought to know what to expect. They'll be sitting there, probably in the lounge, wondering whether Father's going to feed them anything or just give an impromptu lecture on cancer of the colon or tapeworms, when he'll sidle up to somebody, look round to make sure everybody's watching, then in a conspiratorial stage-whisper say: 'See that door over there? It's eighty-five inches, corner to corner. ' Then he'll wink and walk off, or slide over on his seat, looking nonchalant.
Iain Banks (The Wasp Factory)
CHAPTER 2: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
ALDO THE APACHE
My name is Lt. Aldo Raine and I'm putting together a special team, and I need me 8 soldiers. 8 Jewish-American soldiers.
Now, y'all might've heard rumors about the armada happening soon. Well, we'll be leaving a little earlier. We're gonna be dropped into France, dressed as civilians. And once we're in enemy territory, as a bushwhackin' guerrilla army, we're gonna be doin' one thing and one thing only... killin' Nazis.
Now, I don't know about y'all, but I sure as hell didn't come down from the goddamn Smoky Mountains, cross 5,000 miles of water, fight my way through half of Sicily and jump out of a fuckin' air-o-plane to teach the Nazis lessons in humanity. Nazi ain't got no humanity. They're the foot soldiers of a Jew-hatin', mass murderin' maniac and they need to be destroyed. That's why any and every every son of a bitch we find wearin' a Nazi uniform, they're gonna die.
Now, I'm the direct descendant of the mountain man Jim Bridger. That means I got a little Injun in me. And our battle plan will be that of an Apache resistance.
We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty they will know who we are.
And they will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us.
And the German won't not be able to help themselves but to imagine the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and our boot heels, and the edge of our knives.
And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us.
And when the German closes their eyes at night and they're tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done, it will be with thoughts of us they are tortured with.
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
The shelter worker said, “This one hates everything and she doesn’t know anything, and I hope you aren’t planning on taking her outside ever because she’s more like a bear than a dog, really, and unfortunately, she can scale a seven-foot-tall fence like the fucking Spider-Man.” And we were like, “Sure, why not.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half)
Dagmar, really. Annwyl has always been crazy. All you’ve been doing the last few years is muffling it. You’ve never shut it off. Not completely.”
“And did Annwyl just threaten me? Me?”
“She threatens me and Briec all the time. I wouldn’t take it too personally.”
“That, in no way, makes me feel better!” She stopped in front of him, stamping her foot. “Why are you being so bloody calm about this? Annwyl took out that woman’s eyes.”
“I’m sure she took them only after she took her head. You know Annwyl does her dismembering in a very orderly way.
G.A. Aiken (Light My Fire (Dragon Kin, #7))
I meant to ask Erik to say something to Victoria, to follow what had happened at the dance, but I couldn't settle on the right words. An apology for fleeing, sure, but then what? 'I only think of you as a friend'? 'I think we should see other people'? 'It's not you, it's the fact that I'm secretly a girl who sacrificed a foot and a half of perfectly good hair to the dark gods of a capella'?
Riley Redgate (Noteworthy)
They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft. At the same instant the ear was assailed by a most terrifying shriek; the visitors started in alarm, the women turned pale and shrank back. The shriek was followed by another, louder and yet more agonizing--for once started upon that journey, the hog never came back; at the top of the wheel he was shunted off upon a trolley and went sailing down the room. And meantime another was swung up, and then another, and another, until there was a double line of them, each dangling by a foot and kicking in frenzy--and squealing. The uproar was appalling, perilous to the ear-drums; one feared there was too much sound for the room to hold--that the walls must give way or the ceiling crack. There were high squeals and low squeals, grunts, and wails of agony; there would come a momentary lull, and then a fresh outburst, louder than ever, surging up to a deafening climax. It was too much for some of the visitors--the men would look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes. Meantime, heedless of all these things, the men upon the floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them; one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with a swift stroke they slit their throats. There was a long line of hogs, with squeals and life-blood ebbing away together; until at last each started again, and vanished with a splash into a huge vat of boiling water. It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests--and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a visitor wept, to be sure; but this slaughtering-machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Oof!" Adam caught me all right, with the side of his head. I could tell by the feel of his skull on my foot as I kicked him. He grabbed me the best he could anyway, and we half landed, half fell in the pine needles.
He lay facedown on the ground. I flopped him over on his back to make sure he was alive. If he had a concussion, we'd have to call the ambulance, which meant we'd get caught and he'd get sent to military school.
On the bright side, maybe the military school would not take him if he had brain damage.
"I'm so sorry."
"Worth it," he grunted. He rolled onto his feet like a ninja and grabbed my hand.
"Hurry, before they release the hounds.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
Some women I talk to are so frightened of growing old. I sense their desperation. They say things like I m not going to live to be old I m not going to live to be dependent. The message young women get from youth culture is that it s wonderful to be young and terrible to grow old. If you think about it it s an impossible dilemma how can you make a good start in life if you are being told at the same time how terrible the finish is Because of ageism many women don t fully commit themselves to living life until they can no longer pass as young. They live their lives with one foot in life and one foot outside it. With age you resolve that. I know the value of each day and I m living with both feet in life. I m living much more fully... The power of the old woman is that because she s outside the system she can attack. And I am determined to attack it. One of the ways in which I am particularly conscious of this stance is when I go down the street. People expect me to move over which means to step on the grass or off the curb. I just woke up one day to the fact that I was moving over. I have no idea how many years I ve been doing that. Now I never move over. I simply keep walking. And we hit full force because the other person is so sure that I am going to move over that he isn t even paying any attention and we simply ram each other. If it s a man with a woman he shows embarrassment because he s just knocked down a five foot seventy year old woman and so he quickly apologises. But he s startled he doesn t understand why I didn t move over he doesn t even know how I got there where I came from. I am invisible to him despite the fact that I am on my own side of the street simply refusing to give him that space he assumes is his
But certain shit ain't got no hope of coming into existence no matter what you're told or how many different ways you speak it. Some of us just got Kick Me signs tacked to our backs straight outta the womb, and, sure enough, life just rears back and puts its foot clean up your ass. I'm talking ankle deep. And ain't no getting it out.
Anissa Gray (The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls)
It wasn't funny."
"Oh, mon coeur. It was the funniest thing I've ever heard."
"Jude!" she cried, stomping her foot before she realized she'd done it.
"I'd kiss you now if I wasn't sure that you'd bit me."
She would. She'd nip that obnoxious smile right off his face.
"Now I know why you're so good at it. Kissing. You've had loads of practice.
Victoria Dahl (A Little Bit Wild (York Family, #1))
We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to go there. I may never in my life get to Alaska, for example, but I am grateful that it’s there. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope; without it the life of the cities would drive all men into crime or drugs or psychoanalysis.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
If you become sure-footed in love, you'll transcend everything, even blasphemy and belief.
Farid Al-Din Attar (The Conference of the Birds)
Don’t just exist; do something meaningful with your life. Discover a problem and fix it.
Don’t just fit in; make it a point to brighten your corner. Decide to resolve your challenges.
Don’t just manage; go extra mile and win your race. Never give up the fight. You will win.
Don’t just be able; always make sure you are available. Be present to make a change.
Don’t just be alive; once you have arrived, find the reason why and make that reason accomplished.
Don’t just wish; be passionate about what you wish to see happen. Rise up and make it happen.
Don’t just create; create to change; change to improve; improve to increase. Aspire to inspire.
Don’t just be making a living; make a life and leave an indelible footstep wherever you step.
I want to meet you and many others on the top. Don’t be left out!
Israelmore Ayivor (Become a Better You)
I scooted out of the laundry room and skipped down the hallway, arms flaying around my head like one of the hot pink puppets from the movie Labyrinth. “A scent and a sound, I’m lost and I’m found. And I’m hungry like the wolf. Something on a line, it’s discord and rhyme—whatever, whatever, la la la—Mouth is alive, all running inside, and I’m hungry like the—” Warmth spread down my neck.
“It’s actually, ‘I howl and I whine. I’m after you,’ and not blah or whatever.”
Startled by the deep voice, I shrieked and whipped around. My foot slipped on a section of well-cleaned wood and my butt smacked on the floor.
“Holy crap,” I gasped, clutching my chest. “I think I’m having a heart attack.”
“And I think you broke your butt.” Laughter filled Daemon’s voice.
I remained sprawled across the narrow hallway, trying to catch my breath. “What the hell? Do you just walk into people’s houses?”
“And listen to girls absolutely destroy a song in a matter of seconds? Well, yes, I make a habit out of it. Actually, I knocked several times, but I heard your…singing, and your door was unlocked.” He shrugged.
“So I just let myself in.”
“I can see that.” I stood, wincing. “Oh, man, maybe I did break my butt.”
“I hope not. I’m kind of partial to your butt.” He flashed a smile. “Your face is pretty red. You sure you didn’t smack that on the way down?”
I groaned. “I hate you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Miss Dearheart gave him a very brief look, and shook her head. There was movement under the table, a small fleshy kind of noise and the drunk suddenly bent forward, colour draining from his face. Probably only he and Moist heard Miss Dearheart purr: ‘What is sticking in your foot is a Mitzy “Pretty Lucretia” four-inch heel, the most dangerous footwear in the world. Considered as pounds per square inch, it’s like being trodden on by a very pointy elephant. Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking, “Could she press it all the way through to the floor?” And, you know, I’m not sure about that myself. The sole of your boot might give me a bit of trouble, but nothing else will. But that’s not the worrying part. The worrying part is that I was forced practically at knifepoint to take ballet lessons as a child, which means I can kick like a mule; you are sitting in front of me; and I have another shoe . Good, I can see you have worked that out. I’m going to withdraw the heel now.’
There was a small ‘pop’ from under the table. With great care the man stood up, turned and, without a backward glance, lurched unsteadily away.
‘Can I bother you?’ said Moist. Miss Dearheart nodded, and he sat down, with his legs crossed. ‘He was only a drunk,’ he ventured.
‘Yes, men say that sort of thing,’ said Miss Dearheart.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exist as an independent cause of natural events.
To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with the natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am persuaded that such behavior on the part of the representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal.
For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress.
- Science and Religion (1941)
Forming your worldview by relying on the media would be like forming your view about me by looking only at a picture of my foot. Sure, my foot is part of me, but it’s a pretty ugly part. I have better parts.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
As she bent over the child she realized that the tragedy of death had to do entirely with what was left unfulfilled. She was ashamed that such a simple insight should have eluded her all these years. Make something beautiful of your life. Wasn't that the adage of Sister Mary Joseph Praise lived by? Hema's second thought was that she, deliverer of countless babies, she who'd rejected the kind of marriage her parents wanted for her, she who felt there were too many children in the world and felt no pressure to add to that number, understood for the first time that having a child was about cheating death. Children were the foot wedged in the closing door, the glimmer of hope that in reincarnation there would be some house to go to, even if one came back as a dog, or a mouse, or a flea that lived on the bodies of men. If, as Matron and Sister Mary Joseph Praise believed, there was a raising of the dead, then a child would be sure to see that its parents were awakened. Provided, of course, the child didn't die with you in a plane crash.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
The last werewolf tripped over Raphael Santiago’s foot. Alec hastily hit him in the back of the head with the hilt of his seraph blade, and the werewolf stayed down.
“That was an accident,” said Raphael, with Lily and Elliott sticking close behind him. “He got in my way as I was trying to leave.”
“Okay,” Alec panted.
He wiped dust and sweat out of his eyes. Bat the DJ staggered toward them, claws out, and Alec flipped his seraph blade so he was holding the hilt again.
“Someone dropped a piece of roof on me,” Bat told him, blinking in a way that was more owlish than wolfish. “Inconsiderate.”
Alec realized Bat was not so much on a murderous out-of-control rampage as mildly concussed.
“Easy there,” he said, as Bat tumbled against his chest.
He looked around for the most trustworthy person, for someone to be on his team. He took a gamble and dumped Bat into Lily’s arms.
“Watch him for me, will you?” he asked. “Make sure he gets out all right.”
“Put that werewolf down immediately, Lily,” Raphael ordered.
“It really hurts that you would say that,” Bat muttered, and shut his eyes.
Lily considered Bat’s head, pillowed on her lavender bosom. “I don’t want to put him down,” she announced. “The Shadowhunter gave this DJ to me.”
Bat opened one eye. “Do you like music?”
“I do,” said Lily. “I like jazz.”
“Cool,” said Bat.
Raphael threw up his hands. “This is ridiculous! Fine,” he snapped. “Fine. Let’s just vacate the collapsing mansion, shall we? Can we all agree on that one fun, non-suicidal activity?
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Deep Throat stamped his foot. 'A conspiracy like this...a conspiracy investigation...the rope has to tighten slowly around everyone's neck. You build convincingly from the outer edges in, you get ten times the evidence you need against the Hunts and the Liddys. They feel hopelessly finished - they may not talk right away, but the grip is on them. Then you move up and do the same thing at the next level. If you shoot too high and miss, the everyone feels more secure. Lawyers work this way. I'm sure smart reporters must, too. You've put the investigation back months. It puts everyone on the defensive - editors, FBI agents, everybody has to go into a crouch after this.'
Woodward swallowed hard. He deserved the lecture.
-- Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Carl Bernstein (All the President's Men)
A streak of green fire blasted out of the back of the shed, passed a foot over the heads of the mob, and burned a charred rosette in the woodwork over the door.
Then came a voice that was a honeyed purr of sheer deadly menance.
"This is Lord Mountjoy Quickfang Winterforth IV, the hottest dragon in the city. It could burn your head clean off."
Captain Vimes limped forward from the shadows. A small and extremely frightened golden dragon was clamped firmly under one arm. His other hand held it by the tail. The rioters watched it, hypnotized.
"Now I know what you're thinking," Vimes went on, softly. "You're wondering, after all this excitement, has it got enough flame left? And, y'know, I ain't so sure myself..."
He leaned forward, sighting between the dragon's ears, and his voice buzzed like a knife blade: "What you've got to ask yourself is: Am I feeling lucky?
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1))
You and I are so different: I am one word at a time one foot in front of the other, slowly, always testing how surely footing is before proceeding to the next sentence with ruminative breaks for buttered toast and coffee.
Carlene Bauer (Frances and Bernard)
He breathed in her hair, the sweet-smelling thickness of it. My father usually agreed with her requests, because stamped in his two-footed stance and jaw was the word Provider, and he loved her the way a bird-watcher's heart leaps when he hears the call of the roseate spoonbill, a fluffy pink wader, calling its lilting coo-coo from the mangroves. Check, says the bird-watcher. Sure, said my father, tapping a handful of mail against her back.
Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake)
In the dark behind the glare of the television, like a mannequin behind it, I could see a silhouette and it wasn’t moving. It was maybe six foot high with its shoulders hunched and I blinked to make sure it was real. The TV fuzzed grey and white and black and I had a lump in my throat that I couldn’t swallow away. “Rory” I whispered. Clawing out gently beneath the duvet cover, reaching for his hand. But I couldn’t find it. And he didn’t answer.
Kate Chisman (Creep)
I trudged along through each day in its turn, looking up only rarely, eyes locked on the endless swamp that lay before me, planting my right foot, raising my left, planting my left food, raising my right, never sure where I was, never sure I was headed in the right direction, knowing only that I had to keep moving, one step at a time.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
these will suffice; who knows but we may be on a slope which leads down to
aboriginal savagery. But of this 1 am sure: if we are to escape, we must not yield a foot upon demanding a fair field and an honest race to all ideas.
Nelson Algren (Nonconformity)
Your life is beautiful.
I see nothing especially lovely about it. [He looks at his watch] Excuse me, I must go at once, and begin writing again. I am in a hurry. [He laughs] You have stepped on my pet corn, as they say, and I am getting excited, and a little cross. Let us discuss this bright and beautiful life of mine, though. [After a few moments' thought] Violent obsessions sometimes lay hold of a man: he may, for instance, think day and night of nothing but the moon. I have such a moon. Day and night I am held in the grip of one besetting thought, to write, write, write! Hardly have I finished one book than something urges me to write another, and then a third, and then a fourth--I write ceaselessly. I am, as it were, on a treadmill. I hurry for ever from one story to another, and can't help myself. Do you see anything bright and beautiful in that? Oh, it is a wild life! Even now, thrilled as I am by talking to you, I do not forget for an instant that an unfinished story is awaiting me. My eye falls on that cloud there, which has the shape of a grand piano; I instantly make a mental note that I must remember to mention in my story a cloud floating by that looked like a grand piano. I smell heliotrope; I mutter to myself: a sickly smell, the colour worn by widows; I must remember that in writing my next description of a summer evening. I catch an idea in every sentence of yours or of my own, and hasten to lock all these treasures in my literary store-room, thinking that some day they may be useful to me. As soon as I stop working I rush off to the theatre or go fishing, in the hope that I may find oblivion there, but no! Some new subject for a story is sure to come rolling through my brain like an iron cannonball. I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it and begin to write, write, write, once more. And so it goes for everlasting. I cannot escape myself, though I feel that I am consuming my life. To prepare the honey I feed to unknown crowds, I am doomed to brush the bloom from my dearest flowers, to tear them from their stems, and trample the roots that bore them under foot. Am I not a madman? Should I not be treated by those who know me as one mentally diseased? Yet it is always the same, same old story, till I begin to think that all this praise and admiration must be a deception, that I am being hoodwinked because they know I am crazy, and I sometimes tremble lest I should be grabbed from behind and whisked off to a lunatic asylum. The best years of my youth were made one continual agony for me by my writing. A young author, especially if at first he does not make a success, feels clumsy, ill-at-ease, and superfluous in the world. His nerves are all on edge and stretched to the point of breaking; he is irresistibly attracted to literary and artistic people, and hovers about them unknown and unnoticed, fearing to look them bravely in the eye, like a man with a passion for gambling, whose money is all gone. I did not know my readers, but for some reason I imagined they were distrustful and unfriendly; I was mortally afraid of the public, and when my first play appeared, it seemed to me as if all the dark eyes in the audience were looking at it with enmity, and all the blue ones with cold indifference. Oh, how terrible it was! What agony!
Anton Chekhov (The Seagull)
understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Blake Crouch (The Last Town (Wayward Pines, #3))
While play-acting grim scenarios day in and day out may sound like a good recipe for clinical depression, it’s actually weirdly uplifting. Rehearsing for catastrophe has made me positive that I have the problem-solving skills to deal with tough situations and come out the other side smiling. For me, this has greatly reduced the mental and emotional clutter that unchecked worrying produces, those random thoughts that hijack your brain at three o’clock in the morning.
While I very much hoped not to die in space, I didn’t live in fear of it, largely because I’d been made to think through the practicalities: how I’d want my family to get the news, for instance, and which astronaut I should recruit to help my wife cut through the red tape at NASA and the CSA. Before my last space flight (as with each of the earlier ones) I reviewed my will, made sure my financial affairs and taxes were in order, and did all the other things you’d do if you knew you were going to die. But that didn’t make me feel like I had one foot in the grave. It actually put my mind at ease and reduced my anxiety about what my family’s future would look like if something happened to me. Which meant that when the engines lit up at launch, I was able to focus entirely on the task at hand: arriving alive.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
Another factor that seems to me to be equally important is the great myth and rationale of 'the modern,' that it places dynamite at the foot of old error and levels its shrines and monuments. Contempt for the past surely accounts for a consistent failure to consult it.
Marilynne Robinson (Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self)
Every challenge we take on has the power to knock us to our knees. But what’s even more disconcerting than the jolt itself is our fear that we won’t withstand it. When we feel the ground beneath us shifting, we panic. We forget everything we know and allow fear to freeze us. Just the thought of what could happen is enough to throw us off balance. What I know for sure is that the only way to endure the quake is to adjust your stance. You can’t avoid the daily tremors. They come with being alive. But I believe these experiences are gifts that force us to step to the right or left in search of a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Let them help you adjust your footing.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure)
Rachel left," he says, sighing. "Says she's never coming back."
Galen nods. "She always says that. It's probably for the better tonight, though." They both wince as Rayna plants the ball of her foot in Emma's back, splaying her across the sea of shards.
"I taught her that," Toraf says.
"It's a good move."
Neither of the combatants seem to care about the rain, lightning, or the whereabouts of their hostess. The storm billows in, drenching the furniture, the TV, the strange art on the wall. No wonder Rachel didn't want to see this. She fussed over this stuff for days.
"So, it kind of threw me when she said she didn't like fish," Toraf says.
"I noticed. Surprised me, too, but everything else is there."
"That white hair is shocking though, isn't it?"
"Yeah, I like it. Shut up." Galen throws a sideways glare at his friend, whose grin makes him ball his fists.
"Hard bones and thick skin, obviously. There's no sign of blood. And she took some pretty hard hits from Rayna," Toraf continues neutrally.
Galen nods, relaxes his fists.
"Plus, you feel the pull-" Toraf is greeted with a forceful shove that sends him skidding on one foot across the slippery marble floor. Laughing, he comes back to stand beside Galen again.
"Jackass," Galen mutters.
"Jackass? What's a jackass?"
"Not sure. Emma called me that today when she was irritated with me."
"You're insulting me in human-talk now? I'm disappointed in you, minnow." Toraf nods toward the girls. "Shouldn't we break this up soon?"
"I don't think so. I think they need to work this out on their own."
"What about Emma's head?"
Galen shrugs. "Seems fine right now. Or she wouldn't have bashed the window into pieces with her forehead.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Why? What kind of man would pleasure his woman by hurting her.' Angus paced across the path. ''Tis a man's duty, nay, his privilege, to give his woman all the pleasure she can bear. She should be panting and writhing with pleasure.'
Emma remained silent, staring at him. Did she not believe him?
He walked toward her. 'A real man would take all night if need be to make sure his woman was fully sated. She should be screaming that she canna endure any more.'
Emma's eyes widened.
'It should be a man's greatest pleasure to see his woman shuddering in the throes of passion.'
She took a deep breath and shifted her weight from one foot to another.
He paced back and forth. 'Only when she is begging for him should a man see to his own needs. And he should never, ever harm her.' He stopped in front of her 'Am I totally wrong in this?'
'No,' she squeaked.
Kerrelyn Sparks (Be Still My Vampire Heart (Love at Stake, #3))
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head.
“Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.”
Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.”
“This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes.
Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen.
His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me.
“And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away.
“She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“
“Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.”
Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for?
“Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.”
My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was.
Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop.
“You’re sure?” he says again.
“More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of.
But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something.
No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
She’d worried, after Asterin and Vesta had left them aboard the ship they’d sailed here, that she might have made a mistake in choosing to travel with three immortal males. That she’d be trampled underfoot.
But Gavriel had been kind from the start, making sure Elide ate enough and had blankets on frigid nights, teaching her to ride the horses they’d spent precious coin to purchase because Elide wouldn’t stand a chance of keeping up with them on foot, ankle or no. And for the times when they had to lead their horses over rough terrain, Gavriel had even braced her leg with his magic, his power a warm summer breeze against her skin.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
When I was sure she was asleep, I got up and went into Mother's room and pulled her yellow nightie out from the bottom drawer of her dresser, and then I got Daddy's Timex from the dressing table and put it on my wrist. After I said my prayers and told Daddy I was sorry like I did every night, I laid down at the foot of Mother's bed and drifted off to the sound of rain that was strong enough to be good for the crops, and tried and tried to remember the last time I felt safe.
Lesley Kagen (Whistling In the Dark)
...Another part of the ritual was to ascend with closed eyes. 'Step, step, step,' came my mother's voice as she led me up - and sure enough, the surface of the next tread would receive the blind child's confident foot; all one had to do was lift it a little higher than usual, so as to avoid stubbing one's toe against the riser. This slow, somewhat somnambulistic ascension in self-engendered darkness held obvious delights. The keenest of them was not knowing when the last step would come. At the top of the stairs, one's foot would be automatically lifted to the deceptive call of 'Step,' and then, with a momentary sense of exquisite panic, with a wild contraction of muscles, would sink into the phantasm of a step, padded, as it were, with the infinitely elastic stuff of its own nonexistence.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
Just...if you notice I'm talking too much or someone seems particularly interested in what I'm asking about, let me know. That's all. Just...have my back."'
"Have my back. Simply make sure that I don't put me foot in it."
He rolled his eyes. "Gods, you're literal. I mean make sure I don't talk us into a bad situation."
"Oh. Step on dick."
His eyes widened. "Pardon?"
"When men do stupid thing...we say they step on dick."
"That would imply an impressively sized dick.
G.A. Aiken (Light My Fire (Dragon Kin, #7))
When you arrive unexpectedly at someone’s house you go in through the front door, often after making sure you’ve got a couple of mates waiting round the back. For a business, especially the kind that involves big trucks and heavy metal, it’s always better to go in through the back. The customer-facing part of any modern business is purposely designed to be as politely unhelpful as possible. If you go in from the rear, the customer-facing staff are all facing the wrong way and everybody starts their conversation on the back foot.
Ben Aaronovitch (Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London, #7))
Deep Throat stamped his foot. “A conspiracy like this . . . a conspiracy investigation . . . the rope has to tighten slowly around everyone’s neck. You build convincingly from the outer edges in, you get ten times the evidence you need against the Hunts and Liddys. They feel hopelessly finished—they may not talk right away, but the grip is on them. Then you move up and do the same thing at the next level. If you shoot too high and miss, then everybody feels more secure. Lawyers work this way. I’m sure smart reporters must, too. You
Carl Bernstein (All the President's Men)
Deep Throat stamped his foot. “A conspiracy like this . . . a conspiracy investigation . . . the rope has to tighten slowly around everyone’s neck. You build convincingly from the outer edges in, you get ten times the evidence you need against the Hunts and Liddys. They feel hopelessly finished—they may not talk right away, but the grip is on them. Then you move up and do the same thing at the next level. If you shoot too high and miss, then everybody feels more secure. Lawyers work this way. I’m sure smart reporters must, too. You’ve put the investigation back months. It puts everyone on the defensive—editors, FBI agents, everybody has to go into a crouch after this.” Woodward swallowed hard. He deserved the lecture.
Carl Bernstein (All the President's Men)
Ninja beats pirate. Pirate beats ghost.
Ghost beats zombie. Zombie beats most.
Werewolf beats vampire. Vamp beats Imp.
Imp beats fiend. Fiend beats wimp.
Wizard beats cyrborg. Cyborg surely beats troll.
Troll beats goblin. Goblin eats a hermit’s soul.
Hermit beats child. Child beats wagon.
Wagon beats moon snake. Moon snake beats dragon.
Dragon beats hydra. Hydra beats sailor.
Sailor beats teacher. Teacher beats tailor.
Tailor beats sun worm. Sun worm beats clown.
Clown beats robo-squid. Robo-squid beats town.
Town fights jackals. Town will win.
Town fights mummies. Town won’t fight again.
Zookeeper beats hell hound. Hell hound beats giant.
Giant beats accountant. Accountant beats client.
Client beats frog. Frog beats himself.
Knight beats Big Foot. Big Foot beats elf.
Elf beats pixie. Pixie beats specter.
Specter beats sea hag. Sea hag beats Hector.
Hector beats serpent. Serpent beats rat.
Rat beats Grandma. Grandma beats cat.
Lava beats demon. Demon beats warlock.
Warlock beats dinosaur. Dino beats Spock.
Spock beats Lando. Lando beats Qui-Gon.
Qui-Gon beats Jar-Jar. Jar-Jar beats none.
Rock beats scissors. Scissors beat paper.
Paper beats insect. Insect beats vapor.
Wood Woman beats Tree Man. Tree Man beats the dark.
The dark kills spider-fish. Spider-fish beats shark.
You beat me. I beat a dentist.
The dentist beats the barber. The barber is menaced.
These are the rules, and never forget.
Now hand over your money and place your bet.
If a princess in the days of enchantment had seen a four-footed creature from among those which live in herds come to her once and again with a human gaze which rested upon her with choice and beseeching, what would she think of in her journeying, what would she look for when the herds passed her? Surely for the gaze which had found her, and which she would know again.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
You going to the game tonight?"
I was about to answer,but another voice rang out from just behind me.
"She'd better," Jack said as he wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me back against him. I could smell the fresh leather on his letterman jacket as I crunched against it.
"Why is that?" I asked,smiling and instantly warm in his arms.I still couldn't get over the fact that Jack Caputo and I were...together. It was hard to think the word. We had been friends for so long.To be honest, he had been friends with me and I had been secretly pining for him since...well, since forever.
But now he was here. It was my waist he held. It didn't seem real.
"I can't carry the team to victory without you," he said. "You're my rabbit's foot."
I craned my neck around to look at him. "I've always dreamed of some guy saying that to me."
He pressed his lips to the base of my neck, and heat rushed to my cheeks. "I love making you turn red," he whispered.
"It doesn't take much. We're in the middle of the hallway."
"You want to know what else I love?" His tone was playful.
"No," I said, but he wasn't listening. He took his fingers and lightly railed them up my spine,to the back of my neck.Instant goose bumps sprang up all over my body,and I shuddered.
I could feel his smile against my ear. Jack was always smiling.It was what made him so likable.
By this time,Jules had snaked her way through the throng of students. "Hello, Jack.I was in the middle of a conversation with Becks.Do you mind?" she said with a smirk.
Right then a bunch of Jack's teammates rounded the corner at the end of the hallway,stampeding toward us.
"Uh-oh," I said.
Jack pushed me safely aside just before they tackled him, and Jules and I watched as what seemed like the entire football team heaped on top of their starting quarterback.
"Dating Jack Caputo just might kill you one day." Jules laughed. "You sure it's worth it?"
I didn't answer,but I was sure. In the weeks following my mother's death, I had spent nearly every morning sitting at her grave.Whispering to her, telling her about my day, like I used to each morning before she died. Jack came with me to the cemetary most days. He'd bring a book and read under a tree several headstones away,waiting quietly, as if what I was doing was totally normal.
We hadn't even been together then.
It had been only five months since my mom died. Five months since a drunk driver hit her during her evening jog. Five months since the one person who knew all my dreams disappeared forever. Jack was the reason I was still standing.
Yeah,I was sure he was worth it.The only thing I wasn't sure about was why he was with me.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
The heels of the glittering monstrosities are nearly five inches tall, and the toes are so pointed that a normal human foot could never fill its proportions. “Am I supposed to wear those?” I ask. “Obviously,” my mother says. I’m reminded that this isn’t about what I want or what I like. It’s about what everyone else thinks is best, and I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.
Kalynn Bayron (Cinderella Is Dead)
Is that a no?" I said.
"No. I mean.." He struggled for the smile again. "I'm just waiting for the punch line. Something about making it date so I need to pay. Or you expecting flowers. Or.." He trailed off.
"There isn't a punch line," I said.
I rose onto my knees and inched over, in front of him. Then I stopped about a foot away.
"No punch line, Daniel," I said. "I'm asking if you'll go out with me."
He didn't answer. Just reched out, his hand sliding between my hair and face, pulling me toward him and..
And he kissed me.
His lips touched mine, tentatively, still unsure, and I eased closer, my arms going around his neck. He kissed me for real then, a long kiss that I felt in the bottom of my soul, a click, some deep part of me saying, "Yes, this is it."
Even when the kiss broke off, it didn't end. It was like coming to the surface for a quick gasp of air, then plunging back down again, finding that sweet spot again, and holding onto it for as long as we could. Finally it tapered off, and we were lying on the picnic blanket, side by side, his hand on my hip, kissing slower now, with more breaks for air. until I said, "We should have done that sooner."
He smiled, a lazy half smile, and he just looked at me for a moment, our gazes locked, lying there in drowsy happiness, before he said, "I think now's just fine." And he kissed me again, slower and softer now, as we rested there, eyes half closed.
"So, about Saturday, did you ask me?" he said after a minute, "Because I'm pretty sure that means yo're paying."
"Nope. You were imaging it. Considering how you eat, the meal bill is all yours. But I will spring for the movie. And bring you flowers."
He chuckled. "Will you?"
"Yep, a dozen pink roses, which you'll have to carry all night or risk offending me."
"And what happens if I offend you?"
"You don't get any more of this."
I leaned in and kissed him again. And we stayed out there, on the blanket, as the sun fell, talking and kissing mostly, just being together. We had a long road ahead of us, and I knew it wasn't going to be easy. But I had everything I wanted-everything I needed-and I'd get through it just fine. We all would.
Kelley Armstrong (The Rising (Darkness Rising, #3))
James was stiff, and his arm was asleep, and he wasn't sure he'd ever get the kink out of his neck, but he had a baby boy sleeping like a rock on his chest and a gorgeous woman sleeping like a rock up against his side, her cheek on his chest, some of her hair clutched in the baby's fist, and a shaggy dog sleeping like a rock on his left foot. James wouldn't have moved for a million dollars.
Erin Nicholas (Getting Off Easy (Boys of the Big Easy, #4))
So impossible it is for a man who looks no further than the present world to fix himself long in a contemplation where the present world has no part; he has no sure hold, no firm footing; he can never expect to remove the earth he rests upon while he has no support besides for his feet, but wants, like Archimedes, some other place whereon to stand. To talk of bearing pain and grief without any sort of present or future hope cannot be purely greatness of spirit; there must be a mixture in it of affectation and an alloy of pride, or perhaps is wholly counterfeit.
It is true there has been all along in the world a notion of rewards and punishments in another life, but it seems to have rather served as an entertainment to poets or as a terror of children than a settled principle by which men pretended to govern any of their actions. The last celebrated words of Socrates, a little before his death, do not seem to reckon or build much upon any such opinion; and Caesar made no scruple to disown it and ridicule it in open senate.
Jonathan Swift (Three Sermons, Three Prayers)
If I hit that tree with this stone, Rousseau says, all will go well in my life from now on. He throws and misses. That one didn't count, he says, so he picks up another stone and moves several yards closer to the tree. He misses again. That one didn't count either, he says, and then he moves still closer to the tree and finds another stone. Again he misses. That was just the final warm up toss, he says, it's the next one that really counts. But just to make sure, he walks right up to the tree this time, positioning himself directly in front of the tree. He is no more than a foot away from it by now, close enough to touch it with his hand. The he lobs the stone squarely against the trunk. Success, he says to himself, I've done it. From this moment on, life will be better for me than ever before.
Nashe found it amusing but at the same time he was too embarrassed by it to want to laugh. There was something terrible about such candor, finally, and he wondered where Rousseau had found the courage to reveal such a thing about himself, to admit to such naked self deception.
These three children own the summer. They know the wood as surely as they know the micro landscapes of their own grazed knees; put them down blindfolded in any dell or clearing and they could find their way out without putting a foot wrong. This is their territory, and they rule it wild and lordly as young animals; they scramble through its trees and hide-and-seek in its hollows all the endless day long, and all night in their dreams.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
Nice to have you back, girl,” he said softly. Then he turned to Alyss. “Ready to go?” She held up a hand. “One thing I have to take care of,” she said. She looked around the camp and spotted Petulengo, lurking guiltily by the goat pen. “Petulengo!” she called. Her voice was high and penetrating and he started, realizing he had been spotted. He looked around, seeking an escape route. But as he did so, Will unslung the massive longbow from his shoulder and casually plucked an arrow from his quiver. Suddenly, escaping didn’t seem like such a good idea. Then Alyss favored Petulengo with her most winning smile. “Don’t be frightened, dear,” she said soothingly. “I just want to say good-bye.” She beckoned to him, smiling encouragingly, and he stepped forward, gradually gaining in confidence as he realized that, somehow, he had won the favor of this young woman. Some of his old swagger returned as he approached and stood before her, urged a little closer by that smile. Underneath the ash and the dirt, he thought, she was definitely a looker. He gave her a smile in return. Petulengo, it has to be said, fancied himself with the ladies. Treat ’em rough and they’ll eat out of your hand, he thought. Then the smile disappeared like a candle being blown out. He felt a sudden jolt of agony in his right foot. Alyss’s heavy boot, part of Hilde’s wardrobe, had stamped down on his instep, just below the ankle. He doubled over instinctively, gasping with pain. Then Alyss pivoted and drove the heel of her open left hand hard into his nose, snapping his head back and sending him reeling. His arms windmilled and he crashed over onto the hard-packed dirt of the compound. He lay groggily, propped up on his elbows, coughing as blood coursed down the back of his throat. “Next time you throw firewood at an old lady,” Alyss told him, all traces of the winning smile gone, “make sure she can’t do that.” She turned to Will and dusted her hands together in a satisfied gesture. “Now I’m ready to go,” she said.
John Flanagan (The Lost Stories (Ranger's Apprentice, #11))
by the assault. Shading his eyes against the dazzle from the window, he peered down into the shadows. “Oh, hallo there, wee dog,” he said politely, and took a step forward, knuckles stretched out. Bouton raised the growl a few decibels, and he took a step back. “Oh, like that, is it?” Jamie said. He eyed the dog narrowly. “Think it over, laddie,” he advised, squinting down his long, straight nose. “I’m a damn sight bigger than you. I wouldna undertake any rash ventures, if I were you.” Bouton shifted his ground slightly, still making a noise like a distant Fokker. “Faster, too,” said Jamie, making a feint to one side. Bouton’s teeth snapped together a few inches from Jamie’s calf, and he stepped back hastily. Leaning back against the wall, he folded his arms and nodded down at the dog. “Well, you’ve a point there, I’ll admit. When it comes to teeth, ye’ve the edge on me, and no mistake.” Bouton cocked an ear suspiciously at this gracious speech, but went back to the low-pitched growl. Jamie hooked one foot over the other, like one prepared to pass the time of day indefinitely. The multicolored light from the window washed his face with blue, making him look like one of the chilly marble statues in the cathedral next door. “Surely you’ve better things to do than harry innocent visitors?” he asked, conversationally. “I’ve heard of you—you’re the famous fellow that sniffs out sickness, no? Weel, then, why are they wastin’ ye on silly things like door-guarding, when ye might be makin’ yourself useful smelling gouty toes and pustulant arseholes?
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Can you make a house of cards?" she asked.
"Yes," Violet said, and went on looking. This way Violet had of seizing first not the most obvious sense of what people said to her but some other, interior echo or reverse side of it was a thing that baffled and frustrated her husband, who sought in her sybilline responses to ordinary questions some truth he was sure Violet knew but couldn't quite enunciate. With his father-in-law's help, he had filled volumes with his searchings. Her children, though, hardly noticed it. Nora shifted from foot to foot for a moment waiting for the promised structure, and when it didn't appear forgot it. The clock on the mantelpiece chimed.
John Crowley (Little, Big)
I thought about evolutionary historians who argued that walking was a central part of what it meant to be human. Our two-legged motion was what first differentiated us from the apes. It freed our hands for tools and carried us onthe long marches out of Africa. As a species, we colonized the world on foot. Most of human history was created through contacts conducted at walking pace, even when some rode horses. I thought of the pilgrimages to Compostela in Spain; to Mecca; to the source of the Ganges; and of wandering dervishes, sadhus; and friars who approached God on foot. The Buddha meditated by walking and Wordsworth composed sonnets while striding beside the lakes.
Bruce Chatwin concluded from all this that we would think and live better and be closer to our purpose as humans if we moved continually on foot across the surface of the earth. I was not sure I was living or thinking any better.
Rory Stewart (The Places in Between)
Has it ever occurred to you, Master Ninefingers, that a sword is different from other weapons? Axes and maces and so forth are lethal enough, but they hang on the belt like dumb brutes." He ran an eye over the hilt, plain cold metal scored with faint grooves for a good grip, glinting in the torchlight. "But a sword... a sword has a voice."
"Sheathed it has little to say, to be sure, but you need only put your hand on the hilt and it begins to whisper in your enemy's ear." He wrapped his fingers tightly round the grip. "A gentle warning. A word of caution. Do you hear it?"
Logen nodded slowly. "Now," murmured Bayaz, "compare it to the sword half drawn." A foot length of metal hissed out of the sheath, a single silver letter shining near the hilt. The blade itself was dull, but its edge had a cold and frosty glint. "It speaks louder, does it not? It hisses a dire threat. It makes a deadly promise. Do you hear it?"
Logen nodded again, his eye fastened on that glittering edge. "Now compare it to the sword full drawn." Bayaz whipped the long blade from its sheath with a faint ringing sound, brought it up so that the point hovered inches from Logen's face. "It shouts now, does it not? It screams defiance! It bellows a challenge! Do you hear it?"
"Mmm," said Logen, leaning back and staring slightly crosseyed at the shining point of the sword.
Bayaz let it drop and slid it gently back into its scabbard, something to Logen's relief. "Yes, a sword has a voice. Axes and maces and so forth are lethal enough, but a sword is a subtle weapon, and suited to a subtle man. You I think, Master Ninefingers, are subtler than you appear." Logen frowned as Bayaz held the sword out to him. He had been accused of many things in his life, but never subtlety. "Consider it a gift. My thanks for your good manners.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
This morning, thanks to a controlled near-death experience, I was lucky enough to meet, at the far end of the blue tunnel, a man named Salvatore Biagini. Last July 8th, Mr. Biagini, a retired construction worker, age seventy, suffered a fatal heart attack while rescuing his beloved schnauzer, Teddy, from an assault by an unrestrained pit bull named Chele, in Queens.
The pit bull, with no previous record of violence against man or beast, jumped a four-foot fence in order to have at Teddy. Mr. Biagini, an unarmed man with a history of heart trouble, grabbed him, allowing the schnauzer to run away. So the pit bull bit Mr. Biagini in several places and then Mr. Biagini's heart quit beating, never to beat again. I asked this heroic pet lover how it felt to have died for a schnauzer named Teddy. Salvador Biagini was philosophical. He said it sure as heck beat dying for absolutely nothing in the Viet Nam War.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian)
Here, I have something for you."
"It had better not be an engagement ring."
He paused, his lips puckering as if the thought hadn't occurred to him and he was regretting it.
"Or gloves," added Cinder. "That didn't work out too well last time."
Grinning, Kai took a step closer to her and dropped to one knee.
Her eyes widened.
Her heart thumped. "Wait."
"I've been waiting a long time to give this to you."
With an expression as serious as politics, he pulled his hand from behind his back. In it was cupped a small metal foot, frayed wires sticking up from the cavity and the joints packed with grease.
Cinder released her breath, then started to laugh. "You - ugh."
"Are you terribly disappointed, because I'm sure Luna has some great jewelry stores if you wanted me to -"
"Shut up," she said, taking the foot. She turned it over in her palms, shaking her head. "I keep trying to get rid of this thing, but somehow it keeps finding its way back to me. What made you keep it?"
"It occurred to me that if I could find the cyborg that fits this foot, it must be a sign we were meant to be together." He twisted his lips to one side. "But then I realized it would probably fit an eight-year-old."
"Close enough." He hesitated. "Honestly, I guess it was the only thing I had to connect me to you when I thought I'd never see you again."
She slid her gaze off the foot. "Why are you still kneeling?"
Kai reached for her prosthetic hand and brushed his lips against her newly polished knuckles. "You'll have to get used to people kneeling to you. It kind of comes with the territory."
"I'm going to make it a law that the correct way to address your sovereign is by giving a high five."
Kai's smile brightened. "That's genus. Me too.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
I tell the squad a joke: "Stop me if you're heard this. There was a Marine of nuts and bolts, half robot--weird but true--whose every move was cut from pain as though from stone. His stoney little hide had been crushed and broken. But he just laughed and said, 'I've been crushed and broken before.' And sure enough, he had the heart of a bear. His heart functioned for weeks after it had been diagnosed by doctors. His heart weighed half a pound. His heart pumped seven hundred thousand gallons of warm blood through one hundred thousand miles of veins, working hard--hard enough in twelve hours to lift one sixty-five ton boxcar one foot off the deck. He said. The world would not waste the heart of a bear, he said. On his clean blue pajamas many medals hung. He was a walking word of history, in the shop for a few repairs. He took it on the chin and was good. One night in Japan his life came out of his body--black--like a question mark. If you can keep your head while others are losing theirs perhaps you have misjudged the situation. Stop me if you've heard this...
Gustav Hasford (The Short-Timers)
At that moment the universe appeared to me a vast machine constructed only to produce evil. I almost doubted the goodness of God, in not annihilating man on the day he first sinned. "The world should have been destroyed," I said, "crushed as I crush this reptile which has done nothing in its life but render all that it touches as disgusting as itself." I had scarcely removed my foot from the poor insect when, like a censoring angel sent from heaven, there came fluttering through the trees a butterfly with large wings of lustrous gold and purple. It shone but a moment before my eyes; then, rising among the leaves, it vanished into the height of the azure vault. I was mute, but an inner voice said to me, "Let not the creature judge his Creator; here is a symbol of the world to come. As the ugly caterpillar is the origin of the splendid butterfly, so this globe is the embryo of a new heaven and a new earth whose poorest beauty will infinitely exceed your mortal imagination. And when you see the magnificent result of that which seems so base to you now, how you will scorn your blind presumption, in accusing Omniscience for not having made nature perish in her infancy.
God is the god of justice and mercy; then surely, every grief that he inflicts on his creatures, be they human or animal, rational or irrational, every suffering of our unhappy nature is only a seed of that divine harvest which will be gathered when, Sin having spent its last drop of venom, Death having launched its final shaft, both will perish on the pyre of a universe in flames and leave their ancient victims to an eternal empire of happiness and glory.
Emily Brontë (Devoirs de Bruxelles)
Listen very carefully. Because I'm only going to lay this out for you once. I'm no longer the easy prey I once was and if you go up against me I will make sure you end up behind bars. You've fraudulently pocketed the money from the video. Our lawyers already have a criminal suit against you ready to go. Unless you're particularly keen on jail, you will leave my family alone, and you will withdraw the video and return all that money to the people you stole it from."
Julia opened her mouth, but Trisha held up her hand and she closed it. "And if you do one thing to harm DJ"- because suddenly Trisha was sure Julia had something on DJ; her nineties-Bollywood-plot theory didn't seem so farfetched- "I will make sure that every one of the families you've preyed on to make money off their tragedies gets together and sues your ass until every penny you've ever leeched is gone. Now get out of my office. Get out of my building- which by the way is private property. Soliciting business here is illegal. So the next time you think of setting foot here, know that I will have security throw you out on your cowardly, pathetic ass.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
Standing at the foot of the grand staircase, Wrath finished prepping for the meeting with the glymera by drawing a Kevlar vest onto his shoulders.
“Weight doesn’t always do you better,” V said as he fired up a hand-rolled and snapped his gold lighter shut.
“You sure about that.”
“When it comes to bulletproof vests, I am.” Vishous exhaled, the smoke momentarily shading his face before it floated upward to the ornate ceiling. “But if it’ll make you feel better, we can strap a garage door on your chest. Or a car, for that matter.”
-Wrath & Vishous
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
Anyway,” the agent said abruptly. “I just . . . wanted you to know that I’m sorry for everything. I want to help you and the rest of the Order in any way I can, so if there is anything you need, you know where I am.”
“Chase,” Dante said as the male turned to leave the room. “Apology accepted, man. And for what it’s worth, I’m sorry too. I haven’t been fair to you either. Despite our differences, know that I respect you. The Agency lost a good one the day they cut you loose.”
Chase’s smile was crooked as he acknowledged the praise with a short nod.
Dante cleared his throat. “And about that offer of help . . .”
“Tess was walking a dog when the Rogues attacked her tonight. Ugly little mutt, not good for much more than a foot-warmer, but it’s special to her. Actually, it was a gift from me, more or less. Anyway, the dog was running loose on its leash when I saw it a block or so away from Ben Sullivan’s place.”
“You want me to go retrieve a wayward canine, is that where this is heading?”
“Well, you did say anything, didn’t you?”
“So I did.” Chase chuckled. “All right. I will.”
Dante dug his keys to his Porsche out of his pocket and tossed them to the other vampire. As Chase turned to be on his way again, Dante added, “The little beast answers to the name Harvard, by the way.”
“Harvard,” Chase drawled, shaking his head and throwing a smirk in Dante’s direction. “I don’t suppose that’s a coincidence.”
Dante shrugged. “Good to see that Ivy League pedigree of yours comes in handy for something.”
“Jesus Christ, warrior. You really were busting my ass since the minute I came on board, weren’t you?”
“Hey, by all comparisons, I was kind. Do yourself a favor and don’t look too closely at Niko’s shooting target, unless you’re very secure about your manhood.”
“Assholes,” Chase muttered, but there was only humor in his tone. “Sit tight, and I’ll be back in a few with your mutt. Anything else you’re gonna hit me up for now that I opened my big yap about wanting to get square with you?”
“Actually, there might be something else,” Dante replied, his thoughts going sober when he considered Tess and any kind of future that might be deserving of her. “But we can talk about that when you get back, yeah?”
Chase nodded, catching on to the turn in mood. “Yeah. Sure we can.
Lara Adrian (Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2))
I still stared at Daemon, completely aware that everyone else except him was watching me. Closely. But why wouldn’t he look at me? A razor-sharp panic clawed at my insides. No. This couldn’t be happening. No way.
My body was moving before I even knew what I was doing.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Dee shake her head and one of the Luxen males step forward, but I was propelled by an inherent need to prove that my worst fears were not coming true.
After all, he’d healed me, but then I thought of what Dee had said, of how Dee had behaved with me. What if Daemon was like her? Turned into something so foreign and cold? He would’ve healed me just to make sure he was okay.
I still didn’t stop.
Please, I thought over and over again. Please. Please. Please. On shaky legs, I crossed the long room, and even though Daemon hadn’t seemed to even acknowledge my existence, I walked right up to him, my hands trembling as I placed them on his chest.
“Daemon?” I whispered, voice thick.
His head whipped around, and he was suddenly staring down at me. Our gazes collided once more, and for a second I saw something so raw, so painful in those beautiful eyes. And then his large hands wrapped around my upper arms. The contact seared through the shirt I wore, branding my skin, and I thought—I expected—that he would pull me against him, that he would embrace me, and even though nothing would be all right, it would be better.
Daemon’s hands spasmed around my arms, and I sucked in an unsteady breath.
His eyes flashed an intense green as he physically lifted me away from him, setting me back down a good foot back.
I stared at him, something deep in my chest cracking. “Daemon?”
He said nothing as he let go, one finger at a time, it seemed, and his hands slid off my arms. He stepped back, returning his attention to the man behind the desk.
“So . . . awkward,” murmured the redhead, smirking.
I was rooted to the spot in which I stood, the sting of rejection burning through my skin, shredding my insides like I was nothing more than papier-mâché.
“I think someone was expecting more of a reunion,” the Luxen male behind the desk said, his voice ringing with amusement. “What do you think, Daemon?”
One shoulder rose in a negligent shrug. “I don’t think anything.”
My mouth opened, but there were no words. His voice, his tone, wasn’t like his sister’s, but like it had been when we first met. He used to speak to me with barely leashed annoyance, where a thin veil of tolerance dripped from every word.
The rift in my chest deepened.
For the hundredth time since the Luxen arrived, Sergeant Dasher’s warning came back to me. What side would Daemon and his family stand on? A shudder worked its way down my spine. I wrapped my arms around myself, unable to truly process what had just happened.
“And you?" the man asked. When no one answered, he tried again. “Katy?”
I was forced to look at him, and I wanted to shrink back from his stare. “What?” I was beyond caring that my voice broke on that one word.
The man smiled as he walked around the desk. My gaze flickered over to Daemon as he shifted, drawing the attention of the beautiful redhead. “Were you expecting a more personal greeting?” he asked. “Perhaps something more intimate?”
I had no idea how to answer. I felt like I’d fallen into the rabbit hole, and warnings were firing off left and right. Something primal inside me recognized that I was surrounded by predators.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
I was wondering where the real party was."
I jumped, sending my pencil in a sharp line across the page. Alex was standing two feet away, one booted foot on my step, hands thrust into the pockets of what looked too much like Emo pants: black and tight.
"Sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to surprise you."
"You didn't surprise me," I gasped, left hand plastered to my chest. "You scared the crap out of me. Who raised you? Wolves?"
He actually grinned. "You've met my parents. What do you think?"
I wasn't going to touch that one. I just shrugged.
"Why aren't you inside?" he asked after a few seconds.
"It was too hot," I lied, closing my sketchbook as casually as I could. "Oppressive.Why aren't you?"
"It was too...God, I don't know. Oppressive's a good word. Some fresh air seemed like a good idea."
I looked past him, relieved not to see anyone else there. "All by yourself? That's...bold."
His brows wen up. For a second, I thought he was going to turn around and leave. Instead,he took his hands out of his pockets and pointed at my step. "Big words for a small person. Can I sit down?"
I swallowed. "Sure."
He did, ending up with his elbows resting on his thighs and his right knee not quite touching mine.
The silence went on just long enough to make in uncomfortable. But I wasn't going to help him with his small talk. I'm not very good at it in the best of circumstances. Sitting almost thigh to thigh with a guy who turned me into a mental pretzel was nowhere near a good circumstance.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Or just claim it come from Leviticus since nobody ever read Leviticus. This is how you know. Nobody who get to the end of Leviticus can still take that book seriously. Even in a book full of it, that book is mad as shit. Don't lie with man as with woman, sure I can run with that reasoning. But don't eat crab? Not even with the nice, soft, sweet roast yam? And why kill a man for that? And trust me, the last thing any man who rape my daughter going to get to do is marry her. How, when I slice him up piece by piece, keeping him alive for all of it and have him watch me feed him foot to stray dog?
I opened myself up to the kiss and kissed him back with enthusiasm. Putting all my secret emotions and tender feelings into the embrace, I wound my arms around his neck and slid my hands into his hair. Pulling his body that much closer to mine, I embraced him with all the warmth and affection that I wouldn’t allow myself to express verbally.
He paused, shocked for a brief instant, and then quickly adjusted his approach, escalating into a passionate frenzy. I shocked myself by matching his energy. I ran my hands up his powerful arms and shoulders and then down his chest. My senses were in turmoil. I felt wild. Eager. I clutched at his shirt. I couldn’t get close enough to him. He even smelled delicious.
You’d think that several days of being chased by strange creatures and hiking through a mysterious kingdom would make him smell bad. In fact, I wanted him to smell bad. I’m sure I did. I mean, how can you expect a girl to be fresh as a daisy while traipsing through the jungle and getting chased by monkeys. It’s just not possible.
I desperately wanted him to have some fault. Some weakness. Some…imperfection. But Ren smelled amazing-like waterfalls, a warm summer day, and sandalwood trees all wrapped up in a sizzling, hot guy.
How could a girl defend herself from a perfect onslaught delivered by a pefect person? I gave up and let Mr. Wonderful take control of my senses. My blood burned, my heart thundered, my need for him quickened, and I lost all track of time in his arms. All I was aware of was Ren. His lips. His body. His soul. I wanted all of him.
Eventually, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently separated us. I was surprised that he had the strength of will to stop because I was nowhere near being able to. I blinked my eyes open in a daze. We were both breathing hard.
“That was…enlightening,” he breathed. “Thank you, Kelsey.”
I blinked. The passion that had dulled my mind dissipated in an instant, and my mind sharply focused on a new feeling. Irritation.
“Thank you? Thank you! Of all the-“ I slammed up the steps angrily and then spun around to look down at him. “No! Thank you, Ren!” My hands slashed at the air. “Now you got what you wanted, so leave me alone!” I ran up the stairs quickly to put some distance between us.
Enlightening? What was that about? Was he testing me? Giving me a one-to-ten score on my kissing ability? Of all the nerve?
I was glad that I was mad. I could shove all the other emotions into the back of my mind and just focus on the anger, the indignation.
He leapt up the stairs two at a time. “That’s not all I want, Kelsey. That’s for sure.”
“Well, I no longer care about what you want!”
He shot me a knowing look and raised an eyebrow. Then, he lifted his foot out of the opening, placed it on the dirt, and instantly changed back into a tiger.
I laughed mockingly. “Ha!” I tripped over a stone but quickly found my footing. “Serves you right!” I shouted angrily and stumbled blindly along the dim path.
After figuring out where to go, I marched off in a huff. “Come on, Fanindra. Let’s go find Mr. Kadam.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The summer our marriage failed
we picked sage to sweeten our hot dark car.
We sat in the yard with heavy glasses of iced tea,
talking about which seeds to sow
when the soil was cool. Praising our large, smooth spinach
leaves, free this year of Fusarium wilt,
downy mildew, blue mold. And then we spoke of flowers,
and there was a joke, you said, about old florists
who were forced to make other arrangements.
Delphiniums flared along the back fence.
All summer it hurt to look at you.
I heard a woman on the bus say, “He and I were going
in different directions.” As if it had something to do
with a latitude or a pole. Trying to write down
how love empties itself from a house, how a view
changes, how the sign for infinity turns into a noose
for a couple. Trying to say that weather weighed
down all the streets we traveled on, that if gravel sinks,
it keeps sinking. How can I blame you who kneeled day
after day in wet soil, pulling slugs from the seedlings?
You who built a ten-foot arch for the beans, who hated
a bird feeder left unfilled. You who gave
carrots to a gang of girls on bicycles.
On our last trip we drove through rain
to a town lit with vacancies.
We’d come to watch whales. At the dock we met
five other couples—all of us fluorescent,
waterproof, ready for the pitch and frequency
of the motor that would lure these great mammals
near. The boat chugged forward—trailing a long,
creamy wake. The captain spoke from a loudspeaker:
In winter gray whales love Laguna Guerrero; it’s warm
and calm, no killer whales gulp down their calves.
Today we’ll see them on their way to Alaska. If we
get close enough, observe their eyes—they’re bigger
than baseballs, but can only look down. Whales can
communicate at a distance of 300 miles—but it’s
my guess they’re all saying, Can you hear me?
His laughter crackled. When he told us Pink Floyd is slang
for a whale’s two-foot penis, I stopped listening.
The boat rocked, and for two hours our eyes
were lost in the waves—but no whales surfaced, blowing
or breaching or expelling water through baleen plates.
Again and again you patiently wiped the spray
from your glasses. We smiled to each other, good
troopers used to disappointment. On the way back
you pointed at cormorants riding the waves—
you knew them by name: the Brants, the Pelagic,
the double-breasted. I only said, I’m sure
whales were swimming under us by the dozens.
Trying to write that I loved the work of an argument,
the exhaustion of forgiving, the next morning,
washing our handprints off the wineglasses. How I loved
sitting with our friends under the plum trees,
in the white wire chairs, at the glass table. How you
stood by the grill, delicately broiling the fish. How
the dill grew tall by the window. Trying to explain
how camellias spoil and bloom at the same time,
how their perfume makes lovers ache. Trying
to describe the ways sex darkens
and dies, how two bodies can lie
together, entwined, out of habit.
Finding themselves later, tired, by a fire,
on an old couch that no longer reassures.
The night we eloped we drove to the rainforest
and found ourselves in fog so thick
our lights were useless. There’s no choice,
you said, we must have faith in our blindness.
How I believed you. Trying to imagine
the road beneath us, we inched forward,
honking, gently, again and again.
Ingram did an echocardiogram. Eric was on his back, with a skewed view of the monitor, and wasn't sure whether he was watching a computerized mapping of his heart or a picture of the thing itself. It throbbed forcefully on screen. The image was only a foot away but the heart assumed another context, one of distance and immensity, beating in the blood plum raptures of a galaxy in gormation. What mystery he glimpsed in this functional muscle. He felt the passion of the body, its adaptive drive over geologic time, the poetry and chemistry of its origins in the dust of old exploding stars. How dwarfed he felt by his own heart.
Don DeLillo (Cosmopolis)
Well," he said, "this isn't too bad. My left leg is broken, but at least I'm right-legged. That's pretty fortunate."
"Gee," one of the other employees murmured. "I thought he'd say something more along the lines of 'Aaaaah! My leg! My leg!'"
"If someone could just help me get to my foot," Phil said, "I'm sure that I can get back to work."
"Don't be ridiculous," Violet said. "You need to go to a hospital."
"Yes, Phil," another worker said. "We have those coupons from last month, fifty percent off a cast at the Ahab Memorial Hospital. Two of us will chip in and get your leg all fixed up. I'll call for an ambulance right away.
Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4))
Mackie kneaded his forehead. "Are you sure none of you want to call your parents?"
"No, thank you."
"Do you know who my father is?'
"My stepmother's faking a pregnancy, and she needs her rest."
Mackie wasn't touching that with a ten-foot pole. He turned to the last girl, the one who'd successfully picked the lock mere seconds after he'd arrived.
"What about you?" he said hopefully.
"My biological father literally threatened to kill me if I become inconvenient," the girl said, leaning back against the wall of the jail cell like she wasn't wearing a designer gown. "And if anyone finds out we were arrested, I'm out five hundred thousand dollars.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Little White Lies (Debutantes, #1))
We grab handfuls of bottles and climb up onto the roof of the house. She stumbles and her foot slips into the gutter sopped with dead leaves. I grab her wrists and pull her clear – sure, she's not the person I'd choose to do this with, but she's my only option so I might as well be nice. Plus I don't want her to drop the vodka.
Kirsty Logan (The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales)
I’m sorry, did you just say your boyfriend ditched you to go shoe shopping?” my mom asks her.
Charlotte sighs and crosses her arms in front of her. “He didn’t ditch me. I told him he could go because I was tired.”
“You don’t really mean shoe shopping right? You meant to say shopping for sports equipment or a new surround sound system, right?” Aunt Liz asks.
“He told us his favorite book of all time was Under the Rainbow: The Real Liza Minnelli. I’m pretty sure shoe shopping would be right up his alley,” Mom reminds her.
“Has Rocco gotten the memo yet that he’s gay?” Aunt Liz questions her.
Tyler starts laughing hysterically and reaches his hand up to fist-bump my aunt.
“Seriously, Mom? Are you judging him? That’s really low,” Charlotte complains.
“I’m not judging him. Some of the best people I’ve ever met are gay. I just don’t particularly want my daughter dating someone who’s gay.”
Charlotte stomps her foot and growls at Liz, and I have to tell myself not to get too excited. I love seeing her get fired up. Her cheeks turn pink and her eyes sparkle. Now is NOT the time to get a boner.
“He is NOT gay! He’s just … he’s in touch with his feminine side.”
Tyler snorts and Charlotte shoots an angry look in his direction.
“Honey, he doesn’t have a feminine side. He has a vagina,” Aunt Liz informs her.
Tara Sivec (Love and Lists (Chocoholics, #1))
The Fox and the Goat By an unlucky chance a Fox fell into a deep well from which he could not get out. A Goat passed by shortly afterwards, and asked the Fox what he was doing down there. "Oh, have you not heard?" said the Fox; "there is going to be a great drought, so I jumped down here in order to be sure to have water by me. Why don't you come down too?" The Goat thought well of this advice, and jumped down into the well. But the Fox immediately jumped on her back, and by putting his foot on her long horns managed to jump up to the edge of the well. "Good-bye, friend," said the Fox, "remember next time, "Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.
Aesop (Aesop's Fables)
I’m getting thirstier every minute. If it didn’t hurt you, it won’t hurt me. If my papa was here, he’d let me have some.”
“You’re not going to tell him about it, are you?” said Jesse. His face had gone very pale under its sunburn. He stood up and put a bare foot firmly on the pile of pebbles. “I knew this would happen sooner or later. Now what am I going to do?”
As he said this, there was a crashing sound among the trees and a voice called, “Jesse?”
“Thank goodness!” said Jesse, blowing out his cheeks in relief. “Here comes Ma and Miles. They’ll know what to do.”
And sure enough, a big, comfortable-looking woman appeared, leading a fat old horse, and at her side was a young man almost as beautiful as Jesse. It was Mae Tuck with her other son, Jesse’s older brother. And at once, when she saw the two of them, Jesse with his foot on the pile of pebbles and Winnie on her knees beside him, she seemed to understand. Her hand flew to her bosom, grasping at the old brooch that fastened her shawl, and her face went bleak. “Well, boys,” she said, “here it is. The worst is happening at last.
Natalie Babbitt (Tuck Everlasting)
Several days later I decided to go on a good long jog, trusting that Chip would not leave Drake again. As I was on my way back I saw Chip coming down the road in his truck with the trailer on it. He rolled up to me with his window down and said, “Baby, you’re doing so good. I’m heading to work now. I’ve got to go.”
I looked in the back, thinking, Of course, he’s got Drake. But I didn’t see a car seat.
“Chip, where’s Drake?” she said, and I was like, “Oh, shoot!” She took off without a word and ran like lightning all the way back to the house as I turned the truck around. She got there faster on foot than I did in my truck.
I sure hope no one from Child Protective Services reads this book. They can’t come after me retroactively, can they?
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
The right… never mind. Take off a flip-flop.”
“Don’t ask questions. Just take one off.”
“I don’t care.”
Morgan did. “Now what?”
I checked to see which one he’d taken off. “Okay, your bare foot is responsible for that pedal.” I pointed to the gas. “Your flip-flop is responsible for the other one.”
Morgan grinned. “You’re getting good at this, Grant. I’m impressed.”
“Don’t push your luck.” I tapped his right knee. “Bare foot makes the truck move. Flip-flop makes it stop. Just make sure you don’t push the pedals at the same time.”
I made a face. “You ask too many questions.”
“You don’t know, do you?”
“Yes, I do. You can’t go with the brake on; it just revs the engine and wastes gas. Satisfied?”
Adrienne Wilder (In the Absence of Light (Morgan & Grant, #1))
On the eleventh day, it finally stopped raining. Musashi chafed to be out in the open, but it was another week before they were able to return to work under a bright sun. The field they had so arduously carved out of the wilderness had disappeared without a trace; in its place were rocks, and a river where none had been before. The water seemed to mock them just as the villagers had. Iori, seeing no way to reclaim their loss, looked up and said, “This place is beyond hope. Let’s look for better land somewhere else.” “No,” Musashi said firmly. “With the water drained off, this would make excellent farmland. I examined the location from every angle before I chose it.” “What if we have another heavy rain?” “We’ll fix it so the water doesn’t come this way. We’ll lay a dam from here all the way to that hill over there.” ‘That’s an awful lot of work.” “You seem to forget that this is our dōjō. I’m not giving up a foot of this land until I see barley growing on it.” Musashi carried on his stubborn struggle throughout the winter, into the second month of the new year. It took several weeks of strenuous labor to dig ditches, drain the water off, pile dirt for a dike and then cover it with heavy rocks. Three weeks later everything was again washed away. “Look,” Iori said, “we’re wasting our energy on something impossible. Is that the Way of the Sword?” The question struck close to the bone, but Musashi would not give in. Only a month passed before the next disaster, a heavy snowfall followed by a quick thaw. Iori, on his return from trips to the temple for food, inevitably wore a long face, for the people there rode him mercilessly about Musashi’s failure. And finally Musashi himself began to lose heart. For two full days and on into a third, he sat silently brooding and staring at his field. Then it dawned on him suddenly. Unconsciously, he had been trying to create a neat, square field like those common in other parts of the Kanto Plain, but this was not what the terrain called for. Here, despite the general flatness, there were slight variations in the lay of the land and the quality of the soil that argued for an irregular shape. “What a fool I’ve been,” he exclaimed aloud. “I tried to make the water flow where I thought it should and force the dirt to stay where I thought it ought to be. But it didn’t work. How could it? Water’s water, dirt’s dirt. I can’t change their nature. What I’ve got to do is learn to be a servant to the water and a protector of the land.” In his own way, he had submitted to the attitude of the peasants. On that day he became nature’s manservant. He ceased trying to impose his will on nature and let nature lead the way, while at the same time seeking out possibilities beyond the grasp of other inhabitants of the plain. The snow came again, and another thaw; the muddy water oozed slowly over the plain. But Musashi had had time to work out his new approach, and his field remained intact. “The same rules must apply to governing people,” he said to himself. In his notebook, he wrote: “Do not attempt to oppose the way of the universe. But first make sure you know the way of the universe.
Eiji Yoshikawa (Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era)
Hubris you say, brother? Please, tell us the nature of the prince's actions against you. Let everyone know exactly how Prince Styxx offended you." Bethany Disguised as Athena
"He has held himself up as a god. His arrogance and pride are an affront to us all." Apollo
"Held himself up as a god? Pray tell, when was this? .... Ah, yes, I remember... It was when he dared to slay your Atlantean grandson during battle. Is that not right, brother? I'm sure, like me, you remember that day well. The Atlanteans, led to our shores by your own blood kin, were slaughtering hundreds of Greeks until the beach sands turned red from good Greek blood. The onslaught was so fierce that entire veteran regiments fled from the Atlanteans and cowered. Even the brave, noble Dorians pulled back in fear. But not Prince Styxx. He rode in like a lion and jumped from his horse to save the life of a young shield-bearer who was about to be killed by one of the Atlantean giants."
Bethany swept her gaze around the people there, who were completely silent now. "And with reckless disregard for his own life and limb, this prince picked the boy up and put him on the back of his royal steed and told him to ride to safety. He spent the rest of the day fighting on foot. Not as a prince or a god, but as a mere, heroic Greek soldier." She turned back to Apollo. "His actions so enraged the Atlantean gods that they turned all of their animosity toward him. And still Prince Styxx fought on for his people, wounded, bloody, and tired. He never backed off or backed down. Not even when your own grandson almost buried his axe through the prince's skull. He hit Styxx's hoplon so hard, it splintered a portion of it off. And as Xan held the prince down, the prince, who was barely more than a child, managed to stab him through the ribs. But now that I think about it, you don't remember that day, do you, Apollo? You weren't even there when it was fought, but later that very night-
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22))
The door handle turned. Someone knocked, and a man's voice called, "Uh, hello?"
Valkyrie looked at Skulduggery, looked back at the others, looked at Skulduggery again.
"Hello," Skulduggery said, speaking loudly to be heard over the alarm.
"Hi," said the man. "The door's locked."
"That's funny" said Skulduggery. "Hold on a moment." He reached out, jiggled the handle a few times, then stepped back. "Yes, it's locked. You wouldn't happen to have the key, would you?"
There was a delay in response from the other side. "I'm sorry," the man called, "Who am I speaking with?"
Skulduggery tilted his head. "Who am I speaking with?"
"This is Oscar Nightfall."
"Are you sure?"
"Are you sure you are who you say you are? This is the Great Chamber, after all. It's a very important place for very important people. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone, and I'm not saying that this applies to you in particular, but someone could conceivably lie about who they are in order to gain access to this room. I have to be vigilant, especially now. There's a war on, you know."
Oscar Nightfall sounded puzzled. Who are you?"
"Me? I'm nobody. I'm a cleaner. I'm one of the cleaners. I was cleaning the thrones and the door shut behind me. Now I can't get out. Could you try and find a key?"
"What's your name? Give me you name."
"No. It's mine."
"Tell me your name!"
"My name is Oscar Nightfall."
"What? No it isn't. That's my name."
"Is it? Since when?"
"Since I took it!"
"You didn't ask me if you could take it. I was using it first."
"Open this door immediately."
"I don't have the key."
"I'll fetch the Cleavers."
"I found the key. It was in the keyhole. It's always the last place you look isn't it? I'm unlocking the door now. Here we go."
Skulduggery relaxed the air pressure, opened the door, and pulled Oscar Nightfall inside. Valkyrie stuck out her foot, and Oscar stumbled over it and Vex shoved him to Ghastly and Ghastly punched him. Oscar fell down and didn't get up again. Skulduggery closed the door once more.
Derek Landy (Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8))
I had not yet been down to the cellar where I was to sleep. I took a candle with me but was too tired to look around beyond finding a bed, pillow and blanket. Leaving the trap door of the cellar open so that cool, fresh air could reach me, I took off my shoes, cap, apron and dress, prayed briefly, and lay down. I was about to blow out the candle when I noticed the painting hanging at the foot of my bed. I sat up, wide awake now. It was another picture of Christ on the Cross, smaller than the one upstairs but even more disturbing. Christ had thrown his head back in pain, and Mary Magdalene’s eyes were rolling. I Iay back gingerly, unable to take my eyes off it. I could not imagine sleeping in the room with the painting. I wanted to take it down but did not dare. Finally I blew out the candle—I could not afford to waste candles on my first day in the new house. I lay back again, my eyes fixed to the place where I knew the painting hung. I slept badly that night, tired as I was. I woke often and looked for the painting. Though I could see nothing on the wall, every detail was fixed in my mind. Finally, when it was beginning to grow light, the painting appeared again and I was sure the Virgin Mary was looking down at me.
Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring)
I think we must only a few of us go," Laurence said, low. "I will take a few volunteers - "
"Oh, the devil you will!" Granby exclaimed furiously. "No, this time I damned well put my foot down, Laurence. Send you off to go scrambling about in that warren with no notion where you are going, and nothing more likely than running into a dozen guards round every corner; I should like to see myself do it. I am not going back to England to tell them I sat about twiddling my thumbs whilst you got yourself cut to pieces. Temeraire, you are not to let him go, do you hear me? He is sure to be killed; I give you my word."
"If the party are sure to be killed, I am not going to let anyone go!" Temeraire said, in high alarm, and sat up sharp, quite prepared to physically hold anyone back who made an attempt to leave.
"Temeraire, this is plain exaggeration," Laurence said. "Mr. Granby, you overstate the case, and you overstep your bounds."
"Well, I don't," Granby said defiantly. "I have bit my tongue a dozen times over, because I know it is wretched hard to sit about watching and you haven't been trained up to it, but you are a captain, and you must be more careful of your neck. It isn't only your own but the Corps' affair if you snuff it, and mine too."
"If I may," Tharkay said quietly, interrupting when Laurence would have remonstrated further with Granby, "I will go; alone I am reasonably sure I can find a way to the eggs, without rousing any alarm, and then I can return and guide the rest of the party there."
"Tharkay," Laurence said, "this is no service you owe us; I would not order even a man under oath of arms to undertake it, without he were willing."
"But I am willing," Tharkay gave his faint half-smile, "and more likely to come back whole from it than anyone else here."
"At the cost of running thrice the risk, going and coming back and going again," Laurence said, "with a fresh chance of running into the guards every time through."
"So it is very dangerous, then," Temeraire said, overhearing to too much purpose, and pricking up his ruff further. "You are not to go, at all, Granby is quite right; and neither is anyone else."
"Oh, Hell," Laurence said, under his breath.
"It seems there is very little alternative to my going," Tharkay said.
"Not you either!" Temeraire contradicted, to Tharkay's startlement, and settled down as mulish as a dragon could look; and Granby had folded his arms and wore an expression very similar. Laurence had ordinarily very little inclination to profanity, but he was sorely tempted on this occasion. An appeal to Temeraire's reason might sway him to allow a party to make the attempt, if he could be persuaded to accept the risk as necessary for the gain, like a battle; but he would surely balk at seeing Laurence go, and Laurence had not the least intention of sending men on so deadly an enterprise if he were not going himself, Corps rules be damned.
Naomi Novik (Black Powder War (Temeraire, #3))
I swear, I stick my foot in my mouth more times than I’d like to count with this girl and the reminder of her earlier suggestion comes to mind, but my foot is going nowhere near my ass. Shuddering, the memory of that sorority girl sticking her finger in that place makes me cringe. Sure, I know some guys are cool with that and they like it, but I swear my cock deflated the moment she touched me there. Never fucking again.
Tessa Teevan (Incinerate (Explosive, #2))
I think,” he said slowly, “he’s got something to do with Quidditch. There’s some connection, but I can’t--I can’t think what it is.”
“Quidditch?” said Ron. “Sure you’re not thinking of Gorgovitch?”
“Dragomir Gorgovitch, Chaser, transferred to the Chudley Cannons for a record fee two years ago. Record holder for most Quaffle drops in a season.”
“No,” said Harry. “I’m definitely not thinking of Gorgovitch.”
“I try not to either,” said Ron. “Well, happy birthday anyway.”
“Wow--that’s right, I forgot! I’m seventeen!”
Harry seized the wand lying beside his camp bed, pointed it at the cluttered desk where he had left his glasses, and said, “Accio Glasses!” Although they were only around a foot away, there was something immensely satisfying about seeing them zoom toward him, at least until they poked him in the eye.
“Slick,” snorted Ron.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
something in. I wonder what the heck he’s doing. It was almost like he was waiting for me. I don't say anything, not wanting to be rude. Maybe he lives in the building. He’s not a tall man, maybe five-eleven, which doesn’t seem so big after having Mason in my space. Mason’s more than a few inches over six foot. But what this man doesn’t have in height, he has in muscles. He looks like someone who used to wrestle, I think absently. His gray hair streaks over his once-solid black hair. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s in his early fifties. The elevator dings, and he follows me on, hitting the button for both of us. When I step out, he follows me out the building and down the street. I start walking faster, unsure what the heck is going on. “Miss Myers.” When he says my name, I stop and turn, and he almost runs into me. “I’m your security. No need to be scared of me.” “Security?” “Seems you like to wander. I’m here to make sure you don’t wander into trouble.” “I don’t wander,” I fire back. He raises his eyebrows and smiles. “Just doing my job, ma’am.” His easy smile forces me to release the tension in my shoulders. Sometimes things would get a little scary when I walked home to my old apartment. It wasn’t in the nicest neighborhood. Heck, sometimes I didn’t even feel safe in my apartment.
Alexa Riley (Paid For)
We're at the opening of the Globe." She thought back to Daniel's words under the peach trees at Sword & Cross. "Daniel told me we were here."
"Sure,you were here," Bill said. "About fourteen years ago.Perched on your older brother's shoulder. You came with your family to see Julius Caesar."
Bill hovered in the air a foot in front of her. It was unappetizing, but the high collar around her neck actually seemed to hold its shape. She almost resembled the sumptuously dressed women in the higher boxes.
"And Daniel?" she asked.
"Daniel was a player-"
"That's whay they called the actors." Bill rolled his eyes. "He was just starting out then. To everyone else in the audience, his debut was utterly forgettable. But to little three-year-old Lucinda"-Bill shrugged-"it put the fire in you. You've been quote-unquote dying to get onstage ever since.Tonight's your night."
"I'm an actor?
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
One of the two owners, the man who had been sitting in the front room, was stretched out in there asleep, stockinged-toes pointed at the ceiling, one hand backed defensively against his eyes to ward off the light. He'd taken off his vest and shoes, and that strap that wasn't straight enough to be a suspender-strap was dangling now around one of the knobs at the foot of the bed. It ended in a holster, with a black, cross-grained slab of metal protruding from it. Turner couldn't take his eyes off it, while the long seconds that to him were minutes toiled by.
That meant out, that black slab, more surely than any door. He had to have it. More than that, it meant a continuance of out, for so long as he had it. And he wanted out with all the desperate longing of all trapped things, blindly scratching, clawing their way through a maze to the open. To the open where the equal chance is.
Cornell Woolrich (Marihuana)
His eyes narrowed to menacing slits. “But that doesn’t mean that if you refuse my offer and stay, I’ll stand by and let you have her. I won’t. In the end you’ll lose, and you won’t even have the consolation of my gold.” He took his foot off the chair and leaned forward, planting his hands on the table as he eyed Petey with suspicion. “Why all the questions, Hargraves? You’d give up any hope of riches and adventure just to marry Miss Willis?”
“No, of course not,” Petey said hastily, before the pirate’s suspicions could be truly roused. “You can be sure I’d prefer this scepter and the chance to be off this island to Miss Willis any day.” He paused, weighing his words. “I just don’t understand why you don’t feel the same.”
Captain Horn drew himself up with the bearing of one of those nobles he so distained. “That’s none of your concern. Do you want the thing or not? Because if you don’t—” he broke off as he reached for the scepter.
Petey jerked it back. “I want it.” He wasn’t sure if he was playing this right, but it didn’t look as if he had any choice.
“I want it. I’ll be off your island tomorrow.”
For a moment, Petey could have sworn he saw relief in the captain’s face. Then the man’s expression hardened. “One more thing—you’re not to speak to her of any of this, you understand? You must promise to leave tomorrow without a word to her.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Pirate Lord)
I have heard some people complain that if Jesus was God as well as man, then His suffering and death lose all value in their eyes, 'because it must have been so easy for him.' Others may (very rightly) rebuke the ingratitude and ungraciousness of this objection; what staggers me is the misunderstanding it betrays. In one sense, of course, those who make it are right. They have even understated their own case. The perfect submission, the perfect suffering, the perfect death were not only easier to Jesus because he was God, but were possible only because He was God. But surely that is a very odd reason for not accepting them? The teacher is able to form the letters for the child because the teacher is grown-up and knows how to write. That, of course, makes it easier for the teacher; and only because 'it's easy for grown ups' and waited to learn writing from another child who could not write itself (and so had no 'unfair' advantage), it would not get on very quickly. If I am drowning in a rapid river, a man who still has one foot on the bank may give me a hand which saves my life. Ought I to shout back (between my gasps) 'No, it's not fair! You have an advantage! You're keeping one foot on the bank? That advantage--call it 'unfair' if you like--is the only reason why he can be of any use to me. To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?
A small group of horsemen were approaching the house, their pace slow enough to match Javelin, whose rider slumped over his neck.
Surely the Herrani wouldn’t cheer if Arin was dead, or dying?
Fool, Kestrel told herself. Dead men can’t ride.
A storm of feeling confused her, and Kestrel didn’t know if her emotions were what they ought to be, because she didn’t know what she felt. She couldn’t even think.
Then the horses stopped. Arin slipped off Javelin, and there was a scuffle among the Herrani as each fought to get to him first. People supported him, nudged shoulders under his arms.
Arin’s face was white with pain and blackened with patches of dirt and bruises. His torn clothes were stained crimson. Bright, bloody flags. One foot was bare.
He tipped his head back, caught Kestrel’s gaze, and smiled.
Kestrel shut the window and shut her heart, for what she felt when she saw Arin limp up the path wasn’t anything she had expected. She shouldn’t feel this, not this:
A stark, shattering relief.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
So what's your story?" Maddie didn't try to hide the singsong lilt of her voice as she spoke. She didn't want to. She'd learned at a very young age that nothing annoyed manly men more than girly girls, and if Maddie had one talent, it was truly exceptional girliness.
"Shut up and be quiet," Stefan snapped.
"That's just a tad redundant, FYI."
"Shut up!" he hissed near her ear.
Maddie couldn't help but shift her weight from foot to foot, almost pacing in place. She was careful of the ice and the snow, though. No use falling to the ground and having Stefan accidentally pull the trigger.
"You really do give a lot of orders," she told him.
He tightened his grip. "I'm the one with the gun."
"Well, yeah. Sure. Technically. But I'm the one with the winning personality, and that should count for something."
"You should be scared," he said in the same tone a movie villain might use to say You should be dead when the hero materializes five years later, hungry for vengeance.
Stefan was confused, and Maddie couldn't blame him.
So she turned back and shrugged. "Maybe. But I don't think you're a bad guy."
He let her go and spun her around, grabbing Logan's unzipped coat and pulling her closer.
"I. Have. The. Gun," he reminded her.
Maddie smiled and pulled away. "And I have Taylor Swift's signature scent. Doesn't make me a pop star. It just makes me smell like Taylor Swift, which isn't as great as it sounds because, to a bear, Taylor Swift smells delicious.
Stefan stuttered for a moment, then fell silent.
Ally Carter (Not If I Save You First)
Have a care." Brian put a hand lightly on Keeley's elbow as they walked away. "Or you'll slip on the pieces of the heart you just broke."
She slid a glance over and up. "I'm very sure-footed," she told him, then made a point of taking a seat between her two brothers.
Because he'd caught the scent of her-subtle sex,with an overlay of class-he made a point of sitting directly acros from her. He sent her one quick grin, then settled in to be entertained by Sarah,who was already chattering to him about horses.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
That girl didn’t have a moment’s peace from the day Adriano Dardano set foot in Galway and started chasing her.” Sister Brannigan said, as she led them around the convent garden. “Nice of Francesca to stay still for him to catch her then wasn’t it?” Alessandro remarked dryly. “Mmph,” the nun responded. “My grandfather loved Francesca,” Alessandro insisted. “Far be it from me to speak ill of the dead. But let’s call a spade a spade, hmm? Your grandfather was a charmer. Now perhaps he didn’t realize just how naïve our Francesca was and how besotted with him she was.” “Mmm, very generous of you,” Alessandro grumbled. “I will say that on the times he brought some food he had made with Francesca up to the convent, it was clear he had a wonderful talent in the kitchen. Now mind ye, the Italian food was a bit rich for my taste but still, rather good.” “I’m sure my grandfather’s resting easier in his grave now that the holy sister has complimented his cooking,” Alessandro whispered in Bree’s ear making, her laugh out loud and Sister Brannigan turn to her in question.
E. Jamie (The Betrayal (Blood Vows, #2))
from her purse. “We have to follow that car!” “But not too close,” Nancy replied. “We’d make them suspicious.” The girls waited three minutes before backing out into the main highway and then turning into the adjacent road. Though the automobile ahead had disappeared, tire prints were plainly visible. The road twisted through a stretch of wood-land. When finally the tire prints turned off into a heavily wooded narrow lane, Nancy was sure they were not far from the cabin. She parked among some trees and they went forward on foot. “There it is!” whispered Nancy, recognizing the chimney. “Bess, I want you to take my car, drive to River Heights, and look up the name of the owner of the car we just saw. Here’s the license number. “After you’ve been to the Motor Vehicle Bureau, please phone Mrs. Putney’s house. If she answers, we’ll know it wasn’t she we saw in the car. Then get hold of Dad or Ned, and bring one of them here as fast as you can. We may need help. Got it straight?” “I—I—g-guess so,” Bess answered. “Hurry back! No telling what may happen while you’re away.” The two watched as Nancy’s car rounded a bend and was lost to view. Then Nancy and George walked swiftly through the woods toward the cabin. Approaching the building, Nancy and George were amazed to find that no car was parked on the road in front. “How do you figure it?” George whispered as the girls crouched behind bushes. “We certainly saw tire marks leading into this road!” “Yes, but the car that passed may have gone on without stopping. Possibly the driver saw us and changed her plans. Wait here, and watch the cabin while I check the tire marks out at the
Carolyn Keene (The Ghost of Blackwood Hall (Nancy Drew, #25))
Oh God. We’re talking about me being naked, in the shower with cooter cream. Please world, end. Kill me.
“I know it’s not soap. I just… if it’s scented… I can’t do scented. Flowers and stuff like that. Fruit-flavored soaps make… things… burnish.” She could tell from the peeks at his face Mr. Fitzwell had never stepped foot in bath and lotion store, wanting to try the array of fun fragrances. Nor had he purchased Peppermint Candy shower gel, foamed up his nether regions, and felt like he had dipped them in lava. Dove crossed and uncrossed her legs at the memory.
Mr. Fitzwell seemed concerned. “Okay, just a heads-up. It’s definitely not good to put any fruits or plant life near your genitals.” He made a V with his hands and formed his own pretend vagina in front of his pants.
Dove covered her eyes and tried to defend herself because now she could hear the sickly older woman beating her supporters with a purse.
Dove’s mumbling got louder with her embarrassment. “I don’t put weird things down… there. Just make sure that the cream’s vagina-scented. Just plain. For vaginas.” She kept her eyes on the counter.
Debra Anastasia (Fire Down Below (Gynazule #1))
My back hit the wall. He closed in with an almost terrifying intensity. His muscular body boxed me in.
“Rogan,” I warned. In my head, a song played over and over, singing to me in a seductive voice, Rogan, Rogan, Rogan, sex . . . want . . .
“Remember that dream you had?” His voice was low, commanding.
The delicious warmth danced around my neck.
“Where I had no clothes?”
The warmth split and slid over me, over the sensitive nerves in the back of my neck, over my collarbone, around my breasts, cupping them and sliding fast to the tips, tightening my nipples, then sliding down, over my stomach, over my sides and butt, down between my legs. It was everywhere at once, and it flowed over me like a cascade of sensual ecstasy, overloading my senses, overriding my reason, and rendering me speechless. I hurtled through it, trying to sort through the sensations and failing. My head spun.
He was right there, masculine, hot, sexy, so incredibly sexy, and I wanted to taste him. I wanted his hands on me. I wanted him to press himself against the aching spot between my legs.
His arms closed around me. His face was too close, his eyes enticing, compelling, excited. “Let’s talk about that dream, Nevada.”
I was trapped. I had nowhere to go. If he kissed me, I would melt right here. I would moan and beg him, and I would have sex with him right here, in the Galleria, in public.
A spark of pain drained down my arm, driven by pure instinct. I grabbed his shoulder. Feathery lightning shot out and singed him.
Agony exploded in me, cleansing like an ice-cold shower.
Rogan’s body jerked, as if struck by an electric current. It lasted only a second, and I didn’t push as hard as I could have. I was learning to control it.
Rogan whipped back to me, his eyes feral. His voice was a ragged growl. “Was that supposed to hurt?”
“It was supposed to get your attention.” I pushed him back with my hand. “You were getting really excited.”
“‘No’ would’ve been sufficient.”
“I wasn’t sure.” I pushed from the wall and headed for the exit. “I said ‘once.’ That was more than once. I wanted you to stop.”
“I was encouraged by you breathlessly moaning my name.”
I spun on my foot. “I wasn’t moaning your name. I was shrieking in alarm.”
“That was the sexiest throaty shrieking I’ve ever heard.”
“You need to get out more.” My cheeks were burning.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
Senor sempere and I were friends for almost forty years, and in all that time we spoke about God and the mysteries of life on only one occasion. Almost nobody knows this, but Sempere had not set foot in a church since the funeral of his wife Diana, to whose side we bring him today so that they might lie next to one another forever. Perhaps for that reason people assumed he was an atheist, but he was truly a man of faith. He believed in his friends, in the truth of things and in something to which he didn't dare put a name or a face because he said as priests that was our job. Senor Sempere believed we are all a part of something, and that when we leave this world our memories and our desires are not lost, but go on to become the memories and desires of those who take our place. He didn't know whether we created God in our own image or whether God created us without quite knowing what he was doing. He believed that God, or whatever brought us here, lives in each of our deeds, in each of our words, and manifests himself in all those things that show us to be more than mere figures of clay. Senor Sempere believed that God lives, to a smaller or greater extent, in books, and that is why he devoted his life to sharing them, to protecting them and to making sure their pages, like our memories and our desires are never lost. He believed, and made me believe it too, that as long as there is one person left in the world who is capable of reading them and experiencing them, a small piece of God, or of life, will remain. I know that my friend would not have liked us to say our farewells to him with prayer and hymns. I know that it would have been enough for him to realsie that his friends, many of whom have come here today to say goodbye, will never forget him. I have no doubt that the Lord, even though old Sempere was not expecting it, will recieve our dear friend at his side, and I know that he will live forever in the hearts of all those who are here today, all those who have discovered the magic of books thanks to him, and all those who, without even knowing him, will one day go through the door of his little bookshop where, as he liked to say, the story has only just begun. May you rest in peace, Sempere, dear friend, and may God give us all the opportunity to honour your memory and feel grateful for the priviledge of having known you.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Who’s teasing? I’m telling him the truth. He ain’t going to have it. Neither one of ‘em going to have it. And I’ll tell you something else you not going to have. You not going to have no private coach with four red velvet chairs that swivel around in one place whenever you want ‘em to. No. and you not going to have your own special toilet and your own special-made eight-foot bed either. And a valet and a cook and a secretary to travel with you and do everything you say. Everything: get the right temperature in your hot-water bottle and make sure the smoking tobacco in the silver humidor is fresh each and every day. There’s something else you not going to have. You ever have five thousand dollars of cold cash money in your pocket and walk into a bank and tell the bank man you want such and such a house on such and such a street and he sell it to you right then? Well, you won’t ever have it. And you not going to have a governor’s mansion, or eight thousand acres of timber to sell. And you not going to have no ship under your command to sail on, no train to run, and you can join the 332nd if you want to and shoot down a thousand German planes all by yourself and land in Hitler’s backyard and whip him with your own hands, but you never going to have four stars on your shirt front, or even three. And you not going to have no breakfast tray brought in to you early in the morning with a red rose on it and two warm croissants and a cup of hot chocolate. Nope. Never. And no pheasant buried in coconut leaves for twenty days and stuffed with wild rice and cooked over a wood fire so tender and delicate it make you cry. And no Rothschild ’29 or even Beaujolais to go with it.”
A few men passing by stopped to listen to Tommy’s lecture. “What’s going on?” they asked Hospital Tommy.
“Feather refused them a beer,” said. The men laughed.
“And no baked Alaska!” Railroad Tommy went on. “None! You never going to have that.”
“No baked Alaska?” Guitar opened his eyes wide with horror and grabbed his throat.” You breaking my heart!”
“Well, now. That’s something you will have—a broken heart.” Railroad Tommy’s eyes softened, but the merriment in them died suddenly. “And folly. A whole lot of folly. You can count on it.”
“Mr. Tommy, suh,” Guitar sang in mock humility, “we just wanted a bottle of beer is all.”
“Yeah,” said Tommy. “Yeah, well, welcome aboard.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
Have you heard the songs they sing here in Kilanga?” he asked. “They’re very worshipful. It’s a grand way to begin a church service, singing a Congolese hymn to the rainfall on the seed yams. It’s quite easy to move from there to the parable of the mustard seed. Many parts of the Bible make good sense here, if only you change a few words.” He laughed. “And a lot of whole chapters, sure, you just have to throw away.”
“Well, it’s every bit God’s word, isn’t it?” Leah said.
“God’s word, brought to you by a crew of romantic idealists in a harsh desert culture eons ago, followed by a chain of translators two thousand years long."
Leah stared at him.
“Darling, did you think God wrote it all down in the English of King James himself?”
“No, I guess not.”
“Think of all the duties that were perfectly obvious to Paul or Matthew in that old Arabian desert that are pure nonsense to us now. All that foot washing, for example. Was it really for God’s glory, or just to keep the sand out of the house?”
Leah sat narrow-eyed in her chair, for once stumped for the correct answer.
“Oh, and the camel. Was it a camel that could pass through the eye of a needle more easily than a rich man? Or a coarse piece of yarn? The Hebrew words are the same, but which one did they mean? If it’s a camel, the rich man might as well not even try. But if it’s the yarn, he might well succeed with a lot of effort, you see?” He leaned forward toward Leah with his hands on his knees. “Och, I shouldn’t be messing about with your thinking this way, with your father out in the garden. But I’ll tell you a secret. “When I want to take God at his word exactly, I take a peep out the window at His Creation. Because that, darling, He makes fresh for us every day, without a lot of dubious middle managers.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Nick's number waited impatiently on the screen, tapping its foot. I could press the red button to cancel the call. Without pressing anything, I set the phone down on my bedside table, crossed my arms,and glared at it.
Good:Nick wouldn't think I was chasing him.
Bad:Nick would die alone in his house from complications related to his stupendous wipeout.The guilt of knowing I could have saved his life if not for my outsized ego would be too much for me to bear.I would retreat from public life.I would join a nearby convent and knit potholders from strands of my own hair.No,I would crochet Christmas ornaments in the shape of delicate snowflakes.Red snowflakes! They would be sold in the souvenir shops around town.I would support a whole orphanage from the proceeds of snowflakes I crocheted from my hair.All the townspeople of Snowfall would tell tourists the story of Crazy Sister Hayden and the tragedy of her lost love.
Or I could call Nick.Jesus! I snatched up the phone and pressed the green button.
His phone switched straight to voice mail.Great,I hadn't found out whether he was dying,and if he recovered later,he would see my number on his phone and roll his eyes.
Damage control: Beeeeep!
"Hey,Nick,it's Hayden.Just,ah, wanted to know how a crash like that feels." Wait,I was trying to get him to call me back,right?He would not return my call after a message like that. "Actually just wondering whether you're ready to make out again and then have another argument." He might not return that call,either. "Actually,I remembered your mother isn't home,and I wanted to make sure you're okay.Please give me a call back."
Pressed red button.Set phone on nightstand.Folded arms.Glared at phone. Picked it up. "Freaking stupid young love!" I hollered,slamming it into the pillows on my bed. Doofus jumped up, startled.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
I REMEMBER the day the Aleut ship came to our island. At first it seemed like a small shell afloat on the sea. Then it grew larger and was a gull with folded wings. At last in the rising sun it became what it really was—a red ship with two red sails. My brother and I had gone to the head of a canyon that winds down to a little harbor which is called Coral Cove. We had gone to gather roots that grow there in the spring. My brother Ramo was only a little boy half my age, which was twelve. He was small for one who had lived so many suns and moons, but quick as a cricket. Also foolish as a cricket when he was excited. For this reason and because I wanted him to help me gather roots and not go running off, I said nothing about the shell I saw or the gull with folded wings. I went on digging in the brush with my pointed stick as though nothing at all were happening on the sea. Even when I knew for sure that the gull was a ship with two red sails. But Ramo’s eyes missed little in the world. They were black like a lizard’s and very large and, like the eyes of a lizard, could sometimes look sleepy. This was the time when they saw the most. This was the way they looked now. They were half-closed, like those of a lizard lying on a rock about to flick out its tongue to catch a fly. “The sea is smooth,” Ramo said. “It is a flat stone without any scratches.” My brother liked to pretend that one thing was another. “The sea is not a stone without scratches,” I said. “It is water and no waves.” “To me it is a blue stone,” he said. “And far away on the edge of it is a small cloud which sits on the stone.” “Clouds do not sit on stones. On blue ones or black ones or any kind of stones.” “This one does.” “Not on the sea,” I said. “Dolphins sit there, and gulls, and cormorants, and otter, and whales too, but not clouds.” “It is a whale, maybe.” Ramo was standing on one foot and then the other, watching the ship coming, which he did not know was a ship because he had never seen one. I had never seen one either, but I knew how they looked because I had been told. “While you gaze at the sea,” I said, “I dig roots. And it is I who will eat them and you who will not.” Ramo began to punch at the earth with his stick, but as the ship came closer, its sails showing red through the morning mist, he kept watching it, acting all the time as if he were not. “Have you ever seen a red whale?” he asked. “Yes,” I said, though I never had. “Those I have seen are gray.” “You are very young and have not seen everything that swims in the world.” Ramo picked up a root and was about to drop it into the basket. Suddenly his mouth opened wide and then closed again. “A canoe!” he cried. “A great one, bigger than all of our canoes together. And red!” A canoe or a ship, it did not matter to Ramo. In the very next breath he tossed the root in the air and was gone, crashing through the brush, shouting as he went. I kept on gathering roots, but my hands trembled as I dug in the earth, for I was more excited than my brother. I knew that it was a ship there on the
Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins)
Wow,” Wesley said. We were lying in his bed only a few minutes after we’d finished, with a foot or more space between our bodies. “I definitely wasn’t expecting that.”
God, he ruined everything when he talked. Annoyed, and still wading through the emotional repercussions, I sneered. “What? Ashamed that you screwed the Duff?”
“No.” I was surprised by how serious he sounded. “I’m never ashamed of anyone I sleep with. Sex is a natural chemical reaction. It always happens for a reason. Who am I to dictate who experiences the joy of sharing my bed?” He didn’t see me roll my eyes as he continued. “No, I just meant that I’m shocked. I was honestly starting to believe that you hated me.”
“I do hate you,” I assured him, kicking off the covers and moving to pick up my clothes.
“You must not hate me too much,” Wesley said, rolling onto his elbow and watching me dress. “You did pretty much throw yourself at me. Generally, hatred doesn’t inspire that kind of passion.”
I pulled on my T-shirt. “Believe me, Wesley, I definitely hate you. I was just using you. You use people all the time, so I’m sure you understand.” I buttoned my jeans and grabbed my alligator clip from the nightstand. “This was fun, but if you ever tell anyone, I swear I’ll castrate you.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
When it passes us, the driver tips his cap our way, eying us as if he thinks we're up to no good-the kind of no good he might call the cops on. I wave to him and smile, wondering if I look as guilty as I feel. Better make this the quickest lesson in driving history. It's not like she needs to pass the state exam. If she can keep the car straight for ten seconds in a row, I've upheld my end of the deal.
I turn off the ignition and look at her. "So, how are you and Toraf doing?"
She cocks her head at me. "What does that have to do with driving?"
Aside from delaying it? "Nothing," I say, shrugging. "Just wondering."
She pulls down the visor and flips open the mirror. Using her index finger, she unsmudges the mascara Rachel put on her. "Not that it's your business, but we're fine. We were always fine."
"He didn't seem to think so."
She shoots me a look. "He can be oversensitive sometimes. I explained that to him."
Oversensitive? No way. She's not getting off that easy. "He's a good kisser," I tell her, bracing myself.
She turns in her seat, eyes narrowed to slits. "You might as well forget about that kiss, Emma. He's mine, and if you put your nasty Half-Breed lips on him again-"
"Now who's being oversensitive?" I say, grinning. She does love him.
"Switch places with me," she snarls. But I'm too happy for Toraf to return the animosity.
Once she's in the driver's seat, her attitude changes. She bounces up and down like she's mattress shopping, getting so much air that she'd puncture the top if I hadn't put it down already. She reaches for the keys in the ignition. I grab her hand. "Nope. Buckle up first."
It's almost cliché for her to roll her eyes now, but she does. When she's finished dramatizing the act of buckling her seat belt-complete with tugging on it to make sure it won't unclick-she turns to me in pouty expectation. I nod.
She wrenches the key and the engine fires up. The distant look in her eyes makes me nervous. Or maybe it's the guilt swirling around in my stomach. Galen might not like this car, but it still feels like sacrilege to put the fate of a BMW in Rayna's novice hands. As she grips the gear stick so hard her knuckles turn white, I thank God this is an automatic.
"D is for drive, right?" she says.
"Yes. The right pedal is to go. The left pedal is to stop. You have to step on the left one to change into drive."
"I know. I saw you do it." She mashes down on the brake, then throws us into drive. But we don't move.
"Okay, now you'll want to step on the right pedal, which is the gas-"
The tires start spinning-and so do we. Rayna stares at me wide-eyed and mouth ajar, which isn't a good thing since her hands are on the wheel. It occurs to me that she's screaming, but I can't hear her over my own screeching. The dust wall we've created whirls around us, blocking our view of the trees and the road and life as we knew it.
"Take your foot off the right one!" I yell. We stop so hard my teeth feel rattled.
"Are you trying to get us killed?" she howls, holding her hand to her cheek as if I've slapped her. Her eyes are wild and glassy; she just might cry.
"Are you freaking kidding me? You're the one driving!
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Catching my breath, I lean against the front of the car and focus on the individual blades of grass hedging my flip-flop, trying not to throw up or pass out or both. In the far distance, a vehicle approaches-the first one to witness the scene of our accident. A million explanations run through my mind, but I can’t imagine a single scenario that would solve all-or any-of our issues right now.
None of us can risk going to the hospital. Mom technically doesn’t qualify as human, so I’m sure we’d get a pretty interesting diagnosis. Rachel is technically supposed to be deceased as of the last ten years or so, and while she probably has a plethora of fake IDs, she’s still antsy around cops, which will surely be called to the hospital in the event of a gunshot wound, even if it is just in the foot. And let’s not forget that Mom and Rachel are new handcuff buddies. There just isn’t an explanation for any of this.
That’s when I decide I’m not the one who should do the talking. After all, I didn’t kidnap anyone. I didn’t shoot anyone. And I certainly didn’t handcuff myself to the person who shot me. Besides, both Mom and Rachel are obviously much more skilled at deception then I’ll ever be.
“If someone pulls over to help us, one of you is explaining all this,” I inform them. “You’ll probably want to figure it out fast, because here comes a car.”
But the car comes and goes without even slowing. In fact, a lot of cars come and go, and if the situation weren’t so strange and if I weren’t so thankful that they didn’t actually stop, I’d be forced to reexamine what the world is coming to, not helping strangers in an accident. Then it occurs to me that maybe the passerby don’t realize it’s the scene of an accident. Mom’s car is in the ditch, but the ditch might be steep enough to hide it. It’s possible that no one can even see Rachel and Mom from the side of the road. Still, I am standing at the front of Rachel’s car. An innocent-looking teenage girl just loitering for fun in the middle of nowhere and no one cares to stop? Seriously?
Just as I decide that people suck, a vehicle coming from the opposite direction slows and pulls up a few feet behind us. It’s not a good Samaritan traveler pulling over to see what he or she can do to inadvertently complicate things. It’s not an ambulance. It’s not a state trooper. If only we could be so lucky. But, nope, it’s way worse.
Because it’s Galen’s SUV.
From where I stand, I can see him looking at me from behind the wheel. His face is stricken and tried and relieved and pained. I want to want to want to believe the look in his eyes right now. The look that clearly says he’s found what he’s looking for, in more ways than one.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I once read the most widely understood word in the whole world is ‘OK’, followed by ‘Coke’, as in cola. I think they should do the survey again, this time checking for ‘Game Over’.
Game Over is my favorite thing about playing video games. Actually, I should qualify that. It’s the split second before Game Over that’s my favorite thing.
Streetfighter II - an oldie but goldie - with Leo controlling Ryu. Ryu’s his best character because he’s a good all-rounder - great defensive moves, pretty quick, and once he’s on an offensive roll, he’s unstoppable. Theo’s controlling Blanka. Blanka’s faster than Ryu, but he’s really only good on attack. The way to win with Blanka is to get in the other player’s face and just never let up. Flying kick, leg-sweep, spin attack, head-bite. Daze them into submission.
Both players are down to the end of their energy bars. One more hit and they’re down, so they’re both being cagey. They’re hanging back at opposite ends of the screen, waiting for the other guy to make the first move. Leo takes the initiative. He sends off a fireball to force Theo into blocking, then jumps in with a flying kick to knock Blanka’s green head off. But as he’s moving through the air he hears a soft tapping. Theo’s tapping the punch button on his control pad. He’s charging up an electricity defense so when Ryu’s foot makes contact with Blanka’s head it’s going to be Ryu who gets KO’d with 10,000 volts charging through his system.
This is the split second before Game Over.
Leo’s heard the noise. He knows he’s fucked. He has time to blurt ‘I’m toast’ before Ryu is lit up and thrown backwards across the screen, flashing like a Christmas tree, a charred skeleton. Toast.
The split second is the moment you comprehend you’re just about to die. Different people react to it in different ways. Some swear and rage. Some sigh or gasp. Some scream. I’ve heard a lot of screams over the twelve years I’ve been addicted to video games.
I’m sure that this moment provides a rare insight into the way people react just before they really do die. The game taps into something pure and beyond affectations. As Leo hears the tapping he blurts, ‘I’m toast.’ He says it quickly, with resignation and understanding. If he were driving down the M1 and saw a car spinning into his path I think he’d in react the same way.
Personally, I’m a rager. I fling my joypad across the floor, eyes clenched shut, head thrown back, a torrent of abuse pouring from my lips.
A couple of years ago I had a game called Alien 3. It had a great feature. When you ran out of lives you’d get a photo-realistic picture of the Alien with saliva dripping from its jaws, and a digitized voice would bleat, ‘Game over, man!’
I really used to love that.
The judicious words of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the first existentialist philosopher, are apropos to end this lumbering manuscript.
1. “One must learn to know oneself before knowing anything else.”
2. “Life always expresses the results of our dominate thoughts.”
3. “Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.”
4. “Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.”
5. “Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.”
6. “Don’t forget to love yourself.”
7. “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
8. “Life has its own hidden forces, which you can only discover by living.”
9. “The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, or read about, nor seen, but if one will, are to be lived.”
10. “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.”
11. “It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate on only what is most significant and important.”
12. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”
13. “Since my earliest childhood, a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic, if it is pulled out I shall die.”
14. “A man who as a physical being is always turned to the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside of him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.”
15. “Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend into a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment in prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.”
Kierkegaard warned, “The greatest hazard of all, losing the self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.” Kierkegaard said that the one method to avoid losing oneself is to live joyfully in the moment, which he described as “to be present in oneself in truth,” which in turn requires “to be today, in truth be today.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
In record time, I’m out of the shower, hair dripping, my T-shirt sticking to my still-damp body, running out the door to the SUV in the driveway. My dress and Logan’s tux are waiting for us at the palace, where the glam squad will make me presentable.
Harry, a young, carefree security guard with shoulder-length brown hair, argues with Bartholomew, a bulkier bodyguard, in the driveway.
“You don’t have it in you, mate.”
“Oh, I have it in me—you can believe that.”
I have no idea what their pissing contest is about, but I don’t have time for it.
“You’re both gonna have my foot in your asses if somebody doesn’t drive me to the palace right now!” I yell.
They both look shocked.
And then they move their asses.
“She’s kind of a violent little thing, isn’t she?” Harry says to Logan as he climbs in the backseat with me.
Logan just laughs. And looks at me. “You’re going to make a good mum one day.”
I shake my head at him. “That’s what you got out of my statement? Really?”
“Sure—you sound just like Tommy’s mum and she’s the best one I know.”
And something occurs to me—something we haven’t talked about yet.
“Do you want that one day?” I imitate Logan’s accent. “To be a da?”
“I do.” His face softens. “As long as you’re the mum, I’d like very much to be the da.”
My stomach gets warm and fluttery. “Me too. Should probably make me a Mrs. first, though.”
Logan kisses my palm, smiling. “That’s the plan.”
Good to know.
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))
Terrified. “Of you? Nah. If you grow claws, I might get my sword, but I’ve fought you in your human shape.” It took all my will to shrug. “You aren’t that impressive.”
He cleared the distance between us in a single leap. I barely had time to jump to my feet. Steel fingers grasped my left wrist. His left arm clasped my waist. I fought, but he outmuscled me with ridiculous ease, pulling me close as if to tango.
“Curran! Let . . . “
I recognized the angle of his hip but I could do nothing about it. He pulled me forward and flipped me in a classic hip-toss throw. Textbook perfect. I flew through the air, guided by his hands, and landed on my back. The air burst from my lungs in a startled gasp. Ow.
“Impressed yet?” he asked with a big smile.
Playing. He was playing. Not a real fight. He could’ve slammed me down hard enough to break my neck. Instead he had held me to the end, to make sure I landed right.
He leaned forward a little. “Big bad merc, down with a basic hip toss. In your place I’d be blushing.”
I gasped, trying to draw air into my lungs.
“I could kill you right now. It wouldn’t take much. I think I’m actually embarrassed on your behalf. At least do some magic or something.”
As you wish. I gasped and spat my new power word. “Osanda.” Kneel, Your Majesty.
He grunted like a man trying to lift a crushing weight that fell on his shoulders. His face shook with strain. Ha-ha. He wasn’t the only one who got a boost from a flare.
I got up to my feet with some leisure. Curran stood locked, the muscles of his legs bulging his sweatpants. He didn’t kneel. He wouldn’t kneel. I hit him with a power word in the middle of a bloody flare and it didn’t work. When he snapped out of it, he would probably kill me.
All sorts of alarms blared in my head. My good sense screamed, Get out of the room, stupid! Instead I stepped close to him and whispered in his ear, “Still not impressed.”
His eyebrows came together, as a grimace claimed his face. He strained, the muscles on his hard frame trembling with effort. With a guttural sigh, he straightened.
I beat a hasty retreat to the rear of the room, passing Slayer on the way. I wanted to swipe it so bad, my palm itched. But the rules of the game were clear: no claws, no saber. The second I picked up the sword, I’d have signed my own death warrant.
He squared his shoulders. “Shall we continue?”
“It would be my pleasure.”
He started toward me. I waited, light on my feet, ready to leap aside. He was stronger than a pair of oxen, and he’d try to grapple. If he got ahold of me, it would be over. If all else failed, I could always try the window. A forty-foot drop was a small price to pay to get away from him.
Curran grabbed at me. I twisted past him and kicked his knee from the side. It was a good solid kick; I’d turned into it. It would’ve broken the leg of any normal human.
“Cute,” Curran said, grabbed my arm, and casually threw me across the room. I went airborne for a second, fell, rolled, and came to my feet to be greeted by Curran’s smug face. “You’re fun to play with. You make a good mouse.”
“I was always kind of partial to toy mice.” He smiled. “Sometimes they’re filled with catnip. It’s a nice bonus.”
“I’m not filled with catnip.”
“Let’s find out.”
He squared his shoulders and headed in my direction. Houston, we have a problem. Judging by the look in his eyes, a kick to the face simply wouldn’t faze him.
“I can stop you with one word,” I said.
He swiped me into a bear hug and I got an intimate insight into how a nut feels just before the nutcracker crushes it to pieces. “Do,” he said.
All humor fled his eyes. He let go and just like that, the game was over.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Well,” Leigh said, because there was nothing else. She looked back at the picture of herself and Pam in the blue dresses. “We did have it easier than she did. I’m sure we did. And I should thank her for that, I guess.”
Pam nodded. She looked calm, untroubled. Leigh, tapped her foot on the ottoman and glanced at her mother’s photographs. “But it felt like that was all she saw when she looked at us.” She leaned forward to get Pam’s attention. She wanted her sister to understand, to see things the way she had. “You know? I always felt like she never saw me, me as a individual. Do you know what I am saying? She gave us everything she ever wanted. But she never thought about what we wanted that it may be different. Or that we might need something that she didn’t. She never saw us separate from herself. She never saw us.” She paused, nodding in agreement with herself. That was it. She decided. She’d never put words to the feeling before, but that was it. That had been the whole trouble between them.
But when she looked back at Pam, her satisfaction vanished. Her sister’s mouth was pulled tight, her eyes wide. She looked away from Leigh, saying nothing, still the loyal confidante. But Leigh already knew. She knew what she couldn’t guess before, what Pam thought of the two of them on the porch swing, Kara talking, Pam listening. Leigh didn’t have to guess anymore. She could hear the words come out of her daughter’s mouth as clearly as they’d just come out of her own.
Laura Moriarty (The Rest of Her Life)
from the upcoming novel, Agent White:
A figure dressed all in black ran across the rooftops in the rain. A black cloak fluttered behind him as he ran two and sometimes three stories above the sidewalk where Ezra Beckitt stood. Long silver hair tied back in a ponytail flew out behind him, exposing ears that came to sharp points. His left ear was pierced with a silver ring, high up in the cartilage. Like the old man, this black figure wore a sword; but this weapon was long and thin, slightly curved. The blade stuck out behind him for three and a half feet, almost seeming to glow against the grey backdrop of the rain-soaked cityscape.
Suddenly, the figure in black looked down into the street and saw Ezra there. More, he saw Ezra seeing him. Startled, he lost his sure footing and slid down the steep incline of an older building’s metal roof, the busy street below waiting to catch him in an asphalt embrace. The figure in black got his feet under himself and pushed, flying out into space above the street. For an eternity Ezra watched him, suspended in the air and the rain with his cloak spread in midnight ripples around him, and then the figure in black flipped neatly and landed on the sidewalk half a block away. The pavement cracked, pushing up in twisted humps around the figure in black’s tall leather boots. Before the sound of this impact even reached Ezra the figure was up and gone, dashing through the morning throngs waiting for buses or headed to the ‘tram station. Ezra saw a girl’s hair blow back in the wind created by his passing, but she never noticed him. A young techie blinked his 20-20’s (Ezra’s own enhanced senses picked up the augmented eyes because of a strange, silvery glow in the pupils) and turned halfway around, almost seeing him. And then the figure in black darted into an alley, gone.
Ezra drew his service weapon and ran after, pushing his way through the sidewalk traffic. Turning into the alley he skidded to a stop, stunned; the figure in black was still there. The alley was just wide enough to accommodate Ezra’s shoulders- he couldn’t have held his arms out at his sides. Dumpsters spilled their trash out onto the wet pavement. The alley ended in a fire door, the back exit of a store on the next street over. Even if it was locked, Ezra didn’t think it would pose a real problem for the figure in black. No, he was waiting for him.
Ezra advanced with his gun out in front of him, and his eyes locked with the figure in black’s. His were completely black- no pupils, no corneas, only solid black that held no light. The figure in black smiled, exposing teeth that looked very sharp, and laid his hand on the hilt of his sword. He wore leather gloves with the fingers cut off. His fingers were very long and very white.
“Don’t even think about it,” Ezra said, clicking the safety off his weapon. “I am a Hatis City Guard, an if you move I will put you down.”
This only seemed to amuse the figure in black, whose smiled widened as he drew his sword. Ezra opened fire.
I grab one of the lanterns we’ve left in the mudroom and head toward my parents’ room, expecting Ryder to follow.
But he pauses at the bottom of the stairs. “I guess I should…you know. The guestroom. Should be safe upstairs now.”
I just stare at him, trying to decide if he’s serious. But then he reaches for the banister, and I realize he is. “You don’t have to,” I say, my cheeks flushing hotly. “I mean…I’m fine with you down here. With me.”
I can’t believe I just said that. But, jeez, everything’s so awkward now.
“You sure?” he asks, taking a step toward me.
I shift my weight from one foot to the other. “Yeah, I’m…you know, getting used to having you around. Anyway,” I say breezily, “we might get some more severe stuff tonight. Probably shouldn’t take any chances.”
Oh my God, I’m practically begging him to stay with me. What is wrong with me?
“You’re probably right,” Ryder says, relenting.
I try to think of something clever to say, but come up blank. So I turn and stalk off to my parents’ room instead.
Ryder finds me in the bathroom, brushing my teeth with bottled water. He stands in the doorway, leaning against the wooden frame, watching me. Our gazes meet in the mirror--which, of course, makes gooseflesh rise on my skin. I spit in the sink and take a swig of water to rinse.
I turn, the marble countertop digging into my back. He moves toward me, closing the distance between us. I sway slightly on my feet as he reaches for me, his dark eyes filled with heat. His gaze sweeps across my face, warming my skin, making my breath catch in my throat.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
In early 2016, Amazon was given a license by the Federal Maritime Commission to implement ocean freight services as an Ocean Transportation Intermediary. So, Amazon can now ship others’ goods. This new service, dubbed Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), won’t do much directly for individual consumers. But it will allow Amazon’s Chinese partners to more easily and cost-effectively get their products across the Pacific in containers. Want to bet how long it will take Amazon to dominate the oceanic transport business? 67 The market to ship stuff (mostly) across the Pacific is a $ 350 billion business, but a low-margin one. Shippers charge $ 1,300 to ship a forty-foot container holding up to 10,000 units of product (13 cents per unit, or just under $ 10 to deliver a flatscreen TV). It’s a down-and-dirty business, unless you’re Amazon. The biggest component of that cost comes from labor: unloading and loading the ships and the paperwork. Amazon can deploy hardware (robotics) and software to reduce these costs. Combined with the company’s fledgling aircraft fleet, this could prove another huge business for Amazon. 68 Between drones, 757/ 767s, tractor trailers, trans-Pacific shipping, and retired military generals (no joke) who oversaw the world’s most complex logistics operations (try supplying submarines and aircraft carriers that don’t surface or dock more than once every six months), Amazon is building the most robust logistics infrastructure in history. If you’re like me, this can only leave you in awe: I can’t even make sure I have Gatorade in the fridge when I need it.
Scott Galloway (The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google)
Oscar pushed a strand of her loose raven hair behind her ear, and Camille knew she hadn’t completely failed. The man she loved, and who loved her, was alive when, under all normal circumstance, he shouldn’t be. How could that be seen as failure?
“You know, and I know.” Oscar paused to take a breath. “William would never have approved of us being together.”
He held his eyes level with hers, as if trying to detect any flicker of doubt or apprehension in her.
“We won’t be tying bait bags for a living, will we?” she asked, willing to give up her wealth, her good name, but never her dignity.
Oscar laughed. “No bait bags.”
“Well, of that my father would at least approve. And even if he didn’t,” she said with a sly grin, “I do.”
She rose to the tips of her toes and kissed him.
“Oy, lovebirds!” Ira shouted from the ground. He and Samuel had reached the base and now looked into the sunlight, shielding their eyes with the planes of their hands. “Should I build a campfire and start sending smoke signals? Here we are, beasties! Come have lunch!”
Oscar’s familiar sarcasm slipped back into place. “No smoke signals needed, Ira, the shouting will do just fine.”
He released his arms from around her waist, and Camille reluctantly let him go, too. He descended the first boulder. “I’ll go first, in case you slip.”
Oscar’s eyes came level with Camille’s ratty wool stockings. He looked up at her, his dimples as irresistible as the first time she’d seen them.
“Well, at least it’s an improvement from bare feet,” he said.
Camille wiggled her toes, laughing. She started down the mound of boulders toward the world that lay ahead, her footing sure and steady.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
My, my,” Chloe murmured, studying the chocolate she held. “I do believe this one’s gone off. It stinks like a cesspit.” Her eyes lifted. “Oh, wait. It’s only the guttersnipe.”
“Or perhaps it’s your perfume,” I said cordially. “You always smell like a whore.”
“It’s French,” retorted Runny-Nose, before Chloe could speak.
“Then she smells like a French whore.”
“Aren’t you the eloquent young miss.” Chloe’s gaze cut to Sophia, standing close behind me. “Slumming, little sister? I can’t confess I’m surprised.”
“I’m merely here for the show,” Sophia said breezily. “Something tells me it’s going to be good.”
I took the brooch from my pocket and let it slide down my index finger, giving it a playful twirl. “A fine try. But, alas, no winner’s prize for you, Chloe. I’m sure you’ve been waiting here for Westcliffe to raise the alarm about her missing ring, ready with some well-rehearsed story about how you saw me sneaking into her office and sneaking out again, and oh, look isn’t that Eleanore’s brooch there on the floor? But I’ve news for you, dearie. You’re sloppy. You’re stupid. And the next time you go into my room and steal from me, I’ll make certain you regret it for the rest of your days.”
“How dare you threaten me, you little tart!”
“I’m not threatening. You have no idea how easy it would be to, say, pour glue on your hair while you sleep. Cut up all your pretty dresses into ribbons.”
Chloe dropped her half-eaten chocolate back into its box, turning to her toadies. “You heard her! You all head her! When Westcliffe finds out about this-“
“I didn’t hear a thing,” piped up Sophia. “In fact, I do believe that Eleanore and I aren’t even here right now. We’re both off in my room, diligently studying.” She sauntered to my side, smiling. “And I’ll swear to that, sister. Without hesitation. I have no misgivings about calling you all liars right to Westcliffe’s face.”
“What fun,” I said softly, into the hush. “Shall we give it a go? What d’you say, girls? Up for a bit of blood sport?”
Chloe pushed to her feet, kicking the chocolates out of her way. All the toadies cringed.
“You,” she sneered, her gaze scouring me. “You with your ridiculous clothing and that preposterous bracelet, acting as if you actually belong here! Really, Eleanore, I wonder that you’ve learned nothing of real use yet. Allow me to explain matters to you. You may have duped Sophia into vouching for you, but your word means nothing. You’re no one. No matter what you do here or who you may somehow manage to impress, you’ll always be no one. How perfectly sad that you’re allowed to pretend otherwise.”
“I’m the one he wants,” I said evenly. “No one’s pretending that.”
I didn’t have to say who.
She stared at me, silent, her color high. I saw with interest that real tears began to well in her eyes.
“That’s right.” I gave the barest smile. “Me, not you. Think about that tomorrow, when I’m with him on the yacht. Think about how he watches me. How he listens to me. Another stunt like this”-I held up the circlet-“and you’ll be shocked at what I’m able to convince him about you.”
“As if you could,” she scoffed, but there was apprehension behind those tears.
I brought my foot down on one of the chocolates, grinding it into a deep, greasy smear along the rug.
“Cheerio,” I said to them all, and turned around and left.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Catherine glimpsed him again, leaning against the wall, arms folded. People passed back and forth between them, but she caught flashes of his face. His expression was tense and unhappy and his eyes still focused on her.
She ducked behind a large man to hide and chatted with various people to keep the distance of a room between them. She’d known Jim would probably be here tonight and she’d planned to greet him politely as a teacher would treat a student since everyone knew she was tutoring him anyway. But that smoldering look he’d given her had changed everything. The way he looked and the way she felt, surely if they got within a foot of each other the entire town would see the combustible attraction between them as if they’d shouted it aloud. No. Better to accept a dance with some white-bearded farmer who would swing her around hard enough to tear her bodice seam. Better to help Mrs. Hildebrandt cut one of the cakes at the refreshment table and gush over Polly Flint’s new baby or spend a moment in the coatroom fixing Jennie’s straggling curls. Better to chat or dance with every member of the Broughton community than admit to the fact that Jim was standing solitary and friendless in his brand new suit, waiting for her to acknowledge him At one point it seemed he might approach her as he moved through the crowd in her direction. But when Catherine flitted away, putting more distance between them, he stopped and stationed himself by the wall once more, leaving it up to her to come to him.
To her infinite shame, she didn’t—not even to say a quick “hello,” and when she next stole a surreptitious glance toward him, he was gone. She scanned the room. He’d left the building. She had no idea how long he’d been gone.
Bonnie Dee (A Hearing Heart)
Nope.' He grabs my hand and places it over his heart. 'I already know the truth. We’re dating.' His eyebrows waggle. 'Exclusively.'
'Do you want to wear my letterman’s jacket?'
'I’m going to vomit.'
'“Should I buy you a corsage?'
'Okay, no corsage.' He laughs. 'Just the matching tattoos, then?'
'Seriously.' I fight the urge to stomp my foot. 'Let it go, Parker. Let it go.'
'Hey, Elsa, don’t quote Frozen to me unless you’re prepared to listen to the entire soundtrack in my car on the way to Seaport.' I stare up at him. 'I’m not sure whether I should be disturbed or turned on by the fact that you know all the words to Let It Go.'
He grins. 'Definitely turned on.'
'Downloaded in your iTunes library, no doubt.' I shake my head. 'This is nearly as disturbing as the time I learned the song A Whole New World from Aladdin is a metaphor for mind-blowing sex.'
'I’m sorry, what?'
'I can open your eyes? Lead you wonder by wonder? Over, sideways, and under?' I snort. 'Come on. That’s basically soft-core porn.'
'Thank you, Zoe, for ruining a beloved Disney classic for me.'
'For the record…' He trails off.
I wince, anticipating the worst. 'What?'
'I’ll take you on my magic carpet ride any time you
'So, that’s a no on rubbing my lamp then?'
'You know, I think I’ll just find my own way to Nate’s…' I turn and start walking to the elevator.
'Oh, come on.' Parker twines his fingers with mine and pushes the call button, humming under his breath. 'I’m a genie in a bottle, baby, gotta rub—' 'AH!' I stare at him in horror as the elevator arrives. 'So help me god if you start singing vintage Christina Aguilera lyrics right now, I will murder you with my bare hands.
Julie Johnson (One Good Reason (Boston Love, #3))
If he had any sense of honor at all, the man would have stayed dead."
"Unfortunately, it appears he was merely unconscious," Daniel murmured. He was becoming quite certain George was dead. This might greaty simplify matters, or at least it would if Richard was willing to uphold the marriage to Christiana...and really, Daniel was beginning to think that would be the most honorable thing to do here. While he didn't think much of their looking to marry a man with money to solve their problems, it did seem a shame to cast the scandal of George's actions on these three women when none of it was their fault at all.
Unconscious," Suzette spat the word with disdain. "He must have been, and he had obviously been drinking." She tsked with exasperation and stomped her foot, muttering, "Why could the beast not have been dead? I should have smothered him in his bed to be sure he was and stayed that way."
Daniel stared at her with amazement. His first thought was that, really, aside froom her fortune hunting and homicidal tendencies, the woman was quite fascinating in her complete and utter lack of artifice. His next thought was that the ton would eat her alive. Artifice and subterfuge were necessary tools to survive society and she was obviously completely lacking in both.
Suzette suddenly heaved a put upon breath and muttered, "I suppose I had best be sure I find a husband tonight. Otherwise, surely Dicky will find some way to throw a spanner in my plans."
Daniel's eyebrows flew up at her words and then she peered at him with interest.
"You're a handsome enough fellow," she commented thoughtfully.
Daniel blinked, and then muttered, "Oh...er...thank you. I think."
"You don't seem a dullard either," she added, tilting her head to inspect him consideringly.
"Erm," he said weakly.
"And you aren't old. That's another plus." Daniel was puzzling over that when she asked abruptly, "Are you rich?
Lynsay Sands (The Heiress (Madison Sisters #2))
Yesterday while I was on the side of the mat next to some wrestlers who were warming up for their next match, I found myself standing side by side next to an extraordinary wrestler.
He was warming up and he had that look of desperation on his face that wrestlers get when their match is about to start and their coach is across the gym coaching on another mat in a match that is already in progress.
“Hey do you have a coach.” I asked him.
“He's not here right now.” He quietly answered me ready to take on the task of wrestling his opponent alone.
“Would you mind if I coached you?”
His face tilted up at me with a slight smile and said. “That would be great.”
Through the sounds of whistles and yelling fans I heard him ask me what my name was.
“My name is John.” I replied.
“Hi John, I am Nishan” he said while extending his hand for a handshake.
He paused for a second and then he said to me: “John I am going to lose this match”.
He said that as if he was preparing me so I wouldn’t get hurt when my coaching skills didn’t work magic with him today.
I just said, “Nishan - No score of a match will ever make you a winner. You are already a winner by stepping onto that mat.”
With that he just smiled and slowly ran on to the mat, ready for battle, but half knowing what the probable outcome would be.
When you first see Nishan you will notice that his legs are frail - very frail. So frail that they have to be supported by custom made, form fitted braces to help support and straighten his limbs.
Braces that I recognize all to well.
Some would say Nishan has a handicap.
I say that he has a gift.
To me the word handicap is a word that describes what one “can’t do”.
That doesn’t describe Nishan.
Nishan is doing.
The word “gift” is a word that describes something of value that you give to others.
And without knowing it, Nishan is giving us all a gift.
I believe Nishan’s gift is inspiration.
The ability to look the odds in the eye and say “You don’t pertain to me.”
The ability to keep moving forward.
A “Whatever it takes” attitude.
As he predicted, the outcome of his match wasn’t great.
That is, if the only thing you judge a wrestling match by is the actual score. Nishan tried as hard as he could, but he couldn’t overcome the twenty-six pound weight difference that he was giving up to his opponent on this day in order to compete. You see, Nishan weighs only 80 pounds and the lowest weight class in this tournament was 106. Nishan knew he was spotting his opponent 26 pounds going into every match on this day. He wrestled anyway.
I never did get the chance to ask him why he wrestles, but if I had to guess I would say, after watching him all day long, that Nishan wrestles for the same reasons that we all wrestle for.
We wrestle to feel alive, to push ourselves to our mental, physical and emotional limits - levels we never knew we could reach.
We wrestle to learn to use 100% of what we have today in hopes that our maximum today will be our minimum tomorrow. We wrestle to measure where we started from, to know where we are now, and to plan on getting where we want to be in the future. We wrestle to look the seemingly insurmountable opponent right in the eye and say, “Bring it on. - I can take whatever you can dish out.”
Sometimes life is your opponent and just showing up is a victory.
You don't need to score more points than your opponent in order to accomplish that.
No Nishan didn’t score more points than any of his opponents on this day, that would have been nice, but I don’t believe that was the most important thing to Nishan. Without knowing for sure - the most important thing to him on this day was to walk with pride like a wrestler up to a thirty two foot circle, have all eyes from the crowd on him, to watch him compete one on one against his opponent - giving it all that he had. That is what competition is all about. Most of the times in wrestlin
Several days later I decided to go on a good long jog, trusting that Chip would not leave Drake again. As I was on my way back I saw Chip coming down the road in his truck with the trailer on it. He rolled up to me with his window down and said, “Baby, you’re doing so good. I’m heading to work now. I’ve got to go.”
I looked in the back, thinking, Of course, he’s got Drake. But I didn’t see a car seat.
“Chip, where’s Drake?” she said, and I was like, “Oh, shoot!” She took off without a word and ran like lightning all the way back to the house as I turned the truck around. She got there faster on foot than I did in my truck.
I sure hope no one from Child Protective Services reads this book. They can’t come after me retroactively, can they?
Chip promised it would never happen again. So the third time I attempted to take a run, I went running down Third Street and made it all the way home. I walked in, and Chip and Drake were gone. I thought, Oh, good. Finally he remembered to take the baby. But then I noticed his car was still parked out front. I looked around and couldn’t find them anywhere.
Moments later, Chip pulled up on his four-wheeler--with Drake bungee-strapped to the handlebars in his car seat. “Chip!” I screamed, “What in the heck are you doing?”
“Oh, he was crying, and I’d always heard my mom say she would drive me around the neighborhood when I was a baby, and it made me feel better,” Chip said. “He loved it. He fell right to sleep.”
“He didn’t love it, Chip. He probably fell asleep because the wind in his face made it impossible to breathe.”
I didn’t go for another run for the whole first year of Drake’s life, and I took him to the shop with me every single day. Some people might see that as a burden, but I have to admit I loved it. Having him in that BabyBjörn was the best feeling in the world.
Drake was a shop baby. He would come home every night smelling like candles.
We had friends who owned a barbecue joint, and their baby always came home smelling like a rack of ribs. I liked Drake’s smell a whole lot better.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
A rattle of dishes warned of a servant’s entry into the hall, but Christopher was incensed, and half turning with a growl, he gestured Paine back.
“Get out of here, man!”
“Christopher!” Erienne gasped and took two halting steps to follow the befuddled servant, but Christopher came around to face her with a glare.
“Stay where you are, madam! I am not finished with you.”
“You have no right to give orders here,” she protested, her own ire growing. “This is my husband’s house!”
“I’ll give orders when and where I damn well please, and for once, you will stand and listen until I’m through!”
More than a trifle outraged herself, Erienne hurled back her answer. “You may command the men on your ship to your will, Mister Seton, but you have no such authority here! Good day to you!”
Catching up her skirts, she whirled and stalked toward the tower until she heard the sound of rapid footsteps coming behind her, then a sudden panic seized her that he would make such a scene that she would not be able to face the servants… or her husband. She raced into the entry, stepping over the puddle, and took to the stairs, forcing every bit of strength she could into her limbs. She had barely gained the fourth step when she heard sliding feet, a loud thump, and then a painful grunt followed by an angry curse.
When she whirled, Christopher was just coming to rest in a heap against the wall after sliding across the floor, partway on his back. For a moment she stared aghast at the dignified man sprawled in a most undignified manner, but when he raised his head to look at her with barely contained rage, she was struck by the humor of it all. Bubbling laughter broke forth, winning from him a dark scowl of exasperation.
“Are you hurt, Christopher?” she asked sweetly.
“Aye! My pride has been mightily bruised!”
“Oh, that will mend, sir,” she chuckled, spreading her skirts to perch primly on the step above him. Her eyes danced with a lively light that was simply dazzling to behold. “But you should take care. If such a modest spot of water can bring you down so abruptly, I would not advise sailing beyond these shores.”
“ ’Tis not a spot of water that’s brought me down, but a waspish wench who sets her barbs against me at every turn.”
“You dare accuse me when you come in here huffing and snorting like a raging bull?” She gave a throaty, skeptical laugh. “Really, Christopher, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You frightened Paine and nearly made me swallow my heart.”
“That’s an impossibility, madam, for that thing is surely made of cold, hard steel.”
“You’re pouting,” she chided flippantly, “because I have not fallen swooning at your feet.”
“I’m angry because you continually deny the fact that you should be my wife!” he stated emphatically.
Footsteps on the stairs behind Erienne made them glance up. Aggie came nonchalantly down the steps, seeming unaware of Christopher’s storm-dark frown. Excusing herself, she stepped past her mistress. Finally, on reaching level footing, she contemplated the man, a twinkle of mischief in her eye.
“Aren’t ye a wee bit old ter be takin’ yer leisure on the floor, sir?”
He raised a brow at Erienne as that one smothered a giggle, and with a snort, got to his feet and brushed off his breeches and coatsleeve.
-Christopher, Erienne, and Aggie
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
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))
The tornadic bundle of legs and arms and feet and hands push farther into the kitchen until only the occasional flailing limb is visible from the living room, where I can’t believe I’m still standing.
A spectator in my own life, I watch the supernova of my two worlds colliding: Mom and Galen. Human and Syrena. Poseidon and Triton. But what can I do? Who should I help? Mom, who lied to me for eighteen years, then tried to shank my boyfriend? Galen, who forgot this little thing called “tact” when he accused my mom of being a runaway fish-princess? Toraf, who…what the heck is Toraf doing, anyway? And did he really just sack my mom like an opposing quarterback?
The urgency level for a quick decision elevates to right-freaking-now. I decide that screaming is still best for everyone-it’s nonviolent, distracting, and one of the things I’m very, very good at.
I open my mouth, but Rayna beats me to it-only, her scream is much more valuable than mine would have been, because she includes words with it. “Stop it right now, or I’ll kill you all!” She pushed past me with a decrepit, rusty harpoon from God-knows-what century, probably pillaged from one of her shipwreck excursions. She waves it at the three of them like a crazed fisherman in a Jaws movie. I hope they don’t notice she’s got it pointed backward and that if she fires it, she’ll skewer our couch and Grandma’s first attempt at quilting.
It works. The bare feet and tennis shoes stop scuffling-out of fear or shock, I’m not sure-and Toraf’s head appears at the top of the counter. “Princess,” he says, breathless. “I told you to stay outside.”
“Emma, run!” Mom yells.
Toraf disappears again, followed by a symphony of scraping and knocking and thumping and cussing.
Rayna rolls her eyes at me, grumbling to herself as she stomps into the kitchen. She adjusts the harpoon to a more deadly position, scraping the popcorn ceiling and sending rust and Sheetrock and tetanus flaking onto the floor like dirty snow. Aiming it at the mound of struggling limbs, she says, “One of you is about to die, and right now I don’t really care who it is.”
Thank God for Rayna. People like Rayna get things done. People like me watch people like Rayna get things done. Then people like me round the corner of the counter as if they helped, as if they didn’t stand there and let everyone they love beat the shizzle out of one another.
I peer down at the three of them all tangled up. Crossing my arms, I try to mimic Rayna’s impressive rage, but I’m pretty sure my face is only capable of what-the-crap-was-that.
Mom looks up at me, nostrils flaring like moth wings. “Emma, I told you to run,” she grinds out before elbowing Toraf in the mouth so hard I think he might swallow a tooth. Then she kicks Galen in the ribs.
He groans, but catches her foot before she can re-up. Toraf spits blood on the linoleum beside him and grabs Mom’s arms. She writhes and wriggles, bristling like a trapped badger and cussing like sailor on crack.
Mom has never been girlie.
Finally she stops, her arms and legs slumping to the floor in defeat. Tears puddle in her eyes. “Let her go,” she sobs. “She’s got nothing to do with this. She doesn’t even know about us. Take me and leave her out of this. I’ll do anything.”
Which reinforces, right here and now, that my mom is Nalia. Nalia is my mom. Also, holy crap.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
When I opened my eyes, we were still surrounded by darkness. A lantern, standing on the ground, showed a bubbling well. The water splashing from the well disappeared, almost at once, under the floor on which I was lying, with my head on the knee of the man in the black cloak and the black mask. He was bathing my temples and his hands smelt of death. I tried to push them away and asked, ‘Who are you? Where is the voice?’ His only answer was a sigh. Suddenly, a hot breath passed over my face and I perceived a white shape, beside the man’s black shape, in the darkness. The black shape lifted me on to the white shape, a glad neighing greeted my astounded ears and I murmured, ‘Cesar!’ The animal quivered. Raoul, I was lying half back on a saddle and I had recognized the white horse out of the PROFETA, which I had so often fed with sugar and sweets. I remembered that, one evening, there was a rumor in the theater that the horse had disappeared and that it had been stolen by the Opera ghost. I believed in the voice, but had never believed in the ghost. Now, however, I began to wonder, with a shiver, whether I was the ghost’s prisoner. I called upon the voice to help me, for I should never have imagined that the voice and the ghost were one. You have heard about the Opera ghost, have you not, Raoul?”
“Yes, but tell me what happened when you were on the white horse of the Profeta?”
“I made no movement and let myself go. The black shape held me up, and I made no effort to escape. A curious feeling of peacefulness came over me and I thought that I must be under the influence of some cordial. I had the full command of my senses; and my eyes became used to the darkness, which was lit, here and there, by fitful gleams. I calculated that we were in a narrow circular gallery, probably running all round the Opera, which is immense, underground. I had once been down into those cellars, but had stopped at the third floor, though there were two lower still, large enough to hold a town. But the figures of which I caught sight had made me run away. There are demons down there, quite black, standing in front of boilers, and they wield shovels and pitchforks and poke up fires and stir up flames and, if you come too near them, they frighten you by suddenly opening the red mouths of their furnaces … Well, while Cesar was quietly carrying me on his back, I saw those black demons in the distance, looking quite small, in front of the red fires of their furnaces: they came into sight, disappeared and came into sight again, as we went on our winding way. At last, they disappeared altogether. The shape was still holding me up and Cesar walked on, unled and sure-footed. I could not tell you, even approximately, how long this ride lasted; I only know that we seemed to turn and turn and often went down a spiral stair into the very heart of the earth. Even then, it may be that my head was turning, but I don’t think so: no, my mind was quite clear. At last, Cesar raised his nostrils, sniffed the air and quickened his pace a little. I felt a moistness in the air and Cesar stopped. The darkness had lifted. A sort of bluey light surrounded us. We were on the edge of a lake, whose leaden waters stretched into the distance, into the darkness; but the blue light lit up the bank and I saw a little boat fastened to an iron ring on the wharf!”
- Chapter 12: Apollo’s Lyre
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom of the Opera)
From another corner of neuroscience, we’re learning about a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Though there are more than fifty neurotransmitters (that we know of), scientists studying substance problems have given dopamine much of their attention. The brain’s reward system and pleasure centers—the areas most impacted by substance use and compulsive behaviors—have a high concentration of dopamine. Some brains have more of it than others, and some people have a capacity to enjoy a range of experiences more than others, owing to a combination of genetics and environment. The thing about dopamine is that it makes us feel really good. We tend to want more of it. It is naturally generated through ordinary, pleasurable activities like eating and sex, and it is the brain’s way of rewarding us—or nature’s way of rewarding the brain—for activities necessary to our survival, individually or as a species. It is the “mechanism by which ‘instinct’ is manifest.” Our brains arrange for dopamine levels to rise in anticipation and spike during a pleasurable activity to make sure we do it again. It helps focus our attention on all the cues that contributed to our exposure to whatever felt good (these eventually become triggers to use, as we explain later). Drugs and alcohol (and certain behaviors) turn on a gushing fire hose of dopamine in the brain, and we feel good, even euphoric. Dopamine produced by these artificial means, however, throws our pleasure and reward systems out of whack immediately. Flooding the brain repeatedly with dopamine has long-term effects and creates what’s known as tolerance—when we lose our ability to produce or absorb our own dopamine and need more and more of it artificially just to feel okay. Specifically, the brain compensates for the flood of dopamine by decreasing its own production of it or by desensitizing itself to the neurotransmitter by reducing the number of dopamine receptors, or both. The brain is just trying to keep a balance. The problem with the brain’s reduction in natural dopamine production is that when you take the substance or behavior out of the picture, there’s not enough dopamine in the brain to make you feel good. Without enough dopamine, there is no interest or pleasure. Then not only does the brain lose the pleasure associated with using, it might not be able to enjoy a sunset or a back rub, either. A lowered level of dopamine, combined with people’s longing for the rush of dopamine they got from using substances, contributes to “craving” states. Cravings are a physiological process associated with the brain’s struggle to regain its normal dopamine balance, and they can influence a decision to keep using a substance even when a person is experiencing negative consequences that matter to him and a strong desire to change. Depending on the length of time and quantities a person has been using, these craving states can be quite uncomfortable and compelling. The dopamine system can and does recover, starting as soon as we stop flooding it. But it takes time, and in the time between shutting off the artificial supply of dopamine and the brain’s rebuilding its natural resources, people tend to feel worse (before they feel better). On a deep, instinctual level, their brains are telling them that by stopping using, something is missing; something is wrong. This is a huge factor in relapse, despite good intentions and effort to change. Knowing this can help you and your loved one make it across this gap in brain reward systems.
Jeffrey Foote (Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change)
HERE ARE MY TEN BEEF NOODLE SOUP COMMANDMENTS: 1. Throw out the first: always flash-boil your bones and beef to get the “musk” out. I’ve gone back and forth on this a lot. I would sometimes brown the meat as opposed to boil, but decided in the end that for this soup, you gotta boil. If you brown, it’s overpowering. The lesson that beef noodle soup teaches you is restraint. Sometimes less is more if you want all the flavors in the dish to speak to you. 2. Make sure the oil is medium-high when the aromatics go down and get a slight caramelization. It’s a fine line. Too much caramelization and it becomes too heavy, but no caramelization and your stock is weak. 3. Rice wine can be tricky. Most people like to vaporize it so that all the alcohol is cooked off. I like to leave a little of the alcohol flavor ’cause it tends to cut through the grease a bit. 4. Absolutely no butter, lard, or duck fat. I’ve seen people in America try to “kick it up a notch” with animal fats and it ruins the soup. Peanut oil or die. 5. Don’t burn the chilis and peppercorns, not even a little bit. You want the spice and the numbness, but not the smokiness. 6. After sautéing the chilis/peppercorns, turn off the heat and let them sit in the oil to steep. This is another reason you want to turn the heat off early. 7. Strain your chilis/peppercorns out of the oil, put them in a muslin bag, and set them aside. Then add ginger/garlic/scallions to the oil in that order. Stage them. 8. I use tomatoes in my beef noodle soup, but I add them after the soup is finished and everything is strained. I let them hang out in the soup as it sits on the stove over the course of the day. I cut the tomatoes thin so they give off flavor without having to cook too long and so you can serve them still intact. 9. Always use either shank or chuck flap. Brisket is too tough. If you want to make it interesting, add pig’s foot or oxtail. 10. Do you. I don’t give you measurements with this because I gave you all the ingredients and the technique. The best part about beef noodle soup is that there are no rules. It just has to have beef, noodle, and soup. There are people that do clear broth beef noodle soup. Beef noodle soup with dairy. Beef noodle soup with pig’s blood. It would suck if you looked at my recipe and never made your own, ’cause everyone has a beef noodle soup in them. Show it to me.
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
Who is America named after? Not the Italian merchant and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci, but Richard Ameryk, a Welshman and wealthy Bristol merchant. Ameryk was the chief investor in the second transatlantic voyage of John Cabot—the English name of the Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto, whose voyages in 1497 and 1498 laid the groundwork for the later British claim to Canada. He moved to London from Genoa in 1484 and was authorized by King Henry VII to search for unknown lands to the west. On his little ship Matthew, Cabot reached Labrador in May 1497 and became the first recorded European to set foot on American soil, predating Vespucci by two years. Cabot mapped the North American coastline from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland. As the chief patron of the voyage, Richard Ameryk would have expected discoveries to be named after him. There is a record in the Bristol calendar for that year: “…on Saint John the Baptist’s day [June 24], the land of America was found by the merchants of Bristowe, in a ship of Bristowe called the Mathew,” which clearly suggests this is what happened. Although the original manuscript of this calendar has not survived, there are a number of references to it in other contemporary documents. This is the first use of the term America to refer to the new continent. The earliest surviving map to use the name is Martin Waldseemüller’s great map of the world of 1507, but it only applied to South America. In his notes Waldseemüller makes the assumption that the name is derived from a Latin version of Amerigo Vespucci’s first name, because Vespucci had discovered and mapped the South American coast from 1500 to 1502. This suggests he didn’t know for sure and was trying to account for a name he had seen on other maps, possibly Cabot’s. The only place where the name “America” was known and used was Bristol—not somewhere the France-based Waldseemüller was likely to visit. Significantly, he replaced “America” with “Terra Incognita” in his world map of 1513. Vespucci never reached North America. All the early maps and trade were British. Nor did he ever use the name of America for his discovery. There’s a good reason for this. New countries or continents were never named after a person’s first name, but always after the second (as in Tasmania, Van Diemen’s Land, or the Cook Islands). America would have become Vespucci Land (or Vespuccia) if the Italian explorer had consciously given his name to it.
John Lloyd (The Book of General Ignorance)
What is so rewarding about friendship?” my son asked, curling his upper lip into a sour expression. “Making friends takes too much time and effort, and for what?”
I sat on the edge of his bed, understanding how it might seem simpler to go at life solo.
“Friendship has unique rewards,” I told him. “They can be unpredictable. For instance....” I couldn’t help but pause to smile crookedly at an old memory that was dear to my heart. Then I shared with my son an unforgettable incident from my younger years.
“True story. When I was about your age, I decided to try out for a school play. Tryouts were to begin after the last class of the day, but first I had to run home to grab a couple props for the monologue I planned to perform during tryouts. Silly me, I had left them at the house that morning. Luckily, I only lived across a long expanse of grassy field that separated the school from the nearest neighborhood. Unluckily, it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella.
“Determined to get what I needed, I raced home, grabbed my props, and tore back across the field while my friend waited under the dry protection of the school’s wooden eaves. She watched me run in the rain, gesturing for me to go faster while calling out to hurry up or we would be late.
“The rain was pouring by that time which was added reason for me to move fast. I didn’t want to look like a wet rat on stage in front of dozens of fellow students. Don’t ask me why I didn’t grab an umbrella from home—teenage pride or lack of focus, I’m not sure—but the increasing rain combined with the hollering from my friend as well as my anxious nerves about trying out for the play had me running far too fast in shoes that lacked any tread.
“About a yard from the sidewalk where the grass was worn from foot traffic and consequently muddied from the downpour of rain, I slipped and fell on my hind end. Me, my props, and my dignity slid through the mud and lay there, coated. My things were dripping with mud. I was covered in it. I felt my heart plunge, and I wanted to cry. I probably would have if it hadn’t been for the wonderful thing that happened right then. My crazy friend ran over and plopped herself down in the mud beside me. She wiggled in it, making herself as much a mess as I was. Then she took my slimy hand in hers and pulled us both to our feet. We tried out for the play looking like a couple of swine escaped from a pigsty, laughing the whole time. I never did cry, thanks to my friend.
“So yes, my dear son, friendship has its unique rewards—priceless ones.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
Diana” was the first thing out of her mouth. “I’m dying,” the too familiar voice on the other end moaned.
I snorted, locking the front door behind me as I held the phone up to my face with my shoulder. “You’re pregnant. You’re not dying.”
“But it feels like I am,” the person who rarely ever complained whined. We’d been best friends our entire lives, and I could only count on one hand the number of times I’d heard her grumble about something that wasn’t her family. I’d had the title of being the whiner in our epic love affair that had survived more shit than I was willing to remember right then.
I held up a finger when Louie tipped his head toward the kitchen as if asking if I was going to get started on dinner or not. “Well, nobody told you to get pregnant with the Hulk’s baby. What did you expect? He’s probably going to come out the size of a toddler.”
The laugh that burst out of her made me laugh too. This fierce feeling of missing her reminded me it had been months since we’d last seen each other. “Shut up.”
“You can’t avoid the truth forever.” Her husband was huge. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t expect her unborn baby to be a giant too.
“Ugh.” A long sigh came through the receiver in resignation. “I don’t know what I was thinking—”
“You weren’t thinking.”
She ignored me. “We’re never having another one. I can’t sleep. I have to pee every two minutes. I’m the size of Mars—”
“The last time I saw you”—which had been two months ago—“you were the size of Mars. The baby is probably the size of Mars now. I’d probably say you’re about the size of Uranus.”
She ignored me again. “Everything makes me cry and I itch. I itch so bad.”
“Do I… want to know where you’re itching?”
“Nasty. My stomach. Aiden’s been rubbing coconut oil on me every hour he’s here.”
I tried to imagine her six-foot-five-inch, Hercules-sized husband doing that to Van, but my imagination wasn’t that great. “Is he doing okay?” I asked, knowing off our past conversations that while he’d been over the moon with her pregnancy, he’d also turned into mother hen supreme. It made me feel better knowing that she wasn’t living in a different state all by herself with no one else for support. Some people in life got lucky and found someone great, the rest of us either took a long time… or not ever.
“He’s worried I’m going to fall down the stairs when he isn’t around, and he’s talking about getting a one-story house so that I can put him out of his misery.”
“You know you can come stay with us if you want.”
She made a noise.
“I’m just offering, bitch. If you don’t want to be alone when he starts traveling more for games, you can stay here as long as you need. Louie doesn’t sleep in his room half the time anyway, and we have a one-story house. You could sleep with me if you really wanted to. It’ll be like we’re fourteen all over again.”
She sighed. “I would. I really would, but I couldn’t leave Aiden.”
And I couldn’t leave the boys for longer than a couple of weeks, but she knew that. Well, she also knew I couldn’t not work for that long, too.
“Maybe you can get one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up—”
Vanessa let out another loud laugh. “You jerk.”
“What? You could.”
There was a pause. “I don’t even know why I bother with you half the time.”
“Because you love me?”
“I don’t know why.”
“Tia,” Louie hissed, rubbing his belly like he was seriously starving.
“Hey, Lou and Josh are making it seem like they haven’t eaten all day. I’m scared they might start nibbling on my hand soon. Let me feed them, and I’ll call you back, okay?”
Van didn’t miss a beat. “Sure, Di. Give them a hug from me and call me back whenever. I’m on the couch, and I’m not going anywhere except the bathroom.”
“Okay. I won’t call Parks and Wildlife to let them know there’s a beached whale—”
I laughed. “Love you. I’ll call you back. Bye!”
“Vanny has a whale?” Lou asked.
Mariana Zapata (Wait for It)
It wasn’t until she had almost reached its lights that she heard another rider in the hills behind her.
Ice slid down Kestrel’s spine. Fear, that the rider was Arin.
Fear, at her sudden hope that it was.
She pulled Javelin to a stop and swung to the ground. Better to go on foot through the narrow streets to the harbor. Stealth was more important now than speed.
Beating hooves echoed in the hills. Closer.
She hugged Javelin hard around the neck, then pushed him away while she still could bear to do it. She slapped his rump in an order to head home. Whether he’d go to her villa or Arin’s, she couldn’t say. But he left, and might draw the other rider after him if she was indeed being pursued.
She slipped into the city shadows.
And it was magic. It was as if the Herrani gods had turned on their own people. No one noticed Kestrel skulking along walls or heard her cracking the thin ice of a puddle. No late-night wanderer looked in her face and saw a Valorian. No one saw the general’s daughter. Kestrel made it to the harbor, down to the docks.
Where Arin waited.
His breath heaved white clouds into the air. His hair was black with sweat. It hadn’t mattered that Kestrel had been ahead of him on the horse path. Arin had been able to run openly through the city while she had crept through alleys.
Their eyes met, and Kestrel felt utterly defenseless.
But she had a weapon. He didn’t, not that she could see. Her hand instinctively fell to her knife’s jagged edge.
Arin saw. Kestrel wasn’t sure what came first: his quick hurt, so plain and sharp, or her certainty--equally plain, equally sharp--that she could never draw a weapon on him.
He straightened from his runner’s crouch. His expression changed. Until it did, Kestrel hadn’t perceived the desperate set of his mouth. She hadn’t recognized the wordless plea until it was gone, and his face aged with something sad. Resigned.
Arin glanced away. When he looked back it was as if Kestrel were part of the pier beneath her feet. A sail stitched to a ship. A black current of water.
As if she were not there at all.
He turned away, walked into the illuminated house of the new Herrani harbormaster, and shut the door behind him.
For a moment Kestrel couldn’t move. Then she ran for a fishing boat docked far enough from its fellows that she might cast off from shore unnoticed by an sailors on the other vessels. She leaped onto the deck and took rapid stock of the boat. The tiny cabin was bare of supplies.
As she lifted the anchor and uncoiled the rope tethering the boat to its dock, she knew, even if she couldn’t see, that Arin was talking with the harbormaster, distracting him while Kestrel prepared to set sail.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
we stared at each other, and I knew we were both thinking about the same exact thing: the night before. Not the long talk we’d had about our families—and that raw honesty we’d given each other—but about what happened after that.
The movie. The damn movie.
I didn’t know what the hell I’d been thinking, fully fucking aware I was already mopey, when I asked if he wanted to watch my favorite movie as a kid. I’d watched it hundreds of times. Hundreds of times. It felt like love and hope.
And I was an idiot.
And Aiden, being a nice person who apparently let me get away with most of the things I wanted, said, “Sure. I might fall asleep during it.”
He hadn’t fallen asleep.
If there was one thing I learned that night was that no one was impervious to Little Foot losing his mom. Nobody. He’d only slightly rolled his eyes when the cartoon started, but when I glanced over at him, he’d been watching faithfully.
When that awful, terrible, why-would-you-do-that-to-children-and-to-humanity-in-general part came on The Land Before Time, my heart still hadn’t learned how to cope and I was feeling so low, the hiccups coming out were worse than usual. My vision got cloudy. I got choked up. Tears were coming out of my eyes like the powerful Mississippi. Time and dozens of viewings hadn’t toughened me up at all.
And as I’d wiped at my face and tried to remind myself it was just a movie and a young dinosaur hadn’t lost his beloved mom, I heard a sniffle. A sniffle that wasn’t my own. I turned not-so-discreetly and saw him.
I saw the starry eyes and the way his throat bobbed with a gulp. Then I saw the sideways look he shot me as I sat there dealing with my own emotions, and we stared at each other. In silence.
The big guy wasn’t handling it, and if there were ever a time in any universe, watching any movie, this would be the cause of it.
All I could do was nod at him, get up to my knees, and lean over so I could wrap my arms around his neck and tell him in as soothing of a voice as I could get together, “I know, big guy. I know,” even as another round of tears came out of my eyes and possibly some snot out of my nose.
The miraculous part was that he let me. Aiden sat there and let me hug him, let me put my cheek over the top of his head and let him know it was okay. Maybe it happened because we’d just been talking about the faulty relationships we had with our families or maybe it was because a child losing its mother was just about the saddest thing in the world, especially when it was an innocent animal, I don’t know. But it was sad as shit.
He sniffed—on any other person smaller than him it would have been considered a sniffle—and I squeezed my arms around him a little tighter before going back to my side of the bed where we finished watching the movie
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
I watched those women get eaten alive. And as a result of my witnessing that at a super fucking vulnerable moment for me, I internalized the message that a trans lesbian is just not an okay thing to be if you wanna be tolerated or respected by anybody other than a handful of communists. So I began my transition with essentially no role model of a widely respected and admired trans lesbian. And it doesn't help that most forms of transphobia are harsher on gay trans women than they are on straight trans women. Like take this trope that trans women are men who transition to creep on women in bathrooms. In response to that, it feels really good to be able to say, I'm not even attracted to women. I'm just a petite heterosexual biogirl. I'm surely not some kind of six foot monster who likes women. Ugh, shame! Shame! It does make me feel like a monster sometimes, like a mutant that has no place in society. And this shame has actually made it more difficult for me to accept that I'm a gay woman, than it was for me to come out as trans in the first place. It's like I made a kind of subconscious bargain where I traded my sexual orientation for my gender identity. So I finally transitioned only to spend the next couple years living with a different kind of denial. And that denial got pretty deep and pretty dark.
This is painful and incriminating to admit, but not all of my shame came from external bigotry. Some of it came from my own judgment and disgust toward things I saw trans lesbians doing. Like this anime catgirl shit which clearly gets under my skin, and not just because these people have been harassing me for three years. Like you see it all over trans Twitter and Reddit, this queasy combination of the hypersexual and the infantile. I'm a heckin' catgirl lesbian cumslut. Meow meow girldick nya nya! Here's the 97th picture of my own legs in thigh-high stripey socks uwu. What is that about? Is this how women act? Cis people are gonna see this! They're not gonna let us into women's spaces if we act like that! Now I'm not proud of having these judgmental feelings. But I confess to periodically sinking into these morbid, guilty binges of cringing at embarrassing trans lesbians. And if I was a different type of YouTuber I could've turned this into content. At my worst, I would sit there telling another trans person, Why are trans lesbians so cringey? They're making things harder for the rest of us girls. And that's the real darkness, isn't it? Not even having the decency to openly despise yourself like an honest American. No, just sitting there in absurd denial of who you are as a person, disparaging your own repressed identity to anyone who will listen. And I'm ashamed of that too. I'm ashamed I sunk that low. But all you can do is try to get better, and I'm trying to get better.
A second later, Ron had snatched his arm back from around her shoulders; she had dropped The Monster Book of Monsters on his foot. The book had broken free from its restraining belt and snapped viciously at Ron’s ankle.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Hermione cried as Harry wrenched the book from Ron’s leg and retied it shut.
“What are you doing with all those books anyway?” Ron asked, limping back to his bed.
“Just trying to decide which ones to take with us,” said Hermione. “When we’re looking for the Horcruxes.”
“Oh, of course,” said Ron, clapping a hand to his forehead. “I forgot we’ll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library.”
“Ha ha,” said Hermione, looking down at Spellman’s Syllabary. “I wonder…will we need to translate runes? It’s possible…I think we’d better take it, to be safe.”
She dropped the syllabary onto the larger of the two piles and picked up Hogwarts, A History.
“Listen,” said Harry.
He had sat up straight. Ron and Hermione looked at him with similar mixtures of resignation and defiance.
“I know you said after Dumbledore’s funeral that you wanted to come with me,” Harry began.
“Here he goes,” Ron said to Hermione, rolling his eyes.
“As we knew he would,” she sighed, turning back to the books. “You know, I think I will take Hogwarts, A History. Even if we’re not going back there, I don’t think I’d feel right if I didn’t have it with--”
“Listen!” said Harry again.
“No, Harry, you listen,” said Hermione. “We’re coming with you. That was decided months ago--years, really.”
“Shut up,” Ron advised him.
“--are you sure you’ve thought this through?” Harry persisted.
“Let’s see,” said Hermione, slamming Travels with Trolls onto the discarded pile with a rather fierce look. “I’ve been packing for days, so we’re ready to leave at a moment’s notice, which for your information has included doing some pretty difficult magic, not to mention smuggling Mad-Eye’s whole stock of Polyjuice Potion right under Ron’s mum’s nose.”
“I’ve also modified my parents’ memories so that they’re convinced they’re really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins, and that their life’s ambition is to move to Australia, which they have now done. That’s to make it more difficult for Voldemort to track them down and interrogate them about me--or you, because unfortunately, I’ve told them quite a bit about you.
“Assuming I survive our hunt for the Horcruxes, I’ll find Mum and Dad and lifted the enchantment. If I don’t--well, I think I’ve cast a good enough charm to keep them safe and happy. Wendell and Monica Wilkins don’t know that they’ve got a daughter, you see.”
Hermione’s eyes were swimming with tears again. Ron got back off the bed, put his arm around her once more, and frowned at Harry as though reproaching him for lack of tact. Harry could not think of anything to say, not least because it was highly unusual for Ron to be teaching anyone else tact.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
It's hard to form a lasting connection when your permanent address is an eight-inch mailbox in the UPS store.
Still,as I inch my way closer, I can't help the way my breath hitches, the way my insides thrum and swirl. And when he turns,flashing me that slow, languorous smile that's about to make him world famous,his eyes meeting mine when he says, "Hey,Daire-Happy Sweet Sixteen," I can't help but think of the millions of girls who would do just about anything to stand in my pointy blue babouches.
I return the smile, flick a little wave of my hand, then bury it in the side pocket of the olive-green army jacket I always wear. Pretending not to notice the way his gaze roams over me, straying from my waist-length brown hair peeking out from my scarf, to the tie-dyed tank top that clings under my jacket,to the skinny dark denim jeans,all the way down to the brand-new slippers I wear on my feet.
"Nice." He places his foot beside mine, providing me with a view of the his-and-hers version of the very same shoe. Laughing when he adds, "Maybe we can start a trend when we head back to the States.What do you think?"
There is no we.
I know it.He knows it.And it bugs me that he tries to pretend otherwise.
The cameras stopped rolling hours ago, and yet here he is,still playing a role. Acting as though our brief, on-location hookup means something more.
Acting like we won't really end long before our passports are stamped RETURN.
And that's all it takes for those annoyingly soft girly feelings to vanish as quickly as a flame in the rain. Allowing the Daire I know,the Daire I've honed myself to be, to stand in her palce.
"Doubtful." I smirk,kicking his shoe with mine.A little harder then necessary, but then again,he deserves it for thinking I'm lame enough to fall for his act. "So,what do you say-food? I'm dying for one of those beef brochettes,maybe even a sausage one too.Oh-and some fries would be good!"
I make for the food stalls,but Vane has another idea. His hand reaches for mine,fingers entwining until they're laced nice and tight. "In a minute," he says,pulling me so close my hip bumps against his. "I thought we might do something special-in honor of your birthday and all.What do you think about matching tattoos?"
I gape.Surely he's joking.
"Yeah,you know,mehndi. Nothing permanent.Still,I thought it could be kinda cool." He arcs his left brow in his trademark Vane Wick wau,and I have to fight not to frown in return.
Nothing permanent. That's my theme song-my mission statement,if you will. Still,mehndi's not quite the same as a press-on. It has its own life span. One that will linger long after Vane's studio-financed, private jet lifts him high into the sky and right out of my life.
Though I don't mention any of that, instead I just say, "You know the director will kill you if you show up on set tomorrow covered in henna."
Vane shrugs. Shrugs in a way I've seen too many times, on too many young actors before him.He's in full-on star-power mode.Think he's indispensable. That he's the only seventeen-year-old guy with a hint of talent,golden skin, wavy blond hair, and piercing blue eyes that can light up a screen and make the girls (and most of their moms) swoon. It's a dangerous way to see yourself-especially when you make your living in Hollywood. It's the kind of thinking that leads straight to multiple rehab stints, trashy reality TV shows, desperate ghostwritten memoirs, and low-budget movies that go straight to DVD.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
THE OBEDIENCE GAME DUGGAR KIDS GROW UP playing the Obedience Game. It’s sort of like Mother May I? except it has a few extra twists—and there’s no need to double-check with “Mother” because she (or Dad) is the one giving the orders. It’s one way Mom and Dad help the little kids in the family burn off extra energy some nights before we all put on our pajamas and gather for Bible time (more about that in chapter 8). To play the Obedience Game, the little kids all gather in the living room. After listening carefully to Mom’s or Dad’s instructions, they respond with “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” then run and quickly accomplish the tasks. For example, Mom might say, “Jennifer, go upstairs to the girls’ room, touch the foot of your bed, then come back downstairs and give Mom a high-five.” Jennifer answers with an energetic “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” and off she goes. Dad might say, “Johannah, run around the kitchen table three times, then touch the front doorknob and come back.” As Johannah stands up she says, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” “Jackson, go touch the front door, then touch the back door, then touch the side door, and then come back.” Jackson, who loves to play army, stands at attention, then salutes and replies, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” as he goes to complete his assignment at lightning speed. Sometimes spotters are sent along with the game player to make sure the directions are followed exactly. And of course, the faster the orders can be followed, the more applause the contestant gets when he or she slides back into the living room, out of breath and pleased with himself or herself for having complied flawlessly. All the younger Duggar kids love to play this game; it’s a way to make practicing obedience fun! THE FOUR POINTS OF OBEDIENCE THE GAME’S RULES (MADE up by our family) stem from our study of the four points of obedience, which Mom taught us when we were young. As a matter of fact, as we are writing this book she is currently teaching these points to our youngest siblings. Obedience must be: 1. Instant. We answer with an immediate, prompt “Yes ma’am!” or “Yes sir!” as we set out to obey. (This response is important to let the authority know you heard what he or she asked you to do and that you are going to get it done as soon as possible.) Delayed obedience is really disobedience. 2. Cheerful. No grumbling or complaining. Instead, we respond with a cheerful “I’d be happy to!” 3. Thorough. We do our best, complete the task as explained, and leave nothing out. No lazy shortcuts! 4. Unconditional. No excuses. No, “That’s not my job!” or “Can’t someone else do it? or “But . . .” THE HIDDEN GOAL WITH this fun, fast-paced game is that kids won’t need to be told more than once to do something. Mom would explain the deeper reason behind why she and Daddy desired for us to learn obedience. “Mom and Daddy won’t always be with you, but God will,” she says. “As we teach you to hear and obey our voice now, our prayer is that ultimately you will learn to hear and obey what God’s tells you to do through His Word.” In many families it seems that many of the goals of child training have been lost. Parents often expect their children to know what they should say and do, and then they’re shocked and react harshly when their sweet little two-year-old throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. This parental attitude probably stems from the belief that we are all born basically good deep down inside, but the truth is, we are all born with a sin nature. Think about it: You don’t have to teach a child to hit, scream, whine, disobey, or be selfish. It comes naturally. The Bible says that parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Jill Duggar (Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships)
He strode forward, heedless of the murmuring that began among the women when they saw him. Then Sara turned, and her gaze met his. Instantly a guilty blush spread over her cheeks that told him all he needed to know about her intent.
“Good afternoon, ladies,” he said in steely tones. “Class is over for today. Why don’t you all go up on deck and get a little fresh air?”
When the women looked at Sara, she folded her hands primly in front of her and stared at him. “You have no right to dismiss my class, Captain Horn. Besides, we aren’t finished yet. I was telling them a story—”
“I know. You were recounting Lysistrata.”
Surprise flickered briefly in her eyes, but then turned smug and looked down her aristocratic little nose at him. “Yes, Lysistrata,” she said in a sweet voice that didn’t fool him for one minute. “Surely you have no objection to my educating the women on the great works of literature, Captain Horn.”
“None at all.” He set his hands on his hips. “But I question your choice of material. Don’t you think Aristophanes is a bit beyond the abilities of your pupils?”
He took great pleasure in the shock that passed over Sara’s face before she caught herself. Ignoring the rustle of whispers among the women, she stood a little straighter. “As if you know anything at all about Aristophanes.”
“I don’t have to be an English lordling to know literature, Sara. I know all the blasted writers you English make so much of. Any one of them would have been a better choice for your charges than Aristophanes.”
As she continued to glower at him unconvinced, he scoured his memory, searching through the hundreds of verse passages his English father had literally pounded into him. “You might have chosen Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, for example—‘fie, fie! Unknit that threatening unkind brow. / And dart not scornful glances from those eyes / to wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.’”
It had been a long time since he’d recited his father’s favorite passages of Shakespeare, but the words were as fresh as if he’d learned them only yesterday. And if anyone knew how to use literature as a weapon, he did. His father had delighted in tormenting him with quotes about unrepentant children.
Sara gaped at him as the other women looked from him to her in confusion. “How . . . I mean . . . when could you possibly—”
“Never mind that. The point us, you’re telling them the tale of Lysistrata when what you should be telling them is ‘thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper. /thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee / and for thy maintenance commits his body / to painful labour by both sea and land.’”
Her surprise at this knowledge of Shakespeare seemed to vanish as she recognized the passage he was quoting—the scene where Katherine accepts Petruchio as her lord and master before all her father’s guests.
Sara’s eyes glittered as she stepped from among the women and came nearer to him. “We are not your wives yet. And Shakespeare also said ‘sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more / men were deceivers ever / one foot on sea and one on shore / to one thing constant never.’”
“Ah, yes. Much Ado About Nothing. But even Beatrice changes her tune in the end, doesn’t she? I believe it’s Beatrice who says, ‘contempt, farewell! And maiden pride, adieu! / no glory lives behind the back of such./ and Benedick, love on, I will requite thee, / taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.’”
“She was tricked into saying that! She was forced to acknowledge him as surely as you are forcing us!”
“Forcing you?” he shouted. “You don’t know the meaning of force! I swear, if you—”
He broke off when he realized that the women were staring at him with eyes round and fearful. Sara was twisting his words to make him sound like a monster. And succeeding, too, confound her.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Pirate Lord)